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.

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
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

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.


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