Spicy Vegan Black Bean Stew January 19 2018I’m sure there is no need to point out the obvious, but it is cold outside. Blisteringly cold. Oh, the joys of a New York winter. I, as I’m sure many of you are, am feeling pretty heavy and lethargic after the Holidays -- and the cold weather outside isn’t helping matters. But if you are trying to start your New Year on a lighter note, this Spicy Vegan Black Bean Stew is my warming midwinter comfort food go to -- try saying that three times in a row :) Simple. Warm. Light, yet filling. Delicious! Serve over cilantro brown rice, or with a chunk of crusty sourdough bread. Enjoy! And stay warm.
Spicy Black Bean Stew
1.5 cups dried black beans, rinsed, soaked overnight or 2 (15 oz) cans black beans
1 tsp salt
1 tbs + ¼ tsp cumin, divided
1 bay leaf
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
3 medium carrots, washed, peeled, cut into thin slices
3 stalks celery, washed, cut into thin slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup filtered water
salt and pepper to taste
1 bundle fresh cilantro (chop only what is needed right before serving)
avocado slices (for garnish, optional, although pairs nicely with spiciness of stew)
1) Rinse soaked beans, combine with enough water to cover by 3 inches, then add salt, ¼ tsp of the cumin, and bay leaf in 1-gallon pot, bring to a boil, simmer for 35 minutes (beans should still have a slight bite at this point, as they will continue cooking in the stew). Drain beans, set aside
2) Heat olive oil in a 1-gallon pot, once shimmering, add onions, carrots, and celery and sweat until onions are translucent (approx. 5 minutes). Add garlic, remaining 1tbs cumin, chili powder, cayenne and continue to cook (approx. 3 minutes)
3) Add tomatoes, water, and beans to the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender
4) Season with salt and pepper to taste
5) Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced avocado
Vegan Eating During the Holidays January 05 2018
Although it may seem like a daunting task, with a little preparation and planning, remaining vegan during the holiday season is really quite easy. With so many amazing vegan products on the market, and hundreds of quality vegan recipe blogs on the internet, creating a bountiful and satisfying holiday spread has never been easier. I think it's fun to create vegan versions of traditional holiday recipes and share with my non vegan friends and family -- and in most instances with baked goods and foods where meat isn't the main ingredient, many cannot distinguish the difference between the traditional recipe and the vegan recipe. As for almost everything, preparation is key, and making sure that you have the correct supplies and ingredients on hand is essential. Experiment with new recipes and ingredients, and ask your loved ones to help you with preparation -- this makes cooking more fun and highlights the magic of the holiday season.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2018!
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.
P&T Tea Sale! November 10 2017
P&T is a specialty tea company founded in Berlin, Germany, committed to exploring the world's finest teas and herbs. We currently have their line of teas on sale as we head into winter.
I am currently battling a week-long cold, so what better topic to write about than tea? I love tea, and even when I’m not sick, I drink at least one cup of herbal tea per day. There are so many wonderful medicinal and health properties to tea, including antioxidants, and depending on the blend you’re drinking, the list goes on. I’m sipping on P&T Pu Er Bai Ya, which is a Chinese white tea, which I infused with fresh ginger, fresh lemon, and a splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. It’s delicious. Sweet, woody, with both floral and grass notes = YUMM!
- Bring 10 oz of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn off burner, and allow the water to sit for at least 5 minutes. (To extract the best flavor from your tea, it’s best to brew at 195 degrees fahrenheit)
- Pour 8oz of water over one P&T Pu Er Bai Ya tea bag, and steep for three minutes
- Add a small piece of fresh, peeled ginger, ½ lemon, juiced, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Enjoy!
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.
Countdown to Thanksgiving! October 27 2017
Warmth. The thing I love the most about Thanksgiving is the warmth it embodies. It is usually quite cold in Minnesota by late November, and more times than not, the ground is painted white with snow, but no matter how cold the winter air may be, I am filled with an abundance of warmth. As the symphony of laughter echoes through the event hall my family rents every Thanksgiving, joyful and loving energy embrace you like a warm hug, and light dances off the full-mouth smile everyone is wearing. Cinnamon, apple, fennel, and clove drape the event center walls, weaving together an intoxicating tapestry synonymous with the holiday season. A banquet of turkey, stuffing, meatballs, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and Norwegian fare consume the twenty-foot-long buffet table, eagerly awaiting hungry stomaches. Despite the frigid number shown on the thermometer, everyone is warm.
As Thanksgiving nears, find warmth in the indulgent, comfort-food flavors of the season. Check out two of Julie's Beet favorite fall recipes below.
Falling for Autumn and Pumpkins October 13 2017
As the crimson and golden leaves jump from their branches and the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove dance in the brisk autumn air, fall into the season with a bowl of delicious, nutty, roasted pumpkin pasta. There is something so simplistic, yet decadently warming about roasted pumpkin, and paired with pasta, garlic, olive oil, and toasted walnuts, you are sure to have a quintessential fall dish.
I, as I'm sure many of you do, love everything about the fall season. From the taste of all things pumpkin spice, to hot apple cider, to oversized sweaters, to the smell of toasted nuts and vanilla, there is something so internally warming about this time of the year. I vividly remember my childhood home being flooded with the scents of baked apples, cinnamon, and caramel -- a symphony of scents that I try to replicate every autumn.
As I sit here sipping a hot toddy -- the weather in New York is finally getting cool enough to do so -- I am reminded of the impending fall season, and the nostalgic memories of pumpkin picking, pie baking, and jack-o-lantern carving that it evokes. So, if you feel inclined, mix yourself a lovely hot toddy using BeeLocal honey, and jump into the fall season with the beautiful pumpkin pasta mentioned above. I hope you enjoy!
1/2lb (half package) Semolina Artisanal Pasta's Strozzapreti Pasta
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup spinach, packed
½ teaspoon chili flakes, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest, more or less to taste
Juice of half the zested lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper, and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender and caramelized, roughly 40 to 50 minutes
-Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, but stop cooking a minute or two before al dente, as the pasta will finish cooking in the sauté pan with the remaining ingredients
-In a large sauté pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add minced garlic and chili flakes, careful not to burn the garlic
-Mash 1/5 of the roasted butternut squash with a fork, then add both mashed and cubed butternut squash to the sauté pan with the garlic and chili flakes
-Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water, and add to sauté pan. Add cooking liquid to thin sauce as needed
-Add spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
-Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest to taste
-Garnish with chopped walnuts and dried cranberries
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.
Super Easy Peach Cobbler August 25 2017
As you’re well aware by now, I truly enjoy all of the fresh produce that comes along with the summer. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and they’ve been really delicious lately. I made this super easy Peach Cobbler last weekend to bring to friends. It is the perfect dessert to serve a crowd. Make it really easy on yourself and cook it in an aluminum pan so you don’t have to worry about bringing anything home. Make the cobbler even better by serving it warm topped with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.
Find the recipe below!
Easy Peach Cobbler
Makes 10 serving
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of Salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
-Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan
-Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter, DO NOT STIR.
-Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, peaches, and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat stirring constantly. Pour over batter, DO NOT STIR.
-Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool.
Tea Time August 06 2017
As early as the 17th century, tea has been used in the making of cocktails. From punches for lavish parties, to the subtle refreshment of a margarita, tea can up the game of your next cocktail.
What can tea lend to a cocktail?
Pleasant bitter, floral notes
Tannin to create texture without weighing the drink down
Balance – especially where punch is concerned, it is the perfect mixer to mellow out the hard edge of any rum, Cognac, or liqueur
Care – In England, it is customary to give “tea and sympathy” to a worried friend to ease their burdens. Currently, we have learned the antioxidants in tea have been proven to give health benefits to the tea drinker. What better way to drink in good health?
We are very happy to offer four teas from Paper & Tea, a dedicated specialty tea company out of Berlin inspired by the lengthy legacy of tea. They are dedicated to bringing its benefits to a modern audience.
So kick back and enjoy the weekend with their recipe for Berry Pomp Iced tea. I modified mine by adding a wee dram of crisp vodka, to refreshing result.
BERRY POMP ICED TEA
A caffeine-free alternative for those long summer days, find solace from the swelter with this juicy and tangy iced tea.
Follow the recipe to make 1L of iced tea:
- 10g P & T Berry Pomp Master Blend
- P & T large cylinder pot
- 1L filtered water
- ice cubes
- mint sprigs or orange slices to garnish
- honey as sweetener (optional)
Measure 10g of P & T Berry Pomp Master Blend into large cylinder pot and add 1L boiling water. Infuse for 4 minutes then decant into a pitcher, add 1 teaspoon of honey (optional) to the cooling tea. Pour directly over a large glass filled to the brim with ice cubes or refrigerate for later use. Garnish with slices of orange or a mint sprig when serving.
Enjoy the Weekend,
Sweet & Smoky Pecan Pie Recipe July 28 2017
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated National Pecan Pie Day. While summer may have you thinking more about strawberry pie and ice cream, this recipe is too good to not to share. We use the Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey which has just the right amount of smokiness to compliment all the sweetness in the pie. You can serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to cool things off. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed.
Southern Pecan Pie with Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey
Makes 6-8 Servings
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked pastry shell(9 inch)
½ cup pecan halves
-Preheat oven to 350° F.
-In a small bowl combine the sugar and flour. Stir in the eggs, Bee Local Cherry Wood Smoked Honey, butter, vanilla, & salt. Add the chopped pecans a mix well. Pour into pastry shell. Arrange pecan halves in a design on the top of the filling.
-Cover edges of pastry with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes. A knife inserted into the center of the pie should come out clean.
-Cool on a wire rack and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
BYO Corn Salad July 07 2017
This summer has already offered up a lot of great reasons to get creative in the kitchen. With the backyard barbeques and potlucks in store, I've been brainstorming new ways to use my pantry and bring something fun and wholesome along. This past July 4th holiday I kept things simple and made a sweet corn salad and utilized D.a.T Sauce, an incredible hot sauce by Louisiana's Don Abner Tabor, to add a spicy kick. It was easy to make, and the perfect side for the variety of meats that were fired up on the grill all afternoon.
5 ears of sweet, white corn; shucked and scraped
2 roasted red pepper fillets; slice into thin strips
1-2 tablespoons D.a.T Sauce; to taste
Salt, Pepper, and a dash of Five Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish
-Warm a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the corn and quickly toss to cook. The corn will be bright yellow in color when it is ready.
-Toss the corn and peppers into your travelling party dish.
-Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and give it a good stir.
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.
Is it Ramp Season yet? April 21 2017
Spring is finally in the air here in New York. That means the flowers are blooming and spring’s bounty of vegetables is about to arrive at the farmer’s market. At my house, we always are on the lookout for ramp season. It is a short one so if you aren’t quick on your feet those ramps will be gone before you know it. You may be asking yourself, is a ramp a vegetable or the thing you use when you’re pushing your child in their stroller into a building?
Ramps are part of the onion family but aren’t leeks or shallots. They look a bit like a scallion but are slightly smaller with one or two long, broad green leaves. They taste stronger than a leek with the addition of a garlicky flavor. Ramps get a lot of hype because they are one of the first vegetables to poke through after the ground defrosts from the winter. If you haven’t tasted a ramp yet, keep your eyes peeled for them at your local greenmarket or your favorite restaurant. Chefs love their delicate and unique flavor. When I worked at db Bistro Moderne(many years ago) we would pickle 5 gallon buckets of ramps during their season so there would be some on hand year-round.
I’m still making plans for the ramps that will make it to my kitchen this season. Perhaps they will be sautéed with white wine and used as a ‘sauce’ over veal chops. Maybe I will chop them up and add them to a cheese omelet. To keep it simple I may just pair the ramps with pasta and olive oil. No matter what happens to those ramps , I am sure they are going to be delicious. I’ll be sure to report back on how my ramps get used. How do you like to cook or eat ramps?
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.
Purim Celebration March 10 2017
This Saturday night marks the beginning of the Jewish Holiday of Purim. This is one of the more festive holidays and is enjoyed by all ages. Children dress up in costumes similar to Halloween and there are often carnivals to celebrate the holiday. One big tradition of Purim is to give Mishloach Manot or Purim Baskets. Traditionally these consist of at least two different food items that are given to family and friends. Historically this was to insure everyone had enough to eat during the feasting portion of the holiday. These days it just adds to the celebration.
I am sure you already have your baskets set for this year but we do have a lot of great Kosher products in our marketplace that would be perfect for next year! I prefer to do homemade items and my kitchen has been busy this week with lots of baking to get ready for the holiday. Today we packed up our Purim Baskets and will deliver them to friends this weekend.This year, along with a hand decorated card by my 2-year-old, we included Grandma Terry’s Hamantaschen, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Rococo Chocolates Bee Bars. I am sure our friends will not be disappointed when they open their baskets of goodies.
The Ultimate Baked Pasta February 24 2017
My youngest son turned one yesterday and boy was it a day! I’ve been busy getting ready for his party this weekend but wanted to share this amazing recipe for The Ultimate Baked Pasta. I used Due Cellucci Tomato Basil Sauce and our newest product Strozzapreti Pasta from Semolina Artisanal Pasta(more on this soon!). This dish is perfect for the chilly weather and is easy enough to throw together for a delicious weeknight meal.
The Ultimate Baked Pasta
Makes 6 servings
16 oz Semolina Strozzpreti Pasta
1 – 24 oz Jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil Sauce
1 ½ cups Fresh Ricotta
½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook Semolina Strozzpreti Pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, drain.
-In a large bowl combine the cooked Semolina Strozzpreti Pasta and Due Cellucci Tomato Basil Sauce. Fold in Ricotta leaving large clumps. Spread about half of the past mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan and Mozzarella over the pasta. Top with the rest of the pasta mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
-Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
-Garnish with fresh basil, if desired, before serving.
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.
The Health Benefits of Olive Oil January 20 2017
We all know that Olive Oil is a healthy fat, especially extra virgin olive oil. Here are just some of the health benefits of Olive Oil. Use any of the FIVE Olive Oils from World Excellent Products and you’ll realize eating healthy is also delicious. I’ll try not to get too technical.
1. Olive Oil is rich in healthy mono-saturated fats.
2. Olive Oil is full of anti-oxidants. These antioxidants can help fight inflammation and reduce your risk of heart disease.
3. Olive Oil protects against heart disease. It lowers inflammation, improves the function of the lining of the blood vessels and may help prevent unwanted blood clotting.
4. Olive Oil does not cause weight gain or obesity. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat!
5.Olive Oil can be used to promote hair loss. Check out this article from Hair Loss Revolution.
6. The Mediterranean Diet is proven to be one of the healthiest in the world and it uses a lot of Olive Oil.
Check out this healthy recipe using FIVE Olive Oil.
Sneak Peak - New Year's Eve Menu December 30 2016
I am busy getting ready for our annual New Year’s Eve Celebration. I’ve decided to give you a sneak peak at this year’s menu. How many products from our marketplace can you spot?
I may add a few other surprise items to keep it interesting. For those of you attending… come hungry!
Happy New Year!
Devilled Eggs with La Boîte Izak N. 37 & Rick’s Picks Hotties
Caviar with traditional condiments(egg white, egg yolk, chives, red onion, crème fraiche)
Smoked Fish from Barney Green Grass with lemon wedges, toast points and crackers
Cheese Plate with Paul and Pippa Don Manchego and Tomato Bravo Biscuits
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry with Gus & Grey Jam
Simple Pizzas with Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce( cheese, mushroom & truffle oil)
Tiny But Mighty Microwave Popcorn
Rococo Chocolates Dipped Pretzels and Strawberries
Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcake Menorah
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.
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!
Follow the Directions July 15 2016
As a child, I was always told to follow the directions. This included everything from putting a toy together to making a pie. A recipe is sort of the culinary set of directions. You don’t always have to follow them, but if you are unsure about something they will lead you to the intended final product.
I’ve always loved to cook and as a teenager was always excited when my mother asked me to make dinner. That is until I heard, “The recipe is on the counter”. I was never one for recipes and always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. That explains why I was not a pastry person at the beginning of my food career. In baking and pastry there is a lot of chemistry involved and you MUST follow the recipe. I was more mature when I entered the world of chocolate, where there are lots of directions to follow. If a batch of truffles didn’t turn out or the chocolate didn’t temper correctly, I always knew where I went wrong because I still attempted to stray from the recipe.
This week I have been putting together some new furniture and have realized again the importance of following the directions. Especially when I had to take everything apart and start over because something was turned the wrong way! The recipes you find in our recipe box are there for those of you who like to follow the directions. If you are feeling more adventurous, go ahead and stray from what we’ve written… add some ingredients, take some out. If you wind up with something delicious, I hope you’ll share so the rest of us can enjoy it too!
Have a great weekend either following the directions or straying a bit, whichever suits you!
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