Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ryan's Guest Post & Healthy Giveaway!!!

You all need to meet my best friend Ryan!  I have been trying to get him to start blogging for years now, and he has FINALLY started a Facebook page...Sustenance Reinvented.  You MUST check it out...he is full of great recipe ideas, and uses the best ingredients.  Every dish he makes looks insanely delicious, and the best part is...they are healthy!  If you are searching for some extra inspiration in the kitchen, definitely head on over.  

*Also make sure you enter the giveaway below...Ryan is giving away a $20 gift card to either Whole Foods or Fresh Market (winner's choice)!  The giveaway is open until Sunday night!  
Good luck!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey Everyone,
My name is Ryan and I’m the creator of Sustenance Reinvented.  I created this page mainly to show everybody how you can eat healthy and still enjoy your food!  I am the definition of a “foodie” and I absolutely love to cook. I also have lost over 80 lbs. in the last 4 years and know the importance of a healthy diet!  Cooking isn’t just a passionate hobby for me, but a way of life.  On my page I share all of my culinary ideas as well as help enlighten my followers with healthy tips, host culinary forums, and share my ongoing culinary research.  I hope this page inspires you to reinvent the way you cook.
Live Happy! Live Healthy!
-Ryan
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2013

Advertise!!!

Another big milestone for me in the blog world is happening right now!!!
I'm very excited to be able to start offering these new advertising options.  Without the help of all the incredible blogger friends I have made in such a short time, Never The Same Spice Twice wouldn't be where it's at right now!  I would love to return the favor to the blog community and help you all get things growing on your pages as well.  Check out my new Spicy, Salty, and Sweet affordable advertising options. 

In order to celebrate breaking way over 300 GFC followers, I'd like to offer a special discount!!!
*Use the promo code "NTSST" to receive 30% off!

*You can also use the promo code "SPICE" if you would like to swap with the Sweet option!

I can not WAIT to start working with you!   

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What's cooking this week?

Well, if you are friends with me on Facebook...you may have just heard the BIG news!!!  I'll tell you what's cooking this week, and it has been cooking for the last 12 weeks!!!
Hubby and I are just SO excited...now that the news is out, it makes it even more real!  
Baby Sko will be arriving on September 6th, and this little guy or girl is LOVED so much already!
This will be my parent's first grandchild, and Stephen's parent's TENTH!  Crazy right!?!  Talk about a growing family!  Well we have about 6 months to go, so far so good.  I have been feeling pretty great during the day...but nights are another story.  Honestly, keeping up with the meal planning, cooking, and posting on the blog has been quite the challenge but I'm up for it!  I'm sure once Baby Sko gets here, it won't be too easy then either.  I'm trying my best to forge ahead...a little nausea isn't going to stop me.  Although I must confess, I HAVE swapped out dinner once or twice for a bowl of cereal.  This week, I am committed to stick to what I have planned whether or not I eat it that night for dinner - I can have a yummy lunch the next day!  
So that's it..the big announcement has been made!  
Now back to reality, I have to post this so I can get started on that pot roast.  :)

Tonight: Sunday Pot Roast w/ Mushroom Gravy and mashed potatoes

HAPPY SUNDAY!!! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Roasted Winter Veggies

I made these about a week or two ago (the weeks really are just running into one another).  I absolutely LOVE roasting veggies....my favorite is when they get nice and crispy.  These took a while to brown up, but it was so worth the wait.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time I ever tried roasting carrots, and man were they good...so sweet!!!  You just have to try it for yourself, enjoy!
Ingredients:
6 carrots - cut into large sticks
1 parsnip - cut into large sticks
2 potatoes (I used russet..but next time I'm trying about 4-5 yukon gold) - cut into medium sized chunks
1 onion - diced
fresh herbs - thyme and parsley - 3 tbsp chopped
salt
pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1.  In a large bowl mix all veggies *except for onions*.
2.  Add olive oil, herbs - sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
3.  Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil, spread veggies evenly on sheet.
4.  Roast in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes - add onions and mix veggies - cook for an additional 20-30 minutes until golden brown.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Target Giveaway!!!

Thanks a bunch to Ashley from Wannabe Green for putting this together with myself and some of her other February ladies!!!  
Who wouldn't want to win a gift card to TARGET!?!?
**************************

Its GIVEAWAY day!!

Did you get everything that you wanted for Valentines Day?

If there is still something that you have your eyes on, no worries me and a few of my favorite ladies are her to help. One lucky person is going to WIN a $50 Gift Card to Target, for any of those last minute must haves!
{left to right}


Good Luck
&
Stay Crafty,

Monday, February 18, 2013

What's cooking this week?

Did everyone have a fantastic weekend?  Stephen and I sure did, but we are exhausted.  We got in late last night, had to stop at Publix on the way home for some groceries.  Needless to say, there was no way I was updating blogs at that point, I basically passed out after that.  Luckily, I have today off for a little relaxation!  Before I get to a few pictures, let's talk about what is on the menu...
Tonight:  Grandpa's Marinara, and a caprese salad (was supposed to make this on Valentines Day - got stuck at work late, so it never happened)
Tuesday:  TaCo's!!!
Wednesday:  Pomodoro Tilapia
Thursday:  Tuscan Bean Soup and Steak for the husband

Now for some pics!
Happy Birthday Nikki (the middle cousin)!!!!
It was a tad on the chilly side!
Have a GREAT week!  :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yes, Weekend!

Some of you may recall me hinting at the fact that this past week was likely going to be a little intense.  Luckily, I made it through!  The Student Government/S.A.D.D. dance was a success, everyone had a great time, and most importantly it is OVER!   I'm so appreciative for all of you who helped make it happen!   
(Side-note - the dance was NOT THAT difficult to plan, just low priority in the grand scheme of things...one more thing to worry about...and did I mention it's over?!?!)

I woke up this Saturday morning a very happy lady.  Hello weekend!  AND it is a 3 day weekend, BONUS!  Ok, so here is what hubs and I have planned....we are packing it up and heading down to Tampa in a few hours to start celebrating my cousin Nikki's Sweet 16!  We can't wait to spend a little quality time with the family AND go to Busch Gardens tomorrow!  Aren't these the COOLEST exploding invitations you have ever seen?!?  Aunt Sherry is so crafty (OK, I helped with about 5% of this)!!!


I seriously hope you all have the best weekend! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tiffany and Co. $200 Gift Card Giveaway!!!

Happy Valentines Day Girls!!!
My lovely friend Ashlee over at ABpetite set up this INCREDIBLE giveaway for you all, I'm PSYCHED to be a part of this with all of these amazing bloggers!
  Who wants to win a $200 Gift Card to Tiffany & Co???
Ummm....hello!!!!  Who wouldn't?!?!

There are 130 different items UNDER $200 to choose from @ Tiffany's so you won't have to spend ANY extra money when YOU win. I mean it might as well be you that wins right?  Someone has to! But, you can't win if you don't enter!  So PLEASE enter the Rafflecopter below AND check out my friends blogs as well to win.  Be certain that you ACTUALLY follow in whatever ways you are claiming because, if you don't even if you are chosen you will not win the GC if you aren't actually following in the ways you stated.
Sorry for that now off for the fun stuff!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Broccoli Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Parmesan

This was one of those random concoctions that I ended up LOVING, and will absolutely be making again!  It tastes like it took forever to make, and literally comes together in less than a half hour!!!  WIN!  
Next time I have family over, I know what I'm making!
(Sorry for the boring name - I have the hardest time naming meals....not easy!)
Ingredients:
1 head of broccoli - cut into florets and steamed
3 large cloves of garlic
1/2 onion - chopped
1/3 cup of sliced sun-dried tomatoes (I used the one that came packed in oil, julienned...AND I used about a tbsp. of the oil it came in as well)
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of Parmesan cheese 
1 box of pasta - cooked (I used whole wheat mini bow ties)
salt
pepper
sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
1.  In a large pot, drizzle about a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil, and cook onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent (about 4 minutes).  
2.  Add sun-dried tomatoes, cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add in the rest of the olive oil.  
3.  When the oil starts to slightly bubble, add broccoli.
4.  Add half of the cooked pasta into the pot, with half of the parmesean cheese, mix well.  Then add other half of the pasta, with the rest of the cheese - mix everything well until evenly distributed and heated throughout.  
5.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste - serve with some more parmesan cheese on top.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Taco Tuesday Tip...Or Not...

Alright, first I need to be honest about two things...
1.  It is not "Taco Tuesday" for me (for once), but I thought "It's Taco Tuesday somewhere" - so what better day to post this?
2.  I use the term "tip" loosely...I just think there may be a few of you out there that might find this useful.  

So, here it goes!  Check out how hubby eats his soft taco's...
Yes, they are supposed to be green!!!
You put a tortilla down over your plate while you are eating a taco, so that whatever spills out - goes into your next one!  So brilliant, this is one of the many reasons why I keep this cutie around! :)

 Is this one of those things everyone has been doing for years?  Ok, then I'm embarrassed!  HaHa! 
If so, then apparently I missed that memo...LONG ago!  
But if you did miss the memo like me, you're welcome!  Now you can be a more efficient taco eater!  :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's cooking this week?

Sunday again....already?!?!  Man, these weeks are just flying by!  
It is my mission to make this an easy week in the recipe department.  I am organizing a school dance for Friday, and I just don't have the energy go "all out" this week!  I suppose I always aim to do simple meals on weeknights, but this week I just don't feel like thinking!  Let's see...

Monday: Sausage and Pepper Subs
Tuesday:  Lemon Pepper Rotisserie Chicken with roasted veggies
Wednesday:  Leftover Soup from Sunday
Thursday:  Grandpa's Marinara (using San Marzano tomatoes....special for Valentine's Day) and a Caprese Salad

Mission accomplished, I think!
I plan to spend the rest of this lovely weekend getting ready for the upcoming week...I hope you all have a great day!  
Good luck to all of you who are still digging out from the blizzard!  Here is a screenshot while FaceTime-ing with my parent's on Friday night just when the blizzard started getting underway.  
I'm not going to take a pic out of my window right now and rub it in...but let's say my view is VERY different!!!  :P

***Don't forget to enter THIS giveaway for a chance to win a $250 Victoria's Secret Giftcard!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Perfect Choco-Chip Pancakes

Went to bed at 9 o'clock last night, woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and had this conversation with Stephen...
Me: "I want pancakes"
Stephen:  "Well, we can't rewind to a week ago and put pancake mix on the grocery list"
Me: "Let's go to IHOP"
Stephen:  "Come on...we are going out to dinner tonight"
Me:  "Ok, I'm going to make a mess of the kitchen....."
Ingredients:
2 cups - all-purpose flour
3 tbsp - sugar
1 tbsp - baking powder
1 tsp - salt
2 cups - milk
2 eggs
3 Tbsp - vegetable oil
chocolate chips
sliced strawberries
butter
syrup

Directions:
1.  Preheat pan, or griddle to medium high heat.
2.  Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt).
3.  In a smaller bowl whisk together wet ingredients (milk, eggs, vegetable oil).
4.  Pour wet ingredients into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients - mix with an electric mixer on a low setting until smooth.
5.  Scoop pancake mix onto pan or griddle, place chocolate chips onto each pancake.  After a few minutes (when top starts to bubble slightly), carefully flip pancake and cook until finished on the other side - another 3 minutes or so.
6.  Serve with strawberries, butter, and syrup....and then enjoy the leftovers tomorrow!!!
***Makes 12-16 good sized pancakes!!!

We used our awesome Cuisinart Griddler to make these....they came out SO perfect.  I love this thing!  
If you don't have one of these....you need one!  The plates  reverse to a grill side, AND it folds in half  too!   So functional!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

$250 Victoria's Secret V-Day Giveaway Event!

Here it is!!!  This is the AWESOME Valentine's Day giveaway I was talking about!  So excited to be in on this one with some amazing fellow bloggers!  :)
Make sure you enter to win!!!
This was ALL put together by Liz at The Pepper And Her Pups....
I am SO excited to bring you all this giveaway today!  With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I wanted to share some love and put together a spectacular group giveaway. I can not even begin to thank all of our lovely bloggers that have teamed up and helped contribute to make all of this happen.

Just for you!

And come on now, what girl wouldn't want to indulge in a gift card to Victoria's Secret?

This giveaway will be live Feb 7-14th at midnight. It's open worldwide. And one winner will be chosen at random.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Italian Wedding Soup

I'm sure you all can tell by now, I am a soup girl!
I would probably live on a diet of soup alone if I could!  Normally, I try to work soup into the menu at least once a week.  I made this last Sunday, and we had plenty of leftovers for lunch!  This recipe is easy enough though, that it could be made as a weeknight meal! 
Ingredients:
Meatballs
1 lb. of ground chicken
1 grated carrot 
1/4 grated onion 
2 cloves of garlic - minced
3/4 cup of plain bread crumbs (add a little more if the mixture is too wet)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1 tsp of italian seasoning
salt & pepper

Soup
1/2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion - chopped
2 carrots- sliced
2 stalks of celery - diced
2/3 cup of dry white wine 
10 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of small pasta - such as orzo or ditalini
5 packed cups of fresh spinach - washed & any tough stems removed
2 eggs - scrambled
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese + a little extra for serving
salt & pepper

Directions:
1.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs.  Gently combine with your hands, then form into 1/2 inch sized meatballs.
2.  Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Sauté carrots, onion, and celery for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and everything starts to cook down.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Add wine, cook for another 2-3 minutes until wine reduces. 
3.  Pour in the chicken stock, and bring to a boil.  Slowly add the meatballs into the pot.  They will rise to the top when they finish cooking.  
4.  Add pasta to the pot, cook according to the package until al dente.  
5.  Add the spinach, and parmesan cheese.  After the spinach wilts down, pour the scrambled eggs slowly into the pot whisking with a fork.  
6.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve and enjoy!  I like to top mine with extra parmesan cheese of course!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Victoria's Secret V-Day Giveaway - 16 Bloggers Needed

Calling all bloggers!!! 
Wanting to gain more exposure for your blog?  Simply want to connect with new readers?  Engage others on your social media platforms?  Then Liz from The Pepper And Her Pups has got quite the treat for you. 

Here is a GREAT opportunity to participate in the GIANT group giveaway for a $250 Victoria's Secret gift card!!!!

Prize: $250 Victoria's Secret Gift Card
Live Feb 7-14th. Open Worldwide
$10 for one link. $15 for two links. $20 for three links.
Don't forget to mention who referred you! ;)

This is BIG!
Make sure you reserve your spot ASAP!  

I'm excited for this to go live in a few days!  
Don't miss out on this one friends! 

Nutella Croissants

I had an extra sheet of puff pastry, so I tried this Laura Vitale recipe (CLICK HERE)...BIG HIT!!!  There is also a short video that shows you just how simple these are to make.  I only had enough for each of us to have just one....I could have eaten all 8!!!
It took me only 15 minutes to bake these beauties! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What's cooking this week?

It's a lovely Sunday morning (well, afternoon now) over here at the "Sko" household!  We have been having a great weekend with family!  It's been a while since the Orlando's have been up here, we were due for a visit...good times of course!  They live about 3 1/2 hours away from us, so when they come up they stay the weekend.  Just finished up a delicious breakfast...bacon, eggs, AND nutella croissants!  SO good, I'll be sharing that yummy goodness tomorrow morning, stay tuned!!!  

Here it goes, another delicious week of food planned!
Sunday:  Eggplant Rollatini (I didn't quite get a chance to make this last week)
Monday:  Beef & Bean Burritos 
Tuesday:  Apricot Chicken and roasted asparagus  
Wednesday:  Broccoli Parmesan Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Just a few pics from our weekend...
Getting silly with crushable and non-crushable hats!
We always make sure our guests wake up to the smell of bacon and eggs!
Love my AL and UJ!

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