Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy National Pasta Day! Classico Creations Giveaway

Happy fall, friends! I don't know about where you are, but here in San Diego it feels like summer. We're talking highs in the upper 80s this week. It is HOT. Fall, are you out there? Haha.

Regardless of the temperatures outside, seeing all of the Halloween and Thanksgiving (and, sadly, Christmas already) decor up and about in the stores makes me excited for fall. My heart fills with glee when the canned pumpkin comes back on the shelves, the leaves start to change color, and all of the cute fall clothes hit the display windows. It's time to snuggle up in a blanket, have a pumpkin spice latte, and enjoy that crispness in the air that is so typical of fall.

I was thrilled to receive a pasta kit in the mail from Classico Creations in exchange for blogging about their products and, of course, hosting a giveaway for you fine folks!

Check out all the goodies I received:

 

I am definitely going to buy a jar of pesto because, well, I could eat it by the spoonful. No need to cook pasta to go with it :)


Yum! I heart spinach and parmesan (but seriously, who doesn't love pasta with tons of cheese in it? :)) Can you spot the maple leaves and snowflake on the label? So cute for fall!



The Hubs went into shock mode when he saw all of these goodies. "You got all those for free?!?"
"Yes dear, that is one of the perks of being a blogger."

Anywho, the Bialetti pasta pot is pretty spiffy. The lid hooks on to the top so you can drain the water out through those little holes after cooking the pasta, without taking it out of the pot! So cool. 

I also heart Oxo products and was psyched to receive a new cheese grater. I have one, but it isn't half as cool as this one. Also some lovely pasta tongs from Williams-Sonoma (I want to live in that store!).

For recipe inspiration from Classico, click here or check out this YouTube video. Super fun!

Now, on to the giveaway! Five of you will win coupons for a FREE jar of Classico sauce.

Just leave a comment below with your favorite type of Classico pasta sauce, or one you want to try, and how you would serve it. The first five responses will win! Good luck.

The nitty gritty: In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Classico and received product, coupons, premium items and reader giveaway coupons as part of my participation. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

OXO Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the OXO giveaway!

Congrats to our winner Manda! I will contact you directly to get your mailing address.



Have a great week, everyone :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

OXO LockTop Containers Giveaway

A giveaway as promised! Better late than never, right? :)

Thanks to the OXO Blogger Outreach Program, I received some of these goodies to review and some to share with you! I was so excited - I've loved OXO products since I was a kid, believe it or not. When I was little and helping my mom out in the kitchen, I remember the super-duper OXO salad spinner and its cushy black rubber handle. It was one of the coolest gadgets I'd ever seen. When it was time to register for wedding gifts, I made sure to include several OXO products on our list since I knew they would last a long time and perform well.

Here we have some OXO Good Grips LockTop Containers for you: 4 mini and one regular size.

Let me tell you: as a regular lunch-packer, I was psyched to try these out. I usually have a salad every day and one way or another my salad dressing spills out of the little container I pack it in to keep the greens from getting soggy. These mini containers worked perfectly and the sealproof lid kept my lettuce nice and crisp before lunch. They are also a perfect size for hummus, peanut butter, or any other dip you want to bring along for your veggies. 


The regular size container is fantastic too - it holds about 6 cups and is the perfect size for a lunch salad. Another cool feature is that the lid completely separates from the seal for easy cleaning, and it's easy to put back together. Score!




Close up of the minis. Aren't they cute? :)


Now, you lucky ducks can win some of your own! I'll randomly pick a winner on Tuesday morning, June 12th, so please get your entries in by midnight PST, Monday, June 11th. This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents.

To enter (please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me what you would use the OXO containers for.

For additional entries:
2. Follow me on Twitter
3. Tweet about the giveaway (please copy and paste this: Enter to win @OXO LockTop Containers from @goofyfrito! http://alturl.com/gjx5a) and leave a link to your tweet on this post.
4. Follow OXO on Twitter
5. Follow me on Pinterest
6. Follow OXO on Pinterest
7. Like OXO on Facebook
8. Link to this post on your blog.

Good luck!

*Disclaimer: I received free products (one set for myself and one set to giveaway) as part of OXO's Blogger Outreach Program. They didn't pay me anything to say good things about their stuff! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Banana Pecan Pie Shake

It's been another one of those crazy weeks when life is busy and all you want to do when you get home is blow off some steam by exercising, then put on your jammies and read trashy magazines in bed. Yep, that's been my week!

I am super excited for Christmas coming up. I have 4 days off in a row and can't wait to relax! I took a half day off yesterday, spent some quality time with my hubby, and enjoyed some much needed down time. Today it's back to the races: optometrist appointment, grocery shopping, rounding up the last few Christmas presents, and  happy hour with some friends. Ready, go! :)

I actually made this shake right after Thanksgiving. My mom likes to send us home with leftovers anytime we visit, and we had pecan pie as one of our two Thanksgiving desserts. It was reeeeeally sweet (thanks Costco!) - almost cloyingly sweet, so I was trying to think of ways to eat it than all by itself. I thought a milkshake sounded good, but was too lazy to go to the grocery store to buy ice cream. We had a banana, so it became a banana-shake instead!

The shake is super creamy and sorta healthy if you forget about all the pie in there :) It's perfect for sharing, too, or just sipping on your own sitting in bed reading trashy magazines.


Banana Pecan Pie Shake
Makes 1 large shake or 2 small (8 oz.) shakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small slice pecan pie (about 1 1/2 inches wide at the crust)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
Directions:
  • In a blender, crush ice.
  • Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve in a cold glass with a straw. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chewy Ginger Cookies for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Wow, y'all. It's been a long week (and you know that's true for me when I break out the Southern slang!).

Two of my coworkers lost family members in the past week, and one of them has been out for two weeks. I spent many days by myself in the office = I needed serious Christmas music blasting from Pandora on my office computer to keep me going! I also had a night meeting after work on Wednesday (=14 hour day) and another work event yesterday. So...blogging...not on the top of my to-do list after all that!

Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen. Lindsay and Julie matched me up with three groovy ladies, and we each received 3 dozen cookies (1 dozen from each person). I absolutely love receiving packages in the mail, so these cookies made my day each time a new package arrived.

First off...
Christina from 2 Hour Party sent me these tasty treats!



Mmm...shortbread sandwiches with a chocolate and plum filling. They melt in your mouth!



My second batch arrived from Crystal at Eat*Drink*Cleveland.

Too cute!


Chocolate Ohio...love it :) Fun fact: it's one of a few states I have never visited!



What did Santa bring?


Yummy cookies! I tasted almond, coconut (maybe?), and of course the cherry on top :)



And finally, Jamie at Kanga and Roux sent me these. Jamie lives in San Diego too so I was excited to 'meet' a fellow SD blogger.

Delicious mixed chip cookies!



For my own recipe I was to send out, I had a hankering for gingerbread cookies. There was also a container of crystallized ginger chips hanging out in my cupboard begging to be used. Believe it or not, my recipe came from the side of the container, and it was delicious! The cookies are chewy and not super sweet, and the ginger flavor is very pronounced (which I love). A great alternative to your traditional gingerbread cutout!

Blogger fail: I totally remember taking pictures of my cookies, but when I uploaded them onto my computer, they were nowhere to be found :( Oh well. Use your imagination and you'll probably get it just right :)


Update: Crystal let me borrow the picture she took below of my cookies :) Thanks Crystal!




Chewy Ginger Cookies
makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies
recipe adapted from The Ginger People

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (I used Earth Balance), softened (= 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 oz. (1/2 can) Ginger Chips

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in molasses and egg.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet mixture, and mix well.
  • Stir in ginger chips.
  • Chill dough for 1 hour.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Roll in granulated sugar.
  • Place on greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove while still soft. Transfer cookies to cooling rack to cool.

I had so much fun participating in this and look forward to the 2012 swap! If you'd like to take part, sign up here to receive notifications for next year's event.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two-Tomato Pasta with Broccoli and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce

I love meals that combine items already in my pantry, but are still healthy. It's worth taking 10 extra minutes to whip up something fresh than buying something loaded with sodium and fat from the frozen section of the grocery store (don't get me wrong, I love my Costco frozen cheese pizzas - but I buy 'em cause they're plain and I can add lots of veggies at home).

Back in the day, I had a love affair with pasta. I ate it every chance I had, and couldn't get enough of the wads of carbs drenched in sauce. Fettucine alfredo was probably my favorite childhood dish (see my healthy take on it here), especially smothered in Parmesan cheese. This is a similar dish, but I amped up the veggies, thanks to Foodbuzz and the chance to try Green Giants' new Valley Fresh Steamers

This is a great product: you just place the bag in the microwave (it stands up on its own), start cooking it, and the broccoli steams on its own right in the bag. It's low fat and the sauces are all-natural, another plus. I tried the Broccoli and Cheese Sauce version (another childhood fave, especially on baked potatoes!) and although the veggies steamed up nicely, the cheese sauce  kind of stuck to the bottom of the bag in little clumps. Kinda gross. I'm glad I added extra cheese to my version to give this dish the ooey-gooey-ness I was craving.

You could throw any leftover veggies into this dish - that's the beauty of it. Work with what you have and enjoy what comes together!



Two-Tomato Pasta with Broccoli and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
  • 14 oz. pasta (I used half whole-wheat spaghetti and half regular orzo - use what you have in your pantry! This is a great way to finish off those almost-empty pasta boxes.)
  • 1 bag Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers, Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
  • 1 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning with garlic (I used Garlic Gold)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (the Italian-seasoned variety would be fantastic here)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you want it!)
  • LOTS of grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Optional: 1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced and sauteed in olive oil and seasonings
Directions:
  • Boil a big pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions. This is a great time to prep all your ingredients if you haven't already done so (don't you hate those recipes that make you do everything ahead of time and double the time you spend in the kitchen?).
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the broccoli in the microwave.
  • If you're adding chicken, cook it until nice and brown :)
  • Mix Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
  • When pasta is finished cooking, drain and return it to the large pot.
  • Add broccoli, Alfredo sauce, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper, and mozzarella cheese. Stir everything until combined.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta mixture.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Mmm...cheesy pasta! Yum :)

BTW: Foodbuzz sent me a free coupon for Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers (thank you!). My opinions expressed here are my own.
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