Archive for October, 2012

Soup Scoop’n at Herb’n Renewal!

It’s cold, wet, windy and that means soup time! I don’t care which soup warms you up in the cold weather, you need something to dip or in our case scoop the goodness up and into your mouth. Crackers are good, oyster crackers are great, bread and rolls work too but what about cornbread! It’s a southern staple that has made its way north! BTW, do not confuse cornbread with corn muffins…one is sweet and one is not. Lol I grew up on Long Island and we regularly ate corn muffins as breakfast or as a sweet treat and we loved them. I was lucky enough to have a mom who also had some southern roots and we also had cornbread with our soups and we loved them too. Now that I live in the semi south Commonwealth of Kentucky, I tend to eat more of the southern style cornbread. Of course that could be because Drew usually prepares it and sweet corn muffins are a waste of cornmeal in his way of thinking. Oh well, he’s the cook and I eat what he fixes!

Here’s a couple of his favorite recipes, which includes one of my favorites and I am a wimp when it comes to spicy foods…loaded corn cakes!

LOADED CORN CAKES

1/2 pound skinless smoked sausage, quartered and sliced thin
1/2 cup onion, diced small
1/2 cup green pepper, diced small
1 1/4 cup frozen corn
2 cups self rising cornmeal
2 teaspoons CAJUN WING’N SEASON
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown sausage for 5 minutes. Add onion, peppers and corn…saute’ for an additional 5 minutes. In a small bowl mix cornmeal and CAJUN WING’N SEASON…add eggs and milk and mix well. Fold in skillet mixture along with cheese. On a flat oiled griddle (or skillet) over medium high heat, spoon out “cakes.” Cook each side until golden brown. Brush with butter, if desired, before serving. Try substituting cooked and cubed chicken or shrimp for a change of flavors!

Then we have his favorite, the semi spicy version of cornbread…again, not hot hot…just flavorful!

KICK’N CORNBREAD

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tablespoons bacon drippings
1/2 cup onions, diced small
1 cup frozen corn
2 teaspoons CAJUN WING’N SEASON
2 cups self rising yellow cornmeal
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

In 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings saute’ the peppers, onion, corn and CAJUN WING’N SEASON. Add chopped bacon and set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl combine next 4 ingredients; mix well. Fold in vegetable mixture. Heat a 9″ cast iron skillet or pan containing the remaining 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings for 10 minutes in the oven. Pour mixture into hot skillet/pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cornbread stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Just looking for a flavorful, good old, semi plain cornbread? This would be the one!

HERB’N CORNBREAD

2 1/2 cups yellow self rising cornmeal
1 tablespoon CHEESE’N SEASON
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine first seven ingredients; mix well. Heat 9” cast iron/oven proof skillet or pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for 10 minutes in the oven. Remove skillet/pan and evenly spread the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

No matter which suits your fancy,
just know that they all make those
cold weather warmer upper soups taste better! 🙂

BTW, a few good thoughts would be more than welcomed for the abandoned kitten that I have been playing momma to for the past 4 days.

October 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

We’re Cheese’n Season’n at Herb’n Renewal!

This morning I was trying to get my brain to focus on herbs, spices, seasoning, etc. recipes so I could create an entry for this blog. For some reason they all went into one big darn pot and the result was not very good. I mean curry, sage, parsley, mint, chervil, oregano and basil just did not seem like a good mix. Where the heck did Drew come up with that blend? Whew…I woke up and realized that I was having a nightmare! lol Thank heavens he has not lost his touch…or in his case, his taste! 🙂

I am a cheese eater! I love good, great and even generic store labeled cheese. If I buy an 8 oz. hunk of anything cheese related…you can count on it being gone in a day or two. I do not share my cheese! Drew has his chocolate and I do not eat it, so why should I share my cheese!!!

I know, you are thinking where the heck is this going???? lol I’m getting to some recipes for one of our favorites…Cheese’n Season! You see, I was eating (and not sharing) some boursin cheese from the local grocery gourmet aisle. I know that this is not really a cheese, but a cheese spread that has been widely duplicated from the original Gournay Boursin recipe. It’s still damn good in my book! Anyway, while was I moaning in delight, Drew asked if he might have a bite or two. Reluctantly, I shared one with him. He agreed that it was very tasty. I think he wanted another one without earning it! lol

Part two of this story continues after I gave Drew that taste of my boursin cheese topped cracker…he liked it and as usual, he went to the task of determining which spices and herbs were used to come up with the great flavor. Hmmmm…oregano, garlic, chives, etc. A few hours later he handed me a cracker with “stuff’ on it and I knew in a second why I married this great taste tester and herb blender! Drew came up with an herb and spice blend that would duplicate the expensive boursin cheese…I could now share with him! That’s what marriage is all about as far as I am concerned…sharing cheese. He can keep his chocolate. Hey, it’s worked for 18 years and I am his fourth wife! OMG, that is scary but I knew the day that I met this big lug, that he was gonna keep me in cheese for the rest of my live…and now he is doing it on a budget! WTG Drew!

That new blend was named Cheese’n Season and we’ve found that it’s great for more than just making the wonderful boursin type cheese. In fact, a friend said she no longer makes her grilled cheese without it. Hey, wait a minute…there’s no cheese in Cheese’n Season! Her recipe was white bread with two slices of yellow cheese and a little pinch of Cheese’n Season…put it in a skillet with butter and cook until nice and brown. I kept thinking that the dried herbs would be crunchy but I was surprised when I tried it…very good and not crunchy!

Well, here’s a few more recipes using our Cheese’n Season herb blend…

Let’s start with the basics and a few hints.

BASIC BOURSIN CHEESE TYPE

To make the cheese spread simply cream 2 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese with 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter…add 1 heaping tablespoon of CHEESE’N SEASON and blend well. Refrigerate to thicken. Store in fridge for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 3 months!

This makes a big batch…enough for a party full of cracker spreaders! If you want less, cut it in half or do as we do and drop the extras onto a sheet pan using a tablespoon. Freeze until solid and then store in a freezer plastic bag…make sure you label it! They can be used in place of butter on a baked potato, try stirring a few into pasta or place one on any meat or fish after cooking them…melted deliciousness!

This one is a crowd favorite!

CHEESE’N SEASON BRUNCH IN A SKILLET

2 cups potatoes, diced small
12 large eggs
4 tablespoons water
1 heaping tablespoon Cheese’n Season
1 lb. breakfast sausage
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced small
1 cup onion, diced small
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well in cold water, pat dry and set aside. Beat eggs with water and Cheese’n Season; set aside. In a large skillet, brown sausage…breaking it up while cooking. When fully cooked, drain on paper toweling and set aside. In same skillet, saute’ peppers and onions in butter for 5 minutes. Add eggs and scramble until they just start to thicken. Add potatoes and sausage; continuing to stir. When eggs are almost done, add cheese and stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is perfect for that end of season asparagus, when it tends to get a bit thick.

CHEESE’N SEASON ASPARAGUS SOUP

1 quart water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 lb. fresh asparagus, chopped 1/4”
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 quarts milk
1 1/2 tablespoon Cheese’n Season
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
roux (1/2 stick melted butter and 1/4 cup flour, blended)

Bring water to a boil and add bouillon. Add larger pieces of asparagus (stem end) and let cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining asparagus and onions; reduce heat and simmer until tender…about 5 minutes. Add milk and Cheese’n Season; bring to almost a boil Slowly add roux, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Add cheese and stir slowly until melted and smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Every good soup or chili deserves a great cornbread!

HERB’N CORNBREAD

2 1/2 cups yellow self-rising corn meal
1 tablespoon Cheese’n Season
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine first seven ingredients; mix well. Heat 9” cast iron skillet or pan with the 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Spread mixture into hot skillet/pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

We always tell folks that
Cheese’n Season is definitely
one to play with…enjoy!

October 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm Leave a comment

Veggie Time at Herb’n Renewal!

It’s fall and for some reason folks, including us, don’t think about vegetables as much as we do in the middle of the summer. I decided to do a little veggie thing today…some using summer bounty and others that will warm up the cool fall nights, enhance the tailgating experience, etc. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Spaghetti Squash…folks look at this yellow thing sitting on a farmers table at the market and wonder why it is called “spaghetti!” If you’ve never eaten one, you have no idea what you are missing…it’s the good for ya veggie pasta!

So, what heck do you do with it once you get it home? This is the way we prepare it and it’s so basic, it could be called Spaghetti Squash 101!

First thing that you want to do with any thick skinned squash, melon or veggie, is to wash the outer skin and dry it well before cutting into it. I know this does not sound important, but trust me, it is.

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise and then scoop out as many seeds as possible without cutting into the flesh…it’s easy to get all of them. Place the halves onto a plate, cut side down. Cover with plastic wrap and then microwave for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the plastic wrap “balloons!” They should be fork tender. BTW, be very careful when lifting the plastic wrap…it will be very steamy and hot! Do not ask me how I know this. lol Remove the wrap and allow to cool until you can hold them in your hand. Now comes the fun part! Take a fork and run it down the inside of the squash…you’ll see veggie spaghetti!

Now that you have “spaghetti” what the heck do you do with it? This is where you get to play with your food!!! You can toss it with butter or olive oil, you can add other veggies, herbs, etc. We heat a bit of olive oil and butter in a skillet along with some Good’n Garlicky*, and then toss in the “spaghetti” and heat through. We’ve been known to throw in some diced tomatoes, fresh basil, zucchini…whatever the garden has available. Just enjoy your “spaghetti!”

Sorry, Good’n Garlicky is not on our website but we do have it. I am trying so hard to become a web design literate human and it’s not working as fast as I thought. Just email us or add Good’n Garlicky to the comments section of your order. You’ll get 3 oz. for $4!

This recipe is one of our favorites and please, feel free to use fresh tomatoes in place of the canned ones. It’s name doesn’t sound like a main dish, but it is very filling and could easily be used as one.

Skillet Corn’n Black Bean Salsa

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup onion, diced small
1/2 cup green pepper, diced small
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
2 teaspoons CAJUN WING’N SEASON
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes*
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained**
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons butter
shredded cheese
corn chips

In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute’ onions and peppers in oil for 2 minutes. Add next six ingredients and saute’ for an additional 3-4 minutes or until heated through…stirring constantly! If you like it “hot” add more CAJUN WING’N SEASON. Serve on corn chips topped with cheese.

* and ** can sizes keep changing…use the closest one. Rolling my eyes! Heck, use fresh maters if you have them!!!

A few years back, Drew was asked to be guest chef at the local Williams Sonoma store and this was one of the soups that he prepared. It was a crowd favorite except for one fellow who hated sweet potatoes. Oh well, he didn’t know what he missed. Sorry, this is not all vegetables but I am sure that anyone who does not “do” chicken stock can exchange something for it. It’s worth playing with, I promise!

Jamm’n Sweet Tater Soup

2 ribs celery, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 stick butter
3 lbs. Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4” chunks
2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
1 tablespoon JAMM”N JERK

In a 4 quart pot, over medium heat, saute’ celery and onions for 10 minutes or until tender…DO NOT brown! Add the two potato varieties and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Give it a stir; cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in JAMM”N JERK and simmer, uncovered, for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and blend until smooth in a food processor or with a stick blender.

Try adding a dollop of sour cream or bleu cheese before serving….yummy!

Who says potato salad has to be cold. My mom used to make hot German potato salad all of the time…it was one of my favorites at our dinner table. This one is really close to hers except we left out the bacon drippings that she used to saute’ everything in…we add them as a topper!

Cheese’n Season Warm Tater Salad

2 lbs. white potatoes, cut into 1/2” chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon CHEESE”N SEASON
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
crumbled bacon *

Par boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water…drain again. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add potatoes, seasoning and veggies. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are crisp tender. Stir in mayonnaise and vinegar. You’re ready to enjoy…*although we do add a bit of crumbled bacon for an added treat!

We love our veggies, no matter what time of the year. We just use them in different ways depending on the season. Tonight I am preparing a newbie for us…kabocha squash. I’ll post some pics and give ya the recipe if it turns out good. If not, I’ll just give you my recipe and a “what not to do!” lol

Happy Veggie eating all year long!

October 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm Leave a comment

Cook’in With The Original White Meat At Herb’n Renewal

That’s right, we’re talking about chicken, poultry, bird…whatever you call the “I was first” white meat! Now, do not be confused with the turkey bird because there will be time to talk about “Tom” later in the year. This is purely about chicken and to be honest, mostly about boneless chicken and a few different ways to prepare them.

Let’s start with a basic and easy soup that is sure to be a cool weather warmer upper!

GRILLED CHICKEN’N BEAN SOUP

2 lb boneless chicken breasts

Rub’n Season Poultry

1 1/2 lb dried great northern beans

4 quarts chicken stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

Soak beans overnight covered in water. Season each chicken breast with about 1 teaspoon of Rub’n Season Poultry on each side. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 or more hours. Grill chicken until firm, approximately 8 minutes on each side. Drain and rinse soaked beans. Add to pot along with 3 quarts of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, saute’ onion, celery and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes. Dice chicken into 1/4” pieces. Add chicken, vegetables and remaining stock to beans. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an additional hour or longer, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

How could we possibly live in Kentucky and not have a great recipe using Bourbon! You’ll notice that I did not name a particular Bourbon. I did that on purpose. You see, we have been fortunate enough to be asked to sample dishes using our seasoning blends and this one is always a favorite. We use whatever Bourbon is being featured at the event! lol Bill Samuels of Maker’s Mark loved it. Use whatever Bourbon you fancy…they all work great!

HERB’N BOURBON CHICKEN SALAD

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 1/2 tablespoon Herb’n Cowboy

1/4 cup Bourbon

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons pickled mild banana pepper rings, chopped

Pierce chicken breasts with a fork…really poke them! Mix Bourbon and Herb’n Cowboy. Place “poked” chicken in a plastic bag along with Bourbon mix and marinate in fridge for at least 6 hours. Give the bag an occasional toss. Grill chicken, using some of the marinade for basting while grilling, for approximately 8 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Let chicken cool, slice thin and then chop. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

Drew always said “if it don’t smell, it won’t sell” so this one had plenty of aroma wafting throughout the Bluegrass Farmers’ Market during a Saturday sampling. It tastes as good as it smells! 🙂

JAMM’N CHICKEN’N RICE

 

1 lb boneless chicken cut into 1/2” pieces

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons Jamm’n Jerk

1 cup onion, diced

1 rib celery, diced

1/2 cup green pepper, diced

1/2 cup red bell pepper. Diced

1 small can pineapple tidbits

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cups cooked rice

 

In a large skillet, saute’ chicken in oil and Jamm’n Jerk seasoning…stir continuously for 5 minutes. Add onions, celery and peppers. Continue to saute’ for an additional 3 minutes. Add pineapple, orange juice and rice. Cook until heated through…about 2 minutes. Salt to taste.

 

Folks who are on a salt free diet are always looking for some great tasting dishes…this is one of them! Do not let the “what seems like a lot of work” fool you…it’s worth it!

 

CHICKEN FLORENTINE SOUP

 

1 lb boneless chicken breast, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup white wine

4 quarts chicken stock (can be made using bouillon)

2 tablespoons Rub’n Season All Herb’n No Salt

8 oz. frozen corn

8 oz. frozen pea

10 oz. package frozen spinach

2 cups ditalini pasta

 

In a 6 quart pot, braise chicken in olive oil, over high heat for 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms and saute’ for an additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, stock and Rub’n Season All Herb’n No Salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and return to a boil. Add corn, peas and spinach; cook for another 15 minutes. Add pasta and let simmer for an additional 15-20 more minutes or until pasta is cooked. Stir occasionally.

 

Hope you enjoy the recipes using

the original white meat!

 

If your cupboard or spice cabinet does not hold any of these blends, you can find us at the Bluegrass Farmers’ Market each Saturday through October 27th. Here’s a link to the market blog for more information. Http://wwwbluegrassfarmersmarket.org If you do not live in the Lexington, Kentucky area and would prefer to order online, go to http://www.herbnrenewal.com Any questions or just want to talk herbs, give us a holler at (859) 548-3516 or email to rubnseason@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

It’s Pork time at Herb’n Renewal!

 

It’s time to talk pork, especially since the local Kroger stores have pork loin on sale for $1.77 a pound this week! That’s a really great price and you can bet we will stock up on it and heck…we even get another 10% discount today because Karin is and old fart! Lol

 

Pork is very versatile, which is why we love it so much. The following recipes are just a few examples of some of our favorites.

 

Let’s start with one using our Chili Season’n. This recipe has been a Super Bowl Sunday hit with one of our customers for years…friends always request it!

 

Hog Wild Chili

 

3 lbs. pork loin, cubed

2 tbsp. bacon drippings

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup diced green pepper

1 12 oz. can of beer

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 29 oz. can tomato sauce

3 tbsp. Chili Season’n

1 30 oz. can chili beans

1 15.5 oz cans of Great Northern beans

 

Brown pork in bacon drippings until moisture is reduced and meat is lightly browned. Add peppers and onions; saute’ 5 minutes. Add beer, tomatoes, sauce and Chili Season’n. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add beans and return to a simmer and cook until meat is tender…approximately 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If chili is not the desired thickness, add 1 tbsp. of cornmeal at a time to thicken …make sure you stir after adding each spoonful.

 

 

This recipe gives you a bit of the Caribbean with our Jamm’n Jerk! And, it’s wonderful for leftover sandwiches!

 

Jamm’n Rum Pork Loin

 

4 lb pork loin

2 heaping tablespoons Jamm’n Jerk

1/2 cup rum

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Mix rum, olive oil and Jamm’n Jerk. Place pork in a plastic zip lock bag and pour liquid over pork. Remove the air out of the bag and zip shut…let marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours, turning bag occasionally. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place pork in roasting pan (save the liquid for basting) and roast for 30 minutes. Lower heat to 325 degrees and baste with remaining liquid. You can use the liquid to baste occasionally while the pork roasts for at least 2 hours or until the meat temperature is 170 degrees. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

 

This recipe is a fall favorite at our home using our Rub’n Season Pork!

 

Herb’n Dutch Stir Fry

 

1 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into thin strips

1 heaping tbsp, Rub’n Season Pork

4 strips bacon

8 cups cabbage, cut into thin strips

½ cup onion, diced

1 cup carrots, shredded

2 tbsp. white vinegar

1/8 cup brown sugar, packed

 

Toss pork with Rub’n Season Pork and let sit in fridge for at least one hour. In a large skillet, brown bacon and set aside leaving the drippin’s in the pan. On medium high heat, brown the pork in the drippin’s for 4-5 minutes. Add cabbage and onion, cook stirring at all times for about 4-5 minutes or until crisp tender. Add carrots, then vinegar and brown sugar. Stir fry for two more minutes. Crumble reserved bacon and stir into mixture. Traditionally served with buttered noodles and applesauce as side dishes.

 

This soup using our Herb’n Cowboy, is sure to be a family favorite warmer upper during the cold winter months!

 

Cowboy Pork’n Bean Soup

 

2 lb. Great northern dried beans

2 lb. Boneless pork loin, cubed

2 tablespoons Herb’n Cowboy

3 tablespoons olive

1 cup onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

3 quarts water

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

1 teaspoon beef bouillon

 

Soak beans overnight; drain and rinse. In a 6 quart pot, bring water and beans to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Toss pork with 1 tablespoon Herb’n Cowboy and let it sit for 15 minutes. Brown pork in oil; when pork is almost browned, add onions, celery and carrots and saute’ for 5 minutes. Add mixture to cooked beans, along with bouillon and the remaining 1 tablespoon of Herb’n Cowboy. Return to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or longer, stirring occasionally. The soup will thicken as it cooks.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the “pork is on sale” tour of recipes. As you can tell, pork is one of our favorites. Stay tuned for some recipes for the “other white meat…chicken!” We love it too. 🙂

 

By the way, if you don’t have any of these blends, you can find us at the Bluegrass Farmers’ Market through October 27th…providing it is not pouring down rain. Here’s a link to the market blog for more information. http://www.localharvest.org/blog/29529/ If you do not live in the Lexington area and would prefer to order from our secure website go to http://www.herbnrenewal.com Any questions? Give us a holler at (859) 548-3516 or email us at rubnseason@aol.com.

 

Enjoy your pork! 🙂

October 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment