Thoughts Of Love and Chocolate Brownies for St Valentines Day

With Valentines Day just around the corner … ones mind begins filling with thoughts of love, chocolate and chocolate lovers. If your someone special loves chocolate, think about making a batch of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownies to share with them on St. Valentines Day.

Ghirardelli Brownies are delicious when served with a scoop of ice cream. What could be better to show your affection then making your own creation, brownies from scratch, well almost, and ice cream?  With Ghirardelli Brownies you’ll make a guaranteed great brownie the first time. Since they are from choclotiers Ghirardelli, the result is the darkest, richest, and chewiest brownies for you and your loved one to enjoy.

These brownies are easy to make – you only need 4 ingredients and about 10 minutes to mix and then 45 minutes to bake. So in under an hour, you’ll have made some delicious brownies all by yourself. You can find Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix  in large sizes at Spiceplace.com

Sumptuous Lobster Rolls For The Big Game Meal

Picture of a Serving of Homemade Lobster Roll
Prepared Lobster Roll

Somehow Buffalo Wings became the staple meal for the Big Game. And while lobster seems like an expensive, once in a while special treat, the price has come down lately so the price per serving of this recipe is quite reasonable.

This is a simple and yummy meal that’s ready in minutes. These are best served on top sliced frankfurter rolls just like is done in Maine . Look for these top sliced rolls at a grocer carrying Pepperidge Farms bakery goods.

The buns are baked so they are warm. Add the cold lobster salad mix into the hot buns and serve immediately. The contrast of the warm bun with the cold lobster is part of the experience in eating this dish.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these Lobster Rolls:

  • A package of 8 top-sliced frankfurter rolls
  • butter
  • 3 cups cooked, chopped lobster meat††
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery stalks
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Parsley Flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops (green parts only)
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Hot Sauce such as Sriracha Hot Sauce
  1. Preheat your over to 400 degrees F.
  2. Split open the frankfurter rolls and butter lightly.
  3. Bake the frankfurter rolls until lightly browned.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients to form a lobster salad and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, hot sauce and lemon juice to taste.
  5. Evenly distribute the prepared lobster salad mix into the 8 buns.

† You may substitute side sliced rolls if unable to find top sliced frankfurter rolls.

†† Because the lobster salad is served cold, this meal turns out equally well with fresh cooked lobster, store cooked lobster or frozen cooked lobster meat from the grocers frozen food section. The latter frozen lobster is a cheat that saves a few steps in making this recipe.

 

Something Different Tonight, Pizza made with a Cauliflower Crust.

Picture of a single slice of pizza made with cauliflower as crust
Picture of a single slice of pizza made with cauliflower as crust

Make something special for dinner with this pizza made using cauliflower as the crust. Yes, cauliflower the vegetable.  Cauliflower and Mozzarella cheese are blended, then pre-baked into a crust. Then top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake. This pizza turns out very well and if no-one was watching you, they might not know that they were eating their vegetables with that pizza you served them for dinner. Secret veggie-agent-cooking. Shhh.

The first time you make this cauliflower pizza crust it may seem like a lot of work. Yet, like lots of things in life, once you get the grasp of doing it, you’ll find it’s a piece of cake.

So, first things first. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Microwave riced cauliflower in a covered dish on high for about 4 minutes.††
  3. Let stand covered for 1 minute.
  4. Line a large baking pan or other flat dish with paper towel and spread out the cooked cauliflower and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. Place cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and form into a ball.
  6. Line a round pizza pan with parchment paper then form the cauliflower dough into a round pizza crust and place on the pan.
  7. Place a cookie cooling rack in the oven and slide the pizza crust on the parchment paper onto the rack and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned.
  8. Remove crust from oven.  Let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully flip crust over. Do this by placing round pizza pan on top of cooled crust and flip cookie cooling rack. Top with your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.
  10. Return to oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is melted.  Cook longer for a crisper crust or cook on a pizza stone.
  11. Remove, slice, and eat white hot but not too hot!

† A food processor makes this step a breeze. Or you can check your grocer to see if they carry a prepared package of riced cauliflower. But it’s really not that hard to chop a cauliflower with a plain old kitchen knife.
††Microwave ovens vary so watch as you cook as yours might cook faster).
Pictures of step of preparing the Cauliflower pizza crust:

  • Par cooked cauliflower cooling and drying
    4. Par cooked cauliflower cooling and drying
  • Assembled cauliflower pizza crust ready for baking
    6. Assembled cauliflower pizza crust ready for baking
  • Baked cauliflower pizza crust cooling
    8. Baked cauliflower pizza crust cooling
  • Fully prepared cauliflower pizza crust ready for addition of toppings.
    9. Fully prepared cauliflower pizza crust ready for addition of toppings.
  • Picture of a cooked pizza made using cauliflower as crust
    11. Picture of a cooked pizza made using cauliflower as crust

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Snickerdoodle Cookies for the Holidays … or anytime

Fresh made Snickerdoodle Cookies on Serving Dish
Fresh made Snickerdoodle Cookies on Serving Dish

 

With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can make these delicious Snickerdoodle Cookies to share with your family and friends for Christmas, other seasonal holidays, or anytime for that matter. Snickerdoodle Cookies have the delicious flavor of cinnamon, sweet sugar taste, and the velvety butter mouth feel.  If you get these Snickerdoodle Cookies baked just right, they’ll have a browned bottom, crispy  top and a soft inside, YUM! Continue reading “Snickerdoodle Cookies for the Holidays … or anytime”

Classic Maryland Style Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

Steamed Shrimp Seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay Seasoned Steamed Shrimp

Here in Maryland, Old Bay Seasoning is almost as common as table salt so Old Bay is our go to seasoning. Originally Old Bay Seasoning was a seasoning for steamed blue crabs, yet it goes well with many other foods including fish, shrimp, crawfish and chicken.

For a quick, delicious weeknight meal that everyone enjoys, nothing could be easier than Old Bay Steamed Shrimp. This is a really fast meal when made using quick peel cleaned and deveined shrimp.  Or use wild caught Gulf shrimp too.  For real tasty finger food if made with peeled, cleaned and deveined shrimp.

Old Bay Steamed Shrimp Recipe

  1. Combine the Old Bay Seasoning, vinegar and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp and stir gently. Cover.
  3. Steam until tender; about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Drain, remove shells.

Serve piping hot with lemon wedges and Old Bay Cocktail Sauce.  If you cannot find Old Bay Seasoning locally, we have Old Bay Seasoning and Old Bay Crab Cake Classic in our online store. Old Bay Seasoning comes in 24 oz, 7.5 lb and 50 lb sizes:

Old Bay Seasoning
Large 24 ounce bottle of Old Bay Seasoning

How to make the absolutely BEST Bacon

Serving Dish of Baked Bacon
Serving Dish of Baked Bacon
When it comes to making bacon pan frying seems the obvious choice. Or perhaps microwaving bacon comes to mind. But, maybe you’d be surprised, but the best bacon is … baked in your oven.

Maybe you might think ‘Baking Bacon?’. Really, though it’s simple to do, there is no mess and while the bacon is cooking, your stove top is free for other uses. The best part about baked bacon is the final result is a very presentable flat strip of bacon.

The first step is to line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Then lay the bacon on the paper. The paper will make clean up a jiffy and the bacon won’t stick to it.

Bacon on half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper
Bacon on half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Toss that pan into a pre-heated 400 degree F oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, checking at 10 minutes just in case. Should look like this at 15 minutes:

Bacon In Oven at 15 minutes
Bacon In Oven at 15 minutes

We let that cook for a couple minutes longer, and removed from oven. The final product on the half-sheet pan looked like this:

Final cooked Bacon on half-sheet pan
Final cooked Bacon on half-sheet pan

Baked Crepes For Breakfast This Weekend

Crepe Pancake Breakfast
Crepe Pancake

Often breakfast is the same old boring meal. Cereal, fried eggs, or toast; again and again. So here is something completely different. It’s a weekend meal, we think, as it takes about 20 minutes to prepare. Honestly, it’s not that much work. Mostly waiting for the baking to complete during which time you can be doing other things.

We’re calling it a Crepe. Maybe it’s a pancake.

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to a moderately hot 425° F.
  2. Meanwhile place the flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well but not too well. Like for pancakes, leave some lumps. They’ll go away.
  3. Use the butter to oil a non-stick oven proof 9″ frying pan or other round pan.
  4. Pour batter into the pan, this is like a pancake so should be a 1/4″ or 3/8″ thick (9mm give or take) place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Check at about 12 minutes to see how it’s cooking. Cook until the pancake is set, lightly browned – see picture above.
  5. Remove from oven. Dust with sugar and dash with lemon juice; serve.
    Makes 2 portions.

NEW! Lawry’s Wings and Things Chicken Wing Seasonings

Wings and Things Seasoning Blends
Lawry’s Wings and Things Seasoning Blends

Hunt Valley, MD – Lawry’s Inc announces their new line of Chicken Wings Seasonings for professional chefs. With these new seasonings chefs can quickly create exciting flavored chicken wings in a jiffy and with the same great flavors every time.

Lawry’s Wings and Things Seasoning Blends comes in four flavor blends:

  • Mango Habanero – Blends tropical sweet mango flavors with hot habanero pepper flavor to excite taste buds.
  • Sriracha – Inspired by Sriracha Hit Sauce with it’s tangy flavor, this seasoning is spicy yet not hot.
  • Spicy Buffalo – Lawry’s version of the classic original Buffalo Wings seasoning based on hot sauce. Not too hot.
  • Zesty Lemon and Pepper – Something different in the chicken wings, the delicious blend of lemon and black pepper is satisfying and delicious.

Unlike most seasoning blends, with these Wings and Things Seasoning Blends, the seasonings are added after cooking the wings (just like the classic Buffalo Wings Recipe) and just before serving. Generally, 1 to 2 tbsp of seasoning is used per 1 lb of chicken wings and pieces. Separated chicken wings seem easiest to season, plate and enjoy.

Have some Sriracha Sauce on hand to dip the Sriracha seasoned wings in for added zest, and Tabasco or Franks hot sauce for the Buffalo seasoned wings; along with Blue Cheese Dressing and veggies – including celery sticks and carrot sticks.

Read about each seasoning individually in our store: Lawry’s Wings and Things Seasoning

Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios

Wonderful Pistachio Kernels
Bag of shelled Wonderful Pistachios

Pistachios are one of the most nutritious tree nuts. Packed with vitamins and minerals including magnesium, manganese, potassium, Vitamin B1 and B6. Pistachios are relatively low in sodium and calories per serving too. Most of the calories in pistachios comes from fats. It used to be fats of all types we shunned but it’s now thought that some fats, such as from tree nuts including pistachios are actually good nutritionally.

As with all foods, everything in moderation. A 1/4 cup serving of shelled Wonderful Pistachios only has 170 calories, contains 12% of USDA recommended daily allowance of fiber, and no trans fats.

Consider Wonderful Pistachios as a nutritious snack over other foods with lots of salt or fats. Buy Wonderful Pistachios in our webstore.

Kauai Estate Coffee

Ground Koloa Estate Coffee Package
Our favorite coffee is Kauai Estate Hawaiian Coffee. The deep, rich flavor of Kauai Coffee beans along with it’s low acidity makes for the perfect cup of coffee.

As with anything from Hawaii, with it’s limited land area, generally remote location and limited natural resources, the price of Kauai Estate Coffee is more than other coffees. Often you’ll find knock off brands of Hawaiian coffees, where the Hawaiian coffee is part of a blend with other coffee beans from other countries. Kauai Estate coffees are 100% Hawaiian beans and are delicious.

You can find the package of Koloa Estate Ground Coffee pictured above at many retail grocery stores including Safeway. We carry a whole bean version of Koloa Estate coffee, so for the coffee we offer you will need to have a grinder. It’s our belief that freshly ground coffee makes the best cup of coffee, so that’s all we carry.

You can also shop for a larger selection of Hawaiian Coffees at Kauai Estate Coffee Store including K-Cups. They’re very friendly folks and are quick to answer your inquiries.

Mahalo for reading.