With our picnic snacks and blankets packed, my girlfriends and I ventured to Central Park for an afternoon of sun, stars and stripes. People watching in the park was such a fun way to spend the Fourth of July. Thank goodness blue skies held out for us without rain!
My friend Erin from work made these delicious little pepper poppers. She said she simply cut the mini sweet peppers in half (you could also use jalapeños), filled each with a teaspoon or so of cream cheese, sprinkled a little grated cheese and crumbled crackers on top (breadcrumbs would work, too), seasoned with salt and pepper and baked them. They held up well in a plastic container and were a fun finger food to nibble on!
Central Park amazes me every time. It is such an oasis away from the chaos of the city and the greenery is refreshing. Looking forward to more picnics in Sheep Meadow and afternoons of people watching this summer.
Burgers, French fries and milkshakes sounded like the perfect all-American dinner for Independence Day. My friends and I dined at Islands Burgers and Shakes in the Upper West Side before heading to the firework show. The black-and-white malt (pictured below) was seriously heavenly. The sides were drizzled with a thick chocolate sauce so you got a nice big slurp of it at the end.
The malt was the perfect sweet balance to salty, crispy thick cut fries (YUM) and a tender, juicy burger. Making a burger choice was so difficult considering the dozens of options ranging from decadent to hot. I went with the Tijuana burger topped with jack cheese, guacamole, sautéed onions and crispy bacon. Needless to say, I couldn’t finish it all, but ya have to splurge every once in a while! Fireworks over the Hudson River that evening were incredible! I’ve never seen any show like it. It is a must-see on the 4th of July and has set my expectations very high for next year.
Over the weekend my roommate and I enjoyed the sunshine (and humidity?) by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. My recommendation is to start on the Brooklyn side so you can see the views of Manhattan as you walk. And watch out for the zooming cyclists–they are cruising along the narrow paths.
My roommate and I were in the exploring mood so we decided to hit up a destination we had on our bucket list called Peanut Butter & Co. We walked through Lower Manhattan up to Greenwich Village (and eventually back home to Midtown–5 miles total!) to get there, but it was so worth it. For peanut butter fanatics like ourselves, this was the perfect lunch. They make classic and unique peanut butter flavors ranging from “Smooth Operator” to “Mighty Maple” and then put them on creative sandwiches and into milkshakes and baked goods. You can also find their blue-topped peanut butters in local stores!
I ordered the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl sandwich (pictured below). Normal PB & J sandwiches will never taste the same again. Toasted wheat bread was slathered with cinnamon raisin peanut butter on one side and vanilla cream cheese on the other, then layered with thin slices of tart green apples. It was out of this world. The cream cheese tasted like vanilla frosting and the PB was bursting with cinnamon specks and chewy raisins. Eating it on a mini-picnic in Washington Square Park (right around the corner from the shop) was so perfect I didn’t want it to end. PB lovers, please drop what you’re doing and go to Peanut Butter & Co. right away!
I would say it was a pretty all-American, patriotic 4th of July weekend full of delicious NYC memories! Looking forward to happy hour at a rooftop bar this week, eating fried chicken and waffles with the roomies, and finishing up a Thanksgiving project at work. Have a great Monday!
Love food. Love self. Love life.