It's the Little Things That Mean a Lot
Back in February- when Covid 19 was something happening in China that wouldn't ever affect the United States (the President promised)- we visited friends who winter in Las Vegas. We slept in most mornings, but on the day we left, we decided to have brunch at The Bagel Cafe, a deli with an extensive menu and the chutzpah to bill itself as an "authentic New York bakery & deli."
While everyone else had egg-based dishes, I ordered the cheese blintzes with fruit sauce and sour cream, a dish I haven't made-or ordered- in several decades. The blintzes were good-make that "very" good- but the coffee stole the show. Not because it was some wonderfully exotic blend served at just the right temperature. And not because the coffee cup was just the right shape and size like my favorite cup at home. So?
What made this cup of coffee -which was neither a latte nor a cappuccino- so outstanding was that it was served with hot-make that very hot- milk, just like it would have been in Italy or Spain or Argentina, places where a good cup of coffee is a veritable art form.
The next time I'm in Las Vegas, breakfast at The Bagel Cafe will be at the top of my "musts" list. Sometimes it's the little things that mean a lot.
The Bagel Cafe, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 702.797. 8218
I'm always curious about new products and products that are new to me. Back when I was writing for trade publications in the gourmet food industry, I would regularly get samples to try. Decades later, I still order the boiled cider jelly from Wood's Cider Mill in Springfield, Vermont.
So with everything tanking around me and the fear, isolation and boredom generated by the quarantine taking its toll, I found myself saying an enthusiastic "yes" to queries about sampling new products, convinced they'd offer a break from the tedium- which they did.
Pure crumb's line of "thin and crispy" barks," are made with almond flour and coconut oil, in lieu of flour and butter. Options include Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark, Crumb Cake Bark, and Brownie Bark. Touted as"Simply Sweet & Delightfully Clean!," the Barks are gluten free and dairy free, a combination that's a formidable challenge, even for a skilled pastry chef.
Calorie counts vary. An 0.88 ounce bag of Crumb Cake Bark has 130 calories, while the same weight bag of Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark has 120 calories. A slightly smaller bag-0.81 ounces-of the Chocolate Brownie Bar has 160 calories.
The bars can be eaten as a snack, dipped into coffee or tea, or crumbled over fruit or a frozen dessert.
Like so many of the products designed for vegans and vegetarians, plant junkie's line of dressings and spreads offer an interesting addition to diets that also include meat and dairy products. Some of the products are made with canola oil, others with avocado oil, and they're all gluten free and GMO free.
Dressing options include Chili Pomegranate Vinaigrette, Chia Ranch Dressing, Turmeric & Pepper Ranch Dressing, and Thai Peanut Vinaigrette. In addition, there's both a Chipotle Lime Spread & Dressing and a Spread & Dressing made with avocado oil.
Kamut (R) is a brand name for Khorasan, an ancient grain closely related to wheat. While the kernel is shaped like a kernel of wheat, it's nearly twice the size. Kracklin' Kamut (R), which is part of Big Sandy Organics in Big Sandy, Montana, slow roasts the grain to produce a crunchy snack with a nutty flavor.
Available in two flavors-sea salt and churro-Kracklin' Kamut (R) adds a healthy crunch to salads, soups, and a long list of other options. The company is planning to debut a third flavor-Salt & Vinegar-in July.