As I am sitting here (in front of our warm and cozy wood stove), it is hard to believe that just last weekend Pierre and I were 4 hours away from our little farm and in NYC at the 2014 New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF).
Pierre and I were looking forward to our trip to the city, seeing familiar faces, meeting fellow ShopRite Potluck Bloggers, the sights, the sounds, and most of the culinary adventure that is The New York City Wine and Food Festival!!
For us, the experience started when we packed our suitcases in the car and hit the road. We love road trips!! One of the best things about a road trip is the food. Since Pierre has to eat a strict gluten free diet, extra thought goes into every road trip. Here are a few quick tips that we use to eat gluten free on the go:
1. If possible, plan ahead. We head to our ShopRite, and farmers market a day or two before our trip. You want pack for the road trip and for any food you might like to enjoy while at your hotel. For this trip we made and packed a few of our favorite’s: Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders, Daisy Sour Cream (because the only ingredient is cream, by the way, ShopRite carries the family size container), Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Organic Milk, wild sockeye smoked salmon, gluten free crackers, organic baby greens, fresh raspberries, fresh black berries, and a few other essentials. Make sure to pack paper towels, and disposable silverware.
2. Have a few of your pit stops picked out. We wait to stop until we are on the NY State Thruway because they have one of my favorite coffee shops and clean restrooms.
When we checked in at our hotel, I was handed my official ShopRite Potluck Bloggers bag, which was thoughtfully filled with a few of my favorite gluten free goodies (Glutino Lemon Wafer Cookies, ShopRite Imported Italian Lemon Soda), my official ShopRite Potluck Blogger T-shirt, and tickets to Rachel Ray’s Burger Bash and Saturday’s NYCWFF Grand Tasting.
Pierre and I checked in to our room, got ready and headed out the door to Pier 92, where The Rachel Ray Burger Bash was just getting ready to go into full swing. There are many different famous restaurants and chefs offering their creative twist on the all American favorite, The Burger. There were burgers made from dry aged beef, lamb, grass fed beef, and a few other meats. These burgers were topped with different cheeses, exotic toppings and most were served with intriguing sides. Robert Irvine’s Burger was my favorite. His burger was topped with a maple smoked pork belly, and a zippy homemade potato salad full of fresh herbs and some type of smoked sausage.
The live band was jamming, the people mingling and we even ran into a few of our favorite Food Network Stars (Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli). Once the NYCWFF Rachel Ray Burger Bash winner was announced by Rachel Ray (Congratulations to Josh Capon of B&B Winepub) we headed back to our hotel room and hit the hay.
When the sun came up, we popped up and enjoyed a delicious and very casual breakfast in bed. Then we were out the door to the NYCWFF ShopRite Grand Tasting at Pier 94. While in line, the gentleman behind us was getting noticed by strangers. I turned around and asked him who he was, as I did not recognize him. It turns out that his name is Ruben Ruiz and he was the fan favorite on last seasons “The Next Food Network Star.” After we met him, the time flew by. We talked about his experience on the show, his restaurant in Miami, where we are from, and much more. Ruben is definitely a hot ticket. Once the Grand Tasting opened the doors, just after noon, the line moved pretty quickly. There were thousands of people.
As we entered the doors, we were greeted with wine glasses, lanyards that held the wine glasses around your neck, and a ShopRite reusable shopping bag filled with even more goodies! The shear size of this event is impressive. The Grand Tasting was chalk full of vendors (including wine, liquor, ice cream, frozen keifer, gluten free crackers, gluten free granola, restaurants, products, spaghetti sauces, and lots and lots of food to taste), famous chefs and tv personalities (We had the amazing experience of meeting and talking with Martha Stewart, yes the real Martha Stewart who is incredibly nice, the one and only Miss Paula Deen, and the “REAL” Sunny Anderson).
While I was at the ShopRite Booth (having a fabulous time spreading the word about this very blog, meeting all of you, handing out recipe cards, and cute little spatulas), Pierre was buying me Martha Stewart’s new cookbook “One Pot Wonders.” Pierre surprised me with this new cookbook, that he also had signed by Martha! However the biggest surprise was that he and Martha had a lovely one on one conversation, about goats of all things.
Then we had the true pleasure of meeting Miss Paula Deen. Paula was incredibly genuine, sweet, and full of southern charm. I will definitely be checking out her new network, The Paula Deen Network.
One of the great finds was Milton’s Crackers, that are happily certified gluten free and Non GMO. The ladies that were representing Milton’s were enthusiastic and full of information. Gluten free crackers can be a tricky thing. I am not a fan of the texture and taste of most commercial gluten free crackers. I tasted the Everything flavor of Milton’s Crackers and was pleasantly surprised. Then I skeptically tasted the cheddar flavor…..They taste like Real Crackers!! Delicious!!! They are currently in the process of sending me more information about the crackers, I will keep you updated.
After a few hours at the grand tasting, full of food, wine, new ideas, and new friends we headed for the door. On our way we met and posed for a picture with Sunny Anderson, of Food Network’s Cooking For
Real and The Kitchen. Sunny is truly down to earth, and the name of her first show fits her perfectly, she is the real deal, genuine and a lovely person. A huge Thank You to Sunny for posing in my “cookbook” pose with Pierre and I for a picture (and to support a great cause too).
Please take a look to see if you can help take a stand against hunger in your community. We truly believe that no one should go hungry, remember hunger effects all ages.
All in all it was another FABULOUS NYCWFF!! Thank You ShopRite for the opportunity to have such an amazing, life enhancing, culinary creating experience!!!
Pierre and I arrived home to our little farm, located in upstate NY, and greeted my parents (in front of this very warm, cozy wood stove) with hours of stories from NYC.
It’s time to go throw hay, collect eggs, and milk, our too cute for words, little goats.
Get your spatula out, I almost forgot, here is that recipe I promised you at the 2014 New York City Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting for the Spiced Apple Napoleon:
SPICED APPLE NAPOLEON (Gluten Free)
copyright 2014 Amy Rota-Poulin
4 fresh Cortland apples, cored
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon ShopRite pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Slice the ends off of the apple. Using an apple corer, core the apple. Cut the apple horizontally into 1/4 inch thick slices. Repeat until all the apples are sliced.
In a large bowl, using a whisk, mix together the gluten free flour, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and sea salt.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs, pure vanilla extract and maple syrup until smooth.
Dip the apple slice into the spiced flour mixture, then into the beaten eggs, then back into the spiced flour mixture. Be sure to really press the gluten free flour into each apple slice. Tap the apple ring lightly to remove any excess flour.
In a large pan over medium high heat add the butter and olive oil. Sauté each battered apple slice until each side is golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Place a dollop of the filling between the apple slices. Drizzle pure maple syrup over the top and thoroughly enjoy!!
Filling: 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 ounce rum. Mix all ingredients together until combined.
Warmest Regards & Happy Cooking,
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