Monday, December 17, 2012

In Memory of the Victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year's cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.

This year they partnered with Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Want to get in on the cookie swapping fun next year? Visit for more information and to sign up!

Here is the cookie recipe I baked this year to share with my fellow participants... Being the Secret Ingredient, A Couple in the Kitchen and Lou & Esi. It's a favorite of my little girl, Kaia, hence it was titled as so...

Kaia's Dreamy Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: 12 cookies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8-10 minutes
¾ c. brown sugar
½ c. unsalted butter, softened
½ egg, beaten
½ t. vanilla
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
½ c. dried cranberries
1 c. dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl beat brown sugar, butter, egg and vanilla until smooth.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt then add to wet ingredients.  Stir until mixed well before stirring in dried cranberries and chocolate chips. 
Evenly spoon six cookies onto two baking sheets and baking until slightly golden about 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool on sheet a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Continue to cool another 10 minutes or so.  Store in an airtight container for a few weeks or freezer up to two months.   
*In return I received a few different batches of delicious cookies as well and I'd like to thank all three of you for being my secret cookie pals!

A variety of macaroons from A Taste of Koko
Peppermint Chocolate Cookies from Jenny Rambles
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies from Living With a Boy
(though they did arrive a bit crumbled the flavor was still perfection)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

SactoMoFo's Truck and Mortar Throwdown

SactoMoFo's Truck and Mortar Throwdown
This was a tasty experience and awesome opportunity to support local restaurant and food truck chefs as well as kids charities. There were five teams of two each consisting of one restaurant chef and one food truck chef, who together prepared a savory and a sweet dish using the secret ingredients of the day, PORK and HONEY! Check out their creations... 
Team 1- Ella & Chando's
Savory: Pozole Rojo-traditional Mexican holiday pork and hominy soup with slow-cooked pork butt, red chilis and spices, garnished with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado, sliced radishes, line and a little TLC
Sweet: bacon churros drizzled with a honey ganache

Team 2- Ettore's & Drewski's
Savory: Cochininita Pibil- braised pork shoulder in banana leaf with citrus and achiote on white rice, with pickled red onion, micro cilantro and crispy seasoned chicharones
Sweet: "The Last Twinkie"- honey Twinkie with bacon-bourbon mascarpone filling

Team 3- Grange & Coast to Coast
Savory: British banger and Scotch eggs with charred jalapeno-honey remoulade
Sweet: bacon funnel cakes with persimmon-honey compote

Team 4- Kru & Krush Burger
Savory: mini crunchy taco with pickled red onions, micro greens, and a fire roasted tomatillo and avocado sauce
Sweet: pork belly with barley congee, sansho pepper teriyaki and crispy pork rind

Team 5- The Golden Bear & Simply Southern
Savory: ten-hour smoked pulled pork shoulder slider ith homemade Southern style honey BBQ sauce
Sweet: honey-glazed pork belly with house made sweet chevre, roasted beets and grits with chocolate mint

And the winners are...
For the SAVORY category: Team 4- Kru & Krush Burger (which I voted for)
For the SWEET category: Team 2- Ettore's & Drewski's (although I voted for Team 5- The Golden Bear & Simply Southern who prepared, in my opinion, the most upscale dessert there, the glazed pork belly with house made sweet chevre, roasted beets and grits with chocolate mint. Go figure the majority would go for "The Last Twinkie" as Honstess recently went out of business)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mrs. Cubbison's Thanksgiving Day 2012 Promotion: Fig and Oregonzola Herb Stuffing

Mrs. Cubbison's Thanksgiving Day 2012 Promotion


Do more than cook, create with Mrs. Cubbison's Stuffing, Croutons and Toppings. Made from fresh breads, seasoned just right, Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffings and dressings have been trusted by home cooks for over 60 years as the perfect choice for the most important meals of the year.
For more information about the sponsors please visit the Mrs. Cubbison's website. You can also visit the website and check out Mrs. Cubbison's "Thanksgiving Across America" survey for some fun facts. Be sure to "like" Mrs. Cubbison's Facebook page, "subscribe" to their Youtube page and "follow" them on Pinterest!

Fig and Oregonzola Herb Stuffing

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

5 c. Mrs. Cubbison's Herb Seasoned Cube Stuffing
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. onion, chopped
3/4 c. celery, sliced
1 c. chicken broth, or more as needed for moister stuffing
1 c. dried figs, sliced or chopped
1/2 c. Oregonzola, or gorgonzola cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine stuffing with melted butter, onion and celery. Gradually add broth and gently stir to mix well. Also carefully mix in figs and cheese crumbles then transfer to a greased loaf pan or casserole dish. Cover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until piping hot. Remove foil the last 10 to 15 minutes for a crisper top.

*This sponsorship is brought to you by Mrs. Cubbisons who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Next Deen Team Blogger Contest

Are you the Next Deen Team Blogger? Well...I think I am!
About 10 years ago is when I became borderline obsessed with the Foodnetwork, and Paula Deen was one of the reasons why. Not only does she and her handsome boys inspire me in the kitchen but also does her passion for family, friends and the abundant amount of love and comfort her aura exudes throughout all she does.
Therefore I feel I've got what it takes and would be a great fit to join the Deen Team Bloggers!!!

O & CO Specialty Mediterranean Products

O & Co.

For over 15 years, O&CO. has been cultivating tradition, expertise, and high standards in order to offer our customers the best selections of olive oils and delicacies from across the Mediterranean.  
With a respect for tradition, O&CO. cherishes originality where tastes and smells converge to delight the senses. Emerging from the high Alpes-de-Haute, in the village of Mane, France, O&CO. became the brainchild of two men united around a common passion, the olive tree. 
More than ten years since its creation, O&CO. has forged a new image of the olive tree, rooted in tradition but firmly anchored in the modern world. While olive oils serve as the foundation, O&CO. also offers an exclusive collection of vinegars, tapenades, spreads, crackers, and sweets as well as an organic skincare range that showcase the flavors and the spirit of the Mediterranean. 
O&CO. is a destination for your own cooking experience as well as for gifts. Founded in 1996, O&CO.s mission is to provide customer with the finest olive oils and Mediterranean food products in stores and online. 
 O&CO. offers many wonderful gift packages as well as organic skin care products made with olive oil, all of which are perfect for holiday gift giving. So start your holiday shopping early and get those stocking filled up...

For more information about O&Co. and their products please visit the O&CO. website!

Also be sure to "like" their facebook page!

This sponsorship is brought to you by O&CO. who we have partnered with for this promotion.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

Legends from Europe Recipe Contest

I am super excited to have been chosen as one of the contestants to participate in the Legends from Europe recipe contest!!!
My assignment was to create a dish using Prosciutto di Parma and here's what I came up with... 
Prosciutto di Parma Wrapped Halibut Over a Mushroom Medley Risotto with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Serves: 2
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45-50 minutes
3 c. chicken stock
1 c. mixed dried mushrooms
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 c. Arborio rice
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 pinch cracked black pepper, to taste
2 (6 oz.) Halibut fillets, about 1 inch thick
1/4 lb. Prosciutto di Parma, sliced thin
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 T. fresh sage, minced
2 fresh whole sage leaves
For the risotto combine stock and mushrooms in a medium pot and bring to a boil to begin to reconstitute the dried mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep warm. In a large pot heat one tablespoon of oil over medium and add onions. Cook until almost tender about 3 to 5 minutes. Add Arborio rice and stir to coat. Continue to cook another 3 to 5 minutes until rice becomes slightly golden, stirring often. Slowly begin adding broth to the rice one ladle at a time and allow for the liquid to dissolve almost completely before adding more. Complete process until broth is gone. This will take about 25 to 30 minutes. Roughly chop mushrooms and stir into risotto along with the heavy cream, parmesan and pepper.
In the meantime prepare halibut by wrapping each fillet evenly with the Prosciutto di Parma. Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium and add wrapped halibut. Cook on each four sides for about 5 minutes each to ensure a crisp crust and cooked through fish. This will take about 20 minutes total. Remove fillet and set aside, keeping them warm.
In the same skillet add butter and let melt over medium-low. Add whole sage leaves and cook just until crisp, about a couple minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. Add minced sage to butter and continue cooking to release flavor into the butter another couple minutes and until a nutty aroma fills the air.
Assemble dish by spooning mushroom risotto onto the bottom of a bowl or plate, place the Prosciutto di Parma wrapped halibut on top of the risotto, drizzle with brown butter sage sauce and garnish with one crisp sage leaf. Enjoy!
For more information about the Legends from Europe visit!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Green Leaf's & Bananas


The folks at Green Leaf's & Bananas are giving away a Vitamix, just like them on their Facebook page to enter!   
Fresh tossed salads made-to-order, delicious wraps, grilled panini sandwiches and hearty homemade soups make Green Leaf's the perfect choice for a fresh, healthy, great-tasting meal.
The refreshing fruit smoothies, cool fresh fruit frosties and delicious frozen yogurt at Bananas make for the perfect assortment of fun treats. Bananas will delight the entire family with products that offer traditional goodies and health conscious options as well.
Founded in 1976, Green Leaf's continues to offer guests a healthy meal made from the freshest, top-quality ingredients. It's the perfect healthy alternative to fast foods. Green Leaf's 'Pick & Mix' salad bar offers dozens of fresh ingredients and countless possibilities to make sure our customers get exactly what they want. A garden fresh salad made to their taste and tossed especially for them. 

Get in the mix and win a Vitamix!
Just head on over to the Green Leaf's & Bananas Facebook page to enter for the Vitamix Giveaway!

This sponsorship is brought to you by Green Leaf's & Bananas who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kleenex Hand Towels Brand Fan Program

#1 Kleenex Hand Towels!!!
With the flu season approaching it's important that we keep our families and friends healthy by keeping the germs to a minimum. A good way that could help make this happen would be to give Kleenex Hand Towels a try in your home, work place or child's school. Check out some of the benefits of Kleenex Hand Towels:
- In the U.S. alone, people dry their hands on cloth bathroom towels approximately 200 billion times per year. Just because a towel looks clean doesn't mean it is. Even after they're washed, hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them.
- Skip the damp, overused cloth towel because with a fresh, dry hand towel for every use, you can cut down on the spread of germs in your home when you have those extra guests.
- Kleenex Hand Towels' Dry-Touch fibers are absorbent enough to dry hands but also have enough left over for quick clean-ups around the bathroom sink. They'll save you time and cut down on overall post-party mess.
Everyone want his or her loved ones to stay healthy and germ-free, especially when opening up his or her home to guests. For more information about Kleenex Hand Towels and how to join the Clean Hands Campaign visit!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Marx Foods Cocktails & Mocktails Mixology Contest: Silly-Dilly Salty Dogtini and Pineapple Mojito Mocktail

Marx Foods Cocktail & Mocktail Mixology Contest!!!
 ~ Silly-Dilly Salty Dogtini ~
~ Pineapple Mojito Mocktail ~
I always have so much fun participating in Marx Foods recipe contests, they have the most unique gourmet ingredients (which they send you for FREE!) you can get super creative with. Here's what I came up with...
Silly-Dilly Salty Dogtini

3 oz. quality vodka
1 large grapefruit, juiced
ice, as needed
1 t. salt
1/2 t. Marx Foods dill pollen

Combine vodka, grapefruit juice and ice in a mixer and shake well. In a small shallow dish combine salt and dill pollen and mix well. Use the grapefruit to wet the rim of a martini glass and dip into the salt and dill pollen mixture to lightly coat. Pour cocktail into glass and serve.

Pineapple Mojito Mocktail

2 T. fresh mint leaves
1 t. Marx Foods demerara sugar
1 Marx Foods dried pineapple ring, half minced and half reserved for garnish
1 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. sparkling water

Combine mint, sugar and minced dried pineapple in a glass and using a muddler smash well to release aromas and blend flaovrs. Add pineapple juice and sparkling water and mix. Garnish with reserved dried pineapple half and a sprig of mint.

To vote for my recipes visit, thanks!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Introducing Guest Blogger Jillian McKee: Special Diets in Cancer Treatment Plans

Jillian McKee

Complementary Medicine Advocate

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Read more:

Special Diets in Cancer Treatment Plans

Cancer takes a lot out of someone and patients need special diet plans to help them cope with their disease. Not all cancers are the same and likewise, nutritional needs vary by patient. Women preparing for breast cancer surgery need foods that provide strength. Those facing treatment for mesothelioma need foods that fight treatment side effects.

All cancer patients have a high risk for nutrient deficiencies. The cancer itself causes some of these deficiencies. More often, deficiencies result from physical changes caused by rigorous treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.

Unfortunately, cancer directly affects a patient’s nutritional status. Cancers change the way the body metabolizes fats, carbohydrates and proteins. As a result of metabolism changes, food no longer tastes the same and patients often lose their appetite. Cancer-related anorexia, a very common treatment symptom, is likely caused by physical changes and mental responses.

Although the body uses more energy during cancer treatment, a lost appetite usually leads to weight loss and muscle wasting. To prevent these problems, most cancer patients require high-calorie meals. Many doctors prescribe a high-protein diet that is low in fat content.

Scientists and researchers have conducted numerous studies on the link between nutrition and cancer. The same foods that can assist cancer prevention also help during cancer treatment. Fruits, vegetables, grains and beans are the mainstays in a cancer-fighting diet. These natural foods contain healthy fiber, antioxidants and other important nutrients.

The medical treatments that destroy aggressive cancer cells produce unwanted and unpleasant side effects for many patients. The symptoms vary by the cancer type, treatment method and affected area of the body. Cancer nutrition plans are tailor-made diets that address some of the side effects of cancer treatment. These special diets cannot cure cancer or replace the drugs prescribed for treatment, but they offer welcome relief for some symptoms.

Thick liquids and semi-solid foods are good choices for patients with chewing or swallowing problems. Thickeners make liquids easier to swallow and prevent aspiration. High-calorie, high-protein shakes and foods may prevent the weight loss and muscle wasting associated with cancer treatments. Frequent snacks and small meals provide nutrition throughout the day.

Eating nutritious foods right before or after treatment may ease nausea, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms. However, it may also lessen the pain associated with chemotherapy and other treatments.  

To combat loss of appetite, patients can adjust their diets to include appealing foods. If necessary, doctors can prescribe drugs to stimulate the appetite. Because each cancer experience is unique, healthy nutrition means different things to different patients. Doctors and dietitians should work with patients to develop diets that meet specific nutritional needs. Good cancer diets allow patients to receive the most treatment benefits possible.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Marx Foods Fire and Ice Chile Recipe Contest: Spicy Citrus Herb Gravy Aspic

I'm at it again creating a recipe using chiles from Marx Foods! This time around is their Fire and Ice Chile Recipe Challenge where we were asked to create a recipe using their chiles and either chilling or freezing the dish. I took inspiration from Next Food Network Star, Justin, Werner, when he made a caesar dressing aspic that melted over grilled romaine and made a unique aspic of my own...

Spicy Citrus Herb Gravy Aspic

 ~ Marx Foods De Arbol Chilies~

 ~ Mixture before chilled~

 ~ Mixture poured into dish to mold~

~ Final product!~

Makes: 3 cups
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

1 t. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch salt, to taste
1 pinch pepper, to taste
3 c. beef broth, 1 cup reserved and cold
2 Marx Foods De Arbol Chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 T. fresh thyme
1 t. lemon zest
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. Worcestershire
2 packets gelatin

In a medium pot heat oil over medium and add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until almost tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Add 2 cups beef broth, Marx Foods De Arbol Chilies, thyme, lemon zest and juice, Worcestershire. Mix well and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and let flavors meld for about 10 to 15 minutes.
While whisking add gelatin and continue stirring until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add remaining cup of cold beef broth then pour mixture into a dish of your choice that's lined with plastic wrap to mold.
Place into refrigerator to chill for 4 hours or until set. Once set turn out aspic onto a plate and peel off plastic wrap.

Now what can you do with this savory jello you ask? There are a number of ways to use this special condiment such as...
~ slather it onto fried chicken or country fried steak
~ dollop it on top of some mashed, baked or roasted potatoes
~ drizzle it over stuffing
~ finish off anything you would normally put gravy on

~ Fried Chicken, Mashed Spuds with Spicy Citrus Herb Gravy Aspic & Roasted Brussel Sprouts~

For more information about Marx Foods and their gourmet food products visit!
Related Posts with Thumbnails