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15 Jun

June 15, 2019

No House, No Baby, No Direction

We began packing up our home, first by taking everything down off of the walls. Things we could live without and were easy to put away. Room by room was packed, and it became increasingly hard to ignore that we were packing without a place to move to.

 

a white built in office with green upholstered chair and gold hardware with a gold chandelier

 

See Part 1 before you read today so you’re all caught up. 

Every day was exactly the same. I’d get up, read my scriptures, workout, get the kids moving and pack something away. I looked legit crazy.
I’d ask for boxes and people would say, are you moving?!
Nope.

But I was praying. I was showing my faith. Building my boat. I knew God was aware of me and wanted to bless me and I wanted Him to know I had faith in that.

 

So I packed. Our house started to fill with boxes. And we were filling out adoption papers. Hoping and praying so much that with a move we’d also find some girl somewhere who’d let us love her sweet baby forever.

 

Empty Heart Full Spirit

My heart was empty and completely full at the same time. Oh how I ached to have another child just like everyone else. But ohhhh how I felt such an enabling power. I was being carried. The pain never overcame me because I was trying so hard to keep walking and choosing Him.

No house.
No baby.
No direction.

 

Feeling Forgotten

 

It felt as though we somehow were forgotten. Were we overthinking this? Lacking faith? Were we not listening and we were supposed to stay put?

How could we ever have someone trust us with their child if they saw my house 40% packed up?! They’d think we weren’t stable!

 

A photo of an empty crib.

A photo of an empty crib.

 

I wanted to fill a crib. I wanted to spread our wings somewhere new with more space for my family. And ohhhh how I wanted to do it in a place where He needed me. 

 

And then He Spake

And then He finally spake. And I heard. I can hardly even write, my heart is so full and my eyes so wet.

Part 3 next week… but in the meantime tell me, have any of you ever struggled to find where you were supposed to be?  

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About the author

Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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14 Jun

When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to fall in love, get married, have darling babies and a lovely home where we laughed and played together. And then I grew up. And I learned that sometimes a home and babies are much harder to get. 

 

White Mantle with Shiplap and built in cabinets

Cade and I have quite the story, but this is just a small piece. A piece we’ve been sharing on Instagram, (go follow us, @Ohsweetbasil if you haven’t already), but because instagram only let’s us writing a small bit in every post we’ve had to break it up. 

And that’s where this post comes in. You all have asked for us to make it easier to read the whole story. So every Friday we will post a part of the story, but if you can’t wait just hop over to follow us on Instagram and catch up by reading all of the non-food posts. 

Otherwise, sit back maybe grab some tissues and chocolate, you’re in for a bit of a story and lots of tears. And keep watching, we will post a new piece every Friday and Saturday. 

We bought this house without me seeing it. I couldn’t. I tried, but my body was too broken.

 

It’s only been a few years and I can still perfectly put myself exactly back into the moment our lives changed.
We’d been looking for a new home for two years and we’d been excited, hopeful, confused, frustrated and finally just chose to hold on. Isn’t it crazy how much we have an inner yearning to find “home”? Let’s say it like it is, that’s not by chance. It’s something we should give a moment to think about. But for this story I’ll continue…

 

A photo of a our family room.

A photo of a our family room.

 

A Year Felt so Long Until it All Made Sense

The first year passed and suddenly Cade was recruited for a job an hour south of where we’d been looking.

Ahhhh it made sense why nothing had felt right and I’m so glad we didn’t push to make it fit. But then where? The hunt continued and still nothing.

 

Making the Decision to Adopt a Baby

During this time we had decided that because it was too high risk for me to have another baby we would adopt. The papers began and we felt good. Searching for two missing pieces. I say that quickly but one day I’ll tell you how incredibly hard that decision was for us.

Nothing was working out, every house was great until we’d get in the car and easily feel unsettled. It wasn’t right.
How?! This was a righteous desire and we were ready! Everyone else just found a place and moved and we were standing still. It was so hard!

 

I Know I’m Not Alone, Other’s Have Similar Experiences

Are you there? Are you standing still? Are you feeling like you’re trying so hard and nothing is coming of it?

It’s one thing when you know you could be making more of an effort but when it’s what consumes you, you’re putting all of your time and energy and prayers into it and NOTHING, well that just hurts. 

 

I was getting up to workout one morning and read a scripture about a man named Nephi. His family had been told to move and though they followed the call they had suffered a lot. Then one morning the voice of the Lord calls for him to arise and go up unto the mountain. There he’s instructed to build a ship, one he has never built before and will have to rely on the Lord to help him.

 

Sometimes You Have to Wait for the Inspiration

 

I read that and fell to my knees in prayer. What do I need to do to build my ship? How can I prepare so I can go?

I knew, I felt it. We had no homes to look at. No offers in on any houses. And still I began to pack. Every day more and more came down off of our walls and put into boxes. I began packing to move without any idea where we’d go.

I never in a million years could have written the next year of our story.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2…

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11 Jun

Are you taking a summer road trip? We have a few and as a mom I’m over the piles of junk food snacks. Check out the BEST idea EVER for road trip snacks and free printable car bingo because I love you.

 

a craft box usually used for beads or other crafts is filled with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, mini sandwiches, cheese and crackers for a healthy road trip snack box

 

Oh how we LOVE you all! We totally get that road trips can be so much fun. 

Until they aren’t. 

You know what I’m talking about. 

The kids hit an age where you suddenly start hearing, “She’s looking out my window!!” 

Yes, that’s an actual argument from my childhood and a few weeks ago we hit our very first ever crabby road trip. It was on the way home and I seriously think my lack of planning healthy road trip snacks contributed. Just you wait until you see what I did this time to step our car food game up!!

And there’s a free printable for a road trip game at the end!

 

a craft box usually used for beads or other crafts is filled with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, mini sandwiches, cheese and crackers for a healthy road trip snack boxa craft box usually used for beads or other crafts is filled with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, mini sandwiches, cheese and crackers for a healthy road trip snack box

What Snacks to Pack for Traveling on a Road Trip

When you’re packing for a road trip, try doing it without your kids. I know, you want them to be able to pick a snack but guess what, if you do it all for them and bring things out they weren’t expecting there won’t be as many complaints as they will feel the love from you serving them. 

If you really want to you can let them each pick a good behavior or a halfway there treat. 

I have found the best road trip snacks are the ones that hit all of the categories, protein, dairy, fruit, veggies and a grain or nut. And we only bring water. You get dehydrated sitting in a car all day, it’s easier to clean up and doesn’t add to your sugar. 

Make sure you find something small that will not roll off of their laminated free printable car bingo cards too! I’ll talk about that in a bit.

Here’s our favorites:

  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Tillamook Cheese (yes, a specific brand and we have a dang good reason for it. A few in fact.)
  • Raisins or Craisins or other Dried Fruits
  • Crackers
  • Mini Sandwiches
  • Veggies and Dip
  • Pretzels
  • Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Yogurt Covered Raisins

 

What Foods to Pack on a Road Trip

It’s not just what snacks to pack and hitting each of the food groups, but it’s also to hit certain experiences. Trust me on this, you’ll feel more satisfied if you’re not just munching on sweets or salty stuff. 

Here’s how I know, when I was in the hospital with Hyperemesis Gravidarum I learned from the doctors that when someone has been as sick as I was and/or on feeding tubes they want to get them back to eating, but not just because it’s food, they want them CHEWING again. Our bodies and minds are connected to the motion of chewing food and we mentally will rise up and get better, make better choices, etc. all because we are experiencing different flavors and textures and chewing the food. 

Pretty cool right!

 

a craft box usually used for beads or other crafts is filled with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, mini sandwiches, cheese and crackers for a healthy road trip snack box

a craft box usually used for beads or other crafts is filled with healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, mini sandwiches, cheese and crackers for a healthy road trip snack box

 

A Variety of Flavor and Texture

You should pack a variety of foods that have different textures and tastes.

  • Naturally Sweet 
  • Salty
  • Crunchy
  • Savory
  • Chewy
  • Big and Small items

If you can try to fit your snacks into all of those categories you will mentally feel better and physically more satisfied.

Which is part of why Tillamook cheese ends up in our finger sandwiches. It’s flavor is so pure and so perfectly done you can’t skip the cheese. The slices are the perfect thickness and so easy to halve for two mini sandwiches. It’s like someone really knows what they are doing and it’s not me, it’s them. 

For the kids we wen’t for Colby Jack. They love that it’s a mild flavor and our youngest things it’s fun to have “leopard cheese”, it’s all spotted you know. 

Cade is a die hard for the Pepper Jack, which I totally get. I mean, when you’re trying to be health conscious you still need variety, you still need that good ol’ dairy from cheese but you want some flavor without all those sauces and dressings. Cheese is totally the perfect solution and Pepper Jack packs in that creamy mild cheese taste with subtle punches of heat that make you feel even more satisfied while traveling. 

 

Craft Box for Snacks

Just find an organizers for things like beads or crafts like this one which is small, flat, and the individual spaces can be whatever size you prefer. I love that. It makes it so easy to pack big crackers, rectangle sandwiches or tiny raisins. 

I have one for each kiddo and Cade and I share one. 

 

It's a FREE printable!!! Our kids love playing this car bingo game with little Tillamook Cheese pieces!

It's a FREE printable!!! Our kids love playing this car bingo game with little Tillamook Cheese pieces!

 

Snacks for the NON Pinterest Mom

So here’s the deal, I’m a no-fuss mom. I’m NOT a pinterest mom other than for recipes. But that being said, having bags and boxes that are spilling, dropping crumbs and always more of certain items (especially the junk) than you need on a road-trip. Are you other moms feeling me? 

Your kids are bickering, fruit snacks are long gone and wrappers are everywhere and yet everyone is still hungry. Oh, and when you finally arrive at your destination you feel gross. Not hungry but also famished. That’s what happens when you’ve been munching on junk food for hours.

Your body isn’t satisfied as it wants greens, protein and dairy more than anything else. 

 

Your Body Isn’t Hungry

Pause while we discuss this. Did you know that when you’re tired your body thinks it’s hungry, when you’re thirsty your body thinks it’s hungry AND when you have not fed your body the nutrients it NEEDS it thinks it’s still hungry? Hello diet issues. 

We partnered with Tillamook on this post because I’ve found that especially as a woman who needs the calcium and children who do as well it would be a perfect fit to share how I now travel with my family.

 

What Cheese is Best?

Being sick is also what solidified in me to eat really high quality foods because not only could my body not handle the junk as well once I was healthy again, but it also craved real nutrition and I felt so crazy humble and grateful I could eat I had no room for the fake stuff. So why are we talking about this? 

Well, when you’re on a road trip you need foods that hold up and trust me, I even dare you to experiment, anything other than Tillamook cheese gets this weirdness to it. Other dairy brands aren’t as pure, and I actually know this as fact.

Tillamook has the highest quality milk compared to other brands, so its cheese doesn’t get a greasy, hard, filmy texture to it. Other brands add so much water it starts to break down and gets left while everyone keeps noshing on Tillamook. 

IT’S SO GOOD!

 

It's a FREE printable!!! Our kids love playing this car bingo game with little Tillamook Cheese pieces!

It's a FREE printable!!! Our kids love playing this car bingo game with little Tillamook Cheese pieces!

 

So in case you missed it, Tillamook is best. Try their Farmstyle Thick Cut Sliced Cheese! They save you time as they are already cut for you, plus it’s thicker more delicious cuts, and finally, they have all of the flavors you love!

  • Colby Jack Cheese
  • Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Extra Sharp White Cheddar
  • Medium Cheddar
  • Swiss 
  • Provolone
  • Monterey Jack
  • Muenster
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Smoked Black Pepper

You can see all of them on the Tillamook Site as well. 

And want to know what our readers love most? You all voted on our Instagram Stories and these were your favorites!

  1. Medium Cheddary 
  2. Colby Jack
  3. Pepper Jack

Hey, did you know we have an entire Highlight on our Instagram Page where you can watch all things Tillamook, even how I assembled these boxes on a live video? Check out our Instagram!

 

Our Snack Box Tips

Just a few little tips on road trip snacks, or mom hacks if you will. 

  • If you want to bring yogurt, dip, dressing or peanut butter (or any butters) lay a little saran wrap in the hole and fill it with your dip. Carefully twist the top and untwist to use. Once it’s all done just twist it back up and lift out to throw away. 
  • Pack items that have no juices or wrappers.
  • Find a craft box that closes tight all the way around, but also tight enough that there’s no space for the items inside to spill into each other. 
  • Have a simple little prize like a toy, treat, book, or even getting to pick the next song to listen to for the winner. 

 

 

It's a FREE printable!!! Our kids love playing this car bingo game with little Tillamook Cheese pieces!

It's a FREE printable!!! Our kids love playing this car bingo game with little Tillamook Cheese pieces!

Now who needs a free printable?! We run these car bingo sheets off on card stock and then get them laminated at UPS. 

Print your car bingo:Bingo Cards pdf

 

Tillamook headquarters

Tillamook headquarters

Tillamook

 

Many of you may have seen our recent trip to Tillamook to visit their newly renovated factory. If you’re looking for a road trip idea might I suggest heading to the Oregon coast?

 

 

You should stay at the Headlands Coastal Lodge in Pacific City which is only about 20-30 minutes from Tillamook and totally breathtaking. 

 

Headlands lodge and spa pacific city oregon

Headlands lodge and spa pacific city oregon

 

We had an incredible visit and I couldn’t end our post without a look back at the incredible experience. 

Even their menu has changed at the factory, but don’t worry, those stinking amazing fried cheese curds are still there. My goodness. I wish I had a picture for you. 

 

portland oregon airport carpet

portland oregon airport carpet

Every time I post this picture to social media everyone responds about that classic carpet and then immediately asks, “So are you going to head out to Tillamook?!”

Heck. Yes. 

You know we can’t ever head to the Pacific Northwest without a stop in at our favorite brand!!

tillamook farms in Tillamook, Oregon

tillamook farms in Tillamook, Oregon

 

Have you checked out Fit Mitten Kitchen yet? My goodness, that lady is going to take over the world. 

We had the best time with the farmers. I adore that they ADORE their animals like family. This isn’t merely a livelihood for them it’s their everything. Their passion, their joy, their family. If you’re going to be buying food these days versus going all blast from the past and raising your own, my goodness let it be brands that care like Tillamook does. 

 

Life is But a Dish and The Modern Proper,  such lovely ladies and GREAT Tillamook recipes on their sites!

 

Life is But a Dish is such a great friend, make sure you check her out!

 

And this yogurt is a recipe I’ll be sharing very soon. It was so good!

 

See all of our fantastic Tillamook recipes from over the years below!

Easy Philly Cheesesteak BreadEasy Philly Cheesesteak Bread

Easy Philly Cheesesteak Bread

There’s nothing like Friday night, jammies and carbs with cheese, am I right? This Easy Philly Cheesesteak Bread is a cinch to make, in fact it’s faster than pizza!

Continue Reading

Instant Pot Southern Macaroni and Cheese [+ Video]Instant Pot Southern Macaroni and Cheese [+ Video]

Instant Pot Southern Macaroni and Cheese [+ Video]

Ok, stop what you’re doing. Pin this Instant Pot Southern Macaroni and Cheese before you forget. It’s the cheesiest, easiest recipe for dinner or as a side.

Continue Reading

Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled CheeseSun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled Cheese

Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled Cheese

Sun Dried Tomato Bacon Pesto Grilled cheese, pesto, Tillamook Medium White Cheddar Cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, crisp bacon and topped with pesto butter!

Continue Reading

Italian Nachos [+ Video]Italian Nachos [+ Video]

Italian Nachos [+ Video]

Italian Nachos [+ Video]

Continue Reading

Spicy Queso Pasta PrimaveraSpicy Queso Pasta Primavera

Spicy Queso Pasta Primavera

Cade and I agree that cheese and carbs are two of the greatest things. Turn it into a Spicy Queso Pasta Primavera and you will never make another meal.

Continue Reading

Cheesy Zucchini Corn CasseroleCheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole

Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole

Want Thanksgiving dinner to be less stressful this year? I’ve got a little secret for you and it involves this Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole Recipe so check it out!

Continue Reading

 

 

 

 

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10 Jun

Country style ribs that are full of flavor and made so easy in the Instant Pot! Our simple BBQ rub adds loads of flavor and we let you in on our secret to make the ribs taste just like they were cooked on the grill. P.S. It’s all ready in less than an hour too!

 

A photo of shredded country style ribs.

 

We have several ribs recipes on the blog like our Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs or our Oven Braised Short Ribs, but this is our first country style ribs recipe. I don’t know why it took us so long because we’ve been eating them for years and they are so dang delish!

A typical meal in our house with these country style pork ribs would include our Best Baked Beans and something light like our Garden Balsamic Avocado Salad. My kids love having cornbread with the ribs too, so sometimes I am nice and make that as well!

If you are looking for more Instant Pot recipes for making dinner in a hurry, you can find all our Instant Pot recipes here! Another one of our Instant Pot favorites is our super viral Award Winning Instant Pot Chili. And if you need a quick guide for cooking all your Instant Pot basics, you can find everything you need on our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet! Ok, I’ve gone off on an Instant Pot tangent…back to these juicy instant pot country style ribs!

What Cut of Meat are Country Style Ribs?

I hope you’re sitting down for this one, but country-style pork ribs aren’t even ribs. They are cuts of pork shoulder (aka pork butt) and is the same meat you use to make pulled pork and carnitas.

Are Country Style Ribs Beef or Pork?

Country style ribs can be either beef or pork. It just depends on what you prefer. Beef will be quite a bit meatier. For this recipe, we prefer pork country style ribs. We also prefer boneless over bone-in.

 

 

A photo of shredded country style ribs.

A photo of shredded country style ribs.

 

 

Why Should I Make Country Style Ribs?

They are easy on the wallet! You can often find country style ribs for a fraction of the cost of baby back or spare ribs.  They also have great fat marbling which makes them extra tender and super flavorful.

How to Cook Country Style Ribs in the Instant Pot

  1. The first step to making these boneless country style ribs is to set aside a little bit of our smoky BBQ rub and then rub each rib with it.
  2. Next you will want to brown each rib in the Instant Pot (set to saute mode). Be sure to add a little oil to instant pot first. If you don’t have the saute mode setting, you can totally brown the ribs in a pan on the stove! Once the ribs are browned slightly, remove them to a plate and turn off the saute mode.
  3. You are pretty much done already! Add the apple juice and liquid smoke to the Instant Pot and add in the trivet (I’ve added link to the one we use). Place the ribs on top of the trivet and put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the valve to seal and turn it to manual pressure – high for 32 minutes.
  4. Allow a 10 minute natural release and then carefully turn the valve to allow a quick release.
  5. The ribs are going to be so tender that they are falling apart so carefully remove them to a baking sheet lined with foil.
  6. Set your oven to broil and sprinkle more of the BBQ rub all over the ribs. This is where the secret to making them taste just like they were cooked on the grill comes in! Pop them into the oven and broil them for up to 3 minutes. You want them to just start to get crispy!
  7. Serve them up with a side of our Homemade BBQ Sauce, and you’ll be putting country style ribs on your shopping list every week!

 

 

A photo of shredded country style ribs covered in homemade BBQ sauce.

A photo of shredded country style ribs covered in homemade BBQ sauce.

 

 

Should I Use a Trivet?

Yes, it helps keep the ribs from being boiled or sitting in fat that’s dripping and then sticks to the ribs.

What Should I Cook with Instant Pot Country Style Ribs?

Now you’re all set with a the perfect Instant Pot country style ribs, but should you serve with it? We’ve got your back!

10 Perfect Sides to Serve with BBQ Ribs

 

 

A photo of country style ribs covered in homemade BBQ sauce.

A photo of country style ribs covered in homemade BBQ sauce.

 

 

Can You Cook Country Style Ribs from Frozen in the Instant Pot?

Yes, cooking country pork style ribs that are frozen works quite well in the Instant Pot. The cooking time will stay the same, but the time the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure will take longer. The cooking time won’t start until the pot comes to pressure. Be sure to take that into account when you’re giving you kids a time to be home for dinner!

How Many Country Style Ribs Do I Need to Feed a Crowd?

Whether you are cooking for your family or for a larger crowd, you can plan on adults eating about 2 ribs per person. Our kids usually just eat one.

Can Country Style Ribs Be Cooked in the Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can definitely cook country style ribs in the slow cooker. Sometimes a slow cooker meal just fits better into your schedule. I totally get that! Follow the same steps of coating the ribs in BBQ rub and browning them on the stove. Pour the apple juice and liquid smoke in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Follow the same instructions for broiling them after they are cooked.

 

A photo of country style ribs covered in homemade BBQ sauce.

A photo of country style ribs covered in homemade BBQ sauce.

 

These country style ribs are tender, juicy, and a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table in under an hour! Our whole family devours them and they are great meal to serve guests. They are rich in flavor and just good ol’ down home comfort food!

 

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 32 minutes

Additional Time 2 minutes

Total Time 39 minutes

Instructions

  1. Set aside 1-2 Tablespoons of BBQ Rub.
  2. Rub each rib with the rub.
  3. Turn the instant pot onto the saute mode or heat a pan over medium heat if you do not have that mode.
  4. Add the oil and a few ribs at a time, turning to each side to brown slightly. Remove to a plate.
  5. Turn the saute mode off.
  6. Place the apple juice and liquid smoke in the bottom of an instant pot.
  7. Add the trivet. Place the ribs on top
  8. Attach the lid and set the valve to seal.
  9. Turn the instant pot to manual pressure, high and set for 32 minutes.
  10. Allow a 10 minute natural release then turn the valve to do a quick release.
  11. Carefully, the ribs will be falling apart, remove the ribs to a foil lined baking sheet.
  12. Set the oven to broil and sprinkle a little more rub over the ribs. Broil for up to 3 minutes or until the ribs start to crisp a little.
  13. Take the ribs out of the oven and serve with a side of Homemade BBQ Sauce.

Notes

You can substitute water or orange juice instead of apple juice.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

2 ribs
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 63 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 157mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 6g Protein: 3g

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Credit: Source link

09 Jun

Grilled chicken is the perfect meal for summer! Add a simple marinade of the best flavors, and you’ll be making this Honey Lemon Basil Grilled Chicken all summer long! It is a healthy and easy chicken recipe your whole family will enjoy!

 

 

A photo of grill honey lemon basil chicken thighs with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I like about Utah is that there are definitely 4 distinct seasons. While I enjoy certain seasons more than others (winter, I’m looking at you!), there is at least one thing I love about each season. Grilling is one of the things I love about summer!

 

Pulling the grill out or the Traeger just makes me happy! I love the smoky flavor of food on the grill, and I love getting friends or family together for a fun BBQ. Let’s get to the details of making this simple grilled chicken!

How to Marinade Chicken?

Creating perfectly grilled chicken starts with a good marinade. A marinade infuses the chicken with flavor and helps the chicken stay tender. For this easy grilled chicken recipe, just a few simple ingredients are needed. You probably have them in your house already. No need for a trip to the grocery store!

  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Montreal seasoning

Combine all the marinade ingredients together and reserve a couple of tablespoons for later. Place the chicken thighs in a glass dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Flip the thighs over so they get coated on each side. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour (up to overnight).

 

A photo of a blue plate with several grilled chicken thighs on it with a side of grilled asparagus and slices of lemon.

A photo of a blue plate with several grilled chicken thighs on it with a side of grilled asparagus and slices of lemon.

 

Is it Healthy to Eat Grilled Chicken?

Yes! Skinless chicken is a healthy protein, though a chicken thigh is going to have more fat than a chicken breast. If you want a lean meal, go with a chicken breast. Our motto is balance and moderation in all things. Eating grilled chicken for every meal everyday wouldn’t be a healthy practice and pretty extreme, but a nice piece of grilled chicken paired with some healthy fruits and veggies makes a well-balanced nutritious meal. Try this Fruit Salad with Lemon Dressing…to die for! If you’re looking for more chicken recipes, we have you covered!

 

How Do You Keep Chicken Moist on the Grill?

There are few tips that help keep chicken moist while grilling it.

  • First, place the thighs between two sheets of wax paper and pound them with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin so that each piece has a uniform thickness. Then they will cook evenly and not dry out in the thinner areas while the thicker parts are still cooking. No duh, right?! But it really makes a huge difference and is a step that is often skipped.
  • Second, marinate the chicken! I know we just talked about the marinading process, but if you want juicy chicken, then marinading is a must. Don’t skip it!
  • Third, set your grill to medium high heat. People often cook their chicken at a temperature that is too high so it gets totally dried out by the time it cooks through. Low and slow is the name of the game here. You want a nice sear on the outside while the inside gets cooked through perfectly.
  • Fourth, baste the chicken while grilling. This is where that reserved marinade comes in. Use it to baste the chicken while it is cooking. It will add extra flavor!
  • Fifth, and most important of all- LET IT REST! I promise this is life-changing. Let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes on the counter before you ever serve it up and it will be perfection!

 

A photo of a blue plate with several grilled chicken thighs on it with a side of grilled asparagus and slices of lemon.

A photo of a blue plate with several grilled chicken thighs on it with a side of grilled asparagus and slices of lemon.

 

How Long Do You Cook Chicken Breasts on the Grill?

For these grilled chicken thighs, 4-6 minutes on each side should do the trick, but always check the internal temperature to be sure it is 165 degrees. You can also head to our post on cooking chicken in a pan, and all the same principles apply to cooking on the grill.

How Do You Know When Grilled Chicken Is Done?

The most precise way to tell if chicken is done is to use a thermometer. Chicken should be grilled to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Another way to tell is to slice into it. When cut, the juices should be clear. This should only be done as a last resort because slicing the chicken always precious juices to drip out. We want to keep all those juices inside if possible!

One last tip for knowing when you’re grilled chicken is done…it will release from the grill naturally. If you go to move it and it is still stuck to the grill, it isn’t ready yet.

 

Why Does Grilled Chicken Need to Rest?

When the chicken is done on the grill, move it to a plate and tent the chicken with some foil. Allow the chicken to rest for a couple of minutes. Resting allows the juices to redistribute through the meat making it more juicy. Once it has rested, you can top each piece with fresh basil that has been chiffonade. Chiffonade is a fun and fancy way of saying it has been sliced very thinly into ribbons.

We did a quick and easy post on what is chiffonade- how to chop herbs so for sure take a quick peek over there. 

 

A close up photo of grilled chicken thights with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

A close up photo of grilled chicken thights with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

 

Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Thighs?

Chicken breasts can definitely be used instead of thighs. We love this recipe with both. Thighs have a richer and deeper flavor that we prefer, but breasts are a little healthier. The meat tenderizing step is especially crucial when you use chicken breasts so that each chicken breast has a uniform thickness. You will still want an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

 

Will Honey Go Bad?

Honey will never go bad on its own.

Honey has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and it is still perfectly good.

 

Can You Eat Grilled Chicken When Pregnant?

If the chicken has been cooked properly, it is safe to eat while pregnant.

 

A photo of grilled honey lemon basil chicken thighs with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

A photo of grilled honey lemon basil chicken thighs with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

 

Can You Freeze Grilled Chicken?

Grilled chicken freezes quite well as long as you follow a few simple tricks.

  • Freeze the thighs whole. Do not cut them up before freezing them. This reduces the surface area of the chicken that could get freezer burn.
  • Freeze the thighs separately so that they aren’t touching each other. This will allow the chicken to thaw more evenly. Stick them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for 4-5 hours. Once they are frozen, you can throw them all into a ziploc back. Get as much air out of the bag as possible or even better, use a Food Saver!
  • Store frozen chicken for up to 1 month. Anything past that is going to start losing its flavor.

 

A photo of grilled honey lemon basil chicken thighs with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

A photo of grilled honey lemon basil chicken thighs with fresh basil chiffonade on top.

 

What to Eat with Honey Lemon Basil Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken goes with just about anything, but these are some of our favorite things to eat with this dish:

 

 

The combination of honey, lemon and basil is one of my favorites! You have your sweetness, your acid and your seasoning which are the three thing you need to make the best grilled chicken recipe in town. This dish is simple enough to make the fam on a busy weeknight but spectacular enough to impress your friends at your next BBQ. Happy grilling!

Grilled Honey Lemon Basil Chicken

Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 12 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1/4-1/3 Cup Fresh Basil, Chiffonade
  • 6 Boneless Chicken Thighs

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the oil, zest, lemon juice, honey, Montreal chicken seasoning and place in a large glass dish.
  2. Remove a couple of tablespoons to a bowl.
  3. Add the chicken thighs to the glass dish and turn over in the marinade.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  5. Heat the grill to medium heat and place the thighs on the grill.
  6. Cook for 4-6 minutes and then turn over.
  7. Baste the chicken with the small bowl of the unused marinade and cook an additional 4-6 minutes.
  8. Remove to a platter and tent with foil.
  9. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes and then serve with the basil sprinkled over.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 328 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 137mg Sodium: 200mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 16g Protein: 27g

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Credit: Source link

07 Jun

Why I Was The Problem In Our Marriage is a headline that has popped into my mind for over 6 months now. I’ve been too afraid to publish until now.

 

Why I Was The Problem In Our Marriage is a headline that has popped into my mind for over 6 months now. I've been too afraid to publish until now. ohsweetbasil.com

Cade and I have been married for 12 years on the 19th of this month. 12 years seems almost like a joke. Aren’t we in our 20’s? Didn’t we just get married and where in the world did these three kids come from?! Sometimes in a marriage you may feel like you’re looking one way, working toward something while your significant other is gazing out the window, oblivious to what’s around him. Or so you think…

Putting on My Brave Pants

When we got married I never knew I’d be writing this post.

I never knew I’d be saying that as much as I love Cade, I didn’t marry the perfect guy. But here we are.

Are You Even Paying Attention

I don’t want you to think I’m leading you to believe something that isn’t true, Cade and I are very happy. We get each other, work well with one another and really enjoy our time spent together, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been times where we are just going through the motions or that we always get along perfectly. Of course we have stress and distractions that build up and we end up a little more snippy or annoyed. Heck, I’m sure we flat out bug each other, which is where this story starts.

 

 

At one point I was really feeling the demands of this blog world. I needed help. We had deadlines for brands and our Cookbook that had to be met and because I do the photos it was all on my shoulders. As the stress built I could feel the air get thick, I was busy and bugged, and Cade was clueless. He was playing in the playroom with the kids and suddenly I felt it, that snap of electricity zap me. I had a fire bursting through me and I was ready to let him know just how mad I was. 

 

Why I Was The Problem In Our Marriage is a headline that has popped into my mind for over 6 months now. I've been too afraid to publish until now. ohsweetbasil.com

Why I Was The Problem In Our Marriage is a headline that has popped into my mind for over 6 months now. I've been too afraid to publish until now. ohsweetbasil.com

 

I dropped what I was doing and marched to the playroom where, with a look you all can imagine I’m sure, I proceeded to tell Cade that he was not being helpful and I really needed him to take notice of what’s going on and help out. Step up, man!

Ouch. I heard my words cut through the air like a sword and yet I still turned and walked away without fixing it. Cade later apologized and in fact, his exact words were, “I’ll try to be better. I am trying to be better. I know I can be, but I just get caught up sometimes. I’m sorry.”

He’s better than me in so many ways.

 

None of Us Marry Perfection; We Marry Potential is a headline that has popped into my mind for over 6 months now. I've been too afraid to publish until now. ohsweetbasil.comNone of Us Marry Perfection; We Marry Potential is a headline that has popped into my mind for over 6 months now. I've been too afraid to publish until now. ohsweetbasil.com

 

None Of Us Marry Perfection; We Marry Potential

A few weeks later I heard something that made me realize why I was the problem in our marriage.

In an address called, Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World Robert D. Hales taught, “None of us marry perfection; we marry potential.”  Did you get goosebumps? I did too.

I didn’t marry someone as perfect as I thought he was, (and yes I knew even then that he wasn’t truly perfect, just perfect for me) I married someone I knew I could grow with, the problem was that slowly I forgot that just like me, he’s working on becoming who he desires to be one day. Somewhere along the line we forget that and start to only see where the other is lacking.

It’s like a baby learning to walk. Our little guy was 15 months old and finally had a desire to really use those legs. He stumbled and fell all day long and do you know what we did?

We cheered for him!

We cheered when he stood up, we cheered when he stood frozen with no forward motion at all, we cheered when he took steps no matter how many and when he falls? Well that’s when we cheered the most!

He was trying and we wanted him to know that’s a good thing and that we love and support him.

I’m Not Going to Stop Cheering

This is where it all starts, seeing the person you married again. I had allowed myself to see him as someone who was falling short instead of a man trying to move forward. Don’t you think our world would be different if we all saw each other for who we could become instead of who we are now? What if we saw the rowdy teenager as the brilliant musician they would become? The tired husband as the man who lovingly BATHES HIS WIFE every day because he’s just that devoted and pure in heart.

That’s what Cade needed, to know that not only did he have the potential but that I could see it.

I often find opportunities during the week to point out what Cade is doing right. If he is playing with the kids I mention how nice it is to be married to someone that wants his children to feel important. If he’s fixing something I compliment his mindfulness in what needs to be done around the house or his willingness to work hard even after a long day. If he’s not doing anything at all and could be, I still tell him I adore him and am grateful for how hard he worked all week.

In fact, I flat out, and often tell Cade that I see his potential. I tell him that I see the efforts he’s making to be a good employee, to be the type of husband that honors and respects his wife. I tell him that he’s got such amazing potential and that I’m grateful I get to take this journey with him. And you know what it led to something that flat out shocked me.

 

I Still Ended Up Receiving More

Cade is easy going. Doesn’t gossip (he hates that) and often keeps things to himself, but the more love and encouragement I gave Cade the more I started to receive as well. Not overnight, I mean, men are wonderful but they are also a little slower at times. 😉 But with time, in his own way I noticed that Cade was complimenting and encouraging me right back. Our stressful months of cookbook work turned into such joy.

Men and women, both sexes need to hear words of affirmation. Whether or not we admit it we all want to feel like we are better than we were yesterday, more successful than last year and happier than ever. Whether you’re like us and feeling happy in your marriage but always looking to make effort and stay in love or if you’re like the many friends and readers that tell us that their marriages are crumbling and there isn’t hope, well there is. You’d be surprised how often something scratches you only because it needs a little gentle care to soften it up. And once you do, you get all of that softness back 100 fold.

 

 

 

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Credit: Source link

07 Jun

This is legit. Forget any other refried beans recipe you’ve tried or eaten at a restaurant, these are my favorite! Better than a restaurant Instant Pot Refried Beans

 

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

 

I often use the quality of the refried beans to judge a good Mexican restaurant…the refried beans and the chips and salsa. Anyone else with me? They just have to be good! These Better Than a Restaurant Instant Pot Refried Beans, amazing!

If they bring out some wannabe, nice try chips and salsa, I’m not going to be anxious to dig into my food and the refried beans usually end up being meh. These Better than a Restaurant Instant Pot Refried Beans have ruined me forever. All refried beans will be meh compared to these!

It all comes together super easy and takes less than hour to cook. Booyah!

Steps to Making Refried Beans in the Instant Pot

Let’s be clear from the get go, the dry pinto beans have to be soaked in water for at least 8 hours before doing anything in the Instant Pot. It takes some planning ahead, so don’t save everything for the last minute thinking the Instant Pot is going to save your hiney! Soak those beans!

 

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

 

From there, it can’t get any easier. Add your beans and chicken broth (and/or water) to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes with a 10 minute natural release and then a quick release. Drain all of the liquid from the beans saving 2 cups of the liquid.

  • Smash the Beans and Season

Add one of the cups back into the beans and all the seasonings (cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and salt) and smash them with a potato masher. Use as much of the second cup of the liquid as you need to get the consistency you want in the beans.

You can skip the cumin and chili powder if you’re looking for a more plain refried beans but we love it. Or try adding more kick with jalapeno, cayenne etc!

 

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa. There is a cup of salsa sitting next to the bowl.

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa. There is a cup of salsa sitting next to the bowl.

 

Then you can top the beans with whatever you want…cotija cheese, jalapenos, salsa, tomatoes, lime wedges, cilantro, hot sauce, etc. That’s it! You have the best refried beans ever!

Why are They Called Refried Beans?

Why on earth are they called refried beans when there is no frying involved?! Not to mention there’s no “refrying” done either. This confusion all stems from a bad translation from Spanish. In Spanish, refried beans are called “frijoles refritos”.

Translated literally, they are called beans refried. However, the prefix “re-” in Spanish doesn’t always mean “again” or “twice”. In this case, the “re-” means “very well”. So refried beans should really be called “very well cooked beans”.  Haha…just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!

 

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

 

Traditional refried beans are soaked and then cooked once usually with onions. Then they are mashed and lard is added, and they are cooked again until they are pretty dry. See…twice cooked or very well cooked! Thanks to the Instant Pot, they only are cooked once here and you can leave your fat pants in the drawer because we aren’t using any lard. Woot!

Can Refried Beans Be Made in a Slow Cooker?

Yes! This recipe can be made in the slow cooker. Follow the recipe instruction and then put everything in a slow cooker for 8-9 hours on high.

Can Refried Beans be Frozen?

Yes, these refried beans freeze beautifully. Let them cool to room temperature and then store them in an airtight container. They will last in the freezer for 3-4 months. When you are ready to eat them, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them in the microwave or on the stove top.

How Long do Refried Beans Last?

These homemade refried beans will last 3-4 days in the fridge and make great leftovers. They heat up very well. If they get dry at all from reheating, just add a little water or olive oil to thin them out.

 

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

 

Are Refried Beans Gluten Free?

Yes, pinto beans are naturally gluten free as is chicken broth and all the seasonings. If you swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth, these can be made vegetarian too. These

are packed with protein and quite healthy!

 

Instant Pot RECIPES

Looking for more awesome Instant Pot recipes? Try our Better Than Your Grandma’s Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, Instant Pot Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken, Award Winning Instant Pot Turkey, Smoky BBQ Instant Pot Ribs, Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt, Award Winning Instant Pot Chili, or our Instant Pot Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake!

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Prep Time 8 hours

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Refried Beans

  • 6 Cups (1 Bag) Dry Pinto Beans
  • 12 Cups Chicken Broth *see note
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Jalapenos, sliced
  • Salsa or tomatoes
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Sliced Limes

Instructions

  1. Dump the beans in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Allow to soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans.
  3. Dump the beans into the instant pot.
  4. Add the chicken broth and water (we use all chicken broth) and put the lid on with the valve on seal.
  5. Turn the instant pot on to high pressure for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow a natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release.
  7. Drain all of the liquid off of the beans reserving 2 cups of the liquid.
  8. Add 1 cup of the liquid back in the pot along with all seasonings and using a potato masher, smash the beans. Add more liquid as needed from the second reserved cup.
  9. Serve with toppings if desired.

Notes

*You can substitute some broth with water if you want to cut calories or sodium, just make sure the total amount of liquid is 12 cups. You will lose some flavor the more water you use.

You can easily half or even quarter this recipe. It’s 1 cup of beans to 2 cups of water and reserve only 1/2 cup of the liquid for mashing.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1/3 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 363 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 1330mg Carbohydrates: 64g Fiber: 16g Sugar: 4g Protein: 23g

A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.A photo of a dark blue bowl full of refried beans topped with fresh sliced jalapeno, diced purple onion, cotija cheese, and salsa.

 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Credit: Source link

07 Jun

Usually people think of broccoli salad for summer BBQs, but it’s such a great side dish to get in veggies, why not make a Harvest Cobb Broccoli Salad?

 

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

 

I’m not sure why this recipe for Harvest Cobb Broccoli Salad has taken us so long to post. It’s an adapted recipe from our original Harvest Cobb Salad with Maple Poppy Seed Dressing and I adore it.

In our original recipe there is broccoli in it, but it’s a small addition while the rest of the salad is made up of mixed greens. It’s actually a really good salad, so for sure don’t pick one over the other. Both are worth making. The broccoli salad, I have to admit this but it’s totally not a big deal, is a little more work.

But don’t let that change anything! It’s just a little chopping to get that broccoli all ready to go.

Anyway, let’s get to it because we really, really think you should try this Harvest Cobb Broccoli Salad. Oh, it would be so awesome for Thanksgiving…

 

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

 

There was a reader years and years ago that told us about how they love broccoli salad and have started experimenting with different dressings and flavors, I thought that was a great idea, but we hadn’t even posted our Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe yet and somehow we just kept forgetting.

 

Once I finally had that post up I felt like it was time to start rocking out the new kinds just as that reader suggested.

You are all the best, have we mentioned that lately?

 

Harvest Cobb Broccoli Salad

Here’s what’s going to happen, we are going to chop everything up, toss it all together except the bacon and pepitas then whisk together a maple poppy seed dressing and add it in with everything else.

At this point the bacon and pepitas get added.

We only don’t add those two ingredients at the very beginning because they tend to soften a little as they sit there along with the other ingredients. Once the dressing is added you can throw them in and stir it all together.

 

  • Ingredients for Broccoli Salad
  1. Chopped Broccoli
  2. Cheese
  3. Pepitas
  4. Chopped Apples
  5.  Craisins
  6. Chopped Bacon
  7. Chopped Hard Boiled Eggs
  8. Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pecans
  9. Maple Poppy Seed Dressing

 

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

 

What is Poppy Seed Dressing Made of?

 

Poppy seed dressing is a little different than other dressings in that it’s got a little more sweetness to it and it’s a creamy vinaigrette.

 

  • Maple Poppy Seed Dressing
  1. Maple Syrup- Make sure you use Grade A, not just pancake syrup.
  2. Poppy Seeds
  3. Milk
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. Cinnamon

To make a poppy seed dressing, just throw all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well combined.

 

How Long Does Poppy Seed Dressing Keep?

Poppy seed dressing is a great one to keep in your fridge for quick and easy salads. The homemade poppy seed dressing will last for up to 2 weeks.

Make sure that when you put the poppy seed dressing away for storage you place it in a sealed container and put it in the door of the fridge.

 

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

 

How Long to Keep Broccoli in the Fridge?

Have you ever opened the door to your fridge and wanted to die from the smell that wafts out?

I mean, I’m not saying that I’ve done such a thing, no our fridge never smells like a donkey’s behind.

But, if it did ever stink 😉 I’d guess it was the broccoli in your crisper drawer.

 

Broccoli should always be stored in the refrigerator. It will break down and smell and the cold refrigerator will help to slow that process.

 

  • How Long to Keep Broccoli in the Fridge

Broccoli can only keep in a crisper drawer for about 3-5 days max. After that, the smell will start and the broccoli will begin to break down.

 

  • How to Keep Broccoli Fresh Longer

To keep broccoli fresh longer just moisten 2-3 paper towels and wrap them around the broccoli in the fridge. Do not store broccoli in a container or plastic bag.

 

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

 

How to Store Broccoli Salad?

Because broccoli already breaks down quickly you’ll want to be quick with consuming broccoli salad.

However, if you find yourself needing to sore broccoli salad,

  1. Be prepared to add fresh dressing and bacon as the ingredients will absorb dressing and soften the bacon.
  2. Broccoli Salad should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator to slow down the process of aging as well as to keep things crisp.

 

How Long to Keep Broccoli Salad?

 

Broccoli salad only will keep for 2 days tops. After that the dressing has taken over and made things too mushy.

 

Salad RECIPES

Looking for more recipes? Try out one of these!  Our Best Broccoli Salad, Easy Greek SaladSpinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing,  The Best Caprese Salad with Pistachios or Watermelon Salad with Mint

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Prep Time 25 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Slices of Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 Hardboiled Eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup White Cheddar Cheese, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Craisins or Dried Cherries
  • 2 Small Heads Broccoli, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Pepitas
  • 1 Apple, chopped

DRESSING

  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Grade A Maple Syrup
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds

CANDIED PECANS

  • 1 Cup Pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and poppy seeds in a small bowl; set aside.

FOR THE NUTS

  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat.
  2. Toast the nuts for a minute and add the butter, stirring until it’s melted.
  3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Stir until the sugar is stuck to the nuts.
  5. Pour out onto parchment paper.
  6. Allow to cool completely.

FOR THE SALAD

  1. Place the broccoli in a bowl and layer the eggs, craisins, nuts, cheese, and apple.
  2. Pour in the maple poppy seed dressing.
  3. Add the bacon and pepitas and toss to coat.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

810

Serving Size:

1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 346 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 174mg Sodium: 256mg Carbohydrates: 14.7g Fiber: 2.3g Sugar: 10.2g Protein: 11.1g

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

a glass bowl full of bacon, cheese, pepitas, craisins, broccoli, pecans and apples for the yummiest harvest cobb salad with poppy seed dressing

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Credit: Source link

07 Jun

The Best Banana Cake Recipe with cream cheese frosting involves the freezer and you won’t believe how moist it turns out every single time!

 

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting and a bit taken out of it all

 

We actually already have a Perfect Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe on the blog so it was a huge debate whether we should even add this one to the blog, but in the end you know us, we have to share when we discover something good. This particular banana cake recipe is unique, so you may be surprised in just how it all goes down.

For the 4th of July this year we had a bundle of bananas that were in desperate need to be used. I hate seeing anything go to waste but felt like it wasn’t really time for The Best Banana Bread, but a tall, beautiful cake is always a hit at a party.

 

Because we had a lot of over ripe bananas, a fail on my part to get them chopped up and frozen for our freezer prep (remember our post on how to freeze fruit to make better smoothies) we were able to test this recipe out a bunch and only serve up the winner. It was a big hit, but my brother in law did request a chocolate chip version, so while we do have that Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting I’ll have to get going on another version for him.

In fact, we have a killer chocolate banana cake as well, so we are thinking of doing a classic chocolate chip banana cake, a peanut butter banana cake and finally a zucchini banana cake.

Thoughts?

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frostinga slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting

 

4 Things That Make Banana Cake Moist

Everyone thinks the exact same thing about banana cake, how to make banana cake moist! It’s a lot harder than you make think as just because there’s mashed banana in something doesn’t mean it’s going to turn out moist and perfect.

We’ve discovered four things that are a must for moist banana cake.

  1. Buttermilk
  2. Sour Cream
  3. The Freezer
  4. Oil

Let’s chat about each one.

 

Why Use Buttermilk in Cake

A slightly acidic batter helps to keep baked goods moist and tender by breaking down the long, tougher strands of gluten. Think about how awesome buttermilk pancakes versus a regular pancake, totally true, right!

 

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frostinga slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting

 

Substitute for Buttermilk in Cake

Don’t have buttermilk? I know, us either most of the time. However, it’s not just the tanginess of the buttermilk, but the texture and fat, so we prefer to run to the store to buy buttermilk versus finding a substitute.

However, just like you we’ve been in a pinch and needed to use a substitute so we’ve tested this recipe with the substitute just to be sure you could do it.

A substitute for buttermilk in cake is 1 cup of higher fat milk with 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for a few minutes before using. Yes, we’ve tried it with skim milk, a combination of skim milk and heavy cream or half and half and all worked fine, just not straight half and half or heavy cream.

Sour Cream in Baked Goods

Sour cream is much like the buttermilk in that it will add an acidity that brings about a nice, light tang and great moisture to the baked goods. Sour cream adds a layer of fat which will also plump up the moisture and density of the cake.

Substitute for Sour Cream

If you are short on the sour cream you don’t need to find a substitute as it is such a small amount in this recipe. Just go ahead and skip it. The buttermilk and oil will help a lot in making a moist cake and the freezer will take it the extra mile.

You’re welcome for saving you a trip to the store or a combination of ingredients!

 

Placing Banana Cake in the Freezer

This recipe is unique in that you put the banana cake into the freezer immediately after baking. This causes the cake to cool quickly and condense down a little, trapping the moisture inside of the cake. You don’t want your cake to fall due to the rapid temperature change so it’s essential that you check your cake and make sure that it is completely baked before removing it from the oven.

 

Oil Vs Butter in Cake

The more we tested our Banana Bread recipes the more we started to clue in on what really makes a good cake, or quick bread. Butter is expected to always be the winner as who doesn’t love a buttery flavor, however the butter flavor isn’t really that noticeable.

What was noticeable was the crumb. Cake made with butter has a finer crumb than a cake make with anything else, that being said why do people use oil in cake?

We love to use oil in cakes and quick breads as it gives more height, moisture and the flavor isn’t changed at all. Now, it does have a bigger crumb, but it’s really not a big deal.

Alright, so oil vs butter in cake, which is better, crumb or moisture? We say both which is why this recipe uses butter for a better texture and oil to retain the moisture.

How to Make The Best Banana Cake Recipe from Scratch

When making the best banana cake recipe you’re going to want to start out with perfectly ripe, never over ripe bananas. It’s the same for banana bread, so head over to our post on the very best banana bread and read about the bananas as well as see a picture of exactly what you should be looking for.

  • Can you use frozen bananas for banana cake?

Do not use Frozen bananas, as explained in our banana bread recipe.

Next, sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then give it a quick whisk so it’s all uniform, light and airy and there aren’t any hidden lumps.

Always start by mixing together your wet ingredients, except the bananas. Once they’ve all been combined, add the dry ingredients along with the mashed bananas.

Folding everything together at once will ensure you do not end up over mixing. There’s something therapeutic about mixing, so most people tend to stir and stir without even realizing that they are deflating the batter.

Pour everything into a greased and floured pan and bake until set.

How to Know When Banana Cake is Done

  • How long do you bake a banana cake?

That’s actually a tricky answer as altitude and your oven will change everything. The best rule of thumb with this cake is to bake it for 55 minutes, gently open the oven door so that the cool air doesn’t kill the cake and poke the very center with a toothpick. When it comes out clean you’re all ready.

Leave the door wide open for another minute and turn the oven off, this helps the cake not be shocked.

Immediately place the cake flat in a freezer to cool.

 

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frostinga slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting

 

Can Banana Cake be Frozen?

  • Can you freeze banana cake

Banana cake is not only easy to freeze but is better if you freeze it as it will be more moist later. Freeze it to cool it and then remove before it is totally frozen and wrap in plastic wrap, then foil and place flat in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I love when you can prep something ahead of time.

  • Can you freeze banana cake with cream cheese frosting

It’s never a good idea to freeze banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Instead, freeze the cake alone and then defrost until almost room temperature and then frost the cake with cream cheese frosting.

How to Store The Best Banana Cake Recipe

Banana cake can be stored in its pan with a lid on it on the counter.

  • Can Banana Cake be Refrigerated?

Oh, but can banana cake be refrigerated?

Sure! In fact, I kind of like to store it like that to help keep it longer and more moist, just be sure to let it sit out for a few minutes before serving so it’s not freezing cold.

 

Why Did Banana Cake Sink?

There are a few reasons banana cakes sink or droop in the middle.

Did you use too small of a pan? Did you add in too much baking powder making it rise and then not be able to hold itself up? Did you remove it from the oven too quickly or drop it on the counter without being gentle? Was the cake underdone?

Most often it’s the last thing if you followed the recipe to a T. Removing the cake before it was springy to the touch and a toothpick came out clean will leave you with a saggy middle cake.

 

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frostinga slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting

 

Which Icing for Banana Cake

The best icing for banana cake is a cream cheese frosting as the flavor with its slight tang and creaminess will match well with the cake. A buttercream is often a bit heavy for a banana cake.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour

Additional Time 45 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup mashed bananas, about 2 large or 3 small bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

FROSTING

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Dash of Vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 cake pan. *see notes for tips
  2. Beat together the butter, brown and white sugar until combined.
  3. Add the oil and sour cream and mix again.
  4. Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix on high until light and fluffy and smooth.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, sifting everything together.
  6. Add the flour mixture and milk to the egg mixture, stirring just until combined. (Do not over-mix!!).
  7. Fold in bananas gently with a rubber spatula.
  8. Pour into prepared pan.
  9. Put into the oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake 60 – 70 minutes (see notes below) or just until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Open the oven slowly and gently so as to not shake the cake.
  11. Remove from oven and place flat in the freezer for 45 minutes to make the cake extra moist.
  12. Remove from the freezer into the fridge and once cool completely, frost.

FROSTING

  1. Cream together butter & cream cheese until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Gently frost the cake and store in the fridge or with a lid on the counter until ready to eat.

Notes

To grease and flour a pan, spray with nonstick spray then dump in about 1/4 cup of flour. Tilt the pan one direction, tapping the sides as you do it, then turn and repeat until the entire bottom and sides are coated. Turn the pan upside down and tap gently on the bottom to remove excess flour. This cake is extremely sensitive to ovens so make sure you’re baking it through all the way before removing it from the oven. It should be springy to the touch and the toothpick should come out clean. Our cake usually take 54-55 minutes, but occasionally we have a batch that takes longer. Try to resist opening the oven door as much as possible.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12-16

Serving Size:

1 slice
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 854 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 96mg Sodium: 423mg Carbohydrates: 153g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 124g Protein: 7g

CAKE RECIPES

Looking for more simple cake recipes? Who doesn’t love cake?! Make sure you try our Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingChocolate Sheet Cake,  Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake or one of our summer recipes like, Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake or Lemon Jello Cake.

 

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO our FREE Oh Sweet Basil NEWSLETTER AND RECEIVE EASY RECIPES DELIVERED INTO YOUR INBOX EVERY DAY!

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The Best Banana Cake Recipe

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting and a bit taken out of it all

a slice of moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting and a bit taken out of it all

 

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06 Jun

I cannot even believe I’m posting a recipe full of mustard and pickles. Two things I don’t really eat, but you guys, this Cuban Pasta Salad is so good!!!

 

It’s full of pork tenderloin, ham, Swiss cheese and veggies. And the dressing is so tangy and full of Cuban flavors! Buckle up for this one!

 

 

Also, I was recently told I shouldn’t say, “you guys” all the time because I’m not just talking to males. So, um, I’m sorry? I honestly never have meant it to be just males, haha I guess I’m too casual with you all. 

SO! Ladies, and gentlemen, this is THE BEST PASTA SALAD RECIPE OF THE YEAR!! 

A conference took me to Florida one time and wanted to try a Cuban sandwich. Uber wasn’t as big yet, and we were not close to many restaurants. I didn’t get a Cuban sandwich.

I went home a little bummed, but after having a friend from Florida live with us for a bit I decided to tackle the Cuban Pasta Salad in anticipation of summer which is right around the corner. 

And my goodness, summer could not come fast enough!!!

 

A photo of a large glass bowl full of all the ingredients for cuban pasta salad.

 

It’s All About the Dressing

The dressing is the real star here. I’ve doubled it because I really like to taste the dressing. It’s not overkill, but if for some crazy reason you want less it’s fine to half it. But leave it as is…trust me on this one!

In fact, this whole Cuban Pasta Salad is a cinch to cut in half if your just feeding your fam. It’s made to feed a crowd as written. 

 

A photo of dressing being poured on a cuban pasta salad.

 

What is on a Cuban Sandwich?

Remember that Cuban sandwich I wanted while I was in Florida? A typical Cuban sandwich consists of five essential things:

  • Sliced roast pork
  • Sliced Serrano ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Dill pickles
  • Yellow mustard

I mentioned that pickles and mustard aren’t usually part of my regular diet, but something about this combination just works! Like really, REALLY blow-your-mind works!

 

A photo of all the ingredients chopped up for a cuban pasta salad.

 

Sandwich Turned Salad

One day I had the idea to take these flavors that make a Cuban sandwich so good and turn it into a salad. I took those five essential Cuban sandwich ingredients, added some pasta, veggies and the best dressing of all time and voilà…the pasta salad you are going to make over and over this summer!

 

A photo of a cuban pasta salad with pork, ham, cubed swiss cheese, tomatoes, purple onions, and fresh herbs.

 

What is Orecchiette Pasta?

Pasta salads can be made with any pasta you like, but we highly recommend orecchiette for this one. Orecchiette is a type of pasta whose name comes from the Italian word for “ear” because the pasta is shaped like a small ear. The center of the pasta is a little thinner with a thicker edge. They act like little cups for the dressing, or little pockets delivering punches of flavor to your mouth.

 

A photo of a cuban pasta salad with pork, ham, cubed swiss cheese, tomatoes, purple onions, and fresh herbs.

 

How to Make Perfect Pasta

We have found a few tips for making the perfect pasta for pasta salads. I know making pasta seems like a no-brainer, but these three tricks will make a huge difference:

  1. Boil the pasta in salty water, like super salty water! It will give the pasta a great flavor.
  2. Cook the pasta until it is a little past al dente because pasta firms up as it cools, so you want it to be a minute or two past done but not mushy.
  3. Pour some of the dressing on the pasta while it is still warm. Pasta that is slightly warm will absorb the dressing pack it full of flavor.

 

A photo of a cuban pasta salad with pork, ham, cubed swiss cheese, tomatoes, purple onions, and fresh herbs.

 

Two Cooking Methods for the Pork

We provide you with directions for cooking the pork tenderloin in two different ways. You can use your instant pot or you can roast it in the oven. Both cooking methods take about 18-20 minutes, so it really depends on which method you prefer and if you have an instant pot or not. Ha! I don’t know that I prefer one way over the other. Both methods give you great flavor!

Can You Make This Pasta Ahead of Time?

You can make this salad up to 1-2 days ahead of time. Save the lettuce and cilantro to add right before serving. If you cut those up ahead of time, they will get wilted and start to turn brown. Everything else can be mixed together ahead of time. In fact, I like when a pasta salad has sat in the refrigerator at least overnight. That really allows the dressing to soak into the pasta. Just make sure it is stored in an airtight container.

Ok guys…er, I mean, friends, whoever makes this Cuban Pasta Salad the most times over the summer wins a prize! I might win my own prize because I plan to make it SO MANY times!

Looking for more delicious PASTA RECIPES?

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 Pounds Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 Teaspoon Dry Ground Mustard
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dry Oregano
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • For the Pasta Salad
  • 20 oz. Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cubed Ham * see note
  • 2 Cups Swiss Cheese, Cubed
  • 1 1/2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 Cup Chopped Dill Pickles
  • 1/2 Cup Red onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 3 Cups Chopped, Packed Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/4-1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • For the Dressing
  • 1 1/3 Cup Canola oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • Juice of 2 Oranges
  • Zest of 2 Limes
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Dijon (or regular) Mustard

Instructions

For the Pork Tenderloin

  1. You have two options for preparing the pork tenderloin. If you have an instant pot, sprinkle all of the seasonings over the pork.
  2. Squeeze the orange and lemon juice into the instant pot and place the pork in.
  3. Turn the valve to seal and close the lid. Set the time to 10 minutes at high pressure. Allow a natural release and remove the pork.
  4. Make sure the pork rests for 8 minutes and then slice into 1″ cubes.
  5. Drizzle oil in a pan over medium high heat and crisp the pork cubes, scraping up any brown bits in the pan and placing everything on a plate to cool. The crispy pieces in the pan are essential, don’t throw them out!

For the Oven

  1. Heat the oven to 400 and prepare as above. Bake for 18-20 minutes and proceed as above.

For the Pasta Salad

  1. Heat a large pot of water over medium high heat with a few pinches of salt so the pasta is seasoned. Cook pasta al dente, this is essential for pasta salad, it must never be over cooked pasta.
  2. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
  3. Prepare all other ingredients and add to a large bowl with the pasta.
  4. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Serve immediately.

For the Dressing

  1. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

Notes

This recipe is easily halved for family use.

We like to buy a 12 ounce Ham Steak from the meat department, and just use that.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 CUP

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 250 Total Fat: 10.5g Cholesterol: 49mg Sodium: 883mg Carbohydrates: 19.8g Fiber: 1.9g Sugar: 6.6g Protein: 21.1g

A photo of a cuban pasta salad with pork, ham, cubed swiss cheese, tomatoes, purple onions, and fresh herbs.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Credit: Source link