Tag Archive | Food

Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas from Pepperidge Farm

Harvest Spiced Envelopes
Harvest Spiced Envelopes – Recipe Below!

Hey what’s up. Thanksgiving is less than a week away and you’ve got some cooking to do, I know. You might recall that this past July we ran a sumptuous holiday feast preview, courtesy of our friends at Pepperidge Farm, which you can revisit now to get some awesome recipes as well as ideas on menu planning and decorating. You’re welcome!

One of my favorite Pepperidge Farm products is their puff pastry, which is super versatile, easy to work with and can be used for both savory and sweet creations. Let me share a couple new Dessert recipes that you might like to try out for this holiday season.

Harvest Spiced Envelopes are a tempting dessert features white chocolate, apples, cranberries, cinnamon and walnuts enveloped in puff pastry and baked to a golden brown. The combination of flavors is outrageously delcious!

Ingredients

1 orange
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups diced Gala apples
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 dash salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios, toasted
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips

Directions

1.Heat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely grate 2 teaspoons zest from the orange.

2.Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cranberries and cook for 6 minutes or until the apples are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Season with the salt. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the walnuts and orange zest. Let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.

3.Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into 12 (4×3-inch) rectangles. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.

4.Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons white chocolate chips in the center of each pastry rectangle. Top each with about 1 tablespoon apple mixture. Brush two opposite corners of each pastry with water. Pull one corner up over the filling. Pull the opposite corner up over the filling and tuck it under the pastry, enclosing most of the filling but leaving the ends open. Place the filled pastries on the baking sheets.

5.Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes.

6.Heat the remaining white chocolate chips in a double boiler until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Drizzle the white chocolate over the pastries.

7.Recipe Note: Parchment paper keeps the pastry from sticking to the baking sheet and also makes for easier cleanup. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can spray the baking sheet with cooking spray instead. However, cooking spray may cause the bottoms of the pastries to brown more quickly, so begin checking for doneness 5 minutes early.

8.Flavor Variation: To serve these pastries as a gourmet appetizer, omit the white chocolate and substitute 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced, for the apples.

More information on this and other recipes is available at This Link!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Brulees
Mini Pumpkin Pie Brulees

You will absolutely wow your guests when you serve these Mini Pumpkin Pie Brulees for dessert! Puff pastry cups are filled with a rich pumpkin mixture and baked until golden. Dressed up with a caramelized sugar round, they’re guaranteed to earn rave reviews.

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
3 tbsp. granulated sugar

Directions

1.Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups with vegetable cooking spray. Beat the egg yolks, pumpkin, heavy cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk.

2.Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into 36 (2-inch) squares. Press the pastry squares into 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups. Spoon about 1 tablespoon pumpkin mixture into each pastry cup.

3.Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown and the filling is set. Let the pastries cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove the pastries and let cool completely on the wire racks.

4.Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Heat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Create 18 (2-inch) circles of sugar on each baking sheet, using about 1/4 teaspoon sugar for each circle.

5.Bake one baking sheet for 5 minutes or until the sugar circles are bubbly and a deep caramel color. Let the sugar circles cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining baking sheet. Using a small metal spatula, remove the sugar circles from the baking sheets. Press 1 sugar circle at an angle into the top of each pastry.

More information on this and other recipes is available atThis Link! Bon Apetit, Everyone!

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Yes, It Exists: Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal

Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal
Photo By Gail

One of the great finds of the Summer Fancy Food Show at Javits Center this past July was Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal. When we asked the lady manning the booth why it is called Holy Crap she replied, “Because it is very high in fiber!” “Ohhhh…” we replied in unison. Find out more about this Real Product at Holy Crap Dot Com!

Food Fête Fall 2014: The Awesome Recap!

Pumpkin Votive Candle
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Food Fête‘s fall showcase officially kicks off the Eating Season: with lots of holiday cooking and entertaining to look forward to, as well as gift giving and a general period of guilt-free pampering and self-indulgence during the colder months. Let’s eat!

California Grapes Display
Check Out That Stylish, Grape Cluster Wig on the Pumpkin!

When I was a kid growing up in California, I recall an animated TV commercial from the California Grape Growers featuring just a bunch of grapes on screen and two people talking off-screen about how Grapes were so “Sweet and Juicy” that somebody should “package them and sell them for snacks,” adding that “Grapes” was also “a catchy name”! It was hilarious, but also made a lot of sense in that Grapes are a delicious natural snack that don’t need a lot of tarting up to make them appealing to consumers.

At Food Fête, Grapes from California offered a delicious and easy to make Grapes treat called Tuxedo Bites, which are just fresh red or green grapes dipped in melted milk, dark or white chocolate, or melted caramel, and dipped in nuts or crushed candy. So easy to make for your holiday party! Get more great grape recipes at This Link!

Aardvark Straw Display

Continuing along in a nostalgic vein, another item I remember from childhood is Aardvark Paper Straws, which are making big comeback, and it’s about time. Aardvark, the original paper drinking straw, reentered the market in 2007, primarily in response to the growing anti-plastic movement. Now manufactured by PPG, these colorful straws are more durable and more sustainable than any paper straw on the market.

Aardvark Straws Table Display

Aardvark Paper Straws are 100% biodegradable, so their use can help reduce the plastic in our landfills and waterways – good for the planet and everyone who lives on it! They are also fun for parties and can be inspiring in the creation of all kinds of fun crafts for kids! Find out more about Aardvark Paper Straws by visiting them online at This Link!

Aardvark Straw Signage

Kohana Coffee Signage

Hey, do you like Coffee? Who doesn’t! New coffee products are always so exciting, and Kohana ready-to-drink, cold brew ice coffee is a delicious new drink that will attract your attention with a gentle “Aloha”! Organic, low in acid, and lightly sweetened with all natural monk fruit extract, Kohana cold brew ice coffee is available now in 8-ounce, shelf-stable cans that have a 9 month refrigerated shelf life! Flavors include class Black, White (with Milk), Salted Caramel, and Vanilla. Find out more about Kohana Cold Brew ice coffee in a can at Kohana Coffee Dot Com.

Kohana Cold Coffee

Nature Box Table Display

NatureBox Snacks is an idea you should put on your Holiday Gift Giving list for anyone who loves receiving delicious and wholesome snacks delivered directly to their door! NatureBox is a snacker’s dream come true, in that they offer highly customizable subscriptions to receive boxes of packaged healthy, natural and – most importantly – insanely delicious snacks each month! You can design your NatureBox subscription to receive as few as five or as many as twenty bags of tasty snacks shipped right to your home. Likewise, you can also select whether you’d prefer to choose the snacks you will receive or be surprised. Personally, I like surprises, because it is like Christmas. Christmas! Give a nature Box gift subscription – or start one for yourself – right now by visiting Nature Box Dot Com!

Nature BoDark Chocolate Nom Noms
NatureBox Dark Cocoa Nom Noms. Yummy!

Pistachio Power Clusters
Favorite NatureBox Snack: Pistachio Power Clusters!

Ginny Bakes Gluten Free Cookies

Ginny Bakes is a line of outrageously delicious and nutritious organic, gluten free and non-GMO Cookies, Bars and Baking Mixes that is family owned since 2010. At Food Fête we had the chance to sample a variety of their cookies and Ginnyminis – 6-count bags of Ginny’s best-selling cookie flavors that are perfect for snacking or to toss into a lunch box. We also love their slogan: “Indulge Mindfully!” Find or more about Ginnybakes’ line of tempting baked goods that are good for you at This Link.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Ginnyminis

Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Treat
Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Bars

One indulgent dessert that is going to be convenient, delicious and guilt-free are selections from Weight Watchers line of frozen bars. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bars feature a rich, dark chocolate coating on the outside and cool, low fat raspberry ice cream on the inside. It’s all the sweetness you crave with just 90 calories and 0 grams trans fat per bar.

Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Frozen Treat

Also brand new are Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bars — perfectly cravable for lovers of the continually trending sweet and salty taste of low fat caramel ice cream topped with salted caramel covered and in a milk chocolaty coating. You would never believe these decadent bars are only 120 calories, 6 grams of fat and 0 grams trans fat each! Find out where you can buy these bars and other fine Weight Watchers products at This Link!

Little Miracles Tea and Juice Drink Display

One stand out new product we were introduced to at Foot Fête is Little Miracles, a UK-based Tea and Super-Juice Blend that tastes fantastic! Organic and sweetened only with natural agave, these healthy beverages come in four unique tea/juice blend varieties but our favorite was the White Tea & Cherry (with ginseng and acai berry) which, seriously tasted like Christmas. And that does not mean it tasted like a pine tree but, rather, that its delicious and honestly refreshing flavors were experienced as pure joy in the mouth. Find out more about Little Miracles by heading over to Drink Little Miracles Dot Com.

Honest Tea Drinks

And while we’re on the subject of Flavored Tea Drinks let’s give shout out to one of our favorite brands, Honest Tea, who introduced two new flavors at the show. Orange Mango flavored Herbal Tea is made with organic grape, orange, lemon and mango with notes of lemon balm. Pomegranate Blue flavored Herbal Tea contains the flavors of organic pomegranate, grape and blueberry, infused with organic hibiscus. Both varieties are just 100 calories per bottle! These new flavors will be in stores starting January 2015!

Honest Tea Kuerig Cups

For Keurig users, Honest Tea also introduces both Green and Black Tea K-Cups so that you can brew fresh, unsweetened iced tea one cup at a time! Just brew hot tea over a cup of ice! Honest Tea K-Cup packs are available now. Get more information about Honest Tea at Honest Tea Dot Com.

Dove Berries Display

If you watch the fantastic TV show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, then you probably recall a recent rant that John went on where he described Cranberries as being like “Cherries that hate you.” Despite the great belly laugh inspired by that line, we do not agree! Dove brand — famous for their fine chocolate and chocolate-dipped ice cream bars — are now bringing their way with chocolate to the popular venue that is whole fruit dipped in dark chocolate – sweet, delicious Cranberries included!

Dove Berries Display2

Dove Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate combines real whole berries dipped in smooth Dove dark chocolate in cranberry, cherry and blueberry varieties — which are the top selling fruits in the market. , Six-ounce standup bags of the Cranberry and Blueberry varieties were introduced in September, with a SRP range of $3.59 to $4.79. The six-ounce Cherry variety will debut in January, 2015 along with 2.83-ounce standup bags of Cranberry and Blueberry with a SRP range of $1.99 to $2.59, so get ready to stock up for the holidays! Find out more about the Dove brand at This Link!

34 Degrees Crisps Display

Last time we saw 34 Degrees Crisps at a Food Fête they were showcasing their sweet Chocolate Crisps — which are simply divine! New for fall are two savory flavors, Poppy Seed and Tasted Onion, both of which will be available for limited time only. Versatile Poppy Seed goes sweet or savory; from creamy cheeses and fresh fruit to cured meats and veggies. Bold Toasted Onion plays well with big flavors. Think tapenade, smoked meat or aged cheese. The lightness and highly appealing crispness of these crackers is unequaled and simply must be tasted to be believed.

34 Degrees Crisps Snacks

Look how gorgeous they are! Check out 34 Degrees products online at 34 Degrees Dot Com.

34 Degrees Crisps Display

Farm Rich pepperoni Bites Packaging

Hot snacks from the oven are a perennial favorite for all home entertaining, and Farm Rich brand frozen snacks were on hand to debut their newest offering, Pepperoni Bites! These hearty snacks have a yummy pizza taste and are made with real mozzarella cheese that maintains an authentic “pull” when hot and melty. Find out more about the Farm Rich brand of convenience foods and get money-saving coupons at Farm Rich Dot Com.

Farm Rich Pizza Snacks and Mozzarella Sticks
Farm Rich Favorite Mozzarella Sticks and New Pepperoni Bites Snacks!

Jarlsberg Display

Cheese in every form is also a holiday favorite and Jarlsberg is global brand we’ve known and trusted all our lives, it seems. Get Jarlsberg product information and recipes at This Link.

Jarlsberg Singage

Que Pasa Chips and Salsa

Que Pasa Tortilla Chips are an organic, Non-GMO and Gluten free snack that are as versatile as they are delicious!

Que Pasa Chips Samples

Find out how to make the above pictured Cilantro Pesto and Sundried Tomato Crostini (substituting Que Pasa Tortilla Chips for the tiny Crostini rounds) plus tons of other amazing dishes featuring with Que Pasa Chips and Salsas at at This Link

Aloutte Signage

Alouette spreadable soft cheeses are a must-have on hand product for the holiday season and all year round. They are so versatile!

Alouette Toasted Everything Spread

New Flavors due in stores in February 2015 are Toasted Everything (perfect for your morning bagel!) and New York Cheddar.

Alouette NY Cheddar Cheese Spread

Get a printable coupon for $1.00 Off any Alouette Cheese Product by visiting This Link.

Addie's Cheesecakes and Pies

Here’s another new product that we went completely insane for: Addie’s Fine Foods miniature pies and cheesecakes! Made from the decades old, original recipes of Addie Simon, Addie’s sweet potato desserts (both pies and cheesecakes) are made with two varieties of sweet potatoes. The orange sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, while purple sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, and both have proven healthful effects. Sweet potatoes are a substantial source of dietary fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. You will be amazed that something so good for you can taste so decadently delicious.

Addie's Sweet Potato Cheese cake

Addie has also created luscious Lemon Ice Box Pie and classic Butternut Squash Cheesecakes to the line of healthy pleasures. All of Addie’s desserts are made with less sugar and have fewer calories without sacrificing taste. Trust me, I sampled each of these deserts at Food Fête and simply could not shut up about how astoundingly delicious they were. Find out more about Addie’s Fine Foods — our Number One find at this season’s Food Fête — at Addies Fine Foods Dot Com.

Olives From Spain

Olives From Spain were there to represent for a tiny fruit that not only tastes delicious on its own, but enhances the recipes of many different kinds of regional dishes. After sampling several luscious and flavorful Spanish Olive varieties (we still love Black Ripe Olives the best) we came back home with two cans of Olives and a gorgeous, full color mini Cook Book, which will give us a lots of ideas on creative ways to use them. Explore the world of Olives from Spain at Olives From Spain Dot US.

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork

Recently, we watched an episode of excellent the PBS series, Food Forward, on how  many Ranchers are returning to traditional, grass-fed styles of raising cattle — which made a significant and permanent, thought-changing impact regarding the most sustainable and humane way to raise cattle for food. This is why we love Niman Ranch, a company that offers a complete line of fresh Beef, Pork, Lamb and Cage-free Eggs as well as a variety of smoked and prepared items. All Niman Ranch livestock are raised on hormone and antibiotic free, 100% vegetarian diets and are 100% traceable from farm to plate. It follows then that their products are All-natural, Gluten Free, Nitrite and Nitrate free and MSG Free. Most importantly, their meat products all taste delicious!

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork Display

At Food Fête, attendees sampled three new prepared Pulled Pork vairietes in different BBQ sauces — Regular Sweet Sauce (not to spicy), Smokey Chipotle, and Hoisin Soy BBQ Sauce.
The pieces of pork were large, the meat was tender, and the flavor was delicious. All you have to do is heat and serve for easy pulled pork sandwiches! Find out more about Niman Ranch meats, get recipes and shop online at Niman Ranch Dot Com.

And that’s it for this edition of Food Fête! Thanks as always to Jeff Davis for producing another great show! See you in the Winter!

Editor Showcase Presents: Cooking and Entertaining, 2014!

Editor Showcase Bar
Food Bloggers and Journos Enjoyed a Cocktail or Two while Sampling New Foods at This Season’s Editor Showcase! (All Photos By Gail. Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail.)

It’s never too early to start planning for your holiday celebrations, and Editor Showcase kicked off this season with their hotly–anticipated Cooking and Entertaining showcase at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Let’s take a look at a few of the standout new and favorite products from the show!

Davios Pasta Chips

People know the Davios brand for their own award-winning Northern Italian Steakhouses, but Davios has also gotten into the snack foods game with their line of gourmet Pasta Chips. These all natural chips come in a variety of sweet and savory flavors and are made with premium semolina, then quick fried for a light and crispy treat. We especially enjoyed the Cinnamon Pasta Chips which are dusted lightly with sugar, and taste extra delicious accompanied by a sweet dip that you can make with cream cheese.

Davios Pasta Chips Display

Savory Past Chip flavors include Parmesan, Buffalo, Tomato with a hint of Basil, and Herb.

Sartori Cheese Display

Everyone knows that the celebration isn’t complete until you bring out the cheese, and we saw a couple of our favorites exhibiting at Editor Showcase. Sartori Cheese always has something new and delicious and we enjoyed sampling their BellaVitano and Sarvecchio Parmesan artisanal cheeses. Learn more about Sartori Cheese and plan your gourmet food gift giving at Sartori Cheese Dot Com.

Roth Cheese Display and Signage

Roth cheese never fails to showcase some kind of spectacular and delicious product, including their excellent fondues and scrumptious Raclettes! At Editor Showcase we had an opportunity to taste their Grand Cru Alpine–style cheese. Inspired by the tradition of classic Gruyere, Roth Grand Cru has delicious nutty undertones with a hint of fruitiness and a mellow finish – perfect for all of your holiday entertaining needs!

Roth Cheese Display

Sara Lee Bread Signage

Sara Lee baked goods have been around since I was an egg, and it’s a trusted, high quality favorite brand for many. But Sara Lee is about so much more than the delicious frozen cakes you grew up coveting.

Sara Lee Bread

Anyone looking to trim a few calories from their diet while not losing out on great taste will be excited to hear about Sara Lee’s line of Delightful breads, each with only 45 calories per slice. These breads are soft, fresh and have a whole grain taste with absolutely nothing missing but the calories. Delightful Bread comes in many varieties including White, Wheat, Whole Wheat, Healthy Multi-Grain and Oatmeal.

Lee Kum Kee Sauces Signage

Lee Kum Kee may not be a household name, but it is the leader of authentic Chinese sauces, bringing delicious flavors to consumer kitchen tables as well as restaurant menus for over 126 years.  Lee Kum Kee showed that they are as invested in innovation as they are in tradition by premiering a couple of exciting new products.

Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Ketchup & Mayo

Outdoor grilling season may be over, but you might need to bring that activity indoors so you have a chance to try Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Ketchup and Sriracha Mayo — bringing an irresistible, spicy twist to two classic condiments that are must–haves for your pantry! You have got to try them directly on a sandwich or burger, or as an ingredient  in a dip, sauce or marinade.  Learn more about Lee Kum Kee  products and get great recipe ideas at This Link!

Goodie Girl Cookies Display

Gluten Free is a buzz phrase that is continuously being taken in innovative culinary directions, and there are always new products to try for those on wheat-free diets. Goodie Girl is a baking company based in Tribeca, NY that specializes in creating gluten-free cookies with surprising flavors and exciting twists on cookie classics. People are calling Goodie Girl the most delicious, nostalgia-inducing gluten-free treats on the market, and with good reason: they taste absolutely fantastic!

Goodie Girl Crunchy Chaos Cookies

We came home with a package of the Midnight Brownie variety — a dark cocoa, brownie cookie packed with hunks of semi-sweet Belgian chocolate — that really holds its own against a glass of cold milk. Learn more about Goodie Girl gluten free cookies at This Link!

Beanitos Chips

If you are looking for something new and a bit different to add to your array of chips and dips, check out Beanitos — the original bean snacks. High in fiber and low in sodium, Beanitos Chips and Puffs offer a healthier crunch. In taste-tempting flavors like Hot Chili Lime, White Cheddar and Chipotle BBQ, there is going to be a variety to please every snacker at the party. Visit Beanitos online at Beanitos Dot Com.

Beanitos Puffs

Saffron Road Display

We’ve previously featured the products of Saffron Road, makers of all natural specialty foods, and we were excited to see them exhibiting again and previewing a selection of their frozen gourmet treats including:

Saffron Road Crispy Samosa

Crispy Samosas frozen gourmet Hors D’oeuvres — just heat and serve!

Saffron Road Dessert Tarts

Dessert Mini Tarts — sophisticated delicacies inspired by the world’s best ingredients and traditions. What’s more, these Mini Tarts require no baking and practically no preparation. Simply thaw and serve. Impressing guests has never been easier! Look for more reviews of Saffron Road products coming soon to The ‘Gig!

National Pasta Association Signage

No one loves to cook with and eat pasta more than we do, so it’s always fun to see our friends Pasta Fits and the National Pasta Association at an Editor Showcase.

Pasta Display

Not only do they consistently have the most attractive display, but they always have something yummy to snack on. Let’s get a closer look at this sexy Pasta Salad.

Bowl of Pasta

I believe we are looking at the Grilled Vegetable Rigatoni with Feta. Find out more about Pasta nutrition and get fabulous recipes at Pasta Fits Dot Org!

Viking Range Signage

And with all of this Holiday Cooking and Entertaining you’ve got planned, you’ll need a state-of-the-art range to cook it all on, amiright? Sure I am. Check out this amazing Viking Induction Cooktop:

Viking Range Photo

This 36-inch cooktop is so beautiful and surely every home cook’s fantasy of a kitchen range come true!  The performance and styling of Viking Professional Induction Cooktops are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Totally transformed, these cooktops provide maximum cooking space and the most energy efficient form of surface cooking. Surprisingly, the cooktop stays cool to the touch, and the push-to-turn metal knobs are childproof, so this range is very safe to operate. Viking signature CoolLit ™ LED Lights illuminate cooking zones when in use, making Viking’s induction cooktops the next hottest thing! Get more information on Viking products at This Link!

Thanks as always to Editor Showcase and the Lovely Ladies of Formulatin PR! See you in the Spring!

Champagne Brunch Returns to Beauty & Essex!

Champagne
“Cheers!” (Above and All Interior Photos By Gail, Food Photos By Anne Raso)

Here at The Worley Gig, we like to have nice things – because you only live once, as the kids are fond of saying. If you, too, enjoy the finer things in life, and are also a fan of the Boozy Brunch, let me tell you about what I believe to easily be the Best Brunch in Manhattan, and that is the newly re-launched Champagne Brunch at Beauty & Essex. A week has passed since our visit and we just cannot shut up about the delicious food and great service we experienced at this elegant and hip hot spot lighting up the Lower East side.

Beauty & Essex Chandelier

Beauty & Essex is a place to go when you want to feel like a Superstar. Separated from the street by a cool storefront Pawn Shop, the restaurant’s interior is simply stunning, with antique accents and amazing light fixtures including a dazzling crystal chandelier that extends from the ceiling all the way to the first floor.

Interior Bar Shot

Although a full (and very extensive) brunch menu is available, we chose to go with the Chef’s Choice Prix Fixe Menu; a 4 course meal which offers you a generous taste of eight different dishes as well as two glasses of Moet & Chandon Brut Champagne for the bargain price of just $45 per person. Let’s Eat!

(Note: Since dishes are served family style and portioned for the number of people in your party, keep in mind that the portions shown in these photos are meant to serve two people).

Ceiling Light Fixture Detail

Your “Brunch Party” – which is what we are calling it – starts out with your friendly server asking if you have any dietary restrictions or requests, as Beauty & Essex will happily modify any dishes to accommodate vegetarian or gluten free diets, or any food allergies where possible. And then, the food just starts coming out to your table – and what a sumptuous feast it is!

Red Velvet Waffles

The first course consists of Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Icing ($12 a la carte). These 4-inch diameter waffles arrived piping hot and freshly made from the waffle iron, crispy on the outside an tender/ fluffy on the inside. There is no need for butter or syrup as the cream cheese icing drizzle adds the perfect additional decadence.

Mini Chocolate Croissants

Miniature Dark Chocolate Croissants ($9 a la carte) — flakey and buttery pastry stuffed with rich dark chocolate — are also part of your sweet first course.

Kale and Apple Salad

Should you feel any pangs of guilt from your “Dessert for Breakfast” course, redemption in the form of a fresh chopped Kale & Apple Salad ($12 a la carte) arrives next as part of your second course. Dressed lightly in a tart Apple Cider Vinaigrette, tender Kale and Slivered Green Apple are tossed with Candied Pecans, Crispy Pancetta and Shaved Goat Cheese in this light and healthy dish. It is understood that kale is a food that often strikes fear in the heart of the foodie, but be assured that there is no trace of bitterness anywhere.

Tomato Soup With Cheese Dumplings

Because Soup and Salad go together, course two also includes Grilled Cheese, Smoked Bacon and Tomato Soup Dumplings ($16 a la carte). Despite being described as “Soup Dumplings,” what you are really getting are Gilled Cheese and Smoked Bacon Dumplings (think: Dim Sum) resting atop a puddle of roasted tomato soup. Semantics aside, this dish is delish!

Fried Chicken Biscuits

Oh my, are you full already? Well, better make some room in your tummy, because it’s time for course three, and you won’t want to miss a bite of what Beauty & Essex has in store. Check out these Fried Chicken Biscuit Bites ($14 a la carte): a crispy fried morsel of chicken breast on a buttery homemade biscuit, topped with crunchy, tangy Red Cabbage Slaw. A ramekin of Tabasco Honey Butter is also present for spreading meltily (made up word) onto the hot biscuit. So simple, yet so sublime.

Light Up Rings

At this point in the meal, our server made the rounds, bestowing a gift to all diners of these colorful, flashy light-up disco rings! Par-tay Brunch in the house! The only thing more exciting than these rings was the fact that there was still more delicious food to eat! See for yourself!

Huevos Rancheros

Look! It’s Braised Short Rib Huevos Rancheros: a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg is layered on top of tender short rib and black bean puree on a crisp corn tortilla, resting in a tomato ranchero sauce, and topped with Mexican Cotija Cheese. Ole!

Skillet Roasted Potatoes

Course three is rounded out with a huge serving of savory Skillet Roasted Potatoes with roasted peppers and herbed sea salt seasoning. Don’t explode yet, because dessert is coming.

Caramel Mousse Bombe

This gorgeous thing is called a Caramel Mousse Bombe, and it is just insane. Inside this spherical chocolate shell is a light and fluffy caramel mousse on a chewy caramel cookie base. It is hard not to completely devour the Bombe, even when you have just eaten all of the food on the planet.

As you can see by this visual culinary journey we have just taken together, the Beauty & Essex Chef’s Choice Prix Fixe Brunch is a lot of food for a ridiculously reasonable price. And even though the menu says it includes “Two Glasses” of champagne, our glasses were topped off regularly and I don’t think anyone was really keeping too close of an eye on it, if you get what I’m saying.

Beauty & Essex is located at 146 Essex Street (F train to Essex & Delancey), New York, NY 10002. Brunch is served on the second floor from 1 – 6 PM. Phone (212) 614-0146 for more information, visit Beauty and Essex Dot Com for Menus and Visit Open Table to make a reservation at This link.

Beauty & Essex Signage

Celebrate National Potato Month with a Meal Deal from Potatopia!

National Potato Month Deal

Hey what’s up. Did you know that September is National Potato Month? Word.

To celebrate The Love of the Spud appropriately, let me tell you about an exciting offer from Potatopia, the all potato-concept restaurant, which I think you might be interested in. Because, Potatoes.

In honor of September being National Potato Month, customers can visit any of the three Potatopia locations in New York City, Staten Island or New Jersey throughout the month for $4 meals after 4:00PM. Meals for this deal include either a Build Your Own or Signature Meal. Both deals include a small fountain drink.

Potatopia Locations are listed below:
Edison, New Jersey: Menlo Park Mall
Manhattan: 378 6th Avenue – New York, NY
Staten Island, NY: The Staten Island Mall

You have just over 2 more weeks to take advantage of this offer, so head on out and get your Spud on at Potatopia!

Bacon Thing of the Day: Plate of Candied Bacon

Plate of Candied Bacon
Photo By Gail

Of course, everyone goes to New York Fashion Week events for the Fashion, but they also go for the food. Repoproom and Storefront outdid themselves with their champagne brunch that accompanied a showcase of brands like Ilana Kohn clothing, Marrin Costello jewelry and Souda design-focused furniture. The highlight of their very satisfying spread was the above pictured plate of Candied Bacon Strips, which I hovered over for several minutes. Mmm, finger lickin’ good!