Monday, January 19, 2015

Snowy Panorama at Edgemont Park #Montclair NJ

The Veteran's Memorial in Edgemont Park stands serenely
 in the white silence on a January Afternoon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

An Epiphany About Epiphany (Twelfth Night)

Epiphany.
Twelfth Night.
"Little Christmas" to some.
Christmas in the Orthodox Tradition.
The Twelfth Day of Christmas to others.


Epiphany is an insight, something that has suddenly become apparent. Reading and reflecting on the day, one realizes that the historic events of the day really are quite simple, and a lesson so many of us need to learn, again, and again.

Epiphany marks when the Magi, the Three Wise men, rode into Bethlehem to visit the Christ child. The were wise indeed, learned men of science, and philosophy, and politics. They came from the East, Persia, in what is now Iran and Iraq.

The Magi followed a star, a new star in the sky, under which they found the Christ Child. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But what they really brought was recognition. Recalling our lessons from Sunday School, the Christ Child was already visited by shepherds, but shepherds don't have much authority. Their knowledge is tending to sheep and not much more. But here were Wise Men, perhaps some of the most learned people around, who traveled a great distance, to see the new born King.

The Church regonizes Epiphany as the manifestation of the Christ to the Gentiles, the non-Jews. Recognition. Someone of authority recognizing something as worthy of beholding.

How many times in our lives do we have a chance to have an epiphany moment, a chance to recognize something as worthy? There are so many simple times in each day that we can change the world, or at least someone's world for one brief moment, by the simple act of recognizing them or their work. Praising a child for a simple line drawing, complimenting someone's suit, even recognizing someone's existence by waiting a moment as we hold the door for them.

These simple acts, though not as significant as the visit of the Magi, can change the world.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Classics Remixed : Coconut Rice Pudding with @SuccessRice #recipe

Rice Pudding is comfort food at its best. This twist on the traditional deli favourite uses coconut milk to warm the soul. It a really simple favourite recipe that is the ideal dessert after a spicy meal or served alone mid-afternoon when I'm feeling a bit homesick for San Diego.

Ingredients:

Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla California 
1 1/2 cups cold unsalted cooked Success rice

3 cups whole milk

1/2 cup well stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract    

                    

Simmer rice, milk, coconut milk and salt uncovered in medium (2 or 3 quart) heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stir frequently until thickened, about 40 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract, serve warm.

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I've actually used non-fat milk as well as lactaid milk and have had positive results. The pudding was not as thick with these adjustments but it was still oh so delicious.

Make sure you are using coconut milk. I have heard stories of people who have used Cream of Coconut which is a canned sweetened product used often for making pina coladas - yuk!

Turbinado sugar, also called Raw Sugar is my sugar of choice. This minimally processed sugar comes from the same plants as the white sugar to which so many of us are accustomed but is brown in colour and many, including me, can taste the difference. My personal preference is Sugar In The Raw which obtains all of their sugar from Hawaii. I like the idea of supporting domestic agriculture and as well as preventing more land in the Aloha state from turning into condo farms.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best Bets for New Year's Eve: Escape | Montclair NJ

Chef Bryan Gregg will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with a 3-course dinner. 

Note that guests are welcomed to bring their own wines.

When: Wednesday December 31, 2014. Cost: $68/person plus tax and gratuity.

 Starters
Tartar of local beef, yolk, black truffle Beets, oxalis, chicken skin, charred onion, sorrel Charleston risotto, crustacean cream, baby herbs Potato brioche, truffle purée, uni, watercress pistou Smoked cream, Caspian Osetra caviar, corn chive madeleine Warm lobster salad, parsnip milk, fennel pollen, ice lettuce

Mains
Beef, foie gras, charred turnip, hay Black bass, kale, black garlic, crab crème Lamb, cauliflower, currant, Brussels leaves, sorghum Rabbit, truffles, brioche, carrots, charred leek Chicken, celeriac, thigh dumplings, dill weed Scallops, squash, porcini, pecan miso

Desserts 
Chocolate, hazelnut, butterscotch Buttermilk pie, cranberry, walnut, coffee cake Cheese plate with garnish

Reservations for this special evening can be made by phone at (973) 744-0712.

 Escape Montclair 345 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042

Best Bet For New Year's Eve: Boozapalooza 2014/15! |Fairfield

Jersey Artisan Distilling, Highlands Dinner Club and Blue J Syrups bring you Boozapalooza 2014/15!

As 2014 comes to a close, we at JAD want to celebrate with you all that we have accomplished this year and all we have planned for 2015. What better way to ring in the New Year than with some great rum cocktails, amazing food and music at Jersey's first new distillery to open since Prohibition! You have all been part of the awesomeness, so we want to start the new year with you.

Tickets include: All you can drink cocktails & beer Extensive appetizers provided by the fabulous minds at HDC (including rumors of a Busted Barrel infused roast pig) Music, Champagne toast, A JAD t-shirt & glass A whole night of fun times! The party will kick off around 9 and go until we can't party any longer.

2014 has been awesome & we can't wait to raise a glass with you to start 2015 right!

Tickets are $60,00, $25,00 for Designated Drivers. Tickets are available now on Eventbrite.

Jersey Artisan Distilling
32b Pier Lane West 
Fairfield, NJ 

Best Bets For New Year's Eve : Terre A Terre | Carlstadt

Terre a Terre, the Garden State's highly praised Farm-to-Table restaurant in Carlstadt, Bergen County still has a few spots available for New Year's Eve. Featuring a special menu, live music, and local wines Terre a Terre celebrates all the best of the Garden State. What better way to start 2015.

Since opening in October of 2013, Terre a Terre has received praise from media on both sides of the Hudson proving that great food prepared passionately is still everyone's favorite dish. New Jersey Monthly awarded Chef Todd Villani's restaurant three and a half stars, the first time a restaurant has receive such a high rating in a very long time.

This summer Terre à Terre became the first Meadowlands area restaurant to have received certification as a 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant® from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national nonprofit organization that helps restaurants become more environmentally sustainable.

Call Terre a Terre at (201) 507-0500 to reserve your space TODAY. 
Word on the street is that there are only four spots left. 

Terre à Terre – translated as down to earth – is Chef Todd Villani's food venture where he showcases his passion for an authentic farm to table experience, which starts with fresh, local ingredients. The dining experience is authentic…food prepared just as nature had intended

Terre a Terre is at 312 Hackensack Street Carlstadt, NJ 07072. (201) 507-0500.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Tree Curbing : An Annual Green Tradition

There are Trees waiting on the curbside for the trash hauler or mulchers to pick them up. If it is not illegal to go curbing (i.e. taking things from the curb that are meant to be discarded/recycled) why not grab one or two like I did ?

With hand clippers I took off the branches the trees so they can be used on top of the planting beds in the garden. They will actually serve several purposes :

- first they will hold the leaves and other top mulches in place over the course of the winter

- they will help shade the soil on warmer days to prevent the freeze-thaw cycles that can disturb bulbs, seeds, and plants

- the garden beds will look better with greens on them

- over the course of the winter, most of the needles will fall off the branches and become mulch and slowly decay into the soil

- come spring the remaining branches will find themselves chopped up to become mulch and compost

- berries love the boost of soil acidity from evergreen branches as do broadleaf evergreens like Azaleas and Rhodedondrons

- even if there is snow on the ground, placing the branches in the garden now will still work, as the snow melts the branches will eventually make their way to soil level

( so get out there, and go curbing for trees! )

Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter at the Ramsey Farmers' Market

The non-profit Ramsey Farmers' Market welcomes market goers from far and wide every Sunday through March from 10M-2PM at the Eric Smith School located at 73 Monroe St., Ramsey, NJ.
 
More than 30 farmers and food purveyors offer fresh, seasonal, local produce and products including organic and responsibly grown vegetables and fruits, artisan breads, gluten free baked goods and prepared foods, pasture raised antibiotic and steroid free meats, gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegar, free range eggs, milk in glass bottles, made on site guacamole, gourmet nuts and dried fruits, fresh fish directly from the Hampton Bays, homemade pastas, sauces and soups, gourmet stuffed breads, spices, handmade pet treats, green juices, hand crafted soaps and body products, and much more.
 
The Ramsey Farmers' Market also accepts donations of non-perishable food products which are delivered to the Center for Food Action in Mahwah and also accepts WIC and SNAP vouchers. Gift certificates are always available. The Ramsey Farmers' Market is sponsored by the Ramsey Historical Association and supported by the Borough of Ramsey. Visit www.ramseyfarmersmarket.org or call 201-675-6866 for more information. Ample parking available.

 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Disney's Live Action Cinderella Comes To Theaters March 13, 2015

"Ella, you have more kindness in your little finger than most people posses in their whole body"



Cinderella: "They're made of glass?" Fairy Godmother: "And you'll find they are really comfortable"



"Where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness there is magic"

Cinderella in in theatres March 13 2015.