4th Annual Philadelphia Weekly’s Taste of Philly

On Wednesday October 20th , MCCN traveled to the city of brotherly love for the 4th  Annual Philadelphia Weekly’s Taste of Philly.  The 2010 Taste of Philly took place at the Crystal Tea Room at the Wanamaker Building and benefited the Food Trust, an organization that ensures that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. 

The annual event was home to an energetic crowd that enjoyed the Phillies vs. Giants game along with delectable samples from thirty of Philly’s top restaurants.  Taste buds were treated to authentic Irish cooking from Finn McCools: Ale House and then traveled to Italy to Maggianos Little Italy.  World Café Live combines entertainment with your meal. The menu at World Café Live matches the origin of the band playing that night. 

The 4th Annual Philadelphia Weekly Taste of Philly was done in conjunction with KitchenDaily.com and had top sponsors such as Bacardi, Pinnacle Vodka, Leffe Beer, Pop Chips, American Laser Centers, Mouton Cadet Stravinsky Vodka, Stella Artois, and Hoegaarden beer.

For more information about Food Trust click here.

New Event & Party Planning Section

Weddings, holiday gathering or simple party planning, check out MCCN’s event & party planning section.  Event specialists share idea and tips. We seek affordable catering options which do not compromise quality.  Get advice on different cultural wedding traditions. In today’s world many people are marry across culture and want to be knowledgeable of traditions foreign to them.


How to plan an Italian Wedding

The Fall Cookout

Sri Lankan Catering

Red Carpet Gala Theme Party

Also visit the Event & Party Planning  Section on ideas on a Tea/Garden Party menu, Kenyan theme wedding, Latin Weddings and other catering options.




The Spicy Mel B.

She first came to the public’s attention with the smashing success of the Spice Girls. Everyone claimed they would only have 15 minutes of fame but for Mel B.(Scary Spice) that did not turn out to be true and a certain Spice Girl named Posh now known as Victoria Beckam.However, attention for Mel B came with a paternity dispute between Mel B. and Eddie Murphy. READ MORE

Homemade Gourmet Caramel Apple Recipe

When I was younger and my teeth were stronger, I use to tear into caramel apples.   Working with youth later on I got the chance to share the opportunity of creativity of gourmet apples lining up bowls of crushed cookies, marshmallows, butter fingers and more.   Check out the recipe below for pointers on Gourmet Apples from anoccasionalchocolate.comcommentary from MCCN Editor, Crystal J

Heat the bulk caramel in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals to avoid scorching. Be careful! That is hot, boiling, sticky, sugar! Hot hot hot! Keep the caramel warm by placing the bowl on top of two towels that are laid on top of your frying pan, set on low heat.

Make a small cut in the apple where you would like the stick to go, and put the caramel apple stick into the apple.

Dip 1 apple into about 150°F caramel, submerging it. Lift the apple out, allowing the excess caramel to drip back into the bowl. Turn the apple up and hold it for several seconds to help set the caramel around the apple. Place this coated apple on greased foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil).

Let the apples cool for about 5 minutes. Push the caramel that has pooled around the apple back up against the apple.

You can choose to decorate warm caramel with chocolate chips, red hot candies, nuts, toffee crunch, candy confetti, or other fun things.

6 of Our Favorite Television Restaurants

When watching your favorite televisions shows you are invited.  Recollect great moments, show history and facts.

Al’s Diner
( The Series-Happy Days)-The Milky Way Drive-In, located on Port Washington Road in the North Shore suburb of Glendale, now Kopps, was the inspiration for the original Arnold’s Drive-In; it has since been demolished. The exterior of Arnold’s was a “dressed” area on the Paramount Studios lot, that has since been demolished, very close to Stage 19, where the rest of the show’s sets were located. Al’s Diner of Happy Days was a Milwaukee Drive In Restaurant of the 50’s.– Show Featured- Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, and Scott Baio.

Mel’s Diner (The Series-Alice)- A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, Tommy, after the death of her truck-driver husband. Alice is hired at a diner owned by Mel Sharples, a gravel-voiced, male-chauvinist fry cook.  The most famous quote TV line came from the character, Flo.  Her famous line, “Kiss my Grits.”

Cheers(The Series-Cheers) Part of the allure came from the song boasting of a place where everybody knows your name and they are always glad you came. Created stars- Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley and Shelly Long.

Central Perk–  For a generation their best “Friends” would laugh, chat, love, at drink coffee. Show Featured- Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer.


Breadstix( Glee) The high school kids favorite place to eat up and chat is the all you can eat soup and salad family style restaurant.

Tom’s Cafe (Seinfeld’s hangout) lies a few blocks away from the infamous Columbia University. Show featured- Jerry Sienfeld,

Special mention for The mysterious restaurant of the “Soup Natzi” of Seinfeld.


Excursion & Food Picks by Cruise Line Food/Bev Mgr

When you travel all around the world like Carnival Pride’s Food and Beverage Manager Goran Kliskic (pictured with MCCN Associate Editor, Monica Johnson and Managing Editor of Food History,Catrina Sally) exposure to an array of food and experiences are inevitable. The Carnival Pride sets sail from Baltimore, Maryland every Sunday and is constantly on the go; so on a brief visit  to the ship, MCCN asked Kliskic about the best restaurants, places, and experiences he’s had throughout his travels.  Click to See Listing

Documentary: The Dark Side of Chocolate

Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa, the essential ingredient in chocolate, is grown in West Africa, a region plagued by abusive child labor, forced labor and trafficking on cocoa farms.  Click Here to Read More and See Trailer


History of New York’s Governor’s Island

I recently got to attend the New York Vendy Awards on Governor’s Island.  When you are looking for wonderful free things to do in New York, taking the ferry over to Governor’s Island allows you clear view of the Statue of Liberty and chance to visit an island rich with history.- Crystal J, MCCN Editor

The History

First named by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, it was called Noten Eylant (and later in pidgin language Nutten Island) from 1611 to 1784. The island’s current name—made official eight years after the 1776 Declaration of Independence—stems from British colonial times when the colonial assembly reserved the island for the exclusive use of New York’s royal governors.

Defensive works were raised on the island in 1776 by Continental Army troops during the American Revolutionary War, and fired upon British ships before falling into enemy hands. From 1783 to 1966, the island was a United States Army post. From 1966 to 1996 the island served as a major United States Coast Guard installation. In 2001, the two historical fortifications and their surroundings became a National Monument. On January 31, 2003, control of most of the island was transferred to the State of New York for a symbolic $1, but 13% of the island (22 acres or 9 ha) was transferred to the United States Department of the Interior as the Governors Island National Monument, administered by the National Park Service. The national monument area is in the early stages of development and open only on a seasonal basis, so services and facilities are limited.

The New York Vendy Awards at Governor’s Island


Latin Wedding: Menu Planning & Traditions

Photo By Armando Estrada

For the history and traditions of Latin Weddings, there is a great website called Worldly Weddings. If you ever find yourself stepping outside the box of your cultural traditions or marrying inter-culturally then Wordly Weddings is the place to go on the web for various cultural norm info.

The Latino wedding reception is family oriented and festive. For the bridal couple’s first dance, guests will gather in a heart-shaped ring at the reception around the couple. Salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, and samba music add a festive Latin flare to the reception. For appetizers, try pasteles, Puerto Rican meat patties, or empanadas, Colombian pastries stuffed with meat and vegetables. Spanish tapas make perfect appetizers. Other must-have dishes include rice and beans, paella, arroz con pollo or chicken with rice, and fried plantains. READ MORE

History of Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos), is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying is common.  READ MORE

Click Here to See Creative Recipe for Dia de los Muertos Cookies