A Possibly Permanent Pause

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Hello fellow foodies and travel buffs,

I’m sorry it’s been a bit since I’ve written here. My cross-US-then-cross-Canada road trip has been keeping me busy, as have (excitingly) some new writing projects, including a bunch of food-related ones.

Which is why I’m writing today here.

Since I’ve got some new food writing work on the docket, I’ll be pausing my food posts here for the foreseeable future. The good news is that you’ll be able to find me over at places like Spoonful Magazine and I’ll still be writing all my regular travelogues (including possibly some new foodie pieces) over at gigigriffis.com.

Thanks for sharing my little foodie blog experiment journey with me and I hope you’ll keep reading over at gigigriffis.com and my other online publications (which I’ll be sharing on Facebook and at gigigriffis.com in my monthly link round ups).

Happy munching and traveling,

Gigi

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How to Make Homemade Unsalted Butter (In a Blender)

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Did you know that you can make homemade butter in a blender?

No? I didn’t either until this winter.

And the good news is it’s super simple…and it’ll help you use up whatever heavy whipping cream you have left over after making a recipe (since recipes never seen to call for the amount of cream that actually comes in the containers).

Without further ado, then, here’s how to do it:

What you’ll need:

A good blender (I used a vitamix)
Heavy whipping cream

1. Pour whipping cream into the blender, close up the blender, and start blending. The cream will get thicker and thicker and eventually turn into whipped cream.

2. Keep blending, but keep an eye on the cream. Sometimes air pockets will form and the cream will stop blending. If this happens, you will notice because the top layer of cream will be still (you may also notice the blender sounds different when this happens). Keep a stirring implement on hand and stop the blender and mix if this happens (it happened to me like 10 times, so stick with it even if it keeps happening).

3. Next, the cream will start to separate into something that looks like clumps of butter (because it is) and something that looks like milky water (this is buttermilk). Keep blending until none of it looks like whipped cream anymore.

blender butter start

4. Now, stop the blender and drain the buttermilk into a container to save for pancakes or other buttermilk recipes. Hold back the butter with a spoon if necessary.

5. The next step is to wash the butter. Do this by pouring cold water into the blender until it covers the butter. Then pulse your blender a couple times. The water will turn cloudy. Drain the water (and save if you like; I saved mine and labeled it “buttermilk light”…I haven’t used it yet, but have been told it’s still good for buttermilk recipes).

6. Repeat this step until the water you’re using to wash the butter isn’t really cloudy anymore.

7. Remove butter from blender and store. You can freeze it, refrigerate it, or keep it in a container on the counter for daily use.

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A Very Foodie Link Round-Up, April Edition

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Photo: Pizza in Parma, Italy.

Good morning, friends. As you’re reading this, Chad and I are packing up our spices and oils and portable hot plate for a two and a half month road trip across the US and then back across Canada. I’m looking forward to figuring out some creative road trip food and to trying some great local restaurants around North America. If you have any suggestions for me in places like Park City, UT, or Chicago or Quebec City, please leave them in the comments. Also, if you want to follow along in real time, I’ll likely be posting a lot on Instagram and Facebook.

And now, onto some amazing foodie links:

:: The secret ingredient in great tomato soup.

:: You’re right, Prague, it’s about time for doughnut ice cream cones.

:: Old, good: What can a vegan eat in Italy?

:: One of my favorite new recipes from this winter: Macaroni & Cheese with a kick. (Double the recipe. Trust me.)

:: I just grabbed Joy the Baker’s gorgeous new cookbook from the library. So looking forward to trying the tiny cookie-sized pies.

:: I use Pinterest to organize my to-try and favorite online recipes. Here’s my profile.

:: Starting your own food blog? Here’s an important question: Can I Post Adaptations of Published Recipes on My Food Blog?

:: And let’s wrap this up with something fun: 10 wines to drink with ice cream.


P.S. There are just a few days left to sign up for my quarterly travel boxes. If you’re intrigued, now’s the time to sign up.

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Travel & Foodie Gems From Around the World—In Your Mailbox

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So, you know those subscription boxes that have been getting so popular? The ones where every month or every quarter a package arrives full of cute stuff for your dog or your kitchen or your bookshelf? Stuff you probably wouldn’t have found on your own, but that delights the dog-lover or gourmet chef or avid reader in you?

Well, there’s a new box in town.

This one for lovers of world travel.

Curated by yours truly and only open to a handful of subscribers.

That’s right, for the rest of 2016, I’ll be putting together three quarterly boxes full of little gems I find during my travels, as well as a personal letter explaining why I chose those things and maybe a few coupons or freebies for experiences—like food tours, hotel stays, zip lines, cooking classes—around the world.

What kinds of things will you find in the boxes?

Every box will be custom-curated based on where I’m traveling and what I find along the way that quarter (and thus every quarter will be very, very different). That said, some things that I’ve found and gifted to people in the past include:

:: Chocolate-covered spices from Paris
:: Local postcards, both stunning and quirky
:: Handmade soaps from Croatian, Parisian, or Spanish markets
:: Specialty jams made with flowers in France
:: Quirky journals from Toledo, Spain
:: Excellent airplane books
:: Good bottles of French wine
:: Real Swiss chocolates

PLUS, every box will contain:

:: A letter from me about how I stumbled upon its contents and why I chose them
:: Bonuses like coupons for discounted hotel stays, food tours, or restaurants around the world

And perhaps a monkey named Justin Bieber.

Monkey time

Okay. Just kidding about the monkey part.

As you can see, the boxes aren’t 100% foodie delights, but it’s my plan to include some along the way.

So, now, the boxes themselves. You’ve got two options:

The Basic Travel Box

Every quarter, I’ll send you a small box of hand-picked local gems for travel-lovers from wherever I’m traveling. Think of it as a quarterly care package from your crazy always-traveling friend.

Quarterly cost: $55 (that’s only about $19 per month)

2016 (three box) cost: $165

Sign up now for 2016

The Bigger Better Travel Box

Filled to the brim, the Bigger Better Travel Box is twice the spices, wines, postcards, and travel goodies every quarter.

Quarterly cost: $99 (that’s $33 per month)

2016 (three box) cost: $297

Sign up now for 2016

I’m only taking 10 people and registration for the first quarterly box ends on April 30. Currently, this is only open to residents of the US and Canada (though I may expand if things go well, so stay tuned if you’re outside North America). The first set of packages will ship out this June.

Paris mailings

Ready to sign up and get a quarterly box from your world-traveling friend?

Again, I’m only taking on 10 boxes this year and registration for the first quarter ends April 30. So, click the pink buttons below to sign up now and get in early!



Sign Up Now:

       

2016 Basic Travel Box         2016 Bigger Better Travel Box



Not ready to commit to all three 2016 boxes? Sign up for just the first quarter and give it a test run:

One-Time Basic Travel Box         One-Time Bigger Better Travel Box


Questions? Special requests? Trouble signing up? Leave a comment on the original post at gigigriffis.com or here and I’ll get back to you asap.

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