refrigerator magnets

refrigerator magnets

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 food competitions and 1 new business

I've got three great announcements to share with all my lovely readers out there - 2 awesome recipe competitions and 1 fantastic announcement from a friend. 

Date: Sept 24th
Location: Union Square, Somerville Ma
Enter Here:

Are you a fan of Marshmallow Fluff? Does it remind you of childhood memories of having the perfect combination of a Fluffernutter, do you dream about it swirled into Nutella for a delectable, chocolate, “fluffy” delight? If you said ‘yes’ then you are in luck! On September 24th, Union Square Main Streets is holding their Sixth Annual “What the Fluff” festival to honor the creamy delight. They'll have food, games, entertainment, even a celebrity appearance by Susan Olsen, or 'Cindy', from the Brady Bunch. And there's still time to enter the Fluff cooking contest, which boasts some top prizes, including a tour of the factory (a rare treat)! To celebrate the local blog, Wicked Good Travel & Activities, is holding a giveaway contest. Just go over to Wicked Good Travel & Activities between August 31st and September 12th and leave a brief comment here  in the form of creative recipes, prose, poetry, and more- all expressing your love for Marshmallow Fluff. Two winners will be chosen, so give us your best! One will receive a Fluff tote bag and the other 1 will receive 2 free studio classes at The Training Room. All winners will also be featured on Wicked Good Travel & Activities, Somerville Patch, and Union Square Main Streets.

So, what the fluff are you waiting for? Enter the contest and SHOW US YOUR FLUFF!

Date: Sept 12th for entry
Location: Cambridge, Ma
Enter here:

Here’s your chance to compete in the First Home Sweet Home Amateur Bake-Off Contest, sponsored by the Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (, how2heroes and the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. This contest is for non-professional chefs (please refer to the complete rules, details, and entry form a ( Our Celebrity Judges include: Lee Napoli (owner of Chocolee Chocolates and founder of New England's first and only association for pastry professionals), Clara Silverstein (author of three cookbooks including The Boston Chefs Table, The New England Soup Factory and A White House Garden Cookbook, and a long-time food writer in the Boston area) and Lynne Viera (President & CEO, how2heroes). The top ten desserts in each of the food categories will be invited to a preliminary judging by a separate tasting committee of Boston area food bloggers (INCLUDING ME!!!) to be held at the how2heroes offices in Cambridge, MA on September 20th, 2011. The top three finalists per category will prepare their entries for the Celebrity Judge tasting at the Home Sweet Home Event on October 22nd, 2011 at the Cambridge Hyatt Regency. Prizes to be announced on the how2heroes website. The Grand Prize for Judge's Choice is a pastry class with Master Pastry Chef Delphin Gomes, New England’s only French master pastry chef at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) and being featured in a how2heroes video. Other prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists in each category.

What are you waiting for? Start searching for your winning dessert recipe!

And lastly a friend of mine at Two Blue Lemons blog has started her own holistic health practice. Woo hoo! If you have a free moment - check it out:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane-Inspired Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Although there were some hard hit areas for Hurricane Irene, we where not in one of them. I blame this completely on us being fully prepared. We had charged our phones, our computers, ipods, and our kindles fully expecting to lose power. We also stocked up on a few movies as well, expecting to be stuck in the house all weekend. I also make some very stylish candelabras as well. I know you're super jealous that you don't have a pair either. Well, we didn't loose power but we were stuck in the house because of the winds. 

Being stuck in the house all day only leads to one thing - baking. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies - yes please! They may look small but they pack a punch and are fairly dense. Mine aren't the prettiest in the world but the dough is very easy to work with and you could do a lot of fun and creative things with them. Easy to make - we only used 1 bowl. They would also be very tasty topped with a little frosting or a chocolate bit/kiss as well.
Hurricane Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (or half a jar)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt - corse salt (sea salt works well)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or white works also)
  • 1/3 cup Chocolate Baking Powder
  • Optional - chocolate chunk or chip for the top of the cookie

  1. Preheat oven to 375degrees
  2. Mix together the sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate powder in one bowl. Add in the baking soda, salt and flour in slowly. The dough will be thick. I used my hands. It was easier.
  3. Once it's all nicely mixed together, either pop some parchment paper or greesed tin foil on some baking sheets.
  4. The cookies don't spread out so the way you form them, will be the way they bake. Ours where about an inch in diameter and they where about 1/2 inch thick.
  5. If you are adding candy, press it down in the middle of the cookie.
  6. Bake for around 9-11 minutes based on how hot your oven is. Let them cool on the tray for about 10 minutes then transfer to the cooling rack.
  7. Happy Eating!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Almost Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread

Summertime is not baking time for me. It's too darn hot. I also don't have a dish washer so baking sometimes involves too many dishes. But last night I was inspired, inspired by bananas.
About a week ago my friends at Equal Exchange hooked me up with some of their Organic Cocoa Powder and I thought - bananas, chocolate - yes. I would like to eat that! Equal Exchange is a great brand - we drink their coffee at work and you can feel good about making a purchase with them since it's fairly traded. Yay!

I call this ALMOST vegan because I used butter. Real tasty buttery goodness butter. And real milk. But if you're vegan or need to bake for a vegan, feel free two swap those two out.

Almost Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 Allspice, ground
  • 1/2 cup butter (or you could sub with vegan butter)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 1/2 very ripe bananas, mashed (I leave mine a little chunky because I like biting into a bit of banana)
  • 1/2 milk (I used lactaid because that's all I had)
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup Equal Exchange Organic Coco Powder
1. Preheat oven to 350degrees
2. Mix together the milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside
3. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars so it's nice and creamy
4. Mix in the milk combination, bananas, vanilla extract and almond extract
5. Add in the coco powder till completely combined
6. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, allspice
7. Add the wet and the dry ingredients together slowly to ensure the mixture is completely mixed
8. Take a baking loaf pan and either butter, or spray non-stick spray so you can get the loaf out of the pan. OR you can use parchment paper OR you can be a little creative like me, and butter up a piece of tin foil and line the pan with it.
9. Pour the mixture into the pan and spread out evenly. It is a bit thick. (I topped this one with a few sliced almonds b/c it's pretty)
10. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the loaf.
11. Set aside and let cool a bit in the pan, then set on a cooling rack for a few hours till completely cooled before slicing. If you eat it hot - it's a bit dryer than if you let it sit overnight. Just an FYI.
Happy Eating!

And just because it was beautiful out yesterday, here's a nice shot of Boston I took.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ground Turkey Roll-ups with Corn and Broccoli

Growing up, my mom used to make these things called Roll-ups. My grandma actually came up with them and shared the recipe with my mom. It was a once-a-week staple in my house. There were never my favorite when I was little. I thought they were a little weird but as I got older, I learned to appreciate and savor the roll-up and today, I bring the roll-up to you. 

I didn't have all the ingredients in my house to make them exactly how mom did but that's the beauty of the roll-up, you can use what you have. Sometimes you can add veggies, or cheese or different meats. It's all good. I added a quick little side dish of veggies also. 
Ground Turkey Roll-ups
  • 1 package ground turkey
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 good squirt of ketchup
  • 1 good squirt of BBQ sauce
  • 1 good squirt of spicy mustard
  • 1/2 cup to a bit more of breadcrumbs (the amount of breadcrumbs you add dictates how wet the meat is going to be)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 package of crescent rolls
  1. Preheat your oven to 350degrees.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except for the crescent rolls together in a bowl. Tweak the spices based on your preferences. My mom would base the amounts on whether she thought it smelled good or not.
  3. Lay the crescent roll dough out on the counter flat, pinch together any seams that may have split open
  4. Spread the meat mixture across the dough - covering the entire area up to the edges. 
  5. My mom always rolled up the dough the long way to make more smaller rolls but I rolled up the short way - to make less but fatter rolls.
  6. Either place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of your pan - I used a 9x13 pan but you could use a cookie sheet as well. If you don't have parchment paper - you can use tinfoil that you've buttered.
  7. Slice the roll so you have 8 equal pieces - 8 if you're rolling it the short way, more if you roll it the long way. 
  8. Plop those onto the cookie sheet and cook for about 30-35 min or until the crescent rolls look done. 
  9. Let them cool and enjoy! We always ate them with ketchup or bbq sauce on the side. 
Here's a lovely video of my mom demonstrating her technique and her recipe for these suckers.
A quick side dish... Corn and Broccoli for 2 people

  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 pad of butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Sauté those suckers till they are just starting to brown.
Happy eating!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken Tagine

Let's talk about crock pots for a moment. I have a love-hate with them. Almost everything I've made in the crock pot hasn't turned out how I wanted it. Not always bad, but not how I thought it should tasted based on the recipe provided. Or maybe i should ACTUALLY FOLLOW the recipe for once. Either way, I will conquer the crock pot but I may stick to soups for awhile.

My latest attempt at the slow-cooker is this recipe from

It was pretty tasty - we didn't include the eggplant because neither one of us is a big fan, and we added a few extra carrots. BUT don't forget to include the lemon juice. I think that was my biggest mistake. Either way, tasty stuff.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Matt's Spicy Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

As with any family, we too have a few recipes that we eat at least once a week (and sometimes twice). I make 1 or 2 of them and Matt has a few goodies up his sleeves as well. Once in particular that we eat at LEAST once a week is spaghetti with meat sauce. I'm not going to call it Bolognese because it's got a little twist to it.
  • 1 package of ground beef
  • 1 package of spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning
  • Sea salt
  • Vegetable oil - a dollop
  1. Boil water according to the package directions for the pasta but add the sea salt to the boiling water. Add in the pasta and get those noodles cooking.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat it up, add in the ground beef and start to cook. You can season with a little salt and pepper if you like. Add in the steak seasoning.
  3. Cook the meat till it starts to smell like a well done burger - you want the meat to be almost well done. 
  4. Drain the grease off. 
  5. Add in the tomato sauce and the franks. Make sure you stir in the franks really well otherwise you'll have a few hots bites and the rest will be fairly mild. This is key.
  6. At this point, your pasta should be ready. Strain the pasta and serve to each dish. We like to add the pasta to the dish first then add the meat sauce on top.
  7. Enjoy!

Matt hard at work.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Watermelon rules.

I really love watermelon and finally they had some at the food store that looks delightful. So we bought it, we cut it up and we ate it. Just wanted to see if anyone out there shares the same love of that red and green melon as we do. Also I found this great site - thought I'd share.

What's your favorite watermelon recipe? Would love to hear it!