Go to North Avenue and turn East. Drive 2.5 miles. Across from the movie theater in Cranford, visit the newly opened Cheese...Please! at 26 Eastman Street. Enjoy a cup of their freshly brewed Irish tea while you shop for specialty foods imported from Ireland and England. And make sure to tell Maria that Westfield Foodie sent ya.
You may remember Maria from a large wine & cheese store in Westfield on South Avenue by Harmon's. I do, I was a regular. With great patience and a veritable grin, she is expertly helpful and knows her stuff. My neighbors and I count on her to feed our endless cheese addiction and she never fails us. She disappeared for a few months, but now she is back.
Her new shop will feature a variety of international cheeses, plus crackers, breads and jams. The shop dedicates an area of the store to Marie O'Neill's, an importer which will feature that collection of your favorite Irish and English treats.
Tomorrow morning, stop by for the official grand opening and ribbon cutting at 9:45am. Doors open for shoppers at 10am. Go ahead, make a cheese omelette.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I love Downtown Westfield Restaurant Week! Whether I am returning to a favorite spot or trying out a new place, this is the week to branch out. I am sometimes forced by the prix fixe menu to try a new entree, which I may not do on a regular night out. I like to stick to what I know and tend to order my usuals instead of taking risks. You know, just in case it's not as good. But during restaurant week, I can or must venture out a bit, and it's usually with great reward.
Between Sunday, September 19 and Sunday September 26, the participating Westfield restaurants are offering a two course dinner for $20 or a two course lunch for $10.
Gotta love restaurant week!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Maybe you've tried the real frozen yogurt, or was offered a pickle on a stick, or grilled the patty pan squash or shared a chicken pot pie with your family. Or maybe you haven't come to the new specialty food shop on Quimby Street yet but have been looking for a reason.
If you like food, especially when it is all natural and healthy, and double especially when it comes from NJ farmers and artisan bakers or cheesemakers, mark your calendar. And if you happen to enjoy receiving complimentary corn, peaches and apples, then you are really in luck!
Tomorrow is the Grand Opening of Alan's Orchard at 102 Quimby Street in Westfield. So come on over, meet the NJ Secretary of Agriculture, meet Alan, meet the meat from NJ grass-fed cows, and sample some of the store's finest food products.
See you tomorrow!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Our oven never really worked. It did for a few months when we bought the house in 2005 with new appliances. Then it broke and we had the guy come out. 3 months later same thing, and 5 years later I just give up.
I don't even miss an oven. I adapted my cooking techniques to exclude the oven completely. I use my toaster oven a lot for smaller meals. For everything else I sear and grill and saute and broil.
Last week I even grilled meatballs. I had them all prepared and was in the middle of grilling veggies so I thought why not? I grill burgers all the time and they are close cousins. They were freaking delicious! And, since they weren't cooking in additional oil, and whatever fat they gave off most likely dripped off, I'm assuming they must have been lower in fat and calories. The taste was out of this world.
The other night I had 20 people over for dinner. I grilled everything from chicken to veggies to bread to peaches. I explained to my guests in advance they could not heat anything up in my oven. It simply does not exist.
Once you break through the concept of cooking without an oven, the possibilities abound. I perfected a full roasted chicken that I make weekly. Mashed potatoes even taste better when you add taters that have been slow roasting over hot grills till golden brown.
I grill all year. I especially love to grill in the snow. It's beautiful in my backyard. Food tastes better. It looks stunning. I have outdoor speakers. I might even make a phone call or 2 in the silent dusk. It's my happy place.
Next time you think about shoving something in the oven, I challenge you to take it outside and enjoy the fresh air and perhaps a sunset while you cook your dinner. After all, the bbq is more than lines of heat that make your food look pretty. When you close the lid it's ... an oven.