Roast Curry Hard Apple Cider Beer & Cabbage

Do you know the difference between hard cider and apple cider beer? The public relation’s representative for Angry Orchard gently reminded me when a recipe for Angry Orchard Summer Ale Hard Cider Beer Shrimp Boil was published last summer. Oh… well that was quite an error on my behalf. But, I did notice a few friends mention how they love “…Angry Orchard’s Apple Cider Beer…” Wait… Am I the only one who mistakenly thought it’s the same product with various names or brands? According to Time Magazine, the production of American hard cider more than tripled from 2011 to 2013, from 9.4 million gallons to 32 million gallons. Which means, there could be quite a few people who are confused about the difference. If we’re part of a growing trend of increasingly purchasing hard ciders, perhaps we should learn more about it.The Angry Orchard’s public relation’s representative accepted my request to interview Ryan Burk, Angry Orchard’s Head Cider Maker. Cheers to learning about hard cider in the interview, and towards the end, get a recipe for Roast Curry Hard Cider Chicken and Cabbage.

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Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens

Besides being known for its Italian style-New York pizza, Saraghina recently opened a new bakery. Essential Italian pantry items, such as bread, morning pastries, olive oil by the pound, spices, cheese, candy and more, are the shop’s speciality. It’s freshly made pasta by the pound is the star. Having access to fresh pasta close to my apartment is a game changer in my menu planning. It means serving dinners made elegant with fresh pasta, and the meals aren’t time consuming. Ironically, the first recipe using Saraghina Bakery’s pasta was a time-consuming Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens.

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Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese made in 2012

A few weeks ago, Whole Foods Market organized a private event, “Parmigiano Reggiano, The King of Cheese,” in which we nibbled on Italian hors d’oeuvres, antipasti and wines. The featured chef was Massimo Bottura of the award-winning Osteria Francescana restaurant in Modena, Italy. His restaurant is listed in the top five of The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards since 2010. Read more

Maple Cumin Bread
Maple Cumin Bread

My knowledge of wine could be more than the average person, for I know my basic pairings with food. I’m also not an aficionado when it comes to tea, but I know enough to start with loose-leaf tea leaves and the different steeping times. However, my knowledge of beer is flat. Last autumn, Jo of AGiftofTea.com — a true tea connoisseur — invited me to her Beer and Tea pairing event in Harlem. Although, my time management is a work in progress, I missed the demonstration. However, I was able to sample Organic Golden Monkey Black, Jasmine Green and Alishan Oolong teas while nibbling on beer flavored popcorn, spicy dried mango from Trader Joe’s (that’s now part of my grocery list) and dark chocolate.

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House of Mandela Wine Signing
Tukwini Mandela and Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela, respectively daughter and granddaughter of Nelson Mandela.

“The family tree is like a vine that grows. It’s who we are and where we come from.” Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela

Each bottle has a bee symbolizing the Mandela family token. It symbolizes courage, compassion and a concern for others; the wings represent the many branches of the Mandela family tree and invoke shared circles of friendship and community relationships. A few weeks ago, Bed-Vyne hosted Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela and Tukwini Mandela, respectively daughter and granddaughter of Nelson Mandela to sign bottles of their House of Mandela Wines. The wines are produced in the world’s most beautiful, bio-diverse winelands, in an environmentally sensitive and ethically responsible techniques. Within the collection are three labels: The Royal Reserve, the Thembu Collection and sparkling.  Read more