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Where oh where has NYCNomNom gone?

28 Oct

Not to worry. I am still here!

Turns out, taking a new job (with a 1.5 hour+ commute) and planning a wedding while traveling every weekend leaves one with less time to blog than one wants.

But I am here today to tell you to stay tuned… GREAT blogs coming your way soon!

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Beef Infographic

12 Apr

I love infographics.  This one seems especially relevant since I just found this post about how Kobe beef is one big lie.

Thanks to FrugalDad for bringing this fun infographic to my attention.

Beef Infographic

Source: FrugalDad

Ramen Infographic

8 Mar

A reader shared this with me and it combines two of my very favorite things… Ramen + Infographic

We Love Ramen Infographic
Created by: Hack College

“You might be a Foodie if…”

3 Jan

On New Year’s Eve, a good friend asked me if she was a “Foodie.”  She had recently been asked and just wasn’t sure how to answer.  (Mind you… she is the local Pampered Chef dealer).  I think “Foodies” have gotten a bad reputation of being snobby/pretentious/judgmental.  I think this is unfair.  (Those are “Food Snobs” in my book.  The people who judge you for not knowing what a “mise en place” is or who think it is impossible to have delicious food off of anything but their very expensive, brand new cookware.)  I have even shied away from calling myself a “Foodie” for a long time because I’ve always thought that this carried with it the notion of being an expert.  Having met lovely, novice people who I can only define as Foodies, I am going to redefine the term in my own head.  Foodies love food.  Period.  (In my humble opinion.)

So while I am by no means in charge of knighting Foodies, here is my stab at a light-hearted list.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments.

You might be a Foodie if… you drool over William-Sonoma catalogs

You might be a Foodie if… you DVR Julia Child episodes on The Cooking Channel (every day at 2pm EST!)

You might be a Foodie if… you plan your weekends around your dinner reservations

You might be a Foodie if… you have a folder on your iPhone 4 just for “Food” apps

You might be a Foodie if… you look forward to the special New York Magazine Food Issues (“Best of New York,” “Eat Cheap,” and “Where to Eat”- 1st issue of the year, OUT NOW!)

You might be a Foodie if… you have run out of kitchen gadgets to covet

You might be a Foodie if… you can have conversations about food for longer than most people can talk about television shows

You might be a Foodie if… the idea of roasting/eating a whole pig sounds AWESOME

You might be a Foodie if… you watch Goodfellas and it makes you want to cut your garlic with a razor

You might be a Foodie if… you forego touring the Hollywood Walk of Fame on your trip to LA in order to attend a Food Festival, in the sun, on a blistering 100+ degree day

You might be a Foodie if… Iron Chef inspires you to have your very own “secret ingredient” nights

You might be a Foodie if… you have cooked a recipe multiple times to get it perfect (even if it tasted great the first time)

You might be a Foodie if… your Google Reader is filled with more food blogs than news and gossip sites

You might be a Foodie if… you watch a television show or movie based in your local city and can name all the restaurants in the background

You might be a Foodie if… you think the Quickfire Challenge winner’s plate is hotter than Padma

You might be a Foodie if… a butchering class sounds like a good way to spend a Friday night

You might be a Foodie if… the best and most romantic anniversary gift you ever received was a KitchenAid

You might be a Foodie if… you have multiple battle wounds from hot oil splatters

You might be a Foodie if… you run Pampered Chef Parties (Abby)

Now let’s hear from you, Nommers!

 

 

 


The NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide for the Festive Foodie (Part 3: For the Winie)- WITH GIVEAWAY!

9 Dec

In case you missed it, the first 2 parts of this gift guide focus on fun cooking and baking gifts. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2!  And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the posts.  This gift guide is specific to wine gifts, in case the Foodie in your life is more of a consumer than a maker.  And by consumer… I mean drinker.  Since food lovers are called Foodies, I’m going to call this one for the Winies.

We will start with my favorite wine opener.  I LOVE rabbit style openers.  They can be used with little/no hand strength, are pretty much idiot-proof (or rather… klutz-proof) and they’re just downright cool.  Mine is a complete set in a beautiful cherry wood box that I got from my awesome dad.

Since it was a gift, I have no idea where this one came from.  But when I did some browsing on Amazon, it looks like most go for about $50 if you want a full set, however, I found this 4-piece set with a stand for $20.

(This just in: A sale just landed in my inbox for Metrokane Wine Products going on for TODAY ONLY! If you are not an ideeli member, sign up with this link (www.ideeli.com/invite/smujwud) and then click on Metrokane.  They have some really nice gift items.)

Now that your wine is open, you want it to taste great, right?  Welcome The Vinturi.

The Vinturi aerates wine, which basically cuts down the time you need to let a wine sit out and open to nil.  I was a skeptic, however, my mother (who gifted this one to me) told me to do a side-by-side comparison of the same wine, one through The Vinturi and one regular.  She was right, The Vinturi just makes it smoother.  Plus, it looks pretty cool on your countertop (and gets covered in flour, as evidence from that picture up there!).  You can get a non-Vinturi brand online for about $23 and the brand name for $36. (Nerds rejoice… the mechanics are based on The Venturi Effect.  Oh Vinturi… your fun world play was not lost on me!)

Last, but not least, is what to do if you somehow don’t manage to finish a bottle of wine (I know… crazy, right?!  I’ll just assume you were cooking with it and want to drink it later).  Most of these items are called Wine Savers but it’s important to find one that vacuums (this one is done with a pump).

Wines will only last  a few days after they are opened since oxygen screws it all up, however, if you vacuum out the air and seal it, it can last up to 2 weeks.  Score!  (Though if you have wine left open for 2 weeks, you are obviously not the wine drinker I always assumed you were… yes, all of you).  Vacu Vin is a popular brand and is under $10.  Mine is Metrokane brand and is available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $13.

I hope everyone has enjoyed this gift guide!  I know I sure had fun running around my kitchen to find my faves to share with you.

And don’t forget… THE GIVEAWAY! I will be giving away a set of my favorite product of 2010, the Betty Crocker Baking Cups, to one lucky reader.  It will also come with a printed copy of the Super Secret Axelrod Brownie recipe (which you can make in the cups!)

Here are the rules: Leave a comment below about which product from the NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide (there are three parts, all posted on Thursday, December 9th,  including a special on wine products) you covet the most.  Please be sure to leave me your name and an email address.  (Limit: one comment entry per person… so no comment spamming!)  If you would prefer to email me, you can feel free to do so at sara@nycnomnom.com.

You can earn additional entries by posting a link to this blog on FacebookTwitter, your website or just emailing it to all your friends (one entry per post).  Just send me a screenshot or link to NYC Nom Nom from the post/email (flex that “@” key!)

I’ll be taking entries through midnight, EST on Tuesday, December 14th and do the drawing on Wednesday, December 15th.

Happy Holiday Nomming!

The NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide for the Festive Foodie (Part 2)- WITH GIVEAWAY!

9 Dec

In case you missed the first part, go back here to see the first edition of the first ever NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide.  And don’t forget about the first ever giveaway (information at the bottom of the posts).  Lots of firsts… I love it!

For Part 2, I’ll start with something I have owned since college and get a ton of use out of.  This 3-tier Cooling Rack doubles as a trivet and is great for putting under hot cookie sheets.  It is the perfect contraption for cooling cookies and you can find a set for $10 (and these are nonstick coated, which mine are not).

And I love that it collapses (since my cabinet space is limited).

Next is a gift that I literally received TODAY: a That’s My Pan personalized pans (Thank you, Kim!).  These make for awesome gifts because you can personalize them for your favorite foodie.

You can order them online and the I haven’t tried it out yet, however, it seems a sturdy, nice quality pan and it has a lifetime guarantee. Original 9×13 pan is $26 including engraving.  They also have cutlery, recipe boxes, pie pans, and tons of other things that you can personalize.  How cool! And you can personalize the pan cover, too!  (I love pans with covers… makes brownie transport nice and easy!)


I saw the WonderCup on a blog and knew I had to have it immediately.  I measure a lot of peanut butter since I make a lot of chocolate peanut butter bars and cups.  This solves the ridiculous problem of not only having to scrape it out of the jar, but then having to smush it into the cup  and then get it back out of the measuring cup and into your bowl (without winding up covered in the sticky mess).

This allows you to pull down the plunger to your desired measurement increment (in cups, tablespoons, etc), fill it with your desired sticky substance, and then plunge it out, cleanly.  It’s currently less than $6 on Amazon.  It’s perfect for basically anything you need to measure that’s sticky, including syrup and honey.

My next recommendation is a spice company that my aunt recently turned me on to, Penzeys Spices.  They make high quality spices and you can really taste the difference.  Their vanilla is sensational and I really like the two different cinnamons that came in my gift box (the Baker’s Assortment 9 Jar).  I never really realized that there were such contrasting versions of cinnamon!

They currently have a special on their mini gift boxes (which have Four 4 ounce samples on a particular theme:  general sampler, baking, or grill & broil) for $7.95 through the end of 2010.

Another gift suggestion is for someone who really loves to make (or eat) chocolate.  I bought these Mini Peanut Butter Cup Molds a few months ago and I now use them all the time to make, you guessed it, mini peanut butter cups (in all different types of chocolate)!

 

You just melt chocolate and put a little dollop in the bottom of the mold.  Then you take your finger and swirl it around and up the sides so you have a little hollowed cup.  Then you mix up some peanut butter filling (recipe here) and add a small dollop to the chocolate cups.  Then you just pour the melted chocolate over top of the filling, tap it down to smooth (and add a little kiss with your fingertip if you want it to look more homemade) and put it in the fridge to harden.  Fantastic, easy, and makes you look like a master candy maker!  They are a whopping $2.39 on Amazon.  Personally, I would much rather these be made of something that is dishwasher safe, however, these definitely serve their purpose.

While on the topic of chocolate, my final recommendation is a cocoa brand that I first sampled at the New York Coffee & Tea Festival, Best Friends Cocoa.  I have been meaning to write about them for months! I was honored to have the ability to interview the owner of this family company about cocoa and how one comes to own a cocoa company.  I will be posting the interview, and some highlights of the Festival, in the next few weeks!  What I love about this cocoa is that not only is it low-fat (since it’s real cocoa and not “hot chocolate”), it tastes great!  I LOVE their cinnamon twist flavor.

(And yes… I did take this opportunity to stage a countertop photo shoot with my favoritist hot chocolate mug/saucer set… thank you Wegmans,Ithaca, NY, circa 2002)

I’ve even made some great diet chocolate “shake” drinks by combining some almond milk, Best Friends Cocoa, and frozen cherries.  DELISH!  (Cocoa is not just a winter drink!)


So now back to the fun again… THE GIVEAWAY! I will be giving away a set of my favorite product of 2010, the Betty Crocker Baking Cups, to one lucky reader.  It will also come with a printed copy of the Super Secret Axelrod Brownie recipe (which you can make in the cups!)

Here are the rules: Leave a comment below about which product from the NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide (there are three parts, all posted on Thursday, December 9th,  including a special on wine products) you covet the most.  Please be sure to leave me your name and an email address.  (Limit: one comment entry per person… so no comment spamming!)  If you would prefer to email me, you can feel free to do so at sara@nycnomnom.com.

You can earn additional entries by posting a link to this blog on FacebookTwitter, your website or just emailing it to all your friends (one entry per post).  Just send me a screenshot or link to NYC Nom Nom from the post/email (flex that “@” key!)

I’ll be taking entries through midnight, EST on Tuesday, December 14th and do the drawing on Wednesday, December 15th.

Happy Holiday Nomming!

The NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide for the Festive Foodie (Part 1)- WITH GIVEAWAY!

9 Dec

I don’t know if you’ve noticed… but it’s the holiday season.  I have added so many awesome fun foodie finds to my kitchen this year and I wanted to share them with all of you, just in time to give that special foodie in your life a gift… even if it’s you.  I’m going to do a bit of digging for the best prices, however, they are only current as of December 8th, 2010. So act fast!  (Links to buy the products are within the descriptions)

Part 1 includes some of my absolute essentials (most of which are, curiously, made from silicone… Who knew?!)  And don’t miss the first ever NYC Nom Nom GIVEAWAY at the bottom!

Just around this time last year, I received a gift that changed my baking life forever.  Mike got me a KitchenAid mixer.  Life has never been the same.  I have had (and gone through) a few other light weight stand mixers and far too many hand mixers in the last few years.  But the KitchenAid can take on PEANUT BUTTER!  (Yes… that is a big deal.)  Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap.  But I look at it as a long-term purchase. It appears as though Amazon has it for less than $200.  Mine is cinnamon colored (to match the rest of the kitchen highlights) with a stainless steel bowl and a bowl cover/feed (or “powdered sugar cloud preventer” as I like to call it).

Also in the picture above are silicone spatulas.  I love these.  They stand up to heat and scrape cookie batter and melted chocolate oh so well.  I usually get them from William Sonoma (Set of 3 for $22.50.  I highly recommend the “Spoonula” for $10) but there are many different brands and types according to Amazon.

And on the topic of silicone, I picked up these handy egg poachers and I love them (mostly).

I poach a lot of eggs, which is one of the healthiest ways to eat eggs and one of the best in my opinion… but also one of the hardest to master with the swirl in boiling water method.   I can’t say I LOVE the ones I purchased, but they get the job done.  They are a bit hard to get out of the boiling water (since they have no handle on top) and can sometimes spill out of the sides, but they are AWFULLY cute!   All you have to do is bring about 2 inches of water to a boil, grease up the cups (I use pam), crack the egg in, place in the boiling water and cover for 4 minutes.  Voila! Perfectly poached eggs.  Since I can’t totally recommend mine, I found ones online that seem to fit the bill for you (just as cute but with a handle!) for just $5 each.

To further my obvious and newly recognized fondness for silicone kitchen products, we will move to what I think may be one of the best kitchen products EVER: The Silpat.

If you know a baker that doesn’t have one, you now have a perfect gift for them. And if you don’t have one, what are you waiting for?  They come in many sizes and range from about $10-$20.  You can use them basically any place that you would use parchment or wax paper.  I bake all my cookies on them so the bottoms don’t burn nor stick nor spread too far and use them below all the candy I make.  It is a life saver!  And in case you don’t remember the side-by-side comparison of Silpat vs Non-Silpat from the Black & White Cookies, check out this link and this picture:

(Note: I have heard rumor that the cheaper versions of Silpat don’t work as well.  I have not experimented myself, however, because why would I fix something that ain’t broke?)

Now onto my favorite purchase of 2010!  I never realized how much I would use these amazing Betty Crocker Non-Stick Reusable Baking Cups when I first bought them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond ($9 for a set of 12).  What’s funny is that I have used them for neither muffins nor cup cakes!  They make excellent peanut butter cup molds and I have started making the meringue cake in miniature in these.

I have also made miniature versions of a pumpkin cheesecake and squash souffle.

What is great about them is that they just simply work.  They do exactly what they are supposed to do.  And they also make great little mise en place cups!

So now onto the fun… THE GIVEAWAY! I will be giving away a set of my favorite product of 2010, the Betty Crocker Baking Cups, to one lucky reader.  It will also come with a printed copy of the Super Secret Axelrod Brownie recipe (which you can make in the cups!)

Here are the rules: Leave a comment below about which product from the NYC Nom Nom Official Gift Guide (there are three parts, all posted on Thursday, December 9th,  including a special on wine products) you covet the most.  Please be sure to leave me your name and an email address.  (Limit: one comment entry per person… so no comment spamming!)  If you would prefer to email me, you can feel free to do so at sara@nycnomnom.com.

You can earn additional entries by posting a link to this blog on Facebook, Twitter, your website or just emailing it to all your friends (one entry per post).  Just send me a screenshot or link to NYC Nom Nom from the post/email (flex that “@” key!)

I’ll be taking entries through midnight, EST on Tuesday, December 14th and do the drawing on Wednesday, December 15th.

Happy Holiday Nomming!

Virgin America- DeliBreak Lunch Box

26 Nov

I am not a fan of plane food.  I can’t think of anything grosser than pre-packaged, shelf stable, mass quantity food.  It reminds me of my highschool cafeteria… without the pizza and tots.  And now they make you PAY for it? ARE YOU KIDDING?!

So when I noticed that Virgin America really takes on a new look at in-flight meals (along with everything else), I figured it would be interesting to blog about their “GoPicnic DeliBreak Lunch Box.”  I like that you order it when you want it, and the cost isn’t awful seeing as though you are literally entirely trapped with their menu.  I think this was $6 and it was plenty to fill me for lunch and leave me with some snacks for hour 4 on the trip to LA.

This was the box front, which varied slightly from the description on the menu that I remember reading.

 IMG_0646

And the list on the box even varied from the actual food that was inside.  I found this slightly concerning, since picky people may not be pleased by trading out potato chips for pop chips.  Luckily… I love pop chips!

 IMG_0647

Thought I was kind of curious what sweet maui onino potato chips might taste like.

IMG_0648

They packaged it well, with a lot of options within one compact box.

IMG_0649

And like I said… it was plenty of food.

IMG_0650

A very good snack/meal option.  Thanks Virgin America!  You remain my favorite airline (even if you INSIST on flying out of JFK).

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 Nov

Since today is the best day of the year, Thanksgiving, NYC Nom Nom will be on break until tomorrow.

But I’m sure you are DYING to know what I’m bringing to our epic feast… Here is my list:

  • Meringue Kisses
  • Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • English Toffee with Sea Salt
  • Apple Pie
  • Butternut Squash Souffle (this is Mike’s awesome contribution)

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Tortuga Rum Cake

4 Nov

Today I realized that I have over double the amount of drafted blog posts than I have Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays left this year.  I guess I will start posting every day that I have a post to go live!

I’ll try to keep Tuesdays and Thursdays short so you don’t come back to a pile of reading each day.

For today, we have the one, the only Tortuga Rum Cake.

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They were giving these away at the Food & Wine Grand Tasting and Mike noted that he loves them.  I thought the back was comical:

IMG_1012

Though we didn’t take advantage of any of the serving suggestions.  We just cut it up and ate it plain.

IMG_1013

And it was absolutely fantastic!

If only rum cake had no calories. 😦