Friday, August 31, 2012

The Original Quaker Oats Oatmeal Cookie Recipe #foodiefriday

Sometimes sharing the classics is what it's all about on FoodieFriday.

C Is For Cookies !
The Original Quaker Oats Oatmeal Cookie Recipe


1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time Time: 8 min
Variation: Bar Cookies: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 24 BARS.

 HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Remembering Hurricane Irene : Tree Goes Over Dam At Kingsland Park Nutley NJ

Kingsland Manor Nutley ~ TrashedThe anniversary of Hurricane Irene is being marked all over the region with photo tributes of flooded car parks, images of vehicles submerged on freeways, and water filled homes. In almost every image, the effect of the storm is show in a low lying area where water collected, but where does all that water come from?

Run off from Montclair, Bloomfield, Belleville and Nutley feed into the Third River as it makes its way to the Passaic River. One of the more picturesque areas of the river is Kingland Park in Nutley. The park is home to Kingland Manor and sadly, the neglected United Nations Gardens. During light rain showers litter and debris from communities along the river is washed into the river making for some interesting sites : among the hundreds of water bottle one can usually spot basketballs, plastic toys, red solo cups and beer cans. With a little more rain, erosion sometimes tears at the shoreline taking earth and plantlife with it.

After the rain stopped following Hurricane Irene this tree was spotted going over the falls at Kingsland Park. It is both a testament to the power of water and a predecessor to the question "how the heck did this wash up on the beach?"

What We're Reading : Slowfire A Beginner's Guide To Barbeque

Cookbook : Slowfire A Beginner's Guide To Barbeque, on the BBQ From the title, the book appears to be written for the novice but anyone with a penchant for perfecting their barbeque techniques can benefit.
Let’s face it, your ribs might rock but your brisket might be another story.

Written a bit more like a DIY manual than cookbook, the first portion of the book reviews the tools of the trade and explains that good b-b-q is cooked at 225 – 250 for a long time. While barbeque is traditionally cooked over wood coals, it is possible to achieve great results on a gas grill and Lampe confirms this (the trick is low indirect heat).

While the author lists various tools including water and gas smokers for information and education, and yes, even the traditional Weber Kettle,  I don’t see why the reader can’t make this section really useful by leaving hints in the margins – Santa sometimes needs gift suggestions!

Read my full story on  Kettle Hot From The Kettle

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pig & Prince : The New Center Of Montclair NJ

Pig And Prince ~ Anchoring Montclair Center Pig and Prince opened in Lackawanna Station Montclair softly last week and from the reactions of customers everyone seems to agree that, despite being new, the place feels as if its been there all along. That feeling is a combination of the excellent restoration and renovation work led by Chef Mike Carrino as well as his incredible menu.

 Hot From The Kettle   has been following the story of Pig and Prince from the moment the story first broke in January up to and including the opening. Of course in the future there will be many more visits to Pig and Prince by the Hotties but for now let's just take a look at how far along this story has come.

The Pig and Prince story starts on Walnut Street Montclair, where in July 2011, Hot From The Kettle founder Melody Kettle had an exclusive interview with Carrino at which time he discussed his plans to close Passionne and seek another location where he can "'grow his soapbox,' and provide the high quality locally sourced fare he is renowned for." The interview, Chef Carrino Explains....   along with a video interview is on Hot From The Kettle   

Non-Foodie Tangent > Take note of how Mike Carrino explained his five year plan for Passionne and decided to close the doors when the date arrived. Setting goals and achieving them is great, but knowing when to move on to the next goals holds so many people back embracing their true calling. Summer is coming to a close, take some time this upcoming holiday weekend to reflect on those windows that need to be closed and think about the doors you need to open.

In April 2012 Kettle broke the story about Mike's plans to convert the oft neglected yet architecturally sound waiting room in Lackawanna Station in Montclair into a new restaurant concept. That story on Hot From The KettleChef Mike Carrino Plans New Restaurant In Lackawanna RR Station) featured some of the history of the space including the story of the architect who perished on the Titanic. Locals who have already been to Pig and Prince might find the     gallery of photos  of interest as they show how the space was abused when it was home to Hollywood Video. (yes, those are purple walls).

Cameron Hanging In Lackawanna PlazaFor the next several months Kettle kept a lid on the story (Kettle, lid, pun!) as work continued on the space. Carrino's participation in the  2013 Montclair and Wine Festival , of which Kettle is the founder meant the the two often ran into each other, the whole time keeping Montclair's best kept foodie secret just that - a great secret until last week's reveal to the public. For a while there even the name was hush hush. One of the Hot From The Kettle hotties even slipped this photo of Cameron at Lackawanna Station out there just to see if anyone noticed. They didn't.

Hot From The Kettle gave Montclair an exclusive authorized look at the new space just days before opening with a video documentary : Pig & Prince Restaurant and Gastrolounge  which gave readers a look at the progess made in the space as well as a preview of some of the details, both renovated and newly installed, that make the location so special. Video commentary from chef as well as images of the crew who pulled the space together are included. To my amusement, HFTK also ran a story about the meaning and brief history of the gastrolounge 

Fans of preservation and urban renewal will appreciate some of the details of the space. In the photoblog Pig And Prince : A Different Perspective On Dining In Montclair  readers got the chance to see some of the details that make the restaurant so special. The foot rests along the bar are old rails from the Lackawanna Railroad, terrazzo tile floors that were hidden beneath the awful Hollywood Video carpeting are revealed, and restored lighting is shown in all its glory.

While the formal review of the restaurant is set to appear in the coming weeks, Melody Kettle did share highlights of her first dinner on Pig & Prince : Items From The Menu  this past weekend and from the look of things it seems that Carrino's goal for Pig & Prince being a place where the casual and elegant come together is happening perfectly.

Be sure to visit

Pig and Prince ~ The Old And The New

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Something Interesting Is Being Poured Upstairs

Something Interesting Is Being Poured Upstairs Upstairs is the speakeasy on Valley Road in Upper Montclair NJ

Romanesque Revival In Montclair : Christ Church

Christ Church, Church St Montclair NJ The Romanesque style of architecture is a predecessor of the Gothic Style in Medieval Europe. The style borrows heavily from Byzantine and Western Roman architecture. Of note are the thick stone walls and round arches. This is Christ Church on Church St in Montclair NJ. Romanesque Revival In Montclair : Christ Church

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Make An Appointment With The Doctor : 1 September 2012

Spoiler Alert: The new season of Dr Who marks the beginning of the end of the Ponds, but Amy and Rory will be here for at least five episodes. Who knows, just as Rose Tyler came back there is always that chance that all that Wibbly Wobbly Timey Whimey stuff will bring back Amy and Rory, but I doubt it. Filming with a new companion has already started.
Series 7 premieres on the same day in the UK, US and Canada, so there is always the chance that those of us in slower time zones will learn of other spoilers. The series also coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Dr Who.
Dr Who Series 7 Premieres on BBC America Saturday 1 September at 9pm EDT

Ginger Tea : Spicy Refreshment For Hot Summer Days

Ginger Tea : Makes 6 Servings

1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger (don't bother peeling - that's where much of the flavour is found!)

6 cups water

2 tablespons honey or brown sugar

lemon wedges for garnish if desired

In a saucepan, simmer ginger and water 20 minutes, or longer for stronger tea.

Add honey or sugar and strain tea through a sieve set over a teapot. Serve tea, garnish with lemon wedges.

It's great hot, but in the summer chill and serve over ice. For some, ginger tea is too hot, so have some ice cold fizzy water available to cut the ginger tea. (trust me on this one, some people don't expect the bite!)

Late Summer Snack : Bees On Garlic Chives In The Herb Garden

Late Summer Snack : Bees and Garlic Chives
Planning a bee and butterfly garden isn't nearly as hard as I would have imagined. In virtually every article about them, the garden usually consists of a dedicated plot, almost a mini English country garden, with bee and butterfly friendly plants. There are rules, and guides with plant height, and colour matching and Pish! That's too limiting for me!

The Buzz About Garlic chivesBeing inspired by those gardens, and our First Lady's support of edible gardens I now view my entire garden as a landscape with a greater purpose. There is a small section that is a dedicated herb garden but some of the herbs find themselves in other places where their beauty enhances other sections of the garden or attract butterflies and bees.

The chives are an interesting lot : with long leaves similar to green onions (scallions) they are a welcome addition to salads and jacket potatoes most of the year, but in late summer they send up these white flowers on long stems that rise above the garden like a floral version of the Seattle Space Needle. (okay, they are only about a foot tall, but the imagery is there!) In the evening of late summer, the bright white stands out, reflecting any remaining daylight just before the solar garden lights come on.

For 2013 some of the garlic chives will be moved to one of the beds in front of the house where I am sure they will attract bees while putting on a show in the early evening next August. Garlic Chives

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Perfectly Pumpkin ~ A New Class At Kings Cooking Studios In Short Hills

Pumpkin Pi - Autumn glow
Pumpkin Isn't Just About Pie Anymore
Pumpkin usually visits our homes once a year as a pie.

In this class, we’ll release these orange orbs from their typecast performance and let them shine in both sweet desserts and savory dishes where they take center stage or work as a great side.

High in fiber and bursting with vitamins, pumpkin is full of surprises. Menu Highlights: Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Bread Puddings; Quick Pumpkin Soup; Pumpkin Ice Cream; Pumpkin Crème Brulee; plus some pumpkin sides that will add a new twist to Thanksgiving traditions.

This class is a part of a series put on by the Hot From The Kettle culinary team. Instructor: John Lee $55 per person, Voluntary Participation 403 Short Hills, Mon 10/29/12 6:30 - 9:30 pm To sign up for this class visit King's Cooking Studio

Sunday, August 19, 2012


A close up of one of my favourite plants in the garden. Not only does the lavender attract all manner of bees and butterflies, but its smells great when brushed against. Some of the dried flowers will find some frangrant use somewhere indoors. Since I know these flowers are organic and pesticide free some will find uses in the kitchen.

The Color Purple ~ A Photo Collection

from The Color Purple

Shug : I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it.

Celie: You saying it just wanna be loved like it say in the bible?

Shug: Yeah, Celie. Everything wanna be loved. Us sing and dance, and holla just wanting to be loved. Look at them trees. Notice how the trees do everything people do to get attention...
except walk?
[they laugh]
Shug: Oh Miss Celie, I feels like singing!

(click on the triangle thingy to see the colour purple)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Waiting For Opening Day ~ Olive That And More

Olive That And More ~ Waiting For Opening Day Oh the anticipation!

Everyone in Upper Montclair has been waiting for opening day of Olive That and More on Bellevue Ave. The paper on the shop windows has changed from brown craft paper to a more decorative gift wrap (something's afoot).
And this incredible bench has appeared in front.

All I know is what was posted on Hot From The Kettle awhile ago (Olive That And More! Coming To Montclair) so I guess I'll have to wait for opening day like everyone else.

Tomatoes From Matarazzo's Farm at the Montclair Farmer's Market

Tomatoes From Matarazzo's Farm at the Montclair Farmer's Market

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pig And Prince, Restaurant And Gastrolounge: A Different Perspective On Dining

Just as the perfect plate is a result of the combination of elements - the farm, the preparation, and the seasoning - so too, is the perfect place to experience that dish.

At Pig and Prince, the unique dining space combines historic treasures, found under carpeting, behind walls, and in the basement, with new fixtures based on period pieces.

Wide shots of the restaurant are great but its more fun to climb on things, roll on the floor, and peak around corners to discover all the details that make this space so special.

Here's a slightly different perspective on Pig and Prince!

Cameron Heard There's Something About Pigs In Lackawanna Plaza Montclair

Cameron Hanging In Lackawanna Plaza

Cameron heard there's something about pigs going on in Lackawanna Plaza Montclair.

I'm A Little Obsessed With The Waffles At Anthony's Cheesecake

I'm A Little Obsessed With Waffles At Anthony's Cheescake
Waffles, Cookie Butter, Strawberries, Banana at Anthony's Cheesecake It's more than just cheesecake : Anthony's serves breakfast, lunch, and oh yeah, CHEESECAKE! Read more about this discovery in Bloomfield Center on Hot From The Kettle

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Balsamic Blueberry Sauce Recipe : Sweet, Savory, or Sassy

Blueberries are one of those super foods about which we are told to consume more, but sadly most of us limit them to cereal and oatmeal. Pish! The variations of this simple blueberry sauce celebrate this fruit and with some simple switches that can work in sweet and savory situations.

Blueberry Escape!Given their recent abundance fresh blueberries were used for this recipe and photograph, but the store bought frozen variety work equally well for those times of the year when fresh are not available. We even had a go at this recipe with fresh blueberries that we froze ourselves and they worked great.

Sure there are lots of blueberry sauces and jams that could be melted a bit to make a sauce but more supermarket varieties are loaded with sugar or corn syrup. We’re keeping these versions as close to the farm as possible.
For the balsamic vinegar Olivier 25 year old barrel aged Balsamic Vinegar from Williams Sonoma was used. It’s so much better than anything found at the supermarket and is so sweet and thick that it is possible to do balsamic shots.

For the basic sweet blueberry sauce:
2 cups blueberries
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1Tbs Honey
¼ tsp cinnamon

In a skillet over really low heat stir together the Balsamic and Honey*, as they warm they’ll start to combine nicely. Add the blueberries. Stir to coat as much as possible. We’re not really looking to cook the blueberries as much as we’re just heating them through. Most likely it will seem that nothing’s happing, nothing’s happening, then oops, the balsamic mixture is bubbling up. At this point add the cinnamon and stir. With the back of a fork start smashing blueberries. Their juices will be released and add to the liquid portion of the sauce while the smashed inner fruit helps thicken it.

Since this is all about the blueberries, I smash only half of the berries, leaving the other half fully intact. And pinch of salt is all that’s needed to complete the sauce. Those full sized blueberries scream homemade and will roll over the top of ice cream or pound cake beautifully!
*If using a more tart balsamic you might have to add another teaspoon or two of honey to balance the acid while the sauce is still very warm so it blends easily.
Blueberries In AllClad
For a savory version of the sauce: Add a wee bit of olive oil to a skillet and sweat a minced shallot over low heat, once its soft and translucent continue as above with the addition of a second tablespoon of the balsamic. We’re keeping the honey in this version because we love honey and it helps keep things thick, just a bit. Be sure to NOT forget the cinnamon. Cinnamon is used in savory foods in India and North Africa and it will add that extra something to this savory version as well. Adding a pinch of pepper at the end makes this the ideal surprise sauce for grilled salmon.

For the sassy version: Cook in something from Victoria’s Secret (only kidding)! The only difference between the sassy version and the savory is the addition of a ¼ tsp of chili powder at the same time the cinnamon is added.
We use local honey in our recipes not only for their flavor but because those purchases support local farmers as well as local ecosystems.

Still Life With Ketchup And Fries At Elevation Burger Montclair

Still Life With Ketchup and Fries at Elevation Burger

Happy Birthday Julia ~ Bring On The Roasted Potatoes!

Bring On The Roasted Potatoes, Bring on the Montrachet!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Mudhole In Nutley On A Summer Evening

Mudhole Summer Evening

So Where Do I Find Out About The Legend Of The Death Seat Burger

Old Canal Inn Nutley NJ 002 The urban legend is true!

The Death Seat Burger does exist!

The Old Canal Inn is at the corner of East Passaic Avenue and Pake Street in Nutley NJ and once you get there you'll find out about the legend of the Death Seat Burger!

And it takes lives - young, beautiful, food-blogging lives!

Find out more about what happened to New Jersey's hottest food blogging team on Hot From The Kettle as we revisit the Old Canal Inn and chronicle the adventure in pictures and video.

The Old Canal Inn's Death Seat Burger Platter

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm A Little Obsessed With Indigo Montclair @indigomontclair

I'm A Little Obsessed With Indigo Montclair Indigo returns to Montclair with a modern twist on traditional soul food. I recently had the oportunity to visit Indigo with the foodie team from Hot From The Kettle and loved the experience so much I had to go back for more!

Check out the images of my first two visits :
then read the review on Hot From The Kettle

In the coming weeks I'll write about my visits where I fell in love with the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie.

Jeero Loves New York Taxis

Jeero Loves New York Taxis
(they're Jeero color!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The World Famous Tick Tock Diner In Clifton NJ

New Jersey's World Famous Tick Tock Diner
Located on Route 3, about 12 miles west of the Empire State Building, the Tick Tock Diner is a landmark for diners and local weather reporters who often use its parking lot for location shoots during major weather events.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Matarazzo Farms Has A Peachy Way To Fight Hunger In New Jersey

Jersey Fresh PeachesKnown to many in Essex County from his family owned and operated "Matarazzo Farms" in West Caldwell, Jim Matarazz has been a fixture at the Montclair Farmers' Market for several years.

It's peach season in the Garden State and Jim will be sharing his bounty with those in need on Saturday.

From 8am to 2 pm Matarazzos will give a free quart of Jersey Peaches to anyone who is struggling in this economy.   Each Saturday morning the Matarazzos, and several other farmers, bring the locally grown fruits of their labors to the Walnut Street station parking lot. As a foodie I'm all over the farmer's market, as a transplanted Californian I am thrilled to find produce that is not from the San Joaquin Valley and as a resident of NJ I love the idea that the Garden State is more than a slogan but a way of life.
Matarazzos At The Montclair Farmers Market
I go to the farmers' market on Saturday mornings for the food but also to protect a way of life and use of land that is slipping away. This Saturday I am going to support a farmer who is doing something wonderful for the least among us. If you're in Montclair stop by Matarazzo's on Saturday.

If you're having trouble making ends meet know that Jim will be sharing his bounty. If things are working out for you, stop by anyway and just enjoy being in the presence of a true mensch.

Strawberries As Far As The Eye Can See At The Montclair Farmers' Market

Strawberries As Far As The Eye Can See At Montclair Farmer's Market