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I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Some Delicious Comfort Foods


With winter continuing to blast nationally (mixed in with some early tornadoes) and a new series of cold storms here in California, I’ve been thinking about, making and serving yummy comfort foods to customers at New Leaf, our local community market where I reign as Demo Queen.

Three of the recipes qualify for posting as they contain vanilla and two also have additional tropical ingredients, my criteria for posting to our recipe section at The Vanilla Company.  I’ve held back on posting the “non-qualifiers,” even though you’d probably enjoy them.

The first is an aromatic rub that I first used last autumn on skirt steak and most recently used on a New York steak.  Before I give you the recipe, I want to give a plug for Creekstone Farms Black Angus beef.  It is mostly grass-fed and is extremely flavorful, tender and low in excess fat.  If you are a meat eater, I highly recommend  New York Steak with Aromatic Herbs as it’s amazing.  You can use the rub on other meats or even poultry.  It’s a very Mediterranean flavor.

The recipe I served with the steak is in The Vanilla Chef, which I wrote in 2002.  Every time I make the Basmati Rice with Vanilla, Coconut, Dates and Lemon I remember how much I love this recipe.  It’s kind of like eating a savory dessert.  Needless to say, everyone who sampled this recipe immediately bought dates and coconut and I sold two bottles of my Tahitian vanilla from the store right away!

The third recipe is Chicken Marsala.  Normally I use dry Marsala making this dish, but we only had sweet Marsala in the store.  As it turns out, either works well.  You can serve this with the Basmati rice recipe or with fat egg noodles dripping with butter.

These three recipes will add to your comfort food choices.  Beg and I’ll give you the recipe for a stovetop Mac’ N Cheese that is scrumptious!

Patricia Rain
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