Dallmayr Ethiopia: Sustainably Good.

Ethiopia has been regarded as the birthplace of coffee since the 9th century. All varieties of coffee are descendants of the wild plants from Ethiopia, therefore, experts regard it as a botanical treasure. Around 50 years ago, Konrad Werner Wille, joint owner and the first Dallmayr coffee expert, rediscovered Ethiopian coffee. Dallmayr Ethiopia coffee can be described as full flavored and spicy with notes of wild herbs, rounded off with the scent of lemongrass and a hint of dark chocolate.

For more than 50 years, highland arabicas from Ethiopia have defined the typical taste of many Dallmayr coffee specialties – including Dallmayr Ethiopia. Dallmayr has deep roots in the coffee’s source country and maintains close contacts with the coffee growers. In order to sustainably improve living conditions for the people, Dallmayr has supported the reforestation program of the foundation “Menschen für Menschen” since 2008.

“We are proud to have already planted more than 49 million saplings with ‘Menschen für Menschen.’ We are now continuing our long-standing partnership and launching a new project: we are building a school for more than 1,000 children aged between 7 and 16,” announced Simone Werle, Dallmayr Kaffee Head of Public Relations.

With the construction of the first Dallmayr school and the provision of all the equipment – from furniture to school supplies and books – Dallmayr paves the way to a better future for the children. Many children and teenagers are denied access to education, especially in rural areas.

To date, the foundation “Menschen für Menschen” has built 433 schools in the remotest regions of Ethiopia. In collaboration with Dallmayr, another school is now to follow in the region of Dano. The school project is financed by the sale of Dallmayr Ethiopia.

In addition, Dallmayr will also provide clean drinking water locally in the future with the construction of wells, which will be funded by the sale of Ethiopia. For more information on Dallmayr Ethiopia, contact Gourmet International at 1-800-875-5557.

Upgrade Your Flavors!

We have a lot of new items to share your way! These come in the form of mustards, sauces and condiments! If you need to flavor up your food, we have the perfect suggestions for you! We want to introduce to you the Hengstenberg 1876 line-up, all the way from Germany! They have been available for a little while now, but let’s get YOU acquainted with them now!

There are three lines of thought here…

What can we say? They are all packed with different types of flavors to tingle your taste buds! These are perfect for adding to your regular BBQ grilling, everyday sandwiches and snacks and more! All of these items are made with the finest selected ingredients. All of these items are also BPA, gluten and lactose free! How awesome is that? These little friends come ready to serve, packed in resealable glass jars. They fit easily in the fridge and here’s something even more – they are vegetarian and vegan friendly! Even more awesome!

We wanted to show you what we have been up to with these new items! For starters, we’ve been busy learning a new smoker, so we decided to use the Whole Grain Mustard on our rub for pork butt, which ended up as pulled pork for sandwiches or on its own with other side dishes! Take a peek at some of the pictures we took along the prepping and cooking process! We will admit, it *is* hard to get a great looking photo of pulled pork once it’s all said and done, but trust us… it was OH SO YUMMY!

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Need a little snack? Need to flavor up your tailgate parties this season or need new flavors in general when it comes to dips for your appetizers? We made our own toasted bread and enjoyed the Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce on top for a nice flavor packed treat! By the way, it’s super easy to make a quick toasted bread spread. Just heat the oven to 350°F and slice up some pieces of baguette. I covered mine with a light layer of olive oil, garlic salt, black pepper and parsley. Keep an eye on them while they are in the oven, I think mine were in the oven for about 20 minutes, and be sure to turn them over a few times if you can. We simply opened the jar and spooned on some of the dip and enjoyed while the toasted bread was warm!

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And finally, we also smoked some MORE pork with the Smoked BBQ Sauce, however, we forgot to take photos of it when it was all said and done! But we can tell you this, it was DELICIOUS! This sauce would also be great for ribs! Also great for marinades and rubs, so think about adding these flavorful sauces to your next meal!

For more ideas and recipes – the Hengstenberg 1876 website is full of ideas to make your plain and ordinary meals into something of flavor!

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Flavor Your World!

Today we celebrate National Ketchup Day! Are you someone who loves ketchup? Or do you hate it? Or do you like it every now and then? If you’re like my 9-year-old, he likes to drown his fries, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers in ketchup. However, he drowns his food in the plain ol’ boring everyday ketchup. Us adults in the house like to spice things up from time to time and we use Hela ketchup! If you were reading our blog early on, you’ll remember we made meatballs with the original Hela Curry Spice Ketchup! Those were soooo good! And if you want a refresher for the recipe or you’re new and haven’t seen it, you can find that recipe here. And just for fun, to water your mouth, some pictures from that blog post below! Muhahaha!

But hey! The Hela ketchup is not just for beef, it’s great on any grilled meat – hotdogs, steak, bratwurst and more – even pizza! Hela comes in a variety of flavors and heat! From BBQ Sweet N Zesty to Bold & Spicy Chili, there’s something for everyone to try! Hela, based in Germany since 1905, is a family owned spice company. Since 1963, they have been manufacturing delicious table sauces.

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What’s great to know is this: most Hela sauces are gluten-free, lactose-free and are suitable for vegetarians (Source: Hela Website). Please refer to specific product information, depending on the sauce/ketchup. Many of their products are also Kosher. Just be sure to reference the packaging to be sure!

Hela creates some amazing flavors for your taste buds. Their special seasoning and unique taste make their products incomparable to other ketchup brands and sauces out in the market today. For instance, the Hela Bratwurst Sauce pictured above, has a fine-fruity spiciness and tastes great with more than just bratwurst! Dip your fries and other side dish items in the mouth watering tasty goodness!

Now, after trying Hela, you’re going to want to replace your regular, old, boring ketchup for this! We triple hotdog dare you, with Hela sauce on top!

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Let’s Get Refreshed!

First off, we are all well and we are still here! It’s been quite a time since we posted last, but we hope to change that! We’ve had a lot of changes and projects going on over here and it’s now time to settle down a bit and come back to why we are here in the first place! To share the love of gourmet products and food your way! So let’s get REFRESHED and start this journey where we left off!

Secondly, stay tuned… soon we will have someone else helping out here with some blog posts and such! We can’t wait to keep up with everyone again and sharing what we love most – ALL THINGS GOURMET!

So without further ado, how about I share a little recipe today? The weather here in Michigan is HOT HOT HOT… like, we had winter winter cold cold and then SNAP, maybe 24 hours of spring and then we have been slapped with hot summer-like days in the face, literally! Earlier this week the car thermometer read 97°F as the outdoor temp! I don’t mind the heat, but someone please take the humidity!

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Now… time to get refreshed with all this heat and humidity! WE LOVE our Hero Nectar, and there is no better time to get refreshed with all natural ingredients than now in this heat!

Peach Hero Nectar Summer Spritzer

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Peach Hero Nectar
  • 2 cups lemonade
  • 2 cups peach flavored sparkling water

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a large glass pitcher. Place ice and fresh raspberries in a glass. Pour mixture over ice and raspberries! ENJOY! 

You can totally mix and match this recipe up and add your own flavor and twists – that’s the beauty of these recipes! AND… if you get a chance to make this recipe, please do share with us! We’d love to see your pictures or your concoctions! And tell us what you put in your recipe!

Oooey Gooey Caramelly Delight!

YES! It’s been a while since the last blog post! Things have been a little busy – but we are here and we are all well and fine! And to prove it to you all, we are going to share something new for that sweet tooth of yours!

This next little bundle of joy comes all the way from the UK! Presenting to you all, The Grown Up Chocolate Company! The packaging and information on all their products clearly states, “Reminiscent of the bars we ate as children, but reimagined for grown-ups”. There’s a kiddo on the front of their products, dressed up as an adult, and then a little note stating, “Nice try kid, but it’s not for you!” and it’s the cutest, most fun packaging!

There are several different varieties to choose from within The Grown Up Chocolate Company brand – from bars to peanut butter cups and caramel truffle cups and more! Today let’s explore the Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups, shall we?

First – as I mentioned, the packaging is super fun! Who wouldn’t want to open this box of chocolate fun? Take note of the messages on the package: “Not For Little Monsters” and “Handmade With Love In the UK” – seriously – how fun is this?! When my 9-year-old asks me if he can have a try, I can just point to the box! Ha ha!

 

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What’s really cool is that there are 6 caramel truffle cups in this package. They are placed in a tray and wrapped.

 

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These Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups are not tiny in size, nor are they super gigantic. They are just a perfect size for popping – and sharing with other grown ups!

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If you read the box above, it says, “Six Chocolate Cups Each Filled With Milk Chocolate Toffee and a Runny Caramel Truffle”. I will prove to you that these words are so true! I took a bite of one of these little treats and it was like a fun explosion of caramel running down my hand! I had to quickly adjust myself as I was trying to take photos to share with all of you! I was licking the sides of my hand and trying to avoid caramel contact to the lens and camera body! To show you the true runny caramel I had to place my cup on the box – you can see it oozing and making its escape out of the chocolate! DELICIOUS!

 

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So there you have it! The Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups from The Grown Up Chocolate Company! Extremely fun packaging and branding and a tasty creation within the box! We are currently having a St. Patrick’s Day contest on our Facebook page for those residing within the United States. A lucky winner will be chosen on St. Patrick’s Day to get a bundle of gourmet snacks and treats from us! This is just one of the items we will be including to send to our lucky winner!

Healthy Oatmeal Bites!

As promised, it’s time to celebrate National Heart Month and I have some healthy recipes to share! Today I present to you a quick and easy, healthy snack you can make for yourself and/or loved ones! My oldest son loves these quick little bites, I love them even more because I can get him to eat some healthy things by sneaking them into this recipe!

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So here we go! And we’ve got three products that we enjoy in this recipe! We have McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, Breitsamer Honey and Hachez chocolate! Are you ready? It’s super easy to make and you’ll be enjoying a healthy snack in no time!

 

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Oatmeal Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes (toasted optional)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (or so, I did less) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used dark chocolate for this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until mixed throughly.
  2. Optional: Chill first in the refrigerator for half an hour, then roll into balls.
  3. OR roll into balls immediately after mixing. (Just a matter of preference, I have no issues rolling these before they are chilled.)
  4. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.

These are quick and simple, and provide some healthy oatmeal power! When forming the balls, you can size them any which way, the ones I had rolled were about 1 inch or so in diameter. By the way, the mini Breitsamer Honey jars are just about perfect for the amount needed for this recipe and work PERFECT! Enjoy!!

The best part, as I say with any recipe, you can tweak this recipe to your own tastes and likes! I like adding the spices in to give these oatmeal bites some more pizzaz! Try them out and adjust them to your preference!

 

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Beneficial Wonders of Dark Chocolate.

Welcome to the dark side of chocolate! It’s National Dark Chocolate Day today! Is dark chocolate something you like or are you more of a milk chocolate fan? I enjoy both, but I have to be in a “mood” for either one! I have learned, however, that there are benefits to enjoying dark chocolate. Dark chocolate meaning “a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa” (Source: HealthLine.com). Keep in mind, as I share the information of dark chocolate, while it is beneficial to your health, I (and the experts) are not telling you to eat dark chocolate in high quantities – after all, 100 grams of chocolate would be 3.5 ounces. While there may be many nutrients and benefits to dark chocolate, there are also 600 or so calories and don’t forget, there is sugar in most brands. Consuming 600 calories of chocolate on a regular basis is not good for anyone (Source: HealthLine.com)!

In a previous time in my life, I enjoyed working for a healthcare system in my area and I was part of a healthy heart program for women. I would assist in setting up community events that featured cardiologists and other physicians, and they too, had similar information to share about eating dark chocolate!

So let’s continue. There is a powerhouse of nutrients in dark chocolate:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • Packed with: potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium
  • Check out these RDA’s (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for the following:
    • 67% Iron
    • 58% Magnesium
    • 89% Copper
    • 98% Manganese
      (Source: HealthLine.com).

Let’s talk about antioxidants. There are a lot of organic compounds in dark chocolate that are “biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include: polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others (Source: HealthLine.com).” So what does this actually mean? What are antioxidants?

Definition from MedlinePlus:

Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. They are also available as dietary supplements.

Eating foods that are high in antioxidants have been known to help you stay healthy and also may lower the risk of certain diseases.

Consuming dark chocolate may also help lower your blood pressure and also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate increased HDL (good cholesterol) and lower total LDL (bad cholesterol) in men that had elevated cholesterol levels (Source: HealthLine.com).

It also appears that chomping on some of the dark chocolate can help improve blood flow through the body, so much so, that researchers are looking into how dark chocolate can improve brain function. Cocoa contains caffeine and theobromine, known stimulants, which may be why cocoa can improve brain function for short-term periods (Source: HealthLine.com).

So there you have it. Go enjoy SOME, not LOTS, of dark chocolate! Do you have a favorite? If so, share with us! Keep checking out the blog all through February, I’ll be sharing more heart healthy info, recipes and products!

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Horsein’ Around With Soup.

If you were not aware, January is National Soup Month. I love a good potato soup recipe and to celebrate National Soup Month, I thought I’d go looking for a new-to-me recipe. I found this Potato Soup with Horseradish from the Hengstenberg website. The ingredients on the list didn’t seem too far-fetched or crazy, the recipe is fairly simple. Perhaps the only complicated part of this recipe may be the conversion of grams and liters and what nots. So I had some side notes of what I thought were the correct converted versions, but I’ll let you all covert your own (it’s quite easy when one can Google and find an answer!) – there was some guessing involved in some, or I should say, estimation approximations.

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You can easily download or print the recipe from the Hensgenberg website and have it handy for when you’re in the kitchen. There is some prep work to do – cutting of potatoes, an onion and a little bit of cauliflower. Eventually the onions and the potatoes make their way into a pot with butter to fry up a bit. Then comes vegetable stock to the onions and potoatoes, they get happy happy for a while.

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While that’s simmering, the bits of cauliflower are tossed into the oven on parchment paper, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste. The cauliflower gets happy happy in the oven for about 12 minutes. Once that is done, it can sit out and cool off.

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At this time you can fry up some bacon to be used later for garnish. Also, you will want to mix the sour cream and Hengstenberg Hot & Spicy Horseradish in a bowl until well combined. That mixture can be set aside.

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Once the potatoes, onions and veggie stock have simmered for approximately 25 minutes or so, you’ll add the horseradish and sour cream mixture to the pot, remove from heat and then use a hand blender to purée.

My family has been interested in a hand blender for cooking and food preparation, so this was an excellent opportunity to get one and try it out for ourselves. I picked up this Kitchen Aid Hand Blender to try out. It was not very expensive at all. There are some brands and models that can get up in price, but if you’re just starting out, stay in a lower price range!

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Once the mixture has been blended and puréed, the soup is almost ready! Place in a bowl, garnish with the roasted cauliflower and bacon and some parsley. Our soup that we made did NOT have parsley added to it, only because I couldn’t find fresh parsley at the one quick store stop that I made earlier today.

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Below is our finished soup. Our soup is much darker in color than what is shown in the Hengstenberg recipe. We think we may just have darker vegetable soup stock here than what they had on hand and/or maybe we didn’t have enough potatoes added in the mix. Maybe we added TOO much vegetable stock? We aren’t sure, but it did taste delicious! We did have to add a little extra salt and pepper for taste. What’s fun about trying these recipes out is that you can tweak it and make it your own! Mine may not look as pretty as what was presented with the recipe, but it turned out great! Next time we try this recipe, we may add in a little more seasoning and play with some other ideas. Try this recipe and tell us how yours turned out!

 

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No Waffling On This Decision.

There will be no waffling on the decision to enjoy this Bahlsen cookie treat today! I told you earlier this week I am on a winter cookie craze, and today I present to you something that I love to grab on the way out the door to my car with my traveling coffee mug. I love that these little waffle cookies are small, have a bit of actual chocolate on them and they have a little bit of waffle action! It’s easy for an adult to pop one of these and head out the door, my children though – like to find any possible way to make a simple cookie super messy! So while I can enjoy grabbing one of these Waffeletten‘s on my way out the door, the kids – mainly my youngest – needs to quickly take several bites before we make it to my car!

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Every time I have one of these little waffle wafer cookies, I also taste a hint of cinnamon or something. So to be sure that I wasn’t going crazy, I did check the back of the packaging and the ingredients do list “spice”. But it does not list which spice is added. But it’s a perfect little blend of flavor – waffle, chocolate, spice… yummy!

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My youngest likes to bite the chocolate end of and then peer through the wafer like a telescope, so not only do they provide a snack, but these Bahlsen wafers can provide some imaginative fun for the kids! I’m not done with the Bahlsen cookies, I do have another one I’ll bring to your attention soon! But this is one of my favorite little cookie treats that I don’t feel bad giving the kiddos – even if it’s the only thing they had in the morning before breakfast or getting on the school bus! Shhh…! Don’t tell anyone! They are the perfect little bite size munchy snack!

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Winter Time Cookie Craving.

Winter time cookie craving in full effect! You may be seeing and reading a lot about different cookies and biscuits in the next days and weeks… it’s winter time and I just want to grab something quick and tasty to nibble on. It’s not candy or anything super sweet that I am craving, it is a tasty cookie that I am looking to curb my cravings. I guess you could say it’s a cookie time of year. After all the gingerbread and other holiday sweets, I kind of just want to get back to regular cookie mode. (But yes, I am still finding leftover holiday cookies and treats in my cupboards, it’s time to clean the cupboards out!)

This time of year is always so blah. Some days there is snow on the ground, some days it melts and then some days you get it all in one day. I can’t believe February is almost here, but yet, this winter and past fall seem like they have just been dragging us along. I’m ready for warmer days and longer daylight. Winter blues can go away!

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So while out and about today, I decided to pick up these Biscovalo shortbread cookies made by Ambrosiana. I’ve highlighted cookies from Ambrosiana before, this was one of the cookies I haven’t tried yet! These cookies are thin and have a hazelnut flavor. The bottom has a nice chocolate glaze that melts right in your hand!

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Just the right size and just the right amount of crispy cookie crunch needed on a gloomy, winter day! The weather here in Michigan is being quite finicky as usual: yesterday warm and thunderstorms, today cold and snowy. But while the weather is finicky, I can be happy knowing that I am enjoying a cookie delight that is GMO free. Made in Italy, Ambrosiana cookies are delicately made with wholesome ingredients.

I love the simple, yet elegant packaging of these cookies. And what you see on the box is what you get inside the box. No tricks or gimmicks! So go grab your favorite warm or hot beverage and sit down with a book or a good movie. Open up a box of these Biscovalo cookies and enjoy your day and take your stresses away!

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