Maggie’s Kitchen Memo: Good Food Recipes, Mustard Butter, French Fry Secrets and a Redesign

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Hey there friends,

Happy brand new week. To get ready for it, I’ve made a pot of quinoa, a big batch of black bean soup and a first-attempt at cashew milk. So, yes, it’s been a pretty great weekend and all the time in the kitchen gives me great focus. Here are some other things on my mind:

All About the Vegetables: I’m working on putting the right quantities of just good food in my body. I’ve been staring at this Winter Vegetable Chowder all day and I’m gathering the ingredients to make it now. I’ve pinned a whole list of good-for-you recipes to my new year, new you board including Cashew Milk, Garlic Soup, Ginger Miso Soup and this Fermented Grape Soda. I’ve also dedicated one dinner each week to big share salads that take up the entire table – with a little raw veggies, a little cooked veggies, perhaps protein like fish or chicken, and a killer salad dressing – and please most mouths. Try it.

Redesign Time: In advance of my cookbook release later this year and some other exciting projects (yes, you’ll know about them soon!), I wanted to let you know that this site will be going through a redesign. We want to make all the recipes more accessible and better feature the content from our roster of pretty amazing contributors. You also need to be able to easily print our recipes (!!!) and find out everything about the cookbook. If you’d like to share some feedback to make this experience better, don’t hesitate to email me, okay?

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Mustard Butter: If you haven’t ordered David Lebovitz’s new cookbook My Paris Kitchen, there are about 100 good reasons to do so right now. Let me give you another: his Mustard Butter is the sort of condiment that will bring the house down (in a good way). I put it on a seared steak last night (heavenly) and one of my guests dredged his fries through the butter (oh my, delicious). My husband noted that practically any vegetable would improve dramatically with a little pat of the stuff and recommended I keep a jar on hand at all times. Yeah, I’ll get right on that . . . Also, do you know the key to very crisp fries? It’s soaking the potatoes in water and drying them very well. David Lebovitz’s Frites are perfect. In fact, I’m making another batch right now.

I Heart You: I’m focused on the new food gift collections, set to launch just before Valentine’s Day. I’m going to keep the early 2015 line in step with your favorite things like snacks to help when on the go, bright foods that tart up an everyday meal and generally good-for-your-body foods that kick off the year splendidly. Any special requests? Lay it on me . . .

Money Matters: Whether you run a single person budget or the budget for a small business, you may think financial matters are totally over your head. Stop that thinking right now and read this piece on 13 Ways to Up Your Financial Game. The tips are simple like “Create a wealth board” (images of what you want) and “Invest in yourself.” It got me to sign up for a food certification course that I will need in the future. I figure I might as well invest in myself now because, you know, we’re worth it. Getting smarter on money is worth it too.

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Coconut Cardamom Latte: Last week, I visited Forge Baking Company, a new cafe in Somerville, Massachusetts from the talented folks who also own Diesel Cafe and Bloc 11. They made me a latte with a sweetened coconut milk and a grouping of spices, cardamom being the most distinct (but I’m certain there were others). This latte is not only friendly to the lactose-challenged, it was probably the most indulgent treat I’d had all year. I’m going to spend the winter figuring out a version I can make at home. Or maybe we can just meet up in Somerville soon and chat over a mug: deal? Deal!

Bake or Bust: For the next 3 weeks while I do this Lean and Green Program started by a fellow food blogger / nutritionist, I won’t be baking too much. Before I start, I got my Focaccia kick in this weekend and actually thinned it out, studded it with French olives and caramelized shallots, and served it at the start of a dinner party. I’ll share that recipe very soon. By the way, I always feel like a superwoman when I return to a just-risen bowl of dough. I realize that all I did was instigate the rise. I realize that the yeast did the hard work. Still, it feels mighty powerful to bake (and gift) something good.

Have a great week,

Maggie xox

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Photos styled and taken by Maggie Battista.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop.

You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and Pinterest.

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Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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