Ladies and gentlemen, we are noticing a bit of a shift in quarantine baking. While many of you are still in search of bread making tools, we are also fielding desperate calls for springform and tart pans. Perhaps you all are working your way through a particular book? Do tell. A long time customer dropped off a delightful chocolate mint cheesecake when picking up his baking necessities. It all feels very Spies Like Us with the drop being made in the hall, one cheesecake for food and gadgets. We take all quarantine baking samples.
If you are in need of a bottomless tart or springform pan, we have a selection posted in our online shop. Also new to the shop this week is a restock of Seedlip zero-proof distilled spirits, more baking supplies, gadgets, and cookbooks along with our new Cat Shop. We were pleased to know all of you cat lovers were still out there. This week we will be adding additional items to our table-top and linens selections, as well as a lovely selection of heirloom beans, flavored polenta, and other items from Ritrovo. If you'd like to see something in the shop, let me know and I'll post as soon as possible.
If you are not already on the cheesecake baking adventure, we've added some inspiration below. @BakerByNature literally has a cheesecake archive - #QuarantineGoals. For those of you who might need to toss a cocktail together, Jacob found a tutorial that will give your French Press new responsibilities and we've added in a couple more ways to up your game.
Finally, Jill's imagination has been getting a workout as she has become quite adept at pulling together food care-packages. Some of you are buying for yourselves and love to be surprised with a flavor or item you would not have chosen yourselves. Many of you have sent packages to friends and family as well. As we arrive at the end of the school year - graduation and mother's day is on the minds of many. We can help you show your appreciation for a teacher, or celebrate a graduate, mom, or another milestone. We've put together just a few inspiring combinations below, but we can work within any budget - just shoot us an email and we'll get started.
Have a lovely week ahead,
Click the photo above for the recipe and watch a video on how to make this creamy classic cheesecake. Need more inspiration? Visit thecheesecake archivesat Baker by Nature for a myriad of other delicious cheesecake adaptations.
moe. Cocktails, More Problems? Nope. Fans of the jam band moe. might get a kick out of Al Schnier's recipe for Zero-Calorie Spicy Margarita Mix, but even if you have never heard of Al or Moe, you can practice whipping up this little concoction in time for Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Zero-Calorie Spicy Margarita Mix
yields approx 6 margaritas
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (approx. 6 limes)
1/8 tsp orange extract
7 packets Stevia (approx. 1 Tbsp sugar)
1 jalapeño (including seeds)
2-1/2 cups water
Mix all ingredients & chill (also, relax LOL).
*try Mezcal + Tequila when making cocktails
*rim glass or sprinkle w/ smoked paprika
Think Outside the Box
We've always been big fans of kitchen tools that serve multiple purposes. I mean, who doesn't want more bang for their buck? We love a french press for its classic coffee making ability. French presses make a great loose leaf tea brewer and frankly, the most cost-effective milk frother on the market - but if you really want to take full advantage of this classic tool, use it to make cocktails as well. Here it is used to steep crushed carrots, beets, lemon juice, and tequila - now that's darn near a health drink! (click the photo for a demonstration).
Not sure you have the energy to get creative? Support a local business and visit Cardinal Spirit's walk-up window for one of their available cocktail kits.
Rosemary Terra Gimlet Kit
Terra Botanical Gin + Lime Juice + Rosemary Syrup
Fresh gimlet mix + a 750ml bottle of Terra Botanical Gin = 5 servings of Rosemary Terra Gimlets (plus you’ll have leftover gin to make other cocktails!) What’s in the mix: lime juice and rosemary simple syrup.
Think Inside the Box
Give the gift of a relaxing evening or have one yourself with dinner delivered to your door and cook on your own time. This kit includes pasta and sauce for the main entree, along with delightful cheese, salami, olive mix, and crackers to enjoy before or alongside your meal. Got an extra apple, pear, or dried fruit lying around, toss that onto the board as well. Finnish off with some cookies and chocolate. Depending upon your appetite, you'll likely have some leftover. A selection like this can be made more special by adding a towel or a basket for your loved one to reuse, or we can pack it into one of our signature craft paper boxes and tie it with a bow.
More and more of us are cooking at home and perhaps realize we could use a good knife. It will change your experience in the kitchen. We love Wusthof's Classic Cooks Knife in 6" or 8". These riveted knives will last a lifetime and are a great gift for the graduates in your life. Know someone headed off to college in the fall or just finishing their studies? A gift to remind them of their time in Btown never fails. We carry a selection of Bloomington themed items, as well as IU, Purdue, Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana. More items will be posted to our online shop this week, or feel free to email us with your needs.
Another "meal in a box" selection combines a one-pot Risotto with whole artichokes. One way to take the stress out of a meal is to use a kit of some type and then add whatever you have on hand to give it a bit more brightness or heft. Toss in some lemon, leftover meat, and fresh herbs - really, anything you need to use up in your fridge, and you'll be as happy as can be with the results. Here we pair a date cake with goat and sheep cheeses. The sweetness of the dried fruit pairs well with the sharpness of the goat cheese. Toss the dark chocolate onto the platter and you have a lovely selection pre or post-meal.
Below you can give a gift that keeps on giving. Seedlip is a distilled non-alcoholic beverage that can be mixed with tonic, soda water, even ginger beer. We love the freshness of GARDEN 108, it tastes of spring! Toss a little ginger syrup into a glass, a sprig of mint or other herbs, maybe a cucumber or bit of pear? Muddle or smash it, then add an ounce of Seedlip and top off with soda water or another mixer. Naturally, you could add a spirit, rum, vodka, you name it. If you haven't tried mixing your cocktail or mocktail in a Corkcicle, you are missing out. The double-walled insulated tumblers keep your drink cold and your ice stays for much longer avoiding the dreaded watered-down effect. If you are sending a gift, toss in some yummy chocolates or caramels, or perhaps a hand towel. Oh, and that ginger syrup makes great ginger beer in a pinch but you'll really love it on pancakes!
Growing up in Btown and during much of my time at IU brunch with my family and then with my friends made for some great memories. Breakfast or let's face it, brunch if you are in college, could be its own full-time sport in this town. With what would have been graduation and Mother's Day weekend coming up, our town will be decidedly less energetic. If you can support one of our fabulous eateries by ordering carryout or picking up baked goods over the next couple of weeks, please do. These next few weekends often made a huge impact on their spring finances. If you know someone who could use a little cheer, put a smile on their face with a breakfast gift box. We have so many lovely jams, syrups, and tools that they will continue to enjoy over and over again.
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.