September 30, 2010

Prince Oyster Mushrooms and Broccoli

Mushrooms and broccoli - it's so simple and yet they make for a satisfying dinner.  When I went shopping in Chinatown, I found a package of prince oyster mushrooms.  I had never heard of prince mushrooms before (and these looked a lot like King oyster mushrooms).  These mushrooms were soft, silky, and meaty.  Like a sponge, they perfectly sopped up the sauce we made.  This dish went well with a glass of white wine and was really easy to make.

September 29, 2010

NYC Craft Beer Week 2010 and Get Real NY

My husband checks out local brewery and food vendor offerings (just before Le Fooding) at Get Real NY, part of NY Craft Beer Week.

After starting 2010 New York City Craft Beer Week with a stop at The Pony Bar (for Ithaca Brewing's spectacular Brute and the tasty Super Friends Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel), I headed to the first session of Get Real NY, a cask event sponsored by Rattle N Hum with Alex Hall of Gotham Imbiber.

September 28, 2010

Meet and Greet with Elan McPherson of Flavour Design Studio

I love cute dishes, especially handmade ones.  They can brighten up a boring meal like oatmeal or cereal.  So when I went to last month's New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), I was like a kid in a candy store.  Brightly colored tabletop and home accessories were everywhere!

NYIGF was also a great venue to directly meet some artisans.  It's where I met the designers behind Black + Blum (remember to enter our giveaway with them!)  I also got to meet Flavour Design Studio's Elan McPherson - stay-at-home mom, entrepreneur, and designer of our fave Oprah-approved Buddha Bowls.  She was so sweet - which wasn't a surprise.  After all, her most popular creation started off as a gift for her grandma.

September 27, 2010

Le Fooding 2010: NY vs SF

Let the SF vs NYC food battle begin! We've eagerly anticipated the event, Le Grand Fooding 2010 New York vs San Francisco, for a while and it finally happened this weekend.  Held to benefit Action Against Hunger, this event featured celebrity chefs from both coasts offering tastes of their cuisine.

After attending last year, we were ready for the long lines.  Unlike last year, we bought VIP tickets this year that, in addition to unlimited Veuve Clicquot champagne, got us entry an hour before general admission.  Buying the upgrade was definitely worth the price as we were able to try everything (some more than once!) without too much of a wait.

September 24, 2010

Tangled Vine Happy Hour

There's nothing like a good happy hour to brighten up our day.  We had been meaning to try out The Tangled Vine, a new wine bar featuring biodynamic, organic, and sustainable wine.  And their weekday 50% off happy hour deal was perfect for our first try.

Truthfully, we're not very familiar with organic wines.  According to Evan Spingarn, The Tangled Vine's sommelier, "If a distributor tells me that a wine was made without pesticides and herbicides in the vineyards, without laboratory yeast, or enzymes to speed the fermentation -- basically they're not manipulating the wine -- I'm willing to call it organic. So few producers want to certify because it's expensive. And a pain." (source: Fork in the Road)  

September 23, 2010

Lupa - Batali's Classic Roman Cuisine in Greenwich Village

It was a warm evening in NYC, around 9pm, when we walked around the Greenwich Village searching for a place to eat dinner.  After walking away from Minetta Tavern's 45 minute long wait, we headed to Lupa and only had to wait around 15 minutes for a couple seats at the bar.  Having dined at Mario Batali's other restaurants (Otto, Del Posto, Tarry Lodge, Babbo, Esca), we were hopeful for a good Italian dinner.  And for the most part, Lupa did not disappoint.

September 22, 2010

Town Hall Brewery - Craft Brewpub in Minneapolis

My husband looks back on our summer trip to Minneapolis and writes about one of his favorite beer finds.

On the outskirts of downtown Minneapolis, just past the Metrodome, lies Town Hall Brewery.  Unlike the more widely available Minnesota brews by Surly and Summit (some of which have been distributed out of state), Town Hall beers are only available at the brewpub.  I was eager to try these only-in-MN beers, especially their famous IPA, Masala Mama.

September 21, 2010

HLFD in Toronto: Wychwood Barns (From Streetcar Barn to Community Centre)

There's something about certain redeveloped spaces that bring me hope.  Like the Highline in NYC, everything old is new again at the Wychwood Barns in Toronto.  What was once an abandoned streetcar space has been turned into a place where the community can gather together. 

According to its website, "The Barns are the first Heritage building redevelopment project in Ontario to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada Certification. The redevelopment process integrates construction elements that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and superior performance standards in environmental responsibility and energy efficiency."

September 20, 2010

Black + Blum plus Choose Your Own Giveaway!

We love kitchen gadgets and good design, so when I checked out the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) last month, I was happy to come across black + blum.  I got to meet Dan Black and Martin Blum, the designers behind black + blum.  Many of their products are ergonomic and clever (some are even sold here in NYC at the Museum of Modern Arts (MOMA) store).  And not only did we get a chance to try out their Spudski Potato Masher, Salad Tongs, and their Box Appetit lunch box, but we also got them to provide a giveaway opportunity for you!

September 17, 2010

Interviewing Bobby Flay and Lori Loughlin at the Share our Strength/Hellmann's Event

When I got the invitation from Hellmann's to attend a cooking demonstration with Bobby Flay, I was a little hesitant at first.  Truthfully, though we do use Hellmann's, we rarely use mayonnaise at all.  But this event also kicked off a charitable initiative for Share our Strength® (a nonprofit organization devoted to ending childhood hunger) and gave me the chance to interview Iron Chef Bobby Flay and actress Lori Loughlin one-on-one.  It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

September 16, 2010

Sweet treat for Me (and Our Readers with 50% off items in our store!)

Yesterday was the premiere of Top Chef Just Desserts with our fave judge Gail Simmons.  To promote the new show, free desserts were available throughout NYC including these goodies (a little crushed from the ride home) from a special food truck.  Cupcakes from Billy's Bakery, truffles from Godiva, ice cream from Breyer's, and Compost Cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar were all free to those who found the truck.  I happily tracked it down by Chelsea Market last night and brought home as much as I could carry.

September 15, 2010

Food + Fashion Part III - Effen Vodka Event and Inside the tent at Lincoln Center

For our final Food + Fashion post, we get inside the tents at Lincoln Center for Fashion Week.  During the last fashion week at Bryant Park, I enjoyed finding the food within this creative world.  This time, we were invited by Effen vodka to a private cocktail party and found more drinks than food.  And despite having to drag my husband to a fashion event, he ended up having a good time! (It's a wonder what free drinks and pretty people can do.)

September 14, 2010

Food + Fashion in NYC Part II - Bon Appetit Pop-Up Cafe

We were really looking forward to this year's Bon Appetit pop-up cafe. After all, last year we saw cooking demonstrations by Iron Chef Cat Cora and Babbo's Pastry Chef Gina DePalma and met superstar chefs Joses Andres and Daniel Boulud.

This year, the cafe moved to Lincoln Center to coincide with NY Fashion Week.  We checked it out when it opened to the public this past Sunday.  Unfortunately, this year's iteration has no cooking demonstrations, only one cookbook signing (Cat Cora on Tues, Sept 14), and seemed more like a corporate cafeteria than a foodie destination.

September 13, 2010

Food + Fashion in NYC Part I - Fashion NIght Out and Momofuku Designer Cookie

Friday was Fashion's Night Out in NYC, which meant shopping with free drinks (a dangerous combination!)  There were plenty of limited edition items on-sale, but the one I was after was Momofuku Milk Bar's pastry chef's, Christina Tossi's, one-time-only cookie. 

September 10, 2010

Batali and Co's EATALY: Part 2 - The Restaurants

After grocery shopping at Eataly, we definitely worked up an appetite seeing all of the food.  There are numerous places to eat...and everywhere required a wait.  In addition to sandwich counters and a couple of restaurants, every section of the grocery store seems to have a corresponding dining area.  We decided to immediately put our names down for a spot at the pizza/pasta place (spots for 2 at the counter took 45 minutes, though we overheard a table of 4 state that they waited roughly 90 minutes), then wander around/wait in other lines (like the panini line which was roughly 20 minutes).

September 9, 2010

Kiwano or Horned Melon Fruit

We saw this fruit at Eataly and had to pick it up (despite the hefty $6 price tag).  We love experimenting with exotic fruits and couldn't wait to bring it home.  This fruit is called an African Horned Melon or Kiwano fruit.  Originally found in the Kalahari desert, it is now widely grown in New Zealand and California.  Surprisingly, this spiky fruit is from the cucumber and melon family and its interior is as unusual as its exterior.

September 8, 2010

Batali and Co's EATALY Part I - The Market

Grocery store, bakery, restaurant, take-out counter, pizzeria, and's no wonder that we spent countless hours wandering about this place! Eataly is the brainchild of Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich.  It's a huge space, nearly 50,000 sq ft, and has been crowded with locals and tourists since its opening last Tuesday.  This post is the first of three posts dedicated to Eataly (there's a lot to cover!).  In this post, we'll show you the grocery store face of Eataly (Part 2 will cover "dining in Eataly" with the final part showcasing our purchases from Eataly).

September 7, 2010

Almond and White Chocolate Chip Cookies plus $60 CSN Stores Winner Announced!

Do you ever have a craving? I always crave sweet treats, but generally won't have them on-hand.  It's too easy to finish off a bag of Oreos, so if I want something sweet, I have to make it myself.  My husband was out with the guys - which meant I had our whole tiny kitchen to myself.  I emptied out the pantry and decided to make these comfy, soft cookies to share and enjoy.  Served with a glass of milk, these Almond and White Chocolate Chip cookies were the perfect treat to satisfy my craving!

September 3, 2010

Watermelon and Thai Basil Martini

The long weekend is here and for us, we'll be celebrating our good friends' weddings (one on Sat and another on Sun)  We're looking forward to watching their first dances, hearing their loved ones' touching words, and, of course, enjoying plenty of good food and drink!

So to celebrate all of our friends' big days, we came up with a Watermelon martini inspired by the one we enjoyed at Public Restaurant.  (Coincidentally, on the night we were there, there was a wedding rehearsal dinner going on at the same time).  Cheers to a sweet new life together!

September 2, 2010

Tix on sale NOW for Le Grand Fooding: NY vs SF - Sept 24, 25

Remember when we told you about the pre-sale for one of the most anticipated foodie events this fall in NYC?  Well, we just got an email stating that tickets are now on sale here!  Get your tickets before they sell out! (For menu line-up, see our previous post)

September 1, 2010

Sushi Yasuda - Fixed Price Lunch

Many of our friends have stated that Sushi Yasuda is the best place to go in NYC for sushi and sashimi.  However, like with most high-end sushi places, the bill can end up running a few hundred dollars.  Luckily, Sushi Yasuda offers a few fixed price lunch options ($19.50-$24.50) that don't break the bank.