Local Chocolate In My Own Backyard

Chocholistic dark chocolate and goji berries

Chocholistic dark chocolate and goji berries

contributed by Katy Morris

We are always on the look out for local culinary talent to share with our readers, and with this one, we struck gold….er, uh, chocolate. We’ve found four unique women who have taken Fairfield County, CT by storm with their diverse and delectable chocolate.

Organic, kosher, fair-trade, vegan, raw, GMO and soy free? We’ve got you covered.  And they all sell online so if you don’t live in CT, you can be just as chocolate satisfied as we are. Here’s to local talent! Continue reading

Open Sesame

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By Katy Morris

 Three passionate sisters have joined forces to create a delectable, versatile sesame Tehina product that is nutrient-rich, 100% vegan and kosher, and completely gluten and peanut-free.  “The Soom sisters” source the highest quality White Humera sesame seeds directly from Northwest Ethiopia. From there, the seeds make their way to Northern Israel where they are cleaned, roasted, pressed and manufactured into jars brimming with the sweet and nutty 100% Humera Tehina – with no other additives or preservatives.

They have successfully taken an ancient super food and made it easy and simple to incorporate into today’s modern health-conscious world.

Their easy-to-navigate, informative, and playfully-written website, soomfoods.com, provides the “consoomer” with various recipes, from sweet and savory desserts to dips and dressings, all with the key ingredient of their Tehina. Although hummus is usually the first thing associated with sesame paste, there are actually many ways to include this amazing vegetarian, kosher health food in your diet, including marinades, dressings, breads, cookies and shakes.

The trio of young entrepreneurs, along with one of the sister’s husbands, pride themselves on creating a product that is totally wholesome and pure. Sesame is truly their passion, and it shows in their product.

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 After skimming through their many mouth watering online recipes, I couldn’t resist the Honey Tehina Oat Cookies. The simple recipe resulted in scrumptious moist morsels, full of unique and indulgent taste yet completely healthy and natural.

I became intrigued with the unique taste of the paste,  a staple in the Middle-Eastern diet, and did some research to understand and appreciate the health benefits of their Tehina product. The food is a great source of protein (more than milk and most nuts!), omega fatty acids, and contains a wealth of other nutrients and minerals including calcium, iron, and fiber. It also helps to promote healthy cell growth and is very easy for your body to digest due to its high alkaline mineral content.

I can’t get enough of this pure, creamy, alternative to almond butter. Tonight I plan on making a Kale & Quinoa Salad with Tehina dressing…can’t wait!

Their product is currently available in a few stores in the D.C. and Maryland area, including Kosher Mart and Shalom Kosher, as well as in Philadelphia’s Swarthmoore Coop and Weavers Way Coop. They are looking for more stores to place their product in.

Until then, purchase Soom on line by clicking here.

And because the Soom sisters are so happy to have Kosher Like Me readers learn about their tasty product, they are offering a discount code to y’all! 

In the bottom left hand corner of your “cart” on soomfoods.com is a space to type in your coupon code.  Before clicking “proceed to check out” enter the promo code “soomfoodsklm” and click “apply coupon.” The coupon is for 20% off your total order (including shipping).

Want to meet the sister trio? They will be presenting at the 25th Annual KosherFest in Secaucus, New Jersey in hopes of finding a distributor.

Welcome contributor, Katy Morris. Here’s a bit about her:

 Katy, a pescatarian, is an aspiring photojournalist who recently returned to CT. after eating, shooting, and writing her way through London, Amsterdam, Paris, Switzerland, and the Greek islands. She landed in Northern Thailand where she volunteered for an orphanage for Burmese-Karen refugee children. She works passionately to raise funds for the Sustainable Harvest Agricultural Project, a grass-roots organization she launched with a friend, which aims to provide basic food security for children in that region. 

 

Honey Tehina Oat Cookies

20 cookies

Honey Tehina Oat Cookies

These parve (dairy free) morsels are vegan, too. They're super easy to whip up and perfect with afternoon tea, as a breakfast treat, or as a parve dessert after a meat meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons of Soom Foods Tehina
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups of quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup of chopped walnuts or almonds
  • ½ cup of raisins (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2. In a bowl, combine the tehina, cinnamon, and honey
  3. Mix in oats, nuts, and raisins until well blended
  4. On a greased cookie sheet drop teaspoon size balls of dough and flatten lightly (about 2 inches apart)
  5. Bake 10 minutes
  6. Cool on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes before serving
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/open-sesame

Tell Me More… about Where your Baby’s Food is Grown

Marna Garden Fresh Baby

I was at the Westport Farmers’ Market when I was offered a sample of  bright orange baby food and I’ll admit that I did not eagerly reach for that puree. But when I learned that those sweet, bright carrots came from an organic farm less than an hour away, I wanted to know more.  Local, seasonal, organic jarred baby food is the brainchild of Westporter, Marna Altman, founder and creative behind Garden Fresh Baby, and I was intrigued. Continue reading

There’s a New Salt in Town, Right on Time

 

photo courtesy of Emily Freed

photo courtesy of Emily Freed

Just as apples and pears appear at farmers’ markets, my favorite line of of culinary salts has added a new addition to the collection. THE perfect Vanilla Bean Baker’s Salt launches Today. And Farmer Freed has plenty of suggestions about how to enjoy this slightly sweet, aromatic treasure. Continue reading

Thrill Your Palate with Tea-rrific Local Ice Cream

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I closed my eyes and reveled in malty, citrusy notes, savoring creamy bites of Tea-rrific Ice Cream on yet another steamy day in CT.  Mario Leite methodically pulled one pint at a time from his cooler bag.  Slightly sweet, distinctively herbaceous, frozen ambrosia bathed my taste buds as I savored more nuanced subtleties of ginger and matcha green tea.

 WHOA!  I opened my eyes with a start, remembering  that  I was in a public place and maybe I was looking, ummmm, a bit too private. Continue reading

Celebrate

Sweet and Simple in Fairfield, CT

Sweet and Simple in Fairfield, CT

Eat well.

Support local.

Hug your family and friends.

Recognize your freedom.

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Sweet and Simple bakes traditional American treats including layer cakes and specialty cookies. Owner, Michelle Jaffee prides herself on using the highest quality ingredients and connecting personally with her enthusiastic and loyal customers.

Specialty cookies may be ordered in advance and picked up through July 3 or over July 6/7 weekend.  Sweet and Simple will be closed on July 4 and July 5 ’cause bakers need to celebrate, too.

 

Sweet and Simple

75 Hillside Rd.

Fairfield, CT

203-292-8992

click here for more info and hours.

 

MagNoodles: Organic Pasta for your Summer Pleasure

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Recently, a friend of E’s, a budding Broadway star at the ripe old age of 23, asked me if I would boil up some of his college pal’s Mom’s “cool” pasta and consider sharing my thoughts with my readers.

 Sure! But I have lists growing outa of the ears of my lists about places to eat, people to call, products to check out. So it’s been a little while since I first read the label on MagNoodles Smart Pasta and marveled.  Continue reading

Gobo Inspires with Vegetarian Goodness

Exterior

I appreciate the calm each time I tuck into Gobo, a vegetarian retreat with convenient locations in the West Village and  UES, NYC. The mostly blond and spacious interior is simply appointed with undressed wooden tables and comfortable cushioned seating. Plenty of space between tables encourages good conversation and lingering.  There is a Zen simplicity that is intentional here and it carries through to the deceptively simple, Asian inspired dishes on the menu. Continue reading