Category Archives: Product Spotlight

2011 Holiday Gifts for Food Lovers

Aahhh, the peaceful bliss of a radiator decorated for the holidays.  What could be more in spirit with the keeping of the season?  Actually, I didn’t want to fiddle with the whole tree thing this year and was able to pick up the branch trimmings from one of the street tree vendors, so I decided on more of a free form display than the traditional set-up with tree and ornaments.  This gave me plenty of time to go through my notes of all the amazing things that I tasted this year and to create this 2011 Holiday Gift List to give you some ideas for the food lovers and cooks among your loved ones.  Many of these items would also make wonderful hostess/host gifts throughout the year as well, so you might want to keep it handy for those last-minute treats to pick up at any time.

Cookbooks

After purging my collection a number of years ago, I’m really careful to introduce new volumes to my bookshelves.  This year, however, there were several I wanted to pick up even before they hit the stores.  One of these was Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  I’ve also had the pleasure of eating his food when I’ve had the opportunity to visit London and have been able to stop in at one of his restaurants.  There you can choose among all the gorgeous, delicious salads and sweets that are freshly made each day to build your meal, as I did in the photo above.

A cooking and food history book I was delighted to purchase this year was The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden, who is one of my culinary heros.  In conjunction with the book, she gave a talk at the Culinary Historians of New York about her research, the people whom she met the course of her travels, and the recipes that they were willing to share with her to keep their cultural history alive.

The Food of Morocco is an incredible recipe and culinary resource that I also added to my collection this year.  Paula Wolfert created a beautiful work that captures the range and bounty of the cuisine of this fascinating country.  She also spoke at the Culinary Historians of New York this year where we were treated to some the dishes she mentions (click on the link to see those photos).

For a trip to the other side of the world complete with mouth-watering photos and recipes designed for the American kitchen, pick up a copy of Marja Vongerichten‘s The Kimchi Chronicles.  I had the pleasure of meeting Marja and of trying her food at a couple of different promotional events for the book.  The accompanying PBS series is one of the most gorgeously shot shows I have ever watched and makes you just want to jump through the screen to join them in their eating adventure.

Cookware

Hands down, some of the most fun and lively handcrafted linens that I’ve seen in a while come from Claudia Pearson.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her at the Brooklyn Flea.  Each of her designs, whether in tea towel, calendar, or tote bag form would brighten up anyone’s home.

I splurged a bit and treated myself to one of these display boards by Brooklyn Slate.  The reclaimed materials make ideal platforms for cheese, hors d’oeuvres or whatever you would like.  They are attractive enough to be artworks in their own right.  For one of my family members, I also picked up their Cheese Survival Kit, which I think will make a perfectly appropriate gift for the person who keeps a separate all-cheese section in her refrigerator.

My dream gift (well, one of them anyway), would be one of these fabulous cutting boards from Brooklyn Butcher Blocks.  Built from reclaimed wood, each one is handmade and unique.  Maybe if I’m very, very, very, very good next year, Santa will bring me one of them.

Food Items

Honestly, I ate so many terrific things this year that it is hard to narrow this list down to just a few items.  After consuming mounds of sweets, piles of chocolates, meats, pickles, sauces, jams, preserves, syrups, and lots of other things in between, I don’t even know where to start.  Check out my Product Spotlight and Local Products tabs for posts about many of these things.  Not by way of biasing anyone, but here are the items that made the cut to get crammed into my luggage to go to traveling for the holidays plus the items that I’d squeeze in there if I could.

I have really enjoyed consuming all of P & H Soda Co.s soda creations during the course of this year, but Anton completely wowed me with the Chocolate Soda he made at the Grub Street/Hester Street event this fall.  He also create special, seasonal flavors like the Spicebrite with the aromas of the holidays.

As a fan of both the delicate meaty cashews of Nuts Plus Nuts and the crunchy sweet toffee of Lush Candy, it was a pleasure to introduce Cyrilla and Laurie, the respective company owners, to each other.  I sort of thought that there might be a collaboration that could develop, but I had no idea how incredible it would be.  The cashews, sugar, butter, and spices all blended perfectly together in Lush Candy‘s Indonesian Brittle which debuted at Smorgasburg this summer and made this one of the most delicious things that I ate all year.

If you had looked in my fridge at any point this year, you would have seen several flavors of Anarchy in A Jar‘s delicious and unique jams.  My favorites have been the summertime Blackberry & Lavender and the current contender for shelf space, the Wild Blueberry, but I’m leaving myself open to her new seasonal combinations.  These spreads with their deep fruit profiles blended with spices, herbs, and other seasonings make it worth it to get out of bed in the morning to tackle a new day, toast and jam in hand.

Many years ago, I was introduced to Stroopwafels by a Dutch friend.  It was love at first sight.  Only years after that did I discover that I have a strong Dutch lineage that I had never known about, so that might explain it.  Whatever the reason, The Good Batch‘s version in plain or cocoa flavor are close to my heart.  I picked up a package of each to take with me on my travels.  Check them out for other sweet treats as well, especially their big chewy, fragrant Ginger-Molasses cookies.

One of the other delicious delicacies that is going on my holiday voyage are the addictive spiced, candied orange peels from La Newyorkina.  Their sweet, tangy taste with a little kick of heat led me to devour the first pack I bought in record time.  Her summertime paletas (Mexican ice pops) are refreshing and make your tastebuds dance up and down for joy with their bright flavors.  She has released pumpkin seed brittle, chocolate truffles, and other goodies in time for the holiday season.

It was love at first bite when I tried Danny Macaroons earlier this year.  One taste of the Salted Caramel with its soft, moist, chewy mound of coconut drizzled with sweet, buttery caramel and a pop of salt, and I was hooked.  He has other creations that are delicious as well, but the original version remains my favorite.

Macaron Parlour makes the other kind of macarons which are also wonderful edible gifts.  These colorful 3-bite treats come in a range of flavors, not all of them traditional.  I introduced a fellow food blogger to their Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese one, and she raved about it.  What is there not to enjoy about biting into a sweet that has a pillowy interior with a smooth filling filled with amazing flavors.

Hopefully, this list will help you find something for the food lovers on your holiday gift list.  There’s no way this short post can do justice to all the wonderful artisans and vendors out there who have created amazing products and delicious treats.  For additional items that would also make great presents, please check out my posts about the Brooklyn Flea, the Union Square Holiday Market, and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market or pop on by the Bryant Park Market (photo above).  You can also see my gift list from last year, as those items also remain on my “to have” list.  I have pictures from the Bust Craftacular last weekend, as well.  Many of the vendors I’ve mentioned sell on-line and in markets in the area, so please consult their websites to find out where to find them and for ordering information.  With gifts like these, it is sure to be a very happy holiday season, no matter how you celebrate it!

Buon appetito!

Product Spotlight – P&H Soda Co.

I love soda, or pop as it is called in some places in the country, I always have, as it was a special treat when I was a kid.  Actually, growing up in Virginia, it was referred to as “Coke,” as in the family that was responsible for bringing the Cokes & Oranges for the team to soccer games.  A few weeks back, this was a discussion among my friends on Facebook.  It drove one of them completely crazy that in the South any carbonated soft drink was referred to as “Coke,” whether a product of Coca-Cola or not.  It isn’t a total surprise, then, that I became hooked on P&H Soda Co.‘s creations from the very first sip for their lively not-too-sweet flavors.

Anton Nocito and his brother Adrian (L-R)

The best way to experience these products is to find them at one of the local markets around town where they set up a table and grab a drink.  Anton Nocito and his wife Erica Rothchild are at the ready with their colorful bottles of handmade syrups and a Soda Stream to custom-make a beverage for you.  They will mix and match syrups to your taste (with suggestions as to which flavors might work best together), throw in some carbonated water, and give it a quick stir before presenting you with a refreshing, and sometimes quite unique drink.  In addition to their regular flavors, they often have seasonal ones, like Grapefruit or Lovage, in rotation as seasonal specials.

Sarsparilla with Vanilla Ice Cream from Jimmy’s Ice Cream Beer Social

My first soda from them was a straightforward Lime & Ginger one.  As I got to know Anton and Erica and their products a bit better, I started to trust their taste and branched out into Concord Grape, Hibiscus-Lime, Sarsparilla, and the amazing Chocolate flavored one that they debuted at the Grub Street-Hester Street Festival last month.  What I enjoy about these beverages is that the are a great balance of fruit or herb taste along with a slight sweetness and a good amount of fizz.  They don’t leave you with a cloying, sugary-coated feeling in your mouth, just a clean finish with the memory of the syrup’s personality lingering for a moment on your tongue.  They are the perfect drink to pair with a sandwich from any vendor at the market or just on their own to savor when browsing among the other stalls.

Hibiscus-Lime Soda

For my next giveaway, to be announced soon, I approached Anton about contributing a bottle of his Cream soda.  I wanted to have my readers get to know this great-tasting product.  This is a favorite for a lot of folks, with flecks of vanilla bean in the syrup and a warm golden color.  When you see the rest of the items I’ve included, you’ll understand why he paired it with them.  He also took time from recovering from the most recent market events and prepping for the upcoming holiday season’s rush to answer a few questions about what he does and why.

Chocolate Soda

How did you decide to start making artisan syrups and sodas?  I know that you were inspired by the idea of the old fashioned soda  fountain.

I started making the syrups as a prelude to opening the fountain. I was trying to think about what type of restaurant I would like to own and thought a soda fountain/luncheonette would be fun. I want something that could be accessible to everybody and that I could have fun with. While in the thought process I decided to start playing with making the syrups. Erica talked me into selling them at a market back in Sept. 09. While we where there people started to ask me about wholesale and so I started selling it to restaurants and stores. The rest is history…

How did/do you decide which flavors to make?  How do seasonal ones come about?

I started making only seasonal flavors like cherry verbena or peach chamomile and then some of the basic flavors like lime and cream. Then I decided that is was more fun to have a straight flavor like ginger or hibiscus and mix it to order at the market for the customer. So if someone wants a lime hibiscus or a ginger lime or a cherry lime I could do it. It gave the customer some more options and also gave me a way to interact more. Seasonal flavors happen when I can get to the Greenmarket. I usually try everything once.

Are there any flavors you decided were too weird or that didn’t work? Do you have any that you’d really like to try to make?

I have tried a bunch of flavors. Some aren’t really something that I would sell. Sometimes some of the flavor combos sound good in theory but don’t work out. I don’t like to combine a bunch of different stuff to try to make something interesting. I’m not in it to be different but to make something that people can enjoy and not have to think much about. It’s more about a solid, really consistent drink. I’m not really trying to sell experimental stuff to people.

How do you source your ingredients?

Sourcing is an ongoing process. I try to buy local or from good farms when it comes to seasonal stuff. I try to support good farming practices across the board when I buy my spices and things that don’t come from a local source. It’s really about getting a consistent product. I have customers that sell the same flavors all year and want to be able to offer the best they can every time. Not something that is different from batch to batch.

What do you love about making hand-crafted sodas?

Drinking them!

How do folks react when they first taste your soda?  Do they get what you are doing?

I would say the reaction is good. I haven’t had anybody say they didn’t like something but I always try to steer them in the right direction. At first people didn’t understand. They where like soda, isn’t that something that comes from a machine or a can. I remember the first Greenpoint food market. Joann, the person who set the whole thing up was just looking at me trying to figure out what I was doing. I don’t think anybody expected to get a freshly carbonated beverage at any of the markets back then. Now you can go to any market and there is a soda person there.

So, when do you think we’ll see that soda fountain opening?

Hopefully within the next couple of years. I’m spending a lot of time now growing the syrup business while planning for the bigger picture.

P&H Soda Co. syrups

P&H Soda Co.‘s bottled syrups are found at several local stores and markets in the New York City area as well as at several restaurants.  Visit their website, like them on Facebook, and/or follow them on Twitter to keep updated on where you can buy their terrific products.  You can see his appearance on The Martha Stewart Show here and a clip of him on Food.Curated here.

Buon appetito!

Product Spotlight – The Saucey Sauce Co.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new Product Spotlight on my site.  This isn’t because I haven’t found anything to recommend, but, rather, that there’s been so much happening and so many great things to try that I haven’t managed to sit down and put together a post about it.  Recently, I’ve been on a bit of an Asian food kick, as you can see from the recipes I’ve posted.  Among the wonderful ingredients that I discovered earlier this year, the dipping sauces from The Saucey Sauce Co., have been really useful in helping me put together these dishes.

Reduction of Sweet Ginger Sauce – perfect as an accompaniment

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Ken and Toan Huynh, the company’s founders, at a barbecue at Toan’s place.  They had whipped up a fabulously delicious feast using their sauces in a variety of foods which showed these ingredients’ culinary flexibility and tastiness.  Originally created by their mother, they started getting requests for these sauces from friends when they would serve them at meals.  This led to them bottling the sauces and to starting to sell them at places like the Hester Street Fair.

Sweet Ginger Sauce basted chicken

I have to say again that these aren’t what you usually think of when you consider Asian fish sauce or Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce).  When you open the bottle, you get the scent of something that has been carefully balanced to consider a range of flavors: sweet, salty, spicy, and even umami.  They are ready to use as a marinade, a dressing, or straight as a dipping sauce.  The Spicy Garlic Sauce has a nice kick, while the Spicy Garlic Extreme takes that up a few notches and is what I used to make my dipping sauce for the Vietnamese Spring Rolls.  The Sweet Ginger Sauce is one of their most popular, and the Fresh Lemon Sauce is light and tangy.

Spicy Garlic Sauce marinaded roasted pork

These sauces brought out the best in the dishes that we had at the barbecue, which is to say that they didn’t have to be the stars of the plates, but helped highlight the amazing flavors of the meats and vegetables, as you can see from the juiciness of the pork above.  All the items, except Toan’s incredible Rice with Lemongrass (on the plate at the top) contained one of the sauces either as a dressing, marinade, or basting sauce.  These are definitely items that you’ll want to kept in your refrigerator for those times when your dinner plans need an extra zip.

Tomato & Zucchini Salad with Fresh Lemon Sauce

Noodle Salad with Fresh Lemon Sauce

There’s two new sauces that they’ve just added to their line, too, in response to flavors that their fans wanted.  We had a chance to sample both of them.  One, the Cool Cilantro Lime, was perfect drizzled over some of the fish (It would also be great to have on fish cooked in parchment paper.).  A splash of this could pep up any one of a number of dishes.  Then, there was the Fiery Wasabi, which Toan had mixed into warm, cooked potatoes.  This was potato salad on a whole new level: hot, starchy, eye-opening goodness.

Fiery Wasabi smashed potatoes

These sauces have definitely found a home in my kitchen.  I hope that you think they might find one in yours as well.  To give that little extra encouragement, Ken and Toan graciously offered one bottle of the Spicy Garlic Extreme and one bottle of the Sweet Ginger sauce as part of the giveaway that I’ll be launching tomorrow.

Buon appetito! 

Thai-inspired Chicken Skewers

Last month, when I was at the Fancy Food Show, I had a chance to check out a few new products in Schoolhouse Kitchen‘s range.  I’m a huge fan of their jams, chutneys, and mustards, which combine top-quality ingredients to make bold and innovative flavors.  They are perfect for cooking with as well as for slathering on breads and meats to make delicious sandwiches and snacks.  Their new Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette is a fantastic addition to their product line.

It is deeply flavorful with a smooth texture from the coconut milk, a dash of spice from the curry, and a zing of citrus shining throughout.  The tastes are all so well balanced and would be perfect for drizzling over a salad of seasonal summer greens.  For me, this brought back memories of eating Thai Chicken Skewers.  I’d taken a cooking course in Asian cuisine a few weeks prior to the show, and when I compared my notes for the recipe with the ingredients on the label of this vinaigrette, I realized that Schoolhouse Kitchen had created almost the exact same mixture that I could use in my own home kitchen.

When I ran into Wendy, the president of the company, at the Ice Cream Beer Social at Jimmy’s No. 43 last week, we talked about my sending her a recipe for these, using her vinaigrette.  I’ve contributed a couple of recipes to her website that I made with their chutneys, and I always want to try to find more ways of using their products.  This recipe has little prep time, minus the marinade part, and a very short cooking time, so I put it on the list of Weeknight Suppers.  Add peanut dipping sauce and some greens or a Pad Thai, and it is an easy meal for a hot summer’s night or for any time you’d like to take a trip to the Far East.

Thai-inspired Chicken Skewers

Prep time: 30 minutes; 1.5 hours with marinade time

Serving size: 8 skewers; serves 8 as appetizers or 4-6 as main meal

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Schoolhouse Kitchen Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette

2 cloves Garlic, smashed and chopped finely

1 1/2-inch piece of Ginger, grated

2 tsp. Fish Sauce

4 boneless skinless Chicken breast halves (2 whole breasts)

8 long Bamboo Skewers

1 tsp. Canola oil

1 Tbsp. minced Cilantro (optional garnish)

Assembly:

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade.  Add the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce to the Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into a shallow dish large enough for the meat to be in one layer.

Grating ginger

Cut chicken into approximately 2-3 inch long and 1/2 inch thick pieces.  The best way to slice the meat is to cut it across the grain, as in the photo below.

Cutting chicken

Put the chicken into the dish with the marinade and toss it around to make sure that all of the pieces are coated in the liquid.  Leave this at room temperature for one hour to allow the marinade to infuse into the meat.  Turn the meat once at about the 30 minute mark so that both sides are coated with the liquid.  If making this several hours ahead of cooking time, cover the chicken and marinade and place it in the refrigerator instead of leaving it out at room temperature.

Soaking the Skewers

Thirty minutes prior to cooking the chicken, put the skewers in a pan or dish and cover them completely with water to soak them thoroughly before using them.  This will keep them from burning while the meat is cooking on the grill.

Chicken on skewers

When the chicken has finished marinading and the skewers are done soaking, thread the meat onto the skewers to prepare them to cook.  In the photo above, I probably crowded the meat too much, but you can see how the meat is threaded through the sharp end of the skewer and pushed to the bottom (flat end), like making shish kebab.

Cooking the skewers

Heat up a grill pan drizzled with canola oil or fire up an outdoor grill.  Lay the skewers in a single row, like in the photo above, to cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side.  When the edges of the chicken look done, i.e., the edges have gone from pink to beige, turn the skewers over and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side.  As the meat has been sliced thinly, it will cook rather quickly.

Thai-inpired Chicken Skewers

When the meat is cooked through on both sides, remove to a plate or serving platter.  Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using.  Serve with peanut sauce on the side.

Buon appetito!

Kitchen Witch Tip:

As a way of introducing new people to their products and to how easy it is to use them creatively in cooking meals for their families, the folks at Schoolhouse Kitchen have a well-curated recipes and serving suggestions section on their site. These are a great inspiration for anyone looking to perk up their usual weekly meal rotation.  Hopefully, you’ll also find a new favorite dish using one of these terrific products!

Food. curated Season 2 Sneak Peek

Have you ever wondered about the people behind your favorite artisan and local foods? Liza de Guia does, too, and brings their stories to us via video on her terrific (and James Beard Award-nominated) site Food. curated.  Through this medium, she captures the passion, dedication, and artistry of the people who make delicious things for all of us to eat.  Her series is beautifully shot and completely addictive (much like the Robicelli’s cupcakes she profiles).   I’m always in anticipation of another installment the minute the one that I’m watching is finished, so that I can see what is the next amazing thing that she’s picked to portray.

Liza de Guia

Last night, at the Tavern on the Green food truck court area, Liza gave us a sneak peek at what would be showing during Season 2 of her series which starts on August 11 on NYC Life.  We were treated to pre-viewing samples of some of the local, artisan businesses she filmed.  Mini versions of Robicelli’s Estelle Getty and Key Lime Cheesecake  cupcakes were gobbled up quickly.  Danny Macaroons brought his Salted Caramel (wildly popular and one of my favorites), Chocolate Dipped, and German Chocolate flavors.  From Dough, where Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina developed the recipes, we noshed on Dulce de Leche & Almond and Lemon-Poppy Seed donut holes. I didn’t get to try any of Salvatore Bklyn‘s cheese, which is something that is on my list to track down.

Estelle Getty (almond cake, cheesecake buttercream, crushed Sicilian almond cookies) no Key Lime Cheesecake (graham cracker cake, key lime cheesecake buttercream, graham cracker crumbs and lime zest) left!

 The lone macaroon – German Chocolate

Dulce de Leche & Almond donut holes

Lemon-Poppy Seed donut holes

You’ll see from the photos below that arriving even a little bit late for the start of the event, resulted in my only getting to try the Estelle Getty cupcake and the lone German Chocolate Macaroon.  I did get to sample both of Fany’s donut holes, which were completely delicious.  I have to second Fany’s comment that the Lemon-Poppy Seed one brought back memories of a cake that I used to eat as a child.  It was all wonderful, which was not a surprise, given the care and craftsmanship that I know goes into making each and every one of these products.  After we saw the clips from the show, Liza brought the food folks themselves up on the stage to join her.

Salvatore Bklyn, Danny Macaroons, Dough, Liza de Guia (L-R)

So, how does she come up with her video ideas?  She replied that she gets out there and eats food, lots of food, and takes the time meet the artisans behind the brands, much like I do, too.  She develops relationships with them, and then gets them to agree to let her tell their tale of how they came up with their product, how their business came into being, and how they feel about what they do working in this industry.  Her engaging profiles are as much about a labor of love as a passion for food, which you can tell inherently about the artisans themselves as well as about Liza’s storytelling when she films them.

To view Series 2 of Food .curated, be sure to tune into NYC Life at 9:00 p.m. on August 11th.  Additional videos of her work can be found on her website www.foodcurated.com.  To keep current with her latest finds and whom she’s profiling next, follow her on Twitter at @skeeternyc and like her page on Facebook.

Buon appetito!

Special Discount Offer from Calphalon

Just to clarify, this is not a post sponsored by Calphalon.  It is, rather, an exclusive special offer for 10% off of the purchase of their products that they are sharing with me and readers of this site as a followup to their sponsorship of Eat, Write, Retreat, which took place this past weekend in Washington, DC.* I’ve been a long-time user of their pots and pans and was really excited at this chance to introduce you to their cookware, if you aren’t familiar with it.  The promotional code for Calphalon.com is: C95926 (click to link to the site where you can use the code).  Thank you so much to them for sharing this opportunity with all of us!

(Clearance Items and Gift Certificates do not qualify. Excludes John Boos & Co. Cannot be combined with other special offers or applied to previous purchases. Terms subject to change. Offer valid through June 6th, 2011.)

In our goodie bags for the conference I attended this past weekend was a 12″ round non-stick griddle from the Unison line (above).  Just when I didn’t think that I needed anything else to add to my cookware collection, I decided to give this a try.  One of the most appealing points is that it can go in the dishwasher.  This means that I could have left it in the hands of my parents.  It also means that I can safely let other folks cook with it without having to give the care instructions that I always have to impart.  For those of you who have used their products in the past, you can recall that grey film that is instantly recognizable on the slate-colored surface of their pans when someone has washed them in the dishwasher.

When I was at my folks’ house after the conference, I took the opportunity to test-drive this pan.  Truthfully, I was too intrigued to wait to get back to New York to try it out.  One of the dishes I’ve always wanted to attempt is a potato-wrapped fish dish.  I could have cooked it in a regular non-stick skillet, but I thought that this might just be the perfect pan in which to make it.  I took a recipe that I’d seen Ann Burrell do on The Food Network and adapted it a bit.  Instead of the halibut, I used sockeye salmon.  Pretty much every other step was exactly the same.  So, it probably isn’t completely perfect in the placement of the potatoes, which is more my skill level, but I thought that the gorgeous crispiness of the exterior and the richness of the salmon went together perfectly.  Look at how beautifully it came out:

The pan was so easy to work with and cleaned up without any fuss at all.  I can see it being useful for all sorts of cooking projects.  The high sides  would make it ideal for cooking sauces. The nature of the technology is to conduct heat efficiently, so that you can cook at lower heats but still get the same lovely crusts and browning that you might have to work harder at with other pans.  At the 12″ size, it is roomy enough to hold several pieces of fish (like below) or meat or even cheese sandwiches to heat up.

As I mentioned, I’ve been using Calphalon for many, many years.  Their pans were the first high-quality cookware that I purchased when I was putting together my kitchen battery when I was living on my own after college. I’m not all that kind to my pots and pans (although I do religiously wash them by hand), and these have stood the test of time. You’ve seen the 10″ non-stick pan holding a Greenmarket Fritatta.  The stovetop grill pan is perfect for the Curried Lamb Burgers with Grilled Veggies, and the 8″ non-stick pan is just the right size for whipping up the Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms, Spinach, and Taleggio for a special-treat breakfast (or even dinner).

Recently, I’ve also used some of their bakeware.  Buying their muffin tin for my Spiced Pumpkin-Pecan Muffins was a great step up from the battered non-stick one I’d had for years.  Brownies and Magic Cookie Bars have been baked in their 9×13″ cake pan, making lots and lots of people very happy.  Countless batches of cookies have reached that perfect crispy exterior/chewy, warm interior combination tickling the tastebuds and brightening even the most gloomy of days after being cooked on their non-stick jelly roll pan.  So, if you have been thinking about an upgrade to some of your baking materials, I can also attest to how well those work.

I haven’t really talked much in the past on this site about my favorite cookware, but I have to say that I’ve always found Calphalon products to work well and to be incredibly reliable. I also like that they are designed, if cared for properly, to last pretty much forever, unless you have a roommate who destroys them, as one of my former ones did.  This is why I am so happy to share with you this opportunity to add some of their products to your kitchen.  They are definitely worth the investment, as I discovered many years ago.

Buon appetito!

*By way of disclosure, I would like to add that Calphalon has also entered the participants in the Eat, Write, Retreat conference into a drawing for a dream kitchen giveaway.  If I win this, I will definitely share this result with you, my readers.