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Blue Magnolia Bread Pudding Mixes

31 Dec

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We recently received a sampling of 4 flavors of bread pudding mix from Blue Magnolia in Louisiana. I had heard good things and I am anxious to give it a try. We will begin tonight with some Pumpkin Spice bread pudding to ring in the New Year. Stay tuned — we’ll be back with a more detailed review in the coming days. For now, take a few moments to read up on the company and the pharmacist who developed the mixes.

 

Bread pudding is frugal comfort food because it is made from leftover, slightly stale bread. There are dozens of recipes for bread pudding, and most restaurants have their own signature versions of the popular dessert. There is also a line of bread pudding mixes available in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette markets. The mixes are packaged by Southern Seasonings in Broussard and sold under the Blue Magnolia label.

Blue Magnolia Bread Puddings come in four flavors: Original, Classic Cinnamon, Lemon-Chiffon and Pumpkin-Spice. The mix contains the correct proportion of sugar and seasonings to make a 9-inch square pan or 2 1/2-quart casserole-size bread pudding. Cooks add milk, eggs, bread and any desired extras, such as nuts, dried cranberries, coconut and raisins.

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Desiree Guillory, a pharmacist in Lafayette, developed the Blue Magnolia Bread Pudding Mix after a friend who was getting married asked for her bread pudding recipe. For years,  friends had been asking her to come up with a packaged version of her bread pudding, so when the request for the recipe came, Guillory said she thought she might try developing a commercial bread pudding.

Also, true confession, Guillory admitted in a note to the food section, “When my friend asked me for my recipe as a gift for her recipe file, I had to tell her I didn’t have a recipe. I just threw bread puddings together without measuring anything. Since she wanted it so badly, I decided to try to measure everything the next time I made one. Well, that didn’t go so well. I messed the bread pudding up so bad I had to throw it away”, Guillory said.

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“I worked on the recipe for over a month until I finally came up with a recipe that could be duplicated by anyone. It was then that I took everyone’s suggestion and looked into marketing my bread pudding. From October 2003 until February 2004 I did a lot of groundwork. I talked to business people I knew, searched the Web for information, looked into logo development, label development, packaging, manufacturers, UPC codes, nutritional labels, basically everything it would take to get a food product launched,” Guillory continued.

“In February 2004, I met with the owner of Southern Seasonings, Tom Riggs, in Broussard. He loved the concept and the product. He offered to manufacture it for me even though I was just starting and only needed a small order. By October 2004, I sold my first four cases to Bayou Country in New Orleans”, Guillory said.


Since then she has sold the Blue Magnolia Bread Pudding Mix line to customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Texas.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita slowed down sales, but 2006 was a good year with sales doubling over the previous year, Guillory reported.

Guillory admitted she is passionate about her food company. “My small Blue Magnolia company is so much fun! I feel like I am living the American dream and definitely believe that if you have a passion to make something happen, it can happen with a little hard work, dedication and faith.”

www.bluemagnoliaproducts.com

Footnote: Tried the Pumpkin Spice mix last night – excellent!

Whitley’s VA Peanuts are Truly Special

31 Dec

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I recently discovered these gourmet peanuts from my home state of Virginia. The Old Dominion has long been known as a top peanut producer and we have long been fans of the gourmet nuts sold at the Virginia Diner in Wakefield, VA.

The select super extra large peanuts we received from Whitley’s are perhaps the finest we have ever tasted. That is a bold claim because we love our peanuts and have sampled some of the finest the USA has to offer.

Whitley’s peanuts are massive and super-crunchy. In addition, they are not oversalted like many brands currently on the market. Forget about Planters peanuts and order some of these tasty little babies today. We guarantee that you will not be disappointed. In fact, I predict you will never go back to the generic store bought goobers again.

What follows is a brief blurb from Whitley’s web site …

Whitley’s “Home-Cooked” peanuts have a wonderful, crunchy freshness and distinctive flavor because our peanuts are still made the old-fashioned way-hand cooked, slowly roasted to perfection. We choose only the highest quality, super extra-large Virginia peanuts which are hand selected for their size and freshness. Each batch is individually cooked with proven, traditional recipes to ensure the crisp, fresh flavor and unique taste for which our peanuts are famous. We are very proud to have been selected by the National Association for Specialty Food Trade as a Finalist in the Outstanding Hors D’oeuvres or Snack Food category. We offer you only the finest products available and we combine our fine quality with good, quick service.

For over 20 years, Whitley’s Peanut Factory has been producing the finest quality gourmet Virginia peanuts on the market. Our delicious “Home-Cooked” peanuts are still hand cooked and slowly roasted to perfection the old-fashioned way. Hand selected for their size (super extra large) and packaged at the peak of their flavor will assure your customer of always receiving a fine quality product from Whitley’s.

In our first year as a member of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (1993) we were selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Hors d’oeuvres or Snack Food Category. We are proud to have been selected as a member of the Virginia’s Finest program, which supports and promotes Virginia manufactured products. The display of the Virginia’s Finest logo on our packaging confirms our status as producers of some of the finest quality products Virginia has to offer.

www.whitleyspeanut.com