One of our favorite events of the year is the ever-growing and ever-popular Stamford Charity Chili Cook-Off. Started as a small event in a local Stamford church, this event has grown every year with more competitors and even more hungry tasters. This year the tradition continues on November 6 from 11-3 right at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. There will be 15 home cooks, chefs, and restaurants this year, all vying for your votes! Who will win the coveted first place prize? Will Mayor Martin’s chili take down the competition? Will the students at JM Wright Tech uphold their number one spot? Also, who will be the contestants who win special trophies and rewards from four special judges (more on this below)? Continue reading
One of our favorite places in all of Connecticut Stamford Museum & Nature Center. And, this coming Spring on the Farm Festival Weekend it’s about to become our more most favoritest place! All the action is going down on 5/18 and 5/19 from 11 am to 3 pm. Yes, their annual party is getting bigger and badder than ever with the addition of seven, count ‘um seven, food trucks. On Saturday you can get the Caribbean flavors of Maddy’s Food Truck, good ol’ fashioned American fare with Cowabunga, hot pies from Victoria’s Wood Fired Pizza Catering, got your hands on some meatballs from The Local Meatball, and cold and creamy goodness from Skip’s Ice Cream Co. Then, come back for more on Sunday where you can try the awesome fries and sandwiches of Fryborg, the awesomely organic and oven-to-table pizzas of Skinny Pines, and get more of that ice cream from Skip’s Ice Cream Co.
But, this weekend isn’t just about food. Okay, it’s a big portion of it, but there’s other reasons why you’ll love coming by:
1) Check out the baby goats. It’s all about the baby goats…but there are lots of other animals to ooh and ahh over.
Guten morgen…or tag, depending on when you’re reading this.
A few weeks back we told you about Octoberfest on the Meadow at Stamford Museum & Nature Center, one of our favorite spots in Fairfield County. Well, we’re happy to report that we’ve got some more details about the food and beer that will be available on 10/19 from 6:30-9:30. Yes, you’ll have the oompah oompah of The Bavarian Boys, but you’ll also have:
- Paulaner (Germany)
- Spaten (Germany)
- Erdinger (Germany)
- Sam Adams Oktoberfest (USA)
Octoberfest. Oktoberfest. Spell it however you’d like, it still revolves around a few key things:
- German food
- Flashbacks to the scene from National Lampoon’s European Vacation
Well, guess what? There will be plenty of Octoberfestivities going on at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center on Friday night, 10/19 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. So, bring your buds, take your date, leave the kids at home (21+), and put on those lederhosen. When you are there, all decked out with those really cool feathery hats, you’ll be able to take down some amazing Octoberfest food. Yup, SM&NC has the best of the wurst and even more. Bottomline: you’ll be fed and fed oh so well, German style. But, you can’t munch on some BBQ or a brat (the sausage, not a bad child) and have nothing to drink. That would be a serious travesty! The good folks at the Nature Center have you covered with excellent seasonal Oktoberfest brews, don’t worry. Now, when you’ve got some food in the left hand and a stein in the right hand, move that beer back and forth while you jam away and sing along to The Bavarian Boys.
Last year (was that a year ago?) we told you about Friday Farm Markets at SM&NC. Things have changed a bit this year, but for the better!
Here’s the info:
10 am – 2 pm
Located at their Meadow this year
Here’s what you can expect:
Wave Hill Breads: breads, pastries, cookies
Moorefield Herb Farm: herbs, duh :P
Smith Acres: fruit and vegetables
Truelove Farms: pork and beef
Pickle Licious: pickles :)
Victoria’s Wood Fired Pizza: pizza yumminess
SM&NC: their own farm fresh, cage-free eggs
In addition, check out some music from Steve E. while you shop. If you want to relax a bit, grab some pizza, veggies, desserts, and/or pastries and head down to one of the benches by the pond.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Address: 39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT 06903
For info: 203.322.1646
We moseyed on over to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center around 11:30 or so, and despite the cool rain, we couldn’t help but explore the animal pens on our way up to the Bendel Mansion where all the food festivities were taking place. I mean they have goats, alpacas, chickens, sheep, cattle, (oh my)… how could two animal lovers resist?! When we finally made our way up there, we were frickin’ starving so we started with the pancake breakfast of 3 fluffy buttermilk pancakes, 2 sausage links and of course a heaping helping of their very own, hand-made maple syrup (2 ladles full to be exact). Once we wolfed that deliciousness down, we headed on over to the final round of the First County Bank’s Chef’s Challenge, featuring semifinalists Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning and David’s Soundview Catering.
We were immediately beckoned by the outgoing and spunky Director of Sales and Operations, Melissa DeSousa from David’s Soundview Catering. We were very intrigued by their dish, a hearty maple vegetable stew consisting of maple syrup (duh!), butternut squash, beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, kidney beans, and smoked sea salt. With such a creative concoction, we immediately thought they were either going to nail it, or tank. Well, they nailed it! It was fantastic. Maybe it was the fact that we were so chilly from the pouring rain, but that delicious, hot stew was just what we needed to get us going. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, not too crisp, not at all soggy, and the maple syrup really stood out, but didn’t overpower the dish at all. A perfect blend, served in cute little recycled bamboo bowls. To compliment the dish, they also had a wide variety of rolls from brioche, to multigrain, to sesame, to cranberry (yeah, so, I tried most of them… whatever, don’t judge) along with maple butter rosettes to slather on top. YUMMY! The rolls were soft and complex and the butter too, had the perfect touch of maple syrup.
Once we were done stuffing our faces there, we headed on over to Marcia Selden Catering’s adorably decorated table and were also greeted with friendly smiles. They came prepared to kick some maple boo-tay with three different yummy treats! Our favorite was a mix of popcorn, peanuts and cooked prosciutto (oh how I love when pork goodness in mixed in with sweets), all coated in (what else?) maple syrup. It was awesome! Next up was a maple corn dog. Ah, yes, I saw what they were doing, going for the kid vote… smaaaart! ; ) I, believe it or not, am not a corn dog fan, but I gave it a try anyway. It was nicely cooked and Danny really enjoyed it, though we both agree it could’ve used more maple syrup as the flavor didn’t really come through. The maple did, however, come through in their corn dog dipping sauce which was an absolutely delicious honey, maple mustard. Then last, but not least, were maple pecan mini whoopie pies! Again, I hate to say it, but I don’t like whoopie pies. I know, what’s wrong with me?! But again, I of course gave it a try! As far as whoopie pies go, it was good with delicate pies and a nice creamy filling with just the right amount of crunch from the pecans.
So, who won you ask? Well, 3 must have been the magic number, and the kid vote seemed to come through on those corn dogs and whoopie pies, because Marcia Selden’s Catering won by 9 votes! It was quite the competition and both challengers came to the event with incredibly, winning recipes! It really was a tough call!
At this point we pretty much could’ve run a marathon on our sugar high. Well, if we weren’t so darn full that is. Before we headed out though, we wanted to be sure to pick up some jugs of their maple syrup, which is sourced and made right there at the nature center. And on the way out we checked out more animal exhibits of the slithery type, watched a maple syrup making demonstration, and Danny somehow found room to snarf down a maple snow cone!
And, on a side note, we also decided to become Stamford Museum and Nature Center members after learning about all the benefits. It really is such a great place to have fun for people of all ages! A $100 family membership gets you a ton of perks like free entry any day, any time (that means I can visit the goats aaaaany time I want, yay), half price entry into their events like this one, classic car shows, harvest festivals, etc, invitations to exhibit opening receptions, free admission to their bi-monthly astronomy series in their observatory (we LOVE astronomy), and more! And, best of all, the cost goes to a good cause in supporting the nature center, so definitely check it out!Stamford Museum and Nature Center Address: 39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT 06903 Phone:203.322.1646