Archive for ‘Persephone’s Presents’

December 3, 2010

Open House at Oakvale Farmstead Cheese

Ladies getting a treat of some corn silage (grown on the premises) and alfalfa.

This morning we drove out to Oakvale Farmstead for their holiday open house.  We were greeted exuberantly by Greta, a golden lab farm dog.  I could tell, it was going to be a delightful morning.  Instantly, Cherub was off and running, enticing Greta to follow her around, which she did without hesitation.

Oakvale ships wheels all over the world.

I met with Dena King-Nossokoff to talk cheese and learn a bit more about how they make their gouda.  The farm is family owned and run.  The King family has a herd of about 20 beautiful and happy dairy cows that provide the milk for their very famous Gouda.  Farmstead cheese, by definition, is made on the farm with only the milk of the dairy animals that live there. 

In their cheese house, you can take a look at the cheese-making room as well as choose from many varieties of cheese including gouda rubbed with Barley’s Russian stout.  We took home a chunk of that, as well as some caraway seed gouda that I’ll use for dinner tonight. 

Aged gouda at the top has a decidedly different look than the young gouda (bottom).

Also swoon-worthy is their

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November 30, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | Dine Originals

This is, in fact, a cooking blog.  But there are times that even Persephone has to set down the saute pan and back away from the kitchen.  Every once in a while, I like to head out and let someone else do the cooking.  And when I do, most of the time, we head for a restaurant that’s part of the Dine Originals Columbus family.  Fifty-three independently-owned restaurants cover the entire cuisine spectrum from sushi to tapas to sandwiches to steaks.  If you’re in the mood for something, there’s a Dine Originals restaurant that matches your craving.

Dine Originals gift certificates make great presents.  As my final gift to you, dear readers, I have a Dine Originals Columbus $30 gift certificate to give you.  To win, let me know where, of the 53 restaurants, you’d spend your certificate.  Submit your answer in the comments section of this post or send me a tweet with your answer.  You have until tomorrow, December 1 at noon EST to enter.  For full giveaway rules click here.  Good luck and thanks for playing this week!  I’ve really enjoyed all your comments!

November 29, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | Heart of the Artichoke Cookbook

If you are or know a food lover, this is the Christmas gift.  Really. 

The Heart of the Artichoke, by David Tanis, is beautifully written and photographed.  Much like those showpiece cookbooks that you will probably never cook from.  But the true beauty of this book lies in its practicality.  Co-Chef at Chez Panisse, Tanis’s cooking is the epitome of seasonality married to simplicity.  His charming and unassuming personality shines through from the very start of the book.   Yes, he cooks at the most loved and famous restaurant in the country.  But here’s how he cooks at home. 

I was near tears so pleased to see him crystallize something I have been trying to convey for sometime here in the Kitchen.  You have time to cook.  “mesmerized by television shows hyping the thirty-minute meal and the blood sport of competitive cooking, we have somehow forgotten the pleasure of giving ourselves over to the true kitchen experience.  This doesn’t mean spending hours and hours in the kitchen.  It’s not more difficult cooking, but a different way of engaging with food.  What matters is the joy.” 

The book begins with personal food rituals that Tanis holds dear, from peeling an apple in one long curvaceous strip, to his methodic way of enjoying oatmeal (I have a similar quirk with French toast, ask me about it sometime), to the perfect simple meal of beans (lovely Italian white beans) on toast.

It is a very intimate and throughly engaging book with each menu beginning with a story of its origins.  You can sit and read this book.  And when you do, you want to make these dishes.  All of them.  I can’t tell you how much pleasure I’ve gotten out of my copy already.  It will be a well-loved treasure.

Would you like a copy?  Of course you would.  You’re dying for one.  To win one, in the comments section of this post, or in a tweet, tell me what is your favorite cookbook?  You have until Tuesday, November 30, at noon to submit your entry.  The winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org.  For full giveaway rules, click here.  Good luck, my dear readers.  I hope you win!

November 27, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | Silver Bridge Coffee

I have enjoyed Silver Bridge Coffee since earlier this year.  I sampled it at Whole Foods and was smitten.  I’m a sucker for a really good flavored coffee.  And Silver Bridge has some great ones.  Right now I’ve been drinking the Pumpkin Spice.  If I’m not careful I can go through a whole carafe.

I recently met Lorraine Walker, owner of Silver Bridge, at the Dublin Whole Foods when she was sampling her coffee for people.  She had a line three deep when I walked up.  It’s wonderful to talk with her because she is so passionate about her business.  Lorraine is a proponent of fresh, small batch roasting. “Coffee is an agricultural product that should be roasted and brewed fresh. The difference between fresh roasted coffee and the stuff in the can or gourmet coffee at the store is like the difference between eating a strawberry shipped in from the West Coast or picking one fresh from your garden.”

In addition to being passionate about quality and freshness, Lorraine is also a champion of other women-owned and -run businesses.  Which is why she stocks several varieties of Cafe Femenino.  The Café Femenino Coffee Project is a social program for women coffee producers in rural communities around the world.  Additionally, Lorraine charitably donates a portion of  her sales from these coffees to support the homeless women and children at Amethyst.

Great story, right?  I know!  And the coffee is really, really tasty.  Silver Bridge gift packages would make perfect holiday gifts, 12 ounce packages make great hostess gifts.  Locals here in Columbus can pick up Silver Bridge at either Whole Foods or the Hills Market.  And for non-locals, she has a complete selection online.

Today’s giveaway includes a Silver Bridge travel mug, one 12 ounce bag of whole bean Dominican Republic Cafe Femenino, and one 12 ounce bag of ground Caramel Creme.  

To win, either write in the comments section of this post how you take your coffee, or send me a tweet with the same information.  Entries end November 28th at noon EST.  Full giveaway rules can be found here.  Good luck!

November 26, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | The Olive Orchard

We go through olive oil in this house in vast quantities.  The Olive Orchard is a local importer of olive oils, famed for their Sicilian EV which is the key ingredient in Jeni’s Olive Oil and Sea Salted Pepitas.

I love this set.  It’s a really perfect gift: two 250 ml bottles of olive oil (one Greek, one Crete), 2 shallow whiteware dipping bowls and a 1.7 oz tin of Tuscany Blend seasonings in a nice box all ready for easy wrapping (or a well placed bow).  These can be purchased online and right now you can even get free shipping on purchases over $50 through Monday.

To win it, in the comments section of this post, tell me your favorite way to use olive oil.  The winner will be randomly chosen using Random.org.  You have until November 27th at noon EST to get your responses in.  And be sure to follow Persephone’s Kitchen on Twitter to be notified when the next giveaway starts.   Full giveaway rules can be found here.  Good luck!

November 26, 2010

The Official Persephone’s Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide

The turkey coma is fading, the leftover turkey carcass is simmering on the stove for stock, and now you can start thinking about what to do about your holiday gifts.  ‘Tis the season to be giving!  Perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member that loves all things food, or all things Ohio or all things fabulous. 

Persephone is here with a trusty list that’s sure to have them smiling.  Here are some of the things that will be wrapped and given to our nearest and dearest this year, whether it’s under a tree or lovingly pressed into the welcoming hands of a hostess with a houseful of merrymakers.

For the Baker

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November 24, 2010

Presents from Persephone’s Kitchen | A Week of Giveaways

I’m so excited for you, dear reader.  Persephone has presents.  Surprises for you on the terrace! 

I’ve written about a few of my favorite things and now, they are here, in my Kitchen, waiting to be given away.  Beginning this Friday, I’ll be doing a giveaway a day for a week.  The kind folks at The Olive Orchard, North Market Spices, Ltd., Dine Originals Columbus, Silver Bridge Coffee and David Tanis (yes, really!) all gave me things that they knew I loved and thought you’d love, too.  (You will!)

I’ll be putting up a gift guide tomorrow with great suggestions for the foodie that we all have in our lives, then I’ll start giving away gifts from the list beginning Black Friday.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter.  I’ll be tweeting when each giveaway starts.  Good luck!

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