Miss Quirky

Summer Fancy Food Show 2014: Delicious Treats & Experiences

In Food on July 9, 2014 at 2:52 am
Warren Brown, creator of "Cake Love" and star of Food Network's "Sugar Love"..

Warren Brown, creator of “Cake Love” and star of Food Network’s “Sugar Love”..

As you can see from the picture above, I have been quite busy this past month. I recently attended the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show held in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center. On my weekend trip I ate an amazing  meal at Samovar, which is a Russian Restaurant and Piano Bar, had a glorious stay at the Sheraton in Brooklyn, and mastered the infamous subway with loads of help from kind strangers.  All I can say is New Yorkers are nice!

I have no idea what he was promoting but I am sure he earned some major change that day.

I have no idea what he was promoting but I am sure he earned some major change that day.

During my two days at the show, I ventured into new foods, beverages, and experiences. The products there were beyond delightful: I will save a separate entry for that, alone. For now, I will just share what enticed, exhilarated and impressed me at the show.

Fancy Food Show Collage part 1

1.) Baby Green Peaches From Japan: 

The Fancy Food Show is divided by countries, states, and specialties. I wanted to feel like I was traveling all over the world so I traveled, more like walked in very uncomfortable TOMS shoes, to Japan.  Sushi, wasabi, noodles, and sauces were peppered in and out of this area. I wanted to try something new so I made a quick Pitt- stop to the Baby Green Peaches stand.  The little fruit was green, fleshy, with a thin veil of shine. It didn’t look very appetizing but looks can be deceiving. All I have to say is yum. I wish it was sold at my nearest Whole Foods or something. It’s perfect in cocktails, ice cream, and fruit salads.

2.) Caviar From Somewhere, United States of America?

Sorry to burst your astronomically large foodie bubble but I don’t remember where I tried this appetizer. So I fail food snob of the year, oh well. The caviar was great and it didn’t have a strong, fishy, aftertaste. It was salty enough and blended well with the bread.

3.) Petit Gateau From Brazil

There was plenty of World Cup pride to go around this aisle.  I was surprised that chocolate lava cakes were a specialty in this part of the world but the taste does not deceive. The cake was moist, chocolate lava sauce was rich, and everything blended well within my taste buds. This is another product I would buy if I was at a grocery store since it’s gourmet in a tiny box.

4.) Tassoni Cedrata From Southern Italy

This drink originated in 1956 from the Southern region of Calabria in Italy. The soda was sweet without overdoing it, and had a nice zest at the end. This drink is also made from a fruit indigenous to Italy called a citron. Again, it’s not really sold in the United States so I am crying myself to sleep over this (i’m not even being sarcastic, it’s really that good).

fancy food show collage part 2

5.) Fruit Juices from the Amazon in Brazil

I’ve always wanted to travel through the Amazon. The closest to doing that endeavor was by tasting fruit juices straight from the area. I’ve already had acai juice before (blech), so I wanted to try something new. So I sampled the following: acerola, camu-camu, muruci, capuacu, and tapereba. I didn’t have strong enough palate or stomach for this adventure. Honestly, that’s what demolished my stomach that day. Do I regret going to this stand and trying these new drinks—no. New experiences are always worth it.

6.) Petite Four Pastries in France

France made a great impression with me, food wise, I mean. I ate a few petite fours and was overjoyed by its simple sweetness. In contrast with American desserts, these pastries had the right amount of sugar and taste to hold over my sugar indulgences. Since the cupcake trend is over (THANK GOODNESS!!) maybe we can all learn to refine our taste buds and indulge in something more classier—like French petite fours.

7.) Hibiscus Flowers & Juices in Malaysia

If you know me at all then you know that I have a deep fascination with anything hibiscus. By chance, I found this delicious hibiscus stand and sampled the actual flower, juices, jams and then some. That was my personal highlight from the show since it’s my favorite flower to snack on.

8.) Jello Shots in India 

So one would automatically think I would love the India aisle. Meh. It was the worst aisle I walked through. Most of the exhibitors were rude and the food was far less than palatable. I highly doubt I would ever walk through there again. Only one stand kept my attention and it was the one where they had a rainbow of jello shots to snack on. It was really tasty, actually. I was surprised by that. If you ever go to an Indian grocery store, I highly recommend getting Indian jello. It was so good. The only redeeming stand from the India aisle (sad, I know).

Fancy Food Show Collage part 3

9.) Korean Burritos from South Korea

Kinda obvious I overstayed my welcome in South Korea. I just couldn’t help it, I LOVE Korean food. Everyone was so nice, the food was well prepared and I had a memorable time in  that aisle. Who wouldn’t want to stay there? The burrito was pretty good and it reminded me of fond memories from Annandale, VA. If you’re on the go and craving Korean food, this is your best option.

10.) Flavored Seaweed from South Korea

I hope I am not the only one who spends mad cash on dried seaweed at Trader Joes and Korean Korner. This stand ascertained for me that there were others who love it too. Dried seaweed is great on rice and it adds great texture and taste to soup. Definitely check these products out when you get the chance.

11.) Lychee Sake from South Korea 

My feet were getting blisters (never buying TOMS shoes again), my back was hurting, and my arms were losing momentum to push through swarms of people. I needed a break. I needed nourishment. I needed lychee sake to quench my thirst. Aside from lychee sake, I also drank smooth rice wine, and velvety plum wine. If it wasn’t for this stand, I would not be here today. It’s a lifesaver.

12.) Cactus Juice & Ponche from Mexico 

My trip to Mexico was amazing. The exhibitors were super friendly, food was memorable, and the ponche impressed me. Lupita has delicious Mexican snacks and drinks that nourish you. I sampled the cactus juice and it had a sweet yet pungent bite. My favorite was the ponche, it stands out with this aisle. Basically, it’s this warm fruit punch with 20 different pieces of fruit inside of it. The fruit tastes wonderfully delightful and melds well with the punches smooth taste.

Fancy Food show part 5

13.) Cheese from Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the cheese capital of the United States of America. Who wouldn’t visit this stand? That would be the most unpatriotic thing to do at the Fancy Food Show. Since Wisconsin has a strong German influence, the cheeses had a European flare to them.

14.) Honey from New Jersey

I LOVE honey. It does wonders to baked goods, tea, and life. I sampled the best wildflower honey that ever existed at this show. Well, I actually sampled all of the honey at this particular stand because it was robust, sweet, and perfectly light at the same time. If you buy store or generic honey brands, they don’t always have that kind of appeal. I was surprised that New Jersey rocked the honey industry. Reality shows like “Jersey Shore” really do give a poor impression of this state. Hopefully, this state will be known for producing delicious honey–someday.

15.) Wine Jelly from Vermont

Dear Wine-Os of the world, there are jellies you can use to slather your toast in. I sampled the champagne, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon jellies and loved it. It was sweet, tart, and tasted just right. The texture was doable and it had an extra grip on my cracker. I wish they were for sale that day because I wanted to buy a few jars for some friends. Way to go Vermont!

16.) Quince Juice from Georgia (The Country)

Quince is a fruit indigenous to parts of Asia, and Latin America. Normally the fruit has a sour taste and it desiccates your tongue. I was hesitant in trying it but was glad I did. The juice did not dry out my tongue but lavished it with a happy after thought.

Having fun

 The products I sampled at the show were noteworthy. I had a wonderful time at the show and hope to wear better shoes at the next one in 2015. Stay tuned for part two of my Summer Fancy Food Show Review. I have products to review that will dazzle or even bore you. Not everyone is a food snob so you may just roll your eyes at my next entry.

A Bucket list of Healthy (ish) Food by Eve Sims

In Advice, Food on May 28, 2014 at 10:35 pm

skin-healthy-food

 

Eve Sims is a prolific online writer. She has contributed articles to various health-oriented online magazines. In fact, she wrote an note-worthy article on the health benefits behind seaweed for Sherryn Daniel’s blog in 2012. 

Everybody is familiar with the concept of a ‘bucket list’.  Some of you might have even crossed off a few activities you always wanted to try, or maybe you are saving for a visit to that exotic country you always dreamed of exploring – but how many of you have made a bucket list of foods that you really should try before you shuffle off this mortal coil? Ok, not everyone is a self confessed ‘foodie’ but you don’t really need to be that ‘into’ food in order to try out different tastes and culinary experiences. It’s a cultural thing – a way to explore other cultures and customs whilst (hopefully) enjoying an entirely new taste sensation – and the best part is, some of these incredible recipes are American. Plus, there can be a spiritual side to cooking and eating (see My Cultural Weekend: Kraftwerk, Deepak Chopra and Moroccan Food). Food is the essence of life and it is essential that we experience as much of life as possible. This post will look at some of the best traditional and tantalizing foods out there – the kinds you really should consider adding to your bucket list and consuming as soon as possible.

Real Authentic Ramen Noodles – Low Fat and Filling 

All students have a steady supply of packet ramen noodles to get them through tough times – but how many have actually tried real, authentic, Japanese ramen noodles? In America, ramen noodles are viewed as a pretty basic, boring, bland snack – carbohydrate heavy and usually requiring plenty of sauces in order to make them edible. Homemade ramen noodles are a different story entirely, tasting delectably light and surprisingly low in fat. This traditional Japanese ramen recipe can take forever to make – but it is so worth it.  Just keep in mind that this dish can be high in sodium which should be monitored – current guidelines issued by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggest that the average person should consume no more than 2300 mg of sodium each day.

Perfect Homemade French Fries – Better for you than McDonalds

You might already make French fries at home, or you might have a preferred type you already pick up at the grocery store. Perfect homemade French fries are…different. They are a taste explosion – made from the very best potatoes, using the best oil and seasoned with the finest sea salt.  It is certainly worth the extra effort to make this delicious ‘traditional’ American dish – but be careful not to indulge too often. Fit Day advises that one tiny cup sized portion of French fries is worth approximately 154 calories – so it would be too easy to eat 1000 calories worth in one sitting. Definitely a one off treat on duvet days or one to have before a visit to the gym.

Marmite – Love it or Hate it it’s Good for Your Health

Marmite is an amazing food made from yeast extract. In America, many people shy away from this strong tasting black gloop – but the truth is, they are missing out on a fabulous condiment – and a nutritional powerhouse. Not only is this food suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, it is chock full of vitamins and is particularly rich in Folic Acid. The US department of Health and Human Services recommends that all pregnant women supplement their diet with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day – and using Marmite in conjunction with a suitable vitamin pill is one way to achieve this target. Marmite has also been used as a tool to quickly boost essential minerals and vitamins in those suffering from eating disorders and the Telegraph have reported that Marmite is a natural superfood – able to ward off superbugs – apparently.

Delicious Seaweed – Eat Your Way to Good Health

Seaweed is a gorgeous palatable delight – if cooked correctly. It is a frequent addition to the menu in Chinese restaurants but is actually a great dish for detoxifying and kick starting a healthy living program. The tastiest way to eat seaweed is by marinating it in a little olive oil mixed with lemon – and the calorie content is so low, it doesn’t matter if you eat more than your fair share. Seaweed helps the body detoxify by flushing toxins from the body and using natural fiber to create a kind of ‘intestinal toothbrush’ – thereby helping to clean out our systems in one fell swoop. Seaweed is also an awesome tool for those trying to kick bad habits and is frequently implemented in good treatment programs similar to those described by Treatment4Addiction.com, the purpose of which is to boost health, nutrition and clear out a system overloaded with toxins. A simple way to detox at home is by adding seaweed to soups and salads – both healthy foods which in themselves provide a natural boost to well being. A healthy diet is exceptionally important all the time but never more so than when trying to quit addictions. In fact, seaweed has been linked with cancer remission making it a true superfood and proving that there has never been a better time to try this wonderful natural bucket list food, whether you want to detox or simply want to try something new.

Croque Monsier – NOT just a cheese toastie

When made in the manner of traditional French cuisine, croque monsieur is one of the finest tasting sandwiches and will quickly leave you wanting more. One of the most authentic recipes for this delicious dish can be found via the Guardian (surprisingly enough) – and those who have eaten authentic croque monsieur in the foothills of Montmarte will confirm that this recipe is one of the best. It’s important to use the correct type of cheese, bread and ham – and the method by which this sandwich is cooked is also integral to the success of your dish. Get it right and you will be able to wow friends and family with your culinary expertise. Get it wrong and your loved ones will wonder why you invited them over for a cheese and ham sandwich. Although not a traditionally healthy food, croque monsieur is still a must have for an occasional treat which we all need from time to time.

The Secret (2006) Movie Review By Simon Daniel

In Pop Culture on May 28, 2014 at 10:23 pm

The-Secret-by-Rhonda-Byrne

My friend, Simon Daniel, wildly popular movie reviewer for Simon Says..WATCH THIS wrote this wonderful review on the 2006 documentary The SecretDefinitely check out the documentary on Hulu when you get the chance. It makes you think twice about what thoughts you let filter inside your cranium.

Many times I have been wondering where my life is going and what I want to do with it. Once I knew what I want to do the next question was: How do I get there? There were good days that made me feel closer to my goals than ever, and then I had to face discouraging times where I drifted apart from everything. I have read book after book trying to find out how to make it, but most of them carried the same message: Be persistent, try to be at the right place at the right time, and never give up. Well, that sounds great in theory, but what if I have a clear concept, but no idea where to start?

When I received an email from Sherryn asking if I am interested in watching and reviewing a documentary called The Secret, she added, “It tells you how to make the world your oyster.” And that’s what caught my attention.

What’s so fascination about this documentary is that we get reintroduced to a concept we all know: Using our imagination. The idea is sending a message to the universe by thinking and focusing on our dreams as often as we can. Focusing on what we want instead of what we don’t want lights up our mood and changes our appearance and effect on people in a positive way. And that might open doors we would have never expected.

As you can tell, I was quite impressed by The Secret. I have watched it three times so far, and just thinking about it I want to pop it in again. If you feel like you are stuck in a dark place, watch this documentary to get inspired. I am not a millionaire yet, but I definitely feel the change of my everyday life just because I applied a few simple tricks to it. I have always been a very positive person, so I didn’t have to change too much about my attitude, but if you are a negative person, the time to change is… yesterday.

You are in charge of your life. So don’t blame anyone else but yourself if doesn’t go the way you expected it. Oh, and also, watch The Secret. It will make things so much easier for you to understand. You’re welcome.

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