Libre Tea and Tea Glass Review

LIbre Review

Hello everyone! I know it has been a bit but I have needed some time off for a bit. Can you believe it is almost March? I can't. This year has already started flying!

I will be having several reviews in the next couple of weeks for products that I have been able to enjoy. I usually only review items that go with my lifestyle but sometimes I like reviewing items that I have never tried before.

Many people know that I enjoy hot beverages. On most occasions I can focus more on coffee and all that is coffee but other times I sit back and relax with some herbal or low caffeinated teas. Lately I have been in my tea moods. I have not been wanting any coffee lately so I have been resorting to my tea collection. Do not get me near a tea shop or else my wallet will be in trouble. There is something about walking into a tea shop and smelling all the different types. Sometimes I think it is an evil ploy so that the customers will continue buying and buying more. Hee hee.

Good thing I do not have a place near me because I can focus on using up the supply of tea bags and loose tea I have. When Libre tea contacted me aksing whether I would be interested in reviewing their Tea Glass and one of their teas, I agreed! How exciting since I had a mug but was not completely satisfied with how the tea became so cold so fast.


Libre tea glasses are special and amazing. The brand I received has an polycarbonate exterior that is BPA-free and a glass interior. It keeps the tea hot a long time and it has an stainless steel filter where the loose tea leaves can steep. I like traveling in style because as I let it steep. I placed it in my purse and walked around with it. It is leak-proof too!

The other wonderful thing about this glass is that I also do not need to keep the filter attached to the glass. I can drop a tea bag and our hot water and go. I am looking forward taking a delicious concoction with me on my next concert.


Libre tea also sent me some samples of their organic Ming Mei green tea. It is a high quality tea from a specific province in China. I first placed hot water into the tea glass and then screwed on the filter. I then poured the 3 grams of loose tea into the filter and placed the lid on top. I flipped the tea glass over and let it steep according to the packaged directions. I was happy to know I could use the teas at least 2 other times.

The green tea was lovely and not too strong. I usually do not put sweetners into my tea so I enjoyed it as is, in its pure form. I cannot wait to try it again and with other loose teas.

If you get a chance, check out Libre's site. They have different type of tea glasses, even ones that have both a glass interior and exterior!


Banana Jazz Bars


What a weekend! I cannot believe that it went from mostly all snow melting to 1 foot of snow and all covered up!

Ryan spent enough time this morning shoveling snow in order for him to get to school on time and I spent an hour finishing the other part. I found out my gym was closed today due to the weather so I thought, what a better way to exercise? Wow, the snow was light but it was packed in! A foot of snow looks so different from a far, but all I can say that it is done!

My voice came back in time this past weekend in order for me sing with the Holland Chorale. It was a fantastic performance! I was working in increments, or at least my voice was, since I finally got my high notes back the day of performance. It is incredible the amount of warming up the voice needs after being sick and on vocal rest after 2 weeks.

I am just happy that I was finally able to sing. I learned so much about myself in the last week and a half. I love singing and I cannot do without it. I was told that I was not going to be able to sing or that I should not sing for the performance since I was dealing with a bit of laryngitis but it was pretty much cleared by.Saturday. Thank God! I was drinking ginger teas and lotd of warm beverages and slightly warming up my voice. All in all, I was super thankful to be able to contribute to the performance.

We finally arrived home after a couple of day and truly had a restful Sunday. Sometimes it is hard to realize that Sunday IS a day of rest so we actually rested. I prepared a bit for the week and decided to bake. There is nothing like baking after a week off. I have been mostly cooking lately and resting from all the baking but I noticed some dark bananas that called my name. I really had a hard time trying to think of something different to make with them.


I finally came around to a site called Omnomicon featuring Banana Split Blondies. They looked very intriguing and easy to veganize. While I decided to change the recipe around I made sure I read the comments to see if anyone had anything to say about the results. There were several people that let the author know that her recipe did not really come out like blondies. I was not dissuaded. I still wanted to see how they came out.

The result of my veganized and adapted version came out to be more like a cake, bar, and blondie,all in one, What is a person supposed to name a recipe that is a bit like the three? I asked some people on my Facebook page and got some funny responses. Cablondie? Blake? Cacophony bars? It was realy humorous.

I finally decided to go with Ryan's suggestion, calling it a Banana Jazz Bar. It is a bar and it is jazzed up with crushed peanuts, lots of bananas, and my favorite, dark chocolate chips! These bars came out very moist and made the house smell delicious. Ryan said he loved the smell of baked goods with bananas. You will really need to try this! It is a keeper and different than your all-around banana bread. Enjoy!


Banana Jazz Bars

print recipe

makes 12 bars

½ cup Earth Balance margarine (1 stick), softened
⅔ cup palm sugar
⅓ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 flax “egg” (1 Tbsp flax seed meal + 3 Tbsp water)
2 cups Bob's Red Mill whole wheat white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
½ cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixer, cream margarine and sugars, then add vanilla, mashed bananas and flax "egg".

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Add to the banana mix and stir until well combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and peanuts.

Spread into well-greased 9×13 glass pan. Bake 35 minutes, and allow to cool completely before cutting. Cut into 12 squares and enjoy with a glass of almond or coconut milk!


Blogger Foodie Exchange and E-book Update


I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! My husband got me these beautiful flowers early in the morning. Seems as though he had been hiding them from me! Stealthy indeed.

We decided that we were not going to cook but instead we were going to be bold and try a new restaurant in the area. IF you have not heard me say this before, Michigan does not have the greatest Mexican food resturants. Ryan's favorite place to go in Texas is Pappasitos, but we had yet to find something as comparable.

We had noticed in the past year that our neighbors seemed to work at a local Mexican joint but it did not look too appealing. Well, of all days, it appealed to us. The verdict? Ryan had the BEST fajitas he has had in a while. I had bean enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and sauteed mushrooms and spinach on top. They created that dish for me. They were really nice too! I was able to order some horchata, a great rice beverage popular in Mexico. All in all, we had a great experience, so much so that Ryan is already asking when we can go again! ha ha ha

After our dinner we went to see Gnomeo and Juliet. Ryan was very suprised it was more entertaining than he thought. Thank you to husbands who allow their wives to make movie choices. Actually, there weren't other choices that were great. We were very suprised that the movie was assisted by Elton John. It had a lot of his songs so then it made sense he was the executive producer. Go watch it. There are many funny moments.

On another note, the next day, I received a nice package from Amber from Almost Vegan. We have gotten to know each other very well through our blogging experiences and we have been supportive of each others endeavors, so when we talked about getting some goodies to each other, I was on it! Actually I was late on getting mine out but it was nice to get hers first. Here is what I got!

It was very nice to get some raw goodies from Amber. The raw macaroons are so delicious! Most importantly, I cannot wait to try the Fennel Blood Orange Tapenade! Yes, I know!  Thank you Amber for sending me some delicious goodies and other lasting goodies too.
It has been a while since I have updated everyone about my upcoming cookbook e-book. Thank you for being patient for those who pre-ordered, but I should be finished by my birthday, March 4th. It has been a little harder getting things together since being sick, keeping the day job going, and keeping a sane daily life in order that the completion of the e-book has taken longer than I wanted to.
Here are a few pictures of what will be featured in my e-book, just so you know what to be expecting.

Healing Miso Udon Soup

Zucchini-Carrot Salad

Sloppy Joeless over Greens

Tempeh Taco Meat Nachos

Fennel & Garlic Hummus Bruschetta
Do I have anyone that is intrigued by the rest of the recipes? Thank you for all your support and for reading this blog. It has been such a great experience for me as a singer and cook to be able to be healthy and creative with all the meals and dishes.

Singing update: I am on vocal rest for now. I am on an antibiotic and I have been told to keep quiet for the next week and a half. It has been frustrating to know that after a year and a half of not getting sick that it hits me pretty hard this time. I thank God for the opportunity to stay still but at the same time it is hard not to feel guilty not being able to perform in the performances I committed to. Such is life and I am taking it one day at a time.

One last note: If you had a choice, what else would like to see on Opera Singer in the Kitchen?

Oh and yes! Please consider voting for my Pomegranate-Coconut Cupcakes with Pomegranate Frosting for the POM contest! Thanks!


So Delicious Coconut Milk Coupon Winners!

Thank you to all who entered! We had 139 entries. I hope that everyone get to try this product even though they did not win today, but hey you have a chance to win at So Delicious's Facebook page. They are having 100 days of giveaways and you have a chance to win something there. GO check it out!

Here are the following 5 winners who will each get a coupon for a free product of their choice.

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan
Liz @veganfoodrocks
Amanda @BakingWithoutABox
Lindsay @ LindsayKaufman
Tanya  @TanyaTheViolist

Please email me your mailing address and I will send that out to you! Thank you for playing!


Dark Chocolate Cake Truffles


I tried something new this year and decided to make a quick recipe for cake truffles. When I came across Jessica's post, from How Sweet It Is, for her Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake and Pink Velvet Cake Truffles, I knew I finally had to try making something fun like this.

How to make this vegan, you might ask? Well, I had some leftover Tofutti cream cheese and I had some Naturally Nora cake mix. If you are not familiar with this product, throw away your Betty Crocker cake mix, go the store and buy one of these mixes.

This particular mix is made with unbleached wheat flour and no artificial ingredients and it is vegan when you use non-dairy milk and an egg substitute to make the cake mix. Even though I like making my own cake, I like using this cake mix when I want something quick. I can rely that it will have natural ingredients with my added vegan ingredients. Simple!
What about the chocolate part? Super simple. I placed 2 bars of my favorite dark chocolate bars in a double boiler and melted them.

I finished the process at a friend's house so she was my tester. I had already baked the cake and and cooled it, then I added the cream cheese and some vanilla extract.I refrigerated them and then finished the dipping and sprinkling at my friend's house. She could not wait to try them and we both tasted them and we liked them alot!


I know some of you do not prefer dark chocolate but this did not taste as dark as it would taste if you were having a square of it. One was enough too! Well, 1 1/2! The rest go to my friend's grandkids, which I am sure they will enjoy! I thank her for letting me use her Valentine's roses for a backdrop too!

Hopefully you can find sometime to have fun making these with your kids or for a party. They are fun and easy. Some people even prefer to freeze thes cake truffles so try them half and half. Happy weekend!


Dark Chocolate Cake Truffles

print recipe

makes 20 truffles

Half a 20.3-ounce box Naturally Nora's cake mix (use any kind)
4 ounces Tofutti cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 -3.5 ounce Equal Exchange Organic Very Dark Chocolate Bars (about 71% dark)
sprinkles for decorations

Bake the cake with half the amount of additional ingredients it asks for. Bake in a round 9'inch pan according to directions. Cool cake completely after it has baked.

Leave Tofutti at room temperature while the cake is baking. Crumble the baked cake into a medium bowl and add the vanilla extract and cream cheese and mix with hands.

Form into 20 balls and place on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight or freeze. If you want a softer bite then refrigerate, if not then freeze.

Line another baking sheet with parchment, wax paper or foil to be ready to place finished truffles.

The following day, break the chocolate bar into segments and place in a double boiler. Start simmering water and let the chocolate completely melt. Using a large fork, place one cake ball at a time into the melted chocolate, and remove when the ball is completely covered in chocolate.

Place each ball on the sheet and repeat the same process leaving about an inch between each ball the prevent sticking or mess-ups. Add sprinkles after dipping 4 cake balls as the chocolate quickly hardens.

Place balls in the refrigerator or freezer for 1 to 2 hours and then feel free to devour! ENjoy!

These were recently made by Erin at The Healthy Apron and featured on Tasha's post for Valentine's Day at The Clean Eating Mama.


Spicy Tomato Alfredo Pasta {Tex-Mex Style}


I do not know if you are a little sugar-ladened with all the sweets being posted as ideas for Valentine's Day but I thought it was time to post a meal idea for those staying home for Valentine's Day.

Lindsay over at Cook.Vegan.Lover posted a great contest challenging her readers to come up with a special dish in either the appetizer, entree, or dessert category. Not only were we to come up with an idea, but it had to be Fiery and Vegan! Fiery? I thought of  the word spicy, so I quickly had to come up with something.

Well I sure did wait to the last minute because tonight is the deadline! What is a girl with a day job have to do to get things done around here?? Do not answer that. he he he.

Ryan mentioned to me last night that it had been quite a while since we have had Mexican fare, so after he said that an idea came to mind. All I kept on thinking were nachos, which was not a logical Valentine's dinner but then I kept on thinking about the fake cheesey Velveeta I used to eat as a younger adult.
Did I use to eat that stuff? Yes. I know there are still many that eat that now but if you look at the ingredients, you will realize that there is a lot of fake stuff in that. Anyway, we would eat it on Sunday evenings over nachos. Why the heck did this come to mind? Why was I craving this cheesy crap?


I created a creamy tomato alfredo with a hint of cheeziness that quickly became like Mexican queso but more in a pasta sauce form. I normally added a can of Ro*tel to the Velveeta along with some green chilis so this is exactly what I did with the sauce. I blended up cashews and coconut milk to make the alfredo base and then added spices.

Do not be afraid of the spice factor. I do note how you can decrease the spice for those with sensitive palates but for those who still want to enjoy a Tex-Mex dish. How about stirring up the heat on the dinner table?  {Get your heads out of the gutter} I meant, how about make each other's noses run as you enjoy this delicious dish?

I really like brown pasta but if you or your loved one is like my Ryan, you can always substitute for a different non-gluten-free pasta. Make sure to add a big green salad to this dish. I also add 2 options for more protein to this dish but if you want simple, here you have it.  Thanks Lindsay for a great contest!

Please go and vote for my recipe at Lindsay's site Cook.Vegan.Lover  Thanks!


Spicy Tomato Alfredo Pasta {Tex-Mex Style}

print recipe

serves 4-6

Tomato Alfredo sauce
1 cup raw cashews
¾ cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, or non-dairy milk
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 6 pieces)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ cup nutritional yeast
3 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons miso paste
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder, or regular chili powder*

Additional Ingredients12 ounces Lundberg brown rice penne pasta, or other pasta
½ cup cilantro, chopped
4 ounce can green chilis, chopped
12 ounces Ro*tel Original Tomatoes
1 10-ounce can blackbeans (optional)

*This amount of spice was spicy but bearable. This is perfect for those who like spicy! If you want a medium spice, then reduce the cayenne pepper to ⅛ or ¼ teaspoon.

Cook pasta according to packaged directions. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

Add all the sauce ingredients to a high-powered blender (Vitamix or Blendtec) and blend until all the ingredients are blended and smooth.

Drain pasta, placing the pasta back in the pot . Add the sauce, the green chilis, the can of Ro*tel and cilantro. Heat on low until the sauce has heated properly so that this will prevent from pasta sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Enjoy with a big green salad.



Shredded BBQ "Chicken" Baked Potatoes


Thank to those who helped me make a decision on what to post today. As I prepare recipes for the e-book, other recipes are piling up that I would like to share with everyone.

This past weekend, I really did not feel like cooking since my cold had taken a hold  of my body. {Can you imagine that one?} I asked Ryan what he would like to eat and with a glimmer in his eye he told me he wanted BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes.

Did I mention my husband is not vegan? So, yes, if you did not know I cook meat for him at least 3 to 4 times a week because he then will eat everything that I prepare the rest of the time that is vegan. I have a supportive husband and while I have not had perfect vegan or veganized dishes, he will eat what I prepare.

So as I nodded at his request for BBQ Chicken, he then asked me, "What are you going to eat?" I thought about BBQ Tofu in potatoes and somewhat cringed and then I remembered I had a $1 off coupon to try one Gardein product. I promptly went to Kroger and looked around.


I know Gardein has been around but it takes me a while to warm up to packaged vegan meats despite the attractive packaging that Gardein has for each product. Having a coupon really helped me make up my decision since most of their products range from $3.99 to $5.69 from the stores I go to.

I quickly saw the BBQ Pulled Shreds and knew that that was the perfect thing for my Baked Potato dish. I really try to limit the amount of seitan that I eat so I knew this was the perfect time since it had been a while since I had eaten it. With the coupon, I paid $2.99! I could not wait to try it. While this product is NOT gluten-free, I know that it is vegan, so that is important. Here are the ingredients:

gardein™ pulled chick'n: water, soy protein, vital wheat gluten, natural flavors (from plant sources), pea protein, carrot fiber, organic beet root fiber, organic evaporated cane juice, yeast extract, sea salt. bbq sauce: water, organic evaporated cane juice, tomato paste, dijon mustard, potato starch, spices, expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil, apple sauce, garlic, onion, molasses, sea salt, black malt, natural liquid hickory smoke, white vinegar.

Ryan baked the potatoes and made a nice salad so that I could take a nap, since I had spent 3 hours running errands and buying groceries whilst being sick (not good). My husband is such a sweetie! He really makes the best salads and adds so many goodies.


I woke up and it was nearly time for the potatoes to be ready. I quickly warmed up the BBQ Chicken and the BBQ Pulled Shreds and took out some Earth Balance and Daiya Cheese. This meal was SO GOOD! I have not had BBQ Baked Potatoes since Texas and I was quite satisfied! The great thing about this Gardein product is that it is low in calories and high in protein.


BBQ "Chicken" Baked Potatoes

print recipe

serves 2

2 large organic russet potatoes,washed and scrubbed
coarse kosher salt
olive oil
1 package Gardein Pulled Shreds
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar or mozzarella shreds
3 Tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
vegan sour cream (optional)
green onions (optional)
black pepper to taste
additional BBQ sauce needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly.

Poke each potato numerous times with a fork (for potato to cook evenly)

Rub each potato with olive oil and rub kosher salt over the poato. Place the potatoes directly on the middle rack and a pan under that rack in order to catch drippings. Cook for an hour and 10 minutes or until a fork goes through the potato easily.

Heat BBQ Pulled Shreds according to packaged directions. Slice each potato lengthwise and add Earth Balance and 1/4 cup Daiya shreds. Add optional toppings if wanted and then add half the BBQ shreds.

The potatoes really do not need salt because the skins are salted and give the even seasoning, but salt your potato if you need it. Enjoy!

By the way! Remember this Electric Green Cocktail? It is MSU-inspired and part of a CONTEST. Please vote for me. Polls open until Feb. 15th! Thanks everyone! http://marxfood.com/szechuan-button-cocktail-recipes/



So Delicious Coconut Milk Giveaway [5 winners]

As you know, I am a big fan of So Delicious Coconut Milk. Before they came on the scene, I was not really wild about rice milk, but I really enjoyed almond milk. I had removed soy milk because it seemed to exacerbate my migraines, so I was left with few options.

When it came to ice cream, I really enjoyed the Rice Dream treats that are individually sold at health markets but other than that, I really never indulged or was happy with the soy ice cream products. It was too much of an acquired taste and my tastebuds did not want to acquire them. he he he

In comes So Delicious Coconut Milk and I was convinced that there was something just as nice and smooth as milk. In my pre-vegan days, I enjoyed an occasional cup of milk, despite knowing I was lactose-intolerant. I suffered the consequences.

So what is my go-to product for a non-dairy substitute? Most definitely, So Delicious. I do keep a half gallon of So Delicious Coconut Milk and Almond Milk in my fridge at all times just to have variety, but I really enjoy using the coconut milk for my coffee, baking, cooking and smooothies.

Here are a few recipes I have made using So Delicious or that have included So Delicious products:

Mushroom Medley over Greens and Creamed Butternut Squash

Ultra Fudgy Moist Brownies

Apple Dumplings (Gluten-free) with Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream

Feel free to check out my So Delicious tab on the side bar for MORE recipes!

The company has been generous to send me some more coupons for free products and I want people to have a chance to try this product, whether it is their ice creams, kefir, coconut milk, coffee creamer, or yoghurt, there are so many options.

5 people will have a chance to win a coupon for a FREE product of their choosing. Giveaway is only open to U.S. Readers. Sorry folks, forgot to add this!

Here are ways to enter:

Mandatory entry:  1. What So Delicious product would you buy that you have not tried yet? (check out the link for products)

Extra entries: (Leave an extra entry for each)

2. Follow So Delicious on Facebook. [Tomorrow they start 100 days of giveaways!]
3. Follow So Delicious on Twitter.
4. Follow Opera Singer in the Kitchen on Facebook
5. Follow Opera Singer in the Kitchen on Twitter
6. Subscribe by email or by Google Friend Connect.
7. Tweet the following message "Enter @singerinkitchen giveaway for a chance to win 1 out of 5 coupons for free @So_Delicious products http://bit.ly/hSJnOX "

The giveaway ends Monday, February 14th at midnight, EST. Good luck!


Mini Pomegranate Coconut Cupcakes with Pomegranate Frosting

Pom Cupcakes 3 - Copy

Hi folks. I know it has been pretty quiet around here when it comes to posting. I have been a little sick since last Wednesday adn really trying to get over it. I have not gotten sick over a year so I was suprised when this lower respiratory mess came upon me. Sounds like it is going around and it got to me.

This morning I enjoyed juicing a few fruits and veggies in order to heal. I juiced the following:
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 orange
  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger


This was some great juice! I felt it tingle as it flowed down my throat. I have not been able to sing since I got this mess but I am hoping to be a brand new camper by mid-week.

This past weekend I did not feel much up to cooking so Ryan prepared dinner one night which I will share tomorrow. Super Bowl came around and I decided to make 2 appetizers because I was inspired. I made the Phyllo Party Cups and I also created a NEW cupcake recipe.

Pom Cupcakes 2

Mini cupcakes are always fun and I believe are perfect for parties. These would be perfect for any Valentine's gift or dessert for any party. They are fruity with a touch of tropical flavor with a creamy and fruity frosting. Ryan did all of my taste testing since I was not really eating sugar. I know, wild right? Well, I did taste the cupcake itself and a tad bit of the frosting for flavor, but Ryan did my final taste testing.

These cuties were delicious and popular at the party. They are different that the normal cookies or dessert fare. Take them to your work party and see how fast they go. I added some pomegranate arils inside the cupcakes for a little suprise and crunch. It was lovely. How about the recipe?

Pom Cupcakes

Mini Pomegranate Coconut Cupcakes with Pom Frosting

print recipe
makes 36 mini cupcakes or 18 regular cupcakes

Cupcake batter
1 cup So Delicious vanilla coconut milk, or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup POMegranate juice
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup pomegranate arils (peeled pomegranate)
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (for decorations)

Pomegranate Frosting
1/4 cup POMegranate juice
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
10 Tablespoons Spectrum All-Vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 24 count mini muffin/cupcake pan with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl,mix coconut milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 3-5 minutes until it curdles. Add sugar, oil, vanilla extract and Pom juice and mix well.

In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour,baking powder and soda, coconut, and salt.) Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and fold batter well. Add the Pom arils and fold into batter. Pour batter into tins and bake for 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and use the rest of the batter and bake at the same temperature. Meanwhile work on frosting.

In a medium bowl, add POMegranate juice and sift in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and the shortening to mixture and with an immersion blender, blend the ingredient until well incorporated. Use a mixer of an immersion blender is not available. Place frosting into a piping bag with decorative tip and frost cupcakes after they are cooled. Decorate with 1-2 arils.

CSN Gift Card Winner & Allison's Gourmet Chocolate Winner

Thank you all for entering the last 2 contests! There were alot of entries. Random.org did their job this morning and chose two winners for each contest.

The Allison's Gourmet Chocolate $25 Gift Card goes to:

The Vegan Kitchen said...

I have never gotten try anything from Allison's but the Walnut Fudge and Chocolate Orange Fudge both look really tasty.

The $40 CSN Gift Card goes to:

Fanny said...
I would get the black budge task chair

Be on the look out for more giveaways coming soon! There is always a chance to win. Thanks alot for stopping by!


Super Bowl Appetizers {normal dips not included}

I figured I would get with the game and include several of my favorite appetizers for those interested in DIFFERENT options for game day.

Like it or not, food plays a huge part in a party especially when sports are involved.  We have an invitation to go to one of the grad student's home where we will be able to enjoy the game on a 52' plasma. Despite the fact that there will not be a favorite team playing at least we will be able to watch it in HD!

Pace Picante Phyllo Party Cups
From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

One of the appetizers I decided to take was a winning recipe from last year. I have made this recipe several times already and it can be made vegan or non-vegan. I entered it for the PACE Picante Sauce contest on Foodbuzz and won a nice wad of cash for it. Does it mean the appetizer is a winner? Of course!

 It is chips and dip in cupcake form where the chip layer is the phyllo that bakes to a crispiness, and it is filled with a layer of refried beans, cream cheese mixed with Pace Picante, and topped with cheese. I add chicken before the cheese because Ryan requests it but it is delicious without chicken too!

Another favorite of mine are these cute mini empanadas made with whole wheat white flour and filled with 2 different types of filling. You can make your own filling, so be creative! It comes with a Pace Picante guacamole for dipping.

Wild Mushroom Pâté with Crudités
From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

How about some delicious and healthy dips? I know some of you want to have them available or pretend to have something healthy out there, but these do go a long way. They are tasty and flavorful. The Wild Mushroom Pâté with Crudités is super easy to make and can be made with any type of mushrooms not just wild mushrooms. It can be serves with crackers and veggies too!

Parsley Cashew Cheeze Spread
From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

How about a Cheeze Ball? This not a traditional cheese ball with nuts covered the mold but the cheese ball IS made from nuts. The beauty of cashews soaked for hours can create an amazing and delicious cheeze ball that will have people guessing.

Hickory Cheese Stuffed Prunes with Crumbled Tempeh Bacon
Hickory Cheeze-Stuffed Prunes with Tempeh Bacon
How about some other hot bites? I shared these stuffed prunes filled with Wayfare's hickory Smoked Cheeze and crumbled tempeh bacon that prepared for New Year's. These are different but definitely great if you like sweet and salty combinations.

Jumbo Jalapeño Poppers
My last one would be the newest appetizer creation. My Jumbo Jalapeño Poppers are sure to keep you on your feet. There is nothing like having a bit of spice to get those endorphins going!

Whether you try any of these or not, party food is fun to create. Make a different something to impress your friends and family, especially if you can fool them into believing it is all vegan goodness!

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!

REMINDER: Sunday is the last day to enter to $40 CSN Gift Card Giveaway AND the $25 Allison's Gourmet Gift Card. ENter NOW!

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Allison's Gourmet Chocolate Giveaway {$25 Giftcard}

It is that time of the month where the hubbies, boyfriends or special someones plan on getting the perfect box of chocolate or candy for their Valentine. Whether you want to admit it or not, the day is fast approaching and planning is crucial.

If you are looking for a place that makes fine chocolates, sweets and baked goods, Allison's Gourmet is the place to go. This company has been in operation since 1997 and focuses on providing vegan desserts that are organic and use the finest of fair-trade ingredients.

Here are a few samples of the delicious desserts featured on the website:

Cherry Almond Bark

Vegan truffles

Baker's Choice Sampler
You do not have to be vegan to enjoy these great products. You just have to know that you will be tasting some of the best desserts. Allison's Gourmet has featured in Vegetarian Times and on VegNews.

Thanks to Allison who has so generously allowed me to feature a giveaway, a $25 Gift card will be given to one lucky reader, who in turn will be able to use it towards any of the gourmet goodies.

Giveaway Rules and Entry Details

You must leave a SEPARATE COMMENT per entry in order for it to be counted. Please don’t leave all your entries in one comment form because it will be counted as only one entry. More entries translates into more chances to win. And there’s many ways to enter.
Here’s a list of how you can enter to win:
Winner will be selected randomly using the site random.org to select the winning entry.

This contest closes on Sunday, February 6, 2011 at Midnight, 12:00am EST

I will send the winner an e-mail and the gift card code will be emailed by Allison’s Gourmet. This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.
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