Back to Basis Good Food Festival

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Thank you for your time and support…

Yesterday I was invited to attend the 1st Annual ‘Back to Basis’ Good Food Festival, which took place on the adorable cobblestone streets of Gansevoort Plaza here in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. Talk about delicious…that simply is an understatement…all farm-to-table fresh food waiting to be sampled by hungry Manhattanistas, like me…


This food festival event was a celebration of the season’s harvest co-hosted by Basis and The Feed Foundation.


By day, the festival featured traditional, localized, 100% traceable tastings from 30 family farmers and local top chefs.


In the evening, farmers, chefs and a select group of ticket holders came together for a seasonal, farm-to-table dinner to celebrate good food.

Talk about incredible food…I was stuffed after sampling one of everything, hehe…it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Manhattan…80 degrees, sunny and a perfect day for a foodie like me to mange mange my way through the heart of the Meatpacking District…

The Back to Basis Festival participants included:

  • Ample Hills Creamery
  • Benchmark
  • Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
  • Brookvin
  • Colicchio & Sons
  • Colors
  • Counter
  • Craft
  • Crop to Cup
  • Dinosaur BBQ
  • Dirty Bird To-Go
  • The Farm on Adderley
  • Flatbush Farm
  • Gramercy Tavern
  • Great Performances
  • Highlands
  • Joe Doe
  • Lowcountry
  • Lucas Fine Foods
  • Minetta Tavern
  • Organicoa
  • Orwasher’s Bakery
  • Rouge Tomate
  • The Simple Kitchen

All ticket proceeds benefited The 30 Project and Just Food.

Thank you, Basis for a wonderfully delicious day at your 1st Annual Good Food Festival…I’m already looking forward to next year!

Did any of you attend the Back to Basis Good Food Festival on Sunday? If so, what was your favorite tasting?  It’s a tough call to name my favorite, but I think Gramercy Taven’s sampling table won over my taste buds…



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Coconut Curry Tofu Salad and Spa Giveaway

 


This is a wonderful salad to enjoy for tasty lunch, dinner or a mid-afternoon snack scooped into hollowed-bell peppers, zucchini boats and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (6 oz.) container Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Dash of Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Press firmly on tofu to remove all excess water.  Place a heavy object such as a book or a brick atop a clean paper towel and the block of tofu.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Remove tofu and slice into 1 inch cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve chilled.
  4. Enjoy!

 

And Now…For my Spa Giveaway

The contest, “Social InSPAration,” is running from  today, August 2nd thru August 6th. This is a fun and easy way for your chance to win a 90 minute spa treatment at The Spa  at The Surrey, which is the only Upper East Side Manhattan location to  receive the highly regarded Darphin scrub.

It just takes three easy  steps to be entered to win:

1. Follow The Surrey on Twitter @SurreyHotelNYC
2. Become a fan of the Spa at The Surrey on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Spa-At-The-Surrey/141275545883553?ref=ts)
3.  And lastly, post on the Spa at The Surrey’s Facebook wall which  treatment on their spa menu you want to experience most and why.

Eggland’s Best Eggs Event

I was recently invited to attend a seasonal cooking event the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) hosted by Eggland’s Best eggs and led by Chef Erica Wides (Chefsmartypants.com) and recent contestant of the Food Network’s hit show ‘Chopped’.


This was an amazing event where myself and other NYC foodie bloggies created a seasonal meal with fresh, locally grown summer foods and America’s No. 1 branded egg, Eggland’s Best.  As I’ve mentioned before, Eggland’s Best eggs are now higher in Vitamin D, E and B12 and a good source of Vitamin A and B2.  They have 25% less saturated fat and three times more Omega 3 than ordinary eggs.


The event was so much fun and I met a group of wonderful NYC bloggies (and suprisingly saw some of my NYC bloggie friends there too).  I had the fabulous opportunity to finally meet Lainie, whom I work with over at Eggland’s Best…she truly is the ‘Best’.

The bloggies and I got busy cookin’ in the kitchen making salad, vegetables, poached eggs, raviolis, mirangues and custard all using Eggland’s Best eggs.


Thank you, Eggland’s Best for a deliciously nutritious, local and fresh dinner and a superb event…I had a great time and was so glad to finally connect with the Eggland’s Best team and the incredible nutrition inside each EB egg!


I can’t wait for their hard-boiled eggs to hit the store shelves here in Manhattan!

Have you tried Eggland’s Best eggs? If so, what kind to you purchase?

I love their organic eggs.

‘Taste of The Nation’ Manhattan

Thanks to POM Wonderful, I attended last nights Share our Strength‘s Taste of the Nation event here in Manhattan. The evening was a tasting from 50 of the best NYC restaurants serving everything from swanky cocktails and pork belly to red velvet Belgium waffles and a vast array of wines.


Our VIP Tickets were unbelievable; I arrived at 7 PM sharp and started the maze through beautifully decorated tables filled with flowers, decorations and of course, delicious samplings of food and spirits.


My date was my beautiful, Aunt Valerie whom I had a fabulous time with. ..we nibbled and sipped our way through the evening and received beautiful gift bags filled with fun foodie trinkets and treats.

I stumbled across some of my favorite Manhattan dining hot spots such as Eleven Madison Park, Rouge Tomate andGramercy Tavern.

How adorable are these cute little shrimp skewers wrapped in spinach?

And the NYC Pretzels…

These adorable Chinese noodles…

And of course, mini cupcakes for dessert…

Thank you, again to POM Wonderful for these amazing VIP Taste of the Nation tickets…I had a wonderful evening.

Are you attending the Taste of the Nation in your city?

Union Square Farmer’s Market

This weekend I decided to take a stroll down to Union Square where I visited the Saturday Farmer’s Market and purchased a vast array of organic vegetables and fresh flowers.


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I should be a farmer…honestly, I just can’t get enough of Farmer’s Markets…I spent hours in Union Square wandering among the fresh dairy, poultry, vegetables, fruits, herbs and flours.

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It was a gloriously sunny day here in Manhattan on Saturday and it seemed the entire city was in Union Square for the Farmer’s Market…

I couldn’t resist taking a snap shot of these beautiful tulips, I splurged and purchased myself a bundle to liven up my kitchen.

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Do you enjoy visiting Farmer’s Markets? Do you have any in your area?  Years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, California, I would visit the Farmer’s Market every Saturday in Pacific Palisades…it was such a calming, relaxing way to start the day and I always make it a point to breeze through at least one market every weekend.  Manhattan has so many incredible farmer’s markets, it’s hard to choose which one to visit, however, I’m always prepared with my walkin’ shoes and often hit up a few markets in one day!

Be sure to check out my new ‘Shop’ page with my fabulous new products, especially the new ‘gluten-free’ bundles…

Enjoy.

Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC and My Secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Tully, the proud owner of the fabulous Tu-Lu’s Bakery here in Manhattan.  Like me, Tully is gluten-intolerant, as well.  Tully graduated from Le Courdon Bleu school in Texas and enjoys creating her own mix of gluten free baked goods. I love Tully’s treats because she offers a vast array of gluten-free and vegan treats that are incredibly tasty.

Me and Tully at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC

How did you come up with the idea for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I had been cooking professionally for about 4 years at catering companies in NYC. I left my job and enrolled in NYU’s Food Studies masters program. While taking a food entrepreneur class, I came up with my business plan to start a wholesale gluten-free company. After being 3 months in business, I quickly decided that I wanted to open a retail shop to sell my baked goods fresh and be able to interact with my customers.

Tell me about your typical day at Tu-Lu’s Bakery.

I think people have the misconception that my day is spent in the bakery. I actually spend most of my time in the office! Placing orders, emailing, dealing with payroll, paying bills, etc. take up most of my time. The best moments are playing with new recipes and talking to customers.

What is your favorite gluten-free dessert?

A Chocolate soufflé.

What is your favorite gluten-free meal to cook?

Parmesan polenta with roasted chicken and oyster mushrooms.

What is your favorite New York City restaurant?

It’s so hard to choose one! From fancy to casual, my picks are Eleven Madison Park, Little Owl, and Caracas Arepa Bar.

What is one kitchen tool that you couldn’t live without?

A microplane.

What do you see in the future for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I would love to expand the online ordering to include many of our other treats and perhaps cupcakes.

Describe your kitchen at home.

TINY! It’s crammed with all sort of cooking ingredients and gadgets. I’m thankful I have a dishwasher though.

Even though you are a famous baker, do you consider yourself to be more of a cook or a baker at home?

Well…I wouldn’t call myself famous! I am definitely a cook. I did not go to culinary school to specialize in pastry, but when I went gluten-free all I wanted was baked goods. That’s how it all started.

What is your best kitchen advice?

Prep all your ingredients (chopping, grating, etc.) before you being so you complete the recipe quickly and correctly.

What inspires your baking?

I try to think of what people miss eating the most. We just came up with a delicious peppermint chocolate cookie that resemble another cookie whose name I won’t mention. I hope that people will be thrilled to find treats in my bakery that they used to love!

Did you always have a passion for food growing up as a child and throughout your adolescence?

Growing up I loved being in the kitchen with my mom and taking cooking lessons. I’ve always read cookbooks like novels.

What is always in your pantry?

Olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, agave, sliced almonds, dried cherries, polenta, brown rice pasta…and so much more. Remember? I have a small kitchen that is about to burst!

Desert island cookbook?

Any of the Barefoot Contessa books. I love the simplicity of her cooking.


The next time you find yourself in the East Village of Manhattan, stop into Tu-Lu’s Bakery and taste Tully’s delicious baked goods…my favorite are the chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate brownies..they’re quite delish and by far the best freshly baked gluten-free treats I’ve come across here in Manhattan.

And, to go along with the ‘Gluten-Free Bakery’ theme of today’s post, I thought I’d share my secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie recipe with all of you…Enjoy!

The Healthy Apple’s Secret Gluten Free Peanut Butter Nibbles

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground flax seeds
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Optional: Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. organic smooth peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat egg, sugar, baking soda, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon on medium-low speed with an electric mixer.
  • Slowly add in peanut butter.
  • Spoon teaspoon sized amounts onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack for cooling.
  • Enjoy!

Event Review: ‘Entertaining For All Palattes’ at The DeGustibus Cooking School

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Last Monday my dear friend Susan invited me to the De Gustibus Cooking School located inside Macy’s Herald Square here in Manhattan for a fabulous evening of cooking demonstrations and dinner by the famous green caterer, Mary Cleaver, owner of The Cleaver Company, deliciously tasty farm-to-table fresh restaurant located in Chelsea Market.

The event was centered around ‘Entertaining For All Palattes’ and Mary did just that..and beyond.  She wowed me with her dazzling cooking techniques and served up a delicious menu full of unique green market fare.  While sipping on champagne and exquisite wines, we were presented with a five course meal that was prepared right in front of our eyes.

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The mission of De Gustibus is “To continue the tradition of serving the culinary community by showcasing the talents of established chefs, rising stars and sommeliers to food and wine lovers, with the utmost hospitality.”

This class was incredibly interesting and the dinner was delicious.  I am surely going to be checking out the calender of events at De Gustibus and attending another class soon.

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Our dinner started off with a soup and crudites, followed by oysters and duck with roasted vegetables.  And to top off the perfect evening a chocolate dessert.

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I had a wonderful time at the De Gustibus Cooking School and I will surely be returning for another exciting class and tasty meal.  Thank you, Susan for a fabulously delicious evening.