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.
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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

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.
Food!!

Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces Event and Recipe

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This is a sponsored post with Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces; thoughts and recipe are my own.

Last week I headed to NYC to attend a Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta Sauce event. It took place at The Gramercy hotel rooftop, and was absolutely stunning. The table was set beautifully. Everyone was there was to try the delicious brand new Bertolli Pasta Sauce called Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces. As all of you know, I love to make my own sauce but when I don’t have time I love to grab a good jarred tomato sauce. I was always a fan of traditional Bertolli Pasta Sauces but after trying the new Rustic Cut Pasta Sauces I was hooked. Not only does the sauce taste fresh but, the veggies are still a little al dente, giving you that homemade hearty sauce that we all desire.

 

The event had some delicious wines to pair up with dinner. Appetizers started out with Arancini balls topped with Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Roasted Garlic Marinara with Garden Vegetables Sauce , mini Meatballs topped with Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta Sauce Marinara, and dates wrapped with prosciutto. These all were very delicious. Now let’s get to dinner.

For starters we enjoyed a Tuscan salad and rustic bread topped with Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces with a Pinot Grigio. The main course was a family style Roastes Branzino, Chicken Cacciatore made with Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauce Sweet Peppers and Portobello Mushroom (delicious), Cavatelli tossed in Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauce Roasted Garlic, mushrooms and heirloom tomatoes topped with Parmesan cheese (I could have eaten the whole bowl, haha) and finally for the table was a creamy marscapone and Parmesan polenta with Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauce Spicy Marinara. The wines paired for dinner were Chianti and Chardonnay.

After a fabulous dinner of course we needed dessert, so we had fresh berries and tiramisu.

The event was fantastic.  I met so many amazing people and learned a little more about the brand Bertolli and about founder Francesco Bertolli and his love for simply cooked meals.  They use quality ingredients and olive oil to lock in flavors.

Below I wanted to share a recipe with you guys using Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce.

This is a great little appetizer or a side for a main dish. Its round little polenta topped with roasted garlic sauce, sautéed wild mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and basil. The perfect bite.

What I absolutely love about the new Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta Sauces is it contains NO additives like artificial colors, artificial flavors and added sugar. This is key when feeding my family. I always read the label.

Also this month Bertolli is launching the Bravo Rewards program, rewarding you with an opportunity to receive a custom, ceramic spoon rest when you purchase two or more jars of any Bertolli Pasta Sauce in one trip to the store, and post a photo of the receipt on bertolli.com/bravo. Eating a delicious sauce and getting a chance to win a little gift sounds like a plan to me.

Round Polenta Bites with Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce recipe

Ingredients:

1 store bought ready-made polenta roll (about 8oz)
1 jar Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
1 lb Wild mushrooms, chopped
1 Garlic glove, minced
1 sprig of thyme
1 teaspoon evoo
Salt & pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese
6-8 Basil leaves, chiffonade for garnish

Preparation:

On medium to high heat add evoo, thyme and mushrooms, sauté for about 5 minutes. Next season with S&P cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside.

Cut the store bought polenta into round bites. Top with Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven at 375 F degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven top with Basil and serve.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces.

 

 

Food!!

Healthy Roasted Veggie bowl with Cauliflower rice

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you. A lot of vegan and vegetarian meals get a bad rep.  People say it doesn’t have flavor and that it’s bland. Well I’m here to tell you that the rumors aren’t true. Seasoning, herbs and Extra virgin olive oil are your friend when preparing a veggie meal. 

I have done a cauliflower pizza crust but I wanted to make cauliflower rice with my roasted veggies for dinner. The flavors in this dish didn’t even make me miss meat (don’t worry I’m still a carnivore, but love a good healthy shake up now and again). I have said this before but by roasting veggies you are bringing out the sweetness in veggies which is a great way to get kids to eat them. 
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family did. 
Cauliflower Rice ingredients: 
1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets and add it to the food processor pulse until the size of grains or you can buy cauliflower crumbles already done for you. 
2 tablespoons of EVOO 
Salt & pepper, to taste 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
Parmesan cheese, optional 
Parsley, roughly chopped for garnish 
Preparation: 
In a large saucepan add evoo, garlic powder, onion powder on medium to high heat. Season with S&P sauté for 5 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley. 
 
Roasted veggies ingredients: 
1 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts
1 small butternut squash, cubed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
Salt & pepper, to taste
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Garlic powder 
1-2 sprigs of rosemary or thyme, finely chopped, optional (both if desired)
 
Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut off buttons of Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place in a large bowl.

Next cut up butternut squash into cubes (you can also buy cubed and prepped butternut squash at supermarket). Place in the bowl with Brussels sprouts. Drain and rinse chickpeas and add to bowl.

Toss veggies with seasonings, olive oil and herbs. Place all the veggies on baking sheet (don’t over crowd the veggies this will steam them instead of roasting) and roast for 35 to 40 minutes until tender and golden crisp color.  Move veggies around about half way through. Serve on top of cauliflower rice and top with pepitas and parsley. 

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Dunkin’ Donuts Celebrates 10 Years as Official Partner of the Philadelphia Eagles and Launches New Game Day Offer for Fans

 

In honor of the tenth consecutive season as an official partner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dunkin’ Donuts today announced the launch of its new Eagles Game Day Offer to help keep DD Perks® members and Philadelphia Eagles fans running throughout the regular season.

Beginning Sept. 10 as the Eagles take on the Redskins, DD Perks members can score a $1 medium Hot or Iced Coffee on all Eagles game days when they pay with a DD Perks enrolled Dunkin’ Donuts card. Additionally, with the “Cheers, Eagles Won!” promotion, DD Perks members can score a $1 medium Hot or Iced Coffee the day following an Eagles regular season win when they pay with a DD Perks enrolled Dunkin’ Donuts card. The offers are valid at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the greater Philadelphia region throughout the 2017-18 regular season. Fans can become DD Perks members by enrolling at DDPerks.com or through the Dunkin’ Mobile App®.

“For 10 years, fans have come to rely on Dunkin’ Donuts to fuel their passion for the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Jessica Weissman, Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin’ Brands. “We are excited to launch the new Eagles Game Day Offer to reward our most loyal fans, our DD Perks members, with the chance to score $1 medium Hot or Iced Coffee on all Eagles game days, and look forward to keeping our Dunkin’ Donuts guests and Eagles fans cheering loudly throughout the regular season.”

As the Official Coffee, Breakfast Sandwich, and Donut of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dunkin’ Donuts will offer fans a chance to show their team pride with the official Eagles Donut, a yeast ring topped with green dipping icing and white drizzle, available today through Nov. 19 at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the greater Philadelphia-area. Dunkin’ Donuts hot and iced coffee, and hot chocolate will continue to be served in various locations throughout Lincoln Financial Field, while Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cup® Pods will be served in each of the stadium’s suites.

“We are excited to celebrate 10 years of partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Ari Roitman, Eagles Senior Vice President of Business. “Their ability to engage with Eagles fans through unique, season-long promotions continues to fuel the city and our team. We are humbled to know that our on-field performance this season will once again directly benefit our community’s youth through the ‘TouchDDowns for Kids’ program.”

Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts will once again partner with Good Sports, Inc. for the 5th annual Dunkin’ Donuts “TouchDDowns for Kids” program, where for every Eagles touchdown scored, Dunkin’ Donuts will donate $250 to Good Sports. Philadelphia Eagles’ Tight End Zach Ertz will return as the program’s spokesperson, donating an additional $250 for each touchdown he personally scores this season. The funds donated through the “TouchDDowns for Kids” program will directly support Good Sports’ mission to increase youth participation in sports and recreation by providing sports equipment and apparel to youth organizations in need. To learn more or to apply for an equipment grant, visit www.GoodSports.org/DunkinPhilly.

To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DunkinDonuts) and Twitter @DunkinPhilly.

 

Food!!

Bourbon Peach Cobbler on Cast Iron

 

End of summer and peaches are all over the place, so I love having a quick dessert recipe in hand that utilizes them. This cobbler can be done with any fruit of choice. I also love the fact that it’s done right on my cast iron pan, caramelizing the fruit and intensifying the flavors. To this recipe I decided to add bourbon. Something about bourbon and peaches makes me happy. The only problem you will have is just having one slice. Another tip is to not forget the vanilla ice cream. It’s a must and you can thank me later.

Ingredients:

7 peaches, washed and sliced (I left the skin on but you can remove the skin of you would like)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
2/4 cups bourbon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees

In a medium bowl add the sliced peaches, cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar, bourbon, pinch salt , cornstarch and set aside let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile add flour, baking powder, pinch salt, remaining sugar and cubed cold butter. Using a food processor or your hands work the butter into the flour leaving it coarse. Next add the heavy cream don’t over work it. It should be a little sticky and that’s fine. Set aside.

Next take a cast iron add some butter to sauté the marinated peaches on medium to high heat. Sauté for 5 minutes remove from heat. Finally add your dough with a tablespoon or ice cream scoop throughout the top of the peaches. Sprinkle with additional sugar and cinnamon if desired.

Place in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Now get ready to enjoy. Serve warm with that vanilla ice cream.