Posts Tagged with local

Wildfire Honey – A Sting of Heat

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

It starts with a spark – a little idea that kindles it’s way onto your plate. A spread of sweet sauce with a bit of punch and the first bite brings new and fanciful ideas, your off like a shot in the dark with thanks from Wildfire Honey.

Wildfire Honey

From a small family company in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, comes certified True Source organic honey. For the folks at Wildfire, it’s about combining unique ingredients to make for an ideal food experience. And what an experience – it’s a lovely spread on ribs or grilled chicken, making for a spicy/sweet glaze with a quick brush. Get crazy creative and use wildfire in your fudge brownies to bring some heat to the party, or drizzle on cheesecake or ice cream for a warming addition to your desserts. They also suggest using it on your corn bread, and we like it with grainy mustard for a sharp honey mustard. An exciting addition to any home pantry, a thin ribbon here and there with this honey creates intrigue in just about any dish.

Get your jar (or three) today off our shelves! Love Wildfire Honey? Want to send them some love from afar? Have ‘the next big idea’ for using their honey? Drop us a line below, we’d love to hear from ya.

Three Queens Maple Syrup – Pancake Royalty

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Simply put, maple syrup can be the touchstone to a perfect pile of pancakes. We think a good, quality maple syrup will lead your taste buds to a new level of pancake transcendence. Welcome then to the fold, pick a bottle of Three Queens Maple Syrup.

three Queens Syrup

Midwest made with a focus on giving back the arts Queens Maple Syrup is fantastic. 15% of all profits go to art programs in their area, helping foster the community at large. The syrups are born on a 184 acre farm outside Westby, WI by 1000 maples – 30 gallons of drip makes just one gallon of syrup. We carry their Dark, which makes for rich eating, and wonderful on pancakes/French toast. Very Dark is robust and does a nice job of adding depth on top of cheesecake or added to your breakfast sausage recipe.

Pick up a container or two today in our grocery of wonderful locally made syrup from Three Queens – it’s sure to take you to a new plane.

Prohibition Spice – Criminally Tasty Dashes

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Picking up a seemingly innocuous package of Prohibition Spice, you’d not think you were holding one of the finest meat spice crafted here in the city – but the truth stands. When you want to craft up the perfect patty of delicious sausage, you’d get the best cuts of meat you could, but what about the spices? That is there Prohibition Spice steps in.

Prohibition Sausage 01

Locally made here in the city, they craft secret spice blends to make any clump of meat turn magically into a wonderfully tasty sausage. Mash up a bunch of pork and beef with a dash of Prohibition tossed and splay it on a grill for the fastest and most delicious sausage patty. The spices are pulled from the best known sources making for most excellent eats. Simply mix into ground protein, be it beef, pork, chicken, turkey and away you go! Dash a bit on a steak or use their blackened rub on veggies for a easy punch of flavor.

Currently we carry three of their sausage blends: The Family’s Italian Mild – for rich ‘sausage’ without the burn and all of the flavor, Jalapeno Bratwurst – is a ‘biting’ german-style profile that makes a brat burger worth the pain, and the Smoked Polish – with bright garlic kick and ease making it a go-to spice add on. Sausage not enough, need something smokier? Prohibition’s Blackened Rub is for you, a simple mix of all those delicious ‘grill’ spices plus the added benefit of not having to light one – veggies, fish, and fantastic sprinkled on oven-roasted broccoli.

Pick these great spices from Prohibition Spice off our shelf today, before grill season passes you by! Have a favorite grill item? Want to let the world know how much you love Prohibition Spice? Leave us a comment below!

Sauce and Bread – Friends In Delicious Places

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In the warming mornings of early May, a couple of our staff took a spell over at Sauce & Bread – the digs that house both Co-Op Hot Sauce & Crumb.

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Before entering, the smell of baked goods and spicy-sweet hot sauce wafts by on the sidewalk out front, where big bold white letters let you know you’ve arrived. Inside the store, it’s quiet with a low dinn and humm of coolers, and distance kitchen work pulls you in. Chalkboards pointing all their local items, a floating zombie finger shows you where to order, and a smattering of hot sauce welcomes any and all.

Mike welcomes us and shows us around his part of the kitchen where pungent liquids await bottling, full shakers sit to age or for an order, heaps of pepper await prep, along with a plethora of containers brimmed with spices. To put it simply: it smells amazing. But the fun smells have only started. To the secret basement where rows of barrels bubble and swell with luscious hot sauce and vinegars think bourbon meets boiled chili peppers – mouthwatering. Upstairs in the back is where the crumb team gets to baking, and crafting all of their fantastic bread and goods as well as all of those for the front of house.

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There is where the smelling ends and the eating starts. We order up a couple of sandwiches and wait for the wafs of freshly toasted breads fill the room by lingering over the wide variety of bottles, from hot-sauce to barrel fermented apple cider vinegars. The sandwiches hit the massive wood slatted table and it’s impossible to resist reaching to the wood caddies filled with a handful of the most fantastic sauces thrust from this city. That isn’t to say their sandwiches don’t already reign the attention of the eater – alone they are wonderful seasonally crafted sandwiches featuring the best the farmer’s markets can offer. Mike was even nice enough to whip up a lovely shrub with one of his drinking vinegars – perspective altering.

Get out to where Clark meets Devon, pick up a bunch of that magic sauce and pull up a seat to mow down on a purely wonderful lunch experience.

Bittercube Bitters – A Cocktail Trove Of Flavor

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Recently we’ve been intensely focused on cocktails. Couple years now we’ve added some quenching breakfast drinks, picking up more and more cocktail mixers, crafting our own syrups, and putting together special drinks for all of walks of our events. There is just something about cocktails – inching them closer to the peak of deliciousness. At times that inching is more a running jaunt – a rich well to pull from, or in this case, pull an eyedropper from – and dole out with grace and ease into a cocktail. A clear example: A box from Bittercube.

Bittercube

Take one part localvore obsessed restaurateur with a keen eye for cocktails and one part super-powered bartender hell-bent on perfection, mix to create a team of journeymen building slow-crafted bitters. No ordinary bitters either, taking a year to push and develop the full set of six. Each with it’s own personality, able to punch up a litany of drinks without batting an eye. From being hunkered over in glass jars in Milwaukee to being drawn from Yahara Bay spirits where they are painstakingly made by hand – meaning peeling mountains of citrus, individually scraping boxes worth of vanilla beans, just to get it ‘right.’ 100% real raw ingredients without shortcuts, which makes for real flavor.

We carry the boxes, which are packed with 6 bottles with droppers, and three in the ‘shaker’ style. In the shakers, we’ve picked up the Orange – a lovely citrus and caramelized orange bitter, Cherry Bark Vanilla – which is powerful with cherry, cola and vanilla notes, and Jamaican #2 – that couples bright grapefruit with herbaceous hiscious. Those three reside in the small box, as well as the Blackstrap – that the rich molasses as a backdrop for clove, & sassafras, Bolivar – with light touches of chamomile and jasmine, and Jamaican #1 – which is flush with Jamaican spices; making it super easy to reach for when looking for a particular profile.

Pick up a shaker bottle or three, the full box or both and get crafting and building the perfect cocktails for family/friends. Love Bittercube? Can’t get enough of their Jamaican #2? Have the greatest cocktail recipe? Leave us a note below in the comments, we’d love to hear from ya!

Summer ’14, Strawberry French Toast

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

It’s becoming a tradition of sorts, to bring the sun-drenched necked red beauties to our ever-present Stuffed French Toast. We pull from flats of ripe strawberries and get to work making a breakfast worth bragging about.

stuffed french toast strawberry

As always we use local strawberries from our close friends at Mick Klug Farm. This year we’ve blended up a rich maple pastry cream that makes your mouth water with each bite and a strawberry syrup slung across the thick slices of soaked bread as the pièce de résistance. Pull up a seat and get eating before it’s gone till next summer!

Our Summer Sodas – On Tap Deliciousness

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

In the heat, or in the comfort – this year thus far, it’s always nice to pull a draw of soda. A sip of some heat squelching liquid can make any summer day seem that much more bearable.

Soda Summer 01

This is our second year of kegging up a season’s harvest of super tasty soda and this year we moved one line to carbonating our fantastic lemonade – making for the ideal sparkling summer lemonade. Our soda line changes often so keep an eye on the newest flavor – blueberry-thyme, cherry-apricot, fermented grape, and so many more. We’re also preserving a whole bunch to save till next year – winter Rhubarb soda anyone? Get a glass or two for here or to go and taste what fresh local goodness is like!

Our Rhubarb Syrup – Pretty in Pink

Monday, July 21st, 2014

We’ve been crafting this sweet thing for a few years and now thought it deserves it’s own place here, on our blog, and so welcome our Rhubarb Syrup to the spotlight.

Rhubarb Syrup Replaces Drink Starter

Of course you can pour a couple oz in a cocktail – muddle with mint, use in an old fashioned, etc – which will result in great results. If you want to get really creative, use it as a base for a seafood grill-glaze, blend into a vinaigrette, or add a splash to a fruit salad. Get a bottle and get inventive with your Rhubarb Syrup, it’ll add an almost strawberry sweetness with the tartness of a raspberry, a really lovely mix. Now available on our shelf until it’s gone, seasonality is short!

Metropolis Coffee’s New Skin – Style To Boot

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

If you have had issue finding Metropolis Coffee on our shelves, you may have been looking for the wrong bag – that is because those lovely coffee slingers brought us some fancy new bags not too long ago.

Metropolis new packaging

In pretty, striking colors with their logo draped on the side. Simple and beautiful, just like their coffee. Nothing has changed with the beans and are just as fantastic as ever. Pick up your bags as always off our shelves.

Hazzard Free Farm Grits – Locally Grown Jewels

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

When you taste the real thing, it’s hard to go back. Belly up to real actual corn grits, or small batch rolled oats and the difference is shocking. Heritage is a longstanding cornerstone for Hazzard Free Farm – bringing heirloom grains and unadulterated goodness right to our door and to markets all over the city.

Hazzard Farms

It starts with a history; growing up in the drawn out lands and rolling creeks of farmland USA, taught the right way to plow, plant and live within the surroundings from a young age – our Hazzard Free host lived it. Sat with her grandmother making jams and jellies, preserving the food for eating through the year, squirrelling away jars in the basement cupboard. Put into 4-H, stuck it out in nature no matter the weather, and questioning everything – it was a building of change like the swelling of winds across an open field that put the start to the Hazzard Free Farm idea. Put against a backdrop of knowledge and timing, just like the best things in life, it just seemed inevitable. So in the Pecatonica, IL – Andrea kicked off a farm of her own, plowing and seeding the same land-area her family has worked since 1847. Chemical, non-gmo, and organically practiced farm from the beginning – crops are rotated, grains are stone milled & un-bleached, think au-natural with a focus on quality, preserving the plant’s natural state.

We’re quite happy it all came together the way it did. Currently, we carry three of their choice grains. Hazzard Free Farm’s oats are fresh and tasty, with real flavor without comparison – they are fluffy and rich that taste almost nutty due to them containing their natural oil. Two of their grits adorn our shelves too, a Red Flint grit that is an italian heirloom which is the best of the best for polenta, and a pinkish Bloody Butcher grits that are fine and sweet that is a cross between native and settler’s corn.

Pick up these from our shelves and get tasting really tasty local corn grits and oats that make any meal wonderful. Have a favorite grits recipe? Want to give a shout out to Hazzard Free Farms? Drop us a line below!