Taste Test Tuesday: Cinnamon Muffin Melts

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Fluffy cinnamon covered muffins or donuts. We don’t think it matters what you call them. Today they are our feature item for Taste Test Tuesday.

Cinnamon Muffin Melts are an excellent treat for anytime of the day. Need a quick breakfast treat to compliment a pot of coffee or tea? These work really well. Moist, tasty and just the right amount of sweetness makes this treat a staple in our pantry. All you do is add butter and water to the mix, bake and enjoy. Easy right?

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Be sure to check out these great treats and much more on our site Tastefully Simple We even have other recipes for you to try with these Cinnamon Muffin Melts.

Thanks a bunch!

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Kitchen Tip Thursdays: Organizing Your Kitchen

Organizing your kitchen can seem like a huge ordeal. Some people even think they have to go out and buy additional storage units, baskets and containers; when you can just use what you already have.

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  • Mount your pot holders on your cabinet doors using plastic hooks.
  • Mount your aprons on a hook on a nearby wall, no more digging them out a drawer.
  • Store your dishes by usage. Every day use, place those on bottom shelves within easy reach. Special occasion dishes, put those in the cabinets on top.
  • Group all of your bake-ware together.
  • Store pots and pans as close to the stove as possible, makes them easier to reach when cooking.
  • Keep storage bags and wrapping materials together for easy clean up.
  • Store all of your lids in the same place.
  • Use dividers in drawers as placeholders for utensils.
  • Short on space, stash some items in wicker baskets or decorative mixing bowls on the counter.
  • Organize your pantry via category: seasonings, canned goods, dry mixes, etc.
  • If possible, use an over the door hanger to store small items like snack bars, decorative sugars, cupcake liners, etc.
  • Mount the kitchen phone, reminders and papers to the wall instead of placing them on the counter.

These are just some tips to help you get organized in the kitchen. We’ll be sure to keep adding to this list.


Conversations At The Kitchen Table

We’ve made it to May, which means Mother’s Day, graduations and time to kick off summer cook-out season. Each of these brings back great memories of conversations I’ve had with family over the years. My mom came to visit for a few days and we started talking about traditions and events that happen in our family. It made me realize that a lot of the conversations that take place happen at our kitchen table, if it’s a big event it’s happening at my grandmothers dining room table. How many of your family conversations start or even happen at the kitchen table?

Conversations at the Kitchen Table

What do you talk about at the kitchen table?

Here are a few that happened recently while my mom was visiting.

  • Preparing ourselves for pumpkins pre-k graduation. What are we doing for a graduation party? The menu, what should we cook or if we should get it catered.
  • Mother’s Day dinner at my grandmother’s house. Who is on the schedule to cook? Since my sister and I won’t be there we wanted to make sure my mom and aunts had help.
  • Younger sister is turning 30. My mom and I are making this a big deal, my sister not so much as her son is graduating from pre-k. So we shall plan a party for both.
  • Me: Being single (this has become a topic lately) cooking for just myself on days when my sister and her family have their family time.
  • Summer grilling, what recipes are we looking to create, dishes we will make that we usually only make during the summer.

After talking to my mother I started to think about each of these, especially the conversation about myself. I put others before me a lot and I have started not to do that, while making this transition it is forcing me to look at what I want in life. Now I’m off to go cook something so I won’t over analyze any of this.


Food News: Ecto Cooler is Coming Back!

As I am reading through news articles, I spot an article on the Huffington Post about Hi-C bringing back Ecto Cooler. I got really excited about it and the Ecto Cooler brought back major childhood flashbacks. I loved that juice growing up.

Thanks so much to the Ghostbusters movie for bringing back our lovely ‘green juice’ the Ecto Cooler. Here is the article from the Huffington Post and they even gave Ecto Cooler is own website.


Foodie Friday: Salad Ideas

Good Day Foodies!! Hope you all had a marvelous week. It’s time for Foodie Friday’s. This week we will be taking a look at a few options for making a salad. This will not be the only post on salads but rather a start of a complete series of posts on different salad options. This series will run for the next few months.

Salads don’t just begin with lettuce, but pasta, spinach, fruit or even cheese. What types of items do you like in your salad? If I’m having a salad with lettuce, I’ll usually make a bed of spring mix and add some arugula and spinach, along with shredded carrots, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, golden raisins, pecans, cucumbers, and avocados. For a dressing sometimes I’ll drizzle honey mustard, ranch, strawberry vinaigrette or an Asian peanut dressing. It all depends on what my taste buds are craving.




Chicken Salad with Grapes & Pecans

Chicken Salad with Grapes Recipe
Photo Credit: Southern Living

1/2 cup of mayonnaise or ranch dressing
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
3 cups red and white seedless grapes, halved
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Combine all ingredients except pecans. Cover and store chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Add pecans when ready to serve.

Quick Chef Salad:

Shredded Cheese
Cherry Tomatoes
Ham
Romaine Lettuce

Mix together and add your favorite dressing

Apple Pecan Gorgonzola Salad

Apple, Pecan and Gorgonzola Side Salad recipe
Photo Credit: Kraft Foods

2 Granny Smith apples, sliced
2 Tbsp. toasted Chopped Pecans
2 Tbsp. Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1/2 cup Italian Dressing Mix, prepared with balsamic vinegar
Arrange apples slice on a plate in a circle. Sprinkle with pecans and cheese. Drizzle dressing on top.
Other Quick Salad Ideas:
Tomato & Peaches: Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice.
Carrots & Blueberries:  Grate carrots, toast some sunflower seeds, and toss with blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. Sweet, sour, crunchy, soft.
Red Salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved strawberries, basil leaves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.
5-Bean Salad:  Chickpeas, cannelloni or other white beans, kidney or other red beans, steamed string beans and steamed yellow wax beans. Toss with vinaigrette, chopped scallions or red onion, and parsley.
Warm Potato Salad: Boil bite-size red potatoes. While still warm, dress them with olive oil, lemon juice, whole grain mustard, capers and parsley. Chopped shallots, bell peppers, etc.
Watermelon & Feta:  combine with roughly chopped mint, crumbled feta, sliced red onion and chopped Kalamata olives. Dress lightly with olive oil and lemon juice.You may need to add salt.
 
Walnut & Blue Cheese: Toss mixed greens with walnuts, blue cheese and raspberries; drizzle with a simple vinaigrette.
Smoked Salmon & Avocado:  Mix watercress with chopped smoked salmon, avocado, red onion and capers. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, sherry vinegar and mustard powder.
Little Italy:  Chop or julienne salami and prosciutto, then toss with cubed mozzarella, chopped tomato, pepperoncini, oil and wine vinegar.
Thai & Sesame Noodles:  Combine about a half-cup peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut milk to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup), along with garlic and chili flakes in a blender or food processor. Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles, a load of mint, Thai basil, and/or cilantro, and lime juice. Shredded cucumber and carrots optional.
Hope you enjoy these salads, as always feel free to comment on our blog, send us an email, a tweet or comment on our Facebook Page.

 


Meet Kimberlee

Hello there everyone, I hope you all are enjoying your week so far. My name is Kimberlee and I’m the head blogger for Southern Roots Kitchen. I say head blogger because I will be adding some contributing bloggers to the site very soon. I belong to a Facebook Group called Courage To Earn and we are a group of bloggers and entrepreneurs that support one another in our personal and professional lives. This month our leader who we also call Coach Brandi (blogs at Mama Knows It All), has started a challenge called #ExposeYourself. Everyday we get an email from Brandi or we can just visit the Facebook Group and she provides us with some type of task where we have to expose ourselves to others. At first I was a little scared because I can be an introvert when I want to be. But the very first task was to post a selfie of just ourselves and promote what we’re good at. After I posted my selfie on instagram it made me think about the fact that I never really introduced myself on my blog. I have my about me page, but that’s really it.

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Just Me

I decided that with this challenge I am going to be a little more personable on my blog and share a lot more of the fun and crazy things that happen in my house. First up are some interesting facts about me.

  • I’m single woman, childless, in my 30’s and I love to cook large meals. Thankfully, my sister and her son live with me so they can eat some of this food.
  • I spoil my sister and my nephew every chance I get.
  • I come from a very blended family and I’m extremely attached to my 7 siblings and both sets of parents. My dads hang out on their Harley’s a lot.
  • I have Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, which played a role in my love for kitchen at a young age; I couldn’t play outside much as a child.
  • I love the beach and spend a lot of time there in the summer, especially since I’m 30 minutes away it.
  • Cooking is a stress reliever for me.
  • I can’t cook unless I’m listening to music.
  • My friends make me teach a couples cooking class for them.
  • I love meal planning, I get exited about planning food and recreating meals.
  • I’m addicted to the Food Network, Cooking Channel, and HGTV.
  • I get exited about changing the colors in my home.
  • One of the main reasons I’m a Tastefully Simple Consultant is because I love the food.
  • I’ll eat collard greens and corn bread as a meal (blame my great-grandma)
  • I love seafood and will eat it all the time.
  • I’m a food blogger who is allergic to eggs. I even wrote about it here.
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My sister Erica, my nephew Junii (my pumpkin) and me.

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Pumpkin and me being silly

After writing this list I wanted to take out a few things but realized I can’t because it defeats the purpose of telling you who I am. I can already see that a few of these will become their own blog posts very soon.


Taste Test Tuesday: Blackberry Bliss Cheese Ball Mix

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. This post does contain affiliate links.

Spring time is here and I love a fruity dessert. When we first got the chance to see this product unveiling I was curious about what the cheese balls would be. I always get excited about the new products.This week for Taste Test Tuesday we got the Blackberry Bliss Cheese Ball Mix.

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Blackberry Bliss Cheese Ball with Fresh Fruit and Twisty Graham’s

This great new addition to the Spring Summer line of Tastefully Simple products will definitely be a hit. A sweet fragrant smell of blackberries what you get when you first open the box and then when you mix it with cream cheese to  create a cheese ball, you have to lick the spoon just to get a taste of what’s to come. The directions say to let it chill for 2 hours, I’ll admit this is tough to do this time. But once you let it chill and give the flavors a chance to mingle; you’ll love it.

While eating this I started to have flashbacks of being in my grandmother’s kitchen in the summer time eating blackberry cobbler. I really do miss those days. I may to go search for some blackberries to make one this summer. I enjoyed the Blackberry Bliss Cheese Ball and I’ll be ordering more of this to use in other recipes. I’m thinking of a cheesecake, mixing it with ice cream so I can have some blackberry bliss ice cream, or even adding it to a smoothie or a milkshake. I really enjoyed this cheese ball and I’m sure it will be stay with me for the next few months.

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post has affiliate links, which means if you buy any items using these links I will receive a percentage of the sales.

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Taste Test Tuesday: Baker’s Dipping Chocolate

Happy Tuesday Everyone!! We hope you had an amazing start to your week. We’re back this week in the kitchen with a new taste test. This week it’s Baker’s Dipping Chocolate. This chocolate comes in a small bowl that you can heat up in the microwave in a matter of minutes…such a wonderful idea. This smooth, not too rich chocolate comes in three flavors, milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark semi sweet chocolate.

Perfect for cake pops, cookies, bon bons, and fruit. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not be creative and make your own chocolate covered strawberries, cherries, and pineapples? You can even smother pretzels rods, marshmallows and nuts. Such a quick and easy idea, takes a lot of the work of tempering chocolate and using a double boiler out of the equation.

    

You get to indulge in your chocolate dipped food excursions sooner than you think! Grab your bowl and get to dipping. This will be our afternoon snack today.


Foodie Friday’s: Shrimp & Grits

It’s Friday, we’ve made it through another week. The weekend is here and you can relax. This’s week’s recipe is definitely a favorite of mine. I grew up eating this dish almost every weekend. To me it was viewed as a treat because seafood was involved. As kids we all knew Friday & Saturday were seafood days in our family.

Friday nights at grandma’s house was a full-blown Fish Fry, which included Porgies, Whiting, Red Snapper, Salmon or whatever my grandparents had in the freezer from their fishing trips. Saturday mornings were filled fish & grits, shrimp & grits, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, okra, and what ever else the grandkids asked for. So today I thought I would share one of the many Shrimp & Grits recipes that I have. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Simple Shrimp & Grits

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup yellow stone-ground grits or Quaker Grits
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or your favorite seasoning)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Stir in the grits, and reduce heat to low.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until silky, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until tender, then toss in shrimp. Season with Old Bay, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink.
  4. Stir shrimp mixture into grits, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4 Servings

Add-In’s:

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Green Onions
  • Sausage

Eggs: I can cook with them, but I can’t eat them

 Conversation with some friends the other day about food brought up very good topic, food allergies and food bloggers. You see, I love my food blog, but there is one simple issue when it comes to cooking certain things. I’m allergic  to eggs. Yeah I know, a food blogger with a food allergy.  The conversation started when we were discussing pies and lemon meringue came up. See, I’ve never tried it because I can’t eat the meringue due to the egg whites. Then they mentioned eggs Benedict and french toast.  I can’t do either of those. But, thanks to my mama my french toast is brushed with butter instead of dipped in egg wash. This way I can enjoy breakfast with the rest of my family.
I'm a food blogger and I'm allergic to eggs

How is this even going to work?

Sometimes everyday eating gets tough. I can eat cake and cookies. But no breakfast burritos. It gets interesting going to breakfast and asking for a sandwich without the egg, or being out at a party and having to ask if the tuna, chicken or potato salad has eggs in it. In my family they just automatically make me my own serving. They even stopped putting eggs in the baked macaroni and cheese just for me. I appreciate that because it gives me one more item to enjoy.
I remember when I started this blog my family would always ask me how I was going to handle food preparation if I can’t even touch an egg yolk or the whites without breaking out in hives….Here’s how we found out I was allergic to eggs.
             As a toddler I did what most little girls do follow their mommy around the kitchen. Well I took it upon myself to go in the refrigerator and grab an egg. It cracked and for some reason I decided to play with the yolk. That resulted in me breaking out in hives and us ending our day at the emergency room. We later found out that if I eat eggs my throat will close up and I can’t breathe (a teacher in preschool forced me to eat the eggs after I told her I was allergic. She didn’t listen and the ambulance was called.)
 
I used to write a lot about recipes and making meals, but then I stopped, one of those reasons is because I have to wear gloves when I work with eggs or have soap and water ready immediately so I can wash my hands…I guess my dream of being on the food network may be over lol. But I’ve decided to try it again. So when the recipes start rolling in or you see videos you’ll know why I’m wearing gloves. I feel bad at times because there are foods I want to review and I literally can’t because they’ll make me sick. Thanks to a really awesome little sister, she said she’ll be my taste tester for those items I can’t eat.