Magic Seasonings by Spike – Review and Giveaway

February 9, 2014 - Written by Diana

Spike Gourmet Natural SeasoningsIf 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.


Filippo Berio Olive Oil Giveaway

January 17, 2014 - Written by Diana

Filippo Berio Olive OilLast 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.


Cookerati Food News Update – 2014 Vol 1

January 8, 2014 - Written by Diana

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…


Pure Living by WearEver – A Cookerati Holiday Giveaway

December 23, 2013 - Written by Diana
Wearever Pure Living - Cookerati.com

Wearever Pure Living Skillet – Cookerati.com

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.


Cookerati Food News – Sept 11, 2013

September 11, 2013 - Written by 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!



Cookerati Food News – August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013 - Written by Diana

Quite a few contests this week, a free recipe book and some fun stuff to read and watch.


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.





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.



Cookerati Food News – August 7, 2013

August 7, 2013 - Written by Diana

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.



Cookerati Food News – July 31, 2013

July 31, 2013 - Written by Diana

Just a few things on the list for this week.  Enjoy!

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.





Cookerati Food News – July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013 - Written by Diana


 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.

  • 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.


Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe & Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract Giveaway

July 22, 2013 - Written by Diana

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.

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream - Cookerati

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.

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Make Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream using pure vanilla extract, coconut milk and sugar. It's a sweet delicious treat.
Recipe type: Ice Cream
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. Place in refridgerator for at least one hour.
  3. Assemble ice cream maker and pour ice cream mixture through filling hole. For the perfect ice-cream follow the manufacturer’s appliance directions.
  4. 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.
  5. Cool and store until ready to use.
**To toast coconut: preheat 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)

Extra Entries:

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.