I love when UPS or FedEx pull up to my door, handing me boxes of goodies to try. After sipping and gulping, recipe-testing and reading: I am ready to give you the latest updates on products to try, buy and possibly win!
Thank you Graffigna wines; loved your bottle of Malbec—complex and slightly tannic just like I like it—a good bang for the buck.
Recently, I made rum-doused ice cream from the Ice Cream Happy Hour book. If you are in love with long processes and boosy ice cream: this book is for you. It took me multiple days of making custards, soaking raisins, having certain ingredients chilled and others warmed… straining twice and using an ice cream maker to accomplish: rum raisin ice cream. Did I mention they use gelatin?
It was a longer process than I have time/patience for, and the ice cream was seriously rummy. So maybe not for me: but you might love a recipe book full of whiskey-laced, rum-based, vodka-spiked ice cream. I am a cheater when it comes to homemade ice cream: I usually stick to vanilla or peppermint or chocolate mint which only takes 4-5 ingredients tossed into my ice cream maker. 20 minutes later I am slicking a spoon.
Speaking of involved desserts (and again: you might want to take that plunge!), this Italian dessert book is super involved with amazing photos. I still haven’t made a recipe due to lack of time. BUT I know my family would be thrilled if I did! In fact: this is the type of book to keep around just for special occasions. Anniversaries, Easter dinner, a little romance, graduation. We all need a go-to book of fancy desserts and with ‘Italian’ as a descriptor, this might just be the one. And not just for me—I am giving one away as well! If you want to delve into fanciful, Italian desserts—like Italian honey balls, cannoli, amaretto cheesecake with caramel—comment below for a chance to win (all entries/comments by July 20 midnight).
Loving Green Valley Organics and Redwood Hill Farms. As a chef, I frequently have clients who are lactose intolerant—as well as folks who are increasingly interested in goat milk, kefir and cheese products. I love the trend toward healthier and more conscientious dairy choices. So many of us—self-included—have a tough time digesting cow milk products. Companies and farmers are hearing the call, delivering an increasing number of fantastic alternatives. Redwood Hill Farm is an award-winning, humane certified, Grade A goat dairy farm and creamery located in Sonoma County, California. If you are ever in the area, consider taking their cheesemaking tour.