Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hot Diggid-E Dog

For some inexplicable reason, despite my involvement in the natural foods industry (not to mention my own vegetarianism), I seem to gravitate towards the entertaining monstrosities of fair food. While I doubt I would ever indulge (or shall I say be forced to eat) one of these calorie-laden, artificially colored, and definitely not organic treats, I get a certain kind of enjoyment out of reading about them...I know that I should look away yet it's too interesting not to- like The Jerry Springer Show.

So when I saw this hotdog set to be featured at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big-E) September 16-October 2, 2011, my interest was piqued. The facts: Laden with slices of jalapeno, it is reported that the initial testers of the hot dog were running for water after taking a bite. Consequently, the name The Dog That Bites You Back Contest was created, where the aptly titled Hot Diggid-E Dog was coined.

According to Sue Lavoie, vice president of Eastern States Exposition and a veteran of creating fun fair foods, “We have high hopes for this hot dog, which joins another new tubular treat for 2011 we’re calling the New England Dog which is wrapped in bacon and slathered with baked beans and cheddar cheese.”

The Big-E is held at 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA 01089
Phone: (413) 737-2443 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Great Idea!

How cool is this idea for a place mat? Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, CO educates on the wonders of flour.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Singin' the Blues

Allow me to set the stage.

Dusk following a 95-degree day. Sitting around the screened-in back porch after a day of blueberry picking. Hands, chin and teeth stained indigo from the dark, sweet juice. Body tired. Fireflies blink in a field that has just enough light left to see the outline of three deer grazing on what are probably the flowers in my mother's garden. Lilies are popular snacks.

Hands sticky from the heavily-salted corn on the cob eaten for dinner. When, behold! The blueberry pie comes from the kitchen. So blue it glows, iridescent, jam-like filling clear and fragrant. Crust golden and still warm to the touch. We cut into it, crust flaky. Berries burst.

This is summer. 

Jones Family Farms in Shelton, Connecticut is my place of choice for berry picking because they provide delicious recipes like this Double Blueberry Pie. It requires the use of a pre-made pie shell because, lets face it, who wants to use the oven during the summer when your bike is so fervently calling your name.

Elisabeth's Double Good Blueberry Pie
Jones Family Farms

3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbs lemon juice
1 9-inch pie shell, baked (they have great vegan crusts available)

1. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.  Add the water and 2 cups of berries.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is thick, clear, and boiling.  Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and cool.

2. Place remaining 2 cups of blueberries in the pie shell.  Top with cooked mixture.

3. Chill.  Serve with a sauce of half yogurt, half sour cream if desired. (Or vanilla coconut ice cream!)

Photo by ComeUnDone

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Vegan Onion and Parsley Dip

Mmmmm, who doesn't love a dip? Creamy or cheesy, light or refreshing, smooth or chunky. Dips are fantastically diverse, fun to make and quite a staple at parties. Have you ever even been to a party that didn't have a dip as an appetizer? Didn't think so.

We are truly a dip-nation.

Let me share with you a new favorite of mine: The Vegan Onion and Parsley Dip. One of the best things about this is that you really don't need to measure your ingredients- just combine until it tastes good. Because this is best when the onions are caramelized slowly, it takes about 45 minutes to make. So grab a magazine and a glass of wine, chill out for a bit, and wait for a slightly sweet, oh-so-decadent dip for all of your cut-veggies!

Vegan Onion and Parsley Dip
As I said before, these are approximate measurements. It's pretty difficult to mess this up. Just remember to combine in small portions so you don't over-season.

4-5 big onions (Spanish works really well but any sweet yellow onion will do), sliced very thin

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini paste

lemon juice

dried or fresh parsley, chopped very fine

salt and pepper

Toss the onions in olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Pour the onions into a large skillet on low-medium heat and cover. Cook for around 45 minutes, giving the onions a good stir every 10 minutes or so. You want them to brown slowly. In the last 10 minutes of cooking remove the cover, stirring more consistently. They should have drastically reduced in volume, and be very sweet when tasted. Remove from heat.

If you like you can put the onions into a food processor for a really creamy texture, but I think they are so tender that processing is unnecessary.

Stir in the tahini, lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste, and adjust your seasonings. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and serve with carrots, red peppers, cucumbers...basically anything!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Exploring a Legend: The Fergburger

Traveling in New Zealand, I had heard whiffs of an epic burger joint whose sandwiches were both monstrous and tasty. I found the storied place in downtown Queenstown by following a long line of people spilling out onto the sidewalk. Both native New Zealanders and hungry travelers, laden with backpacks, were swarming the small store-front. Groups of people were exiting with huge, paper-wrapped bundles, smiles and half-crazed eyes plastered devilishly onto their purchases. This is Fergburger. A restaurant that elevates ordering a simple burger into a rite of passage for all Queenstown visitors.

I did not immediately indulge. Rather, I waited until my last day in Queenstown to taste the legendary food- a poetic departure from the most gorgeous place I had ever visited. As I grew closer to the front of the line, I recalled what my friends in the hostel had said about Fergburger. One man had been quite frank: "It's essentially a really big, really good burger." Another had said, "It is without a doubt one of the tastiest burgers you will ever have." And a particularly die-hard Fergburger fan described it simply as "Heaven. Gut-busting Heaven." I knew that I really had found the pearly gates when I saw there were two vegetarian options on the menu. I opted for the Holier than Thou, described as "Tempered tofu with a spicy satay, coconut and coriander sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, snow-pea shoots and aioli." It was delicious. The tofu was cooked perfectly, neither too rubbery nor soft, and the combination of Indian spices melded ideally with the coolness of the cucumber and pea shoots. And this burger was huge. Spanning well over the circumference of my whole hand. I desperately wanted to finish the entire thing in one sitting but I was barely able to nibble through half.

So is the Fergburger worth the fifteen-hour plane flight to New Zealand? Maybe not. But it's definitely worth the thirty-minute wait to get to the front of the line.

Happy trails,
Jenna Blumenfeld

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Red Curry Soup with Rice and Kale

All too often, my curries, soups and sauces turn out either under or over-spiced. When following a recipe I invariably disregard the section about measuring spices, and try instead to employ my fine "palate" to discern flavor requirements. Curries are especially difficult to spice accurately without a recipe because they have such a delicate balance of sweet and spicy; each flavor playing upon each other.

Leave it to vegan chef extraordinaire Isa Chandra Moskowitz to offer up a recipe for a fool-proof curry. The following soup uses a prepared curry paste, so you only have to measure one thing. There are no enticing dry spices like cumin or cayenne to add more of, so you have a warming, flavorful stew that is perfectly seasoned.

Red Curry Soup with Rice and Kale
From The Post Punk Kitchen

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, diced medium

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3/4 cups of basmati rice

6 cups of vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons red curry paste

1 bunch of purple kale, pulled from the stems and torn into bite size pieces

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

1 can of lite coconut milk

1 tablespoon agave syrup

Juice of 1 lime

In a big soup pot, saute the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and heat for a little longer. Add the rice, vegetable broth and salt. Bring to a boil.

Lower to simmer and stir in the curry paste. Add the kale and the sweet potatoes and cover, simmering until the potatoes are tender.

Add coconut milk, agave syrup and lime. Adjust salt and curry paste for your tastes.
Let sit for ten minutes to let the flavors meld together. Serve with chopped cilantro.

Many thanks to the Post Punk Kitchen ( for this delicious recipe!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Flat White? Sweet As!

Flat whites are such treats! I have been traveling through New Zealand for the past two weeks, and apart from the scenery, the people and the deliciously warm summer weather, I have a new favorite coffee drink!

These insanely popular drinks from New Zealand are my new love and obsession. I simply cannot go a day without sipping the espresso-milk-foam combination. What makes it different from a latte you ask? Less foam, more charm, and without fail a cute little design on top that brings a little bit of art to a morning. I must learn how to make these lovely little buggers when I arrive home. Sweet as!