Following In His Light Creates A Winning Recipe

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Recipe contests aren’t what they used to be. In the olden days (going back 30 years) I could create a recipe, type it up and snail mail it to the sponsor. On occasion, I did need to include a UPC symbol as proof of purchase, but that was about it. All of my creative energy actually went into developing a tasty recipe and finishing it off with a clever name. There were big cash prizes, fabulous vacations and even a Harley Davidson to be won back in those times.

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Over the years entering recipe contests has gotten more complicated, time consuming and competitive. Social media and the economy have played a huge part in how a sponsor may present a contest. The expectations are much higher. The work much greater. If I wanted to be in it to win it then I would need to stop living in the past and make some big changes.

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Learning food styling and food photography is paramount if one wants to enter recipe contests these days. Just about every contest now requires a photo. Eat with your eyes first has a whole new meaning, but what it takes to capture a truly stunning, mouth-watering, I want to eat my computer food photo is so much more than a click on the iPhone. Professional food stylists and photographers earn every penny and have my utmost admiration.

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Truth be told food photography is not only difficult, but also expensive. Cameras, lenses, tripods, lighting, props….the list is endless. I resisted investing in it and sadly myself for a long time. It was not only the money that held me back, but more a total lack of confidence that I could actually learn to take a good picture. Like everything else these days it’s technical and I am not wired that way. I knew it would be a difficult challenge.

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Quite frankly it scared me, but a great teacher changed all that. A gentle motivator and filled with kind encouragement Christina leads and facilitates a food photography group on Facebook. I lurked in her group for months reading and learning from the members. They range from amateurs to professionals and are a generous group when it comes to sharing food photography tips and tricks. Christina also has a blog covering just about every food photography subject one can imagine and in language one like me can understand. The more I lurked the more I thought it might be possible for me to upgrade from my iPhone and get on the fine food photography band wagon.

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I still have a long way to go when it comes to food photography, but I have been so over the moon since Eggland’s Best chose me as their grand prize winner in their “foodtography” recipe contest. As always hard work pays off. I’m just really proud of myself for stepping outside the comfort zone to learn something I never thought I could. Following in his light has its rewards.

Thank you Eggland’s Best for this challenge. Thank you Christina for being the most encouraging teacher. Thank you to all my family and friends and even strangers who voted for my photo and helped get me into the winner’s circle. Thank you always to my children who inspire me beyond words. These days it does seem to take a village to win a recipe contest.

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Thank you Eggland’s Best

I love this cake for its ease of preparation and deliciously healthy ingredient list. Decorate it with your favorite fresh fruit and own artistic flair. Send me a photo please!

Fruit & Yogurt Smoothie Bowl Cake

1¼-cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup almond flour

1-tablespoon chia seeds plus additional for garnish

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 Eggland’s Best Eggs

1-cup sugar

1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt (I use 2% fat), divided

½ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 to 1 ½ -tablespoons honey

fresh sliced fruit and chopped toasted chopped almonds for garnish

Heat oven 350F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with no-stick baking spray. In large bowl, whisk flour, almond flour, chia seeds, baking powder and salt until mixed. In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar,1-cup yogurt, oil, lemon zest and almond extract until well blended. Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter a few times to remove any air bubbles and evenly distribute batter. Bake cake in center of oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cake and cool completely. Mix remaining ½ cup of yogurt with ½-tablespoon of honey; spread over center of cake leaving about a 1-inch border. Decorate top with sliced fresh fruit, toasted almonds and chia seeds. Drizzle with remaining honey.

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Super Shopping & Soup Pot Give Away

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Here is some exciting news for all my foodie fanatic friends at least those who love to cook and bake. Mark your calendar for Delaware’s Annual Mega Warehouse Sale of Kitchen Products. They have given me an exclusive look at this beautiful stock pot and generously giving one away to one lucky reader. More about that later.

Scheduled for October 27 – 28, 2017  See what you can look forward to.

Consumers and professional chefs are invited to the annual mega warehouse sale of home and kitchen products in New Castle, DE on Friday, October 27 and Saturday October 28. This year’s event includes exclusive products not available at prior warehouse sales or anywhere else in the United States. Products purchased at the sale are tax free.

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Thousands of people converge on the industrial complex in the first state each year for bargains and factory seconds from premium European brands: Emile Henry, Duralex, Lékué, Mauviel, Rösle and Novis Vita Juicer. Shoppers will be able to pick up holiday gifts for everyone on their gift lists including products for professional and amateur cooks and bakers, serious grillers, healthy eaters, movie night fanatics and even news year’s revelers.

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Cooking enthusiasts will have the opportunity to buy the stainless-steel BBQ tools, the French ceramic lasagna baker, the copper stewpot, the centrifugal juicer and hundreds of other kitchen products they’ve been coveting for years. The two-day sale on Friday, October 27 and Saturday October 28 is in the Centerpoint Business Complex Park in New Castle at 802 Centerpoint Blvd. Follow signs from Route 273 to the warehouse. Doors open at 3:00PM on Friday and 9:00AM on Saturday. Cash and credit cards will be accepted. For additional information on the sale, please call 302-326-4800.

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The Annual Stock up for Seniors Meals on Wheels Delaware fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, October 26 from 6:30 till 9pm, the night before the sale opens to the general public. Visit www.mealsonwheelsde.org to purchase tickets to the fundraiser. Ticket sales as well as 5% of the proceeds from the warehouse sale will benefit Meals On Wheels Delaware.

For cooks who don’t know these brands, here are a few facts: Emile Henry colorful, all natural, heirloom quality ovenware and tableware is made from Burgundian clay in the French town of Marcigny. Mauviel 1830 is one of the only copper cookware manufacturers left in the world today and makes all of its products in Normandy, France. Rösle’s award winning, German designed kitchens tools are backed by a lifetime warranty. Duralex is the French manufacturer of the renowned French Picardie drinking glasses and Lys glass bowls. Lékué is a Spanish manufacturer of platinum silicone cooking tools and bakeware designed for healthy cooking. Novis offers a Swiss designed, multifunctional, powerful juicer in a range colors.

  Warehouse Sale 2017

Products from all six brands are sold in premier kitchen stores and online catalogs and have been featured in hundreds of articles and shows in the national media including the Today’s Show, Good Morning America, Food Network, Cooks Illustrated, Fine Cooking, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

Duralex, Emile Henry, Lékué, Mauviel, Novis, Rösle

802 Centerpoint Blvd., New Castle, DE 19720

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And now for the give away of this lovely Emile Henry ceramic soup pot/tureen. Don’t you love a piece that does double duty cook and serve? I think you will not only love it for its good looks, but also for its ability to efficiently conduct heat using lower temperatures. Made of natural materials with a non-porous glaze no oil is needed to prevent sticking to the pot and allows for gentle healthy cooking of soups, stews, chili and anything that one likes to braise. Beautifully insulated it also kept my soup warm for a good three hours sitting off the heat (perfect for a holiday open house event). Unlike metal pots clean up is a snap with no burnt on crusts to scrub. If you would like to win this amazing stock pot please go over to my Instagram (follow me) and leave a comment tagging a friend on the soup photo. For an extra entry leave a comment here with your favorite soup.

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Here is one of my favorite soups using fresh butternut squash and Thai basil picked from my garden today. Using the Emile Henry stock pot eliminated the need for oil, but if you are using a metal pan add a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil to cook the curry paste and onions. If you like your soup spicy then certainly kick up the amount of curry paste.

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Thai Style Coconut Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash

1 to 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

3 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced

1-tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cups thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken

garnish: chopped green onions and Thai basil leaves

Heat stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and red curry paste; cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant and onions are softened. Add the coconut milk, broth and brown sugar; increase heat and bring to the boil. Add the squash, lime juice and chicken and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Top the soup with the green onion and basil leaves to serve. Serves 4–6.

 

I will randomly choose a winner in 2 weeks. Good luck and happy shopping.

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Sparkling Emerald Palmer

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The kids are back to school, but summer is hardly over. Celebrate with one more picnic, BBQ or deck party. Today’s recipe is my second entry in the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. It’s my new go-to summer drink which can also be dressed up for any upcoming holiday parties.

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Never a fan of green juice you might wonder how I came up with this emerald beauty. Well, I am a huge fan of the drink called an Arnold Palmer. It’s a mix of lemonade and iced tea. I wanted a healthier version that would still quench my thirst, but eliminate all the sugar. While I was at it I thought I could boost the flavor profile and health benefits with fresh cucumbers and mint from my garden and a touch of matcha tea.

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The drink gets its sweetness from Nectevia. Nectevia is made from organic agave nectar that is enhanced with stevia. It’s 4x sweeter than sugar, safe for diabetics, Kosher, non-GMO and easily dissolves in liquids. It has a clean refreshing sweetness with no bitter after taste. It’s perfect for sweetening beverages like my Sparkling Emerald Palmer. Cheers!

Sparkling Emerald Palmer

1 medium organic (unwaxed) cucumber, ends trimmed (do not peel), chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

2½ cups cold water

¼ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup Nectevia or more to taste

1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder

chilled sparkling water, club soda, prosecco or champagne

fresh mint, lime slices, fresh raspberries for garnish

In a blender, combine chopped cucumber, mint and ½ cup of water; blend until mixture is smooth. Add remaining water, lime and lemon juice, Nectevia and green tea powder; blend until mixture is very smooth. Strain, if desired. Pour into ice-filled glasses or shake with ice and strain into flutes. Top with sparkling water or prosecco. Garnish edge of glass with a fresh lime slice and sprig of mint. Float raspberries in glass, if desired. 

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Sparkling Emerald Palmer dressed up for the holidays

For more information and recipes check out these steviva brands links.

Website: https://www.steviva.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steviva

Twitter: https://twitter.com/steviva

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevivabrands/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stevivabrands/

Thank you Stevia Brands for this fun opportunity to play with my food and drinks. A toast to you.

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Also… if you want to take advantage of a 20% discount Please use coupon code: THANKYOU when checking out of our on-line store at http://steviva.com/store/

 

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