Category: Product Review


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8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle S & F Caribbean Mango marinade

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I’m hooked on the S & F Chef Sauce line they carry at my local market.  So many great flavors.  Sometimes I doctor them up by adding in fresh ingredients.  Sometimes not.  Straight from the bottle, with no doctoring, we loved this one!  I marinate and freeze the chicken in the sauce, and then defrost in the fridge and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  The dijon mustard and cayenne in this sauce give it a nice kick.

Naan Pizza

Stonefire Naan Bread – I used whole wheat bought on sale (can be frozen for future use)

Sauce of Choice (I had leftover from spaghetti night that I froze for future use)

Italian bread crumbs (to thicken the sauce)

Meat of Choice (I cooked Italian sausage and froze it when it was on sale)

Pesto (to stretch what turned out to be not quite enough leftover sauce!)

Peppers (chopped and frozen when on sale)

Shredded cheese (Italian six cheese – you guessed it – bought on sale – also freezes well)

Naan pizza is a great way to use up leftovers!  It’s also a great way to throw together stuff that you can easily keep in the freezer.  Quick weeknights were made for dinners like this!

  1.  Spray large sheet pan with coconut oil.
  2. Place naan bread on pan and spray tops with coconut oil. Obviously olive oil spray would also work well.  I didn’t have any on hand.
  3. Separate leftover sauce over all of the breads to make sure you have enough.  My sauce was a little watery, so I mixed in some Italian style bread crumbs to thicken it.  I’m glad I did this, because I realized I was a little short, and added a little pesto to each before spreading.  I then took some of the fat from the sausage that came out while it was defrosting and shook it in the pesto jar and spread that around the edge of each of the breads.
  4. Grind up sausage in chopper until crumbly, or cut it by hand if you like bigger pieces.
  5. Spread sausage evenly over all the breads.
  6. Top with defrosted peppers – or any other veggies you have on hand!  I can’t wait to try this with broccoli, cauliflower, beets, mushrooms, whatever!
  7. Sprinkle cheese evenly over toppings.
  8. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!  I’m running to the store while the naan is still on sale and stocking my freezer for future experiments.

 

 

 

3 lb. ground turkey

1 package Chop Salad (any kind – keep the dressing and toppings for another time)

1 package frozen seasoning vegetables (onions, peppers, celery, and parsley)

1 can black beans

1 can white corn

2 pouches Frontera Lime Cilantro sauce – this is our favorite Rick Bayess sauce – all natural ingredients you can pronounce!

2 pouches Minute Multi-grain medley (uncooked)

Optional toppings:  Lettuce, tomato, avocado, red pepper, shredded cheese, black bean dip, etc.!

Brown meat.  Add veggies chop salad and seasoning and cook until softened.  Add sauce and cook in the crock pot 6-8 hours on low.  About 30 minutes before serving, turn crock pot to high and add in multi-grain.  It will absorb the extra liquid.  Heat tortillas and let everyone make their own burritos!

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Today was food preparation Sunday.  I did my shopping yesterday (following the great, inspiring sales this week), and prepared food today.  The meatballs are a combination of several meats and I made them jumbo, like mini meatloafs.

3 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground chicken

1 lb. ground turkey

1/2 lb. ground pork  (optional)

2 tsp. baking soda mixed with 2 Tbsp. water

2 c. crumbled cornbread

2 eggs

1/4 c. sweet pickle relish

1/4 c. pesto

3 Tbsp. steak seasoning

1 lb. ricotta cheese

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Gia Russa)

4 oz. each ricotta salada and fontina cheeses, shredded

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Combine meats with baking soda water and add in relish, pesto, seasoning, ricotta cheese, and seasoning.

Prepare 13 x 9 baking dishes by spraying with cooking spray.

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Using large scoop, form meatballs and put into baking dishes sprayed with coconut oil.

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Bake at 375F for 40 minutes until internal temperature is 165F.

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Pour  spaghetti sauce over cooked meatballs and top with shredded cheese.  I used ricotta salada and fontina.

 

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Meanwhile as part of food prep Sunday, I browned the remaining ground meats I bought (about 3 lb. total) to freeze and use in a future meal.

I bought a variety of sauces on a clearance sale at the local market and put boneless chicken breasts and thighs into large containers and coated them with the sauces and froze the chicken for future meals.  I only used half of the meatballs I made for tonight’s dinner.  I froze the rest for another night.

 

I served the Jumbo meatballs tonight with a tortelloni that was on a BOGO sale at my local supermarket.  I also bought their spinach ricotta ravioli, and everyone loved the freshness of this delicate pasta.  I will go buy more before the sale ends!

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All in all, a successful food preparation Sunday, ending with a delicious, easy meal made of ingredients bought on sale!

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I was sad to learn that some dear friends who are invited to our family Thanksgiving dinner aren’t going to be able to make it this year.  An amazing, any turkey for $6.00 sale intervened and made an early Thanksgiving just for them possible!

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The cranberries are simmering in an orange juice concoction.  No more can shaped cranberry sauce for me, since my daughter, Molly, showed me how incredibly easy it is to make homemade cranberry sauce!

2 bags fresh cranberries

1 c. orange juice

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning

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I baked the 18 lb. turkey using the inject able butter marinade from Tony’s since it was buy one get one free at the local market.  I also filled the cavity with onions and seasoned the top with some great Tuscan rub I picked up somewhere along the way.

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The turkey was frozen, and I needed it defrosted as quickly as possible.  The good old Butterball site, and Martha Stewart, etc. etc. all show two safe methods of defrosting.  The easiest being defrosting in the refrigerator, but I didn’t have 3-4 days, I had one.  I did the water defrost method, which involved immersing the frozen turkey in water in a cooler, and changing out the water every 30 minutes or so.  It defrosted in less than 9 hours, the time they recommended.

I made mashed potatoes ahead of time, so as not to have to cook in front of everybody.  I adapted a recipe from Ree Drummond.

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5 lb. russet potatoes

1 block cream cheese

8 oz. sour cream

1 1/2 sticks butter

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut up and boil potatoes.  No peeling necessary, just a good scrub on the skin!

Mash and add in cream cheese, sour cream, and one stick of the butter.   Season to taste.

Spread into a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate up to overnight.  Bring to room temperature before baking.  Top with remaining 1/2 stick butter cut up into little pieces.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

We had gravy we didn’t even need.  These potatoes stand alone!

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I roasted some shaved brussel sprouts in the oven with the potatoes.  I tossed the shaved sprouts with olive oil, seasoned salt and a little pepper, and let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a few hours before roasting them.  I don’t even usually like brussel sprouts, but these were delicious.

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My guests brought a yummy salad to top off the meal.  I did take a picture of my plate, but my camera has been acting up lately and I lost that shot and the one of the turkey before it was carved.

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We had a nice red blend with it, which was on sale at my local market with a BOGO deal.  Two bottles for $19.99.  So smooth and good enough to buy again for Thanksgiving!

We had an ice cream cake planned for dessert, which has been in the freezer since my son Elliot’s 25 birthday on the 10th, but he didn’t make it home in time, so thank goodness it’s an ice cream cake.

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This is a great choice for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!  It makes the whole house smell delicious!

20 slices Pepperidge Farm pumpkin spice swirl bread (perfect for holiday breakfasts!)

2 blocks Neufchatel cheese, softened

½ c. sugar or other sweetener.

12 eggs

2 c. milk

1 c. pumpkin butter (I used Kauffman’s – tastes like pumpkin pie!)

Pan spray

This recipe makes 10 large portions.  Leftovers don’t last long, though!

I love when a new flavor of swirl bread appears.  It means another variation on the cheese stuffed French toast my kids love so much.

Mix softened cream cheese and sugar.

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Spray 2 baking dishes (13 x 9).  Place bread in dishes to adjust fit.

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Spread all 20 slices of bread with cream cheese mixture.

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Top each bottom slice with pumpkin butter.

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Place top slice on each portion.

Whisk eggs and milk.

Pour slowly, evenly over bread, being careful not to leave any dry spots.

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Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

No syrup or topping required.  You can top with powdered sugar for appearance, but it is sweet enough without.

Once it has cooled, I place it in a tupperware and everyone eats it as they get up.  No need to reheat.  It’s delicious cold too!

All I can say is YUMMMM.

 

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4 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 pouches Frontera Fajita sauce

Yellow Rice, cooked according to directions

2 cans low sodium black beans, drained

1 package frozen seasoning vegetables

Marinade chicken in sauce at least 30 minutes.

Bake at 350F 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

Meanwhile cook rice in rice cooker.

Cook seasoning vegetables in a little olive oil until softened.  Add in beans and heat over low until chicken is done.

Frontera is Rick Bayless’ brand.  This is the second product I have tried, and I am sold on his ability to create amazing flavors.  Everyone agreed that the chicken was delicious.  I am running to my local grocery store tomorrow to stock up while the Frontera sauces are on a BOGO deal.

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My local market had a BOGO on Shock Top and Ibotta also had some deals if I also bought oranges, so I took the opportunity to try something new.  Shock Top Ginger Wheat Beer.

Although I’m a fan of the original Shock Top, and I usually like all flavored beers, I was disappointed in this one.  I do find that I like it better at room temperature than cold.

On the upside, it slowed down my beer consumption this weekend!  Also, it probably would lend itself well to some recipes calling for beer that would benefit from the addition of ginger.

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I love the Little Big Meal deals at The Fresh Market.  They put all the ingredients in one spot and it’s a no thought and just a little effort required weekday meal!

This week it was a Chili meal.  For $20.00, I got:

1 lb. fresh ground turkey (you could also choose ground chuck or a vegetarian meat substitute)

1 package veggies (onions, peppers, and garlic – ready to go)

1 jar Frontera Chili Starter – a Rick Bayless product.  I chose White Bean with Chilis – YUMMMMM

1 can beans (I chose cannelloni beans)

1 package shredded cheese

1 container (8 oz) Daisy sour cream

6 corn muffins

It is advertised as enough to feed a family of four.  I bought an extra pound of ground meat (chicken) and had lettuce, tomato, and avocado on hand for toppings, as well as some tortillas left from taco night.

Brown meat and veggies in olive oil.

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Add drained beans and chili starter.

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Simmer 15-20 minutes.

I thickened it with breadcrumbs (my new go to for thickening sauces, chilis and stews)

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Toppings!

 

 

White Claw

I’ve found my new favorite drink!  Our local grocery store had a BOGO sale on White Claw Hard Seltzer, so I thought, why not?  Described as spiked sparkling water with a hint of fruit.  5% alcohol.  It comes in natural lime, black cherry, and ruby grapefruit.  I tried the grapefruit, and it is soooooo good.  A 12 oz. can has 110 calories, 4 g sugar, 4 g carbohydrate, and 20 mg sodium.  It’s not sweet and really refreshing!  I can’t wait to try the other flavors.

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