Field & Fork Network

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Food for the Eyes

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Guava paste with edible flowers. Serve with chips or saltine crackers.

Contributed by CityGirlCountry

Hibiscus flowers give Red Zinger tea its gorgeous red color and a pop of lemony-cranberry flavor. It can also be placed at the bottom of a champagne flute for an extra touch. A common flavor in the Caribbean, Hibiscus is found at Tops in Buffalo, NY’s Westside.

Chamomile tea is lightly apple in flavor and known for its calming abilities. Daylilies, a common ingredient in Chinese cookery, are especially evident in hot and sour soup. Most eaters don’t realize they have enjoyed the wonderful flavors and colors of edible flowers, according to an Edible Flower class at Urban Roots in Buffalo, NY.

It isn’t recommended that you eat flowers if suffering from allergies or hay fever, but City Girl Country survived this class by taking a Claritin prior to attending.

Flowers are a beautiful addition to ice cubes, drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts. They dress up any meal, making it “happy food” as Leo Buscaglia, psychologist said. Just looking at flowers can make us smile.

Rule for eating flowers

  • If you don’t know if the flowers are edible, do not eat them
  • Don’t eat flowers from the roadside. They contain automobile emissions
  • Only eat petals
  • Just like spices, flavor is more potent in flower petals when they are dried

To be safe, edible flowers can be purchased pre-packaged (Wegman’s in Amherst sells five blossoms for $2). However, for more variety and a larger quantity, grow your own! Some planting suggestions, let parsley and chives live together, and violets and cabbage can be neighbors.

English lavender is not just for sachets in dressers. A common flower to use in drinks and food is lavender. Soak petals in boiling water, and stir in lemonade mix for a flavorful and bountiful, refreshing glass of pink lemonade. Garnish with a slice of lemon. For recipes, refer to

Apple blossoms are edible.

Lavender can also be used in chilled vodka for added flavor.

Edible flower petals can also be frozen into an ice bowl (a nesting bowl is needed) to chill salads, fruit or dessert.

Paint egg whites on cookies or cheese to hold flowers, or dip lilacs in egg white and fine sugar, and place on top of a cupcake. Include Pansies in spring rolls to create “trapped” flowers and a beautiful wrap.

Edible flowers from the backyard or a container garden can be cleaned with a paintbrush to dust off bugs or dirt. To get rid of any possible pesticides, soak in salt water (it is recommended not to eat flowers from commercial nurseries).

Other edible flowers:

  • Chive flower
  • Violet
  • Johnny Jump Up
  • Jasmine
  • Hyssop

For additional reading:

Edible Flowers: 25 recipes and an A-Z pictorial directory of culinary flora (Anness) by Kathy Brown

Food Truck Frenzy at Peller Estate Winery in NOTL!

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm

by Lisa Tucker

“This is the largest gathering of food trucks ever in Canada,” beamed Sid Friedman of the Ontario Food Truck Association. Lucky hungry folks descended upon Peller Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake this past Sunday and Monday to experience a truck food and wine-pairing banquet while listening to local music and soaking up gorgeous sunshine. This is the first time Peller Estate Winery hosted this event and having sold out both days (3000 folks attended each day!) assures us it won’t be their last.

Over 16 food trucks participated including (and much to our surprise!) the Roaming Buffalo from our side of the border. From brick-oven fired pizzas to fish tacos and lobster rolls to German comfort food and cupcakes, attendees enjoyed a broad range of flavors all paired with appropriate tasting wines from Peller. While we did not have enough room in our bellies to try everything, we did do pretty well. Here are the highlights:

Mike Langley, owner of The Tide & Vine.

We started (and ended!) our day of feasting at The Tide & Vine – a guerrilla shucking and mobile fresh raw oyster bar. We opted for owner Mike Langley to prepare our triumvirate of oysters featuring ones from both coasts (Prince Edward Island and British Columbia). The meaty, briney bivalves were perfectly paired with Peller’s Sauvignon Blanc. What a treat!

Buster’s Sea Cove Fish Taco.

We then moved on to Buster’s Sea Cove (we were still jonesing for seafood). Buster’s boasts fresh, sustainable seafood and their catch of the day was lobster rolls, fish tacos, and crab rolls all paired with Peller’s crisp, sweet Riesling. We inhaled the Ensenada fish taco that consisted of hand battered fish, cabbage, salsa verde, pico de gallo, guac crema served on a corn tortilla. The crab roll featured Alaskan crab mixed with Buster’s marinade on a toasted split bun, deeelicious!

El Gastro’s Menu.

We then headed to El Gastronomo Vagabundo (affectionately nicknamed El Gastro) for a pescado picante taco. This tasty treat consisted of tempura Cod, smoked tomato and habanero aioli, red cabbage and green apple slaw, tarragon dressing and fresh lime! We paired this puppy with Peller’s Chardonnay, very nice!

Bonfire Catering’s Brick-oven.

From there we headed straight to Bonfire Catering for some brick-oven fired pizza. This oven on wheels immediately caught our eye when we first arrived as something you just don’t see everyday. (and yes Buffalo we have one on our side of the border, Pizza Amore!). I was able to get an inside tour of the truck and the full story how they came to be from co-owner Yvonne Deveaux. Her husband is a mason by day who built a brick-oven in their backyard. Neighbors loved their pizza so much they decided to put one on wheels so more folks could enjoy their pies. We tasted all three offerings; the Mexican, vegetarian, and our fave, bacon jam (with carmelized red onions and mozzarella)!

Our bellies were pretty full at this point. We knew we wanted to eat more but the thought of a sandwich of any variety sounded like too much. So instead we meandered back over to The Tide & Vine for one last oyster fix before heading out.

The Tide & Vine.

What a day! We feel pretty confident in saying this is by far one of the best local food events we’ve ever attended! Cheers!

A complete list of participating food trucks is below:

A Recipe For Your Weekend- Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

It’s finally warm out and summer is just around the corner- along with the fruits and vegetables of the season. This recipe is a great reason to fire up the grill for a Memorial Day cookout this weekend.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini


  • 2 medium zucchini – approx. 10 inches in size
  • 1/4 C diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes (about ½-1 cup diced)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or a teaspoon of dried)
  • 2/3 cup Italian cheese blend – Parmesan, Asiago, Mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon Italian style bread crumbs
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


Slice zucchini in half length wise, leaving the tops on. Scoop out the centers, saving them in a bowl. Leave at least 1/4 inch around the edges and bottoms. Take the good parts of the zucchini guts you just scooped out and dice up 1/2 cup. This will go in your filling.

Drizzle the zucchini shells with a little olive oil and use your hands to rub it on all sides. Sprinkle with some kosher salt and black pepper and set aside. Preheat your grill outside and then start your filling in a skillet on the stovetop. In a medium hot skilled add the onions, garlic, and diced zucchini. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is tender. Add tomato and basil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Take your zucchini to the grill and put them hollow-side down. Grill for about 5 minutes on medium heat. They should have nice charred marks and look tender on the inside. Take them back inside. Add cheese and bread crumbs to filling mixture. Stir to combine and then divide the filling between the zucchini. Top each zucchini with about 1 tablespoon cheese and sprinkle with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon bread crumbs. Drizzle each with extra virgin olive oil. Place them back on the grill (filling side up). Close grill lid, and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Larger/thicker zucchini will take longer to cook. Yields 4 servings.

This Week on the Local Dish With Edible Buffalo- Garlic Scape Pesto

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm


On today’s premiere of our new radio show, the Local Dish with Edible Buffalo, we featured a recipe for garlic scape pesto from Singer Farm Naturals’ Tom Szulist- and here it is! Singer Farm Naturals will be harvesting garlic scapes this weekend, May 26 and 27. More information can be found at Also, join us every third Wednesday on talk radio station WLVL 1340AM from 11:15am-12:00pm for more of the Local Dish.

Garlic Scape Pesto


  • 12-15 garlic scapes (chopped roughly to fit in your food processor)
  • 2⁄3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 12 medium basil leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil, about 1-11⁄2cup, to taste


Place the scapes, toasted walnuts, basil leaves, coarse sea salt & pepper in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are roughly mixed and chopped. Add Parmigiano and give a quick blend.

Now, with the processor running, slowly pour the olive through the feed tube. Keep pouring and processing until the mixture is a thick and spreadable, yet not completely smooth.

To store, transfer the pesto to a container and pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top to seal. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve pesto on crusty bread or mixed into spaghetti noodles with a bit of the hot pasta water added.

Makes about 2 cups of pesto

Listen to the Local Dish with Edible Buffalo!

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Join us every third Wednesday on local talk radio station, WLVL 1340AM from 11:15am-12:00pm to dish about local food. We will be discussing everything from what’s in season now and how to cook it, timely local food topics, cool food events, and previews of our upcoming issues! Expect guests, recipes, giveaways,  and more!

Our first show will be airing live on May 23, 2012 at 11:15 on WLVL 1340AM. You can tune in or stream it online at If you want to participate in the discussion, please be sure to call (716) 433-1433.

And if there’s something you would like us to talk about on a future show, please let us know!

We look forward to hearing you on the radio!

4th Annual Beerology Showcases Science and Local Brewers

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Beer became brainy at the 4th annual Beerology, at the Buffalo Museum of Science, where a sold out crowd learned about the science of beer.

Brewers came from all corners of Western New York to offer their wares and discuss the science behind brewing.

Samples from Pearl Street Grill & Brewery (76 Pearl St., Buffalo NY 14202) included a true IPA. The Saber’s Edge is a true American-style Double IPA. Not my favorite, but it offers brilliant clarity and an explosion of hop flavor, balanced with a medium body.

Flying Bison Brewing Company also had their IPA on hand. Also brilliant, it was sweeter on the palate. Overall, their Buffalo IPA is an example of excellent craftsmanship.

Southern Tier Brewing Company came out on top with their Hop Sun. This beer lives up to its reputation. A pint smells like sunshine and the brilliant appearance with sweet balance, makes this the perfect summer beer.

Community Beer Works, Buffalo’s newest brewery, can be found at Coles, Mr. Goodbar, Blue Monk, Merchant Village Beer, and Blackrock Kitchen & Bar. Be sure to order their Whale, a brown ale beer is nutty with a hint of sweetness, but not overwhelming. It also appears to have some dark malt characteristics but good on a warm spring day. It may be suitable for a post-meal drink.

Michelle Blackley

Food, Drink and Farm Experiences Abundant During Chautauqua in June Learning Festival

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Culinary experiences are a special treat during the second annual Chautauqua in June learning festival. Experiences offered range from a two hour workshop learning how seasonings affect the taste of wine to a two day wine appreciation boot camp covering the process of planting vines through bottling and labeling wine. Local farmers, winemakers, brew masters, and chefs will roll out the welcome mat to teach participants about local foods, wines, brews, and the Farm to Table movement in Chautauqua County.

Located in southwestern New York State, Chautauqua County is a diverse agricultural county, whose agricultural profile consists primarily of dairy farms and Concord grape vineyards, followed by the production of wine grapes, meat from livestock operations, tree fruits and vegetables. Chautauqua County has the greatest number of farms in New York State, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. Virginia Carlberg at Cornell Cooperative Extension explains that the average size of a farm in Chautauqua County is only 142 acres, which means that the county is home to many small family farms, many of which sell their agricultural products directly to the community through farm stands and farmers markets.

These farms and their products are an important part of the culinary workshops during Chautauqua in June. More than 85 farm markets in the region annually offer locally grown produce, cheeses, meat, and maple products and the opportunity to create sumptuous meals that are sourced in western New York. Local chefs and markets have utilized this growing region to create culinary specialties like great grape syrups and vinaigrettes and at least one local grape producer is producing oil from its grapes. In addition to the Farm to Table experiences at the Athenaeum Hotel, Green Heron Growers in Sherman will offer a half-day workshop focusing on how to grow mushrooms, especially Shitake mushrooms, during Fun with Fungus. Participants will take their own mushroom log home and enjoy a Shiitake pizza lunch.

Starting this month, farmers markets in Westfield, Fredonia, Sherman, and Jamestown will begin their weekly schedules, making regionally grown foods available in central locations. Voted in the top 10 Farmers Markets in the country in 2009 by American Farmland Trust, the Westfield Farmers Market is a New York Producers certified market, meaning that meats, produce and goods offered are regionally grown or made and fresh from the farm. Items for sale include Amish woven baskets, woodcraft, handmade soaps, jams, jellies and other canned items, and local wineries are showcased each week. Summer festivals featuring locally grown foods include Pesto Festo at Barlow’s Mill in Fredonia, a culinary event that celebrates the Italian heritage of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt.

At the historic Athenaeum Hotel in Chautauqua Institution, Executive Chef Ross Warhol is bringing awareness to the Farm to Table movement and providing enjoyable yet educational culinary experiences through a series of dinners and workshops. During Chautauqua in June, Chef Warhol and other Culinary Institute of America trained chefs will bring students through the Farm to Table culinary process, literally from gathering ingredients at local farms to sitting down to a formal five course meal in the hotel’s parlor. The two-day experience includes a farm sourcing and foraging tour with lunch, a hands-on culinary class with dinner, and the Farm to Table Dinner event.

Along Lake Erie, a narrow escarpment uniquely suited to growing grapes has sustained the grape and wine industry for nearly two centuries, making this the world’s oldest and largest Concord grape growing region and the largest grape growing region in the United States outside of California. Today, 23 wineries offer tours and tastings from Silver Creek, NY to Northeast, PA and several will provide special learning experiences during the June festival.

Not to be outdone by the wineries, Southern Tier Brewing Company and Ellicottville Brewing Company in Fredonia will offer beer tasting and brewing experiences. Be a Brewer for a Day during a very hands-on experience at Southern Tier’s brewing facilities in Lakewood. The local brewery is offering a second workshop option after the first date sold out in mid-April. EBC’s brewer, Dan Minner, will focus more on the history of brewing, different beer styles and how they pair with food during a Beer Pairing Dinner on June 7th.

Chautauqua in June is a three week learning festival, May 25 – June 17, 2012, with classes and workshops held in both indoor and outdoor classrooms across Chautauqua County, NY. The region is historically known as a destination for leisure learning, summer camps and workshops. Participants can register for workshops online or request a program guide at or by calling the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 1-866-908-4569.

Post courtesy of Stephanie Burdo

Buffalo Bites Food Tours set to explore the tastes of Elmwood Village

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm

A new three-hour walking tour of restaurants and food-related shops in Buffalo’s historic Elmwood Village is set to kick off this month. These unique tours, offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, will include six stops, lots of great food and even a side order of Buffalo history.

Buffalo Bites Food Tours is the brainchild of Buffalo native Laura Reed, who discovered the uniqueness and excitement of a great food tour almost by accident.

“Five years ago I went with some friends on a girls’ weekend in New York City,” said Reed. “I had never heard of a food tour before, but I went along a bit reluctantly. As it turned out, we all absolutely loved it! It was really a fun thing to do. The food was great, but we also got to experience the ins and outs of the neighborhood and its specialty shops, and it made us feel like ‘locals’ while we were there. When I returned home, I started thinking that I could do this in Buffalo.”

Elmwood Village certainly has its share of great restaurants and specialty shops, so the decision to start there was an easy one for Reed, who trained in Chicago with Food Tour Pros, a company that helps entrepreneurs start food tours around the globe.

“Elmwood Village was my first choice because it is rich with history, architecture, shops and eateries,” Reed said. “It really gives the true flavor of what Buffalo is all about.”

During the six stops, guests on the tour will experience a wide variety of tastes and treats, from artisan desserts and handmade chocolates to unique spices and more hearty food and drink.

References to nearby architecture and places of interest such as Soldiers’ Circle, Buffalo Seminary, the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bidwell Parkway and the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market will likely be mentioned.

“This will be a unique and fun way for people to tour our city,” said Reed. “It’s perfect for anyone who wants to eat, explore and experience Buffalo!”

For more information on Buffalo Bites Food Tours, including ticket prices or ordering gift certificates, please visit, email or call 1-800-979-3370. You can also follow Buffalo Bites Food Tours on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.

Post courtesy of Joe Kirchmyer

Lewiston Up For National “Best For Food” Title

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Lewiston is currently in 2nd place on the USAToday/Rand McNally list of “Best for Food” small towns in America. They stand behind last year’s runner-up, Burnsville Minnesota.

A combination of three things determines the winner- votes, reviews and judges. The towns that garner the most votes and “quality reviews” will host visiting judges in June/July. The judges consist of a two-person road rally team that will cross the country and evaluate each town’s culinary fare. Last year, Lafayette, Louisiana, won the title and judges spent 40 hours there, visiting over 10 local restaurants.

Please put together a couple of sentences (more if you’d like) about why Lewiston is a food lover’s paradise. Feel free to mention your favorite restaurants. You can also upload pictures too. Where do you love to eat in Lewiston? Carmelo’s? DiCamillo’s? You can also encourage others to join in and vote too- it’s a community and regional effort!

How To Vote::

1) Click here:

2) Click the green button, Review and Vote.

3) Put in your information to register to vote. (If you don’t want email updates, uncheck that box.)

4) You will be taken back to the Lewiston page automatically after you register. Once there, click on the Review and Vote button, and type in your statement why you think Lewiston is deserving of the Best For Food for Small Towns in America.

5) Select “Best For Food” in the box below and click the green Review and Vote button again, and you’re done. You may get a box pop-up that asks you if you want to share your review on a social network like Facebook. You can choose one, or just click the “X” and make the box disappear.

We’ll keep you posted on the results- keep voting!

Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market to open on Saturday May 12

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm


Several new vendors, talented local entertainers and two Wellness Weekends held in partnership with the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo will highlight the 2012 season at the Elmwood Bidwell-Farmers Market. The selling season kicks off on Saturday, May 12, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 22. Hours at the open-air venue in Buffalo’s historic Elmwood Village are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

The market now features 37 vendors — including several with new product offerings — selling fruits, vegetables, baked goods, organics, fresh meat, cut flowers, wine, eggs, dairy, honey, cheese and more. Products available at the market are always fresh, seasonal and local. New vendors in 2012 include 21 Brix Winery, Community Beer Works, Susie Cuke’s Pickle Company and Living Light Wheatgrass.

Elmwood-Bidwell is a producer-only market, meaning that all vendors grow or produce what they sell — no middlemen and no compromises. Patrons know they are dealing directly with the source, helping to create a diverse and healthy local economy.

This season, the market will feature entertainment every Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. On select Saturdays throughout the season, entertainment will also be provided from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Musical guests will include Kate Shaffer, the Hutch Tech High School Six String Circus Guitar Ensemble, David Adamczyk, Robert Graziano, Sara Elizabeth, Sean Hook and Birdie Cree. Balloon artist Gary Mooney will also be on hand to entertain the children.

Two Wellness Weekends — sponsored by the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo — will be held on July 14 and Aug. 11. Visitors are encouraged participate in a wide variety of free health-related activities, from health screenings to an informal family Wellness Walk!

Additionally, the market is partnering with the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition to promote a smoke-free environment at the market this season. The purpose of the Coalition is to reduce the risk of cancer, heart, lung and other tobacco-related diseases in Erie and Niagara counties by reducing tobacco use and reducing the exposure of all residents to secondhand smoke. For more information, please visit

The market’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system, which allows individuals and families receiving public assistance to purchase products from eligible market vendors, will be in place once again this season. Information is available each week at the Elmwood Village vendor tent during market hours. The EBT program is sponsored this year by the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and the Lexington Co-operative Market.

The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market would also like to congratulate Scott Webb of Grand Island, winner of the market’s annual poster competition. Webb’s poster is on display in stores and restaurants throughout the Elmwood Village, and will be featured on signage at the market.

For a complete list of vendors, entertainment and special events, please visit Frequent updates are also available by becoming a fan of the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market page on Facebook.

Post courtesy of Joe Kirchmyer