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Arm warmers!

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Halloween. As soon as the weather starts cooling down & pumpkins start appearing around the neighborhood, I get stupidly giddy – like 8 year old girl getting a pony, giddy. So today was an especially great day, because I got to put together a Halloween display filled with bats, witches, zombies, and pumpkins (oh my)! Here’s just a small selection of my favorite Halloween cooking products & gadgets to get your seasonal juices flowing…

1) Set of 20 Vintage Inspired Cocktail Napkins

2) Zombie Brain Mold

3) Bat Cookie Cutter

All the above example photos are pulled from the Flickr Group Halloween Food – which is seriously a blast to browse through. Make sure to check it out for more fun ideas & be don’t forget to post your own photos of how you’re celebrating the season with food!

i’ve always had a thing for camping gear.  it’s kind of bizarre because i’ve never been camping and the idea of camping doesn’t really appeal to me at all. sure i wanted to go to sleepaway camp when i was a kid, but i wanted to go to boarding school too.  that was about living away from my family, not about dirt and bugs and bears and fresh air. don’t get me wrong, i love nature (including bugs and bears), but i also love for it to be at least a tad removed from me. i get a little antsy just going out to the suburbs to see my parents.  i saw a possum there once!

but back to the camping gear.  for a while now i’ve been bogarting a particular vintage mug we’ve got here at The Brooklyn Kitchen.  it appeals to the false nostalgia i feel for  my fictional hobo days: riding the rails. sleeping under the stars. working the land. my trusty tin cup tied to my pack with a bit of dumpstered twine.  whenever the mood hits i can scoop water right from a stream and boil my cowboy coffee right there in my cup.

and I’m not the only one who feels the pull of the Hobo Cup.  everytime someone sees me sipping my far-from-cowboy machine made coffee out of it, they comment. “my aunt had those at her cabin!” or “those are just like my grandma’s!” and then they want to know if we carry them here at the store.

and now we do!

and not only do we have the cups, we’ve got bowls, plates, spoon rests, salt and pepper shakers and colanders.  and we’ve got them in blue!

see the whole collection here!

we just got a new book in: The Vegan Scoop by Wheeler Del Torro.

The Vegan Scoop

i was lucky enough to try some Wheeler’s Black Label vegan ice cream at the 2008 renegade craft fair in mccarren pool. it was great! i eat dairy ice cream occasionally (i’m not vegan. i’m a vegetarian with a vegan love interest, and i cook only vegan.) and i wouldn’t have guessed this stuff was nondairy. while there are some great commercially available vegan ice creams out there, a lot of them are noticeably ‘different’. but wheelers -will- fool your friends. and it was tasty! i only had chocolate, but it was a rich awesome dark chocolate. but despite rumors that Wheeler’s would be opening a shop in our own williamsburg*, so far as i know it’s still only available in boston, where they have an ice cream shop and recently expanded into a restaurant.

a few vegan ice cream cookbooks have just come out this year, which is great, since i only knew of one before that, Vice Cream. But i’ve definitely been highly anticipating Wheeler’s book. And now it’s finally here, and just in time for Ice Cream Month! I took my copy home monday. there are some super unusual flavors in here (in my experience anyway) like yam (not sweet potato. yam). i thought red bean at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory was unusual! there is also a wasabi ice cream. and shandy**. there’s regular stuff like rocky road and peanut butter too. and vanilla and chocolate.

the book sports a pretty thorough glossary of ingredients, broken up into several lists: basica (that is, sugars and thickeners), fruits/veggies, legumes and then spices. from thumbing through, it seems that all wheeler’s recipes involve a soymilk/soycreamer combo, but he encourages experimentation and includes a brief rundown of other non-dairy milks. my one complaint there would be that it’s hard to find non-dairy creamer that isn’t soy. i know there is something called ‘coconut cream’ (as opposed to coconut milk) but i don’t know if that would work. but i also know of a product called Mimicreme, which i’ve used for ice cream before, that is soy free and mainly cashews. i actually think it’s pretty awesome, and just found out you can get it at khim’s millenium market on driggs.

there are also quite a few recipes for things that aren’t ice cream, like fruit sushi and amaretto fudge. and one thing i do particularly like, as an information junkie of sorts, is the ‘tidbits’ of information about ingredients in the sidebar. not things you necessarily need to know, but great for those of us who like to know stuff. there are also quite a few recipes for things that aren’t ice cream with suggested flavor pairin including fruit sushi and amaretto fudge!

for the book club meeting tonight we read A Dilly of a Death, a pickle themed, texas-set murder mystery. so i’m making Wheeler’s Sweet Cucumber ice cream. it’s not pickles, but i don’t like pickles anyway. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

*while wheelers has yet to open an outlet in the big apple, 2 vegan ice cream parlors have opened in manhattan since last summer.  Stogo and Lulu’s.  both feature soy and non-soy vegan ice creams, but i can only attest to lulu’s: it’s great!  still though, williamsburg could use its own vegan ice cream parlor.  for now we’ll just have to settle for milkshakes from foodswings and the chicago soy dairy ice cream they serve at Vinnie’s and Penny Licks.

**from wikipedia: “Shandy is beer flavoured with ginger ale, ginger beer, lemonade, or other soft drink. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, normally half-and-half, although shandy that is sold canned or bottled is typically much weaker (about one part beer to ten parts lemonade).”

the ice cream is a ginger beer shandy. i had a can of lemonade shandy in scotland once. once.

Just in! We’ve got all inclusive kombucha brewing kits from Kombucha Brooklyn. Kombuchman, who teaches our popular Kombucha class, has put together these kits with everything you need to get started making your own kombucha.

kombucha

Each kit includes:

a skoby, of course!
a one gallon jar with a plastic lid
4 organic tea bags
1 cup of organic sugar
a bit of clean cotton cloth for covering the jar
complete instructions and contact information for Kombuchman in case you have any questions!

seriously, folks, it’s pretty rad.

$25, currently available only in the store.

And watch out for bottled Kombucha Brooklyn, coming to select grocery stores in June!

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Say it with me, folks: Melaboo. It’s fun to say! It is also fun to look at. But the real fun part is that Melaboo tableware, made from a combination of melamine and bamboo, is biodegradable. This isn’t new for bamboo, but it’s new for products that look and perform like melamine! It’s easy to clean and light and shiny and comes in very pretty muted colors.

The colanders are my personal favorite. You can see them on the left, on top of the crate. They have that sturdy, classic enamelware shape, without the rusting issues. I’m partial to the green and the yellow.

Melaboo isn’t on our webstore yet, so you’ll have to come in to the store to check them out. It’s worth it. Really, they’re pretty and they’re pretty cool.

Egg Pants are back!! And just in time for Egg Month!

egg pants!

Eggs. They don’t have legs, I know, but they still need pants.

Egg Pants are the creation of Brooklynite Liz Kinnmark and they are just the cutest little things. Perfect for serving your soft-boiled eggs, the flexible plastic stretches to fit a variety of egg sizes, or for a comfy fit after your egg eats their thanksgiving feast. If you like to giggle over breakfast, egg pants are the best way to go.

Enjoy!

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