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Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Blog Postings |

Locals — We Need You!!

openArts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery has been in business for almost 2 years!  We've been #1 on Trip Advisor for Bradenton for a year now and were just recognized by Gov.Scott as one of 28 restaurants inFlorida to receive no safety or sanitation citations over the past year. We're very proud of our place and the experience that people have here. We love Manatee County and this part of Florida, but this is a seasonal business. In this, is our second off-season business has dropped by about 30%. For small businesses, that has a large impact.  And it's not just us.  All local independent small businesses count on local residents for support during the off-season. We can employ more people, improve our property, and contribute more in sales tax when we our businesses are thriving.  Small businesses offer a unique retail and dining experience that can't be replicated in a chain or department store. We get to know you by name and treat you like family. There's no manager telling us which products, foods, or beveragesto promote and sell.  We sell what people want and love. With about 300,000 people living in Manatee county during the season, and 170,000 during off-season, this translates to about 50% more potential customers during the season. So, LOCALS -- WE NEED YOU NOW!  Come out and support local businesses. Arts & Eats is offering a $25. 3 course Summer Menu that includes a free glass of wine and a basket of our homemade breads.  Other small businesses are offering similar off-season deals. We have an Open Mic on Wednesday nights from 6-8pm, and live music Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.   We're unique, excellent, and passionate, and we want to know our neighbors.  So, come out and support the businesses in your own backyard.   We can't wait to see you!!!! Read More

Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Blog Postings |

Happy Thanksgivvikah from Arts & Eats!

Chef Jim's Cranberry Relish

Chef Jim's Cranberry Relish

This year Thanksgiving coincides with the Jewish holiday of miracles, Hanukkah. This convergence of the Roman and Jewish calenders won't take place again for over 70,000 years.  So, this year let's be thankful for the miracles in our lives that happen everyday.  We often don't notice them, but the acts of walking, talking, loving, eating, having a bed to sleep in, a source of income and just being alive are miracles. As I was writing this, a neighbor came into the restaurant to introduce a very nice homeless man who went through a divorce that left him penniless and is staying at the Salvation Army.  He's from France and speaks only a bit of English, but is highly skilled in decorative arts.  Anyway, we're trying to find him a job.  It was a fitting diversion for this theme of being thankful for the miracles in our lives.  There but for the grace of God go I... Here are two recipes for your holiday table.  One is for Chef Jim's Cranberry Relish and other for Donna's Hanukkah Potato Kugel (casserole).  Enjoy! Thank you for your love and support over the past year.  Eat well, say grace, and be thankful for the miracles everyday brings. Chef Jim's Cranberry Relish 2 Cinnamon Sticks 4-5 Whole Cloves Zest and Juice of 3 Oranges 1 Cup Raw Sugar 1 Tbl Grand Marnier 2 Bags Cranberries Combine all ingredients except for the Grand Marnier in a saucepan and heat low and slow until the cranberries burst (about 20 minutes).  Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat and add the Grand Marnier.  Serve room temperature or cool.  This is wonderful with candied pecans on top. Donna's Traditional Hanukkah Potato Kugel 8 medium potatoes 2 onions 6 eggs 1/2 cup oil 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 1 heaping Tbsp. salt 1/2-1 tsp. pepper Preheat oven to 400°.  In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, flour, salt and pepper. Set aside. Coarsely grate the potatoes and onion by hand or use a food processor. Let stand 3-5 minutes. Squeeze out any excess liquid. Add grated potatoes to the egg-flour mixture. Mix by hand only until smooth.  Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until golden brown on top and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Read More

Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Blog Postings |

Food is Love

Donna and Chef Jim

Donna and Chef Jim

Some of us "love" food as in "I couldn't help myself -- I ate the whole pizza!"  We've all eaten beyond being physically full saying "I LOVED that cake.  It was sooooo delicious."   As a matter of fact, that was me that last night at a fabulous wedding :-).  It's decadent in a good way and usually very satisfying until you wake up the next morning asking for the alka seltzer. This blog post is about a different type of food love.   This love is about nourishment -- understanding that food nurtures our bodies, promoting growth, health and sustaining life.  The Merriam Webster dictionary definition of "Nourish" reads:  "to promote the growth maintain and furnish or sustain." As a restaurant owner, it's a privilege to know that we're providing Nourishment to those who walk through our doors.  We're not only feeding our guests' appetites but are providing sustenance for their bodies and energy for life.  That's an expression of love through food that is demonstrated not by the quantity on the plate, but the care in selection of ingredients, the deliciousness of each dish and the care with which the foods are prepared and presented.   You can "feel the love." The next time you cook for family or friends, think about how you're "Nourishing" everyone with nutrients, energy, and support and how that's an expression of your love. Read More

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Blog Postings |

Healthy Gourmet Mushroom Soup

To follow up on the "Soups" blog, Chef Jim had me taste the most luscious and healthy soup today.  It was so rich and delicious that I asked him if it had cream in it.  He replied "No.  Just wild rice." Yum...and Really?  So dear blog readers, I asked him to describe the recipe to me so I could pass it along to you.  This quantity is for a restaurant, so you might want to reduce the recipe.  It will freeze well, though and you can eat it all Fall and Winter :-). Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup a la Chef Jim Copening 2 tbl olive oil 5 cloves garlic, chopped 1 large Vidalia or Spanish Onion, chopped 2 tbl fresh thyme leaves 3 lbs mushrooms, sliced (we use button, but other types are fine) 2 cups cooked rice (We use wild rice, but any rice works. Great way to use rice that's sitting in the fridge.) 3 - 32 oz cans chicken and/or beef broth (We use chicken) Heat olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Saute chopped garlic and onion with thyme leaves on medium-low heat until onions are soft (not brown).  Add sliced mushrooms and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms soften.   Add chicken and/or beef broth, salt, and cooked rice.  Place mixture in blender and blend until soup is a thick puree.   We serve with a little creme fraiche and truffle oil, but it's perfect just as it is.  Enjoy!!!  If you make it, let me know how it turns out.
Mushroom Wild Rice Soup a la Chef Jim Copening

Mushroom Wild Rice Soup a la Chef Jim Copening

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Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Blog Postings |

Fresh Soup in 4 Easy Steps

purple yam soup by Chef Jim Copening

Purple yam soup

Here at Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery Chef Jim creates unique, healthful and wonderful soups everyday.  This week for example we served Pototo Leek with a Carnival of Cauliflower in 3 different colors, Carrot Ginger Soup, and Provencale Vegetable Soup. You can create your own healthy tasty soupy concoctions in just 4 simple steps: 1.  Saute chopped onions in canola oil until tender (we like vidalia or Spanish onions). 2.  Add any other ingredients you like, for example carrot and ginger, any vegetables you have in the fridge, or seasonal veggies you see at the market, and saute with the onions until they turn a deeper color and are softened. 3.  Add broth (we usually use chicken, but beef or vegetable broths are alternatives).  You can buy ready-made broths in the grocery store and simmer until vegetables are soft.  We prefer to use chicken broth because it's lighter in flavor to beef). 4. Add the simmered mixture to a blender and puree.  Add salt and pepper and any other spices or herbs, to taste and blend them in. Easy, right?  Soup is the perfect summer dish with a salad or sandwich.  Have fun and enjoy!!!     Read More