Print The Making of Amazing

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Apryl Chapman Thomas

"I see them on retail shelves, and think to myself 'wow, people are buying my products - this is cool!," says Marian Aiksnoras about her Bloody Amazing Island Seasoning and Bloody Amazing Mary Mix.

As a former freelance graphic designer (and prior to that a computer programmer), the St. Simons Island, Ga.-resident admits she never saw herself as being a part of the food and beverage industry. Yet, here she is making a name for herself with a recipe she created four years ago.

It all started when patrons at the golf course restaurant in Connecticut where she served as the food and beverage manager complained about the Bloody Marys. Not a Bloody Mary drinker herself ("never had one in my life"), she began to ask members and golfers their opinions on what made a good one. Using the information gathered, she worked at home blending together different spices. Once she felt she had something, she tested the blend on her customers where it success. In fact, so much so they encouraged her to market it. However, she wasn't quite ready to do yet.

 

In 2011, Aiksnoras moved to St. Simons Island and four months into the move, she was talking with a friend over the phone and mentioned that she still didn't have a job, but "still had her recipe."

"It was then that he told me, either put it in a bottle or hush up about it."

"That was the kick in the pants that I needed," she recalls.

And thus Aiksnoras began the process with a lot of support (and assistance) from her children and others. On Valentine Day 2012, she bottled the Bloody Amazing Island Seasoning. Not only did it catch on a drink mix, but also a seasoning for food.

This past winter, she worked on the ready-to-mix recipe and bottled it for release on April 15.

The products are available at specialty shops and liquor stores in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia as well as Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. They can also be ordered online as well.

"For a relocated Yankee, my product has been so well received. It's amazing the support I've received for me personally and my business."

Whether it's dressing up dish or a drink, be sure to check out the creative ways to add Bloody Amazing to a recipe.

Here are some additional recipes, courtesy of Aiksnoras, great for family gatherings, tailgating or just for dinner:

Amazing Chili for Hot Dogs

1 lb. Ground Beef

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 c. of water

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 c green pepper, finely chopped

2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 c. Bloody Amazing Mary Mix

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add water, ground beef, and veggies. Simmer; stirring frequently until meat is crumbly and no longer pink, and veggies are tender. Drain half liquid. Add Blood y Amazing Mary Mix, chili powder, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Simmer to reduce. Enjoy on hot dogs, potato skins, etc.

Amazing Kraut

1 can sauerkraut (15 oz.)

3 tbsp. onion, finely chopped

1/4 c. petite diced tomatoes

1/3 c. bacon, crumbled

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. brown sugar

4 tbsp. Bloody Amazing Mary Mix

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add bacon, onion, and brown sugar; simmer until onion is tender. Add sauerkraut, tomatoes and Bloody Amazing Mary Mix. Let simmer approx. 5 min. Enjoy on a hot dog.

Grilled Bloody Mary Corn

4 ears of corn

3/4 c. Bloody Amazing Mary Mix

2 tbsp. Honey

1/4 c. olive oil

4 tbsp. Butter

Husk corn and place in a large zip lock bag. In a medium sized bowl add Bloody Amazing Mary Mix and olive oil, whisk until well blended. Pour over the corn and seal the bag. Place in fridge and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours. Melt butter and honey; stir to blend. Heat grill to medium high. Place ears on the grill, brush with honey butter turn every 3 minutes, brush every other turn until all sides have been glazed. When intermittent grill marks are present on kernels, corn is done.

Photos courtesy of Marian Aiksnoras and Leigh Cort Publicity

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