Saturday, October 16, 2010

Foodbuzz Tastemakers: Ghiradelli Luxe Milk Chocolate

As I've mentioned in previous posts, life has been seriously crazy for me lately. I just finished writing my thesis and printed it's about as thick as a phone book! Needless to say, I haven't allowed myself much of a treat in between to celebrate my accomplishments. I just keep....working (sigh).

I was pleased to have a treat delivered to me in the mail, however. It was a sample of Ghiradelli's 100% All Natural LUXE MILK chocolate. Just what I needed! I received the original flavor, almond, and hazelnut flavor. The first one I tried was the almond, which I split with my sweetie. We both loved how the almonds tasted as if they've been toasted, because sometimes you get an almond chocolate and the almonds taste waxy and sort of blah. We also like that it didn't seem to instantly melt to our fingers, like some milk chocolates do. Finally, we both liked that it wasn't offensively sweet. Sometimes milk chocolate can be cloyingly sugary, and the fact that these chocolates were less sweet made them more elegant. My personal favorite was the hazelnut. I love the combo of hazelnut and chocolate for almost any sweet! Finally, the individual wrapping was perfect when you want a little pick-me-up without the temptation of having a big, unwrapped chocolate bar in your pantry, calling your name...

Be sure to look for these coming to your stores, they are seriously good. But Ghiradelli never disappoints!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken, Zucchini, and Parmesan Skillet

As you may be aware, I unfortunately did not make it to the next round in Project Food Blog. It was a real bummer, but I was glad to have at least made it to round 2. I received a lot of great support and feedback, and I am very thankful for that, too. The good thing is it forced me to use my imagination, so I have a whole bunch of recipes I want to try out that otherwise I might not have even thought about. That is, if I ever get time to cook anything elaborate anytime soon...

It's crunch time for me. I defend my thesis in less than a month and all I do is spend my time writing. While I do like to bake to help me deal with stress, I haven't been able to make time for it...mainly I think it would totally overwhelm me to clean up a baking mess. As far as "real food" goes, when I feel stressed I just want to eat what's easy and comforting. Comfort food does not often equate to health food, however I've been doing well. Here's a recipe for an easy and quick one-skillet meal. It's especially perfect for people who are following a low-carb diet and are craving pasta, which is one of the most crave-inducing foods for me, especially when I am stressed. As I have mentioned before, I love zucchini cooked with tomatoes and flavored with Parmesan, so this recipe hits the spot. Lean chicken adds protein to keep me going late into the night as I furiously type my thesis.

Here's what it looks like in the skillet. You could serve this family-style in the skillet for a nice rustic dinner.
Chicken, Zucchini, and Parmesan Skillet
Printable Recipe

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz chicken breast, cubed
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade (I used homemade kalamata olive and eggplant marinara sauce)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated or sliced with a vegetable peeler
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add the oil and garlic to a cold pan. Turn the pan on medium-high and let the oil and garlic heat up. Stir once it becomes fragrant, then add the chicken, basil, and some salt and pepper.
2. Sear the chicken on all sides, then add the zucchini and onion. Saute the meat and vegetables until the vegetables become tender.
3. Add the sauce to the meat and vegetables and stir to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes more to allow the flavors to combine and the sauce to heat though.
4. Sprinkle over the Parmesan and cook until the cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately.

  • Servings per recipe: 2
  • Per serving:
  • Calories: 260
  • Fat: 7.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.1
  • Cholesterol: 77 mg
  • Sodium: 1114 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 17.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.5 g
  • Sugar: 11.1 g
  • Protein: 35.5 g
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