We’re excited to announce our newest Rodelle Brand Ambassador, Traci over at Vanilla and Bean! With great photographs, an emphasis on seasonal and natural ingredients and some stellar baked goodies, Traci is a natural fit for the Rodelle Brand Ambassador Program! While Traci’s blog is focused on fresh and fabulous vegetarian recipes, we promise that even the most carnivorous eaters will be eating their veggies after they see the care and thought that goes into each of Traci’s posts. With Traci’s background in pastry and baking, we recommend Vanilla and Bean for any cook or baker out there!
Today, Traci is sharing a recipe for Pumpkin Maple Pecan Granola with Cranberries. With a heavy does of fall, home made pureed pumpkin and some step-by-step action shots, this is a MUST SEE! Get over to Vanilla and Bean to make some delicious granola and stay a while to see the other delicious treats Traci has been whipping up!
Every month, we brainstorm recipes for the season that our Executive Chef will make for our website with our products. And, every month we are adding those finished recipes to our website for our readers. It is a fun process and usually the recipes come together for Leigh, our Executive Chef, on the first try. But, sometimes we through her a curve ball and she goes home with homework to figure out why a certain flavor isn’t showing through as much as she would like, or for a different variable.
Last week, Leigh whipped up a pumpkin flan in our test kitchen. And it tasted awesome! But, it wasn’t setting just perfectly, so over the weekend, Leigh tested out the recipe at home, made some tweaks and shared her process with us for a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process necessary for recipe development.
First, forming the base for the caramel.
Line all of the ramekins with your caramel base.
Add the custardy flan!
Finally, enjoy the finished project!
We have the recipe for Pumpkin Flan on our website, so check it out and show us how it turns out when you try it at home! And, remember, if it isn’t right the first time…try again!
One of the best things about working for a company that crafts wonderful baking essentials, spices and seasonings is experimenting with those flavors! We are often treated to taste tests and samples of new products — it’s hard work but someone has to do it. And, it ultimately makes for a better product for our customers. We make sure it tastes like we want it to, and then we move forward with selling it — so once it gets to your kitchen, it has been back and forth in ours several times. Quality control, people.
We also like to experiment with different applications of our favorite products: savory, sweet and spirits are where we usually head with these experiments. We’ve also been known to throw some vanilla in bath scrubs, or make candles for gift guides. So, it just goes to show that with a little creativity and a new perspective, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Coming up on the holiday season, we felt the need to shake things up and give a new twist to some of our ingredients and come up with some cocktail recipes. A team of mixologists at a popular local restaurant offered to help out, and we willingly handed over a few products to get their juices flowing.
With Rodelle ingredients, the team at Jay’s Bistro came up with:
- The Steve Miller
- Pumpkin Spiced Mulled Wine
- Orange Pisco Hot Chocolate
- Almond Poppy Toddy
- Thyme Square
- Blood Orange Vanilla Margarita
After much sampling and debating, we are going to start with the Pumpkin Spiced Mulled Wine, and the recipe for that will be on our website next week! But, keep your eyes peeled for another cocktail recipe coming soon after.
Last weekend, we were at the International Food Bloggers Conference, hosted by Foodista, in beautiful Seattle, Washington. As gift suite sponsors, we handed out some of our finest vanilla beans to conference attendees — everyone said they were the highlight of the swag! One of the highlights of the weekend for us: meeting two of our Brand Ambassadors:
Along with Peabody and Becky, we were so excited to meet several other amazing bloggers and hear what they had to say. The weekend was filled with great conversations, and some educational seminars. From those seminars, we thought we’d share our reading list for the fall:
- The Flavor Bible: by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Karen and Andrew shared some of their history as keynote speakers and their creativity and energy for food was palpable. We’re sure this book will up our kitchen game!
- Will Write for Food: by Dianne Jacob. Dianne’s approach to food is out of the box and we are excited to apply her approach in the kitchen and in our posts.
What are you reading this season?
It’s not as much of a “want” as it is a “NEED.” We’re not talking about the sugar-withdrawal, twitchy need of a late shift, long car trip or other circumstance that requires a constant stream of sugar, caffeine or other stimulant to get you through. We’re talking about that deep-rooted need for comfort, relaxation and a hefty dose of chocolate. Have you been there?
Well, it happened recently. There I was, enjoying a fine evening at home and the idea of a warm brownie crept into my brain and I was rendered helpless. The next 30 minutes were spent scouring the pantry for the ingredients. Short on stock in the Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa department, the alternative was to break into my stash of chocolate bars (also another “need” around my house).
Ingredients were gathered and it was time to get to business.
I decided on a simple, traditional recipe, and added an extra element of flavor with a vanilla bean (and kept the vanilla extract, too). I used a chocolate bar that was sweetened, so reduced the sugar from 1 1/4 cups to 3/4 cups. After a quick bake, it was time to pull them out and wait patiently for a couple minutes to chill — then it was go time.
From craving to brownie in hand, it was about an hour, and well worth the patience (cooking time) and research (thank you, internet) to find a recipe that allowed me to whip up a brownie without running to the store. Next time you feel the need for a brownie, we encourage you to try one of your own recipes, or visit our recipes page for some inspiration:
Are there any foods that you think of and need upon first thought? Let us know!