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What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Frogmore Stew

9 Jul
Frogmore Stew: I couldn't get enough of it!

Frogmore Stew: I couldn’t get enough of it!

I’d like to start this post with, “Well, at least I loved it.”

And now I’ll continue from there, with my disclaimer out there.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again: I have a seafood allergy. It’s not all seafood, but it’s a lot of seafood: clams, oysters, scallops, calamari, mussels. It’s class two of shellfish, the mollusks. It’s also a relatively new allergy. I grew up eating all of the above, but only began reacting to the seafood in the past five or so years.

It really, really stinks. It stinks even more, I think, because I know what I’m missing. I can taste those foods in my mind. I crave them.

As a native New Englander, it’s an awful allergy to have, and in the summertime it’s particularly really awful. Seafood is everywhere and it’s particularly prominent in the summertime. It’s the thing to do, the post-event treat, or the event itself, as in a good, old-fashioned clam boil.

A clam boil traditionally is where you cook the clams, the corn, the potatoes, the onions, the white fish, saugy hot dogs, everything all together and then you eat it. The smell is to die for if you love seafood the way I do. The taste is even better. You often pair it with some white clam chowder, and some golden fried clam cakes. Clams, clams, clams.

I miss clam boils.

That’s why, when I saw this recipe come across my Facebook timeline for something called Frogmore Stew, I had to have it. I tagged my husband: “I can eat this,” I said. It didn’t have clams. It had shrimp, which I can have, and kielbasa, which we like and then the usual corn, potatoes, onions etc. I wanted it instantly. **The recipe that I have linked here may not be the exact one that came across my page because the one I saw go by had kielbasa as the ingredient, whereas this one has sausage but you could substitute kielbasa. I couldn’t find the original post on my page that I’d shared when I looked back to type this post. Everything else is the same, however.**

And, the good husband that he is, I had it for dinner that same night. He made the whole thing, just for me.

I was in heaven.

I will say, as I alluded in the beginning of this post: I was the only one.

According to my husband, a true clam boil is better.

Well, of course.

My kids had a variety of reactions from “Can I just make myself a bagel?” to “Where’s the cocktail sauce?” to “I’ll have just corn and kielbasa please.”

But, I honestly didn’t care. I was so happy to have a version of a clam boil type of dinner that had almost all the ingredients, the same aroma, and wouldn’t put me down for the count, that I really didn’t care who else loved it as much as I did.

So, my recommendation? I’d totally make it and eat it again. I have friends who also said they made it and loved it in and around the same time that I did, so it wasn’t just me!

If you like all the ingredients in the recipe and you’re looking for a new and different twist on a traditional New England clam boil as I was, I highly recommend you try this one!

 

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Tortellini, Shrimp and Tomato Soup

25 Jun
Sometimes impulse shopping can be good!

Sometimes impulse shopping can be good!

Grocery shopping on an empty stomach…never a good thing. Grocery shopping with a bunch of kids who all have empty stomachs, also not a good thing.

At least, not usually.

At the end of the school year, the kids and I were power walking through Aldi’s, trying to pick up a few things to get us through the next bunch of days, but we were all hungry. There was lots of, “Can we get this? Oh…we haven’t had this in a while, can we get it….Oh Mommy I LOVE these, can we get them,” I’m sure you know how it goes.

I mostly said no to many of the requests unless it was something I knew we actually needed. I try to keep my big grocery trip to a paycheck week only, and I knew that this could quickly get out of hand if I didn’t keep my kids’ requests to a minimum.

However, one of the requests I said yes to was my daughter’s plea for Tortellini. We hadn’t had it in a while, I did need some meal fillers, and it looked good just in the packaging because it was tri-colored pasta.

We threw not one, but two bags in the carriage and moved on. We passed the frozen shrimp section next. I love putting shrimp and pasta together so I threw one bag of that in the carriage also.

I wasn’t sure what I would be doing with the items I was purchasing, but I couldn’t wait to get home and do Google search and see what came up. I didn’t just want to do plain old pasta and sauce. I’d done that in a pinch too many times this school year.

Sure enough, my Google search led me to a great recipe for Tortellini Tomato Soup. I knew I could add shrimp to that without a problem. Funny enough, one of my other daughters had been begging me to find a recipe for Tomato Soup that could equal the sample we’d had earlier this winter at Whole Foods. At $4.99 for a small jar it was a once-only treat for us, and I’d promised to find her a recipe to equal it or surpass it.

The recipe I found, from Two Peas and Their Pod.com, was great. It didn’t take long to prepare and it had easy ingredients. I knew that I could throw the shrimp into the mix without a problem.

The soup looked amazing as it cooked. Cooking time didn't take very long at all and the ingredients were simple.

The soup looked amazing as it cooked. Cooking time didn’t take very long at all and the ingredients were simple.

In my house there are such a wide variety of tastes that it’s hard to please everyone. I knew that this recipe had the potential to work for everyone. I could separate some of the soup before throwing in the pasta and shrimp, for those who wanted just plain tomato soup. Then, anyone who wanted tortellini and shrimp in theirs could have it (me) and anyone who wanted one or the other could do that too. There was definitely something for everyone with this recipe.

I also threw the ingredients into my bread machine, a newly rediscovered toy this year, to make a French Bread to go along with our soup. The recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod showed the soup with a nice crusty bread, and I couldn’t get that image out of my mind when I was prepping my meal.

It turned out to be a fabulously delicious dinner, and everyone was happy. I had enough leftovers of both the plain soup and the loaded soup to have lunch for a couple of days, and the bread was the perfect accompaniment to the meal. The use of Greek nonfat yogurt in the recipe made it ideal for our family’s dietary needs, as we have to stick to a pretty lowfat diet as much as possible. The soup was still just as creamy as it would have been had we used a heavier cream.

I definitely would make this soup again, and I did indeed keep my promise of finding my daughter a soup that’d match the one she’d sampled in Whole Foods, and for a fraction of the cost of one small jar in their store.

I have copied the recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod below, just as they have it on their site. I encourage you to pop on over to their site as well, they have lots of great recipes on there. This is not the first time I’ve visited it myself!

I was essentially able to make two soups with one recipe: one loaded with tortellini and shrimp, and one creamy tomato soup.

I was essentially able to make two soups with one recipe: one loaded with tortellini and shrimp, and one creamy tomato soup.

TWO PEAS AND THEIR POD CREAMY TOMATO TORTELLINI SOUP

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (32 oz) container vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 (9 oz) packages fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (we use Buitoni)
Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, for garnish, optional

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes.

2. Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Use a hand immersion blender to blend the soup (or carefully transfer soup to a blender to blend and return to the pot). Stir in the Greek yogurt until well combined. Stir in the cheese tortellini and cook on medium-low until tortellini is cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Serve warm.

Fun Friday: Baked Oatmeal: It’s not just for breakfast

6 Jun
100_3245

I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

ORIGINALLY POSTED MAY 10, 2013: The other day I came across a great new recipe for baked oatmeal. It was on Skinnytaste.com, a blog I follow on Facebook. I love all kinds of oatmeal from steel cut to overnight to baked.

This recipe also had a fruity combination that I love: strawberry and rhubarb. I didn’t have rhubarb, but I noticed that it had bananas in it, and strawberry and banana is another top favorite combination of mine so I decided to make it without the rhubarb.

Besides the fact that I skipped the rhubarb, the other thing about this recipe is that I made it as an after school snack, not for breakfast! It was so good, and everyone had seconds, everyone loved it and there was very little left over.

I would definitely make this recipe again and if I had rhubarb, I’d throw it in there, but it was also fine without!

Without further ado, here, from the Skinnytaste Blog
For the fruit filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium ripe banana, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup honey
This snack was quick to put together with simple ingredients.

This snack was quick to put together with simple ingredients.

For the Oats:

  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats (use GF oats if Gluten Free)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Lightly spray a 9 x 9″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; place banana slices on the bottom of the baking dish and set aside.

Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl. Add honey, sprinkle with cornstarch and toss until fruit is well coated and place in prepared baking dish over the bananas.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract, then add to the oats.

Pour the oat mixture over the strawberries and rhubarb, making sure to distribute the mixture evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the the top.

Bake the oatmeal for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Summer Pasta Salad with Peaches

4 Jun
This salad was a hit all around!

This salad was a hit all around!

I’m always getting emails with recipes in my inbox, and every so often one of them will catch my eye and I’ll open it up. The other day I happened to notice a recipe from Cooking Light for a Summer Peach and Tomato Salad.

The name of the recipe, the combination of peaches and tomatoes made me click on it and read it. Of course other than peaches and tomatoes, yet not all the kinds of tomatoes they recommended, I didn’t have most of the ingredients for the salad. I didn’t have Sherry Vinegar or red onions or Feta cheese (I don’t even like Feta cheese) or fresh Basil.

Even still, the recipe stayed on my mind. I knew I wanted to try it one day. In the meantime, I still had to come up with my meal planning for this week, and one night we were going to be grilling pork chops. I went downstairs to my pantry to see what I could put as a side dish or two with the chops, and of course, we had next to nothing since we hadn’t done our “big shopping” yet. However, we had a box of pasta, we had honey and olive oil, I knew we had tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella cheese and….fresh summer peaches. I decided to do a variation on the Cooking Light recipe and make my pasta salad for the side dish, but add in some peaches with the other veggies.

“Ewwww….” my daughter said. “That sounds gross together.”

Excellent. A vote of confidence.

Not.

But no worries, I was going to try it anyway. To me, the tomatoes and peaches sounded like they’d go well together, and I looked up a substitution for Sherry Vinegar which said Rice Wine Vinegar which we always have and like to use.

I put on the water to boil and began slicing my peaches. As my pasta cooked and I sliced, that same daughter wandered into the kitchen.

“Can I help?” she asked.

I let her help despite her lack of confidence in this new recipe. As I sliced up the peaches, she threw them into a big bowl and added in the tomatoes, honey, olive oil and vinegar. As I drained the pasta, she peeled and sliced the cucumber and threw that in too. She took a taste.

“This is actually pretty good together!” she said.

I might’ve said, “I told you so,” but I will neither confirm or deny that.

We tossed in the pasta and mixed it all together noting how pretty the reds and yellows looked together. I was wishing I had fresh Basil to add a touch of green, and I debated adding another peach, but decided for this first time out, just to leave it all as is, and see how well this Summer Pasta Salad with Peaches went over with the rest of the family.

Well….I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone loved it and the combination of the peaches with the other fruits, veggies and seasonings was perfect.

My daughter redeemed herself by exclaiming over and over again how great this was together, and I was happy.

I would definitely recommend bringing some summer into your recipes too, adding in peaches and other summer fruits to some of your regular meals. Making this recipe made me even more excited for the end of school and the summertime and for all the delicious summer-only items that are starting to come into season now.

Next time you’re making a salad, think of Cooking Light and their recipe, of my Summer Pasta Salad with Peaches, and see what variation you can come up with!

Even though initially she thought this salad didn't sound appealing at all, she was my biggest helper and biggest fan of the recipe at mealtime!

Even though initially she thought this salad didn’t sound appealing at all, she was my biggest helper and biggest fan of the recipe at mealtime!

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Taco Stuffed Shells from She Knows and Gina

21 May
This Mexican/Italian meal was yummy!

This Mexican/Italian meal was yummy!

ORIGINALLY POSTED JUNE 26, 2013

I am never afraid to admit it: I love Facebook. I really do. I love connecting with people and I really love re-connecting with people. I also love food. I love seeing all the neat things that people are cooking and eating. Recently, a friend of Don’s from high school, Gina, posted the link to a recipe that he thought looked amazing. He posted it on my wall to see what I thought, and I thought it looked good too!

The recipe was from the site She Knows, and it certainly looked delicious! It was a recipe that combined jumbo Italian pasta shells with a Mexican filling. It sounded like something everyone would like and I actually had all but two of the ingredients to make it, we were only missing the taco seasoning and the cream cheese, both easy enough to pick up. This was also something we could make to fit our dietary restrictions just by using fat free cheese and low fat cream cheese. We also used ground turkey instead of ground beef, a leaner option.

This past weekend Don gave it at try. Using Gina’s recommendations, he also picked up a couple of side items: lettuce, tomato and avocado, which we served on the side. Everyone loved them! Everyone had second helpings also. This is a recipe I’d definitely make again.

Thank you for sharing, Gina!!

Stuffed Mexican shells recipe as seen on the “She Knows” website

Yields 16 stuffed shells

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 16 large pasta shells
  • 1 cup medium-spiced salsa, divided (more if desired) **we used mild, not medium
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

  1. Brown ground beef, drain and add in package of taco seasoning. Prepare meat according to taco seasoning packet directions.
  2. Once cooked down, add in cream cheese and stir until it’s completely combined. Set aside.
  3. Add water to a large pot and put on stove to boil. Once boiling, add in 1 tablespoon kosher salt and large pasta shells. Boil till al dente.
  4. Once shells are cooked, drain, lay out in a single row and cool till they are cool enough to touch. Fill each shell with taco/cream cheese mixture. Start off by adding 1 tablespoon per shell and then adding more if there is leftover filling.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Add 1/2 cup salsa to the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch pan and put stuffed shells into the pan so they are snug. Top shells with remaining 1/2 cup salsa.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until everything is warm.
  8. Take off foil and sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Fun Friday: In honor of National Chocolate Chip Day…Chocolate Chip Fruit Pizza

16 May
fruit pizza

This was such a great recipe, it got all thumbs up, all the way around!

This week I received an email message from a fellow cast member from last week’s Listen To Your Mother. The message was letting me know that today was going to be National Chocolate Chip Day!

I do believe that every day should be National Chocolate Chip Day and at my house, I celebrate on almost a daily basis.

Conveniently enough, I’d just tried out a new recipe from Skinnytaste, one of my favorite blogs for lowfat recipes. I’d received it in my inbox earlier this week and knew it was a “must try” recipe for sure.

The recipe was for a fruit pizza, and it looked so refreshing. We had some unusually hot weather on Sunday and Monday and I knew that Monday afternoon the kids would be looking for a nice cool snack when they came home Monday afternoon.

When I looked at the recipe for the fruit pizza, I had everything for it except for white chocolate chips. I decided that instead, I would use my semisweet chocolate chips, making the crust a chocolate chip cookie crust. It was perfect! I had a good mix of fruit, although slightly different options than she used on hers: I used blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi. I actually had more than enough, so that I ended up doing a side dish of all the extra fruit and they ate that as much as they ate the fruit pizza. I love seeing my kids eating so much fresh fruit, especially this time of year when the weather is warm and the delicious fruits are plentiful.

I am posting the recipe here just as it appears on the Skinnytaste blog. I do hope you’ll visit the blog however, I always find great things there. In fact, just last night I made one of her chicken recipes, and my daughter said, “I just love when you make this chicken!” So do check the Skinnytaste blog out!

Here’s the Skinnytaste Fruit Pizza recipe. I have just two minor modifications other than the semisweet chocolate chips vs. white chocolate chips: I bake with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and I used nonfat plain yogurt instead of applesauce. Other than that, I followed her recipe as is. Everyone loved it, and it made a great after school snack recipe. I had enough that it lasted us for two days. I’d definitely make this again!

Fruit Pizza
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 30 • Size: 1 bar  • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 140 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 24 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 2 g • Sugar: 17 g
Sodium: 72 mg • Cholesterol: 10 mg

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour (Gold Medal)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

To Assemble:

  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 3 diced kiwis
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 x 1.375 inch non-stick baking pan (quarter sheet pan) with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir to blend.

In another bowl, whisk the sugars with the butter, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a spatula in two additions until the batter is very well blended. If the batter looks more “crumbly” than smooth, add just a drop of water at a time (ONLY if needed) until it smooths out. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Spread the batter onto the baking pan using the back of a measuring cup to smooth evenly.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until the edges are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don’t over-bake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely on wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting; in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until well-blended.

Cut the bars into 15 large squares (5 cuts by 3 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles. Spread the frosting in a thin, even layer over the surface of the cookie, leaving a small margin around the edges. Layer the fresh fruit over the frosting. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Garlic Roasted Kale

14 May
This made a nice change for us as a side dish with dinner.

This made a nice change for us as a side dish with dinner.

A while back I posted the recipe from our visit to the White House for the 2012 Kid’s State Dinner for Kale Chips. That visit was our first experience with kale chips, but it was not our last. My kids love them and it makes a great after school snack for sure.

Recently, however, I received an email for a variation of kale chips. This recipe was for Garlic Roasted Kale from the site My Recipes.com, and I thought I’d give it a try. The things that attracted me to this recipe were the fact that it included garlic, which I love, and it also included kosher salt, which I enjoy the flavor of as well.

I gave it a try one afternoon and the kids absolutely loved it. I decided to try it again most recently as a side dish for our dinner, instead of our usual broccoli or green beans or salad. As my kids were walking through the kitchen, they each asked what I was making and each time they were so excited when I said kale. I had to just shake my head in amazement. I don’t think I ever imagined I’d get three cheers for kale. Ever.

Below is the recipe from My Recipes.com for Garlic Roasted Kale. The only thing I skipped in this recipe was the vinegar at the end because I did not think the kids would like it, although I was pretty sure I would. The rest I did as was called for.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil$
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped$
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • DIRECTIONS
    1. Arrange oven racks in center and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 425°. Place a large jelly-roll pan in oven for 5 minutes.
    2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place kale mixture on hot pan, spreading with a silicone spatula to separate leaves. Bake at 425° for 7 minutes. Stir kale. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until edges of leaves are crisp and kale is tender.
    3. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

 

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Egg and Sausage Casserole

30 Apr
This was a great last minute save for our dinner a few weeks back!

This was a great last minute save for our dinner a few weeks back!

Ever have one of those nights where you’ve counted on leftovers for dinner but yet when you open the fridge, there aren’t any?

Yup. It really stinks when that happens, doesn’t it?

We must’ve had a very hungry week the week prior to our spring break because when we made our menu for the week, knowing we’d be going away for the break week, we tried hard to use what we had and we worked in leftovers on the menu for a particularly busy night where we’d have to eat and run. But, we did an extra good job of using what we had because when I looked, I realized I needed a new plan for dinner that night.

Coincidentally, because I get so many meal ideas and recipes in my inbox each day, one happened to catch my eye and spark my interest for dinner that night. It was an egg and sausage casserole which was supposed to be cooked in the slow cooker, most likely for an Easter brunch type of meal, but it gave me an idea for my last minute Wednesday-before-the-chorus- concert-and-dance-class night type of meal instead.

I began looking on the internet and Pinterest for egg casserole ideas. I wanted to make a good-sized one so that I could also use it for the remaining week’s breakfasts and lunches too. I am a big fan of the “Cook Once, Eat Twice” philosophy.

The recipe I came up with was well-received by my family and I even served it with an English Muffin bread, which I made in the bread maker while I was gone for the afternoon. I did not need to slow cook my casserole, so I baked it in the oven instead. It was a perfect meal.

Here is the recipe I somewhat created, based on all the recipes I saw that day.

EGG AND SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

12 package cooked sausage (I used a combination of cut up low fat turkey sausage links (8) and what I had left of my Jimmy Dean low fat Turkey sausage crumbles.)

14 eggs beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 small onion, chopped

Several small potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (I used six potatoes, I could’ve done with five. Six was just a bit much, even for a large casserole.)

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we use low fat)

DIRECTIONS

I precooked my potatoes and my onions and sausage in olive oil on the stove top first. I put them into two cast iron skillets since I had such a large amount, and cooked them before putting them in the bottom of my casserole dish. I poured my eggs on top of them once in the dish, and topped with the shredded cheese.

I baked my casserole for one hour at 350 degrees. Be sure to check it by putting a knife through. The casserole looks done about halfway before it is done. Halfway through, I covered it with foil because the top was golden brown but the inside was still loose.

 

 

 

 

Sponsored Post: Dairy Pure Milk with a Worry-Free Flip Cap Recipe and Giveaway!

28 Mar
Have you seen it yet? Dairy Pure Milk has a great new flip cap!

Have you seen it yet? Dairy Pure Milk has a great new Worry-Free flip cap!

Do you ever have one of those “Why didn’t I think of that,” moments when you see something new on TV? I know I do!

I recently had one of those moments when I saw the television commercial for Dairy Pure’s new “Worry-Free” flip cap. I can’t tell you how many times our milk caps have gotten lost, accidentally thrown in the trash, or gone flying on to the floor upon being opened. In the past, I’ve had to put plastic wrap over our milk cover with an elastic band or use an old cover, or put all the milk into a pitcher, all to solve our milk cap problems.

Clearly, I’m not the only one whose household has had these types of milk cap worries, because Dairy Pure Milk recently introduced their new Worry-Free flip cap, which now keeps the cap ON the milk, where it’s supposed to be.

You can say it, I know you want to: “Why didn’t *I* think of that?”

Exactly.

Since we’re big smoothie people, especially now that the warmer weather is coming, I was excited to try out Dairy Pure milk and the great new worry-free cap, for a new smoothie recipe, which I’ll share below. I also enjoy using locally produced products and Dairy Pure is made by Garelick Farms in Franklin, Massachusetts, which is the town where both my husband I used to work.

Five important points!

Five important points!

When I tried out the Dairy Pure Milk, I made note of their Five Point Purity Checklist, which states the following:

*Our Farmers pledge NO artificial growth hormones

*We test our milk for antibiotics

*Continuously quality tested to ensure purity

*Only from cows fed a nutritious diet

*Cold-shipped fresh from your trusted dairy within hours

Those five points are all important, and I was pleased to know that Garelick takes those things seriously.

But it’s the cap….I love that cap! My days of plastic wrap, elastic bands and pitchers are a gone with the Worry-Free cap.

Before I share my smoothie recipe with you, I wanted to also pass along the Dairy Pure Recipe page in case you’d like to find even more recipe inspiration using Dairy Pure Milk!

And remember: Be sure to read to the end of this blog post, as I’ll be putting my instructions there for a Dairy Pure special giveaway!

Dairy Pure Milk with a Worry-Free cap is an excellent choice for your own smoothie concoctions!

Dairy Pure Milk with a Worry-Free cap is an excellent choice for your own smoothie concoctions!

Now…for my recipe! I often post smoothie recipes for my Fun Friday posts, and since it’s Friday, I thought a new smoothie recipe would pair well with my Dairy Pure Milk! I recently received a gift from my friend Amy: a jar of crunchy cookie butter!! She knew that I’d given up my favorite hazelnut spread for Lent, and she thought this delicious crunchy cookie butter would help me through the 40 days. She’s right! The jar is almost empty! I’ve been eating it with a spoon, but I thought I’d try it, along with the milk, in a smoothie and it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!

Here’s the recipe that I created last week:

Throw it all in a blender and you're ready to go!

Throw it all in a blender and you’re ready to go!

COOKIE BUTTER & BANANA SMOOTHIE

32 oz. of milk (You can use your choice of skim, low fat or whole milk, We used skim.)

Two frozen bananas

1/4 to 1/2 cup crunchy cookie butter

Three scoops fat free vanilla frozen yogurt

Whipped cream (optional)

Place all your ingredients into your blender or smoothie maker and blend it up! So simple! You can choose to add a little whipped cream to your smoothie if you’d like!

And now….the moment you’ve been waiting for! The Dairy Pure milk GIVEAWAY!
I know that if you’re like me, keeping your cold groceries cold between the store and home is important! Therefore, I’d love to give TWO READERS a special insulated, re-usable, handled shopping tote bag from Dairy Pure Milk! You can use it to keep all your cold foods cold when you’re en-route from store to home. Now you can shop for all of your smoothie ingredients: milk, fruits and frozen yogurts and keep them all cold so that when you get home and unpack, your ingredients will be ready for blending!

Do you want one? Leave a comment on my blog! What would *you* make with Dairy Pure Milk?

Do you want one? Leave a comment on my blog! What would *you* make with Dairy Pure Milk?

Here’s how to enter for a chance at the giveaway:

Leave me a comment here on my blog, telling me something yummy you would make with Dairy Pure milk!

That’s it! Easy peasy! I will take all of the responses and randomly draw two names for the totes. Be sure to check back so that you know if you’ve won!

I will run this giveaway for ONE WEEK, until Friday, April 4th, at which point I will announce the winners on the blog and on Facebook.

Good luck!!

 

 **This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for this post.

However, all of the thoughts, and opinions I have expressed here are my own.**

 

 

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Simple Shrimp and Chicken Stir Fry

26 Mar
I loved the flavor in this stir fry!

I loved the flavor in this stir fry!

You might think to yourself that if you’ve had one stir fry, you’ve had them all. How different could they possibly be?

I think it depends on what your ingredients are. There are so many different flavors out there, whether it’s the sauces you throw in or the ingredients and vegetables that you include.

Recently I had so many veggies left in my fridge that I didn’t want to go to waste, I decided to do a stir fry. I wanted to try a new one though, just to see what was out there. I also knew that besides the veggies I wanted to utilize, I also wanted the stir fry to include both chicken and shrimp, since I have kids who like one or the other, but not both.

I Googled “shrimp and chicken stir fry” and chose this one from http://hipfoodiemom.com and I really loved it! I had everything the recipe called for except mushrooms and snap peas, but I also had zucchini so I threw that in instead. It seemed reminiscent to me of a “Dump Cake” recipe I once read, where you literally just dump all the ingredients in together. That’s what I love about stir fry recipes, you can really throw in a lot of different things.

I think that the difference between this recipe and some of the ones I’ve tried in the past are the sesame oil and the balsamic vinegar. Those are new to any recipe I’ve tried before.

Here is the recipe as Hip Foodie Mom has it on her site. I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

It was the unique combination of sauces that made this recipe so good!

It was the unique combination of sauces that made this recipe so good!

Author: Hip Foodie Mom

Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 to 3 carrots, cut
  • 1 bell pepper (red or yellow), chopped
  • 1-2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • about 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • about 1 pound shrimp (fresh or frozen, but if frozen, make sure it’s completely thawed)
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken; chopped
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Serve with brown rice
Instructions
  1. Get all your veggies prepped: washed and chopped. And cut up your rotisserie chicken.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. After a minute or 2, throw in all of your vegetables and allow them to cook until just tender, for about 2 minutes. Stirring occasionally. After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook your vegetables or another 3 minutes or so. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Add the shrimp and chicken. Drizzle the sesame oil, add the low sodium soy sauce and a splash or 2 of balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more soy sauce or balsamic vinegar if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Serve over brown rice.

 

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