The Magic of the Holidays in NYC December 08 2017
As I was walking down the street on Thanksgiving I saw someone setting up to sell Christmas Trees. That is when it dawned on me that the holiday season has begun. New York City is a magical place to be during the holidays; I understand why everyone wants to visit. The city is buzzing for the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the tourists come to shop, dine and see the sights. Here are some of my favorite happenings this time of the year. Be sure to add them to your to do list if you live in New York or are just visiting.
Winter Village at Bryant Park – This outdoor market has become very upscale in the past few years. Browse vendors for the perfect gift and then sit and watch the ice skaters while you taste your way through the different food options. If you have little ones with you that don’t want to ice skate, check out the carousel.
The Shops at Columbus Circle – The lights hanging in the shopping center will always have a special meaning to me during the holidays. When I worked at Bouchon Bakery, I got to see the light display everyday. I could hum the tunes to you note for note. Luckily I’ve forgotten the songs but have fond memories of people sitting down with a hot chocolate and a cookie to see the light show in the afternoons.
Rockefeller Center – This is one Christmas Tree you don’t want to miss. It is impressively large and decorated to perfection. Check out the tree while shopping, ice skating or on your way to Radio City to see the Rockettes(another one of my favorite NYC Holiday happenings).
The Holiday Train Exhibit at the NY Transit Museum Annex – Visit Grand Central Station and take a detour to this amazing model train. There are dozens of trains going around the tracks and even if I didn’t have a some who is obsessed with trains I would still find it interesting. Grab a bite to eat on the downstairs concourse. The options have improved in the past few years.
Don’t forget to spend time with Family and Friends this holiday season as well. And if you make the trip to NYC on a Friday be sure to stop by our showroom. We’ll be open for all of your holiday shopping needs.
Roasted Chicken with Hola! Hola! Smoked Garlic Tomatillo Jam & Coco for Garlic Sauce December 01 2017
Amidst the magic of the holiday season there is generally a note of overwhelming chaos -- especially in New York City. As the darkness creeps in a little earlier each evening and as the city streets fill with seemingly more and more people, the already wild spirit of NYC is slightly amplified. With holiday magic illustrated in nearly every storefront window, it is easy to get drawn into the holiday madness. Celebrate the magic of the season and escape the chaos of NYC streets by making a beautiful roasted chicken with vegetables in the comfort of your home.
Quick. Easy. Delicious.
1 6lb roasting chicken
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, washed and halved
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 red potatoes, washed and cut into 2-inch chunks
- Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
- Mix together Gus & Grey Hola! Hola! Smoked Garlic Tomatillo Jam and Essie Spice Coco for Garlic Sauce in a small bowl
- Remove giblets and any feather remnants from the chicken
- Wash the chicken under cold water both inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels
- Salt and pepper the inside cavity of the chicken, then stuff with thyme and lemon
- Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken, then cover liberally with sauce mixture
- Tie chicken legs together using kitchen twine and tuck wings underneath the chest cavity
- Add veggies to the bottom of a roasting pan, drizzle liberally with olive oil, then add salt and pepper and toss together
- Roast chicken for 1.5 hours, or until juices between the leg and thigh run clear
- When done roasting, remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil for 15-20 minutes, then serve!
Family Traditions November 24 2017
This morning, I’m waking up at my mother’s house. It is a family tradition to spend Thanksgiving together and that doesn’t just mean eating turkey together. We flew in yesterday afternoon arriving just in time for dinner after having Thanksgiving Lunch with my Husband’s family. My family goes above and beyond when Turkey Day comes around with day’s full of traditions each year. Now that I have a growing family of my own, we aren’t always able to participate in all of the traditions. It can be difficult when two families come together to keep each other’s traditions alive. I do my best to keep everyone happy and included as there isn’t a member of my family I am not thankful for!
Today’s activities include a trip out to my grandparents’ weekend home. The weather is supposed to be relatively warm which will be great for our annual football game. While we’re there we also typically do a jigsaw puzzle, play board games, and eat WAY TOO MUCH. The menu is the same every year… mushroom barley soup and cheesy bread. That is served along side snacks galore. Think M&M’s, popcorn, pretzels, and potato chips. It is enough to make anyone smile as they fill their bellies.
Yesterday was my son’s first Thanksgiving and today will be his first football game. This year has been filled with a lot of firsts for the new little guy. I am so thankful to share these family traditions and experiences with him. I know the rest of the family agrees. Family traditions are very important to me and the holidays tend to bring out a lot of them. I hope my new family will embrace the traditions of our two extended families while also creating some traditions of our own.
On that note, let the holidays begin. Enjoy spending time with your family and sharing your traditions from year to year.
Our Holiday Gift Guide is Here! November 17 2017
It’s gift giving time and we want to make that as easy as possible for you. Here is our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide filled with goodies for everyone on your list from Grandma Terry to Baby Felix. Well, maybe not the baby but you get the idea!
GIFTS OF WARMTH
The holidays are filled with gatherings of friends and family that give us the warm fuzzies. Here are a few gifts that will literally warm you up from the inside out.
P & T Tea Bags: Our selection of teas from this German tea producer include Tip of the Morning, a traditional black tea blend; Berry Pomp, a fruit tea made from dried berries; Pu Er Bai Ya, a pure Chinese white tea guaranteed to warm you all of the way through; and Mighty Green Tea, a rich Japanese Sencha green tea full of all of those components guaranteed to improve your health.
Undone Chocolate Cacao Tea: This is drinking chocolate’s lighter cousin. While still having a distinct chocolate flavor Cacao Tea is much lighter than rich drinking chocolate making it perfect to sip on later in the day. If you’re feeling especially festive, use the cacao shell tea as an infusion in your favorite vodka to have a Chocolate Martini when celebrating with friends.
Rococo Chocolates Drinking Chocolate: Winter wouldn’t be complete without a delicious cup of rich drinking chocolate. This mix from Rococo Chocolates is pure dark chocolate making it perfect to mix with water or milk for a very rich drink sure to warm you on the coldest days. The drinking chocolate can also be substituted in your favorite recipe in place of cocoa powder making that chocolate treat even more indulgent.
D.a.T. Sauce: This hot sauce provides a different kind of warmth using chilis to warm you up. We’ve done a lot of testing and this hot sauce is great on EVERYTHING! The perfect size for a stocking stuffer, pick up a bottle or 3 to give to your favorites this year.
GIFTS OF HOSPITALITY
The holidays are all about taking care of the ones you love whether it be at your place, theirs, or an impressive destination. These gifts are all about spreading the hospitality that comes along with the festive season.
The Matzo Project Matzo Crackers: These crackers might scream Passover but are actually perfect for Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus and the New Year. They make the perfect vessel for the rich, stinky cheese at your cocktail party or pair them with cream cheese and smoked salmon as a perfect brunch item. With their quirky packaging these Matzo Crackers are also the perfect conversation piece during those slightly awkward moments at your neighbor’s holiday gathering.
Pasta Tonight Gift Set: This gift set contains Semolina Artisanal Pasta Strozzapretti, Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce and FIVE Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The combination of the three products makes an amazing and easy weeknight meal but are also special enough to serve for a festive meal. Add a bottle of red wine and await you’re all set!
Essie Spice Sauces: Essie’s sauces liven up any event starting with your taste buds. Try the rich and savory Coco for Garlic or sweeten your dish up a bit with a splash of TamarindOh!. This year Essie expanded her line beyond sauces introducing her Fi:Ye Collection. This collection includes handmade items for the kitchen and the table. The Fi:Ye Small Dinner Plates are the perfect addition to your holiday table-scape. Head over to Essie’s site to learn more about this amazing project.
GIFTS OF JOY
The joy of the holiday season should be spread around all day, every day. These items are perfect to pop in your bag for the unexpected meeting with a friend or to treat yourself to a little joy while out doing your holiday shopping.
Tiny But Mighty Microwave Popcorn: It doesn’t get easier than popping a bag of popcorn into your microwave and hitting start. Pop ahead of time and pack in your bag for a delicious snack on the go. If you don’t finish the entire bag, don’t fret, use the remaining kernels to make a garland to decorate your tree.
Nuts About You Ranch Salad Almonds: While Ranch Salad sounds more like a summer staple, these almonds are great year-round. Enjoy their great taste and the energy coming from this super food. We’ve found these to be the perfect size to tuck inside your ski jacket for a quick snack before your next run.
Rococo Chocolates Holiday Bars: The flavors Gingerbread Spice Milk Chocolate, Christmas Pudding Dark Chocolate, Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Dark Chocolate and Moroccan Mint Dark Chocolate scream Happy Holidays! The packaging is so beautiful you don’t even need to worry about wrapping paper. Perfect for everyone on your list big and small.
We are also able to curate custom gift sets to fit your needs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917.951.6527 for more information.
P&T Tea Sale! November 10 2017
P&T is a specialty tea company founded in Berlin, Germany, committed to exploring the world's finest teas and herbs. We currently have their line of teas on sale as we head into winter.
I am currently battling a week-long cold, so what better topic to write about than tea? I love tea, and even when I’m not sick, I drink at least one cup of herbal tea per day. There are so many wonderful medicinal and health properties to tea, including antioxidants, and depending on the blend you’re drinking, the list goes on. I’m sipping on P&T Pu Er Bai Ya, which is a Chinese white tea, which I infused with fresh ginger, fresh lemon, and a splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. It’s delicious. Sweet, woody, with both floral and grass notes = YUMM!
- Bring 10 oz of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn off burner, and allow the water to sit for at least 5 minutes. (To extract the best flavor from your tea, it’s best to brew at 195 degrees fahrenheit)
- Pour 8oz of water over one P&T Pu Er Bai Ya tea bag, and steep for three minutes
- Add a small piece of fresh, peeled ginger, ½ lemon, juiced, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Enjoy!
Award Winning Apple Pie Recipe November 03 2017
I often here the saying ‘It runs in the family’ when people are referring to common traits like athleticism or beauty. I’ve always known that making, and eating, good food runs in my family. This was confirmed a few weeks ago when my mother won an apple pie contest. You’ll find the winning recipe below.
The 9th Annual Apple Pie and Dessert Contest was held on September 24th at the Home & Remodeling Show at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Sponsors for the event were STL Moms and Dads, STLToday, and Sububarn Journals. My mom decided to make her pie recipe in a new pie pan the week before the judging. The risk paid off and she came home the winner with her Apple Crumb Pie. You can view the all of the winning recipes here.
Congratulations Mom and thank you for passing along your cooking genes!
APPLE CRUMB PIE
1 9 inch pie crust, baked
5-6 large Jonathan apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 c sugar, divided
2 t cornstarch
1 t cinnamon
¾ c flour
1/3 c butter, softened
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix together ½ c sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Toss with apples. Mound into prebaked pie crust. Mix together remaining ½ c sugar and flour. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over apples. Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes until golden brown. Best served warm and the day it is made.
Countdown to Thanksgiving! October 27 2017
Warmth. The thing I love the most about Thanksgiving is the warmth it embodies. It is usually quite cold in Minnesota by late November, and more times than not, the ground is painted white with snow, but no matter how cold the winter air may be, I am filled with an abundance of warmth. As the symphony of laughter echoes through the event hall my family rents every Thanksgiving, joyful and loving energy embrace you like a warm hug, and light dances off the full-mouth smile everyone is wearing. Cinnamon, apple, fennel, and clove drape the event center walls, weaving together an intoxicating tapestry synonymous with the holiday season. A banquet of turkey, stuffing, meatballs, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and Norwegian fare consume the twenty-foot-long buffet table, eagerly awaiting hungry stomaches. Despite the frigid number shown on the thermometer, everyone is warm.
As Thanksgiving nears, find warmth in the indulgent, comfort-food flavors of the season. Check out two of Julie's Beet favorite fall recipes below.
One Handed Snacks for Busy People October 20 2017
I just read a great post about snacks you can eat with one hand. While it was intended as for new mothers with little or no time on their hands, I feel it can also be applied to those of us who are generally busy. I have found that being organized and planning ahead makes everything better especially when it comes to meal planning and putting healthy food in your mouth. All of these suggestions are for items that can be prepared ahead of time. Here is a list of some of my favorite one-handed snacks (or meals as it may be!).
- Mini Muffins: Take your favorite muffin recipe and bake them in miniature sizes. Don’t forget to adjust the baking time since they are smaller they won’t take as long to bake. These also make great snacks for kids.
- Smoothies: Mix veggies, fruits, yogurt, and milk in a blender and puree. This is perfect for using any fruits or vegetables that you don’t think you’ll eat before they go bad. Some combinations turn out better than others but you can drink it through a straw quickly and get lots of energy.
- Trail Mix: This is one of my very favorites. I typically mix almonds, raisins and chocolate chips but feel free to add other nuts and dried fruits.
- Hard Boiled Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein and you don’t always have time to whip up a fancy omelet. Cooking them hardboiled in advance makes the perfect breakfast, lunch, or snack. I started eating hard boiled eggs when I tried the Paleo Diet many years ago and it is one of the habits that has stuck.
- Pre-cut vegetables, fruit or cheese: pair these with a healthy dip like hummus or eat on their own. As a chef, I used to think it was silly to cut something up ahead of eating it but when you’re really hungry and barely have a hand to eat with it can be a lifesaver.
Let me know if you have any other tips for snacks that are easy to eat on the go.
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!
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
-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,
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.
L'Shana Tova 5778 September 22 2017
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!
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.
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.
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):
-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 email@example.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!
Easy Peach Cobbler
Makes 10 serving
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
-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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Southern Pecan Pie with Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey
Makes 6-8 Servings
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
-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.
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.
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.
5 ears of sweet, white corn; shucked and scraped
2 roasted red pepper fillets; slice into thin strips
1-2 tablespoons D.a.T Sauce; to taste
Salt, Pepper, and a dash of Five Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish
-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.
-Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and give it a good stir.
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….
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