Cookerati Food News – August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013 | 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.



National Lemonade Day – For Adults Only

August 20, 2013 | by Diana


Today is National Lemonade Day – and to celebrate, we’ve got a nice lemonade recipe to celebrate with.  This was sent to me by Dobel Maestro Tequila – who definitely knows what they are talking about when it comes to cocktails. So, as the dog days are waning (or if you are like me, they were skipped), get something cool and refreshing to enjoy – adult style, quick! before summer ends.




Dobel Lemonade



Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.

Pour into a chilled rocks glass.

Garnish with a lemon wedge.




Cookerati Food News – August 7, 2013

August 7, 2013 | 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 | 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 | 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

  • 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 | 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.



Cookerati Small Bites: Graham Crackers

July 16, 2013 | 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 | 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.






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





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 – July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013 | by Diana

I was away on vacation this past week, hiking the Adirondacks, visiting my family in the north east and enjoying time with my husband for our anniversary.  I’m going to do a write up on a few cool places to eat in Wilmington, NY soon.  I have a few cool things to share this week.  I hope everyone enjoys their 4th of July celebrations.  We are lucky to be part of such a great nation.



Happy 4th – Enjoy!!!



Cookerati Food News – June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013 | by Diana

Very short list of news this week – Enjoy!