Kitchen Concoctions: July 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mid-Afternoon Munchies

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can get quite kr-A-nky (Eric is my witness….) when I don’t eat.




Afternoon snack.

Midnight snack.

These are mandatory meals.

I try to make my meals (snacks included) healthy but sometimes convenience and price play too much of a factor. (A hungry tummy needs food fast!) Fruit is always an easy and usually inexpensive snack option but as much as I love fruit sometimes I want something salty. Or crunchy. Or spicy.

In comes these crunchy chickpeas. These are sooo easy to make, and while they do take 20 minutes to cook they are so worth it. I love it when healthy snacks make a happy mouth and yummy!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Syrup
Two Years Ago: Vicki's Chicken and Grapes

Crunchy Chickpeas
Printable Version
Prep Time: 3 minutes Cook Time: 22-27 minutes Serves 2

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook drained chickpeas in an ovenproof skillet with olive oil and spices for 2 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees F, until crunchy.

adapted from Food Network Magazine, September 2010

This recipe is linked to Life as a Mom: Ultimate Recipe Swap

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Do you do Meatless Mondays?

Ok, I am fully aware of what day of the week it is (today is Wednesday, in case you are reading this before your morning coffee... I wouldn't want to confuse you)! But I have been really trying to make an effort to eat meat free at least one day a week (sometimes Monday or sometimes whatever other day that ends with the letter 'y' that works for us! heehee).

I am defiantly not vegetarian and don't plan on converting. I just think cutting back meat intake will save money and be healthier. It also gives me an excuses to make some vegetarian recipes that otherwise I probably would not.

Since I grew up with a Mom who believed a balanced dinner was a meat, starch, and veggie; and Eric is a total man (loves his steak and potatoes) going meat free one day a week has been a challenge for all involved!

But I am happy to report that we are on week three and things are going quite well!

When I saw these black bean burgers I knew immediately they were going to make the menu for a meatless day. I have never had black bean burgers before but I have to say these were magnificent! They were so full of flavor and had great texture. All three people I served these to kept asking if I was sure there was no meat in these burgers! LOL, I would say that is a sign of a winner (plus you can never go wrong with sweet potato fries in my book)!

So, bring it, Meatless Mondays!!!!

Perfect Veggie Burgers
Printable Version
Prep Time: 30 hour Wait Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 6

1/3 cup bulgur
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 ¼ cup mushrooms, chopped
2 medium carrot, finely grated
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 soft buns, split
Onion rings, for topping (recipe below)

Mix bulgur and water and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon steak sauce; cook, stirring, until the mixture dries out slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool completely.

Add the bulgur, beans, breadcrumbs, pecans, soy sauce, egg whites, parsley and salt to the food processor. Pulse until finely ground with some chunks. Form into six 4-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 4 hours.

Preheat the broiler. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the patties until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, place the buns, cut-side up, on a broiler pan and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the patties on the buns; top with the remaining 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon steak sauce and onion rings.

recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine, June 2011

Low Fat Baked Onion Rings
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Wait Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 12-15 minutes Serves 5

1 large onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
2 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup crushed pretzel crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
olive oil baking spray

Place slices of onion in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk over the top and let them soak for about 1 - 2 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine panko, bread crumbs and pretzels in a large dish, season with salt and pepper. Dip each soaked onion ring into the crumb mixture; coat well. Place rings onto two cookie sheets sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly spray onion rings with oil. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

recipe adapted from as seen on My Favorite Recipes

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Question of the day: French Fry or Sweet Potato Fry?

Who says sweet potatoes are just for Thanksgiving?!? They taste so good and are so healthy for you that I like to enjoy them year round (especially in fry form)!

Some people don’t enjoy sweet potato fries (cough, Eric, cough) because they tend to be a little ‘softer’ than traditional French Fries. But I love them! The recipe below has a nice flavor that keeps you going back for ‘just one more’ as you try to figure what it is seasoned with. Because these sweet potato fries are roasted and not fried and because the natural health benefits of sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, B6, manganese, fiber, potassium, and iron) they make a great healthy alternative to traditional French fries (so eat them up!).

Note: The original recipe for these fries had an extremely large amount of salt. I reduced that amount when making them and I (and another dinner guest) thought they were still pretty salty, so I reduced the salt measurement even more in the recipe below. I would suggest starting with the salt amount below and adding more once they are cooked if needed.

Note number two: Don’t worry the recipe for the burger and onion rings will be coming tomorrow! But in the meantime, try and guess what type of burger it is!

One Year Ago: Cookies 'n Cream Ice Cream
Two Years Ago: Aunt Grace's Potato Salad

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30-35 minutes Serves: 4-5

2 large sweet potatoes cut into wedges
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss sweet potatoes with 4 tablespoons olive oil and spices and seasonings. Drizzle remaining olive oil on baking sheet. Roast potato wedges cut-side down on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven until crisp, about 30-35 minutes, turning once.

recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine, October 2009

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week of: Ice Cream (A Recap)

Well friends, I hope you all had a pleasant weekend and well, ate more ice cream (wait maybe that was just me)! LOL! But seriously all the LOLs aside I have GOT to put an end to this ice cream diet (or at least go back to having self control and indulging it in moderation)!

But in case you missed it, here are the recipes I featured this week as part of my National Ice Cream Month celebration!

This Crazy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream was a popular one this week! It is one you defiantly have to check out since frozen bananas replace the cream/sugar base and form a flavorful and healthy 'mock' ice cream!

If you love coffee (or just coffee flavored treats), be sure and check out this rich Pumped Up Caramel Macchiato Shake.

I officially admitted to you all that I have a huge slight S'mores addiction and these S'more Ice Cream Sandwiches certainly helped to 'feed' that addiction! (Note: Stay tuned for a full week of S'mores themed recipes coming up in a few weeks!)

No ice cream maker? No excuse! This Mixed Berry Ice Cream can be made at home with a just a blender and a mixer! It is smooth and full of that sweet berry flavor.

And alas with so much ice cream I had to lighten things up with this refreshing, fruity (and healthier) Paradise Granita! Which was another HUGE hit with taste tester and Internet friends a like!

Still need an ice cream fix? Check out these past ice cream recipes:

Strawberries n' Cream Ice Cream
Cookies n' Cream Ice Cream
Blueberry Sorbet
Black Cow Ice Cream Soda
Chocolate Syrup

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby

Today’s treat is not a ‘true’ ice cream. More like a frozen treat. But after my self-diagnosed ice cream ‘diet’ something lighter was in desperate need.

So out of desperation comes brilliant thoughts and this Paradise Granita was born. Unfamiliar with granita? Well it is an Italian style flavored ice made from sugar, water, and various flavorings. A.K.A shaved ice. A.K.A. a flavorful, light, and refreshing summertime treat.

With the flavors of a beach paradise vacation, you too can pretend that the burnt grass in your backyard is like sand on a beach!

Paradise Granita
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Freeze Time: 6 hours Serves 4 to 6

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks in light juice
1 (11 ounce) can coconut water
¼ cup sugar
2 limes, juiced and zested

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Freeze for two hours, then begin the process of lightly scraping the top, frozen layer. Return pan to freezer with the shaved ice on top; remove a two hours later and scrape again. Repeat the scraping process every two hours until the entire mixture is shaved.

Store, covered in the freezer, until serving.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Ice Cream Diet

When I was in the 8th grade a friend of mine was put on an 'ice cream diet.' No seriously! The doctor said that she was too skinny for her age and height and told her that she had to eat at least one cup of ice cream every night.

Everyday my friend would complain how much she hated her new 'diet' and was so sick of ice cream! (GASP!!!) I was so mad at my friend for two reasons: 1. She was told that she HAD to eat ice cream every night and B. That she complained all about it. Ok maybe deep down inside I was just mad that SHE was living out my dreams of having ice cream for dinner.

Because of this ice cream themed week I have had my own ‘ice cream diet’ of sorts and NOT per doctor’s orders! Haha! Oh well. A girl can dream about ice cream diets every once in while can't she? (And then repent with hour long work outs!)

I am totally loving this Mixed Berry Ice Cream. Smooth, creamy and full of that sweet berry flavor. Since berries are bountiful this time of year this is a great way to use them up, if not frozen berries will work just fine. Oh and don't forget to save the extra sauce, it totally makes this ice cream purrfect!

One Year Ago: 'Angry' Sausage and Pepper Pasta
Two Years Ago: Honey Mustard Chicken

Mixed Berry Ice Cream
Printable Version
Prep Time: 20 minutes Freeze Time: 2 hours Makes 1 quart
4 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen
2/3 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Combine fruit and sugar in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Reserve 1 cup of the puree (store in fridge until ready to use). In a mixing bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until medium peaks form. Gently fold in the remaining puree just until combined. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze until firm (about 2-4 hours). Scoop into bowls and serve with remaining puree and extra berries if desired.

adapted from Our Best Bites

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Strange Addiction

I have a confession. Please still be my Internet friend and read my blog after I tell you my deep dark secret.

So here it is. I am a S’mores addict. There I said it. Please send help. Those three simple flavors (chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow) do something to me. They make me crazy. In fact I have about ten S’more recipes bookmarked and another ten floating around in that thing on my shoulders called my head. Since I am just slightly obsessed with this simple yet scrumptious treat, I will be doing a S’mores themed week in a few weeks (5 days of S’more recipes… horray!!!)!

Until then here is a super simple S’more ice cream treat for this week’s ice cream theme. This really is not a recipe but just your basic S’more ingredients and ice cream. These are so easy but O.M.G. they are sooo good! You can make them in just a few minutes and serve immediately or make them and wrap them in foil and serve them at a BBQ get together. Easy. Peasy. Tasty Treat.

S’mores Ice Cream Sandwich
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version

Chocolate covered graham crackers
Marshmallow crème
Vanilla ice cream
Spread marshmallow cream on two chocolate covered graham crackers. Scoop vanilla ice cream and sandwich between the two crackers with marshmallow crème. Serve immediately or wrap in aluminum foil and place in freezer to be consumed later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ice Cream with My Morning Cup of Joe

My taste buds are a strange phenomenon. Unlike most people of the world my morning routine does not consist of a cup of coffee. On a rare occasion I do enjoy an iced coffee or latte but for the most part I rarely drink coffee at all. But the strange thing is I love the way it smells (it reminds me of my grandmother) and I love coffee flavored or infused food. Take this coffee cake, or these mocha brownies, and these espresso brownies are seriously one of my absolute favs!

So naturally when I saw Starbucks Ice Cream I knew I had to try it. (That love of coffee flavored treats sometimes has a mind of its own.) And if you are a coffee lover too then you will love this ice cream; smooth and creamy and full of that coffee flavor. I mean this is just my opinion (no, Starbucks didn’t pay me to pimp their product, I just love to indulgent in it!), so be sure to try it yourself (but honestly you can take my word for it).

And since it is ice cream week, I decided to take this velvety, creamy coffee ice cream and make it even more indulgent and rich. Today while 1 out of 4 Americans (don’t quote me on that little fact, I kinda just made it up based on my daily observations) drink their morning cup of Joe, I will start my day with one of these bad boys: Pumped Up Caramel Macchiato Shake.

Pumped Up Caramel Macchiato Shake
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves 2

1 pint Starbucks Caramel Macchiato
2 tablespoons brewed espresso (or strong coffee), cooled
2 tablespoons caramel sauce

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately. Makes 2 large or 4 small shakes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Celebrating National Ice Cream Month

I hope you didn't miss it... National Ice Cream Day that is! (FYI, it was yesterday, so mark your calendar for next year! )

But since ice cream is so "cool" (pun totally intended) and popular; not only does it have a day but a whole MONTH in its honor!

Since July is National Ice Cream Month I thought it would be fun to share some ice cream recipes all this week. I hope you won't mind, I know I won't!!

Today's recipe is a crazy one I tell ya!! First you don't need an ice cream maker to make it (which is true for all the recipes I will share this week since my ice cream maker is in storage right now, boo hoo!) AND this ice cream is healthy! I know what you are thinking, how is that possible? Well, instead of cream and sugar, frozen bananas are blended in a food processor to make the base for this ice cream! C-A-RAZY!!! And the fact that this has the texture of ice cream and tastes so good makes me kinda forget that it is healthy and justifies the fact that I ate this for breakfast 3 days in a row!

Note: This recipe calls for frozen bananas so plan ahead. I already keep frozen sliced bananas in my freezer to use for smoothies so this is something I already have on hand!

Crazy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Serves: 2-4

3 ripe bananas
2 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 ½ tablespoons honey (for added sweetness)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Slice bananas into 1/2 inch slices and place on a small cookie sheet and freeze for several hours.
Put the frozen banana slices into you food processor and puree until creamy. Scrape down the sides if needed. It may take a few minutes for it to all get creamy.

Add the peanut butter and honey. Puree until mixed in. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Enjoy immediately or place in a container in the freezer until ready to enjoy!

adapted from Real Mom Kitchen.

This post is being linked to Life as a Mom: Ultimate Recipe Swap: Desserts.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy National Ice Cream Day!!

Today, July 17th, is National Ice Cream Day! In fact the whole month of July is National Ice Cream Month! A whole month dedicated to ice cream! Since ice cream is my favoritest (yes, favoritest is a word) indulgent treat, I am happier than, well, happier than a kid eating ice cream!! Wink. Wink.

Today to help you celebrate National Ice Cream Day in proper fashion here are two of my favoritest homemade ice cream recipes that I have shared in the past here on Kitchen Concoctions. Looking for more ice cream recipes? Click here or check back this week for more ice cream fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

College Flash Back

Do you remember that feeling of being 18 going off to college? Moving into your first apartment? Who was your first roommate? Did you have a part time job while going to school or did you live off of scholarships and student loans?

I remember my first apartment (right across from the railroad tracks), my first roommate (a gril who was a couple of years older than me), and yes I worked part time (working for Hobby Lobby) to supplement the student loans and scholarships.

In other words I was like every other college kid I knew, broke and over exhausted! Due to a poor college kid's budget my meals consisted of three main foods: Ramen Noodles (at the end of the pay period or semester when my bank account was really low); mac and cheese (in the middle of the pay period when I had some cash but needed to make sure I had enough till pay day); and Hamburger Helper (when, well, the day after pay day because we all know pay day meant a real meal at a real restaurant)! Hamburger Helper was also the go to meal for friends (and dates) to make as a special meal! Haha! Did they get an "A" for effort??? Well I guess back then they did! LOL!
Even though these 'comfort foods' (if you want to call them that!!) bring back memories, I also crave them every now and then (honestly who doesn't)! So I was so happy when I saw this kicked-up. healthier, just as easy and cheap, version of ramen noodles. Totally full of flavor and not loaded down with all that extra sodium (yay)! All I can say is where was this recipe way back when I was saying "Whoop!" and "Gig 'em" at Saturday football games!

One Year Ago: 'Angry' Sausage and Pepper Pasta
Two Years Ago: Super-Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica

Kung Pao Style Ramen Noodles
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Serves 4-5

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3), cubed
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you want more heat)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, discard seasoning packets
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot and rippling. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add the cubed chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken to a medium bowl.

Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until hot and rippling. Add the red bell pepper, peanuts, peas and carrots; and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the mixture into the bowl with the chicken, trying to leave as much oil as possible behind in the skillet.

Add the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds to the remaining oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth. Break the bricks of ramen into small chunks and add them to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, tossing the ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still a bit of liquid in the pan, about 2-4 minutes.

Stir in the hoisin sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce and continue to simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, vegetables and peanuts. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.
adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mangos: An Exotic Summer Time Treat

Did you know that June was National Mago Month? No really, it was! And even though June is over mangos are still at their prime. If you have ever wondered about mangos look no further than the article below that I wrote for meal planning/recipe site Food on the Table. And defiantly make these Grilled Paradise Pork Chops before summer is over or you will be regretting it all winter long!

Juicy and flavorful, mangos have long been a popular fruit! Mangos are often described as a blissful, exotic mix between pineapple and peach. And while mangos are available from April till September, they are at their prime and most flavorful, not to mention best prices, in the months of June and July. This makes them a succulent summertime fruit!

Nutrition: Mangos are rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. They are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and beta carotene. Mangos are also high in fiber, containing up to 40% of the daily recommended fiber requirement. Mangos are unique in that they contain a special enzyme with stomach soothing properties which help as a digestive aide.
Selecting: When selecting a mango, choose one with a tropical, fruity aroma, as unripe mangos will have no scent. Also a fresh ripe mango will be slightly soft to the touch, however, avoid mangos that are overly soft or bruised. Depending on the variety of mango, it will ripen to a red, orange, yellow or green shade.

Storing: Unripe mangos should be stored at room temperature. However, once ripe, mangos should be stored in the refrigerator for five to seven days; while peeled and cubed mangos can be frozen for up to six months.
Cutting: Cutting a mango may seem intimidating but really it is not. To cube a mango, cut lengthwise down both sides of the pit. Using a paring knife, cut ½ inch squares by scoring the mango, making sure not to cut through the skin. Turn the scored mango half inward pushing apart the cubes. The use the paring knife and cut the cubes off the mango.
Mangos can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. From sweet dishes such as smoothies and sorbets to savory dishes like salads, salsa or marinades. Looking to enjoy this exotic fruit this summer? Well try this Grilled Paradise Pork Chops, no beach required!

One Year Ago: Asian Noodles
Two Years Ago: Hearty Bolognese Sauce

Grilled Paradise Pork Chops
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version
Prep Time 15 minutes Marinate Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 16-18 minutes Serves 6

1 ½ pounds boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat

4 large ripe mangos, diced
1 fresh pineapple, cored and diced
2 large limes, juiced and zested
½ medium red onion, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Prepare and mix all salsa ingredients together. Place half of salsa mixture in blender and puree; reserving remaining salsa for later use.

Place pork loin chops in large zip top bag. Pour pureed salsa mixture over pork chops and toss to coat. Let pork chops marinate in salsa mixture for 45 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium heat. Lightly oil grill grate and place marinated chops on grill and cook for 8 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

When pork chops are done cooking remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Top pork chops with remaining reserved salsa and serve.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Everyday with Rachael Ray Subscription Winner and Review

Who else is having a hard time swallowing that it is July?? I mean how did we reach this point? Half way through 2011?

aNyWAys back in June last month, the featured magazine of the month was Everyday with Rachael Ray. Each week I shared a recipe from this magazine. I also decided to celebrate my two years of blogging and hosted a giveaway with each recipe. For the last giveaway I gave away a one year subscription to this awesome magazine. So before the review here is the winner of the subscription (chosen by

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 16 Result: 10 (Lara)

Congrats Lara! Please contact me at kitchen_concoctions at hotmail dot com with your mailing address (if I do not have the winner's mailing information within 72 hours another winner will be selected).

Now onto the review! This is a great magazine! Whether you are a Rachael Ray fan or not, this is a fun and informational magazine. From a wide range of recipes to travel and entertaining tips, to info on fashion and beauty to of course food and cooking. In a lot of ways it is like her talk show on paper!

Pictures: Yes: every recipe

I loved that every recipe had a photo but not all of the photos were good quality, which is kind of disappointing coming from a food magazine.

Prep Time, Cooking Time, and Number of Servings listed: Yes, Yes, Yes!

Every recipe in this magazine is clearly labeled with the required prep and cook time and the number of servings. This information is so helpful and I love that they offer it!

Clear, easy to follow directions and ease of preparation: easy

Yes, keeping true to RR motto of easy to prepare 30 minute meals, all of the recipes in her magazine are easy to prepare.

Variety of recipes: extensive

Easily available ingredients and budget friendly: yes

I love that one of the features in this magazine is meals feeding a family of 4 for $10 dollars or less. Granted not all recipes fall under this category but it is nice to know that every month there will be some.

Special feature:
There are so many things I love about this magazine! I like that this magazine covers such a variety of topics but still revolves around food and cooking. Top special feature is a photo recipe index, and how can you not like the Burger of the Month feature or $10 dollar dinners!

Cost: $3.99 per issue and $12-15 for a year subscription which is 10 issues.

My top favorite recipe I shared was Chili Lime Tilapia with Roasted Corn this was so easy and had wonderful flavors. It will defiantly be made again and again!

It is potato salad season so why not try version with corn and even better mayo free.

Hot wings are a food loved by all and these Hot Mustard Wings are a nice change to the normal buffalo routine!

Need dinner fast? Why not make these Chili Meatball Subs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Barbeque Week In Review

I hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July Holiday! My 4th was wonderful, spent with my family, eating lots of barbeque, and watching fireworks over the lake! Thanks for asking!

Last week, in preparation for the big holiday I hosted a barbeque here on Kitchen Concoctions. And while the big patriotic holiday is over we still have many, many weeks of valuable grilling weather.

So in case you missed it, here is a round up of all those great grilling recipes.

This Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken was so easy, full of flavor and juicy. With this recipe I also shared some grilling safety tips (because Momma always said safety first).

Summer isn't summer without S'mores! These S'more Cookies were freakin' amazing. Make. Them. NOW!

Burgers and grilling go hand in hand. Next time you are craving a burger this summer, try this version: Chicken Parmesan Burgers, classic flavors with a new summer twist. Oh and in case you were wondering how to throw a budget friendly barbeque this summer, then read the corresponding article.

Besides baseball, I think grilling out is one of America's favorite past times. That's why these All American BBQ Chili Dogs were perfect to share while giving a little history lesson about some popular All American foods.
(picture from here)

And last but not least, I had intended on featuring a red, white, and blue dessert to bring to a 4th of July BBQ but couldn't choose, so better yet I did a round up of patriotic desserts, that could not only be made on Independence Day, but also Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day, or any day ending in "Y"! Haha!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fourth of July Foodie Fun!

I hope you have enjoyed some great barbeque recipes and tips this week to help you get ready for this big BBQ weekend. Since it is 4th of July weekend, I really wanted to bring you a cute patriotic dessert as my final recipe of the week. But to be honest with ya, I am on red, white, and blue overload!

I have been so impressed with my fellow bloggers, as well as some popular food and craft websites, and all the uber creative patriotic food. In fact there have been soo many great ideas that I couldn't just pick one. So I decided to do a Fourth of July Foodie Round Up. Below are some, way cute, way cool, and way patriotic, last minute ideas. And good news, most of them are way easy. Way...

First up these Revolutionary Berries from Family Fun. This incredibly easy dessert has been ALL over the blogosphere the past few weeks. I first saw them here, then here, as well as here. They are probably my top pick for cutest and easiest! You will be the most popular person at the block party if you bring these!

And the second most adorable patriotic treat is this 4th of July Toast from Taste and Tell Blog. Who says you can't start celebrating the All American festivities at the crack of dawn (a little flag toast certainly doesn't hurt!)? : )

Want to impress your kiddos and cool them off at the same time? Make them this Patriotic Punch (Layered Drinks) from The Sisters Cafe. Your kids will thank you and think you are uber COOL (pun intended)!

And nothin' shows our Star Spangled freedom more than this cookie pizza from Pillsbury. (Want more cookie pizzas? Try this red, white and blue one drizzled in chocolate, or this American flag brownie pizza).

Not only are strawberries the perfect festive color for this holiday, they sure are tasty this time of year and make the perfect pie! Add some blueberries and some whipped cream and you have this beautiful Five Minute Patriotic Pie from Real Mom Kitchen!

Now all I have to do is narrow it down and finally decide what I want to make! What patriotic treats are you making this weekend??

Disclosure: Pictures are from the websites and blogs listed above in conjunction with the photo. Please click on the link to see the full recipe and additional photos.
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