Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Flatout Flatbread Give Away!

Over the past few weeks I had the great opportunity to spend a lot of time feasting on Flat Breads and Wraps from the Flatout Flat Bread Company.  I got to make my own recipes, and I tried out a few of theirs as well.  And now, I want to give you the same opportunity!

One of my favorite recipes that I found on their site was for their PB&J with SB&G Flatout Wrap.  Chock full of delicious all natural peanut butter, sweet jam, tangy berries, filling banana and cruncny granola- this was a perfect lunch.  It was filling, and with all of those flavors and textures- it felt indulgent!

PB&J with SB&G Flatout Wrap
Posted in On-The-Go Lunch
1 Flatout® Light Flatbread
1 Tbs reduced fat peanut butter
1 Tbs sugar-free jam
2 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 banana, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tbs low fat granola

Spread peanut butter evenly over entire Flatout. On one rounded end, spread jam. Layer strawberry, banana and granola. Roll, cut and enjoy!

Now I'd like to offer you the opportunity to receive a prize pack to indulge in from the Flatout Flat Bread Company!  The pack will concentrate in their all natural offerings, which will make help you make delicious and healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks!  To enter, please leave a comment telling us what your favorite wrap is.   Please be a US resident, 18 years of age or older.  Entries close May 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm EST

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nespresso VertuoLine Machine and an Iced Coffee Perfect for Springtime Entertaining!

Ohhhh Nespresso- you've done it again...So you all area well aware of my love, my adoration, of my Nespresso machine.  Espresso and lattes at the touch button, every cup perfect with rich crema...I savor every drop.  Earlier this year however, Nespresso brought a new addition to its line of machines, and this one is brewing large cups of coffee in addition to its line of espressos.  I was the lucky recipient of this new maching, the VertuoLine, and have been loving it!

The large pour matches the size of regular drip machines, perhaps even a little over, but with the incredible robust flavor that we come to expect with Nespresso.  They are using the same extraordinary measures to source this coffee as they always have and it shows in

brewing a rich, fantastic cup of coffee.  

As Spring is upon us, and temperatures are getting warmer, now is the perfect time to switch to iced coffee, and the Virtuoline is the answer to robust flavor, combined with that ice. I thought this might be a perfect addition to some springtime entertaining I've been doing.  Nothing is quite like ending a delicious meal with a cup of coffee, but a special iced treat is even better.

I wanted to bring the flavors of summer right into this treat, which to me always means lemon.  The combination here is with lemon and honey which created a lemonade type flavor and was a delicious

post dinner icy treat.

I brewed a full cup of the VertuoLine Elvazio, and then added a teaspoon and a half of honey to the hot liquid, and then chilled that in the fridge.  In my Aeroccino I grated about a teaspoon of lemon zest into the milk before frothing, and then cool frothed the milk.  I poured the coffee into a glass filled with ice, and topped it with the foam.  Summer coffee in a glass... 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

WSET Level 3 Update

I just have so much to share with you all!  The past few weeks have been jam packed with awesome food I am so excited to share with you, a side project that I will be discussing more this summer, lots of delicious coffee, and I even have a give away coming up!  I'm going to get to all of it- I promise!

I wanted to take a quick moment though to let you know how my wine studies have been progressing.  In late February I wrapped up the WSET Level 2 course, and passed our final exam with merit, which made me insanely happy.  I walked out of the exam convinced I had failed so when the good news came in a couple of weeks later I literally jumped for joy.  Even before level 2 ended I begane the third level of the WSET and am deep into that now.  Every week we spend hours diving into the incredible regions around the world that produce our wines, and discuss what factors unique to these areas create the diverse palate we all enjoy.  We swirl, smell and sip wines from each region, pulling out every flavor, rating their acidity, debating the tannin levels and judging their quality.  Every wine is a marvel of how terroir truly affects the flavors of wine, and a wondrous look into the culture of the country in which it was grown. Our classes are this glorious mix of studying specific areas, and revisiting our global history, seeing how different wars, changes in leadership and the emergence of technology have impacted wine.   

I'll be reviewing more wines in the upcoming months, once everything settles down a bit- Ive found some new favorites I cannot wait to show you! Im also working on new formats to talk about wine with you all. In the meantime I'll be getting some articles written for Groupon, and posting some fantastic reviews here as well.  Stay tuned!    

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Flatout Flatbreads, Starkist Tuna and a Simple Gyro

After my love of my Healthy Italian Style Tuna Melt, I caught the sandwich bug and wanted to start converting all of my favorite unhealthy sandwich loves into a healthier product.  The partnership with both Flatout Flatbreads and Starkist Tuna was making this a very easy task to achieve.   Next up I wanted a Gyro.  I desperately wanted the savory Greek feel with a creamy, fresh Tzatziki Sauce.  I wanted to use traditional flavors, but with a unique twist as well.  

Tuna "Gyro"
2 pouches Starkist Fresh 
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
Freshly ground black pepper

Two Flatout Foldit Flatbreads Rosemary and Olive Oil variety

Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup diced cucumber
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.  In a separate bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients, place half the mixture on each of the flat breads.  Top with the Tzatziki Sauce fold over the top and enjoy all of the messy wonder of a Gyro.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flatout Flatbread, Starkist Tuna and a Healthy Italian Style Tuna Melt

I love a good sandwich- I mean I really love them.  We have an ongoing joke in my family about our search for a good sandwich.  We are the family who will drive for hours, stomachs grumbling, moods diminishing, in pursuit of that perfect specimen.  There is just something so satisfying when the right combination of bread, condiment, protein, veggie and maybe a little cheese comes together.  Of course, my search for the sandwich has petered out the last few years as I've become more and more health conscious.  

Over the last few years, as I put together my lunches, I've sought out healthier options, salads and nutrient rich soups, basically anything that steers me away from those pesky carbohydrates that rarely benefit my waist line as they turn to sugar.  I can't lie though- I've missed my sandwiches.  Its such a perfect, handy, filling, delicious lunch.  The last couple weeks though, sandwiches have been back in my life in a big way.

So why the change?  The Flatout Bread Company has entered my life in a delicious way.  A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by their PR representatives and asked me to collaborate with the company and Starkist Tuna to develop some recipes and host a little give away for you all- I can't even tell you how fast I jumped at the idea.  See, the Flatout Bread Company has created a loophole in the sandwich curse.  They have found the way to make a product with almost 50% less carbs than regular bread that is full of flavor, a pillowy texture and makes provides a fantastic base for your favorite sandwich combinations.

Now I love tuna- far, far too many of my lunches and dinners feature tuna as my protein of choice.  Full of great Omega-3's, and low in fat, it's filling and delicious without adding anything unhealthy to my diet.  Starkist has recently launched a great a line of Flavor Fresh Pouches which contain a single serving of tuna, clocking in at just 70 calories, sealed in water, but just enough to keep the tuna from drying out without any need to drain it.  I am pretty picky about my tuna, if it gets too fishy tasting at all, my stomach hosts a strike and it doesn't get eaten.  I have downed multiple packets of this Starkist Tuna and loved every bite.  
As I started dreaming up recipes I wanted to enjoy the Flatout Breads without losing my normal dose of nutrients from my standard lunch options.  I have been loving kale lately- one of those perfect greens that has been linked to decreasing cancer risks, reducing cholesterol, and helping the body to naturally detox.  I eat it daily and so I wanted to combine it here in a new way, and so with some creative thoughts, the Healthy Italian Tuna Melt was born.

Healthy Italian Style Tuna Melt; serves 2
3 cups baby kale
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt  and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Olive Oil
2 packets Starkist Tuna
2 slices of fresh tomato
4 slices Mozzarella cheese
2 Flatout Foldit Artisan Flatbreads 5 Grain Flax 

Preheat your broiler
In a food processor, or blender, combine the first 5 ingredients and begin processing.   Gradually add the olive oil until a loose paste is formed.   Spoon the mixture into a small bowl and combine with the two packets of tuna.

Place two flatbreads on an ovenproof dish and top with  two slices of mozzarella cheese on each.  Broil the breads until the cheese melts and remove from the oven.  Transfer the breads to a serving plate.   Top with the tuna mixture and a slice of tomato on each, fold and enjoy! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lamb Jam Tour Coming to Boston April 13, 2014

Are you ready for next weekend?  Have you been in training?  Ready to feast?  The annual Lamb Jam Tour is making its Boston stop this coming Sunday, April 13th, and all of those stomach expanding exercises will certainly pay off.  If you have somehow missed this great event previous years, it pits 20 chefs from all around the area against each other in a fierce battle for best dish, and you get to try all of the entries...not such a bad gig.  Oh and did I mention that there will be 12 different local breweries on site to help wash down all that awesome lamb you'll be noshing on- not bad right?

You may, if you aren't already in love with it, be wondering why lamb?  Lamb has
been a product of the US for centuries but is one of the most underutilized foods.  It is sustainably farmed, mostly by long term family run businesses.  Lamb farms are situated all over the US, meaning that when you find lamb in the grocery store its gotten there within just a couple of days, which means its fresh, and full of natural flavor.  On top of that, lamb meat is incredibly lean, and is a great source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and selenium. 

Probably best of all though, is that Lamb is incredibly easy to prepare.  Lamb doesn't contain the same dangers that chicken or pork do, so the idea is to cook lamb to tender, but not to a certain temperature.  This makes for a much easier, stress free cooking experience.  

Lamb Jam next weekend is the perfect way to start looking at all of the ways lamb can be prepared and all of the delicious creations that are out there.  Tickets are still available- definitely check it out- you wont be disappointed http://boston.fansoflamb.com/lamb-jam-boston/ 

Restaurant Reviews: A dead art?

Last December I declared 2023 the year I would return to food writing.  It was a bold statement (even now as I look at my last published dat...