Food!!

Back to School Healthy Lunches

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Classes are back in session. Now it’s time to get the lunch situation back on track. Packing healthy lunches is key. I want to make sure my kids are getting healthy options, but I also want to make lunch fun for them so they don’t get bored of the sandwich in the plastic baggie. I think this helps the kids eat their lunches at school.

I was excited to partner up with one of my favorite food stores WHOLE FOODS MARKET. They offer so many amazing back to school options. Some of you may not know but WHOLE FOODS has their own brand called 365 Everyday.

The 365 Everyday Value products can fill your pantry without emptying your wallet. With value prices every day of the year, the products are formulated to meet all of their quality standards, come in both natural and organic selections, and will change the way you shop at WHOLE FOODS MARKET. That’s because they have it all — from whole grain flours and shade-grown coffee to organic milk and frozen veggies. They make it easy to stock up on the best products for the best price.

My kids love lunch meat roll ups. I added a little pretzel stick to keep the roll up together. WHOLE FOODS lunch meats are now 25% off Sliced In-house Deli Meat Sale from 9/7 until 9/13.

365 Everyday Value® Organic Sliced Cheese has the benefits of organic including that it’s made from the milk of cows not given synthetic hormones (rBST) and Lunchmeat that doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives such as added synthetic nitrates or nitrites.

Below you will find 3 fun ideas to pack for the kids. I hope everyone has a fun and safe school year.

Here we have Peanut butter & Jelly rolls, pretzel stick, carrots and water 

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Quaker crackers, Ham & Cheese kabobs, water and some mandarin oranges 

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Peanut butter apple sandwiches, carrots, quacker crackers and water

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

Devour: Embrace Your Inner Kid with 5 Fun Flips on Pizza
The Lemon Bowl: Skillet Mexican Street Corn
Homemade Delish: Healthy Back-to-School Lunches
Creative Culinary: Peanut Butter and Apple Oatmeal Cookies
The Fed Up Foodie: Spiced Pumpkin Donuts
A Mind “Full” Mom: 2-Ingredient Homemade Gogurts
The Mom 100: Tomato-Orzo Dill Soup
Healthy Eats: 7 Back-to-School Dishes That Kids Can Help Make
Taste with the Eyes: Black Bean Spaghetti Caterpillar For Kids
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Kale Sushi Rice Bowls
Swing Eats: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies (Gluten-Free & Flourless)
FN Dish: Our Favorite A+ Afterschool Snacks

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Food!!

Roasted Tomato and Poblano Salsa

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We have an abundance of tomatoes right from our garden.  They’ve provided a great amount of homemade sauce and tomato jam; not to mention their juicy goodness on a salad.  Another great option to add to this list is salsa. Instead of just chopping it up and putting it in the blender I went ahead and roasted my ingredients. I had poblano peppers from the garden and added them to the mix. There is nothing like fresh homemade salsa. You can control the salt and spice intake, and it’s so much more refreshing. I ended up with 2 mason jars of homemade salsa.  These will store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Ingredients:

15 tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 large onion, cut into quarters
2 large poblano peppers, cut in half
Salt & pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste 1/2 cup evoo
3 garlic cloves
1 cup cilantro

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees

Add tomatoes, onions and poblanos to a baking sheet and drizzle some evoo and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes set the tomatoes, onions and poblanos aside to cool a bit. Now add them to the blender with the cilantro, garlic, evoo and crushed red pepper flakes. Blend until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #summersoiree below:

Feed Me Phoebe: Steamed Clams with Chorizo, Tomatoes and Kale
The Mediterranean Dish: 10 Fresh Tomato Recipes with a Mediterranean Twist
The Mom 100: Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Homemade Delish: Roasted Tomato and Poblano Salsa
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Easy Summer Tomato Tart with Artichoke Spread
The Heritage Cook: Tomato and Cucumber Summer Salad (Gluten-Free)
Devour: Praise Caprese with 6 Twists on Tomato Salad
Healthy Eats: How to Use Up Your Last Batch of Fresh Tomatoes
Creative Culinary: Fresh Tomato Summer Pie
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Classic Caprese Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato, Peach & Melon Salad
Taste with the Eyes: For Tomato Lovers Only
FN Dish: The Best Fresh Tomato Recipes You to Make, Like, Right Now

Food!!

Sweet corn ice cream

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It’s been so hot here in Philadelphia lately.  All we have been craving is something cold. I love making homemade ice cream, but I currently do not have an ice cream maker, so it takes a little longer to make. This recipe will take up to 8-24 hours to set nice and firm, but it’s totally worth the wait. Since corn is another staple crop of summer I wanted to incorporate it into an ice cream. This recipe will not disappoint with its sweetness from the kernels.  Stay cool!

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen 
1 can condensed milk
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preparation:
In a medium saucepan bring the heavy cream and kernels to a simmer. Pour the mixer through a sieve into a bowl. Set aside to cool and then place in the refrigerator with a plastic wrap on it.

Take the kernels from the sieve and pour it into a blender or food processor to get a creamy texture. Next place in the refrigerator to cool.

After 1 hour remove the corn mixture and cream from the refrigerator. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl. Now pour in the can of condensed milk. Take electric mixer and mix for one minute on medium speed. Next pour in the corn mixture. Mix for another minute.

Finally take a piece of plastic wrap and place inside a loaf pan. Making sure all sides are covered with plastic wrap. Pour the ice cream mixture inside loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #summersoiree below:

The Lemon Bowl: Pesto Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Corn
Devour: Fire Up the Grill for a Mexican Grilled Corn Fiesta
Feed Me Phoebe: Sweet and Spicy Gluten-Free Corn Pasta with Ricotta and Chives
Creative Culinary: Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Chiles, Cilantro and Honey
TasteBook: Esquites (Mexican-Style Corn Salad)
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Corn, Pluot and Grape Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: A Cornucopia of Corn Recipes For Summer
Healthy Eats: 7 Summer Salads That Put a New Spin on Corn
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy Homemade Creamed Corn
FN Dish: If You Cook Any Corn This Summer, Make It One of These 5-Star Recipes

Food!!

BBQ jalapeño poppers

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I can’t believe the 4th of July weekend is already here. It’s time to celebrate our Independence with lots of delicious foods. I’m sure many of you will be hosting a BBQ or going to one. These barbecue jalapeño poppers are the perfect addition to any get together and will leave the crowd wanting more. I hope everyone has a safe weekend.

Ingredients:
12 jalapeños, cut in half and remove membranes and seeds
8oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, homemade or favorite store brand
24 slices turkey bacon or regular bacon

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl add cream cheese and barbecue sauce and whisk until smooth. Next take jalapeños that have been sliced and seeds removed, add about 1/2 to teaspoon of the bbq cream cheese mix to the center. Now wrap a slice of bacon around the jalapeño and set on a baking sheet.

Place poppers in the oven for 25-30 minutes until bacon is nice and crispy.  (You can also grill these instead of baking.)

heck out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #sensationalsides below:

Devour: Add Asian Flair to Grilled Ribs with These 4 Recipes
The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Marinades for Grilling Season
Homemade Delish: BBQ Jalapeno Poppers
Napa Farmhouse 1885: BBQ Beef on Toast
TasteBook: Skewered Grilled Prawns with Spicy Peach Glaze
Domesticate Me: 37 Foolproof Recipes for Your Fourth of July BBQ
Creative Culinary: Apple Cider and Brown Sugar Pulled Pork Barbecue
Healthy Eats: 6 Lighter Alternatives to Classic Slow-Cooked Barbecue
Taste with the Eyes: BBQ Shrimp and Grits with Lobster Butter
The Mom 100: Farro Arugula Salad with Orange Herb Vinaigrette
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Best BBQ Ribs + 19 Recipes for 4th of July
FN Dish: Food Network’s Top Recipes for Barbecue Favorites: Ribs, Pulled Pork and More

Food!!

Spring Orzo salad

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Memorial Day weekend is almost here. This weather in Philadelphia needs to start getting warmer so we can start to enjoy BBQs. In our house we grill all year around. I love to create different sides for our BBQ dishes. This one I think is by far one of my favorites. It’s a super easy and delicious orzo pasta with sweet corn and asparagus. The dressing is light and fresh. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 package Orzo pasta, follow cooking instructions on package
2 cups cooked corn kernels
Stalk of asparagus, chopped and blanched
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chives, chopped optional

Dressing:
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup EVOO

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper and EVOO until well incorporated.

Now in the same bowl as the dressing add orzo, asparagus, corn and chives toss everything together. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Serve in a large bowl.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #sensationalsides below:

The Mom 100: Pasta Salad with Chicken, Picholine Olives and Ramp Vinaigrette
Homemade Delish: Spring Orzo Salad
Devour: Pasta Salads That Go Beyond Mayonnaise
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pasta Salad with Arugula, Bell Pepper & Spring Onion
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chicken Pasta Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing
Taste with the Eyes: Refreshing Rice Noodle Salad, Lime Ginger Dressing
FN Dish: Picnic-Ready Pasta Salads with Hundreds of Sky-High Reviews

 

Food!!

Asparagus crostini fun

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Asparagus is in season so it’s time to breakout those delicious recipes. I’m always looking for different ideas to entertain family and friends. This asparagus pesto is great for crostinis, where the toppings can be endless.

Leftovers of the pesto were used to toss with pasta. This recipe will be sure to please all those asparagus lovers.

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cooked and blanched in cold water.
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup raw almonds
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups evoo
1 French baguette, sliced and toasted
Parmesan Reggiano, garnish optional
Baked Prosciutto slices, garnish optional
Ricotta, garnish optional
Baby arugula, garnish optional

Preparation:

Slice the French baguette and place on a baking sheet. Take 1/4 cup of evoo and brush it over the slices of bread. Sprinkle a little salt over the slices. Once toasted set aside.

In a food processor add, asparagus, almonds, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic and s&p. Pulse and slowly add evoo until desired consistency.

Spread over slices of bread and top with desired toppings.

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #sensationalsides below:

Creative Culinary: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Garlic and Parsley

Homemade Delish: Asparagus Crostini

Devour: 25 Ways to Use Asparagus

Feed Me Phoebe: Spring Quinoa Mujadara with Asparagus

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Asparagus & Arugula Panzanella

Healthy Eats: 5 Fresher Ways to Prepare Asparagus

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Asparagus, Onion & Pesto Pizza

Red or Green: Roasted Asparagus with Spicy Thousand Island Dressing

The Mom 100: Millet Greens Salad

Taste with the Eyes: Modern Asparagus Spring Rolls – Red Chili, Black Sesame, Almond

FN Dish: 6 Ways to Bundle Up Asparagus This Spring

Food!!

Napa cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad

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Even though it’s still a little cold out there it doesn’t stop us from having a delicious salad.  Salads are so versatile you can add pretty much anything you desire.  This one is super easy and refreshing with a hint of sweetness from the mangos and orange juice dressing.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 head Napa cabbage, finely chopped
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup bacon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing ingredients:
2/4 cups orange juice
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk together dressing ingredients until well incorporated.

Next in the same large bowl add the Napa, bacon, mangos and cilantro.  Toss everything together until dressing is well distributed.  Serve and enjoy!

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #sensationalsides below:

Devour: 6 Protein-Heavy Salads to Make Your Desk Lunch Less Sad
Homemade Delish: 
Napa Cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad
Dishin & Dishes: 
Buddha Power Bowl
Creative Culinary: 
Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bacon, Croutons and Buttermilk Herb Dressing
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Green Salad With Emerald Green Vinaigrette
Red or Green: 
Southwest Salad With Ranch Salsa Dressing
Healthy Eats: 
Balance Spring Meals with These Leafy Green Side Salads
TasteBook: 
The Ultimate Green Salad
Taste with the Eyes: 
Blackened Barramundi Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette
The Mom 100: 
Pea Shoot Salad with Shrimp, Goat Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette
FN Dish: 
How to Eat Salad for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (and Not Be Mad About It)

Food!!

Homemade Poptarts

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Sweet treats aren’t a hard sell, but somehow, we’ve decided to up the allure. Meet the homemade Pop-Tart on a stick. Inspired by the requests of some creative kiddos, this dessert is great alternative to store-bought pastries, which can be loaded with artificial colors and flavors. Ours, instead, opt for fresh fruit and no preservatives. You won’t need them anyway — these will disappear pretty quickly.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • 2 pie crusts (homemade or from the freezer section)

Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Create your fillings. For the banana filling, mix cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of sugar with mashed bananas. For blueberry filling, mix blueberries with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. For strawberry filling, mix strawberries with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Next roll out the pie crust and cut into desired rectangle sizes. Take about a teaspoon of filling and place onto the center of rectangle pie crust. Now take another piece of the rectangle pie crust and lay it on top to seal. Using a fork go around the dough to make little dents. Take egg wash and brush top of tart.

Slowly insert the stick into the bottom of the tart.  Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool and enjoy.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

The Lemon Bowl: Yogurt Banana Splits with Muesli
Devour: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes That Make Food Disappear Faster Than Houdini
Homemade Delish: Homemade Poptarts
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Glaze
Creative Culinary: Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Healthy Eats: 6 Kid-Approved Finger Foods with a Healthy Twist
Taste with the Eyes: Banana Split Pavlova – A “Sick” Dessert For Both Adults and Kids!
Daisy at Home: Chewy Granola Bars
Weelicious: Hummus Veggie Wraps
FN Dish: A Whole Week’s Worth of Back-to-School Lunches