Christmas Cookies, Yum!

courtesy image

During this winter break I know for sure that many people will be baking cookies this season.  So here is a  picture of cookies of what some people have baked to give you an idea of how you creative you can get when you are baking for family and friends.  Go the link above for recipes on how to create these cookies.  And on that note,  I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Let Go of Those Eggos!

Last week  I read an article about a waffle shortage.  I thought how can that be.  Then I read beyond the headline and found it was just Eggo waffles. First the company’s Atlanta plant had problems with bacteria found in the waffles then there was a flood.  According to the report there were no illnesses reported.  But if I were you, I’d make sure those frozen waffles in my freezer aren’t  made by Eggo.

I tend not to eat frozen waffles because they taste like – frozen waffles. For all of you who don’t mind making waffles (you need a waffle iron) or you just let go of those Eggos, here is a recipe for you from Mr

Best Chocolate Chip Waffles

(5 servings)

  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 beaten egg yolks
  • 1 and 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites – beaten stiffly
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients (including chocolate chips).

Combine yolks and milk. Stir into dry ingredients. Stir in oil and mix. GENTLY fold in beaten egg whites, do not over mix.

Pour about 1/2 cup at a time into waffle iron.

You will love this recipe! Enjoy!

Photo from: forum/case/185707/

A Thanksgiving Recipe for Cornbread Stuffing

I’m looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.  I’ll get time to spend with my family and enjoy foods I haven’t eaten since the last Thanksgiving (too many calories to eat more than once a year) This year I’m even more thankful because of a new addition.  My niece Kennedy was born November 19th. One of my greatest joys in life is being an aunt.

So as you spend the holiday with family or friends or just doing what you love, I thought you might like this recipe for cornbread stuffing.  You  can replace some of the ingredients with healthier choices.  It will still taste great! Here is the link from the food network.

Health Code Violations at the Tabler Cafe

I wrote an article for the  Statesman about health code violations on campus at the Tabler Cafe.  When I talked to students I was amazed at how many were “grossed out”, but would eat there again.  Let me explain what the violations were.  There was an inadequate sneeze guard to protect food. When the sanitarian arrived fruit used to make crepes were exposed to anyone who had a cold, flu or respiratory illness.

There was no bayonet thermometer to measure the temperature of soups and thicker meats. Keeping food at a proper temperature is essential to avoid bacteria. Without a thermometer, the food manager can’t tell if  food should be discarded due to low temperatures, a breeding ground for bacteria.

And lastly there were no food logs.  The logs are used to record temperatures of food transported from one place to another.  The food from the Cafe is transported from Roth.

When told about the violations, one student seemed to give up on avoiding food borne illnesses on campus. If I don’t get sick eating here I’ll get sick eating somewhere else on campus, the sophomore said. id/20450512/

Long Island Restaurant Week

Last week Fendy and I ventured out to Sayville and the Stony Brook Village Center to cover two restaurants participating in Long Island Restaurant Week. Long Island Restaurant week took place from November 1st untill November 8th.  During that week some of Long Island’s most exclusive  restaurants served entrees and other menu items at a discounted price that typically did not exceed $25 for a three course prix fixe meal. The event is a great opportunity for those who might otherwise not be able to afford to dine at these restaurants to experience them– and it fits a Stony Brook University students budget.

If you are interested in visiting any of the restaurants that participated in Long Island Restaurant week, just visit:

New Starbucks Card Program Out Just in Time for the Holidays

After having successful runs in two recent programs, the Starbucks Gold and Starbucks reward, the coffee giant has decided to combine both programs into one easily useable Starbucks card. The change comes after complaints from customers, as well as a push for customer and brand loyalty to the company that is suffering at the hands of lower priced competitors including Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. The card will begin activation on Dec. 26, 2009, the day after Christmas.

For Starbucks, brand loyalty is everything. After a less than stellar showing with the VIA instant coffee brand, the company is hoping to court both holiday sales and loyal customers with this new program. The program will make both the gold and reward cards obsolete and replace them with a new card. This card will come with three levels: Welcome, green and gold.

At the welcome level cardholders will receive a free birthday drink. At the green level cardholders can gain hours of free Wi-Fi access, coffee beans and syrups. The gold level features all of the benefits of the other levels, plus a free drink every 15 purchases and a card with the holder’s name on the front. To become a gold card member, only 35 visits per year are required, which translates to less than three per month.

It is Starbucks’ hope that the popularity of its older programs will be reproduced with this new card. I expect to see a line of caffeineaholics in Starbucks the day after Christmas.


Starbucks VIA debuts at Stony Brook

This fall marks the beginning of a new era for Starbucks as they’ve introduced a new line of instant coffee to the market, VIA. The Starbucks on campus carries VIA and last month they celebrated the product launch with a “taste challenge.”

The challenge tested whether customers can tell the difference between Starbucks brewed coffee and Starbucks VIA, a “ready brew” product, $10 for 12 servings.

The results were mixed on campus but as a whole but nationally the market embraced the new product. It is still unclear whether those who participated in the taste challenge had the same overall positive reaction that test cities experienced.

Starbucks is clearly banking on this new product, hoping that it will help the company move into the instant coffee enterprise. They’ve made huge investments in advertising, which includes television ads, the taste test and visible window panels throughout stores.

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Stony Brook Welcomes a New Campus Dining Provider

Coming back to campus this semester, it was evident that there was something different about the food. Returning students found new concepts, including a salad bar, in the Union, vegan options in Kelly Quad and updates to the SAC cafeteria, too.

The changes are due to the new campus food provider, Lackmann Culinary Services. Lackmann is the replacement for Chartwells, the company that had provided campus food for years. Lackmann’s goals are to provide cheap, delicious and healthy food to the campus body.

After an extensive search, including investigating the options at a large buffet-style dining hall, Lackmann was chosen due to its local ties and affordability for students according to the campus dining bid committee.

The new campus dining provider has also spearheaded the “china first” program in H-quad, a green initiative where students use real utensils while they eat. The company plans to extend this idea to other parts of the campus and to continue using biodegradable containers and utensils.

Though it is too early to tell what students think of the food, it is clear that changes involving campus dining were needed on campus due to student complaints. According to the campus dining bid committee, students had many concerns about Chartwells including prices, hospitality and the quality of the food.


The Student Activity Center during lunch time

Eat Off Campus: Green Cactus Grill!

Across the train tracks and a short walk from campus is Green Cactus Grill, a restaurant specializing in healthy Mexican food — no MSG, lard or preservatives, and all natural ingredients.

Stony Brook has a Mexican option in the Union where many students complain that the prices for burritos and tacos are unreasonably high. At Green Cactus, many salads, tacos, burritos and appetizers are available for the fraction of the price. Two chicken tacos cost around $4.00 and the restaurant provides complimentary salsas for the chips that come with most orders.

Green Cactus Grill is a cozy restaurant, and many students and administrators from Stony Brook can be seen spending their lunch hour off campus. Green Cactus also provides meal deals and coupons on their Web site.

For many students, Green Cactus is a hidden gem yet to be discovered. However, once you’re a customer of Green Cactus, it’s hard to continue eating campus food.

Green Cactus has restaurants across Long Island including locations in Huntington and Wantagh.

Green Cactus is located at:

1099 Route 25A
Stony Brook, NY 11790-1924
(631) 751-0700


Life Without Caffeine



Recently I wrote of my addiction to caffeine.  My preference was coffee.  If I couldn’t have that I would settle for a Pepsi.  But those days are over.  I’m happy to report I haven’t had a ‘cup of joe’ in over a month, but it has been a long month.  Yes I can focus a bit more but everything seems to move a bit slower including me.  Next, I’m going to try adjusting my diet and that B12 energy thing everyone’s raving about.

I’ll keep you posted!

Photo from:…/ ency/imagepages/19517.htm