Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween isn’t the only thing fun this month. I got to try some new products, that included a kitchen creation.

Black Box Spirits…
I’ve had mixed feelings about Black Box wines. I thought a few were good, but when my local bar replaced their pinot grigio with Black Box, I switched to another blend.

I can’t say anything bad about the Black Box whiskey, vodka, and tequila. They were all fantastic, and so easy to put out at a party. I especially had my doubts about the whiskey (whiskey in a box?), but it had nice vanilla notes and blended well in the cocktails we made.

Speaking of Wine…
Just the Wine  is for people like me who are sensitive to sulfites, a compound used in food to prevent browning (think about all those bright vegetables on the salad bar).

Sulfites are most known for being in red wine, though they are there to a lesser extent in white wines. It’s sulfites that are responsible for “red wine headaches” in people who are sensitive to them. I tend to avoid red wine because of sulfites, yet I was able to finish a glass by adding three drops of Just the Wine. (It does not alter the taste in any way.)

You can purchase Just the Wine at Amazon.

Sweet Potato Toast? Yes, please…
For the record, I am way over the cauliflower craze. It would probably be more accurate to say I was never into it at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cauliflower – as a vegetable on my plate, next to the rice, pasta, or potatoes. It’s not rice, pasta, or potatoes just because you change the shape.

Anyway, when Caulipower offered to send me some samples, I had to warn them in advance where I stand. Their Turkey Pepperoni Pizza wasn’t bad, if you like your crust to taste like cauliflower, not crust. They did send something else that I had no reservations about – Sweet Potatotoasts.

I am a sweet potato fan so the idea of such a convenient packet in my freezer was a winner to me. I popped a couple in my toaster and then sprinkled them with cinnamon for a meal finisher. Another time, I layered a couple with some margarine and through them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

Sweet Potatotoasts is definitely something I’d recommend buying, just remember that they are raw and frozen, so turn your toaster on the highest setting, or cook accordingly in the microwave.

And, this month’s creation…
I took a break from trying out Pereg products to do something completely out of the ordinary: make a dish with Edward & Sons Organic Young Jackfruit. I decided to go with a recipe that mimics pulled pork, using the jackfruit. I told a few friends I was bringing it to a pot luck and they were skeptical. Well, it was a big hit. In fact, one person didn’t even realize it was jackfruit and not pork!

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much healthier it is, not to mention fat free. You can find the recipe for Pulled Jackfruit on my Pinterest page. You can purchase the Edward & Sons Jackfruit at Amazon.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hello Kitty Makes Wine, and latest in Cruzan Rum and Pereg

This month I have some tasty food to go with rum and wine, from an unexpected brand.

Hello Kitty…
I was too old to be enthralled in the Hello Kitty phenomenon, but my daughter wasn’t. Like many others her age, she is of age to enjoy wine. This fact was not overlooked by Sanrio. The makers of just about everything you can think of with a Hello Kitty logo has cashed in on its aging fans by producing a wine that carries the iconic name.

The company came out with an entire line of wines and sent me the Hello Kitty 2018 Collection to check out. With the exception of the Pinot Noir, which I had a fan of the grape check out and enjoy, it’s a collection of what I like to drink. I have to say, they were all done well.

The Sparkling Rose just has a touch of sweetness and is mostly fruit forward. If you want something even more flavorful, do the Sweet Pink Sparkling, which will give you more berry and less floral notes.

The Hello Kitty Prosecco is another great bottle to have on hand this holiday season. In addition to the conversation starter of the design, it’s a good aperitif for everyone, with light pear and honeysuckle, more dry than sweet.

Pinot Grigio is always a safe bet to serve and I love Hello Kitty’s 2018. It’s a ripe green apple, crisp and fruity, but light enough to pair with anything.

Cruzan for endless summer…
If rum is more your thing, I was sent two of Cruzan Rums latest, Peach and Tropical. They are a perfect end of summer, served on their own over ice, with some club soda, or in cocktail recipes that will help you forget summer is over and put you on a tropical island – if only for a short while.

Peaches ‘N Wheat
1 1/2 parts Cruzan Peach Rum
12 parts wheat beer
Combine ingredients in a pint-size glass.
Gently stir and garnish with a fresh peach slice.

Cruzan Island Mixer
1 part Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum
3 parts Lemon Lime Soda
Pour rum, then soda in a tall glass filled with ice.
Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Cruzan Undertow
1 part Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum
2 parts Ginger Beer
Lime juice
Mix ingredients into a glass of crushed ice.
Garnish with lime.

And, more Pereg…
I took a break this month from baking and creating with Pereg naturals grains and flours, to check out their spices.

I’m usually not a fan of Chipotle spices, but the Pereg Chipotle is a nice blend of seasoning, without being overwhelming. I decided to give it a try with ground beef.

First, to cut out some fat and calories, I finely chopped white mushrooms to equal the amount of beef. I then divided the meat mixture in half and put a teaspoon of Pereg Chipotle in each, blending it in.

I browned all of the meat and then drained off the fat.

With the first half, I made simple sliders with a package of eight Pillsbury biscuits.  

I put four biscuits on a cookie sheet and evening divided the meat among the four. Then, I sprinkled some cheddar on top and pressed the remaining biscuits on top of the sliders. Cook as directed on the biscuit package and enjoy your sliders!

I used the other half of the meat mixture for another quick and easy meal. Simply mix it with your favorite tomato sauce and spread it over cooked rice, spread into a loaf pan. Heat and serve when you are ready to eat (this freezes well).

For more of my favorite recipes, including ones I’ve created, check out my Pinterest page.