Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

It's been raining here all weekend, and I haven't felt like cooking, except for the hot chocolate you see above, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite ingredients with you.  

For baking, I love Scharffenberger Chocolate; it is divine!  Bakers' Joy is a non-stick cooking spray that incorporates fat and flour in the spray, so nothing sticks---love that!

King Arthur Flour; I am loving the organic all-purpose but have used the unbleached (non-organic) for years.  Check out their website here, it's awesome, with great products and recipes.  You can find the flour at most large supermarkets.  I haven't
forgiven Trader Joe's for discontinuing it!

B.R. Cohn (former manager of the Doobie Brothers) has a winery in Glen Ellen, California, but I love their vinegars!  The Pear Chardonnay is awesome and the 25 year old Balsamic is a bargain at the price, and is syrupy and delicious!  I love Sea Salt (although most commercial salt comes from the sea)  These are two of my faves---Cyprus Flaky Sea Salt and Baleine (I use the coarse for grinding)  Salt, like wine, and olive oil has to do with individual taste, and you should choose a salt that tastes clean (many are so processed you get that aftertaste) and has the right salt feel for your tongue.

For risotto, nothing better!

Really good quality olive oil; again, oils are subject to taste, and these are so delicious you could drink them--you can order them here.

Traditionally made Balsamic vinegar is only sold in this shape bottle.  If you buy a balsamic in another shaped bottle, it hasn't been made by the traditional methods and probably has added caramel color and sugar.  You can buy this here.

Caffe Calabria, a local coffee roaster, roasts the best coffee for your espresso machine; I'm addicted.  Cento San Marzano tomatoes are especially delicious, and these come in a glass jar, making them easy to store if you just need a 1/2 cup for a recipe. 

 Barilla is the largest maker of pasta in the world, and if you go into an Italian market, the aisle of pasta is dominated by Barilla, in shapes you have never seen before; the pasta cooks right every time, they now make whole grain pastas, and terrific no-cook lasagna noodles. 
Finally, nutella, I can't count the ways I love this smooth, creamy, chocolate spread laced with hazelnuts.  Move over peanut butter, this is my new fave on toast!

I'll be back tomorrow with a Take 5 and some other fun ideas.  Have a wonderful day!

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