Kitchen Witch Tidbits

Welcome to the Kitchen Witch Tidbit page!  A culinary information and resource guide that I think will help readers have access to better ingredients, more cooking resources, and other helpful tips will be uploaded each week.  In each case, I will try to link these to recipes from my files, where relevant.  Since the beginning of this blog, back in 2005, when I started writing up the recipes that my friends had requested from me, I realized that the key to making them work is not only the instructional details but also the culinary hints and tips that I've gleaned throughout the years. You can also find the Kitchen Witch Tips link below, which will give you even more great tidbits.  

Buon appetito!

What are you doing this weekend?  The New Amsterdam Market is going to be downtown Sunday, May 1 near the South Street Seaport.  There's also a's Green Getaways Expo in Brooklyn on Saturday at 1 Hanson Place. 

It's time for the annual Washington Post Peeps Contest and Serious Eats' Peeps Week.  Alternatively, check out the Mitchmallows I mentioned last week for other delicious mallow options.  Happy Easter and Happy Passover everyone!  

Looking for more artisanal activities and fieldtrips?  Check out Taking Root for their listings. Also, see my expanded Markets/Events page for a new list of food events and conferences.

There's two great-sounding food events in the city this weekend.  The "Duck-Off" to benefit Food Systems Network NYC at Jimmy's 43 or the South Street Oyster Saloon fundraiser for New Amsterdam Market. No need to choose; you could actually do both! 

The Brooklyn Flea is moving outdoors this coming weekend.  Check out their website for information about the Fort Greene (Saturday) and Williamsburg (Sunday) locations and additional details.

If your kitchen is tiny like mine and seriously lacking in storage space, how can we take part in the new make-it-yourself food movement?  The New York Times' D.I.Y. Cooking Handbook has some suggestions for us.

03/14/11 Have you noticed some changes to the site?  I've added a Product Spotlights page and a Markets / Events page to bring together more for you to discover about the great products and foods available in our area.

Would you like to know more about that is going on in the local food scene in your area? One publication to check out is the Edible series of magazines, featuring locations in the U.S. and Canada.  They also run food events featuring local produce and try to bring their communities together.

When planning your next trip to another city/country, why not consider visiting the markets as well?  I picked up some interesting things at Rome's Campo dei Fiori and had wonderful, and inexpensive, treats at London's Borough Market.

This graphic showed up a few places last week.  I think I´ve even seen the poster of it for sale someplace.  It´s a handy guide to all those tools you might have in your kitchen.

This week we have two KWT, it's so busy out there.  The first is that the 6th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival is being held in New York City this weekend.  The second is an opportunity for you to flex those culinary muscles at a Soup Swap on the 19th hosted by Seriously Soupy and Brooklyn Bouillon.  Space is limited at the latter.

Along with the two giveaways I'm hosting for this week, the New Amsterdam Market is having a Valentine's Market on February 12-14 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., in case you need to come up with other gift ideas for your loved ones.

01/31/11 This week's tidbit is featuring my salsa giveaway.  I'm launching this as a new feature of the site.  Enter by tomorrow at noon, EST, for a chance to win the Brooklyn Salsa Company's 5 Borough salsa package.  It is sure to be a big hit a anyone's Superbowl party!

Have you become a fan of Foodista's Facebook page?  They have useful Food Facts, Kitchen Tips, and Food of the Day as well as lots of recipe resources and ways to get your cooking questions answered.  You can also follow their Twitter feed, which has some of the same great information.

Some of your favorite market vendors have moved indoors for the colder season.  Visit Mosefund Farms and Brooklyn Cured, plus the fish vendor I mentioned in my Sole Filets with Lemon Butter Sauce post, at the Foodshed at Brooklyn Commons.  It's open on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Are you revamping your kitchen to include just the most essential pieces of cooking equipment?  Check out this list from Serious Eats or pick up the latest issue of Food & Wine magazine.  I've also put some of my own personal picks on my Amazon store.

Is getting a new job one of your resolutions for 2011?  If so, and working in the food arena is your goal, check out Good Food Jobs.  The folks behind this site feature different people working in a variety of roles in the food industry and have listings of available positions.

Have you been hit by the snow wave?  Along the same lines as making lemonade out of lemons, why not make Snow Ice Cream out of all of that white stuff that has fallen?  There's lots of recipes, but the main ingredient is fresh, clean snow.

You've decided to make home-baked goods for those last-minute gifts.  Need some more supplies?  Why not visit New York Cake & Baking Distributors?  They have cookie cutters, baking chocolate, patterns, containers, and lots of gorgeous sprinkles.

What?  It's already the last New Amsterdam Market of 2010? On Sunday, December 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. visit their Solstice Market. There's going to be so many of my favorite food finds for sale down there that I might have to pack an extra suitcase with all the goodies.

Wondering how to find the best of the holiday markets in the city? Visit Markets of New York for a comprehensive guide to all of them and plan your gift-giving around Karen's wonderful suggestions.

Still stumped for ideas as to how to use all those turkey leftovers?  How about transforming them into Southwestern Turkey-Tortilla Soup or Chilaquiles by swapping out chicken for turkey?  That way, you can continue to celebrate the bounty of the cuisine of the Americas, just heading a bit further south.

Looking to brush up on your early American trivia in advance of Thanksgiving Day?  Check out the website for Plimoth Plantation to brief yourself on the history of the Mayflower settlers.  That way, you can show that you really are smarter than that 5th grader in the family.

I'm posting my KWT a bit early this week in order to feature Greenmarket Grains Week.  Highlighting the renewed interest in locally-grown, locally-produced grains in the New York State area, there are a variety of activities going on over the next few days to learn more about this important dietary staple, wrapping up with a Pancake Breakfast at New Amsterdam Market.  Learn also about the Danish Rye Bread Project, as featured at the New Amsterdam Market Smørrebrød Festival yesterday.

What is spreadable fruit?  I talk about the wonderful product that Schoolhouse Kitchen, among others sells, but what exactly is it?  Jelly contains added gelatin or some kind of agent to make it solid and the fruit is not visible in the final product, as the flavor is derived from the juice; in jam some kind of added pectin might have been added and there will still be pieces of fruit visible.  These both contain a fair amount of sugar.  Preserves and spreadable fruit contain more whole fruit, less sugar (some have none at all), and no thickening agent like added pectin or gelatin.  I enjoy spreadable fruit better because the longer cooking process brings out the most of the flavor of the ingredients.  It has a looser consistency, but all that wonderful juice at the bottom of the jar is perfect for mixing with yogurt or pouring over pancakes or waffles.  

Wonder where to find farro, also known as emmer, now that you've decided to try my Farro Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Thyme-Roasted Mushrooms?  My standby source for this and other Italian ingredients is BuonItalia in Chelsea Market (site of the former Nabisco factory).  This store is a no-frills haven for wonderful, authentic products from Italy and worth a stop on your trip to New York.  Oh, and they also do mail-order.

Like to find great produce and to try unique food items?  Then go downtown to New Amsterdam Market held on Sundays at the former site of the Fulton Fish Market near the South Street Seaport.  Check their webpage for the vendors who will be there this coming Sunday, the 31st, and read my review of last week's market for some of the amazing things that we tried there.

Wonder how to keep on top of all the food festivals and food-related events (including seminars) going on in New York City?  Daniel Delaney has decided to take on the task of organizing this information.  When I found out about his Eater's Digest weekly newsletter, I signed up immediately (it is currently free).  This might be something to have coming to your mailbox if you want to know more about the food activities in this city.

For more information on what is now available in season at the Union Square Greenmarket (and likely at the other farmers markets in town), check out Lucy's Greenmarket Report. Her gorgeous photos are telling me that now is the perfect time to make Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons!

Here is a link to the past Kitchen Witch Tips that have appeared on the blog.

All Images and Text copyright by The Experimental Gourmand 2005-2011. All rights reserved.