Why Taste?

Taste of Burbank, Taste of Chicago, Champagne and Truffle tastings are all the rave across the country. Why should you attend these events?  It is like one stop shopping and it tastes so good.

Taste of Burbank

Downtown Burbank recently had its Taste of Burbank to raise funds for the local YMCA.  Priced at $30, attendees got the opportunity to taste cuisine of Cuba, Thailand, France and more.  Music filled the air while people danced and ate all night long.  Portos, Z Pizza, Exotic Thai and many other restaurants in Burbank participated.

Champagne and Truffle Tasting

Crystal with Champagne 2

I recently got the opportunity to attend the Beverly Hills Morton’s Steakhouse Champagne and Truffle tasting.  The champagnes featured were Piper Sonoma Brut, Piper Hiedsieck Brut and Piper Hiedsieck Rose Sauvage.  Before sampling of the Vosges Truffles, waiters served us with smoked salmon wedges, broiled sea scallops and petite filet mignon sandwiches.  All of these appetizers were divine.

Chocolate lovers, contain yourselves, I am moving on to the decadent part.  From white truffle ambrosia paired with the Brut to the Naga sweet Indian curry coconut and deep milk chocolate truffle paired with the Rose Sauvage, there are nuisances to discover.  Balance your sweeter chocolate with a more dry champagne and the less sweet chocolates with a more smooth champagne.  This experience was priced at $45.

MSU 056 About Taste of Chicago

In 1980 a group of restaurateurs approached the Mayor of Chicago with the idea of a food festival on the Fourth of July, and Taste of Chicago was born. Inspired by a “build it and they will come” attitude, a $150,000 budget, and confidence the event could attract 75,000 people, plans for the one-day food frenzy got under way. The festival was held in a three-block area of Michigan Avenue bordered by the Chicago River and the upscale stores and buildings that were then beginning to grace the Magnificent Mile; and between the architectural wonders of the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower.

It was a huge success, (250,000 attended the first “Taste,” and food and soda sales grossed $330,000) destined to change the way Chicago celebrates the Fourth of July.

Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup


Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup


2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce package frozen, peeled, cooked shrimp, thawed
Fresh shrimp in shells, peeled, deveined, and cooked (optional)
Plain low-fat yogurt or dairy sour cream (optional)
Snipped fresh chives (optional)

1. In a covered large saucepan cook the onions, carrots, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and allspice in hot margarine for 10 to 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring once or twice.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender container or food processor bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth.

3. In the same saucepan combine pumpkin, milk, and remaining broth. Stir in the blended vegetable mixture and the 8 ounces shrimp; heat through. If desired, on small skewers thread additional cooked shrimp. Ladle soup into soup bowls. If desired, top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt, a sprinkling of chives, and a shrimp skewer. Makes 4 servings.

An American Invention, The Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies on a weathered wood background

Ruth Wakefield invented chocolate chip cookies in 1930 at the Toll House inn she and her husband Keneth ran near Whitman, Massachusetts. Like a bed and breakfast she made food for her guests. One evening in 1937 she got the idea to make a chocolate butter cookie so she broke up one of the bars of semi-sweet chocolate that Andrew Nestle gave her. She thought that it would mix together with the dough & make all chocolate cookies . Needless to say, it didn’t. However the cookies came out decent so she served them. They of course were so good they had to be done again. She published the recipes in several newspapers and the recipe became very popular.

For More on this interesting story and the original recipe for the chocolate chip cookie then click on the link below:

Learn more about Ruth Wakefield

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

(from About.com)



  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • softened 1/2 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup semisweet chocolate chips





Preheat oven to 375°.

  • Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and mix until fluffy.
  • Blend the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips.
  • Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°.