Spooky Snacks for a Healthy Halloween

halloween candy & foods

It’s Halloween tomorrow, and for me this year, that just means pumpkin-everything, candy and Halloween movies.


Three years ago, Halloween was cancelled in Queens, New York, (where we lived at the time) because Hurricane Sandy had just hit. We lived in Astoria, which luckily, wasn’t hit bad at all. This was the worst of it: a few trees blown over. But, everyone stayed home for the holiday.


Kiyo and I entertained ourselves that year by creating spooky snacks, like this cucumber with balsamic dressing (a witch’s severed arm?).


And this jar of blood – beet juice!


Of course, we’d also stocked up on some unhealthy Halloween candy. What is your favorite Halloween candy? I love Peeps (especially the Halloween ghosts, since they have much less artificial coloring then the others) and chocolate.


Leave your Halloween candy of choice in the comments! Any other ideas for Spooky Snacks for a Healthy Halloween?

The WIAW That Never Was: New York


I will admit it: I am being totally lazy with this post. Today features a whole bunch of photos of food that I never got around to including in my WIAW’s when I lived in New York. Some of these photos were taken with the intention of being featured in a WIAW post, but others are just one-off food photos that I felt were good enough to share, but don’t fit with any particular post. So, with no further comment, enjoy. If you have a question about a photo, leave it in the comments!


WIAW NYCIMG_3107   IMG_4543IMG_3133


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Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City

Socrates Sculpture Garden Astoria

One my absolute favorite places in our old ‘hood is Socrates Sculpture Park. It is technically in Long Island City, but basically is also in Astoria (I guess it toes the line).


The small park is right on the water, making it ideal for an easy stroll.


It features large-scale sculpture installations.

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What I Ate Wednesday: New York


Just to quickly recap, since it can be confusing:

  • May 2014 – I left New York City after living there for 2 years
  • September 2014 – I arrived to my new place of residence, Hawaii (which is where I lived from age 13 to 18)
  • December 2014 – I visited New York, from Hawaii, for an awesome 1-week vacation to see friends as well as my mom & sister, who both live in New York state

It felt so great to be back in NYC, especially since the weather at the beginning of December was quite nice; it was crisp, a bit chilly, and rainy at times, but also sunny many of the days I was there. However, being back made me even more certain about my decision to leave. I will always love NYC and feel at home there (I was born there too, after all) but it’s not where I want to live as an adult.


Breakfast: these pictures are all from different days during the week. One morning I got brunch with some of my Skidmore friends at Hearth in the East Village. My dish was delicious – kale and sausage hash with eggs and toast – but it was $16, which I felt was a rip off. Welcome back to NYC, am I right?


I did a lot of walking around, running to meet different friends and exploring with my mom.

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Brunch at Queens Comfort, Astoria


I will warn you now: if you’re looking for a healthy brunch, do not go to Queens Comfort.

Queens Comfort Brunch

I’ve been to the Southern-inspired restaurant a few times for brunch (once when I was walking over from my apartment, I saw this lovely tree… I love Astoria *sigh*).


My friend Caitlin and I shared the absurdly large, strawberry cake donut, which was totally delicious. I love that they included the donut hole… why doesn’t everyone do that?


I had the eggs Benedict, my favorite brunch dish, and theirs was very good. The fresh-ground pepper really kicked it up a notch. Since I last dined there, their menu has changed, and they now offer multiple types of Benedict, all of which are making my mouth water.

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Birthday at Canz, Astoria


In honor of my birthday today, I’m posting about my birthday two years ago – finally! am I the slowest or what? A couple of friends came into Astoria for brunch and then bar hopping. We ended up at the super-trashy Canz, which is like Hooters except they replace each and every “s” with a “z”.


In writing this post, I just found out the place has since closed, which doesn’t surprise me. But, it was fun to go to for my birthday because we got fishbowls and deep-fried Oreos!


Obligatory birthday shots!



And the best part of finishing the fishbowl: playing with the ridiculously long straws. Today on my birthday this year, I’m working, so slightly different vibe. But belated “thank you!” to my friends who came with me to Canz that time!


The “What I Ate Wednesday” That Never Was [Astoria]

photo 4

Last night I realized I hadn’t put together a WIAW for today! So I searched my drafts folder and found this very old WIAW that never got posted. Here are some eats (I don’t think from the same day) in Astoria.

Breakfast: coffee & Grandma’s seven-layer bar (graham crackers, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut flakes, condensed milk).

photo 3

Lunch: stew made with lentils, onion, carrot, sweet potato. Served with sriracha.



Dessert: salted dark chocolate, my favorite! I guess I never posted this because there were so few pictures… whoops.



And here are a couple runs. I can tell it was May, because that’s when I started running outside again after my half marathon.

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Brunch at Locale, Astoria

brunch at Locale Astoria

I’ve shared a post from Locale once before (read it here) but here’s a more in-depth look at their brunch.


Locale is an easy-to-like, modern bistro in Astoria, American with Italian influences.


I ordered my brunch favorite: eggs Benedict. They were good, standard and nothing special but nothing to dislike. I am not a fan of Canadian bacon, so I got a sausage patty on the side instead…


which you can see in the background of this picture of my mom’s baby spinach and goat cheese omelette. I like that the egg dishes are served with a simple, fresh green salad.

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Friendsgiving, Astoria

eyechow Friendsgiving

Is anyone getting excited for Thanksgiving? I know I am!


This year we have friends visiting us in Hawaii, which is so fun. It’s the guy on the very right and his girlfriend. Two years ago, Kiyo and I decided to have a bunch of friends over in Astoria (Queens, NY) for “Friendsgiving,” and for some reason they all decided to wear the same outfit… it was weird but also hilarious.


Kiyo did most of the cooking, I’ll admit it. He made us an appetizer to munch on while he finished cooking: rosemary foccacia bread – yep, made from scratch!


I spread it with fig and honey jam…


and topped it with bacon and brie cheese, which we melted.


Oh man, it was GOOD!

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Strange Food Saturday: Astoria

Tabasco candy

How do you feel about hot-sauce-flavored candy? I, for one, was scared.

Since I’m such a huge Tabasco fan, I’ve accumulated these strange items as gifts from people in my life. For a long while they scared me, and they just sat in the dark in the back of my pantry. But finally, as I was packing up to move out of my Astoria apartment, it became time to either toss or taste, so I tasted.


Here’s the verdict:

  • Tabasco jelly beans: these were the worst of the three. You have to chew jelly beans a lot, which means the Tabasco flavor stays in your mouth for far too long and is much too strong. These were so spicy I had to spit them out and I wouldn’t even call them candy.
  • Tabasco chocolate: this was neutral for me. Spicy chocolate actually isn’t terribly strange, and the flavors aren’t bad together, but I’m just not a fan. I’d prefer my chocolate dark and plain.
  • Tabasco cinnamon candies: this was the best candy of the three, and I actually enjoyed eating it (over the summer I got through the whole bottle). This is not surprising, since cinnamon candy is actually a real, normal candy that people know and enjoy. This Tabasco version of the classic was just a bit spicier than usual, which really worked.

Have you encountered any other strange Tabasco-infused items?