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Crazy Cronut Fans Not Deterred by Mice At Dominique Ansel Bakery!

Was That A Mouse In The Cronut Shop?

Someone spotted a mouse, in Chef Dominique Ansel’s bakery last week, and the Health Department shuttered his bakery, until an extensive clean up and re-construction was performed on the Soho eatery. It would take more than that, to deter crazy cronut fans from waiting in long lines for a cronut.

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Pesky Little Things

Can you imagine that! A mouse in New York City? Why yes, actually I can. They are everywhere. The one little critter that scampered across the floor of Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel’s Soho eatery last Friday, created quite the commotion. He/she just happened to have been caught on camera. Cut to: Health Department shutdown.

Mice At Cronut Shop, Dominique Ansel Bakery Soho


ABC US News | ABC Business News
“That’s How Winning is Done” -Rocky Balboa

Today, after being shuttered for 4 days, my hero, and Champion Pastry Chef, Dominique Ansel, was able to re-open his doors to his loyal customers.  We were there, waiting patiently for our pastries. Wouldn’t you know, that I got the last 2 cronuts of the day!

Gonna Fly Now!

In anticipation of the determined Chef, and his staff’s “come back”, Chef Dominique, created a SPECIAL Rocky Balboa themed version of MY FAVORITE PASTRY, the Cronut. The boxes, had an inspiring  quote from “Rocky” attached.

Mice in Dominique Ansel Bakery, Cronut,

We Are Cronut Freaks, I Cannot Tell A Lie

Those who follow me on Twitter@MyBigFatMouth, know that both my husband and I, are CRONUT FREAKS. Although Dan will never admit it,  he drives by the shop on his way to work every single day, and assesses the length of the line. When it’s short enough, we indulge.  Sometimes, he’ll just get 2, and often, I’ll jump on my bike and dash over so we can get 2 more. We’re crazy like that, and my thighs can prove my overindulgence for the past 10 months.

We’ve tasted every flavor of cronut, except one, and I even waited for 2 hours in Austin, at Chef Dominique’s “Cronuts at Midnight” party during SXSW.

As far as the “mouse tales”, in each of my trips to the shop, I have never seen so much as a crumb on the floor. The place is super clean.

Mice at Dominique Ansel Bakery, cronut

February Was The Best Month!

Lucky for me, my birthday, and Valentine’s Day, both fell during Dominique Ansel’s Raspberry/Lychee period in February.

RAspberry Lychee Cronut

I’m not bragging, but during February, we consumed the delicate donut/croissant hybrid, on at least 3 separate occasions

Mice at Dominique Ansel Bakery?

IT WAS MY FAVORITE FLAVOR so far.

cronuts at SXSW, allison pr

Thank you, Dominique Ansel, for creating the cronut, and thank you, for your awesome hospitality too.

Mice at Dominique Ansel Bakery

You are a winner! That’s for sure.

wearable tech- ibitz review

Which Wearable Tech Products Are The Cool Kids Wearing At CES 2014?

Wearing WearableTechnology To Win Money In Las Vegas!

When I found out that ibitz by GeoPalz was giving away 100 dollars each day to the Blogger who walks the most steps during CES 2014, I made a beeline to the ibitz by GeoPalz booth in the Fitness Tech section of the Las Vegas Convention Center, to get the scoop. I’d been hearing so much about #wearables, and wanted to see which wearable tech products the cool kids are wearing.

Geopalz would provide a cute, colorful tracking unit to use, and for each day of the CES trade show, whichever Blogger walked the most steps while wearing the kibitz, would be the winner, of a one hundred-dollar gift card.

As an added incentive, for the Blogger that walked the most steps during all 4 days of the show, there would be an extra five hundred-dollar gift card. 

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Show Me The Money!

All I had to do, was to walk more steps that all the other bloggers who would be logged in to the group, on our ibitz fitness tracker app.

There were only 6 of us, in total, competing for the prizes, and I was determined to win. I know for fact, that I cover a lot of ground, and there was no way, that anyone else, would be walking more steps than me.

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These Sneakers Were Made For Walking

With my ibitz attached to my sneaker, I was covering a lot of ground in the Las Vegas Convention Center. CES is the greatest place, to check out all of the cool new consumer electronics products, from all over the world.

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Wearable Technology- CES Has It ALL!

From watches that double as pedometers and message centers, to necklaces that track your heart rate, there was so much to see. I walked and walked, and then, I walked some more. I kept checking my stats in the ibitz app.

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How Is THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?

I had to admit, I was having a great time being competitive. But, somehow, someone named “Staci” was beating me.

When I had walked 9,000 steps, she was up to 11,000 steps. After I had hit 15,000, she was at 17,000. How could this be?

Finally after a long  day, of walking my ass off, I had hit 23,000 steps, which was more than 7 miles. Yay for me! There was no way, that  my nemesis, “Staci” was going to beat me this day.

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My Nemesis Was Winning

But, “guess who”,  finished her day with 26,000 steps?

“Staci” must have put her ibitz, around her dog’s neck, and left him outside to run around, or perhaps, she had thrown it in the washing machine… for the whole day? Maybe she had been running in a marathon? WHAT THE WHAT!

HOW COULD SHE HAVE POSSIBLY walked so freaking much? It was unfathomable.

All I know, is that it annoyed me so much, that the following day, there would be no escalators for me. There would be no shuttle busses, or idle time. If I was not walking, I would be dancing in place. I HAD TO WIN.

It was really fun to keep checking the easy to read charts on the ibitz app, which has some fantastic functionality. I can tweet out my stats, track my calories burned, and even note my mileage. Geopalz, parent company of the ibitz even has a kid’s version of the unit that gives children the opportunity to win prizes through Club Penguin.

I don’t know if “Staci” had taken a nap or what, but somehow I managed to walk more than she did that day and I WON the 100 dollar gift card!

It was a hard fight, but I was proud of myself, and my jeans even fit a little better.

Thank you ibitz, for the awesome fitness tracker, and for the gift card too.

breads bakery nyc hamantachen

Best Babka In NYC? Breads Bakery By Master Baker Uri Scheft

Food Porn - I hope I don’t offend anyone with this term, but Breads Bakery in Union Square, is truly a Food Pornologist’s Dream Cafe. The baked goods, from this cafe and  catering facility, are some of the best, I have ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot.

Breads Bakery Uri Scheft Chocolate Babka Food Porn

Is It Bakery Love or Lust?- The dutiful daughter of a babka scholar, I was well-trained in the eating of, babkas.

When I fell in love with Daniel, my father had a whole new reason to live. He now had someone to teach all about his favorite Jewish traditions and foods. Bagels and lox, matzoh ball soup, and of course, the chocolate babka. Daniel was a very good student.

Best. Chocolate. Babka. Ever.- I know this is an extreme statement, but all I could think of, when Daniel brought home his first chocolate babka from Breads Bakery, is how I wished my father were alive to enjoy this cake.

He would have been so excited to know Master Baker Uri Scheft was from Tel Aviv’s Lehamim Bakery, and would have kvelled over his pastry masterpieces.

Challah Decorating

With this version from Breads Bakery, the Chocolate Babka has risen to a new level…literally.  A long and twisted loaf of moist, crispy, flaky, buttery and chocolate perfection.

Uri Scheft breads bakery classes Chocolate Babka

More Is Better- Not only is the babka the best I’ve ever had, but a zillion other delicious bakery items on Uri’s menu are also amazingly delicious.

The last time Dan and I were there, we bought a cereal bread, many flavors of hamentachen, foccacia, hot chocolate, chocolate croissants, olive stick, cheese stick, hummus, and we still wanted to try more items on the menu.

Cafe Mocha Made With Perfection

Baking is Science- Don’t Forget It! Although the science of the live yeast mixing with the salt, flour and sugar, is a bit over my head, I was super excited to take part in a hands-on bread baking class, at Breads Bakery in Union Square.

Breads bakery classes

The Proof Is In The Baking- For 4 hours, I had the chance to learn about kneading, braiding, proofing, rising, baking, resting and the importance of hand washing when baking.

Although the science was a little over my head,  I caught on during the creative/decorating part of the class.

Food Porn Addict -There I’ve said it. “I’m an addict.”

In addition to all the challah, foccacia, olive sticks, chocolate babka, and pizza that we got to take home, I also went cray cray and bought both a chocolate and cinnamon raisin babkas. Did I mention my Food Porn Addiction?

I want to give a huge thanks to owner, Gadi Peleg, for luring Uri to the United States to share his baking knowledge and passion with us,  and I hope they open more locations. The rest of the country shouldn’t be denied these pleasures!

Which will bring me to the my next obsession: Tracking my fitness goals and trying to burn off some of these calories, so I can go back for more.

Stay tuned and stay hungry:-)

If you want to learn some great baking skills and have a blast doing it, sign up for Uri’s Baking Classes  at Breads Bakery.

cronuts at SXSW, allison pr

Where Were The Best Wearables At SXSW 2014?

What’s Everyone Wearing At SXSW?

The most used buzzword in tech this year, is wearables. Nowhere was that more evident, than at SXSW in Austin, earlier this month.

Lucky for me, I’ve just returned from there, with a suitcase full of freebie swag wearables, given to me by some of the coolest new tech companies on this planet.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking…”Ooooooh, did Vicki get some Google Glass?

That cool new RING from Tokyo that texts with one finger mid-air?”

A Misfit Shine?

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Sorry to say, no glasses yet.

What I’m referring to, is the tried and true  best wearables of all time. The Free T-Shirt.

My detailed research for this story, came from spending one full day, walking around the Austin Convention Center, talking to exhibitors, and being “gifted” with varying sizes and styles of wearables.

Some of them fit really well, some are super soft, and some go right into my husband’s t-shirt drawer.

SXSW wearables, tern bicycles

Equipped with the vine-making production skills, that I honed at Samsung Galaxy House’s Vine Studio, I created the below video vine to show off all the tees, in just 6 seconds.

Thanks to Meagan Cignoli and Saiman Chow, for your inspiration and help.


After careful examination and wardrobe changes, I’m here to give my nods and negs, in several different categories to the BEST WEARABLES AT SXSW 2014.

It isn’t only because I’m a seasoned fashion and tech industry pro, but I also have real time experience producing great swag t-shirts. This makes me uniquely qualified to judge these wearables.

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Best Fitting: Tentsquare, Rackspace, Digital Ocean, SXSWBikes, Gigg.comMicrostrategy

Best Fabrication: Bella(50% Poly 25% Cotton 25% Rayon) used by  Digital Ocean, Tentsquare

Best Logo: Importio, WordPress, Gig Salad, Hootsuite

Best Association With An Event or Party: #goodidea @cronutatmidnight from Allison PR.

Most Unique and Kool Looking Old School Style: Squerb

Most Unlikely to ever be worn again: Meltwater Only because the shirt is huge, and my husband rarely wears hot pink….

Best Use Of A Hot Dog On A T-shirt: Chicago Made

Most Socially Good: Public Interest Registry, made by Sevenly, a company that gives $7.00 of each person to charity.

Best Guerilla Marketing: Leap2

Best Reminder of something to look forward to: Techweek

Best Association with a NY Restaurant: #Sethxsw, who brought Shake Shack to Austin for free. Thank you, USHG!

Worst Fabric: Gildan- Leap2, Chicago Made, Cronut @Midnight, Techweek- It’s just too heavy.

To the companies who really got it right, I’m so happy to have some great new workout shirts. To the ones who tried really hard…Don’t feel bad, I am a very tough audience, when it come to wearables.

Although I may never don their generous swag,  all of the  generous and  fabulous tech companies that I met in Austin at SXSW deserve honorable mentions.

There was one unnamed, cheap-ass law firm, that deserves  a slap on the wrist, for NOT giving me a tee.  Even though I said I was writing a blog post about them, they still refused. I guess they don’t know what power my BLOGGING holds.

I’m so torn. Should I mention their name or not? I feel like if I do, then they get some press, and if I don’t, then no one will know how tacky they are…

On another note, if anyone wears size large or extra large, I’ve got some wearablesfor you…Ping me.

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Where To Get The Coolest Business Cards? Moo.com

How many times do you receive a business card from someone, only to look at it on a later date and say, “Who the hell was that person?”

At a food blogger conference several years ago, someone handed me a card that had a beautiful cake on it, along with a photo of the blogger themselves… And that was the first I’d heard about moo.com.

Since then, I’ve been a huge fan. I’ve designed my own quirky mini cards several times, and always get compliments on them.

Moo usually has a presence at tech conferences, and will offer attendees a 20% discount to order them through the shows. As an added bonus, Moo brings them to the show so you can pick them up on site.

This year, at SXSW, Moo has partnered with Task Rabbit for hand delivery of any cards ordered.  Not only were my pre-ordered cards be hand delivered to me, but they came with some bonus swag. Breath freshener, $30 gift card from UBER to use in Austin, and a free latte from Austin Java.

Although I’ve loved handing out mini cards, this time I went for the bigger sized and glossy, incorporating the new logo from my “personal” designer Hironan via Fiverr.com.

In typically efficient moo.com style, I received an email from my Task Rabbit delivery gal, and we made plans for the hand off in Austin. At precisely the time we agreed upon, I met up with Beth, who gave me my cards and the bonus swag.

Although I’m certain that my sparkling personality is quite memorable, there no way someone will forget me with these beauties!

Than you Moo, Uber, Austin Java and Beth, from Task Rabbit! 

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Where To Eat The Best Cake In NYC? Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, surely you have heard of Momofuku Milk Bar, the bakery-inspired dessert branch of David Chang’s   Momofuku Restaurant Group. The sweet smelling place, in which you can get a slice of pie, that is so addicting, it’s called “CRACK PIE”!

momofuku milk bar 6 layer cake christina tosi

I was invited to a class at Momofuku Milk Bar’s main facility in Williamsburg, where I would learn from the best of the best!

 “How to Stack A 6 inch Cake”  from the Bake the Book series was the class I would be attending, and I was so excited!

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Master Pastry Chef in Charge, Christina Tosi, welcomed us to her home away from home, as we prepped ourselves for the adventure. Ms. Tosi is a delightful and charming young woman who deserves every bit of praise she has garnered.

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The class begins with, the tying of the SHMATTAH (Yiddish for rag). After tying the perfect bows on everyone’s heads, it’s time for selfies, of course.

momofuku milk bar 6 layer cake christina tosiUploads to Social Media sites are highly encouraged.

IMG_5731How cute is everyone?

momofuku milk bar 6 layer cake christina tosiYes, I know. I am super cute too!

IMG_0804Now that everyone is prepared, it’s time for some serious cake stacking.

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Each wanna be baker, has a station, equipped with everything necessary, to make their own masterpiece dessert.

IMG_0806First, we learn how to cut 3 circles out of a rectangular cake.

IMG_0805Mathematically, this is an impossibility, so Christina teaches us to FAKE IT, when inserting the first layer, into the cake pan.

IMG_0820Layer by layer, the cake is assembled. Cake, lemon, strawberry stuff, crumbly cookies, times 3.

Messes can be so much fun, especially cleaning up the bits of cake by putting them directly into our mouths.

IMG_0833Everyone is allowed creative license when it comes to decorating the top of the cake.

IMG_0819Some of Christina’s staff were there top hone their stacking/decorating skills. A moment of deep concentration.

momofuku milk bar 6 layer cake christina tosi

Everyone in the class gets to take home (and eat) the personally adorned cakes.

momofuku milk bar 6 layer cake christina tosi

My Strawberry Lemon 6 layer cake was” out of this world” delicious AND I made it myself…almost.

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The next time you feel like unleashing your inner Pastry Chef, RUN, don’t WALK, to one of Christina Tosi’s many baking classes in Brooklyn. I’m going to go back and try another class soon.
The 6 layer cakes can be ordered from Momofuku Milk Bar in a huge assortment of flavors. Apple pie cake, Banana cake, Birthday cake, Carrot cake, and more.
Check them out the party cakes here.

This Is Fucking Awesome- Mackelmore And Ryan Lewis

Mackelmore and Lewis ATT Developers Conference- Las Vegas 2014

Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis,  ATT Developers Conference CES 2014

I was lucky to get invited to the ATT Developers Hackathon in the Palm Hotel in Las Vegas. A large group of nerds bopped their heads and held up their cell phones, snapping pics and Instagramming.

T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere CRASHED the party, and got thrown out after tweet-bragging that he was there.

Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis played to a REALLY high tech crowd during CES 2014 At RAIN In The Palms Hotel. See pics here:

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Driscoll Berries Baking Contest and Dorie Greenspan Luncheon at The Daily Meal

I had been invited by The Baddish Group, and Driscoll Berries, to a fun foodie luncheon/cooking contest at The Daily Meal. Driscoll would be providing the berries, and all I had to do, was to create the winning dish. Easy as pie, or so I thought.

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Because I don’t know any better, I constantly assume that baking is easier than it actually is. In my mind, I can just whip up something beautiful and delicious, without any challenges. And of course, I couldn’t be more wrong.

Coconut-Raspberry-Agar

For this contest, that I’d convinced myself I was going to win, my intention was to use the AGAR AGAR, that was in my cupboard. I would find a fantastic recipe, to use the product. Here’s the part where you say, “What is agar agar, and why does Vicki have any of it?”

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When I found the recipe for Coconut Raspberry Agar , I MOSTLY followed it to the letter. Which clearly is not the way to do it. I think my downfall, was switching out the coconut milk for soy coconut. I keep forgetting that BAKING IS SCIENCE!

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To me, it looked like I was going to be the clear cut winner. The dish appeared to have been prepared properly and I would cut out the shapes, when I arrived at the party.

Gingerly carting my precariously perched dish uptown, I held on to it with one hand, while steering my bike with the other. I was careful not to let it topple out, as I kept hitting bumps in the road.

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 Inside The Daily Meal Test Kitchen, we were treated to a lovely Blogger’s Luncheon. And then, it was time for the baking contest. In my mind, everything was going to be perfect and I was going to win.

Unfortunately, my dish didn’t plate, exactly the way, that I had intended it to. Instead, it was pretty much, a soup of raspberries. There were some laughs all around, as Dorie Greenspan explained, how baking is supposed to work. I took all of my criticism with a grain of salt.

Author, Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan admitted to all of us, that she had herself, never worked with agar agar, and gave me an “A” for effort in the competition. She had some great advice and encouragement for me, so I am not giving up! I will try this recipe again soon.

I will probably get a running start, by reading her cookbook. Or any cookbook for that matter.

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Where To Stay In Las Vegas? Here’s Where NOT To Stay. Flamingo Hotel.

Hotel In Las Vegas During CES?

I really hate, for my  blog first post about my amazing time at CES, to be negative. Sadly, I am still so disgusted, that I need to share my experience at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here’s where NOT to stay, and why.

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It Cost A LOT For So Little

I searched for the best deal, and most conveniently located hotel, that was still somewhat affordable in Las Vegas during CES.  Dan and I settled (and SETTLED we did), for the Flamingo Hotel.

Within walking distance of the Venetian, where we could easily catch a shuttle to the Convention Center, the Flamingo Hotel turned out to be the SECOND MOST DISGUSTING PLACE, in which we have ever stayed.

Rooms at this hovel (not a typo) range from 35 dollars in the low season, to 289 dollars during rip off season (they really take advantage during CES).

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Weary And Hungry

After a LONG ASS day of flying, due to a snow storm, in our layover city, Chicago, all we wanted was a quick bite and a comfy bed, on which to rest our pretty heads. Sadly, the line to check in, had at least 20 people in front of us.

After we finally checked in, we walked through the smoke filled casino, to the FOOD COURT, to grab a bite to eat.

At Johnny Rocket’s, another line.  When I finally ordered my long awaited tuna salad, at 12:00 midnight and 3 seconds, the young man behind the counter said, “We don’t serve tuna, after midnight.”

Ok, no problem. I perused the menu, and ordered a turkey burger. “We don’t serve turkey burgers after midnight,” he said.

“Are you kidding me,” I asked. He wasn’t.

“We serve burgers or eggs.” GRRRRRRR.

I sauntered over, to the other seemingly healthy food option, a Chinese Chicken Salad from L.A. Salad and Wraps.

Suffice it to say, the CHICKEN that was on top of this lettuce, green onion, fried chinese noodle mix, was not EXACTLY chicken. It was other worldly. I think maybe, it was chicken roll.

We guzzled the food, and couldn’t wait to get upstairs, proving that when I’m hungry, I will eat anything.

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Arriving on the 8th floor, it was clear that the place was a little well worn. The halls weren’t all that clean. I take that back. They were gross. There were rips in the carpet, along with gum smooshed into it.

The doors were all dirty too. I chalked it up to old age, and was a little forgiving, but still not happy.

IMG_0347The room came with a view (this was NOT it), and all the loud sounds that come with, an entire city block of construction. Right outside my window! The room, with its ancient furniture, wasn’t HORRIBLE.

The roach crawling on the wall, was.

IMG_0266The bathroom was replete with toothpaste. But, not toothpaste to brush my teeth with.

IMG_0263This toothpaste, was in the air conditioning grates….Perhaps the maid missed it…All five days, that we stayed there.

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She also missed the q-tip that was stuck in between the missing tiles. Well, they weren’t missing, they were just behind the toilet. She did miss the giant hair, that was stuck to the ceiling also.

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None of this was nearly as nauseating as the 2 inches of dust, that was living in the bathroom lighting fixtures. Let’s just say the place is a little run down. Understatement.

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The toilet was also DISGUSTING. ALL FIVE DAYS.

IMG_0260After checking for bedbugs, assuming that this was a teeny oversight by the housekeeping staff, we had to go to sleep and were confident that it would be properly cleaned the next day. It was already after 1:30AM, and I was in no mindset, to call to bitch and moan. Did I just say that? We had to be up and out, by 8:00AM, and I needed some rest.

IMG_0625The next morning, I woke up with a stiff neck from using the AWFUL RUBBER pillows that ranged from 6-8 inches high. Right before we left in the morning, I called housekeeping to ask for one, only one, DECENT pillow, explaining that these were all too rubbery and hard, and I couldn’t afford to work CES with a neck ache. They said, “Sure thing. No problem.”

IMG_0623Later that night ( it was actually the next morning at around 1:30), we arrived back to the room after a LONG day of press events and parties, ready for sleep.

The beds had been made, the garbage disposed of, towels folded, and sink cleaned. The toothpaste, dust, broken tiles and q-tip, all remained untouched. Doesn’t the housekeeping staff get trained in CLEANING?

In addition, as far as I could tell, there was no pillow replacement. They all ranged from 6-8 inches high, and impossible for me to use. I slept without one.

The next morning, with another crick in my neck, I called to ask about the pillows. This time the answer was, “Those are the ONLY pillows that we have. They are all the same. The housekeeper brought you a new one”. I scratched my head.

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In the hallway the next morning, we spied these two pillows on the floor….yes I said, “on the floor”, in front of another guest’s room. They were there when we returned later that night. Clearly I am not the only one, that doesn’t like sleeping on HARD RUBBER. But I digress.

I attempted to go the front desk to complain, but each time I went near it, there was a line at least 20 people long, and I didn’t have the time.

The only chance I had to wait on line, to discuss the “challenges”, was the hour before we were leaving Las Vegas. The woman at the front desk told me, that it was my fault for not complaining sooner about the noise, the dirt and the pillows. They would have moved us to another room, that didn’t have construction. “Why didn’t you just give us a room on the other side when we checked in?” And as far as the filth was concerned, apparently, some of the housekeeping staff on other floors, are doing a better job.

Since we paid in advance through a 3rd party (travelpony), there was nothing she could do, besides give us a voucher for 50 dollars, to use for food. I was hoping I could finally get my turkey burger, but we couldn’t use it at Johnny Rocket’s. Only the hotel’s restaurants. AND we were leaving in an hour.

The bright spot of the Flamingo experience was the woman at the counter at Club Cappuccino. Monica. A bright and happy faced woman, with a wonderful attitude and energy. She was clearly trained in how to do her job properly. Unlike the housekeeping staff.

200 dollars per night for this place was out of control. Would I recommend this place to anyone?

HA HA HA HA….please stop me.

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Product Review- Anova Sous Vide Machine

Sous Vide Cooking With Anova Culinary- Best Food Ever!

My first lesson in Sous Vide, was from Chef Jose Picazo, Executive Chef at Julian Serrano in Las Vegas. I was under the impression that the machinery needed, to accomplish this special style of cook, was VERY EXPENSIVE. The process that is explained in simple detail, is here. “Sous Vide For Dummies”

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There are a few companies, that have created Sous Vide machines, for use at home. Anova’s sous vide immersion circulator, cooks foods in their own juices, to a precise temperature, and makes even my cheap-ass cuts of meat, taste moist and yummy.

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Anova Culinary, a company that I had never heard of before, offered to send me one of their Anova sous vide machines to give my honest opinions, in a blog post, so I’m here to give them what they want….

Anova sous vide at home

My hot looking blue colored model of the Anova, is super high tech looking, and dare I say, SEXY? To quote their  tag line, Simple. Powerful and Detailed. I fondled it before I put it in the water bath, it was irresistible. I prepared some REALLY good food, sous vide style with a very affordable machine and the whole process was really fun and rewarding. The Anova machine retails for only $199.00 and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get some compliments on relatively simple meals.
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As my Chef mentor, José Picazo, had explained to me, the process requires that food be placed into vacuum sealed plastic bags. In lieu of spending 100 bucks to purchase a proper sealing machine, I sucked the air out of the plastic bags. I’d have to suck and zip at the same time, which was a little tricky. Suck and zip. Suck and zip. I was able to get most of the air out, but it would have been nice to have the sealing gizmo.

anova sous vide cooking at home

Dan was really getting into the Sous Vide cooking, so he searched around the internet and found something cool from Ziploc that would make the sucking a little easier. Who doesn’t love a man who wants to make sucking easier?These bags  from Ziploc are really easy to use. They have a small circle on the side that is where the air is drawn from, by a syringe type gizmo that pulls the air out of the bags. Less sucking for me to do. Picture my happy face:-)

sous vide pork chops, anova

We’ve made pork chops, carrots, chicken, and steaks so far with the Anova machine and everything has been incredibly delcicious. Some of the recipes call for “torching” the meats after they slow cook, at a very specific temperature. We don’t have one of those smoking guns, but Dan brought me a torch home from work and I used that. Leave it to Dan, to have a blow torch on hand.

Anova Sous Vide At Home Cooking

There are now several companies that are making machines for the home cook. My first machine from Polyscience was pretty fantastic, but the on screen controls, were a little annoying.Anova Sous Vide Machine

The Polyscience machine, requires a lot of button pushing to turn it on, and, to set the temperature and time. My sexy looking Anova machine, is much more visually appealing, and isn’t that what we all want in life. Things that are pretty to look at?

Anova sous vide cooking at home

Look how skinny and sexy this Anova machine is. It doesn’t take up too much room in my teeny NYC kitchen closet.

Anova sous vide cooking at home

What I like the best about the Anova machine, besides how amazingly delicious the food tastes, is the easy to read and simple to use touch screen. The only thing the Anova was lacking was a manual telling me at which temperature, and period of time, I need to cook my foods.

Thanks, Anova for having a big part in my Food Porn.

I got bored making garlic knots.

What Is Fiverr.com? Logos For Five Dollars?

Anything You Want For ONLY Five Dollars!

Where Can I Get A Logo For Five Dollars? What Is Fiverr.com?

hironanFiverr.com is a website where you can choose from thousands of freelance creative artists, and freelancers  that are willing to do almost anything you want for five dollars! Well, not ANYTHING.

My husband had someone hang 500 business flyers, for five dollars. MAYBE. The person who he contracted to hang them,  said that he did his job. that he hung all 500 of them. I don’t really know how anyone could check if the work was done.

If you’re interested, Fiverr.com has people that can do all of these things:

How Does It Work?

The way it works, is that you choose an artist, whose work that you like, and send them a request. I chose Hironan as my designer. His ad on Fiverr said, “I will draw your idea into cartoon style”.

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I’ve never had a logo, or a banner for “The Vicki Winters Show,” and it was high time that I did. I figured, for five bucks, what did I have to lose?

I sent off an email to Hironan, wherever in the world, he might be.

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“Hi, I am interested in a logo for my Blog…www.vickiwinters.com. I would like to see a B/W version and would order something in color if I like it. If you take a look at my site, there are pictures of my everywhere. I travel, I love tech, and I blog about food. I would like to be pictured with my “Vicki” microphone, perhaps at a table full of people and food, or maybe alone with an empty chair. Can you help? Vicki.”

I’d sent along some photos to give Hironan an idea, of what I was looking for, but I didn’t even know exactly what that was, myself.

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Hironan gave me a price quote, which was a little more than five dollars…thirty to be exact. For five dollars I could have gotten just a photo turned into a cartoon style. I don’t know how he came up with that pricing, but I assume I could had negotiated a better deal.

 Hironan’s first draft wasn’t too bad. Admittedly, this was not something I had thought of, but it was kind of cute.

However, it was not what I wanted.

A few emails went back and forth, while I tried to direct Hironan, in order to get the perfect logo.
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I didn’t like the curved banner.

I only wanted Black, White, and Red.

I didn’t like the points on the banner.

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Please change the font.

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Make my hair less curly.

b59_25-2Hironan sent everything in both black and white backgrounds, as
I scrutinized every detail, as if I were an Art Director on a magazine shoot!

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I think Hironan was starting to get sick of me, but he finally gave me what I wanted. It only took a few hours, of back and forth emails, and I think it turned out pretty cute!

OOPS!

After all of that, I realized that it wasn’t the shape that I needed, to use as a banner for my blog.

My stealthy, super trooper, designer Hironan, delivered the goods without a complaint (I have no idea what kind of bitching he was doing behind my back:-)

What do you think? Would you make a logo on Fiverr.com?

 

Biggest Media Feud Of 2013- Martha Stewart Vs. Bloggers

This year was a very interesting one for me. In the Biggest Blogger Feud of 2013, I, single-handedly took down Martha Stewart.

Really? Perhaps that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

I don’t know if I took her down, or just made a big stink, but the LA Times’s Rene Lynch, called me a Food Personality, and I was flattered. Refinery 29 wrote this: 

All I did to create the Biggest Media Feud of 2013, was to post a video retort to Martha’s Bloomberg TV interview, in which she was cynical and rude to the 5500 Bloggers, upon which she had recently fawned all over, at Blogher 2012. Martha’s snarky attitude and comments were a complete 360 degrees opposite from her gushy lies spewed at the NY Hilton.

Needless to say, I’m pretty sure Blogher won’t be inviting the backstabbing Stewart back as a Keynote Speaker, any time soon…or ever.

In case you were under a rock, or have nothing to do with blogging, I made a blog video asking Ms. Stewart for an apology. The internet was packed with tweets and blog posts about Martha Stewarts lies, for at least 2 months.

Jen Stewart from MommaSaidThis wrote this:

There were no apologies from Ms. Stewart but I made some new Blogger friends.

 

Thanks For Being My Guest!

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