3 posts categorized "Food and Drink"


2013 Gift Guide: Day Thirteen

I was introduced to Hot Bread Kitchen through their wonderful tortillas: handmade with stone-ground organic corn, they're like no tortillas I’ve encountered before. Deliciously resilient, they actually taste like corn.

The tortillas became such a staple in my house that I began sniffing around, trying to find out who was making them. That's when I discovered that Hot Bread Kitchen is more than a bakery; it’s an enterprise dedicated to giving low-income immigrant women professional experience.  The breads, which are inspired by the native countries of the bakers, are merely the starting point of a very ambitious program of scholarships and job placement. (Some of their trainees have gone on to work at instututions like Daniel.) But this is a two-way street; part of Hot Bread Kitchen’s mission is introducing Americans to a whole new world of breads.

The breads themselves are wonderful.  One of my favorites is

Moroccan M’smen,

thin, floppy, flaky flat breads that have the texture of butterfly wings and the flavor of butter. 

Persian Nan-E Qandi,

a sweet bread made with milk and honey, is a perfect afternoon snack.

Their crisp Armenian Lavash crackers

have real crunch when you take a bite.

And this time of year they’re making traditional German Christmas Stollen

filled with dried fruit and nuts. The layer of marzipan running through this sweet bread keeps it moist and tender.

Their Global Bread Box, containing all four breads makes a wonderful Christmas present. (The breads all freeze well.)  At $70 it’s more than just another silly gift: it's a fine way to welcome new citizens to our country.  





2013 Gift Guide Day Five:

The Perfect Gift for Tomato-Lovers (and isn't that all of us?)


I met the Tomato Independence Project people in Boise Idaho last fall, and fell in love with both their project and their tee-shirts.


Their goal: Making sure that 20% of food consumption in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and Oregon is local by 2020.  

Their method: For starters, encouraging everyone to grow their own tomatoes. 

Since the average American eats more than 90 pounds of tomatoes every year, it seems like an obvious place to begin. As they say in Boise, “life’s too short for tasteless tomatoes.” 

Their tee-shirts: Pre-shrunk, made of organic cotton, not available anywhere else. 

$29.99 each. 



A Bag for All Seasons


You know how you take your canvas bag to the farmers' market and always end up putting the peaches in your pocketbook so they don't get crushed beneath the potatoes? I always show up with lots of little bags, and still find myself balancing the eggs on top of my head.

Well, not anymore. I've just discovered this fantastically functional market bag designed by scientist and food blogger Darya Pino. The perfect little compartments provide pockets for stalks of this and bunches of that - even an outside pocket for a loaf of bread. Instead of canvas it's made of breathable nylon. Good idea: everything in its place. 

$25 from quirky.com