Thursday, June 30, 2011

Basmati Rice with Sautéed Yellow Squash and Zucchini



Have you heard about The Cobblestone Farm Project in Fayetteville?   It is the inspiration of a small group of Northwest Arkansas families who were committed to making a difference in the community.

So they built a farm!

Located on ten acres off of Wedington Drive, “the farm” is actually a working farm where volunteers and those in need work together, side-by-side harvesting produce. This is how it works:  “One Farm subscription purchase simultaneously provides a season’s worth of healthy food for your family and for your neighbors in need – the people in your own back yard, the ones you may never have met but care for deeply.”

Pretty cool, right?

I had the privilege of providing recipes for the first harvest subscription delivery:  squash, tarragon, spring onions, and cilantro to name a few.  Here is my recipe for Basmati rice with sautéed yellow squash and zucchini that can be easily prepared all-year-round.  

I hope you enjoy it!


Basmati Rice with Sautéed Yellow Squash and Zucchini
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 small yellow squash
1 small green zucchini
½ white or yellow onion, diced
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cooked basmati rice 

Instructions

1.            Cut the squash and zucchini in half, lengthwise and slice (will look like half moons).
2.            Heat skillet on stove on medium-high heat.
3.            Add olive oil.
4.            Add onions, squash and zucchini to skillet.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
5.            Combine with rice.
6.            Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway: Ziploc VersaGlass Containers Variety Pack!



Recently at work, our team each received a free sample of the new Ziploc VersaGlass container.  I was instantly smitten.  These are solid, made-in-Italy tempered glass containers that are beautiful AND functional. 

I promptly took mine home, washed it, and stored my Parmigianino cheese in it!



Let’s talk about the “functional” piece a little more.  Because they are tempered glass, they can go from the freezer to the oven and are safe up to 400 degrees (without lid).  They are also microwave-safe, freezer-safe, and dishwasher-safe.

Not bad, eh?

Have you seen these items at Walmart yet?  They are merchandised with the Ziploc and Rubbermaid plastic containers close to all the Home Goods.  My store only had two sizes available… hopefully your store has all six sizes!  Variety packs are also available on Walmart.com.
  



I would love for you to try them, too. 


Prize:

2 crazy-lucky winners will receive a variety-pack of 5 (yes, 5!) Ziploc VersaGlass containers!

1. Small Rectangle (blue)
2. Small Round (orange)
3. Medium Square (green)
4. Large Square (green)
5. Medium Rectangle (blue)

Contest ends Sunday, July 3rd, at midnight (CDT).  I will pick a winner via randomizer on Monday, the 4th of July!


Eligibility:

Leave me a comment, preferable with your twitter or blog name to make it easy to contact you. 


Comment question:

Why do you want to win the 5-pack bundle of the new Ziploc VersaGlass containers?  Or, when would you use a Ziploc VersaGlass container over a Ziploc plastic disposable container?


Want extra changes to win?

+1 extra entry:  Tweet this giveaway (leave an extra comment to let me know!)

+1 extra entry:  Facebook this giveaway (tag nwafoodie in the giveaway and leave an extra comment to let me know!)


No purchase necessary to enter. Contest void where prohibited. Contest open to members who are 18 years or older. Contest open only to US residents only.

Good luck!

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.


Full disclosure:  I work for the company that makes Ziploc VersaGlass containers.  I would never recommend a product that I don’t believe in.  Because I am sooooooo in love with these glass containers, I feel very blest that I was able to approach my co-worker who sells this product so that you, too, could try them out for yourselves.  Except for my one free sample, I have to buy them just like everyone else.

(Free) Williams-Sonoma technique cooking class tonight: American BBQ – Kansas City & Texas style


**UPDATE (7/5/2011) Sorry to those who called in about this class Monday night. Apparently this store stopped the Monday evening repeat classes! Bummer. ~Lyndi **


The Williams-Sonoma store in the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers will be hosting a repeat of the following complimentary technique class tonight! 

Each class includes a cooking demonstration, generous samples of featured dishes and printed recipes to take home.   

Tonight, June 27th at 7:00 p.m. (repeat class, lasts approximately 45 minutes)

Class description:  Celebrate American BBQ – Kansas City & Texas
Our final class in the American BBQ series showcases Kansas City and Texas – both famous for their beef brisket.  Learn how to combine wet and dry rubs as it’s done in Kansas City, and how to produce succulent, juicy meat in the Texas style.  We’ll also discuss popular ways to serve barbecued brisket.

Class size is limited so call them at 479-636-0153 to reserve your place!  However, Monday nights are usually not full so it’s okay if you just “show up.”

Enjoy!

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Don’t worry, Hong Son Oriental Market in Rogers is NOT closing.



*** UPDATE: HONG SON HAS, SADLY, CLOSED.  OWNERS MOVED TO FLORIDA. ROGERS, SPRINGDALE, AND FAYETTEVILLE ALL HAVE ORIENTAL STORES THAT CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU. ***

You may have driven by Hong Son Oriental Market in downtown Rogers and noticed the “For Sale” sign.

Don’t worry.  They’re not closing!

I talked to the owners on Friday afternoon and they reassured me they are not closing. 

The restaurant IS for sale, that’s true.  Their son wants to go to Gainesville, Florida for college so selling the grocery store will help them gain residency in Florida.

So, until it sells… keep shopping at Hong Son Market in downtown Rogers, located at 702 W Cypress Street off 71Business.  Reminder, they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Fresh produce is delivered on Thursdays.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Giveaway for Washable Produce Bags!



Did you know that June is “National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month?”

Me neither. Until yesterday.

Lucky for you, I have a giveaway that will help you preserve your fresh fruits and vegetables… longer and more safely than the cheap-plastic toxin-emitting produce bags that you get at the grocery store.

Prize:

1 lucky winner will receive one package of Washable Products Bags.  I am in love with this product and believe you will be, too (I found at some specialty chain but can’t remember which one). What I do know is that these babies are available to purchase online, so I did just that. 

I purchased one to giveaway to one of you! 

One package contains 5 reusable bags approximately 12” x 15” plus 1 approximately 8” x 12”.  I say “approximately” because these bags are the creation of Cindi Valverde, an artist and a sewing instructor.  Here’s her story.

Contest ends Thursday, June 30th, at midnight (CDT).  I will pick a winner via randomizer on Friday, July 1st.



Eligibility:

Leave me a comment, preferable with your twitter or blog name to make it easy to contact you. 

Comment question:  What fruit or vegetable are you always having to throw away because it rots… so therefore you would love to have these washable produce bags so they can last longer?


No purchase necessary to enter. Contest void where prohibited. Contest open to members who are 18 years or older. Contest open only to US residents only, although this one makes sense if you are in the Northwest Arkansas area.

Good luck!


Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

8 easy ways to jazz up (foodie-fy) your lemonade.


I know, I know, I promised to give you this list LAST week… but it took awhile to play with ingredients.

Um.

Confession time...

It took awhile because each lemonade concoction REALLLLLY needed to make it into a double old-fashioned glass with a shot of vodka.  Seriously, you’ve GOT to know that took me awhile.

Don’t worry.  Only kidding. 

Sort of.

So, okay Kevin, quit sending me notes about “when are you going to share this list, I’m waiiiiiting?”  (I may have elaborated a bit on that one.)

Here we go…


8 WAYS TO JAZZ UP (FOODIE-FY) YOUR LEMONADE

It starts with pouring a glass of home-squeezed lemonade into a martini shaker with crushed ice and adding any of these ingredients to-taste.  Yes, it is a-o-k if you use Simply Lemonade (that one is for you, Bill).  You’re still adding a foodie special touch, so rock on with your bad self!


1)     Juice a Clementine or blood orange – the color will add zip!



2)     Muddle a handful of freshly picked and in-season blackberries – it will taste like dessert in a cup!



3)     Softly bruise the leaves of fresh mint – simply breathe in to get that extra fresh feeling!


4)     Diced English cucumbers – my personal favorite!



5)     Muddle a few slices of tart kiwi (skins removed) – this has a tang that makes it a great addition to gin!



6)     Softly bruise the leaves of fresh parsley – this is especially refreshing on a hot summer day!



7)     Pour in pineapple juice or muddle a few pieces to release their juices – my husband’s personal favorite!



8)     Scoop in sherbet!  (This idea comes my childhood friend, Lesley) – It may not be pretty, but the kiddo’s will love it!




Viola!  There you have it!

I’m curious… what ways have you jazzed up lemonade?  Or… let’s get crazy and come up with other ways to challenge our usual way to drink this old-fashioned delight.  C’mon, whatcha’ got?

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hey, don’t let your fresh basil go to waste. Make pesto and freeze it!



Does your basil runneth over?

You already know that the more often you gather fresh basil from your garden, the fuller it grows, right?

Of course you knew that.  Silly me for bringing it up. 

You’ve been diligent.  Dedicated.  What a farmer you are!

You’ve picked basil for your neighbors, family, co-workers, yourself… but wait… it keeps growing and growing and you’ve run out of ideas on what to do with the stuff!

Make basil pesto, it’s so lovely!

Okay, been there. Done that.  Now what?

Make more basil pesto and FREEZE IT!  It’s sooooooooooo easy and you will be so glad that you thought of this!

Here’s what you do:  Take an ice cube tray (I purchased one specifically for pesto-only).  Thoroughly spray compartments with Pam spray and then spoon in pesto.  Stick in freezer overnight.  Then, when you are ready, pop these bad boys out and store in a freezer-tight container.

See how easy that is? 

Believe me, whenever you have drop-in guests and you need a quick appetizer or pasta sauce… it’s hard to beat pesto as a fabulous foodie ingredient! 

And my, what the fabulous foodie you will look like when you humbly state “oh, I made this old thing from fresh basil from my garden.”

Don’t have a garden?

Don’t worry… there’s an easy solution for you to have access to inexpensive fresh basil, too.  Your bragging rights will be “oh, I made this old thing from fresh basil.”  You rock.

Want to know a super-secret tip for releasing the full flavor of basil?  Click here.

I’m curious to know… what is your favorite way to incorporate pesto into your life? 

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Lyndi


P.S.  Just adding another usage for extra basil.... a basil vodka gimlet!!  Check out Jae's recipe here (plus, she's a local gal and #AWBU superstar!).

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Guy Fieri Food Show was, well um, different.



To be perfectly fair, the venue WAS served up with following, although somewhat ambiguous, agenda: 

“Celebrity chef, restaurateur, best-selling author and TV personality Guy Fieri is bringing his zest for life and unique culinary style to Walton Arts Center!”

·       Yes, his books were for sale and lots of folks were snatching them up. 
·       The show did have a “Minute to Win It” audience participation section where they did this cookie thing.  Hard to describe.


“The Guy Fieri Food Show mixes the best elements of a live cooking show, the fun of a variety revue, and the non-stop adrenaline rush of a rock concert.”

·       Man, I wish they actually had cooked more, because that would’ve been great!
·       I gotta’ tell ya, the camera man who led the audience in “calling the hogs” was fun.
·       Rock concert?  Since I went to high school in the 80s, the music totally rocked it!

“Fieri will take center stage with an unscripted and wildly entertaining performance – complete with interactive cooking stations, secret tips and dishes from his forthcoming cookbook “Guy Fieri Food” as well as behind-the-scene stories from the road, and much more.

·       Show was sponsored by the Pork Board, so there were lots of pork references (did I mention that I don’t eat pork?)
·       Fieri does seem like he is a really easy-going dude. 
·       He really didn’t cook much other then sauté a bit.  Then there was this beer-keg-looking-apparatus where he and others on stage mixed a giant cocktail.  Oh, there was rock music in the background!
·       We did get to hear a really (long) story about when he fried a turkey.
·       Unscripted is a perfect word to describe this evening!


Net, net?  The majority of the audience DID seem like they were having a great time.  Dennis and I went with our friends Nathan and Amanda and we lost track of the time… much to our avail because by the time we slipped out, it was 10pm and our fav restaurants on Dickson Street had closed down their main dining rooms.  We were starving.

Bummer.

And all that variety reviewin’, adrenaline rushin’, interactive cookin’ was making us all ravenous, a bit cranky (truthfully, only me) and craving a drink.

Okay, here’s my takeaway.  First, it was a food event and there is always some lesson to be learned and shared, right?

This is the one big takeaway that I absolutely LOVED from the Guy Fieri Food Show:  I loved, loved, loved, loved that they incorporated the students from the Northwest Arkansas Community College’s Culinary Program in Bentonville.  What a great experience for these students!  It was also a good plug for the audience to realize that NWACC actually has a culinary arts program!




I’m curious… did any of you attend the Guy Fieri Food Show?  What did you think?  Did you leave with any great takeaways because I would LOVE for you share with us!

Happy Eating!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Large luscious lemons… at Sams Club.




The simple things in life often inspire me.  Last week was no exception because I was inspired by… a lemon.

Well, lemons.  Plural.

Yep, I was inspired by a bag of six larger-than-the-palm-of-my-hands lemons that were bursting with juicy plump goodness!  I found these babies at Sams Club in Bentonville (or the Sams Club nearest you) for $3.87.  I know, I know… you can find lemons that are less expensive BUT these are LARGE lemons.  So you are actually getting more, for less!



Which got me to thinking.  It’s almost summer and what’s better than lemonade

Dennis and I decided that it was a complete necessity of life to make sure we keep lemonade on hand, ready-to-go and waiting in the refrigerator for friends and family stopping in.



Lemonade is so easy to make.  Since these lemons are so large, I used two instead of three.  First, take the two lemons and roll them around on the countertop to help aid in getting the most juice out of your lemons.  Then, cut them in half and use a hand juicer.  If you don’t have one, use good old-fashioned arm strength to squeeze out the juice.  That’s where rolling the lemon on the countertop helps.  Then add 8 tablespoons of sugar to a 2QT pitcher, the lemon juice and fill the pitcher with water.

Viola!  Lemonade!  Ta da!   Look at you, so sophisticated with your homemade lemonade.  I am so impressed!

Okay, there are a couple more lemon inspirations to come that I will share with you in the coming days such as lemon drop martinis and frying pan lemon soufflé.  Keep coming back because you won’t want to miss it!

Now it’s your turn.

I’m curious… what is your favorite ways to incorporate lemons?

Happy Eating!

Lyndi
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