Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cookbook Giveaway

The wonderful people at Blogging for Books is offering a copy of Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp, & Second Helpings of Everything by Donald Link to one (1) lucky winner.

Complete the entry form below for your chance to win. The contest starts on July 31, 2014 at 6:00am EST and ends on August 20th, 2014 at 11:59pm. One winner will be chosen at random on August 21st, 2014 and will be alerted by email. For a complete listing of the rules, please see below.

Cookbook Review - Down South by Donald Link

Yesterday my husband was driving me to bowling,  I've been bowling every Wednesday staying in practice for the winter league I'm on.  On the way he asked me if their was anyplace I needed to stop, I told him just the post office and UPS, I had a package to pick up.

We got to the bowling alley a little early so I opened the box I picked up at UPS.  Cookbook!!! Down South by Donald Link.  I opened the book at page 40,  I gasped and told my husband we will be stopping by the market.  There it was a beautiful photograph of cheese in a skillet, Uruguayan, Spicey Baked Cheese.

You know it's going to be a good cookbook when the first page you flip to you want to make that recipe and make it NOW!  It just got better after that with recipes like Parmesan Bacon Gougeres, Grilled Ham Steak with Charred Blood Oranges, Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Kumquats and Chiles, Watermelon Gazpacho with Crabmeat, Gingered Apple Slaw and Banana Pudding with Moonshine Whipped Cream.  With 110 recipes and 100 photographs in this cookbook my culinary trip to the South is going to have me busy in the kitchen and on the grill.

Donald Link is the chef-owner of Herbsaint and Cochon in New Orleans. He won the James Beard Award for Best Chef South in 2007.

No joke, on the way home I stopped at the market and made the baked cheese for dinner.  My husband wasn't to sure about baked cheese but one taste and he said I could make that anytime I wanted.

If you love Southern cooking as much as I do you will not regret adding this cookbook to your collection.

I received Down South from Blogging for Books

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blueberry Ginger Coffee Cake

I've been doing the 10,000 steps plus per day, I've got my trusty FitBit Zip on my hip (I know you enjoyed the little rhyme) and I've been pounding the driveway to our house everyday for the last 47 days.  I've also been eating healthier and logging my food into My Fitness Pal for the same amount of days.  I am not on a diet, I'm just making better choices.  I'm also not going to deprive myself of the good things in life that is one way to blow all my hard work.

I've been staring at the blueberries in the fridge that I have been snacking on and thought I bought way too many of these I better bake something before they go bad.  I decided to make a Blueberry Ginger Coffee Cake it will be a nice little treat tonight to go with my cup of joe.

This is my husband's piece of the coffee cake, that is my small piece in the background.

Blueberry Ginger Coffee Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter, slightly melted
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen can be substituted)
4 tablespoons crystallized ginger pieces, cut small if needed


1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg; stir to incorporate dry ingredients.  In a small bowl mix together egg, cream, butter stir into dry ingredients.  Fold in blueberries and ginger pieces.  Spread into a greased 8x8 baking dish.

In a small bowl add brown sugar and flour, cut in butter working until crumbly.  Place topping on batter and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake.  Cook on a wire rack.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cookbook Review - The Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen

I received a copy of The Banh Mi Handbook - Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches by Andrea Nguyen.  I thumbed through this cookbook while sitting in the truck waiting for my husband to get finished with his torture I mean physical therapy.  I was so intrigued by this cookbook I went back to page one and started reading through it page by page, I have never had an hour go by so fast.

Starting with the Banh Mi Pantry and going on to the bread, mayonnaise, sauces and pickles, to the cold cuts and the list goes on.  Who knew that the bread makes the sandwich and to have recipes and photos to make the bread in this book is fantastic.

Recipes that caught my eye: Sriracha Aioli, Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickle, Daikon and Carrot Pickle, Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken, Shrimp in Caramel Sauce, Star Anise and Lemongrass Sloppy Joe and Crispy Drunken Chicken just to name a few.

Pros:  Beautifully written, informative, great photographs, variety, recipes that are easy to follow

Cons: None

I am a sandwich fan, check my Pinterest Sandwich Board out, no joke this cookbook was written for me.  I hope there will be a book 2 with more sandwich recipes.

I received The Banh Mi Handbook from Blogging for Books

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review - Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water

I had the opportunity to taste and review Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water.  I have always been curious about coconut water and I am delighted to be able to do this review.

I was first impressed with packaging 12 nice 11.1 oz size boxes with their own straw.  I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor, especially since I am not a fan of sugary drinks.  It is a refreshing drink without being overpowering.  I can see drinking Cocozia Coconut Water after my workout.  My favorite way to use them is in my protein shakes and I am going to see what other recipes I can use Cocozia in.

When purchasing a product such as Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water what I am looking for is a healthy product for myself and my family.  I was impressed that Cocozia is 100% organic, contains a natural abundance of potassium and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes, NON GMO verified (which is very important to me) and for those special diets Gluten Free, Vegan and Kosher.

Cocozia 100% Oragnic Coconut Water can be purchased at Amazon by clicking this link also check out Cocozia at their website.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Maple Mustard Salmon

I have come to love salmon.  As a kid I despised it the only salmon I knew was in a can ground up with the bones, gross! It took years before I would even try a bite of salmon.  Baked, grilled or on a bagel I am down for salmon, it is so versatile with the marinades and how you can prepare it.

The Maple Mustard Salmon I prepared was the perfect amount of sweetness to go with the mustards and it came out moist and flakey.  The next time I make this it will be in a eggs benedict I think it will taste fantastic that way.

Maple Mustard Salmon

1 to 1 1/2 pounds salmon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, minced
salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place foil onto a baking sheet (for easy clean-up) drizzle with olive oil. Place salmon skin down and season with salt and pepper.  Whisk together maple syrup, mustards and rosemary, pour over salmon making sure it covers the whole salmon.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

If you want to cook on a cedar plank; rub down the plank with olive oil; follow directions above and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

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