Of Interest

//Of Interest

Products that piqued our interest

Super-Premium Gin Tasting Including the Indian Crafted Jaisalmer

This has been the year of super-premium gin, at least with the samples I've received to review.  The gins include McQueen and the Violet Fog, Brockman and the most recent Jaisalmer (pronounced jess-all-mur). McQueen (SRP $40), as I had written, is a complex non-juniper forward gin with a bit of heat, spice, herbal, citrus and herbal notes. Good on the rocks.  Brockman (SRP $40), too, is light on juniper with notes of citrus peel, coriander, blueberries and blackberries. It's made in the United Kingdom. Jaisalmer, the Indian craft gin takes its name from the Golden City, located in the NorthWest of India in the state of Rajasthan (SRP $50). It [...]

By |2019-07-07T12:20:01-04:00July 7th, 2019|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Pressels Compared to Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps

Oddly when the person promoting these new Pressels emailed us, she knew nothing about  — nor seemed interested in learning about — the competition. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, a company that we've written about many times, also offers crunchy and flavorful crisps strong enough for dipping that are also lower in both sodium and fat than traditional pretzels, which is a claim made by Pressels. Specifically, one ounce (about 20 quarter-sized) of the everything variety Pressel  has 120 calories, 2 grams fat (of which 1 gram is saturated) and 210 milligrams sodium compared to the everything variety of Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps (of about eleven  2-x-2 1/2-inch crisps) that have [...]

By |2019-05-13T14:08:03-04:00June 22nd, 2019|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

Bialetti Mini Press, A Portable Stovetop Espresso Maker + Coffee

Walking around the 2019 Preview exhibits of The International Housewares Association I stopped by the Bialetti booth, the Italian cookware and coffee maker company, as I saw the Mini Express. This cute tiny aluminum press is a perfect espresso maker for those with teensy kitchens who don't have space for a large one, or to even take camping! Imagine fresh espresso before fly fishing. This is a 2-cup portable stovetop espresso maker with dual spouts. Meaning it makes two 2-ounce cups of espresso in 5 minutes after filling the lower chamber with water and the metal filter with a favorite espresso grind. The SRP is $34.99 but is available for [...]

Violet Fog, A Special Gin Moscow Mule

An attractively packaged and designed bottle arrived at my doorstep. Inside the thick gold-embossed black box along with the final two stanzas of the poem that inspired the McQueen and the Violet Fog name was a bottle of the eponymous gin. The press materials tout the liquor as "made with an unparalleled 21 sustainable botanicals from around the world, at least six of which are found in no other gin." This Sovereign Brands gin is a small batch one, bottled in Jundiai, Brazil. I decided to make the "Violet Fog" recipe (basically a Moscow Mule) that accompanied the bottle. I first made it with Bombay Saffire, the brand my dad [...]

Moscow Mule Origin + Ayesha Curry Mug Set

In the early 1940s or late 1930 — as the story goes — John Martin then president of G.F. Heublein & Brothers — the company that brought A-1 Steak Sauce to America, purchased a small vodka distillery called Smirnoff for $ 14K. Martin lamented to his friend Jack Morgan, Sunset Strip pub owner that he couldn't move the vodka, while Morgan lamented that his ginger beer was collecting dust. A customer at the pub mentioned that she had copper mugs she no longer wanted. Hence, the birth of the Smirnoff Mule. To make a (now called) Moscow Mule,  I use Pickett's #1 All-Natural Ginger Beer Concentrate. I combine 1 ounce [...]

By |2019-01-20T09:30:50-04:00February 2nd, 2019|Kitchen Counter, Drawer and More|0 Comments

Pasqua Wine Dinner at Rue 57, Midtown, NYC

Was invited to meet Alessandro and Riccardo Pasqua of the eponymous estate near Verona, Italy for dinner at Rue 57 with a few other journalists to sample and learn about their wines. The publicist mentioned that Pasqua ranks among Italy’s top 20 family-owned wineries in terms of value. After experiencing their wines, I concur. Each wine we sampled worked well with food, from the $16-bottle of Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017  to the $100 Mai Dire Mai Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2011. The wine sampled included: Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017 ($16) Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Rosso Veneto IGT 2016/ ($16) [...]

By |2019-01-21T10:19:23-04:00January 20th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Dole Slawesome! Cole Slaw Salad Kits in Three Flavors

According to Dole's press materials, Slawesome! is the "world’s first line of seasoned coleslaw kits." I received three of the four varieties, sampling them for a book club's luncheon at my home. Everyone liked the blends ofmixed cabbages and carrots, with no consensus of which dressing was best. I preferred the slightly spicy Mango Sriracha over the Sweet Apple and Fiesta Lime varieties. These 8.6-ounce complete kits ($2.99) that makes three servings are found in the produce department.

By |2018-10-21T18:41:57-04:00November 18th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

Hilarious Hostess Gift: The Wine Condom

Looking for something that will make your hostess smile? Tuck a Wine Concom into your note that accompanies your gift. I promise a laugh. At least that was the reaction each time I've done so. Having seen an article in Drink Me that wine condoms topped $1 million in sales, we reached out to the company for info and a sample so that I could share that with you. Unlike corks or pourer caps, wine condoms — as you'd expect from their name — fit flush against the bottle, preventing spills and allowing the bottle to fit in the fridge. You can buy this on-the-go protection in packages of six for $15, [...]

By |2018-10-15T09:15:14-04:00October 15th, 2018|Just For Fun, Products|0 Comments

Manhattan’s Only Distillery – Our/New York and Bar

I recently joined Untapped Cities, as some friends and I wanted to do one of their events. We figured for $10 a month, we'd try it out. Through them, I attended a tour and vodka tasting at Our/New York, which opened in May. This small-batch, micro-distillery Manhattan’s first since Prohibition. It is part of Pernod Ricard, the French-based wine and spirits company. Before the tour, we tried their too sweet for me Excelsior '64 cocktail made from their vodka, lavender, elderflower and sparkling wine. I was happier with the straight vodka we tried after learning how it was made. OUR/New York is not only a distillery, it's also a bar [...]

By |2018-08-13T17:52:11-04:00September 13th, 2018|City Bites, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Terra Chips made with Avocado Oil

Those who like Terra's real vegetable chips would be interested to know they just introduced two varieties cooked in avocado oil, a healthy fat. These new sweet potato chips come in two flavors — sweet chipotle and a sweets medley with batata (Cuban sweet potato ), sweet potato and purple sweet potato chips seasoned with Sel Gris (a French sea salt). A 5-ounce bag costs $3.49-3.79. A one-ounce serving of these two new chips contains 140 calories, 6 to 7 grams fat (of which 0.5 to 1 gram is saturated), 2 grams fiber and 105 to 140 milligrams sodium. I wouldn't buy these, as when I indulge in chips, it's because [...]

By |2019-04-26T12:56:12-04:00May 15th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

Bono Organic Blood Orange Marmalade

Returning to Sicily this month, I had a special interest in tasting Bono's organic Blood Orange Marmalade made from only fresh Sicilian blood oranges. It's not too sweet with the flavor of the eponymous citrus fruit. One tablespoon of this Sicilian blood orange marmalade with rind contains 30 calories; a 12.4-ounce jar sells for $4.99 to $5.99. To find a store near you that sells it, click here for a product locator.

By |2018-04-04T09:10:05-04:00April 6th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|0 Comments

Loi Dips

My friend and fellow Dame — a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier — Chef Maria Loi has created a line of four fresh ready-to-serve dips, ones that she serves as starters at Loi Estiatorio (her NYC restaurant NYC on west 58th) and that follow the principals of her book, The Greek Diet. I put these out at a brunch recently with veggies for dipping and asked my guests to choose their favorite. The top choice was the pougi with feta, a dip made with Greek yogurt, feta, olive oil, and a little bit of spice. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 70 calories, 7 grams fat (of which 3 are saturated) and 170 mg sodium. Tied [...]

By |2018-03-14T10:45:54-04:00March 16th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|0 Comments

Hutzler Cheese Saver

What should you do with leftover cheese? Wrap in plastic? Wax paper? Aluminum foil?  Cloth? I generally use waxed paper -- as it breathes a bit more than the others. The inexpensive ($10) yellow-plastic Hutzler Cheese Saver is worth a try, especially if you're a cheese lover, like me. I found that for the most part, my cheeses stayed fresh longer, as it also allows them to breathe. To use it,  place a moist paper towel beneath the perforated plastic shelf and put the cheese on it. The cheese does stay fresh longer, whether hard or soft.    

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups come in a ready-to-eat snack cup with cheesecake on one side and one of four toppings on the other side. The cheesecake cups are free of artificial flavors or dyes. Each 3.25-ounce serving contains 170 to 220 calories, 6 to 7 grams saturated fat (of 10 to 12 grams total), 190 to 310 milligrams sodium and 2 to 3 grams protein. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My kids love these and they make a great addition to their lunch box for a special treat. They are about 40% lower in total fat than a regular piece of cheesecake with 10 to 12 grams per [...]

By |2017-09-04T21:41:05-04:00September 4th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Planet Fuel Organic Juices

Planet Fuel Organic Juices, available with Cherry Lemonade, Apple Grape or Pear Lime flavors, are made without refined sugars, preservatives and artificial flavors. The juices are mixed with water to lower the sugar content and are offered in 10-ounce aluminum cans, which are bigger than usual juice boxes/pouches. Each 10-ounce serving contains 80 to 100 calories and 17 to 24 grams sugar. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My kids really enjoyed the juices. They are bigger than usual juice boxes/pouches, 10 ounces compared to 6 ounces, which makes them just the right size for my 7- and 10-year-old and they do not contain any high fructose corn [...]

By |2017-09-02T14:48:35-04:00August 25th, 2017|Food & Drinks, Of Interest|0 Comments

Sabatier Edgekeeper Forged Knives with Self-Sharpening Sheaths

Sabatier Edgekeeper Forged Knives come with Self-Sharpening Sheaths, offering a solution to the top consumer complaint about cutlery: dull knives. Each knife features a built-in sharpener that, not only protects the blade during storage, but also  hones the blade’s edge every time it's used. Save Save

By |2017-08-31T15:41:19-04:00August 2nd, 2017|Kitchen Counter, Drawer and More|1 Comment

Dave’s Killer Bread Bagels

Dave’s Killer Bread introduced a new line of organic bagels that are vegan, Non-GMO verified and available in three varieties: Plain Awesome, Epic Everything and Cinnamon Raisin Remix. Each bagel contains 260 to 270 calories, 0 to 0.5 grams saturated fat (of 2.5 to 6 grams total), 380 to 400 milligrams sodium and 11 grams protein. The Epic Everything is a good source of fiber with 3 grams a serving and together with the Plain Awesome a good source of iron with 10%. - bonnie: Sorry Dave, these are not bagels, other than their shape, at least not to anyone who's had a New York bagel. As breadstuff, these are [...]

By |2017-09-01T17:07:01-04:00July 23rd, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Invivo Sauvignon Blanc

Those of us who like the 100% Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region of New Zealand will like the new Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014. Like the others, it has a tropical nose with a minerality classic to that region. The reasonably priced Invivo Sparkling does display all the classic Marlborough Sauvignon blanc characters of tropical fruits and sweet herbs with a great finish.

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00July 17th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Bellion Specialty Vodka

Bellion Specialty Vodka is created with "NTX Technology", a patented blend of natural, FDA approved ingredients including glycyrrhizin - licorice root extract, manna sugar and potassium sorbate; when infused into alcohol, it protects the liver and DNA. The Vodka is six times distilled, carbon filtered and tastes slightly sweet, smooth and silky. - bonnie: Although it's purportedly better for me, as vodka drinker I find this libation to have an off flavor.  BonnieBOTB Follow @BonnieBOTB   Save

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00June 19th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Bananawave Bananamilk

Bananawave bananamilk is a plant-based, non-dairy beverage made from bananas and soy beans. It is derived from an African recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. Each cup contains 150 calories, 1 grams saturated fat (of 5 grams total), 125 milligrams sodium and 4 grams protein. It is a good source of vitamin A with 10% and an excellent source of  calcium, riboflavin and vitamins C, D, E and B12. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My daughter loves the banana milk, especially on cereal. It is a great alternative to cow's milk with a rich banana flavor and additional vitamins. Save

By |2017-09-01T17:08:42-04:00June 12th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments