Category Archives: Food

Sing For Your Supper at Hard Rock Hollywood on April 15th!

Slash-on-Stage-2This upcoming tax day April 15th  ROCK your hard core relief Los Angeles!

In a promotion to encourage the rock star in all of us  Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard will be  giving customers the opportunity to prove that they are the ultimate triple threat: Eat, Drink and “Sing For Your Supper”. The restaurant famous for its rock star memorabilia, including the notorious pants worn by Jim Morrison during the iconic performance by The Doors at the Hollywood Bowl, will be holding the stage for burgeoning performers, enthusiastic vocalists, and hungry rockers from 5-7pm. hrc-hollywood-blvd-extdsc_0083---compressedThis is Hard Rock so participants will be accompanied by a live band as they sing hits and crowd pleasers to earn their free meal.  Performers can choose from a selection of new menu items, including the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich, Arugula Salad with Shaved Marinated Chicken or Fiesta Burger (or Veggie Burger) as their free meal. Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. #105 in the Hollywood & Highland Shopping Center. www.hardrock.com/hollywoodblvd

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San Diego, CA Gets a Taste of Hillcrest on April 19th

Hash House a Go Go Taste of Hillcrest

Enjoying Biscuits Smothered in Gravy and Banana Pecan French Toast at Hash House a Go Go in Hillcrest

Next Saturday in San Diego, CA locals and non-locals alike will be able to take their palates by the hand and embark on a culinary tour of the world at the 14th Annual Taste of Hillcrest on Saturday, April 19th, 2014, from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Over 40 sumptuous restaurants will be serving tasty bites so delectable they will have you feeling like a Culinary Attaché.  From quaint cafés and budding bistros to five-star dining decadence, patrons will enjoy all the global cuisine Hillcrest has to offer.

Taste of Hillcrest.

WHEN: Saturday, April 19th, Noon – 4pm

WHERE: Hillcrest District in Uptown San Diego – 92103

WEBSITE: www.fabuloushillcrest.com

PRICING: $30 in advance / $35 the day of event

FEATURES: 40+ restaurants offering menu samples from entrees to refreshments to desserts

If you are local to San Diego you can purchase tickets (through April 11th) at these restaurants:

Baja Betty’s
Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill
Harvey Milk’s American Diner
EmpireHouse Urban Plates
Brazen BBQ
Eba’s Lounge and Bistro
Heat Bar and Kitchen
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2014 Participating Restaurants

Au Revoir
T-Deli
Baja Betty’s
Luna Grill
Bamboo Lounge
Brazen BBQ
Bombay Exotic Cuisines of India
D-BAR
Bo’s Seafood Market and Grill
Fiesta Cantina
Crest Café
Harvey Milk’s American Diner
Ebas Lounge & Bistro
Hillcrest Brewing Company
Gossip Grill
Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro
Heat Bar & Kitchen
The Tractor Room      Micho’z Fresh
Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill
Pinkberry Inc.
Nami Sushi
Uptown Tavern
Taste of Thai
Wine Steals
Aladdin Hillcrest
Mama Testa Taqueria
EmpireHouse Urban Plates
Tandoori Hut
Einstein Bro Bagels
Bread and Cie.
Saigon on Fifth
Pizzeria Arrivederci
Salt & Cleaver
Fiji Yogurt
Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
The Fresh Asian Bar and Bistro
Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria
Rockfire Grill
 

California Berry Fans — Get Picking!

Underwood Family FarmsUnderwood Family Farms is open for berry picking season and you are invited to go out to the Somis location from 9am – 4pm daily for PYO (Pick Your Own) Berries!  There are plenty of strawberries & blueberries right now with raspberries coming soon.  It’s a great day for families with health, nutrition and local farming support built in.

Now through mid-July, they’ll be offering free tractor-drawn wagon rides to the fields every Saturday and Sunday.  For more information, please visit the website.

When: 9am – 4pm daily
(tractor-drawn wagon rides weekends only)
Where: Somis Location
5696 Los Angeles Avenue
Somis, CA  93066
  • Berry Trail
  • Free Parking
  • 1lb & 2 lb Containers Provided
  • Priced by the Pound -
    Strawberries – $1.99/lb (April – August)
    Blueberries – $3.99/lb (April – mid-July)
    Raspberries – $3.99/lb (May – October)
    Blackberries - $2.99/lb (July – August)

Napa Valley Chefs Team Up on May 18 for the HALL Cabernet Cookoff

Cab_Cookoff_home
On Sunday, May 18 from 11am to 2pm, HALL Wines will bring together local foodies and wine for a good cause featuring 15 chef teams competing for a local charity by creating small bite dishes paired with the recently released HALL 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

The fifth annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff will feature an all-star line-up of both San Francisco and Napa Valley based Chef teams vying to win a culinary pairing challenge.

During the event, guests will be invited to taste farm-to-table dishes from each chef team paired with the wine and vote on their favorite for the People’s Choice Award. The 2013 HALL Cabernet Cookoff drew more than 480 culinary and wine lovers and raised $30,000 for the top four winning team’s sponsored charities.

Chef teams participating in the HALL Cabernet Cookoff include:

• Tyler Rodde, Oenotri
• Victoria Acosta, The Grill at Meadowood
• Rodney Worth & Audrey Perrone, The Pear Bistro
• Corrie Beezley, The Farmers Market Pantry
• Christopher Ludwick, Earth’s Bounty Kitchen & Winebar
• Valentina Migotto & Dario De Conti, Ca’ Momi
• Jesse McQuarrie, Feast Catering
• Brian Overhauser, Jamieson Ranch
• Jason Toji & Spencer Weiss, Press
• Will Wright, Bounty Hunter Smokin BBQ
• Nenad Stefanovic, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
• Kara Lind, Kara’s Cupcakes
• Mark Dommen, One Market Restaurant
• Alex Marsh, Yankee Pier Larkspur
• Daniel Capra, Paula Le Duc Catering

Capra

WHEN: Sunday, May 18 201411:00am – 2:00pm PST

WHERE: HALL Wines, St. Helena   401 St. Helena Hwy. South  St. Helena, CA 94574    (707) 967-2626

For more information, please visit www.hallwines.com/cabernetcookoff 

 #cabernetcookoff

Purchase tickets to the event (Click Here)

               

A Page From The Kontos Cookbook

Tsoureki-Easter-Bread---RED-Eggs
by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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I often find that the simplest things are the most delicious. And what could be more uncomplicated than bread?  Racing to the local baker’s to pick up a steaming Pane di Genzano or Pane Siciliano on a Saturday morning at 7:30am; watching my grandmas, my aunts and my mom pull out a freshly baked Rosette from the oven, aromas wafting through the entire house; choosing a tiny twist or soft roll for breakfast with a warm fragrant cup o’ joe at my favorite pastry shop; sitting down to dinner with family and friends over a home-cooked meal. “Pass the rolls, please!”   These are a few of my most cherished moments.

In Greek culture, celebrations with family and friends are also a most important part of community life. When it comes to breaking bread together, Easter is no exception.  So for April 20th, Kontos Foods  Family, of Patterson, NJ, providers of traditional Mediterranean foods, has sent us a wonderful recipe from their private cookbook, something ethnic, new and different for the holiday: a recipe for a delicious Easter bread called Tsoureki. (Hear how this word is pronounced)

A braided yeast bread, Tsoureki is known for the decorative red eggs that are baked right into the loaf.  For a colorful variation on this tradition, you can also bake multicolored eggs into your braided bread.  Every family has its own version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 pkgs. yeast
¼ cup sugar
Flour (follow below instruction)
2 cups warm water
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup oil
2 eggs beaten
Couple/few colored hard-boiled eggs

The Bread:

  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add enough flour to mix to heavy batter. Add salt, oil and all but 2 teaspoons of beaten eggs. Add enough flour to make a firm dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
  1. Cut dough in half, and each half into thirds. Make 3 long ropes and braid. Bend braid into a tight straight, or circle, loaf.
  1. Let dough rise for 45 minutes. Use remaining 2 teaspoons of egg to brush on dough.
  1. To decorate your bread, gently press a red, or other color, egg into the center of your loaf.
  1. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

And just because I thought it might be useful to know exactly how to braid dough, I’ve included a video on how to do it.  This recipe calls for three braids.

To learn more about Kontos Foods visit: www.kontos.com or www.Flatbread.com.

You can also find Kontos Foods on Twitter @KontosFoods or on Facebook at: www.facebook/KontosFoods.

 

Copy-cats, Rip-Offs and Changes: The Evolution of Iconic Logo Design

Did you know that in its early years the Pepsi logo looked like a Coca-cola copycat and that the million-dollar logo change they did in 2008 was also criticized to be an Obama’s campaign logo rip off?  And did you know:

  • Google’s first logo was made in a free graphics program GIMP
  • Nike logo was designed by a student for only $35
  • The original twitter logo was bought on iStockPhoto for $15
  • Apple’s current logo was inspired by their original ‘78 monochrome logo

On the other hand, iconic logo designs are timeless. Brands such as Coca-Cola or GE keep their logos almost unchanged for more than 100 years. Below is a cool infographic designed and contributed by Alex Hillsberg of Finances Online on the evolution of hte logo. You can also read a more in depth version of this story on the site by clicking here.

business logos
Courtesy of: financesonline | Author: Alex Hillsberg | Visit our Google+

There IS a Such Thing as a Free Lunch in NYC!

meatout1

Plant-based quick service establishment Terri Restaurant will be giving grub away for free this Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. in support of the “Great American Meatout.”

Every year since its introduction in 1985, animal lovers from across the nation have ushered in spring with the “Great American Meatout.” Dubbed the largest annual education campaign for compassionate living, Meatout’s mission is to share with the world the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet and, ideally, a vegan lifestyle. From human health to environmental responsibility, from feeling fitter to abstaining from animal abuse, eschewing animal-derived products is accompanied by countless advantages, both close to home and far reaching.So, with this in mind, Terri Restaurant will pay homage to this internationally recognized day of observance by giving away free food. This Thursday, at their Financial District location only (100 Maiden Lane), guests who mention “meatout” will receive up to $10 worth of complimentary cuisine. This deal is suitable for groups, too. (I.e., bring five friends and together receive $60 worth of free food.)So, why is Terri so eager to foot the tab? 

“Food advocacy has always been a passion of mine,” said Terri co-owner Craig Cochran. “For me, Terri’s role is to make healthy and delicious plant-based superfoods as accessible as traditional fast food. We change hearts and minds, one bite at a time.”Regarding the impact an event like this might have on their bottom line, Terri co-owner Michael Pease had this to say: “Are we taking a business risk in giving our food away? Sure. But, we’re so confident in our product and in people’s experiences when they visit Terri —vegans and omnivores alike — that we know a stunt like this will cultivate repeat patrons and, hopefully, inspire a few new vegans.”

The Great American Meatout is coordinated by the D.C.-based nonprofit Farm Animal Rights Movement (F.A.R.M.). Through outreach events, sampling and word-of-mouth, organizers raise awareness, encouraging individuals to make the pledge to be meat-, dairy- and egg-free for one day, one day a week (i.e., #MeatlessMonday) or every day.

What: Terri FiDi x Meatout – Anyone who mentions “meatout”  placing an in person order gets $10 worth of food for free
Where: 100 Maiden Lane (entrance on Pearl Street), NYC 10038 | 212.742.7901
Why: Because, love

Terri Restaurant can be found on Facebook & Twitter.

Friday Reads for the Savvy Girl

Savvy Girl WineWith a passion for learning and desire to be savvy, author and entrepreneur, Brittany Deal would crave the knowledge how-to books promised to offer, but found them painful to complete. As a result, Deal decided to create Savvy Girl, a lifestyle brand for information rich, yet concise guides on the topics women care about. Savvy Girl produces beautiful 100-page guidebooks that readers can finish in 5 hours or less. In today’s world where we are drowning in information, yet starved for knowledge, Savvy Girl believes in cutting through the clutter by delivering guidebooks that help women get savvy and get back to their fabulous life.

The first of many in the Savvy Girl series, Savvy Girl: A Guide to Wine provides tips on how to taste, talk about, buy and enjoy wine. In less than five hours you will know what makes great wine better than good wine, how to ask a sommelier for a wine recommendation, and even throw out words like “terroir” and “tannin” like WineSpeak is your first language.

Deal and the Savvy Girl team are working toward creating over 100 Savvy Girl guides to help women get the knowledge they need to get savvy, solve their problems and get more fun out of life. Savvy Girl knows that we don’t need to be an expert on every topic; we just want to be savvy.

Currently, Savvy Girl: A Guide to Wine is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, select book retailers and wineries ($17.45; http://savvygirl.net/).

Everybody’s Irish at Messhall Kitchen on St. Patty’s Day!

Messhall_Corned Beef HashWell, at least where the food is concerned.  Dig in!
And here’s the menu if you think you didn’t hear that correctly:
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                Sláinte” from Bar Master Ben Scott  
                Pickle Back - a shot of Irish whiskey + a shot of the finest pickle brine known to Mc or Mac. $8
                Irish Goodbye - Irish whiskey, dry vermouth, chartreuse, absinthe. $10
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                Irish Classics from Chef Jim Tate IV served all day
                Blarney Stone Burger- Beef, Corned Beef, Cabbage, Aioli
                Corn Beef & Cabbage  -  Potatoes & Carrots
                Corned Beef Hash  - Home Fries, Fried Egg
.
I have simple tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde
shamrock
4500 Los Feliz Blvd at Hillhurst,  Los Feliz
Reservations:   323 660 6377
#JOINTHEMESS
Messhall  IrishGoodbye Drink
They tested their Saint Patrick’s Day drinks last night at Messhall.
The IRISH GOODBYE won, clearly.

International Women’s Day 2014: Reducing Global Hunger

interantional-womens-day

“In many developing countries, women are the backbone of the economy. Yet women farmers do not have equal access to resources and this significantly limits their potential in enhancing productivity.”

Today, Saturday March 8th is International Women’s Day—and, all over the world, there are innovative women inspiring us.  Our friends at Food Tank who are at the forefront of developing new solutions to the Global Hunger and Sustainable Farming issue put together their list of current pioneers working tirelessly to alleviate poverty and feed the world.

These are business women, mothers, teachers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs, changing the food system through creating better working conditions, securing land rights, becoming leaders in their community, and more.

In many countries, while women are responsible for the majority of food production, they are also more likely to suffer from hunger in food shortages. According to Oxfam International, women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, but only earn 10 percent of the income.

Globally, 70 percent of all farmers are women.

According to the World Food Programmeproviding women farmers access to the same resources as men could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million people. And when women earn more, they invest more in the health of their families.

Read the full article here

In the meantime, here are 23 women righting the wrongs of hunger and poverty that Food Tank is celebrating this International Women’s Day (in alphabetical order).

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Rebecca Adamson: Adamson is Founder and President of First Peoples Worldwide, an organization facilitating the use of traditional Indigenous knowledge in solving issues such as climate change and food security.

Rucha Chitnis: Chitnis is the South Asia Program Director of Women’s Earth Alliance, mobilizing resources to grassroots, women-led groups who are working to secure women’s rights and food sovereignty.

Ertharin Cousin: Cousin is the Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme. She leads the organization with more than 25 years of experience combating hunger and food issues worldwide.

Grace Foster-Reid: Foster-Reid is the Managing Director of Ecofarms, a community-based business in Jamaica that produces honey products from her family’s farm.

Stephanie Hanson: Hanson has been the Director of Policy and Outreach at One Acre Fund since 2009, which provides smallholder farmers in Africa with support, inputs, and training, with the goal of doubling agricultural production on each acre of smallholder farmland.

Wenonah Hauter: Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, Hauter has worked extensively on food, water, energy, and environmental issues, and her book “Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America” examines corporate control over our food system.

Heather Hilleren: Hilleren is the Founder and CEO of Local Dirt, an online platform to find and buy fresh, local food directly from family farms.

Saru Jayaraman: In 2001, Jayaraman began leading a national movement to improve working conditions of food workers and founded Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

Sarah Kalloch: Kalloch is a Senior Advisor at Oxfam America and runs Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet program, engaging over 200 leading American women in anti-poverty advocacy, and builds alliances with national organizations interested in hunger, poverty and injustice.

Nancy Karanja: Karanja is a professor of soil ecology and Director of the Microbial Resource Centre at the University of Nairobi, and from 2005 to 2009, Karanja was the sub-Saharan Africa Regional Coordinator for Urban Harvest, a CGIAR program with the goal of stimulating agriculture in and around cities to alleviate poverty and increase food security.

Joan Karling: Karling is the Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP). She helps safeguard the environment, preserve traditional knowledge, and protect biodiversity through securing land rights for indigenous people.

Myrna Cunningham Kain: Kain is the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) special ambassador from Latin America, she is a social activist for the rights of Indigenous peoples with extensive experience, and in 2001 she was named, “Hero of Health in the Americas.”

Anna Lappe: Lappe is an expert on food systems and a sustainable food advocate, she has authored three books, and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund. Currently, she runs a new initiative, the Real Food Media Project, to spread the power of sustainable food.

Federica Marra: Winner of the 2012 Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Young Earth Solutions competition, Marra created Manna From Our Roofs, an innovative organization that engages young people across the world in food cultivation, preservation, and education.

Kathleen Merrigan: Merrigan is an expert on the relationship between farmers and politicians, she served as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), playing a vital role in Know Your Farmer and Know Your Food initiatives. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at George Washington University.

Anuradha Mittal: Mittal worked as the co-director of Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy and as an internationally renowned expert on development, human rights, and agricultural issues, established the Oakland Institute, a progressive policy think tank in 2004.

Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba: Mwamakamba is a Programme Manager with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), she coordinates the Youth and Gender Programme, aimed at developing a holistic agriculture policy framework in Africa that will support youth and women.

Mariam Ouattara: From Cote d’Ivoire, Ouattara founded Slow Food Chigata, which encourages local women’s cooperatives to grow fruit and vegetable gardens. The chapter has also held workshops on how to produce ecologically sustainable food without chemicals.

Esther Penunia-Banzuela: Penunia-Banzuela is the Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmer’s organizations and as a Filipino-Asian social development worker, she brings experience working with farmers, fisherfolk, and indigenous people. She is also the International Year of Family Farming Special Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific.

Claire Quenum: Quenum is the General Secretary of the African Network on the Right to Food as well as director of the Togolose women’s right group Floraison. Through her work she promotes the right to adequate food in Africa.

Sara Scherr: Scherr is the Founder and President of Ecoagriculture Partners, a non-profit that works with agricultural communities around the world to develop ecoagriculture landscapes that enhance rural livelihoods, have sustainable and productive agricultural systems, and conserve or enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Michele Simon: A public health lawyer specializing in strategies to counter tactics that harm the public’s health, Simon has been researching and writing about the food industry since 1996.

Kanthi Wijekoon: A hero to other women, Wijekoon was arrested while she was trying to escape Sri Lanka to find a better life for her family. The Rural Women’s Front helped her get out of jail and she went on to lead programs reaching more than 600 women a year, increasing daily wages for women rice farmers.

International-Women's-day

What’s for Thursday? Fun, Follies and Frumenti at the Next Door Lounge. But…pssst…It’s a Secret!

 “THESE DAMES AREN’T A DIME A DOZEN”

next door 3

If you want to get into one of Hollywood’s most deliciously secretive hide-aways, you’ll remember that  password — and gentlemen, “Take off your hat!” Or you won’t get past the valet at the door.

In celebration of old-time “Gatsby” style (and yes we mean the movie, but I’m sorry Leo isn’t always there. lol), The Next Door Lounge on Highland at Lexington Avenue has introduced several new features sure to whet your appetite for decadence.

The dames of LA FOLLIES – Los Angeles’ premiere precision kick line and cabaret ensemble – has taken up the award-winning Next Door Lounge as their very first residency.  The dames are performing exclusively at NDL every Thursday in 2014.  The gals will be cutting a rug to the likes of “Razzle Dazzle”, “Hey Big Spender”, and other 20’s tunes mixed with a modern-day swagger, donning fans, canes, and those signature gams of theirs.  There is no cover charge to get in, so you can enjoy signature cocktails with a great show.

“The Dames Are the Most Serious High-Kicking Over-Achievers on the LA Dance Scene! Gorgeous!” ~Gia On The Move

I’m told that if you mention the secret catch phrase at the top of this article, to their Dapper Doorman you’ll be ale to cash in a glass of champagne for 10 cents!

Next door lounge

Cognoscente appeal:

Gia On The Move sampled a generous taste of perfection – in-house master distilled Rye (our personal favorite and two thumbs up recommendation) and Bourbon. If whiskey or cognac is your drink, there will be no fizzles here either…all neatly complimented by a limited food menu.

But there’s more…a “MASTER CLASS” series will be taking place, each month and will focus on a specific spirit to further display NDL’s vast knowledge of each spirit category.   In addition to the MASTER CLASS, NDL will also offer a flight of the featured spirit throughout the respective month. For loyal followers and cocktail connoisseurs alike.

The MASTER CLASS will include:

  • One designated Wednesday each month, NDL head barman Zac Henry will host an interactive and educational tasting of the month’s featured spirit;  discuss its origins and distillation process.
  • Lead guests through a flight tasting of 4+ brands of the featured spirit
  • Feature one cocktail containing the featured spirit to show off its versatility and NDL’s knowledge of mixology
  • Food will be provided
  • Price per seat: $30+ (depending on featured brands)

MASTER CLASS 2014 Schedule

March - Whiskey & Craft Beer

April - Rum

May - Tequila

June - Gin

July - American Whiskeys

THE LINEUP

March 21
“Whiskeys of the World”

  • Bulleit Rye
  • Bushmills 10 Year
  • Johnnie Walker Double Black
  • Oban 14 Year

March 28
“North American Whiskeys”

  • Bulleit Bourbon
  • Bulleit Rye
  • George Dickel #12
  • Crown Royal Cask 16

March 7 and April 4
“Blended Scotches”

  • Johnnie Walker Green
  • Johnnie Walker Gold
  • Buchanan’s Master Blended
  • Old Parr 12 Year

March 14 and April 11
“Single Malt Scotches”

  • Laguvulin 16 Year
  • Talisker 10 Year
  • Oban 14 Year
  • Craggenmore 12 Year

NextDoor1

Celebrate the Flavors of New Orleans this Mardi Gras Season

Vanilla Beignet Bites Celebrating the end of the season of Carnival, Mardi Gras has been a state holiday in Louisiana since the 19th century. Steeped in rich traditions, New Orleans is a city full of sights, sounds, and flavors that you can bring into your home this Mardi Gras season.

“Food is an integral part of New Orleans history and Mardi Gras celebrations,” said Craig Nielsen, CEO, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. “By introducing the rich notes of Nielsen-Massey’s high-quality vanillas and flavors to your favorite Mardi Gras recipes, you can create your own spin on traditions to celebrate for years to come.”

Even if you have never been to New Orleans, you can introduce the spirit of Mardi Gras into your home this year with these fun and festive party ideas:

• Decorate for the occasion: Candles in the traditional colors of purple, green, and gold can be placed around the room or used as centerpieces on tables. But don’t stop with just decorating the room: Purchase a variety of inexpensive masks, hats, boas, and beads at your local party store for your guests to wear. These colorful costumes are common in New Orleans during Mardi Gras celebrations.
• Stock the bar: Have a variety of ingredients on hand to make traditional Mardi Gras cocktails such as Hurricanes, Pimm’s Cups, or a classic Sazerac. Chicory coffee or nonalcoholic punches made with fruit juices and ginger ale are a great option for those who don’t wish to imbibe.
• Serve the classics: An integral part to any Fat Tuesday celebration, food is an ideal way to bring the soul of New Orleans into your party. Consider serving your guests classic dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, king cakes, and beignets.

For a sweet end to your celebration, try the recipe below for Vanilla Beignet Bites with Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Vanilla Powder add a sweet twist to this New Orleans classic that is sure to please your guests.

Vanilla Beignet Bites with Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam

(Yield 6 dozen)

Vanilla Beignet Bites
Ingredients
¼ cup warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar; set aside to activate yeast. In a medium bowl, add butter, half-and-half and vanilla extract; stir and set aside. In a small bowl whisk eggs; set aside.
  • In a bowl of a free standing electric mixer, add flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Place bowl on mixer stand which has been fitted with a dough hook. Turn mixer on low speed and combine dry ingredients.
  • Turn mixer to medium speed then add activated yeast mixture. Add half-and-half mixture, then add the whisked eggs. Mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Dough will be slightly sticky.
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead, about 2-3 minutes; adding additional flour only when needed.
  • Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours. After dough has risen, place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead. Roll dough into a rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut dough into small rectangles, about 1 x ½-inch pieces.
  • Heat oil to 375°F; carefully place dough in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 45-60 seconds. Turn beignets so both sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels; dust with Vanilla Powdered Sugar while bites are still warm. Dip Vanilla Beignet Bites in Nielsen-Massey’s signature Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam.

Vanilla Powdered Sugar (Yield ½ cup sugar)
Ingredients
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder

Directions
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla powder.

Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam (Yield 1 cup jam)
Ingredients
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract

Directions
In a small bowl, add jam, vanilla and lemon extracts. Whisk until jam is smooth and serve with warm Vanilla Beignet Bites. Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam can be refrigerated and also served with whole grain toast, English muffins or scones.

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are All-Natural, Allergen-Free, and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.