Sunday, May 20, 2018

Double Blueberry Bison Burgers #BBQWeek #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #BBQWeek.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Today kicks off a fun-filled event coordinated by Ellen of Family Around the Table and Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures. Not only did they wrangle all of the food bloggers, but they lined up some fantastic sponsors who shipped us ingredients and items for use in creating recipes for the event. So nice! When I saw that Not Ketchup was one of the sponsor, I might have shrieked in glee. Maybe.

And our generous sponsors are also offering prizes to our readers. So, don't forget to check out the prizes and enter the giveaway from our sponsors: my intro to #BBQWeek post!

Back to Erika...she blogs at In Erika's Kitchen, but more importantly for this post, she created and founded Not Ketchup. She recently introduced a line of products that's sweetened only with real fruit. The sauces are gluten-free, vegan, low sugar, low carb, Paleo-friendly, Whole30-friendly, diabetic-friendly, and contain absolutely no added sugar. Now that is a blessing in a world of products that have added sugar hidden everywhere.


And I am thrilled to share that I have met Erika in real life; she is so inspiring. So, I am always happy to support her, work with her products, and share them with my readers. To kick off #BBQWeek, I opted to make Double Blueberry Bison Burgers.

But first, here are the other bloggers' offerings to kick-off the week!

Double Blueberry Bison Burgers

So, the double blueberries are Not Ketchup's Blueberry White Pepper Sauce* - in the meat, on the bun, and with the fries! - and my Quick Pickled Blueberries that add such a delightful pop of flavor and brightness.
Ingredients serves 4

Burgers
  • 1 pound ground bison (you can substitute for whatever ground meat you prefer)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 T ketchup (I used Not Ketchup's No Sugar Added Blueberry White Pepper Sauce*)
  • 1 t fresh thyme leaves

For Serving
  • buns (I used Francese rolls), toasted
  • organic pea shoots
  • fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
  • quick pickled blueberries
  • ketchup (I used Not Ketchup's No Sugar Added Blueberry White Pepper Sauce*)

On the Side

Procedure
Burgers
Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined. Form the meat into 4 equal size patties, or 8 smaller patties. Place on a parchment-lined plate and set aside until ready to cook. Cook, as desired, on a grill or on the stove with grill pan or griddle.


To Serve
Toast the buns in the oven. Add a smear of ketchup to the bottom bun and place a patty on top.


Layer burger with sliced mozzarella, fresh pea shoots, pickled onions and blueberries.


Enjoy immediately!


Remember...you can enter to win a prize packet from Not Ketcup. Just visit my intro to #BBQWeek post!


Find Not Ketchup
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BBQWeek Sponsors Adam’s Extracts, Michigan Asparagus, and Not Ketchup for providing the prizes free of charge. These sponsors also provided bloggers with samples and product to use for creating #BBQWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BBQWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. There will be three winning entries that will be verified. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BBQWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize package. Participating bloggers and their immediate family members cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with social channels mentioned in the #BBQWeek posts or entry.

Prizes and #Giveaway for #BBQWeek #Sponsored #Ad

Welcome to #BBQWEEK! This week-long event was coordinated by Ellen of Family Around the Table and Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures.

This week you’ll enjoy more than 70 recipes from more than 20 bloggers. There is also the opportunity to win one of three great prizes from our sponsors. Thank you to Michigan Asparagus for providing bloggers with freshly harvested asparagus, to Adams Extract & Spice for wonderful rubs and spices for grilling and Not Ketchup for bloggers choice of sauce.


Michigan Asparagus 

Prize Number 1: $100 Gift Card Courtesy of Michigan Asparagus (Value $100) Michigan Asparagus is known for its hand snapped fresh asparagus. It is available May – June and grown mostly in Oceana County along the shores of Lake Michigan. Michigan Asparagus has excellent flavor and a long shelf life. It is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie vegetable with no fat, no cholesterol, and very little sodium. Approximately 120 local Michigan farmers produce approximately 20 million pounds of Michigan Asparagus during the state's 6-7 week harvest. Remember to buy U.S. for the freshest of the fresh.


Not Ketchup 

Prize Number 2: Not Ketchup Sampler 5-Pack (Value $40) Not Ketchup is a line of fruit gourmet grilling and dipping sauces with no added sugar, no corn syrup and no artificial sweeteners. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, vegan, low-carb and Whole30 friendly. Flavors in the sampler pack: Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup blends sweet-tart California tangerines with a touch of heat from authentic Hatch chiles from New Mexico. Favorite pairings: fish, chicken, turkey Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup combines ripe cherries with the subtle, smoky heat of chipotle pepper. Favorite pairings: burgers, steak, salmon, ribs, meatballs Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup takes blueberries to the savory side with a touch of mustard and a little kick of white pepper. Favorite pairings: lamb chops, shrimp, scallops, pork tenderloin, goat cheese Smoky Date Not Ketchup mixes the natural sweetness of sun-ripened California dates with aromatic smoked paprika. Favorite pairings: pork chops, roast turkey, rotisserie chicken, ham, sausages Spiced Fig Not Ketchup blends rich California Mission figs with warm spices like cinnamon, anise and black pepper. Favorite pairings: Leg of lamb, steak, roast chicken, cheddar cheese

Adams Extracts and Flavors  

Prize Number 3: A bottle of vanilla and a selection of rubs from Adams Extract & Flavors (Value $30) Adams Extract From humble beginnings in Battle Creek, Michigan, to a rooted history in Texas, one thing has stayed the same: a commitment and passion to provide only the highest quality and innovative products and services. For over 125 years it’s really been that simple...make great food taste even better! Today, Adams proudly manufactures and markets under several Adams Brand banners, including Adams Best®, Adams Extract®, Adams® Seasoning & Spice, Adams Reserve®, Flavor King™, Pantry Basics™, Sear-n-Crust®, ClearVan™, Carniceria®, Cocina del Rey®, Naturals™, and Urban Canner™ along with the Adams Frozen Skillet Desserts and Adams Premium Ice Cream lines.
Disclaimer: Thank you to #BBQWeek Sponsors Adam’s Extracts, Michigan Asparagus, and Not Ketchup for providing the prizes free of charge. These sponsors also provided bloggers with samples and product to use for creating #BBQWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BBQWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. There will be three winning entries that will be verified. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BBQWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize package. Participating bloggers and their immediate family members cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with social channels mentioned in the #BBQWeek posts or entry.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Peppery Apple Cocktail #CrazyIngredientChallenge


I love the idea behind the Crazy Ingredient Challenge. In the Crazy Ingredient Challenge, we are assigned two ingredients to cook and create.  Lori of Lori's Culinary Creations and Kelly of Passion Kneaded are our fearless leaders. So, here goes...

May's Crazy Ingredient Challenge = apples and bell peppers

The Rest of the Crew



Peppery Apple Cocktail 

At first glance, those ingredients seemed tough to pair. Then I realized that they have been partners in several of my recipes, including Apple-Herb Chutney with Lamb Lollipops. I considered making a version of my Apple Pico de Gallo and adding in some fresh peppers; then I thought about re-making my Sweet Pepper Masa Cake and adding apples or applesauce to the batter. But, while I was brainstorming, Jake tossed out the idea of a cocktail and the gears started spinning. I've made one before - Sweet Bell Cocktail - so it wasn't such a crazy suggestion. Done.

Ingredients makes 1 cocktail
  • 2 T organic red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 ounces gin
  • 1-1/2 ounces apple juice
  • 1 t maple syrup
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, fashioned into a glass (optional)
  • Also needed: ice, cocktail shaker, muddler, strainer, and straw (optional)

Procedure

I couldn't find my shaker and muddler for this, so I used the blunt end of my molinillo in a glass measuring cup. Add the sliced peppers and lemon juice to the glass and muddle it together. Try to get as much juice from the peppers as you can. Let it sit for a minute or two. Strain juice into a cocktail shaker (or large jar). Fill with ice and pour in gin, apple juice, and maple syrup.

Shake or stir to combine. Strain into prepared bell pepper glass, if using. Or a regular tumbler works, too. Serve immediately with a straw, if desired. 


Jake was happy. He even ate the bell pepper glass when he was finished! Cheers.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Exploring the Côtes de Bordeaux with Simple, Salty, Spicy Nibbles #Winophiles

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the May #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

Michelle of Rockin Red Blog has The French Winophiles exploring Côtes de Bordeaux this month. Here's her invitation: click to read.

She had also arranged for us to receive a generous sampling of Côtes de Bordeaux wines.* Bloggers received different selections from the five appellations —  Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs, and Sainte-Foy. I think you'll be hunting down a bottle or three after you explore these posts.

The Other Winophiles

Food-Friendly Côtes de Bordeaux
I received bottles from Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, and Sainte-Foy and wanted to explore pairing them with some unexpected bites. By 'unexpected' I mean that I didn't make any dishes from the same region. I went with simple, salty, spicy nibbles instead of full-blown menus with main dishes, salads, and sides. 

So, I paired the Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours Blanc Bonhomme 2016, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux with carnitas soft tacos; the Chateau Carbonneau Classique 2014, Sainte-Foy Cotes de Bordeaux with barbeque beef sandwiches; the Chateau Lamothe de Haux 2015, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux with squid in a peanut sauce; and the Chateau Pitray 2015, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux will make an appearance in another post. I ran out of time.

I found the wines mostly fruit forward which seems to make them food-friendly and easy-to-drink. They were all incredibly approachable and lively with the blending offering a range of flavors. These were so versatile and fun to pour and pair.

A Cardinal Rule
This is one that bears repeating when picking your pairings: Pour the wine you like with the food you like. Don't get too stuck on the notions that certain wine varietals must go with certain foods. Mix it up and have some fun.

Once you embrace that, every other rule is more of a guideline. You know: red wine with red meat. Eh. Most of the time, yes. But red wine with grilled and marinated vegetables is also phenomenal. So, when in doubt, refer back to the cardinal rule. Drink what you want with whatever you want to eat. Seriously. It's that simple.

Tastings
Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours Blanc Bonhomme 2016, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux

The brother-sister duo Guillaume and Rachel Hubert operate Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours. They farm the estate, make the wines themselves, and are the largest certified biodynamic estate in Blaye. With a 50-50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, this wine had a complex but complementary layering of fresh citrus, sweet tropical fruits, and crisp minerality. I poured this with my Carnitas Soft Tacos and found it particularly pleasing when the wine was well-chilled. As the wine warmed, it grew more sweet and less complementary to the salty pork. Lesson learned: drink quickly or keep the wine on ice during dinner!


Château Carbonneau Classique 2014, Sainte-Foy Cotes de Bordeaux
+ Barbeque Beef Sandwiches (recipe to come)

In 1992, Jacquie and Wilfrid Franc de Ferrière moved back to France from New Zealand where they replanted the vineyard and built the winery. This Merlot-heavy blend - 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec - has a beautiful garnet hue with hints of chocolate on the nose. On the palate, it hops with red fruit and spices such as cinnamon and pepper. The sweet and spicy blend made this a great match with my sweet and spicy barbeque beef sauce.

Château Lamothe de Haux 2015, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux

Family-run for four generations, succession at at the 190-acre Château Lamothe estate has always passed down through the female side of the tree. Today, Château Lamothe is managed by Anne Néel and her children, Maria and Damien Chombart, and they are working toward organic certification though they already embrace and practice sustainable agriculture. Made from 30-year-old vines, this is another Merlot-heavy blend mixed with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. I found this wine smooth and well-balanced. And, for pairing with a spicy, salty dipping sauce, it had necessary soft tannins and balanced acidity.

Next month the Winophiles will be exploring Alsace. Stay tuned!

Find the Sponsor and Vintners...
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter

Find Château Carbonneau on the web, on Facebook, on Instagram


Find Château Lamothe de Haux on the web, on Facebook

Find Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours on the web, on Facebook

*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Root Soup #SoupSwappers


Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm kicked off this group: Soup Saturday Swappers. And P~, from The Saucy Southerner, is hosting our May theme which is Meatless Soups.

P~ wrote: "The Meatless Monday Movement has been around for a long time and is gaining momentum. May is a great month for all sorts of seasonal vegetables. Make a satisfying soup of any type, chunky, brothy, creamy, but use only vegetables and vegetable stock."

The Meatless Soup Pots




I made a pot of soup rife with root vegetables and some greens. Though we're slowly getting away from chilly days and heading into the warmer month, This would still be perfect for a Meatless Monday...or any day really!


Ingredients
  • 1 C diced onions
  • 1/2 C diced fennel bulb
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C carrots, cubed
  • 2 C potatoes, cubed
  • 1 C celery root, cubed
  • 6 C vegetable stock
  • 2 C thinly sliced kale
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
In a large souppot, heat your olive oil. Stir in the onions, fennel, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. Stir in your cubed roots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Fold in the kale and parsley and stir until the kale has turned a bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Skagen Macka #FishFridayFoodies


It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' October event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

This is, easily, my favorite recipe sharing event of the month. I always come away with a list of recipes that I just have to try!

This month Sue of Palatable Pastime rallied the Fish Friday Foodies to make fish or seafood sandwiches.

The Fish Sandwich Smörgåsbord




I considered what to make and asked Sue if she was okay with an open-face sandwich. She was! So, I decided to go with Sweden’s traditional skagen macka - sometimes known as Toast Skagen, or Skagen Toast.

Let's get this out of the way, in the event that you're geographically savvy and know that Skagen is actually a port town in Denmark! This prawn and crème fraîche-topped toast is Swedish through and through. If you’re craving an authentic Danish open-faced sandwich, you would need to order a smørrebrød instead.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 24 prawns (this was 6 per person on a 4" length of brioche), peeled and cooked
  • 1 T fresh dill, chopped + more for garnish
  • 2 T pickled red onions
  • zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 4 T crème fraîche + more for serving
  • freshly ground sea salt 
  • freshly ground pepper
  • four 4" length of brioche sliced open


Procedure
Place prawns into a medium mixing bowl with the pickled onion, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, and crème fraîche. Season with a couple turns of salt and pepper. Gently mix together. 

Toast your brioche in the oven or on a skillet. Smear a little crème fraîche on each length of brioche and arrange prawns on the bread. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Garnish with more fresh dill. Serve immediately.

Amoré Thumbprint Cookies #MomsMeet #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moms Meet
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review, 
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

When the opportunity arose - through my association with Moms Meet - to try Amoré Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa & Milk by Once Again Nut Butter, I was excited. First, we love the Once Again nut butters in my household. We use almond butter in our Pad Thai-inspired Cookies; I made Homemade Peanut Butter CupsWe use nut butters in savories; we incorporate them into sweets. And, naturally, we use them to make nut butter and jam sandwiches!


Second, Amoré Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa & Milk is just like Nutella...only better because this version is organic and fairtrade-certified! Amoré's only ingredients are: fairtrade organic cane sugar, organic roasted hazelnut paste, organic skimmed milk powder, fairtrade organic cocoa powder, organic sunflower seed oil, organic roasted peeled almond paste. And that's it. It was love at first bite. And my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf claimed the racoon mascot for himself right away!


About Once Again Nut Butter...
Once Again Nut Butter is an employee-owned business, based in New York. They have been manufacturing nut butters, seed butters, and honeys since 1976. All of the butters are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, vegan, and kosher. Additionally, they adhere to Fair Trade and Sustainability standards for their all their farm partners and suppliers.

A 12 oz jar of Once Again Nut Butter Amoré Hazelnut Spread typically retails for $9.95. You can use the store locator to find a list of locations: here. I was excited to see it available at places I already frequent. Score.

Amoré Thumbprint Cookies

And while we tried it slathered on bananas, stirred into yogurt, and as a dip for fruit, I wanted to actually create a recipe to share using the Once Again Nut Butter Amoré Hazelnut Spread. We settled on making thumbprint cookies. They were amazing!

Ingredients  makes approximately 30 cookies
  • 3/4 C butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar + more for rolling
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C ground hazelnuts
  • 1-1/2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t pure almond extract
  • Once Again Nut Butter Amoré Hazelnut Spread

Procedure
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs until incorporated. Stir in the flour, ground hazelnuts, and cocoa powder until a flaky dough is formed. Add in the extracts, gently working the dough until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pinch off pieces of dough and form into small balls, about the size of a walnut in its shell. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Place each ball onto a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet, pressing a "thumbprint" into the center of each and slightly flattening. (The cookies will not spread, so make them the size that you want!)


Add about 1/2 t to 1 t of hazelnut spread to each thumbprint. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool for several minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.




You may find Once Again...
on the web
on Facebook
on Twitter
on Pinterest
on Instagram

*Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program,
May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Fueling the Fire #MomsMeet #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moms Meet
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review, 
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

Every weekend, we grab our packs, strap on our shoes, and head for a trail. Somewhere closeby. Sometimes we climb up to a the top of ridge.


Other days we head to the coast and hop on rocks and dodge the waves.


Some weekends have us heading into the redwood forest.


Other times, we're chasing the dramatic views we get living on the edge of a continent. We would probably hike more often, but school and work schedules get in the way during the week. So, Sundays are our family-hike days. And we definitely log more hours and miles during the summertime.


When the boys were smaller, we had to carry them. Yikes! I'm so glad they're out of that phase. But I knew it was the safest way for them to be at the edge of the Grand Canyon, so I didn't grumble about it too much.


And when they were little, Jake and I carried all the snacks. We joke that they walked 10 feet and asked if it were time for a snack break. That really wasn't too far from the truth. Snack breaks were a big thing when they were learning to hike.


Now, they pack their own water and their own snacks. And they are certainly outpacing us on the hikes. I was fortunate to receive samples of the Fuel for Fire pouches* and we tested them out on various hikes this past month.


About Fuel for Fire 
Fuel For Fire was founded in 2012 by professional chef and six-time Ironman Triathlete Rob Gilfeather. He wanted to create a convenient snack made from real food that provided natural energy to fuel and recover from his workouts. But Fuel For Fire isn't just for athletes; it's intended for anyone who wants a tasty, filling snack made from real fruit.


  • Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies are made with 100% real fruit puree and high-quality whey protein.
  • They are gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, GMO-free, fat-free and have no added sugar.
  • Each pouch delivers nine essential amino acids in less than 125 calories. They are a tasty alternative to protein bars, energy drinks, pre-made shakes, and yogurt.
  • The convenient single-serving pouches come with a built-in straw. And they do not need refrigeration.
  • A pack of Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothie typically retails for $2.99.

Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothie is available to purchase at the Fuel for Fire website, Amazon, and select retail stores. To find Fuel For Fire in your area, visit here for the full list of locations.

Special Discounts
Get 40% off and free shipping on any purchase on fuelforfire.com with the discount code SAVE40. Offer expires July 31, 2018.


Our Thoughts
We received samples of every flavor - Strawberry Banana, Banana Cocoa, Tropical, Sweet Potato Apple, and Coffee. With the exception of the Sweet Potato Apple, we found the banana almost overwhelming in every other flavor. It wasn't that it was off-putting, just unexpected; it almost takes over every other taste, even the coffee.

But, once we got beyond that, we found the pouches satisfying and filling. I love how convenient they are to store - no refrigeration needed - and to pack. The boys did like how you can still have a fruit while you're hiking without worrying about the fruit getting squished in your pack during the trip. Easy and healthy. It's a much better option to fuel the fire than a sugar-laden candy bar. I'm a fan!


You may find Fuel For Fire...
on the web
on Twitter
on Instagram


*Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet programMay Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

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