Friday, February 8, 2008

Food Finds: Pierogi Plus

By Pat Tanner

Once a month the good people of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Hillsborough cook up a dinner of authentic dishes from their Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and Slovakian heritages. From when the doors swing open to the public at the unfashionably early hour of 4 p.m. and until they close at 7, about 400 diners feast on tasty, made-from-scratch stuffed cabbage rolls, kielbasa, potato pierogi topped with sour cream, buttery bowtie pasta with cabbage - even mashed potatoes and gravy. A downright steal at $11 ($5 for children) this bargain meal is rounded out with salad, rye bread, sheet cake, and hot and cold drinks.

The driving force behind the dinners is Ted Petrock, the church’s resident executive chef, who is also a parishioner and who runs the church’s catering arm, Heavenly Catering. He learned to cook in the military – at the Pentagon cooking for the likes of Colin Powell and Caspar Weinberger – then attended culinary school in New York, and was at one time executive chef at Rutgers University.

St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church is at 1900 Brooks Boulevard, Hillsborough. The next Slavic dinner takes place on Wednesday, February 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. Just show up hungry – very hungry - on the appointed day and time and eat hearty. For more information call 908. 725.0615.

Want to try your own hand at making pierogi? Or any of 100 varieties of filled dumplings, pockets, and little pies from around the globe? Then Edison-based author-photographer Brian Yarvin’s newest cookbook A World of Dumplings (Countryman Press 2007) is for you. His color photographs are invaluable for demonstrating dough making, shaping, steaming, and frying.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Book Beat: Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly

By Kimberly Baldwin

My daughter Storey thinks butterflies are simply exquisite. And so does Fancy Nancy -- as we learn in this magical new story from bestselling duo Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser.

Nancy, like her literary predecessors Eloise and Olivia, is a glamour queen dropped into a boring world, where nobody is "fancy" at all. In the newly-released Bonjour, Butterfly, our favorite princess gets a surprise lesson from her grandparents. (Looks like fancy runs in the family after all!)

Meet Fancy Nancy's posh creator Jane O'Connor on Sunday, February 10 at 1 p.m. at the Clinton Bookshop, 33 Main Street, Clinton. (Feathered boas not required.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fashion Forward: Necessary Basics

By Leigh Boriskin

When transitioning from the blustery weather of fall and winter to the sunny, and uplifting spirits of spring and summer breezes, nothing like basic, cotton blends feel as good next to your skin.

Michael Stars brings us those silky essential from tees, to tanks, and flirty dresses.

My favorites for the new season include the lovely Maggie dress in a juicy red hue, the Raglan scoop neck with 3/4-length sleeves, and the Beater Heather striped tank, an essential layering piece.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New and Noteworthy: Candice Olson Wall-coverings

By Kathy Shaskan

Popular TV designer Candice Olson has a new line of sophisticated wall-coverings from York Wall. Shown above is the dotted paisley pattern. York wall-coverings are available through many New Jersey retailers.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Monday Muse: Paul Stanley

By Kimberly Baldwin

Who knew that KISS front man Paul Stanley had such a passion for painting? Certainly not me! Turns out "The Starchild" made his debut as a painter in 2005 and continues to create emotionally charged compositions, citing Kandinsky, Mondrian, Klee, and Rothko as influences. And collectors are gobbling his works up; Stanley's art sales exceeded $2 million for 2007.

Stanley will present his work at two special appearances at the Wentworth Galleries in Hackensack on Friday, February 8 and Short Hills on Saturday, February 9. Both events are free and open to the public, but require an RSVP.

Friday, February 8, 6 to 9 p.m.
Wentworth Gallery – Riverside Square Mall
171 Riverside Square
RSVP: 201.488.7661

Saturday February 9, 4 to 7 p.m.
Wentworth Gallery – Short Hills Mall
1200 Morris Turnpike
Short Hills
RSVP: 973.564.9776