Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant

July 11 2013, Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant party to celebrate and try different cocktails and wines at the new NoMad. Some of them were just a tad too sweet for my taste buds and others I couldn’t get enough. However, it was exciting to meet some of the winners for the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant Issue Celebration. It truly was a wonderful evening - from the beautiful setting to the great wines, cocktails, food and music - what a great showcase and toast to today’s food and wine culture with the finest leaders in the restaurant industry. This year’s list of 100 includes thirty new winners, along with exclusive chef’s recipes, ingenious wine-pairing ideas for the home chef, editorial on important food trends in 2013 and an enticing selection of restaurant dishes diners will not want to miss. Check out the list here:

Here is a recipe to share…..they had more than wine.
DEWAR’S Honeysuckle Sour
1.5 oz. DEWAR’S Highlander Honey
.5 oz. Cointreau
.5 oz. fresh lemon
.5 oz. fresh orange juice
1 bar spoon simple syrup

Method: Shake DEWAR’S Highlander Honey with fresh lemon, fresh orange juice and one bar spoons of simple syrup.

Let's Eat Media Event

March 24, 2010 Oh my Gosh went to a "Let's Eat Media Event" and sampled so many products a quick run down:
-Eggland's Better Eggs:  less cholesterol 175 mg vs 213
-Loved the tervis tumbler....excellent way to keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot without burning yourself.
-daelia's biscuits...the almond with raisins that are specially made for cheese....let me tell you I didn't eat these I inhaled them with some farm fresh cheese!
-Then we had a silver of on e of the "Prosperity Cades" oh my gosh...did I have a sugar high at 11:00 a.m....good, but eat an egg first for something.  A company owned by three sisters.
-Keeping snacks healthy were the "Gudernoobs" with only 60 calories, 5g of sugar with an assortment of main ingredients.  Made by
-Due to our visit with Circulon we have a wonderful recipe "Salmon with Mango Salsa" for the grill for everyone to try.
-Then I tried "Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie" and shared this with the women in the office...they wanted more.  two sisters own this.
-WannaHavaCookie?  So good they look like mallowmars...but the taste is completely different.  Another woman company
-Then we had some new decadent chocolates, delectable fruit jellies and mouth-watering fruit marvels that my taste palette kept screaming for more!  The New WONKA Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar is made with bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate. The New WONKA Chocolate Waterfall Bar tempts the taste buds with a combination of creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate. And finally, the New WONKA Domed Dark Chocolate Bar is made of rich, velvety dark chocolate topped with smooth milk chocolate drops.  You get the picture....a choco-alcoholics dream.  And they have a contest....sad to say it wasn't my time to win yet!
-Then Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her son had severe food allergies, she got down to serious business—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s gluten-free, allergy-friendly cookies are a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations
-Then the time savor of all time came from Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice...along with some new products.  Check it out for a quick meal for us busy women.
-Temptation Temptation with Pamela's products all these great tasting, all natural, wheat-free and gluten-freed desserts. 

10 Reasons Why You Should be an Overeater this Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2009:  Leslie Landis thought you might enjoy the 10 Reasons Why You Should be an Overeater this Thanksgiving:

1. Instant gratification saves time.
2. Aren’t we supposed to end world hunger?
3. Why cut pork when the government won’t?
4. Grow the economy and yourself.
5. The U.S.A. can still be No. 1 in something!
6. Excess is a normal American trait.
7. It is good exercise for your jaw.
8. You won’t have to fight temptation.
9. Overeaters get a lot of attention.
10. It sure does taste good.

Enjoy the bounty this holiday brings.

Vegetables and Fruits: Never a Fad

Guest blog by Felicia Drury Kliment
Author of Eat Right for Your Metabolism: The Individualized Diet Plan to Balance Body Chemistry, Lose Weight, and Prevent Disease

When choosing vegetables and fruits, select a rainbow of colors to ensure you gain the entire range of benefits they offer. The various pigments in plants confer particular health benefits.

Red and purple plants -- grapes, blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red cabbage, red peppers, plums, and red apples -- contain antioxidants that prevent the formation of blood clots. 
Yellow and green plants -- spinach, collards, corn, green peas, avocado, and honeydew -- include the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which help heal cataracts and macular degeneration and also reduce the risk of developing these eye problems. 

Orange plants -- carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and mangoes -- have alpha carotene, a cancer fighter, and beta carotene, which helps repair damaged DNA. Oranges, peaches, papaya, and nectarines support the transmission of nerve impulses between cells and strengthen the cardiovascular system. 

Green vegetables -- broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy -- have anticancer properties. 

Vegetables also help raise mineral levels in the body -- provided there are enough fat-soluble vitamins A and D in the diet to assimilate the minerals. Because individuals who have excessive levels of some minerals are usually deficient in others, they need to eat more of the vegetables that will normalize their deficient mineral levels and less of those that contain large amounts of the minerals in which they are oversupplied. Because it is in the pigment of plants that many of the minerals and other nutrients in plants are stored, the choice of vegetables depends to some extent upon color. For example, anyone with a potassium deficiency needs green, leafy plants because the dark green pigment in these leafy plants contains high levels of potassium; on the other hand, eating white, orange, yellow, and light green plants increases calcium levels in the body. When we lack a particular nutrient, we also lack one of the pigments that store this nutrient.

Reducing Skin Aging- How to Get The Wrinkles Out!

Guest blog by Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., CNS, FACN
Author of Glycemic Index Food Guide: For Weight Loss, Cardiovascular Health, Diabetic Management, and Maximum Energy
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog!

Researchers examined the diets of approximately 2,000 people who were 70 years and older to see if what they ate made a difference in the youthfulness of their skin.The participants were from Australia, Greece, China, Japan and Sweden. 

Rather than using the skin on the face, the skin on the back of the hand was examined and tested to assess actinic damage or skin aging. The back of the hand was used since some participants may have been using cosmetic products that reduce skin aging and wrinkling on the face. A silicon rubber impression method was used to keep an actual model of the skin, its texture and signs of wrinkling for each participant. 

Oxidative stress in skin is induced by sun damage and inflammation. Also, when damage occurs (e.g. exposure to sunlight) antioxidants in skin may undergo depletion. If antioxidants are not replenished continuously, deterioration of the skin can occur leading to accelerated skin aging and wrinkling. 

Topical application of numerous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, Coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, and flavonoids in green tea, have been shown to decrease sun damage and protect the skin against aging, improve skin wrinkling and possibly prevent skin cancer. Studies using oral antioxidant supplements of vitamins C and E simultaneously have also shown a reduction in sun damage and wrinkling of skin. However, this is the first time that daily food intake was examined to see if specific foods would protect the skin, reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging. 


Overall, those with a higher intake of vegetables, legumes, olive oil, monounsaturated fat (e.g. olive oil) and legumes, but a lower intake of milk and milk products, butter, margarine and sugar products had less skin wrinkling and aging. Eggs, yogurt, legumes (especially broad and lima beans), vegetables (especially green leafy, spinach, eggplant, asparagus, celery, onions, leeks, garlic), nuts, olives, cherries, melon, dried fruits (in particular prunes, apples and pears), multigrain bread, jam, tea and water were all shown to protect against skin wrinkling and aging. Higher intakes of vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and retinol (vitamin A) were also very protective against skin wrinkling and aging. Whole milk sweet milk desserts, ice cream, red meat (especially processed meat), potatoes, soft drinks, cordials, cakes and pastries were associated with increased skin wrinkling and aging. 


Vegetables have a high content of antioxidants beyond vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. In particular, flavonoids and other powerful phytonutrients present in foods such as tea, apples, onions, garlic and eggplant are extremely powerful antioxidants. Tufts University has identified prunes, strawberries, berries, cherries, and tea to have some of the highest antioxidant activity compared to other foods. These foods are rich sources of polyphenols have a higher antioxidant activity than vitamins C or E. Legumes are a rich source of phytoestrogens that also have potent antioxidant activity. Collectively, these powerful antioxidants protected the skin against wrinkling when consumed in the diet.

Fish intake was shown to reduce skin wrinkling when consumed with other protective foods such as vegetables. Fish is a rich source of PUFA in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While EPA and DHA are extremely important essential fatty acids that are not only important for skin, but for the cardiovascular and immune system as well, they are still susceptible to oxidation because they are categorized as PUFA. Therefore, a higher intake of fish must be accompanied by a higher intake of antioxidants. 

A diet rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFA) from olives and olive oil may increase the MUFA content of skin. MUFA is much more resistant to oxidative damage than polyunsaturated fats found in other types of oil. Also, oil assists the absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E and lycopene. Margarine is made of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and frequent intake was associated with more skin wrinkling and aging. This may also be due to the more damaging effects of trans fatty acids and their greater susceptibility to oxidative stress than other PUFA. Margarine contains far more trans fatty acids that are formed during the hydrogenization process than would ever be found in nature. Even though saturated fats resist oxidation, foods high in saturated fat such as meat and butter did not protect against skin aging and wrinkling. 

High sugar intake was associated with greater skin wrinkling. This may be due to a greater production of advanced glycosylation end products (AGE) and less clearance of these damaging compounds. AGE are found in excess as a result of the aging process and also with conditions such as diabetes. AGE are closely associated with oxidative stress and have similar damaging effects. 


The skin is very susceptible to oxidative damage due its high content of lipids, proteins and DNA all of which are extremely sensitive to the oxidation process. By consuming more vegetables, legumes and switching to olive oil (preferably extra virgin) and eating less meat, dairy, butter and sugar you can protect your skin against wrinkling and aging. 

Selected References

1. Purba M, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N et al. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? JACN 2001;20(1):71-80.
2. Boulanger E, Dequiedt P, Wautier JL. Advanced glycosylation end products (AGE): new toxins? Nephrologie 2002;23(7):351-9.
3. Shapiro SS, Saliou C. Role of vitamins in skin care. Nutrition 2001;17:839-844.

Rediscover the Joy of Eating: How a Diet is Helping Thousands Heal

Guest blog by Jenny Lass

What would you do if the comfort food you grew up loving suddenly made you sick? This is what the 70 million Americans with digestive disorders experience, and many don't find the relief they need through traditional medical interventions. The treatment options for gastrointestinal patients usually involve expensive medications with daunting side effects, such as bone thinning, rashes, night sweats and facial swelling. 

Although drug treatment for intestinal conditions is sometimes warranted, what happens when the drugs don't work or the side effects seem worse than the disease? Steroids, a common treatment for many digestive disorders, become less effective each time they're used, so patients are left with little recourse if their symptoms return. Fortunately, there are other options, such as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which has been a welcome option for thousands of people around the world seeking long-term help.

The SCD was developed over 50 years ago by prominent New York pediatrician Dr. Sydney Haas and made famous by Canadian nutrition scientist Elaine Gottschall. It eliminates complex carbohydrates and disaccharides so food is easier to digest - that means no grains, starches or refined sugars. The SCD was actually one of the earliest treatments for celiac disease, which is defined as an autoimmune disorder that leads to intestinal damage when patients eat gluten. 

The SCD got somewhat lost in the gluten-free hype, but many celiacs turn to it if the gluten-free diet doesn't work for them. In fact, the gluten-free diet can take up to six months to kick in, whereas many SCDers find relief within the first week. A 2004 physician-run survey found that approximately 80% of people who try the SCD are helped by it, including those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Even the autistic community has latched on to the SCD, which is sometimes more effective than the gluten-free casein-free diet.

However, the SCD is not meant to replace drugs or doctors - it's integrative. It can help reduce medication dosages, help medications work better, eliminate medications sooner or even help patients avoid medications altogether. SCDers are encouraged to seek supervision by physicians or dietitians, but they are often left to fend for themselves when the health care professionals the consult aren't aware of the diet. A lack of funding for this non-drug-based treatment has also limited the amount of research that can be done to fully understand the benefits of the SCD. The Elaine and Herbert Gottschall Foundation is finally starting to accumulate funds to support the promotion and further study of this diet.

Another challenge facing the SCD is its elimination of some of the foods we're used to eating - a prospect that might seem unappetizing at first. But a quick review of the SCD's innovative techniques and recipes shows that it is full of your old favorites, made differently. There's the art of eating virtually lactose-free dairy products. Old-aged cheeses, such as parmesan, brick, gouda, havarti, Swiss and cheddar, are naturally lactose-free due to their long fermentation time. The same principle applies to homemade lactose-free yogurt - 24-hour fermentation allows the bacterial culture to break down the lactose, leaving easy-to-digest yogurt that can be used for cheesecake, cream cheese, ice cream and breads. Being able to eat dairy is not only satisfying to the palate, but also essential for fighting low bone density, a condition that often accompanies digestive diseases.

One of the other keys to the SCD's success is its creativity in the absence of all grains. Spaghetti squash, zucchini, egg, Enoki mushrooms and squid replace crepes and noodles, and cholesterol-lowering, vitamin-packed almond flour produces authentic-tasting baked goods that are healthy and easy to make. The SCD provides the simplest gluten-free baking method on the market and uses easy-to-find ingredients. Aside from almond flour, which can be found in the bulk section of many grocery stores, bulk food stores, health food stores or online, your SCD baked-good shopping list might be as minimal as honey, butter, baking soda, spices and fruit. 

Although some may balk at the idea of eliminating a long-standing staple such as grains, it's important to note that there's nothing magic in pasta and cereal - you can find the nutrients in grains in many other foods. Squash is packed with vitamins A, B, C and folate, and almond flour is high in fiber. Eggs are one of the few foods containing naturally occurring vitamin D and red meat is one of best sources of dietary iron. 

The SCD's reliance on almond flour also takes full advantage of the "good fat" in nuts. Research shows that the fat in almonds actually helps instead of hinders weight loss because it satisfies hunger and tends to prevent unhealthy or excessive snacking. And we tend to forget that fat is an important part of a healthy diet. For example, we need fat to metabolize fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D and E, and fat helps with temperature regulation, hormone production, and the development of the brain and nervous system.

All controversy aside, the SCD warrants further investigation. Medical journals are slowly accumulating case studies that document how this diet that got lost in the shuffle is helping people with digestive diseases who have run out of options or are searching for complementary solutions. 

White Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps on Toast

Guest recipe by Alexandra Guarnaschelli,
Exec. Chef: Butter Restaurant
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog
6-8 servings

4 tbsp. Extra-Virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¾ pound white mushrooms, stemmed, washed, dried and thinly sliced
12-18 fresh Ramps, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dry Marsala
½ cup sour cream
The zest from ½ lemon
1 tbsp. chopped (fresh) parsley
1 tbsp. chopped (fresh) tarragon

Kosher salt and freshly-ground white pepper to taste

Note: this recipe can be served with roasted meats or a piece of fish. In this case, it will be served on little pieces of Rosemary toast.

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the diced onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and lower the heat. Add the thyme and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and a lot of the liquid has evaporated at the bottom of the pan, 8-10 minutes. Remove and discard the sprigs of thyme.
2. Heat a large sauté pan until it smokes slightly. Coat the ramps with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the ramps to the hot pan and "char" them slightly. Turn the heat off and allow them to cook an additional minute or two until they become tender. Remove from the heat and drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Turn them onto a flat surface and cut into bite-size pieces.
3. Add the Marsala to the mushrooms and cook until the flavor of the alcohol has mellowed considerably, 5-8 minutes. Add the sour cream and allow it to melt over the mushrooms. Check the seasoning. Add the lemon zest, parsley and tarragon. Taste for seasoning. Bring to a simmer and serve on toast immediately. Top each with the ramps.

Suggestions: This would be delicious with a Gruner Veltliner - Veltlinsky for example. . I love the acidic bite and the slightly carbonated character of this wine. It would nicely compliment the earthy mushrooms and cut through the creamy flavors as well. If in the mood for red, I would love to see this seasonal nibble with something as noble and exciting as Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2000. Wow!

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

Guest recipe by Anne Walker, Dabney Gough and Kris Hoogerhyde
Authors of Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

Makes about 1 quart

5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (11/4 cups)
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Raspberry Swirl Sauce (page 142)
Make the base
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of the sugar (2 tablespoons). Set aside. Put the chopped chocolate in another medium heatproof bowl and set that aside as well.
2. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining sugar (2 tablespoons) and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
3. Carefully scoop out about 1⁄2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1⁄2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
4. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer. 
5. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl with the white chocolate and whisk to combine. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze the ice cream
6. Whisk the vanilla into the chilled base.
7. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. 
8. As you transfer the ice cream to the storage container, drizzle in some raspberry purée after every few spoonfuls. When all the ice cream is in the container, use a chopstick or butter knife to gently swirl the mixture. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, freeze for at least 4 hours.

Raspberry Swirl Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup | Pictured on page 140

2 half-pint baskets raspberries (2 cups), preferably organic
1/3 cup sugar
1. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan and put the pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has a jammy consistency, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium as the mixture thickens to prevent scorching.
2. Remove from the heat and let cool for a minute. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth, being careful to avoid hot splatters. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much purée as possible. 
If using as a topping, serve warm or at room temperature; chill well before swirling into ice cream. 
“Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough, copyright © 2012.  

Triple BrowniesTriple Brownies

Guest recipe by Wonka Exceptionals

Talk about decadent!   (Makes 36 servings) 
These decadent brownies are a “must try” for chocolate lovers, whether you prefer the dark, milk or white variety. 
Aluminum foil Nonstick cooking spray
1 pkg (18.5 oz) Chocolate brownie mix
1 (3.5 oz) WONKA Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar
1 (3.5 oz) WONKA Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate Bar
1 (3.5 oz) WONKA Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Bar

PREHEAT oven according to brownie mix package directions. Line 9-inch-square baking pan with foil (this makes for easy brownie removal); spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. 
PREPARE brownie mix according to package directions. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan; place chocolate bars in a single layer over batter. Spoon remaining batter over candy bars, gently smoothing down top. 

BAKE according to package directions for 9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. To serve, lift foil from pan and peel away foil from brownies. Cut the square into 6 equal strips; cut strips in opposite direction, making 36 bars. 

Tomato Salad

Guest recipe by Viktorija Todorovska
Author of The Puglian Cookbook: Bringing the Flavors of Puglia Home

This simple tomato salad can also be used to make bruschetta. Although not exclusive to Puglia, it is often served on toasted bread as a starter, as it highlights the quality and
sweetness of ripe Puglian tomatoes. Try it with the Orecchiette with Broccoli or Spaghetti with Zucchini
yield: 8 servings

1 pound (454 g) ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) sea salt
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped basil

1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes and onion. Season with the salt, olive oil, and vinegar. 
2. Serve sprinkled with the basil. 
Reprinted with permission Agate Surrey, 2011


Guest recipe by Judith Fertig and Karen Adler
Authors of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjack to Whitefish, Plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

For this recipe, choose a firm-fleshed fish such as U.S. farm-raised catfish. 
Serve this with Texas pecan or the more fragrant jasmine rice.

Serves 4
1 pound U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths on the bias
1 cup chopped Napa cabbage
Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
For the Lemongrass Marinade:
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh lemongrass (available at Asian markets)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon nam pla or bottled fish sauce, (available in the Asian section of grocery stores)
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. Place the fish, onions, and cabbage in a large seal able plastic bag. In a medium bowl, mix the Lemongrass Marinade ingredients together and pour over the fish mixture in the plastic bag. Seal, then toss to coat the fish and vegetables with the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal, gas, or wood pellet grill. Spray a grill wok with cooking spray and place over the sink or outside on the grass. Pour the marinated fish and vegetables into the wok, allowing the excess marinade to drain away. Place the wok on the grill. Using wooden paddles or grill spatulas, turn and toss the fish and vegetables until the
fish is opaque and the vegetables have lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve over rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.


Guest recipe by Judith Fertig an Karen Adler
Authors of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjack to Whitefish, Plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

1. Select only the freshest fish and shellfish. Fresh fish has a glistening, dewy look, a sweet or briny smell of the sea, and a somewhat firm texture. Shellfish has a sweet or briny smell of the sea, too. Ask to smell the fish or shellfish before you buy. Even the slightest odor of ammonia means the fish is not the freshest. You can also judge freshness by texture-if you
press the center part of a fillet or steak with your finger and the impression stays, the fish is not fresh. If you're buying a whole fish, look at the eyes-if clear and bright, the fish is fresh; if opaque or cloudy, the fish is not fresh. If you buy flash-frozen fish or shellfish, make sure it
still frozen when you buy it. You'll have the best luck if you buy your fish from a reputable and knowledgeable fishmonger-he or she can help you select the best options.

2. Handle fish and shellfish carefully. Always keep fish and shellfish chilled before grilling. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water, then pat dry. Discard any oysters, clams, or mussels with cracked or open shells.

3. Marinate fish and shellfish for only 30 to 60 minutes in the refrigerator before grilling. Marinating longer could mean an overpowering flavor of the marinade instead of the delicate flavor of fish. The vinegar or citrus juice in the marinade could also "cook" the fish and you'll end up with ceviche. However, there are some types of firmer-textured or oily, full-flavored fish
and shellfish-such as bluefish, mackerel, marlin, monkfish, octopus, shark, tuna, or squid-that can take a longer marinade.

4. For grilling, it is preferable to leave the fish skin on. Always place a fillet flesh side down first, then turn halfway through grilling onto the skin side. This technique helps the fish fillet hold together better during grilling.

5. Grill just about any fish or shellfish you like. Very thin and delicate fish such as Dover sole or lake perch are better sauteed or broiled. Catfish fillets are great on the grill because they hold together well and taste great.

6. Grill over a hot fire. Hold your hand 5 inches above the heat source. If you can only leave your hand there for 2 seconds, your fire is hot.

7. The general rule for grilling fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. For a fillet or steak that is 1 inch in the thickest part, you grill flesh side down for 5 minutes, then turn and finish grilling for 5 minutes on the skin side. For shellfish, grill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until the shellfish becomes more opaque and firm in texture.

8. Test for doneness by making sure the fish and shellfish are opaque and somewhat firm. Most fish are done when steaks or fillets begin to flake-not a dry flake, but more a moist separation and you see a clear liquid-when tested with a fork in the thickest part. For firmer-fleshed varieties such as farm-raised catfish, monkfish, sturgeon, walleye pike, or eel, the fish flesh should be all one color, when tested in the thickest part, and the texture
firm. If you prefer your salmon or tuna on the medium-rare side, look for opaque pink or grayish brown on the outside, glistening reddish pink or dark purple-red on the inside, just as you would judge the doneness a beef steak. Shellfish are done when they turn more opaque and firm up in texture. Underdone fish or shellfish can always be put back on the grill or zapped in the microwave for a few seconds. Overcooked fish or shellfish can't be rescued.

9. Grill gadgets that rule: two long-handled wide metal spatulas for fish steaks or fillets and long-handled tongs for shellfish. For delicate fish like flounder or skate wings and very small shellfish like clams or baby squid, use a perforated grill rack, disposable aluminum pans, Nordic ware fish boat, or aluminum foil as a base so that the fish won't fall through the
grill grates. Although your fish or shellfish won't have grill marks, it will still have the flavor of the grill-and be a lot easier to remove. Perforated grill woks allow you to stir-grill marinated fish and vegetables together. 

10. Because you never know what fish or shellfish will be the freshest when you shop, be ready to substitute. You'll want to match the same firm, moderate, or delicate texture and mild, moderate, or full flavor of the fish or shellfish you originally planned on. For example, if cod is unavailable or not very fresh, substitute U.S. farm-raised hake, hoki, whiting, or
turbot-similar matches in delicate texture and mild flavor. In place of moderate-textured and mild-flavored red snapper, try catfish, grouper, haddock, orange roughy, walleye, or whitefish. In place of firm-textured, mild-flavored shrimp, substitute lobster, prawns, soft shell crab, or even halibut or monk fish.

Sign Language

Guest blog by Jennifer Rosen

At the Airport Grill, where my dad used to take us for a hamburger in the 60's, the bathroom choice was "Pilots" or "Stewardesses." A slam-dunk lawsuit today, still, you knew where you stood (or sat, if you were a stewardess.) It certainly beats having to decide if you're a Buoy or a Gull, a Turtle or a Tortoise, or which of the odd silhouettes most resembles you and your clothing. Easier, too, than my neighborhood hangout, Mels, where the triple choice of Men, Women and Ladies requires more reflection than I'm usually in the mood for.

A too-cute wine list scratches the same blackboard. I applaud restaurants for the effort, but headings like "Grills, Thrills and Wild Things," "Cutting Edge," and "Silver Linings," raise more questions than they answer. 

Attempting to describe wine makes sense if you share a common language. Alas, many terms mean one thing on wine lists, another to professional tasters and a third to the average diner. Let's decode some common ones.

Dry: Refers to sugar, or lack of it. Does not mean mouth-puckering, rough, tooth-coating or bitter. Those are the work of tannins and acids. Dry wine can be smooth as silk. High-alcohol wine, like Viognier or Zinfandel, sometimes seems sweet, even with little or no sugar. Taste a little rubbing alcohol and you'll see.

Rich: If they made Shiraz-flavored Koolaid and you used seven packets for one pitcher, you'd have rich. Also known as concentrated or extracted, it means more color and flavor.

Fruity: Does not mean sweet. Arguably, all wine should be fruity - it's made from fruit, for heaven's sake! If you smell peach, pineapple, blackberry, and, yes, even grape, the wine is fruity. (If you pick up gooseberry, you're faking it. Gooseberries are a hoax perpetuated by wine critics, and do not, in fact, exist. Quince and Bramble, two other common wine descriptors, do exist, but no one really knows what are.) On a wine list, fruity usually means simple: you taste the fruit and nothing but the fruit.

Floral: smells like perfume, flowers, or the soap in the guest bathroom that everyone's afraid to unwrap. 

Spicy: Exotic. Can refer to anything in the spice rack. Gewurztraminer is always described as spicy because, a) that's what Gewurtz means and b) there aren't any other things that smell like it. Spicy in a Syrah means cinnamon and black-pepper-up-your-nose.  

Body: A tactile thing: the glop factor. Light-bodied is skim milk or water. Full-bodied is heavy cream, honey or 10-W-40.

Big! Huge! Blockbuster! A Monster!: Three possible meanings. With California Zinfandel, it refers to how your head will feel the next morning; that is, the wine packs a punch. In the case of Cabernet or Barollo, it means tannins like a three-day-old beard. Either the wine is too young, or you're meant to tough it out, saying things like, "Now THERE'S a wine!" Applied to other reds, it means super-rich and full-bodied. Beware; when it comes to food, blockbuster wines are about as friendly as a Sumo wrestler with diaper rash. 

Soft: This term sells oceans of Merlot every year. It means not enough acid or tannin to last, refresh or excite. Lemonade without the lemons. No complexity, nothing that would tax your brain. It's a plot, can't you see?? They think you're too low brow to appreciate anything better than pablum. They want to turn you into pod people! Forget soft wine! Get out of that ghetto, man! Make like an infinitive and split! 

If you follow this guide and still aren't crazy about the wine they bring, give it a chance with your meal. Under whelming sipping wine can make beautiful music with food. But go easy on it, or you could find yourself in front of two doors in a hallway, wondering if you're a Porpoise or a Dolphin. 

The Sneaky Chef Pizza

Missy Chase Lapine
Author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals

The following make-ahead is an Orange Puree that blends excellently in pizza (and pasta) sauce, to bring a big nutritional boost to meals that usually aren't thought of as health foods.

1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped
3 med-to-large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
2-3 tablespoons water

In medium pot, cover carrots and potatoes with cold water. Boil 20 minutes until tender. (Thoroughly cook carrots or they'll leave telltale nuggets -- a gigantic no-no for the Sneaky Chef). Drain vegetables. Puree on high in food processor with two tablespoons water, until completely smooth. Use rest of water to make a smooth puree. 
Makes about 2 cups of puree. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze 1/4 cup portions in plastic containers.

My kids have never noticed that I'm sneaking carrots and yams into their sauce! I mix the healthy puree right into the bottled tomato sauce, then I let the kids add the toppings. You can even prepare this pizza ahead of time without cooking it, and then refrigerate for a day or two. Simply bake when you're ready to eat. 

Makes 1 large pizza or 4 smaller pizzas:
1 store-bought pizza dough or 4 " Greek style" pocketless pitas (whole wheat preferred)
¾ cup store-bought tomato sauce
¼ cup Orange Puree (see recipe above)
1 to 2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and preheat a pizza stone or spray a baking sheet with oil.
Stretch pizza dough, or roll out with floured rolling pin on floured surface, to form a pie. Transfer to stone or baking sheet. If using pocketless pitas, place them on the prepared baking sheet. Combine tomato sauce with Orange Puree. Mix well. Spread 1/2 to 1 cup of the sauce mixture across the large pizza dough (1/4 cup for each pita), then top with 1 cup of mozzarella (1/2 cup per pita). Cover and refrigerate at this point, or bake for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. Allow to cool a few minutes, then cut into triangles and serve.
© Missy Chase Lapine, all rights reserved.

Tenderloin Steaks with port and mustard sauce/Filetes de solomillo con salsa de oporto y mostaza

Guest recipe by Simone & Ines Ortega
Authors of 1080 Recipes

Serves 6.

· 6 tenderloin steaks, about 5 ounces each
· 4 tablespoons olive oil
· ½ teaspoon mustard
· 5 tablespoons port
· Salt

Brush both sides of the steaks with a little of the oil and let stand in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Season the steaks with salt, add to the skillet, and cook over high heat for 2-4 minutes on each side, until done to your liking. Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm. Stir the mustard and port into the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve immediately.

Tamarind-Glaze Flank Steak with Mango-jicama Salsa

Guest recipe by Hope Fox & Chef Kunz
Author of Impress for Less! (finally...terrific recipes from the finest restaurants that you can really make at home) 

Legendary chef Gray Kunz took New York by storm when he opened Café Gray in 2004, a 200-seat brasserie designed by David Rockwell in the Time Warner Center. With its leafy Central Park views and high-profile address, Café Gray is the perfect showcase for Kunz’s synthesized cuisine, a product of his international upbringing and stints in the illustrious kitchen of Fredy Girardet in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Regent Hotel in Hong Kong. New York magazine described Kunz’s cuisine as “not so much fusion as the product of a man fluent in the food languages of Europe, India, China, and Southeast Asia.” After all, this is the same chef who earned a four-star rating from the New York Times while at Lespinasse, which Zagat rated as New York’s Best Overall Restaurant for three years in a row. In 2003 the Culinary Institute of America heralded him as a Master of Aesthetics, an award given to only a handful of culinary professionals.

Chef Kunz creates layered dishes composed of intriguing ingredients that add up to a single, bold statement. A few cases in point are his bouquet of pencil asparagus with fresh peas, mint, and yogurt; black bass with ancho chiles, coriander, and mussel-clam broth; or coconut-coated red snapper with crabmeat and green papaya. Ask for a seat in the showcase kitchen, where the chefs dance the well-choreographed waltz of impeccable gastronomy.
Chef Kunz uses concentrated tamarind paste to give an exotic jolt to the barbecue glaze for this steak.

Tamarind Glaze

1 cup tamarind paste (or 1 cup pureed mango)
2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 cup water
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup peeled jícama, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Cayenne, to taste
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Flank Steak
11/2 pounds flank steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cayenne, to taste
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Serves 6

1. To make the tamarind glaze, in a medium saucepan, combine the tamarind paste, tomatoes, ginger, honey, cumin, coriander, and water. Place over low heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discard the solids, and return the sauce to the pan. Simmer again, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
3. To make the salsa, in a large sauté pan over high heat, heat the oil. Add the bell pepper and jícama and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the mango and remove from the heat. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Season to taste with cayenne, salt, and white pepper. Set aside.
4. To make the flank steak, brush the steak with the oil and season with cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Preheat an outdoor grill or heat a grill pan over high heat. Grill the steak, turning once, until it reaches the desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare.
5. Let the steak rest 5 minutes, then slice into thin slices on the bias. Coat the steak with the tamarind glaze, garnish with the salsa and chopped cilantro, and serve.

chef’s notes:
Tamarind paste is made from the pods of the feathery tamarind tree native to Latin America and the Caribbean. The pulp of these pods is mixed with water, and the resulting liquid is used as a souring agent in beverages, curries, soups, and other dishes. Tamarind is a very common ingredient in Thai and Indian cuisines. It is available in Asian markets and in some large supermarkets.
Jícama is a large, bulbous root vegetable that is popular in Mexican and other Latino cuisines.

Tangerine-Marinated Olives/Aceitunas Aliñadas con Mandarina

Guest recipe by Anya von Bremzen
Author of The New Spanish Table

2 cups mixed cracked green olives
6 small garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
2 tablespoons grated tangerine zest
1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice
4 thin lemon slices, cut in half and seeded
3 to 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, preferably aged
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small bay leaves
1/2 small dried chile, such as arbol, crumbled, or more to taste
1 medium-size pinch of ground cumin

Place the olives, garlic, tangerine zest and juice, lemon, vinegar, olive oil, bay leaves, chile, and cumin in a large glass jar or bowl and stir to mix well. Cover the jar and let the olives marinate overnight at room temperature, tossing occasionally. For a richer flavor, let the olives marinate for up to a week in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups

Sangria Scorcher

Guest recipe by Kara Newman
Author of Spice & Ice 

This sangria may look delicate, but don’t be fooled by its appearance: it packs a good dose of heat. One of our drink testers referred to it as “a pink pit bull.” 
Recipe makes two (2) cocktails:
1 Red chili pepper, sliced
2 ½ oz White wine
1 oz Vodka (infused with hot peppers, if desired)
1 oz Triple Sec
½ oz Fresh lime juice
1/3 oz Elderflower liqueur
½ oz Cranberry juice
1 Tbl Cucumber, diced
Lemon-lime soda
In a tall glass, muddle the chili pepper. Add a scoop of ice, and stir in the remaining ingredients. Top up the glass with lemon-lime soda. 

Roasted Squash Soup

Guest recipe by Alexandra Guarnaschelli,
Exec. Chef: Butter Restaurant
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

Serves 4-6

4 pounds mixed Winter squash (from Hubbard to Butternut varieties), washed
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. Molasses
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
ź tsp. ground cloves
2 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups skim milk
The zest from 1 orange
2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp, garlic oil
Equipment: Blender or food processor

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Place the squash on a flat surface and split them in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and arrange in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter completely over medium heat. Wait until it starts to turn a light brown color. Remove from the heat and immediately distribute the butter into the cavities of the squash halves. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and Molasses as well.
4. Season the insides with salt and pepper. Finish by covering with the ground (dry) ginger, fresh ginger and the ground cloves. Fill the bottom of the tray(s) with the water (should be about 1 inch high) to create steam while the squash bakes in the oven. Cover the tray(s) with aluminum foil and seal the edges tightly.
5. Place the tray(s) in the center of the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 2 hours. To check for doneness, pierce one of the halves with the tip of a small knife. The knife should slide in and out easily. If at all firm, bake the halves and addition 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Carefully peel back the foil. Set aside to cool.
6. In a medium pot, combine the cream and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash taking care not to take any skin with it. The skin can give a bitter taste to the soup. Add the flesh directly to the cream mixture and stir to blend. Turn the heat on low. Add some of the orange zest, the Worcestershire Sauce and the garlic oil. Stir to blend. Taste for seasoning. If the soup lacks sweetness, add a little Molasses. If it lacks salt, add a little salt or Worcestershire Sauce.
7. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Renaissance Garden

Guest recipe by Francine Segan
Author of Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook

In Shakespeare's time salad was served tossed with dried fruit and nuts, making it especially sweet and healthful. The garnishes back then were interesting. Tall rosemary branches decorated with fresh cherry pairs were anchored in half lemons. It makes an ordinary salad very festive and makes any meal a special occasion. This salad is definitely one way to get your kids to eat their greens. Serves 6

1/4 cup fruit vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
6 cups assorted fresh herbs and baby lettuces (such as parsley, mint, endive, spinach, mesclun mix, tarragon, or marjoram)
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1/4 cup currants
8 dates, quartered lengthwise
6 dried figs, thinly sliced
4 long, sturdy fresh rosemary branches, optional
2 large lemons, halved, optional
12 fresh or candied whole cherries, optional
2 large lemons, thinly sliced, optional
1/4 cup candied fruit peels, optional

Whisk together the verjus, oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Combine the herbs and lettuces, capers, raisins, almonds, currants, dates, and figs in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss until well coated.
If you are recreating the original salad presentation, press one rosemary branch into the rounded end of each lemon half. Using the stem, a wire, or ribbon, attach 3 cherries to each rosemary branch.
Invert a small bowl, dinner-roll or handful of croutons in the center of a very large serving platter for additional height. Arrange the salad mix over and around the bowl. Place the rosemary branches on the four sides of the platter and arrange the lemon slices and Candied Citrus Peel around the platter. 
For an even more elaborate traditional Elizabethan garnish, alternate lemon slices topped with capers with quartered hard-boiled eggs, candied orange peel, and egg "porcupines" made by inserting almond and date slivers into hard-boiled egg halves.