Easy Sausage Super Bowl Dip!

>> Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sorry this might be posting a little late. I am telling you things have been hectic!

I promise though that this is the dips of all dips. I haven't written about this one yet because I have been saving it for the Super Bowl: Fort Payne Tailgate Dip. The name originates from my friend Allison who told me of this dip she had at the Fort Payne tent before an Alabama game. Ever since then it's been the best go-to dips for parties. Well that and corn dip

Ok so seriously, this recipe couldn't easier or more affordable; only 3 ingredients and about 15-20 minutes of your time.


  • 1 package of sausage in a tube (I prefer 16 oz. Jimmy Deans Hot Sausage but I can't find it in Manhattan L )

  • 1 package of cream cheese (those 8oz. boxes)

  • 1 can rotel tomatoes (again not something I can find in Manhattan, but any Mexican tomato mix will work)


Warm a skillet to medium high heat and add the sausage carefully; breaking down into small bits so once completed there are sausage crumbles lining the entire skillet. Once there is a good brown color turn down the heat to medium (don't want it to burn!).

While sausage is cooking cut cream cheese block into one inch cubes. This will make it easier to mix in when we add it.

Drain off the excess grease from the sausage into the trash (not the sink!) or into a milk jug. Return the skillet to the stove on medium low heat and sprinkle the cream cheese cubes into the sausage mix. Then add the can of rotel, juice and all. I find that the juice from the canned tomatoes gets a lot of the sausage off of the bottom of the pan.

Once everything is mixed together transfer to a bowl to serve.

You can make this dip in advance and then keep warm in the oven on 200 degrees; it's still just as good.

I will be making this tomorrow and will try to post pictures of the steps, but I promise, this will be the star of the super bowl party!!



Le Cirque – Restaurant Review

>> Friday, January 23, 2009

As I write this I must say that nothing I could ever pen (or type rather) would give justice to the dining experience I had at Le Cirque. I was completely awed by everything that happened at my lunch during restaurant week (I mean seriously how else am I going to "afford" these places). This is one of those New York establishments that just oozes elegance, class and true fine dining.

Located at the Bloomberg building in midtown, this is a close walk from my work and I met up with my dear friends, improv expert Marcy and co-worker Jackie. Without a doubt the first thing that you will notice upon arrival is this gorgeous, unique building, a glass masterpiece in the heart of bustling midtown. Once you enter, you are swept away by the beauty inside; tall ceilings with fabric draped everywhere makes you feel like you are in the heart of a circus tent and unique art lining the back walls transports you to Paris immediately.

We are seated promptly and begin to dissect the menu. Having eaten here during last year's restaurant week, we knew everything was excellent and we were all in for a special treat.

Here's what we started with:
  • Chestnut Pappardelle with veal ragout, wild mushrooms and candied rosemary (this is what I had – it obviously left an impression)
  • Salad Le Cirque with mixedgreens and pomegranate
  • Butternut Squash Veloute with cotecchino and fennel mousseline
Everything was just outstanding. The pasta was obviously freshly made and the butternut squash soup was so velvety I just wanted to curl up with it. The salad was fine, nothing spectacular, but good nonetheless (sorry Jackie!).
Now for the entrées…

Cobia with a shallot crust sweet and sour beets
  • Chicken with peppers basquaise, broccoli rabe and panisse
Marcy and I both got the Cobia and while not exactly flaky, the flavors made up for it. The crust was crunchy and sweet and added a really nice texture to the meaty fish. Combined with beets, this whole dish had a really nice balance of flavor and an overall light, airy, feeling.

We finished off with some lovely desserts, Marcy and Jackie the chocolate fondant with raspberry sorbet which they tell me was delicious…I didn't get to try. I got the citrus parfait with blood orange, tangelo and lemon and it was quite refreshing and delicious.

To top things off Sirio Maccioni (the founder) was there! Walking around and talking with the guests. I freaked. I totally, 110% freaked out! I wanted to get a picture with him, but he was talking in Italian and I didn't want to interrupt if it was something important…

I am so thankful that I got to eat at one of the best restaurants in Manhattan for the second time and had just as pleasant of an experience. I will say this, Le Cirque is not for the faint of heart; while there is something on the menu for everyone, true foodies will love the unique flavor profiles and combinations as well as the overall dining experience. One of my best to date (and the company wasn't too bad either!).

Le Cirque
151 E 58th
New York, NY 10022
Salad Le Cirque

Chicken Dish

Citrus Parfait


Mercer Kitchen – Restaurant Review

>> Thursday, January 22, 2009

This week I was fortunate enough to eat at Mercer Kitchen. It's restaurant week in New York which is a real treat for New Yorkers. Chef's prepare a three course menu for both lunch and dinner for exceptionally reasonable prices ($24 for lunch and $35 for dinner) considering the caliber of restaurants participating.

I've eaten at Mercer kitchen before and had a wonderful experience so I was excited to go back again. Located on the corner of Mercer and Prince in the heart of Soho, Mercer does not disappoint in décor and ambiance. As you are lead down the stairs the restaurant opens up and is dimly lit with candles and you can see people walking of the street above.

Now the food. The menu was a great sampling of unique new American cuisine items. Here's an overview of the items tasted

  • Tuna pizza with wasabi cheese

  • Salmon with crispy brussle sprouts and truffle mashed potatoes

  • Almond cake with sour cream ice cream and caramelized apples

My tuna pizza was a very interesting appetizer. I appreciated the idea, but to be honest the wasabi cheese completely overpowered the tuna. Some bites would literally burn my entire sinus system with every bite. If there hadn't been a nice slaw salad on top I would not have been able to eat it at all.

The salmon was cooked perfectly and the crispy brussle sprouts added a nice contrast in texture and the mashed potatoes were delicious as well. I really enjoyed this dish, and would definitely order it again (maybe even try to make it on my own J)

Ah dessert. Those who know me best know that I have a big ole sweet tooth. I would eat sugar if I could. So when dessert time came around it was all I could to hold back and not eat everything in one bite. The cookie was chewy, the sour cream ice cream was an unexpected surprise of sweet and salty, and the caramelized apples provided a great balance of flavor.

Aside from the wasabi cheese overload, this was another great experience at Mercer Kitchen.

Mercer Kitchen
99 Prince St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-5454


Rosemary Roasted Potatoes Recipe

>> Friday, January 16, 2009

So this is an easy and delicious staple in my kitchen. I took some pictures which I will have to post later! Things have been so hectic lately, but I am getting back into the grove of things and more tasty things to come your way dear foodies.


  • 2 red skin potatoes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Crushed Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cooking sheet with a non-stick spray.

Cut and cube the potatoes so they are about a ¼ of inch thick (honestly, however you like your potatoes is how you can cut them). Drizzle with some EVOO and heavily salt and pepper. Then light toss with some crushed rosemary.

Put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, then check for tenderness and toss around (don’t want one side to be browner than the other). If the potatoes are not done increase the heat to 450 and leave them in for 5-7 more minutes.

This is a great, easy, and semi-healthy side dish that will complete any meal!


Corn Dip Recipe Review

>> Friday, January 9, 2009

With a whole lot of good football coming up, I have been asked by several people what are some good dips to bring to a party.

I always recommend this Corn Dip because it's easy and always a crowd pleaser. Recently someone was nice enough to let me know how the corn dip went over!

"Renee saved my life with this dip because I needed something for a large crowd at our annual design potluck lunch.... Not to mention- it's quite difficult competing with all of the ethnic foods. Anywho I had no time, money or patience and this corn dip was my hero! Definitely not the healthiest thing- but a huge crowd pleaser for all to enjoy! PS- Tony's is a must add in!"

So if you need a good party dip click here for the perfect recipe!


Spitzer's Corner Restuarant Review

>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I've wanted to eat at Spitzer's Corner for a long time and despite honest efforts I never really made it down to this Lower East Side (LES) gastropub. However, when I won a coin toss this past weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to make the venture down there.

The LES is full of unique restaurants and shops so everything sort of sticks out. When approaching Spitzer's Corner the first this I notices was the wood exterior and large door.

When you walk in there is a large bar and long tables, completely packed at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday.

We're lead to the back (I dragged Jef along with me) and seated at a comfy table for two.

The menu on the weekend is small because they ONLY serve the brunch menu (which was a big turn off in my opinion). For a place that boasts 40 unique beers on tap you would think they would have the whole menu, because I'm sorry pancakes with my Unibroue Ephemere beer (more on that in a later post) does not sound appealing.

Anyways, I ordered the short rib burger with Vermont cheddar and a side of french fries, and Jef get the "rustic" omelet with chorizo, piquillo peppers, and scallions. My burger was beyond delicious; cooked perfectly with juice ozing from its pores with every bite. Honestly, it may have beaten BLT Burger. The fries were freshly cut and fried with a spicy seasoning salt.

Then there was Jef's omelet...It fell short. There's really no other way to put it. There was really nothing special about it and if you are going to call something rustic, it better be good...

Overall, Spitzer's Corner was priced well and my food was good. I would definitely consider going back, but I would only go on a weekday so I could get the full menu.

corner of Ludlow and Rivington Street
New York, NY
212 228-0027


New Post Tomorrow

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I promise I haven't forgotten about you dear foodies!! I have been very busy with lots of traveling and am finally getting settled :) Lots of good recipes and reviews to come!



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