Fexy Media has acquired Simply Recipes, the popular, award-winning cooking and recipe blog founded by Elise Bauer. Currently the highest indexing cooking site for women, aged 21-49, Simply Recipes joins Fexy Media’s expanding food-focused brand portfolio, propelling it to become one of the top 10 food and lifestyle-based digital media companies. Fexy’s portfolio also includes: Serious Eats, Roadfood, The Food Lab, and Relish. This is the sixth acquisition for Fexy since its formation in late 2014.
Simply Recipes was established in 2003 and quickly grew into one of the most highly trafficked online resources for home cooks interested in quality scratch cooking. The site reached 6.5 million unique monthly visitors in November 2015. In response to a growing trend among Millennials to search for the “best recipes” in their favorite food categories, Simply Recipes focuses on inspired, well-tested recipes that help home cooks be successful in the kitchen. The blog effectively uses social media to reach audiences looking to find consistently great recipes and learn new cooking skills.
“Simply Recipes started as a way to document and share our family’s favorite recipes and has become a trusted resource for millions of people around the world who love to cook,” stated Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes Founder. “Being part of Fexy Media will help us reach even more people who share our passion for home cooking.”
There’s a reason your customers keep Wind & Willow in the pantry at all times and tend to buy multiples when purchasing. They know they’ll be getting a consistent quality product, great shelf-life and a multitude of recipes for every mix. Since 1991, customers have been using Wind & Willow savory mixes for more than cheeseballs or spreads. They are the base for many favorite appetizers, side dishes, and even entrees. The latest recipe from the kitchens of Wind & Willow adds a new twist to a traditional favorite.
Turn your traditional mac ‘n cheese into an upscale, super side dish with an unexpected Wind & Willow favorite. This time, a sweet dessert mix is used in a savory recipe by combining the Pumpkin Pie Mix with cheeses and cream over pasta. Savory Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese is a pleasant surprise that will once again have your customers stocking up.
Follow Wind & Willow on Facebook to see new recipes each week: facebook.com/windandwillowfoods. You can also find recipes on the company website at www.windandwillow.com. Find great recipes and tips for every occasion on Pinterest: pinterest.com/cheeseballmix.
By Micah Cheek
If you haven’t tried sumac before, the flavor can be hard to pin down. The dried and crushed fruit of the sumac plant is described as tart but not sour, and a combination of lemon, tart cherry, and earthy flavors. “We have people that come in saying ‘Oh I just tried this food, it was sour and so good, it was lemony and complicated…’ and we just stand there until they finish and say, ‘Yeah, that was sumac in there,’” says Anne Milneck, Owner of Red Stick Spice Company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sumac is a top seller at Red Stick Spice Company partly because Lebanese and Greek restaurants are popular elements of Baton Rouge’s culinary scene, says Milneck, who has begun seeing more interest in sumac as more Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants open and customers try to replicate dishes at home.
Traditionally, sumac has been used in a wide variety of Middle Eastern dishes. Salads, roasted meats, bread and rice can all be liberally sprinkled with sumac for an acidic tang. “You can use it with any platter. [It has] a delicious taste, at the same time it’s appealing to the eye,” says Safa Najjar Merheb, author of “The Pure Taste of Lebanon From Safa’s Kitchen.”
A classic pairing is sumac with lamb. The gamey richness of lamb is cut by sumac’s tartness. Milneck notes that the spice will perform the same on any gamey meats, such as duck or venison. Sumac can also be used with flavors that traditionally play nicely with lemon, as reflected in a Turkish fish stew with sumac. The spice can be used as a dry rub on chicken.
Sumac is also a popular addition to mild sides. “I’ve also heard about sumac on more bland vegetables like cauliflower,” says Milneck. “Some people are doing cauliflower rice and then using sumac in there, which is not so off the wall, because sumac is also used on rice pilaf.” Merheb suggests mixing the spice into stuffing for grape leaves, eggplant and squash.
Dukkah, an Egyptian condiment that includes crushed nuts, coriander and cumin, and the spice blend za’atar both depend on sumac. Za’atar is a popular condiment in Arabic cuisine, with wildly varying recipes that all contain sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds. Manakeesh, a traditional Lebanese snack, is made by spreading a paste of za’atar and olive oil onto pita dough before baking.
By Amber Gallegos
Within the realm of countertop cooking, a trend towards multicookers is on the rise. These small appliances take on double, or even triple duty, to compete to be the go-to appliance for daily cooking. They go beyond slow cooking or grilling, combining these basic functions along with a host of other settings to do everything from boiling, steaming, frying, sauteing, and baking, all in one machine.
KitchenAid took a major venture into the category with this year’s release of the 4-Quart Multi-Cooker and optional Stir Tower. The Multi-Cooker is basically like a slow cooker on steroids, with seven different cooking methods and four step-by-step modes. The cooking methods include sear, sauté, boil/steam, simmer, slow cook low or high, and keep warm. The step-by-step cooking modes are rice, soup, risotto, and yogurt. As cooks move through each step, the Multi-Cooker adjusts and displays temperatures and timing accordingly. The Multi-Cooker has precise temperature control that is applied and preset for each setting to ensure consistent results. The cooking can be programmed for up to 12 hours and the keep warm setting can be programmed for 24 hours There is also a manual setting that allows users to cook like on a regular stove top and select from warm, low, med-lo, medium, med-hi, and high. Each manual mode is adjustable within a temperature range to get just the amount of heat desired. A dual purpose cooking rack is included for steaming or roasting. The lid is clear tempered glass for easy viewing during cooking and it has an integrated strainer/pour opening. The cooking vessel features a nonstick CeramaShield™ coating that is 100 percent PTFE and PFOA free.
The separate Stir Tower is an accessory that mixes, flips, stirs, incorporates ingredients and stirs intermittently. It attaches to the Multi-Cooker for added cooking options, like making yogurt, risotto, meatballs and more. The silicone stirring paddle has two parts, a flip-and-stir wand that can be used alone, and a side scraper attachment that is optional to use in conjunction with the wand when making soups, sauces and stews to circulate ingredients thoroughly. The Stir Tower features three stir speeds and two intermittent stir modes. The KitchenAid Multi-Cooker and Stir Tower are available in silver, black or red with a suggested retail price of $349.99 for the Multi-Cooker, $229.99 for the Stir Tower accessory, and $549.99 for the Multi-Cooker and Stir Tower combined.
The Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master from Cedarlane Culinary was introduced to the U.S. and Canada market last year and is the machine closest in functionality to KitchenAid’s Multi-Cooker. The Bellini combines eight kitchen gadgets in one machine for chopping, blending, whipping, mixing, sauteing, steaming, stirring and boiling, even allowing for some of the tasks be done simultaneously. The machine differentiates from others partly because of the cutting blade that can, for example, quickly chop a whole onion and then sauté it right in the 2-liter stainless steel mixing bowl. The unit has 1000 watts of heating power and can heat up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 10 speeds that can be selected from a rotary control, and cooking time can be set for up to one hour.
The Bellini includes accessories that enable the preparation of a variety of meals that go beyond one pot cooking. There is a stainless steel chopping blade and stainless steel stirring blade that lock into the bottom of the mixing bowl depending on what task the recipe calls for. A mixing tool snaps onto either blade for mixing tasks, like making a cake batter. Also included is a cooking basket that sits inside the mixing bowl so food can be cooked without hitting the blades below. There is a heat resistant spatula that is designed with a notch to lift the basket from the mixing bowl and scrape the sides. The dual steam accessory consists of two pieces, a container that sits directly on top of the mixing bowl and a top portion that is shallow with vents on the bottom and has a clear lid that is also vented. Cooks could boil potatoes in the cooking basket, steam veggies in the next layer, and also have fish steaming on the very top layer. The mixing bowl lid locks into place and has an integrated clear removable measuring cup. To ensure accurate recipe proportions, the machine also comes with an external digital food scale. With the Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master home cooks can make everything from a simple smoothie to a more complex risotto. It retails for $549.
The Philips Multicooker is a nice option for customers who want to spend less and don’t mind stirring the pot themselves. It has10 preset programs including slow cook, steam, fry/sauté, rice, risotto, stew/simmer, bake, yogurt, reheat and boil. A manual button allows users to change the time and temperature to any specific setting. There is a 24-hour preset timer that can be programmed to start cooking while you’re away so you can come home to a cooked meal. When cooking is done, the machine switches to keep-warm mode for up to 12 hours. The inner pot has a 4-liter capacity, is dishwasher safe, and has a nano-ceramic coating that is nonstick and scratch resistant. The lid of the Mulitcooker can be completely detached after use to allow for direct cleaning from every angle. Also included is a multi-use steam basket, spatula, spoon, rice scoop, and measuring cup. Using the Philips Multicooker, home cooks can prepare a variety of meals, from slow-cooked stews, braises and pot roasts to risottos and curries. You can also steam vegetables or rice, boil pasta, bake cakes or breads and make fresh yogurt. The Philips Multicooker has a suggested retail price of $249.
T-fal will debut the 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker & Fryer in September. With a suggested retail price of $99.99, the small appliance comes in at an even more affordable price point than the Philips Multicooker. The unit has more of an emphasis on the frying capability, with a 1.6-liter oil capacity, but with 1600 watts of power it can also braise, saute, simmer, brown, boil and keep warm, along with having a food capacity of 1.3 pounds. The removable bowl has a non-stick coating and the lid has a viewing window. The lid, bowl and basket are all dishwasher safe. The appliance also has a removable timer that allows cooks to leave the kitchen without fear of not hearing the timer go off.
BLACK+DECKER just introduced the Multi-Cooker – Slow Cook & Sear in June. The appliance is equipped with a slow cooker and stovetop function, making it easy to create true one pot meals. With a capacity of 6.5 quarts, it is bigger than T-fal’s Multi-Cooker and focuses more on slow cooking. The built-in stove finishes sauces, sears meats or sautés ingredients, while the slow cooker function provides a convenient way to cook tender delicious meals. The slow cooker can be turned to low, medium, high and keep warm while the bake and roast functions allow you to set desired temperatures from 200 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The removable ceramic coated pot has cool touch handles with an easy view glass lid. A roasting rack and recipe book is also included. The BLACK+DECKER Multi-Cooker has a suggested retail price of $99.99.
A new series of six prints illustrating the spices and salts of five regional cuisines is now available through MondoFood.com. Designed by Chef and Spice Master Tim Ziegler and Tea King Brian Keating in partnership with American Image Publishing, these colorful 1′ X 3′ wall prints are an expansion of the duo’s popular SPICES print (published in 2002, 2012), currently used in restaurant kitchens and culinary schools around the world.
“Brian and I developed this new series to give professional chefs, gourmands and home cooks a worthwhile resource on these wonderful ingredients,” says Chef Ziegler. “You can refer to the posters for inspiration or admiration. We think they’re a great learning resource and, thanks to the graphic design of Pat Welch and photography of Bob Montesclaros and Lois Ellen-Frank, stunning art pieces as well.”
A unique gift for home cooks to top chefs, each poster in the new series serves as a handy reference tool and a vibrant, globally-inspired decorative piece that will liven up any kitchen. Beautifully depicting an array of spices and offering descriptions, ingredient origins, local flavor profiles and recipe applications, each poster offers a detailed look into one of the following cuisines: Mediterranean, Continental, Southeast Asian, Indian/Chinese and American Grill, as well as the fascinating global study of salts in SALT, The Edible Rock.
The prints have already received praise from culinary professionals.
“Not only [are the SPICES prints] beautiful and stylish, they keep me mindful of the simple beauty and interconnectedness that is the world of taste,” said Chef Mick (Michaelangelo) Rosacci, Tony’s Market in Denver.
“The new line of prints is BEAUTIFUL…collectible and worthy of framing,” said Lori Frazee, Pit Master/Chef at Barn Goddess BBQ.
Each poster in the series retails for $20 at MondoFood.com, with additional retailers to come.
Rodelle, Inc.’s newest premium vanilla extract is Rodelle Reserve French Oak Aged Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. With a suggested retail price of $50 for a 6.75 ounce bottle, Rodelle Reserve elevates the company’s already highly-regarded line of superior baking essentials. This high-end gourmet vanilla extract is for savvy consumers.
Eighty years in the making, Rodelle Reserve is the most complex and carefully crafted vanilla extract available. Founded in 1936, Rodelle has created high-quality vanilla products for both professional and home baking applications. Rodelle Reserve celebrates the traditional aspects of vanilla manufacturing while utilizing the most-advanced extraction techniques to provide a luxury experience. Rodelle’s team carefully crafted small batches of two-fold, pure vanilla extract with premium quality gourmet vanilla beans handpicked from Madagascar. Then, the vanilla was aged for months in French oak barrels to enhance the natural flavors and aromas inherent in vanilla extract. Dr. Krishna Bala, Co-founder of Rodelle, explains: “Aging vanilla in oak barrels softens the harsher elements of the alcohol that all [vanilla] extracts must contain, while smoothing out complex vanilla flavors and increasing the intensity by generating more flavor molecules.”
Rodelle Reserve offers a small-batch, aged vanilla experience that was previously unavailable to consumers. The flavors and quality found in Rodelle Reserve will enhance any baking occasion from an everyday experience to a memory that your family will cherish forever. Rodelle Reserve brings the quality standard of professional bakers into the home to make bakers’ dreams come true. “Rodelle has pioneered vanilla traditions and processes since 1936,” says Joe Basta, Co-founder of Rodelle, Inc. “Rodelle Reserve is the best vanilla extract available with the purest of ingredients and a vintage feel that honors the heritage of the world’s favorite flavor,” he says. “Rodelle is excited to launch this innovative, luxury vanilla extract,” Basta concludes.
For more details on Rodelle Reserve, visit http://rodelle.co/reserve. Rodelle Reserve can be found online at Amazon.com and in the near future at select retailers.
In a return to our culinary roots, Americans across the country – most notably millennials – are turning to home preserving this summer to preserve and savor all the delicious flavors of fresh grown produce. Research conducted by ORC International on behalf of the iconic Ball® brand canning line determined that nearly half of all millennials (49 percent) are interested in canning this summer and the primary reason is because they love cooking and canning seems fun (38 percent). This research also found that 68 percent of Americans would rather make their own fresh foods than purchase store bought. Here’s more on what Americans will be enjoying this season and beyond.
Pick a Pickle
Red state or blue state, it doesn’t matter because we’re all green! Almost everyone likes pickles (86 percent), especially Baby Boomers (90 percent). Dill has universal appeal, and is favored more than two to one over any other kind of pickle. Bread and butter comes in distant second (21 percent), though only 12 percent of millennials pick bread and butter pickles as their favorite.
Forty-one percent of Americans say their favorite way to eat pickles is on a sandwich or burger, though straight from the jar is a close second (39 percent). Interestingly, busy households with kids ages 13-17 are more likely to eat them right out of the jar (42 percent) versus on a sandwich (34 percent).
While nearly everyone knows you can pickle cucumbers (84 percent), the majority doesn’t know or think about pickling other foods. Most people (84 percent) didn’t know or think they could pickle crabapples, but the newly released 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book has over 30 recipes for pickling alone, including Crabapple Pickles.
Jam vs. Jelly
One indicator that we could all use a little more time getting to know our food is the jam versus jelly trivia question. A full one-third of Americans don’t know the difference between jam and jelly. Jam refers to a product made with cut or crushed fruit, while jelly refers to a type of clear fruit spread simply using the juice form of a fruit or vegetable.
Not surprisingly, 64 percent of canners know the difference, and regionally Midwesterners were more inclined to identify the correct answer (52 percent). Despite the confusion, 81 percent of Americans agree that homemade jam tastes better than store bought. In fact, for those planning to can this summer, strawberry jam is the most popular recipe (61 percent).
United States of Produce
Fruit reigns supreme for Americans as four out of five of American’s favorite summertime produce items noted were fruit: watermelons (32 percent), berries (18 percent), peaches (14 percent) and tomatoes (11 percent). Regionally, peaches are more popular in the West and South coming in second ahead of berries.
One great use for tomatoes is homemade fresh salsa, a perfect canning recipe for new and seasoned canners. While 91 percent of Americans eat salsa, preference on heat level is pretty split: Mild is preferred in the Midwest (36 percent), but hot is preferred in the South (24 percent) and West (22 percent). Millennials also like to spice it up and were significantly more interested in hot salsa than Baby Boomers (26 percent versus 17 percent).
Taste for Adventure
Along with a renewed interest in home canning, Americans are branching out as 47 percent expressed interest in some form of preserving food beyond canning, including dehydrating (26 percent), smoking (21 percent), brewing (15 percent) and cheese-making (13 percent). Again, millennials lead the pack in exploring homesteading activities and are even more likely to seek out DIY methods as a whopping 60 percent expressed interest.
Some of the biggest names in the culinary world will grace the stage at the 2015 MetroCooking DC Show, October 24-25, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as Giada De Laurentiis and Michael Symon return to headline this year’s event. This 10th Anniversary show is organized by E.J. Krause & Associates.
In addition, local and regional chefs all honored as James Beard Foundation winners, nominees or as guest chefs at The James Beard House, will cook on the Beard Foundation Stage presented by IKEA. Both days chefs from L’Academie de Cuisine will lead cooking classes; on October 25 more than 50 restaurants will offer signature tastes at the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s Grand Tasting Pavilion. In a new feature launching this year, Chef David Guas, author of “Grill Nation” and host of the Travel Channel’s “American Grilled” will host the BBQ Bash with the area’s top barbecue restaurants and pitmasters offering grilling tips and tastings. James Beard 2015 Pastry Chef of the Year and “Master Chef” judge Christina Tosi will take the Celebrity Theatre stage presented by 94.7 FRESH FM on Saturday, October 24.
Throughout the two day event there will be non-stop activities including ongoing tasting and entertaining workshops from knife skills to holiday entertaining and a beer, wine and spirits pavilion that will highlight local mixologists. Known as a great shopping show, this year 200+ specialty food exhibitors will showcase products – all for sale. The popular Natural Foods Pavilion will feature organic and natural products.
General admission tickets are $18, Celebrity Theater performances, cooking classes, BBQ Bash and Grand Tasting Pavilion are ticketed events sold separately. Ticket packages are available as well as VIP tickets affording meet-and-greet receptions with De Laurentiis and Symon.
Under the umbrella of their Eat Y’all brand, Marianna and Andy Chapman will open their first wholesale showroom at the Dallas Market Center next week in conjunction with the Dallas Total Home & Gift Show.
From small-town farming backgrounds and with entrepreneurial success spanning two decades, the combination of Marianna and Andy Chapman’s diverse experiences mean profits for their wholesale customers.
Marianna grew up on a farm in the hills of Mississippi where she spent summers assisting her father in farming and her mother in the gardening and canning efforts that would feed their family of six over the winter months. Later, she owned her own business consulting firm that advised retail businesses and made her a popular speaker at retail business events such as AmericasMart University and the National Main Street Conference. With an appreciation for fresh flavors and local ingredients and an understanding of food production and retail business, Marianna’s love of food met her love for business when she married Andy in 2008.
From a programming and Internet business background and as a self-taught expert griller and food connoisseur, Andy launched a marketing experiment called Eat Jackson in 2009 that went on to become Mississippi’s most influential food media company. He went on to expand the company with the birth of the Eat Y’all brand in 2013 to share the stories of those that fill the South with flavor.
Andy grew up as the middle of seven children, and as such developed a masterful ability to be creative with available groceries. In 2012, his skill saved the day when Marianna discovered just moments before guests arrived that she’d forgotten to buy the sauce for a neighborhood barbecue party. A few minutes later, their six-year-old daughter, whose nickname is Sugar Taylor, was standing on a stool stirring Andy’s concoction with a wooden spoon before serving it to the rave reviews of guests who were eager to take home the leftovers of the newly dubbed “Sugar Taylor Sauce.”
For months afterwards, Marianna used her farm upbringing to can enough Sugar Taylor Sauce to satisfy the seemingly endless demands of friends and family who would repeatedly leave their empty Mason jars on the Chapman’s back porch with refill requests. As the versatility of Sugar Taylor Sauce became apparent, demand continued to expand until early December 2013 when the Chapman’s three children canvassed their neighborhood promising Christmas delivery of commercially packaged Sugar Taylor Sauce. The children sold enough in one afternoon to pay for the first bottling run!
With a deadline set, the Chapmans found themselves in the artisan gourmet business just as unexpectedly as they’d found themselves in the food media business a few years earlier, this time with a sales team composed of their minor children leading the way.
Since then, they’ve experienced booming demand for their unique and versatile collection of pantry products and will share bold Southern flavors with the opening of their showroom in B14 at the Gourmet Market in the World Trade Center in Dallas, Texas, next week, an opening highlighted by two live cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Bar in the atrium of the World Trade Center at 4:20 on Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 and 25.
The Eat Y’all Southern Food Products collection featured in their new showroom will include Sugar Taylor Sauce as well as June Bugg Rub, the nickname of their 15-year-old son who helped create it. They will also be showcasing their curated collection of Southern-made artisan gourmet products including Bonney’s Hot Sauce, Delta Blues Rice (long grain rice, rice grits and brown rice) and Valine’s Famous Cocktail Sauce. In addition, Andy’s grilling expertise will come to bear as he presents a brand new premium ceramic grill and outdoor furniture line called the Gourmet Guru Grill along with a full line of grilling accessories. This is the Dallas Market debut for all of the products.
Eat Y’all exists to share the stories of those that fill the South with flavor including farmers, chefs, food makers, pit masters, brewers, distillers, food writers and event creators through a weekly podcast called Let’s Eat, Y’all as well as a blog, YouTube channel, culinary events and a collection of curated Southern-made artisan gourmet and grilling products available through their Official Retailer Program. Follow them online at www.eatyall.com or @letseatyall on social media. Eat Y’all is a family business based in Gulfport, Mississippi.
To commemorate World Baking Day on May 17, celebrity cake artists Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” Mich Turner, who has baked cakes for the likes of the Queen of England, and Ron Ben-Israel, renowned for his $10,000 cakes, recently gathered to prepare for The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair, coming to Orlando, Florida, this September.
The international cake and sugarcraft expo, hosted by Satin Ice, is open to both trade and the public and will feature multi-day appearances by Valastro, Turner, and Ben-Israel, in addition to Roland Mesnier, former executive pastry chef to the White House. This event is the first cake fair of its kind in the United States to attract these four world-renowned cake artists under one roof.
Valastro, Turner, and Ben-Israel toured both Ben-Israel’s private cake studio in New York City and Valastro’s cake factory in Jersey City, New Jersey, where they had the opportunity to share their excitement and talk about plans for the upcoming Cake Fair. Turner, who was visiting New York from the U.K., recently launched her fifth book in the U.S., “Mich Turner’s Cake School.”
All four artists will share the high-caliber stage September 18, 19 and 20 at the Orange County Convention Center before an anticipated crowd of 30,000 cake professionals and enthusiasts. The show will also feature Cake Central’s Sugar Arts Fashion Show; a Live Global Cake Challenge; traditional cake competitions; more than 75 hands-on classes and demonstrations taught by 40 of the world’s best cake artists; and a wedding, chocolate, kids, and sugar art zone.
Registration for hands-on classes, demonstrations, competitions, Cake Central’s Sugar Arts Fashion Show, and admission is now available. An early-bird admission special rate will be available through June 1: one-day badges will be on sale for $45; 2-day badges will be $70, and 3-day badges will be $95. For more information, visit www.cakefair.com.