Monday, December 27, 2010

Will 2011 bring me a house?




Will I move this year? That is the big question. The house has now been on the market for two full years.
What will my new kitchen look like? I know this much. I have been in the Victorian mode for over 20 years and I am giving it all up. I am moving toward modern furniture and a high-end upgraded kitchen. Is granite and stainless steel in my future? We'll see. I can't wait!
I'll keep you filled in, my cooking friends. There will be no more posts now, until after the the New Year begins. So Happy New Year. I hope 2011 brings you all you hope for and more!

Thai Meatballs




Wow, Christmas is over already! How did that happen?
Now we need to look forward toward our New Year's Eve parties. Some of you will be hosting and others will attend a party and take an appetizer along. Make these little Thai meatballs in advance and bake right before serving.

1 lb. ground pork
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 T lime juice
1 piece ( 2") ginger, grated
1 carrot, shredded
salt & Pepper
1 c. Asian peanut sauce

Heat oven 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Ina large bowl, combine everything but sauce. Shape into 1 1/2" balls; set on sheet.
Bake, flipping halfway through, until deep golden, 30 minutes.
Serve with peanut sauce for dipping, plus lime wedges (opt.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Baking Tools



If you're like me, you are in the middle of your Holiday baking, or at least getting a start. I thought I'd tell you about two new baking tools I got recently.
I went shopping at my favorite online kitchen store, CSNstores.com. This time I purchased a NordicWare Natural Commercial Baker's Half Sheet. It is my favorite baking sheet EVER! In the picture you can see Tedibles All Natural Dog Treats getting ready for the oven. Tedibles is my little sideline (if you're interested, check out the web site to see all that is offered.) As soon as I pulled the baking sheet out of the oven, the dog treats began to slide around the tray. Absolutely no sticking! Amazing!



Now this is my new Magic Dough Non-Stick Pastry Mat. I've tried it on pie crusts at Thanksgiving and here on the Tedibles Nibbles. This mat sticks to the counter so there's no sliding around when you are rolling out the dough. I love all of the marks to aid me in judging the size. After several uses in one day, a little slipping does occur, but I discovered I just had to wipe the back side with a damp cloth, because flour sometimes gets under there causing the non-slip to lose its grip. Not a problem. The mat is soft and flexible; it rolls up and has to be stored in a tube. That is one down side for me; trying to find the right place to hold it. but I worked it out because I love the mat so much.
So, happy baking and Merry Christmas/ May all of your pastries be light and flaky!


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Stock




This week some of you will be hosting your Thanksgiving dinner. There will no doubt be a large turkey carcass left behind after all of the leftover meat has been stripped form the bones and set aside for your next meal. Making your own turkey stock is great for soups or gravies. And it's so easy. This recipe adds a little extra with the tomato for a flavor boost. Too much turkey stock? It freezes very well.

1/34 lb turkey bones
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium sliced celery with leaves, chopped
1 medium carrot, scraped and chopped
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/4 t. dried whole basil
3 black peppercorns
Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
strain turkey stock through a double layer of cheesecloth, repeat, straining fat from surface.
YIELD: 4 cups

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffed Turkey Breast




Do you have a small family and don't want to do a whole turkey? Try this stuffed turkey breast. It should be just the ticket for Thanksgiving dinner. Read ahead; there are a lot of ingredients and steps involved.

6-in. cast iron skillet
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. rubbed sage
1/2 c. nonfat buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
cooking spray
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 t. chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1/4 t. pepper
1 ( 3-lb. )boneless turkey breast, skinned
1 T. margarine, melted
1 T. honey
baby corn (opt.)
fresh sage leaves (opt.)
fresh celery leaves (opt.)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
Combine buttermilk and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
Spoon cornbread mixture into preheated 6-in cast-iron skillet that has been coated with cooking spray.
Bake @ 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until browned. Let cool.

Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add celery and onion, and saute until tender.

Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add sauteed celery and onion, water chestnuts, egg, bouillon granules, and pepper; stir well.

Lay turkey breast flat on wax paper, skin side down. Remove tendons, skin, and fat, keeping meat intact. From center, slice horizontally (parallel with skin) through thickest part of each side of breast almost to outer edge; flip cut piece and breast fillets over to enlarge breast. Pound breast to 1/2-in. thickness.
Spoon stuffing mixture in center of turkey breast, leaving a 2-in. border at sides. Roll up turkey breast over filling, starting from bottom. Tie turkey breast securely at 2-in. intervals with string. Place seam side down on a rack in a shallow roasting pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer. Bake covered, at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Combine margarine and honey, brush over turkey. Bake, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 185 degrees. Transfer turkey to a cutting board; remove string. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. If desired, garnish with baby corn and fresh sage and celery leaves.

YIELD: 10 servings.


my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Raisin Raspberry Bread Pudding





I love bread pudding. I like it as a dessert or main course. My mother has made it my entire life at Thanksgiving and I expect it to be there on the table. So now I have taken over the role of the bread pudding baker. I admit to not being fond of the raisins so I especially like this new recipe I found using raspberries, one of m favorite berries, in addtion to the raisins in the bread. This recipe only serves 6 but it can easily be increased to fit your family size.

12 (1/2 in.) slices of cinnamon raisin bread
vegetable cooking spray
1/2 c. fresh raspberries (thawed and drained frozen berries are fine also)
2 c. skim milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla extract
fresh mint sprigs (opt.)

1. Trim crust from bread; cut bread into 12 rounds using a 2/12/ in. biscuit cutter.
Place 1 round into each of 6 (6 oz) custard cups, or ramekins, that have been coated with cooking spray.
2. Press raspberries through a fine sieve to yield 1/4 c. juice; discard seeds. Spoon 2 teaspoons of juice onto each bread round in custard cups. Top with remaining bread rounds; set aside.
3. Place milk in top of a double boiler; bring water to a boil. Cook until milk is thoroughly heated. Set aside.
4. Combine egg, yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl, stirring well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour milk mixture evenly into prepared custard cups.
5. Place custard cups in a 13x9x2 in. baking dish; pour hot water into baking dish to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until set. Remove cups from water. Serve warm or chilled.
6. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs, if desired.
YIELD: 6 servings (140 calories per serving)

Fat 3.6
Carbohydrates 21.2
Cholesterol 139
Sodium 109



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Squash Cheese Chowder




No herbs are used in this recipe, but it is low fat. The squash makes this chowder a great fall soup! Tastes especially good with a fresh salad and some warm cornbread.



Vegetable Cooking Spray
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped yellow squash
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped zucchini
1 ( 10 1/2 oz.) can no-salt added chicken broth
1/3 t. pepper
3 T. margarine
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 skim milk
1 T. prepared mustard
2 c. ( 8 oz.) shredded low fat Cheddar cheese
1 ( 17 0z.) can no salt added whole kernel corn, drained
2 ( 2 oz.) jar diced pimento, drained

Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot.

Add celery and onion; saute until crisp tender.

Stir in yellow squash and next 3 ingredients.

Bring to a boil.

Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.



Melt margarine in a heavy saucepan over low heat.

Add flour, stirring until smooth.

Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Gradually add milk.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until , mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Add mustard and cheese, stirring until cheese melts.



Add cheese sauce, corn, and pimento to vegetable mixture; stir well.

Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated.



Yield: 8 cups





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Febreze Giveaway

No, this isn't a food recipe, but a great chance to win a product from Febreze. Head over to Thyme for Herbs and take a chance. Two lucky winners!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shiitake Mushroom Burgers


Are you looking for something new to do with your burgers? This recipe is simple and just glams up the traditional burger a little. I'm sure you'll love it!



1 oz. dried mushrooms, such as shiitake
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. dried tarragon
1 t. Kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. Worchestershire sauce

In a medium bowl cover mushrooms with boiling water and allow them to soak until softened, about 45 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms and squeeze out the excess water.

Blot the mushrooms with paper towels, cut out the tough stems and discard.

In a food processor, process the mushrooms until finely chopped and place them in a medium bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix with your hands.

Shape into 4 patties, about 3/4 inches thick.

Grill(I like to use my countertop grill), place on buns, top with your favorite toppings.
That's it. Easy !!!


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs and Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sour Cream Apple Squares





Have you had your fill of apples yet? In my house, the answer is NEVER!

Warning: The following recipe is neither low fat or low in sugar, but I couldn't resist passing it on to you. Use it for a special time. You're gonna love it!

2 c. flour
2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 c. chopped nuts (I like walnuts)
1-2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
8 oz. container sour cream
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
2 c. finely chopped, peeled apple

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and margarine. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Stir in nuts.
Press 2 & 3/4 cups of crumb mixture in bottom of ungreased 9x13 inch pan.

To remaining mixture, add cinnamon, baking soda, salt, sour cream, vanilla, and egg; mix well. Stir in apples.
Spoon evenly over crumb mixture in pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve warm or cool; if desired, serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Store in refrigerator.
Serves 12.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs--Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Proper Way to Set a Table

We have become a very casual society, and in some ways that is good. We're more laid back than we were 30 years ago. But we may have gone too far, eating on the run, or at fast food restaurants with our plastic utensils wrapped in paper napkins more often than we care to admit.
The holidays will fast be approaching. Whether you have a small drop leaf table set for an intimate dinner for two or a large dining table ready for 12 guests, the last thing you need to worry about is the table setting. You'll be needed as the calm host on the day of your big event, so you'll want to feel secure in your tablescape, having it set well in advance of the meal.
Here's a cute video I found on You Tube. It's only 1 minute long but it tells the whole story. Don't blink!

I hope this will help you to plan ahead, relieving some of the stress of the next few months.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs--Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Monday, September 20, 2010

Giveaway Scout

Have you been enjoying the cooking and foodie giveaways I have been running on An Herbal Bedfellow? If so, be sure to check out Giveaway Scout! They search for giveaways that are on the Internet and list them in an easy to find format. Then get out there and ENTER!!!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs--Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Friday, September 17, 2010

Grilled Peaches





Just because it's September and the weather is cooler, it's no reason to give up grilling. This is a great dessert using peaches with very little sugar. Try it -- you'll like it.


3 large peaches, halved, pit removed and peeled, if desired

1 T. light brown sugar

1 T. melted butter

small pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of salt


Mix sugar, butter, nutmeg, and salt. Brush grates of hot grill with oiled paper towel. Place peach halves on grill cut side down. Grill for 2 minutes and turn. Spoon a little of sugar mixture over peach halves. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.


You might also like to sprinkle honey or bourbon or just sprinkle with brown sugar before grilling. Great on ice cream!



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Friday, August 27, 2010

Two-Step Cole Slaw



I snatched this ribbon winner recipe from a local paper after the author had attended a county fair. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I love all of the ingredients, so I'm sure it will be a hit in this household. I though you might want to give a try also.


4 c. shredded green cabbage
1 c. shredded red cabbage
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1-2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely chopped to taste
2 T. chopped cilantro
1 can Mexican corn, with red and green peppers
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese


Dressing:

3/4 c. bottled ranch dressing
1 T. lime juice
1 t. ground cumin

In a large bowl, mix salad ingredients. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients until well blended. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight to blend flavors. Makes 8 servings.


* When handling jalapeno chilies, wear plastic gloves or cover hands with plastic wrap to protect hands. Do not touch eyes or face.


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for Herbs--Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Skirt Steak with Red Pepper Chimchurri








Skirt steak is the cut that is used most often for Fajitas and other Mexican foods. It can be tough but is full of flavor, so grilling and broiling are preferred ways to use this meat.




Non stick cooking spray
1 lb. neef skirt steak, visible fat removed
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/3 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 c. diced roasted red bell pepper
1 T. minced onion
1 T. capers
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlice, minced


1. Preheat broiler or grill. Spray broiler pan. Rub steak on both sides with garlic clove. Season with salt and black pepper. Place steak on broiler or grill. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side; turning once. Internal meat temperature should reach 145 degrees F. Remove meat and let rest 10 minutes.

2. Make a chimichurri by mixing pepper, onion, capers, olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, and black pepper to taste in a bowl.

3. Slice steak thinly across the grain and place on serving plate on serving platter. Top with chimichurri.

YIELD: 4 servings.




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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tomato Basil Scallops





Dinner for two. It's fast and pretty too. Plate this up for a special low fat dinner.


8 to 12 large sea scallops, halved crosswise
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 T. margarine, divided
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 T. chopped fresh or 2 t. dried basil leaves

1. Dry scallops with paper towels; season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 1 T. margarine in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Arrange half the scallops in a single layer in skillet; cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until cooked. Transfer scallops to a platter; keep warm. Repeat with remaining scallops; remove to serving platter.

4. Melt remaining margarine in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and basil; heat through.

5. Spoon tomato mixture over the scallops; serve immediately.

YIELD: 2


Monday, August 2, 2010

Turkey Burger Sliders





There's still plenty of grilling time this season. If you are burning out from doing beef hamburgers, here is a lighter version you might enjoy! To make sliders, shape the meat mixture to about the size of a large meatball, flatten, and make a thumbprint in the middle. May be made ahead, but refrigerate until you are ready to grill.

Purchase small size buns such as sesame seed, rye, or French rolls.


1 lb lean white ground turkey
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 t. olive oil
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

Mix together:
2 heaping T. light mayonnaise
1 T. chopped lemon balm
1/4 t. minced garlic
1 t. lemon juice

Toppings:
Bibb lettuce
Tomato
Cheese

1. Mix turkey and remaining ingredients lightly, except sauce, and form into small patties.

Grill until nice grill marks appear and meat is done, about 4 minutes per side, but make sure they are done through.

2. Toast buns. Spread bottom of bun with sauce, add a slice of tomato, a couple of basil leaves, and some Bibb lettuce. Add cheese if you desire, top with bun top and serve.





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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Toast



I love getting a new appliance. I tend to go through toasters quite often. I don't know why. It seems like my parents would keep a toaster for years and years. Maybe they just don't make them like they used to.

A few years ago we purchased a toaster and I thought it was top of the line; but it just lasted a short timelike all of the others in my many years of marriage. All of a sudden some of the coils weren't heating up. One side of the bread looked like when I go to the beach and forget to turn over.

I recently ordered a T-fal Avante Deluxe Toaster from my new favorite online store - CSN Stores.com and I have now had a chance to give it a good test run. It surprised me when I first pulled it from the carton -- it's huge! It has the new angled design so it's easy to see what's going on in there and if the toast is starting to get too dark for my taste, I can quickly eject it with the stop button. The lift function is also nice for smaller pieces of bread, no more fork in the toaster, risking my life.
This toaster is a four-slice with independent controls. That's nice because my spouse and I have different ideas on what makes a good piece of toast. I know my way is right, but this way he can have it just the way he likes it.
The extra wide slots are very handy for bagels and Texas toast, and it even has self-adjusting guides to ensure the toast will brown evenly.
Forgot to take the bread or bagels out of the freezer? No problem. The defrost function is ready to take care of that your bread for you before the toasting process begins.
All-in-all this beautiful black and stainless T-fal toaster is a welcome addition to my kitchen.

Cherry Salsa



Salsa Michigan style -- it's cherry time!


1/2 lb. dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1 T. lime juice
1/4 c. cherry preserves
1 T. minced red onion
1 t. finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 T. finely chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients and stir to blend. Cover and chill one to two hours to blend flavors. Serve with grilled meat or chips as an appetizer.



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Friday, July 9, 2010

Cherry Chicken Salad




It's cherry time in Michigan. Traverse City has a Cherry festival every July and it's in full swing right now. I came across this yummy salad recipe just right for a hot July day using great Michigan cherries.

2 cups ripe cantaloupe, cubed
4 c. cubed or shredded cooked chicken
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. white pepper
2 c. cherries, pitted and halved
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. low fat mayonnaise
1/2 c. low fat cherry yogurt
Milk, up to 3 T.

Remove seeds and cut cantaloupe into wedges and then cube into bite-size pieces. Combine chicken, green onions, salt, and pepper and toss lightly. Add cherries, celery, and cantaloupe and mix gently. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise and yogurts; add milk a little at a time, until desired consistency. Pour over chicken mixture and stir gently to coat. ( You may not need all of the dressing. Use to your taste.) Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving.


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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad



This recipe calls for chicken legs, but you can bake a skinless chicken breast if you prefer white meat. Spray a pan with nonstick spray. lightly season with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into strips and then proceed with the recipe.

3 chicken legs
Salt as desired
4 oz. each of white cabbage and Chinese cabbage
1 carrot
1 T each of chopped mint and coriander
3 T. peanut kernels

Dressing:
1 red chili
1 clove garlic
2 T. sugar
4 T. lime juice
2 T. soy sauce

Put the chicken legs into boiling, salted water and simmer for about 40 minutes. Drain (the stock can be used for another purpose) leave to cool, and remove the skin and bones.

For the dressing, wash the chili, slit open lengthwise, remove the seeds and the white inner membrane, and dice finely. Peel and press the garlic and add to the diced chili. Mix thoroughly with the sugar and lime juice. Season the dressing with soy sauce.

Wash both kinds of cabbage, dry, and cut into fine strips. Peel the carrot and cut into fine strips. Roast the peanuts in a dry frying pan until golden brown.

Cut the meat into strips and put into a bowl. Add the white cabbage, the Chinese cabbage, carrot, and herbs, Carefully stir in the dressing, and mix well. Scatter the peanuts over the salad and serve.



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Monday, June 28, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Plum Salsa





This grilled chicken recipe turns a simple dish into an elegant meal. The salsa goes well with grilled fish and seafood, also.

2 T. seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. coarsely ground black pepper
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 pound ripe purple and/or green plums ( 4 medium) chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
1/4 c. finely chopped yellow pepper
1/4 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped
mixed baby greens (opt.)

In a pie plate or shallow dish, with a wire whisk or fork, combine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Spoon half of vinegar mixture into medium bowl. Add chicken breasts to mixture in plate, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min. to marinate, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare grill and spray grill rack (away from heat source) with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the plum sauce. Stir plums, red onion, yellow pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno into vinegar mixture left in bowl. Set plum salsa aside.

Place chicken breasts on grill over medium heat; discard marinade in pie plate. Grill chicken, turning once, until chicken loses its pink color throughout, 10-12 min., or until done. (If using a grill pan, spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken breasts and cook, turning once, 10-12 minutes.)

To serve, place chicken on a bed of mixed baby greens if you like, and spoon plum salsa on top.



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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Proper Table Setting

I spend so much time talking about food and recipes. But we've never really moved into how to properly set a dining room table if you are going to have a dinner party. So many of us, including me, have gone casual; the art of setting the table has almost disappeared. If you're in a quandary as to how to set your table, here is a how-to video that will explain it all:


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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Making Tea the Old-Fashioned Way

For the past few years, I've been brewing my tea by placing a mug with water in the microwave and then steeping the bag right in the cup. Recently I realized that I was missing the way I used to do it. First boil the water in the tea kettle, pour the hot water into a pretty teapot, add the bags or loose leaves in a strainer, and then steep. Yes, it's a few more steps, but I love the ritual.
A week or so ago, I ordered this beautiful stainless steel teakettle from the Paula Deen Signature Collection at CSN Stores on line. Beautiful things make me happy, and beautiful it is. I love to shop at CSN. They have everything for the kitchen you can possible imagine, and it was delivered very quickly to my door.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll brew some chamomile tea, and relax with a good book on the patio.




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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Triscuits Home Farming





I want to tell you about something wonderful. I wasn't sure whether I wanted this post on Thyme for Herbs or An Herbal Bedfellow, so I am going to post it on both. Please forgive me if you are a subscriber to both blogs.


I'm sure you've all tried Triscuits. It's a delicious cracker that is a favorite at my house; we use it at all of our holiday and family gatherings to go with our dips and spreads.


The folks at Triscuits have become interested in Home Farming; they've joined in with Urban Farming, which is a non-profit organization that encourages us to grow our own vegetables and herbs. The goal is for us to learn to grow healthy vegetables, etc, that are not only good for us, but also saves us money, at the same time, not being harmful in any way to the planet. They would like to help fund and create 50 new community-based farms throughout the US.


To aid us in getting a start on this project, Triscuits has set up a helpful web site. Here you can share and gain knowledge from others at the community forum, get advice from experts, follow a crop guide, and find new recipes. You can even
plot your garden on a map with the other gardeners in the country.


To make all of this more fun, Tricuits has placed plantable seed cards in 4 million boxes of Triscuits! You can find Basil Seed cards in Original Triscuits packages, and Dill Seed cards in Reduced Fat Triscuits. Just soak the seed cards for 2-4 hours, place them in a pot filled with soil, and cover with 1/4 in. of dirt. In 10-12 days, you should see some sprouts. It's a fun project for the kids this summer, too.


Now get out there and grow your own garden, and at harvest time, I'd appreciate an invitation to dinner.





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Monday, June 14, 2010

Vegetarian Tortilla Pie




Here's another easy to make Mexican meal to add to your party. The filling is no-cook, so you just heat the prepared tortilla in the oven! Easy as Mexican Pie!

1 jar (12 oz.) medium salsa
1 can (8 oz.) no-salt added tomato sauce
1 can (15-16 oz.) no-salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can ( 15 1/4 oz) no-salt added whole-kernel corn, drained
1/2 c. packed fresh cilantro leaves
4 (10 in.) low-fat flour tortillas
6 ounces reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded ( 1 1/2 c.)
reduced-fat sour cream (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, mix salsa and tomato sauce. In medium bowl, mix black beans, corn, and cilantro.

3. Place 1 tortilla in prepared jelly-roll pan, Spread one-third of salsa mixture over tortilla. Top with one-third of bean mixture and one-third of cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times, ending with last tortilla.

4. Bake pie until cheese melts and filing is heated through - 10-12 minutes. Serve with reduced fat sour cream, if you like.


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steak and Pepper Fajitas





Looking for an easy dinner party idea? Fajitas are always fun. Place the meat and condiments in separate dishes and let your guests make their own. Add a nice margarita or maybe a mojito and your gathering will be a success. This is also a fun idea for a family meal with the kids (without the drinks, of course.)


1 beef top round steak, 1 in. thick (3/4 lb.) well trimmed

1 bottle ( 8 oz.) medium-hot chunky salsa

1 T. light corn-oil spread (56% to 60% fat)

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced

1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

8 (6 inch) low-fat flour tortillas, warmed as label directs

1 container fat-free sour cream

8 oz. fat-free Cheddar cheese, shredded

chili peppers, lime wedges, and cilantro sprigs for garnish


1. Preheat broiler. Place steak on rack in broiling pan; spread 1/4 c. salsa on top.

Place pan on broiler at closest position to source of heat; broil steak 8 minutes.

Turn steak over and spread 1/4 c. salsa on top.

Broil 8 minutes longer for medium-rare or until desired doneness.


2. Meanwhile, in nonstick 12-in. skillet, melt corn-oil spread over medium-high heat.

Add red onion, green pepper, and red pepper.

Cook until vegetables are tender-crisp.

Stir in chopped cilantro.

Spoon mixtures into servings bowls.


3. To serve, place steak on cutting board. holding knife almost parallel to cutting surface.

Slice steak crosswise into thin slices.

Serve sliced steak with pepper mixture, tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheese, and remaining salsa.

Garnish with chile peppers, lime wedges, and cilantro.


YIELD: 4 servings






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Friday, June 11, 2010

Tarragon Turkey & Pasta






The first day of summer is only a week away, so we generally think about grilling out but have you thought about the Crock Pot? Usually, the Crock Pot brings up images of winter stews, soups, and pot roasts simmering away on a cold winter day. But if you have a busy schedule like I do, some days, firing up the grill is almost too much to handle.
I'm getting ready to move, and the decisions on what to keep and what to throw out are almost overwhelming. My latest tough decision is should I sell or keep the antique oak bed and matching vanity and if so, does that mean the highboy has to go, too? I love it all but the next house will be smaller than this one and there's just no room.
After spending a full day of going through closets, drawers,and boxes in the attic, I just don't feel like making supper. That's when I'm glad I had started the Crock Pot in the morning.
Here is a light pasta dish I'm sure you'll enjoy. Pour a glass of white wine and take your meal out on the patio to enjoy in the fresh spring air. Now that's a plan for a busy moving day.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds turkey tenderloins
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
4 T. minced fresh tarragon, divided
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 T. minced fresh Italian parsley
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
4 c. pasta of your choice, cooked al denté

1. Combine turkey celery, green onions, 2 T. tarragon, wine, salt, and pepper in the Crock Pot. Mix thoroughly. Cover; cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3 1/2-4 hours or until turkey is no longer pink.

2. Remove the turkey from the stoneware and cut it into 1/2 in.-thick medallions. Turn the Crock Pot to High. Add the yogurt, remaining 2 T. tarragon, parsley, and lemon juice to the juices in the stoneware.

3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Add the mixture to the stoneware and cook until the juices thicken. Serve the turkey medallions over the pasta with the tarragon sauce.

YIELD: 4 servings





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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tedibles Herbal Shampoo Giveaway




Here's a new recipe for you. A chemical-free, all-natural dog food. Check it out on the new web site called Tedibles; they have other herbal recipes for pet ailments and cures also!

Okay, so I'm making a shameless plug. But I'm proud of my new venture, and I want you all in on it. In case you haven't noticed the doggie logo in the sidebar called Tedibles, that's my new business. I am making all natural dog treats, herbal shampoo, and flea & tick repellent.

Last November a wonderful puppy named Teddy came to live with us. He was 10 weeks old at the time and the sweetest little Shih Tsu I have ever known. I had already been making my own dog food for a previous dog named Jackie, but it was too late for her. She had ingested several cans of the tainted dog food before I started cooking for her, and we had to put her down. So now, it's chemical free, all-natural only for my new little guy, Teddy.

Herbs, which play a big part in my life, now play a big part in his. He bathes in Tedibles Lavender Herbal Shampoo, is sprayed in Tedibles Lemongrass 'Tween Refresher, and spritzed in Tedibles Rosemary Flea & Tick Repellent. Soon I will be introducing a dry shampoo for dogs who hate their bath!

With Tedibles there's no need to worry that your children are touching the dog right after the flea and tick spray was applied, or that they inhaled the fumes from the refresher. EVERYTHING is made with all natural products, and even organic when possible. Bottles and bags are recyclable making them as eco-friendly as possible.




I really enjoy my new business, and I'd like you to have a chance to give one of my products a try. I am offering a free bottle of Tedibles Herbal Shampoo. All you have to do now is Enter here:



1. Leave a comment after visiting the Tedibles web site about something new you learned there..


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, tell me a story about a trick your pet will do for a treat.


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+. Void in Alaska and Hawaii
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Sunday, June 6, 2010, at midnight EST.


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Penne with Tomato Cream





This pasta recipe calls for vodka. Don't worry about using it because the alcohol cooks off and it helps to blends the flavors, leaving no vodka taste behind.

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/8 to 1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 can ( 28 oz.) tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped
3 T. vodka (opt.)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. heavy or whipped cream
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne or rotini
1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds longer.
Stir in tomatoes with their puree, vodka if using, and salt; heat to boiling over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, 15-20 minutes. Stir in cream and peas; heat to boiling.
Meanwhile in large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. Drain. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with basil.

***As an alternate idea, add deveined, cooked shrimp or cooked, chunked chicken when tossing together at the end.


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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tropical Traditions Flax Seed Giveaway




Have you ever used flax seed? Maybe you just didn't know what to do with it. Well, perhaps it's time to talk about it.
Flax seed comes form a beautiful plant with bright blue flowers. The seed is high in Omega 3 which is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, among many other things such as reduce risk of breast cancer, prostrate cancer, prevent dry eye, and so on. You get the picture. Although whole flax seed is good, it is best if you grind it first. It is more easily absorbed into the system. You can simply use a coffee grinder but it is best to dedicate one just for this purpose. Be sure to use the seed as soon as possible because the oil may evaporate, leaving the seed less than desired. Tropical Traditions offers Whole Golden Flax Seed which is 100% Organic, USDA Certified, and that's a bonus right there!

So you'd like to try it, but don't know how to use it, right?
It's simple. Here are a few suggestions for you:
Add 1-2 T in juice or water for your daily intake of fiber.
Add ground flax seed to baked potatoes, stir fry, soups or stew, or top your favorite cereal or yogurt with a teaspoon or two. Also great as a salad topper.
Bake into cookies muffins, breads, etc.
Steep 1 T in 3 T hot water for an egg substitute for a gluten free recipe.

See where I'm going? Use your imagination!
I put it on my homemade dog food each morning, and my pooch loves it. Here the rule is 1/2 t. per 10 pounds of dog. (For my dog food recipe, visit Tedibles, my new pet web site.)



If you're a little skittish about buying flax seed when you've never used it before, here's your chance to win a 1 pound bag and give it try for yourself! Tropical Traditions can't wait to give you a free bag. Here's all you have to do:



1. Leave a comment after visiting the Tropical Traditions web site about something new you learned there..


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 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 & 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 Friday, May 21st at midnight EST.

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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If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs

Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vegetable Salad






Another easy salad. Make sure to thoroughly cool potatoes before cutting into chunks; cooking the day before works well.

9 1/2 oz. cooked potatoes
1 large apple
1 red onion
3 sticks celery
2 T. snipped chives
2 T. white wine vinegar
3 T. crème fraîche
2 T. sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the potatoes into small pieces. Peel the apple and cut into small pieces. Peel the onions and cut into rings. Slice the celery.

2. Make a dressing from the vinegar, crème fraîche, oil, salt and pepper, and mix with the salad ingredients. Serve sprinkled with chives.



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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pasta Salad with Lemon and Peas





You're going to love this one. It's so easy, and it will work on it's own as a light lunch or as a compliment to a cookout dinner or picnic.

1 lb. bow-tie or small shell pasta (pictured above is with cavatappi)
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen baby peas
2 lemons
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. light mayonnaise (I prefer Miracle Whip)
1 t. salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper
1 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
grated Parmesan (if desired)

1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to directions on package, adding frozen peas during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and peas; rinse with cold water and drain well.

2. Meanwhile, from lemons, grate 1 T. peel and squeeze 3 T. juice. In a large bowl, with wire whisk, mix lemon peel and juice with milk, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, basil, and green onions until blended.

3. Add pasta and peas to mayonnaise dressing; toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate up to two days if not serving right away.





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Monday, May 10, 2010

Garlic Soup and French Bread


We had frost on the ground this morning! I guess it's still not too late in the year for a good bowl of hot soup. The garlic and olive oil in this soup are heart healthy, but beware of the cream and egg yolks!

32 oz. vegetable stock
12 cloves garlic
2 T. olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of sage
3 1/2 oz. grated Parmesan
2 egg yolks
2 T. cream
2 T. sherry
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. mustard
Salt (as desired)
Freshly ground pepper (as desired)
8 toasted baguette slices


1. Peel the garlic and wash the sage leaves.
Put into a pan with the vegetable stock, bay leaves, and olive oil, and bring to a boil.
Simmer, half-covered with a lid, for 15 minutes.
Take out the bay leaves and sage and puree the soup with a hand blender.

2. Mix the Parmesan, egg yolks, and cream.
Remove the soup from the heat and carefully stir in the cheese mixture.

3. Season with sherry, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Ladle the soup into 4 serving bowls and add a toasted baguette slice to each.
Serve garnished with parsley, if you wish.




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Friday, May 7, 2010

Shrimp and Feta Orzo



If you don't know what orzo is, it's just a rice shaped pasta. This dish cooks up quickly. The sauces only takes minutes. Watch the shrimp so as not to over cook. Cook only until they become opaque.

1 1/2 c. (10 oz.) orzo
1 T. butter or margarine
1 1/4 lbs. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tail part of shell left on ( if you like)
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. coarsely ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 oz. garlic and herb- flavored feta cheese, crumbled, (1 cup)

1. In saucepan, cook orzo as directed on package

2. Meanwhile; in no stick 10- in skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, salt, and pepper, and cook 3-5 minutes or until shrimp turns opaque throughout, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook 30 seconds, stirring. Remove skillet from heat.

3. Drain orzo; toss with shrimp mixture and feta cheese.

YIELD: 4
500 calories
60 g carbohydrates
12 g total fat
5 g sat. fat
197 mg cholesterol
895 mg sodium


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bamboo Cutting Boards



Recently I mentioned that I had ordered some new cutting boards. Well, I've had them for a while and given them both a good test run.
Both boards are Faberware Bamboo Cutting Boards, made from 100% bamboo. Bamboo naturally replenishes itself so there's no need to worry about a forest being cut down to aid in your kitchen needs.
I was surprised at the weight. For some reason I thought they would be lighter than wood. They're very solid and the grain is attractive also. Bamboo boards are harder than maple, which is the type of wood most often used for cutting boards.
The bamboo boards are moisture resistant. They are said to be scratch resistant, but that does not mean they will not scratch. The knife does make some slight mars but it doesn't dig in and leave a groove.
Care is easy also, just hand wash with warm water. I like the way they smell grassy and earthy when wet. I makes me feel like I am doing a good thing by using a bamboo product. Even the care instructions came on recyclable paper.
These particular boards from Farberware come with a limited lifetime warranty. I can live with that.



I ordered my boards from CSN.com but I think you can find these anywhere Farberware is sold.




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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Glazed Pork with Pear Chutney



Pork Tenderloins:
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
2 pork tenderloins (12 oz. each) trimmed
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Pear Chutney:
1 can ( 28 oz) pear halves in heavy syrup
1/3 c. pickled sweet red peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 c. dark seedless raisins
2 t. cider vinegar
1 t. brown sugar
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 salt
1/8 t. coarsely ground back pepper
1 green onion, chopped

Wild Rice
Cook as directed on package.

To Prepare Pork Tenderloins:
Preheat broiler.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard; set aside. Rub tenderloins with salt and black pepper; place on rack in broiling pan. Place pan in broiler 5-7 inches from heat source. Broil tenderloins 8 minutes.
Brush with some brown-sugar glaze and broil 2 minutes longer.
Turn tenderloins and broil 8 minutes longer. Brush with remaining glaze and broil until tenderloins are still slightly pink in center, about 2 minutes longer (internal temperature of meat should be 160 degrees F on meat thermometer.)

Meanwhile, prepare Pear Chutney:
Drain all but 1/2 c. syrup from canned pears and reserve; cut pears into 1/2 in. chunks.
In 2-qt. saucepan, heat red peppers, raisins, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, salt, black pepper, and reserved pear syrup to boiling over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low; stir in pears and green onion, and cook, covered 5 minutes longer.
Makes about 2 1/2 c. chutney.

Place tenderloins on cutting board. Holding knife at an angle, thinly slice tenderloins. Place pork tenderloins on plate (over wild rice if desired.)
Spoon warm chutney over pork slices to serve.




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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad




Dressing:
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
4 t. olive oil
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Prepare dressing ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl.

Salad:
1 medium head romaine lettuce (1 1/4 pounds) trimmed, then cut leaves into 1/2-in. wide strips.
1 pint cherry tomatoes, each cut into quarters
12 oz. cooked skinless roast turkey meat, cut into 1/2-in. pieces (2 cups)
1 can (15-19 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 small cucumbers (6 oz. each) peeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 in. thick

Place lettuce in a large serving bowl. Arrange tomatoes, turkey, black beans, and cucumbers in rows over lettuce. Just before serving toss salad with dressing.





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Friday, April 9, 2010

Kitchen Decorating

I think we all would love to have the perfect kitchen. I have been trying to sell my house for 15 months now, and the agony of waiting for my new house and kitchen is almost unbearable at times.
I love to think about how I would decorate, what colors will be best for my mental well-being, will I get new dishes. Will there be a bar with
counter stools , and if so what style do I like.

I've also been thinking about if I want to keep the dishes I have now and if I'll have room for all of my mixing bowls and small appliances. Down-sizing is difficult -- what to save and what to part with.



I know one thing for sure. I definitely need a new chopping board or two. I began researching all the different types -- hard maple for vegetables, glass for meats, rubber or plastic.

I finally came across one that really interests me. It's made of bamboo! It is supposed to be as strong and durable as hardwood but since bamboo is actually a grass and grows really fast it's considered to be eco-friendly.
I have one on order now, and I can't wait for it to arrive. After a test run, I will give you an update on what I think of it. Let me know if you have tried one of these also. I'm curious to now what you think of it.





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Monday, April 5, 2010

Pasta with Asparagus Pesto



Asparagus season is upon us! Here is one more recipe for you to add to your collection.  Why is asparagus so popular? Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is healthy as it is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.
 So enjoy this wonderful pasta!  You deserve it!

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. pine nuts, roasted
1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed with press
3/4 c. packed fresh basil leaves
1 t. salt
1/3 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1 pound orechiette or medium shell past

If using thin asparagus, cut each stalk crosswise in half; if using medium asparagus, cut stalks into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 inch water to boiling over high heat.
Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
Remove and reserve 1/2 c. of asparagus cooking water; drain the asparagus.

Set aside 1 cup thin asparagus stalks or 1/2 cup medium asparagus tips.
In blender at low speed, with center part of cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend remaining asparagus with oil, pine nuts, pepper, garlic, 1/2 cup basil, salt, and reserved asparagus cooking water until almost smooth.
Add Romano cheese and blend until well mixed.

Meanwhile in a large saucepan, cook past as label directs.

Slice remaining basil leaves.
Drain pasta and return to saucepan.
Add asparagus sauce, sliced basil, and reserved asparagus, and toss until evenly mixed.
Serve with additional Romano cheese.

YIESLD: 4 servings
per serving-
  calories - 620
  protein - 21 g
  carbohydrates - 88 g
  total fat - 20 g
  sat. fat - 4 g
  cholesterol - 7 mg
  sodium - 830 mg






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Friday, April 2, 2010

Tropical Traditions Organic Vinegar Giveaway



Here I am, talking about Tropical Traditions again! Why? Not because I get to sample some of their products, because truly they do not require that of me one bit. I love telling you about them because they are an awesome company with awesome products.
Today I want to point you in the direction of their Coconut Water Vinegar, and like all the other products from Tropical Traditions, it is USDA Certified Organic!
This unique vinegar is raw and unpasteurized made with the water from inside a coconut which has been allowed to ferment. All coconuts are organically grown in the Philippines at certified Fair Trade farms.
Coconut vinegar is high in vitamins and minerals especially potassium which is of importance to me. The coconut water contains electrolytes which are naturally rehydrating and completely sterile inside the coconut. In World War II, these same electrolytes were used in emergency IV fluids right on the battle field. Contrary to what you would think, when the coconut is left open to the air and allowed to ferment to a vinegar the nutrients are enhanced.
Only the best certified organic Muscabado whole sugar grown on Fair Trade farms are used for the fermentation process. This particular sugar cane is deep brown in color which give the vinegar its lovely golden brown hue.

Check out these recipes for some of the many things you can make with Coconut Water Vinegar. The salad dressing is fantastic, and since we are having such a warm spring, we will be grilling on Easter Sunday. I plan on making the coconut barbecue sauce for my chicken. Can't wait to taste it!

Now for the part you've all been waiting for! Tropical Traditions is generously offering a 32 oz bottle of Coconut Water Vinegar for a giveaway!!
Here's all you have to do:

1. Leave a comment after visiting the Tropical Traditions web site, about something new you learned, or how you would use Coconut Water Vinegar..

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 Thursday, April 8th at midnight ET.

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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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Calphalon Roaster


I love getting new cookware items. It always gives me a renewed energy for trying new recipes; there's just something about using a new pan, bowl utensil, or appliance.
Recently I ordered Calphalon Anodized Roasting Pan. Keep in mind that I am still using a blue porcelain turkey roaster, and it works fine. But I wanted to experience this anodized pan.

Here are some of the statistics:

nonstick surface (nice)
stainless steel handles (and they're pretty too)
oven safe to 700 degrees (WOW)
can be used with any utensil ( that's a plus)
Lifetime warranty (can't beat that!)

The one downside I would say is that all anodized products should be hand washed. So if you don't mind washing one pan in the sink, this could be the roaster just for you. I really love it it.




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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lent - Crab Wheels






This recipe calls for imitation crab, which is actually surimi, a blend of different types of fish made to resemble the flavor of crab. I use it often. The lower cost is the main reason, but it really does taste good. Caution: If you have a shellfish allergy, you may have a reaction to imitation crab.


8 oz. imitation crab, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1/2 c. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 1/4 c. reduced-fat, shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 t. dried oregano
3 pita breads, separated into 6 rounds
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a bowl, mix imitation crab, mayonnaise, pepper, onion, Monterey Jack Cheese, and oregano, until well blended.
Spread one-sixth of mixture on inner, rough side of each pita.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Broil for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is bubbly.

YIELD: 6 servings

Calories.........226
Carbohydrates.....20g
Protein...........14g
Cholesterol.......27mg
Sodium............678mg
Fat................19g



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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lent - Baked Scod with Fennel and Potatoes





Here is the next Lenten fish recipe: Enjoy!

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes ( 4 large), thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb ( 1 pound), trimmed and thinly sliced, feathery tops reserved
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 T. olive oil
3/4 plus 1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper
4 pieces scrod fillet ( 5 oz. each)
1 large ripe tomato (8 oz) seeded and chopped

Preheat oven to 426 degees.
In shallow 1 1/2 qt. baking dish, toss potatoes, fennel, garlic, oil, 3/4 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper until well combined; spread evenly in baking dish.
Bake, striing once, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned (about 45 minutes)
With tweezers, remove any bones from scrod.
Sprinkle scrod with remaining 1/8 t. salt and remaining 1/4 t. pepper.
Arrange on top of potato mixture.
Bake until fish is just opaque throughout, 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle with tomato and garnish with reserved fennel tops.

YIELD: 4 servings
calories - 335
Total fat - 8g
Sat fat - 1g
Cholesterol - 61mg
Sodium - 670mg
Protein - 30g
Carbohydrates - 35g





Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!!!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Bits, Tales, and Yarns