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Friday
Mar022012

Friday Froth: Winter Sky

We're going to look backwards and forwards this week. We're going to borrow something from November and give thanks for how good we have it, and boost our spirits as we look forward to spring. Our Yankee ancestors made it through bleak winters with barely any fresh food, and in an agrarian economy there wasn't even work to divert their cabin fever. Breaks from the desperate monotony came in the forms of weekly hymns or the occasional cholera outbreak. Well, that may not be strictly true, there was also smallpox, but in addition to smallpox, and considerably more preferable, there was beer. A little brewer ingenuity gave rise to bigger ales with deeper colors and increased potency to hold the cold and dark at bay and transform the winter months from merely bearable to enjoyable. That same tactic works to this day, and this can be found for the next month or so wherever you can find Smuttynose

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Friday
Mar022012

Short Rib Ragu via The Parsley Thief

It's been a long time since I've made a winter stew type of meal...the sort of thing that takes all day to cook & permeates your house with the smell of something good cooking. This past Sunday seemed like the perfect day to make a little Short Rib Ragu, and I'm so glad I did.

I served it the same day & it came out great. Although, I would imagine it would be even better made ahead. I couldn't resist making some creamy polenta to go with it but it would be delicious served with egg noodles, or some buttery mashed potatoes.

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Thursday
Mar012012

Behind the Scenes with Fine Cooking Magazine

Similar to my omnivorous approach to food, I’ve been known to devour almost anything when it comes to food in print. And although I love any and all food magazines, my allegiances bend toward the recipe-driven and away from the trendy and overly-styled. It’s nice to know that some serious time has been logged in someone else’s kitchen before amateur hour and its inevitable chaos, commences in my own.

Firmly in the category of “not afraid to get their hands dirty,” Fine Cooking magazine is one of those few who are dedicated to the act of cooking. Their meticulous seasonally-driven recipes reflect a dedication to process and a glimpse into their tireless recipe testing. So when I learned their headquarters and test kitchen also happened to be firmly inside our Fairfield County borders at Taunton Press in Newtown, CT, it only became a matter of time before I invited my CTbites-self for a tour and taste.

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Wednesday
Feb292012

Spring/Summer 2012 CSA's Are Open for Registration

Attention locavores or really anyone interested in getting farm fresh produce while supporting our local farming community. According to Analiese Paik of The Fairfield Green Food Guide, the 2012 Spring CSA's are open for registration and opening up new shares at several farms. This is your chance to share in our local harvest. Act fast however, these CSA's fill up quickly. 

Click here to view the complete list of CSA's via the Fairfield Green Food Guide. along with detailed information on how to contact these farms and get started on a whole new way of enjoying farm to table food. 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are partnerships between an individual farm and a community of supporters, providing a direct link between the production and consumption of food. CSA members make a commitment to support the farm throughout the season, and assume the risks and bounty of growing food along with the farmer or grower. 

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Tuesday
Feb282012

Mycophilia: Talk, Tasting & Book Signing @ The Aldrich

In the new book Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms, Eugenia Bone, food writer and frequent contributor to Saveur and Food & Wine tells the story of how her mother went into labor with Eugenia in a restaurant in Florence while eating tagliatelle with truffles. Tables were hastily cleared for Eugenia’s birth and thus began her lifelong affinity for mushrooms.

Bone, who is also the co-president of the New York Mycological Society, will be reading from her new book at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum this Sunday, March 4 from 3 to 5 pm in Ridgefield, CT.

A book signing, wine reception, and wild mushroom tasting will follow, including a tasting of truffle fontina risotto balls, wild mushroom crostini, and cheese and charcuterie platters featuring black truffles, generously provided by No.109 Cheese & Wine. To RSVP for this event or request more information, please contact Lise Sharfin, lsharfin@aldrichart.org, 203.438.4519, extension 26, during regular Museum hours.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is located at 258 Main Street in Ridgefield, CT. More information at aldrichart.org/events.

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Tuesday
Feb282012

The Ginger Man Cocktail Contest Winner Is...

Thanks to everyone who submitted creative and amusing names for The Ginger Man's Cocktail Naming Contest, There were so many great names from which to choose but we are pleased to say we've got ourselves a winner.

Congratulations to Kate of StamfordNotes.com  for her winning name..."Tipsy Tiger Lily." Kate will receive FREE BRUNCH FOR TWO @ The Ginger Man (complete with the newly branded cocktails). 

Watch out for our upcoming CTBites Invite event at The Ginger Man featuring the Tipsy Tiger Lily...coming soon. 

Happy and safe Cocktailing from CTbites. 

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Monday
Feb272012

Dinners at the Farm 2012 Season is Up

Dinners at the Farm is back! For those of you who have yet to attend this wonderful culinary event, check out our write-up from 2009 or view our photo gallery from 2011Order yourself some tickets for the upcoming season now! This is truly one of CT's most unique dining experiences.  

For those of you new to the "farm dinner" concept, Dinners at the Farm is a series of benefit dinners that recreate a sense of connection to farming, cooking and eating. Plus you get to reconnect under the stars in a beautiful candlelit tent while eating a spectacular multi course meal. 

Special Offer: Diners at the Farm is again offering $100 Thursdays and Sundays beginning now through mid-night March 30, 2012. Hurry the clock is ticking.

Support your local farming community and join us.

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Monday
Feb272012

Maple Syrup Festival @ Stamford Nature Center

Four chefs will compete in First County Bank’s Chefs Challenge event at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center during this week’s Maple Sugar Festival Weekend.  On Saturday, March 3, chefs will compete to create the best tasting recipe, as judged by the public, using maple syrup as an ingredient. The Stamford Museum & Nature Center has extended its Maple Sugar Festival to a weekend event starting March 3. 
 
This year marks the 12th anniversary First County Bank has sponsored this family festival highlighting the New England tradition of maple sugaring.   From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 3, Nikki Glekas, owner and chef at Eos Greek Cuisine in Stamford, Susan Kane, of Susan Kane Catering in Stamford, Jonathan Mathias, owner of A Dash of Salt in Norwalk, and David Cingari, owner of David’s Soundview Catering, are scheduled to present their creations for the public to sample.  The public will vote for its favorite creation and the winning recipe will be announced at 2 p.m.
 

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Sunday
Feb262012

Darien Social: A First Taste of 

Several years ago, my friend and I looked into buying a bar. The space had been a sort of crusty old dive for years, stopping just short of "biker bar," but had since closed and remained so for a few trips around the Sun. Someone else picked it up by the time we got our act together, and it was just as well, because that left us able to spend many hours and ducats there - meeting neighbors, sinking pints, and possibly singing "Werewolves of London" from the loft until the other patrons consented to do the "Awoooo" part - instead of worrying about if the night's special was selling and how many soda logs we'd ordered. Friends were made in this place. News, gossip, and phone numbers were exchanged, and local business and political deals were done. Another place or two were probably the town bars, but this was the local pub

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Friday
Feb242012

Zinsanity Wine Dinner: Fountainhead & Fat Cat Pie Co

Join Fountainhead Wines and Fat Cat Pie Co. on March 3rd for an evening of Peterson wines with special guest Jamie Peterson, winemaker and next generational fixture at Peterson Winery in Dry Creek, Sonoma. Peterson Winery has an old world winemaking philosophy and a reverence for sustainable farming. The Peterson approach is to capture the essence of vintage and vineyard—a philosophy they call Zero Manipulation—with low tech, yet high touch, to produce wines of a place, wines with soul.

Fountainhead will be pouring an array of Zinfandel from the much heralded 2009 vintage along with a few other treats, including the superb Gravity Flow Syrah from vines high atop Bradford Mountain. Fred, Jamie's father, has pronounced the Zins from this vintage as some of the best in the last twenty years and guests will sample their way through these offerings accompanied by lovingly prepared cuisine from Fat Cat's chef de chez, Robert Herlihy. 

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