Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Yates Yummies Winner of the Cooking Planit T-Fal Giveaway



The Yates Yummies  winner of the Cooking Planit T-fal Cookware Giveaway has been verified!  It is Alex M. - a beginning cook who is interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise and eating smart.

I wish everyone who entered could have won a set of this wonderful T-fal cookware from Cooking Planit!  But at least there are still many more chances to win by entering the giveaways of the other participating bloggers listed on the chart below!  Thank you so much for your interest- it was fun!

Here are all the other blogs participating in this Giveaway and other chances to win!

THE COOKING PLANIT AND T-FAL 2013 GIVEAWAY 

StartEndFlight 1Flight 2
8/19/138/25/13Baby BoomsterMrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen
8/20/138/26/13CopyKat RecipesDaily Dish Recipes
8/21/138/27/13Lisa CookingLark’s Country Heart
8/22/138/28/13ME RedoneHot Eats and Cool Reads
8/23/138/29/13Mother Would KnowThe Two Bite Club
8/24/138/30/13SophistisheCitron Limette
8/25/138/31/13Kitchen ConcoctionsCupcakes and Kale Chips
8/26/139/1/13I Can Cook ThatLeave a Happy Plate
8/27/139/2/13Peaches & Cakei love my disorganized life
8/28/139/3/13Diddles & DumplingsYates Yummies
8/29/139/4/13basilmommaCooking With Libby
8/30/139/5/13Persnickety PlatesCreole Contessa
8/31/139/6/13Ancestral ChefBite Sized Blog
9/1/139/7/13The Staten Island FamilyMamal Diane
9/2/139/8/13Food FashRecipes For My Boys
9/3/139/9/13The Wicked NoodleHungry Little Girl
9/4/139/10/13Unorganized Mommy of 3The Tasty Fork
9/5/139/11/13Yi ReservationDixie Chik Cooks
9/6/139/12/13Chicago Foodie SistersThe Fountain Avenue Kitchen
9/7/139/13/13Cooking from a SAHMFoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe
9/8/139/14/13Bobbi’s Kozy KitchenRants from My Crazy Kitchen
9/9/139/15/13What Jew Wanna EatSumptuous Spoonfuls
9/10/139/16/13The Mama ReportBusy Mom of Two
9/11/139/17/13CulicuriousHuppie Mama
9/12/139/18/13Three Diets. One Dinner.Spice’s Bites

 For more information on the Cooking Planit app and T-Fal Cookware check out these posts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Monday, August 26, 2013

T-Fal Cookware Review, Giveaway from Cooking Planit, and Some Recipe Links

 
 

For several weeks I have been playing around with the 12 pieces of T-Fal cookware I was sent as one of 50 bloggers giving away a set. The giveaway is from Cooking Planit, an app for computer, iPhone, or iPad. Cooking Planit streamlines the process of cooking a meal by giving the user step by step directions that ensure all dishes being prepared are ready at the same time.  To get the free app go to this link:  http://www.cookingplanit.com .  (It’s the one common thing that all 50 bloggers will require in their individual giveaways.) My giveaway will begin sometime during the day of August 28, so be sure to come back on Wednesday to enter. Click on the banner above for information on entering the other participating blogger’s contests.  Below are my observations after using the cookware.

 
 

 


The cookware has got a handsome look; it’s made of stainless steel with red silicone handles.  The Dutch oven and three other varied sized sauce pans have internal measuring marks and lids.  The lids are glass so it’s easy to see what is going on in the pot, and the lids have a tiny little steam vent.  The large skillet and smaller sauté pan have a nonstick and scratch resistant surface.  Both the skillet and the sauté pan have a red thermo spot which indicates when the pan surface is preheated.  The set is dishwasher safe, but I found it was a breeze to clean them just by dunking them in soapy water and giving them a rinse.  The pans are oven safe up to 450 degrees and the lids up to 350 degrees.  That makes the Dutch oven the perfect vehicle for stews or that ubiquitous “no kneed” bread recipe.  The large skillet would be great for finishing a frittata off in the oven especially since the silicone handles won’t burn hands.  One feature I really enjoyed was how fast and evenly each pan heated up which made me less stressful when I was in a rush. This set, worth $129, is something a busy mom would enjoy as well as a passionate gourmet cook.  Below are some photos and links to recent recipes when I enjoyed using this great cookware.

 

The redskin potatoes that the T-Fal Dutch oven cooked in no time became...

 

Red Skin Potatoes with Tarragon Mayonnaise a recipe from the Freshen Up meal from http://www.cookingplanit.com/ 




 The stainless steel sauce pan cleaned up beautifully after I made Creamed Spinach for...




A perfectly cooked Spinach Melt Sandwich via the skillet thanks to the Thermo Spot and non stick surface.  Get this yummy recipe from http://yatesyummies.blogspot.com/2013/08/an-upcoming-t-fal-cookware-giveaway.html and see where I got a bit of help from the Cooking Planit app!




The even heating of the large skillet enabled these tender crisp veggies to become...




Thai Green Curry - Get this so easy stir fry recipe at http://yatesyummies.blogspot.com/2013/08/thai-green-curry-and-fabulous-salad.html


 

Both sauté pans do a fabulous job for a dish such as...




My neighbor John's delicious salad/side - the recipe can be found at http://yatesyummies.blogspot.com/2013/07/special-yet-simple-summer-salads.html


THE COOKING PLANIT AND T-FAL 2013 GIVEAWAY 

StartEndFlight 1Flight 2
8/19/138/25/13Baby BoomsterMrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen
8/20/138/26/13CopyKat RecipesDaily Dish Recipes
8/21/138/27/13Lisa CookingLark’s Country Heart
8/22/138/28/13ME RedoneHot Eats and Cool Reads
8/23/138/29/13Mother Would KnowThe Two Bite Club
8/24/138/30/13SophistisheCitron Limette
8/25/138/31/13Kitchen ConcoctionsCupcakes and Kale Chips
8/26/139/1/13I Can Cook ThatLeave a Happy Plate
8/27/139/2/13Peaches & Cakei love my disorganized life
8/28/139/3/13Diddles & DumplingsYates Yummies
8/29/139/4/13basilmommaCooking With Libby
8/30/139/5/13Persnickety PlatesCreole Contessa
8/31/139/6/13Ancestral ChefBite Sized Blog
9/1/139/7/13The Staten Island FamilyMamal Diane
9/2/139/8/13Food FashRecipes For My Boys
9/3/139/9/13The Wicked NoodleHungry Little Girl
9/4/139/10/13Unorganized Mommy of 3The Tasty Fork
9/5/139/11/13Yi ReservationDixie Chik Cooks
9/6/139/12/13Chicago Foodie SistersThe Fountain Avenue Kitchen
9/7/139/13/13Cooking from a SAHMFoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe
9/8/139/14/13Bobbi’s Kozy KitchenRants from My Crazy Kitchen
9/9/139/15/13What Jew Wanna EatSumptuous Spoonfuls
9/10/139/16/13The Mama ReportBusy Mom of Two
9/11/139/17/13CulicuriousHuppie Mama
9/12/139/18/13Three Diets. One Dinner.Spice’s Bites


 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thai Green Curry and a Fabulous Salad Dressing



     This little Thai dish has been a family favorite for about a year now.  It was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe but morphed into a yummy curry that could be completely vegetarian - or not.  Allison's very good friend, Ashik, is a total vegetarian and every time he came over for dinner I'd serve him the same chickpea korma over and over again.  I knew I could step it up with something different and I remembered a green curry Allison and I had enjoyed at a nearby restaurant that had beans, asparagus, and sweet red peppers.  I tried it out and we all loved it.  This salad dressing came about due to my upbringing; we always had a salad on the table at dinner time.  But how can you serve ranch dressing with Thai food?  On a lark I whipped up the salad dressing ingredients below in my mini food processor and a hit was born!  Jenn even loves the stuff over veggies!  Enjoy - it's yummy!


Thai Green Curry

 

Ingredients for four servings:

 
 

Optional: 2 chicken breasts

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound fresh green beans

1 large bunch of asparagus

1 large sweet red pepper

1 large bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of green onions

1 small jalapeno or serrano pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon dried lemongrass

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 cup light soy sauce (sub out 1 tablespoon for fish sauce if desired)

1 (15 oz.) can of coconut milk

2 Limes, sliced


Directions

 
 
 

Roughly chop the cilantro, green onions, pepper, chili pepper, garlic, ginger and put them in a food processor or blender.  Add the lemongrass, coriander, soy, and fish sauce (if using fish sauce).  Whirl it into a smooth sauce.  Set aside.





If using, rinse and cut the chicken breasts into pieces, Wash and cut the asparagus into pieces, and throw away the woody ends.  Wash and snap the ends off the beans.  Rinse off the red bell pepper, core and cut it into place.  Place all three veggies and chicken in a good sized skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let them "stir fry" for a 2 or 3 minutes.





Pour in the cilantro mixture and the can of coconut milk.  Mix together and simmer until the vegetables are done.  Serve with rice and lime slices.


 

Fabulous Salad Dressing

 

For about 1 cup of dressing

 



1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup light soy sauce

2 tablespoons diced purple onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice


Whirl it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve over salad or vegetables.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dory's Makes the Meal! Cooking Planit Review and T-Fal Cookware Giveaway


 


     My friend Dory is one talented lady!  She is the soloist at her church, works with the local elementary school choir on a total volunteer basis, often lends a helping hand to those in need, and super organizes a household of three busy kids and a husband.  However - Cooking is not something she enjoys and usually consists of opening a jar of pasta sauce.  When I told her about Cooking Planit she was intrigued because she is into anything that makes the chaotic dinner hour easier, but she got a big laugh out of the idea of me taking pictures while she cooked a meal.   First, she signed up for the free Cooking Planit app at https://www.cookingplanit.com .  Then she started browsing around.  She was impressed by the yummy looking pictures and how she could Search for a meal or recipe that fits the preferences of her family; for example, no beans.

     She loved the fact that she was not overwhelmed by an unwieldy amount of choices and could easily center in and pick one she thought her family would enjoy. She settled on the meal "Freshen Up" because her kids like chicken and the drumsticks looked fun.

     The fact that Cooking Planit generates a grocery list with the ingredients needed made a big impact on Dory.  She could have printed it out, but instead grabbed her phone and synched the app on it so she would have it at the grocery.


   One great thing about the grocery list is that you can delete items from it that you already have on hand. She went over to her pantry and clicked off what she already had.



    Dory's daughter Bridget went with her to the store.  When it came time to pick out the herb for the potato salad a little bit of negotiating went on.  Bridget and the rest of the family love basil, so Dory opted for it instead of the tarragon.  She knew she needed the same amount and appreciated the flexibility Cooking Planit recipes give to accommodate family tastes.



  Once home, Dory wanted to time the meal to be ready at 6pm because she had to be at church at 7.  Cooking Planit told her she needed 1 hour and 8 minutes, so she started in just before 5:00.
 Dory is all about organization and she loved that the ingredients, equipment, and steps were all listed before she even began.



     Before clicking on "Start Cooking", Dory had the option of previewing the steps or skipping the prep.  The "Helpful Hints" section suggested that the drumsticks could be grilled as well as being baked so Dory opted to get her husband, Gabe, involved in doing that.





 

 

 

Notice the little timeline under the title "Freshen Up"?  Well it adjusts to the speed of your clicks and even if you have to stop for a minute (Dory had to track down her son Isaac and remind him he had soccer practice at 8), all the dishes in your meal will still come out at the same time. Impressive! During the process, if there is downtime a little message will suggest that now would be a good time to clean up a bit or sip on a beverage!





  







Gabe was out grilling by the time the red skin potatoes were cooling and Dory was clicking along and whisking up the dressing. Check out the great looking T-Fal pan!



Dory completed the last few steps and all three dishes were ready at the same time!


 

 
 


The family loved the food!  Gabe said, "This is light but tastes gourmet!" and Dory agreed that everything was delicious.  The meal she made is saved on her Cooking Planit home page, but Dory is excited to try other Cooking Planit meals to make dinner time have more variety and be less stressful.


 

THE COOKING PLANIT AND T-FAL 2013 GIVEAWAY 

StartEndFlight 1Flight 2
8/19/138/25/13Baby BoomsterMrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen
8/20/138/26/13CopyKat RecipesDaily Dish Recipes
8/21/138/27/13Lisa CookingLark’s Country Heart
8/22/138/28/13ME RedoneHot Eats and Cool Reads
8/23/138/29/13Mother Would KnowThe Two Bite Club
8/24/138/30/13SophistisheCitron Limette
8/25/138/31/13Kitchen ConcoctionsCupcakes and Kale Chips
8/26/139/1/13I Can Cook ThatLeave a Happy Plate
8/27/139/2/13Peaches & Cakei love my disorganized life
8/28/139/3/13Diddles & DumplingsYates Yummies
8/29/139/4/13basilmommaCooking With Libby
8/30/139/5/13Persnickety PlatesCreole Contessa
8/31/139/6/13Ancestral ChefBite Sized Blog
9/1/139/7/13The Staten Island FamilyMamal Diane
9/2/139/8/13Food FashRecipes For My Boys
9/3/139/9/13The Wicked NoodleHungry Little Girl
9/4/139/10/13Unorganized Mommy of 3The Tasty Fork
9/5/139/11/13Yi ReservationDixie Chik Cooks
9/6/139/12/13Chicago Foodie SistersThe Fountain Avenue Kitchen
9/7/139/13/13Cooking from a SAHMFoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe
9/8/139/14/13Bobbi’s Kozy KitchenRants from My Crazy Kitchen
9/9/139/15/13What Jew Wanna EatSumptuous Spoonfuls
9/10/139/16/13The Mama ReportBusy Mom of Two
9/11/139/17/13CulicuriousHuppie Mama
9/12/139/18/13Three Diets. One Dinner.Spice’s Bites


Friday, August 16, 2013

A Great Grilled Sandwich - Spinach Melt!


Spinach Melt Grilled Sandwich

     The inspiration for this sandwich came from an intense craving for the Spinach Melt Sandwich at Smee's Place in Indianapolis. Smee's spinach melt is not too rich which allows you to enjoy it without feeling guilty and they offer to add sliced turkey to the sandwich as well. I hope you enjoy my copy cat version!

  

Ingredients for Four Servings

For the Creamed Spinach Filling:

2 (10 oz.) packages frozen spinach

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon diced shallots

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt

pepper

 

For the Spinach Melt Grilled Sandwiches:

Creamed spinach from above

8 slices of bread, buttered on one side

1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese

Slices of chicken or turkey breast



Directions:

Defrost the spinach in the microwave.  Use a colander and towels to squeeze as much water as possible out. 

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the shallots until tender but not brown.  Add the garlic and sauté one more minute.



Then, add the butter and when it is melted, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two until it is smooth and bubbly.  Whisk in the milk and allow the mixture to thicken. Add the spinach, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper to taste.  You could stop here and have a great side dish.

Or, you could spread a layer of creamed spinach on four slices of bread (buttered side down), sprinkle each one with 2 tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella cheese and sliced meat and top with another slice of bread, buttered side up. Place the sandwiches in a skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side over medium heat to achieve a nice golden crust.  Yum! Enjoy!