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.
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.
Friday the 13th Food Superstitions January 13 2017
Today is Friday the 13th! That may scare some of you and for others(the less superstitious) it is just like any other day. I did some research about food superstitions in honor of this day. Here are a few quirky ones I found.
SALT - If you spill salt you’ll get bad luck. To counter this throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand.
ORANGES – Giving an orange to someone will make them fall in love with you.
TEA – Never put milk in your tea before the sugar otherwise you’ll never get married. Spilling your tea means a stranger is about to visit you.
COFFEE – If there are bubbles in your coffee, you should catch them with your spoon and eat them. Then you’ll come into money.
HOT PEPPERS – Never pass a hot pepper directly to a friend or it will end the friendship. Instead place the pepper on a table and let them pick it up.
PEANUTS – Don’t eat peanuts at any kind of performance. It is bad luck for the performers.
BANANAS – Don’t bring bananas on a ship it means you won’t catch any fish or the ship could get lost at sea.
Have a little fun with these when sharing food with your friends. Superstitious or not!
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
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!
Delicious Passover Foods April 22 2016
Tonight marks the beginning of the Jewish Holiday of Passover. This holiday celebrates the exodus from Egypt of the Jewish people and incorporates the story of Moses, Pharoh and the ten plagues. As with most holidays, there are a lot of special foods for Passover. Unfortunately for this holiday, there are a lot of foods to avoid. That doesn’t mean you cannot have something delicious during the holiday.
I’ve taken some of the products from the marketplace to make these holiday staples even better.
Matzoh Pizza is a favorite at my house. This year, we’ll be using Due Cellucci Traditional Tomato Sauce to top our Matzoh. Just spread the sauce over a piece of Matzoh and cover with your favorite toppings. Then finish with shredded mozzarella cheese. Put under the broiler in your oven for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Chocolate Toffee Matzoh is one of my favorite Passover desserts. When you have to cut out leavened foods, there isn’t much to feed a sweet tooth but this always does the trick. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil and place a single layer of Matzoh on the foil. Next heat one cup butter or margarine with 1 cup brown sugar. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour over the arranged Matzoh. Place in a 350°F oven until the toffee topping is bubbling. Immediately sprinkle with one bag of chocolate chips. To make this even better we chopped up some Rococo Chocolates Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Artisan Bars and used them instead of Chocolate Chips. As the chocolate melts, spread it to cover the toffee layer. Cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, if you leave it too long it will become difficult to cut. Cut and enjoy.
If you are celebrating Passover, I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends and delicious food!
Sending Mishloach Manot March 18 2016
With Purim less than one week away, I am frantically trying to decide what to include in the Mishloach Manot I will be giving to friends. The gift of MIsloach Manot is one of my favorite Purim traditions. The idea is to give the gift of food (at least 2 types) to family and friends so they will have enough food for the Purim feast. It is also said to increase love and friendship among the Jewish People.
Our Gourmet Kosher Gift Set is the perfect go-to Mishloach Manot for procrastinators. It includes Rick’s Picks K.O.(Kosher Organic) Pickle Spears. These pickles are the perfect straight out of the jar and are even better when paired with your favorite sandwich. Cacao Prieto Chocolate Bark is so delicious. I love the apricot pistachio and the art work is a postcard so beautiful. This is part of a gift that keeps on giving. Tiny But Mighty Heirloom Microwave Popcorn will make a treat for many in just 3-4 minutes. Use the Jacobson Salt Co. Kosher Salt in your cooking or put a bit on your table to finish your dishes. All of these products are certified Kosher but so delicious it doesn't even matter!
Our products are also always available on their own. Have some fun and put together your own unique collection. We would be happy to put together a personalized set and ship them off to your family and friends. Order by Tuesday March 22nd for Purim delivery.
Here’s our favorite recipe for Hamantaschen. Another great item to include in your basket.
No matter how you celebrate… Happy Purim!
It's a Boy! February 26 2016
This is what I have been telling my family and friends since I welcomed my second son on Tuesday afternoon. Having a baby is hard work but totally worth it. You cannot pass up the unconditional love...He’s curled up taking nap on my lap right now!
My mom is visiting this week to take care of all of us and I am going to take full advantage of it. She’s been cooking up a storm in my kitchen and I look forward to sharing those recipes with you soon. I also hope to share some tricks for staying energized on less sleep (but I need to figure those out first). I’ll be back to regular blog posts soon but for now I am going to enjoy my new bundle of joy.
The Crown Roast January 22 2016
I’ve always been impressed by the presentation of a Crown Roast of Lamb(or veal or pork for that matter). It seemed really intimidating to make but I was eager to accept the challenge. When I decided to host a dinner for Christmas, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to go for it! I did my research and ended up adapting a recipe from the book Meat, Everything you Need to Know by Pat La Frieda. I figured a celebrated butcher wouldn’t lead me in the wrong direction for this ambitious meal.
I am pleased to report the Crown Roast was a success both in terms of how it was presented and how it tasted. The recipe said it would serve 10-12 and we were only 8. There were very few leftovers which I take as a compliment and glad everyone was up for the challenge of consuming the delicious piece of meat.
Click HERE for the recipe.
New Year = New Resolution January 08 2016
I am still amazed that we are in 2016! It is going to be another exciting year. I am sure many of you have resolutions for the New Year. As I have been quite busy with Julie’s Beet and a few other side projects I’ve decided to focus on just one resolution for 2016. It was tough to narrow down the list but here it is.
My resolution for 2016 is to be more organized. I know I am probably not the only one with this resolution but here is how I plan to tackle it.
- Put everything away in its proper place. That means everything from hanging up my jacket in the closet to filing important papers, instead of just making a stack on the floor. The hope is having less clutter with physical items I’ll be able to have a clearer picture of what needs to happen.
- Make Lists! I already do this sometimes but need to do it all the time. Typically if I write something down I have a better chance of remembering to actually do it. A daily to-do list or a grocery list make the smallest tasks more manageable. By having the items written down, I won’t have to spend time wondering what I forgot or worrying that I am missing something.
- Storage...I guess this goes back to number 1 but when everything has a proper place it is much easier to find something and also prevents items from going missing. I plan to get proper storage for the items that clutter my life. Then I won’t have to spend time looking for my keys, my phone and that piece that is missing from my son’s puzzle!
If you have any other recommendations on how I can organize my life better in 2016 please send them my way.
Happy 2016 and Happy Friday!
Thank you for a fantastic Open House! November 06 2015
It was Halloween and we had balloons, candy, Bloody Mary’s and Chicken Wings. I knew it was going to be a great day, but I didn’t know how great. Our open house on Saturday was a big success and the best part was seeing all of the familiar and new faces stop by. As most of my business is conducted online, I hardly ever get to talk to ‘real’ people. It is something I love and I was so happy to share the story of Julie’s Beet and our terrific artisans with everyone who stopped by.
Here were the highlights…
EssieSpice Pop Up
It was wonderful to share our space with Essie, the creator of EssieSpice. She brought the heat with her chicken wings and sweet potato tater tots. Each item was finished with one of her signature sauces. It was difficult to choose a favorite and I was glad to taste them all. It was also fantastic to hear Essie speak of her heritage and inspiration for her sauces.
A Visit from the Spice Master
Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte stopped by with samples of his spices and some delicious spiced popcorn. It was wonderful to hear from the spice master himself about creating the different blends and what is happening next. Lior always has great business advice and I am so lucky he shares it with me!
The Bloody Mary Bar
I knew this would be a success as who doesn’t like a really good Bloody Mary and everyone also loves being involved in creating their own drink. The bar was stocked with The Bloody Mary Spice Master Collection from La Boîte consisting of four different blends to accompany Vodka, Gin, Tequila and Aquavit. In addition to the tomato juice, lemons and limes we also had Artion Green Olives, D.a.T. SaUce, Jacobsens Salt Co. Sea Salt Flakes, Gus & Grey Hola!Hola! Smoked Garlic and Tomatillo Jam and Rick’s Picks Smokra and Mean Beans.
All of You
It would not have been a fantastic day without all of you stopping by. Thank you to those who came from near and far to see what Julie’s Beet has to offer. A big thank you to my friend Emily, who earned the title of Employee of the Month for all of her hard work throughout the day. Finally, a huge Thank you to my Husband and son who not only helped on the day of the open house, but also got to assist in the preparations weeks ahead.
If you didn’t make it to the Open House and would like to see what Julie’s Beet has to offer, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to share the stories of the artisans with you and take you on a culinary tour you won’t forget.
Some of my photos from the day are on this album here.
Spend Halloween with Julie's Beet October 30 2015
Do you have plans for the weekend? I know Halloween is a time for scary nights and costumes along with lots of sweets! If you are in New York this Saturday, I hope you’ll make time in your day to stop by our open house. If you aren’t going to be in New York, you still have time to book a plane ticket and find a hotel. The Mets are also playing in the World Series this weekend so that is another excuse to be in New York City!!!
The open house is this Saturday, October 31st from 12-4pm. We’ll be featuring a samples of our products in addition to some special guests.
Essie Bartels from EssieSpice will be on hand to share the story behind her spices and also tempt your palate with some delicious samples. You didn’t know chicken wings and tater tots could taste this good until you’ve tried them with the spice blends from EssieSpice.
Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte Spices will be stopping by to answer questions about his spices and take you on a tour of his blends. We’ll have samples to smell and taste and also some spiced popcorn as a treat.
If that isn’t enough, a Bloody Mary Bar will be available for testing out the La Boîte Bloody Mary Spice Master Collection, Rick’s Picks Mean Beans & Smorkra, Gus & Grey Hola! Hola! Jam, D.a.T. Sauce, Artion Green Olives and Salt from Jacobsens Salt Co.
We’ll also have mini Rococo Chocolates Bars will be on hand for all trick-or-treaters as well as samples of our olive oils, biscuits and honeys.
I hope you’ll be able to stop by for the festivities and did I mention, we’ll have everything available to purchase! I look forward to meeting you Saturday and cannot wait to share all of the details with you after the open house is over!
Halloween Open House October 27 2015
Saturday October 31, 2015
Noon – 4pm
210 West 80th Street New York, NY 10024*
Join us for a fun-filled event with the best tricks and treats featuring artisan food products from across the globe
-Create a personalized Bloody Mary with fixings from La Boîte, D.a.T. Sauce, Gus & Grey and Rick’s Picks
-Pop-Up Shop from Essie Bartels featuring Tasty Treats made with delicious sauces from EssieSpice
-Spicy Popcorn from Lior Lev Sercarz & La Boîte
-Sweet treats from Rococo Chocolates
*Please note there is a flight of stairs going into the shop
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!