We hope you ate lunch, because you're about to get really hungry. Starving. Stomach growling. Nom, nom, nom. This morning, we're all about calories, thanks to the white-hot new nourishment site The Food Life. A collaboration between publicist Michael King and M.A.C.'s Lauren Levinger, this "online destination for the food curious," brings, well, foodie culture to the masses. Even if you're not up on your Zagat or don't know who won the last season of Top Chef, this epicurean adventure demystifies the whole culinary-snob culture, with testimonials from tastemakers like the Ruschmeyer's hoteliers, Nicole Richie and Alexander Wang—who all share their favorite recipes, entertaining tips, restaurants…yep, it's all about food! Of course, we got the skinny (riiiiight) from the site's founders themselves, who invited us over to Levinger's Fort Greene pad for dinner. Four blurry hours later, we had tried everything from model Britt Marren's Skinny Bitch Carrot Cake to Vena Cava's very dangerous (and very alcoholic) punch. Don't worry, we've got easy recipes and scrumptious snaps, so you, too, will have to squeeze an extra gym visit in before the weekend.
Check out our behind-the-scenes look at the delicious new food site, The Food Life, with 3 recipes you can make yourself!
Jenne Lombardo's Clam Linguine
"Jenne is a fashionable mother of three. Her recipe is a go-to when she has to prepare a delicious meal in a short amount of time. She likes to serve this to guests when they come over for dinner. She can go straight from fashion entrepreneur to master chef with this linguine recipe, and it always impresses her friends who assume she spent hours preparing in the kitchen!"
What you'll need:
2 dozen fresh clams
2 cans chopped clams
Red pepper flakes
Fresh linguini ("I like egg noodles because they are thin—try Cipriani's linguini").
"Sautee garlic in olive oil. Add chopped clams, white wine, and a tiny bit of butter and clam juice. Let simmer."
"In a separate pan, steam open the clams. When I was growing up, we used large clams, but Little Necks are great, as well."
"Add all the steamed clams to the broth."
Michael takes the linguine for a test drive.
"Add red-pepper flakes while the broth is simmering. Put linguini in a serving bowl. Pour broth and clams over the linguini."
"Top with fresh parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, and cut cherry tomatoes."
King and Levinger sneak a bite before it hits the table.
Vena Cava's Algonquin Bar Punch
"The girls love to make this punch because, in Lisa Mayock's words, 'it's beautiful and the ice block makes it feel so fancy, even though it's the easiest thing ever to make. And the fact that it's deceptively boozy makes for a wild part-ay!'"
What you'll need:
Peels from four lemons, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
1/3-cup superfine sugar
2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
3 cups gin
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 cups dark rum
6 cups ice cubes
2 cups chilled Champagne
"First things first, you need to make an ice block. It looks really impressive, but really all you need is a medium-sized pot. Just fill it up with filtered water, and freeze overnight. Dip it in hot water to release the ice. But make sure the block will fit in your punchbowl once it's frozen—that's key."
"Mash the lemon strips in a large bowl with the sugar."
"Add 1-1/4 cups of raspberries and mash those, too."
Here's what it should look like!
"Add gin, lemon juice, and rum. Add ice and stir to blend. Refrigerate for 20 minutes."
"Add the ice block to your punch bowl, and strain the punch mixture over the ice block."
"Add the remaining lemon slices and raspberries..."
"...and you're done!"
Britt Maren's "Skinny Bitch" Carrot Cake
"Britt has a major sweet-tooth: 'My favorite thing is probably carrot cake, and I make a really good one! Both of my best friends were vegan growing up, so I was around vegan food a lot.' The cake is vegan, and she still uses this recipe to make birthday cakes for her friends on their special day. We chose to use the 'naughty' frosting with real cream cheese instead of the vegan version."
What you'll need:
1/2-cup coconut oil
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oats
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, shredded
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (plus extra for topping)
1/2-cup raisins (plus extra for topping)
Cream Cheese frosting:
8-10 ounces cream cheese (vegan or not)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
"Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Spray two nine-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, line them with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper. (And don't forget to chop the walnuts!)"
"Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl, then add the two together until just combined. Add in walnuts and raisins last."
"Pour the cakes into pans, and bake for about 35 minutes. Allow cakes to cool, then transfer them to cooling rack."
"Meanwhile, make the cream-cheese frosting in a mixer."
"Once the cakes have fully cooled, frost the first cake, stack the second one on top, and then frost the second cake."
"Top with remaining walnuts and raisins."