Tips and Tricks

Easy Ways to Make Any Meal Extraordinary

These tips and tricks will provide some helpful shortcuts to ease the cooking process.


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Salad Suggestion


A fresh green salad lightly dressed with Private Selection Balsamic Vinegar and Private Selection Olive Oil makes a wonderful complement to a satisfying and hearty lasagna. 

Sundae Bar


Create a sundae bar for guests by placing several flavors of Private Selection ice cream in ice-filled bowls, surrounded by Private Selection Chocolate Baking Chips, maple syrup, fresh fruit, and fruit preserves mixed with 2 tablespoons of sherry for a spiked fruit sauce. 

Cake Topper


Use Private Selection Maple Syrup to sweeten mascarpone, then serve over Private Selection Honey Apple Cake for a delicious pairing that marries warm fall flavors.

Fabulous Freezer Pie


Use a whipped ice cream and heavy cream combination to make a delicious freezer pie. Lightly bake and cool a graham cracker crust. Place a thin layer of Private Selection Preserves in the bottom of the cooled pie shell, and place a layer of the ice cream and whipped cream on top of the preserves. Put a layer of crumbled Private Selection Cookies on the cream layer and top with one more layer of the ice cream mixture. Freeze the pie for two hours before serving; garnish the pie with shaved Private Selection Chocolate on top right before serving. 

Caramelized Nuts


Use Private Selection Almonds to create caramelized nuts by mixing 1 cup Private Selection Turbinado Sugar, 1 tablespoon butter and a pinch of Private Selection Sea Salt. Melt the butter, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan, stirring until light brown, then add the nuts to coat. Place the nuts on a cookie sheet to cool; break apart any clusters that form.

Meat-Lover’s Lasagna


For a heartier version of lasagna that incorporates meat, brown 1 pound of Private Selection Ground Beef in a heavy-bottom saucepan until it’s thoroughly cooked, about 12 minutes. Place the beef in a bowl and set aside. The Basilico sauce, tomatoes and basil can be cooked in the same pan; scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. This adds a rich beef flavor to this delicious dish. 

Salted Chocolate Baguette


Place a square of Private Selection Chocolate on a round of Private Selection Baguette and sprinkle it with a few grains of Private Selection Sea Salt, then bake for 3 to 4 minutes at 325 F until the bread is lightly toasted and the chocolate has softened. The salt and chocolate marry deliciously; the salt highlights the flavor of the chocolate, especially the darker varieties.

Add Some Green


Thaw Private Selection Green Beans with Private Selection Wax Beans for contrasting color. Cook for 5 minutes in a heavy pan with 1 tablespoon of Private Selection Olive Oil, plus a dash of sea salt and black pepper. Garnish with Private Selection Almond Slices. 

A Touch of Italy


A light touch of Private Selection Olive Tapenade or Private Selection Tomato Bruschetta creates a new dish, and incorporates the intense flavor of olives, sun-dried tomatoes and spices.

Lamb Leftovers


Leftover roasted lamb makes an excellent sandwich: Tuck it into oven-warmed Private Selection Pugliese Bread with baby greens, hummus and peach relish. 

Perfectly Parfait


Many substitutions can be made to this parfait recipe, creating a number of combinations for this very pretty dessert. Appeal to chocolate lovers by mixing softened Private Selection Chocolate Ice Cream with heavy cream, and topping German chocolate cake cubes with Private Selection Cherry Preserves mixed with sherry (instead of peaches); garnish with any shaved Private Selection chocolate variety. Private Selection Maple Syrup can also be substituted for the fruit preserves, adding a warm maple flavor that soaks into Private Selection Honey Apple Cake cubes. 

Iced Coffee


Use Kona blend coffee to enhance delicious iced coffee by brewing a strong pot and making ice cubes with it after the coffee has cooled. The cubes will melt in the iced coffee but won’t dilute the coffee flavor. Top with Private Selection Vanilla Ice Cream for a sweet float.

Garlic Bread Twist


For a variation on garlic bread, the loaf can be sliced vertically in 2" angled slices, almost down to the bottom crust. Spread a butter-and-garlic mixture between vertical slices and broil until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted and fragrant. 

Coffee-Infused Rub


Create a lightly coffee-flavored rub for beef by combining Private Selection Texas BBQ or Private Selection Crusting Dry Rubs with 1 tablespoon of ground Private Selection Coffee; coat the beef before grilling or roasting.

There’s the Rub


Private Selection Dry Rubs can be used on fish before grilling or baking for non-meat-eaters who seek the bold flavors of the rubs. Gently coat fish with Private Selection Citrus and Savory Dry Rub and grill or roast for rich flavor. 

Dressed-Up Dessert


Place Private Selection Chocolate Lava Cakes on top of sweetened mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. Add Private Selection Turbinado Sugar and Private Selection Vanilla to the softened cheese; whip some heavy cream and blend it with the cheese. Place a generous dollop on each plate, then set the Lava Cake on it so that each bite includes both cake and cream. 

Mocha Complement


Create a mocha coffee drink to accompany Private Selection croissants by blending Private Selection Coffee with Private Selection Double Cocoa or Private Selection Caramel Sea Salt Hot Chocolate. Serve with oven-fresh croissants or pain au chocolate, accompanied by any Private Selection locally sourced preserves, for a European-inspired breakfast. 

Balsamic Glaze


Make a balsamic glaze by reducing 1 1/2 cups of Private Selection Balsamic Vinegar in a heavy saucepan, stirring to prevent scorching, until it’s reduced to the thickness of chocolate syrup. Drizzle over vanilla ice cream and sliced strawberries or raspberries for a sweet yet tart creamy dessert. This glaze also can be drizzled over Private Selection Cheesecake.

On the Side


Serve Private Selection Spanakopita with hummus and lemon wedges.

“Fancy” Meatloaf


Private Selection Dry Rubs can be used to flavor a meatloaf, creating a savory crust. Mix together 2 pounds of Private Selection Ground Beef, 1/2 cup of Private Selection Seasoned Breadcrumbs, one beaten egg, and salt and pepper; form the mixture into a meatloaf. Coat the loaf in Private Selection Peppercorn House Blend or Private Selection Texas BBQ Rub for a more flavorful twist on meatloaf. 

Café Milkshake


Make a delicious milkshake with Private Selection Ice Cream, Private Selection Coffee and milk: In a blender, mix two scoops of ice cream, one cup of strong Private Selection Coffee and one cup of milk.

Crab Salad Sandwich


To make a crab salad sandwich, remove the crab from the shell and mix it with chopped celery, onion, dill and spiked mayo, then place it on a toasted, buttered Private Selection bun. It’s like a lobster roll, but with Private Selection Crab Legs.

Easy Baked Brie


Place a whole brie in the center of a piecrust and top it with Private Selection Raspberry Preserves. Fold the crust over the cheese to create a sealed, round shape, decoratively folding the pie dough over the top. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes until the dough is fragrant and browned. Allow it to cool for several minutes before serving.

Quick and Easy Sauce


Make a quick chimichurri sauce to serve with grilled meats or fish by blending 1 cup of fresh parsley, 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup of Private Selection Olive Oil and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. Add red pepper flakes, Private Selection Ground Cumin, Private Selection Sea Salt and Private Selection Black Pepper to taste. The bright green color and bright flavors contrast beautifully with any cooked protein. Great on burgers, too!

Crostini Toppers


Hummus can be substituted for herbed cream cheese on the salmon crostini. To make herbed cream cheese, mix softened cream cheese with fresh or dried herbs, and add salt and pepper. For the hummus, lemon zest or chopped fresh or dried herbs can be stirred in, adding additional bright flavor. Chopped capers can also be added to introduce an intense, bright and contrasting flavor. 

Quick Switch


Lamb chops can be substituted for a whole roast of lamb to make easy appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Top each chop with relish and arrange on a serving platter. 

Simple Dip


Create a different dipping sauce for crab and tempura shrimp by mixing Private Selection Mayonnaise, chili sauce and a little lemon juice. 

Burger Bar


Create a burger bar for guests by arranging tomato, onion, lettuce and cheese slices together, with the cheese on the bottom so it melts when placed on grill-cooked burgers. Offer a variety of sliced Private Selection Pickles, Jalapenos, and BBQ sauces; Private Selection Stone Ground, French Dijon, or Whole Grain Garlic mustards; and additional cheese and bun varieties.


In addition, try red onion slices lightly brushed with Private Selection Olive Oil and grilled for deeper flavor. Guests will enjoy creating their own specialized burger, and food can be arranged to encourage people to try new flavors and combinations.

Full-Flavored Meat


A generous amount of Private Selection Sea Salt provides a genuine crust for a roast or meat. Slicing the meat against the grain keeps it juicy. Alternately, before searing, coat the roast with Private Selection Dry Rub and sear for additional flavor. Making cuts into the meat with a paring knife enables roasting whole garlic cloves or rosemary within the meat, imparting a delicious herb flavor to each slice. 

Tempting Topping


Blue cheese dip makes a delicious topping for baked potatoes, and adds delicious flavor to a roast beef sandwich.