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.
Getting Fancy at the Food Show June 30 2017
This past week the food scene took over New York when The Summer Fancy Food Show arrived at the Javits Center. In case you haven’t been the Fancy Food Show highlights amazing food products from around the world. I love going to see what is new and hot in the food world and to search out some amazing culinary artisans and products for our marketplace. This year’s show did not disappoint. There were two floors filled with food and there were not two booths that were the same.
I was able to check in with some of our current artisans at the show and find out what is new and exciting with them. I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll be seeing some new olives in the marketplace straight from Hellenic Farms. Hellenic Farms is an amazing importer and distributor of Greek foods and they took great care to keep the olives of the highest quality on the market. Tiny But Mighty Popcorn has an amazing new package design and also a new flavor of microwave popcorn! They also found a way to make the butter popcorn taste more buttery! The Matzo Project now has Matzo Ball Soup Mix available and they are debuting some chocolate covered Matzo in the fall. There is a lot of excitement to come with these great vendors.
I also had some time to explore and look for new gems amongst the many exhibiting at the show. Marshmallows, pretzels and cookies were among the favorite new lines I tasted. I also sampled a lot of different salsas looking for the perfect one. The show was filled with a variety of cold brew coffee options which kept me going as I marched through the many aisles. There is a trend currently of green or raw products. I also saw a lot of food produced for specific diets … paleo, gluten-free, etc. While it is amazing what they can do with some food ‘substitutes’ I definitely like to keep our products full of real ingredients. I’ll be sure to post about new products when they hit the marketplace. If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll also be one of the first informed.
My legs and feet are glad the show is over. My taste buds are excited and my mind keeps imagining all the new gift sets we’ll be able to offer for your needs once the new products arrive. Until then….
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.
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.
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
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
Place orders by Thursday November 17th for guaranteed delivery before Thanksgiving.
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!
NYC Open House October 07 2016
In just a little over two weeks, we will be hosting another Open House at our NYC Showroom. This year, we will be highlighting all of our NYC based artisans. We hope you will be able to join us for a day full of amazing artisans and delicious food New York City Style!
Stefanie, the creator of Due Cellucci Tomato Sauces will be tasting her newest sauce, Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce. Be one of the first to taste this delicious addition to her already wonderful line of tomato sauces.
Sample a delicious cocktail using the sauces from EssieSpice. You’ll be able to take home the collection of all three sauces at the reduced price of $25. We will also feature samples from our local artisans La Boite, Cacao Prieto, Empire Mayonnaise Company and Rick's Picks.
Lots of other wonderful products will be available at reduced prices including Tiny But Mighty Popcorn and Rococo Chocolates. We will also be giving away one of our Big Apple Gift Sets featuring the amazing artisans from New York City.
We hope to see you there!
Here are the details:
Julie’s Beet Open House
Sunday October 23, 2016
11am – 5pm
210 West 80th Street
New York, NY 10024
Fall is Here! September 23 2016
Yesterday marked the first official day of fall, if you are looking at the calendar. The weather in New York seems to be paying attention as we have relatively cool temperatures ahead of us. I’m excited to get out my jackets and sweaters. I just love being outside with a little chill in the air while still enjoying lots of sunshine.
While the beginning of fall marks a change in weather it also marks a transition from the freedom of the summer to the structure of the fall and the rest of the school year. My son is finishing his second week of school and we are starting to get into a routine. Having a daily routine helps me stay focused and also let’s me plan ahead. Right now I’m working on the details of our Fall Open House. Save the date for Sunday October 23rd. If you are in the New York area I hope you’ll make plans to pop by and see what we are all about. I’m not going to spoil all of the surprises just yet, but know it is going to be a fantastic day filled with delicious samples from our magnificent marketplace!
I hope the autumn weather is sneaking in wherever you are. Have a great weekend picking apples, raking leaves and watching football.
We're Looking for an Intern September 16 2016
I’m happy to report that business is on the rise at Julie’s Beet and we are now looking for a part-time intern at our showroom in New York City. This part-time internship offers substantial on-the-job training and experience working directly with the owner and founder of the company, me. The internship will provide real day-to-day assignments in marketing and social media, procurement of new products, as well as order fulfillment. These opportunities are focused on creating an environment that promotes learning, developing professional skills and broadening the understanding of the components needed to manage a successful business.
Responsibilities Include (But are not Limited to):
-Product Management including selection and inventory
-Creating a great customer experience including Outstanding Customer Service
Ideal Candidate Possesses
-Passion for Gourmet Food
-Basic Computer Skills
-Extraordinary Communication & Multitasking Skills
If you know someone who may be interested, please forward this information to them and have them contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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.