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March is finally here. That roller coaster ride of a month that teases us with tempting spring temperatures and then sends our patience plunging with frigid reminders that we’re not out of the woods yet.  Hey, at least we have a couple of parades to look forward to. I for one was just happy to see Day Light Savings on my Calendar when I flipped the page today and found hope in the fact that what should have been a lion like day, was fairly mild and sunny.

We have a ton of great stories, events and entertainment ideas coming up for you this month, but first, I want to introduce our new contributors.  Amanda Waters is joining us from Sussex County. Amanda writes for her own food blog, Our Italian Kitchen, where she shares family recipes and fun cooking adventures.   Amy Casey, personal chef and owner of EAT! A Personal Chef Service in northern New Jersey will be our new monthly recipe contributor which we are very excited about. Amy chronicles her collection of recipes on her blog Dinners for a Year and Beyond. And, last, but definitely not least, we have a very entertaining duo joining the JB team.  Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali are party and lifestyle bloggers, authors and social media hostesses. Dawn and Elizabeth are partners in Party Bluprints Inc. and co-founders of Partybluprints.com.  Dawn and Elizabeth will be sharing their creative entertainment tips with us every month and with that big green party day on the way, you can be sure we will be dishing out some great recipes and party ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza.

But, before one of our Nation’s favorite drinking days, falls another, Fat Tuesday, on March 8th. To celebrate Mardi Gras we will be bringing you a review of Ragin’ Cajun in Belmar by Beverly Beveridge and a compilation of places throughout the state to get your Cajun on. We’ll also have an original Gumbo recipe from our own Louisiana Native, Allison Heller. (Tip: give yourself two days to get this right.)

If you’re looking for something to do this month, there are some exciting events taking places throughout the state including the Chocolate World Expo on March 6th at the Meadowlands Expo Center and Belmar Restaurant Tour on March 13th where participants will have the opportunity to visit Belmar restaurants and enjoy a sampling of menu selections.  The New Jersey Food and Wine Festival at Crystal Springs Resort starts on March 11 through the 13th in Vernon New Jersey to benefit Share our Strength and Sickles Girls Night Out in Little Silver on March 18th will benefit the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center.  Billed as “The Biggest Party in Ocean County”, The 15th Annual “Chefs Night Out” an evening of food being prepared by many local restaurants will be held on March 7th to benefit the OCVTS Foundation. And, our very own Victoria Hurley-Schubert will be judging a Pie Eating Contest as part of Pi Day a part of Geek Freak Weekend in Princeton from March 11-14.  (I’d rather see her as a participant, wouldn’t you? Hint Hint!!!) For many more culinary happenings going on this month, check out our Events Page here on Jersey Bites. And, if you would like us to post one of your events, please send them to:  info (at) jerseybites.com.

As many of you know, we started our “Jersey’s Best” on Jersey Bites in late 2010.  Over the holidays we took a brief break, but we’re back with one of our favorite guilty pleasures, Wings.  Now, I happen to think I make some mighty tasty Mephis Style chicken wings, but its not about me, and its now about your Uncle Jerry’s wicked wings either.  We’re looking for restaurants who are doing their Jersey Best to deliver the most outrageous, unbelievable, mouth watering wings ever to grace your lips.

So, if you know of a place that you believe qualifies and would like to nominate them, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.  Please be sure to list the town they are in too.  As in the past, we will compile a list of nominees and launch the voting in about a week.

While you’re waiting for the results of our Jersey’s Best Poll,  you can look forward to several restaurant reviews from our team including a visit to Mia’s in Toms River  and a great recap of Atlantic City’s Restaurant Week by Wayne and Anne Galya. Phil Sikora will give us his feedback on a Poetry and Wine Tasting at Amanti Vino in Montclair and John Howard Fusco will be taking us to Shut up and Eat in Toms River.

There’s even more on the plate here at Jersey Bites, but I think that’s enough to whet your appetite for now. As always, we so appreciate your loyal readership and support of all our writers. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook if that’s where you like to hang out, or on Twitter. We love to chat with our readers, so don’t be shy.

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to leave you with a Public Service Announcement from our Beer Bites Editor, Pete Culos.  “Absolutely, positively, NO GREEN BEER, promise me!”  Bon Mardi Gras and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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