Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SeparAide - Revolutionize How You Use Your Slow Cooker

My loyal readers are well aware that I utilize my slow cooker quite regularly. In the cooler months of the year when my family is super busy and always on the go, the slow cooker is my go-to for ensuring that I have home-cooked, wholesome meals ready at day's end for my family. In the warmer months, my slow cooker allows me to keep my oven off (and kitchen cool) while still cooking up some of my family's favorite comforting dishes.

I was recently introduced to an exciting new product, the SeparAide. It is a kitchen-grade silicone slow cooker strainer that will revolutionize that way that we use our slow cookers. I am working with SeparAide™ to share their concept with folks who love cooking and those who often turn to their slow cookers when preparing meals for their families.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chocolate Crunch Mocha Mini Trifles

If you're looking for a simple-to-prepare dessert that is loaded with decadent chocolate and rich coffee flavor, these Chocolate Crunch Mocha Mini Trifles might just be your ticket to indulgent bliss. There are so many wonderful textures and flavors layered up in this dessert. Coffee-infused vanilla pudding and crushed chocolate sandwich cookies collide with chunks of moist chocolate cake in this magical treat. Smooth whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles finish off the layers in this crowd-pleasing dessert.

I love mini desserts. They are so much fun to serve and even more fun to eat. I shared my Black Forest Mini Trifles with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream with you just before Christmas last year. This dessert is quite similar in terms of preparation and presentation. I utilize a store-bought cake mix and boxed pudding mix here to make my time (and mess) in the kitchen less. I do make my whipped cream from scratch, but, of course, you could use a store-bought frozen whipped topping if you want to hasten things even more during prep time.

Note that I do recommended assembling these, at least, a few hours in advance - even better if it can be the day before. However, I recommend waiting to add the chocolate sprinkles until shortly prior to service ... especially if presentation is important to you. The sprinkles can "bleed" into the whipped cream if placed on the trifles too far in advance.

Yields 8 mini trifles.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Lemon Cake Mix Puppy Chow

I think most of us know (and love) traditional Puppy Chow ("Muddy Buddies"). I've made several versions of the original throughout the years. Since we are in the middle of summer (and lots of hot temps) right now, I was pondering trying a more "refreshing" version. The flavor of lemon immediately came to mind.

Using a lemon cake mix makes this recipe so super simple. In just a matter of like, five minutes you can be enjoying this addicting, sweet Lemon Cake Mix Puppy Chow.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Mandarin Orange and Spinach Pasta Salad {with Teriyaki Dressing}

I am so excited to share this recipe with you because it's just such a delicious twist on basic, traditional pasta salad. It may sound odd to have a pasta salad with sweet components, but I promise you that every single ingredient comes together so beautifully and cohesively. The dressing alone is so incredibly, insanely good and addictive. (I seriously cannot wait to try it brushed and glazed on grilled chicken.) Forget about ho-hum pasta salad. I believe that this recipe will really surprise you and become a favorite during these warm summer months.

I am sure that you could easily make this a more-complete meal by serving some grilled shrimp or chicken on top of the salad. But, I have been simply enjoying this as a light lunch all throughout the past week. It seems to keep well for several days in the fridge, so I've found myself munching on it quite a bit. I've made it twice now in the past two weeks. I just can't seem to get enough.

Once again - you'll flip over the dressing. It begins with a base of store-bought teriyaki sauce. (I prefer Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze.) Vinegar, a little sugar, some neutral oil and a few spices are whisked in to make what becomes a killer sauce. It gets poured over and tossed with pasta, spinach, Mandarin orange slices and a few other perfectly-paired up ingredients. The result is a unique, healthful, fresh and vibrant pasta salad that I hope you'll really come to love.

Serves 4 - 5.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Chili Lime Chicken Taco Salad

Summertime means lots of salads in the Joyously Domestic household. We eat salad quite regularly as our full meal when temps get up in the eighties and nineties this time of year. Some of our favorites are my Berry "Peachy Keen" Grilled Chicken Salad Bowl, my Easy Vegetarian Taco Salad, my Moroccan Quinoa and Bulgur Salad and my Mexicali Loaded Salad Bowl with Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing . I always buy a plethora of fresh produce each week and like to keep the ingredients for many of my go-to salads on hand. So, it's a breeze to whip up quick, light meals for us on busy weeknights ... or when we're being lazy on the weekends and don't want to put much effort into dinner.

This particular salad includes some killer grilled chicken that has real amped up flavor. I like that a couple of chicken breasts stretch to feed several people, so it's a pretty inexpensive salad to toss together. For this salad, I like old-school iceberg lettuce for the base. I, then, arrange the taco salad toppings that my family prefers on top. We serve this with fresh-cut avocado, lots of sour cream and hot sauce alongside. And, don't forget the nacho, corn or tortilla chips ... they are the cat's meow, so-to-speak, crushed atop the salad at time of service.

Simple. Flavorful. Inexpensive. A perfectly refreshing, healthful and bountiful salad for those nights when you don't want anything too heavy for dinner, yet something delicious and satisfying is in order.