April 30, 2009

Introducing My Adoptee... The Reluctant Chef!

Kristen of Dine and Dish has done a wonderful thing by creating, organizing and hosting a wonderful program called "Adopt a Blogger." This is the third running of the event, where experienced food bloggers are matched with newbie food bloggers for a period of 3 months. During that time the experienced blogger is available to the newbie blogger for questions, sharing suggestions and tips and to just generally help the new blogger find his or her way. It's an incredible program and I am so excited to be a part of it!

One of the things I have learned since starting my kitchen blog is how amazing other food bloggers are. They are seriously some of the nicest people around and always willing to help each other out. I have made some incredible friendships through my blogging, folks I know I will be friends with for years to come. When I was just starting this blog, I was lucky to have help and suggestions from several experienced bloggers and I am so pleased that I am able to "pay it forward" by adopting a new blogger myself!

So without further ado I present to you.... Judy, The Reluctant Chef!

From Judy's blog:
Hello, My name is Judy and I am a stay at home mom to three children and I am currently studying the field of photography. I am not an advid cook, BUT I do love to bake and make desserts, so I’m sure you’ll find a bunch of those sneaking in the blog. I am using this blog to inspire me and give me the motivation to try new things, break out of our food rut, and maybe even to teach myself to start to like cooking?? Well maybe at least to become better at it, we won’t shoot for the stars here, lol. I am by no means “awesome” in the kitchen, & this is not the most fabulous food blog you will ever read. But I’m very real, cooking in a real kitchen, with real (local, normal, and available) food, and real (old) kitchen supplies! I have a habit of tweaking recipes to fit our likes, otherwise I will be sure to give credit where credit is due ! Let’s get started!

I am really looking forward to working with Judy and her gorgeous blog! She's got some amazing recipes already and her photgraphy is really beautiful. I hope you'll take a moment to stop by her blog and give her a warm welcome to the the blogsphere... you might just find a great new blog to add to your reading list!

April 27, 2009

No Food 4 You

Over this past weekend I took the “No Food 4 You” challenge. I’d heard about this wonderful campaign to help raise awareness for childhood hunger through my amazing friend Judy at No Fear Entertaining. The challenge entailed having our last meal at noon on Friday and then trying to go without eating again until breakfast on Monday morning. The reason? Far too many children eat the majority of their meals at school and when school isn’t in session these children are left to fend for themselves. Often times this means a weekend without food for them. Can you imagine?

Judy and I both made it through the weekend without eating, but I tell you it was really difficult. The first day wasn’t so terrible, but as the hours stretched on it got to be downright torture and I am an adult! I would think it would be a million times harder for a child to go through this. And what happens to these children during the summer when there is no school and no lunch and breakfast programs running? Scary thought, isn’t it?

Many of us are blessed with enough. Enough for all our basic needs and enough to have a bit extra. I hope you will consider donating some of your “extra” to fight childhood hunger. You can donate to your local food bank or soup kitchen or to the group that I participated with this weekend.

Donate to CCMI (The group I worked with) here: http://www.ccmileecounty.com/schoolbackpackprogram.html

Or Nationally here: http://www.strength.org/

April 23, 2009

Tanka Bar Giveaway Winner!

I'm a day late in this announcement and for that I do apologize! Sometimes life, home and family get in the way of this little hobby I call blogging! Kids with dental emergencies come first! (yes, he's fine... no serious damage done, thank goodness!)

On to our winner of a wonderful, amazing, tasty and good for you box of 12 TANKA BARS!

Commenter #17 Danielle said:
What an amazing idea for a snack bar! So often when a find something in a bar I like I find that there's more of the bad stuff in than I want to ingest.

Danielle, you are our winner!!! I will be emailing you this evening to get your mailing information! Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who entered and don't forget that you can still try these amazing bars because the good people at "Tanka Bar" have set up a special coupon code for my readers to get $5.00 off a 12-bar box of Tanka Bars! Until 5/13 you can use the code "KITCHENGIRLJO" when you order to get your discount. I really hope you'll give these amazing bars a try!

To Order go here: https://www.tankabar.com/cgi-bin/nanf/main/order.cvw

For more information: https://www.tankabar.com

April 14, 2009

Tanka Bar Review.... and a Giveaway!

Today, I want to tell you about a really great product I recently discovered... the "Tanka Bar." As many of you already know, I use a social networking and micro-blogging service called "Twitter" and I can't say enough about how many amazing people it's put me in touch with. It was through twitter that I learned about the Tanka Bar and the amazing company and people behind the product.

The Tanka Bar is a 100% all natural nutrition bar that contains buffalo meat and cranberries. The bar is based on a centuries-old Native American recipe that used fruit to preserve dried meat. It's dairy and gluten free, contains no artificial preservatives, no trans fat and is hormone free. So, it's got none of the bad stuff... and so much of the good for you stuff! The bars are made with buffalo that has been raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones. And in case you didn't already know, buffalo is one of the best proteins available. It's low in saturated fat and cholesterol, the stuff that's no good for you. And, it has Omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for you! And of course, cranberries are good for you food too.. they're full of antioxidants!

I received a box of 12 of these bars to try one day last week and within the day... they were GONE! My honey and I loved them. My 3 kids absolutely RAVED over them! I shared them with several family members and every single person enjoyed them. They have a delightful smoky-sweet flavor. A satisfying chew. Don't confuse these bars with jerky. They're really nothing like that. These are moist and plump and we thought they were far more delicious than any of the jerky type products we'd ever had. Tanka bars are really in class of their own. They would be great for a quick and tasty pick-me-up after a workout, a wonderful healthy snack for kids on the go. They don't need refrigeration so they would be a perfect camping or hiking food. And at only 70 calories per bar, they make a awesome food for even the most calorie conscious person.

I could go on and on praising these bars. They are just *that* good. Another thing I admire so much is the company behind these bars. Native American Natural Foods, LLC was founded in 2005 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, owners Karlene Hunter and Mark Tilsen imagine a world filled with healthy foods that add to the restoration and preservation of our lands and ecosystem -- a world without the pain of starvation or obesity. The world they imagine embraces the lifestyle that Native American people lived just over a century ago.

Comapany Mission
"Our mission is to heal the people and our Mother Earth by building a company that innovates new food products based on the traditional values of Native American respect for all living things by living in balance with mind, body, and spirit."

This is a product and a company that *I* can stand behind and am so excited to be bringing to my readers. To that end, I'm doing a giveaway of one case (12 bars) of Tanka Bars to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your e-mail address and you're entered! You have until 4/21/09 at 11:59pm EST to enter. On 4/22/09, I will use random.org to pick a random winner! US entrants only.

As an extra bonus... the good people at "Tanka Bar" have set up a special coupon code for my readers to get $5.00 off a 12-bar box of Tanka Bars! Until 5/13 you can use the code "KITCHENGIRLJO" when you order to get your discount. I really hope you'll give these amazing bars a try!

To Order go here: https://www.tankabar.com/cgi-bin/nanf/main/order.cvw

For more information: https://www.tankabar.com

April 9, 2009

St. Andre and Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Have you ever tried a "triple cream" cheese? If not you really should! It's decadent, rich and creamy and so very delicious! I recently had an opportunity to try some St.Andre triple cream cheese for the first time and decided to make some sinfully delicious crab stuffed mushrooms with it. I was cooking for my family and a couple of friends and they all seemed to enjoy these very much. These were rich... not something you would want to eat everyday, but something I would reserve for a special occasion. I will definitely make these again!

10 portobello mushrooms
16 oz. fresh crab meat flaked into small pieces
12 oz. St.Andre cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon olive oil
Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/2 to 1 cup Panko bread crumbs (divided in half)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat over to 400* F

Clean the mushrooms of all dirt with a damp paper towel. Remove stems. Using a spoon, remove the dark gills on the underside of each mushroom.

In a medium bowl combine crab and cheese and combine throughly. Add onions and parsley, mix. Set aside.

In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil and saute red pepper and celery until slightly tender but not mushy.

Add sauted pepper and celery to crab and cheese mixture and combine well. Add Old Bay seasoning and Panko crumbs until you have a firm enough texture to stuff the mushrooms. About 1/2 cup of Panko.

Stuff each mushroom with crab and cheese mixture. Cover entire surface to the edges of the mushroom. Placed stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet coated lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle a little Panko on top of each mushroom and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle a bit of grated Parmesan cheese on top of each mushroom and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

Serve immediately. Serves 5 as a main course, 10 as a side or starter.