Saving Time With Recipe Ready (A Giveaway)

Oh, Friday, how I love you!

Life lately has been kind of hectic. This weekend will be the first one in two weeks where I’ll be able to just sit around in PJs all day with no obligations. I. can’t. wait. Don’t get me wrong, I loved visiting family over the past two weeks, but there’s nothing quite like waking up in your own bed and drinking a cup of coffee in your own mug on your own couch. Am I right?

Anyway, I was going through old blog posts recently, and, man, do I miss all the free time I had in college! I was cooking and baking up a storm those days and I really wish I could figure out a way to get back to that with a full time job and a jam-packed schedule.

Jeff and I have been eating out a lot lately and I’m finding myself yearning for the time I used to spend in the kitchen when I was a broke college student and that’s all I could afford to do.

Somebody take me back!

Recipe Ready Chicken & Vegetable Grill

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Birds Eye asking if I wanted to try a new line of products called Recipe Ready.

Recipe Ready comes chock full of pre-sliced vegetables with a recipe included on the bag so busy people like me can save time in the kitchen.

Personally, I love chopping vegetables; I find it therapeutic. My father used to be a chef and I’ve watched him chop onions in two seconds with his eyes closed.

Me? I’d probably chop my hand off if I tried.  Chopping vegetables is easily the most time-consuming part of meal-prep for me.

So I sent an email back to Birds Eye letting them know that I’d love to try Recipe Ready, and, within a couple days, I had this lovely bag of frozen veggies in my possession.

Recipe Ready Chicken & Vegetable Grill 2

Ignore that it says chicken. I’m a vegetarian. I do what I want.

I think it’s pretty cool that Birds Eye includes a recipe on the bag, but I decided to use the veggies to spruce up one of my go-to, easy-peasy weeknight recipes: Baked Cheesy Pasta.

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Adding Recipe Ready to this old favorite was really simple. I just threw the veggies in a pan while the pasta was cooking.

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Then combined the pasta, sauce and veggies in a baking dish…

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…topped it with cheese and popped it in the oven (350 degrees F–covered with foil) for 25 minutes. Then removed the foil and baked it for another 10 minutes.

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So ridiculously easy and delicious!

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I loved that the package included veggies that I wouldn’t normally think to chop up and add to my pasta! The zucchini and squash were my favorite additions.

I also picked up a Recipe Ready bag for tacos, but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I’m sure it will be just as tasty!

Recipe Ready Giveaway

Recipe Ready Coupons

Because I love you all so much, I want to give you an opportunity to try Recipe Ready, too! Birds Eye offered me five coupons to give away for free packages of Recipe Ready. I’ve decided to split them up so more than one of you can win!

One reader will win three coupons and two runners up will each win a coupon.

This giveaway will run until 11:59 EST Monday night (December 9) and is open to U.S. residents only (sorry to those of you reading outside the U.S.)

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me how you save time in the kitchen, then click the “I commented” button on the giveaway widget below to earn an entry!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Disclosure: Birds Eye provided me with coupons to try out Recipe Ready. The opinions stated here are my own.

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How About Some Beer With Your Pancakes?

Oh,wait, did I say with your pancakes? I meant IN your pancakes.

Beer Pancakes

Remember when I told you on Saturday morning that I was going to Copperwood Tavern for Buckwheat Banana Beer Pancakes? Well I lied.

eggs florentine

I was going to order the pancakes, I really was…but after eating about 18 spoonfuls of cinnamon raisin peanut butter before I even got out the door, I decided I needed eggs* instead. BUT, my brave friend Jen took the plunge and ordered the pancakes, and she was kind enough to let me try a bite. Well, friends, what can I say about Buckwheat Banana Beer Pancakes? They tasted like buckwheat…and beer…and bananas…and pancakes…and did I say beer? Lots and lots of beer. No false advertising on that menu!  And you know what? Once I came to terms with the fact that I was eating beer for breakfast, I decided that they were actually quite tasty. As for my dish? It was perfect to the last bite. The home fries were among the best I’ve ever had and I licked the plate clean. If you’re in the DC metro area (more specifically, Shirlington Village), I definitely suggest checking out Copperwood Tavern! 

Copperwood Tavern atmosphere

After eating our faces off we finished brunch, Jen and I stuck to the beer theme and headed to a Novemberfest hosted by Rustico in Alexandria. What is a Novemberfest, you ask? Well, basically, it’s an Octoberfest…but in November. Get it? Got it. Good.

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There were so many options and I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to drink. Eventually, after sampling a pumpkin lambic and a beer made with yams (yes, yams), I ended up with magic in a cup.

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Did you read that? I know. I died a little, too.

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Once we finished our drinks, we wandered across the street to Buzz Bakery where I took approximately 436 pictures of cupcakes and inhaled this pear walnut muffin in record time. 

Pear Walnut Buzz

I also ordered a cup of lavender earl grey tea. All together now.

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Now, meet my friend Jen and stare at her carrot cake cupcake.

Jen

We won’t talk about how my muffin disappeared before Jen even sat down with her cupcake. (how rude!)

I absolutely adored Buzz Bakery and didn’t realize it was the same place I used to drool over on Emily’s blog until I stepped in the door.

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I could have pitched a tent and stayed there until next year, but since that wasn’t an option, there was no way I was leaving without at least one three cupcakes.

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Life Guarantee: when you put cupcakes on a windowsill to take pictures, crumbs WILL go everywhere.

cupcakes

Don’t eat your computer.

And just when I thought my Saturday couldn’t get any better, I received a package in the mail from my lovely friend Katie.

saratoga package

I literally SCREAMED when I opened it. I overreact a little.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably already know how ridiculously in love I am with Uncommon Grounds. If you’re new to my blog, all you need to know is that UG was my second home in college and it’s just a tad bit crazy how much I miss it. I mean it’s just a coffee shop, right. Wrong.

I was equally obsessed with Saratoga Peanut Butter Company, and I’d be lying if I told you this jar isn’t already halfway gone. No shame.

Big thanks to Katie for making me miss upstate New York more than ever, but allowing me to have a little piece of it all the way down in Virginia.

OK- now that I’ve flooded your face with pictures, I need to know a few things:

How do you feel about beer pancakes? About Buckwheat Banana Beer Pancakes?

If you could order any cupcake from Buzz Bakery, which one would you choose? (By the way, the ones you’ve been staring at in this post are the Cookie Monster and Buzz Signature cupcakes)

Where did /do you live in college? And I’m not talking your actual residence.

*In case you’re wondering, the egg dish from Copperwood Tavern is a Florentine Benedict with spinach and mushrooms with chive hollandaise on the side. I don’t like hollandaise. Don’t kill me.

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