Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hallowe'en Humor For Any Time Of The Year

Discover Pumpkin Pie Balsamic at @Olive_That Montclair

Pumpkin Pie Spice is the flavor of the Month at Olive That and More in Upper Montclair
and today (Hallowe'en) it's 15% off.

So you're thinking, what the heck, Pumpkin Pie Balsamic, right?
 Think autumnal salad with greens, and cranberries, and of course toasted pumpkin seeds. This Balsmamic Vinegar will make you think about adding a salad to your Thanksgiving table this year!

It's also a real smasher on Sweet Potatoes, Baked, Roasted, even Mashed, a drizzle of Pumpkin Pie Balsamic makes that autumn favourite fantastic!

The 15% off sale is for today only.

Pumpkin Pie Balsamic : Flavor Of The Month at @Olive_That

Olive That and More, located at246 Bellevue Ave, 2 doors from the Bellevue Theatre, is a full tasting store. Every one of their 30+ varieties of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar can be tasted.

Visit them at

Breaking News : Killer Bunnies!

Found this frightfully funny bit on the interweb and had to share

This Is Hallowe'en ~ Jack Skellington, Nightmare Before Christmas

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daylight Savings Time Ends This Weekend !

Time Is An AssetThis weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time in the United States so before going to bed Saturday night don't forget to set your clock back one hour.

Traditionally this is the weekend in which Americans replace the batteries in their smoke detectors, and given the danger that fire presents for all of us that is the most important thing to do. Renters should check their smoke detector batteries as well. In most parts of the US, landlords are required to provide smoke detectors but the law doesn't require all of them to provide batteries. It's a good idea for renters to take charge of their own safety and change the batteries this weekend.

Depending on the expert giving the advice, smoke detectors should be changed every 3 or 5 years. Let's face it, it’s a relatively inexpensive machine and it will eventually wear out. This week might be the perfect time to replace the entire Smoke Detector. And while you're at it, pick up a few Carbon Monoxide detectors. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill. It is produced by burning natural gas as well as oil. Changing those batteries this weekend is well worth the effort too.
Setting the clock back an hour gives us all that extra hour to accomplish things that we always intend to do but often neglect.

Staying with the idea of safety this is the ideal weekend to check tire pressure as well as making sure winter windscreen washer is full in our cars. Change your vacuum bags. Seriously - when was the last time you changed them – the holidays are coming and that this is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Foodies can take full advantage of the extra hour by going through the cupboards looking for things that are expired (toss them) or things that you know the family won’t eat (donate them). Use the hour to take inventory for the holidays. This is the perfect weekend to take stock of those holiday season basics like chicken broth, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, and cranberries.

Going Batty For Cookies From Little Daisy Bakeshop

Going Batty For Cookies @ Little Daisy Bake Shop

The @OrangeSquirrel Vincent Price Dinner Postponed Until Sunday

November Just Got A Little Scarier!

With so many of their guests pre-occupied with clean-up from Sandy, Chef Francesco Palmieri has resceduled the Vincent Price dinner at Bloomfield's "The Orange Squirrel" originally scheduled for Hallowe'en Night to Sunday November 4 at 5pm.

Patrons with reservations will be called to confirm the new date and time.

Here's the spoktacular news : there are still a few spaces left so anyone who acts quickly may get a chance to experience this frightfully delicious event.

Call the Orange Squirrel at 973-337-6421 to scare up a place for yourself.

      Be sure to visit The Orange Squirrel   to take a peak at their regular menu

Monday, October 29, 2012

With Frankenstorm Approaching, A Look Back At Snowtober

Pink Roses At Essex County's Rose Garden During Snowtober In 2011 a freak snowstorm pummeled the NYC Metro area on Halloween Weekend. With most of the trees in full leaf the snow was held aloft until the weight was too much and trees began to crash down. Power was knocked out for days in many areas.

With a new storm coming, let's take a look back at last year.

#MusicMonday ~ Feist Sings 1,2,3,4, on Sesame Street

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hot From The Kettle presents : Perfectly Pumpkin at King's Cooking Studio

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, Thurs 11/15/12 6:30 - 9:30 pm To sign up for this class visit King's Cooking Studio

/ Please note : This class was originally scheduled for Monday 29 February but was changed to 15 November because of Hurricane Sandy. The new date may not yet be reflected on the Kings site but your enrollment should work properly/

My Homer Bucket From Home Depot Is For The Birds

I just love the Orange 5 Gallon Homer Bucker from Home Depot : this year I have one that is strictly for the birds - literally!

Many of us foodies work with fruits and vegetables that are loaded with seeds but in our quest of making the perfect dish we forget that these discards are great food for the birds. Being a composter, the clos est peels and cores would ever come to being considered "discards" amounted to nothing more than a short visit to the compost bucket. Seeds presented an altogether different challenge.

Whether from papaya, pumpkins, or butternut squash, seeds can easily go out to the garden right after meal prep time but I like to save them for the winter months when birds have fewer sources of food.

Using an old baking sheet I simply spread the seeds out to dry, paying no heed to any of the bits of fruit pulp and fibre that might be clinging to them. Once dry remaining pulp can easily be removed by rubbing the seeds between my hands. Then its just a matter of storing them until the cold days of winter. Really any container will work - even those big containers from cat little, but I like the bright orange Home Bucket.

Come winter, especially just before a snowfall, I'll mix some of the kitchen seeds with the sacks of seed from the garden center and then see who arrives. If larger birds don't make off with the pumpkin and papaya seeds sometimes a bunny or two will nosh on the seeds that fall to the ground.

At less than $3 each, the 5 gallon Homer Bucket is a great way to go green. To find your nearest Home Depot visit

Church On The Green, Bloomfield NJ

Church On The Green, Bloomfield
The Church on the Green in Bloomfield New Jersey,
 viewed through autumnal colors of the not-so green.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Haunted Cornfield In Montclair NJ

Haunted Cornfield in Montclair NJ

It's Compostable : Egg Shells

Egg Shells Are For The Birds We all use eggs - for everything from breakfast, to baking, to meatloaf however most of us don't think of the shells as anything more than trash.

Eggshells are actually high in calcium, something many of us don't immediately realize. When added to the compost, the shells break down and their calcium becomes a part of the organic matter that makes our gardens great sources of culinary and visual appeal. So what, right?

Calcium is an important for plant growth and strong stems, but more importantly some of that calcium becomes a part of the plant and, if its something consumable there is a small, but undeniable, health benefit. Think about it, we often think of calcium as coming from cows milk, but where do cows get it, eating grass which draws minerals from the earth. Tossing eggshells into the compost isn't going to replace other calcium sources in the diet, but it won't hurt. And given the thousands of eggs that were a part of breakfast in your town today if everyone added eggshells to their compost that would mean a lot less trash headed to the landfill.

Alma : Slightly Scary Short From Pixar

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Set The DVR : Montclair The Show Is Here

Mido Group New York announces the launch of Montclair The Show, a combination documentary and travel show, captured in an original 30-minute film. Directed by filmmaker and creative director Mido Emad, and hosted by Melody Kettle, Montclair The Show aims to reveal the best of what Montclair has to offer from an on-the-ground perspective. As seen through the perceptive and creative lens, the show will zoom in on Montclair’s culturally rich, dynamic and diverse mixture of art, restaurants, and overall lifestyle.

Montclair The Show Filming at Aozora with @melodykettle The show has been funded by local small businesses of Montclair, such as CSA Audio, Bangz, Egan’s & Son, Ecco Bella and other institutions like New Jersey Monthly, the Montclair Art Museum, and Kean University.

The show will be viewed on a variety of social media platforms, including participants’and featured businesses’ websites, as well as local channel 34 of Montclair. An additional 4000 DVDs will be available for purchase in local stores in Montclair by December 2012.

The Producer / Director:
Mido Emad is a ten year Montclair resident and film maker / creative Director at his own agency in SoHo New York and Montclair- New Jersey. Mido was inspired by Anthony Bourdain “No Reservations” to go out and create a series of episodes that reveals the over all life style of America’s cool suburban towns. What better town to start with than Montclair-New Jersey? Using his background in film and advertising, he began shooting with his team in January 2012, and in February, Mido began working with food writer Melody Kettle.
The Host:
Melody Kettle is a Montclair based food writer and video host. She is the founder and owner of Hot From the Kettle, a New Jersey on-line source that takes you behind the scenes at NJ’s finest restaurants and casual eateries. Hot From The Kettle is dedicated to publishing New Jersey restaurant news and recipes, videos, and information for food enthusiasts. Hot From The Kettle is a featured and was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

Melody Kettle says, "I've always been comfortable in the kitchen, and enjoyed making food and restaurant videos. When I saw Mido's beautiful work, I knew I had to be involved!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peanut Butter, Nutella, and Bacon #foodporn

#46 Peanut Butter, Nutella, and Bacon #photo365 #foodporn
Peanut Butter and Toast go together
Peanut Butter and Bacon go together
Chocolate and Bacon are incredible Nutella and Toast is divine
So why not put it all together for a Peanut Butter, Nutella, Bacon on Toast sandwich!
Save The Date : World Nutella Day  is 5 February 2013

Culinary Demonstrations Come To @Olive_That in Montclair NJ

Montclair’s popular Olive That and More introduces a new culinary program featuring guest speakers and chefs to this fall to complement its line of Olive Oils, Balsamic Vinegars, and Salts.    

Olive That Minis
“Most people think of Olive Oil as salad dressing” says Jennifer O’Sullivan who along with her husband Steve Lehrhoff opened their store on Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair this past summer. “We’re not going to argue with anyone who buys our olive oil to dress a salad” chuckles O’Sullivan “but most people don’t realize that Olive Oil can replace butter and other oils in all sorts of recipes.”

Olive oil can play an active role in a healthy diet. The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids. They are considered a healthy dietary fat because they help lower the risk of heart disease by improving related risk factors. The flavor profiles of olive oils vary greatly depending on the region in which the olives are grown – this makes some oils perfect for salads and savory dishes, but some olive oils are great for sweets including chocolate desserts!

“Dipping bread in Olive Oil has been my go to comfort food for years” says Lehrhoff “It’s only recently that I discovered it makes the best brownies ever. I may have discovered my new favorite comfort food.” The events in the store will be part class – part demonstration – part discussion with tastings of the ingredients as well as the finished dishes.

The first class is Wednesday November 14th at 7pm “Fantastic Focaccia.” The demonstration will not only include making focaccia from scratch but will demonstrate various toppings to make a quick meal or appetizer for guests. “Focaccia lends itself perfectly to dipping so I know there will be a lot of tastings of oils in that class” added Lehrhoff.

On December 12th there will be a cookie and holiday treat class using what else, olive oil.

These demonstrations are free but its best to call the store at 973-744-7175 to reserve a space. Be sure to offer your phone number just in case there are any changes. We don’t expect a major snowstorm but that’s what got this business started so anything is possible.

Olive That And More is at 246 Bellevue Ave in Upper Montclair NJ. Its two doors down from the Bellevue Theatre, across from Chase Bank, and two doors from Valley Road. The Olive That Bench has become a local landmark.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Morning At Edgemont Park Montclair NJ

Autumn Morning At Edgemont Park

So Much Breaking Foodie News in Montclair Today (Just Jump Over To Hot From The Kettle)

 Albert's on Church Street is closed and up for sale, Epernay is closing, Montclair Station is "temporarily closed" plus a whole lot more going on in the last few days. Instead of doing a breaking news story of my own why not just do a redirect to Hot From The Kettle where Melody Kettle has the scoop on everything going on in Montclair.
Click here to go directly to Hot From The Kettle

#MusicMonday : Jason Mraz on Sesame Street - Outdoors

Every Monday morning we start the week with some of our favorite music.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cricket On A Chrysanthemum Throne

Cricket On Chrysanthemum Throne

St Lukes Episcopal Church Montclair : Iconic Fleur De Lis Choir Stalls

Iconic Presby Fleur De Lis At St Lukes Montclair
Most everyone in Montclair is familiar with the Presby Iris Gardens, but the Presby Family were also benefactors of St Luke's Episcopal Church on South Fullerton. Here iconic irises are seen adorning the choir stalls of the church.
  Church art and architecture are featured on Black Tie and Flip Flops every Sunday.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Celebrating The Season at Farm Sancutary : Pigs and Pumpkins

I love this video from Farm Sanctuary
Starring in this clip are Julia and her piglets Betty, Linus, Christopher and Diane. Their friends Eric, Jane, Andy, Sebastian, and Joan join the fun.

It's Compostable : Autumn Leaves

Okay, this one seems like a really easy one but for most people leaves are often overlooked as a compost addition in large part because there are just so many of them. Most home compost bins cannot handle the incredible volume of leaves, so they wind up either in the trash or some curbside leaf recycling program. Both are a lot of work and require burning of fossil fuels to get to their destination. I have two solutions that really reduce the amount of work and volume of the leave litter.

Lost Red Leaf The first uses some fossil fuels but since its part of a multi-tasking effort the net effect on usual gardening behavior doesn't really increase.

After walking the lawns to remove any sticks and anything else that may become a projectile I simple mow the lawn, leaves and all, bagging it as I go along. The lawn has to be mowed anyway so I really am multi-tasking, and since everything is being cut together there is a nice mix of green and brown material. If some of the chopped material isn't picked up I just leave it on the lawn unless there is a large clump, over time the leaf and grass shreds will break down and enrich the soil.

The bagged grass-leaf combo then goes into the compost, usually followed by a quick toss with the pitchfork to incorporate the material already in the composter. The balance of the grass-leaf shred is then spread over dormant flower beds, over the vegetable garden, and around the foundation plants as a winter mulch that, for the most part, will break down significantly over the course of the winter. A usual surprise comes if a second "leaf mowing" is needed in a few weeks, that original batch most likely will have broken down and reduced in volume so much so that more material can be added to the compost. Come spring any remaining leaves that are in the way get raked up and go into the composter with spent hyacinths, daffodils, and tulips.

The other solution for the leaves? Make a major pile in a back corner of the garden or even layer it over the vegetable garden. I'm always surprised at how soil beneath this sort of sheet composting improves over the course of winter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

@WilliamsSonoma Thanksgiving Preview : Thursday 18 October in Upper Montclair

Williams-Sonoma’s Thanksgiving Preview Is Thursday 18 October in Upper Montclair And You’re Invited!

We haven’t even gotten to Dios De La Muerte yet and people are already talking Thanksgiving, but why not, we all have so much for which to be Thankful. Despite everything you have heard, Thanksgiving does not have to be a stressful under taking, the folks at Williams-Sonoma in Upper Montclair will prove this Thursday evening.

The culinary team at Williams Sonoma will be working most of the day Thursday preparing a full complement of Thanksgiving favourites, including a turkey prepared with the all new Buttermilk Brining Blend. The team was spotted on Tuesday evening gathering pie pans, and roasting pans, and baking dishes in preparation of the big event so I know the samples are going to be great (they just haven’t released all the details to the foodie press yet! ARGH!)

@WilliamsSonoma 's Muirhead Pumpkin Butter One little known secret about the event is that a special 10% discount on purchases made during and immediately after the event will be given to all attendees. There are some exclusions in knives, French cookware and some other items but the “gotta have it” items like Turkey Gravy and Stuffing Starter are included.

Here’s another great bit of news: the Steamed Chestnuts that are oh so popular but tend to disappear from the store shelves in Mid-November are in stock. The best by date on the jars is sometime in 2015 so Thursday is the time to stock up for this great addition to stuffing. The steamed chestnuts are also a wonderful addition to Panetone and other holiday baking. If you stock up on too many jars, they are great chopped and added to mashed sweet potatoes with a little brown butter drizzle. Or how about chopped and sprinkled over butternut squash soup?

The Cranberry Relish is also in stock. The traditional use is terrific, but save a jar for later in the season to spread between layers of a split round of Brie, then wrap in puff pastry for an elegant Twelfth Night treat! If you're following the recipes here on Black Tie and Flip Flops you know I have a thing for Muirhead Pumpkin Butter, a bread pudding recipe has alread posted and Pumpkin Pot de Creme will follow soon. (Pumpkin Butter is in stock right now too!) 

The Thanksgiving Preview starts at 5pm and continues until closing (8pm). Running late from work? No problem, there will be plenty to sample, and several culinary experts available to help answer your holiday entertaining questions. Williams Sonoma is located at 630 Valley Road, Montclair NJ 07043, on the corner of Lorraine Ave, across the street from the Gap.

Did I mention free food?  
Autumn Along The Henry Hudson Drive

Annie Oakley Returns To Nutley NJ

Annie Oakley Returns To Nutley NJ

Annie Oakley was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. For a time she had a a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar. From 1892 to the early 20th Century she lived on Grant Avenue in Nutley NJ.

 This mural is on the southern wall of the US Post Office in Nutley.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Old And New Meet At Nutley's Old Canal Inn

Old And New Meet At The Old Canal Inn Nutley NJ's Old Canal Inn is home to the famous Death Seat, made famous in "Weird New Jersey" but known to locals since the middle of the last century. Sometime in the 1960's a patron of the Old Canal Inn died while seated in a particular barstool. Not long afterward another patron met the same fate while seated in the same place!

A recent addition to the Old Canal Inn's menu is the Death Seat Burger Platter. A grilled burger is layered with Nacho Cheese, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Jalapeno, and Tomatoes. The entire burger, bun and all, is beer battered and deep friend. It's then served on a large platter that includes homemade slaw, homemade pasta salad, fries, lettuce and pickles.

  The Death Seat Burger Platter is served only on Mondays at the Old Canal Inn. Find out more about the Death Seat Burger Platter and the Old Canal Inn on Hot From The Kettle The Old Canal Inn is at 2 East Passaic Avenue in Nutley NJ - the border with Bloomfield actually runs through the shuffleboard room.

Montclair The Show : Coming Soon

Follow the latest news on Montclair The Show on Hot From The Kettle

It's #MusicMonday ~ Sing A Song

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Peppers In Autumn Colors At Matarazzo's Farm In North Caldwell

Peppers In Autumn Colors at Matarazzos

It's Compostable : Coffee Grounds

It's Compostable : Coffee GroundsThey are finely ground so they'll break up really quickly in the compost.

But did you know coffee grounds are great for broad leaf evergreens like azalea and rhodedondron? Just sprinkle the grounds around the base of the shrubs and let them work their magic.

Some coffee shops also offer their spent grounds to customers. If you holly or blue spruce needs a pick- me-up its a great organic way to help them out.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Favourite Recipe Remixed : Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even if you are not in a baking mood today, get thine self to the supermarket and pick up the chocolate (hide it in way back portion of the freezer behind the peas so no one snacks on it) and when one of those "I'm Bored" days rears it yawning face you'll be ready to make excitement in the kitchen.

We've made a few discoveries that have improved upon and remixed this classic - read about them after the original recipe.

Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F (190° C)

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
And Now The Remix :

Having had the opportunity to make several batches of these classic cookies, and run side by side taste tests, there are a few things that we've learned can make these cookies even better than you remember!

Unsalted Butter. Using unsalted butter, often called "Sweet Butter" is a must the kitchen. The butter is actually fresher since it doesn't have salt, a preservative, in it, and the butter flavor pops, big time. When we made batches of toll house cookies with both salted and unsalted butter, the batches made with unsalted butter were favored by everyone. (afterwards we told them the secret)

Raw Sugar. Most of us have become so accustomed to refined white sugar that its the only thing found in most kitchens these days. We changed up the recipe to use raw sugar (turbinado sugar) which is a less processed sugar and a light brown in color. Making side by side batches we found that everyone preferred the flavour in the batch made with raw sugar AND, the carmel in the cookies developed making them a feast for the eyes as well! Our favorite brand is Sugar In The Raw which gets all of its sugar from Hawaii.

Vanilla Extract. (Vanilla Essence) Go with a name brand; some of the store brands of vanilla essence are so diluted with alcohol that there really isn't much flavor when compared to the name brand vanilla.

Nuts. Walnuts seem to be the traditional nut for chocolate chip cookies, but mix thing up a bit : we can't decide if our favourite is pecan, hazelnut or macadamia. Perhaps it's time to bake a few batches to conduct a new taste test!

Ginger Chips: Leave out the cup of nuts and replace them with a cup of ginger chips. Ginger cakes had a major part in holiday celebrations of the early colonies so why not bring a little of that all American 18th Century tradition to this 20th Century tradition? The Ginger People make ginger chips for baking but if you cannot locate them finely diced crystalized ginger works perfectly well.


Pumpkin Season Is Upon Us

Pumpkin Pi Landscape

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Save The Date : Best of the Basics - The Mother Sauces & Derivatives at Kings Cooking Studio 12 November

Team Hot From The Kettle has partnered with Kings Cooking Studio to present :
 Best of the Basics - The Mother Sauces & Derivatives on 12 November 2012.

Le Salbuen Uses All-Clad Cookware Sauces are the foundation of French cooking. By mastering what’s known as the Mother Sauces, you can make nearly any French sauce under the sun with a few simple additions, and whisk up the perfect accompaniment for every dish, season and holiday. Never worry about a sauce breaking again! We’ll show you foolproof ways to fix any sauce and a few short cuts (using a blender!) as well. Brush up on the basics with this essential class and prepare to impress your friends with your standout sauces.

Presented by Elizabeth Palmer Starnes, French Culinary Institute Graduate and Hot From The Kettle Contributor.

Recipes and techniques include : Bechamel Sauce; Mornay Sauce; Classical Demi-Glace; Bordelaise Sauce; Hollandaise Sauce; Bearnaise Sauce; Remoulade

Sign up for this class on the Kings Cooking Studio website.

Artichokes At Whole Foods Montclair

I Think Mama Odie Has Been Workin' Some Of Her Magic In Montclair

or perhaps I got a take-away order from The French Quarter Food Truck
I Think Mama Odie's Been Workin Some Of Her Magic In Montclair
When Jambalaya looks this good you know that either Mama Odie has been working her magic or I got a take-away order from The French Quarter Food Truck in Montclair.

By now just about everyone has seen the big purple truck on the streets of Montclairm but like me you probably didn't stop because you already ate, or were about to eat at home. Stop anyway. I found the truck parked at its usual Tuesday and Thursday evening spot (Walnut Street Station), downed a bowl of Gumbo and got an order of Jambalaya to go with every intention eating it when I got home but got caught up in a whole mess of other things and stowed it in the fridge.

Come Wednesday I had a Eureka! moment and just had to share : The Jambalaya from The French Quarter Truck is great the next day! It so good in fact that I had to plate it properly to show that its more than good eats, its ideal to serve to guests! Yup, you read right, serve to guests and have them think that you got some cajun magic going on in your kitchen. Of course you can do something less lofty - pick some up the next time you see the truck and have it for lunch the next day!

SpyCam ~ It's the French Quarter Truck @TFQfoodtruckA more formal story about all of the offerings on the truck will follow soon - just had to share this news. In the meantime do a drive by and grab some authentic Cajun Cuisine. Where is the The French Quarter Food Truck today? On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the truck is usually on Park Street outside the Red Cross Building at lunchtime and at the Walnut Street Train Station at dinner time, but that's subject to change based on weather and special event. To confirm where it is today, find them on Twitter at @TFQfoodtruck and get ready for the yum.

Not familiar with Mama Odie? Seriously? She's the Voo Doo priestess who turned Princess Tiana and Naveen back into human form after having been turned into frogs by the Shadowman in Disney's "The Princess and the Frog." Tiana owned a cajun restaurant at the end of the film, making her the best Disney Princess ever! Ya know, I didn't really peer into the truck - perhaps Tiana is cooking up the eats in the truck. It is the most authentic creole cuisine I've had up North.

Foodie Discovery : White Radishes At Matarazzo's Farm Stand In North Caldwell

White Radishes at Matarazzo's Farmstand in North Caldwell
White Radishes - Who Knew!

A trip to Matarazzo's Farmstand in North Caldwell is always met with discovery of new flavors. This week it's white radishes.

Obviously different in color and appearance than their bright crimson cousins these gems pack a bit more of that bite for which radishes are knownm making them the brilliant new addition to the now ordinary apple pecan salad.

When it first made the rounds on restaurant menues in the mid-90s the mixed greens with apple and pecans (or walnuts) salad, dressed in bleu cheese was ground breaking. Now its a cliche, and what's with the candied nuts? So why not spice things up a bit!

Fall Arrives At Matarazzo's in North Caldwell
Thinly sliced, these white radishes are the perfect contrast to the sweet-tart taste of the apples. The farmstand had some unusual greens including mustard kale that was a great addition to the salad. Instead of the usual bleu cheese, I picked up some local honey at Matarazzos to make a honey-mustard-vinaigrette. Sweet - tart - spicy - crunchy - the end result was a tango of taste that never would have been discovered had I stopped at Matarazzos.

Matarazzo's Farm is located on Mountain Ave in North Caldwell NJ. Jim and the gang also make appearances at local farmer's markets including Montclair, Ramsey, and Newark.

It's All In The Numbers Today

In America today's date is
people in the rest of the world cannot mark the day for a whole month. Winning!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

George Washington Bridge : Missing The Tower For The Trees

George Washington Bridge : Missing The Tower For The Trees The area immediately across from the Cloisters was purchased by the Rockefeller family so that their museum would have views of an undeveloped Hudson River and Palisades. Their vision left us with this beautiful park where, even the tallest manmade structures like the George Washington Bridge, are often hidden from view as one drives along Henry Hudson Drive.

Ingredients Matter : Elevation Burger

Elevation Burger uses only free range organic grass fed beef which is ground on premises (those of you who have atteneded any of my classes know how grinding my own beef and not relying on pre-ground meat has become a new foodie obsession of mine. I'll write more on that some other time). The beef at EB is actually, well, beefy. Surprise : Omega 3 is naturally occuring in free range beef (stockyard cattle are fed mass quantities of corn, which not only changes the taste and texture, but increases fat and bad cholesterol). The other bright spot on the menu is the fries. They are just potatoes, peeled and cut on site, and cooked in olive oil. Its a totally different flavor spectrum than most burger joint fries which contain more than potatoes.

Going gluten free? Most fries at other places have a flour coating that makes them brown more quickly for a more photogenic appearance. No flour on the elevation burger fries - so they are gluten free! Plus, you can order your burger gluten free as well - instead of a bun you can order it wrapped in lettuce. (so its gluten free AND no carbs!) Of course regular burgers come with a bun, but ordering one "Protein Style" reminds me of home in California.
It gets better - the founders of Elevation Burger started the company because they couldn't find a good burger outside of California. (tell me about it!) But as a SoCal boy, I gotta admit, the folks at In-N-Out have something to worry about. (now if Elevation Burger could just do something about the weather in the Garden State I'd never want to got back home!)

In addition to the organic beef burgers, Elevation Burger also features Veggie Burgers - a Vegetarian Version as well as a Vegan variety. Both are pretty amazing. Don't get me started on the shakes - I could go on for paragraphs on them. (perhaps I will have to do an entire blog post just on shakes, what do you think?)

And if that were not enough, the owners of Elevation Burger are dedicated to Montclair and the surrounding communities. They frequently have fundraiser nights at which a percentage of all sales for the evening go to a particular group or charity. In the past EB has raised funds for the Montclair - Glen Ridge - Nutley chapter of the Red Cross, Friends of Anderson Park, YMCA Summer Camp Scholarships, and several athletic organizations.

Elevation Burer is located on Bloomfield Avenue Montclair at the corner of North Willow. Parking is in the rear.