Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Purcell Mountain Farms


I'm not usually fond of most mixes for muffins. They are usually dry and just don't have that homemade texture.
I was fortunate enough to me able to sample three types of muffin mixes and pancake mixes from Purcell Mountain Farms. My muffins were light and very moist, just the way I like them.
I made the Spiced Apple Bran Muffin Mix.(pictured above) It can be made with molasses or honey. My "Honey" loves molasses so I chose to make it that way just for him. It was very good but a little too strongly flavored for my taste, but he LOVED them and he's not a muffin guy. I much preferred the gentle sweet flavor of the honey.

I also made some Purcell Mountain Farms Organic Buttermilk Pancakes for breakfast. Very light and full of flavor. You can see by this picture just how wonderful they are. I can tell you, this plate disappeared very quickly.



Purcell Mountain Farm is a family-operated farm located on one of the high benches above the Kootenai River Valley at the foothills of the Purcell Mountain Range. It is nestled in the Northeastern-most part of Idaho.
They offer a large variety of products, from beans, to flour, to honey; they carry gourmet items, gluten free and dairy free. Many are USDA Certified Organic.
If you're looking for a good quality product that you can trust, I highly recommend Purcell Mountain Farms.

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Country Bob's Cookbook Giveaway



Not too long ago, I brought to your attention Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce that I had recently been introduced to. Now, I also have the pleasure of telling you about
The Original Country Bob's Cookbook. It's a beautiful hardcover book, with really nice pages. This is not necessarily a low fat cookbook but many recipes are in that category. There are so many great recipes that's it was difficult for me to choose what to cook first. A few of my favorites are:

Cucumber and Tomato Salad (made with kidney beans)

Huli Huli Chicken (made with a pineapple marinade)

Southwestern Black Bean Stew (easily converted to a low fat recipe)

This cookbook even includes some scrumptious desserts that don't use any of Country Bob's products or seasonings. Besides Pumpkin Delight which is higher in fat and calories, it also has Fruit Salsa, a very healthy dessert. I found that very thoughtful and considerate of this company.




Country Bob's is a Christian company; "Christ is our CEO" is their slogan. On almost every page you will find a scripture to help you get through the day. I like the fact that a company is not afraid to hold to their Faith and Beliefs.
If this is the kind of cookbook that interests you, Country Bob's is offering a lucky person a chance to win one. Here's how:

1. Leave a comment about something you learned at the Country Bob's site that impressed you most.


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 Monday, April 6th at midnight EST.


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

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ethel Gloves Winner

The first name that was selected by random.org as the winner of the Ethel Gloves did not include their email address; therefore I had to go on to another name. So if you enter in the future make sure that your email address can ve easily found.

The entry listed as baggypants was the next name chosen and here is what she wrote:


The Signature gloves are the pair that I love,
The orange flower, the signature, oh what a glove.
My poor sad garden is in need of a hug.
These gloves would be handy when my weeds need a tug.

I'm not much of a gardener, ask all of my friends
But these gloves would sure help when my roses start to bend.
So thanks for this contest, the gloves look just great
Impatient to hear from you, but I guess I'll just have to wait!!


Congratulations and thank you all for entering. Coming soon -- more giveaways!







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

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tequila Dip With Jicama Chips


I like to pass on recipes that use herbs that I grow or are within easy reach at that grocery store, but this recipe is too good to ignore. So even though chili powder is a spice, not an herb, I'm breaking my rule. (I've been loosening up on that lately anyway.)
If you're not familiar with jicama, it is a Mexican vine that produces a tubor which is considered to be in the legume family, and is also know as a Mexican Potato. (It's pronounced hee-kah-mah.) I like that it doesn't discolor once cut. Select tubers that are firm and unblemished with a slightly silky sheen without any bruises or scars. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Benefits: Fat free, sodium free, good source of fiber, excellent source of vitamin C.



3/4 c. plus 1 T. low-fat sour cream
3/4 c. plain nonfat yogurt
2 T. tequila
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. grated lime rind
1/4 t. hot sauce
1 (2 lb.) jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

Combine first 6 ingredients; stir well.
Cover and chill.
Cut jicama into rounds, using a 2-inch cookie cutter. (I don't worry about this step. Shape is not important to me)
Serve with tequila.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups dip plus 4 dozen jicama chips.

Calories: 24 per T. dip and 2 jicama chips
Fat: .9
Cholesterol: 3
Sodium: 12




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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Herbed Baby Vegetable Sauté



Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 t. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t. dried whole thyme
1/2 t. dried whole rosemary, crushed
1/8 t. salt
2/3 lb. baby eggplant, halved
2/3 lb. baby zucchini, halved
2 t. chopped parsley

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt, and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, and sauté 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Yield: 8 servings (22 calories per serving)

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

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ethel Garden Gloves Giveaway



My Ethel Gloves after a good workout!!


I ran a giveaway on Thyme for Herbs for a pair of Ethel Garden Gloves. I was excited to learn that I had a chance to give away a second pair, so I thought of my readers on my cooking blog. I'm sure a lot of you are also gardeners and are growing your own herbs indoors or out.
So if you missed out on a chance for the other pair or are just now finding out about them, this is your lucky day!

Ethel Gloves are high quality gloves made especially for women so they fit perfectly. They have a four-way stretch fabric on the back for comfort and the palm and fingertips are covered with a synthetic leather for protection. They're strong, durable, and at the same time very elegant and fashionable. I love my Ethel Gloves and I'm sure you'll enjoy these gloves, too, whether you're outside in the garden or just working in your potted herbs and plants.


If you'd like to purchase a pair of these wonderful garden gloves, Ethel Gloves is offering a 10% discount until April 7th to all of my readers. Just type in HERBAL10 at checkout.


Here's how you can enter for a chance to win your very own Ethel Gloves:

1. Leave a comment about your favorite style of Ethel Gloves and how you would use them. Be creative with your answer. If the first person chosen does not meet qualifications, I will choose my favorite answer.


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 all.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Sunday, March 22nd at midnight ET.


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

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Garlic Gold Winner

Random .org has chosen Jessica as the winner of the Garlic Gold Gift Basket. She met all of the qualifications and was then notified. She has already responded.

Congratulations, Jessica!!
This is what she wrote:

i learned that they have a Caesar dressing. I've tried their other products in the past and the new ceasar dressing sounds so yummy!

Thank you to everyone who entered. Please come back again. There are more giveaways coming soon!



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

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Green Goddess Dressing



I thought you might be planning your menus for St. Patrick's Day, so I decided to post something green. Parsley reminds me of shamrocks, the thickness and color of the leaves are similar. Here is a low fat version of green goddess dressing using lots of parsley.

1 c. loosely packed fresh parsley
1/4 c. minced fresh chives
1/2 t. dried whole tarragon
1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/3 c. skim milk
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. tarragon vinegar
1/2 t. hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a container of an electric blender or food processor; top with cover, and process until mixture is smooth. Cover and chill dressing at least 1 hour. Serve dressing with salad greens.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups ( 9 calories per tablespoon)

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Quel Objet - What a Thing!



I've found something exciting and new (to me, that is) and I wanted to share.
Quel Objet means What a Thing in French. It's a company that offers beautiful and gourmet items patterned after the French style of doing things.
I was privileged to be able to sample two of those items.

I received a tin of sea salt mixed with herbs called Sel du Boucher, which simply means Butcher's Salt. This 17.6 oz. tin box of herb-infused sea salt is tied with twine. Opening it made me feel like I had traveled to France and was on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Butcher's Salt is flavored with rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram and is a perfect seasoning for all meat dishes. I used the salt on my mother's recipe for baked pork chops. Don't tell Mom, but my husband couldn't stop raving about his meal!!
Other choices are:
Sel du Pêcheur: Fisherman's Salt -- sea salt with marjoram, fennel, thyme, chervil, and sage -- great for seafood.
Sel du Jardinier: Gardener's Salt -- sea salt with garlic, chervil, parsley, and tarragon for use with vegetable dishes.



My favorite item Quel Objet has to offer is the Bouquet Garni. Have you ever used one? It's nothing more than a variety of herbs tied in a cheesecloth for ease in dropping in soups and stews. The problem is, if you don't do it just right, the herbs fall out of your little homemade bag or float through the cheesecloth openings and then you have to ladle them back out, especially the bay leaves. This neat little item is one of the most convenient things I have used in the kitchen. It's a ready made bouquet garni; a neat little bundle of herbs wrapped in a bay leaf and tied with a string. It includes oregano, thyme, savory, and bay. Just hang it over the edge of your pot or let it float around in there. Then when you're ready to remove the herbs, there's only one thing to pull out.
The bag comes with 8 tightly wrapped bouquet garnis, ready to go and oh so aromatic the kitchen smelled wonderful even without cooking a thing.


Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pork Fu Yung



I like to add some low-sodium soy sauce as a topping on this meal, and I serve it with egg drop or wonton soup if using it as a main course meal, made with low sodium chicken broth. Throw in a few fortune cookies for dessert, and you almost feel like you traveled to the Orient.




1 c. fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 t. sesame oil, divided
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 lb. boneless pork tenderloin, minced
2 t. canola oil
1 c. sliced mushrooms
5 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
1/4 t. white pepper
1/4 t. salt
1 c. bean sprouts
2 well beaten eggs
2 egg whites

1. In small pan, combine broth, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, heat canola oil. Add pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 t. sesame oil, pepper, salt, mushrooms and all but 2 T. of green onion. Cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add sprouts and stir-fry about 1 minute or less. With spatula, flatten pork mixture.

4. Mix eggs and egg whites; pour over pork mixture. Lower heat and cover pan. Cook until eggs are set, about 3 minutes.

5. To serve, cut into 4 pieces. Top each with 1/4 cup sauce and remaining green onion.

Makes 4 servings.


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

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bob and June's Coffee


I haven't done much with beverages on An Herbal Bedfellow. Beverages don't really fit into the herbal theme except for some teas. I admit to being partial to tea, but lately I've been drinking a little more coffee. Back in the early '70s, I decided to drink only decaf and I pretty much stick to it unless I get some by accident. I felt like I was doing a healthy thing for myself, but I was a little torn as I learned of some of the chemicals used to decaffeinate coffees. That's why I think you need to take a look at this gourmet coffee company.


Last week I was given the opportunity to sample Bob and June's Coffee. Bob and June's uses coffee beans from all around the world; Columbia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Sumatra, Mexico, and Peru. I was fascinated by these exotic sounding coffees!

I chose to sample the Mexican Chiapas Coffee Beans because it was decaffeinated. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they use a chemical free process. This coffee was described as a medium roast with earthy tones. You can almost smell those earthy tones in the beans. I don't know how discriminating my palette is, but I do know that I liked this coffee a lot. It's smooth and has a comforting quality that I liked. The fresh beans smelled so fabulous that I could have walked around with my nose in the bag all day long.

The best thing for me about Bob and June's Coffee is that this company really cares. Their product is 100% organic.
They are a member of the Rainforest Alliance, working with people whose livelihoods depend on using the land.
They are Fair Trade Certified, meaning they pay the farmers a "fair" price for the harvested beans.
They use only shade-grown coffee which is grown under a forest canopy preserving the area and providing shelter and food for migratory birds.

Bob and June's philosophy is based on the belief that we all have something worth believing, sharing, and doing that contributes to a better world.
I started to research a company that made an excellent coffee, and I found a great company with a conscience at the same time.

Bob and June's is a coffee that you can be proud to serve to your guests and when they ask about the coffee, you'll have a lot to talk about. Bob and June's Coffee is planning on turning the world around .. one cup at a time. I think they might just do it.




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

Friday, March 6, 2009

Garlic Gold Giveaway


I remember as a kid not liking garlic. It was not widely used back then in the area that I grew up in, and I was unfamiliar with the flavor. Now I can't seem to get enough of it.

I'm excited today because I am going to introduce you to Garlic Gold. Maybe you already know about Garlic Gold but it was new to me. Garlic Gold is 100% organic and 100% handcrafted. I like that. It makes me feel safe and confident in their products.
I was lucky enough to be able to sample four of their products; Garlic Gold Nuggets, Garlic Gold Italian Herb Nuggets, Garlic Gold Parmesan Nuggets, and Garlic Gold Sea Salt Nuggets.

I've used the Nuggets as a salad topping and on baked potatoes and have flavored many other of my regular dishes with the various Nuggets. I really like the new twist they added to my old favorites. As I perused the website I found so many recipes that are not only healthy but sound very flavorful. I think a "must-purchase" for me is the Garlic Gold Oil which is organic garlic infused in organic olive oil. After watching the Shrimp Scampi video, I can't wait to place my order.

Today I watched a video on how to make a goat cheese sun-dried tomato omelet and my mouth was watering. Then I read about how to plant garlic and when to harvest it. I think part of the joy of cooking healthy recipes is knowing that you are using the best possible ingredients for your family's well-being. I'm confident the folks at Seven Oaks Farm will help me achieve my goal.


GIVEAWAY ALERT :

Garlic Gold is offering you a chance to win a gift basket of a variety of their products valued at $30.00!! Here's all you have to do:

1. Leave a comment about something you learned at the Garlic Gold site.


2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner 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.


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, March 13th at midnight ET.

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bob's Red Mill Muesli Giveaway



Today I'd like to point you in the direction of Bob's Red Mill.
I've been purchasing Bob's Red Mill products for several years now, mostly at my local health food store. I usually buy Whole Wheat Flour, Corn Meal, and my favorite - 13 Bean Soup Mix. A few times I bought Flaxseed Flour to make homemade dog biscuits. But until I spent some time browsing their web site, I had no idea how extensive their product line was. Bob's Red Mill offers over 400 products and over 50 of those are gluten free. I had no idea they also sold dried fruits, muffin and scone mixes, and a huge variety of flour.





I've just been introduced to Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli. This cereal is whole grain and can be served hot or cold. We tried it both ways, but I'm not a fan of hard crunchy cereal in the morning so I much preferred it cooked. It only took 4 minutes on the stove top, but it can be prepared in the microwave also. I was surprised at the flavors and how easily my palette could identify the different grains and nuts. Muesli includes so many good and healthy grains; rolled oats, wheat, rye, triticale, barley, almonds, date crumbles, raisins, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.



My husband and I are a product of the '50s and '60s and to us cereal isn't cereal without a little sugar, so we added a small amount of brown sugar. Now, we're talking! I must say, this was a very satisfying and tasty breakfast, total fat 3g, 0 trans fats, 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, with 4 grams of fiber. It is suggested to try it in yogurt -- that's on my menu for tomorrow. I feel healthier already!



GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!!

Bob's Old Mill is generously giving away an 18 oz. ( 1 lb. 2 oz) bag to TEN different winners! Just follow the rules as listed below. You could be chosen for a free bag of Muesli.




1. Leave a comment about something you learned at Bob's Old Mill.

2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner 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. 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.
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 at midnight on Wednesday, March 11th.

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

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Herb Companion Winner

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! We have a winner of The Herb Companion magazine subscription!

A number was randomly chosen and the pick met all of the qualifications. She listed herself as dawns 41.
This is the winning answer:

I would love to win this subscription because I learned that they have articles on growing herbs. My husband and I are really getting into gardening. We are slowly putting in a home orchard: apples, pears, cherries, plums, blueberries, raspberries and grapes.
Our next step is a herb garden to be a companion to our veggie garden!


I'd like to thank the staff at The Herb Companion for offering the one-year subscription and I was happy to be able to introduce to you one of my favorite magazines.
Thanks so much to all of you who entered. I have some exciting giveaways coming up, so please visit again soon.




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