Just a touch of everything

Ask any cook — a good balance of spice and seasoning can be everything when it comes to perfecting a dish. And one particular craze sweeping the culinary landscape right now takes that principle at face value: the combination of ingredients that comprise the everything bagel, sans bagel. Trader Joe’s is already in on the game — you can grab a 2.3 ounce bottle of their Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend for $1.99. Loaded with onion, garlic, black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds and flaky sea salt, it makes an attractive crust on a slab of seared steak or tasty enhancement sprinkled over a salad (or pretty much anything else that responds well to salt).

On a roll

I love vacations. I hate vacation rentals — namely because the cookware is almost always lousy. Sharp knives? Fuggedaboutit. If I want a properly diced onion, I’ll have to pack my own steel. And a new Wilmington business — Burn Kitchen Designs — has made that a lot easier. Owners Chris Gass and Lauren Fritz, both kitchen professionals by day, manufacture stylish, durable and affordable knife rolls (and bar bags) from colorful swatches of duck canvas. Full-sized professional models run $50 while the smaller Commuter model, which holds up to five blades, will only set you back about half that. Check out the options at www.BurnKitchenDesigns.com.

Beef jerky time

I enjoy giving my jaw a good workout from time to time, and never moreso than recently stumbling upon Amy McNabb’s beef jerky. Owner of Mommy’s E-Z Baking, McNabb soaks slices of London broil in her secret marinade (also available for purchase) for a day and a half before dehydrating the meat. Her special sauce hits many of the notes Worcestershire fans know and love with a bright tang from a generous slug of vinegar. She sells the substantial portions at $5 for three slices, $7 for five and $12 for 10 with bulk discounts and free local deliveries available. More at www.MommysEZBaking.webs.com.