Jan/Feb
2019

Celebrate Chinese New Year: Right here in Rochester

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Written by Cindy Mennenga

Rochester has a vast international dining scene given its size. There are numerous fantastic Asian restaurants in town—some are trendy and upscale presenting new twists on classic dishes, while others are traditional and beloved by visitors and locals alike.  

In honor of Chinese New Year (February 5, 2019), my husband and I wanted to explore a sampling of new and established Asian restaurants in Rochester. There are several excellent Asian eateries, but we chose to visit Hunan Garden and Asia Fusion. 

 

Jan/Feb
2019

Wines of the World: Supports Bear Creek Services

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Written by Margo Stich

For the past 28 years, Wines of the World has offered an opportunity to enjoy a fine evening of food and wine tasting, while supporting the mission of Bear Creek Services. Rochester International Event Center is transformed to a showcase of more than 200 wines and delicious food, along with select beers and craft spirits, auction items, live music and more. The event closes with an opportunity to order wines featured at the event, at special event prices. Plan to enjoy these at a later date, in your souvenir wine glass. 

WINE TASTING HOW-TO’S

At an event like this, where there is so much to sample, remember, you don’t have to try it all–well you can’t–and you don’t have to like everything you try. That said, being open to hearing why someone likes a wine you don’t can help you better understand, and identify, those wines which you are more likely to enjoy. Such insight can help you make better decisions when ordering wine at a restaurant or purchasing a bottle at a wine shop.

 

Nov/Dec
2018

CHUTNEY: Spice up the holidays

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Written by Jorrie Johnson Photography by tiffany Hansen

I WAS RAISED IN NORTHERN MINNESOTA EATING A BASIC, BLAND DIET. When I moved to Rochester about 20 years ago, a doctor’s wife told me about using chutney to flavor meat. Not knowing what chutney was, I simply nodded, smiled and agreed with her exotic palate.  

A few years ago, after hearing about chutney again and again, I decided to learn more about it and discovered chutney is made of spices, vegetables and fruits. Commonly, chutney is a spiced relish or condiment used in Indian cooking. The holidays are apropos to bring on the spices, so let’s get started.

 

Nov/Dec
2018

To Brine, or Not to Brine: That is the question

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Written by Jorrie Johnson Photography by tiffany Hansen

TO SOME PEOPLE THERE IS NO QUESTION—THEY HAVE THEIR ANNUAL TURKEY BRINING TRADITION.
I first heard about brining last year and upon being introduced, I searched and found that brine is a salt and water solution and learned that soaking in brine before roasting makes turkey juicer and tastier.

BASIC BRINE

Myrecipes.com says, “Brining is a technique that submerges food in a salt solution to prevent moisture loss during cooking, creating succulent, juicy bites.” A basic brine can be used for fish, shrimp or white meats such as chicken, turkey or pork.

Smithsonian.com says when you place a turkey in a brine, the proteins in the turkey rearrange to incorporate the sodium and chloride ions from the salt. This reconfiguration of the protein makes the meat more tender.

Frozen turkeys found in the grocery stores are pre-brined, containing turkey broth, salt, sodium phosphate, sugar and “natural flavorings for tenderness and juiciness.” Brining a store-bought turkey is unnecessary. Untreated turkeys, from the wild or raised on a turkey farm, such as Ferndale Market, are best treated with a brine solution. 

 

STUMPED ON SECRET SANTA IDEAS? NEED A HOSTESS GIFT? ATTEND THE FIFTH ANNUAL FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace, December 1, 2018, Mayo Civic Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With treasures locally sourced and crafted by over 100 food artisans, Feast! features culinary gifts sure to impress everyone from Bob in accounting to your child’s third-grade teacher. For only $8, you can sample everything before you buy and watch cooking demonstrations. Supporting the local economy never tasted so good.   

Check out a few of our FEAST! favorites at the event or on their websites. Visit local-feast.org for a complete list of exhibitors.

Maple Syrup from B&E’s Trees

B&E’s Trees is offering a bourban barrel-aged maple syrup as beautiful as it is delicious. Produced on an off-grid farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin, this pancake topper’s smoky vanilla tones (with hints of bourbon) enhances everything from carrots to cocktails. For more information visit BandEsTrees.com. 

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Italian Wines: Red, White and You

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

ITALY HAS OVER 2,500 INDIGENOUS TYPES OF GRAPES. ITALIAN WINEMAKERS CREATE WINE RANGING FROM FRUITY ROBUST REDS TO CRISP DRY AND SPARKLING WHITE WINES. WITH SO MANY VARIETIES, IT CAN MAKE THE SELECTION PROCESS DIFFICULT. 

The Struggle is Real

There are so many native types of grapes in Italy because the landscape is superb for growing grapes. “Grape vines like to struggle. They grow well in rocky, mountainous or hilly regions, and they thrive in volcanic, prehistoric ocean beds,” says Robert Riggs, wine expert at Apollo Liquor. There are three volcanoes in Italy creating the perfect conditions for grapes: Mount Vesuvius on the mainland, Mount Etna on Sicily and the island volcano of Stromboli.

Expressive Italian White Grapes

“I love Italian whites. They are so, so expressive. The two main grapes are vermentino and verdicchio,” Riggs says. “Vermentino grapes are grown all over Italy, and even though it’s the same grape, it has different expressions.” In Sardinia the grapes create crisp and acidic wine. In Tuscany the wines are softer and rounder, and in Piedmont the wine is crisp with less mineral. Wine buyers beware: Italians have a habit of changing the name of the grape depending on the region. For example, the vermentino grape is known as the favorita grape in Piedmont.

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Italian Fare and AMORÉ! How one woman’s dream came true over chocolate cake

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

AHH, ITALIAN FOOD! FRESH INGREDIENTS, AND ALL THE WONDERFUL LOVE THAT GOES INTO THE PREPARATION, BRINGS AUTHOR SHERYL NESS—AND ME—BACK TO THE BEAUTY OF ITALY EVERY TIME WE EAT SUCH AUTHENTIC FOOD.

Sheryl Ness, The Chef’s Wife and author of “Love in a Tuscan Kitchen: Savoring Life Through the Romance, Recipes, and Traditions of Italy” shares my deep love of Italy and its food. I first met Sheryl and her husband, Vincenzo, this year when we entered their quaint, recently remodeled “Italianized” kitchen as Vincenzo was prepping the recipes below. I immediately had a connection to these two beautiful people, remembering my vacation to Italy in September 2017. After sampling the bruschetta, downing the risotto and finishing off the dessert, I was excited to start reading Sheryl’s book. Not only did these dishes remind me of Italy, but I could see the love Sheryl and Vincenzo had for each other just by being in their presence, and I wanted to learn more about their whirlwind romance in Italy. 

CRACK OPEN THE BOOK

When I returned home that evening, I began reading the book with fervor and even emailed her later that night to tell Ness how much I was enjoying it. I also liked how she describes the book: “’Love in a Tuscan Kitchen’ is a different kind of love story. The book tells a story of my love for the people, traditions and foods of Italy first, then by chance, how I fell in love with a chef, Vincenzo,” states Ness.

 

AT DINNERTIME, MY DAUGHTERS BECOME MASTER ILLUSIONISTS. UNWANTED FOOD IS STRATEGICALLY SPREAD ACROSS THEIR PLATES. TA-DA, THEY’VE MADE THEIR FOOD MAGICALLY DISAPPEAR! WHILE MOST OF THEIR SCRAPS ARE EDIBLE OR COMPOST-WORTHY, THEY’RE STILL SMUGLY SCRAPED INTO THE TRASH. FOOD WASTE: 1, FOOD CONSERVATION: 0. 

A WAKE-UP CALL

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that food waste consumes 30 to 40 percent of our food supply, which is about 133 billion pounds. Farmers and grocery stores reject “ugly” produce, despite it being edible. Many schools, hospitals and restaurants lack information or resources to manage their food purchasing and waste wisely. Over-buying groceries and confusing expiration dates add to the epidemic. Dr. Roni Neff, researcher at Johns Hopkins University, projects that we could feed 84 percent of our nation with the food that Americans waste. 

 

May/Jun
2018

Mamma Mia!

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Written by Emily Watkins

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! ON SUNDAY, MAY 13, WE TAKE TIME TO REMEMBER OUR MOMS AND OTHER WOMEN WHO HAVE CARED FOR US. OF COURSE WE LOVE OUR MOTHERS EVERY DAY, BUT THIS HOLIDAY GIVES US AN EXCUSE TO PAMPER THEM THE WAY THEY DESERVE. 

HONORING MOMS AND EMOTIONS

Although this day is a happy one for many, it’s important to remember that Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those who have lost their mom. It can be a time to reflect and honor those women who have gone before us and whose memories we cherish. The woman who is credited with advocating for Mother’s Day did so to honor her own mother who had passed away.1 

 

Mar/Apr
2018

Perfect Finish

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Written by Emily Watkins

Pairing desserts and wines.

WINE AND CHOCOLATE. CHAMPAGNE AND STRAWBERRIES. RIESLING AND CHEESECAKE? WANT TO HAVE YOUR DESSERT AND DRINK IT TOO? THINK BEYOND THE STANDARD PAIRINGS FOR AN AMAZING WAY TO END A MEAL OR JUST ENJOY A TREAT. 

SHARING IS CARING

One of my favorite things in life has been enjoying a long meal around a table in France. So when I hosted my wine tasting group recently, I planned a typical French meal. Our discovery of great cheeses paired with cabernet sauvignon appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Rochester Women magazine.

On an extended trip to France last summer, a friend taught me how to make authentic French mousse au chocolat. This elegant, make-ahead dessert with just four ingredients is a knock-out option for hosts who don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen while their guests are present. It was ideal to serve at this gathering, especially since cabernet sauvignon is known for its ability to complement chocolate. 

 

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