Sweet Treat with Carrots!

April 9, 2011 | By zaarch | 0 Comments

Sweet Treat with Carrots! 1
Don’t you just love Bugs Bunny for his famous line, “What’s up Doc?” And if you’ve seen the show, you know that he loves carrots. He will do anything for a bite of his carrot. Well, I always wondered how he would react to carrot halwa. Halwa is a type of Indian sweet or dessert. This type of halwa is made with simple ingredients; the main ingredient being carrots. I bet he would love a bowl of it. In fact, I can just imagine him savoring every last morsel of the halwa and then breaking out into a Bollywood song and dance.
Well, while I ponder about that, why don’t you give this recipe a try. It’s a whole new way to enjoy your favorite vegetable.

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There’s No Question that Jose Tejas is the Place to “EAT”!

April 8, 2011 | By jeremy fordham | 0 Comments

So you are driving along New Jersey’s infamous Route 1 in Iselin and are starving. Sure you have gone to the lobster shack, the Irish pub spinoff and the rib joint but you want something different, something fresh. Your taste buds are dying for some flavor and some life. You happen upon this huge sign, standing erect at 40 feet tall and wider than the largest SUV saying “EAT” with an arrow pointing at this seemingly sketchy shack. This “shack” is known as “Jose Tejas”: a Tex-Mex/Cajun restaurant serving up authentic “Good Eats”.
Once you get past the rustic building and actually enter the restaurant, there is a warm and vibrant buzz that never ceases. No cleanly pressed table linens here; the family-friendly atmosphere of hanging Christmas lights, propane-powered lamps and matching wooden tables and chairs are reminiscent of simpler times when the hustle and bustle of life was reduced to a minimum.

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More than Just a Facelift for the Metuchen Inn?

March 17, 2011 | By jeremy fordham | 0 Comments

More than Just a Facelift for the Metuchen Inn? 1
In the bustling, yet quaint Central New Jersey town of Metuchen stands a historic restaurant, which over the past five years has received a melange of poor reviews. Amidst a shrinking number of dinner guests and overall lull in business, a fire broke out about one year ago. Though the fire was contained to the bar area, there was significant smoke damage done to the rest of the 200 year old mansion. In the beginning of February of 2011, The Metuchen Inn reopened for lunch and dinner service. From the outside, one can see that the once historic restaurant underwent an extensive facelift. My dinner guest and I proceeded inside to see quite a sporadic collection of sconces, paintings and conflicting designs. When owner, Constantine Papanicolaou was asked about the decor, he proceeded to explain there is “a combination of Classicist and Contemporary throughout”. It lacked continuity in my opinion.

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Vegan Garlic Scapes Pesto

March 8, 2011 | By castironfoodie | 0 Comments

Vegan Garlic Scapes Pesto 1
– 4 garlic scapes, chopped and sauteed in olive oil
– 1 cup of olive oil
– small handful of pine nuts
– big handful of cashews
– juice from half of a lemon
– 1 cup (or more) of basil
– salt to taste (it will need way more than regular pesto given the lack of salty cheese)
– garlicky olive oil (2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 cloves sauteed garlic)
You can serve it over pasta, fish, burgers, or salad. It’s also great as a dipping sauce for bread, crackers, or crudite.

Inside the James Beard House

February 27, 2011 | By lemons and loafers | 0 Comments

Inside the James Beard House 1
OK, I’ll admit it: when a friend emailed and asked if I wanted to have dinner at the James Beard House, I had never actually heard of the James Beard House. Now, before you revoke all my credentials, let me add this: of course I had heard of James Beard and the eponymous Foundation, with its heralded awards. And, I would have assumed that when he was alive, James Beard lived in a house. But did I know the Foundation now owns his fabulous mansion in Greenwich Village, and that it holds events most nights a week where rising and already-celebrity chefs cook prix fixe meals for foodies in the know? No! But when given the offer, I brushed up on the facts, and jumped at the chance.

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Crunchy Cashews

February 25, 2011 | By zaarch | 0 Comments

Crunchy Cashews 1
One of my fondest memories of hanging out in New York City, included buying roasted cashews from the street vendors; especially during wintertime. The toasty nuts helped me stay warm while walking around. One fine day, I brought some of the nuts home for my mom to try. She told me that the nuts reminded her of another recipe that was handed down to her from her relatives. She said her relatives make it for all their parties.
I immediately pulled out my handy recipe book and asked her to recite the ingredients and directions so that we could re-create it. I am always an eager participant in all foodie adventures. the recipe seemed quick and easy as long as you have all the ingredients. These battered nuts are so good that “once you pop, you just can’t stop”.
Next time you have game night, try something new and fun.

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Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake

February 21, 2011 | By tori | 0 Comments

Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake 1
Every year come February, I find myself in a bit of a rut. The excitement of the holidays has come and gone, and my gusto for squash, winter greens, and slow braises has begun to fade. I dream about those market days when the first bunches of asparagus appear, still small but green and spindly with hope.
Unlike Adam Roberts I was not a “smart little squirrel” this past summer. I was in fact, a trying-to-keep-my-sanity-while-planning-an-out-of-town-wedding squirrel, so aside from a few handfuls of blackberries my freezer has lacked those frozen bits of summer to pull me out of this predictable February slump.
So what, you ask, is a girl to do with an empty freezer and case of the February blues?
Well I did what any girl in her right mind would do.
I threw on an old Belle and Sebastian record and I baked a cake which I promptly filled with plum jam.

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Linzer Torte

February 12, 2011 | By jahnavi | 0 Comments

Linzer Torte 1
Linzer Torte: delicious, beautiful, comforting, ridiculously expensive…
If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, you can easily take away the “ridiculously expensive” bit by whipping up this Austrian torte yourself. It does take a fair amount of time and some fiddling, but this dessert is well worth the effort. Plus, with all the almonds and raspberries it’s the “healthy” option – just make sure to overlook the butter and sugar…

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Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie

February 4, 2011 | By plate fodder | 0 Comments

Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie 1
One of the last big vacations we took as a family hurtled us up the eastern edge of the Southern States. We spent some time in Charleston, soaking up the southern coastal vibe. We then headed to North Carolina, spending some time in the Outer Banks at Kittykawk and being petrified in the car – island jumping on huge, ancient arched bridges.
(My brother and I would cling to the floorboards in terror as the car arched higher and higher, praying that the wind gusts wouldn’t blow us off into the sea.)
As a side note – The bridges were replaced some years later with sensible, well constructed structures.

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Pittsburgh Steeler Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

February 2, 2011 | By dbcurrie | 0 Comments

Pittsburgh Steeler Cut-Out Sugar Cookies 1
Before rolling your eyes and thinking “I am not a Pittsburgh Steeler fan” take note that these classic cut-out sugar cookies may be adapted per your allegiances, affiliations or likes. That being said, consider that we are days away from Super Bowl Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers are making franchise history with their number of Super Bowl appearances. Now, that’s something to cheer about! …at least if you’re a fan. Making these cookies took little time…decorating them took a bit of patience…but the joy of looking at adorable result while knowing their delicious taste is well worth the effort!
Biggest find of this baking venture: the “diamonds” are actually not diamonds at all, they are hypocycloids – diamonds with inward-curving edges. The inward-curve probably makes icing them a bit easier since perfect lines would make for tedious work. Either way, the icing and design does not have the exact precision of store-bought baked goods, which is what I like most. Happy baking!

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