Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thanks PF Changs, for the gluten free soy sauce!




Posted by Lyndi

You already know that PF Chang’s China Bistro has a gluten free menu.  But did you know that they also have tamari sauce, a wheat free/gluten free alternative to soy sauce?

Ask for it next time you pop in.

Ask for it next time you order to-go. 

I keep my extra packets in the glove compartment, ready to go and waiting for whenever I need it for an impromptu sushi moment!

Thanks PF Changs!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

And the ticket giveaway for “Percolating for ONSC” winners are…. (drumroll, please)

Who won?  Who won?  Who won?  Who won?   


#1 – Whitney!

You’re the Lucky Winner!!  Ha!  This disproves your theory that random.org never picks #1!  Congratulations! 


The second person to win a pair of tickets to “Percolating for ONSC” is….

#13 – Julia White!

You’re the Lucky Winner!!  Now you and your mother-in-law can take that needed break you so deserve!  Congratulations!


A huge THANK YOU to Beth Stephens, Executive Director at Ozark Natural Science Center who provided us with four (4) tickets to this event.  I only hope that many of you will still take the time to attend this special event.  Beyond learning about the pairings of chocolate and coffee (which is a great perk!), the evening's proceeds go to support the Ozark Natural Science Center.  Click here to find out more about this fantastic outdoor learning center in our backyard.

THANK YOU EVERYONE who participated in this giveaway opportunity!  I only wish I had tickets for each and every one of you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spotlight on local food blogger: The Food Adventuress!




Posted by Lyndi

I am tickled pink, surprised, and tickled pink.

Let me explain…


Tickled pink?  Just discovered a newly launched local and authentic food blog.

Surprised?  Unbeknownst to me, I found out that my friend is the author.

Tickled pink?  Because my friend is the author!


Please join me in welcoming The Food Adventuress into our virtual lives!

This is an “authentic” food blog.   You can tell she has a lot to say and cannot wait to share with all of us.  But of course, I always want to know more, learn more, and understand more so we had lunch the other day and I asked her 3 questions.

nwafoodie:  Why The Food Adventuress?

Beth:  “I think of food as an adventure!  It wasn’t something I thought out.  I was stuck on that name and when I get my heart set on something, I do it!”

nwafoodie:  Are you Northwest Arkansas-specific?

Beth:  “The point to my blog is about the food adventure.  It’s more about the exploring, or in my case, the bumbling.  I will be posting not perfect foods created, I will be posting my colossal failures at cooking!  People are intimidated to cook when it has to be perfect and to look perfect.  That’s a barrier.  I think food should be fun.  Food should be adventuresome!”

nwafoodie:  I agree!  I never thought about posting my food failures… otherwise I would be posting every day! Ha!  So let me ask you this, what is your favorite food memory?”

Beth:  “I love that you asked what was my favorite memory and not my favorite food!  It’s a good one.  It was when I was eating outside the famous Shakespeare & Company in Paris at a food stand.  Their food stands specialize in croque monsieur and croque madame, which basically are open face ham and cheese sandwiches on true French bread with vegetables.  The French version of our Subway!  On the side was frites, or French fries, with Dijon mustard to dip them in.  It was an intense tasting Dijon that only the French in Dijon can master in that special way.  I think that is why it is my favorite memory, the smell of mustard in my nose, the sun resting on my cheek and an idyllic setting.  Heaven.”

Ahhhh... the joy of a food memory.  If you are up to a little culinary virtual adventure, take a minute or two and check out her blog, here.  Remember it is new so she is just starting to post her adventures. 

You can also follow her on twitter!

Happy browsing!

Monday, January 24, 2011

And the $25 Bonefish Grill winner is…. (drumroll, please)





Rachelle!

You’re the Lucky Winner!!  Sounds like you can finally try the Tilapia and the Macadamian Nut Brownie!!!  A complete meal, girlfriend!!!  I will contact you with directions on how to redeem your penguin bill.  Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who entered!   We had a LOT of energy around this restaurant!  Perhaps it inspired you to check them out anyway?  I know when I heard that Bonefish was the giveaway from NWArestaurants.com, I thought “Hey, I haven’t been there in a looooong time.  That sounds like a great dinner!  And it was!” 

For those who didn’t wine this time… maybe next time will be YOUR time!  Stay tuned… I am getting ready to post another giveaway.  What will it be?  What will it be?  


Dave is nice enough to provide penguin bills each and every week so I can help spread the word about all the great restaurant information available on his site.  Check out his website and facebook and follow him on twitter to find out special deals (that often sell out in minutes!). 

Thanks Dave, you rock!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Potay-to or Potah-to? Tomay-to or Tomah-to? Chicken or… Hen?




Posted by Lyndi

I just LOVE discovering something new.  I just LOVE to be stumped.  I just LOVE to be delightfully surprised. 

All 3 of these lovely feelings converged into one this week when I discovered something new at Allen’s Market in Bella Vista in the meat department. 

What was it?  Frozen hens.

That’s right a hen. 

I was intrigued and yet confused. 

First off, the packaging sucked me in (I am a sucker for cute packing!).  And then I thought, “What the heck is a hen?”  Of course, I know what a hen is, she is the one who lays me the eggs with the beautifully vibrant bright yellowish orange yolks each week. 

Why a hen versus a chicken?  Why is this called out?  Why do I care so much?

Instead of purchasing, I snapped a photo.  I wanted to know about this brand and it’s crazy hen label. 

First of all, let’s talk about the brand’s label:  Tip Top Poultry, Inc.

Founded in 1947 in Marietta, Georgia, they have remained family owned and operated.  I checked out their site and was surprised to see this posted:  “Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” - we embrace his words. Tip Top Poultry, Inc. seeks to honor God in how we run our business, serve our customers, treat our employees, and relate to our vendors.”

Impressive. 

Another fact I learned about Tip Top is impressive, too.  

Did you know that Tip Top is the LARGEST baking and stewing hen marketer in the United States? 

This surprised me. 

In our neck of the woods it is all about Tyson, Pilgim’s Pride, and Smart Chicken.  Out West?  Add Foster Farms.  Out East?  Perdue Chicken.  And then there all the producers in-between.

But wait, I forgot.  Those are chicken producers.  Not HEN producers. 

A chicken can be male or female.  A hen is most definitely a mature female.  Which means they are large.  The ones at Allen’s Market are averaging 8-9 pounds and are $1.29 lb.  Much larger than the Smart Chickens I purchase each week.

How do they taste?

I wonder.  I am intrigued. Anyone know?

These hens are on my shopping list and next week I intend to find out!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Exclusive Coffee & Chocolate Tasting Event (psst, it’s also a giveaway).




Posted by Lyndi

I am so jazzed to tell you about a local event that is mere weeks away and I guarantee it is bound to get you worked up into quite a tizzy! 

What is it? 

PERCOLATING FOR ONSC.  It is a tasting event of artisan coffees and handmade chocolates to benefit the Ozark Natural Science Center.  Ummm…. chocolates + coffees + tasting event… is there even a term to describe this type of delightful marriage?


When and where is it?

Friday, February 4th at the Compton Gardens in Bentonville.  Drop in 5-8pm.


Tell me more about the tasting event?

You are all familiar with wine tastings, right?  So, picture a wine tasting… only instead of wine… picture coffee.  Attendees will receive tasting cards along with a complement/contrast/bridge artisan chocolate tasting experience.  There will be a coffee slow bar where attendees can talk with Mark Bray of Airship Coffee, and Northwest Arkansas local.  There is so much to learn about coffee and now is your chance to find out why you prefer a bold brew or a mild one.  Of course there’s the educational side but don’t forget the sensual side… c’mon it’s chocolate!


Want to know about the coffee and chocolate?

Airship Coffee offers organic, fair trade coffees from Guatemala and Honduras.  Through a partnership with Ghirardelli, the Northwest Arkansas Community College Culinary Program will serve handmade chocolates.


How can you purchase a ticket?

Tickets are $15 per person in advance/$20 at the door and includes coffee and chocolate tastings.  There will be cash bar and items available for purchase.  All proceeds from the evening benefit the Ozark Natural Science Center, a nonprofit field science education facility serving more than 4,000 kids annually.  And it’s right in our backyard!  Click here for more information about ONSC.

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

·       Brick Street Botanical (105 W. Walnut in downtown Rogers)
·       Center for Nonprofits (1200 W. Walnut – lobby, Ginnie’s Café or suite 2409)
·       Lewis & Clark Outfitters in Fayetteville or Springdale


But wait… there is a way to gain FREE TICKETS!!

That’s right!  I have a four (4) free tickets to giveaway to two lucky people (that means two readers will each win two tickets, one for them and one to share!).

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you want to go to this event and who you would take with you!  That’s it.

Oh, you get an extra chance to win if you tweet about this giveaway/event.  You also get an extra chance to win if you friend ONSC and NWAfoodie on facebook.   Let me know via an extra comment if you do that (include the link, too!)


When does giveaway contest end?

Contest ends on Thursday, January 27th at midnight (CDT).  Open to everyone in continental U.S. but it really only makes sense if you are in Northwest Arkansas.  I will pick two (2) winners via randomizer!

Good luck!!  If you don’t win the ticket, make a date night of it anyhow and buy the ticket!

Don't you just LOVE the official artwork of Percolating for ONSC? Created by local artist, Kinya Elenbarger at www.4209creative.com - Check out her work!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

$25 penguin bill giveaway to Bonefish Grill in Rogers!



Posted by Lyndi

Last week’s NWArestaurant Penguin Bill giveaway was such a hit… it’s time for another!!!

Here’s the scoop:  I have a $25 penguin bill gift certificate to giveaway Bonefish Grill in Rogers, courtesy of NWArestaurants.com!  NWArestaurants has crazy deals on featured restaurants that sell out fast.  We are talking deals such as 50% of gift certificates (aka “penguin bills”)! This site is great if you want to search for area restaurants and want the ability to “filter” on key items, such as private rooms, gluten free, low carb, oh my, the options are many.

Prize:

1 lucky winner will receive a $25 penguin bill gift certificate to Bonefish Grill located at 3201 Market Street in Bentonville.  Contest ends next Sunday evening, January 23rd at midnight (CDT).  I will pick a winner via randomizer.

Eligibility:

Leave me a comment using the comment form, below, preferably with your twitter or blog name to make it easy to contact you if you win.  

The comment is up to you:  Check out the menu to Bonefish Grill. If you had $25 to spend on anything from the menu… what would it be? 

Click here to view the Bonefish Grill menu available on NWArestaurants.com site.  Type in “Bonefish Grill” in the selection box and it will bring you to the Bonefish Grill icon.  Click on that to view photos and menus.  It is that easy! Oh, for all my fellow gluten-free friends, they have a gluten-free menu!

Me?  I went last week and started off with a Winter Martini (thanks for the recommendation Alysia!) and finished with the Chilean Sea Bass with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.  Both were so good I would order again and again!  It goes without saying that Bonefish Grill specializes in fresh market fish cooked to perfection over a wood-burning grill.  You can’t fake that taste.   




Tip:  If you enter using the Name/URL option, you can leave the URL blank.  The Blogger format can be a little confusing!   See the “How to leave a comment (please do!)” link at the top of this page for step-by-step instructions!

No purchase necessary to enter. Contest void where prohibited. Contest open to members who are 18 years or older. Contest open only to Continental US residents only, although this one really makes sense if you are in Northwest Arkansas since the penguin bill is for the Rogers location.

Good luck! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WOW. Slow cooker bone-in beef ribs are amazing.



Posted by Lyndi

Right now I am feeling quite smug.  A little giddy, actually. 

If I am really honest with myself, it really is quite shameful how over-the-top cocky I feel.

Here is why…

I figured out a super-simple, no-fail, amazingly-delicious, elegantly-approachable, and thankfully-inexpensive meal that is good enough for everyday life and fancy-yet-not to serve to guests. 

That explains the smugness and giddiness.  But what makes it over-the-top cocky? 

Oh… let’s just leave that hanging until the end, shall we? 

Here it is…

I am in love with slow cooker bone-in beef ribs.  

It’s so easy to make it will blow you away.  You just HAVE to try it for yourself!


Slow Cooker Bone-In Beef Ribs

1.    Look for beefy bone-in beef ribs at your local supermarket or butcher.  Allen’s Market in Bella Vista has them for just $3.99 lb right now and they are prime cut.  Ivan’s Old Time Meat Market in Rogers only has boneless beef ribs, which will work, too.

2.   Place them in your slow cooker.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides liberally.   Do NOT put any oil, butter, water, broth, wine, or anything liquid in the slow cooker.  I know that you will want to but fight the urge.  Extra liquid will not give the meat that braised crust that no-liquid method will give.  The meat has its own juices that will work just fine.


3.   Low cook for approximately 8 hours.  High cook for 4 hours.  Yes, it is that simple.

4.   Viola!  Lift the lid and you will discover beautifully aromatic and gorgeous ribs, ready to eat.  The reason why I like the bone-in option is that the marrow in the bones really give an added dimension to the taste of the ribs. 



5.   Here comes the over-the-top cocky part… When you prepare this dish with the bone-in beef ribs versus the boneless ribs, you have an added treat!  Chew bones for you puppies!  I have discovered that by cooking bone-in beef ribs once each week, I no longer have to buy bully sticks or chew toys for my dogs… so the meal is actually paying for itself!  NOW do you see why I am feeling oh-so-cocky?  Let’s see… what do they call it at church?  Dare I say the Proverbs 31 woman?  Is cockiness a virtue? Hmmm…



There you have it, folks.

Then again, perhaps bone-in beef ribs are already on your go-to recipe list and menu plans!  Perhaps I am two-steps-behind everybody else? 

Or, maybe I am on the right track and could even up my game by adding a spice or herb or… you tell me! 

What am I missing to take this over the top?

Friday, January 14, 2011

And the $25 Shogun Steak and Sushi winner is…. (drumroll, please)

Posted by Lyndi



Amanda W!

You’re the Lucky Winner!!  Sounds like you and your family enjoy the Chef’s show at Shogun Steak and Sushi!  Especially the “egg toss!”  Hopefully this penguin bill will enable you to try something new… perhaps now you can have them toss 2 eggs?!  I will contact you with directions on how to redeem your penguin bill.  Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who entered!   Maybe next time will be YOUR time!  Stay tuned… I am getting ready to post a Bonefish Grill in Rogers giveaway!  Be still my stomach.

Who gives you a chance to try out these fantastic restaurants in Northwest Arkansas?  It’s Dave at NWArestaurants.com, the premier search engine for restaurants in Northwest Arkansas! 

Dave is nice enough to provide penguin bills each and every week so I can help spread the word about all the great restaurant information available on his site.  Check out his website and facebook and follow him on twitter to find out special deals (that often sell out in minutes!).  

Thanks NWArestaurants, you rock!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

$25 penguin bill giveaway to “Shogun Steak and Sushi” in Bentonville!



Posted by Lyndi

Good News!  It is time to restart the NWArestaurants.com foodie giveaways!  I love sharing these giveaways and I hope you do too (especially if you are reading this on an empty stomach like I am). 

Here’s the scoop:  I have a $25 penguin bill gift certificate to giveaway Shogun Steak and Sushi in Bentonville, courtesy of NWArestaurants.com!  NWArestaurants has crazy deals on featured restaurants that sell out fast.  We are talking deals such as 50% of gift certificates (aka “penguin bills”)! This site is great if you want to search for area restaurants and want the ability to “filter” on key items, such as private rooms, gluten free, low carb, oh my, the options are many.

Prize:

1 lucky winner will receive a $25 penguin bill gift certificate to Shogun Steak and Sushi located at 3606 Metro Parkway in Bentonville.  Contest ends next Thursday evening, January 13th at midnight (CDT).  I will pick a winner via randomizer.

Eligibility:

Leave me a comment using the comment form, below, preferably with your twitter or blog name to make it easy to contact you if you win.  

The comment is up to you:  What is your favorite dining experience at Shogun Steak and Sushi?  Are you a die-hard sushi foodie?  Or, do you like to watch the Japanese style teppanyaki chefs perform in front of you in the main dining room.  Me? I’m a big fan of ordering sushi-to-go when I run errands around town. What is your favorite menu item at Shogun Steak and Sushi? All you have to do is let me know by leaving a comment.  It’s that easy!
Click here to view the Shogun Steak and Sushi sushi menu, lunch menu, and dining menu that are all available on NWArestaurants.com site.  Type in "Shoguns" or use the drop-down option under "Cuisine" and select "Japanese."  It’s that easy!
  



Tip:  If you enter using the Name/URL option, you can leave the URL blank.  The Blogger format can be a little confusing!   See the “How to leave a comment (please do!)” link at the top of this page for step-by-step instructions!

No purchase necessary to enter. Contest void where prohibited. Contest open to members who are 18 years or older. Contest open only to Continental US residents only, although this one really makes sense if you are in Northwest Arkansas since the penguin bill is for the Bentonville location.

Good luck! 


Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to quickly and easily prepare non-mushy brussel sprouts!



Posted by Lyndi

Have you ever had a “bad” brussel sprout experience?

C’mon, you know what I am talking about:  tasteless, bland, and oh yeah… mushy, mushy, mushy little balls of mush.

I aim to change your brussel sprouts experience.  I believe it is quite possible for you to fall in love with brussel sprouts.  And crave them, too. 

I jest not.  

Since brussel sprouts are in season right now, I thought I would share with you a no-fail recipe for quick and easy (and non-mushy) brussel sprouts.

Quick & Easy Brussel Sprouts in 5 easy steps

1.     Trim up ends (where brussel sprout meets the stalk) and peel off a few outer layers of brussel sprouts.
2.     Boil water and drop in brussel sprouts.
3.     After a few minutes (knife should easily slip in stem) remove and drop them in a bowl of ice water.
4.     Slice brussel sprouts in half and add to melted butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
5.     Season to taste with salt and pepper, viola!

There you have it… perfect brussel sprouts!  I literally cannot get enough of them and I would be content to eat them morning, noon, and night.

Do you have a favorite way to eat brussel sprouts?  If so, please tell, tell!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Now I know why Tropical Traditions is the gold label standard for Virgin Coconut Oil.



Posted by Lyndi

Last month I came across an offer on the foodieblogroll community board looking for bloggers who were interested in trying a sample of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil.  I jumped at the opportunity because I am extremely intrigued by coconut oil.

First of all, let’s just talk about their web site.  It is home to a plethora of frequently asked questions, such as:


In a nutshell, this is what I learned: 

Coconut oil is a stable cooking oil and can be used as a butter substitute for spreads or baking, or cooking. The beauty is that it is also very stable at a high cooking temperature since it is NOT hydrogenated (chemically altering the oil which creates harmful fatty acids).  And since it is not hydrogenated, there is no need to refrigerate because it is already in a solid state.  Perfect.

How does it taste?  

This is a light and airy oil. It is a perfect accompaniment to fish or pan-fried chicken cutlets.  I challenge anyone to not fall in love with coconut oil sautéed Yukon gold potatoes dusted with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder.  The taste is extremely light in your mouth and there is a ever so slight hint of the tropical aroma of the coconut oil.




A brand is just a brand, right?

Wrong. 

Brian Shilhavy, CEO of the company started production of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil in 2002.  When I say “started production,” I do not mean mass production made by machine.  No, what I mean is that this brand is produced in the Philippines in the old traditional manner of grating fresh coconut and extracting the coconut oil simply by letting the coconut oil separate naturally from the coconut milk.  It is not refined.  In fact, there are hundreds of families involved in making this coconut oil, many for the past seven years.  Through experience they have learned how to pick the best coconuts and the extraction process is completed often within 24 hours of picking the coconut!  Okay, that explains why they are considered the Gold Label Standard.  However, what I didn’t realize was that when tested, Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil had antioxidant levels twice has high as any other coconut oil on the market.  Score!

Here is the YouTube video I watched that tells the complete story.



Cute little side note… 

My dad is the most fittest and healthiest 80 year old I have ever known.  He takes good care of himself with a healthy diet and exercise. I was at his home on Friday and I asked him if he used coconut oil.  “Yes,” I use it all the time as a replacement to butter and oil.  I actually buy it on bulk and keep a small amount in a jar by the stove.  I don’t buy it at the store, I get the best source online.”

Can you guess which brand it was? 

Yep. Tropical Traditions.

I’m sold.




Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.


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