National Sandwich Day

Friday, November 2nd, 2018 by

You know those awkward, eye-roll inducing “ice-breaker” activities instructors and teachers use before their classes? I have an exercise people may actually warm to. Ask them what their favorite sandwich is. Being perpetually hungry and obsessed with food in general, I often ask this question. National Sandwich Day is November 3rd and it’s a great opportunity to get to know people in a new, more intimate way. You can learn everything you need to know about someone from their response. Some go simple. A grilled cheese or a turkey and swiss. Those people are generally laid back, uncomplicated, purists. Chicken Parm? You lead with your heart. Peanut butter and jelly with trimmed crusts? You’re type A.  If the Gobbler is your favorite, you are a full-fledged psychopath. Just kidding! You’re a person after my own heart.

 

The Gobbler, aka the Pilgrim, aka the Puritan, has an endless number of stage names and variations that revolve around the same concept- pile all your Thanksgiving leftovers on a sandwich and chow down like your life depends on it. It’s not dainty, and it’s not something you eat on a first date. It’s an amalgam of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, maybe even mashed potatoes and a whole lot of shameless savagery. This ultra-loaded, juicy, sweet, salty combo may actually put the integrity of Thanksgiving dinner in question. Ask around. A lot of people love Thanksgiving dinner even more in its reincarnation the following day, or what I like to call “Second Dinner.”

This seasonal treat has gone from an exotic novelty to a fall staple, but it is no spring chicken (spring turkey?). I first learned about the crazy combo twenty years ago on a summer trip to Cape Cod. We celebrated our arrival at a little deli that served “The Pilgrim” piled high on fresh bread year-round. This version included muenster cheese and lettuce and could be served in wrap form upon request. I ordered mine on fresh sourdough and was presented with a full loaf of bread busting at the seams with sweet and salty goodness. Cape Cod and other areas of Southeastern Massachusetts claim ownership of this gem which is served year-round at deli’s and restaurants. After all, the oldest town on Cape Cod is the aptly named Sandwich, Massachusetts.

The first known recipe emerged in the 1950’s although the dish was likely around undocumented well before that. The original sandwich was considered a refined treat, eaten with white gloves, and perhaps even a raised pinky. Sandwiches did not transform into a messy Jenga of glorious ingredients until much more recently. Nowadays, we embrace the mess and shovel as many flavorful components as possible into our melty, gooey creations. Table manners have taken a back seat to flavor in the current manifestation of sandwiches, and the Gobbler is a prime example.

If you haven’t tried this dream of a sandwich, please, let National Sandwich Day be your catalyst. We love building our own because we can customize them to perfection. While we usually adopt a “the more the merrier” attitude about food, we don’t use mashed potatoes on ours. The pairing of fresh turkey, a spicy sage stuffing, turkey gravy and thick layer of whole-berry cranberry sauce is too perfect to mess with. Make yours with all your favorite Thanksgiving components and lots of napkins handy. Here’s to the Gobbler and all its sandwich ancestors this holiday season. Now that is something to be thankful for.

 

Try out our favorite fall recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

 

Ingredients:

1 white or wheat roll (we used honey wheat for a dash of sweetness)

1 tsp butter

4-5 oz turkey, broken into smaller pieces (this helps ensure turkey in every bite)

1/4 cup sage or cornbread stuffing

4 tbsp cranberry sauce (whole-berry or jellied based on preference)

3 Tbsp gravy

 

Directions:

Cut the roll in half and spread with equal amounts of butter. Place cut side down on a warm grill pan and toast. Remove from heat.

Coat both sides of your roll with cranberry sauce. Add a layer of stuffing and top that with pieces of turkey. Add gravy on top (dripping is encouraged!). Top with the top piece of the roll.

SNACK LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

Dirty Chai Blog Post

Monday, October 29th, 2018 by

People are passionate about their beverages. We want them flavorful, pretty, fresh, and inexpensive. We need them fast, in the biggest cup you’ve got, with our choice of milk, and a generous dash of whip. Remember those multicolored pastel drinks that were all the rage? What about freakshakes, the mother of all milkshakes, topped with every confection imaginable? People are having fun with their drinks, and we are on board. One of our favorite trends these days is the Dirty Chai Tea Latte. You can have all the warm, spicy flavors of chai without sacrificing the essential, revitalizing joy that is coffee. Basically, you can have your cake and eat it too. Bonus: you can make it at home!

Some of the best innovations come from necessity. We’ve all made those “I really need to go food shopping but I don’t feel like it” meals. You stare into your bare cabinets and try to figure out how you can work those pitiful, mismatched ingredients into something edible. There are entire cookbooks on the subject matter. Scarcity can turn anyone into an innovator.

The aromatic tea we know and love was born in tougher times. Masala Chai is a Hindi term that translates to “mixed-spice tea”. In the early 1900s, black tea was very expensive in India. Vendors used milk, sugar and spices to keep their brew flavorful while keeping costs down. To stimulate the sales of Indian tea, the British-owned Indian Tea Association encouraged big employers to offer tea breaks throughout the work day. They also encouraged chaiwalas, tea vendors, to sell their brew along the developing railway system.

Traditional Masala Chai used black tea, typically the local Assam or Ceylon, blended with real spices that varied based on region and availability. Chaiwalas became an important part of the culture and continue to exist all over India. They are one of the only consistent presences in a very diverse country, from lazy rural villages to busy cities streets. People from all walks of life flock to chaiwalas for a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Over tea, you’ll see people congregate, night and day, discussing anything from politics to sports.

Masala Chai became popular in India, but it didn’t stop there. Over the pond it went, right to our local coffee shops and tea houses, in all its spicy, fragrant glory. Any trendy coffee shop will boast the “Best Dirty Chai,” but as DIY-ers, we subscribe to the philosophy that if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. A lot of cafes make their chai with a concentrated syrup or powder mix. This version fuses our own signature chai spices into the tea like the first chaiwalas. Those real ingredients add a richness and depth of flavor you can’t emulate with an artificial mix alone. You wouldn’t build a house with particle board. You have to go for the good stuff!

If you want the traditional Dirty Chai experience, brew up 2 shots of espresso – we love Godfather’s Italian Espresso for this drink. You can also strong brew any coffee of your choice. Typically, espresso drinks use a dark roast, but the beauty of doing it at home is that you get to choose. Your home will be filled with that sweet, spicy aroma in no time! Whether you’re brewing it by the cup or the pitcher, this decadent treat is as simple as it is tasty.

Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

Ingredients

1-2 tbsp Spiced Chai tea

1/2 cup of water

1/3 cup of milk of your choice

1/2 cup of strong coffee or 2 shots espresso

2-3 tsp honey

1 drop vanilla extract

A dash of cinnamon

Directions:

1.) Prepare coffee or espresso

2.) Prepare chai by bringing water to boil, then pouring it over loose leaf tea in a tea strainer.  Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bag/tea container from tea.

3.) Add honey and a drop of vanilla to chai tea, stir in well

4.) Prepare milk by either heating it up in a pot on the stove or use a wand to steam

5.) Add milk to chai

6.) Add strong brewed coffee or espresso and a dash of cinnamon

National Dessert Day

Friday, October 12th, 2018 by

Food is love. There is no way around it. There’s a reason they put plump, sweet-faced grandmas on food labels. Love is the secret ingredient in any true home-cooked meal. The holidays are the perfect time to come together with family and friends, fill our homes with aroma of fragrant, slow-cooked treats, break bread, and be together. Food unites us and requires a pause in the frenzy of daily life. It’s time to slow down, to savor, and indulge.

"

To be fair, not everyone agrees with this sentiment. We all know someone who implements rigid meal prep, Tupperware after Tupperware of bland, monotonous rations. Their calories and protein are in line with the daily recommended value, their blood pressure is pristine. The creator of the food pyramid would love these people, but those meager little meals just make us sad. Someone once told me “food is strictly sustenance,” and I balked at the thought. I’m all for balance, and I love nothing more than a good salad some days, but where is the love in unseasoned, broiled chicken, day in and day out? Is that a life worth living? We think not.

The thought came back to me months later, meeting a friend at our favorite little Italian bakery. The spot was abuzz with conversation, friends catching up at the end of the work week, milk being frothed for cappuccinos, orders being filled. It wasn’t a fancy place, but there was always an aura of merriment and the food was out of this world. I ordered my favorite, their Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake, to go with my latte. If you haven’t tried this, please, scour the baked goods in your area until you find one. I sat and savored the lush, homemade chocolate ganache, the smooth, dense almond cake, the fresh, tart raspberry jam oozing from between the layers. This was no meal of sustenance, but rather a festive departure from the mundane. Dessert cannot be rushed through or thoughtlessly devoured. It must be savored alongside a steamy mug of coffee on a joyful little floral plate with friends. Dessert is not a food, it’s an experience.

"

The ideal holiday requires no travel, no cleaning, no gift-buying, just really good food. National Dessert Day just might be that holiday, and who doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate? You can even get away with skipping dinner if you want. Sustenance is cool and all, but today is a day to eat the kind of foods people daydream about.

We took a look back at our favorite dessert recipes and put together this handy little list for you. We’ve got everything from 2-ingredient, no fuss recipes to romantic, shareable items, and desserts that will impress the snootiest of foodies. You can even observe the holiday in pajamas, eating gooey Hot Fudge Pudding Cake for dinner with your cats. Now, that’s a holiday tradition we could get behind.

 srcset=

Try out one of these amazing recipes and let us know what you think in the comments below!

No-Churn Coffee Fudge Ice Cream

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Vietnamese Coffee Pops Recipe

The Perfect Two-Ingredient Dessert

Apple Berry Pie

Chocolate Lover’s Coffee Shake

The Ultimate Coffee Lover’s Cheesecake

Green Tea Mojito Bars

Earl Grey Truffles with Orange & Lavender

Coffee Smoothie (for Two) Recipe

Matcha Cheesecake Recipe

Peppermint Bark Recipe

Crème Brulee Recipe

Johnny Appleseed Day

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 by

We’ve all heard the saying “As American as apple pie.” There is one influential man to thank for this tradition, and today is his day! September 26th is National Johnny Appleseed Day. As legend has it, John Chapman (a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed) was an American pioneer who traveled by foot planting apple trees and orchards. His trek took him from Pennsylvania to Iowa. He often walked shoeless with a wide brimmed hat shading sun from his eyes as he traveled. Now that’s what you call dedication! This conspicuous character was known for his work ethic and benevolence toward nature and mankind.

"

Not only did Johnny spread apple seeds, but wisdom and compassion as well. He was known to share books and the teachings of Swedish spiritual leader Emanuel Swedenborg. Story has it, this nomadic spiritualist would travel far and wide to nurse ailing orchards back to health. He rarely asked for payment but any he received went toward books which he would give out to people he met during his travels. While the popular legend paints Johnny Appleseed as a jolly individual, scattering apple seeds merrily as he traveled barefoot, in reality he was far more methodical. John planted nurseries, left them in the care of those he met, and checked back every few years to ensure they were thriving.

We think this day is a special one to be celebrated. National Johnny Appleseed Day represents the power of the individual driven by altruism, hard work, and attention to detail. While we would love to be thought of as mythical beings, sprinkling coffee beans throughout the country, the truth is we’re too busy roasting. We’ll have to leave the sprinkling to you!

This September, we plan on honoring Johnny Appleseed by pouring ourselves into the magic of our trade – making it easy, inexpensive, and fun to buy our coffee! We hope veryone we meet is a little better than before they found us. Celebrate Johnny with a cup of our Autumn Harvest or Apple Cider Donut coffee. Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Easy Iced Coffee Guide

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 by

It’s summertime, so we decided to play guinea pig to bring you the best iced coffee out there. As popular as this classic continues to be, iced coffee often alternates between watery and mouth puckering bitterness. Our goal was to create a cup solid enough to graduate from trend to timeless classic. We believe, when properly brewed, iced coffee may be the star of the coffee world. Not only can it be simple to prepare, (which we love, especially pre-caffeine) but it is the perfect refreshing treat to beat the heat.

Filtered water should be used to brew a double strength batch of coffee to start.  Flash brew iced coffee (aka ice brew) is made in a pour over (such as Hario or Chemex), but you don’t have to get all fancy if you don’t want to. You can make your iced coffee in an autodrip brewer too! Throw coffee ice cubes in to minimize dilution. Ta-da! A no-fuss, clean, crisp cup in minutes.

Homemade iced coffee is easy to make, but the right brewing method can preserve the nuances of the beans while other brewing methods can dull or neutralize their subtle flavor notes. The right iced coffee should be way less high maintenance than it tastes. We love a good shortcut and, finally, our resourcefulness pays off. All hail the perfect iced coffee, right from your very own kitchen! Check out our easy recipes and let us know what you think in the comments.