Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Taco Egg Skillet

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Next time you have leftover taco meat, instead of having more tacos the next night you should switch it up and make this for breakfast. You use up all your leftovers while completely transforming the meat into a whole new dish. And for a whole new meal! It's really quick and easy to make, and it's a delicious facelift for traditional scrambled eggs. Your mornings will never be the same. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes 2 servings
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. reduced-fat milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup leftover taco meat, reheated
  • 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • Light sour cream
  • Salsa
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until combined. Spray a medium oven-safe skillet with cooking spray. Pour in egg mixture. As the eggs set, use a spatula to gently pull the eggs across the pan. Continue doing this around the pan until the eggs are mostly set. Add the taco meat and fold into the egg mixture. Continue cooking until the eggs are completely set.

Sprinkle the cheese over top of the eggs. Place under a broiler for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. To serve, top with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Source: SK Original

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Homemade Organic Baby Bananas

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I was so so upset when Bradley didn't like bananas at first. They are cheap, incredibly easy to make and easily transportable. Such an ideal food! In case you missed last week's post, this is what his initial reaction was:
But Chris and I tried again, and he wasn't so opposed the second time. By the third time, he was loving them. Now? Now he eats them with almost every meal. We can't give him enough! If your baby doesn't mind texture, you can mash the bananas with a fork and have them ready to eat in 15 seconds. Easy enough, right? Right. They're full of potassium and fiber as well, so that's just an added bonus! This is what he thinks about bananas now:

Printable Recipe

  • 1 ripe organic banana
Wash banana under cold water to remove bacteria.

Peel the banana and remove all the lose strings. Mash the banana well with a fork until there are no visible lumps (no need to add water/milk--the banana will become runny the more you mash it).

If your baby doesn't like texture, throw the banana in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

If your baby does not like bananas plain, add a little breast milk or formula to the banana puree to add a flavor they already know.

Mashed bananas don't store very well, so I recommend only breaking off and mashing the amount your baby is going to eat at that specific time. 

To save the rest of the un-mashed banana, wrap the banana in plastic and leave at room temperature for up to one day. To freeze, place the banana in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer for up to 1 month.

*Consult with your pediatrician before feeding your baby solid foods and to see what amount/type of food you should give your child.
Source: SK Original

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spicy Chicken Burgers with Bacon and Guacamole

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There's nothing I love more in the spring/summer months than a burger right off the grill. Well, that's a lie. I also love margaritas. And eating dinner outdoors. And the pool. Picnics are cool, too. And the beach. Okay, I guess I love some things more than burgers off the grill, but it's still pretty high up there.
These particular burgers are made with chicken and are packed with traditional Mexican flavors, like onions, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin and paprika. Top these bad boys with some spicy Mexican blend cheese, guacamole and bacon and it's pure bliss in your mouth. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Serves 4
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/3 cup Mexican blend cheese, finely shredded, plus extra for topping
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and broken in half
  • Guacamole, for serving

Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium.

Transfer the ground chicken to a medium bowl. Add in the onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, paprika, 1/3 cup cheese, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together just until incorporated

Form the mixture into four patties. Grill burgers until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Add extra cheese on top of burgers 2 minutes before being done.

Serve each patty on a burger bun topped with 2 halves of bacon and guacamole.

Source: SK Original

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Panini with Olive Tapenade

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My parents recently took a trip to New York, and every time they do, they come back with a carload of goodies. This time, my bag of goodies included fresh Mozzarella cheese. I'm talking about the cheese that comes in a large ball in a container of water. The fresh, fresh stuff. I've always contemplated making fresh Mozzarella myself, but there's just too much science involved for me to even want to attempt it. I leave it to the professionals. They seriously know what they're doing.
I love having fresh Mozzarella plain or in a caprese salad, but it's also really good at melting. It starts oozing as soon as it hits heat. Sometimes I put it on pizza, but I also really love it in sandwiches. I had a few random things in my refrigerator that I thought would pair perfectly with the cheese on a panini, so I went to work and created a beautiful and delicious concoction. Olive tapenade adds a little saltiness, while the sun-dried tomatoes add some freshness. I literally scarfed this down. And I'm not sorry about it one bit. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 2 (6-inch) slices French bread, cut in half horizontally
  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade
  • 4 slices fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes julienne cut with herbs, drained
  • Olive oil

Preheat panini press to medium-high heat.

Spread olive tapenade onto the bottom of each slice of bread. 
Pat the slices of the Mozzarella with a paper towel to soak up some of the extra moisture. Top each with 2 slices of Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with fresh pepper. Top each with half of the sun-dried tomatoes. Close sandwich.

Brush grill with olive oil. Place panini onto press and heat until cheese has melted, about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Roast Beef with Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce (Gluten-Free)

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This dish contains two of Chris' favorite things: beef and red wine vinegar. So of course I had to make it for him. It's another one of those recipes that takes little hands-on time, and more waiting around time. I'm fine with that, though. It gives me more time to play with Bradley :)
The tomatoes are roasted in the oven with the beef, which gives the meat an acidic touch. The cut of beef that Giada suggests in this recipe is a little tough, so next time I would definitely use something else. But the sauce is great! The roasted tomatoes are thrown into a food processor with red wine vinegar, making a tangy sauce to spread over the beef. This helps keep the meat moist and tender. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Roast Beef:

  • 1 (2 to 2 1/2 lb.) sirloin tip or chuck beef roast
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2
  • 2 tsp. herbs de Provence
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
To make the beef roast, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.

Place a medium, heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Heat the olive oil. Sear the beef over high heat on all sides. Turn off heat. Place the seasoned tomatoes around the seared beef and place the pan in the oven. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees F. for medium rare, 135 for medium, about 30 to 40 minutes. Take the roast out of the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should rise 5 degrees F more and the juices will redistribute into the roast.

To make the sauce, place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, red wine vinegar and the roasted tomatoes from the beef pan and process until pureed. Add the olive oil in a steady stream with the machine running.

To serve, slice the roast and place on a serving platter. Drizzle a little sauce over the meat. Serve the remaining sauce in a small bowl alongside.

Source: Food Network

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} The Great Baby Food Experiment and Why I Don't Give My Baby Jarred Baby Food

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It's the great debate. Homemade baby food vs. jarred baby food.

I need to preface this post a little bit first. I'm in no way judging you if you give your baby store-bought jarred food. I know not everyone has the time or energy to make their own baby food, and that's okay. But I still want to share my reasoning behind my avoidance of jarred baby food.

There are five factors that made me come to this conclusion, and I'll explain them below. In my "experiment," I compared homemade green beans to a jar of green beans from my local grocery store. 

1) Color

Now I'm no scientist, but if these canned foods claim that the only ingredients are the fruit/vegetable and water in them, why is the color so off? 

I opened the jar of green beans and they seriously looked gray. I was aghast. Especially when I put the jar up against my homemade green beans, they were so off-putting. 

Nothing at all looked natural about the color. Green beans are bright green, so why is the stuff in the jar gray-ish? I didn't even want to touch the jarred food, why should I make my poor little baby eat it?

2) Taste

Chris came home from work one day and was blindsided. I asked him to close his eyes and trust me. Luckily I have a very brave husband.

First I gave him a spoonful of the jarred green beans. His immediate reaction was hysterical. To give you a mental image, it was very similar to the face Bradley made when he first tried bananas:
Then he said it tasted like *ahem* dog poop. Awesome. When I asked him to guess what it was, he didn't even have an answer for me. That's how off they were.

I then gave him the homemade green beans, and he immediately knew what they were. One of my best friends and her boyfriend came over the next day, and I had them do the same thing (do I have very trusting people in my life or what?). They had the same exact response to the jarred and homemade green beans.

Not that Bradley knows the difference, but why should he eat something so gross that tastes nothing like the real thing? Especially if his own parents won't even eat it? There's no good reason.

With homemade food, I also like that I can mix combinations on my own. I don't have to rely on what the manufacturer thinks will work together. If I want to give Bradley apples, carrots, oatmeal and pears, I have the freedom to do it! There are no restrictions.

Plus, I (obviously) cook dinner very often, so I think by eating homemade baby food early on, it will get Bradley used to eating the same foods as Chris and me down the road.

3) How on earth do they stay good on the shelf for so long?

Again, I'm no scientist, but this makes absolutely no sense to me. The ingredients only state the fruit/vegetable and water. So why is my homemade version only good in the fridge for 3-5 days, but these jarred foods can sit on a shelf, at room temperature, for 2 years? How does that make sense? Something else has to be in there preserving them, right? Yet I don't see anything listed in the ingredients. 

(Yes, I know that if it contains less that a certain percentage of an ingredient, the FDA does not require companies to list it on their ingredients list, but still...I want to know everything that's going into Bradley's body.)

I personally just don't find that very natural. If I make something, I let it sit in the fridge for 3-5 days, depending on what it is, then I toss it. Same with Bradley's homemade food. But the label on the jarred green beans, which I bought right before testing them out, says they're good until January 2016. 2016!! That's more than a year and a half away! Unbelievable.

4) Time

I know I'm a stay-at-home mom and everyone thinks I have all the time in the world, but that's another argument for another day. Fact is, most of these homemade baby foods take 15 minutes to make, and a majority of that time is just sitting around waiting for the food to cook. So why NOT make it myself? I found no reasonable explanation. 

5) Cost

When I broke it down, I realized it's actually cheaper to make baby food myself. I typically make Bradley organic food, which, yes, is more expensive. But you don't need to buy organic. For the sake of this argument I'm going to use non-organic ingredients since the jarred baby food I purchased isn't organic. 

Let me break it down for you.
  • A 16 oz. bag of green beans costs $2.99. This makes 16 1-oz. servings. This equals approximately $0.18 per 1-oz. serving.
  • A 4-oz. jar of store-bought baby food from the store is on average $1.29. This equals approximately $0.32 per 1-oz. serving.
So that's a savings of $0.14 per ounce! (I feel like Sandra Lee from Money Making Meals right now.) It might not sound like much, but considering how much you feed your baby, it's going to add up! As of now, Bradley eats 8-10 oz. of food a day, so that's a savings of over a dollar per day. That amount is only going to go up!

Plus most baby food jars are typically around the same price, but they shouldn't be. A lot of fruits and vegetables are even less than the green beans were. Bananas, which are something like 20 cents EACH, will save you even MORE money. Cha-ching!
Okay, I'm done with my rant now.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I prefer to not give Bradley jarred baby food. I like to know exactly what's in the food I'm giving him. It might take a little more time and effort, but overall I think it's totally worth it! Now if I'm on-the-go or somehow manage to run out of food, I'm not against giving him something pre-packaged once in a while. That's fine. But overall, I'm sticking to homemade food all the way! 

Click here for the link to get to all my homemade baby food recipes!

Let me know your thoughts/opinions in the comments section below!

Source: SK Original

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pimento Macaroni and Cheese

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This month's Secret Recipe Club blog belongs to Rhonda over at The Kitchen Witch. She's an avid motorcyclist and is currently enjoying her retired life in Montana. She originally started her blog so that all her children could have access to her recipes at any time. One thing that I especially love about her blog is that she lists the Weight Watchers points for each recipe. I don't currently do Weight Watchers, but I have a few family members and friends that follow the point system religiously, so I think it's a super handy feature!
Now, this Pimento Mac and Cheese instantly drew me in. One of my favorite restaurants, Farmers Fishers Bakers in D.C., makes this awesome pretzel appetizer that is served with a pimento cheese dip. I'm seriously obsessed with the stuff. This savory dish instantly reminded me of my favorite appetizer, and I was inclined to try it out. Oh.My.Goodness. It's pure heaven. Velveeta makes it super cheesy and delicious, but the pimentos add that salty, olive-y flavor that I just love. It's a very heavy dish, so I would recommend having it as a main course instead of a side, but good. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 8 oz. dried elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup dark beer
  • 1 (4 oz.) jar pimento
  • 1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or butter a 2 qt. casserole dish. 

Over medium high heat in a non-stick pan, heat the cheddar cheese and Velveeta with the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, beer and pimento, stirring occasionally. Once fully melted and blended, add the cooked macaroni. Stir well to combine. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared casserole dish.

Crush the saltine crackers by placing them into a zipper top bag and using a rolling pin or other heavy object to crush them. Alternatively you can put them in a food processor and pulse them, but not to finely. Mix the cracker crumbs with the melted butter and spread evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. 

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until hot and bubbly. 

Source: Adapted from The Kitchen Witch

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fried Rice Pilaf Balls

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The Rice Pilaf I made a while back is a perfect side for most meals since it doesn't involve very complex flavors yet is still extremely tasty. It goes with almost everything, so it's definitely a good recipe to have on hand. I made a batch for Chris and I recently, and I usually cut recipes in half if I know we won't eat the whole thing, but for some reason I decided to make the whole darn thing this time. It made about four cups of cooked rice. For two people. My bad?
Instead of eating the leftover rice as it was, I decided to replicate one of my other favorite rice dishes: arancini! The original recipe includes tons of cheese, but making it with rice pilaf was beyond good. The onion, chicken broth and seasoned salt give the rice tons of flavor, and frying them gives them a crunchy crust. They're such delicious and fun little bite-sized treats. Dip them in some marinara sauce and you have yourself a cute little appetizer or side dish! These would be an absolutely perfect side dish for this Easter Sunday. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes about 16 balls
  • 2 cups cold, day-old Rice Pilaf
  • 1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more if necessary
  • Marina sauce, homemade or store-bought, for serving (optional)
Shape the leftover rice into small, walnut-sized balls. Make sure they are compact so they don't fall apart while cooking.

Place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Roll the rice balls in the breadcrumbs and shake off excess.

Heat the canola oil so it coats the bottom of a small skillet with about 1/4 inch of oil. Add half of the rice balls in an even layer. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until light brown. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined dish. Repeat with the remaining rice balls.

Serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Drops

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Chocolate. I can never seem to have enough of it in my house. And now that Easter is right around the corner, it's even more of a problem. Those little Reese's peanut butter eggs don't stand a chance. I'm secretly hoping the Easter bunny forgets and gives Bradley some chocolate in his basket. Since he can't eat it yet, there's only one possible solution to get rid of it all. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it...
If you want to make a delicious chocolate dessert for your guests, these little chocolate drops are a perfect treat. These cake-like cookies aren't too overbearingly sweet (not that anything would be wrong with that), but offer just enough sweetness so that even my meat-and-potatoes-lover husband enjoyed them. The chocolate frosting is the icing on the cake (literally). Serve with a tall glass of milk, and your day will be made. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 pkg. (4 oz.) Baker's unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tub (4 oz.) light Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 3 squares (3 oz.) Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
Microwave unsweetened chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 8-10 min. or just until set. (Do not overbake.) Cool on baking sheet 1 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Microwave Cool Whip and semi-sweet chocolate in microwaveable bowl on high for 1-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Let stand 15 minutes to thicken. Spread over cookies. Let stand until glaze is firm.

Source: Adapted from Kraft

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Homemade Organic Baby Green Beans

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I have a fun little post coming up for next week's Tiny Tot Tuesdays post, and it's regarding these green beans, so stay tuned for that! 

In the meantime, here's the super quick and easy recipe to make some green bean puree for your baby. Hopefully your child loves these as much as Bradley does. Green beans are a great source of Vitamin K, which helps the blood clot. It's very essential for growing babies, especially for when they start crawling and walking! You have to make sure those inevitable boo-boos get healed as quickly as possible! Can you tell he loved them?

Printable Recipe

Makes 12 servings

  • 12 oz. organic green beans
  • Purified water
Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Snap the ends off of the green beans. Rinse the green beans under cold water.

Add the green beans to the water and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

Drain green beans and add to a food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of purified water and process until smooth. Add more water, if necessary, to get to your desired consistency.

Allow to cool then serve to your baby with a spoon. I recommend adding some breast milk or formula to the pureed green beans as well...this thins out the green beans and adds a flavor they already know and enjoy.

If saving for a later date, pour it into storage cups to freeze or refrigerate. You can refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for 30 days. Make sure you label your green beans! Once you are ready to serve, heat the refrigerated or frozen green beans up in the microwave and allow to cool to just warmer than room temperature. Add breast milk or formula to thin it out.

*Consult with your pediatrician before feeding your baby solid foods and to see what amount/type of food you should give your child.

Source: SK Original

Monday, April 14, 2014

Scallops Provencal

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Chris had his doubts when I told him I was making scallops for dinner. HE is the scallop cooker in the family, after all, so I had big shoes to fill. I think I pulled it off, though. I mean, judging by the fact that there were no leftovers is a good sign, right?
I loved this sauce. Dredging the scallops in flour gives them a nice crust, but it also helps to thicken the wine sauce. Shallots and parsley are a light and flavorful pairing that really bring the dish to life. By squeezing a little lemon juice on these before serving, it freshens up the plate and will make you want to devour every last scallop. And don't forget to pour yourself a glass of that leftover wine. Might as well not let it go to waste...

Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb. fresh bay or sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup (2 large) shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
If you're using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you're using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer. Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Source: Adapted from Food Network

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mexican Rice

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Even when I make something using store-bought mix, like tacos, I still like to make at least one homemade item for the table. So a few weeks ago when I made tacos for girls' night, I decided to make some homemade Mexican Rice. I've always, always loved Mexican rice. There's something about the chunks of tomatoes and the spiciness that draws me to it. 
It was extremely easy and didn't take all my attention away from my guests. That's always preferred when my friends are over since I'd rather be talking (and sipping wine) instead of being locked down in the kitchen. I was so pleasantly surprised with the end result and I know I will be making this again for future taco nights. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


  • 2 tbsp. light butter
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until the rice is browned and vegetables are tender.

Stir in the water, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 15 to 17 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Paula Deen

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Zyliss 4-in-1 Wine Tool Review

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I recently had the opportunity to try out the new Zyliss 4-in-1 Wine Tool and I'm so excited to share my experience with you all! Whether you're an avid wine drinker (like myself) or find yourself cooking with wine often, this tool is a great addition to your barware collection. 
Includes two wine stoppers
Everything you need is all in this one tool! You can cut the foil, use the corkscrew to remove the cork, pump out all the extra air and then use one of the two handy wine stoppers for storing your leftovers (that is, if you have any). 
Foil cutter on the bottom of the stand
This Zyliss tool is so easy to use and I highly recommend it. I usually NEVER cut the foil (I just plow right through it) but doing that makes the edges sharp, so this tool was a lifesaver for me. And the foil cutter is located right on the bottom of the convenient!

Vacuum pump
Everything I needed was all in one place, so I didn't have to go searching for a wine stopper or anything else. Plus the vacuum pump is super cool. It sucks out all the air from the wine to minimize the effects of oxidation (basically, it helps the wine stay good for a longer amount of time). 
I highly recommend this 4-in-1 wine tool. It's convenient and really easy to use. Plus it would look great with any bar set! Go on over to their site and check it out yourself!

Disclaimer: Zyliss provided me with a free 4-in-1 Wine Tool to review. All comments and opinons are my own.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli

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Growing up, my family always had a pretty standard Chinese food order. Beef and broccoli, sweet and sour pork, fried rice and egg rolls were our solid four go-to items. Every once in a while we would switch it up, but that rarely occurred. It's probably why, to this day, I still gravitate towards beef and broccoli on every Chinese menu.
I always tend to have chicken in our refrigerator or freezer, so I frequently substitute chicken for other proteins in recipes. It's usually a lot cheaper as well! Chris and I love this Beef and Broccoli recipe so much, so I used it as a guide while making this recipe. It was so so delicious and affordable! The list of ingredients is a little tedious, but I promise it's really not difficult to make! And I think it even beats the stuff you can order off of a menu. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1.5 lbs. chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1.5 lbs. broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
For the marinade:
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
  • 3/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 6 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Marinate the chicken: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Add the chicken pieces and squish around in the bag so they are well coated. Let stand for 10-60 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Blanch the broccoli: Cook the broccoli in a small pot of boiling water until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly and then place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.

Pour in the sauce and stir to combine. Drain the broccoli and add it to the pan. Bring to a boil. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 30 seconds. 

Source: Adapted from this Savvy Kitchen post

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Homemade Organic Baby Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash is, surprisingly, Bradley's second favorite food. It's right up there with sweet potatoes, and you can see from this post how much he loves sweet potatoes. He got a little camera shy in this photo, but he gobbled them up like there was no tomorrow! 
You can choose to roast the squash like I did with the sweet potatoes, but I decided to boil these for the sake of saving some time. Butternut squash is a type of pumpkin, so it tends to be a little sweeter than other squash. Plus it's packed with Vitamin A, which growing babies need plenty of!

Printable Recipe

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 large organic butternut squash
  • Purified water
Peel the butternut squash and cut in half. Remove all the seeds from the inside and cut into small chunks. Rinse with cold water.

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add the squash to the water and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender.

Drain squash and add to a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of purified water and process until smooth. Add more water, if necessary, to get to your desired consistency.

Allow to cool then serve to your baby with a spoon. I recommend adding some breast milk or formula to the pureed squash as well...this thins out the squash and adds a flavor they already know and enjoy.

If saving for a later date, pour it into storage cups to freeze or refrigerate. You can refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for 30 days. Make sure you label your squash! Once you are ready to serve, heat the refrigerated or frozen squash up in the microwave and allow to cool to just warmer than room temperature. Add breast milk or formula to thin it out.

*Consult with your pediatrician before feeding your baby solid foods and to see what amount/type of food you should give your child.

Source: SK Original

Monday, April 7, 2014

White Riesling Sangria

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Chris made this sangria a few months ago when I hosted a girls' brunch, and I've been patiently waiting for warmer weather to make its way to the East coast before debuting it on my blog. Simply because I know as soon as you see it, you're going to want to make it. And sangria just goes best with warm weather while sitting outside on your deck. It just does.
We just chose some of our favorite fruits for this, but you can mix and match as you please. Don't use too much additional citrus, though, because we found that it really changes the flavor. Riesling is amazing in this drink because it adds the bubbly aspect that we all know and love, yet it has a complimentary sweet, crisp flavor that just makes the sangria. Oh, and one of our tricks? Freeze grapes to use as ice cubes so your drink doesn't get watered down. Genius. I love love love this. Enjoy, guys!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 oranges, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 2 lemons, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 2 peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cores removed and cut into wedges
  • 2 bottles Riesling
  • 1 container Cran-Peach Juice
  • Green grapes, frozen
Place all fruit, except grapes, in a large pitcher or bowl. Add Riesling and juice and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. When ready to serve, add frozen grapes to each glass.

Source: Chris Original

Friday, April 4, 2014

Crepes with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread and Bananas

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I made some crepes the other day, and I immediately knew what I wanted to fill them with: chocolate hazelnut spread and bananas. I mean, obviously. If you haven't tried that combination yet, you truly are missing out. 
Usually I reach for my jar of Nutella, but I recently received some free samples of Nocciolata, Italy's organic chocolate/hazelnut spread, that I've been itching to try out. Nocciolata is crafted using carefully selected ingredients such as dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts, brown sugar, skim milk and Bourbon vanilla extract. Plus it's very reasonably priced! So I decided to go ahead and use this spread in my crepes. 

This deliciously smooth spread is gluten-free, kosher and has no palm oil, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavors or artificial colors. It was delicious in these crepes and definitely compares to Nutella! This spread is delightful in these crepes, but would also be great on a sandwich, on crackers or French bread, with fruit such as bananas or strawberries, or simply on a spoon! Next time you're looking for chocolate hazelnut spread, give Nocciolata a try!

Printable Recipe

  • 4 crepes
  • 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nocciolata, divided
  • 2 bananas, sliced thin
  • Powdered sugar or whipped cream, for topping (optional)
To assemble, spoon 1/4 cup of the chocolate hazelnut spread over each crepe. Place 1/4 of the sliced bananas on one half of the crepe.

Fold the crepe in half and then in quarters. Top with powdered sugar and/or whipped cream.

Source: SK Original