#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.


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!


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.

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.

Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa {Giveaway}

This giveaway will end Wednesday, April 20 at 11:59pm EST.

Mrs. Renfro's SalsaBack when this blog was 5 Vinez Monkeys, I had the chance to review some really fabulous salsa. It was called Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa, and it was some of the best tasting salsa I have ever had. (You can read the entire review here.)

With their unique blends of flavors, you’re sure to find something that everyone in your family will love.

Here’s more information about their company:

For 70 years, our family’s been bringing you delicious and innovative products at affordable prices. From our Green and Habanero Salsas to our Peach and Black Bean Salsa, we’re proud to offer the finest flavors and authentic tastes of the Southwest.

You’ll find our salsas and condiments online so you can order your favorite Renfro® products from the comfort of your home. If you’re looking for new ways to spice up your meals, please visit our Recipes section for some great ideas. You can also read about our story, view our latest news, or play some fun games in our Kid’s Corner. Enjoy!

Not only is their salsa fantastic for dipping your tortilla chips, but it’s also great for cooking! I’ve made some really great dips with different flavors of Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa and Velveeta cheese, and I’ve made some awesome chicken dishes thanks to their salsa. (Be sure to check out their recipes section listed above for tons and tons of fabulous recipes to try with your family.)

Now, the crew at Mrs. Renfro’s has contacted me again and asked if I’d like to do another giveaway. How could I refuse?! I want all my readers to get another chance to win some more of this fantastic salsa!

Want to try Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa for Yourself?
To Buy: You can purchase Mrs. Renfro’s salsa at leading grocery stores in all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean, or on their website.

You Can WIN! I get to giveaway a prize pack to one of my readers. You’ll get to select which 4 Mrs. Renfro’s salsas you’d like to try. Talk about a tasty treat!

To Enter
Head to the Mrs. Renfro’s website and check out their selection of products. Then, come back here and leave a comment telling me one flavor of salsa you just have to try.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to Blessed Beyond Words and Mrs. Renfro’s website. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of Blessed Beyond Words on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Mrs. Renfro’s on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow Blessed Beyond Words on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Follow Mrs. Renfro’s on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY)
    Use the re-tweet button above, or here’s a sample tweet:

    • Win a 4 pack of @MrsRenfros salsa from @angievinez and satisfy your craving! – Ends 4/20: http://tinyurl.com/3jw89rw
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)
  • Write a Review on Alexa (3 extra entries. Please leave your Alexa username.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on April 20th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via the “And the Winner is..” plugin. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a representative of InterStar PR on behalf of Mrs. Renfro’s salsa. They provided the free product for me to sample and get my honest review. They will also be fulfilling the winners’ prizes as stated above. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Please note that other users may have different opinions or results when using this product.

Still Spicing Things Up with Mrs. Dash!

Back in December, I posted about how I had seriously changed my diet and how I’ve been using Mrs. Dash seasonings instead of salt in many of my recipes. (You can read all about it here.)

Mrs. DashThings haven’t changed a bit. I still reach for the Mrs. Dash seasonings before I grab the salt. And while my blood pressure is slightly elevated this pregnancy, I believe that because I’ve cut so much salt out of my diet that it’s kept my blood pressure from getting out of control. Even with everything we’ve dealt with the past few weeks – the stress of moving, the last few weeks of pregnancy, everything – my blood pressure has stayed down. I still feel healthy, and my weight gain this pregnancy is still right on track.

I still love the way that Mrs. Dash makes everything taste. The kids are still asking for seconds and thirds on dinner, and they’re coming close to eating me out of house and home. 🙂

I’ve been trying to make extra meals here and there to store in the freezer so that when Gage finally makes his appearance, it’ll be easier on all of us. Guess what I’m using to season those recipes? Yep! Mrs. Dash! My freezer has several casseroles, side dishes, and main dishes just waiting to be warmed up and ready to enjoy.

In this post, I’m going to share some fantastic recipes with you courtesy of  Mom Central and Mrs. Dash.

These are the ones I’ve tried that my family just loves! I hope you’ll try them too and let me know what you think of them.

Crispy Baked Potato Wedges

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30-31 min
Ready In: 41 min

2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Original Blend
4 medium size red potatoes cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, slivered
juice of half a lemon
3 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Dry potato wedges on paper towels, rub with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash®
Original Blend.
3. Roast on baking pan about 30 minutes, turning at 15 minutes to evenly brown potatoes.
4. Mix garlic, lemon juice and remaining olive oil in a small pan with remaining Mrs. Dash®
Original Blend. Serve alongside roasted wedges for dipping.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 247
Total Fat: 10g
Trans Fat: 0g
Sodium: 21mg
Potassium: 1016 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 35g
Protein: 4g

Garlic Herb Chicken

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5min
Cook Time: 15 min
Ready In: 20 min

2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Garlic & Herb Blend
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tsp (10mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5mL) Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. (30mL) lemon juice

1. Coat chicken breasts with Mrs. Dash® Garlic & Herb Blend.
2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet.
3. Cook chicken until done; remove chicken and set aside.
4. Add mustard and lemon juice to remaining spices in skillet. Heat 1 minute to blend flavors;
spoon sauce over chicken.
5. Chef’s Hint: For added color, add a sprinkling of basil as the chicken rests and before spooning
on the sauce.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 165
Total Fat: 5g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 94mg
Potassium: 290 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 1g
Protein: 27g

Savory Chicken with Potatoes

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

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

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

Now, to feed my family, I had to double these recipes. They still tasted great, and were a hit with the whole family! The Savory Chicken and Potatoes is one I’ve got waiting in the freezer for after Gage’s arrival.

Try these recipes out, and let me know what you think of them! I’m curious to see if your family loves them as much as mine.

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.

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

Super Cheap Recipe That Had Kids Begging For More

As many of you know, I am not a cook. I was raised a “restaurant kid” and can order from any menu like a pro. My mom was never home to cook, and my dad’s cooking skills were limited to hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and condensed soup, so that was all I grew up learning how to make. After Ashley was born and I moved out, slowly I started to learn to make things that were in boxes on the shelves of grocery stores. Ramen noodles, and Hamburger Helper were staples in my house. I will never forget the time I invited hubby (before he was my hubby) and his mom over for dinner. I decided I was going to cook from scratch. I made a whole chicken with potatoes and carrots. The only problem? When you cut into the chicken (after it had cooked for 6 hours), it BLED. I cooked that chicken for a total of 9 hours, and it was still bleeding. We gave up and ordered pizza that night. My husband should have known then what he was getting himself into.

Now that we’ve been married 8 1/2 years, I have gotten a LOT better. I’ve had to, because feeding 7 people food that comes from boxes is expensive. So, while I’m not a super-fabulous cook, and I definitely won’t have my own cooking show on tv anytime soon, I do come up with some recipes now and then that are real winners. Last night’s dinner was the perfect example.

Hubby had to go into work for a few hours yesterday, so I asked him if he could bring something home for dinner. The only problem? We only had $6 in our bank account, and we had to feed 7 people. Not an easy task – especially when you’re not a couponing queen like my friend Heather.

I had made chicken tacos the other night and had made enough to have extra shredded chicken that I put in the freezer. And I knew we had a couple of other things on hand, so all hubby needed to buy for my recipe was 2 big bags of egg noodles and sprinkle cheese (Parmesan cheese for spaghetti, etc).  Dinner went over so well that all of my kids asked for 3rds and Parker, (my 2 year old), even had 4ths! It was such a hit that some of my friends on facebook asked me to spill the beans and share the recipe. So, I figured I’d do that for all of you too!

Here’s the easy-peasy recipe:

Super Easy Chicken & Noodles


  • Extra Wide Egg Noodles (I used 2 large bags, but I have a huge family)
  • Chicken Broth (or broth made with Better than Bullion – that’s what I used).
  • Margarine (we use unsalted because I have to keep my blood pressure down; I’m sure salted would taste even better!)
  • Shredded Chicken (I used about 2 cups)
  • Parmesan Cheese


  • Bring the chicken broth to a boil. (Or if you’re using Better than Bullion, bring the water to a boil, add the Better than Bullion and then let it boil for an additional 2 minutes.) Add the noodles, and boil until tender. in the meantime, warm up shredded chicken – either in the microwave or the skillet. Drain noodles. Mix in butter, shredded chicken, and Parmesan cheese – as much as desired. Put in bowls or on plates, add more Parmesan cheese (if desired), and serve.
  • I’m telling you, this was the easiest recipe in the world, and the kids gobbled it up and begged for more. The best part for me was that hubby made it all, and then did the dishes afterward. I just got to sit there and enjoy – and watch everyone else enjoy it too! I wish I had know it was going to be such a hit, I would have taken a picture to share in this post!

    So, tell me, what super easy recipe have you made that your kids just gobbled up?

    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.