I’m back! Someone pass me a pumpkin pie soda.

Summer’s never been an easy time for me. The heat makes me crazy and bitchy, the humidity makes me a sweaty, frizzy troll, and this summer, to add something new to the mix, my long-term relationship completely fell apart, the frequently aforementioned Flaneur moved permanently back to Italy, and for the first time in my entire life I found myself living alone. Throw in some skull-crushing hangovers, too many sad meals eaten in front of the TV, and a particularly unpleasant incident involving a locksmith and 325 of my hard earned dollars, and I’ve had one hell of a summer. (I know, what a whiner.)

But thankfully, summer, and the share of heartache that came with it this year, are on the way out.  Things are starting to look up, temperatures are starting to cool down, and I for one, am ready for fall.

I love lots of things about autumn: crisp weather, changing leaves, apple cider, my birthday (wait, no, scratch that last one), Halloween, Thanksgiving, lower electricity bills… I mean really, the list goes on and on. But perhaps my most favorite is the yearly pumpkin binge I go on where I eat everything and anything with pumpkin as an ingredient.

Pumpkin pie soda, a whole new take on my favorite fall treat

I thought I’d seen it all until earlier this week when I found myself at Whole Foods in Tribeca (i.e. my new happy place) where I saw…wait for it, wait for it… are you ready? Ok, here goes: Pumpkin freaking pie soda!! I know, MIND. BLOWN. Bam, in the basket it went.

Some of you are probably grossed out, and I get that, but trust me, you’re wrong. This Maine Root pumpkin pie soda is delicious, the perfect bubbly take on one of my favorite desserts. It’s sweet and smooth, with a very similar taste to cream soda (which I also looooove) but because it’s pumpkin pie based, it also has hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious, I tell you!

So yes, things have been rocky lately and especially here on the blogfront, there’s been a big fat nothing going on, but that’s all changing now. With a cold pumpkin pie soda in hand and fall officially just a week away, things are getting sweeter already.


Just what I needed



It had been a long day. A really long day. There were back-to-back deadlines at work, depressing New York city apartments to visit (and then run away from), family arguments to mediate, and the grand cherry on the sundae that was my Wednesday, my email and Facebook were hacked into by some “cybercriminal” who proceeded to send every single one of my contacts a message saying I was mugged and clubbed (yes clubbed, like a baby seal)  in Glasgow, Scotland (where mind you, I’ve never been) and needed money. I mean seriously. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to.

And because I’m a complete glutton for punishment, I decided to add to all of that by making a pit-stop on my way home at Whole Foods in Union Square. You know, because dealing with an overcrowded supermarket full of pissy, in-a-hurry hungry people (not entirely unlike myself) and wildly overpriced food, oh and the multi-colored 10-lane check-out area was exactly what I needed to unwind.

I was starting to think I had made a huge mistake, when all of a sudden I rounded a corner and froze in front of what I saw.  In my head, the clouds parted and rays of sunshine and unadulterated happiness beamed down on me while a choir of angels heralded the cure to my terrible Wednesday: egg nog!

There it was before me, an entire free-standing refrigerated section of egg nog and nothing else! Original egg nog, low fat egg nog, Silk egg nog (as in the soy milk), pumpkin spiced egg nog, organic egg nog.

This is how I know there’s a God. He gave me egg nog.

I greedily and impatiently wait all year for the arrival of egg nog season and when it comes, I buy it regularly. After Christmas, when egg nog is stripped from the refrigerated dairy section, my life feels empty and lacking, like the living room always feels in January when the Christmas tree is hauled to the curb and the lights are boxed.

But no use in worrying about goodbyes just now, because egg nog just got here. Thick, cool and creamy with that deliciously sweet nutmeg and cinnamon-flecked comfort it always gives me, I honestly  can’t think of anything that could have made me feel better.

Egg nog, you saved the day. Here’s to a long and happy season together.

Sweet magic

I was roaming around Whole Foods looking for a snack when something caught my eye. Sitting among individually wrapped brownies, cookies and other baked sweets was something labeled “Magic Bar.”

Memories of a college visit to Amsterdam immediately resurfaced in my head. But no, it wasn’t like that. San Francisco may be stoner friendly, but they’re not exactly selling pot brownies in the Whole Foods bakery section yet.

Abracadabra! Magic Bar!

It looked like a blondie and I was amused enough by the name to want to try it. After buying it, peeling off the plastic wrap and biting into it, I quickly realized what the “magic” was here—an intense sugar rush. In between bites, I turned the chunky square over in my hand, counting at all the different ingredients. Cookie crust, graham cracker, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, caramel and possibly even sweetened condensed milk.

I think a lot of people would find this Magic Bar sickeningly sweet and somewhat excessive. The sugar content wasn’t listed (Thank God. In this case, ignorance is absolutely bliss) but I’m willing to bet it was astronomical. But with a sweet tooth like mine, this candyish baked treat was nothing but pure magic.