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Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Baked New Frontiers in Baking cookbook

Since a copy of this book does not sit yet in my cookbook library, I will tell what it is all about from the own words of the writers, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Baked: New Frontiers in Baking was released October 1st, 2008. If you are already a patron of Baked, you will be thrilled to won that you get access to the recipes on which Baked NYC built their reputation.

You will be able to recreate at home bakery favorites like The Sweet & Salty Cake, the Peanut Butter Crispy Bar, the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf, and our very own Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits.

In total, you get 80 detailed Baked recipes. The book is divided in sections: Breakfast, Cakes and Cupcakes, Pies and Tarts, Brownies and Bars, Cookies, Confections and Chocolates, and Drinks.

Not every recipe has a picture since the book only contains 40 color photos from New-York photographer Tina Rupp.

Where to Buy

If you wish to send this book as a gift, pay the suggested price and order it directly from Baked. You will receive an autographed copy wrapped in brown butcher paper for $29.95. Otherwise, Amazon sells the book for sell.

+ Baked Autographed and Gift Wrapped Copy – $29.95 USD
+ For Americans: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking – $19.95 USD
+ For Canadians: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking – $20.76 CAD


Buttered-Up By Fred

Buttered-Up ceramic butter plate by Fred

This is perfect for a Friday morning. Fred did it again in providing us with fun and quirky home accessories.

This time, Laura Strasser and Milia Seyppel imagined a way to pass the butter on a slice of ceramic bread. I like it!

Buttered-Up will not replace your butter tray since there is no cover. We do not mind since Fred products are inexpensive things that we use when we entertain or to put a smile on our face.

Why not bring Buttered-Up as an hostess gift the next you are invited to a brunch? This item will ship at the end of October.

+ Buttered Up Butter Plate at Pop Deluxe – $11.99 USD


Cute Recipe Cards As Hostess Gifts

cute recipe cards template and printed packRecipe cards are fun because they do not take place when you are cooking.

Nothing feels more caring than a written note in the digital age. If you looking to add a personal touch, you can bring a handwritten pack of your best recipes as an hostess gift.

Look no further and check out these 4 recipe card sets to do it in style. First, the DIY print project:

+ Ez of Creature Comforts designed yesterday a set of recipe cards with matching envelope seals. The best thing is that are free. Ez publishes her template design online for your own use.

+ Etsy seller wildolive sells at $5 her 16 3×5″ card designs as a pdf file. Her design has a whimsical touch.

Then, the paper versions:

+ If you need plenty, go for the pack of 20 Fork and Spoon Recipe Cards by WhiskerGraphics. I like the deep red color. This $8 set comes in a cellophane sleeve. Add a ribbon and a little charm to finish up the gift wrapping.

+ Each of the Bite me recipe card by TerriTaylorDesign is trimmed out by hand, making each card slightly unique. The set contains 12 ink jet printed off-white cards. As many Etsy’s products, the set comes wrapped with raffia. Price: $6 for pack of 12


Vacu Vin Instant Marinater

vacuvin instant marinater :: wine saver vacuum pump

My friend M. introduces me to a marvelous time saving cooking gadget this weekend.

The Vacu Vin Instant Marinater marinates and tenderizes meat, poultry and fish in minutes instead of hours. Fantastic for a busy girl like me! My friend is very happy with the results.

Vacu Vin is the same brand that enables us to preserve our open bottle of wine longer. I am a fan of the Vacu Vin Vacuum Wine Saver; I got the original gray model.

The technique is built around creating a tiny vacuum in the bowl. The vacuum is believed to open up the pores and fibers of the meat. This reduces the time it takes for the marinade to flavor your meat, poultry or fish.

Contrary to the wine vacuum pump, you must only remove a small amount of air in the Instant Marinater bowl. I am planning to get my own because too often I do not make a recipe just because I cannot wait for the marinade resting time.

+ Vacu Vin Instant Marinater – price: $39.99 USD
+ Vacu Vin 3-Piece Wine Saver Gift Pack – price: $9.99 USD


Dozi Design and Syko | Etsy Finds

Dozi Design and Syko :: Etsy sellersI felt in love with the work of two more Etsy sellers today. I love to shop on Etsy as I am telling my girl geek friends at lunch today. I find that my friend Tanya is a huge fan too.

In her Etsy Take Five Tuesday, decor8 introduced five amazing etsy sellers. Simple design note cards and stationery usually grab my attention. That is why I enjoy the work of Wendy Chung for Dozi Design.

I have a thing for Finnish design. Syko stands for whimsical and happy designs in patchwork and appliqué. She sews hand made housewares. Her cushion covers are adorable. Her laundry bag and shoe bag would be practical when you travel.

I am in hurry so I will send you to decor8 to learn more. And do not forget to check the catalogues of these talented Etsy sellers.

Via decor8


Magnetic Chalkboard Coasters and Travel Spice Kits by Purpose Design

Magnetic Chalkboard Coasters and Travel Spice Kits by Purpose DesignI  found great stuff on Etsy, which encourage me to spread the word. On the last couple days, I spot these Magnetic Chalkboard Coasters. I did not check who made it until this morning.

I glad I did because the esty seller and I live in the small city. Purpose Design creates these magnetic coasters in black chalkboard and in the green old school chalkboard. The cool thing is that you can store them on the fridge or your message center when you do not use them as coasters.

Travel Spice Kits

Purpose Design also sells framed magnetic spice kits. Her spice kits in a cool hand brushed aluminum tin makes a great idea for Father’s Day. They are ideal to take along traveling, on camping or hiking trips, or for the boat or the cottage.

Purpose Design sells their kits by flavor: everyday herbs and spices, Italian spices, Mexican spices, Indian spices, Southeast Asian spices, Thai spices and even a Chai Tea kit.

Personalized Party Favors

For baby showers, wedding showers or bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, the lid label can be personalized. The custom wedding favor spice kits is the perfect gift to or from a foodie. See her etsy shop for details.

Signature Hostess Gifts

Why not get a personalized set to become your signature hostess gift? If you opt for a signature hostess gift, change the gift every season and keep a journal. You want to avoid giving the same gift twice to the same host.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: small spice kits by purpose design [etsy] – price: $15 USD
Buy online: magnetic coasters by purpose design [etsy] – price: $15 USD for a pack of 4
Via: purpose design :: blackboard magnetic coasters [black . white . bliss]


Personalized Baking Stickers and Stamps

baking stickers tags :: kitchen stamps on etsy

If you mother is the Bree Van de Kamp type who brings delicious sweets everywhere she goes, make it simple for her by giving her personalized stickers, tags or stamps for Mother’s Day. I found adorable models on etsy.

Baking Stickers

LittlebeaneBoutique has several models. Pink is a dominant color is her design. She sells the stickers by sheet of 12 stickers. I like the pink mixer and whisk.

Kitchen Stamps

OfficialInitial produces well-made custom 3″ by 1.5″ stamp. I like the Cupcake mounted rubber stamp where the name of your mother can be printed.

I like the handle on the From the Kitchen of stamp by sweetpaperie. You have a choice of a flatware setting, a whisk or a pear.

Sweet Tags

If your mother style is more French country, she will be delighted with the Vintage Look Petits Fours Glaces tags at Bluebirdlane. The tags measures about 3 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ each. Ribbon will vary.

Any one of these would make a fantastic gift for any culinary guru. It will show to your mother that you value her cooking.

Buy online: Personalized Pink Mixer Stickers by LittlebeaneBoutique – price: $4.95 USD for 12
Buy online: Personalized WHISK Baking Stickers by LittlebeaneBoutique – price: $4.95 USD for 12
Buy online: Custom Cupcake mounted rubber stamp by OfficialInitial – price: $25 USD
Buy online: From the Kitchen of stamp by sweetpaperie – price: $19.95 USD
Buy online: Vintage Look Petits Fours Glaces tags by Bluebirdlane – price: $5 USD for 8


Cool Gift Ideas from Simplemente Blanco

oval wooden tray ::  Gardeners Knee Pad :: flower carrier by simplementeblanco_kitchen

I felt in love with the work of Fernanda Bourlot, an artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina who now lived in Boston, Massachusetts. She likes simple things that feel luxurious. As suggested by the name, everything at Simplemente Blanco is from the white palette.

The Design Philosophy

Her collection carries a modern rustic charm. Simplemente Blanco believes in balance, symmetry, calmness and pureness. Fernanda Boulot design brings us peace via the simplicity of the forms and the serenity of the spaces. Simplemente Blanco loves fresh interiors and I would add: comfort.

I compiled two lists of outstanding gift ideas. You bring on any of them as a housewarming gift or as a hostess gift that you are staying over for a few days.

For the Kitchen

The Oval Wooden Tray is perfect for the upcoming summer cottage season. From the Eating section, check out the Special China section and the dandelion table linens.

Gardeners Knee Pad is a must for anyone who enjoys gardening. It can be practical and decorative. You may question the wisdom of a white textile if you wish to use the object. But if you can wash in the machine, this knee pad will stay clean. Unfortunately, the Web site contains no product details.

The flower carrier is wonderful. You can also use it as a shopping bag when you buy bunches of flowers at the flower market. A message to my friends and family: this flower carrier is on my wish list for my upcoming birthday.

For the Bathroom

soap box :: golf ball soap :: simplemento blanco bathroom Fernanda Bourlot thinks that a home must contains just what they need and nothing else. You do not need to forgo style and beauty to live by this philosophy. Her bathroom collection is a proof of that.

You can decorate your bathroom with pleasing bathroom products. The irresistible Assorted Soap Boxes certainly qualify.

The Golf Ball Soap is a set that any hostess can provide to her stay over guests. Mark the Golf Ball Soap Bag on your Father’s Day gift ideas. The linen farmer bag is a wonderful packaging. I think it looks more precious this way.

Where to shop

These were my favorites but there are more to see of their Web site. The showroom is a by-appointment only. Consumers can visit Simplemente Blanco retail place called On the Side located at 40 Waltham Street in South End, Boston. On my next trip to Boston, I will schedule a visit for sure.

Learn more: Simplemente Blanco
Via: What To Do… Fernanda Bourlot on decor8


My Top 4 Reusable Ultra Compact Shopping Bags

Flip & Tumble :: baggu :: reisenthel :: envirosax reusable shopping bags

I intensify my coverage of eco-friendly solutions until Earth Day. I will write an eco-friendly story every weekday until April 22nd.

I am starting the week with cool ultra compact shopping bags. The key is to carry your reusable shopping bags with you all the time. Since I live in the city, I do most of my shopping by foot. Therefore, I need bags that will fit into my purse.

I also prefer shoulder bags because they leave your hands free if you carry a small load. These are my favorites lately.

Flip & Tumble | First place

Flip & Tumble seduced me with their new summer colors and this catchy phrase:

A bag that’s designed for those of us who only seem to remember our reusable bags the moment we need them.

The 24-7 bag fits my lifestyle. The vibrant summer colors look amazing. Flip & Tumble will start shipping tomorrow, April 15th, 2008. Their Web site has a cool visual Add to my Shopping Card applet too. I just ordered three bags like in the picture: a raspberry, an aqua and a lime. I will tell more after a few shopping trips.

Flip & Tumble won because their bags look great and the handle is wide. It seems more comfortable for my shoulder. Hold the stretch pouch and roll the bag like rolling your socks into a ball. This translates in no need for attachment hardware.

Baggu | Runner Up

I like the fact that the Baggu bag has two handles to comfortably sit on your forearms. From the pictures, the Baggu bag does not feel as stylish as the Flip & Tumble. Baggu comes with a 5-inch square flat pouch. Depending on the shape of your purse, you may find the Baggu pouch format more useful.

Baggu target men too. Guys can fit the pouches in their jean back pockets. At last, something he can carry for me. Since the company highlights than men are also shoppers, Baggu won extra points. A cute fact: Baggu was designed in California by a mom and daughter team.

Reisenthel Mini Maxi Shopper | Third Place

This model has been around for a while. I own a few Reisenthel products that I adore. So I know the quality is excellent. Why I did not choose that Mini Maxi Shopper as my first place? I am under the impression that the pouch is bulky. The consumer reviews I read say otherwise.

One thing that I really like about the Reisenthel’s Mini Maxi Shopper is that you can securely close it. None of the others have that feature. For that reason alone, I will probably try a Mini Maxi Shopper bag soon. I am leaning towards the solid orange or the aqua. The neutral like gray is another option.

Envirosax | Four Place

There Envirosax bags are well known and appreciated by many. The new patterns of the Mikado set are adorable. They are several other pattern series to choose from. The individual rolled up bag size is 4″ x 1.5″ diameter. Pretty small! It is probably the smallest of the four reusable bags I introduced.

I met a woman the other day that was carrying a heavy look with the Envirosax. I asked her how she liked her Envirosax bag. She was delighted but she felt the need to reinforce the handle for heavier loads. I do not know if her concern was justified or not. Tell us what is your experience with Envirosax?

Do you have a favorite ultra compact reusable shopping bag? As a matter of fact, giving 2 or 3 reusable bags will make a great impression on the hostess. Select a bag that suits his or her style.

Buy online: 24-7 Bag by Flip & Tumble – price: $12 USD
Buy online: Baggu Bag and Pouch – price: $8 each, $22 for 3, $38 for 5
Buy online: Reisenthel – Mini Maxi Shopper, Long Handle at Reusable Bags – price: $9.95 each, $7.95 each if buy 4 or more
Buy online: Envirosax – Set of 5 Mikado Pouch, Reusable Shopping Bags – price: $37.95 per set, $34.95 if buy 2 sets or more
Via: Flip and Tumble | New Colors on swissmiss


Give a Book about Entertaining to the Hostess

easy entertaining : entertaining planner : recipe notes : mother's cooking by ryland peters & small

My theory is that you should keep at home a reserve of hostess gifts. This way, you are always ready for an impromptu dinner party invitation and you save time by minimizing your shopping trips.

A lot of people from newlyweds to single men are searching for clues on how to entertain properly. The best books for them pass on tips for simple entertaining. Easy to follow instructions and gorgeous photography are essentials. Otherwise, people do not put into practice what is in the book.

That is what I like about the books by Ryland Peters & Small. To make it easier for you, stash any of these 4 new releases until you need a hostess gift:

The beauty within a book

Ryland Peters & Small are renowned for their books devoted to: food and drinks, home and garden, health and well-being. Their books provide practical information about planning, staging and organizing an event at home.

This British editor has a distinctive look. Once you know the brand, you can instantly identity that you are holding on your hand a Ryland Peters & Small book. I am a fan obviously of their fresh modern visual.

What is your favorite book about entertaining?


Dean & DeLuca caters entertaining essentials and hostess gifts

dean & deluca : gourmet food and kitchenware

While I was in New York shopping in SoHo, I stopped by Dean and DeLuca. We just finished eating in the Korean neighborhood so I feel sad because I was not hungry.

With so many delicacies, gourmet foods, cakes and pastries, wines plus a dishware section, Dean & DeLuca is THE one-stop shopping for epicurean cooking, eating and entertaining.

Take the cake section. Save time and buy a cake instead of making your own. Their cupcakes and their mini cakes are stylish. I remembered the Busy Bees and the Coconut Layer Cakes.

Your can serve several mini cakes for dessert instead of a normal size cake. The stylish hostess will present the mini cakes in dome stands, which you can buy there. That is what I called the ultimate one-stop shopping experience.

Gift store

If you need to pick up a wonderful hostess gift in a hurry this is the place to go. I am showing some products that I like. In fact, I spotted a few things for baking and food presentation while I was in Manhattan that I will grab on my next visit. Remark that not all their products are shown online.

The leather suede pot holder is available in rust, light brown and grey. Matching suede cooking mitts are available; they are sold per hand at the store. The Biscotti jar is filled with the Italian cookies. The artful black-and-white drawing is their SoHo NYC store.

For the wine connoisseur, get a hand-blown glass Tastevin made in Spain. The perfectly size and shape enable you to fully evaluate the wine. You can see, smell and taste the wine before serving it to your guests.

The Perfect Risotto Gift Basket makes an outstanding housewarming gift. Packed inside is:

  • a box of carnaroli rice, preferred for its creamy, yet firm texture;
  • a Ligurian extra-virgin olive oil bottle;
  • a bag of pungent and woodsy dried porcini mushrooms;
  • fragrant Spanish saffron;
  • a classic risotto stainless steel pan made by Paderno and a cherrywood stirring spoon.

The only things missing are a bottle of white Vermouth, fresh onions and celery. If you go camping, bring this risotto gift set and you are sure to not forget anything.

I want the Round Cutter Set because its contains 11 graduated sizes so it covers all the cutting bases for cookies, rolls, puff pastry, biscuits and tea sandwiches. And the stainless steel construction is top notch.

About Dean & DeLuca

Joel Dean and Giorgio DeLuca traipsed around the world to find artisan-produced foods and the best local produces. The St. Helena store in the Napa Valley is unique in many ways. They take extra steps to more promote produces by local farmers, local artisan cheeses plus 1400 Californian wines. I plan a visit during my trip to the Californian Wine Country.

Dean & DeLuca has 9 retail stores and cafés around New York City. People from the Napa Valley, Kansas, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. can enjoy their Dean & DeLuca. Their concept was exported to Japan and Taiwan.

While I was in New York, a girl friend texted me to ask me if I went to Dean & DeLuca because it is her favorite NY store. It was on my schedule that day. Now, I comprehend her love affairs with this store.

Buy online: Dean & DeLuca Brown Suede Pot Holder – price: $10 USD
Buy online: Dean & DeLuca Suede Cooking Mitts – price: $55 a pair, $27 one hand
Buy online: Biscotti Pottery Jar at Dean & DeLuca – price: $60 USD on sale
Buy online: Tastevin – price: $28 USD
Buy online: Perfect Risotto at Dean & DeLuca – price: $185 USD
Buy online: Round Cutter Set – price: $16 USD
Learn more: Dean & DeLuca’s Store Locations