LOCAL LIVES HERE

Brian N – Social Media Specialist

In the historic Fell’s Point District, lie two of Meyer Jabara Hotels – the Historic Hotels of America’s Admiral Fell Inn & the #1 Hotel on TripAdvisor in Baltimore, the Inn at Henderson’s Wharf. What’s beautiful about this historic community is that not only does history live in the cobblestones and buildings, but also locals and locally owned businesses are in the Fell’s Point District.

Here you’ll find locally owned shops like Zelda Zen where you’ll find miscellaneous items to give gifts to loved ones or the renowned Sound Garden where you meet artists and listen to the history of music. However, if you know where to look you’ll find hidden gems that make this community unique.

Every Saturday Morning since 2011, the locals come together in center square, right outside the Admiral Fell Inn, and have the Fell’s Point Farmers Market. The moment you enter the market, you’ll be overwhelmed with smiles and the history that is here – stall numbers etched in the curbs since the 1700s, local chefs of surrounding restaurants laughing as they pick the locally + organically grown vegetables and fruits, children smiling and dancing as jugglers and musicians play music, delicious food, and tourists mesmerized by handmade items made by locals.  Click HERE to see their photo gallery.

The next time you’re in Baltimore, support the locals and businesses that our community has to offer!

 

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DÉLICIEUX CREPES GALORE!

Brian N – Social Media Specialist

Bonjour Bonjour! Hello Hello! When you think of France, what usually comes to mind? The wine? The Bread + Cheese? The Romance? For me, it’s the crepes – something so simple and so versatile, is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever tried at the Pier 5 Hotel.  If you’re not familiar with a crepe, it’s a very thin pancake, which often has either a savory or sweet filling!

Every Thursday at Pier 5 Hotel’s signature Crabby Hour, France is in the lobby – the aroma, the ambiance, the laughter + smiles of the guests. You can’t help but smile along as the Chef whips up some jokes while giving an interactive lesson on making crepes. The crepe can be literally filled with anything – the Pier 5 made their signature Crabby Crepe where they utilized a crab dip filling. For those with a sweet tooth there is also a strawberry + chocolate filling. You would be surprised with what your creative mind can come up with when trying to figure out what to fill your crepe.

Ingredients

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons melted butter

Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.

*Sweet Variation Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/crepes-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Bon appetite! Why travel to France when you can enjoy your very own French cooking in the comfort of your own home! Enjoy.

PLANTING THE HERB GARDEN

Keith Davis – F&B Director (& Forager Extraordinaire!)

Planting the garden each spring is a ritual that I look forward to.  As I wrote back in April, I plan and map out what I will do before the season, to be sure I have a clear vision of what I want.  This helps me write my list, since once you get to the nursery, things can get overwhelming with the choices.  I do the herb garden for my hotel, the Christiana Hilton.  This will be the third year, and of course, each year I expand it a little more.  The Chef uses the herbs regularly in dishes they prepare, and being a busy food and beverage operation, we need a lot of herbs.

 


Three different varieties of basil.                          Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, & Nasturtiums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHISKEY WEDNESDAY IN BALTIMORE

Brian N – Social Media Specialist

Whiskey, or whisky, is one of those drinks that aren’t the easiest drink to embrace. With its high alcohol level than beer or wine, and some difficult to pronounce names, it might not be so appealing to some. However, for the drinkers with a more acquired taste, you’ll be able to appreciate the rich and diverse flavors that whiskey has to offer compared to most distilled spirits.

Think of it like this – whiskey is simply distilled beer. You might be wondering, why don’t I just drink beer then? What’s so special about special about whiskey? Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Depending on the grains used, the distillation process, and the age in wooden barrels, you’ll end up with unique and various distinct brands of whiskey.  You can read more about the process of how beer and whiskey is made by clicking here < http://whiskyadvocate.com/whisky-101/> .

Are you up to trying something new?

Try this Whiskey Sour Recipe:

Fill a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Pour in 50ml blended whisky, 20ml lemon juice and 20ml sugar syrup. Shake, shake, shake. Strain into a glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry.

To make a Boston Sour, add 1 egg white to the liquids in the shaker WITHOUT ice. Shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake again. Strain and serve.

Check out other delicious recipes <here> (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/cocktails/the-best-whisky-cocktail-recipes/)

Pier 5 Hotel is located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

 

 

 

Fun Trick: Trying to figure out how to calculate how rare your whiskey is? The oldest whiskey in the world is almost automatically most rare whiskey because of the annual 4% “angel’s tax.”

The buyer of a very old bottle is drinking a huge percentage of the only whiskey left on the earth from that year.

Here’s how to calculate how much whiskey is left over from each year. (It works like interest rates, but backwards.)

100 x (0.96) ^ years old = % of whiskey left on earth from that year.

 

 

STRAWBERRY SEASON IS HERE

Keith Davis – Food & Beverage Director (aka Forager Extraordinaire!)

I believe it is important to support the local farms in your immediate geographic area.  Fresh always wins, and things are always fresher when just picked that day compared to being shipped from the other side of the country.  Not to mention that it helps in reducing the carbon footprint that is needed to produce that food.

It is now strawberry season at the local farms in Maryland and Delaware, but it doesn’t last long.  When the weather is right, it last a little over three weeks.  When not so good, just 2 weeks.  You can stop and pick up a couple of pints when in a hurry, or do the fun thing and take the whole family to a U-pick strawberry patch.  Believe me, if you take the kids, it will be a fun and memorable experience, not to mention the delicious reward.  Local strawberries taste so superior to store-bought.  They are picked when fully ripe which allows the sugars and taste to develop. The only drawback is they don’t last nearly as long, but in my house, they get eaten so fast that is not an issue.

A few facts on strawberries; It is a member of the rose family, and is unique in that it is the only fruit with seeds on the outside rather than the inside.  The ancient Romans believed that the berries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, fevers, throat infections, and halitosis.  I cup of berries contains 55 calories, 11.65 grams carbs, 1 gram protein, and 3.81 grams of dietary fiber, as well numerous vitamins. So enjoy!

Everyone has their favorite way to eat strawberries.  It can be simple as eating them plain, or incorporating them in some elegant recipe.  Her are a few suggestions that may be fun to try:

http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/strawberry-dessert-recipes/strawberry-salad-warm-goat-cheese-croutons-recipe-image

 

 

FORAGING FOR VIOLETS?

Keith Davis – F&B Director (& Forager Extraordinaire!)

 

Spring is a hectic time of year; the hotel is jamming, school activities are at a peak before year ends, the woods which awakened a few months ago are at full throttle, garden plants are growing, and the mushrooms are ready to sprout.  So, unfortunately, I don’t get the chance to go out and walk as much as I would like to do, but still manage a few hours a week.  So it was a few weeks ago when I went out with my son to pick violets.  Yes violets, which are one of many edible flowers.

 

As a young boy, just about my son’s age, I would walk down to a special patch of woods that I knew had violets, and pick a bunch for my mom.  These were for a vase, not for consumption. This patch contained several varieties/colors of violets; purple, blue, white, and yellow.  For my purposes now, only the purple and blue violets are the ones I want.  The other colors can contain compounds that you should not digest.

A small patch of spring wild violets.

For more on Violets click here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_(plant)

I enlisted my youngest son to help me forage.

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A container of wild violets, Viola odorata.

violets 3

So what can you do with wild violets? They can be cut at the flower base and added uncooked to any salad.  But for my purposes here, I was looking to do something a little more creative.  I was going to make my own Crème de Violette, which actually doesn’t contain any cream what so ever, but is basically a violet infused alcoholic syrup used in cocktails. And I wanted to use this syrup for a special function, so I needed a lot of violets.   There are a few brands of Crème de Violet you can buy, made with a neutral base or with brandy.  But I like to go the natural way and make my own.

Once you pick a fair quantity of violets, you need to remove the actual petals from the plant/stem, or calyx.  This takes some time, but if you skip this step, the syrup will be bitter and not taste as pure.  The syrup ends up a light purple, and smells a little grape/violet like. A neat thing is that when making this, even the sugar gets an aroma that is definitely violet.  It is great when added to champagne, a special cocktail, or even just added to soda water. For a few ideas, see:

http://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/drink/3-cr-me-de-violette-cocktails-get-you-ready-spring

Crème de Violette

1 part violet petals

2 parts vodka

2 parts sugar

1 part water

Juice for ½ a lemon

>In 2 mason jars, place ½ of the petals in each.

>add the vodka to one and cover with a lid, shake to mix.

>add the sugar to the other jar, again cover and shake to mix.

>Let the jars sit to infuse for 4 to 5 days.

>add water to a sauce pan, and add the sugar mixture, mix and bring to a slight boil. Remove from the heat and let the mixture sit till cool.

>Combine the jar with the infused vodka to the syrup, add lemon juice, and strain to remove the petals.

Keep in a cool dark place.  Shake mixture before using.

A batch of the violet petals.                       Sugar/petal mixture  and Vodka/petal mixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 TASTE OF QUEENS

Ilan W. ~ Group Sales & Catering Manager

Leaf Bar & Lounge was named one of the 11 best bars in New York City featuring tree-lined terrace with spectacular city views and enjoy delicious, beautifully plated Taiwanese street food like Tiger Bites, Pig pork belly buns, dumplings and the uncommonly good sliced cucumber in chile herb oil. Craft cocktails created by an experienced Manhattan bartender emphasize fresh ingredients, clean refreshing flavors and impeccable garnishes of flowers, herbs and more. Attracting local young professionals who used to head into Manhattan for their drinks are now coming to Flushing.

 

Uniquely located on the rooftop of the Hyatt Place Flushing and steps away from the 3rd busiest intersection in all of New York City, Leaf Bar & Lounge provides a green oasis in bustling downtown Flushing. This popular rooftop lounge is set against a panoramic view of Queens and the distant Manhattan skyline. Experience this vibrant neighborhood’s first botanically-inspired craft cocktail bar and Chef Henry Lin’s inspired menu of small plates. The Leaf Lounge was recently featured in The New Yorker Bar Tab. Visit the Hyatt Place or Leaf by clicking HERE.

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HOW TO MAKE SPARKLING SANGRIA

David L.  Restaurant Manager

With summer right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to share my recipe for Sparkling Sangria, a perfect drink for the summer heat.  It’s crisp and refreshing and easy to make.

Recipe For Sparkling Sangria

½ Of An Orange                            ½ Of A Lime

½ oz Of Peach Schnapps              ½ oz Of Apple Schnapps

1 ½ oz Of Brandy                          1 ½ oz Of Triple Sec

1 ½ oz of Simple Syrup                 ½ Bottle of Sparkling Wine

Sprite                                              Ice

 

Here is a short video I made of how to make the Sparkling Sangria

Now its time to pour yourself a glass!

 

TASTE THE ADVENTURE!

Stacey P. ~ General Manager

Did you know Connecticut is one of the fastest growing wine trail regions in the United States? Grab your passport- your Connecticut Wine Trail Passport that is, and start your adventure.

With 34 vineyards and wineries, Connecticut offers a variety of wine styles along with incredible scenery.  Grab your friends and family and plan a weekend away to sip or swig at one of our wineries.

The La Quinta Inn and Suites in Danbury, CT is the preferred hotel of the Passport Program. A top-rated hotel on Trip Advisor, the La Quinta Inn and Suites is a quick drive from DiGrazia Vineyards in Brookfield, White Silo Winery in Sherman, and McLaughlin Vineyards in Newtown. Some vineyards provide live music or entertainment, boxed lunches and unique gifts.

Passports can be picked up at any of the 34 wineries.  If you obtain over 34 stamps in your passport, you will be entered in an exclusive drawing for the Grand Prize- A two week trip for two, including airfare and hotel accommodations to Spain! Other prizes include a chauffeured limousine wine tour, an overnight at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Danbury, or two bottles of wine from a participating winery.

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Cheers!