Friday, April 24
Happy Friday! Today for Show and Tell I am super excited to tell you about my new kitchen thermometer! I know, EXCITING stuff! 😉 I am a firm believer that all home cooks need an instant-read thermometer. I’ve been using a cheapo Pyrex thermometer for years, but I could tell for the last little while that it was definitely reading incorrectly.
I called my friend Lindsay to find out which thermometer she uses – I remembered that there was one she was completely in love with and had splurged on a few years ago. Today I’m sharing the details with you and demanding that any of you who do NOT have a thermometer must go buy one of these right NOW. It’s your homework. I’ll be checking next week. All of these instant-read kitchen thermometers are made by ThermoWorks and I’m providing you with three different options at three different price points, so no excuses!
- Thermapen ($96): This was Lindsay’s dream thermometer that she saved up for. She did in fact buy it a few years ago and used it for a long time. And she did in fact love it. And she did in fact recently break it and had to get a new thermometer (more on that in a second). If you want to invest in a really nice thermometer and you think you can keep yourself from breaking it, this is the one. Click here to buy the Thermapen.
- Thermapop ($29): This is basically the poor man’s version of the Thermapen but still super awesome. This is what Lindsay replaced her Thermapen with and she said she totally loves it, too. Click here to buy the Thermapop.
- DOT Professional Probe Style ($39): This is the one I bought. I was going to get the Thermapop, but when I found this probe style thermometer by ThermoWorks, I was sold. I LOVE having a probe style, I use it in the oven and grill all the time when cooking meat. I received it in the mail this week and it’s GREAT. Click here to buy the DOT Probe.
I cannot believe it’s Friday already and I REALLY cannot believe that in 2 weeks I’ll be heading for Africa! We had a logistics call with ONE and Heifer International this week and it just got me even more excited for the trip. I’m in the middle of getting all my stuff together for the trip, including breaking in my new waterproof shoes (I live in San Diego, nothing I own is waterproof!). Today I started my typhoid immunization pills, so there is currently live typhoid in my system. The team also mentioned on the call that we need to make sure we bring a headlamp because of frequent power outages in Malawi. Basically, it’s all starting to get very real that I am going to Africa and, honestly, I can’t wait! My headlamp and I are ready!
That’s it from me this week! It’s Show and Tell, so please share whatever you like! And if you have a kitchen thermometer that you love and recommend that is different than what I listed above, please tell us about it!
Tuesday, April 14
My relationship with fresh basil is one of the love-hate variety.
I love using fresh basil when cooking, but I can’t for the life of me keep a basil plant alive. I have the blackest of black thumbs. Buying fresh cut basil at the store just doesn’t really work, though. It only lasts 1 or 2 days and then it’s Bye Bye, Basil. I recently read a tip about snipping the stems of fresh basil and putting it in a glass of water like flowers in vase, but that only works about half of the time for me.
Luckily I discovered a basil plant that is AWESOME for people like me. I’ve seen it in a few different stores and it is the best! North Shore Living Herbs sells mini fresh basil plants potted in peat moss that I am completely in love with.
Here’s how it works: The basil plant comes in a mini pot with holes in the bottom. You place the pot on a plate or in a cup and make sure that it’s sitting in 1/4″ – 1/2″ of water (check it regularly to keep it watered!). The basil stays perfectly lovely for 1-2 weeks, which works really well for the home cook.
Be sure to keep an eye out for these great little basil plants. I guarantee you’ll fall in love!
Thursday, March 19
Happy Friday, everybody! Today I have a few links to share, but first we need to talk Tillamookies.
When I visited Tillamook last summer, we had the chance to sample a few ice cream products that weren’t yet released to market. I have been waiting for those two products to come out and one of them finally has! I would like to introduce to you the Tillamookie! What’s a Tillamookie? Why it’s an ice cream sandwich made with waffle cone cookies with a dark chocolate coating and Tillamook ice cream or gelato. They come in vanilla, chocolate hazelnut, mint chocolate chip and strawberry flavors and they are SO GOOD. I’m not just saying this because I met the cows where the cream came from. Seriously, best ice cream sandwiches ever.
Tillamook kindly mailed some samples to our family (yes, we did eat them right before dinner yesterday…the kids were delighted).
Tillamook is ready to mail Tillamookie samples to one of you lucky people, too! This may not be a high-retail-value giveaway, but it’s one of my all-time favorite giveaways yet! To enter, just do the following!* Leave a comment on this post! That’s it! If you want, tell us which flavor you think will be your favorite – vanilla, chocolate hazelnut, strawberry or mint chocolate chip. (Mine is strawberry!) It’s also our weekly show and tell post, so feel free to share anything you like! Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook (leave a separate comment indicating you follow) Bonus entry: Follow me on Instagram (leave a separate comment indicating you follow) Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest (leave a separate comment indicating you follow) Bonus entry: Follow Tillamook on Facebook (leave a separate comment indicating you follow) *Comments must be posted by Thursday, 3/27/15 at Midnight PT. Prize must be shipped to an address in the continental United States. Winner will receive one box of each of the four flavors and will be randomly selected.
The giveaway winner was Comment #3 Lindsay R, who said, “I love this giveaway. Especially if you give it away to me.”
Food link time!
This week on Babble:
And this week on Parade’s Community Table:
- 16 Wonderfully White Desserts for Spring! (or maybe your first day of spring is filled with snow, in which case white is still appropriate!)
Show and Tell time! I know I just turned the comment section into a giveaway entry extravaganza, but feel free to share whatever you want in the comments anyway – it will count as your freebie entry for the giveaway!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 9:50 pm 152 Comments
Categories: babble, Community Table, Giveaways, show and tell, the goods Tags: babble, community table, giveaway, tillamook, tillamookies, white desserts |
Wednesday, March 4
I am SUPER excited about today’s post. First off, I get to brag about one of my very lovely food blogging friends. Second, I get to share an AMAZING recipe with you. Third, I get to do a giveaway. So much goodness in one place!
Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is a friend I met through blogging that I am beyond grateful to know. She is lovely and talented and I am lucky to have her as one of my people. Her blog Simple Bites is wonderful and she is truly an inspiration to me. The woman pretty much makes everything from scratch. When you grow up on a homestead AND you’re a professional chef you tend to do that sort of thing. I know I will never be an “Aimée” myself, but one can always dream…and at least I try!
Aimée just published Brown Eggs and Jam Jars and I am so happy to share this beautiful cookbook with you today! (Congratulations, Aimée!) My friend Allison came over this morning and we made a couple of Aimée’s recipes from the book. It was such a lovely morning, spending time with a friend making recipes written by another friend. I’m feeling all aglow with cheesy friend-i-ness!
Today I get to share Aimée’s recipe for Crispy Rosemary Roast Potatoes with you. Holy HANNAH, people. So good. Allison and I basically ate the entire batch. (We won’t talk about how many potatoes that was!) The technique for cooking the potatoes coupled with a cornmeal coating made for truly perfect roast potatoes. Perfect and dangerous. I wasn’t kidding when I said Allison and I ate an ENTIRE BATCH. At 10:30 in the morning, mind you. SO GOOD.
Anyway, Aimée’s book is filled with similarly wonderful recipes and I highly recommend you buy the book immediately! Right after you enter today’s giveaway, of course!
We are giving away a copy of Aimée’s beautiful book to one lucky, randomly-selected winner! Simply leave a comment telling us your favorite thing to make from scratch and you’re entered! Aimée is all about going homemade, so I think chatting about our favorite from-scratch recipes is the perfect way to celebrate her book launch! So, to recap, to enter the giveaway please leave a comment telling us your favorite thing to cook/make/bake from scratch by Midnight PT on Wednesday 3/11/15. Prize needs to be shipped to a U.S. or Canadian address.
And with that I give you Aimée’s recipe for some of the best potatoes you’ll ever eat. Enjoy!
Crispy Rosemary Roast PotatoesThis recipe is from the book "Brown Eggs and Jam Jars" by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque and makes some of the best roast potatoes this side of anywhere!Author: Aimée Wimbush-BourqueServes: 6Ingredients
- 2 pounds red potatoes (about 6-7 medium), peeled (Please note that I totally did NOT peel the potatoes, whoops! Sorry, Aimée! They still came out perfectly)
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced, plus more chopped for garnish (I also forgot to mince the rosemary leaves...can you tell Allison and I were chatting while making the recipe? Again, everything tasted great.)
- 8 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
- Position a rack on the lowest level of the oven and preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
- Cut each potato in half, then in half again, until you have 4 evenly sized chunks per potato. Place in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon of the salt, cover with cold water and set over high heat. Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and boil for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Drain potatoes, then transfer to the bowl with cornmeal and toss gently to coat.
- In a 12-inch cast-iron pan or heavy skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary and garlic. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute to infuse the oil.
- Carefully add the cornmeal-crusted potatoes all at once to the hot oil and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven and turn each potato so the crispy side faces up. Roast for another 20-25 minutes or until golden all over.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary and a sprinkling of sea slat if desired. Serve at once.
Posted by Jane Maynard at 3:49 pm 72 Comments
Categories: fab faves, featured recipes, Giveaways, Recipes, side dishes, the goods, way gourmet Tags: brown eggs and jam jars, cookbook review, cookbooks, potatoes, roast potatoes |
Thursday, February 12
Years ago I wrote about cheese paper here on the blog. Back then I didn’t know much about the stuff and it wasn’t very easy to buy. Luckily for all of us cheese paper is more accessible these days (thank you, Internet) and I actually use it myself now, so I feel like an updated post is in order!
I was first introduced to cheese paper at the Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco. Their cheese paper has the adorable cowgirl logo printed on it (see picture here) and, I’ll be honest, that was the biggest appeal of the paper to me at the time – what a pretty way to store your cheese! As pretty as the paper is, it is actually very functional, too!
Cheese paper allows cheese to breathe while also keeping it wrapped properly, so it will last much longer and taste better. Click here to see the details about how cheese paper is constructed and how it works. Formaticum is the primary brand that makes cheese paper and it’s the kind I use. You can buy Formaticum cheese bags or a set with cheese bags and cheese paper on Amazon, but you can also buy all of their products directly on their website. I love both the bags and the paper. I have no affiliation with Formaticum – I just love their fancy, French cheese paper!
So, hop to it! Give your cheese a happy, super cute home!
Friday, February 6
Happy Friday! I’m getting Show and Tell up a little late today because I’ve been busy as a bee finishing up our living room decor. I can’t wait to share the final product with you, but until it’s totally done and picture worthy, here’s a little sneak peak of one of the gems I found for the wall: stump prints from Light & Ink. I ordered the Spring Hollow Gold print yesterday and can’t WAIT for it to arrive.
I have some fun news today, too! In addition to regularly contributing to Babble, I am also now going to be writing for Parade’s food website Community Table as well as the blog for Solly Baby. My first posts for both sites went up this week!
At Community Table: 10 Romantic Cocktails for Valentine’s Day Fun!
And for Solly Baby: 12 Fantastic Freezer Meals, Before The Baby!
Show and Tell is for the whole class – be sure to share your own stuff and finds!
Posted by Rachel Utterback at 2:35 pm 4 Comments
Categories: around the house, Community Table, fab faves, new house fun, solly baby blog, the goods Tags: around the house, cocktails, community table, freezer meals, parade, solly baby, solly baby blog, stump prints, valentine's day |
Thursday, January 29
Just a quick post today to share my new favorite cheese. It’s called ricotta salata and it’s mighty fine.
The kind I buy is from Bel Gioioso. They label the cheese as “The Italian Feta,” which I think is a good description. Salata means “salted,” and that’s basically what this cheese is – ricotta cheese that has been pressed, salted and dried. The texture is very similar to feta, but the flavor is much more mild. Think ricotta with, you guessed it, salt added!
I pretty much put it on every salad I eat now. I can’t get enough. And, unlike feta, my kids are much more likely to eat it sprinkled on their salad, so they can eat the same salad I make for the adults. I’m thinking ricotta salata would be good in other dishes, too, like scrambled eggs or tossed into roasted veggies. Maybe it’s time I start experimenting, but, honestly, I go through enough of the stuff with just salads!
Tuesday, December 23
A big holiday thank you to Q Squared NYC for sponsoring today’s post.
Today we have a Call for Recipes, but let me first set the stage.
My neighbor Kat recently hosted a cookie exchange. I love cookie exchanges, but, much to my surprise, the cookies were not my favorite part of Kat’s get together! Kat served a lovely sit-down brunch before the cookie swap and it was quite wonderful. The food was amazing and it was so nice to take a break mid-morning in the mad rush of December and enjoy good food and company. The whole thing made me feel happy and bright.
For Cate’s birthday party this year the only time we could coordinate with her friends was yesterday morning, so, as inspired by Kat’s party, we decided to host a Christmas birthday brunch! While Cate’s brunch was a little less fancy, it was equally delicious and fun.
I’ve decided brunch is my new favorite thing for entertaining. So much of the food can be made ahead of time, making for less stressful party prep. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch food? Nobody, that’s who. I also love having the party early in the day, it has a completely different feel and, honestly, I like having more time for clean-up when the guests go home, as opposed to night parties where you’d rather go to bed than clean up.
Pictured: Q Squared’s Cool Montecito Large Tray
Q Squared NYC is sponsoring today’s post and I want to give them a quick shout out. Until Q Squared came into my life I didn’t own any serving trays and very few platters. Now I am swimming in beautiful trays and platters and I can’t tell you how fabulous they are for entertaining. I used a Q Squared tray for my cookies at Kat’s party and it was adorable. For Cate’s party, the serving trays came in handy both for the food and the Christmas crafts. Three cheers for Q Squared’s high quality, durable, beautiful serving trays – I can’t live without them now! Oh, before I forget! Q Squared also gave me a few of their Bijou candles for the holidays and the candles smell scrumptious. They have also been the perfect decoration for our coffee table this year. I highly recommend them!
It’s time for today’s Call for Recipes! Please share your favorite brunch recipes and tips! I really do want to host more brunches and become Queen of Brunch. Great aspirations, people. I think I might even plan a little Christmas brunch for this Thursday, so please share tips and recipes!
I’ll kick us off with the brunch menu from Cate’s party.
- Ina’s Banana Granola Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
- Grammy’s Blueberry Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
- Frittata Cups (used spinach instead of kale, made them early in the morning then warmed in a 200-degee oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
- Hot Chocolate
- Fruit salad
Ready, set, GO! Let’s brunch it up!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 2:14 pm 13 Comments
Categories: call for recipes, fab faves, holidays, Recipes, the goods Tags: brunch, call for recipes, holiday entertaining, q squared, q squared nyc, serving trays, sponsored |
Thursday, December 18
This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!
A few weeks ago I shared some of my favorite organizations that give back, one of them being TO THE MARKET | Survivor-made Goods (TTM). I learned about TTM at the AYA Summit with ONE this past October and was completely taken with the founder, Jane Mosbacher Morris, a woman dedicated to lifting survivors throughout the world. Jane was energetic, passionate, smart as whip and had a really cool first name, so obviously I fell in love with her.
TTM combines the powers of commerce and storytelling to empower the world’s most courageous survivor populations. TTM works with proud and passionate artisans who have overcome the perils of abuse, conflict and disease and they just launched their online marketplace, making their survivor-made goods available to anyone at any time!
I shared TTM with you on Giving Tuesday as a great gifting option for the holidays, which it obviously still is! (Seriously, if you get me this Sari Blanket for Christmas I’ll love you forever. Oh wait, this isn’t about me. Sorry about that. It’s just, well, that blanket!) In addition to TTM being a great place for you to shop for the holidays, TTM is hosting a giveaway here on the blog!
TO THE MARKET will be giving one lucky randomly-selected winner their choice of one of the All Across Africa baskets (you can see the baskets by clicking on this page). I have the navy/silver small basket and it is beautiful.
There are several ways to enter the giveaway! Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on 12/23/14. Leave a comment! Easy peasy! If you would like, please share with us something you love on the TO THE MARKET website! BONUS ENTRY: Sign up for the TO THE MARKET email list. Click here, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email address in the box on the very bottom right. Leave a separate comment telling us you subscribed to get the extra entry. BONUS ENTRY: Follow TO THE MARKET on Facebook. Leave a separate comment telling us you did so to get the extra entry. BONUS ENTRY: Follow TO THE MARKET on Instagram. Leave a separate comment telling us you did so to get the extra entry.
I am SO happy to be connected with TO THE MARKET and grateful I can share them with you, too! Thank you for showing them support and good luck with the giveaway!
The lucky winner of this giveaway was Sarah K from The Pajama Chef who said, “I love the Turquoise & Brass Horn Necklace.”
Tuesday, December 16
This post is brought to you by Glad. Freshness, wrapped up. This post is sponsored by Glad® Press’n Seal® Wrap/Glad® ClingWrap through FM. All opinions are 100% my own and Glad is the only plastic wrap I have ever used!
One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the food. Homemade food, to be exact. I revel in the food traditions of our families and savor every bite of homemade goodies dropped on our front doorstep. That said, as much as I love preparing holiday food for my loved ones, I like hanging out with them during the holidays even more. As a result, I try really hard to make food ahead of time so I’m not slaving away in the kitchen when I’d rather be sitting in front of the fire.
As a result, I have three side dish recipes that are my favorites during the holiday season, both because I only make them for the holidays, making them extra special and nostalgic, and because I can make them ahead of time and freeze for later! It is such a dream on the actual holiday to just open the freezer, pull out a casserole dish and have a beautiful, homemade side to serve either for Thanksgiving or Christmas that tastes as fresh as if I just made it. So what are these magical recipes?
- Broccoli Casserole: My mom always made this for Thanksgiving and the flavor just instantly transports me to her table.
- Sweet Potato Souffle: I’m pretty sure this is a holiday staple for at least half of the United States if not more! I love the vanilla in this particular recipe. This is a recipe that I introduced to our family and I only ever make it for the holidays. I can’t imagine the holiday season without them now!
- Corn Souffle: This recipe came from my friend Jen Carroll, who got it from her mother-in-law who always served it for the holidays. I lovingly think of their family every time we make this for the holidays. And not only have I adopted this food tradition from my friend Jen and her family, but my friend Robyn also adopted it and makes it every Thanksgiving herself!
For all three recipes, I simply prepare the base of the recipe (not the topping) and place that in a casserole dish. Once the casserole dish is prepped, I wrap it well with Glad plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer! All done! The day I want to bake the casseroles, I remove them from the freezer in the morning so the dishes can warm up on the counter, then follow the directions for the toppings and throw the casserole in the oven. No one would ever guess I made the casserole 1 to 2 months ahead of time!
As much as I love the three recipes I shared, I always love hearing from you, too! What holiday foods do you prepare and freeze ahead of time to make the holidays less stressful? Please tell us and share links and/or recipes if you have them!