Yesterday may have been George Washington’s actual birthday, but why not extend the celebration one more day and treat yourself to Chocolove’s Cherries and Almonds bar? It’s 55% cacao Belgian chocolate—a semisweet chocolate not far over the borderline between milk and dark, so milk chocolate lovers can enjoy it too. It’s available at many fine retailers; or you can buy them online. Get enough to share—you’ll be very popular. Read our review of Chocolove. The Orange Peel, Raspberry and Crystallized Ginger chocolate bars also rock.
When we first saw Batter Blaster, we reacted viscerally: We don’t like things in aerosol cans. And the thought of pancake batter spraying out of one evoked images of aerosol cheese. But, don’t judge a product by its cover: This pancake mix is USDA-certified organic, which means that everything in that can is better than all natural. The main ingredients are filtered water, organic wheat flour, organic cane sugar, organic whole egg solids, organic soybean powder and sea salt. The environmentally-conscious will be pleased to know that Batter Blaster is powered by the more ozone layer-friendly carbon dioxide, not the nitrous oxide propellant that can be found in most aerosol canisters. You can point the nozzle to create any shape pancake you wish: your initials, flowers, squiggles.
Pancakes shoot from the nozzle of Batter Blaster.
Beyond breakfast, you can make mini pancake canapés with goat cheese, smoked salmon and fresh dill, or crème fraîche and caviar. An 18-ounce can, good for about 28 four-inch pancakes, retails for $4.99 to $5.99 (one poster to the website claims 12 pancakes). Thirty-two ounces of powdered pancake mix is less than half that. But Batter Blaster is no muss, no fuss and lots of fun. Because it is a refrigerated product, there are currently no mail orders, and it is only available on the West Coast and in Meijer Stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The company anticipates national distribution by July 2008, so get your nozzle finger ready. In the interim, read about our favorite pancakes and waffles in THE NIBBLE online magazine.
One of the most visible names in raw food, Roxanne Klein, broke hearts in 2004 when she closed her famous Marin County temple to gourmet raw food cuisine. Since then, Klein has spent time designing a retail line of grab-and-go raw foods called Roxanne’s Fine Cuisine, that just rolled out at Whole Foods Markets in Northern California. Raw food is a more stringent form of vegan cuisine. Not only is there no dairy or eggs, but no gluten is consumed and nothing cooked above 118°F to preserve nutrients. Many dishes are nut-based, and many of the nuts are sprouted by overnight soaking, which breaks down the enzyme inhibitors so that the protein in the nuts can be assimilated. The soaked nuts can also be puréed into spreads.
Roxanne’s initial line of 34 items includes a sweet, non-oat granola made of sprouted buckwheat, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and goji berries; a dried corn-cashew-pistachio trail mix; garlic and onion-flavored spreadable nut cheese; a smooth, mild-flavored nut hummus; and pinwheel sandwiches, desserts and sandwich spreads made from nuts and soy. Klein’s goal is to create foods that are so delicious that people will be willing to try them, whether they understand or believe in the philosophy of eating raw or not. As one of the lucky people who dined at her restaurant in Larkspur, we can attest that everything was delicious—and gorgeous, to boot. Now, we hope that her cuisine makes it from Whole Foods Markets in Northern California across country to us.
Read more about raw food.
If you love cheeses and have been wanting to check out the culinary scene in Seattle, make sure your reservations include the weekend of May 17th. You’ll be able to take in the annual Seattle Cheese Festival at Pike Place Market—not to mention the other charms of the famous food market. The festival enables turophiles (that’s the official word for cheese lovers) to taste, celebrate and better understand artisanal cheese made locally and around the world. Highlights include:
– More than 200 cheeses to taste
– Seminars to increase your knowledge of artisanal cheese
– A Wine Garden with wines to taste and pair with the cheeses.
For more information, head to www.seattlecheesefestival.com.
More than 60 artisanal cheese makers will present their wares.
What comes out of your tap is terrific. Contribute $1 to help those who aren’t so lucky. Photo courtesy of BudgetStockPhoto.com.
You’ve no doubt read about the bottled water controversy. Not only are Americans spending more than $15 million a year on bottled water—most of it filtered municipal water like Aquafina and Dasani. Fossil fuels are expended to make the bottles and ship the water from Point A to Point B; the empties are a huge recycling and litter cost. Environmentalists are up in arms, but humanitarians are equally upset. Because while anyone in America can get perfectly good, healthy water from his or her nearest faucet, in 90 countries on this planet, a billion people don’t have potable water.
– One in five of these people are children.
– Eighty percent of all illness and infant mortality is due to waterborne disease.
– Lack of clean water is the second largest killer of children under five. March 16-22 is World Water Week 2008, and the Tap Projectwill launch a campaign in 14 U.S. cities to help UNICEF provide clean water to children around the world. Patrons at participating restaurants will be asked to donate $1 (or more if they wish), for the tap water they normally get for free.
In each of the marketplaces, a major advertising agency has created a special ad campaign pro bono. So expect to see the Tap Project on everything from t-shirts and taxi tops to billboards and major landmarks.What can you do? If you buy bottled water, consider putting aside $1.00 for every bottle you drink between now and World Water Week, to donate to this worthy cause. And no matter what, give $1.00 when you’re asked—and be grateful that your loved ones have all the fresh, clean water they need. Every dollar you give to UNICEF can provide 40 liters of safe drinking water—enough to give one child safe drinking water for 40 days (or 40 children safe drinking water for one day). For more information visit TapProject.org.