Monday, April 27, 2015

Petoskey and Pine: #sponsor #Giveaway

Earlier this month I posted a product review of Petoskey and Pine. Now they are offering one of my lucky readers the chance to win!

I just want to add that I enjoyed the products so much that I have already placed an order for - and received - some goodies for my mom and my mother-in-law.

Petoskey and Pine will be raffling off a gift box that comes with two bars of soap, one candle and one lip balm.  These items are packaged beautifully for gift giving nestled in decorative boxes and wrapped up with a bow...just in time for Mothers' Day!

And Petoskey and Pine will also be giving away a gorgeous bar of soap on a wooden soap dish tied up and ready to be presented with a flower attached. There are two of those prizes available.

So, you have three chances to win!!

Here's the blogging review crew. You may visit any of our blogs to find a thoughts about the products.*

Nichole of Cookaholic Wife
Sarah of The Pajama Chef
Rebekah of Making Miracles
Traci of Burnt Apple
April of Angels Homestead
Anshie of Spice Roots
Shilpi of Simply Veggies

And here's the part you've been waiting for...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you, Petoskey and Pine, for creating such high-quality products. And thank you, Wendy, for asking me to be part of the review panel.

Find Petoskey and Pine around the internet, here...

*DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products from Petoskey and Pine for my participation in the panel...and for the purposes of review.  I have received no additional compensation for this post and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Candle-Holding Coconut Flour Brownies #sponsor

This weekend we had a birthday party dinner - under the redwoods - for my husband. He's finally 40!


Because we were camping, I decided that I wasn't going to lug a birthday cake to the woods. I have done that. It's not as easy as you would think.

But the boys both insisted that Daddy needed something to hold his candles. Really?!? I decided to bake some candle-holding brownies. And I wanted to use the coconut flour I received from Morning Pep.*

A friend asked, after seeing this photo: how many people does it take to light all of Jake's candles?! A lot, apparently. And there weren't even forty candles. There were only 36 in the box. Whoops.


Ingredients makes two 8" round pans
  • 2/3 C coconut oil
  • 1 C cocoa powder
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 C coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 C coconut flour (I used Morning Pep)
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips (I used Pacari Chocolate*)
Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or grease two 8-inch round baking pan. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut oil and cocoa powder and heat till the coconut oil is liquid. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut sugar, almond milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend the chocolate mixture into egg mixture until nicely mixed. Fold in the coconut flour and chocolate chips until everything is just moistened. Pour the batter, diving it between the two dishes. Bake until nicely puffed and firm to the touch in the center, approximately 30 minutes. Let cook for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pan. You can unmold, if you like, but since we were camping, I kept the brownies in the pan for easy transportation and protection!

Welcome to the 40s club, my Love!


*Disclosure: I received some complimentary coconut flour from Morning Pep and chocolate chips from Pacari Chocoalte to use and review. I received no additional compensation for this post from either sponsor.

Prêt-à-Fête with Lauren De Vine Beverage #CSLDV

I wanted to give an extra shout-out to the lovely Lauren De Vine of Lauren De Vine Beverages for these Prêt-à-Fête cocktail starters. I ordered two four-packs from her CSLDV last week to take with me to the redwoods for Jake's 40th birthday party. I adore having creative friends. Love it!


I love that Lauren's creations come pre-portioned in mason jars for easy transport and easy serving!


This week, the flavors were Spring-y and bright. Perfect for ringing in a new decade. I received the strawberry fennel shrub with lime juice and zest. Lauren wrote that it would be "great with tequila" and it was.

We also had the tangerine, lavender, and Big Sur citrus blossom. I poured in some prosecco and it was an instant hit.


We sipped, shared, toasted, and enjoyed. My only regret: I should have ordered more. Next time...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Whole Roasted Bream with a Ginger-Tamarind Sauce for #SundaySupper


This week's #SundaySupper event is being co-hosted by Marlene of Nosh My Way along with Cindy Cindy's Recipes and Writings. They have chosen a tropical theme. 

I immediately started humming Aloha Oe while I mentally listed the possibilities. We haven't been to Kauai in far too long. I thought about the daily sunshine markets; I remembered the smell of beans roasting at the coffee plantations. I even considered burying a whole pig over hot coals.

Ha`aheo ka ua ina pali,
Ke nihi aela ka nahele
E hahai ana i ka liko,
Pua ahihi lehua o uka

Aloha Oe,
Aloha Oe,
E ke onaona noho ika lipo
A fond embrace,
a hoi ae au,
Until we meet again.

O ka halia`loha i hiki mai,
Ke hone ae nei ku`u manawa.
O oe no ka`u ipon aloha,
A lo ko e hana nei.

Then I realized that we were in Costa Rica much more recently. I dreamt of the funky tropical fruits we bought at every roadside stand...


...and the guava tree across the street that we pillaged every morning for breakfast. 


But, in the end, it was memories of wildly fresh seafood that determined my dish for this week's event.


I decided to roast whole fish with a ginger-tamarind sauce. I served 4 people with the two bream, but - on further thought - we all easily would have finished our own fish, so I'm changing this recipe to only serving 2 people.

Ingredients serves 2
Fish
  • 2 whole bream, approximately 1 pound each, scaled and gutted
  • 2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • freshly ground pepper
Ginger-Tamarind Sauce
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T minced fresh leeks
  • 1 T fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 T ginger paste
  • 1 T tamarind paste
  • 1/2 t hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 1 C water

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay out the whole fish on parchment-lined baking sheets. Stuff the cavity with lemon slices and some parsley.


Lay the leeks and ginger slices on top of the fish. Pour olive oil and soy sauce over the top. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and top with more parsley.


Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. The fish is done with the flesh in the thickest part has turned opaque. While the fish is cooking, make the sauce.


Ginger-Tamarind Sauce
Place all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half. Set aside

To serve: lay the fish on top of lettuce leaves. Spoon the tamarind sauce over the top and lay more fre lemon over the sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.



More Tropical Creations...
Tidbits and Pupus
Breakfast
Companions
Condiments and Sauces
Coolers
Main Event
Delectable Delights
Tropical Foods and Drinks Sunday Supper
Wine Pairings

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest boardWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mojo-Marinated Pork and Cubanos for #FoodNFlix


This month, I'm hosting Food'N'Flix. I chose Chef* and invited bloggers to join me in watching it and heading to the kitchen. Click to see my invitation: here. I had seen the movie several times before I selected it. But - in advance of this post - I popped it in and grabbed a snack, a pen, and a pad of paper.

On the Screen
The basic plot: Chef Carl Casper, played by Jon Favreau, is a chef in a high end restaurant. After a dramatic conflict with owner Riva and restaurant critic Ramsey Michel - played by Dustin Hoffman and  Oliver Platt, respectively - Casper leaves that job and starts his own business...in a food truck. 

I considered making some of the dishes from the beginning when Casper was trying to reinvigorate the tired menu that Riva embraces. Casper made spot prawns in a curry-carrot purée, garnished with radishes and a roast squab with pickled red onion, chilis, gochujang, and soy vinaigrette. 

I thought about recreating the culinary clichés from Riva's menu - that while tired are also tried and true! Think a poached egg topped with caviar, French onion soup, scallops with beurre blanc, a frisée salad, and filet mignon topped with a massive slab of butter. While not particularly cutting edge, I knew any of those choices would be delicious! 

On the Plate
But, in the end, I decided to go for one of the signature dishes from the food truck that is named El Jefe. There is some debate as to the elements of an authentic Cubano, a Cuban sandwich. But most agree on toasted bread, yellow mustard, sliced roast pork, glazed ham, cheese, and thinly-sliced dill pickles. I had planned to make all of the ingredients, from the bread to the pickles. But, pressed for time, I stuck with making the Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder. I bought everything else.

Mojo-Marinated Pork

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C olive oil
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh mint, chopped
  • 5 sprig fresh rosemary
  • zest from 2 organic oranges
  • juice from 2 organic oranges
  • zest from 2 organic lemons
  • juice from 2 organic lemons
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder


Procedure

In a large pot - I used my Dutch oven - whisk together all of the ingredients except the pork. Roll the pork in the marinade and gently press the herbs into the surface. Let marinate overnight, turning the meat once or twice to fully coat the surface.

The next day, let the meat and pot come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Roast the pork, covered, for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F and roast for another 90 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.


Cubano

I have opted not to provide amount of the ingredients for the sandwich as, I feel, everyone likes the proportions different. For example, I have one son who doesn't really like melted cheese; I used only a little bit to hold the sandwich together. My other son doesn't really care for mustard; his only received a thin smear of mustard while the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf smothered his ham with mustard!

Ingredients, serves 4

  • 4 crusted bakery rolls
  • Dijon mustard
  • thinly sliced ham
  • thinly sliced cheese
  • large dill pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • butter


Procedure
To make the sandwiches, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub the pan with butter. Split the bread lengthwise and open it up. Spread the mustard on bottom of the roll and layer with cheese, roast pork, ham, more cheese, and pickles. Finish with a layer of cheese. Spread the butter over the outside of the sandwiches and grill until the cheese is melted and the meats are warmed through, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. Slice sandwiches in half and serve hot.

*This post contains affiliate links for this month's movie selection and next month's. Here...

   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Svenska Kottbullar at Curious Cuisiniere

For the main dish on our tabletop travel to Sweden, D and S made some Svenska Kottbullar, Swedish meatballs. So easy, so tasty! I decided to share the recipe over at Curious Cuisiniere when Sarah asked if I would be willing to share a cultural recipe. Sure thing. Thanks for asking.


Visit Sarah's blog: here. She has some amazing recipes. And you can see my post, for her: here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spiced Parsnip Cake with Cardamom-Cashew Butter for #CrazyIngredientChallenge #sponsor


Can this really be the first time I'm posting with this group?? It might be. I love the idea behind the Crazy Ingredient Challenge, hosted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade; it's akin to the Improv Cooking Challenge that I joined a couple of months ago. We are assigned two ingredients to cook and create. So, here goes...

April's Crazy Ingredient Challenge = cardamom and parsnips


I wanted to experiment with some almond flour I need to review and opted to make a Spiced Parsnip Cake with Cardamom-Cashew Butter instead of frosting. And this cake uses no sugar and no butter; it's sweetened with honey and moistened with coconut oil. This was a hit!

Ingredients

Spiced Parsnip Cake
  • 2 C almond flour (I used Morning Pep*)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • 1 C grated parsnip
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 C local honey
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
Cardamon-Cashew Butter
  • 1 C raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  • 1/4 C local honey
  • 1/4 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom

*Disclosure: I received some complimentary almond flour from Morning Pep to use and review. I received no additional compensation for this post.

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8" round baking pans with parchment paper and lightly butter the pan and paper.

Place all of the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Blend with a spatula till just combined and moistened. Divide the batter into two and spoon into prepared pans. Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Then unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack.


While cake layers cool, prepare the “frosting”. Drain the cashews. In a blender on high speed, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.


To serve, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Top with half the butter. Spread the cashew butter over the layer and place the second cake layer on top. Spread the remaining butter over the top. Slice into wedges and serve.


HunngryLittleGirl

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bacon-Bulleit Brownies for #SundaySupper

April 22nd is Earth Day and April 23rd is National Picnic Day so, today, the #SundaySupper crew is sharing recipes to enjoy while picnicking in the great outdoors. T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbly is hosting. What a timely theme! We have a lot of picnic dinners during the Spring and Summer.

I wanted to share a rich chocolate treat that is so rich that you just need a tiny piece. Small servings means less to carry in your picnic basket!


Ingredients
  • 1/2 C raw pecan pieces, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lb bacon (I use an applewood smoked, thick-cut, no nitrite bacon), cooked crisp
  • 1-1/2 C bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 T butter
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C organic dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 T Bulleit rye whiskey (use whatever bourbon or whiskey you have in your cabinet)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 t freshly ground sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt for added flavor)
  • 1-1/2 C flour

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round (or square) baking pan with parchment paper - with about 2" of paper overhang. Butter the pan and paper. Set aside. Finely chop the cooked bacon and mix with the pecans. Note: you can toast the nuts if you like; I used them raw. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and cocoa powder with the butter and stir over very low heat, until melted.Transfer to a large bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat in both sugars and the whiskey. Add the eggs and salt and beat until smooth. Sift the cocoa and flour into the bowl and beat until blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the bacon and pecans over the top. Bake until the brownies are set around the edges by still slightly gooey in the center, approximately 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into wedges or squares and serve.

What the rest of the crew put in their picnic basket...

Appetizers:
Beverages:
Main Dishes:
Sides:
Soups and Salads:
Desserts:
Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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