Gifts

Homemade Irish Cream

December 13, 2018

Everyone will love receiving this sweet treat for splashing in his or her after-dinner coffee or sipping over ice. Use Irish cream in hot or cold cocktails or sip it on the rocks.

Gingerbread Ornaments

December 16, 2017

It’s been snowing here and I can’t think of a better way to spend an indoor snow day.

Gift Ideas For The Foodie

December 14, 2013

Himalayan Salt Block

Gift Ideas For The Foodie

Himalayan Salt Block

I first discovered Himalayan Salt Block cooking when I went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant in my NYC eastside neighborhood.  I ordered a steak dish that came out sizzling on a salt block.  When I asked the waiter about this preparation he told me that the chef doesn’t season the meat because he cooks it on the salt block.  The meat was absolutely delicious so I immediately found out that a shop called, The Meadow, on Hudson Street specializes in Salt Blocks.  Of course I purchased one right away and have been experimenting with it ever since.  I’ve cooked steaks, seafood, duck and sliced potatoes on mine and each item has been outstanding.  It’s best to use on a gas stove, grill or in the oven.  The only drawback is that Salt Block cooking is a bit messy so be prepared to do a bit of cleaning up when done using it.  Himalayan Salt Blocks cost from $40.00 on up.

If you’re in New York City you can stop in at The Meadow located at 523 Hudson Street, NYC (212-645-4633).  They also have two stores in Portland, Oregon.  Along with carrying high quality Himalayan Salt Blocks they carry a special salts, chocolates, and a variety of kitchen gifts.  You can also order online at www.atthemeadow.com.

Mr. Romano Cheese GraterMr. Romano Cheese Grater

Mr. Romano Cheese Grater, made by Fred & Friends, is the funniest cheese grater that I’ve ever run across.  Why not share your table with Mr. Romano and he’ll be the perfect guest, shredding your cheese with his manly 5-o’clock shadow.  Mr. Romano is molded from a high-tech engineered plastic that is dishwasher-safe and highly durable.  I bought a dozen of these graters to give away as holiday gifts this year.  I found them for sale at www.amazon.com and cost about $11.00 plus shipping. 

Mandoline Slicer

A few weeks ago I saw a mandoline slicer review section on a popular cooking show and the Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer, made by OXO, was highly recommended.  The thing that I like about this mandoline is that it has a nice food holder so that your fingers are protected which definitely saves a trip to the emergency room.  It slices fruits and vegetables with ease and has four blades, with a height adjuster; to make straight slices, crinkle cuts, French fries and julienne strips in a variety of thicknesses.  The blades store on board and are easily removable for cleaning. Fold the feet and lock the mandoline for compact and safe storage.  You’ll need to hand-wash the blades, but the body and food holder are dishwasher safe.  You can find the OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer at www.oxo.com, www.amazon.com or www.williams-sonoma.com.  The cost is $39.99.  

Mandoline Slicer

Peanut Butter Fudge

February 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Fudge

The blizzard is on its way and time to make fudge.  If you love peanut butter then you will LOVE my Peanut Butter Fudge.  Make lots of extra and give this fudge away for Valentine’s Day.  Stay safe and warm this weekend. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Confectioners’ Sugar

1/2 Cup Milk

13 Ounces Peanut Butter

7 Ounces Marshmallow Cream

In a large saucepan add the milk and sugar.  Bring to a boil and let boil for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter and marshmallow cream.  Pour into a greased 8×8 inch pan.  Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.  Slice into fudge size pieces.  Makes 16 to 20 pieces. 

Cherry Pumpkin Bread

December 23, 2012

Cherry Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread is so moist and the dried cherries really add a little zip to the bread.  It’s easy to make and holds up well.  Sometimes if I have leftover I make it into French toast. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil

3 Eggs

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 Cup Dried Cherries

1/4 Cup Water

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large size bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, grapeseed oil and eggs.  Beat until well blended.  In a separate large size bowl combine the unbleached flour, kosher salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture.  Fold In dried cherries.Spoon the pumkin batter into a 9x5x3 parchment paper lined loaf pan. Place into the oven for 70 minutes or until done.  The bread should be golden brown.  Remember that all ovens are different so it may take a bit longer or a bit shorter time for the bread to be done.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Remove the bread from the pan by pulling the sides of the parchment paper.  Set on a wire rack and cool completely.  Makes 1 delicious Cherry Pumpkin Bread! YUM YUM!! 

Easy Homemade Gifts

December 20, 2012

Easy Homemade Gifts

 

Many of us are running low on disposable money or we are tired of spending time at the mall getting gifts that your recipients are just going to re-gift anyway.  Here are some “From The Kitchen” Easy Homemade Gift ideas.

 

Jar Gifts.  It’s so easy and can be made to look pretty and from the heart.  Stock up on glass jars and assemble multiple gifts at once.  Not only are these gifts convenient and portable, they can be reused as storage containers later.  When you are done filling the jars, seal and add a nice scrap of fabric on the top tied with ribbon or a nice string.   Add a gift tag and instructions on how to use your gift.

 

Here are some ideas to get started.

Lentil Soup Mix

Bean Soup Mix

Granola Mix

Snack Mix

Potpourri

Chocolate Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

Jam

Salt Scrub For The Bath

Spiced Nuts

Cookie Mix

Quickbread Mix

 

Banana Bread Mix

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

 

In a large size bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Pour into gift jar.

 

For the instruction tag:

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Butter

2 Eggs

2 Ripe Bananas

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

 

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large size bowl mash the bananas.  Add the eggs and beat.  Add the softened butter and vanilla extract.  Mix well and set aside.  In a separate large size bowl, pour the banana bread mix and stir with a wooden spoon to make sure that all of the ingredients are combined.  Slowly add the mix to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.  Make sure not to overmix the batter.  Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan and place in the oven for 1 hour.  You may want to place the loaf pan on a baking sheet just in case any spills over the sides.  Bake for 1 hour.   Remove from the oven and cool.  Makes 1 delicious banana bread. 

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