Spring Fling: 9 Foodie Must Haves to Fall in Love With

Apr 1 2014 - 2:11pm

Easter and Passover, The Homesick Texan's newest cookbook, Pebble Beach Wine & Food festival, and more: there are countless ways April will delight our palates, but we'll start with these nine fresh ideas. Spring, please stay a while.

Photo: Nicole Perry

The Homesick Texan's Family Table

New York-based blogger Lisa Fain releases her second cookbook titled The Homesick Texan's Family Table [1] ($19, originally $30) today. As a homesick Texan myself, I have taken great solace in the Tex-Mex fare found between the pages. First up on my must-make list: breakfast enchiladas, pecan-lime french toast casserole, bacon-jalapeño cheese ball, and a childhood favorite: chicken spaghetti.

— Anna Monette Roberts, assistant editor

Parchment Cooking Bags

I braise pretty much anything I can get my hands on in the Fall and Winter months, but now that Spring has sprung, my attention has turned to lighter, brighter cookery methods. My go-to: cooking en papillote [2] (aka cooking in parchment). Really, all that's needed is a roll of parchment, but PaperChef Culinary Parchment Cooking Bags [3] ($4) are a game changer for lazy folks like me, as they require no origami-like folding skills.

— Nicole Perry, assistant editor

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

If you've never attended a food festival before, Pebble Beach Food & Wine [4] (April 10-13) may be the best place to start. It's a weekend devoted to drinking and dining amidst stunning beachside views on cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs like Tyler Florence [5], Carla Hall, Morimoto, and Michael Symon. Beyond the dinners, there are plenty of other events [6] and cooking demos to school you on the finer things in life.


Source: Instagram user alexeatsgreen [7]

Chocolate Matzo Toffee

Regardless of whether you celebrate Passover, you need to try chocolate matzo toffee [8] at least once. Not only is it crazy simple to make, it doesn't require any candy-making know-how or special equipment. It's also so delicious and addictive that it's colloquially referred to as chocolate matzo crack. Don't feel like making it yourself? Mail-order options [9] ($15) have your back.

— NP

Photo: Nicole Perry

TOMS Coffee

I'm a huge fan of TOMS shoes, and now I can say with confidence that its latest venture in organic and fair-trade-certified, single-origin coffees is a cause I'll support too. Each bag gives a person in need a week of clean water. My family's favorite of the pack is the Guatemala roast [10] ($13). With notes of plum, coriander, and chocolate, the coffee reaches roasted perfection when served with warm milk and a spoonful of sugar.


Natural Easter Egg Dye

This Natural Egg Dyeing Kit [11] ($18) proves that just because you're going the natural route this Easter, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice beautiful, vibrantly hued Easter eggs. Not so keen on hard-boiled eggs (or tediously blowing out the whole egg before dyeing)? These ceramic eggs [12] ($28) look indistinguishable from the real deal and can be saved for years to come.

— NP

Josey Baker Bread

Josey Baker, the acclaimed San Franciscan bread baker, will release his first cookbook
Josey Baker Bread [13] ($20, originally $28) on April 15. Never has a bread-baking cookbook seemed so approachable. Instead of a simple list of ingredients and instructions (and a whole lot of room for error), Josey divides each recipe into a lesson, complete with all the tools you'll need for the recipe, troubleshooting tips, a dusting of good humor, and in many cases, step-by-step photos. The book will train you to think and bake like a professional as Josey coaxes and supports you every page of the way.


Vitamix S30 Personal Blender

I flat-out adore my classic Vitamix [14] ($450, originally $550); no blender I've ever tried has come close to its ability to turn out perfectly smooth soups, smoothies, and salad dressings. But as a city dweller with limited kitchen space, I don't adore its hulking size. If I could do it all over again, I'd shell out for the new, scaled-down Vitamix S30 Personal Blender [15] ($400, originally $500), which also comes with a brilliant addition: a to-go smoothie container that allows for blitzing up frothy, frozen creations right in the cup.

— NP

Eliunt Olive Oil

Eliunt: The Compendium Pack [16] ($125) may seem like a tremendous amount for olive oil, that is, until you get your hands on it. I'm not sure what I love more: the sturdy, metal bottles with the colorful rubber grips, or the actual olive oils themselves that hail from every corner of the globe — Jordan, Australia, Tunisia, Turkey, and more. The accompanying booklet tells the story behind the oils and offers a tasting guide, and the stand makes the set a pretty piece to keep out on your kitchen counter.


Source URL