2016 Holiday Gift Guide

As lovers of all things cooking and baking, we each have a list of dream gifts we would love to receive for our kitchens! This week, our team tells you about their most coveted gift in the store, without budget limitations. (For our 2016 picks under $50, see last week’s blog post here.)

Finex 12” Covered Skilletbm2016
$269.99

This beautiful piece of artisan cookware is put together by hand in Portland, OR. The attention to quality detail makes this piece stand out from other cast iron cookware. The smoothly machined surface resists sticking and is easy to clean. The heaviness of the skillet allows for even heating, and its coil handle stays cool to the touch while cooking. A must have piece for the artisan foodie in your life!

Brian

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Crepes, Crepes, Crepes!

Savory chicken crepes

Okay, I’ll admit it. Until a few years ago, I was crepe-less. I know it may be hard to believe, but I do have a somewhat valid excuse. You see, I grew up in an Irish American household where we consumed a steady diet of eggs and bacon, Eggo waffles, meat and potatoes, and overcooked pasta. (If you’re reading this Mom, 20 minutes is just a bit too long to boil spaghetti.) Crepes were never on the menu during Sunday breakfast; having a bowl of Lucky Charms was considered a gourmet treat and I was none the wiser. Little did I know what I was missing.

A few years ago I was invited to a friend’s dinner party. The night played out just like any other get together: appetizers, some wine, the main course, and then dessert. It was at that moment that my life was forever changed. Read the rest of this entry »


Cooking with Cast Iron

Lodge Logic Sizzlin’ Potatoes on the Grill

Lodge Logic Sizzlin’ Potatoes on the Grill – Mmm, mmm!

We’re wrapping up our celebration of Made-in-the-USA products this month by touching on the leader in cast iron cookware, Lodge Manufacturing Company. Joseph Lodge established his foundry in 1896 in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, and since the beginning, Lodge has been family-owned and operated.

Lodge produces high-quality cookware that will literally last a lifetime, and then some. Skillets and Dutch ovens that were made over a hundred years ago are still being put to good use in kitchens all over America. Cast iron is among the most versatile of cookware… on the range, in the oven, under the broiler, and even on the grill and over open flame. And in our opinion, a cast iron frying pan is a must-have for every kitchen!

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All-Clad Cookware

Welcome back to our Made in the USA Month! This week, we’re talking about another fantastic all-American company, All-Clad Cookware.

Of the many materials used to manufacture cookware, stainless steel is the most popular among consumers, and All-Clad Stainless is among the very best. Made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, All-Clad pots and pans are adored by home cooks and professional chefs worldwide.

This week’s post packs a double punch! We were honored to have Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars in-store for a book signing on Saturday. Her helpful advice proved invaluable, and the preserves and pickles she brought were absolutely delicious! So we caught up with Marisa afterward, to pick her brain some more.

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Sous Vide School

SousVide Supreme Demi Water OvenWhile some tools are relatively new to the molecular gastronomy bag of tricks, modern chefs also rely on time-tested methods like the sous vide water bath. At its heart, molecular gastronomy is about taking “traditional” components and dishes and re-imagining them to alter the tastes, textures and smells we commonly know. And sous vide sure fits the bill.

As we detailed last week, water ovens are gaining in popularity among home cooks, and for good reason. The sous vide (under vacuum, from French) method utilizes a water bath which leaves a juicy, delicious end product that, in contrast with boiling, roasting or pan-frying, traps in essential vitamins (and natural flavors), leaving you with a healthier dish, too.
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Rice FAQ

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer

The top-of-the-line Zojirushi rice cooker. We’re showing it off this weekend!

We’ve been on a rice kick of late, and for good reason. It’s arguably the most popular food on the planet. And since we’re tinkering with the Zojirushi rice cooker for our in-store demo this week, what better time to visit the uber-grain?

Of course, a food with this much historical significance and variety can’t really be fully documented in a 500-word blog post. Rather, we wanted to answer a few frequently asked questions, ones we get from customers and ones we sometimes have to ask our chef friends.

Rice is kind of like a complicated electronic that you use as a footrest. There are so many things to do with it, but we often settle for the easiest – and blandest – use. Dear friends, let us open our rice owners manual, and see what we’re really working with here…

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Time For Me To Fryyyyy!

Do we have the timeless (yes, timeless!) REO Speedwagon song stuck in our heads this week?  Yes.

What does it have to do with frying?  Aside from the regrettable pun, not much.  But hey, we’ll take any opportunity we can to talk about REO Speedwagon, and we needed a catchy tune to sing while tackling our very important subject this week — the finer points of buying your next frying pan.

Purchasing a fry pan can be one of the more important (and intimidating) experiences you face when stocking your home kitchen.  A solid fry pan is arguably the most critical piece of kitchen equipment, behind a good chef knife.   So what should you look for in making this important life decision?  Think of us as the kitchenware equivalent of e-Harmony — matching you up with the right fry pan based on a variety of different traits and factors.   First, let’s get some facts straight…

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