4 Best Barbecue Sauce Recipes to Try

 

 

Just like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, burger and fries, barbecue works best with BBQ sauce.

It also doesn’t hurt that barbecue sauces are available in all kinds of flavors, colors, and styles to complement a stack of amazing ribs or grilled chicken.

We’ve scoured through various BBQ cookbooks and the internet, in general, to bring you some of the most popular BBQ sauce recipes you can try.

Trust us, try any one of these sauces, and you won’t be bothered to use a store-bought bottle again.

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

If you know anything about barbecue sauces, you might already be aware of how the ketchup-based Kansas City sauces are one of the most popular ones on the market. This type of sauce has the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, and you can increase the heat if that’s how you want it.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup ​dark brown sugar

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 cup of water

2 tbsp molasses

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cayenne (adjust the amount according to your taste)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp black pepper

Instructions

1. After gathering all the ingredients, combine them in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Stir the ingredients constantly for approximately five minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally to make sure the sauce has a thick consistency.

4. Once done, remove the saucepan from heat and allow the sauce to cool for around 12 to 15 minutes.

If you don’t have to serve immediately, we would recommend letting the sauce sit for at least half an hour and then storing it in an airtight container.

Berry BBQ Sauce

This sauce is perfect for basting as well as saucing back BBQ ribs. If you don’t mind a burst of blackberry and blueberry flavors, this might become one of your all-time favorites. It’s super easy since you’re adding the berries to your favorite starter or bottled barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

1 to 2 cups barbecue sauce

2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Instructions

1. Take a large saucepan and add the blackberries, blueberries, sugar, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer – uncovered – for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened.

3. Add your desired amount of barbecue sauce, and cook for another 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens and it’ll be done.

You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Asian Style BBQ Sauce

The recipe for Asian style BBQ sauce is a classic that combines sweet and salty flavors. It’s also very easy to make and quick, taking just about 20 minutes. Team this up with an Asian Kale Salad, and you’ll have a hearty dinner ready in no time.

Ingredients

1 medium or large-sized white onion

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp dry or fresh ginger

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup white wine (any brand)

1/4 cup apricot preserves (or cherry, apple, or blackberry preserves)

Instructions

1. Take out your blender. Add the onion (peeled and sliced in half), soy sauce, and ginger. You can increase the amount of ginger if you prefer a heavier spicy flavor.

2. Next add the ketchup, brown sugar, white wine, garlic, and the preserves to the blender.

3. Blend the sauce on high until the ingredients are pureed completely. You should have a thick, medium brown color sauce. Taste to understand whether it’s how you want it.

4. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan, and cook over low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once the sauce simmers down and thickens, it’ll be ready to use.

You can store this in the refrigerator for around three weeks. However, if you put it in the freezer, the BBQ sauce will stay fresh for up to six months!

North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

An incredibly simple BBQ sauce recipe, this one uses two kinds of vinegar to add some serious flavor to old-fashioned barbecue meals.

Ingredients

1/2 cup ketchup

2/3 cup white vinegar

2/3 cup cider vinegar

3 tbsp brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1/4 tsp salt for taste

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed

1/8 tsp pepper

Instructions

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer – uncovered – for about 15 to 20 minutes. The idea here is to blend the flavors together.

Heads up: The North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce isn’t a sauce in the traditional sense and should be treated as more of a dip. The recipe uses two different kinds of vinegar as its base, which makes it a little runny.

 

 

About the author: Bella Short is an experienced writer, editor, proofreader, blogger, teacher and photographer based in NY. She likes to cook, sew, and she’s very passionate about healthy food that tastes delicious. She’s a big fan of a keto diet and sees it as a life-long style of eating.

What You Should Know About Cacao Tea

 

 

 

Have you been looking for a coffee alternative or a healthy way to enjoy chocolate?

I recently discovered Cacao Tea – chocolate tea – and found it to be a delightful enjoyable drink with breakfast, as a mid-afternoon healthy refresher or after-dinner soothing treat. You should definitely give it a try if you like chocolate!

What do I love about it? I enjoy it’s flavor similar to hot chocolate without the rich creaminess. If you prefer to add a little milk for a creamier texture, it would be similar to chai. The simple chocolate flavor provides a sense of indulging in a treat without feeling guilty.

We received a free sample of the tea from the Cacao Tea Company, and are pleased to share with you how much we enjoyed it. We always enjoy supporting other women-owned businesses.

Here are a few things you should know about cacao or cocoa tea besides the fact that it tastes amazing.

Cacao Tea is Calorie-Free 

Perhaps you find yourself, like me, looking forward to enjoying a chocolate treat here and there and also wanting to avoid adding a heap of calories to your day. Chocolate tea is the perfect solution.

Seriously! This fabulous tasting tea is calorie-free, so you can enjoy the savory chocolate flavor without any guilt whatsoever. The tea is made from cacao husks, providing a hint of natural sweetness along with the soothing cocoa taste.

Of course, you could always add some sweetener if you prefer,  but I found it delicious and satisfying all on its own. You will need a tea infuser as the tea comes loose leaf, ready for you to brew as much or as little at a time as you like.

Cacao Tea is Caffeine-Free

If you have been a coffee drinker, but are looking for caffeine-free options for your hot drink choices, cacao tea makes a great addition to your pantry. With no caffeine, the warm beverage is enjoyable and doesn’t leave you with negative caffeine effects.

The natural theobromine in the cacao husks helps provide a slight boost in energy and mental clarity without the harsh effects of caffeine. Interestingly enough, this same theobromine can help reduce blood pressure, too.

Sip it in the evening – with or without your favorite dessert – on the back patio with your feet propped up with no worries about going to sleep later.

Cacao Tea is Rich in Antioxidants and Flavonoids

As if the taste and calorie-free status isn’t enough, the tea is full of healthy antioxidants and flavonoids that we all know can help our bodies with everything from enhancing memory and mood, fighting damage from free radicals and promoting healthy blood flow to improving cognitive function.

Cacao Tea is a Coffee Substitute in Recipes

I have to confess, I actually do not like the taste of coffee at all; the aroma doesn’t bother me, but I’ve never acquired a taste for the beverage.

However, I have run across several chocolate cake recipes that include coffee as a liquid ingredient, for which I usually substitute water. Now I have the perfect substitute ingredient of cacao tea, providing even more chocolate flavor depth to an already enticing dessert.

 

 

What do you think? Have you tried cacao tea made with cacao husks before? Did you love it or not? We love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

 

 

 

May Giveaway Hop | Farmhouse Centerpiece Tray

 

 

 

We are delighted to be part of the May Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop with a host of other bloggers.

This month we are giving away a beautiful tulip design farmhouse decor galvanized tray. It makes a fabulous centerpiece for the dining table.

Fill it with your favorite candles, fresh sprigs of flowers, dried greenery or miniature vases with fairy lights for a whimsical centerpiece that is sure to keep you smiling all summer long.

 

 

Centerpieces do not have to be complicated or time-consuming to put together.

I am not one of those people with the creative bend to assemble fanciful decor usually, so I rely heavily on pictures of things other people have created and then try to make the best use of things already around my home or that can be purchased economically.

This way we have something fun or elegant on the dinner table that invites family to gather and enjoy without being stressful.

Of course, if you are a creative and love making fanciful creations, I applaud you and hope you will share images of your centerpieces with us in the comments or on our social media pages so we can all see and enjoy.

 

 

I love the simplicity and flexibility of this galvanized tray since even with the tulip design, it will be easy to change up the piece to work all spring and summer long with different color flowers, candles, greenery, ribbon or even lights.

What do you think of it? Are you into the farmhouse decor theme around your house? If not, this would make a perfect gift for a friend – so be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win!

 

 

Now please take a few moments to check out the wonderful giveaways being offered on other blogs in this giveaway hop. We are so glad you stopped by today!

 

Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday Recipe Ideas

 

 

Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday are here and we are excited to bring a fabulous array of recipe ideas your way; whether you are throwing a full-blown party or looking for a simple dinner idea, we have you covered. (Above photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash)

Regardless of your comfort level in the kitchen, there are dishes in this list you can make and enjoy with the whole family.

So grab your sombrero and let’s get started! If you need some taco seasoning, feel free to make your own with this easy recipe first.

black bean salsa, beans and corn salsa, bean recipes, healthy recipes, party recipes, appetizer dip, digitize recipes, online cookbook

Starter and Sauce Recipe Ideas

In case you’re wanting to start off your party with some chips and fresh salsa, guacamole, or queso, here are a few recipes to get you started. We threw in the tortilla recipe just because – they’re so good!

Loaded Guacamole – fresh avocados are ready for guacamole when they can just be pressed in a little bit when squeezing; mash and mix with your favorite seasoning.

Salsa – fresh fire-roasted salsa similar to Pappasito’s salsa is easy with just 4 or 5 basic ingredients, oven-roasted and then mixed in a blender for quick fresh salsa.

Tortillas – this basic flour tortilla recipe makes amazingly delicious tortillas; just mix, roll out, toss each on the skillet for a turn or two, and serve up hot and fresh.

White Queso melted cheesy goodness.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa – a salsa dip best mixed up the night before or first thing in the morning to allow the flavors to meld all day.

 

Taco or Burrito Recipe Ideas

Tacos or burritos are a simple mainstay recipe for Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo. Grab some taco shells or soft flour or corn tortillas from your local store – or make some from scratch, make your preferred taco or burrito filling, and you are ready to serve.

Shrimp Tacos – white corn tortillas wrapped around sauteed shrimp with coleslaw and sriracha aioli sauce.

Fish Tacos made with Tilapia – pan-fried tilapia served in corn tortillas with slaw, avocado, and queso fresco.

Chipotle Chicken Lime Tacos – start these the night before and marinade the chicken overnight or at least all day before cooking and preparing to fill tacos. Delish!

Traditional Beef Tacos – simply cook up a pound of ground beef and season with homemade or packaged taco seasoning mix. Serve the beef with crunchy or soft taco shells, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and avocado slices or guacamole.

 

Recipes with Ground Beef | Beef Enchiladas Recipe

Enchilada Recipe Ideas

Enchiladas are a basic dish with filling variations wrapped in corn or flour tortillas, covered with a favorite sauce – red, green, mole, sour cream – and cheese and baked before serving.

Beef Enchiladas – flour tortillas wrapped around beef and cheese filling, topped with red sauce and shredded cheese and then baked to perfection.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas – poached, pan-fried or grilled chicken is shredded and tossed with shredded cheese and green enchilada sauce for filling flour or corn tortillas. Roll up tortillas and top with more green enchilada sauce and grated cheese before baking for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Creamy Seafood Enchiladas – stuffed with shrimp and crab, these enchiladas are covered in a mild creamy sauce; it’s a perfect dish that is not too spicy.

Vegetarian Spinach Enchiladas – spinach, chipotle chiles, tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese fill up tortillas rolled and topped with the spicy tomato sauce and more cheese.

shrimp quesadillas, cinco de mayo, healthy recipes, Mexican recipes, online cookbook

Nacho or Quesadilla Recipe Ideas

We love nachos or quesadillas either as starters before the main meal or as a simple meal all by themselves. It is so nice that either can be filled or topped with whatever favorite ingredients you desire, so the sky is the limit!

Black Bean Quesadillas – flour tortillas sandwiched around a mixture of black beans, cheese and salsa and pan-toasted.

Shrimp Quesadillas – simple quesadillas filled with shrimp, sweet peppers, and cheese.

Loaded Nachos – a layered dish of tortilla chips with taco seasoned beef and beans, cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro, topped with homemade pico de gallo and diced avocado.

Kickin’ Grilled Nachos – serve up these tortilla chips with cheese, onion and peppers, toasted over the grill for a smoke-fired taste.

sweet empanadas with cherry filling, dessert recipes, empanadas recipe, mexican recipes, cinco de mayo recipes, dish dish, dishdish

Dessert Recipe Ideas

We love serving dessert on special occasions and these two dessert recipes are sweet and delicious. Both require a bit of work ahead time, but take your time and enjoy the process. It is definitely worth it.

Sweet Fruit-Filled Empanadas – buttery dough filled with your favorite fruit filling and baked for a warm delicious dessert; optional glaze topping or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Strawberry Tres Leches Cake – a creamy white cake with strawberries, this dessert needs to be prepared the night before or started in the morning if serving that evening.

Does your family have traditions around Cinco de Mayo celebrations? Do you have favorite dishes to serve different than the ones we have shared? Please take a moment and share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Remember your family can save all your favorite recipes in your own digital cookbook right here on Dish Dish.

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

The Pizza Recipe Ideas You Need to Know

Pizza Recipes for Family Pizza Night

These amazing pizza recipes for your next family pizza night are going to make you ready to do a happy dance. Whether you are planning a week ahead, a day ahead, or deciding at the last minute to have pizza for dinner, we have got you covered with pizza dough recipes and options for each scenario.

For some families having pizza night may consist of game night or movie night as well, a time for the whole family to schedule to be at home together and enjoy spending time with each other. If your family is small or you are single, consider hosting one of these nights with friends at your place on a regular basis.

If you are looking for easier options for the pizza crust, grab a pre-made crust at the grocery store or a pizza crust mix in the baking aisle.

Now let’s move on to the pizza recipes, though.

Recipes for Pizza Dough

We have a few favorite recipes for pizza dough. One of them requires starting the day before, one is better for grilling, and another works great for last-minute pizza night. Gluten-free pizza dough?

30 Minute Pizza Crust

2 cups flour, plus a little more as needed for best consistency
1 package Rapid Rise yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cups very warm water (very warm, but not scalding – that will kill the yeast)
3 tablespoons oil
sauce and toppings as desired

In a large bowl stir together half of flour with yeast, sugar and salt. Add warm water and oil and mix until well blended. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until dough forms a ball. Spoon dough onto floured surface and knead until it smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes). Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out dough onto greased pizza pan; top with pizza sauce, cheese and desired toppings, and bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes until crust browns.

2 Hour Pizza Crust

1 package dry yeast
1 cup very warm water (not hot)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional)

Dissolve yeast in warm water; add salt, olive oil and half of flour. If using mixer bowl, attach bowl and use dough hook to mix at speed 2 for about 1 minute – or stir by hand until thoroughly combined. Continuing on speed 2 in mixer, add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing for 1-2 minutes or until dough pulls away from bowl sides; or mix by hand until elastic dough is formed. Knead in mixer for 2 minutes longer, or place dough onto floured surface and knead by hand 4-5 minutes until smooth.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough; cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Punch dough down, roll out onto pizza pan or brick brushed with oil and sprinkled with cornmeal. Press dough across pan, forming a collar around edge to hold toppings. Brush a little olive oil over the dough and sprinkle with Italian seasoning blend and/or garlic powder as desired. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Return to oven to bake 6-8 minutes longer until starting to brown and baked through.

Grilled Pizza Recipe

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe

24 to 48 Hour Pizza Crust Recipe

Pizza Topping Ideas

We are pretty traditional pizza lovers at my house and primarily use a simple pizza or marinara sauce for our pizzas. However, you could choose your favorite jarred sauce or make some homemade sauce or use an alfredo, salsa, or BBQ sauce depending on the type of toppings you plan to add.

If your house is vegetarian, load that pizza up with sliced mushrooms, black or green olives, sliced pickled or fresh jalapenos, colorful bell peppers, green onion, sauteed onion, fresh tomatoes, basil, or spinach. Some people also enjoy having artichoke hearts or asparagus as toppings.

There are also lots of options for meat toppings including but not limited to cooked ground beef, crumbled cooked sausage, sliced canadian bacon, crispy bacon pieces, ham, cooked chopped chicken, taco meat, prosciutto, and pepperoni. We have switched to using turkey pepperoni for ours since it has tremendous flavor still with a lot less grease.

Do you like pizza with more variety? Try one of these unique pizza recipes:

Breakfast Pizza
Fruit Pizza
Grilled Chicken Spinach Pizza
Mexican Pizza

Other Related Pizza Recipes

If you love having pizza, there are lots of other recipes to enjoy that make good appetizers, finger-foods, or snacks if you don’t have time or the setting for full pizza making.

Pizza Dip
Pizza Rolls
Pizza in a Mug
Pizza Knots
Pepperoni Pizza Bites

Tools of the Trade

We thought we would round things up with a few suggestions for kitchen items that will make things easier for you to prepare and enjoy your family pizza night. (Disclosure: the below links are affiliate links which support our service without costing you anything extra.)

We love using a pizza stone for baking pizzas, though you would definitely need to use a pan if you prefer thicker or deep dish pizza. A sturdy pizza cutter is very nice to have, and works well for lots of other dough-cutting activities. Last but not least, use a sturdy spatula for dishing up your pizza slices. For prepping ingredients, remember to have on hand a good cutting board, knife set, and box grater.


Leave us a comment below with your favorite homemade pizza tips, ideas, or tools. We look forward to hearing from you. Please also share the article with friends if you find it helpful.

 

New Year’s Resolutions – Celebrate All the Moments

 

Celebrate the moments

As the New Year has rolled around and everyone is talking about New Year’s resolutions or goals, we invite you to join us in this fun resolution and choose to be intentional this year about celebrating the moments. (Above photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash)

“What moments?” you might ask.

So often, it is too easy to continue rolling on to the next “thing”, caught up in the busy-ness of life’s activities and demands, and completely miss the moment’s opportunity to pause and celebrate.

It doesn’t have to be a big celebration – maybe just a moment to kick up your heels, shout for joy, grin from ear to ear, and be glad for yourself, a family member, a friend, or simply for the view of a beautiful sunrise – or then again, feel free to party with balloons and streamers if you like.

Some may be inclined to set up a detailed list of scenarios and how they might choose to celebrate that event or moment with friends and family. We haven’t been that intentional quite yet, but here are some moments we feel are definitely worth pausing and celebrating.

Celebrate Family Moments

Celebrate the family moments when a family member has shared of a recent accomplishment or achievement. We usually think of the really big moments – like graduations, engagements, weddings, promotions, and the like. However, this years let’s celebrate the smaller scale things like …

Completing a volunteer role

Being recognized for good character or grades

Accomplishing a small goal set for school or work

Rejoicing with each other about good news received or hard work well done

Celebrate Personal Achievement

At least for myself, it can be difficult sometimes to stop and recognize that the accomplished tasks or assignments – no matter how big or small – deserve to be celebrated.

This can be in relation to career, relationships, workouts, friendships, volunteering, education, learning a new skill, making a new friend, or sometimes just getting to the end of the day and having checked off most of the to-do list without driving anyone else or myself completely crazy.

For instance, getting dinner on the table may feel like enough of a feat at the end of the day to deserve a “ta-da” and big smile. (Below photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash)

Boy celebrates, smiles, laughs

Celebrate with Friends

I love celebrating with friends. They received some good news, had a good day, found a new job or were promoted, or simply stopped by to share pleasantries at the end of the driveway.

It’s these moments we should take advantage of, sharing the joy and celebration with them, catching our breath and being grateful – totally worth pausing to celebrate.

Celebrate the Little Things

Let’s rejoice with the kids over their messy mud pies or floppy pancakes they just made by themselves. Let’s celebrate the opportunity to have dinner together or enjoy dancing in the kitchen while making dinner.

Let’s pause to smile and laugh when those around us find themselves receiving good news as well.

It makes life more fun. It keeps our hearts lighter. It uplifts those around us.

So enough of saying, “Well, that was what you were supposed to do or achieve or make happen.”

What will you choose to celebrate this week? Seriously, we want to know! Leave us your thoughts in the comments below; we can’t wait to celebrate with you.

4 Creative Ways to Use Your Cutting Board + Giveaway Hop

 

 

Creative Uses for Your Cutting Board + Giveaway Hop

 

Using your cutting board in the kitchen doesn’t have to mean there’s a menial task at hand. In case you are accustomed to thinking of that cutting board as a tool to be used for mundane tasks such as slicing fruits and vegetables or chopping and dicing herbs and seasonings, we wanted to share some creative ways to put your cutting board to good use.

Our Dish Dish bamboo cutting board has fabulous rounded edges and comfortable handle for easy carrying from one spot to another without losing the grip. What I like even better than those great features, though, is the pretty inlay pattern along the sides, all done in 100% bamboo so that it’s eco-friendly as well.

But enough about our cutting board. We have some great ideas of fun ways to use the cutting board in the kitchen and around the house, so you can smile when you see it and really enjoy using it with friends and family.

For your next gathering, pull out that cutting board as a serving platter for your cheese board or charcuterie tray – full of cheese, crackers, olives, salami or jerky, fruit, and spreads for a delicious and beautiful start to the meal for family or friends.
(Below photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash)

 

Charcuterie Spread on Cutting Board | Creative use of cutting board

 

A decorative cutting board also makes a terrific display tray for setting up stacks of cups, fancy straws and holders, drink stirrers, and other amenities for a beverage station (think hot cocoa, coffee, fizzy juices, lemonade, or any other favorite beverage setup). There are lots of wonderful ideas on Pinterest and home decor blogs.

Next time you’re grilling out, use the cutting board as your carrying tray for transporting ingredients back and forth from the grill area – whether cooking burgers, steaks, ribs, chicken, sliders, kabobs, fish, or veggies, the cutting board is the perfect size for hauling prepped and cooked items to and from the kitchen.

 

Grilled Steak on Dish Dish Cutting Board

 

Lastly, your cutting board can make a lovely display piece for your kitchen counter; arrange it against the backsplash with a small potted plant or herbs, a decorative holder for utensils, or a couple of your favorite cookbooks (all handy for you to use when needed, but also making a beautiful visual display for enjoying). Or simply stand it up with your salt and pepper shakers next to the stove for easy access.

 

Dish Dish cutting board on display with salt and pepper grinders

 

This month we are giving away one of our 100% bamboo cutting boards – which will make a fabulous addition to your own kitchen or make a great gift for a foodie friend or loved one this holiday season. (Enter below for your chance to win).

In addition, we’ve partnered up with a whole host of bloggers for a Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop, so please scroll on down to see the other fabulous giveaways being offered and take a moment to enter a few of them as well. Have fun!

Bamboo Cutting Board Giveaway

 

 

 

 

Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop

 

 

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

Silver Pendant Giveaway Stocking Stuffer Hop

The holiday season is upon us, including the time for baking, sharing meals, shopping, and gift-giving, and we are excited to share with you this fun giveaway hop.

Vita Art is our sponsor for this month’s giveaway, providing one of their beautiful sterling silver pendants ($49 value) for our winner.

Pro Life Silver Pendant Stocking Stuffer

Vita Art began when owner Cindy Howard was inspired to create a work of art in clay that would depict a baby and hopefully inspire people around the world to remember that all life is precious, worthy of honor and respect — valuable. Her heart is to facilitate conversations around the joy of life and even provide a valuable memory to honor lives that have been lost.

The pendant is a celebration of the gift of life, symbolizes speaking for those without a voice, and extends hope for hurting hearts.

Made in Israel from .925 sterling silver, the pendants are available on Vita’s Etsy shop (MyVitaJewelry) with additional options such as an accompanying silver chain and/or birthstone gems.

(insert image with birthstone here)

We are excited to share Vita Art’s work with you and hope you’ll enter the giveaway below for your chance to win. (Oh, and don’t forget to scroll on down to the Giveaway Hop with lots of amazing giveaways hosted by almost a hundred other bloggers just in time for the holidays).

 

 

 

 

2019 Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

 

Have fun curled up on the couch entering some of these fun giveaways during the cold weather. Hop along to each blog for your chance at winning some amazing prizes!

15 Best Free Apps for Healthy Eating on a Budget

 

 

Woman and Boy Cooking in Kitchen | Healthy Eating

 

Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier to find a fast-food restaurant rather than a restaurant that serves healthy food options? If so, you aren’t alone. Due to the fact that fast-food restaurants are so easily accessible, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much harder than it looks. The temptation going to and from work can truly derail your fitness goals and diet, but with the help of healthy food apps, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is that much easier. 

 

Remember, “you are what you eat.” This doesn’t mean that you’re literally a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but if you continuously eat processed foods such as a McDonald’s cheeseburger you will notice that those foods will have a substantial impact on your health. Even though you may not see or feel the difference overnight, over time you will start to notice your health declining. 

 

As a result, you must be wary of the foods you put into your body and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle the best you can. That being said, with the advancements in technology you can now have a “personalized trainer” or “nutritionist” in your pocket feeding you the information you need to stay on track. So instead of manually tracking your diet or fitness goals, you can simply download an app that will do just that. 




However, because everyone’s dietary needs are different, it is in your best interest to research what apps are best for you so it can help you create a more balanced diet. Therefore, you can choose from various applications that will provide you exactly what you need to maintain or revamp your health goals. These apps have the ability to track your calories, provide you with nutritional tips, customized meal plans and so much more. 

 

If you are ready to create a more holistic diet for you or your family use this guide that Wikibuy has created to get you back on track and feeling better than ever. Keep in mind, nothing happens overnight, so be patient and be cautious of the foods you put in your body. 

 

 

15 Best Free Apps For Healthy Eating On A Budget


(Guest post provided by Wikibuy)

5 Baking Hacks You Need to Know

 

 

5 Baking Hacks You Need to Know

 

There are so many baking hacks and tips that I have learned the hard way over the years, but here are 5 of the ones that I think will be quite helpful for you especially heading into the holiday baking season. (above background photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash)

Obviously, many baking tips are specific to the particular item you are baking – muffins, yeast bread, quick bread, pies, cakes, quiche, cookies, brownies, rolls, etc. Perhaps we’ll create a series of posts, highlighting tips for each type of item in the coming months – would you like that?

For now, let’s get started on the ones you can use right away.


Proofing Yeast

This is one of those lessons learned the hard way. When using yeast, and mixing it into your dough, how do you know that it’s still good (or that you didn’t kill it by using water that is too hot) until the final rising and baking of your bread or rolls?!? Well, actually, you can know ahead of time (avoiding the pitfall of the flat heavy loaf of bread that’s not really quite edible).

yeast proofing baking hack

When using yeast and mixing it with water, be sure to use warm water (and NOT hot water – water that is too hot will actually kill the yeast).

Next, once you’ve mixed the yeast with the warm water, sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the top and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. If the yeast is active and still good, you’ll start to see little “blooms” of mushroom shaped clouds begin to surface across the top of the water. This means your yeast is active and will properly leaven your dough – yay!


Silicone Baking Mats

I only discovered the wonderful benefits of using these baking mats a few years ago. Many recipes will give instructions for lining a baking sheet with parchment paper before baking or spraying the sheet with cooking oil to prevent items from sticking to it.

However, the baking mats work wonderfully and are environmentally-friendly (no throwing away a sheet of parchment paper for every batch) and healthier (no added oil soaked up by your baked goods from the spray).

Baking Hacks - cookies on baking mat

I love that they are easy to wash – simply wipe off with warm water and dish soap, dry, and then roll up or lay flat to store until next time. The best part? Your baking sheet is clean – just put it away (no scraping, scouring, soaking needed)! Who doesn’t love that?


Use Crisco for Shortening

I don’t generally consider myself a brand snob for most things. I’m usually quite happy to pick up the store brand or an off-brand when it’s less expensive or on sale. However, I have learned this lesson through trial and error as well. When your recipe calls for shortening, please – for heaven’s sake – use Crisco brand.

It always makes the pie crust flakier, the baked goods lighter, and doesn’t leave a dreadful shortening after-taste in any of those wonderful freshly baked items.

I know lots of people prefer using butter to make pie crusts, but I love the fail-safe Crisco approach where I don’t have to worry about the exact temperature or texture of the shaved or sliced butter pieces when working with the dough. (Here’s my go-to pie crust recipe).


Protect Pie Crust

You know when you’re baking a pumpkin pie or any single-crust pie, and the crust edges start to get too brown but the pie filling needs longer to bake? What is a baker to do?

Grab some aluminum foil, tear it into strips about 2-3 inches wide, and carefully crease those strips around pie crust edges, covering them to protect them from the worst of the heat while your pie filling finishes baking.

Other than being a bit tricky at first, to figure out placing them well without burning your fingers in the process – it’s a very effective hack, keeping your pie crust looking amazing every time. (Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels)

baking hack - pie crust shield - pexels

If you prefer, you could purchase a pie crust shield (affiliate link) to set over the pie crust edges when needed (saving you the hassle and trash of the aluminum foil). Besides, they make you look like such a professional – when you pull those out of your baking drawer.


Cake Side Protectors

All right, last tip for today. I only recently discovered this baking tool at a friend’s house – and couldn’t believe I had never come across it before.

These fabric cake strips (affiliate link) are used to wrap around the sides of your cake pans and prevent the edges from browning so much faster than the middle of your cake. You have experienced that before, right? By the time the center of the cake is baked through, the side edges have become so brown, they look a bit overdone.

By soaking these cloth rings in cold water, wringing them out, then wrapping them around the edges of the cake pan, the cooler temperature and water keep the outside edges from getting hot as fast, thereby preventing overdone edges of your cake as well as keeping the center from crowning or splitting. Voila! (below image from Amazon)

Baking Hacks - cake strips prevent overdone edges - amazon

 

I love learning new things and stumbling across ways to make every-day kitchen tasks a little bit easier. Do you have some baking hacks to share or lessons you learned the hard way in the kitchen? We look forward to seeing your comments below or reach out to us any time with your questions. We love to help!

Remember you and your family and friends can keep all your favorite baking recipes here in your digital recipe box on Dish Dish with your own free account. What are you waiting for?

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook with Grocery List