Thursday, March 29, 2012

food mamma is two! celebrating with le creuset and a giveaway!

March is full of birthdays including my blog's.  Food Mamma is TWO!  Hard to believe that two years have gone by since that first post. This blog has been so much fun and even more so with the help of my 3 year old.  In fact, to commemorate two years, Q decorated this mini-cake.   Even he knows you can't celebrate a birthday without cake!
A fabulous gift completes a fabulous birthday.  I am happy to announce that Le Creuset is helping celebrate!  One Food Mamma reader will win the  Le Creuset whistling kettle in Marseille, the newly launched colour for 2012.
Performance-focused design, hand crafted in France since 1925, Le Creuset is consistently chosen by leading chefs, restauranteurs and those who refuse to compromise when it comes to cooking.

Colour is synonymous with Le Creuset; a vibrant palette of innovative, contemporary and classic colour schemes allows users to match cookware to their environment, preferences and seasonal celebrations. I'm loving their newest colour, Marseille, a beautiful vibrant blue.

This contest has now closed.  Congratulations to Angee for winning the beautiful tea kettle!

Here's how to win.

1. COMMENT on this post, answering this question: What is your favourite cake flavour?

2.  For an extra entry, FOLLOW both Fareen (@fareenjj) and Le Creuset (@LeCreuset) on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway: "Food Mamma (@fareenjj) is 2! I just entered to win a whistling tea kettle from @LeCreuset and you can too! http://bit.ly/H1VgAH".  Be sure to leave a comment saying that you've done so.

3.  For another entry, LIKE Food Mamma and Le Creuset on Facebook. Be sure to leave a comment saying that you've done so.

Contest closes on April 5th at 11:59pm MST.  Open to residents of Canada.  Winner will be chosen via random.org.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

hot spinach and artichoke dip

One of my favourite things to order when out with friends is spinach and artichoke dip.  The warm dip and the ooey gooey cheese just begging to be picked up with a tortilla chip.  Mmmm.  What better opportunity to try making this dip than for our appetizer party.  I searched for a recipe online and was drawn to this one since it was a lighter version.  With all that cheese, one would never know that it was a healthier option.  The dip was a hit, even with the kids.  Also turned out to be a great late night snack!


Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Adapted from Gina's Skinny Taste 

1 can artichokes, drained
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 small onion, chopped
1 heaping TB minced garlic
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayo
2/3 cup parmesan
1 cup mozzarella
salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and onions.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

happy birthday dad!

Happy Birthday to my dad!!

We celebrated my dad's birthday this past weekend with a surprise party.  We had it at a local indian restaurant and, although they forgot about our party, we managed to get sorted and seated before my dad showed up.  Knowing that my dad hates surprises or any sort of attention, he didn't expect us to celebrate the big 4-9 (wink wink).  He had absolutely no clue but was happy to celebrate with his family.

The coconut cake with nutella was such a hit a few days back, I had to make the same for my dad.  Two layers of coconut cake with a generous layer of nutella holding the layers together.  This was topped with a cream cheese frosting and chocolate.  I got the idea of the maltesers from Alison who had made cupcakes topped with maltesers for the Food Blogger Bake Sale.  The idea of the chocolate fingers came from Pinterest.  It was a fun and easy cake to decorate and everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Navroz Mubarak (Happy New Year)!

March 21st marks the Persian New Year, Navroz (Nowruz). It is a festival celebrated in many Muslim communities and cultures

Sunday, March 18, 2012

an appetizer party - take two

As much as getting older is not fun, I am one of those people that celebrate their birthdays for days.  Celebrations started early with an appetizer party with a few of my favourite people.

Dessert first!  Any good party has to have cake!  I made my favourite coconut cupcakes.  Each cupcake was filled with nutella and topped with buttercream.  It was really fun making the swirl with two colors - easy by placing a purple icing bag and a white icing bag into another icing bag.

The addictive chocolate chip cookies were made on request and were a huge hit.

Appetizers were a joint effort with each couple bringing a couple dishes.  I made kale chips and tested a new recipe, hot spinach and artichoke dip (recipe to come).

Hubby made delicious ribs, lots to keep everyone satisfied.

The L's made delicious stuffed mushrooms which were cheesy with a hint of spice.
They also brought over some chicken and chicken wings which were tossed on the bbq.
The T's made some juicy beef kabobs which were tasty and spicy!  They also brought some sweet corn on the cob, which once bbq'd were smothered in butter and spice.

It was a wonderful evening with great friends.  What else could a girl ask for.

Monday, March 12, 2012

the best chocolate chip cookies

There is nothing more satisfying than a really good chocolate chip cookie and a tall glass of milk.  There are so many great cookie recipes out there but the one I found that was featured both on Patent and the Pantry and Dinner with Julie has become my new favourite cookie. 

With the help of Q, I made this today with the addition of 1/2 cup of pecans.  It was probably a bad idea because the combination of the nuts with the chocolate was too irresistible!

The recipes can be found on Gwendolyn's site here and on Julie's site here.  Definitely give this recipe a try.  Or maybe don't - it's hard to just eat one!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

coconut jam tarts

I was looking for a quick sweet treat to make the other day for a gathering when I remembered my mom's coconut jam tarts.  She's been making these for years and, if you love coconut, these are the perfect indulgence.  It's a great way to use up some of the jam you may have made over the summer and by using premade tart shells, this dessert takes only minutes to prepare.  The combination of the sweet jam with the flaky pastry and the buttery coconut topping is delicious! 

Coconut Jam Tarts

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 cups shredded coconut
35 mini tart shells
jam

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs.  Mix in the coconut.
Place 1/2 tsp of jam at the bottom of each tart shell.  Cover the jam with a spoonful of the coconut mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.

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