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The Sophisticated Lunchbox

Lunchtime Inspiration
When it comes to packing lunches, it doesn't take much to add interest to the ordinary, and make lunch time sophisticated. We recommend starting with the best, fresh ingredients you can get your hands on, and planning dinners to include great leftovers.

And you can always build a stellar sandwich. Start with the bread. A sandwich made on Semifreddi's Foccaccia or rolled up in a California Lavash Flatbread presents a fresh outlook to a well-worn idea. We also love to switch it up with Wedermeyer's Rye Bread.

Next, what to spread? Stonewall Kitchen Old Farmhouse Chutney adds an splash of flavor--apples, cranberries, peaches, apricots, and raisins are mixed with delicious spices. Or Elki Carmelized Onion and Balsamic Spread Sweet with aged balsamic and brown sugar adds tremendous depth of flavor to cheeses and meats.

Artisana Raw, Organic Nut Butters come in deliciously unique flavors: Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Pecan Butter and Walnut Butter.

Marin French Cheese Company's Petite Breakfast is a perfect little package of mild, creamy brie that you can spread on crackers, bread or eat with fruit. It is exactly the right size for one person.

Silk Road Soda comes in Original Mint, Pomegranate Mint, and Cucumber Mint. Sparkly, organic, and with just enough sugar, they are a modern spin on a time-honored tradition.

 Black Medicine Ready to Drink Iced Coffee is unsweetened, and extra strong. It is the best iced coffee we have found. It's refreshing, bold, and complex.

Nektar Naturals Single-Serve Packets remove the mess of the honey bear bottle with precise packets of honey crystals that deliver the rich, elegant taste of honey in your lunch box.

Presentation is critical. Consider carrying better-quality, reusable containers and cloth napkins. And check out these great, insulated lunch bags from Now Designs that we have in the store. They are just the right size to hold lunch and a drink or thermos.


Just in! Great insulated bags for back-to-school, office lunches, baby goodies, and a bunch more uses.

These bags are durable enough for school lunches, but so sophisticated you can carry them to the office. Easy-to-clean and roomy-they hold a thermos plus all your lunchtime essentials.

With a laminated cotton exterior, tight stitching, a strong handle and a tough front velcro closure, they measure approximately 7-1/2 inches wide, 9 inches tall, and 5 inches deep. Plus their silver insulation keeps food fresh.

Right now we have owls, animals, and polka dots. Check back for more designs, as we have more on order.
By J. M. Hirsch

Get inspired about packing lunch.

Beating the Lunch Box Blues isn't a cookbook, it's an idea book. Because when it comes to lunch, nobody has time to break out a recipe. Busy people need lunch ideas...lots of them. And those ideas need to be healthy, fast, affordable, and delicious.

Jammed with nearly 200 photos and more than 500 tips and meals, this book is designed to save families time, money, and their sanity.

And because the best lunches often are built from the leftovers of great suppers, he has also included 30 fast and flavorful dinner recipes designed to make enough for tomorrow, too. Crazy-good stuff like short ribs braised in a Rosemary-Port Sauce, Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf, and kid-friendly classics such as Turkey Sloppy Joes and American Chop Suey.

Your kids love the bright packages and great flavor, we love the lower sugar and natural ingredients.

Just one sip and you'll be hooked. Their secret is the just-right blend of teas and fruit juices. They contain less than half the sugar of other lunch box juices, and are made without high-fructose corn syrup.

Try these delicious flavors with great names: Appley Ever After, Berry Berry Good Lemonade, Goodness Grapeness, Super Fruit Punch, and Tropical Tango Punch.


From the Cocktail Post
This Post is adapted from a sangria column in the newest edition of Imbibe Magazine. We're putting together the best ingredients for a sangria that is sure to quench your summer's thirst!

Original recipe from Ellen Rehak from El Condor, Los Angeles.


Tra�di�tional Italian Cheese that has trav�eled all the way from Berkeley.

They say that when it comes to fresh cheese, it is better to import the cheese maker than the cheese. And that is just what Belfiore did. Have you tried their milky-fresh Fior di Latte (Fresh Moz�zarella in water), Traditional Mozzarella, Ricotta or Mascarpone? Each is made true to tradition, and with the best ingredients.

The Belfiore Cheese Com�pany is one of the few remaining small, family-owned cheese making oper�a�tions in the Bay Area. All Belfiore prod�ucts are made 100% nat�u�rally without any addi�tives or preser�v�a�tives. Their busi�ness was estab�lished in 1987 as one of America's first pio�neers pro�ducing hand crafted Italian-style cheeses.

Look for the Cal�i�fornia Poppy on the label!

Read More... 

We are thrilled to announce we are now carrying Fra'Mani! These authentic, handcrafted meats are as good as it gets.

Fra' Mani keeps old world food traditions alive in taste and craft, using ingredients of the highest-quality from sustainable sources. A Berkeley-based business, Fra' Mani was founded by chef Paul Bertolli (a Chez Panisse and Oliveto alum).

We are currently carrying four varieties: Spicy Uncured Capicollo, Rosemary Ham, Smoked Uncured Pancetta, and Mortadella.

From Amy and our "What's For Dinner Wednesday" recipe blog 

Wrap It Up
School started this week. Part of me is beyond relieved that we can get back to a normal routine, and that the kids will now have their time occupied. The other part is trying to wrap my mind around the reality that I now have two middle school students. Whoa, when did that happen? Wasn't it last year when one boy was crying at the door to kindergarten because he didn't want me to go? (By the way, that's changed...I now have to drop them off a few blocks away, while wearing a wig so no one recognizes me, or them, or me with them.)

Another thing that's changed? Lunch.

Apparently, the usual is no longer cool. Until now, lunch for my boys has always been turkey and mayo on wheat. That's it. Every Day. All year. (Zzzzzzzzzz...Sorry, fell  asleep there for a minute.) However, when I asked what they wanted for their first day, I got, this as my answer, "Turkey and mayo but only if you have avocado. If not , I'll have Roast Beef with lettuce and Havarti cheese" Umm...ok. Sure. I applaud their willingness to try something new, especially while channeling characters from When Harry Met Sally. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Full Disclosure: I must give some credit to my nephew who spent quite a bit of time at our house over the summer. He has a more refined palate, and his influence has prompted change. He prefers such bizarre things as sliced red onion on his sandwiches. Rebel.

I know these changes are not ground-breaking concepts in terms of sandwich sophistication--it is a major step up though. This gives me hope that I can try more stuff like the recipe below which, funny thing, is something I would prefer to make for my own lunch thus cutting down morning kitchen time.

They are growing up, which is both good and bad. Good because I can't wait to see the adults they become, and bad because I miss the squishy, drooling kids that used to laugh when I blew on their tummies. Oh well. I still have The Rocket Dog...she still likes that...

Curried Chicken and Apple Wraps

Makes four servings.
Get the recipe...
In This Issue
Cool Lunch Bags
This Month's Cookbook pick
Featured Product
The Cocktail Post
Vendor of the Month
Fra' Mani Handcrafted Lunchmeats
Curried Chicken and Apple Wraps
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Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.

Streamlined Baked Manicotti

Chicken Tamale Pie

Easy Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream (No-Churn)

In Memory of Desmond Ritchie

Chiles Anchos Rellenos de Queso (Cheese-Filled Ancho Chiles)

Tian de Courgettes au Riz (Zucchini Tian)

Clam Chowder with Root Vegetables and Thyme

Lemon Meringue Pie

Jelly, Marmalade & Jam

Never-Fail Biscuits and Strawberry Freezer Jam

Black and Tan Sundae

Spinach Cobb Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, Avocado & Derby Dressing

Singapore Sling

Summer Pannini

Peach Cobbler
Canal House's Chicken Thighs with Lemon

Spicy Beer Marinated Flank Steak

Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Lemongrass Marinade

Mexican Bulldog Margarita

Classic Ensenada Fish Tacos

Amy's Roast Chicken

Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake
Crispy, Crackly Apple-Almond Tart

Cashel Blue, Spinach and Smoked Salmon Tartlets

Easy Self-Rising Biscuits

Classic Chicken Chow Mein

Julie & Julia's Bruschetta

Spicy Mushroom Tamales

Mush�room and Shallot Quiche

Amy's Gua�camole

Roasted Cauli�flower & Hazelnut Salad

Bach�elor Beef Stew

Crock Pot Oats & Amish Style Baked Oat�meal

Champagne Cocktail

Irish Coffee

Holiday Cookie Basket

Anise Cakes

Roasted Fresh Ham with Citrus and Rye

Christmas Butter Cookies

Gam's Apple Chutney

Pie Month

Autumn Salad with Apples, Comt�, and Hazelnuts

Deconstructed Holiday Turkey with Sage Gravy

Cornmeal-Crusted Crayfish Pies

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Three Soups!
Bonus Recipes

Apple, Onion and Cheddar Soup

Traditional French Cassoulet

Endive & Fuyu Persimmon Salad with Pecans

Double Cut pork Chops with Garlic Butter

Inside Out Pumpkin Muffins

Cock-A-Leekie Soup

Crab and Corn Pies with Corn Crab Sauce

Amy's Hummus