Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Pockets

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Can I ask a favor? Can you vote for these ooey gooey ham and cheese stuffed pretzel pockets in the Saucy Mama recipe contest? Please? The grand prize is a spa day and, believe me, after the month I’ve had I can really use it.

The recipe is totally delicious. The pretzels have that ballpark vendor “crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside” thing going for them and, well, can you really ever go wrong with melted cheese? I didn’t think so. There’s mustard tucked inside there too. Yum!

Earl Grey Banana Bread

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<p>One of the downsides to trying to balance keeping up with my  recipe development jobs (I work with both ShopRite and General Mills, plus other random projects) and making sure I have fresh content to post here is that I rarely have time to make recipes created by <em>other</em> people.</p>
<p>Then I heard about the <a href=Secret Recipe Club, which pairs up bloggers each month and has them make, test, and write about another blogger’s recipe – meaning not only that I’d get to make something created by someone else, but I’d also get feedback on my recipes. Win-Win, right? Unfortunately, a lot of people agreed that it was a great concept – I’ve been on the waiting list for months. But I finally made it into a group, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Tandoori Chicken Salad {Lactose Free!}

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When Yoplait recently asked me if I would be interested in creating a few recipes using their new line of lactose-free yogurt, and I immediately told them that I was, and that I’d love to make this salad. I used to make it all time time – in fact, I used to make tandoori chicken for the sole purpose of having leftovers to use in this tandoori chicken salad – but somehow I let it fall of my radar completely. It’s actually been 6 years since I had it last! (I distinctly remember that I ate it in a pita while sitting on my balcony and writing a paper for grad school.)

Anyway, I was really excited that I remembered it existed, but I unfortunately jumped the gun a little by assuming that the yogurt was available in plain. (I should have realized there would be a catch, since they specifically mentioned that they were interested in savory recipes!).

Caribbean Pork and Clementine Kebabs

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Inspired by the success of my Clementine-Soy Chicken Thighs, I’ve been looking for more ways to incorporate clementines into savory dishes. In this recipe, the sweet-tart fruit combines beautifully with rum, brown sugar, and warm spices to make a glaze for grilled pork kebabs. Served with cilantro-lime rice, these are a quick and easy dinner that bring a little bit of summertime flair to the dead of winter.

(I can’t believe I’m posting a grilled recipe in February, but we’re having such a mild winter this year that it doesn’t make sense not to use it – usually the grill is buried under about 4 feet of snow this time of the year). If the weather where you are isn’t as gorgeous, the broiler in your oven will work just as well.)

Soba Noodles with Sautéed Chicken, Mushrooms, and Spinach in Cream Sauce

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This recipe didn’t come out at all how I had planned for it to. I was expecting a delicate, milky sauce. Something almost chowder-like.

Instead, I took a bite and thought to myself… “I’ve had this before. But what on earth is it?” The taste was so familiar, but I couldn’t place it. I just kept thinking of college. Then it dawned on me – it tasted almost exactly like I remember Knorr/Lipton Alfredo Noodles tasting. You know the kind that come dehydrated in the little paper packet? I practically lived on them in college since they were cheap, easy, and could be made in a microwave. Of course this dish is way less processed and much more nutritious.  It’s kind of funny how things like that work out.

Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chickpeas

roast chickpeas

When it comes to working out, I’m a classes kind of a girl. I can’t just go to the gym and do it on my own – I feel awkward and don’t really know what to do. Plus, even with an ipod loaded with great music, I find running to be completely boring. Classes keep me interested and never seem to get old – I especially love hula hooping, yoga, and dance classes. Unfortunately, class schedules don’t always work with my schedule. For some reason, places don’t like to schedule them after 6:00, which means if I’m working late, I probably won’t make it in time. Workout DVDs are good for filling in the gaps, but I get bored with them after 3 or 4 times (let alone sticking with them for the full 30 days that they usually say is needed to get results).

So when I heard about GaiamTV I thought it was a pretty cool idea – it’s basically like Netflix streaming for yoga and cardio classes.