All posts by Melody

Roasted Caramel Pears With Pecans

These roasted caramel pears with pecans are a simple and delicious fall dessert.

4 tbsp butter
4 pears, halved and cored
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (or other nuts)
1 teaspoon Watkins caramel extract
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with oven rack in center position..

Place the butter on a baking pan and put into the heated oven. Once butter has melted, add caramel extract and sprinkle with brown sugar. Add the pear halves with the cut side down on top of the butter/sugar (caramel) mixture and bake for about 30 minutes.

Once the pear halves are tender, turn them over and baste with the caramel sauce. Bake for a further 10 minutes until nice and golden.

Serve immediately, place the pear halves in bowls and top with caramel sauce, sour cream and garnish with the pecans.

This can be made ahead, simply reheat the pears and caramel sauce in the microwave before serving.

Almond Bonbons

Here are some tasty little almond bonbons for you to bake up for a special occasion. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 package almond paste (7- or 8-ounce size)
Almond Glaze (recipe follows)
Sliced almonds, toasted, if desired (see Notes)

Heat oven to 375o. Beat flour, butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Cut almond paste into 1/2-inch slices; cut each slice into fourths.

Shape 1-inch ball of dough around each piece of almond paste. Gently
roll to form ball. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set and bottom is golden brown.

Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Dip tops of cookies into Almond Glaze. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Almond Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Watkins almond extract
4 – 5 teaspoons milk

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

Get Free Recipes, Holiday Tips And More

I know what you are thinking, “Thanksgiving and Christmas are months away” but time does fly and the secret to having a stress free holiday is advance planning. The Great Holiday Give Away will help you get prepared, you’ll receive a ton of recipes, tip sheets and eBooks covering everything you need to know to have a fun filled holiday season this year. How awesome is that?

Head on over to the Great Holiday Give Away to pick up your first free eBook (no strings) and if you like what you see sign up for the rest of the goodies.

Simple Time Saving Cooking Tips

If you are like me, cooking may not be your one of your favorite chores, but we need to eat, so it is something that needs to be done every day. Thankfully, there are many time management techniques that you can use to make cooking your family’s meals faster and simpler.

family meal time

One of the easiest ways to save time during the week is to plan your meals ahead of time. Yes, I am suggesting the dreaded menu planning! This will free up the time you spend each night trying to decide what to make for dinner, racing to the grocery store, standing in line to pay for your purchases, and then driving back home to cook your meal.

Instead, once a week you’ll sit down, write out the meals you’ll have during the week, and make one trip to the grocery store. When you plan your meals according to what is on sale that week, this will also help you save money.

The following are some more tips to help you save time, but still provide tasty and healthy meals for your family:

  • The casserole was very popular in the 1970’s, but it fell out of fashion during the 80’s and 90’s. Yesterday’s busy woman’s favorite stand by meal is making a come back among today’s busy families and for good reason. This is a one pot dinner that is quick and easy to make and easy to clean up too, since there is only the one dish plus plates and silverware to wash.
  • Now that you’ve discovered casseroles, you may also want to consider freezer cooking. With this method of cooking, you’ll spend one weekend preparing a month’s worth of dinners and then you’ll store them in the freezer. Many casseroles are perfect for freezer cooking too. At night, you’ll take out the next day’s dinner and let it thaw in the fridge. About an hour before dinner, just pop that night’s meal into the oven, maybe toss up a salad and your family will sit down to wonderful home cooked meal.
  • Are you using your slow cooker? This is a great time saving appliance when it comes to cooking. When you get up in the morning, simply add the ingredients for your meal and let it simmer all day. When you are ready to eat, your dinner will be hot and ready to eat. The slow cooker doesn’t heat up you house like the oven does so it’s great for cooking year round! Again, there is only one pot to wash so clean up will be a breeze and if your slow cooker is large, you might have extra to freeze for another meal!
  • You can also plan ahead by cooking extra, in order to create quick and easy meals throughout the week. I really do love leftovers, for instance, using Pot Roast as an example, you can cook enough for two meals, use the leftover roast to make a stir fry or sandwiches for packed lunches.

Do you have some simple, short cut cooking tips? Please do share them with us in the comments!

Raspberry Mustard Salad Dressing

If you love fresh, just picked raspberries, this raspberry mustard salad dressing will let enjoy the summer fresh flavor of raspberries all year round. We were served this salad dressing at Watkins business conference today at a special leadership luncheon. I promised everyone I’d keep them up to date so here’s what you missed. When you eat this you can image you were there with us!

1 cup fresh or frozen thawed raspberries
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey mustard
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2 tsp Watkins Original Grapeseed Oil
1/2 tsp Watkins Thyme
1/2 tsp Watkins Black Pepper

Continue reading Raspberry Mustard Salad Dressing

The Best Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

This is the best, moist and delicious barbecue pork tenderloin you’ll ever make. The secret is marinating the tenderloin in a herbed, apple, garlic sauce. This recipes doubles well so you can make extra for sandwiches or a cold plate dinner. Cold dinners are perfect for when it is too hot or you are too busy to cook.

1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
3 tsp Watkins garlic liquid spice
1 tbsp Watkins rosemary, crumbled
2 tbsp honey mustard
1 tbsp Watkins grapeseed oil
1 tbsp Watkins minced green onion
1/2 tsp Watkins granulated black pepper
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, fat trimmed

Directions: In bowl, mix all ingredients, except tenderloin. Place tenderloin in a bowl and pour mixture over it. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Pre-heat the BBQ on medium heat. Remove tenderloin from the marinade and set marinade aside. Barbecue the tenderloin for about 15 minutes, turning and basting the meat often with the marinade. The meat should be brown on the outside with just a touch of pink on the inside. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 min to let the juices settle before slicing it into half inch slices.

Heat the remaining marinade, bringing it just to a boil and serve it with the sliced tenderloin.

You’ll find the herbs, spices and other barbecue essential ingredients in the Watkins US store or the Watkins Canadian Store. When you drop by, be sure to ask for a free Watkins products catalog.

How To Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are quick to cook and a great source of protein. Here’s how to cook hard boiled eggs to eat on their own, to use in recipes that call for hard boiled eggs or to make colored Easter eggs!

Hard-boiled eggs Place desired number of eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Immediately cool eggs in cold water to prevent the yolks from turning grey.

Thanks to Megan for the beautiful egg photo, click the image to see more of her photos.