Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cravate Noire Favorites for Fine Living

We live on a budget, but we also like to live very well.  This is why we rarely buy things, but when we do buy things, we like to buy high quality necessities.  Here, we'll share some of our favorite items from around New York City, and online that brings simple pleasures to our every day lives.  In these Cravate Noire Favorites articles, we like to stay true to the original spirit of blogging, so you'll find things we actually spend money on, not things companies give away for free to bloggers so they can be written about.

Now for our list...

1. Fresh Tajarin Pasta - tajarin is basically pasta made with egg yolks, it gives the pasta a deeper and richer flavor.  These taste best when they are purchased fresh from your local pasta maker, and because it's fresh pasta, it only takes 3 minutes took cook once the water starts to boil.  We got these from Eataly here in NYC.  They don't sell the fresh versions online, but they do in their shop! 
 Here, we cooked the pasta and drained in cold water to stop the cooking, then we mixed in our sauce of olive oil, sea salt, soy sauce, chopped cilantro, cumin powder, paprika powder, lemon juice, black pepper, and we added shaved thin sliced of carrot for a nice texture contrast.
2. India Tree Dark Muscovado Sugar - If you use brown sugar often, you'll notice that the ones you get in the supermarket just aren't as brown as they use to be.  Not sure why, but pure brown sugar is so deep and rich in flavor that it tastes almost like burnt caramel.  We love the India Tree Dark Muscovado Sugar as they are the tastiest you can get in the market - available at specialty food stores or online here.  
They taste good on everything (soup, pancake, simple syrup, ice cream making, etc), we like to use them to make our no-cook raspberry syrup below.
Easy recipe for no cook raspberry syrup - we mashed fresh raspberries and dark muscovado sugar with a fork.  Wait a few minutes and the sugar will pull all the juice out of the raspberry and you end up with what you see on your right, a jar of fresh no cook raspberry syrup.  Store in the fridge for up to a week.  Add to pancakes or ice cream, or use them to flavor your cold water and never buy beverages again.
3. Casual wear from Jack Wells - Jack Wells is a British Clothing store selling simple casual staples - with everything from shorts, t-shirts, lounge wear for both men and women.  Very preppy and stylish, with a few stores on the east coast and available online.  We got these stripped knee high socks, super cute with oxfords and mary janes.
If there was a flavor for this color it would be strawberry mint candy cane.
4. Fine preserved pickled condiments for quick and easy open faced sandwiches.  We've been getting picked condiments from Lemon Bird, based out in California.  They make picked leeks, which you see here.  Add them to your sandwich and they will turn from ordinary to wow.  We like to eat our sandwiches without a top, or as the french like to call them, tartines.
Our open faced sandwiches - this one is made over toast with avocados, topped with sea salt, hot sauce and lemon bird picked leeks.
5.  Better Life Dish Liquid - we were using Seventh Generation Dish Liquid till we switched to Better Life Dish Liquid.  Better Life Dish Liquid is clear, and comes in a nice clear squeezable bottle with simple colorful graphics that adds a nice touch to your kitchen sink counter.  Aside from the nice packaging, Better Life Dish Liquid is made with castille soap of all natural ingredients.  We got the unscented version but the sage citrus scent smells so light and refreshing!  This also has aloe vera so it's easy on your hands.

Better Life Dish Liquid also sells refills so you can always have their nice clear squeezable bottle sitting on your kitchen counter.

Hope you like our first fine living post - feel free to share your favorite items with us!

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