Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gifts for the foodies (and for yourself!)

Just before New Year's Eve celebrations, you had a last-minute invitation to the most amazing party of the decade and you are stuck with your gift list. Lost between too many options and even more social obligations, you don't know if you will go for the classy Chardonnet or you will be somehow different. Because it's a party at the Eve of the last day of the year, everybody loves food and drinks. So if you stick to the list below, you are safe. My advice: keep the items you like for yourself or buy two of each!

Coffee is a classic gift for the hostess. This pack of Dean & Deluca was discovered on a corner of the Hacienda Esmeralda farm in Boquete, Panama. The incredible floral fragrance is followed by an intense citrus note and a deeply sweet, honey-like flavor. The price is a fierce $60 per pack, available at Dean Deluca.

One of the most innovative items of 2009 was the portable espresso machine, courtesy of mypressi. The TWIST's unique pneumatic engine also ensures you can enjoy incredible coffee even where there is no external power. The only thing to do is to add hot water. Brilliant items do not come cheap so expect to pay $169 which is nothing for a permanent enjoyment of coffee.

This Armani jam is rather pricey (between $25 to $30 a jar) but it is almost certain that you will impress everyone, including yourself. Find it at the Armany store, 717 Fifth Avenue (56th Street) if you are NYC based. If not, buy a gourmet jam with less...

Impress your friends or the hostess with a customized photo on Jones soda. Jones soda allows you to put your photo in front of any soda bottle. All you have to do is to upload the picture of your choice at their website Follow the steps, add it on and then proceed to the checkout with your sodas. Make sure the picture is not an embarrassing scene between you and your dog or the ugly naked guy across the street!

Everything is better with bacon. Peanuts are no exception together with maple syrup and some spices. One of the best snack foods of 2009, first discovered at the New Amsterdam Market in September. Buy it from their website:

"Only 9 out 10 like chocolate. The 10th lies". So, you get the message. This year the trend is spicy, with chillies or pepper bars found online like the Vosques Oaxaca exotic bar, a combination of guajillo & pasilla chillies and 75% Tanzanian bittersweet chocolate ($7.50). Or try Christopher Michael's Aztec Spiced Dark Chocolate Bar, 61% Dark Venezuelan chocolate blended with chillies and cinnamon ($6). But for an up for grabs gift, those miniature tablets with designs of Brooklyn based stencil artist, Ed Roth of Stencil1, from the Chocolate Bar, will impress. At 1 ¾" each, those small bites of pleasure are excellent for snacking!

Alcohol is a dear friend to all women and (most) men. The newly launched in the market Skinny Girl Margarita will add a new element to the margarita nights. With only 100 calories per service, this clever product idea will help you forget that you actually added 500 calories more with the chips and salsa in front of you. I am sure your friend will appreciate the gift so go for it! (Guys, this is also for you too! Admit it, you secretively like margaritas, don't you?). Check the website for stores and price:

Champagne! This is the must-have for the upcoming New Year’s celebrations so if you crave for uniqueness, go for the cute, small bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte One fo(u)r fun. Available in Brut (the blue bottle) and Rose (the pink bottle). Click here for online purchases and store locations:


Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum

Saturday, January 2: Transformations
FREE admission from 5 to 11 p.m
5–7 p.m. Music Punk meets Latin: the bilingual band Cordero mixes Southwest ballads with Brooklyn indie rock.
The Rubin Pavilion, 1st floor

6 p.m. Discussion
Daphne Brooks, associate professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University, discusses women of funk rock and the aesthetics of James Brown. Free tickets are available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th floor

6:30–8:30 p.m. Hands-On Art Sketch a charcoal portrait from a live model posing in dance steps. Free timed tickets are available at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.
Education Gallery, 1st floor

6:30 p.m. Film and PerformanceBased on a rock musical of the same name, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, 2001, 95 min., R) tells the story of an East Berlin boy who falls in love and undergoes a sex-change operation in order to marry and flee to the West. Accompanied by a special live performance by a group of Hedwig enthusiasts, the Midnight Checkout Queens. Free tickets are available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

7–8:30 p.m. Masquerade BallCome in costume to the Museum's highly anticipated annual Winter Ball. String Quintet provided by Venus Ensembles. Dance lessons offered by Stepping Out Studios at 6 p.m.
Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd floor

8 p.m. Young Voices Gallery Talk Student Guides Grey Olavarria and Xiao Jin Zhou lead a Sign Language-interpreted talk on transformation in Buddhist art.
Meet at the entrance to the Arts of Asia, 2nd Floor

9–10 p.m. Book ClubAuthor John Sellers discusses his memoir Perfect from Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life. The book is available for purchase from the Museum Shop.
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th floor

9–10:30 p.m. Karaoke Belt out your favorite rock tune. Expressway Music hosts. Enter to win tickets to FELA! on Broadway.
The Rubin Pavilion, 1st floor

9–11 p.m. Dance Party New York Night Train conductor Jonathan Toubin spins his trademark 45rpm "maximum rock and soul" sound.
Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd floor

This First Saturday, 1st fans will enjoy a talk from contemporary artist Valerie Hegarty, whose work in the Museum's collection is currently on display. Meet in the lobby at 7:30 p.m., and stay tuned for a surprise as well!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chilean Chamber of Commerce cocktail party

I was lucky enough to be at the Chilean Chamber of Commerce cocktail party at Puro Chile last night. In a elegant space and civilized environment (no loud music!), guests sipped Chilean wines (both white and red) and tasted traditional Chilean hors d' oeuvres like the beef prosciutto and the tuna tartare. Cheese platters were everywhere accompanied by nuts, dry fruits, crackers and mouth watering pâté (that makes you forget all about calories).

A warm and welcoming event in the cold and white New York city! One of the last ones in 2009.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vivienne Tam Boutique holiday event

Celebrate the Holidays in style!

Come to the Vivienne Tam Boutique on Tuesday, Dec 22nd. Don't have a lace and sequins ensemble for the Holidays? Shop our entire collection up to 60% off! Come early to shop!
Bring in your gently used coat for the New York Cares Coat Drive or make any purchase to be automatically entered into our raffle— 1st prize wins 2 tickets to Vivienne's Fall 2010 Fashion Show at Bryant Park! Enjoy music and champagne. Meet-and-greet with Vivienne!

Please RSVP if you plan on attending to

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Freebies from the Fullybooked

It's Christmas and I feel like giving out some freebies for local New Yorkers. Find below the list, it will only be on first come, first served basis. One obligation: to become a subscriber to the blog (and I can check this out) and to send the link to three people you know. Hurry up, the freebies have to be redeemed before 12.31.2009. Email: wordart12 at

Good luck!

1. 20% off hot chocolate with a marshmallow at the Three Tarts (two coupons)

2. Dave and Buster's $10 free game play (3 coupons)

3. 20% at GNC

4. $50 gift certificate at Folli Follie (for purchases of at least $200)

5. $25 gift at the Warren Tricomin salon for any service or haircare products

6. $25 off on purchases at Mimi So

7. 50% off a blow out at Blow Uptown

8. $500 gift certificate at Roche Bobois (for purchases of $5,000)

New Amsterdam Market

It was the last day of the year for the New Amsterdam Market. The weather didn't help for a happy farewell - a rather white day with freezing cold, some of the vendors didn't show up judging from the few empty tables. But I will congratulate those who showed up to offer samples and to sell their products. New Yorkers didn't fear the cold and were on duty to taste, drink and buy. I noticed a few new names, not present in the previous Sundays of the year like the Tempeh seller, Chef Michael Vignapiano, She Sells Seaweed and a few others that the cold doesn't allow me to recall.
Well done New Amsterdam market. We look forward to seeing you in 2010, hopefully in warmer days! Take a peak at the photos to sense the cold, the tasty and the brave!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Wired Store

The Wired magazine pop up Store is live once again at the MPD area. Visit the store daily from 12pm to 9pm (except Mondays, Tuesdays and Christmas Day) to experiment with the latest gadgets, design and technology. Groove to the music spotlight Wednesdays. Savor the season with chef demos and wine tastings in the Wired Cafe. Spend Sundays in the game day lounge. Get a Wired water bottle and an energy drink, grab a Bustelo coffee during the weekends and many more. Hurry up, the store will close on 12. 27!

Where: 415 West 13th street, btw 9th and Washington

Nora Ephron at Ann Taylor

Fully Booked had this unexpected opportunity to attend Elle Magazine's event at Ann and Taylor last night where world-known screenwriter, novelist and director, Nora Ephron, talked about her Broadway play Love, Loss and What I wore. An interesting, funny and thought provoking event, a nice break in the crazy, party, alcoholic holiday scene! Well done Elle, Ann Taylor and Nora Ephron!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Momofuku chef at Beard House

David Chang fans, rejoice: the critically acclaimed chef has written Momofuku, a collection of recipes from his NYC restaurant empire (yes, the pork buns are included). Co-authored with Peter Meehan, this casual and chatty cookbook offers recipes for the Korean-influenced dishes that garnered Chang his devoted following. It also reads like a conversation between two guys who just really love food, and pulses with the spirit of a new, fired-up generation of New York chefs. Momofuku is a sure sign that Chang isn’t going away any time soon.

Where: The Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, NYC

When: Wed, 12.16.2009 at noon

Sushi American Style

What happens when a chef combines traditional sushi with classic American flavors? The American Style Sushi. Chef Griffith fills her roll with Berkshire bacon; savory roasted chicken; juicy steak and sauteed vegetables instead of the traditional raw fish. She also uses Origami Foods' all natural vegetable-based wraps instead of seaweed. The result? Tasty and colorful!

I tasted all of them at the Dean & Deluca counter. My 10/10 will go to the the Cowboy Roll, filled with Brandt Beef skirt steak, triple-cream blue cheese, red onion, baby spinach served with jalapeno soy sauce. The Chicken Run Roll was filled with roasted chicken and fresh basil, mint, lettuce, red bell pepper, chili-garlic peanut crunch and was served with sweet chili sauce, not my favorite but equally tasty. The BLT roll, an American classic, had bacon, juice red tomatoes, cheddar cheese, avocado, lettuce and was served with wasabi mayo, a unique experience with less fat than the traditional equivalent. I passed on the Green Goddess Roll (filled with baby greens, cucumber, avocado, grilled asparagus, fresh herbs and dusted with wasabi-sesame seed seasoning). Finally, the Lobster Love Roll was filled with Maine lobster meat tossed with lime, scallions, celery, fresh corn and was served with citrus soy sauce - delicious and left a balanced taste in the palate.

Find them at Dean & Deluca, daily.

Bon appetit!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The 21st Annual Art Center Faculty Exhibition

Dear friend and artist David Pullman invites all at the 21st Annual Art Center Faculty Exhibition opening and reception. Over 60 Artists exhibiting at the Milton J. Weill Art Gallery and Art Center. There will be plenty of food and drinks!

Where: 92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Av., @ 92nd St.

When: Wednesday December, 16th, 5pm to 6.45pm

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grapefruit Gala

Chef Jansen Chan is cooking

Floating island of grapefruit anglaise and Milk Chocolate Sorbet

Steamed Chocolate-Grapefruit cake

Tarragon-Grapefruit Soup with Mascarpone gelée and Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate-Grapefruit Tarts with Coconut Tuile

When you get an invitation with the Grapefruit Gala in the subject line, you can't hide your surprise. After the first few seconds of the unexpected email, you start wondering "what that can be". But if you stroll down, all your questions are answered. The Gala was sponsored by the TexaSweet Citrus (Aka a company promoting grapefruit from Texas) which wanted to impress and hopefully, convince everybody to eat grapefruit.

This amazing culinary adventure was held last Saturday at the French Culinary Institute where chef Jansen Chan, executive pastry chef at Oceana, worked up numerous treats combining the sweetness of the grapefruit with chocolate jubilation.

Guests had the tasty opportunity to see, smell and finally eat:

  • White Chocolate Grapefruit Parfait with Honey Sabayon (one of my favorites, unfortunately no photo)

  • Floating island of grapefruit anglaise and Milk Chocolate Sorbet (photo taken from blackberry)

  • Steamed Chocolate-Grapefruit cakes

  • Tarragon-Grapefruit Soup with Mascarpone gelée and Dark Chocolate Sorbet

  • and another favorite, Chocolate-Grapefruit Tarts with Coconut Tuiles

Take a look at the pictures of those wonderful creations. Not only the desserts had the presence; their balanced taste was perfect for a cold, winter afternoon in NYC together with the grapefruit inspired cocktails!

(and as always, my camera batteries died after the third recipe so some are taken from my blackberry).

Lydia Venieri: Tomorrow~Phosphor Stars in White Nights, opens December 16th‏

Venetia Kapernekas Gallery is pleased to present Tomorrow, a new project by Lydia Venieri, opening on Wednesday, December 16th, 5-8PM. For this work, the artist projects a four-minute video and a series of four photographs: archival inkjet on satin.

Tomorrow is a video featuring deers staring at an exploding sky while singing an altruistic and nostalgic song of friendship called "Tomorrow". The deers are chosen for their symbolic representation of suburban innocence and sacredness like the soul of a burnt forest. In the background, the night sky is lit up not by fire works, but by a deadly rain of phosphor bombs illegally dropped on the Gaza and Iraqi population.

New York based artist Lydia Venieri was born in Athens, Greece. She studied at the Ecole Nationale, Superieure Des Beaux Arts in Paris where she built her early career and was awarded the Academic Francaise de Paris Medal for Sculpture in 2004. She has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, France (1987), the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece (2004), the Centre for Contemporary Art in Dordrecht, Netherlands (2001), the Elliniki Ethniki Pinakothiki (National Gallery of Greece) in Athens, Greece, the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain (1992), the Biennale de Cannes et Barcelone in Barcelona, Spain (1989), the Terra Tokyo Gallery in Tokyo, Japan (2008). This past May, her work See No Evil was part of the New York Public Library’s exhibition series Art in the Windows. The work was shown at the Mid-Manhattan branch, curated by Arezoo Moseni and presented by Douglas Maxwell, a curator and assistant professor at New York University.

Lydia Venieri: Tomorrow ~ Phosphor Stars in White Nights
16 December 2009 – 6 February 2010
opening: Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 5 to 8pm
at 526 w 26th street suite 814 new york, NY 10001

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Famous bloggers sign their books in NYC

Two well-known bloggers made a stop at the Big Apple to sign their books and to chat with their fans. Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate & Zucchini, who adapted the English edition of the French cooking bible, I Know How to Cook, was at the Phaidon store for an exclusive talk, festive celebration and book signing last Thursday.

In Posman Books, Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, signed copies of her book "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl", telling the story of how she turned to be a country girl on her way to a new, exciting life in Chicago.

Fullybooked was there, attending both events and took some pictures witnessing the happy moments of unexpected and maybe unjustified blogging and bloggers' success....

The Power of Hair @ Saks Fifth Avenue

The Power of Hair is the follow-up to last Spring’s Hair-to-Toe event, featuring an expert panel including Qianna Smith (Editor-at-Large for, Dr. Judith Hellman, MD (Celebrity Dermatologist), Francky L’Official (Celebrity Hair Stylist & Salon Owner) and Dr. Dennis Lin, MD (Sex Therapist and Psychiatrist).

Moderated by Elline Surianello, the founder & CEO of LeMetric Hair Center INC – the panel will explore The Power of Hair as it relates to women, culture and society.

LeMetric & Saks Fifth Avenue Present:
The Power of Hair
Tuesday, December 15th
6pm – 8pm: Event + Panel Discussion
8pm – 9pm: Exclusive VIP Shopping Hour
Saks Fifth Avenue, 8th Floor in the SFA Café
*Cosmetic Makeovers by the Saks team
*One-on-One consultations with the experts
*VIP Shopping discount to the store
RSVP directly to:

BoConcept Holiday Party

The Black & White Holiday Party from BoConcept will be held at 105 Madison Avenue, New York this coming Tuesday, December 15, from 7 to 10p.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Made in Italy shopping events

The Italian Trade Commission, in partnership with Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, invite you to celebrate the quality and heritage of Italian-made fashion and accessories during MADE IN ITALY on Madison, two weeks of shopping events and promotions from December 10th to December 22nd on New York City’s iconic Madison Avenue. Information on Made In Italy on Madison including a calendar of events and information on promotions can be found at A special voucher to thank shoppers for their purchases during the events will be redeemable at participating Italian restaurants on and around Madison Avenue.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Simple and wallet-friendly Party Ideas

Here we are again. Just a few weeks ahead the holiday season (although in theory, that has started in Thanksgiving). So, while everybody is complaining about the economy, squeezes in the crowds to grab the amazing Armani or CK piece at the sample sale and can't stop thinking about the climate change meeting in Copenhagen - you still have to invite your friends on New Year's eve. Ah! Your bank account has been on a diet for a while but your friends would like some comfort food (if not fancy) and some refreshing and colorful cocktails! So, this is the challenge. How can you make it?

I want to help you so here are my tips after serious thinking I am:

1. Avoid fancy, high-end supermarkets and gourmet delis for your grocery shopping, including Whole Foods (otherwise known as Whole Paycheck). You know it that they are overpriced but as they are on your way, you just go there. Well, don't. Stick with your local markets and ethnic stores for quality food that won't break the bank. Trade Fair in Queens (NY residents) is an economical solution for international cuisine foods (some are gourmet but not fancy). In Trade Fair you will easily find: Greek Honey from Greece, Fig Marmalade from Syria, Coffee from Colombia, Spices from India, kosher meats and many food items at v. affordable prices.

2. I will repeat myself but avoid fancy patisseries for desserts. Instead of buying the must-have of the season -macarons- at the French bakery, just get them frozen at Trader Joe's (Macarons a la parisienne, $5.99). You will get 12 macarons that only need 30 minute defrosting. And they are super tasty!

3. Avoid buying anything plastic (plates, forks etc). Use your glassware and silverware. It is better for the environment, and an elegant touch that guests will notice. It's also an inexpensive way to host because you use your existing kitchen utensils (reminder: you will have to do the washing-up afterwards).

4. Make it a potluck. So, ask your friends to bring something each: a bottle of wine, a cake or a big, green salad. Every little helps!

5. Use small portions of tasty foods for appetizers: mix nuts with spices, make a simple salsa dip with tomatoes and peppers, grill a few slices of a baguette or bake chickpeas with lemon for an alternative snack.

6. Replace Champagne with a fresh, sparkling wine from Italy (Prosecco). It costs less and is a better solution for limited budgets. And if you add a bit of Fragoli liqueur (with the tiny, red berries floating), you have a fancy cocktail asap.

7. Finally, don't worry! Everything will be fine. Your friends will appreciate your company and your genuine effort to entertain them. You don't need a $50 bottle of Veuve Clicquot to impress nor a pot of luxurious caviar (who knows, they may bring you some). What is important is the act of sharing. This will stay for ever.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fashion Show and Party

Thread and Common are launching their online store with a fashion show this Thursday 12.10 from 8pm at the Rivington Hotel. The IS Vodka-sponsored open bar will last for the first hour only so be on time!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Marcus Samuelsson at Beard House

In New American Table Marcus Samuelsson shares his unique perspective on American cuisine and his affection for regional cooking traditions. Throughout the book the chef pays his respects to the generous people who shared recipes and inspired him with their dedication and spirit. Filled with delicious dishes and the stunning photography that has become a hallmark of Samuelsson’s cookbooks, New American Table is a warmhearted tribute to this country’s unique cuisine.

Marcus Samuelsson is a co-owner and the chef at Aquavit, a premier Scandinavian dining destination in Midtown Manhattan. In 2003 he was named "Best Chef: New York City" by the James Beard Foundation. He recently was a guest chef at the White House.

Where: The Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, NYC

When: Wed, 12.09.2009 at noon

Friday, December 04, 2009

Details Block party at MPD

It's this time of the year once again. The beginning of December, Details magazine organize their annual block party throughout the Meat Packing district. For a whole afternoon of complimentary beverages, free gifts and sampling, diet coca cola, discount, shopping and many more for you tomorrow, Saturday, 12.5 from 1 to 6pm.

Click here for more information:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wine Tasting & Cooking Class from Social Table and Oriel Wines

Wine Pairing & Cooking Classes:
The Social Table & Oriel Wines team up!

The Social Table is pairing up with Oriel Wines to bring you a great night of cooking and wine. On Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00pm you can join us for a fun, hands-on cooking lesson while learning (and tasting!) many of the delicious and affordable wines that Oriel has to offer.
Oriel’s global portfolio of handmade wines -29 wines from 9 different countries- is made by the world’s top winemakers, from Chateau d’Yquem, Chappellet, Penfold’s Grange, Petrus, Stag’s Leap, Royal Tokaji, La Crema (to name a few). Oriel inspires confidence, exploration and discovery in its customers. Selecting an Oriel wine means choosing a top-quality wine that is approachable, distinctive of its growing region, and an incredible value.
So take that step in building both your wine and cooking knowledge and join us for a night in the kitchen.

Price is $80 per person (wine included).
Make your reservation now at: or call (646) 649-4533 to reserve your spots!

Here is the menu:

(NV) '365' - Prosecco - Valdobbiadene, Italy
Fried Risotto Croquettes
Main Menu
2004 Trifola - Barbera d'Alba, Italy
Handmade Fried Veal Meatballs
Spicy Tomato Sauce

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Mushroom Melange

Creamy Parmesan Orzo

2006 Midnight Rambler - Cabernet Sauvignon - Rutherford, CA
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Whipped Cream

2004 Setena - Red Blend - Terra Alta, Spain
will be served throught class

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Folli Follie store opening party

I was one of the guests at Folli Follie's New York flagship store opening on December 2nd on Madison Avenue. Guests sipped prosecco and wine, and tasted hors d’oeuvres served by good looking men, courtesy of Williamson Calvert catering. Guests had the chance to shop taking a nice 20% off the price tag. On the way out, an orange, the signature Folli Follie, goodie bag was given out: attendes happily could find a $50 discount coupon for upcoming purchases and some magazines. It was a pleasant and fun event; I personally avoided the shopping temptation but I am sure I will be back soon. I love those blue watches!

Kenneth Cole & Making Books Sing event

Kenneth Cole & Making Books Sing
Holiday Shopping Night

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

6:30 - 9:00 PM

Grand Central Station at 42 Street & Lexington Ave.

Join the staff of Making Books Sing and WPIX-Ch. 11 "Morning News" anchor, Sukanya Krishnan as our VIP host/reader to celebrate the season of giving. Complimentary holiday beverages and treats will be available; Making Books Sing books and merchandise will be on sale as well. 20% of all Kenneth Cole sales during the event will be donated to Making Books Sing's SAFE program.

Making Books Sing
340 East 46th Street
New York, New York 10017

Catherine Maladrino for Cointreau in the Soho Boutique

The shopping season is in full swing so if you are free this Sunday, visit Catherine Maladrino's boutique in Soho from 2pm to 5pm. Cointreau cocktails will be served just for your enjoyment and comfort!

Holiday Shopping on Madison Avenue

This Sunday 12.6 from noon to 5pm. Enjoy!