Wednesday, November 26, 2014

marshmallow sunflower cupcakes

I am making cupcakes to have as a dessert option for thanksgiving this year.  And, earlier this fall I stumbled upon these candy corn shaped marshmallows.... so after thinking of something to use them for, I finally came up with the idea of making sunflowers with them to adorn cupcakes.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Garlic Tomato Sauce

There is just something about making your own pasta sauce that just makes dinner taste all the better.  My favorite meal would probably be a warm plate of pasta with a salad, bread stick and a glass of wine.  And the Tuttorosso brand has tomato products that are perfect for your homemade pasta sauce recipe.  And to help you make your own sauce they are sponsoring a "Celebrate the Sauce" giveaway on the Tuttorosso facebook page.  Each week they are giving away aprons, wooden spoons and one grand prize of a Martha Stewart Cookware set.  And Tuttorosso is giving away one Sauce Kit on this blog to one of my lucky readers.  

But before we get to that I wanted to mention that Tuttorosso has lots of recipes on their website and one of them I adapted for our dinner table.  This is a recipe for Garlic Tomato Sauce using Tuttorosso's peeled plum Italian Style tomatoes and their tomato paste product.  I loved the aroma of basil and garlic in my kitchen as I prepared this dish.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

The holidays are here and my oven is getting fired up and ready to start baking.  This year I'm kicking things off with a cookie that can easily fit in with your thanksgiving dessert tray or be used as a Christmas Cookie as well.  And I'm using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter®as a healthier alternative in my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies.  The new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® spread has 40% fewer calories and 70% less saturated fat than butter. As with all of the brands spreads, sticks and sprays, the new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® contains 0g trans fat per serving, no cholesterol and no partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

I love the sweet pumpkin flavor that the pudding mix gives this cookie and when it's paired with butterscotch chips you know that everyone will be eating more than one this holiday season.

The new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® is made from real, simple ingredients – 100% taste, 0% artificial preservatives – and is still unbelievably delicious! This new recipe is offered in the Original, Light, and Olive Oil varieties and is made with plant-based oils and are a source of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as a good source of omega-3 ALA. Unilever spreads can be part of an overall healthy, balanced diet and provide a source of good fats, similar to the good fats found in avocados, walnuts and almonds.  Plant-based oils are one of the primary ingredients in their spreads. Overall I found the new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® offers a fresh butter taste to add flavor to any meal, and can be used for spreading, topping, sautéing, cooking or baking. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

16 lb. Turkey + $20 + 4 recipes = 14 Freezer Meals

This post is very timely with Thanksgiving right around the corner as I'm sure you will have plenty of leftover turkey.  Well here I how I made up 14 freezer meals from a 16 lb. turkey and only spent $20.  (That averages out to $2.80 a serving.)  Not only does this post offer four unique recipes to put a spin on your turkey leftovers but it also gives you tips on how to freeze these dishes for a later date and a shopping list of what all to buy to make these dishes.  So once the dishes are done, start shredding up that leftover turkey meat and you will have some tasty meals for a later date.  
Please note I did not take into account the cost of the Turkey itself in this post, as I'm assuming you bought the Turkey for a previous meal and this just uses up what's leftover.  I'm also assuming you have a couple of ordinary things in your spice rack already like salt & pepper, etc.  And lastly, I did not use any coupons on this products, I just shopped for sale items so you may be able to plan more and get some of these items even cheaper.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Christmas Favorites Review & Giveaway

Christmas is only 80 days away so I'm reviewing the new Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Christmas Favorites cookbook and giving away 2 (yes.... TWO) copies.  But what I'm even more excited about than Christmas (or the double your chances giveaway) is that you will find an Ott, A original recipe on Page 46 of this cookbook.... for my infamous Cinnamon Roll Casserole!!!  But before I get to that, let me tell you a little bit more about this cookbook.
The winter months are a great time to use the crock pot.  This cookbook is broken down into 5 sections with recipes in categories like breakfast, appetizers, soups, main entree' and desserts.  No matter what your holiday traditions and eating rituals might be this cookbook has got you covered with lots of new ideas to try and make your holidays all the more memorable.
And with Thanksgiving being right around the corner I selected some Turkey recipes to try out of this cookbook to find some inspiration for ways to use up leftovers.  And within each of these original blog posted recipes I also have some tips on how to create freezer ready meals to serve at a later time.  Simply click on the link below to see the original recipe and feel free to pin the images for later!!! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

DIY: Mozzarella Cheese & a Giveaway

So this was a coincidence....One day Ott, E mentioned to me that he thought it would be fun to make our own cheese.  Now I like being a DIY (Do-It-Yourself'er) in the kitchen as much as anyone, but making cheese seemed like it would be a bit much to me.  But the guy did work in a cheesemaking factory in high school so I figured he knew a little something about the process.  But as the same time I wasn't too sure about that.  So I smiled, nodded and thought to myself..."we'll see."  

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I discovered that Sur La Table has a whole line of DIY kitchen products from make your own bacon to butter to.... make your own mozzarella.  Yes, that's right they have a Mozzarella cheese making kit.  What luck!?!?!  I couldn't wait to get Ott, E started on this project and cure his cheesemaking curiosities.
The kit contained pretty much everything we needed and all I had to provide was a gallon of milk, large pot, strainer and a slotted spoon. There were easy to read and follow instructions and the whole process took about a hour from start to finish.  I was really happy that I could use pasteurized milk so it was easy to purchase.  I also liked that the instructions contained some trouble shooting ideas in case something went wrong along the way you could quickly figure it out.  And, I also discovered that they have a refill kit you can purchase separately so you can make more cheese again and again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

It's National Coffee Day and what better way to celebrate than with a slice of Pumpkin Coffee Cake?!?!?

This recipe is a spin off of my Butterscotch Coffee Cake, but perfect for anyone who likes things that are pumpkin flavored.  It's a quick and easy recipe and taste great with your morning coffee or even as an after dinner dessert.  And I love that there are chocolate chips sprinkled on top, because chocolate and pumpkin are a perfect pair.  So however you enjoy this recipe... sit back, sip your coffee and celebrate.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chunky Turkey Soup in the Crock Pot

As the weather gets cooler, soup sounds better everyday.  I love having my crock pot sitting on the kitchen counter baking up something yummy and putting off flavorful aromas in my kitchen on fall days like this.  I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing the leaves change colors for fall and start to blow across the grass and just knowing that I will have a hearty soup for dinner and all I have to do is ladle it up brings me all the more satisfaction.  This recipes comes out of Gooseberry Patch "Slow Cooker Christmas Favorites".  And while the holidays are right around the corner, this is one of those soups you could makes anytime.  
I plan on having this soup again sometime as it made for a great crock pot freezer meal.  I'll explain how I did that at the end of the post, but first up.... the recipe.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crock Pot Turkey Sloppy Joes

This is one of those recipes that would be an ideal use for leftovers after the holidays and the best part is,,,, you can make it for cents per serving.  After your big holiday meal simply chop up your leftover turkey, toss it the in crock pot and add a few simple ingredients for a tasty sloppy joe.  And if you do have picky eaters regarding the white and dark meat once they are mixed together and the seasonings added no one will know the difference.   

This recipe today comes from the new Gooseberry Patch "Slow Cooker Christmas Favorites" cookbook.  I also found this to be a great meal to freeze and eat again later.  Simply place in airtight containers, label and put in your freezer and enjoy later.  

But first let me show you how inexpensive this dish is to make; assuming you already purchased your turkey and used it for a meal so we won't take the cost of the turkey into account.  And that you already have supplies like brown sugar and dried onion flakes on hand.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crock Pot Freezer Ready Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

My blog posts this week are two fold in that they allowed me to review the new holiday Gooseberry Patch Cookbook "Slow Cooker Christmas Favorites" and they allowed me to make some crock pot freezer meals to have on hand this winter.  I doubled the recipes to make one to enjoy now and one to freeze and enjoy later.

First up I made a Turkey & Wild Rice Soup.  I love that this soup sticks to your ribs and is perfect for those cold winter nights.  It is packed full of vegetables and the seasonings give it a nice herb flavor.   Serve it with some fresh baked bread your family will be happy to enjoy a cozy evening at home.  
First up the recipe......

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Freezer Meal Turkey Ole'

I have blogged before about how great Turkey Ole' is to make with leftover Turkey after the holidays, but today I'm going to show you how to make it as a freezer meal and just how inexpensive this meal can be.

First up the cost..... Now, I'm not going to account for the price of the turkey itself, because like I mentioned this is great to use for leftovers and chances are you would have bought the turkey for a previous meal, so this recipe is a bonus use for the meat.

8 flour tortillas                $1.00
2 cups shredded cheese  $2.00
1 can enchilada sauce     $ .75
1 can tomato paste          $ .61
1 pkg. taco seasoning     $ .70
                       total:        $5.06 or $1.27 per serving

And then I'm also guessing you already have paper towels, aluminium foil and gallon sized ziplock bags on hand, so we won't figure those into the cost either.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Crock Pot Pepperoni Macaroni & Cheese

Fall is just around the corner and that makes me want to break out my crock pot and make something warm & hearty to eat.  And, I'm happy to be blogging today for Red Gold Tomatoes and tell you about the big "2 A Day Crock Pot Give-a-way" they have going on their facebook page and offer you a giveaway on this blog as well.  So to get things started I'm sharing a recipe you can make in your crock pot with some Red Gold Diced Tomatoes.  This recipe for Pepperoni Macaroni & Cheese is sure to spruce up your traditional mac-n-cheese recipe and moves the dish from being a side dish to a main entree'.  The creaminess of the cheese along with the spice in the pepperoni was a hit at our house.

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