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...tasty tidbits from the Baltimore/DC food scene...
Maria Fleischmann, President/Chief Creative Officer

...witty words of wisdom by Maria...


Spring has arrived, and with longer days and warmer weather comes a new crop of fresh produce. So--NOW is the perfect time to “spring clean” your diet. Out with the heavy fall and winter fare and in with springtime fruits and veggies. In-season produce reaps the most nutritional value so here's what to look for on the produce aisle or at the local farmers' market.

Seems like every spring, the urge hits to clean out, spruce up and simplify. We clean our closets, clean the garage and the car.  So why not spring-clean your eating habits, too? Say goodbye to old routines and lighten up with nutritious foods and healthier, smarter ways to eat.
Alcohol. Booze takes a toll on your liver, the main organ that "detoxes" your system. It also acts as a diuretic, so it's harder to stay hydrated. The recommended limits of one drink a day for women, two for men may not cut it for you. So instead of limiting your wine intake, try switching to light, refreshing wine spritzers. To make, mix 2 parts super-cold wine and 1 part sparkling water over ice, add a squeeze of lime, and serve. Giving wine the "sangria treatment" can make almost any vintage taste great.
Added sugars. Sodas and packaged foods are often loaded with hidden added sugars, so when you want a sweet treat, reach for fruit instead. In place of sugar, try raw stevia-it’s all natural and you can cook and bake with it and add it to fresh iced tea, lemonade or fruit-infused water.
Salt. We ALL eat way too much salt. Try cutting down on salt intake and mix in other flavorings such as onion or garlic powder.
Refined grains. White flour, white rice, white pasta are stripped of healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Check food labels carefully and look for those that list whole grains as the first or second ingredient. There are healthier options like dishes made with almond or coconut flour.
Processed foods. Prepared foods with long lists of ingredients load you up with sugars, salts, and unhealthy trans fat. Pass them up and make room for more healthy, whole foods instead.

It's time for deck and garden parties, barbeques and all-things-spring! 

The good weather "appears" to be here. It's the perfect time for a deck party. How about a fab family and friends get together? Or a girls night? 

Innovative Gourmet can create the perfect menu, tailored to fit your taste buds. Light fare? Done! Barbeque with all the fixins? Done! Mexican food? Ole!

Click the link below for menu options and contact info.
Contact Innovative Gourmet Here


After all that hard work, it's time for the kids AND the parents to celebrate!

Whether it's full service, drop off or drop off with staff, the team at IG has you covered.

Contact Innovative Gourmet Here



From spring to late fall, you'll find scores of Baltimore farmers markets selling fresh produce, locally made cheeses, unique and tasty culinary tidbits as well as flowers and crafts.
You can find lots of "good eats"-- fresh,  locally made and sourced and they usually have fun entertainment. 
My fave spots include the Fells Point Market and the "JFX" market.

Fells Point Farmers Market

Broadway and Thames Streets - Saturdays 
7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Outdoor, waterfront shopping for local, farm-fresh items in Historic Fell's Point is reminiscent of decades past when the original farmers market was in existence (the original stall numbers can still be seen etched into the curbs surrounding Broadway Square). You'll find fresh produce as well as delectable bites to eat here - including paninis, crepes, and quesadillas.

"JFX" Farmers Market
Holliday and Saratoga Streets - Sundays
 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.

While strolling through Maryland's largest producers-only market, you’ll revel at the sight of a vast quantity of foods, including crisp fruits and vegetables, poultry, seafood, beef, pork, and other meats, fresh baked goods, flavorful herbs and organically raised and produced milk and dairy products. The bazaar also offers shoppers a variety of unique crafts and collectibles.


Fells Point Farmers Market
Baltimore Farmers Market

People are ALWAYS asking me what restaurants I recommend--what's a great wine--what's your favorite cheese-- lots 'o foodie related questions. Sooo-I've decided to add a mini blog within this newsletter to give you the 411 on all my up-to-the-minute foodie tidbits.

This month-I'm spotlighting a cool new product AND a restaurant. Enjoy!

The Beach Glass® is a reusable alternative to replace those unsightly, disposable plastic cups that litter our beaches and parks.

These cool acrylic “glasses” replace dangerous wine glasses and tacky plastic cups. They're BPA-free, created in brilliant ‘sea glass’ colors, dishwasher safe and – my favorite – they work in sand, in the water or even in snow, holding up your beverage and preventing spilling. And they float!

The glass is a cool conversation piece and can add a touch of elegance and innovation to your special event on the beach, Of course, I'll be using mine all the time.

But make sure the beach you're at allows alcohol b'cuz these pretty may attract some attention just for the coolness factor alone.

Best invention ever!

Click Here for Beach WIne Glasses

I think EVERYONE should have a go-to neighborhood place for eats and drinks and to unwind. It’s been almost a year since I moved to Towson and Towson Tavern is my favorite place for happy hour and dinner. They have great drinks, amazing bartenders, REALLY good food and its 5 min from my house. 

I've been to quite a few places in Towson, but I keep going back to the Tavern. One reason is that they have valet service-and-we all know how hard it is to find parking in Towson.

On the nights that I'm not cooking, I just want to go someplace that's easy, familiar and comfortable--and--just be waited on! Don’t you? And a great neighborhood restaurant is a feeling when you walk in the door. A feeling that you’re going to be taken care of.  You get to know the staff and they become your friends-it’s not just a hello and how are you? It may be-did your daughter and her new husband enjoy their dinner last week?

Remember Cheers-where everybody knew your name. That’s what I want from a neighborhood spot. Oh yeah-- and good drinks and tasty food.

Some of the chef's selections include tuna tartare, scallops and grits, Chesapeake crabcake and shrimp fried rice. They have tasty soups and salads, small and shared plates and a large array of wine and beer.

Happy Hour (in the bar only) is Monday -Friday, 4-7 pm and they feature 50% off all beers, cocktails, and wine by the glass. Check it out especially if you live in the area. You’ll be so glad you did.

Click Here for Towson Tavern

Check out this Super Cool, Fun, Free Event!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

All Day!
Race kicks off at 10 am

 Begins & ends @ AVAM (800 Key Hwy, Baltimore)


As befitting an event brought to you by American Visionary Art Museum, this race through Baltimore features wacky, imaginative, totally human-powered works of art designed to travel on land, through mud, and over the harbor.

Best Vantage Points

1st Checkpoint atop Federal Hill (around 10:15 am)

The Water Entry at the boat ramp at Canton Waterfront Park (around 11 am)

The not-so-quick-Sand Pit in Patterson Park (1:15-3pm)

The uphill Mud-Pit in Patterson Park (1:15-3pm)

 Anywhere along the 15-mile route through Baltimore.


Click Here for Race Info
Friday, May 4th & Saturday, May 5th
11 am - 8 pm

FlowerMart – a time-honored rite of Spring- kicks off with everyone’s favorite traditions—lemon peppermint sticks, fantastic food, grand hats, original arts and crafts, kids activities and flowers, flowers and more beautiful flowers. 

This year's event is a food fest-Bawlmer-style Hon!
Old traditions-Bawlmer-style eats:
Maryland crab cakes and fried chicken, Eastern shore soft shell crabs, local fried oysters, hushpuppies and…wait for it…lemon peppermint sticks!

New twist-fab fair food:
Frozen fruit smoothies, fresh-squeezed lemonade, gourmet chocolates, orange crushes, craft beer, wine, steak & cheese, burgers & dogs, pulled pork BBQ, corn dogs, funnel cakes and fried Oreos, candy and Twinkies.
And check out these bands.  So. Much. Fun!
  • Gene Vincentt & the Cadillac Cruisers
  • David Smooth’s Temptations / Motown Revue
Click Here for FlowerMart Info

Looking for a seriously fun night out?

Check out the annual Nikki Perlow Foundation's "Play it Forward" concert to benefit The Nikki Perlow Foundation. The event features two excellent bands. 

Tall in the Saddle has played in the Mid Atlantic Region since the mid-seventies. While constantly updating its song list, it concentrates primarily on Southern California Rock, including Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Counting Crows, Little Feat, The Eagles and Crosby Stills and Nash. 

The Sagamore Band showcases tunes from Springsteen to Bill Withers to Billy Joel, Bob Seger, and Chicago.

And --Farmer Tom's Barn in Reisterstown is a really cool place for a concert!

I've been attending their events for years and they're always a blast--and they're for a really good cause.

The Nikki Perlow Foundation was established to celebrate the life of a beautiful young woman, Nikki Perlow, the 21-year-old daughter of Cliff (who plays in Tall in the Saddle) and Amy and sister to Josh. Nikki grew up in a loving family, loved animals-especially horses, had a passion for all things fashion related and enjoyed sailing, lacrosse, basketball, and softball.

She started experimenting with drugs as a teen and it soon turned into a battle to save her life. With support from her family, Nikki struggled to maintain sobriety-entering 4 thirty-day programs and a 12-month program. She was sober for 15 months and her family thought she had won the battle with this insidious disease. On July 9, 2007, one month shy of her 22nd birthday, Nikki died of an accidental overdose.

Her parents, brother, family, and friends have joined forces to honor her memory by forming this foundation that aids young adults and their families struggling with the disease of addiction. The foundation offers financial, logistical and emotional support to those young adults, like Nikki.

Great event! Great cause! Check it out!

Click Here for Tickets
Click Here for Info on Tall in the Saddle
Click Here for Info on The Sagamore Band
Click Here for Directions to Farmer Tom's Barn




My beautiful daughter Rachel got married! So, of course, I just HAD to share a pic.

Wishing my baby and her hubby Tiago a lifetime of happiness!
Click Here for Innovative Gourmet
11 Gwynns Mill Court Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
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Innovative Gourmet · 11 Gwynns Mill Court · Owings Mills, MD 21117 · USA

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