Wednesday, January 28, 2015

what's up in my kitchen this week: recipe testing, storm prep and lots of hot chocolate

I am very excited to announce that recipe testing is well underway for the Second Edition of Stock Your Freezer in a Snap!!

I've been putting new recipes through the ringer here in my home kitchen,

and have 25 equally busy parents test-running the new recipes to make sure that ingredients are easily found in their local supermarkets, my instructions are super clear, and that the new meals are enjoyed by their families.

This next e-cookbook is a little different than the first one, which was really a compilation of family-friendly favorites. In the first edition, I gave parents options to make meals vegetarian, whenever possible… but this round, I am switching it up. After hearing many readers say that they wanted more plant-based family meal ideas, I'm starting with mostly vegetarian family dinners and giving parents the option to add meat! Kind of cool, right?!!

For example, I'll be giving you the recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Shredded Sweet Potatoes {pictured above as a gluten-free pasta test run}, and giving you the option of adding pancetta or ham.

Speaking of vegetables, in other news, there was all of this prep and hoopla about this SUPERSTORM Juno that was going to hit us this week. I came back from skiing and headed straight to the market Sunday night to stock up and-- doh-- this was the salad section of our local Whole Foods...

and this was where I was planning to grab some bananas. Clearly, I was late to the party.

Plus, I had a home fridge and freezer full of the aforementioned test recipes, which I really didn't want to lose. So, I raided my pantry stash of packaging, filled a kazillion tubs with water and filled my fridge and freezer,

in an attempt to keep the temps level, in case we lost power.

But we woke up the morning the storm was supposed to have wreaked absolute havoc to some pretty snow falling, and full power. Jackpot.

Snow days are pretty awesome when the fire and candles are lit purely for ambiance, not warmth or sight. We lucked out.

Since we not only had power, but a full day to hang out-- and I just happened to have some rotisserie chicken bones in my freezer-- I decided to give Nourished Kitchen's Perpetual Broth a whirl. As you all know, I do love my bone broth. I usually just make it once/month or so in my LeCrueset or in a stock pot. But since I recently bought a crockpot, and her article intrigued me, I went her perpetual route with visions of a freezer door lined with quarts of frozen goodness dancing in my head. So far, so good. The only glitch is that my crockpot is now tied up as I head into Day 2 of simmering batch 2… high class problem...

OK, but back to storms, snow and basic survival. As luck would have it, I developed a new food crush this week: Cacao Prieto 72% Dark Hot Chocolate. While our local Whole Foods may have been out storm necessities like bananas and bread, I needed to buy something to sustain us, right? So, I made sure we had an ample supply of hot cocoa. Little did I know just how ahhhmazing this brand would be.

This is what the {pretty} container looks like if you're looking for it in your local market.

And, when cabin fever strikes-- or you're feeling guilty about that third cup of awesomeness you just enjoyed-- you can always strap on your fitbit and some yaktrax, and make up for it, like I did.

Alrighty, back to all of this recipe testing. Can't wait to share it with you soon!! Until then, join the conversation, or take a peek at what I'm cooking, over on Facebook, Pinterest, or-- brand spanking new-- Instagram (@mealsinasnap).

Please note that this blog post has amazon affiliate links, meaning the amazon price is the same to you, but The Full Plate Blog earns a small commission of sales, which go towards the operating expenses of the blog. If you plan to make a purchase, thank you for considering doing so via these amazon links!

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