eat-a-city, Uncategorized

amsterdam

I could literally talk about Amsterdam forever…and since it’s part of the eat-a-city series, I’m going to! When I originally thought of this series, my idea was more “city in a grocery bag.” But since a lot of the places I’ve travelled to were very short visits, I decided to do more of a food diary…though A’dam is kind of an exception considering I lived, grocery shopped and cooked there.

This blog post is a love letter of sorts to Albert Heijn, the most perfect grocery store in all the world. One of the best parts of living in Amsterdam was the incredibly cheap groceries–they were cheap by American suburban standards, and prices were drastically lower compared to Gristedes/Morton Williams/Fine Fare/every subpar supermarket in NYC. I’m talking loaves of bread for 65 cents, Dutch cheese for a dollar, and insanely delicious salads for $4…granted, the groceries were priced in euros, but the conversion rate was very close to 1:1 when I was there.

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One of my favorite products at AH was the guacamole kits they had in their produce section–it cost just under $3 for two avocados, a lime, a tomato, a chili pepper, garlic, and shallots, a.k.a. everything you need to make your own guac. For perspective, I paid $2.29 for a single avocado at the Tribeca Whole Foods yesterday.

Two very typical Dutch treats that I came to love were stroopwafels and hagelslag. Stroopwafels are wafer-thin waffle cookies sandwiched with a sticky, caramel-like syrup. You could buy a package of 12 for around $1 at the store, but lots of street vendors sell homemade ones the size of your face, hot off the griddle. Hagelslag are like quality chocolate sprinkles–sprinkled on buttered bread is a standard breakfast item in this beautiful country.

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One of my favorite things to eat in Amsterdam was a veggie burger from a little restaurant called Burgerlijk. Wandering around in a hungry daze, I stumbled upon this gem when my friends were visiting over their spring break. I can be particular about veggie burgers…and I’m not sure what this one was made of, but it was incredible. Like, I think about it way too much. The whole thing is super customizable–lots of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces, and their fries are also incredible. I took my meat-eating parents here when they came to visit, and they were impressed with the regular beef burgers.

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I also went to another incredible restaurant when my folks were in town (read: free dinner) called De Vergulden Eenhorn. It’s on the outskirts of the city in a restored farmhouse–honestly as “me” as it gets–and they have just a handful of items on their menu, all of which are exceptional. I always think it’s better for a restaurant to have four entrees that they do really well, rather than ten that are just ok. We went twice because it was so damn good, and I had cauliflower soup, barley risotto, and sea bass. The restaurant makes their own bread, aioli, and hummus, which were also delicious.

found my favorite restaurant. #amsterdam #succulents #local #farmtotable

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What are your favorite Amsterdam eats?

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the latest, Uncategorized

confidence = major 🔑

For most of my life, I’ve been forgettable–and I’ve been good at it. Remember that scene in “The Princess Diaries” when someone literally sits on Anne Hathaway/Mia Thermopolis because they didn’t even notice she was there? That should give you an idea of how I felt up until a few years ago. In high school I was drafted as “shy” and “quiet,” two adjectives I would never assign to my current self. My freshman year of college I would go to parties and bars and meet lots of different people–but when I waved to them the next day, I’d be greeted with a lack of recognition.

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I feel that I’ve become more assertive over the past two years, with a tremendous change when I studied abroad. Amsterdam means SO much to me, and my growth in independence is one of the reasons why. I learned more about myself in five months of living there than the past three years of college. I did things I wanted, when I wanted. I made friends with the guy who freed my bike after I broke the padlock’s key…so the next time it happened, he volunteered to help once more. I dyed my hair blonde. I biked miles and miles. I looked at art. I ate lots of stroopwafels. I started drinking beer. I started liking beer. I constantly, consistently was in awe of the city’s beauty. One year later, I’m still not sure how it’s possible for a place to be so stunning.

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This past year, I’ve started being more confident in my career goals and skills. I learned to work on a team–on a professional level. I learned how to say no. I started asking for what I want. And now that a brand new, unplanned, simultaneously terrifying/exhilarating chapter of my life is beginning, I’m excited to continue growing.

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pin-spiration, places, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: amsterdam

I will never get over this place. I’m literally tearing up as I picked these photos (no, I only had one glass of wine), and I am missing Amsterdam oh-so much these days. I can’t believe that next month it will be a whole year since I said farewell to this beautiful city. Before I left for study abroad, I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to Amsterdam-themed pins. But no amount of tulip photos or canal views could prepare me for the beautiful place I was about to spend a semester in.

I miss riding a bicycle everywhere, wandering through the floating bloemenmarkt, and taking full advantage of free museum admission. I was SO incredibly happy here, and I really found a home there. My parents came to visit, not expecting very much, and totally fell in love with Amsterdam. I’m telling you, this is a special place. Go to A’dam, and stay for more than a couple of days. Drink a Heineken at an outdoor cafe, eat as many sticky stroopwafels as you can, and soak up the incomparable beauty that is this magical place. I’ll be back ASAP.

all photos from Pinterest. 

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the latest, Uncategorized

my relationship with food

For anyone who follows my Instagram, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a major foodie. I love finding amazing restaurants in NYC, and experimenting on my own in the kitchen. I’ve been working at food publications for the past year, and as a result have been surrounded by food constantly. Nachos, dessert lasagna, margaritas–you name it.

arugula mozzarella balsamic oh my 🍕

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I’ve always had very positive body image–something I’ve never taken for granted. I’m comfortable in my own skin and have definitely learned to embrace my body (and my health) as I’ve gotten older. As a millenial in a society where everyone and their mother is on a juice cleanse or “tea-tox,” I regularly eat pasta for dinner and drink 1% milk. When I lived in Amsterdam, my French fry intake went up, and I put on a few pounds. When I started my new job this semester, I had a longer walk to the train and started skipping lunch because my new building doesn’t have a rad cafeteria–so I lost a few pounds. None of this was intentional, it’s just the way things happened.

white girl goes to black tap 🍭

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I’ve been passionate about food my whole life. I did so many school projects about organic food and GMOs, writing letters to my town paper asking my community to shop at local farms instead of big-box grocery stores. I no longer eat meat, and though I indulge in junk food on occasion, I make a conscious effort to eat healthy on a student budget. There are well-balanced days when I’ll have eggs or a smoothie bowl for breakfast, soup for lunch, and roasted veggies for dinner. Other days, I’ll only eat popcorn and diet Coke.

I’m a firm believer in enjoying everything in moderation. I will never cut out carbs from my diet–but I also will never eat pizza every single day. Instead of totally sacrificing something I love (i.e. pizza) and permanently replacing it with something healthy (i.e. cauliflower crust + nutritional yeast topped “pizza”), I’d rather have it less often. And in all honesty, I live in NYC so it’s not realistic to swear off bagels & pizza.

Being surrounded by food in the workplace is definitely a challenge. Just today, a coffee brand’s PR reps brought us a platter of bagels, pastries, and fruit, as well as rich & creamy iced lattes. Fortunately, I knew they were coming, so I didn’t eat breakfast at home and had half a bagel, half a pastry, and lots of fruit at the office. Other days, there will just be tons of snack food and candy, and it’s hard not to graze.

Pre-Christmas diet 🙈🌮🍺🌯🌶 #guacamole #eatlocal #burrito #salad #green #blogger #nyc #eeeeeats #food #foodie

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Another consequence of ever-present food is that I no longer crave anything. This same thing happened when I worked in a grocery store back in high school…the food you love becomes just an object. You see so much of it everyday that it doesn’t always feel as special. Because of this, I’ve been making more of an effort to cook at home, especially to make sure I have at least one balanced meal a day.

This post was inspired by Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Kim Kardashian.

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the latest, Uncategorized

a faux-photographer’s fave photos

I know you’ve probably had enough with the nostalgic 2015 posts, but someone recently reached out to me about posting my favorite photo from 2015. Well, I take WAY too many pictures to pick just one, so I went through my Instagram and picked my top three!

1. Chichen Itza, Mexico

Ok, so since I’m in the picture, somebody else (my sister) took it, but I love how this photo came out. 2015 was a great year for traveling…any suggestions where I should go this year?

never stop exploring ✈️✌🏼️🌴 #Mexico #history #travel #beautiful #ancient #ruins #love #vacation #nyc #blogger

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2. Amsterdam

This photo just makes me teary-eyed. The city is so stunning, and it’s hard to capture Amsterdam’s beauty in a single picture. Everything from the afternoon lighting, bicycle-filled rush hour, and houseboat-lined canals makes it perfect.

3. NYC

I love this picture because it represents the start of a happy chapter in my life…I finally got to work in my dream industry, and would walk through Columbus Circle almost everyday. Realizing my goals were within grasp was huge for me, and it made 2015 was an incredibly happy year.

Good morning 🌞 and TGIAF #nyc #skyline #sunrise #centralpark #commute #blogger #newyork #beautiful #vscocam

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people, places, the latest, Uncategorized

top 15 of ’15

Since I’m ending this year on such a happy note, I thought I would share my favorite moments from 2015. Happy new year!

1. 21

I actually turned 21 about a week after landing in Amsterdam, where the drinking age is 16. A visit from some of my best friends + Amsterdam nightlife made it a birthday I will never forget.

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2. TRAVEL

Four months abroad + eight countries + two continents + empty bank account = still suffering from wanderlust.

3. AMSTERDAM

There is no way to describe how much this place means to me…while I will always and forever love NYC, Amsterdam has a special place in my heart. I grew so much here and can’t wait to go back.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

4. MOM + DAD IN EUROPE

My parents coming to visit in Amsterdam was so much fun, and together we also went to Brussels, Berlin, Rotterdam and some other cities in the Netherlands. I loved showing them around (and finally getting to eat something besides ramen).

5. MY FIRST APARTMENT

Special shout out to my amazing mother for helping me move. Carrying furniture up multiple flights of stairs required blood, sweat, tears, and sangria. Cheers to adulthood!

6. SENIOR YEAR

Everything from senior nights, taking (mostly) classes I’m interested in, and a new work-study job have made this school year one of the best.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

7. DELISH

An internship where the opportunities were endless. Check out my work.

8. THE KITCHEN

This is definitely a direct result of Delish…my childhood dream job was to be a chef, and working at a food site rekindled that joy. Few things make me happier than creating something delicious & sharing it with people.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

9. FRIENDSGIVING

Two of my Fordham friends stayed with my family during Thanksgiving break, and it was so much fun showing them around Newburyport. And getting to spend one of my favorite holidays with all of my favorite people.

10. CHRISTMAS IN NYC

In general, I feel super lucky to live in NYC. And I feel even luckier around the holidays. Around Thanksgiving, the city is decked out in twinkly lights, office buildings show off enormous Christmas trees, and magic is in the air.

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11. NEW YEAR, NEW JOB

I’ve already begun my internship for next semester here, and will be working four days a week once break is over. Hard work pays off.

12. DAD

My dad needed open heart surgery, and had the operation shortly after I left for Amsterdam. It was hard to be so far away while he was recovering, but he is healthier than ever and I’m so grateful.

13. PITBULL

My close friends know that I am a shameless Pitbull fangirl. I’ve been trying to see him in concert since high school, and one of my friends won tickets to see him perform at a Microsoft event. #Blessed.

14. NEWBURYPORT SUMMER

Though summer ’15 was pretty uneventful, I got to spend it with some of my high school friends, and finally being 21 was a huge plus. Going to townie bars was pretty priceless, and I was able to bulk up my post-abroad checking account.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

15. THE RAM

I decided to finally make an effort and apply for a columnist position at Fordham’s newspaper. I’ve had so much fun being their food writer and can’t wait to continue next semester!

 

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the latest, Uncategorized

new year, same me

On paper, I should love New Year’s Eve. Champagne, sparkly dresses, staying up late? Check, check, and check. But I think I’m too nostalgic of a person to genuinely enjoy the coming of another year. Until this year, it would make me sad to look back and realize how little things have changed. Maybe that’s why this is a major drinking holiday

This year I feel a little differently. 2015 has been the happiest year of my life overall, and I hope the pattern continues into 2016. In 2015, I spent a semester abroad in the most beautiful city, visited eight countries, landed the internship of my dreams, and began focusing more on making myself happy (my ’15 resolution).

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Many of my NYE resolutions in the past had been about finding love and being in a relationship, along with the generic ones like losing five pounds, stop spending so much money, etc. So last year, I decided to focus on being my happiest self, and eliminate anything that I deemed toxic and unhealthy.

Moving to Europe for four months was a start, and getting back on track with my Communications major was a great next step. I became more independent and stopped being afraid to do things by myself. I applied for dozens of internships until I got the perfect one, and as a result countless doors have opened for me. As 2016 quickly approaches, my only resolution is to keep doing me.

mindy

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