Thank You for the Fun #TravelingSanta!

As promised, we wanted to share our love and fun of #TravelingSanta!

The children will miss #TravelingSanta until next year! Thank you #TravelingSanta for the fun we had this past Christmas holiday season! Farewell, until we meet again!

We hope you enjoy our little video of the adventures we all had together!

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!

 

 

Travelin’ Man.

Well, Christmas is almost here and I have to say some fun has been had leading up to the big day! Between sharing stocking stuffer and gift ideas with you all here, our Riegelein #TravelingSanta, all the way from Germany, has been having some fun of his own on Twitter. He’s been seen all around our lovely Mitten State and he’s taken residence in my home, car and lodging wherever my family goes! He refers to my family as his host family, which really is kind of cute. While he’s fun to travel with, he can be a little difficult at times as he doesn’t care much to be in the sun too long, nor does he like to be near heat.

So as we all prepare to get our final holiday to-do lists complete and shopping done, I thought it would be fun to recap a little bit of what #TravelingSanta has been up to and then maybe share what’s up next for #TravelingSanta.

#TravelingSanta had some reflecting moments in Cadillac, Michigan.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#TravelingSanta got to learn the game of hockey during his stay with us. Although we are NOT a travel team, we still do travel quite a bit. This time he was in Holland, Michigan with us at Griff’s Ice House West.

DO8cr2NWkAAKUf5
#TravelingSanta in Holland, Michigan at Griff’s Ice House West.

#TravelingSanta is having a good time in the car with us, his host family, on the way to St. Ignace, Michigan where yes, again, hockey! This was the Battle at the Bridge hockey tournament.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During Thanksgiving break, #TravelingSanta went for a hike, did some chores around the house and gave some advice to those who needed turkey help.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#TravelingSanta celebrated National Gingerbread Cookie Day.

DPKQWzMWkAETwNf

#TravelingSanta helped us pick out our Christmas tree this year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#TravelingSanta enjoyed our first big snow storm of the season!

DRA2JkJXkAEZYY5

And #TravelingSanta asked me to share some photos of him and our Elf on the Shelf, Buddy. They’ve been talking with each other quite a bit lately. They are good friends and they are keeping very close tabs on my boys, making sure they are behaving!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And last but not least, only seen here, #TravelingSanta wanted me to share these photos of him with some of our many ornaments from our White House Christmas Ornament collection from the White House Historical Association.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So what’s next for #TravelingSanta? I’m not sure yet, I guess we shall just have to wait and see what Christmas holds for all of us! Stay tuned to Twitter and see what happens! So far he’s been a really great guest and he’s kept my kids occupied, however, one child in particular keeps giving him some kind of crazed look… so not sure what that is all about!

DQntf7cWsAAG3t7
#TravelingSanta enjoying some chocolate and cookie samples.

Festive Fun in the Freezer!

Time to get creative and time to add a little fun to the holiday festivities this year! Are you planning a holiday punch or trying out a new cocktail recipe for your adult beverages? Why not add a little fun to your drinks by adding a little splash of flavor and, well, a little shape?

To help me out with this post, a little friend that’s been hanging out from time to time on Instagram, the one and only, #InTheKnowMan, was in my kitchen as my assistant. I think he was also there to make sure I was doing things properly and not goofing off. But uh, I think really it was *he* who was goofing off! In case you aren’t aware, #InTheKnowMan is all the way from the chocolate factory of Riegelein (located in Germany) and is helping Gourmet International out with some holiday tips and advice.

IMG_5511

In the past few years, silicone baking molds have become super popular in kitchens across the globe. They are super easy to use, super easy to clean, and most of all – super easy to pop out the molded items that have been set inside! These silicone molds have been used for cupcakes, brownies, ice cubes, candy – and for myself, I actually use these silicone molds to make homemade soaps! Last Christmas I tried to make little gingerbread soaps – but these guys are pretty small, so I gave up the mold to be used for ice cubes or candies.

Soo… speaking of ice cubes. I had an idea. Helllllloooo Hero Nectars! Why not freeze that nectar in a cute, festive, holiday silicone mold and add it to my favorite beverage? A peach flavored gingerbread man would be great in prosecco or champagne.

And talk about easy to do… just place your silicone mold on a flat surface. I suggest placing it on a cookie sheet so that it will be easier to transfer and place into the freezer. Pour the Hero nectar in a smaller Pyrex measuring cup so it’s easier to pour into the molds. Take care while pouring into the mold cavities, try not to overfill.
Once they are all filled, stick them in the freezer and let them FREEZE!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see below, #InTheKnowMan was more than happy to help me pop the tray into one his favorite places in my kitchen, the freezer!

IMG_5519

*insert a few hours of wait time here*

And finally we can take the tray out of the freezer! The nectar is all shiny and pretty! Check out the frozen little fellas in my glass!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So I don’t have an exact recipe to provide for you, but here are some ideas… you don’t need ice cubes, since you have your nectar cubes. You have the flavor already, packed in those little cubes of fun. Think of your favorite beverages and how you can ratio your cubes of flavor to alcohol and mixer content. This may require some trial and error. And… well, there’s no harm in that, just be safe and responsible. If you are not home and you drove yourself somewhere and are sharing this fun idea, we please ask you to call a cab, Über or find a designated driver to help you home. Please do not drink and drive.

You do not need to have any alcohol added to your beverage at all, you can easily make a fun punch for the kids, yourself, or for those who do not drink. Silicone molds come in all shapes and sizes, and also range in holiday decor, so make your non-alocoholic punch your own! Use smaller molds for ice cubes or use larger molds for larger pieces that you would perhaps normally use as a ring mold for a classic punch. Play around with the molds and the different flavored Hero nectar! If you come up with an awesome recipe, please share with us and we will make sure to share it here and spread the word! ENJOY!

IMG_5529

Spreading Holiday Cheer!

We are so ready for December, and yes, we still have to make it through Thanksgiving, but we are anxious to start spreading the holiday cheer! We’d love to start spreading that holiday cheer by sharing the love of Riegelein chocolate! Our blog travels have sent us to Germany to where Riegelein chocolates are produced. Now we are doing a little fun traveling with one of thier chocolate Santas who came over for a visit before Christmas. Our cute little friend, #TravelingSanta, is all the way from Caldozburg, Germany!

santa

He’s going to be hanging around Michigan and making some travels with my family. He has decided that we will be his host family along the way! I have to tell you, he can be a little difficult to travel around with! He doesn’t like heat, and he’s not a big fan of the sunshine, but we will do what we can to make sure he’s well cared for and gets a wonderful experinece of what Michigan has to offer!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He was seen this past weekend in Cadillac, Michigan. My family was up north for a hockey tournament and he decided to come along. He didn’t see much hockey this weekend, he wasn’t so sure about all the young children walking around with the hockey sticks in their hands. I think he was also afraid he may have gotten hit by a puck. He was out and about exploring what Cadillac had to offer while we were being rink rats. #TravelingSanta was VERY excited to see snow this weekend while we were up north. I told him if he really does like the cold, next time he’s going to have to join me at the ice rink, we definitely froze our little tushies off in there!

#TravelingSanta has somehow taken over some posting on Twitter, who knows where else he may show up. I guess you just have to wait and see what happens before he leaves in late December. He even gave us an exclusive photo below of himself at Lake Cadillac that he hasn’t posted anywhere yet! I have a feeling he will be spotted throughout our other social media channels – he’s a sneaky Santa!

DSC_0027

 

Treats, Not Tricks, Up Our Sleeve!

halloween-975519_1920.jpg

Are you dressing up for the occasion? Are you tricking or are you treating? What are some of your favorite Halloween pastimes or favorite treats? What do I remember from growing up that I loved… let’s see. I used to get dressed up with both of my brothers and we’d stop over at our grandparents house and quick stop in and see them and then we’d head home and trick or treat in our neighborhood. We eventually moved to a very busy street with no real trick or treating adventures to be had, so as we made friends at our new house, we ended up trick or treating in their neighborhoods. I can recall several good Halloween parties growing up and staying out late and bringing home a pillowcase filled with candy! Oh the memories, and ooooh the sore bellyaches I had days after Halloween!

DSC_0027.jpg

Now to this day, my own kids trick or treat in the same general area as my husband I did when we grew up. I can tell you, it’s been either super windy, wet, cold or a combination of all of those elements together each year we take the kids out trick or treating! I think I have more fun dressing up in my usual Gumby costume, which makes the adults have a laugh and the youngsters wondering what the heck I am! And as you continue reading, and browse through the images here – you can see I had waaaaay too much fun playing with candy!

DSC_0013

In an earlier blog post, our Vice President, Monica, stopped off at Riegelein in Cadolzburg, Germany. We were able to view some awesome Christmas displays, as well as, some of their more popular novelty varieties. Since it *is* Halloween, we thought we’d share with you some of their Halloween collection! They are super cute, yet very super spooky at the same time!

DSC_0041

Some of these are solid mini chocolates, some are hollow and some are eyeballs filled with milkcream! They are the perfect size and the perfect treat for any of those ghosts and goblins that may show up at your door! We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween! If you are going out, please be sure to dress appropriately and make sure you are visible to other vehicles and people! Trick or Nibble!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Travels Through and Near Nüremberg.

While I wished I was along to take these photos, the photos throughout this post for today come from Monica, our Vice President at Gourmet International. As our team was traveling to Germany for the Anuga trade show in Cologne, they also happened to stop at the Wicklein Store in Nüremberg and at Riegelein in nearby Cadolzburg.

From one of my earlier posts, we shared that the famous German gingerbread or traditional Lebkuchen, as it is called, made by Wicklein, has arrived to the warehouse for holiday orders. The team stopped into the “Die Lubküchnerei”, the Lebkuchen Bakery. Here, one can enjoy the scent of festive spices and the fresh aroma of coffee with a tasty pastry. If visiting, and you want to learn how to bake Lebkuchen, they offer workshops! How cool is that! You get to learn how to prepare and bake Lebkuchen, take them home with you and more! Check out the website for more information. It is something you would have to plan and book ahead of time, so be sure to sign up in advance!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another stop on their travels in Germany, the team stopped at Riegelein to check out the chocolate shop and watch chocolate makers performing their work at “Chocothek“. Riegelein is known all across Europe and across the globe for its German chocolate products. They make wonderful chocolate figurines for every holiday: Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day – even New Year’s Day – and MORE! Riegelein is a family-owned company, started by baker and confectionery master Hans Riegelein and his wife Gerda back in 1953. The company, in 1998, has now passed down to the reigns to Peter Riegelein, marking the second generation running the traditional family-owned company. I don’t know about you, but looking at all those figures on display in the photos below are making me crave some delectable chocolate!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Growing up, I recall my mom buying Riegelein chocolates during the holidays, most notably, Christmas time. The Christmas figures are what I recall from my youth, being stuffed inside my stocking or maybe mom had (or even still does!) put a little tray of mini Santas or St. Nicholas’ out on Christmas Eve for us to nibble nibble on! And I am quite sure it was a Riegelein Advent Calendar that my brothers and I were always eager to open every day leading up to Christmas! Now, who thinks that next time I should tag along…? Nibble hint, nibble hint!? (Tee hee!)