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Showing posts from 2013

Baconery Cafe

Facts- Skip loves bacon. Skip has thoughtful friends. Knowing of Skip's great love for all things bacon a friend who saw a Facebook post from the Baconery asking food bloggers to reach out regarding an opportunity review their products sent it to her. Well, I hopped on that super quick and the Baconery wasted no time getting back to me. Within minutes of my email to them stating my interest I received an email back from them asking me to provide my address. And even better! Two days later I had a box of bacon goodies!

You may be wondering, as I was, what the heck is the Baconery? Well after a quick review of their website, I found that they are a bakery that focuses on bacon as an ingredient thus, a Baconery! What a grand idea!

So, what was in my box? Cookies, brownies, a mini pecan pie, bacon salt and a bar of bacon soap.

First up- cookies. There were three types of cookies oatmeal, chocolate chip and chocolate. The oatmeal was tasty, but not real bacon-y. The chocolate chip had…

Paleo Pen Pals October- Chili!

It's Paleo Pen Pals time again! For October I was paired with Tarah from What I Gather. She sent me something that was so exciting because I had never used them before but always wanted to! Dried ancho chiles!!

I was planning on making some chili the week that they arrived so I thought it would be perfect to add them to that recipe! If you read my post about Taverna Ouzo (and if not, make sure you check it out here) then you know I was not so smart and did not transfer all of my photos from my old phone when I got a new phone last week. Yikes. So, the photos of my beautiful chili and the step by step process are not available :( So I'll recap the best I can and you'll just have to use your imagination to picture how amazing this chili looked. If you attempt the recipe, sharing your own photos on the House of Skip facebook page is encouraged!

 Here is what I used in the recipe:

1 lb ground lamb
One 14 oz can of tomato sauce
diced white onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
roaste…

Tavola Barone, Robbinsville NJ

My companion and I realized a little while ago that this new place with a familiar name popped up in Robbinsville. Being very near by our house we had to check it out. The rumored back story is that the family originally owned our beloved Villa Barone on the corner of Route 130 and Route 526, but had some time ago sold it to someone else who is now running it (and still doing a fabulous job I might add as it is one of our favorite local joints). Now the Barone's have opened up a little ways down the street at Tavola Barone. It is an unassuming location, in a small strip mall with a liquor store (mighty convenient for this BYOB). But upon entering you a transported to a lovely rustic looking kitchen. The stone work is lovely and the place really feels like home.

We were greeted quickly and only waited a short time for a table. The place was pretty busy, a good sign for a Saturday night. Service was somewhat slow, we only saw 2, maybe three servers in the whole place. But they certa…

Taverna Ouzo, Monroe NJ

In looking for a new place not too far from home, I stumbled upon Taverna Ouzo in Monroe Township. Surprisingly close to HOS's home base and something out of the norm. We've been to other Greek restaurant's, most of them BYOB, so we were surprised to learn that Taverna Ouzo had a full bar!

Now, my companion and I had been out at one of our other favorite local stops, Working Dog Winery (previously Silver Decoy) enjoying a couple of glasses of wine outside. Once we hit the road for Taverna Ouzo, it was an interesting ride. This place seems like it is in middle of no where. You are driving along these roads where there is very little around and then all of the sudden, bam! Taverna Ouzo is right there.

We walked in and were immediately greeted by a very friendly host (who may have been an owner/manager). We were seated at a lovely table near the bar, there was a family behind us with small children, they were a delight. The whole place has a family feel to it, like you are at…

Barcelona Wine Bar

When I began doing research for our trip, Barcelona Wine Bar stood out from the beginning. Great reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor, sealed the deal for a place that sounded good from the looks of the website.

We arrived for our reservations and found ourselves in a loud, dark and very busy restaurant. We had to wait for just a minute until they cleared a table for us. The bar was packed and so were the surrounding tables we sat at. After a few minutes our eyes adjusted to the darkness and you could tell this was a hip hangout for locals and visitors a like.

The tables are fairly close together and it has a very intimate feel. We did not feel intruded upon by anyone seated near us and our waiter did a great job of leaning in so we could hear him and he could hear us of the hum of noise in the background. Some people might complain about a loud restaurant, but in this place it was part of the vibe and the buzz going on around us was exciting.


We had a very nice waiter who started us off …

Paleo Pen Pals- Sept

In August I discovered Paleo Pen Pals, it is a site where people who lead a Paleo lifestyle can swap ingredients and come up with new recipes and then not only share them with each other, but also the whole Paleo Pen Pals community. I am always up for a challenge in the kitchen, so I thought it would be fun. I enjoyed my first experience with it (see previous post-Fruit and Nut Bark ), so I signed up again.

This month I got paired with Danielle from Massachusetts. Danielle sent me something I have not used in the kitchen before, Miracle Noodles, they are noodles made from Shirataki. She sent me three packages of them, which are 7 ounces each. They were ziti, fettuccine and rice.
She also sent me a can of wild caught tuna. Upon reading other Paleo Pen Pal submissions, I know that you don't always have to use all the ingredients sent to you in one dish, but I thought it would be fun to do so in this case.

So, as I began to think about noodles and tuna, I thought, tuna casserole? Hm…

The Ginger Man, Greenwich, CT

After some shopping and before a round of golf (for my companion) we decided we should have some lunch. We chose a bar called The Ginger Man. It was classier than i expected, it had a hometown bar/steakhouse feel. There was a decent lunch crowd for a Friday, so I am guessing they do a good work lunch business.

The place is big, we were seated in a nice section behind the bar. The bar looked like a cool place to hang and have a beer. They are known to have a good beer selection.

What I was surprised about was how big menu was too. Not just bar food- there were a good amount of salad and entree options.

We started with beers, a cider for my companion (he's a big fan of hard ciders, as they are naturally gluten free). I opted for Rogue Dead Guy, one of my favorites. It was a good choice as it paired nicely with my lunch. I had a sausage platter which was served with two different types of sausage over a bed of sauerkraut and potatoes. It was really delicious. The sausages were juic…

Méli-Mélo of Greenwich, CT

After our exciting adventure in Amherst, MA, followed by a couple winery stops in CT and a night of food and drink, we woke up the next day ready to relax in Greenwich, CT. We headed to breakfast at this little juice bar right on Greenwich Ave. It was called Méli-Mélo, and had great big floor to ceiling windows that opened so it felt like you were right on the street. In an area like Greenwich with great shops and restaurants lining the street and a easy flow of foot traffic it was lovely.

When we arrived we were advised to seat ourselves. After sitting for a few minutes enjoying the view and fresh air we were brought menus. The menu at Méli-Mélo is interesting, as I am sure you could have guessed, being a juice bar they keep things pretty healthy. They have a variety of omelets, crepes and of course, juices.

As we sat trying to decide what to get, we watched lots of people come and go. Some were coming to sit for breakfast as we were and others were running in to grab and juice and h…

Elm Street Oyster House

For our first dinner on our trip to Greenwich, Connecticut we picked the Elm Street Oyster House. It was a  cute setting- it had a very seaside feel too it. It was small but not cramped. There was a nice bar area when you walk in and then the dining room was separated from the bar by a wall.

The person who greeted us was friendly, but over all the service felt rushed, they were pretty busy for a Thursday night, so that may have contributed to that. Our waiter was nice and did recommend some great oysters for us when we asked, but he was very short with us, not in a nasty way, he just didn't take his time with us. I feel it is worth mentioning, however it did not ruin our experience.

Elm Street Oyster House has a very nice menu, all the usual things you expect at a seafood place. What was nice is they have "daily specials" in which you can choose your seafood, fish, lobster, scallops, etc and then choose how you want it cooked, steamed, grilled, etc.

As you would expect, …

An afternoon in Amherst

My interest in writing about food and drink really started as a way for me to use my desire to write and my love for wine, food and spirits at the same time. A journey into Skip's youth will be filled with lots of classic novels and poetry collections. Any given afternoon you could find her nose deep in a book, assigned for school or otherwise and on weekends you might find her thumbing through a book of prose by Frost, Yeats or Emily Dickinson. Dickinson was certainly my favorite and I devoured all the information I could about her. It wasn't until adulthood that I realized there was a museum in her home town of Amherst, Massachusetts. Naturally, I have been wanting to visit there for some time. My companion did not find any other suitable reason to travel there so in order to make my dream of going there come true, he planned a trip in which we could go to Amherst to see the museum and then drive somewhere else to spend the rest of our trip- more on that later.

We hit the ro…

City Limits Diner, White Plains, NY

My companion and I were on our way for a nice road trip to hit a couple of cool places as the summer winds down. After a ride on the turnpike and over the George Washington Bridge, I had major heart palpitations. Luckily not long after that we arrived at City Limits Diner for some much needed coffee and breakfast.

As far as diners go, City Limits was hitting all the right points. They had the obligatory bakery counter in the front and large booths around the perimeter. We were seated at a cute little table and coffee and water arrived not long after we were seated.

There isn't too much to say about the menu other than it had the normal diner breakfast items. My companion got french toast which was made with raisin and currant challah bread and served with a vanilla bean apple sauce and of course maple syrup. The plate arrived with about 4 large triangles of french toast. The apple sauce was on the side, as was the syrup. My companion slathered the apple sauce on his toast and adde…

Despaña Princeton

Again in the mood for something close by and easy, my dining companion and I once more ventured into Princeton. There have been a couple of changes to some local establishments. One that we noticed on another trip, was that this little place on a corner that used to be an Indian restaurant is now a tapas cafe called Despaña. Upon doing some research we found out that it was a BYOB, so a bottle of Spanish red wine in hand we headed to Despaña.

 When we arrived, we found that the first floor was a takeout/deli and that upstairs was the restaurant. They had a super cool second story outdoor patio, but there were no available tables when we arrived, I guess everyone thought it was as cool as we did. Any who, we sat inside which was equally cool.

The menu is designed as small plates meant for sharing. There were so many good things on the menu and so it took us some time to decide. Our waitress was patient with us and gave us plenty of time to look over the menu, in the meantime, we did as…

North End Bistro, Princeton

Not too long ago, my companion and I headed into Princeton for a casual dinner. We drove to the far end of Nassau St, finding ourselves at the aptly named, North End Bistro.

It is in a really cute building, just next door to the Whole Earth Center. The structure which is mostly glass and metal features colorful decor.  From the moment we walked in we noticed that the staff was super nice. We were standing waiting to ask for a table, and a staff person who was not the hostess, greeted us and said someone would be right with us, there was an obvious concern about us standing there waiting. The hostess greeted us and we requested to sit outside on their lovely patio which faces Nassau St, she told us it would just be a minute, so we got comfortable in their cute lounge-like waiting area and sat on the low cushy couches that were in front of giant floor to ceiling windows. We were not sitting for long before another server greeted us and asked if we were waiting and we said yes, someone e…

Fuji Japanese Restaurant, Haddonfield, NJ

Haddonfield is a cute town. My companion and I have been there a couple times. They seem to have really great restaurants there and in the surrounding area, Collingswood is also a cute downtown area with great eats. We parked on the street, but there is a lot behind the building the restaurant is in that we didn't notice until we were inside. Fuji Japanese Restaurant is in a small shopping mall type building which has a couple of stores and another restaurant.

It is a rather small restaurant, but has big decor. There is a small sushi bar against the back wall and then the rest of the place is tables and booths that are pretty close together.

They have Omakese, which is a tasting menu and starts at $60 per person. We could not get it because you have to call ahead for it and we didn't do that as this was kind of a last minute pick. We did ask the waitress, who asked the hostess, who asked the chef, who said no. It was nice of them to ask, but we didn't think they'd let…

Winery Hopping- Cape May County

In case you are new here, let me inform you that Skip and her trusty companion love good food and wine. They are also NJ wine enthusiasts. There have been a couple of new wineries that opened up in Cape May County, so of course we had to go check them out. But instead of doing it alone, we were joined by our fellow wine and fun loving friends, Captain and Tenille. You may remember them from the famous Philly Bar Crawl post from last year when we tried to hit all the spots featured on the program, Drinking Made Easy staring Mr. Zane Lamprey.

Skip and her companion woke up early, had a good breakfast and hit the road with the plan of meeting Captain and Tenille at the first destination, Natali Vineyards. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans... of course we ran into trouble. Attempting to go a back way to avoid traffic, we found ourselves in just that, a terrible traffic jam that put us about an hour behind schedule. We alerted our wine loving friends that they should s…

Skip's Favorite Local Places.

It's been awhile since I did any reviews and so I thought I'd start with a recap of some of Skip's favorite places. It will be a two part series, starting with the local joints that Skip frequents.

While my companion and I are always on the look out for new and unique eateries throughout NJ and beyond, there are a couple of key local places that they rely on for a quick bite or low key night.

First up, Skip's go-to home town spots in Robbinsville. Centro, after a couple of other attempts, I'd like to think that this one will stick. Located on the corner of Route 33 and 526, as part of an attempt at a high traffic town center for Robbinsville, some of the previous inhabitants were missing the mark. But with a more balanced bar and dining room approach and family-friendly options, Centro seems to have become a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. A relaxed bar scene, affordable menu items and good food are all part of the keys to success here. An outdoor se…

Paleo Pineapple Upside Down Cake