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.

Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!!!If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for HerbsBits, Tales, and Yarns

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.

Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!!!If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for HerbsBits, Tales, and Yarns

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad

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.

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.

Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!!!If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:Thyme for HerbsBits, Tales, and Yarns

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.

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

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

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

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.

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