May Must Haves for the Culinary Enthusiast

POPSUGAR FoodSource: May Must Haves For the Culinary Enthusiast

Balmy, beautiful May weather has us itching to entertain more often; thankfully, we've found a handful of new products that'll make it a breeze. From making homemade crackers and dips (with help from a handy cookbook), to whipping up batch after batch of vegan, gluten-free cupcakes, and even shaking up exceptional cocktails with a sense of place, these foodie finds will be indispensable in our efforts. We suggest you follow suit.

  • Next Meal: Engineering Food: Genetically engineered foods: how should they be regulated? How do they impact the environment? How badly do we need them? How could they shape the future? Quest's latest special, Next Meal: Engineering Food, attempts to answer these critical questions. Catch it online beginning May 7, or if you're in Northern California, on May 8 at 7:30 p.m. on KQED.
  • Tasting Room Wine Club by Lot18: When it comes to wine, selecting the "right" bottle can be overwhelming at times; that's where Lot18 comes in. A wine subscription service that takes the guesswork out of finding the perfect bottle for you, Lot 18 works by sending subscribers a kit of six sample-sized bottles ranging in style from crisp Sauvignon Blanc to big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon. Subscribers are then walked through a comparative tasting, which determines what wines appeal most to their palate, allowing for a custom case of wine ($85 for the first shipment) that's bound to please. I'll happily cheers to that!
  • DIY Crackers and Dips: I'm guilty of pretty much always buying prepackaged crackers and dips, which is why I can't wait for the release of Crackers and Dips: More than 50 Handmade Snacks ($20) by Ivy Manning. Let homemade snacking begin!


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  • 100-Mile Cocktails: Four Seasons is taking local and sustainable to the next level with its 100 Mile Cocktail Campaign, kicking off this week. The hotel and resort chain is challenging bar managers from properties around the globe to come up with garden-to-glass drinks containing only ingredients sourced within 100 miles of the hotel. Think the Raspberry Driver (Hangar raspberry vodka, fresh-squeezed juice) at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; the Gin Cream (Brooklyn gin, Fox's U-bet syrup) at the Four Seasons New York; a Journey Along the Lake (Journeyman white whiskey, organic farm eggs) in Chicago; and the SoCal Julep (Crusoe rum, rhubarb-agave syrup) at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. As if we needed another reason to drink!
  • Babycakes NYC: The Complete Baking Kit: The famed gluten-free, vegan Babycakes bakery now makes it even easier to enjoy its pastries at home with its line of baking mixes and bottled icings. Babycakes NYC: The Complete Baking Kit ($50) includes Vanilla Cake Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, Fudge Brownie Mix, and Vanilla Frosting. All you need to add before experiencing baking bliss is vanilla, oil, agave nectar, and applesauce. I'm a huge lover of Sprinkles Cupcakes (and their mixes), so I can only hope that Babycakes follows suit and has developed mixes that deliver the same iconic tastes I dream about from the Manhattan storefront.
  • Anthropologie Kitchen Utensil Rack: This steel kitchen utensil rack ($298) is a great way to utilize the wall to store items in tiny kitchens. While the rack is neutral in color and tone, it can easily be dazzled up with colorful plates, kitchen towels, cups, and spice jars.
  • Reed's Kombucha: I'm a kombucha devotee and add ginger to just about everything, so when my neighborhood market started stocking a line of the fermented tea from Reed's (of ginger beer fame) I eagerly snapped up a few bottles. Thankfully it didn't disappoint; tangy, spicy from a hearty helping of ginger, and available in intriguing flavors like Passion Mango Ginger ($4), this zippy beverage has made me into a happy convert to say the least.


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