Saturday, October 29, 2011

Where I've been lately.........

I know, it's been awhile......and it's been awhile because the company has been doing a two week residency in Arizona. It's been great and tonight is finally our show night! Our choreographer created a new piece on us titled, "West" and we get to wear chaps for costumes (can't say coming from Alaska that I've ever done that before!). We are borrowing them from the dude ranch where we've been staying. They have treated us so well: we got three home cooked meals a day, went horseback riding twice, and went swimming in the beautiful pool and hot tub! I miss cooking however and I have a ton of recipes to make (and I'm only home for the weekend before taking again for another Utah tour!) but this was a nice treat! Enjoy some of these photos and I'll post a TILT and some recipes this weekend!

Personalized calenders with our head shots on them were in our rooms!

The view from one side of the ranch.

Breakfast is made to order and yummy!

I usually had fresh fruit and always a 1/2 grapefruit with a strawberry on top. 

Followed by scrambled eggs or egg whites and wheat or cinnamon raisin bread. 

The warehouse where we rehearsed everyday. 

The view of Vulture Peak from the swimming pool!

Dinner almost always started with a salad. 

Followed by the family style meal. 

The menu board always showed what was for lunch and dinner!

That's all for now! More to come about this great experience later. Plus.... I'm really excited because next weekend I'm headed off to San Francisco for my first ever food blogger event!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program: Newman's Own

I've haven't posted in awhile because the month of October has been filled with lots of touring with the dance company. Right now we are in Arizona, staying at an awesome Dude Ranch for two weeks while doing an arts residency. We are being spoiled with three delicious meals a day and beautiful accommodations. My husband says it sounds like I'm on a paid vacation. While it's very nice we are rehearsing long and hard during the day. At night I've been having fun editing some special videos I get to share with you all.......

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program partnered with Newman's Own I was chosen to create a Vlog (video blog) using some of Newman's Own products using a Flip HD camera (that they sent me as well!). I was so excited to be able to try out using a Flip HD camera (I've always wanted one!) and to showcase products from a company like this one, whose products I really enjoy.

So I present to you my three videos....for some reason I said "incorporate" alot..... and there were a lot of funny out takes.... my parents got to witness all the funny mess-ups! Food Network people: I give you so much credit because it's not easy to cook and talk at the same time!!

Here are the actual recipes for you!

Roasted Garlic Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 10oz. package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
1 14oz. can Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
1/2 cup Light  Mayonnaise
1 cup Newman's Own Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Transfer to a casserole dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes until top is bubbly and lightly browned.

Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms 
with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

1 1/2 lbs. Baby Portobello Mushrooms

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Newman's Own Red Wine (any variety)
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
Salt and Pepper

In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil and stir in mushrooms. Add in garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add wine increase heat to high and cook for about another minute. Follow with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and stir through. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms and transfer to serving bowl. Stir in blue cheese and walnuts.

Lemonata Cooler Cocktail

2 oz. Limoncello
12 oz. Newman's Own Virgin Lemonade
4 oz. Prosecco
ice cubes
rosemary sprigs or lemon slices

In a pitcher combine Limoncello, lemonade, and Prosecco. Stir through and pour over ice between two glasses. Garnish and serve! (makes 2 servings)

I'll try to make a TILT post tomorrow!

What to you think of the video posts?

Thanks again to Foodbuzz and Newman's Own!
Maybe you'll see more video recipes in the future.....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program: Godiva Frappucino and Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes

As part of Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program with Godiva Coffee,  I recently received a fun gift bag in the mail with two of their seasonal coffee flavors: Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Pecan Bark. I'm typically not a flavored coffee person. My husband and I don't use any sweeteners, we like it plain and strong! However, I liked the idea of using these coffees to come up with some seasonal fall recipes.

Pumpkin Spice Frappucino

8 oz freshly brewed Godiva Pumpkin Spice Coffee
4 Tablespoons Organic Soy creamer
Whipped Cream
Espresso sugar

1. Brew Godiva Pumpkin Spice Coffee.
2. Transfer to refrigerator until cool.
3. Pour chilled coffee and creamer into a blender.
4. Add ice and blend until thick and smooth.
5. Divide between two glasses. Top with whip cream and espresso sugar, if desired.

Makes 2 servings.

I was trying to figure out another drink recipe to use the Caramel Pecan Bark coffee in and then I found this recipe for Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes! I was so excited that I went out to buy all the ingredients except I made one HUGE mistake. Keep reading and I'll tell you that you should try these cupcakes but read my cautionary tale........

Vegan (or not) Tiramisu Cupcakes
(adapeted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Soaking Liquid
1/3 cup Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark Coffee
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream

1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 chocolate covered coffee beans or chocolate chips

1/4 cup non hydrogenated margarine (softened) I used Earth Balance
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (softened) NOT TOFUTTI BRAND or use real cream cheese
2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Coffee/Baileys mixture


Add cupcake liners to a cupcake pan and preheat oven to 350.
Whisk the vinegar and soy milk together and set aside 3-5 minute to get good and curdled.
Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain. Add 1-2 teaspoons of very strong coffee to the mix.
Fill cup cake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20-22 minutes till done.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting. Meanwhile, mix together the Coffee and Baileys.
Make the frosting by creaming together the margarine and cream cheese until just combined.  Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioner’s sugar in ½ cup batches.  Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla and Coffee/Baileys mixture .  Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

Use a knife to carve out a small cone in the center of the cupcake.  Try to keep the cone as intact as possible.  
Use a spoon to pour Coffee/Baileys mixture in the cavity of the cut cupcake, making sure that all sides of the cavity are drenched, using up to 2 tablespoons of liquid per cupcake. Scoop about 1 tablespoons of the Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting into the cavity and smooth over with the back of the spoon.  You will frost the cupcakes with the remaining frosting. Dip the bottom of the cut-out chunk into the Kahlua mixture, but keep the top part dry.  Place the cut out chunk on top of the frosting and gently pat it into place.  Continue this process with the remaining cupcakes.
Place the chocolate and cinnamon in a small strainer and dust all of the cupcakes.  Using a pastry bag, frost the cupcakes and place a chocolate chop or espresso bean on top.  Let sit about 10 minutes and then serve.

Recipe Disclaimer: PLEASE READ!

So I always try to read labels when I buy products. If there is a ton of saturated fat or sodium in a product, I don't buy it (with the exception of Snickers Peanut Butter!). Anyways, I went to my local Sunflower Market grocery store to buy the ingredients for the cupcakes. I made the cupcakes, put them in the oven then began to make the frosting.....I've said it before: I love frosting. I made the frosting and took a taste: It was amazing! So delicious that I took the spatula and the mixer beater and started licking it like I was a four year old. My husband then came in to the kitchen laughed at me,  picked up the package of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and said "you do know there is trans-fat in this right?"  My response was, "WHAT!, No I did not!!!" I took the package and sure enough there was 2g of Trans Fat per serving (2 Tbsp for a serving)! I couldn't believe it......and I was so mad that I didn't read the label at the store and just assumed that because it was at a healthier grocery store it would be healthy. Tofutti's website says "Living Healthy Dairy Free And Loving It".... yeah, I don't think so. So I learned that just because something is vegan does not mean it is healthier!  If I make this recipe again I think I will just use organic cream cheese! There is another brand out there that makes vegan cream cheese called Follow Your Heart that contains no trans fat. Next time I will follow my head and always read the labels on every thing I buy!

Thanks Foodbuzz and Godiva for letting me indulge in these fall flavors! 

If you would like to try these coffee flavors go to here at Godiva Coffee's page for a $2 off coupon.

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program I received two bags of Godiva's premium coffees. 

Home for the weekend only means: Biscoff Dough Balls

I started to write this post last week so it's a little outdated but a it's also a little catch up on what's been going on in my busy life:

What I've been making.....

Happy October everyone! I cannot believe that fall is almost here. It sure doesn't feel like it here in Utah where the temperatures are still in the 80's! I have been not very good at posting lately.....and here is why:

The show was a wonderful way to start our season. We got nice reviews (SL Tribune and Love Dance More Blog) and some nice photos by Mike Manning:

We had Sunday off and I had wonderful day enjoying spending some time with my husband and mom. We ate at one of my favorite Salt Lake City brunch spots, Cafe Trio.  The night before after the last show we went to Vinto and had the most delicious dessert, a Pear and Date Tart and homemade gelato in flavors: High West Whiskey Stracciatella and Lemon Ricotta!

We leave for a week long tour to Hattiesburg, Mississippi in two days. I've never been to MS before and the weather looks like it will be perfect down there. I did a whole bunch of cooking before I left and I have some great recipes to post later. Meanwhile, I'm proud to have convinced my husband that Biscoff Spread is great treat! We've been enjoying it on toast and in blondies. But the best recipe yet is a no-bake vegan dough ball that I created! Using the biscoff spread, dates, pecans, chocolate chips and almond & vanilla flavoring these dough balls are my new favorite snack!

BISCOFF Dough Balls


1 cup pecans

1/2 cup chopped dates
1 tsp/ vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Place pecans, biscoff spread, dates, vanilla and almonds in a food processor or blender and combine until a smooth consistency appears (it should like almond butter!) Transfer mixture into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips. Using a tablespoon or your hand form into small balls and place onto a cookie sheet.   Let stand in refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes to solidify. 

6 ingredients and you have a delicious no bake snack! In fact they've all been eaten at my house so I need to go make some more!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

TILT long overdue!

I haven't done a TILT in over two weeks! Since we had a show on one of the Thursdays and then last week I didn't have my computer (just my Ipad) and we had no Internet service where we were staying in Southern Utah. So here is a TILT for the weekend:


1. Juliet 

I've been reading alot lately especially because I've spent quite a bit of time traveling. I'm currently reading this book and it's fantastic! I highly recommend it, and I'm not done with it so I hope it ends well! It takes place in the beautiful Italian town of Siena. It's a mystery-modern day Romeo and Juliet type story. It will make you want to pack you bags for an Italian adventure.

2. Snickers Peanut Butter

I don't buy a lot of candy but every so often it's nice to have a candy bar. My mom had told me how good these were awhile back so I picked a bag of fun size ones a bit ago to save for Halloween candy! Ha! Yeah right! The bag is now gone and I have a new favorite candy. I love Reese's peanut butter cups and these are pretty high up on the list of favorites! Chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, nougat, and caramel....YUM!

 3. Hell's Backbone Grill

On our recent rural tour in Southern Utah, we were lucky enough to drive to the town of Boulder, Utah to dine at Hell's Backbone Grill. This is my second time eating at this amazing restaurant. The restaurant has had numerous media accolades from Sunset magazine, The New York Times, and was even listed in the book 1,000 Places to See in the USA & Canada Before You Die. It's just a wonderful setting where you feel like you have gone back to a different era: one without the distractions of cell phones and social media.  Here is a fun video by Dave Liberman with the restaurants founders Jen Castle and Blake Spalding:


4. American Public Radio's The Splendid Table
   The show for people who love to eat!! (That's me!!)

My Sunday morning ritual includes listening to this radio show. The show is hosted by the entertaining Lynne Rosetto Kasper and features great recipes, tips and stories about food. Jane and Michael Stern are also contributors and it's great fun to listen to see where in the US they are traveling around trying out new restaurants. If your local public radio station doesn't air this program you can go to the website and stream it from you computer. I just renewed my public radio subscription today and it's programs like this one that make me proud to be a member. Public radio has taught me so much.....I love the stories about history, current events, arts, leisure, politics, and food!


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