Archive for March, 2011

Caraway Seeds

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Are you wondering what to do with the Caraway Seeds you bought for last week’s recipe? Well, I was – so I found some other recipes that use Caraway Seeds;

Besides their health benefits they have a nutty, rustic flavor that tastes great in breads, cakes, biscuits and cheeses.

Caraway Cheese Ball from

3/4 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp dijon mustard

2 Tbsp dry sherry

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound shredded Cheddar Cheese

3 Tbsp Caraway Seeds for rolling

1.  Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until soft and fluffy.  Stir in mustard, sherry and 1 tsp Caraway Seeds, mixing thoroughly.  Beat in Cheddar cheese and vegetable oil. Shape mixture into a ball and roll in the remaining3 tablespoons of Caraway Seeds.  Wrap coated ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

– Or, if you didn’t buy Caraway Seeds last week –

Watkins Gourmet Snack and Dip Seasonings make a great cheese ball;

Add 2 Tbsp Watkins Snack and Dip Seasoning (your choice) to 8 ounces of cream cheese; form into a ball, roll in finely chopped nuts and refrigerate.  Watkins Gourmet Snack & Dip Seasonings are versatile and economical,  available in nine flavors for just $8.99 each, one bottle makes about 44 servings.



Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Traditional soda bread contains flour, baking soda, sour milk (buttermilk), salt and nothing else! It didn’t keep long and had to be baked in a Dutch Oven every few days. The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread ( is the site to visit if you are curious about the history of  St. Patrick and traditional Irish Soda Bread.

I decided to try a newer, more appetizing version, since I’m not Irish anyway:

Watkins Irish Soda Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp caraway seeds

2 tsp Watkins Baking Powder

1 tsp Watkins Sea Salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

2 cups sour cream

3/4 cup raisins

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, caraway seeds, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In a small bowl, whisk eggs and sour cream.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in raisins.

Spoon into a greased 9 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing sides of pan.  Cut into wedges; serve warm.  This makes one loaf; twelve wedges.

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


Speaking of tea

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Along with many health benefits, tea is the ultimate comfort food.  Are you brewing your tea correctly? suggests using fresh spring or filtered water and the following times and temperatures:

Green Tea – water should be just under 180 degrees, use one tsp or one tea bag per 8 oz. cup, steep one minute.

Black Tea –   water should be 212 degrees, use one tsp or one tea bag per 8 oz. cup, steep 3-4 minutes.

White Tea – water should be just under 180 degrees, use 1.5 tsp or one tea bag per 8 oz. cup, steep 5-6 minutes.

Herbal Tea – water should be 212 degrees, use 1.5 tsp or one tea bag per 8 oz. cup, steep 5-6 minutes.

Did you know that you can “decaf” any tea?  To remove 85% of caffeine, steep tea for 30 seconds in correct temperature water, pour it out then steep it again for the normal time.

Extracts! Extracts! Read all about it!  Create your own flavored teas by adding 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of your choice of Watkins Extracts.  Watkins Gourmet Extracts are convenient and versatile; great for flavoring tea or coffee, baked goods, ice cream, syrup, frosting, candies and bread. They are available in a variety of flavors; cherry, lemon, orange, caramel,  and peppermint to name a few. Click HERE for more recipes or to order Watkins Natural Gourmet Extracts.

Relax and enjoy a cup of tea!