Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month with these great cocktail recipes


Have you ever noticed that everything has a day, week or month dedicated to it? I don’t remember any of these unique “holidays when I was growing up. It seems like they were created just over the past few years. You have National Blueberry Popsicle Day (Sept. 2nd), National Homemade Cookies Day (Oct. 1st), National Deaf Dog Week (Sept. 18th – 24th), and National Chicken Month (Sept), just to name a few.

September is also Bourbon Heritage Month. To celebrate this “holiday,” Trail’s End wanted to share these interesting sounding cocktails. They would go great at your upcoming holiday parties and family get togethers. Or maybe now to celebrate the kids going back to school. Ha Ha.

Here is some information about Trail’s End.

When they left Missouri in 1804, Lewis and Clark didn’t pack light. In addition to food to sustain and items to trade, they also packed nearly 100 gallons of whiskey, rumored to have cost about $1.25 each. While the price of whiskey may have changed, its ties to the heritage of the Old West hasn’t. Trail’s End, a bourbon from Oregon-based Hood River Distillers pays homage to the early days of the Oregon Trail with a spirit that follows the steps of Lewis and Clark and in honor of Bourbon Heritage Month, we invite you to share some of our favorite Trail’s End Cocktails.

Two-time Double Gold Medal winner Trails End is crafted using 8-year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with Oregon Oak and perfected with glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood Oregon.

Tail’s End provided these recipes for your enjoyment.

Maple Bourbon Smash

  • ½ oz. pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
  • ½ oz. fresh orange juice
  • ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • ½ orange wheel
  • 2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
  • Ice
  • 1 ½ oz chilled seltzer 

Directions: In a rocks glass, combine the maple syrup with the orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add the orange wheel and lightly muddle. Add the Trail’s End and stir well. Fill the glass with ice and top with the chilled seltzer.

New Fashioned

  • 2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 brown sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
  • 2 blackberries
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Splash of club soda 

Directions: Place the sugar cube in a rocks glass, add bitters and muddle. Rotate the glass so the sugar/bitters mixture coats the glass. Add ice, Trail’s End and stir until blended. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with orange wedge, fresh blackberries and thyme sprig.

Trail Dusted 

  • 1 oz. fresh white grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 2 slices of English cucumber, plus 3 or 4 thin slices for garnish
  • dash of celery bitters (optional)
  • Ice
  • 2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey 

Directions: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 cucumber slices. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the thin cucumber slices.

Alpine Manhattan 

  • Ice
  • 1 ½ oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Pine Syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • orange twist, for garnish 

Directions: Fill a pint glass with ice. Add Trail’s End, pine syrup and bitters and stir well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the orange twist.



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of site readers. 

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10 Mistakes You Would Never Make When Grilling


With the warm days of mid-summer come the delicious flavors of grilling and outdoor BBQ cooking. However, most people really don’t know how to grill properly, often making mistakes that turn great cuts of meat into rubber.  So, kosher.com, the premier site for cooking, recipes, how-to videos and more, are here to help you with are all the things you need to know to turn yourself into a barbecue master!

1) Don’t overcrowd the grill. Don’t make the rookie mistake of favoring quantity over quality. Yes, everyone is hungry, but by crowding that meat you are compromising on the best part about cooking over open fire: the crust. Don’t succumb to peer pressure! Cooking in shifts might take a little bit longer, but no one will be complaining when they bite into the steak you just grilled perfectly.

2) Don’t jump the gun. The enemy of mess-free grilling is a cold grill. If you’ve just turned the fire on and are itching to get going, DISTRACT YOURSELF. Defer to the nearest toddler for inspiration on messes that take 10 seconds to make and 10 minutes to clean, because you’ll need at least 10 minutes to heat a gas grill and 20 to heat a charcoal grill. We repeat: heat the grill fully before you start cooking, or your food with stick so badly, you’ll want to throw your grates out and start over. Be patient. It will be worth the wait.

3) Skip the sauce. We know, it’s called barbecue sauce. Ignore that compelling logic and avoid using sugary sauces at all cost. You’re so great at grilling that you don’t need to hide your meat behind sweet, heavy sauces that coat your grates and cause ugly flare ups. Use spice rubs to flavor your meat, and if you MUST use a sauce, use it only at the very end.

4) Menu Plan. We get it, you’re gaining confidence and embracing your inner grill master, and that’s awesome. Do yourself a favor though, and plan for some non-BBQ items on the menu. It’s a good idea to make sure you have some food that can be cooked indoors or prepared in advance, so you don’t overwhelm the grill, or the griller. If you’re entertaining, having food that’s ready to go right away will take a load of pressure off, so you can man the fire, stress free.

5) Start with a clean machine. But seriously, even if your grill isn’t a machine (aka, charcoal, for the purists out there), making sure your grates are clean before you get started will help you avoid any firery accidents or food that sticks to the grill. You wash your pots and pans in between uses; same principle. We shouldn’t have to explain this one too hard. Invest in a new grill brush whenever you see loose bristles.

6) Leave the lid alone. Have some confidence in yourself. You are well on your way to grill mastery, so don’t stop now! After searing your food on the hot section of your grill, move it to the cooler section and close the lid. Don’t peek, either. You know how your grandmother used to get annoyed at you when you would crack the oven open to look at her sponge cake? Same thing. A watched steak cooks unevenly, or however that saying goes.

7) Let your meat rest. You did it. You cooked a steak that is so beautiful, it rivals any Instagram photo you’ve seen all day. Fight all urges to slice into it for at least 10 minutes. Yes, ten whole minutes are necessary for your meat or chicken to rest before you start cutting! The juices that got released during cooking need to redistribute in order to give you a juicy, flavorful protein. Skipping this step WILL result in dry meat. (The only exception to this rule is meat that’s been cooked sous vide and then finished on the grill. No wait time necessary, and consider that a reward for cooking sou vide like a regular pro.)


Photo: Let your meat rest for at least 10 minutes before you slice it. Photo Credit: Kosher.com

8) Grill beef at room temperature. Ever been to a restaurant (you know who you are!) or cooked a steak that had a perfectly charred crust, cooked for the right amount of time, but when you cut into it, the interior was a hint away from still mooing? Firing a cold steak will result in meat that’s cooked unevenly. Allow your meat to come all the way to room temperature before cooking for best results every time.

9) Cut against the grain. There’s no chance you haven’t heard this tip before, so stop ignoring it. Meat muscle fibers generally run in one direction, and you want to slice the meat across those lines of muscle fibers. Yes, it makes a difference! Even if you have one of those weird cuts of meat that has a grain that switches direction half way through, do it. The difference between shoe leather and melt in your mouth could literally be the angle that you are holding your knife.

10) Use the right tools. Thinking you can grab those handy tongs you use in your kitchen to flip those burgers? Think again. You need tools that are formulated to keep you safe while grilling, primarily by keeping your hands away from fire (profound, we know.) Use long handled tongs and spatulas only, and be on guard to swat away wandering plastic forks attached to people who are itching to get their hands on one of your famous burgers straight off the grill. Pro tip: use a thermometer with a non-contact infrared sensor for bonus points and perfectly cooked meat.

If you follow these steps, you’re well on your way to the best grill season yet. Remember the most important tip of all: outdoor cooking is awesome, so chill out and have fun!

RECIPE: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple from Kosher.com:

Main ingredients – Ingredients (8)

  • 10 pieces deboned chicken thighs
  • Fresh pineapple, sliced, for grilling
  • Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cubes frozen garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Start Cooking

  1. Prepare Chicken
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and add chicken and pineapple slices.
  3. Place in a ziplock bag and squeeze out all the air.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Grill for only about four minutes on each side, just until the chicken is cooked through. (Check for doneness at the thickest part.)
  6. Grill the pineapple along with the chicken, just for about three minutes on each side.

Note: When taking marinated chicken on a trip, make sure it’s kept cool at all times. I like to put it in the freezer for about three hours before we leave so that it is really cold and can come to room temperature slowly.

These BBQ grilling tips were adapted from Michal Frischman by permission and brought to you by Kosher.com. Kosher.com is the premier site for year-round kosher cooking and conversation, with a huge variety of kosher recipes from top cookbooks and community foodies, plus cutting-edge food videos to entertain you and take your cooking to the next level.  

You can follow them on Instagram, FaceBook, Pinterest and twitter as @Kosherdotcom. Check out thousands of recipes, articles, and videos on kosher.com!

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Happy National Cereal Day!


Photo Source: General Mills

Did you know that today, March 7, 2016, is National Cereal Day?

Cereal… oh cereal… you have always been a part of my life. For me, cereal is a “comfort food,” just like mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup and my mom’s beef stew.

I still remember when I was a child that I would anxiously await my mom to come home from food shopping to see what cereal she brought home. As a child it was all about the prizes tucked away inside the box. Of course I enjoyed the cereal too. What cartoon watching marathon on a Saturday morning didn’t include a bowl (or two) of your favorite cereal?

One of my favorites as a child that they stopped making decades ago (yeah… I’m that old) was called Freakies. Oddly enough, friends of mine that are around my age DON’T recall that cereal. That is weird because I lived off that stuff as a child. I even have a few of the toys that I kept over the years.

I might be considered a “grown up,” but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my favorite cereals from my youth. Take for example Lucky Charms. I’m crazy about Lucky Charms! I don’t put milk in my cereal (I’ve always eaten it dry), so I like to eat the cereal bits from Lucky Charms and save all the marshmallow “charms” until the very end. My husband thinks I’m weird, but I don’t mind. That is how I enjoy my Lucky Charms.

Did you know Lucky Charms is also available in chocolate flavor? I have yet to find a box of Chocolate Lucky Charms, but I keep looking for them. I bet they taste amazing. Chocolate and marshmallows go perfectly together.

General Mills cereals are our “go to” favorites. My family (husband and kids) go through at least two boxes of Cheerios per week. Our personal favorite is Honey Nut Cheerios, but the other varieties are equally as delicious.

Did you know that whole grain is the first ingredient in all Big G cereals, 90 percent of which are free from artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources. As a mom, I feel good about letting my family enjoy their favorite Big G cereals which include Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Trix, Coco Puffs and Chex to name a few. Some Big G / General Mills cereals are Gluten-Free. The brand is also in the process of removing sugars from some of their cereals as well.

If you would like to learn more about the wonderful things being done to our favorite cereals, you can read more about it here.

Cereal is not only ideal for breakfast – you can also enjoy it for lunch, dinner and even a snack. I bring cereal to work with me on days that I don’t feel like a sandwich. And I love to snack on a bowl of cereal at night.

You can even use cereal as toppings for your ice cream, yogurt and more! You can even make delicious recipes out of your favorite Big G cereal. One of my personal favorites (and my kids too) is making Muddy Buddies.

You can find the recipe for Muddy Buddies on the Chex website. The above photo is of a batch I made a few years ago. If you haven’t tried Muddy Buddies yet, you should. They are SO GOOD! I believe you can buy them pre-made too, but it’s more fun to make them yourself.

Here are two more recipes you might enjoy using your favorite Big G cereals. I especially love the S’mores one.

(Courtesy of My Menu Pal)

Lucky Charms Cooler Recipe

Servings: 4


  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup Lucky Charms cereal, marshmallows removed and reserved
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup pineapple


  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Top cooler with reserved marshmallows.

(Courtesy of I Wash… You Dry)

S’mores Popcorn Recipe


  • 3 tbsp corn oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 1/2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 1 cup Mallow Bits (or miniature marshmallows)
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips*
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate flavored melting chocolates, melted according to package instructions


  1. Cover two large baking sheets with wax paper, set aside.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid, leaving slightly ajar to let steam escape.
  3. Shake the pot back and forth gently while the popcorn kernels begin to pop. Once popping has stopped pour popcorn in a large bowl.
  4. To the bowl add the Golden Grahams, Mallow Bits, and mini chocolate chips. Toss to combine.
  5. Lay out popcorn mixture in a thin layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle the melting chocolates all over the popcorn mixture and let cool.
  6. Once hardened, gently break up the pieces and enjoy!

Delish!!! I can’t wait to try these.

For more information (and recipes!) visit GeneralMills.com. You can also find them on social media.

What is YOUR CURRENT favorite cereal? What is a favorite cereal from your youth?

Do you have any yummy recipes that you make using cereal? If so, feel free to share it in the comment section of this post.

Happy National Cereal Day! I hope you enjoy celebrating it. Upload your photos and posts using the hashtag #NationalCerealDay too!

I love this cool retro looking t-shirt. Too bad it doesn’t fit me, but my daughter can wear it.


*I received some cereal and goodies 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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Happy National Pancake Day!


Happy National Pancake Day! Did you celebrate with pancakes this morning?

My family and I love pancakes. I try to make them as often as I can, but it is not always easy on busy week day morning. That is why I love the pancake mixes from Krusteaz. Krusteaz offers a variety of products as simple mixes where you only need to add a few simple ingredients (such as water). Krusteaz does most of the work for you. As someone who is horrible at baking, I appreciate Krusteaz mixes. My personal favorites are Gingerbread Cookies and Italian Herb Bread mixes. I have been a fan of the Krusteaz brand for many years.

Krusteaz has pre-made pancakes mixes that are so simple to use that you can make pancakes on a busy morning quickly and easily. Their pancake varieties include Buttermilk, Blueberry, Honey Wheat, Chocolate Chip and even Pumpkin Spice. Yumm!!!

A pancake topped with Nutella and pecans that I made for breakfast one morning. Yummy!

I was challenged by Krusteaz and T-Fal (more on them later) to create a pancake recipe – or design some creative pancakes in honor of National Pancake Day.

I have seen on Pinterest and around the internet where people can turn pancakes into a variety of artful designs including people, places and popular television characters. I wish I was that creative.

I had the idea of creating a heart shaped pancake tinted red, made with strawberries and drizzles with Nutella on top. Our local pizza place makes a pizza dessert out of strawberries and Nutella which is out of this world. I thought it would be fun to create a pancake made from strawberries and Nutella. Since February is the month of “love” (Valentine’s Day) I thought making a heart shaped pancake would be fun.

Well… I always have great intentions… but I can’t always execute them the way I envisioned them.

I was sent two boxes of Krusteaz pancake mixes to help with my recipe. I received Buttermilk and Blueberry. I opted to use the Buttermilk for this recipe since I didn’t want the blueberries to take away from the strawberries.

For this recipe I purchased red food coloring gel to tint the pancake mix and strawberries that I washed and cut up into little chunks.

I prepared the pancake mix as directed on the package. I then removed some of the pancake mix and place it in a measuring cup where I tinted the mix red (although it turned out more pink than red). I then poured the tinted mix into a squeeze bottle.

When I see creative pancakes on the Internet they always use squeeze bottles, so I made sure to purchase one for this recipe. Sadly, the opening was a bit bigger than I thought and I had a hard time controlling the batter. As a result my heart looks a bit sloppy.

I also added the chopped up strawberries into the remaining pancake mix. Had I used the blueberry mix the blueberries and their blue/purple color would have interfered with the red color I was going for.

Initially I was going to do the entire pancake tinted red, but I thought that might be “overkill,” so I opted to make the shape of the heart in red (outline) and fill the middle with the regular, un-tinted batter. In theory it would have looked cool. My reality is that it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. But I should at least get an “A” for effort. LOL!

To top off the pancake I wanted to drizzle some Nutella across the top. You know, like the chocolate drizzle you see on top of fancy desserts.

I guess I needed to add something to the Nutella. I warmed it up in the microwave in hopes it would get a liquid consistency, making it easy to drizzle. That never happened. When I tried to drizzle it the Nutella just came out in clumps, so I had to resort to “Plan B” (I didn’t really had a Plan B, so I had to come up with something quickly). Instead of a  drizzle I just covered the inside of the heart with Nutella.

Here is my final result.

So it didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped, but it was as delicious as I knew it could be. I consider the recipe a success, even if the end result wasn’t the same.

Best of all this was so easy to make. I simply measured out the pancake mix for the amount of pancakes I wanted, added water, mixed in some strawberries and topped it off with Nutella. With Krusteaz mixes you can whip up delicious pancakes like this too.

In case you didn’t notice, I made my pancake creation on a T-fal Initiatives Non-Stick Fry Pan. The T-fal Initiatives Non-Stick Fry Pan has a unique heat indicator (in the center of the pan) that shows you when the pan is ready to seal in flavor and prevents burning.

I have several T-fal pans. I have never had any issues with any of them, that is why they are my “go to” pans for cooking.

T-fal pans;

  • Provides an optimal, high-performance cooking experience for the expert cook
  • Features T-fal’s patented ThermospotTM technology
  • Soft handles provide a secure grip with a luxe feel
  • Non-stick inside and out for easy cooking and cleaning

Notice T-fal’s patented ThermospotTM technology spot in the middle.

I especially love the non-stick feature. I don’t want to have to add any butter or grease to the pan because it only adds more fat and calories to the dish I am creating. I also enjoy non-stop pans because they make cleaning quick and easy. Who wants to scrub pans? No me! Most especially on a busy weekday morning (or evening too for that matter).

If you are in the market for some new pans, Target is offering 15% off on select T-fal non-stick cookware at Target stores as as as online at Target.com from Feb 27th – March 3rd. You won’t want to miss out on this great discount.

For more information about T-fal visit T-FalUSA.com. You can also check out the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about Krustez you can visit them online at Krusteaz.com. They can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Krusteaz and T-Fal would love to see YOUR pancake creations. Share your photos on social media, tag the brands and be sure to use the hashtags #MyPancakeStyle and #TfalxPancakeDay. I would to see your creative creations too.


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

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Enter the Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest for your chance to win $4,000 in prizes (giveaway ends 11/20/16)


Sunday roast - Thanksgiving turkey dinner

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Are you planning on traveling to a relatives house for the holiday? Are you hosting dinner at your house?

Thankgiving was always a big deal for both me and my husband. Even when we were younger (long before we even met), Thanksgiving was always an important family event. We both have fond memories of sitting at the “kid’s table.” In fact, we were almost 30 years old and ended up at the kid’s table with my husband’s family on Thanksgiving. He’s the youngest of six, and all of his siblings were married. There was no room at the table for us, so we ended up sitting with our kids and all of our nieces and nephews.

Sadly, Thanksgivings haven’t been the same since both my mom and my mother in law passed away. Our home is too small to host everyone, and our siblings have gone on to celebrate Thanksgiving with their in-laws. Even my father and stepmother are not around. They spend the holiday in Indiana with my stepbrother and stepsister.

For the past several years our Thanksgivings consist of me, my husband and our two children. Even that has been changing. Our daughter had to work on Thanksgiving last year and she has to work Thanksgiving again this year. She doesn’t mind, per say. She gets holiday pay. But it does mess up our normal Thanksgiving routine.

There is a new type of Thanksgiving that is quickly gaining popularity. We might just have to look into it for ourselves. It’s call “Friendsgiving.” Have you heard of it?

Friendsgiving, the alter-ego to Thanksgiving and the holiday undoubtedly supported by millennials, continues to grow in popularity as it adds a new spin on the traditional celebration. For many, Friendsgiving is becoming the social event that cannot be missed. Millennials are breaking the mold by transforming sit-downs into potlucks, roasted turkey into turkey meatballs and mom’s cranberries into sophisticated cranberry cocktails.

Interesting… spending the holiday with friends instead of family. I like that idea, especially since we have no family around anymore to celebrate with.

Although I do like to stict with more traditional things, I do like the idea of mixing it up a bit and trying new things.

In honor Friendsgiving, the Cranberry Marketing Committee is launching its second annual Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest, giving entrants a chance to win $4,000 in prizes for the best cranberry dishes, drinks and décor. Simply post a photo of your cranberry creation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest with #FriendsgivingCranberryContest and then upload it at CranberryFriendsgiving.com to enter.

The holiday is not the same without cranberries. From stuffing to sauce – they are a must have on any holiday table.

Cranberries are easy to use in sweet or savory dishes, and are a bold and bright addition to tablescapes, making them the perfect festive fall fruit for any Friendsgiving (or traditional Thanksgiving) celebration.

I LOVE cranberries. I enjoy them year round (not just for the holidays). They are versitle and you can make a lot with them. One of my favorite ways to enjoy cranberries is homemade cranberry sauce.



It’s so easy to make.

Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 8-oz packages of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • Juice and zest from 1 orange
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick 


Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens – about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

You could even add ¼ cup of Brandy to give it a bit of a flavor kick too.

You can even make Cranberry Salsa. There are several recipes on the internet. I’ve tried a few, each one making it taste a bit different (but yummy none the less).


One of my most favorite ways to enjoy cranberries is Party Meatballs using canned cranberries. These are so good that I make them every chance I get.

The Ultimate Party Meatballs


  • 1 package of Classic Italian Meatballs
  • 1 can of Ocean Spray® cranberry sauce (or another brand)
  • 1 bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce

In a large pan heat up the cranberry sauce and chili sauce. I find it easier to “melt” the cranberry sauce if you cut it up in small chunks.

Once melted toss in the meatballs and cook until the meatballs are heated.

It’s THAT easy!

It sounds kind of weird combining cranberry sauce with meat, but they go so well together. Mmm… now I’m craving them!


There are so many ways to enjoy cranberries.

If you are planning on hosting a Friendsgiving this year (or even a traditional Thanksgiving), check out the great variety of inspirational party resources at CranberryFriendsgiving.com. There you will find…

I received some cranberry products to enjoy and to make recipes with (appetizers, desserts, sides, cocktails…).



The bag was getting moist from a pot of boiling water on the stove next to it.

In addition to the package of cranberries I also received cranberry juice cocktail, jellied cranberry sauce, a measuring cup and a cocktail shaker.

Mmm… I love cranberries!

Don’t forget to enter the Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest too for your chance to win great prizes.

I can give a lucky reader the same prize package. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on November 20, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what is your favorite way to enjoy cranberries. If you could share the recipe (or directions if it’s a craft) that would be great too.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received free product samples. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with IMUSA and Goya (Giveaway ends 10/22/16)



Did you know that October is Hispanic Heritage Month?

Personally, I am not of Hispanic decent, nor is my husband, however we have several Hispanic relatives and many friends of Hispanic decent.

We enjoy Hispanic cooking, especially things like Chimichurri, Fajitas, Gazpacho, Tamales and Empanadas. In fact, our daughter learned to make Empanadas while in middle school and still makes them from time to time.

Admittedly I don’t normally cook Hispanic foods except fajitas, tacos, and occasionally I help my daughter make the empanadas.

Goya and IMUSA were kind enough to send me some wonderful products to help me try out a new recipe (or two) in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. I have several IMUSA products which I love and use often. I also use products made by Goya, so I am very familiar with the brand.

My kids LOVE Chickpeas. They have been snacking on them since they were in elementary school. The brand of Chickpeas I buy for my kids has always been Goya.

I have written about IMUSA products in the past. In case you are unfamiliar with the brand, IMUSA is a leading ethnic housewares brand with deep roots in Latin America and the United States, offering hundreds of affordable housewares products including gadgets, cookware, appliances, cleaning, food storage, espresso, and ethnic specialty items. If you do a search on my site for IMUSA you can see the posts I have written about their products.

IMUSA was kind enough to send me the following products to assist me in trying out some new recipes with a Hispanic flair.


The IMUSA Ceramic Caldero brings an eco-friendly and colorful twist on this staple cookware piece made for cooking a wide variety of dishes including rice and beans, braised meats, stews and soups. Coated with a nonstick ceramic glaze, the IMUSA Ceramic Caldero provides a non-toxic cooking experience free of chemicals, including PFOA, PTFE and cadmium. It is available in two sizes (24 cm and 30cm) and with two different types of lids (glass or silicone rimmed).

I love this “pot/pan” (for lack of a better description). I have used it many times since I’ve received it. It’s great for cooking a variety of meals. It’s a beautiful piece of cookware. I love the red and white coloring. It’s not often you find non-stick cookware with a clean, white surface.

The only thing I am not fond of is that there is nothing coating the handles. If you use this pan you’ll need to wear oven mitts if you need to pick it up.


The IMUSA Bamboo Spider Skimmer is perfect to use when frying due to the stay-cool bamboo handle. This tool is perfect for lifting dumplings, wontons, and tempura from your wok! The unique design drains liquid quickly from your food after frying for better cooking results.

This is a very unique piece of kitchen equipment. I like that is resembles a spider web (it’s very fitting for Halloween). I have used this a few times to remove things from liquid, such as chicken, noodles and vegetables from homemade chicken noodle soup.


The IMUSA Bamboo Mortar & Pestle is perfect for crushing fresh herbs and spices. Cooking with fresh herbs provides a much richer flavor when compared to dried herbs.

I haven’t really used this as of yet, but my husband did use it to crush up our cat’s pills. LOL! I guess it can be used for that reason too, but the REAL way to use this is with herbs. I was going to try and use this to mash up garlic to make a garlic paste.


The IMUSA Tostonera is made from bamboo, ideal for making perfectly pressed tostones (or ‘patacones’) with just the right thickness and shape.  The tostonera is an essential tool in the Latin kitchen.  Tostones are crispy fried plantains, very popular in Hispanic cuisine as side dishes and appetizers.  The IMUSA tostonera easily flattens sliced plantains and prepares them to be fried.

I haven’t tried this as of yet. It’s not a piece of equipment that I would normally have a need for in my kitchen. I’m sure I can find some purpose for it.


The IMUSA Lemon & Lime Squeezer is a handy tool that makes extracting citrus juice a breeze.  Simply press down to squeeze and extract juice while pulps and seeds are being separated. The stylish hand-held press has an ergonomic design for comfort, and the yellow or green exterior finishes add just the right amount of color to the bar or kitchen.  The squeezer juices lemon or limes quickly, with no mess.

I have one of these and they work GREAT! It makes getting the juice out of lemons and limes so much easier (and less messy) than trying to squeeze the juice out by hand. I use this to put juice on seafood and fish as well as with recipes that require fresh lemon juice.


The IMUSA bean and potato masher with wood handle is a great addition to your kitchen tool set. Whether you like ‘whipped’ or ‘mashed’ potato you can create just the perfect texture with this tool. The small holes allows you to quickly mash without leaving any lumps. Simply put some elbow grease and mash away!

I love this! I love to make homemade mashed potatoes, but I never picked up a masher. This is my first potato masher. I’ve only used it once so far but I know I’ll be making A LOT of mashed potatoes for the upcoming holidays. This is really easy to use and it reminds me of one my mom used to have.


Easily tear into tins with this can opener by IMUSA. With ergonomic nylon handles and a stainless steel blade, this durable can opener is made to last.

Every home MUST have a non-electric can opener. This is great to have in case of emergencies and/or power outages. It’s easy to use.

In addition to the great IMUSA products, I also received some Goya products to try out and/or use in whatever recipe/recipes I wanted to create for Hispanic Heritage Month.


Founded in 1936, Goya Foods, Inc. is America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, and has established itself as the leader in Latin American food and condiments. Goya manufactures, packages and distributes over 2,200 high-quality food products from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. Goya products have their roots in the culinary traditions of Hispanic communities around the world; their combination of authentic ingredients, robust seasonings and convenient preparation make them ideal for every taste and every table.

I haven’t really cooked Quinoa yet, but I hear it’s very good for you.

The can of Chickpeas is the very same one I purchase for my kids often.

I want to try the Coconut Milk. I didn’t come up with a recipe I wanted to try with it (yet) but I am looking forward to it.

Other products I received from Goya include Olive Oil, Tomato Sauce, Black Beans and Olives.

I did a search to find a recipe I knew my family would enjoy to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The recipe I created actually came from the Goya website. Chick Pea and Chorizo Soup with White Rice, however I “tweaked” the recipe a bit taking my family’s preferences in mind.

Here is the recipe from the Goya website.


Chick Pea and Chorizo Soup with White Rice


2 tbsp. GOYA® Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 package (7 oz.) or 4 GOYA® Chorizos, cut into ¼-inch slices

1 can (8 oz.) GOYA® Low Sodium Tomato Sauce

1 small Onion minced

1 packet GOYA® Sazon without Annatto

2 cans (15.5 oz. each) GOYA® Low Sodium Chick Peas, drained and rinsed

2 ½ cups water

1 packet GOYA® Powdered Chicken Bouillon

1 tsp. GOYA® Adobo Light with Pepper or to taste

2 cups of Canilla Rice Extra Long Grain


I used the IMUSA Bamboo Spider Skimmer to stir the soup and take out “samples” to see how it was cooking.


1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, Chorizo, Tomato Sauce and Sazón and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add Chick Peas, water and Bouillon and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until it reaches desired consistency. Season with Adobo.
3. To cook the Rice, follow the direction on bag.

Instead of Chorizos I used roasted chicken. I couldn’t find Choirzos in the store, and I know how much my family loves chicken, so I swapped out the Chorizos for a cup of shredded roasted chicken.

I used freeze dried garlic instead of fresh garlic (only because I forgot to pick garlic up when I went food shopping) and I used long grain wild rice.

The recipe didn’t recommend what to do with the rice, so I just put the rice into the soup. In hinesight that wasn’t a good idea. I should have spooned in the rice when serving it to my family. Putting the rice in with the soup made the left over soup dry because the rice absorbed all the water. To remedy that I just added a little water to the soup when I was reheating it.

The recipe turned out GREAT! Even my husband, who is a picky eater and not a fan of chickpeas, enjoyed it. My faily loved it so much that they want me to make it again.


This photo is a little "foggy" from the steam coming from the soup.

This photo is a little “foggy” from the steam coming from the soup.

This is a great soup to make for a chilly winter night. It’s also very filling. Pair this with a side salad and you have a great family meal.

It was also quick and easy to make. I had it on the table in about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Since I have a lot of the ingredients stocked in my pantry (rice, chickpeas, bouillon, garlic…), I could whip this up any day of the week.

For more recipes like this visit the Goya website, Goya.com. There you can find a great variety of recipes as well as product information and money saving offers. Links to the brand’s social media sites can also be found on the website (look at the top right corner).

For information about IMUSA please visit IMUSAUSA.com. The brand is also on social media. All of their links are also found on their website.



IMUSA and GOYA would like to give a lucky reader an IMUSA Cloth Tortilla Warmer (serve up warm bread, pita, naan, arepas, and more in these warmers) and a copy of Goya’s Cookbook, which features 30 healthy MyPlate Latin recipes for every celebration (you can also download a free .pdf copy of the book here).

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 22, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received free products to review, as well as for my recipe creation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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