#SCBDEventRecap The Village Voice Choice Eats Event 2014

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So, I’m not a foodie. In fact, if I could choose between eating and not, I’d take the latter. That’s just me though. But, when our editor-in-chief sent out an email stating she was ill and needed someone to attend The Village Voice “Choice Eats” Seventh Annual Tasting Event, I decided to dive in to help her out. It’s not like it was a burden because I was already in the city that night.

Getting there was a doozey because I hadn’t a clue where Basketball City was. But after I hopped onto the M line, got lost and hailed a cab, I was there. I forgot about everything else and focused on the event.

After checking in with the press table, how special I felt, it was time to mosey around. I had no clue where to start and I felt extremely disorganized. I’d never attended an event and I wanted to present myself as professional and organized as possible. My hope is that it showed.

The VIP area was upstairs and I made my way to check out the selections. Before my eyes were desserts, burgers, barbecued items, chicken, alcohol, you name it. Wherever food you were in the mood for, it was present. But, you must remember a fact about me, I’m all about health & fitness and even still, at an event such as this, I wanted to try to keep my cals in check.

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When I inquired about the amount of calories in one of my favorite desserts, the Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jam from Doughnut Plant, one of the women laughed at me and said, “Oh, honey, you can’t worry about calories at this event.” I mean, I totally wanted to be conscious of what I ate, but at the same time, I had to sample these delectable foods. Between you & I, some of the time, I bit half of it and then threw the rest away because that is the protocol at events like this, because there is food for days. I bet you’re thinking, “how dumb of you,” but, hey, I couldn’t enjoy it too much. I’m sort of trying to lose a couple of pounds.

Primarily, I was hooked to the back, where the desserts sat. I tried pastries, brownies, ice cream, butterscotch popcorn, Bubble tea and strawberry shortcake. Then, I made my rounds to the real food. I tried chicken burgers, a sandwich at Pickle Shack, Clarke’s famous cheeseburger, pork tacos and a vegan apple sage sausage sandwich. After that, I tried not to worry as much about calories. Oh well. I would just work out tomorrow harder.

I made my rounds. I couldn’t help but circle round and round. I told myself to stop, quit it, cut it out, but I couldn’t help myself.

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I would say my favorite was definitely the Chocolate chip cookie bar with chocolate ganache and pretzels from Robicelli’s in Brooklyn, NYC. The chocolate and pretzels went together well and I fell in love! I can’t hide it.

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My second was probably the OddFellows Ice Cream Company’s Cedar Creamiscle orange infused foam, graham cracker ice cream. It tasted so creamy and the graham cracker bits added to the taste.

shortcake.

And, my third was from Fayda Bakery in Chinatown served their Strawberry Shortcake, which was out of this world! It was served with a strawberry and whipped cream on the top. Yummy much?

I was filled to capacity and needed to leave before I made another round. All in all, I believe this event allowed foodies to get a taste of popular desserts and foods of all kind. I was happy to attend and try everything from vegan, vegetarian to the not so healthy foods.

Happy eating!

#SCBDEvent: Get Your Tickets for The 20th Annual @TasteofTribeca on May 17th

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Source: Rebecca Yale, Tribeca Citizen

Source: Rebecca Yale, Tribeca Citizen

Taste of Tribeca is a one-of-a-kind outdoor culinary festival that celebrates downtown local flavor. Celebrating its 20th year milestone, this highly regarded annual event will take place on Saturday, May 17th from 11:30am to 3pm, rain or shine, on Duane Street (between Greenwich and Hudson Street) in Tribeca.  All proceeds will ensure the continuation of arts and enrichment programs at local public schools, PS 150 and PS 234.

The festival will bring together Tribeca’s top chefs and restaurants, including Bouley, Tribeca Grill and Walker’s, who have all participated in the annual event since the beginning; as well as exciting newcomers.

Source: Rebecca Yale, Tribeca Citizen

Source: Rebecca Yale, Tribeca Citizen

In addition to restaurant tastings, there will be a special VIP section, live entertainment, wine tastings, and more!

Tickets are on sale now at www.tasteoftribeca.org

Options include:
·      General Tasting Card ($45/advanced purchase; $50/day of event), provides six tastes from any of the participating restaurants.
·      Premium Seating ($350, $680, $950 for tables of two, four and six), includes personal food runners, reserved seating, designer t-shirts and a gift bag from the Taste of Tribeca sponsors.

Source: Rebecca Yale, Tribeca Citizen

Source: Rebecca Yale, Tribeca Citizen

Follow the event on Twitter! @TasteofTribeca #tasteoftribeca #tot2014.

#SCBDExclusive: .@WhiteCastle is coming to East Brunswick, NJ!

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This Sunday, March 16th, White Castle will be opening it’s 30th New Jersey location in East Brunswick! This state-of-the-art White Castle, which includes two flat-screen TVs, a grab-n-go drink cooler and free Wi-Fi, is located at 645 Highway 18.

“We’re excited to add another new restaurant to the White Castle family,” said Lisa Ingram, president of White Castle and fourth generation family member. “We can’t wait for Cravers to join us in East Brunswick to share our famous Sliders, and we hope to initiate some new customers into Craver Nation.”

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East Brunswick’s new White Castle will be open 24/7 serving breakfast from midnight to 10:30 AM daily, along with their traditional lunch and dinner menu. For those Cravers that show up early, White Castle’s team members will be handing out free giveaways to the first 50 customers.

For more information about this and other White Castle locations, visit their website!

#SCBDExclusive: St. Patrick’s Day Fun in the Tri-State!

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Whether you’re Irish by blood or Irish in spirit, you can find tons of fun ways to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day in New Jersey. The top bars and restaurants are hosting events all weekend long to help celebrate the Luck of the Irish! Check out these cool events happening in your neighborhood:

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NCAA March Madness at The Village Pourhouse Hoboken | Sunday, March 17th – Monday, April 7th

The only place to watch the NCAA March Madness tournament is with us! With specials on everything from pitchers of beer, to our signature wings and burgers, and enough HDTV’s to watch every minute of every game….how could you say no? Join us for “March Madness” and reserve your space now! For additional information and reservations, visit this site!

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Kegs & Eggs “Green Breakfast” St. Patty’s Weekend at Manhattan’s SideBAR | Saturday, March 15th – Monday, March 17th

iAdventure.com and SideBAR (115 E 15. St, NYC) bring Manhattan their 3rd Annual Kegs & Eggs “Green Breakfast” weekend bash! Join us for a weekend of everything green…Green Beer, Green Eggs, Green Bagels, Green Pancakes & of course, Lucky Charms. Tickets, including our breakfast buffet & open bar options, are available here.

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Carnival Style Deep-Fried Oreo & Ice Cream Sliders | Little Town Hoboken

Little Town’s Executive Chef Jordan Andino is whipping up his New “Secret Menu Item!”

Try chef’s Carnival Style Deep-Fried Oreo & Ice Cream Sliders, with a scoop of Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry ice cream sandwiched between each warm cookie. For more information & menus please visit their website.

St. Patrick’s Day Festivities @ Red Knot @ Galloping Hill Golf Course

From Executive Chef Ralph Romano: a series of delicious Dinner Specials, including Corned Beef Sandwiches, Shepherd’s Pie and Guinness-Steamed Mussels as well as (of course!) a traditional Corned Beef Dinner ($18) with potatoes, cabbage
and carrots. Irish Soda Bread, too.

This special menu will be available Friday night, March 14th through Monday night, March 17th. Additionally: From Friday to Monday, Red Knot will be decorated for the holiday and (recorded) Irish music will be playing BUT on Saturday night, a Live band playing Irish music will be featured!

For more information and to register for these events, visit the Galloping Hill Golf Course website.

 

#SCBDExclusive: Celebrate the Luck of the Irish with These Top Philly Picks for St. Patrick’s Day + Weekend

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This St. Patrick’s Day, Philly is the city to be in for the best food, festivals, and fun! All weekend long, the top Philly bars, restaurants, and spas will be celebrating the Luck of the Irish with delicious menu options and awesome deals for all.

 

FESTIVALS AND PARTIES 

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INAUGURAL HEADHOUSE IRISH FESTIVAL

Head to South Street Headhouse District and celebrate before and after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 16th, from 11am to 7pm, with live Irish music, Irish dance performances, classic Irish food, drinks and food under the Shambles (Second Street between Pine and Lombard). Second Street will be closed between Locust and Pine, leaving plenty of room for dancing and partying.

Beer pouring during the festival will include Guinness, Smithwicks, Harp, Magners Irish Cider, Yuengling, and Coors Lite. In keeping with the Irish theme, you’ll also be able to get 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, Jameson and Fireball shots. Seating will be available to enjoy the many Irish foods including Bangers and Mash, Lamb Stew, Shepherd’s Pie and Corn Beef Quesadillas. Kid friendly fare includes chicken tenders and hot dogs. Entertainment will include live music from Mark Monahagn Trio, a DJ, Irish dancers and the 2nd street Irish Society Pipes & Drums Brigade (after they head back from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade).

Presented by Cavanaugh’s Headhouse and O’Neals Pub. All ages welcome, 21 to drink. FREE admission.

KISS ME I’M IRISH AND GAY

Join the official Gayborhood St. Patrick’s Day Party at U Bar (1220 Locust Street) with Kiss Me I’m Irish and Gay on Monday, March 17th, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Tickets are only $20 at the door and include one free drink, discount drink specials, discount beer specials, complimentary food from Terra, door prizes, a benefit raffle, music and surprises – including some good ole Irish fun and frolic. EVERYBODY is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day so dress in green to win prizes. The event is open to everyone, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and family, friends and allies, from 21 to all ages. This annual event benefits City of Hope Philadelphia and QUEERtimes.net.

FOOD AND DRINK 

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SERRANO AND TIN ANGEL

Serrano Restaurant and Tin Angel (20 S. Second St.) present a fun-filled weekend with live music, a new flaming drink and Irish food specials – plus special Monday hours.

At Serrano downstairs, owner Donal McCoy (who hails from Belfast) presents dishes and drinks that celebrate his favorite Irish flavors.

** Flight Agus Bite – A flight of four that showcases the diversity of Ireland. Enjoy two Irish whiskies (Jamison and Bushmills) from opposite ends of the spectrum, a pour of Harp Lager, paired with a Deconstructed Ulster Fry (Sausage, potato croquette, mushroom, housemade potato and soda bread).

** Wee Taste Of Ireland Cheese Plate – Three artisan Irish cheese with accompaniments include Cashel Irish Bleu, Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheese a traditional Irish Cheddar. Paired with housemade potato and soda bread.

At the bar, head bartender Shawn Gormley (past owner PBR in Old City) conspires with McCoy on two special new libations:

** The McIlhatton Manhattan – A classic Manhattan only with a twist – Irish whiskey will be used instead of American, bourbon or Rye.

** Flaming Irish Potato – This special shot is sure to put on a show by itself as it is lit on fire with unique sparks for a tongue-in-cheek poke at the rotten American candy! Featuring Malibu Coconut Rum, Bailey’s Cream and cinnamon.

** Watch for weekend Harp and Guiness specials at the bar.

Upstairs at Tin Angel, on Saturday, March 15th, Don McCloskey returns to the Tin Angel for his annual St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza. Tickets are only $12.00. Doors open at 9:30pm, with the show starting at 10:00pm. Don McCloskey is an independent artist based in Brooklyn, NY who infuses folk music with elements of rock, hip-hop, electronica, country, pop and world music. His lyrics often deal with the themes of love, sex, war, spirituality, world religions, American politics, his hometown (Bristol), literature and pop culture.
On Monday, March 17th, Serrano will open at Noon with the above specials and a full dinner menu. Normally Serrano is dark on Mondays.

SLICE

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All three SliCE locations (Rittenhouse, South Philly, South Jersey) bring the luck of the Irish to the love of pizza. On Friday, March 14th, kick-off the weekend with “Free Friday” and find samples of the new “The St. Patrick’s” pie at the end of the rainbow. This new creation features a special family recipe of braised ham and cabbage, bacon and swiss cheese, topped with a spicy mustard. No purchase necessary for pizza samples. The pie will be available through St. Patrick’s Day and until the end of March. During the weekend, watch for in-house deals and special slices to welcome tourists traveling on the Erin Express.

Addresses:
Rittenhouse – 1740 Samson Street, 19103
South Philly/East Passyunk – 1180 S. 10th Street, 19147
South Jersey – 137 Egg Harbor Rd, Washington Township, 08080

NICK’S ROAST BEEF IN OLD CITY

Nick’s Roast Beef in Old City District (16 S. 2nd Street) kicks off a weekend of St. Patrick’s inspired fun – kicking things off early with a special Guinness Benefit on Thursday, March 13th, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Support Dennis Leary’s Rescue Me Foundation and earn a chance to win a fireman’s shirt and jacket. Money raised will support local fire houses in Philly’s smallest neighborhoods. Look for beer specials and promos, giveaways and other fun!

On Friday, March 14th, Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th, Nick’s serves as home venue for the Luck of the Irish St. Paddy’s Day Bar Crawl with food and drink specials. Ticket info is found here.

On Saturday, March 15th only, Nick’s features a special St. Patrick’s Day Karaoke Party starting at 9pm with Old City Karaoke and DJ Lars Peterson.

On Sunday, March 16th, head to Nick’s before or after the St. Patrick’s Day parade for Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes at only $8.99, plus Leprechaun Balls shots featuring Irish Whiskey and Baileys for only $3.00. Bud Light Aluminum Bottles (16 oz) will be specially priced at $4.00. Opens at 11am.

On Monday, March 17th, Nick’s opens bright and early at 11am to get your St. Patrick’s Day day-drinking on. Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes, Leprechaun Balls shots and Bud Light Aluminum Bottle special will be served again. For those with empty pockets after the weekend party, Nick’s serves up lunch specials for only $6.95! Day-drinking and lunch starts at 11am.

GREEN SPA TREATMENTS 

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EVIAMA LIFE SPA

Go green for St. Patrick’s Day with specials at the region’s eco designed and operated spa! Eviama Green Spa and Boutique in Midtown Village (109 S. 13th Street) offers three discounted and specially designed services perfect for the lasses (and leprechauns) to pamper and rejuvenate themselves.

After a long weekend of some wee Irish spirits, detox with a special “Tea and Aromatherapy Wrap” featuring Nettle, Ginger, Holy Basil and Immortelle to get your system humming again. Featuring dry brushing and a special trip to the infrared sauna. For a warm fuzzy place at the end of the rainbow, enjoy a special trip to the infrared sauna without a service for $5.00 off all weekend.

Will the luck of the Irish bring spring days ahead? Find out with our Back Work Kansa Wand and Citrus Body Scrub to prepare with strokes from the Kansa wand, exfoliate with aromatherapy blended Himalayan Sea Salts, and finish with one of the enchantingly rich Dr.Hauschka Body Moisturizers.

Finally, luxuriate in the amazing array of Dr.Hauschka formulas through a Dr.Hauschka Classic Treatment. Eviama is an exclusive retailer for this world-wide organic collection. Transition to the new season with your unique inner clock reset. This two hour rhythmical transformation includes lymph brush for the face, aromatherapy, foot soak and rub, head and arm stretches and much more. Plus save at the boutique on Dr. Hauschka shopping.

 

#SCBDEvent: .@TheDoeFund Hosts 3rd Annual sweet: New York Tasting Event

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On Thursday, March 13th, The Doe Fund will be hosting it’s 3rd annual sweet: New York to support homeless people in NYC. Students from the Doe Fund’s culinary employment program will work alongside chefs from the top NYC restaurants to treat guests to sweet and savory dishes. All proceeds will go to the Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing, and Able Program, which helps formerly homeless men and women get back on their feet through career development and educational tools.

Guests will be given the VIP treatment and served dishes from some of New York’s most famous restaurants, including Dinosaur BBQ, Magnolia Bakery, Tao, and Capital Grille. Patrons can also enjoy specialty cocktails crafted by expert mixologists, along with wine from award-winning vineyards and craft beers and spirits. Along with dinner and drinks, there will be a not-so-silent auction and the musical stylings of celebrity DJ Chelsea Leyland.

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VIP Tickets cost $150, and tickets to the main event cost $100. You can purchase tickets online and find out more information about the event. Join the Doe Fund on March 13th at 6 PM at the Bowery Hotel for dinner, drinks, and dancing for a good cause!

#SCBDEvent: 2014 .@ChoiceEats takes place March 25th in #NYC

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The Village Voice’s seventh annual tasting event, “Choice Eats,” announces a fourth round of participating restaurants today, bringing the total up to 75 participants. The 18 newly added restaurants are: Black Tree, Buka, Chandni, Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken, Doughnut Plant, Grandaisy Bakery, Jones Wood Foundry, Juliette Restaurant, Khe Yo, Kuma Inn, Liddabit Sweets, Mexico Lindo, Mooncake Foods, Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen, Ovenly, Peppa’s Jerk Chicken, Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Rubirosa.

Today’s newly announced restaurants will join previously announced restaurants: 606 R&D, Alobar, Ample Hills Creamery, Anella, Bear, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Bhatti Indian Grill, Bien Cuit, Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, Brooklyn Kolache Co., Bunker, Butter & Scotch, Carlo’s Bakery, Coppelia, Devi, Dirt Candy, Edi and the Wolf, Egg, El Almacen, Fay Da Bakery, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Fonda, Indian Clove, Jimmy’s No. 43, John Brown Smokehouse, Kaia Wine Bar, La Newyorkina, Larb Ubol, Little Prince, Littleneck, Louro, Luke’s Lobster, Mables Smokehouse, Maima’s Liberian Bistro, Martha, Max, No. 7, Oda House, OddFellows Ice Cream Co., Ovelia Psistaria, Pete Zaaz, Queens Comfort, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Robicelli’s, SCRATCHbread, Sheep Station, Spicy Bampa, Swine, Tabata Noodle Restaurant, Telepan Local, The Kati Roll Company, The Meatball Shop, The Pines, Thistle Hill Tavern, Xe May Sandwich Shop, Yunnan Kitchen and Zenon Taverna.

“Choice Eats” will be accepting volunteer applications until March 7th to assist The Village Voice team on-site at the event. All volunteers will receive a free general admission ticket to The Village Voice‘s Third annual “Choice Streets” Food Truck Tasting Event to be held in May 2014 (specific date TBA). To apply, you must be 21 years or older and fill out this application, here: http://bit.ly/CEvolunteer.

VIP tickets for “Choice Eats” 2014 officially sold out in minutes since going on sale on January 29th and only a limited number of General Admission tickets are still available. Purchase tickets, here: www.villagevoice.com/choiceeats. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 25th at Basketball City at Pier 36 located in Lower Manhattan from 7:00PM-10:00PM with a VIP-only hour from 6:00PM-7:00PM.

Brooklyn indie-rockers DIIV will DJ this year’s “Choice Eats” event. DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and front-man of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new four-piece. The band is signed to Captured Tracks and has been hailed by Pitchfork, Stereogum and their likes for their dreamy, psychedelic style. DIIV have performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and at major music festivals including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and more.

“Choice Eats” is one of New York City’s most unique food events where 3,000 attendees sample food from over 60 of the most sought after restaurants across all the city’s boroughs from over 35 countries, all handpicked by The Village Voice’s food critics and previously featured in theFork In The Road blog.

Back by popular demand, “Choice Eats” will offer all ticketholders an array of dessert offerings in the “Choice Sweets” section of the event. Choice Sweets participants will be featured on the main floor, with a select few exclusive to the VIP lounge.

Typically held at the 69th Armory, this year’s “Choice Eats” will move to a new downtown location, Pier 36 @ Basketball City, the state of the art Lower Manhattan venue that will enable the event to grow its footprint plus expand the number of attendees, participating restaurants, demos and more. The venue regularly transforms its seven side-by-side basketball courts to an elegant event space for expos, corporate events and now for the Village Voice’s Seventh Annual “Choice Eats.”

Sponsors confirmed for Choice Eats 2014 include: Stella Artois, Great Brewers, Southern Wine & Spirits, Whole Foods Market, Disney NEWSIES on Broadway, Diamond Vision, Asahi Beer USA, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Blueprint Brands, Asahi Beer, Verizon FIOS, New York Health & Racquet Club, Pisco Portón, Abita Brewing Company, Alphabet City Brewing Company, Blue Point Brewing Company, Brewery

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Ommegang, Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Lagunitas Brewing Company, MOA Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Singha Beer, Sixpoint Brewery, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Black Dirt Distillery, Catoctin Creek, Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, New Holland Brewing, Rogue Spirits, Suerte Tequila, Virginia Distillery Company, Woody Creek Distillers, SingleCut Beer, Four Roses Bourbon, Cabot Creamery and Hot 97.

 

For more information on “Choice Eats” please have a bite here:

www.villagevoice.com/choiceeats

https://www.facebook.com/voicechoiceeats

https://twitter.com/ChoiceEats

 

Event Details:

Choice Eats 7th Annual Tasting Event

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TICKETS: On Sale Now: http://www.villagevoice.com/choiceeats

VENUE: Basketball City | 299 South St. | New York, NY 10002

COST: $85 – VIP (SOLD OUT)

$60 – General Admission (STILL AVAILABLE)

6:00-7:00pm – VIP HOUR

7:00-10:00pm – EVENT

 

Getting There:

The event’s new venue, Basketball City, is conveniently located just north of the Manhattan bridge and steps away from F Train on the East Broadway Stop. It is also accessible by buses and the J, M line at Essex Street.

#SCBDRecipe: Super Superbowl Fondue and More – thanks to Emmi

scbdrecipeWhether watching for the actual game or the newest commercials, an important aspect of any Superbowl party is the food. For something different, Emmi Roth USA has tips on making cheese fondue a focus both foodies and football fans will love! They even have a football helmet-shaped fondue pot to serve it in for party décor and a tasty dish in one.

SB HELMET

 For fuss-free planning:

  • Emmi of Switzerland’s Original Cheese Fondue is ready to heat and eat right out of the box, perfect for dipping bread, veggies, meats and fruits.
  • Emmi’s Fondue Party Helmet is a fun new gadget I think your readers will love for game-day. The fondue party helmet means hot, melty fondue in 15 minutes – no stove needed!
  • Dipping stadium foods, like chicken fingers, French fries, pigs in a blanket, soft pretzels and even wings add another dimension to foods popular to serve during a Superbowl party. 

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For another fun take on fondue for football, try this cheesy dip recipe for a guaranteed crowd pleaser:

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Caramelized Onion, Gorgonzola & Pecan Dip

 

Yield: 1 8×8 serving dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box Emmi Original Cheese Fondue
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp cream sherry
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In large sauté pan over medium high heat, sauté onions in olive oil about 8 minutes until they start to brown, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking to caramelize the onions. Stirring often for about 15 minutes.
  2.  When onions are all golden and completely tender deglaze with sherry.
  3. Add Milk and package of Fondue & More, simmer ingredients until fondue is completely melted and incorporated.
  4. Place onion mixture in greased 8×8 baking dish, top with crumbled gorgonzola and pecans.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Enjoy!

, Fondue

 

 

 

#SCBDEventRecap: Grand Opening of .@Thefreshmarket

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I had the opportunity to attend the opening ‘cutting of the cheese’ ceremony of the Fresh Market grocery store in Bedminster, NJ. They had a ceremonial crack of the wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

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I was very excited when I found out I had the chance to attend this occasion, I had breakfast made fresh in the store and got to see this uncommon ceremony. For those of you that do not know what the Fresh Market is about or what it even is, it is a Market or Grocery store. This market started in Greensborough, NC in 1982. They go with the concept of having everything fresh, have the experience of the customer be more than a chore and to be an experience of relaxation and enjoyment. To share the smells of the fresh made breads and food, and hear classical music surrounded by a warm and friendly environment. The products are all high quality, and not high price like some other markets. You can find a variety of items, common and uncommon all under one roof. This market is the second in New Jersey, and the 151st store in the United States.

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Pulling up to the store, I was so excited! The outside is beautiful and so welcoming; I walked right in and walked to the welcome table. They handed us our complimentary reusable shopping bag, jelly beans, and a bag of their coffee. The bags are really nice, thick and durable and the coffee was delicious! The breakfast that we went to included fresh made products from the store. We had some fruit and breads, the breads included pumpkin bread, banana nut bread, and date nut type bread. They were absolutely delicious and tasted homemade. On the same table there was Orange Juice, it also tasted so fresh.

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There was a hot food station with two chefs. They were cooking bacon and French toast with maple syrup. This was also so good; they gave us little slices of the French toast so we could dip it in the syrup. Finally, they had a few coffee samples to try, I tried the one and it was pretty good, especially since I do not drink coffee.

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I walked around the store a bit and was shocked to see all that they offer. They have a candy bar, fresh nuts and dried fruits and vegetables that you can serve yourself, and coffee section. You can grind your own peanuts and almonds, and get fresh made sushi. There is fresh made breads, and fresh packaged spices.  The desert section was also great, with tons of choices.

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We got to sample the Apple Pie; this pie tasted homemade and was outstanding.

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There is also a whole cheese counter with every type of cheese I know of, over 200 to be exact. They had a meat and seafood as well as cold cut counters. We also got to taste some samples and walk around and get to know the store

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One of the things I really liked about this health market is that it included products of organic and ‘healthy’ companies as well as the companies your find at your local grocery store. It is a one stop shopping place with a really warm and elegant feeling. There were wood floors and beautiful signs, and the workers were outstanding. All the workers were willing to help and very knowledgeable of everything in the store.

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I found out that all the meat is also fresh, whatever is not sold that day is froze and then either sold to restaurants or donated to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

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The cutting of the crack of the wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese started with the Regional director of operations in the North east, Sandy Glatter, speaking.  She explained about the store and how they have great customer service and dedicated workers to help your experience. They also have samples for the opening so the customers can try some of what they offer. She introduced Ben Burton, the store Manager. Everyone was fabulous there!

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This was an awesome thing to witness, Sandy Glatter explained how it is a time honored tradition and it is ‘cracked’ using five tools. This specific wheel of cheese weighed about 86 pounds. She also said how it can take up to 24 months to be made and for it to be ready to sell. It starts with 150 gallons of milk and they age it around 12 months, check it if it is the right cheese. Then they let it sit again until it gets the seal of approval. We got to sample and take part in eating a slice of this tradition, and the cheese was delicious!

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I am so happy I could experience this, and now I have a new store to go to. It is a bit of a distance away from my home, but it is worth it to drive there for all the selections and good tasting food. I am so excited to incorporate my holiday cooking with this store, it gives me so many more fresh options and help from the staff!

More Pictures:

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http://www.thefreshmarket.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheFreshMarket

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjKCk5IMZ7E&feature=youtu.be (my video- sound is not the best)

 

#SCBDReview – Mehndi at Morristown

scbdreviewphoto 1On Friday night, the Small Chick and I got mehndi at Mehndi in Morristown from the lovely lady doing henna artwork during dinner. Every Friday night, the henna artist is there to give mehndi artwork for free on a tip-by-tip basis, with the standard tip being about $5 per person. We also enjoyed a delicious press dinner with several other local New Jersey journalists and enthusiastic foodie representatives.

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 The meal was served family style. Appetizers were aplenty since we were given Maachli Koliwada (deep-fried tilapia), Paneer ke Sholay (homemade Indian cottage cheese, celery, carrot, and green chili) Mango Jhinga (jumbo shrimp, onion, tomato, ginger, and fresh mango), and Tandoori Lamb Chops.

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The main course dishes were Parda Biryani (bone-in goat, basmati rice, saffron, cinnamon, clove, mint, and green chili), Bhey Kofta (lotus root dumpling and mustard termping), Baingan Bharta (eggplant concasse, green peas, tomato, onion, and whole red chili), Murgh Tikka Masala (boneless tandoor-baked chicken, onion, and tomato-based sauce), Garlic Naan and Rosemary Naan, Jeera “cumin” Rice, and House Raita.

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Finally, the dessert was a simple but delicious Rasamalai—homemade fromage blanc dumplings in reduced milk with pistachios.

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My Harry Potter fangirl dreams came true when I drank their Hazelnut Spiced Hot Buttered Rum which was exactly the way I pictured Butterbeer to taste. The drink was made of rogue hazelnut spiced rum, unsalted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and warm water. I slept like a happy, inebriated panda that evening, curling my body up in my slumber and dreaming of visiting the SM23 Happy Hour in the near future. I also highly recommend visiting their lounge next door called SM23 which has an extremely low-key, downtown Manhattan feel due to the low-lighting, 25-and-over young urban professional crowd, and exotic cocktails. Cheers!

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LINKS

MAIN WEBSITE                                       http://www.mehndimorristown.com/

BAR/LOUNGE NEXT DOOR (SM23)    http://www.sm23morristown.com/

Follow @MehndiMTown on Twitter

www.facebook.com/MehndiMtown

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