Fabulous Side Dishes (Giveaway)

Whether you’re cooking a dinner for two, cooking for the family, or hosting a dinner get together, you’ll need some good side dishes. While it’s true that the main dish is usually the hero of any meal, side dishes are still important! You certainly don’t want to serve canned corn to guests! With these recipes, you’ll find some classic side dishes with a twist, and some absolutely mouthwatering dishes that are sure to impress! Sides don’t have to be simple, they don’t have to be fancy- they can even be the star of the meal if you want. Live a little.  Bend the rules.  Sometimes we like to do a quick main dish and focus on the sides that go with them- a Ristorante pizza or chicken on the grill can be made into a fabulous meal with something special on the side to go with it!

pizza-vegetale-ristorante

 

I’m sure you remember by now that Ristorante by Dr. Oetker is our go-to frozen pizza brand. I always have 2-3 of them on hand in the freezer downstairs.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and with plenty of delightfully pleasing toppings, something for everyone.  The gourmet toppings lend themselves to a full meal and not just quick pizza fixes, so you feel like you are indulging a little!

 

To see if Ristorante pizzas are available near you, check out the Store Locator. Don’t see Ristorante in your supermarket? You can put in a request with the store manager!

 

Be sure to like Ristorante Pizza on Facebook and enter their Savor Your Summer sweepstakes for fun giveaways before it’s over!

 

I love Ristorante because of its delicious toppings, particularly the veggies. Check out these fabulous side dishes we found around the web- wonderful side dishes to complement Ristorante pizzas and sneak even more veggies into your meal!

Summer Salad with Pepitas

We have a garden and are fortunate enough to be able to grow much of what we enjoy IN our salads right in our backyard. Salad’s always a quick and easy side dish, all year round, but in summer, we like to mix things up a bit.  Fresh chopped broccoli and pepitas add some fun new flavors to this salad, a little more calcium and protein, and a little extra crunch! Perfect with a pizza for dinner on the porch.

summer-side-pepita-salad-ristorante-speciale

Grilled Zucchini– This is a favorite simply because it’s a quick and easy recipe you can make with just about any in season veggie.  Simple seasonings and a quick turn on the grill make for flavorful, healthy and delicious sides.

grilled-zucchini-dinner

Lemon Parmesan Broccoli

lemon-parm-broccoli

Lemon Parmesan Broccoli goes SO well with the Pizza Vegetale. Lots of delicious flavors and no meat- a great Vegetarian dinner idea that’s quick and easy.

Lemon Pepper Asparagus

Lemon-Pepper-Asparagus2-300x300

Asparagus is one of our top 3 veggies in this house- we’ll eat it any time of year with just about any meal.  The simple flavors of this side dish pair also pair well with any of the Ristorante pizzas- they will serve to complement the pizza toppings and not pull away from them.  Lemon pepper asparagus is also a great side to pair with fish for a main course!

Roasted Cauliflower

roasted-cauliflower-salad

Pizza and a salad with roasted cauliflower?  Great dinner idea, ready in no time!

 

What are YOUR favorite side dishes?

summer-side-dish-prize-pack

Ristorante by Dr. Oetker is going to send one of my readers a Side Dish Prize Pack including:

10.5″ Serving Bowl, Crate & Barrel
13.75” Platter, Crate & Barrel
Wooden Salad Servers, Amazon.com
2 Ristorante coupons

 

 This post is sponsored by our friends at Ristorante by Dr. Oetker.  Opinions are my own. 

Grilled Zucchini Recipe #EasyCookingwithPAM

With summer in full swing, our garden harvest is here, and with it, approximately 400 zucchini and squash.  Since it’s hot and humid this week, I’ll do just about anything to avoid time in the kitchen for cooking, and use the grill instead.  (That way, in between flipping foods, I can take a quick dip in the pool to cool off). One thing I did yesterday for the first time was to grill some zucchini.  Well, we’ve grilled it before, but always cut into bite size pieces and always with other veggies in a grill basket. This recipe can work with squash as well as zucchini, or eggplant.  Just change the veggies out for whatever you have – we go with whatever happens to be in season or seems ready to cook from our garden!

Yesterday I tried something new and we all agreed this recipe was a WIN.  I think part of my magic was the use of PAM on the grill so nothing would stick to it.  Cleaning the grill after we eat is not something I look forward to.  Anything to decrease that cleaning time is great for me!

Grilled Zucchini

grilled-zucchini-recipe

Ingredients

1 zucchini (whatever size, amount you want), sliced horizontally

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

Sea Salt

Olive Oil  (PAM Olive Oil is great for recipes like this!)

Pepper to taste

2-3 TBSP Shredded parmesean cheese

PAM Grilling

grilled zucchini ingredients

Directions

Once your zucchini is sliced and garlic is minced, lay your zucchini slices flat on your cutting board

Brush (or spray) your zucchini with a bit of olive oil

Rub garlic onto zucchini

grilled zucchini seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste preference

(This also happens to be how I seasoned our chicken breasts to pair with the zucchini)

Spray your grill with PAM Grilling

grilled zucchini with pam

Lay slices of zucchini on the grill surface

Cook 3-5 minutes on each side (depending how hot you keep your grill- keep an eye on these!)

When zucchini is cooked to your liking, remove from grill and sprinkle with parmesean cheese

Enjoy (and enjoy the super quick and simple cleanup since using PAM grilling makes sure nothing sticks to your grill surface!)

** We were talking last night about making these zucchini ‘strips’ into grinders (subs, heroes, hoagies?) with other veggies and cheese on a toasted bun.

 

PAM Logo

“Leaving up to 99% less residue, PAM is your ally in the kitchen and allows you to save time during prep and clean up.”

What are your favorite grilled veggie recipes? 

4.9 from 9 reviews
Grilled Zucchini Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Easy grilled zucchini recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables
Cuisine: Grilled
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 1 zucchini (whatever size, amount you want), sliced horizontally
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil (PAM Olive Oil is great for recipes like this!)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 TBSP Shredded parmesean cheese
  • PAM Grilling
Instructions
  1. Once your zucchini is sliced and garlic is minced, lay your zucchini slices flat on your cutting board
  2. Brush (or spray) your zucchini with a bit of olive oil
  3. Rub garlic onto zucchini
  4. Salt and pepper to taste preference
  5. (This also happens to be how I seasoned our chicken breasts to pair with the zucchini)
  6. Spray your grill with PAM Grilling
  7. Lay slices of zucchini on the grill surface
  8. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side (depending how hot you keep your grill- keep an eye on these!)
  9. When zucchini is cooked to your liking, remove from grill and sprinkle with parmesean cheese
  10. Enjoy (and enjoy the super quick and simple cleanup since using PAM grilling makes sure nothing sticks to your grill surface!)
  11. ** We were talking last night about making these zucchini 'strips' into grinders (subs, heroes, hoagies?) with other veggies and cheese on a toasted bun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ConAgra via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ConAgra.”

3 Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

I love chocolate. I also love ice cream. What I don’t love is the high caloric count and high fat content of regular ice creams. There’s rarely nutritional value in ice cream, and if I’m going to indulge in a treat, I’d rather go for something that’s at least a little bit healthy for me. When I heard about Silk’s new blends available in stores, I really wanted to make something with it for a cool summer treat that would satisfy the sweet craving and also let us feel like we were indulging. I think we have a win!

silk-almond-milk-protein-fiber

Silk has some new flavor blends available in stores, and the Silk Almond Protein + Fiber blend just sounded wonderful to me. We’ve enjoyed it with cereal (it’s amazing with cereal, and gives us such a great protein filled start to our days) and I thought it would be fun to use it in a frozen something since it’s hot outside. I figured adding some extra protein in a treat was an added bonus and worth thinking of something. This ice cream recipe has just 3 ingredients and it’s vegan! Our friends who have egg and dairy allergies are able to enjoy these with us, which makes me so happy.

3 Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream

3-ingredient-vegan-ice-cream

Ingredients

2 cups Silk Almond Protein + Fiber

1 cup whipped Soyatoo whipped topping (or any dairy free whipped topping)

1 package chocolate instant pudding mix (You could do vanilla as well)

vegan-ice-cream-ingredients
Directions

Whip your Soyatoo as directed (about 3 minutes on high)

Blend in your pudding mix and Silk Almond Protein + Fiber for 3 minutes on med-high

vegan-ice-cream-mixer

Freeze for 1 hour

Enjoy

vegan-ice-cream-recipe

This vegan ice cream recipe is THAT simple. It’s as creamy as regular ice cream but a whole lot better for you- extra protein and fiber with the new Silk as a main ingredient. That’s a win in my book. Healthier options, more protein and fiber, and vegan, so just about anyone can enjoy them right along with us.

The new Silk Almond Protein + Fiber tastes amazing. We normally drink regular milk most of the time but I’m finding myself reaching for the silk more and more because I really just love the flavor!

Head over to Silk’s Facebook page to grab a money saving coupon!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

grab a money saving coupon!

 

3 Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream Recipe #SilkAlmondBlends
 
Prep time
Total time
 
3 ingredient vegan chocolate ice cream recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Silk Almond Protein + Fiber
  • 1 cup whipped Soyatoo whipped topping (or any dairy free whipped topping)
  • 1 package chocolate instant pudding mix (You could do vanilla as well)
Instructions
  1. Whip your Soyatoo as directed (about 3 minutes on high)
  2. Blend in your pudding mix and Silk Almond Protein + Fiber for 3 minutes on med-high

 

Glazed Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This post brought to you by LIBBY’S Pumpkin. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are right back in the swing of activities now that summer is here.  Swim team, swim lessons and tennis lessons are daily for each of my 3 kids for the next 6 weeks.  We are on the GO and not always able to cook a full breakfast before rushing out the door.  Since we’ve been enjoying the whole pumpkin theme for ingredients lately, I thought we’d try a breakfast bread that can easily be brought on the go, with and without the glaze. So here is our latest- Glazed Pumpkin Bread Recipe that’s easy to do and everyone loves it!

 

Glazed Pumpkin Bread Recipe

glazed-pumpkin-bread-recipe

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can of LIBBY’s 100% pure pumpkin

1 C. oil (you could also substitute applesauce if you’d prefer)

2 C. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

3 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

pumpkin bread in process

Glaze Ingredients –

2 C. powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tbs. butter, softened (I prefer using real butter, not margarine)

2-3 tbs. milk (this depends on how thin or thick you want your glaze. The more milk you add, the thinner the glaze will be and vice-versa).

pumpkin bread baked

Directions –

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour 2 loaf pans.

 

#1. Combine all the wet ingredients – Libby’s pumpkin, oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.

 

#2. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix well.

 

#3. Pour the pumpkin batter evenly into the two greased loaf pans.

 

#4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Bread will turn a light golden brown color.

 

#5. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool completely. While they are cooling mix up the ingredients for the glaze.

 

#6. Once the loaves are completely cooled pour the glaze over them. **The glaze will melt if the loaves are too hot.

glazed pumpkin bread recipe

 Don’t forget to follow LIBBY’S Pumpkin on Pinterest and also make sure you check out our Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Meatballs and Sauce,  and Pumpkin S’mores Bars!

Why pumpkin?  It’s easy. Pumpkin is a superfood. Pumpkin adds extra fiber and Vitamin A to recipes. It’s packed with Beta Carotene. It can be used to replace the fat in some recipes and cut the amount of sodium per serving in others. When used as a replacement for butter, eggs or oil it can also reduce calories. It can be incorporated in breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and beverages – all that taste great.  You can feature the pumpkin flavor and create your recipes around pumpkin, or you can “tuck” it into other recipes to get the added benefits of pumpkin and not have the dish be all about the pumpkin.

Share your fave #PumpkinCan fact via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for a chance at a weekly prize! Good luck!


What will you make with pumpkin next?
 

Visit Sponsor's Site

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Glazed Pumpkin Bread Recipe
 
Pumpkin bread topped with a sweet glaze
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can of Libby's canned pumpkin
  • 1 C. oil (you could also substitute applesauce if you'd prefer)
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Glaze Ingredients -
  • 2 C. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbs. butter, softened (I prefer using real butter, not margarine)
  • 2-3 tbs. milk (this depends on how thin or thick you want your glaze. The more milk you add, the thinner the glaze will be and vice-versa).
Instructions
  1. Directions -
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
  3. #1. Combine all the wet ingredients – Libby's pumpkin, oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
  4. #2. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix well.
  5. #3. Pour the pumpkin batter evenly into the two greased loaf pans.
  6. #4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Bread will turn a light golden brown color.
  7. #5. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool completely. While they are cooling mix up the ingredients for the glaze.
  8. #6. Once the loaves are completely cooled pour the glaze over them. **The glaze will melt if the loaves are too hot.

 

 

Fresh Balsamic Strawberry Topping

It is strawberry picking season in Connecticut.  My son and I went yesterday and picked about 10 pounds of fresh strawberries.  There is nothing like the taste of fresh picked strawberries.  But, as usual, our enthusiasm for picking turned in to a need to use the strawberries before they go bad.  Luckily, I was sent the new cookbook Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero.  She has a great recipe for Fresh Balsamic Strawberry Topping.

Vegan Eats World

Vegan Eats World is loaded with recipes like, Savory Baked Tofu, Sweet Potato-stuffed Paratha and Mexican Chocolate Torte.  I love that they have easy to find ingredients and such a variety of ethnic influences. This will be a go to cookbook.  You can find Vegan Eats World online and in local bookstores.  Terry Hope Romero is also the Author of the bestseller, Veganomics.

More Strawberry Ideas

Fresh picked strawberries are amazing.  My son and I easily ate a pint each.  After that I made shortcakes, some simple strawberry Italian ice and I froze some for smoothies.

 

What is your favorite Strawberry recipe?

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fresh Balsamic Strawberry Topping
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A fresh and juicy strawberry topping to spoon on top of individual slices of cheesecake. This can be made up to 2 hours before serving.
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Vegan
Ingredients
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Clean the strawberries and remove the stems.
  2. Slice them into thin, ¼ inch slices and combine with remaining ingredients.
  3. Set aside for 3 minutes before serving.

From Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

Chickpea Recipe: Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

My oldest is a vegetarian now, and we’re always looking for more ways to get protein in her diet.  We decided to give some roasted chickpeas a try, since they are high in protein (and fiber, bonus!) and hoped that they’d make a filling snack for her belly.  We’re very pleased with the result and all of us LOVE these – with the exception of the littlest Martin, but she wants them less spicy. Can’t please everyone, I guess! I guess we have to make a delicious roasted chickpea recipe that isn’t spicy for her next!

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

spicy-roasted-chickpeas-recipe

Ingredients

2 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

1/4  c extra virgin olive oil

spicy-roasted-chickpeas-ingredients

 Directions

Preheat oven to 450

While oven is preheating, rinse, drain and pat dry your chickpeas.

In medium mixing bowl, toss the chickpeas with the spices

chickpea-recipe-mixing

Once oven is at 450, pour your oil into a shallow baking pan.  Warm for about 3 minutes

Carefully remove pan from oven, add chickpeas in a single layer to the pan (remember, the oil is hot!)

roasted-chickpeas

Bake for about 10-15 minutes

roasting-chickpeas

We let ours rest on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil for a few minutes

spicy-roasted-chickpeas

Enjoy warm or allow to cool.

Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Have you made roasted chickpeas before?

 

Chickpea Recipe: Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. While oven is preheating, rinse, drain and pat dry your chickpeas.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, toss the chickpeas with the spices
  4. Once oven is at 450, pour your oil into a shallow baking pan. Warm for about 3 minutes
  5. Carefully remove pan from oven, add chickpeas in a single layer to the pan (remember, the oil is hot!)
  6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes
  7. We let ours rest on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil for a few minutes
  8. Enjoy warm or allow to cool.
  9. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

10 Easy Weeknight Meals

Sometimes it’s easy for the day to race by, whether it’s because you’ve had a hectic day at the office, the kid’s busy schedules or you’re just taking time for yourself. Dinners aren’t always planned and at the end of the day, it can be hard to gain motivation to cook at all, let alone a big extravagant dinner. Eating out is always an option, but it’s costly and usually not very healthy.

Don’t worry though, because there are other options! This list is composed of some super easy weeknight dinners that you can throw together in minutes, and be eating in less than an hour! Check them out and give them a go. There’s even a frozen pizza that requires no effort, which is absolutely amazing after a long day when you just want some food in your stomach without putting in the work.

10 Easy Weeknight Meals

10-easy-weeknight-meals

1.  Ristorante Frozen Pizza

pizza-vegetale-ristorante

We love our pizza around here.  Even if the kids aren’t up for some more gourmet toppings, we are… and Ristorante is our go-to brand for frozen pizza because of the delectable toppings and quality ingredients they use.  Lucky for us, all three of our kids have a pretty good palate and have loved each of the Ristorante varieties we’ve had for dinner.  Paired with a nice salad, this is one of the fastest dinners that everyone in the house can enjoy!

To see if Ristorante pizzas are available near you, check out the Store Locator. Don’t see Ristorante in your supermarket? You can put in a request with the store manager!

2. 15 Minute White Chicken Chili

15-minute-white-chicken-chili

White chicken chili is my personal favorite kind of chili. I love beans so I’m always happy to enjoy a bowl of chili, but chicken is my favorite meat and I’m always up for a change of pace from the “norm” of our menu items.

3. Gluten Free Crab Cakes

gluten-free-crab-cakes

 

With so many folks living a gluten free lifestyle, we’re making our own effort to build up a repertoire of gluten free menu options so that we can be sure to please any of our guests.  My husband LOVES to go crabbing and often has  bits of crab leftover after he enjoys his meal. One of his favorite things I make are the crab cakes using the leftover crab meat. Spoiled? Maybe. But this one’s easy to change up to make it gluten free and we’ll be trying this recipe very soon.  Quick and easy, just how we like our dinners!

4. Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach-Artichoke-Spaghetti-Squash-recipe-Taste-and-Tell-1

This recipe’s in honor of my friend Ally.  She’s the first who introduced me to the goodness of spinach and artichoke together, and now I’ve found a quick and easy meal idea combining those two ingredients.  Ally, you’re welcome, love!

5. Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Chicken-spaghetti-3

You can totally speed this up using all leftovers.  I do my best to cook once and eat twice whenever possible, so when we cook chicken? I make extra.  When I make pasta? I cook extra.  Makes other meals even easier!

6. Ham and Cheese Quesadillas

ham-pepper-and-cheese-quesadilla-11

Quesadillas are great because they can so easily be transported for a picnic or meal on the go. I’ve lost count of how many nights we have had dinner on a ballfield in the past few months and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas that we can bring with us!

7. Sloppy Joes

SloppyJoes3

Sloppy Joes are one of my all time favorite comfort foods. I wish my husband liked them more, but the kids and I all love them so he (sad for him) gets outvoted and they end up in the menu rotation!

8. Throw Together Black Bean Burgers

beanburger1

This black bean burger recipe is one I’ve been anxious to try. My oldest stopped eating meat several months ago and seems to think she can live on boxed meat-replacment products. Not the healthiest option for sure, and not one I want her to continue doing.  Black beans are SO good for you, and since we all like them, why not make our own burgers?

9. Quick and Easy Pesto Quinoa

pesto-quinoa

A recipe to use the basil from the garden?  Yes, please!!  This would be great on its own but would also pair nicely with the Pizza Quattro Formaggi or Pizza Funghi.

10. Green Chile Stuffed Burgers

green-chile-burgers-1-800We love burgers, but really, I’m getting tired of plain old burgers.  My goal is trying a new kind of burger at least 5 times this summer.

savor-your-summer

Once your easy week night meals are cleaned up, use some of that time you saved and check out the Savor Your Summer for a chance to win 1 of 5 grand prize packages! http://bit.ly/1iVUjMl

What are your easy week night meal ideas?

 

Pumpkin Recipe: Pumpkin Butter and Pancakes

This post brought to you by LIBBY’S Pumpkin. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have another pumpkin recipe to share with you. I just love the flavor it adds to recipes and also, the added benefits to our bodies.  I had some leftover from a batch of Pumpkin S’mores Bars and had frozen the extra, so we tried a fun twist on a family tradition of making pancakes on Saturday mornings.  Let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin-pancakes-pumpkin-butter-recipe

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe Ingredients 

2 C. Bisquik or Jiffy Mix

2 eggs

2 tsp. Oil

1 ¼ C. milk

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 cup LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin

½ tsp. Vanilla extract

Directions 

pumpkin pancakes in progress

Combine all ingredients and heat cook on the griddle as you normally would. Serve with syrup and yummy pumpkin butter.

 pumpkin-recipe-pumpkin-pancakes-pumpkin-butter

Pumpkin Butter Ingredients 

1 can of LIBBY’s Pure Pumpkin (15 oz.)

½ tsp. Cinnamon

¼ tsp. Ginger

1/8 tsp. Nutmeg

1 tsp. ground Cloves

1 tbs. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on low. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 pumpkin-pancakes-pumpkin-butter

Pumpkin is a superfood. Pumpkin adds extra fiber and Vitamin A to recipes. It’s packed with Beta Carotene. It can be used to replace the fat in some recipes and cut the amount of sodium per serving in others. When used as a replacement for butter, eggs or oil it can also reduce calories. It can be incorporated in breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and beverages – all that taste great.

Check out the #PumpkinCan website where you  can share your favorite #PumpkinCan fact via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for a chance to win weekly prizes!

Don’t forget, if you love pumpkin recipes  to follow LIBBY’S Pumpkin on Pinterest! You’ll find a lot of great ways to use pumpkin in recipes- from sweet to savory, and everything in between.  Using pumpkin can help lower sodium and fat in recipes! We’ve all heard about superfoods for a while now.  Pumpkin has a lot of benefits that make it part of the superfood team- it’s a good source of fiber (we ALL need fiber) and a great source for Vitamin A.

 pumpkin smores bars labelled

Pumpkin S’mores Bars

Visit Sponsor's Site

4.7 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Pancake Recipe
 
Quick and easy pumpkin pancake recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 2 C. Bisquik or Jiffy Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. Oil
  • 1 ¼ C. milk
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ C. Libby's canned pumpkin
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Directions -
  2. Combine all ingredients and heat cook on the griddle as you normally would. Serve with syrup and yummy pumpkin butter.

 
4.7 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Butter
 
Pumpkin butter recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Condiment
Ingredients
  • 1 can of LIBBY's canned pumpkin (15 oz.)
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Ginger
  • ⅛ tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground Cloves
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • Combine all ingredient in a small saucepan and heat on low. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredient in a small saucepan and heat on low. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

Healthy on the go snack idea #RealTastesGood

I want my kids to be healthy, productive, and successful. I’m fairly certain every decent mother wants the same. I find, however, that the “healthy” part is much easier said than done. The day and age that we live in is all about go, go, go, and my family is no different. Always on the rush from one practice to another with school work and regular household duties fitted snugly in between. Finding healthy on the go snack ideas can often be tricky. They take great pre-planning, in order for everything to run smoothly. According to a study conducted by Taste of Nature, I am not alone. The study shows that Americans in general struggle to snack nutritiously, opting for taste over nutrition 73% of the time.

healthy-snack-options-on-the-go

While I like to eat healthy when snacking, convincing the kids to do the same is another matter entirely. They’ve somehow developed the mindset that if something is GOOD for you, it can’t TASTE good as well. Luckily for me, Taste of Nature was on my side. Taste of Nature creates delicious, certified organic, gluten-free certified, non-gmo project verified snack bars with real nuts, fruits and grains that you can see (did I mention they’re also only 200 calories?).

Taste of Nature asked me to host a little party to share their snack bars with some friends.  What I decided to do was have a few of my mom friends over, share the bars with them, get a little girl time in, and then send them all home with some of the bars and a goodie bag.

healthy-snack-option-taste-of-nature-bars

I cut one of each bar up for each mom to try while she was here. I also set out some cheese, strawberries and grapes to make a more rounded snack for everyone. I thought that if the moms were familiar with the bars, their flavors and ingredients, and could bring some samples home to try, it might help the kids be more willing to try something new. :)

healthy-snack-bars-taste-of-nature

The verdict? Moms loved these healthy snack bars.  Everyone agreed they think their kids will like at least 2 of the varieties if not more.

They were really excited to get a goodie bag to bring home full of some fun stuff to encourage their kids to get outside and enjoy nature, plus some of the bar flavors to share with their families!

taste-of-nature-tasting-party
Taste of Nature
believes Real Tastes Good. They actually carry 6 great flavors in the U.S.: Brazilian Nut Festival, California Almond Valley, Quebec Cranberry Carnival, Canadian Maple Forest, Himalayan Goji Summit, and Persian Pomegranate Garden.  None of these flavors contain anything artificial; no fillers, no chemicals and most importantly… no complaints from my friends, their kids or my own kiddos! In fact, the kids still have no idea exactly how healthy Taste of Nature bars are! (Shhhh)

 

 

So all of this goodness must come at a high price, right? Wrong! Taste of Nature bars run around $1.99. I grab my mine at “Garden of Light’ or “The Living Earth” usually, but you can find them at all fine natural products stores as well as select retailers. Head on over to http://www.tasteofnature.ca/where-to-buy/ and find a Taste of Nature retailer near you!

What are your favorite healthy on the go snack ideas?

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

{Red, White &} Blue Velvet Cupcakes Recipe #MyDawnSummer

This weekend was so super busy for us.  In the midst of 4 soccer games, a baseball game and a dance recital, we had one kid at a slumber party and Father’s Day to celebrate, plus Flag Day and Softball and Baseball night at the New Britain Rock Cats. It’s summer! Summer’s pretty hectic for most of us- we’re short on time and the last thing we want to do after we make a fun recipe (like this blue velvet cupcakes recipe) to bring to a cookout or party is spend our precious time cleaning- yuck! Dawn has always been my go-to detergent- there just isn’t another product I’ve found that can handle tough foods on dishes like Dawn. I need Dawn because I tend to um… well, make a big mess when I cook or bake. Just wait. You’ll see…

{Red, White &} Blue Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

 

red-white-blue-velvet-cupakes-recipe-label

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups cake flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 large eggs, at room temperature 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature (If you don’t have buttermilk, put 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice (I usually do lemon juice) in a measuring cup.  Fill to 1 cup line with milk.  Voila. Buttermilk!) 1 TBSP Dark Blue food coloring 1 tiny dab violet gel food coloring 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350- spray a nonstick spray on your cupcake pans or put your cupcake wrappers into the pan Sift together dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry.  Whisk briskly until all ingredients are combined and smooth (I used my mixer, zero issues) Divide batter into cupcake pans, filling each 3/4 full. Bake 17-19 minutes Cool for a few minutes, remove from cupcake pan, allow to cool completely before frosting. Makes 16-20 regular sized cupcakes (Recipe from Tracey @ Tracey’s Culinary Adventures) buttercream-frosting-recipe Check out our buttercream icing recipe! blue-velvet-cupcakes-messy-pan Now, I make a big mess when I bake. I do. I wish I didn’t, but this is SO COMMON in my house and I get all mad at myself because I don’t like doing dishes. Mess, mess mess. And with me not using cupcake wrappers, I’m always needing to clean things. I don’t like doing a lot of bakeware items in my dishwasher, so my two hands do most of those dishes. When I wash those dishes? Dawn.  Dawn Ultra, actually. blue-velvet-cupcakes-mess   A little dab of Dawn (Ultra) goes a really long way for cleaning.  It also makes short work of those pesky dishes so we can go enjoy ourselves with whatever culinary delights we’ve prepared for our friends and family.   Less is more- at least where washing dishes is concerned.  With Dawn Ultra, a little goes a long way for cleaning and cutting grease- which means it makes short work of a tedious task so you can get back to enjoying your friends and family and not spending a lot of time on cleanup. dawn-ultra-prize-pack-giveaway

One reader will win a Dawn Ultra prize pack!

4.9 from 8 reviews
{Red, White &} Blue Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Buttercream frosting and a strawberry make these blue velvet cupcakes a great patriotic dessert!
Author:
Recipe type: Cupcakes
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature (If you don't have buttermilk, put 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice (I usually do lemon juice) in a measuring cup. Fill to 1 cup line with milk. Voila. Buttermilk!)
  • 1 TBSP Dark Blue food coloring
  • 1 tiny dab violet gel food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350- spray a nonstick spray on your cupcake pans or put your cupcake wrappers into the pan
  2. Sift together dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl
  3. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry. Whisk briskly until all ingredients are combined and smooth (I used my mixer, zero issues)
  5. Divide batter into cupcake pans, filling each ¾ full.
  6. Bake 17-19 minutes
  7. Cool for a few minutes, remove from cupcake pan, allow to cool completely before frosting.

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Dawn. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.