Picky Eaters August 05 2016
Children, especially toddlers, are often called picky eaters. They love everything that isn’t good for them… bread, pasta, French fries, chocolate. As a young girl, I vividly remember my grandmother saying “There is no such thing as I DON’T LIKE!”. We were threatened to get more of whatever we didn’t like and were clever enough to try to use it to get more sweets. When I went to culinary school one of my instructors claimed you should never say you don’t like something but use the phrase “This food has never been prepared to my liking.” It definitely sounds more sophisticated than “I don’t like this food” but really says the same thing.
I’ve been making my sons food since he was a baby hoping early exposure would make him less of a picky eater. I made a puree of everything I could think of and he ate most of it. Then the pickiness set in. What I’ve discovered is that he usually has a favorite condiment that will get him to eat almost anything. I used to put hummus with everything and he would gobble it up. These days hummus seems to only go on pretzels or crackers. When I met Stefanie of Due Cellucci Tomato Sauces she said other parents claimed their kids would only eat things with ‘Stefanie’s Sauce’ on them. I was a little skeptical since my son doesn’t like tomatoes to begin with. I recently discovered Stefanie was right! My son still loves his pasta but now he wants it with tomato sauce. That is a bonus for both of us because he’s getting what he wants and I know he is eating something healthy. For young (picky) eaters I recommend their Traditional Tomato Sauce. If I try to sneak in some Tomato Basil Sauce I’m often advised to get rid of the green stuff!
Recently my son has developed a new found love of mayonnaise. We’ve been putting it on our proteins this week. I’ll write more about mayonnaise soon.
The Crown Roast January 22 2016
I’ve always been impressed by the presentation of a Crown Roast of Lamb(or veal or pork for that matter). It seemed really intimidating to make but I was eager to accept the challenge. When I decided to host a dinner for Christmas, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to go for it! I did my research and ended up adapting a recipe from the book Meat, Everything you Need to Know by Pat La Frieda. I figured a celebrated butcher wouldn’t lead me in the wrong direction for this ambitious meal.
I am pleased to report the Crown Roast was a success both in terms of how it was presented and how it tasted. The recipe said it would serve 10-12 and we were only 8. There were very few leftovers which I take as a compliment and glad everyone was up for the challenge of consuming the delicious piece of meat.
Click HERE for the recipe.
The San Francisco Treat July 10 2015
You may remember the jingle, Rice-a-Roni, a San Francisco Treat!. I was in San Francisco last weekend and am happy to report the food scene has moved well beyond rice packets. In fact, San Francisco may just be my number two food city, behind New York City of course!
I had the pleasure of dining at Saison, where Chef Joshua Skenes is doing something amazing with food. Our table was a front row seat looking in to the pristine kitchen. The highlights of the meal for me were a battle creek trout complete with its roe and crispy skin, and a beet from their farm which had been cooked over the open fire. It tasted just like barbecue. A meal at Saison is definitely a splurge, but well worth it. The attention to detail is above and beyond and they do not miss a beat.
The other food highlight of my visit to San Francisco was a visit to the Ferry Building. The Ferry Building is home to the local Farmer’s Market three days a week and also has food stalls from many local food artisans. It is a great place to go to see what is up and coming in the food scene. California has a great climate for farming and artisans who care a lot about how their products are made. The Ferry Building Marketplace is a perfect way to showcase these products to the rest of the world. We did our best to taste a bit from everyone and made a fantastic picnic. We had coffee from Blue Bottle, cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, bread baked fresh from Acme Bread Company, chocolate from Dandelion Chocolate and fresh cherries and tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market. That made for a feast!
This trip out west has become an annual tradition for my family. I look forward to visiting San Francisco again next summer or perhaps sooner!
A Beginner’s Guide to Olive Oil April 24 2015
There are so many different kinds of olive oil out there it is easy to get confused. How do you know which type is best for you?
Here is a short guide to give you a better understanding of olive oil.
Olive oil is the fat obtained from an olive. It is traditionally used for cooking but is also found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and soaps. Olive trees are typically grown in the Mediterranean and olive oil is often associated with this region.
All production begins by crushing the olives in to a paste. The paste is then mixed and finally the oil is separated from the watery matter and fruit pulp. This is traditionally done using a press but more modern producers use centrifugation.
Cold Press/Cold Extraction- the oil was not heated over a certain temperature during processing. This allows the oil to retain more nutrients.
First Cold Press/First Cold Extraction- The fruit of the olive was crushed exactly one time to make the oil.
Olive Oil Grades
Extra-Virgin- Comes from virgin oil production only, meaning the oil was produced by mechanical means, no chemicals were involved. It has a superior taste & some fruitiness. 80% of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced in Greece and it accounts for approximately 10% of all olive oil production.
Virgin- Also from virgin oil production but of a slightly lower quality. There is more acidity but still has a good taste.
Refined- Made by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity. May be refined with chemicals. Most refined oils have a small amount of Virgin Oil added for flavor.
Organic- No chemicals were used to treat the olive trees or their fruit throughout the growing process.
There are hundreds of different varieties of olive trees resulting in numerous types of olives. These olives have different looks and can also vary on size, oil content and ripening time. All of these factors contribute to the flavor of an olive oil. Many say the varietal and maturity of the olive have the strongest effect on the taste of the olive oil.
FIVE olive oil is produced from Koroneki Olives. These olive characteristically have a deliciously robust flavor with a pleasant peppery zing on the finish. This is an obvious choice for FIVE Olive Oil since Koroneki trees have grown for over 3000 years in Greece.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Heating this oil over a certain temperature will compromise the flavor. We recommend serving an olive oil of this variety by drizzling over meats, fish, salads and bread.
Virgin – Cooking at temperatures below 375F. Also good for drizzling on vegetables, fish and meats.
Refined- Use in cooking at higher temperatures. If you want to cook above 400F canola or vegetable oil is better suited.
The collection from FIVE Olive Oils is of the highest quality. The oils are best enjoyed drizzled over your favorite dishes after they are finished cooking or over raw vegetables. As the weather warms up, we will have access to even more delicious ingredients that will be the perfect pairing for FIVE Olive Oils. Shop FIVE Olive Oil Here!
I’m looking forward to another beautiful spring weekend and perhaps another picnic in the park. I won’t forget to pack my FIVE Olive Oil!
The Knead for Bread March 20 2015
Recently at Julie's Beet the topic of conversation has been good bread, so we thought we would share our findings with you. As quoted by James Beard “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” and we couldn't agree more.
Our first preference was to bake a loaf at home. We started out with a beginners recipe which requires no special ingredients, equipment or technique, although like any good bread it did take some time. This recipe was created by Jim Lahey from Sullivan Bakery and is one of the easiest but still tastiest recipes out there. It's called the No-Knead Bread. The recipe was original published by the NY Times and still remains one of their most popular recipes to date. However, one of our favorite illustrations of the recipe is here:- So easy a four year old can make it! It truly is a great easy recipe and the bread turned out delicious, especially right when it came out of the oven.
Moving to the other side of the difficulty scale is Chad Robertson's bread recipe. Chad is a world renown baker and runs a famous bakery called Tartine Bread in the Mission area of San Francisco. His loaves of bread consistently sell out within an hour. If any of you are planning on making a trip down there soon, please bring us back a loaf :) He has published his famous technique which has been perfected across years of baking in the book Tartine Bread. The basic bread recipe alone is 38 pages!! It's hard to believe combining flour, water and salt could become that complicated. Creating your initial starter can take up to a week! This being the case, we're sorry to report, we haven't tested the recipe yet, but we'll be sure to update you on how it goes. For now we are still studying the book. If you are interested in learning more, here is a link.
Well, as we are all quite busy and may not have the time to bake any bread, we've rallied up our favorite bakeries in New York City.
- Maison Kayser: There are a couple around the city, but our go to is the one at 921 Broadway. Their Olive Bread is the best!
- Sullivan Street Bakery: 533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036. They are famous for their Pane Puglise.
- Il Buco Alimentari E Vineria : 53 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012. Best Ciabatta around and dipped with 5 Olive Oil is the perfect pairing.
- Bouchon Bakery: Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills & Yountville. Have a baguette or an epi bread and pile on your favorite condiments.
- Lafayette Bakery: 380 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003. A great place for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner & bread. You can even pre-order online.
Hope everyone is having a great week and happy eating!
The Team at Julie's Beet