Saturday, May 07, 2011

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Experimental Gourmand Has Moved!

The Experimental Gourmand has moved!  After more than 5 years on Blogger, I decided to move to WordPress and my own domain name.  It’s been a lot of work over the last month or so, but I think that the new location will be worth it.  Please save this bookmark: to keep up with all the Food EventsMarket Trips, and Recipes that are the features of this site.

Buon appetito!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rolling in Dough or No at The Brooklyn Brewery

On Wednesday night, I crossed the river again to head to the Brooklyn Brewery for an event organized by Brooklyn Based, a website and newsletter about the borough and its activities, called "Rolling in the Dough or No?".  Featuring several favorite and well-known local food entrepreneurs, the setting for the evening was a panel about what it is like to start a food business in the city and what might be some of the pitfalls, hurdles, and aspects that anyone who is interested in pursuing this should consider.  There were also some tasty treats to try as well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Royal Wedding Tea Party

I've always loved tea parties.  When I was little, my aunt gave me a miniature tea set in porcelain, and I played with it for hours.  I had to hide it from my younger siblings to keep it from being destroyed.  My mom and I used to make a slot in our travels to have tea and for my parents' 25th wedding anniversary, we kids surprised them with a formal tea to welcome them home from their trip to Paris.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Brunch 2011

Ah, the gentle hum of the dishwasher.  What a great sound.  I had a few friends over for Easter Brunch today.  I really enjoy entertaining, but what I also like is that satisfying feeling after putting my home back in order when it is all done.  Thankfully, too, I have friends who are willing to trek all the way to the Upper East Side on a weekend when the MTA has decided that the one subway line to my neighborhood has to be completely re-configured for repairs.  I hope that the food I served was worth it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How to Tell A Good Egg vs. A Bad Egg

Eggs.  Eaten at this time of year, they symbolize rebirth, the Resurrection, spring, fertility, and one of the most basic human foods.  We use terms like, "Last one in is a rotten egg" and "He/she is a 'Good Egg'" to describe people.  Eggs, in many forms, are a fundamental part our life and vocabulary.  When I looked at my Recipes, I have more posts about Brunch than I do about almost any other single food category aside from Desserts and Vegetable Dishes, and most of those are egg dishes like the ones that will be on my table this Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We Have a Royal Wedding Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations to Turboterp whom the Randomizer selected as the winner for this prize!!!! 

No, Hogwarts was not the answer to where Prince William and Catherine Middleton first met, no matter how many of you wanted it to be that way.  They met at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, founded in 1413.  It is the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, according to their website.  It is also the alma mater of some of my friends, so I was glad to give the school a chance to make an appearance on this website.

It was great to see the enthusiasm for this prize pack.  Thank you so much to Schoolhouse Kitchen, Lush Candy, Sugar Flower Cake Shop, and MitchMallows for their generosity in providing these items.  You can reach their websites by clicking on the links above to find out how to order these great products for yourself or to see where you can buy them at your local markets, where available.

The Royal Wedding Week will continue next week after Easter with some new recipes and some more ideas for hosting your own viewing party.  

Buon appetito

Monday, April 18, 2011

Product Giveaways - William & Kate Royal Wedding Edition

All the press has been aflutter with the preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, especially as we are now 11 days away from their nuptials.  Knowing how crazy the UK souvenir hawkers and general public can get about these big events, I sort of wish I was there to see how all this will unfold.  When I was in London a couple of months back, there were only a few items that I could see picking up to commemorate this occasion.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Product Spotlight - MitchMallows

I have to confess, I'm not a fan of marshmallows.  To me, they are overly sugary, powdery dense blobs of fluff with little flavor.  That's why it was such a revelation to come across MitchMallows by Mitch Greenberg one Sunday at the Foodshed Market at the Brooklyn Commons.  One taste of his Maple Syrup Pancake creation with its lighter-than-air texture and rich, sweet, buttery flavor and I was hooked.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Starving the South" at the Culinary Historians of New York

On the day 150 years ago when the Battle of Fort Sumter started, kicking off the conflict that almost ripped the United States into shreds, Andrew F. Smith introduced his book "Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War" at an event hosted by the Culinary Historians of New York.  Appropriately, this gathering was held with dishes featuring foods of the South provided by the members of the organization.  61 Local, which opened fairly recently in Brooklyn, was the meeting site.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Duck-off at Jimmy’s No. 43 to Benefit Food Systems Network NYC

A Duck Cookoff?  Really?  Yep.  That’s where I was yesterday, indoors at Jimmy’s No. 43 while other New Yorkers were enjoying a very bright sunshiny day out of doors.  All proceeds of this event went to Food Systems Network NYC, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring together stakeholders across the systems of food production and consumption.  As was mentioned by a few folks to whom I spoke and the judges as well, it was really interesting to see the variety of dishes that the contestants (both pro chefs and amateur competitors) came up with using this one protein as their base.  

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tasting Brooklyn Event by Brooklyn Exposed

Last night I ventured over the river to a loft in DUMBO for the first Tasting Brooklyn event by Brooklyn Exposed to try specialities prepared by more than 20 food and drink vendors.  The evening was sponsored by Bao Fresh Kombucha and Fairway Market (opening this summer on the Upper East Side!).  This was a great opportunity to try dishes from some places I've never visited as well as to see some food folks whom I hadn't run into in a while.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Yotam Ottolenghi's "Plenty" at Williams-Sonoma

It isn't often that I'm waiting in anticipation for a new cookbook to come out.  In fact, like many of you, I suspect, I did a big weeding out of my book collection a few years back and just kept the essentials.  Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, based upon recipes from his column in the Guardian UK as well as some new ones, has just come out in the United States and is a welcome newcomer to my bookshelves, making it an exception to my rules.  So, last night, at the Williams-Sonoma on Columbus Circle, I found myself on line with several other fans of his cooking at a Q&A, book in hand for him to sign it.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bakesale for Japan at the Brooklyn Flea

Today was another one of those glorious springtime days that you just want to bottle up to save for when the next wave of winter weather gives us a sock in the gut.  Bright sunshine, people eating brunch at outdoor tables, couples laughing while strolling arm-in-arm, and, that sure sign of the change of seasons: The Brooklyn Flea's first Saturday market having moved outside. Released from their wintertime abode at the old Williamsburgh Savings Bank, the Flea today was also the site of a fundraising Bakesale for Japan.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Mussels in Spicy Thai Coconut Broth

Mother Nature has decided that Winter gets to have one last blow at us before Spring can take over again.  This change in the weather, combined with a stint baby-sitting my nieces and nephews, prompted a return of the cold I'd had back in November.  Fortunately, I'd been given a recipe last week for Mussels in Spicy Thai Coconut Broth in the cooking class* that I took at the Institute of Culinary Education that could chase the chill and the sniffles away.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great American Bake Sale to benefit Food Bank for New York at Grand Central Terminal

This afternoon I had to run an errand in the area around Grand Central Terminal.  How convenient, I thought, now, I can find an excuse to check out Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale taking place today to benefit the Food Bank for New York.  I checked out on their Facebook page just before watching the evening news, and the GCT folks announced 50 minutes ago that the bake sale, which was supposed to go on until 7:00 p.m. tonight, was all sold out and had shut down.  I managed to get over there around 1:30 p.m. and at least two places had already been wiped out with several other vendors not far behind.  What a great result for a fundraiser for such a worthy cause.  Hopefully, our sweet tooths (teeth?) will assist many families to put food on the table, especially during these tough times.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A-Brisket A-Brasket at Jimmy’s No. 43 for New Amsterdam Market

Ah, what to do on a gorgeous, sunny, crisp early spring Saturday in New York City?  Head to the East Village to a food-related fundraiser, of course.  Yesterday at Jimmy’s No. 43, Jimmy Carbone hosted a Brisket Cook-off, the proceeds of which went to support the New Amsterdam Market.  Several local chefs came together along with some other special guests to show what they could do with this cut of meat.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Product Spotlight - Lush Candy

What I really enjoy about exploring the local food scene in New York (or really anywhere) is that I get to meet people who are passionate and dedicated to the craft of creating fine products and discover our common interests.  This happened when I sat down over coffee to talk to Laurie Freeman Pauker the creator and founder of Lush Candy.  The first time I had the chance to try her beautiful-looking and delicious English Toffee was at the Food52 Piglet Party last December.  From that initial buttery-sweet, crunchy bite, I knew that this was something special.  I've since found out that I'm only one among many of her fans.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Food Cranks

This weekend I spent time with a significant portion of my family to celebrate a batch of birthdays. Not surprisingly, we talked about food many times over. We discussed what to do about feeding the little kids among us and how to handle the different meals we’d all be eating together. Given that it is also Lent, some of us had other dietary restrictions to consider as well in the menu planning. Along the lines of that latter topic and fasting for religious reasons, we segued into talking about The Food Cranks.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Edible Manhattan Celebrates the Meat Issue

Instead of crowding into some random local pub to raise a pint in honor of being Irish, last night I joined several hundred other people at Openhouse Gallery (also the location of Park Here) at 201 Mulberry Street to celebrate Edible Manhattan’s Good Meat Issue.  What better way to use up my special dispensation for Lent, having given up eating meat this year, to indulge in some quaffable New York State beverages and delicious small plates made with locally-raised meats.  I was not disappointed at all with this decision.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We Have a Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations to Amp whom the Randomizer selected as the winner for this prize!!!! Thank you, too, to those folks who participated in this giveaway.  

I'm glad that everyone fell in love with the photos of these delicious cupcakes.  To answer a few posts, no, unfortunately, I did not get to try the Nutella ones.  They had been the cupcake of the day a couple of days before my visit.  Now I know that I just need to time my sweets breaks a bit better on my next visit!

I have some more great giveaways coming up around the Easter holiday and a fantastic one for the Royal Wedding.  Please check back here again to enter those contests.

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No St. Patrick's Day Recipes Here

For someone who is about 50% of Irish ancestry (or a bit more or less depending upon how accurate the genealogical records are), it's probably really surprising that if you do a search on this site for recipes to make for St. Patrick's Day, you won't find any.  The reason is that my family didn't have any recipes to hand down from The Olde Country.  My father's family came here, pre-Revolutionary War which would have likely made them Scots Irish and not oriented towards the meals we now associate with that land, and my mother's Catholic Irish predecessors came over during the potato famine so didn't have many great food memories to import.  What does this mean that I usually make to celebrate the upcoming saint's day?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms, Spinach, and Taleggio

In my post about some of the delicious meals I had during my trip to London a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I'd eaten at GAIL's, a newish mini-chain of artisan bread shops and cafés, one of which was located not all that far from where I was staying in West London.  The day I landed, I stopped in for a second breakfast (or mid-morning snack, depending upon your point of view) of coffee and a pastry just to keep me going and to try to get my body on the local time zone.  I spotted another customer's meal of fluffy scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bechamel sauce, and a croissant and vowed I'd come back there to eat a real breakfast before my trip was over.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seared Scallops with Parsley Salad and Bacon

Among the delicious bites I had when I was in London, were the small plate of bone marrow and parsley salad with toast that I shared at the bar part of St. John's Bar and Restaurant and the Borough Market stall where I gobbled up an order of scallops and bacon.  This is one of the things I love about traveling, the inspiration that having good food like this gives me in terms of developing my own recipe database.  The trick always is, however, to figure out how to recreate these things once you get back home.

Seared Scallops with Parsley Salad and Bacon

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Product Giveaway - Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

When I visited London a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to speak to the head of PR about the Hummingbird Bakery and their delicious products.  I've known about them for several years, so it has been great to see how they've grown while still maintaining standards for high-quality production (this is due in part to the fact that each bakery location has its own kitchen).  It might be worth it to jot down their addresses to have on hand should you need a sweets fix after tromping around to all the monuments and museums on your trip to the UK.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

London Food Finds

On either end of my trip to Italy, I spent several days in London.  It's been difficult to convince the folks back home, but I have to say that some of the better food that I had when while traveling was in this capital city.  I can hear your disbelief from here, much the same reaction as I've been getting from other people to whom I've said the same thing.  On the UK side, the Brits are shocked that everyone is still hanging on to the outdated notion that English food is nothing to write home about, especially with some of the world's top culinary stars making their marks there.  The thing of it is that I didn't have to look very hard to find these gems, and I really didn't do that much research in advance.  Here are some of the highlights of my trip.

Monday, March 07, 2011

We Have an Italian Cooking Gizmo Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations to Ferriz whom the Randomizer selected as the winner for this prize!!!!  Thank you, too, to those folks who participated in this giveaway.  It was so much fun to have this unique culinary item to offer as well as a great story and this recipe to share with everyone.

Check back throughout the week for some stories about the London portion of my trip and for another giveaway item from one of the hotter spots in that city.

Buon appetito!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Soup Tour with Seriously Soupy and Explorecation

Yesterday was one of those gifts of a day that happens just every so often to break up the cold and grey weather.  It makes you feel as though spring is just around the corner, setting us up to get whalloped by an enormous blizzard about two weeks from now.  It was the perfect setting to get out and do a food tour of Manhattan.  Twenty New Yorkers joined Serena at Seriously Soupy and Sebastian and Hannah from Explorecation (a new site that lets folks find unique and interesting ways to explore cities via any parameter you would like) for a Lower Manhattan Soup Tour to try out some of the city's delicious offerings.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Stuffed Baked Zucchini with Tomato Sauce (Zucchini Ripieni con Sugo di Pomodoro)

As I mentioned in my previous post, this trip was great for discovering some new dishes for me to try to re-create at home.  While I don't think that I'd been in a culinary rut recently, it was more that my tastebuds needed a bit of a wake up or re-tuning.  Italy is, not surprisingly, the perfect place for this.

A couple of friends of mine moved to Rome a little over a year ago.  I hadn't had a chance yet to catch up with them either in the U.S. or in Italy so we spent some time walking around, seeing the city, and, of course, eating.  One of the places they took me to try was the Gelateria del Teatro located at Via di San Simone, 70.  Tucked away off of a busy street, this shop not only has a range of unique-sounding gelato flavors, there's also mini treats like tiramisu and boxes of handmade chocolates to savor.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Product Giveaway - Italian Cooking Gizmo

If you read my post yesterday about my encounter with a street vendor at Rome's Campo dei Fiori, you know that this enterprising and entertaining personage convinced me to buy one of the kitchen wares that he was hawking.  Now, I'm offering it to one of you readers as I think this is something that someone else should try out.  

So, I'm giving away one "L'Originale 100% Made in Italy Master 5" on this site.  I know that we can't always fly to Italy on a whim, but with this, maybe you'll be able to capture some of the magic of la cucina italiana a casa tua.  Remember, this is a multi-functional piece.  It cores, peels, juliennes, scales fish, makes crinkle cuts, and, oh, yes, makes bubbles, too.

The Rules (There have to be some of these, you know.)

Eligibility: U.S. mainland residents only. 

To Enter:  Write a comment on this post with the answer to the following question: What did the vendor hold up as 'earrings'?

You must also have a valid screen name (not "Anonymous") with a corresponding email address to enter this giveaway.  I'll need to be able to click on it in order to contact the winner.

Deadline:  Is Monday, March 7th at 12:00 p.m. EST, based upon the date/time stamp on the comments.  (I'm going to be strict about this and make no exceptions.)  

The Outcome:  Only one winner will be chosen for this gizmo.  I'm going to put all the entries into an online Randomizer (like this one) to come up with the winner.  

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rome Visit - Campo dei Fiori

I've made it back Stateside after almost two weeks away.  Thank you so much to my siblings and in-law who contributed posts to the blog!  I hope that you enjoyed them.  As an aside, we still have not let my little brother live down that "weird kid" defense that he tried to pull after trying to stash the boxes of his Girl Scout Cookie binge.  As dutiful big sisters (this is what you get for being born the second-youngest of six kids), we bring it up from time to time, usually in the context of what on earth made him think he was going to get away with that for long with our mother.

The Rome part of my trip was sort of in the middle, with stays in London on either end.  Part of my visit was to re-connect with some family friends who have been over there for about eighteen months for work. The morning of my first day there, we toured one of the famous palaces that now serves as an embassy.  While waiting for the building to be open, I wandered through the Campo dei Fiori to take in the early Saturday morning vibe.  I really love walking through street markets to feel the energy of a place, and I'm always interested to see what kinds of foods and produce are sold in them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me...

For better or for worse, as she packs up and makes her way back to the U.S., The Experimental Gourmand is letting the younger of her two younger brothers write about one of his favorite food topics.  For the record, she also gifted him a box of Thin Mints again last year to refresh his cookie jar.

When my sister asked me to write about food, I briefly considered a variety of food topics.  However, like Sam Malone returning to his true love in the Cheers finale, I think she always knew this would lead to the topic of Cookies.  After all, I did have Cookie Monster cakes on two consecutive birthdays when I was little.  Plus, I invented the term “pre-ssert” to justify my consumption of a dessert before dinner in front of my [then] 4-year-old niece.

My most notorious cookie incident, however, involves Girl Scout Cookies.  See, I have four sisters which meant that my mom had to buy a lot of Girl Scout Cookies.  Each year she’d buy about a case of each kind of cookie and store them in the freezer (By the way, I’m not sure I had a store-bought cookie for the first ten years of my life).  Now as an 8-year-old whose bedroom was across from the room with that freezer how long do you think it took for me to start taking those cookies?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Belgian Squares- Kiwi style

While The Experimental Gourmand is away gazing at the snow-topped mountains of Andorra, one of her brothers has offered to talk about his adventures in cooking with his children.

Our ten-year-old daughter started intermediate school this year, so she’s now doing home economics (sorry – ‘Food Technology’). On the first day, they made lemonade. The nice thing for me was that I’ve made lemonade with the girls for years. It was the first thing we ‘cooked’ together. At first, they would wash the lemons and mix the lemonade, while I did everything else. As they got older, they learned to squeeze the lemon halves and measure the sugar and water. Sometimes, I would put the lemon squeezer on the floor, which made it easier for them to push down on the lemon halves.

Now, Miss Ten can do it all herself, including cutting the lemons. She told me that she likes Food Technology because she gets to cook all by herself (does that mean we hover too much?). She also likes that she is starting a recipe book in class.

Miss Ten and Miss Eight are both getting more interested in cooking and baking. I made salt-water taffy last weekend and they helped. Miss Ten measured out the flavouring and colouring for me, and both girls helped pull the taffy once it was cool. It reminded me that, no matter what I’m cooking, there’s usually something they can do to help.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ode to Lutefisk

The Experimental Gourmand has decided to run away to Italy for a few days. She's turned the keys to the blog over to her brother-in-law to write about one of his own food history stories.

We are told that one of the best ways to understand a country or people is to eat the food that they eat.  I don’t know if you gain understanding, but it certainly is a way to get beyond the tourist experience. In the small towns and farm country of the upper Midwest, this means a Lutefisk Dinner.  

For those of you who don’t know, Lutefisk is a traditional cod dish from Scandinavia.  Back in the day, cod was used to keep the population fed, and Lutefisk was a method of preserving it.  (The filets are dried, then later reconstituted by soaking it in a lye mixture, and then in plain water to flush the lye - thus Lutefisk = lye fish.)  It was finally cooked by being boiled.

Nowadays, Lutefisk is an echo of the old days.  For the Scandinavians that settled in this region, it is seen as one of the last links to the old countries.  So, as the leaves fall from the trees, and the wind becomes raw, the Lutefisk Dinner becomes a staple of small town life leading up to Christmas.  It is often both fundraiser and social event.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picking A Line

The Experimental Gourmand has decided to hang out in her old stomping grounds in West London for a few days.  Her youngest sister kindly offered to post her experiences about re-visiting a high-end restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia.

I know most people believe that whatever line they get into will automatically become the longest one but it is actually very true with me.  And it is not only with lines at the store.  The seat I pick in the movie theater will be next to a ten-year-old who will repeat every line and then laugh. I was in a shop in Puerto Rico when fifteen drunk, obnoxious Brazilians came in, and, an hour later, I picked the same restaurant on the boardwalk twenty minutes away where they had also decided to grace the world with their obnoxiousness.  When these things happen, my boyfriend Kelly simply smiles, shakes his head and says, "it's just like picking a line." 

On Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, we decided to get dressed up and go out to a nice restaurant for the first time in our three plus years of dating.  He let me pick and knowing how he does not like the French, I asked if it was okay to go to a French restaurant.  L'Auberge Chez Francois is one of my Mom's favorite and when the economy was good, you could not get a reservation there even two weeks in advance.  I had not been in probably fifteen years so I wanted to try it and Kelly agreed to go in with an open mind.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  Even if you, like me, are sweetheart-less this year, I hope that you find a way to share the day with the folks whom you love and care about and who love and care about you (or at least reach out to them on Facebook).

These gorgeous treats are a present that I'm bringing to a friend I'll see next weekend.  They are from Sweet Loren's, who won the Next BIG Small Brand competition.  Not only do they look good, but I can also personally attest as to how delicious they are.  Loren and her wares were at the Brooklyn Winery yesterday, so this was another great excuse to grab some last-minute holiday gifts (the other is that the New Amsterdam Market is still open for today).

Today is going to be my last real-time post for another couple of weeks.  For better or worse, I have given the keys to the blog to some of my nearest and dearest while I am out of town having some adventures and exploring some great new food things to share with everyone when I return.  My siblings (and in-laws) have very kindly offered to post some of their food-related stories.

This idea sort of came from one of my sisters (the one in this post).  She said isn't it interesting how a group of us all raised in the same household, with more or less the same cultural and culinary influences (our parents) each have a different relationship and love of food.  Some of use really like to eat and cook and try new things, some of us are o.k. with that but not adventurous, and some are really meh about food in general.

We also all now live in different parts of the country and around the world so that adds to the variety of the experiences we brought with us when we relocated our lives and have collected based upon where we live right now.  For those who are married and have children, those experiences have changed even more.  I hope that you enjoy reading these stories.  Aside from cooking and eating, as those who know us personally can tell you, the other thing we all love to do the most when we get together as a family is to tell stories.

Buon appetito!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Amsterdam Market Valentine’s Market & Apothecary

If you, like me, have been having withdrawal symptoms from the New Amsterdam Market’s weekly gatherings of this fall, visiting their Valentine’s Market & Apothecary was a bright ray of sunshine for this cold Saturday.  Held in their educational space on Front Street, this was a perfect chance to pick up some unique artisan gifts for the special people (or person) in your life. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Blogger Round Robin

This year, we're spreading the love around a little bit on the blog-o-sphere.  Friend and local market expert, Karen of Markets of New York City rounded up some of her blogger colleagues, including me, to co-post our write-ups for Valentine's Day.  Here are the links below to connect with some other great writers and hopefully discover some new favorites to follow!
Andrea Davis: Pure Food Nutrition: Valentine’s Day Chocolate: Good & Good for You?
The Bitchy Waiter:  Fuck Cupid
Brooklyn Flea:  You Gotta Have Heart
The Experimental Gourmand: :  Valentine’s Day Special Dinner
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market  A Blog Affair to Remember  
Kumquat Cupcakery:  My Messy Pink Kitchen  
Markets of New York City :  Love is in the Air: Three Great Valentine’s Dates at the Markets
Metalicious Jewelry:  Well Hello February 

Valentine’s Day Special Dinner – Roast Chicken, Potato Gratin, and Apple Tart

Sometimes I wonder if we are so focused on Valentine’s Day as a particular day that we forget to recognize all those little things that we do throughout the year to show our affection and regard for the people whom we love.  Because I talk about on food and eating in my blog, this usually manifests itself in cooking a special meal or baking a little treat that you know someone likes.  It can even be about fixing dinner and cleaning up afterwards some evening when you know that your sweetie has had a rough day.  When I lived in the UK many years ago, having a roommate make an extra mug of very strong, sweet, milky tea for you when he/she was making his/her own mug was akin to saying, “I know today was a bad one, but it will get better.”

These are the sorts of pick-me-ups that keep us going in life, especially during the harder moments.  When folks ask me, then, what I think is a good meal for Valentine’s Day, I often recommend the straightforward, simpler dishes, in keeping with the wintry season during which the day falls.  A hearty roast chicken can make a house smell like home.  For my tastebuds and stomach, nothing is better than serving a gooey, cheesy, creamy potato dish alongside it.  Then, have something green (broccoli, broccolini, spinach, kale, it doesn’t really matter).  For dessert, I like to pick something that I can make, preferably in advance, that doesn’t take a lot of time. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We Have a Fine & Raw Chocolate Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations to GANDORF57 whom the Randomizer selected as the winner for this prize!!!!  Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this giveaway.  The feedback on my article regarding this product was very interesting to read.  

This is indeed a unique take on chocolate and on the tastes that we normally associate with it.  If you would like to try some for yourself to test out your own impressions of it, please click on Fine & Raw Chocolate to order some directly from Daniel.  I recommend picking up the two-piece Bonbon as a Valentine's Day present to yourself!

Buon appetito!
All Images and Text copyright by The Experimental Gourmand 2005-2011. All rights reserved.