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
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
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