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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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

 

Homemade Triple Chocolate Ice Cream.

You read that title correctly. Homemade *triple* chocolate ice cream! And I made it! I tried this recipe several years ago when I first received my Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker. I made this recipe the other evening with Ghirardelli Baking Chocolate. DSC_0122Do you think making your own homemade ice cream is difficult? It depends on how you make it and what tools you have on hand. For me, my stand mixer is handy with its ice cream bowl attachment. There is some preparation ahead of time, such as preparing the ice cream base at least 24 hours in advance so that the ice cream base is nice and cold. You also have to make sure your ice cream bowl for the stand mixer is frozen cold, once again, at least 24 hours or more. Once those two things are square, and you’ve prepped the stand mixer to GO, you just turn it on, pour in the mixture and watch ice cream happen!

According to Foodimentary, tomorrow is National Sundae Day, so this recipe comes in some good time to prep some ice cream for Saturday!

Please note that this recipe does require a stand mixer with ice cream bowl attachment. Also take note that below is the actual recipe from Kitchen Aid, the only change from my recipe is that the store was out of unsweetened baking chocolate, but I used bittersweet baking chocolate instead.

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A word of note from someone who has made the base of the ice cream before: If you can plan ahead and try to use large glass measuring cups when heating up the items over the stove, the easier it will be to transfer from bowl to stove, and so on. For example, I used a small sauce pan for heating water and my glass measuring cup – in essence, a double boiler. At the very end of all the preparation, I saved the remaining 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream, vanilla and salt in a large mason jar. When I was done mixing all the components in the middle part of the recipe, I just placed all the remaining liquid in the mason jar and mixed from there. It’s also easy storage in the refrigerator and it will be easier to pour the cold mixture into the frozen ice cream bowl mixer. There is a lot of action going on: heating, reheating, and mixing of heated portions. If you can make your life more simple by preparing in advance to avoid spillage and for ease of transferring portions from bowl(s) to pan(s), it would be worth your while, but not necessary to do. I thought I would share this handy hint as I have found myself spilling liquid portions because of carelessness along the way!

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And I have a little added bonus today for you as well! I took some video of the ice cream bowl attachment in action for you all to see! I will admit, it’s just under two minutes, and it does get a tad boring, but you can see the gradual thickening of the ice cream as it churns away in the ice cream bowl attachment.

As this wonderful gourmet journey continues, I hope to continue on with more videos and fun stuff!

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But back to the ice cream… we had the ice cream bowl attachment going for about 15-20 minutes and then scooped the ice cream in a glass container and put it in the freezer overnight. My boys were able to have a small scoop from the ice cream maker itself, but it seems to need an extra blast of freeze in the actual freezer. The flavor and smooth texture of the ice cream is so yummy!

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 2 squares (1 oz. [30 g] each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 2 squares (1 oz. [30 g] each) unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 bars  milk chocolate chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions:

  1. In small saucepan, place 1/2 cup whipping cream, semi-sweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat over medium-low heat until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine sugar and cocoa powder. Set aside. Place egg yolks in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and gradually add sugar mixture; mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened. Continuing on Speed 2, very gradually add chocolate mixture and half-and-half; mix until well blended.
  3. Return half-and-half mixture to medium saucepan; stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy. Do not boil. Transfer half-and-half mixture into large bowl; stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
  4. Assemble and engage freeze bowl, dasher, and drive assembly as directed in attachment instructions. Turn to STIR (Speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on STIR (Speed 1) for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired consistency, adding milk chocolate during last 1 to 2 minutes of freeze time. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container.

This recipe makes approximately 16 servings.

Check out some of the photos of the process of preparation!

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And the Winner *IS*…

Well… the day has finally arrived! It is the official Gourmet International Chili Cookoff Day! Who’s chili will win the top prizes? You’re just going to have to stay here, continue reading, maybe grab yourself a bowl of chili and read on!

The ONLY rule for today’s Chili Cookoff was this: All chefs and chefettes HAD to use Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes. Contestants were given three cans and could use as many of the three cans that their recipe required! Today’s prizes range from gift cards to a t-shirt! Some recipes have your basic ground beef while another recipe has venison! Some chili was spicy and others sweet, some with potatoes and some made with chicken!

We have to say… when we first started this idea of the chili cookoff, we only had maybe 5 or 6 people signing up. We realized the word didn’t get out to everyone and before you know it we had a total of 17 people with chili entries! When I arrived today I got word we were up to 18 total entries! That’s a lot of chili! As you can see from the photos from today, there was enough food to go around and then some! Not only did we have tons of chili to taste test, but we also had some sweet treats to munch on after all the hard taste testing work!

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Speaking of desserts, our own Linda had made two apple pies. As you can see from the photos below, they were totally gone by the end of the lunch bunch rush!

It was really great to see all the employees together hanging out and tasting the chili! It was really fun to listen to everyone talk about which chili was their favorite and give others pointers on which crock pots they should try next! I think we all kept mumbling, “Oh my gosh, there are 18 different pots of chili!” I know I did! I kept saying, “There’s SOOOO much chili!!” Chili for days!

So after much taste testing and hemming and hawing… ballots were cast and we have some winners!

 

We are proud to announce our winners! Our *First Place winner is Marcos* and our *Second Place winner is Maureen*! Congratulations to you both! They each received gift cards – Marcos a gift card to Ucello’s Restaurant, Maureen a gift card to Craig’s Cruisers! Congratulations to you both! Enjoy! There was a third place winner… that would be Yours Truly, Your Gourmet Nibbler! I got the t-shirt!

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We want to say THANK YOU to all our Chefs and Chefettes in the actual making of the chili and also a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped pull this event together! What a fun way to spend a rainy October day at Gourmet International! Some of us may be expanding at the waist line after today’s event, but what a great afternoon to spend with each other! Nibble, Nibble!

Who Wants Meatballs?

Who doesn’t love meatballs? I cooked up this recipe last night to share with you – and it’s not your average recipe! And not your average ingredients! I used Hela Curry Spice Ketchup (Original) to flavor up the meatballs from a recipe that they had posted on their website. I have to say, I was a little nervous pulling this meal together, but I am so glad I did and so glad I tried something different! And you know what, it’s pretty darn good! I would definitely make this dish again and I’d save it in my recipe box! It is a really easy meal to pull together, if you have someone help you out in the kitchen, like I did, the meal comes together quite quickly.

The prep for this wasn’t too terrible, and since the website from Hela lists the ingredient measurements in metric, I am loosely converting what I used to pull this meal together! Feel free to look at the original recipe here on the Hela website if you’d like to convert your own measurements! And in some instances, there wasn’t any type of measurement provided, so I ad-libbed!

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Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (roughly!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (roughly?)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (eyeball it..I pretty much did with the peppermill!)
  • 1 large onion (original recipe calls for 2)
  • 1 medium-sized apple
  •  1 3/4 cup (14 ounces) Hela Curry Spice Ketchup Original (just shy of one whole bottle)
  • 1/2 cup cream

Directions:

  1. Mix meat with egg and spices, form little balls and fry in a pan.
  2. Chop the onion(s) and the apple, fry in another pan.
  3. Mix Hela Curry Spice Ketchup Original with cream, add meatballs and fried apple and onions
  4. Heat for five to ten minutes.

Goes well with rice.

 

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What type of apple did I use? Well, to mix up my flavors, today I chose a Red Delicious apple. It turned out great! The recipe says it serves four people, which I could guess to be close. I have left overs and I am hoping that they gel together over night and taste delicious for me later when I need to eat! ENJOY! Nibble, nibble!