Be My Yummy Valentine

Whether it’s Valentine’s day or not, it’s always the perfect time to let your sweetie (i.e. husband, kids, wife, best friend) know how much you care…. and what better way to say ‘I love you’ than with some sweet treats! While there are countless hacks and tricks for making delicious heart-shaped goodies, these four really stand out as my favorites:

1) Heart-Shaped Whoopie Pies!
Cupcake Kelly (blogger of An American Cupcake in London) shares her adorable Cotton Candy Funfetti Whoopie Pies recipe here! Easy to pick up and oh-so-delicious, these treats are sure to be a hit!

2) Heart Cupcakes Made Easy
Find yourself short on time or frustrated with complicated recipes and decorating ideas? This little hack for making heart-shaped cupcakes (in a regular cupcake tin!) is the recipe for you: quick, easy, and utterly fail-proof, you’re sure to get the results you expect and desire by following this simple trick!

3) What An Egg-celent Idea! Heart-Shaped Eggs.
Hard boiled eggs are such a diverse food… they’re low-calorie and chock-full of protein, and they’re perfect for breakfast, snack-time, lunch, and even as an appetizer. Whether you make them into deviled eggs and serve them before dinner or zip a few into a plastic baggie and send them off with your kids (or spouse) for lunch, these heart-shaped eggs are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face!

4) Surprise-Inside Cupcakes
From the outside they may look like your average cupcake, but bite into one of these babies and you’ll find one seriously cute surprise: inside each cake is a bright red heart that is sweet in every possible way! But wait, that’s not all… the other surprise with this cool cupcake is that it’s truly simple to make! Spread some sugary love with these Cupcakes with a Heart Baked Inside, or change up the shape/color and wow all your friends and family with all the other fun surprise-cupcakes you can learn to make on the blog Made With Love.

We hope you love these great ideas!

Custom Meal Planning

Meal planning of the past consisted of sifting through stacks of large and expensive magazines and dusty old cookbooks that lacked photographs. We decided that we didn’t want to waste our time looking for recipes that didn’t really satisfy everyone.

Our approach is simple – we want to provide you with the best recipes that are geared toward your preferences. We don’t show you recipes with ingredients that you hate – (No peas, please!)

Foodini also allows you to easily create meals that fit within your dietary restrictions and that don’t contain foods that you’re allergic to. The design of our website allows you to rate the most popular recipe ingredients with a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”

Once you’re done rating your meals it’s time to get cookin’! Our special Foodini engine will start creating your weekly meal plan based on your preferences.


Veggie Cooking Cheat-Sheet

Getting all of your daily veggies is an important and well-known necessity, but sometimes it feels hard. Unlike fruits, vegetables are usually eaten prepared, and knowing exactly how (and how long) to cook each vegetable can feel time-consuming and too-much. Confusion and time-suck, be gone! With this awesome veggie cooking cheat sheet you can cut out all the thinking and planning and just get straight to cooking (and eating) those delicious and nutritious greens!

Image from [Kidspot Australia]

Eat This, Not That

Everyone has that favorite food that is delicious beyond compare but simply terrible for your health. For me, it is sweet noodle kugel, the creamier and more sugary cousin to mac-and-cheese. I joke that it’s healthy because of its moderately-high calcium content, but lets be honest here… a plateful of kugel is like a giant slice of cheesecake (but, in all likelihood, with more carbs and fat). Still, knowing full well how bad it is, I simply cannot see the day when I will be able to say “no” to a good-ol’ slice of that gooey, cheesy, noodle-y dish. Think I’m doomed? Ha, think again!

Enter substitution list, my go-to guide for giving a healthy twist to those treats that are simply too good to give up. Addicted to sauces and sweets made with heavy whipping cream? Think about using evaporated skim milk as a fat-free and low-calorie replacement. Love treats with lots of butter? Try using baby prunes instead to seriously up the health-factor (and to give your desserts an added fiber-boost). My personal favorite? I’ve learned that using fat-free ricotta in my kugel gives it the same sweetness and soft texture as the recipe-called-for cream cheese does, minus all the unnecessary fat and calories. Whatever your bad-food love may be, get ready to give it a healthful makeover with the easy and healthy recipe substitution list as your guide. Eating is something to be shared and enjoyed, so substitute away that guilt and grab a whisk… let’s get cooking!

Image from [Better Homes and Gardens]

Yuck or Yum: How Long Does Food Last?

How many times have you poked, prodded, sniffed, or simply guess-timated whether some long-forgotten food is still safe to eat? Maybe more than you would like to admit? Well, fret not, we have all of your storage questions covered! This simple guide lays it all out, making it clear how long things last (depending on where/how you store them). So open up that freezer and take out those 2-month-old tilapia filets… they’re a-okay to cook up and enjoy!

Image from [All You Daily Savings]

Beef Cuts, Made Easy

Have you ever wondered what part of the cow a t-bone steak comes from? Or maybe you’ve always been curious about how to best cook those juicy tenderloins you just picked up from the supermarket or butcher shop. Regardless of what your meat-related questions are, this Beef Made Easy chart is here to give you all the answers! Now you can come out of the dark and know exactly what you’re buying and how you can best cook that awesome looking cut. Yumm!

Herbs 101

Up until about a year ago, the same thing happened every time (and I mean every single time) I found myself cooking something that called for some type of fresh herb: I would read the recipe for the dish twice, circle the herb which I needed to go purchase, realize I had no idea how to really recognize the herb, google the herb, go to the store and (somehow) manage to locate and buy the herb, and then get back to my kitchen to gingerly try my hand chopping or slicing the herb. It was, i admit, a truly embarrassing sight. I mentioned this was a year ago though… so what happened between then and now? Ah-haa, let me tell you! Thanks to a bit of research and this awesomely illustrated ‘basics of herbs’ cheat-sheet, I learned all about how to prepare, identify, utilize, and even chiffonade herbs like a pro! So don’t be shy and take a look… you, too, can be the herb-aficionado of your kitchen!

Clear Out The Clutter With These Simple Storage Tips

Ever feel like cooking takes twice as long as it should because the preparation is so time-consuming? I know that I do! Organizing your pantry so that your spices, oils, and other cooking essentials are easy to find can be a real time saver, and it doesn’t have to be hard to do either! To keep things easily-spottable and extra fresh, try using clear plastic containers to store cereals, grains, flour, and sugars. Or, to keep snacks organized and neat, use wooden baskets to store chip bags and granola bars. Have open wall space in your kitchen? Install a spice rack to keep your seasonings on-hand all the time. As Better Homes and Gardens Magazine so perfectly explains, taking quick and easy steps to sort out your pantry can make a real difference… so, let the organizing begin!

Kitchen Pantry Organization Tips

I adore how clean and simple this closet is… everything is easy to see, and nothing is out-of-reach. See more of this lovely cupboard here!

Have lots of cans and tins? Use these simple instructions to build rotating/rolling storage bins like the ones in this pretty pantry!

These shelves are as neat as they are efficient and practical; they allow the frequent-cook to have additional storage space without all the bows-and-frills, and the clear storage containers keep things fresh while making it clear what’s-in-what and where everything is. For more bulk storage tips, check out this site!