Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Best of Intentions: Make it happen with Glenwood Garden

I find myself having the best of intentions to write blog posts, but with kids, life, and work blogging always seems to get pushed aside. I also have the best of intentions to support independent producers and try new foods. Sure, my local grocery store carries a few things, but what about all those great handcrafted artisan foods out there that aren’t at my store? While I’d love to have the time to find them on my own, it just isn’t a possibility. That’s where the e-commerce site Glenwood Garden fits in. They do the hard work of sourcing and bring it all together into one place.

Glenwood Garden contacted me to see if I would be interested in learning more about them and trying out a product from one of the artisans featured in their online market. I was intrigued by the possibilities- maple syrup, jam, shrubs – what to choose? They bring a wide variety of artisan products from around the country together into one online marketplace. Not only do they provide a distribution channel for these producers, they also have a shop-for-cause model where a large portion of the profit from each sale is donated to a specified non-profit. At checkout you choose one of the participating non-profit organizations to receive a portion of the profit of your sale. The organizations are focused on sustainability and food security. A triple-whammy! New discoveries, supporting independent producers, and contributing to good causes all at the same time.

I decided to try some jam and in just a few days received a well-packaged trio of jars. After passing the bubble wrap over to my appreciative two and a half year old, I found three unique flavors of jam from the Jam Stand in Brooklyn, NY: You’re My Boy BLUE-berry Bourbon, Drunken Monkey, and Not Just Peachy Sriracha. I wouldn’t have dreamed these flavors up on my own but they sounded incredible. I tweaked a few of my favorite recipes to incorporate the jam. First I put a twist on my grandmother’s apricot chicken wings. Swapping out the apricot jam for the Jam Stand’s Not Just Peachy Sriracha resulted in a sweet and spicy appetizer. For a sweet treat with a kick, I glazed my mini-banana bread with the Drunken Monkey. The combination of sugar coated bananas, splash of rum and a dash of lime makes for a fun twist on a classic recipe. We don't cook pork at our house, but I can imagine that the BLUE-berry Bourbon might be good on a roasted pork tenderloin or as a topping for pork chops.

There are items at many different price points, the process is simple, and the joy of discovering new products is thrilling. It doesn’t hurt that you are also supporting good causes. Thanks to Glenwood Garden for providing me with a free delivery of a trio of fun jams. I would encourage you to do a little browsing of the site and discover something new and exciting to try for yourself. On to the recipes!

Not Just Peach Sriracha Glazed Wings 

True to grandmothers everywhere, this recipe is measured by eyeballing and intuition. And if I’m being totally honest, I forgot to jot down my adaptations to the recipe while I was cooking. The basic instructions are to make a glaze of dry white wine (or chicken broth) and jam and set aside. Season chicken wings generously with salt and pepper and bake, covered, at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove cover, toss with glaze, and bake for another 15 minutes. If you want to crisp up the outside a little more, broil for a few minutes and serve. Sweet, spicy, messy, and delicious! And look at those slices of peaches in the jam.

Drunken Monkey Banana Bread with Drunken Monkey Glaze. 
I finally got to make this over the weekend with the help of my toddler sous chef. You’ll see his influence in the styling for the photos.

I had a little help on this one, using a tried and true recipe from King Arthur Flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/banana-bread-recipe.   I added in 3-4 heaping tablespoons of jam to flavor the bread from the inside out. Instead of one big loaf, the batter was divided into four smaller baking dishes.

Mini desserts are always more fun! For the glaze I mixed about 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, a tablespoon-ish of jam, and a few splashes of milk to get the desired consistency.

I was provided with free product by Glenwood Garden. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are honest and belong to me. 


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