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.
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.
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 email@example.com or 917.951.6527 for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summer Camp Fun June 23 2017
This week my oldest son started summer camp. It has been really fun for him which is great! The tricky part for me has been figuring out what to pack in his lunch that he will actually eat. Now I’m sure you are thinking the son of a culinary professional must have a great palette. Not to disappoint you too much, but he’s three and is in a bit of a picky stage. He’ll eat almost anything if it can be dipped in ketchup and mayonnaise but condiments don’t pack particularly well in a lunch box. I turned to the internet for some ideas on how to make my child’s lunch more exciting and appealing. Here are some of my favorites.
- Take a traditional sandwich and make it interesting by cutting it into a favorite shape with a cookie cutter.
- Have a color theme for the lunch like orange with carrots, cheese, orange & goldfish crackers.
- Let your child order their lunch like from the room service breakfast menu that you place on your door.
- Don’t stick to traditional lunch items… try waffles, pancakes, or breakfast cereal to keep it interesting.
If anyone has any other ideas I am definitely open to suggestions.
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.
I love you, Mom! May 12 2017
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day set aside to make our mothers feel extra special. As a child, I always appreciated what my mother did for me. As I got older, my sisters and I would try to make Mother’s Day something to remember. We would take my mom out for lunch or to get her nails done… something out of the ordinary to make sure she understood how much she meant to us. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I truly was truly able to appreciate everything my mother did for me.
This Sunday I will be celebrating my fourth Mother’s Day as mother. When I first became I mom I remember someone telling me ‘The days are long but the years are short.’ I now know how true that is. Being a Mom is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week position. You don’t get any time off, you may eat your meals standing up or on the move and it is very likely that by the end of the day you’ll end up with something on your shirt that you probably don’t want there (vomit, pee, glue, whatever!). Oh and you can say good-bye to any ‘free-time’ you ever thought you had. To be honest, it doesn’t sound all that fun but being a mother is one of the most rewarding roles I have ever played. The perks of being a Mom are not ever being alone (even when you are using the toilet), having the unconditional love of your children(in my case 2 amazing little boys) and watching your kids grow into a ‘real’ people.
I don’t think we’ll be doing anything too out-of-the-ordinary this Sunday and that’s okay with me. I know I’ll get to spend the day with the 2 boys that make me the mom I am and if I’m lucky they’ll let me give them lots of hugs and kisses. Be sure to tell you mother you love her this Sunday and every day!
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 😊
Matzo All Year Round! March 31 2017
This week I discovered that Passover may be coming sooner than I’d like. The big tip off was that everything at the Kosher Butcher was labeled Kosher for Passover. I won’t bore you with a Jewish History lesson but in a nut shell Passover is the holiday where we celebrate the Jew’s exodus from Egypt and retell the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments among others. Of course, the holiday has a lot of eating traditions and the biggest one for Passover is that we give up all leavened things. That means no cakes, breads, cookies, donuts, etc. for eight days. As you can imagine, that is a pretty tough endeavor for someone who love sweets! Luckily, there are some really delicious recipes to be made from Matzo that you almost forget it is Passover.
The recipe below for Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crunch is that good. I made it using The Matzo Project Salted Matzo from our marketplace. Feel free to expand on the recipe and top with candies and nuts of your choosing. It will only make the recipe better, I promise. Just like The Matzo Project Matzo, this recipe is good all year round!
Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crunch with The Matzo Project Salted Matzo
Makes approximately 30 pieces
4-5 pieces The Matzo Project Salted Matzo
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 12-oz bag chocolate chips
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
-Cover the baking sheet with The Matzo Project Salted Matzo, cutting and breaking as needed to fill all of the space.
-To make the toffee combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking and stirring for an additional three minutes to let the mixture thicken. Pour the toffee over the matzo, spreading with a spatula to make an even layer.
-Put pan into the oven a bake for 10 minutes or until toffee topping is bubbling over. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the pan. Let the chocolate soften for 3-5 minutes before spreading evenly over the toffee.
-Put the pan into the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to let the toffee and chocolate harden. Don’t leave in for too much longer as it will make it difficult to cut. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares.
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?
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!
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.
Happy Holidays December 23 2016
Wow! It feels good to sit down. The past three weeks have been super busy finishing everything before the holidays begin. I hope you found something perfect for everyone on your list. I’m coming to the end of my list, crossing off a few small items here and there. The rest will just have to wait until next year. I hope over the next week you have plans to spend time with family and friends. We read a lot of Curious George at my house and in the story, Curious George and the Big City, George and his friend, the man with the yellow hat, get separated while shopping in New York City. At the end of the story they are reunited and they hold tight to each other’s hands because ‘The best part of the holidays is spending them with friends.’ I totally agree!
Cheers! Berry Pomp Punch Recipe December 16 2016
We’re just over 1 week away from Christmas and Hanukkah. While I’m looking forward to celebrating those holidays with family and friends, I am actually focused more on New Year’s Eve. We have a tradition of hosting the New Year’s Eve festivities at our home. The tradition has changed a bit over the past 2 years now that I have two small children. The party that used to last until 2am and beyond now begins at 6pm and everyone is gone by 10pm. It is great for my other friends with children and serves as the warm-up for those who have bigger and better plans afterward.
Each year my husband and his friend spend hours if not days and weeks trying to decide what will make the perfect punch. There used to be 2 punches that no-one drank but last year I limited them to one and it seemed to work out. We had guests drink every drop of that punch. This year I am going to make a suggestion by placing this recipe from P & T for Berry Pomp Punch out on the counter. It is the perfect punch for all of your upcoming holiday celebrations.
P&T Berry Pomp Punch
Makes 4-8 servings
2 bags P&T Berry Pomp Tea
350 mL Vodka
200 mL Fresh Lemon Juice
400 mL Cloudy Apple Juice
400 mL ginger beer
Orange Slices for Garnish
-Infuse P&T Berry Pomp Tea in vodka overnight
-Strain vodka into punch bowl
-Mix all ingredients together and serve with ice and orange slices
The Best Meal for a Crowd December 09 2016
It is amazing how fast time flies between Thanksgiving and New Years. We have just over three weeks left to make the most of 2016! I don’t know about you but I have a lot of family get togethers between now and the end of the year. I always want to make sure everyone is well fed, but also want to enjoy their company. This recipe for vegetable lasagna is always a hit. The best part is it can be made ahead and just heated on the day. Serve with a salad and some fresh bread for a quick and easy meal.
What are your go-to recipes for a crowd? I am always looking for new ideas on how to keep a hungry crowd happy.
Vegetable Lasagna with Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
Makes 6-8 Servings
1 package(9 oz) lasagna noodles, oven ready
2 each green zucchini
2 each yellow squash
1 medium eggplant
1 – 10oz bag frozen spinach
16 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1 piece fresh mozzarella(about ½ pound)
1 –jar Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Slice zucchini, yellow squash & eggplant into ½ inch slices. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through.
- Defrost bag of spinach and ring out extra water. Mix all the spinach with the ricotta cheese.
- Slice the fresh mozzarella into ½ inch pieces.
- Now you are ready to build the lasagna
- Layer 1 – Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce (generously coat the bottom of the baking dish(9x13 pan approximately)
- Layer 2- lasagna noodles(break into pieces so they don’t overlap)
- Layer 3 – single layer of zucchini & yellow squash
- Layer 4- more Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Layer 5- noodles
- Layer 6 – Eggplant
- Layer 7 – fresh mozzarella
- Layer 8 – Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Layer 9 – ricotta & spinach
- Layer 10 – noodles
- Layer 11 – Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
- Layer 12 – shredded mozzarella
- Once the lasagna is assembled, cover with tin foil and bake in 350 degree F oven for 1 hour, take foil off for the last 10-15 minutes to make the cheese golden brown.
- If you’re making ahead. Let cool before placing in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350°F uncovered for 20-30 minutes until heated through.
Visit our Showroom This Sunday October 21 2016
Is it summer or fall? The weather this week has me thinking of June or July but not October. As it turns out the weather will be more seasonal for our Fall Open House this Sunday. I’ve been busy all week getting the showroom ready. I hope you’ll be able to join the fun as we open our doors, welcome the fall and the busy holiday season ahead.
Here is a preview of all the excitement we have in store...
Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce Sampling: From 1:30-3pm, Stefanie, the creator of Due Cellucci Tomato Sauces, will be on site with her delicious sauces warmed up and ready to taste.
EssieSpice TamarindOh! Tequila Sunrise Punch: We are always looking for new ways to use our products and this recipe from EssieSpice is perfect. We’ll have a kid-friendly version as well.
Special Markdowns: We have a few specials cooked up for Sunday including Rococo Chocolates Bee Bars for just $1 each and Tiny But Mighty Popcorn at half-price!
Raffle Give Away: Enter to win a Big Apple Gift Set featuring all or our local artisans.
I hope to see you on Sunday. Here are the details one more time!
Julie’s Beet Open House
Sunday October 23rd, 11a – 5p
210 West 80th Street
New York, NY 10024
Our trip to The BIG Chocolate Show October 14 2016
Last Saturday I was able to attend The Big Chocolate Show in New York City. As you can imagine, it was a chocolate lovers dream. The show was at the Terminal Stores in New York, which once was a long tunnel trains passed through and is now a spectacular event space. It also is home to many offices, Colombe Coffee and The Porchlight. The setting was great and the chocolate did not disappoint.
I was really excited to try chocolate from newer producers. I can assure the bean-to-bar movement is still going strong. I tasted single origin chocolates made in everywhere from Mexico to Hoboken, New Jersey and Brooklyn too! I also got to learn more about the Fine Chocolate Industry Association and see what is on the horizon for the chocolate industry.
Here are the products that really stood out to me:
Gotham Chocolate: These chocolate bars and truffles are made in the kitchens at Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City. They had intense dark chocolate with coffee and white chocolate with smoked cinnamon from our friends at La Boîte. The packaging is stunning and the chocolate was really smooth and tasty.
John & Kira’s: This chocolate company is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They use delicious Valrhona Chocolate in their creations and the rest of the ingredients are typically local products. I tasted a divine honey caramel made with honey from a local farm. I bought some Pumpkin Spice Caramels to save for a special treat on Halloween.
Wolter Chocolate: This is one of the finest chocolates I have ever tasted from Mexico. It goes from tree to bar in the Tabasco region of Mexico. The company is just starting out and it was great to hear their stories of making chocolate and finding their way into the US market.
I left the show with a belly full of chocolate and a smile on my face. I have to say my two-year-old did too! I still think our collection of Rococo Chocolates and Cacao Prieto are outstanding among the competition. Now that the weather has cooled off it is time for chocolate to take center stage. We're busy getting ready for our open house next weekend. Stop by and enjoy a bar or two or three!
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.
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