Posts Tagged ‘party tips’

Happy Labor Day: Garnish your Barbecue with our Best Guacamole Recipe

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Labor Day doesn’t mean “back to school” now that most schools seem to start in August, but it’s a really good time to throw a great, end of summer barbecue and enjoy spending time outside before the weather turns cold.  Of course, now that it’s the end of the summer, you might be a little sick of a traditional BBQ with burgers, hot dogs, and even ribs, so we’ve got some great tips to add some color (and some spice) to your Labor Day Barbecue!

First up, Set a colorful table! There’s something about bright, lively colors that make even the most casual get-together feel like a party.  Use flowers, colorful foods, and vibrant placemats.  For a recent party, we used 24 of our Laguna placemats as a tablecloth, and it looked great! As a labor day gift for you, we’re offering 25% off of our ENTIRE Laguna line to our retail customers from now until Tuesday, Sep 3. Just enter LABORDAY at checkout! Laguna mats look great indoors and out, so they’re perfect for entertaining as the seasons change.

Second, make (or buy) snacks that you can set up ahead of time, like our chips, salsa and guacamole in the picture above.  They’re easy to set out an hour ahead of time, and they’ll help keep your guests snacking and mingling if you need a little extra setup time. We love making and serving guacamole in our Mason Cash Mortar and Pestles.  They’re perfect for crushing garlic, cilantro and spices and mashing avocado. Plus, they’re made of heavy stoneware that looks great on the table.tacos

Here’s our signature guacamole recipe. It’s simple to make, and whether you’re grilling hot dogs and burgers or carne asada for tacos, it works.  If you like more heat, add a chopped up jalapeno.  If you like more tang, add more lime.  This serves 4-6 people and is the perfect amount for the large Mason Cash Mortar and Pestle.

  • 3 avocados
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ tsp whole cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. In the bottom of your mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, cilantro and cumin until they form a paste
  2. Add the lime juice and half the avocado
  3. With the pestle, grind until very smooth. Add the other half of the avocado, the onion, and the tomato
  4. Combine with pestle (you may also need to use a fork) until thoroughly combined
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve right in the mortar and pestle!

If you want to make a bigger batch, the recipe doubles or even triples really nicely.  Just grind up the cumin, mince the garlic and cilantro, and make the whole thing in an Acaciaware bowl. Just like when you serve in the mortar and pestle, there’s one less dish to clean, since your serving dish is also your prep bowl.

Since you’re already making guacamole, I suggest you grill up some simple carne asada to go along with it.  This flavorful dish is easy to prepare and uses a cheaper cut of steak, so even if you’re cooking for a crowd, you won’t break the bank.  Do most of the prep the night before to save time!

  • 2 lbs flank or skirt steak
  • 4 garlic cloves,
  • 1 jalapeno,
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves,
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppe
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • Zest of one orange
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1.  In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients except the flank steak. Blend until smooth.
  2. Put flank steak in a gallon-sized sip top bag.
  3. Pour marinade in on top of steak and seal bag, pressing as much of the air out as possible.
  4. Allow steak to marinate for at least 1 hour, or as long as 12 hours.
  5. Heat your grill to medium high. If using a gas grill, allow at least 10 minutes for the whole grill to heat.
  6. Brush grate with vegetable oil carefully to avoid flare ups.
  7. Grill the steak for 7-10 minutes on each side, turning once for a medium-rare steak.
  8. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes
  9. Slice across the grain, on the diagonal, into thin slices.
  10. Arrange on an Acaciaware plate.

We suggest serving the carne asada with fresh tortillas, grilled corn, our amazing guacamole, and some cheese and salsa.  If you want, you can put together a whole condiment bar using small acacia bowls and  condiment serving sets  Consider filling bowls with pico de gallo, shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, grilled peppers, grilled onions, and sour cream.

From all of us here at Pacific Merchants, have a really happy Labor Day. We hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer and get to have a fun, relaxing 3-day weekend. And remember to enter LABORDAY at checkout to get 25% those colorful Laguna mats from now until September 3! You deserve a treat.

Our Father’s Day Gift Guide!

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Father’s day already. That’s right, Father’s day is coming up right around the corner on June 16, which means that you have until June 10 to get those orders for dad in.  We’re told that fathers sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to the holiday. They’re given a tool as a gift and told to fix something, or given a grill and told to make everybody dinner. Not quite the restful, fun filled day they had in mind. Here at Pacific Merchants (a company owned by a dad, FYI) we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen with this great Father’s Day Gift Guide.

Now, if you have an unlimited budget, we suggest you bookmark this page and run out and by your dad something really shiny and fancy, like this Tesla. It’s good for the environment (we try to keep things green at Pacific Merchants) and your dad will love it.

If you don’t have a spare $80,000 lying around, we’ve got some more wallet-friendly gift ideas that your dad is sure to love just as much as he’d love that fancy, shiny car. So let’s get it started.  And remember, when you check out, enter DADROCKS checkout! We’ll give you $5 bucks off your order of $30 or more!

 

Our first suggestion for celebrating dad: Throw him a party. It’s beautiful this time of year, so we suggest that you throw him a picnic or barbecue. If you really want to wow him, make sure to include personal touches. Set the table with placemats in his favorite colors. Our Laguna Placemats come in 12 vibrant, bright colors, and we’re sure that your dad’s favorite is among them. To make that barbecue even more special, we’re including our amazing brown sugar bourbon spice rub recipe. It’s amazing on ribs and pork loin, great on chicken, delicious on steak, and succulent on salmon. It’s also really good on hearty vegetables such as mushrooms, squash, carrots and peppers.  Scroll on down to the bottom of this post for the recipe

 

If your dad’s idea of a great Saturday is spending time at the grill cooking up a storm for family and friends, we’ve got some wonderful pieces for him. We’re highlighting serving dishes and accessories that the grillmaster in your life will go nuts for.  From Condiment serving sets to acaciawood plates (great for burgers) to amazing serving trays, we suggest that you help dad trick out his next barbecue with Acaciaware®barbecue supplies from Pacific Merchants!

 

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Round Condiment           Set of 4 7″ Plates            Wood Oval Tray                  12″ Calabash Salad Serving Set

 

s2525025250Another great gift for dad is our Mason Cash Mortar and Pestle. These high-quality earthenware Mortar and Pestles are made in a design that is based on the original high quality models produced over 200 years ago. Mason Cash Mortar and Pestles are the best way to crush and grind herbs and spices. Collectable Mason Cash Mortar and Pestles have no wooden parts to absorb flavor or stains. The special matte finish inside the bowl and on the pestle enables improved crushing and grinding.  With a wider than usual pestle is easier to use than a conventional one – just easy circular movements of the wrist are required.  The Mason Cash mortar pestle is highly collectable (when you can find them) and are considered the world’s finest!

 

 

Brown Sugar Bourbon Spice Rub Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if your dad likes spicy food)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp rubbed sage
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ½ cup apple juice/apple cider
  • 2 oz apple cider vinegar

Instructions  – the long way for maximum flavor

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl to make a thick paste.
  • Pour into a large ziptop bag or air tight plastic container large enough to fit meat/vegetables of choice.
  • Add meat/fish vegetable to marinade.
  • Marinate according to times below.
    • Ribs – 4 hours to overnight
    • Pork Loin – 2 to 4 hours
    • Flank Steak – 1 to 2 hours
    • Chicken – 1 to 2 hours
    • Salmon 30 minutes to an hour
    • Carrots – 1 to 2 hours
    • Squash – 1 to 2 hours
    • Mushrooms – 30 minutes to an hour
    • Peppers – 30 mintutes to an hour
    • After marinating, allow food to sit on a wire rack for 30 minutes so that the sugar mixture dries.
    • Grill over low heat to desired done-ness, keeping in mind that the bourbon will cause flare ups.
    • Brush any remaining marinade over meat in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
    • Once meat is finished cooking and your marinade has caramelized and formed a nice crust, remove from heat
    • Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving

Instructions – the quick way for more time with dad!

  • Combine marinade ingredients to form a paste
  • Salt and pepper your desired food
  • Grill over medium grill until almost done
  • Turn grill to low heat when food is about 10 minutes from done
  • Brush the marinade onto food for last 10 minutes of cooking. Be aware of flare-ups caused by bourbon.
  • Once your meat is done and your  marinade has caramelized and formed a nice crust, remove from heat
  • Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

From all of us here at Pacific Merchants Trading Company, we hope that your dad has a really happy father’s day, and we hope that whether you buy your dad a mortar & pestleor the Tesla, we were able to help make shopping for dad (or cooking for dad) a little easier.  Just remember to get those orders in by June 10 so that your father’s gift gets to him on time. And remember to enter DADROCKS at checkout!

 


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