Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wheatberries ARE wonderful!

I finally found them...in STOP N SHOP. I have been looking in all the fun grocery stores that I frequent constantly, when i should have looked right under my nose in stop n shop! As many of your bloggers know oatmeal is pretty much a food group for many of us. So many different mix-ins, ways of cooking, types of oatmeal are used in the numerous post i read. One of the mix-ins that I have been dying to try is wheat berries.

Here are some fun facts about Wheat berries! They are also very easy to cook, yet take a little time so keep that in mind. I just used the directions on the back of the bag to cook mine, but you can also find them here: cooking and storing. Many people tend to follow the advice of cooking in large batches and freezing due to the fact that the cooking time if over an hour. Well worth it!

Here are my berries ready to boil up!

I did in fact only cook mine for the allotted time because I tend to like my grains al dente.(they look a bit like popcorn kernels...maybe that's why i love them :) These were so chewy and had such an amazing texture that my mind began to wander toward all the different ways you could use them...first up...OATMEAL. Yes!!!! so delish and chewy, and they are a great source of protein. Next up...i'm thinking a grain salad perhaps! Also this could be a great substitute for brown rice in a dish.

It's official. i'm a fan!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Day of Spring Friday Fling

My AMAZING friend terra was able to snag me a pre-copy of "200 under 200", the new HG cookbook!! I couldn't wait to make something out of it and i had the perfect opportunity when erin had some fellow teachers over for a First day of Spring Friday Fling! (i made that up we didn't really call it that :).

I decided to do the typical spread of cheese/crackers, veggies, hummus, chips, salsa...but decided to throw in two hot dips to round out the table! My first pick was a Crazy-Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip out of the new book. Now she has another spin-artichoke dip from her previous book but this one has some minor changes. I was worried about sharing the recipe before the book came out...but i found it already on her site (it's linked above). Erin was impressed with my photography of this one coming together:

This was super simple, super delisious and super low cal (seriously you can eat an 1/8th of this recipes for 91 calories! and there were more than 8 of us and we had dip leftover!) I didn't add the water chestnuts and I opted to serve mine hot! It was a hit...YEAH! (erin and I had leftovers that weekend...still good :)

The Next dip ended up being another winner: Buffalo Chicken Hot Wing Dip Okay so the minute i got this email I knew it was a "must try" for erin. She loves hot stuff and although not a huge fan of "wings" she loves the boneless! Again this could not have been easier to assemble and it baked at the same tempature as the other dip...perfect! I loved the color that the Frank's hot sauce turned everything!

I love trying new recipes out and was really glad that everyone enjoyed. We had some additions from all our wonderful guests as well: Cranberry goat cheese (thanks Michelle!) and pretzel crackers from joan, the best!

The food was great...but the company was better.
Happy spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ms. MixALot

Unreal. That is how i would like to start this posting regarding the folks over at MixMyGranola! I have been seeing their company/product all over the food blog world. Tons of giveaways and talk about how great it is to be able to mix your own granola. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it out. I emailed them right away requesting an opportunity to get their product and review and they were more than happy to oblige. How great is that?!?! In this economy I think it really shows a strong customer care when a company is willing to let their products be reviewed will no strings attached!

I quickly clicked over to their site and began my mix!

The first step is picking your granola base (they have four options). I went for 100% Organic Muesli
this includes organic raisins, walnuts, dates and almonds. You can also click on all the options to see their nutritional value.

Then you move on to ingredients.(the fun, yet difficult part!) The list starts with numerous dried fruits, next catagory is nuts and seeds and finally extras (this includes unique items from gummy bears to chocolate espresso beans :)! They mentioned that each amount give you an oz. but if you want more than that just click the add in more than once.
Super Simple!

After reading just about everything...My mix included:
-dried strawberries
-Goji Berries (the new thing they say !)
-Organic Flax seeds
-honey smacks
I didn't want to add alot because the muesli already had items in it as well.

Honestly the possibilities are endless. Its so tough to make decisions. I didn't want to add alot of extras not knowing how everything would taste together, but if you are a granola fan you could really go CRAZY here! The add-ins range in price but are really affordable.

Lastly you get to name your mix. how cool! I called mine "kate's kornucopia". I'm sure if erin had been around i would have been a bit more clever but i was in a hurry to get it ordered and shipped. (oh and shipping was free!).

The mix comes in this cool tube and it is rather large! They also list all the nutritional information on the tube so you know exactly what you are eating. I added some on fruit right away. yum. then some on my oatmeal. yum. and also i have been sampling right out of the tube. also yum.

I would HIGHLY recommend this site. Often times the boxed granola is high in sugar, or contains an ingredient that you pick around...or just doesn't have enough things in it. With this site you customize to your own liking and the price is reasonable. I think we all need to support more business that cater to us health minded customers. I will definitely be a return mixer!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

I am a bad food blogger. Do you know it's been almost a month since my last post...which also translates into the fact that I haven't tried a new recipe in that long...SO SAD. In my defense I have been working a wee bit more (nice Irish touch there) than normal. AND i have been cooking...just nothing new.

Hold the excitement. I had every intention of cooking up an Irish meal last night in preparation for this glorious holiday. But Monday's are rough and all my lofty recipe plans went out the window. I am still searching for them along with with a leprechaun and a pot of gold.
While I continue my search (i think i may check out a local pub tonight to see if they are lurking there) I thought I would share some Irish inspired recipes and links!


I did in fact make this a couple years ago because erin is a huge corn beef fan! She and I both really enjoyed it and I highly recommend some strong spicy mustard along side: Corned Beef and Cabbage Strudel !

Here are some fun links as well:

Beer and Running
How to Pour a Perfect Pint of Guinness (this is especially for erin who partakes in a Guinness each and every st.patty's day)
and finally....in keeping with my healthy blog and giving away my plans for the holiday:
The Pub Grub Guide