Deep Fried Poached Eggs…and a Le Creuset Giveaway

I know…whaaaat?

But yes.  Deep Fried Poached Eggs.

Imagine the ways you could use these.  In a sandwich.  On a burger.  In the most creative Eggs Benedict ever.  Atop pasta, or a bowl of cheesy grits, as I’ve done here.  There’s just no way in which deep fried poached eggs won’t be a game changer.

I mean look at this thing.

deep-fried-poached-egg

You want it, don’t you?  As in, you want it right now.

I don’t blame you – it’s pretty darned amazing.

Deep Fried Poached Eggs

Makes 4 poached eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 5 fresh raw eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Peanut or canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Pour 1 quart of water into a saucepan that holds about 1.5 quarts. Add the vinegar and salt and heat the water to 205 to 208 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, place a fine strainer over a custard cup, small ramekin or bowl. Crack one egg into it and let the egg sit, undisturbed, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the strainer (with the egg still in it) and pour out any accumulated thin white from the cup. Carefully tip the egg into the cup. Repeat with the other egg and another cup.
  3. When the water is hot, tip the eggs, one at a time, into the pan. The eggs will sit at the bottom of the pan for a minute or so, then start to bob toward the surface. Cook the eggs for 3 minutes; you want them slightly undercooked. As the eggs cook, remove them and place in the bath, adding ice as necessary to keep the water ice cold.
  4. Remove the poached eggs from the water bath and drain on paper towels.
  5. Whisk one of the raw eggs and pour into a small flat dish. Put the flour in another dish and the panko in a third.
  6. Carefully place one of the poached eggs in the dish with the flour and turn over to coat the egg evenly. Move the floured egg to the dish with the beaten egg and turn to coat. Finally, coat the egg with the panko and place on a rack. (Although the chilled eggs will be set firm, you do need to exercise care during this process. Don’t try to use tongs or a spoon to move the eggs; rather, use your hands and be gentle.) Repeat with the other egg. Set aside.
  7. Heat about 3 inches of oil (enough to cover the eggs without having to turn them) in a heavy pot over medium high heat until it reaches a temperature of 375 to 390 degrees. Keep hot but don’t allow it to smoke.
  8. When the oil is hot, carefully add the crumb-coated eggs and cook for 45 to 60 seconds, or until they are crisp and golden brown. Remove and drain on a rack or paper towel.

fried-poached-egg


Not a fan of undercooked eggs (like poached eggs or Caesar dressing)?  It’s okay, you aren’t alone.  If it’s the consistency, I can’t help you with that, but if it’s the safety factor, I’ve got you covered.

Safest Choice Eggs.

Davidson's Safest Choice EggsAs an ambassador for Safest Choice Darling Dozen, I’ve had a lot of experience with them over the past year, and I love working with them.  The eggs are truly SAFE – they are pasteurized in the shell before you ever get them.

In the shell.

Pasteurization is an all natural process, in that it involves only heat (not chemicals or irradiation). Safest Choice eggs go through a series of warm water baths to eliminate bacteria. It’s that simple!

Visit www.SafeEggs.com/recipes/safest-choice-darling-dozen for more information on the Safest Choice Darling Dozen


The Giveaway

As beautiful and delicious as those poached eggs are, I have  feeling you’ll love THIS even more.  You’ll need something to deep fry those eggs in, right?  What’s the best thing you could fry them in??

Mariner Star Round French Oven

The Limited Edition Le Creuset Mariner Star Round French Oven.

I can’t tell you how gorgeous this culinary wonder is.  Yes, we all know and love Le Creuset.  It’s time tested, it’s what our lucky grandmothers used (and we can’t wait to inherit).  It was a staple for Julia Child, for crying out loud. There’s no denying the quality and craftsmanship.

But they’ve really done it this time.

The colors are of course, stunning.  But this particular piece has a molded compass on the lid, and as a world traveler, I have to say, I feel like it was made especially for me.

But I want YOU to have one, too.

This limited-edition round French oven was inspired by the mariner star, a symbol found on compasses and used for centuries to navigate the winds that blow along the Mediterranean coast. The northwest point of the star represents the mistral wind that blows through the port city of Marseille, France. Each year, Marseille residents gather for the Fête du Vent, a festival that celebrates this famous mistral wind.
The lid’s raised design was cast in a one-of-a-kind sand mold and hand-enameled in a deep, Marseille-inspired blue. Each stainless steel knob is individually numbered, and a display medallion is provided.

Do you want to win it?

I know you do.  You’d be crazy not to.  So tell me you want it.  If you leave me a comment below, letting me know you want to have it, you’ll be entered to win.

For an additional chance to win, do any or all of the following, just be sure to leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each one you do.

That’s enough I guess.  4 chances is enough.

Good LUCK!

Giveaway hosted by Le Creuset, and is open to US residents only.  Giveaway ends January 1, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be notified via email provided.  Recipe post was sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip Cookies for a Cookie Exchange…and A Giveaway!

Have you even done a search for holiday cookies recently?

macadamia nut cookies

Don’t.  Just, don’t.  It’s overwhelming, and you’ll likely find yourself immersed in sugary concoctions on Pinterest, which will start with gingerbread cookies, then ginger recipes, then red hair shades, then you’ll drive 3 hours to have colorful stripes put into your hair because Pinterest thought it was a good idea.

But you wanted to look up cookie recipes.  I know, I know.  There are so many to choose from, but if you are like me, you want a huge variety.  I get it.  Time is short though, kids, and it’s time to get smart.

Have a cookie exchange.

Just convince a few other friends to bake some cookies – their favorites – and you bake a few dozen of a couple of your favorites as well.  Bake today and then open some wine tomorrow afternoon, tell the husbands you have some important things to tend to, and swap those cookies over a glass or four of moscato.

Now you have several dozen cookies in like 10 different flavors, and my, was it ever easy.

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Country Crock has some great printables and recipes on their Holiday Cookie Exchange page, with plenty of ideas on how to make the most of your cookie exchange.  They were kind enough to sponsor this post, so I hope you’ll check out that info.  Yes, it’s great for Christmas, but honestly, why not at other times during the year?  Valentines would be fun, too.  Or Easter.  Or Mardi Gras?  Arbor Day?  Is there a bad time to have a boat load of cookies? (Boat load equals a great theme for Columbus Day which is ideal for eating cookies…you’re welcome.)

To encourage you just a little more, here is a cookie from the Country Crock site that I had to make.  Of course, I had to change it up, because well, you know me – I can’t leave anything alone.  It’s delicious, and is great for a cookie exchange!  It was a simple and ever-so-easy base cookie recipe, so I turned it into Macadamia & White Chocolate Chip Cookies instead of Zebra Chocolate Chip Cookies. My way or the original way, you can’t go wrong!

In the background there, you can see the Peanut Butter Honey and Oat Cookies from the Country Crock site – also delish!  (and divine if you sub in Biscoff Spread for the peanut butter, ahem, were you so inclined, hehe!)  Scroll down for the recipe!

Now – those Macadamia Nut Cookies.  Yesssss.

macadamia nut cookies 2

Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Country Crock)

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Country Crock® Spread
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease baking sheets; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat Country Crock® Spread with sugars until light and fluffy in large bowl with electric mixer, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla, scraping sides occasionally. Gradually beat in flour mixture until blended. Stir in 1 cup white chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Let stand 2 minutes on wire rack; remove from sheets and cool completely.

 


Peanut Butter Honey and Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Honey 'N Oatmeal Cookies


The Giveaway

There’s still time to get your best girlfriends (and baking guy friends) together for a last minute cookie exchange, so get on it!  Plus to encourage you just a little, how about a Holiday Cookie Giveaway from Country Crock?

One lucky reader will win a Country Crock Holiday Cookie gift pack (ARV: $40) that includes:

  • Premium rolling pin
  • 30-piece cookie cutter set
  • Three full value Country Crock spread coupons

To enter, just leave a comment sharing your favorite cookie, or a link to your favorite recipe. For an additional entry tweet your favorite cookie using the hashtag #CountryCrockCookies. So easy!

For more information on Country Crock:

Disclaimer: This post and giveaway was sponsored by Country Crock.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mint Chocolate Brownies…and a Giveaway!

Day Five of my 12 Days of Giveaways is here…and are you ever in for a treat!

Today I am offering up one of the most gorgeous pieces of culinary craftsmanship…a Boos Board by John Boos!

But first…Mint Chocolate Brownies.

mint brownies

If you know me at all, you know I have an affinity for fudgy brownies.  I never, ever want to hear “cake like” when it comes to a brownie.  If I wanted something to be cake like, I would make a cake. Like.  If I want brownies, I want something thick and chewy, full of fudgy goodness and almost to the point of Did she cook these all the way? gooiness.

Yes, indeed.

I made these holiday ready with the addition of mint, and more precisely, York Peppermint Patties and Hershey Mint Chips.  As you are probably aware, I do a lot of work with Hershey’s, and I am thrilled to have such good friends there that keep me in supplies.

If you’ve not tried the Hershey’s Mint Chips for baking, I highly recommend you do.  Not overly powerful (in fact, I added mint extract to really punch it up), but subtle and smooth.  I also added in some of the new Hershey’s Spreads.

Helloooo, gorgeous.

Hershey’s Spreads are brand new, and I’ve had my hand on them for about a month now.  There are three varieties, but for my brownies, I used the Chocolate Spread versus the Chocolate Almond or Chocolate Hazelnut.  Think peanut butter consistency, but total chocolate goodness, and there you have it.  Perfect on a cracker, a pretzel, an orange slice – or of course, in a brownie.

I’m sure you won’t have too much trouble figuring out what to do with yours.

mint-brownies

Mint Chocolate Brownies

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16-20 Brownies

Ingredients

  • 10 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces Hershey’s Mint Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Mint Extract
  • 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 4 cut up York Peppermint Patties
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s Chocolate Spread 

     

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper long enough to hang over on two sides, making it easier to remove from pan once baked. Spray pan and paper.
  2. In small saucepot over medium heat, or in the microwave, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and red food coloring with the sugar. Slowly add in chocolate mixture until well combined.
  4. In small bowl, sift together cocoa, salt and flour. Add mixture to rest of batter. Do not over mix.
  5. Stir Peppermint Patties and Hershey’s Spread into batter until evenly mixed.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until just set and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

The Giveaway

Walnut Chopping Block - Non-ReversibleAs I mentioned, I have a gorgeous John Boos Board to offer one of you.  You can get a glimpse of it in the brownie photos, but kids, it’s just too good looking to capture in a photo.  Solid walnut, and thick thick thick, this beauty retails for over $300.  It’s almost too pretty to cut anything on…in fact, I leave mine sitting atop my stove, just so I can look at it.

I want you to have one, too.

Tell me you want it?  Tell me here and you’ll be entered to win it.  Plus, if you’ll share a link to this post tagging @doughmesstic, then return here to leave a separate comment, you’ll be entered TWICE.

So get on it!

Disclaimer:  Hershey’s sponsored this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Contest open until December 25 at 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email provided on December 27.  US Addresses only, please.  Good luck!

12 Days of Doughmesstic Giveaways…and a Happy Birthday Wish!

Remember when I used to make cake?  Like, all the time?

Yeah, me too.

I kind of miss the days of all day baking, powdered sugar strewn about my kitchen, fondant in every color covering my counters, a sink full of dirty cake pans.

Okay, not all of that is worth missing, but you get what I mean.

I’m just too busy anymore to take on cake orders.  Sad, I know.  I think the last cake I made was Seven’s birthday cake, and that was in August.  An extra tall 2 tiered Nightmare Before Christmas cake for a 6 year old.

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Judge not, lest ye be judged, naysayers.  It’s sort of a cartoon.

Anyway.

Today is December 17, and a birthday for several fine folks I know. One of which is my nephew (Happy Birthday!).  Another is a cake master.  A cake guru.  Nay…the Ace of Cakes.

That’s right, today is Duff Goldman’s birthday, and in honor of that, I want to give one of you kids a BUNCH of Duff goodies.  Duff has been very good to me over the past couple of years (hard to believe it’s been that long!) and I stand behind his line of products.  In fact, they are all I use these days, as I think they are the best on the market.  Friend or not, he’s got the goods.

Let’s get one of YOU the goods, shall we?

 

Do you makes cakes?  Okay, you’ll still want this.  And if you don’t, but want to learn how and need some practice material?

I can help you with that!

I have a ton of Duff’s products up for grabs, and I want to give it to one of you!  Not only that, but I have an Amex Gift Card worth $200 so that you can go snatch up his airbrush and fondant if you want it.  Or, maybe you just want to spend it on a new flat panel TV.  Or 4 feisty push up bras and matching bottoms from Victoria’s Secret.

Whatever.  I’m not the boss of you.

YOU are the boss of YOU.

I just want you to have a lot of fun cake tools and some money. Is that okay?

Good.

Here’s what you’ll win:

  • 3 Sets of Duff Cake Tattoos
  • 3 sets of Duff Cupcake Tattoos
  • 1 Set of Duff Shaping Tools
  • 6 different Duff Food Colors
  • 1 Duff Apron
  • 1 Duff Rolling Pin and…

 

  • The Duff™ Pan Starter Kit

9 inch Round  Anodized Aluminum Pan -1ea
8 inch Weight Anodized Aluminum Pan -1ea
6 inch Weight Anodized Aluminum Pan -1ea
Decorative Wires – 8ea
Seamless Tip Decorating Kit – 15pc
Fondant Smoother – 1ea
Medium Icing Spatula – 1ea
Fondant Cutter Set 12pc

WHOA!!  That’s like, over $250 worth of cake love, plus a $200 Gift Card! 

Now, tell me you want to win it.  There, you are entered to win.  If you want one more chance, go tweet about this giveaway on Twitter, or, share the link on Facebook.  One or the other.  Then come back here and tell me you did it, and boom – there.  Now you are entered twice.

Good LUCK!

(And Happy Birthday, G!!)

Disclaimer – This is NOT a sponsored post.  I have the items, I want you to have them.  US Addresses only, please.  Open now through December 26, 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email address provided.

Loving Las Vegas…and a Huge Giveaway!

Good morning!  I hope you had a great weekend, and are ready for a fun giveaway to continue my 12 Days of Giveaways!  if you haven’t already, you still have time to get in on the KitchenAid Mixer and Waffle Baker Giveaways, so make sure you do that!

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Today, however, is a little more, well, travel-y.

This year, I have found myself in Las Vegas a whopping 3 times.  Since August – 3 times.  All told, it’s amounted to 15 days, and in that time, I got to have some amazing meals, see shows, shop, and stay in great places.  I also found a little time to get into trouble.  A bit. 

I want to share ALL of that with you.

So first things first, let’s break Vegas into categories…Food. Lodging. Things to Do.  That’s a good start, no?

I think so.  Today I am going to tackle the food…and one little thing to do, if you are so inclined.  But let’s start with food!

Food

I have to say, I can’t get over the incredible amount of ridiculous food options available in Vegas.  Every celebrity chef has one or more eateries there, from Wolfgang Puck, to Gordon Ramsey, to Bastianich and Batali.  There is no shortage of delicious food.

Scarpetta

scarpetta-spaghettiOne of my very favorites is Scarpetta, located in the Cosmopolitan.  The hotel itself makes you feel like a million bucks, with an enormous crystal chandelier that spans multiple floors, a casino that oozes excess, and a variety of restaurants for all tastes.  Scarpetta is owned by Scott Conant, and if you’ve not had his spaghetti, that dish alone is worth the visit.

Yes, spaghetti. 

It is ridiculous – so simple and full of flavor.  The noodles are huge, and the bite?  Yes, it’s the bite that makes this the best spaghetti you’ll ever eat.  But if you want more, the tasting menu is well worth the price, and offers several courses of masterfully prepared dishes.  Like the duck.  Dear Lord, the duck.

And did I mention the view?

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Perched high above the Bellagio fountains, lucky window seats deliver a dinner show every 15 minutes.  You certainly won’t be disappointed.  Nor will you find better service anywhere in Vegas.  The staff knows the menu inside out, from the drinks (try the Renaissance Mule!) to the desserts (Nutella filled Bomboloni, good GOD.) – this crew knows their business and you won’t go wrong with their recommendations.

chinapoblanoChina Poblano

Another restaurant inside the Cosmopolitan is a most bizarre fusion – Chinese and Mexican.  China Poblano combines the best of both cuisine in a fun format of small plates – perfect for sharing with a group.  The drinks are also well done and creative, especially the margaritas topped with a salt foam versus salt rims.  It makes for a festive addition to an already spectacular drink, and the whimsical décor ties the whole package up quite nicely.  Definitely worth a visit!

Buddy V’s

Where, other than the Venetian, would you expect to find an Italian eatery owned by Cake Boss Buddy?

Upon arrival, Buddy V’s feels like an outdoor café, but the interior is full on family kitchen.  Cool lighting, an open kitchen, rolling pins hung as decoration – it’s all very hip and yet understated. 

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The food makes for a great lunch, which I was very impressed with.  The menu appears unassuming, even simplistic, and perhaps that is exactly what makes it so successful.  Simple dishes prepared according to traditional family recipes, from giant meatballs to mozzarella en carrozza, to one of the best mac & cheese plates I’ve ever had.  The best part though?

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Dessert.

Buddy offers up his infamous Lobster Claw, and I can’t even tell you how delicious and creamy this thing is.  Big enough to share (though you won’t want to) and well worth every penny…you need to trust me on this.  If you have only one thing at Buddy’s – make it this pastry.  You won’t be disappointed.

The Buffet at The Bellagio

I couldn’t very well go to Vegas and not mention a buffet.  So if you’re looking for the best, look to the Bellagio.  Ever since seeing it on TV as the best, I knew I had to give it a shot.  Carved meats, pastas, pizzas, soups and sandwiches and desserts or all kinds.  Seafood and cheeses and good grief did I say desserts?  Great price for all you get, and one of the best buffets I’ve come across.

Fix

Duck and Waffles.  I have nothing more to say.

No really, Fix, located inside the Bellagio is more of an upscale bar setting, but the Duck and Waffles are worth the visit.  Duck confit, served with malted waffles, a soft fried egg, and bourbon maple syrup?  Yes, please.  Incredible.

Olives, by Todd English

Also located inside the Bellagio, and with unbeatable fountain views.  Seriously the water practically hits your window it’s that close.  The food is well done, as one would expect from English, and red meats are perfectly cooked to order.  Personally though, I’d return for the view and the upscale décor.  It’s right on with the best Vegas has to offer.

olives-vegas

Lemongrass

Lemongrass was such a welcome change of pace, and with great pricing and even better service.  It is located inside the luxurious Aria, with an extensive menu in a cool setting. Lemongrass is Thai, and one of the best and easiest meals I had in town. Try the potstickers and any of the fried rice dishes…they do not disappoint.  Gotta love that it is open late with its full menu.  Yum.

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Something to Do

Get a tattoo.

I did.

One late night I met James, stepping out of Starlight Tattoo, located inside The Mirage.  James was a doll and did great work, so I entrusted my wrists to his talent.  15-20 minutes later, I was out of my snakeskin chair and the owner of white ink tattoos, perfectly scripted, and absolutely everything I need to say.

Be happy for this moment…this moment is your life.

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When in Vegas.

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(Thanks, James!!)

The Giveaway

No, I can’t send you to Vegas, or buy you dinner there, or even set you up with a tattoo.  But what I CAN do is offer you an American Express GIFT CARD to make it happen!

How about a $500 American Express?

I’d say that’s not too shabby.

What would you do with it?  Tell me here and you’ll be entered to win it.  Plus, if you’ll share a link to this post tagging @doughmesstic, then return here to leave a separate comment, you’ll be entered TWICE.

So get on it!

Disclaimer:  Post is not sponsored, and I was not paid to endorse any of these restaurants or James and Starlight.  Lunch at Buddy V’s was complimentary and paid by a third party, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Contest open until December 25 at 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email provided on December 27.  US Addresses only, please.  Good luck!

12 Days of Giveaways…KitchenAid Waffle Baker

Happy Sunday!

Today I am thrilled to offer you one of my most favorite things…the KitchenAid Waffle Baker.

Seriously – LOVE it.

Waffles are a treat, in my opinion, reserved for breakfasts out or on fancy brunch buffets – not something you serve up at home on a regular basis.  Why?  Well, restaurants tend to have those high end flippy waffle bakers, and nothing ever sticks.  You know the ones I am talking about?

Yeah, those.

The KitchenAid Waffle Baker is just like those…except better.

waffles-1

This waffle iron will make TWO waffles at once.  And I’ve never had a waffle stick – the pop right out.  My waffles are light and fluffy on the inside, with a nice crisp on the outside.  You may recall seeing the waffles I made last week?  Yep, I made them in the KitchenAid.

I want you to have one of these amazing waffle irons.

Tell me you want it?

The Giveaway

Just leave a comment letting me know you want to have one.  Do that and you’ll be entered to win.

If you’d like an extra entry, Tweet or Share the link to this post on Twitter or Facebook and then come back here to tell me you did so in a separate comment.  Now you are entered twice.

See? Easy.

You could be eyeball high in waffles before the new year!  Good luck!

Can’t wait?  You can BUY one on Amazon right now for a much reduced price…check it out!

 

Disclaimer:  Affiliate links are contained in this post, as I am an Amazon Affiliate.  Giveaway is not sponsored.  Giveaway ends December 25th at 11:59pm EST.  2 entries max per person/email address.  Winner will be notified via email address provided on December 27.  US Addresses only, please.  Good luck!

12 Days of Doughmesstic Giveaways…KitchenAid 5 Quart Stand Mixer

True story…I can’t tolerate that 12 Days of Christmas Song.  Another true story? I don’t trust anyone who knows, in order, days 6 thru 12 of that song.  Trustworthy folks chime in at 5 Gold-en riiinngs.

You know it’s true.

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So anyway, 12 Days of Christmas has a nice ring to it, so I am here to offer you, my lovely readers, 12 days of giveaways.  Big things, little things, lots and lots of my favorite things.  Instead of one big Holiday Gift Guide, I’m going to just give you the things I love.

I couldn’t be happier to be in a position to give you these things.  Truly.  I am a very lucky girl to have this life, this blog, you as readers, and friends I have made through this job.  I am thrilled to give back.

So let’s start big.

When I first started blogging, it became quickly apparent that I needed a mixer.  A REAL mixer.  A KitchenAid mixer.  So I scraped up some money, scoured the internet, and bought my first KitchenAid.  Little did I know that a couple years later I would be working with KitchenAid on several projects, from giveaways to writing for their new Kitchenthusiast Blog, to a commercial, magazine ads, and even having my entire kitchen outfitted with top of the line KitchenAid appliances.  Terribly lucky.

The Giveaway

In honor of that, I am offering one of you and brand new, 5 quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

I love the 5 quart for many reasons, mostly because it’s a workhorse, but the girl in me loves the color choices.  The KitchenAid® Artisan® Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is the ideal size for most kitchens, and it’s the mixer I reach for on a nearly daily basis.

I think you should have one, too.  What color do you want?

Plumberry? Green Apple?  Tangerine?  The choice is yours!  Just visit KitchenAid and choose your favorite KitchenAid® Artisan® Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.  Then come back here and tell me which color you liked.

But let’s make it more interesting, shall we?

You can come back here EVERYDAY between now and December 25th and leave me a separate comment (say anything you like!), and each comment will count as an entry to win.  Want more?  Me too!  If you will Pin, Tweet, or Share this post on Facebook, you can leave the link to that share in the comments (ONE per DAY) for even more chances to win! That’s 24 entries!!  Get going!


Disclaimer:  Mixer is courtesy of KitchenAid.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  24 entries maximum per person/email address.  US Addresses only, please.  Contest ends 11:59pm EST December 25.  Winner will be notified on December 27, 2013 via email address provided.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Turkey…and a Le Creuset Giveaway

Thanksgiving.  It’s here.  You are likely in the kitchen, already prepping your meal.  Folks may even be over, you may have a kitchen full of family, toddlers underfoot, men wanting sandwiches before the bird has even been carved.

But there are still holidays to prepare for, and turkey is one of those things that is always on the menu.

You want to do it right…turkey’s aren’t cheap.

So…I’ve compiled a list of things that will keep your bird roasting experience calm and collected.  I cannot, however, keep those pesky relatives out of your kitchen.  That’s all you.

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Tip and Tricks for the Perfect Turkey

Allow enough time to thaw that frozen bird.  A turkey is a monster, and man is it ever frozen.  Hopefully you bought yours several days before the big event, and if so, you’re pretty set.  The average 15 pound turkey will thaw in the fridge in about 4 days.  Yes, DAYS.  Once thawed, it’s fine to leave it in there for 4 more.  However, maybe you waited until the day before to buy yours, waiting for the best sale. (Hint, don’t ever do this, as every store in the tri-state area will run out, and you’ll be forced to call all of your friends to see if maybe they bought an extra, or are willing to sell you theirs, not that I know from experience or anything.)  But back to the point – you CAN thaw a frozen turkey in the sink, covered in water.  It will take roughly 30 minutes per pound, so a 15 pounder will take about 8 hours. Allow for longer, though, just in case.

Prep for success.  Find a recipe you like, or not, it really isn’t rocket science.  It’s meat.  Some people opt for a brine, some people opt to inject the bird with butter, oils, honey or spice, some opt to just mix some butter with a few tasty herbs and rub it under the turkey skin.  The latter is what we typically do.  If this is your first time ever seeing a naked turkey, be warned.  They put leftover bird parts inside the turkey.  Like the neck.  Take those God-awful things out.  Throw them away of you want, or, you can make stock or gravy with them.  So sue me, I throw it all away.  It looks nasty and therefore in my mind, no matter what, it’s gonna taste nasty.  Don’t let my issues be YOUR issues.  I hear that neck makes a great turkey stock.

High heat to start.  The biggest issue most folks have with a turkey is that the white meat dries out.  This is because the dark meat takes longer to reach temp, or because the juices drain out.  One way to combat this is to crank the heat up at the start of the cooking process.  We cook ours at 450 for 45 minutes, to thoroughly brown the skin and seal in those juices.  Then we back the temp down to 325 for the duration, about 2 1/2 more hours for a 15 pound turkey.  Just stop cooking when a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160F, the recommended USDA temperature for safe eating.  The breast portion will most certainly be done at that point.  If you notice that part way through baking that the top of the turkey is looking a little more brown than you would like, it’s best to tent it with aluminum foil.  This will prevent it from over cooking.

Baste.  Baste the turkey with its juices about once every twenty minutes to half an hour hour.  Don’t overdo it.  Yes, I know it smells good and seems impressive, but twice (to 3 times) an hour is enough.

The juices.  Yes, they are divine.  Make them into gravy, save them for stock.  Just don’t get rid of them!  You can prepare a wonderful soup on the Saturday after the holiday with this liquid gold!

REST.  Once your turkey has reached the appropriate 160F temp, do NOT CUT INTO IT.  Wait.  Let those juices redistribute for 20 minutes.  Besides, it’s HOT.  Just wait, the difference will be worth it!


The Giveaway

Signature 5 1/4 qt. RoasterSee that gorgeous roasting pan over there?  You can have it!  It’s the new Le Creuset Roasting Pan, valued at $200.  The color of mine is Truffle, but you get to choose!  Wouldn’t you LOVE to have this beauty for your next turkey?

Of course you would.

To enter to win, just comment here letting me know you want to win one of them.

For one additional chance (just choose one) – Share this post link on Twitter or on Facebook.  Return here to let me know you did, and now you’ve entered to win TWICE.

Two total entries per person, max.  All extra comments will be deleted.

Open to US Addresses Only (so very sorry Internationals, I do appreciate you, though), and is courtesy of and shipped by Le Creuset. Giveaway ends December 5, 2013 at 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email address provided.

2013 Greenwich Wine & Food Festival…October 3-5

Kids…I don’t even know where to start.

I swear, it seems like only a few short weeks ago that I made the drive to beautiful Greenwich, Connecticut to attend (and write about) the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival.

Little did I know that gorgeous October day that not only would I be wandering the grounds sampling some of the best culinary treasures of the greater New England area, but I would be drawn onto the demo stage with the one and only Duff Goldman.

Yes, that happened.

I (unprepared as I was) assisted Duff with his demo after spending an amazing few hours getting to know him better, all the while meeting other incredible chefs, like Graham Elliott, Ted Allen, and Joe Bastianich.  I was in celebrity chef heaven, which was a grass covered park, beside the bay, my belly full of cakes and wines and barbeque that I can’t even find adjectives for.

I hit the foodie jackpot that day.

Or so I thought.

You see, after Greenwich came and went, I kept in touch with Duff (and a few other of these amazing chefs), and when it came time to write my S’mores Cookbook, Duff stepped in and offered to write the foreword.

Surreal is the best word I can use to describe my life somedays, but today, as I type this, it is the ONLY word to sum up what I am about to tell you.

I am going BACK to Greenwich.  Only this time, I am going not to just write about the day, not to just eat, not to listen to great music and drink fine wines…and NOT to assist Duff.

I am going back to Celebrity Demo Tent One, where I will be on stage for a dessert demo of my own.

You read that right.

Four – count it – FOUR demos only in that tent, and I am one.  I mean, Duff and Graham and leading demos in that tent, and here I am, leading one as well?

See?  Surreal.

Luckily, I have one of my very best friends leading that demo with me…Chef Mike Behmoiras.  If you read here often, you know I’m just nuts about Mike, and over the past few months we’ve become a crazy team on several endeavors.  From a Cake Judging to a S’mores Night, to an upcoming television spot, and now, THIS?

Well, to say we are excited and thrilled to be considered worthy of this event is an understatement.  (We’re excited just to be listed on the Celebrity Talent page!)

GWF-susandmike

The Greenwich Wine & Food Festival is an incredibly well done experience, with samplings from the areas best restaurants and purveyors, wines that shouldn’t be missed, and entertainment from day until dark.  Soaring white tents in the New England sun, celebrity chef demos, swag bags and photo ops, book signings, mingling…you won’t find a more intimate and fanciful way to spend a day.

You really shouldn’t miss it.

So don’t.

WIN TICKETS!

I am currently holding 2 sets of 2 tickets ($250 per set!) that will get you in to the festival on Saturday October 5th.

Yep – free tickets, for 2 lucky commenters.  Are you in the New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts area?  Then you want to be there.  I promise you, you’ll have an incredible, unforgettable weekend.  Heck, drive from afar.  It’s worth the drive…make a weekend of it.

While you may not end up assisting in a celebrity demo, you’ll definitely get a belly full and a big hug from ME. And hey, I’ll even make Mike hug ya, too.

Comment away!

Oh – you don’t want to take the chance of not winning?  Can’t say I blame you.  Head over to the Festival Website to grab all the tickets you need…worth every penny and there are so many options to choose from!

The 2013 Greenwich Wine & Food Festival, by Serendipity

This tented event on the Long Island Sound features national and local celebrity chefs, sommeliers and culinary experts, cooking demonstrations, gourmet tastings, cook-offs, and wine and spirits. Enjoy more than 100 vendors and listen to live performances by Dispatch and Country Music star Pat Green!Greenwich Wine and Food

Click Here for the Schedule of Events

Click Here for TICKETS

Click Here for the Festival on Facebook

 


A HUGE thanks to Unger Publishing, Serendipity Magazine, and the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival for having me back, and for the tickets to share with my readers. (And Ms. Unger…you are some kind of amazing…along with the rest of your staff!)

By: ifood.tv