Friday Food Fight: Celebrating Two Years

PhotobucketIt’s been two years since I started flinging foods and recipes at my readers.  By doing so, I gained a few pounds new foodie followers who eagerly wanted to share their recipes with my readers and me.

So today, to celebrate the two year anniversary of Friday Food Fight and to show my gratitude for your support, we’re going to do something a little different.  I’ll still have a blog hop for you to link up and share your recipes, however, today when you link up, you’ll be entered to win a copy my favorite cookbook, Joy of Cooking.  In the Taylor home, the Joy of Cooking is our kitchen bible, our go-to cookbook.  In fact, Iron Chef Allan and I use the Joy so much that we’ve broken the binding on our third copy.

Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006

So, link up and share your recipes (as many recipes as you like) and you’ll be entered to win the Joy of Cooking.  The linky collection closes Thursday 11/8 at midnight and one lucky winner will be announced during our regularly scheduled Friday Food Fight next week (11/9).

And while I have your attention, I would also like to announce a new foodie feature for the month for the month of November.  I’ve teamed up with Camille of Growing Up Gabel for a Thanksgiving linky party.  Every day leading up to Thanksgiving, we would love for you to link up and share some of you favorite Thanksgiving foods.

Read all the details for our Thankful for Good Food blog hop here.  That’s where you will also find my mashed cauliflower recipe that I keep promising to share with you.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a teaser photo of my mashed cauliflower and our regularly scheduled Friday Food Fight program.

Thanks for joining this anniversary edition Friday Food Fight! Can’t wait to see what everyone is flinging this week!

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Aquatica Winner!

Once again, the response to this Aquatica giveaway was wonderful!  I want to thank everyone for their enthusiasm, the tweets and retweets to help spread the word on the Run DMT Aquatica Giveaway.

Without further ado, the winner is….


Congratulations to Helen T!  I hope your family enjoys your Aquatica experience as much as my family and I did.

Wholly Salsa Winner!

And the winner of the cooler full of Wholly Salsa and Wholly Guacamole is….

Congratulations, Tara! 🙂


A very sincere and big “THANK YOU” to everyone who entered.  I was completely blown away by the number of participants who tirelessly tweeted about this giveaway.  Thank you for spreading the word and making this giveaway such a huge success!  xox

Strawberry Spinach and Kale Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette {and Giveaway}

Lately, kale has been getting a lot of attention and not just as filler decoration on plates or buffets.  Before spinach and broccoli and even before meat, kale is the primary item that should be on everyone’s grocery list.  Kale’s curly, crisp greens are rich in vitamin A, K and C, as well as high in calcium, fiber, iron, folic acid and omega-3 and therefore, it’s commonly referred to as the “beef” of the vegan world.

Kale.  It’s what’s for dinner.

I must admit. Before this post, I never ate kale.  Upon that first bite, my taste buds needed a moment to adjust to the bitterness of the leafy filler from the buffet line.

So when, Newman’s Own Organics sent me some dried fruits to try, I thought I’d turn over a new leaf, so to speak.  What better way to combat the bitterness of kale than to toss in some Newman’s Own Organics Berry Blend?  The tangy, sweet dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries and raisins would help mask the kale.  Plus, adding the NOO Dried Berry Blend would make this a super antioxidant salad.

And since strawberries are in season and in abundance at my supermarket and reasonably priced, I created a tangy strawberry vinaigrette to aid in making the kale more palatable.  The sweetness of the strawberry vinaigrette would also compliment the tasty dried fruits of NOO Berry Blend.

Kale mixed with dried berries and fresh strawberries really was more palatable.

And it was delectable too.

Strawberry Spinach and Kale Salad


2 cups kale, washed and drained

2 cups baby spinach, washed and drained

2 cups romaine lettuce, washed and drained

½ cup sliced strawberries

2 Tbsp reduced fat gorgonzola cheese

2 Tbsp sliced almonds

2 Tbsp Newman’s Own Organic Berry Blend


Break romaine and kale into bite size pieces.  Then, wash and drain all greens well.  Set aside greens to drain and dry before adding additional ingredients.

Toss greens in a large bowl.  Add sliced strawberries, gorgonzola cheese, almonds and Newman’s Own Organic Berry Blend and gently toss through greens.

Serve in individual bowls drizzled with strawberry vinaigrette. (See recipe below.)


Strawberry Vinaigrette


1 cup strawberries

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp honey


Thoroughly wash strawberries and cut tops off.  Add strawberries to blender and then add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey.  Puree for one minute on low setting or until smooth.

This recipe was created for the FOOD.FUN.HOP giveaway event hosted by Shy Babies & Little Inspiration.  As part of this Newman’s Own Organics campaign, NOO wants to offer one Run DMT’s reader three packages of dried fruits and one box of Hermits, just like the one I received.

To enter for your chance to win, leave a comment to share what Newman’s Own Organic products you enjoy and follow Newman’s Own Organic on Facebook.

Contest ends 7/30.  US residents only.  Winner will be selected by

Better you chances of winning by visiting the other blogs participating in the Newman’s Own Organics FOOD.FUN.HOP.

For additional entries:

Disclaimer: *Newman’s Own Organics products were received in order to facilitate this review and giveaway, but all opinions are 100% my own*

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Guacamole & Spicy Pico Salsa Turkey Burgers {and Giveaway}

I could make a meal out of chips and salsa.  If I was stranded on a desert island, all I would need to survive would be chips and salsa.  So, you could imagine my delight when Wholly Guacamole sent me a cooler full of their new salsa to try.

But, I have to admit. I’m a bit of a salsa snob. It has to be fresh tasting and made with real ingredients, like you picked the tomatoes from your garden and made it in your kitchen that morning.  It can’t have fake veggies or a nasty preservative aftertaste.  If you are buying salsa from a jar stored on a shelf in an aisle instead of the produce or deli section of your supermarket, you are missing out on real deal.

Now that you know to where to find real salsa, you need to try Wholly Guacamole’s new line of salsa products, Wholly Salsa.  Each of their new salsa products met my criteria: tastes fresh and made with real, wholesome ingredients.   And since it’s made with real wholesome ingredients, you will want to add it to your ingredients, like this turkey burger recipe I created just for Wholly Guacamole.

Guacamole & Spicy Pico Salsa Turkey Burgers


1 lb lean ground turkey

10 oz Wholly Salsa Classic Mild, strained

½ tsp thyme

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

¼ tsp turmeric

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

Wholly Salsa Guacamole & Spicy Pico for topping


Add ground turkey, strained salsa and spices all into one large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Divide the meat mixture into four equal patties to make quarter pound burgers.  Brush each patty lightly with a thin coat of canola oil to prevent patties sticking to grill.  Grill burgers about 4 minutes each side or an internal temperature of 165°.

Serve burgers on fresh baked rolls and top each with Wholly Salsa Guacamole & Spicy Pico.

This recipe was created for the FOOD.FUN.HOP giveaway event hosted by Shy Babies & Little Inspiration.  As part of this Wholly Salsa campaign, Wholly Guacamole wants to offer one of  Run DMT’s readers a cooler full salsa, just like the one I received.

To enter for your chance to win, simply leave a comment telling how you plan to serve Wholly Salsa this summer.  Contest ends 7/14.  Winner will be selected by

Better you chances of winning by visiting the other blogs participating in the Wholly Guacamole FOOD.FUN.HOP.

For additional entries:

*Wholly Salsa Products were received in order to facilitate this review and giveaway, but all opinions are 100% my own.*

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Super WHY Live Tour Tickets {Giveaway}

My kids love Super WHY, especially my two year old.  He always asks to watch the show.   “Mama, WHY!  Mama, WHY!”

Although it’s appropriate for preschoolers, my 6 six year old also loves the show also.  The lovable preschool characters and their storybook superpowers are so engaging for both ages, but their fairytale storybook adventures really appeal to my 6 year old princess.  Princess Presto and Wonder Red are her favorite characters obviously.

So when I heard about Super WHY’s first-ever live show flying across the country this summer, I was thrilled to learn that Tampa was one stops.  My children will be so excited to see their favorite Super WHY characters come to life on stage.  The timing is perfect too, just after both kid’s birthdays this July.

Shhhhhh…my kids don’t know yet, so don’t spoil the surprise.  Next to the Super WHY and their super sleuth readers, my kids will think I’m a superhero.

To find out if your city is also part of the Super WHY tour and for more information as well as purchase tickets and VIP “Meet & Greet” packages, visit

Like me, you can also be a superhero to your children too

One lucky Run DMT reader will win FOUR TICKETS to see Super WHY LIVE! on Saturday, July 28 at 5pm at The Straz Center.

To enter for your chance to win, simply leave a comment telling why you and children love Super WHY.  Contest ends 6/21.  (*Greater Tampa Bay are residents only.  Winner will be selected by*)

For additional entries:

  • Like Run DMT on Facebook.
  • Follow @denisermt on Twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway.  Add a new comment for each time you tweet: “Enter to win 4 tickets to #SuperWHYLive tour in Tampa at the @StrazCenter. Ends 6/21. #RunDMT via @denisermt.”

Joggermom Marathon 2012

As a mom on the run, I understand the difficulties of training for races while raising a family.   Mother runners struggle with balancing sleepless nights, sick children, crazy schedules, carpools, after school activities and homework with our training.  It’s not easy.

Thankfully, Joggermom has made training and racing while raising a family easy with her Joggermom Marathon, but don’t let the word “marathon” scare you.  With Joggermom’s virtual marathon, you simply run a total 26.2 miles during the month of May.  In other words…

“You have from May 1st thru May 31st to complete 26.2 miles. That means you have 31 days to run 26.2 miles. That is a little more than 6 miles a week, a very attainable goal for even a couch potato. This marathon is not about who comes in first, it is about completing something you set out to do for yourself.” – Joggermom


Think you can do it?  Like Joggermom said, it’s totally attainable.  I participated last year and I’m joining Joggermom Marathon again this year.  Now, I want to share this fun, totally attainable marathon with you.

One lucky Run DMT reader will win a free entry in the Joggermom marathon.    

To enter this Joggermom Marathon entry fee giveaway, leave a comment below and tell us how you plan to reach 26.2 miles in 31 days.  Giveaway ends midnight on 5/14.  One winner will be selected at random with the help of and announced on 5/15.

Even if you don’t win, please sign up as 10% of each entry will go to the American Heart Association.  Registration will remain open until May 15 at midnight.

There a few “rules”, like keeping track of your mileage in a spreadsheet and submitting photos as proof of your efforts, but it’s so worth it when you see the fabulous prizes you can win.  Not to mention, there’s that sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you finish.  Then, you can wear that pride along with the Joggermom Marathon finishers bib to make it official!

How fun is that?! 

Rest assured your favorite stunner will be sporting a bib for sure.

So, you will join Joggermom Marathon and wear a finishers bib too?

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Run TBay Giveaway

While I cheered and photographed my friends participating in Longleaf Triathlon, my pals at Suncoast Running gave me something else to cheer about when they hooked me up with this shirt.

Isn’t it cool?

Now Suncoast Running wants to give one Run DMT reader something to cheer about too!

For a chance to win this fun, fitted Run TBay t-shirt, add a comment below. One lucky winner will be selected at random.

Contest ends Sunday, November 13 at midnight.

For additional entries:

*Photo also submitted to*

Unknown Mami

Mummy’s Freaky Treats and Giveaway

Besides costumes and mountains of candy, some stores also stock their shelves with some interesting spirits for Halloween.  In our area, Total Wine has the best selection of seasonal ales.  With so many to choose from, I decided to give Shmaltz Brewing Company’s Coney Island Craft Lager Freakotober a taste test only because I liked its freaky look and name and its concept.  A portion of the proceeds of this ale is donated to the restoration and preservation of Coney Island, which made me feel better just knowing that my alcoholism was supporting a good cause.

As stated on the label, the ale has a red hue.  I think the label and the color was the only think I liked about the beer.  It was far too bitter for my taste buds.  Iron Chef Allan liked the flavor, but decided against drinking it because of the food coloring.  Like a good little freak sport, I finished off the beer.

Last Saturday, we attended our annual adult Halloween party.  For my dish to share, I made Mummy Pizzas, which I found at Family Fun.  The recipe suggest using English muffins, but since my kids don’t like English muffin pizzas, I used mini loaves of bread.  (Mini bagels would be a nice alternative too or even Iron Chef Allan’s superb pizza crust cut into tiny pizzas with a small circular cookie cutter.) I cut the loaves into ½ inch slices and toasted them in the oven before I added my simple sauce, thinly sliced mozzarella cheese and two slices of olives for the eyes.

Mmmmmmmm….Mummies good.

Mummy Pizzas (adapted from Disney’s Family Fun)


English muffins (or mini bagels or bread loaves sliced into ½ inch slices)

Pizza sauce

Sliced black olives

Mozzarella cheese (or pull-apart string cheese if kids help assemble pizzas)



Heat the oven to 350º F. Split and toast English muffins on a cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes.

For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin.  Set two olive slices in place for eyes .

Slice mozzarella into thin, long strips of cheese and lay across the muffin for the mummy’s wrappings.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.



Before you link up and leave, I would like to announce that today marks Friday Food Fight’s One Year Anniversary!  Can you believe that?!  That’s 52 yummy dishes shared here at Run DMT and 156 shared between Karen, Kirsten and me.  Not counting all the wonderful foods our visitors have flung at us this past year!  WOW!

To celebrate a year of flinging foods and to thank you for supporting Friday Food Fight, we’ve put together a giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a copy of the Joy of Cooking (Iron Chef Allan’s and my favorite  cookbook).

 Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006

Everyone that adds a link to our Friday Food Fight linky collection blog hop will automatically be entered.  Add more links and you’ll earn more entries.

One winner will be chosen at random and that winner will be announced next Friday, November 4.  Only U.S. residents are eligible to win.  Our Friday Food Fight Cookbook Contest ends Thursday, November 3 at midnight eastern time. 

For more entries:

  • Add a comment below about the Freaktoberfest beer, my Mummy Pizzas or the cookbook, Joy of Cooking.
  • Blog about our Friday Food Fight Cookbook Contest and link back to Run DMT.  Remember to add our Friday Food Fight button to your post, please.
  • Follow denisermt, ificouldescape and cheekymonkey8 on Twitter.  Becoming a follower is an additional entry for each, so be sure to add a new comment for each new add.
  • Earn an additional entry each time you tweet:  #FridayFoodFight is throwing the book at you!  Link up a foodie photo for a chance to win Joy of Cooking. Ends 11/3
  • Like Run DMT, Gone Bananas and If I Could Escape on Facebook.  Each “like” is an additional entry, so be sure to add a new comment for each “like”.


Now link up to win and to see what If I Could Escape and Gone Bananas are flinging for this week’s Friday Food Fight.

*Also submitted at*

Fat Camp Friday Button