Ayala Donchin, Evelyns Kitchen, Harlem, Eating Fabulously, sweets, cafe, bakery,

I don't even remember the day I started following Evelyn's Kitchen on social media. I do remember the day my best friend and I walked into the small cafe in East Harlem, because I kept telling him, we NEED to go there. Ever since then, Ive literally been addicted (!). I don't visit often, solely because if I did, I know Id be in weight gain trouble, but I do always think of the eating fabulously approved baked goods and delicious take out meals.  Ive even dragged friends to East Harlem, AND have provided delight to other people by putting a banana pudding pudgie in their mouth mid sentence. Because I need them to experience this! When I reached out on faith last year to ask if I could feature Evelyn's Kitchen in my Fab Foodie Holiday Gift Guide , the team was nothing but receptive and that became a mental note in my mind that every time Im in the company of Evelyn's Kitchen staff, its always a sweet pleasure. I knew I wanted Evelyn's Kitchen genius owner Ayala Donchin on Eating Fab for a while now and  I finally got the chance to learn about her, what sparked Evelyn's Kitchen and where she goes to eat fabulously after she closes up shop. 



Eating Fabulously, popcorn, caramel, coconut, CVS, NYC, California, Christopher Stewart

Here we are again, snacking fabulously on something spotted in a unconventional place. This bag of fantastic toasted coconut caramel popcorn by 479 Degrees was spotted in CVS by my mom here in NYC. Im not a huge popcorn fan and I am definitely not a huge caramel popcorn fan (because you know, cavities). I do enjoy freshly popped hot popcorn every now and then, especially when my dad and I are cruising through Target, filling the shopping cart with things we didn't intentionally plan to buy. 

My mom spotted this unsuspecting bag of popcorn and brought it home for us to try one evening after work. "I don't like caramel popcorn" I said as she insisted I taste some. After popping a few pieces in my mouth, followed by a few more, and a few more again, I was hooked.  With the faint taste of toasted coconut, buttery caramel, and fresh popcorn, I had already told her to bring me another bag the next day. This artisan popcorn, made in small batches comes from 479 Degree Popcorn, based in San Francisco California. Having freshly popped organic popcorn growing up, 479 degree founder Jean Arnold knew that her popcorn was special. Not only is this popcorn delicious, its also environmentally friendly. 479 Degrees popcorn is made from organic, non-GMO heirloom kernels, values fair trade practices and sustainable agriculture, and even uses natural non-toxic products to clean their kitchens! How fabulous is that! 

There are 9 flavors to try, including a limited edition flavor. I cant wait to try other flavors like White Cheddar + Black Truffle, Chipotle Caramel + Pumpkin Seeds and Creamery Butter. 

FUN FACT! Did you know that 479 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temp for popping corn! 



brunch, restaurant review, Harlem, eating fabulously, Christopher Stewart, mimosa,

Fabulous Eaters, I want to apologize for the lack of pictures in this post.....mainly because my brunch guests and I ate the food as soon as it hit our table, before we could even pull out our assorted iPhones. 

So as always the cut throat brunch scene here in NYC on the weekends is monstrous. Our original brunch plans fell through, so I headed to 9A website to make a reservation for us, because girl talk and mimosa's were needed. Ummm.. no reservations available, Open Table told me. WHAT? PORQUE? I just so happen to know the chef at 9A, so I immediately text him in slight fear asking him why there were no brunch reservations for sunday. "We get really busy" he replied. -sigh-  In a panic, I move the Open Table app to the front of my iPhone just in case and go to sleep that night wishing someone cancelled their brunch reservations for the next morning. (sorry...not sorry) 
I called 9A the next morning and the hostess was very helpful in trying to get us a table. Leaving my number and my fingers crossed, the hostess returned my call and made room for myself and my guests. 

9A is a restaurant and lounge on the budding new restaurant heavy stretch of 12th avenue in Harlem. Surrounded by other popular restaurants and a new waterfront park, 9A has been making a name for itself quickly. I had been to 9A a few times and had a few quick bites, but I never actually sat down and got the full dining experience. Today was the day I got to experience other foods on the menu, and from the lack of pictures I have in this post, my girls and I were busy eating fabulously. Heres what we dined on.. 



eating fabulously, DC, popcorn, popcorn queens, food, cooking, April Wardlaw

As all of you fabulous readers know, I love to surf the web and social media for all things food. Whether it is a prominent news feed or a Instagramer uploading amazing drool worthy food pics, surfing the web has become my everyday thing. I met April Wardlaw via social media and we have been keeping up with each other though likes and retweets. I kept my eye on April as she owns her own food business, is a food contributor for a popular magazine, and also holds one of the hardest jobs in the world, being a teacher. April was featured in my Foodie Holiday Gift Guide for Christmas, but I had other plans for April as I wanted to pick her brain about the food she cooks,her philosophies, and what made her take the leap and start her own business. 

CS - Where did you get your education?
April Wardlaw -  My tag line is that I'm a teacher by day, serious home cook and food entrepreneur by night.  Therefore, I am proud to say I hold two degrees in Education: a BFA in Theatre and Education from Howard University and an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University.  I've received no formal training in cooking.  Everything I know was either passed down to me from the amazing cooks in my family or learned from lots of practice as well as reading and watching professional/celebrity chefs.

CS - Where did you get your experience? 
AW - My experience in cooking comes from, like I said, lots and lots of practice.  I love cooking at home and because I cook 3-4 times a week, that has given me lots of time to hone my skills.  However, I also cannot discredit the experience I received, as a teen, working under my grandfather at The Alibi Club, one of Washington, DC's most prestigious men's clubs.  Women, even to this day, are not allowed to serve food or bar-tend, so when I worked there I assisted my grandfather in the kitchen and washed the dishes.  At the time, I thought it was hard work and I was encouraged to get an eduction so that I wouldn't have to work in anyone's kitchen.  Though now I know that a love for cooking was instilled in me back then and alot of skills that I have now, I learned from my grandfather at the Alibi.

CS - Current job title?
AW - Job title 1: 10th Grade English Teacher for DC Public Schools 
Job title 2: CEO of Popcorn Queens, a Gourmet Caramel Popcorn Company that I started with my Mom.  

CS - What's 1 ingredient you have in your home at all times?
AW - I have lot's of ingredients that sneak their way into so many of my dishes but if I had to narrow it down to one thing that's a must have, it's Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Almost every dish, especially when cooking healthy, starts with EVOO.  I like to buy it in bulk and when I'm getting low, it goes at the top of the list so that I'm never without it.

eating fabulously, salmon, asparagus, April Wardlaw, cooking, recipe



recipe, spicy, sweet, eating fabulously, Japanese sweet potato

The fabulous tubers in the above picture are my new found addiction and of course I want all my fabulous eaters to get addicted as well.  The sweet potatoes that we tend to know of are usually light brown on the outside and bright orange on the inside, depending on where you come from. My family being from the south, Im familiar with the sweet potato (my fav is candied yams). As Im always in the grocery store or at a farmers market, I had always noticed these reddish-purple skin potatoes, labeled "Korean batata". Whatever it was, knowing me we know I tried it and have been in love ever since.  

The Japanese sweet potato has, like I mentioned above, a reddish purple skin and a creamy white inside. These sweet potatoes are a little drier than what we are familiar with and also a little more starchy. The upside of these potatoes are that they are extremely sweet. When peeled, the Japanese sweet potato turns brown quickly, so peeling them and placing them in a bowl of cold water will help with oxidation until you are ready to cook them. I like to simply roast them and eat them plain. I love how sweet they are so all the jazzy seasoning and technique isn't required. The nutritional value in sweet potatoes are amazing as well which is a added bonus!

Spicy Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes 

3 Japanese sweet potatoes  
2T. light brown sugar 
1T. butter 
canola oil 
cayenne pepper 
ground cinnamon 
ground ginger 
course sea salt 

Heat oven at 450 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes and cute into cubes or wedges, making sure they are relatively the same size. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with a small amount of canola oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 15, or until potatoes become fork tender but not mushy. At the 15 minute mark, remove potatoes from oven and add butter, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger to the potatoes, tossing lightly. Place back in the oven, allowing sugar to melt, cooking for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot.