Sunday, January 30, 2011

$75 NOVICA Gift Certificate Giveaway

Looking for a unique serving bowl? How about some very different glassware? Or maybe it’s a novel centerpiece for your dining room that you need?

Whatever it is you will be sure to find it at NOVICA.  In association with National Geographic NOVICA describes itself as a fair-trade website for artisans from around the world to display their work. Not only will you find glassware and tableware showcased on their site but also, jewelry, home decor and many other wonderful items.

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to order a product and to offer one lucky reader the chance to do the same. I ordered this beautiful bowl to showcase fruit on my counter. The online shopping experience and ordering process were seamless. My package arrived hand stamped from Mexico; exquisitely wrapped and tied with a bow. Included with my bowl was an artisan story card; a very nice touch.

I recommend you check out NOVICA the next time you are looking for something unique. They also have a great selection of corporate gifts and gifts for moms.  I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Now for the fun part. One lucky reader will have a chance to win a $75 gift card to NOVICA. Just leave a comment on this post by midnight (EST) 2/6/2011.  A winner will be chosen by random generator and announced shortly there after. 

For extra chances to win tweet or facebook this contest and leave additionally comments here letting me know which you did.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Cooking Video....Peas & Corn Succotash

Those of you that have been following me for awhile know that I recently redesigned my blog.  I hope everyone is enjoying the new look.  I know I am.

Well I've got something else new...a cooking video. I've done a few video's before; but thanks to my wonderful husband the video format has been redesigned to match the blog's new look.  I'm excited to share this with you and look forward to your feedback.

The recipe below for Peas and Corn Succotash is something my husband and I put together to incorporate more veggies into our meals.  Succotash is best described as a stew of veggies; most often corn and lima beans. Like most other stews you can easily customize succotash to include your favorite vegetables.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Peas & Corn Succotash
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
¼ cup stock

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add your chopped vegetables and cook until tender.

Add frozen peas and corn and cook two minutes.

Add stock and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook an additional two minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tomato, Spinach & Mushroom Pasta Sauce

Browsing through the blogosphere, looking for something easy to make for a weeknight dinner, I came across a recipe for Hearty Tomato Kale and Mushroom Pasta Sauce over at Fake Food Free.

I made  few minor adjustments to fit our tastes and found myself with a quick, healthy pasta dish that I know I will be coming back to again and again.  I'm submitting my version of this great recipe to Presto Pasta Nights; being hosted this week by Heather over at Girlichef.  Don't forget to stop by sometime on January 21st and check out all the great submissions.

Tomato, Spinach & Mushroom Pasta Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, peeled
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped
¼ cup water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper

Heat the oil in the skillet, add the garlic. Roughly chop the tomatoes and place in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.

Add the spinach, stir to coat with any oil and the other ingredients. Add the water, place a lid on the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The tomato should break down completely and the spinach should be tender.

Remove lid and stir in the sugar, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more and serve over pasta.

Makes 2 servings.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Baked on A Bed of Bread & Swiss Chard; and Contest Winner

I tried a new recipe last week that I want to share with you. Chicken Baked on Bread & Swiss Chard; adapted from the December issue of Food and Wine.

I’m always looking for new, easy and healthy ways to cook chicken and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I did make a few changes…I used baby spinach instead of swiss chard. I omitted the capers and the raisins; one because I didn’t have them and the other because my husband doesn’t like them. And I added some chopped green olives, which I thought went very well.

Chicken Baked On A Bed of Bread & Swiss Chard


1. 1/2 pound day-old peasant bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 loaf)
2. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3. 1/4 cup salted capers, rinsed well (I substituted chopped green olives)
4. 1/4 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped (I omitted these)
5. 1 large bunch of Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 pound) torn into pieces ( I substituted fresh baby spinach)
6. 3 shallots, thinly sliced
7. 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
8. 1/2 teaspoon minced thyme
9. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10. One 3 1/2-pound chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces, or 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, capers, raisins, Swiss chard, shallots, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper. Spread the bread in a large enameled cast-iron casserole.

2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and arrange them over the bread. Cover the chicken with a piece of parchment paper and close the casserole with a heavy lid. Bake the chicken for 35 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and parchment paper and increase the oven temperature to 400°. Bake the chicken for 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the chicken with the bread and greens.

Cookbook Giveaway Winner:

The winner of the Cooking Light Way To Cook Vegetarian Cookbook is Monet from Ancedotes & Apple Cores.    Congratulations to Monet and thanks to all of you who participated.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Healthy Snack for the New Year

I love chickpeas…always have. The fact that these round nutty flavored legumes are good for me just makes them even better. It’s said that chickpeas are chuck full of such nutrients as fiber, folic acid and manganese making them very important to your digestive health.  For me it's all about taste.

Chickpeas are very versatile. You can mix them with tahini and make hummus, pair them with tomatoes, onions and lemon juice for a refreshing salad like this one.  My favorite to eat them roasted. You can munch on these little treats almost anywhere. I’m sure there are tons of recipes out there for roasting chickpeas but below is the one I like to use.

Roasted Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chili pepper
Mix all ingredients together until all the beans are coated. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, turning periodically so they are evenly roasted. These are best fresh from the oven but will last several days in a sealed container.

PS. Don’t forget to enter my cookbook contest.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's A New Year & We've Got A New Look

Welcome to the new "Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine" blog. I've made some changes so take a look around and let me know what you think.

Leave a comment with your thoughts, on this post; by midnight (EST) 1/9/11 and you'll be entered for a chance to win Cooking Light's Way to Cook Vegetarian.  Following me on either Twitter or Facebook (and leaving a comment  here) will get you additional entries.

I hope you'll join me on my upcoming food adventures; I've got some exciting things planned for us!