Love of good food didn’t just inspire Grace Barbers-Baja to write about her latest restaurant discoveries, recommend where to get the best desserts, and share her personal recipes on her popular blog, The Spoiled Mummy—it also spurred her to come up with her own line of homemade artisanal savories and sweets.
Taste by Grace Home features three cheese-pairing jams, three hors d’oeuvres and a no-bake dark chocolate cookie dough that she herself developed, using all-natural, additive-free ingredients sourced here and abroad.
This fine culinary collection, to be introduced Aug. 25-27 at ArteFino fair at 8 Rockwell, Makati, is part of the blogger’s eponymous home line, whose products include beeswax candles, room scents, hand lotions, throw pillows, Bohemian glassware, fine porcelain tea sets, ceramic stoneware, and table linen.
Besides reflecting her careful attention to detail and quality, Taste by Grace Home reveals her penchant for indulging—spoiling, if you will—the market through products boasting elegant packaging and generous use of out-of-the-ordinary ingredients.
Tapping local farmers from all over the country, she sourced her tomatoes in Tagaytay, habaneros in Benguet (which grows them specifically for her), wild honey in Palawan, butter in Bukidnon, muscovado in Negros, vinegar in Surigao and organic chicken liver in Nueva Ecija.
Travels led her to suppliers in Italy for black truffles and figs; Spain for Manchego, olives and Pedro Ximenez sherry; California for sun-dried tomatoes and almonds; Dubai for pistachios; Australia for black grapes; France for butter; and Ecuador for single-origin chocolate.
Elevated fruit jams
Figs and Almonds with Truffle Honey, Two Tomatoes and Habaneros with Sage, and Black Grapes and Pistachios with French Butter (P1,295 for a set of three) are more than elevated versions of fruit jams, not just meant for spreading over crackers or toast.
Savor them with a variety of cheeses (each bottle offers suggestions on its label), enjoy as dips, or use as condiments for grilled meats.
Her vacuum-sealed hors d’oeuvres are as richly concocted. French butter and Himalayan pink salt enhance the flavor of Manchego Curado with Almond Olive Tapenade (P895). Grass-fed butter and Pedro Ximenez sherry heighten the luxury factor of Organic Chicken Liver Paté with Pistachio Praline (P795).
Grass-fed butter and truffle honey are also used to give Quattro Formaggio Spread with Pink Peppercorns (P695) its full taste and consistency.
Barbers-Baja, a self-described chocoholic, completes her fine food line with the quick-to-make 70-percent Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough (P1,295). A few minutes in a toaster oven is all you need to produce soft, chewy bite-size cookies whose mild yet satisfying sweetness is best accompanied with a hot cup of coffee.
“I want to tell people, especially the working women and busy mommies out there, ‘You can be a hostess with the mostest, even with just a toaster oven,’” says Barbers-Baja. “You don’t have to be Martha Stewart just to entertain!”
It’s a message that rings loud and clear: Days before Taste by Grace Home’s online debut, Barbers-Baja (who made the announcement on her social media accounts) has already received numerous orders for her goodies. —CONTRIBUTED