a chewy crispy non-chocolate valentine dessert

a chewy crispy non-chocolate valentine dessert

OK, I LOVE FOOD. I LOVE texture, especially chewy & crispy. I like chocolate. I just don’t go gaga over it. I’ve always been a caramel, butterscotch nut, coconut, sort of gal. So I found this recipe in my vault. My vault is, 37 years of Bon Appetit magazines. This one is probably from 1979.This torte went to dinner parties, family gatherings and even made it to the menu of Henry Wellington, (a long ago predecessor to City Cafe who is now moving over for a swank new Mexican spot). Anyway, I forgot about it. Until now when I brought home a jar of Robert Lambert’s beautiful raspberry champagne jelly. What a gorgeous way to tweak this recipe to 2015, cuz the rest is still a-ok. Coconut Walnut Torte with Raspberry Champagne Jelly Walnut Crust 1 1/3 cups flour 3 tablespoons sugar 11 tablespoons well chilled butter cut into small pieces 1 extra large egg yolk 1 jar ofRobert Lambert Raspberry Champagne Jelly (use 1/2 on the crust) Filling 1 ½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar 2 large egg yolks 1 cup chopped walnuts cup shredded coconut cup plus 1 tablespoon flour teaspoon baking powder pinch of salt For crust: Combine dry ingredients in a food processor, add butter a bit at a time. Add egg yolks, process until it comes together in a ball. Press in the bottom and a bit up the sides of a *spring form pan. Spread with of jam and chill. For Filling : Using electric mixer beat sugar and egg until thick about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients Pour into crust. Bake...
one gluten free word, onesto

one gluten free word, onesto

Ok, I’m obsessed. After the first of the year, like everyone else, I took a hard look at the number on the scale. gulp. I cut some things out of my diet. I juiced it for 3 days. That meant I cut meat, dairy and gluten. Just juice and a big bowl of vegetables. Then I added a couple grains quinoa and rice. Then after a few weeks I added dairy back in, (come on I own a cheese shop!!!) And, I added a bit of meat, not a lot. But I have not added much gluten at least not as much as I would like to consume. I have a had a bite here or there because well… it’s my job. And honestly I will eat bread again, BUT, only great bread. THE END. Not going to “I’m in a hurry and eat only ok bread”, if I am going to gain weight and bloat, only great bread will be worth it. I wish I could report lots of weight loss, but sigh, I can not. But, I can report I feel better. I’m still sorting it all out. But there’s a silver lining, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, a kindred spirit for cheese, soup, and dips, and it’s one word. ONESTO. These gluten free crackers are amazing!! The package does not boast a big GLUTEN FREE label. It’s a simple package for a simple cracker. Not full of junk. And it happens to be gluten free. My favorite flavor is sea salt because it goes with everything. The rosemary crackers are great...
booyah we have hooyah!

booyah we have hooyah!

grab a beer and gather around… At ZZest we don’t proclaim to have a huge beer list but, we have a decent selection. And we especially like a beer with a story. Navy vet Paul Jenkins came up with an idea while stuck in traffic one day. There was a billboard proclaiming how a national business “supports the troops.” Yet the unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is nearly triple the national rate as a whole. For disabled vets, it’s even worse the rate for them is over 80% unemployed. Big business is capitalizing on a brand we earned, Jenkins says. He figured there had to be a way to change that and provide meaningful career opportunities to veterans. So, Veteran Beer Company was founded in 2012 by Paul and Marine Corps veteran Mike Danzer.Our mission is simple. We are applying levels of precision and intensity to create and sell the finest craft beers in the world, so in the long run we are able to employ as many veterans as possible, as quickly as possible. The company is headquartered in Chicago, and brews in Cold Spring MN! It employs veterans in every role, from the supply chain to brewing, bottling and packaging. Veteran Beer started with two beers,Blonde Bomber and The Veteran. They consider their beer both mainstream and crafty. With 5% ABV for both the Blonde Bomber blonde ale and The Veteran amber lager, these are beers that were designed to be sessionable. (basically that means you can drink more than 1! hooyah!) Like ZZest, Veteran Beer Company uses only the finest quality ingredients and...
2 recipes for the new year

2 recipes for the new year

recipe #1 Eric’s Roasted Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese and Onion Balsamic Viniagrette Remember this little lovely from a couple years ago? It’s actually quite easy to whip up. These were the vegetable combo’s Eric used, but change it up! 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into small wedges. 1/2 butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into wedges about the same size as the potatoes a few * beets, skins scrubbed, cut into chunks 1 lbbrussels sprouts halved 1 sweet red pepper or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed, and cut into wedges about the same size as the potatoes 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 2 tablespoon , extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste your favorite cheese. we often used a slightly aged goat cheese like Cana de Cabra, Bucheron, Humboldt Fog, coarsely crumbled or cut In a large bowl toss together the vegetables (*except beets we always roasted the separately), rosemary, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange vegetables evenly on an edged baking sheet. They should not be overlapping. Roast beets separately to avoid bleeding. Roast at 425F for about 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelize. Watch closely stir often. Remove from the oven and let cool. This step can be completed a few hours ahead, in which case refrigerate the vegetables and bring back to room temperature before serving. For vinaigrette: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons Gracious Gourmet 4 onion balsamic spread (available at ZZest Market!) 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 cloves garlic, peeled, and...
our #localfarmer Tom Hunter

our #localfarmer Tom Hunter

One of many reasons ZZest’s menu is so special is our close working relationship with farmers. We love Tom Hunter’s Tangled Bank Farm near Wabasha, MN. Tom’s farm overlooks the Zumbro River just like at ZZest, he noted. As a certified organic farm, Tangled Bank Farm dos not use hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, chemical fertilizers; all animals are 100% grass-fed no grain, period. Tom’s cows are Shorthorn beef cows, an old-fashioned British breed. He says, “the sunshine and green grass is producing meat that is high in Omega 3’s and CLA’s, with a good amount of healthy fat, and lots of flavor to go with it. This is meat that is as good for you as it is for the environment.” And his grass-fed burger is memorable. In fact it tastes like burger used to taste, back in the day. For those of you that just grew up with mass produced beef, you’ll have to trust us and give the ZZest burger a whirl! Burger aside, on the menu right now is Tangled Bank Farm’s rosy veal. This is very special, and limited. We just got our first whole veal in. The season lasts through March so, we should be able to take advantage of this lovely meat for the next few months. Eating veal has been shunned by even carnivores, but if you take the time to understand the dynamics of a farm, there’s a reason and a use for veal on a farm. Dairy cows must give birth to provide milk. Their male calves are unsuitable for beef production and too costly to keep on the farm; it’s...
hey! hey! haystack cheese is here!

hey! hey! haystack cheese is here!

We love HAYSTACK cheese! And it’s in the cheese case right now. This cheese comes from Colorado and is just another example of what makes ZZest Market unique and not like a regular grocery store cheese counters. We seek out that small producer that makes amazing cheeses you won’t see at a Hyvee or Costco. Supporting the US cheese maker is always a priority for ZZest. We can’t wait to add Haystack cheeses to our cheese menu at the cafe. Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy began in 1988, founder Jim Schott and his wife bought five goats (four does and a buck) and cultivated a modest farm in Niwot, Colorado. Haystack Mountain lay in view just to the north, and after he’d made his first delicious chevre, Jim couldn’t think of a better emblem for what he set out to build. Jim incorporated the company in 1989 and started selling his homemade chevre to restaurants and farmers markets in and around Boulder County. Haystack won its first award in 1992 and has since garnered praise from the American Cheese Society, the World Cheese Awards, and the World Championship Cheese Contest, including first-place awards for Chili Jack, Queso de Mano, Peak, Feta, Camembert, Red Cloud, Wall Street Gold, Chevre en Marinade, and Green Chile Chevre. The cheesemaker Jackie Chang and her team have the patience, skill and sense of adventure to create cheeses known for their clean, fresh flavor profiles, free of goaty flavors and aromas . Even if you’ve shied away from goat cheese in the past, give Haystack’s a try. All Haystack Mountain goat cheeses are handmade and free...
ice cream for me . ice cream for you

ice cream for me . ice cream for you

When I first decided to open a specialty market with a focus on cheese I also wanted to sell amazing ice cream. I’m not sure why ice cream, except I really like ice cream. But also because good ice cream, really good ice cream, is amazing, and I wanted to help bring that to Rochester. I started with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream about 8 years ago. The company was still relatively small and the flavor possibilities were seemingly endless. As Jeni’s grew their ice cream never missed a beat, perfect each time I got it. But, the list of flavors started to dwindle. I added High Road Craft Ice Cream that had lots of great flavors. Black Pepper Vanilla will always remain an all time fav for me. But transportation issues from Georgia to here always was a struggle. And then right in our own back yard St Paul Mn….we connected with Sweet Science. Ashlee Olds is as sweet as her ice cream. She answered my email right away and drove the first order down herself! In no time flat we were scooping Salted Caramel, Rhubarb Almond, Pear Riesling and Chocolate Sorbet for ZZest Cafe dessert menu. I have to say the salted caramel rivals Jeni’s. Ashlee has done her homework and we are thrilled to be working with this MN girl!! We scoop Sweet Science at ZZest Cafe and also at Porch! In fact, Ashlee created a signature Porch flavor, Oatmeal. It’s perfect with farm pie and it’s also available in mini flavors at ZZest Market! Mini flavors also available in the market- chocolate sorbet (wait until you...
restaurants = family

restaurants = family

There’s a lot of industry buzz lately. The closing of La Belle Vie was very sad news. My heart goes out to Chef McKee. I can’t help but think how hard it would be to break the news to your employees. That scenario can run into any business owners mind from time to time. The restaurant business is a hard. The people you work with are like a second family. In some cases maybe even first family. I’m sure in Tim McKee’s case, as ours, every decision made revolves around the staff’s well being. Next in the news, Danny Meyer and the no tipping policy he is implementing in November. It made the headlines on CNN, NBC and Fox and there are a lot of opinions out there. Some people are relieved to be rid of the burden of deciding how much to tip while others want the option available to them. Too bad, no one talked to us here at ZZest because the family here, has it all figured out… Some of you may remember, that ZZest as it sits now, was not the original plan. Here’s the inside scoop if you want ALL the details. Basically we didn’t start out as a full service restaurant and any tips earned went to the chefs. As we grew, and that meant adding wait staff, the staff came together as a family and made some major decisions. They would pool tips. Every person shares in the tips. Kind of like the Little Red Hen story. You help bake the bread, you eat the bread. This creates a very close knit...