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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 917.951.6527 for more information.
Judging Chocolate, Sign me Up! April 07 2017
Last Friday, I had an amazing opportunity to assist with judging the International Chocolate Awards. In the pouring rain, I made my way from the Upper West Side in New York to Hoboken, New Jersey. I thought that journey was long but when I sat down to judge I realized I hadn’t come as far as others. I found out about the judging from my friend Jessica of Bar Cacao. She specializes in Craft Chocolate and is ready to get involved with all types of chocolate. Jessica traveled from California to be here for the judging. At my table there was a man from Portland, Oregon and a woman from Germany. I guess people really will travel for chocolate.
I was a little intimidated by the thought of judging these prestigious awards but when I arrived at Ultramarinos in Hoboken, where the event was held, I was given a warm welcome. What I thought would be a super stringent judging process ended up a being a great opportunity to not only taste a lot of chocolate but also network with colleagues in the chocolate industry. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of chocolate to judge and that was taken very seriously; but I was surprised by the amount of discussion that came along with the judging. Here is a run-down of my experience.
After I was set up on the judging system, all online and confidential I believe, I had to awaken my palette. I was give 3 chocolates to taste and record their flavor profile. Later in the day one of these chocolates would return to see if my palette was still on par with where I started. Between each tasting I tried to drink a lot of fizzy water to cleanse my palette and people also eat very plain polenta to help keep their taste buds in tune. Next came the chocolate and lots of it. Every 10-15 minutes we were presented with a plate of 3-5 different chocolates. They all had a description of what was inside and I was informed to taste the stronger flavors (like chili) towards the end. Everything came out without packaging so you didn’t know who the producer was. The most memorable chocolates I tried were a dark chocolate ganache with soy sauce and Pedro Jiménez Sherry which was surprisingly successful. I also really enjoyed a dark chocolate ganache layered with a bumbleberry gelee. I can tell you coconut cream is popular right now along with Asian flavors (wasabi, soy sauce, pickled ginger).
After about 3 hours, it was time for me to return to the real world. I had a slice of pizza on my way back to the Path Train to balance out the sweetness from the chocolate. Most of the other judges were in it for the long haul, tasting up to 8 hours a day for 3-5 days in a row. You can read more about the International Chocolate Awards on their website.
We also have a collection of past winners in our marketplace including Palette de Bine Vietnam 72% Dark Chocolate, Rococo Chocolates White Chocolate Cardamom, Rococo Chocolates Sea Salt, Almond & Rosemary, Rococo Chocolates Basil & Persian Lime and Rococo Chocolates Sea Salt Milk Chocolate.
Something New in the Marketplace February 03 2017
And just like that we are into the month of February. I often find that with a new year, there are lots of other new things. The marketplace at Julie’s Beet is no different. We’ve added quite a few new products over the past few weeks. Here they are(in no particular order).
Rococo Chocolates Collector’s Edition Organic Drinking Chocolate Tin – This metal tin contains the same drinking chocolate we’ve always had in our marketplace. The big difference is you will have this amazing decorative tin to keep long after the drinking chocolate is finished. Perfect for holding pens on your desk or hiding your favorite treats. The drinking chocolate can be made with milk or water for a rich and/or creamy treat.
Rococo Chocolates Milk Chocolate Artisan Bar Sea Salt, Rosemary & Almond – If you love almonds or salt in your chocolate this bar takes it to the next level. With just a hint of savory Rosemary essential oil, caramelized almonds and a sprinkle of sea salt you’ll be taken straight to a happy place. Enjoy this new addition to our already extensive line up of Rococo’s delicious artisan bars.
Undone Chocolate Cacao Shell Tea Jar – The crew at Undone Chocolate now offers their Cacao Shell Tea in a sleek glass jar. The jar is bigger(4 oz) so you can make more of the delicious chocolatey tea.
The Matzo Project Everything and Salted Matzo – I’ve been speaking with the masterminds at The Matzo Project since last June and am thrilled to finally have their product in our marketplace. It is made in Brooklyn New York and is just the kind of product I love. It has amazing packaging and a great taste to go with it. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do and don’t worry your grandmother will approve.
I was at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco a little over a week ago looking for more amazing products. Of course, I found some really good ones. Keep your eyes peeled for even more artisans to join the our growing collection.
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
The Perfect Gift November 25 2016
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. The turkey has digested and we’re getting ready for the traditional Friday-after-Thanksgiving Family Football game. I would be lying to say I’m not 100% focused on the game; I’ve got a few other things on my mind.
Tis the season for gift giving and I spend a lot of time pondering what will be a good gift for each person on my list. The list becomes pretty long when you have 15 nephews and nieces! Here are some tips on how to select the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
- Give a piece of You – Even if you aren’t crafty, you can still give a unique gift that represents yourself. Do you love to cook? Give a cookbook. Do you love the movies? A gift of popcorn would be appropriate.
- Find a common ground – Giving a gift is tough when you don’t know the person well, so focus on what you do know. I know my cousin’s husband really likes to grill and I love to cook too. A gift of these spices from La Boîte are going to make the perfect gift. Do you both love dessert? Then you cannot go wrong with our chocolate selection.
- Resist the urge to give something you’d like – This one is tricky given tip #2 but ultimately the gift is for someone else, not yourself. Make sure you’re thinking about them when selecting the gift and keep that other one for yourself and a rainy day.
At the end of the day, be sure to give. Multiple studies support that you feel better after giving a gift compared with receiving one.
If you are in New York in December, be sure to stop by our showroom. We’re opening our doors the first three Fridays to help you find that perfect gift.
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
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!
Happy Anniversary Julie’s Beet! April 15 2016
I cannot believe it has been a year since this site officially launched. What an exciting year it has been. I’ve met so many wonderful people and eaten so many delicious products. I still love hearing each artisan’s story and searching near and far for the hidden food gems from around the world.
When Julie’s Beet launched we had just four artisans in our marketplace. Rococo Chocolates, La Boîte, Gus & Grey and World Excellent Products were part of our opening collection and continue to be among my favorite products. To celebrate our anniversary we’re adding a surprise gift from one of these artisans to each order placed before May 14th. We now have sixteen artisans represented in the marketplace and continue to grow.
One year ago we had just one gift collection available. Now we have more than ten gift options and also the option of creating a custom gift set. Each set is curated to give the recipient a variety of outstanding products. We want to pass along a great message to family and friends about what they are eating and the people behind the products. We continue to brainstorm more interesting combinations for our gift collections. If you see we are missing something please let us know!
I am excited to see what lays ahead for Julies Beet in our second year. I hope our business continues to improve and grow.
THANK YOU for all of your support over the past year and here’s looking to many great years ahead.
Cooking with Kids April 08 2016
One of my fondest memories growing up is cooking with my family. Whether it was baking with my grandmothers, grilling with my grandfather (he set a timer so we would have a perfectly cooked steak with perfect grill marks) or making dinner with my parents, I always enjoyed being around food and creating something from a recipe. As a parent now, I love cooking with my son and introducing him to new foods.
It is my son’s second birthday on Saturday. He had few requests for his party but high on his list were a chocolate cake and chocolate muffins. We made the cake and muffins yesterday. I have been cooking with children for years but am still amazed at how they manage to make a mess in the kitchen. We had a great time baking and hopefully he likes the finished product once it is decorated with lots of frosting. For the chocolate cake I used this recipe for chocolate cupcakes and baked it in a large cake pan for about an hour. Here is the recipe for the chocolate muffins.
Chocolate Chip Birthday Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup White Sugar
¾ cups chocolate chips (we used Rococo Chocolates Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Bar)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oi
¼ cup chocolate chips (we used Rococo Chocolates Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Bar)
-Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners
-Combine flour, sugar, ¾ cup chocolate chips, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk, and vegetable oil until smooth. Pour into chocolate mixture and stir until batter is just blended.
-Fill the prepared muffin cups ¾ full and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
-Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
These eggs are EGG-STRA Special March 25 2016
With Easter this weekend, I’ve got one thing on my mind… EGGS! Specifically I’ve been daydreaming about our Hazelnut Praline Quails Egg Crate and Superior Sea Gull “Fleur de Sel’ Salted Caramel Egg Crate. These delicious eggs were created by Rococo Chocolates for the Easter Holiday but became so popular they are now part of their selection available year round. One bite and you’ll agree we cannot limit the enjoyment of these eggs to this time of the year. You’ll find them in our marketplace year round as well!
These eggs are so realistic you’ll need to remind your friends they are the chocolate ones, not the ones you boil! A creamy hazelnut praline center is coated with milk chocolate and wrapped with a candy shell. The shell is painted to look identical to a real quail egg. The packaging in the crate makes the perfect gift!
These eggs are filled with a delicious and gooey Sea Salt Caramel. With just the right amount of salt added to the sweetness it is hard not to eat the entire crate. These Sea Gull eggs make the perfect gift for anyone living near the coast. They will be enjoyed by adults and children alike!
I hope everyone celebrating Easter has their share of delicious chocolate eggs and the hardboiled ones as well!
Extreme Valentine's Day February 05 2016
February is a very busy month for my family as it includes my husband’s birthday, both of our mothers’ birthdays in addition to Valentine’s Day. I usually cook dinner for my husband on his birthday and on Valentine’s Day. I am often stumped on how to make each menu unique while still being a meal he, and I, will enjoy. This Valentine’s Day I’m thinking I’ll just do a mix of canapes and finger foods. Hopefully he will think they are cute, fun and perhaps romantic when paired with a bottle of wine?
When working at Rococo Chocolates I was often tasked with preparing canapes for the different events we had. One of my favorites is from Chantal Coady’s book, Rococo, Mastering the Art of Chocolate. These canapes, a pairing of cheese and chocolate, are thoughtfully called Extreme Canapes as they really test your taste buds. People are often hesitant to try them but always love the combinations. Rococo Chocolates Wafer Thins are thin chocolate disks, which are treated just like a cracker in this case. Top the chocolate disk with your favorite type of cheese and enjoy. Some of the best pairings I’ve tried are a salty blue cheese on the 65% Dark Chocolate Wafer and a soft goat cheese on the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Wafer.
We carry the wafers in our marketplace and you can get great cheeses from your local cheese shop. If you are in New York City, here are my favorite cheese shops:
Murray's Cheese – multiple locations around the city but I prefer the west village shop. Enjoy tasting your way through their cheese case. If you have some extra time, they also have cheese classes!
Ideal Cheese – 942 First Ave at 52nd Street, This East Side cheese shop is a destination. It stocks some really unique cheeses and the staff has all of the information needed to assist you in finding the perfect cheese.
Lucy’s Whey – I love their stall in Chelsea Market but you can also find this great shop on the Upper East Side. They have really delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. I suggest munching on one while you do your shopping. This ensures your cheese will make it home for the extreme canapes.
Go ahead and take your Valentine’s Day menu to the extreme!
To Salt or Not To Salt? August 21 2015
I’ve been doing a lot of research this week on artisan salt producers. There are some really great ones out there and I am searching for the perfect salt to add to the marketplace. While looking at all of these wonderful salt makers I started thinking about if we really need salt and if our palettes have grown accustomed to too much salt.
One point is very clear, salt brings out the flavor in food. Don’t believe me? Take a slice of tomato, first try it without salt. Then add some salt and see how much more flavor that tomato has. Salt has even found its way in to sweets like our Sea Salt Milk Chocolate and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate from Rococo Chocolates.
I am a big fan of salt and as a young chef I was taught to season the ingredients all the way through a recipe. This helps to layer the flavor and have an end result of a really flavorful pot of soup, salad, tomato sauce, or whatever you might be cooking. With so many different types of salts out there, it is difficult to decide which one to use. In this post on Panna Cooking, Chef Sebastian Rouxel tells us why he prefers to bake with kosher salt. https://www.pannacooking.com/tips/kosher-salt-vs-sea-salt
I also prefer Kosher salt in my cooking, but definitely have a variety of sea salts and finishing salts around to complete different dishes. Finishing salts have larger crystals so you just need a pinch on top of a dish. Which type of salt do you prefer to use in your kitchen? Do you think we use too much salt?
I’m going to continue looking for the best salt I am able to find to add to our marketplace as long as you promise to use it in your kitchen!
A Trip Across the Atlantic August 07 2015
I am getting settled back in to the Eastern Time Zone after travelling to London and the UK for a week. It was the perfect time to take this trip as it was super HOT in New York before I left and it is never really hot in London or England for that matter. It definitely made me appreciate the British summer with temperatures in the 60’s and the sun shining bright.
The trip was mostly for fun as I haven’t been back to London since I lived there. Even after 18 months, I was still able to find my way around and I still remembered the pin code for my bank card! One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to Rococo Chocolates. I was able to visit their shops in Marylebone and in Belgravia(where I used to work). The chocolate business is generally slower in the summer because who wants chocolate melting all over their hands, right? Rococo has come up with a brilliant alternative for the summer months, Rococo Chocolates flavored Ice Creams!!!!! I shared a Milk Chocolate Sea Salt with my son and it was amazing. He was literally licking the container.
We decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of London and rented a car to drive out to the British Countryside. It is not such an easy feat to drive on the left side of the road and sit on the right side of the car. We survived and even stopped at Stonehenge as we made our way to the beautiful beaches of Weymouth. Our last day of the trip was spent in London catching up with lots of old friends.
It was great to be away but it is even better to be back. We have a lot of great new products coming to the marketplace at Julie’s Beet and I cannot wait to share them all with you.
My Visit to the Fancy Food Show July 03 2015
If I had one word to describe the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javitz Center in New York City, it would be amazing. If I had a second word, it would probably be overwhelming. The sheer volume of the show is enough to scare anyone away who doesn’t have a plan and a stomach made of steel, as I mentioned before there is A LOT of tasting.
The show opened Sunday and I decided to get there early to beat the crowds. It was a good idea as it was a rainy morning and the halls didn’t begin to fill up until around mid-day. I was able to walk up and down the endless aisles looking, tasting and chatting with the amazing vendors behind the amazing products. Luckily, I had a rough plan as to what I was looking for which made it easier to navigate the stands. Good news, I found a lot of terrific products for our marketplace. Some of the highlights from the show included Duck Fat Caramel (it really contains duck fat, I had to ask!), heritage popcorn and these fantastic lime-flavored biscuits from Spain.
In addition to all of the new products, it was nice to chat with the people behind some of our current products. Ioannis from World Excellent Products, the producers of FIVE Olive Oil, was at the show. They have some special products I look forward to introducing closer to the holidays. I also spent a lot of time with the team from Rococo Chocolates. This was their big debut in to the US Market and it was well received. They rolled out some new packaging at the show and I look forward to sharing that with you when the next shipment arrives. Due to the high temperatures in New York, that probably won’t be until the end of the summer. It will be worth the wait, I promise! Rick from Rick's Picks had a great stand as part of the New York aisle. I could have spent an entire day just chatting with these local artisans. I am so lucky to live in a city with an emphasis on quality artisan products!
With tired feet and a full stomach, I left the show on Tuesday feeling very satisfied with my experience. I am excited to expand our selection of artisans and look forward to introducing them to you very soon.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Just Two Days Until the Fancy Food Show! June 26 2015
This Sunday marks the start of the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food Show in New York City and the first ever Specialty Food Week. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few of these shows and let me tell you, it is a food lover’s dream come true. The show will take place at the Jacob Javitz Center where there will be more than 180,000 products from more than 2,500 exhibitors! That is A LOT of food.
The difficult part about the show is deciding where to go and what to sample. You don’t have room for everything so you have to be pretty particular about what you decide to taste. I read somewhere to only taste something if it is necessary in your decision making. Since it is my job to make sure everything in our marketplace is delicious, tasting is a necessity. Luckily, the show is over three days, so I can pace myself as I make my way up and down the aisles.
I know it is going to be a busy weekend but cannot wait to see what new and exciting products I will find. I am also eager to visit with some of our current suppliers including the team from Rococo Chocolates and World Excellent Products.
Stay tuned for more news from the Fancy Food Show and be ready for a lot of great additions to our marketplace.
It is almost Mother’s Day and I am sure you are trying to think of something original and unique to give to your mother. As a mother, celebrating my second Mother’s Day, I am able to tell you with confidence all your Mom really wants is to be treated like a queen for the day and to spend some quality time with her family.
Treat your mother like a real queen with a traditional English Afternoon Tea. You can serve this menu anytime of the day to make your mom feel like royalty.
The recipes you need are below.
Don’t forget flowers and a card that says ‘I Love You Mom!’
Place your orders for all of these great products before May 3rd to guarantee delivery by Mother’s Day. Don’t forget to use code SHIP4MOM for free shipping.
Plain Scones – From The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
Makes 12 Scones
1 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ¼ cups +2 tablespoons cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup + 3 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
8 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼ inch pieces
½ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons Heavy cream
½ cup + 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1 teaspoon large-crystal sparkling sugar
-Place the all-purpose flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and sift in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest setting for about 15 seconds to combine.
-Stop the mixer, add the butter, and, on the lowest setting (to keep the flour from flying out of the bowl), pulse to begin incorporating the butter. Increase the speed to low and mix for about 3 minutes to break up the butter and incorporate it into the dry mixture. If any large pieces of butter remain, stop the mixer, break them by hand, and mix just until incorporated.
-With the mixer running, slowly pour in the cream. Add the crème fraiche and mix for about 30 seconds, until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough comes together around the paddle. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle and pulse again to combine.
-Mound the dough on the work surface, and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together. Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, and, using your hands, press it into a 6-by-9 inch block smoothing the top. Press the sides of your hands against the sides of the dough to straighten them. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours, until firm.
-Line a sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Using a chef’s knife, cut the block of dough lengthwise into thirds and then crosswise in half. Cut each rectangle in half on the diagonal to make a total of 12 triangles. Arrange them on the prepared sheet pan, leaving space between them. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. (The scones can remain in the freezer for up to one month.)
-Preheat the oven to 325°F (convection) or 350°F (standard). Line a sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper.
-Arrange the frozen scones 1 inch apart on the sheet pan and brush the tops with cream. Sprinkle the top of each scone with a generous pinch of sparkling sugar. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in a convection oven, 25 to 28 minutes in a standard oven, until golden brown. Set the sheet on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
The scones are best the day they are baked but can be stored in a covered container for one day.
Serve with your favorite Gus & Grey Jam.
Cucumber & Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Makes 4 servings
1 English Cucumber
8 oz soft Cream Cheese
8 Slices white bread
FIVE Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Slice English cucumber into 1/8 inch thick slices
-Spread one side of each piece of bread with soft cream cheese
-Layer slices of cucumber on top of cream cheese on 4 slices of bread
-Drizzle FIVE Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top of the cucumbers
-Top with 4 remaining slices of bread
-Trim edges off the bread and cut each sandwich in to 4 pieces
Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Makes 4 servings
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
8 slices Mozzarella Cheese
8 Slices White Bread
FIVE Estate Balsamic Vinegar
-place sliced tomatoes on a paper towel to absorb some of the liquid
-Layer 1 slice of Mozzarella Cheese each on 4 slices of bread
-Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes
-Drizzle FIVE Estate Balsamic Vinegar over the top of the tomatoes
-Top with 4 remaining slices of Mozzarella cheese and 4 remaining slices of bread
-Trim edges off the bread and cut each sandwich in to 4 pieces
Egg Salad with Izak N. 37 from La Boîte
Makes 4 servings
4 eggs, hard boiled
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Izak N. 37
Salt to taste
8 Slices White Bread
-peel and chop hard boiled eggs
-Mix eggs with mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard, Izak N. 37
-Add salt to taste
-Layer ¼ of egg salad mixture on each of 4 slices of bread
-Top with 4 remaining slices of bread
-Trim edges off the bread and cut each sandwich in to 4 pieces
Makes 24 Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice, without pulp
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
½ cup pieces Rococo Chocolates Sea Salt Milk (or Dark) chocolate bar
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with pan liners.
-In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add the orange juice, oil, vanilla and eggs. Mix for 2 minutes, until everything is thoroughly combined.
-Add the boiling water in 3 parts, gently mixing it in with a spatula or wooden spoon. If you are using an electric mixer be careful, the water splatters.
-Add the Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Pieces after the water is fully incorporated in to the batter.
-Pour in to prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer on to a rack to cool to room temperature.
-Once cool can be stored in plastic at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes approximately 20 cookies
½ cup margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 ¼ cup flour
-Preheat oven to 400°F
-In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
-Add baking powder and flour one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be very stiff. It may be necessary to blend the last of the flour by hand. Do not chill the dough!
-Divide the dough in to 2 balls. On a floured surface roll each ball in to a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Dough should be 1/8 inch thick.
-Dip heart shaped cookie cutter (or whatever shape you choose) in flour before each use. Pick up dough around cut cookies. Place cookie onto ungreased cookie sheet using a spatula dipped in flour.
-Bake on top rack of oven for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are light brown. Remove cookies immediately from cookie sheet after taking out of the oven.
Why Our Artisans are so special! April 17 2015
What a week we have had a Julie’s Beet. It was very exciting to officially launch the site and your response has been phenomenal. Julie’s Beet wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of my family and friends. My husband has been especially important in the process and he definitely gets to hear more about the products than he wants to. He also has the benefit of tasting the delicious recipes I am have been making with them, so you do not need to be too sympathetic.
We also wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our artisans. Here is why we think each one of these artisans was special enough to be a part of the launch collection.
La Boîte – Lior Lev Sercarz, the spice master behind La Boîte, has been an inspiration in the process of ‘building’ Julie’s Beet. He is truly passionate about his craft and you are able to taste that in each blend. Lior’s outstanding and unique spice blends will quickly become a staple of your pantry. More here…
Gus & Grey – These jams, jellies, marmalades and preserves are made with a lot of love in Michigan. Each jar is filled with small-batch recipes made by Tara Grey, the jam pimp behind Gus & Grey. Since I am from the Midwest, I was immediately drawn to Tara’s story and wanted to include something close to home in the launch. More here…
Rococo Chocolates – The chocolate combinations from Rococo Chocolates are out of this world. After working for this award winning chocolatier, it was a must have for the opening collection. Their chocolate is organic and they even have their own cocoa plantation on the island of Grenada. Rococo Chocolates is all about ‘Pleasure and Provenance’ keeping the chocolate delicious and paying close attention to each ingredient. More here…
World Excellent Products – Making olive oil has long been a tradition in Greece. Leave it to World Excellent Products to keep this tradition modern with their FIVE Olive Oil and Vinegar Collection. The olive oil is very fresh with a vibrant flavor and the packaging is so stylish! This winning combination made us jump at the opportunity to have World Excellent Products on Julie’s Beet. More here...
We are always looking for delicious products to add to the marketplace. If someone you know makes something really special please let us know. We will definitely give you credit for the introduction.
Spring is in the Air April 03 2015
Wow, I cannot believe it is already April. I saw some flowers poking through in Central Park when I went running this week, a sure sign that warmer weather and spring is on the way. This weekend includes Good Friday, Easter and the beginning of Passover, another sign that spring is here.
Every holiday has its own traditions and for me those traditions usually involve food and family. On Passover we eat a lot of Matzah(unleavened bread) a very blah food! I’m always looking for creative ways to make it taste better. This year, I’ll be spreading some jam from Gus and Grey on my Matzah! At the Passover Seder we eat a lot of other foods (thank goodness!) and we get to drink four glasses of wine (that makes the end of the meal very interesting). Now that I am cooking for my family, I try to improve on the recipes prepared by mother & grandmother. I know I’ll be using Ayala N.16 from La Bôite on my roast beef and organic dark chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in my Passover Cake. I am sure everyone will love the updates to our traditional recipes. Maybe it will become a tradition to update the recipes each year?
The best part about holidays is knowing I’ll be with my family and friends. I wish you a very happy holiday weekend. I hope you enjoy the company of good friends, family and delicious food.
Happy 32nd Birthday Rococo Chocolates March 13 2015
This week Rococo Chocolates celebrated their 32nd birthday. To celebrate, I’d like to tell you a bit about Rococo Chocolates and their history.
Rococo Chocolates was founded in 1983 by Chantal Coady. She opened her first shop on the Kings Road in London and there is still a shop at that location today. Chantal has been very innovative in the way she sees chocolate and has been passing this along to her customers from the very beginning. In 2014, Chantal was recognized for her service to the chocolate industry, receiving an OBE (Order of the British Empire) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors.
‘Pleasure and Provenance’ is how Rococo continues to be the top chocolatier in the UK. They use organic products whenever possible and never forget why they are making these chocolate treats. While the chocolate is divine, the packaging is also strikingly beautiful. The designs are all handled by Chantal Coady who is still very involved with the business as the Creative Director. Her artistic vision and sophisticated palette have allowed the company to grow and expand over the past 32 years.
Rococo Chocolates now has four shops in the UK, three in central London and one in the Chester Grosvenor Hotel. I had the pleasure of working at the Rococo Chocolates in Belgravia, London, running their Chocolate School. It was as much fun as it sounds. There I was introduced to the delicious chocolate piece by piece. My favorite flavor is the Sea Salt Milk Chocolate. It is like nothing you have ever tasted… sweet, almost caramel flavored milk chocolate with just the right amount of salt to awaken your taste buds. The entire Artisan and Bee Bar Collections are a story in their own. I will have to save that for another post.
Hopefully, your mouth is watering and wanting to know more about Rococo Chocolates. We are proud to feature some of their collection in our marketplace. I hope you will enjoy exploring the different chocolates as much as I did.