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Uncategorized January 18, 2013

Lets Call it A Comeback- The Return of the King

No, there aren’t any rings, or creepy little men involved,l; ok I can’t guarantee the no creepy men part,  BUT this is  about the glorious return of a beloved writer, me! After three months of feeling shmrr; I have finally found my hootspa and I’m ready to write again.  For those who don’t know what “shmrr” is, it’s the disgruntled noise you make when a sigh or an ugh just wont hack it.  Let me paint of picture of what the past couple months were like for me to give you a clearer idea:

A not so long time a go in a land not far away there was a house that got swallowed whole by Sandy.  Since that day my life has made a roller coaster at Six Flags look like a kiddy ride.  In the past three months- my mother has listened to “I dreamed a dream” on loop. So y times in fact she felt the need to get her hair cut like a 1800’s French prostitute, and my cold sweat nightghtamres include that song..  My Dad has gone through the six stages of grief and then some, and I have cried and laughed more than a pregnant woman. So pretty much I was living in a freak show.  However I put that phase behind me, minus the Les Mis song that somehow manages to pop up when you least expect it, and have been plotting my triumphant return. In this season of Dexterous Dining look for more variety, more humor and a lot more me! Look for my first peice of the new year next week, and until then try not to pee your pants with excitement. And like always,

Keep your wallets full and your mouths happy! <3 DD

Copyright © 2013 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Uncategorized December 17, 2012

Tyler Florence’s Re “Fresh” ing Take on Home Cooking (via Jersey Bites)

Tyler Florence’s Re “Fresh” ing Take on Home Cooking (via Jersey Bites)

Cookbooks are a dime a dozen these days; you can walk into any Barnes & Noble and find 100 cookbooks on the same topic.  Most of them have recipes with more ingredients than King Henry had wives, and are so involved the average working person ends up wanting to behead themselves. In his new cookbook…

Uncategorized December 4, 2012

Tyler Florence Coming to NJ!!!

Exciting news for foodie fanatics such as myself: Food Network Star Tyler Florence will be making 2 stops in NJ to promote his new book “Tyler Florence Fresh;” a tantalizing compilation of recipes that use fresh, healthy, and wholesome ingredients.   Not only can you get an autographed copy of a fantastic cookbook, but you also get the chance to meet a chef who has excelled in the culinary field.  It’s not every day a famous chef and TV star like Tyler Florence comes our way so get out there and get your autographed copy!

Here are the details:

WHAT: In celebration of Tyler Florence’s new cookbook, Tyler Florence Fresh, Williams-Sonoma will host a book signing and meet & greet with Tyler at its Short Hills, New Jersey store location.


Wegmans will also host a signing in Princeston from 5 – 7PM as well. Guests attending will have the opportunity to meet the author and pick up an autographed copy.


WHO: Tyler Florence


WHEN: Tuesday, December 4th


WHERE: Williams-Sonoma, The Mall at Short Hills, 1200 Morris Turnpike  Short Hills, NJ – 1:00pm


Wegmans, 240 Nassau Park Boulevard, Princeton, NJ – 5:00pm – 7:00pm



Uncategorized November 19, 2012


I know that this is not food related, however this is something that is close to my heart.  My home was directly affected by Hurricane Sandy.  It has taken me a while to get back in the swing of things but I am finally ready to write again.  I have spent the past three weeks seeing videos of my hometown (Camp Osborn) burning to the ground, pictures of my destroyed neighborhood, and desperately waiting for the day I could go see what was left of my home.

That day was Tuesday 11/19/2012- though I had seen the media coverage of the area I was not prepared for the enormity of the devastation.  We were bussed in, and allowed to take one suitcase for our belongings. As we pulled up to the place where I have 24 years of happy memories of a close knit beach community, a hush fell over the bus.  A place that once tied us all together was now a war zone filled with piles of rubble and wreckage.  When we got off the bus, there  smell of smoldering ash filled our noses.

There was a such a feeling of despair in the air as people looked at their ravaged homes.  Most of the community had burned to the ground, minus a few that were for lack of a better word “spared.”  Though my house was not destroyed, it is off the foundation, on its side, and missing a front.  I watched as my neighbors picked their the debris of their former homes, trying to find something, anything, that they could save; but most of them lost everything. I was overcome with a feeling far worse than loss, it was a feeling of desperation and hopelessness and  will never forget the utter carnage that I saw that day.

My community was not the only one that was torn apart by Normandy Beach.  Unfortunately most of the Barrier Island that I call home was destroyed. It is going to take a long time and a lot of help to re-build but we are all determined to come back better and stronger than ever.  For anyone who reads my blog I ask that you please consider donating to an effort organized by a friend of mine Peter Mercatanti.

They are only in need of cleaning supplies and monetary donations at the moment.
* Rebuild Barrier Islands is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C) (3) tax exempt organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. *Drop Off Locations:
PJ Car Wash Park: 2000 Route 35, Springlake Heights, NJ. 07762
Deleware Public Auto Auction: 2323 N DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE. 19720
Retro Fitness: 860 Route 206, Bordentown, NJ 08505
Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village: Carriage Hill Farms Barn 1: 16668 Winners Circle Drive, Delray Beach, FL. 33446You can also support the cause by buying a buying a wristband at or making a direct donation.Proceeds and donations collected go directly to help the Barrier Island Residents affected by the storm. Thank you in advance to anyone who donates.

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Uncategorized November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

To my followers.  I apologize for the lack of posts last week.  I was without power most of the week, but I will resume posting this week.


Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Uncategorized July 9, 2012

Get your fix on Rt. 66 (July 2012)

Here are this month’s picks for budget friendly food and wine events across the country.  Satisfy your inner foodie and wino without spending a small fortune.

July 13, 2012- NJ State BBQ championships: Wildwood NJ: Indulge your inner beef lover>

Saturday’s in July- Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket- Brooklyn NYC- NY’s 2nd largest open air greenmarket>

July 12, 2012- Wines of France Picnic, Chicago IL- Celebrate french wines and dine on lite apps>

July 12-29,2012-159th California State Fair, Sacramento Ca: Fun for all ages shapes and sizes>

July 13, 2012- Taste of Dallas, Fair Park Dallas Tx: Stuff your face and shop till you drop>

July 14 and 15, 2012- Hispanic Fiesta- Philadelphia PA: Celebrate Latin food and cultures at Penn’s Landing>

July 14, 2012- Great Boston Beer Marathon, Boston MA: Beer Marathon- Need I say more? >

Keep your wallets full and your mouth happy
<3 DD

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Uncategorized June 7, 2012

Get You Fix on Rt. 66 (June 2012)

The newest edition to my blog:  a monthly guide for those who are looking for something to do but have the budget of a 7 year old’s piggy bank.  No worries, there is no shame in it. I’m right there with you; one of those college grads whose dreams of large salaries were quickly squashed.   Fortunately there are a lot of things you can do without spending your entire paycheck.   From street fairs to wine festivals there is something for everyone!  While I can’t cover all 50 states, I’ll do my best to post something in your area.  Don’t see a city near you; send me a message and I’ll include it!

June 8-9, 2012:  Truckeroo Food truck Festival in DC.  Admission is FREE!! Go to for more info.

June 4-8, 2012: With Love Beer Garden at the Four Seasons in Philly.  Part of Philly Beer week (Love the idea of a week dedicated to Beer).  The event is pay as you go.

June 10, 2012: Ribfest Chicago.  Stuff your face with the best BBQ Chicago has to offer.  $5 suggested donation.

June 9 and 10, 2012: Los Angeles Wine Fest.  June special tickets are $60.

June 10: Boston Food Truck Festival.  $30 gets you a sample from every truck.

June 16, Summer BBq Philadlephia PA, kick off the summer season BBQ style at the sand castle winery.

June 16, 8th Annual San Francisco Pinot Days Grand Festival,  Tickets from $50,

June 16, Pizza Fest Chicago, Stuff your face with Americas favorite Food,

June 17-19, 2012  NASFT Summer Fancy Food Show – Washington, DC – Biggest specialty food show in North America

June 23-24, 2012  Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle XX – Washington, DC- Who doesn’t love a good BBQ throwdown

June 24 B.Good Family BBQ at the SoWa Open Market- Boston MA- $18 per ticket

June23, 2013: presents bacon fest in NYC.  You’ll be in hog heaven when you go to for $22 tickets.

June 29: VIN12 PRESENTS: 2012 Summer Kick-off/ Rose, Sparkling & Red Event-San Fran CA-

June 30, Beerferest NJ, located at six flags- get your beer fix and ride the coasters-

June 30, Independence Seaport Museum’s 2012 Fireworks Spectacular- Philly PA-

July 1, Chowderfest- Boston-

Keep your wallets full and your mouth happy
<3 DD

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Uncategorized May 31, 2012

Tuesday 6/5.. be there or be hungry!

Attention central Jerseyians!! This Tuesday, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Edison will be hosting a 4 course craft beer dinner.  Tickets for the event are $30 and include a four course meal and beer pairings from Flying Fish Brewing Company. Bring your friends and enjoy some good food and a night out; because any time pizza and beer get together it’s a good time. For all you Dexterous Dining fans, I will be there signing autographs (just kidding). But seriously, I will be there and so should you!

If you’re interested, here’s the det’s: Anthony’s is located at 80 Parsonage Road, across from the Menlo Mall.  To purchase tickets call Coop at (732) 744-1500. 

Keep your wallets full and your mouths happy!
<3 DD

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Uncategorized May 1, 2012

$5 ‘Appy Hour

This past Thursday I visited one of my favorite spots for happy hour.  Located in Montgomery NJ, Tusk restaurant offers a phenomenal happy hour spread.  For $5 you can get pot stickers, sushi, calamari, nachos, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.  Top that off with a $2 draft and you got what my grandfather calls a smorgasbord! For those of you who aren’t Danish that means so much food you have to un-do the top button of your pants and hope no one notices. $25 and 2 drinks later I was stuffed to the gills full of delicately fried calamari in a sweet and tangy sauce and 12 hand rolled fresh sushi rolls which I split with my friend.  You may think because the price is discounted, the quality of the food goes down.  Think again!  The food was delicious and portion sizes weren’t shrimpy by any means.  At the end of the meal we were both full AND had food leftover.  After we split the check in 2 the meal, drinks, and tip only cost me $14.00.  Considering one app on the regular menu will run you about the same price, I’d call that savings even Scrooge McDuck would be proud of.

Like I said in my previous happy hour exposé, you don’t have to travel halfway across the ocean like Marlin looking for Nemo to find good deals. Restaurants all over the place offer a selection of appetizers or small plates for a discounted rate at happy hour. Check out happy hour specials in your area and get saving!

Keep your wallets full and your mouths happy
<3 DD

Copyright  © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved.