Archive for April, 2008
Exotic ice creams make summer sweeter. The weather is heating up where we are, reminding us of the potential for triple digit temps soon, and we’ve got Mashti Malone’s ice cream on the brain. Legend has it that Mashti was an old farmer who could not grow any crops. One day, surrounded by nothing but stone, he had a vision said to be sent from heaven: it was rose chilled with cream, all dolled up in an ice cream cone. That dream has resulted in this luscious rose sorbet with sour cherries. If you ask us, it’s pretty rare when an ice cream doesn’t need toppings, but this one is impressive on its own.
There’s no feeling more frustrating than staring at a blank page when the words just won’t come. The cure for writer’s block? The Writer by Salon Teas. This is a rich and creamy, smooth and spicy Indian Chai with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. The cinnamon is a stimulant to other herbs, enabling them to work faster, and possibly a stimulant to your creative neurons, our correspondents jest. Blend with milk and sugar or honey to warm your spirit.
Craft bakers since 1865, Elizabeth Botham and her loyal sons use only the choicest fruits infused with Botham’s own tea blend. The result? One marvelously moist tea loaf. We pair it with cheese, preserves or good old fashioned butter (although who are we to stop you from eating it on its own?). A few slices will add traditional British flair to your breakfast routine.
How can you resist a cheese called Constant Bliss? Inspired by a Chaource recipe and made with fresh-from-the-cow milk (the cheesemaking process begins before the cows have finished milking), this is the kind of cheese you’ll crave if you’re ever stranded on a desert island with no cows in sight. Seasonal variations in the raw, whole milk result in variations on the surface and in the flavor. It’s aged 60 days before it leaves the farm, destined to satisfy your picky palate.
News from downtown New Orleans: The Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel is home to Mila, brainchild of chefs Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing who each bring their distinctive culinary prowess to the scene. There’s a heavy emphasis on provisions sourced from regional farmers, and in fusing traditional Southern classics with fresh and unexpected ingredients. For a taste of the South, order the poached Louisiana oysters with spinach, bacon chips, grated licorice root and pan roasted sweetbreads; or the creamy black truffle grit served with sherry bacon jus.
People who prefer to sip alone in silence, surrounded only by the morning paper, don’t need a huge tea pot to call their own. This elegant design, with pot, cup and saucer, is made of the finest white porcelain and the pieces fit together neatly like a puzzle. Whole leaves can be infused inside, the tea poured into the matching cup and the loose leaves left in the pot for a second and third infusion (its best to give them as much space as possible to unfurl).
Pals call you Ten Drink Sally. They’re talking tea, not sugar rimmed cocktails (although you’ve been known to kick back a few in your day). Considering all of the natural anti-oxidant benefits in Ito En’s Teas’ Tea, you’re really doing your body good. It’s made from purified water, premium loose tea leaves, and vitamin C to revitalize and renew body, mind and spirit. The stuff’s available in several varieties that are unsweetened and calorie-free. Drink up in the morning while you nibble on butter-doused croissants (hey, we didn’t say your eating habits are healthy).
You don’t have to be a child to love to play with food. Big kids with a preference for breakfast will love The Tic Tac Toast stamper, which combines the old fashioned fun of tic-tac-toe with the tradition of morning toast. Hey, what can we say, it may be the best thing to happen to sliced bread. Simply press it into a piece of bread (opt for wheat, not white for your waistline) to create a stamp of the tic-tac-toe grid. Remove the tool, pop the bread in the toaster on a dark setting and the result will be branded and begging for a jam “x” or honey “o”. Blueberries, cinnamon, peanut butter and jelly (in no particular combination) make the game even more fun.
It used to be that crème fraîche was virtually unheard of, and even imported brands were scarce. The Vermont Butter & Cheese Company’s first product was Vermont Chèvre, a goats’ milk cheese. More recently, the company has introduced exquisite Vermont Crème Fraîche from cows’ milk. The process is quite interesting: After the cows are milked, the fresh cream is set aside. The natural lactic bacteria take over, creating the thick, smooth, tart substance. It’s difficult to believe that this results in something so appetizing, but there you have it.
If you love cheese but can’t ever seem to make up your mind, Alfonso Gourmet’s five cheese raviolis will satiate a craving, pronto. Stuffed with parmesan, romano, ricotta, mozzarella and provolone (all of them blended to perfection), these pasta shells also boast a secret mixture of herbs and spices. The brand’s Italia Striped Cheese Raviolis offer this traditional cheese blend wrapped in pasta shells made from spinach and tomato dough (it’s striped for appearances). So, in addition to the filling that made Alfonso famous, you get a subtle hint of fresh veggies.