Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some Of My Favorite Things From 2010

As the year ends I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the unique products that I have loved using. Below each photo you will find a link to that company's website. 

Green Pan 
In general I am a devoted Le Creuset and all Clad customer so when I bought this item I had my doubts as to whether it was just another flash in the pan so to speak. I have to admit the Green Pan has become one of my top finds of 2010. It is a real workhorse and I use it all the time. I've never owned a pan that cleans up as easily as this one does.I'd happily buy it all over again.

   Truffle Salt
With all the new food trends out there I believe this is one to try. I have found I really like the earthy and different taste.Using it  really does transform any dish. It is not cheap but, what a great gift for a foodie. Budget conscious foodies could even split a jar and enjoy the flavor together. Try it on soups on steak or even on french fries.
photo courtesy of William Sonoma site

  Coffee Bean Tea Leaf Medicine Ball Tea
I think I have often seen this chain but it is only recently that I have become a regular. I enjoy their coffee but I really go there most often for their medicine ball tea. Its a nice combination of lemon chamomile and ginger. They only sell it in the store. I would love it if they sold the flavor in tea bags for home use. 

                Haven Brand Manure Tea
I've been gardening quite a bit this past year and I have become intrigued by a tea that is not at all for drinking. My friend Annie raises grass fed livestock and has developed an additional business selling manure tea bags for use in gardens and for house plants as well. The tea bags she makes are comprised of dried manure that you steep in water and use to fertilize your plants. I love Green & natural choices and this is a great product.

 Dansko Shoes
I fell in love with these shoes more than ten years ago. I was working in retail and looking around for a foot friendly shoe. I had heard that these shoes were popular with people that stood on their feet for a living. If they were good enough for chefs and nurses they would be good enough for me. I was visiting a friend who owned a pair and I tried hers on and loved them. That very trip I purchased my first pair and I have just ordered yet another pair. I can't say enough good things about Dansko shoes. 
photo by Dansko

  Chemex Filter Drip Coffee Maker
Over the years we have developed quite an arsenal of coffee related paraphernalia.In addition to the electric machine and the French press we have added the Chemex Carafe to the fold. This carafe produces an amazingly smooth cup of coffee, one of the best we have ever tasted. They have several sizes but, I opted to buy what they call a six cup. This is not meant to keep the coffee hot so we just make enough to fill our cups and the six cup Chemex does a fantastic job.

Sanders Lobster Pound 
My husband discovered this place when he lived in New Hampshire decades ago. He introduced me to Sanders in 2004 and we look forward to every dinner they provide. Great people and delicious lobster is a winning combination.
Weathertop Wovens
We were on a road trip through Silverton Colorado and decided to stop for a while and explore the town. In one of the small quaint shops I spotted a loom adorned with a beautiful purple project in progress and it drew me into the shop like a moth to a flame. The couple who own the shop weave all the fabric and create all the beautiful shawls in a wide variety of colors. I just love mine and wear it often. I don't think they have a website but I've found their info.

    Mexican train Dominoes
While on a trip to the Virgin Islands we snorkeled the days away and spent cozy evenings with friends playing game after game of Mexican train Dominoes. There is a joy in the simple pleasure of a game night and I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy it. Dominoes will forever be tied to that island memory and I will be enjoying our own set for years to come. 

William Sonoma Gold touch Bakeware
I'm always a bit skeptical when a product claims to be extraordinary in its ability improve on the norm. This product actually does just that. This William Sonoma brand bakeware conducts heat well and I'm impressed at how non-stick it is.I find the clean up is effortless and I'm gradually replacing my bakeware with it as needed. It is more expensive than others but I feel it will last me for decades. They also sell it in sets which cuts down on the price to a degree.
I baked these in my Gold Touch loaf pans

One of our traditions on any road trip is that we  will always brake for honey and preserves. I collect regional honey, jams, preserves and jellies the way others collect tee shirts magnets and coffee mugs. It was no surprise that when I pulled in the the Honeyville shop in Durango Colorado that I would emerge with more than a dozen jars. From peach honey to chokecherry preserves into our trunk it went. I have loved their products and marvel at the variety of flavors they offer. 
Pomegranate Pinkberry 
Since coming to California we have become fans of the Pinkberry chain of yogurt shops. They usually have four or five flavors at any given time. There is of course the original and they have several seasonal flavors that they rotate. Our favorite has become pomegranate and we have come to look forward to it as our "go to" California dessert.

 Argan Oil
I remember way back when there was a product called silk oil that I would use on my hair. It's been years since I have noticed anything like it around the shops. Lately I've been hearing a great deal about argan oil. One of the brand names is called Moroccan oil. I've had salespeople let me try it a time or two and I recently purchased a bottle to try at home. I purchased a brand called one and only at Sally's Beauty Supply. This was about eight dollars but I've seen the other brands for about thirty. I like the way my hair feels after I use it. I only use the slightest bit at a time so it should last a long while.
      Argan Oil

            Liberte Wine 
  We like many people, have our favorite wines and our favorite varieties. We have enjoyed a wonderful selection on trips from Temecula to Napa and Chianti to Bordeaux. We love seeing how the regional differences effect the end product. Some bottles cost more than others but it is especially nice and unusual to find a delicious wine that is in the ten dollar range. Liberte Cabernet Sauvignon from the Paso Robles region was recommended to us from Trader Joe's and it is indeed a winner.
Interesting wines from Trader Joe's 

Pre De Provence Linden
What is more relaxing and restful than a  bubble bath.I'm always on the lookout for a special bath product and I love this one. Over the years I have tried many good products and some of my favorites are part of the Pre De Provence line. All the scents by this company are lovely but, the one I'm recommending today is their Linden scent. Whenever I use it I'm transported to a French garden.
Pre De Provence has wonderful bath products

Scoop Colander
We found this terrific kitchen tool in a little shop in old town Albuquerque.I now see them in all the popular kitchen stores. I saw it in Sur La Table just the other day. I use this all the time. It is perfect for small straining jobs and for pastas of course. I easily use it several times a  week. I truly don't know what I did before  had this marvelous scoop. The company has a great selection of innovative kitchen implements. Well worth checking out.
  joseph joseph. scoop-colander


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