We love, love, love to make cocktails and are always scanning the world for cool new ideas. Vena’s Fizz House, based out of Portland Maine, is a combined very small craft cocktail bar and little shop, located near the docks downtown. We just started carrying their cleverly packaged cocktail infusion kits. Each bottle comes with a carefully prepared mix of dried fruits, herbs, sugar, and spices…all you have to do is add your favorite spirit and let it sit for a few days and then you are Cocktail ready!
NEW ENGLAND INVITE, a wonderful collection of recipes + entertaining tips written by local author Kate Bowler, known for her ever-popular blog “Domesticated Life” and instagram – “@domestikateblog”
ALL ABOUT CAKE, newest book from Christina Tosi of Milk Bar, originally in NYC . We confess a major girl-crush on her and are addicted to her “crack pie” – She is opening a Milk Bar bakery here in the Boston area (Cambridge) sometime in the next few months…dangerous dangerous…Her new book arrived this week and we obsessed…!
PLATTERS + BOARDS – Gorgeously photographed, filled with delicious ideas for creating your own feasts, organized by time of day…get inspired
Bee Raw Honey – Single varietal raw honey from apiaries around the US – Flavors include Maine Blueberry, Washington Buckwheat, Georgia Tupelo and Colorado Sweet Clover. The company donates a portion of their proceeds to the Save the Bees Foundation.
COMPARTES Chocolate – Super fun blends, made in their flagship store in LA. Our favorites include Birthday Cake and California Love (chocolate + pretzels)
Brooklyn + Vermont-based Morris Kitchen creates delicious flavored cocktail syrups! Whip up a Margarita Pitcher on a hot sunny afternoon! Grapefruit Honey is our Summer Pick!
Any of you who have wandered around Shake knows how much we love to cook (and eat!) so, of course, we wanted to share some of our new favorite cookbooks with you! From “clean” eating to global tastes, here are our top picks:
MYERS + CHANG at HOME…all the deliciousness from local stars Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz from their must-try restaurant in the South End. This book is especially close to my heart because I was one of their team of at-home recipe testers, trying the recipes, giving feedback etc…while the book was in production!
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 COCKTAILS…continuing on the global tasting trail, this one is for the traveling, experimenting home bartender, blending new flavors from around the world!
BOWLS is a big staff favorite because it’s filled with easy to follow combinations of grains, veggies and protein, with each component individually seasoned! Delicious delicious and delicious!
GOOD CLEAN EATS is filled with healthy recipes written by a health coach specializing in Integrative Nutrition. Perfect for winter detoxing…
Lastly..WHOLE 30.. Not the prettiest book ever but seriously one of my favorites…great recipe ideas if you are either doing the strict “Whole 30” diet regimen or are just looking for high protein, low sugar, low carb flavorful meals!
Are you a Do-It-Yourself Crafter of Holiday Gifts? Is someone on your Holiday List a Maker at heart?
Check out our favorite inspirational books! Food Gift Love is written by Maggie Battista, creator of the online shop – Eat Boutique, featuring small batch products, and the creative force behind local foodie pop ups! Her recipes will inspire you to get into the kitchen and lovingly create your own holiday treats!
The Maker, by Tamara Maynes, is a beautifully illustrated insightful entry into the world of makers. Get inspired!
When it’s quiet or rainy outside, I often find myself flipping though our collection of recipe books, planning and imagining summer brunches, BBQs, farm fresh dinners and cocktail/appetizer parties! For me, planning the menu and setting everything up on Shake’s platters and trays is half the fun!
This summer I’ve been really into a more natural tablescape, using rough cut mango wood bark plates or Bamboo trays from Be Home, a small company committed to designing with sustainable resources.
Below are my two favorite cookbooks this summer! Volante Farm is a local farm, based in Needham, MA, and this is their very first book of recipes! Gather is simply beautiful and inspiring!
Spend the afternoon wandering through the historic North End neighborhood and Boston waterfront and stop into Shake on Saturday, June 10th(1-3) for our Cocktail Bitters + Shrubs Tasting with THE HUDSON STANDARD!
Based in upstate NY, Hudson Standard creates small-batch handcrafted bitters and syrups to flavor cocktails and sparkling waters. They partner with local farms to
source fruits and herbs!
Sundays come rolling round and weekly meal planning begins. When I am super organized (which does not happen as often as I wish!) I literally get my morning coffee, gather my favorite recipe books, plan out meals and draft a shopping list? I bring breakfast and lunch to work every day so planning for leftovers is key!
Infusing things is my newest obsession…flavoring vodka by adding toasted rosemary or fresh cucumber, making simple sugar or honey syrups with ginger, lime zest, and cinnamon …all great ideas to boost flavors in homemade cocktails or sparkly waters!
Well, Spring has finally come knocking on our door and, after months of dreary, grey and raw cold, New Englanders can take a deep breath and enjoy the warmth and sunshine! Since everyone pretty much hibernates through the winter, I always feel like I want to host an April gathering, re-connecting with friends who we haven’t seen in ages. This calls for pulling out our favorite seasonal cookbooks, collecting white ceramic platters, marble cutting boards, special small gold dishes, artichoke candles and setting a beautifully landscaped table!
“Forest Feast Gatherings” has beautiful vegetarian focused menus and decor suggestions! This weekend, I’m hoping to use their “Cocktail Party” menu featuring rose spritzers, kumquat gimlet punch, avocado-tahini crostinis, truffled cucumber rounds and spicy chocolate almonds!
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and it is one of my favorite holidays. Whether you are partnered or single, to me, it is a day that is simply filled with gratitude for the love of the people who are most special in our lives. Yes, it has been over-commercialized, but behind that, is the simple call to action to tell people you love how much you appreciate them. And…chocolate plus flowers helps😊
We love to support local small-batch makers and recently discovered McCrea’s Candies! Honestly, I have never been much of a fan of caramels in the past because they awlays felt super hard, tough to chew, and way too sticky. Until now. McCrea’s are a whole new ballgame. – soft, melt in your mouth, just the right amount sweet. Flavors include classic vanilla, rosemary truffle, deep chocolate, single malt scotch ( personal favorite) and black lava sea salt.
These are the brainchild of Jason McCrea, a local scientist, and Karen McCrea, marketing and product development whiz. Originally created in his home kitchen, Jason and Karen now cook up these little wonders in a small commercial Boston kitchen. They use an early 20th century candy cutting and wrapping machine to keep the process traditional!
Sold in pretty tubes for $15, these treats make lovely gifts!
So, let’s chat about SHRUBS…the delicious small-batch variety made from fruit and cider vinegar, not the little green bushy ones. During the Colonial Era, farmers made shrubs as a way of preserving fruit from the harvest, mixing it with sugar and vinegar and bottling it up for a later date! In recent years, indie bartenders and cocktail mixologists have started creating their own flavor profiles for signature drinks! A small amount of shrubs add a fruit punch and tangy bite!
We recently discovered Shrub & Co., a small-batch maker out of California that packs up the sweetest little gift sets using organic fruit and aromatics for all of us home chemists who love to experiment and play with our barware! Flavors include hardest peach, apple, wildflower, honey, spicy ginger and cranberry!
Apotheker’s Kitchen is a local small-batch chocolate company started by Russ and Shari Apotheker out of the Crop Circle Kitchens! Their bars and super-addictive marshmallows are honey-sweetened and made with love!