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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blogging By Mail - Indugle me

The awesome Stephanie over at Dispensing Happiness has done it again. Blogging by mail has returned with the theme of "Indulge Me".

I received the most wonderful package from Claudia at The Missing Flavor. My package contained some really terrific things.

1. A real Norwegian cheese slicer (I've tried it and LOVE it!)
2. Dark Chocolate
3. Almond and dark chocolate
4. Marzipan and dark chocolate
5. Some adorable cupcake baking cups
6. A pair of suitably festive napkins for my table (i'll be using them tonight when my niece comes to dinner!)
7. Brazil nuts (one of my favorites!)
8. South American Mate (i adore mate!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ancho Chicken Soft Tacos

The good folks at Marx Foods sent me some of their dried chiles to try. Here is the first of what I made with them.

Ancho Chicken Soft Tacos (adapted from Rachael Ray)
• 1 lb chicken meat cut into small pieces
• 3 dried ancho peppers, stemmed and seeded
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 red onion, finely chopped
• 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
• 2 tablespoons sherry or sherry vinegar
• 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 8 soft flour tortillas

Place the ancho peppers and chicken stock into a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring up to a bubble and simmer until the peppers are very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the red onion and garlic to the pan, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, remove the skin and meat from the chicken, and shred the meat.
Add the sherry or sherry vinegar to the pan and cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol. Add the oregano, cumin, coriander, shredded chicken and ancho puree to the skillet and cook (add a splash of chicken stock if the mixture is too thick), until heated through, 3-4 minutes.

Pomegranate Guacamole
• 2 ripe avocadoes, skin and pit removed
• Zest and juice of 1 lime
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• 1 large jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
• Salt
• 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Monday, September 14, 2009


Pomegrantes are a powerful healthy snack and the juice has a number of benefits. For instance, did you know that when you compare a glass of pomegranate juice and a glass of red wine, tests found that ounce for ounce, pomegranate juice has 17% more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine. There are more polyphenol antioxidants in POM Wonderful pomegranate juice than other drinks.

A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed improved blood flow to the heart in patients drinking 8oz. daily of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice for 3 months.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Janny at Pom Wonderful asking if I would like to review some samples of their pomegrante juice. Naturally, I said yes. Because I love samples and I love pomegrantes! A few days ago, I received a box stuffed full of the fruity, tangy nectar! I looked over all the recipes on the Pom Wonderful site and settled on the Pom Velvet Cake. Similar to a red velvet cake, it was moist and tender. The recipe calls for the pomegante juice to be added to the 1/2 and 1/2, apple cider vinegar mixture. I iced it with the cream cheese frosting recipe included on the site with the cake recipe. Together its delicious!


In the coming days I plan to make some pomegrante syrup, and I also am thinking about something with lamb or pork. Look for those posts soon!

Thanks, Janny and Pom Wondeful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Win these palm leaf plates!

i know you care about style and the environment. now you can be stylish and environmentally conscious at the same time. click on this picture and enter to win these beautiful palm leaf plates! they're durable and pretty and they will look great on your picnic table!

National Coffee Month...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mmmmm Bacon....

Do you love bacon but hate the greasy mess? i cooked my bacon in the oven today. i simply placed a rack ontop of a sheet pan, spread the bacon on the rack and baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes (or until it has reached your desired doneness)!

super easy and it tastes yummy without the splattering mess on the stove top!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

First I made a batch of brownies using my favorite recipe.

Barbie’s Favorite Brownies
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

While the brownies were cooling I mixed the filling.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

Spread filling mixture over cooled brownies. Prepare topping.

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Melt in microwave, stiring at 30 second intervals until completely melted. Spread over the peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Product Review - Pineapple Jerky

i was recently asked to review pineapple jerky from

I was so pleasantly surprised. The Pineapple Jerky is sweet and tart. It contains only pineapples and honey. One ring was the perfect afternoon snack. It was filling and delicious. The slices look like pretty yellow flowers. The honey is just the right touch of sweetness. I ate one plain as a snack, cut one into pieces and added it to yogurt and added a third to a salad.

I love all things jerky and can't wait to try some of the many jerky types that has to offer from beef jerky to ostrich jerky and venison jerky!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Morel, Dill and Asparagus Risotto

I developed this recipe to use the sample of dried morels that I received from the fine folks at Marx Foods.

Morel and Dill Risotto
1 cup dried morels (1 ounce) or 1/2 pound fresh morels, lightly rinsed
Boiling water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
10 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cups Italian rice for risotto, preferably carnaroli
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, cooked
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
7 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1. In a heatproof bowl, cover the dried morels with boiling water and soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Rub the morels to loosen any grit, then lift them out; discard the soaking liquid.
2. In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add the fresh or soaked morels, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
3. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer; keep warm over low heat. In another large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the rice until the grains are evenly coated with fat, then add the thyme, dill and wine and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes longer.
4. Add 1 cup of the hot stock to the rice and stir over moderately high heat until it has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook the risotto, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. Stir in the morels and the asparagus. The risotto is done when it is smooth and creamy, about 30 minutes total. Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Top with the goat cheese just before serving.

These morels are so flavorful! I highly recommend Marx Foods for your morel mushroom needs!

You can order dried morels here and fresh morels here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meeting Take Home Chef Curtis Stone

Yesterday Sur La Table at Santana Row hosted a book signing for Curtis Stone's new cookbook "Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone"

Curtis walking to the stage for a cooking demo

Curtis during cooking demo

My cookbook autograph

Me with the adorable Curtis Stone