Monday, September 29, 2014

International Food Bloggers Conference



First off I want to announce the winner of the Flatbread GIVEAWAY!

CONGRATS DENISE ELMER!

Next I wanted to thank Krusteaz for such an amazing trip to Seattle! I had so much fun that I wanted to share my experience with you all! 

I was able to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference earlier this month. Krusteaz sent our group Baker's Dozen to Seattle to be able to meet each other and the PR company 360 Public Relations team that helped organize this wonderful group. We spent the first night at a fun Seattle restaurant Cuoco getting to know each other while enjoying some yummy Italian food. If you ever travel to Seattle try this place! Yummy food and a great vibe. Their creme pie was amazing!!! 

The next morning we woke up and got a tour of the Krusteaz facility and meet the VP of marketing whose grandfather is the one who started the company.  It was interesting learning about the core values and where the company all began. It gave me a deeper appreciation for what a great company this truly is and how lucky I am to be able to be a brand ambassador for this company. 
We then went to the test kitchen and had some fun!!! We were paired up in teams of two and had to create a holiday recipe using one of their mixes that you could give as a neighborhood gift or teacher gift or anything really. I had so much fun! We created a shortbread crust in a mini pie tin filled with a coconut cream cheese filling topped with shiny sprinkles and dusted it with all natural coconut to make it look like snow. Then we topped it with a mini shortbread snow flake. We packaged them in a clear egg carton with snowflake doilies on top tied on with ribbon and a tag hanging. It was so much fun to be in the kitchen with all these fun and creative bakers! 





That night the conference started. We went to an opening that had tables everywhere with new and free merchandise and food products. I was able to roam and grab some fun new things that I have loved trying and then they also had some stations with local cupcake and dessert places along with a local salmon company that served salmon a few different ways. It was fun to get free gifts from the gift suite and to mingle with other foodies!

The next morning I woke up and enjoyed the Noosa yoghurt breakfast and breakfast session. The next few hours there was multiple educational classes offered. I went to a photography and cooking demonstration and then had lunch from ninjakitchen where they also had food demonstrations going on. That afternoon Krusteaz put on a great class on how to turn their mixes into the perfect entraining meals with ideas on parties and how to spruce up their mixes to make them even more yummy, fun and delicious! The recipes from this demonstration on on the website plus the printables for the parties are on Jen's blog. Some great ideas!!! You are going to want to check them out. My favorite was the fun flatbread tacos my kids would be all over those! Cant wait to make them! We finished off that day with a gourmet food fair. Tasting amazing food and being able to associate with greats brands that helped sponsor the conference! Krusteaz being one of them! I got so more fun gadgets and products that I can't wait to share with you all! Hopefully I will be able to pair with a few of them to give you more recipes and maybe even some giveaways! Such amazing products that I know you all will love.


Here is also a fun list of back to school ideas


The next morning I woke up and went to a class on google+ make sure to head over and follow me on google! I learned some great things and can't wait to implement them in the blog! Then went to a great class on creating videos cooking. It made me excited to try creating videos of me cooking for you all to watch and enjoy! Also enjoyed a class on branding and SEO for bloggers. Then ended the conference with hitting up Lola and enjoying their eggs Benedict! I would definitely hit this up if you are anywhere close to it! If your not close travel and somehow enjoy their food! So yummy and so worth it! Then caught a flight and headed home to see my family!



I had such a fun time meeting the fellow Krusteaz Baker's Dozen girls and getting to know them and being able to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference. I learned a lot and can't wait to better myself and better my blog! So be on the look out for some fun and new things being posted! Along with a newsletter and eventually some videos! If you have any questions about the conference or the companies that sponsored the conference please let me know! Or if there is certain things that you are wanting to see more or less of on the blog let me know!


Disclosure: This was a sponsored trip by Krusteaz and had an all expenses paid trip provided by them. However all opinions are my own. 

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Cuban Black Beans


My oldest son, who is now 6, has always loved black beans ever since he was a baby! He will not eat pinto or pork in beans. He just loves black beans. Whenever I make them he always asks for a big plate of them and nothing else. Then he goes back for seconds! These beans were no exception. They are very very easy and have a lot of flavor. You can spice these up by adding more cayenne pepper or if you need them family friendly try just a pinch of cayenne pepper to give them flavor!

Cuban Black Beans
2 (15 oz) cans of black beans
2 teaspoons chili powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, sliced optional

Over medium heat place the cans of beans, seasonings and lime juice. Heat all the way through then stir in the cilantro and green onions.


And here are the recipes for the coconut rice and the salmon with peach mango salsa that i paired with the cuban black beans.



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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Krusteaz Flatbread Back to School PARTY!



 Being a part of Krusteaz Baker's Dozen program means that I get the opportunity to test out their new products before they hit the shelves. What a fun and exciting time it is to be a part of such an awesome company with great ideas! These flatbreads will hit most national grocery stores this month! Flatbreads are one of the hottest items popping up on restaurant menus across the country and now, thanks for Krusteaz, they will be available for easy baking at home! 

These flat breads can be used for homemade pizzas, can be paired with savory dips and spreads, used for sandwiches, and so much more! 



So once I got my shipment of flatbreads I got my family together for a little back to school flatbread party! My parents have a pizza oven in their backyard and we love getting together and creating pizzas outside while the kids jump on the tramp! So these flatbread mixes were put to some good use! We made 4 of the flatbreads mixes. A cheese only (for the kids) on the garlic and onion crust, a veggie on the whole wheat, a BBQ chicken on the garlic and onion, and a buffalo chicken on italian herb.  We all had our own favorites! I loved the taste of the Italian herb flat bread and loved the BBQ chicken pizza. What a fun night spent cooking and having fun! 

First I rolled them out and placed the toppings:



Then placed them in the pizza oven:


Let them bake for 5-7 minutes:



Then took them out (with the help of my little boy):



Then let the kids enjoy the cheese flatbread (while the rest of the flatbreads baked):




 See how much fun that was!!! We sure had a great time! These flatbreads are very easy to make and delicious! Perfect thing for a weeknight meal, a party, football season meal, or really anything! And lucky you I am going to be doing a giveaway where you can win:

(2) Whole Wheat Flatbreads
(2) Garlic & Onion Flatbreads
(2) Italian Herb Flatbreads
A branded apron (pictured above)
Kitchen timer
Pizza Cutter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
GOOD LUCK!


 Flatbread Recipes:

Whole Wheat Veggie Flatbread

Whole Wheat Flatbread
Olive Oil
Heirloom yellow tomatoes, cut in half
Red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Zucchini, thinly sliced
Yellow squash, thinly sliced
Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Leeks, thinly sliced
Goat Cheese, crumbled

Make whole wheat flatbread according to directions. Then roll out and drizzle olive oil all over the dough. Top with toppings and then crumble goat cheese on top. Bake according to directions on back of box. (This recipe is very versatile. You can add more or less veggies depending on what you like)




BBQ Chicken Flatbread

BBQ sauce
Rotisserie chicken, shredded
Purple onion, thinly sliced
Fresh Corn
Mozzarella Cheese

Make garlic and onion flatbread according to directions on box. Roll out and then grab the BBQ sauce and spread all over. Add the shredded chicken, purple onion, corn to the pizza evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over and then bake according to directions on box.



Buffalo Chicken Italian Herb Flatbread

Olive oil
Rotisserie chicken, shredded
Franks Buffalo Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Herbs

Make Italian herb flatbread mix according to directions. Roll out and sprinkle evenly with olive oil. Then place shredded chicken evenly. Drizzle the buffalo sauce lightly over the pizza. Then cover with mozzarella cheese. Topped with fresh herbs and then bake according to directions on box. 


There is so many ideas for these flatbreads! The cheese flatbread with garlic onion flatbread with pizza sauce and mozzarella was eaten up too fast for a picture! There is so many new and fun recipes for these flatbreads on Krusteaz.com ideas for flatbread tacos, pizzas, thai chicken flatbreads, cheeseburger turnovers, pear gorgonzola flatbread and much more! Some great and delicious things are to be made with these flatbread mixes so go give them a try! 



*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Krusteaz. I received free product from Krusteaz to review. However recipes, thoughts, and opinions are my own.*
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Coconut Rice


After I did my meal planning for the week I went to the grocery store. It was then when I realized that I had 3 recipes with coconut in them on the list. I must have been on some coconut kick when I sat down to meal plan. But since both the husband and I are coconut fans I don't think he minded it either! We don't have rice very much in our house. We are more of a pasta family. So I rarely venture out and try new rice recipes. I made this and served it up the cuban black beans and Asian salmon with peach and mango salsa. I loved it! My son who doesn't like coconut anything didn't care for it so he stuck to the beans and salmon. So if you are a coconut fan like me give this rice a try!

Truvia sent me a fun package and their sweetener was the perfect touch to sweeten this rice up! I feel like rice and coconut milk can be a little bland.. So Truvia was the perfect touch to take this rice from bland to amazing! I feel like that is what is so great about Truvia. It sweetens things up without making you feel guilty about adding spoonfuls of sugar to your meal. 

Coconut Rice
yields:6-8 servings

1 (13.5 oz) can of coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons of Truvia baking blend
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups white rice (uncooked)

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, water, Truvia, and salt. Stir all together until the Truvia is dissolved. Bring the a light boil and add rice. Stir and then turn down heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 18 minutes. Stir a few times during the simmering.  Then serve! We loved this with cuban black beans and Asian salmon with peach mango salsa. 


Check out the recipe for the Asian Salmon with peach mango salsa here!



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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes with Vanilla Cream Syrup and Cinnamon Butter

I have been having so much fun experimenting and creating with Krusteaz lately. A few weeks ago I announced about how I was selected to be a part of the Krusteaz Baker's Dozen program here! And the fun is just beginning! I was so excited to see my first recipe posted on their website for these Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes head on over to check out the full recipe along with other Baker's Dozen "Breakfast for Dinner" recipes. My mouth was watering looking at all of the amazing recipes! But for now here are some pictures and the list of ingredients that are used in these 3 delicious recipes! 


Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes with Vanilla Cream Syrup and Cinnamon Butter

Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes
1 1/3 cup water
1 (20 oz) can of pineapple slices, cut into fourths
1/4 cup brown sugar

Head over here for full instructions.


Vanilla Cream Syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulate sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

Head over here for full instructions.


Cinnamon Butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Head over here for full instructions. 

Once you have everything all done cooking grab a few pancakes and top with a spoonful of cinnamon butter (you can add leftover pineapple and sprinkles of brown sugar on top too!) then pour over the vanilla cream syrup and enjoy!




*Disclosure: This is a paid sponsored post by Krusteaz. However the recipes, thoughts, and opinions are my own.*



Monday, September 8, 2014

Asian Salmon with Peach Mango Salsa

First I wanted to Congratulate Jessica Kuligowski for winning the Peanut Butter & Jelly GIVEAWAY that was going on! 

And now onto a yummy recipe with a funny story to go along with it!


The night I made this salmon was pretty eventful. I usually do my cooking and meal prep while my kids are taking naps. But this day it didn't quite work out like that. So it was pure chaos in the kitchen come 5:00. So trying to have a meal on the table by 5:30 when my husband walked in from work took was pushing it. I had the coconut rice, Cuban black beans, and peach mango salsa done and I had the salmon marinating during the day so I went to go grab it and then turn on the grill to heat up. Well I went to light the grill and BOOM! my hair and hair brows singed off in the front! I pretty sure I blacked out for a little bit but then recovered and couldn't stop laughing. I could not believe that every time I touched my hair it began to crumble off and come out in clumps. I took a picture to send to my husband and sister who is a hair dresser to show them what had happened! Everyone seemed to think that it was hilarious since it wasn't them! Well I put the salmon on the grill which was lit and on low. Cooked the salmon up and put it on the table for my family to enjoy with the peach mango salsa on top! 


Asian Salmon with Peach Mango Salsa

Asian Marinade
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Combine together and place over 1 salmon filet. Marinade for a couple hours. Then place salmon on a hot grill for 5 minutes on each side. (You can always double the marinade and save half of it and pour on the salmon after it is cooked)

Peach Mango Salsa
3 peaches, diced
1 mango, diced
1/2 jalepano, completely cleaned out (or not if you like it spicy)
1/3 purple onion, thinly diced
3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients. Pour over salmon after it is cooked! 






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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 ingredient Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream



When Peanut Butter & Co. contacted me to part a part of their Back to School Peanut Butter & Jelly Revolution I knew that it would be a fun campaign to be apart of! As a mother of 2 young school kids and a toddler there is plenty of PB & J sandwiches being made around here! The real test was finding something that my kids enjoyed almost as much as the PB & J. 


I am not sure if I was successful at that, but I think I was definitely close! My younger two watched me make it so they enjoyed theres as more of a frozen yogurt. But I saved some and put it in the freezer for my oldest for when he got home from school so his was more of a ice cream. I think both ways taste amazing it will just depend on how much time you have! 



Part of doing this campaign is being able to giveaway 2 jars of peanut butter (of any variety) and 2 jars of jelly (apricot, strawberry, or raspberry) for my readers! So let your minds wander of which flavors you would like best! I know with back to school starting there is plenty of households in need of peanut butter and jelly! So this should be a fun giveaway to win! 



3 Ingredient Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream
4 bananas, frozen


In a blender place the peanut butter followed by the bananas. Blend until all combined. Put in a freezer safe container. Then grab jelly and lightly blend it into the "ice cream." You will want ribbons of jelly throughout the whole thing. Serve up if you want a frozen yogurt texture. If you want a more ice cream texture put lid on the container and freeze for a couple hours or overnight! Scoop up and enjoy!



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