whee!

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.

(more…)

2013 Holiday Guide: Book Suggestions For Your Foodie Friends

December 22, 2013 - Written by Diana

There is still time to run into your favorite bookstore and pick up a nice book-related gift (or two) for your foodie friends and family, and this Holiday Guide contains a few book suggestions for your favorite foodie.  Some of these books are also in ebook form, if you want an extra for yourself. In fact a great gift for reading recipes is an Ipad Mini or a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.  My husband has the tablet – and uses apps to read kindle, nook and other eReader type books. It’s also perfect for taking photos of your food and for looking at photos, much better than a cellphone.  Enjoy!  I hope you get to experience a new recipe or foodie inspiring book to help you throughout the new year.  By the way – Amazon says the last time for overnight is Midnight Monday December 23rd, EST.

The following books were sent to me this year and these are the ones that I feel would make nice gifts:

 

Cookerati Holiday Gift Guide 2013

December 10, 2013 - Written by Diana

This is the official Cookerati Holiday Gift Guide for 2013.  These are things I’ve tried out that I like and most I’ve paid for or used extensively, some are repeats.  I’ll have a book guide in a few days, but these are things to look for now since we only have a couple of weeks left.

Yonanas – this was a review product and one of my fun gadgets that I tried out this year.  You freeze bananas or other fruit and put it through the Yonanas machine.  It smashes the bananas into a creamy consistency almost like banana ice cream.  No sugar or milk involved.  This is a great dorm gift, or fun gathering because you can grab a banana from the store or cafeteria, freeze it and have a quick late night snack – or even invite friends over and tell them to bring their own frozen fruit.  Also, pre-teens can make their own yonanas, as long as you have frozen fruit on hand. My mom, my kids, my husband and I all loved yonanas and we had fun trying different fruit in the yonanas machine.

(more…)

30 Leftover Turkey Recipes

November 29, 2013 - Written by Diana

by Deborah Ng

Probably now you’re shopping and chopping in anticipation of Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day feast. 20 minutes after you set the food out to the table all your guest will be sipping wine or falling asleep on the couch while your table is left a shambles of turkey carcasses and large half-filled food bowls. You know you made too much food. In fact you probably did it on purpose because we all know the leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. So what are you going to do with all that leftover turkey?  Here are a 30 leftover turkey recipes to help you use it all up.

Behold…

 

Leftover Turkey

30 Leftover Turkey Recipes

  1. Turkey Rice Bake
  2.  Turkey a la King
  3. Turkey Strata
  4. Turkey Pot Pie
  5. Leftover Turkey Sammich
  6. Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole
  7. Hot Turkey Salad
  8. Turkey Wing and Red Lentil Soup
  9. Turkey Cranberry Wreath
  10. Turkey & Stuffin’ Soup
  11. Turkey Cottage Pie
  12. Hot Turkey Casserole
  13. 12 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes
  14. Turkey Pumpkin Panini or Turkey Pumpkin Wrap
  15. Tex-Mex Turkey Chili
  16. Turkey Tetrazzini
  17. Turkey Mushroom Wild Rice Soup
  18. Turkey Stuffing Hash For Breakfast
  19. Barbecue Turkey Sandwiches
  20. Biscuit Topped Turkey Pot Pie
  21. Thanksgiving Chili Rellenos With Chipotle Cranberry Sauce
  22. Hot Turkey and Cheddar Casserole
  23. Lespinasse Turkey Croquettes
  24. Smoked Turkey Jerky
  25. Turkey Ham Vegetable Hash
  26. Turkey Salad in Mango Chutney Mayo
  27. Thanksgiving Leftover Wontons with Cranberry Salsa
  28. Barbecue Turkey Loaf
  29. Hearty Turkey Vegetable Soup
  30. Turkey Tortilla Roll Ups
  31. Turkey Soup

Deb’s post about the leftover celebration that I like, so I’m linking here.

Updated Post – Originally posted by Deborah Ng in Nov 2008.  Updated by Diana Hayes November 2013

Turkey Roasting

November 15, 2013 - Written by Diana

Delicious Moist Turkey

Turkey is one of the easiest things to cook, the main problem is taking it out on time so that it stays moist and tender.  To that end, pay attention to roasting times and pop up thermometers.  Get a meat thermometer and make sure you check the temp with that after the pop up – pops to be sure.  Follow these suggestions for a wonderful tasting roasted turkey for your Thanksgiving (or even not Thanksgiving) bird.

Suggested temp 325 degrees.

8 – 12 lbs  3 1/2 – 4 hours
12 – 16lbs 4 – 4 1/2 hours
16 – 20 lbs 4 1/2 – 5 hours
20 – 24 lbs 5 – 6 hours
Subtract a half hour if it is unstuffed.

 

 

Another method of cooking a turkey is deep frying.  However, any type cooking directions that includes keeping a fire extinguisher nearby makes me shake my head.  I’ve heard it’s really good that way though and very moist.

For Big Green Egg lovers, here are directions to cooking a turkey on the BGE.

Of course, if you wait too long and you’re too tired, or you have to work, or you just don’t want to spend all day cooking or working on a turkey.. there’s always the supermarket pre-ordered, pre-cooked ready for pick up.

 

 

This is an updated repost from 2008.

     

 

 

Trapping Fruit Flies with Vinegar (or Fruit Fly Vinegar Jar)

October 4, 2013 - Written by Diana
Fruit Fly Vinegar Jar

Fruit Fly Vinegar Jar

Fruit fly season is the worst time of the year.  If you have a piece of fruit or vegetable sitting out, those darned flies will find it and you know you don’t want to refrigerate your tomatoes, because they will taste nasty. So, how do you trap the fruit flies and keep them away from your produce?  With a fruit fly trap – or a fruit fly vinegar jar.

My daughter saw an idea for a fruit fly trap that used a jar, a paper cone, apple cider vinegar and dish soap.  So, I’ve been trying different variations to see what made a difference and worked, and what didn’t.

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.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

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 Small Bites: Graham Crackers

July 16, 2013 - Written by Diana

The topic of the origin of the graham cracker came about as my daughter and I were noshing on S’mores. My daughter brought the requisite graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows to a friend’s pre-4th party. As she was devouring she wondered about how the graham cracker came to be.

We researched online to find some fascinating information – all about the lowly graham.

Reverend Graham was a strict vegetarian who promoted his diet to his followers, but also believed that eating healthy would curb carnal urges.  He was against white flour and believed that mustard and ketchup caused insanity (maybe it was the hfcs?), thought you should sleep on a really hard mattress and the window open every night.  While some of these thoughts were a little on the odd side, he did believe in a really high fiber diet and promoted the use of homemade unsifted white flour instead of bleached, sifted white flour.

The official designer of the graham cracker is unknown though it is named after Rev. Graham.  Originally they were made with the germ, the bran and the endosperm each individually ground and then recombined into flour.  Ironically,  Today’s graham cracker doesn’t resemble the high fiber crackers created over 100 years ago.  Now it’s a snack and dessert cracker most famously known for S’mores or the crumbs used as the base in a cheesecake, not the healthy powerhouse it was originally intended to be.

Enjoy your summer – cookout – use awful marshmallows, chocolate and fake grahams – or go gourmet all the way and use the good chocolate, home made marshmallows and healthy grahams.  Either way, it’s not summer without at least one cookout with S’mores, YUM!

 

Here are some links to read more about Reverend Graham and the cracker:

To help you with your homemade S’mores:

and one of my previous posts:

Independence Day Cocktails

July 3, 2013 - Written by Diana

Here’s a plethora of cocktails to serve at the 4th of July weekend celebrations.  Since it’s a long weekend and we like variety, I have quite a few that were sent to me to try out.  I can’t try them all, so you’ll have to help.  Here are the recipes, and the pics – if you make one of the cocktails and find it to be delicious, give us a heads up. All of these recipes use a brand name alcohol, but can probably be swapped out with another brand if you can’t find the one you are looking for.  Also, feel free to make it non-alcoholic and share it with us.

 

4th of July Cran-Apple Cocktail

4th of July Raspberry White and Blueberry Farm to Table Cocktail

Garnish with a Slice of Locally Grown Apples & Blueberries
Serve in Chilled Cocktail Glass

 

 

 

 

Red, White and Blue Cocktails from Three-O and Maestro Dobel Tequila

 

Sideline shooterSideline Shooter

Layer in a shot glass!

 

 

 

 

three-olives-tartz-cocktail-zippity-dooZippity Doo

Mix all ingredients together with ice & serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

blue deviltiniBlue Devil-tini

Shake Maestro Dobel Tequila and blue curacao with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Add tonic and garnish with a lemon wedge.

 

 

 

 

SparklerSparkler

Combine vodka and pomegranate juice in an ice-filled shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with sparkling wine or champagne . Garnish with a cherry

 

 

 

 DiamondDiamond

Pour into an iced mixing glass. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

 

 

 

Whiskey Cocktails from Alibi.

 

Red Rocket  Red Rocket 

Muddle strawberries in a shaker. Combine with Alibi, simple syrup and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a mason jar; add ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

 

 

 

 

Egg White SourEgg White Sour

Crack an egg and separate the egg white from the yolk. Combine with Alibi American Whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker without ice. Dry shake vigorously until the liquid is white and foamy. Add ice, and shake again until the mixture is cold. Pour into a mason jar; add ice.

 

 

Blue AlibiBlue Alibi

Muddle blueberries and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Fill halfway with ice and combine with Alibi and simple syrup. Cover and shake vigorously.

Strain into a mason jar; add ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

 

 

Here are some of our previously posted Red White and Blue Cocktails.

 

 

Cookerati Food News – June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013 - Written by Diana

Very short list of news this week – Enjoy!