Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016


In the last few years, many local Taiwanese communities held the annual Hello Taiwan! charity concert and raised over $25,000 to support different non-profit organizations. Also through the event, the “Hello Taiwan” charity concert is able to showcase top Taiwanese and New York local musical talent to the community. This year, we’re excited to invite three musician groups that are already making waves in the music scene in New York City to join the charity concert which will take place on Sunday, October 30, 5-9pm, at the Taiwan Center, located at 137-44 Northern Blvd.
Even better, their Taiwanese Food Bazaar will feature delectable and authentic Taiwanese dishes that you can’t find anywhere else. In addition, this year’s concert also falls on Halloween’s Eve. Anyone who dresses up in a costume will receive a bottle of free beer or soda at the event.

All proceeds from the event will go to support the Hurricane Matthew’s Apocalyptic Aftermath in Haiti. So with good food, good music, and a good cause – what else could you ask for?
Patrick Huang said, “Specifically, the charity concert has donated to Breezy Point firemen whose houses burned down in Hurricane Sandy 2012, typhoon victims in Philippines 2013, domestic violence victims in Queens and Brooklyn 2014, and concert fire burn victims in Taiwan 2015.
It's an annual effort by young Taiwanese Americans. Their heart is bigger than their pocket but nevertheless it's a noble attempt.”

A free admission “Small Eats Bazaar” will take place from 5PM-6PM.  The concert begins at 6PM with a $10 Admission charge.  Food Sales will continue.  Hello Taiwan is being organized by Diana Lee, founder of, TAANY/Passport to Taiwan, and Tai-Ke New York.

Here is the lineup for the concert. 

Treya is a Brooklyn based singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with an extensive foundation in classical music. Her cinematic songs are built with ethereal vocals that sit over Nina Simone inspired piano, meditative guitar and lush chamber arrangements. Treya has shared stages with Yo-Yo Ma and the late jazz pianist Billy Taylor as a string player in various youth orchestras that have performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Beginning piano lessons at a young age, she has over 10 years of formal training under her belt. The time spent in the classical world is evident in Treya’s artful performances – moving fluidly between piano, guitar and viola in the studio and on the stage. Treya has an impressive performance record that includes official CMJ and SXSW showcases, multiple residencies at the Ace Hotel in New York, appearances at the Standard Hotels in New York and LA, Sofar Sounds in the UK and US and at the legendary Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre.

Late Cambrian is an asian male/female Indie Rock Duo from Brooklyn NYC. They make fun melodic Indie Electro-Pop LP’s and perform a guitar based Indie Rock show of the same songs. Their songs have been heard on numerous MTV and BRAVO TV shows. They are currently recording a brand new EP for a late 2016 release.

Led by double-necked fretless guitarist Simon C.F. Yu, r.O.T.i. (Resilience of the Intelligent) has been making waves on the New York scene with their hard-hitting brand of funk rock. Incorporating musical elements from his native Hong Kong (along with strong jazz and metal influences), r.O.T.i. stands alone with an exciting sound that is rarely heard within the jazz/rock idiom. After graduating from Berklee School of Music, Yu began to collaborate with many of the top artists in the NYC music scene such as Evan Marien, Sean Nowell’s Kung Fu Masters, Snarky Puppy..etc  In 2011 Yu toured with Hip-Hip icon Ms.Lauryn Hill for 23 shows as a lead guitarist. In 2013 Yu was featured in MISA festival in Shanghai for a sold out show with his band The Exotic Experiment.

Participating groups include: North America Taiwanese Women’s Association of New York, Taiwanese American Association of Greater New York, Taiwanese American Council of Greater New York, Taiwanese American Professionals of New York, Formosan Association for Public Affairs Young Professionals Group, Federation of Taiwanese Student Associations in New York, NYC Taiwanese & Taiwanese Friends Network, Association of Taiwanese Alumni in Greater New York and Taiwan Center.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Here’s hoping we have a few months of autumn before the winter cold sets in.   Halloween brings Thanksgiving, which brings on the winter holidays.  What better way to celebrate all of them than with Fairytale Brownies and friends.  Be creative.  Here are some ideas. I’m sure you’ll think of your own.

I am partial to the original chocolate brownies and the ones with chocolate chips.  Hi, my name is Merle.  I’m a Chocoholic. Fairytale Brownies are producing cookies as well.  Soft batch cookies, which are almost as fudgy as the brownies.  Chocolate is not my favorite flavor of their cookies.  Mint chocolate is and soooo much better than the Girl Scout ilk.  

Let’s begin the dessert ideas with creating a few syrups…they are not too difficult.   Chocolate syrup requires cocoa, sugar, water and a touch of vanilla extract.  Combine in a pot and keep stirring.  You don’t need a lot of water.  The idea is to make sure that the sugar is melted, the cocoa powder is completely stirred in without lumps and the mixture is cooked down.  Now it becomes a syrup.  It stores easily in a jar.   You can take a couple of spoonfuls and stir into a tall glass of non-homogenized Ronnybrook Farm milk.   

For a second syrup, brew some coffee.  Again, it’s now a matter of putting into a pot, adding sugar and allowing it to boil down to a syrupy consistency.   Coffee Milk is a staple of Rhode Island.  Use decaf for this if you want your offspring to indulge. 

Whipped cream, whether made fresh or in a can, tends to be expensive when compare to using sour cream mixed with powdered sugar.   Rather than buying powdered sugar, I take the regular and place in a spice blender.  Works great.  Mixing the sweetened sour cream with either of the syrups and placing in the freezer, creates a delicious frozen dessert on its own.

The following works as either a no-bake pie or parfait.  Use a brownie for the pie crust.  I suggest that you get both brownies and blondies.  When you are about to serve, add the frozen dessert.  This way, the brownie stays soft.  Crumble up a mint chocolate cookie and sprinkle on the top or mix it in with the frozen dessert.   

As an alternative, drizzle the syrup on top.  If you are building a parfait, alternate using the coffee and chocolate syrup for a great mocha flavor.

Brownie art is fun for the family.  Buy the largest size and cut off the corners to design a round face.  Use the cut off pieces for arms and legs.   M&Ms are great for decoration due to the colors.  You can also utilize fruit.  Let your artist talent come through.   What would YOU do for brownie points?

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Barbara Toborg with a plate from Weiss's, a former BC restaurant

Michael Clarity with wife, Mary (author) are present for a signing of the book entitled Old Salt

Dinnerware from Weiss's restaurant

Barbara Toborg and Stacey Pfeffer Amato discuss Hurricane Sandy

Ed Wilmarth, from the Volunteer Fire Dept shows off his 1957 Mercury


 State Senator Tony Avella and organizer Barry Packer

 Judges table

 a few attendees

While it may be incontestable that chicken soup is good for you, the question of who makes the best chicken soup is one that many people in many places have asked. “Deli Man,” a 2014 documentary, told the story of Congregation Emanu El in Houston, Texas, which ran a Chicken Soup Cook-Off for many years. There have been cook-offs in the New York City area as well, but until now the partcipants have mostly been amateur chefs and judges.
Barry Packer, a trustee of Beth Sholom Synagogue in Flushing, decided to up the ante a bit, and hold a chicken-soup competition where the cooks were from area restaurants and other food establishments. The resulting event, the 1st Annual Chicken Soup Cook-Off, was held last Saturday.
The participants all provided their own versions of chicken soup, and each was then judged by a panel that included state Sen. Tony Avella; Newsday lifestyle columnist Marge Perry; Brett Reichler, executive chef at Gallagher’s Steak House; culinary professor Tom Smyth and New York Post sportswriter Steve Serby.
“When I received a call asking to judge a food contest, I almost turned it down until I heard that it was all about chicken soup,” said Avella. “I love chicken soup, especially one that is hearty.”
Although vendors such as Ben’s at Bay Terrace, Rego Park’s Ben’s Best and Oakland Gardens’ Buddy’s Kosher Deli were among the competitors, there were some others whose offerings went beyond “traditional” chicken soup. These restaurants included Cascarino’s, Anthony’s, Seven Seas Diner, Terrace Dinner, Maria’s Mediterranean Seafood and Grill, Buddy’s, Skyline Diner, Panera Bread, Bell Diner and Bayside Milk Farm, who packed their soup with various vegetables.
With Saturday a busy evening for most restaurants, only three of the vendors—Ben’s, Terrace Diner and Chef Elvis’ Caribbean Cuisine—sent out their own chefs to ladle their soups. All of the other restaurants were being covered by volunteers.
Judges broke the competitors into traditional and international categories, awarding prizes for first, second and third place. Attendees cast their own ballots for the top three vendors as People’s Choice awards.
In the international category, Mythos Authentic Greek Restaurant took top honors for its lemony rendition of chicken soup. Judges voted a three-way tie for the traditional variety: Ben’s, Anthony’s and Terrace Diner. There was a two-way tie for second place in the international category, with Iavarone Bros. and Chef Elvis taking that honor.
Packer counted 87 votes for the People’s Choice award, with Chef Elvis coming in as the winner, Ben’s taking second place and Iavarone Bros. third. Ten-year-old Aviva Kaufman from Bayside was elected by her mother to do the voting. “My favorite was Ben’s,” she said. “I liked the soup and the big fluffy matzo ball.” It was the size of a baseball and served in a pint container. Latkes were offered as well.
The Bagel Shoppe provided mini bagels, while Maggie Moo’s took care of dessert with its non-dairy ice cream.
Packer said he was extremely pleased with the way the evening turned out. “It was mind-boggling to step back, as I did a couple of times throughout the night, and just take it all in—from the number of people, to the smooth flow of the night, to the extreme generosity of all of our vendors—either by being there with their soups or by offering gift certificates for our raffle,” he said.
He also said that this is likely just the beginning of a tradition at Beth Sholom. “Each of the five judges said to let them know the date for next year and they will be back, as did the vendors I had a chance to talk with afterwards. My team is already discussing the date and details for the 2nd Annual Chicken-Soup Cook-Off in October 2017. From what our early estimates show, I believe that we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 people. And, that is not to mention all of the raffle tickets that were sold. Now we will have a definitive goal for next year.”
Since there were leftovers at the end of the evening, attendees were welcome to get chicken soup to go. What about the rest? Barry wasn’t sure at the time but the thought of donating to a soup kitchen seemed appropriate.
Updated 9:28 am, October 19, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Pink Marble #3 2016
Pink Marble #2 2016
Milky Way 2003

Milky Way 1988

Glacier Garden 2003