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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

DSC_0007 (1)

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.

DSC_0001

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.

DSC_0021

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.

DSC_0017

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.

DSC_0026

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!

DSC_0012

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.

DSC_0009

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!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Getting Saucy.

What better way to celebrate National Spaghetti Day than to introduce to you all a recipe for some homemade pasta sauce? I am getting tired of the same old watered down, store-bought, flavorless pasta sauces. Making your own homemade sauce is the most simple thing to do and it’s not very time-consuming at all. I have to admit, when I did pull this recipe, I didn’t realize that the sauce DOES need to simmer for about 2 hours, but it turned out fine – my husband and I weren’t quite hungry at the time I was making the sauce, and the kids wanted something else besides spaghetti, so we fed them and patiently waited for our sauce to simmer. And it was WELL. WORTH. THE. WAIT!

The following recipe was taken from AllRecipes.com and I have adapted it just a bit. I used Italian sausage instead of using ground beef. I figure, go big or go home. Spice up your life a little bit! And I’d like to introduce to you Oro Di Parma Tomato Paste. I used this tomato paste with the recipe below.

DSC_0003

This tomato paste comes four different ways: triple concentrated, seasoned with vegetables, seaonsed with basil and spicy hot. I also used Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes for my chopped tomatoes required for the recipe. So without further delay, I will provide the following recipe with my changes!

Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 1/2 cups Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 1/3 cans (6 ounces) Oro Di Parma Tomato Paste (these tubes are 7.02 ounces, it’s triple concentrated, so I used about 4 ounces, just over half a tube)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms (I actually used a full 8 ounce can!)

Directions:

  1. Brown Italian sausage over medium heat. Drain off fat.
  2. In a large pot, combine Italian sausage, salt, sugar, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and mushrooms. Simmer at a low heat setting for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook pasta accordingly to package directions. Drain. Serve sauce over spaghetti.
  4. Enjoy and Happy National spaghetti Day!

 

As with all sauces, at least when it comes to pasta dishes, the longer it sits, the better it tastes. I made this the other night and I had leftovers and the sauce was even better the next day! Use this sauce for making lasagna as well! And as with all sauces, it will take time to tweak it and make it your own. While this tomato sauce came out excellent, there are a few things I’d maybe change-up for next time. I might add some fresh chopped garlic, more fresh items and what not, but delicious!

DSC_0002

 

Hello 2018!

Happy New Year! Happy 2018! Let’s start off the New Year with a new name! As you can see, All Things Gourmet, sounds like a nice little fit! What you’ll find here won’t change at all! There still will be recipes shared, gourmet food items to be showcased and shared, along with the sharing of information and traditions and so forth! But don’t worry, there will be little Gourmet Nibbles to be had and I will make sure you can follow my crumb trail!

The month of January is busy and filled with lots of new things, recipes and adventures ahead! There are some sauces and soups to be made, special national days to celebrate – all of course – featured around FOOD! Then we have to face it and admit it – Valentine’s is right around the corner! Yes! I know! We just finished up the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and YES! We must move on to Valentine’s and do I dare bring up the Easter Bunny?! Well, I sort of have to, because we can’t avoid them! And here they are…!

Just a few to get you started!

Over the course of the next year I also plan to keep up on the latest health and food trends, and so far there are a few similar themes I keep seeing popping up! Tumeric  and other spices seems to be one trend. “Gut-friendly” fermented foods such as sauerkraut has hit the list and then don’t forget about your foods filled with probiotic! And as for gut-friendly foods, we have that and we’ve got you covered!

DSC_0030

There are a few things about coffee I may look into – I keep reading that coffee is good for your liver and there may also be other coffee trends that I am going to try to keep my eye on. Is coffee the key to prevent premature death?I don’t know, but there are reports to claim there may be an association to drinking coffee and longevity by reducing the risk of cancer, stroke, heart and liver disease!

And coffee… that’s in stock as well!

So there’s a lot to look forward to in 2018! And it’s time to get started!

 

 

We’ve Got Ourselves In a Pickle!

DSC_0001In case you were not aware, it’s National Pickle Appreciation Day! There are a vast variety of pickle facts we’d love to share with you! While our favorite brand at Gourmet International is Hengstenberg, you can see the many different brands of pickles, their origin and company all at the Pickle Packers International website, cutely named: ilovepickles.org.

We are sharing the following facts from that website and what better why to start by talking about the origin of “in a pickle” as stated in our title post today! Shakespeare first introduced that phrase in The Tempest. In the play the quote is read, “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle!”

DSC_0059.jpg

Consumption: How many Americans consume pickles within one year? Well, that answer is 2.5 billion pounds which is 20 billion pickles!  Even more random fact from the site: If you want to reach the moon, it would take 4 billion pickles. Do the math and the amount of pickles consumed in one year could get us to the moon and back more than 2 times! How crazy is that?

World War II Ties: During the days of the war, the United States Government tagged 40% of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.

Is it a fruit or a vegetable? The United States Government technically classifies pickles as a “fruit” of the vine – much like a tomato, but most people categorize pickles as a vegetable.

What are the more popular varieties of pickles? Dill is considered the most favored variety of cucumber pickle. Other variations and varieties include Sour/Half Sour and Sweet. Let’s explore these varieties a moment…

  • Dill. Herb dill or dill oil is added to impart a distinctive and refreshing flavor. The different types of dill pickles include:
    • Genuine Dill. These pickles are made by the slow “processed” method. Dill weed is added into the tanks during the last stage of fermentation or to the jar after fermentation. These pickles usually have a higher lactic acid flavor than other varieties.
    • Kosher Dill. True “Kosher” pickles are those that have been manufactured and certified in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, and made with dill and garlic added to the brine. The flavor is very popular, more robust than regular dill pickles, so much so, that the name has stuck and kosher dills are the ultimate accompaniment to an overstuffed deli sandwich.
    • Overnight Dill. Cukes are places fresh into brine (which may include a slight amount of vinegar) for a very short time — one to two days. The entire process takes place under refrigeration, and they stay refrigerated when stored and shipped. They bright green pickles taste like fresh cucumbers accented with dill flavor. They are the kind of pickle you usually find at a deli.
    • Other Dills: Include Polish and German Style.
  • Sour/Half Sour. Fresh cucumbers are first placed into a seasoned brine which doesn’t include vinegar. The containers are then refrigerated, and remain refrigerated when stored and shipped. The longer the cucumbers remain in the brine, the more sour they become. Half-sour pickles are extra crispy and keep their fresh cucumber color.
  • Sweet. Sweet pickles are packed in a sweet mixture of vinegar, sugar and spices. The variations include:
    • Bread & Butter. Sweet, thinly sliced pickles made from cucumbers, onions and chopped green or red peppers. They have a distinct, slightly tangy taste. Available in smooth or waffle cut chips or chunks.
    • Candied. These pickles are packed in an extra-heavily sweetened liquid.
    • No-Salt Sweet. These are a relatively new variety of sweet pickle to which no salt has been added. Usually available as chips.
    • Sweet/Hot. The are a “hot” new kind of pickle. They’re made by adding hot spices and seasonings to pickles for a delightful spark of piquant flavor.

Source: ilovepickles.org

You’re probably learning more about the pickle today than you thought you would! And did you know that pickles are identified as on the favorite vegetables of teens per a consumer study that was conducted for the pickle industry.

 

Now how about you? What’s your favorite type of pickle now that you’ve read through all the varieties? I have to say mine would have to be bread & butter. Nothing like the crunch of a nice crisp, bread & butter pickle! Nibble, nibble!

23231507_2110085992351026_9022145999443527000_n

The Healthy Benefits of Eating Red Cabbage.

Love it or hate it, red cabbage has some awesome health benefits that you should know about. Red cabbage is often used to enhance the flavor of a favorite dish but it has a powerhouse of healthy activity that’s awesome for your body. Red cabbage is commonly found in salads or as a side dish to compliment certain types of meats. Red cabbage is also used for making sauerkraut. Red cabbage has a lot of dietary fiber and is also very low in calories.

DSC_0030

Red cabbage is known for being full of phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Let’s list out some of the essential components:

  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Vitamins
    • A
    • The B’s
    • C
    • E
    • K
  • Dietary Fiber

With having such high levels of antioxidants, red cabbage can be considered to be an important component to help prevent certain cancers.

Antioxidants are substances that can neutralize free radicals, which are the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism. These free radicals are responsible for various serious diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Red cabbage is rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins and indoles. This is actually where the purple color comes from, as some of these phytochemicals normally show in this hue. The rich coloring is proof of just how powerful these vegetables are for your overall health. The indoles in red cabbage have been connected to reducing breast cancer in women in a number of studies. Vitamin A has also been connected with reducing the chances of lung cancer.

Source: Organicfacts.net

So what other ways can red cabbage help your body? It helps support a healthy immune system, it can help treat ulcers, it is great for your skin and your eyes and can aid in weight loss.

In the way the free radicals help prevent cancer that are mentioned above, they can also assist in the anti-aging process. Antioxidants are known to help reduce the signs of wrinkles, and, along with the high levels of vitamin A, all of these help with regrowth of skin cells and keeping elasticity of the skin.

DSC_0014

I was always told to eat my carrots when I was growing up because the beta carotene helps your eyesight. The same is true with red cabbage. Since red cabbage is high in vitamin A, it can assist in preventing cataract formation and macular degeneration as you age.

Drinking red cabbage juice has been a homemade remedy used for years as a way to help reduce inflammation and pain that ulcers can cause within the gastrointestinal system. Glutamine, which is a specific amino acid found in large amounts in red cabbage, is what helps reduce that pain and inflammation. Drink some red cabbage juice up if you’ve been feeling funky in your guts!

But there’s more! Red cabbage has also been found to be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease, helpful to protect against osteoporosis, arthritis, and other types of inflammation (Source: Organicfacts.net).

If you’re looking for a tasty and delicious red cabbage, Hengstenberg has a wonderful red cabbage and red cabbage with apple. Red cabbage can be eaten cold as a salad or you could warm it up for a few minutes and add it as a side dish with just about any meal. Hengstenberg also has a lot of neat recipes on their website – try checking out the Sauerkraut & Red Cabbage Lollipops! There’s even a video there to help you prepare this recipe! The “lollipops” actually look really appetizing!

Hengstenberg red cabbage is considered vegan and is preservative free!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are only a few words of caution with those who may suffer from hypothyroidism, you may want to discuss with your doctor any concerns about eating red cabbage. There is also a recommendation that pregnant women avoid eating red cabbage while pregnant as babies may develop colic if mothers have eating cabbage while pregnant. A lot of the information I shared here today was taken from Organicfacts.net. Check out their website to read more in-depth information about red cabbage. As always, if you have any medical conditions concerning certain foods, it’s best to consult with your physician before consuming. Nibble, nibble!

Cultivated From Fields of Gold.

What is that growing in that field? What is that golden glow in the distance? Why, that’s mustard growing out yonder! I did bring mustard to this WordPress party in early October and we’re bringing it back around. Why? Because mustard is delicious and pairs well with many things! And if you want to, you can keep your own Oktoberfest going with these Hengstenberg gourmet mustard mugs! The fun continues when you are done with the mustard because then you can use the mug for other things!

It was a really blah and somewhat rainy evening in Michigan last night. We decided that it would be a good idea to close down my parents pool, even though the weather was super yuck, it had to be done. I had the bright idea of picking up some bratwurst from a local shop down the road to toss on the grill for dinner. Between adults watching children inside the house and adults out and about milling around a draining pool, bratwurst was grilling and some twice baked potatoes were warming up in the oven. Not much time was given to any other condiments for the bratwurst, but that was okay. Hengstenberg mustard was in the house!

DSC_0002

My mom is one who does not like hot spicy things, but she loves the Hengstenberg Medium Mild Mustard. I am one that likes sweet and tangy, so I’m a big fan of the Hengstenberg Sweet Mustard Bavarian Style. Lucky for us, we had both in the mugs! Since we were busy doing many things and taking care of business in the backyard with the pool, the only thing we really put on our bratwurst was the mustard. Not always do I load up my grilled food with condiments, I can be a plain Jane, and when you just use a really good mustard, sometimes that is just the only thing you need!

DSC_0091.jpg

Mustard goes well by itself with other food as well! Pretzels, pigs in a blanket, sauces, incorporated with salad dressings, meats, cheeses and more! Do you like mustard? What foods would you use mustard for? Are you spicy or sweet or maybe somewhere in between?

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before I wrap up this post, I thought I would share a few mustard facts from MentalFloss.com:

Broccoli is a not-so-distant cousin.

As members of the Brassica or Sinapis genera, mustard plants are close relatives to a surprising variety of common vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, and cabbage.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans used it as more than just a condiment.

Pythagoras endorsed a poultice of mustard seeds as a cure for scorpion stings. Hippocrates praised mustard paste as a miracle remedy capable of soothing pains and aches; and ancient Roman physicians used it to ease toothaches. They weren’t alone. Over the years, mustard has been used for appetite stimulation, sinus clearing, and frostbite prevention. It’s now touted as a weight loss supplement, asthma suppressant, hair growth stimulant, immunity booster, cholesterol regulator, dermatitis treatment, and even as an effective method of warding off gastrointestinal cancer, so ask your doctor if mustard is right for you.

Source: MentalFloss.com

 

The Great Michigan Football Rivalry!

If you live in the state of Michigan, this weekend is the big football rivalry between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan! This weekend’s football game will take place in “The Big House” (Michigan Stadium) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the home of the U of M Wolverines. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. EST.

You’re either a Spartan or a Wolverine, in very few instances you are a house divided and go for both! Either way, this weekend is prime for football watching and along with that – TAILGATING! And if you can’t tailgate at the actual game, you can still have a good time at home with your own party! Today we have some ideas and inspiration for you as you prepare your menu for the big game!

DSC_0276

Today we had some munchies in the office to prepare for our tailgating tomorrow! We had Hengstenberg BBQ Kraut in the house! It is best served warm! It is a unique twist of sauerkraut with a mix of BBQ flavor. Our friends over at GermanDeli.com did a tasting with they had shared with us the following review:

“We tried it together with German Bratwurst, Brötchen and Löwensenf mustard. WOW!! It’s that good. The first time all of our German staff and all of our American staff unanimously loved the same product. No exceptions. It has a definite spicy kick too! Staff are already coming up with serving suggestions.” – GermanDeli.com

DSC_0261

And not only do we have inspiration in the form of food, we have some of our own employees showing off their true colors today! It truly is a warehouse divided here today!

DSC_0285DSC_0288

End Oktoberfest with Pretzels & Mustard!

Today is the last day of Oktoberfest, let us end it on a high note! How about ending it with a gourmet treat? I have the perfect pair for you! Over the weekend, I had the chance to make a box of Kathi German Pretzel Mix. I have to tell you, they taste DELICIOUS with Hengstenberg gourmet mustards! The two flavors of mustard that I had on hand to dip the pretzels with this weekend were Hengstenberg Medium Hot and Sweet Bavarian mustards. These mustards come in super groovy mugs! Perfect for ending Oktoberfest today! Prost!

DSC_0014

I bet you are wondering: Pretzel mix… how hard was it to make those? Truth? SUPER EASY! Especially if you have a mixer that has a dough hook, which I have! They did not take long to prepare, however, you will have to let dough rise, so plan accordingly if you want to make these tasty pretzels!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The main dough needs to rise for about 40 minutes or more, if kept covered and in a warm place, it does its job and rises wonderfully! After the dough has risen and you’ve kneaded the dough a bit to let the air out, you will shape your pretzels onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough in a traditional pretzel, make buns or as we tried with at least some dough, a pretzel stick! Once the pretzels have been shaped, the dough will need to rise for about 20 minutes more, but that’s perfect time for you to preheat your oven. DO keep an eye on them while they are in the oven! The baking time on the package says approximately 20 minutes, depending on altitude and oven temperature. As soon as the pretzels start to brown, don’t leave them in too, long! Pop them out of the oven!

I was given the idea to try this pretzel mix to create “pigs in a blanket”, and that’s just what my husband did with some of the prepared pretzel dough. I had family over for the weekend, and those little piggies were gone as soon as they were ready! They were SO yummy and I happen to love the Hengstenberg Sweet Bavarian Style Mustard dipped with the “pigs in a blanket”. They were a party favorite and tasted soooo good! The kids and adults both enjoyed pretzels and the “pigs in a blanket” equally well! I have a few family members who need to watch their salt intake, so I even prepared some pretzels without adding the salt on top.

Making this Kathi German Pretzel Mix was SUPER easy and super fun! Make any shape you want! They taste awesome and they are even better with the pairing of the Hengstenberg mustards! The pretzels are great tasting warm or cooled. Kids and adults both enjoyed this treat! The pretzel mix was such a hit in this house that my oldest son has asked that I make them again today! These are perfect for any occasion! PERFECT for a tailgate! Speaking of tailgating… stay tuned here this week for more tailgating ideas! Nibble, nibble!