Friday, November 30, 2007

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail

We're not Napa, but the Lehigh Valley certainly has it's share of excellent wineries. The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is full of information on the wineries here in Eastern Pa--sharing events, news and even a cookbook, covered HERE by CBS!

If you live in or near the Lehigh Valley, you'll want to check out this site.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, Revisited

I've already written about the Blog, now let's get to the book.

This is another cookbook that I read like all the others, from cover to cover. I loved each and every page! The story of how Jean-Georges came to fall in love with Asian cuisine is wonderful and adventurous. The photographs are beautiful; full of color and very telling about life in Asia from a food-lover's view.

The recipes are fabulous; full of color themselves and complex in flavor without being difficult to reproduce. The directions for each were clear and easy to follow.

I made Chicken Samosas with Cilantro-Yogurt Dip, and I'd recommend this recipe very highly. The deep and spicy flavors of the samosas combined with the brightness of the yogurt dip was a perfect marriage and, like Jean-Georges, I would insist that the samosas be dipped before each and every bite. The samosas certainly stand alone, but the dip pulls them up to a whole new, and delicious, level.

The truest test was my 3 year-old son, who couldn't stop eating them! Yes, they are spicy, and he knew it-asking for a drink after each bite-but he had no restraint whatsoever, and I must agree with him on this!

I look forward to making many more of the recipes within the pages of Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges and urge you to get a copy of your own.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Chefs for Humanity

Celebrity Chefs to Offer Private Cooking Lessons, Meals Prepared in Your Home, Private Parties in Upscale Restaurants and More!

NEW YORK, November 8, 2007 - Put your money where your mouth is November 14 - December 10 and support Chefs for Humanity during an on-line, one-of-a-kind auction with Join some of the world's most renowned celebrity chefs as they offer their culinary skills and share cooking secrets to raise funds to help stop hunger around the world.

"We're thrilled to present this unique and creative way to help fight hunger and we encourage everyone to take part in this exciting fundraiser," said Diane L. Burstein, acting director of Chefs for Humanity. "Our chefs are planning some fabulous culinary experiences for you and your taste buds."

Celebrity chefs include Chefs for Humanity president/founder Cat Cora, Katie Lee Joel, Rick Bayless, Robert St. John, Ming Tsai, Christine Pirello, Dean Fearing, Charlie Ayers and Diane Henderiks. Auction items include:

- Cat Cora and Katie Lee Joel: Billy Joel Concert in New York and dinner at Bon Appetite.

- Charlie Ayers: In-home dinner with wine pairings for 20 people in the San Francisco area.

- Dean Fearing: Chef's Table for eight at his new establishment, Fearing's Restaurant, in the brand new Ritz Carlton in Dallas, TX.

- Christina Pirello: In-home cooking class for 10 people within the Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware or New York region (winner can pay for travel expenses if out of the region). The theme for the class is "Cooking to Relieve Stress and Tension," focusing on foods that make stress tougher for us and the foods that help us handle it with grace. The package also includes a signed copy of her newest book, Cooking the Whole Foods Way. The winner is responsible for food costs.

- Ming Tsai: Tasting Dinner with wines for six at Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA. The lot also includes a meet and greet and four autographed copies of Ming's book, Master Recipes .

- Rick Bayless: Gift Certificate for dinner for two at Frontera Grill in Chicago, IL, a tequila tasting, products from the food line Frontera Foods and a signed cook book.

- Bobby Flay: Dinner for four at Mesa Grill and a signed copy of Boy Gets Grill, Grilling for Life and The Mesa Grill Cookbook.

- Diane Henderiks: In-home healthy cooking demonstration for up to 20 guests. An entertaining and educational experience, the winner and friends will learn all about healthy cooking and nutrition while sampling a 4 - 5 course meal with wine.

To participate, log-on to beginning November 14, locate the Chefs for Humanity auction and start bidding.

Your participation will help support Chefs for Humanity's vital programs, including "A Chicken in Every Pot" and the partnership with the United Nation's World Food Programme, which launches in December with an exploratory field visit to Nicaragua and Honduras.

Chefs for Humanity is an alliance of culinary professionals and educators working in partnership with United States and global organizations, providing nutrition education, hunger relief and emergency and humanitarian aid to reduce hunger across the world. For more information, visit

Match & Win Dreamhouse Game

Check this out: If you already purchase items from Goya, Tyson or Reynolds Wrap, you may be on your way to winning a $500,000 Dreamhouse!

The Match & Win Dreamhouse Game is simple; purchase participating products from the three aforementioned companies, look for game pieces, match two halves together, and win one of over 3,000 prizes--that's over $1,000,000 worth of loot--or a dream home worth $500,000. Fun!

A Culinary Vacation

Nathalie Delalande of Wine and Prestige has passed on information about fabulous looking culinary vacations in a chateau in France, featuring a chef with the Ritz.

Read about these here, and visit their website to learn more about the many types of packages, including wine tours, that they offer.

Now, if anybody wants to know what to get me for Christmas...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: The Greater Reading Vegan Society

The Greater Reading Vegan Society, begun August 2007, has potluck dinners at least once a month, usually on a Saturday at 6 or 7 pm. We are also planning a number of events and small trips.
Founding members are Caroline Kligge and Neil Brantley.

Contact through Caroline at
carolinekligge (at) yahoo (dot) com orPhone 610-741-3972 to find out more info!

Vegetarians of course are welcome~~Everyone is welcome.
We're a fun, easy-going group wanting to share good food, and spread the word of plant-based diets.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

R,S,C! #36 Recipe

OK, all you chickens ... I played. I hate that I had to use the flash for this photo, but my camera wasn't doing the right thing without it--someday I'll have my own personal photographer.

So, what is this? Sweet Potato Fries on the bottom, a Turkey-Scallion Roll set on it and it's topped with a Tart Cranberry Sauce and Fried Scallions.

Do I have a recipe? Nope. Basically I peeled and cut up 4 sweet potatoes, fried them in hot oil and salted them to taste. The turkey rolls are turkey breast fillets that I pounded thin, seasoned well with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and topped with sliced scallions before rolling up. I floured them, salted and peppered again and fried the same way as the potatoes.

The cranberry sauce is 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup of apple juice, 1/2 cup of cranberry-pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup of sugar combined and simmered until thick.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Love Good Mail

...and yesterday was one of those, "I need good mail" days.
Everyone needs a Southern friend to send them nuts they've grown themselves. Don't you think?
These are some of the prettiest pecans I've ever laid eyes on.

Thanks K. :O)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Very Expensive Pestilence

Looks like Serendipity 3 will need to sell quite a few of those $25,000 Haute Chocolate desserts - the New York Health Department has closed the shop ... STORY HERE.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: Offerings at Balasia

This just in: Balasia is serving Thanksgiving dinner!

This is from a letter to Lehigh Valley Vegetarians:

For those of you who may not know, there is a vegan restaurant in Emmaus:

Balasia- A Green World Cafe
500 Chestnut St.

Emmaus, Pa

We specialize in , organic and locally grown cuisine.
Check out our beautiful web site for daily menus!

Healthy Holiday meals available now!
Please call: Balasia at (484)330-6405 for details

Here is part of the Holiday Menu:

vegan turkey
honey mustard tofu
cranberry ginger sauce
rosemary walnut stuffing
garlic miso mashed potatoes
wasabi miso mashed potatoes
thai mashed potatoes with coconut milk and cashew butter
vegan gravy
vegan mushroom gravy
basil and wild rice stuffed acorn squash
baby bok choi- steamed
cranberry and almond stuffing
sweet potato pie
pumpkin cheesecake
pecan pie

Vegan and delicious gluten-free also available!

ALSO-make your reservations for Thanksgiving day;
Seatings every hour from 12 pm -8 pm

Thank You-
Wendy Landiak, Proprietor

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ready, Set, Cook! #36

Click the icon above for complete rules. One change is that you can send your recipe to me to be posted here if you don't want to post on your own blog. I know it's not the first Tuesday of the month, but we haven't played in so long, I didn't want to wait until after the hectic holiday season to play again!

So, in honor of Thanksgiving coming up for us Americans, these three ingredients should blend together pretty well!

turkey breast
whole cranberries
sweet potatoes or yams

I'm all over this one!

See you next Tuesday with submissions!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do you lead, or follow?

Recipes, that is?

When you find a recipe, do you follow it to the letter, make slight changes, or use it purely for inspiration?

I can say for myself, I almost always change recipes around, and most times I pop a cookbook open to get inspiration or have a rough guideline for a dish. Baking is not an exception for me--I still use a recipe for approximations rather than as gospel.

What about you?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Baby Girl is One

Lara's first birthday was yesteray--here's my girly eating her cake!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

$25,000 Dessert

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Read this story about the recently developed Guinness World Record fetching $25,000 dessert invented by a New York restaurateur (Stephen Bruce, owner of Serendipity 3) and then tell me that you can actually stomach the thought of such a thing.

Think of it this way--I feed my family (8 during the week--9 on weekends) for about $500 a month. That means that the payment for just ONE of those desserts could feed us for 50 months--that's 4 years and 2 months.

I am definitely in the wrong business.