Tree Top 50th Anniversary Recipe Contest and Review!

To celebrate, their 50th anniversary of producing pure and healthy fruit-based products, Tree Top is launching “America’s Secret Ingredient” contest.   To enter, you just submit yourapple-themed recipe and you get a chance to win a trip to New York City to attend to the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival in October, have your recipe showcased, and meet some of the Food Network stars.  How cool is that?

Why the secret ingredient? Did you know that substituting applesauce in place of butter and replacing white sugar can cut fat and calories from your diet while maintaining a sweet flavor. You also get extra antioxidants and Vitamin C!

Tree Top is a fruit processing co-op owned by more than 1,000 apple and pear growers in the Pacific Northwest.  I was given several Tree Top items to try and I have to admit that the applesauce was the biggest hit in my family.  I know, we are pretty boring, but the applesauce was some of the best we’ve had here in a long time!  My kids actually fought over the small container we were given!

Best of all about the Tree Top site is that you can enter the instant sweepstakes and you will get a printable coupon!  How cool is that?  Contest, coupons, great food and drink — what more can you ask for?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Tree Top and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook

The recession has put a lot of strain on the grocery bill especially for those with families, but that doesn’t mean having to skip gourmet food and a balanced diet. The Frugal Foodie Cookbookshows you how to creatively and cleverly use ingredients and leftovers to produce wonderful inexpensive meals for any occasion. This book has everything, from roasting coffee at home to concocting inexpensive crave-worthy casseroles to whipping up snacks on a shoestring. Chapters include “Bankable Breakfasts,” “Lunch for Less,” and “Dinner on a Dime,” and feature irresistible recipes from Shaved Shrimp Rolls and Gourmet PBJ to an “Exponential Chicken” that stretches the bird over five different courses. With hundreds of delicious dishes and expert advice (including fun ideas for serving), this cookbook keeps you living well and eating better.

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A Recipe for Pumpkin Soup Could Make Your Meal

The idea of seasonal eating is becoming a more popular one these days, as more of us find out about how we can have better food and more contact with the natural world. While modern technological advances allow us to enjoy winter strawberries and late summer rhubarb, it cannot ensure that the produce is the same quality all year round. Everyone has had a hard, pink winter tomato, so you know that simply because we have the ability to grow it does not mean it will be great.

This is why so many people are taking up eating seasonally, instead of buying whatever is available. Produce grown when it is naturally supposed to be is better tasting, more nutritious, and of higher quality. Strawberries belong in June and oranges in January. While it can be frustrating to have to wait for your favorites, it is worth it in the end.

Once you realize that the foods you eat in season are the foods that taste best, you will give up on eating them at the wrong times of year. After all, most of us do not really like winter peaches. Try foods when they are meant to grow, and realize what a difference in taste that makes.

Autumn has a lot to offer in terms of seasonal delights, from the fresh corn and new potatoes that come on as summer is ending to the winter squash, nuts, apples, and beautiful orange pumpkins of the later season. For those of us who have been sticking to pumpkin pies made out of a can, there is more to find out.

Pumpkin is not just attractive, but a delicious, good for you choose with plenty of vitamin content and lots of fiber. In addition, this vegetable is easy to cook and works in dishes of all kinds – not just Thanksgiving and Halloween desserts. Make sure you eat pumpkin all autumn long.

This large orange squash can be cooked in many delicious ways, including slicing it thin and sauteing it in a mix of veggies, roasting it in oil and herbs, and choosing to make a recipe pumpkin soup. Pumpkin soup is a rich and delicious addition to your table that is not necessarily sweet. Combine it with great savory ingredients for a creamy delight that you will not want to give up.

Take the time to be a little adventurous, and you will be surprised by the results. Pumpkin soups and stews can make your fall dinners a lot more interesting. Pumpkin chili adds a sweet note to go with your cornbread and salsa. Pumpkin curry is wonderful over rice or Asian style noodles. The possibilities are almost endless!

If you are tired of the same old lackluster meals, it might be time to begin eating seasonally. You will discover all kinds of foods you had forgotten about, including pumpkin. Try a great pumpkin soup recipe this fall, and see what a difference it will make. You will love experimenting with new flavors!

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