The official blog of BlendAbout, a Social Dining Network that helps people make new friends over group meals at great restaurants.
Read up on amazing new restaurants, check out our favorite Food Porn and find out about our latest
Group Meals at the fabulous restaurants we all love.
It’s Waffle time, people! And how we do love our waffles! Lightly crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and those perfect little nooks to catch and hold the syrup we drizzle over them.
But I bet you didn’t know about these fun food facts about our beloved waffle:
Waffles, how we love you.
The Mardi Gras celebration we know today is all about beads, beer, beads, food, beads, and oh yeah - beads. But any other time of the year New Orleans would be known for the food. From sea-fresh stews to pillowy beignets, this is a town that knows how to eat. Here’s 4 tastes of Mardi Gras you don’t want to miss!
Of all the delicious Mardi Gras plates, this is probably the best known. While the origins of this hearty stew are somewhat muddled, the word ‘gumbo’ is a derivative of the West African word for ‘okra’ - so it’s no surprise that this Southern staple is a key ingredient in the dish. Typically prepared with the “holy trinity” of Louisiana cooking (onion, bell pepper, and celery) thickened with okra, filé, or traditional French roux, and loaded with either shellfish or meat, one bowl of Gumbo will sweep you away to the Gulf shores of Louisiana….
Creole Jambalaya, or ‘Red Jambalaya’, traces it’s origins to the Spanish-Caribbean cooking of the islands, and is a close relative of Spanish paella. Start with the holy trinity, add in some chicken & Andouille sausage, vegetables & tomatoes, and simmer before throwing in fresh Gulf seafood and rice. What happens next is nothing short of amazing, as all those flavors meld together to create a hearty dish sure to bring you back to life after a long night on Bourbon Street!
Rooted in Christianity’s Three Kings, the season for this cake begins on the 12th Day of Christmas and ends with Fat Tuesday. The cinnamon roll-like dough is decorated with the traditional green, purple, and gold colors of the Mardi Gras season and filled with a tiny baby Jesus figurine before baking. The lucky guy or gal to find the trinket in their slice gets to provide the cake for the next celebration! (Louisianers host ‘King Cake Parties’ almost weekly from Christmas to Mardi Gras to celebrate the Carnival season, so there’s plenty of cake-baking to go around.)
As we previously mentioned, no trip to the Big Easy would be complete (especially during Mardi Gras) without a little ‘hair of the dog’. Said to be New Orleans first cocktail, it gets it’s name from the specific brand of whiskey originally used to make it. While the mixology of the drink is somewhat complicated, the gist of the recipe is simple: mix rye whiskey, bitters, and anise liqueur (or absinthe if you’re feeling really adventurous) with a little water & sugar, garnish with a lemon twist & sip your way into a Mardi Gras fantasy.
For this Wine Wednesday, let’s visit some unexpected, but winederful wine and food pairings that anyone can try at home without taking a heavy hit on the wallet.
These aren’t fancy, but they’re guaranteed to be tastefully mind-blowing – unless you have defective taste buds. In that case, move on and out (and take your defective taste buds with you).
For the rest of you, I double-dog dare you to try the following [and message us back with your findings]:
Riesling + Goldfish Crackers
Nigori Sake and Cheerios
Pinot Noir and Wasabi Peas (my personal favorite)
Rosé and Fruit Rollups
Well… Drink up! Chow down! Enjoy.
It’s still comfort food season, especially for those living in places with frigid temperatures, but after another day of eating warm cake and mac & cheese, you might start feeling like you need to up your veggie intake. Luckily, some of our favorite foodies have some fantastic ways to sneak in some extra nutrition, while enjoying the decadent dishes you love.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Stewed Tomatoes
Macaroni & Cheese is a comfort food must have, but to get some extra anti-oxidants and Vitamin C, add tomatoes! Food.com has a recipe with all of the cream texture, but with some additional tomato-ey goodness.
We’re totally suckers for a rich and chocolatey brownie, but The Sneaky Chef found a genius way to add spinach AND blueberries to her recipe. It’s so sneaky, you’ll never guess it’s there. Get her recipe here.
Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
We all know kale is one of those beyond super superfoods, so if we can get them into our mashed potatoes, we’re in! 101 Cookbooks created this Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes Recipe for a unique flavor, beyond your classic buttery potato dish.
[written by Caitlin Heikkila]
Tired of the same old brunch dishes every weekend? Eggs benny, hash browns, waffles with maple syrup, they’re all great. But now and then, it’s good to mix things up. If you’re ready for a change, try these out-of-the-box brunch spots.
Gourdough’s Public House in Austin, Texas
If you like donuts at brunch, Gourdough’s is the place to go. Their menu is packed with sweet and savory donuts, like donut burgers, sandwiches, and desserts. We’re particularly attracted to the “Squealing Pig” with bacon, strawberry jalapeno jelly, cream cheese icing, and candied jalapenos. We’re thinking Gourdough’s would be particularly helpful if you have a hangover.
Do or Dine in Brooklyn, New York
Chef Justin Warner is on a mission to create the most unique edible inventions around—and brunch at Do or Dine is no different. With one-of-a-kind eats like Mentaiko Blood Orange Deviled Eggs and Foie Gras Donuts, we’re sold. Pair your meal with a “Cinnamon Toast Crunk” cocktail if it’s on the menu.
Pig & Khao in New York, NYC
Instead of classics like Eggs Benedict and Blueberry pancakes, Pig & Khao serves Asian-inspired brunch cuisine with hipster vibes like Grilled Pork Jowl, Sizzling Corned Beef Hash with raw egg, and a red curry dish called Khao Soi. There are no bloody Marys here, but plenty of Phuket Punch.
Tasty n Sons in Portland, Oregon
When it comes to brunch, Tasty n Sons is taking it to the next level. The playful Portland neighborhood restaurant has some fun dishes like a Polenta & Sausage Ragu with mozzarella and an over easy egg, as well as “The Jersey Breakfast” with a taylor pork roll, cheddar & fried egg and hash browns. Don’t leave without the French Toast Sundae at dessert.
[written by Caitlin Heikkila]