Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bridal Shower Chic

My wonderful friends (and avid Skinny Apple, FAT APPETITE readers) Joanna and Craig are getting married on October 29th and I have the great honor of being a bridesmaid!  Last week we had a bridal shower in Joanna’s honor complete with decorations, games, prizes, and food galore. In addition to some catered foods, many thanks to the MOB and MOG, part of our luncheon menu was homemade salads and desserts courtesy of the bridal party.

My selections were, as always, delicious, figure flattering, and budget friendly.   


3 Romaine Hearts, chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, diced
1 Can Beets, diced
1 Can Hearts of Palm, sliced
1 Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 Cup Carrots, chopped
6oz Feta Cheese

1.     Wash and cut call vegetables/fruit. 
2.     Put all vegetables /fruit in a large salad bowl with feta cheese.

1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Mix and cruet
¼ cup Oil
¼ cup water
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp Honey Mustard
1 packed Sweet and Low (or Splenda if preferred)

1.     Pour all ingredients in cruet. 
2.     Shake well and enjoy.


24 Keebler Ready Crusts, Graham, individual sized
4 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 Bricks Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1.     Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2.     In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese until smooth.  (You need a mixer for this, I use a cheapo hand mixer that I bought for $19.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it works great!)
3.     Pour approx ¼ cup of filling into each individual crust.
4.     Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
5.     Allow cheesecakes to cool completely before eating.


2 cups strawberries, cut
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest

1.     Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
2.     Cook on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, until sauce thickens.
 3. Allow sauce to cool completely before serving. 

These recipes were big crowd-pleasers at the bridal shower and I am sure the guests at your next luncheon or dinner party will love them too!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The End Of Summer Is Near

The end of summer is near and I am sure that all of you have the same thought as I do once the weather begins to turn chilly and autumn is fast approaching… please don’t let me gain winter weight this year! 

Don’t pretend that you have no idea what I’m talking about.  It is so easy to let an extra few pounds creep on once you’ve packed away your bathing suits and start bundling yourself in comfy sweaters and coats.  However, this year will be different (for me at least).  It might have something to do with a bridesmaid dress that I bought over the summer but need to wear at the end of October or it could be the great skinny jeans that I like tucking into boots…but either way I will not pack on the pounds this year!

One of my favorite summer recipes that will help me stay thin and happy through the cold weather months is my Summer Quinoa Salad.


1 cup quinoa, uncooked, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 red bell pepper, medium, diced
½ red onion, diced
½ cup snow peas, diced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsp olive oil
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
2.    Remove from stove and allow quinoa to cool for 15 minutes. 
3.    Add feta, peppers, red onion, and snow peas to quinoa. (sometimes I throw in 1/2 cup of corn during the winter to make this recipe even more summer-y!)
4.    In a separate bowl combine olive oil, orange juice, and vinegar.  Pour over quinoa and mix.
5.    Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes approximately 6 1-cup portions.  May be served hot or cold. 

I LOVE this recipe because the quinoa satisfies my love of carbs but has more protein than rice or pasta (but is just as cheap!).  The vegetables are crunchy and bright and the orange juice and vinegar keep everything tangy.  Just a little bit of feta cheese adds a nice salty finish without adding too many extra calories.

This recipe is wallet and waist friendly and will definitely keep you in a summer state of mind all year long!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sugar High

I have always had a huge sweet tooth and candy is my number one way to get a good sugar high.  While growing up in South Florida my favorite candy store was a place near the Ft. Lauderdale Airport called Jaxson’s.  Jaxson’s is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with outrageous homemade sundaes and a candy store that could make a fat kid cry (and I'm sure I did once or twice).  I remember my brother and I spending all of our allowance money on War Heads, Cry Baby Tears, Now and Laters…you name it and they had it. But, the best thing about Jackson's was that everything was sold for merely pennies which meant my brother and I got a long of bang for our buck!  

 (photos courtesy of Jaxson's,

Even as a kid I was in search of cheap eats.

When I moved to NY I discovered Dylan’s Candy Bar and although Dylan’s also has every candy imaginable it is certainly not the place to go on a budget, if you know what I mean…

Last weekend a couple of girlfriends and I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for brunch and then walk back across.  Now, I don’t really enjoy exercise but I figured that the walk across the bridge and back would burn enough calories to allow myself an extra treat for the day. 

We stopped for brunch (at a restaurant that isn’t even worth mentioning) and after brunch we walked around to check out some of the cute little shops in DUMBO.  It was then that I discovered DEWEY’S CANDY!!!

Dewey’s is everything that I want in a candy store.  The bright colors caught my eye immediately and once I was inside I realized that they have every candy on the face of the planet.  (YES! They even have Cry Baby Tears!!!).  I chatted with Dewey, the owner, and she was so warm and friendly that she made me want to buy everything in sight, which can be quite dangerous.  After about 15 minutes of giddiness I walked up to the register with my selection of loose candy (Swedish fish, gummy bears, sour patch watermelons, jelly beans, chocolate covered pretzels, etc), a box of Cry Baby Tears, 5 pomegranate flavored Tootsie Pops (which are very rare and hard to find), a few War Heads, some Now and Laters, and a fear that my total would come to $100.

To my surprise everything was around $8 and I walked back across the Brooklyn Bridge with a huge smile across my face, liquorice hanging out of my mouth, and the knowledge that I was working off the candy calories while I ate them!  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Cheapest Thing at NYU

My search for cheap eats in NYC all started while I was a student at NYU.  As you can imagine the combination of being 18, living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and NYU’s hefty $50,000 per year price tag left me poor and on the hunt for places to eat that were better than the NYU dining hall. (If any of you lived in Hayden Hall before the 2007 renovation then you know why this was so important!)  

Hidden behind scaffolding on the corner West 4th Street btw Mercer and Broadway is a little NYU gem called DOJO and it is my original Skinny Apple, Fat Appetite favorite.

Don’t be put off by the neon signs, unassuming décor, Japanese inspired but slightly confusing menu, or mildy sticky tables… Dojo is a no-frills diner where the food is always delicious, super cheap, and healthy (well...they have healthy options!). I have also been known to encountered the random celebrity here and there (last week Alexander Skarsgard from “True Blood” was eating at an outdoor table!).  It is also close to impossible to walk out spending more than $10 for a meal or $15-$20 if there is alcohol involved.

Last night I ventured to Dojo for dinner with none other than my best friend from college, Emmy, and our favorite 3rd musketeer, Andrew. 

 (from left: Andrew, Emmy, Me)
(my all-time favorite picture of us!)

Before I jump into what food we ordered I need to make one thing clear, the best thing about eating at Dojo is, hand down, the Tahini Dressing.  I know what you might be thinking, you can’t center a meal around salad dressing…or can you?  This Tahini Dressing, or “Orange Dressing” as I like to call it, is like nothing I have ever had before.  It is not creamy, or oily, and seems to be made with a lot of carrots, garlic, and crack. (I kid, I kid, I have no idea if there is actual crack in the dressing but I can only assume that there is something addictive because once I start eating it I can’t stop.) Since there is no cream and the oil content seems to be fairly low I like to think that Orange Dressing is healthy…it probably isn’t, but I like to THINK that it is.  I try to use Orange Dressing sparingly but at the end of the night Emmy and I are usually doing this…

 (YEP! Eating it with a spoon)

Now for dinner

Emmy ordered what we call “the usual” but on the menu it is called the Fifth Avenue. This sandwich is made of grilled chicken, pesto, tomatoes, and cucumbers and is served on your choice of bread (I usually go with a whole wheat pita).  It is also served with a side salad and ORANGE DRESSING!!!  For only a measly $6.95 this sandwich is my favorite thing on Dojo’s menu.

I ordered my 2nd favorite menu item, the Steamed Vegetable Dinner served over brown rice with grilled chicken and ORANGE DRESSING!!!  This meal is pretty self explanatory and may sound a bit boring but the Orange Dressing will make it the most amazing steamed vegetable dinner you have ever had in your life.  The whole plate costs $5.95 + $3.5 (for the chicken) and, if you ask me, $9.50 is pretty great for a huge plate of food at a sit-down restaurant.

Andrew’s meal is where the menu gets a bit confusing.  Although Dojo is a diner with a little bit of everything, most of the items on their menu are salads, sandwiches, and vegetarian options (like soy patties) with a slight Japanese flare.  However, Andrew managed to find a lovely Italian dish hidden between the Oriental Tofu, Miso Ramen, and anything covered in ORANGE DRESSING!!!

Andrew ordered Salmon Basil Linguine with peppers, asparagus, and onions served in an olive oil and garlic sauce with garlic bread and a side salad.  I have to admit, I didn’t try the pasta but the garlic bread was delicious (and even better dipped in Orange Dressing).

Some other notable menu items are the Chopstick Salad (grilled chicken, buckwheat soba noodles, and veggies mixed with peanut sauce), California Salad (Shrimp, avocado, and mixed veggies with Orange Dressing), and the Hummus Appetizer (served with whole wheat pita).  They also have delicious French fries!

Our entire check for dinner last night came out to $30.  Slap down a $10 bill and call it a night!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


For the past 2 ½ years I have lived with the best roommates a girl could ask for, Emmy and Andrew.  In June we decided to end our domestic partnership and, in addition to losing amazing roommates, I lost all of my favorite kitchen gadgets (they were Emmy's, EEK!).  In true Emmy/Andrew fashion they took note of my kitchen depression and for my birthday bought me the mother of all kitchen tools (that will fit in a tiny apartment)…a Cuisinart Griddler!

This baby has removable and reversible plates that are half grill and half griddle.  It also opens up to become a flat top!  I am sure that I will get miles of use from this Griddler but for my inaugural run I decided to make one of my all time favorites.


2 slices multi-grain bread, light style
1 slice low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 ounce turkey pepperoni
1 green pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
½ cup tomato sauce, jarred, your favorite brand
Cooking spray

1.     Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray. Saute onions and peppers on medium/high heat for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are softened and onions are caramelized. (NOTE: this recipe makes extra onions and peppers which are great to use in omelettes or put on top of a salad)
2.     Add turkey pepperoni into the pan and sauté for a minute until the pepperoni is heated.
3.     Put grill pans onto the griddler and heat (this can also be done on a George Foreman Grill or any other indoor grill)
4.     Build your sandwich with the multi-grain bread, mozzarella cheese and a generous portion of the onion, pepper, and pepperoni mixture.
5.     Spray grill with cooking spray and put sandwich onto grill.  Close top of grill and cook until cheese is melted.
6.     Serve Panini with a side of tomato sauce.

This Panini is delicious, easy, quick, and healthy. 

HELLO VEGGIES!!! (and turkey pepperoni isn't too bad for you either) 

It is a perfect Sunday snack or weeknight dinner.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Get FREE STUFF at Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar!

I was introduced to Ayza about two years ago on a first date, the guy wasn't anything special but Ayza turned out to be a hidden gem nestled on the outskirts of Korea Town (West 31st btw Broadway and 5th Ave). Their outdoor patio is beautiful on a summer evening with a crisp glass of white wine to cool you off.  Of in the winter the patio is covered and heated so you can pretend that it is summer and escape the Manhattan chill for a little while.

Ayza is a wine bar so it's a given that they have a wonderful and extensive wine list featuring an array of reasonable priced wines by the glass or bottle.  They also have a menu that features healthy dishes such as Grilled Baby Shrimp, Hummus and Pita, or Chopped Mediterranean Salad and well as some more splurge worthy items like the Smoked Chicken Breast Panini, Wild Mushroom Pita Tart, and Hot Artichokes with Irish Cheddar Cheese.  Don't forget to top off your meal with decadent chocolate truffles by Jacques Torres or Martine's.

As you know I am always on the hunt for a great deal, so while the food, wine, and ambiance are always fantastic they aren't the best things about Ayza... If you play your cards right at Ayza you can get FREE STUFF!

FREE STUFF #1- Ayza's Facebook Special

If you "like" Ayza on FB you will be emailed a coupon for a free glass of wine! You can only do this once but it is a great way to try the restaurant for the first time and enjoy a drink without spending any money! WOOHOO!

FREE STUFF #2- Girls' Night Out

Tuesday night is ladies' night at Ayza.  You and your girlfriends will get a complimentary chocolate shot and Belgian chocolate covered strawberry when you reserve a table through their website and type in the code "Girls' Night Out"

FREE STUFF #3- Sunday Couples' Night

If you are not a single gal, like myself, then you may enjoy Sunday Couples' Night where you and your honey will get complimentary Jacques Torres chocolate truffles when you reserve a table using the code "Romantic Sunday Special".

FREE STUFF #4- Live Jazz Mondays

Once again you can get a FREE chocolate shot when you use the code "Live Jazz Mondays" to reserve a table.  You'll also enjoy your shot while listening to live jazz musicians playing on the outdoor patio.

Ayza makes it easy to enjoy a Girls' Night Out or a romantic date while still saving money...what could be better than that? 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Granddaughter's Matzo Ball Soup

It is currently raining in NYC and I'm feeling a bit under the weather so naturally I'm in the mood for soup.

Yes, I am aware that it is August and soup may not be the first thing that you crave, however, my mother ALWAYS made me matzo ball soup when I was a kid and just the aroma wafting through my apartment is enough to make me perk up a bit.

I call this "Granddaughter's Matzo Ball Soup" because "Grammy's Matzo Ball Soup" takes hours to make and I just don't have the patience to do that. PLUS, I really hate when you make chicken soup from scratch and a layer of fat forms on the top of the pot, then you have to let it cool and scrape it off! (GROSS!)

Here is everything you will need to get a little taste of Grandma's kitchen in under an hour.


1 package Matzo Ball and Soup Mix (I am partial to the Manischewitz reduced sodium kind but you can use whatever you like)
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 cup Carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup Celery, cut into bite sized pieces
1 pound Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
Dill, fresh, a few sprigs
Black Pepper, to taste

1. Follow preparation instructions on the Matzo Ball Soup box.
2. Before adding matzo balls to the broth add in the chicken, celery, and carrots. Then add matzo balls.
3. Remove dill leaves from the stems and add leaves to the soup.
4. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (this may be a bit longer than the package suggests but I find that the chicken becomes more tender this way)
5. Remove chicken from the soup and shred.  Add chicken back into the pot.
6. Serve in bowls with fresh cracked black pepper on top.

There you have it! My secret to delicious, no-fuss, matzo ball soup! And best of all this pot is super cheap, you can eat it for days, AND it's so low-calorie that you won't feel guilty about enjoying some comfort food.
SHHH...Don't tell anybody that it came from a box!