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Who needs bowls? Use bacon cups for your next party!

Who needs bowls? Use bacon cups for your next party!


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How to replace basic bowls with the ultimate food

There are countless way to incorporate delicious bacon into your food — crumbled as a salad-topper, wrapped as an asparagus hugger, etc. Yet we prefer to think outside the box… or in this case, the bowl. For your party this summer, consider replacing individual salad bowls with slices of bacon — your guests will be absolutely delighted (after they get over the initial shock) and you will be left with less dishes to wash. Two birds with one stone! Or in this case… two pigs with one stone (OK, the cheesy food puns end here).

Simply flip over a muffin pan and cover it tightly with aluminum foil to prevent a mess. Then wrap each muffin cup with five to six slices of bacon, creating a weave similar to the top of a pie. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, pat dry of excess oil, and fill with your choice of salad! We suggest filling the bacon bowls with one of our 8 Summer Salads So Good You’ll Forget They’re Healthy. http://www.thedailymeal.com/8-summer-salads-so-good-you-ll-forget-theyre-healthy


Daily Harvest Review: Is It Worth It?

Just like when you were little, getting in your fruits and veggies isn’t always so easy, especially when you don’t have time to meal prep and it’s easier to order takeout than to whip up a dinner from scratch. Except these days, you might actually like Brussels sprouts and broccoli, but you don’t always have time to cook them.

We all want to kick back at the end of the day with a dinner that was a piece of cake to make, full of flavor and healthy. But it’s often more work than it’s worth.

With all the meal kits that can now be delivered to your door , you don’t have to worry about how much salt something needs when there’s a recipe right in front of you. That’s what meal kit services like Home Chef and Blue Apron are for — when you want to make a meal at home from scratch, without doing all of the meal planning and grocery shopping.

But if you’re looking to do even more in less time, there are options for that, too. Enter Daily Harvest, which sends you frozen prepared recipes made of organic fruits and vegetables that take less than five minutes to whip up. Daily Harvest is a weekly or monthly plan where everything you’re sent is already perfectly portioned to blend or heat.

But is Daily Harvest really worth the hype? Two shopping experts at HuffPost Finds , Danielle Gonzalez and Ambar Pardilla , were sent Daily Harvest boxes to try out for themselves. They put them to the test to see if the recipes really do make eating healthier fast and easy.

Check out their Daily Harvest reviews below.

First things first: What is Daily Harvest, and how does it work?

Daily Harvest offers plans that deliver recipes built from farm-frozen fruits and veggies. These dishes are designed by Daily Harvest’s own in-house chefs and nutritionists and are meant to be prepared in less than five minutes and enjoyed at home or on-the-go.

When you sign up for Daily Harvest, you “build a box” by selecting how many cups you want (the options are nine, 12 and 24) and how often you want them delivered (either weekly or monthly).

These dish options include a mix of smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, bites (aka snacks), lattes, oat bowls and chia bowls. There are 65 options to choose from.

You then set the date you want your first box delivered and the day of the week you want your box to arrive from then on. The price of Daily Harvest depends on the number of cups you choose but ranges from $6.99 per cup (or $167.76 for 24 cups) to $7.75 per cup (or $69.75 for nine cups).

When they arrive, pop all of the options in the freezer until you’re ready to whip one up. The recipes only have — at most — three steps, and more often than not, the third step simply says to “enjoy!”

Perhaps the best thing about Daily Harvest is that you don’t need a lot of technical skills in the kitchen to end up with a nice dish. You only need two basic culinary abilities under your belt: blending (for smoothies) and heating via stovetop or microwave (for harvest bowls, soups and hot oat bowls).

Better still, you just need two everyday kitchen appliances to make these recipes: a reliable, easy-to-clean blender (we recommend a Nutri Ninja Nutrient Extraction Blender or a Magic Bullet ) and a good microwave.

The recipes on Daily Harvest’s site have reviews and illustrations with nutritional information. You can also see the instructions, so you know what you’re in for when you pick your next shipment.

You can filter the options by your dietary needs, too — like low-sugar, keto or paleo — and by your likes and dislikes (chocolate lovers and cilantro haters, rejoice).

If you change your mind about what you want in your box, you can change the recipes or add additional ones to your box anytime before 6 p.m. Eastern Time on the Sunday before your delivery.

Now let’s get to the big picture. What did HuffPost’s shopping experts think of Daily Harvest when they put it to the test?

Ambar, the one who can barely boil water:

I can’t pretend that I’m a cook. Instead, I’m usually the one setting up the table before we eat. I’ve cut myself too many times while mincing garlic, burned the bottoms of cookies to a crisp, and made pasta that was far from al dente. So I try to avoid cooking whenever possible, until the mood strikes for a homemade meal.

I was immediately drawn to the concept of Daily Harvest, since the recipes only take a few minutes to make and don’t use lots of pots and pans — none if you commit to microwaving them instead.

The first recipe I tried out was the Strawberry + Peach Smoothie. All I had to do was add in my preferred milk or water — I went with a lactose-free variety from Trader Joe’s — into a blender with the other frozen ingredients. The smoothie came out creamy, and I drank it after work instead of having dinner and still felt super satisfied. I also tried the Chocolate + Blueberry Smoothie for breakfast, following the same steps. It felt like I was having a chocolate milkshake but without all the sugar. I didn’t feel overwhelmingly full , just filled .

One weekend day for lunch I made the Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash Harvest Bowl over the stove with just a splash of water. Candidly, I’m not a big fan of sweet potato. But this was meant to taste like a breakfast burrito, according to its description on the site, and I definitely got that vibe from the beans, rice and avocados. I could see someone adding an egg on top or having the bowl with some toasted tortillas. I can’t say I’m a sweet potato convert, but I still liked the taste of the bowl and I enjoyed how convenient it was to make.

I also tried out one of Daily Harvest’s well-known oat bowls, the Mulberry + Dragon Fruit Oat Bowl. You can choose to serve it hot or cold. I thought about making it cold, but you have to soak the oats in the cup overnight. And I’m too much of a procrastinator to plan ahead. I decided to make it hot and once again heated it on the stove. Though I accidentally added too much milk (I guess I was just too eager to eat) I actually didn’t mind, since the flavor was delicious . I didn’t get much dragon fruit flavor, but it was packed with blueberries, raspberries and mulberries. It was tart, sweet and satisfying.

Interestingly, Daily Harvest also makes “bites” that you can eat whenever you’re feeling snacky throughout the day. I have a relatively long commute, so I brought the Hazelnut + Chocolate Bites in my bag, and they traveled well. This treat was the easiest of all — I just needed to take them out of the cup and eat them. They kept their shape and weren’t squished. I had two for breakfast, and by mid-day, when my stomach usually starts growling, I didn’t feel that overwhelming hunger that I sometimes get when I just have cereal for breakfast. They tasted like a ball of Nutella but without the impending sugar rush.

“I felt like Daily Harvest was the perfect middle spot between cooking a healthy dinner from scratch and the convenience of frozen food from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.”

In the end, I felt like Daily Harvest was the perfect middle spot between cooking a healthy dinner from scratch and the convenience of frozen food from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I usually don’t think about how many fruits and veggies I’m consuming on a daily basis, but with Daily Harvest, I knew that I was eating lots of them. I definitely felt healthier having the bowls and smoothies than the croissant I usually eat for breakfast or the rice and chicken I get for lunch most of the time.

I don’t know much about cooking, but I felt like I had foods that were filling and easy to make without much effort on my part. I’m definitely going to have some sweet dreams about those Hazelnut + Chocolate Bites for awhile.

Danielle, the one who’s short on time:

Juggling a full-time job and after-hours graduate school means my weeknight dinners are about efficiency. How can I eat something that’s healthy, tasty and doesn’t take up a ton of my time with cooking and prepping?

I usually meal prep one day of the week and portion my dinners to last me for four nights, so I can just reheat them when I get home. Sometimes I’ll even freeze and save a few for a later time if I don’t get around to eating them. So I felt like I was the right audience for Daily Harvest’s organic fruit-and-veggie-based recipes for busy folks.

I started off by trying the Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash Harvest Bowl for dinner. The directions said to put it in the microwave for four minutes or cook it on the stovetop I opted for the microwave. I was perhaps a bit too eager to eat because I cooked it for the four minutes straight without stirring, which meant some of the grains were burned by the end. (I might also just have an extremely powerful microwave.) Regardless, this was probably one of my favorite foods from my Daily Harvest test run. The bowl was filled with tomato, sweet potato, wild rice, beans and avocado, making it super flavorful. I was surprised at how fresh and green the avocados were, despite being previously frozen.

I also tried a savory Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Bowl, which I wasn’t sure of at first. As someone who grew up eating a lot of rice, it’s hard to win me over with an alternative like cauliflower rice. But I was quickly shoveling more spoonfuls into my mouth because I couldn’t get enough. I prepared this dish in the microwave as well, careful to only cook it for two minutes, mix it, and heat it for another minute or two. It was filled with cauliflower, spinach, basil, cashew and basil. It was a solid dinner that left me feeling satisfied and healthy.

I was particularly excited to test out Daily Harvest’s smoothies because I used to make a smoothie every morning. What I particularly liked about Daily Harvest’s smoothie cups is that the lids come with an opening for a straw, so you can enjoy them on the go, too.

Two out of the three smoothies I received had a chocolate ingredient, which isn’t one of my go-to flavors first thing in the morning. The Chocolate + Blueberry was made with banana, cacao, spinach, kale, coconut, almond and maca. It was good, but too sweet for me to appreciate at breakfast. As was the Mint + Cacao Smoothie, which was made with banana, spinach, cacao, cashew, peppermint, chlorella and vanilla bean. It was kind of like a healthy mint chocolate chip milkshake, but not as sweet. The Tart Cherry + Raspberry Smoothie — made with cauliflower, cherry, fig, raspberry and blueberry — was my favorite. Still, Daily Harvest does a variety of smoothie flavors that are more fruit-based and without chocolate, like Mango + Papaya, Banana + Greens and Strawberry + Peach, which are more on par with what I’d normally make myself in the mornings.

I brought the Mulberry + Dragon Fruit Oat Bowl with me to work to see how easy it would be to make outside of my kitchen. I added some sliced bananas on top and it tasted great with the rolled oats, raspberry, blueberry, dragon fruit and mulberry mixture. I also wasn’t as hungry mid-day as I usually am when I just have a bowl of cereal.

I tried the Cauliflower + Leek Stew after a cold winter day, and it was exactly what I was craving (and felt like a much healthier option than the canned soups I usually buy). It was made with cauliflower, celeriac, spinach, leek, garlic, nutritional yeast and onion. All I had to do was add water, pop it in the microwave, stir and heat again for a few more minutes. It was tasty and flavorful, but I personally would have liked another veggie in the mix to give it a bit more texture.

“My biggest takeaway is that the dishes would be ideal for a working professional or someone whose biggest concern is trying to fit a healthy breakfast and dinner into their busy schedule.”

After my trial with Daily Harvest, my biggest takeaway is that the dishes would be ideal for a working professional or someone whose biggest concern is trying to fit a healthy breakfast and dinner into their busy schedule. It would also be good for those who aren’t into cooking — period — because it requires very little food prep and technical skills in the kitchen.

To me, Daily Harvest redefines fast food — making it faster and way, way healthier. Truthfully, the dishes I received from Daily Harvest are probably healthier than anything I would end up cooking at home from scratch. After my weeklong trial, I actually felt healthier, too, probably because I was eating more fruits and vegetables instead of relying on carbs and extra proteins to fill me up.

Would we recommend Daily Harvest?

Our shopping experts agree: Daily Harvest is probably best for someone who wants access to healthy foods without the hassle of cooking. Both believed that the Hazelnut + Chocolate Bites would be good to have on hand when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want a handful of M&Ms, and the smoothies and bowls were a filling breakfast for busy mornings. The soups and harvest bowls were flavorful and easy to prepare.

The cups your Daily Harvest recipes arrive in are microwave safe, but the brand does still recommend transferring the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl for a better experience. Perhaps there’s a future where Daily Harvest uses reusable containers that you can use and return for a discount, a la 1950’s milkman style.

Though the dishes were filling and healthy, both of our testers agreed that adding an extra protein, like chicken breast, tofu or an egg, would round out the more savory dishes like the harvest and grain bowls and turn them into a full meal. Daily Harvest also recommends this on its site.

In the end, the convenient plant-based foods ensure there’s always something healthy in your freezer that takes less than five minutes to prepare, and won’t go bad if you have a particularly crazy week or go out of town for a long weekend.

Daily Harvest Promo Code

Want to give Daily Harvest a try? Get $25 off your first box with promo code HUFFPOST25


This post is sponsored by Dean’s Dips. As always, all opinions and text are 100% my own.

I am not sure how many of you know this about me, but I am a huge Dallas Cowboys fan! I moved around a lot as a kid, but I have taken my love for the Dallas Cowboys with me to every state I have lived in. I grew up with two brothers and I always loved sitting around with my family on weekends, watching football and rooting against each others’ teams. I have carried this tradition on in my own family, only now I compete against my husband and his favorite team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now that I’m a wife, a mom, and on occasion a hostess, I gravitate towards party food that is easy, delicious, and gives me time to enjoy the game too! It is also a plus if it pairs well with my favorite sangria recipe. These party food ideas are fan favorites that incorporate one of my all-time favorite party snacks, Dean’s Dips!

FOOTBALL PARTY FOOD IDEAS
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When hosting a football party, I like to find that balance between serving a few bowls of chips and serving finger foods that require me to get up and run to the kitchen between commercials, referee calls, and time-outs. The goal is to keep the party food table stocked without missing any of the action. These Roast Beef Sliders are beyond perfect for entertaining any time of the year, but they are especially perfect for football season because they help tame the hunger of the crowd during a long game. I always have a couple Dean’s Dips on hand when I’m entertaining guests because their French Onion Dip is my absolute favorite for dipping chips, but I bet you never thought to use it as a spread on a hot slider! One bite of these Roast Beef Sliders and you will be thanking me.

These hot and fresh sliders are the star player among any other super bowl party food! They combine everyone’s favorite Hawaiian-style sweet rolls with roast beef, swiss cheese, Dean’s French Onion Dip, fried onions, and topped with garlic butter. They can be thrown together in ten minutes and emerge fresh out of the oven just fifteen minutes later! If these sliders do not check the box for easy party food, then I am not sure what will.

Now that you have served up a plate of fresh, melt in your mouth Roast Beef Sliders using Dean’s French Onion Dip, everyone at your party knows that you are not messing around when it comes to these party foods. Your next course of finger foods is going to be a delicately crispy Wonton Taco Cup topped with Dean’s Ranch Dip! I love both of these recipes because they’re so easy to make and because my guests always love them and my guests love them because they are easy to eat and they taste amazing. To get started on these Wonton Taco Cups you will only need ten minutes to assemble and then another ten to bake. These are the perfect Super Bowl Party food to throw together during half-time.

As I mentioned earlier, I moved around a lot when I was growing up. I spent my late teens and early 20’s living in California where I learned the importance of tacos. Tacos are a versatile food, they are quick and easy to make, can be customized, are always evolving, and never disappoint. Tacos are the ultimate party food. The best part about tacos is that everybody loves them, and I love serving a crowd pleaser. Another crowd pleaser as I have come to discover in ranch. Rarely do I come across a party guest who doesn’t like ranch, which is why Dean’s Ranch Dip is always a must on my Super Bowl Party shopping list!

Football season is my favorite season because I truly love the sport, but what makes it extra special are the memories I have made with family and friends while gathering together to watch it. I love to share time and good food with the people I adore in my life and with the help of Dean’s Dips, I know my loved ones will be snacking in style this year!


WhY THIS IS THE BEST BBQ Chicken Dip RECIPE

  • This chicken dip is mega creamy made with a generous amount of cream cheese WITHOUT being greasy!
  • It uses 3 cheeses: cream cheese, mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese which means more flavor and ooey gooey delight
  • It is multi-dimensional flavorful made with barbecue sauce, ranch dressing and handpicked seasonings – no one note pizza dip here!
  • This chicken dip uses pantry friendly ingredients so you can make it at a moments notice.
  • This BBQ Chicken Dip comes together in less than 20 minutes by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl then layering.
  • You can prep it entirely ahead of time and refrigerate so all you have do to is pop it in the oven when guests arrive!


By Request: Egg cups, every way

Egg cups filled with roasted peppers, bacon and green onions were made in a silicone mold using a a multicooker, back, and in Mason jars using a sous vide.

No one expects our coronavirus problems to be over by Easter, but at least the April 12 holiday provides a little sense of normalcy, a chance to celebrate, even if it is just in our own homes.

For a lot of us, Easter equals eggs, so here&rsquos a breakfast suggestion suited to the occasion.

Starbucks has made a mark lately with its Sous Vide Egg Bites, to the point where re-creating the souffle-like breakfast treats has become a popular DIY topic on online recipe sites. All the more so because it turns out you don&rsquot need a sous-vide contraption to pull this off. In fact, it&rsquos doable in the Everyman contraption, the Instant Pot.

It so happens that I have a sous-vide device as well as an Instant Pot, and on top of that I&rsquom pretty handy with a stove, so I&rsquove made these tasty tidbits every which way, including a dairy-free version using dashi broth that&rsquos like Japanese chawanmushi. I have a multipurpose formula that I&rsquove given a device-neutral name.

Egg cups are handy because you can make a lot at once but flavor them all differently, stash them away, then reheat a couple when needed for breakfast on the run.

EGG CUPS, YOUR WAY

  • 1/2 cup precooked mix-ins (finely chopped vegetables, onions, potatoes, diced ham, crumbled bacon) or chunky salsa
  • Salt, pepper, shoyu or other seasonings, to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk, cottage cheese, coconut milk or broth (chicken, vegetable, dashi, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (something bold like cheddar or Parmesan, see ingredient note)

Lightly grease 6 cups, jars or molds (see equipment note). Fill each with a heaping tablespoon of mix-ins (every cup can be different, if you like). Season.

Combine eggs, milk and cheese in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour evenly into cups. Stir to distribute mix-ins.

>> In a multicooker: Add 1 cup water to cooker. Place cups on trivet inside cooker. Pressure-cook 8 minutes, then quick-release.

>> In a sous-vide: Heat water to 172 degrees. Cover jars but don&rsquot over-tighten. Cook 1 hour.

>> On stovetop: Place cups over simmering water in a covered pot, cook 6-8 minutes, until set.

>> INGREDIENT NOTES: If you&rsquore not using cheese, keep in mind that eggs are bland, so pump up your other seasonings.

>> EQUIPMENT NOTES: For the sous vide, 4-ounce Mason jars with lids are best (they&rsquore about $10 a dozen at discount stores). For the multicooker, look for silicone egg molds, sold online for $20 and under. Heat-proof bowls or cups may also be used to poach or pressure-cook.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Write By Request, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813 or email requests to [email protected]

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100+ Recipes Using Wonton Wrappers

Move over chips, you’re about to get edged out as everybody’s favorite party food. If you’ve never cooked with wonton wrappers, I’m about to rock your world with 100+ delicious recipes you can make with them.

My pork fried wontons are legendary, and I make them for every party we throw. But that’s not the only thing wonton wrappers are good for.

You can use them to make mozzarella sticks, potstickers, jalapeno poppers, gooey desserts, nachos, yummy snack cups, crab rangoons (and other flavors, too!), crunchy salads, chips and crackers, delicious soups and bite-sized appetizers. And don’t forget about all the dips and salsas that you can make to serve with them.

While wonton wrappers are a staple of Asian cuisine, you’ll find them featured in all different types of recipes — Asian, southwestern, French and Italian, to name just a few. They’re delicious baked and served with a fruit salsa, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or fried and served with a gooey, cheesy dip. You can also steam them, fry them, baked them or pan fry them. You’ll find links below to more than 100 recipes using wonton wrappers.

Looking for a particular type of wonton recipe? Use the table of contents to jump ahead.

Table of contents


How to Prep Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs!

Totally going to tell you about the life hack that’s saving my snacks.

So simple. Embarrassingly easy? I’m annoyed that I didn’t think of them five years ago.

Not that it would have mattered – I had all the time in the world back then. Now! I have a kid and like to remind everyone I see that “I don’t have any TIME.”

False. I do have time. I’m just making time for certain things and not making time for other things. Fact.

One thing I do not want to make time for is dragging out every smoothie ingredient every morning, because life everything else in my life said smoothie must be high maintenance. Or it’s not worth it.

We are making TONS (yes, tons) of smoothies every week in this house. I’ve blabbed on countless times now about how Eddie has started drinking green smoothies every morning before working out.

Sidebar: that happens in the garage, because the Vitamix sounds like a jet engine and it’s 5AM.

A few weeks ago I figured I’d try freezing the ingredients together to make mornings (or snacks) easier and it made my planner-loving, list-making, meal-prepping brain go wild.

Meal planning and prep has changed drastically since I had Max. It used to be that I’d easily plan our dinners and then prep one easy snack (maybe granola, or even just some hard boiled eggs), and make a full meal or two (or even three) to share over lunches and dinners.

These days, I find myself not having as much time (oooops I did it again) to make my favorite healthy breakfasts or lunches and I’m grabbing RIDICULOUS choices. Seriously, I can’t even tell you some of the things.

But! I do have more time to prepare dinner AND I still really enjoy it. Riddle me that.

After a bunch of trial and error, I’ve figured out what works fully in meal prepping for us right now: a few snacks to grab, some options put together for lunch, one make-ahead breakfast (like these overnight oats) and then doing a few tasks that will make dinners easier. Things like chopping up brussels to roast, slicing peppers for fajitas the next night, marinating meat for Monday or Tuesday, etc.

My goal with prepping meals is that it absolutely cannot take longer than one and a half to two hours (and that’s pushing it) – or else I just won’t do it. I don’t want to spend my entire Sunday in the kitchen, especially when I spend most of the week there for my job. I don’t even want to spend two hours, to be honest.

I wish I didn’t have to prep anything at all. But if I don’t, I end up reaching for too much junk when I’m starving or just generally eating things that make me feel like garbage. It makes SUCH a difference. And now that I have Max, it makes snacks super simple. Especially if we have to grab something to take with us.

So I was kind of surprised that the smoothie packs saved so much time. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but when it comes down to it, our smoothies mean getting out multiple bags of frozen fruit (sometimes three to four kinds), some kind of green, a bunch of other bags or jars for things like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax – all that – and before I know it the kitchen is a disaster again with bags and jars everywhere.

I found myself not even wanting to make the smoothie, which is so simple to begin with(!) because I dreaded getting everything out.

Problem solver right here.

My go-to smoothie ratio is: 1 1/2 cups of fruit + 2 cup of greens + 1 to 1 ½ cups liquid. I find that I can easily add in at least a teaspoon of chia, hemp, flaxseed, maca powder, spirulina – whatever – when blending and it’s a consistency that we love.

I don’t always do green smoothies and I don’t always give them to Max, but we might have them a few times a week. He currently LOVES smoothies, which is what prompted me to start making them daily again in the freezing cold months to begin with.

I freeze all the fruit and greens together. You can use fresh fruit or frozen fruit – I mean, by the time it comes out of the freezer, it’s all going to be frozen anyway. We love to buy the huge bags of frozen organic strawberries and blueberries at Target – first, berries are barely in season here and second, organic ones cost an arm and leg. And the portions are small. So this is more economical, especially since Eddie has at least one smoothie daily.

I also measure out any of my “dry” ingredients for single use and put them containers or bags in the pantry. This is usually 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon of flaxseed, and so on. Maybe coconut or cocoa powder. You can easily add protein powder too. I also love spirulina in my smoothies, but find that mixing it in the bag with everything else just makes it stick to the bag. I don’t know. It’s weird.

The only things left to add into the blender are the liquid (ours is almost always coconut milk, almond milk, or coconut water. Eddie sometimes uses juice.) and if I’m using it, yogurt. I rarely adding yogurt to a smoothie for myself (I’d rather eat it) but I will add it to one for Max. Eddie adds it sometimes.

And last thing: nut butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, or whatever butter I don’t measure out before if using it. The same could go for dates or figs if you use those, but you can also stick them in your fruit and greens bag.

Super simple, right? So embarrassingly easy that I had to (over)share. As usual.


Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives

These Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives will be the star of your next brunch gathering!

Who doesn’t love that cheesy sour cream hash brown casserole that shows up time after time at family gatherings and potlucks? It seems that this same basic recipe has been around forever, but I never tire of its comforting flavors. My mom and youngest sister are famous for keeping this scrumptious recipe on our plates, racking up extra points of favor from my husband each and every time they serve it.

I decided to take this tried and true recipe and step it up a notch or two. With just one bite, I know you’ll agree that these Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives are as good as this dish gets!

I am excited, and so honored, to be on the Kitchen Conversations team again this year with Land O’Lakes. Their butter, plus so many other Land O Lakes products, are staples in our kitchen. And I love knowing that their headquarters are just down the road from me here in Minnesota, home base for this farmer-owned cooperative.

To begin this new year with Land O’Lakes, they asked me to share a brunch recipe. I couldn’t resist the idea of individually portioned hash brown cups that could be made a day in advance. Because on the morning of hosting a brunch, I hope that my kitchen is clean and shiny, and that all I have to do is pop dishes in the oven and make the table pretty for guests. I hope you find this recipe as irresistible as I do!

Land O’Lakes is partnering once again with Feeding America® to kick off their third year of the Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. campaign, and my cheesy hash brown cups were made in the spirit of giving back. Help us reach our goal of donating 3.5 million meals to hungry families in need of nourishment. By pinning my Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives, or another recipe of your choice, you will contribute 10 meals to Feeding America. And to provide even more meals, simply pin additional recipes from Land O’Lakes here. To learn more about this campaign, visit here.

Land O’Lakes is also offering another fun way to support Pin A Meal. Give a Meal. this year — a live online cooking event with Ree, The Pioneer Woman, and Becky from the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen. The event takes place on Wednesday, April 1 at noon ET. Ree and Becky will be cooking their signature Feeding America ® recipes live through an online video stream from Ree’s ranch and answering your spring cooking and baking questions.

The best part? All day on April 1 , for each recipe pinned from the Land O’Lakes Pin A Meal. Give A Meal board Land O’Lakes will double their Feeding America ® donation from 10 meals per pin to 20 meals per pin.

Participating in the event is simple!

  • RSVP by clicking the link here: landolakes.com/livecookingevent. A reminder will be automatically added to your calendar and you’ll be sent a confirmation email recapping all the event details.
  • At noon on April 1 , return to the same link where you RSVP’d and tune in for the live cooking event.
  • Share your questions for Ree and Becky on Twitter using #PinAMeal and they may answer them live during the event.
  • All day on April 1 , pin recipes included in the Land O’Lakes Pin A Meal. Give a Meal program to help double the amount of meal donations.

I’ll be participating along with fellow bloggers The Little Kitchen, Two Peas and Their Pod, A Spicy Perspective, Bake at 350, and Fifteen Spatulas. We hope you will join us!

I used the Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil in this recipe for cheesy hash brown cups. Simply take the tub out of the refrigerator a few minutes before you’re ready to start, and it will be perfectly creamy and easy to measure.

The butter with canola oil is mixed with crushed corn flakes cereal and a touch of garlic powder for an awesome crunchy topping. It is also incorporated into the hash brown mixture and used to create an easy creamy substitute for the cans of cream soup that are listed in the traditional recipe. No canned soups here!

Another really great twist to the traditional hash brown casserole recipe is that I added bacon to these hash brown cups. Because bacon is never, ever a bad thing. Especially when it comes to brunch.

Also, because our girls are head over heels for anything with sharp cheddar these days, I incorporated sharp cheddar in lieu of the more common mild or medium. This punches up the flavor even more.

Hash brown casserole from a big ol’ pan or slow cooker is fine, and you’ll never see me pass up a helping of it. I, in fact, will still continue to make it that way, too, for the common potluck gathering. But when I’m looking to serve this tasty dish with a bit of entertaining flair, I’ll be using this recipe right here, baked in pretty ramekins. It is always fun to see how much people enjoy being served an individually portioned dish. It’s like they just received the most amazing gift, which makes the hostess in me smile.

Please take a moment to pin these cheesy hash browns cups. Your simple gesture will have a huge impact on families across America, providing both nourishment and hope.

Also be sure to check out the delicious recipes created by my Kitchen Conversations friends. For each recipe that you pin, you will contribute 10 meals to Feeding America. Thank you so much!


How Daily Harvest Works

Daily Harvest stands out in the world of meal kit services with vegan meal plans because everything they create is either a smoothie, a soup or a parfait and packed with such “superfoods” like chia seeds, turmeric, dark chocolate and flax seeds.

Customers interested in Daily Harvest have the option of picking either a weekly box (in which you receive 6, 9, 12 or 24 Daily Harvest cups) or a monthly box which contains 24 cups that you receive at once.

Each of your Daily Harvest products will arrive in individual cups. Your package will also contain enough dry ice to ensure your cups will arrive at your door completely frozen. (You should then place them in your freezer once you’ve opened your package.)


White Trash Potatoes

White Trash Potatoes

White Trash Potatoes was a recipe Patti’s dear friend Mickey Rose brought to our Women’s Ministry dinner. We changed a few of the ingredients for a potluck we were going to and gave it a “Kiss of Smoke” with a wedgie.

This recipe works great if you want to double it or put it together the night before. We also plan to take it with us for our next camping adventure with our Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Tailgater.

Patti and I have set one night a week just for us. It’s our date night. We usually put something special on our Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker but sometimes we cook inside. We always eat outside on our patio where it is very comfortable with a rainforest theme. Wood Pellet Patio Heater, little lights, candles, lanterns and surround sound. We enjoy a little wine, or strawberry margaritas using frozen strawberries for ice, good food, music and sometimes a dance or two…

Backyard BBQ A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Check Out Our Cookbooks They are “How To” BBQ Picture Books

Ingredients: White Trash Potatoes

  • 1 2lb. package frozen O’Brien potatoes, thawed
  • 2 16oz. jars Alfredo or Cheese sauce, we used 1 of each
  • 3 cups your favorite shredded cheese, we used Colby Jack
  • 1 16oz. container sour cream
  • 1 cup green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Date Night Doins Heat
  • ¼ cup our mustard sauce
  • 1 cup chopped bacon cooked crisp

Topping Ingredients:

Link for Our South Carolina Sauce

Link for Our Date Night Heat

Backyard BBQ A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Cooking Directions: White Trash Potatoes

In a large bowl combine all except topping ingredients. Mix well.

In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the topping.

We filled 6 small cast iron bowls with potato mixture and topped each with one tablespoon cracker mixture. (The toasted topping is Really Good, you may want to make more.)

NOTE: You can also do these in any oven safe pan for bigger groups.

Preheat the grill to 350* (177c) and light your wedgie for that “Kiss of Smoke”

Place your White Trash Potatoes directly onto the for 35 minutes at 350* (177c) until the cheese is nice and bubbly and the topping is toasted.

Note:I get a lot of questions about the kind of pellets you can use with a recipe. Keep in mind that a recipe is just an outline. Some you need to follow closely like when you are making bread, but most you can do anything you can dream, our favorite way to cook. Feel free to mix and match the pellets until you find a combination you really like. Also, you are only smoking at temps less than 250 degrees (122c), anything higher is cooking and there will not be much if any smoke, so it does not matter what kind of pellet you are using.

Backyard BBQ A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Mix the Ingredients

That “Kiss of Smoke”

Man That Looks Good .

Backyard BBQ A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

You Can Do These in a Pan

Let’s Eat.


About our Recipes

We do our recipes on our patio where we have a lineup of grills, including Green Mountain, Uuni Wood Fired Pizza Oven, Sawtooth, Louisiana, Royall, Memphis, Traeger pellet grills, Char Griller side box smoker, Saber, Charmglow, Char-Broil, The Big Easy, Lodge Sportsman’s, Brinkman and Weber. I call it our “Wall of Grill”. Our grilling styles are healthy and low fat and will fit pelletheads, gas, natural wood and even charcoal purists. Almost any of our recipes can be done on any kind of good BBQ.

The important thing to keep in mind is TIME & TEMPERATURE. You can do our recipes on any grill, even some of them in the oven or crock pot, but, then you lose all the flavors you get from cooking outdoors. But sometimes it does rain.

Remember that a recipe is simply an outline it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste. Take it and run with it….


Best Silicone Measuring Cups: Squish Collapsible Measuring Cups

Squish is known for its collapsible kitchen products that keep your kitchen organized and your cabinets spacious. These measuring cups are made from colorful BPA-free plastic and pop out to create the full extended cup volume. This set includes four different sizes: 1 cup, ½ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¼ cup. Each cup&aposs measurement is engraved on the handle (including metric equivalents!) making it easy to read and long lasting. The plastic material may be susceptible to attracting dust and kitchen grime over time, and will require the occasional rinse before use.

The big draw to these measuring cups is their ability to collapse and lay flat. However, Rachel found that they do not stack as well as other measuring cups, making it harder to keep them organized. She also found that it was difficult to level flour or sugar with these cups due to the uneven edges of the cup. The flexible plastic gave way to the weight of brown sugar as it was being packed, rather than hold up resistance.

Overall, these cups are a solid and ultra-affordable option for anyone looking to save some space. However, they&aposre not the most reliable in terms of function, and are best fit for the beginner&aposs kitchen in a dorm room or small apartment.