Archive for June, 2019

Mesquite Grilled Tri-Tip With Garlic Marinade

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

One of my favorite red meats for grilling is the tri-tip. It has enough fat to be really tasty but it’s not too fatty and reasonably healthy. The best way to grill a tri-tip is first, to use mesquite coals (coals, not chips). Mesquite is usually available at your local store who carries BBQ briquettes. There’s something artificial tasting about those briquette coals, don’t you think? Mesquite is 100% natural wood and is not such a strong, overwhelming flavor as other woods for grilling (like maple or alder). Mesquite imparts subtle smoke overtones but does not hit you over the head screaming “I’M SMOKED”. All meats and seafood do well with hot burning mesquite, as the high burning temperature seals in juices and flavors.

I have an easy way to marinade a tri-tip prior to grilling that is easy and will knock your socks off (I tend to walk barefoot). For those of you who read this blog, you know easy and tasty are my cooking metrics.

OK then. Take a bottle of Girards champagne dressing (yes a bottled dressing) and pour over the tri-tip placed inside a pyrex baker. Then, take a head of garlic and crush the living daylights out of the cloves onto the meat. I crush as many as 10-12 cloves but I am a garlic freak. Spread the crushed garlic all over the surface of the tri-tip. Then flip over and do the same thing. Take a turkey baster and baste the meat on both sides with the dressing and garlic. Let sit for at least one hour. You don’t have to let it sit (you can grill right away) but the longer you let it marinade, the better the garlic flavor.

That’s it. I told you it was easy. For those of you who say bottled dressing is not the way, I say ney, ney! Just like my pitch for Lawry’s seasoned pepper and garlic salt in my perpetual dressing article, try the Girards champagne dressing with freshly crushed garlic. The hint of smoke from the mesquite melds with the garlic marinade and you won’t believe the wonderful flavor!

The Perpetual Salad Dressing aka the Dressing that Never Ends

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

As you might already be able to tell from our blog, I love giving out my best tips on making the tastiest salads. Here is another one of my favorite closely-guarded recipes I call my “Perpetual Salad Dressing”—it’s perpetual because you never run out!

As you use the salad dressing, you continually add and replenish ingredients like rice wine, balsamic vinegar, first-press olive oil, fresh garlic, cracked black pepper and salt. There are no rules so you can add more or less of any of the ingredients, or add your own ingredients like red pepper flakes.

I have a confession to make: I use Lawry’s seasoned pepper and garlic salt. While I love the simple taste that freshly ground pepper and sea salt bring to a recipe, I am also very much into easy, simple and tasty ingredients. Lawry’s blended spices are easy and add a little more ‘zip’ than just plain salt and pepper.

Perpetual Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 32 oz bottle of Marukan seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
  • 1-2 oz olive oil (or to taste)
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt

Directions

You can make this concoction right in the Marukan bottle or use an empty bottle that reseals. Add all the ingredients into the bottle and SHAKE! Yes, this is a complicated and difficult recipe (joking).

Note: if you do use the Marukan bottle as your container you will have to pour off enough of the rice wine vinegar to accommodate the other ingredients. Use the poured off vinegar later when you need to pour more into the bottle.

This is a delicious a vinaigrette that is slightly sweet and refreshing. It can be used on other foods like fresh veggies or grilled seafood (yes, it is that versatile).

There you go – another easy secret recipe that will make you look like a star!

National Fruit & Vegetables Month: The Fruit Smoothie

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Dubbed National Fruit & Vegetables Month, June is a month dedicated to the healthy side of eating.

There are so many people following healthy diets that it’s almost cliché to have a month dedicated to fruits and veggies, let alone write about them. However, I have stumbled upon something which has helped me feel fuller and lose weight: fruit smoothies!

Fruit smoothies are easy to prepare, low caloric, low in sugar and make my stomach satisfied, taming my voracious appetite. It feels much easier to go through the morning after drinking a smoothie versus eating an omelet (at least for me).

An assortment of delicious fruit in a large Acaciaware™ serving bowl.

Fruit smoothies are easy prep, and they only require easy refrigerator stocking for several mornings: fruit, Greek yogurt, ice and non-fat milk (or coconut milk if you prefer). I use both fresh and frozen fruit, but fresh is always preferable.

A great nutritious addition I love is flax seeds. They do not interfere with the taste and are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, lignans and fiber, all of which have been shown to have many potential health benefits. They can be used to improve digestive health, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer and may also benefit people with diabetes.

So far, I have not graduated and made myself a veggie smoothie yet. While I love salads, I don’t think veggie smoothies are for me… then again, I haven’t tried one yet. I think I’ll ease into it by steaming some broccoli and throwing them in a blender with some chicken broth. That will make a broccoli soup, which is kind of a warm smoothie, right? Add garlic salt, pepper, tobasco sauce, a little Worchester and I think we’ve got something!

I fully admit that I am an inexperienced person with regards to smoothies, flax seeds or the discipline to lose weight. But if I can take the first step towards healthy eating, anyone can too. An easy trick like drinking smoothies is worth sharing. Happy fruits and vegetables month!

World’s Stinkiest Cheeses

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

There’s something beautiful about stinky cheese that draws me in. Maybe the aroma?

Stinky cheese should be eaten, not thrown away!
Acaciaware™ appetizer trays add to the beauty of serving cheese and charcuterie!

What is it about stinky cheese that some people can’t get enough of? I used to think my love for stinky cheese was because my taste buds were shot from the spicy foods I’ve eaten over the years, but its global popularity shows that it is more than that.

I hear that stinky cheese releases endorphins, which sounds pretty amazing because unfortunately, that’s just fake news.

But how can something that smells so awful attract so many people and constitute an entire cultural history in France? It’s all too much for me—I just like it to taste as trashy as possible (i.e. “should be eaten, not thrown away”).

Check out this article by Kick Ass Facts which has a kickass list of the stinkiest cheeses that will make both your mouth and your nose water!

National Gardening Week: The Succulent Acacia Bowl

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

There’s something about puttering around in the garden that feels rejuvenating. Being in the outdoors, getting your hands dirty, the fresh smells, gofers, all of it (well, maybe not all).

You may have used our beautiful acacia wood bowls as acai bowls and teriyaki bowls, but here’s a unique way to put our large bowls to use: introducing the Acaciaware succulent bowl!

It’s amazingly easy to pull together a gorgeous indoor planter or hostess gift using an Acaciaware acacia wood bowl. We have certain bowls that are perfect for this in various sizes. The 6-inch diameter bowls have a 4-inch height; the larger 12-inch diameter bowl also is 4 inches tall.

Succulents planted in an assortment of Acaciaware bowls of various shapes and sizes.

Go to your local garden store and pick up soil and your favorite miniature succulents. The bowl will keep moisture in the soil longer than a normal pot will. There is no hole in the bottom so you need to make sure not to over-water the plants.

Ready to work those green thumbs? Check out our assortment of wooden bowls! The rich grain of our Acaciaware bowls will complement your succulents so beautifully and add a unique stylish touch to your display.


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