Product Review

Vanilla and Spice Pancakes

Have you ever had the cheap, fake vanilla extract that's water with food coloring, alcohol, and sugar? The J.R Watkins' brand is the exact opposite of that. 

I was pretty thrilled when I was sent pure vanilla extract and baking vanilla, which has even more extract flavor, to test out. I decided to bring luxury into something pretty common - lobster mac and cheese anyone? - in order to really see this ingredient shine.

Vanilla and Spice Pancakes

Double Chocolate Rosemary Brownies

When I was sent rosemary extract from J. R. Watkins, the flavor I requested because I'm obsessed with that herb, I was stumped.

Do I put it in a savory dish? I could. Will it turn my dish green? No. Maybe it can go into something sweet? Yes! I had success with the flavor combo of rosemary and coffee in my cookies, so it had to work in a brownie. And boy, did it. Messing with a brownie recipe is pretty sacrilegious, so I decided to use Alton Brown's tried and true approach ... but with more chocolate. 

Double Chocolate Rosemary Brownies

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Onions

Again, I am thrilled to be able to share my taste-bud's experience with the rubs that the fine people at Dead Rooster Co. make. The first of the two varieties they generously sent me, I shared with you on some cod tacos. Now, feast your eyes on the second rub called Black Gold

This rub has a base of chocolate coffee grounds. What the what. How could a pacific NW girl like myself resist such a concoction? I can see this balanced mixture working on a variety of things, but I thought pork would have to be the first stop. I'm using a tenderloin because of the juicy, and of course tender, outcome you get in a short amount of time. Let's dive in. 

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Onions

Cod Tacos

I am more excited than a black bear in the middle of a river during salmon season. 

I've connected with the lovely folks at Dead Rooster Co. , who have graciously given me a couple packets of their dry rubs to try out. Their instagram: mouthwatering. Their packaging: on point.  And their rubs: surprisingly the most flavorful mixture that I've ever smelled, literally stopping me in my tracks after I opened the package. 

Now, to test them out I had to start with a dish closer to home. These rubs from Oklahoma can soar in red-meat bbq, but what about seafood? I'm using the Olde Tymers rub, their all-purpose mixture, to see if it rises to the challenge. 

Cod Tacos

Spaghetti Noodles with Mushrooms and Herb Oil

I love a good pasta. No matter it's form, it's pretty high up there on the comfort food scale. Add some capers and herb oil to coat all of the noodles? I'm a happy lady. And let's face it, sometimes you need a pause button during all of the holiday hub-bub. I like to take my breaks in Italy, thank you very much. 

I'm also thrilled to be partnering with the fine people of Benissimo Gourmet Oils from Hongar Farms, to give you this delicious recipe and a chance at winning a bottle for yourself!

With any product, I wouldn't share it with you if I didn't thoroughly love it myself. Scouts honor. This oil is easy to stand behind being 100% natural and full of flavor. I've used this on pastas, roasting potatoes, breads ... the savory possibilities are endless!

Spaghetti Noodles with Mushrooms and Herb Oil