Monday, December 22, 2008

And the Winner is....

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for this lovely crockpot cookbook. Sounds like there are quite a few crockpots out there getting some serious use. But a question - those of you that have 3-4 crockpots, are you using them all at the same time? I can barely use my one enough!

But onto the winner. Thanks to, the winner of this cookbook is:

Kits54, who sounds like she could use this book to help feed her family of 8! Her comment was:

As the Mother of 8, 2 vegetarians...I need all the help I can get. I use the crock pot lots, but need to use it even more.

Congratulations, Kits!
And thanks to all who entered!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Cookbook Giveaway!

So yesterday dumped a nice little batch of wintry mix here on the East Coast. I think I've said it before, but I am not a huge fan of winter. I would much prefer my winter weather to be around the 60-degree mark.

But with that wintery weather comes a desire for warm and filling foods. This is also the time of year when people start digging out those crockpots and cooking hearty warm meals.


That's why this book is perfect. It's loaded with recipes for your crockpot, many of which sound quite tasty. It covers the full range, starting with appetizers and running straight through to desserts. There are plenty of whole grain and bean variations too, so vegetarians also have plenty of options of things to make.

Go ahead, leave me a comment saying you'd like to win this book by midnite on December 20th. I'll pick a winner at random on December 21st. Good Luck!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Braid

So finals are finally done and thankfully, I'm back in the kitchen. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes last week. And now, the holiday crunch is on. I haven't started any of my Christmas shopping, so I really need to get on the ball.

But with the holiday crunch time comes plenty of holiday parties, which I think is the best part. And when having a party, there is nothing better than having some delicious foods to serve your guests. I think you can file this recipe under "Ace in the Hole" category, as it's super simple to make and throw in the oven, and with the exception of the mushrooms, you can have most ingredients on hand in your kitchen at all times.

The puff pastry did take 40 minutes to thaw, which is perfect time for doing the rest of the prep. The mushroom mixture is really just my 5-Minute Mushroom Sauce, so you know that part is easy. By the time the pastry is ready, the rest of the ingredients are assembled and ready to go. This could also be made in puff pastry shells, adding a small amount of goat cheese and mushroom to each cup. Talk about an elegant finger food!

I think you'll really like this one....

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Braid

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Braid
Serves 6-8, appetizer size

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used a combination of crimini, shiitake, and oyster)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp butter
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 pkg puff pastry sheets
1 (3.5 oz) pkg goat cheese, sliced

Allow puff pastry to thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and salt, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add butter, thyme, and balsamic vinegar, and cook for an additional minute or two. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400. Unroll thawed pastry sheet and lightly roll to get rid of creases. On each side, cut 1" slits into the first crease mark. (Here's an excellent quick video to watch that explains it much better than I ever could.) On center of pastry, layer goat cheese slices down center. Spoon mushroom mixture on top of cheese, then braid pastry over filling. Place into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Cranberry Cuppie I

Hey ya'll! I'll be taking off the rest of the week as I am celebrating my birthday today! Please enjoy this recipe for some lovely cranberry cupcakes with dulce de leche frosting that was posted for a blog anniversary awhile back.

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thai Coconut Curry Stirfy

I absolutely love curry paste. The Vietnamese grocery store by my house sells cans of it for .75 ea, and I always pick up at least 2 every time I go, just in case. The combination of coconut milk and curry paste is one of my favorite tastes, and I wanted to create a stirfry with this delicious sauce. I also added some peanut butter and fresh lime juice for a little twist.

I made this with some very tasty baked tofu, but you could easily substitute chicken if you're a carnivore, or skip the protein all together. Regardless of what you do, I think you'll find this to be a tasty main dish!

Thai Coconut Curry Stirfry

Thai Coconut Curry Stirfry
Serves 4

1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
1/2 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp red curry paste
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp asian garlic chili sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into slivers
1 c red onion, cut into slivers
1 (1/2 lb) box of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 pkg baked tofu, cut into pieces

Combine all sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined. In a large wok, add 2 tbsp sesame oil. Add bell pepper and onion, and saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for an additional 4-5 minutes, until all vegetables are starting to become tender. Add baked tofu and sauce ingredients, stirring well. Bring sauce to a boil, lower heat, then simmer for 3-4 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!