CSNStores.com’s Hamilton Beach Hand Blender (Review)

25 Aug

Continuing with the New York City cramped kitchen theme, CSNStores.com has extended yet another lucky gift to FoodForFodder.com–this time to the tune of a $20 gift certificate to use anywhere on the site. As a reminder, CSNStores.com has over 200 online associated outlets where you can find anything you need from swingsets, to fitness equipment, or even insulated dog houses! CSNStores.com is really your one-stop destination for all your online shopping needs.

Similar to my review of the cast iron skillet, I really wanted to give readers some ideas about other useful kitchen gadgets that could really cut down on storage space and time. As I scoured the list of kitchen tools, the Hamilton Beach Turbo Twister 2 Speed Hand Blender almost popped off the screen. It is perfect for mixing cake batter, making pancake mix, creating homemade sauces and soups, or anything else that needs a good whip. Unlike bulky mixers that take up a ton of overhead storage space or can barely fit on your counter top when you need to use it, this hand blender is a slim item with multiple uses–and can actually fit in a drawer. Continue reading

Popbar’s New Popaccino

25 Aug

“Are you a popaholic yet? If so, your eyes are going to pop when you see Popbar’s latest product: Popaccino!

Popaccino (n., pop-ah-chi-no): A premium blended iced coffee topped with double chocolate brownie crumbles.

One can now alleviate their sudden craving for coffee plus their chocolate fix with the unique infusion of brownie pieces inside the drink.

From the outside looking in, you can never fully understand Popaccino.  So come in and have a taste because no one can withstand it.”

I plan to try it out this weekend. It looks awesome.

La Vie Lounge – VIP Bloggers Night

6 May

La Vie is an exotic space nestled in the East Village that offers a French-Moroccan aesthetic with a full dinner menu created by Executive Chef, Momo Terien.  With its beautifully intricate hanging lanterns and intoxicating ambiance, La Vie offers an escape for the après work and late night crowds alike.

Live entertainment including international music nights and belly dancers are featured throughout the week and the new dinner menu is now available for late night dining, offered until 3am, 7 days a week.  La Vie also offers one of the best happy hours in the neighborhood, including $4 sangria, $3 select beer, $6 well drinks, and $15 hookah that goes from 6pm-10pm, 7 days a week.

As a guest of the Grand Opening event, I was treated to an evening of open bar, hookah, select hors d’oeuvres based off of the new dinner menu and an impromptu belly dancing performance that stole the show.

The event was a lot of fun, and if I find myself in the Lower East Side, needing a little Middle-Eastern flare, I’ll definitely keep La Vie Lounge in mind.

Mother’s Day at Greensquare Tavern

29 Apr

(press release)

A MOTHER’S DAY CELEBRATION INSPIRED BY…MOM.

Chef John Marsh and his partners at Greensquare Tavern, the new farm-to-table restaurant at 5 West 21st Street, are offering Mother’s Day specials inspired by their own moms.

“My mother was an amazing gardener and a terrific home cook,” Chef John Marsh recalls.  “Local ingredients meant our back yard.”

Partners Larry McIntyre and Leon Bell also credit their mothers with inspiring a life-long love of food. For Leon’s mother, a Holocaust survivor, “food is life. Food is love.”

Along with its regular menu, Greensquare Tavern will feature a $45 Prix fixe menu with a choice of appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert including the Mother’s Day specials below:

* Jane Marsh’s delicious Pan-roasted Striped Bass with citrus herb sauce, caramelized onion mashed Yukon potato & sauteed swiss chard.

* Rita McIntyre’s famous Lasagna Bolognese with handmade pasta sheets, ground beef, veal & pork; three secret cheeses & homemade marinara served with sautéed broccoli rabe.

* Celia Bell’s Veal Scallopini with roasted shallot demi-glaze, risotto Milanese & sautéed spinach.

For reservations call 212-929-2468, or visit greensquaretavern.com.
Of course,  all moms will leave with a beautiful rose to cap their meal.
Small plates: $9 – $10
Medium plates: $13 – $19
Entrees: $23 – $26

The Spotted Pig — Big Burgers, Bigger Expectations

28 Apr

The West Village is one of those neighborhoods that’s so inexplicably enchanting, that even the most manly man can’t help but feel charmed by the rich architecture, European-esq streets, and affluent young couples content with their three-story walk-ups. One of the more popular eat-centric attractions in the West Village has been The Spotted Pig, a corner gastropub, which features a chipper mix of twenty or thirty-something adults, juicy hamburgers, and an inevitable twenty-five minute wait.

The Spotted Pig is a staple on most people’s “must try” list–including the plethora of European tourists that have increasingly crowded the already jam-packed name-list. Popular entrees like the Pan Seared Scallops with Ramps & Chili Pan and the Roasted Veal Chop with Baby Artichokes & Dandelion will run you $32 and $35, respectively, so the eatery is hardly as pedestrian as its interior suggests it should be. Instead, most people opt for their Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings, which is “modestly” priced at $17.  Continue reading

NYWCA Online Auction Press Release

28 Apr

If you like food and dig charities, then this event described in the below press release will be perfect for your pallet.

– 

NEW YORK WOMEN’S CULINARY ALLIANCE LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER    

ONLINE AUCTION TO PROMOTE A BID FOR HEALTHY EATING

 Proceeds Raised Will Be Directed to Charities Including Spoons Across America and Nourishing NYC

NEW YORK, NY (April 12, 2011) – Join New York Women’s Culinary Alliance (NYWCA) members in support of healthy eating and nutrition for New Yorkers.  As chefs, cookbook authors, and culinary professionals, Alliance members understand that nothing is more vital to health than good food and nutrition.  In an effort to help New Yorkers achieve this, the NYWCA has launched its first-ever Bid for Healthy Eating Online Auction.  Live now through May 4th, 2011 at http://www.charitybuzz.com/auctions/NYWCA, the public has the rare opportunity to bid on a range of one-of-a-kind epicurean experiences.  Auction highlights include:

·      Dine with Celebrity Chef, Sara Moulton, with a Custom Wine-Paired Dinner for 4 at New York City’s Famed ilili Restaurant

·      Attend the “Oscars of the Food World” – James Beard Foundation Awards with Dinner and a Private Tour of the Media Room Beforehand

·      A Rare Test Kitchens Visit and Behind-the-Scenes Tour at Food Network with the Network’s Executive Chef, Robert Bleifer, Including a Show Taping

·      Lunch with Erica Duecy, Fodor’s Travel Restaurants & Hotels Editor

·      A Private Tour of the James Beard House (JBF) with JBF’s President, Susan Ungaro, Followed by an Incredible Chef’s-Themed Dinner for 2 at the House

“Raising funds for nonprofit organizations whose missions align with ours has long been a part of our charitable giving efforts,” said NYWCA President Liz Young. “And this year, we are excited to utilize our members’ skills and deep-rooted relationships in the food community to help two very worthwhile organizations.” One hundred percent of auction proceeds that the NYWCA receives will benefit the alliance’s charitable giving efforts, including donations to Spoons Across America – a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating children, teachers, and families about the benefits of healthy eating and Nourishing NYC – a not-for-profit organization with a mission to alleviate the strong correlation between low-income status and poor dietary health by providing nutritious meals and nutritional education without question and without criticism.

The NYWCA is a not-for-profit organization whose mission fosters networking, education and cooperation for women in the culinary and beverage fields in the New York City area.  The Alliance goals include assuming a dynamic role in community affairs, particularly through outreach programs and fundraising for women’s health and nutrition issues, as well as working with adults and children in need, to teach them the basics of nutrition, food buying and healthful meal preparation.

For additional information about the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, visit http://www.NYWCA.com.

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About Spoons Across America

Spoons Across America is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded on the premise that it is essential to the health of children and society to bring the joys of the table to the children of America.  The organization works to influence the eating habits of children through hands-on education that celebrates the connection to local farmers and the important tradition of sharing meals around the family table.

 

About Nourishing NYC

Nourishing NYC was opened in 2008 to address poor nutrition and health while addressing the issue of food scarcity and hunger—large issues facing the poverty-stricken East Harlem community in New York City.  The organization strives to achieve the mission of “Nutrition for All” through a three-pronged approach of feed, educate and advocate.

Thanks, Bro — The Ultimate Man-Gifting Service

5 Apr

When it comes to gifts, men are about as simple and cheap as it gets. Unlike the ladies, men don’t intentionally leave Tiffany & Co. catalogs laying around with circled jewelry, demand grandiose bouquets from Flowers of the World, or pander for imported chocolates from the finest Belgium boutiques. Yes, at their core, men really just need beer and beef. And that’s where Thanks, Bro comes in. Continue reading

Stonewall Kitchen — Sample Basket Review

9 Feb

Stonewall Kitchen is a specialty foods store based out of Maine. It started back in 1991, vending its goods from the confines of a farmer’s market, and has now expanded to big chains throughout the country, as well as the internet. Stonewall Kitchen has kept very closely to its roots, and has time, and time again, proved capable of canning, jarring, and boxing little bits of Maine for the world to enjoy.

I was fortunate enough to receive a sample package from the kind folks at Stonewall Kitchen, which is wonderful considering I’m a huge fan and avid consumer of their goods. They provided me with Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, Caramelized Onion Mustard, Roasted Garlic Onion Jam, Peach Chutney, Roasted Peach Whiskey Sauce, Bourbon Molasses Sauce, Wild Maine Blueberry Champagne Jam, and Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix. Like all of their products I’ve tried, these were no different–that is, they were all incredible delicious and unique.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce: For chocolate sauce aficionados out there, Stonewall Kitchen’s “Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce” doesn’t get much better. The boldness of dark chocolate, sweetness of caramel, and saltiness of sea salt is a killer dessert topping combination and one that’s tough to beat. Suggested Usages: sundaes, yogurt, straight-up with a spoon.

Caramelized Onion Mustard: It’s hard to convince me to use any other kind of mustard besides good ole deli or Dijon, but the addition of sweet, caramelized onions seals the deal. Even after using this mustard just once, slapping this in a sandwich or on a hotdog is not only a no-brainer, but a necessity. Suggested Usages: turkey sandwich, hotdog.

Roasted Garlic Onion Jam: For those accustom to jams being fruity, leave your pallets at the pantry door. The Roasted Garlic Onion Jam’s texture might seem a little adventurous at first glance, but you’ll be using it with cheese plates and even on burgers in no-time. Suggested Usages: cheese and crackers, hamburgers.

Peach Chutney: Chutney is a very common pasty sauce in Indian cuisine, but it’s also easily adaptable into American foods as well. Stonewall Kitchen’s Peach Chutney blends together sweet mango and heat-filled spices to create an ideal spread, dip, and even topping. Suggested Usages: spread for sandwiches, dip for tortilla chips or pita bread, topping for yogurt.

Roasted Peach Whiskey Sauce/Bourbon Molasses Sauce: Both the Roasted Peach Whiskey Sauce and the Bourbon Molasses Sauce aren’t exactly A1–but then again, why would you want them to be? The sauces draw sweetness from the peaches and molasses, as well as the boldness from the whiskey and bourbon. Essentially, they’re the bomb. Suggested Usages: ribs, chicken, salmon.

Wild Maine Blueberry Champagne Jam: At first glance, there are so many blueberries in the Wild Maine Blueberry Champagne Jam, that it almost just seems like a jar filled with fruit. But upon further review, the reason there is so much fruit in the jam is because that’s what high quality jam should look like. Suggested Usages: toast, topping for yogurt, topping for pancakes.

Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix: Stonewall Kitchen’s Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix takes the approach I wish more folks would–“Why don’t we just add chocolate?” We’re not just talking about dull chocolate powder, but explosive, fine chocolate, evenly layered into a fantastic pancake/waffle mix.

Peanut Butter & Co. – Valentine’s Day (Press Release)

8 Feb

For Immediate Release

Contact: David Kirschenbaum (212) 757-3130 ext. 112

David.kirschenbaum@ilovepeanutbutter.com

VALENTINE’S DAY AT PEANUT BUTTER & CO. IS FOR SWEETHEARTS

Greenwich Village sandwich shop once again offers their Sweetheart’s Snack this Valentine’s Day
(New York, NY) – The world-famous Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop is pleased to announce that its Valentine’s Day Sweetheart’s Snack is once again being offered this year.  Those looking for an inexpensive, fun, and tasty way to celebrate Valentine’s Day will be happy to hear that the Sweetheart’s Snack special will be available for the first time for TWO DAYS on Sunday, February 13 & Monday, February 14, 2011 from 11am until 9pm.

Back by popular demand, the $35 per couple (plus tax and gratuity) prix fixe menu consists of four heart-shaped sandwiches served with Peanut Butter & Co.’s trademark potato chips and carrot sticks.  Big glasses of fresh milk (plain or strawberry-flavored pink) with a heart-shaped straw for two accompany the meal.  The PB & J Pretzel Sundae (vanilla ice cream, peanut butter pretzels, and raspberry sauce) and candy Conversation Hearts mark the sweet end to your date.  The romantic mood will be set by music from Sirius XM Radio’s Love Channel 3. The low price includes a jar of Peanut Butter & Co.’s all-natural, gourmet peanut butter to take home as a delicious souvenir.

Peanut Butter & Co. will be open from 11:00am until 9:00pm.  Couples can guarantee seating by booking 45-minute time slots with a credit card.  Reservations are suggested.  Peanut Butter & Co. is located at 240 Sullivan Street in NYC.

WHAT: Peanut Butter & Co.’s Sweetheart’s Snack Special

WHERE: 240 Sullivan Street, Between Bleecker And West 3rd Streets, New York City

WHEN: Sunday, February 13 & Monday, February 14, 2011 from 11:00am – 9:00pm

COST: Just $35 per couple, plus tax and gratuity. Includes a free jar of all-natural, gourmet Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter

FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL: (212) 677-3995

Peanut Butter & Co.’s ten varieties of all-natural peanut butter – Smooth Operator, Crunch Time, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, White Chocolate Wonderful, Dark Chocolate Dreams, The Heat Is On, Mighty Maple, The Bee’s Knees, Old Fashioned Smooth and Old Fashioned Crunchy – are made fresh from a special blend of U.S.-grown peanuts chosen for their taste, texture and natural sweetness.  Certified Kosher by Orthodox Union and Vegan by Vegan Action (The Bee’s Knees is Vegetarian), Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter contains no cholesterol, no trans-fats, no hydrogenated oils, no dairy products, and no refined sugars.  Additionally, Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter is made with non-GMO peanuts, and is packaged in recyclable plastic jars or portable Easy Squeezy™ squeeze packs. (Available in 3 flavors.)

Peanut Butter & Co.’s line of all-natural, gourmet peanut butter is now available in over 10,000 supermarkets and specialty retailers including Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and Kroger.  The Company’s products are also available in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Asia.  Peanut Butter & Co. began in 1998 as a cozy little Sandwich Shop in Greenwich Village which enjoys a loyal following of locals and tourists alike. The Shop serves gourmet peanut butter sandwiches, desserts, milkshakes, and smoothies and was the inspiration for The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook (Quirk Books), now in its third printing.

Peanut Butter & Co. – Peanut Butter Flavors Review

26 Jan

As a frequent visitor of Peanut Butter & Co.’s storefront in the West Village, I am hardly new to the phenomenon that is Peanut Butter & Co. Their business plan might seem simple on the surface, but creating top-notch peanut butter is hardly easy. Their terrific flavors have found themselves on the shelves of Duane Reade and even pantries around the country. Essentially, their peanut butter is good–really good.

So when I received “samples” of their peanut butter in the mail, I couldn’t be more delighted. The opportunity to try ten–yes ten–of Peanut Butter & Co.’s special flavors has not only been a unique experience, but also a difficult one–ten jars of peanut butter is a lot (even for an addict like myself). Regardless, I pushed through, and gave each jar of peanut butter the attention it deserved.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl: Cinnamon Raisin Swirl is a great option since it already encompasses the necessary ingredients for making a top-notch sweet sandwich. Even for people who cringe at the site of raisins, there are honestly few spreads that taste better on a piece of toast than the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.

The Heat Is On: The Heat Is On is arguably Peanut Butter & Co.’s most interesting flavor since eater’s pallets might not be used to a spicy peanut butter sandwich. However, unlike the other options on this list, The Heat Is On serves as easily the best cooking option. Since peanut butter is a main ingredient in a lot of Asian-inspired dishes, the combination of peanut butter and heat go hand-in-hand–so make sure to keep a jar of The Heat Is On in your pantry.

White Chocolate Wonderful: In a world dominated by milk and dark chocolate, white chocolate doesn’t get as much love. But anyone who knows chocolate knows that white chocolate is the sweetest of them all. The combination of peanut butter and white chocolate creates one of the smoothest and sweetest combos–so stop hating, and start consuming.

Dark Chocolate Dreams: Dark Chocolate Dreams is my favorite flavor to eat straight-up in the bunch. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is a winning mix, and each bite is reminiscent of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup–or for Nutella fans out there, think of it as that spread you love with a peanut butter kick. Toast has finally met its match with Dark Chocolate Dreams.

The Bee’s Knees: With sugar, brown sugar, and all the artificials, it’s easy to forget about the best kind of sweetener–honey. Honey, in my opinion, is the most universal sweetener, so it’s no wonder it mixes with peanut butter beautifully. If not just eating this peanut butter flavor with a spoon, it is also a must for throwing into yogurt (especially Greek yogurt).

Mighty Maple: Not only is maple syrup an underrated sweetener, but it also unfortunately gets pigeonholed as a “pancakes/waffles-only” topping. Luckily for you, Peanut Butter & Co. has recognized this injustice, and created Mighty Maple, which marries smooth peanut butter and silky maple syrup. If you’re still locked-in on pancakes/waffles, at least substitute Might Maple for the regular syrup next time around.

Old Fashioned Smooth & Smooth Operator: Old Fashioned Smooth and Smooth Operator (as well as the Old Fashioned Crunchy and Crunch Time) are the only traditionally-flavored peanut butters that Peanut Butter & Co. offers–but “traditional” hardly means “boring.” The key difference between the Old Fashioned Smooth and Smooth Operator is that the latter has more ingredients than just “peanuts” and “salt.” That’s right, the Old Fashioned Smooth is about as bare bones as it gets, but there’s something in its simplicity that just makes it delicious.

Old Fashioned Crunchy & Crunch Time: Similar to above, Old Fashioned Crunchy and Crunch Time are separated by the fact that the Old Fashioned Crunchy only contains “peanuts” and “salt.” However, I also noticed that the Old Fashioned Crunchy was a heck of a lot more crunchy than Crunch Time. So if you really need that extra crunch, then opt for Old Fashioned Crunchy. In addition, if you ever make peanut butter cookies, Old Fashioned Crunchy, again, is the quintessential peanut butter to do so with (because of the ratio of crunchy to smooth).

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