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Entries in Brooklyn Slate (6)


The Holiday Foodie Gift Guide Continues - Part 2!

Welcome back to John and Elana's Foodie Gift Guide! We are working hard to bring you fun, functional and fantastic foodie gifts for the holiday season. Well, I am anyway. I asked John for suggestions...twice. Radio silence, people! Can I get some good help?

Speaking of good help, the lovely people of Colavita are here for just that purpose. They are offering our readers a DISCOUNT CODE for 25% off purchases on their online store. 25% - that is pretty substantial. It's valid through 1/31/2013, too. 

Here is the code: JAE25

But what to buy? There are a lot of great products on their site, and I personally do use Colavita olive oils in my cooking. I recently tried out the garlic infused variety for a little fun, and was pleased with the mild garlic flavor. I made some marinated olives with it.

Why would you want to marinate an olive? For FLAVA! MAD flava. Oh yes, it's true. Mad flava for your holiday appetizers and cheese boards. Look how nice:

I first posted about this recipe here. You would just substitute the regular olive oil for Colavita's Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil variety. 

Now, let's get back to the guide above. I update this guide on Pinterest all the time, and you can check that out here.

1. The Colavita Roasted Garlie Olive Oils! These guys will step up your game.

2. California Olive Oil Roasted Almonds from Gilt Taste. I'm slightly obsessed with Gilt Taste. These little gems will be a nice complement to the marinated olives listed above. Or gift them up and deliver them to the hostess of your next holiday party. You'd be nuts not to...

3. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil in nifty packaging! Decorative vessels help, I don't care what you say. 

4. Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap. You eat it, dip your bread in it, now wash yourself with it. This soap is all natural, very mild and ultra moisturizing. Don't be surprised if people start dipping their bread into you...

5. Olive Wood Cutting Board from West Elm. These things are so pretty. The variations in the wood tone really warm up a table if you're using it for display, but the wood is very hardy so they're also practically indestructible. Great for cooks like me who "accidentally" like to throw things around the kitchen...

Finally, don't forget about our discount code for Brooklyn Slate, listed here.

Now get gifting!


John and Elana's Foodie Gift Guide 2012

All images courtesy of Brooklyn SlateWell, here we are on the other side of Thanksgiving. How are you all feeling? Are you PSYCHED? Are you PUMPED?? 

Are you completely hostile every time you walk into a place of commerce and hear "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" being piped through the sound system? Let me tell you, that song hits a nerve for me. Because if there is someone who knows exactly when I've been naughty and when I've been nice this year, I have the following to say:

1. SH&T

2. Doesn't this person have anything better to do?

No, this does not make me a Scrooge. I just speculate about the mental soundness of someone who would so closely monitor my behavior and then pepper me with coal should it not be to his liking.

That being said, I like Christmas. I like giving people presents. I also like buying them for myself (is this naughty or nice or borderline?), which I often have to do because of the constant influx of coal.

However, we are going to put this in the "Elana's Been Nice" category, as I am here to offer you both:

1. Advice

2. Discounts and promotions

Get excited, because over the next few weeks leading up to the big day we will be pumping you full of gifting advice. We will also be starting a Pinterest board to archive all these suggestions, which you can check here (special stocking stuffers go to those who start following us on Pinterest).

Our first present to you comes from Brooklyn Slate Company. You may recognize their beautiful products from many of our posts. Their gorgeous reclaimed slates can be used as cheese boards, appetizer plates, serving trays and much more.

They even have handy-dandy composed gifts like their Pantry Collectives (photographed by yours truly!)

Pantry Collectiveand the campfire kit;

Campfire Kitand sweet little accessories like cheese knives and tote bags.

And starting NOW through December 24, 2012, our readers get 10% online purchases.

Please use this code: JOHNANDELANA12 at checkout to get your 10% off. 

Now go check it out ---- > Click here for the Brooklyn Slate website!


Survival of the Cheesiest! A Kit from Brooklyn Slate

Today we are featuring a food-oriented gift selection for your holiday present-giving needs: The Cheese Survival Kit from Brooklyn Slate.

This is a new item from Brooklyn Slate, and if you plan on ordering one as a gift, you might want to order two as you will mostly likely want to keep one for yourself.

I was lucky enough to receive one as I took all the photos you see in this post! It was my first real photography job! So I can personally attest to the fabulousness of this kit.

Let me tell you what it includes:

1. A Brooklyn Slate. Use this slate for serving cheese or small finger foods, a hot plate, a chalk board (includes a soap stone pencil for writing!), a backdrop for food photography (I've done this multiple times)...the list goes on. They are pretty sturdy (I've dropped mine a few times and it refuses to break), simple and beautiful.

2. A Cheese Knife: It comes with it's own cover! It's like the Excalibur of cheese knives!

3. Ayers Creek Black Current Jam and California Wild Sage Honey and Castletons Wheat Crackers:

Sometimes it's hard to take photos of food when the subjects are so delicious. I held myself back for the photo shoot, but I am now enjoying both the jam and honey, liberally slathering it on everything that comes within my reach. Including other people.

The jam has lots of current chunks in there, so if you like your jam chunky (I do) this one is for you. The honey is more spreadable than syrupy, which I like as the firmer consistency makes it less messy when applying to cheeses.

4. A Formaticum Cheese Journal: For keeping track of all your cheese purchases and experiences. Hide it under your bed so no one reads your cheesy secrets....

5. Formaticum Cheese Papers: For storing your cheese like a true cheese-monger. Comes complete with stickers so you can label and date your cheese.

6. This handy dandy bag to cart it all around in:

If you'd like to order a Brooklyn Slate Cheese Survival Kit, you can do so through their online shop, here. It's well worth it, and I guarantee it will help you (and your cheese) survive the holidays.



Homemade Marshmallows in Spicy Hot Chocolate to Celebrate a New Blog Look!

There's a lot of stuff going on in that title, huh? That's because there's a lot going on here. On this blog. Today.

Maybe you noticed? No? Huh. I thought it was obvious....

WE HAVE A NEW DESIGN! Sorry for shouting....I should use my inside voice. But it's hard to get noticed here on these interwebs.

We decided we needed something new. Like a party dress for the holidays. It was actually John that wanted the party dress....with sequins. I would have been fine with something sensible. But not him. Noooooo.

So, I was all like, "OK, I'll take one hundred million aerial shots of different food setups and we can interchange them to keep things fresh, and maybe I'll have a go at a logo refresh too..."

And he was all like, "Yeah." I think he may have also said, "Glorious."

And so here it is: our new header, featuring a hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows atop a Brooklyn Slate. We are going to change these headers every now and again. We may do it seasonally, bi-weekly, once in a blue cheese moon, etc. So stay tuned!

I actually made all the above items myself, except for the candy canes which I bought at Duane Reade. The cups and sparkly spoons are Vietri and I bought them at Terrine, in case you were curious. They're great holiday gifts if you need some.

Now, let's get to the recipes!

Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

I've been wanting to make my own marshmallows for a while. But I was scared of making a mess (which I should be used to by now). And I really didn't think it would work. But it did! And it's so worth it. Especially the vanilla bean. You MUST use really vanilla bean. Please.

Oh, magical vanilla bean, these marshmallows are for you.

I used Joy the Baker's recipe for these. I would love for you to visit her blog for the recipe because I think that's a nice thing to do. Maybe bring her a bottle of something when you visit.

Afterwards, you can dip the marshmallows in bittersweet chocolate for extra decadence. It is the holidays after all. Here's how that works:

What You Need:

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
glass bowl
small pot

What You Do:

Pour some water into the small pot and set it to simmer on your stove top. Not boil - just simmer.

Place the glass bowl on top of the simmer pot of water so that the bottom of the bowl sits in the pot but DOES NOT touch the water. That part is important because you don't want to boil or burn the chocolate. You want to steam it, or ....wait for the big fancy cooking term...TEMPER it.

Cut the chocolate into coarse chunks and throw it into the glass bowl. It will begin melting.

You can use a spatula to stir it a bit.

Once the chocolate is melted, go ahead and dip the marshmallows in there. Just one side is fine. You'll get the black and white cookie effect. Then lay them on some parchment paper to dry.

Now for the Spicy Hot Chocolate. This stuff is good, especially with a little cayenne kick. If you don't like your hot chocolate to kick you in the taste buds, you can leave out the cayenne. Personally, I prefer kicking.

What You Need:

1 1/2 cups of milk (you can use any percent of fat you prefer)
1 1/2 tablespoons of UNSWEETENED cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

What You Do:

Throw all the ingredients in a small pot at the same time (I love recipes with those instructions). Turn the heat to medium-low and stir with a wire wisk until all the ingredients are incorporated into the milk.

Let the mixture heat up - but don't let it boil.

Pour into mugs and serve immediately topped with the marshmallows.


It's Our Birthday - And We're Giving YOU Presents

Happy Birthday! To US!! We are 1 year old today, how about that? It's pretty crazy, actually. Pretty crazy that neither John nor I have killed each other. It's been close, people, I won't lie. So to celebrate, we are giving YOU presents!

That's right – a biiiiiiiig gift box of cool food stuffs. Let me tell you what's in this Box of Glory:

1. A $25 Gift Certificate for Brooklyn Slate. You readers might remember that BK Slate handcraft cheeseboards and serving ware from slate materials. You can check out our post on them here, and their website here.

2. TWO 11oz bottles of Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup - one Classic and one Spicy. This stuff is the bees knees, people. You will put it on everything.

3. And speaking of bees, you also will get 1 bottle of NYC rooftop honey and 1 honeycomb (great for cheese plates - see Article #1) from Andew's Honey. Andrew sets up his honey stand in the Union Square Green Market every Wednesday.

4. Not one, not two but THREE jars of McClure's Pickles! I am a huge fan of this product, having sampled the pickles, relish, and the bloody Mary mix and I highly recommend them all. Included in the Box of Glory are: 1 jar Bloody Mary Mix, 1 jar Whole Spicy Pickles, and 1 jar Whole Garlic and Dill Pickles.

5. A jar of Strawberry Balsamic Basil Jam from Fresh and Fancy Farms. Check them out here, and our post here.

6. Love notes from John and me! And maybe some extra stuff, but the above are the highlights.

Now...the important part: How do you win this Box of Glory, because I know you want to win it, don't you?

Here's how:

Comment on this post from NOW until August 24, 2011 12am EST. In your comment, (pretty) please (with sugar on top) tell us your favorite post and why it is your favorite post.

For example, you could say the following:

My favorite post is the Roasted Red Bell Pepper Post because I had a very vivid (and disturbing) image of Elana's hair in the rain that made me laugh for weeks on end, not to mention feel better about myself.

OR you might reference The Box's Antipasto Manifesto in which he waxes poetical over the combinations of provolone, ceci beans and olives.

Perhaps you enjoyed the National Geographic Archeological Survey on John's Refrigerator in which we discovered Encyclopedia Brittanicas and year old ice cream (which is not 2 year old ice cream...)

Either way, let us know! Then we will pick one commenter and ship you The Box of Glory (did you hear an echo?) Now, get to it!

Happy Birthday!