Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Festival

Hi gang,

The Husband and I went to the Apple Festival this past weekend. The apples, cider and fritters were quite yummy and the cooking demo was pretty cool. I'd say though that this is much more fun if you have small ones with you.

After, The Husband said he used to go to another Apple Festival as a kid and so we went a-Googling and found his childhood memory.

Mill Neck Manor is holding its annual festival on October 10th and 11th. We're definitely going. Even if I wasn't spellbound by The Husband's promise to buy me a couple of bushels of apples, the Cheese Shop, brats, and apple cider have me totally sold.

You all should check it out too.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cupcakes for a Good Cause

I love cupcakes. Okay yes I love lots of food, starting from anything with garlic and ending with the amazing plum cake my grandmother in law fed me today. But I really do love cupcakes.

And it turns out now I can have cupcakes without any guilty feelings.


Turns out there is an organization called CancerCare that launched an annual Cupcake Event - this year it's September 21-27 that participating bakeries donate a portion of all delicious mini-cake related proceeds to the Cancer Cares for Kids program, which helps out children affected by cancer and their families.

There is a whole list of bakeries in our fair state that are going to be in on this event, but I am nice (and bored) and so here are all the Long Islanders: if I missed any let me know!

Caffe' Portofino
249 Main Street
Northport, NY 11768

Cupcakes Catering
Special Order:
Long Island, NY

Front Street Bakery
51 Front Street
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Manhattan Sweets Boutique Bakery
547 Main Street
Islip, NY 11751

Reinwald's Bakery
495 New York Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743

Riesterer's Bakeries
282 Hempstead Ave.
West Hempstead, NY 11552

Riesterer's Bakeries
96 7th Street
Garden City, NY 11530

Sapienza Bake Shop
1376 Hempstead Tpke.
Elmont, NY 11003

The Gourmet Bake Shop, Inc.
775 Hillside Avenue
New Hyde Park NY 11040

Tildas Bake Shop
640 Route 25A
Rocky Point, NY 11778

Whole Foods
429 North Broadway
Jericho, NY 11753

Whole Foods
2101 Northern Boulevard
Munsey Park, NY 11030

As a famous queen once said, let them eat cake!


Food Events

Hi everyone,

I know, I know, I've been mega inactive. But I swear I had good reasons.

Anyhow enough of that. Onto the interesting stuff.

I just added a couple of really cool links for Restaurant Weeks and other events around Long Island so here's the breakdown.

Starting things off is our first event in the fall. The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities is hosting an Apple Festival on September 20th in East Setauket. There will be apples, a food historian and hay rides. Go to their site for more information: SPLIA News

Bank of America and Newsday are behind the Oyster Festival, October 17-18. There will be seafood, music and activities and, best of all, all proceeds go to benefit non-profits.

DineHuntington is the Huntington Restaurant Week. This year it will be running October 12-23 and forty local restaurants are already signed up. Try a three course prix fix meal at any of them for only $24.95

Long Island Restaurant Week kicks off about two weeks later. November 1-8, head to Nassau, Suffolk or the East End to try out one of the many restaurants participating in the three course prix fix $24.95 deal.

In the spring, another Restaurant Week hits Long Island. The Hamptons will be hosting it March 21-28 so make the drive to try out a trendy new place or go back to an old haunt for that prix fix three course meal for $24.95

Finally, in late June, Mattitucks Lions Club is hosting the 55th Strawberry Festival. Enjoy all kinds of delicious berry treats, various rides and even live music.

That's all I got for now. So go forth and explore!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hamptons Restaurant Week!

I do ever so apologize for bringing this information to you all so late but unavoidable things got in the way.

The Seventh Annual Restaurant week is... now!

It started today and will run through Sunday, April 5th.

Check out for participating restaurants, wineries and even lodgings.

If I could, I would run out to take advantage of this awesome yearly event, but alas I cannot, so let me live vicariously through you all.

Much love,


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dip o` Awesome

I admit it. I`m a snacker. (I admit a lot of things on this blog, don`t I?) I like cookies and chips and adorable little appetizers.

I also like cannellini beans.

And since I am amazing, wonderful and uber-creative (yes I am patting myself on the back, why do you ask?), I put the two together in a tasty, tasty way.

No! Not bean cookies!

Cannellini-Garlic Dip
-1 can or jar of cannellini beans
-2-3 garlic cloves
-a tablespoon or so of chopped fresh parsley
-salt and pepper

You can drain and wash the beans if you wish. I don`t do that - and no, not cause I`m lazy - I let the liquid thin out the dip. Now you can either hand-mash the beans and mince the garlic or just throw them into a food processor. Either way, add in the parsley and season to taste.

Then eat with tortilla chips. Yum.

I`m going to go gorge on it now.


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spice Destination - Huntington Station

Pardon my rhyming.


What is important is that down on Route 110 in a tiny plaza with an Arthur Murray and some other less interesting places there is a Penzeys Spice Store.

And yes it does have pretty much every spice and blend you can think of.

Go check it out!


Penzeys Spice Store

326 Walt Whitman Rd
Huntington Station, NY
(631) 271-7707

Mon.-Sat.: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Sun.: 11:00AM - 5:00PM

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Different Kind of Pasta Sauce

I'm sure by now you're all pretty clear on the Vixen is lazy principle. I know I am.

I don't really like cooking for myself. It's a togetherness thing. Food is love and the point of love is that you share it. If I'm the only person sharing, the major effort isn't worth it.

So when I'm trying to feed myself, I go for quick and easy.

Today I'm making one of my favorites. See, we keep our freezer stocked with frozen things and that includes things like ravioli (The Fiance's favorite) and pelmeni (a filled pasta dish that I love). So I often dig out a bag of pelmeni and boil it up.

But I'm sure just as much as you know I'm lazy, you probably by now realize I'm not a fan of bland, boring food.

Now traditionally, pelmeni are served with butter fried onions. But I like to take things a step further. So I am making a sauce, that by the way would do fine with any kind of pasta, and it already smells good.

Earthy Veggie Pasta Sauce
-one onion, sliced thinly
-half a package of button mushrooms, sliced thinly
-half a zucchini, grated (but yes you can also slice it thinly)
-fresh, chopped parsley
-white wine (I swear I'm not addicted to using wine in recipes... really I'm not.)

Heat up a pan with some oil (olive if you're going Italian, veggie otherwise). Toss in the onions and mushrooms and let them brown for a few minutes before turning down the heat to med-low. Add zucchini, garlic and seasonings. Let it all meld together into that delicious caramelly-earthy palate of scents and flavors.

When all the veggies are soft but not mushy, add wine, as much as you like, and stir through. Let the alcohol cook off and, poof, you have an amazing and easy sauce that works well with any kind of pasta you like.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go eat my lunch. Mmmm.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Boring Leftover Pasta? No Problem!

Imagine for a moment that you are a twenty-five year old law student. Imagine that you are visiting your parents with The Fiance. Imagine that you are hungry.

Now imagine that you get horribly outvoted by your non-foodie parents and your suddenly-taken-leave-of-his-senses Fiance and have to go to Olive Garden.

Take a moment to mourn now. I'm sure you need it.

So you go. (Grudgingly of course.) And you eat. (But you don't enjoy it.)

And then you bring home the leftover linguine which is supposedly richly flavored with a garlic-butter-wine sauce. (But is of course completely flavorless, if creamy.)

Now since you are that twenty-five year old law student... you have tight funds and thus cannot afford to just waste food.

But... you don't really want to eat... whatever you want to call that pasta dish.

So what do you do?

Don't worry. I'll tell you. =)

OG Pasta Make-Over
-leftover boring/flavorless/tasteless pasta in the form of linguine
-1-2 chicken breasts
-olive oil
-white wine

Now I'm not a big fan of chicken breast so I like to dice it into bite sized pieces before cooking but I suppose if you like it better than I do then you can leave it in one chunk or slice it into strips. Either way. Dump it in a bowl and coat it in olive oil, basil and garlic. Then get out a frying pan - any kind but non-stick. If you get out the non-stick, do not pass go and do not make this recipe.

I'm not being elitist here. I swear. It's just that you really need the properties of those sticky pans for this to work.

Okay so heat up your good ole sticky pan with some more olive oil. Then when it's nice and sizzley (Yes it is a word! I'm a law student and I get to make up terminology!) , you want to get your chicken in there and then... leave it alone.

Yes I said it.

Don't touch the chicken! Leave that spatula be! For the love of all that is delicious, let the meat brown!

Phew. Okay. So once it's brown on one side, flip or otherwise move it around so it browns the other side.

Repeat until perfect browning has been achieved. Then remove the chicken to a bowl - I'd recommend a clean one. Salmonella is not your friend.

This might be a good time to get those leftover pasta thingies out of the fridge. It's best to get them to room temperature.

Anyhow, that's where that wine comes in. Pour it into the pan until it covers the bottom and using a nice wooden spoon scrape up all those glorious brown bits of awesome. Stir some more and let the wine cook off a little. Here I'd add some butter, just a tablespoon or two, to thicken the sauce. But if you're really against that sort of thing, I suppose you can leave it out. If you must.

Then add the chicken back into the pan along with the pasta. I like to add a little more garlic too. Stir that about, salt and pepper it, stir some more. And then... well this would be the eating part.

Mmm. Chickeny-pastay-garlicky goodness.

(Now if only Olive Garden would learn how to do that!)


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

I'm sure I'm not the only person whose Turkey Day dinner produces a ridiculous number of leftovers. And I'm sure I'm not the only person who wants to transform those leftovers into... something different.

This is my favorite way to do it.

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie
-a couple of Tbs of leftover garlic-sage butter (or plain butter... or even oil of some sort)
-2-3 tsp of leftover minced garlic
-handful or so each of leftover diced onion, celery and carrot
-a tsp or so of minced ginger
-several Tbs of flour
-a couple of cups diced turkey meat
-some of that awesome turkey stock you made out of the carcass (or, ya know, some canned broth)
-summer savory/thyme/sage
-frozen peas
-sherry or a white wine
-canned biscuits

Get a big pot started with some of that yummy butter until it melts and starts to sizzle a little. Then dump in the garlic, ginger, diced veggies and some salt and pepper. Let them wallow in the butter until they soften a bit and get a bit translucent. Then dump in the flour and stir the mess quickly so it all mixes together.

This is a good time to add a mix of stock and water. I use a mix cause my stock is kind of intense - I like to cook it down a lot. Then add some milk (or if you, like me, discover that you're magically out of that delicious, creamy liquid, you can sub in heavy cream). And let that simmer up for 10-20 minutes.

And now in goes the turkey, the herbs, the peas and a glug of your choice of alcohol. Let it simmer for a little bit then taste.

Soup is a highly taste as you go sort of thing. At this point, you should definitely taste and adjust seasonings but I tend to taste at pretty much all stages. Find your happy medium.

Anyhow, now that it's all simmered together and you tasted and seasoned and whatnot, it's ready for the oven. (Which you totally should have preheated to whatever the biscuit can says! Like... I didn't.) Or you can stick it in the fridge or even the freezer and take it out when you need it.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Oven. So my favorite way of doing this is getting a bunch of oven safe mugs but you can use what you like as long as it's oven safe. Fill your containers with soup goo and then pop some biscuits on top.

Bake until the biscuits puff up and turn golden brown. Then eat. Well.... wait for it to cool off so you don't burn your tongue and then eat. No, I totally have never burned my tongue that way... Why do you ask?

Happy leftovers!


P.S. The fiance likes me to add parboiled potatoes into the soup but we have a ton of mashed taters left so I'm going to serve the soup with potato cakes. I looove potato cakes.