“Summer Seafood Happy Hour” at Parallel Post Through August 30th

Now through August 30th Parallel Post is offering “Seafood Summer Happy Hour” specials. Available now, Monday-Friday from 4 p.m.- 7 p.m., you can enjoy a different special each day of the week!

 PEI Mussel Monday features mussels by the pound steamed in a lemongrass broth ($8 per pound)

Mini Fish Taco Tuesday featuring mini fish tacos with local wild striped bass served with fire roasted salsa and lime crème fraîche ($3 per taco)

 Norman Bloom’s Grilled Oysters Wednesday with lemon butter, pecorino romano and Benton’s bacon ($1 per oyster)

 
 Mini Lobster Roll Thursday featuring mini lobster rolls served with Long Island Sound lobster with housemade lemon mayo, fresh herbs ($4 per lobster roll)
 
Local Raw Bar Plate Friday featuring 2 oysters, 2 clams, and 2 shrimp served with saffron mignonette, cocktail sauce (priced at $9) 

Parallel Post 

180 Hawley Lane

Trumbull, CT

203-380-6380

*Photos courtesy of Rockaway PR*

Looking For Somewhere to Celebrate National Tequila Day? Try These Fairfield County Favorites.

From margaritas to mescal, we all love tequila  – so let’s celebrate its existence today! 

Three of Fairfield Counties favorites are offering specials to help you celebrate your love of tequila.

 

Image courtesy of MaxExposure PR

 
Bodega Taco Bar with locations in both Fairfield and Darien will be offering $6 Bodegaritas, $5 Fireball Tequila and a high-octane night featuring the lovely Patron Tequila Girls offering tequila tastings and giveaways. Don’t forget to check out the over-the-top menu specials too!

Paloma in Stamford, located at Harbor Point, (read more here about my recent visit) will be feature half price tequila “shots”, a special tequila cocktail menu and botanas. 

15 Harbor Point Road |Stamford, CT

 
Geronimo in Fairfield, features OVER 400+ bottles of tequila, “celebrates National Tequila Day by paying homage to Casa Noble Tequila and their award winning Anejo, Resposado and Crystal Tequila – served neat or otherwise. This ultra-premium tequila is made from 100% blue agave and certified organic. Chef Tim Scott will also be featuring Casa Noble Tequila braised oxtail tacos. Hang out on Geronimo’s large patio which overlooks a bustling downtown Fairfield scene.”

2070 Post Road | Fairfield, CT

Happy National Tequila Day!!  
 

Chef Aarón Sánchez Brings Latin Inspired Cuisine to Stamford at Paloma

Overlooking the water at Stamford’s newly developed Harbor Point stands celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez’s restaurant, Paloma.

Paloma has received a lot of attention since it opened last year as you can guess with Chef Sánchez’s reputation amd roles on popular tv shows such as “Chopped!”
     
I was excited to attend a media dinner at Paloma recently and to try this restaurant I had been hearing so much about – both good and not-so-good – these past few months. Our experience ended up being somewhere in the middle; some of the dishes I would order again and others I would not.


The first thing you will notice when you visit Paloma is its location with lovely harbor views – this restaurant is all about location. If the weather permits, sit outside on Paloma’s large outdoor patio.

Harbor Point is still adding several more restaurants so it appears it will soon be a must-try dining destination.

What should you order when you visit Paloma?

Let’s begin with the cocktails because, well that’s usually the first thing we all order when we first sit down at a restaurant. The cocktails at Paloma were one of the highlights of my dining experience. From the house-made sangria to a large wine list to more creative cocktails, Paloma has an extensive beverage program that’s sure to please everyone in your group.
My two personal favorites of the evening include the “Bees and Bourbon” and the house made Sangria.

The “Bees and Bourbon” has hints of the sweet honey flavor and it compliments the bourbon making for a very smooth cocktail. Fans of Jack Daniels’ “Honey Jack” (or anything similar) will really enjoy this cocktail. The White Sangria, on the other hand was light and sweet from the very fresh-cut fruit; a perfect summer cocktail to enjoy on the patio.

Appetizers

We tried over a half a dozen different appetizers or botanas (small plates) at Paloma and they are available on the lunch, happy hour and dinner menus. Diners might begin with the classic Tres Salsa and Chips (above) or the more unique Tai Tiradito.


The Tai Tiradito is a snapper crudo in aji rocoto sauce with crispy hominy. The snapper was unbelievably fresh in this dish making an already delicious dish even better.
  The Lobster Cerviche made with passion fruit habanero sauce, on the other hand, was not something we would order again. The citrus flavor, while light and enjoyable for a meal during warmer weather, did drown out any flavor of the lobster – lobster lovers want to taste that lobster!

 

A surprising find on the small plates menu are the meatballs or Albondigas. Served in a chipotle broth with mint and queso cotija these are truly Latin-inspired meatballs. The chipotle gives just a slight amount of heat and along with the queso cotija makes these meatballs just a little different from a standard meatball you will find anywhere else.


If you’re looking for appetizers to share the Queso Fondido of huitlacoche and wild mushrooms served with corn tortillas is a perfect choice. The flavor of the mushrooms is very subtle, just enough to remind you they’re a part of the dish. Reminiscent of a cheese fondue, the Queso Fondido is prepared and served at the table in a small iron skillet so it also achieves some crispyness on the top and along the edges – yum! 

The Tostadas were a hit with our group and something I highly recommend for a small plate to order before your meal or during a visit for happy hour. 

We tried two types: Shrimp Tempura and Crab. 

The Shrimp Tempura Tostada (above) is shrimp fried in a very light tempura batter and served with a creamy aji miraso and a mango salsa. The Crab Tostada is made with a chile arbol aioli and avocado purée. Both versions of the toastada were packed with flavor and the crispyness of the chip make them a palette pleaser.

  

After all those appetizer we were ready to try the entrees!

 

We began with one of Paloma’s best-sellers, the Braised Short Ribs. Prepared with an ancho-cacao rub and served with seasonal vegetables (fingerling potatoes here) and a horseradish gemolata the ribs fall apart with the simple pull of your fork. The ribs are a filling dish, one I can envision ordering during colder weather when you want something heartier.

Served alongside the Braised Short Ribs was the Cuban Style Chicken. The Cuban marinated roasted chicken is served with a pickeled salad and tamarind chicken fried rice. This was my first time experiencing tamarind, a tropical fruit,  and the flavor is quite unique and it really makes the fried rice stand out. The roasted chicken is a classic with the Cuban marinade giving it a Latin twist.

I have to be honest, when I saw this dish on the menu I was confused – why is there pasta on the menu at a Latin-inspired restaurant? Did you know that Italian cuisine has greatly influenced the cuisine of many South American countries? Me either, but now I know and now I see why there is pasta on the menu at Paloma. 

The Garganelli Pasta is a slow cooked ground chorizo, cauliflower, grilled escarole and tamarind reduction and it was quite delicious. 

Another best-seller of Paloma’s, and our final entree, is the Camarones Mojo de Ajo. These jumbo shrimp are cooked in a chile de arbol butter and served over a crispy grit cake. This dish was a hit with our group and I can see why it is one of th restaurant’s bestsellers. 

We finished off our meal with some dessert, as one should always finish a meal. 
Churros

These non-traditional churros are more like mini cake donuts rolled in sugar and topped with a dollop of dolce de leche and served warm with an agave-vanilla crema dipping sauce. If you like classic cake donuts with sugar topping, order these. I have to admit, I was secretly hoping these had the dolce de leche inside to make these really unique and noteworthy. One order of churros is perfect to share since they are rather large.

Dessert addicts looking for a little more, may I present the salted caramel cheesecake served with a cherry chunk cookie. What I loved about this dessert was that in serving the cheesecake in a deconstructed manner the layers insure you are getting salty and sweet in each spoonful and it wasn’t as heavy as when you eat a traditional piece of cheesecake.

The cherry chunk cookie is delicious and not a typical cookie you might encounter. However, the combination of flavors served together between the cookie and the salted caramel cheesecake do not compliment each other and were a questionable pairing.

Tips on getting to Paloma: 

First, as a new property the restaurant and its address will not appear in your gps, but a quick chat with the hostess when we called the restaurant offered a nearby address to help.

Second, once you arrive parking is a breeze with a free parking garage just a short walk away. Dining in Stamford is usually a challenge due to parking, so the parking garage was a very pleasant surprise. 

Finally, Harbor Point is near I-95 and Metro-North, however I’m not sure if it’s necessarily within walking distance.

Paloma

15 Harbor Point

Stamford CT

203-998-7500

Amore Cucina & Bar, Where You’ll Fall in Love with Pizza Again

People often ask me what my favorite types of food are and I often surprise them when one of first things I will say is pizza.

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Amore’s “For the Queen” Round Pizza Pie

That’s right, pizza is at the top of my list. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that pizza is crucial to my existence.

It is very rare for me to go longer than a week without having a slice and I always stop for pizza on the way home from the airport after any traveling I do because, let’s be honest, pizza outside of the tri-state area, well, it’s just not the same usually (sorry Chicago, I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting you yet!). I will forgo so many other types of food if given the choice of pizza. Thick or thin crust, it doesn’t matter, I only discriminate based on my food mood, in other words, what I am craving that day?

Amore’s Square Pizzas: “Pitt Master” (left) and “Juliet” (right)

It may seem like a very simple dish so many of us cannot live without, yet in reality pizza is anything but simple as any pizza expert will explain. In fact, there are many different methods for producing different types of pizza dough along with its own scientific principles and theories; there is really so much more to creating a pizza than throwing together dough, sauce, cheese, and various toppings.IMG_1324

We recently had the pleasure of being guests at a media dinner at Amore Cucina & Bar in Stamford. For all you Stamfordites, yes, this is the old Amore Cucina & Bar formerly owned by Al Carozza located in the Sprindale section of Stamford, but the restaurant has been redesigned and is now under new ownership by a six time World Pizza champion, Food Network judge, and restaurateur Bruno DiFabio.

Also known as “Pizza Geek,” “Dough Boy,” and “The Fastest Pizza Maker in the World,” DiFabio is also the owner of The Academy of Pizza Science, a consulting company which helps new pizza restaurant owners to hone their skills and learn the science behind making pizza. In other words, DiFabio is a leader in the pizza making world and he takes his pizza very seriously.

Bruno DiFabio and Executive Chef Jared Falco

DiFabio takes pizza making so seriously that he does not use any man-made yeast to make his pizza dough each day. Instead he uses natural yeast foraged from the Dolomite Mountains in Italy to create pizza dough using two different processes: “Poolish” dough method, which requires a 72 hour fermentation process for the square pies, and the “in giornata” method, meaning the dough is made and used within the same day for the round Neapolitan pies. It is “mixed, cut, balled, and matured during an eight hour fermentation process at room temperature in Neapolitan wooden dough boxes.”

If the name of Executive Chef Jared Falco sounds familiar, it should. Formerly the executive chef at Washington Prime, Falco puts his signature touches on several of the dishes we tried this evening at Amore. If Falco is cooking, I am on board with a fork and knife in hand!

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The yeast used to make DiFabio’s pizza pies.

The Pizza

We began our meal with pizza, of course! Amore offers two types of pies – round and square – and six different flavors for each style. A third option is to order round or square pies “As You Wish” (love the movie reference!), in other words with the toppings of your choice.

The round pies are Neapolitan style pizza certified by the Italian Associazone Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN). The APN, an association formed in Naples by pizza makers to preserve the authentic Neapolitan pizza values, requires a rigorous certification process for any restaurant wishing to serve authentic Neapolitan pizza and very few pizzaiolos in the United States are certified.

Cooked in a wood fired oven at 900 degrees for 90 seconds or less, Amore’s round pies are crunchy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside creating a chewy consistency.

The Round Pies

“For the Queen”

We sampled four of Amore’s round pies: For The Queen (above), The Holy Cheesus, New Haven White, and Something Fishy.

All four pies were fantastic and I would recommend them all, it really is a matter of personal preference. The For The Queen is made with San Marzano, flor di latte mozzarella, pecorinio romano, basil, and a local egg on top. Who would have thought – a pizza topped with an egg that isn’t a breakfast pizza! For The Queen was a hit with our group.

Next up was my personal favorite: The Holy Cheesus. House Mozzarella, pargigiano reggiano, pecorino romano, fontina, and burrata top with gloriously cheesy pie. Why was this my favorite? I am all about the cheese! This white pie is not heavy at all, and instead the combination of flavors from all five cheeses along with the smooth, creamy texture, which I attribute to the mozzarella and burrata cheese, make this pie worth worshipping. In fact, I’ve ordered this pie on return visits to Amore because I just can’t get enough of it.

“The Holy Cheesus”

Seafood lovers, Amore has you covered with two pies: Something Fishy and New Haven White. White anchovies, capers, garlic, calabrian chilies, and pecorino romano come together to make a pizza that is slightly fishy (I mean, there are anchovies on top), salty, and with some heat to it.

“Something Fishy”

A tribute to New Haven and its famous New Haven-style pizza topped with little necks, Amore’s New Haven White is also topped with little necks along with Amore bacon, house mozzarella, and smoked lemon juice. After trying this pizza, I would say that the tradition of the New Haven white clam pizza can now be found in Stamford too!

“New Haven White”

The Square Pies

The square pies at Amore are made in a gas fired brick floor oven and shaped in a double gauge steel pan; the square pies are much thicker and heartier than the round pies and remind me of a Chicago-style pizza in regards to the amount of dough and crust.

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“Pitt Master”

If you’re looking for a heartier pie, then the square pies at Amore are the way to go. We sampled two of the six square pies Amore offers: Pitt Master is topped with pulled pork, red onion, mozzarella, BBQ sauce, and agave nectar, and Juliet made with house mozzarella, gorgonzola dolce, fig jam, prosciutto, and agrodolce.

“Juliet”

Greens and Small Plates

After enjoying so much pizza we moved onto greens and several small plates which were truly just as impressive as the pizza.

Ricotta

Whipped sheep’s milk ricotta, dried figs, honey comb, and charred fig jam comprise this small plate that I could not stop eating. The creaminess of the ricotta takes on the flavors of the sweet figs, honey and fig jam. This dish was delicious spread it on top of the crusty ciabatta it is served with or eaten by itself.

Arugula and Beet Salad

The Arugula and Beet Salad is made with roasted crimson and golden beets and topped with goat cheese and candied walnuts. The blood orange thyme vinaigrette ensure this dish is light and refreshing.

Can we talk about how much I love octopus, and especially the Octopus Puttanesca at Amore?

Octopus Puttanesca

The Octopus Puttanesca is made with tomatoes, capters, siciily olives, garlic, and n’duja sausage. Quite possibly some of the best I’ve ever had, you can taste the perfectly grilled octopus along with the flavors of the other ingredients.

The seafood small plates continued with a Tuna Crudo made with Calabrian chiles, tasted pumpkin seeds, red onion, and torn parsley, and Shrimp and Polenta comprised of shrimp, tomato, house bacon, and polenta.

Tuna Crudo


Shrimp & Polenta

 

The Chicken Scarpariello is an entrée on Amore’s menu which we tried family-style. This popular Italian dish is made with house sausage, peppadew, garlic, Italian polenta, and green shallots.

Chicken Scarpariello

I saved the best for last. If you order nothing else when you walk into Amore, you must, must, must order the Lasagna Balls. I would drive to Stamford simply for this small plate. Seriously.


Lasagna is made with Sugo Bolognese and ricotta and then scooped into meatball-sized balls and deep fried. Deep. Fried. Lasagna. Balls. Are you on board yet? The Lasagna Balls are not greasy or heavier than you would expect a typical piece of lasagna to be. You can expect a slight crunch on the outside due to their being fried. Ordering tip: since they are a small plate item you get two Lasagna Balls per order and I promise you are going to want your very own order.

Dessert

The final course, and my favorite at any restaurant, was dessert. Yes, we saved room for dessert! The Dolce is a budino and fat pizzele topped with butterscotch, whipped cream, and berries. The pizzelle is soft and chewy and the butterscotch added a little extra sweetness which was pleasantly surprising.

Dolce

Nutella Pie is pizza dough baked and topped with nutella and marshmellows. If you have a sweet tooth this one is for you and the perfect dessert to share because it is a little larger than a small pizza!

Nutella Pie

My love affair with pizza is reaffirmed every time I go back to Amore, and it just keeps getting better and better. When you visit Amore Cucina & Bar you won’t just fall in love with their pizza, but quite possibly with everything on their menu.

 

For more information be sure to check out Amore’s Facebook page here, or their website: Amore Cucina & Bar

921 Hope St
Stamford, CT 06907
(203) 357-1066

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30am-1 am; Friday and Saturday 11:30am-2 am; Sunday 11:00am-12 am
Amore Cucina & Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I was invited to this media dinner, however all views and opinions expressed herein are my own.

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Donut Crazy Will Make You, Well, Crazy for Donuts! 

Donut lovers there’s a new artisanal donut shop on the River Road in Shelton and they are changing the way we will forever think of donuts. Donut Crazy is a game changer in the world of donuts both locally in Connecticut and beyond.

And I am obsessed, I tell you. OBSESSED with Donut Crazy.

Plain jelly stick, Kookie Monster (top); Patriot, LIV (middle); Samora, Apple Crumb, Bavarian Cream (bottom)

Why am I so crazy for donuts from Donut Crazy?


Where else can you get donuts hand made fresh daily with such unique flavor concoctions? No where else in Connecticut but Donut Crazy.The donuts are so fresh that it is the first thing you will immediately notice when you bite into one. Yes, we have a large donut chain with locations throughout our entire state, and I still eat donuts from there occasionally, but my love affair with these artisanal donuts began the week they opened and I haven’t looked back.

Now every Saturday morning my friends and I have a donut date at Donut Crazy. After crossfitting so hard all week, we like to indulge in a treat on Saturday mornings (thank you Hartford Courant for the shoutout). Seriously, every Saturday for weeks I’ve been eating, ahem researching, the donuts at Donut Crazy. I mean, I had to try as many flavors as possible so I could report back to all of you, right?

Thin and Minty, Sugar Cane (aka glazed), Red Velvet

So let me give you the lowdown on the donuts I have tried so far at Donut Crazy.

There are two types of donuts available: “Daily Donuts,” which you would expect at any donut shop such as donuts with glaze, frosting, sprinkles, jelly, and powder on them along with quality unique donuts, or “Special Appearances,” which will grab your attention with their clever names and your taste buds with the unique toppings – crushed candy bars and cookies, and frosting and flavor combinations you wouldn’t expect for a donut. The yeast donuts are surprisingly light even when covered in every sugar addict’s dream of toppings and the cake donuts, while somewhat heavier as you would expect from a cake donut, I have been pleasantly surprised by since I am usually not a fan of cake donuts in general.

The “Daily Donuts”

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Chocolate Frosted

Boston Cream, Apple Crumb (bottom), Bavarian Cream (middle), Red Velvet (top)

Boston Cream, Apple Crumb (bottom), Bavarian Cream (middle left), Red Velvet (top right)

The “Daily Donuts” are the classic flavors you might expect to find at any donut shop. So what sets these apart from others? I’d have to say freshness. Since I have been eating Donut Crazy’s donuts for a few weeks now I notice a difference if I grab a donut at another donut shop.

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Chocolate Glazed

The “Special Appearances”
At Donut Crazy you can expect a rotation of these “Special Appearances” enabling you to always have the option to try a new flavor if you should choose. “Special Appearances” are also regularly posted on Donut Crazy’s website (to see the current list you can check their website here). When a new flavor makes its appearance the growing fans Donut Crazy has already built up in the few short weeks they have been open head over to try the new flavors. Certain days of the weeks and certain times are popular so you can expect a line sometimes especially on the days a new flavor is released. But be patient, the donuts are worth the fast-moving line.

Fat Elvis

One of the most unique donuts we have tried has been the Fat Elvis. Fit for the King himself, the Fat Elvis is filled with banana cream and topped with peanut butter, bananas, bacon, and drizzled with chocolate and honey. If you like peanut butter and banana together – order this donut. Bacon lovers, I know you’ll try all the flavors with bacon on top because, I mean, it has bacon on top.

Speaking of bacon on top, the Maple Bacon donut is sweet yet lighter than I expected. The maple glaze balances with the saltiness of the bacon in a way that you might actually be able to eat more than one in one sitting.

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Cherry Bomb is filled with a lemon center and covered with cherry icing and crumb topping. Don’t forget the cherry on top!

Cherry Bomb

Calling all Girl Scout cookie lovers – the Samora tastes as close as a donut can taste like a Samoa Girl Scout cookie. Warning: it is a heavy donut (aka you’ll only need to eat one donut)! The bottom of a cake donut is dipped in chocolate and then covered in caramel, toasted caramel, and dark chocolate is drizzled over the top.

Samora


Some other special appearance I would recommend are the Mumbo Italiano (aka Cannoli), Kandy Krush, Mud Pie (see below), and the Nutty Nutella.

Bacon Maple, Kandy Krush (top); Red Velvet, Mumbo Italiano (aka cannoli) (middle); Mud Pie, Bavarian Cream (bottom)

The Nutty Nutella is every Nutella lover’s dream – a nutella mousse filling which is light, almost whipcream-like in texture fills the donut, which is then frosted with nutella and chopped hazelnuts.

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Nutty Nutella

We have tried many flavors, and you know what, they’re all delicious. It really comes down to a matter of personal preference! I know, some of you are probably shaking your head and doubting me. There was only one flavor I haven’t liked, but it was entirely personal preference because everyone else I asked loves it. Are you craving a donut yet?

Need a recommendation, can’t decide? My personal favorites I order over and over again (and the list is growing!): Red Velvet, Samora, Nutty Nutella, Mumbo Italiano, Kandy Krush, Kookie Monster, Apple Crumb, and the Strawberry Crumb – these two are the closest I think you can get to the happy union of a piece of crumb fruit pie and a donut! Also, I really enjoy the coffee roll, croissants, and the grilled cheese donut (read more below).

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Strawberry Crumb

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When what you’re eating is so good you forget to take a photo until you’re halfway done eating! This is the Kandy Krush.

On National Donut Day I tried the Kookie Monster! Oreos and frosting – what’s not to like?

Bavarian Cream is my husband Ron’s favorite!

We went to a Donut Crazy today in celebration of National Donut Day and had a blast!

Don’t forget the “Breakfast Sandwiches and Such”!

Some of our favorites have been the coffee roll, bagels, flagels (flat bagels), croissants, and Udi’s gluten free products for my gluten-free friends! Egg sandwiches have been a hit along with the fresh-squeezed orange juice and the grilled cheese donut (Take a sugar cane or glazed donut, cut it in half, and put your choice of cheese in the center to make a grilled cheese sandwich! The sweetness of the donut goes with the cheese surprisingly well.).

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Coffee Roll

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Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

If you see me there on a Saturday morning, say hello! I’d love to talk donuts with you!

Donut Crazy has two locations: 3690 Main Street, Stratford and their larger location 785 River Road, Shelton.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 5am-9pm; Friday and Saturday 5am-10pm.

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Maple Water Fitness Smoothies Now Available For A Limited Time at Robeks! 

Are you looking for something healthy to eat, but feeling tired of your go-to foods? Or do you just want to try something a little different? Robeks is offering three new fitness smoothies for a limited time with a really unique twist – they are made with maple water!

That’s right, maple water. “Maple water is made from water that naturally flows through maple trees in the spring. Farmers tap the trees to draw the water, which in its raw form is roughly 98 percent water and 2 percent sugar. The organic maple water used in Robeks menu offerings is micronutrient-infused, antioxidant-rich, and a great hydrator.”

Available until June 15th, Robeks sustainable maple water smoothies have been created with your health and hydration in mind.

The three Fitness Smoothies are designed to complement the body’s needs before and after working out. They come in small, medium and large servings and are available at Robeks stores across the country only until June 15 because maple water is only available while the spring sap is running in the maple trees.

There are three options available in the maple water fitness smoothies: Pre-Workout Fitness Fuel, Post-Workout Fit Recovery (purple), and Anytime Fit Refresher (green). Robeks invited me to come and try all three smoothies and I have to tell you, they are delicious!
So let’s talk details.
The Pre-Workout Fitness Fuel is made with Maple Water, Peanut Butter, Whey Protein, Espresso, Cinnamon, natural Non-Fat Yogurt, and a drizzle of Maple Syrup. You can find a detailed nutrition guide on Robeks website with the description of each maple water fitness smoothie in all three flavors and sizes, but I will say that a small contains 354 calories, 13 grams of fat, 42grams of carbs, and 17 grams of protein. If you’re like me and always looking where you can add some protein to your diet then you will want to give this one a try!
The  Pre-Workout Fitness Fuel was my favorite of the three, but I’m biased because I love peanut butter. However, the taste of the peanut butter was not overwhelming so if you aren’t a peanut butter addict like myself then this smoothie will still be appealing. If you’re wondering about the dash of cinnamon and the drizzle of maple syrup I have to say that they both really give this smoothie a unique flavor that I was pleasantly surprised by. The cinnamon is immediately recognizable, yet subtle, and the maple syrup added just a little sweetness.

 

The Post-Workout Fit Recovery maple water smoothie (purple in photos above) contains: Maple Water, Whey Protein, a splash of Vanilla Almond Milk, Raw Spinach, Blueberries, Bananas, a sprinkle of Coconut, and a drizzle of Maple Syrup. A small contains only 180 calories, 3 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 34 grams of carbohydrates.

The Post-Workout Fit Recovery was the sweetest of the three maple water smoothies and the one you could tailor to be paleo if need be (just take out that whey protein). In case you didn’t know, Robeks will tailor their smoothies to fit your needs – how great is that?!

Once I tried the Anytime Fit Refresher I knew why Robeks choose its name because refreshing is the first word that comes to mind as you drink it! Made with natural Non-Fat Yogurt, Pineapple Sherbet, Ripe Pineapples, and a drizzle of Maple Syrup, when you drink this smoothie you will immediately taste the cucumber and pineapple with a hint of the spinach.

The Anytime Fit Refresher made me feel like I was making a good choice and getting some more vegetables into my diet – is there anyone who doesn’t need to eat more vegetables?-  while still enjoying a little sweetness from the pineapple and maple syrup. A small of the Anytime Fit Refresher is 189 calories and contain only 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 34 grams of carbohydrates.

Don’t forget Maple Water Fitness Smoothies are only available at Robeks until June 15th!

Also, you might want to  join Robeks Rewards program which features several benefits such as allowing you to earn points and receive surprise rewards. See Robeks.com for more information.

Robeks has over 200 locations nationwide and you can hop on their website and find one near you!

I visited their Westport location at 398 Post Road East.
203.221.0303

Disclaimer: I was invited by Robeks to try and review their Maple Water Fitness Smoothies. However, all opinions expressed herein are my own.

Community Plates Fundraiser “Food For All 2015″ is TONIGHT at The Loading Dock, Stamford!

community plates

Did you know that Fairfield and New Haven counties are both home to a direct-transfer food rescue foundation committed to ending food insecurity in America called Community Plates?

Since 2011 Community Plates has been helping those who suffer from food insecurity by using a volunteer-driven food rescue platform which works to coordinate food service organizations such as restaurants, bakeries, and caterers with soup kitchens, food pantries, and other organizations. Volunteers act as food runners and help to deliver the healthy, usable food so it doesn’t go to waste and helps feed those in need. In fact, since its launch in 2011 Community Plates has rescued over 5.3 million meals or over 8 million pounds of food! In addition to Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut, the non-profit organization also operates in Columbus, OH; Albuquerque, NM; and New Orleans, LA; it plans to open six to eight additional sites in 2015.

But Community Plates cannot do it all alone – they need your help!

Join Community Plates in battling food insecurity in Connecticut tonight at their annual benefit, “Food For all, 2015″ from 6-9pm at the Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock in Stamford.

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For $75 a ticket ($60 each for groups of 6 or more) you can enjoy the food and libations from some of Connecticut’s finest while also contributing to a great organization helping to meet the needs of 110,000 people right here in Connecticut as Kevin Mullins, executive director and co-founder of Community Plates explains:

“Every bit of this food rescued has been completed by volunteers from all over our area, caught up in this food rescue revolution, powered by our GoRescue technology and our innovative hunger relief model. We’re focused on meeting the need of 110,000 people right here who struggle to know where their next meal is coming from.The Food for All 2015 fundraiser helps sustain and propel us toward our mission of bringing hunger to an end here in Fairfield County. Our current impact is twenty meals rescued and delivered for every one dollar donated! This type of impact would have been unheard of before and offers real hope for ending this senseless problem. Food for All is a lot of fun. The food and the energy in the room is amazing – and we do a lot of good in the process.”

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Along with some great food and libations, the event will also be featuring a photography exhibit from which attendees of tonight’s event have the opportunity to purchase work by some of the industry’s well-known food photographers! 100% of the proceeds will be going to Community Plates.

Come down to The Loading Dock in Stamford tonight and help support this great cause!

Event Details

Thursday, May 7, 6-9 PM

Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock

375 Fairfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902

Tickets: $75 ($60 each for groups of 6 or more)

 

Tonight’s Featured Restaurants Include:

Abigail Kirsch

Aji 10 Latin Cuisine & Pisco Bar

Amore Cucina & Bar

Cafe Madrid & Tapas Bar

Dante’s Restaurant & Bar

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery

Fortina

Golden View Firenze

Greenwich Cheese Co.

Jax & Co.

K is for Cookies

LeRouge Chocolates

Match

NEAT

Palmwich

Paloma

SOOSH

Strada 18

Table 104 Osteria & Bar

Vespa

CRAFT COCKTAIL BARS

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The Fez

The Spread

Walrus & Carpenter

 

*Photos and images are courtesy of MaxExPr*

 

Stratford Firefighters’ 4th Annual Wine & Beer Tasting Event to Benefit CT Burn Center

The Stratford Professional Firefighters Burn Foundation – Fairfield Firefighters, Local 1426, I.A.F.F., Milford Firefighters, Local 944, I.A.F.F., Norwalk Firefighters, Local 830, I.A.F.F., Stratford Firefighters, Local 998, I.A.F.F., Westport Firefighters, Local 1081, I.A.F.F., Huntington Fire Company #3, Shelton – along with the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation will be hosting their 4th Annual Wine & Beer Tasting event on February 19, 2015 from 6:30-9:30pm at the Trumbull Marriott.

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This Wine & Beer Tasting event is to benefit the Connecticut Burn Center and the newly formed Connecticut Support Group for Burn Survivors.

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Sponsored by Town Line Liquors, you can expect about 30 different vendors offering tastings (20 wine vendors and 10 beer vendors), finger food and music for $25 per person.

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However, if you would like to participate in tasting specialty wine and beer in addition to the general tasting event tickets are $50 per person.

The purchase of a ticket also enters you in the drawing for a door prize, and a general raffle will also be held during the event.

You can purchase tickets online here with PayPal, OR you can purchase tickets at the door.

For more information visit the Stratford Professional Firefighters Burn Foundation site here.

Trumbull Marriott
180 Hawley Lane
Trumbull, CT
203-378-1400

 

Logo images from: http://spffafightingburns.org/upcomingevents/2015winetasting.html

Brick + Wood Features Guest Chef Series Beginning TONIGHT!

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Brick + Wood in Fairfield (read more about my wonderful dining experience here), the newest Italian restaurant known for their Neapolitan pizza and wine-on-tap bar, is pairing up with some very talented local chefs to create some unique pizzas! Throughout 2015, Brick + Wood will showcase a unique pizza created by a neighboring chef to be served on one specific night and tonight is the FIRST night!

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Geronimo’s Tim Scott will be the guest chef this evening at Brick + Wood.

 

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Stop by Brick + Wood tonight to try Chef Scott’s unique pizza for the evening!

1275 Post Road
Fairfield, CT

Images courtesy of MaxEx PR

Produce and Pigs: My Visit to Sport Hill Farm

Nestled among the small rolling hills on Sport Hill Farm Road in Easton is a farm which shares its name: Sport Hill Farm.
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Sport Hill Farm is owned and farmed by the very friendly Patti Popp who is passionate about organic food – both farming it and eating it – and spreading the word to others. So much so that SHF welcomes field trips, interns, birthday parties, and offers a Summer Farm Camp for children.

Established in 2001, Sport Hill Farm grows their organic produce “from seed to harvest” using green manure and compost. In fact, it’s all GMO free. If you haven’t made a visit to the farm yet you might have enjoyed come of SHF’s produce on a local restaurant’s menu or bought some from her at a local farmers’ market such as the Westport Farmer’s Market.

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The view from Sport Hill Farm

Yesterday I visited Patti to learn more about Sport Hill Farm and some upcoming 2015 programs. “The fields are sleeping right now,” as Patty said to me as she explained the different fields and greenhouses that span across Sport Hill Farm’s property and how this organic farm runs, but that doesn’t mean that Patti is on break, in fact she’s busy planning the 2015 season.

Patti’s planning involves you too! SHF is offering two Home to Harvest CSA programs (Community Sharing Agriculture) also known as crop sharing for the 2015 season and a crop cash program.

Harvest to Home CSA
Harvest Bushel
First week of June – mid-October
Cost is $35/week for the season. $200 deposit is due by February 15th to sign up for the program and the balance is due by April 1st.
Peak season premium organic produce grown on Sport Hill Farm will be selected and hand picked each week by the farmer. Each week you receive a basket of a variety of the best produce available along with a recipe from Patti featuring “Patti’s Produce Pick of the Week.” In addition, you receive a 10% discount off “Patti’s Partner’s Products” purchased at the SHF Market at pickup. You choose the day you will pick up each week for the season: Thursday 2-7pm or Friday 11-6pm. This program is great for families, but if you’re looking for smaller quantities for singles or couples, Patti recommends the Harvest Peck.

Harvest Peck
First week of June – mid-October
Cost is $20/week for the season. $200 deposit is due by February 15th to sign up for the program and the balance is due by April 1st.
The Harvest Peck gives you all the benefits of the Harvest Bushel listed above except in a smaller quantity in your weekly basket.

If either of these options aren’t your thing then there’s another option for you: Crop Cash!

Crop Cash
If you’d like the option of buying the produce in Sport Hill Farm’s Market along with “Patti’s Partner’s Products” then the Crop Cash program is the way to go. A sort of hybridized CSA program, Cash Crop gives you more flexibility to spend in the SHF market when you’d like on what you’d like. There are three options for this program: $90 for $100 in SHF farm credit to spend during the season, or $250 for $275 credit, or $500 for $550 credit.

Visiting the farm and Patti was a fun experience, and meeting the animals made it extra special! The chickens are still busy laying eggs comfortably in their roost (they don’t like to come out in the snow even though Patti shovels their run), but the pigs, well, ran out to greet us!

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Aren’t they adorable? The pigs eat an organic diet too and they help to make sure nothing goes to waste at SHF by eating any leftover vegetables.

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Sport Hill Farm LLC
596 Sport Hill Farm Road
Easton, CT

Hours: the market is closed until spring.

Contact Patti at farmgal596@gmail.com for more information, or <a href="http://sign up here for membership to the 2015 CSA (crop sharing) OR here for the Crop Cash program by February 15, 2015.