Category Archives: Cake

12 Dishes of Christmas – Take 1

Examining the quintessential holiday foods

We published a quick gift guide last week that got us thinking: the real fun behind the holiday season is spending time with your family (go ahead, admit it!), and nothing is better for sharing than a good meal. Rather than gifts, we looked into 12 foods that represent the season like no other. While this list isn’t definitive, it certainly is delicious!

For the sake of brevity (and to halt pant sizes from skyrocketing upward) we decided to split the list into six this week, and another six for our next post. We think you’ll agree that moderation is key!

Day 1: Candy Canes

Candy CaneThese sweet candy treats began as incredibly labor-intensive products; while it’s unclear when exactly the cane originated, their production widened across Europe in the mid-17th century, albeit as simple white canes. The famous red and white streaked design, now so evocative of the holiday season, wasn’t popularized until much later.

Making candy canes at home can be tough, what with the stretching, pulling and twisting involved – see this this detailed recipe if you don’t believe us – but true candy die-hards know that the real key with candy making is accurate temperature. Thus, a candy thermometer is essential… along with a serious sweet tooth! Continue reading

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Filed under Beverage, Cake, Candy, Cookie, Holiday

Pit Stop

Continuing the Americana theme (USA! USA!), let’s talk about cherries.

George Washington Chopping Cherry Tree

Step 1: cherries. Step 2: throw off the yoke of a tyrannical monarch.

The cherry is a cousin to the nectarine and plum, and while it has about 1,000 different varieties, less than 10 are commercially produced. While most home cooks are used to canned cherries, there is really no substitute for fresh cherries when preparing a meal.  Today, we’ll show a few items to get rid of the pit, and tasty recipes to follow after.

The popularity of fresh cherries has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years,  likely in part to emphasis on local, fresher foods. However, it can safely be assumed that George Washington wasn’t the first person angling for this delicious fruit.

Cherries can be traced back as far as  600 B.C. in China, where they were a delicacy reserved for high society. Their American origins can be traced beyond the Washington-tree-chopping-fable, to when Henry VIII brought them to England from Flanders. No, not Ned Flanders; Flanders, France to be exact.  Cherries followed the English colonists to our shores in the 1600’s.

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It’s June. It’s hot. We all have those days where we mentally project ourselves to somewhere like this tropical island.

Vacationing in the tropics remains a dream for most of us, but the tastes of the tropics are close at hand in the form of tropical fruits like bananas.

Bananas are used year round in mostly dessert-forms. However, they can be key in other applications like grilling, where the banana leaves can be used as a wrapping.

We like to carry unique products, like the Bananza slicer we featured on Facebook earlier. Not only are they neat and fun, but functional as well. They can help us execute some of the recipes we find throughout the dog days of summer. You don’t need to slice your bananas for these recipes;  just get cookin’!

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Filed under Bread, Cake, Fruit