Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe

With Thanksgiving coming up, I have one thing on my mind. PUMPKIN. Ok, maybe mashed potatoes and stuffing as well…

During the fall time I crave every kind of food in a pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, you name it. There’s just something about fall that makes me want to eat it all of the time. Pumpkin puts us in the holiday spirit and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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I recently discovered Bliss Nut-Butters through Instagram and have been eating their nut-butters nonstop since. I will admit, I practically ate the whole jar of their Cinnamon Chia Seed Peanut Butter before I could even share this recipe. It really is THAT delicious. What’s their secret to making the butters so addictive? I would have to say the sea salt combined with the sweetness of the cinnamon!

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After eating half the jar I had the idea to include it in a smoothie with pumpkin. I figured the cinnamon would act as pumpkin pie spice and the peanuts would add some extra flavor and nutrition. For this recipe you will need:

1/2 can of pumpkin

1 spoonful of Bliss Nut Butters Cinnamon

1 frozen banana

soy milk

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Simply blend up all your ingredients and add soy milk as needed.

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Enjoy! The cinnamon peanut butter adds the perfect hint of sweetness to the pumpkin without overdoing it. It’s like a pumpkin pie without the excess sugar. Next time you feel like cheating with a slice of pie, blend this smoothie together instead!

Juice Press Rainforest Smoothie Recipe

If you are a juice and smoothie lover you are probably obsessed with all the boutique juice shops in the city. Juice Press is just one of these stores that offers delicious, fresh but overpriced smoothies. While it is nice to treat myself to one of these every once in awhile, this college student has a budget to follow.

I am always messing around with my Vitamix (aka the most life-changing gadget you can have in your kitchen), looking for the perfect green smoothie recipe. While the other recipe I shared on my blog is one of my staples, this new recipe just might be replacing it for the next few weeks.

If you have ever had Juice Press’s Rainforest smoothie, this is exactly what that tastes like. Filled with kale, mint, lemon, and coconut water, you really can’t go wrong. I even added my own little twist by making it with frozen banana and pineapple. This helps to balance out the taste of the greens.

In order to make this you are going to need:

Kale on kale on kale

Mint leaves

1/2 of a lemon

1 frozen banana

Coconut water

Frozen pineapple

Start with your greens. Feel free to add as much mint as you like. I pile in the mint because I love that refreshing ting early in the morning after a long yoga session. It is also great for indigestion!

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Next, add your kale. Once again, load this in; the more greens the better! I was lucky enough to be given kale straight from someone’s garden. I lack any sort of green thumb but tasting this fresh kale has inspired me to possibly start growing my own greens.

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The kale was so fresh that I kept finding inch worms in it! I returned these little worms back into their natural habitat and made sure to clean the kale over and over again.

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After you add all of your greens be sure to juice half of a lemon into the blender. If you want a tangier taste feel free to squeeze an entire lemon into the juice.

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Next, I added my frozen banana. I buy a bunch of bananas and freeze them in ziplock bags to make them much more accessible whenever I want to make a smoothie. This way you don’t need to worry about the time it takes to freeze a banana once your smoothie craving comes on.

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Coconut water is going to allow the Vitamix to blend everything together smoothly. You want to start by adding a good amount and then continue to add more as the smoothie is blending. The coconut water is going to make the blender’s job a lot easier, and prevent it from breaking.

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Lastly, add your frozen pineapple. Once again, there is not a specific amount that you need to add. It is all up to you and which flavors you want to be most prominent!

Now blend together and it’s ready to drink.

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Let me know what you think of this recipe when you try it. Be sure to share it on Instagram and tag @maemaddie. Happy blending!

Finding Happiness in Simplicity

I think we can all agree that our fondest memories are always those shared with the people we love most in life. These memories can range from a family vacation to a day at the beach to one’s favorite holiday. I often find that my most treasured memories do not have to be in a special place or at a special time but with someone special. When you are with a person that simply makes you happy just with their presence, the world of possibility to make an unforgettable memory automatically opens up.

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My cousin, and my best friend, recently visited me for a Saturday while I was living in the city. I often find that I don’t have to plan out concrete things for us to do in order to have an amazing time, especially in New York, because, lets be honest, everything is pretty amazing.

Naturally, we ate our way through the day, walking our way to different neighborhoods. We began with Good Enough to Eat in the Upper West Side, a block down from where I was living. This has been on my list of restaurants to try for quite some time now, especially after walking past long lines of people every weekend morning. We didn’t even have to wait in the line since I volunteered my butt to be burned on the metal chairs that were heating up in the hot summer sun. The things I will do when I am hungry! Needless to say, you can never go wrong with a biscuit and a well-cooked omelette (one with white cheddar and granny smith apples in this case!).

After browsing through a few book stores, riding the Subway downtown, stopping at Mount Sinai for band-aids for Natasha’s feet and sipping on drinks in the East Village, we managed to end up in the Lower East Side/Soho area. While I often pass this quaint blue building, seeing people chomping down on corn, I had not tried it for myself before this weekend. Natasha and I always joke that you can only eat corn on the cob around the person you feel most comfortable with. Let me tell you ladies, not a pretty sight! This has to be a given, but if I boy wants to take you to Cafe Habana on a date, run the other direction. Or maybe just suggest another restaurant.

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Sprinkled with cheese and zested with lime, this corn is a delicious summer treat to share with your best friend. We ate ours out on the street, taking in the buzzing environment, but there is also a sit-down part of the restaurant right next door.

Since we were in the area I stopped at Sunrise Mart, a convenient store carrying all kinds of Japanese goodies, to buy my favorite lychee gummies. Natasha and I may or may not have eaten an entire bag each while watching the sunset… They really are that good!

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My favorite summer activity is watching the sunset. It may seem so simple but it always gives me an extreme wave of happiness and love for life. It is crazy to think that everyone in this world sees the same sun every day and watches it come and go at different points in time. The sun and each day is something we are all guilty of taking advantage of. How often do you stop to appreciate the sun rising and the opportunity to start a new day? Or watch the sun setting and reflect on the day that just passed?

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As I sat in Hudson River Park, with my favorite city of skyscrapers and bustling lives behind me, I watched the sun fall over the horizon, closing the wonderful day I had just spent with my cousin. Life can get hectic. We all have jobs. We all have needs. We all have goals. I get it, it’s hard to balance all of these in one 24-hour day. In order to appreciate and enjoy these days, however, we need to stop and take in the natural beauty of what is happening in the world we live in.

The Red Store: A Gem of the Jersey Shore

You drive off the main road leading to the beach onto a smaller road winding through a hidden residential neighborhood. After passing a quaint church and children playing in a park you will find a little red corner store buzzing with the locals of the surrounding area. Here you will find fresh-pressed juices, farm-to-table ingredients, and a solacing environment all in the heart of the Jersey Shore.

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The fresh juices (The Red Juice, Fresh pressed apple juice, Florida Orange Juice) are some of my favorite items this restaurant has to offer. You can order them at a smaller counter by the door when you are on the go or enjoy one while waiting for your meal. In addition to the juices, they also sell smoothies (Banana Nut Smoothie and Strawberry Milk) perfect for the health nuts like me. These smoothies are delectable yet contain only natural sweeteners like honey and almond milk, a perfect alternative to the deceiving smoothies that are packed with artificial sugars.

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You can even watch them blending and juicing all of the fresh, local ingredients right in front of you!

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Once I find a meal I truly enjoy I am guilty of ordering it every time I visit that restaurant; The Red Store is no exception to this. I always order the ABLT, which is avocado, apple wood smoked bacon, baby arugula, and tomato jam packed on a buttery croissant. I obviously opt for no bacon, since I don’t eat meat, but I can only imagine how delectable it tastes.

Even thinking about the tomato jam has me drooling. It tastes a bit like tomatoes but has a sweetness to it that this fruit does not normally have. Each fresh ingredient that is added to this sandwich makes all the difference. You can even add an egg to it for some extra protein!

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What is the perfect ending to a Sunday brunch? A foaming cappuccino of course! This one has a kick that definitely reminds you of its espresso content, waking you up for the long beach day ahead. The Red Store ships in all their coffee from Brooklyn’s Gotham Coffee, so you know you are getting nothing but the best. After all, being a biased New Yorker I believe everything from New York City is of the finest quality.

The next time you are down the shore, make the trip south to Cape May to taste the one-of-a-kind drinks and dishes The Red Store has to offer. We can only handle so many stacks of pancakes and fried crab cake sandwiches before we need a fresh, authentic meal.

A Green Smoothie For Those Against Greens

Every morning I wake up and look forward to a tall glass filled to the brim with green smoothie. Needless to say, I am a firm believer that a green juice a day keeps the doctor away. Cheesy but true. Greens are packed with vitamin K, fiber, and even calcium (perfect for the vegans out there!), so you really can never get enough of them.

Being the health nut that I am, I am always trying out new green smoothie recipes and feeding them to my friends. While they may not have been too happy with some of the smoothies I have fed them, this one is always a favorite. You can’t even taste the greens, making it perfect for those appalled to the idea of green smoothies.

In order to make this green smoothie you are going to need:

Lots of greens! (spinach is my favorite)

1 Frozen Banana

Frozen Pineapple Chunks

Frozen Peach Slices

Almond Milk or Coconut Water

Chia Seeds

First, start off with your greens. It is important that you add them to your blender first since they are the most difficult to blend into a liquid texture. Having spinach chunks in your smoothie leads to spinach in your teeth and nobody wants that, especially if you have one of those friends that is too awkward to tell you that it’s in your teeth. Don’t be afraid to add handfuls of your greens to the smoothie; I promise you that you won’t even taste them!

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Next, add your frozen fruit. I try to add just enough fruit so that you don’t taste the greens but you also don’t get an overload of sugar. I recommend adding 2 or 3 peach slices and half a handful of pineapple chunks. Less is always more.

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Once everything is in the blender, take you almond milk or coconut water. If you like your smoothies to be sweeter, opt for almond milk. However, coconut water is a healthier option to use because of its low calories and little sugar. If you are new to drinking green smoothies begin with the almond milk and ease your way into the coconut water.

Here you want to eyeball the amount of liquid that you are adding to the greens and fruits. Add a little at a time, blend, and if the blender is giving you trouble then add more! You don’t want your smoothie to be too liquidy which is why it is important to add a little at a time.

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And there you have it; your green smoothie is finished. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top and it is ready to drink. The chia seeds will add a little crunch while also keeping you full for hours to come.

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This green smoothie is delicious, healthy, and doesn’t cost $200 like the smoothie that Gwyneth Paltrow makes herself every morning. Beauty on a budget! If you try this smoothie be sure to post it on Instagram or Twitter and tag me.

The Next Black Tap: Cotton Candy Bubble Tea

Whenever I log onto Facebook I am bombarded with videos on how to bake oreo cake balls or smores waffles. Dessert places in New York City have been a popular trend on social media lately. If you haven’t heard of Black Tap, do you even have a Facebook account? These milkshakes gained huge publicity by being featured on one of these Facebook food video pages. Videos spread all around the world, leading people to make trips to the city JUST for these milkshakes. There is constantly a two hour long line outside of the restaurant just to order one of these bad boys.

Lucky for you, I have something way better than Black Tap to share with you (and it thankfully doesn’t require a two hour wait). So what exactly is the new and improved Black Tap? Vivi Bubble Tea! You may have seen these bubble tea shops all over New York City, however only one location has this delicious drink. The trick is to go to the Vivi Bubble Tea located on Allen Street, as it is the only location with the cotton candy bubble tea float.

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The shop offers a few different flavors of their bubble tea floats, everything from green tea matcha (pictured in the center) to taro to caramel macchiato (pictured on the sides). Each float features your tea of choice, a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream, tapioca bubbles, and a cotton candy topping covered in pop rocks. Are you drooling yet? The more traditional Japanese flavors, like the green tea matcha, come with a cup of red beans to add to your float as well.

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So you may be wondering, what’s with the mini cup of bubble tea? This drink is actually pretty complicated if you are bad at following instructions like myself. You are first supposed to remove the cotton candy. After drinking half of your float, you stuff the cotton candy back into the jar. Next, you pick up your mini cup and pour this on top of the cotton candy, into the jar. Me, being an avid Instagrammer, tried to record this whole process as I was doing this. I quickly learned that I couldn’t pour and record at the same time. If you want to see this epic fail of mine, check out my Instagram account.

This process melts the cotton candy and pop rocks, leaving you with an even sugarier drink. I wouldn’t be surprised if the drink contains a week’s worth of sugar allowance. Whoops! So worth it though. I recommend eating a majority of the cotton candy by itself rather than melting it in your drink. It tastes delicious with the pop rocks on top, bringing you back to your childhood spent at carnivals eating cotton candy off the stick.

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The next time you are in New York City, opt for the trip to Vivi Bubble Tea at Allen Street. You will have a unique experience like no other. I mean, how many places can you find cotton candy combined with bubble tea and ice cream!? This place is also much more Instagram worthy than a chocolate milkshake. Hurry here before a Facebook food account finds out about this secret spot!

 

Miles Table

As you have yet to discover, I am a huge foodie. Nothing beats the thrill of finding a new restaurant that offers delicious food and a perfect environment to enjoy it in. This past week I met my best friend in Philadelphia to check out the “Audobon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life” exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which was AMAZING by the way).

While I was in the city we decided to explore South Street. We came upon a small restaurant/cafe called Miles Table. Of course, I looked up pictures of the food on Instagram and decided to give the place a shot.

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When you enter the restaurant you must order at a counter in the back. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner so there are plenty of food choices to pick from! I ordered a simple caesar salad with avocado and shrimp as well as the tuna avocado melt (one of their many daily specials).

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Yes, the salad tasted just as good as it looks (maybe even better!). Shrimp and avocado are two of my favorite foods so naturally I expect the best when I eat them. The avocado was as fresh as it gets and the shrimp was lightly marinated in what tasted like a barbecue spice. Both were absolutely scrumptious!

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And then the avocado tuna melt… even though I was already stuffed with great food, this melt was worth stuffing just a bit more into my belly. The tuna was perfectly moist and seasoned. If you love tuna and avocado (like me) you must try this special!

Overall, this place has quickly become my new favorite foodie spot in Philly next to Hai Street Kitchen, which makes awesome sushi burritos. The next time you are in the city looking for a relaxing environment and delicious comfort food, check out Miles Table. I will definitely be returning the next time I am in the city.