We’re back in action!

Wesstuffed is up and running again with new editors! Check out our dorky bios and if you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook! We will be having our first interest meeting on Wednesday, the 21st of October. 7pm in Exley 139. Be there! We are looking for enthusiastic food lovers to write articles/columns. Please come check us out! There will be food and good company.

Yours truly,

Sadichchha and Amanda

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Daniel Family Commons Revealed!

I have spent many a daydream imagining the Daniel Family Commons. In my mind, this venue, that is frequented by Wesleyan professors and their invited students, has always seemed coveted, exclusive, and highly mysterious. I imagined a golden spiral staircase hidden in the depths of the Usdan University Center. The higher you climbed it, the brighter it became, until you were covered in a cloud of light. A classical string courtet would be playing in the corner. Pink azaelias would sit in elegant glass vases, with waiters in tails constantly nourishing them with fresh spring water. and then you entered the dining room,. The most elite of socialites (the Wesleyan faculty), would be dining on caviar and filet mignon, and discussing the latest in stem cell research, or medieval French literature, or the intricacies of the brain.

Well, today for the first time, my dreams of eating at the Daniel Family Commons became reality, thanks to my Italian professor Ellen Nerenberg. At approximately 12:01, Alex and I stepped into the lobby, ready to experience the magic of Bon Appetit’s faculty dining.

Although it didn’t quite meet my extravagent expectations, the DFC has a very pleasant atmosphere. The big windows fill the room with sunlight, and provide a wonderful view of campus. Upon walking in, the first area that one enters is the lobby, which contains several lounge chairs, as well as a counter where you can check in. The main dining room is significantly smaller than the student dining hall. The tables are covered in white table cloths, and silver water pitchers with glass cups grace each surface. Rather than the plastic chairs in Usdan, the DFC boasts wooden chairs. The floor is covered in a rug, and artwork hangs on the walls.

The “floor”, where the food is located,  is also much less large than ours. Two small counters hold all of the dishes, which include one vegan protein, one meat dish, several sides, a small salad bar, two kinds of soup, and a variety of fruits and desserts.

salad bar

The main course options seemed fairly similar to Usdan, with marinated seitan and a chicken dish, potaotes, cabbage, and broccoli. The salad bar  also had similar features, but was much smaller, and the two soups were the same kinds that the marketplace has. Differences included the presence of small yogurt parfaits, and a variety of fruit options, including grapes, strawberries, and fruit salad. Additionally, the desserts were a little nicer, with a full red velvet cake, red velvet cupcakes, a few kinds of cookies, and a cake-like item filled with raspberry cream and covered in chocolate. They did not have ice cream or frozen yogurt, nor did they have a kosher, gluten free options, or sandwich line. Instead, they had two sandwich specials, both of which were displayed on plates, covered in seran wrap. Rather than a drink machine, beverages were presented in silver pitchers, and included water, iced tea, lemonade, and a sweetened chai that was especially delicious. Coffee and hot tea were also available.

Overall, the main differences between the Daniel Family Commons and the Usdan Market Place were in presentation and quantity. The plates were a bit larger, and were a somewhat modern, square shape, the cups were made of glass, and the cultlery wasmore elegant. Once you were done eating, a server would come and clear your plate. The food was of similar quality, but the DFC had less options.

If you have the opportunity to go to the Daniel Family Commons, I would highly recommend it. It’s a fun break from the usual, and the beautiful presentation makes the experience sophisticated and classy, not to mention that talking to professors can be very interesting.

So, perhaps it did not add up to my dillusions of grandeur, but the DFC is pretty fun. Go for a classy (free) meal, a fascinating conversation, and the ability to say “Oh, the Daniel Family Commons? I’ve been there”.

-Ari

NoRA Cupcake Poll Winners!

Here are the winners for our weekly NoRA Cupcake poll!

Oreo Mudlside – Chocolate chocolate chip cake filled with Oreo and Baileys cream filling topped with Mocha buttercream.

Snickers – chocolate cake baked with snickers bar candies topped with vanilla buttercream, peanuts, and caramel.

Ginger Pear – Pear and Ginger cake with salted caramel buttercream with candied ginger.

Nice choices, Wes!

As usual, the lil’ NoRA cupcake truck will be on William Street from 11 pm to 2 am Thursday through Saturday night from 11 pm to 2 am. See you there!

-Ari & Alex

Low Cal Lovin: Steamed Milk- A Wonderful Winter Treat!

Low Cal Lovin is all about our favorite healthy indulgences at and around Wes.

There’s no doubt that one of the best parts of the holiday season is eating. From huge turkey dinners to christmas cookies and cakes, to the onslaught of holiday themed goodies at chain eateries the country over, the abundance of delicious options is overwhelmingly huge.

Obviously indulgence will be a fairly regular occurence, and why not? With all those wonderful treats around, you might as well take advantage. But what do you do when it’s cold and snowy and everyone else is drinking huge mugs of hot chocolate or fancy “gingerbread” lattes, but you’ve already eaten your fair share of sugar for the day/week/month/year?

Well, here’s a good fix. If you’re not feeling the hot chocolate, but you could really use a warm, creamy pick me up, try a cup of steamed skim milk. I like it with a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. You can also add flavored syrups (some are even sugar-free).If you have a frothing device on hand, whip it out to add a light, even creamier texture to your drink. A 12 oz serving of steamed skim milk (a small cup at Pi, Usdan Cafe, and the majority of coffee shops), is only 120 calories, compared to a typical 12 oz hot chocolate, which, made with skim milk, is around 250 calories. You’ll be left feeling warm, cozy, and full of protein and calcium.

Obviously, steamed milk is not so hard to find. At Pi, they have a couple of flavors of sugar free flavor shots (I like the caramel), as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. Usdan Cafe has cinnamon and flavor shots as well, although they don’t have the sugar free variety.

So next time you’re longingly staring at the menu board at Pi, order a steamed skim milk, add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, and there you go! A perfect holiday beverage to keep you warm and cozy on a cold winter day!

-Ari

Eat, Pray, Love… Then Eat Some More

Oh, Thanksgiving. You will forever be one of my favorite holidays. Unthinkable amounts of food, days off from class, quality time with loved ones… what more could anyone possibly want in a holiday? Presents? A freshly roasted turkey, twenty different kinds of side dishes, and every variety of pie you can think of is a pretty good gift if you ask me. But then again, I do have a slight obsession with food, and I probably get a little too excited about the idea of shamelessly scarfing down three helpings of dessert.

Alright, that’s enough about me. This post is about you guys. You sent us pictures of your Thanksgiving dinners (all of which looked fabulous by the way) and now we’re going to post them for all of the WesStuffed community to see.

Warning: Don’t view these pictures on an empty stomach.

-Dinner-

Talk about fancy. Here we’ve got sophomore Emily Garvin’s table of turkey paradise. (I’m really digging the candles.)
Stuffing à la Garvin.
“Erotic Gravy.” Courtesy of Christina Ermilio ’13.
More of Ermilio’s masterpiece.
Check this one out! From WesStuffed’s very own writer, Laura Hess ’16.
Now that’s a buffet. Colin Russell ‘15

-Pies-

Beautiful apple pies from our friends at Fusion Bakery!
irreststible blueberry and apple pies from Sivan Battat ’15
Pie City. Colin Russell ‘15
Pumpkin pie topped with pumpkin seeds. So aesthetically pleasing. Colin Russell ‘15

-Desserts-

Chocolate cake and pumpkin pie from Laura Hess ’15.
Loving the pie + ice cream combo, Danielle Pruitt ’15!
Pumpkin shortbread chocolate bars by Eva Frieden ’15.
Fruit tart from Fusion Bakery.
French Thanksgiving? At Ari’s house the winning dessert was mini cupcakes topped with macarons.
The most adorable cupcake you’ll ever devour. A Fusion Bakery special.
Pumpkin mini-muffins from yours truly.
My new obsession: Monkey Bread.

Well, hope you haven’t gnawed your arm off by now. Better go take care of that growling stomach!

Merry Thanksgiving,

Alex

NoRA Cupcake Poll is Back in Action!

Obviously the thing you missed most when you were away from Wes was NoRA cupcakes. Well, we’re happy to say that this week the poll is back in action, and the flavors? Well, see for yourself:

Raspberry Lemonade – Lemon cake with raspberries topped with black raspberry buttercream.

Ginger Pear – Pear and Ginger cake with salted caramel buttercream with candied ginger.

Oreo Mudlside – Chocolate chocolate chip cake filled with Oreo and Baileys cream filling topped with Mocha buttercream.

Adult Twinkie – Yellow cake filled with vanilla cream topped with chocolate buttercream and chocolate jimmies.

Snickers – chocolate cake baked with snickers bar candies topped with vanilla buttercream, peanuts, and caramel.

Hot Cocoa – chocolate cake filled with Fluff and topped with vanilla whipped cream and mini marshmallows.

The top three choices will be featured this Thursday and Saturday night at the Lil’ NoRA Cupcake Truck on Williams Street from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM! The poll will close at 11:00 tomorrow night (Wednesday the 28th). Get your vote in! See poll below.

-Ari

Welcome Back and Happy National Cake Day!

Welcome back guys!

We hope everyone had wonderful vacations! Stay tuned (and send us your pics) for a Thanksgiving post tomorrow. In the meantime, IT’S NATIONAL CAKE DAY! We love this time of year. The eating holidays never seem to end.

In order to celebrate this amazing holiday, we decided to tell you about all our favorite cakes (and cake-like items) in Middletown. Here’s the rundown:

Vanilla cake with raspberry filling, carrot cake, and rainbow cookie cake from Fusion Bakery and Patisserie

vanilla cake with raspberry filling
carrot cake
rainbow cookie cake

Fusion makes a mean cake. These are only a few of our favorites. The vanilla cake with raspberry filling is exceptionally well-made, and the fresh frosting and raspberry  add the perfect level of sweetness. The carrot cake, probably Fusion’s most famous item, has a mild spice. The moist, fluffy cake is perfectly complemented by the light cream cheese frosting, and the rainbow cookie cake? Don’t even get us started. This baby flaunts perfect proportions of raspberry jam, chocolate, and a delightful almond flavor.

Peanut butter and jelly cupcake from NoRA Cupcake Company

peanut butter and jelly cupcake

So maybe they’re not traditional cakes, or traditional anythings for that matter, but there’s no doubt that NoRA cupcakes are delicious. One of our favorites is the peanut butter and jelly flavor. It starts out right- with a big, peanut butter filled pretzel sitting atop a glob of the delicious frosting. The cake itself is dense and flavorful, and the jelly filling is pretty fantastic. Read our full review on the cupcake here.

Cinnamon raspberry chocolate chip pound cake from O’Rourke’s

cinnamon raspberry chocolate chip pound cake

So maybe it’s not really “cake”, but this is a Middletown must-have. The somewhat crisp exterior dissolves into a soft, melt in your mouth dough, with just enough cinnamon flavor. Read our full review on the pound cake here.

Grilled coffee cake muffin from Brew Bakers

grilled coffee cake muffin

Again, some people may not consider this to be fitting, but hey! The word “cake” is part of the name! The grilling process enhances the already exquisite texture of this muffin, so the top crunches into a melty, gooey interior. When warm, the cinnamon sugar swirls glisten, their taste seeming almost heightened by the heat. Read more about the grilled coffee cake muffin here.

Strawberry shortcake and cream puff cake at Sweet Harmony Cafe and Bakery

strawberry shortcake
cream puff cake

Don’t be decieved by the lack of posts on Sweet Harmony. Although we haven’t had the time to visit this little treasure of an eatery yet this year, it’s a wonderful place. During our visit, we got the strawberry shortcake and cream puff cake, both were induldgent, perfectly textured, and incredibly delicious. Sweet Harmony will be closing on December 29th, so make sure to get there soon! Believe us, it’s worth it.

Happy national cake day everybody! We hope you enjoyed some delicious desserts today.

Fusion Bakery and Patisserie

386 Main Street #107 Middletown, CT 06457

860-344-9024

www.fusionbakery.com

NoRA Cupcake Company

700 Main Street  Middletown, CT 06457

860-788-3150

www.noracupcake.com

O’Rourke’s Diner

728 Main Street  Middletown, CT 06457

860-346-6101

www.orourkesmiddletown.com

Brew Bakers

169 Main Street  Middletown, CT 06457

860-852-0001

www.mybrewbakers.com

Sweet Harmony Cafe and Bakery

158 Broad Street  Middletown, CT 06457

860-344-9646

www.sweetharmonycafebakery.com

-Ari & Alex

Flaunt Your Turkey

It's Game Time

Alright guys, you’ve all had time to digest three pounds of turkey, eight scoops of mashed potatoes, and about half a tub of gravy. (Not to mention that pumpkin pie.)

Guess what? Now it’s time to show it off.

We know that we’re not the only foodies out there that take slightly pornographic pictures of their Thanksgiving meals. We want to see what YOU ate on the biggest food-eating day of the year. So send in your pics of stuffing, butternut squash, turkey, gravy, pumpkin pie… you get the picture. Literally anything you ate on Thanksgiving–we want to see it.
And we’re going to post about it too. So you’ll be WesStuffed famous. It’s a win-win.

Send ’em in to wesstuffed@gmail.com or post on our Facebook wall!

-Ari & Alex

Mochi Ice Cream at Anoho

The mochi ice cream at Anoho comes in three flavors: green tea, mango, and vanilla. They are served in a large martini glass, sitting on atop a generous pile of whipped cream.

The rice cake takes on a sweet, sticky, density that is complemented by the thick, creamy ice cream of the same flavor. The flavors are all delicious, but I like the mango. Both the ice cream and the rice cake have a wonderful, fruity flavor, perfect for a post-noodle dessert.

 Anoho

320 Main Street, Middletown CT 06457

860- 346-0727

http://www.anoho.com

-Ari

Low Cal Lovin: Chocolate Mint Rooibos Tea at New England Emporium

Low Cal Lovin is all about our favorite healthy indulgences at and around Wes.

If you’re ever having trouble finding me on a weekend afternoon, your best bet is to head down to New England Emporium. I’ll be sitting on a couch in the back with a textbook in one hand and a mug of chocolate mint rooibos tea in the other.

Thanks to Usdan, I have a fairly significant case of “dining hall” syndrome, a disease in which an individual, typically of college-age, feels a need to continually return for more food until he or she leaves the eating establishment. I supposed that this is acceptable when you’re in an all-you-can-eat dining hall, however, in a restaurant, where dishes run for around six dollars a pop, this can be very dangerous for your wallet. Not to mention your stomach.

Anyway, tea is a wonderful solution.  The Emporium will give you as many hot water refills as you want, and the herbs, which come in a handy dandy little strainer thing last an exceptionally long time. Whenever you feel an urge to put something in your mouth, instead of going back up to the counter for crepe number three, just take another sip of tea.

Now, as far as flavor is concerned, the Emporium has a wonderful selection. Probably the best in Middletown; however, I am partial to the chocolate mint rooibos for several reasons.

  1. I have a major sweet tooth, and the idea of chocolate, even in tea form, is very appealing to me, and this tea actually tastes like it.
  2. Mint tea is great for when you’re stuffy or otherwise ill. It’s refreshing, but also warm and comforting. Regardless of season, physical condition, or state of mind, this tea will do the job!
  3. The combination? Amazing. Imagine a thin mint cookie in liquid form. It’s so flavorful that I don’t even add sweetener or milk/cream. So it’s zero calories!So, for a $2.39, zero calorie thin mint cookie that’ll last you the whole day, get the chocolate mint rooibos tea. You won’t regret it.

    -Ari