Category Archives: Cooking/Food

For Your Backyard: The Blaze Tower, Made in the USA

As we reach the end of July, there is still plenty of time to be outside enjoying the summer. Here’s a new way to “gather around the hearth” with family and friends.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do! When I saw the Blaze Tower Kit, it was love at first sight. A fire pit, a grill and smoker all rolled into one! Made of 3/16″ thick American steel, the Blaze includes a thermometer for getting the perfect cooking temperature, a hanger for smoking meats and screens if you just want to sit back, relax and be mesmerized by the fire.If you have a few clear square feet to set the unit up (it takes two people to assemble the Blaze), then it really doesn’t matter if you are sitting water side, mountain side or in a small backyard with your nosey neighbors looking over the fence -because you will have your very own private outdoor fire pit.While my cooking skills over an open fire are pretty much limited to potatoes wrapped in foil, hot dogs and marshmallows (I love it when they go up in a ball of fire and you wait till every inch is covered in black), I can’t help but think that this multi purpose unit might inspire me to try something really daring like double stuffed baked potatoes or anything smoked.

If you are serious about the outdoors and spending time with your loved ones or best buds, then give this unit a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed..




Is Your Valentine Sporty? Or Sweet? We’ve Got American-Made Gifts for Both

Disclosure: If you buy through our links, we’ll get a small commission. Please do!

Today, we’re going shopping for Valentine’s Day presents at The Grommet, a place to find unique and imaginative gifts. This link takes you all their American-made items. Below are some of our favorites for sporty folks and those who love their sweets.

SPORTY:The Swurfer is a crazy-fun-looking swing developed by a surfer to prepare his kids for riding the waves. It can be used by kids and adults.This friendly mat makes yoga accessible, even to beginnersThis super-charged pogo stick can jump as high as 6 feet!

Bouy Ball is a perfect sport for the backyard or the beach and, because the bat has such a big, fat sweet spot, even the little ones as young as four can take a swing!
Hammerhead2You can have the fun of paddle boarding even when you’re on dry land. Check out the Hammerhead! They are manufactured in Virginia Beach, with wood from Pennsylvania.The Spooner Balance Board is not only fun, but a source of exercise.


MadeinUSAchocolateRebrand Chocolates: They’re not only beautiful, they’re chocolate! How can you go wrong?

How much fun would it be to have a piñata cake that you smash open to reveal fine chocolates? You choose the message.

How about Peppermint Hot Chocolate for 12?Have you ever heard of Pavitica bread? It’s a Slavic treat said to be perfect for breakfast.
RedKiteCandyRed Kite Candy makes charmingly packaged sweets for your sweetheart.

You’ve never seen fortune cookies like this before! Flavors include: Milk Chocolate with Toffee Crunch and Dark Chocolate with Almonds.

Happy Shopping!

Regards, Kathy


Hard Work and Hand-Crafted Cookware in Virginia

When I landed on the web site of Blanc Creatives, there were three things that immediately caught my attention: First were the beautiful photos of hand-crafted cookware. Second, the inspiring blacksmithing shots – having taken some basic blacksmithing classes, I could really appreciate the kind of work these people were doing.

Third, was the collage of shots from their Charlottesville, VA, workshop. It gave me the feeling that the group was putting heart and soul into everything they made.
The carbon steel skillet above comes in 3 sizes, 8″, 10″ and 12″ and is pre-seasoned. It will work in the oven, on the gas range or on a ceramic cook-top.
The roaster is the biggest piece made by the company. It measures 10″ across the bottom and 13″ from lip to lip and features two loop handles. I love the slight irregularities in the metal surface; they show that someone really handcrafted the piece.Blanc Creatives also features other items like this walnut charcuterie paddle and spreader.

According to the company’s bio there are ten people currently working at the forge and you really get the sense that this is hard labor.  Accordingly, they have set up a page where, even if you are unable to purchase anything, you can send them a cold beer for one of those hot nights working with fire. Fifteen bucks donated here gives the whole crew a round.



Copper Flasks, Tin Cups and More at Jacob Bromwell: Made in USA

I’ve been aware of Jacob Bromwell flasks for some time. This past Christmas we treated our daughter’s boyfriend to one and he loves it.

I knew that the company was expanding its offerings but, when I checked the site this past weekend, I was surprised to see just how many new American-made items they have. Starting with cocktails and continuing through the meal itself, Jacob Bromwell has a number of items that add elements of style to your food and drink preparation.
While the products are a little on the pricey side, you have to remember that these are not things you buy and discard after a few years – they are are intended to last you a long time with proper care.

cocktail-shakerEvery guy needs to own a cocktail shaker.  Even if you aren’t a drinker you can impress the heck out of your friends with a copper shaker. Even 007 would be impressed and that is saying a lot.
handle-formingI was just on a business trip when, for the first time, I saw someone order a Moscow Mule, so to see a specific, stylish Cup named for the libation is just perfect
fluted-shot-glassesEvery now and then it just seems that the time is right for a shot of something bracing. If you have a set of fluted copper shot glasses you will certainly stand apart from your friends who collect those souvenir shot glasses from travel destinations.

Now that you are properly stress relieved, it’s on to the kitchen:3-cup-sifterMy mother is a great baker and I remember as a child how excited I was when she let me help by sifting the flour. This 3 cup flour sifter might find its way into her kitchen or mine before the Holiday season is over.

730I don’t ever remember being in a persons kitchen and not seeing the classic cheese grater.

chestnut_roasterThe chestnut roaster above requires a little patience but the payoff is worth it.

mixing-bowl-close-upIf you are in the mood to entertain and want to really impress, then prepare a caesar salad complete with anchovies in the Americana copper mixing bowl.

jbWith facilities located in Indiana and Vermont,  you can take a photo tour of the facilities and see some of the people and equipment that go into making these items.

Regards, and Bon Appetite.