Thursday December 30, 2010
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Friday December 24, 2010
A great gift is always personal; something that truly connects to the person receiving it. When you give a gift that helps make a difference in someone's life, it makes you feel just as special as the person who receives it. I know things are really tough this year, but if you can; think about helping those in need with a donation to help feed the poor and needy. Anything that you can afford will make a difference.
While there are many to choose from, here are five Organizations with a mission to help end hunger in our nation and around the world.Blessings in a Backpack
: Hunger Doesn't Take Off the Weekend
I've had the pleasure of meeting Stan Curtis, founder of Blessings In a Backpack. A charming man with a large personality and an incredible amount of energy; you know he's the type of person that will get the job done. His organization, Blessings in a Backpack, is a unique program that is designed to feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the federal free and reduced meal program, and may not have any or enough food on the weekends.
How it Works: "Every Friday, kids in schools that participate in the Blessings in a Backpack program get a backpacks filled with easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat food. $80 feeds a child in the program for an entire school year. Following a donation, a school is chosen and a local grocer partners with the program to provide food for meals in the backpacks. Every Friday, students receive their backpacks with staples that require little to no preparation. On Monday, the kids return the backpacks, ready to learn. Then the cycle begins the next Friday."
Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved
health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success
of this program. To Learn More and/or Donate: Visit the Web SiteCharity Water: Holiday Gifts that Bring Clean Water to People in Need
of us have never really been thirsty. We've never had to leave our
houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and
water comes out. Clean."
"Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don't have access to clean, safe drinking water. That's one in eight of us. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations to directly fund sustainable water solutions in areas of greatest need. Just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. In four years, charity: water has raised more than $20 million and funded 3,196 water projects.": To leaner more and/or to donate: Visit the Web site.Food Bank New York City
are 3.3 million New Yorkers who experience difficulty affording food --
an astounding number and one that continues to increase as the donated
food supply drops to an all-time low and food costs skyrocket. To
address this issue, the Food Bank procures and distributes food to a
network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs citywide,
helping to provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need."
"Food Bank For New York City recognizes 27 years as the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. As one of the country's largest food banks, our mission is to end hunger in New York City by organizing food, information and support for community survival and dignity. As the city's hub for integrated food poverty assistance, the Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts -- food distribution, income support and nutrition education.": To learn more Visit the web site
America consists of a nation-wide network of more than 200 food banks
and food rescue organizations that serve virtually every county in the
United States as well as Puerto Rico. As the nation's leading
hunger-relief charity, Feeding America's mission is to feed America's
hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our
country in the fight to end hunger."
"Each year, the Feeding America network provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than nine million children and nearly three million seniors. The Feeding America network secures and distributes more than two billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually" : To Learn More and/or Donate: Visit Their WebsiteProject Angel Food (LA)
"Project Angel Food's mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers and staff cook and deliver free and nutritious meals prepared with love throughout Los Angeles County, acting out of a sense of urgency because hunger and illness do not wait."
"Meals are prepared by professional chefs and volunteer assistants, are nutritiously-appropriate, attractive and always made with the freshest ingredients. Registered dietitians provide clients with individual, nutritional counseling. There is no charge to clients for these services": To Learn More and/or Donate: Visit Their Website
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 24 in great gifts
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Monday December 20, 2010
If you want her to feel incredibly special, select a gift that lets her know you spent time thinking about what will make her smile. If she is creative - find something special and unique. If she loves a sense of adventure - do something daring. If she loves music - enhance her sound experience. If she is a romantic - do something that will sweep her off her feet and
even better, something you can both share together. Here are some of
our favorites this year. A Home Cooked Romantic Meal for Two
: Lobster Newburg
What better way to show your appreciation for your loved one that by
showering her with a specially prepared romantic rendezvous at home.
There are many recipes and tips on SeductionMeals.com, just explore you
will find many options. But wait! You say you don't cook - Fret not. Williams-Sonoma
offers delicious dishes that can be shipped right to your door. Just
pop them in the oven and serve in no time- like this luscious Lobster
Newburg. Check out their site for options to curate a romantic meal for
two like no other. Romatic Get-a-Ways:
Rangali Island / The Maldives
If you really want to sweep her off her feet, take a look at some of the
World's Most Romantic Island get-aways as presented by Travel &
Leisure. Who wouldn't appreciate time in the sun with their significant
other, walking on the beach at sunset or sunrise, dining on local
delicacies and lounging on a tropical island?
This is still one of the "hottest" gifts desired by many. I know I want one! A magical and revolutionary product for true Tech Luv. The best way
to experience the web, email, photos and video. Hands Down!
Agate Napkin Ring Set of 2
Vivre: Make a bold statement when setting your table. "Inspired by the patterns that naturally exist in the ancient semi-precious stone agate, this set of two napkin rings is truly unique. Crafted of hand-polished glass that's topped with azure-hued agate, these pieces will add elegance and a natural sparkle to your tabletop".Denon N7 Receiver and Speakers
- Just under $800
It doesn't get sexier than this! Amazon.com: "The RCD-N7 is a music listener's dream
system. This compact AM/FM CD receiver with built in iPod/iPhone dock
and networking capability allow you to enjoy music from virtually any
source. Connecting the system to the internet via Ethernet cable or
wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) opens up a new world of content from Internet
Radio, Napster, Rhapsody and Pandora (subscription fees may apply). Set
up is extremely easy since the "N7" supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup. The
N7 is one of the first audio components to support Apple AirPlay,
which allows direct streaming of music files from an iTunes library on a
Mac, PC, iPod Touch and iPhone. Purchase the Receiver
".Trudeau Electric 3-in-1 Fondue Set
Feed your loved one chocolate dipped fruits, cheese covered morsels and more. This is definitely an intimate, sexy way to dine. Amazon.com: "The Trudeau electric fondue pot makes the inconvenience of sterno a distant memory! The 11 piece set is a space saver offering the choice of either hot broth or oil based fondue for meat and seafood or just pop in the stoneware bowl for cheese or chocolate fondue. The mirror finish 18/10 stainless steel pot rests on a modular warming base that has a non-stick warming plate with a variable temperature control."The Fondue Cookbook
Amazon.com: "Fondue has enjoyed a rebirth of popularity among culinary trendsetters. This cookbook goes beyond the traditional bread-and-cheese routine--its 80 recipes feature fresh flavors from around the world, beautifully presented in mouthwatering color photos. The Fondue Cookbook is the perfect gift for hosts and hostesses, gourmet cooks, and even novice cooks".David Burke Gift Certificate
Blazing across distinctions between chef, artist, entrepreneur, and inventor, David Burke
is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. So who wouldn't be thrilled with a gift certificate to dine at one of his many outstanding restaurants. Purchase a David Burke Restaurant gift card online or in any restaurant! With restaurants in New York, Chicago, New Jersey, and Connecticut, there's no better gift than a gift card to one of our critically acclaimed locations!
And as a special holiday bonus, purchase gift cards online or at any David Burke restaurant and receive an additional $25 gift card for every $100 purchased. Now through the Holidays...
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 20 in great gifts
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Saturday December 18, 2010
If your foodie loves to be in the know about the latest greatest restaurants in New York, why not "gift" a true New York Experiece with "Reservations for Two".The Lion
has been called
"eye-catching" (W Magazine), "the latest addition to the power pantheon"
(Time Out New York), and "the edge of the volcano" (Gael Greene) that
"has the media, fashion and pretty folks out in force" (Women's Wear
But it's not the celebrity clientele that demands the most attention. In the end, it all comes down to John's cooking.
For much of the past decade, John DeLucie has been New York City's most
sought-after chef. As founding chef and partner of The Waverly Inn,
DeLucie and his Italian-American take on classic cuisine attracted both
the celebrity crowd and serious food fans, who were wowed by his
original and eye-opening offerings.
The Lion, DeLucie's newest and most ambitious venture, has only
solidified his stature as both a serious chef, and a culinary light that
attracts the brightest of the glitterati.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 18 in Romantic Restaurants
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Thursday December 16, 2010
Sent to us by Stefan in NYC, this Warm Spinach, Pancetta and Calamari Salad can be served as a side dish or as a meal on its own. For the vegetarian version of this flavorful salad remove the Pancetta from the ingredient list. Serve with your favorite bottle of wine for a light, healthy Seduction Meal. Warm Spinach, Pancetta and Calamari Salad
Plating the Dish
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced in 1/4" rings
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 large portobello mushroom cap, cut in slices, and cut in half
- 1/2 lb pancetta, cut into 1/4" cubes
- alb calamari, cut in rings
- 1/8 cup of flour
- 1/8 cup of corn meal
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag of fresh spinach
- 4 T of water
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- Saute onions in skillet over medium high heat, cooking until translucent, set aside
- Saute portobello mushrooms in same skillet, add 1T olive oil, saute until golden brown, set aside
- Saute pancetta in same skillet until golden brown on all sides, set aside
- Place flour, corn meal and calamari in a brown or plastic bag and shake until calamari is coated
- Add 1/4 cup of live oil to the skillet and when hot, add calamari, cooking until cooked through, set aside
- In a large pot add water and bring to boil, turn off heat. Add spinach, stirring to mix warm all spinach through. Drain
- Place Spinach on each plate. Add onions, mushrooms, and calamari. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with apple, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 16 in salads
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Tuesday December 14, 2010
The special man in your life deserves to be delighted with carefully selected holiday gifts that will make his heart glow! We selected a few of our favorites below. Happy Shopping! Piper Heidsieck Brut Rose Sauvage Champagne & Le Chocolat en Rose Truffles
Vosges Chocolates: "Remove a truffle carefully from the box taking care to preserve the coveted rose bud-layered surface. Close your eyes, take three deep breaths and center your mind. Bring your nose to the facade of the truffle as you inhale. Do you sense the lush, aromatics of rose masking rich cacao? Take a small bite, let the texture of the rose buds coat your tongue. A touch of pink Champagne appears, with notes of cherry and plum. Take another breath, allowing the scent to permeate your palate through the back of your throat. Let the quiet seduction of the rose guide your sensory experience"Chef's Knife Pendant
Amazon.com: "Debbie Howe's jewels are meticulously handmade of sterling silver to
reflect the vocation or avocation of their new owner. This pendant
subtly shows the world that you're a chef - aspiring, amateur or actual -
and adds a delightful touch to your outfit". Curtis Stone's Flipper Cutting Board
flipper cutting board by Curtis Stone: "As a chef, even when I cook at
home, in the back of my mind I am always thinking about cross
contamination. So I decided to design a board that makes it virtually
impossible. With my new 'Flipper', you can prepare raw meat and seafood
on one side then simply flip the board over to prepare your vegetables
on the other side. The cutting board sits snugly inside a sturdy frame
that won't slip on the kitchen bench and keeps the board off the surface
of the bench acting as a further safeguard against contamination."Reasons I Love You Stones
reasons are infinite, and now nine of them are etched in stone. One
side of each brushed-nickel token says "I love you..." and the other bears
a compelling reason, from "because you're an inspiration" to "because I
just do!" and "for always getting my jokes." Comes in a red faux-suede
pouchTwist Handheld Espresso Maker
Amazon.com: If your man loves Espresso this stylish hand-held gadget is perfect for
home, office, or outdoors. Twist portable espresso maker requires no
external power, levers, dials, or power cords and it uses the same
100-percent recyclable and affordable 8g pressure cartridges used in
whipped cream dispensers and soda makers. Each cartridge has sufficient
pressure to make up to 4 double shots and 8 single shots of espresso/
High temp stability ensures espresso is extracted at perfect temp;
pressure engine ensures soft pre-infusion and build up for ultimate in
smooth-tasting coffee.Vivre: Tree of Life Bowl
"Adorned with brilliant 22k gold glaze, a trio of turquoise, and delicate line work, this handmade ceramic collectible is part of the debut collection of authentic re-editions from prolific sculptor Waylande Gregory, which came to life when Gregory's great nephew, Bryan Downey, discovered a treasure trove of forgotten pieces in the basement of his uncle's estate. Matte finish. Measures 12" x 4". The Denon 100th Anniversary Turntable In Black
- DPA100 - $2500
He has a record collection he is crazy about. He is a purest and loves vinyl. And he's an amazing cook who loves spending time in the kitchen. For the man who loves to rock out while he's cooking and later plays sexy tunes as you dine on delicious home cooked meals together, this gift will blow him away.
Amazon.com: "Denon Electronics has been manufacturing home entertainment gear for 100 years, and to celebrate, the company has released a Special Edition product line that is available in limited quantities. The Denon 100th Anniversary Turntable In Black - DPA100/ Quartz Lock Servo Control Direct Drive System/ 33-1/3, 45 rpm Speed/ 0.002% Or Less Speed Deviation/ 0.1% Or Less (wrms) Wow And Flutter/ 0.3 sec. or Less To Reach Normal Speed/ 331 mm Aluminum Diecast/ Black Finish." Sanctuary Charging Station
Amazon.com: "The Sanctuary charging station's simple and compact design brings order
to his world of gadgets. Compatible with over 1,500 devices from most
major brands--including Apple®, BlackBerry®, Motorola® and Samsung®--the
universal charger allows him to charge up to 12 devices at the same
time. Reversible inner tray insert turns this into the ultimate
Jawbone JamBox Speaker
Amazon.com: "Aliph-the maker of those stylish, noise-reducing Jawbone headsets-is
announcing its first product that isn't a headset. It is, however,
something with close technological ties to its other products: a small
stereo speaker system which connects via Bluetooth to phones, computers,
and other devices, and which doubles as a speakerphone. It's called the
Jawbone Jambox, and it's a really interesting alternative to the tinny
speakers that are built into gadgets"
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 14 in great gifts
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Friday December 10, 2010
For this holiday gift guide we honor the foodies in your life; those enamored with food & wine, the fun (and disasters) of cooking, the latest and greatest gadgets & must-have accessories, and the admirable art of fine dining. The team at Seduction Meals has put together some of our favorite holiday gift ideas for 2010.
giving up a big trick of the trade here but did you know that you can
take super, simple ingredients and turn them into a dish that looks like
it had a team of chefs working on it for hours simply by using a
stacking technique. Set includes four stainless steel rings and a chrome
tamper to hold the stack firmly in place. Use them to turn something
simple into something that looks amazing. They can also be used to set
desserts or as pastry cutters"- Curtis Stone.
You can create captivating dishes such as this Crab Tower Recipe by DailyFoodgasm.com MOMA Voile Spaghetti Measure
MoMA Site: "For
pasta lovers, Voile measures spaghetti for one, two, or five portions.
Its fluid form makes it a beautiful and useful kitchen accessory. Made
by Alessi of 18/10 stainless steel. Hand-wash only."Squash Blossoms
- $81 for 100 Blossoms
Perfect for someone who enjoys cooking/entertaining for large groups over the holidays. Stuffed Squash Blossoms are a delicacy loved my many. "Tender, fresh, and ephemeral, squash blossoms (aka squash flowers,
zucchini blossoms) bring bright color to your dishes. Their natural
flavor is very mild, and they have a feathery, crisp and juicy texture.
Because they're often stuffed, squash blossoms must be harvested from
zucchini plants at night or in the very early morning so their buds are
still closed. To ensure optimum freshness, all our squash blossoms are picked the same day they ship to you"--MarxFoods. Artisinal White Cheese Platter
"Artisanal Premium Cheese began in the dining room of the two-star Michelin restaurant, Picholine in New York City. Everything about Artisanal is rooted in culinary excellence. With a mission to curate the world's finest cheeses, Artisanal selects from thousands worldwide to offer 200 remarkable, unique, and handcrafted cheeses.
A truly successful wine and cheese pairing is a match made in heaven, heightening the experience of both the wine and the cheese. Finding great matches of cheese and wine can be tricky, with flavors often competing, negating, or just plain spoiling one another. To take the guesswork out of pairing and enhance your favorite bottle of white, our Maître Fromager, Max McCalman has assembled our White Wine Cheese Collection" -- Artisinal WebStie. The White Wine Collection includes the following cheeses:
* Brillat-Savarin Petite, Natural Rind
* Hoja Santa
* Comte, Artisanal Fort des RoussesBreville Pie Maker
Williams-Sonoma: "Create up to four individual-sized pies full of your favorite fillings with this simple-to-operate pie maker. Whether its savory meat pies, vegetable pies, quiches or sweet fruit pies or tarts, most pies take just 8 minutes to cook". D'artagnon Organic Wild Mushroom Collection
"This wonderful set includes one 1-ounce jar each of dried chanterelles,
morels, porcini, black trumpet, forest mix and porcini powder. All are
great for use in soups, stews, sauces, pasta dishes and more.To use:
reconstitute dried mushrooms in hot water 30 minutes before use. Use
the leftover water to add flavor to sauces and stocks, or when cooking
pasta or risotto". D'artagnonWebSiteTop Shelf Oil & Vinegar Gift Box
From Di Bruno Bros "The "Top Self" kitchen gift is an unforgettable pairing of extra virgin olive oil and beautiful aged balsamic vinegar. A 34 oz. bottle of Frantoia Extra Virgin unfiltered olive oil paired with an 8.8 oz. bottle of the beautiful Campari Aged Balsamic to give you the ultimate "Top Shelf" kitchen gift. Grown in fertile volcanic soil in Palermo, Sicily, and heated by the ancient lava, the cold-pressed olives used to make Frantoia's oil add an extra spicy flavor to the fruitiness of this oil. Also included in this package is the famed Campari Aged Balsamic vinegar. Aged 15 years to perfection, this balsamic vinegar is sweet, syrupy and turns all dishes into a gourmet work of art. This is truly a top shelf gift that will adorn kitchens and create memorable dining experiences for any occasion."Oyster Sampler
- $115 for 4 Dozen Oysters
Oysters--a perfect choice for a Seduction Meal. Line 'em up and slurp 'em down. Compare the different flavors, textures, and experiences of each of these oysters: Contains 4 dozen oysters. 2 dozen Pacific Oysters and 2 dozen
Oil Pouring Can/ Curtis Stone
Curtis Stone: "There is nothing more important than pouring the right amount of oil into a hot pan, a dressing or even over your favorite salad. So I've designed this stunning stainless steel oil can that features an elongated spout to help control the perfect pour each time. The oil can will pour your oils to perfection and look elegant on any dining table or kitchen bench".Truffle Sampler
This Truffle Sampler will make a wonderful gift for your favorite foodie (or yourself!). Here is the information straight from the MarxFoods website. White Truffle Oil
is simply a fine olive oil infused with the flavor and aroma of white
truffles. White truffles have a magnificent first impression with their
intense aroma. Truffle Honey
is made with Acacia Honey
and white truffles. It's a fun and fancy addition to your pantry and it
can be used, much like regular honey, but adds a remarkably potent
truffle flavor to whatever food the honey is drizzled over. Or, of
course you can simply spoon it for a decadent indulgence straight from
the pantry. Truffle Sea Salt
is made with Italian black summer truffles for a distinct flavor that can be used in a plethora of different dishes. Sweet Basics Spice Set
From TSP Spices "Sweet Basics contains one can each of organic allspice, organic anise seed, organic cardamom, organic Korintje cinnamon, organic cloves and organic nutmeg. Each spice can contains 12 one-teaspoon packets. For baking sweets or blending chai, reach for tsp spices' Sweet Basics. This set offers the perfect combination for all your sweetly spicy needs."
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 10 in great gifts
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Tuesday December 07, 2010
While searching for some new vodka recipes I came across the Grey Goose site and fell in love with many of their Holiday creations and thought I'd share them.
La Poire Pear
Flirtatious, Intriguing & Elegant--you know you want some!
Creates 6 drinks.
6 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire Flavored Vodka
1 part lemon juice 2 tsp sugar
1 small, ripe pear - peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 bottle sparkling moscato (or other sweet sparkling wine)
- Place the lemon juice, sugar, pear and GREY GOOSE La Poire in a bowl and stir well to combine until sugar is fully dissolved.
- Divide the pear mixture into six champagne glasses.
- Fill each glass with moscato. Present with crystallized ginger or mint sprigs.
- Tip: Using a juicy variety of pear such as Anjou or Bartlett will accentuate the pear flavors.
La Poire Ginger Joy
Deliciously vibrant, this cocktail comes alive with some of winter's
most beloved flavors.
2 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire Flavored Vodka
1/2 part premium ginger liqueur
1 part simple syrup
1 part fresh lemon juice
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
- Present with a pear slice or crystallized ginger.
- Tip: A fresh pear garnish adds a juicy, luxurious touch to this cocktail. Keep the ripe slices of fruit from turning brown by coating them with a squeeze of lemon.
Apple Crisp Martini
A quintessential fall martini. Ingredients
2 parts GREY GOOSE® L'Orange Flavored Vodka
1 lemon wedge
1 tbs cinnamon sugar
1/4 small apple diced
1/2 part simple syrup
1/2 part Tuaca® Liqueur 3/4 parts fresh lemon juice
- Rub the lemon wedge around rim of martini glass then roll into the cinnamon sugar.
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the diced apple and simple syrup.
- Add ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat. Strain into the prepared martini glass.
La Poire Cranberry Sparkler
Add festive color to this light, delicious cocktail by freezing
cranberries and limes into ice cubes. Such careful touches elevate
simple drinks and create a memorable experience for your guests
1 1/2 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire Flavored Vodka or GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 1/2 parts club soda
1 1/2 parts cranberry juice
- In a chilled rocks glass filled with ice, add GREY GOOSE La Poire.
- Top with club soda, and add a splash of cranberry juice.
- Present with cranberries on a cocktail pick or a lime wedge.
2 parts GREY GOOSE® Le Citron Flavored Vodka
2 mint leaves
3/4 parts simple syrup
3 parts sparkling cider
1/4 part Green Chartreuse (optional) apple chip
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves and syrup.
- Add ice and GREY GOOSE® Le Citron Flavored Vodka, shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat.
- Pour into highball glass and top with sparkling cider. Garnish with apple chips.
- TIPS: Mint and apple blend to create a refreshing afternoon highball.
Experiment with fun festive garnishes to complement this wintry
cocktail. Try chocolate covered candy sticks, peppermint sticks or fresh
sprigs of mint. A cocoa rimmed glass would also add a rich hint of
1 1/2 parts GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 part peppermint schnapps
1/2 part simple syrup
1/2 part cream
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients.
- Shake vigorously, and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
- Present with chocolate covered candy sticks.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on December 07 in cocktail lounge
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Saturday December 04, 2010
Monday, the 15th of November 2010, marked the launch of Marja's Dumpling Academy
at the newly-opened "2nd floor on Clinton" on the Lower East Side.
I had the pleasure of joining Marja Samsom, The Dumpling Diva &
Hiromi, Sake Somelier Extraordinaire, for a delightful food & wine
tasting that included sipping an array of sake that was perfectly paired
with a variety of sweet and savory dumplings. DUMPLING & SAKE TASTING MENU
Mushroom Dumpling with Mushroom & Enoki Salad
paired with Bichuwajo (Junmai Ginjo sake)
Salmon Tartard Dumplings with Shiso Cucumber Pickle
paired with Nanburyu (Junmai sake)
Pork & Prune Dumplings with Red Rabbage relish
paired with Tomoju (Junmai Ginjo sake)
Fig & Dark Chocolate Dumplings with Pomegranate Seeds
paired with Yuzu Omoi (Yuzu sake)
During the evening Marja shares her dumpling secrets as she prepares,
fries and serves up each dumpling dish; you get to wrap a few dumplings
at your table, and you are given a recipe to take home to try this on your own. While the invitation states this is a "hands on cooking class", I found this a bit misleading. This is not a cooking class, rather it is a food & sake tasting where you listen and watch as Marja prepares her dumpling dishes. You do not have a food station, a frying pan and learn how to cook on the spot, which to me is more "hands on". Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed each course and watching Marja do her "thing".
Each and every dumpling served was delicious. My favorite dumpling and sake pairing was the Salmon Tartare/shiso cucumber pickle that was paired with Nanburyu Sake, and the dessert dumpling of Fig & Chocolate - just divine! At the end of my evening I left fully inspired to add dumplings to my list of Seduction Meal recipes to try, and I bow down to the much deserved title bestowed upon Ms. Samson--the Dumpling Diva! Marja's Mushroom Dumpling FillingIngredients:
- 1 box of bottom mushrooms, chopped in a food processor
- 4 pieces of medium sized dried shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, then chopped
- 4 whole water chestnuts, roughly diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 small knob of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- sweet butter to flavor (optional)
- Heat canola oil in a 9" skillet
- Add chopped bottom mushrooms and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated
- Add grated garlic and ginger
- Add chopped shitake mushrooms, heat thoroughly
- Add water chestnuts
- Flavor with soy sauce
- Add a lump of sweet butter to your taste
- Your dumplings are ready to stuff
Marja's recipe card ends here. Having done some research and hopefully remembering correctly the details of the night here is how to assemble and fry the dumplings. Filling the Dumplings
- Take one won ton skin at a time and place 1 heaped teaspoon of the mixture in the center of each.
- Then moisten the four edges of the won ton skin
- Fold the dumpling in half to form a triangle, pressing down on all edges to enclose the filling. Or you can gather or four corners and bring them to the center and pinch to form a pouch.
- Deep-fry them for 15-20 minutes until the bottom is crisp. You can slightly push down on the dumpling as it fries.
- Drain on paper towel and serve while still hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
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Wednesday December 01, 2010
Mmmm. Slightly crisp and caramelized on the outside; juicy and tender on the inside--a perfectly seasoned bite that melts in your mouth...now that's a great steak! It really isn't difficult to perfect the art of preparing the Perfect Steak. What you want to achieve is a beautifully charred exterior and a warm, juicy center.
Luscious Steak Diane
Here are a few tips to follow to ensure success
- Go for the best USDA prime-grade, dry-aged beef you can find. I prefer buying from a good butcher. Supermarket prepackaged steaks are usually thin and inferior cuts.
- Select a cut with the most marbling (visible grains of fat running through the steak). This ensures a nice juicy steak. As it cooks, the fat melts, naturally tenderizing the meat and imparting a wonderful flavor.
- The best steaks are 1 1/2-inch thick. A thin cut will dried out as it cooks. And take note: the thickness of the steak is more important than the weight.
- Always let your steaks come to room temperature before cooking or grilling - I let it stand for 1 hour before cooking. Cold Steaks contract when cooking, making the steak meat tough.
- Pat dry before cooking to remove all moisture and always place in a hot skillet on grill.
- Always use tongs to handle steak, as they won't pierce the meat, which allows the juices to escape.
- Tip: When cooking over a hot grill, flame or electric stove, you may want to remove the steak from the heat just before it reaches your desired state: rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, or (god-forbid!) well done. The steak may continue cooking after it is removed, so experiment whenever you can with your kitchen or grill to prefect your timing.
So now, armed with everything you need to know about making
a Perfect Steak, let's get cooking. Indulge in any one of the enticing steak
recipes below. I prefer a rib eye steak or filet mignon for all three recipes.
Select your favorite side dish--a good pairing would be French fries or mashed
potatoes, a green salad and /or a vegetable. When it comes to wine, once again
I would indulge in the best bottle of red you can--a bold, full-bodied wine
pairs perfectly with Steak. Bon
Click Here for the Seduction Meals Recipe: Beef Tenderloin with
White Peppercorn Sauce
Looking for a unique, restaurant-quality recipe for your next Seduction
Meal? Here is one that is received with rave reviews every time I
present it to my guests: Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce.
The meat is tender and juicy and the sauce divine! Serve this with
mashed potatoes or thin-cut home-made fries.
Click Here for the Seduction Meals Recipe: Buffalo Ribeye Steak au Poivre
Try a new and healthy take on this classic French
preparation using lean and succulent buffalo ribeye steaks instead of beef.
These steaks are best prepared using a lower temperature than you would use for
beef. Cook rare to medium rare for best texture and flavor. Serve with homemade
crispy fried and a bottle of your favorite full-bodied red wine. Just
Click Here for the Seduction Meals Recipe: Grilled Steak with Black Truffle Butter Buttons
You can't go wrong with grilled steak and a delicious salad served with a
full bodied red wine--such a simple seduction meal that is always a
hit. Here we have grilled rib eye steak lightly seasoned with salt,
pepper and minced garlic, grilled medium-rare, sliced and topped with
two pats of black truffle butter.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 04:00PM on December 01 in obsessions
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