viathebistro

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Back in action

In Events, food, News on June 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm
The city that never sleeps
The city that never sleeps

Dear faithful readers of VTB,

Fret not. We have not disappeared, just taken a temporary break in order to relocate.

We’re now officially settled in Boston and Manhattan and ready to get back in the kitchen. However, with our new lives in the “real world”, we’ve found that we don’t have quite as much time to spend experimenting as we used to. So, in addition to our own unique culinary creations, we’ll also be bringing you samplings of our meals out, because sometimes, after a long work week, a girl’s gotta relax and let someone else do the cooking!

This past weekend VTB had a reunion in NYC and we had the pleasure of going to three great eateries: Otto, Cookshop and The Smith.

Otto is a perennial favorite for VTB. Their pizza is always superb, their spaghetti carbonara, we’re drooling just thinking about. Plus, their olive oil gelato (yes, olive oil) is something to behold–the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Otto is also VERY friendly for the post-college budget.

Cookshop has a refreshingly diverse and market-inspired menu, with everything from deviled eggs and polenta fries to North Carolina mahi-mahi and Vermont suckling pig. We had the scallops, polenta fries, nettles risotto and the suckling pig. All were absolutely delicious, and when paired with their large selection of wines made the perfect start to our evening out.

Sunday brunch was a hearty meal at the East Village’s The Smith. This is a younger scene—especially popular with those suffering from a long night out. We all had a complimentary cocktail—Bloody Mary, Passion punch, and blood orange Mimosa—with our brunch. Two HUGE egg white, spinach and goat cheese omelets and one order of smoked salmon eggs benedict filled us up for the rest of the day. However, forget the main entrée, their home fries were beyond anything we’ve ever had—and that’s saying something coming from three southerners.

We hope you’ll stay tuned to VTB over the summer, we’ll be updating 2-3 times a week, and feel free to follow us on Twitter to find out when our next post is coming up: @healthyheel, @uncnyc, @instylefoodie.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Beantown

Beantown

A minty-fresh delight

In Events, food on May 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm
Homemade confections

Homemade confections

Sweet and refreshing, peppermint patties are the perfect after dinner bite…small enough to save your waistline but just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Many people are familiar with those patties that come in a silver wrapper, but this homemade variety knocks those out of the park!

To create this confection, combine 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract with one 8oz block of softened cream cheese and beat together until smooth. Next, slowly beat in 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar.

Roll the peppermint filling into one-inch balls and flatten the balls into patties. Place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet and set them in the refrigerator for an hour or until they are slightly hardened.

Now you’re ready to dip them in chocolate. Just microwave ¾ cup each of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips with a couple tablespoons of shortening in the microwave, and coat the refrigerated peppermint patties in a layer of chocolate. Place them back on the wax paper and in the refrigerator to let the chocolate set, and in a half hour you will have homemade candy!

These patties are great as gifts, and that is exactly what we used our batch for. Pepper Dowd, a big fan of VTB, turned 78 years old yesterday and to celebrate, we made her favorite after dinner treat!

So here’s to Pepper…mint patties!

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Skip the Steakhouse

In Events, food on May 14, 2009 at 8:38 am
Steak's Sidekick

Steak's Sidekick

Popeye ate spinach straight from the can, but we prefer ours creamed—after all, who doesn’t need the extra calcium?

Rich and smooth with a hint of nutmeg—our steakhouse menu was not complete without this side.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees—dice half of a yellow onion and sauté in butter until soft. Add a couple tablespoons of flour and stir to coat the onion.

Next, comes the good stuff—gradually whisk in a cup of milk with one-half cup heavy cream. The secret ingredient to this version is Boursin cheese (a herb-and-garlic cheese spread)—which you’ll stir in a little bit at a time, until completely melted and mixed in. Remove the pot from the heat and add chopped spinach (fresh or frozen), freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a touch of lemon zest and a dash of nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

The mixture goes into a buttered baking dish and is sprinkled with seasoned, buttered bread crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the topping is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

Save some money and skip a night at the steakhouse—this creamed spinach is a surefire accompaniment to any cut of meat.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***To request a recipe, just shoot us an email!

Sweet Celebrations

In Events, food on May 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm
Chocolate pecan pie

Chocolate pecan pie

Liz and Sarah are officially graduates of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication!!!

How do we celebrate? We cater a graduation party for family and friends.

Not wanting them to miss out on the true Carolina experience we went Southern with the menu.  Barbeque from a local joint shared the table with our signature deviled eggs, Southern caviar, pimento cheese spread, and chocolate pecan pies. 

In preparation for this event we worked together in our original Bistro kitchen for the last time. However, we are incredibly excited to fill you in on our summer cooking as we blog from Boston and New York City!

So join us in celebrating graduations and new adventures…they were and will be as sweet as our pecan pie.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Happy Seis de Mayo!

In Events, food on May 6, 2009 at 11:01 am
Good till the last drop

Good till the last drop

In lieu of your traditional margarita, we thought we would take a different route. Yep, it’s not Mexican, but still has an international flair, and just the kick we were looking for to start out our Cinco de Mayo celebration.

This sangria is a quick and easy way to impress your guests and a very refreshing drink for those sticky summer nights.

To throw this drink together all you need is a pitcher, Rioja (a Spanish red wine), Grand Marnier, simple syrup and fresh fruit.

Gather your ingredients and pour one bottle of your wine into a glass pitcher—the drink is so pretty you’ll want show it off—then, top it with ½ a cup of Grand Marnier. Next, add your simple syrup. To make this, just dissolve ½ cup of sugar in ¼ cup of water on the stove top. For the finishing touch, thinly slice lemons, apples and oranges, and add them to your pitcher. Stir it all up and you’ve got a great start to your night out.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

“I’ll bring the guac.”

In Events, food on April 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm
Fiesta for four

Fiesta for four

What do you do when your dinner guest insists on bringing his single specialty?  You create your menu around it.

Inspired by the adamant appetizer: guacamole; we went to work on a fiesta for four.

With the dicing of jalapenos we added our salsa (see archives: A Lesson in Salsa) to the appetizer list. Next, a spice-encrusted Asian basa with a mango puree, paired with sautéed plantains, and lime & cilantro infused rice made its way to the table. We finished the meal with a large slice of margarita cheesecake – a perfect ending (at least in our humble opinions).

While we’ll give you details on the cheesecake later, we’d like to share the secret to our sautéed plantains – orange juice and brown sugar. A little goes a long way in terms of the OJ and sugar, but with a little heat these cousins of the banana become a savory side. Cook until easily speared with a fork, serve warm and enjoy.

So next time your guests want to add their signature to the meal, go for it. It gave us the excuse to try some new recipes and taste the creations of others.

Until next time…Adios!

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***Special thanks to Jessica for her kitchen skills, recipes, and friendship.

A Tart for Spring

In Events, food on April 25, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Spring show-stopper

Spring show-stopper

A simple but elegant way to take advantage of spring’s plentiful bounty of produce is to make a tart.

Today, our market bounty consisted of asparagus, small Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Mouthwatering, eye-catching, and versatile—a tart like this could be served for brunch, a vegetarian dinner, or as a side to any spring meal.

Start out by preheating your oven to 400 degrees, and boiling your potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes until tender. Then, place your sheet of thawed puff pastry on a baking sheet, and lightly trace a rectangle inside the dough—about 1” in from the edges. Using a fork, poke the dough inside the rectangle (you should remember this step from our caramelized onion and goat cheese tartlets)—this will let the edges of the dough puff up while the filling stays in place.

First, layer your dough with slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella. Then, top that with slices of your boiled potatoes. Next, lay down the asparagus spears, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and drizzle the tart with a mixture of crushed garlic and olive oil. Now, it’s ready to be baked in the oven for 25 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy the pure flavors of spring in each bite of this well-dressed tart.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Take it easy

In Events, food on April 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm

 

Wholesome pasta toss.

Wholesome pasta toss.

Ah, it’s that time of year again…final exams—a time for cramming, no sleep and incredible amounts of caffeine. So, in order to preempt a week of unhealthy decisions, we thought we would end the week with something that requires little brainpower, but provides great nutritional stats. The whole-wheat penne gives you a dose of whole grains, tomatoes provide lycopenes and the mozzarella is a good source of calcium.

To make this effortless pasta dish begin by boiling your whole-wheat penne. While your pasta is cooking, slice your tomatoes into bite size pieces and do the same with buffalo mozzarella.

When the pasta has cooked until al dente, drain and toss it with the tomatoes and mozzarella, a bit of olive oil, and salt and pepper. To mix things up, you could also toss this pasta with a fresh basil pesto.

We chose to cook this dish “in bulk” so that we can eat it through the next week to save ourselves time and give our minds a rest. Just store it in a covered container in the fridge and it should hold for about a week. And, if you are truly in a rush, no need to reheat because hot or cold, it fills you up and tastes just right.

So, next time you’re looking for a quick fix, look no further than whole-wheat penne pasta.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Here’s to the Hynsons

In Events, food on April 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The phyllo favorite.

The phyllo favorite.

We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful day to cater the future Mrs. Hynson’s wedding shower—sunny skies, a nice breeze and a front porch packed with rocking chairs…what more could you ask for? (Besides great food, of course)

Our menu was small, but just right for a late-afternoon get-together. Phyllo wrapped asparagus, mini pumpkin muffins, deviled eggs, a cheese and grapes platter, and lemon squares provided a nice variety of savory and sweet.

Lemon squares

Lemon squares

To prepare these dishes for a party of twenty we started last night with the eggs, muffins and lemon squares, and finished up this morning with the asparagus bundles—which were the real hit of the party.

Always a perfect pair.

Always a perfect pair.

These dainty phyllo appetizers are both delicious and simple to make, because they only require 4 ingredients—asparagus, phyllo dough, butter and Parmesan. Just roll up three thin stalks in a layer of buttered phyllo, sprinkle with Parmesan, and pop them in the oven for 12 minutes at 375. They can be served fresh out of the oven, but are equally delectable at room temperature—personal preference is what matters here.

Pumpkin...not just for jack-o-lanterns.

Pumpkin...not just for jack-o-lanterns.

After a couple of non-stop days in the kitchen we’re ready to hit the sack early! But, on a final note, we’re so happy to have been a part of Janie’s shower and wish her and Warren all the best!

The finished product.

The finished product.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

It’s another late night with VTB

In Events on April 18, 2009 at 12:30 am

Soon to be deviled.

Soon to be deviled.

It seems we’re becoming more nocturnal by the day, but we welcome the night when it brings hours of cooking. We’ve been running around the kitchen prepping for the wedding shower, elbow deep in egg yolks and batter, and still managed to think of just one more thing to bake. Tomorrow we’ll put on the finishing touches, but for now, here’s a peek at what we’ve got cookin’.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***To request a recipe, just shoot us an e-mail!

Pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven.

Pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven.