Deviled Eggs Two Ways

So maybe you wouldn’t trade that Cadbury Chocolate Egg for a Deviled Egg. But then again, maybe you haven’t tried a vomFASSified Deviled Egg! Here are two recipes for putting some zip in your app!

Curried Deviled Eggs

Serves 12 (2 each)

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeleddeviled eggs Easter vomFASS Mall of America Minnesota Food1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 t. vomFASS White Grape Balsamic Vinegar
½ t. vomFASS Madras Curry Powder, more for garnish
1 T.  vomFASS Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard
vomFASS Himilayan Sea Salt and Indian Green Pepper to taste
vomFASS Calamansi Balsamic Pearls
cream or milk to moisten yolks, as needed

Slice eggs in two, lengthwise. Spoon out the yolks into a bowl and mash with fork until smooth.  Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, curry powder, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon the filling into the egg whites, or put the yolk mixture into plastic re-sealable bag. Cut one corner off and squeeze yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with Curry  and Calamansi Balsamic Pearls before serving. Use a small spoon to create a little divot in each yolk mixture to keep the pearls in place. Enjoy!

 

Smokin’ Good Deviled Eggs

Serves 12 (2 each)

Ingredientsdeviled eggs recipe Easter vomFASS Mall of America Minnesota Food

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/3 C. real mayonnaise
2 T. bacon bits (optional)
1 T. vomFASS Spanish Red Wine Vinegar
1 T. vomFASS Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard
vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend and Danish Smoked Sea Salt, to taste

Cream or milk, as needed, to make the filling easy to pipe.
vomFASS Spicy Smoked Paprika and Raspberry or Calamansi Balsamic Pearls, for garnish

Directions

Slice eggs in two, lengthwise. Spoon out the yolks into a bowl and mash with fork until smooth. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, seasonings, and mustard, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings and vinegar, as needed. Add a teaspoon or two of cream if needed. Spoon the filling into the egg whites, or put the yolk mixture into plastic bag. Cut one corner off and squeeze yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with paprika by putting it in a fine strainer and tapping over eggs. Make a small divot in each yolk and add a few balsamic pearls. Enjoy!

 

Easy Summer Party Food

It’s summer in Minnesota, and if your calendar looks like mine, it’s clear that we all try to IMG_3005pack in as many gatherings as possible with family and friends during the social season – otherwise known as summer, a.k.a. road construction season. And to me, socializing goes hand in hand with fabulous food and drink!

I’ve noticed that my cooking class recipes have had a certain Summer theme: Food and drinks that are fast and easy (because our summers are SUPER busy!), don’t require much heat to prepare (because it IS occasionally hot in Minnesota!), and include ingredients that can be left out for a couple hours at an outdoor party without spoiling (olive oil, balsamic vinegars and spices are great for that!) Of COURSE these dishes are delicious, because otherwise, what’s the point?! (psst! don’t tell anyone they’re pretty healthy, too!)IMG_3003

So here is the handout from one of my recent cooking classes: Mediterranean Lifestyle Summer Party Recipes. Three quick and easy party food recipes and three yummy sangria recipes to get you started on your summer party menu planning. By the way, there are LOTS more recipes from my classes, so if you need more ideas, just stop by vomFASS at Mall of America or call us at (952) 426-3222. Ask to speak to someone about ideas for putting vomFASS products to work on a SMASH HIT menu for your next social gathering, whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish to pass!

Happy Summer Socializing, fellow foodies!

Chili Mango Shrimp & Sautéed Green Beans

The food has to been delicious and satisfying, especially when I’m giving my img_1503body a break from carbs and sugars! I see it as an opportunity to step up my menu planning to meet the challenge. So far, so very good!

Chili Mango Shrimp  Serves 4

Ingredients
24 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. vomFASS Chili Sunflower Oil (may substitute Lemon EVOO for all or part of Chili Oil for less spicy)
2 T. vomFASS Mango Balsamic Star
1 clove minced garlic
½ t. vomFASS Texas BBQ spice blend
½ t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt
Freshly ground vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste
Cilantro, chopped, as garnish

Directions
Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, half the salt and a few cranks of pepper in a glass bowl with cover or zip top bag. Add shrimp and marinate 15 – 20 minutes. Do not marinate longer, as shrimp will break down in the acidity.  Empty contents of bag or bowl into hot stir-fry pan. Toss just until cooked through. Finish with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately or chill to serve as an appetizer. In the unlikely event of leftovers, try tossing with salad greens and drizzle with a dressing of oil and vinegar.

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb. Fresh green beans
2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste

Directions
Steam green beans to tender crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium burner. When the oil is shimmery, add green beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until beans are lightly browned/blackened.

Cara Mia Hot Chocolate

Yes, I have made certain New Year’s resolutions that align better with salads than hot caramiahotchocchocolate, but I believe that dolce decadence has a place in my definition of a quality lifestyle, more or less in moderation! And it incorporated one of our newest delicious liqueurs – Cara Mia Caramel Vodka! This recipe will go a long way toward inspiring gratitude for winter!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 4 shots of vomFASS Cara Mia caramel liqueur, to taste

Whipped cream topping

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
  • ½ t. vanilla
  • vomFASS Cinnamon, ground, for garnish

Directions

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Whip cream with mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla. Divide hot chocolate between 4 mugs. Add Cara Mia liqueur. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon. Enjoy!

Squash – Autumn’s Culinary Star

Pick the orange squash most readily available to you, and make it the center of your fall and winter menu planning! Acorn, butternut, pumpkin – all relatively inexpensive, plentiful, loaded with Vitamins A & C, and delicious in so many different ways. You can buy it whole, at the farmer’s market or grocery store to peel and cube yourself, or take a shortcut and buy it already cubed.

We loved this pasta dish I threw together yesterday for a potluck with friends.img_9598

Fall Pasta

Ingredients
2 lbs cubed squash (butternut, acorn or pumpkin)
2 T. vomFASS Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil
2 t. vomFASS Bruschetta alla Toscana spice blend
1/2 t. vomFASS Peppercorn Mix
1 Box pasta (I used gluten free rotini)
1 T. vomFASS Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T. toasted pine nuts
Finely grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Toss squash in sunflower oil and spices. Roast in a 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through roasting time.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta and toss with Rosemary EVOO. Add roasted squash, pine nuts and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with parmesan.

Lots of easy flavor variations, simply using different vomFASS spice blends and oils.

Vegetarian, as described. Easy to make gluten free by using GF pasta. Easy to make vegan by using egg-free pasta and deleting or replacing parmesan with a vegan substitute.

 

 

Simply sophisticated basil pesto

Pesto pasta always seemed so much more exotic to me than a red sauce, or even Alfredo. When I finally decided to make it myself, I was amazed at how easy it is! If you have a mountain of basil to use or freeze before Mother Nature nips it with frost – or if you have a great farmer’s market or local grocery that can supply it, I encourage you to make a batch to eat immediately, and another one or two for freezing.

Pesto pasta is one of my granddaughter Olivia’s favorite meals, and she’s asked me to img_9206make it for her birthday the past few years. Now she knows how to make it too!

Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2/3 cup vomFASS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
vomFASS Pyramid Sea Salt and freshly ground Peppecorn Mix, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Very briefly blanch the fresh basil in very hot water to set the bright green color (thanks for the tip, Splendid Table!) Dry the basil in a salad spinner or on paper towels. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese. If you are using it on pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of hot pasta water and add to pesto to melt cheese and liquify enough to easily coat the pasta. Add pasta and toss to coat. I like also like to marinate chicken or shrimp in pesto before grilling.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Stir in cheese after thawing.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this pesto as much as Olivia and I did!

Watermelon Cucumber Vodka Cooler

Serves 1

Ignore the fact that we’ve lost more than an hour of daylight each morning and evening already! Focus on soaking up these last sultry summer rays with a refreshing beverage in your coozy, pretending the leaves aren’t about to turn and ignoring the Santa counter (that insists there are only 16 weeks until Christmas). I have just the cocktail for the job! It features our new cucumber vodka from Prairie Organic Spirits, made here in Minnesota. We vomFASSified Prairie’s “Garden Variety” recipe from their website – we’re betting you’ll approve!

Ingredients:WatermelonCukeCooler

2 oz Prairie Cucumber Flavored Vodka
4 one-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
2 slices of lime (bitter ends removed)
1 oz FassMix Passion Fruit Syrup
vomFASS Basil Citrus Salt

Directions:

Lightly salt the rim of a low-ball glass with Basil Citrus Salt. Add first four ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into salted glass. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a lime wheel. Enjoy!

vomFASS Wins Again!

 vomFASS recently received the results of this year’s iTQi Superior Taste Awards Ceremony which was held in Brussels, Belgium.

 

The International Taste & Quality Institute – iTQi – is the world’s leading organization iTQi 2016.pngdedicated to testing and promoting superior food and drink. Once again, we have received awards for our high-quality fruit balsamics from the iTQi!

The Superior Taste Award is a unique international recognition based upon the blind judgment of some of the most prestigious Chefs and Sommeliers in the world who are opinion leaders and experts in taste.

vomFASS is extremely pleased to announce that we were, once again, able to achieve excellent results with our in-house specialty balsamic vinegars including the following:

  • Apple Balsamic Vinegar –  3 Stars and the Crystal Taste Award (granted to products that have received 3 stars, 3 years in a row.)
  • Blueberry Balsamic Star – 3 Stars
  • Passion Fruit Balsamic Vinegar – 3 Stars (Coming soon to vomFASS at Mall of America)

The star ratings are defined as follows:

3 Stars = Exceptionall products with 90% and more of total marks

2 Stars = Remarkable products with marks between 80% and 90%

1 Star = Notable tasting products with marks between 70% and 80%

Stop by vomFASS at Mall of America to taste these award-winning products and many other superior taste award-winners to decide which are the winners on your palate!

Fair Trade is Good Trade at vomFASS

One of the many reasons I am proud to own a vomFASS shop is the ethics and caring demonstrated by vomFASS International. One example is the relationship vomFASS has and the support we provide for the work of Father Shay Cullen, who is the founder of the PREDA Foundation.father_cullen

Father Cullen was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and other Human Rights awards. Father Shay Cullen founded the PREDA Foundation in 1974 to promote human rights, justice and peace. He strives to eliminate child abuse and promote respect for children’s rights. The purpose of his projects is to:

  • educate for peace
  • free children from brothels and jails and
  • give them a chance to recover in therapeutic homes and be reintegrated and have a happier life free from jails, brothels, traffickers, violence and abusers.

The foundation operates protective therapeutic recovery shelters for the victims. There are 89 professional Filipino staff implementing the 12 projects for Preda. (visit http://www.preda.org for more information).

Filipinos in Mango field
PREDA stands for People’s Recovery, Empowerment, Development, Assistance Foundation

PREDA’S Mission statement

  • To work for just laws and their implementation that will empower the poor, and protect their rights.
  • To protect the weak and the defenseless especially children and women exploited in demeaning labor, especially prostitution.
  • To come to the assistance of the sexually abused and develop Fair Trade programs that will help alleviate poverty and exploitation.

PREDA products are safe and healthy. The dried fruit and fruit purees are chemical free and are fairly traded. Adherence to Fair Trade practices guarantees that the families who make these products benefit directly from them. Fair trade also promotes training and supports farmers by providing benefits such as medical insurance. Customers can be assured that there is no child labor, sweatshop conditions, and exploitation of any kind.

vomFASS is Fair!

vomFASS helps and supports the local economies with fair prices and premium payments to producers to improve working and living conditions. We source the fruit pulp for our customer-favorite Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, Mango Balsam Vinegar and Wild Mango Balsamic Star from a PREDA plantation. A percentage of sales of these products in contributed towards the planting of as many as 2,000 mango trees a year.

As a vomFASS owner, I am proud to be associated with PREDA’s humanitarian efforts. As a vomFASS customer, you can enjoy your food even more, knowing that it is ethically sourced and supports these noble projects.

Enjoy!

Tamra (a.k.a. Tomboy Tam)

Wild about Wild Mango Balsamic Star

We recently added a new Star to the constellation of specialty balsamic vinegars at vomFASS at Mall of America! If you’ve loved our Mango Balsam Vinegar, your palate will leap over the moon when you taste Wild Mango Balsamic Star! Mango Salad

How are Stars made? 

As you may recall, vomFASS makes all our fruit balsamics at the world headquarters in Waldburg, Germany. We use fresh fruit, press it into juice, ferment it  and incorporate the magical vinegar “Mother” bacteria, before it is aged to perfection. Our “Star” balsamics are basically the same process, with one major difference: they have a higher concentrate of fruit (or honey, in the case of our Honey Balsamic Star). The additional fruit results in a sweeter, thicker, lower-acidity specialty balsamic that is to die for (except for the fact that it’s such a healthy condiment!)

Our new Wild Mango Balsamic Star is composed of mango puree and mango vinegar. It has the full, fruity taste of ripe mangoes of the “carabao” variety, grown on a fair trade plantation in the Philippines (read more). You may enjoy it for refining summer salads, meat or fish dishes or as a base for barbecue sauce.  It’s an exotic complement to desserts, oatmeal or cocktails. Personally, I love it in sparkling water and as a marinade for shrimp or pork. It pairs beautifully with any vomFASS extra virgin olive oil, our organic Avocado Oil, Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and Chili Sunflower Oil. It’s also yummy paired with our Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Blueberry Balsamic Star, such as in this salad recipe.

Mango Blueberry Watermelon Salad ~ Serves 6-8

Watermelon_Feta_Salad

Ingredients: 

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 T. shallots, finely minced
  • 2 T.  vomFASS  Blueberry Balsamic Star
  • 2 T.  vomFASS Wild Mango Balsamic Star
  • ½ cup vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • vomFASS Salt and Pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 8 cups salad greens
  • 3-4 cups red watermelon, rind removed, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • 8 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 2 cups blueberries OR 1 cup black olives
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) fresh mint leaves, minced

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the shallots, vinegars, salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
  3. Taste for flavor and seasoning. Add a little olive oil if less tartness is desired.  Add a little honey if additional sweetness is desired.
  4. Place the greens, watermelon, feta, blueberries or olives and mint in a large bowl.
  5. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well, but gently.
  6. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.
Tip: Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator. To make this dish more savory, use black olives instead of blueberries.

Enjoy! 

Tamra (a.k.a. Tomboy Tam)