Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stress-Free Thanksgiving

It's turkey day and time to think about gratitude. Whether you're cooking for yourself, two,or a crowd, this simple dinner will delight your evening.

Turkey with White Wine Sauce

4 turkey slices (ready at the grocery store)


2 oz diced onions
1 oz diced carrots
1 oz diced bell peppers
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tbs. butter
1 sachet ( 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 springs parsley, 1 clove wrapped in cheesecloth)
10 oz chicken stock
6 oz white wine
1/2 oz all purpose flour
1/2 oz butter
2 tbs cold butter in dices
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped parsley for garnish

In a medium size sauce pan heat oil and 1 tbs butter. Sweat onions carrots and bell peppers but do not brown them. Add stock and white wine. Add sachet and bring to a soft boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover to reduce by half.
Discard sachet and mix 1/2 butter with 1/2 flour. Whisk in the mixture (little by little) in your sauce to thicken. Turn your stove to low and stir in the cold butter up to 4 dices at a time and swirl until melted. Season to taste and top your turkey with it. Garnish with parsley.

Saffron Rice Pilaf

4 oz long grain rice
2 oz chopped onion
1/2 oz chopped garlic
5-6 threads saffron
1 tbs butter
8 oz boiling chicken stock
Salt and white pepper to taste

Put saffron in your chicken broth and microwave for about 3 minutes.

Melt butter in a small pot and sweat onion and garlic. Add rice and braise with butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Add chicken stock, bring to a soft boil and reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook undisturbed for about 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked.

Remove from heat and serve warm.

Spinach a la Romana

8 oz baby spinach
1 bacon slice chopped
1 tsp vanilla oil
1/2 oz red wine
1/2 oz raisings
1/2 pine nuts (or any other nut of your preference)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saute pan heat oil and add chopped bacon. Cook until crisp.
Remove bacon and put aside.
Add spinach to fat and cook for about 30 seconds (just to wilt the spinach).
Add pine nuts, raisings (plumped in red wine), red wine, half bacon and season to taste.
Turn heat off and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Strain the spinach to ensure liquids do not transfer to your plate when serving.
Serve immediately. Garnish with the rest of the bacon.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Creamy Spiced Hot Chocolate

With nights getting cooler, nothing is better than snuggling up with a delicious cup of homemade spiced hot chocolate. Using our brand new Naturally Sugar Free Vanilla Cinnamon syrup I was able to sweeten the hot chocolate and cut down on the sugar, it added a kick of cinnamon flavor. After you try this wonderful recipe, no other hot chocolate will compare. I used our pure Mexican vanilla extract, which really brought out a smooth chocolaty flavor that made all the difference.


What to do:
  1. Finely chop the chocolate.
  2. place the chopped chocolate and the water in the top of a double boiler over hot water.
  3. Stir often, until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla cinnamon flavored syrup.
  5. Warm over medium heat until milk begins to boil.
  6. Stir the milk into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Remove the top of the double boiler.
  8. Carefully wipe the bottom and sides of the pan very dry.
  9. Pour mixture into saucepan.
  10. Add 1/3 cup sugar.
  11. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  12. Add 1/2 cup of cream to the mixture.
  13. Stir in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
  14. In a small mixing bowl, use electric mixer to whip the remaining 1/2 cup, cream until frothy.
  15. Add 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and tablespoon of sugar.
  16. Divide the hot chocolate into 4 mugs.
  17. Top each mug with a scoop of the whipped cream
  18. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg on top of the four mugs and garnish them with the cinnamon stick.
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1/2

You can try this recipe with any of our new all natural sugar free flavored syrups. Try them all, hazelnut, raspberry, vanilla, vanilla cinnamon and almond.