Condimentally Unstable-4 of my current go-tos

Finding a person who is as obsessed with condiments as I am is one of my greatest accomplishments. As you can see, our fridge is a hodgepodge of a terrifying number of hot sauces, mustards, jams, and more. Most meals involve at least three condiments, and our collection far from prevents me from continuing to purchase more.

So, as the holiday season nears, and opportunities for cute, tasty jarred items increases, I’ve put together a little list of some of my favorites. Before you get on my case, I know–jams, jellies, and honeys aren’t traditionally thought of as condiments. But, this being my blog and my love of packaged sauces, I’m including them.

1. Mike’s Hot Honey
Ever since I tried this sweet, spiciness on a sopressata pizza, I was hooked. I’ve tried other varieties of hot honey, and Mike’s is the best.

2. Fortnum & Mason Old English Hunt Marmalade
Growing up in the UK has made me appropriately obsessed with marmalade. I spread it in very thick layers on toast, and have been known to eat it with a spoon. This “Old English Hunt” one is my



3. Hot Pepper Jelly
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the hot pepper jelly I’ve been enjoying lately, as it’s at my parents house, and was made by my cousin. However, I love dipping ham and chicken in globs of the stuff for a tangy, sweety-heat bite. [photo courtesy of]

4. Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce
I have to tell you, this stuff is magic on any meat. It’s a frequent visitor to the table, especially if we’re eating (god forbid) dry chicken. It’s not as chic as the others on the list, and probably not appropriate for a gift, but get thee to a TJ’s immediately and you won’t regret it.



Azn Mailbox Surprise!

March-Skoshbox-ALL1-1024x1024So these days, everything comes in a box. Dog toys, beauty products, healthy snacks... Recently a lovely friend signed me up for the only kind of mail subscription box I need: Skosh Box. Each month, a cardboard box decorated with drawings of origami arrives in my mailbox (it fits in the mailbox, too! No creepy neighbors stealing my stuff, like my steak costume…but that’s another story) packed with brightly colored and expertly decorated Japanese treats including chewy candies, cookies, and once something called “corn potage snack” which tasted like instant soup seasoning packet–yum!

It satisfies both my sodium and sugar monthly quota in one go, and makes me really, really happy and look like this:giphy
Go get your Skosh on here!
*photo courtesy of Skosh Box

Strong (Sandwich) Island

DSC_0090Last week, on a glorious not-too-hot summer day, Quentin and I took a trip out to the North shore of Long Island. The trip’s purpose was for car servicing, but my real goal was a deli sandwich expedition with some downtime at the beach. After dropping off the car, we sampled fairly standard but tasty breakfast sandwiches at Cold Spring Plaza Deli before exploring the lovely surroundings bathed in sunlight.

DSC_0026Following a relaxing hour or so baking in the sun, the most important part of the day arrived: selecting the ideal deli in a region known for its delis. After much consideration, I decided that Huntington’s gourmet Italian spot Mr. Sausage would be the perfect place to satiate my craving for a hero piled high with Italian meats and cheeses.

From the moment we entered, I was utterly captivated. The hanging legs of meat, endless cans of imported Italian goods, and the thrum of Italian soccer on the radio enticed me, not to mention the live ravioli-making occurring in the center of the shop.

DSC_0038 DSC_0042 I began snapping pictures and soon struck up a conversation with Mr. Sausage’s proprietor, Sal Baldanza. Laced with a light Calabrese accent, he described the osso bucco-filled ravioli that he and his twin Rocco were carefully preparing as I eagerly watched.DSC_0051 DSC_0055DSC_0064DSC_0065DSC_0073DSC_0074He then showed me around the store, while telling me of his 30 years in the U.S.—all of them spent in Huntington’s surrounding areas. DSC_0085DSC_0039DSC_0047He ushered me towards one of the numerous deli counters, which held a stack of his very own cookbook “Delectable Italian Dishes for Family and Friends.” As I perused the beautiful prepared foods, in-house cured meats, and many more authentic Italian items I knew I’d be back as soon as possible.



Pickle Pantry Essential #16: Worcester Sauce

ttar_worcestershiresauce_01_v_launchSure, you’ve had it in bloody Mary’s and steak sauce, but do you fully appreciate the multifaceted uses of Worcester sauce? Worcester sauce was umami before umami knew what it was, and it adds the perfect level of savoriness (with just a drop!) to almost anything. A dash on salad, pasta or soup rounds out flavor and adds a meaty saltiness while grilled meat is further enhanced by a sprinkling of the stuff. Although its roots remain somewhat unclear (possibly inspired by an Indian concoction or the Greco-Roman anchovy condiment “garum”), it’s a must for any pantry, especially the Pickle one.


*photo courtesy of Bon

Pickle Pantry Essential #15

Pickle Pantry Essential #15: Farro
In between my bouts of hugely calorific eating, I usually try and cook myself fairly healthy meals. These often consist of fresh and cooked vegetables with some sort of cheese and hummus. Perhaps a cracker if I’m feeling frisky. However, so often I find that just an hour or so later, I’m hungry again. Whole grains have helped me hugely, providing the best kind of carbs out there, and putting energy into your body. Farro, an Italian wheat product, is slightly chewy, wholesome and totally easy to prepare. Sprinkled on top, or as the base of a salad, it’ll keep you full for hours!images

*Image courtesy of

Pickle Pantry Essential #14

Pickle Pantry Essential #14: Core Bamboo Prep Station
Full Disclosure: I don’t actually own this item, but I really wish I did. A friend had it at his house and I had the opportunity to chop, measure, and just generally bask in the efficiency and beauty of this item which features 4 measuring cups which fit into a bamboo prep station. Used to plastic cutting boards, I took a minute to get used to the bamboo, but soon was dicing and mincing on there quite happily.   Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 5.02.50 PM

A Brooklyn Chocolate Expedition

DSC_0167Early this summer, I spent a day exploring artisanal chocolate shops in Brooklyn with Curtis Vreeland, a writer for Candy Industry Magazine. The past few years have seen a departure from big brand name chocolates and a new trend of specialty bean-to-bar environmentally conscious chocolatiers has pervaded the market. We visited five Brooklyn chocolatiers, each in a different neighborhood of the far-reaching borough, and discovered a variety of approaches in preparation, ethos and taste. Continue reading