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Summer Grilling Recipes from Finlandia Imported Butter (yummy!)

 

Barbecue

Can you believe that it’s almost Memorial Day weekend? It seems like just yesterday we were wishing people a “Happy New Year” or giving out Valentine’s Day Cards. Time flies way too quickly.

We’ve already had our first barbecue of the season two weeks ago. My husband was especially excited. He LOVES barbecued hamburgers.

I wish we were allowed to have barbecues in our condo complex. Thanks to the foolish act of a resident (he put out a lit cigarette in a flower pot with a dried up flower inside), the Fire Marshall banned barbecues from our balconies too. We can have one but it has to be 200′ from the building. We live on a hill. Two hundred feet would put us in the parking lot. I’m pretty sure our neighbors wouldn’t want us barbecuing by their cars.

My husband loves to barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs at my father’s house. I wish we could barbecue other items like fish and chicken. If I had a barbecue I would use it all the time in nice weather and grill so much more than just burgers and hot dogs.

Here are some yummy sounding recipes from Finlandia Imported Butter. It’s made by the same people who bring you Finlandia Cheese. Finlandia Imported Butter is made with natural, non-GMO ingredients.

Finlandia®, the internationally renowned cheese maker noted for being one of the most highly regarded cheese brands in America, introduces – FinlandiaImported Butter.

Finlandia Imported Butter is crafted from pure, fresh milk, produced on family-owned farms in Finland. Finlandia Imported Butter is perfect for the American natural palate is made no rBST hormones. Finlandia Imported Butter is made from cows that graze as much as they can during the warm seasons.

This eclectic natural butter is perfect for breakfast, to butter a favorite muffin or croissant with its sweet, rich taste.  Finlandia Imported Butter is also a go-to choice for recipes and at dinnertime or to create delicious baked goods and decadent chocolate delights. Just in time for summer, Finlandia Imported Butter offers that perfect final touch for your BBQ, for seafood or vegetables.

Finlandia Imported Butter

“With butter a healthful choice, in moderation, for cooks and chefs, Finlandia Imported Butter is the perfect choice for all your grill needs, from marinades to decadent, rich sauces you can add to your corn-on-the-cob or grilled fish or lobster,” said Michelle Maxson, Vice President and Project Manager of  Finlandia® Cheese Inc. 

Finlandia  Imported Butter is the all-natural choice for chefs and home cooks alike. The AARP reports butter helps with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals found in vegetables, and advises consumers to choose a butter made from grass fed cows, as Finlandia Imported Butter is made, with heart healthy omega-3  fatty acids.

For many years, butter was considered a bad word.  However, butter is hot again, with chefs and families rejoicing in the news, based on newly published scientific reports. With the highly respected Annals of Internal Medicine and 72 major studies agreeing butter is good for you.

Crafted with pure, wholesome milk; rich and creamy, Finlandia Imported Butter brings butter from family-owned farms to the American table.

Here are some exciting new recipes for your next BBQ.

Corn

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Finlandia® Imported Butter Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of Finlandia® Imported Butter, softened
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Lime
  • Fresh Corn on the cob (in husks)
  • Optional: If you like a bit of spice, add in a teaspoon of Cumin

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and melt in a small pot.
  2. Grill your corn (in the husk) for about 15 – 20 minutes, being sure to turn often. Once it is done, let it cool a bit before you remove the husks, wearing grill gloves to protect your hands. Then, using a brush, apply the butter sauce. Serve the rest in a bowl.

Lobster

Grilled Lobster with ® Imported Butter Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of Finlandia® Imported Butter, melted
  • Lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
  • Lobster Tails (thawed)

Directions

  1. Before you light grill, use olive oil spray on grill.
  2. Heat grill to high temperature.
  3. Mix all ingredients for marinade, and split lobster tails lengthwise.
  4. Brush butter sauce on flesh side of lobster tails.
  5. Put on grill, and turn after 6 minutes, being sure to add butter sauce carefully after they are turned. Cooking time will vary, but should take about 15 minutes. Lobster when cooked is always an opaque color.
  6. Please note: you cannot use the extra marinade/butter sauce on the lobster once it is cooked. If you would like to have extra sauce, keep some on the side to serve in a separate bowl.

Mmmm… I LOVE corn on the cob. I’ve never cooked it on the grill before. Nothing says summer more than piping hot corn on the cob dripping with butter. Yum! Now I’m craving some. Maybe I’ll head to the farm after I post this and get some corn.

Never in a million years would I think to grill lobster. I love lobster. I like it more when someone else makes it for me. None the less this recipe sounds oh-so-good.

For more information about Finlandia Imported Butter or other Finlandia products visit www.FinlandiaCheese.com. You can also find other mouth watering recipes on their website. In addition you can find the brand on Facebook.

Are you a fan of Finlandia Cheese? Have you tried their Imported Butter yet?

What are YOUR favorite summer time recipes?

Finlandia Cheese Logo

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I shared these recipes with permission for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. 

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Chef Pati Jinich and Avocados From Mexico

 

Avocados from Mexico Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This holiday is known for it’s celebration and entertaining. Even if you are not Mexican you can still enjoy the holiday and all it has to offer such as mariachi music, parades, dancing, parties and of course food.

One popular ingredient in foods used to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is avocados.

I’m still learning about how to use avocados. My daughter loves them. I like it a lot too. I’m still trying to get my husband and son on board with them. That is why I need to learn new recipes I can prepare for my family that includes avocados.

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to ask Chef Pati Jinich about avocados. If you are not familiar with Pati she’s the host of the hit PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table. Patti was born and raised in Mexico City.

Pati’s Mexican Table, which is currently airing its fourth season nationwide (TV listings by zip code here: http://bit.ly/PMTstations). She served as a political analyst before jumping into the kitchen. Her first cookbook, Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking was recommended by The New York Times and included in Amazon’s Top 20 2013 cookbooks. Jinich is a regular guest on The Chew, The Today Show, The Talk, All Things Considered and The Splendid Table. She has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and other leading national and regional press. She has cooked for President Obama at the White House’s Cinco de Mayo dinner.

Chef Pati Jinich

Here are some fun avocado facts from Avocados from Mexico:

  • During the week of Cinco, 33,892,841 Million Pounds of avocados are consumed. That’s enough to fill over 45 million standard Margarita glasses.
  • Over 66 million individual avocados are consumed during the week of Cinco. Enough for half of the entire Mexican population to get their own avocado.
  • The amount of avocados consumed during Cinco week is 51 times the population of Denver, the city that holds one of the top Cinco De Mayo Festivals, “Celebrate Culture” and 6 times  that of the entire Colorado population
  • The avocado is also known as the “Alligator Pear”, Alligators weigh around 1,000 pounds each. The weight of the Avocados consumed would equal around 33,000 alligators.
  • The amount of avocados consumed during the week of Cinco would equal the weight of over 8 million average sized Spanish guitars similar to those used by Mariachi Bands.

Pati was kind enough to answer some questions for me about avacados (see the video below) as well as share some of her favorite recipes. Yummy!

 

Check out these mouth-watering recipes from Pati.

Avocados From Mexico – Cinco de Mayo 2015 -Pati Jinich Recipes 

Pic #5a Pico de Guacamole Final high

Tart Pico de Guac

Pico de Guacamole 

Serves 6 to 8

This is a delicious cross between a pico de gallo salsa and a guacamole, so I am calling it a pico de guac. It is mostly green in color, except for the red onion, which adds a welcome pungent note and a sprinkle of color. This pico de guac is also tart, but in a most delightful way and with different kinds of tartness: bright from the tomatillos, crisp from the green apples, and mild from the cucumbers.

I love to use it as a guacamole for an eye-opening appetizer. Yet, it is fabulous ladled as a chunky salsa on top of grilled fish, such as salmon. If you chop the ingredients into bigger bites, it makes for a saucy side salad. Have some left over? Spoon it inside of a chicken or cheese sandwich.

This pico de guac is versatile to no end. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber (about 1 pound) peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 4 tomatillos (about ½ pound), husked, thoroughly rinsed, diced
  • 1 tart green apple (granny smith, about ½ pound), rinsed, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, thoroughly rinsed, strings removed, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños or serranos, seeding optional, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 3 ripe avocados from Mexico, halved, pitted, meat scooped out, diced and gently mashed

To Prepare:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Taste for salt, and add more if needed.

Pic #198 Shrimp and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Red Sauce - PJ Recipe #2 Final high 

Shrimp and Avocado Enchiladas in a Creamy Red Sauce

Entomatadas con Camarones y Aguacate

Serves 6

These are my kids most requested enchiladas. Tender seared shrimp are paired with smooth chunks of avocado and then they fill soft corn tortillas. Finally, they are bathed in a creamy and rich red tomato sauce. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp drained, cut into 3 to 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup shrimp, fish or seafood broth, or water
  • 1 cup Mexican cream, Latin-style cream, or heavy cream, plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil, divided
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) queso fresco, farmer’s cheese or mild feta, crumbled
  • 1 ripe avocado from Mexico, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and sliced
  • Chopped chives for garnish

To Prepare:

  1. To make the sauce: Place the tomatoes, garlic and chiles in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are cooked through, mushy and soft.
  1. Place the cooked tomatoes, garlic and one of the chiles in a blender, along with the chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, grated nutmeg, and 1-cup broth. Purée until completely smooth, taste and add the second chile if you would like more heat.
  1. Rinse and dry the saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, but not smoking, pour in pureed tomato sauce and cover partially with a lid. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, seasons and deepens in color to a much darker red than where it started.
  1. Remove the lid, reduce heat to medium-low and add the cream. Stir and keep at a steady low simmer for about 8 to 10 more minutes, or until thickened and creamy, and it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. To heat the corn tortillas: Heat the tortillas on an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, for a minute or so per side, until they have lightly browned without toasting. Alternatively, “pass them through hot oil”: Heat enough oil to reach 1/2-inch deep in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat until hot. Gently glide each tortilla through the oil, one by one, for about 10 to 15 seconds on each side. So they completely heat through, lightly fluff and change color. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel-covered plate. Keep warm.
  1. To make the shrimp filling: Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet set over high heat. Once the oil is very hot, but not smoking, and the butter has melted and is bubbling, add half of the shrimp and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  1. Cook the shrimp for just a couple minutes, stirring a few times, until they are cooked through and a bit browned on the outside, but crisp and plump on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl.
  1. Mix the shrimp with the diced avocado.
  1. To assemble the enchiladas: One by one, glide each prepared tortilla through the sauce, which should still be hot. If not, heat again over medium heat. Place each bathed tortilla on a plate, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the shrimp and avocado mixture in the middle and fold as you would a quesadilla.
  2. Place the filled enchiladas on a platter and continue with rest of the tortillas, laying each one gently on top of the edge of the other. Once you are done, generously spoon more of the tomato sauce on top. Garnish with chives and crumbled cheese.

Pic #199 Avocado and Dulce de Leche Martini - PJ Recipe #11 Final high 

Avocado and Dulce de Leche Martini

Martini de Aguacate con Dulce de Leche

Serves 1

Shake up the way you usually think of using avocados in this simple, satisfyingly sweet, creamy cocktail. It’s perfect for a girls’ night in or an evening in the backyard with friends and neighbors. Better yet, you can even leave out the alcohol and make it a frappe for the kids! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ripe avocado from Mexico, meat scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons dulce de leche or cajeta
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup milk

To Prepare:

Pour all of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it and strain into a chilled martini glass.  

Avocado and Chorizo Enchiladas

Chorizo and Avocado Black Bean Enchiladas 
Enchiladas de Chorizo y Aguacate con Salsa de Frijol

Makes 12 enchiladas, serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked beans and their cooking broth (or 2 cans black beans plus 1 cup water)
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce 
1 Chipotle chile in adobo, seeded, optional
1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
12 corn tortillas
2 ripe avocados from Mexico, halved, pitted, diced 
Mexican cream to garnish

To Prepare:

  1. Place the cooked black beans and their cooking broth in a blender along with the sauce from the chipotles in adobo and the chipotle chile if using. Place in a medium saucepan, heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very hot. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and keep warm. The puree should have the consistency of heavy cream.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add chorizo, and cook, crumbling as it cooks with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it has browned and crisped, about 5 to 6 minutes, scrape into a bowl, cover and set aside.
  3. Pre-heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  4. Heat the corn tortillas, a pair at a time, in the pre heated comal or skillet, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, you want them to be completely heated and even slightly toasted.(Alternatively, the tortillas can be quickly “passed through hot oil”, that is quickly fried, 10 seconds per side, over pre heated oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then drained). One by one, dip a tortilla in the black bean sauce, and place on a platter, folded. Continue with the remaining tortillas.
  5. When all the tortillas are dipped and folded, pour more black bean sauce on top. Cover with the cooked chorizo and avocado. Drizzle with Mexican cream.

I would never think to use avocados in a cocktail. That is certainly a very unique recipe.

If you would like to learn more about Avocados from Mexico, as well as more great recipes, please visit www.AvocadosfromMexico.com. You can also find them on all the social media sites (the links are found at the bottom of their website).

Do you have a favorite avocado recipe? Are you planning on celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Feel free to share your thoughts and recipes.

Avocados from Mexico logo

Kimberly

*I received free products in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with IMUSA

 

Tortilla with beef, peppers, onions, salsa and cheese.

Tortilla with beef, peppers, onions, salsa and cheese.

It’s Cinco de Mayo time. You don’t have to be of Mexican decent to celebrate the day, the same way you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. What is that expression, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?”

According to History.com;

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.

Part of the fun of celebrating the holiday, aside from drinks like Margaritas, is the food. Tacos, Tostadas, Quesadillas and Chili are all popular food that can enjoyed on Cinco de Mayo. Another popular food is Tortillas.

My family is not Mexican, but we do enjoy Mexican foods. I thought I would give tortillas a try.

IMUSA sent me some kitchen products to help me and my family to make some foods to celebrate the holiday. I received;

  • Avocado Slicer
  • Cloth Tortilla Warmer
  • Salsa Dishes
  • GlobalKitchen Citrus Squeezer
  • GlobalKitchen Tortilla Press

I have never made tortillas before. I had to Google a few recipes to find one that worked for me. This is the one that I used.

IMUSA Tortilla Press

IMUSA Tortilla Press

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl and mix together with a mixer until all the dry ingredients are mixed well. Next add the oil and water and mix again at medium speed until everything is well mixed and the dough is smooth.
  2. Remove the mixture from the bowl and place on a well floured work surface. Cover it with a clean towel and allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. While it’s resting warm up a non-stick pan on medium heat.
  4. After the mixture has rested, rip it apart to form balls.
  5. Using an IMUSA tortilla press, press one dough ball at a time. When you have flattened the dough place it in a dry pan.
  6. Cook the dough for about 1-2 minutes then flip it over and cook the other side 1-2 minutes (it depends on the size and thickness of the tortilla). Once you see it bubble and start to brown it’s done. Remove it and pop it into a tortilla warmer to keep it warm.

Tortilla Warmer

You can fill your tortillas with anything you want. I cooked some beef (I used stir fry cut meat), onions and peppers.

We took a tortilla, topped it with some salsa then added the beef, pepper and onions mixture then topped it off with a little taco flavored cheese. Ideally we should have been able to roll it up but I had cooked the tortillas too much and they were kind of crispy.

I learned a few things making the tortillas.

I should have used a little more flour or less water – my dough was sticky.

Sticky dough balls that were too small.

Sticky dough balls that were too small.

I made my dough balls too small in the beginning. The tortillas were TINY! I had to combine a few dough balls to make larger tortillas (normal sized ones).

My first tortilla was too small! It took a few tries but I finally got them to be normal size.

My first tortilla was too small! It took a few tries but I finally got them to be normal size.

Don’t over cook the tortillas. You can still eat them it just makes them harder to roll up when they are crispy.

IMUSA sent me the tortillas press. I love the red color. It really brightened up my kitchen.

The tortilla warmer was too big for our microwave so I really couldn’t use it.

I should have used plastic wrap on my press so that the dough didn’t stick. I saw on the Internet that some people used plastic, so I used freezer bags. That made it hard to press it just right. If I had plastic wrap it would have press it better.

Using the Tortilla Press with plastic bags - next time use plastic wrap!

Using the Tortilla Press with plastic bags – next time use plastic wrap!

I used the bowls IMUSA sent me for the salsa and cheese so everyone could make their own the way they like it.

IMUSA also sent me a GlobalKitchen Citrus Squeezer. That was fun. My kids had fun helping me with that. I plan on using it to squeeze lemons to make lemonade.

Avocado Slicer and Citrus Squeezer

Avocado Slicer and Citrus Squeezer

I also received an Avocado Slicer. I bought an avocado to smash up in case anyone wanted to use that on their tortillas too but the one I picked up from the store looked very weird when I opened it. I don’t think it was good at all and I didn’t want to take a chance eating. I’m sorry that I don’t have a photo of that in action.

Whether you are whipping up a festive feast for Cinco de Mayo, or making your own salsa to serve at your next backyard barbecue, IMUSA USA has the products for you.

Citrus Squeezer

Citrus Squeezer

IMUSA products are sold at many retail locations. You can also check them out at IMUSAUSA.com. You can also check them out on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

You can also see what others are saying about IMUSA and how they are using the brand for their own Cinco de Mayo celebration using the hashtag #IMUSAdeMayo.

Are you doing anything to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Do you have a favorite recipe? Have you ever used IMUSA USA products? Feel free to leave a comment. I love to hear from my readers.

IMUSA Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review/post. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Delicious breakfast recipes for Mother’s Day

 

Heart

Mother’s Day is just one week from today (May 10, 2015). Do you have something planned for that special lady in your life (mother, grandmother, wife…)?

Some mom’s love to get breakfast in bed. I would LOVE to have breakfast in bed but I sleep on a sofa bed and it’s not the most comfortable thing to sleep on, let alone sit up and try and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast lovingly made for me by my kids and/or husband.

If you or your kids are planning breakfast in bed for mom this year and need some inspiration, check out these yummy look recipes from Krusteaz (shared with permission of course).

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6-7 pancakes

Directions:

Prepare Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix as directed (see below), adding 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel for each cup of mix used.

Blend 2 cups mix, 1¼ cups cold water and 2 tablespoons oil together. Batter will be slightly lumpy. (Do not overmix.)

Pour batter onto lightly greased and preheated waffle iron.

Cook waffles until steaming stops, about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Berry Pancake Topping: Combine 16 oz fresh or frozen berries, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until fruit is soft. Serve warm over pancakes.

Chocolate Waffles

Chocolate Waffles

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4-5 waffles

Directions:

Prepare Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix as directed for 4 – 5 waffles (see below), adding 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa.

Heat and lightly grease Belgian or conventional waffle iron. Use a heart-shaped waffle maker, if desired.

Stir waffle 3 cups mix, 1 1/3 cups water, 2 eggs and 1/3 cup oil together with a wire whisk until smooth. Let batter stand 2 minutes. Pour about 2/3 cup batter onto waffle iron.

Cook waffles 3-4 minutes until golden brown (or follow waffle iron manufacturer’s cooking instructions).

Garnish with whipped cream, shaved chocolate curls and sliced fresh strawberries.

They both look really good. I hope I can make them for myself and my family one day (unless I have my “breakfast in bed” at the kitchen table – LOL).

What do you think about these recipes? Do you think you might try them?

Mother's Day

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I shared these recipes – with permission – for the enjoyment of site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrate Spring with Tuttorosso Tomatoes and enter their Facebook promotion to win great prizes

 

garden

Alas, it’s FINALLY Spring time – although the chilly weather suggests otherwise. It’s been way too cold for too long. I cannot wait for the temperatures to reach the 60’s – and stay that way for more than just a day or two.

I know plenty of people who are already making plans for the season, especially when it comes to their plants and gardens.

I WISH we had a yard. I’ve always dreamed of having my own vegetable garden as well as grow some fruits (berries). Sadly my yard is a 6′ x 12′ rickety old wooden balcony on the top floor.

I’ve tried to grow vegetables on my balcony but it never pans out.

Tomato

I would love to grow corn, string beans, peppers, potatoes, cucumbers and lettuce – to name a few. I would grow some tomatoes too. We’re not fans of tomatoes but we do love pasta sauce and freshly made salsa. I would grow tomatoes to make my own sauce and salsa.

My mother in law used to make the best homemade pasta sauce. She didn’t use fresh tomatoes but rather canned tomato products.

One such brand is Tuttorosso Tomatoes. I’m not 100% positive but it’s possible I have seen my mother in law use this brand before. The label looks very familiar. Even my husband thinks she used this brand too.

Tuttorosso has A LOT of amazing sounding recipes on their website, www.TuttorossoTomatoes.com. Their recipes not only look very easy to make, but they also look like authentic Italian recipes, just like my mother in law used to make.

Check out this small sampling of recipes found on the Tuttorosso site.

Recipes

Mmmm… they are certainly “drool worthy.”

The brand has teamed up with Ali Maffucci from Inspiralized (www.Inspiralized.com) to host a special Spring time Facebook promotion.

Ali Maffucci’s site, Inspiralized, is devoted to all things spiralizing: nutritious recipes, tips and tricks, and new ideas for home cooks. By “spiralizing” I mean using a special kitchen device, a spiralizer, to produces spiral cuts, shoestrings and vegetable “noodles” for adding new texture to pasta dishes, stir-fries and salads. For example, you can make “ribbons” out of zucchini and cook them up as if they were regular pasta. The zucchini is much more healthier for you than pasta, plus it’s lower in fat and calories.

Check out just a small sampling of the amazing recipes found on the Inspiralize website.

Recipes spiralize

The Facebook promotion will run from tomorrow (March 25, 2015) through April 15, 2015. Fans have the opportunity to win weekly prizes. The prizes include;

  • Spiralizers (20 per week)
  • Inspiralized Book (5 per week)
  • Aprons (250 per week)

In addition there is also a grand prize which consists of a Spiralizer, Inspiralized Book, Apron, Picnic Basket and Kitchen Gadgets.

The Spiralizer looks like the product (below).

Spiralizer

For more information, or to enter, visit the Tuttorosso Tomato Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/TuttorossoTomato. Remember, the promotion doesn’t officially start until March 25th.

I have a small hand held “spiralizer” like device. I’ve been inspired to try making some zucchini “pasta” and top it off with some Tuttorosso Tomato Sauce that Tuttorosso sent me.

Tuttorosso sent me some pasta sauce, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. I can’t wait to try them all out with upcoming recipes I plan on making.

Have you ever used Tuttorosso products? Do you have a favorite?

Have you ever spiralized vegetables? Do you have a favorite recipe?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

logo

Kimberly

*I received a free sample pack in exchange for posting about the promotion. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced for. 

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It’s Easter Time! You know what that means – PEEPS®

 

Yellow-Marshmallow-Peep

It’s Easter time. It’s evident when you walk into most stores because it’s impossible to avoid the aisles of candy, baskets, toys and plush animals. Most stores where I live have had Easter products on the shelves around the beginning of February (Easter is not until April 5th this year).

Growing up Easter was always one of my favorite holidays, right behind Christmas and Halloween.

One year the Easter Bunny brought me basket made out of solid chocolate. In addition it was filled with chocolate and other types of candies. It was truly chocolate heaven – or chocolate overload depending on how you looked at it.

The Easter Bunny would leave our baskets by our front door. I spent most of the time downstairs in the playroom so I wanted to take my beautiful chocolate basket downstairs. On my way down I tripped and the basket went flying. When it hit the ground it shattered into a lot of chocolate pieces. Since we had dogs and cats, and people walked all over the carpet, there was no way the “5 second rule” would apply here so we had to throw it all away. The only thing that was left were some wrapped chocolate candies and a package of marshmallow PEEPS®.

Back then there were only the yellow PEEPS® chicks available. I think the bunnies were too but the Easter Bunny only brought me the chicks.

PEEPS® have always been a part of every Easter. Even when I became a mom I made sure that there were at least one package of PEEPS® in every Easter basket I made for them.

PEEPS® have come a long way since I was a kid. Now PEEPS® are available in a wide variety of colors, shape and flavors. They are also available year round. Other holidays are also enjoying PEEPS® including Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Halloween. There are even Fourth of July PEEPS®.

Box of Peeps

Did you know…?

  • Yellow is America’s best-selling color of PEEPS® Chicks and Bunnies, followed by pink and then blue.
  • Just Born produces enough PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow Candies in one year to circle the earth three times.
  • Chicks rule! 4 out of every 5 PEEPS® purchased are Chicks – either flavored, dipped in chocolate, covered in chocolate or in the original un-flavored marshmallow form.

There are so many PEEPS® fans in the world that the creators, Just Born, have PEEPS® plush, apparel, and other goodies available on their website, PeepsandCompany.com. There you can find PEEPS® dog rope toys, PEEPS® cat nip toys, giant stuffed PEEPS®, PEEPS® jewelry and even a PEEPS® shaped Yankee Candle (plus much, much more!).

Peeps Products

PEEPS® are always introducing new flavors and products. This Easter is no exception. Check out what’s new with PEEPS® this holiday.

Flavored Peeps

Flavors 1

Decorated Eggs 2

Decorated Eggs 1

OC 2

OC 1

Mystery

Mystery 1

Some of the new products are sold exclusively at specific stores. Mystery PEEPS® are only available at Walmart. The Orange Cream PEEPS® are only sold at CVS and the flavored PEEPS® (Lime, Lemon and Orange Delight) are sold only at Target. All other PEEPS® are sold at many other retail locations.

There are also Blue Raspberry PEEPS® which are very sour. My kids love them.

I LOVE the Chocolate Mousse dipped in Dark Chocolate PEEPS®. They are SO GOOD! They come in a 3 pack so there is enough to share – or enjoy them all for yourself.

The Peepsters are also a huge hit with not only my family but also my neighbors. They are individually wrapped chocolate covered marshmallows.

Peepsters

PEEPS® are great “as is,” but did you know that you can do so much more with them? There is a site dedicated to great recipes and things you can make with PEEPS®. It’s easy enough to remember – MarshmallowPeeps.com. What I love about the ideas you find on that site is that a lot of them are submitted by people like you and I.

You should really check out the site for a lot of fun and easy (not to mention yummy) ideas for having fun with your marshmallow PEEPS®.

I found two ideas on Pinterest (another great source for ideas) that I wanted to try with my family. One was making “nests” out of crunchy Chinese noodles, marshmallows, candy that looks like “eggs” and of course PEEPS®. The other was making bird houses with graham crackers, coconut, candy that looks like “eggs”, green food coloring and PEEPS®.

I’m not THAT bad when it comes to creating things. I did make these yummy cupcakes a few years ago with roasted coconut.

Baby-Shower-Cupcake

Sadly my PEEPS® creations didn’t turn out that well.

For the “nest” recipe I used the following.

  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 4 cups chow mein noodles
  • Assorted “egg” looking candies
  • PEEPS® Chicks

I sprayed the inside of a large glass bowl with non-stick spray and put 1/2 of the marshmallows in it then popped it in the microwave. I microwaved them for several seconds until I saw them start to swell up. I then carefully removed them from the microwave and with a wooden spoon (also sprayed with non-stick spray) I poured in 1/2 of the chow mein noodles and stirred them together. That didn’t work out so well for me. Everything started to stick. So I sprayed a little non-stick spray on my hands and tried to mold the noodles and marshmallow mixture into next shapes but everything kept sticking to my hands. My kids found it very amusing. I had marshmallow everywhere. LOL!

Nest

I tried. I even added some green colored sugar to add a bit of color to the nest but it didn’t work out so well.

I’ve seen this recipe on the Internet and Pinterest so there must be an easier and better way to make them. I’ll try a different recipe next time.

For the bird houses, that was equally as messy. But we had fun none the less.

For this recipe we needed…

  • 1 cup of mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut tinted green with green food coloring
  • candies that looked like “eggs”
  • PEEPS® chicks
  • Graham crackers (at least 3 whole crackers per house)

We pre-tinted the shredded coconut ahead of time by pouring the coconut in a bowl and adding a couple of drops of green food coloring and mixing it well. We set it aside for when we were done making our houses.

I melted the mini-marshmallows in the microwave for a few seconds in a microwave safe bowl until they started to swell. I then carefully removed it from the microwave.

Using a butter knife we used the melted marshmallow as “glue” to attach the pieces of crackers together to make a bird house. We used one square for the two sides and back, and then one square each (at an angle) for the roof.

It sounded easy enough but the marshmallow would firm up too quickly and I had to keep microwaving it. The marshmallow also got a bit messy and some of the graham crackers would stick together OK and others didn’t.

The results might not have turned out all that wonderful but my kids and I had a grand time trying to make this work. We had A LOT of laughs with this one, including dropping a butter knife covered with melted marshmallow on the floor and having it stick to the floor (we had a hard time pulling it off – LOL).

House

OK. So they are not Pinterest worthy and Martha Stewart would probably cringe at the sight of them, but that is OK with me. My family and I had a great time trying to make them (and eating our “mistakes”). After all, the holidays are about making memories that last a lifetime, not about making something “perfect.”

I’m sure you can find different recipes for the bird houses too, ones that are less messy.

Do you make anything fun with PEEPS®? Do you have a favorite shape or flavor PEEPS®? What do you think about the new flavors?

Don’t forget to check out both websites (linked above) as well as PEEPS® on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their official hashtag is #PEEPSONALITY.

Peeps_LOGO

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review/recipes. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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