Tag Archive | Food

Pink Thing of The Day: Eat Neon Sign with Pink Arrow

Eat Neon Sign

This fun vintage sign was photographed by me when I was eating dinner with some friends at Big Daddy’s Diner on Park Avenue South near 19th Street. They have very good food and excellent service. Also, you can play the Trivial Pursuit card game at your table while you wait for your meal.

Yes, It Exists: Bitchin’ Sauce

Chipotle Bitchen Sauce
All Photos By Sue Simone

Would you eat something called Bitchin’ Sauce? I sure would. Recently, my pal Sue spotted the Bitchin’ Sauce at a farmer’s market in San Diego and here is what I found out about it from their Website:

Bitchin’ Sauce is a vegan, gluten-free, almond-based, savory sauce that is rich in nutrients and packed with flavor. Its smooth and creamy consistency makes it perfect for dipping vegetables and chips, spreading on sandwiches or wraps, or smothering over your favorite savory foods. Bitchin’ and saucy.”

And their tagline is: “Get it in ya!”, which is quite catchy!

Bitchen Sauce
Comes in a Variety of Flavors. Goes Good With Chips!

Product Review: Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bars

Dark Chocolate Raspberry
Photo By Gail

Maybe it’s the kid in me who still remembers the excitement of buying a frozen treat from the neighborhood Ice Cream Truck, but the convenience of having a box of ice cream bars stashed in my freezer still makes me feel special. I recently opened a box of Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bars and am enjoying their understated excellence on so many levels. Please allow me to share.

Raspberry is one of my favorite flavors for almost any kind of dessert, and the low-fat ice cream inside these bars manages to capture the essence of fresh raspberry taste without being tart or sour at all.  In other words, don’t expect them to taste similar to a fruity sorbet, because this frozen treat offers pure, sweet and smooth ice cream taste all the way. I also love the thin coating of dark chocolate that adds a light crispness to each bite.  As is the case with the Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bars, the photo on the box makes each bar appear to be a foot long, but in reality each measures about 4.5 inches, so they are a perfect lite snack or a reward for “Being Good” with your points! I am thinking of having one right now!

Each box contains 12 bars, so you can indulge for more than a week before you have to head back to the grocery store for another box! These uniquely delicious bars are only 90 calories, 10 grams of fat and 0 grams trans fat each! The best part is that each bar counts as just 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus. Find out where you can buy Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bars and other fine Weight Watchers products at This Link!

Yes, It Exists: Mr. Squid Snack

Mr Squid Snack

I spotted this Mr. Squid packaged squid snack at an anonymous bodega on Mosco Street in Chinatown a few weeks back. I did not actually eat any Mr. Squid, but there is what I would consider to be a semi-enthusiastic positive review at This Link.

Restaurant Review: Vis a Vis, French-Inspired Fine Dining in Brighton Beach

Front of House
Photos By Gail and Anne Raso

When you think of visiting Brighton Beach, Brooklyn as a dining destination, what usually comes to mind is enjoying some of the finest Russian cuisine that you can find stateside. The surprise is that there’s a new fine dining restaurant in Brighton Beach called Vis a Vis that specializes in Global Contemporary Cuisine rooted in French techniques, and it’s worth the trip all the way in from Manhattan just to check it out. We dined at Vis a Vis on a Sunday evening just a couple of weeks back, when the restaurant’s doors had only been open for three weeks, and were pleasantly surprised that they already appear to be getting everything right!

Vis a Vis Bar Scene Darker

Vis a Vis features two distinct dining spaces. The front of the house flaunts gorgeous, plush red velvet seating, a lively bar scene and a bit of a night club vibe once the DJ takes over with modern House Music. Sunday Brunch turns into a real party atmosphere and everybody has a great time! We’d recommend making your dinner reservations post 7 PM on a weekend  if you’d prefer a quieter atmosphere, as the music and festivities can bleed over into the equally elegant but considerably calmer adjoining dining room, which looks like this:

Vis a Vis Dining Room

In this refined setting, the focus is very much on excellent food and first class services. At the helm of the Vis a Vis‘ kitchen is multi-award winning Chef Charles Disanayake, who hails from Sri Lanka. Having studied under Anita Lo (Top Chef Masters) at her Michelin-starred Annisa restaurant, Chef Charles has launched multiple restaurants around the world. Aside from his impressive work at Vis a Vis, he is well known for his exclusive New York supper club dinners, and catering services for private and corporate events. Chef Charles‘ creative finesse and finely-honed culinary skills are apparent from the first bite of any dish he prepares as Vis a Vis. It was a great pleasure to meet and speak with him on the evening of our visit.

Chef Charles Disanayake
Chef Charles

The menu offers so many tempting specialties that it was hard to make a final decision on the evening’s dishes, but let me tell you about what we ended up ordering.

Chicken Bacon Lollipops with Sauce

Herb & Pretzel Crusted Chicken & Bacon Lollipops with House Made Ranch ($10). For this fun appetizer, succulent chicken is wrapped in bacon and fried crisp before being rolled in a pretzel crumb coating and baked perfectly. The cool Ranch house dressing is an excellent accompaniment. Everyone in the family will love these.

Chicken Bacon Lollipop
Chicken Bacon Lollipop Detail

Stuffed Zuchini Blossoms

We had heard great things about the Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Mozzarella and Figs and served with a Mint Chutney ($14) and this dish was just fantastic! The Zucchini Blossoms are tempura battered and quick fried to maintain their delicate texture. The Mint Chutney is the consistency of a pesto sauce, so the flavor is subtle but distinctive, and there are also a few tender chickpeas on the plate. If you’ve not yet tasted fried stuffed Zucchini flowers, you’re in for a treat.

Beet Salad

You can’t go wrong with a roasted beet salad. This one has rosettes of Herb Infused Goat Cheese & Roasted Beets with Micro Greens, Balsamic Pearls, Mandarin Orange Segments and Pecans ($13). The balsamic pearls are what look like Blackberry clusters in the above photo. The crunchy pecans provide a terrific contrast in texture to the tender beets and juicy orange segments. A winning combination of farm-to-table ingredients!

Filet Mignon

For my entree, I could not resist the Steak of The Day, which was a generous, 9 Ounce Filet Mignon served with Grilled Asparagus, Truffled Mashed Potatos and Red Wine Sauce (Market Priced). Absolutely everything about this dish was perfect.

Rib Eye Steak

My dining companion, also being a red meat lover like myself, chose the Rib Eye — which, as you can see from the above photo, is massive. Her Steak was served with Grilled Vegetables and unusual sides such as a Potato Nest with a Foie Gras center, and Cabbage Stuffed with Tomato Rice. This dish is an excellent example of how Chef Charles elevates even the most classic bistro dishes into the realm of haute cuisine.

After a brief respite, it was time for dessert.

Peach Panacotta

If you are so stuffed from your delicious meal that you do not even think you can eat dessert, you will still be able to enjoy this light and luscious Peach Panna Cotta, with Orange Blossom Water and Pistachio Crumbles ($11). I do love a good panna cotta, and this one is excellent.

Beignets Alternate View

Another decadent choice — but perfect for sharing! — is the Bourbon Butterscotch-Filled Cashew & Almond Beignets with Bourbon Ice Milk ($10). How does Chef Charles think of such delicious and unique creations? We do not know, but we would love to return for further investigation.

Vis a Vis features an extensive wine list, and offers elaborate, multi-course banquets for between $100 to $150 per person. Why not consider them as a special destination for your holiday season dining and celebrations?

Vis a Vis Signage

Vis a Vis is Located at 3100 Ocean Parkway (corner of Sea Breeze Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11235 (Take the Q Train to Brighton Beach). Phone 718-333-0003 for reservations or visit them online at Vis a Vis NY Dot Com.

Cognac Display
Cognac Display

Product Review: Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bars

Weight Watchers Ice Cream Packaging
All Photos by Gail

Everyone knows the name Weight Watchers as a globally popular and highly successful weight loss program, but did you know that Weight Watchers also has a line of delicious and low calorie prepared foods to make sticking to your diet easier? Some of their most popular products are their decadent desserts, which take the edge off any feeling of being deprived of enjoying something sweet. Recently, we were introduced to one of Weight Watchers‘ new frozen dessert offerings, the Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bar (the name alone sounds amazing!), and we were sent a box to review for The Gig! Here’s the low-calorie low down on this tasty treat!

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bar

While the photo on the box makes the bars look massive, they are about the size of a regular candy bar. Here is what one bar looks like unwrapped. I already want to eat it.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bar Inside View

Inside, you can see a layer of luscious salted caramel resting atop rich-tasting low fat caramel ice cream, which is then enrobed in a milk chocolaty coating. I have enjoyed three of the six bars in the box so far and I can say that both the caramel and the ice cream cream maintain a soft consistency to the bite, rather than being frozen hard, which is great as no defrosting time is needed. These bars are delicious and perfectly cravable for lovers of the continually trending taste of salted caramel, which perfectly accents the smooth, sweet ice cream. There is nothing I do not love about these bars.

You would never believe these scrumptious bars are only 120 calories, 6 grams of fat and 0 grams trans fat each! Each bar counts as just 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus. Find out where you can buy Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bars and other fine Weight Watchers products at This Link!

More Thanksgiving Recipes Featuring Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry!

Sausage Stuffing Pastry
Sausage, Cranberries & Stuffing Pastry, Recipe Below!

A traditional Thanksgiving meal often means a chance to enjoy all of your favorite holiday dishes, but it can also be about changing it up and discovering new and innovative recipes to please yourself and your family! A good place to start for easy and delicious recipes is Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. Check these out!

For Sausage, Cranberries & Stuffing Pastry, Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry is woven around a comforting mixture of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing, sausage, green onions, mushrooms and dried cranberries, and baked until golden to make a festive and delicious dish. It’s also a great idea for using up any leftovers!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. water
2 eggs
1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 cup Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing
4 green onions, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 oz. chopped mushrooms (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup sweetened sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. dried sage leaves, crushed
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed according to package directions
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s Turkey Gravy, warmed (optional)

Directions:

Heat the oven to 375°F. Beat the water and 1 egg in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.

Lightly stir the sausage, stuffing, green onions, mushrooms, cranberries, sage and the remaining egg in a medium bowl.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. With a short side facing you, cut slits 1-inch apart down both sides of the pastry sheet, from the outer edges to the fold marks. Spoon the sausage mixture down the center of the pastry sheet. Starting at the short side closest to you, fold the pastry strips over the sausage mixture, alternating sides, to cover the sausage mixture.

Place the pastry onto a baking sheet. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Slice the pastry and serve warm with the gravy, if desired.

Find out more about this and other recipes at This Link!

Turkey Pot Pies

Creamy Turkey Pot Pies are a fantastic idea for using leftover Turkey. Convenient products like puff pastry shells, frozen vegetables and cream of mushroom soup allow you to whip-up mouthwatering, individual pot pies in less than an hour. They make a great weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request )
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg. (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
2 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey or chicken
1 pkg. (10 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells, prepared according to package directions

Directions:

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir the soup, milk and peas and carrots in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the turkey and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Spoon the turkey mixture into the pastry shells. Add the pastry “tops,” if desired.

Get more information about this recipe at This Link!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!