Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Home Boulangerie - The Art and Craft of French Baking
9 am - 12 pm $45 This is a 3-hour class; Its size is limited to 10 participants only!
SOLD OUT! Waiitng list
Chef Anne-Renee Rice-Soumeillant
Learn to prepare French baguette, sweet and savory tarts and even puff pastry in this hands-on, in-depth workshop. Chef Anne-Renee shares her extensive French training as she shows you how to apply these time-honored techniques to your busy modern life style.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
When I lived in Birmingham, I was food shopping with a friend. We were in the frozen section and I opened one of the doors to get a bag of bagels. At least that's what I thought I was doing. He informed me that these were not "real bagels". He had previously lived in Buffalo, NY and was pretty well traveled. At that time in my life, I'd never really been out of the southeastern U.S. He explained to me that bagels aren't supposed to be too flat on the bottom. These hadn't been formed, boiled and baked. These I had in my hand was more like a rolls with a hole. I didn't really get what he was saying but he said I would understand one day.
A year after I met Chris, he took me to New Jersey to meet his family. We stayed for a little over a week and did all sorts of amazing things. One morning, he took me over to Red Bank and we had bagels for breakfast. Real bagels. I took one bite and realized my friend was right.
The skin is shiny and a little hesitant to yield at first but the teeth eventually sink into a doughy abyss. And they are slightly rounded on the bottom. I couldn't get over what I was tasting. I've had the pleasure of experiencing a few different bagels shops in the area. I've grown accustomed to the classic flavors and I am always excited to see creative and new selections.
Bagel Street Cafe has just about every bagel base covered...and them some. They make right around twenty different types of bagels fresh every morning. Sweet selections such as chocolate chip, blueberry, strawberry and cinnamon raisin. Their savory choices are what truly sets them apart. Tasty flavors like pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, asiago, garden veggie and jalapeno cheddar can really get your morning started with a smile! My all time favorite is their everything bagel with egg and cheese. It never lets me down. They don't stop with breakfast. They also do burgers on bagels as well as pizza bagels. They do other sorts of breakfast and lunch fare such as pancakes and salads but you'd really be doing yourself a major disservice to go down that road. Not that the food is bad but why would you not get a bagel at a place that specializes in them?!
If you want to be the most popular person at your next morning gathering of either coworkers or friends, stop in and get a baker's dozen for only $9. If you really want to start a fight, make it a point to select one or two of their decadent french toast bagels...
They have a huge cold case full of almost every different drink imaginable. They also have the classic bagel accompaniments. The lines are often long but the crew is efficient and it goes by fast. If you're carrying out, call ahead and they'll have it waiting for you. Chris and I actually have their number programed into our cellphones!
Bagel Street Cafe
660 Plainsboro Rd. #18
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Since it is Labor Day Weekend, it’s time for some last hurrah barbeques! I used to receive invitations to events involve food with a mixture of excitement and dread. I loved socializing and eating, but there was always that quiet voice whispering, “But what will I BRING?” The answer was brownies, because for years it was the only thing I knew how to make. (What can I say, I ate out a lot.)
My brownies were always a hit. It got to the point where people were requesting my presence and my brownies’ presence in the same breath. (“Can you come Saturday…and bring a pan of brownies?”) My brownies were like the slightly-more popular friend in high school that could get me into parties I wouldn’t be invited to on my own.
When people ask for my recipe I am always more than happy to share. This is my recipe:
Yup, it’s a mix. But it has to be this exact mix: Duncan Hines Family-Style Milk Chocolate Brownies. On the front of the box it says ‘13” x 9” pan size’, but I make it in an 8” x 8” pan – this is a critical step! If you choose to use a larger pan, I wash my hands of the consequences. The smaller pan means the brownies are thicker and stay really moist.
I always follow the directions for the fudgy brownies (cake-like brownies = yuck, just trust me on that). Then I bake them for less time than the recipe calls for. The box says to bake them for 39 – 42 minutes, but I start peering in on them at 25 minutes, then every 3 minutes after that. The second I insert a toothpick and it comes out mostly clean, I pull them out of the oven to cool off. (After you make them a lot, you won’t even need the toothpick test – you’ll be able to tell if they’re done by nudging the pan and seeing if they still ripple.)
Let them cool for a few hours, then slice, and eat.
Doesn’t that look tasty? Enjoy!!