Archive for December, 2015

Name Your Price

December 30, 2015

Online retailer Everlane is known for it’s impeccable basics, which are ethically produced. They have always been transparent about the manufacturing process and the costs associated with it, even posting a factory profile next their products.

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This week, they are taking it all a step futher, allowing customers to name their price when purchasing items. The site lists the original price, and a choice of three options for the sale price. One just covers the costs to make and ship the item, one adds on enough to cover shipping and overhead for their team, and the third choice adds on a little to help them cover future growth.

When you are fully engaged with your customers like Everlane is, we are willing to bet they are getting their fair share of people opting in to support their costs. Should other retailers follow suit?

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That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles

December 29, 2015

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Is it time to step away from the cookie jar? I’m looking at you here, who has been a prolific baker and has enough cookies to feed the neighborhood, or gain 5 pounds snacking on them. Or you, who recieved an abundance of homemade love in the form of sweet treats.

Why not repurpose them into a delicious crust for pie or cheesecake. Similiar to a more traditional graham cracker crust, cookie crusts are easy to make and don’t even require baking. Simply process the cookies into crumbs, and add melted butter to create a simple, press-in( no rolling!) crust for future treats. Plain, un-iced sugar or shortbread cookies work well, as do chocolate, or gingerbread cookies. Feel free to add a little cinnamon, spice and everything nice to the plainer options if you wish.

For every 2 cups of cookie crumbs, add 3 tablespoons of melted butter and press into a pie plate, cheesecake pan, or even a rectangular pan for delicous bar cookies. You can even freeze it to be filled and enjoyed at a later date. You’ll have a new, almost effortless dessert for a future meal, and save yourself from slipping into a sugar coma now.

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Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on Gourmly EcohabitudeLemonbar and Etsy

Download the HOMEMADE app

Unrecipe of the Week: Gnocchi

December 28, 2015

We were so excited to receive the Gjelina cookbook for Christmas this year. It is filled with simple, delicious vegetable and grain-centric recipes from acclaimed chef, Travis Lett.

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We tried the ricotta gnocchi tonight, and it was recieved with rave reviews. Like any dough recipe, this requires using your sense of what the dough should feel like, vs. a hard and fast recipe to follow to a tee. The result was light, pillowy gnocchi that we devoured with nothing more than a pool of pomodoro sauce and some Parmesan cheese. The best news: it didn’t take much more than 30 minutes to create. Go ahead and give it try…we’ll guide you through the process.

Ricotta Gnocchi adapted from Gjelina:
Spread about 1/2 cup of flour onto the counter in a circular shape. Top with 1 pound of strained ricotta cheese. ( we used part skim from the grocery store.) and then top that with another 1/2 cup of flour. Sprinkle it with a pinch each of salt and ground nutmeg.

Using your fingertips, lightly mix the flour and ricotta and gather it into a mound with a well in the center. Add 3/4 to one whole egg,which has been lightly beaten into the well, and combine it with a fork until it is roughly held together. Using a bench scraper, gently fold the dough repeatedly until it has come together into a ragged mass. Sprinkle it with small amounts of flour and delicately knead the dough, adding more flour as you go until it comes together into a ball. Delicate is the operative word here, and the more assertively the dough is handled, the more the gluten will develop and make your gnocchi tough, or gummy in texture. Handle the dough as little and as gently as possible to attain the results outlined above.

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit about 20 minutes.

Cover the surface with flour and gently shape the dough into a large disk about 1″ thick. Cut the disk into strips.  Take each strip and roll it into a log about 1/2″ in diameter. With a knife, cut each strip into 1″ segments, and press the tines of a fork into one side of each piece. Don’t flatten them with the fork, just create an impression. Place the pieces of gnocchi on a sheet pan and sprinkle lightly with flour until ready to use.

Boil a large pot of salted water. Place the gnocchi into the pot and cook for about 2 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss them in the sauce of your choice. Keep sauces on the lighter side, so you don’t overpower the gnocchi. We recommend a simple pomodoro sauce, or even butter and sage or basil and Parmesan cheese. Serve while hot and enjoy!!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Hang in There

December 17, 2015

We are literally up to our elbows in marshmallows right now, and it is almost midnight! The holidays have been thankfully busy for indigo jones eats, and it has prevented us from posting as often as we’d like.

Hang in there with us. By this time next week, all will have died down and we will be back to our regular posting schedule.

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We had a great time at the Food Tech Connect event last night, and will be sharing all of the great innovations where food and technology meet to create some exciting new concepts you have never seen before. We were proud to be there representing the app Homemade with our tomato and basil pesto tarts, and kale salads with mint, edamame, chickpeas, dried cranberries and a lemon herb vinaigrette.

If you are in New York City Friday night or Saturday afternoon, stop in and see us at the Ecohabitude pop-up shop, where we will be hanging out with all of our indigo jones eats baked goods, cello wrapped and tied up in ribbons, to be turned into your own DIY gift box. Of course there will be samples too! Lots of other vendors will be sharing their wares as well, ranging from a variety of non-food related products that are all sustainable and eco-friendly.

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We got a puppy a few weeks ago. Winston is a toy Australian Shepherd and he is as cute as they get. Puppies are also challenging, and he has had some parasites that have put a halt to his training. Between sweeping and mopping to make sure there isn’t anything on the floor that he shouldn’t eat, and sweeping and mopping to clean up after him, I am pleased to report that our kitchen floors are immaculate. I think I wash them 3 or 4 times a day! His presence has prompted a new item we like to call “indigo jones bones.” They are all natural, homemade dog treats and he loves them! They are hard enough to help with teething, and tasty enough to entice him to gobble them down. They are available to order through all of our marketplace sites, and we will have some with us to sell at the pop up too.

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About a year ago, we started a little business and thanks to sites like Etsy, Ecohabitude, Lemonbar and Gourmly, as well as the fabulous app Homemade, we are busier than we ever thought possible. Thanks for supporting our business, and stay tuned as we introduce more new foods, baked goods and avenues to purchase our products.

We will check in again as soon as we can. Until then, keep up with the (indigo) Jones’ on social media. We are indigojonesnyc on instagram and twitter, and Indigo Jones on Facebook.

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on Gourmly EcohabitudeLemonbar and Etsy

Download the HOMEMADE app

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Brining

December 15, 2015

Another cooking confessional: I have never brined my meat or poultry. I have always felt that it was a messy, unnecessary step in the process. Until yesterday.

I had a catering project that was overflow from another cook who couldn’t handle the quantity requested at the last minute. We communicated briefly about recipes and plating so that it would not be blatently obvious when the guests opened their lunches and discovered that they were the same but extremely different. One of the dishes being served was a sliced chicken breast, which she said she was brining for two hours and baking with a garlic and paprika rub. Simple enough.

I got up and brined the chicken breasts in the morning before cooking them. I was skeptical. I honesty didn’t think it would make a bit of difference. I was wrong. The chicken was extremely tender and juicy. I had a couple of extra pieces that I removed from the brine and refrigerated until dinner time. My husband remarked that I should buy my chicken from this butcher all the time, as it seemed superior in taste and consistency. I am a brine believer now! 

So what is brining and how is it done? Read along…

Brining is the process of soaking meat or poultry in salt water for a period of time to lock in moisture before cooking. The salt in the water serves to denature, or break down some of the protein bonds in the meat, and allows the water to become trapped between the fibers, making it more hydrated before it is cooked. Depending on the size and amount of time spent in the brine, the food will weigh 6-8% more, due it the amount of liquid it has absorbed.

While a large turkey might benefit from an overnight brine, smaller portions will become water logged if left to soak too long.  A couple of hours for a large amount of skinless, boneless chicken breasts ( I was serving 30 people) was perfect. Even 30 minutes would make a difference. If you place the breasts in the brine while the oven heats and you get the rest of the meal prepared, it will be well worth the extra effort, and not take too much extra time.

How to Brine:
Use 1/4 cup of kosher salt for every quart of warm water. Place the food into the mixture so that it is just submerged but not swimming in the brine, cover it and place it in the refrigerator. You can add herbs, lemon juice or other flavors to the mixture if you like, but for a short brine, it won’t have that much effect. When you are ready to cook the meat, remove it from it’s bath, pat it dry with paper towels and you’re good to go!

Word of warning: Raw meats and poultry have potentially harmful bacteria that can make you and those who eat your food very sick. Be sure to wash the brining dish and disinfect anything that the brining water came in contact with. I put my dish on a baking tray to catch any drips to avoid contaminating other things in the refrigerator.

Happy Brining!

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Spice Rubs

December 8, 2015

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Spice rubs are a great way to infuse flavor into meats and poultry. While many commercial blends are available, you can make your own using the herbs and spices that suit your taste and your specific recipe.

Here are a few tips to using seasonings:

Brush your meat or poultry with olive oil or butter to give the spices something to stick to.

Mix your seasonings in a small bowl before you start. This will allow for much more even distribution of the spices.

Remember that uncooked meats carry the risk of foodborne pathogens, such as E.coli and salmonella which are destroyed when cooked. When handling raw meats, be sure to clean everything that the meat or poultry and their juices might have touched. Using a small bowl for seasonings allows you to “double dip” without contaminating everything by touching various spice jars with the hands that are also touching the meat. Just remember to throw out the excess after you are done, to avoid spreading the bacteria to other foods.

Massaging the seasonings into the meat allows it absorb better, giving you more flavor. Even salt and pepper benefit from a little rub.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

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Download the HOMEMADE app

Bananacolypse Now?

December 7, 2015

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Word on the street, (ok, in the blogosphere,) is that bananas are becoming an endangered species. This sets off a mild feeling of panic, as what is morning without bananas? Bananas are the base of most smoothies, taste great on oatmeal, make delcious breakfast breads, and are the perfect vehicle for slathering with almond butter. Thus said, this rumor begs investigating.

The scientific journal PLOS Pathogens has conducted a study, which predicts that a fungus called Panama disease will bring about the untimely demise of the banana.

There is no known treatment for Panama disease, which was previously contained in parts of Asia. It has currently spread to Pakistan, Oman, Jordon, Lebanon, Mozambique and Northeast Queensland, Australia. The disease is slow spreading, so it may take awhile to get to Latin America, where most of our bananas are grown. The last time the disease eradicated crops was when it was discovered in Taiwan in the 1960’s where it took 55 years to do it’s damage.

In the meantime, consider swapping parsnips as a substitution in baked goods. The root caramelizes to a sugary sweetness like bananas, and were used during the Great Banana rationing in England during WWII.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Two Are Better Than One

December 4, 2015

Every December, the color experts at Pantone announce their choice for the color of the year. This time, they surprised us by declaring not one, but two shades, as the colors of the year for 2o16.

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Serenity, an icy blue, and Rose Quartz, a soft classic pink, are intended to evoke a sense of gender equality and fluidity, reflecting in fashion, what is happening in society.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute: “In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.”

Pantone has commissioned street artists in Los Angeles, Miami and New York City to create murals overnight to depict the two shades.

 

 

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Man One, Venice Beach, California

photos via Pantone and Quartz. Man One photo: Reggie Reagor

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Give Back, Pay it Forward

December 2, 2015

This holiday season, and throughout the year, we like to participate in various charitable initiatives. Here a few ways we give back to our community and pay it forward, to help others:

This week, we are excited and honored ( did you take a look at that list of  sponsors.. meep!) to be baking for a pop up shop in the Union Square Holiday Market to benefit the High School of Food and Finance. Stop by to get a sweet treat from some of New York’s best bakers, (and moi!) to help the next wave of culinary entrepreneurs!

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We are riding in Cycle for Survival again, for the 7th consecutive year this March. Every dollar raised goes directly to Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital’s research labs, and their work has already saved lives across the globe. We still have a few spots on our team available, if you would like to ride, and we would be most appreciative of your donations. You can make a gift in someone’s honor, which in our opinion is the ultimate holiday present. It is fun and memorable event that truly changes the lives of cancer patients and their families. Click the link to above to get to our team page, and message me if you would like to ride with us. 158883101.custom

Our family friend and former pediatrition Dr. Jane Aronson is doing amazing things for children internationally. Her charity, Worldwide Orphan’s Foundation, strives to transform the lives of orphaned children and help them become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world. From building hospitals in remote areas, to providing them with exposure to the arts, to building a team of “orphan rangers ” to spend quality time with these childen, the work she does it priceless. Click the link to learn more and support her work.

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Lastly, we are thrilled to be a contributor to Mogul, an information sharing website that unites women across the world. In addition to interesting stories on a vast array of subjects, Mogul offers a series of online courses. For each one you enroll in, the entire set of courses goes to a girl in need. The subjects range from Entrepreneurship, Finance and Career Development, to Beauty, Fitness and Travel. Check out a course, and give the gift of education to a girl who might not have the opportunity otherwise.

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There are so many other worthy causes, we couldn’t begin to list here. Whatever you passion is, we encourage you to support it through your time, or your financial contributions.

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Check out our artisanal food site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on  GourmlyEcohabitude, and Etsy

Download the HOMEMADE app

 

 

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: How To Salvage a Burnt Cake

December 1, 2015
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Don’t cry over a burnt cake.

You know the old saying about how the cobbler’s kids going shoeless or something like that? Well this baker’s dessert game at home has been suffering. The other night, I popped a simple bundt cake into the oven and forgot about it. Since it needs to bake for 1 and 15 minutes, I knew it had a ways to go when I remembered it. The question was, how far? The answer: a little less far than I thought. The first sign was when the cake came out of the pan with a chunk missing. Ok, I thought, I will serve it sliced. Nope, that wasn’t the solution. It was a little dark all around.

The inside, while perhaps just a tad drier than I would have liked, was acceptable. What to do?

Way too lazy to make another one, I was determined to make this one work. (Note of apology to any of my dinner guests who might be reading this. You were worth a better cake. Really, you were.)

I ended up slicing the cake, and used a biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the inner cake. I discarded the dark, outer crust and pretended it never existed. I used the cake to sandwich whipped cream and drizzled it with chocolate sauce. I had purchased some icecream and strawberries to puree into a coulis, but never actually got that far.( I really was a lazy hostess!) I am going to assume that all is well that ends well, as there wasn’t a bite of cake left after the meal ended.

The moral of the story: Be resourceful. There is a solution to every problem. Next time this happens to you, cut the good parts into an interesting shape, or chunks, and top them with icecream, whipped cream and fruit, or a great sauce. Layer them in a cup parfait style, or soak the cake in sweet wine or liquor for a take on trifle. Your guests might just think you made something extra special, on purpose. Oh yeah, don’t forget to smile when you serve it!

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

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Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our artisanal food site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on  Gourmly Ecohabitude, and Etsy

Download the HOMEMADE app

 


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