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





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Monday, March 15, 2010

Barbecued Beans and Rice





3/4 c. regular long-grain rice
1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can ( 15-19 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-19 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-19 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-19 oz) pink beans, rinsed and drained
1 can ( 14 1/2 oz) no-salt added, stewed tomatoes
1 c. water
1/2 c. bottled barbecue sauce
parsley (opt.)

In 2 qt. saucepan, prepare rice as label directs but do not add butter or margarine.

Meanwhile in a 12-in. skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot.
Add peppers and onion and cook, stirring, until tender.
Add all beans, tomatoes, water and barbecue sauce; heat to boiling over high heat.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Spoon rice into center of beans. Before serving stir to combine rice and bean mixture. Add chopped parsley to individual serving bowls, if desired.



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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tarragon and Grape Chicken





4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves ( 1/4 pounds)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper
1 t. olive oil
2 t. margarine or butter
3 medium shallots, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 chicken broth
1/4 c. half-and-half or light cream
1 c. seedless red and/or green grapes, each cut in half
1 T. chopped fresh tarragon

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 t. salt and the pepper

In nonstick 12-in. skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot.
Add chicken and cook 6 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, turn chicken over, and cook until chicken is golden brown and loses its pink color throughout, 6-8 minutes longer.
Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.

In same skillet, melt margarine over medium-low heat.
Add shallots and remaining 1/4 t. salt; cook stirring, until tender and golden, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds.
Stir in broth, half-and-half, grapes, and tarragon.
Return chicken to skillet; heat through.

YIELD: 4 servings

Calories ...........255
Total Fat...........8g
Sat. Fat............2g
Cholesterol.........87mg
Sodium.............455mg
Carbohydrate.......10g
Protein............34g






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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lent - Picante Bass Fillets



Vegetable cooking spray
1 t. vegetable oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves
1 c. water
1 t. chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. ground cumin
2/3 c. uncooked long-grain rice
6 ( 4 oz.) bass fillets
1/2 medium avocado
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 T. plus 2 t. chopped ripe olives
1/4 c. plus 2 t. (1 1/2 oz) shredded low fat Cheddar cheese

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil.
Place over medium-high heat until hot.
Add onion and garlic; sauté until tender.
Add water and next 5 ingredients.
Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Arrange fillets over rice; cover and cook 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and rice is tender.
Remove from heat.

Combine avocado, tomato, and olives; spoon evenly over fillets.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover and let stand for 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

YIELD: 6 servings (263 calories per serving)




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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jerky.Com Giveaway


Good snacks are hard to find when you're watching fat and sugar content.  Jerky.com is a place online that you can find snacks for even the most discriminating palate.  I've mentioned this web site before and  since I've had a chance to sample some of their products, I've become a real jerky fan! My husband was the one who liked jerky but I always thought I didn't.  Isn't it usually dry and hard to chew? My experience with this company is not like that at all.

I especially like the wide variety of jerky they have to offer. They range from the standard Beef Jerky flavors to exotic jerky made from venison, elk, buffalo, ostrich, and alligator. Turkey Jerky  is made from free-range turkey breasts, which are wonderfully seasoned and marinaded. Best of all is the fact that most items come with free shipping!

Jerky.com is about to launch two new products, and I have been privileged to try them.  Spencer's Jerky comes in two exciting flavors -- Sweet & Spicy Mango, and Sweet & Spicy Orange.
Sweet and Spicy Mango is spicy, but not hot (to my taste), with a sweet fruity tang.
Sweet and Spicy Orange smells strongly of the orange citrus scent the moment you open the package, and  it packs a wonderful, sweet, orange taste, as well as a spicy punch.
Both of these two new jerkies are tender and easy to chew, something I appreciated. The best part is that a one-ounce serving only has 2.5 grams of total fat ; 1 gram of saturated fat.
Now for the big announcement -- Jerky.com is offering a package of each to one lucky winner!  Here's how you can enter to win:


1. Leave a comment after visiting the Jerky.com web site, about what your favorite product would be, or how you would use this peanut butter..

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 Jerky.com email 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 residents only, 18+.

Winners will be chosen by random.org.

Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.

This Giveaway ends on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at midnight EST.

Jerky.com 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:
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Organic Peanut Butter Giveaway


I love peanut butter; I always have.  When I was a kid I would have had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day if my mother would let me. Peanut butter cookies are my favorite cookie, and I also make a great peanut butter frosting for cakes and cupcakes. Yum!
I have to admit though that I had never tasted an organic peanut butter; I just get stuck in my rut and I like a certain brand.
Tropical Traditions has an organic Coconut Peanut Butter that I just had to try. When I first opened the jar I was very impressed with the fresh peanut smell. I breathed in deeply and then detected a slight coconut fragrance. What an interesting combination! I sampled a tiny taste with a spoon and noticed a different texture than I was used to.  Not quite as smooth, but definitely a more true peanut butter taste than any I have had before. I could really go for this!
Next I had to give it a go in a few recipes and on toast, another favorite of mine. Yesterday I made a fresh batch of peanut butter cookies. The texture and flavor was slightly different, but I've noticed that difference any time I switch brands.  Mmmmm, very good!  As I smacked my lips, my husband came up next to me and snatched a warm cookie.  He stated the same thing, a little different but very good just the same. Whenever I've altered one of my mother's recipes, I feel a little like a cheat. Aren't mother's recipes sacred? But then I realized that some things don't always have to stay the same and changes can be for the better.  Knowing that Tropical Traditions is using only the best 100% organic peanuts from the US and 100% organic dried coconut from the Philipines, with no other additives or preservatives makes up for the small differences in flavor. Besides I like it, I really like it!
Tropical Traditions offers many recipes for you to try with their products, click here.
If you'd like to give Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter and try, here's your chance to win a 16-ounce jar!

1. Leave a comment after visiting the Tropical Traditions web site, about what your favorite product would be, or how you would use this peanut butter..

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  Saturday, March 13, 2010 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:
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lent - Seafood Tacos


Seafood Tacos with Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce

1 T. margarine
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. skim milk
3 T. (1 1/2 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
1 T. minced fresh cilantro
1/2 lb. flounder or sole fillets
1 T. lime juice
1/4 t. ground red pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
1/4 lb. frozen tiny shrimp, thawed
1/4 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
1 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 T. chopped sweet red pepper
 1 T. chopped sweet yellow pepper
4 (6-in.) flour tortillas

Sprinkle fillets with 1 T. lime juice and ground red pepper.

Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt margarine in a small 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.
Stir in shredded cheese and 1 T. cilantro; cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly.
Set aside and keep warm.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot.
Add fillets and cook fish until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Cut fillets into strips.

Combine reserve cheese mixture, shrimp, beans, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.
Wrap tortillas in paper towels, and warm in microwave.
Unwrap and spoon shrimp mixture evenly over half of each tortilla.
Top shrimp mixture with fish strips, and fold tortillas in half.
Serve immediately.

YIELD: 4 servings



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Monday, March 1, 2010

Cajun Dirty Rice


Dirty Rice
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. dried whole basil
1/4 t. dried whole thyme
1 T. margarine
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 c. uncooked long-grain rice
1 1/3 c. water

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well.  Set aside.

Melt margarine in a large saucepan.
Add celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic, and sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Stir in rice, and sauté until lightly browned.  Stir in reserved seasoning mixture and water; bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

YIELD: 6 servings ( 1/2 cup each)
104 calories per serving



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