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Archive for the ‘Sponsored Post’ Category

It’s not just Frozen Yogurt – Smoothies at Red Mango

Posted by Jeanne on July 15, 2013

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Red Mango.  All opinions are 100% mine.

So I get contacted by a lot of PR people asking me to write sponsored posts.  Most of the time I ignore them, because I am lazy and also because they want me to publish recipes I haven’t written accompanied by photoes I haven’t taken to promote whatever.  Also, sometimes their products are affiliated with celebrity chefs that I didn’t really like on Top Chef.  But occasionally someone emails me with an offer I really don’t want to refuse.

Red Mango SuperBiotics Smoothies Summer Logo

This would be one of those times.  Who says no when Red Mango asks them to write a sponsored post?  Not me.  And here we are.  Thankfully, I already love Red Mango and was happy to get some testers for their new smoothies (twist my arm).

There are 22 smoothies in four categories:

  • Body Balance: Flavorful and functional yogurt smoothies formulated with beneficial boosts
  • All Fruit Harmony: Refreshing dairy-free and soy-free smoothies made only with fruit, juice and ice.
  • Twisted Fruits: Smooth and creamy signature yogurt smoothies offered in new and innovative fruit-forward flavors.
  • Just Kidd’n: Naturally delicious, snack-sized fruit and yogurt smoothies, blended just for kids.

They also have a whole bunch of smoothie boosts that you can add, for extra flavor along with antioxidants or protein.

Kate went with me and she had a peanut butter cup smoothie, which was apparently delicious and very peanut-buttery.

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E had a Just Kidd’n All Star Superberries smoothie, and while I don’t love the name it was delicious.

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Also, it came with a straw.  Straws are the best.

I am not really what you would call a Smoothie Person so in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I had frozen yogurt.  I did taste the child’s smoothie before she backwashed into it too much and it was tasty.  My frozen yogurt with cookie dough was also delicious, though her smoothie was probably a more balanced lunch.

Also, this is a good week to go to Red Mango – every registered and opted-in CLUB MANGO member will receive double points for every eligible purchase they make in a participating Red Mango location from July 15-19, 2013. Club Mango points add up and can be redeemed for products at participating Red Mango stores. The card is free, you get a $2 reward just for signing up, and for every 500 Mango Points you earn you’ll get a $5 coupon!  Which means more frozen yogurt or smoothies.  Which I am way into.

Happy Monday!

Posted in Sponsored Post | Leave a Comment »

And the winnah is…

Posted by Jeanne on February 23, 2012

I know you have been dying to know the winner of a free copy of Parents Need to Eat Too.

And the winner is, as picked by the random number generator on Random.org which for some reason I cannot get to show up here, so I had to use my phone to take a picture of it…

Posted in Sponsored Post | Leave a Comment »

Broccoli and cheddar pinwheels – from Parents Need to Eat Too!

Posted by Jeanne on February 20, 2012

Debbie’s book comes out tomorrow!

If you want to pre-order, today is the last day to get your free digital starter kit.  Or, if you’re the gambling type, leave a comment on THIS POST about your first food memory by Tuesday, February 21st at midnight CST and you will be entered to win a copy!

I have to say, I’ve been really spoiled by having a copy in hand for a couple of weeks now.  This book is great and I forsee using it a lot once this kid is born (due date in t-minus 26 days.  OMG.).  The recipes I’ve tried have worked well and the time estimates aren’t gross exaggerations like they are in some recipes/cookbooks (see also:  damn near every recipe in Cooking Light magazine’s time estimates, Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals that take an hour).

Also, Curt is seemingly enthralled by the “make baby food” instructions that accompany most of the recipes.  It’s the little things that count.

Broccoli and Cheddar Pinwheels

1 pound prepared pizza dough, white or whole wheat (I used half a batch of this dough)
2¹⁄₂ cups finely chopped broccoli, or one 10-ounce package of frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted and finely chopped  (If you don’t mind the additional cleanup, you can do the fine-chopping by pulsing in the food processor. It’s important that the pieces be quite small, or you’ll have trouble in the assembly.)
1 to 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, depending on how much you like cheese (who doesn’t like cheese?  We definitely used two cups.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line or grease a baking sheet.  (I would HIGHLY recommend lining the baking sheet.  We used a silpat and there was some cheese-oozage that would have been a bit of a nightmare to remove from an unlined sheet).

1. Remove pizza dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to use it.

2. Steam the broccoli until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (We used the food processor to chop the broccoli up, as suggested.  Worked like a dream.)  Cool slightly, then combine broccoli with the Cheddar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Roll or stretch the dough on a floured work surface into a large rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches. Don’t worry if you can’t get those exact measurements, but take care not to stretch the dough so thin it rips.

4. Spread the broccoli mixture over about three-quarters of the dough, leaving an uncoated portion at one short side.

Begin to roll the dough from the short side covered with the broccoli spread, and keep rolling until you’ve got a nice, neat log of dough.

   

5. Using a serrated knife or a pastry scraper, cut the log into 8 equal pinwheels.

Carefully lay the pinwheels flat on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Verdict?  These are REALLY tasty.  This is one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of its parts – the ingredients list isn’t much but don’t let that fool  you.  Also, they come together really quickly.  I plan to make another batch as soon as I have more pizza dough.

Posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Cooking, Entrees, Parenting, Sponsored Post, Vegetarian | 7 Comments »

Honey-soy roasted salmon – from Parents Need to Eat Too!

Posted by Jeanne on February 7, 2012

I’ve been reading Debbie’s blog for years and have been eagerly awaiting the publication of her book since she it was announced (last year?  I can’t even remember.).   I’m even more excited that the book is coming out this month, because my life circumstances have conveniently aligned with the book launch.  What better timing than to have a book about cooking for new parents released a month before our first baby is due?

It’s fate, I’m telling you.

So I was EVEN MORE excited when I was asked to participate in the blogger cooking party leading up to the book’s launch.  For those of you who are also eagerly anticipating the launch of Parents Need to Eat Too, you can pre-order a copy and get a free digital starter kit to go along with it.  Or you can try and win one from me!

To enter, leave a comment on THIS VERY POST with your earliest food memory.  First bite of a favorite food?  Cooking with a parent or grandparent?   All comments entered before midnight CST on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 will be included in the drawing for a copy of Parents Need to Eat Too.

On to the food!  The first recipe I tried was honey-soy roasted salmon.

Serves 4

Cooking time: 35 minutes (5 minutes active)

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or other asian chili sauce, or to taste

Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, skinned (we used skin-on frozen fillets from Trader Joe’s – I don’t mind salmon skin and tend to prefer to cook with it on, actually)

Cooked rice and a green vegetable, for serving

Preheat oven to 450°F.

1. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a shallow bowl. Add the salmon, turning to coat, and marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature, and up to 1 day refrigerated.

2. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold the fish in 1 layer. Remove salmon from the marinade and arrange in the dish (skin-side down, if you’ve left it on). Reserve marinade.

3. Roast fish just until it’s opaque all the way through, 12 to 14 minutes.

4. While the fish is roasting, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, 4 or 5 minutes. (watch carefully or you’ll wind up with something akin to tar.)

5. Serve the fish with the rice and a green vegetable, and pass the sauce separately.

I doubled the marinade amount so that we would have some extra sauce.  I served it with steamed rice and some dragon beans we had in the freezer from this summer.

The fish was great and the marinade is something that can be thrown together before work in the morning without making a mess or having to do things like dice and saute onions at 7 am.  We promptly forgot to marinate the fish in the morning, as the day we planned to make this dish ended up being the day after I checked the alarm on Sunday night and then shut it off again.  So we were a bit rushed in the morning… but it the fish was nice and flavorful even with only a 20-minute marinade while the oven preheated.

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Fishes, Sponsored Post | 13 Comments »

Review: Graeter’s Ice Cream

Posted by Jeanne on April 28, 2011

Bah, I am the WORST BLOGGER EVER.  I blame the running – the half-marathon is this Sunday though.  So either I will be a better blogger soon, or I’ll be dead from stupidly attempting to run 13.1 miles (IN A ROW).

Anyway.  Less excuses, more ice cream!  In mid-April I was contacted by a representative of Graeter’s Ice Cream.

They started making small-batch ice cream in 1870 in Cincinnati, Ohio and thanks to the power of the intertubes they were able to send ice cream to me in Nebraska.  Apparently it is Oprah’s favorite ice cream.

From left to right:  vanilla, mint chocolate chip, black raspberry chip, Buckeye blitz, mocha chocolate chip, and strawberry.

Vanilla and mint chocolate chip – lovely, clean flavors.  Also, I like that the mint isn’t dyed a crazy neon green.

The chocolate is poured into the ice cream by hand, so you get some chips that are tiny and some “chips” that are more well-described as “huge chunks.”  If you get one of those you win the chocolate lottery, although they are kind of hard to get out of the container.

Buckeye blitz and mocha chocolate chip – the Buckeye blitz is Jenny’s fault.  When I told her about the email I got, she insisted that I ask them for Buckeye blitz.  The lovely Graeter’s people were nice enough to indulge her.

Buckeye blitz is chocolate ice cream with the same chocolate chips plus peanut butter cookie dough.  If you like ice cream with lots of stuff in it… this is for you.  This is not for me, but Jenny really liked it.

The mocha was more my style.  Coffee and chocolate, always a brilliant combination.

The berries – black raspberry chip and strawberry.  Both of these had really excellent true berry flavors, and definitely didn’t taste like “strawberry flavoring.”  They just tasted… like berries.  It was really cool.

So we suffered through eating 6 pints of premium ice cream just for you, my dear readers.  I’m telling you, this blog thing is sometimes pretty awesome.

Disclosure:  I received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I am not expected to return this item after my review period.  Because it is IN MY BELLEH.

Graeter’s Ice Cream can be shipped to the lower 48 states; prices vary depending on distance from Cincinnati:  $60 – $80 for 6 pints, and $90 – $120 for 12 pints.  If you order tonight, it appears you can have it delivered as early as Tuesday of next week.  It arrives in a foam cooler, frozen solid and packed in dry ice, and let me tell you it is a pretty cool thing to have ice cream waiting for you on your porch when you get home from work.  Also, Mother’s Day is May 8th.  Just sayin’.

Has anyone else ever had Graeter’s Ice Cream?  If we ever make it to Ohio I am going to have to check it out in person.

Anyway, happy almost weekend!  I promise to post more if I don’t die during the race on Sunday.

Posted in Food commentary, Sponsored Post | 1 Comment »

Fridge Friday: Sugar rush edition

Posted by Jeanne on April 22, 2011

I am embarking on a project this weekend.  Two projects, really.

What’s in the fridge isn’t nearly as interesting

as what’s in the freezer.

Lots of ice cream!  A nice person representing Graeter’s ice cream offered to send me six pints to review.  I am not really in the position to refuse a lot of ice cream, so I said yes – look for a review in the next few days.

It’s difficult, but we have suffered through tasting lots of ice cream.  Just for you guys!

Also:

There will also be peepshi.  So that’s my weekend – review lots of ice cream and make peepshi.  Hopefully my teeth won’t rot out of my head…

Happy Friday!

Posted in Fridge Friday, Sponsored Post | Leave a Comment »

Behold, the power of cheese

Posted by Jeanne on October 1, 2010

This is a Sponsored Post with giveaway written by me on behalf of jarlsberg cheese.  All opinions are 100% mine.

This post is really, really long and contains many photos.

I love the internet.  Because, you see, the internet brought me the opportunity to experiment with cheese recipes and try something new.  Casey started Kitchen Play and contacted me to write some new recipes featuring jarlsberg – how could I say no?

The theme of the Kitchen Play event is tailgating.  This is the part where I have to confess again – I’m not a football fan.  Living in Nebraska, this is akin to sacrilege – but I really don’t understand the rules of football and I feel like the games take foreeeeever.  I am ALWAYS a fan of eating and parties though.

Anyway.  Jarlsberg.

Big honking wedge of cheese!  Whoot!  Jarlsberg has some holes, like you would think with a Swiss cheese, but it’s a bit softer and milder.  And we have some left and I think it is going to make some killer panini.

First recipe:  Jarlsberg-stuffed mini sliders

Makes 12 – 15 mini burgers

3 lbs. ground beef

1 egg

Salt & pepper

12 oz. jarlsberg, cubed

Place cubed cheese on a plate or sheet pan and place in the freezer until you need it.  If you’re assembling and cooking your burgers in the same spot and you plan to grill them, prep the coals so they will be medium-hot or preheat your gas grill.

Mix ground beef, egg, and salt and pepper in a large bowl until well-combined.

Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.  Dish out six small burgers, about 1.5 TB of meat each, and flatten with your hands or the bottom side of a glass until they’re about 4 inches across.

Place about 1 oz. of cheese in the center of three of the burgers (take the cheese out of the freezer before this step…).

Place one of the unfilled burgers on top, and press tightly around the edges to seal.  Try not to break the burger or you’ll have a crazy cheese explosion on your hands when you go to cook them.  Set aside, refrigerate, and repeat until all your burgers are made.

Note:  If you’re making ahead and transporting to cook at your tailgate, stop here and chill the burgers well until you get there.  Be careful of cross-contamination – you don’t want ground beef all over your beer cans or potato salad or whatever else you’re having.

If you’re not transporting your burgers or cooking them inside, start the grill now!  Or um, warm your skillet or griddle pan.  We cooked ours inside because it was about 110F that day.  Don’t forget to keep the burgers nice and cold until you’re ready to start cooking.

Cook your burgers about 3 – 4 minutes per side, flipping only once.  Flip carefully so as not to explode the cheese inside (which I failed at, mightily).

See?  Exploded a bit.  Annoyed!

Serve on a teeny-tiny bun and enjoy!

See?  Cheese in the middle!  We had with zucchini sticks but really, these are good with any side and I will make them over and over again.

***

For the second recipe, I wanted to do something that might be a bit better later in the season – it is COLD here in November and soup is an excellent meal option.  Especially a soup made with corn.  We are in Nebraska, after all.

Second recipe:  Corn and cheese chowder

Makes about 12 cups of soup

2 TB olive oil

2 TB butter

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 red bell peppers, diced (must use red.  We’re in Nebraska.  I suppose if you’re a Spartan you can use green.)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

Salt & pepper

3 lb. potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peeled and cubed

2 C corn kernels (if you make this when corn is in season, I would grill it first and then cut from the cobs.  Probably about 6 to 8 ears.  I used frozen for this dish, because there is no sweet corn worth buying late in football season.)

1 TB smoked paprika

6 C chicken broth or stock

0.5 C flour

1.5 C milk

1 C shredded jarlsberg (or more to taste)

Look!  I finally took a mise en place photo!

Warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven.

Add onion, red pepper, and garlic and salt and pepper well.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 10 minutes.  Add chicken and cook about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add potatoes, corn, paprika, and stock.  I like to use six cups of stock because I like the soup to be fairly thin – if you want a thicker soup, reduce the amount of stock.  Cover and bring to a boil – cook about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Mmmm, chowder.  If you’re prepping ahead, stop here and chill.  Warm it again before proceeding to the next step.

Mix milk and flour well (I like to put it in a sealed container and shake the crap out of it.  You can use a baggie as well.  Or just, you know, a bowl and a whisk.) and add to the chowder.  Keep the heat no higher than medium so it doesn’t boil and break the milk.  Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened a bit.

Add shredded cheese, lower heat, and stir often until cheese melts.

Serve the chowder with some crusty bread or crackers.  If you, like Curt, believe there is never, ever enough cheese, please feel free to top with more.

***

Jarlsberg asked me to give away a sweet rolling tailgating tote – perfect for your next tailgate!

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post that describes your favorite tailgate dish. If you need more inspiration, check out the Kitchen Play tailgating event or Jarlsberg’s tailgating site.  Feel free to leave more than one comment, but only the first one will be counted as an entry.

The competition closes at midnight CST on Friday, October 15th. I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner. Good luck!

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, red meat, Soups & stews, Sponsored Post | 15 Comments »