Bokksu Tasting: An Evening with the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks

During the summer we introduced you to Bokksu, the ultimate foodie’s guide to Japanese snacks and a great gift idea for snack food lovers. Well, we’re back to remind you why it makes such a great gift during the holiday season; and to highlight meeting Bokksu Founder Danny Taing, the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks.

We enjoyed an evening of sushi, sake, and of course Bokksu snacks. We had the delicious opportunity to try some of Bokksu’s exclusive snacks, all of which are not available outside of Japan. It was wonderful to speak with fellow Bokksu fans, some of whom hold unboxing get-togethers, enjoy the variety of wonderful snacks; and meet the man behind the exclusive subscription snack box.

Some of the Japanese snacks we enjoyed include Green Tea Cream Sandwich, an assortment of Foliage Rice Crackers, Edamame Rice Crackers, Matcha Chocolate Covered Azuki Beans, Kinako Mochi, and Olive oil Salt Senbei.

Along with the above-pictured snacks, we also enjoyed exclusive snack reveals from their November and December holiday boxes. These artisan snacks included the White Chocolate Strawberry, the world’s first chocolate-infused strawberry. It is a delectable organic strawberry which has been carefully preserved with and infused with White Chocolate for a delicately tart and sweet confection, unlike anything you have tasted; handmade Apple Hard Candy, and Sweet Potato Langue De Chat.

Last but certainly not least was the Holiday Bokksu “Snow Festival” snack box, a Limited Edition Bokksu x Bento&Co. box featuring Hokkaido delicacies. The Holiday Bokksu is the first to feature a pristine white and gold box, with limited edition gourmet Bento boxes available. Hokkaido, due to its unique climate and agricultural focus, is renowned for its wide variety of gourmet cuisines and artisanal delicacies.

The December Bokksu features innovative new snacks including the Mimosa of Snow White Chocolate and Cheddar Cheese bars, alongside all-star favorite Bokksu classics such as the White Strawberry (pictured above). Delicate melt in your mouth savory snacks includes the Milk Mochi and the Potato Butter Rice Crackers. The Holiday Bokksu also includes their brand new private label Mikon Orange Candy and a warming Hojicha Green Tea Latte pairing from gourmet maker Hoshino. You can purchase the holiday Bokksu as a subscription or by itself.

The Limited Edition Bokksu x Bento&Co. with a collectible Bento box – $79.00
The Classic Bokksu – $39.00 (less with subscription)
Tasting Bokksu – $25.00 (less with subscription)

What do you think of these delicious snack offerings from the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks? Will Bokksu be added to your holiday gift list for the foodies in your life?

#TheSelectsPopUp

#TheSelectsPopUp NYC: Shop Emerging K-Beauty and Fashion at The Selects

We have been obsessed with K-beauty brands every since we were first introduced to the Korean Beauty industry by Sephora in 2015. And in those three years, the K-Beauty industry in the US has exploded and it’s showing no signs of stopping. You already know we love emerging and indie brands, both in fashion and beauty; so of course,  we had to preview and shop the curated selection of the most anticipated Korean fashion and beauty brands at The Selects. Noted as NYC’s premier destination for emerging K-Beauty and Fashion, you will find all things K-Beauty and fashion at The Selects. Today, we’ll be concentrating on the amazing K-Beauty brands we saw at the #TheSelectsPopUp NYC.

The Selects, a collaborative project promotes Korean fashion designers and beauty brands. The goal of the pop-up is to help assist these innovative brands break into the US market. This will be the first time most of the designers will have retail exposure to US consumers. On the fashion side, ten of the most promising designers evolving in the Korean fashion industry are represented at the  #TheSelectsPopUp. They include Bmuet(te), Beyond Closet, The Centaur, Heohwan Simulation, Hidden Forest Market, KYE, LIE, Nohant, SWBD, and Wnderkammer.  On the beauty side, The Selects have partnered with ten K-beauty brands.

K-beauty is highly focused on health and hydration, and the ingredients are innovative and inspired by nature. The beauty brands highlighted and sold at the #TheSelectsPopUp include Agerin, IPKN, Jinsoon, Knours, Meg, Moart, SKINRx Lab, Too Cool for School, Vika and Whal Myung. They represent some of the best Korean skincare and makeup on the market, some of which are featured below:

We had the pleasure of attending a beauty demonstration by Seong Hee Park using some of these skincare and cosmetics k-beauty products. Check out our K-Beauty at The Selects IGTV story to see the video of this demonstration and below for photos of Seong Hee Park in action.

Throughout the time the pop-up will be open, there will be two raffles held each week, one will be a classic raffle and the other an Instagram contest for the best Instagram picture of the week tagged of The Selects pop-up. Winners will receive a basket of amazing K-beauty products.

The Korean beauty haven opened on October 26th and will remain open until November 14th. The #TheSelectsPopUp, located at 62 Greene Street, will be open Sunday-Thursday 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Friday-Saturday 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s: An Asian Twist to the Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s been a slight shift in how we celebrate Thanksgiving. While many still travel to spend the holiday with their families, there’s a growing few that celebrate the traditional holiday with friends. With economic challenges, family feuds, and sometimes, a lack of family, quite a few will celebrate Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to attend two Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s events with the culinary twist. This will be about the first one, a preview of what was to come later on. Hidden away in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown, is an amazing cocktail bar called Peachy’s. Located right below Chinese Tuxedo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant set in a former opera house on historic Doyers Street, this was to be the location of our first Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey.

Partnering with a local Chef Paul Donnelly, Basil Hayden’s put a Chinese cuisine twist on the traditional holiday meal and created a unique menu for the evening. We were truly in for a treat of small and large dishes, sides, and dessert that would make anyone pass on the traditional turkey dinner. With a trio of delicious Basil Hayden’s cocktails to compliment the evening’s meal.

In order of appearance, the small dishes included Tuxedo BBQ Pork Buns, Pan Fried Tuxedo Dumplings, King Prawn Spring Rolls, and Strange Flavor Buratta. The large dishes included Hamachi sushi, Chili Crab Rice, and Crispy Lamb Ribs. Sides included Spicy Cucumbers, Roasted Golden Beets, Salad of Watercress, and Stir Fried Iceberg Lettuce. Dessert was a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

SMALL DISHES

LARGE DISHES

SIDES

To commemorate the Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s event, Basil Hayden’s had Calligrapher Nancy Moy on hand to create personalized coasters perfect for serving Friendsgiving cocktails. We can’t wait to use these wonderful keepsakes during and beyond the holiday season.

It was an evening of wonderful food, drinks, and conversation with old and new friends. We love the Asian twist on the traditional holiday menu. We can’t wait to repeat this night with Basil Hayden’s. We know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, what about you? Will you be enjoying a Friendsgiving or traditional Thanksgiving?

PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale

Shopping NYC: PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale

The gifting season is almost upon us and we all know one gift that’s always a hit for the ladies – jewelry!! What’s better than giving the great gift of jewelry? Saving on those holiday jewelry gifts. We’re happy to once again share the upcoming PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale. As you know, we are obsessed with the stunning Italian Resin jewelry (which you may remember Rihanna rocked in the June 2018 issue of Vogue). Well, here’s your chance to score some of the gorgeous PONO jewelry at wonderful sample sale prices.

PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale

Get gorgeous gifts galore with a stop into the PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale where the bold and beautiful baubles are all 50-80% off.  Shop and save to your heart’s content while you meet PONO’s Creative Director, Joan Goodman and feast your eyes on gorgeous goods from $5.00 – $500.00.

PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale

Go big with a posh pair of oversized Moon Resin Earrings – once $100 and now all yours at a fantastic $55.00. Score the sensational hand-sculpted, beaded Italian resin Allegra Necklace, previously $600.00 – now available at an amazing $250.00.

Steal the crystal-clear multilevel geometric Sea Glass Necklace for $175.00 down from a former $415.00, or own the Angle Bangle, a fusion of poetry and geometry – regularly $65.00, now yours for only $25.00. For the finish, indulge your wrists at the bangle bar, where 3 pieces are yours for only $25.00, 5 go for $30.00, and 10 can be taken for $50.00. All bangles are originally valued at $30.00 – $45.00 each.

How do you get to the  PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale? Head over to 224 W 30th St., Suite 304, between Seventh and Eighth Aves. Hop on the following subways: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to Herald Square, or the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E to Penn Station. The sample sale runs from Monday, Nov 26th through Friday, Dec 7th, from 9am–6pm. Please note the location is closed on Sundays. For more information on PONO and the upcoming sample sale, call (212-216 0022).

What are you looking forward to buying at the PONO 2018 Holiday Jewelry Sample Sale?

Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork

Workplace Wellness: Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork

Let’s face it, work has completely taken over our lives. We, as humans, have put our work life ahead of everything else, and our own wellbeing on the back burner. Thankfully there are companies that remind us that even at our busiest, workplace wellness is important. Take Ketel One Botanical, the vodka distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences for example. Ketel One Botanical Vodka has partnered with interior design firm Homepolish to launch the Ketel One Botanical Oasis, a private space for WeWork Irving Place members that simply want to escape their stressful work life for a moment.

The purpose of the Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork Irving Place is to integrate wellness in their workplace through the use of conscious design, focused activity, and technology. A zen escape is a much-needed escape in today’s very stressful work environment, not just for the coworking space, but as a general need for all.

We had the pleasure of attending a Ketel One Botanical panel at WeWork Irving Place. The topic of conversation was implementing wellness into your work life and workspace. The panel featured Emma Beryl, a designer from Homepolish, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist Jennifer Giamo of AAPTIV, Olessa Pindak, COO of Mind, Body, Green, Head of Wellness Avi Yehiel of Rise By We, and panel moderator Ellie Burrows, CEO of MNDFL.

The event began with a 10-minute guided meditation by Ellie Burrow, closed with a Ketel One Botanical cocktail hour, and ended with a tour of the Ketel One Botanical Oasis (see the photos above).

Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork

We love the idea of companies including wellness rooms for their employees and hope WeWork not only implements this in more locations but also inspires other companies to do the same. We can attest to not taking enough time for peaceful moments for ourselves and attending this event has inspired us to take a few “breather moments” throughout our day. We hope you do the same. The Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork Irving Place is available for WeWork members until the end of November. We hope you take advantage if you are a member.

Rosa Mexicano Celebrates Day of the Dead with a Special Menu

Tomorrow is more than just Halloween; it is the beginning of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de Los Muertos. In honor of Mexico’s holiday remembering and honoring the dead, we partook in Rosa Mexicano’s Night of Spirits; a special evening of savory food, exotic drinks paired with desserts, with entertainment by Agave L’Amour and DJ jojoSoul. Known for serving New Yorkers authentic and innovative Mexican cuisine since 1984, we were beyond excited to enjoy an evening at Rosa Mexicano Union Square, where they are serving a special Day of the Dead menu at all 11 locations nationwide from Oct. 31st through Nov 4th. The menu will not only honor your loved ones, it will celebrate the memory of Rosa Mexicano Founder, Josefina Howard.

We had the chance to preview the featured menu which boasted a traditional Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) feast, prepared by Joe Quintana, Regional Executive Chef for Rosa Mexicano. We began with the very special and delicious Maravilla Punch, a blend of Hibiscus and Mezcal, served in a traditional handmade Mexican punchbowl (featured above). Foodies will love the Roasted Bone Marrow, a Chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño , and toast; the Estofado De Cordero, a Lamb shank stew with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata; and the Costillas A La Barbaco, a Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs served with charro beans and jalapeño cornbread.

 

The evening celebrated the powerful rituals of Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which included the Ofrenda, an altar where you may display portraits of your departed loved ones, in a moving ceremony of remembrance. Four desserts were paired with a unique variety of four Agave spirits: Mezcal, Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol.

All four spirits have been specially curated by Rosa Mexicano’s Courtenay Greenleaf, one of New York City’s few Master Mezcaliers. Agave Spirit Sponsors For Night Of Spirit Events + Calavera Cocktail included Montelobos Mezcal, Casa Noble Tequila, Bacanora Rancho Tepúa, Fidencio Mezcal, LA HIGUERA. la Venenosa raicilla, Ancho Reyes, Tromba Tequila, Derrumbes Mezcal and Milagro Tequila).

 

The Rosa Mexicano Day of the Dead menu of meals include:

Appetizers:
Empanadas de Camote (Corn and sesame empanadas, stuffed with sweet potato, peas and spiced pecans). Served with chipotle sauce.

Roasted Bone Marrow (Served with chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño and toast) – see second food photo
Paired with: Tromba Añejo tequila.

Entrees:
Estofado de Cordero (Lamb shank with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata)  – see first food photo

Trucha a la Parilla (Whole grilled trout over pumpkin seed pipián, topped with citrus salad)

Costillas a la Barbacoa (Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs with charro beans and jalapeño corn bread) – – see last food photo above

Dessert:
Tamal y Camote (Roasted sweet potato and cajeta tamale served with pomegranate sauce and vanilla ice cream).

Rosa Mexicano’s Día de los Muertos meal will be available at these locations:

  • New York City: First Avenue, Lincoln Center, Union Square, Tribeca
  • New Jersey: Riverside
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Washington, DC: Penn Quarter
  • Maryland: National Harbor
  • South Beach, Miami
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco

Tech Review: PureGear Glass Screen Shield with Perfect Alignment Tray

For the 10 of you that can effortlessly put on a screen protector on your smartphone with ease, you can bypass this post. For everyone else, we’ve got the answer to your unsteady hands, the PureGear Glass Screen Shield with Perfect Alignment Tray for Samsung. Whether you’re always having issues applying your phone’s screen protector or doing it for the first time, this is what you need. Say goodbye to bubbling, uneven applications, and bits of dust that always seem to get stuck to the sticky side of your screen protector. The PureGear Glass Screen Shield with Perfect Alignment Tray for Samsung makes applying your screen protector as easy as counting to three.

Made just for the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S9, and S9+, the PureGear Glass Screen Shield with Perfect Alignment Tray for Samsung features curved tempered glass perfect for the curved screen of the Samsung Galaxy. The tempered glass is scratch resistant, precision engineered for touch and swiping, boasts high clarity, and is unmistakably easy to install. Thanks to this great smartphone tool, you’re left with a bubble-free, case fit-friendly device that retains its high definition screen. PureGear provides premium quality products at an affordable price; and for the first time in a long time, our screen looks as clear as when we first purchased our phone without losing touch sensitivity.

Don’t have a Samsung smartphone? No worries, the PureGear Glass Screen Shield with Perfect Alignment Tray is also available for iPhone, Motorola, LG, and Google devices. PureGear also has screen shield options for blue light protection, extreme impact protection, and anti-glare. They are the go-to for what you need in screen protection and mobile device accessories.

What are your thoughts on this PureGear Glass Screen Shield? Could mobile device use some extra protection?  The PureGear Glass Screen Shield with Perfect Alignment Tray, which retails for $44.99, is available on www.pure-gear.com, www.walmart.com, and www.jet.com.

Boo-zy Halloween: Drinks to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky, these Halloween Spirits”. Okay, so that’s not how it goes, but the beginning theme to the Adams Family show perfectly describes the following spirits. As many of you will be soon, these alcohol brands are rocking their best Halloween costumes just in time for the spooky holiday. Join us as we highlight some great Boo-zy Halloween libations. Feast your eyes on the Halloween-themed Stella Rosa Wines “Stellaween Collection”Crystal Head Vodka John Alexander Artist Series, and Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero (Mezcal Graveyard); and great cocktails from Avion Tequila, Cruzan RumNovo Fogo Cachaça, and more.

Stellaween Holiday Collection


Do you dare to Taste The Magic of Stella Rosa Black, Red, and Peach wrapped in their spooky, limited-edition Stellaween sleeves? When you purchase these dangerously delicious, semi-sweet wines this Halloween and you’ll get a free spooky collectible art sleeve! Available for a very affordable $8.95-$11.95, you will truly have yourself a Boo-zy Halloween. For those of you who are looking to double the treat, the Halloween Stella Rosa offers an exclusive 1.5 Magnum bottles available in Stella black and rosé.

Crystal Head Vodka John Alexander Artist Series

Multi-award winning, ultra-premium Crystal Head Vodka, known for its signature skull bottle, is really upping the spooky factor with the debut of the first limited-edition artist series bottle by artist John Alexander. Alexander’s work is celebrated in this exquisite artist series keepsake which provides a unique opportunity to own a piece of his art – “Dancing on the Water Lillies of Life”. Each of the 25,000 bottles is hand-decorated by one of three highly skilled craftsmen and then numbered to further emphasize its scarcity. The John Alexander Artist Series No.1 bottle will be available in 750 mL format, retailing for $149.95. The ghostly skull bottle makes a perfect Boo-zy Halloween conversation piece.

Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero (Mezcal Graveyard)

Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero is the first release in a series of mezcals that honors an old tradition where some of the world’s best mezcals are aged in glass, generally underground, to be later unearthed for family celebrations. This unique mezcal features aromas of roasted chestnuts and dried fruits and a flavor profile that exhibits buttery notes and mild smoke with a long finish. A portion of sales proceeds of Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero is donated to purchase tourism equipment of Tzitzio, Michoacán. This promotes the ‘desentierros mezcaleros’ (mezcal unearthing) traditionally held during the celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). A bottle of this amazing mezcal retails for $279.99.

Crystal Head Smokin’ Head Caesar

2oz. Crystal Head Vodka
5 oz. Clamato( Caesar) or tomato juice (Bloody Mary)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce
tiny dash of liquid smoke
garnish of your choice

Rim Garnish:
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika
Rub the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge and dip into a salt, pepper, and smoked paprika mix. In a shaker half-filled with ice, add in all ingredients and shake well. Strain into the pre-rimmed glass filled with ice.

Optional Garnish Ideas:
Celery and lime wheel
Bacon wrapped mini meatball with two hot peppers
Scallop and hot pepper skewer
Spicy halved long bean skewer

Tequila Avion Gummy Bear Jello Shots
(Makes around 10 2oz shots)

GUMMY BEAR SYRUP (Makes about one cup)
1 cup – Gummy Bears (Your choice in flavor- I did half cherry half lemon. Get creative!)
1 ½ cups – Water
1 pinch – Citric Acid
1 pinch – Salt
Prepare a double boiler. Add the Gummy Bears and the water to the top of the boiler. Let Gummy Bears slowly melt into the water, stirring occasionally. Once they are completely incorporated, transfer the mixture into a separate saucepan. Add citric acid and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, you’re ready to build the shots.

THE JELLO SHOT

1 cup – Tequila Avión Silver
1 cup – Gummy Bear Syrup
1/3 cup – Powdered Gelatin (This is about half of what you’d normally use in a Jello shot, but since there’s gelatin in the Gummy Bears, you don’t need so much.)
Add the Tequila Avión to the Gummy Bear Syrup while it’s still hot enough that it hasn’t started to set. Slowly whisk in gelatin, so that there are no big clumps. Prepare your serving vessels by spraying the insides of them lightly with olive oil cooking spray, so the shots will release more easily when they’re set up. Transfer the mixture into a pourable container and pour into the prepared serving vessels. Place vessels in the refrigerator and let set up (about 2 hours). When they’re fully set, they’re ready to enjoy!

Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass
By Mariena Mercer of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. (Las Vegas)


1 ½ oz Reposado Tequila
¼ oz Mezcal
½ oz Novo Fogo Cachaca
½ oz Giffard Passion Fruit Liqueur
1 oz Lime juice
1 ½ oz Bols Pineapple Chipotle
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz clarified milk per cocktail
Mint sprig garnish

Liquid Smoke by Mandarin Hide

1 1/4 oz Slow and Low Rock & Rye
3/4 Coffee Infused Cynar
2 Dashes of Walnut Bitters
Stir with rocks, strain and garnish with a cherry.

Cruzan Midnight Potion

1 part Cruzan Aged Light Rum
1 part Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
1 part Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 part Apricot Liqueur
3 parts Orange Juice
1 dash Lime Bitters
Orange Peel
Cherries
Combine Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, apricot liqueur, orange juice and lime bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a large glass filled with ice. Float one part Cruzan® Black Strap Rum on top of each glass, then garnish with the orange peel and a cocktail pick of cherries.

For Skeleton Garnish: Peel orange rind and lay flat on a surface. Take circle cookie cutter and cut circle space out of the peel. Use a paring knife to cut mini-circles for eyes, nose, and jaw of skeleton garnish.