The Reality of Chocolate

an arrangement of gourmet chocolate

Image by: CherryBanana

Unfortunately, many foods in America are questioned for their authenticity as there are simply are a variation of an authentic ingredient that is remade at a lower quality. Many readily used ingredients in America are not of the utmost quality which can effect the outcome of a recipe as well as the overall appearance and flavor of that particular dish. One of America’s favorite sweet tooth fix is … chocolate. While some label themselves as connoisseurs, others view themselves as chocoholics who are just strictly addicted to chocolate. But chocolate is one of the most famous treats in America while the quality is differing by way of the brand and the origin.

Chocolate should traditionally be made from the cacao bean which is then processed numerous times before becoming the molten creation that is chocolate. But America has found a way to somewhat cheat the process of chocolate making by only using cocoa butter solids which are a byproduct of chocolate that lowers the quality and flavor of the chocolate. Commercial brands like Nestle or Hershey are packed with sugar and the butter solids whereas those brands like Ghirardelli or Valrhona use the more extensive process that is necessary in making the best quality of chocolate. But the better brands are more expensive which leads many Americans to purchase a budget friendly chocolate despite it’s quality and flavor, it constitutes as a treat that will satisfy their craving. Yet, I feel that Americans are wasting their money if you pay less for low quality as well as a lower quantity of actual chocolate then it becomes a debate on whether it is worth the cost.

Essentially, it is important to read labels as it will help to guide you on the reality of the chocolate that you are planning to consume before wasting the money to purchase it. So the next time that you have a craving for chocolate, I encourage you to indulge but for the best chocolate tasting experience, I suggest that you check the labels and spend a little more for a better quality of chocolate. Good Luck and Happy Eating!

My First NYC Restaurant Week Experience

I wanted to save this post for my food blog, but I decided to give you all the first look and review of my first NYC restaurant week experience at Brasserie Seoul.

I was born and raised in New York City and as a foodie in my family. However, I never took advantage nor experienced NYC Restaurant Week. This summer I decided with my boyfriend to take advantage of it. The restaurant I initially chose was Delmonico’s, but later changed my mind to Brasserie Seoul which is a new, hip, and trendy restaurant with Korean and French flavors and techniques. The restaurant is tucked away inside the new Holiday Inn in Downtown Brooklyn. I visited the hotel and restaurant twice during my summer classes. My class and I met the General Manager who said next time we return we would receive 10% off our bill as we are City Tech students.

I chose August 12th which was a Friday and also a celebration of completing my Bachelor’s degree. My boyfriend and I were seated in the center of the restaurant and had a good view of the kitchen. The servers seemed a little bit nervous and slightly inattentive. We asked for a sparkling water, but unfortunately the rim around my glass cup had a fuzz around it. The General Manager was behind me and asked if everything was okay, but I showed him my glass and he apologized and replaced it with a new and clean glass.


My boyfriend ordered the Crispy Salmon (salmon sashimi , crispy sushi rice, and chipotle aioli). This was definitely a unique and interesting take on a sashimi, but with a crispy sushi rice instead. It had a little kick of spice to it, but it was tolerable. I ordered the Wild Mushroom & Asparagus (wild mushrooms, asparagus, truffle soy sauce). I really liked this appetizer because I am naturally a mushroom fan. Although the dish was plated beautifully, I felt the plate was too large for the small portion that was given.


For entrees, my boyfriend had the Duck Confit (endive, shallot, thyme orange sauce) which was recommended by a friend of ours. The duck tasted delicious and cooked just perfectly where the meat was soft, smooth, and moist. I got the Waygu Rib Eye Steak ( waygu rib eye with grilled vegetables) *$5.00* additional for my order and I also asked for medium rare, but not too rare. While eating my steak, I noticed parts of it was rare., but I didn’t say anything. The steak also tasted very bland. I wished they provided a sauce or rub on it. The vegetables were grilled to perfection, but again slightly bland.

dessert brasserie

I must admit that the best part of the experience was the desserts. My boyfriend ordered the Strawberry Pie (puff pastry, gelato, and housemade strawberry jam). The strawberry pie was puff pastry and strawberry heaven! It was crispy, flaky, and buttery. So good and so cute!  I ordered the Banana Split (devil’s food cake, caramelized banana, vanilla ice cream) as I saw a lot of photos on Yelp and kept dreaming about it. When it arrived to our table, the general manager kindly explained the different elements that made up this gorgeous dessert. Everything and all of the flavors really came together and tasted amazing! The devil’s food cake was absolutely to die for.

Our dinner cost less than I thought as the general manager gave us a City Tech discount. That was very kind of him and the hostess at Brasserie Seoul is so kind and friendly. Our experience could have been slightly better if maybe our entrees had a little extra flavor and juices to it. This isn’t your typical Korean restaurant, but this is definitely a gem and great addition to Downtown Brooklyn. I am looking forward to our next NYC Restaurant Week experience.

Have you ever been to NYC Restaurant Week?

Happy First Day of Fall 2016 Semester


Image Credit

This semester is my most important semester as it’s my last semester. It’s the time when I actively start looking for a job. For those who are in the same position, it can be quite exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I will be graduating and taking the next steps along my career path. It’s also a time when I have to make sure that my resume, ePortfolio, cover letters, and achievements list are immaculate. Quite a task. But just as I do everything else, I will take it one step at a time.

So if this is you also, where should you start?

The first thing I recommend is that you start by defining your brand. What is it that you want the world to know about you? Truly defining who you are is a critical first step in developing ways to market yourself. By looking at your experiences, you can build a compelling brand experience that will highlighting your principles and successes. 

Try to describe yourself. Are you persistent or energetic? What are you good at and what are your unique set of skills? What makes you unique and different than other people? What attributes set you apart. Once you determine the answers, look at how it matches with the career that you want. Like I said, it’s not an easy task but who knows you better than you? You are the expert and you can do the best job.

But wherever you are in your academic goals, I wish you all the best. Let’s make this semester another successful one and know that it will pay off in the end.

Blogging Events Effectively

a young person in glasses with international flags bordering the photo

Last Tuesday, I attended the International Youth Leadership Assembly (IYLA) at the United Nations and the whole time I thought about blogging the event. However I felt I couldn’t create the post last week. Although I uploaded images on social media, I had to leave an hour early to make a meeting with charter school to be a possible affiliate for my organization. I really had to go and did not get to experience the IYLA event fully. And therefore I was stuck.

a seated audience

Of course I could have just uploaded the images I took and wrote on the speakers I did see or parts I did partake in. However, I felt I would not capture it fully and effectively, being that I missed on on substantial parts. Of course I could have took it into a different direction and spoke on the IYLA organization that led the program and the message of “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Vision, Service & Entreprenuership.

Therefore (a week later), I am writing how to capture events effectively.

  1. Stay for the Duration: You should stay for the duration in order to capture everything with imagery and/or with notes.This will also give you a first hand look and ability to connect with what or whomever you need to.
  2. Bring a Friend: I know you may not be able to get two tickets or press releases but try. If its a free for all bring someone to accompany you. Two heads are better than one. While one person is taking pictures, the other is taking notes. While one person is networking the other is making announcements. While one person is bobbing for apples the other is capturing the moment. 😉
  3. Take Images: If a scene can not be found on the internet or its unique to the event, make sure you take your own image. If possible hiring a photography, lol, or just bring a friend. Its always best to have original imagery when speaking on events.
  4. Take Notes: Although you think you’ll remember, when its time to write your blog certain facts or instances will be forgotten. For example I had to try and look up the presenters at the past IYLA event and some topics before I could write the blog that didn’t get published. 🙁 Have a system on notes, try not to just write everything all over the place. Organize your notes.
  5. Have a Focus: What were the special topics that sum up the event. For example: was it about empowering or networking and what took place to show that.

The Start of Fall Semester

Image by: Matt Cooper

Image by: Matt Cooper

As the summer vacation comes to a close, we are unfortunately faced with going back to school later this week. While only brave souls have decided to also partake in summer classes over the break, many of us are completely unprepared or reluctant to return to the stress of college and what that entails. It’s time for the late night studying, early morning classes, and the textbook shopping on Amazon. However, in the end, we will be grateful in our decision to further our education as it helps to inspire others, educate yourself and to become more sociable with those around you.

I am so appreciative of each and every one of my readers as I try to reach and connect with new readers by way of my writing of food-themed topics. I can definitely promise that with this upcoming semester that I will try new methods of writing in terms of the possibility of adding comedy as I have always been thoroughly entertained by the work of FoodSpin. I want to constantly evolve my writing to the trends or to what would appeal to my readers. I want to thank everyone who takes out time in their busy days to read my blog posts and comments, I genuinely love reading what others think of my writing or my opinion overall.

Being that I am about to start my senior year, I want to offer some advice to everyone who are anxious to begin the fall semester. Despite the stress of school, homework, work, and life struggles; it can be extremely difficult to stay focused and balance it all. But I have a solution, one of the most important things that I have done every semester was find a hobby. Although, it can sound almost impossible with the stress of everything else going on, it can ultimately lead to your success. I have found baking to be a passion of mine that I want to make a career out of but it is also extremely soothing to me. One baking practice that truly calms me is piping frosting whether it be buttercream, Italian meringue etc. I love how focused you have to be in order to get the piping work to be correct, beautiful, and intricate.

So, I wish you luck not only for the upcoming semester but for all of your endeavors whatever that may be. College is the ultimate learning experience that allows you to not only gain a better knowledge on a specific topic but to meet new people, network, and create memories of a lifetime.


This week we kick off the fall semester with classes beginning on August 25th! This will be my third semester here at City Tech and I’m excited to be back and work with my wonderful Professor’s, Mentors and peers. Last Wednesday I manned a table for The Buzz at orientation and it was a great experience so for my last summer blog I want to welcome all the new and transfer students to the amazing City Tech family.

Last year when I arrived I had no guide whatsoever and I ended up going across the street to Starbucks to use the bathroom because I couldn’t find one (LOL) so I’m going to lay out some of the basics for our new comers here. So first things first: where are the bathrooms anyway? Well in the Namm building from floors 3 and above they alternate meaning boys bathrooms are on even floors and girl’s bathrooms are on odd floors (also note some are closed for repair).

Next the elevators in the Namm are divided into local and express where express elevators stop at floors 6 and above and local stop on all floors. The express elevators are 5,6 and 7 and local is all other elevators. I recommend being a few minutes early to class or the line for the elevators will rival those at the DMV.

All the offices you need for major stuff like paying your bill, financial aid, bursar, registrar and more are in the basement of the Namm building. If you can avoid these offices the first few days of school by all means please do because it is a madhouse.

For help with computer and Wi-Fi stuff go to the welcome center on the first floor in the atrium (go in the Namm and walk past the cafeteria) the people there will help you set up Wi-Fi, student email and more.

If you don’t want to eat in the cafeteria on the 1st floor Namm you can check out some of the local food choices like Chipotle, Aubon Pain, Five Guys or Café metro. You can also check out my Panera Bread, Potbelly or Hills country chicken by leaving through the Adams st. exit (Pearl building).

Last but not least we have our own app! You can get it on Android or Apple by searching New York City College of Technology, which sums up what I’ve said and more! I hope you come to love this school as much as I have and never hesitate to reach out to me, as a peer mentor I’m here to help!



Twitter & Instagram: @spezzolanti

Also check out my blog The Rebel Mom 


Falling in Bliss with these Foods

My friends and food continue to endlessly inspire and amaze me every year. The last 2-3 years, through dining experiences in school and with my loved ones, I’ve realized that there are a lot of food and beverages out there that I find complete happiness, comfort and most of all love in.

Last year was mussels, cold brew, lobster, and so much more. This year is a little different and I’d like to show you the foods I’ve been falling into bliss with:

plates of salmon sushi1. Salmon (Sashimi + Smoked Salmon)

I used to think that sashimi or even the idea of smoked salmon was disgusting. However, my boyfriend is the biggest salmon lover that I know and he has told me good salmon should never taste fishy. Last year, I started eating salmon rolls, spicy crunch salmon roll, and I loved it! Now onto smoked salmon, a friend brought smoked salmon with cream cheese rolled inside and I thought it was insanely good. Now every once in a while I do cook with smoked salmon or make smoked salmon crackers.dishes and drinks with mango2. Mango

I used to be allergic to mango, but somehow it disappeared and once in a while I still get an itchy throat if I eat too much. I started eating a lot of mango last year and now I love mango sago, mango smoothie, in sushi, in salads, and so much more.

food dishes containing avocado

3. Avocado

Based on a study that was read to my restaurant management class over the summer, avocado toast is one of the hottest food trends. I never really liked avocado before until I discovered guacamole. I enjoy eating avocado very much especially avocado toast and nothing make it taste better than a fried egg.

French onion soup

4. French Onion soup

French onion soup brings back memories of my dining room and culinary class that I took here at City Tech. I remember from the way it’s served, the type of bowl, and down to the type of broth and much more. This year I learned that my boyfriend loves French Onion soup and 90% of the time he will order it if we’re eating at an American or French restaurant, even at diners. I wanted to know exactly why he was so fascinated with this soup and  so we shared a bowl recently and it was great. First off, it smells insanely good and melted cheese make a lot of things taste better. When this soup is done right, it can really make you happy and full!

a bottle of Vita Coco coconut water

5. Vita Coco

My sister and mom have been drinking Vita Coco for more than a year now and they said it’s very refreshing and keeps you hydrated. This summer, I gave it a shot and I love it. It’s better than a lot of drinks I’ve had so far. I’ve tried pineapple and passion fruit and it’s excellent.

prosciutto on toast

6. Prosciutto

Last, but not least there’s another special food that I love and have ate, but never took it upon myself to cook or make food with it at home. Last summer and this year, I was exposed a lot to prosciutto and I loved it. I recently had one from Piccoli Trattoria. They had an amazing prosciutto with fig jam and on toasted bread. It was a good balance of salty and sweet.

So these are the six food items that I have fell in love with this year  and I am excited to see what I may try with the rest of this year and every year to come. I am excited to see what is next that will fascinate me.

What foods have you tried this year that you love or enjoy?

National Lemonade Day

a pitcher of lemonade

Image by: Brook Ferry

To all you lemonade fans out there, National Lemonade Day is this Saturday, August 20th. One of the most grueling beverages to make in terms of squeezing each lemon till its last drop of juice escape from the rind. But the outcome is deliciously rewarding after doing all that work unless, of course, you decide to purchase a cup of lemonade. While many do not get too obsessed with the importance of food themed days such as National Ice Cream Day etc., others have made these days so important in changing the lives of everyone around them. National Lemonade Day has become somewhat of a national holiday for some who have continued to acknowledge this day to pursue the dreams of a four year old, Alexandra “Alex” Scott. Her vision was to raise money by selling lemonade from a lemonade stand that she would hold in front of her home to help children suffering from pediatric cancer of all sorts with the funds she received.

a lemonade mix carton

Image by: pompomflipflop

Alex, herself, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just before her first birthday and although doctors were doubtful that she would ever be able to walk due to the tedious treatment that would be necessary for her remission, Alex was determined and began to walk with the help of leg braces. She was regaining some of her strength and was defying the odds but was faced with unfortunate news, after two years when her tumors began to grow again. When she was only four years old she received a stem cell transplant and while recovering she constantly told her mother how much she wanted to run a lemonade stand to help other children. Despite struggling to brave the fight of her own cancer, Alex ran her first lemonade stand later that year with her family’s help which raised $2,000. It sparked a chain reaction when news broke about this cause and many began to sell lemonade while giving the proceeds directly to Alex to help her with her mission to benefit childhood cancer research. Alex became the founder of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and helped raised over a million dollars for cancer research. Yet, her cancer had progressed and Alex passed away in August of 2004 at only eight years old. Though many are still holding lemonade stands and donating to help further Alex’s vision.

In her memory, many use National Lemonade Day to help donate with a beverage that meant so much to Alex and so many other children that were helped by her mission. Restaurants all over the country are selling lemonade to donate to Alex’s foundation be sure to look out for them but Red Robin and Auntie Anne’s are just a few that will be offering lemonade and will be taking donations as well..

Comment below with your thoughts of National Lemonade Day or make a comment with a shout-out to someone you know who is struggling with a life-threatening disease/illness.

Blogology: Have fun!

While technically there are blogging jobs writing a blog shouldn’t necessarily feel like one. The old saying goes “ if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” and it’s pretty spot on. If you don’t love blogging, or writing in general, then the experience wont be fun for you and that will translate into your writing. It’s easy to see when someone wrote something because they had to and while you might not have a choice at work you absolutely do with a personal blog.


Like I’ve mentioned before write about something you know and love or about something you’re learning to do and share your experiences doing so but whatever it is should make you happy on and off the blog. Some people write how to or food blogs other people write parenting or lifestyle blogs but regardless of the topic it is one that is close and important to them. Here are three ways to have fun and make your blog interesting and upbeat,

Have guest bloggers

Sometimes its fun to compare and contrast two styles of writing or viewpoints and readers might appreciate the change of pace. Be sure though that you proofread and discuss with your guest the limits and do’s and don’ts of your blog, you don’t want to lose readers.

Do interviews

Instead of just writing from the first person maybe take your topic and interview someone who has been through it too. For example if you’re going to write about changing jobs or interning experience try to interview someone who’s done it before.

Pictures, pictures, pictures

Visual elements are key because people are more likely to click on links with interesting and well-shot photos. If your topic is pretty straight forward, like this one, pick a unique and interesting thumbnail for it.

Writing is a passion for many people and when they choose to write in their spare time it’s often online now days so exposure is much easier. Enjoying what you’re writing about is so important and baring writing for work writing on your own blog opens endless doors of possibility. For some ideas on how to start a blog or refresh your current on check out my previous posts this summer.

How Blogging Has Changed My Life

a woman's lap, a coffee cup in her hand, and a laptop keyboard

Image Credit: Terriers & Tweeds

As you may know I started blogging at the age of fourteen, but at fourteen I didn’t know the word blogging even thought it was what I was doing. I used to blog with until my second year at City Tech and than I took a very long break which I shouldn’t have.

Between 2008 – 2010, I was in love for the very first time with someone I truly cared about and meant everything to me, granted I was only 19 and he was 20 when we met, but it was the kind of love that I felt could have never been replaced. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well in July 2009 and it really had an effect on me and it was a time like that in my life that I forgot all about blogging, about writing my heart out, about sharing my pain, and etc. I wished I had continued to blog during the period of mending a broken heart, but I forgot and I was a mess.

In 2010, I decided to get back into blogging after watching “Julie & Julia” because that movie really paved the way for me to start blogging again even though I may not always get comments, feedback, or noticed either way what I write is there and it’s real. It wasn’t just blogging I started in Mid-2010, but I created a Yelp account where I decided to start reviewing restaurants and places I’ve eaten at without expecting any results or following. I also started blogging again about life, food, cooking, and much more.

Between 2011 and 2012, I was still a little rusty with blogging. However, after discovering I have a great passion for food and eating I decided to start food blogging and writing about the dishes I’ve eaten and the places I’ve been to. When I look at my Yelp reviews and blog posts, it’s quite amazing how many places I’ve eaten, tried, and seen. I still blog because I love it and I love writing and I love sharing my experiences with someone on the other side of the computer that may find my words inspiring.

I realized that one reason why I never wrote about how I felt and the pain I accumulated in 2009 – 2010 was because I didn’t want myself to go back and read about it because it would just make me cry and the pain I felt is something I never want anyone else to feel or experience. I also realized that during a dark time in your life, you need to find what it is that you love to do that makes you happy because that could be the solution to mending a broken heart.

“Julie & Julia” and a few individuals made me realize how important blogging is because for someone like me, I like to write, but on a blank white screen like I am right now. The influences and followers in my life made me realize that I do offer relevant information, that someone does care, that what I write matters. You should NEVER forget what it is that you love to do.

I’m not an individual that expects comments, feedback, money, an arm or leg to read my blog. I just simply like to write my experiences and share it and if someone reads it, that’s great. Blogging has made me a stronger person, a better writer, a better blogger, and a better person online and offline.

Do you blog and how has it change your life?