Food!!

Whole Foods Market Catering

 

Last month was my son’s birthday.  I can’t believe my little guy is 7!   Time sure does fly.  For his big day I wanted to entertain our guests with something other than pizza and chips.  My local Whole Foods market, which is located in Jenkintown, Pa, showed me that they have some amazing catering platters. 

I have done catering platters from other markets, but hands down Whole Foods market really brings it to the table.  The platters weren’t just delicious they were beautiful and colorful, and had the guests raving about how nice they were.  Below I will give you a description of the platters I ordered.
If you’re entertaining this summer and want a crowd pleasing platter you have to visit your local Whole Foods market and check the selections out. 
ANTIPASTO Platter
An array of prosciutto, sopressata, salami, provolone cheese, marinated fresh mozzarella, grilled vegetables, marinated artichokes and olives. Served with crusty bread, saffron aioli and green olive tapenade to spread. Small (Serves 8) Large (Serves 16)
 
CHEESE & MEATS Platter
A cheeses to delight the palate: cheddar, provolone and fresh turkey and roast beef served with baguette and aioli and saffron aioli. Small (Serves 8-10) Large (Serves 15-18)
Visit a Whole Foods market near you. http://m.wholefoodsmarket.com/
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Food!! · Travel

Sabbia on the Roof at Eataly NYC

If there’s one place you can call foodie heaven, it’s Eataly New York Flatiron.  It was my first time visiting, and I did not want to leave.  This place is huge, and has everything you want under one roof.  Speaking of roof, we enjoyed a delicious dinner on the rooftop Sabbia

I don’t even know where to start with this delicious restaurant.  Sabbia is a laid back dining experience that provides you with a summer feel. 
Sabbia is La Birreria’s summer pop-up concept, and transports one from the bustling streets of Flatiron, New York City to the Italian seaside. The rooftop is enclosed with clear glass that opens up on those beautiful summer days. 
As we arrived we were greeted with a very accommodating hostess.  The menu had so many amazing choices and the wine/cocktail/beer list was on point.  The hubby and I decided to order some red wine.  My kids don’t drink soda but that night we figured that they could have a treat and enjoy some Italian soda.  Our waiter Kevin was super friendly and gave us some recommendations on what to order. 
We started off with some SALUMI-FORMAGGI platter (cheese and salami), INSALATA D’ORZO E TONNATO (Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes, Capers, Grilled Onions, Artichoke & Preserved Tuna Based Sauce) and FRITTO MISTO ALLA LIGURE Assorted Fried Seafood Ligurian Style.  This was the perfect starter and I couldn’t stop eating it.  Even my kids were in on all the delicious cheeses and seafood. 
Main course was the perfect amount after enjoying all of the appetizers. I went with the POLPO ALLA PLANCHA S(eared Octopus with Chickpea, Almonds, Marinated Peppers & Taggiasca Olives), the hubby enjoyed some PESCE SPADA CON CIAMBOTTA (Grilled Sword fish with Braised Vegetables in a Tomato Broth) which he couldn’t stop raving about, and finally the kids both wanted steak so they had TAGLIATA DI MANZO (Grilled Wagyu Bohemian Steak with Arugula & Parmigiano Reggiano) and loved every bite. 
At this point we were feeling pretty satisfied, but of course you can’t finish a fantastic dinner and not have some dessert.  The kids both shared gelato and sorbetti flavors of Cioccolato and Limone, and the hubby and I shared a chocolate bunet, which was out of this world delicious. 
Overall my experience at Sabbia was amazing.  I’ll definitely be returning there the next time I’m in NYC.
Here are some of their upcoming events:
 

ROSEì ON THE ROOF | Thursday, May 25, 8-11 p.m.

Uncork summer with this all-access roseì event. The $95 General Admission tickets include an unlimited tasting of more than 30 featured roseì wines, dance floor with live DJ pumping the best summer beats, and unlimited access to beach-inspired Southern Italian bites. For $40 more, enjoy the VIP Package (limited availability) that includes everything in General Admission plus access to the event an hour early, a pink-themed swag bag for hitting the beach, and special one-time Wine Club access with three bottles of roseì curated by Eataly’s wine specialists. Tickets available at Eataly.com.

COCKTAIL TAKEOVERS | Monthly, After-hours

Monthly cocktail takeovers featuring partnerships with local cocktail bars showing off their mixed drinks. These speakeasy-type takeovers will be held after-hours monthly, with delicious food to match. Starting May 26.

PERONI CINEMA NIGHTS | Monthly at Midnight

Rooftop movie nights featuring housemade popcorn (think: Cacio e Pepe popcorn) and drinks. Starting in June.

 SABBIA will be open through October. The current hours are 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. From May 15 onward, the hours will be MondaySunday 11:30 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Reservations aren’t necessary but are available on Open Table.

About Eataly

Eataly is a bustling Italian marketplace featuring quality products from Italy’s many regions, alongside artisan creations from local producers. Guests are invited to “Eat, Shop, and Learn” about Italian culture and cuisine through the market, restaurants, cafeìs, guided tours, live demos, and classes.

 

Founded by Oscar Farinetti, Eataly opened its first location in Torino, Italy in 2007. Three years later, his son, Eataly U.S.A. CEO Nicola Farinetti brought the concept to the U.S. opening a flagship store in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood. With the help of their partners, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Adam Saper, and Alex Saper, Eataly’s U.S. presence has grown to include a Chicago location, a second New York location in Lower Manhattan, and a Boston location.

 At Eataly, the saying goes, “We cook what we sell, and we sell what we cook.” The unique format of the store invites guests to taste authentic dishes in the restaurants, find the same ingredients in the marketplace, and then discover how to recreate the recipes at home. Dining options at Eataly range from breakfast to lunch, dinner and dessert, including casual take-away choices as well as more refined sit-down experiences. Skilled artisans are at Eataly 24 hours a day making fresh bread, mozzarella, pasta, gelato, and more, for Eataly’s restaurants and retail

Food!!

Edible Flowerpot Cake

Surprise mom with this delicious edible flower pot.  This isn’t just a pretty arrangement, it tastes delicious too.  I think any mom would love this gift.  This doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s super cool to share or enjoy on your own.  These flowers are completely edible.  You can find them now in a lot of grocery stores.  The soil is made from yummy chocolate cake or brownies.

Ingredients
Store bought or homemade chocolate cake/brownie
Edible flowers
Chocolate pudding, store bought or homemade
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
Medium size Flower pot (terra-cotta)

Preparation:

In a medium bowl break up chocolate cake or brownies into pieces. Mix in the chocolate pudding. This will give you a dirt/mud texture (but this tastes really good). Next place the mixture into a clean flower pot and top with crumbled Oreos. Finally add the edible flowers. Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Food!!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

For all my chocolate lovers out there, and to all my gluten free friends this recipe is for you.  It’s a decadent chocolate cake which is sure to satisfy all those chocolate cravings.  I love to top this with some fresh fruit, but I also find vanilla ice cream to be the perfect pairing; or maybe even a glass of vino.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (plus additional for dusting pan)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter or cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and grease the paper.

Fill a pot with about 2-inches of water and bring to a slow boil. Place a glass bowl over the pot and add the butter and chocolate. Let that melt while stirring occasionally until smooth. Next remove mixture from the heat.  Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated.

Pour into springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until the top has formed a little crust. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Finally remove from pan and enjoy with fruit, whipped cream or ice cream.

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Travel

Taste of the Nation NYC

New York City’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry, the signature tasting event featuring NYC’s best chefs, sommeliers and mixologists, takes place Monday, April 24, on the East River Waterfront at the stunning 180 Maiden Lane. The evening is led by Honorary Chair Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group) along with Culinary Co-Chairs Anita Lo (Annisa) and Bryce Schuman (Betony), and Host Committee members Eli Sussman (Samesa), Chris Jaeckle (Uma Temakeria), William Elliot (Maison Premiere and Sauvage), Jack Logue (Betony), Flynn McGarry (Eureka) and Oskar Kostecki (Union Square Wines). United for a cause, these and other culinary tastemakers lend their talent and time to ensure a future where every child in this country gets the healthy food they need, every day. One hundred percent of proceeds from the event benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America.

Taste of the Nation 2017 will feature more than 40 of the city’s most popular eateries, offering guests bite-size fare, craft cocktails and inventive desserts. Participating restaurants and bars include Lalito, Union Square Cafe, Atoboy, Massoni, Pig Bleecker, Dead Rabbit, Black Tail, Pig & Khao and Daily Provisions, among others (full list below).

 

This year, Taste of the Nation is introducing new special culinary programming such as The Candy Carnival featuring a colorful selection of local, handmade candies and cotton candy making from Brooklyn Floss. The event is also bringing back favorites from previous years such as The Donut Derby with creations from the city’s best donut shops and the always-popular Rosé Garden.

In support of No Kid Hungry, alt-rock chart topping band The Strumbellas will perform a special acoustic set during the event, presented by Citi.  Listen to their new single “Young & Wild” here.

Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry tickets start at $250. For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://ce.nokidhungry.org/events/nyc-taste-nation

Every Kid, Healthy Food, Every Day

One in six children in this country struggles with hunger, including 22% of children in New York. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast in the classroom, have access to the food they need in the summer, and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. Since the campaign’s launch, No Kid Hungry and its partners have connected kids facing hunger to more than 500 million meals.

In 2016, New York City’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry raised enough to help feed children in need more than one million healthy meals. Local beneficiaries include: City Harvest, Hunger Solutions NY, Food Bank for New York City and Hunger Free America.

New York City’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is supported by national presenting sponsors Citi and Sysco®, national media sponsor Food Network, national sponsors OpenTable and The Glenlivet, and local sponsors Bazzini, Empire City Casino, Fenton Models, Lifeway, Loacker USA, Moishe’s Moving and Storage, Nobletree, Prosciutto di Parma, PTG, Shawmut Design and Construction, S. Pellegrino, Tito’s, TouchBistro, Virgil Kaine and Zwilling J.A. Henckles.

The best eateries in the New York City area will be represented at the event, including: 21 Greenpoint, A&E Supply Co., Acme, American Cut, Atoboy, Bay Kitchen Bar, Bessou, Blacktail, Cafe Clover, Cafe2 & Terrace5 at MoMA, Cienfuegos, CUT, Daily Provisions, Davio’s, Dead Rabbit, DOE Mobile Meals Truck, El Atoradero, Fifty, Finback Brewing, Freek’s Mill, Fresh Kills, Huertas, Karasu, Lalito, La New Yorkina, Le Compagnie, Le District, Maialino, Maison Premiere, Marta, Maialino, Massoni, Oddfellows Ice Cream, Pig & Khao, Pig Bleeker, Samesa, Talde Brooklyn, The Jones, The Vnyl, Union Square Cafe , Union Square Events, Up & Up,

Food!! · Travel

Kalahari Waterpark Resort

Last month my family and I got invited to the most amazing resort, Kalahari here in Pennsylvania. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions isn’t your typical resort – its authentically African theme is designed to bring families together, and that isn’t just a marketing ploy.  The spirit of Africa is reflected in every aspect of Kalahari – from the handpicked Rwandan coffee beans that are brewed on-property (if you love coffee you will enjoy this delicious cup), handcrafted artwork on the convention center walls, furniture placed in guest rooms, recorded music from the streets of Cape Town echoing in the resorts, and original crafts for guest souvenirs.  It’s all part of Kalahari’s commitment to bring guests a beyond-expectations experience.  Below you will find some great information.

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Kalahari Resort – Pocono Mountains

  • Guest rooms and suites: nearly 1,000 rooms including one-, two- and three and five bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 22 guests 
  • America’s Largest Indoor waterpark: 220,000 sq. ft. 
  • Outdoor pool, large sundeck for relaxing, indoor/outdoor whirlpools and swim-up bar
  • Family Entertainment Center: 40,000 square feet with dry activities such as mini-bowling, cutting-edge arcade games, a 5-D theater and black light mini golf. 
  • The Arena – premier free-roam virtual reality experience on the East Coast
  • Gorilla Grove Treetop Outdoor Aerial Adventure Park
  • On-site dining experiences: 
    • Double Cut Charcoal Grill Liquor Bar:  Kalahari’s signature steak house experience featuring: premium cuts of meat, craft cocktails, family style sides and more 
    • Sortino’s Italian Kitchen: A new-aged, red-sauced restaurant where old-school Italian cuisine meets the modern age. The menu will include: wood-fired pizza, Italian family dining, a large variety of wines and more. 
    • Marrakesh Market: Grab and go convenience e bazaar style shopping, unique gifts, authentic-African items and everyday needs
    • Brandberg:  A classic tavern with a modern twist, Brandberg is an oasis in the Kalahari – a refuge for adults, a welcoming environment for families, and a destination for anyone in search of a distinctive dining and drinking experience 
  • Amenities: full-service Spa Kalahari and Salon, 6,000 square-feet of unique retail shops, a fully equipped fitness center
  • Convention Center:  100,000 sq. ft. with 65,000 square feet of flexible meeting space
I was impressed with all the restaurant options that Kalahari had to offer. Every restaurant is family friendly. They also offer breakfast with the Kalahari characters, which is an all you can eat sit down breakfast. 
For dinner we went over to Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Liquor Bar. Transport into our contemporary steakhouse, featuring a menu with robust selections cooked over hot coals including steak, seafood, chops, chicken and vegetables. One quality many items share: the distinctive flavor imparted by Double Cut’s charcoal grill.

The décor is modern, but not pretentious. The ambiance is sophisticated and multisensory, yet comfortable. The staff is educated, but not showy. The uniforms are unique, but classically tasteful. Welcome to Double Cut. 

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We started off our dinner with some fantastic wine and black pepper calamari. Our waitress was super helpful bringing out the different cuts of meat that Double cut has to offer. I ordered filet mignon with jumbo shrimp scampi and garlic mashed potatoes (my mouth is actually watering, thinking about it). The hubby ordered a NY strip with madiera mushrooms and charred asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Kids enjoyed some pasta, one with butter sauce and one with marinara.  Finishing off dinner we enjoyed some aged bourbon and creme brûlée.  I would recommend Double Cut to any steak lover. 
In addition to the amazing décor and dining experiences, the entertainment level is fun for all ages.  We had a blast with the kids at their massive indoor water park, had fun at the large arcade where you can win prizes and play some fun games, and my husband even got to try a new Virtual Reality experience in their “Arena.”  You can read his review of that here: https://scryptcomics.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/a-whole-new-experience/.  There’s lots of fun for all ages, and I hope to return again soon.
Visit https://www.kalahariresorts.com/pennsylvania for more information and to book your next family getaway
Food!!

Easter with Keller’s Creamery

Easter brings with it the heart of Springtime.  It’s a time to celebrate, and there is much symbolism in the flowers rising as well as having family or friends gathering for a feast.  Each year it has become a tradition to have certain necessities for our meal.  Wine and beer are the main drinks for us grown ups with a lightly carbonated juice for the kids.  Our table always pops with color.  For me the holidays aren’t about just making a plate look good, but the table needs to draw in the crowd as well.  My mother-in-law bakes a nice ham with some pineapple and maraschino cherries to accent it.  There’s usually a good green vegetable, potatoes, rolls, and coleslaw in the mix as well.  Being a baker’s daughter though, I can’t deny the bread, and can’t wait for the dessert. 

While planning how I’d decorate the table, I included a side bowl of jelly beans for the color, and after dinner taste.  When I found out about Keller’s Creamery Butter Bunny Sculpture, however, I knew I had to have that as well.  A regular stick of butter for the bread just wouldn’t do.  He may not be the Easter Bunny, but it’s one of the highlights of the table.  The kids even look past the jelly beans and dessert to the cute little bunny.  Just make sure they see it before you cut off the ears and start spreading him on bread. 

This year I’m making a butter cake using Keller’s Creamery.  I’m local to a Weis supermarket, which always has them this time of year.  Below is the recipe, which I hope you enjoy.  What Easter traditions do you have? Visit for more on Keller’s Creamery http://www.kellerscreamery.com/

Butter Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs, room temp

Zest of one orange, for garnish optional

powdered sugar, for dusting top of cake

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour a large bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well incorporated. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda and butter milk, then add the sifted flour. Spread the batter evenly into the Bundt pan. Bake for approx. 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour.
  3. Once cake has completely cooled, invert onto a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Keller’s Creamery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Food!!

TGI Fridays Endless Happy Hour

This past week I had the opportunity to attend TGI Friday’s #EndlessHappyHour Celebration with Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Marcus Smith.  The Bensalem Friday’s location provided a showcase of new drinks and apps, as well as a fun atmosphere filled with excited football fans and food lovers.  Did I mention that the appetizers are endless?  Well you read right.  For ten dollars a person you can order as many apps as you’d like.  Among them are their newest addition of Meatballs & Fried Pickles.  TGI Friday’s also has an amazing selection of drinks, which I saw many people had in hand during the gathering.  Among those are the new Ultimate Boba Long Island Tea, The Best Fridays™ Margarita, and Strawberry Henny.  The excitement of the crowd really took it to a new level with plenty of laughs and enjoyment to go around.

While I wasn’t able to stay long due to other engagements, I will certainly be returning soon with my family to enjoy the experience.

Below are Ultimate Boba Long Island Tea and Strawberry Henny & Peach Sangria

Food!!

Peach Dump Cake

IMG_2371.JPGThe name of this easy cake doesn’t do it any justice. It’s called the “dump cake”. The reason why it’s called this is because you pretty much dump everything in one dish. No mixing required. This cake is so easy and by far my favorite way to satisfy a sweet tooth. The only bad part about this is waiting. Feel free to add any fruit to this mixture. I also topped with some ice cream and some lime zest. I felt like having some peaches since spring is in the air. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray for greasing the baking dish
Two 12-ounce bags frozen peaches
1 box moist yellow cake mix
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2cup rolled oats
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Ice cream, optional for topping

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Put the peaches in the prepared baking dish. distribute the cake mix over the peaches evenly. Sprinkle with the almonds and oats. Evenly drizzle the butter over the entire dish.

Bake until firm and golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Food!!

Coconut Pudding

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I love a good pudding.  It’s like the perfect ending to a delicious dinner.  I have made so many varieties of pudding (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon and passion fruit), but this coconut one has now become a favorite on the list.  This is a must try recipe.  You will not be disappointed, and even the kids will want seconds.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (13.5-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Raspberries, garish optional

Preparation:

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan; whisk in milk and next 2 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Place in little ramekins and in the refrigerator for 90 min or overnight. Top with raspberries and chocolate.