Thanks-GIVE-ing

“The key question to keep asking is: Are you spending time on the right things? Because time is all you have.”-Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I think the holidays tend to bring out the best and sometimes the worst in us!  Many people become fixated on preparing the perfect turkey or getting the best Black Friday deals.  Above all of that, I hope everyone takes a minute (or longer) to consider the meaning behind the holidays.  Thanksgiving is a chance for us to contemplate what it is we are truly thankful for.  It is also a time for us to GIVE back.  We should be giving what we can all year long, but particularly during the holidays when the spirit is amongst us.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in the NYC area, it’s that things can always be worse.  There’s nothing like leaving a bad day of work, and on the way home passing a homeless person begging for their next meal.  Someone always has it worse than you, so there’s always an opportunity to give back.

I am more than excited to say that I am going to begin volunteering with CityHarvest, an organization in NYC that strives to end hunger through food rescue and distribution, along with food and nutrition education.  This past week, I attended a volunteer orientation and am looking forward to teaching basic nutrition to those in need.  CityHarvest is a fantastic organization but there is no end to the list of places in need where you can donate your time or money. 

So please take the time this holiday season to stop and think about what you are thankful for and how you can pay it forward.  Give to those in need, donate whatever money you can spare (a little goes a long way), or volunteer your time and skills. 

Restaurant Review: La Isla, Hoboken, NJ

La Isla Restaurant, located on Washington Street in downtown Hoboken, NJ may not look like much from the outside, but the charming atmosphere and delicious Cuban cuisine will blow you away!
La Isla Restaurant
104 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ
After moving down to the metropolitan area of NYC, I quickly learned that going to Brunch on the weekends is definitely THE thing to do.  I’ve tried many places that offer the traditional brunch foods: pancakes, omelettes, and eggs.  For two years, I had heard about the amazing food at La Isla, but had never gotten around to eating there.  La Isla’s owner Chef Omar was even on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the FoodNetwork.  The episode featured La Isla’s signature brunch dish: Omar’s Stuffed French Toast, which beat Flay hands down.  As such, when we finally visited La Isla this morning, I just HAD to try it!  The dish consists of two thick slices of bread filled with a strawberry and guava cream cheese.  The bread is dipped into a cinnamon batter and coated with corn flakes and crunchy almonds.  Simply put, it was amazing.  My friend ordered a more traditional item: La Isla Huevos Rancheros, which is two eggs covered in a spicy tomato sauce inside a crispy tortilla shell with black beans and a side of rice.  This was also absolutely delicious!
Strawberry & Guava Stuffed French Toast
Huevos Rancheros

In short, the rumors are correct.  La Isla is surely a treasure in the mile square that is not to be missed!