Dairy Free Chocolate Avocado Pudding

dairy-free-chocolate-avocado-pudding-easy-recipe

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, bringing you recipes from scratch around each week’s grocery store matchups. This week avocados were on unadvertised sale at many ALDIs for $.79, and $1.00 each at Ultra Foods and Tony’s. You need just one avocado (and a mere four ingredients) to make yourself two nice servings of Dairy Free Chocolate Avocado Pudding!

junior-high-guy-likes-pudding

At least it looked like two nice servings, not that the kids really left me any. Especially Dairy Free Junior High Guy, who was beyond delighted to be eating pudding. In the messy family room. Getting it on his messy shirt. You can’t say we’re not real world here on Mashup Mom…

Dairy Free Chocolate Avocado Pudding

avocado-pudding-ingredients

Ingredients

One medium or large ripe avocado
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp raw honey
3 Tbsp vanilla soy milk
Coarse sea salt (optional) for topping

Directions

avocado-pudding-ingredients-in-food-processor

Add all ingredients to food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Place in covered container and refrigerate at least one hour. Top with a bit of sea salt (optional) and serve.

Seriously. Good. Pudding.

chocolate-avocado-pudding

I don’t know why avocados go so nicely with chocolate — but trust me, they just do! Just like with Gluten Free Dairy Free Black Bean Avocado Brownies, though, you want to chill Dairy Free Chocolate Avocado Pudding before eating. It’s good right away, but it’s great after a bit of time in the fridge. This does not taste like avocado: It. Tastes. Like. Chocolate. Pudding! You won’t miss the dairy, and you won’t notice the avocado. So weird, you just have to try it for yourself.

chocolate-avocado-pudding-3

The kids pronounced this the best pudding ever, and are already working me to make it again. This was so super easy, I just might oblige — and so super good, it’ll be a double batch so I can have some too. If you use regular soy milk instead of vanilla soy, you might want to add about 1/4 tsp vanilla and a little extra honey; if you like your pudding less thick, just add a bit more soy milk; if you like your pudding sweeter, just add a bit more honey. I played with proportions until it tasted good to me, so keep tasting yours until it’s right for you. Hey, there are no eggs in here, so feel free to lick the spoon! We don’t judge here on Mashup Mom, mostly in the hope that you don’t judge my messy family room in return. :)

Easy print version

Dairy Free Chocolate Avocado Pudding
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Ingredients
  • One medium or large ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla soy milk
  • Coarse sea salt (optional) for topping
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
  3. Place in covered container and refrigerate at least one hour.
  4. Top with a bit of sea salt (optional) and serve.

Zucchini Ribbons (and more ideas to keep up with this productive garden plant)

Zucchini Ribbons

Welcome to Frugal Homemade! This week, I am addressing zucchini because I suddenly have more than I need, so I imagine I am not the only one.

Zucchini collage

While I am happy to see them grow and proud when I can pick a good-looking one, it can sometimes be stressful to make sure they all get put to good use. I’ll start with a go-to recipe from my house, then talk about a few other things I like to do with this lovely summer squash. I also would love for you to comment with your favorite zucchini uses!

This is super basic “recipe,” but many people don’t like the texture of summer squash cooked in the usual slices or half moon shapes and therefore avoid the vegetable entirely. One of these people was my husband. I really like summer squash so I had to find a way to make him happy to eat it. This works because the thin slices don’t need to be cooked very long and therefore don’t get as limp as the poor insides of those half moons.

zucchini ribbons ingredients

If zucchini is in your garden, this is about as frugal as it gets. If it isn’t, it is still pretty cheap, especially in the summer. It is $.49/lb this week at Caputo’s and a 1 lb package is $.99 at Aldi.

Zucchini Ribbons

Cut the ends off your medium to large zucchini and cut it in half if it is on the longer side.

slice zucchini

Slice them 1/8″. I am using a basic mandoline slicer. Do this at your own risk as there is a holder thingy that you are supposed to use so as not to cut yourself, but it mangles the vegetables. So I live on the edge and do not use it. Go slowly and be careful! That approach also helps you keep your slices even. I wouldn’t try to do this by hand, but there is probably a way to do this in a food processor if you want to go that route. My slicer is actually this one, which works fine, but is overpriced. If I were shopping for a new one now, I’d probably go for a v-blade one like this Swissmar model with great reviews.

stack and slice

Now stack the slices back up and push them over to one side so it is perpendicular to the board on one side and looks like stairs on the other. The point here is to minimize the number of odd little pieces while still keeping this very quick. Cut the stack in to half inch wide ribbons, which required two cuts for this particular vegetable, but you may need three. Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.

add to pan

When the butter stops foaming, add the ribbons and stir to distribute the fat. Season with about a half teaspoon of kosher salt and a bit of pepper. Saute about four minutes or until they soften to your liking.

What else is zucchini good for?

  • Zucchini bread, of course! I love this use because it can be snack, breakfast, dessert, or even a gift. Plus, I have my kid convinced that it’s cake (shhhh). I don’t have an original recipe to share with you, but I will say that the America’s Test Kitchen recipe in their New Best Recipe book is absolutely perfect (as are many of the other recipes contained).
  • Casseroles. I am not ashamed to admit that I love a good casserole. They are epitome of comfort food. And, as someone who often cooks for others, I appreciate the ability to all but cook something in advance. I love this yellow squash casserole, which can be adjusted to have a greater zucchini to yellow squash ratio.
  • Side dishes. There are countless options, but I will leave you with my favorite, which will also help you use an abundance of garden herbs. I am making this zucchini herb couscous tonight!

Now, what are YOUR favorite things to do with zucchini?


frugalhomemade-logo

Be sure to check back each week for something new! I will be bringing you how-tos, advice, and articles on everything pertaining to easy frugal living: From DIY, to recipes, to practical tips and tricks. To help balance out the couponing and deal chasing we do a lot of here, I’ll talk about easy ways to incorporate frugality into everyday life and to do more from scratch.

Zucchini Ribbons
 
Author:
Recipe type: side
Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the ends off zucchini and cut in half.
  2. Slice lengthwise into ⅛" slices.
  3. Stack the slices so that they are even on one side and cut the stack into ½" inch wide ribbons.
  4. Heat butter and olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  5. When the butter stops foaming, add zucchini and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Saute for about 4 minutes.

Garden Ice Cubes — How to freeze pesto, How to freeze herbs!

garden-ice-cubes-freeze-herbs-pesto-more

So today’s Sunday Scratchups is less a recipe than a how-to, in case your garden is also going nuts producing basil, oregano, and more fresh herbs. This week I started freezing both fresh herbs and pesto in ice cube trays for easy meals and seasonings later, so thought I’d share the process of how to freeze pesto and how to freeze fresh herbs. (Pack your trays a little better than I did above, as you can see there is a little too much water and the cubes should have more oregano in them — though they’ll be fine in sauces and other recipes later.)

fill-tray-with-basil

Wash and chop your herbs, then grab yourself an ice cube tray. I have cheap ones from Target, but if you’re going to do a lot of this, you might want to invest in something like these Rubbermaid Easy Release ice cube trays. (Check out the reviews on these; everyone likes them!) Fill each cube about 2/3-3/4 full of chopped fresh herbs — above, basil from my garden.

cover-basil-with-water

Add just enough water so that the herbs are covered. You can see above that I could have added more herbs to mine — they smoosh down some when wet, so account for that when filling your trays.

basil-ice-cubes

Freeze for at least a couple of hours until you have nice solid herb ice cubes, then pop out, place in a freezer bag, and refreeze.

basil-ice-cubes-in-bag

It’s then super easy later to just pull out however much frozen basil, oregano, or other herb you need in a recipe. When preserved this way, herbs are best used in sauces where a little extra liquid won’t matter.

pesto-ice-cubes

I also froze some Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto for later, as well as some of the Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto for Dairy Free Junior High Guy. How great will this be when fresh herbs are less plentiful: Just thaw into a sauce for pasta, add a little more olive oil, a protein, and/or some veggies, and you have a quick meal ready to go. The pesto cubes aren’t as pretty since I made a thicker pesto (with less olive oil) that didn’t freeze evenly, but they’ll be just as tasty.

So I’d love to hear

fill-your-freezer-with-garden-ice-cubes

I’m just starting here, but will also be adding jalapeño peppers from the garden, which I usually just freeze whole in freezer bags and then chop later for recipes, as well as more herbs and pesto. How do you preserve your garden herbs? I’d love to hear other methods and ideas.

Easy Caprese Salad With Spinach — Plus Salad Bar Saturday!

easy-caprese-salad-with-spinach

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups (yes it is indeed Monday — time got away from me!), your weekly source for recipes from scratch around grocery store matchups. This week we saw some lovely sales on Galbani mozzarella fresca, and I picked mine up at my local Pete’s Fresh Market for just $.99. My garden tomatoes are still just barely starting to ripen, but tomatoes on the vine are also coming into their own at the supermarket and were $.89/lb at ALDI, $.69/lb at Caputo’s, overall making this a very affordable, fresh, and easy meal. The basil and spinach here are from my garden, so also a great way to use up some of the fresh basil that’s going nuts this time of year

Easy Caprese Salad with spinach can be another rare meatless meal in itself, which is often hard to do with low carb MashupDad in the house. We actually enjoyed our Caprese Salad this week, though, as part of our Salad Bar Saturday spread — which also gave us leftovers. (Bonus!)

salad-bar-2

Have you tried Salad Bar Saturday, by the way? It’s a great way to balance out Taco Tuesday, use up some of the leftovers from the week, and get some veggies into the kids by giving them choices! Just chop up a bunch of veggies and put out any other salad toppings you can find in the house, along with some fruit (we had watermelon and cherries with ours). On our own “salad bar” here I put out both the regular and dairy free Caprese salads, and also have everything from cherry tomatoes to croutons to mushrooms to sweet peppers to cucumbers to broccoli to cauliflower to baby carrots to lunch meat to olives to jalapeños to dried cranberries to slivered almonds to hummus to cheese to pesto to… and just tossed a $.99 bag of garden salad from ALDI with more of that garden spinach to give it both crunch and vitamins. But let’s get back to that Caprese salad recipe, since I digress…

Easy Caprese Salad with Spinach

Check out my Kosher salt in the nice blue canister I got from Goodwill! So much easier to measure out or grab a pinch than straight from the box.

ingredients

Ingredients

8 oz mozzarella fresca
2 vine ripe tomatoes
2 oz fresh spinach
fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions

layer-your-cheese-tomatoes-basil

Cover a large plate with fresh spinach leaves. Slice your mozzarella and tomatoes, then just start layering them across your plate on top of the spinach. Mozzarella slice, basil leaf, tomato slice, repeat until the entire plate is covered.

close-up-caprese-salad

Drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add Kosher salt and pepper to taste. I like to let mine chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving, but you can also serve immediately for a prettier presentation.

That’s all you need for a beautiful fresh Caprese salad

caprese-salad-4

So easy, right? And the spinach adds another layer of flavor, plus it helps balance out the basil if you find the whole leaves overwhelming.

Easy print version

Easy Caprese Salad With Spinach -- Plus Salad Bar Saturday!
 
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Ingredients
  • 8 oz mozzarella fresca
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 2 oz fresh spinach
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cover a large plate with fresh spinach leaves.
  2. Slice your mozzarella and tomatoes, then just start layering them across your plate on top of the spinach. Mozzarella slice, basil leaf, tomato slice, repeat until the entire plate is covered.
  3. Drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  4. I like to let mine chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving, but you can also serve immediately for a prettier presentation.

Dairy Free Caprese Salad With Spinach

dairy-free-caprese-salad-with-spinach

Here’s your nondairy Sunday Scratchups for the week! While I was putting together a Caprese Salad for MashupDad and myself with the cheap mozzarella I picked up at Pete’s Market this week, I kept thinking, well, how can I make a dairy free version of this for Junior High Guy to enjoy?

So I decided to give it a go with avocado as a nondairy substitute for the usual mozzarella, since it has a similar creamy texture and mouthfeel. Plus, we already know avocados go great with balsamic vinegar, so how could it be bad? The cost here ended up being about the same this week — one avocado was $.99 at ALDI, while one 8 oz ball of mozzarella ran $.99 at Pete’s after sale + coupon. I used one large tomato instead of two for a slightly smaller salad, too.

salad-bar-3

Dairy Free Caprese Salad with spinach was a great addition to our Salad Bar Saturday, giving Dairy Free Junior High Guy another filling option that he quite enjoyed. (He disappeared all the avocado out of it posthaste, so if you have your own dairy free avocado lover, you might want to up the avocado-to-tomato ratio here!)

Dairy Free Caprese Salad with spinach

plate-of-spinach

Ingredients

2 oz fresh spinach
One vine ripe tomato
One medium avocado
Basil leaves
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions

Cover a large plate with fresh spinach leaves. Slice your avocado and tomatoes, then just start layering them across your plate on top of the spinach. Avocado slice, basil leaf, tomato slice, repeat until the entire plate is covered.

dairy-free-caprese-salad-2

Drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add Kosher salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! Just as easy as the traditional version, and darn tasty in and of itself.

Easy print version

Dairy Free Caprese Salad -- with spinach
 
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Ingredients
  • 2 oz fresh spinach
  • One vine ripe tomato
  • One medium avocado
  • Basil leaves
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cover a large plate with fresh spinach leaves.
  2. Slice your avocado and tomatoes, then just start layering them across your plate on top of the spinach. Avocado slice, basil leaf, tomato slice, repeat until the entire plate is covered.
  3. Drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto

cashew-spinach-basil-pesto

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe source around store sales and/or garden abundance. I don’t know about your garden, but with all this rainy weather, mine is currently going nuts producing both basil and spinach. This easy and flavor-packed recipe makes liberal use of both, and substitutes cashews for pricy pine nuts. (I like it better with cashews, personally!)

If you have only ever had pesto out of a jar, you really have to try it fresh made; there’s a world of difference. Plus, the spinach sneaks in extra veggies and iron while kicking up the flavor a notch, while the cashews add a little protein to help make a meatless meal more filling.

sorting-cashews-out

When I made Easy Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto the other day I didn’t have plain old cashews handy — but did have this can of mixed nuts. Mr. 7 was only too happy to help sort out the cashews, although I think half of them went straight into his mouth. Cashew tax! To make this a little easier on yourself you can instead pick up cashews on sale this week of 7/6/14:

  • CVS has Gold Emblem mixed nuts or cashews, $3.99, and Gold Emblem abound deluxe mixed nuts, cashews 17.5-18.25 oz, or almonds 23.5 oz, $8.99 through 7/12.
  • Fresh Thyme has bulk roasted salted cashews for $5.99/lb through 7/9.
  • Schnucks through 7/8 has Planters Cashews or Mixed Nuts at $2.50 each wyb 5 . Use the $1.00/2 coupon here or the $1.00/2 from the 6/29 SS to get them for $2.00.
  • On Amazon, this Planters Deluxe Whole Cashews Canister, Lightly Salted, 18.25 Ounce is $8.25 shipped with subscribe & save.

You only need 1/2 cup of nuts for this recipe, so the rest is yours for the snacking — or, make multiple batches to freeze. That’s my plan as soon as the new food processor I ordered on Amazon arrives Tuesday, since I finally destroyed my cheap little old one… while making this pesto. (Luckily I had some Amazon credit card points I’d been saving so was able to use those to remedy my food processor emergency with no out-of-pocket cost. It’s like a present to myself!)

Easy Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto

spinach-basil-pesto-ingredients

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups torn up fresh spinach
3/4 cup torn up fresh basil
1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste

Directions

pesto-ingredients-in-food-processor

OK, you ready for this? It’s a little tricky, so watch carefully…

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. BAM: Pesto!

I might cut down on the oil a little bit next time (and did drop it to 1/3 cup for a thicker pesto in the next batch), but otherwise this was fantastic. Go light on the sea salt, since the cheese is pretty salty in itself, as are the cashews. You might even leave it out and add a bit at the end if you find you need some.

We made ours into Pesto Portobello Pizza

pesto-portobello-pizzas-2

The fresh made pesto was just wonderful on Portobello Mushroom Pizza (using the basic recipe here sans cherry tomatoes, just marinate the mushrooms as usual and add pesto and toppings before baking). I highly recommend trying it! My portobello pizzas are the ones with just a little mozzarella cheese on top, but MashupDad and Mr. 7 insisted on pepperoni, too. (Pick up two little packs at Dollar Tree for $1.00 using the $1.00/2 coupon in the 5/11 SS — they put out coupons all the time in the paper or on Coupons.com, and one pack will do a whole pizza.)

pot-o-pesto-4

It’s so pretty, too — you’ve heard that you eat with your eyes? Well, go ahead and feast yours on some of this vibrant green. :)

Looking for the dairy free version?

dairy-free-spinach-cashew-pesto-2Dairy Free Version — With Kalamata Olives

I also scratched up a Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto for Dairy Free Junior High Guy. You can find that recipe variation here, as well as his Dairy Free Pesto Portobello Pizzas. Freeze up some either version to help preserve some of your summer garden bounty, if yours is producing as much basil and spinach right now as mine is! The easiest way to do this is to freeze your pesto in ice cube trays until solid, then pop out your pesto cubes and freeze them in freezer bags so that they’re easy to portion out for later use.

Easy print version

Easy Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto
 
Author:
Recipe type: sauce
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups torn up fresh spinach
  • ¾ cup torn up fresh basil
  • ½ cup roasted salted cashews
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • ⅓-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. BAM: Pesto!
  4. Go light on the sea salt, since the cheese is pretty salty in itself, as are the cashews.

Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto

dairy-free-cashew-spinach-basil-pesto

The other day I scratched up some Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto using fresh basil and spinach from the garden. As your double bonus Sunday Scratchup today, let me present the Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto variation for those of you with dairy allergies. This dairy free pesto substitutes Kalamata olives for the Parmesan cheese in the original version, providing the same kind of salty richness in a non-dairy pesto. You’ll want to cut down on your oil when using olives, though, because they’ll release their own when blended into the pesto — so the proportions here are also slightly different than in the original version.

Both versions are chock full of salty garlicky goodness, and both made excellent Pesto Portobello Pizzas.

dairy-free-pesto-portobello-pizza-dinner

Dairy Free Junior High Guy chose to top his Pesto Portobello Pizza with pepperoni and jarred jalapeño slices, and the cashews and olives in the pesto added enough salty richness that you don’t really miss the cheese. (Pizzas were made using the basic recipe here sans the cherry tomatoes; just marinate the mushrooms as usual then add pesto and toppings before baking).

Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto

fresh-basil

Ingredients

1 cup torn up fresh spinach
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp torn up fresh basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp roasted salted cashews
1/2 tsp minced garlic
6 pitted Kalamata olives
Juice from one slice of lemon
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste

Directions

dairy-free-spinach-cashew-pesto-in-processor

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it — you now have dairy free pesto! (You might want to wait to add salt until the end, since both the olives and the cashews add saltiness to the recipe and it’s easy to overdo it.)

dairy-free-spinach-cashew-pesto-2

Dairy Free Junior High Guy really enjoyed Dairy Free Pesto on his pizza and then went after the leftovers the next day with a spoon — so I think that this qualifies as a hit. There’s only a hint of spinach flavor in the finished version, so Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto can also be a great way to sneak some veggies into the pickier members of your family.

Looking for the original dairy filled version?

spinach-basil-pesto-2Dairy Version — With Parmesan Cheese

The Parmesan version of this pesto comes out a more vibrant green, but they’re equally tasty. Check out the original dairy filled Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto here. And, freeze some of either recipe up to help preserve some of your summer garden bounty, if yours is producing as much basil and spinach right now as mine is! The easiest way to do this is to freeze your pesto in ice cube trays until solid, then pop out your pesto cubes and freeze them in freezer bags so that they’re easy to portion out for later use.

Easy print version

Dairy Free Cashew Spinach Basil Pesto
 
Author:
Recipe type: sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 cup torn up fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp torn up fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp roasted salted cashews
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 6 pitted Kalamata olives
  • Juice from one slice of lemon
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. (You might want to wait to add salt until the end, since both the olives and the cashews add saltiness to the recipe and it's easy to overdo it.)

Good Cook Fruit Bowl Giveaway + Watermelon Granita Recipe!

This giveaway is sponsored by Good Cook. I received a fresh fruit bowl for purposes of review. All opinions here, however are my own.

watermelon-granita-mashup-mom

Today I have for you a giveaway and an easy fresh fruit recipe, all wrapped up into one! Let me tell you first about this awesomesauce Good Cook Fresh Fruit bowl, which is only available at Bed Bath and Beyond (or… say… if you win one here…!).

watermelon-fresh-fruit-bowl

This big three-piece bowl features a genius strainer insert that keeps fresh cut fruit from stewing in its own juices, plus an easy pour spout so you can discard the juice that accumulates on the bottom of the larger green bowl. I made this recipe several days ago, stored the other half of the cut watermelon in the fridge, and the bowl is keeping it nice and fresh — in a regular bowl, the pieces on the bottom would be overly juicy and starting to get icky by now.

So, here’s something to make with your fresh fruit this season:

Easy Peasy Watermelon Granita Recipe

Just three ingredients here (optionally four)

5 cups cut up seedless watermelon
1/2 cup sugar (use less if you have a very sweet watermelon)
Juice of one small lime
Mini chocolate chips (optional)

start-to-scrape-2.jpg

Add watermelon, lime juice, and sugar to food processor or blender and combine til smooth. I have an underpowered little food processor, so some of the little white seeds were left in mine. They were pretty inoffensive, but a more powerful machine will take care of that — or pick them out if they bother you.

Pour watermelon mixture into a glass 9×13 pan and freeze for two hours. Scrape up your granita all around the edges as shown above, then refreeze for another two hours. Scrape up the rest of your granita, and serve!

watermelon-granita-with-chocolate-chip-seeds-5

Now, you could get all fancy and serve your cool and refreshing watermelon granita in margarita glasses with some spiral zested lime twists. And maybe add a little vodka. ;) Since I was serving this to kids, however, I thought it would be more fun to put some in a green bowl and add some mini chocolate chips as “seeds.” Now it’s a watermelon recipe… pretending to be… a watermelon!

The hardest part of this recipe

… was actually clearing off a shelf in the freezer so that the granita had a space to freeze up! Mr. 7 has been highly enjoying it, and requests some for dessert every single night. Watermelon granita is naturally dairy free and gluten free, so a great easy summer dessert for families with food allergies.

So let’s give away this bowl!

What can you win?

  • One Mashup Mom reader will win a Good Cook Three Piece Fruit Bowl.

How do you enter?

  • Just comment here and let me know your favorite way to enjoy fresh fruit during the summer!

One entry per comment; each comment is an entry; a maximum of one entry per household. Enter through 11:59 PM Central on 7/5/14. U.S. residents only, please. If you are reading this through email or Facebook, please click on the title of this post (up at the top where it says “Good Cook…”) to go back to the blog. Scroll down to the bottom of the post and you will see a box to enter your comment; just comment there to enter. Email and Facebook entries will not be counted. If you are reading Mashup Mom on the web, look at the bottom of this post where it says “___ comments.” Click on that to get the box to enter your own comment.

The fine print

Prizing and information for this giveaway has been provided by Good Cook; however, all opinions here are my own. The winner will be randomly selected from all comments received on or around 7/6/14 and will have 48 hours to respond to notification email; Prize will be forfeited and Mashup Mom will choose a runner up if no response is received in that time frame.

No purchase necessary. The number of eligible entries receives determines the odds of winning. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited. Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of your prize.

The extra fine print

Special Good Cook giveaway disclosure rules

  • One prize per household for each Good Cook event. For example, if someone wins on 2 or more blogs, they – or their family members – will only receive one prize from that event.
  • If a household has won a prize in a previous Good Cook event, they are not eligible win again for 6 months.
  • If a household has won more than one prize in a previous Good Cook event (prior to the one-win-in-six-months rule), they aren’t eligible win again for 12 months.
    Good Cook Bloggers and Good Cook Kitchen Experts are not eligible to win prizes in Good Cook sponsored events, whether or not they participated in the event or not.
  • Good Cook will confirm that winners are eligible and will disqualify anyone who has won more than once.
  • Prizes ship from Good Cook and can take 8-10 weeks after the contest ends, unless otherwise stated. You must be 18 or older to win. US shipping addresses only.
  • Good Cook reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value if sufficient inventory is not available.

Check out other Good Cook kitchen expert blogger recipes and uses for the fruit bowl!


New on Sunday Scratchups 6/22/14 — Prosciutto edition

sundayscratchupslogo

Here’s what’s been cooking in the prosciutto category this week over on Mashup Mom’s sister recipes and food site, Sunday Scratchups.

  • Alas, the “prosciutto end” I picked up cheap turned out to be mostly rind and kind of icky at the end, but it was fun while it lasted. So here are a couple of things I made with prosciutto this week. Neither uses very much prosciutto, so not too bad to make the next time you find some on sale.

Sunday Scratchups evolved out of the “grocery matchups cooking from scratch” series here on Mashup Mom, and chronicles the adventures of an accidental cook — around sales, food allergies, and Atkins.

prosciutto-avocado

First up, Prosciutto-Wrapped Avocado Slices. Darn tasty flavor combination, and a nice cool appetizer (or meal!) on a summer day.

parmesan-prosciutto-potato-packets

Next, we have Parmesan Proscuitto Potato Packets. Easy side to throw onto the grill while you’re also grilling up your main dish (such as, perhaps, big juicy hamburgers!).

Find anything fun on clearance this week yourself? What did you cook up with it?

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What To Eat Thursday — Leaving wiggle room in your menu plan

prosciutto

We haven’t done a What to Eat Thursday in a while, since we’ve been kind of in an ad slump lately without a lot of common themes among weekly food sales. So today, instead of focusing on that, let’s talk about leaving wiggle room in your menu planning for unexpected sales and clearance. I do try to rough out a meal plan for the week around freezer finds, grocery sales, and pantry staples — but am also always on the lookout for meat clearance deals and other serendipitous finds to mix things up.

targetbeef

This week, both Trish and I ran across unexpected clearance, and we both scratched up meals around our finds. On separate trips to the same Target (lol!) we each picked up 2 lb clearance packs of ground beef for just over $4.00, and I already told you about my “prosciutto ends” find at Pete’s Market. So, what did we end up making?

picadillo

Trish cooked up a family favorite, Cuban Picadillo, using just this clearance pack of ground beef rather than mixing it with ground pork this time. Since she had all of the other ingredients already on hand from previous sales, she just added one green bell pepper to her Target shopping trip after finding the clearance meat and was able to go home and throw together an entire meal.

prosciutto-potatoes-with-burger

Over in the Mashup Mom household, someone had a hankering for hamburgers on the grill, which were simple enough to throw together with that clearance ground beef. As long as the grill was going: Parmesan Prosciutto Potato Packets on the side, using just a bit of the prosciutto plus the end of a bag of potatoes and some fresh basil from the garden.

It’s useful to build some flexibility into your meal planning for unexpected surprises, and to have a well-stocked pantry full of items you picked up on sale that allows you to cook up a variety of recipes when you fortuitously find a main missing ingredient on clearance. Find clearance ground beef? It could become picadillo or hamburgers or chili or spaghetti sauce or tacos or meatballs or meatloaf or any of 10,000 other things, depending on your family’s tastes and what you have on hand.

What did you fortuitously find on clearance or sale this week?

Please share what you scratched up in comments here, because variety is the spice of What To Eat Thursday!