Monthly Archives: June 2012

Fig Ice Cream with Lemon Kisses


By Chef Lippe

TGIF and boy is it hot here in DC! So I am making one of my childhood favorites…yes fig ice cream.  This recipe will make 3 quarts so enjoy.


4 one pound cans figs, drained

2 cups milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 egg yolks (save extra egg whites for lemon meringue kisses)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 egg whites

2 cups heavy cream


Place the figs in a deep bowl and with a large spoon, mash them to a somewhat coarse puree. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set to the side.

In a heavy 3 quart pan, warm the milk and salt over low heat until bubbles begin to appear around the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

With electric beater, beat egg yolks and sugar together for 5 minutes, or until they are they are thick enough to fall from the beater when lifted from the bowl. Pour in the warm milk in a slow, thin stream while beating eggs constantly.

Pour egg and milk mixture back into pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat wooden spoon like heavy cream. DO NOT let custard come near a boil or it will curdle; if it gets to hot lift from heat for a few minutes to let it cool.

Pour custard into a bowl and set this bowl into a large pan filled with crushed ice and water. Stir for 4 to 5 minutes until custard cools and is thick.  Stir in vanilla and figs.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they are very stiff.

In another bowl beat heavy cream until it too is stiff.

With a rubber spatula fold the two together. Add half to the egg custard mix folding gently until it is well blended. Add the remaining half and mix gently until well blended.

Scoop into a mold or pan and freeze for 1 hour.  Remove and with a fork mix frozen crystals into ice cream and then refreeze. Freeze until it is frim.


While your ice cream is freezing heat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat two remaining egg whites until frothy add ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon lemon extract and beat until light and fluffy.

Drop by teaspoon onto parchment paper and place in oven. Turn oven off and leave in oven for 5 hours. DO NOT OPEN DOOR UNTIL TIME IS UP.

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Fantastic fish tacos by Maggie


Fish Tacos


Chipotle Salsa:

2 cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 canned chipotle pepper,minced

salt, to taste

2 tablespoons cilantro,chopped

Picante Slaw:

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

2 tsp. lime juice

2 tsp. honey

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

salt, to taste


2 lbs. tilapia

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

5 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

salt, to taste

Lime Crema:

1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

zest from one lime

juice from 1 lime

8- 8 inch diameter flour tortillas


Combine all ingredients; toss and set aside.


Combine all ingredients; toss and set aside.


Combine all ingredients; stir to combine and set aside.


On a grill pan…

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Ricotta Cheese Homemade

Ricotta Cheese

By Chef Lippe

You will need the left over whey from your mozzarella (see  Ricotta is so much easier to make it’s hard to mess up. So even if the mozzarella did not come out right this will. With the mozzarella practice makes perfect.

What you will need:

  • Leftover Whey
  • Large bowl
  • Reusable coffee filter or a clean cloth
  • Large strainer
  • Small bowl


Pour the whey into your pot and heat back up to boiling (about 200 degrees). The temperature here is not critical and you don’t even have to do is slow. Just be careful not to let it boil over. IT WILL IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING AND IT IS A MESS!

You can make your ricotta the same day as the mozzarella or the next it does not make a difference.

Once the whey has come to a boil turn off the heat and let it cool down.  Give it a stir every once in a while.

Strain the whey once it has cooled down to 140 degrees or less.  You can ladle or pour through the coffee filter.  Most of the Ricotta is at the bottom of the pot so pour slowly and do not shake up the pot and you should be able to pour most of the whey through. If your filter gets full just empty into a bowl.

Let Ricotta drain for a while then transfer to a clean cloth, gather up the corners and squeeze out as much whey as you can.  Pour back into strainer and let drain some more if needed.  You should be able to get about 6 ounces.

The left over whey that you drained from the ricotta can be used to feed plants, your cats and dogs will love it or you can just throw it out.  Bet you did not know you could get so much from a gallon of milk!

I served my freshly made ricotta on slices of French baguette, lightly toasted, topped with sun dried tomatoes and a little fresh basil finely chopped.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Chef Lippe, Food, Food blog, Homemade, recipes, Ricotta

Homemade Mozzarella

Homemade Mozzarella

by Chef Lippe

It’s summer time and the kids are home from school and this is a great project that you can make in the kitchen with their help.  If at all possible a nice ride into the countryside, where you visit a local dairy farm and they get to see how cows are milked makes a great start to this adventure.

To make fresh mozzarella you can use either raw milk if available or store bought milk and a few hours.  I have also made this same recipe with goats milk and 2% milk. Raw milk is my favorite.


  • 8 quart pan stainless steel (do not use cast iron, or aluminum)
  • Candy thermometer
  • 2 measuring cups or glass bowls to dissolve the citric acid and rennet in.
  • Large and small strainer
  • Long knife
  • Slotted spoon
  • Large glass bowl
  • Small glass bowl
  • Microwave
  • Nylon netting (optional)
  • Plain white cloth if you want to make Ricotta Cheese with the Whey that is left.


1 gallon of milk (only restriction is do not use ultra-homogenized milk)

1 Rennet tablet (found at Trader Joe’s)

2 teaspoons Citric Acid divided. (1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other sprinkled directly into the milk)

½ cup water (bottled is best) Do not use chlorinated water.

1 – 2 teaspoons salt.


Pour 1 teaspoon Citric Acid into ¼ cup bottled water and stir.  Crush the rennet tablet and pour into another ¼ cup of bottled water.

Pour milk into your pot.  Milk should be at least 50 degrees when you pour in the Citric Acid.

Pour in Citric Acid and stir for a minute.

Sprinkle the other teaspoon Citric Acid in the mild and stir for another minute. You should see milk start to curdle.

Heat milk to 88-90 degrees stirring occasionally. Use low heat to heat slowly.   DO NOT go past 90 degrees.  (This step should take 10 to 15 minutes)

TEMPATURE IS IMPORTANT!  If you get the milk to hot or too cold, the Rennet will not make curds.

At 88 degrees turn off the heat and stir in the Rennet solution for 15-20 seconds

This is not an error. You are not trying to pasteurize the milk. If you get it too hot or too cold, the Rennet will not make curds. Use a low heat so it doesn’t go past the 88-90 degrees. It should take about 10-15 minutes.

Cover the pot and LEAVE IT UNDISTURBED FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES (I do mine 30 minutes and most instructions say 15-20 minutes) Time is not critical here as long as when you get a clean break.

Wait for a clean break. This is when you poke your finger into it and move it for an inch or so and lift it out, the curd and whey should separate and not stick to your finger.  If the line you make with your finger does not hold its shape for few seconds or it looks to runny let it sit for a few more minutes.

Cut the curd into ½ inch cubes and then cut the cubes into 45 degree triangles.

Let the curds set undisturbed for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Apply low heat and gently stir the curds occasionally to keep them separated until they reach 108 degrees. This will take about 15 minutes. The curds will shrink and start to sink as the whey is expelled from them.

Turn off the heat and continue to stir every few minutes for an additional 20 minutes, while the curds keep shrinking.

Drain the curds into a strainer or colander and let set for about 15 minutes. If you put the strainer over a bigger bowl and save the whey you can make Ricotta cheese with it.  Let the strainer sit in a dry pan until no more whey comes out of them.

Pour the curd into a smaller bow and break them up with your hand (should look like cottage cheese).

This is the tricky part because every microwave oven heats a little different depending on size. So it is better to heat less and keep checking. I use a microwave that is 1100 watts and it takes 30-45 seconds. (If you overcook here the curds turn to mush).

To check squeeze the curds with a spoon and pull them to the side of the bowl, pour any whey into your collection of whey.

Repeat heating and squeezing until you can pull curds out in a soft ball form. Microwave for 20 seconds more.

Now for the part the kids can help with!


At this point if it is warm enough it should become pliable and stretchy.  Add salt and herb (optional). Grab 1/3 to ½ and lift. It should stretch with its own weight. If not put back into microwave for a few more seconds. As you work through the stretching process knead it like bread a couple of times.  Keep lifting and stretching and kneading until you get a nice firm thick stretch of cheese that is a soft ball that does not stick to your hands is nice and smooth and shiny.  It’s done!

You should get about 12 ounces of cheese. Wrap in plastic or a zip lock bag and store in your refrigerator. It should keep for about 6 days, mine never lasts this long.

If this is your first time we offer a kit that includes everything you will need to make 4 batches of cheese for $25.00 per kit. All you need is the fresh milk. If you already have the candy thermometer order our refill kit for $14.00. 

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Chocolate Truffle Surprise

Avocado Chocolate Truffle

By Chef Lippe

Super easy truffle that will keep you coming back for more.  This is another one of those recipes that I just don’t say what is in it until after they tell me if they liked it. Even my own Dad who loves avocados turned his nose up to this one based on the name only the first time I offered them to the family.  So the next time I made them, I changed the color sugar coating, and just said they were chocolate truffles. They were a HIT!  So if you are BRAVE enough to try this recipe you will be hooked after the first bite. You can even play a game with them to see if they can guess the secret ingredient.


½ cup butter

1 large very ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

Sugars for rolling


In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter, remove from heat and set to the side.

In food processor or blender, puree the avocado until a smooth consistency (add a little of the melted butter if needed to make sure it is a smooth consistency with no chunks)

Add avocado puree, vanilla, powdered sugar into sauce pan with butter. Mix well and then place in refrigerator until it hardens.

Once this mix is firm scoop and roll into balls about ¾ inch in size.  If mixture starts to get too soft to form balls place in freezer for a few minutes.  Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with a piece of paper.  Place balls in refrigerator until firm.

This time roll balls into either powdered sugar or colored sugar to coat outside.  Store in refrigerator until a few minutes before you want to serve.


Filed under Avocados, Chef Lippe, chocolate, Food, Food blog, recipes

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

By Chef Lippe

I keep my chocolate in the refrigerator at this time of year for a nice cold treat when I come in from the garden.  As I grew up this was a favorite treat made by the cooks for the winter holidays.  I always got to help even if it was only licking the bowl when I was very young. So this would be a fun summer time project with the kids.

The word truffle comes from a French fungus.  As strange as that may sound, the word truffle is now very much synonyms for luxury to your taste buds. A chocolate truffle is a ganache covered with tempered chocolate.  A ganache is made of a mixture of cream and melted chocolate, and tempered means that the chocolate has been melted to a specific temperature, cooled to a specific temperature, and then once again melted. The ganache is then dipped into this melted chocolate. This method makes the truffle hard on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside.


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (chopped very, very fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup liqueur of your choice (I like to use Kahlua, DisAronno, or Amaretto)

Suggested truffle coating Ingredients: 
1/2 cup Dutch-Process Cocoa
Finely chopped nuts
Toasted coconut
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate for dipping (Chocolate candy coating can be used instead).

In a microwave-safe bowl (glass bowl preferred because it retains heat and keeps the chocolate tempered for a longer time), place chocolate in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time on high power until the chocolate is melted. Be very careful not to overheat the chocolate. The chocolate may not look as if it has completely melted, because it retains its shape. The chocolate should be only slightly warmer than your bottom lip. You may still see lumps in it once you’ve stirred it, but don’t worry; the residual heat of the chocolate will melt it.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter, corn syrup, and cream until it just begins to simmer; remove from heat.  NOTE: Stir constantly while doing this to avoid scorching the mixture on the bottom of the pan. Pour the cream/corn syrup mixture over the tempered chocolate and let it stand for about 2 minutes.  The heat from the mixture will finish the melting of the chocolate. You now have a chocolate ganache.

Stir the chocolate ganache mixture carefully, but thoroughly until it is smooth and creamy. Stir in the liqueur (of your choice) and make sure it is mixed throughout the chocolate. Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch by 8-inch glass baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator to cool until it is firm, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

When the chocolate ganache is cooled and firmed, scoop out small amounts with a spoon or melon baler, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Return this to the refrigerator to firm up again. You will see just how quickly the ganache begins to melt when it is removed from the refrigerator, especially if you are using your hands to form a more ball like structure with it.

While you are waiting for the ganache to get firm, get your Truffle Coating Ingredients ready:

Place the Dutch cocoa in a small bowl.

Finely chop the nuts in a food processor or similar (toasting the nuts before chopping can give them a deeper flavor).  To toast pecans, almonds, or walnuts, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir constantly to avoid burning until you can smell the aroma of the nut.  Remove from the heat immediately and allow to cool before chopping.

Toast the coconut in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 minutes or until slightly brown.  Remove from oven and allow the coconut to cool; then crush it in a plastic bag so that it is fine.

Chocolate candy coating can be melted in the microwave or on the stove with a double boiler. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for melting.

Finely chop 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and place into a medium-size bowl.  Although this can be done on the stove with a double boiler, the easiest way, and safest way of keeping the chocolate “temper”, is to use a heating source such as a hot plate on low to medium, or even a heating pad under the bowl. Stirring occasionally, heat the chocolate until it reaches 92 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

NOTE: Keep it at this temperature to maintain that crisp crunch when it is cooled around the truffle center.  DO NOT heat your chocolate above 94 degrees F, the temperature at which you will lose the temper.

Remove the chocolate ganache from the refrigerator in small batches. Roll it in your palm to form a ball. Immediately place it in the coating of your choice and cover completely. Place the coated ball back on a lined cookie sheet and allow to set up in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour.  To cover the balls with chocolate, use a small slotted spoon or a fork, and allow the chocolate to drip off after you have dipped it, then place on the cookie sheet with the others.

I like to make a variety of truffles, and it is just as easy as changing the coating, or even changing the liqueur you are using.

Here are the ones my kids helped with!


Filed under Chef Lippe, chocolate, Food, Food blog, recipes

Too Hot To Cook?

Too Hot To Cook?

By Chef Lippe

First thing this morning we used one of mozzarella kits to make fresh cheese. We placed one of our Himalayan salt plates in the freezer and then we went out to the garden and picked some nice ripe cherry tomatoes and some strawberries. Now the fun part!

We clean the strawberries and add them to the blender with 1 can of frozen pink lemonade, add 1 cup tequila and ¼ cup triple sec and ice. Blend and pour! See I told you the fun part.


Now we get our fresh tomatoes and freshly made cheese and make lunch.

1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
10 to 14 fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut into thirds*
32 (4-inch) wooden skewers**
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Thread 1 tomato half, 1 piece of cheese, and another tomato half onto each skewer. Place skewers in a shallow serving dish.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients. Drizzle oil mixture over skewers; sprinkle with basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy the heat!

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Chef Lippe, Food, Food blog, recipes, strawberries, tequila, tomatoes



By Chef Lippe

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a strong supporter of sustainable, cruelty free food sources, a part of the slow food movement and in love with anything Artisan. Last night I did a taste test with my friends. I made some of my favorite appetizers and did a little switch.  In the past whenever I tried to get my partner to eat vegetables her exact words “you mean green stuff…NO way” so to say a dish is vegan is the kiss of death with her. I was also amazed to learn that a lot of my friends felt the same way. So last night was an ALL VEGAN night of appetizers by surprise. They all thought that they were eating caviar. They were a hit and everyone truly loved them. The best part is that Cavi-art is made with seaweed that looks and tastes like lumpfish caviar, will not discolor on my dishes like real caviar, can be served hot or cold, is cholesterol free, low fat and salt, and has no AZO colors and best of all it is fish friendly and good for the environment! I know this sounds like an advertisement but I know how hard it is to get some of my friends to try something that is vegan. For my vegan friends I know you will love these.

As always enjoy!

Avocados and Pastry Puffs


2 avocados

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (see recipe below)

2 tablespoons black Cavi-art

½ teaspoon lemon juice

Pinch of salt and pepper


Mash avocados and mix with the other ingredients. Fill precooked pastry shells and your done!

Stuffed Avocados


2 avocados

2 tablespoons salmon Cavi-art

1 & ½ tablespoons orange red Cavi-art

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

1 pinch grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon mild chili sauce

Soy Protein:

¼ cup soy protein strips

2 cups water

1 teaspoon sea salt (I used chili flavored)

2 tablespoons beet juice (optional)

1 tablespoon algae (optional)


¼ cup soymilk

½ tablespoon mustard

½ cup grapeseed oil

1 pinch sea salt

¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon lemon juice


Bring water with beet juice, salt and algae to a boil, add soy strips, let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and press out most liquid. Cut into smaller pieces.

In a blender mix soymilk, mustard and salt while blender is running add oil little by little then the vinegar and lemon juice. Mix the mayo with Cavi-art, dill, lemon peel, chili sauce and soy strips. Put the mixture in the fridge for an hour.

To serve, cut avocados in half, take out the pit and a little of the avocado meat to make more room for the filling. Fill with mayo mixture, garnish with salmon Cavi-art, dill sprigs and a lemon slice.

Credit to Nina Andersson, for recipes


Filed under Avocados, Cavi-art, caviar, Chef Lippe, Food, Food blog, Soymilk, Vegan

Time to relax!

It’s time to RELAX!!!

By Chef Lippe

This week was a busy week with three days spent at the Fancy Food Show here in Washington, DC. The Convention Center was the host to over 2000 food and food related vendors.  I meet with lots of friends and met even more new friends.  I want to share with you what several of my new friends are doing:


Tonewood is redefining a standard for elegance and quality in maple products. Through collaboration with expert sugar makers, we produce pure maple syrups and other specialties. Our products are single-sourced, unblended, and free of additives.

Few things are as imbedded in North American history as maple production. Native Americans were harvesting maple sap and converting it to sugar long before Europeans arrived on the continent. Unique to the northeastern United States and part of Canada, Maple trees are the world’s only self-sustaining crop. They do not deplete the soil; they do not require chemicals, pesticides, cutting, or harvesting. As a result, maple production is environmentally-friendly, organic, and sustainable.

Maple syrup’s benefits extend beyond its great taste. Maple products contain 20 unique health promoting compounds including disease fighting anti-oxidants, minerals, and phenolic compounds. Loaded with nutrients, including manganese, iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium, maple is being hailed as a super food, capable of preventing and fighting diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Maple products are also fat free and contain fewer calories than other sweetening alternatives, including honey, corn syrup, and refined sugars. Since maple syrup and maple sugar can be used as direct substitutes for these other sweetening methods, a simple adjustment can turn your most decadent recipe into a guiltless indulgence.

Recent studies acknowledge the terroir, or “taste of place,” of maple syrup. Simply, just as wine varies in taste depending on where the grapes were grown, maple products vary in taste depending on where the maple trees are rooted. To produce superior maple syrup requires the ideal climate, growing conditions, topography, and geography.

Our location in Mad River Valley, VT combines rich soil, southern facing slopes, and high elevation with ideal maple climate, allowing us to produce sap of unparalleled quality.  Our artisan sugar makers use refined harvesting and crafting techniques to transform this sap into pure maple syrup with exquisite clarity, color, density, and flavor. Their artisan approach is outlined below:

1. In early spring, warm days and freezing nights mark the brief maple harvesting season.

2. In preparation for the harvesting season, sugar makers drill small holes and insert taps to allow for sap to run out of the trees.

3. As warm weather thaws the trees’ sap reserves, excess sap runs through the taps and is collected.

4Sugar makers carefully boil the sap over a fire, concentrating watery sap to less than 3% of its original volume to produce the thick, rich syrup.

5. Through a refined straining process, sugar makers remove any impurities from the syrup.

6. Syrup is sealed into our distinctive glass bottles to preserve freshness, taste, and purity as it makes its way from our producers to your home.

One of Tonewoods Special Projects is to ADOPT A Maple Tree

The Tonewood adoption program provides an opportunity to support small maple producers and sustainable farming practices, while enjoying an assortment of Tonewood’s specialty products. When you adopt, you offer small scale producers added financial security, with which they can run, improve, or grow their operations. Maple production is an expensive, specialized, and labor intensive industry, increasingly threatened by competition from inexpensive, imitation syrups and large scale producers, who blend their syrup from multiple sources. By adopting a tree, you can help preserve family-owned farms and the tradition of maple production.

Here is the story of one of the family farms:

Hartshorn Sugarbush has been family-worked and owned for eight generations. This sugarbush is situated on a picturesque mountainside in the Mad River Valley. Due to the steep terrain, the Hartshorns must cope with avalanches, which frequently bury production lines. However, the Hartshorns credit the difficult terrain for their syrup’s superior flavor. The Hartshorns won the coveted Best of Show award at the Vermont Farm Show on the 100th anniversary of Vermont’s Maple Association, and they have accumulated hundreds of awards over the years.

Every year, David Hartshorn and his children tap 5,000 trees and produce roughly 1500 gallons of maple syrup. The family has implemented a modern pipeline network, vacuum system, and reverse osmosis system to increase harvesting efficiency, allowing sugar makers to focus on their craft.

Adopt one of David Hartshorn’s trees for a year and you’ll receive an assortment of gourmet maple products produced at the Hartshorn sugarbush. Proceeds from adoptions support our partnering sugarmakers and fund research to protect future maple production. Adoption provides an opportunity for you to support talented craftsmen and protect the environment, while indulging in a sweet treat.


To purchase any of Tonewoods Maple Syrup Products visit our web site at  We look forward to seeing you this September at the Farmers Markets.



Our approach is to work slowly and steadily and make everything from scratch. We like to consider ourselves an incubator for gastronomic ideas. It is in this spirit that we will always strive to explore and experiment with new recipes and new products.

Our intention is to preserve gastronomic tradition and to help integrate it into the time in which we live. Our emphasis is on technique and ingredients. Our products are simple and made with the cleanest, best ingredients we can find, with technique that has survived and evolved through generations.

All of our products are made by hand, slowly, in small batches. You will find a hand-written batch number on every item.

Charlito’s Story is:

About Charlito’s Cocina

Founded in 2011, C.C.’s aim is to explore and utilize the rich gastronomic traditions used to preserve food prior to the days of refrigeration and freezers. It is in the spirit of this robust tradition that we strive to create delicious, shelf stable foods using the cleanest, most well raised ingredients possible.

Because the curing of meat plays such a prominent role in the tradition of food preservation, it is one of our primary focuses. We derive our influence in this category primarily from the curing traditions of Spain, while striving, one product at a time, to distinguish a style that is uniquely our own. All the meat we use is 100% pasture raised, heritage breed pork. The salt we use is all hand harvested fleur de sel.

About “Charlito,” by Charles

After gaining a wealth of knowledge working under two mentor-chefs who produced much of their own charcuterie, I attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City, where I was fortunate to work closely with a master charcutier. After finishing at FCI, I traveled to Spain to study the Spanish tradition of curing meats and preserving food with family in Salamanca and Extremadura who had been curing meats and olives, and making wine, among other things, in their home for generations.

Born Charles Samuel Wekselbaum, and Raised in New York City in a Cuban-American household, I took on the nickname, “Charlito,” derived partially from a difficulty that Spanish speakers close to me seemed to  have pronouncing “Charles,” and partially of a willingness to bestow an affectionate nickname upon “little Charles.” The nickname stuck. It is rife with love, affection, and now, history. The name “Charlito’s Cocina” seemed a most fitting way to give proud and accurate identity to this gastronomic adventure.

One taste of their wonderful salami’s and you will think you are in heaven! We are proud to offer their line of products at  and we will see you at the Farmer’s Market this September.

And now it time to relax with an old friend!

Melissa Kushi, Founder, President, Sustainable Sourcing, LLC

Melissa Kushi, Founder and President of Sustainable Sourcing, has devoted much of her life’s work to sustainable foods, macrobiotics, and ethical business models. As a social entrepreneur she traveled the world – creating bamboo micro-industries in Africa, replacing coca crops in the jungles of Peru, and introducing Japanese Hokkaido heirloom soybeans to organic farmers in the US.

At an early age, Kushi was trained by the legendary pioneers of the Natural Foods Industry, and leaders of the international Macrobiotic movement, Michio and Aveline Kushi, her father and late mother-in-law. Studying in Japan, she learned the traditional arts of making miso, umeboshi, tofu, and traditional Japanese cooking, where she came to fully understand the value and importance of high quality salt for health and longevity.  She also completed her Masters in Chinese Metaphysics, and was a successful natural foods cooking teacher, macrobiotic educator, and an international organic commodities trader.  Being passionate to share her childhood experiences of growing up on an organic farm in the south, Melissa taught organic gardening at a Rudolf Steiner school, where her children attended.

In her travels and while working with indigenous people, Melissa was inspired by their wealth of ancient knowledge, biodiversity and traditional heirloom foods.  Out of her study and work, she believes that this traditional body of knowledge, combined with today’s cutting edge green technologies, to be key to our collective future. She has also witnessed the effects of adopting a “modern” refined diet in these indigenous communities, and how it has eroded their health, natural farming practices and the rich biodiverse regions they inhabit. Out of this realization, Melissa began to work with communities on the Navajo reservation to create indigenous permaculture projects – bringing in much needed funds, heirloom seeds, low-tech green irrigation systems, and with her children, spent summers working fields of corn, beans, squash, chiles, and other high desert native foods in these communities.

It became clear to her that — as the third world seeks balance and survival, the first world seeks balance and meaning. Creating a circle of compassion and humanity between these two worlds inspired her to create Sustainable Sourcing as a means for nourishing both.

While Kushi possesses expertise at sourcing the highest quality natural products around the globe, she is passionately committed to creating products that bring added social value to consumers.  By providing products that increase wellbeing while making a difference, it helps to close the gap between consumers and the source community.  It also helps to supports and preserves the environment and a more humane, natural way of life.  This is accomplished through her 5% give back, so each time you do something as simple as use HimalaSalt or her organic peppercorns, you are making a difference on the planet.

Melissa has worked diligently to design her product lines with the least impact on the earth, leaving the smallest footprint possible.  All packaging is either 100% recycled, recyclable, refillable, or reusable, and her entire operation is offset with wind and solar certified by the Green-e.  Going far beyond the requirements for certification, which offsets electrical use only, Melissa, with the help of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, has offset every aspect of her company’s fossil fuel consumption by calculating annual use for production, the creation of packaging, ocean freight, trucking, travel and shows, marketing, and what it takes to operate her new certified organic, kosher passover certified artisan production facility in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of New England.

Melissa continues to support the renewal of traditional diet in indigenous regions as a way to recover health, biodiversity, and to create heirloom food security, with ongoing projects on Native American reservations and in the Himalayas.

Enjoy the video on massage with hot Himalayan salt stones and when your ready visit us at  to get your set.

All of our vendors and friends have one similar goal, to provide you with the best product, with the least amount of harm to either the animals or the planet.  At the convention I would tell the vendor that I wanted to be able to meet “Betsy” the cow and if Betsy and I liked each other then we could do business.  If they did not understand this way of doing business then I moved on.  I hope you take the time to visit our online store and meet some of our wonderful friends.  We look forward to seeing you again in September at the farmers Market.

 Himalayan Salt Stone Massage

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Filed under Artisan Maple Syrup and Sugar, Artisan Sausage, Chef Lippe, Food blog, gluten free, health through eating, heart health, Himalayan salt cooking, Maple sugar, maple syrup, Uncategorized

Maple Sugar Pie vs. Maple Syrup Pudding Cake

By Chef Lippe

Maple Sugar Pie (Canadian favorite)

The intense maple pie has few ingredients and is very sweet. I cut the pie into 12 to 14 petite servings and serve warm with ice cream and whipped cream.


Pie crust (homemade or store bought)

1 cup maple sugar or light brown sugar

¼ cup flour

¼ cup maple syrup

¾ cup heavy cream

Whipped cream (optional) and Ice Cream (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375

Fit the pastry dough into a standard pie dish or tart pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Gently whisk together sugar and flour until mixture is smooth.

Once the flour sugar mixture is smooth, add the maple syrup and heavy cream. Whisk until it is completely smooth. This mixture will be watery, pour into prebaked pie shell and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees (325 for dark metal pans)

Allow the pie to cool completely before serving it with whipped cream and ice cream.



Maple Sugar Pudding Cake


½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt



Beat butter until it is light and fluffy, gradually add the sugar and eggs alternating one egg, a little sugar and beat for 3 minutes.  In a different bowl mix flour, baking powder  and salt.  Mix flour mixture and milk again alternating milk with flour, at very end mix in vanilla. Fill muffin cups ¾ full and  Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the inside is cooked (insert a clean toothpick and if it comes out clean it is done)

Make topping just before serving


3/4 cups water

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour


Mix all ingredients, place over low heat, stirring until the brown sugar has melted, pour into serving bowls and add cake.


Please send me an email and let me know which was your favorite.

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Filed under Chef Lippe, Food, Food blog, Maple sugar, maple syrup