passion
[pash-uh n]
noun

1. a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

2. strong amorous feeling or desire; an intense emotion.

Food. Food is our passion and it shows in everything we do here at Food Before Love – the services we provide, the information we share, the food related experiences we create, and the relationships we foster.

It’s been 5 years since Food Before Love was created and as I reflect back on our beginnings and on all the awesome moments and things we’ve accomplished, I want to give a huge shout out to you all. Thank you for making us great, we truly appreciate you!

We have the PASSION…and now we need your SUPPORT – more than ever.

“Support people who are creative in public.” ~Someone Smart

So, I’ve been wearing many hats and handling all the daily tasks needed to run this business and you know what – it’s a lot for one person.

Through the years we’ve partnered with some amazing interns, writers and foodies and we couldn’t be more grateful for that opportunity. Our current team of Food Before Love Insiders are the bomb and have been instrumental in getting our name out there. But, it’s still not enough and we’re pushing the envelope for more.

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”  ~Anita Roddick

We are ready for this change, but there are some financial restraints to consider. Stay tuned because coming up within the next few weeks, we will be filling you in on our Fall crowdfunding campaign launch.

Here’s what our short check list looks like:

– Revamping our site to make it more functional

– Bringing aboard an ‘in the know’ Social Media Manager

– Growing our sponsorship and partner base for major projects like the food festival

We can’t wait until this team is in place, so Food Before Love can provide even more to the food community. The team we build must maintain Food Before Love’s creativity and ability to stay on top of all the latest food trends and happenings. Don’t you agree?

Next steps? Well – do you have the skill set to move Food Before Love forward? Contact us then!

Spread the word about our crowdfunding campaign coming soon and our exciting endeavors to your network of those that share the same mind set and passion that we do. You can also follow us on @FoodBeforeLove. Tell what you love about us and what you would like to see more of!

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” ~Maya Angelou

We need individuals that support our vision and can work independently to achieve it. For direct crowdfunding specific updates and donation information, sign up here.

Seriously though, are you in?

I’m looking forward to seeing you alongside us on this campaign and I’ll be in touch!

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Soco Macaroni and Cheese
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National Macaroni and Cheese day is something we try to celebrate often, but it’s official now because you’ve decided to join us.

If you’re like me, you love the creamy, cheesy, deliciousness that is Macaroni and Cheese. A perfect day for you is settling down to a bowl of this comfort meal. Looking to celebrate in New York City the right way? Check out this list of restaurants in that will support your Macaroni and Cheese addiction and help you celebrate National Macaroni and Cheese day correctly

Mangoseed

Mangoseed is a modern Caribbean restaurant located in the heart of Flatbush with new and old island favorites.  One of which is their 4 cheese Macaroni & Cheese dish. It is wonderful on its own but it also pairs deliciously with oxtail gravy. Show up before 7pm to try out their tropical cocktails during happy hour on National Macaroni and Cheese day.

757 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226

Soco

Soco is another Brooklyn favorite located in Clinton Hills, very well known for their red velvet waffles and their fabulously massive Aunt Cruz macaroni and cheese. Their mac can be perfectly washed down with Soco’s New Orleans inspired cocktail the Mardi Gras. Show up before 7pm for discounted Macaroni and cheese plus, half priced drinks.

509 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Soco Macaroni and Cheese

Bobwhite Counter

Bobwhite Counter is a small, quaint, southern comfort spot located in the East Village. Not only do they give you life with their fried chicken, but their mac & cheese tastes like someone’s Southern grandma put their foot in it. Their macaroni & cheese is only $6 but gives you all the cheesy greatness you are looking for.

94 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009

Miss Lily’s 7A

Miss Lily’s brings authentic Caribbean fare to the east village. With traditional reggae & soca blasting from their speakers, you can have your favorite curried edible with a side of their flavorful mac. Baked like a pie, it brings me back to the islands (Trinidad & Tobago to be exact) where my grandmother whipped up a similar treat.

109 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Harlem Public 

Harlem Public is a cozy neighborhood bar that serves up pub inspired cuisine, including awesome macaroni & cheese (or Mac & Steez, as they call it). If you want to be extra fancy, they throw can throw in bacon, pulled pork, or chicken.

3612 Broadway, New York, NY 10031

Harlem Public Macaroni and Cheese
Photo Courtesy of Rafael H. (yelp)

Mac Shack

Mac Shack is a well known Brooklyn eatery that churns out every style macaroni & cheese you can think of. Feeling like you want to sample them all? They offer daily specials to try out mini portions of any Mac you’re in the mood for.

901 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Enjoy National Macaroni and Cheese Day!

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Breather Credit

Let’s get real for a minute. We all face distractions in our everyday lives, from work to family obligations. So much so that there’s often little time to focus on your own state of well-being in the chaos of each day. It’s so simple to overlook how helpful getting away from it all truly is. Whether it’s to get your creative juices flowing or better brainstorm with other team members, finding a place outside of your normal routine is major. And for me, Breather.com is a must.

Breather.com is a website and mobile app that aims to provide a “quiet space in the middle of the hustle and bustle.” It’s ideal if you’re looking for a clean spot to get out of your office, catch up on deadlines, meet with coworkers or even sneak in a power nap. With locations in major cities across the country, including Washington D.C., San Francisco and New York City, the spaces often come equipped with WiFi, festive decorations, whiteboards and conference tables.

Breather Credit

But you may be wondering, “How does it work?” See below for steps to sign up and reserve a room:

  1. Download the mobile app or visit the Breather.com website
  2. Input your personal information and verify your mobile phone number
  3. Choose an available building space in your city that meets your specific needs
  4. Create your reservation by selecting the date and time you’ll need the room, as well as the duration.

When you’re ready for your reservation, head to the location, use your phone to check-in and enjoy. At the end of your reservation, your credit or debit card will be charged a rate determined by the location. Then you’re good to go. Cool concept, right?

If you’re thinking of taking a breather, I’ve got a treat for you. Click this link to apply my $45 off promo code to your account.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small credit if you make a purchase using some of the links above*

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Casandra-at-the-Airbnb

Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes because nothing exhilarates me quite like adventure, a change in location and novel experiences I’ll always remember. When you’re traveling, there are few things more important than convenience and cost. You simply don’t want to spend an arm and a leg when deciding where to stay. Nor do you want your accommodations to be less than comfortable just because you’re on a budget. You often find yourself having to go the extra mile to make your vacation life a little easier. The key is to have great amenities, but not break the bank, especially if you’re planning an extended stay of three or more days. That’s where Airbnb comes in.

When you need peace and relaxation without the hassle, Airbnb is the perfect resource. It’s basically an online search tool that connects travelers with people who are opening up their homes for vacation rentals around the globe. Instead of staying in a stuffy hotel staring at white walls, you can get an authentic feel for your destination. I stayed in an Airbnb spot on a recent trip to Bali and loved it. It gives you the ultimate travel experience, unlike any other. Imagine being able to take in a new, unique culture? It’s everything.

Casandra-at-the-Airbnb

Many hosts provide amazing amenities such as small bedside gifts, homemade breakfast and treats, personalized cards, and much more. And luxury is right at your fingertips because you can search and book accommodations online or from a mobile phone or tablet. It’s just that simple. Adventures and time well-spent are invaluable. And traveling the world has never been easier with Airbnb.

Ready to try it? I’m offering a special $40 off credit that you can use to book your first stay. Click here to claim the discount or enter the link http://bit.ly/foodbnb in your search bar. Enjoy your stay!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small credit if you make a purchase using some of the links above*

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In light of recent celebrations for National Hamburger Day, we visited Whitman’s with our Burgers Before Love crew. I wanted to talk to you about how much I love burgers. Like really, really love burgers. As a result of that, #BurgersBeforeLove was created, visiting a new restaurant each month to try out the most decadent burger on the menu. Last month, I took my cravings over to Whitman’s in the East Village to try out their popular, Juicy Lucy.

This was my first time checking out Whitman’s but I had previously heard so many great things about it. It is a small burger joint with an all American nautical-hipster vibe. While I waited for the rest of the group, I treated myself to a glass of wine and sweet potato fries. As per their recommendation, I devoured my fries with a side of their house aioli. Seating is limited in their upstairs area but perfect if you’re just stopping in for a quick bite.

Whitmans Exterior

As soon as the crew arrived, we headed downstairs to our table and immediately ordered because we all were starving. There’s more room downstairs for groups but still an intimate vibe. There are tons of burger options, with something for everyone’s taste buds. I stayed focused as I remembered that I came for the Juicy Lucy. Upon ordering, the table dug into a bowl of fried pickles. Though they’re not what I chose to indulge in, I could see they were evenly fried which should make for a great pickle. I could even hear the extra crunch in each bite taken amongst the group. Then, the burgers came.

Whitmans Fries

The Juicy Lucy is deliciously stuffed with pimento cheese and topped with caramelized onions. From the first bite, the pimento cheese explodes from the center of the burger and adds tons of extra flavor. I was not surprised that this burger lived up to it’s name and if I could eat another, I would. It was just that good and I look forward to returning to Whitman’s soon. Before heading out, I ordered the brownie with ice cream but we also had warm cookies and milk at the table. Overall, we enjoyed our burgers and we were stuffed afterwards. I recommend checking Whitman’s out the next time you find yourself with an appetite for burgers.

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Common Foods Video with Danielle Fontus
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If certain words such as chipotle, espresso and acai make you nervous, you are not alone. Some foods are admittedly easier to pronounce than others. And some make you pause every time you read them. But we are here to tell you that there is no shame in needing to take a minute and sound a word out before ordering. You shouldn’t let anything, let alone pronunciation, stop you from enjoying what otherwise could be an unforgettable dining experience filled with good food and laughter.

Have you ever decided to be fancy and hit up a restaurant you’ve never been to? You dress up, fully willing to broaden your food horizons. But the minute you get the menu and eyeball a few of the dishes, you regret it all. You don’t know how to say any of the selections or if you even want to eat any of them. All of a sudden you’re back in elementary school with beads of sweat on your forehead as you sound out syllables at the table. It’s not a good look, but it is a common dilemma we’ve all faced. However, it doesn’t have to be. Ordering delicious meals should truly be the time of your life.

And that’s why we’re here: to help guide you through those awkward restaurant encounters. There’s no better time than the present to improve your food vocabulary by learning the real way to pronounce common dishes. We continue our handy guide with the help of our friend Danielle, Creator of the She Dares community. The next time you see one of these items on a menu, you’ll impress your friends and bae by sounding like an expert.

  • Edamame – A boiled soy bean, which can be a snack or appetizer before the main dish

  • Lychee – A white fleshy fruit

  • Chipotle – A smoke-dried jalapeño

  • Espresso – A coffee brewed by boiling water under pressure

  • Acai – A reddish-purple fruit.

     

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