The Uncommon Life

International Foods Week: A Tasty Tagine

September 8, 2010

I was excited when I was asked to give one of our latest products, the ceramic tagine, a trial run.  As someone who enjoys cooking, I’ve always been intrigued by the tagine, but didn’t know too much about it. All I know is that it had a conical top (not sure why) and that it is a really beautiful piece.

Before deciding what to make, I did a little online research about the tagine.  The tagine is the name of the vessel and the name of the food dish you prepare – think “I made a casserole in the casserole.” Turns out, the cone is designed to encourage any steam to come back down into the food to keep it moist – perfect for braising. I was also looking for recipes for vegetarian tagines and saw a similar pattern – lots of veggies, layered in the bottom of the tagine, add spices, oil, liquid – then cook.  Not too complicated.

I decided since it is the best time of year to buy local produce at the market that I would just go and get whatever veggies look the best.  I ended up with tomatoes, okra, eggplant, potatoes, onions, red peppers and zucchini.


When I was ready to begin cooking, Continue Reading…

The Uncommon Life

International Foods Week: Tasty treats? Czech!

September 7, 2010

This week on the blog we are talking about international foods. Today’s destination? The Czech Republic!

The Czech Republic’s beautiful town of Karlovy Vary is famous for many things, including Wine Wafers – delicious, crispy cookies meant to accompany your favorite wine.  Wine Wafers go as far back as 1640, when they were introduced as a treat for the nobles and visiting upper-class.

The great thing about wine wafers is not only are they a fun, tasty and unique treat to enjoy with wine, but you can also use them to make super easy and delicious cafe and wine bar desserts. So pour yourself a big glass of wine, grab some wine wafers and let’s begin!

Celebration Torte

wine wafers

12 oz. of mixed berries
32 oz. cool whip
24 oz. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Lemon-Vanilla Wine Wafers

Mix half of sour cream with cool whip, add more sour cream to taste.  Spread 3 tablespoons Continue Reading…

The Uncommon Life

International Flavor: No Passport Required

September 6, 2010

To kick things off for International Foods Week, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite kitchen tools, tasty treats and uncommon knowledge that celebrate cuisine from every corner of the globe. Stay tuned the rest of the week for yummy international recipes.

What’s your favorite foreign food? Share in the comments below!

International Foods Week

From top left: Tagine, $60. Molinillo, $15. Wine Wafers, $10. Pizza Slicer, $36. Bamboo Serving Tray, $50. V’reens Appetizer & Dessert Tray, $50.


Fashion Tent

August 19, 2010

I came across this story yesterday and just thought it was such a good idea!

WiTHiNTENT is a UK company who after attending music festivals noticed how many tents were left abandoned once the fest was over. Instead of letting them go into the trash, they collect them, cut them up and turn them into hoodies, ponchos and rain-proof bags.

Very cool use of materials! Read more about WiTHiNTENT.

Gift Guides

UncommonGoods goes back to school!

August 17, 2010
A touch of class

A is for Art Class.

B is for Back to School Socks.

C is for Chalkboard Pillows.

D is for Delicious Lunches.

E is for Eraser Rings.

F is for First-day Fashions.

G is for Geology.

H is for History Class.

I is for “I will not watch the clock, I will not watch the clock.”

J is for Jamming in the hallways.

K is for Kicking it after class.

L is for Laptop Slings.

M is for Math Class.

N is for Nerds!

O is for Organization.

P is for Pebble Erasers.

Q is for Quite possibly the most perfect scarf for fall.

R is for Recess!

S is for Scented Pens.

T is for the Table of Elements.

U is for an Uncommon Pencil Bag

V is for Venting.

W is for Wall decals for the dorm.

X is for X-pressing yourself.

Y is for “Young and in love.”

Z is for Zebra-striped school supplies.


The Dog Days of Summer

August 12, 2010

In honor of the dog days of summer, we sent out an email featuring our very, very cool dog blueprints … and we have never heard so much feedback from our customers! People have been emailing left and right asking for all kinds of dog breeds (right now, we have 32 and we are always adding more). We’ve loved hearing where everyone’s canine loyalties lie: Poodle! No, Airedale! Shiba! American Bulldog!

Dog Blueprints

I absolutely love the dog blueprints. I think they are such a cool, tasteful way to show how much you love your dog. Only one problem…I’ve never owned a purebred dog! My family has always adopted mutts Continue Reading…

The Uncommon Life

Gift Lab #11: Mindy leaves ’em High & Dry

August 4, 2010

ETA August 2, 2011: Please note, this item is no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you’re interested in sink accessories, you may also like the Sink Drainer Cutting Board or Spongster.

high and dry dishrack

1) Product Name: High and Dry Dish Rack by Dan Black and Martin Blum.

high and dry dish rack

2) Background Research: I’m a victim of the classic New York apartment sob story: my kitchen is so small, I can barely do anything! With a corner sink – and an awkward space next to it – I’ve had a dish rack dilemma Continue Reading…


YouGoods Inventors Month Design Challenge

August 3, 2010

Inventors month

Do you have what it takes to become the next Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin? Are you sitting on a genius design or invention that is sure to be the next big thing? Then we want to hear from you!

In honor of National Inventors Month (the month of August), UncommonGoods is issuing a wide-open design challenge to find our next Uncommon Inventor or Designer. The fourth of our YouGoods product design challenges, this contest is looking for a product with a spark of inventive genius, a flash of innovation and something that makes us say, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Oh, and did we mention there’s a $,1500 prize and a chance to showcase your design at Makerfaire NYC?

Click here for more details and how to enter.

Check out some of our past YouGoods winners for inspiration.