Friday, April 24, 2009

NEW Illinois Location

215 West Jefferson Street
Ottawa, Illinois 61350
Phone: (815) 433-4948

Beyond the Grapevine is a wine and gift shop in downtown Ottawa sponsoring over 150 of the finest wines from Illinois vineyards. Daily wine tastings; local cheeses and unique gifts and now, a selection of JAVA & Co. specialty food gifts. Stop by and pick up a few packages of our handmade, hand cut lemon iced biscotti and then sit back, relax and stay awhile while enjoying a glass of Illinois wine. Gary and his wife will guide through the Illinois wines and specialty gifts while mixing it up with great conversation.
If you know of a specialty shop - wine, coffee, gift - that you'd like to see carry our products, please forward the contact information to me at Or, mention to the owners and managers that you'd like to see them carry JAVA & Co. specialty foods. Who knows, we could be coming to a store near you!
Proud to Make Illinois, U.S.A. Products!

Jamie Knoll
JAVA & Co. Small Batch Recipes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top SIX Easy Ways to Contribute to Earth Day!

Today, April 22nd is Earth Day. I'm not going to mention or recommend anything that Brian and I and through JAVA & Co., haven't already done.

1) Rain Barrel: Purchase and install a rain barrel to harvest natural rain water from your gutters. Not only will it save on your water bill and consumption of city treated water, but your plants, garden and lawn PREFER natural rain water. Cost: $8 (in classified ads) and up - depending upon the rain barrel. If you decide to purchase a used barrel, please make sure it was used for food grade products in its previous life. We paid $$62.50 for a NEW, white, collapsible, 100 gallon rain barrel.

2) Light bulbs: Replace standard indoor light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs. Cost: $2 and up.

3) Rake: Yes, a standard garden rake - use a rake instead of your leaf blower to clean up your lawn and gather leaves. Save electricity or gasoline (if that's the case). Not only will you save money, help the environment, but you'll get in a good amount of exercise! My lawn is nearly 1/2 acre. Trust me, the twisting motion wears me out. Cost: $10 (or dust off the rake in your garage).

4) Walk: I started with FIVE five easy ways in my topic, but then I had to add this one. Walk. We used to live in NYC and walked everywhere. Hand carried our bags of groceries home from the market, many city blocks away from our apartment. Holiday shopping in the snow - trying to get a cab - arms full of packages. The cab (if you live or have lived in NYC) wasn't going to happen. So, we'd walk. Could have taken the subway, but we walked. Now, we live in a small town of 2,600 and I once again CAN walk to the post office, the market, the bank and to get a latte if I so choose. The freedom to walk is wonderful. And yes, I have a car, but I choose to walk. It's healthy. It's easy. It's freeing. It's earth friendly. Not everyone has this luxury, but for those of you who do - take advantage of it! Cost: FREE.

5) Electronic Press Kit: A virtual press kit, hosted on the web saves time, paper, shipping, gas to ship, storage space on the receiving end. Businesses, save a tree - create an electronic press kit for your company. Press agents, editors, reporters, save a tree - only request electronic press kits from your clients and potential businesses of interest. Click here to view JAVA & Co.'s.

6) Recycle and use Recyclable Materials:

a) JAVA & Co. recycles wood to create our handcrafted wood gift crates. For clients, we recommend after receiving a JAVA & Co. gift crate, to continue the cycle and re-purpose it within your home or office or fill it with something clever and re-gift.

b) JAVA & Co. also uses glass bottles instead of a cheaper plastic bottle for our specialty syrups. The glass bottles can then be recycled into new and different consumer products. Many clients have also up-cycled our glass bottles and used them for flower vases within their home and/or office.

c) JAVA & Co. recycles newsprint, shreds and then utilizes this for cushion and display within our wood gift crates. Not only does it save money on purchasing, producing and shipping specialized filler shred, but it adds to the 'comfort chic' look of our packaging.

Recycling and up-cycling may take time, creative thinking and physical energy, but Brian and I feel it is well worth it, not only now but also in the long run. Do you? What are your top five, top six, top ten?

Happy Earth Day - today and everyday!

Brian & Jamie Knoll

JAVA & Co.
Small Batch Recipes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend

Brian and I had a glorious Easter weekend. The weather was beautiful. The sun was out and so were we - outside that is. Brian tilled the garden and we planted our flower and vegetable seeds - roma tomatoes, haricot verts, basil, cilantro, arugula and so much more. I can not wait for the harvest. There is nothing like the flavor of fresh picked produce and the beauty of hand picked flowers brought inside the house!

Sunday was another delightful day of food fun! We used our boutique bottled JAVA coffee infused syrup to glaze the ham as it roasted and we continued basting it every 30 minutes or so until it was candied to perfection. In addition, we sprinkled a light dusting of our JAVA Spice on the ham before roasting. Yum! So juicy. So beautiful. So flavorful. Brian was so proud that he took pictures, yes, of the ham. Just the ham. He's too funny. So, of course, I have the pictures posted here.

JAVA glazed ham wasn't the only food we enjoyed on Sunday. The short list includes a nice sparkling Spanish wine - great value and quite enjoyable; smoked salmon with dill cream on crisp wontons; spiced sweet potatoes; and too much more for just two people!

During the weekend, our JAVA Spice - Meat & Seafood Rub was showcased on OneFoodieGoodie - an online shopping site. Orders have already been processed, spice has been made and shipped! Thank you for the product exposure and sales!

Here's to a busy week ahead...

Jamie Knoll, Co-founder
JAVA & Co.