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The first summer I moved to Maine my husband and I did a lot of grilling. He used to buy these amazing marinated steak tips and he’d make these delicious potatoes. I finally started marinating my own steak tips because it was a lot cheaper and I took over making the potatoes.These are so easy to make and are a nice change of pace to the normal BBQ sides. You get a nice, filling potato side, but spice things up a bit for the summer months.

For time and ease, I dice the potatoes, but if he makes them he thinly slices them, so whichever way you prefer! If you slice the potatoes thin, you can cook until softened rather than golden brown if you don’t want that little bit of crisp to the potatoes.

Montreal Seasoned New Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs red new potatoes, 1″ diced
  • 2 tsp Smart Balance Cooking Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread

Pre-heat grill to medium-high, about 375 F.

In a large bowl, toss diced potatoes and oil to coat. Sprinkle in the seasoning and toss to evenly mix.

On a large sheet of aluminum foil, add potatoes. Dab small amounts of the butter spread on top of the potatoes. Wrap the potatoes in the foil to create a packet. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Yields 5 cups

Source: The Way to His Heart

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When I first started dating my husband, his spice cabinet was pretty bare. I was impressed that he had a lot of baking spices on hand, but other than cinnamon and nutmeg his only other seasonings were garlic powder, garlic salt, and Montreal Steak seasoning. I had never used this particular seasoning before and I was curious to see what he used it on, considering he proclaimed he didn’t like grilling all that much.

I obviously learned what he liked to season with this particular spice blend, but we also use it on beef and chicken. I’ll be sharing that particular house favorite later this week just in time for Memorial Day weekend, but I also wanted to share how to make your own. Since we have a well stocked spice cabinet now and knowing that I like to make my own blends, it’s no surprise that I have done the same with this one. Making your own seasonings is great because you can adjust if you need to limit a particular spice to your taste or health preference, but you also can use up some other spices that may otherwise go stale in your cabinet. Not to mention, you don’t have to purchase such a specialized blend.

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Copycat Montreal Steak Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp black and red peppercorns
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp fennel seed

In a small dish, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. May also use a mortar and pestle or mini food processor to slightly grind the spices up to preference.

Source: The Way to His Heart

All Natural Ladera Granola Giveaway

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I’ve really been trying to eat a little healthier these days. I lost site after my son was born and while I tried to put healthy food on the plates of my family, my own diet took the back burner. It’s time to take care of me and lead by example before my bad habits rub off on a certain little four-year-old! One of my new favorite things to snack on is granola. I used to only enjoy the bars that are held together by the delicious sticky, sweet stuff like honey. Recently, I found a recipe to make your own granola and that changed my mind towards the stuff in the bag. Before that, anything I could purchase just tasted like cardboard. Until now!

I was contacted by Ladera Granola to try their All Natural Ladera Granola and I was hopeful, but a little skeptical. Upon researching the company, I was excited about the product. They are a company with a mission for natural products. No huge labels behind them where you have to worry about what is going in each bag that you buy. The granola was created in the kitchen of a physician, from local sources with no cholesterol or preservatives.  They slow roast their ingredients to preserve both the flavor and health benefits. The granola is low in sugar and high in protein, which I love since that is the only thing that slims me down, and they use recyclable materials. Everything I try to accomplish in my own home, Ladera does as well. You can see why I really hoped that I would enjoy their granola!

When the package of Original Almond and Pecan Ladera Granola arrived I could smell the cinnamon and brown sugar through the bag. I held it up to my husband and said, “Smell this.” Of course he thought I was doing the old, “Here, smell if this milk is bad.” But as the bag of Ladera granola got closer he was like, “mmmm.” We couldn’t wait to open the bag! My eyes went to the ingredients list, which I always do because of my daughter’s peanut allergies, and you see only a handful of ingredients. Nothing you need to Google here; whole grain oats, almonds, olive oil, maple syrup, pecans, brown sugar, spices, and salt. Simple, natural ingredients.

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The big question, how did it taste? Absolutely delicious! It smelled so good and was so tasty. Everything had a nice crunch to it and the flavors were rich. No stale, bland nuts here. I kept snacking on it while I took pictures and wrote this post up.  I had to force myself to put it away to share with everyone else. Was it worth buying when I could make my own? Absolutely! While I am very active in the kitchen, my days are busy and I can’t always count on myself. Knowing I can buy something that is still delicious, healthy, and the packaging is recyclable makes me feel a better. I can trust the ingredients in the granola and know it is a healthy snack for my family and myself. Each and every ingredient is found in my own kitchen, I just have the major convenience of being able to grab a bag from now on and not stressing about what I can whip up to snack on.

So, here is the good part for you! Ladera Granola is offering a bag of their granola for one of my readers to try. So, use the Rafflecopter widget below to win. I’ve included lots of ways you can enter! If you like granola, you’ll love Ladera Granola and if you haven’t tried it, well you’ll become a fan!

***Congratulations Hannah for winning the Ladera Granola giveaway!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ladera Granola provided me with their Original granola to sample and are sponsoring this giveaway, but as always the opinions expressed here are solely my own. This giveaway is for residents of the contingent United States and will end on May 22nd, 12:00 am EST.

Double Chocolate Chewy Crispy Bars

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I was late to the Rice Krispie treat game. I don’t think I ever had my first one until college. We weren’t fans of the cereal at home so we never had it around and if we wanted a treat there were cookies to be made. Now, because my daughter loves them and I can get them super cheap with my crazy couponing tactics, rice cereal is a mainstay in my house.

The other day I was cleaning out my pantry and I had some marshmallows that needed to be used. Rough life here, I know. So, I grabbed some rice cereal and those marshmallows and went to work. I love these double chocolate bars because they add that little bit of fun and curb that chocolate craving I so often get. You feel like you are getting so much more but it’s really just a matter of stirring in some cocoa powder and later drizzling some melted chocolate on top. Very easy and perfect if you are in a pinch for a quick snack for home, a playdate, the office, or school!

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Double Chocolate Chewy Crispy Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 10 oz marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 cups rice cereal
  • 4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • Cooking spray

Lightly spray 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.

Melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat. Stir in cocoa powder into melted marshmallows; cook 3 minutes. Add cereal and toss well to combine. Press cereal mixture into prepared pan.

Heat bittersweet chocolate in microwave on high 45 seconds or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Drizzle over cereal mixture.

Chill 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 20

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 117 Calories, 3.9g Fat, 66mg Sodium

Source: Cooking Light October 2013