Shortcut Marinades, Hot Stuff and Gluten-Free Muffins

Load your pantry with this assortment for easy weekend entertaining. These shortcuts will keep cooking and prep time short, and allow more socializing with guests—that’s why you invited them right?

[1] Hernan’s Mole Poblano For those looking to add a rich, Mexican flavor to their meats in an instant, Hernan’s Mole Poblano will be their new addiction. The paste is crafted in Mexico with 28 natural and vegan ingredients. Hernan’s mole is made using the very same, laborious, traditional roasting and grinding methods, so when combined with broth or water, the sauce has the richness of traditional mole. The 7.2 oz jar is enough for saucing an entire chicken. For the Weekend GuesSt party, we used the paste as a marinade, which was rubbed into the pork chops and left to marinate for a couple hours. $9. Available online at

[2] Pickled Pink Sweet Heat Jalapeños are bursting with flavors both hot and sweet, and ready to liven up anything you put on the taco bar. Jarred by hand, the pickled cucumbers, jalapeños, and watermelon are part of a Southern tradition. The company also supports Hunter’s Hotline which helps students report bullying and abuse. $10. Available online at

[3] Rogue Hot Sauce by High River Sauces features the “Trinidad MORUGA Scorpion” pepper, rated the hottest pepper in the world. Add to that the unique flavor combinations of blood orange, apples and pears and you have one hot and tasty sauce. The taste is so good you might get excited and overdo it, but needless to say, we warned you. The sauce was created by a music industry veteran, food junkie and heavy metal cookbook MOSH POTATOES author Steve Seabury. $8. Available online at

[4 ] Bill’s Best Bbq Sauce Chicken breasts and BBQ make for a perfect grilling match. And with a surplus of BBQ sauces in the market, it’s nice to know the one you choose is coming from a good place. Bill’s Best Bbq Sauce is organic, gluten-free and uses all natural ingredients. Choose from the Original or Spicy. The family-owned company donates 10% of the profits to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, which Bill was diagnosed with in 2009. $13 for the variety-pack of two. Available online at

[5] August Kitchen’s Burger Starter makes it easy to add flavor to ground meats. Made of all natural ingredients (as opposed to powders) it tastes like you put all the work into it. $6. Available at Stop & Shop and Garden of Eden stores.

[6] Paper Chef ’s Culinary Parchment Lotus Cups turn baking muffins into a mess-free, simple pleasure. Just pour the muffin mix into the parchment, bake and serve—dressed beautifully. The multi-colored pack of 12 comes in four different sophisticated colors to mix and match. $3.50.

[7] The Sprouted Flour Attention bakers, especially of the gluten-free sort, this flour company offers over 20 varieties to extend your repertoire. Using sprouted flour, like 100% whole grain Kamut flour, not only adds a handful of health benefits, but it does so without sacrificing the taste or texture of your creations. Sprouting breaks down starches, making them easier to digest. It also adds vitamins, like vitamin C and B, and increases carotene and enzymes. So now all your gluten-free friends can have muffins that are soft and delicious. Kamut Flour, 1 lb bag $4.62. Available online at

See the complete menu and strategies for hosting weekend guests in style: 06 Three Day Party