#SCBDEvent: Chef’s Night to celebrate launch of “.@eNJoynjfood: A Taste of New Jersey” restaurant guide

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The students of Monmouth University’s Entrepreneurship class have created, “eNJoy: A Taste of New Jersey,” a restaurant guide featuring only the best restaurants and wineries in New Jersey. 50+ restaurants from throughout the state are receiving a two-page spread that includes a signature recipe, a brief history, and a description of the unique atmosphere of each restaurant.  The book will be available in April and can be purchased
online at www.enjoynjfood.com or at restaurants featured
in the book.

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The students will host a Chef’s Night at Branches Catering in West Long Branch on May 5 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to celebrate the launch of the book. The event will consist of sampling exclusive dishes from top chefs and their respective restaurants, as well as a tasting of New Jersey wines. Live entertainment will be provided and a turnout of 400 to 500 guests is expected. Tickets are $35 for the general public and $15 for Monmouth University faculty and students and can be purchased online at www.enjoynjfood.com

All profits from the book and the Chef’s Night will be  donated to endowed scholarship funds at Monmouth University in memory of Monmouth alum Joseph Adelhardt and
Christopher Mejia.

The mission of the Monmouth University Center for Entrepreneurship (MUCE) is to nurture entrepreneurial thinking though a community of business partners committed to achieving social and economic progress.  Entrepreneurship students are able to conduct business practices and launch new businesses  from the safety of the classroom in real world situations. Previous projects include pasta sauce, dog treats, and perfumes that are still on the market today.

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For more information and updates on “eNJoy: A Taste of New Jersey,” the Chef’s Night, or the entrepreneurship class please follow them on  twitter at @eNJoynjfood, like us on
Facebook at www.facebook.com/enjoyatasteofnewjersey!

Cheers to a great night for a great cause, we will see you there!

#SCBDEvent Alert: #Cheers to charity .@EscapeMontclair’s Wine Dinners

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I must admit that once you’ve had fine dining, it’s kind of hard to go back. At least for me it is. For an almost 25 year old I have a rather interesting palate. One night I could be eating a slice of pizza with beer– the next night I can be diving into a tuna tartare with a glass of wine.

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If you’re looking for a lovely wine dinner to attend where the proceeds go to a great cause, go to one at Escape in Montclair. The dinner I attended with Jason was roots & grains dinner where both Chef Bryan Gregg (Executive Chef of Escape) and Chef Thomas Ciszak  (Executive Chef of  Chakra) took turns creating dishes.

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Some of my favorites that night included the amuse bouche which was Uni, rye, fermented radish “Korean style” by Chef Gregg, scallops, celery root, black truffle by Chef Gregg, lamb Crepinette, green olive quinoa, braised radicchio, dehydrated garlic, aged balsamic by Chef Ciszak. Chef Ciszak also prepared a delicious dessert, white Chocolate “cream of wheat”, pistachio, orange, young carrot foam. The food was so unique and delicious and the restaurant is the perfect space for it. Chef Bryan Gregg really knows what he is doing.

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Want to attend an upcoming dinner? Well you are in luck….Bryan Gregg, Chef and Owner of Escape Montclair and a leader in the New Jersey local food movement, today announced that he is partnering with James Laird, Chef / Owner of Restaurant Serenade to jointly host a five-course,Taste of Spring wine-paired dinner on Wednesday April 30, 2014 at 7PM.  

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In the Escape kitchen, Gregg and Laird will craft a locally-sourced dining experience to benefit cancer research and treatment in New Jersey. The five-course Taste of Spring dinner will include wines hand-selected by Amanti Vino proprietor, Sharon Sevrens. The cost of the event is $95 per person with 50% of the food proceeds being donated to benefit cancer research and treatment in New Jersey.

“I am looking forward to showcasing the freshest spring products our local farmers can provide,” says Chef Gregg.  “Chef Laird shares my passion for locally-sourced ingredients and together, we will create a meal that is a true springtime celebration that I know our guests will enjoy and will help drive up our donation to cancer treatment and research in New Jersey,” continues Gregg.

Cheers to eating a great meal with delicious wines for charity!

#SCBDRecipe: Celebrate Passover with These Fun and Easy Recipes!

scbdrecipe   Passover begins on Monday, April 14th, kicking off a series of festive spring holidays. What better way to observe Passover than with some delicious dishes for you and your family? The following recipes are easy to make and put a modern twist on traditional Jewish dishes. If you celebrate Passover, then you’re aware that matzo is a staple in Jewish cuisine. Kings Food Market, located in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, offer up some fun ways to spice up your matzo with these dishes:

Babble-Matzo-Pizza

  • Matzo Pizza: Unlike the regular greasy variety, this Passover pie calls for just a few basic, natural ingredients: matzo, canned tomatoes, kosher mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, basil leaves, and some healthy fats courtesy of olive oil.
  • Matzo Lasagna:  Leave the lasagna noodles behind and use matzo instead. The rest of the recipe is basically the same as the non-kosher-for-Passover variety: marinara sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and some nutrient-dense spinach.
  • Matzo S’mores: When life hands you matzo, make matzo s’mores. Drizzled with melted chocolate and topped with toasted (kosher for Passover) marshmallows, this simple, savory-and-sweet snack is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

The ingredients used for these recipes, along with any other festive feast, can be found at your local Kings Food Market! Passover means spending quality time with family and friends, but doesn’t need to be spent in your own kitchen!

In her new book, Living a Real Life with
Real Food: How to Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Stay Energized–THE
KOSHER WAY, Beth Warren shares healthy and delicious recipes that will
make your holiday a hit.

In LIVING A REAL LIFE WITH REAL FOOD: HOW TO GET HEALTHY, LOSE WEIGHT,
AND STAY ENERGIZED–THE KOSHER WAY (Skyhorse Publishing, February
2014, hardcover) Beth Warren, a registered dietician and certified
nutritionist, offers a comprehensive plan for getting healthy using
kosher principles and the latest science. She also shares fifty simple
and delicious recipes, many of which would make a great addition to
your Passover table.

Adapted from: Eatingwell.com.

Syrian Potato Salad

Syrian Potato Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes*
  • 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 4 scallions, chopped

*I leave the peels on for added fiber and nutrients, along with lowering the glycemic index of the potatoes.

Directions

Boil the potatoes in large pot until tender, about 20 minutes. Cut the potatoes in small squares and place in medium mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and lemon juice, then the seasonings. Gently mix the potatoes and place sliced eggs on top.

Per serving: Calories 226; Fat 11.3 g (Saturated 1.9 g); Cholesterol 62.0 mg; Sodium 415.4 mg; Carbohydrate 26.8 g; Fiber 3.2 g; Protein 6.2 g

Chicken and okra

Chicken and Okra

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 whole organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, separated
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1–2 packages baby okra*
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz.)

Directions

Wash and clean the chicken. Place chicken pieces at the bottom of a small roaster. In a small bowl, combine the spices and oil. Brush the spice mixture around the piece of chicken. Add 4 tablespoons of water to the roaster. Cover and bake for 350 for 45 minutes. Take the roaster out of the oven and place the chicken pieces on a glass plate. Add in 1–2 packages of baby okra, fresh or frozen, into the chicken juices. Mix in 1 small can of tomato paste. Add the chicken back to the roaster and embed the pieces within the okra. Bake for 1 hour at 350° F.

*You can also substitute the okra with Yukon potatoes, cubed, which would count towards the starch portion of your plate. The recipe contains meat.

Per serving: Calories 144; Fat 4.7 g (Saturated 1.0 g); Cholesterol 63.4 mg; Sodium 355.9 mg; Carbohydrate 2.7 g; Fiber 1.5 g; Protein 21.7 g

ADDITIONAL TIPS

Worried about overeating at Passover? Warren will offer original tips
that you can use on Passover and any other day to eat in moderation.
They include:

  • Tell a joke–you can’t eat when you’re laughing.
  • Give a hug or compliment to your host or loved one. It will switch your focus and you’ll be comforted by warmth and closeness–instead of food.
  • Have fun after the feast. Organize a group activity, like taking a walk, playing a game, or signing a song. This will keep you from pigging out on the deserts.

Excerpted with permission from Living a Real Life with Real Food: How to Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Stay Energized–the Kosher Way by Beth Warren, MS, RD, CDN, Copyright 2014, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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If you’re looking to get out of the house this holiday, then stop by Bustan on the Upper West Side. Native Israeli chef Efi Nehan and Guy Goldstein will be directing the kitchen and front-of-house, respectively, and will offer a multi-choice three course dinner at $65 per person. Chef Nahon describes the menu as “rooted in familiar tradition, but given some gustatory panache by the application of some mixing and matching of culinary customs based on the geographical heritage of Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean region.” Highlights of Bustan’s Passover menu include: Matzo Pie, artichoke, smoked duck breast, fava bean, potato & truffle oil and Tunisian Bastil potato dumpling stuffed with ground beef & hardboiled egg among the appetizers. While Passover palates will be tempted by entrees, including Lamb Shank, artichoke, snap peas, Swiss chard & fresh mint; Braised Short Rib, grilled potato, mushroom & chipollin; and Poached Moroccan Halibut, spicy tomato sauce, fire roasted peppers, fresh chickpeas & cilantro. Some 15 – 20 Israeli wines priced at $40 to $140 a bottle will be available to complement the menu. Bustan is located at 457 Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th street and will be serving their special Passover menu on Monday, April 14th between 5PM and 11PM, along with their regular dinner menu. To make reservations or for more information, contact them at 212-595-5050.

#SCBDRecipe: Pizza Grilled Cheese for National Grilled Cheese Day!

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Sandwiches. Pizza. Grilled cheese. What happens if you blend all three of these tasty and amazing things? PIZZA GRILLED CHEESE, that’s what!

So, in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day I will share a fantastic Pizza Grilled Cheese recipe with you. This is one you will want to make over and over!

What you need:

  • 4 slices of bread
  • Butter
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pepperoni
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Marinara sauce

What to do:

  1. Butter each piece of bread on one side and create your sandwiches in layers.
  2. Start with mozzarella, Italian seasoning and parmesan,
  3. Add a layer of sliced pepperoni and top with mozzarella (if any other toppings are desired, add now) and a slice of bread.
  4. Repeat with second sandwich.
  5. Grill in a skillet, on medium heat, until crispy and golden brown. When bottom slice is golden brown then flip over carefully. Once both sides are brown remove from pan cut and serve with pizza sauce if desired.

#SCBDRecipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole for National Cordon Bleu Day!

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Happy Cordon Bleu Day friends! What a great food holiday before summer really gets here and it is too hot for tasty comfort food like this!

I used three chicken breasts and the two cups of ham. But, if I make this dish again, I would use less chicken and more ham. Maybe more cheese as well. (Is there such thing as too much cheese? Don’t answer that because I will never agree – and we can’t be friends – if the answer is even “maybe.” ;) )

This dish was pretty quick and simple to prepare. It also heated up nicely as leftovers the next day for a quick lunch at work. That is always a plus!

Here’s how mine turned out:

Recipe courtesy of RachMarie PR.

 

#SCBDEvent: .@EPassyunkAve Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Family Brunch

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On Saturday, April 5, 2014, East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District (EPABID) presents its annual Easter Egg Hunt from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on the lawn of the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center (1430 East Passyunk). Children are invited to decorate egg collecting bags with Occasionette, enjoy treats from Beneficial Bank, dance to family-friendly tunes, hunt for prize-filled eggs and meet the EasterBunny.  Egg Hunt times are staggered by age group, with four and under at 11:00 AM, five to seven at 12:00 PM and eight to ten at at 1:00 PM.  After the festivities, families are invited to enjoy special brunch menus and bakery discounts at participating eateries.  The Egg Hunt is free and open to the public. For more information, go towww.visiteastpassyunk.com or call 215-336-1455.

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After your little tykes work up an appetite, bring them over to participating restaurants for a delicious brunch with great deals for the whole family, including:

** Black N Brew (1523 EPA) – Zara’s Breakfast (one egg, one pancake bacon and sausage) for $5.00, Pigs in a Blanket (two pancakes two sausages) $5.00, Kids Grilled Cheese $2.95 and Kids PBJ $2.95. Adults are welcome to BYO.
** Cantina Los Caballitos (1651 EPA) – Kid specials include fruit salad with granola and yogurt, plus Fire Roasted Salsa Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
** Chhaya (1823 EPA) – Free kid sized Belgian Hot Chocolate with purchase of kids brunch item.                                                                                                                   ** POPE (1501 EPA) – Specially-priced kids brunch menu. For the parents, $3.00 Bloody Marys & Mimosas.

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While strolling the Avenue, shop for spring gifts and fashions at East Passyunk businesses, plus stop by the CityKids Consignment Sale at Neumann Goretti High School (1736 S. 10th Street) from 10:00am to 7:00pm. For info visitwww.southphillyparents.org

This free event is held rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, bags of candy will be handed out at 11:00 AM in front of the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center (1430 East Passyunk). For weather updates, visit East Passyunk Avenue on Facebook or @epassyunkave on Twitter. For additional information, visit  www.visiteastpassyunk.comor call 215-336-1455.

#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.

bakery,

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.

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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!

#SCBDEventRecap: .@GSFoodTours #LoveBites Event .@LITMJC

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A few months ago I had the opportunity to attend a Garden State Food Tours (aka GSFT) event at LITM (Love is The Message) in Jersey City. I’m really happy I went because it gave me a taste of what tours are like and the type of restaurants they work with. GSFT is a company that has tours that focus on Montclair and Jersey City (which is an up and coming foodie community).

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The event itself focused on dessert bites and cocktails. The cocktails were made by the bartenders at LITM, I had the Cherry Champagne cocktail and it was delish! The desserts were brought in and served by two local vendors, Cholita Dessert Bar (formerly All Kinds of Whoopie aka AKW) and Milk Sugar Love. Both were delicious, I loved the cupcake from Cholita’s and the white chocolate lavender macaron was delish from Milk Sugar Love. It was also an honor to meet Adriana (of Cholita’s) and Emma (of Milk Sugar Love) while I was there.

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I had come to the event after work so I was definitely was really hungry. LITM is known for their award winning macaroni & cheese so I figured that would be a great bite for dinner. I’m so happy I got it, because it was some of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve had. I even got it with mushrooms and spinach in it. It’s phenomenal and made with Vermont cheddar, dash of nutmeg and truffles. I was so impressed I want to go back soon and have it again. While I had my amazing macaroni and cheese I also got to try one of the cocktails they have that wasn’t part of the event. It was delish and did not disappoint.

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LITM is the perfect event space and restaurant. The cocktails are crafted to your liking and have some great top shelf ingredients for a great price. It’s also a gallery which is a great environment to be in for any creatives like myself out there. I was so happy I attended and even met with the ladies behind GSFT, Alessia and Janis.

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I can’t wait to attend my next tour, so stay tuned as we’ll keep you up to date on where they will be next! Cheers!

#SCBDExclusive: Gaby Brasserie Française to Delight Guests on April Fool’s Day

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Gaby Brasserie Française, the charming bistro at the Sofitel New York, will bring April Fool’s Day back to its roots with a fun-filled Poisson d’Avril (April Fish) theme that will delight even its most serious guests. The Midtown Manhattan hotel will celebrate the holiday’s French origins on April 1 with an evening filled with surprise-and-delight treats.

As part of the French tradition, the target of a prank will unknowingly walk around with a paper fish taped to their back. Gaby guests who discover a fish on their back will not become the butt of a joke, but the recipient of a pleasant surprise. One lucky diner at each table will receive a surprise of sorts such as free cocktails, an appetizer to share, or a complimentary bottle of wine. Guests are also encouraged to visit Sofitel New York on Facebook and Google+ to share their favorite April Fool’s pranks using the hashtag #GabyAprilFools.

For reservations or more information, visit http://www.gabynyrestaurant.com/ or call (212) 782-3040.

#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.

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