May 6th is Derby Day

by Kitchenworks27. April 2017 11:01

May 6th will mark the 143rd Kentucky Derby run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. Dubbed the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports," the Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States. But the Derby far surpasses any sporting event as a spectacle of fashion and social graces. At the center: the Mint Julep

Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice. Source.

Grab a highball glass and ready your muddlers!

Check out the official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep recipe and get ready to enjoy this longstanding Southern tradition.

Happy Derby Day!

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Products | Recipes

Cast Iron Cobbler

by Kitchenworks29. October 2014 11:23

   This cobbler is the real dealAfter moving to the South and discovering a wonderful talent for baking, one of our favorite Kitchenworkers introduced us to this amazing cast iron berry cobbler. 

   This is not a boxed dessert from aisle 3 that requires a cup of oil and an egg. This the dessert that your grandmother would have pulled from the oven on a crisp fall afternoon and served with homemade ice cream. Trust us, when you taste this sweet bubbly creation with it's golden brown biscuit topping, you'll be a believer.

4 T   butter, divided
8 cups

  berries, rinsed and drained  

(We love a mix of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries!)

1 cup   sugar, divided
1/4 cup   brown sugar
3 T   cornstarch
2 cups
  biscuit flour
1/2 t   salt
2T   vegetable shortening
3/4 cup

  heavy cream 

  1.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Melt 1 T butter in a 10" cast iron skillet.

In another bowl, combine fruit, 3/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Mix and pour into skillet.

Sift flour, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into bowl. Cut butter and shortening into mixture. Add cream and mix until just combined.

Knead on a floured surface until dough comes together. Roll out dough to 3/4" thickness. Cut biscuits and place on top of fruit. Sprinkle biscuits with sugar (and maybe a little cinnamon!)

Bake 45-55 minutes until biscuits are cooked through and golden brown.

 

You still don't have a cast iron skillet? We can fix that! Check out our selection of Lodge Cast Iron Cookware. Beautifully pre-seasoned and made in America for over 100 years!

 

 

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Autumn | Recipes | Staff Favorites

Put it in a Pie!

by Kitchenworks22. October 2014 15:52

Check out some of our favorite pie tips, tools, and recipes!

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Autumn | Holidays | Recipes | Tips and Tricks

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

by Kitchenworks14. October 2014 12:52

 October is a popular month in our store. Halloween goodies come out of hibernation. The linens section transforms into a beautiful cornucopia of deep reds, burnt oranges, and sage greens. And, our bakeware finally gets the attention it deserves!

 One of our favorite fall traditions is enjoying the first batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. Spicy, pumpkiny, chocolatey, and best right out of the oven, they pair wonderfully with a steaming cup of tea. Here's our tried and true recipe that we are thrilled to share:

 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 T. Pumpkin Pie Spice*
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (or try mashed sweet potato!)
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup
milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

 

 

 

Thoroughly mix flour, sugar, pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, butter, and milk until well blended. Stir chocolate chips and nuts (optional) into egg mixture. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients and fold until just moistened. Scoop batter into greased or paper-lined muffin pans.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until center is puffy and springy to the touch.

*1 T. Pumpkin Pie Spice = 2 t. cinnamon + 1/2 t. nutmeg + 1/2 t ground cloves 

 

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Autumn | Recipes | Staff Favorites

Dreaming of Picnics

by Kitchenworks7. April 2014 13:20

I don’t know from where in the States (or world) you are reading this, but it is finally looking like we will be getting some spring weather around here.

Today was a gorgeous day: bright sunshine, blue skies, and flowers blooming. As you could guess, today was the perfect day to be outside. Fortunately, here in Chapel Hill, we have a lot of outdoor spaces, and plenty of people to occupy them. Weaver Street (a local hotspot in Carrboro that is both a neighborhood-owned grocery and communal gathering space) was overflowing with people enjoying a perfect spring day. A beautiful patchwork of blankets were spread across the lawn covered with lounging people, homemade picnic food, store-bought snacks, and more than a few bottles of wine and cider. Some children and a few pets ran and played in the “avenues” in between. The pleasant hum of laughter and conversation was all the music necessary.

Of course the most packed places are the parks of Orange County. Here is where the children reign supreme. Parents sit back and watch their kids tumble over each other playing and laughing at the Community Center Park (just down the street from Kitchenworks). The large hill and an elaborate jungle gym transform into a colossal mountain and expansive castle for anyone under the age of six. The nearby flower garden and the gazebo become the perfect places to calm down with a juice box and some snacks (or to discuss the heavy issues of “tag” with the adults). The Wilson Community Park caters to a slightly older group of kids. Cobbled together on the diamond are some teenagers in a pick-up game of barely adversarial baseball. The tennis courts nearby have the same style of lazy play, crazy stunts, and continuous laughter.

On a day like today, you can’t take things too seriously. After the cold of winter, before the hot humidity of summer, these are the kind of days we North Carolinians celebrate. We long to be outside enjoying the sunshine and those of us that have to be indoors spend the day daydreaming at a window. We dream of bright warm afternoons spent lazing about in a park or on a patio enjoying friends and hopefully some amazing picnic-fare.

Soon the picnic season will be upon us and as everyone knows, the name of the game is finger foods. Orange wedges, beautiful berries, or bags of almonds are perfect easy choices to keep the focus on fun rather than food preparation. A fresh crusty bread, deli meats, and some of your favorite cheeses are a great easy combo for DIY mini sandwiches. And of course, a picnic isn't complete without a festive beverage, whether it's a bottle of wine or a pitcher of lemonade. 

Of course if you have the time, there are some amazing recipes out there for picnic food. Pasta salad, deviled eggs, and fruit salad are classic picnic fare that will satisfy most appetites. As for the main attraction, a good Club sandwich would be perfect. This recipe is taken from The Food Network in 2001 and is one of our favorites.

Ingredients:

12 slices white bread

3/4 cup mayonnaise

8 romaine lettuce leaves

16 slices vine-ripened tomatoes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 slices crispy cooked bacon

16 ounces sliced roasted turkey

16 frill picks, or plastic cocktail swords

 

Directions:

Toast the bread in a toaster, or under a broiler on both sides. Cut the lettuce leaves in half crosswise and form into 8 neat stacks.

To make a double-decker club:

  • On a clean work surface, arrange 3 bread slices in a row.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over 1 side of each bread slice.
  • Place a lettuce stack on top of the first bread slice, top with 2 tomato slices, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place 2 slices bacon over the tomatoes (broken to fit neatly if necessary) and top with 1/8 of the turkey (without letting any hang over the sides).
  • Season the turkey with salt and pepper, to taste. Repeat with the second bread slice.
  • Carefully place the second layered bread slice on top of the first layered bread, turkey side-up.
  • Cover with the third bread slice, mayonnaise side-down.

Pin the sandwich's layers together by piercing them with 4 frill picks or cocktail swords through the top bread slice, in 4 places in a diamond-like pattern, all the way to the bottom bread slice.Repeat entire process with the remaining ingredients to form 3 more sandwiches.

Using a serrated knife cut each sandwich, diagonally, into 4 triangular pieces (each piece should be secured in the center with a pick or sword). Serve with pickles.

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North Carolina | Recipes | Chapel Hill

It's More than Green Beer

by Kitchenworks17. March 2014 13:29

I am not Irish. I have never been Irish, and will never be Irish. I cannot even be confused with being Irish. But that has not stopped St. Patrick’s Day from being one of my favorite holidays ever. All things considered, my love for the holiday probably predates my existence. My father moved to Chicago, Illinois just after he graduated college and to this day, it remains one of his favorite places to have lived. He has told me many great stories about the city: from the die-hard sports fans to the harsh cold winters. Mixed in with those stories are the joyous celebrations around the city on March 17th. He and my mother would venture out to watch the parades and drink up the jubilant atmosphere that was so very different from their southern rural North Carolina traditions.

By the time I was old enough to enjoy St. Patty’s Day, we lived in suburban New Jersey. In our borough, the celebration was not demonstrated by huge parades and river-dying, but in a district-wide meal. My elementary school would make an immense breakfast and the whole town would show up to celebrate in camaraderie and conversations. I would find my classmates, play, and have my fill of jelly doughnuts (not a traditional Irish meal but I was young). Then it would be over. Parents would go to work, children to school, but all riding on a high that is unique to such social gatherings. It, for me, cemented an appreciation and an expectation for what the day could bring.

Now I am older, and the world sometimes feels a little bit colder. But on March 17th (and often the weekend before or after) I strive to find ways to find my friends and play. It is not that hard, because year after year, it seems they want to play too. We pick an apartment or house and gather to make a variety of dishes. Someone must make corned beef. It is a requirement. The only other requirement is that we have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Generally, at some point, we all find our way to the nearest bar. But even if we don’t, the point is that we see each other, and have fun. More than the great food, Guinness, and Irish whiskey--Saint Patrick’s Day is about good friends and good people.

In spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day (and my really good friends); here is one of the better recipes for Corned Beef and Cabbage. It is taken from The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook published in 1999.

1 lean corned beef Brisket (about 4 pounds) trimmed of excess fat

1 peeled medium onion, stuck with 4 whole cloves

1 teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly ground pepper

3 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in halves

4 large carrots, scraped and sliced thickly

6 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and halved

1 medium (about 2 pounds) green cabbage outer leaves removed cored and cut into wedges

 

Place the beef in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the meat by 2 inches. Bring to a boil on high heat. Lower heat to medium-low. Skim and discard any froth that rises to the top. Add onion stick with Cloves, mustard, thyme, and pepper. Cook slowly, covered, accordion to the package instructions or until meat is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 3 hours. Add onions, potatoes, and cabbage during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove and discard onion stick with cloves. Take out beef. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm. Allow meat to rest 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

 

To serve, cut into slices and place in center of a platter. Arrange vegetable around it. Top with some of the broth, if desired. 6 to 8 Servings.

 

What makes St. Patrick's Day great for you? Is it the food, the family traditions, or maybe the sense of community in your town? Jump over to our Facebook Page and let us know!

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Holidays | Recipes

Cantaloupe Strawberry Popsicles

by Gia26. July 2013 09:27

The cantaloupes in my garden were perfect last week, and then there was a strawberry sale at the supermarket (hence strawberries in August...), so I decided it would be the perfect time to try out one of our popsicle molds. When I was growing up, my father would make 'icees' by pouring fruit juice into dixie cups. Once frozen, we would scrape the tops with a metal spoon until there was a perfect mound of fruit-flavored 'snow' (and a few wax dixie cup shavings...). I had always thought that popsicle molds were just a little too fancy for us. Besides, the one time we did put wooden sticks into the dixie cups, they slid out of the middle before we could get the ice out from the sides - so disappointing.

Enter the perforated stick! These days, popsicle molds include a plastic stick that is perforated along the center, meaning that liquid will freeze inside of it and prevent it from sliding out of your popsicle while it melts. Genius! I used Star Popsicle Molds for this recipe. They're adorable, but I will probably need a bottle brush to properly clean them out, so if you want something you can fit a sponge into, I would go with the Groovy Popsicle Molds.

Now, you can put whatever you darn well please into a popsicle mold, but good old sweetened water (just like sorbet!) is the general beginnings. Pureed fruit or fruit juice works perfectly, so you really don't have to add extra sugar (in which case you may want to skip the ode-to-sucrose that is to come), but I am going to digress for a moment and talk about simple syrup.

I spend an inordinate amount of time in the summer preparing simple syrup. Yes, I acknowledge I have a sugar addiction - I'm working on it - but I consider simple syrup to be the non-oil answer to compound butter. Mix in some flavorings and it adds an instant boost to any beverage or frozen treat. An old Italian bakery trick is to sprinkle simple syrup between cake layers to keep them moist. The secret to the majority of flavored simple syrups is the lemon zest. Which brings me to my next point...

microplane_zesterSometimes we have a product that really honestly has no equal. One of those products is the Microplane zester. Microplane has a patented laser-cut zesting surface (originally produced for woodworking) that is perfectly angled and never gets dull. I've used so many other zesters and have not yet come across one that removes only the oily aromatic rind of the lemon without any of the pith (ok so a very adept barkeep can make perfect lemon zests with a cheap peeler but that takes a LOT of practice and a perfectly ripe lemon). 

 

This recipe is going to be a bit rough on the measurements because every popsicle mold has a different capacity and because I am not particularly good at recording what I do while I do it. 

  

Cantaloupe Strawberry Popsicles

One Ripe Cantaloupe
5-6 Strawberries, chopped
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
Fresh Mint Leaves
Lemon zest

  1. Combine water, sugar and lemon zest in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves (ie: make simple syrup).
  2. Remove syrup from heat and add mint leaves. Cover and let sit 15 - 30 min.
  3. Strain lemon zest and mint leaves from syrup. Pour into sealable container and put in fridge/freezer to cool (your popsicles will work if the syrup isn't completely chilled, they'll just take longer to freeze). 
  4. Remove fruit from cantaloupe, chop and blend in a blender or food processor. I left mine kind of chunky since cantaloupe is so watery anyway, but you can process to your heart's content.
  5. Add about 1/4 cup of the lemon-mint simple syrup to the cantaloupe mixture - depending on the ripeness of your melon, you may want to add more or less. Remember that freezing makes things taste less sweet (cold numbs your taste buds). Leftover lemon-mint syrup is great in cocktails, homemade soda, and any other kind of frozen treat.
  6. Grab clean popsicles molds. Fill each one with about a tablespoon of the cantaloupe mixture. Add a few pieces of chopped strawberries, then another tablespoon of cantaloupe, and continue to alternate like this until you get to the top of the mold. Resist the urge to just fill the whole thing with strawberries and then pour in cantaloupe from the top - that will leave air bubbles in your popsicles that will turn into holes when they're frozen and make it more difficult to remove the popsicles from the mold whole. 
  7. Pop in your sticks and place your popsicles in the freezer. Freeze for 4-6 hours.

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Products | Recipes

Fridge Pickles

by Gia18. July 2013 15:17

 

I have never been known for my patience. Most of my NC friends think its because I'm a yankee but, really, I just hate to wait. Until I moved south, I had no idea you even could pickle something without the whole canning process (which is still pretty intimidating to me - baby steps folks...). I love this recipe because its so darn simple and changeable, goes well with pretty much anything, and is a majorly impressive thing to bring to a cookout.

Fridge Pickles

3-4 Fresh Medium Cucumbers
1 Medium Onion
1 cup White Vinegar
1/2 - 1 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt
Optional additions: celery salt, mustard seeds, whole peppercorns, garlic cloves, sliced green, hot or banana peppers, really whatever you please...

  1. Slice cucumbers and onion (and peppers if you are using them) into thin slices (see below for my review of the Oxo Hand-Held Mandoline). Drop into a large-ish container with a lid.
  2. Warm vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and salt until they both dissolve.
  3. Remove vinegar mixture from heat. Add spices of your choice (I used celery salt, mustard seeds, whole peppercorns and dehydrated garlic slices).
  4. Pour mixture over sliced vegetables. Toss to cover.
  5. Chill in refrigerator at least 12 hours.

Notes:

Oxo Slicer with Onions

  • It may seem like this is not enough liquid to cover the cucumbers, but they will reduce and sweat while they sit in the fridge.
  • The first time I made this recipe, I used 1 cup of sugar, and it was a bit too sweet for me (I'm not so into sweet pickles), but my partner loved it so go figure. You can totally omit the sugar, or you can use some other kind of sweetener if you're not into sugar (stevia works nicely). Since the cucumbers sweat as they sit, you may also find that the added liquid makes the pickles less sweet over time.
  • If you add garlic, it may turn blue after a day or two in the solution. This is a perfectly normal enzymatic reaction and the garlic and pickles are still safe to eat.

 

I've been eyeing the Oxo Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer for a few months now and finally decided to bring it home and give it a spin. It is the cheapest hand-held mandoline that we carry (with a finger guard) and so I figured it would be a good introduction to the tool.

I am officially enamored! It was super easy to use, super sharp (do not be too proud for the finger guard people!) and stayed put in my hand or on the edge of the bowl, even though both were slippery with cuke juice. I sliced 4 large cucumbers and an onion into thin, even, strips in about 1 minute. I foresee this coming in really handy come casserole season (is there anything worse than one undercooked potato slice in a creamy bite of au gratin?). Move over Santuko, there's a new slicer in town...

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Recipes

Easy Elegance: Sorbet

by Gia5. July 2013 12:45
via flickr: joyosity

 

I'm a big fan of dishes that look really difficult and fancy but are actually absurdly easy. Sorbet is one of those dishes. Even the word sorbet sounds elegant and somehow exotic. Tell someone you're eating frozen sugar water and they'll scoff. Tell them it's sorbet, and they're impressed. Secret tip: they're the same thing!

All you need to make sorbet is water, sugar, and juice (ie: sugar water with vitamins). If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the mixture in a shallow pan and then break up the ice crystals with a fork every so often until the mixture has reached desired consistency (technically this is a granita, and you should use straight sugar instead of simple syrup or it may get kind of gloopy).

 

Do you really need an Ice Cream Maker? 
I have been devoted to ice cream since I was a small child, but I always though an ice cream maker would go the way of the bread machine - I'd use it once, then never again. Then, I received a Donvier Ice Cream Maker as a gift a few years back and whoa was I wrong. Here's the real magic of an ice cream maker: once you know the capacity of the cylinder (mine is 1 qt/4 cups), you can literally put anything into it. No recipe needed. Pick up your favorite juice/sugar water from the store, measure out the needed volume, and in 30 min (ish) you've got a really impressive homemade dessert (for CHEAP). Some tips I've picked up along the way:

  • Keep your cylinder in the freezer (and freeze for at least 24 hours between uses) so that its always ready to use.
  • Chill your liquid mixture for as long as you can, preferably for at least 12 hours, so that it is as cold as it can be when you put it in the cylinder.
  • If you're not using a recipe, add more sugar than you think you'd need. Cold foods desensitize your taste buds so you won't taste half the sugar you put into it once its frozen.
  • The frozen cylinder kind of ice cream maker is instant dinner party/antsy kid entertainment. The mixture sits in the cylinder for 2-5min, then you turn the paddle and scrape off the frozen bits so that more liquid can reach the cold cylinder walls to be frozen, then you scrape that off 2-5min later, and the cycle continues. Put it in the middle of a circle and have folks take turns - make up a game to go with it! The clear top lets you watch the magic unfold and it makes a great conversation piece/learning experience.

Now, getting to the actual inspiration for this post: Lemon Herb Sorbet. I made it for a July 4th potluck last week and hot dog it was delicious. Everyone was impressed, even though they watched me make it! I used rosemary for mine, which was absolutely divine, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you have access to (caveat: choose an herb that will steep well - basil would pair great with lemon but won't steep well so wouldn't be the best choice here). 

 

Lemon Herb Sorbet Recipe

(adapted from Joy of Cooking)

*Adjust water/sugar/lemon according to the capacity of your ice cream maker, if you are using one.

Ingredients:

1.5c Water
1.5c Sugar
4 lemons
Large sprig of Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, or Lavendar

  1. Zest one of the lemons into long strips. Chop the strips into smaller pieces (you will be removing these later, so don't make them too small). 
  2. Combine the water, lemon zest and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (ie: make simple syrup). If you prefer a thicker syrup, let the mixture simmer for longer.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the herb sprig. Cover and let sit for 20-30min (depending on how strong you want the herb flavor to be).
  4. Juice all 4 lemons. Add juice to simple syrup mixture, cover, and let cool in refrigerator (for at least 1 hour - the colder the mixture is, the quicker it will set in the ice cream maker).
  5. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

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Products | Recipes | Tips and Tricks

Favorite Grilling Recipes for the Fourth of July

by matt24. June 2013 15:01

 

Grilled Corn Slaw with Tangy Lime Dressing

Photo: myinvisiblecrown.com

The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner, and Independence Day is also one of the biggest grilling days of the year. Burgers and hotdogs are fine, but here at Kitchenworks we like to spice things up a bit. Whether its Thai grilled chicken wings, a tangy grilled corn slaw, or tilapia grilled in foil pouches, give something new a try at our holiday cookout this year. We'll get you started with some of our favorite grilling recipes and products:

Tilapia in White Wine with Scallions and Thai Basil

photo: greeneatsblog.com

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