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May 31, 2013

Coming Out From Behind the Camera: My Review is in the June Issue of All You Magazine

Click for photo of Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Cherries
Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Cherries



Ever since I started this blog there has been one question that I get asked the most. It's not about food. I get emails, tweets, facebook posts about why I don't include a photo of myself on my blog. With my kids it's a matter of privacy, I am very protective of their online identity. With myself it's more of wanting a focus on the recipes and food. However, the longer that I have been blogging the more I realize that eventually I will have to come out from behind the camera. So with that in mind, you can find a picture of me in the current June issue of All You magazine.

As you all know I review magazine, cookbook and online recipes. All You has started a section high-lighting readers that have tried their recipes and a few question and answers about the results. I was flattered to be approached to be the first person for this section. If you look on page 9 you will see my review of All You's Slow-Cooker Pork Loin with Cherries (you can read my original review here). It really is a great recipe and one that I loved making. The section also includes a photo of me and a photo I took of the dish. No more hiding behind the camera.

My husband's only comment about the mention was that everyone is going to think that I'm 42 since my age states that I am 35. I promise I really am 35, but I guess I should start telling everyone that I'm 27. Only problem is that I don't think anyone would believe me!

May 30, 2013

A Great Way to Celebrate Summer Berries: Dark Chocolate and Fresh Raspberry Mix-It-Up Muffins

Click for Recipe for Gluten-Free Fresh Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
Gluten-Free Fresh Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins


Fresh berries never last long in my household. Between my two boys and I we are able to eat almost our weight in blueberries, blackberries and raspberries during the summer months. Growing up there was a large patch of wild blackberries that we would go every summer to pick. We would collect as many fresh berries as we could carry home and my mother would bake pies and desserts for weeks. I remember being covered head to toe in berry juice and being as happy as can be. My two boys seemed to have inherited my love of all things berries, they will go into the fridge and sneak as many as they can get their hands on. Luckily berries have been inexpensive recently so I have been baking and cooking with them frequently and allowing my boys as many bowls as they can handle (within reason). This week I tried a new recipe for Mix-It-Up Muffins from the June 2013 issue of Parents Magazine.

This recipe has 13 ingredients. It takes 35 minutes of total time, 15 minutes of which is active and makes 10 muffins. I did make a number of changes to the original recipe. First, I made two batches of muffins, one gluten-free and one regular. I made half the muffins with carrots and raisins (not pictured) and half dark chocolate-raspberry. As I always do when making muffins I used foil liners. They are so much easier to unstick the muffins from, especially when using gluten-free flours. One step that the recipe leaves out is to roll the berries in a small amount of flour before adding them to the batter. This allows the berries to not 'bleed' into the rest of the muffin batter.

My youngest son was a larger fan of these muffins than my oldest. I would suggest a few changes to the original recipe. First the raspberries ended up a little soggy in the recipe. I would cut the overall amount used or switch to using blueberries and roasted cut-up almonds instead. The recipe would also work well with the dark chocolate chips and dried blueberries, cherries or cranberries. This would also keep the berries from making the muffins soggy. The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be modified very easily to suit your tastes and what you have in your pantry. White chocolate chips, nuts, raisins and dried coconut would all work very well with the original recipe.

For the recipe go to Dark Chocolate and Fresh Raspberry Muffins.  (registration required)

May 29, 2013

Bring the BBQ Flavor Indoors: Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Click for Recipe for Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork



I ate popcorn for dinner tonight. The weather has been hot and sticky, making me not in the mood for most food. I did make a chicken recipe for my husband and youngest son, but nothing heavy for me. Every summer it's the same. It takes a couple of weeks after the weather gets warm for my body to adjust to eating normally. Even after I adjust I still eat far less than during the cooler months. I do eat a lot of salad and ice cream, not the greatest food options, but cool and refreshing none the less. The males in my family never seem to be affected by the weather, they eat a ton year round. BBQ is one of their favorite foods, they literally love it in the dead of winter through the summer heat. This week I tried a new recipe for Cajun Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from the June 2013 issue of the Food Network Magazine.

This recipe has 12 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time (plus 8 hours in the slow cooker), 20 minutes of which is active and makes 8 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First, I made my hamburger buns from scratch. I gave up buying hamburger buns a few years back, it is so much cheaper to make them at home. Whenever I make meat in the slow cooker I always brown my meat first. Sear it quickly in a pan on the stove, browning it on all sides in a little bit of olive oil. This step allows the meat to seal in its juices and keep it moist during cooking. Make sure to add the meat fat side up, this will also allow the meat to not become tough.

My husband really enjoyed this recipe. He is a big fan of andouille sausage and this recipe does a great job of combining the sausage with the pork shoulder. The flavors blend well together and it is a nice change of pace from traditional BBQ recipes. Best of all it is all done indoors and the clean up work is very simple.

For the recipe go to Cajun Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.

May 28, 2013

Perfect For Summer Grilling Season: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Mint Salad Recipe

Click for Recipe for Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Mint Salad
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Mint Salad


There are weeks I love complex meals. I will spend hours in the kitchen making the perfect recipe. Then there are days like today where I want simple comfort food. Hence why I currently have pinto beans in the crock pot and I will be making cornbread later in the afternoon. There is something about the beginning of summer that makes me want to have something warm and comforting one more time before the weather and humidity make me want nothing more than cold iced tea and lemonade. To me pinto beans are not only part of what I love about West Virginia, but they make me remember what I love about food and cooking, sometimes the simplest of dishes are the best. One simple dish that I love in the warm summer months is salad. Cold side salads are such a great option, they are cool and refreshing. Last week I tried a new recipe for Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Mint Salad from the June 2013 issue of Eating Well magazine.

This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 35 minutes of total time, all of which is active and makes 4 servings. I did make changes to the original recipe. First since I have three males to feed I doubled the recipe. One chicken thigh for each person just wouldn't have cut it. I think I may be the only food blogger that does not have a mortar and pestle, so for the garlic paste I used the side of a knife. I use this method frequently and it is a perfect substitute. My outside grill is still out of commission so to cook the chicken thighs I used my indoor electric grill. It would also work well under the broiler.

To me the star of this dish was the cucumber salad. It was light and the perfect palate cleanser for the chicken thighs. The flavor of the rub on the chicken was great and would work well with other cuts of chicken (such as breasts) or even fish. At under 2 dollars a serving this is an inexpensive meal option for summer.

For the recipe go to Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Mint Salad.

May 27, 2013

#Sponsored Post: Change Up Your Style With Firmoo Free Glasses for May

 Disclaimer: This is a paid sponsored post for Firmoo. As always all opinions expressed are my own. 

As I have talked about previously I wear glasses almost everyday. I love having different pairs around to switch up my look, as I talked about in my previous reviews here and here. Ordering glasses on-line is easy and convenient, I love it. One site that I have tried multiple times is Firmoo.  Firmoo has updated their New Arrivals for May and you may have the chance to get yours for FREE!
Spring and summer always has great fashions, however it can be frustrating when you already have a nice dress or outfit to wear but can never seem to find the right pair of accessories to go with it. Wearing glasses is another new trend, so don't be shy to rock your prescription lenses in very cool frames this season!

Firmoo is here to make your life easier! With their innovative First-Pair-Free program wherein new customers are entitled to receive their very first pair of Firmoo glasses for free! Isn't that an amazing deal? You can find the new arrivals added for May. You only need to pay shipping costs!

Check out some small samples of the new updated shades for May here.
Oversize frame:
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Vintage style:
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Nerdy style:
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Still not sure that eyewear can be fashionable? Then check out how some of these fashionistas style them:
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(The above model photos are all derived from Firmoo+.)

Firmoo really has glasses for every taste, so what are you waiting for?? Hurry to get yours, cause limited quantities will be offered!

About Firmoo
Firmoo is the World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices which start at 8 dollars. For this reason, we have gained a solid reputation and trust from 580,000+ fans on Facebook & cooperated with 10,000+ bloggers worldwide.

Disclaimer: This is a paid sponsored post for Firmoo.com. As always all opinions expressed are my own. 

May 26, 2013

Recipe for Flavorful Chicken Tikka Masala

Click for Recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala Over Rice
Chicken Tikka Masala Over Rice

I love to shop local. There are so many great things about buying food that is made/grown close to where you live. I would love it if we had a big farm where I could raise and grow everything that I ever wanted, but until that day comes I grow what I can and buy the rest. I am a firm believer that buying local in not only great for supporting the local economy, but much better for the environment. This weekend I was able to find great heirloom popcorn at a shop in our area. It is run by volunteers and provides  fresh and packaged foods from local producers. My kids love going and seeing the new items that they have each week. There are some foods that I am unable to find locally, such as certain spices for ethnic dishes. For these items I either have friends send them to me or I order online. I grew up eating Indian food since my father worked with a number of nurses from south India and I love it. Last week I tried a new recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala from the April 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

This recipe has 18 ingredients. It takes 5 1/2 hours of total time, an hour of which is active and makes 6 servings. I did make a number of changes to the original recipe. I was unable to find chiles de arbol so I followed the recipe suggestion and used crushed red pepper. Cardamom pods are hard to find around here, so I left them out. For the marinading time I allowed the full 6 hours. My oven broiler has been broken for a while so I used my toaster broiler setting instead. The chicken did not blacken as well as it would have in the oven, but it still came out decent.

Even though the time required to prepare this recipe is long, the outcome is worth the wait. The recipe turned out delicious and the step were relatively easy. This dish was particularly popular with my husband, who loves Indian food, but is never able to order it as often as he would prefer.

For the recipe go to Chicken Tikka Masala.

May 25, 2013

Recipe for Yogurt and Chia Seed Muffins

Click for Recipe for Yogurt and Chia Seed Gluten Free Muffins
Yogurt and Chia Seed Gluten Free Muffins

We brought a Pomeranian Chihuahua mix into our house in December. I had grown up with toy poodles so I expected it to be an easy transition. Apparently our puppy had other ideas. Last week he ate my last pair of glasses. He had previously chewed apart two other pairs. So this morning I had to go to the eye doctor. After exams for both my husband and I, most of my day was gone. At least now I can actually see since I was also out of contacts. It's so much nicer to be able to see the television show that I am trying to watch. This weekend also marks the first part of my oldest son's summer vacation. Yesterday my two boys decided to mark the occasion by fighting the whole day and than telling each other that they would rather be only children. This is going to be a long summer. Since both of my sons are now home all day I have been baking and cooking more than usual. Last week I tried a new recipe for Yogurt and Chia Seed Muffins from the Detroit Free Press (via the Charleston Gazette-Mail April, 14 2013).

This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes 35 minutes of total time, 10 minutes of which is active and makes 12 muffins. I did make a number of changes to the original recipe. First I eat gluten free so I used gluten free all-purpose baking mix. Since the baking mix that I use already has salt, I left the salt out of the recipe. The only yogurt that I had in my fridge was Greek style, so that is the variety I used. I chose to add the cinnamon sugar topping and I used foil baking cups to prevent the muffins from sticking. These muffins were still a little soft when they came out of the oven, but they firmed up as they cooled.

My kids really enjoyed this recipe. It is a great way to use chia seeds in a baking recipe. Chia seeds do not have flavor by themselves, so they are great to add to oatmeal, smoothies and baked goods. With 6 grams of protein per muffin they are a nice way to add extra nutrition to breakfast or a morning snack.

For the recipe go to Chia Seed Muffins.

May 24, 2013

Sponsored: Netflix For Kids Has So Many Great Options!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of NETFLIX. As always all opinions expressed are my own.
My youngest watching Jake the Pirate on Netflix

My youngest son made a discovery this week. He came running into the kitchen and informed me that he had found a great new thing to watch on Netflix, Jake and the Never Land Pirates. I had never heard of the show so I went in to see what all the commotion was about. Now my son is very smart. He is 4 and can figure out how to watch Netflix on my phone, the TV and three different tablets. I love that Netflix is easy enough that he can find things on his own and I can add shows that are age appropriate into the Instant Queue. Netflix has made family viewing very easy. The dedicated kids section has family favorites appropriate for children ages 2- 12. All content is selected with help from Common Sense Media to provide ratings, reviews and information so parents can easily make choices for their kids!

My kids have fallen in love with the new kids section and watch it when they have family TV viewing time.  Plus you aren't limited to watching shows just on the television. You can watch your favorite TV shows and movies anywhere, anytime you want. Netflix is available on hundreds of devices, which you probably already have at home! Even better with the streaming options you can download the free app on your iPad, click on the Netflix app on any gaming device or visit Netflix.com on your computer – and you’re in business. It really is easy. Plus it's great when you have access to free wifi such as at doctor's offices. It makes those long wait times much more bearable. I love being able to take out my phone and let my youngest son watch a short tv show while I wait at the bank, doctors office etc.

Pictures of various devices to stream Netflix
The various devices that we stream Netflix


We try to make television viewing a family event. That way I can enjoy time with my kids and they can watch some of their favorite television shows. We have our favorite movie snacks (buttered popcorn with Worcestershire sauce-it really is delicious) and all curl up on our favorite chairs to watch together as a family. Right now my oldest is in love with Transformers Prime and ParaNorman, while my youngest son's favorite Netflix shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Road Rally and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Plus the nice thing with Netflix is that they are always adding new great shows. Their current favorite shows are all thanks to new shows and movies being added to Netflix from Hasbro, Disney Jr. and the Cartoon Network. There are great new shows to choose from that my kids love.

My kids watching Netflix together on their tablet


What are you watching on TV with your family? Netflix has family favorites from Disney, Disney Jr., Hasbro, Cartoon Network and Dreamworks that are available to stream anytime, anywhere.

And streaming is easier than you think! Download the free app on your iPad, click on the Netflix app on any gaming device, go to the website on your computer – and you’re in business. Check it out here!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of NETFLIX.

May 23, 2013

Sponsored Post: Michael Buble's To Be Loved

I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the album to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

Michael Buble To Be Loved Album Cover
Album Cover
 I have to admit that when I first heard Michael Buble I wasn't a fan. It might have been my age, or the fact that it just wasn't the style of music that I liked to listen to. Whatever the reason I would turn the radio dial when he came on. Now that I am older I listen to a far greater variety of music. The only thing that I draw the line at is listening to my youngest son's Disney songs, they can drive me a little crazy after a while. I have also discovered that as I've gotten older I have begun to appreciate older music. The music that my parents loved has more meaning and connection than it did when I was younger. So I was intrigued when I was recently given the opportunity by One2One Network to listen and review the new Michael Buble album To Be Loved.

Here is the list of tracks on the album:

To Be Loved Track Listing:

1. "You Make Me Feel So Young"

2. "It's a Beautiful Day"

3. "To Love Somebody"

4. "Who's Lovin You"

5. "Something Stupid" (featuring Reese Witherspoon)

6. "Come Dance with Me"

7. "Close Your Eyes"

8. "After All" (featuring Bryan Adams)

9. "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" (with Naturally 7)

10. "To Be Loved"

11. "You've Got a Friend in Me"

12. "Nevertheless (I'm in Love with You)" (featuring The Puppini Sisters)

13. "I Got It Easy"

14. "Young at Heart"

Michael's new album is different from his previous albums. With this album he has ventured into songwriting as well as his renditions of classic American songs. "To Be Loved, out now, finds the Grammy winner covering songs by Frank Sinatra, the Bee Gees, Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, Van Morrison, and more. In the mix of golden standards are four original songs co-written by BublĂ©, dipping into his personal life for inspiration." Here is my list of pros and cons about the new album:

Pros:
  • Album has a variety of songs to chose from
  • I liked both "Come Dance with Me" and "Young at Heart"
  • Album was easy to listen to
 Cons:
  • Most of the songs are slow, there isn't a lot of variety of types of music
  • As with a lot of Michael Buble music, the songs are all sung very similarly (which many people like so this wouldn't necessarily be a con for everyone)
  • A number of the songs are very drawn out
  • There is no stand out single like previous albums

To buy the album or a few songs for yourself go to the following links: 

May 22, 2013

Easy 10 Minute Recipe for Spicy Shrimp Marinara

Click for Recipe for Spicy Shrimp Marinara Over Spaghetti
Spicy Shrimp Marinara Over Spaghetti

Tomorrow will mark the first day of summer for me. My oldest son will have his last day of school and I will no longer have to do the daily running out the door before we are late for school routine (at least for a couple of months). Plus there will be trips to my in-laws house and peace and quiet for me for at least a few days. I might actually be able to catch up on some reading and get ahead on blog posts. However, my oldest claims that I am a mean mommy since I insist on work books throughout the summer months. I have high expectations for my children and I hate the idea of them losing knowledge through the summer. Another sign of summer in my house is the arrival of lots of seafood dishes. My kids are big fans of shrimp and I try to make it at least once every couple of weeks, especially during the warmer months. Last week I tried a new recipe for Spicy Shrimp Marinara from the Everyday Food insert of Martha Stewart Living magazine.

This recipe has three ingredients in the marinara and five in the main recipe. It takes 10 minutes of total time (not including the time to make the marinara), all of which is active and makes 4 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First since I was serving 6 people (my in-laws were in town) I doubled the recipe. I also chose to leave out the red pepper flakes and add them at the table for individual servings. My father-in-law doesn't enjoy spicy foods, so doing the red pepper flakes in this manner allowed everyone to eat the recipe. I served my portion over gluten free ziti and the rest of the servings over spaghetti for the remainder of my family.

Everyone that tried this recipe loved it. The flavors were delicious and the recipe is beyond easy. I allowed my garlic to caramelize, which created a nice undertone to the dish. For anyone trying this recipe I would suggest doing this modification as well. This is a nice simple recipe that would work well year round.

For the recipe go to Spicy Shrimp Marinara.

May 21, 2013

Recipe for Fresh Oregano and Chive Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish

Click for Recipe for Fresh Oregano and Chive Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish
Fresh Oregano and Chive Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish

I love strawberries. Berries in general are high on my list of favorite foods, but strawberries are at the top. Since they are now available frozen year round I am able to enjoy my strawberry smoothies even in the dead of winter. However, there is something so quintessentially summer about eating fresh strawberries. I love using them in desserts, but they are equally great for adding a hint of sweetness to savory dishes. Whatever the preparation method, any dish with strawberries rarely lasts more than a few hours. Last night I tried a new recipe for Herb Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish from the June 2013 issue of Eating Well magazine.

This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 1 1/4 hours of total time, 30 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. Since my herb garden is finally thriving I was able to use fresh oregano from my garden. My 4 thighs weighed exactly 2 pounds and I served the dish over white rice. I added 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar since it has great flavor and I love using it with strawberries. Make sure to buy a high quality balsamic vinegar, there really is a difference between the cheap low-quality brands and the top-shelf varieties.

The relish in this recipe was delicious. It had even better flavor after sitting in the fridge overnight. Combined with the herb crusted chicken the flavors made a nice sweet-savory taste. My kids loved the relish, so the recipe is a nice option to get kids to eat fruit in a new way.

For the recipe go to Herb Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish.


May 20, 2013

Recipe for Tuscan Turkey Burgers with Fresh Basil

Click for Recipe for Tuscan Turkey Burgers with Fresh Basil and Tomatoes
Tuscan Turkey Burgers with Fresh Basil and Tomatoes

I was so happy that tonight I was able to use fresh herbs from my herb garden for my dinner recipe. My herbs are doing better than I expected and will save me so much money this summer. Growing my own basil is one way that I know that I will save money since I use basil at least once a week for dinner. The herbs available at the grocery store are over priced and start to brown by the time I am able to use them. Being able to just go out and cut the amount that I need is so nice. Plus the flavor is noticeably better than store bought. One food I love adding fresh basil to is burgers. It can take a regular burger from ordinary to something memorable. Last week I tried a new recipe for Tuscan Turkey Burgers from Redbook magazine.

This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time, 10 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First since I eat gluten free I made gluten free biscuits and then made bread crumbs in my food processor. I also used my indoor grill to cook the burgers, which helped to reduce the fat without reducing the flavor. For my serving I ate the burger between two gluten free biscuits, for the rest of my family I made homemade hamburger buns.

These burgers have a tendency to crumble when you try to flip them over so be careful. I actually waited until the next day to take the photo. After sitting in the fridge the burgers were much firmer and easier to deal with. It might be a good idea to place the burgers in the fridge to firm before cooking them. I thought these burgers were great without lettuce so if you are unable to find Boston lettuce you can leave it out. Overall these burgers turned out very moist and were enjoyed by my whole family.

For the recipe go to Tuscan Turkey Burgers.

May 19, 2013

Recipe for Sour Cherry Rice Pudding

Click for Recipe for Sour Cherry Rice Pudding
Sour Cherry Rice Pudding

I love to read. Growing up my mother never watched TV, instead she spent all of her free time curled up on the side of the couch with a book. It was thanks to her that I read War and Peace in middle school. She always expected me to read for joy, not grade level and challenged me to read everything I could get my hands on. In college I already had a major when on a whim I decided to tack on a second major, English Literature. This love of reading has followed me to the current day when I have been known to stay up all night finishing a great book. Most of you also know that I love to cook. Cookbooks and food magazines are always all over my house. There is something great about finding a new recipe to try and scouring through pages to find the perfect fit for dinner. Slow cooker recipes are some of my favorites and last week I tried a new recipe for Sour Cherry Rice Pudding from the June 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 6 hours and 35 minutes of total time, 10 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I did make changes to the original recipe. First since I have a larger crock-pot I doubled the recipe. I used fat free evaporated milk and 100 percent cherry juice for the ingredients. For whatever reason my crock-pot never works with rice pudding on low. Instead I decreased the time and cooked the recipe on high for a little under 3 hours. After the pudding has sat to cool it will need to be fluffed back up and you can add more evaporated milk if necessary.

Using fat free evaporated milk worked well in this recipe and I like that there is 11 grams of protein per serving. My kids ate their servings with homemade whipped cream, which was a nice combination. If you want a richer pudding this would be delicious with shaved dark chocolate on top.

For the recipe go to Sour Cherry Rice Pudding.

May 18, 2013

Sponsored Post: Firmoo Product Review Take Two

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Firmoo.com. I received a pair of glasses to review in exchange for this post. As always all opinions expressed are my own.
Pick for Picture of Firmoo Glasses
Firmoo Glasses


I have a love hate relationship with glasses. My vision was great until high-school. Then I started to realize that other people seemed to see leaves on trees, while I just saw green blobs. I fooled myself into thinking it was normal until I could no longer see the chalk board. Since I was a straight A student I knew that I had to deal with my bad vision or my grades would suffer. So I finally made an eye exam appointment. My parents made very little money and all my money from work was going into a college fund, so I ended up with a cheap pair of plastic frames. There are great plastic frames, but these were not one of those. When I finally moved out on my own and had a little extra money from work during college I went in for my usual contacts (I hated glasses) and I decided to try glasses once again. This time I found a pair that I loved and wore glasses most of the time I was in college. Now that I am in my 30's I wear both contacts and glasses. I love contacts since they are convenient and I don't get migraines from the pressure on my face. However, I also love the look that glasses can give and they are easy to take care of. Recently, I was given the chance by firmoo.com to try a new pair of glasses and review them on my blog.

In case you missed my last review, these were the previous glasses I received from firmoo.com and my review. If you aren't fimilar with Firmoo.com they provide a variety of sunglasses and glasses to chose from. You can order the glasses either with or without a prescription and they ship right to your door. Here is the link to the frames that I chose. They also offer a Virtual Try-On System. You can even try on the glasses with your own photos. 98% of their customers have found their perfect match glasses by this method .Plus right now you can get your first pair free, here are the details:

  1. All free code eligible eyewear at this page is offered in limited quantities every day. First come, first served!
  2. For new customers only. One pair per person.
  3. All free frames come complete with 1.50 single vision lenses, complimentary cases, cleaning cloth and other accessories. You just need to pay shipping. See the details.
  4. Full refund for dissatisfaction.
  5. This offer is open to U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, New Zealand, etc.
Click here to learn more about the offer. 

So what did I think about the frames that I received? Here is a list of the pros and cons:

Pros:
  • My glasses came very quickly. 
  • The frames looked exactly like they did on the website. 
  • The prescription was correct. 
  • The frames were lightweight. 
Cons:
  • There isn't a large variety of frames to chose from on the site. 
  • Most of the frames are plastic, which is pretty thin and could break easily. 
  • No big designer names. 
 Overall for the price and the product received I think that the site works well. They are nice glasses, especially as a back up pair. I tend to break my glasses very easily so this site would be a great way to order multiple pairs to have on hand in case your main pair breaks or is lost. 

May 17, 2013

Recipe for Grilled Chicken Salad with Tahini Yogurt Dressing and Fresh Mint

Click for Recipe for Grilled Chicken Salad with Tahini Yogurt Dressing and Fresh Mint
Grilled Chicken Salad with Tahini Yogurt Dressing and Fresh Mint

With the weather getting warm this week grilling season is definitely coming. My husband still has our charcoal grill in the basement with the promise that he will be fixing it up soon. Since it has sat downstairs for two years I am beginning to think that he is lacking motivation. Of course I could work on it, but my to do list is long enough that adding anything to it just wouldn't happen. Since my outdoor grill is out of commission I utilize my indoor electric grill or my stove top grill pan. Both are great options and I use them frequently. The beginning of summer in my household also means cold salads and sides. I love combining grilled meats and cold salads into one recipe. This week I tried a new recipe for Chicken Salad with Tahini Yogurt Dressing from the June 2013 issue of Food and Wine magazine.

This recipe has 14 ingredients. It takes 40 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active and makes 6 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First I used 2% Greek yogurt instead of whole fat yogurt. As I talked about in the intro I used my indoor electric grill to make the grilled chicken thighs. I am not a fan of hot chicken salad, especially in the warmer months so I allowed the salad to sit in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving. This allowed the chicken to cool and made for a better flavor. Finally, I served the salad over white rice. It would also work well with flatbread.

Yogurt dressing is always popular in my household. We also are big fans of grilled chicken. However, this recipe only received an okay from my family. The thighs were almost too moist for the rest of the salad. There was a lot of flavor in the recipe, which I liked, but it didn't stand out from other chicken with yogurt sauce recipes. I would suggest increasing the amount of chipotle, adding a small amount of cumin and serving the salad with Naan or pita bread. Making it more like a wrap or sandwich would help the recipe be even better.

For the recipe go to Chicken Salad with Yogurt Tahini Dressing.

May 16, 2013

Recipe for Spicy Chipotle Burgers with Chipotle Sour Cream

Click for recipe for Spicy Chipotle Burgers with Chipotle Sour Cream
Spicy Chipotle Burgers with Chipotle Sour Cream

I am happy to report that my herb garden has taken off. This year I finally gave in and decided that I would grow my own herbs instead of relying on store bought. I tried a herb garden once before I had kids and it didn't go well. Our yard didn't have enough sun light during the day and I was horrible about remembering to water. Luckily now that I am older I love gardening and have had great success. This year my oldest son and I decided that we would grow tomatoes and four types of herbs. They are doing very well so far and I am excited to be able to use foods from my garden in my cooking. Until my tomatoes are ready to eat I have still been using store bought, especially since we eat a lot of burgers. Last week I tried a new recipe for Spicy Chipotle Burgers from the June 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 25 minutes of total time, 15 minutes of which is active and makes 8 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First I made my own hamburger buns. Homemade buns have much better flavor and they are easier to make than you would think. Here are two links to the hamburger buns that I make 40 Minute Hamburger Buns and Homemade Sesame Buns. I used an indoor electric grill to make the burgers so my total grilling time was slightly longer than the recipe suggested. Finally I chose not to grill the buns. Since I use homemade buns and they are always baked the same day I don't see the need to grill my buns.

My husband and I really enjoyed these burgers. They were one of the best burgers that I have eaten or made in a while. I really liked the chipotle sour cream, it was a great addition to the burger recipe and cooled down the spiciness of the burger. If you want to cut down on the amount of fat you could try using ground beef with a lower fat content. With 25 grams of protein this is a filling recipe that is also easy to prepare making it a perfect summer grilling option.

For the recipe go to Spicy Chipotle Burgers. (registration required)

May 14, 2013

#Sponsored Post: Dunkin Donuts 3 New Flavors and My In-Home Party Including Recipes For Coconut Iced Coffee, Boozy Chocolate Frappe, and Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Dunkin' Donuts. I received a Dunkin' Donuts Party Kit to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. As always all opinions expressed are my own. 
Dunkin Donuts In-Home Party Pack
Dunkin Donuts In-Home Party Pack
Having grown up in Seattle I have loved coffee as far back as I can remember. I used to steal sips of my mother's coffee when she wasn't looking since the taste was so great. As I got older I bought just about every coffee contraption I could find. Grinders, French presses, espresso makers, and more. When my husband and I got married I discovered a man that loved coffee almost as much as I did. Given my love of coffee I am always looking for new flavors and brands to try. Recently, I was given the opportunity to have a Dunkin' Donuts In-Home Party and try their 3 new seasonal flavors.

For my party I was given 7 tote bags for my guests, which included:
  • One of the three new flavors of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (Coconut, Triple Berry, or Strawberry Shortcake)
  • A tumbler
  • A $2.00 off coupon
  • An iced coffee recipe card
In addition I received my own tote bag which contained:
  • All three flavors of the new Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (Coconut, Triple Berry, and Strawberry Shortcake)
  • A tumbler
  • A $2.00 coupon
  • An iced coffee recipe card
I am lucky to have a great mix of friends, so I was able to invite a variety of people to taste the new flavors. For the party I decided to make recipes using the new coffee flavors. That way all my guests could try the coffee and see and taste all the outside of the box ways that the flavors could be used. Of all my guests, only one of them had tried Dunkin' Donut coffee previously, so it was a fresh taste for the majority. As for me, I buy Dunkin' Donuts on and off depending on sales, coupons, etc.
Click for Recipe for Dunkin Donuts Coconut Iced Coffee
Dunkin Donuts Coconut Iced Coffee


The first recipe that I made with the coffee was the iced coffee recipe included with the tote bags. Here is the adapted version:
  • 3/4 cup ground Coconut Dunkin' Donuts coffee
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup non-fat half and half
  • whipped cream if using
Make coffee using 3/4 cup ground coffee and 1 1/2 cups of water. When finished brewing let coffee sit in the fridge to cool. When the coffee has cooled to at least room temp combine the coffee, sugar and half and half in a blender. Blend. Add sugar and liquefy until sugar has dissolved completely. Chill in the fridge until cool. Pour over ice in cup and if you desire top with whipped cream.
Click for Recipe for Boozy Chocolate Frappe with Dunkin Donuts Coconut Coffee
Boozy Chocolate Frappe with Dunkin Donuts Coconut Coffee


For the second recipe I made Boozy Frozen Coffee (Frappe):
  • 1 cup brewed and cooled Coconut or Strawberry Shortcake Dunkin' Donuts Coffee
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 shots chocolate vodka
  • 3/4 fat free half-and-half
Make sure that the coffee that you brew is very strong. In a blender combine all ingredients. How much you blend the ingredients will depend on how much ice you desire in your finished drink. I completely blended the servings I made so it resembled the bottled drinks made by another well known coffee company. Top with additional chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
Click for Recipe for Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Bundt Cake
Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Bundt Cake


For the final recipe I made a Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake with Granulated Sugar Icing:
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/3 cups strong brewed and cooled Coconut Dunkin' Donuts Coffee
  • 3 cups Gluten Free Bisquick 
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bundt pan (I use canola spray). Add a whisk attachment to your mixer (this can also be done by hand). In your mixer bowl add sugar, eggs, and beat on a low speed for one minute. Add low-fat buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and blend for another minute. Add cocoa and coffee. Make sure to add them slowly to prevent cocoa powder from puffing out. Finally add gluten free baking mix. You may need to add up to an additional 1 cups of baking mix. You want the consistency to not be too thick, the batter will be on the thin side. Pour into pan and bake for one hour. The icing is very easy.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup cocoa 
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add all ingredients except the vanilla extract to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. When cool beat with a mixer for 3 minutes.
Click for recipe for Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sugar Frosting
Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sugar Frosting


Of all the flavors the coconut was the favorite by far of all my guests. It has a great flavor and worked well in my recipes. If your interested in trying the flavors for yourself, run out and buy them now they are only available for a limited time. You can find out more at the following website:

May 13, 2013

Wild Salmon, Asparagus, and Shiitakes in Parchment Recipe

Click for Recipe Wild Salmon, Asparagus, and Shiitakes
Wild Salmon, Asparagus, and Shiitakes

Apparently my son thinks I'm awesome because I make him bacon. That's right bacon. It all traces back to last week and the homemade Mother's Day gift that my son made at school. He came home so excited from school on Friday and immediately gave me the gift that he had made. It featured a picture of me frying bacon and a story about what makes me so great. The story emphasized that I do crafts and fry bacon. Of all the things that I do, bacon has the biggest impact on my kids. I don't know if I should be flattered or worried. According to my son all the other kids put things like their mother was pretty, funny etc. He was very proud that I make great bacon. Maybe I should stop trying to dress up and look nice for my husband as well. Bacon seems to have magical qualities for the males in my family. Since having bacon everyday is not healthy I make other foods that the males in my family love. Two of their favorites are salmon and mushrooms. Tonight I tried a new recipe for Wild Salmon, Asparagus and Shiitakes in Parchment from Martha Stewart Living magazine.

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 35 minutes of total time, 25 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First since the shiitakes at the store I shop at only come in 5 ounce containers, I bought two and used 10 ounces total in the recipe. Secondly, I realized that I had forgotten to toss the vegetables with olive oil, so instead I drizzled the top of the salmon and vegetables. This method ended up working very well since it kept the salmon moist while cooking. I found that my cooking time was much longer than the 9 minutes suggested by the recipe. This was probably due to the fact that my fillets were much larger and had skin.

Since everything is baked in parchment this is a very easy dish to prep and cook. The clean-up just involves throwing away the used parchment, which is great for a weeknight meal. Both of my sons love salmon and this dish was popular. The sliced lemon wedges are an important component, it helps to bring out the flavor of the vegetables and enhance the flavor of the salmon.

For the recipe go to Wild Salmon, Asparagus, and Shiitakes in Parchment.

May 12, 2013

Spanish Style Chicken and Rice Recipe


Click for Recipe Spanish Style Chicken and Rice
Spanish Style Chicken and Rice
I spent part of my mother's day today donating clothing and household goods. Every spring I go through my house and donate any items that we don't need or want any longer. My kids are so used to going through their toys that they are almost always cooperative and rarely put up a fight. There is something so satisfying about seeing a clean house and teaching my kids about recycling old goods instead of throwing them in the trash. I also put out a number of broken items at the curb and like always  someone took the items off the curb for their own use. This is popular in my area, curbside furniture/trash pick-up is common place. Since it was mother's day today I made yesterday's meal quick and only requiring one pot. I tried a new recipe for Spanish Style Chicken and Rice from the December 2011 issue of Woman's Day magazine.

This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes 35 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First I used a Dutch oven to make the dish. They are great for making one pot meals and a valuable kitchen investment. I chose to leave off the chopped parsley as a topping and I cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces instead of the 3-inch pieces suggested by the recipe. Finally, my family loves chopped olives so I used 3/4 of a cup of sliced olives for topping.

I really like that this recipe only has 7 grams of fat and 42 grams of protein per serving. It was popular with my whole family, even though it has a slight spicy kick from the diced chilies. Since it only uses one pot it takes very little clean-up, which is always nice for a quick week night meal.

For the recipe go to Spanish Style Chicken and Rice Recipe.

May 10, 2013

Sponsored Review of "The Fast Metabolism Diet" by Haylie Pomroy

 This is a sponsored review see disclaimer at the bottom of the post for full details. 

I have been lucky that most of my life I have been able to stay thin without a great deal of effort. There was a time though that even though I was running miles everyday I was also eating most of my meals away from home. My weight got up to 145 pounds, which for me is much heavier than I normally maintain. It took me moving 2500 miles away and cooking everything from scratch to lose 30 pounds. After having kids I maintain my weight at approximately 128 pounds. I still work out everyday on my treadmill and I do not allow pre-packaged snacks in my house. Even though I am happy with my current weight I am always interested in new food options that keep my food choices in check. Recently I was given the opportunity from SheSpeaks and the Fast Metabolism Diet to try the "Fast Metabolism Diet" book and review my progress.

Haylie Pomroy has helped thousands of clients to lose weight in 28 days. Her new book emphasizes three phases, that she promises will set your metabolism on fire.
  • Phase 1 - Unwind stress and calm the adrenals (days 1 and 2). Lots of carbs and fruit. At least one day of vigorous cardio, like running. 
  • Phase 2 - Unlock stored fat and build muscle (days 3 and 4). Lots of proteins and veggies. At least one day of strength training. 
  • Phase 3 - Unleash the burn - hormones, heart and heat (days 5 to 7). All of the above foods plus healthy fats and oils. Do at least one day of stress reducing activity such as yoga. 
Here are two recipes that I tried (with permission to re-print) from the book:
Click for Recipe for Oatmeal Fruit Smoothie Phase 1
Oatmeal Fruit Smoothie Phase 1


Oatmeal Fruit Smoothie

Serves 1

Phase 1

1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup frozen fruit, such as pineapple or strawberries
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 packet Stevia or Xylitol 
Ground cinnamon, to taste

Put the oats in a blender and pulse until they reach a powdery consistency. Turn off the blender and add 1 cup water. Incorporate the remaining ingredients into the mix and blend until smooth. Serve.
Click for Recipe for Berry Nutty Oatmeal Smoothie
Berry Nutty Oatmeal Smoothie


Berry Nutty Oatmeal Smoothie

Serves 1

Phase 3

1/2 cup oats, steel-cut or old-fashioned
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup frozen fruit
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 packet Stevia
Ground cinnamon, to taste.

Put the oats in a blender and pulse until it becomes a powder. Add the sunflower seeds and continue to blend until finely ground. Turn off the blender and add 1 cup of water and the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
 
So what did I think of the book? First off let me reiterate that I do not need to lose weight, so this book was more to see if the food options helped me further define my muscles. Also since I eat gluten free some of the recipes were not things that I could try. Here is a list of pros and cons:

Pros:
  • Book is very easy to follow. Everything is broken down and explained very well. There is even a website if you have additional question. 
  • The three phases are set up nicely and work well together. 
  • There is an extensive recipe section with many things to chose from. 
Cons:
  • The smoothies were way too watery for my tastes. I make a Greek yogurt smoothie for breakfast every morning. The yogurt has 24 grams of protein and I combine it with almond milk and frozen fruit. To me this is a better way to go, the smoothies from the book did not taste appealing to me. 
  • The idea of 'eat more food' didn't work in my situation. I eat a lot more food on a daily basis and never have a problem with my weight. This book didn't make me lose any weight and I felt hungry far more often than I normally do. 
  • I think this would work better for people that need to completely change their lifestyle. Since I already have a healthily lifestyle there wasn't anything that I felt would greatly benefit me personally. 
 If your interested in learning more for yourself about the book and program here are a few links to visit:

Website: http://www.fastmetabolismdiet.com/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/hayliepomroy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hayliepomroy



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/FastMetabolismDiet. As always all opinions expressed are my own.


I received permission to print all recipes. To fail to do so is in violation of copyright.

May 9, 2013

Bucatini with Olive Caper Sauce Recipe

Click for Recipe for Bucatinit with Olive Caper Sauce
Bucatini with Olive Caper Sauce

My oldest has two weeks of school left. To say that he is ready to be done would be understatement. Getting him to be motivated to actually go to the bus in the morning has not been easy. He has also been very food picky. It might have a lot to do with the fact that he lost his first tooth this week and the new tooth coming in his been causing him discomfort. Due to all the activity in our household I have been trying to make quick and easy meals. Earlier this week I tried a new recipe for Bucatini with Olive Caper Sauce from the May 2013 issue of the Food Network Magazine.

Click for Recipe for Gluten Free Bucatini with Olive Caper Sauce
Gluten Free Bucatini with Olive Caper Sauce


This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes 25 minutes of total time, all of which is active and makes 4 servings. Since I eat gluten free, but the rest of my family does not, I made two versions of this recipe. For the tomato mixture I used kalamata olives, unrinsed capers (we prefer the taste of the salt) and roma tomatoes. I divided the mixture between the regular spaghetti for my family and gluten free spiral pasta for me. Make sure to serve the dish soon after you add the mozzarella, if you wait it will melt and turn into a big cheese clump.

The flavors in this recipe are great. My two boys loved the olives and capers and dividing the tomato mixture worked out well. Not rinsing the capers gave the pasta a nice salty flavor, which I really liked. The sauce would work with variety of pasta types in case you aren't a fan of spaghetti or bucatini.

For the recipe go to Bucatini with Olive Caper Sauce.

Centrum Flavor Burst Review

This is a sponsored post see disclaimer at the bottom of the post for full details. 

Centrum Flavor Burst Wild Berry Flavor
Centrum Flavor Burst Wild Berry Flavor

I eat as healthy as I can. Most days I am successful and I rarely eat fast food or packaged snacks. However, there are always days that I wake up tired, grab a coffee for breakfast and run around without eating for most of the rest of the day. I have also always been borderline anemic. I fall right below the number for normal, so I have always had to take a multivitamin to ensure that I keep everything in check. One thing that I have always disliked about multivitamins is how large the pills are. I have always had a sensitive throat and the feeling of a large pill going down has always been unpleasant to me. When I was pregnant I relied on kids chewable vitamins since they were the only type that didn't make me ill. Recently I was given the opportunity by Smiley360 to try new Centrum Flavor Burst in wild berry flavor and write a review.

So what are Centrum Flavor Burst? "New Centrum Flavor Burst is a uniquely delicious, chewable adult multivitamin supplement with an essential vitamin core, great-tasting outside and chewy inside." They come in two flavors, wild grape and mixed fruit. Since they are chewable they do not need to be taken with water so they are easy to take on the go. 

The most important information to know about any vitamin is what is actually inside, so here is a break down:


Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Vitamin A 2,000 IU40%
Vitamin C 60 mg100%
Vitamin D 800 IU200%
Vitamin E 40 IU133%
Vitamin B6 2 mg100%
Folic Acid 400 mcg100%
Vitamin B12 10 mcg167%
Biotin 150 mcg50%
Pantothenic Acid 10 mg100%
Iodine 80 mcg53%
Zinc 5 mg33%
Choline 76 mgN/A
Inositol 40 mcgN/A

So what did I think?

Pros:
  • Easy to take, no need for swallowing a pill.
  • Doesn't seem like you are taking a child's chewable. Having done that when pregnant the vitamins for kids are full of action hero's and coated in sugar.
  • Packaging is appealing and the product would stand out on the shelf.
  • High in b-vitamins, which is something I look for.
Cons:
  • I wish there were more flavors available. I have never been a person that likes grape or wild berry. I would love to see a strawberry or citrus flavor.
  • Would be enticing for kids. This is a product that looks similar to candy, I would hope that parents would make sure to make it  not accessible to kids. The manufacturer might want to add a prominent label to make sure parents take heed. 
  • It doesn't have iron or magnesium. This might be the deal breaker for me. I hate having to take multiple supplements. I prefer if my multivitamin has iron already in it. From their website it seems that the kid's chewable does have iron, so I'm not sure why it is lacking from the Flavor Burst. I know some people are unable to take Iron, so maybe they are marketing this product towards this group of people. 
  • The first two ingredients are sugar and corn syrup. My husband thought that they tasted like candy, I thought that they were a little too sweet.
Overall, I like the concept of a chewable adult vitamin. There are so many people that cannot swallow pills, so this would be a nice alternative. However, it seems that the kids multivitamin has a much larger spectrum of vitamins, including iron. If you are looking for a specific vitamin always make sure to check the label of any product since multivitamins vary greatly.

Here are a few links that you might want to check out:


Disclaimer:  I received this product for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. As always all opinions expressed are my own.

May 8, 2013

Turkey Sloppy Joes Recipe

Click for Recipe for Crock-Pot Turkey Sloppy Joes
Crock-Pot Turkey Sloppy Joes

My youngest had the misfortune of getting his first bee sting this evening. I knew something was wrong when he told me he was playing with a bug. As soon as the word stop was out of my mouth he started screaming because he had been stung by the 'bug'. Luckily pain medication and a baking soda paste saved the day. He is now asleep and I'm pretty sure that he won't be playing with bees again soon. Luckily before the be incident my family enjoyed a family favorite, sloppy joes. For dinner I tried a new recipe for Turkey Sloppy Joes from the May 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This recipe has 13 ingredients. It takes 3 hours and 15 minutes of total time, 15 minutes of which is active and makes 12 servings. I followed the recipe pretty closely to the original. I always have baby carrots for my husband's lunch so that is what I used in this recipe. Since I only had smoked paprika I substituted it for regular and Sunny Buns for the hamburger buns. Of course my youngest slightly smashed my photo bun before I got the picture, hence why it looks a little lopsided. I ate my serving over brown rice.

My kids loved this recipe. I did find that it only made about 5 servings, not the 12 suggested by the recipe. My husband thought that he would have liked fewer carrots, I thought that it was a little sweet. Overall though this was a very family friendly recipe and I like that it uses turkey instead of beef.

For the recipe go to Turkey Sloppy Joes. Registration required.

May 7, 2013

Balsamic Pot Roast Recipe


Click for Recipe for Balsamic Pot Roast
Balsamic Pot Roast
Our weather has finally been warm enough overnight to start my garden. So this weekend my oldest son and I went to find flowers for our front bed and heirloom tomato starters. We ended up with three different heirlooms and a bunch of new herbs for an herb pot. My son insisted on using his bare hands to help do the planting and was full of dirt by the time we were done. By the end of the weekend everything was planted and by the middle of the summer I will be swimming in tomatoes, which will be perfect for recipes and canning. Last week was one of my busier weeks so I relied heavily on my crock-pot. I tried a new recipe for Balsamic Pot Roast from the March 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This recipe has 12 ingredients. It takes 10 hours and 15 minutes of total time, 15 minutes of which is active and makes 6 servings. Since I never have 10 hours to wait for my crock-pot I cooked the roast on high for 6 hours. I chose to serve the roast as is instead of with the polenta and sweet peppers. The majority of the time I make my own stock, but for this recipe I used store bought. Make sure to buy high quality balsamic vinegar. There is a great difference in taste between cheap and quality balsamic.

My family really liked the flavor of this roast. The balsamic kept the roast very moist and the sauce was perfect. I served the roast with brown rice, which worked well to soak up the extra sauce. I like that the recipe only has 11 grams of fat and 53 grams of protein, it was a nice change of pace to my normal pot roast recipe.

For the recipe go to Balsamic Pot Roast. Registration required. 
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