The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have a bloody New Year – Bad Decision style

This whole column is inspired by a tweet from a local bar owner and bartender, John Reusing of Bad Decisions, @bad_decisions, who said “fresh blood oranges! its one of my favorite things to make drinks with- who else is excited?” I was excited and tweeted back under my Twitter moniker @daracooks and that was the seed that germinated into this post. With your New Year’s Eve and Day celebrations at hand we thought you might enjoy making it a bloody celebration. John, a very talented mixologist, has put together three recipes for cocktails containing blood oranges

Read the full story and get the cocktail recipes:
Have a bloody New Year – Bad Decision style
Bad Decisions on Urbanspoon

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gooey, Chewy, Crunchy Munchie – a golden opportunity


Isn’t the Mallow Munchies™ chef adorable, how can you resist his smile? Well it is hard to resist Mallow Munchies ™ as well. As their website says and I, a consumer of said culinary delights concur, “not your grandmother’s crispy rice snacks.” Mallow Munchies ™ are all-natural, using marshmallows made from scratch, Kosher gelatin, and no preservatives. As their tag line states: Gooey, Chewy, Crunchy, Munchie. For some strange reason I keep hearing the song Hair in my head when I say those four words, but I digress.

Get the sweet scoop: Gooey, Chewy, Crunchy Munchie – a golden opportunity

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anthony Bourdain’s New York Times Foodie Nation looks at 2007

Anthony Bourdain is an outspoken social commentator. His book, Kitchen Confidential, recently recognized by the British food experts as one of the top 40 food books of the decade, gives true insight to the gritty, hardcore and brutal restaurant business.

Read his Op Ed Story: Anthony Bourdain’s New York Times Foodie Nation looks at 2007

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Monday, December 28, 2009

What was your most memorable dining experience in 2009?


At the end of the year it is natural to look back at our accomplishments, our joys and our failures. As a devout foodie my mind goes to the best dishes of 2009, or what might I put together as my best meal. Read the complete story:

What was your most memorable dining experience in 2009?

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Former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni on local radio today

Dan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun columnist, WYPR Midday host.interviews New York Times former food critic, Frank Bruni. Bruni is promoting his book:

Former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni on local radio today

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

And everything should taste like bacon

“And everything should taste like bacon”, that is the mantra of Justin and Dave, founders of J & D’s known for their BaconSalt® and Baconnaise®. Are there limits to this quest of Justin and Dave? The real eye catcher for me, the really new product, is their bacon-flavored envelopes.

Read the complete story: And everything should taste like bacon

Image courtesy of J &D's:

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mini rant - mini knishes

Because of the holiday and peace on earth and good will to man I’ve held off on this mini rant. So here is the story. I go to a specialty store to pick up their mini-meat knishes. I know where they are kept, in the freezer/refrigerator upright. So there are potato and spinach knishes but I can not find a meat knishes.

Read the full rant: Mini rant - mini knishes

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A foodie's attempt at a holiday poem

I’ve searched and searched for my holiday poem to share
It was cute and clever and showed that I cared
A rendition of The Night before Christmas foodie version
Alas it was lost, left off the new computer conversion

Read the entire foodie holiday poem: A foodies attempt at a holiday poem

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dining predictions for 2010 versus 2007

How far have we come from 2007 dining trends? What has remained the same, what has changed? This is the time of the year when we see numerous trends for the coming year in print and on-line. I thought I would go back a couple years, before the economic crisis to predictions on StarChefs.com and take a look at the future from the story from Restaurant News.

Check out the comparison of trends-read the whole story:
Dining predictions for 2010 versus 2007

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Monday, December 21, 2009

70 cents for an ice cube - seriously!

New York's restaurant reviewer Gael Greene tells the story of *Marcus Samuelsson’s Riingo Restaurant charging seventy cents per ice cube in a cocktail in her Insatiable e-newsletter. Considering cocktail costs in New York and we all know that the bar really makes the money. Explain why, with the economic times as they are, trying to rip off customers.

Read the complete story: 70 cents for an ice cube - seriously!

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Phillips Seafood Restaurant – New Chef – New Menu Items


I don’t think I’m wrong in stating that a good number of us Baltimoreans think of Phillips Seafood Restaurant in Harborplace as a tourist destination – we forget to think of it as a go-to-place for local dining. It really didn’t cross my mind to go there for dinner. When you are part of a restaurant family that has been around for over 50 years and Phillips Seafood Restaurant at Harborplace since back in the 80’s, there is a basis for your longevity. I have recently re-evaluated Phillips as a regular dining destination for Baltimoreans.

Read the full story, check out the photo slide:
Phillips Seafood Restaurant – New Chef – New Menu Items


Phillips Harborplace on Urbanspoon

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Friday, December 18, 2009

The blizzard is coming and Kim Kardashian’s video shows salads are sexy

I was at Trader Joe’s by 9 a.m. looking for specific items for baking; after all, the blizzard is coming and one bakes and cooks during blizzards- at least I do. It was a simple in and out.

Get the full story and a peek at the upcoming Kim Kardashian's sexy salad commerical

The blizzard is coming and Kim Kardashian’s video shows salads are sexy

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best chocolate cake EVER - recipe

From time-to-time, I help out a chef friend and work in her kitchen in Washington DC as her “kitchen slave” or in the French kitchen brigade vernacular, I teeter between commis, tournant or marmiton. Yesterday somewhere during the daily chores of peeling heads of garlic, washing lettuce and lunch set up we were talking cake. I mentioned a recipe by Chef Nick Malgieri, ...read the complete story and get the recipe:

Best chocolate cake EVER - recipe

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top Chef Parody - Hungry Ladies - my salute to tonights reunion show at 9 p.m.

Clever little video parody of Top Chef Season 6 with a fake Gail Simmons, Mattin, Ashley and Bryan Voltaggio. Tonight is the reunion show at 9 p.m. east coast time on Bravo. What little secrets will be revealed tonight?

Read the rest of the post and watch the very clever video:

Top Chef Parody - Hungry Ladies - my salute to tonights reunion show at 9 p.m.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Cakelove’s Warren Brown dollar cupcake special and his United Cakes of America-recipe included

Most of us know Warren Brown for his television series Sugar Rush and Cakelove, baked from scratch bakery in Canton, which is one of seven of his bakeries. Some of you might have even recognized this handsome entrepreneur in recent American Express television ads.

Read more about the dollar cupcakes, recipe and new cookbook:


Cakelove’s Warren Brown dollar cupcake special and his United Cakes of America-recipe included

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Oceanaire Seafood Room - sustainable seafood at its best


I’ve been to The Oceanaire numerous times from their soft opening, Baltimore’s Restaurant Weeks, with a large group of out-of-towners and most recently, a media dinner. When dining there I must say the service was impeccable, the restaurant’s 30’s ocean liner atmosphere added a spark to the evening’s festivities and the food has always been excellent, spot on.

Read the full review and check out the slide show:

The Oceanaire Seafood Room - sustainable seafood at its best

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Oceanaire Seafood Room on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Top 10 Food Trends for 2010 - video

Food with Benefits (SM) is one of the 10 trends recognized by The Food Channel. Considering what “friends with benefits” means the category title got me a little curious. Others are cleverly titled like Food Vetting and I Want My Umami.

Watch the video and get the full story:

Top 10 Food Trends for 2010 - video

photo by Dara Bunjon ©

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cook along with Chef Gordon Ramsay LIVE

No lie, join Chef Gordon Ramsay LIVE, Tuesday, December 15th on Fox television at 9 p.m. eastern time and cook along with him.

Get the full details:
Cook along with Chef Gordon Ramsay LIVE

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Top Chef - The finale

Call me surprised and probably many others when Michael Voltaggio won the Top Chef honor last night. The favorites were Kevin Gillepsie and Michael’s brother Bryan.

So I sit at my desk and mull over the finale ... read my opinions about the finale:

Top Chef - The finale

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dinner with Joan Nathan and Wolf Blitzer - great Hanukkah recipe - exclusive sneak peek


Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: In Search of Jewish Cooking in France is Joan Nathan’s next cookbook published by Knopf. Joan an author, international authority on Jewish cooking and television personality shared with a small group of guests at her home, including myself, a dinner featuring recipes from her cookbook due out next fall.

It was a memorable evening: the exclusive tasting of these Jewish recipes of France, Chef Fran├žois Dionot’s, founder and owner of L’Academie de Cuisine, deft culinary touch and an amalgam of women chefs and media types. As for the media, Wolf Blitzer of CNN and his wife who are long time friends with Joan and her husband, Allan added an additional dimension to the evening.

There is a lot for you in this story:

1. The evening’s menu
2. Joan has graciously given her permission to share with you her Moroccan Braised Lamb Couscous recipe and back story from filmmaker, Claude Lelouch. The recipe is ideal for Hanukkah
3. Video snippets of the group pre-dinner table and dinner table
4. Photo slide show

Check out the complete story:

Dinner with Joan Nathan and Wolf Blitzer - great Hanukkah recipe - exclusive sneak peak

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What would you say or do to get the last brownie – recipe included

I don’t know why but my post have been a bit, not earth shattering thought provoking of late with Sandwiches cut diagonal or across – point and counter point, If you could choose just one cookbook , and today's question, What would you say or do to get the last brownie? I’m not sure what has sparked my introspective meanderings but alas they are here.

To answer the question proffered, I go back to the scene in the movie Notting Hill (view clip below) and think a group of friends around the table, and then I think about the friends.

Read the whole story and check out the video:

What would you say or do to get the last brownie – recipe included

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

If you could choose just one cookbook?


The influx of food information coming into me on daily basis is staggering. I glance quickly here and there for something that catches my eye, which would be good fodder for a post, good fodder for discussion.

If you could choose just one cookbook?

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sandwiches cut diagonal or across - point and counterpoint

Well this might not be the biggest debate of the century whether to cut a sandwich across or diagonal, it just might be perfect for my readers to discuss. What spurred this subject was an audio interviewing the former food editor of Gourmet Magazine, an architect and professor talking about the merits of the diagonally cut sandwich.

Read the full story and weigh in you own preference

Sandwiches cut diagonal or across - point and counterpoint

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Tidbits – a collection of food vignettes happening in and around the area

As a food blogger it is tendency to make individual posts about these stories but when time is tight, both literally and figuratively, you get my combo column, more like an e-newsletter for no extra cost. So read on, catch up on food happenings here at Tidbits.

Hope you aren't hungry when you are reading this, I'm thinking chocolate cookies in the kitchen as I write.

Read all about select food happenings in the area:

Tidbits – a collection of food vignettes happening in and around the area

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cookies the perennial holiday dessert

December 1st to December 6th is National Cookie Cutter Week – who knew? And December 4th is National Cookie Day, again, who knew? Now you do! This is the time of the year that my friend Riva makes the most delicious and best decorated cookies I’ve ever eaten or seen. She has it all, the colored decorations, the piping – just fabulous. I make it a habit of buying her unusual cookie cutters when I see them which brings me to La Cuisine – The Cooks Resource in Alexandria, Virginia.

Read whole story and view slide show:

Cookies the perennial holiday dessert

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Careers through Culinary Arts Program needs your vote-help the children

They aren’t asking for money though they won’t turn it down. The 100 organizations getting the most votes on the Chase Community Giving project on Facebook will win $25,000. The Career through Culinary Arts Program, known as CCap has been raising funds for at risk students around the country and ask you just click and vote.

Careers through Culinary Arts Program needs your vote-help the children

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