Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Easy Two-Ingredient Roasted Potatoes

Do you ever feel too tired, busy, or lazy to cook yet want something filling to eat?  That's my situation constantly. On Sunday I was feeling hungry yet didn't feel like cooking, didn't feel like paying the cost of delivery, and sure didn't feel like getting dressed and going out to eat. I fell back on a go-to "recipe" - roasted potatoes. This is so ridiculously easy, inexpensive, and tasty that I have difficulty referring to it as a recipe. If you have potatoes, a bottle of vinaigrette, an oven, and a baking dish you can make these delicious roasted potatoes.  

Balsamic Vinaigrette Roasted Potatoes Recipe

Years ago I often made oven-roasted potatoes after tossing them in some balsamic vinaigrette. On the Kraft recipe site they state: 
"Red potatoes are seasoned with nothing but balsamic vinaigrette and pepper and end up tasting like something a five-star chef made."
Now, my palate is not sophisticated so I am unable to verify that statement with absolute certainty. But I can report that the balsamic vinaigrette roasted potatoes are delicious. Here is their recipe

I don't follow recipes very well and I tend to just throw things together. My roasted vinaigrette potatoes version is as follows:

  • Wash potatoes and cut into chunks (peel if preferred, but I don't)
  • Place into a greased baking dish
  • Add  2-3 squirts of vinaigrette and toss (coating all pieces of potato)
  • Add any extra desired ingredients (see partial list below)
  • Place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (stirring occasionally)
  • Increase oven to 450 and bake until potatoes reached desired softness (use a fork to check)

The step of starting at a lower temperature then increasing the temp is just something I do so that I remember to go stir and coat the potatoes a few times before they finish. That is a completely unnecessary step for an attentive cook.

Additional Ingredients to Consider When Roasting Potatoes

You can add additional items that you are craving or that you think would be tasty. Some ideas include: 

a vinaigrette other than Balsamic
a dressing other than vinaigrette (such as mustard)
my roasted potatoes  
fresh rosemary
lemon juice
browned bacon
browned sausage
ham chunks

I had potatoes, ham, onions, and Kraft Red Wine Vinaigrette on hand so that was my recipe for the brunch that was so ridiculously easy and delicious I decided to take the time to share the idea with you. 

Below I will show some of the vinaigrettes I have used regularly with much success. Just a note, the raspberry vinaigrette is one of the choices I make for my Couscous Summer Salad. But I also wouldn't hesitate to use it on roasted potatoes.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review of Our Favorite Seafood Dip ~ with Recipe

Family Game Night Snacks (c) Elf

Homemade Clam Dip & Chips
The gathering of family and friends over holidays, for special events and celebrations, or for card & game nights, calls for finger food type snacks. The quickest and most popular of these type of snacks are what we all like to refer to as 'chips & dip'.

Many years ago our grocery store carried, along with your typical onion dip and guacamole dip, a creamy cream cheese type dip with clams. The seafood lovers in my family absolutely loved it. Somewhere along the line the store-bought clam dip disappeared from the dairy section, probably due to lack of popularity as not everyone likes clams. (Can't imagine that, but it's true!). :-)

We really missed not being able to buy clam dip any more, so I got to pondering on it and figured out it couldn't be that hard to come up with my own version. Using some suggestions from an appetizer cook book for seafood-type dips, this 'homemade clam dip' is what I 'invented'. My family and friends liked it so much that it has become the 'expected' snack item at our house for any time we get together. It's best served with ripple-style chips and/or pretzels because it is a bit 'stiffer' than some dips and the regular chips break apart too easily while 'dipping'.

My son recently called me long distance because he couldn't find his copy of my recipe and needed a review of the ingredients for the batch he was making. Others have asked for the recipe too, so I decided to share it here. Hope you enjoy it at your next gathering.

RECIPE For Clam Dip


  • 1 (or 2) 8-ounce package Cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounce tub Sour cream, Use 'light' version, if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, bottled or Fresh
  • 3 or 4 Scallions or Green Onions, chopped
  • Dash Pepper
  • 1 or 2 cans Canned Clams, drained
  • Large Bag Ripple-style Potato Chips and/or Pretzels


  1. Place opened package of cream cheese in a medium bowl to soften.
  2. Finely chop 3 or 4 fresh scallions (or green onions). Amount depends on your personal preference.
  3. When cream cheese is soft enough to work with, add the chopped green onions, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and pepper. Stir to mix.
  4. Add the sour cream a few spoonfuls at a time, stirring into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Continue adding sour cream until the dip is the consistency you prefer. Some like it stiffer, somewhat like a spread you could serve on crackers; others like it soft enough to use with chips and pretzels.
  6. When the dip is mixed to the consistency you like, add the clams (drained, but allow a tiny bit of clam juice to remain for a nice extra flavor).
  7. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to nicely blend. Stir once again before serving with the chips and/or pretzels.
+Cook's Note: I often double the recipe, depending upon the size of the group I am serving it to, as you will find it gets eaten quickly! :)

*Extra Note: We like lots of clams in our dip, so I prepare it with two cans, but one can works just as well.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min

Ready in: 30 min

Yield: Serves 4-6 people

Clam Dip ready to eat and enjoy!

Cream Cheese

Available on Amazon

Cream cheese dips, clam and otherwise, are my favorite kinds of dip.

I made a batch of my clam dip for a recent visit from my son & family. It's our favorite snack and is always expected.



Chips and Other Dips!

Source: Pixabay

If clams are not your favorite, there are lots of other kinds of dips from spinach and guacamole to onion dip to salsas. Any dip and combination of chips (potato, tortilla, pretzels) make great finger food snacks for any kind of party or get-together.

Dip Cookbook

Available on Amazon

Dips is a dip cookbook with more than 40 recipes ranging from quick & easy dips to fancy party dips.  A cookbook filled with dip recipes for any party or occasion.

Are you a fan of 'chips & dips?'  What is your favorite kind of dip? 

For a variety of other kinds of appetizers, check out these fabulous appetizer reviews compiled for your snacking pleasure on Review This Reviews.

Originally written © 2013 Wednesday-Elf.  Updated for Review This! on 9/2/2017

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Let's Review My Favorite Hand Held Lemon Juicer, That's Not For You!

The best hand held lemon juicer could be yours!
I absolutely love my hand held lemon juicer and when I purchased it I really believed that it was the best lemon juicer available.

If I was to buy a lemon squeezer today, however I would buy a different one, read on and find out why I absolutely love, love, love my lemon juicer, but would still buy a different one if it needing replacing!

I have a hand held aluminum lemon squeezer style of citrus press that I use for my lemon juice and what's not to like? This is what it does -

  • It produces lots of lemon juice
  • It is really easy to use
  • The bright yellow really brightens up your day when you get it out of the drawer!

Really it does everything it needs to do and it does it really well so why would I not say that it's the best lemon juicer around anymore?

Well I was browsing Amazon as you do and I came across a citrus squeezer with that little banner over it - Amazon's Choice - so I looked at it and wondered where it had been a few years ago because I would definitely have brought it instead.

Let's look at the two of them and see if you can guess why (mine is on the left)

Can you spot the difference?  It's the lime insert!

Fresh Lemon Juice is the BEST Lemon Juice!

Now when I was younger no one I knew used fresh lemon juice they used a bottle of lemon juice that was kept in the fridge once opened and that was what I thought lemon juice was until I moved to New Zealand.

In New Zealand back then most people seemed to have a lemon tree in their gardens (this isn't the case as much any more unfortunately) so fresh lemons were abundant and the idea of buying lemons was almost unheard of!   When my husband and I brought our first home we had the requisite lemon tree and I realized that I was never going to go back to using 'fake' lemon juice again!

Unfortunately these days I have to buy my lemons, but I am planning on planting my own tree again soon!

Why Use a Lemon Squeezer?

When I squeezed my first lemon by hand I used one of the type of lemon squeezers pictured below, what about you?

How do you squeeze your lemons?

The problem with these is that the action required is no good for my wrists (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis so twisting motions aren't the easiest for me), plus it takes more strength then the hand held squeezer I now use.  I also used to always find that the pips would manage to get into my cup/bowl every single time!

Now if you don't fancy the old fashioned lemon squeezer featured you could try an electric juicer.  I do have one and it is awesome, but if I want to squeeze some lemon or lime juice for a recipe or drink I find it's too much trouble.   To be honest making a lemon and honey drink or squeezing some lemons to add into my tea or for cooking (like this Tex Mex Lasagne) I'm not going to use my electric juicer.   I'm lazy and as great as the juicer is I'm not cleaning it for a little lemon juice!

The heavy duty hand held lemon squeezer is awesome - it squeezes the lemons or limes with little effort on your part, no pips get into the cup/bowl and you can wash it up in no time - perfect!

Why a Metal Lemon Squeezer?

I choose a metal lemon squeezer because I really wasn't sure that a plastic one would last for long.   The one I have is an enamel coated heavy duty aluminium lemon squeezer and I've had it for years.  It still looks brand new even though I couldn't begin to calculate how often it's been used.

My lemon squeezer was also available in two other sizes -

Hand Held Citrus Presses

The smallest one is for limes, the yellow for lemons (which is the one I chose) and the orange for oranges.  My husband was going to buy the green one for me as well, but I said no.

I have actually used the lemon one for limes as well because basically I didn't want two gadgets that did the same thing cluttering up my kitchen drawer.  If the other hand held juicer had been available with the lime insert in it I would have purchased it in a heart beat!

So as much as I love mine, it's not the one for you - the one I recommend for you has a lime insert with it - Click Here for a short video showing it in action

So Which Do You Think is the Best Hand Held Lemon Juicer

I recommend the hand held metal lemon/lime squeezer myself, but I do still love my own lemon squeezer and I have no problems squeezing limes with it!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, July 28, 2017

How to Grill the Perfect Steaks - Beginner Tips Reviewed

Learning to Grill the Perfect Steaks

Easy Instructions:  How to Grill the Perfect Steak
I decided to learn how to grill steaks myself after reading so many great recipes and ideas for the grill written by my fellow online writers. 

In our family, it has always been the man's job to cook out.  Previously, I just accepted the gift gratefully and I was content to defer to my dad, one of my brothers, or to my husband's expertise on the grill.  However, with visions of kebabs and grilled pound cake, I was inspired to learn how to use the grill. 

I photographed all of my husband's steps to preparing the grill and preparing the food.  Now I will be ready to grill our next steaks.   I am willing to share my new knowledge.  Perhaps, this article will help you get started too.  

So, let's have some fun!

Choose your Steaks Carefully

Although they were expensive, we chose to cook 4 USDA Choice Rib Eye Steaks.  They weighted 3.82 lbs total weight.  They were purchased the same day we cooked them and they were never frozen.  In this photo, they have already been seasoned and are ready to grill, but I have included our steak preparation instructions below

Selecting the Right Steaks to Grill


What You Need to Cook the Best Steaks You will Ever Eat!

In our family, grilling steaks was always man's work. 
After decades of relying on my father, brothers and husband,
I decided to learn how to grill steaks to perfection myself. 
Let me show you how!

    Grilling Supplies for Great Steaks
  • A Grill
  • Charcoal
  • Chimney Grill Starter
  • A Sheet of Newspaper
  • A Match or Lighter
  • Food ~ We chose 4 Rib Eye Steaks ~ Total weight: 3.82 lbs.
  • Seasonings ~ We only use salt, pepper and olive oil lightly rubbed on steaks 

Setting up the Grill

Slide Through the Photos using the Arrows at the Bottom of thia Google Slides Frame

  • Start with a clean grill
  • Stuff a sheet of newspaper in the bottom
    of your chimney grill starter
  • Turn over starter and fill the chimney grill starter with Charcoal
  • Light the paper at the base of the chimney grill starter with a match or long lighter
  • Wait for charcoal to get ready. It will be mostly gray. This takes approx.
    35 - 45 min.
  • When the charcoal is ready, use a pot holder on the handle of your chimney grill starter and dump the charcoal into the grill.
  • Carefully place the grill rack in place over the hot charcoal on the lowest level closest to the charcoal.
The grill we used is named Maude.  She is my dad's grill and she is over 30 years old - Her handles are gone and her paint is worn, but she still cooks! 

Using a Chimney Grill Starter

  The Chimney Grill Starter is a lot safer than flicking a lit match at lighter fluid doused charcoal.
Food tastes better without the use of lighter fluid too!


Preparing Your Steaks to Grill

If you do it our way, it is really easy and absolutely delicious!  Do not poke or pierce the steak with a fork, knife or any utensil at any point in the preparation or cooking process.  This will allow the meat to retain all of it's flavor and juices.
    How to Grill the Perfect Steak
  • Rub Olive Oil lightly on both sides of each steak
  • Salt and Pepper both sides of each steak
  • Place seasoned steaks on the grill rack
  • Cover grill and steaks for 9 minutes
  • Turn steaks ~ ONLY ONCE
  • Cover grill again and cook an additional 7 minutes for medium or 12 minutes for medium well.
  • Remove steaks from the grill and wrap in aluminum foil.  Allow to rest in the aluminum foil for 5 minutes before you eat.

Step by Step Photos of the Grilling Process

Turn Steaks Only ONCE
Cover grill again and cook an additional 9 minutes for medium rare or 12 minutes for medium well.
Remove steaks from the grill and wrap in aluminum foil. Allow to set for 5 minutes before you eat.

How to Grill the Perfect Steak - Step by Step Instructions for Beginners
This is my cut steak. I like mine cooked medium well.
I thought you might like to see the inside color of one of
our finished steaks.
This one grilled for a total of 21 minutes.

Now, Isn't that easy!  These steaks are quite delicious too.  They are best you will ever taste anywhere.


More Cooking & Grilling Fun

Join me at Cooking for the Holidays for More Cooking Tips & Recipes

Recipe for the Grilled Kebabs mentioned in the introduction, can be found on Recipes for Real People from Susan Deppner
You may also wish to try Grilling Shrimp on the Grill with this Easy Recipe from Sam's Place
For a Recommended Grill, check out this review of the Char-Griller Duo 5050 written by Dawn Rae

Check Out More Recipe & Food Reviews at

How to Grill the Perfect Steaks - Beginner Tips Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

How to Make Easy Healthy Vegetable Stock for Free!

How to make easy, healthy vegetable stock for free!
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs
I love my slow cooker and one of the things I regularly make in it is my super easy vegetable stock.

The best thing about this recipe is that it's free food!  Well pretty much free - all you have to pay for is water (depending if you're charged for water) and electricity.

Let's review what you will need to make your own homemade vegetable stock (you won't believe how easy it is!) .......

What You Need To Make Easy Veggie Stock

  • Vegetable scraps/peelings
  • Water
  • Slow Cooker
  • Strainer

Vegetable Scraps

When I'm cooking I don't throw away any vegetable peelings, onion skins, carrot tops etc.  I have an old, empty, plastic ice cream container in the freezer and I put all of the vegetable scraps that are thrown away in most households into it.  I should note that I also add any mushroom stalks and skins (if I've peeled them), but I don't add asparagus ends as they don't do too well in the stock.

Basically making this stock is also reducing your household waste which is a big tick for the environment as well as your wallet - and the health benefits of eating stock that has got no hidden extras - well that's priceless.   Okay, sermon over and on with how to make the veggie stock.

I'm actually thinking that I need a bigger container to store them in especially since my daughter became a vegan.  At the moment I seem to be making a pot of stock once a fortnight.

Slow Cooker

I think everyone should have a slow cooker and they don't have to buy an expensive one.  I have a very basic slow cooker that has lasted me for more years than the company that made it.

 Crock-Pot SCV400B 4-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black
The slow cooker I have has basically three settings - low, high or automatic and that's really all that you need for your first slow cooker.

 You can buy slow cookers that have a number of different programs, but I wouldn't spend more than $25 on a basic slow cooker for your first one and see how you find it.

The important thing that you want to make sure your slow cooker has is a removable stoneware for easy cleaning - I think most of them have this nowadays anyway.

Once you've left something cooking in your slow cooker and have walked back into your house to the delicious smells wafting through you will wonder why it took you so long to get one!   If you're already a slow cooker convert you know exactly what I'm saying, don't you?

So Exactly How Do I Make Simple Veg Stock?

The Easiest Vegetable Stock Recipe Ever!

Empty your veggie scraps into your slow cooker, add enough water to cover the scraps, turn on slow cooker and walk away!   How easy is that?  See if I say something's easy I really mean it!

I usually put my slow cooker on low and leave it for 6-8 hours, on occasion I have put it on high and left it for 3-4 hours and both options have worked well.

Once you've turned your slow cooker off you can either let it cool for a bit or strain it straight away.  I just ladle the contents of the slow cooker into a sieve over a jug and just strain all of the liquid through.   The vegetable scraps that you're left with get thrown away by me, although I might start keeping them for compost - I'm researching whether or not I should use them once they've been cooked especially as I've read that you shouldn't use onion skins in the compost.

You will note that I haven't added any salt to this vegetable stock - I just season the dish that you're making with the stock as opposed to adding any at this stage.   When I used to buy stock I hated it when you used a stock that was quite salty because your husband forgot to get salt reduced!
Vegetable soup make with veggie stock

When you're making your own homemade stock you will notice that every time you make it the color can be different.  This is because of the different vegetable scraps you have, if you are using red cabbage and red onion one week it will look very different to a week when you have mainly potato peelings and carrot tops.

Most of my vegetable stock is used to make a range of different soups as I usually make a different batch of soup each week.  The soup is then put into single serve containers and labeled with my favorite label maker before being popped in the freezer.

On days when I'm working I simply select which soup I feel like and that's a nice, quick and healthy lunch for me.

So let me know do you make your own vegetable stock yet?  If not I hope you'll give it a try and let me know how you get on.

How to make easy healthy vegetable stock
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review of Byrd's Famous Cookies

The Byrd Cookie Company has been an established company in Savannah, Georgia since 1924.  At that time, Ben T. Byrd, Sr. began baking small batches of cookies from his bakery, packing them in wooden crates, and personally delivering them to neighborhood markets in his Model T Ford.

Later, Ben's son, BT Byrd, Jr. had the idea of packing these bite sized confections in tins, so that they would travel better.  It wasn't long before Byrd became a gourmet food company, shipping cookies to other markets outside Savannah. By then, Byrd, Jr. had become known as "Cookie" Byrd!

Cookie Byrd's daughter Kay, and her husband, were the third generation of the Byrd family to run the company and today their daughter Stephanie continues with the 91 years of baking the famous Byrd cookies.

Each generation has developed new recipes and innovative ideas and the company has expanded its marketplace worldwide.  Their “recipe for success” includes its continued tradition of hard work, superior product quality, and outstanding customer service. They continue to bake in small batches to deliver the superior cookies their customers expect. 

Scotch Oatmeal Cookie

The classic Byrd Cookie is it's Scotch Oatmeal cookie available in the classic tin shown above in the introduction image.

A Few of Byrd's Famous Cookie Flavors

Key Lime Cooler


Byrd's Key Lime Cooler

To this day, the Key Lime Cooler cookie remains the company's best selling cookie. It is the first cookie to ever win the Dessert of the Year award at the NASFT Fancy Food Show.

The Key Lime Cooler is a thin bite-size cookie bursting with the same deliciously tart-but-sweet flavor as key lime pie. This classic cookie has a powdered sugar coating.

Georgia Peach Cookies


Byrd's Georgia Peach Cookie

This award winning 'Flavor of Georgia' cookie has a sweet Georgia peach taste. Byrd takes the tangy goodness of a tree ripened peach and coats it with powdered sugar with a flavorful sweet cream taste. 



Favorite Bite Sized Cookies of the Low Country Assortment

Low Country Assortment of Byrd Cookies

This famous Savannah company is located virtually across the Savannah River from the South Carolina Low Country, which includes the coastal area from Myrtle Beach to Charleston and Hilton Head. Thus, having a Byrd cookie named for the Low Country fits right in with this area.

Byrd's Famous Cookies Of Savannah include these favorite bite-sized cookies of the Low Country. They come in a gift ready Post Card style 6 Oz.Tin and include the Key Lime Coolers, Georgia Peach, Benne Wafers, Almond Shortbread, Chocolate Chip, and Scotch Oatmeal.

For a list of all the current flavors of Byrd's Famous Cookies, Click here on their Website.

Byrd's Famous Cookies Stores

The flagship store is located at the bakery at 6700 Waters Avenue in Savannah and other stores are located in City Market in the Savannah Historic District and on the famous River Street located along the Savannah River.  You can shop for a selection of gifts, gourmet items, and curated selection of boutique wines. In addition, of course, to all the cookie flavors Byrd is famous for.  

Bakery Tours

Take a tour of Byrd's Bakery when you visit Savannah, Georgia.  You will be able to smell the cookies before you even enter the door.  Whether you are a tourist visiting the city or locals who want to arrange field trips for school children and Scout troops, it's a fun tour. You'll get to know the history and legacy of this multi-generational cookie company on your guided tour and delight in lots of cookie tasting!  Tours are available  Monday-Friday 10AM-4PM and a tour can be booked in advance by emailing or call 912.721.1551.

May your cookie jar never be empty!


Byrd's Famous Bite-Size Cookies


  A yummy Article written by Wednesday Elf


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hidden Valley Pasta Salad Mix Reviewed

Hidden Valley Pasta Salad Reviewed
I rarely get very excited over boxed food, but this Hidden Valley Pasta Salad mix caught my eye when I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago.  

With the hot weather of summer fast approaching, the idea of a cold pasta salad was very appealing.  I thought, why not?  I'll give it a try.  Worst case, I wasted a few dollars and end up tossing it in the trash. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised!

Hidden Valley Pasta Salad - Original Ranch

HIDDEN VALLEY PASTA SALAD ORIGINAL RANCH 7.9 OZHIDDEN VALLEY PASTA SALAD ORIGINAL RANCH 7.9 OZAs it turns out, this is by far the best pasta salad I have ever tasted, bar none.  It took less than 15 minutes to cook the pasta, stir in the sauce and add the required mayonnaise and milk.  With the first bite, I was absolutely shocked at how delicious it tasted. 

I couldn't eat all of the pasta salad I made that day all at one time and I wasn't about to throw it away.  I put the leftovers in the refrigerator.  For the next two days I ate the leftover pasta salad for lunch.  In fact, it was even better the second and third day after the ingredients had "married" overnight.  Plus, after being refrigerated, it was cold and made for a very nice lunch on the warm days that followed. 

I'm pretty excited about the discovery of the Hidden Valley Pasta mixes.   For this first adventure, I made the Original Ranch pasta salad. But, I will definitely be trying the Southwest Ranch next. 

Not only is it great for my own lunch, but I would willingly serve the pasta salad for the holidays, at a ladies luncheon, or as a side for dinner.  It is always nice to have something fast and easy to prepare whether I am cooking just for myself, feeding my family, or entertaining guests. 

Add Vegetables or Meat to Your Pasta Salad

For lunch, I prefer pasta salad without meat, but you can add ham, bacon, chicken or other chopped meat in with the pasta to make a fabulous dinner.  Or, you might want to add fresh vegetables instead.  How do I know it would be fabulous?  Because the base pasta salad is fabulous, so adding a tasty meat or fresh vegetables would simply give it a new twist.

Check Out More Recipe & Food Reviews at

Other Recommended Pasta Recipes

How to Make Pasta SaladHow to Make Pasta Salad from Recipes for Real People
Not sure how to make pasta salad? Really it's easy, especially when you know a couple of simple tips.

Easy Pasta RecipeEasy Pasta Recipe from Cooking for the Holidays
This is likely to be the easiest pasta recipe ever! My grandmother originally introduced all of us to this fast and easy recipe decades ago.

Buttery Pasta and Shrimp Recipe ReviewButtery Pasta and Shrimp Recipe Review - On Review This!
This shrimp/pasta buttery combination has become a standard for company dinners and has also become a family favorite for Christmas Eve dinner every year.

TexMex Lasagna Recipe ReviewedTexMex Lasagna Recipe Reviewed on Review This!
Typically one thinks of lasagna as a classic Italian dish. Today I want to share a recipe that I created for TexMex Lasagna. It is a little twist to an old favorite

Hidden Valley Pasta Salad Mix Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pati's Mexican Table Review

I love food but I'm not a foodie. I enjoy cooking and baking but I'm not very good at it. I need recipes that are easy to follow with explanations of any "exotic" ingredients. You may wonder why I am writing a cooking show and cookbook review if I struggle in the kitchen. Well, that is exactly why I want to share what I know about Pati's Mexican Table. Pati Jinich takes some of the mystery out of Mexican cooking and presents it in a way that is easy and delicious.

Pati's Mexican Table Review

Pati's Mexican Table is a cooking show on public television channels. This weekend I was very fortunate to find a cooking show marathon that featured Pati's cooking shows back-to-back. I was in tamale heaven! And I had forgotten about creative gelatin desserts. With Cinco de Mayo approaching, she made me crave authentic Mexican food. 

Many of the recipes featured on the show are listed on her website. While the internet makes finding recipes a snap, there is something I really like about having either a cookbook or a printed recipe. I don't seem to lose track of where I am or what I'm doing if the printed recipe is with me in the kitchen while I cook.

That's why I am thrilled to see that she has two cookbooks offered for sale. 

Pati's Mexican Table is a cookbook filled with authentic Mexican recipes. Customer reviews are highly complimentary of this cookbook. The notable "pros" about this cookbook are the very helpful "cook's tricks" and the sidebars that explain ingredients or cooking techniques. These extra instructions are helpful in successfully making the recipe. One of the few "cons" listed by a few reviewers is that this cookbook does not list all/exactly the recipes shown on the television show.

Pati's Mexican Table cookbook

Mexican Today

Pati's second cookbook, Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens offers authentic Mexican favorite recipes with a contemporary twists. Again, the cookbook features helpful advice and sidebars that are especially helpful for those of use who aren't formally trained in the kitchen.

Authentic Mexican food is plentiful when I travel to the area I was raised. When I am away from that area, I find myself missing authentic Mexican food. With Pati's television show and cookbooks for inspiration, even I should be able to make some delicious meals for Cinco de Mayo and all through the year. 

Mexican Today cookbook by Pati Jinich

Related Link:

There is a good chance you are already familiar with Pati Jinich and her cooking show. But just in case you aren't, here is a quick introduction to her easy recipes and down-home style:

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed

Easy Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed
My son recently started requesting Smoothies again for breakfast, which caused me to pull out some of my old recipes. I thought you, too, might like to try this easy Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe for a healthy snack anytime you want one! 

The tropical fruit smoothies taste really good and they are very easy to make. Simply gather your favorite tropical fruits and the blender and you have a quick and healthy snack for breakfast, lunch or after dinner! 

Personally, I always enjoy discovering new ideas and delicious treats. These fruit drinks really are a lot more healthy than most desserts and are certainly more enjoyable than taking vitamin supplements. 

Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Preparation Time

Prep Time Ready In Yields
                      5 min.                        5 min.                                  2 servings


Ingredients for My Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 mango peeled and seeded
  • 1 papaya peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 5 cubes ice


Tropical Fruit Smoothie are so simple to make. All you have to do to have a quick healthy snack is mix the following ingredients into a blender and mix it together.   

Step 1: Place the mango, papaya, strawberries, orange juice, and ice cubes in an electric blender 
Step 2: Process until the ingredients are smooth 

I have started cutting up my seasonal fruit and freezing it in freezer bags for convenience.  The frozen fruit is actually even better than fresh fruit in smoothies, but the fruit is delicious either way.

Reviewed & Recommended Smoothie Blender

Nutri Bullet Review
Read Dawn's Review by Clicking this Photo
I previously used a blender for making smoothies. However, in June of 2016, Dawn Rae reviewed the Nutribullet here on Review This and I was so impressed with her review, that I replaced my blender with a Nutribullet immediately.  That was definitely the right decision!  

The Nutribullet works faster and chops the fruit into much smaller pieces which makes a smoother smoothie.  The Magic Bullet Nutribullet Pro 900 Blender/Mixer (15 Piece Set) that we purchased also comes with a smoothie recipe book that has some great recipes in it.  We have enjoyed several of them.

The Nutribullet made such a favorable impression on our household, that we gave our daughter and her husband one as a gift when they moved into their new home last fall.

Read More About the Nutribullet on Dawn's Review:  Nutribullet: Why I Waited Too Long!

More Fruit Smoothie Recipes

Pawpaw Fruit Smoothie Pawpaw Fruit Smoothie
PawPaws are not a fruit from my own area so when I discovered this recipe by Dawn Rae, I was quite intrigued. I still have not had an opportunity to try it, but I really look forward to it. In my case, I simply have to find a pawpaw supplier.

Peanut Butter Triple Berry Smoothie RecipePeanut Butter Triple Berry Smoothie Recipe
I love peanut butter and this recipes also includes a banana, which is my favorite fruit. Therefore Susan Deppner's Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipe seems made just for me.

Bumbleberry Pomegranate SmoothiesBumbleberry Pomegranate Smoothies offers this recipe that is a fabulous mix of berries, honey and pomegranate juice. This would truly be a delightful summer treat.

Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse

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