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.

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#July4th

Happy #4thofJuly! Enjoy the fireworks and remember to use Nowcado for all the items you need for enjoying the holiday!

#American #Flag #Cake #Recipe

In anticipation of July 4, here is a #patriotic cake recipe with a flag pattern that reveals itself when you cut it that is sure to impress your friends. Nowcado discovered this one on allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

  • 3 (10.25 ounce) packages white cake mix

  • 9 egg whites

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 3/4 cups whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons clear vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring

  • 1 tablespoon blue food coloring

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

  • 10 cups fluffy white frosting

  • 1 tablespoon white chocolate chips, or as needed

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar, or as needed

  • 1 4-inch round paper or cardboard stencil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line 4 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Combine white cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds using an electric mixer on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes. The batter will still be slightly lumpy.
  3. To make the red cakes, measure half the batter into a separate bowl and whisk in red food coloring. Evenly transfer the red batter into 2 of the 8-inch prepared cake pans; smooth tops of batter with a spatula. Transfer half of the remaining uncolored batter into a 3rd prepared cake pan; smooth top as before. This will be the white cake portion.
  4. Add blue food coloring to the remaining uncolored batter in the large mixing bowl; fold 1 cup white chocolate chips into blue batter until combined. Transfer batter to remaining prepared 8-inch cake pan; smooth top of batter with a spatula.
  5. Bake all 4 cakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from oven and place onto cooling racks until cooled completely.
  6. Run a knife around edge of each cooled cake. Invert cakes, remove pans, and peel off parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to trim tops of cakes flat and even.
  7. Cut both of the red cake layers and the white cake layer in half horizontally. You will have 4 thin red cake layers and 2 thin white cake layers.
  8. Place a 4-inch round stencil on top of 1 thin red cake layer; cut out a 4-inch red cake round. Repeat for 1 blue and 1 white cake layer.
  9. To assemble the cake, you will need 2 thin 8-inch red cake layers, 1 thin 8-inch white cake layer, 1 4-inch thin red cake circle, 1 4-inch thin white cake circle, and 1 blue 8-inch cake ring. Reserve the leftover thin red cake layer and other cake pieces for making crumbs for decorating.
  10. To assemble cake, place 1 8-inch thin red cake layer on a cake pan and frost the top generously with white frosting. Place the thin 8-inch white cake layer on top of the red one, and frost the top. Place remaining 8-inch thin red cake layer atop the white one. Frost the red layer.
  11. Place the blue ring cake on top of the 2nd red cake layer and carefully frost the inside of the blue cake ring. Gently fit the 4-inch white cake layer into the blue cake ring. Frost the top of the 4-inch white center. Place the 4-inch red cake layer on top of the white one. Gently press small cake circles flush with the top of the blue ring.
  12. Frost the entire outside of the cake generously with the remaining frosting.
  13. Crumble red and blue pieces of leftover cake into 2 separate bowls. Score lines into the top of the cake’s frosting with a kitchen knife to make a flag design on top of the cake. It should have a 2-inch square at the upper left for blue field and white stars, and 7 thick horizontal stripes about 1 inch wide.
  14. Fill the square field at the upper left with blue crumbs and press 1 tablespoon white chocolate chips upside-down into the blue crumbs to make ‘stars.’ Fill the bottom stripe and every other stripe with red crumbs to make red stripes. Sprinkle white sugar generously into the white stripes to make them stand out.
  15. To serve, cut cake into wedges. The inside of the cake will reveal its layers of red and white stripes and blue field with white chocolate chip stars in every slice.

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!