Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Foodie Penpal

This month I participated for the first time in Foodie Penpals.  Each month you get paired up with someone and you buy $15 worth of goodies and ship them to them and you get a similar package from someone else.  It was a ton of fun to buy for someone else and I was so excited when my package came from Becky.  I would highly recommend it and will definitely do it again next month!

Check out what I got in my package!
The Bee's Knees Honey Peanut Butter
M&M's Salty & Sweet Snack Mix
Badia Nutmeg
Rosa Mexicano Granadilla Sauce
Lindt A Touch of Sea Salt

It was so perfect!  I haven't tried everything yet, but I'm excited to.  I scarfed down the Sea Salt Chocolate because it mixes two of my favorite foods... chocolate and salt! Bill loved the Sweet & Salty mix... he ripped into it before I even took a picture of everything.  I'm excited to try the peanut butter, nutmeg and Granadilla Sauce.  On a recent trip to NY for work I checked out Rosa Mexicano and loved it, then the next week I got this sauce in my package from the same place, what a pleasant coincidence!  I'm really looking forward to giving it a try!

Thanks Becky for the thoughtful and delicious package!

PS - If you want to see what I bought for Tiffany, you can check out her blog HERE.

Here are the details if you are interested in joining next month!
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for June, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick Creamed Spinach

This is a quick and easy side from my South Beach Diet Cookbook.  You could probably easily make this with fresh spinach as well and it would probably be even better!

Quick Creamed Spinach
From: South Beach Diet Cookbook
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min

1 bag frozen spinach (16oz)
3/4 cup fat-free milk
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cut into chunks and softened
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
pinch ground nutmeg
salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the thawed spinach in a colander set over a large bowl; squeeze to extract the juice.  Pour 2 Tbsp of the juice into a cup and reserve  Discard any remaining juice.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the spinach juice, milk, and cream cheese.  Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring and pushing the cream cheese against the pan to break up (The mixture should be well combined but will not be smooth.) Remove the pan from the heat.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the spinach, stirring to coat. Stir in the milk mixture and cook until bubbling, about 3 minutes.

5. Season the spinach with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve hot.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flank Steak with Chimichurri

Bill likes Chimichuri, so when I saw this in my South Beach Cook Book, I knew I needed to try it.  It was so easy, healthy, and delicious!  I need to get another parsley and cilantro plant this summer to make this with fr

Flank Steak with Chimichuri
From: South Beach Recipe book
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp plus 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb flank steak
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin

1. Heat the broiler.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, 4 tsp of vinegar, 2 tsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt, ginger, and half the cayenne.

3. Place the flank steak on a broiler pan and brush the top with the vinegar mixture.  Broil 4 inches from the heat, without turning for about 7 minutes for medium-rare.  Remove from under the broiler and leave the steak on broiler pan.  Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 5 minutes.

4. While steak is broiling, in food processor (or blender), combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, cumin, remaining 1 Tbsp vinegar, remaining 2 tsp oil, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining cayenne, and 2 Tbsp water.  Puree until smooth.

5. Thinly slice the flank steak on an angle against the grain.  Divide the steak among plates and top evenly with the chimichurri.  Serve warm.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Crock Pot "Rotisserie" Chicken


 We buy the ready made Rotisserie chicken at the grocery store somewhat regularly because it is easy, delicious, and I don't have to touch any raw chicken (which I hate doing).  But when I saw this easy recipe for making it in the crockpot, I knew I had to try it.  After I got over handling the whole raw chicken, it was very easy.  It turned out perfect and delicious.  The only thing is that I am gone all day, and my day is longer than 8 hours, so my chicken was falling off the bone and probably a little less moist than it should be, but it was still delicious!  I will definitely make this again.

Crock Pot "Rotisserie" Chicken
From: goodnessgracious
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 6-8 hours

Whole Chicken
Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Fresh Rosemary
Cooking spray

1. Rinse whole chicken off (remove insides if included) and douse it in Lawry's Seasoned Salt and place in crock pot.

2.  Add rosemary (as may sprigs as you want, I think I used around 7).  Can also add any additional ingredients you want... Garlic, onion, celery.  I just kept mine simple.

3. Cover and cook in crock pot for 6 hours on high or 8 on low.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Black Bean, Corn, and Couscous Salad

This is a great light and filling salad that is easy to make.  You could also make it with quinoa.

Black Bean, Corn, & Couscous Salad
From: Cooking Light Magazine
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

1 (10oz) box dry plain couscous
1 (16oz) Frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 (15oz) can black bean rinsed and drained
4 medium green onions, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 2 lemons (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp slat
ground black pepper

1. Prepare couscous according to package directions. Let cool.

2. Combine cooled couscous, corn, beans, green onions bell pepper and garlic in a bowl; mix gently.  Add lemon juice and olive oil, toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cellars Market Taco Salad


In keeping with our Mexican food (we have had Mexican food every night this week but 1), I wanted to make a taco salad.  While I really like this healthy taco salad from Men's health, some times you just want a comfort food taco salad.  There is a place that my colleagues and I go occasionally called Cellars Market at the Chicago Board of Trade.  They have a lot of great salads, but our favorite is their Taco Salad.  It brings me back to the ones my mom used to make growing up.  It was pretty much the only salad I liked for a while.  So this is a combo of my mom's and the one from Cellars market since I didn't have a 'recipe' for either one.  It turned out very tasty, filling, and the best part - EASY.

Cellars Market Taco Salad
From: Combo:Cellars Market, My Mom & Me
Time: 20 minutes

Lettuce (washed and chopped)
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning packet
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Shredded Cheese
French (or catalina) Dressing
Frito chips
Sour cream
jalapenos (optional)
onion, chopped (optional)
black olives, sliced (optional)
Avocado (optional)

1. Brown ground beef.  Drain grease.  Add taco packet and 2/3 cup water. mix and bring to a simmer.

2. While simmering, chop/slice lettuce and toppings and assemble salad.  Add taco meat and top with dressing, frito chips, and dressing.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wet Burritos

With Cinco de Mayo coming up we have been eating a lot of Mexican food.  My mom used to make wet burritos and I realized I've never made them.  After making them this week, they are so easy and delicious that I may be adding them to my rotation of favorite Mexican meals. 

Wet Burritos
From: My Mom
Prep time 15 min
Cook time 30 minutes

1 lb gr. beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 can of refried beans
burrito tortilla shells
2 cans red enchilada sauce
Shredded cheese
optional add ins for burritos: chopped tomatoes, black olives, onions, lettuce
sour cream for topping

1. Brown meat, add water and taco mix and simmer.

2. Spread refried beans on tortilla.  Then fill with gr. beef, and any additional add ins you want (we added tomatoes and black olives). Roll and place in 9x13 pan seam down.

3. Pour enchilada sauce over burritos and top with shredded cheese.  Place in oven and cook at 350 degrees until cheese bubbles (about 20-30 minutes.). Serve with sour cream and hot sauce if desired.


Related Posts with Thumbnails