Soapstone, or steatite, is a naturally occurring, dense yet soft stone that is composed largely of the mineral talc and is very rich in magnesium. Its unique composition gives it the odd combination of characteristics that, though it is hard and dense like a rock, it has a softness to its surface that allows it to be scratched by just your finger nail. However, soapstone has a few additional qualities that make it more than just an oddity. For ages, soapstone has earned itself a place in our kitchens due to not only its beauty as cookware but also for its remarkable heat retention. To first prepare you soapstone piece for its life-long time in your kitchen, and to reveal its true beauty, you must season or cure it with oil and heat. To do so, follow these simple steps:
- Begin by rinsing your soapstone cookware in hot water and wiping it clean with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge.
- Once dry, generously grease all surfaces of the stone with your preferred choice of cooking oil. We recommend olive oil and remind you to use caution when handling the oiled pieces.
- Once your cookware is oiled, you’ll need to set in in a warm location for about 24 hours, allowing the oil to absorb completely into the stone. It should feel almost dry after this period.
- Now your cookware is ready for the final step. When curing stone pans, grills, and lids, your next step will be to place in a cool oven and set the temperature to 350 degrees. Turn the oven off after 15 minutes and allow the pieces to cool before removing. If curing stoneware pots, fill them with water place on your stovetop. Slowly raise the heat of your burner to medium-high and once the water boils, allow it to do so for 30 minutes. Let cool and remove.
Once your soapstone cookware is seasoned, it will have a smooth non-stick finish. But, you will also notice, that the curing process brings out different natural variations in the stones color and reveals its natural marbling. Conveniently beautiful, soapstone has the ability to play both the role of cookware and serve-ware. Once you remove it from the oven and allow it time to cool, there is no need to transition your food to another platter or tray before taking it to the table.
As for its remarkable heat retention, it comes in handy here as well. While it should be cool enough to touch before it’s used to serve, its retention of warmth will help to keep your food warmer for longer as well. This isn’t the only reason, however, that soapstone’s heat-holding properties are so beneficial. It’s quintessential stone qualities of thickness and density, allow it to retain heat up to twice as long as conventional metal cookware, and as a result, it cooks very evenly and drastically reduces the time it takes to cook your meal. While this is a major benefit to the cook, it is also a bonus for the environment, as it conserves energy as well as time.
We love our line of soapstone cookware, accented with copper hardware, because of its beauty, convenience, and eco-conscious properties, and we think you will love it just the same. If you’re feeling inspired to try your hand at soapstone cooking, we recommend starting off with an easy and delicious classic, like pizza. Click here for a quick and easy stone baked pizza recipe that will get you started off on the right foot. Enjoy!
More Soapstone Cookware Information:
Moscow mule mugs have been the latest trend in not only bar-ware, but also in kitchenware. We understand, as the elegantly rustic copper mugs are great for every type of drink. We recently decided to explore the legacy of the copper mule mug and what it takes to make an authentic Moscow mule with all the right tools.
Authentic Moscow Mule
1 1/2 fluid ounces of vodka
1/2 fluid ounce of lime juice
1/2 cup of ginger beer
1 sprig of mint
1 lime wedge for garnish
Fill a copper Moscow mule mug half-way with ice. Using a double sided shot glass, measure out vodka and lime juice and pour into the copper mule. Add ginger beer. Mix with swizzle stick. Garnish with lime wedge and mint sprig before serving.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and with it all of the anticipation of the joy and thankfulness it brings. Yet, we can often be overwhelmed with the responsibility of entertaining and preparation involved. Particularly, when we have picky eaters on our hands. Whether you’re hosting a friendsgiving, thanksgiving for the entire family, or dinner for your own household, you will probably have a guest with a dietary restriction or preference—organic clean eating, vegetarianism, veganism, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, or just plain calorie counting. With all of this in consideration it can be difficult to prepare a tradition style thanksgiving meal. But not to worry, because we have a few suggestions on cooking and serving this holiday that will help!
The Appetizer- Sautéed Baby Artichokes with Garlic and Lemon on a Root of the Earth Tray: It’s hard to argue with this one; simply prepared and lightly seasoned vegetables are a starting dish any and everyone can enjoy. Not to mention that artichokes make a beautiful and edible display. Cook them and pile them up on a Root of the Earth Serving Tray for a perfect presentation.
(Recipe from Deliciously Organic)
The Light First Course- Fall Superfood Salad in the Acacia Wood Serving Collection: Simple, healthful, and packed full of powerful nutrients—clean eaters gather round, this super salad is undeniable delicious and nutritious. Vitamins and antioxidants have never looked better than when they are served up in the beautiful Acacia Wood Salad Serving Collection. The rich, warm wood of the serving bowl, utensils, and coordinating salad bowls perfectly contrast with the bold veggie colors.
(Recipe from Rodale's Organic Life)
The Classic Side Dish- Parsnip and Fennel Purée in an Aurora Recycled Glass Scalloped Bowls : Is it a Thanksgiving meal with out mashed potatoes? We don’t think so, but then again, this flavorful and low calorie alternative may change our minds. For those with holiday weight worries or for those who genuinely want to indulge a bit without the guilt, this purée is the perfect solution. Your guest will love them even more when they are served in the gorgeous and eco-friendly Aurora Recycled Glass Collection.
(Recipe from Delicious Living)
The Meatless Main Course- Faux Turkey, served up any way you’d like: There are so many options on the market now for meaty alternatives to meat. And while it’s wonderful to have alternatives easily available, and on top of that, options, how do you choose? While we cant say that we participated in a grand taste test and came to an end-all-be-all conclusion on the matter, we did find this list of options that had been compared and contrasted pretty rigorously. Check it out here, and make a more educated choice on your faux turkey of choice.
The Details- Shenandoah Spice Company’s Fresh Cracked Pepper and Pink Salt in our Glass Piggy Shakers: This pudgy pair of salt and pepper shakers is blown from thin, yet sturdy, borosilicate glass. The set arrives with a vial each of Himalayan pink salt and fresh cracked pepper, so your piggies will be appropriately colored, pink and speckled black. For those who are missing the meat at the meal… at least these little guys can be there.
When the speed of life picks up, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to work in a complete, balanced breakfast. But, simply taking a moment to enjoy the morning and fuel your body with the energy it needs to take advantage of the day is an incredibly easy, fulfilling way to balance your life. And, when your day starts with something as delicious as homemade granola, everything takes on a brighter, more cheerful hue.
This granola is just simply a treat. It's filled with nutritious, delicious ingredients, and, truly, it's easy as can be to make. Plus, as it cooks, the tantalizing scent of maple syrup will fill your home, making it a delight for all your senses.
- 7 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup toasted coconut
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 2 cups nuts (your choice! almonds, pecans, and walnuts are a great combination)
- 1 cups sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (or more) dried fruit
Combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts and sunflower seeds thoroughly. In another bowl, combine salt, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, then add it to the oat mixture and stir until well-coated and well-combined. Spread onto lightly greased, rimmed baking sheets in a thin, even layer. Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 2 hours, stirring the granola every 15 minutes or so.
Once the granola has cooked and cooled, mix in your choice of dried fruit. Our go-to is a combination of raisins, dried cranberries and dried cherries, but dried apricots, dried apples and dried mango would be delicious additions, too! Store in an air-tight container for up to a month.
We love granola for so many reasons. First of all, it's so simple to make, and it keeps very well—which means just a little bit of effort on a lazy Sunday will yield a healthy choice for breakfast and snacks for weeks to come. Plus, when homemade, it's easy to make granola highly nutritious. Oats are a great source of fiber to keep you full and energized, and, as a whole grain, they also lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, the fiber in oats helps lower your total and bad LDL cholesterol levels. For even more fiber, this granola has delicious additions like seeds and dried fruit, and nuts like walnuts provide heart-healthy omega-2 fatty acids, too. And, what's better, when granola is sweetened with all-natural sugars, like fruit and maple syrup, it's a low fat and delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
When it comes to cooking and baking, we are always looking for something that will serve as a useful and timeless piece in both the kitchen and on the table. What we love about our new oven-to-table soapstone platter and tray that transitions from the oven (or fridge) to the table effortlessly.
On a recent rainy afternoon, we had a hankering for some warm and gooey s'mores. To whip them up quickly and without the need of fire, we pulled out our soapstone platter and layered our homemade almond dark chocolate bark and puffy white marshmallows between golden graham crackers. Ten minutes later, the delicious smell of toasted marshmallows filled the kitchen and we pulled out decadently delightful s'mores. One bite and we had forgotten about the rain. Read on for the recipe.
Decadent Dark Chocolate Almond S'mores
8 2-ounce squares of homemade dark chocolate almond bark
8 graham crackers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Begin with a clean and dry surface on the soapstone platter. Place four graham crackers vertically on the platter. Layer 2 squares of dark chocolate bark on each graham cracker. Layer 3 marshmallows per graham cracker over chocolate squares. Top with graham crackers to complete each s'more sandwich. Place platter in oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes. S'mores are ready to serve when marshmallows are golden brown. Place platter on tray and serve directly at the table. Makes 4 large s'mores.
Autumn is the season of scents - pumpkin pie, fresh-picked apples and crisp leaves. And what a better time for a seasonal drink in celebration of nature's autumn bounty than fall? We decided to make our own sparkling apple cider that's quick and easy but has the sophistication for autumn-time entertaining. What we came up with was a mixture of the complex flavors of chai tea, the fun bubbly of sparkling water and the seasonal spice of local apple cider. We mixed ours with a few swirls in our decanter and served with our Moroccan tea glasses for color. Any left over sparkling cider easy stored in the fridge and the teak stopper helped maintain carbonation for future pours. Read more for our recipe.
Autumn Harvest Sparkling Cider, Served in Glass Decanter and Moroccan Tea Glasses
1 Liter of Italian Sparkling Mineral Water of Champagne if prefered
2 Cups of Apple Cider
1 Cup of Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
1/2 Apple, Diced (optional)
1 Lemon Sliced for Garnish
Pour apple cider into decanter and add the chai tea concentrate. Swirl decanter to mix cider and chai thoroughly before adding the sparkling mineral water or champagne. Swirl decanter again to distribute liquids evenly. Add diced apple if desired. Serve in colorful glasses and garnish with lemon slices.
Nothing is quite as enjoyable as the perfect pairings of salty & sweet. We decided to feature this delicious duo with another one of our favorites - crunchy & smooth - to create the most delightful dark chocolate bark. Always a holiday staple, our pecan bark is the perfect parchment wrapped holiday gift or at-home treat. We even replaced the chocolate in our Decadent Oven-to-Table S'mores with this sweet & salty duo for a little bite of holiday heaven. Read on for the recipe.
Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark with Flaky Sea Salt
1 cup toasted Rainforest Alliance certified pecans, chopped
1 pound good-quality fair trade dark chocolate (62%–70% cacao), finely chopped
Sea salt flakes (for sprinkling)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a light simmer. Add ½ pound of chopped dark chocolate to a medium bowl and heat over simmering pot. Stir over medium-low heat until melted, around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove bowl with chocolate from heat and stir in remaining dark chocolate until melted, around 88 degrees Fahrenheit. When chocolate is at a smooth consistency, add in toasted pecans. Pour onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and let cool to room temperature.
Break bark into pieces and serve. If making in advance, store between layers of parchment paper. Keep chilled for up to a week.
We also love using toasted almonds to make our delectable Dark Chocolate Almond Bark.
Note: To test the chocolate. Dip a small strip of parchment paper in the chocolate. Let chocolate set for 3-5 minutes. If properly tempered, the chocolate will be shiny. If chocolate sets streaky, add more chopped chocolate. Stir and test again in 5 minutes.
It’s that apple-picking time of year here in Virginia. Every year, our family makes a batch of spiced apple cider using our hand-picked apples. What’s better than sipping deliciously fragrant cider while sitting by the fireside?
Read on for our recipe.
Homemade Spiced Apple Cider
10 apples (we prefer Gala or Fuji apples)
¾ cup of white sugar
¼ cup of brown sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
4 tablespoons of whole allspice
1 teaspoon of cloves
1 large quartered and peeled orange
1 pinch of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
Begin by washing the apples and slicing. Add the apples to a pot and fill with water to cover apples. Add the white sugar, brown sugar and salt to the pot.
Wrap the cinnamon sticks, whole allspice, cloves, nutmeg, sea salt and orange quarters in a cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth and add to pot.
Bring pot and contents to boil. Boil on high for one hour. Leave pot uncovered (the kitchen will smell wonderful!).
Lower heat and simmer for about two hours. After two hours, allow cider to cool and remove spice pouch.
Using a blender or potato masher, blend or mash apples until smooth.
Strain the mixture to separate the pulp and the liquid, first using a strainer and then a cheesecloth.
We like to serve ours in copper mules with a stick of cinnamon.
Note: For a simpler recipe, use pre-made apple cider. Heat apple cider on stove and add spice pouch with cinnamon sticks, whole allspice, cloves, nutmeg, sea salt and orange quarters. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and serve with cinnamon sticks.
With the cold weather comes a slew of delicious holiday drinks. But, with so many options, how do we decide? To solve our dilemma we turned to a recipe from Eat Boutique that combines the best of our favorite holiday drinks - hot chocolate and chai lattes - to form the perfect pairing for an evening by the fireside. We served ours in Owl Mugs for an extra hoot!
Chai Hot Chocolate, Served in Owl Mugs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate cocoa powder
15 cardamon pods
14 whole allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
11 whole cloves
2 star anise
1 vanilla bean, split in half
1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
Whipped cream for garnish
Pour the whole milk into a large saucepan. Whisk cocoa powder into whole milk until smooth and lump free. Gently heat over low heat. Lightly crush the cardamon pods and allspice berries with your hands. Toss into the milk mixture. Add rest of the ingredients, except the whipped cream. Stir and cook for eight minutes over very low heat. Turn off the heat and let steep for 60 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a smaller saucepan. Gently reheat. Pour into mugs and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Get set for chic holiday entertaining with these schnapp-tastic peppermint shooters!
1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
1/2 ounce Irish cream liqueur
1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps
First, pour the coffee liqueur into a shot glass, then lightly pour the Irish cream to float it on top of the coffee liqueur. Then, float the peppermint schnapps on top of the Irish cream. Garnish with a small peppermint stick, and enjoy!
Serve in style with our Set of 6 Soapstone Shot Glasses and Caddy. To keep spirits high, heat the soapstone shooters in the oven for a warm and toasty after-five treat!
Bring friends and family together this New Years with these deliciously welcoming hors d’oeuvres! Perfect for hassle-free, oven-to-table entertaining.
Make each dip as beautiful as it is delicious by serving in our set of Soapstone Bowls served on a wooden paddle. Made of recycled soapstone, they’re perfect for keeping dips hot (or cold!) as guests gather ‘round.
Continue reading for these dip recipes.
With the ubiquity of berry parfaits to-go, we wanted to go back to a time where they were beautifully simple and fresh. This is perhaps one of the easiest recipes for a light dessert or quick breakfast, and yet, it always results in a nutritious and delectable treat. We like to serve ours in a glass tumbler so that every delicious layer shows.
Berry Yogurt Parfait
1 cup of Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup of raspberries
1/3 cup of blackberries
Whip cream to serve, optional
Add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt to the bottom of the tumbler. Follow with a layer of raspberries. Add the remaining Greek yogurt. Top with blackberries and a dollop of whip cream.
Note: This recipe with work with any type of berry, various fruits such as apricots, nuts, and different types of yogurt. Substitutions and ingredient exploration are encouraged!
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the zesty fresh taste of limonada! It's easy to make and we like to serve ours in beautiful recycled glassware from Mexico.
3 lemons and 1 lime, quartered with seeds removed
8 cups of cold water
Approximately ½ cup of sugar, more or less based on your preference
Ice cubes as desired and lemon/lime slices to garnish
- In a blender, combine 4 cups of water and sugar. Add in lemons and lime.
- Blend until the citrus fruits are completely blended and the mixture is smooth. There may be foam.
- Strain the lemonade and add the remaining 4 cups of water.
- Serve with ice and a sprig of mint if you wish.
The perfect combinations of sweet and sour, chewy and soft find themselves in these "modern" candied lemon peels. When so much of our usable produce ends up in the trash, it is always beneficial to reinvent old fashioned recipes that use often forgotten produce parts. What we love most about this recipe is it adds a global twist to candied lemon peels and makes a perfect accompaniment to pound cake, yoghurt, etc. We even use it in our curries! Continue reading for the recipe.
Chai Spiced Candied Lemon Peels:
- 2 organic lemons, washed
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
- Remove the lemon peel from the lemon using a vegetable peeling. Wrap the remaining lemon and store for future use.
- In a small saucepan, combine the peels with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and pour out water. Repeat process 2 more times. After the third time, drain water and remove lemon peels and set aside.
- In a saucepan, add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup water. Mix solution until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon peels and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow peels to simmer in sugar water until they are translucent. Drain and allow peels to cool.
- Add the coconut sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom to a medium bowl and mix. Add lemon peels and toss lightly to coat peels. Remove each peel and serve or store in an air-tight container.