"There is no love sincerer than the love of food." George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Anyone in South Florida can tell you this time of year is Mango season. June to September trees are full of big gorgeous mangoes.  First green and then turning gold and red when they are ready. If you are lucky enough to know someone with a tree, you can score a bag since they always seem to ripen at the same time.  Once they are ripe they won’t last long so as delicious as they are on their own you need to be inventive and find ways to use them so they last longer. In the past I’ve made mango smoothies, muffins, chutneys and sauces but I was looking for something different this year.

Going through shelves of collected cook books, I came across a book bought at a garage sale for $1.00 called Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt by Mable & Gar Hoffman. This book is a little out dated without the new funky flavors that some cutting edge creameries are dreaming up like dark chocolate sesame, lemon cardamom or ricotta honey.  The recipes are interesting though and were probably cutting edge back in 2000 when the book was published. Coconut vanilla vudding, maple peach and apple calvados are just a few. I saw a recipe for Mango sorbet and almost passed it by when I noticed one of the ingredients is Grand Marnier. I have a weak spot for anything “Grand Marnier” so I figured I’d give it a try. The recipe is very simple and the finished sorbet is a glossy orange color and tastes so sweet and tropical. The recipe is below so even if you don’t score that  bag of mangoes from a friend please give it a try,  I’m sure you’ll love it! I doubled the recipe and have enough in my freezer for at least a month!

Mango Sorbet                                      

3 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 large ripe mangoes
1 cup orange juice
 ½ cup Grand Marnier

In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, set aside to cool. Peel and cut mangoes and puree in food processor with orange juice. Combine puree with cooled syrup then add liquor. You can freeze in an ice cream maker or just an air tight container in the freezer overnight.

I could not resist the urge to taste the sorbet when it was just slushy and it made a fantastic cocktail with an added shot of gold rum - Mango Madness !

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Annual Deerfield Beach Food & Wine Festival

I was really looking forward to attending the first event for the Deerfield Beach Food and Wine Festival.  Unfortunately, the beginning and end of the festival were not desirable but there were some high points.  Nothing that can’t be improved upon during next year’s event!
The event staff seemed to be unorganized and the gates didn’t open until about 20 minutes after the festival was to start.  Once we were in, we were told to take a plate and wine glass and that we were to keep them throughout the event.  The restaurants that participated were all lined up along each side.  In the middle there were high top tables sporadic throughout.  

There were 40 different restaurants that took part included the French Quarter Bar & Grill, La Stella’s Italian Restaurant, BT’s Ocean Front Grill, Oceans 234, Bella Cibo, JB’s on the Beach, Lilly’s, The Whale, Muddy Waters, Lola, Ruth Chris, Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant, Casa Maya Grill, Biondo’s Pizza, Tamarind, Wave 2700 and the Social Cupcake… just to name a few!

There was a great mix of tasty treats to try.  Beer and cheese soup in a bread bowl, Crawfish, Seafood Paella, Pulled Pork Sliders, Crab cocktails, Sweet Potato Tartlet’s, Spicy Tuna Tartar, Bruschetta, Chicken Marsala, an assortment of Cheesecakes, gourmet cupcakes…the list can go on and on!

There were many different artisan wines, prosecco and beers to sample.  There was also a vodka bar which my dear friends especially enjoyed!!  There was a retail market where you could purchase fresh herbs, olive oils, wine decanters…a variety of unique products that you could take home with you.

The heat was intense so my friends and I decided to walk over to The Cove to have a cocktail and cool down. We sat there for about an hour then headed back to the event…This was around 6:30 I would say.  The food was scarce and they ran out of wine.  The event was not to end until 8:00pm.  My guess is that the organizers didn’t realize the potential turn out and therefore didn’t accommodate accordingly.

I personally think that for the first annual event, all in all it was a great success! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creamsicle Jelly

We love Marisa McClellan’s blog Food in Jars. She pickles and preserves just about anything you can think of and her blog is fun to read with beautiful photos.  After following her blog for over a year we finally had the opportunity to try one of her recipes.

It all came about after we attended a Raw Cooking workshop by Chef Alina in a wonderful shop in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park called The Spice and Tea Exchange. They sell all sorts of exotic spices and herbs, flavored and gourmet salts, flavored sugars and teas of course. They also make custom blends sold in grinders like Florida Sunshine and Bakers Delight which are among our favorites. There is so much to see in this small shop, its fun to browse and get inspired. After the work shop the manager Sophie gifted us with a big bag of peeled oranges because they only use the peel in the Florida Sunshine custom blend. What can you do with 2 dozen peeled oranges?
Harvey Wallbanger

Our first thought was inviting friends over for Harvey Wallbanger that retro 60’s cocktail you might remember? It’s basically just a screwdriver topped with Galliano tasting sort of like a creamsicle ice cream bar. When we came across the creamsicle jelly recipe we knew that what we had to make. It seemed easy and the picture on her blog showed a beautiful jar filled with a glossy light orange jelly with the flecks of the vanilla seeds that looked so delicious. The recipe is nothing more then boiling the orange juice with 2 vanilla beans, sugar and adding liquid pectin at the end. The one thing you need is a candy thermometer but once you have that you are all set.

It was so easy and delicious and makes for such a pretty home made gift. Check out her blog, its fun to read her recipe list to just see what she jars, get inspired to preserve and pickle. Let us know what you make please!

*Note: the jelly needs to cool overnight and then sets; do not panic like we did when it does not set immediately!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter !

This Easter we decided to try pot luck.  Fortunately, we have wonderful friends and family who made amazing contributions with their own culinary skills!

Along with amazing food, the décor is equally important.  My son Steven and I made place settings from small brown paper bags.  We wrote the name of each guest on the bag and then filled it with colorful grass and candy.  Two tables were setup.  One table we used mixed china patterns and the other table we used porcelain white plates.  Glass votive candle holders were lined up down the middle of each table…with unscented candles of course!

Steven made his version of deviled eggs.  He carefully cut each shell in half then scooped out the egg.  He then blended the egg with yummy ingredients then spooned some in each shell.  Sprinkled with a bit of smoked paprika and then drizzled with truffle oil.

Our friend Michel made roasted tomatoes, with a tangy pesto sauce and freshly grated parmesan over top of delicately toasted crostini.  The combination of these ingredients brought life to our palette!!


The third and final appetizer were clams oreganata.  Yvonne made these wonderful little morsels.  The clams were succulent and the freshly squeezed lemon over top of each breaded clam complimented the dish perfectly.

I made leg of lamb which was marinated overnight.  The marinade was a mix of fresh rosemary, grain mustard, crushed garlic, olive oil, dried oregano and a good red wine.  I also served roasted asparagus that was served with sliced garlic and drizzled with a bit of olive oil.


Ray made grilled salmon for those guests who opted to not eat the lamb.  The salmon was so good we ALL had to indulge!
For dessert, Doug made a carrot cheese cake.  This is multi layered with carrot cake and a cheese cake.  It was truly scrumptious!  I’m typically one who prefers savory dishes over sweet anytime, but this was heavenly.  I finished my plate and it left me wanting more!

There is no better joy for a cook than to see all her guests finish their plates and go back for seconds (and some thirds)!  We had an amazing day with amazing people.  We hope you all enjoyed your day as much as we did.  Happy Easter from us Two Chicks!!

My daughter Taylor-Entertainment coordinator

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Night out on 2nd street in Fort Lauderdale

This Saturday morning I needed to re-charge my battery on my favorite bench on “my” beach…300 feet down the path (yes, I’ve counted, really!). It’s a beautiful perfect 78 degrees and breezy in Fort Lauderdale.

 Easter is tomorrow and we’ve got cooking to get started this afternoon.  But for now, I’m chilling. Beverly is already busy doing projects with her son.  She is much more ambitious then I am. My plan is to get this article written, the easy part, then send off to Beverly to add to and correct my grammatical errors.  She will make it readable so even though today I am writing in the first person you are actually getting the two chicks as you read!

Last night we decided to check out Second Street which is just off the big brick Riverfront building. Second Street thrives, people crowd the  sidewalks or sit at tables and people watch. Lots of noise and energy.

We decided to just sit at the first open table we saw and we ended up at T-Mex, a very casual tex-mex restaurant. The atmosphere was lively with all the music of today’s hits playing loudly.  We did not take time to check out the menu.  We perused the margarita selections and ordered chips and salsa with guacamole.  Our thinking is if they can’t master those simple things we won’t go any further. I ordered the Coco Loco Margarita with salt and Beverly went for the classic Rico Margarita.  The margaritas were decent; sweet and sour, nothing spectacular, but a good solid drink. As for the coconut in my drink, we both felt that a margarita wasn’t necessarily a good fit for the flavor of coconut.  The chips were thin, crispy, slightly salty and just the perfect crunch.  The guacamole was creamy and buttery with some chunky bits but overall a very smooth texture.  The salsa was so fresh with all the flavors of cilantro, lime and tomato…very cool and cleansing.

During the day, Riverwalk is crowded with people walking with their kids and dogs or biking, but at night it’s deserted dark and peaceful.  So, we decided to take a walk along the river and enjoy the beautiful views it has to offer.

Once the chips and margaritas were walked off we decided to have dinner at Rok-Burger. It’s a trendy hip gastropub with brick interior and dark wood.  We settled in and met our waiter Neil from Freeport Bahamas. He had a charming Bahamian accent and sat down with us and chatted for a bit.  He took his time joking around with us before taking our drink orders.

 Let me give you fair warning, the cocktail menu is fantastic, you will be drawn in like we were and you’ll want to ignore me and order a cocktail, but don’t do it! Unless they decide to invest in a serious mixologist this is not the place for a cocktail. We tried the cosmopolitan which we are convinced was nothing more then cranberry and vodka watered down by ice in the shaker.  There was a tense moment when we returned it and asked for the mojito which was so pretty, but tasted only of simple syrup with mint on ice. I had the bars signature “Rok Old Fashioned” with Makers Mark bourbon infused with bacon.  In all fairness, when the restaurant first opened, the drink was everything it was promised to be;  potent, a little sweet with a hint of smokiness from the bacon. Now it’s just a watered down version of its former glory.  Very disappointing.

There is a long list of craft beers and almost everyone had an icy looking pint in front of them and that’s got to be the way to go and everyone else has already figured it out. Beer goes with burgers so why not?

 To start we ordered truffle fries for the table. They could have been crispier, but the truffle flavor was there and they were sprinkled with sea salt and toasted parsley.  These could be addictive.

For dinner we each ordered something different to check out the menu as best we could. Beverly ordered the Riverwalk which is a slightly seared tuna burger with asian slaw and a wasabi mayo.  It’s served with a beautiful sweet juicy slice of tomato and that crunchy slaw on a big soft brioche roll. That took the best in show for the night. Our friend Jay went for the Rok-Brgr which is a cheddar bacon cheese burger, a good solid classic. Steven, Beverly’s son, tried the sliders, the Grand Tasting which come 6 to an order, 2 of each kind, each with its own sauce. The meatball are mixed with ricotta and are soft and delicate.  The pulled short rib, while not heaping on the roll, melted in your mouth and lastly the Kobe beef  burger. My burger could have been great, but maybe I’m to blame. I ordered the Mediterranean which is a lamb burger with spices of cinnamon and cloves; it came out dry and tough and spices were very assertive.  If I had specified medium it may have made a difference, they did not ask so maybe it’s a safety issue?  I ordered it because the lamb burger that Bev had at The Breslin in NYC was so juicy and bursting with flavor I was sort of hoping to re-live that in Rok-Burger. I was so jealous of her burger I still have not forgotten that since May of 2010!


Well back to last night…we ended our meal by splitting the Apple Crumb Pie with vanilla ice cream with homemade caramel sauce.  This was absolutely delicious!!

I’d go back to try another burger and a beer, the atmosphere is half the charm, the décor is very hip urban. Check it out and let us know what you think!

The End

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our visit to Da Campo Osteria Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale

Wednesday evenings are tough.  We are a little more beaten down then we were on Tuesday, but not yet into the home stretch of a Thursday. It’s a great night to treat yourself to a nice relaxing dinner and recharge.  Why do we always plan everything for the weekend?

Da Campo Osteria is just that treat! Set in the beautiful boutique hotel hidden away directly on the intracoastal, Da Campo Osteria has an intimate atmosphere with the right lighting and instantly puts you in relaxation mode.

Our waiter Jimmy was well informed with wines and suggested one of his new favorites, a 2008 Cambia Pinot Noir.   The wine develops aromas of ripe cherries and has a silkiness that continues into a long finish.  The Manager stopped by to congratulate us on our wine selection!  Each table receives a tray of assorted breads and crispy thin cheddar bread sticks which was very reminiscent of that famous childhood snack, the Cheese Nip. 

We started with the table side preparation of fresh pulled mozzarella.  Our selection was Speziate, pickled hot peperoncini & peppadew peppers.  Served with a rich, aged olive oil and balsamic drizzle.  The mozzarella was smooth and creamy and there is nothing like having it prepared several minutes before eating!   

Next up you ask?  The Zuppa Di Mussels.  Simply Divine!  The preparation was in a semi shallow bowl.  They were steaming hot in a tomato broth that was flavored with caper berry’s and kalamata’s tucked under a crispy layer of pastry.  The mussels were cooked to perfection. 

We also ordered the olives to nibble on while we pondered our dinner order while perusing the menu.  Our favorite was a large bright green olive that was almost buttery and nutty.  I’ve got to find the name and order them for my private stash!

We were getting a little full with the generous starters, so for dinner we decided to split an entrée.  We selected the Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass.  It was served on a bed of escarole & cannellini bean ragu with an heirloom tomato thyme sauce.  It was, by far, the absolute star of the show.  The flavors were not too assertive for this delicate fish.  Sheer perfection! 
By this time, we were completely stuffed.  But, ending the meal there just seemed like we’d leave without closure.  Jimmy, our green eyed waiter, charmed us with stories of his childhood making cappuccinos while perched on a stool with his grandfather and sitting around the dinner table on Christmas Eve until well after midnight with his family.  We truly felt a connection, so when he suggested his favorite dessert, the Zeppoli, we took his advice.  They were light and airy, sugar crusted and filled with a tart raspberry jam.  They were served over top of a perfectly poached pear which was filled with mascarpone gelato.  The sweet sugar from the pastry melded perfectly with the tartness of the jam.  This wonderful dessert was complimented with cappuccino’s Jimmy made…displaying the thoughtful presentation and precision his grandfather taught him so many years ago.
We can't wait to go back and we hope you give it a try!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Chicks Cater

I'm Yvonne and the other chick is Beverly. Years ago when we first got started catering we agonized over a name forever it seemed. One night over some very expensive Barolo one of the guys blurted out "Two Chicks Cater". We were tired and probably a little woozy so we figured why not?

We are both foodies and have spent the past 10 years planning party after party. Our catering business while alive will never completely flourish because we turn down more events then we accept. The corporate world does keep us both busy but what really has held us back is the fact that we will not take a job if we don't get to design the menu. Clients tend to have their own minds as annoying as that is. Every now and then we have a client who lets us take charge, those events are so much fun and the clients are actually thrilled to be surprised along with the rest of the guests !

We come across some many interesting recipes through our foodie friends and travels we thought a great outlet for all this information would be a blog. I hope you like us and if you don't please don't feel the need to express yourself !

Ciao for now !