I Cho ♥ you!

And the winner is…. Susan LaMar!!! 

My one year Facebook blogiversary month is August & as Knead to Cook is quickly approaching 5k Facebook fans and blog website views over 110,000 ~ I wanted to do some fun thank you giveaways (over the next few weeks) with both old and new supporters of my blog/website.

One of the first companies that comes to my mind, that has been an enormous supporter of my blogging is…. Chobani.  I have such a love and fondness for this company that my words only can merely scratch the surface.  My family eats Chobani every single day.  It’s the perfect post-workout recovery protein, breakfast, snack or substitute for less than desirable ingredients in my baking & cooking.  I ♥ it!  Protein-packed and unbelievably tasty!

So Chobani is sharing some ♥ with Knead to Cook’s fans!  One winner will be randomly selected by random.org to win:

16 oz blended containers in Blueberry, Peach, Black Cherry, Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, Pineapple & Mango!

The rules and what you need to do to get entered…

1.  Open to US residents only.
2.  Must be a fan of Knead to Cook on Facebook.
3.  Post a comment.  You need to post a comment replying to this post on my blog OR on Knead to Cook’s facebook wall sharing what your favorite Chobani flavor is OR what flavor you would like them to consider making in the future.

All entry comments need to be posted by August 29th, 2012 11:59 EST.  The lucky winner will be announced August 30th, 2012 at 9 PM EST.  Once the winner has been announced, they must be in contact with me within 48 hours via email ([email protected]) to provide your US mailing address for Chobani to send your winning shipment out directly to you.  If the winner fails to contact me within the specified timeframe, a new winner will be chosen.

Check out all of these fabulous flavors one lucky winner will receive!!!  Oh the delicious possibilities!!!
                     

 

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Easy & healthy mashed yams.

Two ingredients.  Super easy.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of yams, washed, peeled and sliced into large pieces
6 cups of water
Salt
Honey

Directions:

Bring a pot of water, seasoned with salt, to a boil.  Add the yams and cook until knife tender.  Drain.  In your stand mixer, add the potatoes and beat.  Add honey (start out with about 1/4 cup) and blend.  Adjust seasonings to your personal taste.

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Braised breast of chicken with tomatoes & garlic.

 

Even if you don’t enjoy cooking, OR you think you aren’t a good cook (does this sound like you?) you have to try this recipe!  It is so simple and cooking slowly over a low flame for several hours yields a tender, juicy – unbelievable dinner.  I promise!

Ingredients:

Chicken breasts – I used organic, skinless breasts (4-6 of them)
2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (if fresh isn’t available use a large 28 ounce can of crushed or chopped tomatoes)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Chicken broth
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Directions:

In a large, heavy weight Dutch oven over medium heat, pour a little bit of olive oil to brown the chicken.  Once hot, place the chicken breasts in to brown.  Leave the breasts on one side for about 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.  This step won’t cook the breasts through but will brown them to add a nice crust.  Then flip and repeat on the other side.  After that, add the remaining ingredients.  Pour about 1/2 cup of chicken stock in the pan and cover.  Let this simmer for 2-6 hours.  Just keep a watchful eye on the liquid amount in the pan.  Add addition stock as needed.  The chicken will steam and be unbelievably tender.

Serve over rice, pasta or as I’m doing tonight… mashed yams.

 

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Raw cookie dough wrapped in dark chocolate.

I love raw cookie dough.  I know, I know, it’s really bad to eat with the raw egg.  But the fact of the matter is this, I’m 40 years old, have been eating it my entire life and have never gotten sick.  Now, sharing recipes online is of course, a different animal. I can’t tell you to eat raw eggs but this little sweet delight… yes, you won’t miss the egg at all.  Made a batch and they are all pretty much gone already.  Perfect after school snack… oh-so-good!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup of salted cashews
2/3 cup of raw almonds
2/3 cup of oats (I used quick cooking but regular are fine)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of honey or agave
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of chia seeds
1/4 cup or more or dark chocolate chips
1 cup of dark chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

Add the first 6 ingredients into your food processor.  Blend until finely ground.  Add the honey or agave (whichever you are using), vanilla and chia.  Blend.  Scrape down the sides.  Then add the chocolate chips.  Blend and scoop out into little balls.

You can use little popsicle sticks or not, but dip the balls into the chocolate and cover completely.  I placed on parchment paper and repeated.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and then serve.  Oh my goodness these are so good!

 

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Kale & Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers.

 

Okay I’m a day late for Meatless Monday… oh well, these were still so deeeelish!  Tuesdays are farmer’s market day for me and I couldn’t help but buy some gorgeous yellow and purple peppers.  They were so tasty and I whipped up some kale and rice filling to add more vitamin punch to this vegetarian dish!

Ingredients:

4-5 bell peppers, washed, cut in half (down the center of it) with seeds removed
Olive oil
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 cup of kale, thick stem removed and chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of finely chopped yellow onion
8 ounces of black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
Water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Rub each pepper with olive oil both inside and out and place in a 13×9 pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

In your sauté pan, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and add your garlic and onion.  Sauté until translucent.  Add the black beans, pine nuts, and jalapeño.  Season with cumin, salt and pepper.

In a stock pot bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add some salt.  Add the kale and cover.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Promptly drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Add the rice and the kale to your sauté pan and mix well.  Then spoon the mixture into each pepper.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the pan and cover with foil.  Bake for 16 minutes.

Optional:  You can top with grated cheese before you bake.  I did use Asiago.

 

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Mixed olive tapenade.

I love olives!  This is one of my favorite go-to appetizers and I’ve been craving this for about two weeks.  I finally purchased some of my favorite olives and just got done making this… I had to share!  Easily prepared ahead of time.  All you need are some toasted baguette slices or even Melba toast.  A great basic that is always well-recieved.  Remember, serve with a great glass of wine :)

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of mixed olives, pitted ( I used garlic stuffed, feta stuffed, green and Kalamata olives)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of capers
5 fresh basil leaves
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Zest from one lemon

Directions:

This is super easy!  Toss it all in your food processor and blend until it resembles a chunky paste.  Remove and store in a tupperware container.

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Raspberry Peach Squares.

I purchased the most beautiful peaches today and knew I had to whip up a lovely dessert for tonight.  I wanted to mix flavors a bit so I added raspberry preserve along with some fresh raspberries.  I think you guys are going to love these!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup of sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup of King Arthur’s all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed meal
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
Salt
12 tablespoons of cold butter
1 1/2 cup of peaches that have been washed, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup of raspberry perserve
1/4 cup of raspberries
Juice from half of a lemon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line your 13×9 with tin foil so that you can, after cooling, remove the bars easily for slicing.  Make sure there is a good enough edge of foil around the entire pan.  Spray with baking spray and set aside.

In your food processor, blend 1 1/4 cups of almonds, flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar,   1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Blend for about 30 seconds.  Then add the butter and pulse for 25 times.  The dough will look coarse with some small chunks.

Remove 1/2 cup of the dough mixture and set aside.  Pour out the remaining in the pan and evenly distribute throughout.  Go up the sides a bit and press firmly.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Clean your food processor and then add peaches & preserve.  15 seconds of blending.  Then pour into a skillet over medium heat and let the fruit thicken up.  This will take about 12-14 minutes.  Then pour over the crust and spread evenly throughout.  Then top with the remaining dough – pinch it into small chunks and scatter on top.  Then spread the remaining almonds over top.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and let cool for at least 2.5 hours or 2 hours and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil gently and place on a cutting board.  Slice into pieces and enjoy.

 

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Fig & prosciutto flatbread with a balsamic reduction drizzle.

I was thrilled the other day when I stumbled upon some fresh figs at my local market.  I instantly thought of this recipe.  An oldie but goodie.  Even children love the combination of the salty (prosciutto) & the sweet (figs) over whole wheat flatbread topped with a tangy balsamic reduction.  This recipe takes a bit to prepare but it is so worth the effort.

Flat bread:

Ingredients:
1 c whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur’s)
1.5 c all purpose unbleached flour (King Arthur)
2 and 1/4 tsp of yeast
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Directions:

Mix the sugar into the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Pour into your mixer bowl. Then add flours, salt and olive oil. Combine. Knead the dough (with your mixer attach the dough hook) for 8 minutes. Then place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with a nonstick olive oil spray. Let rise for one hour.

Punch down. Then divide the dough in half. Turn out onto a flour surface and roll until you achieve the desired thickness. This crust is great rolled out really thin.  I then prick the dough with a fork all over the surface.  Brush olive oil on top.  Bake for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden.

Please note: I preheated my oven at 425 degrees for one hour with my pizza stone. I pre-bake the crust for 5-7 minutes.  I

Toppings:
10 figs, washed/quartered
1/4 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto
Asiago cheese, shredded
1/3 cup of fine quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
Over low/medium flame, heat your balsamic and brown sugar combination until it reduces by half.  Whisk consistently until thickened.  Turn the burner down to low to keep warm.
After pre-baking your crust, top with torn slices of the prosciutto, figs and then the cheese (to adhere everything).  Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Then drizzle the reduction over top and serve.
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Mango pancakes.

After coming back home from a tropical vacation, I felt my love for mangos renewed.  My kids had become quite fond of eating fresh mangos every day and I just knew these pancakes would be a welcome surprise for breakfast.  They were!  I normally have pancakes leftover to warm-up and serve during the week — sadly no leftovers remained. I may need to purchase another case and whip up another batch.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup of almond milk
1/2 stick of butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 mangos, pitted and chopped up into smaller, bite-sized pieces (cut up an additional mango for topping)

Directions:

In your stand mixer, paddle attached, blend the flours, sugar, powder, flax seed and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk milk, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Then gradually add the wet mixture to the dry and blend.  By hand, gently blend in the mango.

In your skillet over medium flame, add a pat of butter, let melt and then ladle some batter in to the hot pan.  Flip when golden brown on one side (around 2 minutes).  Top with the additional mango.

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Vegetarian Rolls.

Perfectly vegetarian. This recipe is totally customizable.  I’m still perfecting my “wrapping” skills but this is one of our favorite lunches ever!  Totally filling without any of the guilt from a heavy lunch or light dinner.  These would also be super fun to make at a dinner party – think of Vietnamese “tacos”.

Rice paper can be purchased at any Asian market or at some specialty sections of your grocery store.  You want to look for rice/tapioca blend.  Avoid wheat.

The ingredients that you fill these with are totally up to you.  I used sliced avocado, red peppers, brown rice, sprouts, peanuts and slivered carrots.  You can add meat or fish if you prefer.

My tips on working with the rice paper… get a bowl of warm water next to you prep area and soak one sheet at a time for about 30 seconds.  It will become pliable, yet fragile.  Lay it out on a flat, clean surface and fill in your ingredients.  I start with rice and add from there.  Avoid over-filling.  Then for an open top, fold the bottom of the rice paper up and then take one side and fold it over the filling and then repeat with the other side.  Place on a platter.  Repeat until you make as many as you wish to have.  Top with sesame seeds and pickled ginger.

Dipping sauce:

You can use Teriyaki  sauce from the store or I blend 1/4 cup of low sodium Soy Sauce with wasabi paste.  Mix up and dip.

The more you make, the better you get.  I promise, these are super fun and so delicious!

 

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