Everyday Mom's Meals: July 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Wedding Re-Do

Even after all the recipes I've found from when I first started blogging and brought them "back to life" so to speak, I'm still running across one here and there. This was actually something I shared not as far back as others, but I still thought it could use a face-lift and be shared again.

When I first shared this, it was right around the time of Princess Kate and Prince William's wedding, and I told the story about how this was something we had at our wedding reception, per my request. See, we had a huge spread, including a hog roast with all the trimmings and a buffet that everyone raved about, most of which were made by our sweet neighbor lady who offered to make the food for us. And this being one of my favorite all time "deli" salads I knew it just had to be included. Not to mention, it's one of my daddy's favorites, and I figured since he was paying, that would be a nice gesture! 

This is a great summer time salad that can be ready in almost no time at all. It's perfect for picnics, barbecues, cook-outs or take along parties. I have found even folks who aren't huge pea fans, enjoy this! Oh, and it shows up regularly around these parts at bridal and baby showers too. It's just one of those go-to salads for us, that others might never think about.

I love bringing these not so old recipes up to date and sharing them with all of you again. Or for most of you, for the first time. But what I love even more is sharing all the happy memories that come with them and remembering the great times when we enjoyed them the most. Food really does make the best scrapbook!

Spring Pea Salad
2 (15 oz.) cans peas, drained
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3-4 TBS mayo
1/2 c. finely chopped white onion
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine peas, eggs, onion and cheese. In a small bowl whisk together mayo, salt and pepper. Pour over pea mixture. Toss gently to coat. Chill at least an hour before serving.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Science Only Goes So Far, And Then There's God"...

I found the above quote online last week, and nothing could have been more appropriate for what was going on in our lives at the time.

As many of you already know, two weeks ago tomorrow, we had quite the scare. After four days of shortness of breath, my husband went to the ER, and was later diagnosed with multiple large pulmonary emboli in each lung. In layman's terms, his lungs had very large blood clots in them. Not exactly the news you are expecting on a Tuesday morning!

He was admitted to the hospital for 2 1/2 days for a battery of tests and observation. Many scary causes of PE have been ruled out, and for now they are thinking it might be something genetic, which we will get the results from those labs in another week or so. He was sent home on blood thinners, and since then we've been trying to get back to "normal."

I have been with this man for 17 years, and never has he scared me like this. The doctors told us they had no idea how he was able to walk into the clinic that morning. He was about 15 minutes away from full cardiac arrest; and 1/3 of all patients who present with what he had, don't last 24 hours. It was when I heard those statistics I knew without a doubt my husband is a walking miracle.

And while we are so incredibly grateful to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that helped to save his life, we also know there was a bigger hand in play. Even they had to admit, there was no explanation other than God's work as to why he was still with us.

So fast forward to the next Monday, and ironically enough it was his 40th birthday. That's right, we had oh so much more to celebrate this year, and I wanted to make sure it was extra special for him. It was the perfect time to make a new dessert using his favorite summer time berry, black raspberries. But after such a long week, I needed something quick and easy too! He loved every bite, and I was just thankful to have him here to cook for.

Each and every day is a gift. Be sure to tell those you love most, just how much they mean to you. And if you have a husband you love more than life, like me, hug him extra tight tonight for me!

Raspberry Crumble
2 c. red or black raspberries, fresh or frozen, if frozen, thawed
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. old fashion oats
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. cold butter, diced

Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Preheat oven to 375. Place berries in prepared dish. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, cornstarch, water, and sugar. Stir until smooth. Pour over berries. In a food processor, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Pulse until crumble mixture appears. Sprinkle over berries. Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Take Me Out To The Ball Game {A Feature}

There is nothing more "American Summer" than baseball. heading to the ballpark on a warm summer evening, to cheer on the hometown team...that's Americana at its best! And here in Fort Wayne, we are so blessed to have one of the most unique, state of the art and gorgeous ballparks around! 

Nestled in the heart of the downtown, Parkview Field is the home of our beloved Tin Caps. Opening in 2009, it is the place to be on game night in the city. 

Once you're inside, you almost forget you are still in Fort Wayne, because you would expect to find a ballpark of this caliber in a huge metropolitan area. But as soon as you look at the amazing view and skyline, you remember you are indeed home. 

Family friendly doesn't even begin to describe everything Parkview Field has to offer. Plus, they have one of the most versatile food menus I have ever seen in a sporting arena.

Being sponsored by Parkview Health, from the start, there was a special focus on some healthier options available, in addition to the fan favorites. The folks at Parkview Field are proud of the food they offer and they have every right to be! 

Feeling like some Mexican Fare? Stop by the Manzana Grill (manzana means apple in Spanish) for everything from tacos, to taco salads, nachos and made to order burritos! That's right, you can get exactly what you want in it, and they prepare it in front of you. (In fact, one of the things I was most impressed with was most of the foods we samples were prepared as we ordered them, fresh.)

My choice was a chicken burrito with black beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream. This thing was huge and absolutely delicious. As illustrated by the fact I had to take a bite before I could even snap a pic!

Our next stop on our tasting adventure was the Squeeze Play Cart (seriously, could the names be any cuter?) where my boys could enjoy some American classics like Cheeseburger Sliders, Foot Long Hot Dogs, and a family favorite, Lemonade Shake-Ups!

Alex loved watching his burgers being made, and they turned out juicy, flavorful and absolutely delicious! Not to mention a real bargain at only $2 each!

Those healthier options I mentioned? Here is a perfect example. When I stopped by the Apple Cart to satisfy my sweet tooth (if there is an apple dessert, they have it) I also found fresh apple slices as an option for Alex to enjoy with his burgers, instead of the regular fries!

But don't worry if you are looking forward to some traditional ballpark fare as well. They have all the standards and favorites too. One of my favorites, and they have been since our first game, are their terrific onion rings. They are big, crispy and absolute home run!

The Apple Cart I mentioned before... check out this menu of all their yummy offerings!

The Apple Crisp was warm, scrumptious and the ultimate American summer time treat! Plus it came in a cute souvenir helmet, which if your kid is anything like mine will be even more exciting than the dessert!

I can't begin to tell you how much we love heading down to Parkview Field every chance we get. I am honored they would let my family and I enjoy all the great foods the park as to offer, and share them with all of you too. If you live in Fort Wayne, or are close enough to drive into the city, check out the Tin Caps schedule and try to make it out to a game before summer ends!  Enjoy some of the fantastic food they have to offer. Believe me, there is a little bit of everything for everyone! And be sure to follow all the #BigFun on Facebook and Twitter too!

Soul Food Saturday

What is it about banana bread that makes us think, something healthy? Is it all the times we have heard the health benefits of bananas; or just one more reason to have an extra slice without any of the guilt? I don’t really need many; I love banana bread any way I can get it. So here is one more recipe to add to your collection, and we are calling it “healthy” because the oil has been replaced in this recipe. But the flavor hasn’t been altered one bit, promise! Grab a cup of coffee, and a friend. This one is best when shared with ones we hold dear.

No-Oil Banana Bread
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. half and half
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. mashed bananas
1 c. sugar
 1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, optional

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray one 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray coating. Set aside. In a medium bowl add eggs, half and half, apple sauce, and bananas. Mix until combined. Sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to banana mixture a third at a time, stirring to combine. With last addition add in walnuts. Stir to combine, completely. Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Holiday Dessert

So, it was the 4th of July, and I, in all my wisdom, had planned another holiday picnic for the three of us. Now, don't get wrong. I love our family picnics. They are one of the things I look most forward to in summer. But they aren't easy! At least our type aren't. They usually result in me in the kitchen the night before and morning of, prepping, cooking and packing. Sure, it's all worth it, every dish is tasty, and my boys are very grateful for the memories we make because I went to the trouble to plan it, but sometimes even mom wants some time off on a holiday. And on this day, that break came when it was time for dessert. 

I wasn't sure what our holiday dessert would be, but I knew it had to be simple and easy because after making enough food to fill a picnic basket and two coolers, I was ready to sit down and enjoy a glass of lemonade before we headed off for the park. So I started looking in the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what I could come up with what I had on hand. I'm not even going to lie, I truly thought about taking the berries as is, and the tub of Cool Whip for dipping and calling it a day. But in the next moment I remembered it was indeed a holiday, and we were going to be spending some special time together, so I wanted to put forth at least a little effort. 

This is what I came up with. If you've made a traditional strawberry trifle, you will recognize quickly just what an easy route I took. There was nothing complicated about it, and took almost no brain power to throw together. It's simple, delicious and great for summer parties! (Or picnics when your family is expecting effort and you just don't have any more to give!) 

Easy Strawberry Trifle
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 c. cold milk
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1 (10 oz.) angel food cake from store bakery, cubed

Combine pudding mix and milk and whisk for 2 minutes. Chill in fridge for 5 minutes until soft set. In the bottom of a large bowl place enough angel food cake cubes to cover. Then layer pudding, Cool Whip and berries. Repeat layers until reach top. Spread with Cool Whip and finish with berries. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. 


Shared on The Country Cook July 25, 2014
Strawberries at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Show Off Your Tomato Skills with NatureSweet

Calling all you green thumbed gardeners! Or, maybe you can't grow anything, but you sure can cook with the bounty! If either of these describe you, and you are in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, get ready to jot down some info! 

The 2014  NatureSweet Homegrown Tomato & Chef's Challenge will be held in Indy on August 9th. Between now and July 31st, you can go online and enter! It's completely free to enter, open to amateur "homegrown" chefs, with a shot at winning the $2,000 cash grand prize and then two $200 Kroger gift cards will be issued to the two runners up.

When entering, you will be asked to submit a short answer (200 words or less) as to why you love cooking with tomatoes. The top three answers (the most original, creative, appealing, etc.) will be invited to perform a tomato recipe of their choosing LIVE in front of an even crowd Saturday Aug. 9th at 11 a.m.  under the Chef's Challenge tent in the parking lot of Kroger at 8850 S. Emerson Avenue in Indianapolis. (NatureSweet provides EVERYTHING, they just have to show up ready to compete!)

There will be a panel of local celebrity judges who will taste and rate the recipes created by our three finalists and they will pick the $2,000 grand prize winner and the remaining two finalists will be recipients of the $200 Kroger gift cards. 12

Also that same day, contestants may bring three large, five medium, or ten small homegrown tomatoes, of the same variety, to the Kroger location listed above between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Entry deadline is 11:30 a.m. Tomato size will be confirmed at registration. All entries must be in a clear zipper-closed bag, labeled with name, phone number, tomato variety and quantity entered. There is no pre-registration for homegrown tomatoes prior to August 9th. ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD PER YEAR.

So, come on out and show off your tomato skills for NatureSweet. If I were closer to Indy, I would definitely be there! Think you have a killer tomato recipe, enter online today!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Try Something New with Maple Leaf Farms {A Review}

So, I guess the best way to start this post is ask, "Have you had duck before?" And then I have to also ask "Have you cooked duck at home before?" If you answered either or both of those with "no", then you've come to the right place because by the end of this I hope you are wanting to change that! 

First, let me introduce you to another foodie gem from right here in my home state. Maple Leaf Farms  began in 1958 in Milford, Indiana, producing 280,000 ducks that first year. Still family owned today, they supply high-quality, value added duck products for folks like you and me. 

Maple Leaf Farms duck products are available in both raw and fully cooked varieties. Their original line includes whole body duck and cuts that can be easily prepared by both a chef and the home cook. 

I can honestly say until about a year ago, I had no idea these duck experts were right here in Indiana, let alone almost in my own backyard. (I'm talking less than an hour away!!) You know how much I love to support our local farmers, and now I have another one to add to my list! 

So you can imagine how excited I was when the great folks at Maple Leaf offered to send me a box of goodies to try in my kitchen! Now, I have only cooked with duck one other time, and never with the breast meat, so I was eager to try! 

I knew I wanted to grill them, and probably add a glaze. So I took a couple different Asian inspired ones I've used before and tweaked them here and there, and this is what I finally came up with. Sweet, succulent and oh so yummy! 

Now, if you've never cooked a duck breast either, let me tell you the Maple Leaf Farms site has some great tips. In fact, the directions you find below are 99% from them! For grilling, they suggested I would have the best results if I rendered them in a skillet first, and I am convinced this step is the #1 key to success! 

If you have been wanted to try duck, but have been too apprehensive, take it from me. You can do it! And to stay up on all things that are quacking ( ha ha) be sure to follow the great folks at Maple Leaf Farms on Facebook, Twitter  and Pinterest.

Brown Sugar and Soy Glazed Duck
2 duck breasts
1/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 TBS rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 TBS vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pat duck breasts with paper towels to dry. Trim skin to size of breast. Using a sharp knife, score skin in a cross-hatch pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium low heat. Place breasts skin side down and allow to render, about 10 minutes, until golden brown. While cooking, mix brown sugar, soy, vinegar, ginger, garlic and vegetable oil. Whisk well. When breasts are browned, remove to a paper towel lined platter. Preheat grill to high. When hot, place duck breasts skin side down, reduce heat to medium. Cook 15 minutes basting often on both sides, turning occasionally, until internal temp reaches 165. Serve on a bed of rice pilaf if desired.


Shared on The Country Cook July 25, 2014
Duck at Very Good Recipes

Monday, July 21, 2014

Affordable & Nutritious Options At The Grocery Store {Indiana Family of Farmers}

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of walking the aisles of my favorite supermarket like never before. Thanks to my good friends at Indiana Family of Farmers  and the great folks at Kroger, I was able to explore the store with a fantastic lady, registered dietitian, Kim Galeaz

What an opportunity to learn from one of the best, so that I could then share some very useful info with all of you, in this the second of the four part series from IFOF, Affordable Food Options For Your Family, From Ours.

I'm sure you remember part one back in May, when we all learned that Americans spend less of their income on food than any other country in the world. 

I'm excited to share some of the highlights of the tour with you, some great tips I was so happy to learn, and then a fantastic new healthy recipe for you to share with your family! 

Our first stop on the tour was one of my favorite sections, produce. But let's face it, it's also one of the more pricey ones. I know so many families who struggle just to put food on the table, and unfortunately can't afford to buy a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. Well, I have good news. You don't need to buy fresh produce to get nutrients! Both canned and frozen fruits and veggies are packaged as soon as they are picked, and offer great nutritional value. So, for those of us who might feel guilty because we are buying the can of peaches instead of fresh because they are only $.69 per can, NO more guilt! We are still giving our families something really good for them!

For more info on all things produce, use these two great sites for a resource!
*This is a great one to learn what's in season, nutrition info, plus selection/storage.

*Here you will find a terrific calculator to determine pesticide residue! 

While we were in the produce section, we were introduced to a brand new item we had never heard of, the RockIt Apple. A cross between a crab and rose apple variety, this small, crunchy treat is the perfect snack! It's also a great size for the kid's packed lunches! Plus, it's a great one for baking with too. These little gems are only in season for about a month, right now, so be sure to look for them in your super market today! 

Here's another great tip for your daily diet. Try to remember that half of your grains every day should be whole. So look for the logo from the Whole Grains Council when you're shopping in the bread aisle. 

But don't forget, the cereal aisle is also a great place to get extra whole grains into your daily meals too. (Especially for kids!!) Kim even said don't worry so much about the cereals that have some sugar included (think Frosted Mini Wheats) because of all the added benefits from the whole grains, plus the milk you're going to add to it also! 

Finally, one of my favorite tips from Kim was also one of the most simple. Got canned soup or maybe boxed mac n cheese in the pantry? Need a quick meal but want to increase the nutritional value? This things are great products to add fresh, canned or frozen veggies to! Your kids might be much more inclined to eat that broccoli or zucchini if you hide it under some creamy mac n cheese! 

I learned so much on this tour, and am so grateful for the info, a lot of it new and contrary to what I thought. I think the most important thing to remember when choosing food options, and keeping affordability in the grocery store is one of the first things Kim said, "You can make room for sweets and treats, as long as they are part of a balanced diet." And for someone like me who believes in all things in moderation, it was so nice to hear!

The recipe I want to share with you actually includes one of our favorite veggies, but maybe one you might not have tried. Parsnips. They have been a tradition in our house for years (actually 3 generations now) but I know many people who have never had the pleasure. Plus, roasting veggies are a great way to put a lot of flavor into them, while still keeping them bright, delicious and nutritional! 

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" discs
3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4" discs
1/3 c. canola oil
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients in a 8 x 11 baking pan. Stir well to coat. Bake for 1 hour until veggies are tender and golden brown. Stir before serving.

Shared on The Country Cook July 25, 2014

 Here are a few additional sites that are a great resource on this topic and a few of my favorites:

Disclaimer: As part of the Affordable Food Options For Your Family, From Ours series, I was compensated for this post. All thoughts opinions are my own. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

Have you ever had one of those evenings that you've already planned out dinner but, you're craving something else entirely? Well tonight that's exactly what happened to me. So why not turn my plain meatloaf into a cheeseburger? Yep, I said it....Cheese burger!!!! And since we're going there, why not add bacon too? Grab an extra napkin because remember; cheeseburgers are messy good!!!

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground beef

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. Shredded asiago cheese
1/4 c. tomato sauce
1 tbs. granulated garlic
1/2 tbs. Salt
1 tbs. dried parsley
1 tbs. red pepper flakes
1 tbs.olive oil
6 slices bacon

In a medium pan add oil and onions. Cook until onions are clear and softened. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl; add ground beef break up completely so all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add cheese, tomato sauce, garlic, salt, parsley, red pepper. Mix to combine. Transfer mixture into large lasagna pan (13x9) pat down to even out meat. Lay bacon across the meat lengthwise. Place in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then lower heat to 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until done. Weather you serve this with slaw or french fries your sure to have a few favorite, enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Three In A Row

I'll be totally honest, I kinda forgot about this recipe. I will also be honest and tell you I hadn't planned on posting not one, not two, but three chicken recipes this week. But as I was scheduling things and moving recipes from the "to post" to "scheduled" column, it just so happened I had one more to finish out the week full of poultry. I figure it's not that big of deal since we can always use more chicken recipes in our arsenal. 

I'm actually shocked I forgot about this because it's one of the tastiest things I've made in a long time, and had all three of us going back for seconds and emptying the pan by the end of the night. (Yeah, I'm talking about going back for thirds at 11 o'clock after the kid was in bed!) 

Don't let the word spicy scare you. As most of you know, I can't take much heat. Unlike my hubby, who takes pleasure in crying while he eats, I can't handle that kind of spice. This has just enough to give it flavor without burning your taste buds off. Promise! 

You know how much we love pasta bakes, and this is hands down in the Top 5 best I've ever created. Big chunks of juicy chicken, a creamy sauce and such amazing flavor, it's going to become a go-to in your house too. Plus, it's super simple, so it's perfect at the end of a long, tiring day. 

I didn't set out to post three chicken recipes this week, but apparently, we've been eating a lot of bird lately. Oh, and if you didn't catch the other two, they were Apple Pecan Chicken Salad and Sticky Baked Chicken. Both of those just happen to be delicious too! 

Spicy Chicken Bowtie Pasta Bake  
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
Cooking Spray
Garlic Powder, to taste
Onion Powder, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
12 oz. bowtie pasta
8 oz. shredded queso blanco cheese
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c. milk
1 1/2 TBS dried parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Boil pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or dutch oven, spray cooking spray. Saute chicken, seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper over medium high heat, until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, soup and milk. Stir to combine. Add cheese in batches until completely melted, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Add parsley. Keep warm. When pasta is cooked, drain well. Add to chicken mixture. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until golden on top and heated through.

Shared on The Country Cook July 18, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No Propane, No Problem

Apparently, it's chicken week here on EMM. I didn't plan it that way, but if you saw Monday's recipe for Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, you understand why I say that. I don't know if I have another one for Friday, but be sure to come back to see! 

Today's chicken star came to be for a simple reason. I went outside to grill chicken only to discover we were out of propane. (Thanks, honey, I really appreciate that.) Yep, I was the wife calling her husband at 5:30 pm asking "Um, did you know we were out of propane?" Like he could do anything about it from work. Look, I'm a pretty capable broad. Even things I didn't once do, I can now because over the years I've learned it's easier to do them myself. Hence why I was even attempting to grill in the first place. There was a time that would have never happened. 

But no matter how progressive I am as a woman, there are a few things I don't do...will never do...and have no desire to do. Mowing lawn? Yeah, that's never gonna happen. (You can blame my dad. He had me mow once. The lines were crooked. He was picky. He never asked again.) Changing a tire. Nope, never have, never will. (Again, you can blame my dad for this one too. See, he never taught me. He was always around. I would call him. Then after him, I'd call Adam. And if both of those don't work, road side assistance is terrific.) Swapping out a propane tank. Nope. Not gonna do that either. (This one you can't blame on my dad. I won't do it because I can't lift the tank....no throwing him under the bus this time.)

So anyway, there I was standing in front of the cold as ice grill saying "Great, now what am I going to do with this bird?" Thankfully, while I might not be schooled in the world of tire irons, I do think quickly on my feet, and within a few moments was creating this yummy recipe. 

If you love finger lickin', packed with flavor chicken, you're going to love this! I'm sure the same sauce would be delicious on the grill too, and now that my loving husband has refilled that tank, I could try it. But if you find yourself in the same predicament as me, or maybe it's raining out, fire up the oven and get your sticky on!

Baked Sticky Chicken
2 1/2 lbs. chicken drumsticks 
2 TBS canola oil
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 TBS ketchup
3/4 c. honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken in 9 x 13 baking pan, coated with nonstick spray. In a small bowl combine oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken and baste with brush. Bake for 1 hour until sauce caramelizes. Every 20 minutes spoon soy mixture over chicken. 

Shared on The Country Cook July 18, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Family Movie Night and Pop Secret #GoodbyeBurnedPopcorn

Family movie night. It's a tradition in our house, and I know in so many of yours too! Staying in, gathering around the television and enjoying some entertainment in our own home, making memories. And of course, no family movie night is complete without popcorn! But how frustrating is it when every one's favorite movie time snack gets burned?? Well, now thanks to Pop Secret Popcorn, and their brand new Perfect Pop App, you don't have to worry anymore! 

We've all been there before. You put the popcorn on to cook, you think you've set the right time, and before you know it, it's burned and that oh so noticeable smell has overtaken your house. So, Pop Secret decided to solve the problem once and for all, so you can spend more time enjoying the movie and less time stressing over the snack! 

With your iPhone 5+ and iOS 7+, download Perfect Pop for free on the App Store. 

1. Put a bag of Pop Secret in the microwave and enter suggested cooking time from the packaging. Note: Perfect Pop is optimized for the deliciousness of Pop Secret popcorn only.

2. Turn up the volume on your iPhone. Point the phone’s speaker towards the microwave and keep within 3 feet.

3. Start the microwave, and then start the app.

No more relying on the popcorn button or guessing how many seconds in between pops. Pop Secret is serious about perfect popcorn, so the less you have to worry about, the more time you can spend enjoying movie night with your friends & family. Perfect Pop listens to the pops, waiting for the precise moment to let you know when your popcorn is perfect.

Do your kids normally sit and wait for you to make the popcorn? Well, prepare yourself for them to want to help! Yep, you read that right! The Perfect Pop app is a fantastic way to get the little ones into the kitchen too! They are going to love watching the app do it's magic and waiting for the moment it knows your popcorn is perfectly popped and ready to eat! 

So, grab the remote, your favorite DVD, and some Pop Secret tonight! Don't forget to visit the app store for the Perfect Pop app and wait for the fun to begin! Popped to tasty perfection, you'll never pop alone again! 

There is always something yummy popping over at Pop Secret. Click here to see!

Wanna see the app in action? Watch this awesome video from PopSecret!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by PopSecret. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Apple is not affiliated and does not endorse, sponsor or support this third party app. 

Cooking Made Easy with Blue Apron {A Review}

Do you love to cook? Do you love trying new foods? Or maybe on the flip side...are you a little apprehensive in the kitchen? Maybe you would love to try new things, but you have no idea where to begin? Would you like to expand your culinary world but you need a little push? If you answered "yes" to any of these, then let me introduce you to your new best friend, Blue Apron

Blue Apron allows you to create delicious, chef-designed recipes at home. They deliver all the fresh ingredients you need, right to your front door! Everything is portioned out perfectly, which means no trips to the grocery store and no wasted ingredients. I love that each ingredient is clearly marked. Just think about a novice in the kitchen who has never seen some of these things before! 

They send you three meals per week for two, four or six people. Meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping! Blue Apron is available nation wide, shipping to 80% of the US.
The recipes are delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you're not home when the package arrives. 
This is what you find when you open the package!

Each meal is 500 and 700 calories, and is made with fresh, local ingredients. Plus, all meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. Plus, each recipe comes with a instruction card, with step by step directions and photos. (This was my favorite part!) There is absolutely no guess work on what to do next, or what ingredient goes into what. 

See what I mean...no guess work!! 

The recipe cards are like having your very own sous chef! You can reference back any time you need without missing a step! 

Blue Apron is great for everyone from young couples to families, to those who are on the go constantly. No need to shop, and you can get into the kitchen with those you love the most to create healthy, nutritious meals. Plus, you get the chance to try new things you might never have otherwise. Our son is a super adventurous eater, so you know how excited he was to try something he never had before. 

About to take his first bite 

Have special dietary needs? No worries. When you sign up and fill out your profile you can easily add your preferences! 

For more info, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram and Pinterest too. Plus, Blue Apron is generously offering a 30% discount to the first 50 EMM readers who redeem this code. Just click here

Disclaimer: I was given 1 free delivery in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.