February 10-11, Caseus Fromageria & Bistro in New Haven will offer an evening of “Sweets & Treats.” This popular class has become a Caseus tradition every February. 6-7:30pm. Approximately $40pp. More Info Here.
Tuesday February 11, learn how to make “Barcelona Classics” at Barcelona in New Haven. Included in the class are gambas al ajillo, potato tortilla, chorizo and figs, and more. 7pm. $25 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Also on Tuesday, Fairfield Cheese Company will offer a class called “Parmigiano Reggiano Academy.” Parmigiano Reggiano is often referred to as the “King of Cheese” and by tasting you can learn the difference that aging makes in authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese at 16-, 24- and 36-month stages. $45pp. Info here.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a wine tasting event not to be missed! On Wednesday February 12, try SEXY wines poured by award winning winemaker António Maçanita. SEXY wines were recently featured at the Mohegan SunWineFest. The free event will take place from 5-8pm at Turnpike Wines in Fairfield.
Walrus and Carpenter (home of the killer fried chicken) will host a beer dinner on February 13th, featuring a line up from the Victory Brewing Co. roster and some signature Walrus-flavors to match. Email Adam: email@example.com or call 203.333.2733.
Thanks to SheKnows.com & National Geographic Kids for these snow day recipes.
School? What school? It's another snow day in CT. If you're in the house with your kids and things are getting ugly...why not put that white stuff falling out of the sky to good use and make dessert ? Remember, only use clean snow. Stay away from the yellow stuff. Ick.
Grab your mittens and a spoon and head outside while the snow is still fresh for some "Snow Ice Cream" and "Frosty The Snowman Ice Cream Delight."
“My love for you is like a red, red rose” said the venerable Robert Burns, but maybe, just maybe it’s like a truffle making class or a sassy, classy Valentine cocktail. Every love is different, right? Valentine’s Day typically bubbles over with all things red, pink and sparkly. Boxed chocolates abound (some left in the box, half-bitten into) and romantic dinners are de rigueur. But, as with everything in life, it’s good to mix it up a bit to keep things fresh-dare to be different! This year, maybe try something new with your Valentine that will create a memory for years to come; take a cooking class together, go to a theme dinner, try a salt cave, stay overnight at a local, romantic hotel. Sometimes, a mini-vacation in your own backyard can be the most fun and deliciously decadent. So start with a red, red rose and branch out from there...
I never go to Italian restaurants in Connecticut because I was lucky and spoiled enough to have eaten in Italy - a lot - and I always feel disappointed in the American version of Italian cuisine. So when a friend begged me to review VALBELLA in Greenwich, I was reluctant to say the least. The pastry chef, she claimed, was world renowned and his food art simply had to be reviewed. I did some research and decided to acquiesce. For more than 20 years, the stately, Victorian Valbella has been the archetype for excellent but old school Italian cuisine in the Greenwich/Riverside area, and has successful sister locations in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and Midtown. And I can understand why. It is in no way funky or hip or cool but is extremely elegant and the food, though I am hesitant to admit it, was outstanding.
The arrival of the holiday season gives rise to lots of thoughts. Plans for Christmas, and wish lists for gift-giving and receiving rank high at the moment, and interwoven with those is another shared, defining theme—food, as in feasts, finer and heartier fare than in fairer weather and a seasonal amnesty from sweet-treat restrictions.
That’s where Maria Bruscino Sanchez—aka Sweet Maria—comes in.
The owner and baker for nearly 24 years at Sweet Maria’s in Waterbury, a Connecticut destination bakery for cakes, cookies, biscotti and more, Bruscino Sanchez recently released her latest cookbook, and it’s a perfect one both for this time of year and for how we like to live, and eat, now.
In Small, Sweet and Italian, with 75 recipes and simple, straightforward instructions, “The mini sweet trend takes an Italian holiday with recipes like Cappuccino Hazelnut Cupcakes, tiny Torta Caprese, mini Italian cream horns, cannoli, Bellini and Limoncello cupcakes.”
The word “mini” is the key here; these are small bites that are far more delicious and satisfying than they are filling—meaning you can sample a variety without guilt.
“Mini everything has taken hold of the entire bakery industry,” Bruscino Sanchez writes at the beginning of the book, which, before digging into the recipes, offers an ingredients/pantry section, notes on the necessary equipment, helpful mini primers on baking techniques and even a section on pairing desserts with dessert wines.
“I grew up in a family where small portions meant a meal to serve twelve!” she writes in an opening section of the new book entitled La Dolce Vita means “The Sweet Life.” “Many of us love keeping up traditions, yet our lifestyles have changed to eat smaller and lighter. By baking minis, you can have it all: flavor, tradition, and variety.”
Tommy Juliano is an artist, a magician, a benevolent puppet master with other people’s taste buds—and the man who, if you let him, will shake your faith in the sanctity of dessert menus at your favorite restaurants, even those that rank among the best in Connecticut and beyond.
Strictly speaking, he’s the “new” pastry chef at Community table (Ct) in the Litchfield County town of Washington, where he and Executive Chef Joel Viehland comprise a culinary high-wire act that delivers cuisine rigorously rooted to local ingredients of the highest integrity and inspired in part by the best—and least gimmicky—practices of what’s known as molecular gastronomy; the combination of the cooking arts with scientific techniques.
They travel in a select coterie of like-minded and similarly talented chefs in Connecticut—Jeffrey Lizotte of ON20 in Hartford and Tyler Anderson of Millwright's in Simsbury are two members—and together these folks guide restaurants that are distinctly different than other “acclaimed” places, and palpably better for those hungry for cuisine that balances deliciously on that high wire at the very edge of the culinary envelope … and never falls.
What does that mean?...
A Slice of Cake Boss via Serendipity Magazine.
Buddy Valastro, the star of TLC’s Cake Boss and owner of the famous Carlo’s bakery, is opening shop in Greenwich, CT, this fall. He talks to Serendipity about the sweet life and what to expect at the new site: delicious pastries, over-the-top cakes, and maybe even tv cameras!
Why did you choose Greenwich for your first Carlo’s Bakery out of New Jersey?
I love it here, it’s a great town. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve been able to spend here. There’s so much to do on Greenwich Avenue, and so many families in the area. I knew it would be a great fit for the first Carlo’s Bakery outside of New Jersey. I have friends who live in the Westchester area, so I’ve been able to get to know the area better when I visit them.
Everyone wants to know — will you be working at the new bakery?
Of course, I’m going to be there as often as I can. I’m a hands-on person, and it’s very important for me to make sure that our Greenwich location will meet the same standards I’ve built for Carlo’s Bakery. So, I’ll be here to make sure we’re running smoothly.
Milla Pospisil won’t say how she gets her biscotti wafers so thin! All she’ll say is that it’s a family recipe she learned from her Ukrainian grandmother – a secret technique that allows her to slice them paper-thin and turn them into what she and her business partner Carissa Gulyas call Thinscotti.
These “deliciously addictive” (that’s the warning on the packaging) baked treats have been on the market since January, but have been baked in Milla’s family for generations. Now the duo, who both call Connecticut their home, have taken space at a commercial kitchen in Westport and are mixing and baking and slicing and packaging them up for local stores and coffee shops in Fairfield county.
Because they’re made with only a handful of ingredients – all natural, and no preservatives - there is something a little nostalgic about Milla’s Thinscotti. They taste a little like the cookies your own grandma would have made, just a little crunchier, a little nuttier, a LOT thinner, and just as more-ish. And because they’re sliced so thin – “the thinnest on the market,” Carissa says, each piece packs a mere seven calories, so you can go ahead and eat half the package – and you ‘ll only have 110 calories to enter into your calorie counting app.
Thinscotti comes two flavors, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Almond, with plans for a Toasted Pecan Thinscotti in the works. Both flavors come in both regular and gluten-free wafers. It’s hard to tell the difference between the two!
In September, as fresh flavors fill in the garden, berry patch, and orchard, it seemed a perfect time to hunt for the best Gelato.
“Flavor is what Gelato is all about,” says Guy Chandonnet who buys Fairway’s frozen foods and deserts, “Unlike ice cream,” he told us, “low fat gelato doesn’t coat the taste buds with butterfat. So its full flavors can really burst through.
As we tasted our way though both store-bought and shop-scooped Gelato in Southern Connecticut, we were dazzled with the invention and intensity of flavors.
Because it's slow churned, Gelato is denser and silkier than ice cream, making it a superior platform for flavor. And since Gelato melts more quickly in the mouth, it delivers that flavor quickly and dramatically. That's why most gelato masters delight in imaginative, often unexpected flavor adventures, mixing sweet, savory, salty and tart, and incorporating fruits, vegetables, herbs, cheeses, and even meat flavors into their frozen creations. What’s in season often translates to what’s in Gelato.
Here are some of the spectacular flavors we recently tasted in Southern Connecticut’s supermarkets and gelato shoppes.