Category Archives: Reviews

Key Lime Cake

One word. Quite delicious. Okay, that’s two words, but this cake is quite delicious. Last night my doorbell rang and I signed for a small package. I opened it up to find a beautiful Key Lime Bundt Cake. It was from my sister who had ordered it

from a company called We Take the Cake. What a fun name!  The beautifully packaged cake came with a small container of Key Lime Glaze. I drizzled it over the top and cut a slice. Yum. What a tropical hit! A creamy key lime tang and a moist and tender texture. Sooo good. I could almost hear sound of steel drums—for a few moments I forgot it was still a wintry 40 degrees!

I had to learn more about We Take the Cake. Luckily the stylish brochure accompanying the box was filled with pictures and mouth-watering descriptions of the cakes they sell seven days a week via mail-order. Strawberry Cake, Coconut Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Spice Cake, Rum Cake, well the list goes on and on. Check them out!

Heather

2 Comments

Filed under Cake, Dessert, Reviews

Saucy Mama’s Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork

Joe, Heather and I attended the Fancy Food Show recently and were tempted by all the tantalizing new flavors and products. Rubs, marinades, spice blends…FLAVOR was everywhere! A particular standout were the offerings from Saucy Mama, maker of marinades, dressings, sauces and mustards.  We sampled some of their popular items such as Lime Chipotle Marinade, Sesame Ginger Dressing, Cracked Pepper Marinade and Chipotle Mustard to name a few.  They were all chock full of zest, spice, and character.

Saucy Mama’s motto is Make Every Meal Extraordinary, and  that is just what we decided to do.  We took Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, combined it with pork, barbecue sauce and brown sugar, tossed it into the  slow-cooker and created a fantastic Pulled Pork recipe.  It is a little bit sweet, a little bit sour and a lot spicy hot!!!

Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Makes 8 Servings

3 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast or pork butt
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bottle (12 oz.) Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Plus:
8  sandwich rolls, split
2 cups prepared cole slaw

– Place pork roast and onion in large slow-cooker.

– In small bowl, stir together Lime Chipotle Marinade, barbecue sauce, brown sugar and 1/3 cup water.  Pour over pork.  Cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours.

– Remove pork from slow-cooker. Using a knife and fork, pull meat into shredded pieces.  Place shredded meat back into sauce in slow-cooker and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.

– Divide pork mixture evenly between split rolls; top with cole slaw.

-Cathy

14 Comments

Filed under BBQ, Crock-Pot, Pork, Reviews, Sandwiches

Cheesecake Convert

I’ve never really been a cheesecake person. But I am now. While in New York City a few weeks ago, I stopped in at Lindy’s, a diner/deli just north of Times Square. Lindy’s gets few points for atmosphere or value (it’s horribly overpriced), but it’s world-famous for its cheesecake. So, I figured, when in Lindy’s, order the cheesecake. Was I glad I did! The cheesecake was quite simply the best I’ve ever tasted. Light, yet dense. Fluffy, yet creamy. Not too sweet, with just a hint of lemon. A tender cookie crust. And a garnish of canned whipped cream which should have been all wrong, but was somehow just right.

Not exactly a healthy snack, but a generous slice and a cup of surprisingly good coffee kept me going for the rest of the day.

I googled “recipe for Lindy’s cheesecake”  and 28,600 results came up! I must get started. Now, where did I put that springform pan…

Heather

1 Comment

Filed under Cake, Dessert, Reviews, Sweets

Sweet Indulgences

Oh, what a whirl! Or should I say swirl? Swirls do come to mind when I think of  “Sweet Indulgences”, a new dessert shoppe in Dumont, New Jersey. The shoppe’s owners, Gwynn Galvin and Bryan Mueller, are a mother/son team

Peanut Butter Perfection

who have combined their talents to create amazing treats with an innovative twist. Cheesecakes and cheesecake cupcakes in a variety of whimsical flavors—Cup o’ Cappuccino, Brownie Delight, & Apple Cinnamon Sensation—are their specialty.  To give you an idea of how wonderful they are, the Brownie Delight features a dark chocolate crust with luscious brownie bits baked into the batter with a topping of brownie chunks, fudge and a white chocolate drizzle. Need I say more?!

Other desserts include cupcakes in fun flavors such as Bubble Gum and Cotton Candy, as well traditional favorites such as Red Velvet (pictured below). The shoppe also offers an Indulgence of the Week, and proceeds from its sales are donated to charity. Now that’s a guilt-free dessert!

Gwynn has an extensive culinary background and is currently test kitchen director for Woman’s World Magazine. Bryan has a marketing and PR background specializing in food accounts. As a food stylist, I have worked with Gwynn for many years and I can say first-hand (or should I say first bite) that this team’s “sweet indulgences” are not to be missed!

If you are in the NY/NJ area, you can visit Gwynn and Bryan’s shoppe at 120B West Shore Ave. in Dumont, New Jersey (201) 384-CAKE. You may also visit them on the web at SweetIndulgencesNJ.com or become a fan of Sweet Indulgences on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook/SweetindulgencesNJ.

Cathy

8 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cupcakes, Dessert, Reviews

Billy Jabour’s Breakfast in Bread

This past summer I visited dear friends of mine, Dorie and Ray, in the Albany, N.Y. area.  As soon as I entered their house, I encountered the fragrant aroma of fresh-baked bread.  Moments later, Dorie presented an array of absolutely delicious stuffed breads that she had sliced into appetizer portions. I had to know the source, and luckily Dorie gladly shared her secret. The fresh-baked breads had just been delivered by Billy Jabour, a friend of Dorie’s daughter.

Billy Jabour is founder and owner of The Whole Loaf in Troy, N.Y.  Experienced bread baker and creator of signature stuffed-bread loaves, Billy started his business about 5 years ago.  The loaves were a Jabour family tradition as far back as Billy can remember. Initially, Billy started with a menu of 10 loaves, and today The Whole Loaf’s menu boasts more than 30 mouth-watering choices including savory and sweet combinations perfect for anytime of day.

The Breakfast in Bread loaf is an inspiration—bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, maple syrup, mozzarella and Swiss cheeses make up this awesome creation. We think it would be perfect for brunch…just add a colorful fruit medley, juice and coffee!

We couldn’t resist photographing some of Billy’s other flavors, too. You can only imagine how good it smelled in the studio!

The Beefcake (lower right: bacon, ground beef, onions, Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses); The Big Red (upper right: chicken parmesan, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses); The Hamtastic (left: ham and Swiss cheese rolled in rye dough).

View the full menu by visiting wholeloaf.com.  You may order through the website, or email your request to orders@wholeloaf.com

Cathy

7 Comments

Filed under Appetizer, Breads, Breakfast, Cheese, Reviews

Luscious Limoncello

Last week, I enjoyed an unforgettable dinner at Sonny’s on the Avenue, an Italian ristorante in Verona, New Jersey owned by Tommy Malanga and his wife Alyssa Alia, a food stylist, chef, and all-around wonderful person. The meal was amazing from start (those eggplant meatballs!) to the finish (that silky ricotta cake!)

photo courtesy of Eugene Knowles Photography

 

At the end of the meal, when I thought I could not possibly consume even one more small sip or bite, Alyssa presented our table with a basket of fresh biscotti and a frosty bottle of her prized Limoncello. Unable to resist, our table dutifully dipped the biscotti in our glasses of Limoncello. Ah, la dolce vita!

The always gracious Alyssa was kind enough to share her recipe with me so I could post it. Limoncello needs time to age, so get started soon!

Alyssa’s Limoncello

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made from lemons native to the Amalfi Coast (Capri, Sorrento and Liguria). Limoncello is always served ice cold from the freezer after dinner.

45 large lemons (scrubbed and washed)
2 (750ml) bottles grain alcohol, such as Everclear (151 proof)*
1 (1.75 liters) or 2 (750ml) 80-proof good quality vodka
6 cups bottled or distilled water
8 cups sugar
Large gallon glass jar (such as a Sun-tea jar)

*Due to its high alcohol content, grain alcohol can be hard to find in many areas, and may be illegal in your state. If so, it’s fine to substitute vodka for the grain alcohol.

1. Pour all alcohol in jar.

2. Using vegetable peeler or paring knife, carefully peel off just the yellow skin of the lemons. (It is very important that you do not have any white part left underneath the lemon peels, as this will make the mixture bitter). Try and make the peels as large as you can; this will make it easier to strain the mixture later.

3. Place peels in alcohol.

4. Cover jar tightly and place in a cool (not cold) dark place.

5. Allow mixture to sit for a minimum of 3 weeks or up to 3 months. Stir gently every few days. The longer the lemon peels sit the better the color and flavor. A good readiness test is to take one lemon peel and see if it snaps when you bend it. If it does, it is ready.

6. In large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

7. Strain lemon mixture into another glass container, using a large fine mesh strainer and paper coffee filters. (Note: this takes time and is a little messy). Repeat the straining process back into the original glass jar.

8. Add cooled syrup and watch your Limoncello come to life! Return jar to a cool dry place for at least another 2 weeks.   After 2 weeks, pour Limoncello into small bottles and store in refrigerator or freezer for up to 3 months.

9. Limoncello should be served ice cold from the freezer. It’s terrific as a cordial after dinner, and great on vanilla ice-cream.


Tips

– I make a double batch (90 lemons at time—a case of lemons usually has around 90 lemons) and usually start my batches in the summer to give out at Xmas time.

– Limoncello makes a perfect gift. Start saving decorative bottles from inexpensive stores such as Home Goods, Marshals, Target, the Container Store, or the Christmas Tree Shop. Make sure tops are airtight—you can even wax the corks to make sure they are well sealed.

14 Comments

Filed under Drinks, Entertaining, Restaurants, Reviews

LOL… Lots of Lobster!

New England. While it’s often cold and rainy, and while the winters are ridiculously long, we do have more than our fair share of perks to balance things out—gorgeous autumn leaves, the Red Sox, maple syrup, the list goes on and on. And no doubt about it, we have the world’s best lobster—and really, is there anything better than that?

A few weeks ago, I stopped at Danny’s Drive-In, one of those classic drive-ins where it’s like stepping back in time. Danny’s has been serving up cheeseburgers, milkshakes, fried clam strips, onions rings and more since 1935. (Health food it’s not!) When I pulled into the parking lot, I immediately noticed a sign that read “Yes, we have lobster rolls!” I promptly placed my order and, well…WOW! This was easily one of the best meals I’ve enjoyed ever.

The beauty of a lobster roll is in the simplicity. A soft hot dog bun piled high with warm, buttery lobster meat, served with a little cup of drawn butter and a lemon wedge. That’s it. That’s all you need. Take a bite and let the butter drip down your chin. Mmmm!

Heather

Leave a comment

Filed under Lobster, Restaurants, Reviews, Seafood

Bone Suckin’ Chicken

When Autumn arrives each year, we put everything that is remotely associated with summer weather away for the winter, including the grill. Come May, when the warm weather finally returns, it’s once again grilling time. Out comes the patio furniture, the umbrella, the garden  “chochkes” and of course, THE GRILL. We are once again ready for summer!

I have been saving a jar of Bone Suckin’ Sauce, produced by Ford’s Gourmet Foods, for our first BBQ post of the season. I picked up a sample at the Fancy Food Show last year.  It was worth waiting for!  I decided to use it on chicken, and believe me, it tasted every bit as good as it looks in this picture!  The recipe is so easy and the flavor screams BBQ.  You can find the sauce at Whole Foods Markets, Stew Leonards, and specialty food stores. Or, you can order Bone Suckin’ products from their website. Anyway, here’s the recipe (I’m telling you, it is so easy!)

as photographed by our team, alacartepartners


Bone Suckin’ Grilled Chicken

Makes 4 servings

3 pounds chicken parts
1 cup Bone Suckin’ Sauce

– Spray grill grate with non-stick cooking spray, then preheat grill to medium heat.

– Place chicken on grill and cook about 40 – 50 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until juices run clear.

– During last 20 minutes of cooking, brush with Bone Suckin’ Sauce, turning frequently. (Total cooking time is 40-50 minutes).

Tip

– Serve with grilled corn on the cob.  Soak the whole cobs in a pot of cold water for 15 minutes. Remove from water and pull the husks of the corn back without removing them. Remove and discard only the silk, keeping the husks attached. Brush corn with vegetable or olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt or a seasoned pepper. Wrap the husks back over the kernels and tie each ear with a piece of  husk or twine. Place the  corn on grill, rotating it occasionally  to prevent it  from getting charred too much on one side. After a couple of turns, place the corn  on  indirect heat and close the cover.  The total cooking time should be about 15 minutes.

Cathy

1 Comment

Filed under BBQ, Chicken, Reviews