Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taste Test Tuesday: Kashi 7-Grain Pilaf

I'm always looking for healthy side dishes. When I was searching for whole wheat cous cous, I stumbled upon Kashi Original 7 Grain Pilaf. It was buy one get one free! I picked up a couple to try out. It's pre-made (like Ready Rice). All you have to do is heat and serve. Plus it had no sodium or additives which I thought was really great.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 220
Total Fat 4g
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 45g
Fiber 7g
Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I opened up the bag to heat it up. Honestly, it smelled pretty bad. Like a musky odor. I was kind of scared but gave it a go. After 60 seconds of heating with a little water, it was ready! The aroma was totally different now, it smelled tasty and nutty. I topped it with a teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese. It was delicious! It was nutty and flavorful. It had a variety of textures, some soft, some a little crunchier. It made for a great combo. You could pretty much add any flavors you can think of to the pilaf. It's a great substitute for rice, with high amounts of protein and fiber. I'll be getting this again for sure!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Six on Sunday: My Pizza

I didn't make any recipes with 6 ingredients or less this week unfortunately. But I will be making this for my office's pot luck lunch on Wednesday. It was my entry in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off. I still reminisce about how amazing the experience was. I can't wait to enter again next year for the 2010 Bake-off!

Blue Cheesy Prosciutto Appetizer Pizza
1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
1/3 cup cream cheese (from 8-oz container or package)
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (1 oz)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
4 slices prosciutto (about 2 oz), cut into thin strips
1/3 cup SMUCKER'S® Apricot Preserves

Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray large cookie sheet with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll pizza crust dough on cookie sheet; press dough into 15x12-inch rectangle. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave cream cheese and blue cheese uncovered on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir until well mixed. Spread mixture over partially baked crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; top with prosciutto.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave preserves uncovered on High about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth; drizzle over pizza.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and preserves in center of pizza start to bubble.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

West Palm Beach: Forte di Asprinio

Since Forte opened, I've been dying to try it! Not only because the infamous Stephen Asprinio from Top Chef owned it, but because the menu looked inventive. When I heard they had a special of 3 courses for $30, I thought it would be a great time to try it out. It was Halloween night and we had reservations for 8:30. I was expecting the restaurant to be busy, but was surprised when there were only 3 tables occupied.

Wine: I looked through the wine list and was impressed! They had lots of great wines. A good amount were available by the glass. They also had wine flights (I chose the medium bodied reds), which aren't readily accessible at restaurants. The medium red flight was a great choice and the sommelier did a great job explaining the 3 that were included.

Service: Our server was horrible. I asked him a couple of questions regarding the menu, which he replied with a shrug and "I don't know". He acted as if we were wasting his time. When he poured water, some of it was splashed on my sister and he didn't apologize. I mean, come on, he had 3 tables and couldn't do his job! He also got our wine order messed up. The good part was the sommelier, he was friendly, and quickly fixed the mistake our server made when he input our wine flights.

First Course: Was the ricotta/eggplant terrina. It seemed like it was sitting around for a while. I tried to eat it by itself but it was very bland. It was only good when smeared on the bread, which was doused in garlic & butter.

Main Course: I had the buccatini alla carbonara. It was the best of the 3 courses. The pasta was cooked perfectly and there was a perfect amount of sauce. The sauce was creamy and well flavored with the pancetta and cheese.

Dessert: This was the butterscotch budino (basically pudding). It was creamy, but just blah. Pudding isn't my dessert of choice. The mini beignets were bland and had to be smothered in pudding to taste good.

I would not come back to Forte to eat. I think the menu verbiage makes the food seem much more unique than it actually is. The service should have been much better. The food was decent, but not worth the price (even though it was only $30). The best part was the wine, and I would only come back to sit at the bar and indulge in another flight or one of their cocktails.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Taste Test Tuesday: Amy's Pizza

On my quest for "healthy" junk food, I stumbled upon Amy's Organic personal size Margherita Pizza. It looked pretty good, so I decided to give it a try.

Serving Size: 1 Pizza
Calories: 360
Total Fat 17g
Sodium 720mg
Total Carbohydrate 47g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 4g
Protein 16g
Rating: 4 out of 5

I took it out of the box and was slightly disappointed. Where was the cheese? It seemed like there was way less cheese on the pizza than was shown in the picture. But the size of the pizza looked good, perfect for one person. In to the oven it went. I opted for the crispier crust, so I placed the pizza directly on the rack.

The pizza was ready after about 9 minutes. The aromas were great and I was more than ready to dig in. The crust was tasty. It had good flavor (not bland like alot of frozen pizzas). It was also crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. The sauce had a hint of garlic and tasted like the main ingredient, tomatoes. Overall, it was very well seasoned. The only disappointment was the lack of cheese, but the rest of the flavors made up for it somewhat. If it had a little more cheese I would have given it a 5.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Creme Brulee for the Holidays

I'm proud to announce I'm officially a member of Florida Foodies Restaurant and Travel Magazine! It's a great blog that highlights innovative recipes and fun destinations all over Florida.

My first contribution is a great recipe I came up with, Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee. Be sure to check it out!