Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year of Cooking with Anne

Here is a list of some of my favorite and most memorable moments from my third year here at Cooking with Anne:

The Cornbread Gospels Book Review - I just love this book and think it deserves another look.

Because falling three stories and nearly dying wasn't enough for my husband... HERE.

Book Review: 101 Easy Peasy Cookie Recipes . Made cookies from this two days ago - again. You really need this book.

Simon and Garfunkel Roast Chicken. No need to say more on this.

Stock and sauce making 101 - chicken, vegetable, beef and brown.

Cooking with Anne gets a new look.

Nacho Mama's Tortilla Soup

Butterflied Shrimp on Coconut Risotto with Avocado, Lime and Cilantro Cream

I get a lot of hits in for this: Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

Mango Egg Rolls with Cardamom Devonshire Cream

More hits than anything else: Sweetie Pie's Macaroni and Cheese

Making Cream Puffs


Fried Squash Blossoms

The Cooking with Anne Video

I turned 40

Making Pasta

My New Blog - A Thousand Soups

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

Not a bad year considering all that's gone on. Looking forward to my fourth wonderful year with you all!

Veggie Wednesday: The Lehigh Valley Food Co-op

Did you know there was a food co-op in the works for the Lehigh Valley? Good stuff, isn't it? I am reprinting here (with permission) the most recent email from the LVFC Board of Directors. If you're interested in a food co-op here, or you know of someone who is, please take a moment and read this through. Thanks!

Hello All,

We, the Board of Directors, have been working hard to get the Lehigh Valley Food Co-op up and running. We apologize for the length of this letter, but there is a lot of ground to cover. Some good things are about to happen!


1) A Change of Strategy

2) Our Model

3) How it will work

4) How you can help

1) A Change of Strategy

For several reasons we have decided to change strategies. Rather than pursue an immediate opening of a storefront, we believe it wiser and more fiscally-responsible to take things one step at a time. What does that mean? The opening of a virtual farmers’ market where members can order online and pick up healthy and local food at a site near their home.

Do we still want a storefront? Absolutely. Why then are we not attempting to open one immediately? First of all, it would mean at least six more months of work before any storefront opens its doors. Secondly, with the economy in its present state and considering that we have a widely-dispersed membership, we think it better to begin at a point that will not put us in a significant amount of debt. Lastly, it has always been a part of our vision to service the entire Lehigh Valley; the virtual farmers’ market is a way to do that.

2) Our Model

The model we intend to imitate can be found at This model will help us establish relationships with our members and our member-producers while we raise capital for a physical store-front. Check it out and let us know what you think. We are retooling our business plan to include this model. We are working on our website to include a shopping cart; we anticipate that it will be up and running by the end of February.

3) How it will work

Members will be able to order once per week online through the Virtual Farmers' Market. Each Producer will have their place on the website for members to shop. We aim to have Fruits, Veggies, Meat, Poultry/eggs, Dairy, Bulk Foods, Personal care products, Household/paper goods, and Artisan items. Purchased items will be delivered weekly to an operation center in Macungie. They will be separated according to member and drop-off site. Members will pick up their food from a choice of several pick-up sites, located across the Lehigh Valley. We aim to make this convenient for people's work schedules. For those who cannot pick up their orders, we hope to allow for a direct drop-off (home delivery), albeit with some extra charge.

4) How you can help

Take a survey!

As we would like this part of the Co-op to be representative of your wants and needs, please take this survey about the Virtual Farmers’ Market:

Donations are now tax-deductible!

We have been approved by the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Sustainable Communities to have them be our fiscal agent for like-minded sustainable community efforts. The Alliance has agreed to oversee grants and tax-deductible donations given to the Lehigh Valley Food Co-op that are aligned with their purpose.

Drop-off Locations!

If you know of a place that would like to be a drop-off location, we would like to know!

Lastly, we welcome anyone with time or ideas to share.

Thanks for your patience,

The Board of Directors
Lehigh Valley Food Co-op

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chorizo Eggs

Here's a good in-between-holidays dish. It's not very heavy, uses few ingredients and doesn't contain turkey OR ham. Really, some of us just can't take any more leftover recipes. Chorizo can be purchased either cooked - where the consistency is close to pepperoni - or uncooked like any other sausage. I used uncooked for this one, but I really prefer the cooked sticks of chorizo. Go with what you like.

Chorizo Eggs
Serves 3-4
Printable Recipe

8 eggs - beaten
1/2 pound ground chorizo
1/4 cup sliced green onion (aka scallions or spring onions)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and brown chorizo. Drain if needed and add eggs, cheese and onion. Stir until eggs are cooked but not dry. Serve with warmed flour tortillas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Win Ferrero Chocolates and Help Fight Hunger

Ferrero Chocolates and Share Our Strength, a leading hunger-relief organization have teamed up for the second year in a row with Share Something Sweet to help fight hunger.

So far this year Ferrero has donated $150,000 to Share our Strength and is offering the chance to the rest of us to add to it. Simply log on to Share Something Sweet and send a customizable e-card to friends or family and Ferrero will donate $1 per e-card sent, up to $10,000. You can alos log-in to Facebook and for each person that joins the Ferrero Facebook page, "Ferrero Lovers Unite", Ferrero will donate yet another $1 to Share our Strength (up to $1,000).

Click on the links above to help get Ferrero up to their goal!

Here's the truly sweet part, for each person who clicks out of this page to any one of the links above (yes, I can check that you have done so) AND leaves a comment, he or she will be in the running for one of two Ferrero Chocolate Christmas Tree gift boxes! Sweet.

PLEASE leave your email so I can contact you if you are the winner. Contest ends at 12:00 AM January 1st, 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Veggie Wednesday: Zōe's Granola

Zōe Foods may be small, but they're packing some serious flavor and goodness. Take their granola's for example; We taste-tested all three flavors - Cranberries Currants, Honey Almond and Cinnamon Raisin.

Unlike other granolas, which are mostly made up of oats, nuts and dried fruit, Zōe's has these great little soy crisps and rice crisps that make the crunch a whole different experience. Not only is the flavor and crunch awesome, these granolas are chock-full of protein, fiber and Omega-3's, low in sodium and wheat and dairy free.

Here's a tiny excerpt from a conversation I had with my 7 year-old daughter over breakfast one morning:

Katie: Why does the box say, "All Day Energy"?

Me: Because it has a lot of stuff in it that's good for you.

Katie: But, it tastes good!


Try out Zōe's for yourself at , online at or at the retailers listed HERE.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Constant Comment Muffins

Everyone has heard of the popular Bigelow tea, Constant Comment. To be perfectly honest, bad pun intended, it's not my cup of tea. In fact, if it were the only tea on earth, I simply wouldn't drink tea. My family, however, are all quite enamored with the amber brew and drink it like there's no tomorrow. There's no accounting for palates being passed on, is there?

At any rate, when I was devising muffins for my most recent post (Morning Muffins) I decided to see if I could come up with a muffin that would taste like the tea my family so adores. These are those muffins.

Constant Comment Muffins
Makes 12
Printable Recipe

1 cup sour milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple pie spice (allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 cup instant oats
1 cup finely diced apple

Combine milk, orange juice, sugar, oil, extract, egg and zest. Blend well. Sift wheat flour, oat flour, spice, soda and powder. Add to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in oats and apple. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F for or until tops spring back when touched.

Earth Bound Farm Cookbook Winner!

We have our winner for the Earthbound Farm Food to Live By cookbook - reader growingupartists will be receiving a copy of this fantastic book. Congrats to you and thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Emergen-C Kidz; Just in Time

It's that time of year again! No, not holiday cheer and all that; I'm talking about the sick-kid time of year. My kids have already had one (very long) bout with a virus and I'm shoring them up so they don't fall prey to another one floating by as they head out to school each day.

How so? Emergen-C Kidz. This isn't your run-of-the-mill character shaped vitamin, it's a fun, fizzy and tasty drink that the kids actually like to take. Simply mix a single packet in 4 to 6 ounces of water, depending on your child's tastes, and that's it! They drink it up like it's any other carbonated beverage without really thinking twice about the good it's doing for them.

We tried all three flavors, Strawnana Berry Blast, Orange Pineapple Explosion and Cherry Yumberry and according to the kids, each was as good as the next.

Emergen-C is produced by Alacer Corporation, which has been around for quite some time - since 1972 to be exact. The Emergen-C products were introduced on 1978 and have had a huge success rate. Emergen-C has been used and trusted by adults since that time - it just makes sense for this newest product to be available to children ages 4 and up.

I know as a mother that I really appreciate having this available for my kids. Give it a try - your kids will certainly let you know if they like it or not, and their overall health will tell you that it's doing its job.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Veggie Wednesday: Piccolo Foods

Piccolo Foods new pestos, spreads and tapenades are perfection in a little container. I will free you to read the official press release, but I must tell you that these are absolutely fabulous.

I was able to try Spinach Feta Dip, Artichoke Pesto, Green Olive and Almond Pesto and Green Chili Smoked Gouda Spread, and each one was exactly like homemade; perfectly flavor-balanced, preservative free and organic - which means there was no chemical or 'off' flavors going on at all. I can't count the times I've purchased pre-made pestos and the like and been very disappointed in the mass-produced taste.

The Green Chili and Smoked Gouda Spread and Spinach Feta dip went so fast I was left wishing I had another container. The Gouda Spread was perfect on a toasted bagel as well as with crackers. I used the Artichoke Pesto on fettuccine and it was velvety and smooth and so flavorful. The Green Olive and Almond Pesto was perfect on penne and I even had little ones begging for more. I'll be looking for these to serve on Christmas day - and you should, too!

Piccolo Foods Introduces First Line of Artisanal Pestos, Spreads and Tapenades

New Products Are Designed to Enliven Home-cooked Meals and Entertaining

Lafayette, Colo., Dec. 3, 2008 – Piccolo Foods, a new brand of artisanal, preservative-free dips, pestos, spreads and tapenades, are being introduced in specialty foods markets and grocery stores throughout New York City, New Jersey, Colorado and New Mexico starting today.

Available in 16 varieties, Piccolo Foods’ products are the latest offering from Tellory Inc., the same company that produces the successful Ciolo Foods line of all-natural pestos, spreads and tapenades sold exclusively in Whole Foods Markets.

The Piccolo Foods product line combines healthy, high-quality, sustainably produced ingredients in convenient, recyclable packages. Combinations include Spinach Feta Dip, Artichoke Pesto, Green Olive and Almond Pesto, Green Chili Smoked Gouda Spread, Santa Fe Pimento Cheese, Kalamata Artichoke Tapenade and “Tzing!” a Roasted Asian Eggplant spread.

All products are hand-crafted in the company’s modern and comfortable plant just outside the city of Boulder, Colorado.

"These products are designed to help today's time-constrained home cooks create restaurant-quality meals and parties quickly and inexpensively," said Mallory Kates, who co-founded Piccolo Foods in 2008 with business partner Curt Tellam. "The current economy means that more people will cook and entertain at home, and our products give them a creative shortcut."

The first retailers to carry the Piccolo Foods line include King Soopers in Colorado; Fairway, Zabar’s, Westside Markets, Amish Markets and Zaytuna Market, all in the New York City area; Kings Super Markets in New Jersey and Eldorado Supermarket in New Mexico.

Piccolo's products have a shelf-life of 30 to 60 days and a retail price ranging from 4.99 to $5.99. All Tellory Inc. products are created with a commitment to protecting the environment. The company uses biodegradable plastic containers and has a company-wide recycling program. Serving suggestions and recipes can be found at

About Tellory Inc.

Tellory a Colorado-based company founded in 2006 as Chello Foods. The company sells its Ciolo line of preservative-free, artisanal pestos, dips and spreads exclusively to more than 100 Whole Foods Markets nationwide. In December 2008, the company launched its second brand, Piccolo Foods, an equally healthy, natural line of hand-crafted tapenades, spreads, dips and pestos, in key U.S. regions. Co-founders Curt Tellam and Mallory Kates take special pride in the fact that they not only source their own ingredients, their company also manufactures every product from its own facility in Boulder County, Colorado.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas Memories, Part One

This year marks the 40th Christmas I will have had in my life. That's a lot of Christmas. I certainly don't remember them all, but there are a few that really stand out in my memories and I wanted to share them.

I've found that the leaner the holiday, the better it was, so I'm hopeful that this year will be a good one. We've never gone without, but we've been so close on many occasions to having nothing at all and those were the times that we witnessed real miracles.

I don't remember even one Christmas before I lived in Pennsylvania. We moved here when I was 4 and shortly after that my parents separated and eventually divorced. Prior to that we'd lived in North Carolina, Indiana and the state I was born in, Michigan. Although there were 5 of us kids, not long after mom and dad's split two of my brothers went to Michigan to live with dad and 3 of us, oldest, youngest and middle-child, all stayed here with mom.

My oldest brother took on a sort of fatherly role that he has never quite lost for his siblings and was a very large part of every Christmas. He was allowed to hole up in mom's room and wrap gifts until his fingers cramped. He was quite good at it and he took charge when it was time to hand out gifts. We always exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve and always one at a time. He also helped with the tree - always a 4 foot tall tree that sat on a small round table in our front window. Mom and Bobby would decorate painstakingly so that everything was symmetrical. The house was decorated impeccably, the food my mother made was nothing less than perfect; Christmas was looked forward to very much in our home.

I still remember the year I got my favorite doll, My Baby Beth - it was also the year my youngest brother, Sean, got his Spider-man action figure and helicopter. Really cool stuff for way back then. One year in particular I wanted a Barbie styling head. I wanted that more than any other gift ever. I was not a child to ask for things over and over or to let it show that I was upset if I didn't get what I wanted. So, when the gifts had all been passed out and she was not there, I did my best not to do exactly what I wanted to do - cry.

Just as we were cleaning up, my brother came down the stairs from mom's room with another unwrapped gift. Mom said, "Oh, look! I guess we forgot a gift." I was swoony over that silly plastic head of hair, but just like My Baby Beth, I can still recall the way it smelled and how soft the ultra-blonde hair was and how not-as-easy-as-the-commercials it was to get make-up on it.

My childhood Christmases were never of the too-much kind. We didn't have a lot and mom sometimes just did as much as she could with what she had. She had remarried, but my step-dad was a steelworker and didn't make a king's wage. Other than that baby doll and doll head, my two other favorite gifts were a beautiful pink sweater my mother had actually gotten at a thrift shop and then packaged beautifully for me, and a clear cased Mickey Mouse watch. I really wish I still had all four gifts, but what I'm really grateful for is the memories I still have of them.

I'll be sharing a few more stories soon, so please check back.