Celebrate #LaborDay!

This #LaborDayWeekend, we thought we would celebrate the #SanFrancisco way.  It is well known that SF has the highest concentration of start-ups in the world, especially in areas of technology.  Of course, we at Nowcado fall into this category, but you may not have realized that San Francisco is also a great place to find a totally different kind of startup – microbreweries!  Having a beer is a typical part of standard Labor Day events, so in the spirit of supporting our fellow entrepreneurs, we decided to check out a few such establishments in the city, and the products they had to offer.

As with any startup, the key to success is differentiation from your competitors, and understanding what appeals to your customers.  It was fairly obvious to us that these brewcrafters had it down to a science.  Everything from the catchy, unapologetic names of the beers to the unorthodox ingredients made sure to leave a lasting impression – there were too many intriguing options to try them all (though we certainly tried)!  Most remarkable is the diversity of the styles, from Belgian lagers to tripels, custom IPAs, wheat, barley, or even oatmeal ales, infusions with chocolate, citrus, herbs and spices, and several styles we had never even heard of before.  Each new beer is “tested” with the brewery’s customers, like any great startup product, and refined by adding or adjusting ingredients based on feedback over several weeks.  After the brewer (and customers) are satisfied, the beer will start to be distributed to the various stores and restaurants where that local brewery’s products are available.  So if you’re an avid beta tester of new products, don’t forget to check out the new products at your local microbreweries.

Shavuot: #Cheese Blintzes

Happy #Shavuot to those celebrating! In case you are not familiar with the holiday, it is common to eat dairy dishes today. Here is a great recipe for traditional cheese blintzes you can make with ingredients found on nowcado.com:

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil

Filling

  • 1 cup lowfat ricotta cheese
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Blend all of the dough ingredients together. Make sure you get rid of all the lumps.
  2. Grease the entire surface of a skillet generously with the oil and heat over medium until barely smoking.
  3. Pour the blintz batter by 1/3 cupfuls into the pan, then tilt the pan in a circular motion till the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan in a large, thin circular shape.
  4. Let each blintz cook for 60-75 seconds until the edges of the blintz brown, the bottom of the blintz is lightly golden, and the center of the surface is dry. Do not flip – use a spatula to take the blintz out of the pan and place it on a plate. Be sure to keep all the blintzes separated with parchment paper or paper towels so they do not stick together.
  5. When all of the blintzes are cooked, create your filling. Put all of the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl, then use a fork to mix them well. Filling should be well blended but slightly lumpy.
  6. Put 3 tbsp of filling on the lower part of the blintz, about an inch from the edge.
  7. Fold the lower edge of the blintz up over the filling. Fold the sides of the blintz inward, as though you’re folding an envelope. Roll the blintz up and over the filling like a burrito, tucking the edges in as you roll.
  8. When the blintzes are stuffed and rolled, you are ready to fry them. Pour ¼ cup of vegetable oil into the skillet and heat over medium until hot. Carefully place the stuffed blintzes flap-side down into the hot oil, being sure not to overcrowd your pan. The blintzes should fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes until they’re brown and crispy.
  9. Turn the blintzes carefully using a spatula and/or tongs, then fry for an additional 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Blintzes should be evenly browned on both sides.
  10. Serve blintzes warm. They can be served as-is or topped with fruit topping, sour cream, applesauce, whipped cream or maple syrup.

#CincoDeMayo

To celebrate, here is a great #margarita recipe nowcado.com can help you with. We got the recipe from foodnetwork.com:

Ingredients:

Margarita

  • Ice cubes
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup, recipe follows
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon Lime-salt-sugar, recipe follows
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:

  1. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. (Alternatively, heat in the microwave.) Store the simple syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  2. Blend together lime, salt and sugar in a small blender or mini food chopper.
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup. Cover and shake until mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds. (In general, the drink is ready by the time the shaker mists up.)
  4. Place Lime-salt-sugar on a plate. Press the rim of a chilled rocks or wine glass into the mixture to rim the edge. Strain margarita into the glass.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!