In Comfort Foods Drinks Food and Drink Hummus Shake International Hummus Day Vegan Vegan Foods

That Hummus Aha Moment: The Hummus Shake From The Hummus & Pita Co.

One of the most telling changes that I've noticed about my supermarket habits since going vegan is a) my perusing the labels of ingredients with a fine tooth comb and b) the longer amount of time I spend in the fresh produce aisle.  I read, I scan, I discern and oftentimes I put things back and decide that I could possibly find a simpler and more economical way to create something of culinary wonderment. There's something about the simple, the clean, the recognizable that's quite reassuring without sacrificing the flavor, the notes or the purity.  To me, that's the great thing about food that's often overlooked or not respected due to overzealous recipes and unnecessary additives.  Sometimes you want to taste the natural flavor of the food.

For this reason alone is why I was truly captivated by my introduction to the Hummus Shake from The Hummus & Pita Co.  That's right, the velvety versatile chickpea and tahini marriage have a new embodiment in the form of a creamy dessert shake from a rising star of fast casual but good & hearty Mediterranean cuisine.  There are five simple base ingredients in the Hummus Shake that are distinct yet flavorfully harmonious.  The shake is 12 ounces of unprocessed perfectly blended chickpeas, tahini, medjool dates, bananas and almond milk.  Throw in some aromatic spices and what is created is a shake that is great-tasting with satisfying, guilt-free mental benefits and equally impressive health benefits.  

The all-natural Hummus Shake is vegan, protein and mineral-rich, boasts only about 340 calories, regulates blood sugar and has healthy fat & anti-inflammatory benefits.  The sweetness of the bananas and dates taste real and fresh and the creaminess of the tahini and almond milk add a smooth base that plays nicely off of the earthy hearty chickpea.  What's interesting is that when you have something this dessert-inspired you regard it with a dash of guilt.  However, the simple ingredients and the health factor of each individual ingredient create a two-fold feeling of comfort and ease in knowing that what you're ingesting is good-tasting with benefits that are also good for you.

The Hummus Shake is 12 ounces of goodness for only $5 and has five sweet flavors to choose from.  The deliciously decadent original, the rich chocolate made from real cacao, the sweet & fruity strawberry, the smooth butter pecan topped with chopped pecans and the nutty pistachio topped with fresh ground pistachio powder.  All the flavors are so amazingly satisfying and each flavor can speak to a dessert-seeking side of you.  Believe me, you will be pleasantly and comfortably surprised at the way the shake turns out and goes down.  I challenge anyone to not like any flavor of these shakes as they are truly an innovative next-level undertaking for hummus.  The Hummus Shake will be available starting this Sunday May 13 (Mother's and International Hummus Day) at The Hummus & Pita Co. locations.  When you can taste the flavors that life gives you, life, in itself, gets much more flavorful.
The Hummus & Pita Co. COO Matthew Sheppard giving a demo of the new Hummus Shake Machine

The Hummus & Pita Co. Locations NYC:
79 Chambers Street 
585 Ave Of The Americas
616 8th Avenue

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In Cocktails Comfort Foods Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Mezcal Restaurant Review Tequila Wines and Spirits

Forget Water, There's Mezcal At That Oasis: Cantina Rooftop Reopening Kick-Off

I don't think I'm the only one who's noticed that New York City has become frustratingly crowded with everything from people to scaffolding to traffic jams.  For this reason alone, seeking an oasis to escape the honking, the service delays, the sidewalk snail-paces and the Pac-Man-like meandering through concrete and steel has become a welcomed respite.  If you're anything like me then your oasis must have a something savory to nosh, a bartender who pours and a feeling of welcome while you escape the city's oftentimes unwelcoming disposition.  

I'd like to focus on the bartender who pours who at the right establishment is only as good as the mixologist who suggests.  That's when I think of Cantina Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge.  Located in the west side of  Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen nestled inside one of the city's popular event space/club shrines, Stage 48 and Level 3 Loft, Cantina Rooftop completes the trinity by being a fabulous Mexican restaurant whose seasonal newly-reopened rooftop dining space aims to make your oasis festive and relaxing, tequila included.  I got to experience the magic of their reopening last week at the kick off event.  Boasting a nicely cultivated drink menu with several cocktails from renowned mixologist Miquel Sanchez, the Cantina Rooftop offers up a sweet selection of wines, spirits like premium mezcals & tequilas, as well as a host of refreshing beers.  

What struck me as comforting about the drink menu was that it wasn't fussy but certainly wasn't tame.  The balance of notes and flavors in each drink were evident as described and left me with a feeling of satisfaction and not like I was part of some mad mixologist's experiment.  Sanchez' 'Spicy Summer' is not to be missed as it takes a key fun fruit of the season, watermelon, and brings out the sweetness with the presence of heat and the tango of fresh lime & agave syrup.  What's also nice to note is the nicely done margarita and mezcal-rita menu utilizing smoky mezcals and fresh ingredients with Caribbean kick.

The Cantina Rooftop with their impressive outdoor space that allows you to look at the thick of the city without besides nestled too deep in it is now open for business at 605 West 48th Street and 11th Avenue.  In addition to the specialty cocktails from Mixologist Sanchez is the new debut of a flavorful menu of interesting traditional and contemporary Mexican fare from Executive Chef Saul Montiel (the spicy guac is NOT to be missed).  With the weather spinning in a more favorable direction, it's the perfect time allow Cantina Rooftop to end your search for that welcomed oasis.

Mixologist Miquel Sanchez preparing one of his signature cocktails as captured by my dear colleague Glasgow Skinner of My Life On And Off The Guest List.  For an enticing recap of the deliciou menu from Chef Saul Montiel please read her review of some of Cantina Rooftop's new culinary offerings here at

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Entertaining Heeet Hot Cinnamon Vodka Wines and Spirits

It's Getting Hot In Here: Heeet Hot Cinnamon Vodka

Milder temps are finally beginning to percolate through the thick veil of Winter in the Northeast.  So as the rooftops, patios and outdoor cafés open back up, some may begin to hang up their penchant for cold weather toddies and rev up their yen for warm weather mixers.  There are certain cocktails that scream Winter with their soothing heat and fragrant spiciness and then there are certain cocktails that call for Spring with their festive produce and verdant frothiness.  So what would you say if I presented you with a spirit that combined the two?

Take the comforting heat and the surprisingly sweet pop of cinnamon and lace it into a wonderfully crisp spirit and you get the seasonally appropriate deliciousness of Heeet Hot Cinnamon Vodka.  Cinnamon has the lovely duality of being both peppery and, when it has been allowed to settle, offers up a subtle sugar essence that creates a nice heat/sweet balance on the tongue.  That flavor comes to life in Heeet Vodka.  The cinnamon notes swim across and explode on your palette for a full profile of fragrant warmth from the crisp clean vodka and versatile spice.  Made from 100% natural ingredients Heeet is a perfect sipper all by itself as its natural make-up is like a perfectly blended cocktail.  Or perhaps you can play around with Heeet's amazing flavor like I did in the cocktail below that I call "Heeet For Them Apples".

Heeet For Them Apples

3 ounces         Heeet Hot Cinnamon Vodka
2 slices            Fresh cut apple (skinless)
3 sticks           Cinnamon      

Muddle apple slices in a cocktail shaker until pulp-like.  Pour vodka into a cocktail shaker and add ice.  Shake for about 15-20 seconds then strain into rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with oblong slices of apple and shavings of cinnamon together with the rest of the sticks of cinnamon.  

I'm no bartender, but I like the way this turned out.  The apple added a familiar flavor for the depth of the cinnamon and an extra sweet element to play with the sweetness of the cinnamon.  The strain keeps most of the apple pulp out while the ice in the shake gives the juice form the muddled apple some dilution.    

Heeet Hot Cinnamon Vodka from Merry Go Spirits is available now at your finer winer and spirit retailers.  You won't need the AC for this Heeet. 

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In Book Review Mens Issues Mens lifestyle Unfu*k Yourself

Life, How Well's That Workin' For Ya?: Unfu*k Yourself By Gary John Bishop Book Review

What's life like?  Very different from how it was 40 to 50 years ago, right?  What's more, isn't it much different than it was say even 10 to 15 years ago?  Social media is now as commonplace as newspapers were then and newspaper reliance seems to be shrinking as much as CDs were as the 2000s progressed.  Our attention spans have grown shorter as many vanities have grown deeper and our demand for tomorrow is what we wanted yesterday.  There's so much to adjust to inside this rapidly-changing framework of society yet no matter how much what's around us is changing, we ourselves are pretty constant.  That could be a good and bad thing.  It's important to notice that with many things, we've allowed our surroundings to change us but what are and who we are at the core is still there lingering.

I thought of this as I read Unfuc*k Yourself : Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop, a five-time author who is far better than a self-help guru.  Bishop is a personal development expert and his 'urban philosophy' approach to helping one become the best most enacted them prompts the individual to get out of their often crippling thoughts and into a life of embracing newness, potential, activity and happiness.  For that's what at stake isn't it?  Our lives, our  perceptions, our willingness, our stubbornness, our certainties and our expectations and how much of our reliances on them keep us from living, loving and reaching our full potentials.  In Unfu*ck Yourself Bishop offers up seven personal assertions for one to ponder that surpass the 'you're special' mantra and moving beyond mere thought to seizing the your special title by actively pursuing life and also recognizing the signifiers that you may not even be aware are keeping you immobile.  Bishop's comical tone is straightforward & non-coddling and doesn't shame or judge, but rather gets an individual to really look at their happiness to see how they are personally responsible for its lacking in an honest and appropriately thought-provoking manner.

After reading this book I realized how powerfully coercive my thoughts were in my going forward and how even more powerful my activities had to be in order to put the kibosh on years of the unrequited, the pitfalls, the excuses, the stale mindsets and the weaknesses that masqueraded themselves as strengths.  There's more to greatness than just positive thinking, there's the positivity of moving & shaking, starting & trying, failing & succeeding and loving & letting go.  

Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop (Harper One - Harper Collings Publishers) is available now on, Barnes & Nobles and other fine booksellers. 

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In Mens Accessories mens fragrances Mens Grooming Mens Issues Murdock London Nordstrom Product Review Shaving Skincare

Shave Like A Briton, Live Like A New Yorker:MurdockLondon @ Nordstrom Mens Store NYC

I'd like to think that if you have the misfortune of finding yourself in a vehicle around the Holland Tunnel during rush hour then you'd better have an understandable unavoidable reason.  Similarly, I'd also like to think that if you stand on a sample sale line in New York City then you must be able to see a redemptive light at the end of the the discounted retail tunnel.  Then there's always the surest likelihood that you are very well aware that a dive bar in the LES can sometimes be far more welcoming than a wine bar on the UES or else why would you endure the grit in lieu of the glitz?  There's always good and oftentimes bad reasons for why we do what we do but in the end it's these experiences that give good stories to add color and depth to the whatever our lives are shaping out to be.  

So it's now that I challenge you to find yourself in Midtown Manhattan if not today then very soon.  Yes it's a traffic nightmare and the subways have been intolerably unreliable lately, but what if I told you that despite the honking, the scaffolding, the cranes and the crowds, there was a new oasis to sink your vanity into.  Well there is.  That new oasis is the brand new Nordstrom Mens Store at 235 West 57th Street.  However, while I would normally cajole you to rethink and rediscover how you wear what your wear, let me now ask you to find that cloth-free medium that begins and ends with bringing out the handsome devil in you.

Within the new erected pristine walls of the new Nordstrom-labeled haven for men is a British outpost that has brought its savvy and thorough approach to mens grooming across the pond for the dapper and disheveled men of New York.  Murdock London is a highbrow award-winning barber brand that carries a range of clean and natural grooming, skincare and aromatherapy products.  Ingredients that are as natural as the skin you're in presented in streamlined packaging & receptacles are what Murdock London offers men seeking to have an organic pre, during and post shaving experience.  That's why products like their incredibly softening Beard Moisturizer coats your pork chop and pampers your skin with a paraben and sulfate free formula that's bound to be a go-to for you.  Their Alum Bar is the original after-shave with a soothing potassium alum that heals nicks post shaving.  I am a fragrance fanatic and their quartet of organic fragrances conjure up the best smells and memories of the beauty of the planet in masculine, fresh and sumptuous blends like Black Tea and Vetiver.  

Murdock London has landed at the Nordstrom Mens Store in Manhattan New York City and at  Would I send you to the new Mens Store if it wasn't worth it?  I got to experience  them firsthand Wednesday evening when the brand hosted an event at the W Times Square to introduce Murdock London to a group of savvy New York men by offering them haircuts and shaves from expert Murdock London barbers using their award-winning products. After a few Tanqueray  and tonics, inhaling the aroma of spice and cleanliness in the air and a cushy-feeling beard courtesy of the Beard Moisturizer, I was quite intrigued.  Check them out on and and understand why the often harrowing yet sometimes surprising trip to Midtown would be a lesson in well-groomed fortune rather than futility.  

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