Peanut butter and jelly. Maple and bacon. Cinnamon and Sugar. Pumpkin and Spice. Flavors are just often better paired, and successful pairings seem to spread through recipes, parties, and restaurants like wildfire.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the International Food Bloggers Conference, and among the amazing tips and techniques I picked up during demos, panels, and events, I noticed a new popular pairing in the making. During a demo at the Sur La Table test kitchen, the chef made a delicious kale and walnut pesto. I had never had a pesto that wasn’t the traditional basil and pine nut mixture, and I loved it. (I’m actually looking forward to making it myself soon!) From there, I headed to a meet and greet with Lesley Stowe (the creator of Raincoast Crisps), and we found out about her newest product, Raincoast Flats. The starting flavors? Lemon & Fennel and Kale & Walnut. I spoke with Lesley a bit about her process of finding the right flavors and pairings for her products, and she told me that when you find the right mix, you just know. It’s perfect.
It seems Lesley and others have stumbled upon a new perfect pairing: Kale and walnut. I wouldn’t have thought of the combo myself, but I absolutely love it. If you want to try it yourself, start with Lesley’s new flatbreads. (I believe you’ll be able to find them in Whole Foods starting in October!) I’d top the Kale and Walnut flatbread with a lightly dressed salad, some pesto, or some hummus. Kale and walnut not your thing? The Lemon and Fennel flavor would be FANTASTIC with a nice olive tapenade.
What do you think about kale and walnut? And what are some of your favorite food/flavor pairings?
I swear, Sriracha and Pumpkin Spice are neck and neck in the race for most popular flavor. Stick either on a food item or in a drink and people will give you ALL the money. The proof? The Spicy Sriracha Cosmos Creations. The “premium puffed corn” is a delicious (and fairly addictive) snack on its own, but the Sriracha flavor just kicks it up to a prime snack option for your next game night/Netflix marathon.
I’m not into super spicy food, and even I can appreciate the flavor of this snack. It’s spicy and garlicky, and leaves a bit of fire on the tongue after eating. The best part? Unlike a lot of other chips/snacks, Cosmos Creations uses ingredients you can pronounce, and is gluten and trans-fat free.
You can pick up a bag for yourself and (check out the other flavors if Sriracha’s not your thing) at cosmoscreations.com!
When baking, I often spend a lot of time decorating the goodies, and don’t end up leaving enough time to decorate myself. Many parties and weddings have had me running around minutes before everything began, trying to throw on something not covered in flour and icing. But with ShoeBakery, I don’t need to worry about that. I can wear some AMAZING shoes to match my baked goods, and all eyes will be on my feet. More of an ice cream-lover? They’ve got you covered as well. I think the ice cream flats would be my go-to summer shoe.
I love their heels and wedges for fancy-yet-fun occasions, and I NEED the Pink Sprinkle Flats in my life for when I take my Geeky Sprinkles to conventions and trade shows.
See them all at shoebakery.com. Would you wear cake and ice cream inspired shoes? And which one are you craving the most?
Hat Tip: CakeSpy
You’ll be able to dine like the doctor with this fantastic new set of sonic screwdriver cutlery. The silverware is available from Entertainment Earth starting in November, but you can pre-order it now. The cutlery is $29.99 for a set of 3 (a fork, knife, and a spoon). Make sure you grab multiple sets so you have enough for you and your companion(s)!
Will you be picking up these Doctor who-themed tools? Do you have any Doctor Who decor in your kitchen?
Yo Ho Landlubbers, Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Me hopes you be celebratin’ with yer fave outfits, rums, and Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but if ya fergot to make plans, this could help.
Dock up to any Krispy Kreme today and talk like a Pirate for a free original glazed donut. Wear your best pirate garb and walk away with a dozen! (They’ve even got some tips and printables to get you started on their site.)
Not near a Krispy Kreme? Celebrate by making a batch of my Pirate Rum Cupcakes.
What will ye be doin’ to celebrate today?
Did you know there was a group called “The Surge Movement“? And did you know that they accomplished their goal of getting Coca-Cola to bring back SURGE?
The citrus soda, Coca-Cola’s answer to Mountain Dew, is back in 16 oz. cans on Amazon.com only. Whether you want to relive your childhood or just want a “surge” of caffeine, you’ve gotta get this quick. It looks like the first set already sold out, but hopefully they’ll restock soon.
Find Surge on Amazon.com.
I was contacted by Lesley Stowe Fine Foods recently, and they wanted me to try out her Raincoast Crisps, a delicious cracker that comes in a variety of natural flavors. They looked so rustic and natural, but also fancy–I thought it would be the perfect thing for the Fairy Tale-inspired party I wanted to throw.
I wanted the vibe of the party to be fancy, yet whimsical. Rustic, yet magical. The type of party where you and your friends wear flowy dresses and wings and spend your time talking and singing while making flower crowns and small, delicious meals.
I wanted to showcase the raincoast crisps and create some fun pairings. These included:
Original Raincoast Crisps with white cheddar, prosciutto, and spinach
Cranberry and Hazelnut Crisps with brie, honey, and a thin slice of a honey crisp apple
Oat and Rosemary Raisin Crisps–these were put out for those who wanted to try another flavor on its own, or for the gluten free folks. (I love that some of the crisps are gluten free and nut free!)
I was concerned about finding fancy enough pairings for these crackers, but the ones I put together were actually very simple, and quite delicious! The original crisps acted like mini sandwiches with the spinach, cheese, and meat, and the cranberry crisps were sweet and refreshing with the brie, honey, and apple. I paired the snacks with loose leaf tea (because it was gorgeous and matched the tone of the party) and a pale ale (which Lesley Stowe recommends pairing with the Cranberry Hazelnut and Rosemary Raisin crisps).
As mentioned above, I wanted to keep the atmosphere “rustic yet whimsical.” I decided to work with woods, greenery, and metallics for that magical touch. The greenery and table decor was accented with fairy tale books.
I purchased a light-up twig garland to place around the main dish, and placed candles around for a bit of extra twinkle. Silverware sets were tied up with some greenery and twine. (Plus, look at the silverware! Silver twigs! I’m obsessed.)
You don’t have to spend a lot on flowers–a lot of baby’s breath can look really cool (and adds to the fairy feel). All of the flowers on the table were purchased for less than $10–just buy the items florists usually use as filler.
You can also use leafy greens and vegetables as decor in place of your flowers. This bunch of spinach wrapped in twine cost me less than $1.
And, of course, show off your fairy tale collection. It’s decor and entertainment in one!
As mentioned above, you can share your favorite fairy tales at the party. But here are a few more activity ideas to pair with your beautiful table full of food:
- Host a creative writing session where everyone needs to create their own take on a classic fairy tale
- Play “Werewolf“
- Make fairy wings and flower crowns
- Marathon your favorite fairy tale movies
- Host a “Once Upon a Time” or “Grimm” premiere party
What would you include in your Fairy Tale-themed party? And have you tried Raincoast Crisps? (Be on the lookout for more info from them as I meet Lesley Stowe in person in a week!)
I was provided compensation and product in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts, opinions, and ideas are my own.
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Temporary tattoos have a magical way of making every party more fun. They instantly turn adults into kids, giddy over which design they’ll wear. And while the cheap ones you can get from 25 cent machines or party stores are fun, they’re not necessarily something you can wear around the next day. Dottinghill, however, comes to the rescue with fun, quirky, geeky tattoo options that are all beautifully designed. They sent me some over the summer, and I’ve been taking them to parties and on road trips, making my friends model the tattoos for me. (Thank you Jenn, Joe, Justin, Kina, Meagan, and Liz!)
People can submit and vote on designs that will be turned into temporary tattoos on usa.Dottinghill.com, which results in a collection of tattoos that will make any geek, fashionista, or graphic designer swoon. The tattoos themselves range from $3-6 per sheet (with multiple tattoos on most of the sheets). They’re great for a party, photo shoot, or any time you want to try out a new tattoo.
Want to place an order? Use promo code “GeekyHostess” for 15% off an order of $15 or more!
Which of their designs do you love? (I’m obsessed with the “Love Life Bar” design, as seen above–you can cut out the individual hearts and make your own life bar!) Will you be sporting a temporary tattoo anytime soon?
Sure, baking is a science, but do you know exactly what’s happening to make your delicious baked goods? Check out this Ted Ed video to find out!
See? Cookies are delicious AND educational!