Friday, August 29, 2008

Music for the Children

I'd like to spend a little bit of time recognizing one of my favorite New York charities, the Orchestra of St. Luke's.  Many people know OSL as one of premier orchestras in the world but fewer people know about their amazing contributions to Arts Education.

The Orchestra of St. Luke's Founded its Education Program for New York City over thirty years ago, reaching out to all students, especially underprivileged ones.  The program is based off music as a medium of expression, involving "sound, movement, visual art, theatre and writing activities."  Many arts education programs encompass a variety of art forms, but the thing that makes OSL's program so special is that they are able to focus on one form so that students may become better versed in one area and experience it on a deeper level. 

Visit to learn more about this amazing organization!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let's Get Brunch!

Most people are used to socializing with one another over dinner but one of the best (and most economical!) ways to spend time with friends is over a classic brunch. A brunch get-together is ideal for many reasons, including the fact there is a breakfast food for everyone! Pancakes, eggs, muffins, yogurt and waffles can all be easily tailored to fit a person’s tastes. Try the Popeye eggs at Sarabeths or the biscuits at Bubby's, two of my favorite brunch dishes. Whether you make a special brunch at home or go out, spending time together during the daylight hours has a special charm.

My favorite brunch accent is my signature “pimosa” – a mimosa with pineapple juice instead of orange juice. Try it at your next brunch with the classic eggs and bacon breakfast. Sometimes those simple breakfast foods are all you need for a delicious meal with friends!



Leave a comment and let me know your favorite ways to spice up the classic breakfast foods!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Give Me S'more Summer!

With the end of the summer quickly approaching I would like to share my final summer gift. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is enjoy a warm fire with friends along with some great snacks. For this Labor Day weekend a great gift to bring as a house guest is a s'mores gift basket. There is no need to get fancy when putting together this present - the classics work the best – Hershey’s chocolate in three varieties (classic, with almonds, and special dark) and Honey Maid graham crackers. At Whole Foods I have found these great square shaped marshmallows that easily stay on the cracker. Be sure to include marshmallow forks so your friends can avoid the disappointing marshmallow-in-the-fire scenario. Cascade Outfitters has great color-coded forks so there is no confusion about whose fork is whose. With the temperature beginning to decrease this inexpensive gift is fun for everyone to enjoy while also staying warm!

Marshmallow Forks
Cascade Outfitters

Square Marshmallows
Whole Foods Market
DeBrand Fine Chocolates
$6.25 a bag

Grahmn Craker and Hershey's Chocolate
Found at any grocery store

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Your Library

One of my favorite not-for-profit institutions is the New York Public Library. (If you look at my Portfolio on this website you can see some of the events we’ve done for them!) One of the ways I draw inspiration is from perusing through countless numbers of books. Whether I get wrapped up in a character’s life or in a beautiful illustration, I always find food for thought in any book.

Reading is important, and New York understands that: More people visit NYC’s public libraries each year than all of its cultural institutions and sporting events combined. In this day and age, where computers are the source of most reading material, it’s heartwarming to think that the Library provides a public space for visitors to enjoy its extensive collection.

Every city has a public library, and whether you use it for its books or other resources, it’s truly a remarkable place. And better yet – it’s free! Make sure to support your local library so that future generations can enjoy the same books you do today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homemade Pita Chips and Hummus

With a growing focus on organic and wholesome foods, hummus is becoming more popular. Usually paired with a pita chips, hummus can be used as an appetizer, dip or put on top of falafel, grilled chicken or eggplant.

Next time you are entertaining, try out these recipes for homemade pita chips and hummus!

Pit Chips:
- 12 Pita Pockets
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut each pita into triangles. Mix oil salt, pepper and basil in a small bowl.  Glaze each pita with mixture.  Bake in oven for approximately 6 minutes. Watch carefully because they crisp and burn fast!

- 30 oz. of Chickpeas
- 2/3 cups of tahini
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup water
Pine nuts/parsley if you want

Blend garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice, oil and water then add salt. Chill and serve.

It's simple, easy and tastes great!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Gift of Convenience

With the large workload in schools, colleges and offices alike, it’s a wonder that anyone ever has time to themselves. With students going back to school I thought we should give some attention to this great digital reader.

Both Sony and Amazon make digital readers: the Digital Reader Book and the Kindle. You can fit over one hundred books on the reader at the same time – so instead of carrying around heavy books in your bag you can carry the digital reader and have access to your entire library!

A digital reader allows you to read wherever – on the bus, on the subway, in a waiting room – without worrying about which book you remembered to bring from home.

If you know a student or close friend who is always looking for time to get their work done, the digital reader is a great gift. They’ll appreciate the gift and the extra time for reading!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Preserving the Past: Part II

It is easy to think of history in terms of what has happened centuries ago, but it’s important to recognize, consider, and preserve our recent past as well. In nearby New Canaan, Connecticut, Philip Johnson designed a Glass House, which was erected in 1949. The house, with its exterior being made entirely of glass, was a marvel of the time. It inspired greater architectural experimentation and talk about modern architecture.

Declared a national historic landmark in 1997, the house was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation following Johnson’s death in 2005, and is now open for tours. The house is located on Johnson’s property in New Canaan. Look around the Glass House website, for more information about tours and about the ways in which you can support this architectural marvel.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beating the Heat

Among the best summer sweets are the many cold treats available to enjoy. Choosing between different types such as gelato, ice cream, and sorbet can be tough when the distinctions between them are unclear. In the summer months many people delight in frozen desserts without even knowing what the true substance of their food is.

The variation between the types of frozen treats are subtle but make all the difference. Ice cream is made from cream, flavors and sweeteners, with air whipped into it to make it light and fluffy (up to 60% of the container can be taken up by air.) While Gelato, an Italian dessert, only has 20% air whipped into it and therefore is much more flavorful and not so light and fluffy.

Sorbet and granite both have no cream or milk. However, Granita is much coarser than sorbet and sherbet because it is not whipped at all. Sorbet and sherbet are both fruit based, but sherbet contains milk for creaminess.

With all the different types of frozen desserts, there is something for everyone’s taste! For a dessert bar at a party include different frozen desserts and share your new expertise with your guests!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Ultimate Gift

Every week I give gift ideas based on things I love, but this week I received something I could not have dreamed from my staff. At my birthday party, in front of 200 friends, they surprised me with a very special video. 

The best gifts are often just thoughtful items, a photograph with a personal note, or a homemade video speak volumes full of love.

Check out the video my team created for me:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Team Spirit

In the spirit of this week’s Olympic theme, I thought it is extremely important to call attention to a great charity that embraces the same goals as the Olympics.

Right to Play, a charity that has been in cooperation with the Olympics for over fourteen years, aims to create healthier, more peaceful environments through sport and play. Using international athletes from over forty countries, Right to Play incorporates education, sport and health awareness to children and communities across the world.

In order to donate or further educate yourself about the mission of Right to Play, visit their website and see what you can do to reach children around the world.

Taking the American Out of Your Chinese Food

Living in New York, I have realized how popular Chinese food is in America. However, I have also learned that the sweet and sour chicken that we have come to love has about as much to do with China as Boise, Idaho does! Because of this reason, and the fact that Friday’s Olympics are being held in China, below I have given information concerning the truth behind authentic Cantonese and Szechuan food.

Originating further in Southern China, Cantonese food is the refined style of Chinese food. The Cantonese are known to cook with just about anything, and because they use minimal oil, it is quite healthy. Dim Sum is one of the more popular Cantonese dishes, eaten for breakfast or for lunch.
Szechuan food is known to be of the spicier variety because of its use of Szechuan peppercorn. Twice Cooked Pork and Kung Pao Chicken are popular dishes of the Southwestern Szechuan Province. As you eat this traditionally spicy food, remember that because the spices tend to be made with oil, drinking water does not ease the heat! Drink milk, beer, or eat rice to cool your down your mouth.

Next time you go out to grab some Chinese food in your town, do a little research to see if the food you are eating is authentic. Unless you have eaten some truly Cantonese or Szechuan meals you are cheating your taste buds from some amazing flavors!

Great Chinese Cookbooks:
Chinese Technique: An Illustrated Guide to the Fundamental Techniques of Chinese Cooking, by Ken Hom
Land of Plenty, by Fuschia Dunlop

Monday, August 4, 2008

Just In Time for 08-08-08!

As Friday dons the opening night of the 2008 Summer Olympics, you may be receiving invitations for Olympic parties of all sorts. This past month, as I was myself struggling to find an “Olympic” sized gift for my close friends, I came across an amazing party gift that is simple and perfect for this Friday’s worldwide event.

The Triple Eight Vodka can be a gift for your friends or a party favor for your own Olympic themed party. Matching the 08-08-08 date of the opening ceremonies, the 888 Vodka will create a festive atmosphere as you watch the athletes proudly display their countries flags as they arrive in China.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Now a Turn for Our Interns

From Left to Right: Renée Welker, Megan Yarnall, Lauren Starobin, Me, Sammy, Samantha Schraeter, Nicole Wyman, Marne Rubinstein.

Several years ago, I decided to begin an internship program. It was important to me that it accomplish two goals: 1. Be a program worthy enough to attract the best in the country and 2. Provide tangible industry and life experiences that inspire and solidify the futures of young, brilliant minds and spirits. It is the kind of program that does not include "trips to Starbucks" and making copies all day. This year, I am fortunate to have hosted the finest group to date. Their vibrant young energy and give and take have been an invaluable gift to our company. I highly recommend implementing an intern program to any company!

Meet our amazing interns...

My name is Marne Rubinstein and I am from Worcester, Massachusetts. I am a senior at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Working at David Monn this past summer was an amazing experience and truly enjoyed learning from David and all the event managers. After having had such a great opportunity this summer I look forward to continuing a career in production management.

My name is Lauren Starobin and I am from Fort Lee, New Jersey. This fall I will be a freshman Rhode Island School of Design. Since I am going into design, having this glimpse into a designer’s process and seeing first hand how these exquisite events are created will assist me in my future in the design world.

My name is Renée Welker and I am from Butler, Pennsylvania. I am a senior at Dickinson College where I major in English and play on the women’s lacrosse team. My summer as an intern for David Monn has introduced me to the event world and created in me a new appreciation for detail and persistent hard work.

My name is Samantha Schraeter and I’m from Rye NY. I will be a senior at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. What brought me to David Monn was his unrivaled creativity. His lavish and extravagant events set him apart from the rest. More importantly it was the opportunity to learn from the best.

My name is Megan Yarnall and I’m from Yardley, PA. I will be a junior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, where I am an English major. I came to David Monn because I organize and run concerts on my college campus and was interested in seeing event planning for intricate, large scale events. I have enjoyed seeing the design aspects of an event come together, from discussing ideas to photos and floor plans to actual construction, and I can’t wait to have another opportunity to work in this environment.

My name is Nicole Wyman. I am currently a senior at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where I am double majoring in Public Relations and Graphic Design. I have loved every second of my experience here at David Monn, and I am looking forward to an exciting career in event production and design after graduation. Many thanks to David and the DM Girls for an amazing summer experience.