Thursday, December 4, 2014

Giveaway Winner and Constantino's Kitchen Pasta Sauce Review

Well thank you to the 6 of you who participated in the Spike's Seasonings giveaway. I enjoyed reading the unusual things you ate for Christmas dinner. 
I used the random number generator to pick the winner and it came up with lucky number one.

So that would be you...xenacat1.

There is a pasta sauce made here in Arizona that I was given the opportunity to try out recently. 
I know when  you think of Italian food, maybe the desert isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but I've got a feeling the people at Constantino's Kitchen know what they're doing.

I'm usually not a big fan of the jarred pasta sauces. Don't get me wrong I'll eat it, it just doesn't bring me a lot of joy.  We had the Artichoke with Sun Dried Tomatoes, and it was pretty darn tasty.  So tasty that absolutely none was left over.  So if you live in AZ and get a chance, give it a try. I believe they sell it at Sprouts. 

And just for the heck of it, here's a pic of the cake I made for my son's birthday.  
I found it on Pinterest which led me to this website for the directions. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Spicy Giveaway

As the title suggests, I've got a giveaway for you. If you're still out there.
I was given the opportunity to try Spike's Gourmet Natural Seasonings...10 of them to be exact!

How's a person supposed to choose? I'm sure I'll be experimenting with them quite some time.  

Last night I used the 5-Herb Magic on my chicken.

It was nothing short of delicious. I also sprinkled some of the Garlic Magic on my mashed potatoes, and that wasn't too shabby either. 

If you'd like to be the proud owner of 10 jars of deliciousness as well, just leave me a comment letting me know what the most unusual Christmas meal you've ever had was.  

Contest will end at midnight December 3rd, and I will randomly select and announce a winner on the 4th.  Be sure I have some way of contacting you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No Knead Bread

You know you've seen it, and most likely you've made it. I've been eyeballing it quite some time myself. But seeing as I was given the opportunity to review a Kitchenaid 4Qt Cast Iron Dutch Oven, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go ahead and make it. 

Turns out the Kitchenaid Dutch Oven is the perfect vessel in which to bake this glorious, rustic, delicious loaf of no-knead bread. 
Aside from being shiny and beautiful, it's definitely heavy duty. Made to last a long time....most likely it will outlive me and everyone I know. 
The interior is said to be porcelain enamel, but it's dark, so you don't have to worry about staining. 
And for me, the 4 Qt is the perfect size for my small family. Just right for a big, but not big enough to feed an army, pot of chili or beef stew. 

And check this out, the lid doesn't have a knob on top, so you can flip it over and use it as a grill pan! I haven't tried this yet, but it looks cool.  

And the bread...well, it's hard to go wrong with homemade bread. My daughter said it tasted like "restaurant bread".  I think that's a good thing.  It is pretty easy, since you quickly mix the ingredients together then leave it alone for about 24 hours.  If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. 

No Knead Bread (from Babble)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups warm water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until it comes together – the dough will be very sticky and shaggy-looking. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and set aside at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours.
Transfer the sticky dough onto a well-floured surface and dust the top with flour. Fold the dough in half, and then form the dough into a ball by stretching and tucking the edges underneath. Top with a floured towel and let rise on the countertop for another hour.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450F with a heavy lidded casserole or pot inside. Carefully remove the pot, turn the dough into it, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden and crusty; another 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into it. Makes 1 loaf.

   Be sure to check back with me early next week for a giveaway of a spicy nature :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Vegan Lemon Meltaway Balls

I just wanted to share these fun little plant based cookies with you.  The recipe comes from One Green Planet. 

Since they're raw, they're pretty easy to make. Some of the ingredients may not be something you'd normally have around.  I've been making some almond milk (see last post) and saving the leftovers for almond meal.  And I did the same with some coconut milk.  

So they turned out pretty tasty.  They're not too sweet, kinda tangy, and really do melt away.  They give me a bit of something sweet with a little less guilt.

Here's the recipe. 
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup organic raw coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon organic maple syrup (or raw honey for non-vegan)
  • 3 organic lemons (fresh squeezed juice)
  • 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)
  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined.
  2. Take out about a spoonful at a time and roll them in the palms of your hand into a ball shape.
  3. Leave them plain or roll in shredded coconut flakes, almond flour, or powdered sugar (not raw).
  4. Put them in the refrigerator to firm for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready to serve because they will get soft if left out at room temperature as the coconut oil melts.
  6. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Almond Milk

Hi! Is anyone still out there?  Let's just check.

So, have you been wondering why grown adults continue to consume a liquid that's designed to fatten up baby cows?  I kinda have.  I've discovered I kinda like almond milk. 
But how does one milk an almond?  It has no...well, you know.  

It's actually pretty's the how-to.

Get about a cup of almonds (raw and unsalted) and soak them in about 2 cups of water 24-48 hours.
Drain off the soaking liquid, then add the almonds and 2 1/2 cups of water to a blender, and blend the heck out of it.  
After blending strain the liquid from the almond pulp using a cheesecloth, or they actually make a special nut-milk bag just for this purpose. Save the left over pulpy stuff and dry it out in a low oven (200F) for about an hour or so, and you have almond meal!
I hear this keeps in the fridge about 3 days, and it's not homogenized so you'll get some separation....just shake it up.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bacon Mac

Isn't it weird how kids who are crazy for mac&cheese don't really like the real thing?  And the same kids who also like bacon don't like it when you put it in their mac&cheese?  Oh well....more for me!

I found this recipe at Cooking Light.  Does it really make it lighter just because I found it there?  Maybe, maybe not.  I'm sure there are way worse macaroni and cheese recipes out there, but I found this one completely delicious!  In fact I'm about to go get some of the leftovers for lunch right now.  But before I do, here's the recipe so you can do the same.


  • 3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 12 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
  • 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Cooking spray


1. Preheat broiler.
2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chocolate Kahlua Toffee Trifle

If you have a sweet tooth the size of Texas, this may be the recipe for you.  And if that sweet tooth likes things just a little boozy, then you're definitely in luck.

This is about as easy as falling off a log (but hurts a lot less).  Once you get the cake made, you're home free.  The hard part is letting it chill once it's all put together.  

If you're feeding this to children, you might want to decrease the Kahlua content just a little, it's quite powerful.  My kids didn't seem to mind :D

Here's the recipe...make and enjoy!

1 box cake mix (devil's food)
6 ozs instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup kahlua

Prepare cake according to box mix and cool.  

Cut the cake up into cubes.

Combine pudding mix, milk and Kahlua.

If it is too runny, set it aside in the fridge to allow it to thicken for 20 minutes.

It will make it easier to work with.

To assemble, use a pretty straight-sided glass bowl or trifle bowl.

Layer the bottom with 1/2 the cake cubes making sure to line the sides of the bowl

Pour 1/2 the the pudding over the the cake layer making sure to spread it to the side of the bowl so you can see the layer.

Spread 1/2 the Cool Whip on top of the pudding mix in the same manner.

Sprinkle 1/2 the Skors bits on top of the Cool Whip.

Repeat the layering with the rest of the ingredients ending with the Skors bits on top.

Chill overnight before serving (yeah, right)
16 ozs cool whip (fresh whipped cream)
1 package english toffee (skor english toffee bit or 6 skor candy bars crushed)