Monday, August 30, 2010

The Drop Bar and Bistro



Drop by for a great time.

The Drop Bar and Bistro is a great spot located in Martini Corner, and speaking of Martini’s they have quite a list to choose from. All of classics are available, along with a list a specialty ones that include, asian pear, lychee, mango and sour grape just to name a few. I chose the peach Bellini, it contained real peach puree and was quite yummy!


It was happy hour so my Specialty Martini was only $5.00 and starters were half price! What a perfect way to start the evening and get a great deal. We chose the House Marinated Olives and the Fusion Hummus. The olive display was a beautiful array of assorted olives, manchego cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and peppadew. The hummus is made with a mix of chickpeas and cannellini beans, spanish paprika and sriracha. It had a great creamy texture and just a little spice. The combination of the hummus and olives paired beautifully.

Thought we did not stay for dinner, I cannot wait to go back to try it. The menu boast everything from soups and salads to sandwiches and entrée’s and dessert offerings range from milk and cookies to a tropical fusion mousse cake.

Another item I cannot wait to try are The Drop’s edible cocktails. You can eat your drink. How fun does that sound? These little gems are a fully loaded cocktail in the form of a decadent truffle or elegant dessert. So don’t even let the phrase “jello shot” cross your mind. Some flavors include Lemon Drop, Mojito and Baileys Irish Cream and Coffee just to name a few. Flavors are added and changed occasionally so always ask your server which ones are available.

The drop décor is urban chic and includes everything from a video jukebox where you can reminisce of the days when MTV used to play videos to chandeliers made out of wine glasses.

Looking to impress a date, or just woo the one you already have? On Sunday nights The Drop hosts a Prix Fixe dinner for two. Enjoy four (4) courses and a bottle of wine for just $60 per couple.

This upscale neighborhood bar and bistro has won numerous awards including Best New Bar by the Pitch, Chef of the Year by KC Restaurant Association and it made KC Magazine’s list for one of the Top 5 Best New Restaurants and Top 5 Bars in Kansas City. Drop by The Drop soon!

And as always, if you have a great food find in KC email me.

The Drop
409 E 31st Street Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone Number (816) 756-DROP (3767)


In Good Taste,
Sharm
Drop on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 27, 2010

Boozefish Wine Bar


A European Wine Bar in KC?

Yes there is and it is great! Located just northwest of the Plaza on Westport Road, Boozefish Wine Bar is one of Kansas City’s hidden treasures.

My first encounter with Boozefish came when it was actually closed. It had been rented out for a special event I was attending. I remember thinking “This place is really cool; I would love to come back when it is open.” Just from the décor, alone, it seemed like the kind of place my husband and I would love to hang out.
The bar is beautiful and the old wood and brick accents in the building give it a warm and laid-back feel.

My husband and I were meeting some friends out and had some time to kill before we had to meet, so we popped into Boozefish for Happy Hour and had an appetizer and drink.

Maija, the owner suggested the Sangria, and it was tasty! Check out this link to get the scoop on this delightfully refreshing drink. With fall approaching, there are not going to be too many more warm days ahead to enjoy this, so head down there soon! When fall does approach, enjoy Maija’s winter version of the Sangria. To me, not too many things are better than sipping a hot mug of Sangria on a chilly day.


The appetizer we shared was a dip called “Chucks Dip.” It is named after her friend, Chuck Kreimendahl, who actually comes into the restaurant to make his Green Chile Soup, a New Mexico style green chili found nowhere else in Kansas City.

The soup is reduced down, jack cheese is added and it is topped with mango salsa. Tri-colored chips are served alongside. It packs some heat but is quite tasty. The heat can vary due to the peppers, so some batches may be hotter than others. I love spicy foods so this was right up my alley!

Maija is passionate about wine and she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with others. Boozefish offers an extensive wine menu without being overwhelming. The beer and spirits menu is unique as well. Boozefish proudly serves locally owned McCoy's Beer, Boulevard & Tall Grass Brewery (Manhattan, KS), offering different varieties throughout the year and 15 Single Malt Scotches!

The food menu is just as extensive offering appetizers, sandwiches, soups, and even brunch. Speaking of brunch which is every Saturday, on the second Saturday of each month Boozefish has “Brunch & Browse” from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. which features a local jewelry artist during the Brunch. Boozefish serves Brunch from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., but stay and shop until 3 p.m.

Their brunch menu is served every night and the main kitchen is open until 10pm during the week & 11pm on weekends, with a late night menu for those late night munchies. The next time that late night hunger strikes, I am getting the Nutella & Banana Crepe!

Boozefish offers some great specials all week long. Including:
Happy Hour
Tuesday - Fri: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday - Thurs: 10 p.m. to Midnight

Tuesday
Discounted Select Bottles of Wine

"Wednesday Wine Fest"
Wine Tasting between 6 pm. to 8 p.m., $17/person

"International Beer Thursday"
Discounted select bottles of beer

Starting in the fall, Boozefish will be displaying local artist’s paintings on their walls.

If you like good food, good wine and a good time, Boozefish is the place to be!

For more information visit the Boozefish website.
1511 Westport Rd.
KC, MO 64111
816.561.5995

In Good Taste,
Sharm
Boozefish Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition


OK, can I just say I am having a blast finding out about all the things you may be missing here in KC. I am meeting some incredible people, eating delectable food, enjoying amazing cocktails and learning about all sorts of events, going on right here in Kansas City.

One such event coming up is The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. This is the Midwest’s largest bartending competition. This year, bartenders from all over the country submitted their unique cocktails for consideration in the Competition.

Twelve finalists were chosen and this is where the amazing cocktails come into play. I had the opportunity to catch up with a few of the finalist and get a sneak peak and taste for what is in store come Sunday at the completion.


First up was Van Zarr from bluestem. Van has been bar tending for 6 years and this is his 4th year competing. His drink is called the Light of Day. It consists of a Basil infused Vermouth, Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Lemongrass Grapefruit soda (which was made especially for him from the guys at Soda Vie and the GetReal Food Company) and it is poured over a saffron infused lemonade ice cube.

This drink is like 2 in 1. Talk about a lemonade for grownups, though it really should not be compared to lemonade. It is much more intricate with the infusion of the vermouth and ice cube. The first sip is refreshing and light, but then as it sits and the ice cube melts the flavor becomes much more intense and citrusy……and that is not a bad thing.

Next up was Jennifer Tosatto of Firefly Lounge. Jennifer has been bar tending 7 years and this is her 3rd year competing. Her drink is the 9 to 5. That is the perfect name for this drink because I could have drunk it all day! Jennifer’s drink includes Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Saffron, Lemon Juice, Orange Blossom Water, Soda and Tonic.

What I loved about this cocktail was the garnish. Jennifer added an Orange Blossom scented rock candy stir. This drink was a wonderful mix of orange and lemon and was strong but balanced, it starts out a bit savory, and as the rock candy garnish sits in the drink it becomes sweeter, which I really liked.

Third was Anthony Beyer of Benton’s Prime Chop House. He has been bar tending 4 years and this his 2nd competition. His drink was inspired by a meal at a Mexican restaurant.

Wanting to play on the flavors of Chicken Mole and the Mexican soft drink Horchata, he created the El Remolino, which means swirl is Spanish. I thought “Chicken Mole in a drink, really?” But what the heck I’m game so bring it on, and Anthony did just that. The drink included Ancho and Cinnamon infused Tequila, Liquor 43, Agave and Rice Milk Syrup, Lime, Egg White and Chocolate Bitters.

Wowza! He pulled it off. I thought it was perfect. Anthony admits that he wants to tweak it a little more but at this point is happy with it. I say he has got it and doesn’t need to work any further.

With the first sip of this drink, you get the chocolate then a hint of cinnamon and then, bam! the heat from the ancho hits and it is a sweet burn.

Oh geeze, I have to taste another? Oh this is torture!

Well OK, if you insist…..Contestant number 4 come on down. It is none other than Chris Conaster of Justus Drugstore and winner of the competition in 2008. Chris has been bar tending for 3 years. Chris has a background in Botany and used that knowledge to create Tit for Tat. The drink includes Gin infused with Wild Carrot Tops (sometimes known as Queen Anne’s Lace) and Calamus Root, Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Aqua Perfecta Pear Eau de Vie and Celery Bitters.

What a combination. The aroma had hints of orange and the taste had all sorts of things going on. Carrot, Carraway, Corriander, lemon and pear. Even with such a mix of complex flavors, this drink was very light and refreshing.

I know you may be thinking this girl is getting sloshed! So I do need to make something clear before I continue. I was only having taste of these cocktails. This only amounted to a sip or two, with the exception of the next drink which I pretty much polished off!

It was from Paige Unger of McCormick and Schmicks. She has only been bar tending about a year and entered the competition on a dare. Paige has decided that most cocktails created by a man with the female palette in mind are still missing a woman’s touch.

With that in mind, she wanted to created a drink that both women and men could enjoy, so she came up with the Socialite. This drink includes Meyer Lemon Juice, Cane Rum, Lillet Blanc, Simple Syrup, Lemon Bitters, Orange Bitters and is topped with a Mandarin Lavender Foam and Blackcurrent Cordial “Caviar”

I must say Paige is going to have quite a career ahead of her. The woman’s touch she added is magic. I believe she hit the nail on the head and that both women and men will not just enjoy this drink but may actually flip over it, I did!

For those of you who don’t know me I am a lavender nut. It is like Forrest Gump at my house. You will find lavender candles, lavender diffusers, lavender body lotion, lavender powder, lavender body scrub, lavender laundry soap, well I am sure you get the picture. I even have lavender honey and some lavender chocolate in my pantry! Not to mention fresh lavender growing in my herb garden, I know I am a bit eccentric.

This drink had my name written all over it. The aroma of the lavender was intoxicating and the taste amazing. I have never had anything like it. The lemon and orange paired perfectly and was slightly sweet. The lavender and mandarin foam added a whole other level of flavor that is just indescribably delicious.

Last up, Jason Kimbrel of JP Wine Bar. He has been bar tending for 7 years and this is first time entering. His drink is the Bobby Burnside. This drink starts out by scenting the glass with Frangelico. The ingredients include Fresh Orange, Mole Bitters, Whiskey and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

Jason wanted to keep the drink simple and use ingredients to pull out the flavors in the whiskey. The scent of the Frangelico and the flavors in the whiskey made this drink a delight as well. The garnish for this drink is flamed orange zest and Jason literally had a lighter and flamed the zest.

He also paired the drink with a shortbread cookie. The cookie had a homemade icing made with white chocolate orange oil, chocolate bitters and whiskey. Forget the milk and cookies, let's do cocktails and cookies. I think he is on to something here. I would say if by the slim chance Jason does not make it in the bar tending business he should go into the bakery business!

I do have on more to mention and that is Mark Church of Grunauer. I actually had his cocktail the night before at the Traveling Cocktail Club event at Grunauer. His cocktail is The Refined Austrian Cocktail. It includes Gin, Brandy, Aromatized Lillet Rouge, Edel Kirsch liqueur and aromatic bitters.

This drink was stout and delish. This is definitely one to sip on. The garnish on this is a grilled orange. If you are one of those people that don’t eat the garnishes let me tell you, this one is a must. The orange had a wonderful smokey flavor and paired beautifully with the flavors in the drink.

Other contestants include: Heather Price of The Piano Room, Valdez Campos of Café Trio, Travis Stewart of 4 Olives Wine Bar in Manhattan, KS, TJ Vytacil of Franco Restaurant and Chris Muether of Danno’s American Pub both of which are in St. Louis. I am really looking forward to Sunday where I will be able to taste the rest of these!

Judges this year include Ryan Maybee, Doug Frost, Katie Van Luchene and Ted Kilgore. And from what I can tell, I am thinking they have tough job ahead!

I had an amazing time meeting all these contestants and want to thank them for sharing their cocktails with me. I also owe a big to thank you Amanda Frederickson of Pigs Fly PR for getting them all together.

The contestants were asked if they were more nervous now that they have seen their competition, most of them said yes. I would have to say all these contestants have a chance at winning. They are an amazingly talented group of bartenders. Watching them prepare these drinks and seeing the thought and flavors that go into them has really opened my eyes to the bar tending scene. It truly is an art, and we are lucky to have such talented liquid artist here in KC!

The Bartending Competition will have tasting tables for attendees to sample the contestant’s drinks. I hope I have enticed you enough that you will take the time to attend. The audience will be able to text in votes and an "audience favorite" winner will be chosen.

The Bartending Competition is Sunday, August 29th 6:00 p.m. at the Uptown Theatre. Tickets are $15 and are available online or at the door. Ticket includes admission, drink token to the tasting room, access to main theater to view the competition, live music and entertainment and tasting and samples from area restaurants incuding The Drop, Grunauer, R Bar and blanc.

For additional information regarding the Bartending Competition, visit the GKCBC website. The contestant’s recipes are available on the website as well. Go to the contestants page and then when you click on a contestant photo you will see their bio and recipe.

Make sure you don’t miss this KC! See you there!

And as always, if you have a great food find in KC you think I’m missing Email me

In Good Taste,
Sharm

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blue Bird Bistro


You had me at the word Rosemary…Rosemary Ice Cream that is…

Blue Bird Bistro has been on my list of places to go for quite some time. I love the concept they have on using local and organic fare in their dishes. I am all about supporting local so this place was a perfect fit.

When I heard, they had Rosemary Ice Cream I immediately moved them to the top of my ever-growing list of places to check out in KC. I had to get there!

So I called up my friend Brooke and we headed out!

We ordered the house made hummus to start with, which comes with house made pita bread. Delish!
For our entrée’s I had the Pork and Grits. Not something I would normally order but it came with a blueberry compote that sounded to good to pass up. I am a sucker for a blueberry.
It was fantastic. The pork was tender and perfectly seasoned. The blueberries were sweet and paired perfectly with the saltiness of the grits, which actually I thought they tasted more like mashed potatoes than grits. So, if you do not like grits or know you do not like grits try it anyway you will be pleasantly surprised.

My friend Brooke ordered the Baked Eggs which reminded me of a frittata dish. The dish is made with cage free eggs from Campo Lindo Farms and they are baked with organic vegetables and topped with all natural cheese. It is served with organic mixed greens tossed in house made sage and chive vinaigrette and sprinkled with crispy beets. I of course had to try it and it was good too!


Now for dessert…… I had decided before I even went that even if everything was a bust (which it was not) that the rosemary ice cream would be worth the trip and it was!


I was so excited when the dish was placed in front of me; I just stared at it for a moment. The presentation was elegant. Fresh rosemary was incorporated throughout the ice cream and the green flecks of real rosemary against the creamy color of the ice cream was a beautiful contrast. It was as pretty to look at, as it was to eat!

I love the local concept of Blue Bird Bistro. They have a board in the restaurant that list the local farms they get some of their products from. I truly believe you can really taste the difference. It also means there may be something different there depending on the season.

Blue Bird Bistro celebrates the local farmer and seasonal food with special dinners called Wednesday Night Tables. Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. there is a set 4-course menu served at a communal table. Price is $40.00 and as long as space is available, reservations are not needed.

They also host Farmers Table, which takes reservations and is a Monthly dinner that includes a 5-course menu served from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. with a special seating time at 7:45 if you would like to dine with the Farmer. Price for Farmers Table Dinner is $45.00.

Blue Bird Bistro is an upscale dining experience. Dinner entrée’s range from $6.00 - $18.00 and lunch is about the same. They also offer an $8.00 menu where everything is $8.00 8:00 am to 8 pm except Sundays.

It is located in a quaint little building on the Westside of town and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch. They will also be participating in the Food Now event-taking place August 28th.

There is also rental space available if you need a venue for your next event.
As a seasonal restaurant, be sure and visit Blue Bird Bistro’s website or give them a call at (816) 221-7559 if you have any questions.

Blue Bird Bistro
1700 Summit
Kansas City, Missouri
Mon-Sat: 7am to 10pm
Sun: 10am to 2pm

In Good Taste,
Sharm
Blue Bird Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CowTown CheeseCake Company



Holy Smokes! This is the best cheesecake ever!

I first heard of CowTown Cheesecakes via Facebook. Someone posted something about national cheesecake day and mentioned CowTown Cheesecake Company.

Being the foodie that I am, and on the hunt for all things local, I wanted to find out more about them. I needed to see if they would a great local food find so, I checked them out. Wowza!! I am so glad I did.

Just looking at the pictures of them I thought I better get my hands on one of those. So I contacted Chef Terry Mille owner of CowTown CheeseCake Company to find out how to get one. He said they are made to order and that he would be happy to make me one.

Now, I had to pick a flavor. He suggested that since I love Key Lime, he makes a mean Key Lime Cheesecake, but the Sweet Potato Cheesecake is a best seller and that is the one that started the whole business rolling.

Well that settled it; I had to see what the entire buzz was about regarding this Sweet Potato Cheesecake.

Before I go on and on about how yummy it was I will give you a little history on how it came to be.

Chef Terry, a Personal Chef and Caterer by trade, was emotionally touched and devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. His career was flexible and that made it possible for him to join the American Red Cross as a volunteer. He ended up being the Mass Feeding Coordinator at Southern University in Baton Rouge, which was set up as a shelter for hurricane victims. As he served and average of 450 residents 3 meals a day he got to know them on a personal level and fell in love with the region.

As he talked to the residents he learned a lot about the flavors, things they cooked with and what their pantry's consisted of. They told him about cooking with Sweet Potatoes and how they harvested pecans to sell or make Pralines out of them to sell to the tourist's in New Orleans for their bread money. They told him about how their Pecan Pies are made with Steens pure cane syrup which is a local product made just outside New Orleans. He says that experience has changed his life forever.

Once back in KC, Chef Terry started playing around with the different flavors he had learned about. Wanting to keep the flavors true to that region Chef Terry decided to use products from there. The Steens Pure Cane Syrup, Bruces Yams, local pecans etc..

After several failed attempts, Chef Terry came up with his “Sweet Potato Cheesecake with a Gingerbread crust and a Praline Topping”. It was Thanksgiving so, he decided he would make the Cheesecake and serve it to the family. Everyone loved it. His wife took a couple of slices into work with her the next day and shared it with some other co-workers and they loved it.

Soon orders began to pour in. Next thing Terry knew he was making a lot of Cheese Cakes about 5-10 a week and CowTown CheeseCake Company was born.

I have to tell you that the Sweet Potato Cheesecake is awesome! I got the cheesecake a few days before a large family gathering and decided to freeze it, knowing that my little family of 4 did not need to eat that much cheesecake and I needed to bring a dish so it worked out perfectly. The cheesecake froze beautifully!!

The Cheesecake was a hit and everyone just raved about how delicious it was and I would have to agree! This cheesecake is delightfully creamy and dense and coverered with a gooey caramel topping made with cream from the local Shatto Dairy. The toasted pecans on top give it a wonderful crunch and really adds some depth to the flavor. The gingerbread in the crust and the hints of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in the filling make this a perfect treat for fall. Not that this cheesecake cannot be enjoyed all year around because I certainly did, but it would make a perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving dinner.


I must say after experiencing this cheesecake, I am really looking forward to trying some of the other flavors. CowTown Cheesecakes flavors include: Strawberry Shortcake, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Key Lime, Lemon, Lemon Blueberry, Strawberry, Pumpkin, Fudge Swirl, Devils Food Cake, White Chocolate Raspberry and Kansas Cream.

What makes Chef Terry’s Cheesecakes a KC food find I think you are missing? First off it is a locally owned company; second Chef Terry tries to use as many local ingredients as possible including Shatto Milk Company, local eggs and local produce when in season. He is also currently looking into finding a local cream cheese. Third these cheesecakes are fresh and made to order and fourth it is the best cheesecake I have ever eaten.

About being the best Cheesecake I have eaten, there are a few others that would agree with that as well. Chef Terry was a consideration for the reality show Master Chef which is currently airing on Fox. Back in January Master Chef held a casting call in Kansas City, where hopeful contestant brought a signature dish for judges to try. Along with yours truly, Chef Terry brought his cheesecake and wowed the judges. My dish an was a Trio of appetizers. Though both dishes impressed the judges and call backs where made, neither of us made the cut.

Do yourself a favor and order a CowTown Cheesecake next time you are in need of a magnificent dessert. (They also have chocolate chip cookies). Visit CowTown Cheesecake's website or contact Chef Terry at chefterry@cowtowncheesecake.com for more information on pricing and ordering. You can also find CowTown Cheesecake company on Facebook.

And as always if you have a great food find in KC, email me.

In Good Taste,
Sharm
CowTown CheeseCake Co. on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Heirloom Tomato Experience featuring Kurlbaum’s Heirloom Tomatoes



So remember the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial saying something about 2 great tastes coming together?

Well that is exactly what happened when Jasper and the Kurlbaum’s got together.

Jasper is of course known for his amazing restaurant and for being one of the most talented chefs in Kansas City. Who you may not be as familiar with is the Kurlbaum family who owns Kurlbaum’s Heirloom Tomato Farm in Kansas City, KS.

So a question a lot of people ask is “What is an Heirloom Tomato? Well Heirloom an Tomato is an actual variety of tomato plant grown from seeds that are at least 50 years old or that have been passed down from generation to generation. These tomatoes range in color from orange, yellow, red, green and even purple. Some may even have stripes or be multi colored. They can be the oddest looking things, but they will be the best darn tomato you ever tasted!
I promise you will want to get your hands on some of the Kurlbaum’s Tomatoes. They are available around town at McGonigle’s Meat Market, Consentino’s at 95th and Mission, Consentino’s Market in Brookside, Consentino’s Market Downtown and Hen House.


Jasper took these succulent beauties and made an amazing 5 course meal.

The meal of course started with a Bloody Mary Cocktail made from the Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato. This was just a bit spicy and perfectly delicious!



Next course was his Tomato Bisque topped with local Shatto Winstead Cheese along with a breathtakingly beautiful Caprese salad. The salad consisted of fresh handmade Mozzarella,(which he demonstrated) Aunt Ruby’s Green Heirloom Tomato and Mint Pesto. It tasted as good as it looks!


The next dish which Jasper demonstrated was beautiful and tasty Risotto dish made from the Brandywine and Red Zebra Heirloom varieties.

He also served us a wonderful Chicken Frederico with Artichoke Potatoes and Heirloom Pineapple and Cour di Bue Tomatoes. The chicken was succulent and well I really have never met a potato I that I did not like! Jasper noted that his father made this dish for them a lot growing up. I am so glad that he shared that with us and that I got to experience the dish. It made it even better!

The final course was dessert. It was a wonderful Tomato and Ricotta Tart with a Sweet Basil Cream Gelato. The tart had a wonderful crust and the gelato so creamy. The Sweet Basil Cream was magnificent. He also topped us off with the house made Peachello. Peaches and Vodka...... Really nothing more to say there. Find the recipe for it below!

I also cannot forget to mention the wonderful breads and crackers made by Suzanne Frissie of Meadowlark Acres. This time it was a wonderful caramelized onion and tomato bread. So good!!
Jasper has just returned from Wisconsin where he did a cheese tour. He will be sharing his knowledge about that at one of his next experiences. Don't miss out and join him for one of his upcoming experiences. Below is list of the next few coming up with dates and times. They are $45.00 per person, tax and gratuity extra. To register call: 816-941-6600 or visit Jasper's website

September 9, 2010 - Wisconsin Cheese Experience
October 18, 2010 – Applecello and Local Apples
November 8, 2010, All About Polenta and Risotto



Japer's Peachello:

Peel, pit and halve four peaches. Peel one lemon with a paring knife to remove the whole peel intact and then cut into four pieces. Discard the flesh or save for another use. Combine peaches with 3 cups vodka, lemon peel, four cloves and 1 cup simple syrup in a covered Mason jar and store in refrigerator for 1 or 2 weeks, shaking occasionally.
Strain out all solids. Place liquid back in Mason jar or decorative bottle and refrigerate. Serve chilled. To make simple syrup, dissolve 2 parts sugar into 1 part boiling water and stir constantly. Once sugar is dissolved completely, remove pan from heat. Allow syrup to cool completely and thicken.

Jasper uses fresh, local summer fruit when available to prepare this versatile liqueur. He suggests serving it over sliced peaches, vanilla bean gelato and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

In Good Taste,
Sharm

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hippie Chow Granola


Kansas City's local granola.

I was able to get my hands on a bag of this stuff and it is great. Thank You, Valerie!! The "Original Mix" granola is made with almonds, pecans and cranberries. It is a great combination of crunch and chewy. I have been making a yogurt parfait for breakfast with this just about every morning since I got the bag! I will add the recipe at the end of this post, but first a little more about Hippie Chow.

Last summer, when Valerie Jennings started making granola at home as a snack for her boyfriend to take to work, she never imagined it would turn into a business. But as others tasted it she was soon getting requests from family, friends and co-workers for it so she started to think about turning it into a business venture.

Valerie started selling Hippie Chow granola at the Overland Park farmers market on May 1, 2010. It was so exciting for to see people try a sample, smile then buy a bag. Since then, Hippie Chow has established a loyal following of regular customers including yours truly!

Hippie Chow’s mission is to make simple, honest food. Use natural ingredients (no artificial flavors or preservatives) and make everything by hand in small batches to ensure premium quality and freshness. They use local suppliers when possible. For example, their honey comes from Heartland Honey, a fellow vendor at the Overland Park farmers market. They also recently started purchasing their pecans from Missouri Northern Pecan Growers in Nevada, MO. They are also on track to start using Kansas-produced organic rolled oats in the near future.

Hippie Chow has been accepted into the Kansas Department of Commerce's "Simply Kansas" program. This means that over 75 percent of the ingredients or productions are guaranteed to be from Kansas.

Hippie Chow has three flavors will make up their core granola product line. The "Original Mix" granola is made with almonds, pecans and cranberries and is available now. "Just Chocolate"granola made with....well, chocolate and "Peanut Butter" granola made with black walnuts, coconut and banana chips, will be available August 14th.

Hippie Chow granola is available for purchase at The Overland Park Farmers Market, on-line and at Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard at 95th and Mission in Leawood, KS. Foo's offers Hippie Chow granola by the bag or as a topping on their yogurt parfaits.

Beginning in September, Hippie Chow granola will be available for purchase at Dean & Deluca stores nationwide.

Visit Hippie Chow’s website for more information.

And as always if you have a great food find in KC Email me
Enjoy the parfait recipe.

In Good Taste,
Sharm


Hippie Chow Yogurt Parfait

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup Hippie Chow granola
1/2 bananna sliced
1 handful fresh blueberries

In a parfait glass spoon a couple of scoops of yogurt into bottom of glass, layer a few banana slices, a few blueberries and 2 tablespoons granola. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used. Makes a delicious breakfast or snack!

Granola
Yogurt
Bananas