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Good Irish Food for a Good Cause: Good Food Ireland makes a U.S. Debut with Authentic Irish Food Products

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Appetizers, Breakfast, Breakfast Food, Ethnic Recipes, Fall Recipes, Food and Drink Events, Food Reviews, Guest Feature, Lifestyle, Markets, NYC, Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, Savory Dishes, Seafood, Seafood Recipes, Things I Love, Travel, Uncategorized, Winter Recipes | 1 comment

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Good Food Ireland Website

Good Food Irelandthe first-ever, all industry network driving food tourism in Ireland, kicks off its international debut in the U.S.. Seeking to promote innovations in contemporary Irish cuisine and the country’s commitment to sustainable, authentic products, the organization also hopes to inspire Americans to travel to Ireland to experience and engage with its citizens and culture.

Good Food Ireland was established by Margaret Jeffares to link the agri/food sector with the hospitality industry. It was her philosophy that by supporting Irish farmers and producers, she could establish a healthy business environment where commercial opportunities for agriculture could be promoted through tourism and visa-versa.

“It is my mission to grow Ireland as a food tourism destination and to establish the ‘Good Food Ireland’ brand as the brand of choice for good food lovers everywhere,” says Jeffares. “One of Ireland’s greatest secrets is its locally produced ingredients and Good Food Ireland aims to set the standard for quality across a variety of industries – agriculture, food, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality.”

The premise is that by creating trusted and authentic Irish food experiences, Good Food Ireland will drive business to the hospitality sector and that, in turn,

inspires consumer purchase of more Irish food from farmers and purveyors,

contributing greatly to the local Irish economy.

Good Food Ireland’s U.S. launch includes:

They have kicked off the debut of Good Food Ireland Approved Provider foods at Dean and DeLuca’s flagship store in NYC, featuring the highest quality food the island has to offer. The foods available for sale in the Dean and DeLuca Store include:

Kilbeggan Porridge

Good Food Ireland’s Kilbeggan Organic Porridge,

Dittys oatcakes

Ditty’s Oatcakes,

Irish Farmhouse Cheese

Irish Farmhouse Cheese,

Ballymaloe Relish

Ballymaloe Relish,

Burren Smokehouse Salmon Plate

Burren Smoked Irish Salmon,

Seymour's Traditional Irish Shortbread

Seymour’s Traditional Irish Shortbread and more. For those living outside the NYC area, there is the opportunity to purchase products from Good Food Ireland’s online shop.

In addition to bringing both providers and products to New York City, Good Food Ireland seeks to increase awareness for its hub at

Hayfield Manor Hotel

Here consumers can book a food journey via “My Food Trip,” a feature that is supported by a host of information including locations and details about Irish tours and holidaysfarmers and producerscooking schoolsrestaurants and cafesfood shopsfestivalsmarketsand Irish bars and pubsas well as an ongoing calendar of events.

In addition, there’s the opportunity to meet the people behind the products. Special offers and recipes are also available online, and I’ve included a few below.

Salmon Fishcakes

Salmon Fishcakes


2 shallots finely chopped
1 lb salmon, filleted and skinned
1 Tablespoon Kerrygold butter
5 fl oz dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Mashed Potatoes – no cream no butter

For the Coating:

2 tablespoons plain flour
2 eggs
2 oz soft white breadcrumbs


Pre-heat oven to 200c/400fgas 6

Butter and season a tray.  Sprinkle with the shallots and sit the salmon on top.  Drizzle with white wine and season with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 8- 10 minutes – the salmon should be firm to touch but still pink in the middle .

Sit the salmon in a colander over a pan to collect all the juices.

When all the juices have drained, place in a small pot and reduce on a stove to a nice syrup consistency.

Break up the salmon into flakes, add the syrup and chopped parsley, then fold in the potato until you have a binding texture. Check for seasoning and roll into 12 to 18 ball shaped cakes.

To Breadcrumb – Lightly pass through the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, repeat the process again.

To Cook – Deep fry at 180c/ 350f for 4-5 minutes drain well.

Serving suggestion: Serve 3 per portion on a bed of steamed baby spinach and lemon butter sauce.


Irish Porridge

Porridge Oats


2 oz Porridge Oats
7 fl oz Milk

Heat the milk, add porridge oats and cook for 1 min serve with honey or salt.


Bircher Muesli made with Irish Porridge Oats

5 oz porridge oats
1 oz Irish honey
20 fl oz milk
14 oz natural yogurt
4 oz sultanas (raisins)
1 whole Banana, chopped
1 apple, grated
4 oz blueberries

Combine ingredients and devour!!


Good Food Ireland sets strict criteria for Approved Provider status based on a core commitment to using local Irish ingredients and operating at a standard that is “best in class” and its branding on packaging of authentic Irish products is already recognized as the standard bearer of the industry. Beyond food products, the Good Food Ireland brand can also be used by hotels, restaurants & cafes, cookery schools and markets that meet Good Food Ireland standards. To date there are 450 Approved Providers that ensure consumers that all products and services bearing the brand meet the strictest “best in class” standards. All products and service standards are independently assessed.

Since Good Food Ireland was founded approximately five years ago, almost 70% of its Approved Providers have increased their business profile or heightened their awareness of local food. As a result, 92% have increased their purchasing of Irish food over the last 3 years, directly contributing close to 50 million euro to the local economy. (Source: Grant Thornton Survey – April 2012).


The Good Food Ireland Food Experience Awards celebrates excellence in food experience, the Food Lovers’ Choice Award lets you have your say. Simply vote for your favourite shortlisted GFI Approved Provider from the list below. The provider that gets the most votes will be announced on November 20th in the Shelbourne Hotel and presented with an award from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.

Good Food Ireland logo

About Good Food Ireland:

Good Food Ireland is a grassroots industry network aimed at promoting innovations in Irish food, the country’s commitment to sustainable, authentic products across food, hospitality and travel industries – incorporating farmers, chefs, hoteliers and outposts of cultural interest. The organization seeks to promote its authentic products in the U.S. and to inspire Americans to travel to Ireland to experience the contemporary cuisine and engage with its citizens and culture. The cross section of agriculture, food & culinary, production/manufacturing and tourism industries seek to grow and sustain the Irish economy.

Visit Good Food Ireland on Facebook
Follow Good Food Ireland on Twitter
Visit Dean and Deluca on Facebook
Follow Dean and Deluca on Twitter

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It’s all about U (& Me!) :: Nespresso U-Launch Pop-Up Party NYC

Posted by on Oct 6, 2012 in Food and Drink Events, Lifestyle, NYC, Product Reviews, Things I Love, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Gosh I’m a lucky girl, but it’s not just all about me – it’s all about U, too. I recently attended a Nespresso Pop-Up party in the trendy Meatpacking District in NYC, to celebrate the launch of their new U machine.

I mingled with the Nespresso team, Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef, and several other tastemakers and food influencers

under a big grand tent brightly lit in pink, while sipping wine and champagne, tasting delicious chocolates and hors d’oeuvres and sampling their luscious espressos and hearing all about this amazing, shiny and new coffee machine.

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I fell in love with espressos and cappuccinos when I lived in Australia because they don’t actually have coffee machines or go to Starbucks due to the European influence and coffee culture over there. I got a Nespresso Pixie and Aeroccino Milk Frother earlier this year and absolutely love them. So easy and convenient and I can get my coffee fix in about a minute flat.

But the U Machine is even cooler! It comes in four different colors: Pure Orange, Pure Cream, Pure Grey and Pure Black. It’s a handsome little devil, with a sleek design and tactile interface and this machine is quite the smarty pants, too – it actually remembers your coffee preferences (Ristretto, Espresso or Lungo) and there’s no programming needed.

All you do is pop one of their colorful Grand Cru capsules in the top, fill up the water tank (which swivels around to the side to save space on your counter), press go, and voila! – you’ve got a delicious, home-brewed espresso or cappuccino ready to enjoy in about a minute. This is one classy little machine – and quite the catch, if I may add.

They have over 16 coffee blends with a variety of flavor notes to choose from ranging from citrusy, spicy, woody, flowery, winey, cocoa, to honey, and they come in Espresso, Lungo or Ristretto capsules. They also have a ton of cool accessories to go with your new U Machine too – glasses, containers, spoons, stirrers and more to compliment your awesome coffee experience at home. It’s retails for about $199, and the coffee capsules run about .68 cents a piece, which you can get online through their Nespresso Club. Who needs Starbucks when you can make your own delicious coffee creations at home?

With a coffee machine this cool and smart, it really IS all about U now, isn’t it? 

Click the photo gallery below to view a slideshow of all the event!

Enjoy a couple of Nespresso Cappuccino recipes below, compliments of Padma Lakshmi, Nespresso’s celebrity spokesperson.

Nespresso Iced Chai Cappuccino 

Spice Mix:
2 parts cinnamon
1 part ground cloves
1 part ground cardamom
1 capsule of Indriya from India Grand Cru
8.5 fl oz of milk
Sugar to taste
Cinnamon Stick
Pour the brewed Indriya from India Grand Cru into a cappuccino cup.
Add about 1/8 teaspoon of the spice blend.
Froth milk using the Nespresso Aeroccino or the steam function of your machine.
Fill the cup with the prepared frothed milk and add sugar to taste.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Nespresso Cardamom Cappuccino


1 capsule of Indriya from India Grand Cru
4 fl oz of milk
1 tsp of natural brown sugar
1/4 tsp of powdered green cardamom
Pinch of crushed raw unsalted almonds
Grind of nutmeg


Pour the brewed Indriya from India Grand Cru into a cappuccino cup.
Mix the milk of your choice with the natural brown sugar and powdered green cardamom.
Froth milk using the Nespresso Aeroccino.
Fill the cappuccino cup with the prepared frothed milk over the Espresso.
Top cappuccino with the crushed raw unsalted almonds, grind of nutmeg, and a pinch of cardamom.


Below are a couple of links to the Nespresso coffee recipe sites and their Coffee Recipes book so you can create your own Nespresso coffee recipes:

Nespresso Ultimate Coffee Creations (Nespresso Global coffee recipe site):

Nespresso’s Padma Lakshmi’s Recipe Page (US only page):

Download a copy of the Nespresso Coffee Recipe Book

Hanging with Padma Lakshmi

Hanging with Padma Lakshmi

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Pork-a-Palooza! Pulled Pork Recipes & Cookbook Giveaway (Good Food to Share by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in BBQ, Book Reviews, Comfort Food, Fall Recipes, Food and Cooking How-To's, Food and Drink Events, Food Reviews, NYC, One-Pot Dishes, Pork, Product Reviews, Savory Dishes, Slow Cooked/Stews, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Things I Love, Uncategorized, Winter Recipes | 0 comments

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It’s that time of year again as Summer is ending and the weather is changing, perfect time of year for game day parties, Labor Day parties and heartier fare for a crowd. When I think about the perfect food to celebrate early Fall with friends and family, Savory Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork comes to mind.

Chef preparing Pulled Pork

Chef preparing Pulled Pork

Last week I was invited to a special Pork-a-Palooza! event in Chelsea sponsored by The National Pork Board - I had the opportunity to hear Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan - food writer, recipe developer and author of the popular website The Kitchn, speak about her love for Pork and all the simple delicious ways you can make it just by throwing a gorgeous Pork Shoulder (or any cut you choose) braised in the oven, grilled or in a Crock Pot with your veggies, seasonings and marinades and letting it cook slow and low until you get juicy, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Herb Rub Oven-Braised Pulled Pork

Herb Rub Oven-Braised Pulled Pork

We sampled three different varieties of Pulled Pork (Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Savory Rub Grilled Pulled Pork, and Herb Rub Oven-Braised Pulled Pork) and got creative by whipping up some tasty Pork dishes for ourselves such as Pulled Pork Soft Tacos, Fried Rice, Caesar Wraps, Quesadillas, Egg Scrambles, Pizzas, Baked Potatoes, Tostadas, Salads, Sliders, and Grilled Cheese. Talk about an inspiring delicious event!

Pulled Pork Taco, Salad and Grilled Cheese!

Pulled Pork Taco, Salad and Grilled Cheese!

Check out the awesome food and drinks we devoured in the gallery below, and try a delicious recipe for Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, compliments of the National Pork Board. Check out more great pork recipes and all the different cuts of pork you can make on



Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 3-pound boneless pork shoulder or sirloin meat
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
1/2 cup chicken broth

Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and place the pork in the pan. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, salt and cayenne. Rub the mixture all over the sides of the meat, pressing to adhere (if the meat is tied together with twine or netting, just rub the seasoning right over it). Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.

Add the broth to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth to the slow cooker, cover and cook until the pork is very tender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Use two forks to shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Moisten/season with cooking juices to taste.

Serving suggestions: This recipe is only mildly spiced, so if you like things with a kick, try adding more cayenne to the rub or add some of your favorite hot sauce to the finished, shredded meat. Use the pork to make a traditional pulled pork sandwich, with barbeque sauce and slaw, or enjoy it in your favorite chili reicpe or on top of a Tex Mex Caesar salad.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 1/4 to 8 1/4 hrs
Serving size: 8 to 10 servings


Cookbook Giveaway!

Good Food to Share, by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan


I am giving away one (1) copy of Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan’s cookbook, Good Food to Share, to one lucky person, drawn by random. If you haven’t seen this cookbook, you absolutely need to! It’s hardcover, and full of gorgeous food photography and recipes for entertaining with family and friends. Sara has amazing menus for planning a simple supper or an impromptu dinner party with fresh and flavorful ingredients and gives great tips for cocktail, beer and wine pairings for whatever occasion you are planning to have with friends.

All you need to do to receive one (1) entry, is to leave a comment on this post what is your favorite way to prepare and eat Pulled Pork.

For additional entries, tweet this post, pin it, share it on Facebook (you’ll get separate entries for each!), and let me know in separate comments on this post that you’ve done so. For even more entries, follow Artful Gourmet on Twitter and Facebook and also let me know you’ve done so!

The giveaway begins on Friday August 31st and will end on Sunday, Sept 9th at 11 pm EST. Please leave your email with your comments (this  will not be made public) so that I can contact the winner of the giveaway and send the cookbook. Good luck! I hope you enjoy the recipes and make some fun, creative Pulled Pork recipes yourself!


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Top 10 {Things I Love} :: June 2012

Posted by on Jun 10, 2012 in BBQ, Cheese, Comfort Food, Drinks and Cocktails, Food and Drink Events, French Recipes, Grilled Recipes, Italian, Italian Dishes, Italian Food, Kitchen and Home, Lifestyle, Markets, NYC, Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, Things I Love, Travel, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg

1. Big Green Egg Smoker/Grill

On a recent trip to Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend I discovered this awesome Big Green Egg grill. If you haven’t seen one of these things – its totally cool and easy to use. And it’s BIG. And GREEN. And looks like and EGG. It’s actually a ceramic grill and smoker that reaches temperatures up to 700 degrees F and has the ability to grill, smoke or steam everything on the planet in about 15-20 minutes. Very cool. We made a delicious Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves recipe from their Big Green Egg Cookbook and for our big BBQ party we smoked some amazing Texas-style Beef Brisket for about 11 hours and grilled a ton of fresh veggies from the farmer’s market. The result? Perfectly cooked crispy veggies and BBQ with a charred seasoned crust to DIE for – if only I could have one of these cool tools on my NYC rooftop, life would be even sweeter than it already is!

Butterfield Market NYC

Butterfield Market NYC

2. Butterfield Market, UES NYC

It’s funny how when you live in Manhattan, going to another part of town feels like going to another country at times. I discovered this cool market on a recent  excursion to the Upper East Side when I went to a book launch party at Candle 79 for Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious. It’s more than a grocery store, and its not just a farmers market. Butterfield’s has an amazing bakery full of fresh baked breads, pastries, cookies, pies, tarts and cakes that will make you feel like you’re on a little hidden street in Paris. Rows and rows of fresh fruits and veggies, cheeses, frozen yogurt, gourmet prepared meals, sushi, sandwiches, soups and salads, imported goodies (chocolates, oils and vinegars, jams, caviar, coffees and teas..the list goes on) in their gift shop and a great catering menu to boot. Definitely worth paying a visit even if it means taking a trip to the other side of the world (just kidding!) or you can check them out and order some goods online.

Mandarin Napolean at Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Mandarin Napolean at Manhattan Cocktail Classic

3. Mandarin Napolean

I recently attended The Manhattan Cocktail Classic – a really cool event in a private suite at the Andaz Hotel sponsored by Mandarin Napolean liquor brand. The waitresses were decked out in French costumes, the lounge suite had old B&W movies with backgammon and zengo games on the table – and the outdoor bar had some really unique cocktails they whipped up featuring this delicious Belgian liqueur – a rich Sicilian Mandarin orange flavor-infused luscious brandy. Mandarin Sours, Belgian Coffee, Mandarin and Tonic,  and Mandarine Mojitos are just a few of the creative cocktails we sampled at the event. The story goes that Napolean actually created the idea for this unique liquor back in 1892, by soaking Mandarin oranges in cognac – Mandarin oranges were a symbol of wealth and power, a perfect blend for the powerful ruler – and a legend to this day.

Manducatis Rustica

Manducatis Rustica

4. Manducatis Rustica, LIC NYC

Manducatis Rustica is a cool little Italian place in Long Island City, run by owner and head Chef Mamma Gianna. They serve classic rustic Italian dishes and fresh pasta such as Lasagna, Wood-fired Pizzas, Antipasti, Chicken Piccatta, and Lobster Ravioli in Sage Lemon Butter and more. What’s even cooler are the life-sized statues out front, imported from Italy (which according to Mamma Gianna won’t be there much longer, so visit while you can!) and their famous homemade gelato in tons of different flavors like Pistachio, Mocha, Lemon and Tiramisu..mmmm!

Melt Shop NYC

Melt Shop NYC

5. Melt Shop, NYC

I don’t know about you, but I’m an absolute sucker for a mean Grilled Cheese sandwich. Enter Melt Shop, the ultimate hot shop for comfort food in Midtown Manhattan, run by Spencer Rubin and Chef Katy Sparks. They offer 13 different kinds of gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwiches – try the Truffle Melt made with Havarti, Arugula, fresh cracked black pepper and truffle oil, or the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Melt full of Jalapeno-Jack cheese, red cabbage slaw and Melt sauce, or the 12-hour Braised Pulled Pork with sharp cheddar, dill pickles and homemade BBQ sauce. Their Tater Tots are amazing and come with 5 different types of dipping sauces like Parsley Pesto or Truffle Mayo, and they also serve a great list of Breakfast Sandwiches, Wraps and Biscuits and have a few tempting desserts and handmade milkshakes on the menu too. Don’t forget a side of Homemade Tomato Soup to dip your Grilled Cheese in for the classic comfort food fix.



6. RTR Bag & Co/Baggalicious NYC

Handpainted and made to order by RTR Packaging, these bags are just chic, creative and downright cool. Most of their clients are corporate but their bags are so fun that I might just need to track them down to get some hand-painted bags of my own – perfect for an event or party!

Tello Chelsea

Tello Chelsea

7. Tello, Chelsea NYC

If you’re looking for a great Sunday brunch place in NYC – this is the place to go. Tello is a trendy Chelsea-based Northern Italian trattoria decked out with red-checkered tablecloths, a big brass and wood bar, year-round Christmas lights, a jukebox pumping out Sinatra tunes, outdoor cafe seating and a Prix-Fixe Brunch Menu including cocktails for only $20. I ordered the Moules Frites (steamed mussels soaked in buttery white wine, garlic and herbs) with a refreshing Mimosa while soaking in the sun on the patio reading a good book and being amused by the Chelsea crowd walking by. According to NY Magazine, their Fried CalamariPenne and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Chicken Tello (boneless pieces sautéed in garlic and white wine with mushrooms and sausage) are a few of their specialties also worth a try.

Barolo's Garden, Soho

Barolo's Garden, Soho

8. Barolo’s Garden, SOHO NYC

Located on West Broadway in Soho, Barolo’s Italian Ristorante and Garden is just a beautiful place to eat, period. I went there with some friends this past Easter for Sunday Brunch, and we dined on their magical garden patio surrounded with Cherry Blossom trees studded with sparkling white lights. We sampled a delicious Watermelon, Feta and Arugula salad and Fresh Mozzarella with Basil and Tomatoes for starters while sipping Champagne and enjoying a beautiful sunny Spring Day. For entrees, we had the Risotto with Gorgonzola and Blueberries (interesting combination of flavors!) and their Classic Rigatoni with Sausage and Peas in a Tomato Cream Sauce. They specialize in Northern Italian cuisine from the beautiful wine region of Barolo, Italy and also have an amazing wine list with over 1,200 Italian and imported wines and also have a huge restaurant inside and offer space for catering and events. A must-see for a special or romantic occasion!

Dekalb Farmer's Market, Atlanta

Dekalb Farmer's Market, Atlanta

9. Dekalb Farmer’s Market, Atlanta

It’s amazing to me that I lived in Atlanta Georgia for 12 years and only visited this awesome international farmer’s market maybe ONCE?! I was down there for Memorial Day Weekend this year visiting friends and we took a trip over there to buy some fresh goodies for our Thai Sea bass we made one night. This market has fresh fruits and veggies from all over the world, and also has every kind of spice you can imagine along with fresh baked breads, seafood, meats, cheese, a pastry and dessert section, teas and coffees and ingredients that you won’t find here in the U.S at a regular grocery store. I bought about 12 different bulk spices (all for less than $10!), tea, Thai coconut, mini wild blueberries, pecans, pistachios, sea salt, seasonings and other dried goodies that I could take back in my suitcase with me. Oh, and you can’t take pictures in there (I actually got scolded and was asked to put away my camera LOL) but you’ll absolutely love this place – it’s like taking a trip around the world and finding the best international gourmet foods all under one roof.

Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice Tea

Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice Tea

10. Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice Tea

I may be a die-hard coffee fan, but tea is something I’ve been trying to drink more of not only for its health benefits but also to reduce the caffeine buzz in my life. I discovered this Mayan Cocoa Spice tea at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market but I’m sure you can find it at health food stores or other gourmet grocery places. This delicious tea is a concoction of ground cocoa shells, (full of powerful antioxidants!) mixed with Ayurvedic warming and cleansing spices of Cardamom, Clove and Organic Cinnamon Bark, Black Pepper, Chicory Root, Natural Vanilla and Ginger Oil. Perfect way to start your day before a healing yoga session or a run – and it will get your blood flowing without the caffeine jitters with only 5 mg of caffeine. Serve it with a natural sweetener and steamed milk and you’ve got yourself a tasty Cocoa Chai Latte you can make at home!

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Top 10 {Things I Love} :: May 2012

Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Asian Food, Beef, Book Reviews, Cheese, Cocktails, Desserts, Drinks and Cocktails, Food and Drink Events, Food Reviews, Kitchen and Home, Lifestyle, Mexican Food, NYC, Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, Things I Love, Travel, Uncategorized | 1 comment

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Beecher's Handmade Cheese

Beecher's Handmade Cheese

1. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

I stumbled upon this handmade cheese-making mecca a few weeks ago while on a stroll to the Union Square Farmer’s Market in the Flatiron District in NYC and was blown away by the impressive facility and store/restaurant as soon as I walked in. Founded by Seattle cheese maker Kurt Beecher Dammeier, Beecher’s offers customers a full range of handmade cheeses and gourmet artisan foods and wines with a cafe, coffee bar and store. There’s a huge window as soon as you walk in where you can watch the cheese makers, well, making fresh cheese in their in-house facility all day long. You can also visit their cellar and taste a glass of wine and check out their “cheese cave” where rows upon rows of cheeses are being aged to perfection. They also have three cookbooks with their signature recipes, and are famous for their “World’s Best” Macaroni and Cheese recipe which is in the book and you can also purchase pre-made in their shop or cafe. The retail store offers a bountiful, well-curated selection of the “best of” American artisan cheeses and charcuterie. While visiting, they’ll introduce you not only to their favorite cheeses and meats but also to the talented producers they know and love. You’ll also be provided with fantastic accompaniments- antipasti, crackers, honey, pickles, etc- for your carefully chosen cheeses and meats, all true to their mission of natural, additive-free foods.

Check out their Pairings Recommendations

900 Broadway, New York, NY
(212) 466-3340


Veselka, East Village

Veselka, East Village

2. Veselka, East Village

I can’t believe I’ve lived in NYC for 7 years and haven’t been to this amazing place until last weekend when I stopped in for brunch. Veselka is a hopping little place in the East Village that specializes in Ukrainian foods and I had to stop in to sample their potato pancakes. Coming from a German-Polish family, my Mom used to make the best potato pancakes served with apple sauce and sour cream so of course I had to size these babies up to see if they compared, and I have to say they did. I had the brunch with a cheese omelette, a piece of their fresh made Kielbasa, rye toast and of course the pancakes. Bummer I forgot to order some of their famous Pierogies, Stuffed Cabbage and Beef Stroganoff – more family favorites I grew up eating..oh well, maybe next time! I’ll definitely be back for another foodie excursion to this yummy place. In fact, I just may grab a copy of the Veselka Cookbook to make some of these noms at home!

Veselka Restaurant was started in 1954 by Wolodymyr Darmochwal who had recently emigrated from the Ivano-Frankovsk region of Ukraine. In the early days Veselka was a humble neighborhood candy store and newsstand that had a small counter and a few tables where a small selection of Ukrainian dishes were served. The popularity of these homemade dishes helped Veselka to grow over the years and become a full fledged restaurant serving a large variety of homemade Ukrainian and American dishes. Some of their signature dishes include: Cabbage Soup, Pierogies, Kielbasa, Potato Pancakes, Ukrainian Borscht, Beef Stroganoff, Bigos (a hearty Ukrainian Hunter’s stew made with Kielbasa, Sauerkraut, Pork and Onions served with a side of mashed potatoes), Ukranian Meatballs, Veal Goulash, Stuffed Cabbage, Soups, Salads, Burgers, Brunch…the list goes on! The atmosphere is buzzing and busy, and the kitchen is open in the front near the fresh baked goods and desserts counter which you also should not miss.

View the Veselka menu

144 2nd Avenue, New York, NY
(212) 228-9682


Roebling Tea Room, Williamsburg

Roebling Tea Room, Williamsburg

3. Roesling Tea Room, Williamsburg Brooklyn

I don’t get out to Brooklyn as much as I’d like to and especially Williamsburg – a funky creative foodie part of town that has some great restaurants. I stopped in to Roesling Tea Room after visiting a photographer friend of mine looking for a small bite to eat and a glass of vino after our meeting. I ordered at the bar and sampled a side of their luscious Macaroni and Cheese which was oooey gooey layers of cheese and shells with a dash of hot sauce topped with some fresh parsley. It was the perfect size for a small bite of goodness and was only $10 to boot. Their cocktail menu is pretty cool too with unique drinks such as “The White Witch” made with Flor de Cana and Creme de Cacao and Cream, or the “Way Too Early” made with Earl Grey tea, Gin, Lemon and Champagne.

They do have a full dinner menu (see link below) offering Apps such as Grilled Razor Clams, Raviolo with Garlic, Ricotta, Chili and Squid and a hearty Lamb Ragu over Vermicelloni with ground hazelnuts. If you’re hungrier and want a full meal, try the Steak Tartare, “Cock-a-leekie” Chicken, Grilled Hangar Steak or Softshell Crab. The atmosphere is dark and moody, with an open wrap around bar and is perfect for a quiet, intimate dinner with friends or a date. They also serve lunch and brunch with burgers, eggs, salads and fresh sides and offer room for parties and events in this impressive cool space and location.

View the dinner menu

143 Roebling Street  Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 963-0760


Limelight Marketplace

Limelight Marketplace

4. Limelight Marketplace, Chelsea

If you’re ever in Chelsea in NYC, this is a must-see destination. The ultimate “Festival of Shops”, Limelight Marketplace is a theatrical and fun shopping experience, located inside the restored Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion of 1845, and the infamous swanky Limelight Nightclub that was hoppin’ in the 70′s and 80′s. Redesigned by Henry Bendel, it re-opened its doors in 2010 to reveal a 3-story grand emporium filled with shopping, food, fashion, restaurants, art and home furnishings, decked out with grand arched ceilings, and the recently uncovered huge stained glass windows and limestone arches from the original church architecture. Inside you’ll find some cool bars and restaurants like the famous Grimaldi’s Pizza, Cava Wine Bar (Italian Meats, Cheeses, Wines), Jezalin’s (artisan soups, sandwiches, salads and chartucerie) and soon Cross Bar. Upstairs on the top floor you can’t miss the Marie Belle Cacao Bar and Luxury Chocolates. They also have an outdoor garden atrium (which is currently decorated with Indian tents) where you can chill out and enjoy a coffee or just stare at the amazing grand old architecture in awe.

656 6th Avenue, New York, NY
(212) 255-2144


Geronimo's Mexican, New Haven CT

Geronimo's Mexican, New Haven CT

5. Geronimo’s Mexican, New Haven CT

Funny story how I ended up here in New Haven, CT for Cinco de Mayo…last Saturday I was supposed to go to the Foodstock Festival up at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT to see a great lineup of speakers and check out some amazing food vendors. So I rented a car online, took an early 2 hour train ride up to New Haven Union Station to pick up my rental car. Well, apparently even if you’ve pre-paid for your car  you still need a credit card to give them to take the car for the day. All I had was my camera, a Mastercard debit card and some cash – no go. Needless to say, my day in New Haven wasn’t all that bad. I walked around the beautiful campus of Yale University, went to the Yale Art Gallery, cruised around Chapel Street to grab a coffee and checked out the cute shops and boutiques. On my journey around town, I started getting really hungry for some Mexican and discovered a cool little place called Geronimo’s Tequila Bar and Southwest Grill, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some margaritas and food.

I had a couple of margaritas since they were only $5 for Cinco de Mayo, and tried their Chicken Tortilla Soup which had huge chunks of white meat shredded chicken, fresh veggies and crunchy tortilla strips on top. The chips were handmade, and the salsa super fresh and chunky with lots of cilantro, just how I like it. For an entree I ordered the Pork Quesadilla which had shredded roasted pork bathed in a Chimayo chile sauce with chihuahua cheese and scallions; topped with fresh grilled corn salsa salad. Delicious! warning: just be super careful if you sample their homemade habenero pepper sauce – its super tasty but super HOT, believe me you only need a smidge to taste the heat!

My waitress was super cool and was patient with me as I ran around the restaurant taking pictures of all their cool Southwestern artifacts and cool interior design inside the restaurant. Chef Timothy Scott (Connecticut native who studied with Anne Willan at La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy, France) and I chatted for a while as he showed me around the restaurant and told me about all the local, organic ingredients he uses and the South Dakota farms he visits to source all of his meats for some of their unique dishes as the Smoked Buffalo Brisket Tacos and Elk Chili. The menu has your typical Mexican dishes but they are infused with a “Santa Fe” New Mexican flavor, using traditional foods and flavors of the Native Americans, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo-Americans that settled there. Its primary ingredients consist of corn, beans, chile peppers, rice, tomatoes, avocados, pork and bison. Slow-stewed meats and chilis, and natural heat from various chile peppers give the cuisine here a bold, rustic flavor that is distinct from other Mexican cuisine. Don’t miss it if you’re ever up visiting Yale or just cruising around New Haven for a day.

View the menu

271 Crown Street  New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 777-7700


Forager's City Grocer, Chelsea

Forager's City Grocer, Chelsea

6. Forager’s City Grocer, Chelsea

There’s a new kid in town – an amazing organic grocery market and restaurant called Forager’s City Grocer in Chelsea, sister to the Dumbo Brooklyn location. Everything inside the market is sourced from their local farms and made fresh daily on premises. They have a meat counter and prepared foods kitchen with fresh soups, salads, roasted veggies, house-cured pastrami, roasted chicken and herb-roasted porchetta (to die for!). Cruise towards the back and you’ll find a lovely cheese section, olives, cured and fresh butchered meats, and a full line-up of local, and more organic dairy products like yogurt, cream, butter and milk. They have plenty of spices, honeys, jams, imported pastas and other cool gourmet items. And in the front, you can’t miss the coffee bar and dessert counter where they have freshly baked cupcakes, croissants, and unique-flavored glazed donuts like Hibiscus and Blood OrangeOh my.

The restaurant inside the market has a clean design with an open kitchen and bar, high tables and stools and lots of natural lighting. The cuisine has an Asian flair, offering lunch, brunch and dinner. All the menu items are created with local, organic ingredients, house-cured meats and fresh veggies straight from their farm. They have great salads such as Raw Dayboat Salad with Yuzu Koshu and Crushed Lemon Oil, or Fermented Tea Leaf Salad with Dried Shrimp, Sesame, Peanuts, Crispy Garlic and Split Peas. Or try the Wok-Tossed Berkshire Pork Short Ribs or Crispy Whole Prawns with Chiles, Prickly Ash and Green Onions. Brunch is a new thing, serving up fresh omelettes, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, cinnamon french toast, house smoked pepper bacon and house made quinoa granola with fruit. And don’t miss the Forager’s wine store attached to the market next door where you can find organic wines from grape farmers all around the world.

The Chelsea location has also launched the debut of their expertly handcrafted cocktails along with a menu of beers and eco-minded selected wines on tap. The new, eclectic cocktail menu was designed by head bartender Aaron Polsky (also of Amor y Amargo). The menu is heavily influenced by the market’s hyper-local foraged produce and seasonally inspired house-made syrups and infusions. Some of the cool new cocktails to try are:

  • Gordon’s Healthy Lunch – made with Dorothy Parker Gin, Foragers Farm spicy baby lettuce juice, lime, meyer lemon oleo saccharum
  • Doug’s Spring MP – with Tequila Pueblo Viejo Blanco, rhubarb, tarragon, raspberry shrub, soda
  • Bruschetta - Thai basil and sun-dried tomato-infused Absolut 100 Vodka, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, tomato water, Bittermens Hellfire Shrub
  • Wisconsinite - Johnny Drum Bourbon, blood orange Oleo Saccharum, Bittercube Cherry Bark bitters

300 W. 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-8888


Cupcake Cafe

Cupcake Cafe

7. Cupcake Cafe, Theatre District NYC

I recently went on a search of some pretty cupcakes for a photoshoot I am working on, and found this cute little place called The Cupcake Cafe in Hell’s Kitchen on 9th Avenue and 40th Street near Times Square. It’s a quaint little place with a tiny kitchen in the back where they bake and design their pretty floral cakes and cupcakes with great detail.  Anne Warren, co-owner, also designs custom wedding and personalized birthday cakes and offers cake decorating classes and film catering. The interior has a cute bench, a table and a few stools where you can sit and enjoy a coffee and a luscious buttercream-frosted flowery cupcake, just because. No frills, just a cozy spot to indulge.

View the menu

545 9th Avenue  New York, NY 10018
(212) 268-9975


Metaphore Europe

Metaphore Europe

8. Metaphore Eurostyle, New Haven CT

While on my journey around town in New Haven, I stopped into this cool, colorful store on Chapel Street called Metaphore -Eurostyle. I met the owner and artist, Liza Clayson, who showed me around her store full of custom art and gorgeous hand-painted furniture, shower curtains, linens, dishes, glassware, French pantry gourmet items such as sea salts, oils, honeys, vinegars, mustards, jams, teas,  and cookies. We had an even more colorful conversation about the town, restaurants, blogging and marketing and who knows what else. I couldn’t help but start dreaming up all the cool photography and food styling sets one could design with her pretty hand-painted and imported goodies. Liza also has plenty of unique and unusual European-imported goodies in the store, thus the name “Eurostyle”. Many of her items are things you won’t find here in the U.S. – she has customers that come in the store from all over to buy her unique things. You just have to check it out for yourself. If you can’t make it to New Haven, you can call her directly and place a personalized order. Now that’s pretty cool.

1020 Chapel St # 2  New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 752-1066




9. KyoChon, Fifth Ave NYC

If you like fried chicken like I do, great – but this is no ordinary fried chicken – this is Seoul, Korea-style fried chicken and a tasty one at that. Located on Fifth Avenue near the Empire State Building, KyoChon came to NYC from Korea, opened its flagship store here and never looked back. KyoChon has become a cult-like obsession with New Yorkers (including myself) with its fresh, crispy, juicy fried chicken and tasty dipping sauces. The Soy Garlic and Hot & Sweet Chile sauces are apparently are secret recipes that founder Won-Kang Kwon and his wife whip up in a secret room in the basement of their production facilities in Seoul. They claim to use only fresh, not frozen, chickens, and hand-trim and hand-brush each piece, which is apparent when you taste a piece of their crunchy chicken. This ain’t no Chicken McNugget, folks. They also have sandwiches, salads and wraps filled with fresh veggies and fruits and the interior is pretty cool looking too, with its bright red spiral staircase and clear acrylic Jetson-style chairs and tables. Oh, and the Sweet Potato Fries ROCK.

View the menu

319 5th Avenue, New York NY
(212) 725-9292


Rodeo Bar

Rodeo Bar

10. Rodeo Bar & Grill, Murray Hill

After living in Atlanta for almost 12 years, it was refreshing to find a honky-tonk fun place in NYC that reminded me of the South.Rodeo Bar & Grill is probably one of the ONLY places in New York that you’ll find local and regional country and blues musicians playing live, where you can sit and enjoy a Margarita and some chips and salsa. This Tex-Mex bar and grill is located on 3rd Ave in Murray Hill and serves a kickass portion of chile con queso and chips, and other Tex-Mex specialties such as Enchiladas, Slow-Smoked Texas BBQ, Quesadillas, Tacos and a nice selection of burgers, sandwiches, appetizers and soups and salads. The live shows are on pretty much every night with different artists, until midnight during the week and late on weekends. They have a great happy hour from 4-7 pm offering half price margaritas and bar food like wings, nachos and sliders. Grab your cowboy boots, get yourself some tequila and some live country and blues – too fun.

375 3rd Avenue  New York, NY 10016
(212) 683-6500

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Food to Inspire: La Tartine Gourmande – Recipes & Cookbook Giveaway!

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Baking, Book Reviews, Food Reviews, Gluten-Free Recipes, Guest Feature, Healthy Cooking, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Things I Love, Uncategorized, Vegetable Dishes | 34 comments

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La Tartine Gourmande

La Tartine Cookbook Giveaway!

***(Check back for our next awesome cookbook giveaway in the next week!)***

Enter now for a chance to win a copy of La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook! Starting today (5/3/2012), I am running a giveaway for one (1) La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook, courtesy of Roost Books. The giveaway runs until 5/13/2012 at 12:00 AM EST.

To enter the giveaway (open to US/Canadian residents only):

*** VERY IMPORTANT! *** Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries or only one entry will be counted. For example, leave your first comment about your Spring dish or ingredient and why you want to win the cookbook, then add another comment to say “I follow you on Twitter”, another to say “I follow you on Pinterest”, etc. If you already follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and/or Facebook let me know as well, since this counts as an entry.

*NOTE: Please make sure to provide your current email address (which won’t be visible on the blog) so I can reach you if you win.

I will randomly draw one lucky winner on Sunday, May 13 at 12AM EST. Good Luck and enjoy the recipes and video from La Tartine Gourmande below!

Beatrice Peltre

Beatrice Peltre

If you haven’t seen the food blog or heard about the author Beatrice Peltre – Chef, Writer, Recipe Developer and Photographer, then you absolutely need to continue reading on! I recently purchased a copy of her new cookbook La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, which is a delicious, full-color cookbook filled with beautiful, fresh, simple recipes and gorgeous food photography. She has been such an inspiration to me as a Chef, food writer and photographer, and I’ve been following her site for a few years now — I was so excited when her new cookbook came out that I wanted to do a review and giveaway to share her fabulous recipes and photos with my readers.

The cookbook is full of amazing recipes made with whole, fresh ingredients based on French-based techniques. The recipes are beautifully simple and easy enough to make at home or for entertaining friends and family. The book is written in an honest and down-to-earth voice, with stories and recipes based on Bea’s French background and other places she has lived or traveled to such as Denmark, New Zealand and Boston. Bea brings a creative twist to everyday recipes and uses only the freshest ingredients and gluten-free whole grains such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and nut flours. She shares stories of cooking with her daughter (Lulu) and takes you inside her kitchen with tales of culinary delight.

Her inspiring recipes are full of bright flavors and colorful fruits and vegetables and tantalizing baked goods. Organized by Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Desserts,  she offers menus within each category for different occasions: The Picnic, Casual Lunch with Friends, The Party with Small Bites, Sophisticated and Elegant Dinners, etc. You’ll find mouthwatering recipes such as Cherry Tomato Tartlets Tatin, Saffron-flavored Crab and Watercress Souffle, and Tagliatelle with Zucchini, Lime and Parmesan. Her gorgeous desserts include Chocolate and Plum Almond Cake with Cinnamon and Apple and Pear Verrines with Millet Crumble and Vanilla Custard and many more luscious creations. Bea has been generous enough to share two of her recipes from the new cookbook below: her lovely Summer Vegetable Tian, and tantalizing dessert Cardamom Chocolate Creme Caramel. Enjoy!

Summer Vegetable Tian

Summer Vegetable Tian

Summer Vegetable Tian

Oh the joy of a melt-in-the-mouth vegetable tian! I have a true weakness for this dish. Originally from the South of France, a tian is a dish in which summer vegetables —similar to those used in a ratatouille — are layered and baked slowly in a low-heated oven. The result is melting layers of flavors and scents that transport you to the Mediterranean. During the summer, when I can get wonderfully aromatic vegetables at the farmers’ market, this is a meal we enjoy weekly. Also, to simplify dinner when you’re busy, prepare the dish ahead of time, or even the day before.


1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme or regular thyme
¼ cup chopped basil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Italian eggplants (280 g; 10 oz), sliced into thin rounds
Sea salt
Olive oil
2 zucchini (400 g; 14 oz), thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have one)
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes (550 g; 19 ½ oz), thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs (280 g; 10 oz), thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)


In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs and garlic. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle them with sea salt. Let them rest for 30 minutes so the moisture releases. Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).

Brush a large oven dish with oil and layer your vegetables into it in this order: 1 layer of tomatoes, 2 layers of zucchini, 1 of eggplant, 1 of fennel; repeat this pattern until you run out of vegetables, adding some of the chopped herbs and garlic each time between layers. Season with sea salt and pepper and drizzle generously with oil.

Place the tian in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Check regularly to make sure that they do not brown too quickly, covering the dish with a piece of foil paper if that’s the case. Serve warm with a green salad and grilled meat or fish.

Serves 4.


Cardamom Chocolate Creme Caramel

Cardamom Chocolate Creme Caramel

Cardamom Chocolate Crème Caramel

This attractive dessert is made for people like me and Philip who cannot resist anything described with words like “dark chocolate” and “custard.” Maybe you are one of these people too? It offers a rich silky aromatic chocolate flan-like cream balanced by a light caramel sauce that you’ll want to dip your fingers into.

You will need:

Six 6-ounce ramekins
Canola oil, for the ramekins

For the caramel:

½ cup (100 g: 3 ½ oz) fine granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon hot water

For the chocolate custard:

2 ¼ cups (530 ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
5 green cardamom pods, crushed
3 oz (90 g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons blond cane sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust


Oil six 6-ounce ramekins; set aside.

To prepare the caramel: Heat the sugar and cold water in a small pot. Swirl the pot in a circular movement so that the sugar absorbs the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer at a medium heat — do not stir the sugar at this point, although you can swirl the pot occasionally — and watch the caramel develop. It will be ready when it’s golden in color, which takes about 8 to 10 min­utes. Remove from the heat, add the hot water, and stir quickly. Pour the caramel into the oiled ramekins, making sure to coat the bottom and sides; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC).

To prepare the custard: In a pot, combine the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds and cardamom pods and bring to a boil, making sure that it doesn’t overflow. When it boils, remove from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking quickly so that the chocolate melts evenly. Cover and let infuse for 20 min­utes. Discard the vanilla bean and cardamom, and using a fine sieve or chinois, strain the chocolate milk.

In the meantime, using a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar for 1 minute. Pour the chocolate milk in and stir quickly. With a spoon, remove any foam that might have formed at the surface. Divide the chocolate custard among the 6 caramel- filled ramekins and place them in a water bath (see Basic Cooking Techniques, page 27, for instructions). Place the custards in the oven and cook for about 50 minutes. To check if they are ready, jiggle the ramekins a little —the center of the cream should be almost set but not fully (they’ll finish setting once they cool down). Remove the ramekins from the oven and let cool com­pletely. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight, until the custard is completely set.

To unmold the crème caramel easily, dip the ramekins in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, taking care to not let the water spill in. Run the blade of a knife between the custard and the edge of the ramekins. Turn onto a plate and serve with dusted cocoa on top.

Serves 6.


La Tartine Gourmande from Unusually Fine on Vimeo.

Watch the premiere book trailer for the new La Tartine Gourmande cookbook. Music: “The Winter Song” by the band Au Revoir Simone: Video: Margaret Singer & Max Freeman of Unusually Fine:

For more great recipes and inspiration, visit Bea’s website La Tartine Gourmande

Click here to order your copy of Bea’s Cookbook La Tartine Gourmande

This is a non-paid sponsored post and cookbook giveaway courtesy of Beatrice Peltre and Roost Books.  


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