If you are space or seasoning-ally challenged, it’s nice to have a little magic on hand, like the kind Spike Gourmet Natural Seasonings provides. I do have a cabinet full of spice jars and seasonings, however most are not blends, but single spices – which means I have to search and put together my own combinations. That’s okay for me, but my son and husband prefer to have the blends ready for them. They don’t want to search through individual jars, give them a couple of jars, not a handful or more. My son likes all the combinations and while my husband has to avoid a few due to being on a low sodium diet, my son is claiming any and all that my husband is not able to enjoy in our recipes. Spike Gourmet Natural Seasonings is giving away all of the same magic seasonings that they sent to me to try out, 1 jar each of : Original Magic, Salt Free Magic, Hot N’ Spicy Magic, Vegit Magic, 5 Herb Magic, Onion Magic, Garlic Magic, Vege-Sal, Lemon Pepper Magic and Tenderizer Magic.
We’ve been trying out the Magic Seasonings by Spike the last few weeks. My son adds the garlic, the onion powder and the Salt Free Magic along with the 5 Herb Magic to tomato sauce for use with pasta. He also made oven baked fries (in which he was very heavy handed in the spices there but we’re experimenting) using the onion, garlic, salt free magic and the Vegit – a low sodium spice (along with a bunch of black pepper). My husband was out of town so I used the Original Magic Seasoning in a Potato, Sausage and Veggie dish. The spices are good, and though the print on the bottle is really small, I can read that most of the ingredients are natural and good, though I’m a little foggy on hydrolyzed soy protein and these are natural, but not organic. There is a little caking, but that’s because there isn’t an anti-caking agent added and that’s more than fine with me.
Disclosure: I received ten jars of Spike Brand Gourmet Natural Seasonings to try out for this review. I have not received compensation for this review or to hold a giveaway. My opinions are my own.Diana
Last week, in our Food News, we told you about Filippo Berio’s Olive Oil Facebook Contest. Filippo Bero US was looking for the best Olive Oil tips, tricks and suggested usage. This week the voting on the best one is happening (It actually started Monday). The winner gets a trip to Italy to enjoy Cooking classes. I entered, but I didn’t make the top 5, which are presented on their Facebook page.
Filippo Berio US sent me a couple of bottles to try out and to giveaway, both were extra virgin olive oil and the one that makes me really happy is organic. I am a regular user of of olive oil – and make my own dressing because I can easily tailor it to the meal I’ve prepared without having to store 20 bottles on the fridge door. In fact, one day this fall my kids did an oil swap – my son taught his sister to change the oil and my daughter taught her brother to make dressing. One of them didn’t go well and resulted in spillage but not the one in my kitchen. (FYI- we caught it in a tarp no environmental damage done.) Thank goodness making a salad dressing is easier than changing the oil in your car.
Olive oil is great for marinades, dressing, roasting, pestos, hummus, dips – hopefully we’ll get to see all of the tips at the end of the promotion. I’m going to share a recipe tomorrow with spaghetti squash that I made using the Filippo Berio Olive Oil. It worked out well for me in the recipe, and I’ve used it to make a lime dressing for steak salad last week that was delicious.
Filippo Berio is offerring the same duo of Olive Oil to one of our Cookerati readers. We’re going to use Rafflecopter once again to keep track of the entries.
Disclosure: I received a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to review and to giveaway. My opinions are my own and the review is representative of how I feel. I thank Filippo Berio US for doing a giveaway on Cookerati.
01/02/2014 - Happy New Year. I’m trying out a new format to update this page monthly. The next update will be in the first week of February. If you have any news updates send them to me to evaluate before the end of January.
This month brings you…
- A really easy contest by Filippo Berio US with a great big prize – hurry quick though it ends early on January 9th. The contest app is on their Facebook Page. All you have to do is fill out a form share your favorite tip using olive oil and add your own photo.
Okay guys - this season is really packed with lots of running around looking for the perfect gift for someone else. This is my gift to a Cookerati reader. Sometimes we’re the person who tries to figure out what everyone likes, but if you have a spouse like mine, no one wants to get you the stuff you want so you’re stuck living with the old pans. This holiday season, I’m giving away a Pure Living Skillet by WearEver.Diana
It’s been a few weeks but I’ve got a bunch of good stuff this week – including Master Chef in Columbus, OH. Dig in!
- Masterchef is coming to Columbus, OH and a bunch of other places. Pre-register your profile and sign up for your open casting call. All you need to know is here.
- MamalDiane.Com has a different way to preserve your basil by freezing after blanching.
- Here is what’s new at Heinz Stadium this season – New Food Options at Heinz Field. Have you ever looked up the stadium menu ahead of time?
- Do you know your avocado varieties? Here’s a nice little write up from California Avocado Commission.
- Here’s an interesting one – a Bullseye View has Mac Hacks – suggestions for upping the taste in the mac and cheese cups they sell. I taught my daughter to make her own mac n cheese, but still once in a while a box or a bowl is quick. Here are suggestions for the college dorm kid to Hack their Mac.
- Faith Durand of TheKitchn.com had a nice visit from a Health Inspector in cooperation with Mary T. Nguyen of the Columbus Dispatch. Read Faith’s post and Mary’s article to see what they thought the Health Inspector highlighted the most.
Quite a few contests this week, a free recipe book and some fun stuff to read and watch.
- Wholly Guacamole wants you to OMGuac Lunch. This promotion is to encourage healthy eating using Wholly Guacamole Minis. Take a photo and enter it into a contest on the Wholly Guacamole website. Best looking lunches win a lunchbox full of Wholly Guacamole products and 100.00 gift card. Coupons for Wholly Guacamole Minis can be found on their website, plus you can take a look at previous winners, or watch videos with great suggestions for a great lunch.
- HobbyFarms.com is holding a Pickle That contest – They want you to publish your pickled “stuff” to instagram -
Upload photos of your pickled produce to your account and tag it #hfhpicklethat, and on September 30, 2013, one lucky participant will be chosen to receive a selection of books from the Hobby Farm Home grab bag to support their gardening and preserving endeavors.
- The Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival in the Maleny Showgrounds (Australia) will happen Sept 7-9. Admission cost is 15.00, kids free. Looks like they have a lot of great stuff going on.
- Free right now – Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends Barbecue Recipe eBook. Choose from the different recipe book types – Nook, Kindle, etc.
- A nice video about the Columbus Coffee Scene by Experience Columbus.
- Prevention put together a slide show with the 25 Worst Diet Tips Ever. I think they’re pretty good.
- Pay attention Buckeyes – the Buckeye Regional and Ohio State Chili Championship is Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 at CaJohns Fiery Foods in Westerville. 1.000.00 grand prize each day, plus a pass to compete at the 2013 World Chili Championship.
- Folger’s is holding a Spot the Red Bag Sweepstakes – Snap a photo of a red bag Folger’s or otherwise and upload to instagram with hashtag #SpotTheRedBag for a chance to win.
PS. Let us know if you see something you enjoyed so that we can find more of that type for you. Looking for feedback on the Food News.
Here’s a few updates for this weeks Food News. Summer has been really busy, and I have a few posts to share that I will get up this week. Enjoy the links here, lots of fun stuff to share this week.
- If you missed the Master Chef cookalong, you can still watch a replay of the Google Hangout. They have the other hangouts linked on their page as well and you can use #masterchef to find it as well on google+.
- G-Free Foodie talks about the new FDA guidelines for gluten-free labeling. What does it mean to you?
- Would you try an Avocado Daiquiri? The California Avocado Commission has a recipe for it. What do you think, are you adventurous?
- Who is going to the Tri-State Food Expo in the Meadowlands? David Burke will make a special appearance Tuesday, October 1 at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey (11:30am – noon). Anyone else?
- Sesame Street has a new DVD coming out in September called C is for Cooking. Look for it September 10, 2013.
- King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Class Schedule for the fall is up. Scroll through the calendar to see if any classes that you’d like to take are available. There is also a Baker’s Harvest Conference/Festival September 5 – 7, 2013.
- Alter Eco is sponsoring a Quinoa Recipe Contest – it ends August 11th, 2013 so you only have a couple of days left. Maaeybe you’ll win a trip for two to Napa, CA. Enter the contest on the Facebook Page.
Just a few things on the list for this week. Enjoy!
- Don’t forget we’re giving away Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.
- Mario Batali has a #howtoTuesday Youtube channel. Follow it for some great tips on cooking and preparing your favorite foods.
- Are you ready for Lyon in 2015? Apply to be part of Pastry Team USA.
Applications are opened until September 5th and the rules are attached below. The theme of the competition will be “Inventions”. Participants will chose either of the two categories: Sugar Centerpiece or Chocolate Centerpiece and everyone will have to present Entremet and Plated dessert for tasting.
- The Rockettes are celebrating Christmas in August at Radio City Music Hall with Santa Claus. They will unveil a Christmas Spectacular ice sculpture and hand out icy treats to fans in NYC from their Christmas Spectacular food truck and a double decker red Gray Line Bus.
The Rockettes have teamed up with popular New York City-based ice pop company, People’s Pops, to create a “Rox Pop,” a special cranberry-apple flavored ice pop inspired by the Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular. The all-natural ice pops will be distributed for free to fans throughout the city on both a Christmas Spectacular-themed food truck and an iconic, red double decker Gray Line New York bus with the Rockettes at various locations, who will share their Christmas spirit. The Christmas Spectacular food truck will be the center of the New York summer snow storm as it blows snow throughout its journey around the city. Fans will be able to track the truck and the Gray Line New York bus’ times on Facebook at facebook.com/radiocitychristmas.
- King Arthur Flour has a bunch of great recipes for that zucchini you are growing in your garden.
- Sara Lee’s Sizzling Summer Sweepstakes- Enter via their Facebook Page. One winner every week will win a Charcoal Grill, a Visa Gift Card, Hotdogs, and Buns and a Sara Lee beach cooler with built in speakers.
- Spain’s Great Match 2013 takes place September 24th at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion. This event celebrates the wines, food and design of Spain.
- Jamaica’s reigning Chef of the Year Brian Lumley walked away with the coveted Caribbean Chef of the Year award at the recently concluded Taste of the Caribbean 2013 Culinary Showcase in Miami, Florida. This prestigious award is reserved only for the best in class in the field of Culinary Arts. Chef Lumley topped a field of ten elite chefs from across the Caribbean region, earning the only Gold medal awarded in the category group for a unique creation using beef.
- What I’m trying: We tried out some cool snacks. Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips- Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt and Erin’s Popcorn- Jalapeno and White Cheddar. Both of these snacks are new to the Tim’s Cascade snack line and are delicious additions.
- The Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt was a little different from other brands I’ve tried. It has the nice Kettle Style crisp chip, but along with the cracked pepper and sea salt you have onion and garlic powders added. My husband who is no longer able to eat regular chips because of the sodium took a small taste and though he loved loved loved cracked pepper and sea salt, this was just okay. He prefers the really harsh cracked pepper flavor without the added extras. On the other hand I can only take so much of the cracked pepper and sea salt because it burns my mouth, and this was delicious. I liked the garlicy flavor as did my daughter and we ate it up.
- The Jalepeno and White Cheddar I expected to burn my mouth because most snacks that start with the words Jalepeno are going to be hot, but these were garlicy again but you got the heat on the end. I had a hard time putting this down, I love white cheddar on popcorn and the heat at the end was good too, not very hot but enough to know it’s there.
Did you miss National Ice Cream Day (July 21) – which happens to fall in National Ice Cream Month(July). We definitely have ice cream on the 21st of July because it goes well with the cake my daughter has for her birthday.
I’ve been working with my new ice cream maker and I haven’t perfected it yet, but I’m getting there. Nielsen-Massey offered me a chance to try out their vanilla in a Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream recipe using Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Pure Vanilla is the way to go, that fake stuff is awful but Pure Vanilla is the real thing.
The ice cream came out soft, so I put it in the freezer to harden the last little bit and become more solid. It probably will be a little icy, but it tastes divine. The vanilla and coconut together are really good and make me think of a pina colada – it just needs a little pineapple. The only changeI made to the recipe is to refrigerate the mixture to a cooler temperature before putting it into the ice cream maker so that it freezes better.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup caster sugar* (baker’s sugar)
- 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 (13.5-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (garnish)
- In a small bowl, whisk cream, sugar and vanilla extract until combined; set aside. Add coconut milk to a large glass measuring cup; add cream-sugar mixture and stir.
- Place in refridgerator for at least one hour.
- Assemble ice cream maker and pour ice cream mixture through filling hole. For the perfect ice-cream follow the manufacturer’s appliance directions.
- While ice cream is churning, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread coconut; place in oven and toast, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, as coconut will toast quickly.
- Cool and store until ready to use.
*If baker's sugar (caster sugar) is not readily available, add granulated sugar to a mini food processor bowl and pulse until sugar is a superfine, but not a powdery consistency. A coffee grinder also works for making superfine sugar.
Nielsen-Massey is also offering a bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to one of Cookerati’s readers. If you’d like to see some of their recipes for their vanillas – take a look at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Facebook Page.
How to Enter:
This contest will run through Midnight, EST Augus 1, 2013. US residents only.
Take a look at the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Facebook Page and in the comments tell us what you would make with your Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla if you won either one of their recipes, or one of your own. (One Entry only)
1. Like the Cookerati Facebook Page - leave your facebook name in the comments and let us know.
2. Join our mailing list by submitting the form below and leave another comment below to tell us that you joined. (You will recieve the weekly RSS Feed Email, plus any special emails).
Maximum of three entries total. (One of each type.)
Disclosure: I was given a bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla to review. My opinions are my own.