Monthly Archives

September 2011


Love Coffee? I love you. (Giveaway!)

September 30, 2011

If you love coffee like I do, then I boy do I have good news for you.

This week at work we had the pleasure of getting a product preview from the amazing team over at Hamilton Beach. In addition to showcasing their wide range of affordable kitchen appliances, they also sent us home with a little swag. And somehow, I managed to take home not one but two different coffee makers.

Now what’s a girl who just got a new coffee pot for her wedding supposed to do with these coffee makers? Give them away, of course!

So here’s the deal: to one lucky reader I will be giving away a Hamilton Beach ‘The Scoop’ Single-Serve Coffee Maker. Unlike typical single-serve coffee makers, this machine lets you use your own coffee grounds to brew your single serve cup instead of requiring you to purchase a bunch of expensive pods, which is pretty amazing in my book. (and no, they didn’t pay me to say any of this)

To enter: leave a comment below telling me why you need more coffee in your life! Comments will be open from now until Sunday, October 2, at 8 pm. I will announce the winner Monday morning!

Happy Friday!



iPhone Photos as of Late

September 30, 2011
{Taste panel at work included this amazing Strawberry Sangria.}
{A bow-patterened skirt from Banana Republic Outlet makes each week brighter.}
{Putting some of my new wedding photos to use as the background of my computer at work.}
{Dropping my Blackberry was not the highlight of my week, to say the least.}
This weekend we are planning on celebrating my birthday a few days early. Since it’s on a Tuesday, it’s just more fun to celebrate on a weekend when you can do whatever you please. For me, that means watching college football on TV with a bunch of yummy tailgate-esque treats. 
Some of my favorite tailgate eats from around the web:
*Dips n Chips from Eat Live Run
*Sweet Potato Lentil Veggie Chili from Daily Garnish 
*Nuts and Bolts Snack Mix from The Sweets Life
*Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders from How Sweet It Is
*Peanut Butter Cookie Bars with Chocolate Ganache from Keep It Sweet
*Curred Chickpea Mash from (never home)maker 
*Mini Monkey Breads from Blue-Eyed Bakers
*Salscamole from Iowa Girl Eats
What are your favorite game-day treats?

Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesean

September 29, 2011

Typically, I don’t set out with the intention of creating gluten-free recipes since I don’t follow a gluten-free diet and neither do any of my family members. But as a food editor, I’ve seen a growing desire from our readers for more gluten-free recipes. Since I’m by no means an expert on the subject of gluten-free eating, it’s a bit intimidating to attempt creating recipes that meet the parameters of avoiding all gluten.

In the future, I hope to be able to serve up more gluten-free recipes, since I know a number of Espresso and Cream readers are looking for more recipes of the sort. So when my cousin sent me a few bags of quinoa flour, which is gluten-free, I decided to get to work on playing around with recipes that could be easily adapted from their gluten-packed counterparts.

Chicken Parmesan to the rescue! Although you won’t find me eating any chicken these days, Joey absolutely loved this dish. I served it with some veggies and pasta and it was a total hit: easy to prepare for me and super tasty and filling for him. That’s a win-win in my book.

Also, if anyone has any good gluten-free text resources (ie: books, informative cookbooks, etc.) about gluten-free recipes and what ingredients contain gluten, please throw them my way. I’m looking for some good resources to add to my collection!

Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
*1 tablespoon canola oil 
*1 chicken breast, halved lengthwise into two thinner pieces
*2 heaping tablespoons quinoa flour (you may use all-purpose if you want but it won’t be gluten-free)
*1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*Salt and black pepper
*1/3 cup liquid egg replacement such as Egg Beaters
*2/3 cup pasta sauce (for a list of pasta sauces and other products that are gluten-free and commercially available, I found this site helpful.)
*Additional Parmesan cheese
*1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan (I used an 9-inch round cake pan) with aluminum foil. Set aside.
*Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet.
*Meanwhile in a shallow dish combine the quinoa flour, Parmesan cheese, and a dash of salt and black pepper. Pour the liquid egg replacement in a second shallow bowl. Dip the chicken breast halves into the egg mixture to coat on both sides. Transfer to the flour/Parmesan mixture and cover on both sides.
*Add chicken pieces to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes per side. Just enough to brown the chicken but not cook it completely through.
*Transfer chicken to the foil-lined baking pan. Top with the pasta sauce, spreading the sauce evenly atop the chicken. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until pasta sauce is bubbly and chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and top with additional Parmesan cheese and the dried Italian seasoning.

Happy Cooking!



My First Ever Vikings Game

September 27, 2011
{Preparing for kickoff at the Vikings game in Minneapolis!}
{Not our most photogenic day, but it will have to do!}
{Stunning fall weather!}
{Headed home. Bummed the Vikings lost (again!) but fans through thick and thin!}
When Joey and I first started dating, we made a little deal. Since he didn’t have a college team to cheer for, he would adopt my team, the Florida Gators, and cheer with me on Saturdays. I, on the other hand, didn’t have an NFL team I felt connected to, so I would cheer for his Minnesota Vikings on Sundays. Our arrangement has worked out really well and I’ll admit that I love having a team to cheer for on Sundays. So for Joey’s birthday, I got him tickets to see the Vikings play the Detroit Lions. Although the Vikings lost, we had a great time up in Minneapolis watching the game and staying with our friends, Emily and Brian.

Question of the day: What football team(s) do you cheer for? 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a die-hard Gators fan. Growing up in Florida with a dad who is an even bigger fan will do that to a girl, I suppose. 🙂


Almond Milk Ice Cream

September 26, 2011

Hi, friends! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Joey and I spent the weekend up in Minneapolis for a little belated birthday celebrating (more on that later), and just got home a little over an hour ago. The weekend was packed full and fun but I’m ready to head to bed and rest up for the week ahead. It’s going to be a crazy one!

Although it might be a bit late in the season to be posting ice cream recipes, I couldn’t resist sharing one more that’s quite different from the others I’ve made. First, it’s low in calories, fat and added sugar. Second, it’s packed with calcium, protein and other good-for-you ingredients that you can feel guilt-free eating.

Being a huge fan of almond milk, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a high-protein frozen dessert for a while now. Toward the end of last week I finally got around to making my dreams a reality when the craving for ice cream hit.

Be forewarned, this ice cream isn’t as smooth and creamy as traditional cream-based desserts. It has a slightly more sorbet-like consistency and is best eaten immediately after it comes out of the ice cream maker. I can only imagine that I’ve got a few more days yet this fall that will allow me to justify making this treat again.

Almond Milk Ice Cream
Adapted slightly from Bay Area Bites

*1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 medium ripe banana
*2 heaping tablespoons low-sugar chocolate milk powder
*2 heaping tablespoons chocolate protein powder
*1/2 teaspoon stevia or other sweetener

*Blend all the above ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric ice cream maker and freeze for 20 minutes or until mixture reaches an ice cream-like consistency. Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking!