Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food at Fairway funds musical fun!

You already know how much I love Fairway, but now I have yet another reason to love them. Tomorrow night from 4-10 PM, you can have 10% of your purchase donated to the Stamford Symphony's Music Education Programs. So when you buy a bottle of their amazing olive oil, a loaf of their yummy ciabatta bread and some delicious Comte cheese, you'll be helping the Symphony to share the joys of music. (And let me know if you can't finish all that bread and cheese. I'll help.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Business Saturday

Once you've recovered from Black Friday, shake off the turkey-induced drowsiness and peel yourself off the couch so you can take part in Small Business Saturday! We all know how important small businesses are to every community; they're owned by your friends and neighbors and not by a giant corporation based in Dallas or Omaha. Every dollar you spend locally stays local and is spent again and again right here, instead of being sent off to Arkansas or the Cayman Islands.

There are too many small, independent businesses in Stamford for me to list them all - and that's a good thing! We haven't been overrun by boring, generic chains - let's do what we can to keep it that way. To quote The Office's Toby Flenderson, "If we don't patronize the only Syrian restaurant in town, there'll be nothing left but pan pizzas and...you know, make-your-own-salads."

I encourage you to get out and shop at your local small business next Saturday!! Check out the Small Business Saturday Facebook page for more information.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Double Chocolate Eruption!

Last Saturday, I had the distinct privilege of attending the 13th annual New York Chocolate Show, and all I can say is WOW. I haven't seen that much chocolate in one place since the Fancy Food Show, and this show skips all the cheese, olive oil and wine and heads straight for dessert!

First I had to pick the right outfit for the show.

"Does this chocolate dress make me look fat?"

Then I hopped on a train to the city.

Forget the new M-8s; Metro-North should buy chocolate train cars!

Then was on to chocoholic heaven!

There were works of art like these, from William Dean Chocolates...

...and these by Håkan Mårtensson of FIKA Choklad:

Mmm...chocolate hyena...

I guess babies are the next big chocolate market now; who wouldn't want their baby to be up all night, wired on caffeine and sugar?

Here's a sampling of some of the other chocolately exhibitors:

Around noon, I started to get hungry, so I headed over to the Peanut Butter & Co. booth for a lunchbox full of peanut butter.

After lunch, I had a blast talking with Elyissia Wassung, owner of 2 Chicks with Chocolate.

L to R: Jennie Spencer, Chicklet; Elyissia Wassung, 2 Chicks' Chick-in-Charge;
Stephanie Vazquez, 2 Chicks' Lead Chocolatier.

Elyissia told me about how she started selling her mom's homemade chocolate door-to-door in Queens when she was just nine! After venturing into the business world, she fell back under chocolate's siren song and decided to make the sweet stuff her full-time job. Judging by the popularity of the 2 Chicks with Chocolate booth and the funky/hip/cool treats they create, it seems to me like it was a wise move! (If only there were a way to turn my expertise in eating chocolate into a career...)

Rock-N-Pop - chocolate-covered popcorn with popping candy! (Yes, popping candy is what you think it is.)

Fire & Ice chocolate martini mixers - the fire is the mild spiciness, and the ice is, well,
the ice that you use to make chocolate martinis!

It may sound like heresy to some people, but after all that tasting and tasting, I had had enough (I won't even get into the 100% cacao bar that was waay to strong for me). I decided to head home on the delicoius chocolate train, but on the way out, I picked up some Jacques Torres gifts...

Yes, they're all made of chocolate.

...to put under our new toffee bark Christmas tree!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, AACK!

Who among us hasn't wished that Willy Wonka's chocolate factory were a real place? Well, the closest you'll come to swimming in chocolate like Augustus Gloop is this weekend's New York Chocolate Show. (Sorry about the short notice.)

Here's a list of some of the vendors:
- Peanut Butter & Company (I loooove their flavored peanut butters.)

I'm attending, and I'll take lots of pictures. I'd give out some samples, but they still haven't figured how to transmit chocolate over the internet like they promised back in the 1950s.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Help strike out cancer!

During the baseball season, Fairfield County native Craig Breslow brings the heat as a relief pitcher for the Oakland A's but during the off-season, he works to strike out childhood cancer for good.

This Saturday, his
Strike 3 Foundation will hold its annual First Pitch Gala at the Stamford Hilton, featuring ESPN's Karl Ravech and Stamford's own Bobby Valentine as guest emcees, along with many of Craig's current and former teammates. The Strike 3 Foundation works to "heighten awareness, mobilize support, and raise funding for childhood cancer research." The proceeds from the gala will be donated in support of raising funds to contribute to a pledge that Craig has made to the Yale New Haven Children's Hospital as a founding sponsor of Connecticut's first pediatric bone marrow transplant center.

For more information on the Gala, check out the
Strike 3 Foundation website.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I need to be framed

Can anybody recommend a good framing shop? I have some posters and other memorabilia of the awesome things I've done that I'd like to have framed (my lifetime membership certificate from the Nintendo Power Player's Club).

I've used the in-house framers at Michael's and they were ok, but not superb. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This just in: Fairway is awesome

Let's just say it: Fairway is the coolest thing to come to Stamford since me and my awesome blog.

A bunch of co-workers and I caravanned it over to Fairway for lunch and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I've been to the store on Long Island, but this bad boy dwarfs the L.I. store both in size and magnificence.

I think this Fairway might have more cheese than other stores have products.

They have an olive-oil tasting bar. If I ever have a finished basement, it's getting an olive oil bar.

For lunch, you can grab paninis, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, sushi, soup, chopped sala, and a number of choices from the hot bar. There's a bakery, a huge cheese counter, a seafood ice-counter-thing and a deli.

I can't wait to go back when it's less crowded and I can really take my time and do some shopping.

PS: I apologize for the lack of pictures. I didn't bring my camera, I wouldn't have had time to take good pictures, and I figured the Advocate would do a better job what with their fancy flash-bulbs and daguerrotypes.