Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 217

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Thanks so much for joining in last week, if you did, and looking forward to seeing all the fun lunches this week!

Want to join in?

Just choose a bento (please, just one bento or post or link) you've made from the last week you want to share, copy the URL of that post from your blog (you may need to click on the title to get it), and enter it into the linky below.

Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps, it's simple, I promise!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

4 Ingredient Skippy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


As a Hormel Family Blogger, we get a lot of new products to try out and last month, we received a jar of their Skippy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter.  Now three of the four of us like peanut butter, with Faith being the lone holdout.

It's yummy on toast or bagels, and great with fruits to dip, but I wanted something different!  Years ago, I made a basic 4 ingredient cookie with a different chocolate spread and decided, this just might work!  So last night was experiment night and it was a success!

Just gather up this:


Then add this:



I opted to melt my peanut butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it a bit easier to mix.

Mix these well and roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Press a fork on top of each ball to flatten.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until cookies are set.

Remove from oven and press with fork one more time.

Eat and enjoy with a good cup of tea.

Disclosure: I have received product and information from Hormel Foods in exchange for being a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger. All opinions expressed within the post are my own.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flavoring with Lemon Instead of Salt #TableTheSalt


Did you know that almost all Americans consume more sodium than is recommended?  Fast foods and convenience foods are the biggest culprits, but most of us could use less sodium in our diets.  Sunkist S’alternative is hoping to help to change this trend!

Flavoring with lemon instead of salt is a great and tasty way to help reduce the amount of sodium in foods cooked at home.  The Sunkist S'Alternative project tested multiple recipes with various ingredients, to discover that the use of Sunkist lemons may allow for significant reduction of salt in recipes with no adverse effect of flavor.

We had to try it out for ourselves. Can we really use lemon as an alternative to salt? We checked out the Sunkist website to find out the ratios and decided to try out lemon pepper shrimp on the grill, along with a lemon-butter to top our grilled baked potatoes.  They were tasty!


Shrimp marinade:
5 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix ingredients together, skewer the shrimp, and brush with marinade while grilling.

Lemon-butter for potatoes:
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt

Melt butter, mix in lemon juice, zest and salt.
Cut potatoes in half after baking and brush with butter.  (We also do this on the grill.)

I also love this handy dandy inforgraphic from Sunkist for how to substitute lemon for salt in different dishes.


We love the idea of substituting lemon for salt and there are some amazing recipes for it on the Sunkist website.  Which one would you love to try?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sunkist. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lunchbox Mini Tuna Ranch Macs & an Annie's Homegrown Giveaway

Summertime seems to be project time around here!

This time, F&B and I are partnering with Annie's Homegrown as part of their blogger team.  We're getting the chance to try out their products and just have some fun with their yummy foods

Our first challenge?  Creating a new recipe using Annie's products!  We decided to try out an idea I've had in my head for awhile for mini-tuna ranch macs with a crumb topping.  Since it's summer, we made them in glass ramekins to eat at the table, but these would be a great lunchbox addition if you simply made them in paper or foil cups in a muffin tin.


Don't these look yummy?  We used Annie's Shells & White Cheddar, along with peas, tuna and ranch to form the base, then mixed butter with crumbled Annie's Cheddar Squares to form the topping.  Put it all together, bake and enjoy!  We also decided that ham or chicken could substitute for the tuna for a different flavor too.

Mini Tuna Ranch Macs:
1 box Annie's Shells & White Cheddar, prepared per package directions
1 can tuna, packed in water, drained and broken up with a fork
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup peas
About 30 Annie's Cheddar Squares crackers, crumbled
2 Tbsp Butter

Preheat your oven to 350.
Make the macaroni and cheese according the package.
Add peas, tuna and ranch to the macaroni and cheese, mix well.
Divide into ramekins or into papered muffin tins.
Melt butter and mix into the crackers, then spoon over the tuna mac cups.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the topping sets.


Another fun part of working with Annie's is the giveaways!  Want to win some Annie's goodies of your own?  Just use the Rafflecopter below to leave me a comment telling me what your favorite Annie's product is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also join Team Annie's, a fun social community where fans get special access to the world of Annie’s and can share their love for all their delicious products (did someone say “Mac and Cheese”?!)

Disclosure:  #spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between my blog and Annie's Homegrown. This could include Annie's providing me w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 216

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Thanks so much for joining in last week, if you did, and looking forward to seeing all the fun lunches this week!

Want to join in?

Just choose a bento (please, just one bento or post or link) you've made from the last week you want to share, copy the URL of that post from your blog (you may need to click on the title to get it), and enter it into the linky below.

Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps, it's simple, I promise!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Snack & Contest

This year is the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle's most famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  We had multiple Eric Carle books when F&B were little and The Very Hungry Caterpillar holds a special place in my heart.  Ben even had the cutest blue outfit with the caterpillar on it!

The World of Eric Carle contacted us and asked if we might be interested in creating a snack based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in conjunction with an anniversary snack contest.  How could I resist?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Snack

We opted for a fruit based Very Hungry Caterpillar, perfect for healthy snacking.  And he is very very easy to make--no special tools required.  All you need is kiwi, honeydew, strawberries, a teeny bit of cheese and a pretzel stick or veggie straw.
  • First, peel your kiwi and slice it into rounds.
  • Slice a nice flat piece of honeydew, remove the peel and use a cooking cutter or jar lid to cut circles.
  • Cut a strawberry in half, and round the pointy end, just a little bit.
  • Build your caterpillar on a plate, alternating slices of honeydew & kiwi to form an "S".
  • After the last piece of green fruit, add your strawberry.
  • Break a pretzel stick or veggie straw in half for the antenna.
  • For eyes, cut tiny tear drop shapes from a piece of cheddar cheese with a sharp knife.
  • Add the eyes to the strawberry and add small circles of green apple peel to make the pupils if desired.
And you've got a very simple, very cute, and very yummy Very Hungry Caterpillar!


Have you made your own cute Eric Carle snacks?  Right now, the World of Eric Carle is kicking off a snack contest on all of their social media channels, with an amazing prize of a Very Hungry Caterpillar dinner set, sippy cup, book and plush caterpillar.  I really really love the plush caterpillar!


To enter, create a snack inspired by an Eric Carle book and tag it with #VHC45. Post it on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram between July 13 and July 31, 2014 (make sure it's a public picture so it's visible to others).

Need inspiration? Check out The World of Eric Carle on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for free downloadable activities, family-friendly creative projects, inspiring ideas, as well as the latest brand and consumer product news.

If you decide to enter, leave me a link in the comments, I'd love to see other creations!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The World of Eric Carle for the 45th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Simple On-the-Go Snacks with Skippy Singles


As part of our partnership with Hormel foods, we sometimes get samples of their newest products to try.  Last month, we received their new Skippy Singles but I was saving them for emergencies since they are packaged individually.

This week, we've been needing more on-the-go snacks and I'm really glad I saved them.  We put together a couple quick and fairly neat snack options for in the car.  Ben is loving them!  (Faith still hates peanut butter.  I'm not sure how this is even possible.)


Option 1 - Granny Smith apple chunks, baby carrots, grapes, and Skippy Singles Creamy


Option 2 - Honey wheat pretzels, raisins, and Skippy Natural Singles Creamy

What are your favorite snacks to dip in peanut butter?  We're looking for more ideas!

Disclosure: I have received product and information from Hormel Foods in exchange for being a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger. All opinions expressed within the post are my own.
 

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