Three Easy Breakfast Ideas

If you’re anything like me, your mornings are beyond hectic. You have to get yourself and the kids ready which takes up enough time on its own. Being able to spend a ton of time cooking breakfast is probably a luxury you don’t have. But it’s so important to send them off to school with full bellies. And being that we’re in the home stretch for the school year, you’re probably just trying to get through the next couple of months until everyone can take a breather this summer. So, I decided to round up three easy breakfast ideas that your family will surely gobble up!

banana yogurt pops

Banana Yogurt Pops…As the weather warms up, the kids will definitely appreciate nice cold treats…and who says breakfast can’t taste like a treat? BonBon Rose Girls came up with the yummiest looking breakfast pops. With Greek yogurt and granola being the ingredients, you can’t go wrong handing one to your kiddo in the morning.

overnight oats

Overnight Oats…Just like laying out their clothes, making their lunches and packing their backpacks the night before makes life easier for you, so does making breakfast. Our overnight oats recipe is tasty, nutritious and requires zero prep time in the morning. Anything you can do to make the morning routine more seamless right?

Bacon-Breakfast-Potatoes

Breakfast Potatoes…My kids definitely have more productive days when they’ve had a hearty breakfast. This breakfast potatoes concoction from Sunny Sweet Days would do the trick quite well. You could even swap out the bacon for ham or just forgo the meat completely. Eggs are a nice source of protein on their own!

Disclosure: We were not paid for this post.

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But First (Boozy) Coffee

Like the rest of the internet, I fell in love with the “But First Coffee” phrases slapped onto, well, pretty much everything. Tumblers, T-shirts, even my gym bag is now branded with it. For the coffee die-hards, there’s never enough. For those of you stuck on what to gift for Easter, there might be one or two things on your favorite coffee-lover’s wish list. Here are a few things I’m coveting, plus a delicious, and yes, boozy, coffee recipe.

This little pin gets the message across in the cutest of ways.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 12.09.53 PM For all my band.o die-hards, this tumbler is exactly what you need. 

IMG_6808This gorgeous wooden painted sign is perfect for the kitchen, the office, or anywhere where you need to let people know that coffee comes first.

but-first-600x600Everyone needs a perfect t-shirt. This one from Target is my go-to.

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And now for the Boozy Coffee:

In a dry glass, mix 1oz of Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor with 1oz of Whiskey and 1.5oz of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Add your coffee. Swirl in half-and-half and add a *dash* of pepper. Stir or shake then pour over ice.

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These labels are too cute, right? They’re from VersaChalk, along with the bright chalk markers. (By the way, these markers are the best. You can change out the tips to achieve your desired look). The labels are perfect for mason jar lids, but I added one to my glass to ward off any potential coffee usurpers who might have their eyes on my prize.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review. 

 

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Three Seriously Tasty Popcorn Recipes

What do you eat on Popcorn Lover’s Day? POPCORN of course! If a “holiday” was made for me, it was certainly this one. I’m definitely a popcorn girl through and through. No movie is complete without a bowl of that salty (and sometimes sweet) goodness in my book. And while it may have been all about the butter when I was a kiddo, I love trying out all kinds of flavor combinations these days. Who knew that there were so many ways to dress up those fluffy kernels?

Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who considers popcorn one of her favorite snacks, I rounded up some seriously tasty popcorn recipes for your noshing pleasure. If sweet and salty flavors are your jam, these recipes are going to make your tummy very happy! The only question is…which one are you going to make for your Netflix and chills sesh tonight? All three would be overkill right? Just checking…

raspberry chocolate popcorn

Raspberry Chocolate Popcorn…Need I say more? Fresh raspberry glaze drizzled over popcorn and dark chocolate chunks? It’s been over a year since I made this recipe…and I do believe that’s been one year too long.

black and white popcorn

Black and White Popcorn…You can never have too much chocolate right? This popcorn recipe from BonBon Rose Girls combines both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. Yum!

Caramel Corn

Homemade Caramel Corn…Have you ever tried to make caramel corn yourself? It’s worth the effort as Mom Endeavors proves in spades. There is nothing quite look gooey caramel corn that’s still warm!

Now who’s ready to get their Popcorn Lover’s Day celebration started?!? Both hands are raised over here!

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Saturday Sips Valentine’s Edition

It’s Valentine’s weekend! While my husband and I don’t usually brave the crowds and prix fixe menus to celebrate our love, we do like to make a special meal at home sans kids.

VALENTINE'S DAY COCKTAIL(1)

We’ll likely be opening up a nice bottle of wine to go with dinner, but I love starting off the evening with a cocktail and appetizers. This Valentine’s Day, I was looking for something new to try – something not too sweet, something that reminds me I’m a wife, not just a mom, but also something special that still says “I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day.” The perfect match was this Blood Orange + Bourbon cocktail I found at Love & Lemons.

bourbon

My husband loves blood oranges and the color is perfect for celebrating V-day. The bourbon and bitters remind me that I’m an adult who doesn’t just survive on kid leftovers and reheated coffee.

Ingredients (makes 1)

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 3-5 tablespoons bourbon (depending on how boozy you want it)
  • 2-3 drops of Angostura bitters
  • splash of sparkling water (optional)
  • and if you want to get all fancy – garnish with orange slices or sprigs of mint

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice & serve! Or to make it less boozy, skip the shaking and instead add a splash or two of sparkling water or club soda and pour it on the rocks.

Whether you can leisurely enjoy this cocktail before heading out for a kid-less date night or have to sip it quick in the 15 minutes you and the hubs have on the front porch before the kids finish a Dora episode, know that you did something to celebrate with your special someone.

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Cheers to your Valentine’s Day!

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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Grapefruit Dessert Recipes

grapefruit dessert ricotta recipe

Looking for a tasty dessert that won’t ruin all the resolutions you’ve made? Did you know half a grapefruit is roughly 60 calories and 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C!

While I grew up loving the grapefruits my great grandparents sent from Florida once a year, I’ve got to tell you, this is a whole different realm of deliciousness. Red grapefruit is sweeter and more nuanced than what I used to eat as a child. This is a grown-up fruit with a bold taste. And it’s most certainly not just for breakfast.

Wonderful Sweet Scarletts are a new brand of Texas Red Grapefruits that will change the way you think about grapefruits. These grapefruits are so sweet, you won’t even need to add sugar.

eat drink and be merry

This holiday season we were invited to a special lunch hosted by Wonderful Sweet Scarletts. Bloggers gathered at the Andaz Hotel to taste Sweet Scarletts Texas Red Grapefruit recipes from Haylie Duff. The adorable Texan chef wears many hats: actress, author and host of The Cooking Channel’s, The Real Girl’s Kitchen.

Haylie dreamed up a menu that highlighted the versatility of the fruit. Lucky me, I got to taste all of her creations and she really got me thinking out of the breakfast box. From ceviche to salad to BBQ, grapefruit can be the centerpiece of your healthy meal planning in 2016. While the ceviche certainly wowed me, it was the dessert that really changed my mind about how I’m going to work grapefruits into my life.

You can see all Haylie’s Sweet Scarletts recipes here. I’m sharing my favorite: Wonderful Sweet Scarletts Grapefruit Brûlée & Sweet Ricotta.

Ricotta Cream Ingredients:
1 cup ricotta
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of lemon zest
pinch of sea salt

Grapefruit Brûlée Ingredients:
5 Wonderful Sweet Scarletts grapefruit segments
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup Wonderful Pistachios, shelled

Directions:
1. Combine ricotta cream ingredients in a small bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Using a food processor, pulverize shelled pistachios.
3. Using a culinary torch or oven broiler, melt the brown sugar across the Wonderful Sweet Scarletts grapefruit wedges.
4. Arrange sweet cream, grapefruit wedges and garnish with pistachio dust.
5. Drizzle with honey or agave, if desired.

The dessert is shown in the feature photo and it was out of this world. There was terrific contrast in flavors and a tangy richness. Total crowd pleaser!

Over the holiday I had plenty of Sweet Scarletts on hand, but not the ingredients to make the ricotta, so I reworked the recipe a little. Instead of ricotta, I used Greek yogurt. I then sprinkled honey and pistachios on top for a quick and easy lo-cal dessert. Check out my work:

grapefruit diet dessert

My family was impressed when I served this up after a meal of holiday leftovers. They gobbled it up! Don’t wait to get yours, the season runs Nov through April. Once they’re gone, you’ve got to wait until the next growing season.

This is not a sponsored post. We did get loads of grapefruits!

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Slow Cooker Subscription Box

low and slow review

Are you crazy about your slow cooker or crock pot but frustrated about being in a recipe rut? Low N’ Slow Box to the rescue.

Low N’ Slow Box is a new subscription-based service for slow cooking meals and it just launched. You know I love to cook, but don’t have oodles of time to pour over complicated recipes. The slow cooker revolution appealed to me–I can use fresh ingredients to create a tasty, nutritious meal. And I do. Trouble is, I ran out of recipes and inspiration.

Low N’ Slow delivers easy-to-make recipes each month. In your box, you’ll get a couple recipe cards, ingredients (minus the meat and perishables) and tips on how to prepare some great slow cooked meals. I’m already sold on subscription boxes and I love my how my slow cooker delivers flavorful meals with minimal effort. Heck yes, I wanted to try this.

My first box arrived. There’s nothing fancy or cute about the packaging (I’m sure they’re working on that. And the recipes were on paper, not cards (the paper got trashed in my kitchen, thicker card stock would be great).

I started with a slow cooker chicken recipe–the Sweet Apple BBQ Chicken. True to the promise, most everything was included except for the chicken, apples carrots and celery–they even tossed onions into the box. I didn’t have to shop for much. And I loved the pre-measured spices in tiny ziploc bags.

The recipe was simple to follow with plenty of flair. I appreciated that they also sourced unique products like the finishing touch Kosmo’s BBQ sauce. The clever chefs also give you ideas for other ways to use up the ingredients. I simply did a bit of chopping and prepping in Sunday morning and popped my bird into the slow cooker. Here’s how it looked.

special spices

The Killer Bee spice was great–we’ll definitely use that again! After the slow cooker did it’s magic. I put the fully cooked chicken into the fridge for a day.

before broiler

Looks like boiled chicken. Fine. But not too exciting. The exciting part was the final step–adding the BBQ sauce and broiling the bird until the skin got crisp.

after broiler

Now that’s better! The chicken came out moist and quite flavorful. All I had to do on Monday night after work was pop it under the broiler. We’re going to try the other recipe (pork loin) this weekend. It’s an easy way to keep things fresh in the kitchen and I’m excited to see what next month brings.

This makes a great last-minute gift for any of your busy friends that want to make more home-cooked meals. Order your subscription here www.lownslowbox.com

This is not a sponsored post.

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Let’s #GetCrackin: Delightful Holiday Recipes From Wonderful Pistachio

23162306493_a888b8c322_zThe holiday countdown is on! And I’m ready to get crackin’ on all things festive, fun, holly, and jolly. My favorite way to celebrate the season: breaking bread with friends and family.

To kick off the most wonderful time of the year, Momtrends hosted an incredible event with a few fabulous foodie bloggers, featuring amazing recipes from Wonderful Pistachios.

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After getting a brief lesson in knife safety from the professionals at My Cooking Party, we gathered around our individual cutting boards and got to work—chopping, mixing, stirring, prepping, and cooking delightfully delicious holiday dishes—all featuring Wonderful Pistachios, of course—which, BTW, might just be the most versatile ingredient ever.

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2Z8A88852Z8A924823493421970_23d234e0d7_hI was stationed at the dessert table (not by coincidence, I might add!), and helped to make sweet-and-salty popcorn balls (more on that later!), but let me just tell you it was so easy, so relaxing, and so fun. Seriously, drinking wine and molding popcorn balls might be my calling in life—and it was definitely the least stressed out I’ve felt all month.

23706741281_4b873250bc_z23421216919_0dbc690ddb_z2Z8A892723161015164_a662aec45c_z2Z8A90982Z8A892223706741771_4a7d739f91_zSome of my blogger friends had more difficult assignments: stuffing raw turkey meat, slicing stubborn squash, and roasting sweet potatoes, but everyone seemed to be having a blast! (If it’s up to me, though, I’ll stick to the sweet stuff—thank you very much!)

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2Z8A8675When we were finished honing our culinary skills, we were seated at a stunning winter-white holiday table featuring decorations from Minted. How stunning are those silver foil-dipped tree centerpieces! And the Nordic Noel silver foil-pressed paper ornaments are lovely. Everything was perfectly placed on a snow dot silver foil-pressed table runner. After going around the spectacular table and saying what we’re thankful for (a Thanksgiving throwback!), we all enjoyed the fruits (and pistachios!) of our labor.

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23763037286_5775d9a75b_zIt was a lovely evening filled with community, laughter, wine, and Wonderful Pistachios… And I’m sharing three of my favorite recipes from the event, below. These simple dishes are perfect for holiday parties. Enjoy!

23763040966_3ef9ce2b48_zWonderful Pistachios, Peach and Barley Salad
A fresh summer salad with the crunch of Wonderful Pistachios and delicious peaches.
Prep: 15 minutes / Time to Table: 1 hour a 5 minutes / Serves: 4

⅔ cup pearled barley
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups trimmed green beans
¼ cup pistachio oil, or olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 cups baby arugula
2 ripe peaches, sliced ¼-inch thick
⅓ cup crumbled ricotta salata
⅓ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, roughly chopped

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in barley, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook about 45 minutes, until barley is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and set aside 10 minutes. Add parsley, fluff barley with a fork and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in another saucepan; boil string beans about 5 minutes, until crisp and tender. Blanch in ice water and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk pistachio oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss with arugula, string beans, and half the sliced peaches.
4. Place greens mixture on individual plates. Top with a scoop of barley, remaining peaches, ricotta salata and pistachios. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

23493422130_cba062ae36_zRoasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Wonderful Pistachios, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Glaze
Sweet roasted potato wedges get the holiday treatment with crunchy Wonderful Pistachios, tangy goat cheese and a lovely pomegranate glaze.
Prep: 20 minutes / Time to Table: 45 minutes / Serves: 8 (about 4-5 wedges/person)

4 large sweet potatoes, well-scrubbed and cut into 1” thick wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
4 ounces goat cheese
½ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios, chopped
2 tablespoons POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
2. Toss potato wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper, mixing thoroughly. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheets making sure they spaced evenly.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir wedges and rotate pans. Bake another 10 minutes until cooked through and caramelized. Remove from the oven.
4. Combine the honey and the POM Wonderful pomegranate juice. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave and stir. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a platter and scatter the Wonderful Pistachios and goat cheese over them. Drizzle the pomegranate glaze over all. Serve.

23421172649_a1c843e663_zWonderful Pistachio and Cherry Popcorn Balls
Old fashioned popcorn balls sparkle with the tart addition of dried cherries and tasty Wonderful Pistachios, while the brown sugar gives them a caramel-y flavor. These are sure to be a hit at any holiday gathering.
Prep: 8 minutes / Time to Table: 18 minutes / Makes: 20 balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter

12 cups popcorn
1 cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, lightly chopped
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
½ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large roasting pan combine popcorn, dried cherries and Wonderful Pistachios, mixing thoroughly.
3. In a medium saucepan combine syrup, sugar, butter and salt. Over medium heat bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Be careful as mixture will bubble up.
4. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and stir to coat well. Popcorn will still be warm from the syrup. To keep your hands clean slip them into two plastic bags and coat bags with cooking spray or butter.
5. Working quickly, form popcorn mixture into balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet to cool.

This is a sponsored post. It may contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

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Easy Pumpkin Latte Recipe

We all love a good pumpkin spice latte right? Wouldn’t you love to be able to whip one up at home? It’s easier than you think! When perusing Pinterest the other day I came across a pumpkin spice latte recipe from Gimme Some Oven that produced a beautiful drink, but maybe went a step beyond where I wanted to go with it. Mama’s all about a good short cut. Ha! So, when I found a pumpkin syrup, I knew I was ready to tackle my own pumpkin latte. The aspirational recipe calls for making your own syrup. And if you’re up for it, I highly suggest you give it a whirl…It looks delicious!

Pumpkin Coffee 2

If, however, you love coffee hacks as much as I do, I think you’re going to dig how easy this pumpkin latte is to make…Get ready to really impress your honey with some pumpkin goodness the next time you serve up a nice weekend brunch. I’m all about capturing as many fall flavors as I can this month and pumpkin is, obviously, tops!

Pumpkin Coffee Ingredients

Ingredients:

2 oz. espresso
1 oz. pumpkin syrup
3/4 cup steamed milk
nutmeg
whipped cream

Nutmeg

Pumpkin Coffee

Directions:

Mix together the espresso, pumpkin syrup and steamed milk in your favorite mug, then add the whipped cream and sprinkle some nutmeg on top. That’s all there is to it! See? I told you my pumpkin latte was super easy! You can always count on us for time savers…and for coffee too for that matter. We’re kind of obsessed…

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4 Things to Try With Justin’s Peanut Butter

Ever since I was a kid, peanut butter has owned a piece of my heart. Add in chocolate and boom!, you’ve got me. Justin’s peanut butter cups, peanut and almond butter squeeze packets, and peanut butter snack packs are on my essentials list this season. Also, the trick-or-treaters are going to claim that your house is the one to visit.

Have you ever had vanilla almond butter? You can thank me later.

While my love affair with peanut butter spans over a decade, not everyone sees things my way. Here are some recipes to ease you in or to satisfy your obsession.

Peanut Butter Thai Sauce

To make a delicious sauce to make boring noodles exciting, gather these ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha

Put all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, whisk, and put the burner on low. Whisk sauce intermittently for 10-15 minutes or until sauce consistency is smooth.

Almond Butter and Roasted Pumpkin (squash)

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 10.00.01 AMThis makes a great side dish or compliments a salad.

  • 1 pumpkin or squash of your choosing
  • 1 Cup of raisins or cranberries
  • 4 Tablespoons Justin’s Maple Almond Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cut your pumpkin into slivers (leave the skin on the pumpkin so that it is easier to handle after it bakes). Place them on a cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine the EVOO and almond butter. Whisk into a light dressing and drizzle over pumpkin. Toss the berries throughout. Cover pumpkin with foil. Set the oven to 450 and let bake for 20 minutes or until soft.

Peanut Butter and Jelly SmoothieScreen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.34.19 AMHere’s one especially for the kids. Makes a great snack or perfect breakfast.

  • 2 Cups Almond Milk (or other milk)
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Cups Frozen Berries
  • 1 Cup Ice Cubes

Combine all the ingredients in a blender.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate SpoonsScreen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.25.55 AMTo make these adorable and tasty hot chocolate spoons perfect for any fall or winter party you will need:

  • Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
  • Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter
  • Plastic Spoons
  • Chocolate Shell Syrup
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Fill your spoon with the butter of your choosing. Add the chocolate shell syrup to the top of the spoon to keep the butter encased. Add the sprinkles before the shell hardens. Display on a plate for guests to use in their coffee, hot cocoa, or just to eat right of the spoon!

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples to review.

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Veal Chop & Mango Salsa Recipe

veal chop

I’m stepping up to the grill! My husband is the master griller in the family, but every now and then I get inspired to play with fire! This is my go-to veal chop recipe that’s a crowd pleaser. I’m a fan of veal. It’s a succulent, tender meat that’s easy to work into your family’s meal plan.

If you’ve never had veal, there’s really nothing like it. It’s a luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth tender meat. My kids like the taste more than pork and steak, because it’s subtle and mild. And I must say I’m partial to veal chops. They’re easy to make and delicious.

I’m sharing my easy Grilled Veal Chop with Mango Salsa recipe. The success of this dish starts with the crown jewel: Cedar Springs Veal produced with care right here in the U.S. by family growers. Joined with ripe mangoes, fresh herbs from my garden and a few more fridge staples, this can be created in no time flat making it great for both a celebration or simply Wednesday night dinner after school, swim team practice and piano lessons.

This dish is bursting with freshness, thanks to the simple to make salsa. In fact, sometimes I make the salsa the night before, so all I have to do to prep the dinner is broil or grill the chops and make a veggie.

I’m using veal chops in this recipe. They’re a great cut for busy families because they’re easy to throw on the grill, bake, broil or pan-sear. (NOTE: Other veal cuts, like roasts, cutlets, shanks and ground, are just as easy to cook and have that same melt-in-your-mouth veal flavor.)

Mango Salsa–Ingredients

1 ripe mango peeked and cut into cubes
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 small jalapeno diced
1/4 shallot minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Pinch of salt
1/2 lemon juice

Directions: Mix together in a bowl. Let flavors mingle. Leave in refrigerator overnight or prepare before putting the veal on the grill.

veal chop recipe

For Veal Chops
Salt
Pepper
Minced Mint
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Cedar Springs Veal Chops

Directions: Mix together the spices, mint and juice in a bowl. Transfer marinade to a sealable plastic bag and toss in chops or coat chops with marinade by hand.

Grill on medium heat until medium rare. Don’t overcook the meat–it would be a waste of a tasty cut of veal!

grilled veal chop recipe

Serving: Serve veal warm off the grill or from the oven topped with salsa. I like this dish with a simple mixed green salad or sautéed greens.

Some of my family’s favorite dishes involve the fewest ingredients—this is where quality really counts.

Having focused on veal-raising for more than 45 years, U.S. Cedar Springs Veal producers have continuously put into practice the highest food safety standards; a proprietary, nutrient-rich, wholesome diet; and healthy living conditions. When it is responsibly and conscientiously raised, you can feel just as good about the source as you can about the taste.

For more recipes, information on Cedar Springs Veal and where to buy it, visit www.mountainstatesrosen.com

And here’s a video of the recipe, I got the kids involved.

We’re proud to partner with Mountain States Rosen on this sponsored recipe.

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