Friday, January 30, 2009
Also to sweeten the pot I will be contributing a 8 oz container of my Chipotle Jalepeno Hummus to the winner!!
So come in and enter!!!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Now know how you want your pasta cooked and actually executing it, well those can really be two different things!! First and foremost you need to start out with a BIG pot, I mean a BIG pot an 8quarter!! The pasta needs room to swim around, if there isn't enough room your going to end up with a big lump of pasta instead of beautiful individual strands! So go on fill the pot up with cold water. Personally I like to salt the water now that way as it heats up it has time to dissolve into the water, how much salt well I put two generous handfuls.... the experts at my Fav magazine Bon Apettie suggest 3 tbs for every 5 quarts of water, so for the 8 quarter you are looking at about 4.5 tbs and they suggest throwing your salt in after the water has started to boil. Do what you like, when u salt it really isn't going to effect how the end product comes out....just make sure that you do salt it!!
So now that your water is salted and it is boiling it is time to add in the pasta. Make sure that you stir it right away so that it doesn't stick remember we want individual strands not a lump!! If your past is tall light spaghetti take some tongs and give it a twist to make sure that it is fully submerged! Hehehe but if you are being good and using the suggested 8 quart pot, a doubt that the pasta is going to be taller than the pot......now this is the time to add oil or not to add oil. The DL on the oil is this, it isn't going to stop your pasta from sticking as has been suggested, but it will keep your pot from boiling over, but then again if you are using the proper size pot it shouldn't boil over. So it is up to you weather or not you want to add the oil!!
I say check your pasta about six minutes in (now this is for your hard pasta, fresh pasta will cook in like a minute!!) as Bon Appetie suggest when the pasta begins to soften start tasting it, ummm but how long does it take to soften would be my question. So I six minutes in take a strand out and take a taste, but for god sakes be careful it is going to be HOT!! Now when u bite it it shouldn't be mushy but it also shouldn't be hard as a rock. If it is still a little to hard for you let it cook for a couple more minutes and then re test it. Most pasta is done in about 8-10 minutes. It just depends on the shape and type of pasta. Typically your whole grain pasta's will take a little longer to cook as they seem to be denser.
Ok so your pasta is done, you want to strain it in a colander or if you are really cool your 8 quarter may come with it's on colander and when u remove the pasta from it, it comes out strained. Unfortunately I don't have one of those yet...hmmmm will have to hint at the BF for one of those....oooo and V day is coming up...heheheh..... Ok back on top Angelica, sorry but I would love one of those pots! Now don't rinse your pasta because the starch that is on it is what helps whatever sauce you are going to be coating it with stick!! Now if you are worried about it sticking this is the time to add in some oil, about a tablespoon of extra virgin OO.
Another hit is that if you are going to be adding the pasta to a sauce that is cooking and u plan on leaving the pasta in the cooking sauce for a bit, you will want to under cook the pasta. Otherwise you are going to end up with mushy pasta!! NO don't try it, don't try cooking your pasta in the sauce to save a pan. Your sauce will be screwed up!! Remember as pasta cooks it releases starch and that starch is a thickener!! You will end up with a big lump instead of a tasty sauce and noodles!! Ummm yeah I know from experience, it isn't pleasant!!
Well I hope this helps you guys on your pasta adventures!! Oh and btw if you haven't entered the blog contest ENTER IT NOW!!! You will be in love with Heather's cards!! Oh and since I am shamelessly self promoting right now, I expect to see you all at the Team Eeat Bake Sale tonight in the Etsy labs!! It starts at 8pm Est!!!!
Alright I am outtie, so be happy and be safe!!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Isn't it a great pic? Luca did this pencil portrait of Hunter for Heather!! Luca is a VERY talented Etsy artist!! Now don't think you will be able to go looking ahead of time, the pic will not be hidden until later on Today!!
Let's Review the rules!!
1. Take a trip to Heathers Handmade Creations
2. Look for the Picture of Hunter in her listings, there will be 3
3. Email me the name of the listings where you found Hunters Pics
4. Come back often and leave comments on the Official Post, the more comments you leave, the more chances to win!!
5. If you purchase anything from Heathers Handmade Creations during the contest you are automatically entered in the contest with 2 entries!!
6. Contest Duration, Midnight tonight (arizona time) until Midnight (arizona time) 2/06/09!!
What are you going to win? Well you have your choice between a set of Heathers adorable Cherry note cards or your choice of any of the cards in Heather's shop that total the value of her note cards (which is two cards)!!
Ok so that about covers's it!! We are expecting to have a ton of entries as this contest will be part of the bloggie carnival that is going on! So come back often to leave your comments!!
Be safe, Be Happy!!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
First and foremost is my Blog Giveaway!! It Starts on Monday, 1/26/o9 and runs through February 6th, 2009. Some beautiful cards are being given away by Heather's Handmade Creations! I am completely addicted to her store!! She has everything from gift tags to Pet Sympathy cards. Her work is superb and she is an AWESOME lady! So be ready to enter that contest!!
My blog contest brings me to the second event as they go hand in hand the Bloggie Carnival! It is hosted by Bloggy Givaways.com. It happens once every quarter! The DL is that it is a huge carnival, the "booths" are people that are all having give aways on their blogs!! It is a HUGE event with tons of exposure and tons of GREAT giveaways!! So if you have never participated now is the time to check it out!!
The next event is Team Eeats Valentines Virtual Bake Sale!! The bake sale is on Wednesday, January 28th in the Etsy Labs! If you love food and want to know more about those people that you see in chat with all the yummy treats then the Bake Sale is for you!! Each Team Eeat member will do a little presentation about their shop and their goodies. There will also be GAMES, PRIZES and GREAT deals on all of the delectable treats!! Team Eeat is also hosting it's own blog contest.....yes FREEE FOOOD...run...run to Team Eeat's Blog for complete details!! Heheh nothing like a shameless plug........... I am a part of the Bake Sale and am running an AWESOME sale in A Thyme To Bee Comforted, BOGO of equal or lesser value for half off!
Wow that is a lot of info!! Not to mention I am trying to get stuff ready for V Day as that is just around the corner!!! What do you guys have going on for V day? Email me, and I will do a what's hot for V Day Blog Post on February 1st!!
Be happy, be safe!!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Prize: Heather from Heathers Handmade Creations will be giving away your choice of either her Cherry Note Cards or cards that total up to the Value of her cherry note cards!!
Contest Begins: Midnight Monday, January 26 - Midnight Friday, February 6th., the contest is also part of the Bloggy Carnival!! I love the bloggy carnival, tons of great prizes to be won!!
How To Play: This contest will be a scavenger hunt. You will be looking for the item in Heater's shop listings at: Heathers Handmade Creations. I will announce the photo you will be looking for on the 25th! You will need to email me the location of the three items that are hidden to be entered into the contest! Remember the more comments you leave on this post, the more your chances to win are increased!!! Also you will only be entered to win if you email me the listing info with the hidden items, you must do this!!!
THE CONTEST IS NOW OPEN!! YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PIC OF HUNTER:
I hope you have a blast with this contest!!! Heathers cards are soooo cute ! You will love your prize!! As always, be safe, be happy!!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Team EEAT presents our Virtual Valentine's Bake Sale! Held on January, 28th, 2009 in Esty's Virtual Labs at 8pm EST!Come see our team members present their beautiful work. There will be great contests, sales, and amazing giveaways! Start shopping early by searching for "team eeat"!
Why should I come? Trivia Questions! Answer a Valentines day trivia question, and win a $5 gift credit in a Team members shop!Giveaway! We will be giving away a grand prize worth over $100! Plus, 2 prizes worth $20 each! Prizes will be delivered just in time for Valentines Day!
Blog post coming soon on ways to enter! Get your Valentines Day shopping done early! Sales offered:
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">JustBakin' FREE Chocolate Cookies with every order.
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">LuckyDogTreatCompanyFREE bag of treats of Lucky's choice with any sized order!
DoubleDippedSweetsBuy one get one 50% off!Equal or lesser value applies; full shipping charges incurred.
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">SweetTreatMaryannFREE Chocolate Covered Grahams (3) with a purchase of any size
ASugarAffair1/2 dozen chocolate covered oreos with with each product bought
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">athyme2bcomfortedBOGO half off of equal or lesser value
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">DelectableDelightsFor the Love of Chocolate25% off all chocolate covered items10% off everything else
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">LittleSnowflakes3 FREE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles with Each Order**Order is refers to a completed Credit Card Transaction
CiaoHound20% off your purchase, before shipping!free priority shipping for orders over $15
http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=">CakesbySugarPlums2 FREE Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes with any purchase
Stay tuned for more great sales!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Organic Chickens: Are fed a diet with no additives, not treated with antibiotics and raised under specific, humane conditions. Which are the requirements of the USDA.
Natural Chickens: Contain no artificial ingredients or added color. But unless the label reads "no antibiotics", there is no guarantee that there aren't any.
Free-Range Chickens: These are chickens that are allowed some room to roam outside the coop, but how much room isn't regulated. Not all free ranged chickens are raised on a natural diet.
Ok now we know what each means, but what does this really mean to you? It all comes down to what do you want to spend?!? Well I am a food snob and I don't buy my meat from Fry's or any other regular grocery store as the quality really does suck! What would I buy, I buy the Natural Chicken from Aj's or Fresh and Easy. AJ's and Fresh and Easy are here in AZ I am not sure if they are all over the country or not. The quality of meat is very apparent. Once you see a high quality product and compare it to what is in your regular grocery store you well be AMAZED at the difference. I have seen the Natural chicken and the Organic. They are both high quality, but I would rather spend $7 bucks a pound than $11.50.
Ok, Ok, close your mouth now....I know $7 bucks a pounds is a lot too! Here is what I figure, food is like going to the doctor. You don't want to got to an eye surgeon that is offering a BOGO free special...hello they are your eyes!! Food is the same, it is fuel for your body and provides you with the protein, vitamins etc that you need to keep on living. So this is NOT the place to be cheap, especially when it comes to your meats, fish and veggies!
If it makes you feel better spend the cash on the good meats, fish and veggies and then buy off brand cereals, soda's etc! Ok so this is my opinion, you all have the right to disagree...the 1st amendment and all......but do me one favor take a trip to your local grocery store and then go to an Aj's or a Fresh and Easy. Look at the color, the texture of the meat. It is completely different! Why you ask, because what is in the grocery store is older! Umm not thanks I want something that hasn't sat at the place that they butchered them for 2 weeks and then shipped them out and then has sat at the grocery store for lord knows how long....ok ok...I am back on my soap box again!
Well this concludes another tip/trick segment. Hopefully you have learned something useful!! Be safe, Be happy and go and LOOK at the difference in the meat........hehheheheh
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
So in honor of my favorite cheese I found instructions on how to make it your self at home!! Yes I said YOU can make your own Ricotta!! Alright lets' get to the good stuff and give you the skinny on how to wow your friends with your own homemade Ricotta!!
What you will need:
8 cups of whole milk
1 tsp salt
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
Makes: 1.5 cups
1. Line a medium colander with for layers of cheesecloth. Set the cheesecloth-lined colander in the sink. You can purchase cheesecloth at your local grocery store, I bought some at Fry's.
2. Bring the whole milk and salt to a simmer in a large, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat.
3. Stir in the fresh lemon juice. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the milk mixture gently until curds form, usually one to two minutes.
4. Using a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer, transfer the curds to the prepared colander. Let them drain for only a minute.
5. Transfer the ricotta to a medium bowl. It can be served right away, or covered and chilled for up to two days.
Really 5 steps to have my own home made ricotta? That is just awesome! Ok so now you have all this ricotta lyin around your house.....what to do ....what to do......oh I know have a dinner party and WOW your guest with your mad Ricotta making skills!!! Try this recipe out and have your friends do a double take and beg to be invited to your house for dinner again!!!
Oh this little gem is from one of my most favorite mags, Bon Appetit!!
Appetizer: Figs and Onion Bruschetta (umm helllo cheese and bread.....)
.5 cup dried black Mission figs, stemmed, halved (I have seen fresh figs at Costco, dried I would think my local AJ's would have them or Whole Foods)
1 cup boiling water
3/4 C dry red wine
2 tbs sugar
1 small bay leaf
1/8 tsp coarse kosher salt (you can buy this at Frys or Penzeys)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp butter
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, halved through core, cut lengthwise into .5" strips (take a whole onion, cut in half where the root knob thing is, once you have cut it in half take one half and with the root end pointing to the left start slicing slowly and care fully)
2 tbs red wine vinegar
.5 tsp sugar
pinch of coarse kosher salt
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (YES THE ONE THAT YOU MADE, this is where the double take comes in from your friends!!)
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 tsp heavy whipping cream
pinch coarse kosher salt
8 1-inch-thick slices ciabatta bread (about 4.5x2 inches) (Cibatta is that big square bread)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs chopped fresh oregano
- Place figs in small bowl. Pour 1c boiling water over; let soak 45 minutes
- Drain figs; place in a small saucepan.
- Add wine and next 3 ingredients from above; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Reduce heat to medium once sugar has dissolved (you will know sugar is dissolved when you don't feel that graininess when stirring)
- Simmer until figs are tender and liquid is syrupy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add vinegar and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat and cool.
- Melt butter with oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onion; saute until beginning to soften and brown stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low; add vinegar and sugar, then sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
- Stir until vinegar has almost evaporated about 1 minute.
- Whisk ricotta, 1 tbs oil, and cream in a medium bowl until fluffy.
- Season with coarse salt and pepper.
- Preheat broiler
- Drizzle Cibatta with some olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt & pepper.
- Broil bread on both sides until toasted (ok don't walk away from the bread in the broiler it will brown VERY quickly...this means DON'T answer the phone, answer your kids questions, let the dog out etc...because your bread will burn!!!)
- Transfer to serving plate
Spread 2 tbs ricotta mixture on each bread slice.
Spoon glazed figs with some syrup over, top with onion mixture.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and oregano
Drizzle with oil and serve immediately (as for the oil, I would go to your local AJ's or Whole Foods and pick up some Meyer Lemon flavored olive oil, I think a little hint of citrus would help bring out the flavor in the Ricotta!!)
Hehhehe your friends are going to love you!! To keep that ricotta theme going you could always make some homemade lasagna. No time you say, well then that is when you visit my little shop, A Thyme To Bee Comforted. What do you know I have lasagna in there, yes yes I know you didn't make it....don't worry I won't tell!! Your friends won't know either just plate it and throw out the packaging evidence!!
Well I hope that you try your hand at making your own Ricotta and try the recipe above!! If you do, come and post and let us know how it all went!! Well here ends another tip and tricks segment, I hope that you enjoyed! Be safe! Be Happy!!
Monday, January 5, 2009
I purchased some of Jessica's treats for my dog Bear. My Bear is a little poof of fur as he is a Pom! Let me tell you he LOVED her treats, he begs and sits with a twinkle in his eye each time I take out one of those little delectable treats!! The treats came with lab test results and were also packaged adorably! My suggestion is go for it, buy your little bud some treats from Divine Canine! He or she will only love you more!! I suggest the Carbo Dipped Peanut Butter Paws and the Bitty Bites, which are what I bought. Let me tell you I was tempted to take a bite out of the Peanut Butter Paws, and so was my son!! They smelled really tasty!!
Well I also did a little interview with Jessica, because I know you all are a curious sort! Here is the interview:
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Jessica, I am 38 years old and blind. I've only been totally blind about 8 years now. I have an awesome 7 year old boy, and a wonderful hubby. Not a picture perfect life, but getting there! I just started my own dog bakery business about 6 months ago. A bit slow going with the economy as it is...especially living in Michigan. I graduated from Western Michigan University with a grad degree in blind rehab teaching. Loosely translates to helping others who have
become blind to deal with and enjoy life, and function independently with their blindness/low vision. Oh, and I used to be a graphic design major, but sadly had to give it up once I lost my sight. Self-explanatory, right? Anyway, I love pets and have lots of them, and I love to make healthy treats and meals for my dogs, rats and sugar glider. I would cook for my snakes and lizards, but they have a very boring diet that they prefer to stick with. That's all I can think of for now! Oh, and I do lots of cooking and baking for my human family as well!