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The Zappos Charity Culture Cookbook

Here at Zappos HQ, we love to have potlucks because, well, quite frankly, we all love to eat! This got two Zapponians thinking; why not compile family recipes from employees and create a recipe book to sell with proceeds going to charity? This is exactly the idea that Lauren G. and Jennifer G. pitched to our Z-frogs committee a couple of months ago. The committee voted to make their idea a reality.

Through the Zappos Charity Culture Cookbook, we can use our love of food and family to help the less fortunate. 100% of the profits of the cookbook will go towards a local charity aimed at providing food for the hungry. The cookbook will feature the story behind each recipe in the words of the contributor. Sharing the Zappos family culture and love of food towards the greater good is truly what it’s all about.

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Chantal and Chef Sara Moulton Visit Zappos HQ!

Beer Batter Shrimp, Chantal, chantal cookwear, chantal copper fusion, Chantal Copper Fusion Line, chef sara moulton, chefs, cooking, cooks, copper fusion pots and pans, crepes, delicious recipes, food, Fresh Ricotta, housewares, recipes, sara moulton, Sara Moulton's everyday family dinners, zappos hq

We were lucky enough to have the amazing chef Sara Moulton visit Zappos HQ a couple of weeks ago,  and during her visit, she graced us with her cooking prowess by doing a fun cooking demo using Chantal Copper Fusion pans.

Sara made three delicious recipes during her demo: Beer Batter Shrimp w/ Tartar Sauce, Roasted Vegetables and Fresh Ricotta Bruschetta, and Hot Banana Split Crepes. We were served samples of each dish, and trust us, they were amazing!

Sara also did a book signing for everyone who attended. She signed copies of her latest book Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners , where you can find all the delicious recipes from her cooking demo.

You can check out the entire Chantal Copper Fusion line HERE.

Watch Chef Sara Moulton in action at Zappos HQ:

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MOZO Dia De Las Salsas Recipes

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This past Tuesday, we had a huge “Dia De Las Salsas” event sponsored by MOZO shoes featuring Chefs Aaròn Sanchez and Chris Cosentino. The chefs held a very educational and entertaining cooking demo which featured five different salsas. There was also a very exciting CEO Cookoff with our very own Tony Hsieh and Deckers CEO Angel Martinez which featured two different cocktails and entrees.

Check back on the Zappos Blogs for more info about that cookoff soon!

In the meantime, here are the much-anticipated recipes featured during these events.

SALSAS:

Chris’ Salsa Verde

1 cup parsley leaves

1 cup chervil leaves

½ cup tarragon

¼ cup minced chives

1 tsp lemon zest

1  yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp salted capers

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Kosher salt

Black pepper

¾ cup Extra virgin olive oil

First, soak the capers in cold water to remove the extra salt, and then fine brunoise the yellow onion and season with a pinch of salt and macerate with the red wine vinegar. After washing and picking the herbs, be sure they are dry before coarsely chopping them. Place in a mixing bowl adding each herb after it is chopped. With a micro plane, zest 1 lemon into the bowl then micro plane the garlic as well. Squeeze the vinegar from the brunoise onions and add to the herb mixture, being sure to mix well. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, then add the olive oil to cover about ½ cup. If you want it looser, add more oil. Finish seasoning to taste. If more acidity is desired, add some lemon juice and let rest for 1 hour before serving so the flavor develops.

Serves 10.

Chris’ Salsa Piquante

1 red onion

6 red fresnos

2 tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp orange zest

2 cups picked flat leaf parsley

2 serranos

8 dried sweet peppers

3 dried cayenne peppers

4 dried cascabels

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup olive oil

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Fine dice the red onion and the red Fresno chilies, being sure to reserve the ribs and seeds from the chilies. In a blender place all the dried chilies with seeds, but stems removed, the serranos and the centers of the red fresno with ½ cup of olive oil blend on high until the oil is red --about 4 minutes. Once finished, pour the chili puree into a mixing bowl and add the fine diced red Fresno chilies and red onions; mix well. With a micro plane zest an orange into the bowl then squeeze and strain the juice as well. To finish, chop the flat leaf parsley mix in the bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Let sit for 2 hours at room temperature to allow the flavor to develop.

Serves 10.

Aaròn’s Salsa Verde

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

2 jalapeños, roughly chopped (yep, seeds, too)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

4 dried bay leaves

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

1 cup olive oil

Add the vinegar, jalapeño, garlic, and bay leaves to the blender jar, puree until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in the herbs, and pour the olive oil in slowly and steadily, whisking the whole time. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Aaròn’s Salsa Picante

4 dried arbol chiles, stemmed

1 pound plum tomatoes, halved

1/2 white onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)

juice of 1/2 lime

pinch of sugar

kosher salt

Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Toast the chiles in a dry skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat, shaking the pan for about 2 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water on top, cover and let soak 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Grill the tomatoes, turning until charred. Transfer to a food processor. Add the chiles and their soaking water, onion, garlic, oregano, lime juice, sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt; pulse until chunky. Set aside, about 1 hour. Garnish with cilantro.

Aaròn’s Guacamole

2 mashed avocadoes

1/4 cup of diced tomato

1/4 cup of diced white onions

1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano

1 jalepeno finely minced

juice from one lime

1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro

1 teaspoon kosher Salt

Mash the two avocados and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.


COCKTAILS:

Chris’ Negroni Recipe

1 oz. Junipero Gin

1 oz. Campari

¾ oz. sweet vermouth

orange twist

4 juniper berries, 2 for garnish

1 fresh bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker including 2 juniper berries & bay leaf. Shake until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass on the rocks. Garnish with a orange twist and  2 juniper berries. To make an orange twist, cut about a 1 1/2 inch by 1 inch peel off a ripe navel orange, with a vegetable peeler. Be sure to get just the skin and as little of the pith as possible.  Simply drop the twist in the drink.

Aaròn’s “Smokin’ Rita”

1.5 oz Gran Centenario Anejo

1 oz Grand Marnier

.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz float of Del Maguey Mezcal

 

ENTREES:

Grilled Cornish Game Hen Fra Diavolo with Fennel & Dandelion Salad by Chris Cosentino

1 red jalapeño peppers

1 Serrano peppers

6 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp dried chile flakes

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp pimenton de vera dulce (Spanish paprika with a smoky note, but ground dried chipotle peppers may be substituted)

2 fresh bay leaves finely chopped (if you can’t get fresh, use 2 dried)

1 bunch of fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped, twigs discarded

1 orange, zested and juiced

2  1-lb Cornish game hens

kosher salt

2  heads fennel

1 small red onion

1 lb baby dandelion greens (arugula may be substituted)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

 1. For the marinade:  In a food processor, combine the jalapeños, serranos, garlic, and olive oil, and pulse until a paste forms.  Transfer to a bowl and add chile flakes, black pepper, pimenton de vera dulce, bay leaves, orange zest, and orange juice.  Mix well with a spoon.  Set aside.  Note:  if no food processor is available, finely chop the peppers and garlic by hand and proceed with the recipe.

2. For the hens: Using a pair of kitchen shears, remove each game hen’s back by cutting along both sides of the backbone. Discard the bones or save for a stock. Lay the birds flat in a deep wide dish or two. Season with kosher salt then “massage” them with the marinade (you may want to wear rubber gloves for this; otherwise take caution in touching your eyes after handling hot peppers) and let sit for 2 hours in the refrigerator. 

3. Preheat the grill or grill pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Cooking the Cornish game hens over high heat will ensure carmelization, which adds flavor, and makes proper grill marks on the meat. Place the bird on the grill breast side down and cook for 5 minutes then turn it a ¼ turn to the left and cook for 5 minutes more. This will give you those diamond grill marks. Flip the birds over and repeat the same steps, then place on a baking sheet in bake for 15 minutes. You can tell the birds are done when the thigh juices run clear. Set the Cornish game hens aside and let rest on the countertop for 10 minutes.

4.While the birds are resting, very thinly slice the fennel and red onion into a mixing bowl, add the dandelion greens, dress with a splash of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

5. Put salad on 6 dinner plates, then top with 1 Cornish game hen per plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Grilled Squash Picadillo

2 zucchini, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off

6 tomatillos, diced

1 poblano chile, grilled, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced

1 cup crema Mexicana

1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat grill to high. Brush cut side of zucchini with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, cut-side down, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until just cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into small dice.

Heat remaining oil in a medium saucepan on the grates of the grill. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatillos, chile peppers, diced zucchini, and crema and cook until the cream begins to thicken the mixture . Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat and add the queso fresco and cilantro.

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Delicious Apple Recipe Cookoff

Team members Britnee B. and Ruby A. decided to host an apple recipe cookoff to allow members of the Zappos Family to show off their skills. It was a huge success with a winner in each of the following categories: Taste, Presentation and Creativity. Do you have any awesomely amazing apple recipes? Please share with us and the rest of our readers!

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Classy Cooking With Cuisinart

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When the food processor was introduced in 1973, it wasn't known as a food processor; it was commonly referred to as a Cuisinart®. The rest is culinary history. Today, under the stewardship of the Conair® Corporation, Cuisinart® has expanded its kitchenware line to include coffee makers, toasters, programmable slow cookers, hard anodized skillets, ice cream makers, stick blenders and even popcorn makers! And yes, Cuisinart® still produces the best food processors in the industry.

Innovation has always been the key to success at Cuisinart®. Uncompromising quality in materials and design assures each Cuisinart® product will impress and delight those who seek only the best in culinary tools. Highly regarded by professional chefs, Cuisinart® branded products can help raise the level of expertise in the novice cook as well. Whether it's your first set or a replacement for old, inefficient pieces, Cuisinart® delivers true value in high-performance quality cookware. Transform your kitchen into a culinary masterpiece with the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple Ply 12-Piece Cookware Set, a 12-piece set that includes:

1 x 1.5 qt. Saucepan with cover
1 x 3.0 qt. Saucepan with cover
1 x 3.5 qt. Sauteé pan with helper handle and cover
1 x 8.0 qt. Stockpot with cover
1 x 8.0" Skillet
1 x 10.0" skillet
1 x Steamer insert with cover (fits 3.0 qt. Saucepan)

Triple ply construction of a brushed stainless steel exterior, an aluminum core and a stainless steel interior assures lasting performance for all your cooking needs. The aluminum core assures fast heating and quick response to temperature changes, while the stainless steel interior retains heat evenly for fewer hot spots. The stainless steel Cool Grip™ handles are riveted for durable use and the flared pouring rim minimizes drips and messes.

There's no limit to creativity in the kitchen with the help of thoughtfully designed cooks' tools from Cuisinart®. Makeover your kitchen with Cuisinart® from Zappos.com and make sure you check out all our other great housewares while you're at it.

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Sliders at the Z Bistro!

We couldn't think of a better way to kick off the Holiday weekend last week than to have Alfred and Fred serve sliders in the Z Bistro for The Zappos Family.

Man did these sliders set the bar high for all of our 4th of July BBQs. They were pretty tasty.

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Summer Outdoor Vacation: Lafayette, LA

If you like nature, good food, and outdoor fun, then Lafayette, Louisiana may be just what you're looking for. This trendy outdoor destination has a flavor all its own. Enjoy Zydeco Bands, swamp tours, and more. And of course you can't take a trip to Louisiana without a taste test. All of your favorite outdoor activities come with an unforgettable experience that can only be had in Lafayette.

Canoeing, Boating, and Swamp Tours

Whether you're looking for a place to go canoeing or boating or want a more leisurely and scenic swamp tour, Lafayette has something to offer. Louisiana is famous for its swamp tours that creep through the swamplands in observation of natural habitats. Learn about native wildlife and plants by trolling through the swamps or by exploring a different route via boat or canoe. Kayaking and canoe tours and classes are available.

Outdoor Food

Ever tried crawfish fresh from the bottom of a Louisiana bayou? What about authentic and spicy Cajun or Mediterranean and French foods? Lafayette provides an abundant sampling of these and more. Culture is rich and someone's always cooking. Once you enjoy these fine foods straight from the source, you may never want to leave.

Birdwatching

Wetland birds can be some of the most beautiful in the country. Louisiana is home to many different species. Explore the nature trails and wetlands of Lafayette, Louisiana. Don't leave your camera or binoculars at home for this adventure.

Nature Conservancies and Trails

Lafayette boasts many nature trails for walking, biking, and birding. You can even do all three. Depending on the location, you may get to see exotic birds, such as Little Blue Herons and even snowy egrets. The Lake Martin Nature Conservancy is home to the herons and egrets and is also energy efficient.

Golf

Next time you swing that club for a round of golf, try doing it in the wetlands of Lafayette, LA. How's that for a unique golfing experience? Not only can you enjoy a great game, but it also earns you bragging rights when you return home to family and friends.

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Encouraging Healthy Habits in Children

Before the age of six, many children are under the impression that a quick 5-second soak is all that's needed at bath time. There are a number of reasons children don't care for bath time. Some are scared of the dreaded drain, while others would simply rather be doing something else. Certainly, no parent wants to have to stand over their children throughout their childhood making sure they clean behind their ears and stay in the bath long enough to get clean. Thankfully, there are a few tips you can use to encourage the healthy habit of bathing in your children.

First of all, make it fun. Little kids that are scared, or would rather be playing with toys, will enjoy bath time a lot more if they are distracted. There are a number of great toys on the market that are water-friendly, and some are even designed to be used at bath time. Children will love playing with boats, sea monsters and even mermaid dolls as they take their nightly bath. Another great suggestion is fun bath products. There are a number of shampoos, bar soaps, body washes and even sponges that are designed to make bath time fun. Children will love soap that smells like bubble gum or a sponge shaped like Spongebob, and let's not forget the age-old classic, Mr. Bubbles Bubble Bath.

If children are past the age of playing with toys in the tub or enjoying scented body washes, there's another tip you can use - embarrassment. There comes a time in every child's life when having mom or dad in the room at tub time isn't enjoyable. But, if you're having trouble getting your children to take a bath, it may be your only choice. Bring a magazine and sit down on the toilet and start to flip through the pages, making a point that you're not leaving. You'll probably hear the dreaded "But, Mom!" Explain that once they prove they are old enough to bathe properly, you'll be more than happy to leave them alone at bath time.