Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Visit My NEW Blog!

My brand new blog, Will Jog for Food, is finally up and running!

Click here to stop by!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Coming Soon!

Hi Everyone! Sorry I missed Food Fact Friday this week. I've decided to create a brand new blog to meld my interests in food and fitness! It will be up and running by this Friday! I'll be keeping my old features...but adding all sorts of new ones.

In the meantime Follow me on Twitter!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coffee & Donuts for Dessert!

What goes better together than coffee & donuts? That seemed like a great name for this creation of mine. I entered it into a recipe contest last year but they must have misplaced it, because it didn't win anything! hahaha. This is a very yummy donut-crust cheesecake bar. One of my friends still insists it's the best recipe I've ever come up with. If you can get Krispy Kreme's for this, definitely use them. I tried using store brand donuts once and it did not turn out as well.

Coffee & Donuts

8 - Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts
2 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/3 cup - sugar
2 - eggs
1 tsp - vanilla
1 tbsp - instant coffee
2 cups - semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup - heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking dish. Cut up doughnuts in large pieces and place in food processor. Pulse until doughnuts resemble very coarse crumbs. Take doughnut crumbs and press firmly into the bottom of the baking dish. In bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, coffee, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Spread mixture evenly on top of doughnut layer. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes (until center starts to rise and look a little dry). Let cool. While bars are cooling, combine chocolate chips & cream in a double boiler. Stir until the chocolate chips have melted and mixture is smooth. Pour chocolate over the cheesecake bars and spread evenly. Put bars in the refrigerator to cool. After 2 hours, cut into 24 squares and then place back in the fridge. Cool for 2 more hours or overnight. Then serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Burgers in SoBe

I had been dying to try 8oz Burger Bar, the new burger place from Table 8's Govind Armstrong. I probably get to South Beach less than once a month, so on my last detour there I knew I had to go! It was definitely worth it.

We walked in around Noon on a Sunday and it was about half full. I browsed the menu and my mouth was watering. They had great sounding apps, like Mini Kobe Corn Dogs and Fried Olives stuffed with Chorizo. We opted for the olives and were impressed. They were crunchy but not greasy. You could taste the olive and the chorizo equally.

The burger comes with the basics...lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and "special sauce" (which is basically ketchup & mayo mixed). Any toppings beyond that cost extra. The price can definitely add up quickly if you want to pile everything on your burger. They have alot of cheese options (for $2 extra) from cheddar to the very intriguing bel paese (which I heard was really yummy). They also have different sauces and toppings ranging from $1 - $2 additional. My sister got fried green tomato which she said was great.

I ordered the basic 8 oz with fried mozzarella (yes, it's actually a topping!!). I couldn't resist. The burger was really good. It was not over seasoned, so the flavor of the beef really shined. The fried mozzarella had a nice smooth flavor and even added a little crunch. I really liked the brioche bun, which wasn't too heavy and tasted fresh.

The sides were good too. The kennebec fries were the most "potato-y" french fries I've ever had. I also like the onion rings, but I got a bite that was kind of doughy...they might have needed to wait to get some of the extra batter off before they fried it.

I will definitely come back! It's not cheap, but it's an innovative burger place that's great for a treat. The service was good overall, but started lacking at the end when it started getting really busy.

Food: 4 out of 5
Service 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

St. Paddy's in So Fla

St. Patrick's Day is on Tuesday. Too bad it's a workday...but there's always time for happy hour and green beer! Here is a list of some of my favorite places in South Florida that are celebrating.

The Briny: Drinks, live Irish music and food will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 4 a.m. at this nautically themed pub on the New River. 305 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Dicey Riley's: Outside this pub in Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village, vendors will serve Irish food, including beef stew and wheaten bread, and several varieties of beer throughout the day. 217 S.W. Second St., Fort Lauderdale

The Dubliner: Opening at 11 a.m., The Dubliner will serve coddle, boiled pork sausage and beef stew all day. 435 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

Gold Coast Roller Rink: The gay-friendly, weekly roller-skating party Intoxiskate will celebrate St. Pat's from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Skating games and beer pong contests will take place and drink specials will include $3 beers and $4 cocktails. 2604 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

Murphy's Law Irish Pub: If you're looking to stay out all night this St. Patrick's Day, Murphy's is the place to be, as the pub never closes. 5703 Seminole Way, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood

Roxy's: In addition to live Irish music and drink specials beginning at 11:30 a.m., Roxy's will serve a great selection of Irish cuisine that includes beef and vegetable stew and soda bread. 309 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Fact Friday: I Want a Mudslide

Today is National Kahlua Day! Who even knew Kahlua day even existed? Kahlua is definitely my favorite liquor. You can use it in everything from
Frozen Mudslides to Espresso Kahlua Brownies.

Kahlua was created in 1936 in Mexico. Only hand picked, high quality Arabica coffee beans are used to make Kahlua. The coffee beans are grown at an elevation between 900 and 1400 meters in a semi-tropical environment that is ideal for this crop. The beans are grown under the shade of trees, allowing the beans to ripen slowly without the use of pesticides.

Kahlua is a rich, dark brown coffee liqueur made from Mexican coffee, a blend of rums and a hint of vanilla. It also contains sugar and vodka, and has a thicker body than most other alcoholic beverages. Kahlua is the 2nd largest single liqueur brand worldwide. It first made its way into the United States in 1962.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm Thinkin Arby's

Now through March 9th, Arby's is offering a free sandwich! It's their new Roast Burger. All you have to do is bring in this coupon and buy any size drink.

There are 3 different kinds, and all of them include cheese, lettuce and tomato (the one in the picture is the Bacon-Cheddar). They basically just substitute roast beef for a ground beef patty. Sounds good to me! I'm a huge fan of the Beef & Cheddar, but I will definitely be trying one of these when I get my next fast food craving.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Food Fact Friday: It's Cookie Time!

I was passing by Target and saw the sign..."It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!". I tried to resist but my steering wheel magically turned it to the parking lot. I wonder how that happened....well, I did end up buying a box of Samoas, which are my all time favorite, besides Thin Mint. A couple weeks later, I was checking out the ice cream aisle at Publix, and there was Thin Mint Ice Cream and Samoa Ice Cream (limited editions). I'm not sure how long I'll be able to resist those. Here is some history on this tasty treat...

The first record of cookie sales by an individual scout unit was by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in December 1917. In 1922, the Girl Scout magazine The American Girl suggested cookie sales as a fund-raiser and provided recipes. In 1933, Girl Scouts in Philadelphia organized the first official sale, selling homemade cookies in the windows of local utility companies. The first Girl Scout cookie recipe was a sugar cookie.

In 1936 the national organization began licensing commercial bakers to produce cookies. During World War II the Girl Scouts sold calendars rather than cookies, due to shortages of flour, sugar, and butter.

Licensed baking companies (there are currently two) can offer up to twenty eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies. The national Girl Scout organization reviews and approves all varieties proposed by the baking companies, but requires only three types: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwiches (Do-Si-Dos) and Shortbreads (Trefoils). The other kinds can be changed every year, though several popular favorites, such as Caramel DeLites (Samoas) and Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs), are consistently available. The best selling cookie is Thin Mint, accounting for about 25% of cookie sales each year.

Boys can be nice: The Boy Scouts had the original idea of selling food (popcorn) in 1914. Later, they invented Tagalongs (peanut butter patties) and gave the idea to the Girl Scouts in 1956.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Something I'm Working On....

I'm trying to develop some recipes for Ultimate Recipe Showdown and Pillsbury Bake-Off. This is a dessert that came out really well! I just want to make a few tweaks to it...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Tasteful Pursuit in Palm Beach

I was extremely lucky to be selected by Foodbuzz to attend A Tasteful Pursuit in Palm Beach . This event is a gourmet seven-course meal and auction to benefit Share our Strength. It was held at Café Boulud, which is owned by superstar chef, Daniel Boulud.

Share our strength is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. They weave together a net of community groups, activists, and food programs to catch children at risk of hunger and surround them with nutritious food where they live, learn, and play. There are many ways to help this great cause, Click Here to find out how to lend a hand to help end childhood hunger.

I arrived fashionably late to Café Boulud (darn that Monday night traffic!) and wandered around the silent auction displays. There was an abundance of items. The sommelier of Café Boulud, Jenny Benzie, has great connections in the wine industry and there were many bottles donated to the auction. I had a glass of Charles de Casanove Champagne and went inside to find my table.

The event was set up beautifully. The centerpieces consisted of roses and orchids, and were lit up by candlelight. The tables were covered with wine glasses, because each course was paired with a different wine.

1st Course: Salsify Panna Cotta
Chef: Bradford Thompson, Lever House
When I first saw this on the menu, I was slightly nervous. A savory panna cotta didn’t seem to appealing to me. But I took my first bite and I was in heaven. The flavor was rich and the texture was perfectly creamy. The spice of the crawfish tail complemented it perfectly.

2nd Course: Quail and Foie Gras Ballotine en Croute – paired with Domaine Weinbach Pinot Blanc
Chef: Olivier Muller, DB Bistro Moderne
I have some issues with eating foie gras (but had never tried it), and was happy when there was only a small amount in the dish. But I took a bite and was impressed. The ballotine was meaty but delicate, with a buttery pastry crust. It went well with the slight tartness of the beets, greens, and shallot vinaigrette, which took an edge off the richness.

3rd Course: Marinated Nantucket Bay Scallops – paired with Alphones Mellot La Moussiere
Chef: Wesley Holton, Daniel Boulud Brasserie
The dish looked like a deconstructed ceviche, with the scallops floating in citrus and creamy avocado in the center. The scallops were literally the best I ever had, and basically melted in my mouth. The citrus and avocado was a perfect combination.

4th Course: Slow Roasted Arctic Char – paired with Vincent Girardin Pouilly-Fuisse
Chef: Zach Bell, Café Boulud Palm Beach
I’m pretty sure this was my favorite dish of the night. I had never tasted arctic char before. It looks similar to salmon but has a more delicate flavor. It was cooked to perfection, moist and flaky. It was complemented beautifully with the curry sabayon and caramelized cauliflower (which is now my new favorite way to eat cauliflower).

5th Course: Spinach and Ricotta Raviolo – paired with Cecchi, Vino Noble di Montepulciano
Chef: Gavin Kaysen, Café Boulud NYC
Raviolo is basically one big ravioli. Besides the title ingredients it also had pork sausage and an egg yolk in the center. I do not like eggs at all (except a few bites of scrambled eggs covered with cheese and ketchup), so I was terrified. But I couldn’t believe how wonderful everything tasted together. The egg yolk really added a creaminess to the ravioli that surprised me.

6th Course: Tasting of Milk Fed Veal – paired with Atalon Cabernet
Chef: Jean Francois Bruel, Daniel
This was the dish that really had everyone at my table looking pretty frightened. It consisted of veal sweetbreads, braised veal cheeks and veal tenderloin. I thought I’d go for the gusto and try the sweetbreads first. I was shocked by how good the consistency was and the mild flavor. The cheeks were also delicious, with excellent flavor (grass/milk fed) and it just fell apart when you cut into it. The tenderloin was good, but was overshadowed by the sweetbreads and cheek.

7th Course: “White Mocha”
Chef: Matthew Petersen, Café Boulud
The dessert was well hidden in a chocolate tuile shell. I cracked it open and tasted the components…orange mousse and chocolate cream. Those were both perfect. But then I bit in to the orange marmalade and it overwhelmed the chocolate flavor. I pushed that aside and finished the rest of the dessert, which also consisted of a very refreshing mandarin sorbet.

This was really a wonderful event. Although it was 7 courses, the portions were perfect and left the event perfectly satisfied. I was so happy to try so many things I had avoided in the past. The chefs really know how to create amazing dishes, and balance textures and flavors. The service throughout the event was impeccable! There are many Tasteful Pursuit dinners scheduled around the country, so attend one if you can. The food is amazing and it’s for a great cause.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Starbucks pulling a McDonald's

Starting March 3rd, you'll be able to get a much better deal at Starbucks. Starbucks is calling these specials “pairings.” You’ll be saving around $1.20 per meal. The $3.95 meals include either a tall Cafe Latte or tall fresh brewed coffee with one of the following existing or new items.

For $3.95, you'll be able to choose from 2 coffee drinks...
- Tall Cafe Latte
- Tall drip Coffee

After you've chosen your caffeine fix, you choose one of the following breakfast items...
- Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal
- Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
- Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
- Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich (turkey bacon, reduced fat white cheddar, cholesterol free egg)
- Artisan Bacon Sandwich (parmesan egg frittata, smoked bacon slices and gouda cheese)
- Artisan Ham Sandwich, (parmesan egg frittata, Black Forest ham and mild cheddar)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Food Fact Friday: Bagels

I'm in NYC this weekend and needed something New York-ish to write about. I've done Pizza and Hot Dogs. My Long Island friend suggested bagels...duh! New Yorkers think their bagels are the best, and hopefully I'll get to sample one during my trip. Here is the story of the bagel...

A bagel is defined as "a hard bread roll made of yeast dough twisted into a small doughnutlike shape, cooked in simmering water, then baked." The bagel is the only bread product that is boiled before it is baked. That's what gives the bagel its unique texture and the crust its characteristic shine.

Legend has it that in 1683 in Vienna, Austria, a local Jewish baker wanted to thank the king of Poland for protecting his countrymen from Turkish invaders. He made a roll in the shape of a riding stirrup (Bugel in German, commemorating the king's favorite pastime. As bagels gained popularity in Poland, they were officially sanctioned as gifts for women in childbirth. Mothers also used them as teething rings that their infants could easily grasp.

When the Eastern European Jewish immigrants arrived in North America at the turn of the century, they brought the bagel with them. Many settled in Canada, giving cities like Toronto and Montreal their reputation for having superb bagels. The American bagel industry established formal roots in New York between 1910 and 1915 with the formation of Bagel Bakers Local #338. This exclusive group of 300 craftsmen with "bagels in their blood" limited its members to sons of its members.

Professional bagel baking required know-how and backbreaking labor. Bagel makers' sons apprenticed for months to learn the trade. Bagel-making machines, a boon to commercial bakers, were introduced in the early 1960's. The machines form bagels by extruding the dough through the ring shape. These new machines could help bakers produce up to 4,800 bagels an hour, making bagels much more affordable and readily available to today's consumers.

Big Bucks Bagel: The most expensvie bagel was served at the Westin in Times Sqaure. It was topped with Alba white truffle cream cheese and goji berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taste Test Tuesday: True Delights

Being a part of Foodbuzz has some great perks! I was lucky enough to get some samples of Quakers new granola bar, True Delights. I got their three flavors and have tried two of them so far, they are good!

Price: $3.49/box (5 bars)
Calories: 140
Fat: 4.5g
Sodium: 65mg
Carbs: 23g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 2g
Rating: 4 out of 5

My first bar was the Toasted Coconut Banana Macadamia Nut. I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised! There were huge chunks of banana and macadamia nut, and I could taste it in every bite. The only flavor that was muted was the coconut...darn. But besides the missing coconut, it tasted great and I would buy it for sure. It's a good size for a small snack...I bet it would be great crumbled in some yogurt!

The Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond was also better than I expected. There were bits of raspberry scattered around and lots of real dark chocolate chunks. The chocolate tasted like chocolate! The snozzberries tasted like snozzberries (oh wait....that's something else). It was another great granola bar that exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to try the Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Return of the Pillsbury Bake-Off!

It's baaaccckkk (and I'm back from hiatus)! I am so excited to enter a recipe in this year's contest. I have lots of ideas, and I'll be practicing a lot starting in February. The 2008 Bake-Off was such an amazing experience, I really hope I'm lucky enough to go back a 2nd time.

Pillsbury is accepting entries through April 20th. Click here for rules and to enter. They have a few changes this year. They only have 4 categories instead of the usual 5. Also, Pillsbury will be selecting 90 contestsants, but there will be a head to head online voting contest for the last 10 spots. I think it's a fun idea which will get more people involved. The contest will be in April 2009, in Orlando.

Last year's winner was Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies. I have yet to try them out, but I heard they are delicious! So get your thinking caps on and your ovens ready! Who can pass up a chance for a million dollars?