Delicious Distractions to get us through the days.

Simple recipes for those with simple chef skills.

Seasoning Packet Dinners March 29, 2011

I never really thought of myself as an ingredient snob until my neighbor told me about her BBQ pulled pork dish. I was reluctant to believe that a pre-made seasoning packet could yield something as yummy as she claimed.  Then she had me try it. And oh my, oh my, oh my! It was one of those dishes that was so delicious I just couldn’t believe it. And it was good the next day!  So over the months I began my mission to find other easy and quick seasoning packets. These are the ones I came up with and all I completely recommend. I think I need to contact McCormick and ask to be a taste tester.

McCormick Grill Mates Garlic, Herb, & Wine

McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork*

McCormick Enchilada **

McCormick Produce Partners Great Guacamole

* This is the packet my neighbor gave me.

** This was good for a sauce but I would substitute my own meat and topping recipes.

McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Marinade

McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade

Jack Daniel’s Mesquite EZ Marinader***

McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade

McCormick Grill Mates Southwest Marinade

***I would like to just say “PHENOMENAL”!!!!!! I could eat this one everyday, all day long. But I do not recommend trying in the slow cooker on pulled pork. I should have just stuck to the above pulled pork recipe.

I also tried a McCormick Garlic Lime but didn’t keep the packaging.

Each one of these packets has it’s own distinct flavors and you won’t be bored with eating each one all in a row like we do sometimes.

 

Fruit Tray Skewers Cut with Cookie Cutters March 1, 2011

This was one of the simplest dishes, but most importantly the cutest, I have ever made for a potluck. I am sure it would have only taken less than 30 minutes if my 2-year-old didn’t want to cut every piece or steal all of my grapes. I accented this dish with a chocolate ganache fondue. This combination was giving many raves!

Ingredients:

  • 1 vine of circular shaped grapes
  • 1 thick in diameter and long cucumber
  • 2 large red apples
  • 4 large kiwis
  • 16 skewers

Directions:

Rinse and wash your fruit as you normally would. Start by threading one grape almost half way down the skewer. The final distance will truly depend on the size of each item.

Due to the soft nature of the centers of the kiwi, using a cookie cutter shape did not work well. Therefore, I cut the skins off and shaping them in to hexagons or heptagons for a geometric shape. Slice  the kiwis about  ¼- ½ inch thick.  Thread the kiwis just off center, this will help them to not split or become damaged (see 2nd kiwi from the right above).

Using the red skins of the apples for accent colored flowers, cut 4 to 5 slices ½ inch in diameter at the thickest part in each apple.  Using a small flower cutter (or the small gum paste blossom cutter as I used) cut as many flowers per piece as possible.

Slicing the cucumber ½ inch in diameter. Use a small star cookie cutter to shape the cucumber slices. Be careful to not cut through the cucumber skins, this will allow you to reuse the leftovers later with a small apple flower threaded inside (see picture below).

Now your fruits are ready for threading. The grapes will be placed as spacers in between each fruit piece and make for a nice jewel like feature.

Enjoy!