Monday, July 29, 2013

H-E-B Meal Maker Challenge: Sneak Peek

I'm so excited to start off the new week with a sneak peek at a project I have been working on and I'm so excited about!

H-E-B and ConAgra Foods reached out to me to join their Back to School Meal Maker Challenge program this year and I couldn't resist! It's basically like a much easier version of Chopped (any chopped fans out there?). I was given 5 ingredients as the base of a meal-then each meal had to feed a family of 4, be under 30 minutes and have less than 7 ingredients. I seriously loved this! Can someone make me cook like this everyday? Just call me and tell me my ingredient for the day! It made cooking so much fun to have a base to start with and then get creative from there! 

So over the following 5 weeks I will be sharing my own recipes with you as well as encouraging you to vote for my recipes each week in the H-E-B Meal Maker Challenge! The whole idea of the program is to help come up with quick and easy meals for families (or anyone!) as life gets busier again in the fall for back to school. We all know that having meal plans and ideas planned out helps save you time and money.

I hope y'all are excited to see some great recipes and to help me win! 
 Here is a sneak peek at the recipes to come! O and H-E-B will have the featured ingredients on sale or featured in their Combo Loco deals each week that I post so you can see a recipe and pick up the items that same week on sale!

               Can't wait to share these awesome recipes with you!

                  Here is a peek of the stars of the the above recipes:
1. H-E-B Salsa
2. Hunt's Diced Tomatoes
3. H-E-B Natural Chicken Breasts
4. Egg Beaters
5. Peter Pan  Creamy Peanut Butter

Disclosure: I have received compensation, H-E-B promotional items and ConAgra products from H-E-B and ConAgra Foods. H-E-B will be providing a $1,000 H-E-B gift card for the winner of the contest or $500 H-E-B gift card for the runner up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Insta-Yum June!

I feel like I have been getting out of the habit of using my Instagram! Am I really that hungry? That I can't stop to post a photo? I guess being busy and hungry equals less Instagram but I think there is plenty of drool worthy stuff for y'all still!


 Flautas from Morelia Grill in Round Rock. Yum!
 Delicious bleu cheese bacon burger and sweet potato fries from Galaxy Cafe in Austin. 

 Homemade pizza with feta, chicken, pepperoni and bell pepper! Yum :)

 Loving these little "flips" from Chobani right now. The key lime one has graham crackers and white chocolate with it. Seriously, very satisfying for that sweet tooth. 

 The yummiest sugar cookie I've ever had from Pink Pig Texas in Fredericksburg.

 Cotton candy from my BlogHer Food conference at the Hilton Austin. Any conference with cotton candy served during breaks is good in my book!

 Virgin mango margaritas from Swift's Attic in Austin. 

 Brussel sprouts with Mango & Bacon served by The National Mango Board. Get the recipe here

 Little pork sliders by East Side King provided by the National Pork Board

 Yeasty pretzels with whole grain mustard and root beer from Easy Tiger in Austin. 

 Maybe the best day of my life! Meeting Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman and
 Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen.  

 Barbeque ribs, chicken, beans and mac and cheese from Stubb's BBQ in Austin. 

 BBQ chicken pizza from my friend Steph. Delish! Recipe from my friend Andrea. 
How lucky am I to have such good friends?

 Korean bulgogi from Korea House in Austin. It was good not great, but I want to go back and try the real Korean barbeque from them. I've heard that is very good!

 Tacos from the secret menu at Torchy's new restaurant in Round Rock. 
Literally a block from house!

 Good old fashioned barbeque from Mann's barbeque in Austin. Nothing fancy-hole in the wall local food. 

Sopas from Manuel's Mexican restaurant. Their food is interior Mexican but seriously good even if a little different than your typical Tex-Mex. 

Awesome pasta carbonara with a fresh egg on top from La Traviata in Austin. 

 My favorite donut from Gordough's restaurant. The best way to eat is with the side of ice cream. Cools it off when you're eating a piping hot donut in the summer :)

 A super sweet glitter macaron from the Four Seasons Austin

 Delicious pizza with mozzarella, red onions, chicken sausage, pesto and grape tomatoes baked fresh from The Backspace. This place only seats 40 people but it's seriously adorable, great food and a really nice atmosphere. Great for a date night or for out of towners. We had the mozzarella salad and meatballs also and they were all wonderful. 

Yes, my co-workers dragged me to Olive Garden once again. This time I had the shrimp sandwich and it was good-like an Italian shrimp po-boy. 

Have you tried anyplace new or been to any of these places? I'd love some new recommendations! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Brusells Sprouts with Mango and Bacon

I have some yummy mango recipes coming your way since The National Mango Board reached out to me to send me some mangos. Who wouldn't want a box of beautiful ripe mangos to arrive on their doorstep?

I was also lucky enough to attend a happy hour event of theirs during my recent BlogHerFood Conference and this recipe was one I immediately fell in love with. 

I actually made this recipe for my husband for Father's Day with steak and Parmesan potatoes and he loved it. It's such a great combination of sweet Mango, salty bacon and bitter Brussels sprouts. Of course, he might have eaten anything I put in front of him since I feel like he has been doing most of the cooking lately. I go through phases sometimes where I don't even seem to make macaroni and cheese and we eat out a lot or my sweet husband cooks a lot! When he makes me dinner he likes to prepare the plate beautifully and present it to me with a proud smile and say, "Look who's The Apron Guy!" He should get so much of the credit for this blog since he is always behind the scenes testing recipes, cleaning the kitchen and putting up with my endless ideas and photography. Needless to say The Apron Guy approves of this recipe and more importantly of me picking up my cooking again!

Enjoy this as a side to chicken or steak or even eat it as meal since it's packed with vegetable, fruit and protein all in one! 

Brussels Sprouts with Mango and Bacon
recipe courtesy

Serves 4 to 6 as a side

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
2 large mangos (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Peel, pit and dice the mangos. For instructions on how to do this like a pro, see the step by step instructions here. Place in a bowl and set aside once diced. 

Please chopped bacon in large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Cook until crisp and fat renders, about 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. 

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and increase heat to medium high. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes. After 2-3 minutes, add mango brown sugar, salt and pepper and cook an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until Brussel sprouts are fork tender and beginning to brown. 

Remove from heat and toss with reserved bacon. 


Disclaimer: The National Mango Board sent me a  box of mangos and I attended a happy hour event with them. I received no other compensation. I truly enjoyed this recipe and wanted to share it with you because it's delicious-not just because I like free fruit. 

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