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A Printable Holiday Baking Pantry Checklist

Simply bites holiday baking checklist

Simply bites holiday baking checklist

This will save you trips to the grocery stores. Aimee at Simple Bites made a handy holiday baking pantry checklist. There is nothing worst than starting to bake and realizing in the middle of a recipe that you are out of an ingredient. It is important to go through what is in your pantry to check what is running low or has gone stale.

Since baking requires many ingredients, including special ones that will be able to add to the list, it’s best to plan head. Why not start to stock the pantry items right away since they are non perishable? Make sure you keep in stock alternate sweeteners, beverages, extracts and flavorings, several types of flours, leavens and stabilizers, alcohols and liquors, seeds, spice, spreads, vinegars, and more.

I’m sure that will find her Ultimate Holiday Baking Checklist a time saver. As you flip through the recipes that you plan to bake this Holiday, simply mark which ingredients you need. There is place to write the quantity besides each item. Happy Baking!

+ Simple Bites Tips on Making Your Baking Pantry List with a link to download her Holiday Baking Checklist


Jme Pantry Products at Williams-Sonoma and My Favorite Tartare Sauce

jme pantry collection

jme pantry collection

Last week, I went to Infopresse RDV Media to hear what Andy Harris, the editor of Jamie magazine, had to say about the integration of the Jamie Oliver brand. Sadly, his talk did not meet my expectations. I hoped for insights about how to successfully run a multi-platform brand and we got an exposed of what are the several components of the Jamie Oliver brand. And Andy does not share the enthusiasm that Jamie portrays so well on the screen.

Nonetheless, I was pleased to learn that some Jme food products are now sold at Williams-Sonoma across the United States and in Canada. I did not know that.  You see, we do not have a Williams-Sonoma in Montreal. Plus, the Jme products are buried under Shop Food by collection on the Williams-Sonoma Web site.

Jamie’s pantry collection is a bit of a luxury. But I feel that any Jme products would make an awesome hostess gift and should please your busy gourmet friends.

tea, cookies and jme antipasto pastes

My Suggestions

Although I usually make my own tartare sauce, I would give his Jme Tartare Sauce a try since it is tart. The sweet version that many make by mixing mayonnaise and sweet relish is not an option for me. His main ingredients are grapeseed oil, gherkins, free-range pasteurized eggs, extra virgin olive oil, capers, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, raw cane sugar, black pepper, sea salt, and mustard flour. What I never used in mine is the mustard flour. See top picture.

Based on a Greek recipe, the Jme Rosemary Olives are juicy black kalamata and green olives that are naturally ripened and water-cured before being marinated in fruity extra-virgin olive oil that’s flavored with rosemary and sun dried tomatoes.

jme british mustard

When hamburgers, hot dogs or sausages on the menu for a BBQ, I make sure to serve an assortment of fine mustards. This medium-strength coarse-grain British mustard would be a nice addition. Ingredients include strong Kentish cider vinegar and a medley of savory spices.

+ Jme Tartare Sauce $14 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Jme Rosemary Olives $24.95
+ Jme Tea $29.95 Assam, English Breakfast Tea
+ Jme Biscuits $9.95 – $16.95
+ Jme Paste $12 – $32
+ Jme Mustard $14


Gourmet Food and Kitchenware at Home Sense

olive wood cutting boards and utensils at home sense

designer water bottles at home sense

One thing that surprised me when I attended the Home Sense Fall 2010 media event was the quality of their kitchenware and gourmet sections. I did not expect to see the artisanal French lemonade Elixa and upscale water bottles on their shelves.

Cookware and Decorative Items

cookware and kitchen decorative accessories at home sense

My shopping list includes the purple cast iron dutch oven. It also comes in green. I want one to make my own no-knead bread. The pot can support the high temperature required for bread making since the handles are made of metal. Also, look at the superb patch rug. I might get one for my new home office.

Cooking Tools and Gourmet Ingredients

olive wood cutting boards and utensils at home sense

The olive wood collection at Home Sense is impressive. The range is made of several cutting boards, utensils, a pestle and mortar, and two cheese graters. You could buy it for you or start to buy your Christmas gifts.

olive wood cheese grater

The balsamic vinegars make great, affordable hostess gifts or stocking stuffers with the Herbs of Provence. Home Sense carries several ones.

balsamic vinegar bottles at home sense

+ Find a Home Sense near you


Staub Enameled Cast Iron Braisers and Cocottes

staub enameled cast iron mini cocottes

staub enameled cast iron mini cocottes

Staub is an alternative to Le Creuset cast iron cookware. Both are French. I own two Le Creuset dutch ovens but you have to admit that these dishes look pretty appetizing. They come in 4 colors: red, sapphire blue, basil and graphite at Williams-Sonoma. At Sur la Table, you can choose between black, pesto, grenadine and graphite.

staub enameled cast iron braiser and round cocotte

The lid features self-basting spikes for continuous, even distribution of juices throughout cooking. The result is food that is moist and flavorful. The ceramic bottom is suitable for use on any cooking surface, including induction. I am curious to try it. I know that if I have a choice right now, I would give a try to Staub. Especially that chances are good that I get an induction stove when I change my appliances. After gas, induction is the next best thing. I even thing that with young kids, induction is a smarter choice.

+ Staub Mini Round Cocotte Set, 1/4-Qt. $99.95 USD for 4 at Williams-Sonoma
+ Staub 2½ qt. Enameled Cast Iron Braiser $169.95 at Sur la Table
+ Staub Round Cocotte, 5 1/2-Qt. $199.95 at Williams-Sonoma


New Kitchen Tools by Joseph Joseph

joseph joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin

new kitchen tool products by joseph joseph

I am looking to renew my basic melamine cooking utensils with a more heat resistant version. I want something that will last. The Elevate kitchen utensil series comes with a unique twist. The utensil’s head is raised to prevent it from touching worktop surfaces. Therefore, no more messy marks on our counter. You can buy the 6 kitchen utensils separately or in a gift box that comes with a spoon, a slotted spoon, a turner, a slotted turner, a ladle and a spaghetti server.

joseph joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin

Elevate is not the only new product by Joseph Joseph with neat features. The Adjustable Rolling Pin eliminates the guess work in two ways. First, a pastry width measurement guide is etched on the wood of the rolling pin. It comes with a set of removable disks of different heights. The disks raise the rolling pin over the work surface. Insert the right disk to make sure your dough reached the required thickness.

The Y-Grinder is two grinders in one. It comes in white,green and gray. Finally, the Hands On salad set has a pair of hand-like salad servers that nicely hanged on either side of the bowl. I used at home a set of stainless steel hand-like salad servers. I love the concept! I prefer them to the traditional salad servers.

The Y-Grinder and Hands On were winners of the Reddot design awards 2010 and Design Plus 2010.

USA [affiliate links]
+ Salt & pepper Y-Grinder by Joseph Joseph $32.95 USD at
+ Hands-On salad set by Joseph Joseph $40.14 USD
+ Elevate 6-piece utensil set by Joseph Joseph $29.11 USD
+ Adjustable Rolling Pin by Joseph Joseph $19.95 USD

Canada [affiliate links]
+ White Y-Grinder by Joseph Joseph $39.99 CAD
+ Hands-On salad set by Joseph Joseph $39.99 CAD
+ Joseph Joseph Elevate Slotted Spoon $6.25 CAD
+ Adjustable Rolling Pin by Joseph Joseph $19.99 CAD


Pretty Mini Pies

pretty mini pies fashioned with the lattice pocket pie mold and the apple pocket pie mold

pretty mini pies fashioned with the lattice pocket pie mold and the apple pocket pie mold

Talk about a simple way to bring sophistication to your table. I imagine that many of you will wish to recycle this idea for baby shower and tea parties. And they are very easy to make with the special pocket pie molds available at Williams-Sonoma. You could use them for savory and sweet pies.

Lattice Pocket Pie Mold

Here are a few tips. Dusting flour on all surfaces between each pie is crucial for good results. I suggest to lightly brush some water to seal the edges.

apple pocket pie mold

Get the apple pie mold for a back-to-school party, or to celebrate the fall harvest season.

+ Lattice Pocket Pie Mold $9.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Apple Pocket Pie Mold $9.95


Accessories for Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers

jalapeno Pepper Roaster at williams-sonoma

jalapeno Pepper Roaster at williams-sonoma

When I showed the pictures of the Jalapeño Pepper Roaster to my husband, he immediately exclaimed : I want it! He knows how to make me happy. The Jalapeño Peppers roaster at Williams-Sonoma caught my eyes not just for his intended purpose. I feel that I could use it as a server for cone shaped food. You could add the Jalapeño Pepper Corer to ease the prep stage.

jalapeno Pepper Corer

+ Jalapeño Pepper Roaster $19.95 USD
+ Jalapeño Pepper Corer $9


Stainless Steel Smoker Box

stainless steel smoker box for a gaz grill at williams-sonoma

stainless steel smoker box for a gaz grill at williams-sonoma

I will go to Boston next week. Before my trip, I started to look at what is new at my favorite kitchenware and tableware shops, that we do not have here in Montreal. For sure, the Stainless Steel Smoker Box will be sitting inside the trunk of my car when I returned home.

You see, my husband does not want to get a charcoal grill since we live in a row house.  He is right; the smoke would not be kind to the neighbors. But as many foodies, I wish to infuse a smoky flavor to our BBQ dishes. The smoker box is a good compromise. And to my delight, it is dishwasher-safe.

With Father’s day a few week away, I thought that it would make a delightful gift for dad. It is a gadget that he will use.

+ Stainless Steel Smoker Box $39.99 USD at Williams-Sonoma


Three Canadian Shows on the Cooking Channel Lineup

three canadian cooks and chefs now air in usa on cooking channel

three canadian cooks and chefs now air in usa on cooking channel

In case you did not hear, the Food Network  (the US one) has replaced the Fine Living channel by the Cooking Channel. And Memorial Day 2010 marks the day Cooking Channel goes on air. Since I live in Canada, this news doesn’t change anything for me except that I am proud to report that three great Canadian cooking shows will be aired in the United States.

You may recognize David Rocco and Laura Calder. I watched all the episodes of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and French Food at Home more than once. And I spoke about them a few times on my blog. Therefore, I encourage you to watch their shows since I think they are awesome. The recipes of David and Laura represent the time of food I enjoy to enjoy at home.

Montreal restaurateur Chuck Hughes does a great job on his show. I watched several episodes with pleasures but for some unknown reasons, I connected less with him. But I have the impression that the energy and the style of cooking of Chuck’s Day Off should appeal to the American public. And Chuck’s Day Off is the type of cooking show that you can watch with your husband or boyfriend.

To learn more about these Canadian hosts, read what I said about:
+ David Rocco and His Laid-back Entertaining Philosophy – See all my posts about David Rocco
+ Salmon en Croute by Laura Calder – See all my posts about Laura Calder

If you get the new Cooking Channel, what do you think about their lineup?


Archimede’s Scale by Acquacalda

archimede scale by Acquacalda

archimede scale by Acquacalda

Science has never been as easy to use in your kitchen. I will dispense you from the physics behind it is, but what you need to know is that you determine the weight of what is inside the bowl by immersing the bowl into water. I am not sure if I will like to do that every day but I think it looks pretty cool. Plus, I imagine that many guys out there who would love to have Archimede’s Scale in their kitchen.

This was presented at the 2010 Milan’s Design Week. I found no information on if, when or where you can buy the Archimede’s Scale. Therefore, I am still on the hunt for the perfect Father’s Day gift ideas.

+ Archimede’s Scale by Acquacalda
+ via Cool Hunting


Small Appliances in Azure Blue by Delonghi UK

1950's italian azure blue kettle and toaster :: icona collection by delonghi

1950\'s italian azure blue kettle and toaster :: icona collection by delonghi

For an unknown reason, small appliance makers often omitted blue for their collection. I do not know why since blue is a classic color for dinnerware. This is not the case of the Icona collection by Delonghi.

icona azure blue espresso machine and toaster by delonghi uk

Event if their style is inspired by the glamour of 1950’s Italy, they are filled with modern features. The blue finish will not show finger prints. The 4-slice toaster comes with electronic controls for reheat, defrost, and bagel, an extra lift position for easy removal of small slices and more features that you expect today.

Sadly, neither Delonghi in the USA or Canada cared to bring the Icona collection home. If you live in the United Kingdom, you are the lucky ones.

Icona Azure Blue 4-slice Toaster £69.99
+ Icona Azure Blue Kettle £69.99
+ Icona Traditional Pump Espresso/Cappuccino Maker £149.99