Star-Spangled Lemon Berry Tart

If you’re headed to a picnic or holiday gathering this summer and looking for something easy and delicious to take, this Star-Spangled Lemon Berry Tart is a great option.  And trust us when we say easy – my summer cooking mostly consists of throwing food on the grill or eating veggies fresh from the garden (do salads count as cooking when it’s 95+ degrees outside???).  If I’m going to bake something in the summer it has be suuuper simple.   I especially like this recipe because it’s really versatile depending on how much effort you want to put into it.  We opted for store-bought refrigerated pie crusts to save some time but made our own lemon curd to really ramp up the flavor.  You can easily use your favorite homemade pie crust or store-bought lemon curd if you prefer.

Let’s start with the lemon curd which gets blended with softened cream cheese for the filling of this tart.  Lemons seem to be the “it” fruit right now, so you can also feel super trendy taking this dessert to a party if that’s your thing.  Making homemade lemon curd was surprisingly easy and allows for some flexibility depending how lemon-y you like it – this recipe uses the zest of 2 lemons – if I were making it again I’d probably drop that down to zest from 1 to 1 ½ lemons. Now that I know how easy this is to make I’m sure I’ll be making it again to top pancakes, pound cake, muffins……or just to eat as a refreshing summer sweet.  Here’s the recipe we used from Saving Room for Dessert (

We used this Ann Clark star cookie cutter and a smaller cookie cutter from Pampered Chef to make the stars on the tart.  You could use more sizes, just one size, or even throw in a different shape if you prefer.   We brushed our stars with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar to make them golden brown and sparkly.  

For the actual tart – store-bought refrigerated pie crusts saved some time, but feel free to make your own if you’re feeling it.  The recipe below makes two pies/tarts or one sheet pan “slab pie” – you could easily cut it in half if you didn’t want as much (or double it if you have a crowd!)  We used blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries because I love all the berries – you could also use just one or two berry types depending on what you have on hand and/or what’s in season.

Let us know if you try this patriotic pastry – we’d love to know how it turned out or if you made any adjustments!

Here are a few of our favorite Honeycomb Kitchen Shop tools we used to make this dessert – available online or in our delightful little shop in Historic Downtown Rogers, Arkansas:

Microplane Zester/Grater

Core Rainbow Whisks

Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish  (all the heart eyes for this beauty!)

OXO Angled Measuring Cups

Also – special thanks to LeAnna for spending a morning helping make this in HKS kitchen and for taking all the snazzy photos 🙂

Happy Summer!


Grilling Secrets of the Southwest

  1. Learning to use grilling disks

Plow discs have been around for over 150 years, tilling the earth so farmers can plant their crops.  It has been such a fundamental tool, especially in agrarian states like Arkansas.  But did you know that it can also be used to grill your food?  Yes, let me repeat:  that steel disc thingy that goes in the dirt is an awesome grilling device!

Discada, Spanish for cooking meat in an agricultural disc, has long been a hidden secret of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico for grilling food with spectacular flavor.  These discs can also be known as plow disc cookers, disco cookers, cowboy woks, or disk cookers.  Interesting, right?  We thought so, too!  Thankfully, there is Blue Moon Disk Company in Little Rock, Arkansas, that custom makes these grilling disks, and we have them now in Honeycomb Kitchen Shop.

Blue Moon doesn’t just make your typical grilling disk.  Owner Chuck Peyton hand polishes and welds horseshoe handles onto his crafted disks, yielding a grilling masterpiece.  We love the craftsmanship but wanted to test the disks to see what kind of grilling power they really have.  HKS partnered with the Cooking Studio of Downtown Rogers and fired up the grills.  Needless to say, we loved the disks so much so that Sheila Reese, owner of the Cooking Studio, is hosting a grilling disk class on June 15, 2017, to demonstrate different ways to grill your food on the disks.  To reserve your spot in the class, please call 479-381-7917.

Below are some of the photos from our grilling day and descriptions of why we love these disks so much.  If you are on the hunt for a gift that is unique and fun for Father’s Day, then you have hit the jackpot with this grilling disk.  HKS will be taking pre-orders for grilling disks until June 7.  Call us to reserve your disk.  Pair the disk with the cooking class mentioned above, and you’ve got a pretty awesome gift that any dad would love!

We started off simply by grilling some bacon.  One of our favorite features of the grilling disk is how you can cook multiple things at the same time.

The bacon began cooking in the middle of the disk and then was moved to the cooler edges to finish up, while we threw on some potatoes.  Think how perfect that would be when grilling steaks for multiple people.  Cook and serve each steak at the same time no matter how rare or well-done your guests want their food!

Sheila ordered a special-sized disc to fit her slender PK grill.  Typically, the disks are used on a simple propane stand as seen above but are also great directly on coals or on your grill.  Blue Moon even has a size that fits the popular Green Egg grills.

We wanted to try out some brats on the grill to see how evenly the disk cooks.  Each brat was cooked to perfection, and we loved the heat distribution when using the disk on the grill!

Want to see how this grilling disk works in person?  Then head to the Bentonville Spice and Tea Exchange, located right off the downtown Bentonville square on June 17 for a grilling disk demonstration.

Happy grilling!

Gift Ideas for Every Mom

Top Picks from HKS for Mother’s Day

If you’re mom is anything like mine, I bet you struggle to find good gifts for all those special occasions.  She already has so many things that she has accumulated over the years, and my creative gift ideas have all dried up.  Well, we are here to help!  Dana and I put our heads together to come up with our top gift picks that any mom will love.  Whether she is an animal lover or enjoys entertaining a crowd, these should be some “mom worthy” ideas for you this Mother’s Day.  Happy shopping!


  • Martellata Hammered Stainless Steel Cookware

These pans are more than just cookware…they are statement pieces.  If your mom loves cooking in stainless steel, pick her up one of these! SHOP HERE

  • A Cooking Class at HKS

What better gift to give a mom than to spend time with her?  Take this upcoming class at HKS and enjoy making your very own truffles! REGISTER NOW

  • Recipe Box

Give the gift of thoughtfulness.  Pick up one of our Coton Colors recipe boxes and fill it with some fun recipes your mom might like to try.  Need recipe inspiration?  Delish posted Mother’s Day Recipes that look awesome.  Get your recipe box HERE.


  • Locally Made Cutting Board

Give a one-of-a-kind gift to your mom with one of the locally made cutting boards we carry at HKS. These are perfect for serving cheese or antipasti at a party. Stop in and see our large collection of boards all made by artisans from the NWA area.  And if you hurry, you can get it engraved!

  • Unique Serving Platters

Coton Colors has a unique collection of serving platters that any entertainer will love.  Not to mention we will throw in a free appetizer bowl with a purchase of one of the platters. Mom will be set!   SHOP HERE 

  • 20K Gold Cheers Cocktail Glasses

I bet she doesn’t have any of these!  These Cheers glasses are upscale and unique.  Your mom will be having her cocktails in style.  SHOP HERE

  • Lux Fragrances Flower Box and Candle

Not only are these candles upscale and beautifully decorated (making your job as gift giver really simple), but they smell wonderful. Your mom will love this fresh fragrance lightening up her home. Arkansas Made Product, SHOP HERE


  • Dog Treat Canisters

These treat canisters are perfect for the mom who loves dogs….and you will get bonus points from the fur baby too! SHOP HERE

  • Ceramic Cat Mugs

Is your mom more of a cat person?  Then she will LOVE this adorable gold accented cat mug.  This will make her smile and think of you every time she drinks her favorite coffee or tea out of this mug.  SHOP HEREAdd in a fun COFFEE or TEA to complete your gift!

  • Vintage Pig Platters and Bowls

This vintage, farm house inspired pig serving collection isn’t only a unique gift, they are very functional.  Perfect for pairing together to serve or just to put out as decor for the mom who just loves those HOGS….oops, we mean pigs (wink, wink)! SHOP HERE


  • Silicone Bakeware



Silicone baking pans have taken non-stick to a whole new level.  This bakeware can withstand high heat and make cleanup a breeze.  Simply pop out your muffin, cake, or bread and throw the pan in the dishwasher.  Mom will love you for this! SHOP HERE

  • Emile Henry Pie Dish

Now this is a pie dish!  What mom wouldn’t love baking in one of these?  The ruffled, scalloped edges add a classic touch and it comes in three beautiful colors. SHOP HERE

  • Nordic Ware Decorative Bundt Pan

This bundt pan will help your mom impress everyone with her baking skills.  These beautifully designed pans help to spruce up the plain ol’ bundt cakes you are use to seeing. SHOP HERE

Three Questions About Owning A Business


“Are you glad you did it?” That is the most common question I get asked as a small business owner, followed closely by “How hard is it owning your own business?” and “Why a kitchen shop?” Well, in honor of National Small Business Week, I decided to answer those questions based on my recent experience of being a first-time small business owner.

“Are you glad you did it?” –

Yes, an unequivocal yes. For me, owning my own business is in my genes. I know for sure that I am a fourth generation small business owner (it’s probably more than that, but I have no idea what my great-great grandparents were up to in the 1800s). So being in the corporate world was tough. There was always that question of “What if I look back in thirty years and hate myself for not ever trying to start my own business?” That thought grew louder and louder and louder until I couldn’t stand it anymore. So…I did it. With the help of my longtime friend and now business partner, we opened our very own kitchen shop. I wake up excited about it every day. No more dreading the work week on Sunday evenings. No more “working for the man.” It’s ours. We do with it what we like. Even if we decide to throw in the towel one day, I will have absolutely no regrets. That right there, my friends, makes me very happy.


“How hard is it owning your own business?” –

Hard is not the word I would use to describe being a business owner. In the beginning, being an owner is an aggregate of different tasks and responsibilities. You are the bookkeeper, you are the buyer, you are the sales associate, you are the cleaning service, you are the social media guru, etc. Of course, juggling all those things isn’t easy. In fact, it is pretty relentless and time consuming. But it’s all in a days work. If you keep your attitude positive and don’t sweat the small stuff, tasks begin to turn into routine. Before you know it you are looking for more things that you can do to grow your business. So owning your own business isn’t hard; it’s complex.


“Why a kitchen shop?” –

Well…I love food (and wine). My entire family is the same way. It’s hard not to love cooking when you are surrounded by foodies. That was the first step towards HKS. From a business standpoint, we needed to be smart. We didn’t want to open a business that had already saturated the market. There are the big guys like Williams Sonoma and Bed, Bath, and Beyond in our area. That didn’t scare us, though, because there are not places like Pryde’s Kitchen or Fante’s Kitchen Shop here in NWA. That type of store is what I call a “classic.” We want to be that kitchen store that connects with the community and is a part of a downtown scene that is unique and inviting. We want to make friends with the locals and inspire them to cook at home by offering them the tools they need to do just that. We want to become a place that people love. We want to be a “classic.”


My overall advice, if you are thinking of starting a new business journey, is to just have faith and go for it. You can do it if you believe you can. So to all my fellow entrepreneurs: you are brave, you are strong, you are committed. May all of our children follow in your footsteps.

Love and honey,


Strawberry Season

A Time We Look Forward To Every Year!

With sun bleached hair, bare feet, and a steady eye on the strawberry patch – I could easily be the girl in this sweet poem.  Growing up in Pennsylvania, strawberries were very much a summertime fruit – the ripe berries coinciding with the end of school and the transition into splendid summer adventures.  In Northwest Arkansas, though, strawberry fields come alive in the spring. Their plump red fruits chasing away any lingering thoughts of frosty winter days – what a wonderful time of year!

Whether you like to eat your strawberries plain, with a healthy dollop of homemade whipped cream, or blended into a sweet jam, now is the time to visit your favorite local strawberry farm and stock up while they are at their peak ripeness.  Don’t have a favorite strawberry farm yet?  Check out for a list of local farms.  A quick search shows 14 farms in Benton and Washington counties with strawberries – time to get out and explore! Fresh berries will last several days in the refrigerator.  Wash berries in cold water only when you’re ready to eat them to keep extra moisture from accumulating.  You can also store your berries in a Greensaver Produce Keeper to keep them fresh even longer.  The produce keeper includes a carbon filter that absorbs ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process.  If you’d like to store them for longer than a week or so, go ahead and prep the strawberries for the freezer by washing and drying, removing the stems, and placing them in a single layer on cookie sheets destined for the freezer. Once the berries are frozen individually remove from the cookie sheets and store in the freezer in plastic bags or freezer safe containers with as much air removed as possible. Don’t forget to label and date the bags!  Whole frozen berries should last 4-6 months.

However you plan to use your berries, removing the stems is a must. There are few kitchen gadgets as adorable and useful as the Stem Gem strawberry huller. Designed to extract the stem of a strawberry with as little waste as possible, this little tool is handy and will help make this mundane task easier and more fun for strawberry eaters of all ages.  The stainless steel claw extends into the berry to easily cut the fruit around the stem and pull it out (leaving a whole perfect for filling with buttercream icing – oh my deliciousness!).  The simple design makes it easy to clean or wash in the top rack of your dishwasher.

My favorite way to eat strawberries is fresh from the strawberry patch, but a close second is strawberry balsamic jam. The addition of balsamic vinegar really kicks up the flavor of the berries and it’s delicious over any soft cheese, ice cream, or mixed with some plain yogurt.  I’ve had good success with this Small Batch Strawberry Balsamic Jam recipe over on the Food in Jars blog (a site worth bookmarking if you haven’t already!).

Cheers to a fruitful strawberry season!

Cookie Fever!

Tips for perfecting your cookies

With our cookie decorating class only a day away, we just couldn’t help ourselves! Today I stepped into the kitchen and made a classic – chocolate chip cookies. And of course, I used my favorite recipe right off the back of the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip bag (see recipe below)!  Although they aren’t the sugar cookies we’ll be decorating tomorrow night with Alexander Baking Company, I got to thinking of some important tips everyone should know to ensure their cookies come out perfect every time.


Some people like to mix their cookie dough ingredients with just a spoon in their hand, but we prefer to use a hand mixer because it allows us to gradually add in ingredients while mixing, which forms a better dough. Whenever we make cookies at Honeycomb, we always line our cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. We LOVE these mats for a few different reasons – using these mats helps to not burn the bottom of whatever you’re baking, whether that be cookies, cakes, bread, etc. The silicone mats also help stop the dough from continuing to spread out on the pan, preventing the balls of dough from running together and forming one giant, misshapen cookie. And finally, our silicone mats are 100% nonstick, so you don’t even need to use a spatula to scrape the cookies off the tray! With these mats you can just pick the cookies right up once they’ve cooled.

When baking, it’s very important to have patience. Although it may seem like a time saver, don’t bake more than one pan at a time. When you add more pans in the oven, you start changing the heat distribution in your oven and the amount of time the cookies need to bake. If you cook with two to three pans you run the risk of over baking your cookies. So take your sweet time and remember you can always bake something longer if it isn’t quite finished, but you can never un-bake something! Start with less time than what your recipe calls for on your timer then add more time if needed. Your cookies will thank you!

Something that many people don’t realize in order to get the perfect soft cookies, you should take them out of the oven before they start to brown.  Don’t listen to those recipes when they say, “remove cookies from oven when golden-brown on top.”  If you like your cookies soft, you need to take them out early! They will be pale and look unfinished so resist the urge to leave them in just one more minute.  When you take them out of the oven leave them on the pan and let them sit for another 10 minutes as the cookies will continue baking while they’re on the pan. Before you know it you have a nice soft center and a gorgeous looking cookie.  Crispy cookie lovers, fear not! Take your cookies out of the oven as direct by the recipe. Let them cool on the pan for just a couple of minutes and then place on a cooling rack.  You’ll have that perfect crispy and crunchy cookie.

Most importantly, enjoy your cookie creations.  Who doesn’t like a sweet treat!


Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Recipe



  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts



  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in morsels and nuts.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets or onto silicone baking mats on cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.


The Necessities

Mrs. Anderson’s Silicone Baking Mat



Oxo Illuminating Hand Mixer





Credit – A big thank you to Lindsey Wagaman for helping write this blog and for being my photographer for the day.  Lindsey was in the shop the past two days helping out with our social media because she is interested in majoring in marketing at the University of Arkansas.  Great job, Lindsey!

Five Cookbooks Every Cook Should Own


Even though we have hundreds of millions of recipes at the touch of a button, there are some cookbooks that everyone should still have in their arsenal.  Not just because of the recipes, but because of the education they provide as well.  How many of us Google a recipe one time and never use it again?  It’s because we have no connection to those recipes.  With these cookbooks you will get a full picture of how and why these recipes are great tasting while learning the techniques at the same time.  You will be more inclined to make those delicious dishes again and master the recipe.  (Not to mention that you won’t have to type your password to unlock your phone every time you need to check the recipe….books are good like that!)

artisan bread

  1. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

This is the follow up cookbook to Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’s original bestseller Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  They revamped and tweaked the recipes based on feedback from their large fan base, and this new book now includes gluten-free recipes as well as more in-depth tips and techniques.  Our favorite concept from the book is to use their Master Recipe for preparing dough and then making an array of different breads from that batch all week long.  It literally allows you to make artisan bread in five minutes, excluding resting and oven time.  Must try recipes using their Master Recipe: Ciabatta, Rosemary Crescent Rolls, and Panini.  Other artisan recipes in this book that are still simple and delicious: Pumpernickel, Spicy Pork Buns, Spinach Feta Bread, and even the Chocolate-Filled Beignets.


  1. Franklin Barbecue – A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

Aaron Franklin, an award-winning pitmaster, launched his famous Austin, TX restaurant in 2009 and it is now one of the most obsessed-over barbecue joints in America.  This isn’t your typical cookbook.  It’s more like a full on education of how to cook meat.  Aaron and co-author Jordan Mackay give reasoning behind how they smoke their meat and explain in lengthy detail the processes they go through.  This book is for anyone who seriously wants to learn and understand the art of smoking meat.  If all of that isn’t reason enough to own this book, how about the fact that Franklin Barbecue has sold out of brisket every single day since its establishment.  Yes, it’s that good!


  1. The Newlywed Cookbook – Cooking Happily Ever After

Growing up with The Food Network and trendy-style restaurants, newlyweds are anything but traditional nowadays.  Most have such busy schedules that it doesn’t allow time to become skillful in the kitchen.  Never fear…this cookbook has great tasting, no-fail recipes that are budget friendly and easy to make.  Several of their recipes are geared toward using popular small appliances that you typically see on bridal registries.  There is even a section on kitchen organization and pantry basics.  That’s why this book is on our list.  It’s smart and geared toward a generation that needs recipes to help simplify their life in the kitchen.  Must try recipes: Garlic Shrimp Risotto, Ultimate Mac and Cheese, Pork Medallions with Sage & Mushroom Sauce, and Glazed Cranberry Chocolate Cake.


  1. Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, as many as 18 million Americans may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).  That’s why the market for gluten-free food has boomed over the past decade.  This cookbook focuses on simple, from-scratch recipes and covers dishes for every meal of the day.  Whether you have a gluten intolerance or not, this cookbook shows you how to navigate the supermarket and teaches you how to make the notorious gluten-free flour blend.  It’s a great addition to any cookbook arsenal especially if you entertain a great deal.  If a guest can’t have gluten, no worries.  There are plenty of great recipes to choose from that everyone will enjoy (and may not even notice it is gluten-free)!  Must try recipes: General Chang’s Chicken, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Penne a La Vodka.

dog dinner

  1. Dinner for Dogs

We’ve all seen the Blue Buffalo commercials asking you to pronounce the ridiculously long words on the back of your dog food.  It’s important to feed your little friend healthy food, but unfortunately some of the additives in the popular brands of dog food have started to cause stomach and skin issues as well as full on allergic reactions.  That’s the reasoning behind Henrietta Morrison’s cookbook.  She walks you through foods that are healthy and safe as well as how much protein and carbohydrates a dog needs.  Don’t have time to cook for the dog too?  We suggest the homemade kibble recipe.  You make a batch to keep in the fridge for 10 days so you don’t have to cook for the pup every day and night.  Other must try recipes: Buckwheat Pancakes, Cheesy Oat Bars, Chicken and Rice Balls, and Mini Meaty Balls.  Your fur baby will love you for it!


Now for some extra cuteness!

mag and hugo

Melissa’s pups – Hugo and Maggie

Sweet Treats to Celebrate Independence Day

Take a cue from Uncle Sam and host a county fair themed Fourth of July party complete with vintage inspired décor and throwbacks to classic American foods.

Did you know that the first Independence Day was actually on July 8, 1776 and not July 4th?  Yeah, me neither.  It wasn’t until 1870, almost 100 years later, that July 4th was declared a national holiday.  This year marks our nation’s 240th birthday!    So whether you honor it on July 4th or July 8th, you should still celebrate with something sweet.  And if you are anything like us, you probably have lots of things planned for the holiday weekend.  So between the lake trips, backyard barbecues, and firework shows you will still have time to make these simplistic desserts.   They are pretty festive too!

Don’t have the necessary tools for the recipes below?  Well we do at HKS so stop by and see us to make your Fourth of July holiday great!


Red, White, and Blue Parfaits


  •  Mint Simple Syrup (sold at HKS)
  • seedless watermelon (about 5 pounds)
  • cups fresh blueberries
  • cups fresh strawberries, quartered and/or raspberries

Sweetened Whipped Cream:

  • cups whipping cream
  • 3 -4 tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoons vanilla


  1. Cut watermelon crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut watermelon into star shapes, discarding rind. (Reserve remaining watermelon for another use).
  2. In a large bowl, layer blueberries, strawberries and/or raspberries and watermelon. Pour syrup over fruit. Cover and chill for a minimum of 2 hours.
  3. To serve, divide fruit with syrup and Sweetened Whipped Cream among 16, 9-ounce disposable drinking cups, alternating layers of fruit and whipped cream. Top with your star shaped watermelon slices. Makes 16 servings.
  4. Sweetened Whipped Cream: In a small chilled mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Do not over beat. Makes 4 cups. Or you can use good ole Cool Whip to keep it simple!




Fourth of July Pretzel Sparklers


  • cups chopped white chocolate bark (about 12 ounces)
  • 12 – ounce package pretzel rods (about 24)
  • Decorative red, white and blue sprinkles and M&M candies


  1. Place chocolate bark in microwavable safe bowl. Cook in 30 second increments stirring with a silicone spatula often to avoid burning.
  2. Once chocolate is melted, allow to sit for 2-3 minutes to firm slightly.
  3. Dip about half to two-thirds of the pretzel into melted chocolate bark. Sprinkle with decorative candies. Place in a drinking glass filled with red, white, and blue M&M candies. Makes 24 servings.


HKS Shopping List

buy now

Mint Simple Syrup

Star Cookie Cutter

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl

Silicone Spatula

Decorative Drinking Glasses

The Juiciest Juicer

waterwithlemon Fresh squeezed lavender lemonade is quickly becoming my new favorite summertime drink. I’ve always liked lemonade and have regularly overpaid for it at county fairs, community events, and the occasional roadside stand, but have only occasionally made it at home. I’m normally not a lazy person, but the thought of all that squeezing always seemed like too much work when I was thirsty.

Thanks to the amazing Chef’n FreshForce Citruschefnfreshforcejuicer2 Juicer, though, my sour thoughts about squeezing lemons have been smashed (all puns intended).  Chef’n brags on the juice r’s “easy-to-squeeze handles” and claims a “dual gear mechanism increases pressing power.” I just say – it works. And it works better than any other hand squeeze or reamer juicer I’ve used. The long handles and simple design make it easy to squeeze and really get the juice out with minimal effort. It also catches the seeds and, unlike many of the electric juicers, it’s fairly inexpensive and is easy to clean – hooray!

The real kicker is combining all that fresh squeezed lemon juice with some lavender simple syrup for a deliciously refreshing and gorgeous drink.   I’ve made my own simple syrup and used pH Alchemy’s version and they are both delicious in this lemonade. Here’s the recipe I use to make a whole pitcher (yup you read that correctly – a pitcher of hand squeezed lemonade – I’m telling you this juicer is a life changer):

Lavender Lemlavenderlemonadeonade*

    • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons depending on size)
    • 1 cup lavender simple syrup**
    • 5 cups water
  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Serve over ice
  3. Garnish with lemon or lavender sprigs if you’re feeling fancy
  4. Try not to drink the whole pitcher yourself

*Use plain simple syrup (dissolved sugar) to make unflavored lemonade or try this recipe with any of your favorite simple syrups – blackberry lemonade? Yes, please!

**If you’d like to make your own lavender simple syrup, I recommend this recipe over on Well Plated – I adjusted her lemonade recipe to my taste, but tested her simple syrup recipe as is and can assure you it is delicious and truly simple to make! 

Want to add a little kick to your lavender lemonade? I highly recommend pH Alchemy’s Hummingbird drink. Here’s the recipe (this is for a single drink, but let’s be real – you’ll be making more than one):

Hummingbird (from pH Alchemy)

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • .5 oz pH lavender syrup
  • .5 oz lemon juice (about half a fresh squeezed lemon)
  • 2 oz Prosecco
  • Mint
  1.  Combine all ingredients except for Prosecco in a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Strain into a glass and top with 2 oz Prosecco.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig.
If you’re a die-hard fan of the citrus reamer instead of a juicer– we also carry the Chef’n Twist It Dual Citrus Reamer and this really neat Tovolo Reamer Strainer that fits directly over your glass or shaker – perfect for making cocktails!


A final juicing tip –

To get the most juice, soften your lemon by rolling it back and forth on the counter before you cut it. This helps weaken the cell walls and makes it easier to juice.




men grilling


Thanks to Weber, who developed the first backyard barbecue grill in the 1950s, grilling out has become an all-time favorite pastime. Father’s Day is around the corner. I know some of you are out there wracking your brain on what to get your father or husband or brother because they have just about everything under the sun. And if they do need something, they don’t wait. They go out immediately and buy it, leaving us with no idea what to get them. Fortunately, this blog post can help with that. Below I’ve listed our top five favorite grilling products and why they should be yours as well. Some are unique and some are classic. All will make great gifts this Father’s Day.


  1. Bacon Grilling Rack

Mmmmm….bacon.  Cooking bacon the traditional way is unhealthy.  The fat that melts out as it cooks remains in the pan – the bacon cooks in its own hot fat.  Delightful, unless you’re trying to avoid high cholesterol like most of the American population.  The trick to cooking healthier bacon is to prepare it using a method that reduces the amount of fat that remains in the meat after cooking.  That’s where this bacon rack comes in.  The rack’s design allows the bacon to cook thoroughly from the heat of the stainless steel while allowing the fat to drip down and out of the meat.  The bottom of the rack catches the drippings to reduce the chance of flare ups.  This tool is really handy.  It would be a great addition to any man’s grilling collection.

grilling rack


  1. Stainless Steel Meat Claws

This tool is perfect for the guy that loves or wants to learn to smoke meat.  Meat claws are a much more effective at pulling pork or shredding meat than your typical BBQ forks and meat rakes.  The less time you spend tearing apart the meat, the more time you get to actually eat and enjoy it.  That’s why the meat claws are number two on our list.  Definitely a must for the grilling arsenal!

meat claws


  1. Charcoal Starter Wand

So you’ve decided to grill for dinner.  It’s windy outside and you are out of lighter fluid making it impossible to light your charcoal.  Bummer.  However, if you have a charcoal starter tool you are all set.  This Fire Up Charcoal Wand is an environmentally friendly way to ignite your charcoal without using toxic lighter fluid. The starter can light charcoal briquettes, wood chips, chunks, or pellets with ease. Two simple switches take your charcoal from cold to smoldering in a matter of minutes.  Anything that is better for the environment and takes less of my time is a win/win every time!

fire up


  1. Cast Iron Grill Pan

What?  This isn’t a grill tool you say?  It absolutely is, so let me explain.  Some people shy away from cast iron, especially younger generations.  Those people are missing out.  Cast iron is one of the best ways to cook on a grill.  You need a high quality grill pan that can stand up to the heat and grime of the grill.  This cast iron grill pan from Finex is the perfect option.  I urge you to invest in a good piece of cast iron.  The first time your man cooks a steak in this grill pan on the grill with a little butter, salt, and pepper, you will never cook a steak another way again.   This pan comes pre-seasoned with flax seed oil and has a lifetime warranty.  Can’t beat that!




  1. Himalayan Salt Plate

These salt plates are catching fire.  If you don’t have one, you should get one immediately because it is a delicious and healthy way to grill your food.  The Himalayan salt plate is a naturally anti-microbial surface that adds healthy minerals to food as it cooks.  Its flavor is more complex than that of regular table salt.  The block has extreme temperature resistance and can be used heated or chilled.  It’s also a great way to server your food.  There are no negatives for this product, and I promise you he will love it!

salt plate