Sunday Round-Up ~ January 31st, 2010

Pad Thai  ~ SB&ST ~ "White" Girl Goes to Super 88 ::facepalm::

White Chicken Chili ~ Closet Cooking 1/18
White Chicken Chili ~ We Are Not Martha 1/26
White Chicken Chili ~ Apple-a-Day 1/27
~ So I guess White Chicken Chili is the new Black?

Jalapeno, Scallion & Avocado Cornbread ~ REC(ession)IPES ~ It looks delicious. It's budget-friendly. It's quite perfect. Maybe have some with some White Chicken Chili? But where oh where is there a recipe for that?

Beantown Brews ~ My friend Andrew has a great beer blog. You should check it out!

Chocolate Dipped Celementines ~ Healthy Eats ~ Clementine sections, dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with sea salt. Oh. my. goodness! Surely those are illegal?

Chicken, Corn and Potato Chowder ~ Cookin' Canuck ~ I've gotten lots of folks on the roster for the Cookin' Canuck fan club. I can't wait to try out this amazing looking chowder.

Fiber One Review and Giveaway

MyBlogSpark and FiberOne sent me a package of FiberOne's 90 Calorie Chewy Bars and a health gift pack to try out. They are also giving me an opportunity to do a fun giveaway with Thoughtful Eating readers!

FiberOne's 90 Calorie Chewy Bar in Chocolate 

My heart sang a beautiful song when I first took a bite out of one of these delicious bars. I do not exaggerate when I say these are heavenly. They are soft and chocolatey and I had to pace myself in order to savour each bite. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by a 90 calorie chewy bar considering I have had so many. Often times, you eat one of these low-cal bars and you burn some of those calories right off the bat with all the extra work your jaw puts in to gnaw through it. The FiberOne bars have a soft chew that is just delightful. They fall apart in your mouth but holds together well inthe package. The flavor is amazing. There is just the right amount of chocolate and it's good chocolate too. It doesn't have just a few chocolate chips. It's covered in chocolate. The pieces are covered in chocolate, there are small chocolate chips throughout, the whole bar is dipped in chocolate on the bottom and the top is drizzled with chocolate. Nom nom nom. I can't believe this thing is 90 calories and it has 5 grams of fiber, which is 20% of your recommended daily fiber requirement. This is a new favorite and while trying to write an honest review, I really couldn't find anything at fault with this product (I tried!). My only complaint is that I'm going to want to eat more than one bar which will outweigh the health benefits of a low-calorie snack. But hey, it wouldn't be a bad thing since I'd just be upping my fiber intake!
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Giveaway time!

1) Find one fact on how increasing fiber in your diet can improve your health.
2) Post the fact in the comments section or e-mail the fact to me at QuelleLove at Gmail dot com.
3) Become a friend of Thoughtful Eating on Facebook (or get a friend to join) for an extra entry. If you are already a fan, indicate that and you still qualify for the extra entry (or get a friend to join ::hint, hint::)
4) If you don't have Facebook but have Twitter, tweet about this contest for an extra entry (let me know that you do).
5) You can do both Facebook and Twitter options for two extra entries.
6) You have to do the Fiber fact! Don't work around it by doing the two extra entries!
6) Enter by Thursday February 4th, 2010.
7) Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on February 5th, 2010.

Here is what you can win:

A box of FiberOne 90 Calorie Chewy Bars
A water bottle
A diet journal
A pedometer
A carrycase for the pedometer
A snap wrist band for the pedometer




Pretty sweet deal so sign up NOW.

Special K Granola & Fruit Crisps Review

Recently, Foodbuzz and Special K sent me some new products to try out. It just so happens that Special K's Red Berries cereal is my go-to breakfast and has a permanent spot in my pantry. I sometimes even find myself eating it for dinner when I don't feel like cooking and my stomach is feeling less than cooperative. It's just my favorite cereal. The tartness of the dried strawberries and the crunch of the flakes are really satisfying. I drown it in milk and it gives me the morning boost I need.

Even though I'm such a fan of the Red Berries cereal, I am not familiar with any of Special K's other products, with the exception of their Chocolatey Delight cereal which I wasn't all that happy with. I was looking forward to trying these two brand new products and giving my readers my honest opinion.





Special K - Low Fat Granola - Touch of Honey

~ When I first cracked open the box, I tried eating this as a straight cereal. It has a very satisfying crunch. The density of the granola fills you up so you don't have to fill your cereal bowl to the brim, like I often do with the Special K Red Berries cereal. The crunch and the texture alone are worth the consumption of a bowl of this granola. The flavor is so-so but could be punched up with a drizzle of honey.

~ Then I tried eating the granola over some lowfat plain yogurt and accompanied with some fresh strawberries. Success! It was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend eating the granola with yogurt rather than as a cereal. I wish I had some agave nectar on hand to drizzle over this delicious yogurt parfait, but alas, I didn't. It would have made the whole thing heavenly.




Special K Fruit Crisps - Strawberry




Some months ago, my friend Lisa introduced me to another brand of fruit crisps (which I will not name). At first I was a big fan of them., but then I got bored fairly quickly with the dryness of the crisps. I couldn't get over how much they tasted like cardboard and how dry the apple filling tasted. I think Special K's Fruit Crisps are a step up for sure because in the manufacturing process they forgot to add the cardboard flavor. I found that I liked the crisp and the filling. The icing on top is a  nice visual addition but doesn't add to the flavor. These would be great with a nice hot cup of tea. Because of my hypoglycemia, I need to eat small snacks in between meals to keep my blood sugar going. It's so tempting to go for a candy bar or a cookie for a quick sugar fix. I'd rather just go for a 100 Calorie treat to keep my calorie intake low. Lucky for me, one package contains two crisps and totals 100 calories (50 per crisp). I wouldn't say that the Fruit Crisps are my favorite snack but I wouldn't mind having it as fall back snack in my secret snack drawer at work.

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If you have tried either of these products, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section of this post. Food manufacturers need consumer opinions so they can provide us with the best products possible.

Latticed Cherry Pie




I've always wanted to make a cherry pie. But there are several things that got in my way. I don't have a cherry pitter. I don't have the patience or dexterity to pit cherries by hand or to make fancy crusts. I don't like to use canned pie filler for homemade pies. I am notoriously bad with fruit pies. However, I am a stubborn Latina who likes a challenge so I made one anyways.

My good friend and partner-in-crime Lisa came over on Thursday and helped me make this. Thank you Lisa!

Ingredients:

4 cups of frozen pitted dark cherries, thawed
1 cup of sugar
3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch
2 frozen Mrs. Smith pie shells, thawed
Milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees.



Properly thaw the cherries and drain juice. Then add the cup of sugar and let them sit. Then drain more juice. You should try to get as much of the excess juice out of them as possible. Then add your 3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch.


Poke holes in the crust with a fork. If you don't do this, air bubbles will form during the baking proess and you will get bumps or cracks. The holes allow some air to escape. If you want, parbake this in the oven for 5 minutes to give you a head start.



Add cherry pie filling.




Take your other pie shell and roll it out onto a floured surface. Cut 9 or 10 strips. Use the long ones for the center and shorter ones for the edges. To create the lattice form just lay down 4 or 5 of the strips one way. Then weave in the other strips, one by one in the opposite direction. Brush with the top with milk.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is nice and brown. Let cool for a good hour so as to let the juices in the pie settle. Cherries are particularly juice and you don't want to eat hot pastry and cherry soup! Enjoy.

Cherry Pie on FoodistaCherry Pie

Sunday Round-Up ~ January 25th, 2010

Here are two unique bread recipes that look absolutely delicious:


1) Delicious Dishings - Prosciutto, Mozzarella, And Roasted Pepper Pinwheels
2) Closet Cooking - Artichoke Bread

Uno Pizzeria Chain files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection - I really can't stand this place. I've been there numerous times over the past decade or so and have yet to have a single meal that I enjoyed that was worth my money and the trip to the restaurant. It's never even an option when I'm looking for a place to eat, even if it's the most convenient. The only thing that would make me sad about this restaurant chain closing is all the people that would lose their jobs.

Apple a Day - Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken - I've been scared of making pulled pork in my slow cooker but pulled chicken sounds do able. This is so happening!
We Are Not Martha - Malasadas (Hawaiian Donuts) This inspired me and made me nostalgic for the donuts I ate in Santo Domingo, DR. I really want to try making authentic Dominican style donuts now.

Lisa's Cabbage Soup


On Thursday, my friend Lisa came over and together we made her signature Cabbage Soup and she helped me with my first attempt at a Cherry Pie (recipe to come). I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Lisa's Cabbage Soup is by far the best soup I've had all winter. The cabbage and carrots make it sweet and the beef broth, marjoram leaves and scallions give it a bit of a kick. You get lots of protein from the broth and kielbasa too. It's a meal unto it's own and doesn't really need anything else. We made a huge pot which allowed plenty for leftovers. Lisa makes this soup every winter and the recipe is a combination of her family's recipe and the AllRecipes.com recipe for Pork and Cabbage Soup. Please find an excuse and make this soup. I promise that you will not regret it.

Ingredients:

1-32 oz box of beef broth
1 packet of beef boullion
2-1/2 cups of water

1 chopped onion
1 small head of savoy cabbage chopped

3 red potatoes cubed

3 cloves of garlic minced

2 carrots chopped
3 celery hearts chopped
1 pound of turkey kielbasa halved and sliced

1 teaspoon of dried marjoram leaves
salt and pepper to taste
chopped scallions

Makes 6 servings
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Heat up the beef broth, boullion and water in a large soup pot.


Chop your onion.



Chop some savoy cabbage. Make sure you cut out the middle section which is too touch to cook. Cut the cabbage head in half, then cut the halves into fourths. Cut out the tough part by cutting in at an angle. Cut into shreds.

Add cabbage and onion to pot and bring the pot to a boil.



In the meantime, chop your celery and carrots. The celery heart leaves are delicious so make sure you use those. Add to the pot.



Cube your red potatoes and add to the pot. Also add your minced garlic.



Cut the turkey kielbasa link in half and cut each half lengthwise down the middle. Then cut across to get half-moon slices. Add to the pot and stir.




Bring the pot to a rolling boil then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.




Serve hot and top with scallions. Lisa often serves this with some nice homemade cornbread. Enjoy!


Cabbage Soup

I Heart Chick-fil-a

On occasion I find myself face-to-face with a dinner disaster. The other day I was trying out Cookin' Canuck's Shrimp, Avocado, Red Pepper & Dill Salad for the first time. Come to find out, the frozen shrimp I got was well below sub par and the Avocado I had purchased was almost all brown on the inside. Red Pepper and Dill Salad? I don't think so. So I abandoned the dinner and headed out to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. Ever since my friend and partner-in-crime Lisa introduced me to them, I've been a fan.


My favorite meal to get at Chick-fil-a consists of chicken nuggets with chick-fil-a sauce, waffle fries, a small fruit cup and an unsweetened iced tea. It's heaven on a tray.


I really like Chick-fil-a's commitment to natural, nutritious and healthy fast food. Their chicken is 100% all-white meat chicken breast. Not chicken shreds compressed together into odd shapes, but real chicken. Their delicious waffle fries are cooked peanut oil which is sans trans fat and low in cholesterol (although not so good if you have a peanut allergy). They have lots of healthy options like the fruit cup (mandarin orange, apples, grapes and strawberries) and regular salad. It is very possible to have a fattening meal there but a sensible person would have no problem chosing a healthy tray of goodies.

The folks at Chick-fil-a are super friendly too. I really appreciate that because what you get at McDonald's or other fast food chains are grumpy people who are resentful for having to serve you. I'm sure not everyone at Chick-fil-a is super happy about their job but at least they don't pass on their bad attitudes to their customer.




So everytime I go to Chick-fil-a I get treated well and I have the most wonderful time dipping their delicious chicken nuggets in that chick-fil -a sauce (which is just BBQ sauce & honey mustard but something about it makes my heart sing). I don't care for their chicken sandwiches, I ended up just taking out the patty, breaking it down to pieces and dipping those pieces into the Chick-fil-a sauce. So I'm a chicken nugget girl through and through.

Besides, I love cows and Chick-fil-a loves cows. It's a match made in Heaven.

Raquelle's Simple, Easy & Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup


When I make Chicken Noodle Soup, I get serious about it. I don't make some weak broth that has a couple of pieces of chicken floating around in it and if you're lucky a noodle or two. My Chicken Noodle Soup is a hearty bowl of goodness. It's jam-packed with chicken, egg noodles and vegetables. It's great for when you're feeling under the weather or just when you need some good old comfort food. My Chicken Noodle Soup is a beast to be reckoned with it. Try it out and you'll see for yourself.

Ingredients:

A whole rotisserie chicken
3 carrots sliced
3 celery stalks with hearts sliced
1/2 onion sliced
1 leek halved and sliced
2-3 cups of egg noodles
9-10 cups of broth
Chopped dill for garnish or flavoring (optional)

Makes 6 servings



Take your rotisserie chicken, remove all the skin and bones and break up the meat into chunks. Set aside.




Heat the broth in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. While the broth is heating up, prep your veggies. Lower heat to low-medium and add your veggies for 3-4 minutes.



Add your egg noodles to the pot and cook for 4 minutes on medium heat. Then add the chicken pieces in to the pot and continue cooking for 4 more minutes or until the egg noodles are cooked.



Serve hot with a bit of chopped dill on top. This soup is really good with oyster crackers.

If you are making this soup in advance, do NOT cook the egg noodles in the soup. The noodles will continue to absorb the liquid around it long after the cooking is done. This doesn't do well with leftovers either. If you want to save the soup for another day or have leftovers, cook the egg noodles separately and add them individually to bowls. That way when you reheat leftovers, you can just make more egg noodles separately.


Chicken Noodle Soup

Sunday Roundup 1-17-10

This is a new feature in which I highlight some nice food related posts from other sites. I'll try to make this a weekly thing to post on Sunday mornings. Enjoy!
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Laura's Miscellaneous Musings - Herb Popovers - Cookbook enthusiast and supporter of Thoughtful Eating makes some huge herb popovers in her latest post. I hope she continues to post recipes on her excellent site.

Robert Frost's Banjo - Hot Cockles in the Pantry - Interesting history written by John's wife Eberle about the history of food storage. Buttery, larder, pantry, it's all there.

How To Simplify - {Friday Series} How To: Simplify...Cutting and Slicing Vegetables - Since I adore chopping produce, I had fun reading this post on the different ways to process vegetables. I forwarded it to my friend Lisa so she can learn!

We Are Not Martha - Berry Banana Pancakes - I was drooling when I read this post. Who knew that wole wheat flour, soymilk, bananas and blueberries put together would make such beautiful looking pancakes.

Cookin' Canuck - Baked Chicken Drumstick Recipe with Dijon Mustard & Ancho Chile Pepper Sauce - I simply adore this blog and this recipe is just another example of the greatness that the lovely author consistently turns out.

Sloppy Joes



Do sloppy joes need an introduction? What is there to say about them? They are wonderful hearty, messy sandwiches of deliciousness. You can get the canned stuff but it so much better when you make it yourself. And it's very easy. Just try it and see for yourself.

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground beef
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 cubannelle pepper chopped
1/4 red bell pepper chopped
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 15 oz. can of Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

Makes 4 servings



Chop chop chop away. Chop your onions and peppers and mince those garlic cloves.



Sautee your vegetables in some oil for 2 minutes or so, until the structure of the vegetables starts to give.



Season your meat with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add seasoned meat to your skillet and brown. For Pete's sake, please use a bigger skillet than the one I show in the picture above!



Once the meat is nice and browned (not burnt or dry), add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar to the skillet. Cook at low heat, partially covered for about 20 minutes or until the sauce gets thick. If you are impatient like me, turn up the heat, leave uncovered and stir, stir, stir for about 10 minutes. Just be prepared to clean up the random bits of tomato sauce you'll find everywhere.

Serve the sloppy joe mixture hot. Spoon onto some nice toasted Portuguese rolls. It's such a hearty sandwich that I like to pair it with a light salad. In this case, I made a salad of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes. Bon apetit!

Sloppy Joes on Foodista

Hey it's me!

Raquelle M. on Foodista


Sloppy Joes

Black & White Chip Cookies


Pictures of food are quite dangerous. If your eyes pass over a choice sample of veritable food p-rn, your mouth starts to salivate, your mind reels with the thought of consuming the food and your stomach starts to grumble. I recently laid eyes on a particularly sexy photograph of a stack of chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, the website chose to tease and torture and offered no satisfaction in the form of a recipe. Being a scrappy gal, I came up with my own recipe because let's face it, I don't do well with temptation and these cookies needed to be made and consumed.

This recipe turns out nice plump cookies. They are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The rock star are the fat Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips I use and the smaller Ghirardelli white chocolate chips are the opening act. Pace yourself or you may just find yourself eating all the cookies in one fell swoop.
Ingredients:

2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of white sugar
(or brown sugar if so desired)
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) of melted and cooled butter
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
1 cup of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips


Makes 28 cookies.


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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.



Mix dry flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.




Mixed melted butter (cooled please!), sugar, vanilla and beaten eggs in a separate bowl.




Toss the chips into the dry ingredients to coat.



Mix wet ingredients into dry and incorporate thoroughly. Now you have your cookie dough. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. The cookies will need about 1-2 inches of room between them to spread.




Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy with a nice glass of milk.

Chocolate Chip Cookies on Foodista

I Haz Crockpot ~ Ridiculously Easy Mexican Chicken and Beans



The other day I found myself face-to-face with several dilemmas. 1) I had way too many frozen chicken breasts in my freezer. 2) I really wanted to do something other than chicken piccata or grilled chicken. 3) I needed another excuse to use my Crockpot. 4) I've been ill for the past week or so and it was really necessary for me to make something that took little effort. Lo and behold, Ridiculously Easy Mexican Chicken and Beans. This was adapted from the Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Mexican Pork recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes*
(chicken cuts easily when still somewhat frozen)

1 15.5 oz can of white navy beans
1 15.5 ozcan of black beans
1 4 oz can of diced green chiles
1 16 oz jar of chunky salsa*
(mild, medium or hot based on taste. I used medium)

chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

cooked rice and cilantro for garnish


Makes 4 servings
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Set your Crockpot to 6 hours or the medium setting.



Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and season with salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. Put into Crockpot.


Open both cans of beans, rinse and add beans to Crockpot. Add salsa and green chiles to Crockpot. Stir and cook for 6 hours.

Serve over rice and top with lots of fresh cilantro. Next time, I would add some lime juice and lime zest and a bit of chipotle en adobo.
Mexican Chicken on Foodista
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