Monday, February 7, 2011

You Heard Me, It's a Belgian Chocolate Giveaway!

Though I haven't actually filled it out myself, the creepy snoop in me loves perusing through the "info" section of people's Facebook profiles.  The other day, I came across a friend who I hadn't spoken to in probably 20 years.  If you haven't spoken to someone in that long, are they still considered a friend?  In any case, she listed a "things I love" section which really made me smile and wonder what I'd put on my own list.

...white wine in the summer, hot chocolate in the winter...wagging doggie tails and running to the dog park...laughing until my stomach hurts...girls weekends and slow weekends with hubby.  giggling babies... ice cream and cake.  Cake and chocolate. ...Chocolate.

Guylian Chocolates
My very unscientific hypothesis states that a majority of you ladies and gentlemen may put chocolate right up there on your list as well.  And if chocolate makes you happy, it's chocolate that I'll give you! Details on the Guylian Belgian Chocolates giveaway at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, I have a great non-chocolate dessert recipe to share.  I'm aiming for sugar overload here, folks.

Apple Pie Bread
Confession time: I have never made any type of fruit pie...not cherry pie, not apple pie, not even the God of all pies: key lime pie.   Something about making homemade pie crust and pastries just thoroughly intimidates me.  Add it to the cooking bucket list, I suppose.  Well, if you're like me and love apple pie but are also dreadfully lazy, this quick bread recipe just might fit the bill.  It's filled with the good things in life - cinnamon, gooey apples and a nice nutty crunch without all the hassle.  If you have a great apple pie recipe that is delicious and not too time consuming to make, please send my way!

Apple Pie Bread
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
4 eggs, beaten
1 21 oz can apple pie filling
1 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (divided)
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and apple pie spice.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, apple pie filling, apple sauce, 1/2 c. brown sugar and canola oil.  Add egg mixture slowly to eggs, stirring until just combined.

2. Divide batter evenly among pans.  Top each loaf with remaining brown sugar and almonds.

3.  Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack.


And now on to the good stuff.  The fine folks at Guylian Chocolates have graciously offered to send one of my awesome readers a Valentine's gift basket of chocolates. They sent me some chocolates to sample, and I must tell you that this stuff is divine.  Just think about this...chocolate seashells with milk, dark and white Belgian Chocolate filled with rich, decadent creamy chocolate praline truffle. um,YEA. Seriously.  If you don't have a Valentine's day gift yet, here's your chance.  Or...if you're selfish like me, you can just keep the chocolates to yourself :)

Guylian Chocolates

Giveaway: Guylian Belgian Chocolates!

Starts today and ends Friday, February 11 at midnight (EST). Winner will be chosen at random through

To enter into the giveaway:
Leave a comment letting me know what truly makes you happy or list your favorite chocolate dessert

Additional Entries can be earned by:
1. Tweeting about this post: Guylian Belgian Chocolate Giveaway @newlywedcook Please RT!

2. Follow @newlywedcook on Twitter, then come back to this page and leave a separate comment telling me you did so. (if you already follow, let me know, that counts!)

3.  Share a link to this post via Facebook or email and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Basil, Mozzarella and Sausage Skewers

As of today, December 20th 2010 I am officially done with Christmas shopping! I must say that this is a new record for me and I pretty much have Amazon and all the ridiculously creative people on Etsy to thank for this year's efficiency.  If you've never been over to Etsy, I suggest you head there right now.  Yes, leave my post - it's ok.  The site's that good and full of amazing presents  :)  How's your holiday shopping progressing this year?

Mozzarella Skewers
With all my newly discovered free time, I'm back in the kitchen.  Though that sounds oddly 1940's domestic I'm happy to get back to baking and into the warmest room in our house.  Seriously, folks.  If you ever find your toes getting cold, just head into the kitchen and bake something.  You'll feel much better about life AND your house will smell good.

Mozzarella Skewers
Today's recipe is easy and perfect for the holidays.  I love this recipe because not only is it Christmas colors, but it also comes together quickly and is an excellent finger food.  All too often, I find myself at a party trying to eat an appetizer and having it fall all over my white clothing.  Who wears white clothing in the winter besides me?  Lesson learned.  Put finger foods on toothpicks to make life easy for klutzes like me!  Unfortunately, not too much "heat cooking" is involved so you'll just need to put some snuggle socks on instead.

1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
12 basil leaves, preferably large
12 toothpicks or short wooden skewers
2 -3 sausage links of your choice

Combine the garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and olive oil in a medium glass bowl. Cover and microwave on high until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Cool. Add the bocconcini and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 24 hours.

Pan fry sausages and allow to cool slightly.  Slice sausages.

Thread a tomato onto a skewer, wrap a bocconcini in a basil leaf and add to the skewer; finish with a sausage

Repeat with the remaining cheese and tomatoes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Safeway Home Delivery Review

I've never thought of myself as a control freak, but when it comes to grocery shopping I must say that I am classic type-A.  I really do love grocery shopping and I have some crazy primal need to pick and choose what goes into my basket.  So, when I was offered the chance to try out Safeway's grocery home delivery service I was both excited and frightened at the same time.  Would I really be able to let a stranger pick and pack my groceries when ahem, there is a Safeway basically across the street from my house?
Safeway Grocery Haul
Along with my control freakness, I tend to be an impulse buyer at the grocery and can't really leave without spending at least $50 so I figured this if anything, this would be a good exercise in purchasing what I actually need. Luckily, the shopping purchase was pretty easy as I picked a recipe (Creamy Lemon Soup with Lamb Mint Meatballs - amazing!) and went to town from there. For good measure I picked out some produce to see what I'd get.

Result? It was a bit hard for me to wait for the groceries to arrive. Luckily, they give you a pretty short window for delivery and my driver was kind enough to call on his way over.  The process was quick and easy and the next time it is too cold for me to leave the house, I'm thinking this ain't too bad of an option.  Finding ground lamb isn't always and easy task so I was happy to be able to order this online and not travel from store to store in search of such an elusively good item.  All in all a great service - one I can imagine would be uber helpful in the big city!

Disclosure: Thanks to Safeway and Foodbuzz for the chance to review. I was not compensated for the review but did receive a stipend to try out their fantabulous service.  The opinions are my own.