The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

Which Girl Scout Cookie is America’s Favorite?

I recently placed my annual Girl Scout cookie order, a day I look FAR too forward to each year.

And while I was sitting there debating so many good choices — Oh, the agony! — it got me thinking. Which Girl Scout cookie really is the most popular?

Turns out it’s not even close.

According to a new Good Morning America/ poll, Thin Mints ran away from the competition with 49% of the vote. My personal favorites, Samoas and Tagalongs, came in second and third — at 28% and 11%, respectively — followed by Do-Si-Dos and Trefoils, both at 6%.

So what’s yours? And, more importantly, just how many boxes did you order??

Greenbrier Chef Wins National Culinary Contest

How’s this for a happy ending?

Those who followed last week’s blog item ( on Greenbrier chef Richard Rosendale competing for a chance to represent the U.S. in the “world olympics” of cooking will be thrilled to hear he did exactly that.

The 36-year-old has beat out three other American finalists for the chance to represent our country at the International Bocuse D’Or competition in Lyon, France, on Jan. 23, 2013.

Rosendale chopped his competion Sunday at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., during a marathon five-plus hour challenge in which he had to prepare two protein platters (one chicken, one cod) accompanied by three fancy garnishes.

Executive chef at The Greenbrier since the fall of 2009, Rosendale has more more than 45 national and international culinary medals and is one of fewer than 100 Master Certified Chefs in the country. He’ll now spend the next year in an intenstive yearlong training program leading up to the international contest.

Greenbrier Chef to Appear/Cook on “Today” Show

West Virginia’s culinary scene will get a little nationwide publicity when The Greenbrier’s Executive Chef appears on Thursday’s “Today” show during the 9 a.m. hour.

Richard Rosendale will present two of the resorts classic dishes while also discussing his attempt to represent America in the 2013 Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France. That competition is considered the “Olympics” of the culinary world, and Chef Rosendale is in the running for one of four spots on the team.

Go, Richard, go!

“Do Something With Snow Peas,” She Says

It was my turn to cook dinner last night, so all day yesterday I had visions of new cool dishes dancing in my head.

Then I get this text from my better half: “Can you do something with snow peas? I don’t want them to go bad.”

LOVE a good cooking challenge!

But this one got even trickier when I realized I wouldn’t have time to run to the story for my pick of necessary ingredients. I’d just have to make do with what we had on hand.

Lucked out there.

I ran home to find a few bacon-wrapped filets in the freezer from a recent “buy one, get one free” sale (BOGO, people!) at Kroger. While still slightly frozen, I easily cut them into thin slices and seared them in a hot skillet with a little olive oil, garlic and ginger.

Then I removed the cooked beef and, in the same pan, added beef broth to the pan juices and cranked up the heat. When this started bubbling, I added a splash of soy sauce and chopped carrots, cooking them a few minutes until they started to soften.

Next, I added the snow peas, chopped scallions and about a half-cup of prepared Asian orange-garlic sauce that, thank GOD, we had leftover from a previous experiment. I added the beef slices back to the pan and let the whole mixture simmer until the sauce thickened a bit and the flavors started to meld.

After spooning my fantastic (I must say) impromptu beef stir-fry over rice and serving it to salivating family members, I sat back and basked in another cooking challenge conquered.

Even better, I’ll enjoy the last bit of leftovers for lunch here in a bit.

Pasta Poll: More Would Give Up Chocolate First

Are you more likely to pick pasta or choose chocolate? To worship angel hair or covet cocoa? Faint over fettuccini or melt over go gaga over Ghirardelli?

Well, according to a recent survey by the National Pasta Association, more Americans pick pasta over chocolate as the one food they couldn’t live without. Nearly 60 percent of Americans ages 18-54 said they would give up chocolate before they’d skip the spaghetti, macaroni or fusilli.

According to the survey, an average American eats pasta seven times per month and has five packages of dry pasta in their cupboard or pantry. Tallied up, Americans eat about 20 pounds of pasta per person in the U.S. each year. 

Which pasta is found on more plates?  Thirty-two percent of those surveyed say spaghetti is their personal favorite, followed by angel hair with 16% of the votes and penne with 11%. The lowly bowtie came in last at only 4%.

As for the debate, I add only this: Thank goodness we don’t have to choose only one.

New Krispy Kreme App: So Good, But So Very Bad

For those of you who tuned in to my live chat on healthy eating yesterday, please skip this post. (Hey, we ALL have our weaknesses!)

Finally, a food app really worth downloading!! 

If you’ve ever stalked your local Krispy Kreme waiting for that drool-inducing red “Hot Light” to shine, the chain just launched a free “Hot Light” app and desktop widget to help guide you to its signature warm doughnuts right as they come out of the kitchen.

The new tool includes …

  • Mobile Locator: Using your smartphone, you can enter a zip code to locate the closest Krispy Kreme location.
  • Website Locator: From your computer, the website locator will help you locate any Krispy Kreme shop in the U.S. – and will identify locations with “Hot Lights” on in your search area.
  • iPhone/Android Mobile App: Allows you to register to receive alerts when the Hot Light is on in your area. You can also get directions to your nearest Krispy Kreme and share Hot Light alerts with friends and family.
  • Tweet Your Zip Code: Tweet #HotNow and your zipcode and they’ll tweet you your nearest Krispy Kreme location.
  • Desktop Widget: When downloaded, a Hot Light icon on your desktop taskbar will alert you when the Hot Light is activated at your nearest shop. (GET OUT!) The desktop widget also allows you to print directions, search for other locations, and share Hot Light info on Facebook and Twitter.

You can get the app/widget and learn more at

Live Online Chat: Eating Right in the New Year

Happy New Year, fellow foodies!

And now that 2012 is here, it’s time to get serious (and resolve yet again) to eat better food — not only to look and feel great, but to be healthier too.

Join me and local dietitian Amy Gannon for a live online chat this Monday, Jan. 2, on how to eat right in the new year. We’ll offer tips to help make the transition to a heathier diet easier, plus take your questions too.

We’ll kick things off at 3 p.m. Monday. Just click here to join the chat!

You Could Be the Next Online Food Star!

Think you have what it takes to be the next Food Channel online star?

The popular network is introducing a new show called “Pitch Place,” which gives viewers a chance to pitch their own food show. You can do a cooking demo, tour local food haunts or even produce a food-related drama or comedy show.

All you need to do is create a 2-3 minute video demonstrating what your show concept is. Have fun with it — do your cooking demonstration or show your mad comedy or dramatic skills. Make it entertaining, about food and different than other things out there.

 There’s even an extra incentive to try out: the chance to win a Coby Kyros 10″ Android Tablet Computer valued at $350.

So pull out your camera (video, Flip, iPhone, whatev!) and start shooting.

But you’d better make it quick. Show concepts must be submitted by Jan. 9.

For more information — including rules and details on submitting your pitch — visit

A Spicy Take on This Year’s Holiday Ham

It’s hard to beat a good honey-glazed ham – at Christmas or any time – and I’m not saying you should even try.

But if you ARE looking for ways to spice up your traditional holiday feast, how about a ham glazed with a hot-sweet-sour combination of sorghum, chipotle and Grand Marnier? Sounds pretty good to me.

Courtesy of the folks at Texas Pete Hot Sauce, this recipe promises to drop a “flavor bomb” …

Chipotle, Brown Sugar & Sorghum Glaze

1 cup chipotle hot sauce
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup sorghum
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup thyme, dried
2 Tbsp. black pepper, fresh ground

  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk together thoroughly.
  2. Use as a marinade, basting sauce, glaze or finishing sauce.

Bridge Brew Craft Beers Shine in Private Tasting

I had a wonderful opportunity to sample some truly fine West Virginia craft beers at a holiday gathering this week.

At The Manahan Group’s ‘Winter Manaland,” my buddy/owner George rolled out the green carpet (and made it snow on Capitol Street!) for friends and clients at a private tasting of three brews from Fayetteville’s increasingly popular Bridge Brew Works. Then it was downstairs to ever-popular Pies & Pints for a smorgasbord of mighty fine pizza, salads and more beer.

On the special tasting menu …

  • LONGPOINT LAGER: A local interpretation of a “Dortmunder Export” brewed in the traditional German style, this lager gave off aromas of biscuits and hops and was smooth-going-down with a malt-derived caramel, nutty and slightly bitter finish.
  • BELGIAN-STYLE TRIPEL: Brewed in tribute to the beers of Trappist monks, this strong pale ale was a complex blend of malty brewer’s yeast balanced with lemon and spices for an effervescent almost Champagne-like feel going down. Really nice.
  • TRUBELL STRONG ALE: This powerful (11.2% alcohol) Belgium-style “quadruple” made with vast amounts of malted barley and traditional yeast was so-named because — after a pint or two — one might easily find themselves in a little “trubell.” So take it easy, but enjoy the dark fruits, caramel, spices and underlying tropical fruit that mark this masterpiece. I’ve really never sampled a beer quite like it.

It was a great night of food, friends and tasty adult beverages. Tis the season!