When you need to pull a rabbit out of the hat and serve something exciting at a moment's notice, don't grab the hat and wand—open your magic cabinet. Photo courtesy of Jeff Quinn, Corporate Magician.
Your Cabinet of Magic Tricks
Specialty Foods That Turn The Ordinary
... With No Effort!
- Tricks For Breakfast & Brunch
- Tricks for Lunch & Dinner
- Tricks for Desserts & Snacks
- Tricks for Cocktails and Tea
A meeting at your home runs long and into mealtime.
A surprise guest rings your doorbell.
The parent of a play date comes to pick her up and you extend an impromptu invitation to dine.
Your spouse e-mails that a colleague will be coming home for dinner to finish a project.
You’re in the middle of a dinner party and one of your courses burns.
How do you pull a rabbit out of the hat and put something special on the table?
It’s easy—thanks to super-delicious specialty foods that turn the ordinary into extraordinary.
We’ve compiled some of our tricks for you in this article. Each page that follows is dedicated to a different mealtime (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks...). In the purple menu box at the left, we show how these versatile products can be used at different times of the day: just match the small letters under the product name to the corresponding number of a major section (e.g. 2 = LUNCH, 4 = DESSERTS, 5 = COCKTAILS) with more product ideas.
Click here to tell us about products in your magic cabinet.
The Secret Is Not To Raid The Magic Cabinet!
Purchase as many of our Magic Trick items as appeal to you—or develop your own list. Then, like squirrels storing nuts for winter, put them in a safe place where you’ll find them, but no one else will.
Otherwise, when you need them, your bag of tricks will be empty. These specialty foods are so special, they can easily disappear—and not by magic.
Photo courtesy of Bartlett Arboretum, University of Connecticut
Here’s our strategy:
We keep our magic tricks on the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet—out of sight, out of mind. We need a kick stool to get to them.
For foods that require refrigeration, we keep a plastic storage box at the back of the bottom shelf. We also secure the lid with a stretch cord and have a “For Emergencies—Do Not Open” sign on the box. (It works.)
For items in the freezer, we avoid temptation or misappropriation by adding a layer of plain wrapping: an opaque plastic bag, with tape or other closure, and the “For Emergencies” label. Write the expiration date on the label.
Every 6 months, check all expiration dates. Replace anything with less than 6 months of shelf life and put the expiring product in your active pantry to enjoy.
The Tricks In Our Cabinet
Our tricks are all about versatility: as you can see in the purple bar at the left, you can use the same product in different ways. We’ll elaborate on them in the pages that follow.
We’ll keep updating this section as we find new “magic tricks,” so stop back occasionally to see what’s new. You can check the date below to see if we’ve revised this section.
Spiced Quince Preserve from
Palette Fine Foods proves that
great condiment does for a
piece of cheese what a great
mustard does for a sandwich.
Click here Click here to continue to Breakfast & Brunch Tricks.