CookServ Contest Winning Essays, Part 2

Serving up Paella in CookServLast month we asked you who in your family embodies the traditions of food and family—offering up a CookServ 12-inch Sauté Pan to our judges’ 50 favorite entries—and we had hundreds and hundreds of amazing entries. We heard about your mothers and your husbands. We read about traditional family recipes and the ways you make them your own. There were stories about Christmases, Seder dinners and Friday night tapas parties.

Sharing a meal is how we connect. At Nambé we’re about elevating that special moment at the dinner table. Each day this week, we’ll post ten of the winning essays from our CookServ contest. All 50 winners have been notified by email (check those spam folders!), and have been invited to provide us with a video review of the new CookServ. We’ll share those with you in several weeks. Until then, enjoy reading the second set of winning essays.

My grandmother’s cooking embodies food and family traditions with her delicious German culinary skills. Every Sunday we would have a traditional meal of sauerkraut, dumplings and gravy, green beans, pork hocks with a savory center cut pork roast ending with her mouth watering apple kuchen. This tradition had been past down from her mother, my great-grandmother and now my daughter cooks this meal. It soon became the favorite meal of all my friends, their children, and my daughter’s friends. – Patricia A.

On you marks, get set, GO! As Mom to 16 year old twins with a full time job I am often pressed to get it all done. On the weekend we rush around to do shopping, laundry, catch up on homework, sports, scouting, Japanese language lessons, take the dog on a long walk and get the yard work done. It winds down each week with a sit-down Sunday dinner—required Sunday dinner is a chance to touch base, share some time together, fold friends into the family circle. Relax. Get ready for the next adventure. – Madelon H.

My great aunt, Margaretha, despite not loving to cook completely embraced food and all the traditions around it. Whenever we came to visit her, she always had nestle tollhouse cookies waiting for us. Every holiday meal was the same, year after year. It sounds monotonous, but the traditions around holiday meals are what create memories and strengthen family bonds. – Becky C.

My mom absolutely embodies food and family traditions. She learned her cooking skills from her mom while growing up on a farm. She can cook a hearty meal for any size of group! I am lucky that my husband and I live near my parents, so I am still given opportunities to learn from her. My mom’s favorite thing to do is gather the family and cook a big meal. Often, these meals include recipes that have been handed down for generations (like my great-grandma’s baked eggs). She inspires me to cook and entertain for family and friends! – Kimberly H.

My wife. She had an Italian grandmother who loved cooking and baking for her extended family in California. My wife carried that tradition on today, preparing some of the same delicious meals she enjoyed growing up for her own family. She also enjoys making meals a family event, often having oour children and even me help and assist in the kitchen. It is a good time to bond as a family, while doing something creative that we all enjoy. – Ray R.

Food embodies the spirit of home for me. In my family we share our love for one another through cooking for each other. My mom’s specialty chicken might not be cooked like Joel Robuchon’s but I sure crave her chicken a lot more! Nothing tastes better than a home cooked meal with the ones you love. – Thomas C.

My husband is the food and family tradition maker! We just started our family (the two of us) when we married in July. He has started fondue nights, pizza making nights, meatless Monday nights, etc. On days he is so tired, he will tell me he couldn’t sleep because he was thinking of a new recipe. He has even gotten into molecular gastronomy! He is amazing and I look forward to us having children we can share all the fun with!!! – Jules K.

My fiancé Ted cooked many of his family’s Serbian dishes for me when we first began dating, and it often felt as if I had been invited to share in an ancient and intimate tradition. Mealtime became an indulgence in a far-away land and foreign history, and made me feel closer to his family and heritage. We are getting married this summer, and in becoming a real part of his family, I might finally feel qualified to try my hand at his recipes. The first step: getting him to write them down for me! – Bridget M.

I was raised in New Mexico and Nambe was always on our table for Sunday family dinners! My mother was – and continues to be – the best cook I know. Her ability to use authentic and fresh ingredients in her food is what makes her cooking distinctive and tasty. She recently visited us in California and my son had the same look in his eye that I had at his age when he tasted the meals she prepared for us. Oh, if only I had the same creativity with food that she does!!! – Gabriella M.

My beautiful mother is the perfect example to embody food and family traditions. We have owned a restaurant since I was born 39 years ago exact (today is my birthday!) Coming from Greece, she passed onto me the most amazing recipes — Grapeleaves, Spinach pie, Pastitsio – You name the Greek food, she makes it! And, the most delicious rice pudding ever. She has passed so many traditions down to me and I am so thankful! We just celebrated Greek Easter with the most amazing lamb, and just like every year we sat at the table with my kids now and made Greek Easter cookies (koulourakia) and sang the song that accompanies it. Koulourakia, Koulourakia me ta dio mas ta herakia! It translates into a song which means Koulourakia, Koulourakia with our two little hands and rhymes! Beautiful tradition that I look forward to every year! – Maria V.

CookServ Contest Winning Essays, Part 1

A Nambe KitchenLast month we asked you who in your family embodies the traditions of food and family—offering up a CookServ 12-inch Sauté Pan to our judges’ 50 favorite entries—and we had hundreds and hundreds of amazing entries. We heard about your mothers and your husbands. We read about traditional family recipes and the ways you make them your own. There were stories about Christmases, Seder dinners and Friday night tapas parties.

Sharing a meal is how we connect. At Nambé we’re about elevating that special moment at the dinner table. Each day this week, we’ll post ten of the winning essays from our CookServ contest. All 50 winners have been notified by email (check those spam folders!), and have been invited to provide us with a video review of the new CookServ. We’ll share those with you in several weeks. Until then, enjoy reading the first set of winning essays.

My grandma is a second-generation Czech-American and the matriarch of our small family. Most of the year, we eat like Americans in every way. But each year when Christmas rolls around, my grandma single-handedly prepares the same massive feast of traditional food. For every year that I’ve been alive, we’ve had the same foods with the exact same recipes. No changes to the fillings. Always made with shortening instead of butter because her family couldn’t afford butter when she was younger (even though she can now). Thanks to her stubbornness, we have a beautiful family tradition. – Shannon C.

My Italian grandmother. of course! Everything involved food, as kids, we would play at the kitchen table while she cooked. As soon as we arrived at her house, she’d lead us to the kitchen for a snack or meal. You always knew you were loved when she placed a plate in front of you. – Lori S.

Cooking has been out family tradition for generations. My father has passed this tradition over to me. He was trained as a fish chef. Living in Africa, we would buy fish from the Mocambique shores and markets. We would watch my father clean and then marinade the fish in lemon, garlic and spices. Then the grill would come on with charcoal and my father would grill the fish. Meanwhile the rest of the family is cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, preparing side dishes. We then would all sit down together for the feast. We value every evening dinners at the dining table. This is a time for our family to connect, share and enjoy the delicious foods that have been prepared. Food and family sharing time is the most special and unforgettable moment! – Ravelle S.

My family loves my cooking. Whenever I suggest going out to eat they would rather I cooked. Holiday’s are a busy time around my house. Latke’s and brisket are big family favorites around Hanukkah time. With 2 new babies in the family I am lucky to have my family close by and they love to spend time with us. – Judy B.

My wife and I both do in our own familiar ways. My wife cooks lamb stew and Shepherd’s pie like her grandmother did on the Isle of Man. I do by making waffles—the 5 heart shaped kind—according to a recipe that has come down from my mom (born and raised in Norway) with some modifications based on improved materials and technology. – Dan S.

My dad, amazingly since he never cooked for us as children, had become the embodiment of food in our family. With his skill in the kitchen he’s preserved traditions and created a love of food for his children and grandchildren. – Sara H.

My Cuban mother. She beautifully cooks classic Cuban recipes passed down from her own Mother. I fondly remember cooking empanadas with both my Mother and Grandmother, a memory I will cherish forever. These meals are filling both for the body and soul, and really brings the family together to talk and reminisce about past experiences. She has now passed the recipes on to me, and I greatly enjoy cooking them for my own friends, many of which have never had the pleasure to try Cuban food. – Jessica

I do! Being from Kansas, my family had many “Midwest” recipes that were staples. Although living in Las Vegas now, I still pull out the old traditions to remind us of home. Food brings back great memories and Nambe makes those memories beautiful! – Linda B.

My mom! She’s 73 years old and spent the morning tilling up her garden plot and planting potatoes. She’s planted a garden every year that I can remember and fed her family with what she grew and “put up” from that garden. We enjoyed so many wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables and then the excess was always canned, frozen, dried, or stored away to enjoy later. She always cooked three full meals a day for our family, never using convenience foods. Everything was from scratch and delicious! I learned to cook by watching her and then cooking along side. She would absolutely love this beautiful saute pan. Thank you! – Sharon O.

My grandmother made scrambled eggs for her father every morning, but she always overcooked them, according to his daily complaints. Finally, one morning she swirled them around in the pan for a few seconds and poured them, raw, onto his plate—after which he calmly looked up and said, “Perfect, just the way I like them.” He ate them all, and never complained about his eggs again. This memory is one of my favorite family cooking stories, and though her eggs aren’t always perfect, my grandmother is a perfect role model for me in the kitchen. She embodies tradition. – Melissa N.

Testing CookServ with Thai Stew and more

Thai fish stew in Nambe Sauté Pan

Erika from In Erika’s Kitchen tested our CookServ 12-inch Sauté Pan by crafting a tantalizing Thai Fish Stew. The recipe is simple and tasty, and Erika promises the pan cleaned up quickly. Her biggest takeaway from trying CookServ:

“However you cook with this pan, here’s the most important part: You can carry it straight to the table with your head held high. You could put this pan down in front of Queen Elizabeth and it would likely be the most beautiful thing she’d seen on the table in a long while.”

The larger sauté pans are versatile. Natalie from Perry’s Plate used her CookServ to steam these artichokes with minimal cleanup effort.

Artichokes in Nambe CookServ via Perry's Plate

Natalie, like Erika, liked the design but also appreciated the durability of her CookServ:

I adore the handles and the curves in the side. Don’t get me wrong. This is a hefty pot, not just pretty. Durable, too. It also has handy nubs in the lid for automatic basting. Stunning and smart. Quite a catch.

Trying to decide if CookServ might be right for you? We have a 8-inch sauté pan expressly for that purpose. You can bring home the Try-Me Pan for only $50 and test the cookware for yourself.

First Reactions to CookServ

Our new CookServ line will be in stock soon, but a few lucky food bloggers have tested the pans for us and have been posting reviews alongside some seriously delicious recipes.

Nam from Culinary Chronicle's reaction to receiving her CookServ pan
Nam from Culinary Chronicle’s reaction to receiving her CookServ pan

Aimee from Shugary Sweets cooked up a simple and yummy lemon-blueberry skillet cake in our sauté pan. Her thoughts on the pan?

Gorgeous, right?? I received the 12-inch saute pan and I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful this pan is to use! With a family of 6, it’s the perfect size! I love that you can cook on the stovetop and move it right into the oven!

Lyuba from Will Cook for Smiles made a complete Pad Thai dinner in her CookServ. It’s a quick recipe that we’ve already replicated at home and found delish. Her experience with CookServ:

I absolutely love that I can make dinner and just pick up the pan and set it in the middle of the table. It’s gorgeous and cooks perfectly! That’s a win/win in my book!

We’ll share more reviews (and chances to win our new oven-to-table designs) in the coming weeks.


Nambé’s Chirp Kettle Named Best of the Best

Award-Winning Chirp Tea Kettle from NambeNambé continues its impressive debut into the housewares arena by winning the top design award at the 2013 Housewares Design Awards.

The Chirp Kettle, part of the recently introduced Nambé Gourmet line, not only won the Best Design for the Cookware and Bakeware category, but also the prestigious Best of the Best – Gold award as the best overall housewares design in the entire competition.

“It is a great honor to win this wonderful award, especially when you consider that Nambe after entering into Housewares last year, has now won a Housewares design award each year,” Nambé’s president and CEO Robert Varakian said. ”We look forward continuing to supply great housewares products as we build our Nambé Gourmet line, and we thank Homeworld Business for their support and encouragement of design.“

The Chirp Kettle, designed by Steve Cozzolino, is made of heavy-gauge stainless steel with a 5-ply disc bottom and brass harmonic whistle. It exemplifies the quality and design Nambé has become known for since its start in Santa Fe, NM, in 1951.

The Housewares Design Awards are presented annually by Homeworld Business. Additional information about the awards can be found here.

Must-Try Holiday Truffles and Toffee Recipes

So often our condiment servers are used for dips and sauces. However, they work great for so many things. This time of year, we love seeing them used to serve up holiday snacks. The Infinity Two-Piece Server is perfect for presenting holiday candies.

Aimee from Shugary Sweets put together two great (and easy!) recipes for Nambé that will wow your guests and look stunning in our server.

This is how you serve candy! Nambe's Infinity Two-Piece Server

Holiday Truffles


2 pkgs (11oz each) milk chocolate morsels
8oz tub Cool Whip, thawed
3/4 cup peppermint candy, crushed
3/4 cup toffee bits
16 oz vanilla candy coating, melted
16 oz chocolate candy coating, melted

In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips for one minute. Stir and microwave another 30 seconds. Stir again until smooth. Allow to sit and cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Line a freezer-safe baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Fold Cool Whip into room temperature chocolate. Drop by tablespoon onto lined baking sheet (it’s okay if they aren’t balls yet). Freeze for one hour.

Shape into a ball and roll in either peppermint or toffee bits. Return to parchment paper and repeat until all balls are formed. Return to freezer for 30 minutes.

Using a toothpick, dip each peppermint ball into melted vanilla candy coating. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with some of the remaining peppermint bits. Repeat for all peppermint balls.

Using a toothpick, dip each toffee ball into melted chocolate candy coating. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Repeat until all toffee balls have been dipped.

Store in freezer until ready to serve.


Almond Toffee Bites served up in Nambe's Infinity Two-Piece ServerAlmond Toffee Bites

1 cup salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
12oz milk chocolate, melted
1 cup unblanched whole almonds
1 cup finely ground walnuts

On a foil lined baking dish (11×7)- or in a silicone brownie bite pan- arrange almonds in a single layer. Set aside.

In a heavy pan, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Cook over high heat with a wooden spoon until butter melts, stirring constantly. Continue cooking an additional 5-7 minutes until candy turns the color of almonds (about 300 degrees). Pour over almonds. Cool completely.

When candy is cooled and set (about 2 hours), spread chocolate over top of toffee. Sprinkle generously with ground walnuts. If doing both sides, use only half of the chocolate and walnuts. Allow top to set before flipping over and doing bottom. When set, pop out of silicone pan and store in a airtight containers. OR cut into pieces. ENJOY!

Pomegranate-Pear Tart Recipe

December is my favorite time to make desserts. Cookies, pies, candies and everything in between. Nam from The Culinary Chronicles was kind enough to craft this Pomegranate-Pear Tart recipe for Nambé. In the photo, it’s served up on one of our Currents dessert plates.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

Pomegranate-Pear Tart Recipe from Nambe

Serves 4


1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Bartlett or Bosc Pears, cored and sliced lengthwise to 1/8 inch width
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon warm water
¼ cup pomegranate arils
fresh whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the sheet into 4 equal squares.

Transfer the puff pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving ample space in between each square.

Leaving a ½ inch border of the puff pastry around each square, shingle the pear slices so that all 4 pieces have been covered. Gently fold over the dough on each side of the squares and pinch the corners to seal.

In a small bowl, mix the honey and water together until combined. Brush the tops of the pear slices with the honey glaze. Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

Remove the tarts from the oven and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tarts with the pomegranate arils and serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe and Contest

Christi from Mom What’s For Dinner has crafted a hearty Chunky Vegetable and Rice Soup to serve up in Nambé dishes. Not only does it look gorgeous, but it’s gluten-free and delicious.

Chunky Vegetable and Rice Soup

You can see her recipe on her blog, but better yet, we’ve given her two place settings (2 bowls, 2 dinner plates, 2 dessert plates and 2 mugs) of our Sunburst dinnerware pattern to giveaway to her readers. The contest is open through Dec. 5, 2012, so you’ll want to hurry over to her blog and enter.

Good luck!

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Bacon-Herb Butter Recipe

Need a great entree for holiday dinner parties? Nam from The Culinary Chronicles put together this excellent recipe for roasted Cornish game hens (with bacon-herb butter!) for Nambé. We think it will wow your friends, and it looks stunning on a classic Handled Tray.

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Bacon-Herb Butter

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Bacon-Herb Butter served on Nambe's Handled Tray

Serves 4


½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 strips thick-sliced smoked bacon, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
½ tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt
black pepper
2 Cornish game hens, cleaned and dried
1 small yellow onion, quartered
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a food processor, pulse together the butter, bacon, and herbs until combined. Season the mixture with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

Take each hen and slide your fingers between the skin and breast meat to loosen. Be careful not to tear the skin. Gently rub 2-3 tablespoons of the butter mixture underneath the skin. Inside the cavity, heavily salt and pepper the hen. Stuff the cavity with the remaining butter mixture and quartered onion. Rub the exterior of the hens with olive oil and generously season with kosher salt and black pepper. Truss the hens with kitchen twine.

Place the hens on a large, rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Rotating the pan halfway through cooking, roast the hens until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees–about 45-50 minutes. Carefully remove the hens and rest on a cutting board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil and allow hens to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.