Food & Drink Magazine

A Few New Things

By Operagirlcooks

Welcome to my review series! In “A Few New Things,” I’ll be talking about the latest newcomers to my kitchen.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve coveted my mother’s flame orange, Le Creuset dutch oven. She received it as a wedding gift in the 70′s, and it is still going strong in my parents’ kitchen.

After our elopement, Brendan and I received a few entreaties to put up a registry, which we did a bit sheepishly — after all, we’d snuck off and gotten married without inviting anyone except our two best buddies. Some of our incredibly generous friends got together and bought us this Staub Cocotte, which is as gorgeous as it is functional. This first loaf of sourdough bread turned out with a perfectly crackly crust, and I can’t wait to bake and braise more recipes in this beauty!

Another wedding gift, this variable temperature electric kettle by Bonavita came courtesy of my aunt and uncle. It has everything I want in a kettle — a gooseneck spout for accurate, controlled pour-over coffee, and temperature controls. I use it for everything from proofing yeast to brewing different types of tea.

In the last year, I’ve finally phased out all of my teflon pans and transitioned to exclusively cooking with cast iron, ceramic, and stainless steel cookware. Brendan’s aunt and uncle gifted us this All-Clad 12-inch pan, and it is rapidly becoming a workhorse in my kitchen! It sautés vegetables with extremely even heat, including the crimini mushrooms pictured above, which were seasoned with garlic and fresh thyme, then tossed with spaghetti for a quick weeknight dinner.

If you are a fan of Larabars, you will enjoy these energy bars from Nākd, a natural foods company based in the UK. My favorite so far is the Cocoa Orange flavor — I’m a sucker for anything chocolate, and this classic combo makes for an indulgent tasting afternoon snack. Each petite Nākd healthy snack clocks in at less than 150 calories, so they’re just right for a post-yoga bite that won’t spoil my appetite for a meal an hour or two later.

d’Vida smoothies are a bit more of a substantial meal — their four varieties range from about 200 to 250 calories, and each packs a generous wallop of protein. They’re great for mornings when you’ve got no time to make breakfast, as you only need to blend them with water and ice for a perfectly creamy consistency. The Vida Pump variety was my favorite — its banana and peanut flavor made breakfast feel like a dessert-y treat, and the 20 grams of protein kept me full for hours. All four varieties are available on Amazon.

The veggie dip pictured above has only two ingredients: plain yogurt and Doxy’s Basil Poppy Starter. I loved the crunch of the poppy seeds, and was happy to have a creamy, natural dip to go with my afternoon plate of vegetables. No preservatives and a short list of whole food ingredients make this spice mix I’ll reach for again. I also used their Delectable Dill Starter last week to roast up a pan of new potatoes — a glug of olive oil and a spoonful of the spice mix were all it took to make a flavorful side dish.

Whether I’m sent a product free of charge or have purchased it myself, all opinions are my own. Samples provided by Doxy’s, d’Vida, and Nākd. 

A Few New Things

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