‘Tis the Season: Gifts from the Desert

Neot Smadar

For young lovers and their parents, ‘tis the season of gift giving as summer weddings approach and engagements are announced.

How about considering unique, edible gifts?

I ran across information about Negev Nectars and was taken by their mission “to support small- scale, sustainable agriculture in Israel, and to provide a market for these farmers.” All products sold through this American company come from Israeli farms located in the Negev desert. Continue reading

Celebrating with Simmons Family Farm Yogurt

Sometimes there’s an unexpected confluence of circumstance that makes writing about holiday foods a real thrill. Maybe it’s the adventure of discovering a new product that I suddenly feel I must have in my ‘fridge at all times.

In my perennial search for traditional foods with a twist, it was a great coincidence when the CT. farmers Robin and Ron Simmons contacted me about trying their organic, local, low fat and kosher yogurt .

Simmons Family Farm Yogurt almost sounded too good to be true. I shared with family and friends and began tasting the product over a period of a couple of weeks, just in time to make the connection between dairy and Shavuot. Continue reading

Chef Mark Shadle Shares G-Zen Secrets

This post was contributed by guest blogger and long time vegetarian, Laurel Tuohy.

In addition to being one of the East Coast’s premier vegan food chefs, Mark Shadle partners with Ami Beach Shadle, Master Raw Chef, creating flavorful, vitamin rich, organic foods at their Branford restaurant, G-Zen and on their sustainable vegan food truck, G-Monkey.

Mark also teaches occasional cooking classes at Wallingford’s Delia Center (CT).

 Busy enough? Continue reading

Salad Topped Pizza in Honor of Mom

 

styling and photo by Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez

Every Mom loves salad. And kids of all ages love pizza.

I’m thinking it’s the perfect union for a simple Mother’s Day meal. Kids and Dads can have a farm to table adventure preparing this one.

Mom will admire their efforts and taste the difference.

Continue reading

Print Restaurant Tells All

Do you check online restaurant menus before you call for a reservation?

Take a look at the online menu for Print Restaurant, 11th Ave. at 48th St. in NYC, and you can learn a lot.  Ride your cursor over the ingredients and you will find a whole lot more than overblown descriptions of flavors.

You will discover that the impossibly magenta oranges in the Blood Orange Salad come from Isabelle’s Orange Orchard in New Orleans.  The butternut squash that serves as a tasty whipped landing for the Pan-roasted Snapper comes from Paisley Farm, which coordinates a co-op of upstate NY farms consisting of 25 like minded farmers seeking to distribute their crops. Continue reading

Blossom Keeps Me Coming Back For More

Naysayers may ask, “If it is vegan, what is there to eat, really?!” 
Think vegan is bland and limited in choices?  Think again.
Blossom has been on the  NYC restaurant scene since 2005. I have trouble imagining the dining landscape without it.  There are a number of great (yes, I said it) vegan restaurants in NYC and I count Blossom as one of them.

As one who avoids all animal products that are not kosher, I relish having an entire menu to choose from. Yup. It is like a celebration and I get a little giddy when the entire menu is fair game for me. No need to ask tons of prying questions here. Continue reading

Rouge Tomate for Healthy and Delicious Eats on the UES, NYC

When a friend called from just outside of Aspen to see if we could meet him for dinner in NYC, I sprung into action to find the ideal place.   P. had entertained us in July by sharing the magnificent and exclusive golf course and dining area at the  Roaring Fork Club. How to reciprocate and hit the right vibe and great menu choices in our neck of the woods?

Rouge Tomate, just one block east of Central Park on the Upper East Side, was the perfect choice. It has a breezy and bright interior which strikes a sophisticated chord with plenty of blond woods and red accents ( yup, it is rouge). There is lots of breathing room between tables and best of all, there are private booths in the back of the generous dining room.
When I mentioned to Rachel, the Maitre d’, that we were entertaining a guest from out of town, she gladly guided us to my favorite area in the back. Continue reading

Pumpkin Recipe Tasting in Ridgefield, CT.

“Fall in love with Ridgefield” was the theme for numerous food events over the weekend but I was most interested in all things pumpkin.  The call went out to professional and amateurs asking for recipes both sweet and savory and the contest was on. I was honored to judge with Michele Stuart of Michele’s Pies in Norwalk and Westport, CT. Continue reading

Visit the Stand for Juice and More

The Stand Juice Company opened a second location in Fairfield , CT five weeks ago and they are rockin’ already.  Carissa Dellicicchi and Mike Hrizdo, the dynamic husband and wife duo behind the Stand in Norwalk (opened in 2006), complement each other perfectly.

Carissa is the cook and creative force and Mike is the organizer and funny man. They first met in Miami at a raw foods market and bonded over their love for organic veg eats and their passion for exploring the connection between better eating and healing the body.

In their Fairfield location,  they have created a sunny and inviting space from an industrial outbuilding that was once part of a rubber factory complex.  The brick walls, generous windows, painted ducts and cement floor speak to the history of this group of buildings which now form a campus of athletic and recreational facilities called the Sports Plex. Continue reading

Napa Round-up and Farewell

Here’s a round up of the final days of our extraordinary eating  (yes, and drinking)  adventures in Napa Valley. I could have spent another few weeks there, speaking with passionate food growers, vintners and chefs.  But alas, the east coast called us back to our reality.
I chose to visit Robert Sinskey Vineyardsfor many reasons.  They are fully organic and biodynamic, they grow all of their own grapes, they have an abundant cooking garden from which their chefs pull fruits and veggies and best of all, they serve lunch.I started at 11 AM with  the farm to table tour, which takes guests through the  culinary garden,  the cellar and then on to their stone terrace for lunch. Continue reading