Category Archives: Num Nums

Fabio Wants You to Eat Pizza

Mama Mia! Look what I just found on YumSugar.com! Grocery Hags’ favorite Italian schmoozer is apparently shilling frozen pizzas.

Dr. Oetker, one of Europe’s top frozen pizza brands, is launching its Ristorante line in America, and has called on the reality TV personality to be the spokesperson for the thin-crust pizza. “We feel Fabio is the perfect voice for the brand,” Dr. Oetker USA said in a statement. “He has an incredible personality and a real passion for cooking.”

I don’t know if I’ll buy frozen pizza (in New York?! please) just because Fabs’ face is on the box, but I may try it. You know…because why not? It may make a good blog entry. Maybe we’ll hear more about this at the reunion spesh tonight? CARLA FOR FAN FAVORITE!

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Beer Tasting? Yes please!

One of the perks of being friends with media people is they have fabulous events with fabulous little surprises even during fabulous recession-more-like-a-depression-times. That said, I want to tell you about the BEER TASTING Andie took me too last night at Gourmet Magazine.

Yes, you heard right, BEER TASTING. Can’t think of anything better? Nope, we can’t either.

So – the Beer tasting was in honor of/hosted by this guy named Justin Philips who has a little “eating a drinking room” in Brooklyn called Beer Table that “serves rare and specialized” seasonal beers along with some tasty snacks. And let me just say – this dude knows his brew, and his nibbles. I had some of the best beers and best cheeses I’ve ever had last night.  For you beer and cheese lovers out there (and I know you exist, Wisconsin!) let me lay down a few faves for you:

First, the appetizers, we started with Beer Cheese, maybe the most unbelievable cheese I’ve ever tasted. Commonly made with soft cheese…and…um…beer…and…spices? It sort of speaks for itself, I guess. Anyway, the Beer Table people make their own version of it and I think I could probably eat about a pound of it if let loose in their kitchen.

beer-cheese

Jesus God. Ok, secondly they had this homemade delicious ricotta cheese served on little lightly toasted baguettes and topped with almonds, black pepper and a little maple sugar:  unfortunately, I can’t show you a picture, but it was beautiful and it. was. DELICIOUS!!! a yummy sweet little treat which brings me to the beer:

We had six artisinal beers last night,  an assortment of IPAs, stouts, etc. made from small little independent breweries from all over the world.  They were all pretty good, flavorful and satisfying, but the one that stood out was the Hitachino Sweet Stout from Japan.

sweet_stout-bottle1

This beer was served with the ricotta appetizer and the pairing was incredible. The beer is made with lactose, which gives it a sweet sort of milky almost dark-chocolately flavor that really complimented the maple syrup. It was like having a dessert in a glass; Andie noted that it’d be a great substitute for a piece of cake or cup of ice cream after a meal and I have to say, I agree!

SO: survey says: we like beer tastings. I highly recommend attending one in the near future. So choice.

Happy weekend!

DC Celebs that Aren’t Obama

So the Grocery Hags took a lil trip to DC this weekend to have a reunion with their two favorite people. There was shopping, cooking, and of course eating, involved.

Once such eating adventure took us to a burger joint near the Eastern Market. Maybe you know the chef of Good Stuff Eatery?

Complete with Hat

Complete with Hat

Yep – Spike from TC4!!!! He was manning the grill where there was a special Inauguration weekend menu. I clearly had the Obama burger – with red onion marmalade, horseradish mayo, and blue cheese (red, white and blue – GET IT?!?! Not gonna lie…I didn’t at first). It was delish. And Allie enjoyed her Turkey Burger. Plus, fries come with dipping sauces other than ketchup / mustard – Allie loved the Old Bay mayo but I prefered the Chipotle one. Anyone who knows me knows my love of dip – they are key.

I gained a little more respect for Spike (I wasn’t a fan of his last season) while at this restaurant. I loved that he was there, manning the grill, posing for pictures (by our star-struck yet doesn’t really love TC friend), and wearing funny hats. And it’s a family owned place – his adorable father owns the restaurant and spends his days upstairs finding empty tables, cleaning up and generally being a happy camper. After we polished off everything on the table, we chatted with him a bit. Papa Mendelsohn was so proud of Spike and was thrilled when he decided to become a chef. However, Spike apparently didn’t tell the fam he was going to be on Top Chef until AFTER filming. Scandal?

Smell ya later 08

Every New Years Day, my mom makes a big pot of black eyed peas and makes everyone who enters our home take a spoonful. “For good luck!” she claims. When I was a kid (and hated anything that was remotely related to the word “vegetable” or “healthy”) I had to hold my nose and shut my eyes to make sure she understood how incredibly awful that ONE BITE was. Did I mention I was a stubborn brat as a child?

The only thing standing between you and a good 2009. Says Texas.

Now that I’m older, wiser, and actually like veggies, I’m aching for my mama’s good-luck black eyed peas. I’m so not in the mood to do it the old fashioned way – I only have a few hours! Luckily, YumSugar had a great slideshow of BEP recipes for those superstitious southerners like me.

Before we go out, I’m having friends come over for a cheapo dinner of pizza, wine, beer, and – because you can’t party without it – chips, salsa and guacamole. I think I’ll also make these so everyone can have a little luck before we head into 2009. I have most of the stuff already. And everyone MUST have a bite.

Happy New Years! Ya’ll be safe now.

Adventures in Baking

I’m not a baker. AT ALL. My mother does the baking and somehow, I missed that gene. I’m much more inclined to make something I can mess up and it will still turn out yummy where as baking is such a science (and science and I don’t play nicely together) – a little extra of something and it goes to crap!

But I got invited to a Hannukkah party this Sunday at the boy’s parent’s house and I want to bring something. I always (always always) bring a bottle of wine and want to mix it up!

Slashfood had a cookie recipe this week for some cookies that looked so fool proof even the science-flunking nonbaker that I am could possibly maybe handle it. I don’t even need a mixer! And just one bowl!

Is this an appropriate thing to bring? I feel like if someone is nice enough to stink up their house making latkes, I should strap on an apron and say thank you the proper way, right?

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Ya’ll bringing anything to a holiday party this weekend?

Cold Night Cooking

So there’s this recipe on Bon Appetit’s I’ve been flirting with for months. It’s the equivalent of a Facebook poke – I would see him online, consider making him, and then go back to my day and forget about him for months. But he was always there as a BA top recipe.

This past Friday, I made a bold move – I printed the recipe. When I went to a birthday dinner on Saturday night, I had something that sounded similar and it was so good I just had to take this relationship to the next level.

Enter The Asian Noodle Soup Bowl. He’s great for cuddling on the couch with a blanket and a good movie. He’ll even let you watch that chick flick again without complaint. And he won’t judge you for still watching The Hills.

I ended up riffing on this recipe. The lemongrass I hiked to Whole Foods for (in the 30-degree weather mind you) wasn’t mincing like I thought it should. This is a new ingredient for me but it just seemed off – I don’t think it had more than one layer to peel and the taste was weird – kinda chewy. I didn’t want to screw up this soup that I had been thinking about for days so I just decided to scrap the chewy lemongrass and go with lemon zest. Totally worked. But for future -anyone got any good lemongrass tips? What am I looking for? How is it supposed to taste? Why wouldn’t mine cut?!

The Goods

The Goods

Everybody into the pool!!

Everybody into the pool!!

The recipe took all of an hour (totally easy) and I think it turned out really fantastic! It was the perfect amount of soothing and comforting – I think the (light) coconut milk Padma loves so much helped richen the soup without making it too heavy. My only complaint is that it wasn’t spicy enough for me – I used a green curry paste instead of red, and I think this made it milder. I’ll up the curry or the chili paste next time.

Stay warm, kiddos!

Finished result - steamy bowl of yumminess. Would have gone great with a Sapporo Beer

Finished result - steamy bowl of yumminess. Would have gone great with a Sapporo Beer

-Andie

OOPS!

I had an insane night of running around like a crazy person yesterday. After work I hauled my ass to Whole Foods in Chelsea in search of Turkey Stock for my Cornbread Stuffing, which, of course, they don’t carry. So, I settled for three boxes of Chicken Stock that can be described in two ways: not cheap and not light. I know becuase I PAID for them and because I had to shlep them with me to the salon while I got my last minute, “I-haven’t-had-my-hair-cut-since-March-and-I-want-to-look-nice-for-my-boyfriend’s-family” Thanksgiving haircut. Small note to all the ladies out there: I know that the idea of bangs is a romantic one, but try and resist. They’re a pain in the ass. I was reminded of this fact this morning, aka: why my new bangs are clipped up on the top of my head right now. Anway…

After my haircut I ran to the subway in the cold, stopping alone the way at Rainbow Falafel, a delicious little take out hut that I happened upon on my, like, 3rd day in New York last fall and JUST found again yesterday, to get a chicken hummus sandwich (half of which I ate on the train like a heathen) and, once I got home, I took 15 minutes to chop up my new bangs into some kind of something before tackling steps 2 and 3 of my cornbread stuffing!!

Needless to say, at this point, I was frazzled enough that I forgot to take pictures of my cooking. Lets just say that, after I chopped two large onions and 4 cups of celery, cooked them in butter, crumbled up my cornbread, 14 dried up pieces of white bread and two sleeves of saltines, added all that together, took a sip of diet coke, added 10 cups of chicken stock, mixed, added sage, salt and poutry seasoning, beat 8 eggs, added those eggs to my stuffing, baked it all in a greased up casserole dish, watched some Fringe, and took the stuffing out of the oven, it basically looked like this:

cornbread1

Except, you know, less beautiful and perfect-y. BUT IT TASTED GREAT!!! I’m so happy with all the work and how it came out. If you’re lucky enough to be coming to my apartment on Friday, you’ll get a chance to partake, and then you can comment and tell everyone how it was. If not, have a GREAT Thanksgiving and we’ll be in touch RE: Top Chef next week.

LOVE, Allie