Archive | Contests RSS feed for this section

Spaghettini with Roasted Beet and Poppy Seed + a CONTEST!

4 Feb

 

IMG_4648

Disclosure: Italpasta provided me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for this recipe.

I love pasta and I could eat it every day of the week if I had to. I’m serious. There are so many pasta shapes and so many ways to eat it that I’m sure I wouldn’t run out of options.

I was excited when Italpasta asked me to try a vegetarian recipe for pasta lovers, perfect for Valentine’s Day, featuring Italpasta Total Pasta Spaghettini. It’s a white pasta with the goodness of 10 grams of fibre packed into each serving, a great option for hubby and I because as much as we enjoy whole wheat and other “healthy” pastas, sometimes we just want (at least what looks like) the regular stuff!

This recipe features butter, spaghettini, beets and goat cheese and they all combine together to form a simple and tasty dish with a beautiful, vibrant beet red finish, perfect for Valentine’s Day or if you’re having guests over and want to impress them. At first I wasn’t sure about adding poppy seeds to the dish but they ended up adding a nice crunch. The texture of the spaghettini was perfect, I never would have known that I was eating a high fibre pasta. We’re adding this dish to our pasta rotation, that’s how much we both liked it! #win

I’ve added some of my own notes in the recipe below. If you make it and have any tips to share, please leave a comment below this post. Happy cooking!

P.S. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter my delicious Valentine’s Day contest to win an Italpasta “For Pasta Lovers” prize pack.

Italpasta’s Spaghettini with Roasted Beet and Poppy Seed

Link: http://www.italpasta.com/recipes-spaghettini-with-roasted-beet.php

Serves 2

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

½ pound      Italpasta Total Pasta Spaghettini         225 g

2                     small roasted red beets, peeled and cut into wedges (Sandy’s notes: You can save time by roasting the beets a few days before making this recipe).

2 tbsps          unsalted butter            30mL

1 tbsp             Italpasta Extra Virgin Olive Oil 15mL

1                      small shallot, minced  (Sandy’s notes: I used half of a small onion)

1 tbsp             poppy seeds   15mL

2                      sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped

salt and pepper

¼ cup              crumbled soft ripened goats cheese, for serving      60mL

(Sandy’s notes: I quickly roasted the beets by peeling them and cutting them into cubes. Then I tossed them in a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper and I spread them out on a baking sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper. I roasted them at 425 F for 30 minutes. You may need longer depending on the size of the beets. While you have your beets in the oven, consider making some roasted potatoes or another dish to save on energy.)

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente or to your taste. Drain and reserve ½ cup pasta water.

In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown the butter. Reduce the heat slightly, add extra-virgin olive oil, and stir to combine. Add minced shallot, and cook for 2 minutes, until softened, stir in poppy seeds. Toast the seeds for 1-2 minutes.

To the shallots and poppy seeds, add the chopped beets and thyme, stir for 1-2 minutes. Add ½ cup of pasta water to the skillet. Simmer the sauce over medium heat for 2 minutes. (Sandy’s notes: At this point, I added a ½ teaspoon of chili flakes to add a little spice to the dish).

(Sandy’s notes: This next step is key…stir quickly and constantly to cover all of your pasta with that beautiful red sauce otherwise it will be unevenly coloured.)

Transfer pasta to the skillet and cook for 1 minute until combined, stirring constantly. Taste and adjust salt and pepper seasoning. Serve in warm pasta bowls and top with crumbled goat’s cheese.

IMG_4624

IMG_4629

IMG_4630

IMG_4634

IMG_4637

If you loved the look of this pasta, Italpasta has a second Valentine’s Day inspired pasta recipe – Red Wine Spaghetti: http://www.italpasta.com/recipes-red-wine-spaghetti.php

recipe_redwine

If you’re looking for more ways to impress your loved one on Valentine’s Day, visit Italpasta’s special Pinterest board with tips on how to set the perfect table, host Valentine’s Day on a budget and of course, cook up some awesome pasta recipes here: http://www.pinterest.com/forpastalovers/valentine-s-is-for-pasta-lovers/

Get more tips and recipes from Italpasta here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForPastaLovers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ItalpastaLimited

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/forpastalovers

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/forpastalovers/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ForPastaLovers

CONTEST – Enter to Win a Valentine’s Day Italpasta “For Pasta Lovers” prize pack!

Enter to win a prize pack valued at over $50. It will include:

  • A supply of Italpasta Tradizionale Pasta
  • Apron
  • Cheese Grater

To enter:

1) Follow me on Twitter @savvari or www.twitter.com/savvari

2) Follow Italpasta on Twitter at @forpastalovers or www.twitter.com/forpastalovers

3) Retweet my contest tweet OR tweet this message:

I want to win a #ValentinesDay prize pack from @savvari and Italpasta @forpastalovers http://bit.ly/1vszYbL #forpastalovers

Get a second chance to win by leaving a comment below this post. Tell me what your favourite pasta shape is and what your favourite way to prepare it is – macaroni with cheese? Linguine with alfredo sauce? If you have a great recipe, let me know! If you don’t use Twitter, this would be your method of entry.

You can enter on both Twitter and on the blog post once per day each until the end of the contest. Contest runs until Sunday February 15 at 5 pm EST, so get your entries in!

Additional info:

  • There is one (1) Italpasta prize pack to be won.
  • The winner will be announced by Monday February 15 at 5 pm EST.
  • The contest is open only to residents of Canada.
  • Prize will be shipped directly to the winner. A Canadian shipping address must be provided.
  • Total value of the prize is $50

 

 

Advertisements

CONTEST: Enter to win a gift box from Nature’s Path!

4 Jan

Disclosure: I received a tasty box of Nature’s Path products from their fabulous team and I loved it so much that I want you to win one too : )

2014-270-Blogger-Holiday-Giveaway-NOV14-1

Now that I’m a mom, I’ve been thinking a lot more about what I eat and what I feed my son. He’s only 7 months old and he just started eating solids but I know that in the next few years we will have a lot of choices to make, including deciding which cereals he’ll have for breakfast. A friend introduced me to Nature’s Path products a few years ago and I’ve enjoyed their cereals and waffles over the years, especially their Flax Plus Flakes and their frozen waffles (yum!). Receiving this box was great because I had the chance to try a range of Nature’s Path products and share them with my family on Christmas Eve.

The box was filled to the brim with tasty goodness and it included:

–          Love Crunch Gingerbread

–          Love Crunch Dark Chocolate

–          Sunrise Crunchy Maple Cereal

–          Whole O’s Cereal

–          Flax Plus Flakes

–          Pure Oats Fruit & Nut Granola

–          Chia Coconut Granola

–          Pumpkin Flax Granola

–          Qi’a Original

–          1 x product voucher valued at $5

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t had a chance to try everything in the box yet. The folks at Nature’s Path were so generous that I ended up sharing the contents of the box with my whole family. Now I’ll just have to visit everyone to try it all before it’s gone! : )

CONTEST:

I’m happy to share that you too can win one of these awesome #FeelGoodHoliday boxes, packed with Nature’s Path products.

To enter:

If you’re on Twitter:

Follow me on Twitter @savvari or www.twitter.com/savvari

Follow Nature’s Path on Twitter at @naturespath or www.twitter.com/naturespath

Tweet:

I want to win a #FeelGoodHoliday box of goodies from @savvari and @naturespath – http://wp.me/p1yJez-uW #FeelGoodHoliday

Get an extra entry by leaving a comment below this post. Tell me who you would share this box of Nature’s Path goodies with! If you don’t have Twitter, this would be your method of entry.

You can enter on both Twitter and on the blog once per day each until the end of the contest.

Contest runs until Wed January 7 at 5 pm EST, so get your entries in!

Rules and Regs:

-There is one (1) Nature’s Path #FeelGoodHoliday box to be won.

-The winner will be announced by Thursday January 8 at 5 pm EST.

-The contest is open to Canadian and US residents only.

-Prize will be shipped directly to the winner. Winner’s prize will arrive within 15-20 business days from date of info received. US or Canadian shipping address must be provided.

-Total value of the box is $50

Get digital and social with Nature’s Path:

Website: http://ca-en.naturespath.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naturespath

Twitter: @NaturesPath or www.twitter.com/naturespath #FeelGoodHoliday

THE WINNER IS……Rachel Williams from Twitter! Thanks everyone for entering! 

 

 

Win tickets to the VIP Preview Evening of the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

3 Nov

LogoDisclosure: I’ve received a pair of VIP Preview Evening tickets for the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, for my own use.

The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is back in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Nov 20-23 and as usual it promises to be an exciting weekend of amazing food and wine. This year, the weekend will feature special appearances from Chef Lynn Crawford, Chef David Rocco and other great Canadian chefs, cheese seminars from Dairy Farmers of Canada and demos on the Food Network Canada stage, to mention a few of the many great reasons to attend the show.

I’m thrilled to share that I have TWO pairs of tickets to the VIP Preview Evening on Thursday November 20, 2014 to give away to the readers of Milk & Eggs and my friends on Twitter.

Here’s how you can enter:

1) Follow me on Twitter at @savvari

2) Retweet one of my tweets about the contest. One entry per person.

3) If you don’t use Twitter or wish to get an extra entry, leave a comment below this blog post and tell me why you want to go to the VIP Preview Evening. Please be sure to leave your Twitter handle, email address or Facebook page name in your post so I can reach you if you win. One entry per person.

The contest closes on Thursday November 13 at 12 noon EST. The winners will be chosen at random and will be announced on Thursday November 13, after the draw takes place, via my Twitter account @savvari

Each ticket is valued at $45 ($90 value for each of the two pairs).

Note: You can only win one pair of tickets.

Good luck and I hope to see you at the VIP Preview Evening!

Learn more about the upcoming Gourmet Food & Wine Expo:

Website: http://www.foodandwineexpo.ca/

Twitter: @GFWE Hashtag: #GFWE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gourmetfoodandwine

Baked Egg Cups and a contest from Egg Farmers of Canada!

14 May

Early mornings, busy days and late nights leave only a short amount of time for many couples and families to make dinner. An easy solution… “get cracking” and make breakfast for dinner! I’m a big supporter of Canadian farmers, so I was excited to receive an invitation from the Egg Farmers of  Canada to test their Baked Egg Cups recipe. With the summer coming up, I’m looking forward to pairing fresh Canadian eggs with produce from my local farmers’ markets.

The Egg Farmers of Canada conducted a survey in April 2013 with over 3,000 Canadians, aged 18 and over. In the study, they found that distance from farm to grocery store is seen as the key to freshness. Eighty per cent of Canadians surveyed are confident products from within Canada are at peak quality when purchased. Conversely, 53 per cent believe imported foods cannot be considered fresh. “In an age where grocery aisles are filled with foods from around the world, it is clear that Canadians place the highest value on locally produced food, exactly what the system of supply management allows for,” says Bonnie Cohen, Manager of Marketing and Nutrition for Egg Farmers of Canada. “The results are identical regardless of socio-economic status, telling us that all households want the food they feed their families produced by local farmers.”

Be sure to visit the Egg Farmers of Canada Facebook page by May 15 for a coupon to save $1.00 off the purchase of 2 dozen eggs! You’ll need them to make the Baked Egg Cups, so why not save a little : ) I’m happy to share that they were really easy to make, as I had everything prepped and ready in 10 minutes, which gave my oven enough time to preheat. I popped them in and less than 20 minutes later, they were ready to go. I’ve included a lacto-ovo vegetarian version of the recipe below. Enjoy!

Baked Egg Cups (Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian version)

Baked Egg Cups (Lacto-ovo vegetarian version)

The original recipe can be found at: http://eggs.ca/cooking-with-eggs/recipe/baked-egg-cups/ and you can see the video at the top of this post.

Ingredients

Baby spinach leaves (approximately 1 cup)

6 tsp (30 mL) crumbled goat cheese

6 eggs

6 tsp (30 mL) milk

2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped chives or dried herbs

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Spray bottoms and sides of 6-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Line inside of each muffin cup with baby spinach leaves (about 8-12 leaves, stems removed). Then sprinkle 1 tsp (5 mL) of crumbled goat cheese over spinach. Carefully crack an egg over top. Spoon 1 tsp (5 mL) milk over each yolk. Sprinkle chives or dried herbs and black pepper over top.

Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until whites are set and yolks are cooked as desired, 18 to 20 minutes. Run knife around inside of each muffin cup, then remove and serve.

Variations: 

  • Instead of a muffin tin, use six 1/2-cup (125 mL) ramekins or custard cups.
  • Instead of spinach, use a large kale leaf to line the cups.
  • Instead of spinach, using a rolling pin to flatten a piece of bread and arrange in the muffin tin to form a cup. If you would still like to use spinach, line your bread cup with it before adding the other ingredients.
  • Instead of goat cheese, use feta cheese, cream cheese or a grated hard cheese of your choice.
  • Omit goat cheese and milk; sprinkle grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese over each egg before baking.
  • Over spinach leaves, place a thin slice of tomato and a slice of large white or cremini mushroom.

Sandy’s notes:

I chose to make two of the Baked Egg Cups with flattened pieces of bread (I used up the end pieces) and the other two with baby spinach leaves. I enjoyed both versions, however the spinach version was lighter and more impressive to look at. Overall, the Baked Egg Cups were easy to make, tasty and left me feeling full and satisfied. For a group gathering, I would serve them with a soup, a salad and a fruit tray for a quick and easy brunch, lunch or dinner.

For more information on what you can do with eggs, visit http://www.eggs.ca for recipes, tips, and more!

Egg Farmers of Canada prize pack

Egg Farmers of Canada prize pack

CONTEST: I’m giving away an Egg Farmers of Canada prize pack including a muffin tin, a “Get Cracking” apron, microwave egg cookers perfects for couples and moms-on-the-go, a magnetized grocery list, the Farmers’ Favourite recipe booklet, and a $20 grocery store gift card to buy the fresh ingredients you need to make these tasty Baked Egg Cups. Please note that you must be a resident of Canada to win, it is an Egg Farmers of Canada contest after all!

TO ENTER:

Visit the Egg Farmers of Canada site and check out their amazing list of recipes here: http://eggs.ca/cooking-with-eggs/all-recipes , then leave a comment on this blog post to share which recipe you would make on a busy weekday night.  P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you! It’s that easy! You can enter once per day.

Again, you must be a resident of Canada to enter!

Hurry, contest closes on Saturday May 18 at 12 pm EST. Good luck!

And the winner is….Zach Bussey @zachbussey ! Thanks everyone for playing : ) 

 

Disclaimer: I received a basket from the Egg Farmers of Canada with everything I needed to make these Baked Egg Cups.

Whole Lemon Bars and enter to WIN a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook!

21 Apr

Whole Lemon Bars 12

I love lemons. I love how they look and I love how I feel when I smell or taste a fresh lemon. I love the song by U2. Oh and I also love Eduoard Manet’s painting, Le Citron.

Life has handed me a lot of lemons lately, both the delicious, yellow kind and those not so good lemons that disrupt your life. As they say though, it’s all about what you do with those lemons and on a recent weekend I decided to put some of my lovely lemons to good use. I cracked open one of my newest cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen cookbook, written by one of my favourite food bloggers, Deb Perelman.

I’ve been following her fabulous blog, The Smitten Kitchen, for some time now and I’ve made quite a few of her recipes over the years. What I love about her recipes is that they are perfect for the average home cook. It’s not just about the recipes though, it’s her writing that keeps me coming back over and over again. So when I received an invitation from Random House Canada to attend a blogger brunch in celebration of the launch of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I accepted it immediately. As expected, Deb was warm, friendly and willing to share her stories with the bloggers in attendance. We were all hanging on to every word, as she described her kitchen and what it was like to write, test and photograph all of her recipes. She is one of the inspirations behind my blog and I’m sure she has given countless others the push they needed too.

After munching on delicious treats cooked up by the amazing Random House staff, we had some one-on-one time with Deb. I was telling her how obsessed my family was with all things lemon and she immediately grabbed her cookbook, flipped to the Whole Lemon Bars recipe and said, “You HAVE to try this, they are so delicious.” Of course, she was absolutely right! This is now my favourite lemon bar recipe as it has the perfect balance sweetness and tartness. I love that I get to use a whole lemon, skin and all (minus the seeds of course!).

Are you a fan of The Smitten Kitchen blog? Well, I’m happy to share that I have one copy of the The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook to give away! Scroll down below the Whole Lemon Bars recipe for details on how to enter. By the way, you HAVE to make these lemon bars. Like right now. Go.

Deb Perelman’s Whole Lemon Bars

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman. Copyright 2012 by Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 cup/125 g all purpose flour

1/3 cup/65 g sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons/115 g or 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus extra for greasing pan

For the filling:

1 small-to-medium lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces or 130 g, or about 3 inches long)

1 1/3 cup/265 g sugar

8 tablespoons/115 g or 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Place a rack in middle of the oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut two 12- inch lengths of parchment paper, and trim each to fit the bottom of an 8- inch square baking pan. Press the first sheet into the bottom and up the sides of your pan in one direction, then use the second sheet to line the rest of the pan, running it perpendicular to the first sheet. Lightly butter exposed parts of parchment or coat them with a nonstick cooking spray. Set the pan aside.

Whole Lemon Bars 1

Whole Lemon Bars 2

Whole Lemon Bars 3

2. Make the crust: Blend the flour, sugar, and salt together in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is powdery, but if firmly pinched, will hold the pinched shape. Turn the dough crumbs into the prepared baking pan and press the dough evenly across the bottom and about ½ inch up the sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Should any parts bubble up, gently prick them again with a fork. Leave the oven on.

Whole Lemon Bars 4

3. Make your filling: Cut your lemon in half, and here’s where I need us all to be, briefly, quite fussy.

Is the white part of the skin especially thick?

If the widest part of the white is ¼ inch thick or less, continue on to the next step; your lemon is good to go. If any part of it is thicker than ¼ inch, however, I find it safest to remove the skin from half the lemon or the bitterness of the pith can overwhelm the bars. To remove the skin, place half the lemon cut-side-down on the cutting board, and remove the skin and pith from the entire half in downward cuts and discard it. The second half, even if just as thick, can be used as is.

Whole Lemon Bars 5

Whole Lemon Bars 6

Whole Lemon Bars 7

4. Cut your lemon halves into thin rings and discard any seeds. Toss the lemon rounds – lemon flesh and peel – in the bowl of your food processor, add the sugar, and run the machine until the lemon is thoroughly puréed, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and again run the machine until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the work bowl as needed. Add the eggs, cornstarch, and salt and pulse the machine in short bursts until the mixture is evenly combined.

Whole Lemon Bars 8

Whole Lemon Bars 9

5. Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set. You can test this by bumping the pan a little; it should only jiggle slightly. In my oven, I find that the point at which the filling is set is also when the lemon bars start to get very light brown on top.

6. Let the pan cool completely on rack or in the fridge. Gently cut around the outside of the parchment paper to make sure no sides have stuck, then gently use the parchment “sling” to transfer bars from pan to cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Whole Lemon Bars 10

Whole Lemon Bars 11

Sandy’s notes: I dusted them with icing sugar, to make them look fancier. I wish I had better photos of the lemon bars but my family ate them all up so quickly! I thought these were THE best lemon bars I’ve ever had. The balance of lemony goodness, salt and sugar was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. Enjoy!

Whole Lemon Bars 12

CONTEST: Win a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

I’m giving away a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman! You must be a resident of Canada to win. If you win, the cookbook will be shipped directly to your home.

TO ENTER:

Option 1: Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what your favourite recipe is from the Smitten Kitchen blog (http://smittenkitchen.com/) P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you!

OR

Option 2: Follow me on Twitter @savvari and tweet the following:

I want to win a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook from @savvari #cookbook #contest

You can enter once a day using each option! Canadian residents only.

Hurry! Contest closes on Tuesday April 30 at 5 pm EST. Good luck!

And the winner is…. Leora Heilbronn @leoraheilbronn – congrats!!

 

 

Smitten Kitchen

Zucchini Soup and enter to win Shirley Plant’s cookbook Finally…Food I Can Eat!

25 Feb

Shirley Plant's Finally...Food I Can Eat!

Fifteen years ago, author Shirley Plant found that she had to make changes to her diet after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and multiple food and environmental allergies. She understands firsthand the difficulties of trying to plan creative, nutritious, and affordable menus while having to avoid such common foods as wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, gluten, and sugar, just to name a few. Through understanding, education, and a keen interest to help people find food alternatives to fit into their life schedules, she has developed an expertise and reputation in dietary design and customized recipes, as well as being a personal chef for clients with dietary sensitivities. Her recipe book, Finally…Food I Can Eat! provides those with multiple food allergies and sensitivities with a ton of great recipes. She’s also included advice on food combining, rotation diets, substitutions and more.

I’ve been experimenting with my diet since last year, to find out what I am sensitive to. Although my symptoms cannot be compared with those who have severe allergies, I know how difficult it was to enjoy food when I was constantly analyzing every ingredient. It was exhausting to figure out what I could and couldn’t eat and I certainly made mistakes along the way, as “forbidden” ingredients are everywhere.

Shirley’s book simplifies things by providing recipes that cover off most of the major allergies and intolerances, but the key is, the recipes actually sound tasty! There are so many recipes and options in this cookbook that the possibilities really are endless. What made me most proud was to find out that she’s Canadian!  Many thanks to Vicky @momwhoruns for connecting us : )

I had some zucchini in the house, so I immediately thought of Shirley’s recipe for Zucchini Soup. It was simple, satisfying and allowed the ingredients to shine. Don’t forget to scroll down after you check out the recipe, I’m giving away a copy of Finally…Food I Can Eat! You can purchase her book from Chapters/Indigo online here: http://bit.ly/13hGn9L

Zucchini Soup from Shirley Plant’s cookbook Finally…Food I Can Eat!

Zucchini Soup

Taken from Pg 112 of Finally…Food I Can Eat! by Shirley Plant

Note: This recipe is free of dairy products, wheat, yeast, corn, sugar, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshades, and gluten.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

6 cups zucchini, diced (approx. 3 large zucchini) (1.5 L)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 cups water or vegetable soup stock (750 ml-1 L)

1 tsp basil (5 mL)

1 tsp oregano (5 mL)

1 tsp sea salt (5 mL)

½ tsp pepper

1 can beans – navy, lima, or northern beans (14 fl oz. -398 ml) (Sandy’s notes: I drained, rinsed and drained the beans again).

Handful parsley or watercress to garnish (optional)

Directions:

Cut zucchini info small chunks. In a soup pot, heat oil and add onions and cook until soft, approximately 2 minutes. Add soup stock or water, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes until zucchini is soft.

Add canned beans and parsley and purée with hand-held blender.

You can serve this soup hot or cold.

Yields: 8 cups (2 L).

Sandy’s Notes:

  • I added 1/2 a teaspoon of chili flakes for a bit of a kick
  • I had a ¼ cup of canned corn on hand, so I added it to the soup for colour (Note: the original recipe is corn free, but (thankfully) I’m not allergic to corn!)
  • Before pureeing the soup, I removed 1 cup of the vegetables and set them aside. My hand blender wasn’t working very well, so I put the soup in the blender in small batches to puree it. I then stirred in the vegetables I had set aside, to add some texture to the soup.
  • I found that my soup was a bit thick, so I thinned it out with some water

CONTEST: Win a copy of Shirley Plant’s cookbook “Finally…Food I Can Eat!”

I’m giving away a copy of “Finally…Food I Can Eat!” by Shirley Plant! You must be a resident of Canada to win. If you win, the cookbook will be shipped directly to your home.

TO ENTER:

Option 1: Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me why you should win a copy of “Finally…Food I Can Eat!” P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you!

Option 2: Follow me on Twitter @savvari and tweet the following:

I want to win a copy of @sherrecipes cookbook “Finally…Food I Can Eat!” from @savvari #cookbook #contest

You can enter once a day using each option!

Hurry! Contest closes on Sunday March 3 at 5 pm EST. Good luck!

Easy Deviled Eggs + WIN an Egg Farmers of Ontario prize pack!

4 Nov

I was “eggcited” to receive an “eggsquisite” basket from my friends at Egg Farmers of Ontario in celebration of World Egg Month, even more so because it was filled with goodies to make a tray of Deviled Eggs! I’ve always enjoyed eating them but I had never made them, so I was a little nervous about how they would turn out since my guests were going to arrive in an hour! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were really easy to make and I was really happy with how they turned out. Looks like I’ve found another “go to” appetizer recipe! Do you have a Deviled Egg recipe to share? Please post it in the comments section below, I would love to try it out.  By the way, there’s a great contest below the recipe if you’re interested : )

Easy Deviled Eggs

Makes 24 deviled egg halves

Ingredients:

12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cooled

1/3 cup (75 mL) regular or light mayonnaise

2 tbsp of finely chopped chives

Salt and pepper

Paprika (optional)

Optional garnish:

Small bunch of young (thin) asparagus

2 tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Once the eggs have cooled, carefully cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks and place them in a bowl. Set whites aside, wiping them clean of any yolk residue with a piece of paper towel. If you have a serving plate or deviled egg holder, you can arrange the egg white portions now.

Using a fork, mash the reserved yolks until creamy. Mix in the mayonnaise and chopped chives. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you have a piping bag, scoop the yolk mixture into it. Using a wide star tip, pipe the mixture into each egg white half. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can scoop the mixture into a Ziploc bag, cut off a corner of the bag and squeeze to fill each egg white half. You can then lightly sprinkle each egg half with paprika for decoration (optional).

For the garnish, which is optional, wash and dry the asparagus bunch and trim off the woody ends. Then heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a small frying pan. When the oil is hot, lay the asparagus in the pan. Sautee and turn frequently to cook the asparagus on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Once the asparagus have cooked to your taste, remove them onto a cutting board to cool.  Then, cut off the tips to fit the size of your egg halves. You can lay them across each egg diagonally.

Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to a day.

CONTEST: I’m giving away an Egg Farmers of Ontario prize pack including a Lagostina frying pan, a silicon whisk and some egg-citing recipes. Please note that you must be a resident of Ontario to win, it is an Egg Farmers of Ontario contest after all!

TO ENTER:

Visit www.eggfarmersofontario.ca and click on one of the photos on the landing page to watch videos featuring our proud egg farmers and their families. Then, at the bottom of this blog post, share one (1) “egg-ducational” (educational!) fact you learned. You may enter up to five (5) times. P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you! It’s that easy!

Again, you must be a resident of Ontario to enter!

Hurry! Contest closes on Friday November 9 at 12 pm EST. The winner will be announced later that day. Good luck!

Honey-Glazed Grilled Fruit + WIN a Harvest From Home basket from Metro!

16 Jul

Summer time is (finally!) here and farmers are busy harvesting their crops! If you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables to quench your healthy appetite, look no further, as from June through October, Metro has Ontarians covered with their annual Harvest from Home program.  During Harvest from Home, Metro purchases food from more than 100 farms across Ontario, providing its customers with a wide variety of the freshest most delicious produce.  They are proudly supporting local farmers and the economy, which is something we should all do. Local tastes better!

The lovely folks at Metro recently provided me with a great summer grilling recipe and a basket including the local ingredients from Ontario needed to make their special June/July recipe. How could I say no to a basket filled with delicious goodies?!?!

Honey-Glazed Grilled Fruit

The original recipe can be found on the Metro website here: http://www.metro.ca/recette/6239/honey-glazed-grilled-fruit.en.html. I’ve modified it slightly to suit the tastes of my family.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (125 mL) Irresistibles Orange Juice

1/2 cup (125 mL) Selection Unsalted Butter

1/2 cup (125 mL) Selection Liquid Honey

1 Selection Cinnamon Stick

1 quart fresh Ontario grown strawberries, hulled and washed

4 fresh Ontario grown pears, washed, cored and cut into large chunks

2 ripe but firm bananas, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 ripe but firm Ontario grown peaches, washed, pitted and cut into large chunks

Kabob skewers, wooden or metal

Directions:

Heat Irresistibles Orange Juice, Selection Unsalted Butter, Selection Liquid Honey and 1 Selection Cinnamon Stick in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly and melted. Simmer for 10 minutes until slightly syrupy.

Thread fresh fruit pieces onto kabob skewers. Grill over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning often and drizzling with the orange juice mixture, until tender and browned.

My tips: Drizzle the orange juice mixture over the fruit every time you turn the skewers on the grill. You should turn them every few minutes to promote even cooking. The drizzle helps the fruit to caramelize a little and sends flames up to char the fruit, giving the kabobs a great smoky flavour. We had them at the end of a big barbecue, so I simply served the fruit kabobs on their own to keep things light. I think they would be great served alongside vanilla ice cream too…yum!

My favourite parts of the kabob were the grilled peaches and bananas and I think I might just focus on my favourite fruits next time. Overall, my family loved the kabobs and I’m happy to say that the serving plate was empty a few minutes later! I can’t wait to try the kabobs with other fruit combinations and perhaps add a little grated ginger to the sauce for an added kick next time.

CONTEST: Do you want to try this tasty recipe at home? Metro wants me to give away a Harvest From Home basket, including a Metro gift card, to one of my readers! Please note that you must be a resident of Ontario to win, given that Metro’s stores can only be found here in Ontario. If you win, Metro will deliver the basket directly to your home, so that you and your family can enjoy the Ontario grown Harvest From Home goodies immediately.

TO ENTER: 

Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what your favourite Ontario grown fruits and/or vegetables are and what you use them for. P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you!

Again, you must be a resident of Ontario to enter!

Hurry! Contest closes on Sunday July 22 at 5 pm EST. The winner will be announced on Monday July 23. Good luck!

_________________________________________________________________________________

WINNER!!! 

Congrats to Pauline Grant (@PaulineGrantTO ) for winning the Metro gift basket! Your basket will be delivered straight to your home by the great folks at Metro : )

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

The Art of Leadership in Toronto on June 5 + a special discount and a CONTEST!

20 May

TAOL

I have always enjoyed conferences, as the opportunity to network and hear from industry leaders is priceless. I feed off of the energy of others and there is nothing better than being surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do. With so many conferences and seminars to choose from, I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not easy to decide where to invest your money and time…

One organization that consistently puts on great conferences is The Art of Productions. I have been attending one their annual conferences, The Art of Marketing, for several years now and it is one of the BEST in Toronto. Luckily, they have another fantastic one coming up in Toronto on Tuesday June 5 called The Art of Leadership. This one day conference features six internationally renowned bestselling authors and visionaries, who will share real world experience on today’s most critical leadership issues. I’m looking forward to learning from these industry leaders and I hope to use the takeaways to improve on my leadership skills. If you decide to attend, please let me know! Perhaps we can have lunch? (That was the foodie in me talking!)…

This year’s speakers at The Art of Leadership include:

Marcus Buckingham

Vijay Govindarajan

Chester Elton

Susan Cain

Stephen Shapiro

Leonard Brody

For a full list of speakers and bios visit: http://www.theartof.com/leadership-toronto-2012/speakers

Event Details:

When: Tuesday June 5, 2012

Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Time: 8:45 am to 5:00 pm

Website: http://bit.ly/taol2012

GREAT NEWS! The good folks at The Art of Productions Inc., would like to give the readers of Milk & Eggs a SPECIAL DISCOUNT OFFER on tickets…

Use discount code TOSOCIAL to save $50 on your ticket! Even better, if you purchase 3 or more tickets using the above code, you’ll be eligible to save $100 per ticket!

To learn more and buy tickets, visit http://bit.ly/taol2012 and follow them on Twitter at @TheArtOf or at http://www.twitter.com/TheArtOf

Here comes the best part…

CONTEST – Win ONE ticket ($399 value!) to The Art of Leadership in Toronto on June 5!

To enter on Twitter:

Follow @savvari and @TheArtOf on Twitter

Tweet this exact line:

@savvari I want to win a ticket to The Art of Leadership http://bit.ly/taol2012 on June 5!  #TAOL

AND/OR

Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you want to attend The Art of Leadership.

If you tweet AND leave a comment below, you’ll get 2 entries!

Hurry! Contest closes on Friday May 25 at 12 pm EST. The winner will be announced later that day. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I’ve received a ticket to The Art of Leadership conference for writing this post. 

_________________________________________________________________________________

WINNER!!! 

Congrats to @doomzTO Casey Palmer for winning the #TAOL contest! You’ve won a ticket to The Art of Leadership on June 5, compliments of The Art of Productions. 

_________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham + a CONTEST!

10 Mar

My husband and I were on our way to brunch in Markham and we were in charge of bringing dessert. I knew this crowd would be into bite-sized treats and I immediately thought of the delicious, gooey goodness of fresh cookies from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

This company has been a part of my life for years and I’ve been buying their scrumptious cookies since I was in my teens. A few years ago, I was looking for something fun and cute to give my fiancé (now husband) at our engagement party. I immediately thought of Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton`s popular Cookie Bouquet® and I knew it would be perfect. They made up a 24 stem Cookie Bouquet® of his favourite cookies and they were a hit!

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

We walked into the shop at about 11 am on a Saturday and the amazing aroma of fresh cookies was in the air. I don’t know about you, but the smell of baked goods makes me weak in the knees and I let out a sigh of happiness every time!  We noticed that quite a few things had changed since our last visit. In addition to fresh cookies and fudge, they were now selling…wait for it…CUPCAKES!

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

When we visited, they had Belgian Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Baileys Mocha, Caramel Crunch, Lemon Coconut, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Red Velvet and Double Chocolate. It was so hard to choose which flavours we wanted to try. I was excited to hear that they change their flavours seasonally, so I’m looking forward to trying their spring and summer cupcakes too.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

I was so distracted by the cupcakes that I almost forgot about the cookies, their signature product. My favourite flavour is Ménage à Trois®, which contains a yummy blend of milk, white and dark chocolate chunks. My hubby’s favourite is Lemon Delight which is a delicious lemon cookie with white chocolate chunks and candied lemon.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Since my last visit, they’ve expanded their cookie gift packaging selection and they are now selling wedding favours – beautiful little boxes filled with cookies (to my friends who are getting married soon, THIS is THE takeaway gift that guests want!).

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Thank you Dan, Michele and Amanda for sharing your passion for all things sweet – we came in for cookies but we left with cupcakes too! P.S. Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton is proudly Canadian and the staff wear beautiful Canadian flags on their chef coats too. They only use fresh, high quality ingredients in all of their products and it shows.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

I’ve almost filled up my Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton V.I.P card (you get a stamp for every $10 you spend in the store and after 12 stamps, you get 1lb of cookies for free!) and I’m already thinking of what I’m going to get next time I visit…mmmmmm : )

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Info:

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton
Markham Town Square
8601 Warden Ave, Unit #16
Markham,ON L3R 0B5

North-East Corner of Warden Ave & Hwy 7

Phone: (905) 479-2172
Website: http://www.cookiesandfudge.com
Facebook: Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton Markham
Twitter: @felixnorton_gta

 Here comes the fun part… 

CONTEST – Win a Magnummm of Cookies® (I have 2 to give away!)

The lovely folks at Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton are giving away a Magnummm of Cookies®  to two readers of Milk & Eggs.

What`s a Magnummm of Cookies® you ask? It`s a beautiful champagne bottle filled with 25 freshly-baked cookies, presented in a handsome black gift box – valued at $34.99

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

To enter:

STEP 1 – Visit the Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton website at http://www.cookiesandfudge.com/ to learn about their yummy products

STEP 2 – If you`re on Twitter, follow @savvari and @FelixNorton_GTA and tweet the name of any of their cookie or cupcake flavours that you would like to try. Example:

@savvari I want to try the ___________ from @FelixNorton_GTA #FelixNorton

OR

If you`re on Facebook, “Like” Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton Markham

Then, leave a comment on this blog post with the name of any Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton cookie or cupcake flavours you would like to try.

Are you on Twitter and Facebook? Follow all steps above to receive more entries into the contest!

Contest closes on Friday March 23 at 12 pm EST, so get your entries in soon!

IMPORTANT!

-You may enter once per day.

-If you are one of the two winners, you MUST pick up your prize from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham, Ontario. Therefore, you must live in the GTA (Greater Toronto area) or be willing to drive to Markham.

Good luck!!

_________________________________________________________________________________

WINNERS! 

Congrats to @_Lenito from Twitter and Fiona Thom from Facebook for winning the #FelixNorton contest! You’ve each won a Magnummm of Cookies® from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton!

_________________________________________________________________________________

%d bloggers like this: