▪ Walkers shortbread
$9.99 for 12.3 ounces; available at supermarkets, club stores and specialty stores; us.walkersshortbread.com
Many cookie lovers can’t get enough shortbread, especially this seasonal time of year. Walkers shortbread has been made in a “remote village” in Scotland since 1898, from a simple family recipe of butter, flour, sugar and salt. The company has issued a line of special-edition festive shapes in stars and bells, Santas and Christmas trees.
$5 (approximately) for an 18-cookie box; most area supermarkets; www.snackworks.com
You know it’s fall/winter when those bright-yellow boxes of Mallomars start showing up on local supermarket shelves, which they’re doing now. For the uninformed, the seasonal (October through April) cookie is a round of graham cracker topped with a mini-mound of marshmallow and then “enrobed” in pure dark chocolate. Which means the chocolate is poured over the cookie. The sweet little pillows are unique in taste and texture; don’t be fooled by imposters.
▪ Ocean Spray’s PACt
$2 per 16 ounce bottle; available at stores throughout California and Nevada and online; pact.oceanspray.com
The staff at Ocean Spray’s corporate HQ in Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass., are heavily touting their latest product PACt (“A better water for a better you”) available in California now and nationwide this spring. According to the marketing materials: “PACt cranberry extract water is a new water from Ocean Spray that helps cleanse and purify your body better than water alone. (It) contains PACs, or proanthocyanidins – powerful elements found deep inside cranberries.” The water comes in four flavors: cranberry-blood orange, cranberry-raspberry, cranberry-pomegranate and cranberry-mango-passionfruit. We tasted all four and found them to be refreshing with well-balanced flavors and clean finishes. A fine substitute for soda.
▪ “The Heartstopper” at Woodland’s Burger Saloon
$13.99; 601 Main St., Woodland; (530) 668-2747; www.theburgersaloon.com
Is your appetite big enough for the burger that Bee food critic Blair Anthony Robertson calls “a tour de force of glee and gluttony.” This towering double-hander features three full-size patties, two fried eggs, three kinds of cheese, thick strips of bacon and pastrami. “The pastrami adds saltiness, and the three cheeses and two eggs bring richness and texture,” Robertson wrote in his three-star review of the casual, family-friendly restaurant.
▪ “Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails”
$40; Ten Speed Press; 320 pages; crownpublishing.com
The first thing to know is that the innovative Death & Co. is a bar in New York City that has been at the forefront of the craft cocktail movement since opening in 2006. With hip and informative text (by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day), world-class photos and cool illustrations, it tells home mixologists everything they need to know about making great cocktails, along with lore and the fundamentals of basic spirits. Plus: The inside info on garnish, bitters and bar tools and techniques, along with 500 cocktail recipes. Are you sure you know the proper way to stir a cocktail?
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