Shrimp and Groovy Grits

Serves 4

2 cups white grits
4 cups water
1 knob butter
1 package “Groovy Grits” blend
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 dozen large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons compound butter of choice**
Parsley, chopped, for optional garnish

Add the grits to boiling water and whisk to prevent clumping; cook according to package instructions. As soon as the grits reach a creamy consistency, stir in the knob of butter, contents of the “Groovy Grits” packet, and cream. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together and let sit with a lid on for about 5 minutes while you sauté the shrimp.

Melt the compound butter in a skillet and quickly sauté the shrimp until pink ~ this should only take about 5 to 7 minutes.

To serve, spoon the grits in the center of 4 plates and place the shrimp on top. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Dilly My Chips
Makes 2 (8 ounce) bags

1 package of "Dilly My Chips"
8 ounce bag of plain, low salt chips

In a small bowl, mix together the 2 packages of  ingredients.  Warm plain low-salt potato chips in the microwave or oven just long enough for oil to glisten; sprinkle dill pickle mixture on and toss.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Rice Garnish

1 cup cold, cooked rice
¼ cup finely chopped onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine all rice garnish ingredients; spoon onto top of hot soup.

 Yields: 2 ½ cups

Dang Good Dukka

Serves 4

1 container of your favorite store-bought hummus

1/2 package of "Dang Good Dukka"

Scoop your favorite hummus into a serving bowl and sprinkle with Dang Good Dukka.  Serve with pita chips, crackers, pretzels or veggies.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen


Spicy Chicken Paillard
Serves 2

1 large chicken breast with ribs and skin OR

   2 small boneless, skinless breasts
2 tablespoons “So Here’s the Rub…”

If using a chicken breast with the ribs and skin intact, remove both. To make the Paillard, slice halfway through the meat in the center of the breast. Then from that center slice, carefully slice halfway across to the left side and again halfway through the right side. Unfold the flaps and press onto cutting board. Place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound the chicken breast to desired thinness. It works easiest if you pound from the inside to the outside.

If you are using a boneless, skinless chicken breast, put it on your cutting board and place your palm on top. Slice the breast crosswise almost all the way through. Open the breast to flatten it and place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; pound to desired thinness.

Sprinkle the breast(s) on both sides with “So Here’s the Rub…” To an iron skillet add EVOO and heat until shimmering. Place the breast(s) in the skillet and sauté until caramelized; turn breast over and repeat. Total cooking time should take only about 5 minutes if your Paillard is thin.

Slice diagonally into strips and serve!

from:  thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Loaded Onion Turkey or Beef Meatloaf
Serves 4 to 6

3 pounds ground turkey or ground beef
1 envelope “Loaded Onion Mix”
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup soft breadcrumbs, torn into pieces
¼ cup milk
⅔ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Soak torn bread in milk for 15 minutes. Place ground turkey, “Loaded Onion Mix”, eggs, and soft breadcrumbs in a large bowl and mix thoroughly by hand. In a separate small bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Stir together until completely blended.

Pat turkey/beef mixture into a loaf pan (not too tightly!) and top with ketchup mixture.

Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 160°.

Serving suggestions: This also makes a great meatball recipe without the ketchup mixture topping. Just sauté or bake the meatballs until desired doneness is reached and serve with a brown gravy for dinner or as appetizers on toothpicks.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Dilly Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Serves 2

1 small cucumber
1 small ripe tomato
1 tablespoon “Dilly My Chips” mixture
Slice cucumber in half the long way and then cut into half-moons; place in a small bowl. Cut the tomato into chunks and add to the bowl with the cucumbers. Sprinkle with the “Dilly My Chips” mixture and toss.  Serve immediately.

 *To turn it up a notch, add chunks of firm but ripe avocado or slivered shallots. Yum!
from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen


Loaded Onion Dip
Serves 8, if you are lucky!

1 "Loaded Onion Mix"
12 ounces - 16 ounces sour cream
snipped chives for garnish, optional

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the packet of Loaded Onion Mix; stir well.  For best results, refrigerate for one hour prior to serving and thin with more sour cream or mayo, if desired.  Serve with your favorite chips, crackers, pretzels or veggies.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Sorta' Spicy Very Veggie Spinach Dip

Serves 8 (~ 2 cups)

4 ounces (1/2 cup) frozen chopped spinach (squeezed dry)
12 ounces sour cream
1 package "Sorta' Spicy Very Veggie" Mix

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 30 minutes so veggies rehydrate.  Depending on whether or not you intend to spread it on crackers/crostini or use as a dip, you might want to loosen the mixture with a little extra sour cream or mayonnaise.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

So Here's The Popcorn...

Serves 10

3 tablespoons of canola oil

2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn

1/2 package of "So Here's The Rub..."

Heat the oil in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan or pot with a lid set over medium-high heat. Pour in popcorn kernels, add the butter to the pot and cover with the lid.  As soon as the kernels start to pop, shake the pan back and forth across the burner constantly until the popping slows down. As soon as the pops are about 2 seconds apart, remove from the heat and pour into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with So Here's The Rub seasoning and toss.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Dukka-​​​​​Spiced Black Bean Patties
Serves 4.

2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons “Dang Good Dukka” mixture
1 large egg white
1 small shallot, grated
¼ cup fine yellow cornmeal

Place 1-½ cups of black beans into a bowl and mash. Place the other ½ cup of black beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, along with the egg white. Process until well combined and then stir into the mashed black beans along with the “Dang Good Dukka”. Stir in the grated shallot.

Divide the black bean mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties. Place the cornmeal into a shallow pan or pie plate. Thoroughly but thinly coat the patties with the cornmeal.

Heat a non-stick skillet with EVOO and sauté the patties for about 4 minutes on each side.

Serving suggestions: as a burger on a bun with sliced tomato, lettuce and avocado with mayo or hummus.

 from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen


Groovy Grits

Serves 4

1 cup grits (cooked by package directions)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 package of "Groovy Grits"

Cook grits according to package directions.  Once done, add heavy cream, then stir in the "Groovy Grits" seasoning.  With a lid on your pot, let sit for 2-3 minutes until     jalapeno’s are rehydrated.  Serve for breakfast with eggs, for dinner topped with shrimp, even as a side for steak. 

 from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Sorta' Spicy Very Veggie Black Bean Soup
Serves 2 - 4

1 cup dried black beans
1 package "Sorta' Spicy Very Veggie" Mix
2 ½ cups chicken OR vegetable stock, divided
Optional garnishes: sour cream, avocado, tortilla strips, rice (recipe below)

Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Let stand 4 hours or overnight. Return to cooktop and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Add 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock and the packet of "Sorta' Spicy Very Veggie" and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the remaining 1-½ cups chicken or vegetable stock. Stir to combine; mash to desired consistency with handheld potato masher and reheat to warm.

Garnish, if desired, with rice recipe to the left or tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, cheese of choice or lime juice.
from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Appetizer-Sized Shrimp and Groovy Grits Cakes

Serves 8 to 12

Follow the instructions to the left for the grits. While the grits are cooking, oil a rimmed cookie sheet. When the grits are finished, spread them onto the cookie sheet and smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm. Remove from the refrigerator and with a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut the firm grits into disks.

In the meantime, sauté the shrimp until pink and then set aside to cool. Or another alternative is to use marinated shrimp!

Place the grits disks on a platter, top with a dollop of remoulade or tartar sauce and place a shrimp on each disk. Garnish with chopped parsley.

These can also be served warm. To do so, sauté the disks in butter until browned and then top with warm shrimp.

**many grocery stores and COSTCO have pre-made delicious compound butters; especially good with this recipe is the lemon and garlic flavor but experiment with different flavors or use your own!

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Sweet Potato Planks

Serves 6.

3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons "So Here's the Rub"

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the potatoes in half and then cut each half into four equal-sized wedges. Arrange the wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with the rub and toss to coat well.

Place in the preheated oven and roast until browned, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside when pierced with a fork - about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

​from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen

Japanese Eggplant with Dang Good Dukka
Serves 4 to 6

4 Japanese eggplants
¼ cup flour
½ bag “Dang Good Dukka”
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the ends off the eggplants and then slice into ½-inch disks. Place the disks on a cookie sheet and salt both sides of the disks. Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes and then rinse. (This process will have drawn some of the liquid out and make the eggplant creamier after sautéing.) Dry disks between 2 sheets of paper towel.

While the eggplant is sitting, in a small bowl mix together the flour and “Dang Good Dukka”.

Heat the oil in a skillet. After the eggplant has been patted dry, coat the disks on both sides with the flour-dukka mixture. Add to the hot skillet and sauté on both sides until golden brown.

To serve, sprinkle with more “Dang Good Dukka” and salt and pepper to taste.

from: thyme to garnish Test Kitchen