Sauce Magazine – From Downtown to Down Home


Sauce Magazine – From Downtown to Down Home.

We were so happy to hear that Sauce Magazine (a local St. Louis food and bev publication) wanted to do a story on our farm adventure! It’s a beautifully written article! I hope you take the time to read it and get to know alittle bit more about how Simon and I came to the decision to move to the farm. I will be writing a monthly blog column for Sauce Magazine, keeping everyone abreast of what is happening down in Bloomsdale!

Drink beer this weekend


Go to the Brewer’s Heritage Festival….happening in Forest Park.

Drink beer for this pregnant gal….commiserate with other beer lovers and brewers.

Click here for more info: St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival

There will be awesome people there and awesome beer and tasty food.

Do it.

Rendering beef fat to soothe the sad heart


If you follow me on Twitter, you most likely are aware that my Grandmother died on Christmas Eve. She was 100 years old and the most magnificent woman in the world. And that is not an exaggeration. She was truly amazing. She was the first person I remember telling me how important it was to get an education and engage in a fulfilling career. She was the person who taught me to cook, taught me to pray and taught me to be proud of my Lebanese heritage. She taught me to be progressive, never stagnant. Despite her age, she never rested on her laurels. Always moving with the times, trying new thing and embracing change….all the while holding on to her faith, heritage and traditions passed down from her parents. She was the youngest of four sisters, daughter of Lebanese immigrants and a pioneer in this city. She and two of her sisters owned and operated a restaurant and tavern in North St. Louis at a time where not only women didn’t own business but rarely worked and had just earned the right to vote. She was generous and philanthropic, continually giving to charities close to her heart such as St. Jude’s Hospital and American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities. She was a devout Maronite Catholic and a champion for her parish, St. Raymond’s Church. But above all, she was most proud of her family and harbored a love for us that saw no end. It was a love that I will cherish until the day I die…and one that I hope to shower upon my children and grandchildren someday. Continue reading

American Artisanal Cheesemakers: Introducing Baetje Farms


**cross posted at Menuism

Artisanal cheese can be found in pretty much every state in the union. I dare you to try and name a state that doesn’t have at least one dairy or creamery. Even the island of Hawaii is home to some great cheesemakers! Over my next few posts, I’ll talk about some of these great American cheesemakers, starting with my home state of Missouri. Continue reading

Cheese of the Week: Seehive from Beehive Cheese Company


Still toiling away in graduate school but couldn’t miss this opportunity to tell you about Seehive!

photo courtesy of Beehive Cheese Company

From the Beehive Cheese Co. website “…..is hand rubbed with Beehive wildflower honey and local Redmond RealSalt. The honey is harvested from a local farm where the bee’s visit wildflowers and fruit orchards. The salt is from an ancient sea bed near Redmond, Utah and contains unique flecks of color that are the result of more than 50 natural trace minerals. This cheese is shaping up to be one of our best experiments yet and is a true expression of our local flavors”

This interesting specimen is now available here in StL.  Buzz on over to The Wine Merchant and ask Simon for a taste. You won’t go home empty handed!

You only have scraps of cheese???


No fear…you can now have what the French call Fromage Fort. It is the EASIEST recipe you will ever read.  It goes alittle something like this:

1. Gather up about a 1/2 pound of cheese scraps

2. Chuck ’em in the food processor

3. In goes a couple cloves of garlic

4. Slosh of white wine

Salt and pepper to taste….

Whiz it all up til kinda smooth…depending on how you like it. I like a little texture.

Put in ramekins…serve at room temp with crackers, toasted baguette…BILLY GOAT POTATO CHIPS

It keeps forever in the fridge if wrapped airtight. I love this stuff….and it’s different everytime…depending on what kinda cheese you have. I’ve never had it NOT turn out delicious.

Enjoy!!

Christmas came early to the CWE


Seriously!  How lucky are the residents of the Central West End (CWE)!?!  Gerard Craft opened Brasserie by Niche in the former Chez Leon space.  With Perry Hendrix at the helm of the stove, the CWE folks have just gotten themselves one heck of a neighborhood hotspot! Focusing on classic French bistro fare, you’ll never eat onion soup anywhere else.  Cassoulet, moules frites, French cheeses, country pate….and an amazing croque monsieur…coq au vin…you’ll feel like you are sitting in a Parisian bistro! With a nice beer and wine selection…Brasserie By Niche is one of my new favorite places to go. Lucky for me it’s a stone’s throw from the hospital…and after a long day caring for the masses…Brasserie is a welcome respite!

Next up: Pi!! Pi is close to opening its doors in their new CWE locale! That makes the third space opened by Chris Sommers! With the crazy success of his spot in the Delmar Loop..and the cult-like obsession cultivated at the Kirkwood spot he is about to dish out some of that crazy good cornmeal crust deep dish on the corner of Euclid and McPherson! And to make it even better Mathew Rice is going to be doing his ingenious desserts at the new CWE locale! His milkshake bar at the Kirkwood locale is a favorite already.  I suggest a Purple Cow or a chocolate malted milkshake if you make it out Kirkwood! The CWE spot is geared toward adults with a gorgeous reclaimed eco-friendly bar manned by Chad George!

So…no more complaining about the CWE not having anything new….get over to Brasserie (open NOW!) and Pi (slated to open to the public on Tuesday 12/ 15/09!)

Adjusting to life back in STL


What a whirlwind August has been!  We are moved into the new house, however we have loads of unpacking and organizing to do.  Work is in full swing and class begins tonight for me!  The kitchen was our first room to unpack…of course!  Still trying to figure out the proper ‘flow’ of the new space…it’s been rearranged twice…I’m sure we’ll rearrange again.

I’ve been lucky enough to have some great meals around town.  Last night was Bobo…it was my second visit since being home and it didn’t disappoint.  Ginger pork and egg noodles….delicious.  I usually get the chicken….and although I liked the pork…the chicken is still my fav….headed over to Eclipse for a night cap on the roof.  If you have yet to get down to Eclipse at the Moonrise Hotel  in University City…I’d make a trip.  The food is wonderful…the drinks are great and the rooftop views rival any bar in the city.  They have a decent beer list…and the wine list it thoughtful, as well.  But the calamari is delectable.  Best I’ve had in StL in a very long time. eclipse

Speaking of Eclipse…I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to an installation of a Full Moon Foodies Dinner.  Hosted by Wes Johnson and Brendan Noonan…it’s a late-night meal focusing on creative cooking…each dinner has a theme and guests are invited to a late night dining experience at Eclipse.  Wes has graciously given me the green light to publish my thoughts on their late night adventures.  Stay tuned….September 4th will be an exciting night.  It will be a vegetarian meal….looking forward to see what the guys can do with this season’s bounty!

Niche TasteBar


you should go there.  the drinks are amazing…the food spectacular.  Ted Kilgore is a mad scientist and booze genius…pair with Gerard Crafts inventive and satisfying food….it’s a win-win.   they also stay open late…where else can you get a great cheese plate at midnight, hmm?  need i say more?

it is really, really good…and fun…and just all around a nice place to sit for an hour or so……plus the music didn’t suck.

there…that is my review…done and done.

From the Scoop on SauceMagazine.com:


Master mixologist Ted Kilgore will be moving from Monarch Restaurant to Niche Taste Bar, which is slated to open next month. “While I was not looking to make a move, the project is right up my alley,” Kilgore said. Details to follow. P

For all you grill masters in STL….


Calling all Grill Masters for the Gateway City Barbeque Festival

Gateway City Barbeque Festival
At the Old Rock House St. Louis
July 3-4, 2009
The contest is open to beginner and seasoned barbeque professionals and any team can take home the title of Grand Champion and $500.

For more information and an application visit our website
http://www.oldrockhousestl.com/gatewaycitybbqfestival/
or
Call: 314-450-5978
Email: privateparties@oldrockhousestl.com

Application deadline –July 1, 2009

Veruca Bakeshop closing to make way for Niche Taste Bar


That’s right folks….what once was a bright bubbly bakeshop during the day will now transform into a sleek new lounge featuring cocktails and a menu of small plates .  Wine tastings may be in the future as well.

As sad as I am to see Veruca Bakeshop go dark, I am excited for the new concept to take form!  Mathew Rice and Gerard Craft do amazing things together and I’m sure I’ll fall in love with Niche Taste Bar the minute I take my first bite.

Don’t fret though….Mathew will still be doing his famous wedding cakes, confections and cakes.  They will need to be pre-ordered through Niche!  I am very excited to see the new desserts that come from Mathew in the months to come!  Here’s a little scoop:  one of Mathew’s fabulous wedding cakes will be shown in a summer issue of Martha Stewart Weddings!!

Mathew will also be piloting a new bread program for the restaurant.  Now, all the breads will be made in house!  I can’t wait to get my chubby little fingers on some of that!

Look for Niche Taste Bar to debut this Spring!

The Wine Merchant closes Creve Coeur Location


From John Nash:

Greetings,
“The world is coming to grips with the most serious economic downturn since the second World War and many economists are expecting a slow recovery. Our lease is up for renewal at our Creve Coeur store and we’ve made the tough decision to close this location. Our Clayton shop remains vibrant and continues to grow as we enter our 17th year of business. Highway 64/40 is now open for business and getting to Clayton has never been faster. We appreciate the many years of patronage and support in West County. We’d like to invite you to visit our Clayton store where we will continue with our commitment to value, selection and great customer service. Our Clayton store is open every day (Sunday too) and we have free, excellent parking on the North and South side of our building. We’re closing out our remaining inventory in Creve Coeur this week at Clearance Sale prices. You’ll save big on our entire store stock. Shop early for the best selection. See below for details. Cheers!”

-John Nash, The Wine Merchant, Ltd.

Keys Change Hands at 33 Wine Bar


From Jake:

It was with great privilege and deep happiness that I signed a term letter yesterday and agreed to pass 33 onto my close friend, Jeff Stettner.  

Best of luck to you in your new adventure, Jake.  We will miss seeing you behind the bar.