Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Food Network Magazine: Take It or Leave It?

Food Network Magazine
(Image courtesy of the Food Network)

I was provided with product samples at no cost. I do not accept monetary compensation for writing about these products or about my experiences while using them. All opinions expressed are my own.

Back in the beginning of November, my friend Eudora sent me an email telling me about the new Food Network Magazine. If I acted quickly, I could have the premiere issue sent to me at no cost. Given the fact I don't have a cable package that allows me to watch the Food Network whenever I please, I thought "subscribing" to the magazine was a suitable alternative... especially since my less-than-ecstatic feelings about the Food Network's website redesign have caused me to visit their site less and less.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good Stuff Diner with Good Friends

Good Stuff Diner
109 West 14th Street
New York, NY
(212) 929-2555 | Map

For me, as for many other people, I'm sure, last week was packed with parties and spending time with friends before scattering to various parts of the country to celebrate the holidays with our respective families. One night was dedicated to a Shecky's Girls Night Out with my girlfriends Candice and Mary Catherine. When we finally decided we had our fill of less-than-impressive drinks and had completed our obligatory lap around the room to look at as many vendors' booths as possible, we left The Altman Building and headed over to the Good Stuff Diner on 14th Street for some food.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Take Two

Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes - Photo by Taste As You Go
Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes

Back in September, I set out to create a beef stew recipe that used sweet potatoes ("jewel yams") instead of white potatoes. The color of the sweet potatoes was also supposed to act as a substitute for the carrots since I'm not the biggest fan of carrots in stew. Let's face it, most of us eat beef stew for two reasons: the beef and the potatoes!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eggplant-Stuffed Mushrooms

Eggplant-Stuffed Mushrooms - Photo by Taste As You Go

When I posted my recipe for Simple Stuffed Mushrooms, I was really setting the stage for a slightly more involved recipe for stuffed mushrooms, inspired by the cooking class I attended at Manducatis Rustica with Faye Hess. The basic idea of stuffing a mushroom allows you to use your imagination in terms of concocting a filling. Naturally, you want the dish to be delicious and satisfying, and I promise, this recipe for Eggplant-Stuffed Mushrooms will not disappoint!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FoodBuzz MOO MiniCards

MOO Cards - Photo by Taste As You Go

I was provided with product samples at no cost. I do not accept monetary compensation for writing about these products or about my experiences while using them. All opinions expressed are my own.

I love the folks at FoodBuzz. I received a lovely package in the mail this past weekend containing a box of MOO MiniCards they had especially printed up for Taste As You Go. When I attended my first FoodBuzz Featured Publishers event, I got to take a look at other FoodBuzz Featured Publishers' cards and couldn't wait until mine arrived.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

Now that we're in the thick of the holiday season, I'm sure we've all either attended at least one holiday party already or have been invited to at least one. If you're like me, you probably want to contribute something to the festivities by way of a bottle of wine or a tray of appetizers.

For me, it wouldn't be the holidays without stuffed mushrooms. My mother used to make these delicious stuffed mushrooms on Thanksgiving and Christmas that I really do miss. For some reason, I would gorge myself on mushroom after mushroom filled to the top with a mixture of Cheez Whiz and pastrami. I realize that sounds a little disgusting, but WOW! I loved those things!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pink Grapefruit Tart

Pink Grapefruit
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

We've all been there before. You're overcome with this incredible urge to create your next culinary masterpiece only to discover that your refrigerator is mostly empty and your cupboards are mostly bare. The frigid temperatures outside your nice, warm home are preventing you from running out to pick up some items at the grocery store, so you're left asking yourself, "Now what?"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Marx Foods Giveaway

While I'm bummed that I didn't win the Ritrovo Fine Finishing Salts Contest hosted by Marx Foods, I'm thrilled to announce that they're hosting another amazing giveaway!

What's the prize this time, you ask? The Grand Prize Winner of this giveaway will snag a $400 Gift Certificate good for use on MarxFoods.com. As an added incentive to enter, two runners-up will each receive a $50 Gift Certificate for use on their website. Three prizes up for grabs!

Click on the image below for instructions on how to enter. The contest is running until 4pm PST on December 16 so don't wait too long!

Good luck!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Finishing Salt Giveaway Deadline Extended

It has just come to my attention that Marx Foods has extended their deadline for their Finishing Salts Giveaway! You now have until Sunday, December 7 to go to their website and enter to win!

Good luck!

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

(Photo courtesy of SFGate.com)

It's been a long week. With barely enough time to recover from the long weekend at my father's, I was thrown into a week packed with work, social activities, and volunteering obligations. The last thing I needed to do tonight was to make a complicated meal for myself. So, I cheated and ordered pizza from Bella Via. Nothing says Friday night like slice after slice of deliciously cheesy pizza.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Finishing Salt Giveaway

Thanks to my fabulous friend Jo at The Adventures of Kitchen Girl, I just entered the Marx Foods Finishing Salts Giveaway! They are giving away a flight of seven finishing salts by Ritrovo, valued at $120! You heard me -- they're giving them away! For free.

According to Marx Foods, the salt collection includes:

Truffle & Salt: A blend of dried Italian black truffle and sea salt, this flavor combination will enhance any dish with the aroma and flavor of Italian truffles including popcorn, mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, scrambled eggs and roasted meats.

Fiori & Salt: An aromatic blend of Italian sea salt and flowers including chamomile, poppy, mallow, marigold, lime, hawthorn, yarrow, wild orange peel, flower pollen, heather and lavender. This combination is a wonderful way to infuse olive oils, sprinkle over fresh mozzarella, finish cream soups and risotto or bake into breads.

Fennel & Salt: A combination of sea salt, fennel seed and orange peel this blend pairs well with sweet and savory dishes including wild salmon, goat cheese, chocolate truffles or caramel.

Sweet & Salt: A sweet and savory blend of Italian sea salt, dried & ground fruit, sweet spices, vanilla, chocolate and grape must, this combination pairs well with both aromatic and dessert dishes. Sweet & salt can be used as a rub for duck or pork, sprinkled on roasted squash, pumpkin soup, or buttery shortbread cookies.

Saffron & Salt: Red strands of saffron are blended with sea salt resulting in a flavor profile that is perfect for finishing paella, cioppino, pasta or fresh ricotta.

Sea & Salt: A combination of high-quality Sicilian bottarga, citrus, sun-dried tomato, and cardamom, this blend is ideal with pasta, steamed vegetables or used to cure seafood and enhance salad dressings.

Limited Edition Cervia Salt: From Cervia salt pans, this Italian moist fleur de sel is the crème de la crème of sea salts. With a light texture and rich flavor this salt can be used to finish meat, poultry and fruit dishes as well as sweets including white chocolate chip cookies and caramel chocolate combinations.

Click on the button below for your chance to win! All you have to do is leave a comment saying which one of the above finishing salts would be the first to disappear in your household. It's just that easy! A winner will be chosen by random and announced by Marx Foods on Monday, December 8.

Don't procrastinate on this one! The deadline to enter is TOMORROW, December 5!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cooking Class at Manducatis Rustica


Peppers Stuffed with Eggplant, Black Olives, Bread Crumbs, and Fresh Herbs
Arugula Salad and Bocaccini
Lasagna with Homemade Noodles
Swiss Chard and Garlic
Fresh Ricotta Cheesecake

Back in October, I wrote about a series of cooking classes being held at Manducatis Rustica in Long Island City after Chef Faye Hess, the instructor, left a comment on my review of the restaurant. Unfortunately at the time, my budget didn't allow much room for the class fee ($75/class), so I sadly let go of the idea of attending her classes. That is, until Faye called me up a couple of weeks ago to ask me whether I was still interested in coming. While I explained my tremendous interest yet tiny budget, Faye completely surprised me by generously offering me a deal - if I would agree to help clean up afterwards, I could sit in and observe one class. Without hesitation, I agreed and put the cooking class on my calendar.