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Entries in Contests (29)


Twelve for 2012!

The year 2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon. But here on John and Elana Talk About Food, it's the Year of the Pizza. In order to start this year off right, we are kicking it off with a giveaway! You like free stuff, yes?

Yes! And free stuff is what you shall have.

You also like pizza, yes? No? Then why are you here? Seriously, let's talk about this...

Of course you like pizza! So, it follows that you must like free pizza.

We are not giving away free pizza... I'm sorry. BUT! We are giving away free Top Your Pizza Cookbooks. Twelve of them, in fact, to mark the year 2012.

In our Top Your Pizza Cookbook you will learn to make the following pies:

You will also get our trusty and reliable dough recipe that comes with helpful photographs and tips on getting your dough just right:

We also wax poetical on things like:

The Magnificent Pizza Peel and other fine the unsung hero - TONGS! Oh yes.

Finally, you will also be subject to my food photography which gets you up-close-and-personal with a fried leaf of sage:

Shows off the delicate entanglement of onions and gooey cheese:

And pizza in its purest form:

So what do you have to do to win one of the 12 cookbooks? We want you to like us. Our egos been running on low these days. We need a pat on the back...a thumbs up... So, if you like us, let us know by liking us on Facebook! The first 12 NEW people to like us on Facebook will receive one of these Top Your Pizza Cookbooks.

So, head on over to The John and Elana Facebook page and click "Like."

If you do, you will have pizza recipes and our eternal gratitude. And John may tell you how his hair does that funny flippy-thing. Maybe...

This offer will run until those first 12 people click "like"!




I Left My Stomach in San Francisco!

Before I get into it, a note of thanks. To all of you.

I had a fantastic birthday. Off the charts. And many of you had something to do with it. So thank you.

And thank you, San Francisco. What a great city to celebrate in...i ate everything it offered. Well....almost. It was close, people, very close. I'm going to take you on a fun tour of what I ate in San Francisco over the next few days – the highlights.

The below image is a hotel room collage of some of the evidence:

Not everything in this photograph is edible. But Elana's Gastronomic Tour of San Francisco will cover such topics as:

Tartine Bakery – a line worth waiting on. Bring a large bag. Fill it with pastry. Get back on line. Repeat.

The Ferry Building Farmers Market – Thank goodness I do not live within walking distance of this place. They would have all my money. And I would leave with things like packages of dried heirloom tomatoes, farm fresh meats and mushmallows. Yeah, I said "mushmallow." More on that later.

Una Pizza Napoletana – The crust! Ye GODS, the crust!

California Wine – YES! I'm now especially fond of a Carignane from Donkey and Goat.

Bi-Rite – I have a gourmet food-related impulse purchase problem (*see also Ferry Building Farmers Market).

California Coffee – Four Barrel vs. Blue Bottle. I will take both early and often, please!

Socks – It was kind of chilly. So I bought some. Aided by a few Gin Bloody Marys at an extended brunch featuring a duck ragout.

And speaking of gin...Speakeasies! Sidle through the secret door, study the 40 page epic drink menu, and keep your voice down for crying out loud. This is an establishment of repute!

I will take you through all this. Slowly, and with patience. And then we will detox... just in time for Thanksgiving.

But we also have a winner!

I decided to give away one of my Top Your Pizza cookbooks plus a little San Fran treat. The treat is a fun package of caramels I picked up at the Ferry Building. And the winner? The winner is MADDIE! Maddie, I'll give you a shout via email. Thanks for commenting!


A Birthday Give Away!

Monday is my birthday. It's the big 3-5. Unlike some other people on this blog, I enjoy celebrating birthdays. Particularly my own. People say nice things to me. I think they feel obligated. So I let them. Some of them even buy me gifts. Go nuts. No complaining here.

This year for my birthday, I bought myself a gift: A trip to San Francisco. I haven't been to San Fran since I lived on the West Coast, and when I lived on the Westerly side of the country, I was in SoCal not NoCal, so I didn't get up there much.

My friend Kaz who lives in L.A. is obligingly meeting me there, so we are going to have a little Foodie weekend. I promise you pictures! I promise you food reports (especially from this place)! I promise you all kinds of nonsense!

In return I ask for not much. Except.....

Well, I decided to run a little give away. Perhaps you heard that we have a pizza cookbook? I'd love to encourage you to buy it, as it's for a good cause. However, I will be giving away a copy of the cookbook PLUS a little treat (yet to be named) from San Francisco.

What do you have to do?

Please comment on this blog post. Send me some birthday wishes. Tell John to get his hair cut, whatever (I'd prefer the birthday wishes).

I will pick one commenter and award the prize to that person. Sound good?

You have until midnight of November 7th to post your comments.


A Bathroom of the Month Showdown! Vote for September's Favorite

Guys, this is serious. I don't normally ask for help. I'm not really comfortable with that. I can do it myself – that's my motto.

But this month it's different. This month, well let's face it: there are too many GREAT BATHROOMS. I'm serious.

We kicked things off with ABC Kitchen's artfully distressed mirror:

Were delighted by Italian-geometried floors and wood paneling at Prime Meats:

Impressed by Peels' extra coordination between appliances and fixtures (not to mention fancy soap):

Downright tickled by the escape route from Jeffrey's Grocery's loo:

And finally enchanted by The National's decorative tile array:

So what to do? Well, I'm asking you for your vote! Vote for your favorite bathroom from the above options, and post your vote in the comments section. The winning restaurant will be BATHROOM OF THE MONTH.

AND to sweeten the pot (no pun intended...) I will randomly choose one commenter from the array and he/she will be awarded a special (by which I mean "yet to be named") prize.

Oh yes, there will be prizes. Contest closes Sunday, October 2nd at midnight, EST.


Fried and True – Pie by Pie Fried Pizza from Dozzino!

There's a time and a place to fry things. And from reading this blog, you might think that means anytime and anywhere. Consider for example, our enthusiasm for:

Fried green tomatoes

Fried zucchini blossoms

Fried pickles

Fried hot dogs

Fried seafood (calamari!)

Fried chicken AND turkeys

And even fried eggs.

Hmmm....perhaps the name of this blog should be "John and Elana Talk About Fried Food," because now we are going to encourage you to have some FRIED PIZZA. Yes, I said it: fried pizza.

And we are going to (enthusiastically) direct you, once again, to Dozzino in Hoboken for their fried pizza.

According to Marc Magliozzi, one of the owners and pizza chefs, the fried pie is deep fried then thrown in the wood-burning oven for about 25-30 seconds. 
The two options they offer are La Fried Pizza (essentially a Margherita pie with fried dough) and a Fried Nutella.
I sampled the Fried Nutella (topped with Italian Nutella). Marc describes it as a cross between a pizza, a doughnut & a zeppole (with Nutella, of course). And in my book, it's all wonderful. The crust is crispy, airy (check out the giant bubbles in the above photo) and quite flavorful. The frying gives the crust an extra crunch on the outside while preserving the chewiness of the inner dough. And moisture! This technique locks it in, let me tell you.

Dozzino usually makes their fried pies during the day, but will churn 'em out at night occasionally. Look for them on the special board from time to time as well.

And, as EXTRA enticement (did you need some) Marc and the guys at Dozzino are giving us a $25 gift certificate to give away on this blog. This is very exciting. Fried pizza kind of exciting! To be entered win the gift certificate, all you have to do is comment on this post. Tell us your favorite kind of pizza.

Extra points if you say, "Hey, Mr. Fancy, feel better, ok?"

Check out our other posts on Dozzino here, here and here. Now get commenting. I'll be in my kitchen frying pizza dough...