The Boho Barn
a blog by Sonoran Rose
The Boho Barn
a blog by Sonoran Rose
I have for you a delicious, refreshing, revitalizing, and soothing drink to help prevent sickness or speed up recovery! If you feel a tickle in your throat, begin to sniffle, or just want a little something to pick you up during the day, look no further! This spearmint ginger tonic is a healthy and powerful punch of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, and is sure to make you feel good from the inside out! The recipe seems to change ever so slightly each time I make it… sometimes I add a little more ginger, a touch less honey, one or two less ice cubes, etc., but it always turns out delicious. It may take you a few attempts until you get your perfect ratio down, but this is the general recipe I came up with and now follow, enjoy! :) I also buy my spearmint tea looseleaf from Ching Ching Cha tea house in Georgetown, DC, but I'm sure any spearmint tea would work fine !
-Roughly 1 cup (6 oz) of freshly brewed spearmint tea ( I let mine steep for about 2 minutes, any less will yield a more mild mint flavor, any longer will yield a stronger flavor!)
-4-6 ice cubes (depending how chilled you want this drink… can be served as hot regular tea or as a cold tea, I do mine slightly warm, which takes about 5 cubes)
-Juice of 1 lemon + zest of about half (again, you can add the entire lemon's zest for a more lemony punch!)
-Freshly grated ginger (I add anywhere from 1-2 teaspoons worth, but I LOVE ginger and can tolerate the spice, if you can't, I would stick with 1/2-1.
-Wildflower honey (1/2-1 tablespoon depending on desired sweetness)
-Roughly 10 blueberries (or other berries)
Once the tea is steeped, I throw it in the blender with all the above ingredients and juice away! You can always try it and see if you need more of any ingredient, and keep modifying from there. I have added raspberries before and it is also delicious; sometimes I throw in fresh mint, which is nice and refreshing, and I also garnish it with fresh mint if I want to be extra fancy or serve it at a party. Let me know what you think and any fun modifications you make to this delicious drink! ENJOY! :)
We are back from another exciting and successful buying trip in NYC! This was our first trip for the upcoming season, and one we definitely had to share with our customers and readers! We haven’t been able to take any time off from the store and have been so busy as we approach our one year mark, so naturally we treated ourselves by doing New York in total luxury and style. This is Sonoran Rose’s ultimate guide to staying and dining fabulously in the big apple! Coming next week.. a sneak preview of what you can expect to see in the store this Fall and Holiday…
Where to stay: The Pierre-Fifth Avenue
When we travel, we like to be comfy and pampered, because what’s the point of going anywhere if you are going to be sleeping in a noisy, icky room? In the past when we’ve gone to New York, we have always stayed comfortably, but never really indulged in any of the spectacular and high end hotels that the city has to offer. This time around we decided to go all out and enjoy two luxurious nights in The Pierre, conveniently located across from our all-time favorite spot for shopping and lunch, Bergdorf Goodman!
What can we say, you get what you pay for, and in the case of The Pierre, you get a whole lot of fabulosity! The moment you arrive you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to an era of classic elegance and timeless sophistication and service. The concierge rides the elevator with you (which still have elevator operators) and walks you to your room, another slice of luxurious heaven. The room was super spacious with two beds and a beautiful art-deco style bathroom (think Great Gatsby). Fabulosity aside, this hotel wins with how quiet and comfortable the room was; not only did we enjoy total luxury and endless amenities, but we were actually able to sleep without the sound of sirens or people running around on the floor above us; imagine that, a noiseless night in NYC! Overall, we give The Pierre 5 stars for amazing service, delicious breakfast (see below), ideal location, and fabulosity!
Who needs to go to the Vatican when you have this room in The PIerre??
Where to eat: BG Restaurant-Midtown Manhattan
If you haven’t made it up to the 7th floor for lunch at BG, make it your priority to do so the next time you’re in the big apple, because it is very delicious, and very fab! It is our first stop every time we come to the city, and a perfect way to kick off our trip. The restaurant is reminiscent of Doris Day and Audrey Hepburn, and the manager is about the closest living thing to George Pappard as you can find. We’ve had some fun celebrity and style icon viewings (Susan Lucci, the Hilton sisters, and Carolina Herrera, to name a few) and, as you can imagine, the scene of attendees during a weekday lunch is priceless. More importantly, the food is to die for! This time around we enjoyed the ahi tuna tartare and burrata to start, both plated beautifully and bursting with flavor. The tartare was served over a bed of avocado and some root chips, as well as a few subtle dollops of wasabi (not my favorite). Overall it was delicious and I would definitely get it again, requesting them to hold the wasabi. The burrata was fresh, creamy, and perfectly salted. They paired it with what appeared to be semi-dried cherry tomatoes still on the vine, all served over a bed of greens. I am a huge caprese (or any variation thereof) fan, and I give this app a 10/10 for freshness, flavor, and creativity!
For our main course we decided to share the crabcake- a hard decision to make coming from the state of crabs-but the cake was seasoned perfectly, void of any offensive bread filling, and served with some avocado, watermelon, and tomatoes, creating a mouthwatering display and satisfying every taste bud! It was the perfect size to share, as it was on the slightly larger size, and the abundance of avocado in the meal thus far helped keep us full. Another winner!
We couldn’t leave without a little naughty something for dessert, now could we? Naturally we had to end on a very NY note, cheesecake of course! This was a summer special cheesecake, infused with passionfruit and served with fresh berries. Need I say more? The crust was much like a key lime pie graham cracker crust, and the passionfruit made the dish refreshing and cleansing. Simply divine!
Where to eat: Casa Lever-Midtown East
Where do I even begin? This is truly a gem of a place and an absolute must for anyone who appreciates good Italian (who doesn’t?). Located on Park Avenue, Casa Lever is part of the Lever House, a glass-box skyscraper from the 1950’s. Imagine stepping into an episode of Mad Men and being served the best pasta of your life amidst a collection of original Andy Warhol prints, that basically sums it up! Now on to the food! We couldn’t decide which pasta dish to get, so we resolved to get two and share. We appetized with an incredibly satisfying and innovative risotto dish made with pureed beets and goat cheese. For our main course we split the cacio e pepe; let me just say that I had been stalking this particular cacio e pepe dish on Casa Lever’s instagram for quite some time, so the expectations were set REAL high, and were delivered even higher! Quite simply the best pasta I have ever had (outside of Italy, of course, but very close) in my life! It was creamy, perfectly salted, perfectly pepe’d, and perfectly al dente! I wanted to die a little after stuffing my face with delicious carbs, but would happily do it all over again. Note: order half or appetizer size portions so you can taste a variety of pastas!
Where to eat: Perrine at The Pierre-Upper East Side
What could possibly go wrong The Pierre? Apparently nothing! For breakfast the morning of the gift show we decided to indulge at Perrine, the hotel’s premier dining spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sadly, the food was so good I didn’t even stop to take a picture, so words will have to suffice until you can make it there to try it for yourself! We knew we were skipping lunch, so we ate enough to hold us over until dinner. After some convincing on behalf of the waitress, we opted for the brioche french toast with cinnamon sugar and a side of greek yogurt with fruit (had to make ourselves feel better, right?). Needless to say I could have eaten 10 orders of the french toast, and I will never be able to eat french toast without cinnamon sugar again!
Where to eat: Sushi of Gari 46-Theater District
This place has been a favorite of ours for a few years now, and we almost always make a point of dining here when we are in NYC. It is a trendy and cozy spot situated in the theater district of the city. It’s always packed and the food is always good, basically this place is as consistent as it gets and never disappoints! I should mention that we had originally made reservations for Philippe Chow’s restaurant on the Upper East Side, “Philippe”. We made it as far as ordering water and then left. Definitely steer clear of this imposter “Chinese” spot and get your Asian fix elsewhere, like...Sushi of Gari! While we had been craving some good Chinese, Japanese is hard to argue with, especially here. The tables are close together, so we always end up making friends with whomever we are sitting next to, or swapping ideas for what small plate or roll to order next. We shared the shrimp shumai (amazing) and the appetizer size tempura (amazing again), and then got some rolls to share (do I need to say it?). The meal was, as always, fantastic from start to finish! Service is always on point, and the place was still buzzing at 930 when we left. This spot gets a 10/10 for ambience, food, and consistency. Bravo as always, Gari!
Where to eat: Sant Ambroeus-Upper East Side
OK, remember when I said Casa Lever was the best pasta I’ve ever had outside of Italy? Well, that’s still true, buuuuuut Casa Lever is part of the same group as Sant Ambroeus (along with their other undoubtedly delicious spot, Felice), SA Hospitality Group. SO, when I say that Sant Ambroeus was also the best pasta I’ve ever had, it’s basically the same restaurant, or at least the same recipes. Whatever, the point is, this place is amazing, like Casa Lever, and no one needs to go anywhere else to get their Italian fix. Just rotate between the three restaurants and you’ll be good to go. Now, back to the actual review. Sant Ambroeus has several locations, we dined at the veeeery chic Madison Avenue location. You walk through their coffee and pastry area before getting to the actual dining room. Immediately you get a cozy 1960’s vibe (why is this trip so Don Drapery???).
The smell of classic risotto milanese swims through the air right into your senses, leaving you drooling before you even sit down, at least that’s what happened to me...The extremely well-trained and attentive staff brought me napkins to wipe my drool, and we proceeded to order the first of several rounds of authentic Italian fare! The room is small, cozy, and again, very retro. We started with their special of the day, the swordfish tartare, as well as the burrata. Obviously, as the picture depicts, both were amazing. For entrees, we got the cacio e pepe (duh, how could we not after our previous life-altering experience at Casa Lever?) and the summer truffle special risotto. Just look at the photos and simmer on that risotto for a minute. It looks large, but it was actually a very shallow bowl, the perfect, elegant portion! They shaved the truffle right there in front of me, and wow. I would have believed them if they said there was a secret passage to Milan in their kitchen, that’s how authentic it tasted. While the cacio e pepe was delicious, Casa Lever wins that one for being creamier and more al dente. With what little room we had left, we shared the gianduia with a side order of homemade pistachio gelato. *drops the mic* Go discover this place for yourself, you will not be disappointed!
Where to eat: Levain Bakery-Upper West Side
I had to see what all the fuss was about regarding this place; I have always seen it pop up on social media as serving the best chocolate chip cookie eeeevvveeer. As an avid chocolate chip cookie eater, I had to go try one for myself! Last time we were in NYC we didn’t have time to make it over to the west side, where this naughty little hole in the wall is hiding. This time we made a point of crossing Central Park and working up quite the appetite for one of these cookies. The place is an actual hole in the wall with an apparent new location around the corner, but I wanted the original thing folks! I got one of their classic “famous” cookies (the alleged best cookie in the world), which is a chocolate chip walnut cookie. I was disappointed they didn’t have a standard no-nut cookie, but I like walnuts, so whatever. While it certainly didn’t blow me away, and I by no means thought it was the best cookie I’ve ever had, it was delicious. It was WAY too huge, but it was delicious. I would visit Levain again to try some other treats, and go on an empty stomach.
Where to eat: Teuscher chocolates-Rockefeller Center
Per tradition, we spent the last few moments of our time in the city at the yummiest chocolate store around, Teuscher! This Swiss chocolatier is touted as the best chocolate in the world, because it is. Simply put, this stuff is yummy, yummy, and more yummy, yummy, yummy. We always get around 1 lb of assorted chocolates, as well as one box of their champagne truffles. The stuff isn’t cheap, and is certainly not meant for the casual chocolate lover, but it is quite literally the most delightful chocolate you will ever have! Some favorite pieces include the chocolate covered candied orange peel, the pistachio truffle, any and all of their pralines, and the marzipan. But really you can’t go wrong blindly ordering, either :)
Well, that’s a wrap for this edition of “DESTINATION”! Stay tuned for next week’s post, we’ll be previewing some of Fall/Holiday products we found at the NY Now gift show! We did manage to get some work done amidst all this fabulous eating, this was a business trip after all!
Let's talk about one of my favorite foods, one that is becoming increasingly popular amongst foodies and health gurus alike. Dates are a nutrilicious (nutritious + delicious) sweet treat by themselves or as a main ingredient in these easy snack recipes I'm about to show you! While the nutrition label on dates may suggest that these sweet treats are void of any nutritional value, they are in fact packed with vitamins and minerals! Dates are fiber-rich, promoting digestive and heart health, and are loaded with magnesium, a known anti-inflammatory mineral. Additionally, a serving of dates contains healthy amounts of B6 and potassium, both good for improving brain health and reducing blood pressure, respectively.
Because the fruit is so small, you would need to eat a generous quantity to intake all the nutritional benefits in one serving. But worry not, below are two easy and tasty date-based snack recipes that will ensure you receive a good dose of nutrition and tastiness!
This first recipe has become a staple in our house; I whip up a batch every few weeks and so far no one has gotten tired of them! These "salted caramel bonbons" are the perfect snack or dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you full during the day. The dates and almond butter create a "caramel-like" consistency, while the dark chocolate covering makes it feel like a naughty dessert! Here is what you will need to create these dangerously delicious date balls!