Kids Eat: Candy Sushi

Photo by Multiculturalcookingnetwork

Photo by Multiculturalcookingnetwork

I’m not the most ‘kid’ creative person in the world and often come up short when thinking of ideas on how to keep my little monsters entertained. No longer can I get away with calling our numerous trips to the grocery store an ‘adventure’ and we can only go to the neighborhood park so many times before we all (well, mainly me) want to shoot ourselves. So, when I ran across this candy sushi idea from Mommyknows, I immediately set this plan into action. The kids absolutely loved it. One note, be prepared for a sugar meltdown followed by a possible napless afternoon but watching them make their ‘sushi’ creations was worth it. READ MORE

Maryland State Fair Aug. 27-Sept. 6

It is that time of year once again…The Maryland State Fair has come to the Timonium Fair Grounds in Baltimore, Maryland.  From August 27th through September 6th  families can enjoy the 11 best days of summer with food, rides, and events that make up the Maryland State Fair.  Did we mention the food? 

The fair will also have concerts by Gretchen Wilson, Bret Michaels, and…wait for it…Justin Bieber.  Click here for more information about the Maryland State Fair

How to Pair Wine:Meat, Poultry & Seafood

Recently,  a relative of mine with a catering service admitted that wine pairings stump him.  He said that it stumps him when he is out to dinner at a restaurant so he asked my advice.   My suggestion is that the safest thing anyone can do when out(you will never have to fear looking bad in front of you dining companion) is to ask the waiter what the chef would recommend with the dish.  He or she knows what works best with the specific dish.  On a broader level of pairing, here are a few tips for private and social dining wine pairing with meats:

  • Poultry-Paring can go many directions depending of the preparation. Lighter more subtle preparations pair better with a White Burgundy, Chardonnay, or Chablis. If the dish is heavy and spicy, it will pair better with a lighter fruiter red wine such as Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, or Beaujolais.
  • Beef-Any fine red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Zinfandel, or Pinot Noir
  • Ham & Pork-Fruity Red Wines such as Beaujolais, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir pair well with sweeter preparations. For the mild savory preparations, try a dry white wine such as White Burgundy, or Chardonnay. For the highly savory and spicy dish, pair with a big Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Seafood:

Salmon – White Burgundy, Chardonnay, or Riesling

Scallops – Chablis, Gewurztraminer, or White Burgundy

Cod – White flaky fish pairs better with a red variety such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais

Clams and Mussels – White Graves, Chablis, Chardonnay

Shrimp and Lobster – Chablis, Chardonnay, White Burgundy

Click to See An Extensive list of how to pair wines with various food

Watch a Wine Lesson by Wine Expert Michael Green

Article Commentary by MCCN Editor-Crystal J

Top Virginia Winery Trips

Almost ten years ago, I visited historic Monticello.  The area is known for the Thomas Jefferson estate anda less commonly know fact is that it is the birthplace of American wine.-Crystal J- MCCN Editor

Virginia has become the new hot spot for travelers who are passionate about wine. Home to more than 160 wineries surrounded by lavish scenery, breathtaking views and monumental historic sites, Virginia is a wine destination unlike any other. These ten getaways highlight what makes wine travel new and refreshing in Virginia.  READ MORE

Learn about Food History and Virginia, CLICK HERE

Spice It Up-Hot & Spicy: Cayenne Pepper

Need some spice in your life? Cayenne pepper will kick it up a notch! Also known as the Guinea spice, bird spice, aleva or simply as red pepper,  it is originally from Cayenne in French Guiana, an overseas region of France located on the northern  coast of South America. Cayenne pepper is now largely grown in India, East Africa, Mexico, the United States of America and other subtropical regions. Cayenne varies in appearance from red to yellow  and its hotness rating in Scoville Heat Units (SHU)is normally between 30,000 to 50,000 on a scale from zero to 16-million. You think you can handle it? Well, just know that Tabasco sauce, Cumari pepper and Aji pepper are in the same category of heat. READ MORE

Latin Dessert: History of Tres Leches & Recipe

The cake is very popular in many parts of Central America and Mexico. The origins of the tres leches are disputed .  The Nestlé Company also claims to have helped the tres leches recipe evolve, during World War II. The idea for creating a cake soaked in a liquid is probably of European origin, as similar cakes, such as rum cake from Puerto Rico and tiramisu from Italy, use this method.

 A Tres leches cake, or Pastel Tres leches (Spanish, “Three milk cake”), or Pan Tres Leches (Spanish, “Three milk bread”), is a sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.-Wikepedia


See Recipe for Tres Leches from

Wycleff Denied Presidential Run

Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean’s bid to run for president of his native Haiti has been rejected by an electoral council, Reuters reported Thursday night.

No official confirmation has been made and as of late Thursday afternoon the singer told The Miami Herald during an interview in Haiti he was confident he would be on the final list of candidates scheduled to be announced as early as Friday. READ MORE

Film and Foodie: Eat Pray and Love

The Film: Eat Pray & Love- Based on the best seller, Julia Roberts plays the main character of Liz, a lost miserable soul. Pretty early in the film she realizes that her marriage is not for her but she rebounds into the arms of the gorgeous James Franco, a younger man. However, he is not the answer. She comes to conclusion that she needs time to be single and figure some things out. First a few months of indulgent eating in Italy and then a quest for spirituality(balance).

Eat Pray and Love is entertaining but is does not quite live up to the hype. Richard Jenkins, James Franco and Javier Bardem are the brighter spots in the film.

The Foodie: Liz had to learn to let go and enjoy life. She decided to enjoy the pleasures of food its ok if muffin top happens. We watched Liz stuff her face in Italy with proscuitto and melon, pizza and chicken carbonara then prepare an American Thanksgiving dinner turkey. Then we watched her eat naan in India and down a Thumbs up soda with Richard Jenkins. In Bali, unfortunately, we did not get exposed to their cuisine. However, coffee and rice are cultivated there.