Spice up your Summer Grilling

I’d never heard of Coleman’s mustard or COOKINA grilling sheets before I was asked if I wanted to participate in the Summer Blogger ‘Grill – Off’ hosted by COOKINA and Coleman’s Mustard, but I thought who doesn’t love summer grilling and mustard?  I sure do!

Soon enough, my package of goodies arrived at my door.  I received one COOKINA Barbeque Reusable Grilling Sheet, Coleman’s Dry Powder Mustard, and Coleman’s Original Prepared Mustard.  I tasted the mustard immediately.  It looked like plain yellow mustard.  I put a big smear on a cucumber stick and was blown away.  This is no ordinary mustard.  It tastes a lot more like wasabi than a typical mustard.  I checked the ingredients – there is no horse radish!  Just mustard.  Very spicy mustard.

Since the mustard reminded me of wasabi, I thought an Asian marinade would be appropriate.  Then I thought better of my audience.  Not everyone likes such a spice so instead of marinating vegetables, I made a sauce to use as a topping for grilled vegetables.

In past summers, My Mr. and I have grilled frequently.  This summer has been so busy that we’re barely home for dinner and sadly have not used our grill once!  Luckily, my parents had us over to grill.  I took control of the veggie side of the grill and finally had an opportunity to test out my grilling sheet and mustard sauce.

I started with sliced zucchini tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I started with sliced zucchini tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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You can’t even tell, but the COOKINA grilling sheet is on the left side of the grill under the veggies.  I cut the sheet to fit the grill.  I actually read the directions – rare for me, I know – and it said you can cut the sheet.  It also said you don’t need to use any fats when grilling.  Too bad I had already added the olive oil.  The sheet is nonstick and not only suited for grilling, but a replacement for tin foil wherever you may use it in cooking or baking.  I see cookies on a COOKINA sheet in my future.  My favorite part of the COOKINA sheet is not the ease of use or the nonstick surface.  It’s the fact that this sheet can make any grilling surface vegetarian!  I won’t have any meat touching my vegetables!  My parents know this and actually keep the left side of their grill vegetarian for me, but now I can bring this reusable sheet to any barbeque and ensure my vegetables are vegetarian.

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Anything grilled on a COOKINA reusable grilling sheet gets grill marks as if it was grilled directly on the grill.

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My grilled zucchini also tasted just as delicious as if it was grilled directly on the grill.  And this Spicy Mustard Sauce only took it up a notch.  It was a hit with the whole family.

You too can celebrate summer grilling with COOKINA.  The brand is hosting a social media contest and the winner gets a trip to Las Vegas!  Tag your photo featuring COOKINA on Instagram or Twitter with #YesYouCanCOOKINA or upload your photo to their Facebook page to enter to win.  COOKINA is available at Home Depot, and you can visit their website for more information.  The easiest place to buy Coleman’s mustard is Amazon.

Spicy Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1-3 T Coleman’s Mustard, depending on how spicy you like it!

Stir all ingredients together in a dish.  Top your favorite grilled vegetables, meat, or fish.

What have you been grilling this summer?

 

I received COOKINA Reusable Grilling and Sheet and Coleman’s Mustard products for free.  My opinions are my own.

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Brunch at Puritan and Co

Last weekend, Miss Niss had the pleasure of joining the Boston Brunchers for Sunday brunch at Puritan and Co in Inman Square.  It’s been a long while since the last time I brunched with this wonderful group of bloggers, and I was so excited to see Renee organized another brunch at a new-to-me restaurant.

Immediately upon entering Puritan and Co, I made eye contact with the pastry table.

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What other restaurant can you name that even has a pastry table?  The croissants, the donuts…

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I wanted a bite of everything.

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And then I looked up and saw Renee waving to me from the table.  I settled into my seat, chatted with old and new bloggers, and soon enough we had coffee and brunch cocktails.

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The coffee was actually a big weak for my liking, but my mimosa hit the spot.  Our server brought us plates full of each pastry from the pastry table to sample as we enjoyed our brunch beverages.

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Based on looks, I expetect the Boston Cream Donut to be my favorite, however the Dulce De Leche and Coconut Danish blew me away by surprise.  I didn’t think I liked coconut, but combined with the dulce de leche and flaky danish this was a unique and scrumptious pastry.  It was clear that all of the pastries were baked fresh.  The donut, lemon corn muffin, and chocolate cherry blondie were are creative twists to breakfast pastries and had me really looking forward to my main meal.  I actually would’ve been happy to eat this whole plate of pastries as my meal.  Anyone else?

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My Spinach and Cheddar Scramble also surpassed my expectations.  This seemingly simple dish was anything but.  The ratio of eggs, cheddar, and broccoli was perfect and it was cooked thoroughly, just how I like it.  The arugula salad was a light side dish, and the small toast was deceptively well buttered and tasted like fresh homemade bread.  My whole meal was delicious!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to dine at Puritan and Co with the Boston Brunchers and discover a new restaurant to add my brunch rotation.  Thanks for organizing another successful brunch, Renee!

This meal was provided complimentary to the Boston Brunchers.  We only paid a tip.  As always, all opinions are my own.

 

Posted in Blogger Event, Boston, Brunch | Tagged , , , , | 2 Responses

Boston Wine Expo 2014

Back in February, Miss Niss attended the Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport Wold Trade Center.

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I was really excited to check out the Wine Expo for the first time, and to see how it compares to the Mogehan Sun Wine Fest.  After experiencing both events, I can tell you that they are very different.  The Boston Wine Expo is set up in a huge space which allows the wine to be well organized by geographic region, a whole separate section for food vendors, and it never felt crowded even though the room was buzzing with people.

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I love Italian wines, and they were easy to find with the large hanging banners throughout the room.

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The Mr. has a fondness for South American wines, so we split our time between the two sections.  The wines available were high class wines and tasting pours were generous.  We took photos of our favorite bottles, but I don’t recall not liking anything I tasted.  The food at the Boston Wine Expo also set it apart from other wine events.  There was a row of food vendors almost as long as the room.

The truffle popcorn was as good as it sounds

The truffle popcorn was as good as it sounds

This chocolate granola could've used more chocolate!

This chocolate granola could’ve used more chocolate!

Of course I tried the Blonde chocolate - and of course it was delicious with its caramel notes.

Of course I tried the Blonde chocolate – and of course it was delicious with its caramel notes.

A bite of eggplant rolatini from Sebastian's in Revere, MA had me craving more.

A bite of eggplant rolatini from Sebastian’s in Revere, MA had me craving more.

We each made our own spice mixes, thanks to Celebrity Cruises.

We each made our own spice mixes, thanks to Celebrity Cruises.

Even this wine was surprisingly good!

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The most surprising wine I tasted and enjoyed was TY KU Sake.  I never thought of sake as a casual wine that I could enjoy as a whole glass, but TY KU changed my mind.

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The Coconut Sake reminded me of Malibu rum, and I would happily drink this one as a cocktail.

My Mr. and I had a lot of fun drinking our way making our way through the Expo.  We even bought a vacation!  It may not have been our smartest decision to buy a vacation at a Wine Expo, but I don’t think we’ll have any regrets when we’re relaxing in the Berkshires this summer.

When we were ready to leave, we wanted to grab a bite to eat before we headed home.  We meandered across the street to Tamo in the Seaport Hotel.

My veggie tostada was fresh and tasty.

My veggie tostada was fresh and tasty.

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His Tamo Burger was juicy and satisfying.

His Tamo Burger was juicy and satisfying.

The Boston Wine Expo is well worth the ticket price for the experience of tasting so many different wines, chatting with knowledgeable wine connoisseurs, and tasting new foods.

Have you ever been to the Boston Wine Expo?  What’d you think?

 

My tickets for the Boston Wine Expo were complimentary.  As always, all of my opinions are my own.

Posted in Booze, Boston | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A-Tooch Travels: Dubai Part One

Well friends, this may just be the farthest apart TFAW have ever been. Just how far, you ask? For a month-long work assignment, A-Tooch is exploring the Middle East, based out of Dubai.IMG_9015

Hi, Dubai! Burj Khalifa – day and night

While I’d love to go through culinary differences here, what many Americans don’t know about Dubai is that it’s hugely modern and cosmopolitan, with all of the comforts of home. Yes, even a Shake Shack, Eataly and Rosa Mexicano. Aside from the usual traveling quirks (e.g. a turkey + tomato sandwich on a “bagel”…which they buttered…) there really aren’t many culinary differences. Cuisine options are the same, if not more, than our native NYC and Boston. The emirate is composed of about 85% expats, so true local cuisine is hard to come by.

Lesson over. Today’s highlight: beverages. Since the UAE is a strict Muslim country, it’s unlikely you will be having a glass of wine over dinner. (Exception: hotel restaurants and bars) To accommodate a largely dry population, a range of delicious delicious delicious fresh juices, smoothies and mocktails are available all over. I am so in love that I may return a sober woman. Maybe…

IMG_9176 Behold: a ginger, pineapple and mint juice (left) and cooling mango lassi (right)

Stay tuned for Dubai travels part two!

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Celebrating National Pancake Day with Nutella

Today, Tuesday March 4, is National Pancake Day! The Foodies love pancakes and are happy to celebrate this national holiday for a versatile breakfast indulgence. Growing up, Miss Niss had pancakes at home every Sunday, so celebrating National Pancake Day only feels natural.

While I don’t make pancakes every Sunday anymore, I do make them quite often on weekends.  I’ve experimented with a few recipes and a few ingredients, incorporating Greek yogurt or almond milk, but my favorite pancake recipe is the one I used to eat every Sunday at home with my parents. (Thanks, Mom.)

The recipe is from the Joy of Cooking cookbook, and I found it here online. When Nutella offered to send us two jars in order to celebrate pancakes, I knew my go-to buttermilk pancake recipe was the one to use. The recipe is so simple, and the pancakes cook light and fluffy and taste delicious. These buttermilk pancakes are the perfect canvas to “spread the happy” with Nutella. Allow me to introduce Pancake Man.

I'd be grinning from ear to ear if I was wearing a whipped cream suit and hat too!

I’d be grinning from ear to ear if I was wearing a whipped cream suit and hat too!

Pancake Man and Pancake Lady love their whipped cream hairdos,

Pancake Man and Pancake Lady love their whipped cream hairdos.

Even Baldy is happy!

Even Baldy is happy!

A-Tooch and Miss Niss go way back with Nutella. When we were roommates in London, we ate Nutella with everything from ice cream to cookies to, you guessed it, a spoon. We’ve always loved Nutella and are more than happy to celebrate National Pancake Day with Nutella.

As part of Nutella’s “Spread the Happy” campaign, they’d like to spread happiness to one lucky reader. One of you will also receive two jars of Nutella to enjoy with pancakes, waffles, toast, apples, your finger – or however else you’d like to eat it!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment telling us your favorite way to enjoy pancakes. Are you a buttermilk pancake fan? What are your favorite pancake toppings?

The giveaway is open until Thursday, March 6, at 7 PM ET.  One winner will be selected by random draw and notified by Friday, March 7.

Two jars of Nutella were provided complimentary.  As always, all opinions are our own.

Posted in Giveaway | Tagged , , , | 4 Responses

Product Review: Red’s All Natural Burritos

Let’s face it, sometimes we are way too lazy to cook. Work day was long, just want to sit on the couch…we’ve all been there. When the day calls for something from the frozen aisle though, TFAW look for the most flavorful and (sometimes) healthful options out there. reds_chicken_teriyaki_We received some gratis coupons for new-to-us Red’s Natural Burritos. Not the easiest to find in-market, but worth a try if you can get your hands on some.

My favorite was the Chicken Teriyaki — a fresh taste and juicy, savoury combination of ingredients with pulled chicken, veggies and a light sauce. Perfect with some Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque (a personal fav for quick dinner).

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A note for the Miss Niss crew out there: the brand only has a couple vegetarian options, which are even harder to find than the products themselves.

What is your go to food when there’s no time to cook?

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Candied Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese, Mozzarella and Vodka Sauce Pizza

We make a lot of pizza here in Miss Niss’s home, and this pizza using up leftover ingredients is probably the best one to come out of the oven. It has so many ingredients I don’t know what to call it without listing them all, or calling it The Best Leftovers Pizza Ever.

IMG_2501Using some leftover ingredients from the birthday dinner my Mr. cooked me and some ingredients from our Valentine’s Day dinner we cooked together, The Best Leftovers Pizza Ever is topped with fresh sliced mozzarella, chopped candied sweet potato, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and drizzled with creamy tomato vodka sauce. It was so simple and so delicious I just had to share it with you!

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What’s the best pizza to come out of your oven lately?

Posted in Pizza, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The New Crab Rangoons

There are few people who would admit that crab rangoons are their foodie vice. A-Tooch has never been a big fan of Chinese takeout, so this cheesy menu option always seemed to be her out.

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When I saw this recipe to “classify” crab rangoons a bit I knew I had to try it. No deep frying and big pieces of crab I knew would be non-imitation crab meat? That’s a go.

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The New Crab Rangoons
adapted from Frito-Lay

8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. low-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp. Worchester sauce
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
(1) 6 oz. can fancy white crab meat, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely diced
about 24 Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips (whole grain preferred)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, beat together the sour cream, cream cheese, soy sauce and Worchester. Gently fold in the crab meat and green onion and mix until combined. Arrange the tortilla chips onto a cookie sheet, discarding any broken chips, and stuff each chip with the mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops just begin to brown.

The recipe was super easy and delicious, with fresh crab taste. My only advice is to heat and serve immediately as this recipe is neither good cold, nor does it reheat well. Soggy tortilla chip alert!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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