Category Archives: New Products

Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars — For Times When You Can’t Decide

A chocolate brownie and a butterscotch blondie all in one bite.

A chocolate brownie and a butterscotch blondie all in one bite.

 

When it comes to switching jobs, breaking up with a significant other, moving to a new city or other countless life decisions we hesitate to make, how many of us have gotten out pencil and paper to make the proverbial pros and cons list?

Hands, please.

I know I have. Plenty of times.

It always helps. Even if I’m often startled to see how lopsided the count ends up being.

Thankfully, there are times when you don’t have to choose one over another. It’s rare. But occasionally, you can enjoy the best of both worlds without having to wrack your brain to take a side.

“Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars” is just such a case.

Do I want a brownie? Or do I want a butterscotch blondie?

Hmm. Why not indulge in both?

With this recipe, you get exactly that. It’s a fudgy brownie on top of a sweet blondie. It’s two treats in one — in every single bite.

The recipe is from the oldie but goodie cookbook, “The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook” (Chronicle Books, 2008), of which I received a review copy when it was first published, and has since had a prominent place on my bookshelf.

essential chocolate chip cookbook

It’s by longtime food writer and cookbook author Elinor Klivans. And it includes every type of chocolate chip treat under the sun — from “Kitchen-Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies” to “Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cream Tart” to “Hot Chocolate Chip Brownie Sundae Cake.” Is it any wonder that I’ve kept this book so long?

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A Visit to Jacobsen Salt Co.

Jacobsen Zinfandel salt, made with Clif Family wine.

Jacobsen Zinfandel salt, made with Clif Family wine.

 

Netart, OR. — Would you believe the artisan salts that have taken the chef world by storm are made in this bare-bones facility?

Jacobsen Salt, the first company thought to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since Lewis & Clark, is beloved by such acclaimed chefs as Matthew Accarrino of SPQR in San Francisco, April Bloomfield of New York’s The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, and Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb in San Francisco, Acacia House in St. Helena, and Jackrabbit in Portland.

They love its big, light, crunchy flakes that have a clean, pureness of flavor.

The shed where the salt water from the bay is boiled.

The shed where the salt water from the bay is boiled.

Netarts Bay is just steps away.

Netarts Bay is just steps away.

Twelve employees run this operation 24-7 to produce 16,000 pounds of salt a month.

Although Jacobsen’s facility is not usually open to the public, Tom Gibson, director of coast operations for the company, was happy to give a tour to our small group of media a few weeks ago.

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Brooklyn Crafted Delivers On A Potent Ginger Taste

Unfiltered and with a nice burn down the throat.

Unfiltered and with a nice burn down the throat.

When it comes to food, I am not a fan of blow-your-brains-out spiciness.

But when it comes to ginger beer, well, that’s another story.

Bring it.

When I was invited to try a sample of Brooklyn Crafted Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, that’s exactly what my response was.

The spicier the better, when it comes to my beloved ginger.

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Just Pickle It — With SuckerPunch Gourmet

Making a Bloody Mary at home is a breeze with SuckerPunch Gourmet mixes.

Making a Bloody Mary at home is a breeze with SuckerPunch Gourmet mixes.

 

When David van Alphen launched his pickle-making business in Illinois in 2011, he wanted to give it a name that would convey the wallop of flavor he hoped to seal inside every jar.

Hence, SuckerPunch Gourmet was born.

Today, it makes not only pickles, but salsas and Bloody Mary mixes. I had a chance to try samples recently.

The Spicy Garlic Originals ($5.99 for a 24-ounce jar) is indeed the product that launched the company. Cut into thick slices, these are plenty garlicky, flavored with 15 spices including cloves and black peppercorns, and get a warm kick from arbol chiles. They are perfect tucked into a pastrami sandwich.

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Coffee So Good

Raw cacao, cashews, a touch of sea salt, and cold-pressed coffee make up this Cashew Mocha.

Raw cacao, cashews, a touch of sea salt, and cold-pressed coffee make up this Cashew Mocha.

 

Coffee So Good is coffee so nutty, too.

In the best of ways.

This organic cold brew coffee manages to be creamy while being vegan.

The secret is cashews.

The nuts provide the creaminess that milk or cream normally would. Each 10-ounce bottle has 160-180 calories, as well as 4 grams of protein, about 10 grams of fat, and about 9 grams of sugar from agave nectar, depending upon the flavor.

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