#Sponsored: Mary’s Secret Ingredients – A Recipe for Success!

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mary’s Secret Ingredients. I received a sample in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

marys_secret_ingredients

Are there ever times when you need a few extra ideas in the kitchen? Or maybe you want to try something new, but you’re just not sure where to start?

Let me introduce you to Mary’s Secret Ingredients.

With Mary’s Secret Ingredients, you can quickly and easily become a pro in the kitchen, discovering fantastic new flavors and products that will make life easier, and make your food taste better!

There are two ways to purchase: Individual boxes (priced at just $25.95/box!), or order a one-year subscription and get 4 boxes shipped to your door throughout the year. At just over $100, the one year subscription is a great option to keep for yourself or give as a gift to that special cook in your life.

Want to know the best part? Mary’s Secret Ingredients has partnered with Feed the Children, so every time you buy a box, you’re helping feed someone in need. Love that!

marys_secret_ingredients

For this review, I received the Fall box from Mary’s Secret Ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside!

The Ultragrain Blend All Purpose flour is already a favorite. It’s what I buy when I make my homemade chicken and dumplings or cookies from scratch. In fact, when I opened the box, Jace caught a glimpse of the flour and asked, “Oh, Mom! Does this mean we’re having dumplings for dinner?”

The POURfect Measuring Spoon Set is to die for! It’s funny, because I was really wishing I had one of these before I got the box. I ordered some cute measuring spoons several months ago, but while they look cute, that’s about all they do. They don’t measure accurately, and I got frustrated every time I tried to use them. Enter the POURfect measuring spoons, and I don’t have that problem anymore! I can quickly and accurately get just what I need – down to the DROP! (Which is 1/32 of a teaspoon, by the way.) 😉

The other items were new to me: Sarah’s Sea Salt, which is a Tuscan Sea Salt, and the Jenkins Jellies are both items I’d never heard of, but I can’t wait to try them out! I’ve got chicken breast thawing in the fridge for tonight. I think I’ll visit the recipe section of the Mary’s Secret Ingredient website and see what I can whip up for dinner. I’m not a fan of spicy foods or jellies, but my 12 year old, Zander sure is. I have a feeling his next Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich will have a bit of a “kick” to it. 🙂

Whether you are a seasoned cook or just starting out, I encourage you to check out Mary’s Secret Ingredients and order a box. If you avoid the kitchen at all costs, why not order a box for a friend? The winter box would make a fantastic Christmas gift! And, just by ordering a box, you can help feed a hungry child. What could be better than that? Mary’s Secret Ingredients is a gift that keeps on giving.

Mrs. Dash is Still Spicing Things Up!

Every few months since December, I’ve been keeping you all updated on some major diet changes I’ve made around here. Those changes started with cutting out salt from many of my favorite dishes and substituting in Mrs. Dash seasonings instead. It’s been 9 months now, and I find myself reaching for Mrs. Dash every time I want to season something. I rarely use salt any more in any of my recipes. Mrs. Dash offers so many different blends that it’s easy to find exactly the taste I’m craving.

This summer, we grilled out a lot. I have become quite a pro at using the grill, and Mrs. Dash helps make everything so much better. Even the kids will tell you how much they love my chicken and pork chops seasoned with Mrs. Dash.

I also want to share a recipe with you. I’ve actually made this dish so many times that I don’t even have to look at the recipe any more. It’s a favorite with the kids, too, and everyone loves when they hear that we’re having chicken & potatoes for dinner. {Note: I double the recipe every time, and it always turns out great! Also, I’ve tried it with other seasonings besides the Onion & Herb blend. Most work really well. Ashley likes it best with the Italian Blend, and hubby likes it best with the Garlic & Herb blend. I just like it.}

Savory Chicken with Potatoes

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 34-35 min
Ready In: 45 min

Ingredients
3 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Onion & Herb Blend
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 medium-sized  red potatoes (skin on), cut into wedges
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Mix potatoes with 1 Tbsp. each of olive oil and Mrs. Dash® Onion & Herb Blend.
3. Place in a 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Toss chicken breasts with remaining olive oil and Mrs. Dash® Onion & Herb Blend. Arrange chicken breasts in pan with potatoes.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, turning chicken after 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cover lightly with foil for 3-4 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 356
Total Fat: 10g
Trans Fat: 0g
Sodium: 84mg
Potassium: 1253mg
Total Carbohydrates: 34g
Protein: 31g

I absolutely love Mrs. Dash, and I am thrilled with how much my cooking has improved since I started on this campaign. {My husband is thrilled too!} I’ll continue to use Mrs. Dash when I’m cooking, and would encourage anyone who wants to cut salt from their diet to do the same.

To read my other posts about using Mrs. Dash in my family’s diet, scroll down to the “Also Check Out – ” section directly under this post.

Would you consider using Mrs. Dash seasonings instead of salt in your recipes?

To see all the flavors of Mrs. Dash seasoning, and to find more yummy recipes, check out www.MrsDash.comMrs. Dash Seasonings

and don’t forget to become a fan of Mrs. Dash on Facebook!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Mrs. Dash and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

4 Ingredients – The Easiest Cookbook You’ll Ever Own!

4 IngredientsWhen it comes to being in the kitchen, I need simple, fast recipes that I can whip together for my large family. When I was given the opportunity to try out 4 ingredients by Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham, I jumped at the chance. After all, even a cook like me could work with just 4 ingredients! (If you’re not sure what kind of cook I am, read my About Me page.)

The book is packed with over 400 recipes. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, desserts, and there is even a section on meals specially designed for children, including lunchbox menus.

The first place I turned was page 207 to the section entitled “For the Children.” With 6 children – 3 of whom are very, very picky eaters, I need to find recipes that the kids will actually be willing to try.  I was blown away by the number of recipes in that section alone that I wanted to try for my kids. We’ve made several of the recipes in there, and the kids have really enjoyed each one! My favorite from the section is the Parmesan Twists – and you only need 2 ingredients to make those! They are so yummy, though, and totally addictive. 🙂 The kids really liked the Sweet Crumbed Chicken. I cut the pieces small so that they were more like chicken nuggets, and they were quite a hit.

After working through the kid’s section, I moved on to other places in the book. The Quick Meatloaf was a hit with everyone in the house. I just had to double the recipe to feed all of us! There are tons of great recipes listed all throughout the book that I can’t wait to try – dips, salsas, meatballs, and so much more!

My daughter, Ashley, inherited my love for making desserts, and she went through the dessert section and marked all the recipes that SHE wants to try and make. I’m pretty sure there weren’t very many that she didn’t mark. The other night, I let her make one dessert item from the book, and she picked the Cinnamon Wedges. Oh my word! They were SO good, and so easy to make!

The only thing I wish is that the book had pictures for each recipe. I’m much more tempted by the way a recipe looks when it’s made than when I see the ingredients listed for me. Other than the missing pictures, though, the book is absolutely fabulous, and it’s made an excellent addition to my cookbook collection.

To learn more about 4 Ingredients, check out the 4 Ingredients website. You can also become a fan of 4 Ingredients on Facebook.

Book Information for 4 Ingredients:
More than 400 Quick, Easy, and Delivious Recipes Using 4 or Fewer Ingredients.
By Kim McCosker and Rachael Bremingham
Published by: Atria Books
ISBN: 978-1-4516-3514-0
Pages: 256
Price: $18.00
On-Sale Date: March 29, 2011

You can purchase 4 Ingredients on Amazon for just $12.09.

Spice Things Up with Mrs. Dash (Review)

During my last pregnancy, I ended up with pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure hit stroke level way too often, and I almost lost my life because of it. It was the scariest thing I have ever faced, lying there helpless, unable to do anything to change what was happening.

As a precaution during this pregnancy, the doctor has asked me to limit my intake of salt and find ways to reduce my blood pressure. At first, this proved to be quite difficult. After all, I love salt, and the more the better.

Mrs. DashBut then, I was introduced to Mrs. Dash thanks to Mom Central. I had no idea that giving up salt would be so easy. Mrs. Dash just makes everything taste better. And, because all of her seasonings are sodium free, I don’t have to worry about using them. I can spice things up as much as I’d like!

I started using the different seasonings a few weeks ago. My absolute favorite is the Italian Medley on chicken breast… or pork chops. Mmmmm. So good! I’ve also swapped out salt for the Garlic & Herb seasoning in my mashed potatoes. My kids haven’t even noticed, but now they’re asking for seconds and thirds on the potatoes.

This past week, we’ve been snowed in – unable to get up our driveway or anywhere we need to go. Luckily, I’d stocked up the freezer with chicken, ground beef, and pork chops. We’ve had plenty of time to experiment with Mrs. Dash’s seasonings, and the kids have been loving it. Each night, they pick a different seasoning to try out, and we all give it our rating. It’s been a great way to get the kids involved in making dinner, and it’s made them much more likely to finish their dinner too! Thank you, Mrs. Dash!

I also have to mention: I am NOT a cook – by any means. Typically, if it doesn’t come from a box, I can’t make it. But, using Mrs. Dash has really helped to change that. I still wouldn’t call myself a chef, but now I’m not near as scared to try new things and experiment with food. In fact, I’ve found it kind of fun!

I am super impressed with the Mrs. Dash seasonings, and it’s great to have a way to lower my sodium intake and keep my blood pressure under control. And, I really have to wonder if cutting out all the salt I used to use is what’s helping keep my weight down this pregnancy. Typically, by now the doctors are telling me to watch my weight and try not to gain any more. Not this time, though. I’ve gained less than 10 pounds in 28 weeks, and since I was already overweight, that’s fantastic news. I’m not sure if Mrs. Dash had something to do with that or not, but I do know that I’m eating better, and enjoying what I eat!

I’ll be participating in a campaign with Mom Central and Mrs. Dash over the next year, and every few months, I’ll put up a new post about how I’m using the seasonings. If you decide to try the Mrs. Dash seasonings, let me know. I’d love to hear what you think of them, and if they’ve changed how much salt you use in your recipes.

To see all the flavors of Mrs. Dash seasoning, and to find some seriously yummy recipes, check out www.MrsDash.com

Mrs. Dash Seasonings

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Mrs. Dash and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.