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.
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.
The Perfect Gift November 25 2016
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. The turkey has digested and we’re getting ready for the traditional Friday-after-Thanksgiving Family Football game. I would be lying to say I’m not 100% focused on the game; I’ve got a few other things on my mind.
Tis the season for gift giving and I spend a lot of time pondering what will be a good gift for each person on my list. The list becomes pretty long when you have 15 nephews and nieces! Here are some tips on how to select the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
- Give a piece of You – Even if you aren’t crafty, you can still give a unique gift that represents yourself. Do you love to cook? Give a cookbook. Do you love the movies? A gift of popcorn would be appropriate.
- Find a common ground – Giving a gift is tough when you don’t know the person well, so focus on what you do know. I know my cousin’s husband really likes to grill and I love to cook too. A gift of these spices from La Boîte are going to make the perfect gift. Do you both love dessert? Then you cannot go wrong with our chocolate selection.
- Resist the urge to give something you’d like – This one is tricky given tip #2 but ultimately the gift is for someone else, not yourself. Make sure you’re thinking about them when selecting the gift and keep that other one for yourself and a rainy day.
At the end of the day, be sure to give. Multiple studies support that you feel better after giving a gift compared with receiving one.
If you are in New York in December, be sure to stop by our showroom. We’re opening our doors the first three Fridays to help you find that perfect gift.
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!
Cook Outside the Box January 29 2016
As a cook I am always looking for new ways to use different ingredients. This could mean roasting cauliflower in the oven or boiling it on the stove and mashing to mimic mashed potatoes or putting it in the food processor to make cauliflower rice. I often feel the same way when it comes to the products in our marketplace. Does Jam only belong on toast? Do you only put salt on your savory dishes? Here are some ideas for using our products thinking ‘outside of the box’.
This delicious pickled okra with smoked paprika is a delicious treat straight out of the jar. Don’t waste that brining liquid when you are finished with the pickles. Save it to brine your next brisket and give it a smokey, tangy flavor.
Sure this sauce is great for making sticky sweet chicken wings(perfect for your super bowl party!) or a quick pad thai. Did you know Tamarind is also a wonderful addition to dessert? Warm the sauce and pour over vanilla ice cream like a caramel or chocolate sauce. We guarantee you will not be disappointed.
We all know ghost peppers are one of the hottest peppers in the world. Try taming this jam by addition some to a tart and tangy margarita. It will definitely add some heat but will also make a memorable drink without all of the burn.
I love a granola and yogurt parfait just as much as you do. A very creative way to use Lucy’s Granola is to add it to your oatmeal cookies to replace the oatmeal. You’ll add a lot of crunch and a whole lot of flavor.
I’d love to hear any other suggestions you have for cooking ‘outside of the box’!
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.
Baby Eels with Garlic Sauce, A Basque Specialty September 25 2015
When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. My love for food and cooking was already a big part of my life and I really embraced all of the new foods and eating traditions. I brought a cookbook back with me so I could continue to experiment with Spanish food after I returned to the USA. This cookbook is one of the many in my current collection and has a special place on the cookbook shelf. Recently, my 17 month old son has taken an interest in the book. Although he cannot read, he loves looking at the pictures of the Spanish classics… Paella, Sangria, Gazapacho and Tortilla Española. His favorite picture is of Baby Eels with Garlic Sauce. He bursts out in giggles every time we get to that page and even if you just say the name of the recipe.
While we aren’t able to sell Baby Eels in our marketplace, we do have a very special product from Spain, Paul & Pippa Biscuits. Paul & Pippa is a family of friendly people who love natural stuff. They couldn’t find natural biscuits they also found delicious so they decided to make them. Their biscuits are made with all natural, organic ingredients and are free from additives and colorings. We love the Cocoa Chips and Lime After Time and how could you pass up a biscuit called Me & Grandma. Find out more about Paul & Pippa here and shop the collection here.
We hope you enjoy this Spanish treat as much as we do. If anyone is interested in trying the recipe for Baby Eels with Garlic Sauce just let me know and I’ll email you a copy.