Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunrise Mimosas


Are you having lots of company over Christmas ? Tired of just orange juice and coffee in the morning?  This is a perfect treat for your out-of-town guests when serving your morning brunch.  Adults only, of course.

3/4 c. vodka
2 1/2 c. cranberry juice
1 1/2 c. orange juice
Orange slices to garnish

Pour first three ingredients into a blender and mix.  Pour over ice cubes.  Garnish with split orange slice half on rim of glass.
YIELD: 5-6 servings



If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hot Cappuccino Punch


Treat your overnight holiday guests to nice relaxing hot punch. Don't serve too late into the evening unless you use decaf coffee!

3 c. brewed coffee, room temperature
3 c. half and half
1/2 c. cream of coconut
1/2 c. rum
1/2 c. brandy

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.
YIELD: 7-8 servings

If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Homemade Blackberry Cordial

No, there are no herbs in this scrumptious beverage. But at the holidays I like to serve a unique and inviting drink to sip for the adults at the party. The blackberry color is perfect for your Christmas themed table and even goes well with New Year's Eve dessert!

1 c. club soda, chilled
2/3 c. creme de cassis
1/2 c. raspberry-flavored liqueur
1/2 c. blackberry-flavored brandy
Frozen blackberries to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well.  Serve chilled.  Garnish with frozen blackberries.
YIELD: about 6 servings.




If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cinnamon Nut Mix

2 c. whole almonds
2 c. pecan halves
6 c. water
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. firmly packed brwon sugar
1/4 c. ground cinnamon
1 T. ground ginger
2 t. ground allspice
1 t. ground cloves
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large saucepan, cover almonds and pecans with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 minute.  Drain well. In a large bowl combine next 6 ingredients.  In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.  Add nuts into sugar mixture, stirring until well coated.  Spread evenly on a greased baking sheet.  Stirring occasionally, bake 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool completely on baking sheet.  Store in air tight container.

YIELD: about 4 cups of nuts

If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nutty Garlic Cheese Spread

Another easy recipe from An Herbal Bedfellow, but this garlic cheese spread needs 8 hours of refrigerator time to set.

3 heads ( about 30 cloves) garlic, peeled
2 T. vegetable oil (olive oil works well also)
2 t. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. Worchestershire sauce
1 pkg. ( 8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted adn finely chopped
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground white pepper
Crackers or bread pieces

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Place garlic and oil in a shallow baking dish, stirring until well coated.  Bake 30 minutes or until light brown. Drain garlic on paper towels and cool completely.
Ina blender or food processor, process garlic, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce until garlic is finely chopped.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
Stir in garlic mixture and remaining ingredients until thoroughly blended.
Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
To serve: bring to room temperature and serve with crackers or bread pieces.  (I like to put out a small loaf of round bread and let the guests tear off their own piece)

YIELD: about 3 cups of spread

If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cheese Blossoms


Looking for a great appetizer for your special party? Your guests will love you for this one! And as usual for An Herbal Bedfellow, easy to make, with just a little bit of fuss. Make the biscuits ahead, (allow for refrigerator time) and add the cheese and olives just before your guests arrive.

2 c. (8 oz.) grated, charp cheddar cheese
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter of margarine, softened
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 t. salt
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 oz. ( 1/2 of 6 oz. package) Kraft pasteurized process cheese with garlic
Slice pimento stuffed green olives for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Knead with hands, shaping dough into a smooth ball.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls and place onto  greased baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown.  Cool on wire rack.
5. In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and garlic cheese until smooth; refrigerate for 1 hour.  Spoon cheese mixture into a decorating bag with a star tip or use a baggie with the corner snipped off. Pipe cheese onto biscuits just before serving. 
5. Garnish each cheese blossom with 1 slice of olive.

YIELD: about 3 dozen cheese blossoms

If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spiced Coffee Creamer Mix


This makes a wonderful last minute hostess or Secret Santa gift.  Place the mix in a pretty jar with a colorful bow, and  no one will know that you just made it the day before. For a great gift presentation, place in a rustic basket, with two Holiday napkins and two Christmas mugs.  Add a few homemade cookies in cellophane or Saran Wrap tied with a red and green ribbon. I like to add a bell or two to the ribbon. Be sure to include the instructions as to how to use the mix.

4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
2 c. coffee-flavored liqueur
1 1/2 c. nondairy powdered creamer
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground allspice

Ina large bowl, mix together all ingredients using lowest speed of an electric mixer.  Cover and chill overnight. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.  To serve: spoon 1 T. of mix into a mug.  Stir in 6 ounces of desired hot beverage such as coffee, wine, cocoa, or milk.

YIELD: about 4 cups of mix



Pesto Veggie Dip


This is a new twist on an old favorite.  Easy and great for the Holidays!

1 1/2 c. chopped parsley
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/4 c. olive oil
 1 clove garlic
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
1 t. seasoned salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
Fresh vegetables cleaned and cut to dipping length

Place first 4 ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Serve with fresh vegetables.
YIELD: about 3 cups


If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Warm Wassail


What's wassail, you ask? It's, traditionally, a warm, spiced punch.  But don't let the word punch fool you -- this one is for adults only. Come in from the cold, sit by the fire, and get warm and toasty!

1 c. water
2 c. sugar
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ginger
12 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 c. dry sherry
1/2 c. brandy
6 eggs, separated
1 orange

1. Boil water and sugar over high heat.
2. Reduce heat, add nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, sherry, and brandy.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.
3. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks.
4. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon colored.
5. Whisk the yolks into the hot spiced mixture and stir constantly over low heat for 5 minutes.
6. Pour into a heat-proof punch bowl.
7. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and spoon gently on top of the wassail punch.
8. Garnish with thin orange slices.  Serve hot.

Makes 1 1/2 quart or 12 servings.




If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Scones


As you can tell, I'm packing on the recipes for your holiday cooking and baking.  Not all are low in fat and healthy, I must add, but once in a while a sweet treat can't hurt, right? Scones are an old time English favorite perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea (coffee break in America) when company is visiting. Substitute any fruit you like, such as raisins, blueberries, raspberries or even dates,  for the currants or use no fruit at all.  It's totally up to you!
( for a lower fat recipe for scones, see another post of mine here:  Cornmeal Currant Scones

2 1/2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. grated lemon peel
1. c. currants (opt.)
1 egg
1/3 c. milk

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Butter 2 baking sheets.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Add butter, breaking it into bits.  Mix with the other ingredients.
3. Mix in sugar, lemon peel, and currants,
4. Using a spoon, drop 2-inch balls of the dough onto the baking sheets.
5. Bake 12 minutes or until puffed and golden.
6. Serve hot with sweetened whipped cream or butter and raspberry preserves.

Makes 18 scones.




If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sugarplums

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
This the beginning of my favorite Chrsitmas story. When it comes to the part, Visions of Sugarplums dancing in their heads, I always wondered what a sugarplum was. A few years ago I was given a lovely Chrsitmas recipe book and I found the recipe for sugarplums within its beautiful pages.  I made sugarplums that year and they were a big hot with young and old. Beware they are very sweet and sticky.  I plan to make these these year again and will serve them in mini gold foil cups.  Can't wait!

1 c. dried apricots
1 c. pecans
1/2 c. pitted dates
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 c. vanilla wafers
1 c. flaked coconut
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. sugar

1. Finely chop the apricots, pecans, dates, and raisins in a food processor or with a sharp knife.
2. Place several wafers in a plastic bag.  Use a rolling pin to make 1 cup of crumbs.
3. Place the fruit and nut mixture and the crumbs in a large bowl and toss with the coconut and orange juice.
4. Using your fingers, form into 1/4-inch balls.  On a plate, roll the balls in sugar.
5. Place in paper candy cups or wrap in a little squares of clear cellophane, twist at the top and tie with a gold cord or narrow ribbon.
Makes 5 dozen sugarplums.

If you like An Herbal Bedfellow, check out my other blog at: http://thyme-for-herbs.com.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cranberry Chutney

Perfect for Christmas dinner as a compliment to your meat dish or put on a cracker with some cream cheese for a cocktail party.

1 red apple, unpeeled
1 orange, unpeeled
1 c. seedless grapes
1 pound cranberries
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cranberry juice
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1 t. allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 c. walnuts. chopped
1 c. cocktail onions, drained

1. Cube apple; seed and chop the orange; quarter grapes; set all aside
2. Wash the cranberries, remove stems, and place in a saucepan.  Stir in sugar, cranberry juice, orange juice, vinegar, allspice, and cinnamon sticks.
3. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and cook 15 minutes or until berries pop.
4. Add the fruits, nuts, and onions.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens ( about 10 minutes.)
5. Discard cinnamon sticks and cool . Can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.  Serve cold.


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

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gingerbread Oranments


Does it seem too early to talk about decorating your tree?  Or are you like me and it's fully decorated already?  We usually light our tree the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we were anxious to see how it would look in the new house and turned on its full glory on Thanksgiving night.
As with all things Christmas, you need to plan in advance.  Most crafts take a while to complete.  These festive ornaments are made with gingerbread and are a delight to most children and adults alike. Make sure the icing has plenty of time to firm up before attempting to place on the tree.

1/2 c. butter
6 T sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2t. ginger
1 4-inch Christmas cookie cutters

With an electric mixer, cream the butter with both sugars, molasses, and egg yolk.
Mix the remaining ingredients, except the egg white, together.  Stir into the butter mixture to form a stiff dough.
Chill the dough 1 hour, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into traditional Christmas shapes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. and butter cookie sheets. Lift cookies onto the sheets and brush lightly with egg white.
Bake 8 minutes until crisp.  Make a hole 1 inch from the top of each cookie, then cool.  Pipe edges with icing of your choice.  Thread holes with gold cord.


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Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey Soup

Plan ahead and get ready for turkey soup after Thanksgiving is over.  This is a nice twist, made with tortellini and watercress.

4 quarts ( 16 cups) water
The carcass of a turkey, broken into large pieces
1 carrot, sliced
2 ribs celery
1 bay leaf
1 onion, quartered
1/2 dried thyme
3 sprigs parsley
1 t. fennel seeds
1/2 lb. fresh cheese tortellini
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups coarsely chopped and rinsed watercress

In a large pot, combine the water, turkey carcass, carrot, celery, bay leaf, onion, thyme, parsley, and fennel seeds and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl, then transfer meat to a cutting board, discarding the bones and remaining solids.
Chop the meat fine. Return the strained stock to the pot; add turkey meat, and bring to  a boil.
Add tortellini; salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the tortellini are just tender.
Add watercress and simmer the soup for 1 minute.  Serve hot. 
Makes about 12 cups.

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy Stuffing


This is a real easy stove-top stuffing recipe for cooks who want to make their own but don't want to take the time to cube and dry the bread. No need to actually stuff the turkey, either. It's so easy you can have it any time of the year.

8 T (1 stick of butter)
1 yellow onion, diced ( about 2 cups)
4 ribs celery, sliced on the diagonal (about 2 cups)
15 oz. seasoned croutons
2 T. parsley flakes (or 1/2 c. chopped fresh)
1 T. poultry seasoning
4 c. low-sodium chicken stock
Optional:
1 c. mixed fried fruit (cranberries, apples, apricots)
1 c. toasted nuts ( walnuts or pecans work well)

Heat large cast iron skillet on medium-high.  Melt butter; add onion and celery.  Cook stirring occasionally until soft -  6 to7 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl but do not clean skillet.  Add croutons and remaining ingredients (including optional ones of your choice) to mixture in the bowl and toss very gently.
Return stuffing to skillet.  Let rest, uncovered, until cool.; then cover with foil and refrigerate until 2 hours before serving.
If you prefer, warm it slightly in the microwave.  Do not overcook.
Serves:8



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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cranberry Bread

2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 T. liquid sweetener or 1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cranberries, halved
1/2 c. walnuts
3/4 c. unsweetened orange juice
1 egg
2 T. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Stir in sweetener, cranberries, and walnuts.
Combine orange juice, egg, and vegetable oil;  add to dry mixture and stir only until moistened.
Pour into greased 9x5x3xinch pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Remove from pan to cool.

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy Potato Ham Soup


3 c. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1.2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 c. water
1 T. minced garlic
1 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 t. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 c. cooked ham, cubed

Ina  large saucepan or soup pot, and potatoes, celery, onion, chicken bouillon, water, garlic, and parsley; season with salt and pepper.
Simmer until vegetables are tender.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and milk.
Once it is well blended, slowly add to soup and cook until soup thickens.
Stir in cheese and ham and simmer until cheese is melted and ham is heated through.
(My husband declares this soup to be perfection!)

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

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Chili Cakes with Cilantro Lime Sauce


Cilantro Lime Sauce -- make ahead:
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. cilantro, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
pinch of salt

Combine sour cream, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

Sweet Potato Chili Cakes:
4 c. sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3/4 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. chipotle chili powder
1/4 t. black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. milk
Oil ( for frying)

In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, jalapeno, flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cumin, chipotle chili powder, black pepper.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and milk.
Add egg/milk mixture to sweet potato mixture and mix until well blended.
Heat large skillet over medium high heat; add oil to cover bottom.
Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls into hot oil; press lightly to flatten to size of half dollar (If you rememebr what that is :)
Cook until golden brown (1-2 minutes, each side)
Transfer to platter; top each with Cilantro Lime Sauce
Garnish with fresh cilantro



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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Butternut Squash Harvest Stew

Peel and dice into 1 1/2 inch pieces:
1 medium rutabaga,
2 medium parsnips,
6 medium carrots,
6 red potatoes
2 c. cubed butternut squash
2 T. butter
1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 c. flour
1/4 t. pepper
2 large leeks, chopped
4 c. chicken stock (broth)
2 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 t. nutmeg

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil,
Add rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and butternut squash. Cover and cook 10-15 min or until tender. Drain and set aside.
While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Dust chicken with flour seasoned with pepper, reserving any leftover flour; brown chicken half at a time in a pot with butter.
Remove chicken when browned.
Add leeks to pot. Saute for 3 minutes or until tender.
Add 1 T. reserved flour to pot. Stir to form paste.
Stir in chicken stock, parsley, basil, and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil, stirring frquently.
Return chicken to pot; add vegetables, reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Serves: 6-8


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread


3 c, sugar
1 can (15 oz.) solid packed pumpkin
4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. water
2/3 c. peanut butter
3 1/2 c flour
2 t. baking soda
 1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and peanut butter; beat well.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually add the pumpkin mixture; mix well.
Pour into two greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Carmelized Cranberry Mushroom Galette

8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 T. cranberry sauce
1 T. orange marmalade
2 T. sugar
1 c. chopped red onion
1 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. smoked paprika
2 T. cranberry tangerine juice drink
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/2 c. real bacon bits
1/4 c. minced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine cheese, cranberry sauce, and marmalade in a small bowl. Chill until serving.
Cook sugar in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until it begins to melt..
 Add onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer.
Add dried cranberries, mushrooms, olive oil, lemon pepper, salt, and paprika; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat.
Add cranberry tangerine drink; cook until mushrooms are tender; stirring occasionally.

Unfold pastry on a greased baking sheet.
Spread cranberry mixture to within 1/2 inches of edges.
Sprinkle with bacon bits.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Cool for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with basil.
Cut into small squares.
Top with mascarpone topping. 


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

Monday, October 24, 2011

German Chili


1 medium onion chopped
Butter
1 lb. sausage
4 1/2 c. water
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 t. salt
1 t. dill seed
1/4 t. caraway seed
16 oz. can sauerkraut, undrained
1 c. sour cream (use more for creamier soup)
1 T. flour
salt and pepper

Saute onion in a little butter, then add sausage and continue sauteing several minutes.
Add water, potatoes, and salt; bring to a boil.
Add dill and caraway seeds; cook until potatoes are tender.
Add undrained sauerkraut; bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and flour.
Gradually add about 1 cup of hot soup ( try to get just the liquid) into sour cream/flour mixture.
Return to pot of soup; blend well.
Heat through but do not boil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rye bread goes well with this soup and adds to the truly delicious German flavor. Hubby declares this one a keeper but you must like sauerkraut,  The flavor is strong.


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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Roaster Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette


1 (1 1/2 lb.) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4 inch cubed
Olive oil
1 T. pure maple syrup
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 T. dried cranberries
3/4 c. apple cider or apple juice
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. minced shallots
2 t. Dijon mustard
4 oz. baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 c. walnut halves, toasted
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan.
Add 2 T. olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. black pepper and toss.
Roast the squash for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until tender.
Add the cranberries to the pan during the last 5 minutes.

Vinaigrette:
While squash is roasting, combine the apple cider ( or juice), vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Cook for 6-8 minutes until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
Turn off heat and whisk in the mustard, 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. black pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, walnuts, and grated Parmesan.
Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spinach Tart


Using Greek yogurt and Norwegian cheese, this scrumptious dish becomes quite International!

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

1 unbaked pie crust ( for 8 or 9 inch pie pan)
6 eggs
2 c. Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
 2 c. chopped scallions
 1 c. thawed frozen spinach
2 T. fresh chopped dill
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk eggs and all other ingredients together. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until filling is set.


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Monday, October 3, 2011

Pear and Cranberry Salad


Pears are plentiful in my home state right now. They're juicy and good. Combine them with some frozen cranberries and you have a wonderful sweet and, at the same time, a tart salad.

1/2 c. frozen cranberries
1/4 c. honey
2 T. white-wine vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Salt & pepper

2 ripe pears
5 oz. washed, cut romaine (8 cups)
1 c. toasted chopped walnuts
1 c. crumbles bleu cheese

1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, bring cranberries, honey, and vinegar to a simmer. cook until cranberry skins break, 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Combine the cranberry mixture and Dijon mustard in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. With the blender motor running, drizzle in oil, then 1/2 c. water. (Once incorporated, the mixture should look thick and glossy.) Season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
Add the last 4 ingredients just before serving.



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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cauliflower & Penne Pasta


It's cool and rainy today here in Michigan.  It's now time to turn to some of those warm, comfort food dishes. This one is great for a quick Fall dinner. Beware, with real butter and heavy cream this is not a low calorie dinner, but it's oh so good.

8 oz. penne rigate
5 cups cauliflower florets
2 T. ( 1/4 c. ) butter
1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 c. whole- wheat breadcrumbs
1.2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. (unpacked) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. grated lemon peel
salt & pepper to taste

1. Boil pasta is salted water for 5 minutes.  Add cauliflower.  Cook until cauliflower and pasta are tender but firm, 6 minutes. Drain. reserving 1/2 c. cooking liquid.   Return pasta and cauliflower to pot.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.  whisk in mustard.  Add breadcrumbs and cook stirring until golden, 7-8 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.
3. Add cream, Parmesan,  lemon peel, and the reserved cooking liquid to pasta.  Toss over medium heat until sauce simmers, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Top with breadcrumbs.  Serve with extra Parmesan.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Peeled Snacks Giveaway


I don't write about snacks often because I am attempting to present healthy recipes, low in fat.
Peeled Snacks is the perfect snack to discuss here on An Herbal Bedfellow since I was given the opportunity to sample a few of their products. Peeled Snacks is not your ordinary dried fruit snack. In their words they are "gently dried" and that is exactly how I would have described them myself. These fruity snacks are a little on the soft side, not dry and crunchy like some I've had. I sampled Banan-a-peel, Pine-4-Pineapple, and Farmer's Market Trio, and I can truly say that they have a fresh, fruit flavor with a touch of sweet /tart. There is no added sugar, oil, or preservatives, so what you are experiencing is pure delight and good for you.  Only the highest quality organic and natural ingredients are used from sustainable farms. That's a plus in my book any day.
If you're curious at all about the taste of this gem of a snack,  you can sample some on 8/24/2011 at a Cosco near you.  Cosco will also be offering the new
 1-lb. family-sized Farmer's Market Trio at select locations.
Where else can you find Peeled Snacks, you ask? They can be found in many grocery and convenience stores, and are now also in many Starbucks across the country!
Enter now to win your own Organic Fruit Picks Variety Pack which features 10 single-serving size packages; 2 each of Pine-4-Pineapple, Much-ado-about-Mango, Banan-a-peel, Apricot-a-lot, and Apple-2-the-core!


Here's how to enter:
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.
1. Leave a comment after visiting the Peeled Snacks web site about something you learned about their company..
2. For a second chance to win, sign up with me as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.)
3. For a third chance to win, blog, Tweet, or Facebook about this contest with a link here.
4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to the Peeled Snacks E-Newsletter at the bottom of their page, and/or follow them on their Twitter page or Like their Facebook page. Tell me each thing you did in a separate comment.
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 Sunday, August 28, 2011 at midnight at midnight ET.



Peeled Snacks provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose; nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.














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

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chicken Stir-Fry

3 scallions, minced, divided
4 T. soy sauce, divided
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced crosswise
1 t. cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. minced, peeled fresh ginger
3 T. plus 1 t. peanut oil, divided
 2 eggs, beaten
3 c. cooked brown rice

1. Mix 2 scallions, 2 T. soy sauce, chicken, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Marinate 10 minutes.
2. In a non-stick skillet or wok, stir-fry garlic and ginger in 2 T. oil for 10 seconds.  Add chicken and cook 4 minutes.  Remove chicken and wipe out skillet (or wok).
3. Cook eggs in 1 t, oil in skillet (or wok) not stirring; when set, flip and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove from skillet; dice.
4. Stir-fry 1 scallion in 1 T. oil for 15 seconds.  Add rice; stir-fry 7 minutes;  Add chicken, eggs, and 2 T. soy sauce.  Stir-fry 30 seconds, or until hot.


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

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lemony Couscous

This is a light, fresh, Summer version for couscous. I think you'll really like it and it only takes 20 minutes to prepare!
What is couscous? (pronounced kus'kus)

A staple food of North Africa.


Berber, word. Couscous is also the general name for all prepared dishes made from hard-wheat or other cereals. In fact, it would not be incorrect to call couscous a kind of pasta.Couscous is the husked and crushed, but unground, semolina of hard wheat (Triticum durum), although the preparation of the same name can be made with barley, millet, sorghum, or corn. Semolina is the hard part of the grain of hard-wheat, which resists the grinding of the millstone. The word "couscous" derives from the Arabic word kaskasa, to pound small, but the word is also thought to derive from the Arabic name for the perforated earthenware steamer pot used in steaming the couscous, called a keskes in Arabic (couscousière in French). Another theory is based on onomatopoeia - from the sound of the steam rising in the couscousière. In any case, the Arabic word derives from a non-Arabic, probably Berber, word. Couscous is also the general name for all prepared dishes made from hard-wheat or other cereals. In fact, it would not be incorrect to call couscous a kind of pasta.


Lemony Couscous
2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t. turmeric
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 1/4 c. whole wheat couscous ( 7.6 oz. box)
2 c. frozen petite peas, thawed
1/2 c. minced fresh chives
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted (for garnish)

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over med-high heat.
 Add turmeric, onion, and garlic;  saute, stirring often, until onion is tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
 Stir in stock, bring to a boil.
Add couscous; stir to blend.

2. Remove saucepan from heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in peas, chives, and lemon zest and juice.
Season with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, garnish with toasted almonds, and serve.

Serves: 6


If you like this blog, and you also like gardening, please view my other blog: Thyme for Herbs

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blueberry-Banana Smoothie

So cool, and so good for you!



2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. plain yogurt
2 T. honey
1 c. 1% milk
1/4 c. raw almonds

Combine all ingredients in a blender; puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Pour into 4 tall glasses and serve immediately!


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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mango & Cucumber Salad

There's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than cool cucumber.  Add to that some sweet mangoes and you've got a great salad combination.  You might want to give this a try tonight!

3 mangoes, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces ( about 3 cups)
1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled and sliced very fine
1 small red onion, cut in half and then into very thin slices
1 T. finely chopped serrano chile pepper (opt.)
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 T. lemon juice
2 t. lemon-flavored olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

1. In a serving bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Chill at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Serves 6


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs: <"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grilled Asian Kabobs


After a long absence, I'm finally back to my cooking blog.  There just wasn't enough time to post here and on Thyme for Herbs both.  But I have survived the move to a new house and most of the big jobs are done.  There will always be something to do, but that's part of the fun.
We've enjoyed using our new grill, although it's been pretty darn hot to be standing outside next to the fire.  Today is much cooler, though, so here is a new great recipe for your next cook-out.

1 c. mayonnaise (you may use low-fat)
1/4 c. apricot preserves (try sugar free)
1 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. minced ground ginger
16 deveined shrimp
16 scallops
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
(opt. add green pepper and sweet onion chunks)

Combine the mayo, apricot preserves, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic, and ginger in a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup of the sauce.
Thread the shrimp, scallops, and pineapple onto kabob skewers.
Brush the kabobs with sauce.
Place on a medium grill for 3-4 minutes per side, until the shrimp and scallops are opaque.
Serves 4

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs: <"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lent -- Halibut with Baby Artichokes and Potatoes



2 lemons, 1 cut in half
3 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes, cut into 1-in. chunks
1 jumbo onion ( 1 lb) cut into 8 wedges
12 baby artichokes ( 1 1/2 lbs.)
4 halibut or cod steaks, 1-in., thick ( 6 oz. ea.)
lemon wedges

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. From whole lemon, grate 1 T. peel and squeeze 1 T. juice. In small bowl, combine lemon peel and juice with oil, salt, oregano, and pepper. In a large bowl, toss potatoes and onion with 1 T. lemon mixture to coat well. Place potato mixture in 15 1/2 " by 10 1/2 " jelly-roll pan and roast for 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile trim baby artichokes. Bend back outer green leaves and snap off at base until remaining leaves are green on top and yellow on bottom. Cut off stems level with bottom of artichoke. Cut off top half of each artichoke and discard. Rub cut surfaces with lemon half to prevent discoloration. Cut each artichoke lengthwise in half.
3. In 3-qt. saucepan, heat 4 c. water to boiling over high heat. Add artichokes and cook until fork-tender, 6-8 minutes; drain. Toss artichokes with 2 T. lemon mixture.
4. Remove pan with potato mixture from oven; add artichokes and toss well. Arrange fish on top of vegetables; brush with remaining lemon mixture. Return pan to oven and roast until fish turns opaque throughout and potatoes are fork-tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer.
4. Transfer fish and vegetables to platter. Serve with lemon wedges.

YIELD: 4 servings





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lent -- Glorified Tuna Sandwich



1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
1/8 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 t. salt
black pepper to taste
1 (6 oz.) can tuna in olive oil
lemon juice & red wine vinegar to taste
2 kaiser rolls
lettuce leaves
8 tomato slices
1 egg, hard-boiled
Nicoise olives (opt.)

1. Combine onions with olive oil, 1 T. red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, marinate for 5 minutes
2. Mix in tuna, including the oil. Season with lemon juice, more red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cut kaiser rolls in half crosswise; place lettuce leaves on bottom half. Top each with 4 tomato slices, half the tuna mixture, and 3 slices hard boiled egg. Add Nicoise olives, if desired.





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lent -- Grilled Shrimp and Ripe Olives






12 bamboo skewers
2 doz. California ripe olives, whole, pitted
2 doz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail-on
1 doz. cherry tomatoes
3/4 c. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 T. capers, chopped
1 t. minced garlic
1/4 c. chopped basil
black pepper, coarsely ground

1. Soak 12 (8-in) bamboo skewers in warm water for 15 minutes. String each skewer with a ripe olive, shrimp, cherry tomato, shrimp, and ripe olive. Place full skewers in a shallow baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.


2. Whisk mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, capers, and garlic until well blended. Stir in basil and season with black pepper. Remove 1/4 c. of dressing to use as marinade and reserve remainder, covered and refrigerated, for dipping sauce. Preheat grill to medium.


3. Unwrap skewers and brush both sides with dressing. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp are pink and tomatoes are slightly charred. Transfer cooked skewers to a clean plate and serve with reserved caper-basil dipping sauce.


YIELD: 6 servings




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lent -- Tilapia with Spinach and Feta


1 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 c. baby spinach
2 skinless fillets ( 4 oz. ea.) tilapia or other mild, medium textured white fish
1/2 t. black pepper
2 oz. low-fat feta cheese, cut into 2 ( 3-in) pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until aromatic and tender, about 2 minutes, taking care not to burn.
2. Add spinach to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted.
3. Lay fillets on lightly oiled baking sheet. Season with black pepper. Top each fillet with piece of cheese. Top cheese with spinach mixture.
4. Wrap 1 end of fillet up and over cheese and spinach filling. Pin down to center of fillet with toothpick. Wrap other end of fillet up and over filling, pin down to center of fillet with toothpick. Repeat with remaining fillet.
5. Bake until fish is firm to touch and flakes easily , about 20 minutes.

YIELD: 2 servings

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lent -- Florida Tilefish




1 1/2 lbs. Florida Tilefish fillets
1/2 c. diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 c. diced green bell pepper
2 c. cooked yellow rice
1 T. paprika
2 t. minced garlic
1 t. black pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin

Cut fish into approx. 2-in. cubes. Mix bell peppers with cooked rice; set aside and keep warm. In mixing bowl, combine paprika, garlic, pepper, salt, and cumin. Mix well and completely coat fish on both sides. Place fish on a lightly oiled broiler pan and broil 4-6 inches on each side. Fish is done when it flakes easily when tested with a fork, and is opaque in the center. Serve immediately with yellow rice.
YIELD: 4 servings.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lent -- Mandarin Salmon Salad






1 skinless fillet ( 8 oz.) salmon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
4 c. spring green salad mix
1 can ( 8 oz.) Mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed
2 T. rough chopped walnuts
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. balsamic vinegar

1. Season fillet with black pepper. Broil, grill, or pan-fry salmon on each side until meat is firm to the touch and flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillet.


2. Divide greens among 2 serving plates. Cut fillet in half and place piece on each plate over greens. Sprinkle each fillet with orange segments and walnuts.


3. Mix together in a small bowl the mustard and vinegar. Drizzle over each salad.




YIELD: 2 serving( 4 0z. fish and 2 1/2 cups salad per serving)






If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent - Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Pineapple

1 1/2 c. diced fresh pineapple
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 T. fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 t. grated lime peel
Nonstick cooking spray
4 mahi-mahi fillets ( 4 oz. ea.)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. white pepper

1. To prepare salsa, combine pineapple, red, and green peppers, cilantro, red pepper flakes, 1 T. lime juice, and lime peel in medium bowl.
2. Preheat broiler. Spray rack of broiler pan with cooking spray. Rinse mahi-mahi and pat dry with paper towels. Place mahi-mahi on rack. Combine remaining lime juice and olive oil; brush on mahi-mahi.
3. Broil, 4 inches from heat, 2 minutes. Turn and brush second side with olive oil mixture; sprinkle with white pepper. Continue to broil 2 minutes or until mahi-mahi flakes easily with fork. Serve with pineapple salsa. This recipe goes well with wild rice as a side dish.

YIELD: 4 servings.






If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quick Orange Chicken

2 T. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 T. no-sugar-added orange marmalade
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts ( about 1 pound)
1/2 c. fresh orange sections
2 T. chopped fresh parsley


1. For sauce, combine juice concentrate, marmalade, mustard, and salt in 8-inch shallow round microwavable dish until juice concentrate is thawed.

2. Add chicken, coating both sides with sauce. Arrange chicken around edge of dish without overlapping. Cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH ( 100 %) 3 minutes; turn chicken over. Microwave at Medium-high ( 70% power) 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.

3. Remove chicken to serving plate. Microwave remaining sauce at High ( 100 %) 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.

4. To serve, spoon sauce over chicken; top with orange sections and parsley.


YIELD: 4 servings


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pork Curry Stew



2 T. olive oil
2 t. chopped garlic
2 T. mild curry powder
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. pork loin, trimmed, boned, and cut into 1 1/4 in. cubes
Water
4 c. peeled and diced sweet potatoes or yams
2 bags (12 oz. ea.) cauliflower florets
1 can ( 14 oz.) low sodium green lentils or black-eyed peas
1 c. freshly chopped parsley




1. Heat 2 T. olive oil in stock pot, over low heat. Add chopped garlic, curry, onion, pepper, and stir.


2. Add pork and brown lightly for 5 minutes over medium high heat stirring often. Add 1 c. of water and stir.


3. Add sweet potatoes or yams , and extra water if needed to cover ingredients. Cook and stir over medium high heat 5 minutes.


4. Add cauliflower, stirring lightly and cook 5 minutes.


5. Add lentils or peas, and if needed, enough water to make a stew. Cook and stir over medium high heat 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add parsley and stir. Serve.






If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Kitchen


Yes, we finally sold our house! And this is my new kitchen! It's not as big as what I have now but it is newer and I will be able to buy all new appliances as well as adjustable bar stools and other decorating touches.
There is a lot to be done before we move in, and we don't actually have a closing date yet, but I am very excited with the new life coming my way. I hope it will be a much simpler way of living, and since the house and kitchen is smaller, I can have more time for cooking with less time spent cleaning!
I'll keep you updated as the big move gets closers.







If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Egg Cracker - a New Gadget!




I was just introduced to a fabulous new little gadget - The Egg Cracker!


I am in the habit of breaking my eggs on the rim of the bowl, and I have to admit that more than once I have dropped egg shells right in my recipe. I'll bet you have done the same. There's nothing worse than biting into a piece of eggshell when no crunch was expected.

With the Egg Cracker, all you have to do is crack the egg on the sharp blade. It makes a nice clean cut, so you just gently pry open the shell and voila! Perfect and ready to drop right in the pan or in your eggshell-free cake mix.

At first I found cleaning a little tricky because of the blade, ( sharps items and my fingers don't go well together) but if you rinse the Egg Cracker under water immediately and don't allow excess egg white to set up, then all you have to do is swish it in some hot water. The fingers never need to touch the blade. It's also dishwasher safe!

Check it out. I'm sure you're going to love this new item! You'll find some good egg recipes on their site also. Now, get crackin', get the Egg Cracker; it's a small thing you can do for yourself.



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

Friday, February 4, 2011

Giveaway Winner

The Crosby and Taylor Giveaway was a real success. I can see this is a company you are all quite interested in. Sadly, only one can win. Diane from Michigan was the winner. Congrats Diane; you are listed on my wall of fame in the Giveaway Winners tab! Your pewter items will be on their way soon!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crosby & Taylor Giveaway


You are in for something good!!! Who doesn't love beauty as well as function in the kitchen? And when it comes to beauty, Crosby & Taylor always delivers. I personally now own the Fleur de Lis Measuring Spoon Set and Measuring Cup Set. I also have the Dragonfly Coffee Measure. I've had these for a few years now, and after using them almost daily, they still look like brand new!
Crosby & Taylor was formally known as Tin Woodsman Pewter and have been in business since 1985 creating wonderful items in Oregon. Not one thing has changed in the quality of their hand made products with their name change. You might already be familiar with their items since Paula Deen uses their measuring spoons and cups regularly on her TV show.
Today you are going to have a chance to enter to win the same combo I have recently received. The first one is a Pewter Spoon Rest in the Bird pattern. This spoon rest is 7 inches by 3.25 inches and displays a darling bird with a nest and three eggs in the handle. I absolutely love mine. The weight is quite hefty and is dishwasher safe, although hand washing is recommended.

The second item is the Petite Pewter Salt Pot, color - Pistachio. This little pot, 4 inches by 3 inches, is perfect for keeping next to the stove for that last minute seasoning in the pot. There is a little pewter bird face plate and the spoon resembles twining branches. It's just adorable! This item is hand-thrown and hand- glazed, hand washing is suggested.

Want to Win? Go for it!!
1. Leave a comment after visiting the Crosby & Taylor web site telling me what your favorite item is. Be creative; I may need a tie breaker!


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, "Like" Crosby & Taylor on Facebook, 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 February 1, 2011 at midnight ET

Crosby & Taylor 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:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Panini Grill


Behold my new Cuisinart Panini Grill! It is by far my favorite new addition to my kitchen. And if you've been following along, you know I've been doing my shopping at my favorite online store, CSNstores.com.
This grill is so easy to use. Just plug it in, a red light comes on, and then when the temperature is just right, it switches to a green light.



While it is heating up you can prepare your sandwich, then place it on the grill, and press down lightly. This model holds two nice-sized sandwiches.



In 3-4 minutes, you have a perfect panini. And look at the professional looking grill marks. Beautiful!

Here's how I make my Paninis:
Brush extra virgin olive oil on both sides of bread. I especially like to use deli rye, or dill bread, but French bread is equally good.

Layer thinly deli sliced beef, ham,or turkey, mild banana peppers, Swiss cheese, and horseradish mayo sauce. My husband also likes sliced olives on his. Then grill to perfection and enjoy!


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stock Pots


After 40 years of marriage, a lot of kitchen items need replacing. Recently a cooking disaster, yes I still have them after all of these years, ruined my wonderful stainless steel stock pot. Time to searchfor something new, so I went to my favorite online kitchen store at CSN Stores.
Look what I found! This darling set of Reston Lloyd pots, called Calypso Basics! They come in the set of three and there is a choice of several vibrant colors. They're enamel coated steel, all with glass lids. This set is 1.5 qt, 2.5 qt, and 3.5 qt. Just right for my family of two.
I thought the yellow would look especially festive with my red stand mixer. It's a typical Michigan January, snowy and some days are pretty gray so a little color will boost my spirits in the kitchen. I'm making a lot of soups and sauces these days and loving these wonderful pots. My next plan is to purchase the large 8 qt. stock pot to match.
Can't wait to tell you what else I bought.! That's the next post.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:<"www.thyme-for-herbs.com">Thyme for Herbs

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Apricot-Rice Bake



Today, January 9th, is National Apricot Day in the U.S. If you'd like to stay in keeping with the celebration, try this recipe. You won't be disappointed.

Vegetable Cooking Spray
2 t. margarine
1 c. uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. diced, dried apricots
1/4 c. diced dried pitted prunes
2 c. water
2 t. chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1/4 t. ground thyme
2 T. sliced blanched almonds, toasted

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, add margarine. Place over medium high heat until hot; add rice and onion. Saute until rice is browned and onion is tender.
Spoon rice mixture into a 1 1/2 qt. casserole that has been coated with cooking spray. Add apricots and prunes, stirring well. Combine water, bouillon granules, and thyme in a large nonstick skillet; bring mixture to a boil. Pour over rice mixture. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquids absorbed. Sprinkle with almonds.
YIELD: 8 servings


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

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Chicken Soup Time



Winter blahs? It's time to sit around a nice fire and eat some warm soup or stew. That's my idea of comfort food. No fireplace? Turn on the little electric space heater and toast your toes! Chicken soup is great for reminding us of Mom and food made with love, while also helping with that nasty cold. This Chunky Chicken-Potato Soup is doubly good with homemade flavor!

3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c. chopped onion
4 c. water
1 T. chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1/8 t. pepper
2 c. chopped cooked chicken breast (skinned before cooking and cooked without salt)
1/4 c. skim milk
2 T. plus 2 t. chopped pimiento
1/3 c. low-fat sour cream
1/3 c. ( 1 1/3 oz.) shredded 40% less-fat Cheddar cheese
2 T. plus 2 t. chopped fresh chives

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large Dutch oven, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Place half of potato mixture in container of a blender or food processor, cover, and process until smooth. Add pureed mixture, chicken, and milk to Dutch oven; cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Stir in pimiento,
Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top each serving with 2 t. sour cream, 2 t. cheese and 1 t. chives.
YIELD: 8 cups



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