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Goodbye boring cooking with help from Gracious Gourmet

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With the popularity of celebrity chefs and cooking programs, home chefs are looking to expand their cooking expertise. Even with detailed recipes and beautiful pictures, mastering flavor profiles and complicated dishes can excoriating. Gracious Gourmet can be the home chef's secret weapon to creating inspiring dishes with less effort.

Gracious Gourmet is a line of specialty food products that transform ordinary dishes simply and easily into extraordinary ones. The company offers a variety of chutneys, spreads, tapenades, and pestos. These products pair well with a cheese or can be combined with other ingredients to create a complex dish. Main courses, desserts and even hors d'oeuveres can be made expectational with Gracious Gourmet.

New to the company's line this year is sweet caramelized onions and apricot date spread. These two new items elevate a home meal without the difficult prep work.

With summer grilling season, caramelized onions have numerous uses. Unfortunately, chopping and cooking onions can lead to a smelly mess. With the Gracious Gourmet caramelized onions, home cooks can have the delicious sweet, savory flavor without the kitchen prep downside. From hamburgers to hot dogs to even a juicy chicken breast, caramelized onions can make a simple meal phenomenal.

The date apricot spread works in both sweet treats and savory sides. From pairing the spread with a creamy goat cheese for an yummy appetizer to developing depth in a simple rice pudding, this single jar offers numerous uses.

To inspire the home chef with the many uses of Gracious Gourmet Date Apricot Spread, here are a few recipes to get the creative juices flowing.

Date Apricot Goat Cheese Spread

4 oz. cream cheese

4 oz. goat cheese

4 oz. The Gracious Gourmet Date Apricot Spread

Combine all ingredients until blended and dollop into a bowl for serving. Top with crushed almonds if desired. Serve with cookies, crackers, crisps or apple slices.

Date Apricot Basmati Rice

3 cups cooked basmati rice

1/3 cup Date Apricot Spread

1/3 cup Chopped almonds or smoked almonds

Cook rice according to directions on package. After rice is done and fluffed with a fork, stir in the Apricot Spread and half of the almonds until blended. Use fork to again fluff and separate rice. Top with remaining almonds.

Date Apricot Rice Pudding

22 oz. container of refrigerated rice pudding or homemade

1/3 cup Date Apricot Spread from The Gracious Gourmet

Stir pudding and Date Apricot Spread and serve chilled. Garnish with Mint leaves for color.

Gracious Gourmet can be purchased online at http://www.thegraciousgourmet.com or a various retailers across the nation. The various products retail for approximately $10 a jar or can be purchased in sets.

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