Archive for October, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Trick-or-Treating folks! Here’s another great pic from Serious Eats. This is actually what I look like when I get candy corn. Candy Corn – you either love’em or hate’em. I HEART THEM. Oh yeah, yesterday was National Candy Corn Day.


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Rice Krispie Costume

As Halloween approaches us in a few days, I couldn’t help but share this picture. I don’t have a pet but when I see stuff like this I wish I did! How cute is this cat with it’s Rice Krispie costume over at Serious Eats? If you click the link, there’s another link to more pet pics, including one of a dog dressed as an Ewok that is just ADORABLE.

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What I Believe…

My friend Jennifer over at Broke Hoedown tagged me with this new meme, What I Believe. Since this is a foodie blog, I’ll make it food-related. These are the five food things I believe in….

1. I believe in trying mostly everything once within reason. By using this theory, I’ve opened my palate and have found I love, for example, foie gras, buffalo, and African cuisine. Now I won’t be trying any types of food Fear-Factor-esque style (like bugs and testicles) but I am open to trying most things.

2. I believe that using gravy, I mean tomato sauce, out of a jar is sacrilegious, at least in my house. That’s fine if you do it, not everyone knows how to make this. But when a certain relative who shall remain nameless because I know she’ll yell at me, tried to pass that off one year around the holidays, oh no I wouldn’t have it. The next year I made it for her since her lack of time was the issue. The only time you’ll hear me say Prego is when I’m saying you’re welcome.

3. I believe in giving my businesses to local restaurants. I refuse to eat at chains, the food is sub-par and I guarantee I can find a local restaurant that will cost me the same. This is a hard theory to push on people. I live in Monmonth Co., NJ right off of Routes 35 and 36 – “Land of the Chain Restaurants.” It’s tough to swallow seeing these places packed all the time while my favorite local ones struggle. I do however make exceptions for McDonald’s and Cracker Barrel about 2 to 3 times a year 🙂

4. I believe in cheating on my diet once a week. That’s right, I eat what I want without an ounce of guilt on Saturdays. I bust my bum eating amazingly healthy and working out Sunday through Friday so I indulge on Saturdays. Not too the point of being a nauseating mess (tried that once and was sick for 7 hours), but I will eat some dessert or some carbs. Even my gastro doctor agreed it was ok to indulge on occasion!

5. And finally, I believe good food comes in all types. I may be a foodie but I’m not a food snob. I can tell you my favorite place to get a Pan Au Chocolate (The Flakey Tart in Atlantic Highlands) or Foie Gras appetizer (Trinity, Keyport) but you better believe I can tell you where my favorite hot dog places are (Heidelburg in Keansburg and Jerry’s in Elizabeth) and love a hot pretzel off the streetcarts in NYC.

I tag the following bloggers to tell us what THEY believe in: SableMindedThe Maverick ChefAlosha’s Kitchen, and The Home Cook.

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This year I’ve become completely addicted to the Farmer’s Markets near me. There is one in Keyport every Thursday and if I miss that one, there’s another one on Friday in Atlantic Highlands. I seriously do not know how I will survive past October when both of the Farmer’s Markets end. My favorite veggie/fruit vendor has been Hauser Farms from Old Bridge. They have a large variety of selections at extremely reasonable prices. Their produce is sooo good my two favorite restaurants in the area (Trinity and Drew’s) are regular customers (yeah, so much so, that sometimes they buy up EVERYTHING before I get there!!!).

A few weeks back I was excited to see the multi-colored peppers in baskets at the Farmer’s Market. They were so picturesque I bought up a few of each – red, yellow, orange. When life hands you peppers, you make peperonata. Peperonata is basically stewed peppers, slowly cooked with tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, etc.  Peperonata takes great alone or served over pasta (or whole wheat rigatoni in my case). It’s a great alternative as a pasta topping to your basic tomato sauce.

This recipe is from one of my very first cookbooks, The Italian Cooking Encyclopedia. My aunt gave it to me years ago a a gift and it’s a great resource for Italian cooking.What I always enjoy is how the recipes are labeled. The are in English and off to the side is the Italian word for that particular recipe. Even now when I look up a recipe I find it amusing that I am more familiar with the Italian phrase for the recipe versus the English version (like peperonata labeled stewed peppers).

Overall rating – 5 stars

Peperonata (aka Stewed Peppers)

4-5 very ripe peppers, preferably red or yellow

4 T olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

12 oz plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

salt and fresh pepper

a few fresh basil leaves

1. Wash peppers and cut into quarters, removing stems and seeds. Slice into thin strips.

2. In a large heavy saucepan, heat olive and saute onions until soft, add peppers and cook about 8 minutes until soft.

3. Stir in garlic and tomatoes, cover and cook 25 minutes over moderate heat. Season and tear basil leaves into pan. Serve  hot or cold.

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I have a lot going on in my life and it’s been very stressful, hence the blog neglect. I do promise to post some pics and video from the show I saw today. It was Anthony Bourdain in Atlantic City cooking and doing a Q&A. Very cool.

But I do want to address those who visit the blog and leave a negative, hateful, nasty, and/or rude comment. Guess what? I’m not posting it. So please stop wasting my time and yours. (There have been an influx lately of these comments.)

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