Friday, April 4, 2014

Sweet Treats made easier with Reynolds Kitchens

This month was an awesome treat... cooking with Reynold's Kitchen I've used Reynold's Foil and Parchment Paper for years so I knew this would be terrific assignment. Its always good when get to work with great products.

We were asked to make a couple of recipes using Reynold's Parchment paper products.   They sent along a roll and something I hadn't used before.I loved loved LOVED working with these sheets. Easier to deal with that the roll, but just as non stick

Precut Parchment sheets
 The first recipe I made was Ashley and Whitney's Popcorn and Pretzel Sweet Snack Mix . The recipe calls for almonds and cranberries to be added to popcorn, pretzels and white chocolate, but I found a trail mix that was wonderful.. so I added that instead. I used Archer Farms® Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix - which is a mix of almonds, cranberries plus.. golden raisins, sunflower seeds and pepitas. Oh have mercy was this stuff good!! Sweet, salty, crunchy and smooth... all at the same time. a perfect snack which can be customized with nuts, fruits and even different chocolate.... oooh peanut butter chips too!! I took this to work and it vanished. I gave a bag to a friend who is a personal trainer and her bag didn't even make it home.. she ate it on the car and didn't share any with her hubby!!

A bowl of addictive deliciousness
The next recipe I tackled was  Karen's Rolled Sugar Cookies. I love cookies. If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, I think cookies would be in the top five. However I rarely make rolled cookies because they can be a royal pain in the butt.. flour everywhere, sticking to the rolling pin, dough flying... etc. The recipe suggests rolling the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper, so I tried it. OMG. It was like a miracle. I feel like such a big dummy for not thinking of this, but using this to roll out the dough has changed my view forever on rolled cookies. Yes they take a bit more time between chilling and rolling, but when you want a good cookie, sometimes you have to roll. I also used the parchment to wrap the dough and chill.  The cookies came out great and I used a tie dye effect to give these an Easter feel.

Tie Dye Easter Treats
I had some leftover tril mix from the popcorn so I saved some of the sugar cookie dough, kneaded in the trail mix, rolled the dough into a log, chilled, sliced and baked. Another winner... will definitely do this again

Almost Healthy cookies!

I enjoyed working with the Reynold's products and will be buying the pre cut sheets from now on

Check out more delicious recipes Reynolds®  or their facebook page Reynold's Kitchen

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Reynolds Kitchens. I received a sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Heart Healthy Yumminess - Win Win!

This month we got to partner with  Mazola® Corn Oil  and make some recipes with their Heart Healthy Mazola® Corn Oil.

The first recipe I tried was Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce 

A plate of deliciousness
This was a really terrific recipe.. delicious and easy. The great thing about this recipe is it can just as easily be made in a crock pot... just sear the meat and then toss it in the slow cooker for a few hours. I liked that this was in chunks rather than shredded as this was a different way to eat it, but you could easily shred this too. The only thing I will do different next time is use pork tenderloin instead of shoulder. I found the shoulder to be a little too greasy for me... but it was delicious!  The tomatillo salsa was good as well.. I added a bit of salt and it was great. Since I cannot eat raw fruit and vegetables, I cooked the salsa... great this way.

The second recipe I made was Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa

Made into a burger,, yum
I had some salmon burgers in the freezer so I decided to use those. The rub was stellar on the salmon and it cooked perfectly. I really liked the flavors. Due to a possible medication interaction, grapefruit could not be used so I subbed oranges.  I have to say for my taste, this had far too much red pepper in it and I did taste the salsa raw and cooked... didn't care for it either way. I'll make the salmon again, but not the salsa

As far as the oil itself, it has a nice light flavor and it was a nice change from the canola and olive oil I usually use. I was surprised to learn new research, sponsored in part by ACH Food Companies, Inc., shows Mazola Corn Oil lowers cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil.  Corn oil lowered LDL cholesterol by 10.9 percent compared to extra virgin olive oil’s 3.5 percent reduction, making corn oil more effective.  Keeping my LDL in the heart healthy range is one of the reasons I have been using olive oil for years so this was nice news... another oil that I can add to my diet

Since I had this nice big bottle of oil, I decided to check out some other of Mazola's recipes on  I decided to make this one this past weekend Slow Cooked Chipotle Chicken

Slow cooker easy peasyness
This was yummy and creamy and had a nice spice to it. My only substitution was Greek yogurt for sour cream. The recipe calls for cooking this on HIGH, which I found unusual but it came out fine. You could also cook this on LOW for 5-6 hours and it would come out just as tasty.

If you are interested in these recipes or any others check some out here  Mazola recipe collection on  Mazola also has a Facebook page Mazola® Corn Oil - check them out

Being heart healthy has always been important to me due to family history and as I get older it becomes more important. My father passed away 27 years ago from a heart defect and my uncle was just sent to the hospital four days ago with a heart attack.  Healthy eating ( most of the time) lots of cardiovascular activity and stress reduction (HA) are all important components to living a long and healthy life, so I try to make sure I hit on all areas.  I put HA next to stress reduction as that is still something I struggle with. I've picked up yoga, but I gotta tell ya.. it hasn't relaxed me yet. :D  I also wear a Fit Bit to track my daily activity, steps and sleep.  It's a lot of fun and I am having a friendly competition with a bunch of new Fit Bit friends to see who can nail their targets the most often.

Oh one last thing I do for my healthy heart... I have the love of a furry companion. Recent research has shown all sort of health benefits from living with a fur baby Cats are good for your health

So give your kitty and hug and a kiss on the nose because they are keeping you healthier.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mazola®. I received a sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating