Over the years, I've deemed myself ' a student of human behavior' which is why I love doing demos.  They're one of the ultimate ways of observing humans and all of their personalities and idiosyncrasies.  Prime example-- I demoed our rubs at the recent Eugene Truffle Festival and decided to taste test a new potential collaboration--CRICKETS seasoned with our rubs.  

During set-up I conservatively filled my tasting dishes with 'just enough' to get through the show as I just KNEW the crickets would probably not fly (omg, no pun intended! HONEST) with a whole lot of people.  Glad I'm not a bettin' woman because I'd have lost my shirt on that one! WOW!! The response was off-the-chart! I refilled my dishes 6x during the show!! Young, old, male, female, foodies, wanna-be-foodies, non-foodies and everyone in between just HAD to try the crickets! There were some 'squeamers' no doubt and for some, there wasn't enough 'liquid courage' on the planet to get a cricket near their mouths!  But for ALL of the others who 'stepped up to the plate' (especially the 12yrs/under) and indulged their curiosity, I say KUDOS for stepping out of your comfort zones!  Many of you were surprised but pleased at your own courage to overcome the mental block that keeps so many from experiencing new and different things about which we have a mental block.  I saw GROWTH at that table and what was even cooler is that once on your tongues, you wondered what the fuss was about in trying them. They taste like sunflower seeds or a mild nut or popcorn.  Then when you get the flavor of our rubs on them, well hell, give you a handful--a couple of handfuls!  LOADED w protein, sustainable, and cheaper to produce than a pound of meat or seafood, crickets are one of the 'it' foods on the list of foods that are good for us!  

I baked a batch with each of our rub flavors and sauteed another batch with the 3 flavors.  i got great feedback on the preference of not only the flavors but the textures between the two cooking methods.  THANK YOU to all who had fun just trying something you've been curious about thanks to recent media attention about the quest for alternative sources of protein.  I had a blast watching the enthusiasm and facial expressions of taste testers across the map. Stay tuned for more tasty developments and opportunities to taste test at demos around town!  Check out some pics from the show. 

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Can't believe we are beginning a new year already!  Last year just FLEW by in a flurry of trade shows, demos, and new retail opportunities.  Before we get too deep into 2017, let me send out a personal THANK YOU! to all of our loyal and passionate foodies who used the products and shared them with friends and family.  It is so much fun getting face-time with you all and swapping recipe ideas and absorbing your enthusiasm about the products! Thanks to all who stopped by our booths during Holiday Market 2016! (check out the pic)

We're coming up with some very creative, out-of-the-box uses for the rubs so stay tuned for those and please continue to send me yours as well.  Other foodies/cooks out there appreciate hearing your ideas too!  Don't be afraid to play with these flavors--remember, we're not curing cancer we're just cooking and having fun in the kitchen creating new taste sensations for our families and friends.

As we go into this New Year, I look forward to seeing you out and about at a demo or tradeshow. Let's make this an even more flavorful, soulful, spirit-filled year!

Sincerely, 

Robin

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

We're heading into the final stretch of the holidays.  I know there are procrastinators out there who will be desperately looking for last minute holiday stocking stuffers or hostess gifts that you need (and really should be taking as a guest in someone's house).  What's that you say? "I have clients to thank; service people like my auto mechanic, banker, postman, hair stylist, manicurist...." You get my drift.  The PDS line is great for so many occasions; easy to gift wrap or ship!  So come see me at the LAST weekend for the Holiday Market at the Fairgrounds from Dec 22-24, Booth #157.  My other 2 weekends saw fast and furious sales because the product is good and the price is even better!  Free nibbles always help too, LOL so come keep me company and check out the other vendors too.  There are some really artistic, gorgeous gifts for everyone on your list!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

I am on a mission to 'save the leaves of celery'.  Recently, at a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner, she was prepping celery and the next thing I knew, she tosses these gorgeous celery leaves in the trash!  "Stop (I say to myself); should I say something?" Well because it goes against EVERY fiber of my being to waste ANYTHING, within reason, I gave her a mini education about the FLAVOR in celery leaves and how it's a sin to waste them.  She was a good friend and took the 'lesson' well but I was soooo tempted to retrieve them from the trash to 'save' them but I didn't...they were already part of the 'landfill' trash so we moved on.  My message to you, if you cook, want to cook, can't cook a lick---USE THE CELERY LEAVES! There's FLAVOR in those leaves and at the very least, FREEZE them to use for stock later!!! Yikes, there really are starving people who would've 'dumpster-dove' for those leaves!!!!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Membrillo in Eugene is the kind of place I could eat at several times a week and not get bored--ever!  I had THE most memorable meal there recently---was going to order an entree but decided to jump right in and went for the Chef's Tasting Menu Deluxe.  It did NOT disappoint!! OMG--10 courses, 10 sublime, soul-satisfying, beautifully presented courses that filled my belly and soul like none have in a while!  My friends were thoroughly impressed as well and we 'rolled' out of there totally sated!  I didn't take a single pic--too busy taking it all in w my eyes--and mouth.  You're going to have to go for yourself and enjoy the experience.  So nice to have this caliber of eatery in Eugene.  Slowly, but surely, we're getting there.  Thanks for your passion and vision, Corey.

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Those of us who cook for a living rarely get the opportunity to eat food cooked by someone else but when we do and it's off-the chart amazing, praise must be given.  I try to get around as often as I can to see, to taste, to be inspired, to fill my soul and a few recent meals deserve high praise indeed.  The Blind Sparrow is this new eatery in Vancouver, BC that creates out-of-the-box dishes and cocktails.  Tapas-style menu, lively atmosphere, alfresco dining (much quieter and cozy). Their hamburger sliders are the bomb! Ordered some garlic mashed potatoes as a side--yummy comfort food!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Spent all day yesterday putting my garden to bed.  Why is it that just when you think it's time, the weather decides to grace you with more sun and warmth? There was still stuff on the vines but not ripe and now with cooler nights, who knows if or when it will be?? So I capture what I can and the rest goes to compost.  At least it will be returned to the earth and provide amazing nutrients for next year's plantings. Of course, it also means that summer is over but Fall is my favorite season so I'm not crying too much about losing 90+degree weather.  I LOVE the colors, smells, textures of Fall and am PSYCHED to create dishes using seasonal ingredients!!!  Hope your garden provided you with an abundance of bounty, some of which we will be eating over winter (if you're one of 'those' kind who actually took the time to preserve your harvest).  In the past, I was one of 'those' but this year my catering was soooo busy that I had to pass.  Such is life; I'll eat someone else's efforts.  HAPPY FALL!!!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Been honing my sausage-making skills lately and am loving the end results!  Love trying new ways of producing good quality products from scratch and up till recently, I'd been using the attachments I bought for my Cuisinart.  Happen to mention to a friend about my efforts and damn if he didn't 'just happen to have' a commercial sausage stuffer he wanted to sell...I went, I saw, I bought.  I had no idea about the quality of an 'F DICK' but it was definitely built to last!! Turns out,upon research, that it was designed by a Frederic Dick and is considered top-of-the-line in sausage making machines!  Thing weighs about 50# and makes 24# of sausage; my friend swears he's made some kick-ass sausage using it so I was sold.  Easy to operate, he said, easy to clean, he said...sold, sold, sold. I plan on infusing my sausage with the 3 flavors of PDS and I'll certainly let you know how it all turns out.  Might even YOUtube the process! For now, here's what it looks like....

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Catered a private event recently that was a pool party on one of our HOTTEST days ever!! Great for a pool party--not so great for cooking chicken, especially if you want it crispy.  Luckily, the commercial kitchen I use has great ventilation so that when you have 4 ovens going, it's not so bad...

This Crispy Oven Baked Chicken was a hit; combination of panko bread crumbs and cornflakes and herbs for the coating.  The glaze was a mix of maple syrup, hot sauce. & butter drizzled over--buffalo style.  Yummylicious--even on a 90 degree+ day!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Here's another 'necessity breeds invention' dish--Meatball Tostada.  It's Friday night, it's been a WICKED week, and all you want to do is NOT have to think---about what to eat, what to cook, what to wear, etc....Scan contents of fridge and freezer, grab a cocktail and come up with some creation from what you have on hand.  That's how my Meatball Tostada was born.  You know what kills me?  I spend HOURS! DAYS! sometimes creating menus that turn out great but take a LOT of work.  Ten minutes and 2 beers later, I have a meal that not only was easy to prep but damn it was tasty!  Spicy meatballs on a crisp base with a creamy sauce and goat/provolone cheese.  Booya!!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood