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Leftovers

Leftovers

Thanksgiving in our house means turkey for days (in a good way). There’s always so much food and it’s all so good. I look forward to the leftovers and eating a turkey feast for lunch, in my kitchen, with much less pomp and circumstance.

The Plan B Containers are an easy way to divvy up leftovers for all of your guests. They're perfect for transport and you don't have to worry about tracking down your containers post holiday. I put portions of turkey, potatoes, and veggies all in one. For gravy and cranberry sauce I use the small Clear Plastic Containers – since everyone likes to add their own. I think I may put together a ‘leftover mash-up’ by layering turkey, potatoes, stuffing, corn, and gravy (so good!).

I love to use the Wrap‘n Snap to help store leftovers. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. It looked like there was a lot to it, and off-the-roll plastic wrap seemed simpler. NO WAY! Now I use it nearly every day and on occasions like Thanksgiving, it’s a lifesaver. No more frustration or time spent trying to keep the plastic from bunching up and then unbunching it. Just pull out the plastic film (I use Stretch-Tite, it's Ina's favorite), close the lid, and release. I use it to wrap leftovers right in the bowl and keep food fresh while in the fridge or waiting to be served. The cutting blade isn’t exposed so I let me kids use it to wrap up avocados or fruit. It’s easy, and even kind of fun. And when I don't need it, I store it in a drawer under my counter for easy access.

We took a few photos to show how simple it is.

--Cassandra

 

 

 

 

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Ina's Coconut Macaroons

Ina's Coconut Macaroons

I wanted to make a sweet treat this week and my mom suggested Ina’s Coconut Macaroons (Family Style). They’re easy and delicious – especially if you are a coconut lover like me.

I made a batch and put together a few bags to give out to friends – I even gave one to our super appreciative delivery guy. Lucky for him, he arrived just as I was bagging them up!

Here are a couple of my tips: 

I used the 1.6" stainless steel scoop to the get the macaroons just right on the baking sheet. I tried not to let too much of the coconut mixture spread outside of the scoop, so they stayed in mounds without a lot of excess spreading on the baking sheet.

Use an oven thermometer to get the correct oven temperature. Don’t rely on your oven sensors - ovens can run 25-50 degrees off. (I have two ovens and neither of them keep the temperature I set. One reads 350, but rarely ever gets there and my other is usually 50 degrees cooler than the oven reading.) Baking at the correct temperature will allow the macaroons to brown without burning. 

Here’s the recipe:

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve (or place in glassine bags for your friends!).

Sweetened coconut is sometimes called "flaked coconut."

These cookies will stay fresh for a few days if they are wrapped and left at room temperature.

- Cassandra

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Table Setting with White Dinnerware

October seems to be flying by and I'm starting to get excited (and slightly overwhelmed) that Thanksgiving is almost here (33 days!). I love having my family together and of course, I love cooking up a feast (at least part of it). This year, I'm happy to say that I will be setting my table with our white dinnerware. And I love it.

We searched far and wide to find a simple, beautiful product line that would hold up to daily wear while maintaining its simple charm. We decided on Pillivuyt Porcelain, made in France. FRANCE! So they may look delicate, but they're sturdy. I use them in my microwave and my oven. They're freezer safe as well (I haven't yet had a need to put a dish in the freezer). Yes, they are more expensive than some of the popular lines from home good or department stores but let me tell you, they are worth every penny. Unlike my previous dinnerware, no chips. And the look is timeless and classic - they're both my formal dinnerware and my everyday settings - and they coordinate with other patterned pieces for any look or occasion.

For special occasions, I've been adding different pieces from the Hotel Silver Collection. So far I've used the pitcher for flowers and serving spoons, and I've used the footed bowls for nuts and dried fruit as well as decorative elements (to add color).

While I was visiting Cassandra a few weeks ago, I took these quick photos to show how the dinnerware looks paired with just a few items (and a couple stems of gorgeous hydrangea). Simple, beautiful, and elegant without being uninviting or stark.

 -Cindy

 

 

 

 

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5-Piece Baking Package

5-Piece Baking Package

When I think of baking, my mind automatically jumps to Ina’s Outrageous Brownie recipe. It’s one of my favorites and it works so well with my half sheet pan (the perfectly precut parchment baking sheet is a MUST have for this recipe). The half sheet pan and cooling rack are great for baking cookies (Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, anyone?) and evenly roasting all types of veggies. But honestly, the thing I bake most often is bacon.

I’ve been using my cooling rack and half sheet pans to prepare bacon for a while now. It’s simple, less messy, and a great time-saver for when I have guests for breakfast (like during a 3-day holiday weekend). I preheat my oven to 400 degrees, line the half sheet pan with foil, set the cooling rack on top, and put the strips of bacon directly on the rack. I bake it for about 20 minutes - until crispy. After removing the pan from the oven, I usually dab each piece of bacon with a paper towel to soak up any excess grease (most of the mess drips below the cooling rack). Voila, crispy bacon. And I get to sit and drink coffee instead of standing over my stove avoiding grease.

In honor of the Columbus Day weekend (and breakfast guests), we're offering the 5-Piece Professional Baking Package for 20% Off. Package includes: Half Sheet Pan, Quarter Sheet Pan, Cross Wire Cooling Rack, Pan Cover, and Parchment Baking Sheets. Available October 10th - 12th. 

-Cassandra

 

 

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Fresh Juice and Homemade Applesauce

Over the summer I found myself using our All-Citrus Juicer over and over again. (I just couldn’t get enough of these fresh margaritas.) And the juicer is so fun to use and easy to clean that I found myself adding fresh juice to everything!

So…I decided to search out some seasonal recipes that included fresh citrus, and I came across this one for Ina’s Homemade Applesauce. It’s perfect for this time of year, when apples are the most delicious.  Enjoy!

Cassandra-

 

Ingredients:

Zest and juice of 2 large navel oranges

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 pounds Granny Smith apples (6 to 8 apples)

3 pounds sweet red apples, such as Macoun, McIntosh, or Winesap (6 to 8 apples)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 pound unsalted butter

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and toss them in the juice. Pour the apples and juice into a non-reactive Dutch oven or enameled iron pot. Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and allspice and cover the pot. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until all the apples are soft. Mix with a whisk until smooth. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Container Sale - 20% Off, September 25th-28th

Autumn is here which means cold-weather meals and holiday cooking are just around the corner…it also means it’s time for the Annual Container Sale.

Our Clear Plastic Containers are Ina’s favorite for storing and freezing her delicious chicken stock (featured in Family Style). They are dishwasher/microwave safe and BPA free. Simple and sturdy, I use them for everything from storing leftovers and baking ingredients (and candy!) to organizing my office supplies.

Next up…Plan B Aluminum Containers. These containers live up to their name as they have saved me, and my dinner table, on multiple occasions. For the most part, I use these for make-ahead dinners, but I’ve also had the opportunity to share meals with friends – these are great for transporting, the lids stay put and I don’t have to worry about tracking down my bakeware afterward! For the winter, I’m going to take inspiration from Make It Ahead and stock my freezer with deliciousness.

And of course, the Chinese Takeout Containers. They make even leftovers special (Thanksgiving anyone?). I love to use these for kids’ treats and desserts - cookies and brownies work well. They’d also be fun containers for an easy fall picnic in the park.

All three of our containers are featured on Ina’s Easy Tips and with 20% Off, you don’t want to miss out on these kitchen staples. Use code CONTAINER20.

 - Cassandra

 

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Herbal Iced Tea!

I’ve been serving Ina Garten’s Herbal Iced Tea for years at every event I host. My guests are always pleasantly surprised at how delicious it tastes. You can serve it year round, but it is particularly refreshing during the summer months. I had a difficult time finding a pitcher that would hold 8 cups of liquid, but was thrilled when I found this heavy duty 8 Cup Measure for making the Herbal Iced Tea. This pitcher is also great for mixing cocktails or for measuring chicken stock. Surprise your guests this Labor Day weekend with this refreshing recipe!

 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herbal-iced-tea-recipe.html

 

- Cassandra

 

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Laura's Cakes!

I first Met Laura a few years ago when she began lifeguarding at our local ocean beach in Amagansett. At 18 she was a high school senior, a member of the high school swim team, a volunteer EMT first responder for the Amagansett volunteer ambulance, a teacher of CPR/AED/First Aid courses... Oh, and headed to Cornell to major in Animal Science at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Did I mention she was 18?? ....You can imagine my surprise when on top of all of this, she shows up at the beach one day with a gorgeous cake for her friend, and fellow lifeguard, Kelly. It turns out she also bakes. And not just bake... she BAKES. And decorates like a pro! Later that day, I called Cassandra to tell her about Laura and her cake and she informed me that she used to babysit for Laura when she was just a baby! Small world!

We are donating some of our favorite tools for her kitchen collection: Stainless Steel Icing SpatulasPastry Decorating Set - 3 pcAssorted Pastry Tube Set - 6 pcPlastic Coated 12" Decorating BagWhite Baking CupsParchment Baking SheetsNielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla ExtractPremium Vanilla Beans. Maybe she will surprise us with another cake or cupcakes or pie or cake or cupcake or cake or cake...

Cintia-

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Laura will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro! She has joined Operation Fistula and will climb with Mountains for Moms to raise awareness about Obstetric Fistula, a terrible injury that is effecting women in Africa. Visit her page if you would like to donate or learn more about this condition and how you can raise awareness.

 

Laura & Cintia

  

  

Wedding cake

 

Cassandra's Kitchen kitchen baking tools

 

Kelly's birthday cake

 

Beach cupcakes

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