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.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday gift solution plus a chance to wine $25,000 or an Audi

To me this is a no brainer. It is holiday time, you have gifts to buy for friends, family and business associates.  You know you are going to spend the money, why not take that money and buy a raffle ticket with the Restaurant Association of Maryland for $300 and get 13 - $25 gift certificates to local restaurants and a chance to win either $25,000 or an 2012 Audi A3, you even have additional options of winning $10,000 or $5,000 in 2nd and 3rd prize drawings.

Knowing Beans About Coffee - Wednesday, November 30th

The American Institute of Wine and Food/Baltimore Chapter has created a very special event for coffee lovers. The program for the evening will include a presentation, "Knowing Beans About Coffee," about coffee roasting; a tour of the roasting facility; and a lesson about being a barista.  Attendees can enjoy soups, fresh bread, wine and a hot drink of their choice, and they can take home a half-pound of coffee.  Be prepared to participate in an educational scavenger hunt with the chance of winning an exciting prize.

When: Wednesday, November 30th – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where:  Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company
                9 West Aylesbury Road
                Timonium, MD 21093

Cost:  American Institute of Wine and Food Members: $25 – Non-members $30
Call for reservations:  410-244-0044 or email:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner in a box - But Dara you know how to cook

Thanksgiving at my house has a lot of testosterone; my husband, my brother-in-law and my father-in-law.  The numbers have dwindled over the years and my attempt in the past at a “Martha Stewart” Thanksgiving with handmade napkin rings, multiple sides, homemade pies and whole roasted turkey just weren’t appreciated. The preference was canned cranberries versus home-made. No dark meat just white meat from the turkey.  In recent years I did brine the turkey breast just for me, I knew it was moister, better tasting but alas, the boys didn’t notice the difference.

It was going to be even simpler this year, turkey breast, Stove Top stuffing, canned sauerkraut, canned cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy not even a green vegetable.  I was chatting with my friend Jeannie Siegel, a very talented cook, who misses the leftovers because she does Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s home

Continue reading and watch the video: Thanksgiving dinner in a box – but Dara you know how to cook!

A little something on the side - 4 side dish recipes for your Thanksgiving table

Wild mushroom and spinach saute
Thanksgiving is such a joyous holiday in my mind. It is about the bounty of the harvest, about people sharing what foods that represent their heritage and of course the turkey.  In recent cooking classes that I attended, each shared their recipe of a turkey roulade, one with a forcemeat stuffing and the other with a chestnut and bread stuffing. A whole turkey can be daunting to some. For me, I’ve given up on cooking a whole turkey and just do the turkey breast because my family members only eat the white meat.

Tante Marie Cooking School has a video out about cooking a f**king turkey.

Get the recipes, watch the video: A little something on the side – four side dish recipes for your table

Monday, November 21, 2011

Enjoy Happy Happy at TEN TEN-New Baltimore restaurant kicks off their Happy Hour

Harbor East is just a buzz with new restaurants and one of the most recent is TEN TEN (@BagbysTenTen), located inside of the courtyard adjacent to Bagby Pizza Company at 1010 (hence the name) Fleet Street.  The restaurant concept is bistro, new American  and I have to say the menus for lunch, dinner and happy hour offerings are intriguing to my foodie soul. Happy hour starts at 3 p.m. and runs through 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Actually the menu for happy hour is a great way to taste a selection of items Executive Chef Mark Davis is offering on his lunch and dinner menu 

Read the full story HERE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It’s Italian: Dine at La Scala and enjoy a Fiat 500 celebration

Chef Nico Germano
Chef Nino Germano of La Scala Ristorante Italiano  (@lascaladining) cordially invites you to view the new 2012 Fiat 500S this Thursday, November 17th.  A special Fiat (@Fiat500C) inspired menu awaits you along with prizes and giveaways the entire evening.

Get the full details and watch the video HERE

Monday, November 14, 2011

Towson’s Dining Gem – Havana Road Cuban Café

Havana Road Cuban Café - I’ve been, I ate and now I have a Cuban accent. There are pluses and minuses for being self-employed and one of the pluses is being able to grab lunch with a friend and take as long as I want to enjoy the food and the company.  Downtown Diane Macklin (@downtowndiane) wanted me to meet Marta Ines Quintana, the chef owner of Havana Road Cuban Café, enjoy her family fresh Cuban dishes and learn more about her Cuban retail products.

Havana Road Cuban Café  (@Havana_Road) just celebrated its first year anniversary in the little cafe at 8 W. Pennsylvania Avenue where both lunch and dinner are served, catering and a burgeoning retail food business.

Check out the cooking video, slide show and full story HERE Havana Road Cuban Cafe on Urbanspoon

Gingerbread house decorating and tea events for children

Creating those special moments for your child, niece, nephew or grandchild are rare, a moment they always remember, look back and treasure the special time shared with you.  It is with that in mind that I write about Maja’s Kitchen Gingerbread House Decorating and Candlelight Teas classes for children ages 5 to 12 and their adult companions.  Each child decorates one house with the help of the adult. Every child receives a pre-built house, a pastry bag filled with Royal Icing, and lots and, lots of candy to choose from to decorate their special Gingerbread House for the holidays.

Get class details and dates HERE

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bart Simpson, Tony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay – Watch The Food Wife

Mark your calendars for this Sunday to watch The Simpsons.  Bart, Lisa and Marge start a food blog called the Three Mouthcateers, the episode is called The Food Wife. Hubby Homer gets jealous and becomes the star literally hogging the attention.  Tony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay make guest appearances along with caricatures of Julia Child, the Swedish Chef, and more...check out the whole story and video HERE

Michael Mina’s Wit & Wisdom Tavern in the Four Seasons Hotel debuts in Baltimore

The only thing missing were the klieg lights for the official grand opening party of Wit & Wisdom, A Tavern by Michael Mina (@witwisdomtavern) and LAMILL Coffee both located in the new Four Seasons hotel (@FSBaltimore).  As we drove to the entrance there were close to a dozen valets waiting to take your car.  After checking in the Four Season’s general manager, Julien Carralero was introduced to us and welcomed us personally.  The restaurant opens officially on Monday, November 14th.

Food, chefs, guests - where does one go first? 

I can’t say enough about the look of Wit & Wisdom, warm tones, cushy seating, two fireplaces and chefs with culinary pedigrees that plan to shake things up in Baltimore.  Mina (@chefmichaelmina), who has created his own restaurant empire, is in the league of other great restaurateurs the likes of Drew Nieporent and Danny Meyer. Bourbon Steak is his signature steakhouse with the closest being in Washington DC.

Read the full story, check out the photo slide show and Michael Mina video HERE 

Wit & Wisdom Tavern on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Save the tomato aspic! The historic Women's Exchange needs your help

Over the years that I worked at the Heart Association of Maryland there were numerous times lunch was spent at the Historic Women’s Exchange.  That was some 40 years ago but I still remember their simple yet delicious lunches of chicken salad and tomato aspic.

On the corner of North Charles Street and Pleasant Street the Women’s Exchange supported women and their crafts for over 130 years.  Things changed in 2002 with others taking over the location.  The goal is to reopen on November 25th. Read the full story HERE

Thursday, November 03, 2011

November Foodie Charity Pick of the Month: Signature Chefs Auction of Central MD

Chef John Walsh, Event Chair
A do good evening that feeds your soul and your tummies. On Monday, November 14th the March of Dimes Maryland has an amazing event that is “all about food.”  It is called the Signature Chefs Auction and yes you might bring a chef home with you.  A wonderful culinary walk about to local chef’s food stations but a tremendous auction where if your bid is the right number you just might have that chef in your home cooking for you.

Get the full details HERE   


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