Food!!

Classic Beef Stew

I hope everyone is keeping warm because here on the East coast it’s freezing. This is the perfect weather for comfort food and crock pot use. Beef stew is a classic and everyone just loves the taste and how tender the meat gets. You can never go wrong with this dish. It’s also great for big crowds. I love to top it with some Parmesan cheese to kick it up a notch. Enjoy and stay warm.

Ingredients

2 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and diced into 1-1/2 inch cubes (you can find cubed chunks at the supermarket)
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 medium celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp herbs de provence or Italian seasoning
12 baby red potatoes, cut in half
2 cups baby carrots
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch (depending on how thick you like it)
1/2 cup peas, which I ran out of but we love it in our stew
NOTE: you can purchase celery, onions, potatoes and carrots already cut and ready for use at the supermarket
Preparation:
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Season meat to taste. Sear in skillet until browned. Pour meat into the crockpot.
Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil to oil in skillet reduce burner to medium. Saute onions and celery 3 minutes, add garlic saute 30 seconds longer then add in tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Pour 1 cup beef broth into skillet along with Worcestershire, herbs. Add potatoes and carrots over beef layer in slow cooker, then pour broth mixture in skillet into slow cooker along with remaining 2 cups beef broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper (add more to taste at the end). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch with 1 cup of stew broth until smooth. Pour into slow cooker and gently stir, cover and cook on high heat for 20 – 25 minutes until thickened slightly. Stir in peas cook for another 5 minutes. Serve warm garnished with parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.
Advertisements
A Platter of Thoughts

Dunkin’ Donuts Launches New Game Day Offer for Philadelphia 76ers Fans

Sixers fans can score a $1 medium Hot Coffee on all Sixers home game days when they use On-The-Go Mobile Ordering in the Dunkin’ Donuts app
Dunkin’ Donuts, the Official Coffee, Breakfast Sandwich and Donut of the Philadelphia 76ers, today announced the launch of its new Sixers Game Day offer to help keep DD Perks® members and Philadelphia 76ers fans running throughout the regular season.
Beginning Jan. 3 as the Sixers take on the San Antonio Spurs, DD Perks members can receive a $1 medium Hot Coffee on all Sixers home game days when they use On-the-Go Mobile Ordering in the Dunkin’ Donuts app. The offer is valid at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the greater Philadelphia-area (Southeastern PA, Southern NJ, and Kent and New Castle Counties, DE) throughout the regular season. Fans can become DD Perks members by enrolling at DDPerks.com or through the Dunkin’ Donuts app.
“Dunkin’ Donuts is excited to sponsor the Philadelphia 76ers for the second year in a row,” said Jessica Weissman, Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin’ Brands. “We are excited to launch the new Sixers Game Day Offer to reward our most loyal fans, our DD Perks members, with the chance to score $1 medium Hot Coffee on all Sixers home game days, and look forward to keeping our Dunkin’ Donuts guests and Sixers fans cheering loudly throughout the rest of the season.”
In January, Dunkin’ Donuts and the Philadelphia 76ers signed a multi-year agreement making Dunkin’ Donuts the Official Coffee, Breakfast Sandwich and Donut of the team. Throughout the 2017-18 season, guests can expect to see an array of Sixers-themed promotions and special events including performances by the Sixers Dunk Squad presented by Dunkin’ Donuts. The Dunkin’ Donuts Community Cruiser will also be on-site at select Sixers home games sampling Dunkin’ Donuts delicious hot and iced beverages.
To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit http://www.DunkinDonuts.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DunkinDonuts) and Twitter @DunkinPhilly.

A Platter of Thoughts

Dunkin’ Donuts Announces New Game Day Offer for Philadelphia Flyers Fans

Dunkin Donuts the Official Coffee and Donut of the Philadelphia Flyers, announced today the launch of its new Flyers Game Day offer to help keep DD Perks® members and Philadelphia Flyers fans running throughout the regular season.
Beginning Jan. 2 as the Flyers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, DD Perks members can receive a $1 medium Iced Coffee on all Flyers home game days when they use On-the-Go Mobile Ordering in the Dunkin’ Donuts app. The offer is valid at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the greater Philadelphia-area (Southeastern PA, Southern NJ, and Kent and New Castle Counties, DE) throughout the regular season. Fans can become DD Perks members by enrolling at DDPerks.com or through the Dunkin’ Donuts app.
“For four seasons now, fans have come to rely on Dunkin’ Donuts to fuel their passion for the Philadelphia Flyers,” said Jessica Weissman, Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin’ Brands. “We are excited to launch the new Flyers Home Game Day Offer to help keep Flyers fans cheering loudly throughout the rest of the regular season.”
Dunkin’ Donuts returns as an Official Partner of the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2017-18 season. The long-standing partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts and the Philadelphia Flyers includes numerous community initiatives, promotions and events.
To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit http://www.DunkinDonuts.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DunkinDonuts) and Twitter @DunkinPhilly.

Food!!

Bacon Salt

 

Every year we have to come up with different gift ideas for family and friends. This is the perfect gift for your foodie friend or bacon lovers. I’m talking about “Bacon Salt” yes that’s right bacon salt. You can use this on pretty much everything from baked potatoes, & popcorn to salads and even ice cream. This little gift will not disappoint and it’s super affordable and easy to make. I hope this helps with your last minute gifting.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Fine or Coarse Himalayan Pink Salt
12 to 15 pieces of cooked bacon, broken into pieces

Preparation:
Place the salt and broken pieces of bacon into a food processor. Pulse for 30 to 45 seconds until you have a coarse mixture.

Pour into a small mason jar. Label and tie a cute ribbon around it. Refrigerate until ready to gift.

Food!!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

 

Holidays are in full swing, which means a lot of delicious comfort food. But sometimes our bodies just need a break. During the week I try to eat healthy, while on the weekends I like to splurge. This recipe came to me the other day because my daughter loves fried rice. I just wanted to try something different and healthier. So that’s when the beloved cauliflower comes into the mix. I bought my cauliflower already riced. If you can’t find it like that, then break up a head of cauliflower into pieces and place it in a food processor. Pulse until you have a rice consistency. Boom! Cauliflower rice.

Ingredients
4-6 cups cauliflower rice (about 1 large cauliflower head)
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2-3 eggs
1/4 cup
1/2 Scallions, chopped

Preparation:

Heat 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and a pinch of salt and scramble until the eggs are cooked. Transfer to a small plate and set aside. Next add remaining oil, garlic, scallions, ginger, peas and carrots. Sauté for 4 minutes, add cauliflower rice. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Finally add the eggs back in and soy sauce. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve

A Platter of Thoughts · Travel

2018 Mercedes E400 Coupe

 

 

I’m excited to share another beautiful car with all of you.  Meet the 2018 Mercedes E400 4Matic Coupe. This car is super stylish, as if it came off of a car runway.  The interior is stunning, providing you with all the latest luxury.  Beautifully comfortable seats that even massage your back and an excellent Burmester audio system make it even more noteworthy.  You would think that a coupe wouldn’t be comfortable for 4 people but I️ was surprised at the leg room the backseat had and how comfortable it was.  It’s roomy and perfect for backseat passengers.

The E400 Coupe excels on wide, open highways, where it maintains speed effortlessly. Providing you with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque in the E400.

Let’s breakdown some of the other amazing features. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth are the standard smartphone connectivity tools. Other highlights include ambient interior lighting with 64 color choices (may we suggest a calming Cerulean during the day and daring Magenta at night?), heated armrests, and a rockin’ Burmester sound system.


Every 2018 E-Class Coupe comes standard with a backup camera, electronic stability control, active braking assist, and two Pre-Safe® technologies that activate before an impending crash. When the vehicle senses it will be T-boned, the front seats automatically push driver and passenger three inches towards the center of the cabin. The intelligence of the car is outstanding. Also can’t forget to mention the panoramic roof, leather trim, 12.3-inch widescreen. Make sure to checkout my video below. All and all I give this car a 9 out of 10. For more information visit https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/index
Food!!

Sweet Potato Balls

Thanksgiving is almost here. It’s my favorite time of the year. The smell of delicious food and laughs with family and friends is simply the best. These sweet potato balls are great as an appetizer, side dish or even perfect for those leftovers.

I️ wanted to create that perfect bite of sweet potato casserole. Some people use marshmallows or pecans to top their casserole. I️ used both in this little bite. I️ promise you this will be a crowd pleaser for all those sweet potato lovers.

I️ hope everyone has a fantastic thanksgiving. Remember to “Gobble til you wobble”. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sweet potato balls

Ingredients:

2 cooked sweet potatoes (mashed)
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 egg
5 cups vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups panko crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mini Marshmallows, for stuffing

Preparation:
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, cook until tender 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside until cooled.

In a medium bowl add the butter, flour, milk, 1/2 brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice, ginger, vanilla, egg and a good pinch of salt. Mash some more to make them super creamy.

Place the panko crumbs, pecans, remaining brown sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Use a tablespoon amount of sweet potato and place them in the breadcrumbs. Gently roll the sweet potato balls through the breadcrumbs, forming balls as you go and evenly coating each ball. Make a small indent to add marshmallows and roll back up. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the balls in the refrigerator for about an hour.

In a medium pot add vegetable oil bring to 350 F degrees. Place 4 balls in at a time and fry until golden. Remove from oil and on to paper towel to drain. Toss in cinnamon and sugar.

Place on serving dish and enjoy.

 

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Manna Pie in the Sky

 

 

The Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)’s 21th annual Pie in the Sky event, presented by American Airlines, is MANNA’s largest fundraiser with a host of exciting pie events leading up to Thanksgiving. Funds raised through Pie in the Sky enable MANNA to provide a delicious traditional Thanksgiving meal for four to a MANNA client. MANNA serves individuals battling life-threatening illness in the Greater Philadelphia region. Buy a Pie, Feed a Family!
Pie sales begin October 1 and end November 17. Pies can be purchased at http://www.mannapies.org. The interactive website makes buying and pie selling easy.

 

The 2017 Pie in the Sky season is more competitive than ever – with a goal to sell more than 8,600 pies in six flavors. Pie flavors include: Aberdeen Standard Apple, Pecan, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Pecan and American Airlines Sky Pie which is a delicious cheesecake pie with caramel, chocolate, and walnuts. A brand new Berry pie makes its debut this year and is available in a very limited quantity.
Pie selling teams are led by Presenting Sponsor American Airlines, and are the heart of MANNA’s Pie in the Sky campaign. Dozens of teams and hundreds of individual pie sellers participate from all over the Philadelphia area.

 

Pie in the Sky gets bigger and better each year, thanks to the tremendous support from the greater Philadelphia community.” – Sue Daugherty, MANNA CEO. MANNA proudly recognizes American Airlines for celebrating their 10th year as Presenting Sponsor of Pie in the Sky!
The event is generously sponsored by – American Airlines (Presenting Sponsor), Aberdeen Standard (Premier Sponsor), Sysco Philadelphia (Premier Sponsor), and CBS 3 (Media Sponsor).
Pie in the Sky Highlights:

Saturday, October 1 – Pie sales officially begin. Thursday, November 2 – The Mayor’s office, along with other dignitaries, declare “Pie Day” through an official proclamation at MANNA. MANNA shares delicious pie samples throughout the festivities. Pie Man and many of the Pie Teams are on hand to celebrate. Friday, November 17 – Pie sales end at midnight on MANNA’s pie website. Tuesday & Wednesday, November 21-22 – Distribution and pie pick-up days, where hundreds of MANNA volunteers are on hand to distribute and deliver pies to 50 pick-up locations. Pick-up locations will open from 4pm-8pm (November 21); 10am-2pm (November 22).

Check out the event’s website here http://www.mannapies.org

ABOUT MANNA MANNA prepares and delivers delicious nourishing meals and counsel, empowering individuals to battle illness and improve their quality of life. A small professional staff and 4,500 dedicated volunteers bring more than 95,000 nutritious, home delivered meals each month to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life threatening illnesses. MANNA dietitians promote wellness through nutrition education and counseling. Through these services, MANNA provides opportunities for caring people to extend loving support to families, friends, and neighbors.

Food!!

Dunkin Donuts Munchkins

When you think about having a birthday party of course the highlight is the cake or cupcakes.  Some people may just go to the supermarket and pick up cupcakes or spend a good amount of money on a cake creation from a bakery.  There’s nothing wrong with either of those, but after having so many birthday parties for my kids I decided I didn’t want to spend a fortune on cakes or cupcakes for little kids.
This is just my opinion. Maybe when they get older I’ll go back to cakes but for now we are enjoying my childhood favorite munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts. These are perfect for a kid’s party with no messy frosting all over the place. You can get super creative with these little guys as well. Kids and adults alike will love it. There is no shame moms and dads to present this at your child’s birthday party.
If some of you don’t know what munchkins are, they are BITE SIZED TREATS.   Donut hole treats come in a variety of delicious flavors – the perfect, poppable treats to share with others. Stop by your local Dunkin’ Donuts of Greater Philadelphia to pick-up donuts for any occasion.
A Platter of Thoughts

Oriental Trading Birthday Party

This past weekend was my daughter and husbands birthday. Since their Birthdays always fall near Halloween we always do a Halloween theme. Planning a party at home can sometimes be stressful for people. Luckily I love to entertain but sometimes I have a vision and can’t find certain items at the store. But not to fear that’s when Oriental Trading comes in to play.

Oriental Trading has everything you need to plan that perfect gathering. Below I listed all the items we got for our event. The hit of the party was the Eyeball drink dispensers. Both kids and adults loved it.

Party supplies
Halloween Silhouette Plastic Cups
Eyeball Drink dispenser
Jumbo corner spider web with spider
Creepy cloth
Black and Orange polka dot napkins
Black and Orange polka dot plates
Orange and Black polka dot straws
Halloween fringe table skirt
Mini squeeze jack o lantern stress toys
Orange and Black party kits (which came with table decor and balloons)
Black and Orange polka dot banners
Halloween pinwheels

These supplies were perfect for our Halloween birthdays. I can’t wait to get some things for my holiday parties/get togethers. They have some fabulous holidays items that will make those table settings stand out.