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.
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.
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!
Grilling 101 July 31 2015
In the summer I love to grill. The warm weather makes it the perfect time to be outside and the fresh fruits and vegetables available lend themselves to the simple cooking technique of the open flame.
Here’s my guide to ensure your next barbecue is your best yet!
- Gas vs. Charcoal: Gas is obviously the easier method of the two, but isn’t always available. Charcoal does offer that delicious smokey flavor you look for from a grill. From my experience, if you are using charcoal, buy a charcoal chimney. It makes setting up the charcoal infinitely easier.
- Get it Hot: A hot grill is going to cook everything better. It allows you to get a nice char on the outside of your meat or fish and provides those beautiful grill marks on sliced vegetables and fruits. Once you have a nice char, I advise moving more delicate items to a place on the grill where they are getting indirect heat.
- Use the right amount of oil: You do not need a lot of oil when cooking if your grill is hot enough. It is the extra oil that causes those flare-ups. Just lightly brush your meat, fish or veggies with a smooth olive oil and place on your hot grill.
- Season it: Seasoning is super important when grilling. You know you are going to get a nice smoked flavor from the grill but don’t forget the salt, pepper or maybe you are looking for something extra special. The spice blends from La BoÎte are perfect for the grill, especially Pierre Poivre N.7.
- Timing: You want your food to cook evenly, so if you cook your steak for five minutes on the first side, make sure you cook it for five more minutes once you flip it. My grandfather used a timer when cooking steaks. He would give them an extra turn on each side to get the nice square grill marks. The meat was cooked perfectly every time.
- Let it rest: I am sure your mouth will already be watering while you are grilling but it is really important to let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes once it comes off the grill. This allows the juices to settle and stay inside the meat, making it even more delicious.
Enjoy the first weekend of August. There are still 5 more great weeks of summer ahead of us. Fire up those grills and if there is a pool nearby, even better!