Monday, December 28, 2009

Tropical Traditions Coconut Flour Giveaway





If you've been following along with An Herbal Bedfellow, you know that I have done two reviews and giveaways for Tropical Traditions and their coconut products. Today I want to talk about Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour.

I usually use regular white flour or wheat flour so this was something totally new to me.
Even though there is a long list of coconut product recipes on the Tropical Traditions web site. I went straight for the Chocolate Fudge Brownie recipe on the back of the bag. We are very big brownie fans in this house, so I thought it would be fun to try something new.

We found the brownie to be very tasty and chocolaty in flavor, but if you are prepared for the same texture you're used to, you will be surprised.  This flour created a more dense brownie. We tried them both with and without frosting and preferred it with frosting.  It seemed to add the mositure that we are used to.  Tropical Traditions Coconut Flour is organic and USDA certified.  It's a product of the Phillipines,  producing a long list of items ranging from household products, to skin care, to pet care products. I have a new puppy just four months old, so that will be my next venture into the world of coconuts. It's so much fun to try something new, don't you think?
Tropical Traditions would like you to have a chance to try their Organic Coconut flour, too. Enter now to win a 2.2 lb bag -- here's how!

1. Leave a comment about something you learned at the Tropical Traditions web site.


2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.

3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.


4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to the Tropical Traditions email sales newsletter, then come back and tell me that you have done that.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.


5. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.



Good Luck!!

Open to US and Canadian residents only, 18+.

Winners will be chosen by random.org.

Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.

This Giveaway ends on .........................Sunday, January 3, 2010 at midnuight EST


Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Basil Baguettes



Recently, I went to a Christmas cocktail party. This very simple hors d'oeurve was offered by the hostess. I added a little twist of my own and here it is -- just right for your Holiday party.

You can make your own Pesto easily by simply adding a large bunch (2 cups) of basil leaves, 1/2 c. olive oil, and 2 T. roasted pine nuts, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, and 2 T, Romano cheese to a blender. Blend until it is of a spreading consistency. Add more olive oil if necessary to get the right consistency.

Slice a baguette into 2-inch slices. Brush on both sides with olive oil, place on a cookie sheet, and toast in a 350 degree oven for approx. 3-5 minutes. Watch closely so it does not burn, turning over at the halfway point. Remove when lightly browned.

After the slices have cooled, generously spread cream cheese or Neufchatel on each slice and then top with a dollop of pesto.




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Monday, December 14, 2009

Crock Pot Cantonese Dinner



There are no herbs in this recipe, but it's another great Crock Pot meal for the busy holiday times. This Cantonese style dinner serves 4. For my family of two, there was enough for a second-day dish. No real cooking two days in a row! You can't beat that.

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into strips
1 T. oil
1 onion, sliced
1 small green pepper, cut into strips
1 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
3 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. vinegar
1 1/2 t. salt
2 t. Worcestershire sauce

Brown pork strips in oil in skillet to remove excess fat.
Drain well.
Place pork strips and all remaining ingredients into Crock Pot.
Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours. (high : 3 hours)
Serve over hot rice.

Serves 4 but recipe may be doubled.





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crock Pot Hungarian Goulash



Christmas is coming, and the hustle and bustle has begun. There's no time to make a really hearty meal now for the family. But it's cold outside and that's just what you need. So why not fall back on the crock pot?
Truly, there's nothing like putting all of the food in the crock pot in the morning and then not thinking about it for the rest of the day. If you work out of the home, that first smell when you open the door is just like when you were a kid coming home from school to steamy windows and mouth watering flavors wafting through the air. If you're the cook in the house, you never get that sensation anymore.

Here's a great crock pot recipe based on the traditional Hungarian Goulash. I've been making this for years, and it is a favorite. I make the full recipe even for the two of us, and then we can have it again on the next day (one less meal to make.) My husband says it's better the second day anyway. I'm sure you'll love this international favorite.

2 pounds round steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 1/2 T. paprika
1/4 t. dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 14 1/2 oz. can tomatoes
1 c. sour cream

Put steak cubes. onion, garlic in Crock Pot.
Stir in flour and mix to coat steak cubes.
Add all remaining ingredients except sour cream.
Stir well.
Cover and cook on low for 7-10 hours. (high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.)
Add sour cream 30 minutes before serving, and stir in thoroughly.
Serve over hot buttered egg noodles.




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dining Room, Kichen and Housewares

As most of you know by know, my house is for sale. It's been a long and agonizing wait to sell, and it's not over yet. I keep dreaming, though, and browsing the Internet for ideas. What will my new kitchen and dining room be like? What kind of furniture will I use this time since I am leaving the antiques in the past where they belong?
I found this wonderful site, while searching for Dining Room Furniture, and I realized that you, my readers, might be interested also. With each click I went deeper and deeper into the site, and it seemed to never end. I found great furniture and accessories, and also a huge selection of kitchen items, dishes, flatware, and even wine racks! All wonderful items for wannabe chefs or just a plain good cook.

Dining Rooms Direct offers hassle free returns and free shipping. Did I say FREE? Yes! This is one web site that I am going to bookmark for sure. I'll need lots of time to browse for myself and maybe for some Christmas gifts. I also spotted the Clearance Center at the bottom of the page. At the top there is a link to 100 gifts for under $100. Oh my, so much to choose from. Let me know what you think.




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tropical Traditions Coconut Giveaway



Usually this blog is about recipes -- healthy, low fat recipes. Sometimes I like to vary from that specific area and delve into other parts of the cooking process.


In October I sponsored a giveaway of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil, and I was so impressed with the product that I asked to try something else that they produce -- coconut flakes.
One of the things I wanted to talk about was the use of fresh ingredients. I'm sure you know that the best ingredients produce the best dishes. It's also important to feel secure with the producer of the item you are using.
Tropical Traditions is a company that takes pride in their product and they are USDA Certified Organic. The coconut arrived in a large 1 gallon/ 2 pound tub. It was sealed so tightly that it took quite a bit of work to get it open, but it was well worth the effort. When I finally lifted the lid,the aromas released were of fresh coconuts. I felt as though I was right there when the coconut was collected from the tree and cracked open.
After trying some of my favorite recipes and a few from Tropical Traditions web site, I was convinced. This is the best flaked coconut I have had to date.

Here are a few of the recipes to be found at their site. Great for the many Christmas gatherings that you are sure to be cooking for.

Banana Coconut Cake

Chocolate Coconut Bark

Coconut Almond Balls

So go ahead and eat lightly but enjoy the taste of the tropics.

Tropical Traditions also has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number… 5502694. By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy with your first order! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how one can incorporate coconut into their diet.

Giveaway Alert:


Would like you to have a chance to win the same 2 pound tub of coconut flakes that I received? Here's how you can enter:


1. Leave a comment about something you learned at the Tropical Traditions web site or tell me what your favorite product is.
 
2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.
 
3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.
 
4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to the Tropical Traditions email sales newsletter, then come back and tell me that you have done that.
 
5. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.
Good Luck!!
 
Open to US and Canada residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Monday, November 30,2009 at midnight.

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tin Woodsman Pewter Giveaway


“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris




Not too long ago I brought to your attention the Tin Woodsman Pewter Company and their beautiful measuring spoons. Each time I use these spoons I smile with just the pleasure of having my hands on them. I had a fantastic giveaway response to this item. And now I have been privileged to try out Tin Woodsman's Dragonfly Coffee Scoop and to offer one as a giveaway. I'm so excited for you!

All good cooks love a new kitchen tool, but we also like beauty as well as functionality. When both of these things merge, it is truly a good thing, and when they are made of real quality and craftsmanship, such as Tin Woodsman is known for, it is a joy.

My new coffee scoop has a dragonfly in the scoop itself and one on the handle with three cattails. It's weighty and solid and comes with a matching hook for the wall. No, you will not want to hide this little beauty in the drawer. Rarely do you find something so pretty which can be used daily with no fear of damaging it. It can even be placed in the dishwasher!

You must check out the Tin Woodsman Pewter site; there are some new Christmas items added that you won't want to miss. I have a darling little ornament that's just too precious. Please note the button at the top of the sidebar; there is a discount offered for you until December 23rd.


Here's how you can win something for yourself or a wonderful Christmas gift for someone special:

1. Leave a comment about something you would love to own from Tin Woodsman Pewter. Don't be afraid to dig deep into their site; you won't be sorry.


2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.


3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.



5. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

Good Luck!!


Open to US residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Sunday, November 29th at midnight ET.



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brunch Strata



1 can (10 3/4 oz.) reduced-fat condensed cream of celery soup, divided
2 c. cholesterol-free egg substitute (or 8 eggs)
1 c. fat-free (skim) milk
1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushrooms (opt.)
1/4 c. sliced green onions
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. sage
1/2 t. salt (opt.)
1/4 t. black pepper
6 slices reduced-fat white bread, cut into 1-in. cubes
4 links reduced-fat precooked breakfast sausage, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Combine soup; egg substitute, milk, mushrooms, if desired, green onions, mustard, salt, if desired, and pepper in medium bowl; mix well.

3. Combine bread cubes, sausage and soup mixture in prepared baking dish; toss to coat. Bake 35-40 minutes or until set. Garnish as desired.

Serving= 1 cup
Calories....155
Cal.from Fat...12%
Total fat......2g
Sat. Fat.......1g
Cholesterol....8mg
Sodium.........642mg
Carbohydrate....20g
Fiber............3g
Protein.........15g





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sirloin with Caramelized Onions



Sirloin with Sweet Caramelized Onions

What? No herbs? This lean meat dish doesn't really need anything to tempt your taste bud, and it's, easy even for the newest cook.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
1 boneless beef top sirloin steak (about 1 pound)
1/4 c. water
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. sugar

1. Lightly coat 12-in. skillet with cooking spray, heat over high heat until hot. Add onion; cook and stir 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside; wipe out skillet with paper towel.

2. Coat same skillet with cooking spray. Heat until hot. Add beef; cook 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare to medium, turning once. Remove from heat and transfer to cutting board; let stand 3 minutes before slicing.

3. Meanwhile, return skillet to high heat until hot; add onion, water, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Cook 30 to 45 seconds or until most liquid has evaporated.

4. Thinly slice beef on the diagonal and serve with onions.




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spinach & Turkey Skillet



Are there only two of you for Thanksgiving this year? Don't feel like making a big dinner? Not enough money to go out to eat? This one is for you! Add a dinner roll and maybe a light dessert, and you're all set.

Spinach & Turkey Skillet

6 oz. turkey breast tenderloin
1/8 t. salt
2 t. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. uncooked rice
3/4 t. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 t. black pepper
1 c. fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 c. torn fresh spinach leaves
2/3 diced plum tomatoes
3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut turkey tenderloins into bite-sized pieces; sprinkle with salt.

2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey pieces, cook and stir until lightly browned. Remove from skillet. Reduce heat to low. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Return turkey to skillet. Stir in rice, Italian seasoning, and pepper.

3. Reserve 2 T. chicken broth. Stir remaining broth into mixture in skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered 14 minutes. Stir in spinach and reserve broth. Cover; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and spinach is wilted. Stir in tomatoes; heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Serving = 1/2 of total recipe

Calories: 316
Cal. from Fat 26%
total Fat: 9g
Sat. Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 39mg
Sodium: 309mg
Carbohydrate: 33g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 25g


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thai Pork Kabobs


(picture of kabobs, but not this exact recipe)

Thai Pork Kabobs


1/e c. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T. water
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 t. hot chili oil (if not available, combine 2 t. vegetable oil and 1/2 t. red pepper flakes in small microwavable cup. Microwave at HIGH 30-45 seconds. Let stand 5 minutes to allow flavor to develop.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. minced fresh ginger
12 oz. well-trimmed pork tenderloin
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
1 red or sweet onion, cut into 1/2-in. chunks
2 c. hot cooked rice

1. Combine soy sauce, water, lime juice, chili oil, garlic, and ginger in medium bowl. Reserve 1/3 c. mixture for dipping sauce; set aside.

2. Cut pork tenderloin lengthwise in half; cut crosswise into 4-in. thick slices. Cut slices into 1/2-in. strips. Add to bowl with soy sauce mixture; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours; turning once.

3. Spray grill with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking. Prepare grill.

4. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Alternately weave pork strips and thread bell pepper and onion chunks onto eight 8-10 in. metal skewers.

5. Grill, covered, over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until pork is barely pink in center, turning halfway through grilling time. Serve with rice and reserved dipping sauce.

2 Kabobs with 1/2 c. rice and 1 T. plus 1 t. dipping sauce:

Calories: 248
Cal. From Fat. 16%
Total Fat 4g
Sat. Fat 1g
Cholesterol from Fat 49mg
Sodium 271mg
Carbohydrate: 30g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 22g












If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cornmeal Currant Scones



Cornmeal Scones

These scones serve 16:


1/2 c. dried currants
1 c. warm water
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. plus 1 t. sugar, divided
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. ( 1/2 stick) cold margarine, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 c. plain nonfat yogurt
3 T. fat-free (skim) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Place currants in a small mixing bowl. Add water; let stand 10 minutes. Drain and discard water.

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut margarine into flour mixture with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in currants.

3. Combine yogurt, milk, and whole egg in small bowl. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead 5 or 6 times. Shape dough into an 8-inch round.

4. Place on baking sheet. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Cut into 8 wedges.

5. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut each wedge in half.


1 Scone =

Calories 132
Cal. from Fat 23%
Total Fat 3g.
Sat Fat 1g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 170 mg
Carbohydrate 22g
Fiber 1g
Protein 3g

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scrambled Egg Breakfast Burritos


Prep and cook time: 18 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 green onions, sliced
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 c. cholesterol-free egg substitute or 8 egg whites (lightly beaten)
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
4 (8-in) flour tortillas
1/2c. (2 oz.) shredded low-sodium reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1.3 c, salsa

Spray medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat until hot. Add bell pepper, green onions and red pepper flakes.
Cook and stir 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add egg substitute or egg whites to vegetables. Reduce heat to low, Cook and stir 3 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with cilantro (or parsley.)

Stack tortillas and wrap in paper towels. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until tortillas are hot.

Place 1/4 egg mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 T. cheese. Fold sides over to enclose filling. Serve with salsa.

YIELD: 4 servings

Calories 186
Calories from Fat 20%
Total Fat 4g
Sat. Fat 1g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 423mg
Carbohydrate 23g
Fiber 1g
Protein 14g





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mushroom Pasta Scampi



I'm in an Italian mood lately. Here's another great pasta recipe. You can use either linguine or fettuccine.

8 ounces uncooked linguine
2 T. olive oil
1 pound fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1 T. chopped garlic
1 pound frozen, raw, peeled and deveined, large shrimp, thawed
10 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed and torn into pieces ( about 7 cups)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. crushed red pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet.

Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender and mushroom liquid is almost evaporated.

Add shrimp; cover and cook about 5 minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through.

Stir in spinach and reserved 1/2 cup pasta water, if desired.

Cover and cook about 1 minute or until spinach is wilted.

Place pasta in serving bowl; stir in mushroom and spinach mixtures, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper.

Toss to combine. Season with salt, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Calories 415
Cal. from Fat 29%
Total Fat 13g
Sat. Fat 3g
Cholesterol 240 mg
Sodium 370 mg
Carbohydrate 38 g
Fiber 9g
Protein 37g








If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ravioli with Tomato Pesto




Oh, Mama Mia, you'll love this ravioli dish!!

4 ounces frozen cheese ravioli
1 1/4 c. coarsely chopped plum tomatoes
1/3 c. fresh basil leaves
2 t. pine nuts
2 t. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook ravioli according to package directions; drain

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, oil, salt, and pepper in food processor. Process using on/off pulsing action just until ingredients are chopped.

Serve over ravioli.

Top with cheese.

YIELD: 2 servings

Calories 175
Calories from Fat 75%
Total Fat 10g
Sat. Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 59 mg
Sodium 459 mg
Carbohydrates 20g
Fiber 3g
Protein 10g



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vote for dk Mommy



Diane Kidman over at dk Mommy Spot, has been nominated for a national Naturally Beautiful Blogger award and she needs your votes.

Diane has been blogging for three years. She writes about being natural and "green." There is such a variety of topics that it's impossible here to tell you all about it, but they run from children's' toys to natural soaps and cleaning hints. Diane is studying to be an herbalist also, and as she progresses through her studies she passes on many hints about natural health and beauty aids that she has learned about, as well as tips on cooking organic and healthy meals. This blog is a must for anyone who wants to help save the planet and is interested in protecting your family from the chemical invasions into our lifestyle.

Please take a moment to visit dk Mommy Spot (even if you're not a mommy.) I'm sure you'll enjoy what you find.
And don't forget to vote! Here's the link to her web site.







If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Friday, October 23, 2009

Root Vegetable Gratin



This is easy, easy, easy. You're going to love it.

1 sweet potato
1 regular Russet potato
1 carrot
1 turnip
1 parsnip
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup low-fat Half and Half
1/2 t. dried tarragon
1/2 t. each, salt and pepper
1 2. minced garlic

Slice vegetables very thin; toss with cheese, broth, Half and Half, tarragon, salt, pepper and garlic.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and juice is absorbed.



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway



Today, I'm going to veer away from my usual recipe post. I want to let you know about something that was recently introduced to me. Tropical Traditions sent me a sample of their Virgin Coconut Oil to try. I have to admit, that I was not familiar with coconut oil at all. I was eager to try something new in the kitchen as always. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised! When I first opened the jar, I did detect a slight scent of coconuts, taking me to far away islands and sending me to a warm and relaxing place in my mind.
I was afraid that the coconut would flavor my food, and so I used it with a little apprehension. Much to my surprise, although there is a slight difference in taste, as there is in any oil you might use, from olive oil to vegetable oil, I did find that it didn't detract from the flavor of my dish.
Click here for some free coconut recipes.

I like the fact that Tropical Traditions is USDA 100% Certified Organic, and that it employs local people, giving them a much needed income. What was more surprising is the number of uses they have discovered for the coconut oil. It extends from the oil, to flour, lotions, hair products, and household cleaners! Wow, now that's a tree that must surely have given to us by our Creator to be used to our benefit.

You can watch this very interesting video for more information on the Tropical Traditions company:



Tropical Traditions also has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number… 5502694. By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy with your first order! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how one can incorporate coconut into their diet.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!
Here's your chance to win your own 32 oz. jar of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil:


1. Leave a comment about something you learned at the Tropical Traditions web site.


2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.


3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.

For a BONUS ENTRY, subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter here: Be sure to let me know on a separate comment that you subscribed.


4. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

Good Luck!!


Open to US residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Friday, October 16, 2009 at midnight, ET.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blackened Chicken with Tomato Salsa



Blackened Chicken with Tomato Salsa

4 green onions
10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1/2 c. small black olives, pitted
1/2 c. green olives, sliced in half
2 T. capers, drained
1 T. fresh chopped garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
3 T. olive oil
2 T. blackening seasoning, or to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
parchment paper

Heat the grill to medium, or preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove parchment paper from box and unroll it.
Thinly slice green onions including green stalks.
Place in a medium bowl.
Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and garlic.
Toss, then season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix the oil and blackening seasoning.
Dredge the chicken in the seasoning.
Place a chicken breast in a corner of the parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches around so there is enough left to seal it.
Put a heaping serving of salsa on top of the chicken breast.
Slice the paper across the roll, then fold it over the food and seal the edges.
Repeat with remaining servings.
Place the packets on aluminum foil on a medium heat grill for about 20 minutes, or bake in oven middle rack for the same amount of time.

Servings: 4









If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apple Chutney



It's apple time in Michigan once again. I like to make a weekly trip to the orchard which is less than a mile from my house. We try all varieties. So far I've baked an apple pie and some apple cobbler. We have already eaten over a half bushel of apples between the two of us. I guess we'll keep the doctor away for a good long time.

Besides eating apples for snacks and desserts, I love to cook with them, and a favorite combination is with pork chops. I have several recipes, but this one is new to me. It was recently printed in the local paper.This recipe utilizes the grill and parchment paper, but you can bake it in the oven. I'm going to try it tonight on the grill, if it stops raining. If you try it, let me know what you think, and we'll compare notes.

4 pork chops
salt & pepper
4 large Gala apples (you can use your favorite baking apple)
4 ribs of celery, cleaned and trimmed
1 T. fresh parsley
3 T. sugar
2 T. cinnamon

PREPARE the PORK CHOPS:
Heat the grill to medium, or preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the parchment paper from the box, and unroll it so there is a flat area to place the food. You'll need one piece for each chop.
Season each pork chop with salt and pepper, and place one in the corner of the paper, leaving about two inches around the food for sealing the edges.

PREPARE the CHUTNEY:

Core the apples, thinly slice, then dice and place in a medium bowl.
Chop celery, onion and parsley, and add to the bowl.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon; toss to coat.
Fold the paper to cover the food.
Crimp the edges of the paper together to seal.

Repeat with remaining servings.

If cooking on the grill, place a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack under the packets. (or place in the oven on the center rack.)
Bake the packets for 15-20 minutes. Serves 4.








If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warm Peach Fondue



2 c. peeled, sliced, fresh peaches
2 T. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. unsweetened orange juice
1/4 water
2 T. peach schnapps
1/2 (8 oz.) package Neufchâtel cheese, softened

Place sliced peaches in a medium saucepan.
Mash until smooth.

Combine sugar and cornstarch; sprinkle over peaches.
Stir in orange juice, water, and schnapps.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Transfer mixture to a fondue pot.
Serve with fresh fruit.

YIELD: 2 3/4 cups


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lemon-Dill Bread





1 package dry yeast
1 and 1/3 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 T. sugar, divided
2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1 c. whole wheat flour, divided
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. plus 1 and 1/2 t. grated lemon rind
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. dried whole dillweed
Vegetable cooking spray

Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar in water in a large bowl. Stir well. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine yeast mixture, 1 c. all-purpose flour, 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, oil, lemon rind, salt, and dillweed in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. scraping sides of bowl frequently.
Combine remaining 1 c. all-purpose flour, 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, and 1 T. sugar. Add to batter, stirring well.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees) free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Stir dough down; beat 25 strokes by hand.
Spread batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inch loaf pan that has been coated with cooking spray.
Smooth top with floured hands and pat into loaf shape.
Cover and let rise 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack

YIELD: 16 servings

Cholesterol.........0
Sodium..............38
Protein.............3.0
Fat.................2.1



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Friday, September 18, 2009

Iced Coffee


I've mentioned a few times that I am not a coffee drinker. Recently though, I've found myself leaning more in that direction. And although I have been caffeine free for more than 30 years, I seem to need a little pick-me-up to get through the day. I was introduced to POMx Iced Coffee which seemed like the best solution for me. It's coffee with a kick, or as they say, with a "Healthy Buzz." POMx is made with Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans, hormone free milk, organic cane sugar; it's fat-free or low fat, and preservative free. It also includes the juice of pomegranates for all of those wonderful antioxidants that we've been hearing so much about.
I was lucky enough to be able to sample Chocolate POMx Iced Coffee and Café au Lait POMx Iced Coffee. I can honestly say, I wasn't aware of any health-drink flavor.
Of course, my favorite is the chocolate, but the café au lait was just as good. I don't recall get super charged and shaky like I usually do when I drink real coffee, but I did seem to have more energy and the overwhelming feeling of needing an afternoon nap wasn't there.
I think I'm on to something here. I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think. It's always nice to have some feedback from my readers.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Black Bean Salsa



1/3 c. fresh lime juice
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. ground red chilies
1/3 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
12/ c.1/2 c. red onion, finely diced
1 to 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced

Mix all ingredients. For best flavor, let stand for 3-4 hours in a covered bowl in the refrigerator, but can be eaten immediately. Use at room temperature or cold, according to taste. Yield: 5 cups


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Roasted Farmers Market Veggies



If you're new to cooking or have just never tried roasting vegetables, you'll love this. It's so easy, you'll wonder why you've never done it before.
I didn't have a vegetable plot this year; I was hoping to sell my house. Well, that just gave me a good excuse to go to the farmer's market. I could stay there all day! I love the smells, the colors, and the activity. Running into a few friends and neighbors along the way is a bonus. And nothing is more wonderful than the fresh bounty this great Earth has to offer.

1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium summer squash, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, cut into bite size pieces
3 T. olive oil
1-2 t. fresh chopped thyme (feel free to substitute your favorite herbs or add to these)
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 t. fresh, ground,sea salt
1/2 t. fresh, ground, black pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large roasting pan, combine all vegetables.
Add the olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
Toss and mix to coat.
Spread in a single layer.

Roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and fork tender.


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, August 24, 2009

Herb Dill Dressing


Words straight from my mother's mouth and maybe yours too!
But I don't think I'll have to make the same threat for you to like this dressing!
I enjoy making my own salad dressings. It's so fast and I feel like a real chef! This one can be used many ways but is especially good on a shrimp salad or poured over baked fish as a sauce.

Herb Dill Dressing:
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. water
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 T. chopped fresh dill
1 t. finely chopped garlic
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 medium onion, sliced

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse lightly so as not to pulverize the onions. It's best if there are some small pieces.




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Bulgar Wheat



You'll need to think ahead for this salad. The bulgur wheat takes time to prepare and if you don't have leftover chicken, there's cooking time involved there, too.
For the bulgur wheat, follow directions on the package, but make sure it has cooled for at least 30 minutes and is completely drained. Here's some directions I have found for proper preparation:
Combine bulgur wheat and boiling water in a large bowl, stir, cover and allow to set for 30 minutes up to 1 hour (until bulgur has completely softened). Wash and strain out any excess water and return bulgur to the bowl.

Now let's begin:
Dressing
1/2 c. low-fat, low-sugar prepared Italian dressing
1 T.cayenne pepper sauce
1/2 T. dried mint leaves
1/4 T. mustard powder

Whisk together the Italian dressing, pepper sauce, mint, and mustard powder in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Salad
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 C. prepared bulgur wheat
1 1/2 c. diced cucumbers
1 1/2 diced tomatoes
1 c. minced green onion
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
Romaine lettuce leaves

In a medium skillet, cook the chicken in oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Turn often to brown evenly. Then move the chicken from the skillet. Cut into bite-size cubes. Allow the chicken to cool, then refrigerate until fully chilled. (I like to use leftover, chilled, grilled chicken)
Combine the chicken with the bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Serve over the lettuce and drizzle with the dressing.

Fat...........8 g
Sat. Fat......1 g
Sodium......279 mg
Cholesterol.45 mg
Fiber.........4 g


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baked Tomatoes Italiano


The tomatoes are almost ready to be harvested, and I'll bet you're going to have a full bounty this year. If you're like me you always plant more than you need. You might want to save this recipe for a cool day since you have to turn on the oven (and those days are just around the corner.) You decide what herbs to use. I like the basil and parsley combo, but it's really up to you; feel free to mix and match!

3 large vine-ripened tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs) cut in half
1/4 c. minced fresh herbs (basil, parsley, marjoram)
1/2 c. dry grated bread crumbs
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Pinch of freshly ground sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Zucchini Ribbons



A quick recipe to prepare for a vegetable dish to balance out your meal.

4 medium zucchini ( about 1 1/2 lbs.) sliced lengthwise into ribbons
2 T. grated Parmesan, cheese
2 T. fresh dill, chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. red pepper flakes

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini to the boiling water and cook for 30-60 seconds, or until tender-crisp. Drain.

Transfer the zucchini to a serving bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, dill, oil, and red pepper flakes. Gently toss until the zucchini is coated.

Fat.......5 g
Sat. Fat..1 g
Sodium....62 mg
Cholesterol.2 mg
Fiber.....2 g
If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Homemade Pizza Dough



As promised, here is a good pizza dough recipe. It takes a little time and planning ahead, but is so worth it.

1 pkg. yeast
3/4 c. warm water
3 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
1 T. olive oil
1 t. honey

1. Combine the yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients in order and mix in mixer at speed 2 for 10-12 minutes.

3. Place in a slightly greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth, then let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Divide into two equal parts and roll into pizza crusts. (Sprinkle board with a small amount of flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking to the rolling pin.) Makes 1 large pizza crust or 8 individual crusts.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Friday, August 7, 2009

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Caution: Possible High Fat Zone!!!!



I love making my own pizza. It has quite a different flavor than the ones I get from the pizzeria, but that's what makes it unique. I change my sauce each time according to whatever herbs I have on hand.
I like to make a traditional American style pizza, as well as experimenting with other flavors. Sometimes I make Mexican pizza using regular pizza sauce but adding hamburger browned with taco seasoning, Cheddar/Jack cheese, black olives, green chilies, and onions. When the pizza is OUT of the oven, top it with dollops of sour cream, lettuce, and fresh chopped tomatoes, if so desired. But beware, the sour cream adds calories and fat. To lighten this up, use low-fat sour cream. You could also add guacamole, but now we're talking serious calories. Try layering plain avacado slices on after baking is completed.


Make a barbecue chicken pizza with leftover grilled chicken and red onion. Use barbecue sauce in place of the pizza sauce. Mozzarella is great with this one!



I'm sure you must have had ham and pineapple pizza. Yum! How creative are you with your pizzas?
Send me some of your favorite recipes and share with my readers.

Here's a great pizza sauce recipe made with lots of fresh herbs for that real homemade pizza taste. Plan ahead. It needs to simmer for quite a while.

1/3 c. salt pork
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
12/ celery stalk, diced
1 1/2 c. tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 c. tomato puree
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. basil
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 ham hock

1. Saute salt pork in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute, but do not brown.

3. Add the tomatoes, and tomato puree, thyme, basil, oregano, bay leaf, garlic, pepper, salt, and sugar.

4. Add the chicken stock and ham hock.

5. Simmer slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until desired consistency has been reached.

6. Remove bones and bay leaf and blend with an immersion blender or food processor. Makes 2 cups.

Next I'll share a very good pizza dough recipe. Come back tomorrow!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Microplane Box Grater Giveaway!


For me nothing is more exciting than getting a new kitchen gadget! Especially when it replaces one that is 40 years old!! Yes, that's what I said, 40 years old!!!


This is what I have been using. I guess I never felt a need to replace it until now. It works, so why bother. BUT.....
Today I tried my new Microplane Box Grater, and I couldn't believe the difference! I sliced cucumbers and onions, I grated cabbage and cheese. When I was slicing the cucumbers, it was so smooth I had to keep looking to see if there were actually fresh, new slices being cut.

I like the rubber grip and footings which keep the grater stable when I'm placing pressure on it. Each side has a different blade; an extra coarse blade, a medium ribbon blade, a fine blade, and a slicer blade. Much to my surprise, it is dishwasher safe -- that's always a plus. The fine blade is removable for easy cleaning of the inside of the box; with my old one, I had stick my hand down inside it - not smart when dealing with sharp cutting edges.

I have had an opportunity to communicate several times with the website manager at Microplane, and I discovered that her father, the inventor of the Microplane, was born and raised in Michigan. The Microplane started out as a wood planer, until a woman grabbed her husband's new wood tool to make some lemon zest. Suddenly a new kitchen tool was born and the rest was history. Michiganders can be proud that an inventor of such a fine product is originally from our state. It is truly quality made, and I'm sure my new Microplane box grater will be in my kitchen for another 40 years!!

Giveaway Alert!!!
The folks at Microplane are generously giving you a chance to win of these amazing box graters for your very own.


1. Leave a comment about your favorite tool that Microplane offers or tell me about something you learned while visiting their website. Be creative. This could help you win if the random winner does not work out.
 
2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.


3. For a third chance to win, blog about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.
 
4. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.
Good Luck!!
 
Open to US residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Tuesday, August 4th at midnight ET.



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, July 20, 2009

Make Your Own Hummus



Hummus has become very popular in the last few years as a dip for your veggies or chips. I've had this recipe since the 1980s.
I've made a few changes along the way to spice it up as the original recipe was pretty bland, but basically it's the way hummus was meant to be made.

1 can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
1/2 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 c. chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 T. olive oil
fresh ground pepper
paprika
fresh chopped parsley

Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid. In a food processor or blender, add chickpeas, tahini, garlic, onion, oil, paprika and pepper. Puree, adding lemon juice. Taste, adjusting seasonings. You may use reserved juice from chickpeas to thin as needed. Mixture should be fairly smooth. Garnish with paprika sprinkles and lemon slices and/or parsley.

Since my recipe has changed from the original, these facts may not be accurate:

Fat............16 g
Sat. Fat........2 g
Sodium........447 mg
Cholesterol.....0 mg
Fiber...........5 g
Protein.........8 g


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scandinavian Burgers



1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 c. shredded zucchini
1/3 c. shredded carrots
2 T. finely minced onion
1 T. fresh chopped dill or 1 t. dried dill weed
1/2 t. salt
Dash black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. beer

Preheat grill.

Combine ground beef, zucchini, carrots, onion, dill, salt and pepper in medium bowl; mix lightly. Stir in egg and beer. Shape into four patties.

Grill 8 minutes or to desired doneness, turning once. Serve on whole wheat buns or rye rolls, if desired.

YIELD: 4 servings

Total Fat......16 g
Sat. Fat....... 6 g
Chol...........123 mg
Sodium.........383 mg
Fiber..........< 1 g




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Friday, July 10, 2009

Grilled and Roasted Florentine Steaks


There's nothing like steaks on the grill. This one is especially good with this great herb marinade, but you must plan ahead at least 24 hours.
Don't panic about the length of time the meat is on the grill; T-bones are thicker than most steaks (this one is huge) and require the time. Avoid poking with a fork; you don't want to lose all of the good juices, so use tongs to turn over.
This recipe is higher in fat and cholesterol than most I post, but once in a while you can splurge. The small side of the T-bone is actually the filet mignon and the larger side is the strip steak. Take your pick or have a little of each.

3 1/2 lbs. prime T-bone steak
1/3 c. minced fresh garlic
1 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 c. chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of ground sea salt
pinch of ground black pepper

Season the steak with some of the garlic, parsley, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the olive oil and marinate for 24 hours. Combine excess herbs and oil and set aside as a marinade to be used later (refrigerate)

When ready to cook, heat the grill and cook the steak for 1 hour over medium heat, turning every 10 minutes. While grilling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

When the meat is ready, remove it from the grill and let it stand for 20 minutes. Bring the refrigerated marinade to room temperature.

Roast the meat in the oven for 10-30 minutes depending on how you like it. ( One hour on the grill and 10 minutes in the oven yields a medium-rare meat.) A meat thermometer should register 145 degrees for medium-rare.

Slice the steak and drizzle it with some of the olive oil marinade (now at room temperature)


YIELD: 4 servings

Fat: 68 g
Sat fat: 13 g
Cholesterol: 5 g
Sodium: 170 mg
Fiber: 1 g




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tilapia and Sweet Corn Bundles

And here's another recipe for making bundles in foil for the grill. Tilapia is the fish of choice, but try it with your catch of the day.


2/3 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 t. crushed dried rosemary, divided
1/2 t. salt, divided ( I like sea salt)
1/4 to 1/2 t. black pepper, divided
2 tilapia fillets, (4 oz. each)
1 t. olive oil

1. Heat grill or oven to 400 degrees. Cut two 15 inch squares of aluminum foil, and fold in half.

2. Combine corn, onion, bell pepper, garlic, 1/2 t. rosemary, 1/4 t. salt, and half the black pepper in small bowl. Open foil; place half the corn mixture on one side of each piece, spreading out slightly.

3. Arrange tilapia fillets on top of the corn mixture. Brush fish with oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 t. rosemary, 1/4 t. salt and black pepper.

4. Fold other half of foil over the corn and tilapia, and seal edges. Place sealed bundles directly on the grill or oven rack.

5. Bake for 15 -20 minutes until fish is opaque throughout.

YIELD: 2 servings

Total Fat ..............5 g
Sat. Fat................<1
Cholesterol.............0 mg
Sodium..................622 mg
Fiber...................2 g

Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grilled Mozzarella & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich



This is my favorite grilled cheese sandwich!!!


olive oil
1 T. reduced-fat olive oil vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing
2 slices ( 2 oz.) Italian-style sandwich bread
1/3 c. roasted red bell peppers, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
Basil leaves (optional but oh, so good)
2 oz. part-skim mozzarella (or reduced-fat Swiss cheese) slices

Brush each slice of bread with olive oil on one side only (lightly) but be sure to coat completely.
Brush dressing on the opposite side of each bread slice; top with peppers, basil, cheese, then the second slice of bread with oiled side out.

Heat skillet over medium heat until hot. Place sandwich in skillet and grill 4 to 5 minutes until browned and cheese is melted. This also works great on a grill pan or in a panini maker.

Yield: 1 sandwich

Total fat.......9 g
Sat. fat........5 g
Cholesterol.....25 mg
Sodium..........727 mg
Fiber...........2 g





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Twice Mango and Shrimp Salad



3 T. picante sauce or salsa
1 T. mango or peach chutney
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. lime juice
4 cups torn Boston or red leaf lettuce
6 oz. cooked medium or large peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 c. diced ripe avocado
1/2 c. diced ripe mango or papaya
1/3 c. red or yellow bell pepper strips
2 T. chopped cilantro

Combine in small bowl picante sauce, chutney, mustard, and lime juice; mix well.

In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
Add chutney mixture; toss well and transfer to serving plates.

YIELD: 2 servings

Total Fat.......... 7 g
Sat. Fat.......... 1 g
Cholesterol........ 166 mg
Fiber.............. 4 g
Sodium............ 583 mg
If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Choice Organic Tea Giveaway!


Remember my giveaway for Choice Organic Teas in May? If you wish you had been the winner, here's your chance. Choice Organic is hosting a giveaway of their own! Enter here.


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lightning Rods



I'm always looking for low fat snacks that are also low in sugar. I was asked to sample some new beef sticks, a meat snack from the folks at Jerky.com. They're called Lightning Rods. I thought that sounded interesting so I gave it a try.
Since the package does not show the fat or sugar content, I can't vouch for that, but I can say that these beef sticks pack a powerful beef flavor with a hint of something else. Hmmm, what is it?

It turns out that they are made with Guarana, a Brazilian berry that offers a caffeine punch, and Ginseng for high energy. I already knew of the benefits of ginseng. It has often been used by athletes for enhanced performance. I drink ginseng tea on occasion as an antiinflammatory, but while researching for this article I discovered that it can also lower blood glucose for type II diabetes patients, which is a concern of my husband's.
I had not heard of the Guarana berry before, so more research was needed. I discovered that it takes its name form the Guarani tribe of Brazil, who believe this berry can cure bowel disease. It also stimulates energy as it contains a natural chemical similar to caffeine.

All I can say is our sample pack didn't last long. Lightning Rods was definitely a hit at this household. Thanks Jerky.com. I appreciate the opportunity to try your new product!





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Friday, June 26, 2009

Eggplant Penne with Mint Pesto



I have a wonderful way for you to use your mint and also surprise your taste buds. Instead of the traditional basil pesto, this recipe uses mint pesto. What a great summer treat for the senses.
Although not as low in fat and cholesterol as some recipes, this is still considered a light dish.

2 large eggplants
pinch of sea salt
5 cups of penne pasta
1/2 c. walnut halves

Pesto:
1 cup fresh mint
1/2 c flat leaf parsley
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 garlic cloves
3 T. olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2 in. slices.

Cut the slices again crosswise to make short strips.

Layer the strips in a colander with salt and leave to stand for 30 minutes over a plate to catch any juices. Rinse well in cool water and drain.

For the pesto, place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, then gradually add the oil in a thin stream until the mixture is well blended. Season to taste.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add pasta; after 8 minutes add the eggplant and cook for 3 minutes more or until pasta is done to al dente.

Drain well and mix in half of the mint pesto and walnut halves. Serve with remaining pesto and walnut halves on top.

YIELD: 4 servings
Sat. Fat........6.29g
Cholesterol.....10 mg
Fiber...........8.75g





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Grilled Red Potato Bundles


It's grillin' time. This is a great way to do your potatoes. You can make small packages so each person has their own bundle.

20 small red potatoes in skins (cut larger potatoes in half)
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
3 T olive oil
1-2 sprigs each of thyme, tarragon, and oregano (you can also use dried mixed herbs)
salt and pepper

Heat grill

Spray olive oil cooking spray on 4 small pieces of aluminum foil, or rub with oiled paper towel.

Wash red potatoes and pat dry. Place in a bowl and add olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Place 5 potatoes, thinly sliced onion, and 1 clove of garlic on each foil sheet.

Bring edges of foil together and seal to make a bundle.

Grill for 35-40 minutes on medium heat. Turn packets once during cooking.

YIELD: 4 servings
Sat. Fat..............1.54g
Cholesterol...........0
Fibre.................1.5g



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Zucchini and Potato Tortilla



I was so excited to find this recipe. It's a tortilla without the tortilla, therefore no white flour is used. We've been watching starches in an effort to control my husband's diabetes. Of course there are potatoes but that's the only villain in this dish!
The picture above does not have zucchini or tarragon, but rather is a Spanish-style potato tortilla.

1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced
2 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
2 T. chopped fresh tarragon
4 eggs, beaten
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until it is beginning to soften. Add the potatoes, garlic, and zucchini to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes more, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom if you don't have a non-stick pan, until zucchini are softened and the potatoes are lightly browned.

3. Stir the tarragon into the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables in the pan and cook over medium heat until the underside of the tortilla (being formed by the egg mixture) is set. Meanwhile preheat the broiler.


4. Place the pan under the broiler and cook for a few minutes more until the top of the tortilla is set and starting to brown. Cut into wedges and serve from the pan.







If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iced Oranges



Iced oranges have long been a favorite on the beaches of France. I can't imagine anything more refreshing than cold orange in the heat of the summer. Although not sugar free, this recipe is fat free!
Beware: this does take time for the freezing process so plan ahead.

2/3 c. granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon
14 medium oranges
8 fresh bay leaves, for decoration

Put the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Add half the lemon juice, then add 1/2 c. water. Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes until the syrup is clear.

Slice the tops off 8 of the oranges to make "hats." Scoop out the flesh of the oranges and set aside. Freeze the empty orange shells and "hats" until needed.

Grate the rind of the remaining oranges and add to the syrup. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and from the reserved flesh. There should be 3 cups. Squeeze another orange or add purchased orange juice, if necessary.

Stir the orange juice and remaining lemon juice, with 6 T water into syrup. Taste, adding more lemon juice or sugar, if desired. Pour the mixture into a shallow freezer container and freeze for 3 hours.

Turn the orange sorbet mixture into a bowl and whisk thoroughly to break up the ice crystals. Freeze for 4 hours more, until firm, but not solid.

Pack the mixture into the hollowed-out orange shells, mounding it up, and set the "hats" on top. Freeze the sorbet shells until ready to serve.

If desired, just before serving, push a skewer into the tops of the "hats" to make a hole and push in a bay leaf, to decorate.





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cabbage Slaw With Date and Apple


I love cole slaw and never tire of my mother's recipe, which I have used for 40 years, but I also like to try new ways of making it, especially in the summer.
This recipe is easy and as usual very low in fats. Cabbage also contains a lot of vitamin C. It's just perfect for hot days when you don't know what to serve. I like the way the red cabbage adds color, also.

Cabbage Slaw:
1/4 small white cabbage, shredded
1/4 small red cabbage, shredded
1/4 small Savoy cabbage, shredded
1 c. dried pitted dates
3 eating apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 t. caraway seeds

Dressing:
4 T. olive oil
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. honey
salt and pepper to taste

Finely shred all the cabbages and place them in a large salad bowl.

Chop the dates and add them to the cabbage.

Core the eating apples and slice them thinly into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss together to prevent discoloration before adding to the salad bowl.

Make the dressing: Combine the oil, vinegar, and honey in a screw top jar. Add salt and pepper, then close the jar tightly and shake well. Pout the dressing over the salad, toss lightly, then sprinkle with the caraway seeds and toss again.


YIELD: 6-8 servings

Total Fat 8g
Sat. Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0








If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories