George and Martha’s Morristown, NJ

morristown nj

If you are looking for a modern home cooked meal with a sophisticated yet delicious flavor profile, George and Martha’s is for you.

When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was the smell. Not food- it was a holiday smell, like Christmas trees and spice. It carried through the entire restaurant- not in an overpowering way, but subtle, a nice note.  The menu was cool (and the prices were reasonable, nothing crazy) with fun options, as well as interesting twists on traditional favorites.  Choices were varied, but everything we tried was better then average, with a few that were real standouts.

maple bacon

The first thing (and possibly the best) that we tried was the cornbread. Not just any cornbread, though this one has “Bourbon Maple Glaze, Served with Sweet Butter and Roasted Corn Jam”.  Right? It was as good as it sounds, and served warm. At 7$, worth every penny. My son wanted appetizers as his meal, and that was fine with me. He had calamari rings and a side of macaroni and cheese. He orders both of these often, and enjoyed both. Dad very much liked the calamari- because, of course, he had to try them out, and the mac and cheese was home made, smelled wonderful, and was ultra gooey.

george and marthas

My husband tried the burger of the day, which was blue cheese, caramelized onions, and bacon.  Since it was Sunday,  brunch was an option, and I had the chicken and waffles with a bacon syrup topping.  Everything was fantastic, and nothing would break the bank, either.

chicken waffles

Everything we ate was cooked perfectly, a harmony of flavors.  Crunchy fried chicken with smokey flavor of the bacon and the sweet of the syrup, mixed with the home made waffles.  The burger was to the desired wellness, with a good amount of blue cheese and bacon and the wonderful flavor of caramelized onions.  The  corn bread was a must, really- this dish might not sound like much, but will be a favorite,  and is a perfect way to start a meal at George and Martha’s.  A surprisingly delicious special item which will delight everyone who tries it.  This was pretty much the theme of the meal, each dish was unique and delicious, different and flavorful, exactly what we wanted and completely unexpected.  I would suggest George and Martha’s to just about anyone looking for a great spot to grab a bite to eat.

Tucson Tamales – Unwrap Happiness @tucsontamale

Tamales are one of those comfort foods that, when done right, are exactly what you are craving. Good, simple, yet so flavorful.  If you do not know what a tamale is, it is a corn husk filled with masa, or a corn meal dough (often with another filling in the middle as well) which is then steamed or boiled in the husk and unwrapped and eaten when they are done.  These little pockets of Mexican tradition have the taste of home made, and the warm feeling you get from home made dishes as well.  Tucson Tamale offers these corn based envelopes of awesome to you wherever you are, no matter your prowess in the kitchen.

order tamales

They have options for everyone- meat lovers, vegetarian, omnivore- even dessert.  One of our favorites was the Blue Corn, made from organic blue corn masa and filled with summer squash, tomato, onion, peppers and cheese. We also loved the Black Bean and Cheese made of black beans, roasted corn, red peppers and cheddar cheese. There are also meat filled varieties, like Green Chile Pork with Cheese, Green Chile Chicken and Red Chile Beef.  There is sure to be a favorite for everyone in your house.

We were able to try the Box of Happiness and let me tell you that is exactly what it brought to our faces when we tried them.  The favors were vibrant and the tamales were perfectly textured and incredibly delightful.  The box of happiness is a great way to get to know many of the varieties available while also having enough for everyone to try.  But I am warning you the box will be finished quite quickly and your tamale addiction will begin after your first bite.

deliver tamale

The ingredients for the tamales are of high quality.  The corn in the masa is organic and non-gmo.  Instead of lard like traditional tamales, Tucson uses non-gmo expeller pressed canola or sunflower oil, to keep vegan and vegetarian tamale lovers at the table.

Tuscon Tamales are available now online and can be delivered to your door in a variety of flavors and amounts. Order yours now- and another set for the holidays. No cooking for you!

home made tamale

Hills Bros Coffee

Coffee is serious business as is the environment.  One depends on the other and without the environment for thriving coffee plants coffee can not be.  So what can be done to help with the recent single serve coffee craze which may make for a good cup of coffee for one, but also makes for a whole lot of extra garbage per cup?  Well Hills Brothers Coffee has a solution, new Certified 100% Compost able Single Serve Pods which work with Keurig machines.  With a normal coffee pod after the coffee is brewed the cup, filter, grounds and label all go into the trash where it sits, taking years to decompose.  But the new Hills Brothers Pods are completely compost able and every piece of the packaging breaks down into soil leaving less of an environmental foot print per cup then other pods.

Not only is the packaging special but the coffee within is special as well.  There are various roasts available from the dark roast which is a unique blend of premium Arabica beans from around the world. Dark roasted for a strong, bold flavor and smooth finish to the light roast which is called Bright Roast, which is lightly roasted for a pleasant, subtle finish there is something for every taste.  Each roast is available either ground or in whole bean form.  In ground canned form there are also a few other varieties like Pacific Blend which is a unique blend of rare and diverse coffee beans from the Pacific tropics and Dark Satin which is an exceptional blend of 100% Arabica coffee specially selected for a deep, vibrant flavor, and smooth finish. Hills Bros.® Dark Satin is a rich taste of San Francisco.  Each blend is different and unique giving the drinker and adventure in a cup.  Be sure to keep your eye out for Hills Brothers available online or at a store near you.

Hoboken Farms for Almost-Home Made Pasta Sauce @hbknfarms

Winter is on its way – and you know what that means – comfort food season is upon us. It’s the time of year to indulge in hot meals that warm us up and fill us up. Nothing brings families together quite like a big pasta dinner, and maybe you don’t always have the time to make your sauce from scratch. It can’t hurt to have some on hand for “those nights” when it all just gets away from you and you need to throw together dinner, and fast.
pasta sauce
What makes each pasta dinner unique? The sauce, of course. Perhaps you have a family recipe or even a go-to store brand sauce that you swear by. Have you ever tried Hoboken Farms? Right outta NJ,  Hoboken Farms has a trio of sauces that will make you re-think what it means to eat sauce from a jar. With the simplest ingredients, this locally crafted sauce may fool you ­or your guests ­as being homemade. The purveyors of the coolest line of BIG PASTA SAUCES offers three staples to choose from; BIG RED marinara, BIG BOSS vodka and the latest, BIG BASIL.
Skeptical? The Wall Street Journal named BIG RED Marinara America’s best tasting sauce in 2011. Give these a try if you haven’t yet, you won’t regret it. The vodka sauce was my favorite, the marinara was my husband’s. See what you think.  Get yours HERE or see if you live nearby a local sales person. If you are in North Jersey or in Hoboken itself, it will be pretty easy for you. Mangia!

 

5 Party Dessert Ideas for Kids

Kids simply love parties. For once, they get to be among their little colleagues and friends, eat some delicious desserts, bust some very creative dance moves and play games all day long. Secondly, there is no homework involved and adults seem to be more indulgent on these occasions. What’s more, parents don’t need to do much to entertain the kids. Their imagination will go crazy, and lots of good memories will come up. But there’s one thing they should take care of, and that is the dessert. If the sweet tooth isn’t satisfied, the mood will suddenly change into a stormy cloud (with big cue eye, though!). So, stay tuned for 5 party dessert ideas that will turn your kids’ birthday party into an unforgettable experience.

Toffee Apples

  1. No cookie can dethrone the mighty cake, especially now that the Walmart average cake prices are so low. However, the expectations of the big moment when the cake makes its entrance can be spiced up with smaller desserts. Food on a stick has always been a source of excitement for kids of all ages. It’s like an apple is trying to run away incognito dressed in a delicious lollypop.Ingredients:
    • 12 popsicle sticks;
    • 3 cups caster sugar;
    • 12 small apples.

    Heat the sugar to a boil in a heavy-based saucepan with one and a half cups of water. Stir the composition until the sugar dissolves. This can take up to 7 minutes. If you want your toffee to be red, this is the moment to add 5 drops of food coloring.

    You shouldn’t allow water to come to a boil until the second step when you can increase the heat from low to a medium-high. Let it cook for 35 to 45 minutes to let the composition reach the hard crack stage. You can check if the toffee is in the ideal state by adding one hot tablespoon in a glass of ice-cold water. If the toffee immediately becomes hard, it means that it is ready. To avoid crystallization, you can brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.

    Insert the popsicle sticks into the apples and then lay them on a baking tray. Let the composition cool off for 30 seconds, and then dip the apples into toffee. You should allow them at least 20 minutes to mix up and become delicious Toffee Apples.

    Decoration Contest

parties

There are many ways to bring party dessert ideas to life. However, nothing compares to the joy of the little ones when they find out they have green light to create their own candy. You can simply improvise a cute little bakery table where everyone receives several plain muffins or simple cake pops.

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1 cup cream cheese;

  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter;

  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract;

  • 2 ½ cups sugar.

Mix the cream cheese and butter until you get a smooth texture. Add the vanilla extract and mix again until the composition is uniform with the use of a mixer. Afterward, add 1 cup of sugar at a time and start mixing again at a low speed. Increase the speed to receive the rest of the sugar. Now you’ve finished the frosting! Upgrade the bakery laboratory with M&M candy, nonpareils, sanding or crystal sugar, and you ready for the beauty cupcake contest.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

It’s a classic dessert that will never cease to delight generation after generation that can go extremely well with a fun cartoon movie.

Ingredients:

  • ½ rice flour;

  • ½ plain flour;

  • ¼ tablespoon baking powder;

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder;

  • 1 ¼ cups caster sugar;

  • 2 lightly beaten eggs;

  • 150g melted butter.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 4 cm deep pan covered with baking paper. Sift the flours, cocoa, and baking powder in a large bowl and mix them together with the cups of sugar. Add in the center of the composition the eggs and butter and stir them with a spoon until you get a smooth texture.

Spread the composition into the pan and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes. You can test if the dessert is ready with a skewer. If it comes out of the brownie full of crumbs, then the cake is ready. Remove it from the pan and cut it into squares.

Magic Wands

Any kid loves seeing magic all around. And a party can become a magical event with the right tools. In this case, it is about yummy edible magic wands.

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter;
  • ½ cup caster sugar;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
  • 1 egg;
  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour;
  • 375 g melted milk chocolate melts;
  • 375 g melted white chocolate melts;
  • Yellow sprinkles;
  • Hundreds and thousands sprinkles.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and get three baking trays ready with baking paper. Start mixing butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together with a mixer until you obtain a pale and creamy texture. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and mix until incorporated.

The next step would be to take three teaspoons of the dough at a time and roll them on a floured surface while keeping them at 20 cm long. Repeat until you fill all three trays. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes. Dip half roll into milk chocolate and decorate it with yellow sprinkles. Do the same with the second half. You can use the second combination of white chocolate with hundreds and thousands for half the wands.

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Berry Frenzy Ice Cream

In the past, kids got to choose only between two flavors of ice cream. Now, you can make your own ice cream as red as strawberries or as purple as blackberries. The party will love some refreshing delights to keep them active for many hours of games, especially in summer time.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups blackberries;
  • 3 cups strawberries;
  • 2 cups blueberries;
  • 2 cups raspberries;
  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream.

Mix all the berries together with 1 cup ice cream in a blender. Strain the resulted smooth composition and press it to extract as much liquid as possible. Eliminate the solid pieces. The final step is getting the puree in the blender one more time with the remaining cups of vanilla ice cream. Cast the composition into cute molds if you have at hand, and let it freeze for four hours.

These 5 party dessert ideas will be real treats for the little ones. You can also involve your kids in the cooking process to get them in an exciting mood before the big event. Enjoy!

Pirate’s Booty for On The Go Snacking

healthy snacks

Looking for a healthier alternative to candy this Halloween season? Give Pirate Booty a try.  With snack size packages that are perfect as special treats, or even for Trick or Treaters, everyone likes to grab some Pirate Booty.

If there are left over treats left after Halloween night, you can snack with less guilt, since they are better for you then most chips and candies.  They are baked puffed rice and corn snacks, made with aged white cheddar cheese.  The little guy loves Pirate’s Booty, especially when packed into his lunch for school.  He likes pretty healthy lunches, lucky for me, so this snack is fine with mom. He likes apples, cheese sticks, Pirate Booty, and a yogurt for his ideal lunch meal.

These snacks are Gluten Free, Kosher, and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  They are available in a variety of sizes from snackable and portable 1 oz packs (perfect for on the go or packable snacking) to 20 oz bags which are great for at home snacking- just be warned, these bags don’t last long so you might want to grab more then one when you see them.  Pirate’s Booty is available everywhere snacks are sold including online at Amazon.

To celebrate the Halloween season, Pirate’s Booty has limited edition Halloween packaging available only until Halloween- then it is back to the regular packaging.  So be sure to keep an eye out at your local retailer for these special packages and share them with your friends, family and neighbors today.

Be sure to check out Pirate’s Booty online for special promotions and coupons as well.

Ocean Spray Bog and Spinach Salad #ad #CranberryClassroom @OceanSprayInc

Thank you to Ocean Spray® for sponsoring this blog post. I’m partnering with Ocean Spray® for its NYC Cranberry Classroom. #ad All opinions are my own.

With Fall around the corner, it is cranberry season. As such, it is time to make some fun and seasonal  recipes with cranberries.  One such fall favorite is a spinach salad- great year round, but even better when gussied up.

Spinach

Ocean Spray’s ® Spinach Salad

Effortless Spinach Salad

Ingredients

8 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, optional

DRESSING:
1/2 cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest, optional

Directions

Wash and clean spinach. Tear into bite size pieces and place in a serving bowl. Add half of the feta or goat cheese and onion; toss to combine.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with dried cranberries and almonds. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

Another way to celebrate the joys of cranberries is with the Ocean Spray® cranberry bog.

The Ocean Spray® cranberry bog was recently at Rockefeller Center® to celebrate the first day of fall. Nothing says fall like cranberries- and when will you ever get to see a bog in the middle of New York City? Not very often, at least.

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Did you know that 2016 marks the bicentennial of the first cultivated cranberry harvest? I didn’t. The NYC bog also shared cranberry’s story of taste, health and heritage with visitors in a fun and delicious way.

Farming Ocean Spray ® cranberries is often handed down generation to generation- it’s really a family business. It is interesting to see growers and their families (who were on-site) talk about the harvest and how it’s changed over the last 200 years.  Nothing like a first hand experience- but if you can’t have one, you at least get to hear it right from the horses mouth (as it were).

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Those who didn’t make it to the bog can experience The Most Beautiful Harvest for themselves at www.OSharvest.com.  You can see the little canberry’s journey from bog to bottle. It’s cute- check it out.

Here is some more information on it-

“Featuring fully immersive, 360-degree views of a bog, it’s the next best thing to being there! Ocean Spray launched the “Most Beautiful Harvest” experience in 2015 using Oculus Rift technology. The desktop, mobile and Google Cardboard ready versions of this fully immersive 360-degree harvest experience are now available to consumers online at www.OSharvest.com.”

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Easy Foods for Back to School and Beyond

Getting out the door in time for school (and work) can be quite the hassle.  Looking for some new food ideas to shake things up? Try these.

organic yogurt

Noosa yohurt has been a favorite since we first tried it.  It’s a little pricey, but worth the splurge now and then.  Made in small batches on a family farm from all natural whole milk, fresh fruit purees, and honey, you won’t find this kind of quality in other many other brands.  If you are worried about allergies, it’s also gluten-free, (not to mention probiotic) so nearly everyone can enjoy it.  Noosa comes in cases of four (easy to pack in a lunchbox) as well as larger containers.  Some of their new “sweet heat” flavors include Rasberry Habanero (my husband loves this one) Pineapple Jalapeno, Mango Sweet Chili, and Blackberry Serrano (my personal favorite). The heat might not be for everyone, but not to worry- traditional favorites are sill available.

Have you ever tried tofu? I find people tend to react to tofu like they do with curries- they like to totally freak out about it and paint it all with the same brush. However, it’s a very versatile food and takes on the flavor of nearly anything. You can even make smoothies and ice pops with it. Honest. House Foods makes several kinds tofu and tofu noodles as well (yes, you can make pasta dishes). There are a ton of recipes as well on their website, if you have not yet tried cooking this traditional Asian food.   Tofu is inexpensive, kosher, gluten free, non GMO, and in general pretty good for you. If you have not yet tried House Foods Tofu grab some next time you are at the grocery store.

tofu

More for mom and dad then for the kids is Vega.  If you are looking for something healthy to grab on your way out the door, or for lunch, this is an option to check out.  Healthy and without the gritty taste so many other “shake” type drinks have, this plant-based and clean eating option gives you the protein and nutrients you want to build and repair muscle, support your metabolism. Not only that, but you also get antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and more to keep (or help you get) healthy and fit. That’s a lot for one drink.  Vega Clean Protein and Vega Clean Energy  are available online or in stores like Target- really. That’s new.

You can also check out these recipe ideas for Vega https://myvega.com/recipes/rainbow-ice-pops/ (made with Vega One) or https://myvega.com/recipes/acai-bowl/ (made with Vega Proteins & Greens).

chocolate

Once in a while, though, you are going to be in the mood for dessert. When you are, you might want to try one of the new  G by GODIVA chocolate bars. Because sometimes, when you want chocolate, you really, really want chocolate. This is a “super premium” collection of six chocolate bars that is meant for those special occasions when you are looking for an extra special treat. The Mexican single origin chocolate bars come in six varieties. These include Dark Chocolate, Toasted Coconut, Milk Chocolate, Hazelnut Crisp, Blonde Chocolate & Salted Caramel, and the Dark Chocolate Orange and Ginger Flavor. All the chocolates are made with premium ingredients and are blended with Mexican chocolate by GODIVA’s famous chef chocolatiers. The bars are 7$ each in stores and online.