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Friday, February 5, 2016

Sweet and Spicy Mango Jalapeno Jam #FreakyFriday

This sweet and spicy Mango Jalapeno Jam is simple to make and incredibly versatile: pour it over cream cheese as a dip for crackers; spread it onto a quesadilla; or spoon it over roasted pork or chicken. It's delicious any way you use it!


My blogger buddy—Michaela, from the wonderful An Affair from the Heartis the creator of Freaky Friday, a very fun food blogger event. On this special day, 16 bloggers do a recipe swap: we are each assigned someone else's blog and we select a recipe to try and then share. It's all a big secret who is assigned to which blog. Until now! Drum roll, please, for the big reveal... 



I was lucky to be assigned The Flavor Bender. The creative brain behind this fabulous food blog is Dini. Not only are her recipes often wildly inventive—fantastic combinations of flavors and ingredients—but her photos are just stunning. To be honest, I was a little intimidated to tackle one of her recipes! The funny thing is that, for a previous Freaky Friday, Dini was assigned to the Full Belly Sisters blog. She made a gorgeous vegan version of my Raspberry Cannoli Cream Crepe Cake; I felt honored by her beautiful post.

So, how to choose just one of Dini's amazing recipes to make and share here? I was overwhelmed by the abundance of tempting recipes: Easy Fruit Sorbets; Teriyaki Flank Steak Sushi Burgers; and Cranberry, Cheese, and Turkey Filo Rolls all looked amazing. 


But then I found her recipe for Mango Jalapeno Jam and I knew I'd found my recipe. Not only do I adore mangoes, I'm also a sucker for sweet and savory dishes. Plus, I thought it would be great for anyone looking for a last-minute Superbowl party appetizer! Yup, this recipe was calling my name.


Mango Jalapeno Jam

Ingredients
adapted slightly from The Flavor Bender
  • 10 oz. mango, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • juice of one lime  
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced 
  • 2 Tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Put the mango, vinegar, lime, soy sauce, ginger, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat a bit and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Add the minced jalapeno and simmer for another 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the boiling water. Whisk into the mango jalapeno mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened. It should take about 10-15 minutes.


Once you've made your sweet and slightly-spicy Mango Jalapeno Jam, you can use it in a lot of different ways. Try spooning it over a log of plain, softened goat cheese or cream cheese, topped with some fresh, chopped scallion greens—served with crackers, it's an easy appetizer for any party.



Or use this luscious jam in an easy and tasty quesadilla. For my yummy lunch, I used a 10-inch tortilla; 1/2 cup of shredded, extremely sharp cheddar; 2 Tablespoons of the Mango Jalapeno Jam; and 1/4 avocado, diced. Place the fillings on half of the tortilla, fold it over and cook in a pan until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides (2 or 3 minutes on each side should do it). Spoon some extra jam over the top of the hot quesadilla. How fab is that?




So, how will you use this Sweet and Spicy Mango Jalapeno Jam?


Check out all the fantastic bloggers participating in this Freaky Friday event: A Dish Of Daily Life || An Affair from the Heart || Cooking on a Budget || Full Belly Sisters || LeMoine Family Kitchen || Pic-Nic || The Foodie Affair || Who Needs A Cape || Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen || Aunt Bee's Recipes || Honey & Birch || The Flavor Bender || A Kitchen Hoor || Belle of the Kitchen || The Magical Slow Cooker || Lisa's Dinnertime Dish ||




 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Coconut Chocolate Almond Football Snack Mix

This Coconut Chocolate Almond Football Snack Mix is salty, sweet, crunchy and so delicious—it's a tasty way to #BringTheBoom to your game day party!  

Thanks to BOOMCHICKAPOP for sponsoring today's post and inspiring this treat.


You all know that I love me some comfort food. The way I enjoy comfort food—without feeling guilty—is by making sure it's nutritious, balanced, and not too over-the-top. And that's how I approach food for our Superbowl party.  My Coconut Chocolate Almond Football Snack Mix is all about fun and delicious ingredients that are also nutritious. You don't have to sacrifice taste to make healthier versions of comfort food!

https://ooh.li/bd4edc7 

And that's why I teamed up with BOOMCHICKAPOP for this football snack mix: their popcorn is gluten-free, non-GMO, and contains nothing artificial. It's the perfect start to my easy game day snack mix. Just add in some coconut chips plus chocolate-covered almonds and we've got a crunchy, sweet and savory treat that appeals to kids and adults. This snack mix tastes like an Almond Joy but with a lot fewer calories—as well as a good amount of fiber, iron, and calcium.

https://ooh.li/bd4edc7

Okay, now hold onto your helmets for this next part: how about if we turn this BOOMCHICKAPOP healthy tailgating treat up a notch? Let's transform those chocolate-covered almonds into Chocolate Almond Footballs! Oh, yeah. That's how I Bring The Boom to game day. Of course, you don't have to make these delicious little footballs to enjoy the snack mix, but they sure are fun...

https://ooh.li/bd4edc7

How will you Bring the Boom to game day? Share your photo on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest with the hashtag #BringTheBoom for a chance to win an awesome game day kit: a pink (how cool is that?!) Angie's grill, grilling utensils, and a pink travel chair. The contest ends 2/10; BOOMCHICKAPOP will randomly select five winners. So, enter today!

Ready to make your own Coconut Chocolate Almond Football Snack Mix? Of course you are

https://ooh.li/bd4edc7

Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 cups BOOMCHICKAPOP Sea Salt Popcorn
  • 1 cup coconut chips
  • 1 cup chocolate-covered almonds
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
If you are making the chocolate almond footballs: Melt the white chocolate in your microwave or double boiler. Put the melted white chocolate in a small zippered bag and cut a very small hole in the corner. Pipe the stitches onto the almonds to create footballs (you only have to decorate one side). It takes a little practicemy first ones were kind of a messbut then you'll get the hang of it. Place in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

In a large bowl, mix together the BOOMCHICKAPOP popcorn, coconut chips, and chocolate almonds. Serve and enjoy!

https://ooh.li/bd4edc7 

My son is sooooo excited to serve this at our Superbowl party. That crunchy BOOMCHICKAPOP popcorn, those crispy strips of coconut, and the sweet chocolate almond footballs make this the perfect fun treat for your game day!

https://ooh.li/bd4edc7

Of course, this Coconut Chocolate Almond Football Snack Mix doesn't just have to be for when you're watching football. It would also be great for a sports-themed birthday party, or just a regular ol' family movie night!

How do you celebrate game day?


 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cinnamon Brie with Honey Drizzle

This Cinnamon Brie with Honey Drizzle is a wonderful way to celebrate #NationalCheeseLoversDay


Do you love cheese? Of course you do, you're not insane. (Full disclosure: my husband and son do not like cheese and are, therefore, insane). Well, today is National Cheese Lovers Day and I intend to celebrate my love of cheese!

And love it I do. You've probably noticed how darn many recipes I post that feature cheese. Packed with calcium and protein—and all that creamy, dreamy flavor—cheese makes me happy at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And that's why I love going to events at the French Cheese Board (FCB) in New York City. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen some pictures I shared from some various parties there.


The FCB is a studio devoted to all things French cheese. The shop there offers a small, curated selection of cheeses at great prices—and there's always one cheese that's 50% off retail. They announce that promotional item via social media at the beginning of each month, so if you follow them you'll know just what's on sale. This month's featured cheese is: le brie.

That's perfect because I'm featuring a brie recipe today! I first tasted this at a
PrĂ©sident cheeses pop-up shop at the FCB. It's very simple—only three ingredients—but packed with delicious flavor. 


Ingredients*
  • 1 wedge of brie (about 10-12 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey 
*These ingredient amounts are approximate; feel free to change the ratio to suit your preferences.
 
Take the cheese out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you intend to serve it. Place your brie on a cheese board or platter. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon. You can leave the cinnamon sprinkled loosely, or you can pat it onto the rind of the cheese. Serve with honeyso that guests can drizzle it themselvesand crackers or apple slices.


This Cinnamon Brie with Honey Drizzle offers a wonderful combination of sweet and savory and earthy—especially perfect for entertaining in the winter or fall.

Looking for more recipes inspired by the cheeses of the FCB? Check these out:


Grilled Baked Brie with Shallots, Cranberries & Balsamic





Prasini Salata


What's your favorite kind of cheese?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Crockpot Pralines ‘n’ Cream ‘n’ Protein Oatmeal

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringYourBestBowl #Target #CollectiveBias

This delicious Crockpot Pralines ‘n’ Cream ‘n’ Protein Oatmeal is positively packed with protein, whole grains, and calcium. It keeps me full throughout the morning—so it's a fantastic way to start the day. Plus, because it is cooked in your slow cooker, this creamy oatmeal is seriously easy. Made with Quaker® oats, flax, milk, candied nuts, protein powder, and condensed milk, this simple oatmeal is a wonderful breakfast for the whole family. I was inspired by one of my favorite ice cream flavors—and those flavors make this hearty breakfast tastes like a decadent treat.


Quaker® is now having an awesome Bring Your Best Bowl contest: create your most delicious bowl of oatmeal with two to five extra ingredients (not counting oats and milk or water) for a chance to win $250,000. Not sure about you, but I could use 250,000 bucks! 

I decided to create a bowl of oatmeal that was comforting, hearty, and packed with flavor despite having just a handful of ingredients. My Crockpot Pralines ‘n’ Cream ‘n’ Protein Oatmeal fits the bill, I promise.


I love to make food that is delicious but EASY. That's why I decided to cook this oatmeal in my Crockpot. Now, if you've ever made oatmeal in your slow cooker, you may have been traumatized by the amount of oatmeal that got shellacked to the sides of your bowl. It's like cement and it's a real pain to try to clean. However, if you use my water bath method, you'll have a ridiculously simple clean-up.

Ingredients
makes 4 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups Quaker® old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick oats!)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed meal 
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans (or other glazed/candied nut)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Find a cook-safe bowl that fits easily inside the bowl of your crockpot. I used a medium-sized metal mixing bowl; a stoneware bowl or baking pan would work great, too. Grease this bowl well. Then add the oats, milk, salt, flax, and protein powder. Stir all the ingredients together. 

Pour about 3 cups of water into the bottom of your Crockpot. Place your bowl of ingredients in your slow cooker, into the water—you're basically using your bowl as an insert to your Crockpot, like a double-boiler. Cover and set on low for six to eight hours.

NOTE: My slow cooker automatically switches to "warm" when the time is up; so, if I'm making this overnight, even if I'm still sleeping, the oatmeal will be warm and ready when we wake up. I actually like to set mine to six hours and then let it sit warm for a couple hours after that.




When it's done cooking you'll have a lovely, creamy baked oatmeal. If you've never had baked oatmeal, it's less a porridge consistency and more like a bread pudding. Best of all, there is very little clean up! Look how clean that bowl is that we inserted into the slow cooker. 

Scoop your oatmeal into four serving bowls. Top with the pralines and a generous drizzle of sweetened, condensed milk. Lightly sweet, with a lovely balance of creamy oatmeal and crunchy nuts, this Crockpot Pralines ‘n’ Cream ‘n’ Protein Oatmeal is a wonderful, warm way to kick off your day!




No slow cooker? Just cook your oatmeal with the protein powder in milk on your stovetop, then stir in the flaxseed, nuts, and condensed milk once it's done.

Are you inspired now to Bring Your Best Bowl to the amazing Quaker® contest for a chance to win $250,000?

Just head over to your local Target and look for the
Quaker® section at the end of an aisle in the grocery section. You'll find specially-marked canisters of Quaker® old-fashioned oats, as well as some other ingredients that might inspire your own creation. Things like nuts, vanilla, dried fruit—Target has a fantastic variety of yummy ingredients to choose from!

The Bring Your Best Bowl contest starts in January and ends in March 2016; the winner will be announced in November 2016. Check out the contest rules and then start creating your own delicious bowl of oatmeal. Good luck!

For more inspiration—and to enter to win $250,000—head over to BringYourBestBowl.com now. What are your favorite ingredients to add to oatmeal?




Thursday, January 7, 2016

Crockpot Garlic Lime Salsa Meatball Tacos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KickUpTheFlavor #CollectiveBias


Crockpot Garlic Lime Salsa Meatball Tacos are a simple, tasty, and fun way to feed a crowd when you're having friends over to watch the Big Game. By simmering the meatballs in zesty Pace® Medium Picante Sauce, you can really kick up the flavor of this easy, crowd-pleasing dish.

I love using slow cookers for entertaining. They allow you to actually get out of the kitchen and enjoy your guests' company! And for something like a Sunday football party—when you might have people hanging out at your place all day long—a Crockpot keeps everything warm and handy. Just set up a taco bar with a variety of toppings and let your guests help themselves whenever they get hungry. Best of all, you can sit back, relax, and cheer for your favorite team!


These distinctive, bite-sized meatballs are a fun twist on the usual taco meat. The beef is packed with savory garlic, lime zest, and crushed tortilla chips (instead of the typical breadcrumbs). All these ingredients match wonderfully with the genuine southwest flavor of the Pace® Picante Sauce. 


Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup tortilla chip crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • zest of one lime
  • salt
  • 24-ounce jar of Pace® Medium Picante Sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease your slow cooker with some extra virgin olive oil.

In a large bowl, add the beef, egg, tortilla chip crumbs, garlic, lime zest, and a few good pinches of salt. Mix to combine—but don't overwork the meat. Shape mixture into 1-inch (about teaspoon-sized) balls; I ended up with about 45 of these small meatballs. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Pour some of the Pace® Picante Sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker—just enough to cover the bottom. Then add the meatballs and top with the rest of the jar of picante. Cook on low for three hours, until the meatballs are cooked all the way through and tender. What I love about these bite-sized meatballs is that you can simmer them hot during your football party, while you hang out with your guests. Or you can make them hours in advance and just keep them warm in the slow cooker.



For my taco bar, I served warmed tortillas, chopped romaine lettuce, diced avocados, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, minced red onions, fresh lime wedges, and sour cream with chopped scallions. Make sure you squeeze some lime juice on the avocado so it doesn't brown! I also put out some hot Pace® Picante Sauce, for guests that want extra spicy tacos (I just love that this yummy sauce works great as both an ingredient and a condiment). Some other ideas you could offer at your taco bar: diced tomatoes, sliced olives, rice and beans, and chopped jalapenos. Just set out your family's favorite taco toppings and everyone will be happy!



With its blended tomatoes and chunks of onions and jalapenos, Pace® Picante Sauce kicks up the flavor of these Crockpot Garlic Lime Salsa Meatball Tacos. Keeping a jar in your pantry means you always have a tasty and versatile ingredient at hand. I found the Pace® Picante Sauce in the Hispanic Foods aisle at my local Walmart. Best of all, you can find lots of great toppings for your taco bar there! Who doesn't love one-stop shopping?


For lots of fun ways to kick up the flavor in your football season food, check out more delicious Pace® recipes at Walmart.com

What are your family's favorite taco toppings?


This post contains Amazon affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running. Thanks for your support!
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