Circulon Symmetry 11 Piece Set

We hope you enjoyed our 1st Circulon Expert Hour last week with guest, Chef Sally James. We had great questions and discussions all around the subject of Thanksgiving holiday meal preparations with a healthy twist.

We also had a number of winners from our trivia questions at the middle and bottom of the hour, with several people winning new Circulon pans and others, a copy of Sally’s new book, the Little Penguin Cookbook about food and wine pairing.

Below we’ve put together a few of the standout recommendations and recipes that were offered up from Sally and our participants.

Enjoy – and get your Christmas recipes and questions ready because we’re doing this again next month!

On Preparing for Thanksgiving

“My secret is to pre-prepare as much as you can the day before, such as parcooking the vegetables, making the stuffing and having it ready to go in the oven. Also, it helps to step back for a minute and decide what the priorities are – you being fresh and feeling like you’re not too exhausted to enjoy your guests, and needing to have all the traditional accompaniments. Think through everything you wanted to prepare and decide, ‘Do we really need this?’ Makes fewer leftovers to deal with” – Sally James

The Perfect Thanksgiving Dessert

“Lots of ideas – how about some filo pasty fruit parcels. Brush every 2-3 sheets of filo with a light spread of butter or oil, about 6 sheets, then fill with some berries tossed with a touch of brown sugar or apple and pear. Wrap up and fold in edges, then brush with melted butter and bake until golden. Hot fruit soup is really special and flavorsome. Heat red wine and cranberry juice with a cinnamon stick and some cloves until a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Just before serving, place chopped fruit such as berries, pear, apple in parfait glasses or cups and pour over the liquid. Top with a dollop of gelato or frozen yogurt. Bon Appetit!” – Sally James

Making those Garlic Mashed Potatoes Lighter

“I have to answer as an Australian as mashed potato to us doesn’t have cream in it and we LOVE it. Try this for a yummy healthy idea. Cook the potatoes, while they’re cooking, heat some olive oil on low, add chopped garlic and heat on low for flavors to infuse and garlic to soften – about 10 minutes. Mash potatoes, and fold flavored oil through, then add buttermilk to bring to desired consistency. I like it with a touch of Parmesan too. Hope that inspires too!” – Sally James

Making Gravy without Turkey Drippings

“I’d suggest buying just some wings or cheap turkey parts, and browning in a pan to get some juices going then proceed as normal. You can also get a demiglace in stores that makes a great gravy – bit expensive but wonderful flavor. I actually now make a wine reduction and throw in some good quality stock and some Worcestershire sauce for my sauce. Hope one works for you.” – Sally James

Drinks for the Evening other than Wine

“I have a favorite that I always serve before a meal where you know you are going to have a fair bit with the meal. It’s refreshing, palate-cleansing and ‘the drink you have when you’re not having a drink.’ Lemon Lime and Bitters – Soda or Mineral Water, with a dash of Rosa Lime and a few drops Angostura bitters, over ice.” – Sally James

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Circulon friends!

CIRCULON THANKSGIVING RECIPE CONTEST WINNERS have been chosen! And the winners are…

Congratulations to Anna George – winner of the Circulon Bringing Things Full Circle – Healthy Thanksgiving Alternative contest. Anna wins the Grand Prize 11-piece set of Circulon Symmetry Cookware. Congratulations, Anna!

Anna’s post to the Circulon Facebook page garnered 100 likes and 71 comments.

And our 2nd and 3rd place winners are:

Ben Lutman (2nd) – Ben wins a Circulon Symmetry 12-Inch Covered Essential Pan

Chris Gagnon (3rd) – Chris wins a Circulon Symmetry 8.5-inch Open Skillet

Entrants to the contest were asked to submit a healthy alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving dish, and then spread the word to get the most likes and comments on their post. You can find the rest of the entries on our Facebook fanpage. Thanks to everyone for their great participation. We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving with all of your family and friends!

Also, take a gander at Anna’s delicious and healthful stuffing recipe, and maybe add it to your own table this year.

Healthy Harvest Stuffing


  • 8 slices of toasted, cubed, whole-grain bread
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 tbs fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the chicken broth over medium heat. Add the butternut squash, celery and onion and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix the bread cubes, cranberries, water chestnuts, apples, parsley and tarragon in a separate bowl. Add the butternut squash, onion and celery mixture into it and mix evenly.
  4. Spoon stuffing into the baking dish. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with pecans. Enjoy!

Join Us Today! Ask Chef Sally James all your Thanksgiving cooking questions during the Circulon Expert Hour from 1-2pm PST on our Facebook page!!!

Sally James in the Orchard

Join in a Live Chat with Chef Sally James, today, Wednesday 11/16, from 1-2pm PST for a live online Chef’s Expert Hour on the Circulon Facebook page.

Author and international wine expert, Chef Sally will field all of your holiday meal prep questions and offer ideas about how to give a healthy twist to traditional Thanksgiving recipes.

Throughout her career, Sally has demonstrated her talent for marrying flavorful food with health. She has been a guest chef and lecturer for the American Heart Association, the Culinary Institute of America, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Draeger’s and Publix Markets, the American Institute of Food and Wine, and Johnson & Wales Universities across the United States.

She has been a guest presenter on the Food Network and UPN Networks, and has been featured in magazines including Cooking Light, Wine Spectator, Fitness, Family Circle, New York Times’ Savor Wine Country and Healthy Cooking.

Her show Slow Living Radio show can be heard coast-to-coast through the CRN Digital Talk Affiliate Network or online at web radio

Sally is the author of eighteen books, including her best-selling Simply Healthy—winner of the prestigious World Cookbook Awards, Versailles, France, 1999 for Best Health Cookbook, Fresh and Healthy-Winner of the 2001 IACP International Cookbook Award in the Health category, Simply Sensational, a finalist for the IACP Award in 2003, and the Australian Heart Foundation Cookbook.

So join us at Circulon Gourmet Cookware and Sally James for an hour of fabulous food with a healthy focus, as Sally gives us insights into how to give traditional recipes a healthy twist – sometimes in secret ways.

With so many things to be thankful for at this time of year, good food and good health are two of the big ones. Your Thanksgiving guests will be none the wiser, and your feast can reveal that good eating can have a healthy focus and still be both accessible and enjoyable.

Event details
When: Wednesday, November 16, 1-2 pm PST
Who: Chef Sally James
What: Answering all of your Thanksgiving holiday meal prep questions, offering healthy alternatives to traditional dishes.

The prizes for tomorrow will be:

Winners will also receive Sally James’ book The Little Penguin – a wine and food pairing book for foods to go with Little Penguin Wines!

Teen Battle Chef Circulon Cookware Giveaway Winner – Geane McDaniels

Teen Battle Chef on Facebook

“Congratulations to Geane McDaniels, the winner of the Teen Battle Chef Circulon Cookware Challenge!! Thank you to everyone for playing, and to Circulon especially for generously donating the fabulous prize!” – Teen Battle Chef

Geane is a long time fan of the Circulon brand and now has a full Circulon Contempo Red cookware set to show for it.

Thanks to everyone for spreading the word and telling others about FamilyCook Productions & Teen Battle Chef! Make sure to visit Teen Battle Chef on Facebook and give them a big old like.

Teen Battle Chef is a great nationwide youth development program, empowering youth to challenge themselves on cooking skills and  to adopt a preference for cooking and eating healthy food.

Young people develop leadership, teamwork, and culinary skills as well as gain nutrition knowledge and a new appreciation for diverse, healthy and sustainably-produced food. In addition, they learn about the food system and how they can play a role to help their friends and family make healthier food choices to prevent unhealthy weight and associated disease.

Visit the Teen Battle Chef Facebook fanpage to learn more about future events and how you can support them.

Bringing Things Full Circle – Healthy Thanksgiving Alternatives (Circulon Monthly Contest)

Herb Roasted Turkey

Most people view Thanksgiving as a time of loosening the belt and napping after a rich and overbearing meal. Roast turkey, butter-rich mashed potatoes, sumptuous pies… a menu so intense you would never dare attempt it on any other day.

But what are some healthy alternatives you’ve found over the years to make Thanksgiving a little less overwhelming when it comes to the calorie count?

Whatever it may be – a vegetable medley, stuffing laden with fruit and nuts, or a leaner approach to baked yams – please tell us about it.

And win big for it. Your holiday alternative could win you a brand new set of Circulon Symmetry Cookware.

Here’s how you enter to win:

  • Visit Circulon’s Facebook page and post on our wall; share your healthy Thanksgiving specialty.
  • Submissions should be less than 500 characters.
  • Deadline: Nov. 17, 2011, 12 Midnight PST.
  • Add a picture from a past holiday, if you have one.
  • Make sure to spread the word. The post with the greatest number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ wins. (Submissions can be shared on your own profile, but only ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on the Circulon wall will be counted toward the contest.)
  • Winners will be announced November 18, 2011
  • * US addresses ONLY
    * Employees of Meyer Corporation are not eligible to enter the contest.


There’s more than one winner this time around.

Circulon Symmetry 11-Piece Set

Grand prize
A full 11-piece set of Circulon Symmetry cookware and your Facebook entry post featured on our ‘Some Things Work Better with Circles’ blog.

Circulon Symmetry 12-Inch Covered Essential Pan

2nd prize
Circulon Symmetry 12-Inch Covered Essential Pan

Circulon Symmetry 8.5-inch Open Skillet

3rd prize
Circulon Symmetry 8.5-inch Open Skillet

Eggcellent… Making The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Hard Boiled Eggs in a Green Dish

OK, laugh if you like – this is not a recipe for “how to boil water“, but it isn’t much harder.

It’s that time of year when grocery stores feature special 18-count cartons of eggs. Turquoise Egg Salad becomes the national dish for Easter Monday – brown-baggers and schoolchildren agree – it should taste great even if its color did originate somewhere over the rainbow.

Follow these simple steps and your pragmatic determination to turn Easter eggs into a usable meal will yield better-tasting results and be easier to prepare.

  • Lay eggs in a pot all in one layer and add enough cold water to cover well.
  • Bring to a boil but keep an eye on it; as soon as the water boils, cover the pot, turn heat off, and allow to stand for 10 minutes. This will work for up to a dozen medium or large eggs; if using extra large or jumbo eggs, increase the standing time by 3-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with lots of ice and top off with water.
  • When eggs are done, gently lift with a slotted spoon and lower into the ice water.
  • Keep eggs in ice water until they have fully cooled (about 20 minutes), adding more ice if necessary.
  • This gentle cooking method and the ice water bath prevent the yolks from turning green at the edges. The green-tinged yolk occurs when sulfur in the egg white interacts with iron in the yolk. This discoloration won’t cause any harm, but it isn’t very pretty and some say a completely yellow yolk tastes better.

A Time to Peel

  • To peel, rap each end of the egg on a hard surface, then give another small rap on the side and roll along its whole circumference, pressing gently as you go.

Eggs have an air pocket at the end, and the rolling motion helps to pierce the membrane just under the shell. This method allows you to peel off whole sections of shell at a time, except for a few stubborn bits. If you rap or press too hard, the egg white will break. So if you’re making deviled eggs, do be careful with this step, but if egg salad is your final destination, breaking an egg white or three is no big deal.

Easter bunnies do not eat eggs because they are herbivores, and that’s why they are so good at delivering them. They aren’t tempted to snack on the contents of those baskets. For the rest of us, whatever your persuasion, spring holidays involve hard cooked eggs, sweets, and multi-generational family feasts. Enjoy!

Healthful tip:To reduce calories in recipes using mayonnaise, use a 50/50 combination of low-fat mayo and plain non-fat yogurt. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice for a tangy taste. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, one egg has about 75 calories, 6 grams of very complete protein and 4.5 grams of fat.

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