Monday, April 30, 2012

Herb Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
 After 4 years on the waiting list we finally got a plot at the community gardens.  While we have space at our house for a garden the soil is awful.  We have tried amending the soil, but the results are never what we hope for.

While waiting for garden space we have done lots of container gardening, which I love.  There is nothing like going outside and picking herbs, a handful of sun warmed cherry tomatoes and few bites of lettuce for a salad on the go.
I can't imagine not having my mini garden, so while Mike is at the garden turning over the beds I am getting our containers ready.  This year I am going to put a little more love into the containers - I don't want them to feel abandoned, and am actually going to feed them.  I am going to give Whitney Farms® 100% organic soil and organic plant food a try this year.  There are no additives, nothing artifical just ingredients from the earth.  And, to make it even better no manure odor,  little to no dust and easy to apply.
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Check out Whitney Farms® for yourself, they are offering a $3 coupon to try out their product.
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Happy Gardening!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chicken Tacos

Last week was the Secret Recipe Club monthly reveal.  I didn't think I had signed up to participate, and therefore didn't make anything, but it turns out I was signed up.  The result of this mix-up was Ali over at Ali-n-son being orphaned, which I feel awful about.  I had wanted to get something posted last week, but things were crazy last week and the days just disappeared.

So, now over a week late I have finally gotten around to making Ali's Taco Seasoning and crock-pot Chicken Tacos.  Her seasoning mix is wonderful and so much better than anything you could get in a packet.  Making your own mix is super easy, and as Ali points out allows you to adjust heat and flavoring to your family's preference.  My kids aren't super fond of spicy foods, so I toned down the heat on the mix, but you can easily kick it up.

The tacos are also wonderful, and they were inspired from another SRC member.  The adobo provides a slight smoky flavor and the taco seasoning has just the right bite and heat - a perfect combo!   I don't think you can have too many recipes like this.  They are super quick to put together and when you get home a wonderful meal is waiting.  My kids would probably eat these soft tacos every night.

Taco Seasoning


4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
6 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 teaspoons black pepper

Mix together ingredients in an airtight container. Shake to combine.
Add 2-3 tablespoons for every 1 pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken. Use to replace store-bought taco seasoning in any recipe.

Chipolte Chicken Taco
from Ali-n-son

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (regular or fire roasted)

1 tablespoon chopped chipolte pepper (in adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 packet taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

In slow cooker combine all ingredients, except chicken.  Place chicken on top of mixture.  Cook on low for about 5 hours or until chicken is no longer pink inside.  

Let chicken cool slightly, using two forks shred.  Serve with your favorite taco toppings.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Trifecta Brownies

I saw these brownies on Pinterest a few months ago and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them.  They aren't the type of brownie you make just to have around the house for a little snack.  These are a brownie that need to be shared with a crowd.  I made them for my neighborhood Bunco group, a bunch of ladies I knew would appreciate the sweet, salty, peanut butter deliciousness.

This is one of those recipes that looks really complex and time consuming, but in reality is super easy.  You can make them using a package of peanut butter cookie mix and a box of brownie mix, or you can make them using your favorite recipes.  I used my favorite recipes - a super simple brownie recipe and my favorite 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies.

Start by crunching up some salty pretzles, I left some big pieces for a little bit texture. Add a little butter to hold it all together.  Add a tablespoon of this mixture to the bottom of cupcake tins.

Next make your peanut butter cookie dough. Place a flattened ball on top of the pretzel mixture.
Add a miniature Reese's Peanut Butter cup, if you have an assistant watch them very carefully or you may run out of peanut butter cups
Finally top with a couple of tablespoons of brownie batter.  Bake, let cool and enjoy!

Everyday Brownies
Printer Ready

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) Unslated Butter
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small nuggety chunks (or 1 cup chips)

Butter a  13 x 9 x 2 inches
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In small bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and pinch of salt, set aside.

Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium-sized saucepan.  Keeping over a low heat add sugar and stir until blended.  Add dry ingredients, stir until combined then remove from heat.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and then mix into the flour mixture.  Stir in the chopped chocolate and quickly pour and scrape into a prepared pan, spreading the mixture with a spatula.  Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. It will look set, dark and dry on top, but when you feel the surface, you will sense it is still wibbly underneath.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg

Preheat oven to 350.Combine all ingredients, mix until combined and smooth.  Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.