Wednesday Blog

Behind the Scenes at Bellisari’s

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Behind the Scenes

Today I’m giving you all a peak at what goes into the creative side of our business. We recently did a video shoot with Vital Companies, a video production company that specializes in creating dynamic digital and shareable content for marketing, helping clients grow their brands and their businesses. Working with Jason Clayton and his team is always a pleasure. They are so easy to work with, and the final product they deliver is excellent. Look them up on Facebook at Vital Companies or on Instagram @vitalcompanies. The pictures accompanying the blog today are just a few candid shots of part of the process that goes into developing new products and recipes using our gourmet sauces and spreads.

If you follow us regularly on Facebook or if you’ve taken a few minutes to explore our website, you know that we offer many creative suggestions for the use of our products. As you can see in the photos, I spend time testing different flavors and ingredient combinations that will be complemented by our sauces and spreads. My goal is to help you all make the most of our Bellisari’s products! Gourmet convenience is not just a slogan for us. It’s a lifestyle that guides every amazing and delicious decision we make. To me, gourmet convenience means the marriage of quality ingredients with unique flavors that have been carefully put together through a passion for food. At Bellisari’s, we strive to make that gourmet appetizer, entrée, or even a breakfast something that tastes amazing but doesn’t take a long time or lots of ingredients to prepare.

Behind the Scenes

We have some exciting news! I’ve been working extra hard in the kitchen, and we’ll soon be introducing three new spreads to our product line. That’s all I’m saying for now, but you can continue to read my blogs and follow us on social media to make sure you are among the first to hear/read when we make our big announcement. For now, enjoy these behind the scenes photos taken as Vital Companies and I show how we “make the magic happen!”

Read more

Behind the Scenes at Bellisari’s

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Behind the Scenes

Today I’m giving you all a peak at what goes into the creative side of our business. We recently did a video shoot with Vital Companies, a video production company that specializes in creating dynamic digital and shareable content for marketing, helping clients grow their brands and their businesses. Working with Jason Clayton and his team is always a pleasure. They are so easy to work with, and the final product they deliver is excellent. Look them up on Facebook at Vital Companies or on Instagram @vitalcompanies. The pictures accompanying the blog today are just a few candid shots of part of the process that goes into developing new products and recipes using our gourmet sauces and spreads.

If you follow us regularly on Facebook or if you’ve taken a few minutes to explore our website, you know that we offer many creative suggestions for the use of our products. As you can see in the photos, I spend time testing different flavors and ingredient combinations that will be complemented by our sauces and spreads. My goal is to help you all make the most of our Bellisari’s products! Gourmet convenience is not just a slogan for us. It’s a lifestyle that guides every amazing and delicious decision we make. To me, gourmet convenience means the marriage of quality ingredients with unique flavors that have been carefully put together through a passion for food. At Bellisari’s, we strive to make that gourmet appetizer, entrée, or even a breakfast something that tastes amazing but doesn’t take a long time or lots of ingredients to prepare.

Behind the Scenes

We have some exciting news! I’ve been working extra hard in the kitchen, and we’ll soon be introducing three new spreads to our product line. That’s all I’m saying for now, but you can continue to read my blogs and follow us on social media to make sure you are among the first to hear/read when we make our big announcement. For now, enjoy these behind the scenes photos taken as Vital Companies and I show how we “make the magic happen!”

Read more


Celebrating Your High School Graduate

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Celebrating Your Grad

High School graduation is so much more than a ceremonial walk across a stage. This is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime event that deserves a celebration. However, your senior may have little interest in entertaining a huge crowd. Before making a single decision, ask your senior how they want to celebrate this milestone event. A home-cooked meal featuring a lineup of favorite foods may be their preferred celebration. They may want a special dinner and to invite the grandparents or other particularly close members of the extended family. Whatever the grad wants it’s time to celebrate all their hard work and accomplishments by throwing them an amazing and memorable graduation party. With a little planning and organization, you can throw a great grad party that isn’t off-the-charts stressful, doesn’t break the bank, and packs in all the celebratory fun you’re hoping for.

As you begin planning the party, there are a few things you can do to stay organized and keep your stress in check.

To-Do List - even the most basic outline of must-do tasks can help you tackle your most important goals. Making a written list can help you remember important details that you’ve planned to make things special.

Pace Yourself - the details of planning even a small party can become overwhelming. Manage your stress by pacing yourself and checking a few things off your list every day leading up to the party. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute.

Keep it Simple - food options should be festive and something that you don’t get every day, but this doesn’t mean it has to be super complicated or expensive. These 3-ingredient recipes are simple but make a big impact: https://bit.ly/2Hd8iAc

Have Fun - Keep one thing in mind. This is your special time with your son or daughter before they venture off to college. Don’t lose sight of why you’re throwing the party or who you’re throwing it for. If everything isn’t perfect on the day of the party, no one really cares. It’s all about the graduate.

High School graduation is the culmination of 12 years of education and marks the beginning of young adulthood. Celebrate this special occasion with the people who mean the most to the grad and in the manner the graduate desires. While you’re busy celebrating your child, give yourself a pat on the back for giving your child the support they needed to reach this exciting moment in their lives.

Read more

Celebrating Your High School Graduate

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Celebrating Your Grad

High School graduation is so much more than a ceremonial walk across a stage. This is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime event that deserves a celebration. However, your senior may have little interest in entertaining a huge crowd. Before making a single decision, ask your senior how they want to celebrate this milestone event. A home-cooked meal featuring a lineup of favorite foods may be their preferred celebration. They may want a special dinner and to invite the grandparents or other particularly close members of the extended family. Whatever the grad wants it’s time to celebrate all their hard work and accomplishments by throwing them an amazing and memorable graduation party. With a little planning and organization, you can throw a great grad party that isn’t off-the-charts stressful, doesn’t break the bank, and packs in all the celebratory fun you’re hoping for.

As you begin planning the party, there are a few things you can do to stay organized and keep your stress in check.

To-Do List - even the most basic outline of must-do tasks can help you tackle your most important goals. Making a written list can help you remember important details that you’ve planned to make things special.

Pace Yourself - the details of planning even a small party can become overwhelming. Manage your stress by pacing yourself and checking a few things off your list every day leading up to the party. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute.

Keep it Simple - food options should be festive and something that you don’t get every day, but this doesn’t mean it has to be super complicated or expensive. These 3-ingredient recipes are simple but make a big impact: https://bit.ly/2Hd8iAc

Have Fun - Keep one thing in mind. This is your special time with your son or daughter before they venture off to college. Don’t lose sight of why you’re throwing the party or who you’re throwing it for. If everything isn’t perfect on the day of the party, no one really cares. It’s all about the graduate.

High School graduation is the culmination of 12 years of education and marks the beginning of young adulthood. Celebrate this special occasion with the people who mean the most to the grad and in the manner the graduate desires. While you’re busy celebrating your child, give yourself a pat on the back for giving your child the support they needed to reach this exciting moment in their lives.

Read more


Breakfast in Bed: A Mother’s Day Tradition

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

French Toast Mug

Mother's Day is one of those holidays that just about everyone celebrates. After all, it's nice to show that woman in your life (be it your mom, sister, wife, or godmother) that they mean a lot to you. There’s no better a time to show that special woman your appreciation with a little breakfast-in-bed. Breakfast in bed is a time-honored tradition on Mom’s designated day of rest and relaxation. What could be better than sleeping in a little late and having breakfast served to you by your favorite people? Kids love to prepare something special for Mom, and moms love the thoughtful gesture.

Whether Mom prefers a traditional breakfast of eggs or pancakes, a light breakfast of fruit and yogurt, or a variation of her favorite bagels, there are plenty of options that children can prepare with little to no supervision in the kitchen. The little ones will feel super grown-up when making these delicious breakfasts for mom!

One easy method for children who are too young to use the stove by themselves is microwave mug cooking. So many things can be made in a mug with just a bit of time in the microwave. There are dozens of mug cake recipes out there, if a sweet breakfast is her thing. If not, consider guiding those little hands in the direction of scrambled eggs. A little whisk of a fork and you've got fluffy scrambled eggs in minutes. For a sweet and salty mix with a spicy kick, try this mug French Toast topped with a bit of mascarpone cheese and Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno and Fig Spread https://bit.ly/2GZIIyn. If you want to make a fancier version that isn’t microwaved or made in a mug, check out our recipe here: https://bit.ly/2T9RZNh.

5-MINUTE MICROWAVE FRENCH TOAST MUG

These fast and easy 5-Minute French Toast Mugs are a great single serving breakfast treat that are easy for children to prepare.

Ingredients

1 tsp butter

3 Tbsp whole milk

1 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 large egg

1 cup bread pieces

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS OR ADD-INS

Berries

Sliced bananas

Nuts

Powdered sugar

Peanut butter

Chocolate chips

Bellisari's Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread and Mascarpone.

Instructions

Place the butter in a large mug and microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until it is melted. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and the egg to the mug and whisk until everything is well mixed.

Add the bread pieces to the mug and gently stir until all the pieces are saturated with the egg and milk mixture. Be careful not to stir too roughly or the bread pieces may fall apart. Let the bread sit and absorb the liquid for about 1 minute.

Microwave the mug for 60-90 seconds, or until the mixture is solid. I have a 1250-watt microwave and find that 70-80 seconds is about perfect. You may need to experiment to find just the right cooking time for your microwave and mug size.

Serve immediately or deck it out with your favorite toppings.

Fresh fruit and parfaits are also tasty and easy for the kids to make. The night before, just grab any berries that may need slicing and do the dirty work for them. They can still toss all the ingredients together and make a breakfast of champions. Let them revel in their independence. They’ll love the fact that they were able to do something so special for mom, and practically all on their own!

Giving little ones free reign in the kitchen may seem like a crazy idea, but there are lots of wonderful breakfast ideas that are simple enough for even a preschooler to make. With a minimal amount of prep, you can set them up for success and set yourself up for a lovely breakfast! Independence in the kitchen bolsters self-esteem in children, and they’ll feel proud to contribute to your special day.

One last tip for Dad and the kiddos -- be sure to clean up the kitchen when you’re through! Nothing spoils Mom’s fun like a mess she must clean up from something that was supposed to be a treat for her.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Bellisari’s!

 

Read more

Breakfast in Bed: A Mother’s Day Tradition

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

French Toast Mug

Mother's Day is one of those holidays that just about everyone celebrates. After all, it's nice to show that woman in your life (be it your mom, sister, wife, or godmother) that they mean a lot to you. There’s no better a time to show that special woman your appreciation with a little breakfast-in-bed. Breakfast in bed is a time-honored tradition on Mom’s designated day of rest and relaxation. What could be better than sleeping in a little late and having breakfast served to you by your favorite people? Kids love to prepare something special for Mom, and moms love the thoughtful gesture.

Whether Mom prefers a traditional breakfast of eggs or pancakes, a light breakfast of fruit and yogurt, or a variation of her favorite bagels, there are plenty of options that children can prepare with little to no supervision in the kitchen. The little ones will feel super grown-up when making these delicious breakfasts for mom!

One easy method for children who are too young to use the stove by themselves is microwave mug cooking. So many things can be made in a mug with just a bit of time in the microwave. There are dozens of mug cake recipes out there, if a sweet breakfast is her thing. If not, consider guiding those little hands in the direction of scrambled eggs. A little whisk of a fork and you've got fluffy scrambled eggs in minutes. For a sweet and salty mix with a spicy kick, try this mug French Toast topped with a bit of mascarpone cheese and Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno and Fig Spread https://bit.ly/2GZIIyn. If you want to make a fancier version that isn’t microwaved or made in a mug, check out our recipe here: https://bit.ly/2T9RZNh.

5-MINUTE MICROWAVE FRENCH TOAST MUG

These fast and easy 5-Minute French Toast Mugs are a great single serving breakfast treat that are easy for children to prepare.

Ingredients

1 tsp butter

3 Tbsp whole milk

1 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 large egg

1 cup bread pieces

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS OR ADD-INS

Berries

Sliced bananas

Nuts

Powdered sugar

Peanut butter

Chocolate chips

Bellisari's Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread and Mascarpone.

Instructions

Place the butter in a large mug and microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until it is melted. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and the egg to the mug and whisk until everything is well mixed.

Add the bread pieces to the mug and gently stir until all the pieces are saturated with the egg and milk mixture. Be careful not to stir too roughly or the bread pieces may fall apart. Let the bread sit and absorb the liquid for about 1 minute.

Microwave the mug for 60-90 seconds, or until the mixture is solid. I have a 1250-watt microwave and find that 70-80 seconds is about perfect. You may need to experiment to find just the right cooking time for your microwave and mug size.

Serve immediately or deck it out with your favorite toppings.

Fresh fruit and parfaits are also tasty and easy for the kids to make. The night before, just grab any berries that may need slicing and do the dirty work for them. They can still toss all the ingredients together and make a breakfast of champions. Let them revel in their independence. They’ll love the fact that they were able to do something so special for mom, and practically all on their own!

Giving little ones free reign in the kitchen may seem like a crazy idea, but there are lots of wonderful breakfast ideas that are simple enough for even a preschooler to make. With a minimal amount of prep, you can set them up for success and set yourself up for a lovely breakfast! Independence in the kitchen bolsters self-esteem in children, and they’ll feel proud to contribute to your special day.

One last tip for Dad and the kiddos -- be sure to clean up the kitchen when you’re through! Nothing spoils Mom’s fun like a mess she must clean up from something that was supposed to be a treat for her.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Bellisari’s!

 

Read more


5 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

5 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

I love to cook; I really do! But planning and preparing dinner every day can become challenging. After you’ve been busy all day, you might just have a small window of time to provide nourishment and hopefully spend a few precious minutes connecting with your loved ones before everyone is off again to practice, do homework, go to meetings, or whatever is on our busy schedules. That’s why coming up with anything that makes getting a meal on the table easier and faster, is always a big plus. In today’s blog I’m sharing 5 of my favorite time-saving cooking hacks to help you save time too!

Roast garlic in the microwave instead of the oven. Just combine garlic, olive oil, and water in a bowl and microwave for 5-7 minutes. You'll end up with all the deliciousness of roasted garlic without the 45-minute cooking time.

Soften butter quickly by placing it under a warm glass. Warm up a glass by filling it with hot water, dump the water out, then place it over a chunk of cold butter. After a minute or two, the butter will be soft enough to spread.

Microwave potatoes before frying, roasting, or baking them to cut down the cooking time and make sure they're completely cooked throughout. Microwave them for four minutes before cooking to cut cooking time and make sure they come out nice and tender.

Make time-saving cubes in advance. Those silicon ice cube trays aren’t just for ice. By freezing a few easy ingredients, you can save yourself tons of time later. Put some of your favorite herbs and olive oil in tray compartments to cook potatoes, vegetables, or chicken on another day. Pour extra wine into the tray so you can use it for flavoring sauces. Pour in the last few drops from the coffeepot to make cubes that won’t water down your cold brew! It might not seem like much, but when these run out, you’ll wish you’d made more.

Use a pressure cooker. With the popularity of electric pressure cookers, there’s a million delicious recipes out there, but when you use one, you can save hours of cooking time. It’s even faster when you prep your ingredients beforehand, so cut soup vegetables or defrost meats, and you’ll be able to start the meal in a flash! Try our recipe for Saigon Pork Shoulder. https://bit.ly/2L6epf0

There are certainly some dishes that are worth putting a lot of time into when you have the time to do it. Unfortunately, today’s busy world doesn’t always allow us that luxury, so I try to find ways to be more efficient while still producing nutritious and delicious meals for my family. If you’ve discovered any great cooking or kitchen time savers, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Read more

5 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

5 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

I love to cook; I really do! But planning and preparing dinner every day can become challenging. After you’ve been busy all day, you might just have a small window of time to provide nourishment and hopefully spend a few precious minutes connecting with your loved ones before everyone is off again to practice, do homework, go to meetings, or whatever is on our busy schedules. That’s why coming up with anything that makes getting a meal on the table easier and faster, is always a big plus. In today’s blog I’m sharing 5 of my favorite time-saving cooking hacks to help you save time too!

Roast garlic in the microwave instead of the oven. Just combine garlic, olive oil, and water in a bowl and microwave for 5-7 minutes. You'll end up with all the deliciousness of roasted garlic without the 45-minute cooking time.

Soften butter quickly by placing it under a warm glass. Warm up a glass by filling it with hot water, dump the water out, then place it over a chunk of cold butter. After a minute or two, the butter will be soft enough to spread.

Microwave potatoes before frying, roasting, or baking them to cut down the cooking time and make sure they're completely cooked throughout. Microwave them for four minutes before cooking to cut cooking time and make sure they come out nice and tender.

Make time-saving cubes in advance. Those silicon ice cube trays aren’t just for ice. By freezing a few easy ingredients, you can save yourself tons of time later. Put some of your favorite herbs and olive oil in tray compartments to cook potatoes, vegetables, or chicken on another day. Pour extra wine into the tray so you can use it for flavoring sauces. Pour in the last few drops from the coffeepot to make cubes that won’t water down your cold brew! It might not seem like much, but when these run out, you’ll wish you’d made more.

Use a pressure cooker. With the popularity of electric pressure cookers, there’s a million delicious recipes out there, but when you use one, you can save hours of cooking time. It’s even faster when you prep your ingredients beforehand, so cut soup vegetables or defrost meats, and you’ll be able to start the meal in a flash! Try our recipe for Saigon Pork Shoulder. https://bit.ly/2L6epf0

There are certainly some dishes that are worth putting a lot of time into when you have the time to do it. Unfortunately, today’s busy world doesn’t always allow us that luxury, so I try to find ways to be more efficient while still producing nutritious and delicious meals for my family. If you’ve discovered any great cooking or kitchen time savers, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Read more


Simple Ways to Use Ham Leftovers

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Leftover Ham
Easter is over, but if you hosted a big Easter feast, chances are you still have leftovers that you need to use or lose. (If you’re anything like me, wasting or throwing away food is a worst-case scenario.) Yesterday’s tip was for a great way to use those hard-boiled eggs you dyed. Today let’s get creative with that leftover Easter ham.

Some tried and true leftover ham uses are obvious and have even become tradition. After the initial serving at brunch or dinner, any good sliceable meat is used for delicious sandwiches, right? However, even after cutting all of that off the bone, we’re often left with lots of good useable ham; it’s just not able to be sliced. Instead it can only be cut off the bone in chunks, but these are easily converted to smaller cubes or strips depending on where your culinary creativity leads.

Diced ham is quite versatile, of course. A handful thrown in to almost any salad is a tasty way to add protein. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite recipes to add diced ham to is our Saigon Slaw!

( https://bit.ly/2XlE2cO ) I simply substitute ham for the bacon. Yum!

Casseroles and skillet meals come to mind when imagining ways to use leftover ham because it goes so well with ingredients like vegetables, cheese, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. I love to use ham in my favorite Pasta Carbonara. The extra saltiness of the ham is a bright contrast to the mild sauce.

If you just can’t eat any more ham this week, freeze it for use over the next few months. Cube it first; that way it’ll be super simple to add to any dish you like – chicken cordon bleu, jambalaya, Hawaiian pizza, strata, frittata, omelets, scones, quesadillas, soups, pot pies – you get the idea. It goes well with almost anything.

Finally, don’t throw away the bone! If you don’t want to use it now, wrap that baby up and throw it in the freezer for when you want to make beans, lentils, or split-pea soup. The flavor a ham bone adds to these types of dishes is incomparable.

We’d love to hear about any of the creative ways you use your Easter meal leftovers! Let us know in the comments.

Read more

Simple Ways to Use Ham Leftovers

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Leftover Ham
Easter is over, but if you hosted a big Easter feast, chances are you still have leftovers that you need to use or lose. (If you’re anything like me, wasting or throwing away food is a worst-case scenario.) Yesterday’s tip was for a great way to use those hard-boiled eggs you dyed. Today let’s get creative with that leftover Easter ham.

Some tried and true leftover ham uses are obvious and have even become tradition. After the initial serving at brunch or dinner, any good sliceable meat is used for delicious sandwiches, right? However, even after cutting all of that off the bone, we’re often left with lots of good useable ham; it’s just not able to be sliced. Instead it can only be cut off the bone in chunks, but these are easily converted to smaller cubes or strips depending on where your culinary creativity leads.

Diced ham is quite versatile, of course. A handful thrown in to almost any salad is a tasty way to add protein. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite recipes to add diced ham to is our Saigon Slaw!

( https://bit.ly/2XlE2cO ) I simply substitute ham for the bacon. Yum!

Casseroles and skillet meals come to mind when imagining ways to use leftover ham because it goes so well with ingredients like vegetables, cheese, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. I love to use ham in my favorite Pasta Carbonara. The extra saltiness of the ham is a bright contrast to the mild sauce.

If you just can’t eat any more ham this week, freeze it for use over the next few months. Cube it first; that way it’ll be super simple to add to any dish you like – chicken cordon bleu, jambalaya, Hawaiian pizza, strata, frittata, omelets, scones, quesadillas, soups, pot pies – you get the idea. It goes well with almost anything.

Finally, don’t throw away the bone! If you don’t want to use it now, wrap that baby up and throw it in the freezer for when you want to make beans, lentils, or split-pea soup. The flavor a ham bone adds to these types of dishes is incomparable.

We’d love to hear about any of the creative ways you use your Easter meal leftovers! Let us know in the comments.

Read more