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.
Summertime Chocolate... Yes Please! August 18 2017
Summer isn’t typically the time when we think about chocolate, at least not chocolate bars. I’ve definitely had my fair share of chocolate ice cream this summer. I’ve also been experimenting with the Cacao Shell Tea from Undone Chocolate in my cocktails. I’ll be sure to let you know when the recipe has been perfected.
Undone Chocolate is the creation of Adam & Kristen Kavalier. While the chocolate is produced in Washington, D.C. the company selects cocoa from around the world. They are looking for beans with the highest level of antioxidants and often pay more than 3 times the price paid for fair trade chocolate to get the best beans available. These beans then travel to Washington D.C. where they are processed into the delicious bars and cacao tea.
Undone Chocolate specializes in dark chocolate bars with 72% being their chosen blend. They have amazing flavors like Roasted Almond & Himalayan Pink Salt and Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Chili. While the bars are amazing, we fell in love with their Cacao Shell Tea at the Northwest Chocolate Festival a few years ago. It is a unlike any tea you’ve ever tried with just the right amount of chocolate flavor to satisfy your sweet tooth. The tea is made simply from the shells of the cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate. What a wonderful way to use a product that is normally over looked.
S'more Please! August 11 2017
Yesterday we celebrated National S’mores Day. This is a holiday we look forward to all year. Who doesn’t love the combination of gooey marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers?
Anyway, it got me thinking about how to make the perfect S’mores and how my technique has changed over the years. When I was younger I was all about catching the marshmallow on fire and having a black char all around the outside before smooshing it between two squares of graham cracker and three rectangles of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. As I have matured in my marshmallow roasting, I’ve realized you don’t actually want to burn the marshmallow. It is better to be patient and keep the marshmallow away from the direct flame allowing it to brown ever-so-slightly on the outside and get super soft on the inside. Then you take this perfectly roasted marshmallow and smash it between 2 squares of graham cracker. The chocolate is always up for debate. I could still use Hershey’s and be perfectly happy as it reminds me of my childhood. More likely I’ll add a few squares of dark chocolate to the mix… either Palette de Bine Camino Verde 85% Dark Chocolate or Rococo Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. Both make the S’mores out of this world!
Hopefully you’ll find time this summer to enjoy a cookout over an open fire. Be sure to bring a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers and some really delicious chocolate. S’mores are the perfect ending to a meal outside.
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.
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.
We're on #WestSideWednesdays July 14 2017
A few months ago I let you know about a cool opportunity I had to make a video with one of our customers. Annette Akers is a real estate agent and neighborhood experts so I was thrilled when she asked me to be a part of her YouTube Series called West Side Wednesdays.
Our episode is now live on YouTube for all of the world to see. You can view it HERE!
If you are planning a visit to New York City be sure to check out Annette’s other episodes for some great secrets of the Upper West Side.
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.
Getting Fancy at the Food Show June 30 2017
This past week the food scene took over New York when The Summer Fancy Food Show arrived at the Javits Center. In case you haven’t been the Fancy Food Show highlights amazing food products from around the world. I love going to see what is new and hot in the food world and to search out some amazing culinary artisans and products for our marketplace. This year’s show did not disappoint. There were two floors filled with food and there were not two booths that were the same.
I was able to check in with some of our current artisans at the show and find out what is new and exciting with them. I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll be seeing some new olives in the marketplace straight from Hellenic Farms. Hellenic Farms is an amazing importer and distributor of Greek foods and they took great care to keep the olives of the highest quality on the market. Tiny But Mighty Popcorn has an amazing new package design and also a new flavor of microwave popcorn! They also found a way to make the butter popcorn taste more buttery! The Matzo Project now has Matzo Ball Soup Mix available and they are debuting some chocolate covered Matzo in the fall. There is a lot of excitement to come with these great vendors.
I also had some time to explore and look for new gems amongst the many exhibiting at the show. Marshmallows, pretzels and cookies were among the favorite new lines I tasted. I also sampled a lot of different salsas looking for the perfect one. The show was filled with a variety of cold brew coffee options which kept me going as I marched through the many aisles. There is a trend currently of green or raw products. I also saw a lot of food produced for specific diets … paleo, gluten-free, etc. While it is amazing what they can do with some food ‘substitutes’ I definitely like to keep our products full of real ingredients. I’ll be sure to post about new products when they hit the marketplace. If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll also be one of the first informed.
My legs and feet are glad the show is over. My taste buds are excited and my mind keeps imagining all the new gift sets we’ll be able to offer for your needs once the new products arrive. Until then….
Summer Camp Fun June 23 2017
This week my oldest son started summer camp. It has been really fun for him which is great! The tricky part for me has been figuring out what to pack in his lunch that he will actually eat. Now I’m sure you are thinking the son of a culinary professional must have a great palette. Not to disappoint you too much, but he’s three and is in a bit of a picky stage. He’ll eat almost anything if it can be dipped in ketchup and mayonnaise but condiments don’t pack particularly well in a lunch box. I turned to the internet for some ideas on how to make my child’s lunch more exciting and appealing. Here are some of my favorites.
- Take a traditional sandwich and make it interesting by cutting it into a favorite shape with a cookie cutter.
- Have a color theme for the lunch like orange with carrots, cheese, orange & goldfish crackers.
- Let your child order their lunch like from the room service breakfast menu that you place on your door.
- Don’t stick to traditional lunch items… try waffles, pancakes, or breakfast cereal to keep it interesting.
If anyone has any other ideas I am definitely open to suggestions.
Summer Heat is Here! June 16 2017
We had a bit of a heat wave in New York this week and as luck would have it, my air conditioner broke right in the middle of it! During the days of 90 degrees inside I discovered a box of melted chocolate wafers. It wasn't too upsetting as I put them to good use making some delicious brownies. What it did do was get me thinking about summertime shipping.
We want to make sure all of our products get to you in the best possible condition. While all of our products are shelf stable, some are heat sensitive and require special shipping when the weather heats up. If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, like my sister, this applies for more months of the year than if you live in New York, where we are based. We’ve created a special section of Summer Gifts which will arrive in perfect condition no matter what the weather is. The items that are especially sensitive to the heat(mostly chocolate) have a note in their description so you can choose summer shipping at checkout. This allows us to pack the products with cooling elements and insure they don’t spend too much time in transit. We’ll be sure to reach out to you if you miss this part of the order. At the end of the day, we just don’t want you to be disappointed with our products.
The moral of this story is you can still enjoy your summer filled with delicious artisan products from Julie’s Beet, we just need to be careful on how they ship. So go out to the beach, the country, camp or stay in the city and we’ll have your orders there in great condition.
Happy Father's Day to all of the amazing Dads celebrating this weekend, including lots of our artisans.
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.
Life is a Picnic June 07 2017
The warmth outside shows that summer is nearly upon us. There is nothing better than spending a day outside, whether at the park or enjoying a beach day. Instead of cutting that time in nature short by having to look for food, I pack a delicious picnic full of fresh fruit, snacks, and crave-worthy sandwiches.
My current favorite is an easy-to-make chicken salad sandwich on golden brown Challah bread. You can use a home-made roasted chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken; either will work fantastically well. This recipe also gives you a chance to sneak some fruit into lunch for the kids, the crunch and slight sweetness balance the savory richness of the dressing.
Rosemary Chicken Salad
Makes 3-4 servings
1 small, roasted chicken
2 Tbsp Empire Mayonnaise Co. Rosemary Mayonnaise (to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice
A handful of sliced almonds
One medium-sized apple(pink lady, fuji, or gala are my favorites)
Bibb lettuce(optional, to garnish)
-Line a shallow baking sheet with your handful of almonds, toast until golden-brown, about 5 minutes at 350 degrees
-Carve the chicken into one inch pieces and place in a mixing bowl. I like to get a mix of white and dark meat
-Slice the apple into small batons
-Add the toasted almonds, apples, and lemon juice to the bowl
-Incorporate Empire Mayonnaise Co. Rosemary Mayonnaise and toss to coat
-Garnish Challah with two large bibb lettuce leaves
-Serve on your favorite sandwich bread
-Enjoy your sandwich in the sun!
Join us at Grand Bazaar NYC June 02 2017
Today I’m busy getting ready for our first trip to Grand Bazaar NYC. Actually, I’ve been to Grand Bazaar NYC many times as a customer but this will be my first time on the other side, selling products from our market place. Grand Bazaar NYC is the largest curated weekly market in New York City. You’re sure to find amazing items from local artists, antiques, collectibles, and edibles. This Sunday, June 4th, is International Food Day at Grand Bazaar NYC. We’ll be joining over 20 other artisanal food vendors in celebration of this day of fantastic food.
If you are in New York City and looking for something to do this Sunday, we hope you’ll join us. Grand Bazaar NYC is located at 100 West 77th Street, at the Corner of Columbus Avenue. The bazaar is open from 10am-5:30pm. Please stop by and say hello, shop our market place and enter a chance to win a gift set full of my favorites from our marketplace.
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.
Buzz, Buzz... Save the Bees May 19 2017
The spring brings the birds and the bees to mind as the flowers are blooming the sun warms everything up. Bees are a very important part of our agriculture system and there has been a big movement lately to save the bees. J. Crew has a ‘Save the Bees’ t-shirt with 50% of the profits being donated to helping the bees. There is a message on our box of Honey Nut Cheerios to ‘Bring Back the Bees’. According to the Cheerios website they will be looking to turn 60,000 acres of oat farms into homes for bees providing over 3000 acres of habitats with wildflowers that allow these pollinators to thrive. Our friend at Bee Local honey take their love of bees one step further.
Bee Local Honey was created to be a trusted and tasty honey company producing and sourcing only the most sustainable, healthy and uniquely delicious honeys in the country. Bee Local ensures their bees are not fed high fructose corn syrup and never use in-hive chemical treatments to heal the common ailments of the bees. This produces some really tasty honeys that have flavor profiles similar to chocolate or wine. Bee Local takes the flavor profile one step further with the creation of their smoked honeys.
The Cherry Wood Smoked Honey has notes of deep cherry, tobacco and leather in a robust flavor profile. This honey is created using a cold-smoking method by Chef BJ Smith of Portland’s Smokehouse Tavern Restaurant. The honey is a truly amazing way to add a lot of flavor to your cooking with little effort. Drizzle it over Fried Chicken or mix in your Hot Toddy for a tasty treat. We have used it to make Roasted Carrots and there weren’t any complaints about those. The Cherry Wood Smoked Honey is also great in a marinade for your chicken or pork before it hits the grill.
Remember the bees that work so hard to produce these amazing honeys when you are enjoying the nice weather this spring. Of course, we don’t want a bee buzzing around our picnic basket but we do need them in other areas of our lives.
I love you, Mom! May 12 2017
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day set aside to make our mothers feel extra special. As a child, I always appreciated what my mother did for me. As I got older, my sisters and I would try to make Mother’s Day something to remember. We would take my mom out for lunch or to get her nails done… something out of the ordinary to make sure she understood how much she meant to us. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I truly was truly able to appreciate everything my mother did for me.
This Sunday I will be celebrating my fourth Mother’s Day as mother. When I first became I mom I remember someone telling me ‘The days are long but the years are short.’ I now know how true that is. Being a Mom is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week position. You don’t get any time off, you may eat your meals standing up or on the move and it is very likely that by the end of the day you’ll end up with something on your shirt that you probably don’t want there (vomit, pee, glue, whatever!). Oh and you can say good-bye to any ‘free-time’ you ever thought you had. To be honest, it doesn’t sound all that fun but being a mother is one of the most rewarding roles I have ever played. The perks of being a Mom are not ever being alone (even when you are using the toilet), having the unconditional love of your children(in my case 2 amazing little boys) and watching your kids grow into a ‘real’ people.
I don’t think we’ll be doing anything too out-of-the-ordinary this Sunday and that’s okay with me. I know I’ll get to spend the day with the 2 boys that make me the mom I am and if I’m lucky they’ll let me give them lots of hugs and kisses. Be sure to tell you mother you love her this Sunday and every day!
Healthy Eating can be Delicious too! May 05 2017
This week at school they were handing out blue and white cookies in celebration of Israel’s Birthday. One of the parents said ‘No thank you, I’m doing The Whole 30 Diet.’ He only looked slightly disappointed as the cookies passed him by. The truth is we sometimes go on these extreme diets with the hope that in the end they will modify our eating habits. The good news is no matter what your eating habits are, healthy doesn’t have to equate to tasting bad.
At my house, we did The Paleo Diet almost 6 years ago. That meant for 10 days we had no caffeine, alcohol, carbs, dairy or salt. We did get to eat a lot of protein, fruits, and vegetables. The diet made me realize that some of the meal choices I made weren’t giving me the energy I needed. From this 10 day experience I made some changes for the better. Our house is now mostly carb-free. We rarely have pasta or potatoes as part of a meal and I must say I don’t really miss them. Here are some tricks to keep your healthy eating delicious.
- Season Your Food – The spice blends from La Boîte add an amazing amount of flavor to vegetables and proteins. That means you don’t need a heavy sauce to coat what you are cooking to make it taste delicious.
- Stick with Dark – Chocolate that is. Dark Chocolate doesn’t have any dairy mixed in which makes it much healthier for you to consume. The single origin bars from Palette de Bine take dark chocolate to the next level and really are out of this world. Now you might thinking, chocolate isn’t healthy. When you eat a bar as amazing as these you need just a little bit to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooths.
- Go Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans make a great snack and pack a lot of energy into something easy to take with you. Our Ranch Salad Almonds are perfect for keeping your energy levels up during the day with something delicious and tasty.
I hope these tips will help you keep to your healthy eating goals and be the in the shape you desire before swimsuit season begins 😊
I love the Upper West Side April 28 2017
This week I had the pleasure of working with Annette Akers, a local UWS resident and real estate agent. Annette was filming a series of videos highlighting shops around the neighborhood and I was very honored that she decided to focus an ‘episode’ on Julie’s Beet. The interview got me a thinking a lot about my business and asked questions that I know the answers to but maybe you do not.
Here is a preview of my interview with Annette. I’ll be sure to let you know when her videos are live so you can like, share and comment on them.
- How long have you been in business? What does your business do? Who do you cater to?
We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary on April 14. Julie’s Beet is a Gourmet Food Marketplace specializing in smaller producers. We look for the hidden gems of the culinary world and don’t want to carry the same products you’ll see on the shelves of your local supermarket. We cater to cooks, eaters, and gourmets.
- How do you curate products? Tell me a little about your artisans.
I opened our marketplace with products made by friends and friends of friends. Since then I keep my eyes open for the next big thing and am always looking for something unique and different. La Boîte Spices was one of our first artisans and I’ve known Lior for years. I also used to work at Rococo Chocolates in London and knew I needed their products in my marketplace.
- What are some of the ways you use the products?
I use our products everyday. Jacobsen Salt Co.’s Kosher Salt is an easy one since I use it on everything from salting my pasta water to sprinkling on my salad for lunch. The same is true of D.a.T. Sauce… it is a hot sauce that you can put on almost everything. I love thinking outside of the box on how to use our products and have a recipe section on the website to help others know how to use them.
- What made you choose the UWS to set up shop?
The Upper West Side was an easy choice for me as it is close to home. I’ve spent most of my time living in New York City on the Upper West Side and the neighborhood feels like home to me. It has just the right amount of hustle and bustle for someone from the Midwest.
- What’s in store for the future?
In the future, I hope to expand the hours at our showroom at 210 West 80th Street and I am always looking for new artisans to add to our marketplace.
- How is the UWS changing for the better?
I see lots of big residential buildings going up in the neighborhood which means more people are moving uptown. That is bringing some great restaurants and shops to the area both big and small.
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?
Celebrate our 2nd Anniversary! April 14 2017
Wow! I cannot believe that two years ago today I hit the button that made the Julie’s Beet Website Live! That’s right, today marks our second anniversary. I’m not sure I knew exactly what I was getting into 2 years ago but it has been an amazing adventure. The best part has been getting to share my knowledge of food and our amazing artisans with all of you.
In honor of our second anniversary we are having a Two is Always Better than One Sale. This is true of shoes, socks, glasses of wine and the products from our marketplace. We’ve featured products from artisans who joined the collection in our second year. Just add any of their products to your cart between now and April 30 and we’ll automatically add a second product from the same artisan to your shipment at no extra charge. That gives you two times the opportunity to taste and experiment with these amazing items. The artisans included in the sale are Artion Greek Foods, Cacao Prieto, Due Cellucci Tomato Sauces, EssieSpice, Paul + Pippa, Rick’s Picks and Tiny But Mighty Popcorn. You can shop the entire sale here. Visit our Facebook page during the sale to learn more about each of these artisan.
Who knows what the next 365 days will bring but I know I cannot find out. What will the new food trends be? What new artisans will be find to add to the marketplace? I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey ahead.
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.
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.
Craft Chocolate is here March 24 2017
The chocolate industry has been growing rapidly in North America over the past few years. I was first introduced to the industry while working for Rococo Chocolates in the UK. I became very familiar with the chocolate industry in the UK and in Europe but I was in for a real surprise when I moved back to the US in 2014.
The most exciting part of the chocolate industry in North America is the Craft Chocolate Makers. Craft Chocolate is loosely defined as a chocolate bar that is made from bean to bar by one chocolate maker. These chocolate makers carefully source their cacao beans from farms around the world, looking for the perfect flavor. The cacao beans take on a new character from each craft chocolate maker as they impart their uniqueness through the process of roasting, grinding, conching, tempering, molding and packaging their bars. Many of these craft chocolate makers take their chocolate one step farther and make single-origin bars. This means all of the cacao beans for a specific bar are sourced from a specific country or region. Here is a link to a great article about craft chocolate featuring my friend Jessica of Bar Cacao.
We are thrilled to welcome craft chocolate maker, Palette de Bine to our marketplace. Christine Blaise is the mastermind behind this craft chocolate made in Mont Tremblant, Canada. We have two of their single-origin bars, Vietnam Lam Dong 72% and Ecuador Camino Verde 85%. Both bars have their own flavor profile which become more distinct when tasted side by side.
It’s Friday, go ahead and have a bar of chocolate!