Posts in Recipe
Holiday Cutout Cookies
frosted cutouts

One of my FAVORITE cookies would be a frosted cutout...especially around the holiday.  I've played with many recipes over the years and I created one for my online store that is a cross between Cheryl & Co and Panera Bread's frosted cutouts.  I'd love to share that recipe, but it's a total secret so I can't!  BUT... I do have a couple shortbread recipes I'd love to have you try. 

First, here's one from the Barefoot Contessa herself..Ina Garten.  I've made these many many times and they always turn out perfectly.  They are buttery delicious with the perfect shortbread texture.  Don't over-bake!  Nobody likes a hard, dry cookie!

christmas cookies

Then, my other favorite recipe for shortbread is from an american treasure (whom I did actually meet once!), the delightful Julia Child in her 'Baking with Julia' cookbook...this is THE best baking cookbook, FYI.  This is a must try recipe...the technique is very unusual and sounds crazy to freeze and then grate the dough....but,'s everything!

If you get a chance to try either of these, please make a comment below and let me know what you thought.  I'd love to hear from you.

holiday cookies
Master Summer Grilling, Just Add Coffee

Let’s face it, the BEST part of summer isn’t the heat & humidity, or the longer sunny days, not even swimming in the lake or pool.  Well, actually those are certainly not bad…  For many of us the BEST part is summer grilling! There is nothing like firing up the grill to turn up the flavor on all your favorite foods.  How about that charred golden crust and smoky flavor? What about creating the most tender juicy steak or succulent fall off the bone ribs? Now, THAT’s summer!  And I have a secret ingredient for you… Coffee.   It’s not only the best part of waking up…it’s in my dry rub!

Why coffee in a dry rub for grilling?

There are two reasons I use ground coffee in my dry rub and it’s not for the coffee flavor. In fact, you probably won’t even taste coffee in my rub. There is just enough in my secret recipe to add depth of flavor to the meat giving it a richness that enhances the natural flavor. The acidity of the coffee also aids in the process of tenderizing the meat. So, as long as you don’t overcook, you’ll get that perfect, tender bite!

Coffee can be used in both ground and brewed forms for your summer grilling.  Ground coffee is perfect for dry rubs, while brewed coffee is great for liquid marinades and sauces. Just add brewed coffee to your favorite marinade or sauce and taste how the flavors explode.  It just takes the flavor to the next level.  Here’s another secret ingredient idea…add brewed coffee to your baked beans! You might have to experiment a little just based on your brew strength. Remember, you’re not looking for your food to be coffee flavored.  Use just enough to enhance what’s already there.  Leave people wondering…  Don’t hit them over the head with COFFEE…

The next question is when...sit overnight? Or, just before grilling?

Many cooks/chefs have strong opinions on when to apply a dry rub -- some say to allow at least a couple of hours and ideally overnight. Others only will apply it as they are placing them in them on the grill.  I believe it just comes down to preference.  Food science would give pros and cons to either, but whatever overall effect timing would have is most likely little.


Applying just prior to cooking tends to not allow time for the moisture to be pulled form the outer layers of the meat.  Some feel this produces a more succulent result to the meat.  Letting the rub marinate creates a paste because it draws out some of the moisture from the meat. It could seem from this process that the meat could have a dry texture.

From my experience, I like to apply my dry rub at least 8 hours to overnight.  I feel like this gives more time for the protein to absorb flavor and for the coffee to do its work in tenderizing the meat.  Yes, the salts will pull some of the liquid/moisture from the meat. But, not enough to leave it dry and I like the paste that is created with the meats juices…it creates a great crust (or bark) when grilled.

This summer, get creative with your coffee AND your grill. Encrust your pork tenderloin with a mix of peppercorns and ground coffee, or add some left over brewed coffee to your baked beans or favorite barbecue sauce. 

No time to play with your food? 

With Coffee Dry Rub by Paul Wayne, you will be the master of your grill and your family or guests will be clamming for more! It’s the most flavorful blend of herbs, salts, sugars and spices that will have people talking about your food for days.


Here’s my simple summer grilling recipe for pork tenderloin… Just place meat in a plastic sealable bag and add my Coffee Dry Rub.  Use enough to coat the meat.  Seal the bag (releasing any air as you seal) and squish the seasonings all around the meat until it’s evenly coated.  Place overnight in the refrigerator.  Pull from refrigerator a half hour prior to grilling.  Grill on high heat for two minutes each side to sear the meat, then turn down the heat to medium and grill for another 5-8 each side depending on meat. 

Don’t overcook.  You’re done on the grill when you squeeze the meat and it gently pushes back.  If too squishy, it’s not done.  If there is no pushback, you’ve gone too far.  Remember, it will continue to cook while you let it rest 10 minutes.

In the last 5 min of grilling I love to brush on some apricot jam/jelly to finish it off with a sweet glaze.  Happy grilling this summer!

Coffee Dry Rub
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RECIPE: Rosemary Cashew Crusted Chicken Breast

Last week I was talking with my friend Jeff Amsden about some of the products I have in the online and local stores.  I was describing the Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix and he almost immediately had an idea that I thought was brilliant...   I can't believe I didn't even think of it myself! Lol. So, not only is that product great as a snack, he suggested it sounded like the perfect coating/crust for a chicken breast.  The lightbulb went off over my head and I got into the kitchen... So, while I can't share ALL my secrets, I will walk you through what I did to create a very flavorful chicken breast with the perfect crust.  AND... It's baked! Not fried...  (although, I suppose you could do that if you wanted...)

Servings:  2

Equipment Needed:  Sheet Tray, Cooling rack, Tongs, 2 Shallow dishes

Ingredients:  2 Eggs, 2 TBS Dijon Mustard, 3 TBS Honey, 4.5 oz Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix from Paul Wayne, 2 Chicken Breasts  (for 4 Servings:  x1.5 Eggs, Mustard & Honey.  8 oz Snack Mix and 4 Chicken Breasts)


1.  First, Fire up the oven to 350 in the bake mode.  Line a sheet tray with parchment or foil. Then, lay a cooling rack (like you'd use for cookies) on the tray.  This will allow air to circulate under the chicken to ensure a crust on all sides of the chicken.

2.  Whisk together 2 Eggs (I use just the whites, but you could use the yolk also in this mixture.), 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 Tablespoons Honey in a shallow dish.  (You don't need seasoning in this mixture because the Snack mix already has all of the necessary seasoning.)  Set aside.

3.  Crush up all of the Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix and place into another shallow dish.  I like to use a rolling pin to crush these ingredients.  Crush to small pieces, not to a powder.

4.  Using your tongs (or a Fork) coat each chicken breast first in the wet mixture. Make sure both sides are coated and let excess drip off the chicken.  Then, dredge each breast into the dry mix to coat both sides and place on rack/tray.

5.  Bake Chicken Breasts for 35-40 minutes.  Rotate the tray front to back 15 minutes thru the bake time.  You should not need to flip the breasts. Juices will run clear.  Don't over cook the chicken, nobody like dried up Chicken!  

Enjoy!  Please try the recipe and come back to give your comments or feedback...