Monday, July 26, 2010

Poll of the Week - 7.26.2010

Whether your summer refuge is the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore, the only relief from the dog days of summer is a trip to the beach!

And what would a beach getaway be without lounge chairs, tall drinks, and lobster?

The sweet, pink meat from a lobster’s claws and tail is just as wonderful dunked in butter as it is in a creamy bisque or slipped into soft ravioli pillows. But even if you’re not able to indulge in a summer-time, beach-side lobster extravaganza, there are still plenty of ways to get your fill of the ocean’s greatest crustacean!

In this week’s “Poll of the Week”, Little Scarlet wants to know what’s your favorite lobster dish?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Giveaway Winner!!

The results are in! Thank you so much to everyone who entered, it’s great to see such love and enthusiasm for barbecue!!

And the winner is:

Rachel, you’ve won the Stubb’s Bar-B-Q giveaway – and I love that you smoke your own butt! Please send me an e-mail at littlescarlet (dot) blog (at) gmail (dot) com with your shipping information so I can mail you your goodies.

Thanks again to everyone who commented for your well-wishes and for reading over the past year – here’s to many more years of great food with Little Scarlet!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Poll of the Week - 7.19.2010

So in my excitement over this week’s giveaway (click here!! enter as many times as you can!! contest ends Friday!!), I completely forgot about the “Poll of the Week”. I hope you all won’t hold it against me…

In other news, I went to my first Major League Baseball game this weekend and watched the New York Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays. It was a good time, but I was really impressed by the food that was available. Baseball stadiums are starting to go way beyond the standard order of “dog and a beer” – if Field of Dreams were made today, Ray Kinsella and Terence Mann would have to be a lot more specific during that Fenway Park “go the distance” scene! Yankee Stadium, for example, has a lot more to eat besides the old-school fan favorites, with offerings like Cuban sandwiches, garlic french fries, bottles of Magic Hat #9 and Hefeweizen on draft. It was a gorgeous day on Sunday, albeit a little too warm for me, but with all the great eating, it was a pretty nice way to spend a lazy afternoon!

If you think back to the baseball games of your childhood, what’s the treat that comes to mind? This week, Little Scarlet wants to know what’s your favorite ballgame food?

Monday, July 19, 2010

One-Year Anniversary, and Barbecue Giveaway!

July is the one-year anniversary of Little Scarlet!! It’s been quite a year, with some really wonderful experiences – from participating in Foodbuzz’s 24-24-24 program to attending the NASFT Summer Fancy Food Show to becoming a KCBS Certified Barbecue Judge, the last twelve months have been so exciting.

And to commemorate this first year of blogging, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q is sponsoring a giveaway for Little Scarlet!

C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield, the founder of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, turned a simple barbecue restaurant in Texas into a nation-wide attraction. He served his legendary barbecue to hungry folks from all over, including musicians like Joe Ely, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson, who would come to Stubb’s Bar-B-Q for its great food and weekly jam sessions. In 1989, Stubb’s friends finally convinced him to bottle and sell his sauce for restaurant patrons to buy as gifts – and home-cooked barbecue hasn’t been the same since!

Stubb once said, “Barbecue is eternal, like the Mississippi River. It’s big and it’s simple and it takes its own sweet time.” This is certainly true of any barbecue worth its salt (or worth its smoke!), but Stubb’s sauces can turn even that boring chicken dinner into something that tastes like it spent hours cooking in the Deep South’s barbecue belt.

The package that Stubb’s put together for one of Little Scarlet’s lucky readers to win contains a jar of Bar-B-Q Spice Rub, Original & Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q sauces, and a bottle of Moppin’ Sauce. It also contains the Stubb’s Bar-B-Q cookbook. I read this cover-to-cover when I got it, and it’s full of great stories about Stubb and the people who loved him and his cooking. Reading this book, I wish I had had the chance to meet Mr. Stubblefield while he was alive, but his memory is well served by the recipes in this book.

Want to seem like a barbecue pro? Start with the spice rub (for a little extra kick), baste with the moppin’ sauce while cooking (to keep the meat moist), and load up on Bar-B-Q sauce near the end (for final Stubb-worthy flavor).

So how can you win this fabulous barbecue set? The contest runs through Friday, July 23 (only open to the 48 contiguous United States, sorry!), and here are the different ways you can enter!
  • Leave a Comment on this post about how much you love barbecue, your favorite barbecue restaurant… anything you want, so long as your barbecue enthusiasm comes through!
But that’s not all! For each eligible comment you leave, you get another chance to win, so try these additional *one-time bonus entries* for a higher chance of winning:
  • Follow @Little_Scarlet on Twitter. Come back and leave a new Comment on this post saying that you’ve done so.
  • Become a fan of Little Scarlet on Facebook. Come back and leave another new Comment on this post saying that you’ve done so.
  • Follow Little Scarlet’s RSS feeds in Google Reader, or the RSS feed site of your choosing. Again, just come back to this post and leave a new Comment saying you’ve done so.
  • “Buzz” this post (and Little Scarlet!) on Foodbuzz, by clicking here or here (and then click the “buzz it!”/“buzz'em” icon). Aaaand, then come back and Comment about it!
And if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can give yourself even better odds of winning with these additional *once-daily bonus entries*:
  • Leave barbecue-related Comments on this post
  • Re-Tweet this post and leave a Comment here with the link to that Twitter status (limit 1 eligible RT daily). To make it easy, you can either RT from our initial tweet (here) – or you can just copy and paste this: “@Little_Scarlet Stubb’s Bar-B-Q giveaway! visit to win awesome bar-b-q sauces, rubs, & the Stubb’s cookbook!”
The contest will close at 11:59 pm, Friday, July 23. The winner will be chosen at random by, and will be announced at noon on Saturday, July 24. *Note: The winner will have to contact me by e-mail with their info by 10 pm Sunday, July 26 in order to claim their prize (littlescarlet (dot) blog (at) gmail (dot) com) – otherwise, a new winner will be selected.

Good luck, everyone!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guac Rock - Meet the Queen of Guacamole!

Do you like guacamole? Of course you do, who doesn’t? If you love guac and live in New York City, Guac Rock has the answer to all your guac-lovin’ prayers! For just $20, sail up and down the East River, listening to awesome music by North Highlands, The Beets (Doug Funny flashbacks, anyone?), and Dry Feet, while chowing down on delicious guacamole.

But hello celebrity sighting! Little Scarlet just so happens to be friends with the self-proclaimed Queen of Guacamole, Marcia Bunda. And as one of three winners of Guactacular 2010, Marcia will be making (and serving!) her award-winning guac on board The Jewel – so you’d better be on board when she sets sail at 7 pm from the Skyport Marina on Monday, July 19.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door – click here to purchase one!

Guac Rock, departing aboard The Jewel at 7 pm, Monday, July 19 from the Skyport Marina (East 23rd St and FDR Drive)

The End of Thursday’s Terra Treats - and an Upcoming Giveaway!

Little Scarlet’s Thursday’s Terra Treats has received a phenomenal response over the past few months – thank you all so much for reading! Many of you have tried these recipes at home and have written in about your favorites. Megan from Wisconsin loved the bright, summer flavors of the Mexican Salad, and the Ricotta-Spinach Stuffed Shells were a big hit with Jeff from New York. I’ve loved working on these recipes, and cooking stand-alone vegetarian meals (instead of boring sides) has really pulled me out of my comfort zone and helped me try lots of new foods.

Unfortunately, I’ve discovered an unintentional side effect of Thursday’s Terra Treats – I’ve accidentally become an in-house vegetarian! The volume of vegetarian food I prepare is so high that, unless I’m out at a restaurant, all of my meals have now become meat-free – and that’s not something I ever thought I would say. I’ve enjoyed this project a lot, but all good things must eventually come to an end, and I think this segment has run its course.

But not to worry, I won’t leave you all in the lurch – with this bad news comes some great news! This Monday, July 19, Little Scarlet will be hosting its very first giveaway!! And I promise, it’s a really great one.

Thank you all for reading, commenting, and cooking along with the Thursday’s Terra Treats – be sure to check back at 10 am Monday for details on Little Scarlet’s wonderful giveaway prize and rules on how to enter!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Poll of the Week - 7.12.2010

Spain has given the world many wonderful things. Sangria, flamenco dancing, Raphael Nadal… and now the 2010 World Cup Champions! The final match between Spain and the Netherlands culminated in a 1-0 victory for Spain, with the game’s only goal scored with 1 minute left in overtime.

Sadly, the Netherlands never had a chance, as Paul the Psychic Octopus had already predicted Spain would win.

In honor of Spain’s skilled footballers, in this week’s “Poll of the Week”, Little Scarlet wants to know what’s your favorite Spanish food?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Simple Gazpacho, with Jersey Corn and Goat Cheese

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in New York, it has been brutally hot the past few days. Daily temperatures over 100º F are turning apartments into saunas and the last thing you want to do in a hot, cramped kitchen is turn on your stove and make dinner.

So for this Thursday’s Terra Treats, try this recipe for gazpacho! Full of fresh vegetables and topped with just a little goat cheese, this recipe feels like a stroll through the farm.

And since it’s served cold, it’s just what you need to perk up from summer’s withering heat! This recipe calls for a couple ears of sweet, Jersey corn, which is just starting to come into season. Take a stroll over to your local farm or farmer’s market (if there isn’t a farm nearby), and pick up a couple of ears. And if you live in New Jersey, you’re really in luck - between Griggstown Quail Farm, Cherry Grove Farm, and Terhune Orchards (my personal favorite!), there’s no shortage of options for really great, locally grown, seasonal produce.

 One of the barns at Terhune Orchards

Stop by the farm’s store for everything from flowers and cookies to fresh-picked aspargus and peaches!

Simple Gazpacho, with Jersey Corn and Goat Cheese

Directions (adapted from Real Simple recipe):
2 cloves whole garlic, peeled
2 ½ pounds beefsteak tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ small white onion, roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 pound Kirby cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped (about 2 medium cucumbers)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup fresh Jersey corn kernels (from 2 ears)
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  1. With the flat side of a knife, smash each peeled garlic clove. Working in batches, place the smashed garlic, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, and cucumbers in a food processor and pulse slowly, stopping before mixture becomes puréed.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, to chill and to let flavors develop.
  3. Serve soup in bowls, and top with goat cheese, corn, and cilantro. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moving Woes and a *new* Poll of the Week!

I’m so sorry for the unexplained hiatus this past week! We moved to a new apartment last Monday, so all Little Scarlet activity came to a grinding halt. Ideally, I would have laid out all of these wonderful posts in advance and been marvelously organized… but my living room still has boxes in it and my refrigerator is completely empty except for condiments, beer, and some leftover takeout. So we’re getting back on track starting now! I will buy groceries this week, I will break in my new kitchen, and I will be posting on a regular basis again – I promise.

So, without any more excuses, it’s time for this week’s (belated) “Poll of the Week”!

New York’s in the grips of a vicious heat wave (which makes moving even more fun…) and all I can think of are ways to cool down. Whether you’re in a sweltering city or a comfy country home, when hot weather strikes, what do you wish for most?