Winter Comfort Cooking with MARY'S Secret Ingredients {Giveaway}

Sunday, January 10, 2016
After a series of spring and fall-like temperatures, winter has finally arrived. I don't love much about winter, but the one thing I do love is tasty, hit-the-spot comfort foods. From soups to roasts to warm and bubbly desserts, there is nothing better than warming your insides with winter's best comfort foods.

For inspiration for my seasonal cooking, I turn to MARY'S Secret Ingredientsa seasonal subscription box designed specifically for foodies. Whether you love cooking or eating, MARY's is for you. The carefully curated boxes come out 4 times per year and are filled with new and exciting food ingredients and products that will spice up your everyday meals.

I recently received the winter box from MARY'S. The box included items from six different food brands that were unique as well as interesting.

Let me break down the box for you.

Laiki Rice Crackers
Most rice crackers can be hard and gritty. The crackers are light, flaky, and tasty. I was completely surprised by the texture. I loved them so much, I served them at our New Year's Eve get together. 

Just Cook
I tried this herbed coffee rub on a beef roast, and I couldn't believe the flavor it added to the roast. Oregano, cumin, and chipotle add a nice dimension and richness to meats.

Nutraw Snacks
The trend in food is definitely going towards fewer ingredients and ingredients that are all-natural as well as raw. Nutraw Snacks makes a pistachio bar that contains only five ingredients and has zero preservatives or additives. I snacked on this bar after a yoga class, and it was incredibly satisfying. I didn't even want my usual protein drink.

Michel et Augustin
I have a mean sweet tooth, but to be honest, most of the sweets out there aren't the healthiest. It would be nice to be able to satisfy my sweet tooth without the guilt. Thanks to Michel and Augustin I don't have to feel guilty for indulging my sweet tooth. These cookies are part-chocolate/part-shortbread with a dash of sea salt.

During the winter months, I love to make roasted chicken on Friday nights. I love the way the chicken makes the house smell so good and feel so warm. This winter herb blend from RawSpiceBar is the perfect spice blend for roasted chicken. Melt butter and brush it over the chicken, sprinkle the spice blend over it and any veggies (I add potatoes and carrots to the roasting pan) and roast for about 50 minutes.

The best chocolate I've ever had was when I visited Belgium. I was second guessing myself when I received the chocolate roses from Loacker. In addition to eating these chocolates alone, we also placed them atop of cupcakes or on a cake.

MARY'S secret ingredients boxes are available 4 times per year (see full schedule here) for $25.95 per box. Quantities are limited each season, so jump on ordering if you are interested in checking it out. Reserve your spring 2016 box now while it's still available. The box will ship out to customers on March 25th. Annual subscriptions are available for $103.80.

About MARY's secret ingredients:
This spring, MARY's secret ingredients is offering a great surprise collection of unique gourmet food products and kitchen tools you've never heard of that will inspire you to cook delicious meals. Need help with the recipes? Mary's special recipes using each product from the box are emailed to you after delivery.

About Mary:
As a passionate cook, Mary always looks for new inspiration and interesting flavor combinations. In each box you’ll find mouth-watering sweet and savory products to create wonderful tasting food. On her LOVE – the secret ingredient blog, Mary shares recipes to inspire, which include ingredients from the boxes. In addition, being a part of our community helps us in our partnership with Feed The Children. No one should go hungry.

MARY'S secret ingredients is offering one lucky winner a spring 2016 box. The box will be shipped to the winner on March 25th. All entrants will receive a coupon code for MARY'S secret ingredients. All entries must be made January 14th. Winner will be notified on or around January 16th and will have 24 hours to claim the prize.

Simply click this link to enter to win:

I was so surprised by the amazing taste of the rice crackers that I wanted to whip of a cheese spread that would taken these crackers one step further. I love cheese spreads but wanted one that would balance out the taste of the rice crackers. I finally decided on a cheddar bacon horseradish spread. 

Cheddar Bacon Horseradish Spread
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup heavy cream2 tablespoons prepared horseradish1 teaspoon distilled white vinegarBacon (5 slices), crispy and crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Place all ingredients, except bacon, into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. 
Remove the mixture to a bowl and stir in the bacon crumbles.
For smoother spreading, serve at room temperature.
Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days
Disclosure: I received a complimentary MARY'S secret ingredients box to facilitate this product review. No other compensation was received.

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