Key Lime Curd – I wound up enjoying this on crackers with goat cheese. Quite delightful! It had a lovely smooth texture and bright flavor.
Wei Kitchen Shallot Oil & Amber Vinegar – I made a riff on the suggested recipe, using a red bell pepper instead of the shredded carrot and cucumber. It was a pretty tasty dinner!
Arette Tea Seed Oil and Hummingbird Fine Foods Champagne Vinaigrette – I had bookmarked this recipe for Crispy Chicken Paillards with Arugula-Citrus Salad, and used that as my guide for dinner one night. Using some thin cut chicken breasts, I prepared them as directed in this recipe – they cooked so fast, and were very still juicy. I don’t think I noticed any difference using the tea seed oil, though it is supposed to have a higher smoke point than olive oil, which is what I typically reach for. I would make chicken this way again – the preparation would be even better with some marinated chicken, or some additional seasonings in the breading. To go with it, I put together a very simple salad with some things we had in the fridge – sections from a cara cara orange, mixed greens, red onion, red bell pepper, sprouts, and I think we had some tomatoes as well. I served it all along with the Champagne vinnaigrette, which was so delicious. I typically prefer to make my own salad dressing, or just use oil and vinegar, but this was wonderful and I something I would consider buying in a full size.
Dave’s Homemade Sweet & Sassy Smokehouse Rub – We used this to make this Southwestern flavored quinoa bowl, which was really good. This is one of those things that easy to prep a few days in advance and comes together really fast – we’ll be enjoying this again!
McClary Bros. Michigan Apple Pie Drinking Vinegar – A shrub! We’ll use this in a cocktail or turn it into soda.
CC Made Sel Gris Caramel Sauce – I might try to use this in this delicious cocktail.
East Shore Specialty Foods Sweet & Tangy Mustard – I really need to find a source for delicious soft pretzels.
Just Jan’s Tangerine Marmalade - This should be great with breakfast one day soon.
Gourmegg Gracefully Greek Egg Seasoning – We just finished up the last sample from these folks, their Classy Classic Egg Seasoning, which we both really like and plan to order. Looking forward to trying this!
Chili-Lime Rubbed Tofu and Pasta de Los Angeles from Appetite for Reduction – This combination (suggested in the book) did not do a thing for me. The pasta portion is one of those dishes where the leftovers somehow lose the flavor, which means it’s not a good lunch option. (Unfortunately, that’s why I had made it.) The tofu held up well, but was not enough to carry the dish. I’m also still not sold on the combination of tofu and pasta, but I’ll probably try again at some point with a different recipe.
Spaghetti Carbonara from Cook’s Illustrated (March/April 2013) – This was my first attempt at spaghetti carbonara, and it was quite tasty! The Cook’s Illustrated recipe was very easy to follow, though it is one of those that creates a huge amount of dishes – at least with Cook’s you know the reason for each dish! Because you need to be able to move quickly once you get past the first step, I set out everything I needed before starting, which worked very well and I highly recommend doing. I also cut the recipe in half, which was pretty easy to do, and was still quite a lot of pasta for two. My only issue is that this wasn’t quite salty enough. I’m not sure if that’s because I added the salt to the pasta pot quite late in the boil, or if it’s because I used whole wheat pasta instead of regular. (Or because this isn’t really supposed to be particularly salty?) In any case, I would certainly make this again! It was a very easy meal that felt a little special.
Mango Yogurt Smoothie – This is a very simple smoothie to throw together, especially if you’ve already chopped up the mango. The recipe notes that this makes 1-2 servings; I found it was a big single serving, but it kept me full well past the point in the morning where I usually start to get hungry. The bits of ice were a little weird, and I wondered how this would work using frozen fruit and omitting the ice. I can definitely see this becoming a summertime breakfast option.
Champagne Vinaigrette from Hummingbird Fine Foods – One of the suggested uses for this is a gorgeous looking citrus salad, which I think will have to happen.
Tea Seed Oil Infused with Garlic Black Pepper from Arette – I have a plain tea seed oil from this provider that I haven’t used yet; I should probably just put it out with our olive oil and vegetable oil on the counter, as it was meant to be a cooking oil. I bet this would be excellent in a salad dressing, or used when roasting veggies.
Far East Spain Blend from The Spanish Tin – The cutest little bag of spices! The suggested recipe is this Morrocan-style Chicken with Apricots and Olives, which looks like a great weeknight dinner.
Enter Cinnaman from Better Off Spread – Heavy metal themed cinnamon and white chocolate peanut butter spread. Seems like it’ll be good as a snack.
Chipotle Hot Sauce from Formosa – Huevos Rancheros! What else do you need to know?
Glicco’s Arrabbiata Pasta Gravy from Elbow Foods – I used this to try to recreate a mussels dish I’d had in Chicago, which had a slightly spicy, chunky tomato broth. I used this 4oz jar of sauce, about a cup of broth and maybe half a cup of white wine, along with an extra shake or two of crushed red pepper. We would up with a very flavorful, slightly spicy broth. Super delicious! Not quite as thick as the one I’d had in Chicago, but I’ll just have to try again. (Poor us.) Anyway, this was actually from the box I got in April – there were several times when I went to use it but realized it wasn’t going to stretch quite far enough, but this was a great use of the sample!
Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean from Lafaza Vanillas – I used a piece of this to make a vanilla old fashioned, which was quite delightful.
Bee In Your Bonnet Cinnamon Honey from Everyday Eclectic and Original Hot Sauce from Southern Art – These two were served alongside some snow day chicken and waffles that Handsome and I made. The cinnamon in the honey was a nice pair with the cornmeal waffles I’d made. And I thought the hot sauce was great – it’s the vinegary kind, nice and sharp without being too blazingly hot.
Back to Chicago once more for a conference; this time ALA Midwinter. Previous editions: ALA Annual 2013, MLA 2014. Continue reading