Cooking with Kate: Sweet and Salty Chex Mix Recipe

You'll love this famous mix from Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill, featuring Pedernales Brewery's Robert Earl Keen Honey Pilsner!

Sweet and Salty Chex Mix

Ingredients:
1 cup light corn syrup
1 ½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup butter
1 pinch baking soda
Robert Earl Keen Honey Pilsner syrup (recipe below)
12 cups assorted cereals – Golden Grahams, Cheerios, Chex, Kix, or Crispix
4 cups mini pretzel twists
2 cups assorted nuts – pecans, peanuts, almonds, cashews

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Lightly grease a large, rimmed cookie sheet or large roasting pan. In a very large bowl, mix assorted cereals, nuts, and pretzels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring corn syrup, butter, and brown sugar just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add baking soda and beer syrup, mixing well. Carefully pour over cereal mixture and toss to coat.

Spread mixture in greased pans. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, spread on waxed paper, and cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

 

Robert Earl Keen Honey Pilsner Syrup
1 (12 oz) can REK honey pilsner (from Pedernales Brewing Company)
½ cup granulated sugar

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beer just to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium, keeping the beer at a low simmer for 30-40 minutes until the beer has reduced to about ½ cup, stirring every couple of minutes so that it does not burn. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Use immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Note: Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Let come to room temperature before using.

 

Simply Lemonade Ice Pops

Chill out and beat the summer heat with this delicious mix of Simply Lemonade and fresh berries.

Ingredients:

  • Simply Lemonade
  • Fresh blueberries and raspberries
  • Ice pop molds and sticks

Instructions:

  1. Pour Simply Lemonade into ice pop mold.
  2. Add blueberries and raspberries.
  3. Freeze & enjoy.

Also, you can use any of your favorite Simply Beverages. 

Tip: Soak ice pop mold in warm water to loosen and remove the ice pop.

Cooking with Kate: Blackberries, May & Summer

The month of May brings a welcome break from school and lots of anticipation for the summer. The days are getting longer, it is warm enough for swimming, and baseball season is in full swing. With the warmer weather, May also gives us an exciting array of fresh produce. Here are two recipes with the Produce Pick of the Month for May – blackberries!

Mascarpone Dip with Balsamic Basil Blackberries

  • 1 container (8-9 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, good quality
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 (6 oz) package (1 ½ cups) fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large pinch sea salt
  • Assorted crackers, for serving

Bring vinegar and brown sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Pour into a medium bowl and let cool completely. Once cooled, gently stir in blackberries, basil, pepper and salt. Dip the bottom of the mascarpone container in a small bowl of very hot water for about 5 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, unmold mascarpone onto a serving platter. Spoon blackberry mixture over mascarpone, being sure to scrape all the juices out of the bowl. Serve with assorted crackers.

Blackberry Skillet Cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 6 tablespoons butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and zest until combined. With mixer on low, add ½ of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Blend until combined.

In a 10-inch, oven-proof skillet, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly for until bubbly (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat and arrange blackberries evenly in skillet. Pour cake batter over berries and smooth top. Bake in preheated oven until cake is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in skillet on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge and carefully invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Nature's Health Food - Asparagus

The perfect addition to any meal this spring and summer - asparagus!

 

To download PDF, click here

Cooking with Kate: Stroll Into Spring

Springtime is finally here! Even with the mild winter, it’s great to see the sunshine and the azaleas, daffodils, and dogwoods in full bloom. This time of year brings Easter celebrations, ball games, and family picnics. Here are two quick and easy dishes that are sure to please at any potluck.

Glazed Ham with Pineapple and Thyme

  • 1 (8-10 lb.) boneless, smoked ham
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a deep, 9” X 13” aluminum pan with non-stick spray. Cut ham in half lengthwise and then slice into ¼” – ½” slices. Lay slices in sprayed pan. Pour juice over ham slices. Sprinkle with brown sugar and thyme. Tightly wrap the pan with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 2 ½ - 3 hours or until ham slices are heated through. Keep warm to serve.

Cheesy Corn Casserole

  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can creamed-style corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese            
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9” X 13” baking dish with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until just combined. Pour mixture into sprayed pan. Do not cover. Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. Let casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Cooking with Wine

What wine to use? What to do with the leftover? Red or white, dry or sweet? So many questions, but they're all answered here with three simple rules!

Buy a bottle you'll drink

Rule #1 - Don't venture into a new recipe that calls for a wine that you know you don't like. When cooking with wine, the alcohol cooks out and the flavors are more concentrated. If you are not a fan of a varietal of wine, don't attempt the recipe.

Money isn't everything

Rule #2 - Just because the price tag is more expensive, doesn't mean your meal needs it. Most recipes that call for using wine can have a price cap at $12-$15 per bottle. Also, "cooking wines" are not necessary. Buy your favorite bottle for your taste buds and budget.

Leftover wine?

Rule #3 - You've just finished your decadent dish, but you have half a bottle of wine leftover. Most people may know what we would do with it (drink it, right?)...But, for those who are avid chefs-in-the-making, store that bottle (with the cork) in the refrigerator. It should have a shelf life for up to a week for you to tackle your next recipe!

Now, go have some fun in the kitchen!

Nature's Health Food - Sweet Onions

Buttery, Sweet, Cheesy...Onion? That's right! Our Produce Pick for March will redefine sweet onions for you. Try this dip for a great crowd pleasing treat!

To download PDF, click here

Cooking with Kate: Heart Health & Valentine's Day

February is American Heart Month! What better way to celebrate the heart holiday then to get heart healthy?

Here are some simple tips for heart-healthy eating:

  • Use olive oil instead of butter.  Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and helps lower cholesterol.
  • Go nuts! Almonds and walnuts are packed with protein and fiber, and can help lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Pump up potassium! Potassium-rich foods like oranges and low-fat yogurt help control blood pressure.
  • Eat more fish! Especially salmon or tuna that are high in Omega-3s. Check out the glazed salmon recipe below for a quick, heart-healthy dinner.
  • Add flavor to chicken and fish with fresh herbs (rosemary, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary) instead of salt, butter, or oil).

Have a Happy and Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day! 

Citrus-Honey Glazed Salmon with Wild Rice and Sugar Snap Peas with Toasted Almonds

  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or jarred lemon juice (1 lemon), divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless salmon fillets, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 package wild rice mix, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450° F. In a large bowl, combine ginger, ½ of the garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, soy sauce, honey, ½ of the lemon juice, and basil. Add salmon fillets, tossing gently to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Prepare rice according to instructions on package, excluding any salt, oil, or butter. Cut 8 pieces of aluminum foil; wide enough to fit one piece of salmon and ¼ of the snap peas. Remove fish from marinade and discard remaining marinade. Arrange lemon slices on top and bottom of fish fillet. Place one fish fillet and ¼ of snap peas together on one piece of foil. Cover with another piece of foil and tightly fold together top and bottom edges of foil to create a seal to the steaming pouch. Repeat with remaining fillets and snap peas. Place packets on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix remaining garlic, ½ tablespoon olive oil, remaining lemon juice, parsley, almonds, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. When packets are finished baking, carefully cut them open. Divide the almond mixture evenly over the snap peas and stir to coat. To serve, place salmon fillets over wild rice and add seasoned snap peas.

Nature's Health Food - Halos Mandarins

Treat your sweetheart to this sweet treat! Try our February Produce Pick of the Month!

To download PDF, click here

Christmas with Johnny Appleseed

Donut holes never tasted so good! Read more for a great hard apple cider kick to the traditional Christmas dessert.

Ingredients
Donut Holes:

2 cups Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider
2 whole cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 taspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinammon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons apple sauce, naturally sweetened - no sugar added
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions
Donut Holes:

Start by simmering the Johnny Appleseed with the 2 cloves in a small saucepan over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the apple cider reduces down to ½ cup. Remove the cloves from the concentrate and pour the Johnny Appleseed into a container and refrigerate while you prepare the donut batter.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, melted butter, and brown sugar, whisk until smooth (the smoother this is, the fluffier the donut holes!) Then, add in the apple sauce, vanilla, buttermilk, and the refrigerated Johnny Appleseed concentrate.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just well-combined. Pour the batter by the teaspoon into the prepared muffin pans about ¾s of the way full. Make sure to not overfill. Bake the donut holes for 9-11 minutes.

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon together. Dip the tops of each donut hole into the melted butter then coat with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat with all the donut holes. Depending on how long you dip the donuts into the butter, you may need more butter and/or more cinnamon sugar. 

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