Saturday, November 29, 2008

Romantic Dinner at The River Cafe

The River Cafe in Brooklyn, NY - Photo by Taste As You Go

The River Cafe
1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 522-5200 | Map

Back in October, I attended my first FoodBuzz Featured Publishers event, co-sponsored by Electrolux. After sampling some delicious food prepared by Chef Brad Steelman of The River Cafe, I was announced the winner of the coveted door prize: a gift certificate for The River Cafe! Of course, as soon as I got home from the event, I made dinner reservations for Stephen (my boyfriend) and myself and began counting down the days until our night out.

We ate dinner at The River Cafe last Saturday and were amazed by the stunning sight of the Brooklyn Bridge when entering the restaurant. Although we were early for our reservation, we were immediately seated at our table after checking in with the hostess. We weren't fortunate enough to land a table by the windows, but we were still able to marvel at the view of Manhattan and of the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. Very romantic.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Forelle Pear Tart

Forelle Pear | Taste As You Go
Forelle Pear 

Last week, I hosted a much-needed Girls' Night at my apartment for three of my girlfriends. We're all on tighter budgets these days (who isn't?), so we thought a night in with some wine and some good conversation would serve as our required social activity for the week. And what's a Girls' Night without something deliciously sweet to snack on and soak up some of that wine?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dinner at The Park

The Park
118 10th Avenue
New York, NY
(212) 352-3313 | Map

The regular trio that makes up the Lehigh Dinner Club (Brian, Kym, and myself) was joined by a special guest for our November meeting at The Park last week, my college roommate Rob! We have been trying to get Rob to come up to the city to join us for dinner for months, so we were all thrilled that he could make it. After we had all assembled and had checked our coats, the host asked us whether we'd prefer dining "inside" in The Main Room or "outside" in The Garden. Since The Garden was enclosed, we decided to eat there, surrounded by climbing vines and Japanese maple trees. We were eating in what, literally, felt like a park.

A Tag and Are YOU It?

I was tagged nearly a week ago by Sherri Jo @ The Adventures of Kitchen Girl. (Sorry it's taken me so long to do this, girl!)

The golden rules of tagging:
# Link to the person who tagged you
# Post the rules on the blog post
# Write six random things about yourself
# Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
# Let the tagger know when your entry is published

Six random things about me:

1. While I love fresh blueberries, I can't bring myself to eat them warm or after they've been baked into something, like muffins or pies or cobblers.

2. My commute to work (one way) consists of walking 3.5 blocks.

3. I prefer chunky peanut butter and butter on my English muffins. The chunkier the peanut butter, the better.

4. I have a Master's degree in Music History.

5. When I was younger, I begged my parents to let me put "tonsils" on the tree come Christmastime.

6. I'm currently reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin.

Tag! You're It.

1. Kevin @ Closet Cooking.

2. Sue @ Food Network Musings.

3. Cory @ ZestyCook.

4. Grace @ Grace[is]full.

5. Katy @ Sugarlaws.

6. Judith @ The Foodista.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Slow-Cooked Smoky Chicken and Pinto Beans

It was my turn to bring in lunch for the cooking club we have here at work, so I wanted to prepare something that would yield enough servings to feed three of us at work plus extra for me to freeze and to eat throughout the week. I also wanted to prepare something that would be gentle on my wallet. After going through some of the recipes I saved in my Google Reader, I came across a Martha Stewart recipe for Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans that I could make in my slow cooker. So, I added the necessary ingredients to my Fresh Direct order and was amazed to find out that the ingredients cost me less than $20. Perfect!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Came Early at Bottlerocket

As I shared last week, Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit hosted a free Thanksgiving food and wine tasting featuring ten different wines and the Thanksgiving menu at The City Bakery. Despite not feeling that great thanks to lingering cold symptoms, I met up with my friend Lauren and coworker Julian for the event.

I arrived just before 2pm (the scheduled start time), and there was already a significant crowd of people waiting to drink up and dig in. I did a lap around the shop and made my way back toward the entrance so I could watch out for Lauren and Julian. By that time, a line had begun to form out the door and down the sidewalk. As I waited, I sampled the first wine, a George Gardet Brut "Cuvée Saint Flavy" Champagne (France, $34). Champagne in the afternoon? Yes, please!

Monday, November 17, 2008

TAYGA Apron Giveaway Winners

("The Alexis," photo courtesy of TAYGA)

The moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived! It's just barely Monday, November 17, 2008 and it's time to announce the two winners of the TAYGA Apron Giveaway!

I want to thank all of you who entered Taste As You Go's first official giveaway. And, I especially want to thank Debbie and Peg of TAYGA for donating the prizes -- two $15 gift certificates good for use toward the purchase of one of their designer aprons. Perfect timing for the holiday season!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Double-Duty Measuring Cups

Measuring Cups from Kitchen Couture
(Photo courtesy of Kitchen Couture)

Florence Fabricant published a mini-review about the above-pictured measuring cups in the "Dining & Wine" Section of the New York Times on November 12, 2008. As you can see in the picture, the measuring cups have rounded bottoms but they fit nicely into a round rubber base so you can make sure the measurement is level. And, rather than conventional handles, the cups utilize elliptical measuring spoons as their handles. Such a great idea! These cups/spoons cut down on kitchen clutter and look especially chic.

They're currently out-of-stock on their website, but you can try and find them at their physical store if you're in the New York City area. They're located at 5213 13th Avenue in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.

These measuring cups/spoons are so affordable ($19.95), they might just find themselves on my Christmas list this year!

Measuring on Foodista

Friday, November 14, 2008

Simple Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with Basil
(Image courtesy of BuytheCase)

This is the last time I'm going to remind you to enter the TAYGA apron giveaway since the deadline is 11:59pm EST tonight! I apologize for the lateness of my reminder, seeing as you only have several more hours to leave a comment, but I took the day off from work today to recuperate from a nasty lingering cold and haven't really been up to blogging. So, I hope you enter the giveaway because the TAYGA aprons are absolutely adorable and will make the perfect gift for yourself or for a friend who loves cooking and looking fashionable. I'll be announcing the winners on Taste As You Go on Monday, November 17.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Food & Wine Tasting at Bottlerocket

Attention New York-area food and wine enthusiasts!!! Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, located on West 19th Street in Manhattan, is hosting a FREE Thanksgiving-themed food and wine tasting on Saturday, November 15, 2008 from 2-5pm. The full description of the event can be found on their website here.


* It's FREE.
* The event is being catered by City Bakery and will include dessert.
* You'll be able to sample ten different wines.
* Did I mention it was FREE?

You really can't pass up this opportunity. Especially in New York. So, if you have a hole in your schedule this Saturday afternoon, head on down to Bottlerocket for some amazing food and wine! Hopefully, I'll see some of you there!

And don't forget to enter the TAYGA apron giveaway! The deadline to enter is almost here!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Larabar JamFrakas Bars

(Logo courtesy of JamFrakas)

I love getting packages at work. Especially when they contain something food-related inside! Since creating Taste As You Go, I've received new salt and pepper mills, barbecue sauce, and not one, but two cookbooks! When I received a package from Larabar this afternoon, I nearly completely forgot why I was receiving a package from them!

Last month Megan's Munchies, one of my new favorite food blogs, announced a special JamFrakas Bars giveaway. The first 200 people to respond to enter the giveaway would receive samples of the bars. Of course, I hightailed it over to the giveaway page as soon as I heard about it, but didn't know whether I was one of the first 200 people to respond. Judging by the package I received today, I think it's safe to assume I was. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farfalle with Spinach Pesto, Feta, and Cherry Tomatoes

Spinach Leaves
(Photo courtesy of World Community Cookbooks)

I am a huge fan of pesto. Back when I lived in Cleveland, I was a member of the Cleveland West Chi Omega Alumnae Group, which met once a month to engage in a variety of activities. We typically wrapped up the year with a potluck event, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to use my love of pesto for the greater good. And, I came up with a pesto pasta salad recipe that I could bring just for the occasion of our Salad Supper meeting.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mocha White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every now and then, I get into the habit of buying a muffin on my way to work in the morning. A large muffin is a wonderful accompaniment to my first cup of coffee of the day and will usually last me all morning. (I'm a picker.) Lately, I've been going for muffins with white chocolate chips in them, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share my recipe for Mocha White Chocolate Chip Muffins, which I developed after I had to figure out how to use some leftover coffee. Good to the last drop, right?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Aprons: Nostalgia, TAYGA, and a Giveaway!

Alexis Apron
("The Alexis," photo courtesy of TAYGA)

As the holiday season approaches and 2008 begins to wind down, I'm finding myself getting lost in thoughts of holidays past and memories of family members who are no longer here to gather around the Thanksgiving dinner table or the Christmas tree. I am especially thinking of my mother, who passed away nearly six years ago, and of my Aunt Chris, my mother's sister, who passed away when I was still in elementary school. This time of year was always their favorite. While it meant driving long distances for family get-togethers, it also meant preparing large meals, baking pies, and, most definitely, baking batch after batch of Christmas cookies.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maximizing the Flavor of Ice Cream

Bowl of Ice Cream
(Photo courtesy of HowStuffWorks)

Leave it to Josh Friedland of The Food Section to give me a reason to stop and think about ice cream. On November 3, Friedland posed the following question: "Does ice cream taste better licked from a cone or eaten with a spoon?"

Before continuing on with the rest of Friedland's article, I thought about my own ice-cream-eating habits. I definitely prefer eating ice cream piled on top of a cone than I do eating it from a bowl (or directly from the carton!) with a spoon. Eating ice cream on a cone makes me think of summer and conjures up memories of my family's first trip to Disney World. I can remember my parents buying me a cone with three scoops of ice cream. I had begged incessantly for three scoops and promised I'd be careful not to get any ice cream on my clothes, so my parents gave in. We sat on a curb along Main Street, and as soon as I gave my ice cream its first lick, the top two scoops fell off and landed with a splat on the hot pavement. Despite that traumatic experience (losing ice cream to the ground is traumatic for any kid), I still love ice cream on a cone the best. But I digress.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Potato Corn Chowder

Cuisinart Pot
(Photo courtesy of Cookworks)

I hope everyone was able to get out yesterday and vote! Like many of you, I'm sure, I gathered with friends last night to watch the results come in, and I have never been prouder to be an American than I was last night. Party affiliation aside, I was absolutely astounded by the number of Americans that heard and listened the call to do their civic duty and to make their vote count. Just... wow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

I realize this entry isn't about food, but it's about something equally as important. For those of us in the United States, today is Election Day. It's finally here! After month and months and months of listening to the campaigning, it's here. It's time to vote. So, make sure you do whatever you can to get to the polls today. And, do whatever you can to help those who may need assistance getting to the polls today.

Today, everyone matters.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Favorite Kitchen Tool

OXO Kitchen Tongs
(Photo courtesy of

If someone were to ask me, or any member of my immediate family, for that matter, what my favorite kitchen tool was, I would immediately respond with, "tongs." As my parents gave me more and more freedom in the kitchen and indulged my desires to prepare the family dinner every once in a while, I would always find a way to use our tongs -- which were nothing like the OXO tongs pictured above -- during the preparation of the meal. Most of the time I cooked dinner for the family, I made breaded chicken breasts, either marinated in Italian dressing or orange juice, so the tongs came in quite handy for turning the chicken during cooking.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Domaine Bar a Vins

50-04 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, NY
(718) 784-2350

Back in September, I wrote a review about Manducatis Rustica, an Italian restaurant that had just opened in Long Island City. One of my readers, Ciprian, left a comment on that review and invited me to stop by Domaine Bar a Vins, a cozy little wine bar near the Vernon-Jackson stop of the 7-train. After several failed attempts to visit the wine bar, I finally managed to go with some friends - Lauren, Candice, and Lori - last week.

Lauren and I arrived first (we weren't sure whether Candice and Lori would be able to join us), and when we opened the door, we were a little skeptical. At eight o'clock, the place was nearly completely empty. I say "nearly" because there was one other patron there, who turned out to be the piano player, when we arrived. Thankfully, more and more people eventually came in, and before we knew it, the place was full.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fire's Out at Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke
116 East 27th Street
New York, NY
(212) 447-7733 | Map

One of the unofficial purposes of the Lehigh Dinner Club is to experience the world through food. Over the past several months, Brian, Kym, and I have traveled to Italy, China, Germany, and Brazil. Given that, Kym decided that we were overdue for some good ol' American food, so we met up for some barbecue at Blue Smoke this past Wednesday. One of my coworkers brought in some leftover ribs from Blue Smoke to share with the office not that long ago, so I was looking forward to trying the food when it was hot and not cold, straight out of the container.