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