Everybody Loves Trifle! 3 Combos, Bundt Cake Mixes & RE Kimball Jams

By Linda Davis Siess
on November 21, 2017

Everybody Loves Trifle! 3 Combos, Bundt Cake Mixes & RE Kimball Jams

Just a Trifle – but oh, how delicious!

Simple ingredients combine to make a magically delicious dessert: everybody loves trifle!

We offer three trifle combinations to tempt your tastebuds, with tips for success.

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Easiest Olive Appetizers

By Linda Davis Siess
on November 10, 2017

Easiest Olive Appetizers

Say “Olive You!” With Tasty, Easy Olive Appetizers



Holiday gatherings and cozy time spent indoors are on our autumn-into-winter calendar: time for conversation, and fun, and food! Time for easy, delicious appetizers to share with friends and family.

Start with olives from Port Plums! Here are four tested and crowd-approved recipes that take advantage of the great flavors found in our variety of stuffed olives from Spain. Perfect for formal or informal gatherings – and full of great taste.

And they're easy recipes! Simple enough to pull together in minutes, pop into the fridge, and have at hand for an impressive and delicious presentation when friends come by.


#1: Fig and Olive Tapenade:

This recipe was the hands-down favorite among our tasters. It comes together in minutes to make ahead. It's savory and sweet, with great textures, and makes a lovely presentation. We served it with cream cheese, but tasters suggested that goat cheese would also add tangy, rich goodness. What do you think? Yum!

Fig and Olive Tapenade


1 C dried figs, chopped

1 Tb Tuscan Herb infused olive oil

2 Tb fig balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

2/3 C almond-stuffed Manzanilla olives, chopped

  • Chop the figs and olives into dice, for easier serving and eating.
  • Simmer figs in ½ C water in pan over medium heat, cooking until tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, four hours or overnight, for flavors to blend. 

For serving:

  • Place 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (or goat cheese), room temperature, on a serving plate, and top with tapenade. Garnish with whole stuffed olives, if desired.
  • Serve with crackers or toasted baguette (very nice brushed with garlic olive oil before toasting!)


#2: Warm Seasoned Stuffed Olives:

Delicious aromas, delicious taste – heat and enjoy! These olives are wonderful simply piled in a bowl with picks handy, or enjoyed atop crackers or bread. Try them, too, as a topper for a tangy soft cheese such as goat, feta, or cream cheese, or alongside cheeses recommended by your cheesemonger (maybe Manchego? Mmm!). Or – as a luxe and memorable pizza topping!


Warm Seasoned Stuffed Olives


1 Tb garlic infused olive oil

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes


5 or 6 fresh thyme sprigs (strip away and discard large twigs)

2 C olives – try a mixture of:

  • Garlic-stuffed Gordal Olives
  • Seville orange-stuffed Manzanilla Olives
  • Lemon-stuffed Manzanilla Olives

 ¼ tsp salt - if needed, or to taste

  • Roughly chop the olives (easier for eating).
  • In a saucepan, simmer all ingredients for about ten minutes until well heated.
  • Season, if desired, with ¼ tsp salt (or to taste).
  • Serve warm, alone, or with bread or crackers, or cheese, as desired.
  • Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.


#3: Awesome Olive Dip

This simple recipe is rich and versatile: use it as a dip, a spread, or even as a special ingredient – tasters suggested it could be a wonderful stuffing for a fancy chicken breast, or a tasty ham roll-up. The seasoned “La Abuela” recipe olives are so savory. My mouth is watering!

 P.S. One taster made fun of this dip's name – until he tasted it!


Awesome Olive Dip


1 C Pitted Queen Olives, “La Abuela” Recipe (about 12 large olives)

3 Tb brine from olives (or more, as needed), including onion slices and herbs from jar

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

 ½ C mayonnaise (I like Caine's)

  • Using a knife, food processor, or blender, chop the olives to desired fineness (I like mine minced, with small bits remaining – not a puree), adding brine (including onion and herbs). 
  • Mix in the softened cream cheese, and then the mayonnaise, adding more brine, if needed, to bring the mixture to a good dipping consistency.
  • Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate for several hours or overnight for even better flavor. Serve with crackers, bread, and/or crudite. . . or experiment!


#4: Quickest Lemon Olive Hummus

 Homemade hummus! This is one the fastest recipes ever, and an eye-opener for me. Who knew how simple it is to create wonderful hummus? Chickpeas, olives, olive oil, garlic, parsley: give it a whirl and that's that! (Of course, the flavorful lemon-stuffed Manzanilla olives are our secret ingredient.)

 Quickest Lemon Olive Hummus

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained


1/3 C lemon-stuffed Manzanilla olives (about 12 small olives)


4 Tb lemon infused olive oil


1 clove garlic, minced


½ tsp dried parsley (or 1½ tsp fresh)


salt and pepper to taste

  • note: if desired, stir in water, a little at a time, for a less dense consistency
  • Blend all ingredients to desired consistency using food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate several hours or more, covered, to let flavors blend. Serve with crackers, pita bread, and/or crudite.
  • This is a recipe to play with, too – try other flavors of stuffed olives to create your signature blend!

Spend more time with your family and friends, and a little less time in the kitchen, with these easy recipes. Start with a jar of exquisite olives – or one of each flavor! – and create memorable appetizers in minutes. Happy Cooking!





Stovetop Apple Crisp

By Linda Davis Siess
on October 09, 2017

Stovetop Apple Crisp

Stovetop Apple "Crisp"


The weather is changing, apples are ripe and abundant, and once again it's Pumpkin Spice Season – Autumn in New England! This recipe celebrates those great tastes of Fall, with an iconic apple recipe made a bit simpler – no baking; it's all done on the stove. Cooking's done in a snap, once the apples are peeled and sliced.


I chose two types of apples: Golden Delicious (which holds its shape) and Macintosh (collapses like applesauce). Together, they make an appealing (aPEELing, ha) combination. Choose your apples depending upon which textures and flavors you like best.


Pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar create that familiar apple-pie taste, so good on a brisk fall day. A pinch of salt tones the sweetness down a tiny bit. And butter brings a lush richness.


Once the apples were cooked down, I decided to experiment with deepening and enhancing that wonderful spicy apple flavor – with balsamic vinegars and flavor-infused maple syrups. (Yum!) My favorite add-ins turned out to be vanilla, red apple, or maple dark balsamic vinegars, and the ginger or cinnamon-vanilla Runamok infused maple syrups. Just a touch of any of these adds a new depth of flavor. I liked them all, each for a different tasty reason!


As for topping – the “crisp” part of apple crisp, I cheated and did not make a streusel. Instead, I added granola, easy to layer right on top of the cooked apples. There are so many great flavors from which to choose, and already prepared – win! I especially liked two different flavors from Maple Nut Kitchen: pumpkin gingerbread, and maple nut. Before topping the apples, I poured some granola into a bowl and microwaved it, just to warm it up a little. I also tried a variation: I put some butter and granola in a pan on the stove, and stirred it on medium heat, which didn't exactly crisp it up, but did add some nice butter flavor, and warmth for serving.


Also on top, I'm guessing no one would say no to a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you have it. But this is delicious as is, and it's even good (shh!) cold from the refrigerator – a perfect Fall breakfast!


Stovetop Apple “Crisp”

Skillet Spiced Apples, Topped Your Way!

  • 8 apples
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt

- Peel all the apples (slice them during the next step).

- In a large skillet, over low heat, melt the butter. Add the apples as they're sliced (uneven chunks and some peel are fine, and save a little time: “rustic” vs. “refined”). Cook over low to medium heat, stirring, and continuing to cook for about five minutes after all the apples are in the pan.

- Stir in the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and cook another five to ten minutes over medium to high heat, until apples are done to your liking and some of the juices have evaporated.

 - All done! Remove from heat. If desired, stir in your choice of:

Choose whatever flavoring appeals to you, and stir in a teaspoonful or so to start. Add more to taste, as desired.

- Top with your choice of:

  • Maple Nut Kitchen Granola – try Pumpkin Gingerbread, Maple Nut, or your favorite flavor. Try it heated, either in the microwave, or toasted in about a teaspoon of butter in a pan on the stove, stirring frequently.

and/or -

  • Vanilla ice cream!

Serve warm, or cooled; reheated in the microwave, or cold from the refrigerator (I won't tell!).


Happy Cooking!




Fearless Refrigerator Pickles with Fire Cider

By Linda Davis Siess
on September 25, 2017

Fearless Refrigerator Pickles with Fire Cider

Fearless Refrigerator Pickles – with Fire Cider, Two Ways




Who knew that making pickles is easy? Not me. But it is! Living proof, right here!


Gather a combination of unblemished veggies. Got a garden's overabundance of zucchini, summer squash, carrots, or peppers? This recipe is for you. Otherwise, the farmer's market or grocery store will have what you need.


The brine ingredients were easy to find, with a trip to the grocery store and a visit to my spice cabinet, and a side trip to Port Plums to pick up a bottle of Fire Cider (the unsweetened version) – and I was ready to fearlessly rock my pickle jam! So to speak.


For my batch of pickles, I used three smallish pickling cucumbers, three carrots, and two yellow peppers. I washed the veggies, trimmed their ends, removed seeds from the peppers, and sliced them all up into slender julienne, into smallish pickle-sized pieces. I also used two medium onions, sliced thinly; plus 4 cloves of garlic (from one head) for the brine. 


These all fit to the top of my canning jar, pushing them in a bit. I could have also used a non-metal bowl. (Keep the garlic out; it goes in the brine.)


I placed the brine ingredients in a saucepan, stirred them a bit to melt the sugar, and brought them all to a boil. Don't breathe the steam! Or – if you have a cold, maybe do so – it'll clear your head! After a minute of boiling, I carefully poured it – liquid, spices, and all – over the veggies. Remember that turmeric can stain; protect surfaces from drips, with a paper towel. 


And that was that! Covered, popped into the fridge, and all that was left to do, was to wait! Four days, if you can. I made it to two days, and was very happy with the yummy result. (And they say these pickles will last in the fridge for a month. . . but this batch is already a tasty memory!)


 That's it: Fearless Refrigerator Pickles! If I can make pickles, delicious, zesty-sweet pickles. . . you can, too!



Sweet/Hot Quick Pickled Veggies with Fire Cider (Refrigerator Pickles)


Thinly slice, dice, or cut in julienne strips:


  • about 6 cups of raw vegetables, in any combination - such as pickling cucumbers, carrots, beets, zucchini, squash, red or yellow peppers, radishes, etc.


Also thinly slice:


  • 2 cups onion (about 2 medium onions) 


In a saucepan, combine and bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 1 minute:


  •  1 C cider vinegar
  • ½ C unsweetened Fire Cider
  • ¾ C sugar (or to taste)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ - ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns (tricolor are pretty)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Lightly toss together the veggies and onion. Place them in a large canning jar or a non-metal bowl.

Pour the boiled vinegar mixture over all. Don't worry if vinegar doesn't completely cover veggies – shake them occasionally; they will collapse as time passes and brine will cover.


Cool slightly. Cover with lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least four days for flavors to meld. (Pickles are yummy right away, but the flavor really develops over time.)


Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one month. Reuse brine, if desired, to make more pickles or to add flavor to other recipes!


Yield: about 7 cups


Notes: Turmeric can stain, use care. Also, try slicing your vegetables with a spiralizer, then cutting the spirals into bite-sized pieces. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables. Enjoy!


Now that you're a pickling pro, here's an even easier recipe! This one has the spicy, refreshing bite of radishes. The radishes will grow paler, and the brine pinker, with time – if they don't get gobbled first!


Quick & Fierce Pickled Radishes (Refrigerator Pickles)


Thinly slice:


  • around 9 medium radishes, roots and tops removed


In a saucepan, combine and bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 1 minute:



Place radishes in a medium-size canning jar or a glass bowl.


Pour the boiled vinegar mixture over the radishes. 


Either enjoy immediately (after cooling to room temperature), or cover, refrigerate, and serve after a day or more.


Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one month.



That's it! Happy Pickling!

- Linda



Getting Creative with Balsamics

By Rachel Trowbridge
on July 16, 2017

Getting Creative with Balsamics

In celebration of our 3 new white balsamic flavors (Passion Fruit, White Raspberry, and Key Lime), Rachel wrote up a blog on getting creative with balsamics. Read on for a tempting passion fruit cocktail recipe and other tasty surprises! 


How To Get Creative With Your Balsamic Vinegars 

(Hint: They’re not just for salads!)

             While working at Port Plums one of the most common phrases I hear daily is “Oh, this balsamic would be delicious on a salad!” While there is no denying that our mouthwatering balsamic vinegars can kick up any salad, the truth is that balsamic vinegars can be used for so much more than just a dressing for lettuce. Since starting working at Port Plums I’ve gained quite an impressive collection of balsamic vinegars in my own kitchen cabinets, and I soon learned how to get creative with them. Our sweet and tangy vinegars have quickly become one of my favorite ingredients to perk up my every day cooking. I now feel it’s only fair to share some of these tips and recipes with other cooks looking for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite ways to use our balsamic vinegars besides in a salad (although that’s yummy too!)


Use it to make a perfectly refreshing summer drink

                Take a break from sugary lemonade and fruit juice this summer; instead, pour a splash of any of our fruity balsamics into water or seltzer for a sweet and unique refreshment. One of my personal favorite combinations is a couple drops of strawberry balsamic vinegar in iced seltzer with fresh basil leaves on top. It’s the perfect drink for any hot day. Try it in smoothies as well for a boost of probiotics!


Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Smoothie

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! (Rachel's Recipe)

Passionate Bubbles

Pour prosecco in champagne flute. Drizzle with balsamic and add a splash of lime juice. Garnish with 1/2 lime wheel. 


Balsamic vinegar for dessert... yes please!

                 For an unexpectedly delicious twist, drizzle one of our balsamics on ice cream! This is one of my absolute favorite ways to use the vinegars because there are so many fun variations to try. I love the dark chocolate or raspberry balsamic on vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries. Also for a thicker and richer syrup, reduce our maple or traditional balsamic vinegar on the stovetop with a stick of cinnamon and cool before pouring on this noteworthy dessert.


Mini Strawberry Marscapone Tarts with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a different surface, add sugar to the dough and roll into a flat disk about 1/8″ thick, turning and flipping to incorporate sugar and to keep it from sticking to surface. With a 3″ round cutter, cut out 12 dough rounds and arrange them on the lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. Put diced strawberries in a small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, mix and let stand about 15 minutes. To assemble the tarts, spread about 2 teaspoons mascarpone on each crisp dough round. Put approximately 1 tablespoon of diced strawberries on top of each “frosted” crisp. Drizzle Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar over the strawberries. Serve immediately and enjoy! (Recipe courtesy of The Olive Tap)


Excite your favorite soup or sauce recipe!

                It’s no secret that our traditional and Denissimo balsamic vinegars are the perfect match for fresh summer tomatoes, but on cold rainy days they are equally delicious in hearty tomato soups or sauces. I always add a splash of traditional balsamic and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to my favorite tomato soup in the fall and winter.


Cranberry-Pear Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash with Rosemary

  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced in to 1" pieces
  • 1/3 cup Cranberry-pear White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Ultra Premium Olive Oil either Hojiblanca or Arbequina
  • 3" sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl whisk the olive oil and balsamic together until thoroughly combined.  Add the rosemary and squash and toss to coat and combine evenly. In a large roasting pan lined with parchment, arrange the squash in a single layer, drizzling with any remaining marinade.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast the squash for 30-35 minutes, stirring a few times until golden brown and caramelized.  Adjust seasoning and serve.  (Recipe courtesy of A Thyme For All Seasonings)


Add a kick to your dipping sauces

                There’s no limit to the ways our balsamic vinegars can electrify your party platters. For a fun and tropical alternative to shrimp cocktail sauce, mix sour cream or Greek yogurt with our pineapple or mango white balsamic vinegars. I also love to whip together Greek yogurt, honey, and our grapefruit or Gravenstein apple white balsamic vinegar to make a crowd winning fruit dip!

The possibilities for this often underestimated ingredient are truly endless, and so much fun to play around with! I know all of the employees at Port Plums have fun balsamic recipes they’ve discovered throughout the years and are happy to share. Also, be sure to come on in and let us know what kinds of unique creations you come up with!


Fig Balsamic Vinegar Relish

  • 1 tablespoon any Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup Black Mission Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stems, finely minced

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add red onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until onion begins to turn translucent. Add vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer about 45 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and thickened. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cool before serving or storing. (Recipe courtesy of In Erika’s Kitchen

Maple Loves Ice Cream!

By Linda Davis Siess
on July 09, 2017

Maple Loves Ice Cream!

Maple Loves Ice Cream: Three Sundae Celebrations


Fabulous Runamok Maple organic maple syrups are a match made in heaven for savory or sweet ingredients, any time of year, any time of day.


Here's a sweet case in point: match maple syrup with ice cream, for a super sundae! Try these three favorites, developed, tested, and approved at Port Plums' demo kitchen on a hot summer Saturday:



The “Summer Sweetheart” Sundae

Featuring Runamok's Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup

luscious berries, flowery syrup, and a sweet and salty crunch


hibiscus maple syrup

 Click to Shop

Vanilla Ice Cream

Sliced Strawberries

Port City Pretzels Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels (broken into pieces)

Runamok Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup


Scoop vanilla ice cream into a bowl, top with sliced strawberries and broken cinnamon sugar pretzels, and drizzle with Runamok hibiscus maple syrup. Top with whipped cream if desired. A sweetheart of a sundae any time of year!


 The “Hot Chocolate” Sundae

 Featuring Runamok's Rye Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
crave-able chocolate accented with heat and the assertive warmth of rye 

rye barrel aged maple syrup

Click to Shop


Chocolate Ice Cream

Cocoa Cayenne Granola

Chocolate Chips (we used milk chocolate; you may prefer semisweet)

Runamok Rye Barrel Aged Maple Syrup


Scoop chocolate ice cream into a bowl, top with cocoa cayenne granola and chocolate chips, and drizzle with Runamok rye barrel aged maple syrup. Top with whipped cream if desired. Chocolaty-good with a slight hot spice/warm rye kick.


 The “Spice Island” Sundae

 Featuring Runamok's Cardamom Maple Syrup
coconut, spice, and everything nice in this tasty treat! 

cardamom maple syrup

Click to Shop

Vanilla Ice Cream

Cashew Chai Granola

Toasted Coconut 

Runamok Cardamom Infused Maple Syrup


Scoop vanilla ice cream into a bowl, top with cashew chai granola and toasted coconut, and drizzle with Runamok cardamom infused maple syrup. Top with whipped cream if desired. Sweet warm spices complement cool ice cream perfectly!


Rocky Road: What's in Your Bark?!

By Linda Davis Siess
on June 05, 2017

Rocky Road: What's in Your Bark?!

We demonstrated and sampled chocolate bark out of the Port Plums Demo Kitchen recently and it was a hit! Now you can try it for yourself. Start with this rocky road chocolate bark recipe (our version of one found on Food52.com) -  it's easy to make, and so good, we can't stop eating it. Once you've tried it, play with flavors and textures, and create your own signature variation. And bring us some!


Our starter recipe:


one 11 ½ oz bag milk chocolate chips

½ cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup mini marshmallows (about 60)

2 sheets matzo, broken

¼ tsp flaky sea salt, or to taste (we like Salt Traders' Nordur Icelandic sea salt)


Melt the chocolate by your preferred method (microwave at 30-second intervals, or melt over boiling water in a double boiler). Add the walnuts, marshmallows, and matzo. Spread evenly onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle salt over all. Refrigerate until set, then break into pieces to serve the chocolate bark.


And here are two quick variations:


1) toast the walnuts! We use Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil (about 1 Tb) in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until golden and fragrant.

– OR –

2) omit the matzo and walnuts, and use about ¾ cup of your favorite granola, big pieces chopped. We especially like Maple Nut Kitchen's “Sweet & Salty” granola in chocolate bark.


And now, a challenge for you! What's in YOUR chocolate bark? Chocolate, marshmallows, salt, and. . .



  • crushed Oreos
  • nuts toasted in Cayenne Chili Olive Oil
  • crushed pretzels
  • crushed potato chips
  • crushed shortbread cookies
  • Rice Krispies or Frosted Flakes or Cap'n Crunch or. . .
  • dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • white chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • a different salt; try a flavored Salt Traders variation (Aleppo Chile Salt? Vanilla?)


Really, any combination of sweet, hot, and/or salty plus crunchy plus gooey marshmallows = deliciousness. Who knew chocolate bark could be SO GOOD?



Way Beyond Butter - 4 Microwave Popcorn Recipes

By Linda Davis Siess
on April 08, 2017

Way Beyond Butter - 4 Microwave Popcorn Recipes

Way Beyond Butter - 4 Easy Microwave Popcorn Recipes in 3 Minutes or Less!


Do you like popcorn? How about crisp, super-easy to make popcorn in flavors that are fresher and better than store-bought? Popcorn you can't stop eating? You can make it whenever you want, fast!

Here's how I make it – and you can, too!

 I use the Lekue Popcorn Popper, for sale at Port Plums (in The Tannery Marketplace, or online at PortPlums.com, for $22 plus tax and shipping). The platinum silicon bowl squishes nearly flat for storage but I never put mine away. I keep it washed (by dishwasher or just by hand) and ready for my next craving. . . that's every day.


Buy it Here


You can always pop your corn without oil, but why not add flavor by using Port Plum's flavor-fused and infused olive oils? Start with the classic Butter Olive Oil, then go beyond. . . try savory Garlic, mellow Blood Orange, or hot Chipotle-Infused Olive Oil, or whatever flavor catches your taste buds.

 For extra savor, mix or match any Salt Traders flavored sea salts, try a Salt Traders flavored sugar, or indulge in crave-able Black Truffle Sea Salt. Experiment with salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and “umami” - the five tastes that bring us satisfaction. It's all good!

 The master recipe calls for a little less than ½ cup of popcorn kernels (a full ½ cup leaves too many unpopped kernels), 4 teaspoons of oil, and a ½ teaspoon or more of salt or sugar. . . always adjusting “to taste” - however you like it best.

General rule: Use the Lekue popcorn popper. Pour a scant ½ cup of popcorn kernels into the bottom of the bowl. Stir in oil(s) and seasonings. Place the lid on the popper. Put the popper in your microwave and turn it on. My microwave takes a little less than two minutes until popping slows – yours will vary.

Before the popcorn stops popping completely, remove the bowl from the microwave. (If you wait too long, the popcorn will burn. Better to underpop than overpop!) You will get the hang of your own microwave's capabilities quickly, adjusting timing for the best result.

Take out the bowl, remove the lid (look out for steam - lift the lid away from yourself), pour the popcorn into a serving bowl if you'd like, stir in any additional ingredients, and enjoy! Share the deliciousness, or keep it all for yourself. . . you can always make more!

Here are some easy recipes. Soon you'll be the Popcorn Master, enjoying your own custom-created, fresh, delicious popcorn to enjoy whenever you wish.


Cha Cha Chili Popcorn – this one has a hot kick

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

1 tsp Cayenne Chili Infused Olive Oil

3 tsp mild to medium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ tsp Aleppo Chile Salt


Chocolate Orange Popcorn – sweet and crunchy

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

4 tsp Blood Orange Olive Oil

½ tsp Vanilla Salt

stir together and pop, then remove from microwave and stir in until melted:

mini chocolate chips or grated chocolate, to taste

grated orange zest, optional


Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn – savory!

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

4 tsp Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

½ tsp Nordur Icelandic Sea Salt

stir together and pop, then remove from microwave and stir in:

grated Parmesan cheese, to taste


The Port Plums Classic – sooooo good

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

4 tsp Garlic Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Black Truffle Sea Salt, or more to taste


Come to Port Plums in The Tannery Marketplace for more recipes and delicious samples at our free demonstration: our next event is Saturday, April 22, from 2 to 4 pm. Leighann – our Popcorn Master - will walk you through the easy instructions, give out take-home recipes, and offer plenty of samples. I'll be the one sneaking tastes! See you then!

 - Linda


Cardamom-Soy Chicken Thighs (or Shrimp!)

By Linda Siess
on February 25, 2017

Cardamom-Soy Chicken Thighs (or Shrimp!)

This blog post features a recipe and photo from Runamok Maple. See the original recipe HERE

You can purchase Cardamom Infused Maple Syrup online or in our store.


 A Quick, Beautiful, Delicious Chinese-Inspired Entree, featuring Runamok Maple Syrup

“One bell that American Chinese food always rings is to satisfy that craving for sweet and salty over fried whatever.” That quote comes from the recipe blog of Vermont's award-winning Runamok Maple Syrup at RunamokMaple.com, where co-owner and French Culinary Institute-trained chef Laura Sorkin offers a simple, quick, and very delicious riff on craveable American Chinese cuisine. Laura  hits the nail on the head: sweet-salty-fried; that's exactly why I love to order Chinese!

The featured recipe is “Sauteed Shrimp with Soy-Cardamom Maple Glaze” and, just as Laura claims, it could hardly be easier. Prep your shrimp, coat it in cornstarch, have your glaze (and cooked rice!) ready. Heat oil in the pan, toss in the shrimp, followed shortly by the soy-maple syrup-ginger glaze, spoon it over your rice, and – wow! - dinner is served. Sweet. Salty. Fried. Heaven.

Laura visited Port Plums the other day, and prepared this recipe for us in our Demo Kitchen. It took six minutes to cook on our Fagor induction burner, and only a few minutes more for us to eat it all up. We took a bite, stopped for a moment to smile, nod, and go, “Mmmm!”- savoring the flavors – and then we gobbled it up!

The subtle but important key to this dish's tastiness is, of course, Runamok's exquisite maple syrup. Laura prepared our shrimp using the cardamom infused maple syrup. Exotic but versatile, certified organic, and addictive, this blend of warm spice and luscious maple is simply yummy. Laura suggests adding this infused syrup to curry recipes, or a mixed drink, or as an ingredient in “Cheater's Chai” (find that recipe on her blog). That warm-sweet combination invites all kinds of delicious speculation: how about adding it to apple pie? Or bread pudding? Or pork roast? Salmon? Hmm!

Anyway, today is Valentine's Day, and I've chosen this recipe for supper. I want to make something special, but it can't be complicated, because I'll be at work all day. The table is set and my rice is ready (I made it in the Lekue Grain Cooker, which we sell in the store. You fill it with grains and liquid, pop it in the microwave, and walk away: awesome! I can add more water or extra minutes if it's needed, with no worries about burning or stove-top boilover.) My ingredients are prepped and I'm ready to cook – but with a twist: I'm substituting chicken thighs for the shrimp.

 I pounded boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer (probably an unnecessary step), chopped them up, and proceeded exactly according to Laura's recipe, taking extra minutes to make sure the chicken was cooked through. Then I swerved from the recipe one more time! I added chopped, frozen spinach to the pan, and a couple handfuls of cashews. As soon as the spinach was hot, dinner was ready. It looked beautiful, and it was ready in a flash!

And the verdict? My Valentines (husband and two sons) and I agree: “Yum, yum, yum!” Warm cardamom compliments the rich dark meat; the complex sweetness of maple is a perfect foil for salty soy sauce. Add the slight sour/bitterness of spinach plus the crunchy umami of cashews and it hits all the notes for a perfect dish: sweet-salty-bitter-sour-umami, wow!

As one son (a person of very few words) said with a grin: “That turned out well.” Thanks, Runamok, for an easy-going keeper of a recipe, for Valentine's Day and any time you crave quicker-than-takeout sweet-salty-fried satisfaction!


Linda Davis Siess

Events Coordinator and Staff Associate, Port Plums

Dress That Salad!

By Katie Shernan
on February 19, 2017

Dress That Salad!

Sometimes the simplest combos are the most delicious! Here are a few of our favorite dressing recipes:


Yield for each dressing is approximately 1/4 cup. Pour ingredients into a jar, close the top, shake, and pour your delicious dressing!


Katie’s Classic

2 Tbsps Traditional Balsamic

3 Tbsps Garlic Olive Oil

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste


Sesame Ginger

2 Tbsps Honey Ginger Balsamic

2 ½ Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

½ tsp Grated Ginger 

Salt & Pepper to taste


Apple Walnut

2 Tbsps Red Apple Balsamic

3 Tbsps Roasted Walnut Oil


The Gloria

2 Tbsps Champagne Vinegar

2 Tbsps Lemon Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Basil Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste


Strawberry Basil

2 Tbsps Strawberry Balsamic

3 Tbsps Basil Olive Oil

1 tsp fresh basil, minced (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

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