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

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.

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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