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2016 CT Foodie Gift Guide

Over 20 great local CT gifts for your favorite food lover.

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Entries in dessert (202)

Sunday
Nov202016

Chef Susanne Berne's Ginger Cake with Poached Pears, Dark Rum Zabaglione and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

In our ongoing hunt for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert, we sought out Chef Susanne Berne, who is, quite simply, one of the finest pastry chefs around. When she is not imagining treats for Match Restaurant, she is developing new ideas for Donut Crazy's doughnut lineup. She has shared her recipe for Ginger Cake with Poached Pears, Dark Rum Zabaglione and Cinnamon Whipped Cream. Enjoy!

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Saturday
Nov192016

14 Places For Great Holiday Pies in CT 2016

Holiday season is heeeere, with its feasts and parties, and let’s be honest, you can’t really have too much pie, now can you? Note: with the brief exception of a kooky aunt who, after a post-Thanksgiving bout on the tread mill, did wearily proclaim “Too....Much....Pie!” but that’s another story for another time. So where to go for the best pies with the flakiest crusts, sweetest streusel toppings and the most flavorful fillings? We’ll be happy to tell you. Get those dessert plates ready and, um...you might want to loosen that belt.

Here are 14 places to buy great holiday pies in CT.

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Tuesday
Nov152016

Maple Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe via South End's Chef Martschenko

While many of our readers have family traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving, we, at CTbites, feel it is important to add a newcomer to the recipe box each year. For 2016, we offer you a classic developed by South End's Chef Nick Martschenko. His recipe for Maple Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie may become your family's go-to dessert. If you decide to cook this in your home next week, let us know what you thought.  

Maple Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe

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Tuesday
Nov012016

An Interview w/ Chef Zac Young, PieCaken Creator + more!

Last Thanksgiving, the PieCaken took the world by storm!  A sweet tooth’s twist on the “turducken,” the all-in-one dessert includes Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Upside Down Cake layered together with cinnamon buttercream.  Kelly Ripa loved it so much that she featured it several times on her show.  CNN and The New York Times quickly followed suit.  This year, the PieCaken is upping the ante with nationwide shipping!  https://www.foodydirect.com/restaurants/the-piecaken-shop/dishes

CTBites had the opportunity to sit down with the mastermind behind the PieCaken, Chef Zac Young.  Creative and outgoing, it’s fitting that he came up with such a whimsical idea.  Young appeared on Top Chef Just Desserts, was named a “Top Ten Pastry Chef in America,” and currently serves as Pastry Director of Craveable Hospitality Group.  Here are excerpts from our conversation.

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Monday
Oct242016

Donut Crazy Opening in New Haven: Outrageous Donuts, Coffee & Breakfast

New Haven is about to get their very own Donut Crazy. On Thursday, October 27th, Donut Crazy New Haven will be opening at 290 York Street, with an opening party from 2-5 pm.  

For those unfamiliar with the Donut Crazy menu, readers should take note that while they offer the traditional breakfast dounghnut you've come to expect at a shop bearing this name, the key word here is "Crazy." These outrageously delicious doughtnuts are straight out of your ultimate food fantasy (or mine, anyway). Creative varietals including: French Toast (Glazed donut sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar drizzled with vanilla and maple icing); PB&J, (filled with grape jelly, topped with smooth peanut butter and chopped peanuts); and my favorite September special, Pumpkin Pie with pumpkin pie filling, spiced icing and shortbread crumbled cookie dip. 

And doughnuts aren't all Jason Wojnarowski, Donut Crazy founder, has to offer. They will also be serving ON TAP nitro coffee, cold-brew coffee, iced teas and chocolate milk using Arethusa Farm’s milk and Shearwater's fair trade Coffee. In addition, they will be serving made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, also available on a glazed donut if you dare! For folks who prefer something more savory, they will have bagels & lox and avocado toast. The bakery team also makes muffins and sconces from scratch and will continue to surprise guests with some really special confections.

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Sunday
Sep252016

Hidden Gem: Ki Delicia Brazilian Bakery / Deli in Bridgeport Is All Delicious

Beginning her journey as a chef in Switzerland, Ki Delicia’s owner Fernanda Ferreira had the drive and determination to turn her dreams into a reality by coming to America with nothing but a suitcase and two sets of clothes. Fast forward to 2016, and her customer base has grown exponentially with people traveling from all parts of Connecticut just to get a taste of her incredible edibles. Upon visiting this hidden gem, I witnessed customers lining up around the block in their cars just to get their breakfast essentials. As a family run business both her son and her daughter, Clara Gaspar, help out with the intention of helping Ki Delicia thrive. “I think it’s still a hidden gem to many,” says Clara Gaspar daughter of owner Fernanda Ferrara.

When walking into Ki Delicia Bakery and Deli, you are drawn in by the welcoming aroma of Brazilian delights. Travel a few steps more into the building and it feels like home. Almost immediately, I was greeted by Ferreira and her staff who welcomed me into the establishment with a warm and welcoming presence like a mother who invites guests into her humble abode. 

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Tuesday
Sep202016

Autumn Apple Cherry Crisp Recipe via Westport Farmers’ Market

Apples are the darlings of autumn, and this year we especially cherish them. For while peaches and nectarines and even some pears succumbed to the cruelty of a late frost, most of Connecticut’s apple crop emerged relatively unscathed. And this week Westport Farmers’ Market shoppers are in for treat: the tables of Woodland Farm and Rose’s Berry Farm will be full of this tasty harbinger of fall. 

Fortunately, Elise Meyers is also right on schedule with a recipe for apple crisp you won’t want to miss. As Elise notes, “fall means apples, and apples mean apple crisp.” Her crisp recipe below is, according to Elise, “the best I have ever tried. The addition of dried cherries (or cranberries or apricots, if you prefer) makes it unique.” Savor it alone, with a scoop of Nutty Bunny vanilla frozen dessert, or fresh cream from your favorite vendor.  

Autumn Apple Cherry Crisp

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Sunday
Jun122016

Redneck Gourmet Donuts: A Sweet Spot in Higganum

Have you ever had a Boston creme donut, filled and glazed fresh to order, just for you? So the chocolate glaze is still beautifully wet and shiny, like an object of edible art when it’s passed your way?

Or perhaps you’d prefer a cannoli donut, filled to order, then dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a flourish of ricotta cream. This is just the place to get them. And, whoa, the aroma alone will draw you in, straight from the roadside trailer where they’re made fresh each day.

An air horn sounds as a truck rolls by on Route 81 in Higganum on a Tuesday morning. Owner Jeff Blaschke and I wave from the bright orange picnic tables. “That happens a million times a day,” he says with a smile. Open just five weeks, Redneck Gourmet Donuts is putting Higganum, Connecticut on the map. “We have approximately a thousand customers on a Saturday and Sunday, each day. Maybe a little bit more on Sunday.”

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Friday
Jun032016

Best Doughnuts in CT 2016: Friday June 3 is National Doughnut Day!

Happy National Doughnut Day. Yes, it’s a recognized national holiday, and CT has great doughnuts for sweettooths ready to celebrate. Here are places serving delicious ones...if you have a suggestion for a shop we missed, please let us know below. 

Uncle Leo’s, Redding

Tony's Square Donuts, New Haven

Donut Crazy, Shelton, Stratford. Bridgeport (nom-eez)

Speedy Donuts, Norwalk

Whitney Donut & Sandwich Shop, Hamden

Lakeside Diner, Stamford

Beach Donuts, Old Lyme

Darien Doughnut, Darien

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Sunday
May082016

Dinner & Craft Cocktails At Sugar & Olives in Norwalk: New Spring Menu

Recently some members of The CTBites team and I had the opportunity to revisit and sit together at Sugar and Olives in Norwalk to try out the new springtime menu. For those of you who have not yet visited (what are you waiting for?!) Sugar and Olives was established by Westport resident, Jennifer Balin, in 2008. Her goal was, and remains, to educate diners and cultivate the relationship between farms and families. She is committed to serving local food, and nearly all the items on the generous menu come from within the state, including milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry and fish, as well as wine, beer and spirits.  This three star Certified Green Restaurant serves brunch five days a week and dinner three nights a week. 

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