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Spiker’s Shrubs at the new Boston Public Market

Heading into Boston to check out the fabulous new Public Market? Be sure to stop by Corner Stalk Farm’s booth and pick up a box of gourmet greens hand-grown in their pesticide-free hydroponic East Boston compound. You can also pick up Spiker’s Shrubs to splash on your greens (or in your favorite spirits, seltzer, or tea). Our Pineapple Basil Shrub features basil fresh from Corner Stalk.

Check out our Master Recipe for vinaigrette here. Spiker’s Pineapple Basil Shrub makes greens sing! (You can use any of our shrubs for a delicious vinaigrette.)

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Dad deserves a cheese plate with a Spiker’s Shrub drizzle

Spiker’s Shrubs in cocktails and mocktails are like salt and pepper. What many people don’t know is that shrubs are a powerful secret weapon in your kitchen pantry when it comes to sauces, dressings, and gravies.

For Father’s Day, we’ll be at Shubie’s on Saturday, June 20 from 1-5pm to show you how you can turn Spiker’s Shrubs into an incredible fruity-tart drizzle for cheese plates and appetizers.

Shubie’s has one of the most impressive cheese selections on the North Shore. To showcase this selection, we created a variety of plating suggestions to pair with our master “cheese drizzle” recipe. Just 3 minutes in the microwave transforms our cocktail mixers into a floral, fruity-tart glaze.

For example, the gorgeous Jasper Hill Harbison shown here is a creamy, gooey, luscious cheese wrapped in a ribbon of spruce bark. The woodsy, citrus, and floral notes are intoxicating. Just bring the cheese to room temp, scoop it onto a cracker or slice of baguette, and drizzle with one of our Spiker’s Shrub drizzles. Or try a drizzle with these other cheeses from Shubie’s:

Cloumage, a fresh cream cheese style which is like a cross between ricotta and cottage cheese. Made in Westport, MA.
Brebirousse d’Argnetal, an addicting, creamy sheep’s milk brie from France.
Colston Bassett Stilton, by far the best Stilton in the world. A much cleaner, purer taste than other blues. Great minerality and and not overly pungent.

Curious? Come to Shubie’s on Saturday, June 20, from 1-5pm. Pick up some shrubs, cheese, artisan crackers and other condiments to create a fantastic gift basket for your favorite dad, neighbor, or friend.


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Cranberry Chocolate Soufflé Pie

Cranberries are almost always relegated to the relish bowl during the holidays. But in this light and airy treat — a chocolate soufflé shell filled with delicately perfumed cranberry filling simmered with Spiker’s shrubs (Crangerine, Sour Cherry Plum, or Berry Amour), and a drizzle of white chocolate — it gets to sit on the dessert table with all the other goodies. It’s gorgeous to look at, easy to make, delicious to eat, can be prepared in advance, and gluten-free.

The shell of this elegant dessert is assembled like a soufflé. But don’t worry: this is one soufflé that’s supposed to collapse. In fact, that’s what creates the well in the center where you add your cranberries. (What a nice change from rolled pastry or press-in-the-pan cookie crumb crusts!)

Give it a try. We think you’ll agree that the marriage of cranberries and chocolate is absolutely heavenly.

[gmc_recipe 685]

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Cuban Picadillo with Cranberry Shrub

picadillo, traditional dish in many latin american countriesPicadillo is a super-fast comfort food that can be whipped up on the stove top in under 30 minutes. (Or prepare in a slow cooker for walk-away convenience). The aromatic spices and the tangy sweetness contributed by the apple and cranberry are a welcome change from standard taco filling or Sloppy Joes. Serve this over rice, like a stew, or wrapped up in tortillas or lettuce leaves. Tastes great the next day, so feel free to make ahead. If you double the recipe, you can freeze the leftovers and thaw as needed for a yummy last-minute meal.

A finishing sprinkle of chopped pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds provides a welcome crunch and an extra New World accent.

[gmc_recipe 739]

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Spiker’s Cranberry Blog is back!

Spikers_cranberries-in-boxLet the Thanksgiving countdown begin! If you aren’t yet in the mood for cranberries, you will be by the time turkey day rolls around! We’re doing our part to keep tradition alive by bringing back our annual “Cranberry Blog” and by introducing a brand new shrub flavor using this beautiful fruit which is one of three which can trace its roots to North American soil. (Grapes and blueberries are the other two.)

It’s not hard to find cranberries lovable. So round, so bouncy, so tart and tangy! And talk about versatile: Cranberries lend themselves to use in almost any kind of recipe (well, maybe not scrambled eggs), and they get along famously with other fruits (as we learned when we paired a shipment of the Bay State’s finest with fresh Valencia oranges, ginger, and clove to create our new Cranberry Orange Shrub.

Cranberry Orange Shrub retains the tannic bite of fresh, raw cranberries but is softened with enough sub-notes of fresh orange to turn that bite into more of a gentle nip. There’s still plenty of acidic balance thanks to the addition of apple cider vinegar, and the touch of ginger and clove add a welcome finish. Enjoy it by itself in an ice-filled glass of seltzer, or add a splash your favorite vodka, gin, or Pisco cocktail. At mealtime, sprinkle a bit of Cranberry Orange Shrub over raw or cooked greens, glaze a pork tenderloin during the final minutes of roasting, or add a few tablespoons to our favorite Cranberry Blackbottom Pie (recipe to come next week).

Cranberry Orange Shrub will be ready by November 15 — just in time for Amesbury’s annual Open Studio Tour. Stop by to see us at Kitchen Local, 14 Cedar Street. Or be sure to look for all of our shrub flavors at retailers near you.

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Shrub-glazed nuts are sweet, tart, and fast

SpikersShrub-GlazedNutsHave you ever made spiced nuts: the kind you coat with sugar and/or egg white and heat in the oven or the stove top? In my opinion most of the recipes are a pain. If you aren’t careful or you get sidetracked for just a few minutes, the entire batch can burn. If you add too much sugar, it might melt into jaw-breaking nuggets instead of a silky sheet of sweetness.

And speaking of sugar, take a look at the quantities that are usually called for. If this doesn’t cause a glycemic shock I don’t know what does.

There’s a better way to create glossy, delicately sweet nuts without all this fuss: just use a splash of Spiker’s Shrubs. Any flavor will do, but right now we’re partial to Apple Crisp, Peach Rosemary, and Pineapple Basil. The fruity, tart notes in each of the shrubs adds an extra layer of flavor to whatever spice blend you choose. And it takes less than three minutes for the liquid to reduce and coat the nuts with a lump-free sheen which allows the flavor of the nuts to take center stage.

Our master recipe is veritably fool-proof. Once you’ve made a basic batch,  consider some of the variations suggested here. You might never go back to the old ways again!

[gmc_recipe 3535]


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A sprinkle of shrub gives this dessert zing

RF0305_Honey-Pear-Icebox-Trifle-with-Soft-and-Easy-Ginger-Snaps_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni18colWhat a great idea! Yesterday, Food Network personality Nancy Fuller did a segment which featured an ice-box trifle with homemade gingersnaps sprinkled with shrub.

Her recipe calls for a honey-pear flavor, but we tested this with Spiker’s Apple Crisp Shrub and Peach Rosemary Shrub and both were fabulous. Didn’t get a chance to test the Pineapple Basil, but it would also be amazing.

Give the recipe a try and let us know which shrub you used!

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Spiker’s Shrub Vinaigrette Master Recipe

1-IMG_1479The same fruity-tart-sweet balance which makes Spiker’s Shrubs so refreshing in a spritzer or cocktail also helps to create some delicious and quick vinaigrettes. Add a sprinkle of  local hand-harvested flake sea salt for a winning combination.

To help you expand your salad dressing repertoire, below is a master recipe which can be changed up instantly by simply using a different flavor of Spiker’s Shrubs. Some of our favorite fast pairings include:

  • Pineapple Basil Shrub vinaigrette with warm wilted spinach, diced apples, and shredded carrots. Make it an entree salad by adding diced tofu or grilled salmon.
  • Sour Cherry Plum Shrub vinaigrette with baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, and dried Mission figs. Make it an entree salad by adding sliced warm or cold flank steak.
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub vinaigrette with romaine, plums, and pine nuts. Make it an entree salad by adding sliced cold grilled chicken breast.
  • Raspberry Bergamot Shrub vinaigrette with shredded raw kale, goat cheese, and sesame oil. (Make this in advance to give the kale time to break down and tenderize). Make it an entree salad by adding sliced warm or cold flank steak.
  • Peach Rosemary Shrub vinaigrette with arugula, toasted slivered almonds, warm brie, and blackberries. Make it an entree salad by adding sliced pork tenderloin.
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit Shrub vinaigrette with sliced avocado, watermelon chunks, feta cheese, and toasted walnuts. Make it an entree salad by adding chilled poached shrimp.

The basic ratio used here is one part shrub to three parts oil, but depending on the type of salad and the acidity of the ingredients, you might want to add an extra touch of tartness (e.g., a squeeze of lime or lemon, or a tablespoon whatever vinegar intrigues you).
One other note: Please use a flake-style sea salt at serving time rather than putting salt in your dressing in advance. Why? For one thing, if you are making an entree salad with leftover protein, you may very well have cooked this protein with a rub or other seasoning which contained salt. Also, not everyone cares for salt on a salad, since vinegar often enhances the saltiness of a dish. It’s better to let everyone at the table choose how much to add. And finally, the sparkle and extra crunch imparted by the sea salt flakes is just a wonderful touch. A teensy bit is all you need.

S.O.S. — Save our shrub bottles! Our bottles are made from a high grade of commercial glass which is extremely durable. Use the bottles to mix your salad dressing, or find new ways to recycle them. They will last a long time.


[gmc_recipe 3198]

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Spiker’s Pineapple Basil Shrub gives zing to BBQ sauce

Picnic season is in full swing, and having a couple of interesting barbecue sauces in the fridge is always a good idea. Even if rainy weather drives you indoors, a great BBQ sauce is terrific as a glaze for oven-baked ribs, ham steak, and more. Here is a quick and easy sauce recipe with an island flavor — created with the addition of Spiker’s Pineapple Basil Shrub.

[gmc_recipe 575]