Tag Archives: food

taste of the giants

Taste of the Giants

The New York Giants recently participated in a heart-pounding, high-tension contest that was decided in the last second…but it had nothing to do with football!

The Giants, along with Stop and Shop, hosted the “Taste of the Giants” event at MetLife Stadium to benefit Rock and Wrap It Up!. The award-winning charity is a food and asset recovery organization that takes leftovers from sporting events, concerts, Hollywood sets and more and gives them to anti-poverty agencies in need.  The New York Giants were the first metropolitan area team to partner with Rock and Wrap It Up!, and since then all NY/NJ sports teams have gotten on board.

The highlight of the evening was the celebrity cook-off featuring Big Blue’s defensive stars (Prince Amukamara, Cullen Jenkins and Jay Bromley) versus the G-Men’s offensive studs (Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and Geoff Schwartz).  Each team had 40 minutes to whip up a dish using carefully selected ingredients that included chicken, polenta and chocolate.  After the buzzer, each side had to present their creation to a panel of celebrity judges: Former New York Giants David Diehl and Rich Seubert; Mauro Castano and Joe Faugno from TLC’s “Cake Boss”; and Chef Amanda Freitag of Food Network fame.

“I gave the chefs strict instructions- don’t let [the players] near any knives; we don’t need any more accidents!” quipped New York Giants owner John Mara to #HipNJ‘s Lisa Marie Latino.  “But everyone is having a great time, we have a great turnout, and we’re proud to be associated with [Rock and Wrap It Up!].”

From the beginning, the odds seemed to be stacked in the offense’s favor.  Diehl and Seubert were both Super Bowl-winning offensive linemen, and according to Pugh, his unit’s take on chicken and waffles was going to “explode on the judge’s tastebuds”.  But would that be enough to seal the victory?

While the judges gave both teams “10s” across the board, there could only be one winner.

“They were both amazing,” gushed Chef Freitag.  “We loved the creativity of the offense, but [based] on flavor-ables, we felt the [defense’s jerked chicken]  had the best dish.”

“It was a lot of fun to be in the kitchen, but it was [even better] to beat the offense!” exclaimed Amukamara.

This goes to prove the old adage: “Offense wins games, defense wins championships!”

For more on Rock and Wrap It Up!, visit RockAndWrapItUp.org.


5 Quick and Easy Halloween Recipes

Trick or treat? Hip New Jersey picks treat!

Halloween is here and if you still need some tasty treats for a Halloween party here are some quick and easy recipes!

You might not normally think about Halloween as being delicious, but it’s the best time of the year to add flavor and fun to your cooking.  (Especially when it’s right around apple and pumpkin picking season!)

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t let those pumpkin seeds go to waste either. If you’ve been carving out pumpkins and have a bunch of seeds leftover make them into this delicious treat. Your guests will become addicted to these crunchy seeds.

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
What’s better than hummus? Pumpkin flavored hummus with a little bit of spice added!

The Raven Cocktail
Speaking of spice, what’s a party without a few drinks to spice things up? Who says only kids can have fun in Halloween? Follow these easy steps to make this delicious cocktail.

Halloween Candy Apples
Do you happen to have a lot of apples leftover from apple picking? Make them into a delicious treat following these easy steps!

jersey city

Detour: Jersey City by Michele Jacobson

You’re traveling due east towards the Holland Tunnel on a Saturday evening and traffic grinds to a screeching halt. Dinner that sounded tantalizing at 6:30 now seems like a push for 8. The signs for Jersey City at Exit 14 are so familiar that you almost miss them, passing them as you do on your way to New York City time and time again.

Slow down just a minute.

Edge out of traffic at the Columbus Drive exit looming just before Exit 14-C; alternatively you can turn right on Marin Drive just before the tunnel, and weave your way into Downtown Jersey City. Why wait another hour for dinner? Jersey City has got what you’re looking for; you just don’t know it yet.

Divided into a myriad of distinct neighborhoods, Jersey City serves up an array of exceptional restaurants. No chains or franchises here, instead you will find scores of unique eateries, many of them featuring organic and locally-sourced ingredients on the menu.

On the corner of Jersey Avenue and Wayne Street is 30 Acres, once hyped as a Brooklyn transplant but which is now rooted firmly in Jersey City. Eclectic and bold, expect inventive and daring seasonal fare. Seared squid with chili shrimp sauce, anyone? You may have to wait in line. Indeed, 30 Acres received a “Don’t Miss” recommendation from the New York Times.

Razza Pizza Artigianale on Grove Street is scrupulous about sourcing their ingredients locally. To that extent they proudly display their entire food processing model, start to finish, on blackboards throughout the restaurant. (To say my husband and I are addicted to Razza would be an understatement. You can frequently find us at the bar enjoying the house specialty, their incomparable bread and butter, so scrumptious it too has been written up in the Times!).
Taqueria, on the corner of Grove and Grand, serves dishes that are so authentic you will wonder if you ever ate true Mexican food before. A downscale and trendy neighborhood hotspot, Taqueria is no Tex-Mex wannabe, so be prepared for a menu devoid of nachos and flavored margaritas. You won’t miss them.  Orale Mexican Kitchen, on Grove north of Columbus, has imaginative food and a party atmosphere that makes this a regular destination when friends come to visit.

Head west on Newark Avenue for ramen at Union Republic, another restaurant committed to organic and sustainable practices, not to mention a menu with many surprise dishes, such as Nose to Tail Ramen (take a look!).

A slate of recent newcomers have made the downtown restaurant scene even more exciting. The long-awaited Carrino Provisions and sister restaurant Talde Jersery City finally arrived from Park Slope this past winter and settled in on the corner of Erie and Bay Street. Though Talde bills its fare as Asian-American, they use that phrase with a broad stroke. With plates such as Pretzel Pork and Chive dumplings, Crispy Oyster and Bacon Pad Thai and Blue Crab Fried Rice, Talde is likely to blow your mind. Italian more your style? Adjoining is Chef Dale Talde’s Carrino Provisions, a market, coffee bar and cafe, complete with Italian salumeria and fresh pasta that is sure to delight.

New kid on the block, Raval on Newark Avenue, adds to Jersey City’s culinary diversity with their tapas, paella and sangria. It’s a party!

At the southeastern tip of the city lies the quiet nook of Paulus Hook. With stellar views of the New York skyline and Lady Liberty, it’s a special place. Have a drink at Bistro La Source, where the bar has an ex-pat vibe and the food is an amalgamation of Belgian and French. Further east on Morris Street is another neighborhood favorite, Sky Thai, which draws you in with their unique cocktail and food specials that are chalked on the blackboard outside the door.

Satis, a bistro and charcuterie with a European flair, is a walk around the corner on Washington Street. Three seasons of the year this corner of Jersey City takes on a festive atmosphere amidst twinkling lights and friendly faces, with pups lying at their owners’ feet as they dine al fresco (yep, most restaurants are very welcoming to dogs at outside tables and will even serve them…water, that is!).

You can view the Freedom Tower across the Hudson from virtually every vantage point, but especially from Rumi Turkish Grill on the corner of Sussex and Greene Streets. The area feels more like a seaside resort than the second largest city in New Jersey.

Drive west to Jersey City Heights where there has been a resurgence of cafes, bars and restaurants, from coffee to catering. Of note is the profusion of authentic Latin eateries (15 on Central Avenue alone!). Try El Sabroso or Rumba’s Cafe for Caribbean and Cuban food.

In the Journal Square section, on Newark Avenue between Tonnelle Avenue and JFK Boulevard, is a block so crammed with Indian restaurants you will think you have landed in Mumbai. Indeed, the area is known colloquially as “Little Bombay.” If truly authentic Indian food (and atmosphere!) is what you are craving, this is the area to find.

Quite a few Jersey City eateries have been reviewed by the New York Times and The Huffington Post, their writers bucking traffic in the opposite direction just to sample what the “other” side of the Hudson has to offer. What are you waiting for? Instead of a last ditch detour, make Jersey City your next food destination!

jersey city

Michele Jacobson is a Certified Nutritionist, author and food writer for various Edible publications nationwide. A member of the NOFA-New Jersey Public Policy & Advocacy Committee, she lives and works in Jersey City. She lectures on GMOs, how to eat and shop for healthier food in the American marketplace, and on health benefits derived from traditional diets of the world. In addition to her books, her 2 blogs – Nutrition and GMOs – can be found at NutritionPrescription.biz.