Category Archives: Food

Enjoy Speed-Scratch Cooking with Dinner Hero Kits

Easy, healthy, delicious—that’s what I want my diet to be. How do I accomplish it? Speed-scratch cooking. Not familiar with that term? Basically, it means combining fresh ingredients with a prepared kit to make a well-rounded, nutritious meal.

Oh, and did I mention it needs to be quick? As in an hour, maximum, on weeknights. Like most moms, I am busy juggling work, family, and personal goals. Spending huge chunks of time in the kitchen on a daily basis is simple not gonna happen!

In the past, I have made my own meal kits that could be stored in the pantry and freezer. It works fine, but sometimes even that takes too much effort. Revolution Foods has streamlined the process with Dinner Hero.

Available in 4 flavors—Sesame Garlic, Coconut Curry, Smoky Tomato, and Fiesta Taco—the kits promise to make a meal for 4 people in 30 minutes. Each includes whole grains, spices, and sauces. Inside the box flap, there are cookbook style instructions that make mealtime a breeze.

Since I usually have chicken breasts and ground beef in my freezer, these are so convenient. I started by experimenting with the Sesame Garlic.

The process couldn’t have been easier: Cut up and saute chicken as the brown rice and red quinoa cooked, then mix together in a big bowl with the spices and sauce. I added chopped broccoli for a complete dinner. Very fast and very tasty.

Next up was the Smoky Tomato. This kit has tri-colored pearl couscous and works great with ground beef. The seasonings/sauce are similar to chili. Another very good dish that has a kick but isn’t overly spicy. (My kids are extremely sensitive to hot foods and not a peep was heard.) My veggies of choice were frozen corn and string beans.

The remaining two flavors will be incorporated into next week’s dinner plan.

It’s so nice to break away from plain pasta or white rice with a different kind of starch. These whole grains are not only better for you, they’re also ones most of us don’t eat often, making it feel like a fresh dish. Another great way to expand little—and grow up!—palates.

Find Dinner Hero near the boxed mac and cheese at your local Jewel-Osco affiliate. In my area (New England),  it’s carried by Shaw’s and Star Market. There are also morning meal kits, called Breakfast Hero, located in the Frozen Food section—definitely on my list to try next.

To learn more about Revolution Foods, check out their website or connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.



This post was sponsored by Revolution Foods and iConnect. Opinions are 100% my own.

Top 5 Pantry Ingredients to Always Have Available

Keeping a well-stocked pantry makes cooking not only less hectic, but also more exciting. (Bland food may fill you up, but it sure doesn’t taste good.) While individual preferences do vary, there are certain items I have found to universally friendly. All of these are easy to find, inexpensive, and will be used almost daily. Here are my top 5 pantry items to always have available:

1. Olive Oil – Use it to cook, to make salad dressing, to make sauces, and for homemade beauty treatments. (One interesting thing I learned: Check the country of origin. If there are multiple countries listed, it may be a blend of many oils and should be avoided.

2. Garlic – Available in whole cloves, commercially cut, and dried, there’s a form that will work for everyone, even if you barely cook. I love to add fresh garlic to almost anything savory like soup, salad, meats, sides, bread dipper, etc.

3. Lemon – I greatly prefer whole fruit to bottled juice, but both work. Try a dash in water or tea, add it to fish or chicken, squeeze over cooked or raw veggies, or use as a pretty garnish.

4. Salt & Pepper – Unless it’s a dessert, nearly every recipe I feature will advise “Salt/Pepper to taste.” Normally, I use regular non-iodized table salt, but there is a wide variety of coarse, kosher, colored, and flavored ones to choose from. For pepper, my top pick is the Black Peppercorn McCormick grinder, which are much fresher tasting than the pre-ground.

5. Cinnamon – This one might surprise people, but I use it daily in my coffee. (Add a tsp. while brewing for the best taste!) It’s also great in oatmeal, baked goods, with chicken, and on whole or mashed sweet potatoes.


What is your #1 pantry ingredient?

Caviar: The Best Restaurant Delivery Service

I was compensated for this post. It contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking them.

Love restaurant food, but hate the long lines and crowded tables? Check out Caviar. Caviar is a restaurant delivery service that offers a fresh spin on takeout, letting you select from a curated list of select restaurants in your local area, without ever having to leave home!

In many cases, the restaurants it features do not offer delivery of any kind, or if they do, Caviar will deliver beyond the usual delivery range, allowing you to sample food that isn’t usually available.

Caviar launched with 30 restaurants in San Francisco in March 2013. Since then, they’ve expanded to the following cities:

    • Boston
    • Chicago
    • Dallas/Ft. Worth
    • Los Angeles
    • New York City
    • Philadelphia
    • Portland
    • Seattle
    • Washington D.C.

Orders can be tracked with real-time GPS. There are no minimums, making the service practical for individuals or groups. Want to try Caviar? Order now and receive $0 Delivery Fee for New Customers.

Food Preservation in the Jewish Kitchen

Jams, fruit butters, chutneys, and countless batches of pickled vegetables—all from a Jewish perspective. Tablet has a great article about Emily Paster’s  new book The Joys of Jewish Preserving.

Offering 75 recipes, the book provides insight on the preservation methods and traditional foods used by Jews around the globe—everything from the standard sauerkraut of Eastern Europe to Syrian pickled cauliflower.

While I’ve made raspberry jam a few times and had an adventure in canning, my skills are definitely amateur level. Even so, I find it very inspiring!