Thursday, December 6, 2007
Last year I received a bounty of treats and enjoyed every one of them. I really loved the Chocolate Pecan Pie made by Mary from The Kitchen Studio, plus various and assorted cookies and candies. I have such a sweet tooth!
Here's what I want to know: What are YOU making for the holidays this year? Leave a comment for all to see. I really want to know.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Wegmans is a grocery store chain located in the North East (their headquarters is in NY state). They have an amazing prepared foods sections, rockin' bakery, and their cheese and produce is really unbeatable. I have visited stores in State College, PA (that one was a bus trip; I kid you not); Wilkes Barre, PA; Dulles, VA; and most recently in Hunt Valley, MD. What makes the Dulles store stand out of course is their amazing wine selection (I LOVE shopping in Virginia), but each store is consistent not only with great food (and the prices are pretty reasonable), but great customer service as well.
One of my favorite things to do is attack the cheese counter full force. Now any good cheese monger will allow you a taste of any cheese that you are interested in purchasing. The pleasure here is that I did this with 9 cheeses. Don't think I was trying to get a free lunch here, I purchased each cheese, but it was so cool to be able to taste each and speak with someone knowledgeable about the products. Here's where Wegmans stands out; after tasting each cheese, the cheese monger re-packaged and then re-priced each hunk. I didn't pay a thing for my samples. It's a little thing, but in these days of nickel & diming, it was a nice touch I appreciated.
When I was in the Hunt Valley store last week, my mom, daughter and I had a fantastic lunch in their upper balcony area (really, upper balcony in a grocery store!). The only problem is that it usually costs me a fortune because we see so many things we want to try. We probably all had the equivalent of 2 lunches each because of the fresh fruit, fresh sushi (it's good too!), Chinese food bar, salads, and the bakery. Wow! As we were taking the elevator up, there was an older gentleman nice enough to hold the doors for us. After a quick conversation that lasted beyond our elevator trip, I found out that he and his wife come to Wegmans every Sunday. She shops and he brings a portable tv, gets a snack, and watches football. Every Sunday since the second week that store opened 2 years ago. He was happy as a clam and almost evangelical about the whole thing.
So Why do I bring all of this up? Well, rumor has it (as does the Wegmans website http://www.wegmans.com/) that Frederick is getting a store of our very own. I heard a lot of buzz a year of so ago and have heard nothing since. As far as I know, they're planning to go into what is now some vacant land between Rt. 15 & Rt. 26. I've done a little research and found out that the store is being held up because there were water problems in the county and all commercial building was halted until they could get a handle on it. The good news is that the water issues are resolved and they're ready to go. There's only one problem: This store will be on a list with a bunch of other potential projects.
Here's what I propose: Let's get a letter writing campaign (or even email if that works best for you!) going and start sending letters to our aldermen asking that they give this project priority. If I understand correctly, the site needs to be annexed into the city and once that's done they can get rolling. It will take about 2 years until the store is finally open, and I'm getting tired of driving to Dulles.
If you've been to a Wegmans, write me a comment so that I can see what you think!
Friday, November 9, 2007
For those of you who have never heard of this little gem, I strongly recommend that you give it a try. I've been for lunch (twice) and have shared and had tastes of my lunch date's meal both times. So far, the rockfish and chips (so good plus they actually had malt vinegar on hand), the eggplant parm sandwich, & the steak sandwich, were really great and totally worth the drive from downtown Frederick. The chicken salad was good, but I can easily make that myself, so I didn't beg my friend too hard for hers. Besides, those fish and chips were cooked just right and I wanted to clean the plate without too much distraction (I did :). I even had the opportunity to speak to their new chef, Jordan. What a cutie! He's young and earnest and headed to the CIA (the good one, Culinary Institute of America) sometime in the next year. I even got a little sneak peak at his yummy new Sweet Tomato Dressing. I'll have to give that one a try next time I'm there.
The Main Cup is located right on Main St., but you'll do best to park behind the building. There are several additional businesses located back there and you may find something else you like (yoga anyone?). The building has been lovingly renovated and is cut up into many nooks and crannies. There's a small private room where I'm dying to take my investment club, a comfy coffeehouse-style gathering room in front, and then a little nook leading back to the bar area. With exposed brick and warm colors, this is the perfect place to hang out on a cold, rainy day.
The Main Cup is now featuring live music on some weekends. The next group to perform will be the Howard Burns Trio next Friday night (11/16) from 7-10pm. You may even see me there. Give The Main Cup a try and tell them Christine sent you.
One quick note: When I review a restaurant, I pay my own way. I don't accept food for free from the owners or staff so that I can be as unbiased as possible. It's a little thing, but it's important to me.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
SO MUCH FUN! The blowtorch caramelizes the sugar in the meringue and gives it that toasty marshmallow flavor. You can always use the broiler, but this is way more interesting. FYI-This is not something you want your kids to do. Have them help you spike up the meringue, but otherwise, hands off where a blowtorch is concerned. It's just too dangerous for them.
Here's the final result:
Monday, October 8, 2007
Oprah hosted Jessica Seinfeld, yes, Jerry's wife, and led a discussion on Ms. Seinfeld's new book, "Deceptively Delicious". The premise of the book is that to get your kids/family to eat better, you should add vegetable purees to their foods so that the veggies go by unnoticed. Ms. Seinfeld's recipes are lowfat and there's no hint of the offending vegetables anywhere. I'm guessing the basic idea is that it's best to get nutrition in there somehow. I so strongly disagree with her ideas on how to do that.
Ms. Seinfeld is a busy mother of three, thin, beautiful, and let's not joke around here, pretty darn well off. Even with all of this, I have no doubts that she struggles with getting the good stuff off the kid's plates and into their bellies. It seems an almost universal problem. But here's my issue: What are we teaching our kids here? Why are we giving the control to the kids about what they eat? What about the lack of trust????
Before you start thinking that I'm some maniac who beats her children in order to get them to eat their broccoli, let me assure you that I am not (that was my dad ;). I work hard to teach my kids what foods are good, which ones are a treat, and which ones are necessary. I also work hard to get my kids to eat their veggies, but don't go overboard with the pressure. But, we're also not rocking out McDonald's that often either.
My approach is a bit more time-consuming than Ms. Seinfeld's, but I think it results in much happier, open-minded children overall. My approach? Get your kids cooking. Have then help you in the kitchen. Teach them how to cook. Teach them healthy eating from junk food eating by letting them shop with you and make decsions in the store. Give them some responsibility at dinner-time. (Please see my previous post.)
Parents don't have tons of time nowadays to spend cooking with their kids. I think that's one of the reasons that my cooking classes and cooking camps for kids and teens are so popular. I'll tell you this though, when kids have a hand in making their meals, they are so much more apt to give new things a try.
If you saw Oprah you also saw the part about "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" on the Discovery Health channel. Three very overweight young men and their parents got a rude-awakening as to where their health is headed without some important changes. The kid's initial reaction to the healthier diet (tofu right out of the gate...Are you kidding me???), was of course one of pain and disgust. But, cut to the next scene and watch Junior starting a stir-fry himself; he's soooo into it. He had a hand in making the dinner and was automatically more invested. I'd like to say "Thus proving my point", but I'm afraid of over-kill right now.
I promise not to dedicate this blog to just children and eating/cooking, but today, it's my soapbox and I'll stand if I want to!
What do you think? Agree or disagree?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner entails traveling from home to home and enjoying each course of a dinner at a separate location. The idea is to spread out the work and spread out the fun. The respective hosts can coordinate a theme or go off on their own, focusing on something special to them.
The first stop was Karen's house. Ohh la la do I love some good apps and a cocktail or two! There was a corn and avocado salsa (delicious), fancy green beans with dipping sauce (perfectly cooked), a lentil-goat cheese-lettuce wrap (healthy and tasty), and, my personal favorite, veggie summer rolls made by Courtney from The Kitchen Studio. They were so good, I started and couldn't put them down until they were all gone. Good thing it was my birthday, so I could be a little greedy :). Top it all off with an espresso martini, and you've got the start of a pretty fabulous night.
Now here's a tip for you: Don't have the money for a full bar but want more than just beer & wine? Choose a signature cocktail for the evening. You'll need to have the ingredients on hand for just one fancy drink, plus, you can make it in a large quantity and just shake with ice when ready to serve. It saves you a hassle and still looks great and adds something special. I'm thinking of serving Pumpkin Pie martinis for my next fall soiree.
But I digress...The next stop on our adventure? Michele's house, just down the street. We feasted on stuffed chicken breasts, roasted pork tenderloin, tortellini salad and more! Plus, there may have been a few more espresso martinis on hand, but my memory was starting to go a little by then.
After an hour or two, we paraded on to our final destination...my house! The furniture had been cleared for dancing, with a champagne toast and three different cakes from my favorite bakery in town, Proof! I think the Cherry-Hazelnut was my favorite, but you won't go wrong with any cake from this fabulous Patrick St. bakery.
A good time was truly had by all, and I absolutely had the best time ever. So, when you're considering your next party, why not talk to your friends and figure out a plan to share the work and the fun! Split the tasks, split the courses, have a wonderful time. And don't forget, if you're planning that signature cocktail, it's always best to be able to walk from place to place, or at the very least be sure to have a designated driver!
Don't forget to post your comments below. I'd love to know what you're thinking! Bon appetit!
Monday, September 3, 2007
The purpose of Frederick Foodie? To provide you with un-biased culinary observations and information concerning the food scene in Frederick, Maryland and the surrounding area. Features include
- great restaurants that you don't go to but should,
- food bargains,
- culinary happenings,
- tips and techniques to make your life a bit easier in the kitchen, and, well,
- anything else I can think of!
Do you have a food-related question for me? Let me know and I'll do my best to answer it for you.
First topic: Awesome Restaurants!
One of my favorite places to eat in downtown Frederick is just a further down Market St.. You'll want to give Lucky Corner, on the corner of Market & 7th a try. This inexpensive, clean, well-run restaurant features food from Vietnam -- delicious! The Summer Rolls are a must (2 per order), as is any dish with crispy noodles or their rockin' peanut sauce. Dinner is cheap cheap cheap, with most entrees coming in under $10. You can't beat that with a stick, unless maybe that stick has their tasty chicken satay (4 skewers to an order)! My husband and I have fed 6 adults on $55 bucks and still had leftovers for lunch the next day. It generally takes about 20-30 minutes to pick up food for takeout, and be sure to check your order before you leave the store. It's not incomprehensible that a dish may have been left out of the bag by accident.
Lucky Corner does have eat-in and pick-up for phone orders, but no delivery is available. Beer is available in-house only, but no wine yet.