Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!!

Well it's the last day of July and that can only mean one thing, Foodie Pen Pals reveal day!! If you read last month I started participating in Foodie Pen Pals. Foodie Pen Pals was started by Lindsay at the The Lean Green Bean blog. Make sure you check out her blog, besides the pen pals she has lots of great stuff!!

This month I received a package from April of Polka Dots N Pinky Swears. April was great and contacted me right away to see what I like and don't like. I was very excited to see what she had in store for me. A couple weeks later my package arrived. And sadly the USPS had not been kind to it :( April had sent a jar of sauce that had broken open in transit and sadly it caused some of her items to be ruined. But There were still some great things left and whatever sauce it was that got shattered, smelled awesome,lol!
Here are the three things that survived the wild ride from April's house to mine. I'll start with the Banana Nut Bread bar. It was very tasty and if I can ever find them at a local store I would buy them. They make a quick on the go breakfast. The next thing is the Caramel popcorn seasoning. April had no idea, but whenever we go to the movies my daughter always uses the caramel seasoning they have at the theater. She was so excited to see that in the box and I of course had to pop her some popcorn immediately. She still cannot believe she can have her favorite flavor at home and sends a big THANKS to April! The last and my favorite is the Sweet n Spicy pepper glaze. I love sweet n spicy stuff! This stuff does not disappoint. So far I have only used it for dipping my homemade chicken strips and it is amazing. I plan to use it for some chicken breasts next. I hope I can find it locally!!

I love Foodie Pen Pals and I will be participating in August as well. You do not need a blog to participate. Here are some FAQS you might want to know before you join:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

I know you want to join so go here and maybe you'll be my pen pal next month!! Also if you are visiting my blog for the first time don't forget to enter my great cookbook giveaway here and I would love you to follow me on Facebook as well.

                                                      Have a fantastic day!!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Barely Cooking!

I know most of my posts are about lunches but this past week I made a family favorite and used the leftovers to make a new family favorite. And I barely even cooked!!

Several years ago I stumbled across a recipe for Salsa Chicken in a  crock pot, I'm not even sure where the original recipe came from.Every time I make it I tweak it to what's in my cupboard so now I just wing it,lol! But it is my daughters all time favorite thing and she requests it often. You can also use it lots of ways. Typically my family likes it on rice, I like it in a flour tortilla and we all like to cover it with cheese :)  To make the Salsa Chicken:

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 packet taco seasoning ( the original recipe called for a whole packet which I think is way too much)
1 cup salsa
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup ( you could use mushroom or celery as well)
1 can black beans,drained
and about 3/4 of a 16oz bag frozen corn ( if you use fresh or canned, I wouldn't add until maybe the last hour or it may get mushy)

Throw it all in your crock pot. I like to use the liners because I am lazy and hate to clean. Cook on low about 6-8 hours. You know it's done when the chicken shreds easily. Shred all the chicken and mix well. Serve alone, on rice or in flour tortilla shells. Top with cheese, sour cream or crushed tortilla chips.

There are only 3 people in my household so we always have leftovers. I had a roll of the seamless crescent roll dough in the fridge for another recipe but it just seemed like it would be perfect to fill it with the leftover salsa chicken. So I cut the dough into 4 equal squares. Spooned a bunch of the filling into the middle of each and topped it with cheddar cheese. Then I just folded the 4 corners in and made sure the seams were sealed. Brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with some bread crumbs. I then baked them for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. They turned out so yummy!
I was so happy that I was able to use leftovers and not feel like we were eating the same thing over again. Plus it was great to get 2 meals from barely even cooking!!

Tomorrow is reveal day for Foodie Pen Pals, so be sure to come back and see what I got this month!! And make sure if you haven't done so already you enter my giveaway for a copy of the Allergy Friendly Food for Families cookbook, there's something for everyone in it!

                                                                   Have a great night!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Allergy Friendly Food For Families Giveaway!!

As many of you know I am a Moms Meet Ambassador and I often get asked to try different products and let you know what I think about them. This time I was asked to review a  new cookbook from the editors of  Kiwi. The cookbook is called Allergy-Friendly Food For Families and it's filled with 120 gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free recipes your whole family can enjoy!

First I have to say that I do not have an allergy in our household, however we have other friends and family that do and I found this cookbook to be loaded with lots of great information I can use to make things that everyone that comes over can enjoy! Besides the recipes it has information on allergies as well as a guide to building a natural allergy-free pantry. And they have a great website you should check out as well!

One of the recipes I made was chocolate cinnamon crisps. These were so fast and easy and as you can tell from the picture my daughter and her cousin really liked them. In fact they liked them so much that they ate them all before I could make a dip to go with them,lol! I also liked that I could cut them into cute shapes to put in lunches and will definitely be making them during the school year.

Another recipe we tried was the Polenta Mini Pizzas. First let me tell you that these are a piece of cake to make and something you can easily have the kids help make. In fact alot of the recipes in the book are geared to having the kids help in the kitchen. Which I think is great and really makes them want to try what they worked so hard on. Anyway back to the pizzas. After having my daughter help me put them together (literally about 10 minutes!!) we put them in the oven and waited not so patiently to try them. My daughter deemed them just okay, but said if she couldn't eat "real" pizza these would definitely be a good substitute. I on the other hand really liked them and on top of being allergy friendly they are super low in calories and fat making them figure friendly too! I will be making them again and trying some different toppings. Kiwi has given me permission to pass the recipe on to you so here you go:

                                                        Polenta Mini Pizzas
 Canola oil for coating the pan
1 (18 oz) tube of prepared polenta, sliced into 12 rounds
3/4 cup of you favorite tomato sauce ( they also have a great recipe for one in the book )
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.

2. Place the 12 polenta rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Top each with 1 scant tablespoon of sauce,1 tablespoon of mozzarella and 1 teaspoon Pecorino Romano cheese.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Per Mini pizza:
66 calories
2g fat
3g protein
8g carbohydrates
1g dietary fiber

This recipe is gluten-free,nut-free,egg-free and soy-free.

** You could also add any other toppings that you want such as veggies, herbs or pepperoni.**

There are many other recipes in the cookbook and they are all nicely organized by category and clearly labeled as to which allergy they are for. A majority of the recipes are safe for all the allergies listed. To purchase this cookbook please go here and they will also throw in a free subscription to Kiwi magazine as well.

Now for the best part Moms Meet and Kiwi are allowing me to give away a copy of this great cookbook to one lucky reader!

To enter to win please comment on why you would love to win this book. Please make sure you leave an email so that I can contact you if you win.

Contest is open to residents of the USA and ends on August 6th at 10am. Winner will be chosen by random.org. CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!!

                                                                      Good Luck!!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of
the Moms Meet SM program, May Media Group LLC, who received
it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet SM blogger, I
agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My
opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media
Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zucchini Season!!

Summer is in full swing and that means lots of zucchini!! My garden isn't doing as great this year but we do have some zucchini! One of my family's favorite things is zucchini bread and my daughter's all time favorite is chocolate chip zucchini bread. Now many recipes are heavy on the sugar and not so great for you but I use a recipe from  Skinnytaste and it is wonderful. In fact I haven't tried a recipe from her site that isn't awesome, so make sure you visit and look around, you won't be sorry you did!!

I like to make mine into muffins because it makes it easier to pack them in lunches and I control the size. When I do the loaf everyone takes giant slices,lol! The bonus is these are low fat as well!! The recipe can be found  here :)