Very useful Eggs, A Christmas Brunch Recipe December 15 2017
Eggs are a very useful product in my kitchen… my family will eat them hard boiled, fried and scrambled. This recipe for a brunch frittata is a great way to use up leftover pasta and any vegetables you have hanging around in your refrigerator. It is easy enough to make in the morning but can also be made the night before and warmed or served at room temperature. The perfect breakfast for Christmas morning after opening all of your presents.
Brunch Frittata with Semolina Artisanal Pasta
Makes 6 servings
8 oz piece of Semolina Artisanal Pasta Strozzapreti
8 oz fresh spinach
3 Tablespoons olive oil
8 large eggs
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
-Cook Semolina Artisanal Pasta Strozzapreti according to package directions.
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Crack eggs into a large bowl and beat together. Season with salt and pepper.
-In a 10 inch non-stick pan, warm olive oil. Quickly sauté spinach in pan, add the cooked pasta and mix together. When the pan is hot again add the beaten eggs. Let cook slowly over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Avoid stirring the egg as you want a crust to form on the bottom of the pan. Add the cheese to the top of the mixture and place in pre-heated oven.
-Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and the cheese is melted.
-Let rest in pan for 5 minutes. To remove place a large plate on top of the pan and flip over. Cut into wedges to serve.
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.
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.
Healthy Eating can be Delicious too! May 05 2017
This week at school they were handing out blue and white cookies in celebration of Israel’s Birthday. One of the parents said ‘No thank you, I’m doing The Whole 30 Diet.’ He only looked slightly disappointed as the cookies passed him by. The truth is we sometimes go on these extreme diets with the hope that in the end they will modify our eating habits. The good news is no matter what your eating habits are, healthy doesn’t have to equate to tasting bad.
At my house, we did The Paleo Diet almost 6 years ago. That meant for 10 days we had no caffeine, alcohol, carbs, dairy or salt. We did get to eat a lot of protein, fruits, and vegetables. The diet made me realize that some of the meal choices I made weren’t giving me the energy I needed. From this 10 day experience I made some changes for the better. Our house is now mostly carb-free. We rarely have pasta or potatoes as part of a meal and I must say I don’t really miss them. Here are some tricks to keep your healthy eating delicious.
- Season Your Food – The spice blends from La Boîte add an amazing amount of flavor to vegetables and proteins. That means you don’t need a heavy sauce to coat what you are cooking to make it taste delicious.
- Stick with Dark – Chocolate that is. Dark Chocolate doesn’t have any dairy mixed in which makes it much healthier for you to consume. The single origin bars from Palette de Bine take dark chocolate to the next level and really are out of this world. Now you might thinking, chocolate isn’t healthy. When you eat a bar as amazing as these you need just a little bit to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooths.
- Go Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans make a great snack and pack a lot of energy into something easy to take with you. Our Ranch Salad Almonds are perfect for keeping your energy levels up during the day with something delicious and tasty.
I hope these tips will help you keep to your healthy eating goals and be the in the shape you desire before swimsuit season begins 😊
Stock Your Pantry February 10 2017
We’ve just survived another round of snow here in New York. There is always a lot of hype prior to a snow storm about stocking your pantry. Since we don’t typically drive to the supermarket in New York I feel it is less of an issue than it might be in other places. I do however promote stocking your pantry with great food items to use in a pinch whether it be a snow storm or an unexpected guest. I know I’m always pushing products from our marketplace (that is my job!) but a quick survey of my pantry found the following items and here are some suggestions on how to use them.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Kosher Salt – This is a no-brainer. Good salt makes everything taste better and I pretty much use this salt on everything from seasoning a steak to brightening up a salad.
La Boîte Spice Blends – I have too many spice blends to count. After cooking the box of pasta from your pantry toss generously with your chosen spice blend and some olive oil before serving.
Rick’s Picks Phat Beets – These are good straight from the jar but are also great in a salad paired with goat cheese or blue cheese or whatever cheese is hanging out in your refrigerator.
Due Cellucci Traditional Tomato Sauce – Of course you could pour this amazing sauce over that pasta from your pantry OR you could use it as a base for a delicious tomato soup. Pair the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich and everyone in your house will be happy!
Lucy’s Granola – This a great breakfast option when you’re snowed in and don’t have anywhere to go. I recommend having breakfast in your pajamas when there is no place to go. Pour some granola on top of your yogurt for a delicious parfait. You can also sprinkle onto pancakes as they are cooking for some extra crunch and hidden deliciousness.
Paul & Pippa Biscuits – Is it a cookie? Is it a cracker? Well, these biscuits are both. The sweet flavors are great with a cup of tea and the savory would be great with that cheese from the refrigerator.
I’m sure if I moved some of the boxes of Cheerios around in my pantry I would find more products to tell you about but I think you get the idea. I hope you’re surviving the weather wherever you are. Remember you can order from our marketplace rain or snow or sleet or hail or sun!
Thanksgiving Recipes! November 04 2016
Halloween is over and it is finally time to look ahead to Thanksgiving. It is definitely one of my favorite holidays because it is all about family, friends and eating!
Here are some great recipes for your Thanksgiving meal using some of the products from our marketplace.
Roasted Chicken with Jacobsen Kosher Salt, just in case a Turkey won’t fit in your NYC oven
Honey Glazed Carrots with Bee Local Cherrywood Smoked Honey
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with La Boite Ayala N.16 and Bee Local Portland Farmland Honey
Simple Stuffing with La Boite Breeze N.5
Pumpkin Pie with Paul + Pippa Chocolate Crust
Place orders by Thursday November 17th for guaranteed delivery before Thanksgiving.
What's Trending... September 09 2016
I love keeping up with what is happening in the food world by watching cooking shows, eating out and reading lots of magazines. I may not be the best source of information on where to eat out in New York City anymore, but I do have my eye on what is happening in regards to producers and artisans around the world. I recently was reading an article about the current culinary trends taking America by storm. Like the Cronut, these trends may not last too long.
- Center Plate Vegetables: When I go to a restaurant I often order a dish based on what vegetables it contains, not what the protein is. As it turns out, I am not the only one doing this. Chefs are starting to showcase vegetables more and more and in some cases they stand out much more than their meat or fish counter parts.
- Rediscovered Jewish Deli Classics: I’ve always loved a good bowl of Matzah Ball Soup or a delicious Reuben Sandwich. These classics are being rediscovered in an upscale setting. The meats are still delicious and smoked but they are being offered in a more refined way. We have our eye on one of the up and coming rediscoveries and will definitely share the excitement with you when the product reaches the marketplace.
- Creative, Ethnic Fried Chicken: Some believe it doesn’t get much better than Pop-eyes or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Chefs across the country are doing their best to make this classic American dish even better. I had a delicious Fried Chicken Sandwich at Red Rooster in New York a few weeks ago. They call it the ‘Crispy Bird Sandwich’ and it was crispy and messy. Topped with Barbecue Sauce and cheddar cheese, I had to use a fork and knife to get through it!
- Insects on the Menu: This is one trend that I just cannot wrap my head around. When I used to go camping we would joke about eating insects for protein. Now you can get cricket flour and use it to make many amazing recipes. Just thinking about insects has me itching all over so I’ll leave this trend for someone else.
- Real Food and Mindful Eating: People often say to slow down and smell the flowers. In the food world, we say slow down and taste the food. These days more thought is going in to how food is grown and how it gets from the farmer to our table. We learn to treat ingredients with respect and enjoy their flavor much more than we did before.
While it is always interesting to see what is new and trending, I tend to stick with what I love. Delicious food made with the best ingredients possible. I hope you’ll find this in all of the products in the marketplace at Julie’s Beet. Some of them are definitely on trend for the moment and I believe those are the trends that are going to last.
Good Bye Summer! September 02 2016
There is just something about being at the beach that relaxes me. Maybe it is the sound of the waves crashing on the beach or the feeling of the sand in my toes? Perhaps it is knowing that after my kids play at the beach all morning they’ll take the best naps ever? Or that since we have a grill my husband will be cooking dinner? I’m not sure what it is exactly but my family and I just returned from the most relaxing week on Block Island. We went to the beach every day and some days twice.
When I return from a relaxing week like last week, I always welcome the hustle and bustle of New York City to get me back to reality. I’m a bit less relaxed as I see the possibility of checking things off my To-Do List but I always have a better perspective than before a week away. I enjoy going back to all of our usual spots and just being home. My children love rediscovering their toys and they still take naps (thank goodness!). My husband still helps with dinner and we find a few minutes each day to unwind together.
This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. My family and I are off for one last getaway before we get into the rhythm of the school year. It is sure to be another great weekend, hopefully as relaxing as the rest of them. Enjoy the last weekend of fun in the sun. Let me know where your adventures take you and if you find any good food gems!
Getaway Weekend to the Country August 12 2016
It was a very cold February night when we were out to celebrate the birthday of my husband and our good friend, @la_boite, that we first discussed taking our families away together. We just wanted to get out of the city and on that frigid night were really looking forward to the summer. It took a little time to plan the perfect getaway but we set a date and settled on a cute house in Washingtonville, New York. This past weekend we packed up both families (including the kids ages 5 months, 1 year and 2-2 year olds) and set off on our adventure.
Even though Washingtonville is only about a 90-minute drive from New York City, it definitely felt like we were in the country! The weekend was planned with equal time ‘sight-seeing’ and relaxing. We needed something to keep the kids and adults entertained. We started out with a delicious lunch at The Hop in Beacon, New York. This place was recommended by almost everyone we spoke with about the area. After our lunch I can see why. It had a great relaxed vibe and the food was delicious. I had a fried egg on polenta with Swiss Chard and too many tater tots. After lunch we headed to the Dia:Beacon, another recommendation by many. This museum is in an old factory and the building is just as spectacular as the art inside of it. The next stop was our house in Washingtonville, our home base for the weekend.
The house was set back in the woods and we frequently saw a family of deer as we were coming up the drive. One BIG perk of country living is having a yard and a grill. We put both to good use. We went to Blooming Hill Farm where @la_boite got a box full of goodies from the farmer’s market and treated us to delicious meals the entire trip. The rest of our weekend included an adventure to the Storm King Art Center, an outdoor sculpture park. We also went to Circleville Town Park for a swim in their lake and a perfect picnic. We finished the weekend off with a trip to Ochs Orchard, visiting their animals and bringing home some delicious peaches and tomatoes.
It was a fantastic weekend away and I hope we will do it again next summer. I always love getting away and exploring new places. It is especially nice to do it with good friends. I know the kids had a good time because the morning after we got home, my son asked where his friends were.
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.
Headed to the Shore July 29 2016
I cannot get enough of the grill in the summer, or year round for that matter. Unfortunately in my New York City apartment, we are only able to grill indoors which doesn’t have the same effect as using an outdoor grill. This weekend I am headed to the Jersey Shore and plan to spend lots of time at the beach and the pool. I’ll be firing up the grill for most of our meals, including this recipe for Beer Can Chicken. It is a fan-favorite with my family. A few tips before you begin:
- You can use any kind of beer you like, just make sure it is a normal size can. Save the tall boys for Beer Can Turkey or something like that.
- If you don’t like beer, use the canned beverage of your choice. I’ve made Coke Can Chicken and it tastes just as good.
- If you are using a charcoal grill, buy a charcoal chimney. They are worth their weight in gold, especially when you are trying to light a charcoal grill on a roof-top in London on a windy night!
1 Whole Roasting Chicken(3-4 lbs.)
1 Can of Beer
3 tablespoons La Boîte Ayala N. 16
Salt to taste
-Pre-heat the grill to medium-high (about 400°)
-Drink half of the can of beer
-To prepare the chicken, clean the cavity out by wiping with a paper towel & pat the skin dry. Rub the skin with a layer of olive oil and season with salt and La Boîte Ayala N. 16
-When grill is ready, carefully place the beer can in the chicken’s cavity and prop it up on the grill making a tri-pod with the 2 chicken legs and the beer can. Close the grill, being careful not to knock the chicken over.
-Let cook approximately one hour or until the juices run clear.
-Remove from the grill and allow to cool for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream! July 08 2016
As you know, I am always looking for new and exciting ways to use our products. When I sent a package of goodies to my sister, I was eager to see what she would come up with. My sister is not only super-creative and artsy (her house looks like it should be in a magazine), she is also a very innovative in the kitchen. I was drooling when I heard about her recipe made with Paul + Pippa’s Me and Grandma Biscuits. Essentially these biscuits (any flavor would work) were a substitution for graham crackers in the crust of an ice cream pie! My sister lives in Phoenix where it is HOT most of the time. This recipe is perfect for those of us experiencing the heat out east and across the country this summer!
Caramel Ice Cream Pie with Apple-Cinnamon Biscuit Crust
Makes 1 – 9 inch pie
2 packages Paul + Pippa Me & Grandma Apple-Cinnamon Biscuits, crushed
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 quart caramel ice cream (or the flavor of your choice), softened
-Combine crushed biscuits with sugar and butter until well blended. Press into a 9 inch pie pan.
-Bake in 375°F oven for 7 minutes.
-Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
-Fill pie crust with ice cream and re-freeze before serving.
Just Add Salt May 20 2016
Salt is defined as a dietary mineral used for flavoring and preservation. It may also be referred to as sodium chloride, an iconic compound resulting from neutralization. As most of you know, salt makes all the difference in cooking as it helps bring out the flavor of everything from savory to sweet. I always add a little bit of salt to anything I am cooking. Sea Salt, like the ones from Jacobsen Salt Co., are the salts and minerals obtained from the evaporation of sea water.
This week I learned that different times of the year it is actually easier to make Sea Salt. Our friends at Jacobsen Salt Co. posted the following on Instagram this week.
‘Summer is here! We make our best Pure Flake Finishing Salt in the summer – when the water is salty and undiluted by winter rain.'
The good news is that you can buy their Pure Flake Finishing Salt right here in our marketplace. The better news is that you really can use it on EVERYTHING! Keep some on your counter and sprinkle just a bit on whatever happens to be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You’ll discover the true taste of your food and I guarantee you will not be disappointed! But remember, a little salt does go a long way!
Hopefully the summer weather has arrived where you are… or at least some spring like temperatures! It is a beautiful day today in New York City!
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.
An Update on a Classic March 11 2016
When my mom was in town a few weeks ago, I put her to work taking care of my family. One of the ways she REALLY helped was to make dinner. One night she suggested Chicken Cacciatore, a classic Italian Dish. We decided to update the dish by using La Boîte Ayala N. 16 with Rosemary, Black Pepper & Garlic instead of the traditional herbs – basil and oregano.
The full recipe is available here.
If you are ever looking to recreate or update a recipe, I highly recommend using the spice blends from La Boîte. Each blend is a taste sensation which will take your dish to the new places! If you are feeling truly experimental try blending the blends. I find my husband doing this often when I ask him to season a roast for us.
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.
Gus & Grey Holy Hell-Ghost Pepper Jam
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’!
Eight Crazy Nights! December 11 2015
We just finished the fifth of eight crazy nights of Hanukah! I love the holidays and Hanukah is one of my favorites for a few reasons.
- Because the holiday lasts for eight days and nights there is plenty of time to celebrate with family and friends!
- Lighting the menorah each night brings a sense of warmth to the home(kind of like a fire place would) and brightens the cold nights.
- During Hanukah we are celebrating the miracle of the oil burning for eight days instead of just one. That means there is lots of oil involved. How can you beat a holiday that encourages you to eat FRIED FOODS? Here are two great recipes for traditional Hanukah Latkes and Sufganiyot (jelly donuts).
- Presents, presents and more presents. This year my son is having the best time opening each package to find something great inside. I love watching the excitement in his eyes, it is almost like unwrapping a gift of my own.
Happy Hanukah to those of you celebrating! What are some of your favorite things about the holiday? I’d love to hear any traditions you have and please share your recipes!
The Big Apple October 23 2015
It is hard to believe it was 11 years ago that I packed up my things and made the move to the Big Apple, New York City. I was 25 with a sense of adventure and determination and had nothing to lose by following my dreams to make it in NYC. They say if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.
For the first few months I stayed with some friends in Westchester. I was taking a 5:15am train to be at the restaurant, db Bistro, where I worked by 6am. That’s early! It didn’t stop me from working hard and then going out and exploring the city in my ‘free time’. In a short time I had a room in an apartment on the Upper West Side and started making friends. A lot of my friends now, I met when I first moved to New York City. We were all young and looking to make a career for ourselves while also trying to have a good time! I can appreciate how much sleep I didn’t need back then.
Fast forward 11 years and I’m still living on the Upper West Side. I’m no longer renting a room in an apartment but making a home for my family. I still get up early, but at least I get to make my own hours, which means no 5am wake-up unless that is what I want. I don’t have too many nights out on the town but I still take advantage of all that New York City has to offer. I love getting together with my foodie friends. It is amazing the different paths we have taken from that tiny kitchen at db Bistro. A lot has changed in the past 11 years but one thing remains the same, my sense of adventure and determination. I am still committed to ‘making it’ in New York City and want Julie’s Beet to be a dream come true.
I really appreciate your support in my venture. I’m always open to advice, suggestions and words of encouragement. Feel free to comment or email. Enjoy the then and now pictures below!
Wedding Bells October 16 2015
This weekend I am off to a family wedding and it got me thinking about my wedding. There are so many details that go into planning the perfect event and everyone’s idea of perfect is different. You may be one of those people who look at all of the little details or take a more laid back approach and just focus on the joy of the occasion.
I like to think I took an approach somewhere in the middle. The details were very important to me as I think that is what made the day unique to my husband and myself. We wanted all of our guests to feel the joy of the occasion so had some sparkling wine waiting for them as they entered. We wanted them to feel warm as they went back out in to the winter night so had coffee, hot chocolate and cookies waiting on the way out. We also had some La Boîte Spices as our wedding favors so our family and friends could remember the day even after they left the party.
While I take a lot of pride in organization and the fine details, on my wedding day I did what I tell all brides to do(and is advice given to me by someone very wise although I cannot remember who!)… Enjoy your day, no one knows what all of the details are supposed to be except you. Let them think everything is how you planned and everyone will have a great time! This is advice that can be applied in any situation from a simple dinner party to a large event. It worked for me that day and I still use the advice when planning events, like our Open House coming up on Halloween. I hope you’ll be able to join and have a great time tasting delicious products from our marketplace. I promise to have a great time so you can enjoy yourself as well!
I am sure Rachel & Brian’s wedding will be flawless this weekend. I’m looking forward to a fantastic weekend with my family. I hope you enjoy yours!
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.
Get Organized for Back to School! September 04 2015
Summer is coming to an end as Labor Day approaches this Monday. For many of you this also means back to school time! While my son isn’t old enough for school, this is the time of the year that I tend to get more organized for the season ahead. Fall typically means more social commitments since everyone has returned from their summer travels and before we know it the holiday season will be upon us. Here are a few ideas I can share on how I try to keep my life more organized. Being organized helps me relax and hopefully it can do the same for you.
- Plan ahead – On Sunday evening I always look at the week ahead to see what our commitments are, who will be home for dinner on what nights and just see what important plans we have coming up. I do my menu planning almost a week in advance so I’m not frantic at the last minute and am able to feed my family something delicious and hopefully nutritious. I do everything I am able to do the night before, so there are not too many last minute items that need to be handled in the morning. I think this comes from working in a restaurant. There were so many variables that you never knew what you were going to walk in to the next day. By planning ahead and preparing as much as possible the night before, the next day typically went a lot smoother.
- Write Lists – I typically forget everything but if I write it down, I will eventually remember it. I write lists for everything from what I am going to do on a certain day to what I’m going to buy at the grocery. I keep an ongoing list for the grocery so when I run out of an item, I’ll write it down straight away. Try making lists (even just typing up a note on your smartphone) and see if it helps you through the day.
- Delegate - Sure you can try to do everything, but then you might go crazy. With a little organization you can delegate some of your projects to others around the house. Having someone else do something as small as taking out the trash will save you some time and energy.
- Keep a Calendar – I create a special calendar each year for my family full of pictures and IMPORTANT dates like birthdays and anniversaries. I have this hanging on the wall so I won’t forget any of those important dates. I also write down any travel plans we have and any expected visitors. I use the calendar on my iPhone to keep track of doctor’s appointments, classes and other meetings. Set a reminder a few hours or days ahead if you think you’re likely to forget something.
I hope by being organized you will be able to enjoy more time with your family and friends.
Have a great Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the sunshine, barbecues and pool parties.
Puff Pastry Flowjers August 28 2015
I’m always looking for new ways to use the delicious products in our marketplace. While most are delicious eaten straight from the jar/can/box they are even more delicious when used as part of a recipe. My friend Jeremy has been a huge supporter of Julie’s Beet and uses a lot of our products in his cooking. He gave me this recipe for a delicious breakfast pastry or afternoon snack. I’ve named the recipe after him!
I’m sure your crowd will gobble them up just like mine did.
Puff Pastry Flowjers with Gus & Grey Jam
2 sheets puff pastry like Pepperidge Farms
½ cup Gus & Grey Jam (I suggest a sweet one but savory might also be delicious)
2 apples, thinly sliced
Flour for dusting
-Preheat oven to 400°F.
-On a floured surface roll out thawed puff pastry to about ¼ inch thickness. Spread generously with the Gus & Grey Jam of your choice. Line apple slices evenly over the jam.
-Carefully roll up the puff pastry starting with the short end. Slice into 2 inch thick pieces and place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
-Make egg wash by combining a beaten egg with 2 tablespoons water. Brush the top of the flowjers with the egg wash.
-Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
-Enjoy warm from the oven.
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