$6.49; Corti Bros & Taylor’s; www.lentilicious.com
Quick, healthy and easy, these new tasty packages of split Washington state red lentils make the perfect side dish or light meal. An established brand in Australia, Lentilicious made its stateside debut in April, after 31/2 years of having the recipes tweaked for American tastes by company owner Lisa Josefik, who lives in San Jose. Many of the ingredients (including sun-dried tomatoes from Woodland) are locally sourced. Our favorite is the Coconut Fusion flavor, creamy and satisfying with a touch of the exotic.
• McClelland’s Dairy European Style Artisan Organic Farmstead Butter
$7.99, Taylor’s Market, www.mcclellandsdairy.com
Go beyond the bottle of wine and let this cute crock of organic butter from a Sonoma-based family farm be your hostess gift for the hot months. The cool ceramic container lets it stay out on the counter without the butter going bad. And what butter – creamy, flavorful, with just the right hint of French sea salt, all slow-tumbled for the perfect texture. Your bread will thank you.
• “Caribbean Potluck: Recipes From Our Family Kitchen”
Kyle Books, $24.95, local bookstores; 2sistersandameal.com
Forget the jerk – that thick, rich sauce that seems to coat every dish labeled “Caribbean.” As Jamaican sisters Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau have proved on their popular blog “Two Sisters and a Meal,” island cuisine can keep its finger-licking flavors without the fat or the fuss. In their new cookbook, “Caribbean Potluck: Recipes From Our Family Kitchen,” the duo dish about meals like Whole Roast Snapper with Grilled Lime and Mojito and a Creole Spiced Slaw, sure to become a summer favorite.
• Hot Lunch Concert Series
Free music; www.facebook.com/HOTLUNCHConcertSeries
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursdays, June to August; Fremont Park (16th & Q streets), Sacramento
Grab a $10 to-go meal (call ahead to have it ready, 916-444-3000) from Hot Italian or visit one of the food trucks idling around this little patch of a park in midtown, and then relax for a few blissful minutes for a free concert during your lunch break – the Hot Lunch Concert series is back, a great way to prep for the weekend.
• Bevivo Drinking Balsamic
$7.99; Corti Bros.; www.ritrovo.com
Drinking vinegar has long been touted as being healthy for digestion, if not entirely enjoyable. Bevivo wipes out the cringe factor in its new line of concentrated balsamic brews (in cherry and lemon flavors) made specifically for imbibing – just add a splash to soda or flat water for a sophisticated and pleasant taste that’s surprisingly refreshing, and an excellent option for a nonalcoholic cocktail or aperitif.
– Bee Staff
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