News & Random FUN!!
We love to add new exciting items to our stores because we feel like our fabulous customers deserve wonderful surprises every time you enter our store! Recently we did a survey and asked, what you would like to see? The overwhelming responses were Cooking Classes...check.. and gourmet foods...check! While some of the items featured above have not quite hit our website, they will in the near future and you are ALWAYS welcome to call and place an order or pop on in!
Staying within your Christmas shopping budget can be tough so we've compiled a list of gift ideas that will make any cook happy without costing an arm and a leg. The best part is that all of these items are available now at any Ladles & Linens location making for quick and easy last minute shopping.
Gifts for Breakfast Lovers
The Butter Boat keeps butter cool and fresh outside of the refrigerator!
This fantastic honey or syrup dispenser is cleverly designed to keep sticky messes contained within it's base!
Keep bacon from curling up with this cast iron bacon press.
Cuisipro's ergonomically designed citrus juicer is perfect for making freshly squeezed orange juice!
Make the perfect omelet with this specially designed flip and fold omelet turner.
A must have for any grapefruit lover, these serrated spoons make it easy to get the most out of every bite!
Gifts for Bakers
Pies birds keep pies from bubbling over which means a much prettier looking pie!
Forget the tin foil, a silicone pie crust protector is much more effective and less messy to use.
Vanilla bean paste can be used in place of vanilla extract for ice cream and cookies that look best with specks of the vanilla bean!
Cookie presses make professional looking cookies and are fun to use!
Fresh ground nuts the old fashioned way!
Adorable looking and useful nesting measuring cups in the fun shape of matryoshka dolls!
Gifts for The Every Day Cook
This long and thin shaped grater is perfect for grating hard cheeses, chocolate, and nutmeg and cinnamon.
Quickly and easily shred herbs such as basil, cilantro, dill and more with these 8-bladed herb scissors.
Grate a good amount of hard cheese in a short amount of time with this rotary cheese grater.
Every cook needs a mortar and pestle. This grey marble version is both beautiful and functional.
This versatile box grater offers fine, coarse, and ribbon grating options as well as a spice grinder.
This cleverly designed silicone ring stops rice, potatoes, and pasta from boiling over while still making it easy to stir.
This 3-in-1 avocado tool cuts, slices, and cores the avocado in three easy steps.
These are just a few of the many inexpensive but useful and fun gifts available at Ladles & Linens. Make your friends and family happy by giving them gifts they will use all year round. Visit us today!
If you're a perfectionist like myself you seriously need to get a cookie press. They will completely satisfy your need to create flawlessly shaped cookies, trust me! As far as I know, a cookie press is the only way to make a classic spritz cookie and the only way to make me happy when it comes to impressing my coworkers with fantastic looking cookies!
Obviously I want the cookies to taste as good as they look which is where a classic spritz cookie recipe comes in. Make sure to look for one that has cardamom in it! Or to save time, just use my favorite recipe!
Classic Spritz Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
Sprinkles and colored sugar for decorating
NOTE: for solid red and/or green cookies add food coloring to the dough
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Cream at medium-high speed until light colored and fluffy.
Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in egg, vanilla, cardamom and salt. Then add flour until well-mixed.
Grab a handful of the dough and roll it into a thick snake shape, pack into the barrel of the cookie press and fit press with desired disk design. Press trigger until dough is packed in and no air pockets exist in barrel.
To make cookies, hold cookie press perpendicular to an ungreased cookie sheet with the end of the press touching the cookie sheet. Press the trigger once, remove press and repeat for each cookie—spacing them about 1″ apart.
Decorate with sprinkles and then bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until edges of cookies just barely begin to brown. Let cool for 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
Check out the variety of cookies you can make with a cookie press! And because they look so pretty, they make a wonderful gift too. Just put them in a clear cello bag and tie it closed with a festive ribbon and voila!
Pick up a cookie press at any Ladles & Linens locations or purchase one here:
We all love traditional pasta, but lately we’ve noticed a whole new breed of noodles. We aren’t talking about rice, corn or quinoa “pasta” but rather spiralized vegetables. The Spiralizer is an inexpensive tool that turns fresh veggies into faux noodles or ZOODLES. They aren’t just for those avoiding carbs, everyone from home cooks to professional chefs are spiralizing. At Ladles and Linens we carry the Paderno Spiralizer and LOVE IT!
Chefs who have mountains of chopping and slicing to power through, have a lot to love in the Spiralizer. “It made boring jobs a lot quicker and easier,” one grateful chef said while another home cook praised it for it's versatility: "you can take almost any vegetable and turn it into noodles which allows me to enjoy my "pasta" by making it healthy. This product literally does all the work for you- you simply turn the wheel and watch your noodles pop out."
Bloggers all over the world are going nuts with Spiralizer recommendations and new found uses. Sweet Potatoes, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Beets, Squash, Apples, Fall Cabbage...all of these and more will make great side dishes when you use your own Paderno Spiralizer. Voted Best Spiralizer by COOKS Illustrated, the Paderno makes it easy to eat your veggies and fruits!
Priced at $29.95 it's the best kitchen gadget you can own right now!
Sweet Potatoes are so good, as well as good for you, so try this delicious new way to serve (and eat) them!
Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce
(Recipe from the Pinch of Yum Blog)
- 1 cup cashews
- ¾ cup water (more for soaking)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 large sweet potatoes, spiralized
- 2 cups baby spinach
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, chives, or other herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for drizzling
- Cover the cashews with water in a bowl and soak for 2 hours or so.
- Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor or blender (I got better texture with the blender) and add the ¾ cup water, salt, and garlic. Puree until very smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes; toss in the pan for 6-7 minutes with tongs until tender-crisp. Remove from heat and toss in the spinach - it should wilt pretty quickly.
- Add half of the herbs and half of the sauce to the pan and toss to combine. Add water if the mixture is too sticky. Season generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the remaining fresh herbs.
This recipe makes MORE than enough sauce - enough for at least 6 or 8 servings, if not more. I left the amounts that way because it seemed silly to make the sauce with only about ½ cup of cashews - it wouldn't even really be enough to get going around in the blender, and I promise you'll be able to find ways to use the remaining sauce. It's extremely versatile.
The biggest thing that affects how many servings you'll get in this recipe is the size of the sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that they will cook down a bit and one large sweet potato can be sometimes twice as big as a small sweet potato. Just use common sense in terms of serving size and sauce-to-noodles ratios! :)
Also, this recipe is sort of a comforting, neutral starting point for those of us who need tons of flavor in everything - so add whatever herbs or flavors you want to the sauce if you want to give it more of a punch. I love the idea of adding chipotles or sriracha, bacon, roasted garlic, caramelized onion... the list could go on and on!
Trez is the Manager of our Lexington Store and every time a new Cook's Illustrated article comes out she is the first one to devour it word for word. We look forward to her “reviews” of the reviews as it helps us to do our jobs better and keep our customers in the know. Here is her latest installment…
Which Food Processor took top marks (again)?
It’s the Cuisinart Custom 14-cup Food Processor! A food processor is essential for kneading dough, cutting butter into pastry, and grinding meat. With a powerful motor, responsive pulsing action, and sharp blades, this model effortlessly handles these tasks. It also chops, slices, and shreds neatly and with ease.
Top Immersion Blenders
Our very own KitchenAid 3-speed Hand Blender received top marks! An immersion blender is a great backup to a traditional blender, saving time, effort and cleanup. Soups can be pureed right in the pot, and small jobs like blending vinaigrette or even whipping cream take mere seconds. This model is comfortable and simple to use as well as tough and durable.
Top Spice/Coffee Grinders
Krups Fast-Touch Coffee Mill (only $19.99!) – this model produces an exceptionally fine, uniform grind and easily pulverizes spices of varying hardness, density, and shape. What’s more, it is easy to fill and use. If you grind coffee beans regularly we advise buying two mills and using one exclusively for coffee and one for spices.
Top Ice Cream Makers
Top Hand Mixers
KitchenAid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer (KHM512) – This handheld mixer is perfect for every day light tasks. Don't worry about pulling out your stand mixer if all you need to do is whip 1/2 cup of cream! This model is light, maneuverable, and efficient.
Top Digital Kitchen Scales
Highly Recommended – OXO Food Scale with Pull Out Display. Our longtime favorite scale has it all: consistent accuracy; a clear digital display (which pulls out from the frame and includes a backlight); responsive, clearly labeled, accessible buttons; a removable platform that makes cleanup a breeze; and a sturdy, slim body that stores easily. (Note, they really LOVE the 11 lb, we carry the 5 lb model)
The days are getting shorter, cooler, and our gardens are starting to slow down on the greens but now comes the bounty of Fall. We are fortunate that our very own Suzanne Mayerchak (District Manager of Walkabout Outfitter) uses Tina and Kirk Miller's (owners of both Walkabout and Ladles and Linens) home grown pumpkins to make her special pumpkin bread each year as gifts to friends and family.
This year, I sat down with her to get the scoop on how she preps the fresh pumpkin because so many people think it’s too hard and they just open up a can. As you will see this is easy and it's so much better for you. Tina and Kirk had a bumper crop of pumpkins this year so the prep started early for Suz. We thought you’d like to know how she does it so we asked her to document her process for us.
First, she cleans each pumpkin, slices down the center and cleans out the seeds and pulp making sure to save the seeds for roasting later.
Then she takes a USA Pan brand baking sheet, (because they are the best! Click HERE to purchase) and places the two sides of the pumpkin face down on the sheet. She bakes them slowly at 350 degrees for about an hour up to an hour and a half until soft to touch. When they are done she scoops out the cooked pumpkin and places it in her food processor.
Next she puree’s the cooked pumpkin into a nice smooth consistency and then divides the pumpkin into pre-measured amounts and puts it into zip lock bags and then into the freezer. Now when she is ready to make her famous bread she just thaws out her fresh pumpkin puree and adds it to her secret bread recipe!
Stay tuned for the secret recipe! :)
The Himalayan pink salt block is catching on and for good reason. Not only do these colorful prehistoric crystals make healthier, tastier and more interesting meals, they’re also pretty to look at!
Cooking on a salt plate naturally adds the incredible health benefits of Himalayan pink salt into your food. Such benefits include balancing your body's pH, stabilizing hydration levels, improving digestion and reducing acid reflux.
This plate is sourced from natural salt deposits found in the Himalayas. The dense crystalline composition adds complex flavor to all types of food. Heat on the grill to sear seafood and meat, or chill for serving a selection of fruits, vegetables and cheeses with just a hint of salt.
Serve moist food on it, such as mozzarella and watermelon, and the food will pick up a delicate saltiness that sets it off perfectly.
Heat the salt plate on the stove or grill then set the hot block on a trivet at the table to sear scallops or thinly sliced steak while seated with your guests. They will be so impressed!
- Wash arugula and spin dry with our favorite salad spinner (see below) and place into a large salad bowl.
- Mix dressing by whisking all vinaigrette ingredients together.
- Wash asparagus, snap off woody stems and carefully peel into ribbons.
- Using our favorite vegetable peeler, (see below) create ribbons by peeling from the bottom of the stalk and moving upward toward the tip.
- Toast pine nuts in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir and toast until golden brown.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmigiano Reggiano into thin ribbons.
- Add all ingredients to salad bowl, toss with vinaigrette and marinate for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Fresh fruit, such as 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon, 6 cups cubed honeydew melon, 6 cups cubed cantaloupe, 6 cups cubed mango, or 4 1/4 cups raspberries
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse salt
- Sparkling water (made from your Sodastream machine!)
Put sugar and 1 cup water into a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
Puree fruit, syrup, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes (up to 2 days).
To serve, fill 8 medium glasses with ice; pour 1/2 cup puree into each glass, and top off with sparkling water. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Are you making the most out of your stand mixers' versatility? They are life savers when it comes to making cookies, breads, and pizza dough, but they can can do so much more! Check out just a few of the tasks these heavy hitters can tackle if given the opportunity:
Natural ice cream without all of the gum products can be made at home with no fuss with the ice cream maker attachment!
Make pasta noodles including spaghetti, ravioli, and egg noodles quickly and easily with the pasta maker attachment set.
Move over mandolins, this food processor attachment makes quick work of slicing & dicing large quantities of vegetables.
The grinder attachment can produce wholesome whole grain flours for your baking endeavors!
Impress your friends with homemade sausage with this inexpensive attachment.
Make fresh orange, grapefruit, and lemon juice quickly and easily!
This strainer attachment is great for making certain types of baby food or preparing your ingredients for canning or making jellies.
Nutrients are made available quickly and easily from fruits and vegetables with this slow masticating juicer attachment.
Quickly chop up vegetables and shred cheese with this slicer/shredder attachment.
So don't be afraid to take your stand mixer to the next level! And as an added bonus, think of all the counter space you'll free up by using attachments rather than having a separate appliance for each task. Personally my favorite is the citrus juicer attachment. Nothing beats fresh juice in the morning. :)