What the #SCBDTeam is Thankful for…

What are you thankful for?

This year more than ever I have so much to be thankful for, so does my team. After surviving Sandy about three weeks ago, things have really come into perspective for us. On that note, here is what the SCBD team & I are thankful for.

“I am thankful for, my family and friends, seeing my family on Thanksgiving, my job and getting to meet many interesting people through it, NYTimes bestsellers list, living in nyc and alcohol.”- Amanda Mactas

“There is so much to be thankful for. First and foremost, I’m thankful for my friends and family.  They have given me the inspiration and drive that has led me to where I am today. For those that have told me “no”, I am thankful for those breaks in my heart. They have made me stronger.  I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and to call NYC my home.  For each day that I have lived and those days that are awaiting my embrace, I am thankful.” – Julianna Bilton
“Electricity! After having NO power for a week post Sandy, I realized how often we take the invention of electricity for granted.” – Lia Giachino
“I am thankful for my friends, family, and food.” – Kelsey Jelling
“I am thankful for my amazing boyfriend, friends, and family.” – Jill Rosenfeld
“I am thankful for my family, friends and the great food we share together.” – Dawnmarie Birch Tranni
“This thanksgiving I am especially thankful for life. As weird as that may seem, I have grown such an appreciation for life’s journey this past year. Life is accompanied by the joys of  experiencing love, happiness and even sadness and though each of those moments have their own way of leaving lasting imprints in our lives, it’s especially remarkable that each instance can become greater than the last. In addition to my being grateful for life, I am also grateful for any and all things received tomorrow, specifically food as my appetite has grown this past week with the aroma of stuffing and oven roasted turkey running through my apartment.”  – Tiffany Salisha
“I am incredibly thankful this year. I am thankful for my team of supporters: my boyfriend Jason, my parents & sister, my family & friends. I am also thankful for my SCBD team who are taking this ride with me! I promise it will be fun and filled with tons of food! I am thankful for my job, I continue to learn more and more everyday from it. I am also thankful for all my readers, SCBD wouldn’t keep going if it wasn’t for you. I am also thankful for all my foodie friends I have met this past year– you guys rock and are a blessing to have in my life. Last, I am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had this year, good health and the simple things, that keep me humble.”- Sara Monica, Founder of SCBD
On behalf of the entire SCBD team and I we’d like to wish you all a happy & healthy Thanksgiving!!! Have a great time & don’t forget to dig in! 🙂

The Lost Holiday: Thanksgiving and Traditions

It seems that every year when the Holidays roll around we start the season off with eerie Halloween decorations followed directly by Santa, his elves and Christmas wreathes through out our towns, but what about the turkeys and the pilgrims?! It feels like with each year the Thanksgiving holiday and all of its meaningful traditions die a little more, it has grown to become somewhat of a lost holiday. I’ve even noticed this year that it seems black Friday has gained more attention with airtime on TV and in commercials than Thanksgiving has!

I would say that this year, especially in light of Sandy and the snowstorm that followed, we have A LOT to be thankful for. Thanksgiving happens to be one of my favorite holidays and there are a lot of traditions in my family that have not yet been ‘lost’ like the Holiday feels it has been.

I hope that in sharing some traditions we celebrate during our Thanksgiving everyone will remember to appreciate all of their own and truly celebrate everything we have to be thankful for!

‘Italian Wedding Soup’

In all of my 22 years we have never had a Thanksgiving without it and it’s absolutely delicious! It started with my great grandparents and now four generations later my cousins and I have helped in keeping the tradition alive. We make everything from scratch, starting with the tiny hand rolled meatballs right down to the vegetable infused chicken broth. We usually get together a few days before Thanksgiving to start prepping, here are some pictures from this weekend while we were making the meatballs for Thursday’s batch of soup!

We have about 18 people coming for dinner this year so we made way more meatballs than if it was just for one of our Sunday dinners. The average recipe for our homemade meatballs includes:

-2 lb. ground beef

– 2 large Spanish onions (finely chopped)

– 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

– 1 Egg (beaten)

– ½ loaf of day old bread (soaked in water)

– 1 bunch fresh flat Italian parsley

– 1 c. Parmesan & 1 c. Locatelli Cheese

– Salt/Pepper/Italian Seasoning (to taste)

First sauté the onions in olive oil adding the garlic once the onions start to brown. Set aside and puree the soaked bread for a few minutes in the food processor (or any other device you have to get the job done!). Finally, add the onions and bread along with all other spices and seasoning to the meat and mix.

Once everything has been blended together, fry a few in a pan with olive oil for a taste test incase you need to add anything else before cooking them all.

Once we know they taste amazing, we roll alllll of the mixture in to small balls before pre-cooking them in a simple chicken broth.

They sit and boil for few minutes and are then stored in the freezer until Thursday when they will be added in to the actual soup broth with vegetables to make our traditional Italian Wedding Soup!

Check back after Thanksgiving to see the complete and finished product!

Another fun tradition we have each year is drinking fabulous wine and listening to the song, ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, at least once during the night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmyXTOHC3w8

What are you looking most forward to celebrating this year? Take pictures during your Thanksgiving and share with us your favorite holiday recipes and family traditions! Hope that everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving holiday!

Lia Giachino

Hi I’m Lia and I’m a born and raised Jersey Girl from Bergen County. I come from an Italian family, where food is everything, and have been a food lover ever since my first visit to Il Mulino in NYC when I was a mere two months old. My whole life I’ve frequented restaurants in the North Jersey area as well as in Manhattan. I have always enjoyed cooking myself trying recipes passed down from my Nana and mother as well as my own new creations. I recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with my B.A in Communications/Public Relations with a focus on Social Media Marketing. I have experience in sales and marketing for the food service industry, hotel and hospitality public relations as well as social media marketing and public relations for start-up companies and someday hope to own my own boutique PR firm. When I’m not working I’m usually out in NYC visiting family or on adventures with friends. I love taking pictures, am very passionate about music and often go to live shows, I try to travel when I can and am a huge make-up junkie! Follow me on Twitter @lmgiachino! 

A Very Tri-State Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, this year more than ever I feel like we have so much to be grateful for here in the Tri-State area.  Here are some exciting Thanksgiving eve parties, Thanksgiving dinners and take-out  in NJ & NYC to check out.


Turkey Karaoke at The Fieldhouse Pub
31 Passaic Ave., Fairfield, NJ
Wednesday, November 21, 8:30 PM



Telepan will offer a three-course Thanksgiving menu for $85/adult, $40/child featuring traditional favorites and other festive offerings such as venison, roasted trout, burrata mezzaluna and quince granita parfait from 1pm to 8:30pm. Price: Three-course menu, $85/adult and $40/child.
*Also, Telepan restaurant is offering a Thanksgiving dinner to-go, for New Yorkers hosting friends and family for the holiday and lacking kitchen space.  The spread feeds up to 10 people and includes seasonal salad, squash soup, roasted turkey, pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan tart and costs $600.  Orders can be placed by calling the restaurant or via email at telepan2@verizon.net
72 West 69th Street at Columbus Ave, 212.580.4300
Corkbuzz Wine Studio is hosting a traditional feast served family style with festive dishes such as dry-aged filet steak tartare, herb-roasted turkey, maple-glazed Kabocha squash and brown sugar apple crisp. Guests may order wine from their full bottle list or choose the special wine-pairing option with pours selected by Master Sommelier Laura Maniec. Price: $55/person with optional $40 wine-pairing supplement. Hours: 3:0pm and 6:30pm. 13 East 13th Street (5th-University), 646.873.6071
On Thanksgiving, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room will offer holiday feasts for parties of eight or more. Chef April Bloomfield will prepare dishes such as Fairytale pumpkin fondue, Chopped liver toast, Roasted turkey, Sweet potatoes with maple & mace and a variety of seasonal pies for dessert. ($70/person) Noon to 10pm, reservations accepted by emailing RSVP@BreslinPresents.com16 West 29th Street,212.679.1939
On November 22nd from 2pm-8pm, ALDEA is hosting an all-day, three-courseThanksgiving feast for $85 per guest. Chef George Mendes is offering his modern Iberian touch on holiday favorites, including Ashley Farms turkey with chorizo-brioche stuffing, sea-salted chatham cod with smoked autumn squash and his signature shrimp alhinho. Prix-fixe with wine pairings: $135, children 12 and under: $50. 31 West 17 Street, 212.675.7223
At Sauce on the Lower East Side, chef Frank Prisinzano will offer a four-course menu of Thanksgiving classics with an Italian twist for $49.95/person. The menu includes two choices per course and includes dishes such as Fall Parmigiano SaladBraised Short Rib Tortelloni in Brown ButterTurkey Oklahoma with all of the fixins’ and homemade pumpkin pie for dessert. 78 Rivington Street, 212.420.7700
Colicchio & Sons will serve a four-course menu on Thanksgiving featuring classic dishes and highlighting autumnal flavors. The menu ($125/pp) will be served in both the main dining room and Tap Room from 12:30-8:30pm and will offer options such as suckling pig rigatoni, organic Eberly Farms turkey (there is a white or black truffle supplement, if desired) and pastry chef Stephen Collucci’s apple cider glazed doughnuts with maple chestnut cream and Saigon cinnamon ice cream. 85 Tenth Avenue (15th Street), 212.400.6699

Thanksgiving is a tradition at Tom Colicchio’s Craft and this year’s menu ($135/pp) features a choice between roasted all natural free range turkey, roasted 30 day dry-aged sirloin and roasted Scottish salmon with first courses, side dishes and desserts all served for the table. The restaurant is open from 2-8pm on Thanksgiving Day. 43 East 19th Street (Broadway-Park), 212.780.0880

Neely’s Barbecue Parlor (1125 First Avenue, NYC, 212-832-1551) on the Upper East Side will serve Southern feasts for both dine-in and take-out. Families who prefer to visit the homey restaurant on Thanksgiving can enjoy dishes that Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and maple clabber ($5.95) and Slow-Smoked Tom Turkey ($24.95) with cornbread dressing, cranberry relish, glazed yams, and green beans with bacon, onions and natural gravy. Neely’s will also offer Thanksgiving Dinner To Go ($195), which serves a family of five. In addition to a whole turkey smoked over pecan wood, the meal includes BBQ Deviled EggsCollard GreensButtermilk Biscuits and much more. Dinners may be picked up as late as Wednesday, November 21st at 8 pm.
Social Bar & Grill is open all day long. We’re offering a $15.00 Turkey Dinner including an open faced turkey sandwich, steamed vegetable medley and mashed potatoes.
In addition to Lillie’s amazing Thanksgiving specialty menu, they wanted to have some fun and give away a prize!  Any one who dines at Lillie’s on Thanksgiving is automatically elligible to win a $50 gift card for his or her next visit at Lillie’s! They will be announcing the winner of the $50 gift card on Black Friday.  Participants who have already made reservations are able to pre-enter by RSVPing to our Thanksgiving Facebook Event.  Otherwise, all participants can sign up in house on Thanksgiving Day.
Reserve your turkey to go at Battery Place Market, here. They have all different packages for different size parties! All orders must be placed at least 48 hours in advanced.
You can get a turkey to go at all Fairway Market locations (except Red Hook), here. All orders must be placed by this Monday, November 19!
Those are just a few places to pick up a turkey, Thanksgiving dinners and more!
Sara Monica, Founder
At the young age of 23, Sara is the founder and head editor of Smallchickbigdeals.com aka #SCBD. Sara is a Jersey Girl raised by the shore, currently residing in Northern New Jersey. When she is not working, she is finding something new to post and share with her readers whether it be a new food product, recipe, restaurant review or another interview. Read her full bio, here. Read the full story behind #SCBD, here.  When she is not writing for #SCBD she also contributes to Jersey Bites,Carter Int’l Concierge, & New Fork City. Follow her @SmChickBigDeals!

#SCBD Thanksgiving Week Treats!

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all we have. Start celebrating a bit early with these special treats available starting next week!

Thanksgiving soup at Hale & Hearty available ONLY during Thanksgiving week (11/19 – 11/23) in all 28 of our stores. The Thanksgiving soup is gluten free, a smooth, savory puree of roasted squashes, pumpkin and sweet potato with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg – perfect for Thanksgiving! Prices start at 3.89 (small), 5.69 (medium), 6.69 (large) and a quart is $12.04, perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

Shake Shack is cozying up to Fall with our Pumpkin Pie, Oh My! Concrete: vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of pumpkin pie only available until December 2nd. Prices start at $4.25 for half and  $6.50 for the regular.

Thanksgiving dozen includes 3 Pumpkin Spice cupcakes, 3 Caramel Apple cupcakes, 3 Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes, and 3 Maple cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake in SoHo.

Divine Saucy Pumpkin cupcake created by Prohibition Bakery is made with pumpkin ale and filled with a chocolate sage ganache using Divine Bittersweet and Divine Milk Chocolate baking bars, this saucy cupcake is topped with a toasted pumpkin seed frosting and garnished with fried sage ribbons. The Divine Saucy Pumpkin cupcake is available for a limited time this fall at Prohibition Bakery (9 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002). $2 each or three for $5. View recipe.

Divine Whoopie Pie created by Ivy Bakery is made with pure Divine Cocoa and filled with vanilla buttercream, this homemade whoopie pie is rolled in chopped up pieces of Divine’s Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar. Heavenly chocolate in every bite! The Divine Whoopie Pie is available for a limited time this fall at Ivy Bakery (138 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10012). $3 each. View recipe.

Sara Monica, Founder
At the young age of 23, Sara is the founder and head editor of Smallchickbigdeals.com aka #SCBD. Sara is a Jersey Girl raised by the shore, currently residing in Northern New Jersey. When she is not working, she is finding something new to post and share with her readers whether it be a new food product, recipe, restaurant review or another interview. Read her full bio, here. Read the full story behind #SCBD, here.  When she is not writing for #SCBD she also contributes to Jersey Bites,Carter Int’l Concierge, & New Fork City. Follow her @SmChickBigDeals!