Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Guacamole and Other Backyard BBQ Dips

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

 

The word “barbeque” conjures up scenes of summer evening get-togethers. Kids at play, the hum of pleasant chatter occasionally pierced by a boisterous uncle’s laugh, the sizzle of delectable meats and vegetables, faint woodsmoke wafting through the air, carrying tantalizing scents of a glorious meal (and food coma) to come…

With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, you’ll want an equally quick backyard BBQ dip to free up more time for celebrating with family and friends. Now, maybe freeing up more time from the kitchen isn’t quite on the same level as when Congress freed our nation from Britain all those years ago…but it’s pretty close.

By the way Britain, no hard feelings. We still love you and your television, royalty, and puddings.

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How to Make Deviled Eggs: 2 in 1 Deviled Eggs Recipe!

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching which means we are officially entering barbecue season! I don’t know about you guys but I’m one of those people who likes to pretend that they are going to make an elaborate dish for parties up until about 24 hours beforehand. At which point I remember the amount of effort and planning that takes, and end up frantically running around my house lamenting that I’m not in fact Julia Child and settle on buying some expensive pre-made thing from Whole Foods. I digress.

But not this year folks! This year I’m steering into the skid and going for simple and classic- Deviled Eggs. So Julia Child I am not, but I may be able to make for a fairly convincing Rachel Ray- I’ll take it! So when cooking for a crowd I buy a flat of eggs at my local bulk store, where I can get 60 eggs for under 10 bucks. Most addictive, budget friendly appetizer on the planet! Seriously – unless you’re serving vegans.

While I’m always happy to make basic deviled eggs, sometimes it’s fun to switch things up a little bit.  This deviled eggs recipe is going to give you a really solid base to work from (or eat, if you like them plain) and two killer variations that’ll knock your guests’ socks off. Whether you’re looking for a classic deviled eggs recipe or something with a little more punch, keep reading.  But first, what the devil are deviled eggs, and what does Satan have to do with them?

Easy Deviled Eggs

Short answer: Other than being diabolically delicious and addictive, deviled eggs have absolutely nothing to do with the underworld. The term “deviled” is an 18th century term for food that’s seasoned in a zesty, spicy or zippy way. And with their mustardy kick, even the basic version of these deviled eggs is indeed zesty.  Random history note: Deviled eggs were a traditional first course in ancient Roman times. If they were good enough for the Romans. . .

Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe

Anyway, here’s how to make deviled eggs. It’s a pretty basic recipe to start, but just you wait. We’re gonna spice things up. So whip out your favorite serving platter and a bunch of prep bowls. We’re gonna cook!

Basic Deviled Eggs (Deviled Eggs Base)

Ingredients – this recipe is for 12 eggs. I normally make 12-24 at a time. Just multiply the recipe as needed

  • 12 large eggs, hard boiled – Here’s how.
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper

See? Simple ingredient list so far. Ingredients for our variations below:

Horseradish deviled eggs, curry deviled eggs

Horseradish Deviled Eggs (for 6 whole eggs)

  • 2 teaspoons grated horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Potato chip to garnish (optional)

Curry Deviled Eggs (for 6 whole eggs)

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
  • Parsley leaves for garnish (optional)

Ok, so you’ve gathered your ingredients, right?  Here are the instructions!

  1. First, peel the hard boiled eggs. The simplest way I’ve found is to drain those piping hot eggs, put a bit of cold water in the pot with them, and shake them up so the eggs are cracked all over. Add more cold water, let sit until the eggs are easy to handle, and peel. The peels should slip right off with very little fuss.
  2. Cut the eggs in half the long way and pop out the yolks. Every now and then, you may get a yolk that’s a little close to the edge of the white, and the white may break. That’s ok.Perfect deviled eggs
  3. Arrange your whites on a serving platter. I LOVE arranging them in a flower shape on a big round plate. It’s ok if there’s a little yolk still clinging to the whites. It’ll still taste delicious. I promise.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash up your egg yolks, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper until pretty well combined. It may still be a little chunky.  At this point, if you want to make one (or both) of our variations, skip to step 6.
  5. Skip this step if you’re making the horseradish or curried deviled eggs:If you want classic deviled eggs, it’s time to add the mixture to a gallon sized zip top bag. Mush it with your hands (through the bag, no need to get messy) until the mixture is creamy and smooth (no chunks,) snip off a corner from the bag, and pipe the mix into the little egg white cups. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.Eggs are delcious
  6. To make the variations, divide the egg mixture in half into two smaller mixing bowls. They complement each other really well, so I suggest making both variations, or you can keep half plain (see step 5 for the plain instructions).
  7. For Horseradish Deviled Eggs: Combine grated horseradish and paprika with the basic egg yolk mixture. When it’s well combined but still a touch chunky, scrape into a gallon sized zip top bag. Mush the contents with your hands (through the bag) until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Snip off a corner of your piping bag and pipe into the egg whites.  When serving multiple kinds of deviled eggs, I alternate. It makes for a cool presentation.
  8. Garnish with shards of ruffled potato chips for a really cool salty, crunchy texture.
  9. For the Curried Deviled Eggs: Combine curry powder and finely minced parsley with the basic egg yolk mixture.  When it’s well combined, but still a touch chunky, scrape into a gallon sized zip top bag. Mush the contents with your hands (through the bag) until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Snip off a corner of your piping bag and pipe into the egg whites.  Garnish with whole parsley leaves for a fresh looking, fresh tasting garnish.

devil eggs

BOOM. Three easy deviled eggs recipes for the price of one. Whether you’re combining one or all three, you’re about to make (and eat) the absolute hit of the party. No matter what else I make at dinner parties (or even Thanksgiving Dinner)  I never EVER have leftover deviled eggs, which is kind of a bummer. I like them for breakfast.

Deviled eggs at picnic

Want some other ideas? Does this recipe for deviled eggs just not cut it? Consider the following deviled eggs variations – just mix the seasonings with the basic recipe to taste. Really, the possibilities are endless. Get creative!

  1. Truffled Deviled Eggs – truffle salt, truffle infused mustard.
  2. Sriracha Deviled Eggs – Add 2 teaspoons of sriracha to the mix.
  3. Bacon Deviled Eggs – Mince up some crispy bacon and mix it with the yolk mixture. Garnish with slivers of crispy bacon.
  4. Pickle Devil Eggs – Add some pickle relish to your deviled egg mixture. Garnish with pickled onions.

– See more at: http://www.pacificmerchants.com/blog/general/make-deviled-eggs-2-1-deviled-eggs-recipe/.html#sthash.wN1B8391.dpuf

Earth Day Açaí Bowls

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

This Friday is Earth Day, and we here at Pacific Merchants are celebrating with our responsibly forested Acaciaware® – the perfect display for these gorgeous and healthy açaí bowls.  

Earth Day is a day to celebrate and respect the beauty of our planet – and this fruity açaí bowl definitely shows off some of mother nature’s finest treasures! The açaí berry is not only incredibly rich in antioxidants – it also tastes wonderful blended into a thick frozen yogurt-like smoothie (…two of the many reasons açaí bowls have become so trendy as of late!)
~
Learning to make açaí bowls at home will not only save you a few bucks, but will also be the perfect activity to celebrate Earth Day this year – especially if using fresh fruits from the farmer’s market! Plus, with the weather heating up, these frozen treats make for an undeniably refreshing and oh-so sweet afternoon pick-me-up.
 PMTC Acai Bowls
PMTC Acai Bowl prep
PMTC Acai Bowl
PMTC Acai

Earth Day Açaí Bowls

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pouch of frozen açaí purée
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 5 fresh strawberries
  • A splash of apple juice

top with:

  • Hemp seed granola
  • Almonds
  • Goji berries
  • Coconut flakes
  • Fresh fruit
  • A drizzle of honey

 

3 SIMPLE STEPS:

  1. Place the frozen açaí purée, pineapple chunks, mango chunks, banana, and strawberries into a blender. Pulse until the frozen fruit is broken down slightly.
  2. Slowly add in a splash or two of apple juice, just until the mixture comes together. *Be careful not to add too much! Blend until smooth.
  1. Pour the smooth and creamy blended açaí into an Acaciaware® bowl, decorate with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

* (The key to a perfect açaí bowl is thickness: the blended açaí mixture should be thick enough to eat with a spoon!)

 

Oh, and Happy Earth Day!

 

Guilt-free Holiday Stuffing

Monday, November 23rd, 2015
Guilt Free Stuffing Recipe

Delicious and guilt free holiday stuffing recipe served in our acacia wood bowl is a sure winner.

 

 

The holidays can still be warm, indulgent and scrumptious, even without gluten and dairy.  A simple twist on this classic, holiday stuffing recipe does not sacrifice deliciousness for health consciousness. Serve your stuffing in natural Acaciaware® wood products for a simply beautiful presentation.  These eco-friendly, specialty wood items make a decadent Thanksgiving easy.

 

This recipe was a huge success—the light sweetness of the carrots and kick of flavor from the thyme completes this dish.  For the most wholesome, authentic taste, I would use Kitchen Basics® Chicken Stock or, better yet, boil a hen for a few hours. The jus from the chicken hen, with a touch of salt, can enhance the richness tenfold.  My grandma’s two famous tricks for making the most flavorful stuffing are 1) using homemade jus and, of course, 2) choosing a quality cornbread mix. Choose your favorite cornbread mix, and if you are cooking for gluten-intolerant guests, ensure there is no enriched wheat flour in the blend.  I use Bob’s Red Mill ® Gluten Free Cornbread Mix.

 

When preparing the cornbread, the Olive Wood spoon is perfect for folding the mixture.  Use an 8×8 dark-colored baking pan and bake it for 25 minutes—do not overcook.  Allow the bread to be partially undercooked in the center because it will be baked again in the 11×7-baking dish (with the vegetable mixture). The final stuffing should come out just right: not too dry, not too mushy, with crusty edges.  It crumbles and melts in your mouth!

 

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

 

 

Preheat: 375°F                                                | |                     Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package of gluten-free cornbread mix (about 6 cups of cooked cornbread)
  • 1/3 c coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ c coconut milk for mix
  • ½ c sweet onion
  • 1 c celery, chopped
  • 1 c carrots, diced
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 c Kitchen Basics® chicken broth
  • ½ c dry white wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½-1 tsp black pepper (I like it peppery)

 

If you are feeling playful, add 3/4 c dried cranberries and ½ c pecans to the batter before baking a second time.

 

Cornbread:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, grease 8×8 pan with some melted coconut oil or coconut oil spray
  2. Melt 1/3 c coconut oil 1 minute in the microwave
  3. Combine eggs, coconut oil, and milk. Mix thoroughly with a Beech Wood spoon or use an electric mixer.
  4. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 25 minutes

 

Stuffing Vegetables:

  1. Wash and cut celery, carrots, sweet onion, thyme, and sage
  2. Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil on low
  3. Add veggies, let simmer on low for 3-5 minutes
  4. Add salt and pepper
  5. Let simmer with 1 c Kitchen Basics® chicken broth, taste test
  6. Add ½ c dry white wine, simmer until reduced by half, stirring often (about 5-7 minutes, may need to increase heat)

 

Crumble baked cornbread in a large mixing bowl and add vegetable mix. Stir well, folding with a Beech Wood spoon, and bake in an 11×7 baking dish at 325°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

 

Serve and enjoy with cranberry sauce.

 

– Sophie Wix


 

Shown in Image: Acacia Wood Round Calabash Salad Bowl and Basic Olive Wood Tool Set

Fall Into the Woods: Trail Mix Recipe

Monday, August 31st, 2015

National Eat Outside Day falls on the last day of August. And speaking of fall, autumn is rapidly approaching. If you want to get specific, the fall equinox this year lands on September 23rd at precisely 4:21 a.m.
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Double Trouble Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

“Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.”
Macbeth (or Harry Potter if you’re so inclined)

Now that I’ve planted this earworm in your head, let’s talk about The Great British Bake Off (GBBO). GBBO is a show on BBC One where the UK’s best amateur bakers compete to be dubbed the best amateur baker. Season 6 recently began, and in celebration I present thee with a new recipe that will make you the best baker of your clan.

Seriously, this recipe checks off all the boxes.
Chocolate? √
Minimal clean-up? √
Delicious? √
Healthy? √
Chocolate? √
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Happy Bastille Day, Have a (Healthy) Crêpe!

Monday, July 13th, 2015
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Photo source: DCAfter5

July 14 marks La Fête nationale, or more commonly known to us in the United States as Bastille Day!

What is Bastille Day, you might ask? No, it’s not just the day you get to troll Instagram, fuming at all the amazing firework photos posted by your friends abroad. Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution, and the storming of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789. This holiday celebrates the unity and culmination of the French people as a nation.
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National Ice Cream Month: Banana “Nice” Cream Recipe

Monday, July 6th, 2015
Item shown: Dipping Bowl 4"

Peanut butter and plain banana ice cream. Item shown: Dipping Bowl 4″

It’s the quintessential summer staple. Cold. Creamy. Customizable. I’m talking about ice cream. From the humble ice cream truck you chased as a child (or adult, no judgment here) to decadent concoctions from the local parlor, it’s plain to see that ice cream is a crucial component of a happy, healthy life.

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Say Cheese: How to Make a Cheese Plate

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Now I know what you’re thinking: Cheese Plates are easy. Put some cheese on a plate and BOOM! But really, a beautiful cheese plate makes an easy party appetizer or even a simple dinner. I love arranging cheese platters for dinner parties or large gatherings because with a little planning and a teeny bit of work, you’ve got a crowd pleasing appetizer folks can nosh on while you’re still frantically cooking dinner, mopping up spills, and trying to frost a cake…or maybe that’s just my dinner parties.  I always try to over-achieve.

How to make a perfect cheese plate
Here’s how to assemble the perfect cheese plate in 8 easy steps. Believe me, it’s insanely easy.

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Easy Snacks: Pita Chips and Hummus Recipe

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Pita Chips and Hummus are snacks I can actually eat every day, all year round, and never get bored. However, I find myself making hummus the most in the summer – I just whip up a big batch on Sunday and bring it to work for snack (in jars with carrot sticks), use instead of mayo on sandwiches, and serve it plated elegantly when guests come over. Making hummus from scratch is super-easy, and I love having a healthy, protein-rich treat I can grab and go whenever I’m hungry.

The Best Hummus Recipe on the Planet (more…)


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