recipe scrapbook

August 25, 2008

Fuel for the Kids

Filed under: ashley, meal planning, recipe inspiration — Ashley @ 4:21 pm

Today was the first day back to school for many kids in my area, and I’m sure other areas across the country will soon be following suit.

When sending kids off to school for the day, it’s important to start their day off with a nice healthy breakfast. We all know time can get away from us, especially first thing in the morning, but even a quick breakfast is better than no breakfast. Things you can give your kids include fresh fruit, or even pre-made fruit cups are an option. Yogurt cups were always my favorite. Instant oatmeal can be served in a to-go cup or thermos. Breakfast burritos don’t take long to make either; simply toss a tortilla and microwavable sausages in the microwave, and while they’re cooking, you can scramble a quick egg. Wrap it all together with a little shredded cheese and maybe even a dollop of salsa, and send the kids on their way.

Most schools have lunch programs, but we all know how cafeteria food can be. Packed lunches have come a long way. Try sending your kid to school with a cold noodle salad. What kid doesn’t love to slurp noodles into their mouth? Chopped fruit and veggies with a small cup of dip or salad dressing alongside a turkey sandwich is a nice healthy food option. Ham and cheese roll-ups are a lot of fun to make and eat; you can even have the kids make their own the night before.

An after-school snack was always an exciting thing to come home to for me, and a nice break between the classroom setting and hitting the books for a few hours with homework. As always, you can’t go wrong with fruits and veggies. Crackers and cheese are always tasty, and chips and salsa work too.

That’s it for me, until next time…

March 20, 2008

Expanding Culinary Horizons

Filed under: recipe inspiration — Kate @ 10:11 am

Recently, I decided that I need to expand my culinary skills! Living in Seattle, a city inspired by Asian culture, has peaked my interest in Asian cuisine, and I want to be able to make these dishes at home. One of my friends is also interested in this, so we have joined forces. We both bought cookbooks that feature beautiful Asian recipes. We decided to start with easier recipes and work our way through the books. Thus far, we’ve tried Green Curry Tofu, Miso Soup, and broccoli and soy bean sprout dishes.

I’m surprised at how well these recipes have turned out! Unlike Secret Ingredients cookbooks, where every recipe is time-tested, I find most cookbooks to only have a limited number of recipes that turn out to my taste. Not true with our new books- thankfully! The biggest challenge has been finding all the ingredients, although both books are pretty good about using more common ingredients and listing substitutions. Luckily, Seattle has an Asian specialty supermarket, Uwajimaya, that has everything we need. It’s fun learning about new ingredients and exploring new recipes!

I’ll keep you updated on our new culinary skills and pass on the best recipes as we go…

Have a great day,

March 6, 2008

Fun & Delicious Recipe Websites

Filed under: recipe inspiration — Kate @ 2:10 pm

As you know, I love finding new recipe websites, and today I found some really fun sites for specific tastes. Check them out and see if they inspire you to try some new things!

  • Godiva- For the chocolate lovers! This website has recipes for all thing chocolate- brownies, cookies, cakes, truffles, mousses and souffles!
  • Top Secret Recipes- Learn how to make “kitchen clones of America’s Favorite Brand-Name Foods”.
  • A Cajun Family’s Recipe Collection- This website is a compilation of low country recipes from Cajun Families located in the heart of Cajun Country, Louisiana.
  • Vegan Recipes- This website is by Veg Family, The Magazine for Vegan Family Living, and is indexed by recipe category.
  • Have a great day,

February 28, 2008

Find Recipes on Food Blog Search

Filed under: recipe inspiration — Kate @ 2:13 pm

If there are two things I love, they are technology and food! I’m excited to announce a new feature that you can use to find new recipes, Food Blog Search. You may enter any recipe title, ingredient or cooking term into this Food Blog Search, and it will give you a list of food blog posts that contain what you’re looking for.

As you know, I’m a major fan of food blogs. Why? Food blogs discuss recipes that come from real people, and they show you the outcome and provide great cooking tips. From reading food blogs on a regular basis, you can get to know a bloggers’ cooking style, and you can find a blog author who has similar cooking interest. For example, there are food bloggers that specialize in everything from gluten free to organic to ethnic.

For those who are technology savvy, you can add Food Blog Search to your Google Toolbar! Click here to find out how.

Have a great day,

January 24, 2008

Recipes for Furry Friends & Practical How-To’s

Filed under: recipe inspiration — Kate @ 1:40 pm

Over the Holiday season, I left Seattle and ventured back to the east coast to catch up with friends, family, and business contacts.  It was a pretty long trip- a little over two weeks- but I was excited about the visit.  My two mini dachshunds stayed with a dog sitter here in Seattle while I was away.  This was the first time I had left them since we moved in June, and I was very excited to find this particular dogsitter.  After all, this woman actually let them sleep in her bed!  Oh, the comforts of home.

When I dropped the dogs off, the sitter said, “Now don’t worry.  I’ll only give them filtered water and I make their treats out of all organic products- strawberries, yogurt, carob, etc.”  The whole time I was home, my family got the biggest kick out of Bud & Emmy’s homemade treats from the pet sitter.  I was worried that they would be disappointed to come home!

This whole experience made me curious about making my own pet treats and food at home.  I never really thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense.  I’ve done some research online but have yet to try any recipes out.  If I find something promising and Bud & Emmy- approved, I will be sure to post it here on the Secret Ingredients blog.

Isn’t it amazing the number of things we use recipes for?  Not only do recipes help us feed and nurture our families and furry friends(!), but we can also use the written recipe format to describe other things from emotional values like “Recipe for a Happy Marriage” to practical how-to’s like “ How to Get a Wine Stain out of Your Carpet”.  The possibilities are endless. 

Be sure to add some fun and variety to your family cookbook

Have a great day,

November 13, 2007

Star in Your Own Cooking Show!

Filed under: Holiday gifts, recipe inspiration — Kate @ 4:23 pm

Have you ever thought that you might be the next Rachael Ray?  The Internet makes it easy to publish your own videos to show your family members… and the world!  YouTube is full of videos of all kinds- from funny skits to clips about pets, crafts, and pop culture.  It is one of my favorite websites and can amuse me for hours.  Now I have a favorite site for viewing cooking videos…

Recently, Seattle’s BigOven launched BigOven Videos, a collection of cooking videos from their recipe community and the Internet.  This is a really neat website.  If you are curious about learning a certain technique or would like to see a demonstration of a favorite recipe, check out BigOven’s Videos.  You may also submit your own cooking videos.  Grab your apron and the video camera, and make your own show!

BigOven currently has 73 videos and is growing every day.  Be sure to check it out!

I would also like to remind everyone about our Holiday Deadlines.  All custom book orders (Keepsake Cookbooks) need to be placed by December 1 to ensure delivery by the 24th.  To read more about our Holiday Deadlines, please click here.

Have a great day,

October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Celebrations!

Filed under: keepsake cookbooks, recipe inspiration — Kate @ 5:34 pm

Fall has so much to offer- warm colors, shorter days, beautiful weather, and pumpkins!  This weekend my group of friends had a pumpkin- themed potluck.  Last week I was trying to find the perfect recipe.   I was nervous about finding a recipe that would be something new and different…. and good on the first attempt!  Finally, I found it-  Martha’s Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter.  It’s hard to go wrong with Martha!


I highly recommend this recipe though I don’t recommend making ravioli for a crowd on your first try!  The recipe takes several hours due to roasting the pumpkin and freezing the ravioli, but there are definitely ways to cut down on time (like using canned pumpkin).  I had a lot of fun, and the recipe turned out very well overall.  My ravioli were not uniform in shape, but I decided to hush my inner perfectionist and enjoy the wonderful flavor! 

The potluck was a huge success.  It was the perfect way to celebrate fall and friendship.  Our friend and host, Mindy, had warm apple cider and a pumpkin spread waiting as we walked in the door.  How perfect!  I was surprised how creative everyone was with their dishes:  Pumpkin Pesto (cilantro based with pumpkin seeds, served over pasta- yum!); Pumpkin Curry Soup; Pumpkin Spinach Salad; Pumpkin- Turkey Chili; Pumpkin, Apple, and Bacon Soup; Pumpkin Muffins; and, of course, Pumpkin Cheesecake!

We have decided to celebrate our heritage at next month’s potluck.  After all, Thanksgiving is just around the corner! 

Have a wonderful fall day, and remember only 9 days left before our Keepsake Coupons expire!

October 17, 2007

Snapshots from Flickr Kitchens

Filed under: family recipes, recipe inspiration — Kate @ 2:35 pm


 Recipe book openRecipe BindersRecipesBlank Recipe Cards

Holiday Recipe JournalAltered Recipe Tin with Recipe CardsRecipeRecipe for Preserving Children

Recipe Card on PaperRecipe Review by RobbRefrigerator RecipeHandwritten Recipe

1.  Recipe Book Open  2. Recipe Binders  3. Recipes  4.  Blank Recipe Cards
5.  Holiday Recipe Journal  6. Altered Recipe Tin with Recipe Cards 
7.  Recipe  8.  Recipe for Preserving Children  9. Recipe Card on Paper 
10.  Recipe Review by Robb  11.  Refrigerator Recipe  12. Handwritten Recipe

October 16, 2007

More Cookbook and Recipe Themes

Filed under: cookbook ideas, family recipes, recipe inspiration — Kate @ 4:25 pm

With each season comes new inspiration for themed potlucks, recipe sharing, and cookbooks!  Each month my group of friends has a themed potluck.  In September, we each brought a favorite recipe from our home state.  This month we are celebrating one particular fall favorite, pumpkin! 

The potluck is this Sunday, and I still don’t know what to make!  The obvious choices for pumpkin recipes are desserts, breads, and beer, so I am trying to think of something different.   I’m tempted to create my own pumpkin soufflé. (I’m totally obsessed with soufflés and always look for a reason to make one!) If anyone has any ideas, please let me know…

Although opportunities like this are wonderful for trying new things, you can’t help but worry about cooking something for the first time… for a crowd of people.  Ah!  My inner type-A perfectionist needs confirmation that everything will go well in the kitchen and taste wonderfully.  I completely understand that perfection comes with mistakes, and that’s fine when I’m cooking for myself- not for others!

It all comes down to this: You can never underestimate the importance and convenience of a time-tested recipe from someone you know can cook!  So, be sure to make a cookbook full of your favorite recipes and give copies to the ones you love.  Next time they have a potluck, dinner party, or need to make the perfect meal for a friend in need, they will thank you!

Have a great afternoon,

October 10, 2007

Google has Recipe Search!

Filed under: recipe inspiration — Kate @ 2:00 pm

I just discovered this today: Google has a special search just for recipes.  Oh, Google, I fall more in love with you every day!  The recipe search is in Beta (testing mode), so it’s hard to find.  I mysteriously came across it while I was searching for recipes, then it took me a minute to find it again for you.  So please use this link and add it to your favorites: Google Recipe Search (Beta).

The recipe engine lets you search by cuisine, main ingredient, course, meal type, prep time, servings, and language.  So, there is absolutely no way to not find something you want to try!  The best part is that you don’t have to go to all the recipe sites searching for one recipe.  Google brings them all to you- from every website out there. 

Cheers to recipe search!

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