A Festive Side Dish! Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

20 days till Christmas! Around here, our holiday preparations include going down the Pinterest rabbit hole while looking for pretty crafts, listening to All I Want For Christmas on a loop, and searching for fab outfits to wear throughout the party season. But, most importantly, Christmas is all about FOOD for us. Great dishes, gourmet ingredients, and impeccable presentation, perfectly exemplified in our featured recipe today, Bacon Wrapped Green Beans by Ashley of The Pike Place Kitchen.

 Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

A mouthwatering Christmas side dish! Bacon Wrapped Green Beans. Ph: Samantha at The Pike Place Kitchen.

If the picture above didn’t get your mouth watering, you’re stronger than we are. We weren’t able to resist the perfect combination of ingredients: tender and nutritious green beans, wrapped in BACON -crispy, buttery, mouthwatering bacon. We’re pretty much obsessed with bacon around here (so is Samantha, her hysterically funny blog post reads like an ode to the crispy ham). It was unanimous around our office: Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are the perfect side for a Christmas dinner.

The presentation is genius, much more modern and elegant than, say, a green bean casserole. The crispy green beans are offset by the silkiness of the bacon oils. Size-wise, it gives you a taste without overwhelming the plate or the palate, or the main dish. Plus, can we talk about how pretty it looks? The festive green beans are perfectly bundled up with the deep rose bacon. It just add such a lovely note to a dish, without trying to hard to be “Christmas-y”.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

Pretty in (bacon) pink: green beans bundled up in crispy bacon. Ph: Samantha at The Pike Place Kitchen.

If you want to up the ante (and you know you do!), you can use Pancetta or Tamworth CuredBacon. The latter is cured with sea salt, Rosemary and black pepper.  Samantha chose garlic salt to season them, but we think a great sea salt would give it a glamorous touch (try Maldon Sea Salt from England, included in the New York Times 2013 Holiday Gift Guide).


Green beans are available year-round, but sometimes can be hard to find fresh. If you’re using fresh green beans, don’t buy the whole package, buy them loose so you can make sure to pick out good ones – firm, crisp, and bright green. Avoid anything that looks droopy or brownish.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

Festive greens: It all starts with perfectly crisp, bright green beans. Ph: Samantha at The Pike Place Kitchen.

Now let’s get cooking! Samantha was super generous to share her recipe with us. For more great recipes and laugh-out-loud ramblings, make sure to visit her blog at The Pike Place Kitchen.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

 Bacon Wrapped Green   Beans


  • 1/2 lb Green Beans
  • Cracked Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Minced Onion Pieces
  • 3 Slices of Bacon (cut in half)
  • Olive Oil Spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray olive oil onto a baking sheet.
  2. Trim the green beans and blanch for three minutes. After blanching, dry the beans on a paper towel. (To blanch: submerge the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water, and submerge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.)
  3. Divide the green beans into 6 even piles. Wrap each pile in a half-slice of bacon.
  4. Place each bundle, seam side down, on the baking sheet and lightly spray tops with olive oil. Season the tops with garlic salt, minced onion pieces, and cracked black pepper.
  5. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, and serve.

Thanksgiving Dessert: Easy As Pecan Pie Recipe

Pie Perfect: Pecan Pie For Thanksgiving Dessert

Pie Perfect: Pecan Pie For Thanksgiving Dessert. Photos (left to right): Angela at Unexpected Elegance, Gourmet Food World.

When you talk about Thanksgiving dessert, the first thing that comes to mind is pie. Pumpkin pie, of course, and apple pie, sure. We’re a bit pumpkin-ed out after Halloween, and apple pie seems a bit, well, boring! But a crunchy, sweet and meaty pecan pie recipe, now that’s something that gets our culinary gears churning. This Southern classic is always delicious, but we were astounded to find out that pecans are also really nutritious! Read on!

Delicious anyway you slice it! Pecan Pie.

Delicious anyway you slice it! Pecan Pie by Angela . Photo by: Angela at Unexpected Elegance

Pecans are yummy, yes, but they’re also heart healthy, rich in Omega 6 fatty acids and a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Studies even show that eating pecans may delay age-related muscle degeneration. So this Thanksgiving you can have your pecan pie and eat it.  Your heart will also be thankful.

Pecan Pie Recipe Tips & Trips

  • For choosing pecans with shells: look for clean shells with no blemishes or cracks
  • If you shake it and it rattles, then roll. It shouldn’t rattle!
  • Pecans have more moisture and spoil more easily, so double-bag any leftover and store in the fridge (3 months) or freezer (6 months)
  • For toasted pecans, bake in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Make ahead: bake your pecan pie fully and freeze, up to a week. Then thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to serve
  • Pretty as pecan pie: decorate the crust by marking the edge with a fork using a crosshatch pattern

Want to give pecan pie a try? To help you out, we’re sharing a delicious (and easy!) Pecan Pie recipe by Angela of Unexpected Elegance. For this Texas native, raised amongst pecan trees, Pecan Pie is as American (if not more!) than apple pie. Her recipe (below), is delicious and easy to follow, which leaves you with more time to spend with your family. Visit Angela’s blog for her full Pecan Pie post, plus more recipes, fun diy home projects and crafty lifestyle tricks. Thanks Angela!

Easy as pecan pie recipe

A generous amount of meaty chopped pecans is the secret to equally delicious slices. Photo by: Angela at Unexpected Elegance.

Thanksgiving Dessert: Easy As Pecan Pie Recipe

Thanksgiving Dessert: Easy As Pecan Pie   Recipe


  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Light Karo
  • Chopped Pecans
  • pie crust (pre-made works just fine) or try Martha Stewart's Basic Pie Dough Recipe


  1. Form the crust into the pie dish
  2. Fill the bottom with chopped pecans. You can have as much or as little as you would like.
  3. Melt butter and whisk in the remaining ingredients: sugar, vanilla, Light Karo, eggs.
  4. Pour the liquid over the pecans, and the pecans will slowly rise to the surface.
  5. Use some foil or crust cover around the edges of the crust during most of the baking so the crust doesn’t get too brown.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for around 45 minutes.
  7. Notes
  8. A lot of pecan pie recipes call for the dark syrup, but make sure to get the light for this one!!

Halloween Pie Recipe: Spooky Spiderweb Pie

Halloween pie recipe: Easy Spiderweb Pie!

Halloween pie recipe: Easy Spiderweb Pie! Photo by: Easy Providence @ www.easyprovidence.com

Are you ready for Halloween?? Not really? We can relate. We’re usually so frazzled and hectic that by the time Halloween eve finally rolls by, we have to fashion the old “bed-sheet-as-toga” costume (and even then we can’t seem to find enough safety pins to keep the darn thing together!).

The code for this Halloween pie recipe is “spookily simple”. Really, it doesn’t even involve a recipe!

Pie + Whipped Cream + Chocolate Sauce = Halloween pie!

Cover your favorite pie (from your kitchen or from the store) with a healthy (and yummy) amount of whipped cream, and then create circles with chocolate sauce. A toothpick or spoon is all you need to turn the chocolate sauce into a fun spiderweb pattern! Add a few novelty spiders (or, try edible ones if you can find them!), and your easy-as-pie Halloween dessert is DONE. Whip this baby up, and you’ll have plenty of time to scavenge for safety pins!

Wishing you a ghoulishly good Halloween!

Halloween Pie Recipe: Spooky Spiderweb Pie

Halloween Pie Recipe: Spooky Spiderweb Pie


  • Your favorite pie (made or bought)
  • whipped cream
  • chocolate sauce
  • toothpick
  • novelty plastic spiders (or edible ones, if you can find them!)


  1. 1. Get a pie. If you don’t want to make one, buy one.
  2. 2. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the top of your pie.
  3. 3. Take the chocolate sauce and make a circle pattern in your pie (like the one shown in the picture)
  4. 4. Take a toothpick or the back end of a spoon, and starting at the circle in the middle drag through all three lines until you reach the edge.
  5. 5. Repeat this until you’ve made dragged lines through your entire pie, a little bit apart.
  6. 6. Garnish with scary plastic spiders!

Tartalicious Recipes! Sweet And Savory Mini Tart Shell Options

Entertaining a crowd is a breeze when you have a culinary trick or two up your sleeve. Or, in this case, a box full of them! One of our favorite items to have in the freezer are pre-made French pastry and tart shells. Not that we don’t appreciate a great handmade pastry dough, but it can be a bit messy and time-consuming to prepare it every single time, especially if you have guests coming and a flour explosion in the kitchen is not on the agenda.

Sweet (or Savory) Little Savers! Pre-made pastry tart shells.

Sweet (or Savory) Little Savers! Pre-made pastry tart shells. Photo: GourmetFoodWorld.com

Pretty in Pastry: The Beauty Of Pre-Made Tart Shells

We love the versatility of tarts shells, how they can be a great savory appetizer, a delicious lunch, or a sweet treat for dessert or with tea. Because we stock a really great variety of ready-made gourmet pastry and tart shells (we’ve done half the work for you, you’re welcome!), we thought we’d give you some delicious filling options to try out this weekend!

SHOP Pre-Made Pastry and Tart Shells >

So Cute You Could Eat Them Up…(and should!): Mini Raspberry & Chocolate Tarts

Our sweet selection comes from Naomi Robinson Bakersroyale.com. Guys, she made a NO BAKE dessert. We love her, just because of that! She started with pre-made tart shells, added chocolate, followed with a yummy layer of pureed raspberries, and topped it all off with decadent raspberry mousse. If you’re not drooling by now, take a look at the picture below. A touch of cassis liqueur make these utter perfection!

Mini Raspberry Tarts Recipe >

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells.

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells. Photo by: Naomi at BakersRoyale.com.

Deliciously Good (and good for you!): Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts

For our savory tart, we sifted through a lot of heavy, cream-filled options, but we fell in love with this super healthy recipe from TalesofaKitchen.com. As great believers of a healthy approach to gourmet eating, we loved the mixture of gourmet ingredients in a good-for-you recipe. Chris made her own tart crust (which is vegan, by the way!), but we loved the idea that you could also just whip up the pesto and avocado filling and put it in pre-made savory tart shells.  You can serve these at any cocktail party, but feel good about yourself (and your diet) the next morning!

Pesto and Avocado Fresh Mini Tarts Recipe >

Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts: Pretty (good for you)!

Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts: Pretty (good for you)! Photo by: Chris, TalesofaKitchen.com.

Make sure you check out our contributors’ blogs for more of their great recipes and cooking tips! A big thank you to Chris from www.TalesofaKitchen.com and Naomi of www.BakersRoyale.com for sharing their amazing recipes with us!

Ode To Truffle Oil: 5 Reasons We Love It, Plus A Fabulous Recipe

Every May, the rain stops, the flowers bloom, and, around the country, moms gets ready to relax.  This is the one day of the year where the mop and dust pans are left in the closet and the alarm is shut off … Yes, this Sunday the 13th of May is Mother’s Day!

Time to tie on that apron, and get the eggs cracking, because this year we’re making Mom gourmet French Toast for a delicious breakfast in bed. Breakfast is probably the most rushed, hectic moment of the day for mom; she runs around making sure everyone is up and dressed, the coffee brewed, the toast/cereal/pancakes served, lunches packed… exhausting! This Mother’s Day, SHE rests, and YOU get to work. We searched high and low to bring you the best, most delicious French Toast recipes to make Mom for Mother’s Day 2013!

We selected two mouth-watering options to choose from: first, a perfect traditional French Toast with a twist for homey moms, and second, a more intricate recipe for more adventurous foodie moms. Either way, she’s guarantee to love it (especially since she didn’t have to make it)!

For… the traditional gourmet mom

Overnight French Toast Casserole Topped with Bananas Fosters by Gina’s Skinny Recipes

This recipe won us over from the word “bananas”, but there were several other reasons why it was a winner. One very practical one? You can make this ahead, and the casserole format suits a larger family. Gina soaks the bread for eight hours in a mixture of eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and rum (yum!), then bakes it to puffed golden, spongy perfection and tops it with bananas that she expertly caramelizes in light butter, rum, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. If you’re afraid of packing on the pounds, don’t! The clincher is that that Gina’s recipes are all Weight-Watchers © friendly, so she lists all the calories and points information, so mom (and you) can enjoy it guilt-free.

View Full Recipe here

French Toast Casserole Topped with Bananas Fosters

Bananas Fosters Topped Overnight French Toast by Skinnytaste.com

Want to try this recipe? We can help with your shopping!

Vanilla Beans and Extract > Cinnamon (ground) > White Sugar > Gourmet Salt > Brown sugar >

For…the adventurous foodie mom

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries by Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen

We just about died when we found this recipe by the Mississippi Kitchen blog run by the extraordinary Lorie Roach. This is no regular French toast, no sir! It pretty much combines just about everything we love so much about a dish: an unfussy dish made with top of the line gourmet ingredients and tons of culinary creativity.  The “toast” is actually pound cake dipped in the traditional French toast “batter” of eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk, then heated until golden brown. She then proceeds to continue blowing our minds by whipping a delicious goat cheese mousse, where the tangy flavors and creamy texture pair perfectly with the sweet balsamic strawberries topping she roasts in a sauce of aged aceto balsamico and sugar. Extra serving idea by Lorie: put the ingredients in a mason jar for an alternate cute presentation.

View Full Recipe here

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries by Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen

Want to try this recipe? We can help with your shopping!

Vanilla Beans and Extract > Cinnamon (ground) >Powdered Sugar > Fresh Goat Cheese Log > Aged Balsamic Vinegar >

All that’s left is a wonderful flower bouquet, a heart-felt card, and lots of hugs and kisses for Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Ode To Truffle Oil: 5 Reasons We Love It, Plus A Fabulous Recipe

Some culinary ingredients have the ability to pack amazingly complex, sophisticated flavor with just the lightest of touches. This is an homage to our beloved, dish-enhacing, culinary savior: truffle oil!

A study in delicious contrast:  black truffle oil and white truffle oil.

A study in delicious contrast: black truffle oil and white truffle oil.

If you’re reading this blog, you most likely need no introduction to the world of truffles.  However, a bit of a refresher: truffles are mushrooms that grow under the soil by oak (and other) trees, harvested by super-smelling


every winter in Italy and France.

Waiting for the real deal? Fresh truffle season will start soon! Sign up for the Fresh Truffle Notice while you wait

Waiting for the real deal? Fresh truffle season will start soon! Sign up for the Fresh Truffle Notice while you wait

The two main species of truffles are white and black, each with their own distinct and delicious flavor profile. Because truffles cannot be “planted”, but grow as and where they wish, they’re highly coveted, hard to find, and can be extremely pricey.  Which leads us to…

Top 5 Reasons Why We Love Truffle Oil!

1. It’s Wallet Friendly

Truffle oils are usually a combination of high-quality extra virgin olive with either truffle extract or aroma. This translates into a lot of truffle flavor and aroma, at a highly discounted price.

2. A Little Goes A Long Way

Think of truffle oil as the spritz of perfume you put on as you leave the house. Just a few drops of truffle oil concentrate, or the lightest drizzle of truffle oil over a salad, omelet or pasta dish is enough to transform a dish from drab to fab. Which leads us to reason number 3…

3. It’s Simple In Its Complexity

Truffle oil is not a complicated ingredient; it’s actually one of the easiest things you can use in the kitchen! You add it to the finishing of a dish, so there’s no cooking or even preparation involved. Just uncap the bottle, drizzle and done! But don’t be misled, the flavor and smell it imparts to the dish is heady, complex, earthy and superbly aromatic, anything BUT simple!

4. It’s Oh-So Versatile

Some ingredients and seasonings gather dust in our shelves, used only for rare-occasion recipes. Truffle oil, on the other hand, you can use on almost anything! Really, if you love the taste of truffles, oil is a great conduit to add flavor to your dishes. One easy rule to remember is that it goes great with white foods: pasta, rice, eggs and potatoes. Of course, truffle oil is also fabulous with salads, meats,


and stews, so never mind the rules! Do try: drizzling it on mashed potatoes, omelets and a plate of pasta with grated Parmigiano Romano cheese.

5. It’s Culinary Inspiration!

Truffle oil might be simple to use, but it inspires amazing recipes. Our search for the ultimate truffle oil recipe led us to the Land Down Under, Sydney, Australia. Our featured recipe this week is by Aussie blogger, Phoodie, of Phoodie.com.au. Her Spaghetti with Truffle Oil , Parmesan and Egg recipe was an instant winner with us. All the ingredients are perfect to translate and transport the flavor of the truffle oil, from the al-dente pasta, to the creamy cheese, and the perfectly-cooked sunny-side-up egg.  The presentation is sophisticated, the flavor divine, and the dish, in one  word, brilliant! We give you Phoodie’s full recipe below, and make sure to visit her website www.phoodie.com.au for other great recipes and culinary ideas.

Ode To Truffle Oil: 5 Reasons We Love It, Plus A Fabulous Recipe

Ode To Truffle Oil: 5 Reasons We Love It, Plus A Fabulous Recipe


  • 12 oz spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 and a half cups grated parmesan (I used shaved as that’s what I had but grated is ideal)
  • Topping per dish: 1 teaspoon butter, 1 egg, 1/4 cup grated/shaved parmesan


  1. Cook your spaghetti, add butter, oil ,salt, pepper and parmesan and mix. Place the lid on top to keep it hot.
  2. Heat a teaspoon of butter on medium and when heated, add egg, ensuring to keep yolk in tact.
  3. AS SOON as edges of egg start to go crispy (they should not turn brown, it’s the second BEFORE they turn brown) take it off, place it straight on top of a bowl of pasta.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and place the additional parmesan on top.
  5. Serve immediately, ensuring to toss the egg through the pasta so that the pasta’s residual heat cooks the yolk somewhat.

A Fresh Summer Meal: Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

Plump tomatoes, buttery crust and creamy goat cheese? Yes, please! Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese. Photo credit: Laura Bolton for Fork Knife Swoon, http://www.forkknifeswoon.com.

We’re all about fast, delicious summer dishes this month at Gourmet Food World, so to continue on that trend, this week we’re featuring a great recipe that combines fresh flavors with delicious ingredients, and that essential touch of sophistication that all our gourmet customers look for. This week: Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart, by Fork Knife Swoon.

Savory tarts, or quiches, as they’re also widely known, are probably one of the most versatile dishes you can turn out. First off, they’re light, but you can pack them heavy with veggies, so you get a nice, healthy serving of greens. A tart can work perfectly for brunch, lunch – we love it paired with a baby green salad – and can also serve as a nice appetizer for dinner. It’s even a great light summer dinner option when paired with a more consistent side dish, like quinoa or couscous.

Creamy and tangy goat cheese

Creamy & tangy goat cheese. Photo: GourmetFoodWorld.com

This Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese tart recipe is a perfect example of a classic savory tart.  It masterfully combines the freshness of tomatoes with the sweetness of a perfectly caramelized onion,  but the truly outstanding ingredient here is the goat cheese – tangy, yet superbly creamy and indulgent, with its winning tanginess. All of these perfectly-cooked ingredients are contained in a flaky pastry shell, the perfect buttery vessel to contain all these flavors.  The result is pretty and colorful, making it a beautiful dish to serve to guests.

Pair this mouthwatering tart with a chilled glass of your favorite crisp white wine, and toast to Laura from Fork Knife Swoon, who was kind enough to share her fabulous recipe with us.  Visit her blog at http://www.forkknifeswoon.com, where you’ll find delicious recipes for the home cook, with a focus on seasonal produce and whole foods.

Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart


  • 1/2 recipe paté brisée
  • 6-8 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Preheat an oven to 425º F.
  2. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8″ thick. Using a saucer as a guide, cut out four 6″ circles of dough. Place each one over a 5″ tart pan, and gently use your fingers or a dry pastry brush to smooth the dough into the pan. Using a knife, trim the dough so that it is flush with the edge of the pan. Place tarts on a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Peel the onion and slice it into thin rings. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the onions become golden.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes cross-wise into thin rings, about 1/8″ thick.
  5. Remove the tart shells from the refrigerator. Crumble 1 oz of the goat cheese into the bottom of each tart in an even layer.
  6. Add 1/4 of the onions to each tart. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circular pattern, with one slice in the middle. Top with 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake until the tarts begin to bubble and the crusts are golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Products from this post:

Goat Cheese >
Tart  Shells >
Olive oil >
Kosher salt >

Jerk Spices & Fabulous Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts

Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nut Mix

Cocktail perfect! Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nut Mix, by Sue Moran of Theviewfromthegreatisland.blogspot.com

This blistering city summer gets us hankering for warm breezes in our hair, soft sand between our toes, and delicious regional cuisines. Instead of concentrating on work, we found ourselves fantasizing about an island vacation…somewhere divine, like the gorgeous beaches of Jamaica. And, because we are also constantly thinking about food, the next natural thought after Jamaica was, “oh, Jerk spices, yummy!”

Unfortunately, there was nary a Jamaican beach nor restaurant in the horizon for us, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t bring a taste of it to our tiny apartment. So, the challenge arose, how to get the warm heat of Jerk spices into a dish suitable for summer? Something with heat, but also heat-friendly.

Enter the AMAZING Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts, by blogger/chef extraordinaire Sue Moran from “The View From Great Island”!

This recipe works on so many levels, it’s amazing. Perfect as a poolside snack with a chilled soda, or for summer cocktails at sunset, these jerk spiced nuts give us a bold taste of the Islands and take old boring cocktail nut mixes to the next level.  And her personal twist to the traditional jerk spices of adding a bit of brown sugar to offset the heat, and lemon for contrasting tang? Culinary genius!

Heaven! And definitely tropical and exotic!

All the ingredients for a fabulous jerk spices mix.

Spice set-up: all the ingredients for a fabulous jerk spice mix. Photo by: Sue Moran, www.theviewfromthegreatisland.blogspot.com.

Jerk Spices & Fabulous Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts - Sue Moran

Jerk Spices & Fabulous Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts - Sue Moran


  • Nuts
  • 5 cups mixed raw nuts (Sue used walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamias, cashews, hazelnuts and almonds)
  • Jerk Spices
  • 3 Tbsps. coconut oil (Sue used virgin oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. ground dried red peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsps. smoked sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder


  1. Put the nuts in a large skillet and roast them for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir them often, and shake the pan gently. After about 10 minutes you should start to see a hint of color on the nuts. You will hear the crackle of skins crisping, and begin to smell the aroma. Continue roasting for another 5 minutes, being extra careful not to let them burn. Don’t walk away; nuts can burn in an instant.
  2. Gently transfer the nuts onto a baking sheet.
  3. In the same pan, add the oil, sugar and lemon juice. Heat until sizzling, and all the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the nuts and the rest of the spices back into the pan and continue to roast for a few more minutes, stirring to combine everything.
  5. When the nuts have absorbed all the liquids, transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet and spread them out to cool.
  6. After they have cooled you can store them in an airtight container.
  7. Just before serving, heat the nuts on a dry baking sheet at 300 for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Jamaican Jerk Spiced NutsClose-up on the finished product: Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts, by Sue Moran of Theviewfromthegreatisland.blospot.com

We are eternally grateful to have found this recipe for, THANK YOU, Sue, for letting us share it with our readers! For more fabulous recipes by Sue, along with gorgeous and instructive pictures, go to her blog at www.theviewfromthegreatisland.blogspot.com. To view her original recipe click here.

Products from this post:
Jamaican Jerk Spice >
Allspice >
Ginger powder >
Ground Cloves >
Saigon Cinnamon, ground >
Garlic Powder >
Smoked Sea Salt >
Brown sugar >
Macadamia nuts >
Almonds >
Walnuts >
Pecans >
Hazelnuts >
Pistachios >
Cashews >
Peanuts >

Summer Moments: Perfect Summer Cocktails!

bouleymartini22 Fiesta Margarita22

Left: The Bouley Apple Martini, photo compliments of Bouley Restaurant. Right: The Fiesta Fatale Margarita, compliment of Patricia Richards.

Late in the day, right after the sun has set, comes the most magical hour of summertime: twilight. That perfect time of day when the temperature has cooled, crickets start chirping, fireflies twinkling, and the day winds down. It’s the perfect time to sit on the porch while sipping a cocktail, watching another summer day come to an end. This special summer moment got us (of course!) thinking about cocktails, and inspired us to bring you two refreshing summer-evening cocktail recipes. They both use refreshing fresh fruit purees, and have been designed by two of the top restaurants in the country.

apple decor

Photo: apple décor at The Bouley Restaurant in NYC, photo by Michael T.

THE BOULEY APPLE MARTINI: Fresh Sophistication

Where to find it: The Bouley Restaurant, NYC, NY

Apples. That’s the first thing that comes to mind once you enter the famous Bouley Restaurant in Tribeca. This modern French eatery by four-star chef David Bouley is all about classic romance, with silver candelabra, vaulted ceilings and sumptuous velvet chairs, but it also has one very distinct, signature décor item: apples. Lined up in wooden shelves at the entrance of the restaurant, fresh, juicy apples welcome you, scenting the air and preparing your senses for the gastronomic adventure to come.

With that inspiration in mind, Bouley serves up a famous (and delicious!) signature drink: the Bouley Apple Martini. This electric green cocktail is the perfect beverage for summer, with fresh apple notes and a touch of sweetness. It’s made using apple fruit puree, giving it a distinct fresh touch.  Not travelling to NYC anytime soon? No worries! They were nice to enough to share the recipe with us, so that you can enjoy your very own Bouley Apple Martini at home, while listening to the cicadas sing on a hot summer night! 


2 oz. Ravifruit Apple puree
2 oz. Apple Vodka
½ oz. Pommeau de Normandie
Apple chip

Fiesta Fatale MARGARITA: Exotic summertime heat

Where to find it: Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas

Las Vegas is all about excess, luxury and indulgence, and the food and drink at the Encore Wynn Hotel is no exception. The drink design at the Las Vegas Wynn properties (all 25 of them!) is helmed by Patricia Richards, master mixologist and drink crafter extraordinaire. With over 20 years in the business of mixing delicious drinks, Patricia is not only at the top of her field, but is also a pioneer for women in the industry.

She describes her tequila-based “Fiesta Fatale Margarita, as a cocktail with “a hint of spice with bright citrus notes and subtle savory notes from the fresh basil. It blends the intensity of the tequila with the sweetness of the agave nectar and Passionfruit fruit puree. The spicy twist is compliments of the Creole Shrubb Liqueur, a blend of white and aged Agricole Rhums macerated with Creole spices and bitter orange peels. Finally, some fresh sour notes of lemon and limejuice. Fresh, spicy and exotic, every sip of Fiesta Fatale brings on the heat and evokes sultry, sweaty nights in the Mexican Caribbean!

Fiesta Fatale Margarita

1 ½ oz. Milagro Anejo Tequila
¾ oz. Clement Creole Shrubb Liqueur
¼ oz. Ravi Fruit Frozen, Sweetened, Passion Fruit Puree
5/8 oz. Milagro Light Agave Nectar
5/8 oz. Freshly Squeezed & Strained Lemon Juice
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed & Strained Lime Juice
3 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 good pinch of Kosher Salt

Freshly squeeze & strain lemon juice and then combine it with equal parts of Milagro Light Agave nectar to make an agave sour mix. Set aside. In a mixing glass, muddle basil leaves with freshly squeezed limejuice. Add the remaining ingredients listed, including the agave sour that you just made (1.25 oz.). Shake well with ice to chill and strain over fresh ice into a tumbler glass. As garnish, top with a small basil top and several dried Chile threads.

Want to try your hand at more summer cocktails? Just use any fruit puree in the flavor that like the best, combine it with your favorite spirit like vodka, gin or tequila, lots of ice, and concoct refreshing drinks sure to beat the heat!

Products from this post:

Green Apple Puree >
Passion Fruit Puree >
Pomegranate Puree >
Lychee Puree >

Happy Birthday, Oreo! Our favorite Oreo recipes list

Oreo cookies turn 101 years old on March 6th, and we thought to honor this most delicious treat by giving you some fun facts about these extremely popular cookies, along with our favorite Oreo recipes!

oreo cake recipe

Photo credit: TheKitchn

What’s in a Name?

The name “Oreo” is a household name, but what does it really mean? Well, nobody really knows! It seems that the origin of the name has been lost over time, and today we can only guess where it came from. Some think it comes from the Greek, where the word “oreo” means beautiful, and others claim it comes from the French word “or”, which means gold (the original packages were gold). One thing’s for sure, whatever Oreo means, it must be synonymous with “delicious”!

International Flair

We all know and love the chocolate-and-cream flavor of Oreos, but a lot of countries have taken the original flavor and adapted it to the local palate. Argentina, for example, has a Dulce de Leche Oreo that comes with caramel filling; Canada has a Strawberry Milkshake Oreo with strawberry flavor; Japan and China have a Green Tea Oreo; Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia have a Blueberry Ice Cream Oreos and Orange Ice Cream Oreos! And that’s just a few of Oreo Cookies international offerings.


Although the traditional shape of the Oreo is round, there have been some variations throughout the years. In 1976 Nabisco introduced Football Oreos, in the shape of, you guessed it, an American football. There’s also Oreo Fudge Rings, Oreo WaferStix, Oreo Sippers (in the shape of “straws”), Oreo Fudge Cremes, and many other variations!

Twist and Dunk

During the Super Bowl blackout of February 3, 2013, Oreo’s official Twitter account tweeted, “power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark”. That tweet was re-tweeted almost 15,000 times!

And finally, here’s our favorite Oreo Recipes

Chocolate Oreo Mousse


  • 1 dozen Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 5 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 14 ounces cold heavy cream
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1oz sugar


  1. Melt chocolate in a large bowl on a double boiler or bain-marie, on very low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and let cool until almost room temperature.
  2. 2. Beat the cream to soft peaks. Leave at room temperature. Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until you get soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar as you continue to whip. Whip until firm.
  3. 3. Whisk the egg white mix into the chocolate, and whisk until completely incorporated, then slowly fold the whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until set (1 hour approx.).
  4. 4. Add a layer of crushed Oreos to an old-fashioned goblet or tumbler glass, and then add a thicker layer of chocolate mousse. Top with another layer of crushed Oreos. You can garnish with whipped cream or chocolate sauce!

Oreo & Ice Cream Milkshake


  • 4 Oreo Cookies, divided
  • 4 Oreo cookies, finely chopped
  • 4 tsps. chocolate syrup
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream


  1. Drizzle one tablespoon of chocolate syrup at the bottom of each glass, rolling the glass to coat it thoroughly. Quarter 4 cookies and add to blender with milk and ice cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into short glasses, top with chopped cookies whipped cream (optional!).

Oreo Cookie Balls


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 cups crushed Oreos
  • 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate, melted


  1. Other Oreo Recipes from around the web:
  2. You’ll also need wax paper and toothpicks for this. With an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and crushed Oreos until blended (not whipped). With your hands, roll into small balls, approximately 1-inch thick. Put in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, melt chocolate using a double boiler or bain-marie. Remove from heat and let cool, but not solidify. Take the balls out of the freezer, and insert a toothpick in each one. Holding by the toothpick, dip the balls in the chocolate, until fully coated. Place on a pan lined with wax paper. Sprinkle with leftover cookie crumbs. Refrigerate until firm.

Oreo cake recipes from around the web

oreo cake slice

Bakerita’s Oreo Cake is a little slice of Heaven

decadent Oreo cakeJamie from MyBakingAddiction made this splendid decadent Oreo cake.

cake with crushed oreo

The folks at TheKitchn crushed a few Oreos into this delicious looking cake

Whether you twist them, lick them, dunk them, or blend them, Oreo cookies are always delicious! So thisMarch 6th, raise your glass of milk and toast to America’s favorite cookie!