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Falling for Autumn and Pumpkins October 13 2017

As the crimson and golden leaves jump from their branches and the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove dance in the brisk autumn air, fall into the season with a bowl of delicious, nutty, roasted pumpkin pasta. There is something so simplistic, yet decadently warming about roasted pumpkin, and paired with pasta, garlic, olive oil, and toasted walnuts, you are sure to have a quintessential fall dish. 

I, as I'm sure many of you do, love everything about the fall season. From the taste of all things pumpkin spice, to hot apple cider, to oversized sweaters, to the smell of toasted nuts and vanilla, there is something so internally warming about this time of the year. I vividly remember my childhood home being flooded with the scents of baked apples, cinnamon, and caramel -- a symphony of scents that I try to replicate every autumn. 

As I sit here sipping a hot toddy -- the weather in New York is finally getting cool enough to do so -- I am reminded of the impending fall season, and the nostalgic memories of pumpkin picking, pie baking, and jack-o-lantern carving that it evokes. So, if you feel inclined, mix yourself a lovely hot toddy using BeeLocal honey, and jump into the fall season with the beautiful pumpkin pasta mentioned above. I hope you enjoy!

Cheers! 

Payton

Ingredients: 

1/2lb (half package) Semolina Artisanal Pasta's Strozzapreti Pasta

1/4 cup olive oil, divided 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch cubes 

1 cup spinach, packed 

½ teaspoon chili flakes, more or less to taste 

1 teaspoon lemon zest, more or less to taste

Juice of half the zested lemon 

Salt and pepper to taste 

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted 

1/4 cup dried cranberries 

Procedure: 

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

-Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper, and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender and caramelized, roughly 40 to 50 minutes

-Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, but stop cooking a minute or two before al dente, as the pasta will finish cooking in the sauté pan with the remaining ingredients 

-In a large sauté pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add minced garlic and chili flakes, careful not to burn the garlic

-Mash 1/5 of the roasted butternut squash with a fork, then add both mashed and cubed butternut squash to the sauté pan with the garlic and chili flakes

-Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water, and add to sauté pan. Add cooking liquid to thin sauce as needed

-Add spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

-Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest to taste

-Garnish with chopped walnuts and dried cranberries 


Chocolate Week NYC and Beyond October 06 2017

This week in New York City we are celebrating Chocolate Week NYC for the first time!  A big Thank You to the team behind The Big Chocolate Show for making this week all about chocolate.  While Chocolate Week is new to New York City, it has been a tradition in London for a few  years.  When I first started working for Rococo Chocolates in September 2012 I had no idea what was in store just 4 weeks later.  As their Events Manager I was responsible for all events both in the shops and outside.  That October during Chocolate Week, that meant something everyday!  I am pleased to say I survived all of the chocolate fun that week and still love chocolate.  While Chocolate is the highlight during Chocolate Week NYC a lot of the events are actually available to attend year round.  Here is a short list of chocolate related events to check out on your next trip to NYC.

  • Sign up for Chocolate Rewards at 2Beans – When you sign up for a chocolate rewards card, you get 10% off you first order. When you reach 500 points(or $500) of purchases, you get a $50 2Beans Gift Card.
  • Make your own Chocolate at Voila Chocolate – Featured on Westwide Wednesdays this week, Voila Chocolate offers chocolate making experiences everyday of the year. Watch the video here.
  • Visit The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres – Visitors will learn the history behind making chocolate as well as sample their way through 8 premium tastings. There is even a kids corner for the youngest chocoholics
  • Cacao Prieto Tour – Visit this Brooklyn Chocolate Maker to learn about how they produce their amazing Dominican Chocolate. As a bonus, you also get to sample their rum and whiskey! Tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays

If you are in New York City this weekend, be sure to check out The Big Chocolate Show... a must visit for Chocolate Lovers!!!

Happy Chocolate Friday,

Julie

 


Olives Straight from Greece September 29 2017

We’ve been working with Hellenic Farms, an importer of specialty Greek Foods since we opened.  They are the importer of the delicious FIVE Olive Oil from World Excellent Products. When we wanted to add olives to our marketplace it made sense to see what Vivianna at Hellenic Farms had to offer and we weren’t disappointed.  The team at Hellenic Farms recently started producing their own line of olives and we are thrilled to have them as part of our marketplace.

The Pitted Kalamata Olives are in a large variety in a vinegar brine.  They are harvested by hand in the fall and naturally cured to keep their exceptional taste and premium quality. Kalamata Olives are a staple of Greek Cuisine, found commonly in a Greek Salad but also paired with fish.  Here is a great recipe for Olive Chocolate Tapenade using Kalamata Olives. It is super quick and will impress your guests!

The Greek Green Olives from Hellenic Farms are of the Chalkidiki variety.  They are premium quality olives from the groves in Northern Greece and are also harvested by hand.  These green olives are firm in texture and mild in flavor.  Hellenic Farms ensures they are carefully processed to maintain their nutritional value and distinctive taste.  Green Olives are great snack but also perfect in a martini.

I always have a jar of each of these olives in my pantry. They are perfect to put out for an unexpected guest or add to the latest dish I am cooking.  I hope you’ll enjoy them too.

Happy Friday,

Julie


L'Shana Tova 5778 September 22 2017

 

L’Shana Tova!

This week as part of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we welcomed the year 5778.  The holidays are always an important time to spend with family and friends.  While it is often busy, very busy, traveling in between holiday obligations I love the traditions that come with each holiday. I am sure your family has their own traditions and I invite you to share them with us in the comments. Here are two of my favorite traditions.

Something New:  Every year on Rosh Hashanah my husband insists on wearing something new.  Over the years I have gotten him everything from new socks to cufflinks and this year settled on a nice neck tie.  He already has about 100 but you can always use one more, right? While my children would rather have had a new train for the holiday, they were also be sporting some new clothes for the holiday.

Something Sweet:  Each year we dip apples in honey for a sweet new year.  Many of the desserts served for Rosh Hashanah have apples and/or honey included.  I’ve been making Heavenly Apple Cake from The Jewish Holiday Baker by Joan Nathan, every year for Rosh Hashanah since I moved to New York. I posted some pictures of the process on our Instagram account for all to see and share. It is time consuming but always worth it when I see and taste the finished product.  

I wish all of you a very happy, healthy and sweet new year!

Happy Friday,

Julie

 


School Year Routine September 15 2017

This week my oldest son started back to school. Although the mornings have been busier, I must admit I really like the routine that the school year brings.  With a routine, everyone knows what to expect and how the days and weeks are going to go.

I think one of the reasons I enjoyed cooking in restaurant kitchens so much was the routine they brought.  While each service was different depending on what the diners ordered, each day had a routine.  On Mondays I peeled tomatoes, Tuesdays were for making soup, etc. The combination of the routine and the excitement are what makes working in a restaurant kitchen fun and stressful at the same time.  Add some heat(literally) and things can get really exciting in those kitchens, especially the small ones you find in New York City.

The school year has the same type of routine I’d find in my days in the kitchen with a little less of the excitement. To be honest, that is just fine with me right now. We still have a little bit of a rush of excitement each day…  Will we get out of the door on time?  Do I need to put some ‘pep in my step’ to get to school on time?  I feel pretty good about myself when everyone is dressed and fed and we are out the door on time.  Like working in a restaurant kitchen having your mis en place(French meaning everything in its place) ready,  also applies when getting ready for school. In a kitchen, this means having the meat portioned, the olive oil ready and the pan hot for when an order comes in.  For school this means, we pack our backpacks and pick out our clothes the night before so we’re prepare for the morning.

While we seem to have a good morning routine started, there is always room for improvement!  Please let me know any tips you have for getting into a routine.

Happy Friday,

Julie


New Product Alert - Gourmet Matzo Ball Soup September 08 2017

Just in time for the coming Jewish Holidays, I am happy to welcome The Surprisingly Delicious Matzo Ball Soup Kit from The Matzo Project to our marketplace.  If you’ve tried their Matzo Crackers you know this isn’t going to be your typical Matzo Ball Soup.  The geniuses over at The Matzo Project have once again succeeded at turning something that could taste like cardboard into something gourmet!

This Matzo Ball Soup Kit has almost everything you’ll need to make the matzo balls and the broth. You just need 4 tablespoons of oil (slightly more or less if you are interested in making sinkers or floaters), 2 eggs and water.  There are three easy steps to follow on the back of the box and it really is that simple.  The mix is vegetarian, low fat, and contains no MSG, Trans Fats or anything artificial.  It doesn’t get much better than that, unless it is grandma’s homemade matzo ball soup.  The signature Grandma from The Matzo Project is pictured on the box sitting atop of a bowl of her delicious soup. 

My family likes to have Matzo Ball Soup every Friday night. I made the switch a few weeks ago to this mix without telling them.  They were all smiles when they tried it and I am sure your family will be too.  Order some now for your holiday meal and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Happy Friday,

Julie

 

 

 


We're Hiring a Retail Specialist September 01 2017

Julie’s Beet is looking for a retail specialist.  We are an e-commerce site dedicated to bringing the work of small artisans in front of a larger audience of consumers.  We are constantly looking for the hidden gems of the food world and are eager to share the stories of their creations with others.  The site is a well-curated marketplace for foodies looking for something exciting and different.  We bundle these fantastic products into gift sets which are shipped around the country.

This part-time position offers substantial on-the-job training and experience working directly with the owner and founder of the company.  The position will include day-to-day assignments in marketing and social media, procurement of new products, as well as order fulfillment.  These opportunities are focused on creating an environment that promotes learning, developing professional skills, and broadening the understanding of the components needed to manage a successful business. 

This is a part-time role with the opportunity for expansion for the right person. The hours are flexible with a total of 8-10 hours per week.

Primary Location: Upper West Side New York City

Responsibilities Include (But are not Limited to):

-Order Fulfillment

-Marketing Campaigns

-Social Media

-Product Management including selection and inventory

-Creating a great customer experience including Outstanding Customer Service

 

Ideal Candidate Possesses

-Passion for Gourmet Food

-Basic Computer Skills

-Extraordinary Communication & Multitasking Skills

 

Please email resume and cover letter to julie@juliesbeet.com


Super Easy Peach Cobbler August 25 2017

As you’re well aware by now, I truly enjoy all of the fresh produce that comes along with the summer.  Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and they’ve been really delicious lately.  I made this super easy Peach Cobbler last weekend to bring to friends. It is the perfect dessert to serve a crowd.  Make it really easy on yourself and cook it in an aluminum pan so you don’t have to worry about bringing anything home.  Make the cobbler even better by serving it warm topped with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.

Find the recipe below!

Happy Friday,

Julie

Peach-Cobbler

Easy Peach Cobbler

Makes 10 serving

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar, divided

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch of Salt

1 cup milk

4 cups fresh peach slices

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

-Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan 

-Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter over butter, DO NOT STIR.

-Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, peaches, and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat stirring constantly.  Pour over batter, DO NOT STIR.

-Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm or cool.

-Enjoy!


Summertime Chocolate... Yes Please! August 18 2017

Summer isn’t typically the time when we think about chocolate, at least not chocolate bars.  I’ve definitely had my fair share of chocolate ice cream this summer. I’ve also been experimenting with the Cacao Shell Tea from Undone Chocolate in my cocktails. I’ll be sure to let you know when the recipe has been perfected.

Undone Chocolate is the creation of Adam & Kristen Kavalier.  While the chocolate is produced in Washington, D.C. the company selects cocoa from around the world.  They are looking for beans with the highest level of antioxidants and often pay more than 3 times the price paid for fair trade chocolate to get the best beans available.  These beans then travel to Washington D.C. where they are processed into the delicious bars and cacao tea. 

Undone Chocolate specializes in dark chocolate bars with 72% being their chosen blend.  They have amazing flavors like Roasted Almond & Himalayan Pink Salt and Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Chili.  While the bars are amazing, we fell in love with their Cacao Shell Tea at the Northwest Chocolate Festival a few years ago.  It is a unlike any tea you’ve ever tried with just the right amount of chocolate flavor to satisfy your sweet tooth.  The tea is made simply from the shells of the cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate.  What a wonderful way to use a product that is normally over looked.

Happy Friday,

Julie

 

undone Chocoate


S'more Please! August 11 2017

Yesterday we celebrated National S’mores Day.  This is a holiday we look forward to all year. Who doesn’t love the combination of gooey marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers?

Anyway, it got me thinking about how to make the perfect S’mores and how my technique has changed over the years.  When I was younger I was all about catching the marshmallow on fire and having a black char all around the outside before smooshing it between two squares of graham cracker and three rectangles of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. As I have matured in my marshmallow roasting, I’ve realized you don’t actually want to burn the marshmallow.  It is better to be patient and keep the marshmallow away from the direct flame allowing it to brown ever-so-slightly on the outside and get super soft on the inside.  Then you take this perfectly roasted marshmallow and smash it between 2 squares of graham cracker.  The chocolate is always up for debate.  I could still use Hershey’s and be perfectly happy as it reminds me of my childhood.  More likely I’ll add a few squares of dark chocolate to the mix… either Palette de Bine Camino Verde 85% Dark Chocolate or Rococo Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt.  Both make the S’mores out of this world!

Hopefully you’ll find time this summer to enjoy a cookout over an open fire.  Be sure to bring a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers and some really delicious chocolate. S’mores are the perfect ending to a meal outside.

Happy Friday,

Julie


Tea Time August 06 2017

As early as the 17th century, tea has been used in the making of cocktails. From punches for lavish parties, to the subtle refreshment of a margarita, tea can up the game of your next cocktail.

What can tea lend to a cocktail?

Pleasant bitter, floral notes

Tannin to create texture without weighing the drink down

Balance – especially where punch is concerned, it is the perfect mixer to mellow out the hard edge of any rum, Cognac, or liqueur

Care – In England, it is customary to give “tea and sympathy” to a worried friend to ease their burdens. Currently, we have learned the antioxidants in tea have been proven to give health benefits to the tea drinker. What better way to drink in good health?

We are very happy to offer four teas from Paper & Tea, a dedicated specialty tea company out of Berlin inspired by the lengthy legacy of tea. They are dedicated to bringing its benefits to a modern audience.

So kick back and enjoy the weekend with their recipe for Berry Pomp Iced tea. I modified mine by adding a wee dram of crisp vodka, to refreshing result.

BERRY POMP ICED TEA

A caffeine-free alternative for those long summer days, find solace from the swelter with this juicy and tangy iced tea. 

Follow the recipe to make 1L of iced tea:

  • 10g P & T Berry Pomp Master Blend
  • P & T large cylinder pot
  • 1L filtered water
  • ice cubes
  • mint sprigs or orange slices to garnish
  • honey as sweetener (optional)

Measure 10g of P & T Berry Pomp Master Blend into large cylinder pot and add 1L boiling water. Infuse for 4 minutes then decant into a pitcher, add 1 teaspoon of honey (optional) to the cooling tea. Pour directly over a large glass filled to the brim with ice cubes or refrigerate for later use. Garnish with slices of orange or a mint sprig when serving.

 

Enjoy the Weekend,

Angela


Sweet & Smoky Pecan Pie Recipe July 28 2017

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated National Pecan Pie Day.  While summer may have you thinking more about strawberry pie and ice cream, this recipe is too good to not to share.  We use the Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey which has just the right amount of smokiness to compliment all the sweetness in the pie.  You can serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to cool things off. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed. 

Happy Friday,

Julie

Southern Pecan Pie with Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey

Makes 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

1 unbaked pastry shell(9 inch)

½ cup pecan halves

Method

-Preheat oven to 350° F.

-In a small bowl combine the sugar and flour.  Stir in the eggs, Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey, butter, vanilla, & salt. Add the chopped pecans a mix well.  Pour into pastry shell.  Arrange pecan halves in a design on the top of the filling.

-Cover edges of pastry with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes.  A knife inserted into the center of the pie should come out clean.

-Cool on a wire rack and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.


Farmers Market Finds July 21 2017

This week began my ‘summer vacation’ on the beautiful island of Block Island. The island is full of beautiful beaches but I am beginning to discover there is a lot more that makes it a special place. While the island is small, about 8 miles by 4 miles, there is a lot to do.

This week I was really excited to visit the Farmer’s Market. It is held twice a week but on Wednesdays it is outside of the Spring House Hotel. The hotel restaurant did not disappoint on our dinner there earlier in the week stating they are a farm to table restaurant with an ocean view!  The garden out back is pretty impressive so I had high expectations for the market.  The produce at the market was top-notch and I came home with some Swiss Chard, Zucchini and Radishes.  Follow our Instagram feed to find out what happens to those.  I was surprised by the number of local artisans who set up shop at the market selling everything from baked goods to jewelry to clothes & Block Island Coasters.  There were also musicians playing making the market an event for the entire family.

I hope I will visit the market again before heading back to New York. In the mean time, I am also excited to see what other hidden gems there are lurking around the island.

Happy Friday,

Julie


We're on #WestSideWednesdays July 14 2017

A few months ago I let you know about a cool opportunity I had to make a video with one of our customers. Annette Akers is a real estate agent and neighborhood experts so I was thrilled when she asked me to be a part of her YouTube Series called West Side Wednesdays.

Our episode is now live on YouTube for all of the world to see. You can view it HERE!

 

If you are planning a visit to New York City be sure to check out Annette’s other episodes for some great secrets of the Upper West Side.

Happy Friday,

Julie


BYO Corn Salad July 07 2017

This summer has already offered up a lot of great reasons to get creative in the kitchen. With the backyard barbeques and potlucks in store, I've been brainstorming new ways to use my pantry and bring something fun and wholesome along. This past July 4th holiday I kept things simple and made a sweet corn salad and utilized D.a.T Sauce, an incredible hot sauce by Louisiana's Don Abner Tabor, to add a spicy kick. It was easy to make, and the perfect side for the variety of meats that were fired up on the grill all afternoon.

 

Sufferin' Succotash

Ingredients

5 ears of sweet, white corn; shucked and scraped

2 roasted red pepper fillets; slice into thin strips

1 lime

1-2 tablespoons D.a.T Sauce; to taste

Salt, Pepper, and a dash of Five Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish

Method

-Warm a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the corn and quickly toss to cook.  The corn will be bright yellow in color when it is ready.

-Toss the corn and peppers into your travelling party dish.

-Add your D.a.T Sauce, Five Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

-Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and give it a good stir.

 

Enjoy!

Angela

 


Getting Fancy at the Food Show June 30 2017

This past week the food scene took over New York when The Summer Fancy Food Show arrived at the Javits Center.  In case you haven’t been the Fancy Food Show highlights amazing food products from around the world. I love going to see what is new and hot in the food world and to search out some amazing culinary artisans and products for our marketplace. This year’s show did not disappoint.  There were two floors filled with food and there were not two booths that were the same. 

I was able to check in with some of our current artisans at the show and find out what is new and exciting with them. I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll be seeing some new olives in the marketplace straight from Hellenic Farms.  Hellenic Farms is an amazing importer and distributor of Greek foods and they took great care to keep the olives of the highest quality on the market.  Tiny But Mighty Popcorn has an amazing new package design and also a new flavor of microwave popcorn!  They also found a way to make the butter popcorn taste more buttery! The Matzo Project now has Matzo Ball Soup Mix available and they are debuting some chocolate covered Matzo in the fall.  There is a lot of excitement to come with these great vendors.

I also had some time to explore and look for new gems amongst the many exhibiting at the show.  Marshmallows, pretzels and cookies were among the favorite new lines I tasted. I also sampled a lot of different salsas looking for the perfect one.  The show was filled with a variety of cold brew coffee options which kept me going as I marched through the many aisles.  There is  a trend currently of green or raw products. I also saw a lot of food produced for specific diets … paleo, gluten-free, etc.  While it is amazing what they can do with some food ‘substitutes’ I definitely like to keep our products full of real ingredients.  I’ll be sure to post about new products when they hit the marketplace. If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll also be one of the first informed.

My legs and feet are glad the show is over.  My taste buds are excited and my mind keeps imagining all the new gift sets we’ll be able to offer for your needs once the new products arrive.  Until then….

Happy Friday,

Julie


Summer Camp Fun June 23 2017

This week my oldest son started summer camp.  It has been really fun for him which is great! The tricky part for me has been figuring out what to pack in his lunch that he will actually eat.  Now I’m sure you are thinking the son of a culinary professional must have a great palette.  Not to disappoint you too much, but he’s three and is in a bit of a picky stage.  He’ll eat almost anything if it can be dipped in ketchup and mayonnaise but condiments don’t pack particularly well in a lunch box. I turned to the internet for some ideas on how to make my child’s lunch more exciting and appealing. Here are some of my favorites.

  1. Take a traditional sandwich and make it interesting by cutting it into a favorite shape with a cookie cutter.
  2. Have a color theme for the lunch like orange with carrots, cheese, orange & goldfish crackers.
  3. Let your child order their lunch like from the room service breakfast menu that you place on your door.
  4. Don’t stick to traditional lunch items… try waffles, pancakes, or breakfast cereal to keep it interesting.

If anyone has any other ideas I am definitely open to suggestions. 

Happy Friday,

Julie


Summer Heat is Here! June 16 2017

We had a bit of a heat wave in New York this week and as luck would have it, my air conditioner broke right in the middle of it!  During the days of 90 degrees inside I discovered a box of melted chocolate wafers.  It wasn't too upsetting as I put them to good use making some delicious brownies.  What it did do was get me thinking about summertime shipping.

We want to make sure all of our products get to you in the best possible condition.  While all of our products are shelf stable, some are heat sensitive and require special shipping when the weather heats up.  If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, like my sister, this applies for more months of the year than if you live in New York, where we are based.  We’ve created a special section of Summer Gifts which will arrive in perfect condition no matter what the weather is.  The items that are especially sensitive to the heat(mostly chocolate) have a note in their description so you can choose summer shipping at checkout.  This allows us to pack the products with cooling elements and insure they don’t spend too much time in transit. We’ll be sure to reach out to you if you miss this part of the order.  At the end of the day, we just don’t want you to be disappointed with our products.

The moral of this story is you can still enjoy your summer filled with delicious artisan products from Julie’s Beet, we just need to be careful on how they ship.  So go out to the beach, the country, camp or stay in the city and we’ll have your orders there in great condition.

Happy Father's Day to all of the amazing Dads celebrating this weekend, including lots of our artisans.

Happy Friday,

Julie


Father's Day Gift Guide June 09 2017

With Father’s Day just over a week away I’ve been thinking about what to get my dad and my husband. For some reason dads are more difficult to shop for than moms.  Here are some suggestions on what to give your dad this year instead of a tie!

For the GRILLING Dad: The Coco for Garlic and Tamarind Oh! Sauces from EssieSpice make great marinades and finishing sauces for anything you want to grill… chicken, beef, pork, even vegetables.  You also cannot go wrong with a little bag of Pure Flake Salt from Jacobsen Salt Co.  The perfect way to finish a nice juicy steak or piece of fresh fish.

 For the SNACKING Dad: Does your dad just likes to chill out in front of the television watching the big game or movies?  The microwave popcorn from Tiny But Mighty comes in a Butter and Kettle Corn version and is ready in 2-4 minutes.  The Ranch Salad Almonds from Nuts About You also make a great snack and don’t forget a piece of Matzo from The Matzo Project topped with dad’s favorite cheese or spread.

For the DRINKING Dad:  Does your dad start the day with a Bloody Mary or finish the day with a Martini? We have gifts for him too!  The spice blends from La Boite make excellent cocktails, especially the Bloody Mary Spice Master Collection.  The Green Olives from Artion Greek Foods are perfect in a gin or vodka martini. 

Please place your orders by Monday June 12th for guaranteed delivery with standard shipping before Father’s Day.

Happy Friday,

Julie


Life is a Picnic June 07 2017

The warmth outside shows that summer is nearly upon us. There is nothing better than spending a day outside, whether at the park or enjoying a beach day. Instead of cutting that time in nature short by having to look for food, I pack a delicious picnic full of fresh fruit, snacks, and crave-worthy sandwiches. 

My current favorite is an easy-to-make chicken salad sandwich on golden brown Challah bread. You can use a home-made roasted chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken; either will work fantastically well. This recipe also gives you a chance to sneak some fruit into lunch for the kids, the crunch and slight sweetness balance the savory richness of the dressing.

Rosemary Chicken Salad

Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients
1 small, roasted chicken
2 Tbsp Empire Mayonnaise Co. Rosemary Mayonnaise (to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice
A handful of sliced almonds
One medium-sized apple(pink lady, fuji, or gala are my favorites)
Bibb lettuce(optional, to garnish)

 Method
-Line a shallow baking sheet with your handful of almonds, toast until golden-brown, about 5 minutes at 350 degrees
-Carve the chicken into one inch pieces and place in a mixing bowl. I like to get a mix of white and dark meat
-Slice the apple into small batons
-Add the toasted almonds, apples, and lemon juice to the bowl
-Incorporate Empire Mayonnaise Co. Rosemary Mayonnaise and toss to coat
-Garnish Challah with two large bibb lettuce leaves 
-Serve on your favorite sandwich bread
-Enjoy your sandwich in the sun!

 

Enjoy,

Angela


Join us at Grand Bazaar NYC June 02 2017

Today I’m busy getting ready for our first trip to Grand Bazaar NYC.  Actually, I’ve been to Grand Bazaar NYC many times as a customer but this will be my first time on the other side, selling products from our market place.  Grand Bazaar NYC is the largest curated weekly market in New York City. You’re sure to find amazing items from local artists, antiques, collectibles, and edibles.  This Sunday, June 4th, is International Food Day at Grand Bazaar NYC. We’ll be joining over 20 other artisanal food vendors in celebration of this day of fantastic food.

If you are in New York City and looking for something to do this Sunday, we hope you’ll join us.  Grand Bazaar NYC is located at 100 West 77th Street, at the Corner of Columbus Avenue.  The bazaar is open from 10am-5:30pm.  Please stop by and say hello, shop our market place and enter a chance to win a gift set full of my favorites from our marketplace.

Happy Friday,

Julie


Where's the Beef? May 25 2017

Every Sunday evening my family sits down for dinner together. It is one of the few times during the week that this happens so I always try to cook something delicious and something that everyone will eat.  That is  more of a challenge than you would think when you are feeding a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.  This past Sunday I made a brisket and it was good, I mean really good.  So good in fact, that my husband asked what I did differently.  We’ve been ordering from a new butcher called Grow and Behold. It is pasture-raised Kosher meat and you can taste the difference.  This particular cut was called ‘Second Cut Brisket’. I mostly ordered it because I wanted to make a brisket and it was the right size for my family. 

All this talk about what the piece of meat is called got me thinking about where does it actually come from.  Here is a quick guide to a few of my favorite cuts of beef and how to prepare them. I’m going to keep it simple but if you want to dig further, I highly recommend the book Meat; Everything you Need to Know by Pat LaFrieda.

BRISKET – Cut from above the front legs of the cow, this cut is perfect for braising.  Traditionally used for corned beef or smoking.

FILET MIGNON – A very ‘fancy’ cut of beef. This comes from the loin of the cow. It has a melt-in-your-mouth texture and is quite elegant.  There are a wide range of preparations from sautéing to grilling.

SKIRT STEAK  - This cut comes from the plate(belly) of the cow. It is great when marinated and then grilled. When you are slicing, be sure to cut against the grain.

RIB-EYE STEAK – Cut from about the ribs of the cow….with a generous amount of marbling, this cut is rich, tender and juicy. It can be prepared in a variety of ways but my favorite is simply putting it on the grill.

I hope this gives you some insight into the beef you’ll be cooking up this weekend for the unofficial start of summer.

Happy Friday,

Julie

 


Buzz, Buzz... Save the Bees May 19 2017

The spring brings the birds and the bees to mind as the flowers are blooming the sun warms everything up.  Bees are a very important part of our agriculture system and there has been a big movement lately to save the bees.  J. Crew has a ‘Save the Bees’ t-shirt with 50% of the profits being donated to helping the bees.  There is a message on our box of Honey Nut Cheerios to ‘Bring Back the Bees’. According to the Cheerios website they will be looking to turn 60,000 acres of oat farms into homes for bees providing over 3000 acres of habitats with wildflowers that allow these pollinators to thrive.  Our friend at Bee Local honey take their love of bees one step further.

Bee Local Honey was created to be a trusted and tasty honey company producing and sourcing only the most sustainable, healthy and uniquely delicious honeys in the country.  Bee Local ensures their bees are not fed high fructose corn syrup and never use in-hive chemical treatments to heal the common ailments of the bees.  This produces some really tasty honeys that have flavor profiles similar to chocolate or wine.  Bee Local takes the flavor profile one step further with the creation of their smoked honeys.

The Cherry Wood Smoked Honey has notes of deep cherry, tobacco and leather in a robust flavor profile.  This honey is created using a cold-smoking method by Chef BJ Smith of Portland’s Smokehouse Tavern Restaurant.  The honey is a truly amazing way to add a lot of flavor to your cooking with little effort.  Drizzle it over Fried Chicken or mix in your Hot Toddy for a tasty treat.  We have used it to make Roasted Carrots and there weren’t any complaints about those.  The Cherry Wood Smoked Honey is also great in a marinade for your chicken or pork before it hits the grill.

Remember the bees that work so hard to produce these amazing honeys when you are enjoying the nice weather this spring.  Of course, we don’t want a bee buzzing around our picnic basket but we do need them in other areas of our lives.

Happy Friday,

Julie


I love you, Mom! May 12 2017

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day set aside to make our mothers feel extra special.  As a child, I always appreciated what my mother did for me. As I got older, my sisters and I would try to make Mother’s Day something to remember.  We would take my mom out for lunch or to get her nails done… something out of the ordinary to make sure she understood how much she meant to us.  It wasn’t until I became a mother that I truly was truly able to appreciate everything my mother did for me.

This Sunday I will be celebrating my fourth Mother’s Day as mother. When I first became I mom I remember someone telling me ‘The days are long but the years are short.’ I now know how true that is.  Being a Mom is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week position. You don’t get any time off, you may eat your meals standing up or on the move and it is very likely that by the end of the day you’ll end up with something on your shirt that you probably don’t want there (vomit, pee, glue, whatever!).  Oh and you can say good-bye to any ‘free-time’ you ever thought you had.  To be honest, it doesn’t sound all that fun but being a mother is one of the most rewarding roles I have ever played.  The perks of being a Mom are not ever being alone (even when you are using the toilet), having the unconditional love of your children(in my case 2 amazing little boys) and watching your kids grow into a ‘real’ people.

I don’t think we’ll be doing anything too out-of-the-ordinary this Sunday and that’s okay with me. I know I’ll get to spend the day with the 2 boys that make me the mom I am and if I’m lucky they’ll let me give them lots of hugs and kisses. Be sure to tell you mother you love her this Sunday and every day!

Happy Friday,

Julie

First Mother's Day 2014     Third Mother's Day 2016