Celebrate our 2nd Anniversary! April 14 2017
Wow! I cannot believe that two years ago today I hit the button that made the Julie’s Beet Website Live! That’s right, today marks our second anniversary. I’m not sure I knew exactly what I was getting into 2 years ago but it has been an amazing adventure. The best part has been getting to share my knowledge of food and our amazing artisans with all of you.
In honor of our second anniversary we are having a Two is Always Better than One Sale. This is true of shoes, socks, glasses of wine and the products from our marketplace. We’ve featured products from artisans who joined the collection in our second year. Just add any of their products to your cart between now and April 30 and we’ll automatically add a second product from the same artisan to your shipment at no extra charge. That gives you two times the opportunity to taste and experiment with these amazing items. The artisans included in the sale are Artion Greek Foods, Cacao Prieto, Due Cellucci Tomato Sauces, EssieSpice, Paul + Pippa, Rick’s Picks and Tiny But Mighty Popcorn. You can shop the entire sale here. Visit our Facebook page during the sale to learn more about each of these artisan.
Who knows what the next 365 days will bring but I know I cannot find out. What will the new food trends be? What new artisans will be find to add to the marketplace? I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey ahead.
More to Celebrate! March 17 2017
Today I am off to Phoenix, Arizona! You might argue I just want to get out of the chilly northwest and melt in some 90° heat but I’m actually headed out to the desert to help my wonderful sister celebrate her 40th birthday. I thought I would dedicate this post to telling you all why she is 40 and Fabulous!
- Her Creativity – Watch out Martha Stewart because here comes my sis. She is super crafty and creative in everything she does. Her kids have the best Halloween costumes on the block… everything from Rare Roast Beef to Harry Potter. My sister also takes her creativity to her work as an interior designer. Her home is a display of her good design sense. Finally, she also spoils all of us by hosting the most amazing parties. I am sure this weekend’s festivities will not disappoint. As her friend kindly put it, she’s the queen party planner and of course wants to work wonders on the own shin-dig!
- Her Style – This may go along with her creativity but my sister has an endless sense of style. She picks a look and goes for it from head to toe. I wish I could get out of my comfort zone and try as many looks as she does. She also makes it look effortless and for me, that is the key to great style!
- Her Love – My sister would do anything for her family and friends. She has two amazing sons that she takes everywhere from school to the driving range and everywhere in between. She also takes time out for the rest of the family. This weekend I am happy to be helping her take some time for herself celebrating how amazing she is.
And with that I’m off to the airport. You never know what else I’ll find in Phoenix besides my sister. Anyone have any suggestions on where to go in the desert?
Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day! January 27 2017
February is a month full of celebrations at my house. We begin with my husband's birthday next week. That is followed by both of our mother's birthdays then my son's first birthday. Not to mention Valentine's Day is in there too!
You cannot have a birthday without a cake. As you know, I am always looking for new ways to use the products from the marketplace. I also love to bake, so am planning to get creative with the birthday cakes I'll be making. Here is a recipe for a Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. I've substituted Rococo Chocolates Drinking Chocolate for traditional cocoa powder. If you are feeling really adventurous, use Empire Mayonnaise Co. Rosemary Mayonnaise.
Follow us on instagram @juliesbeet for images of all of the cakes I'll be making and eating this month!
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Makes a double layer 9-inch cake
2 cups All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Rococo Chocolates Drinking Chocolate
1 ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 1/3 cups Water
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 9-inch cake pans or line cupcake pan with wrappers.
-In a medium bowl combine flour, Rococo Chocolates Drinking Chocolate, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
-In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for three minutes or until light and fluffy. Add mayonnaise at a low speed until blended. Alternately add flour mixture and water, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pans.
-Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely.
-Once cool dust with confectioners sugar or frost as desired.
A Real New Yorker July 22 2016
It is hard to believe it has been over a decade since I moved to New York City. (I believe that officially makes me a New Yorker.) I don’t spend too much time counting the years, but today is the 40th birthday of my good friend @flowjer and I remember celebrating his 30th birthday together here in New York City.
When I first moved to the city I was in my mid-twenties and didn’t have a care in the world. I landed a job in the kitchen at db Bistro Moderne working for Chef Daniel Boulud. I had moved from Denver, Colorado to ‘get serious’ about becoming a chef and learn from the best. That was my plan and I started off running. I was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week which was quite the opposite of my work schedule in Colorado. During those hours I learned a lot about food, cooking and stamina. I learned to stay organized and the importance of working as a team. The people in the kitchen at db Bistro quickly became my friends and @flowjer was one of them. Now we’re all ‘grown up’ and even though we may be at different stages in life, I am happy to have these friends.
If you are out today, raise a glass to @flowjer. He deserves it on the celebration of his 40th birthday. He is one of the kindest, most generous and talented people I know. Cheers!
Cooking with Kids April 08 2016
One of my fondest memories growing up is cooking with my family. Whether it was baking with my grandmothers, grilling with my grandfather (he set a timer so we would have a perfectly cooked steak with perfect grill marks) or making dinner with my parents, I always enjoyed being around food and creating something from a recipe. As a parent now, I love cooking with my son and introducing him to new foods.
It is my son’s second birthday on Saturday. He had few requests for his party but high on his list were a chocolate cake and chocolate muffins. We made the cake and muffins yesterday. I have been cooking with children for years but am still amazed at how they manage to make a mess in the kitchen. We had a great time baking and hopefully he likes the finished product once it is decorated with lots of frosting. For the chocolate cake I used this recipe for chocolate cupcakes and baked it in a large cake pan for about an hour. Here is the recipe for the chocolate muffins.
Chocolate Chip Birthday Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup White Sugar
¾ cups chocolate chips (we used Rococo Chocolates Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Bar)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oi
¼ cup chocolate chips (we used Rococo Chocolates Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Bar)
-Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners
-Combine flour, sugar, ¾ cup chocolate chips, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk, and vegetable oil until smooth. Pour into chocolate mixture and stir until batter is just blended.
-Fill the prepared muffin cups ¾ full and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
-Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
It's a Boy! February 26 2016
This is what I have been telling my family and friends since I welcomed my second son on Tuesday afternoon. Having a baby is hard work but totally worth it. You cannot pass up the unconditional love...He’s curled up taking nap on my lap right now!
My mom is visiting this week to take care of all of us and I am going to take full advantage of it. She’s been cooking up a storm in my kitchen and I look forward to sharing those recipes with you soon. I also hope to share some tricks for staying energized on less sleep (but I need to figure those out first). I’ll be back to regular blog posts soon but for now I am going to enjoy my new bundle of joy.
Dreaming of Spring February 19 2016
As the winter weather comes and goes here in New York, I’m beginning to look forward to spring. A day with temperatures below zero will do that to anyone I imagine. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year and filled with lots of fun holidays including my son’s birthday! Here is a quick peak at what we have in store for the upcoming holidays.
St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday March 17th – Get your green on with these great products
Purim, Wednesday March 24th – We have everything you need to impress your friends by giving the best Mishloach Manot. Check out our Gourmet Kosher Gift Set.
Easter, Sunday March 27th – On Easter everyone wants chocolate eggs. You won’t be disappointed with these Hazelnut Praline Quails Eggs from Rococo Chocolates
April Fools Day, Friday April 1st -The jokes on your friends, get them to buy you something special from our marketplace in exchange for no pranks on this day.
Passover, Friday April 22nd – Try the chocolate bark from Cacao Prieto as a sweet addition to your seder table.
Earth Day, Friday April 22nd – You can feel good about the earth when purchasing the products in our Organic Gift Set.
Extreme Valentine's Day February 05 2016
February is a very busy month for my family as it includes my husband’s birthday, both of our mothers’ birthdays in addition to Valentine’s Day. I usually cook dinner for my husband on his birthday and on Valentine’s Day. I am often stumped on how to make each menu unique while still being a meal he, and I, will enjoy. This Valentine’s Day I’m thinking I’ll just do a mix of canapes and finger foods. Hopefully he will think they are cute, fun and perhaps romantic when paired with a bottle of wine?
When working at Rococo Chocolates I was often tasked with preparing canapes for the different events we had. One of my favorites is from Chantal Coady’s book, Rococo, Mastering the Art of Chocolate. These canapes, a pairing of cheese and chocolate, are thoughtfully called Extreme Canapes as they really test your taste buds. People are often hesitant to try them but always love the combinations. Rococo Chocolates Wafer Thins are thin chocolate disks, which are treated just like a cracker in this case. Top the chocolate disk with your favorite type of cheese and enjoy. Some of the best pairings I’ve tried are a salty blue cheese on the 65% Dark Chocolate Wafer and a soft goat cheese on the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Wafer.
We carry the wafers in our marketplace and you can get great cheeses from your local cheese shop. If you are in New York City, here are my favorite cheese shops:
Murray's Cheese – multiple locations around the city but I prefer the west village shop. Enjoy tasting your way through their cheese case. If you have some extra time, they also have cheese classes!
Ideal Cheese – 942 First Ave at 52nd Street, This East Side cheese shop is a destination. It stocks some really unique cheeses and the staff has all of the information needed to assist you in finding the perfect cheese.
Lucy’s Whey – I love their stall in Chelsea Market but you can also find this great shop on the Upper East Side. They have really delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. I suggest munching on one while you do your shopping. This ensures your cheese will make it home for the extreme canapes.
Go ahead and take your Valentine’s Day menu to the extreme!
How to Throw a Party for 60 April 10 2015
This week we celebrated the first birthday of my son Hamilton. As he is my first child, I couldn’t let this occasion go by un-celebrated. Since our immediate family who live locally includes 25 people, we decided to go for it and invite our friends as well. To our surprise, everyone responded YES, so we had a big party on our hands. There were 60 guests, 35 adults and 25 children to be exact.
With my background in cooking and event management, the party came together well. Here is a guideline of how we were able to get everything accomplished and also enjoy the party.
Baguette Sandwiches – Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese, Grilled Vegetables & Goat cheese
Frittatas – Asparagus, Mushroom & Parmesan Cheese, Plain
Tea Sandwiches – Cheese, Cucumber and Cream Cheese
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Banana Cake & Smash Cake
Sparkling Wine, Sparkling Water, Juice, Soda, Water
Four Weeks Ahead
Send out invitations – We used evite to make this easier. My grandparents who are in their 80’s and 90’s were able to figure it out, so this is definitely user friendly!
Three Weeks Ahead
Order all non-perishable items – You don’t want to be running around finding these items right before the party. And you definitely don’t want to pay for express shipping. Crossing this off my list early, allowed me to focus on other to-do’s closer to the party. This included paper cups, plates & napkins as well as plastic cutlery. I also ordered plastic table coverings, balloons, party favors and the decorations. We had a bubble themed party so the favors were bubble solution and bubble gum. I ordered some extra bubble gum to have out during the party.
Two Weeks Ahead
Confirm guest count
Put together party favors – When entertaining a big group, it is important to plan ahead. The favors can be made weeks in advance (unless it is something perishable) and will save you a last minute headache at party time.
Make a prep list – The prep list (a to-do list) is something I’ve used since my days of working in a kitchen. It is a list of everything that needs to get done. By looking at each project (item on the list) I was able to prioritize and also make a plan of what could happen ahead of time.
One Week Ahead
Purchase the food - Make that trip to the supermarket or order online or both. Since my son was born, I have learned to love the convenience of grocery delivery. The only downside is that sometimes you get potatoes instead of eggplant or they forget to deliver something entirely. I had my groceries delivered 4 days before the party to be safe. I still made trips to the grocery store three times after that, but it was nice to have the bulk of everything delivered.
I also ordered the baguettes for the sandwiches about a week ahead. This way I could relax on party day and not stress about getting to the bakery early so they would have what I wanted.
Three Days Ahead
Cook Pasta for Pasta salad, prep vegetables
Prep scones and put in freezer, I used the recipe from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook which has you freeze the dough ahead of baking!
Two Days Ahead
One Day Ahead
Make Fruit Salad
Frost & Decorate Cupcakes
Pick up smoked salmon
Get out all platters and serving utensils needed
Set up the bar
Chill beverages (it was cool enough on party day that we were able to chill the beverages outside!)
Set out tablecloths and decorations
Pick up Bread & ice
Set out Food & Beverages
During the party I was able to mingle with my guests and spend time with my son. It was nice to have a few close friends offer to help and I took them up on their offers. People want to be included so don’t say NO to help. I wouldn’t ask someone to do my dishes or take out the trash, but cutting the cake and setting out the favors are definitely within reason.
Happy First Birthday Hamilton! Hopefully in one year, I’ll be celebrating the first anniversary of Julie’s Beet.With this guide, I’ll be able to put the party together in no time!