Category Archives: Dining & Entertaining

Brooklyn Slate: Made in USA

Brooklyn Slate Co. was founded in 2009 by Kristy Hadeka and Sean Tice. Inspiration came after visiting the slate quarry in upstate New York owned by Kristy’s family. What at first started as a simple project started to get noticed by friends and a business was born.A lot of care goes into selecting the slate pieces that they will sell.  Color (you can order black or red), thickness and finish are all considered. Pieces are  treated with a food safe mineral oil to protect the slate from staining. Even the burlap packaging has been thought-out, not just to be green, but to work with the natural look of slate. A piece of soapstone is included so you can write on the slate.I enjoy entertaining and I have no doubt that if I had a few items from Brooklyn Slate on my table that they would be noticed. There’s something really cool about offering guests a great selection of cheeses or charcuterie on a natural piece of slate. Better yet, how about setting down a fine Scotch on a slate coaster? You can even have the slate engraved.The slate items are all Made-in-the-USA as are some of the other collaboration pieces, like the coffee mugs shown above. Their speckled appearance is the result of clay mixed with ground slate. American-made items are clearly marked. The few items not marked with a country-of-origin are assumed to be imported..



Baerreis Sculptural Salad Servers: Made in USA

One of the wonders of good design is that it allows people to find joy in using ordinary objects. You don’t have to go to an art gallery to experience beauty if you choose items for your home that will delight you every day with their appearance.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!Martha and Phil Baerreis live in the southern Appalachian Mountains where they make beautiful wooden objects for everday use. I was especially struck by the simple beauty of their salad servers, which come in several wood varieties.

When they’re not in use shoveling greens onto your plate, simply set them on a table, where they resembled a serene pair of praying hands.Other designs may not pass as works of art, but they will add enjoyment to you meals. Check out these makers today.

Regards, Kathy

Kalamazoo Grills: Made in Michigan

Spring is in full bloom here in the Northeast and the outdoor grilling season has begun. So, when I saw these American-Made grills, smokers and pizza ovens offered by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, I knew I had to bring them to your attention.

I really like the stainless steel finish and the robustness of the products. Of course, I am also impressed by the dedication of the owner to keep the business in the USA when so many companies are moving offshore. That’s what motivates us to write this blog. When I saw this smoker all I could think about a was how useful it would be at the annual food orgy one of my friend organizes. He calls it Moo,  Cluck and Squeal and the event centers on smoking /grilling brisket, chicken and ribs.Pizza is one of those foods that I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the pizza oven from Kalamazoo is something I really would love to own.If you are a purist and want to cook with wood or charcoal, then the Gaucho Grill is perfect for you. You control the cooking temperature by adjusting the height of the grill surface.

Now, not all of us can afford these high-end grills (the stand-alone smoker above is more than $13,000), but when finances allow and if you love to cook outdoors, you owe it to yourself to check out the range of products available.

Happy grilling.



Kitchen Linens in Denim: Made in America

I love denim and, between one garment and another, I’m usually wearing it 7 days a week. So I was surprised, but really intrigued to see the look and color of denim in such an unexpected place as the dining room table. I don’t know if these items fade with use, but if they do, all the better.
The name of the company responsible for these appealing designs is Small Gunns, founded by sisters Diana and Michelle Stock. They make a variety of items: coasters, placements, table runners, aprons and more, using denim and other fabrics.

Buffalo Plaid pillows in Red, White and Blue feature a gold zipper with denim binding.The indigo and hickory stripe apron above features three pockets, and a towel loop and is made in San Francisco.I would definitely like to have a Small Guns runner made from denim, especially since it would go so well with our glass table and white dishes. (For a limited time, table runners are half price.)




Cool and Contemporary Corelle Dinnerware: Still Made in USA

When Corelle dinnerware came out in the 1970’s, it was seen as a technological marvel. It was lightweight like fine china, but you could drop it without breaking it. And it was made of glass, not plastic like other break-resistant dinnerware. Corelle’s versatility in the microwave, oven, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher gave it even more appeal.

Today, Corelle is still going strong and still, for the most part, Made in America. (Coffee mugs and some other articles are imported.) More than 2000 patterns have come and gone as 70’s style gave way to more contemporary looks.

Here’s what Corelle looks like today:City Block PatternGeometrics PatternUrban Grid PatternOcean BluesPayden Pattern

To see all Corelle products, go here: