25 March 2011

Newman's Own Thin & Crispy Pizza Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! By the process of Random.org, I chose two winners who will soon be enjoying a Newman's Own Thin & Crispy pizza. The first winner is:
pajamachef, 24 March, 2011 19:56

oooh pizza, how i love thee!

Second winner...
Kate, 21 March, 2011 16:40

Newman's Own is my all time fave! Wonderful company doing wonderful work for the community... :)

Congrats! Please send your mailing info to christinaATrunningfoodieDOTcom and I'll get your prize out to you right away.

23 March 2011

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

Spring is in the air! That means rain showers and freak snowstorms. In the cooking world, you might be getting ready for a spring or Easter brunch. I'm partnering with Foodbuzz Tastemaker program and King's Hawaiian bread to bring you a perfectly scrumptious recipe for your next springtime brunch. They gave me a monetary stipend to create a recipe and I decided on a bread pudding baked in a bread bowl. I had originally wanted to make mini bread puddings, but the King's Hawaiian rolls are a bit small for the purpose.

My next idea was to use the giant round loaf, hollow it out, and bake the raspberry filling inside. Once it cools and sets, you can slice it like a pie and serve it with a raspberry-mango coulis. The coulis, a simple fruity sauce, almost looks like a dessert ketchup. The flavors are vibrant, tropical, and gives a great flavor to the bread pudding.

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

I always figured that King's Hawaiian bread had pineapple in it, but the ingredients say differently. It's simply a sweet potato bread that's very soft and fluffy.

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

Once you slice the top, you sort of scoop out the insides. I somehow managed to "scoop" layers, making it easier to slice into cubes.

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

I ended up with eight cups of bread cubes (including the top), which I toasted in the oven to dry out for a few minutes.

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

The custard is a simple milk, egg, and sugar mixture. I used lactose free milk, but I'm sure you can substitute regular milk as well. Since frozen raspberries are more economical, I opted to buy a pack for this recipe instead of the fresh variety. Since I used them frozen instead of letting them thaw they didn't bleed through the pudding very much.

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl
King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

All you have to do next is mix the toasted cubes of bread with the custard, stirring until it soaks up a little, stir in the raspberries, and pour the custard into the bread bowl. The giant loaf comes in a foil pie tin, though I placed it on a rimmed baking sheet so transferring it to and from the oven is easier. You'll need to cover the sides of the bread with foil strips to prevent the bread from burning as it bakes. The rim on the pie dish makes the foil stay on, so that's cool.

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl

That's all there is to it! The pudding bakes a bit longer than most recipes since the bread pudding is sort of in a mound versus a shallow dish. I found it baked up well for about 1 hour and 50 minutes. A little longer than I liked, but what are you going to do?

The raspberry-mango coulis is simple to put together and can be prepared as the bread pudding bakes. I used 1 cup of frozen raspberries and 2 cups fresh mango. You can use frozen mango as well, if you'd like. I simmered the two fruits in a saucepan with a small amount of sugar for 10 minutes, then pureed the mixture, pressing it through a fine mesh sieve so the seeds from the raspberries are removed. A little lemon juice to enhance the tartness and it's all set.

The bread pudding can be made ahead of time, covered, and recrisped in the oven for 10 minutes just prior to serving. The flavors meld together and the unique preparation will make for a fun dessert for your next spring brunch. Enjoy!

Print this recipe

King's Hawaiian Raspberry Bread Pudding Bowl
Recipe by Christina Provo

Ingredients -

1 16 ounce loaf King's Hawaiian bread
1 2/3 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 cups day old cubed King's Hawaiian bread
2 cups frozen raspberries

Coulis ingredients -

1 cup frozen raspberries
2 cups cubed fresh or frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

directions -
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the top off the loaf of bread, about 1/2 and inch thick. Using your hands, hollow out the bread, keeping sure keep the bottoms and sides even in thickness. You should have about 8 cups of cubed or torn bread. Place the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Watch carefully because it toasts quickly.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, and sugar together. Add the toasted bread cubes, stirring just until the bread begins to soak in the liquid. Stir in frozen raspberries. Place the bread bowl onto the rimmed baking sheet and cover the exposed sides with foil; pour in the custard-bread mixture. Cover the top with a sheet of foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove foil from top and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes, until bread pudding is puffed and set. The filling will jiggle when shook and a knife inserted in the center will come out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool.

  3. Meanwhile, place frozen raspberries, mangoes, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is extracted and the fruit cooks down. Pour into a blender with 1/4 cup water and puree until smooth. Press through a sieve to remove seeds. Stir in lemon juice.

  4. Spread coulis onto bottom of serving plates. Position a slice of bread pudding in the middle. Serve with additional sauce if desires.

Bread pudding may be cooked in advance. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

21 March 2011

Newman's Own Thin & Crispy Pizza Coupon Giveaway

Newman's Own Coupon Giveaway

Happy Monday! I'm kicking off the week with a giveaway. The prize is a Newman's Own Thin & Crispy Pizza giveaway. Two lucky readers will win one coupon. I received these through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, but I haven't been able to locate the products in stores around town. Each coupon is good for one pizza valued up to $8.00. Since I'm unsure of the availability of Newman's Own products, the giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Coupons are also available on the Newman's Own website, along with a list of retailers. (The Kroger I checked did not have them.)

How to enter -

There are three ways to enter, increasing your chances to win.
  • Comment on this entry (required)

  • Blog about this giveaway, linking to your post in a separate comment

  • Tweet this giveaway, commenting again to let me know

Contest begins now and ends Friday, the 25th, at 12:00 p.m. EST. Giveaway open to U.S. Residents. Two winners will be chosen and I'll be contacting you after the giveaway closes for shipping info.

Good luck!

19 March 2011

Newman's Own Lighten Up Caesar Orzo Pilaf

Newman's Own Caesar Orzo Pilaf

If you remember my Newman's Own video post, I received a package of Newman's Own products thanks to a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. Well, my recipes didn't end with the recipe I created to feature in the video. I also made a tasty side dish to accompany the chicken cutlets I cooked.

It's pretty cool to have received all these items, and to show my appreciation I want to utilize them by making a few more recipes with the products. Also, stay tuned for a giveaway. I haven't been able to locate Newman's Own pizzas in the grocery stores around here so my plan is to give away the two coupons I received, each good for one pizza. Hopefully you guys will have better luck! It'll begin Monday.

Newman's Own Caesar Orzo Pilaf

This is a very quick recipe that cooks in under twenty minutes. Orzo is a unique pasta because it's small and can be used in ways similar to rice. Using Newman's Own Lighten Up Caesar dressing, the flavor is infused into the orzo as it cooks. I opted to do this instead of stir it in after it had cooked because I felt the flavors of the dressing would stand out more.

Newman's Own Caesar Orzo Pilaf

What is a pilaf? Shortly, it's a rice dish with vegetables, but cooked with chicken (or vegetable broth) and wine. The rice is also browned a bit with the vegetables, afterward it's cooked like you would plain rice. It's a great dish for special occasions and doesn't take much more effort to make.

Newman's Own Caesar Orzo Pilaf

How can you make it with orzo? Pretty much the same way. After sauteing the vegetables, mushrooms, onions, and garlic here, you add the orzo and saute for a few minutes until it begins to look somewhat brown and toasted.

Newman's Own Caesar Orzo Pilaf

The broth and Caesar dressing are added. The mixture is then returned to a boil and cooked until the orzo is al dente. Unlike with rice, you don't have to cover it with a lid. A few minutes near the end, I added frozen peas (which were somewhat thawed). I didn't add them earlier because I wanted to reserve their bright green color.

My pilaf came out with a bit extra liquid, though most of it had soaked into the orzo. I liked it a little saucy because it reminded me of risotto. The dressing really stood out and flavored the dish nicely, and the romano cheese from the dressing lends a complexity of tastes. It's light enough to serve alongside a heavier main dish. Perfect for spring, perfect if you have a bottle of Newman's Own Lighten Up Caesar Dressing waiting to be used!

Newman's Own Lighten Up Caesar Orzo Pilaf
Recipe by Christina Provo, adapted from quick orzo pilaf.

ingredients -

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups finely chopped button mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces dry orzo pasta
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup Newman's Own Lighten Up Caesar Dressing
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

directions -
  1. In a medium pot heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. And onions and salt; saute for 3-5 minutes or until it begins to turn translucent. Stir in garlic and mushrooms; cook for one minute. Stir in orzo and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until orzo begins to brown.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the broth and the Caesar dressing until warmed. Add to orzo and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer; cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep orzo from sticking to bottom of pot. Mix in peas and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes, checking to see if orzo is al dente.

  3. When pasta is cooked, remove orzo pilaf to a serving bowl; stir in parsley. Serve immediately.

17 March 2011

baked sweet potato taquitos

baked sweet potato taquitos

One of my favorite snack foods are those frozen taquitos. I bake them and dip them in queso, then stay up late and watch movies. I haven't gotten them in a while and they aren't something I've attempted to make before. When I saw a contest featuring sweet potatoes put on by North Carolina Sweet Potatoes, I thought that a savory sweet potato filling inside a baked toquito would be a unique and healthy alternative.

baked sweet potato taquitos

The filling is simple and cooks in about 25 minutes. All that's required are sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, seasonings, and cheese.

baked sweet potato taquitos

The festive Mexican flavor is from the oregano, cumin, and a packet of Goya seasoning. I like this seasoning because it gives foods a different taste. My favorite is the Sazon with Coriander and Annatto. You can locate Goya in the Mexican aisles of grocery stores. Aldi's had their own version so that's what I used here, but it's pretty much the same thing.

baked sweet potato taquitos
baked sweet potato taquitos

Once you add the sweet potatoes and toss them in the seasoned onions, I added a bit of water, covered the skillet, and the potatoes cooked away until very tender and soft. Since I sliced them into small, 1/2 inch pieces it took about 15-17 minutes to cook. It tastes great!

baked sweet potato taquitos

After the mixture cooled down, I processed the sweet potatoes to a smooth consistency. I then transferred it to a mixing bowl and stirred in cheddar cheese.

baked sweet potato taquitos

The number one problem you might encounter when working with corn tortillas is that they'll tear as you try to roll the taquitos up. The solution is one I learned from watching Rick Bayless on his show. He brushes both sides of the corn tortilla with oil (I used cooking spray) and puts them on a baking sheet to soften in a warm oven. This only takes about 5 minutes or so. You can stack them up all at once, though you might need to add on a few minutes. Since the corn tortillas are soft and pliable, they hold the roll without unraveling. Because the corn tortillas were lightly brushed or sprayed with oil they'll cook up to be crispy and a bit browned. Much easier than frying!

baked sweet potato taquitos

To roll these up tightly, press the first roll in on the filling. Continue to roll the tortilla in on itself with each turn. I hadn't been thinking or else I would have taken a video to show you how, but I will advice you to Google "Seinfeld crepe cuban cigar YouTube".

baked sweet potato taquitos

Once you get a tray of tasty taquitos, it's baking time.

baked sweet potato taquitos

Mmm. Crispy and crunchy with a savory sweet potato filling. These were enjoyed by everyone, even my mom (who didn't think she'd enjoy a meatless version).

I tested this recipe out again, but using ground turkey in the filling (which caused me to use about 45-50 corn tortillas). The taste was consistent and was just like before, though the turkey wasn't prominent. I've found that turkey blends with flavors well without giving the dish a meaty taste.

I'm entering this recipe in their kid friendly category. Kids like snack food, and growing up my mom always looked for unique ways to use vegetables in recipes. If your kid is super picky, just tell him there's cheese! Also tell them that they can use their hands (I'm not sure if I cared about this, but who doesn't like playing with their food).

Give them a try the next time you're cooking up Mexican food, or a healthy snack for movie night.

baked sweet potato taquitos

Print this recipe

baked sweet potato taquitos
Recipe by Christina Provo

Serves 4-5

ingredients -

4 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 packet Goya Sazon with Coriander and Annatto seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
About 25 corn tortillas
Cooking spray

directions -
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until beginning to turn translucent. Stir in Goya, oregano, salt, and cumin, followed by the garlic. Add sweet potatoes and stir to coat in onion mixture. Cook for a minute. Add water and bring to a boil; lower heat to medium low, cover skillet, and let cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Uncover skillet; raise heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes, just until most of the liquid has evaporated (you want a bit of a thick liquid remaining). Remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with corn tortillas. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Continue process, stacking corn tortillas on top of each other and place sheet in the oven. Warm for 5-7 minutes, or until tortillas are soft and pliable. Remove from oven and place tortillas in a covered dish to keep soft.

  3. When mixture has cooled, transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Puree just until smooth. Remove to a mixing bowl and stir in cheddar cheese. Set aside.

  4. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Working with one corn tortilla at a time, spread a bit less than two tablespoons sweet potato mixture along the bottom edge. Tightly roll up and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potato mixture and tortillas. When all the tortillas have been rolled, bake the taquitos in the oven for 15 minutes, until crispy and browned. Let cool slightly, then serve with your favorite salsa.

11 March 2011

Starbucks' 40th Anniversary and New Starbucks Petites

Starbucks Petites

There's yet another new change occurring at Starbucks and this time it doesn't concern cup size. The change is to the pastry case, unveiling new Starbucks Petites, treats under 200 calories that they say are great for an afternoon snack. For the size of these things, I hope they are under 200 calories, though a part of me can't believe that for the size they even come close to that amount (mini cupcake???). To promote these little bights of delight, in honor of Starbucks 40th anniversary they're giving a free Petites out to anyone who orders a beverage. The promotion started yesterday and ends the 12th, so head to your nearby Starbucks between 2 - 5 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Starbucks Petites

Another difference between these and their standard desserts is that the Petites are all natural, containing no artificial sweeteners, flavors, dyes, preservatives, and high fructose corn sugar. The rather long ingredient list (invert sugar, anyone?) suggest that it still isn't the same as making them yourself, though for about $1.50 each with eight varieties to choose between, it's not bad as far as their pastries go.

Starbucks Petites

The first test was the Salted Caramel Sweet Square, which consists of "Salted caramel and chocolate filling with a layer of crisp pretzels and pecans on top of a butter shortbread crust." I think these are similar to how a million dollar bar turns out, though a little different. I liked the pretzel and pecan combination and the sweetness was balanced nicely by the salty.

Starbucks Petites

What I was most surprised to see were cake balls. The cake ball trend started on a blog and spread like wildfire, appearing in bakeries across the States. It looks like Starbucks decided to hop on the bandwagon and offer three flavors of their own. They have a standard vanilla with a pink coating, a rocky road variety with chocolate cake, and the tiramisu cake ball that I got, which is a vanilla cake moistened by Starbucks coffee and vanilla icing, then dipped in what they say is a "mocha flavored chocolaty coating". It's obviously white chocolate.

Starbucks Petites

Not really having tasted many beforehand I didn't have much to compare this to, as the only cakeballs I made came out pretty but with soggy centers, I just aimed to see if it didn't disgust me. The center was moist but spongy with a nice coffee flavor. It tasted good with the smooth white chocolate shell and I was happy with what I got, though I wouldn't say I'd order it again.

Overall, I'm impressed so far by their new line. I will go back later to try some of the other treats, like the cupcake and whoopie pie, hoping they won't simply be smaller versions of their other baked goods (which are often dry and just don't taste good). Don't forget to head over to try them for yourself!

On a side note, I had a dream that I bought overpriced madeleines from Starbucks. In the end, I put the bag back because I actually have the proper tins to make them, so I need to get on that!

Starbucks Petites

08 March 2011

Foodbuzz Tastemaker & Newman's Own: Video Recipe

Cooking with Newman's Own

I'm back again with Newman's Own! As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, they sent me a goody box filled with Newman's Own products and coupons, plus a flip video camera to record a video recipe!

I had thought about what I would make, something that can be prepared in about 30 minutes. The final decision was a breaded chicken cutlet with a quick pan sauce using Newman's Own vinaigrette. I tested the sauce out with the Caesar vinaigrette first and that's pretty tasty, though I featured a pan sauce with the Light Raspberry & Walnut vinaigrette for the video. It's versatile, so feel free to use the flavor that you enjoy the most.

This is also the first official video recipe ever shown on She Runs, She Eats. Enjoy!

You might think that it's difficult to make breaded chicken cutlets, but it's not as time consuming as you might think. Pounding the chicken speeds the cooking time so you'll spend about 12 minutes cooking the chicken. You can even pound the chicken ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you need it.

Cooking with Newman's Own

I will be incorporating the remaining Newman's Own products I received in different recipes. The side dish in the video is a tasty and quick orzo pilaf using the Light Caesar vinaigrette. That recipe will be posted later this week.

Recipe after jump.

Print this recipe

Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Vinaigrette Pan Sauce
Recipe by Christina Provo

ingredients -

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
shake of black pepper
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup vinaigrette of choice
1 ounce mild goat cheese or cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

directions -
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a bowl, mix yogurt, milk, flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Place bread crumbs and flour in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, and stir to combine. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip into milk mixture, letting excess liquid drip off. Dredge both sides in bread crumb-flour mixture and place on a platter. Repeat with remaining chicken.

  2. As you bread the chicken, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place two chicken cutlets in the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until the underside is golden brown. Flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof platter and place in oven to keep warm. Add remaining olive oil and butter to skillet and cook remaining chicken pieces.

  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add vinaigrette to skillet and let cook until reduced to a glaze, about 30-45 seconds. Remove from heat and add goat cheese, stirring with a whisk to blend into sauce. Stir in parsley. To serve, divide sauce between four servings, pouring over the chicken cutlets.

07 March 2011

peanut butter espresso cookies with candied bacon

peanut butter espresso cookies with candied bacon

A conversation I had a while ago about candied bacon chocolate chip cookies sparked the idea of baking a batch of my peanut butter espresso cookies and stirring in chopped candied bacon.

At first, the idea of bacon in cookies sounds repulsive. I don't like when syrup touches bacon, so I wasn't sure what I would think of however this turned out.

peanut butter espresso cookies with candied bacon

The first step is to candy the bacon. To do this, you place strips of bacon on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. You then bake for about 30 minutes total.

peanut butter espresso cookies with candied bacon

The bacon needs to be a deep brownish-red color in order for the bacon to harden when cooled. The bacon in the picture actually wasn't cooked long enough and never got crispy, so I stuck it back in the oven to cook a bit longer.

peanut butter espresso cookies with candied bacon

You want the bacon crispy, no chewy, so it won't be difficult to chop into pieces.

peanut butter espresso cookies with candied bacon

I decreased the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup and stirred in the bacon, 10 strips worth. My initial thoughts was, "Ew, I just bit into bacon." After a while, though, I didn't really feel like it made the cookie taste bad, and it was actually rather nice. My dad thought it tasted like oatmeal.

The cons, however, is that the amazing texture of the candied bacon wasn't present in the cookie. The pieces you bit into weren't crunchy, but chewy. I think if I had coated the bacon in chocolate, let it harden, then used that in place of the chocolate chips the flavor might have remained and created an even better cookie. But the subtle bacon with the coffee coating was rather good in its own way.

As an alternative, you can also sprinkle candied bacon on roasted Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, salads, and mashed potatoes. Or oatmeal.

I'm entering this to Lisa's "Sweets for Saturday".

Candied Bacon
Recipe adapted from Pete Bakes!

ingredients -

Strips of bacon (I used ten)
Brown sugar
1 recipe Peanut Butter Espresso Cookies

directions -
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place strips of bacon flat on sheet, making sure they don't overlap. Sprinkle each slice with about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, rubbing it in a bit.

  2. Cook for 15 minutes. Flip bacon over, dragging slices in syrup. Continue cooking for another 15-17 minutes, or until the bacon is a deep mahogany color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer bacon to a cooling rack to cool completely. Coarsely chop into pieces, or leave whole (if you don't think you'll resist).

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