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Chef Plum Rescues You from Thanksgiving Disasters

26 Nov

As we mentioned yesterday when we announced the Ultimate Holiday Cookie Contest, Chef Plum of Newtown is back on TV.  This time you can see him on the weekly Allrecipes segment on “The Better Show,” aired on the Hallmark Channel.  “The Better Show” airs at noon during weekdays and Chef Plum is featured on Tuesdays with the Allrecipes crew.

His first segment was a shoot in NYC where he asked people what the heck pieces of kitchen equipment were and what they were used for.  Very entertaining.

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125 Years in the Making: 3 Thanksgivukkah Recipes for Noshing

20 Nov
Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Thanksgivukkah:  it’s the unofficially official name of the holiday that’s ready to happen on Thursday, 11/28.  Yes, the best of both worlds together:  the joyous first night of Hanukkah and, of course, Thanksgiving.  This is a very rare occurence, actually.  So rare, in fact, that the last time this has happened was 125 years ago.

Well, it should be clear that Thanksgivukkah will create a very unique meal opportunity, blending together the best of both holidays.  Lucky for all you voracious OmNomivores out there that Stew Leonard’s Executive Chef Michael Luboff has thought long and hard about this and has created a few recipes perfect for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  And, even if you’re not Jewish, these are some great recipes that you can work into your Turkey Day meal.  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Latkes (makes 15 latkes)

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Thanksgiving Dinner Guide: local restaurants and stores cook Thanksgiving dinner just for you!

14 Nov

Turkey and wine from iStockPhoto

Thanksgiving is all about spending time with your family and being thankful for what you have, but let’s be honest…sometimes you spend so much time in the kitchen that you’re not so thankful anymore.  Yes, it’s rewarding to get some amazing food out onto the table, but you might have missed that moment when your brother fell flat on his face, that juicy gossip about your cousin, or the last of those appetizers devoured by your dad that you just slaved over.  So, for you or the family that needs a break, we present to you a few choices if you’d like Thanksgiving prepared just for you.

Here is a good variety of pick up options and delivery options throughout Fairfield County.  In no particular order we have Cafe Turnier of Norwalk, Graze of Fairfield County, Bistro 7 of Wilton, Valencia of Norwalk, Fresh Dine of Darien and New Canaan, Fairway Stamford, Stew’s in Danbury, Newington, and Norwalk, Eclectic Luncheonotte of New Canaan, and City Limits Diner of Stamford.  If you have any to add, please let us know and we can add.

Cafe Turnier, Norwalk (pick up)

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Book-a-Cook Creates a Thanksgiving Feast for Operation Hope Soup Kitchen

13 Nov

The idea behind Book-a-Cook is pretty simple.  You check out their site, describe the kind of chef or cooking experience you’re looking for, then they match you up with the perfect chef.  Then, you book the cook and the chef will meet you at your house or wherever you are and prepare your meal.

And, after being in business for about a year, owners Ashley Hart and Amy Strife have decided to give back this holiday season by preparing an amazing Thanksgiving meal for over fifty people at Fairfield’s Operation Hope soup kitchen today.  The meal will include locally sourced ingredients and will be a feast for those who struggle with food insecurity on a daily basis.

On the menu is Citrus Brined Local Turkey with Chestnut Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Sport Hill Farm Broccoli with Garlic and EVOO, Homemade Corn Bread, and Apple Cobbler.  At the helm of the kitchen today will be Chef Tim Fornero who has cooked at Spago in Las Vegas and Felix in NYC.  And, both Ashley and Amy are pitching in to decorate the Operation Hope dining room.

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Nadia G from Bitchin Kitchen Gives Us Her Bucket List Dishes and Holiday Cooking Tips

20 Nov

One night flipping through the channels, we switched on over to the Cooking Channel and witnessed a cooking show like we had never seen before. We were mesmerized and couldn’t bring ourselves to change the channel. The host was an eclectic, loud, joke-cracking chick dressed in some pretty rockin’ clothes with looks that could knock off a few mobsters.  When the episode ended, we looked at each other with hesitation and simultaneously blurted out, “That was awesome!” With killer recipes, a cast of attractive and charming characters like The Spice Agent, Panos, and Hans, and of course Nadia Giosa (or Nadia G. for short), we were officially hooked on Bitchin Kitchen.

Each episode (Wednesdays, 10 pm on Cooking Channel) revolves around typically edgy themes like “Deflate Your Mate,”–ways to gently help your mate lose a few pounds while still enjoying delicious food. In addition to step by step instructions on how to make her delish recipes, you’ll be treated to comedy skits, hysterical commentary, gratuitous shots of her shoes and clothes, super cool cooking accessories and equipment, and sometimes even a song.  You can also take the fun and recipes home with her cookbooks, Rock Your Kitchen and Cookin’ for Trouble.

Here’s more on the show from none other than Nadia G. herself!

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Tips, Tricks + Recipes for Thanksgiving from Chef Michele DiPietro of Whole Foods Market

16 Nov

All photos are courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Ready to plan out your Thanksgiving meal and head to the store to get your shopping done?  Yeah, you and half of the country!  Before you head out, check out our interview with Chef Michele DiPietro, Associate Culinary Concepts Coordinator for Whole Foods Market Northeast Region.  She lays out tips for finding the perfect turkey, different ways to cook and prepare your bird, easy sides, and even a cranberry sauce with candied ginger that will wow your guests.  Check out the food she mentions at these Whole Foods Market locations.

How do you go about finding that perfect turkey for your meal?

Easy – I buy it every year at Whole Foods Market!  I generally opt for the “Free Range” version, but have tried most of our varieties and love them all.  I grew up on fresh, never frozen turkeys, so always prefer one, but of course, a frozen turkey can be great as well.  The trick is really in the cooking process – if you get it right, almost any turkey can be moist and flavorful.  One thing that I haven’t yet tried are the different heirloom turkeys available today that some people claim apparently have a much richer flavor …. maybe next year!

As for amounts, I generally go by the “2 lbs per person” recommendation (then add couple more pounds! WE love leftovers, right???).

What are some of your favorite ways to prep or season the turkey before you cook it?
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