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.

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