A Winning Slow-Cooker Brisket Ragu

brisket raguI mentioned in my last post that I’ve been doing a lot of whining lately. On the road towards positivity, I thought I’d spin that into a win-win, wine-themed post: a fall-apart tender, red wine-enhanced brisket ragu with cellentani (corkscrew) pasta, and a chance to win tickets to the NYC Wine and Food Festival! I’m feeling more upbeat already. Continue reading

New Beginnings

PA barnHello, loyal readers! I’m back from a long summer break with some big news to share: we’ve moved to Pennsylvania. New job, keeping the family together, blah blah. Fine. Let’s get to the tragic part of this story. My lovingly designed, light-filled kitchen with its 9’x5’ marble-topped island and rocket-powered 8-burner range. . .

(Photo credit Katrina Mojzsez)

Subee’s Kitchen – Before (Photo credit Katrina Mojzsez)

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Blog Holiday Open House

Local Subee’s Kitchen followers – you’re invited to my 3rd annual Holiday Open House. This year’s theme will be “Christmas in Paris” (don’t I wish!) Sample some petites gourmandises, check out my boxwood cuttings arrangements (cheap and chic), and take home some new ideas for wrapping and decorating à la française.

Holiday Open House 2013

Pictured above:

  • Quince from my tree; our house in gingerbread; Subee’s Kitchen gift baskets
  • Ornament made by Brenda Cornett; simple wreath & bow
  • Homemade wool felt stockings; gingerbread ornament; la maison 

(Check out last year’s Open House here, or revisit my last trip to Paris here.)

NYC Wine & Food Festival 2013

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If you are friends with Subee’s Kitchen on Facebook, you’ve already heard the exciting news: ShopRite has asked me to join their Potluck blog community as a featured blogger! This means I’ll receive free ShopRite products to experiment with at home, and then I’ll post recipes, reviews, etc. on their Potluck blog about once a month. My bio isn’t up on the site yet, but will be coming soon! IMG_4150

As part of this new relationship, ShopRite invited me and the other Potluck bloggers to New York City last weekend for the Food Network’s 6th annual Wine & Food Festival. Here are some of the highlights. Maybe see you there next year?

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Smashburger Score

Smashburger NJ burger

As much as I love to cook, some days I just don’t feel like it. Or more specifically, I don’t feel like it because I didn’t have time to make it to the grocery store, and/or because there are still dishes in the sink from the night before, and/or because I’m shuttling the kids from one activity to another from school dismissal to dinnertime. For those days, I rely on engineered leftovers, pizza delivery, and the one “fast casual” restaurant the entire family can agree on: Smashburger.

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Fresh Peach Fro-Yo

Every summer it’s the same story: Swoon over perfect-looking peaches piled high in the produce aisle. Bring a bunch home to ripen on the counter. Start dreaming about biting into a juicy, sweet-tart peach.  Try to contain disappointment when the whole lot turns out to be mealy and bland.  Vow to never again buy peaches from the grocery store. Repeat.

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Gelato Break

My first real job was in high school, at the University Place Baskin Robbins.  It came with a brown, pink and white polyester striped uniform shirt (we had to buy our own brown polyester pants) and a below-minimum wage. That was all fine with me – I would’ve worked there for free.  I learned how to decorate ice cream cakes (quickly!) and how to scoop ice cream correctly (in an “S” pattern across the tub). By the end of the summer I thought I knew all there was to know about frozen desserts. But I was cold wrong.

It was the summer after college graduation, and I was backpacking my way around Europe solo. (And these were the Dark Ages, before cell phones, digital cameras, email and Facebook.) Traveling alone really forced me out of my shell, and I met people I never would have spoken to if I had been traveling with friends. While sojourning for a few days at the Cap d’Ail youth hostel in Southern France (you can only take so many churches and museums before needing a beach break), some of my new friends and I decided to take an overnight train to Venice for the day. Unfortunately, most of that day is now a blur (canals, bridges, gondolas). But one memory still rings clear: my first gelato. Che buono! It was pistachio, and even though it was smooth and creamy, it completely confused my mouth because the nut flavor was so intense. (Mouth: “Do I lick this or chew it?”) How could I have missed out on gelato for all these years??

Ever since that enlightening experience, I have a hard time passing a gelateria without stopping in for a little cup.  Even if the gelateria happens to be in the middle of a parking lot next to a CVS pharmacy, as was the case yesterday.

Angelato is a little gem of a gelateria, though most people I talk to about it have never been inside. Now that I have a blog, I can spread the word much more efficiently.  As a special offer for Subee’s Kitchen readers, just print out the last page of this post and bring it in to Angelato for 20% off your gelato order.

I’m still partial to pistachio, though Angelato also makes a hot chile chocolate flavor that I’m now addicted to. (It goes really well with coconut as well as pistachio; you can get two flavors combined if you order a medium cup.) It’s a little pricey, but the portions are generous and I think the small-batch quality is worth it. Plus, did you know that gelato is made from whole milk, vs. heavy cream – which means it has less fat than ice cream?? (2-8% fat, vs. 16-20% with ice cream, according to Angelato’s brochure and a quick Wikipedia search – which is all the research I need to justify the medium size.)

I wonder if they’re hiring.

Florham Village, Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park, NJ

Angelatoheavenlyicecream.com

Offer valid through May 31, 2012; not to be combined with other offers.