I love spending time in the out of doors doing activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and more.  Who doesn't get hungry with all that fresh air?  Here are family favorite recipes we enjoy.  They are all simple to make, use basic ingredients, and are delicious.  I don't like to spend a lot of time cooking, and less cleaning up.  Try some of my recipes and see if they don't become some of your family's favorites.  I have included all kinds of favorites from homemade spice mixes to fruits.  None of them are complicated.  I don't have time for that.  These are all recipes that simplify my life using simple pantry foods.

 

EASY WAYS TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES

Do you have a goal to include more vegetables in your healthy eating and meal plan? Perhaps you are trying to cut out carbs and include more protein and healthier food options. There are so many vegetables available that are delicious ans nutritious, yet maybe you unsure of ways to prepare and serve different fresh veggies.

Preparation of vegetables is easy.  A bit of chopping, stirring, sauteing, and stirring can have a large platter of fresh, steaming veggies on your plate in no time. Here are a few suggestions for many ways to prepare vegetables that are fast, easy, tasty, and healthy.  Try some of these easy ideas.

Cook garlic, cumin, and fennel with olive oil.  Add chopped collards, and a splash of water.  

Steam broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.  Toss with a bit of Italian dressing and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Steam a few whole cabbage leaves.  Fill with a meaty mixture that you would use for meatloaf or meatballs.  Stuff, roll, top with tomato sauce, bake.

Toss olive oil, lemon, mushrooms, and fresh spinach in a pan.

Simmer veggies in beef, chicken, or vegetable stock for a yummy soup.

Grill tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms with garlic.  Pile on steamed fish.

Toss Brussels sprouts in a pan with bacon crumbles and sliced onions.  Top with Parmesan.

If including more vegetables in your meals is a goal you would like to try, you can always ease into it.  Cut back on breads, cereals, sugary snacks, and prepared foods to help you meet healthy eating goals.  Ramp up your intake of lean meats and tasty vegetables.  Eat more fresh, nutritious veggies and improve your health.  


IMPROVE HEALTH - LOSE WEIGHT - WITH GREEN SHAKES

Do you own a blender?  Then you should try making healthy green shakes.  Green shakes are fabulously nutritious, and you can use them as a healthy meal that is fast, easy, and portable. 

Choosing a healthier lifestyle? Have a green shake for breakfast, and a sensible lunch and dinner.  Make a plan that works for you, and that is the healthy eating plan that will be successful.  Find healthy foods you like, fast and easy ways to prepare them, and this just may be the plan that works for you.

Begin with the blender.  Fill it with the following.

6 - 8 ounce container of plain or vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
8 ounces coconut or almond milk
Ripe banana
3 cups freshly washed greens

Choose a variety like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, arugula, romaine, carrot tops

Whirl ingredients together.  Drink.  Blend with frozen banana, greens, and ice if you enjoy it colder.  Remember to peel the banana before freezing.  
Double the recipe, and take half along in a spill proof container for lunch.

Have a green shake for breakfast and lunch, a sensible dinner, and a weight loss diet is set.  What could be more simple?  The green shake has about 320 calories per serving.  Have two green shakes per day with a healthy dinner of lean meat and lots of vegetables, and watch the pounds disappear.

Extra benefits of green shakes include healthy, glowing skin.  Spinach contains loads of vitamin A which is great for the skin.  The greener the spinach, the higher the vitamin C content, and more beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and flavonoids to provide antioxidant protection.

Spinach is a wonderful source of iron.  Iron gives you energy.  If you feel tired all of the time, you may be anemic.  The green shake addition of spinach is a natural remedy for iron deficiency, rather than a supplement.    

Are you looking for energy?  Greek yogurt has up to 15 grams of protein per serving and only 5 to 8 grams of carbohydrates.  Yogurt also includes probiotics, calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamin B6 and B12.

Green shake drinkers report losing the craving for sweets.  If sweets are your downfall, toss berries into the blender with your smoothie.  Use fresh berries, or frozen varieties.  

Be sure to drink lots of water each day.  Green shakes are loaded with fiber.  Fiber needs water to help it through the digestive system.  Your body needs water for many bodily functions including absorption of nutrients, making saliva, circulation, and maintaining proper body temperature.  Listen to your brain when it signals you are thirsty.  

Would you like your muscles to function properly?  Give them the water they require.  Do you enjoy smooth skin?  Proper hydration can help you avoid a dry, wrinkly look.  

There are many variations of green shakes.  Mix it up until you find a combination that you enjoy.  Try adding kale, broccoli rabe, berries, peanut butter, raw oatmeal, apples, mangoes.  Peel and remove seeds to add oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits.  A surprisingly yummy addition to green shakes is avocado, carrots, or cucumber.  Try what you have on hand or flavors that appeal to you.  

Some enthusiasts suggest blending your greens first to make room for more ingredients.   Avoid ingredients with a high glycemic index if you want to keep your insulin levels in balance.  Remember, digestion begins at the mouth.  Taste and enjoy your green shake and get the saliva flowing to help with digestion.

SAVE MONEY WITH A PANTRY CHALLENGE - PANTRY CLEAN OUT TIME

We have lots of foods stored in the pantry and cabinets in our kitchens that may have been there longer than we care to admit. How can you clean out your pantry and make the most of those foods? Challenge yourself to organize, inventory, and eat the foods you have on hand. Then restock in an organized way foods, along with a menu plan on how to use them.

Why do a pantry clean out challenge? To eat the foods you have already stored.

Cooking with the foods you have stored before they become expired is an important way to reduce food waste.

How can you save money with a pantry clean out challenge? Save the money you didn't spend on groceries and shopping while you eat the foods you already bought.

Not sure how to use those extra stored foods? Use your imagination. Think outside the box. Try to make recipes using the ingredients you have on hand. Check out some of my pantry clean out recipes.

Look into all the corners of your pantry, and use or discard outdated foods, spoiled foods, foods no one cares to eat. Donate extra food to a food pantry or church collection. Pay attention to the foods that are no longer wanted or in too large of a quantity, and adjust your shopping strategies to shop smarter next time.

A Pantry Clean Out Challenge involves discipline, and can be difficult if your pantry is huge or extremely disorganized. How to make your clean out manageable?

  Set a Goal

Organize one shelf at a time. Put like foods together. Wipe off shelves as you go. Do a little at a time, and in a few days or weeks you will find things more organized and easier to use in your meal plan.

  Save Money

Save the money you didn't spend on groceries and shopping while you used the foods in your pantry. Notice where grocery dollars were being wasted, and shop smarter, refilling your pantry with foods you actually eat.

Learn to Use What You Have

Make menu plans and meal plans from the foods you care to have on hand in your newly organized pantry. As you refill and replace your pantry food stockpile, put like things together.

Rotate Stored Foods

Push older foods to the front of the shelf and place newer foods in the back to rotate food items just as they do in the grocery store. Put like foods together, and don’t overstuff your pantry. Once you get your shelves organized, it is far easier to keep them that way.

How to Start a Pantry Clean Out Meal Plan Challenge?

Open every fridge, every freezer and every cabinet and inventory everything you find.  

How can you eat what you have if you don’t even KNOW what you have?

 A successful pantry challenge is made up of small wins.

 Use perishable foods first.

  • finish open bottles of salad dressing, marinade, jam

  • use foods you weren’t sure what to do with - experiment

  • empty the freezer of forgotten foods

  • use your crock pot

  • learn to cook stored foods like dried beans 

  • make a meal plan a few days at a time

  •  donate or toss foods no one cares to eat

  • make your own spice mixes

Restock your pantry with foods in amounts you actually use and enjoy.  The purpose of food is to fuel our bodies. If you stock your pantry well, you’ll be able to do that at every meal.

WHAT IS QUINOA? HOW TO COOK WITH IT?

Quinoa seems to be a popular ingredient lately.  What is it exactly?  Quinoa was a diet staple from the Andes region of South America as far back as the Incas.  Quinoa is considered a whole grain, yet is actually a seed.  Quinoa is prepared similar to rice or barley, and can be added to pilaf recipes, or prepared with stir fry dishes.  

Benefits of quinoa over other grains include the ease of cooking.  Quinoa cooks in 10 to 15 minutes, half the time of other grains.  Quinoa is a complete protein, made up of all 9 essential amino acids.  Have 1 cup of quinoa for 8 grams of protein.  Dietary guidelines recommend 56 grams of protein per day for most men, and 46 grams of protein for most women.  

Quinoa is rich in lysine, which promotes the growth of healthy tissues in the body.  It is a great source for magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin E, and fiber.  Each cup includes 15 percent of daily iron requirements.

Quinoa is gluten free, so is popular with dieters who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.   Quinoa can also be included in a vegetarian or vegan diet.  

Are you looking for low fat options to make your diet healthier?  Quinoa fits the bill.  One cup cooked includes about 3.4 grams of fat.  The same sized serving of ground beef contains 33 grams of fat.  

Quinoa is low in calories, and has 222 calories per 1 cup serving.  It can help lower your cholesterol and is a good source of fiber.  

Are you ready to try quinoa?  Place 1 cup quinoa in a pot with 2 cups of boiling water or broth.  Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.  Some cooks prefer to presoak quinoa.  Soak 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.   Drain, rinse, add 1 ½ cup water and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  

Have it for breakfast.  Prepare quinoa and stir in your favorites of dried fruit, milk, cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup.  Top quinoa with fresh berries and a few nuts.  

Are you following a Mediterranean diet?  Toss quinoa with olive oil and lemon juice for a quick, delicious side dish.  Mix it with butter and your choice of seasonings.  Use quinoa in recipes instead of rice.  

Prepare a main dish of quinoa with feta cheese, olive oil, kalamata olives, tomatoes, lots of garlic and fresh herbs.

Toss quinoa with artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh spinach.  Top with a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.  

Do you enjoy pesto?  Stir it with quinoa and fresh spinach leaves.  Top it with a splash of lemon or lime juice and your favorite fresh herbs.  

Do you love pecans?  They go well with quinoa, lemon, mint, garlic, and green onions.  
Build a dish that suits your taste. 

Experiment and find ways to prepare this healthy ingredient in ways you enjoy.
However you choose to serve quinoa, enjoy this protein packed grain with ease of preparation, and powerhouse of nutrients.  Quinoa is great.

LOW CALORIE TAILGATING IDEAS

Tailgating is always fun.  Who doesn’t enjoy gathering with friends to share sports and snacks?  Whether you are headed to the Super Bowl or your child’s soccer match, pack up some low calorie snacks, grab a blanket, and go enjoy the game.  

Do you love Buffalo Chicken Wings?  They are loaded with fat and calories.  Make a healthier version with chicken tenders.  This recipe is healthy, easy, and tasty.

LOW CALORIE BUFFALO CHICKEN

Combine in a Ziploc bag
3 tablespoons of Louisiana hot sauce or Buffalo sauce
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper
1 pound of chicken tenders 
Toss all around to mix and coat, and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  


Spread the chicken pieces on a large baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Check that the chicken is cooked all the way through.  Time varies depending on the size of your chicken pieces.  
 
Serve with low fat or fat free blue cheese dressing.  Add a little fat free cream cheese if you want the dip thicker.  

Serve with a tray of celery sticks, cucumber spears, carrots, and other veggies.


Sliders, or tiny burgers, have been popular sporting fare for quite a while.  Even with a tiny burger, there are ways to knock out some of the calories and fat and still getting protein.  Try this simple recipe.

MUSHROOM BEEF SLIDERS

Combine 
½ pound lean ground beef
8 ounces of cleaned and chopped mushrooms
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt, and pepper to taste
Form into 12 small patties, and grill.  

Top each patty with ½ slice of low fat cheese, and place on a tiny bun.  Serve with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, fat free mayo, lettuce leaves, tomato slices, pickles, and freshly sliced onion rings.

BEER BRATS IN A CROCK POT

Plug in your crock pot and make beer brats on game day. Brats are easy, delicious, and go great with nearly any sport.

Do you love deviled eggs?  Notice how they are the first thing to disappear at potlucks?  Try the following recipe to cut out some of the calories, and still have full flavor and protein.

HEAVENLY DEVILED EGGS

Cook and cool 12 eggs, then peel and slice in half lengthwise.  Pop out the yolks, and set aside yolks from four of the eggs.  Discard those, or save for another day.

Combine reserved 8 yolks in a small bowl with 
1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
¼ cup fat free mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons minced green onions
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
Mash and stir all together with a fork.  

Scoop filling into egg whites, and sprinkle with paprika.  Enjoy this heavenly lower calorie version.  

TIP: Use older eggs for making hard boiled eggs.  Fresh eggs are very hard to peel!


Think you can’t serve a salad at a tailgating party without extra fuss?  Try this salad served on skewers!

SKEWERED GREEK SALAD

Alternate chunks of Feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, green pepper and cucumber chunks on bamboo skewers.  

Mix together in a small bowl for the dressing.  Chill.
¼ cup fresh lemon juice 
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 clove freshly minced garlic
¼ teaspoon black pepper  

Drizzle dressing over skewers on a platter.  

Remember, tailgating is about gathering with friends and family to enjoy outings and sporting events.  You don’t need to worry about overeating or breaking your diet to have a good time if you serve delicious low calorie foods.  Reach for the foods you want, but snack in moderation.  Enjoy!

LOW CALORIE SALSA RECIPES

Do you love chips and salsa?  I can barely resist their charm.  Salsa recipes can be made quickly and be very low in calories.  Each of these recipes takes just a few minutes, and can be prepared with commonly found ingredients that are good for you.  They are fresh, and amazingly simple. 

Salsas are delicious served with chicken, beef, pork, or fish.  Serve them over tacos made from ground beef, shredded chicken, or fish.  Make a bed of lettuce, a layer of lean meat, and top with salsa for a quick, delicious meal.  Of course, they are always good with tortilla chips.  Load up on these salsas, pile them on a few baked chips, and you can enjoy the flavors without breaking your diet.

2 TOMATO SALSA

1 cup seeded, chopped red tomato
1 cup seeded, chopped yellow tomato
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
Dash of salt and red pepper

Stir together and chill.


BLACK BEAN SALSA

1 can drained black beans
1 can drained kernel corn or use frozen 
1 cup seeded, chopped red tomato
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Stir together and chill.

How about a fruity salsa?  These are also great with chips, and also as a topping for chicken, fish, or pork.

MANGO SALSA

2 peeled and diced mangoes
2 seeded, chopped red tomato
½ cup chopped onion
1 finely diced jalapeno pepper
1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

Toss all together and chill.


Avocados come in many varieties and sizes.  Basic information to know about an avocado is that a Hass avocado, with the thick, dark, bumpy skin, contains 235 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of fiber.  The thinner skinned avocado, or Florida type, is generally larger.  These may have 400 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrate and 17 grams of fiber. 
 
Avocado is loaded with good fats, but remember to use moderation in serving size.  Guacamole is irresistible, but far too tempting.  Try making a salsa with avocado as a feature instead of the main ingredient.  Then you can indulge lots of flavor, but without the guilt.

LOW CALORIE SALSA WITH AVOCADO

1 large diced and seeded tomato
½ peeled and diced avocado
½ minced jalapeno pepper
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Gently combine and chill.


EASY CORN AVOCADO SALSA

1 can drained kernel corn or use frozen
2 peeled and diced avocadoes
1 diced red onion
1 diced and seeded green pepper
3 cloves of fresh minced garlic
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon ground cumin

Stir together and chill.  

Salsas are popular for dips, and make great toppings or fillings for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and burritos.  Use them as cold sauces for chicken, beef, pork, and fish.  Make salsa chunky, never smooth, and spice them up with your choice of chilies and cilantro.  Best served fresh, make salsa just before serving.  

BRAAI SALT SEASONING RUB RECIPE FOR GRILLED MEATS

The word Braaivleis comes from South Africa, meaning to grill or roast meat.  Braai salt seasoning mix can be stirred together with spices and seasonings you have on hand.  Try this easy recipe for Braai salt seasoning rub mix for a South African flavor on a variety of meats at your next cook out or barbecue.

Braai Salt Seasoning Rub Recipe
Mix equal parts :

coriander
dry mustard
garlic powder
salt
black pepper
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like foods spicy. 

HOW TO BRAAI MEATS - GRILL WITH WOOD OR CHARCOAL BRIQUETTES

 Wondering how to Braai or grill with wood, charcoal or briquettes?  Light your braai or barbecue fuel.  For charcoal briquettes, wait until the flames have died down and a fine layer of gray ash has formed on them. Your fire is ready to braai.  How to tell if your fire is the right temperature?  Hold an open hand, palm down an inch or two (2 to 4 cm) above the grill, it should become uncomfortably hot within 5 to 8 seconds.  Use very hot coals for the first few minutes of the braai, temperatures above 150°C (302°F) for this to work best.  This will sear the meat, and seal in the flavors.

HOW TO COOK FROZEN SALMON

 Salmon is a healthy meal choice that is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Frozen salmon is easy to cook, and can be prepared numerous ways.  An easy recipe my family loves, is to defrost frozen salmon in a simple Whiskey Garlic marinade before cooking.  Remove your frozen salmon to a fresh zipper seal bag, and marinate it while it thaws.  This method brings out the full flavor of salmon, and may revive freezer burned salmon or fish.  

Easy Frozen Salmon with Whisky Garlic Marinade

Place frozen salmon in a heavy duty ziploc bag.  Add

2 Tablespoons whiskey

2 Tablespoons olive oil  

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Thaw salmon overnight in refrigerator.  The salmon freezer meal will become tender and moist. Grill, fry, or bake your whiskey marinated salmon 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fish.  Never overcook salmon, and never waste a good piece of salmon!  Whisky garlic marinade recipe is a great way to make frozen or freezer burned salmon.
 

HOW TO COOK FIDDLEHEADS FERNS

 Few plants are as beautiful as fiddleheads, the shoots of various species of fern. Foraging wild edibles carefully, fiddlehead ferns are sustainable, too. The type of fiddlehead most commonly found in Alaska are bright green, with tightly coiled heads delicately curled like a scroll with bits of brown still clinging to them.

Fiddlehead ferns can be found in the forest and woods, never eat them raw.  Clean them well, remove all brown bits, until they are clean and green.  First, boil to soften, then brown in olive oil and garlic. Fiddlehead ferns are great topped with lemon, vinegar, in salads, on crostini, served hot or cold, and may be used in recipes that call for asparagus.  A fern produces five to nine fronds per growing season, so harvest no more than three, or you can jeopardize the plant's survival.  Foraging food recipes are great to add to your skills.
 

HOW TO COOK FROZEN HALIBUT

How to Cook Frozen or Freezer Burned Halibut?  Place frozen halibut in a Ziploc bag with a few tablespoons of a peach fruit salsa.  Look for peach pineapple or peach mango salsa.  Halibut is a delicate white fish, and easy to cook with the skin on. Thaw halibut in the salsa marinade in the refrigerator.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes skin side down. The skin  protects the fish, and slides off after baking.  Don't overcook halibut, it is done when the fish is white and flaky.  Try this easy recipe for halibut that may revive frozen or freezer burned halibut.  Never waste halibut, or any other fish.   

TURKEY POTATO CHILI PANTRY CLEAN OUT RECIPE 

Check your food stockpile for ground turkey, canned corn, beans, jalapeno tomatoes, taco seasoning, and frozen Potatoes O'Brien.  These simple ingredients make a delicious chili from your pantry and freezer.  Clean out the pantry and use up foods you have to make delicious, quick, easy meals for your family.  

Turkey Potato Chili Pantry Clean Out Recipe
1 pound ground turkey
olive oil
2 cans jalapeno style diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can black beans
2 cups frozen Potatoes O'Brien
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix

Over a high heat, brown turkey in olive oil.  After turkey is cooked, add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to boil, turn down the heat, allow it to simmer for 30 to 60 minutes.  Serve with grated cheese and tortilla chips.

Ready in 30 minutes from simple pantry foods, this recipe for turkey potato chili is fast, filling, and easy on the budget.  

Use foods you have before you buy more.  For meal ideas when there's nothing to eat, make a pantry clean out meal. 
 

 

 

MEATBALL SOUP PANTRY CLEAN OUT RECIPE

For meals when there's nothing to eat, look in your cupboards for a pantry clean out recipe.  Prepping for emergencies means stockpiling a Prepper Pantry with canned and dry foods.  Here is an easy recipe for Meatball Soup using canned foods from your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator.  Pantry clean out recipes are 

Meatball Soup Pantry Clean Out Recipe
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cans spicy diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dry pasta noodles
1 pound frozen meatballs
4 cups fresh spinach
variations- add 1 can green beans, or kidney beans
In a large pot, add broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Add pasta and meatballs, bring back to boil, turn to simmer for 20 minutes.  Add spinach simmer for a minute or two, just until the spinach is wilted.  Serve with topping of grated Parmesan cheese.

We all need to stockpile food for emergencies and an uncertain future.  Store the foods you eat, and rotate your stored foods with simple pantry friendly, pantry clean out recipes.  Canned foods should be eaten by the sell by or best by date, but can last longer.  Canned foods stored past the expiration date can bulge or taste bad.  Is canned food safe to eat?  Never eat foods from bloated exploding spurting cans or foods that seem off.  Find easy recipes to use the foods in your pantry so you are able to make meals in emergency situations, and make sure your family always has enough to eat.  Tips to stop wasting food?  Begin with eating stored and pantry foods you have on hand.  

 

RAVIOLI MINESTRONE SOUP PANTRY CLEAN OUT RECIPE

For meals when there's nothing to eat, look in your cupboards for a pantry clean out recipe.  Prepping for emergencies means stockpiling a Prepper Pantry with canned and dry foods. Here is an easy recipe for Ravioli Minestrone using canned foods from your pantry.  Pantry clean out recipes are fast, filling, easy, delicious.

RAVIOLI MINESTRONE PANTRY CLEAN OUT RECIPE

1 can Minestrone Soup

1 can Ravioli, try the mini ravioli

Stir soup and ravioli together in a pot, cover, and heat through.  Fast, filling, and cheap meals are easy with pantry clean out recipes.

We all need to stockpile food for emergencies and an uncertain future.  Store the foods you eat, and rotate your stored foods with simple pantry friendly, pantry clean out recipes.

Canned foods should be eaten by the sell by or best by date, but can last longer.  Foods stored past the expiration date can bulge or taste bad.  Is canned food safe to eat?  Never eat foods from bloated exploding spurting cans or foods that seem off.  

Find easy recipes to use the foods in your pantry so you are able to make meals in emergency situations, and make sure your family always has enough to eat.  

 

CHICKEN ENCHILADA NACHO BOWLS

Chicken Enchilada Nacho Bowls are a delicious, fast, and filling meal.  Open cans of enchilada sauce, tomatoes with green chilies, black beans, and corn.  

Add 2 cups of shredded chicken, try adding rotisserie chicken, and serve over crisp tortilla chips, top with shredded cheese.

 Avocado, olives, green onion, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, cheese or sour cream can be added as toppings.  

Chicken Enchilada Nacho Bowl is a simple, satisfying meal that is easy to prepare.  Make the filling ahead, and heat it up at camp for easy camp cooking.  

 

 

FIESTA VEGETABLE SOUP - ALASKA HOMESTEAD RECIPE

Fiesta Vegetable Soup is simple to make with this easy recipe.  Fiesta Vegetable Soup recipe comes from the Alaska Homestead Days of my family, where meals needed to be from simple, pantry ingredients.  

Fiesta Vegetable Soup Recipe

Fill a pot with

2 cans of diced Mexican style tomatoes with chilies  

1 can of whole kernel corn 

1 can of beans, black, pinto, or kidney 

 1 teaspoon of cumin 

Heat thoroughly, and serve.

Ladle into bowls, top with grated cheese such as Monterrey Jack, serve with tortilla chips.  My family has been making this simple, inexpensive, and nutritious soup for years.  We love it.  

With a few simple ingredients found in your pantry, meals can be ready in a hurry. Stockpile basic ingredients for easy meals you can make quickly for your family.  

Homestead recipes help you live more frugally, healthfully, and independently, regardless of where you call home.  This is a Vegan soup recipe.

HOW TO MAKE LEMONS LAST LONGER

Fresh lemons are always a treat.   How can you make fresh lemons last longer?  Lemons stored on the counter last about a week.  Lemons stored in the refrigerator last about 2 weeks.

 I tested storing lemons in water in the refrigerator for a few weeks to see if storing lemons in water makes them last longer.  My lemons smelled like water!  

Squeezing fresh lemon juice and freezing it seems to be the way to make lemon juice last longer and maintain a full robust lemon flavor.

A simple electric juicer makes quick work of a pile of fresh lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and all citrus fruits.  I enjoy the simplicity of my electric juicer.  

Squeeze juices right into a serving container, and the parts go straight into the dishwasher.  

 

HOW TO COOK BROCCOLI RABE

Broccoli Rabe is a vegetable you might fall in love with. Easy to cook, broccoli rabe has beautiful color, wonderful deep greens, complex flavors, sweet, spicy, and a touch of bitterness. Broccoli rabe, cabbage and kale, are very healthy.  Broccoli rabe is wonderful on its own or accompanying other dishes such as sausages, pastas, and grilled bread.

HOW TO CHOOSE A COLANDER

I like to have a good quality colander to drain pastas, vegetables, and even bone broth.  Choose a colander that is large and sturdy, able to go in the dishwasher for ease of cleaning.  

It needs small enough holes that noodles won't fall through.  Choose a colander with all mesh so it won't clog while you are draining foods.  

Make sure your colander has a sturdy base so your freshly drained foods won't spill.

 

PRESTO POPLITE HOT AIR POPCORN MAKER

The Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Popper pops regular or gourmet popcorn with hot air, not oil, for a healthy, low-calorie snack.   The Presto Hot Air Popcorn Popper is faster, healthier, and more economical than microwave bag popcorn, it pops popcorn in about 2 minutes with virtually no unpopped kernels.

The top or chute directs popcorn right into your bowl.  The base and cover simply wipe clean.  

No parts of the Poplite hot air popper can go into the dishwasher, so I do not use the top cup to melt butter.  

There is no on off switch on the Poplite popcorn popper.  Plug and unplug the cord to start and stop your popper.

 

 

 

WHY CHOOSE WILD SALMON OVER FARMED SALMON

Why choose wild caught salmon instead of farm raised salmon?  When you are shopping for fresh salmon, read the label carefully to determine the source of your fish.  Wild salmon eat things in the sea.  Farm raised salmon are fed soy based foods.  We don't know what farm raised salmon are fed in some countries before they are imported to the American market. Agriculture standards may not exist or be enforced in certain areas of the world. 

Wild salmon is filled with the highest quality protein and is high in Omega 3.  Farm raised salmon has more Omega 6.  Omega-3 fatty acids, including -- EPA and DHA -- are primarily found in fish.  Your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits.  Omega-3 can fight inflammation, reduce your risks to heart disease, enhance brain development, and help boost you from depression.

Read labels carefully when you choose salmon, and make sure to buy the best, most healthful salmon you can find.

5 INGREDIENT CHILI COOKS IN 30 MINUTES

5 Ingredient Chili is easy, fast and delicious.  Ready in 30 minutes on the stove top or longer in a Crock Pot. Start with basic ingredients.  Brown ground beef, saute onion, add canned tomatoes, canned beans, chili powder, and cumin if you like.  Simmer 10 minutes, and serve with cheese and corn chips for a delicious, fast, and easy meal.

This one-pot chili recipe cooks up quickly from five pantry ingredients.  Make this yummy 5 Ingredient Chili for game day or any cold winter meal. 

1 pound ground beef

1 chopped onion

2 cans fire roasted or spicy tomatoes

2 can beans of your choice, I use red and black

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional

 

 BEST WAY TO DEFROST A TURKEY

If you are planning on serving a turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner or other meal, plan several days ahead to allow the turkey to thaw.  Turkey needs to thaw in the refrigerator in the original wrapper.  

Place the turkey on a rack in a pan to catch any dripping juices.

 A turkey takes several days to defrost or thaw.   Allow 24 hours per 4-5 pounds.  A 20 pound turkey may take 5 days.  

Your turkey should be thawed 1 day ahead of cooking it, and a thawed turkey can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days after defrosting.

 

 

PUMPKIN CHILI

The flavors and creamy texture of pumpkin with chili is a real taste treat.  It doesn't have to be fall to add pumpkin to your chili recipe.  Simply add a can of pumpkin along with the standard chili ingredients.  This recipe is simple and can be made in a crock pot or stove top.  A can of pumpkin, a can of black beans, a can of spicy diced tomatoes, freshly ground beef, onion, green pepper, and a few spices make this pumpkin chili a creamy delicious meal all year round.

ADOBO SEASONING MIX RECIPE

Mix your own Adobo seasoning mix to add to my recipe for Pumpkin Chili or as a new flavor to your family favorites.  Adobo is a mixture of 7 basic spices you can mix yourself for a flavor found in Puerto Rico, Latin America, and a variation is found in the Philippines.  Adobo is a simple recipe to mix your own and add to your favorite recipes.  

Stir together

1/4 cup paprika

3 T Pepper

2 T Onion Powder 

2 T Oregano

2 T Cumin

1 T Chili Powder 

1 T Garlic Powder
 

HOW TO MAKE BROWN SUGAR

Did you know you can make your own brown sugar?  If you have granulated sugar, you can use it to make brown sugar.  We are advised to store 50 pounds of sugar per person for emergency preparedness, and knowing how to turn your basic sugar into brown sugar helps simplify your food storage needs and plans.  Try this simple method in your blender or food processor to turn white sugar into brown sugar whether you need a cup for a recipe, or for emergency situations.  Mix white sugar with molasses in your blender, and you have brown sugar.  Now you can use the brown sugar or store it.

CHILI LIME CHICKEN BREASTS

If you like the flavors of chili and lime, you will love this chili lime rub recipe for grilled chicken.  Stir together spices you have in your pantry, add a fresh lime, and marinate chicken breasts for 30 minutes to overnight.  Bring the chicken to room temperature, and place on a hot grill, turning to cook evenly.  This chili lime rub for chicken recipe is easy, delicious, and spicy!  Stir together olive oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar, along with salt and pepper.  Toss the chicken in a ziploc bag with the chili lime rub for easy clean up.  Use less cayenne pepper if you don't like spicy foods.  The nice thing about mixing your own seasoning combinations and rubs is you can mix them to suit your tastes.

HOW TO COOK PHEASANT EGGS

If you have the opportunity to try fresh pheasant eggs, here is an easy yet delicious recipe for delicately fried pheasant eggs.  Pheasant eggs   have a larger yolk to white ratio per egg than a chicken egg, and a thicker, darker shell.  Pheasant eggs are delicious and nutritious, and a treat to eat.  Pheasant eggs can be cooked just like chicken eggs, but remember they are smaller.  Try cooking fresh pheasant eggs for your family for a creamier, thicker egg taste.

PHEASANT EGGS vs CHICKEN EGGS: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Look at a side by side comparison of pheasant and chicken eggs.  Compare the size, shell, insides, and how to cook a pheasant and chicken egg for a side by side taste test of a delicious soft, delicate, fried egg.  Chicken eggs are larger, and have more of the albumen or white compared to the yolk than a pheasant egg.  Pheasant eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, but have a surprisingly large yolk.  Pheasant yolk is thicker and creamier than chicken yolk.  Pheasant eggs have 120 calories, 6 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat.  Chicken eggs have 80 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat.  Surprisingly similar in flavor, try pheasant eggs for a delicious treat should you have the opportunity.

SALMON WITH MAPLE MUSTARD RUB

Salmon with Maple Mustard Rub  If you love salmon, here is a delicious, flavorful way to prepare it while keeping your fish moist.  Simply stir together the flavors of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and paprika for a tangy yet sweet flavor with fresh, healthful salmon.  Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes until your fish is opaque in the center and flakes with a fork.  Salmon with maple mustard rub is easy, healthy, and delicious.

I like to bake in glass dishes for easy clean up and food storage.  A quick spray of baking spray like Pam and food slides right out of a glass baking dish.  Snap on covers make storage of leftovers quick and easy.  Foods can go straight into the oven or microwave in a glass dish.  Meals can be served right at the table with a glass dish.  Clean up is easy, load them in the dishwasher.  Glass bakeware from Pyrex is easy to use and care for, which makes cooking more fun.

HOW TO MAKE SASSY WATER

Whether you want to lose weight fast or find a way to enjoy drinking more water, try Sassy Water. Sassy Water is water that has been enhanced with fresh cucumber, lemon, ginger, mint, and is part of the Flat Belly Diet.  Kick start your weight loss on the Flat Belly Diet with a large pitcher full of Sassy Water.  Here are easy directions for how to make sassy water, how and when to drink your sassy water to lose weight.  

To a large pitcher of 8 cups of water, add

1 cucumber, peeled and slice

1 sliced lemon, thinly sliced

12 mint leaves

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Place all in the refrigerator overnight.

Sassy Water was invented by Cynthia Sass of Prevention Magazine.  Make a large pitcher full of Sassy Water each night, and drink the Sassy Water throughout the following day.  Sassy Water removes toxins from the body, eliminates bloating and constipation.  It is easy to make Sassy Water for quick weight loss or simply to keep your body hydrated.  Sassy Water tastes refreshing and helps you lose weight fast.  The Sassy Water Diet Works!

THREE WAYS TO MAKE SASSY WATER OR NATURAL FLAVORED WATER

If you are trying the Flat Belly Diet, the Sassy Water Diet, or trying to make sure to drink more water to stay hydrated, adding a bit of fruit and herbs to enhance the flavor of plain water can be a tasty way to eliminate toxins from your body, eliminate bloating, and prevent constipation.  We all need to drink water, and should have 8 cups per day.  Try one of these recipes to make a pitcher of Sassy Water or Flavored Water each night, allow it to blend in the refrigerator overnight, and drink that pitcher of Sassy Water or Enhanced Water the next day.   You will love these Weight Loss Water Recipes that really help you lose weight fast.

COD FISH IN FOIL PACKETS

Chili Roasted Cod Fish is a quick and easy way to prepare fresh cod in a foil packet on your grill, campfire, or baked in the oven.  Place cod fish pieces skin side down on foil, top with seasonings, lemon juice and butter, fold your foil packet, and set it on the grill, next to your coals, or into the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.  This recipe for Chili Roasted Cod makes a nice sauce that is delicious over pasta, rice, or couscous.  Try this easy delicious recipe for fish cooked in foil.  You know your fish is done when it is flaky, opaque, and tender.

BEE'S KNEES GIN COCKTAIL

If you love the flavors of honey and lemon, try a Bee's Knees Cocktail made with gin.  The Bee's Knees Cocktail comes from the era of Prohibition when Bee's Knees meant the best!  This gin cocktail is easy to make, and delicious.  I love my Bee's Knees with Bristol Bay gin from Alaska Distillery.

HONEY SIMPLE SYRUP RECIPE

Are you wondering how to use honey in cocktails?  Make a simple syrup with honey instead of sugar.  All you need to make your own honey syrup are equal parts honey and water.  Mix and use like simple syrup to add a sweet goodness of honey flavor to your cocktails.  Never cook honey, as heat destroys the nutritional benefits in honey.

HOW TO GRILL A RIB EYE STEAK WITH MUSHROOM RUB

Rib Eye Steak grilled with a dried mushroom rub is easy, delicious, and cooked to perfection.  Beef Ribeye or Rib Eye has just the right amount of marbling to give you a juicy and flavorful steak that will melt in your mouth.  A well prepared rib eye steak will delight your friends and family.  Try this easy mushroom rub combining dried mushrooms, salt, pepper, and olive oil for the tastiest rib eye steak ever.  Rub the meat, allow it to marinate 8 to 24 hours, bring it to room temperature, and grill, and basted with a butter rub.  If you have wondered how to cook a steak, this is the best rib eye steak recipe ever.  Some call it Tagliani style.

CRANBERRY JELLO SALAD - EASY!

Here is an easy Cranberry Jello Salad recipe made with raspberry jello, whole cranberry sauce, and crushed pineapple.  This Cranberry Jello Salad recipe includes a delicious and creamy topping made with sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar.  Top the jello salad with chopped walnuts or pecans.  This Cranberry Jello Salad is a holiday favorite and simple to fix for any potluck.  You will love this family and crowd pleaser.

QUINOA CURRY CASSEROLE

Quinoa Curry Casserole is packed with vegetables and flavor.  Quinoa is loaded with protein, which makes this meal pack a nutritional punch for meeting all of your healthy eating requirements.  Get on track with healthier eating without food boredom with the flavors of this easy Quinoa Curry Casserole.  Quinoa is a delicious, nutritious, superfood with a sweet nutty flavor and delicate texture that is easy to cook.

VODKA COCKTAIL PARIS ESCAPE

Paris in Springtime?  Even if you can't go, try this fruit filled vodka cocktail called a Paris Escape.  In a shaker bottle, add ice, fresh raspberries, pineapple juice, and vodka.  Shake to blend the ingredients and muddle the raspberries in your Paris Escape Cocktail.  Strain, serve with a raspberry lemon twist skewer.  Enjoy your Paris Escape Cocktail.  Paris Escape may become your signature cocktail.  Remember to drink alcohol responsibly!

EASIEST CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

Chocolate covered strawberries are a delicious treat that anyone can make in just a minute.  Chocolate covered strawberries are so simple to make and yummy to eat and savor.  The recipe is simple.  Melt chocolate chips in a measuring cup in the microwave just until nearly all are melted.  Stir to smooth the chocolate, and dip in your rinsed and dried berries.  Place your chocolate covered strawberries on a muffin cup liner, and allow to cool.  Your chocolate covered strawberries are ready to enjoy.  Making chocolate covered strawberries is so simple and easy, yet elegant and delicious.

GRILLED CORNISH GAME HENS

Cornish games hens are wonderful for grilling.  They are quick and easy, delicious for a light meal or mid course for a dinner party.  Always elegant, Cornish game hens are a real treat from the grill.  Follow my simple directions to remove the backbone, and butterfly the game hens to lay them flat.  Mix a quick marinade, set aside for an hour up to overnight.  Grill a few minutes breast side down, then longer on the cavity side.  Grilled Cornish game hens are juicy, tender, smoky, and delicious.

MAKE LEMON PIE IN A BLENDER

Make an easy blender lemon pie by tossing a whole lemon into a blender, mix with a few basic ingredients, pour into a pie shell, and bake.  You will not believe how simple yet delicious this lemon pie tastes.  Sometimes called Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie, load your blender and bake this yummy pie for dessert.  The filling is like lemon custard.

HOW TO STORE LEMON JUICE

If you have lots of fresh lemons, here are tips to making the fresh lemon juice last.  Squeeze all the juice from your fresh lemons.  Lemons should be room temperature, and roll them on the counter to get the most juice, all of the juice from your lemon.  

Pour the fresh juice into ice cube trays, and you have tablespoons of fresh lemon juice all year round for recipes, natural cleaning solutions, or fresh lemon water.  

 

Try these tips to get the most juice from all of your  fresh citrus fruits.  It works with lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.

 Electric juicers are inexpensive, and easily get all the delicious juice from your fresh citrus fruits.  This juicer by Black and Decker also allows you to strain as much or as little of the pulp as you choose.  

Toss it right into the dishwasher for easy clean up.  I have had mine for years, and I like how easy and handy this is to get all the fresh juice from my lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits.  

LEMON CHICKEN IN CROCKPOT

Plug in your crock pot, this recipe for lemon chicken is so simple, you will make it again and again.  A whole chicken plus only 4 ingredients makes the most flavorful, tender chicken.  Stuff your chicken with a fresh lemon, garlic, rosemary sprigs, and butter.  Set your crockpot on high, and Lemon Chicken will be done in 4 hours.  Use a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner for easy clean up.  Make this, it is one of the easiest chicken recipes ever!  Learn how to tell when chicken is done.  Chicken juices should run clear and meat should fall off the bone.  

GARLIC CREAM CHEESE SOUP

Do you love the flavors of garlic, cream cheese, and chicken broth?  Add a few spices, and you can have a big pot of freshly made soup in just a few minutes.  This recipe can be cooked on the stove top, or on the barbecue, like I did in case it is too hot to cook inside, or the power is out.  When cooking on the grill, use a big steel or cast iron pot.  We should all learn how to cook outdoors because it is fun, and is an important skill to have in emergency situations.  Try this soup recipe, served with a plate of fresh veggies, salad, or crusty bread.

BACON AND EGG FOIL PACKETS - BREAKFAST ON THE GRILL

Heat up your barbecue, campfire, or oven.  Foil Packets of bacon and eggs with potatoes are a delicious and easy way to start any day.  Spray foil, add bacon, a nest of potatoes, and crack an egg in the center.  Fold your bacon and egg foil packet and place on the grill, into the campfire, or in the oven for 15 minutes and breakfast is served with no clean up.  Try foil packet cooking on your grill, campfire or oven for fun individual meals that can be personalized to suit your tastes.

BROMOSA - CITRUS BEER COCKTAIL

If you like Mimosa, which is champagne and orange juice, you may want to try the Bro-Mosa.  Bromosa is a citrus beer cocktail made with beer and orange juice with a shot of vodka.  Try Balast Point Grapefruit Sculpin for citrusy hops flavor, or a Hefeweizen or Wheat beer of your choice.   Bromosa is a refreshing twist to just having a beer, more manly to some than a Mimosa.  The recipe for Bromosa is easy, and in no time your Bromosa beer cocktail is ready to enjoy.

The tart freshness of a citrus beer cocktail of Bromosa will make any game day, brunch, or gathering extra tasty.  Follow the simple directions to make a Bromosa.

1 Citrus Beer

1 shot vodka

1/2 cup orange juice

 Pour slowly together in a tall glass.  Enjoy!

CROSTINI WITH BROCCOLI RABE

Have you been stuck serving the same appetizers or side dishes for your family or at parties?

Well... I finally learned to stop believing my friends when they said it was "OK" to bring the same old dishes to our parties... only to see mine stacked right along other boring dishes,cold at the end of the party...

I decided it was time to surprise my friends and learn something new, and I discovered a great new recipe that my friends and family absolutely love.

And here's the thing, it's DEAD SIMPLE...

Literally, just 7 basic ingredients and less than 5 minutes...it couldn't be easier, and your friends and family will go crazy over it.  

Broccoli Rabe Crostini is one of the easiest, most delicious, healthy, appetizers or sides.  Everyone loves it.  I highly recommend giving this 5 minute recipe a try next time you're heading to a party or pot luck... here's all you have to do.

 1. Grab

1/2 lb broccoli rabe

4 cloves garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

a loaf of Italian bread

salt and pepper 

 2. Wash and trim 1/2 pound broccoli rabe
 3. Drop broccoli in boiling salted water for 3 minutes
 4. Once the broccoli is fork tender, submerge in ice water to immediately stop the cooking, and drain
 5. Chop broccoli rabe into 1/2 inch pieces
 6. Toss into a mixing bowl and combine with 4 cloves garlic, 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 4 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper
 7. Grill or toast 1/2 inch thick slices of rustic Italian bread
 8. Place a scoop of the broccoli rabe mixture on each piece of grilled bread and a few shavings of Parmagiano Reggiano cheese
 9. Enjoy! :)

Stop just settling for the same old sides, and better yet, delight your friends and family by bringing something new to the table that's sure to be a crowd favorite. This Broccoli Rabe Crostini has done it for me every time... people are literally begging me for this recipe!

Give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out.

-AG

P.S. have you joined the conversation on my YouTube channel?  I'm always trying out new recipes and would love to know what you think.  Check it out here: I'd love to hear from you.

ROASTED BEET CROSTINI

If you are looking for an easy yet delicious appetizer or small meal, try roasted beet crostini.  This traditional Italian Bruschetta recipe served with grilled bread will amaze you and your family with how delicious and easy it is.  Prepare your beets ahead, and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to load your freshly grilled bread and top with freshly grated  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Enjoy roasted beet crostini with your family and friends.

3 fresh beets, washed 

2 Tablespoons freshly chopped chives 

3/4 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 Tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

loaf of Italian bread

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Slice off top and bottom of beets.  Wrap beets individually in foil.  Leave a little space for the air to expand.  Place foil wrapped beets on a baking pan, and roast at 400 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes, until fork tender.  Allow beets to cool, and cut into cubes.  Place beets in a bowl, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chives, salt and pepper.  Stir together, place in refrigerator 1 hour to overnight.

loaf of Italian bread, sliced

2 Tablespoons melted butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil 

salt and pepper to taste

Parmagiana Reggiano cheese

Stir together butter, olive oil, salt, pepper.  Brush onto bread slices.  Grill 2-3 minutes per side.  Take a piece of grilled bread, top with beet mixture.  Grate Paragiana Reggiano cheese over the top.  Serve.  

QUINOA APPLE BREAKFAST BAKE RECIPE  

If you love the flavor of quinoa, you will love this easy recipe for a breakfast casserole with the flavors of apples, cinnamon, honey, and vanilla.  Quinoa Apple Breakfast Bake can be baked ahead, and is even better heated up later!  Make Quinoa Apple Breakfast Bake when you have time, and heat it quickly for a nutritious hot breakfast.

Stir the casserole ingredients in a large bowl:

2/3 water

1/4 c quinoa

2 Tablespoons honey

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Now add

3 cups chopped, unpeeled apples about 5 apples

Pour mixture into a greased 8 inch square dish.  Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Stir together to make a topping:

3 Tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup Oatmeal

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

After 40 minutes, remove casserole from oven, spread topping mixture over hot casserole and return to the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool 5 - 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

HOW TO CHOOSE A FRESH PINEAPPLE

Do you love the taste of fresh pineapple?  Shopping for a delicious fresh pineapple can be a challenge.  They all look good, but which one should you choose?  How do you know if a pineapple is ripe, and which one to choose?  Here is quick tip on how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, and how to choose a fresh pineapple.  Also, tips on slicing your pineapple so it is the best tasting and the juices are evenly distributed.  Fresh pineapple is a real treat if you know how to choose one that is ripe.

Easy Caribbean Chicken and Rice On The Grill

If you love the flavors of the Caribbean, of chicken and rice, heat up your Dutch oven for a simple, delicious meal you can cook right on your barbecue or stove top.  Basically, toss in chicken, vegetables, broth, rice, and a few spices.  Put on the cover, and dinner is served in about 30 minutes.  This recipe for Caribbean Chicken and Rice is easy, filling, and delicious.

Heat up your Dutch oven or large skillet, add olive oil to the bottom. Into the pan add

1 pound cut up boneless chicken pieces

1 chopped red pepper

3 stalks diced celery

1 chopped onion

Cook and stir until chicken is browned and veggies are softened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup rice

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 can black eyed peas, undrained

Put on the lid, allow to simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve, and enjoy easy Caribbean Chicken with rice and black eyed peas.

Seal A Bread Bag With Just The Bag

Have you ever tried to close or seal a bread bag, and the twist tie or plastic tab is missing?  You won't need a twistie or tab to close your loaf of bread ever again with this quick tip.  Simply press out the air, twirl the plastic bag, and fold the top of the bread bag over the loaf of bread for the easiest seal of all.  The bread bag will stay sealed until you open it again.  Try sealing your loaf of bread with a twist and fold the next time you take out a slice.  Your bread will stay sealed to keep it fresh longer.  No more stale bread from lost bag closures.

HOW TO PREPARE FRESH GINGER

Do you enjoy the unique flavors of fresh ginger, but you are not sure how to use it?  If you buy fresh ginger, peel it with a spoon edge, if you need to.  Hold the spoon firmly when peeling ginger, and it is ready to be sliced thinly.  

Ginger is easy to dice, mince, and grate for the spicy zing fresh ginger can add to your recipes.  A microplane or small grater works the best for the smallest pieces of this fragrant root.  Ginger can be frozen first for easier grating.  Add the unique flavors of fresh ginger to your meals with minimal prep using these tips.

HOW TO PREPARE A TURKEY FOR ROASTING

Do you want to cook a turkey, and are unsure how to prepare your turkey for roasting?  First clean and prepare your turkey before you stuff, salt, oil, or roast it.  Remove the wrapper, pull out any gravy packets, neck, liver, heart, giblets, things packaged inside the cavity of your turkey.  Rinse and remove remaining feathers.  Set your turkey on a clean surface and pat it dry.  Now the turkey is ready to season, stuff, and roast as you wish.  Clean all work areas  completely before preparing any other foods.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BREAKFAST BURRITO

Make the best breakfast burrito in a few easy steps.  Breakfast is the most important meal.  Fuel your body with a healthy, fast, delicious burrito cooked in just a few minutes with a combination of tortilla, eggs, beans, and bacon.  Allow each person to top their burrito with a selection of fresh salsas, avocado, sour cream, lime, and more.  A breakfast burrito is a healthy and filling way to start your day.  Breakfast burritos are great for any meal.  Don't let the name fool you.  Whip up a burrito for lunch or dinner.  Adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.

DRAGON FRUIT: HOW TO PREPARE AND SERVE IT

Have you seen dragon fruit in your grocery store?  Dragon fruit comes from places like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand.  They are an interesting looking fruit with a delicious tasting flavor.  Here are simple directions for how to cut and serve the exotic dragon fruit.  Buy dragon fruit if you see it in your produce department for a special and delicious treat.  While expensive, they are unique, rare, and tasty.

Bacon and Eggs On The Grill Or Oven

Spray an old muffin tin, add strips of bacon, crack eggs, and place in the preheated grill or oven.   Line the muffin cups with ham if you choose.  Depending on how you like your eggs, they are done in about 10 minutes.  Bacon cups with eggs makes a delicious, easy breakfast with little clean up.  Cook a few, or the entire pan for a crowd.  Fill empty muffin cups with hashed browns for a tasty addition to breakfast. 

 

If you are baking eggs in muffin tins on the grill or camp oven, use an old one that does not have a nonstick finish.  

If not, get a heavy duty aluminum pan so the campfires and grills do not melt nonstick finishes into your foods.  Outdoor cooking is a lot of fun, but requires different types of cookware than in the kitchen. 

 

Easy Huevos Rancheros

If you love foods from the Southwest and the flavors of salsa, pinto beans, and eggs, you will love this easy recipe for Huevos Rancheros.  It has 3 basic ingredients: canned pinto beans, salsa, and eggs.  This cooks fast, and is delicious served with tortillas and cheese, over rice, or in a bowl by itself.  Spice it up to suit your tastes.  Try this simple Huevos Rancheros from foods you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator.  Huevos Rancheros are great to serve for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.  It is an all around delicious, fast, and easy recipe.

Rubbermaid Pull Down Spice Rack

The Rubbermaid Pull Down Spice Rack is a great way to reach and organize spices in a tall kitchen cabinet.  Are you looking for a way to organize your spices, and reach them on a high shelf?  Then try the Rubbermaid Pull Down Spice Rack.  Watch how it fastens to your shelf with 4 screws, then flips forward, allowing your spices to be out front, and lowered so you can see all of them and reach the ones you want.  The rack has 3 shelves, is sturdy and works smoothly. The Rubbermaid Pull Down Spice Rack holds a lot of jars, cans, and containers of spices.  

I am not tall, yet my kitchen cabinets are.  That makes it hard to reach many of the things I need.  I am so glad I bought the Rubbermaid Pull Down Spice Rack because it allows me to place lots of little things on a tall shelf.  Normally, I would be afraid to put small things way up high for fear they would be lost forever, out of sight  out of mind.  This spice rack pulls all the little containers down while keeping them organized.  I don't use them everyday, so don't want them on a lower shelf I can reach easily.  The Rubbermaid Pull Down Spice Rack is a handy storage solution.

Sriracha Chicken Foil Packets

If you love the taste of Sriracha, this chicken and vegetable foil packet may become one of your favorite recipes.  Sriracha Chicken is quick and easy.  Spray your foil, top it with chicken, frozen vegetables, and 2 teaspoons each of honey and Sriracha.  Place it on your grill, campfire, or oven,  and dinner will be ready in about 25 minutes.  I use chicken tenderloins so it cooks faster with smaller chicken pieces. Cooking in foil packets on your Weber grill is fun and easy, and something I like to do all year round.

 

My kids introduced me to Sriracha hot sauce.  Made from chili peppers and vinegar, they love to put it on everything; eggs, burritos, fish, chicken, noodles.  Now I love the spicy flavor of this sauce from Thailand and Vietnam.  If you haven't tried Sriracha, know that it isn't like anything else.  It is spicy, versitale,  and delicious.  

EASY FRUIT KABOBS  RED WHITE AND BLUEBERRY

Are you looking for easy fruit kabobs with a red, white, and blue theme that will appeal to all ages?  Try making red, white, and blueberry fruit kabobs  or skewers.  These fruit kabobs are easy to make, and are simple enough that even the littlest members of the family can make them, and may be willing to try new fruits and flavors.  Make a platter full of red, white, and blueberry kabobs for your next family gathering, potluck, holiday party, or camping trip.  Fruit kabobs are easy to make, delicious, and nutritious.  Try making easy and healthy fruit kabobs for your next party.

HOW TO KEEP BERRIES FRESH,  HOW TO FREEZE BERRIES

Berry season means delicious, fresh berries are plentiful.  Here are tips to make your fresh berries last longer, and how to prepare and freeze berries.  Try these tips for fresh tasting berries much longer whether you enjoy them fresh, or freeze them for later.  These tips will keep all types of berries fresh longer.  Keep blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries fresher longer with a vinegar wash.  Freeze your berries individually for easy enjoyment for recipes or snacks.  Try these natural remedies for long lasting berries.

BLUEBERRY VODKA COCKTAILS WITH BLUEBERRY ICE CUBES

Blueberry Vodka, especially from Alaska Distillery, is delicious, and makes tasty cocktails.  Follow simple directions on how to make blueberry ice cubes, and tricks to make clearer ice in your ice cubes.  Then try mixing one of these easy, delicious, refreshing Blueberry Vodka cocktails.  These drinks look extra nice served over blueberry ice cubes.  Look for the Blueberry Vodka from Alaska Distillery if you don't already have a favorite.  It is fantastic.

STAINLESS STEEL DRINKING STRAWS

Stainless steel drinking straws are a great way to enjoy a cool, refreshing beverage.  Stainless steel drink straws are BPA free, 18/10 stainless so they will not rust, break, chip, or scratch.  

The straws I purchased from Greenco include a cleaning brush that is sturdy, flexible, and long enough to reach way down into the straws for thorough cleaning.  

The brush will clean your stainless steel straws, and is handy for washing other small utensils, too.  Enjoy cold drinks more, and stop tossing cheap plastic straws.  

100% Stainless Steel Reusable Straws are an eco friendly way to enjoy cold beverages, cocktails, and smoothies.  The cold from your beverage chills the stainless steel straw for an added element of enjoyment.  

HOW TO MAKE A PINEAPPLE BOAT OR BOWL

Make a pineapple bowl or boat to serve delicious, fresh fruit salad.  It is easy to cut the pineapple, and simple to hollow and remove the fruit.  The cut up fruit salad looks refreshing and appetizing served in a pineapple boat or bowl.  Serve your cut pineapple in the pineapple bowl or boat, or combine the pineapple with other favorite fruits.  Learn how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, and how to prepare a fresh pineapple.

MAKE A PINEAPPLE DRINK CUP

Did you ever have a tropical drink served in a hollowed out pineapple?  Follow these simple directions and in a few easy steps you will have a hollowed out pineapple, suitable for any festive, cool drink.  Make a pineapple drink cup to serve your favorite refreshing drink.

EASIEST WAY TO CUT A PINEAPPLE

Pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit with the flavors of summer days and fun vacations.  Here are tips for how to choose a fresh, ripe, perfect pineapple, how to remove the outer peel,how to remove the tough inner core, and how to cut it into rings, chunks, or spears.  Follow these simple directions for how to cut, peel, and slice a fresh pineapple.

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PIE SPICE

Get out your measuring spoons, and mix your own Pumpkin Pie Spice to add to your recipes.  It is a simple mixture of common spices you probably already have on hand.  Try mixing your own spices to save money, and learn to use the things you have.

HOW TO DECRYSTALLIZE HONEY

Do you ever reach for your honey, and it is as hard and turned to sugar?  Don't throw it out!  All honey will crystallize over time. Put it in a dish with hot water, wait, and it will liquify and be pourable again.  Honey never spoils, and is a fantastic food to store for long term.  It stores best in glass, at 75 degrees, in the dark.  Honey has many uses.  Stock up on honey!

EASY TAMALE CASSEROLE

Tamales and chili are easy to combine from your pantry or food storage for a simple dinner.  Sprinkle the top with onions and cheese, bakeat 350 degrees for 25 to 30  minutes.  Dinner is ready with a few ingredients from your pantry or food storage.  Try this simple recipe for a yummy combination.

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