The Great Googa Mooga Sets a New Standard for Festival Food

by in Events, May 20th, 2012


The Great Googa Mooga. Googa what? That was my exact reaction when I heard the name for the first ever “amusement park of food and drink” that is taking place this weekend at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Roots, Fitz & the Tantrums and Hall and Oates. These names are enough to draw in thousands of people to the newest food and music festival added to the roster of so many, but a first for New York City.

However, the true stars this weekend and what I believe was the biggest draw were the 75 food vendors, 35 brewers and 30 winemakers that dished out food ranging from barbecue to burgers, pizza and seafood and pastrami and ice cream. If you were craving it, you could buy it. While you might have to wait in multiple 30 minute lines, it was worth it — the food produced at this festival set a new standard for all festival food.

We spoke with organizer Jonathan Mayers, who launched Bonaroo and he said, “It’s time for food to get top billing.” He did just that. Included in those 75 food vendors were restaurants Spotted Pig, Roberta’s Pizza, Momofuku Milk Bar and Hill Country Barbecue. Special guests, demonstrators and chefs also included were Food Network’s own Michael Symon, Pat LaFrieda, Marcus Samuelsson, Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Ruth Reichl and even Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari. (For more with Michael Symon, click the play button above.)

Easy Appetizers for Spring Entertaining

by in Entertaining, Recipes, May 18th, 2012


Appetizers. Hors d’oeuvres. Starters. Nibbles. Snacks. Whatever you call pre-dinner eats, you can be sure that they will make a meal, offering your dinner guests early tastes and textures and a sneak peek of what’s to come in the later courses. As the spring season winds down, invite friends and family over to celebrate the warmer weather and serve a simple, quick-to-prepare spread of first-course munchies. Food Network’s no-fuss appetizers below are ideal for relaxed, casual entertaining, and include charred lemon-scented shrimp, velvety deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped veggies. Check out our recipe selections and tell us what you’re cooking up this weekend. 

Robert Irvine’s Antipasto Platter With Grilled Vegetables (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is a go-to pre-dinner pick when you’re pressed for time or if guests stop by unexpectedly. This tray can be customized to any size party or taste preference, though some staple snacks include a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, buttery prosciutto, fresh vegetables, crusty bread and more.

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Burnt Orange Bread Pudding — The Weekender

by in Recipes, May 18th, 2012

burnt orange bread pudding
My maternal grandmother, Della, wasn’t much of a cook. Forever dieting, she invested far more time into maintaining her dress size than she did perfecting her brisket recipe. However, when pressed into kitchen service, there were a few dishes that she could make tolerably well. She knew how to cook a pot of oatmeal so that it was thick and creamy, had long ago mastered the art of broiling a steak and made the best bread pudding around.

Bread pudding was a staple during Della’s childhood. After being orphaned, she and her siblings were raised by an aunt and uncle. The pressures of feeding three growing children meant that food had to be inexpensive and filling. Stale bread cooked in custard and sweetened with dried fruit checked both boxes and tasted good to boot.

Throughout her later years, bread pudding was the one thing that my grandmother just couldn’t resist. Any time my grandparents would eat out and it was on the menu, my grandfather would order it as his dessert. When it arrived, he’d nudge the dish my grandmother’s way. She’d insist that she was entirely satisfied with black coffee and then proceed to eat half the serving in small bites.

Before you start whisking your custard, read these tips