Tag Archives: cooking

MustKetch Is Our Favorite New Condiment! MustKetch Gift Pack Giveaway

MustKetch Somers Family Our kids love ketchup, truth be told, we count it as a vegetable in this house. I discovered that I liked both mustard and ketchup on my burgers in my teens, and my kids and husband enjoy it now too. You can imagine, I was very intrigued when I was contacted by the folks at MustKetch about trying their new condiment.

MustKetch Somers Family

We received a lovely 3 pack of the Somers Family MustKetch that was beautifully packaged in a shimmery gift bag. We could not wait to try it! Check out my video unboxing below:

I am partial to the original and zesty, my husband and kids really like the smoke and zesty. It is good to have a variety in our house because we all have different tastes.

MustKetch Details:

  • Gluten-Free
  • No Preservatives
  • No high-fructose Corn syrup
  • No Genetically Modified Ingredients
  • No Artificial Flavors or Colors

We have been trying it out on all our favorite foods, and we give it 2 thumbs up! That is why we have added MustKetch to Mommy Ramblings’ 2018 Holiday Gift Guide.

Giveaway

MustKetch is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own 3 pack of MustKetch! Thank you to MustKetch for the review box and for sponsoring this awesome giveaway Mommy Ramblings! Open to US Residents.

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Somers Family MustKetch 3 Pack Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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The Spice Lab, Mediterranean Spice Collection Gift Set Giveaway

We love cooking and entertaining. Spices can really enhance the flavors of the foods we cook. I love trying new spice blends and making some of my own. Recently, I was contacted by The Spice Lab and they sent me one of their Mediterranean Spice Collection Gift Sets. The collection of 4 spice blends come packaged in a white box.

Spice Lab Mediterranean Spice Collection Giveaway

Check out our video unboxing to see what’s inside.

In addition to the Mediterranean Collection Gift Set , The Spice Lab offers the BBQ Gift Set, Taste of America Gift Set and the Turmeric Gift Set. We think any of these sets would make a great gift and that is why we added them to our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide at Mommy Ramblings.

Giveaway

The Spice Lab is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own Mediterranean Collection Gift Set! Thank you to The Spice Labs for the review set and for sponsoring this great giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. Open to US Residents.

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Spice Lab’s Mediterranean Collection Gift Set Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Grace + Soul & Mother Wit Cookbook Giveaway

Who remembers when Will Smith’s character got in one little fight and his mom got scared? If you do, then you know he was sent to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

Okay, I know it was just a sitcom, and Daphne Maxwell Reid was not Will Smith’s real auntie, but she is a respected artist, designer and education activist. She also has a new cookbook out called, Grace + Soul & Mother Wit, filled with much more than recipes, it is actually a mini-memoir dressed as a ring-bound cookbook.

The beginning of the book is filled with Daphne’s family photos  and her  travels around the world while working on and off of television. This cookbook takes you through the basics of starting your own family memories centered around home cooked meals.

Early chapters include setting up a kitchen, essential tools and supplies, basic cooking terms, how to set a formal table, and measurements & abbreviations. The recipes include sections for appetizers, soup, bread, poultry, seafood, red meat, side dishes, dessert, beverages and remedies.

Please see my in-depth video review of this cookbook below:


This cookbook makes a great gift for just about anyone. That is why you will find Grace + Soul & Mother Wit on Mommy Ramblings’ 2018 Holiday Gift Guide.

About Daphne Maxwell Reid:

Everyone remembers Daphne Maxwell Reid as an iconic TV mom of the 1990s, from her three seasons as Aunt Vivian on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”  These days Reid is a Renaissance woman, respected artist and designer, and education activist.  Working from her home in Virginia, and still happily married to pioneering television actor/producer/writer/director Tim Reid (“WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Frank’s Place”), Daphne Maxwell Reid is living proof that a passion for creativity and a dedication to hard work can ensure a lifetime’s worth of success.

Breaking new barriers is nothing new to Reid, who decades ago became the first African-American homecoming queen at Northwestern University and shortly thereafter one of the first African-American women to appear on the cover of Glamour magazine.  But many fans of her modeling and acting career probably don’t know that Reid is a lifelong shutterbug, a hobby passed down by her father that has now become a focal point of her career.

With five books and 5 annual calendars already published, Reid specializes in fine art photography that features doors and doorways from around the world, including Cuba, Venice, France, China, Germany, and Belgium.  Now she’s added to her publishing resume with her first cookbook, “Grace + Soul & Motherwit,” which offers her favorite recipes spiced with personal memories and reflections from her life and travels.

Reid has also been a seamstress for much of her life, creating many of her own outfits and costumes as a young actress and model, and has now developed those skills into an exclusive, custom clothing line called Daphne Style, making Chinese silk brocade jackets that are wearable works of art.

Daphne also keeps busy as the Host of Virginia Currents (PBS), and as a spokesperson for Virginia State University, a historically black college/university (HBCU), doing outreach, public relations, and speaking engagements that allow her to preach the importance of education and career prep for students of color.

A thoughtful, inspiring, and fascinating professional with over five decades of experience, Daphne Maxwell Reid continues to demonstrate that mastering a new skill is always possible for an artist with a generous spirit and self-determination.

Giveaway:

Enter for your chance to win your own copy of Grace + Soul & Mother Wit. Thank you to Daphne Maxwell Reid and her PR company for sponsoring this giveaway and for the autographed cookbook. Open to US residents. 

Grace + Soul & Mother Wit Cookbook Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Vietnamese Beef Stew (Thit Bo Kho) Recipe

Vietnamese cuisine is well-known for its utilization of fresh ingredients, an emphasis on meat and vegetables, as well as its flavorful use of seasonings. You will often find herbs and seasonings such as lemongrass, cinnamon, ginger, and bay leaves in Vietnamese dishes.

For all of these reasons, Thit Bo Kho or Vietnamese Beef Stew is a perfect example of Vietnamese cuisine. Tender beef braised in cinnamon and stewed in a mix of vegetables and seasonings until it is ready to be served with a crisp toasted baguette.

The total meal prep time is roughly 30 minutes. Beyond prep, you need to account for 4 to 24 hours of marinating time, and 1.5 hours for stewing.

Our recommendation is to prep the meat mixture for marinatimg the night before you plan to cook the stew. Then let the mixture sit overnight in your refrigerator. This makes this recipe a great meal for families looking for a quick prepared fix during the week.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 pieces of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 whole Burma Spice Star Anise
  • 2 sticks of Burma Spice’s Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed lemongrass paste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups of organic beef broth (used as needed)
  • 2 Burma Spice Mediterranean Bay Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 carrots, sliced ½-inch-thick
  • Chopped green onions
  • Cilantro
  • Toasted French baguette

The stars of the show

As with all Vietnamese cooking, the key to the flavors of the meal are the spices. Luckily for you, Burma Spice just happens to have the best trio to make your THIT BO KHO a smashing success.

Directions

Step 1

Add cut beef cubes, onions, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, cinnamon, and star anise into a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, coating the beef thoroughly with the oyster sauce.

Step 2

Place the mixture in a large sealable plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. As previously noted, Steps 1 and 2 are perfect for meal prep the night before you plan to serve the dish.

Step 3

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Toast the Burma Spice Star Anise and Burma Spice Ceylon Cinnamon sticks for about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn these ingredients. Simply brown until that amazingly fragrant smell hits you, and take off the heat. You will add these items back into the mixture once you are ready to simmer the stew.

Step 4

Brown the marinated beef mixture in batches.  As you brown it mix in some of your crushed lemongrass paste with each batch. If you put the entire mixture into the dutch oven at one time the amount of liquid produced will keep your meat from browning. You likely want to divide your mixture into 4 batches. Put each batch into a large bowl and move to brown the next.

Step 5

Stir in tomato paste to coat your beef mixture thoroughly.

Step 6

Add beef broth to your mixture. You just want to cover your beef, so add the broth slowly. Add your bay leaves, soy sauce, toasted ceylon cinnamon sticks, and star anise into the stew.

Step 7

Bring the stew to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Step 8

Add your cut carrots during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Simply cook until the carrots are tender.

Step 9

Top with green onions and cilantro. Toast your baguette and serve! This recipe is a great meal for any day. It is a tender, flavorful dish that will have your family asking for more.

This is a collaborative guest recipe post.

 

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Easy Marshmallow Fondant Recipe & Video Tutorial

I have shown you before how to make easy marshmallow fondant, but this time I created a video tutorial as well. I am a very visual person and love being able to watch video tutorials. They help me immensely, so I decided to try to do as many as I can to help others.

Marshmallow fondant is very inexpensive to make and taste so much better than the premade fondant you can buy in the store. To make this marshmallow fondant, you will need:

You can watch the video tutorial below:

The thing I like about this fondant is that when you use your stand mixer, you can add enough powdered sugar so that it is fairly easy to knead right out of the bowl. It comes together into a workable fondant very quickly.

It is also very easy to color this fondant with gel food coloring. I have another video that shows how easy you can color this marshmallow fondant.  Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel so that you will know when it is live.

Let me know if you try this recipe, and how it worked out for you.

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Italian Ricotta Cookies – Full Recipe and Video Tutorial

If you are looking for a tender, cake-like cookie that is not too sweet, but has a delightful lemon flavor that makes it perfect to pair with coffee or tea, this Italian Ricotta Cookie recipe will be one you want to try. These cookies are always a hit at our house. I even made 2 batches during Christmas in order to have some for my daughter to take back with her.

They are such a festive looking cookie to bake during Christmas and New Year’s, but you can make them any time of year. If you want, you can tint the icing with food coloring.  Some people like to tint it red or green for Christmas. You could tint it pink or blue for baby showers or gender reveal parties as well. I prefer white and just change the colors of the nonpareils or sugar sprinkles I use if I want to make them a bit different.

 

 

It is very important to use whole milk ricotta when baking these cookies, part skim does not taste the same. Also, be sure to cool the cookies on cooling racks before icing them. Never frost a hot or warm cookie. The recipe says to chill the dough, but if you are pressed for time, I have made them without chilling the dough and they came out fine.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Ingredients

  • Ingredients For Dough
  • I cup of softened butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups (15 oz) of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp of sea salt
  • Ingredients For Icing
  • 1 tbs of melted butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk (use as needed to think icing to correct consistency)

Instructions

  1. Cream the 2 sticks of butter with sugar until fluffy with electric mixer. Add ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla extract and mix well. Add in eggs, one at a time. Scrape sides of bowl and then begin to slowly mix in flour, one cup at a time. Add baking soda and salt and mix until blended. If you want you can chill dough for several hours or overnight. You can also bake immediately.
  2. Scoop with a cookie scoop and place about 2" apart onto a non-stick baking sheet liner or parchment paper. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Remove cookies and let cool on wire rack.
  3. To make icing, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk into the confectioners sugar with lemon juice, add enough milk to make a spreadable icing. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread icing onto top of cookies and sprinkle with sprinkles, nonpareils, decorative sugar or other decors. Let cookies set until icing is hard.
http://www.mommyramblings.org/2017/12/29/italian-ricotta-cookies-full-recipe-and-video-tutorial/

Watch my complete baking tutorial video for these cookies below.

 

Please let me know if you try them and what you think.

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Easy and Delicious Mini Cheesecake Recipe

I have been making these mini cheesecakes for my family for over 20 years. If I didn’t make them, my kids would be crushed, because it is one of my traditional dessert recipes that I bake for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter and other special occasions.

They are very easy to make, and they are such a hit because you can top them several different ways which makes them even more appealing. If you are looking for a mini cheesecake recipe that is easy and delicious, you found it! This tried and true recipe is posted for you below.

 

This recipe is supposed to make 18 mini cheesecakes, but there is always enough filling for a few more, so I add the crumb mixture to 3 or 4 additional, lined muffin cups. I hope you give this recipe a try,  I think you will really like them.

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • • 1-1/2 Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • • 5 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • • 3 Softened 8 Ounce Packages of Softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
  • • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • • 2 Tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • • Zest of 1 Fresh Lemon
  • • Fresh Lemon Juice (I use the juice from ½ of the lemon)
  • • 3 Large Eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter; press evenly onto bottoms of 18 lined muffin cups. I always have enough mixture for more than 18 cheesecakes so I put the mixture into at least 21 lined muffin cups. Put these into the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 350°F.
  4. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Fill your muffin cups about 3/4 of the way with this mixture.
  5. Bake 20 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  6. Before Serving top each cheesecake with about a tablespoon of the pie topping. You could also top with whipped cream and fresh berries, fruit preserves or jam.
http://www.mommyramblings.org/2017/12/27/mini-cheesecake-recipe/

 

Let me know what you think if you try this recipe.

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Tender & Delicious Pot Roast Cooked In a Tagine

Wow, the weather has taken a serious dip in the Northeast. Tomorrow is going to be absolutely frigid, the morning will feel like 7 below 0 degrees F. The only bright spot is that next week, we should be back to more seasonable temperatures.

When the weather gets colder, I get into the mood to make hearty meals that stick to your ribs and warm you up. I love a good pot roast, beef stew, pasta fagioli and other flavorful stews and soups, on cold winter days.

If you have been following Mommy Ramblings for a while, you will remember my posts about the best way to cook hearty soups and how to make the perfect beef stew. The right cookware, and the way you cook, really make a difference in how your recipes turn out. I love trying new things in the kitchen and, I have always wanted to try cooking in a Tagine.

A Tagine is a cooking vessel that is used to cook food at a low temperature, for a long time. The unique shape of the Tagine lid allows steam to circulate, which works to keep all the ingredients tender and moist. This kind of vessel and cooking method, works so well with dishes like pot roast. The end result is that type of meat that just falls apart so beautifully, and melts in your mouth.

I just finished cooking my second pot roast in my Emile Henry Tagine, and I don’t think I will cook pot roast any other way. There are so many great recipes you can make in a Tagine. My daughter loves cooking chicken tagine. Any type of recipe that you can cook at a low temperature for a long time, will turn out well.

There are many different kinds of Tagines on the market, but I prefer the Emile Henry Tagine. This Tagine is made of their Flame Ceramic and can be used directly on the heat of the stove or in the oven. This is perfect, because I love starting off on the stove cooking my onions and garlic, browning my meat, and then transferring it all to the oven, to cook for several hours.

You can see the video I made the first time I used the Emile Henry Tagine to make pot roast

We love the Emile Henry Tagine so much, which is why you will find it on Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. A gift of Emile Henry Cookware, is a gift any cooking enthusiast will treasure. I know, I certainly do! My Emile Henry Cookware and Bakeware are staples in my kitchen, and they make cooking and baking for my family and friends, easier and better than ever.

Giveaway

Emile Henry Set of 2 Burgundy #9 Ramekins Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Parmigiano Reggiano is a Staple in Our Home. #ParmesanAmbassador

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a staple in our home. As an Italian-American, I cannot imagine not having this cheese in the fridge.  Nor would I dream of eating pasta and may other dishes without it. That is why I was thrilled to be asked to be a blogger ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
If you truly want rich flavor, don’t settle for pre-grated parmesan cheese. There is nothing like the intense flavor you get from freshly grating a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano right into and on top of your favorite recipes and dishes.  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made by a collective of farmers and producers in Italy. If you see the pin-dots on the rind, you know you have the real deal!
This cheese is great on way more than pasta, grate it on of your salad,  it is delicious in soups, I love it on veggies and a real favorite is using it to make oven baked potato wedges. Even the rind can be used to flavor a delicious homemade broth. If you want to see more ways to use this great cheese, click HERE.
If you are lactose intolerant, you will be glad to learn that due to the long aging process, Parmigiano Reggiano is naturally lactose-free. It is easily digestible and a great source of both protein and calcium. It is a healthy cheese for your whole family. One of my favorite comfort foods is pasta and a simple tomato sauce with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top.  It is easy to make, and so delicious.
Recently, after a long day running around,  I was looking forward to getting home and making some cheese tortellini with a tomato basil sauce and lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. I can tell you, sitting down with that delicious meal, the stress of the day just melted away and I was in heaven. What can I say,  we Italians are passionate about our food.
Yesterday, I made some super greens because they are so rich in iron. I sautéed them in garlic and olive oil and seasoned with pepper. When I plated them, I topped them with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano! So healthy and delicious!
More About Parmigiano Reggiano:
Did you know that just three ingredients—milk, salt and rennet—and eight centuries of cheese making experience go into every wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano? From the local grasses and forage fed to the cows, to the milk they produce and then the cheese that is produced by nearly 400 cheese makers, Parmigiano Reggiano is a true reflection of its place of origin and the art of generations and generations of cheese artisans. Parmigiano Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, on the plains, hills and mountains enclosed between the rivers Po and Reno.

Enter to Win:

Would you like  a chance to win a Holiday Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Feast? I knew you would! All you need to do is click HERE to enter. Good Luck!

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Cook, Eat & Bake Healthier With Coco Treasure Coconut Products #Giveaway

I like to eat healthy and in doing so I use things like extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil. You might remember a recipe for the most decadent and delicious chocolate chip cookies I made with extra virgin coconut oil. We love those and anyone that tries them, asks for the recipe. If you missed that post you can find it HERE.

Recently, I was contacted by Coco-Treasure asking if I would like to try some of their coconut products. I agreed and below you can watch an unboxing video of what they sent me.

I received 2 bags of Coco-Treasure  coconut sugar, 2 bottles of coconut nectar syrup and 2 jars of extra virgin coconut oil. Coco Treasure is committed to producing products using the best that Mother Nature has to offer. These products are USDA Organic, Non-GMO, contain no chemicals and are ethically sourced. Coco Treasure Organic Coconut Sugar and Organic Coconut Nectar Syrup has a low glycemic index and helps to prevent blood sugar spikes.

Their Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is Unrefined, Non-GMO, Vegan & Gluten Free, contains no chemicals and is ethically sourced. All products are made from coconuts that have not been treated with any pesticides or chemicals and are hand-picked at their peak quality. Use Coconut Oil for cooking, baking as a dietary supplements and for your pets.

I will be doing some cooking and baking with this in the upcoming weeks and posting about that so stay tuned. You can buy these products right on Amazon. If you would like to enter for a chance to win one of each of these Coco Treasure Products, enter below.

 

Giveaway:

 

 

Coco-Treasure is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a bag of Coco- Treasure Coconut Sugar, a bottle of Coconut Nectar Syrup and a jar of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil! Thank you to Coco Treasures for the review products and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Coco Treasure Coconut Products Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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