What a day yesterday was! I was busy from beginning to end and I couldn’t have been happier.
I worked on my first volunteer project for New York Cares yesterday morning at an elementary school in an area of Brooklyn I don’t think I’ve ever been to called Kensington. I had signed up for a program which normally teaches these students how to make a meal from a different part of the world, but was a bit different yesterday because we instead were helping them bake cookies that would be sold at their School Fair taking place today.
The recipe I was given was lemon snowball cookies, and although I had never made them before, my two helpers and I totally rocked it out! We had so much fun together mixing the ingredients and rolling the dough into little balls. What is so great about New York Cares is the fact that pretty much everything is provided for you and you don’t have to worry about not having something to complete a project. They even provided lunch for us, which was so awesome.
I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the final product, but I’m pretty proud of what we accomplished together.
I returned home to get ready for an event known as The New Taste of the Upper West Side. The event that I attended was called Best of the West, and it highlighted 40 of the best chefs and restaurants from the UWS. By sheer luck, I won two tickets from the 16 Handles Facebook page a few days ago. All that I had to do was share my favorite 16 Handles combination (mine was pomegranate tart, Euro tart, cheesecake bites, and fresh blueberries – just thinking about it makes my mouth water haha) and they would choose their favorite, and mine won! I took my mom with me and we had such an amazing time.
There was a live band playing and an aerial silk artist who would pour champagne for you into your glass as she dangled precariously from the ceiling and more food than you can imagine! From lavender earl grey cupcakes from Alice’s Teacup, to razor clam escabèche from Tessa, to cucumber and green grape gazpacho from Cafe Luxembourg, we truly were in food heaven. 16 Handles was also there with this awesome Salted Caramel and Fudge Brownie frozen yogurt topped with Siracha salt (!) Daniel Boulud, chef and owner of Daniel, Café Boulud, db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Boulud Sud and Epicerie Boulud, was the guest of honor and some of the attendees were able to receive an autographed copy of his cookbook. I even recognized a chef who won an episode of the Food Network show Chopped and got a picture taken with him!
I ate more food than I could handle and tried dishes I would have never thought to try before. It felt so amazing to be in this environment and to meet all of these great chefs. I am so truly grateful (and so is my stomach) to have received this wonderful opportunity and I am so excited to see what else the future holds. Thank you so much, 16 Handles!!