1. Line an 8x6 pan with foil. Be sure the ends of the foil extend up and over the sides of your pan.
2. Arrange half of the graham cracker pieces into rows along the bottom of pan.
3. Pulse strawberries in a blender, then add chopped banana and blend.
4. Spoon fruit into a medium bowl. Stir in cool whip, yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir it all together.
5. Spread over graham cracker pieces in a pan and top with remaining graham cracker pieces, aligning them over the bottom layer.
6. Place in the freezer for 4 hours.
7. Lift dessert from pan and let defrost for about 5 minutes.
8. Cut between each graham square into bars.
Store any leftovers in the freezer!
These are some of my favorite cookies! My sister-in-law makes these yummy peanut butter no-bake cookies all the time and they go so fast. They are creamy and delicious! She shared the recipe with me this weekend and my sweet tooth just had to make a batch.
Enjoy! Store in an air-tight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh...what am I saying? They won't last long enough to go bad. :)
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
This Sweet Garlic Chicken has quickly became one of our all-time favorites. It is hands down one of the best recipes I've found so far for juicy and flavorful chicken. It is simple, easy and fool proof, not to mention - absolutely scrumptious.
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
With the Super Bowl just over a week away, hopefully you have that watch party planned and invites sent! But, of course, you can’t watch football without some great couch-gating food. Here’s one recipe I absolutely love. I found it on Pinterest years ago and it’s super easy, while also phenomenal. It's a great appetizer, definitely a crowd pleaser, it has spice and flavor, plus, it's light and a healthier option.
NOTE: Since I cut dairy out of my diet, I don't use the ranch seasoning anymore and it's still fantastic! Also, if you don't love spicy, I'd recommend leaving out the red pepper.
Serve hot and with a side of Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. Drizzle some more buffalo sauce on top to add some spice. Also serve with a few toothpicks to avoid messy fingers.
It always goes so fast! Enjoy!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
You would never guess that these cookies are dairy and gluten free - they taste amazing and everyone is always requesting the recipe after they've taken a bite of these delicious and flavorful morsels. They are pretty simple and will satisfy your sweet tooth without a huge sugar rush. I posted the photo below on Instagram and instantly had at least ten people ask me for the recipe. So, as promised, here it is!
I found this recipe on Build Your Bite and just had to try it! She suggested substituting maple syrup for honey or almond butter for the peanut butter, if you'd like.
Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
This past weekend, my husband and I tried our luck in our second chili competition. Last year, in this same cook off, our White Chicken Chili recipe WON!! So, of course, we needed a new dish to knock the judge's socks off and would keep our championship title alive.
Our chili made quiet the impression again this year but, unfortunately, we didn't hold onto our title. It was still a fan favorite though and we took second place with a delicious new recipe! Here's the game changer with this chili - we used elk meat. It was incredibly flavorful and had everyone talking.
Not only did this recipe take second place, it's also super easy to make! My mom always uses 2 Alarm Chili Kit, which has all the seasonings already measured out so all you have to do is mix it together, add a few mixin's and VOILA!
1. Brown ground elk or beef. Drain fat.
2. Add water, tomato sauce, kidney beans, diced tomatoes with green chilies, bell pepper, onion, celery and jalapeño, and the 2 Alarm Chili kit seasoning packets except packets labeled “Red Pepper” and “Masa”. If you like spicy, stir in the whole packet of red pepper, but if you like your chili a bit more mild, use just half of the packet.
3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. For thicker chili, stir masa packet into 1/4 cup warm water. Stir into chili and simmer for another 15 minutes.
5. Top with Fritos, sour cream, grated cheese, more jalapeños or whatever suits your fancy!
Post Author: Rachel
*Dairy & Gluten Free
This is currently my favorite recipe - Thai Chili Chicken Meatballs with a spicy peanut sauce. It's flavorful, delicious, super easy to make, and it's husband approved! It takes just about 10 minutes to put together, 15 minutes to bake, and it only lasts about two days in our house. They are so scrumptious!
Originally, I found this recipe on SimplyGlutenFree.com, which is full of wonderful options for anyone who has celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. After making these the first time, I tweaked a few things to better fit our taste buds.
SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a blender or food processor, blend the crackers into fine crumbs.
Pour the crackers into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Shape into small balls using about 1 or 2 tablespoons of mixture per ball and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until the meatballs are browned.
SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
Combine all the ingredients in small mixing bowl and mix well.
If the sauce is lumpy, which is probably will be, microwave for about 10-20 seconds and stir until smooth.
Serve with the chicken meatballs. Enjoy!!
*dairy & gluten free
These are super delicious treats! They are dairy and gluten free, and a "healthier" version of a chocolate peanut butter cup. It takes no time at all to make and all you need are four ingredients and cupcake liners.
Once the timer goes off, they are ready to enjoy! Be sure to store them in an air tight container or sealed bag in the refrigerator.
This recipe is so simple and is a wonderful treat for everyone and those with dietary restrictions. I originally found the recipe here and will definitely be making them again. Yum!
Hope you enjoy!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
Happy Cyber Monday! Hope y'all are snagging some great discounted deals today!
If so, here's another fantastic offer for today ONLY from one local business, Life Equals. Use the code "RACHEL50" for 50% site-wide on one-time purchases or a subscription!
One of the products my husband and I both take regularly is the "Balance The Superfood Shot - Foundation Blend." Plus, I just recently started using the "Turmeric Blend" every couple of days as well. It's just a two ounce shot that's packed with half a day's serving of fruits and and vegetables. Now, just for clarity, this is not a substitute to your fruit and veggie intake but it is a great, easy and tasty addition to your routine.
The Foundation Blend has 100% organic pineapple, lemon, carrot, beet, cranberry, blueberry, cherry, spinach, kale, acai berry, camu camu, goji berry, elderberry and dragon fruit, with a dash of turmeric. It has no added sugar or preservatives and is rich in antioxidants.
The Turmeric Blend includes 100% organic turmeric, tart cherry, orange, papaya, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. This is great to drink after a workout because it's packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Just like the foundation blend, this shot has no added sugar or preservatives. It also packs powerful curcumin, which according to Health Line, it is "known to play a role in heart disease...It is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant."
Besides the superfood shots, I also use Life Equals' Focus & Energy vitamins and the Women's Multi Vitamin.
I absolutely love discovering and supporting local businesses like this one and was happy to share this one day deal with y'all! Head over to Life Equals, browse around and use the code "RACHEL50" when checking out to get 50% off your purchase. This code can be used for everything on their site too!
Let me know what you think!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
Over the weekend, my husband and I participated in our first ever chili cook off as contestants! We had a lot of fun tasting all kinds of unique and delicious chilis. The competition was fierce, but in the end, WE WON!!
We made some scrumptious White Chicken Chili and it was a hit. There were 12 entries in total, each judged on presentation, aroma and taste. I still can't believe we took home the winner's plaque!
So, I wanted to share with you this (now) award winning chili recipe.
As I've mentioned before, I enjoy experimenting with recipes and throwing together new and creative meals. I took a little of this and a little of that from a few different chili recipes ... my mother-in-law's recipe and a few from Pinterest too.
We like our chili with a kick, so feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeños and peppers.
1. Combine the chicken, onions, celery, red pepper, green chili peppers, garlic, cumin, salt, coriander, oregano, cayenne pepper, Tony's, bay leaf, and jalapeños in the crockpot. Pour the chicken broth over the top, covering the chicken and the vegetables.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6 hours.
3. About 30 minutes before the timer is up, shred the chicken by pulling apart with two forks (it will easily fall apart). Place back in the crockpot and add the corn, beans and a sprinkle some cilantro on top. Taste and add any other seasonings as desired.
4. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
5. Serve topped with more cilantro, jalapeños and sour cream.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
pOST Author: Rachel
Tribe Street Kitchen opened earlier this year as a new addition to the River Market area near downtown Kansas City. It is a trendy spot with a small corner bar feel that features a variety of unique foods and flavors. It hosts an incredible outdoor patio shaded by trees and filled with twinkling string lights. Often you'll find a live band that creates an upbeat and relaxing ambiance. This place has quickly become one of our favorite stops for brunch!
Each item has a unique twist; common food put together in an uncommon way creating distinguishing flavors. It's an extremely varied menu, so be prepared to try something new. Here are a few of our top choices from their brunch menu.
Biscuits and Gravy with chipotle sausage...mmm mmm mmm! Two fluffy, warm buttermilk biscuits covered in a chipotle gravy with chunks of sausage and served with a side of potatoes. We always ask for their unique version of ketchup because it's more like a sweet and spicy salsa. So good!
Another winning pick is the Fried Chicken Pancake Tacos. It is the perfect combination of flavors and we order it almost every time we visit. Initially, I was hesitant about trying it, but it is mouthwatering delicious! The menu describes it as "Hat Yai chicken, crispy shallot, tamarind syrup, mango on a basil pancake." The syrup is lightly drizzled over the top and combined with the chicken, it marries the perfect amount of sweet with salty and you won't be disappointed. However, I will say that I expected the chicken to have a spicy heat to it and was surprised when it didn't. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but I love HOT fried chicken.
A few of their other taco options are A la Mexicana, Chorizo and the Huevo Frito tacos. We had the Huevo Frito tacos recently (pictured below), which is "fried egg, feijoada, queso cotija, avocado and cilantro hollandaise." It was savory and tasty and the avocados were incredibly fresh.
Of course, we also enjoy their pitchers of refreshing mimosas. Cost is $14 and pours about four or five servings per pitcher. Or, if you're a Bloody Mary lover like myself, they have plenty of choices.
There's a Backyard Bloody, Wanderlust Bloody, or a Bird's Eye Bloody.
The last one is my favorite and has changed the way I make and order this drink anywhere else! The Bird's Eye Bloody is, "Thai chili vodka, lime and house-made pickles" and wow, it is phenomenal! Now, I always use a Thai chili Sriracha or request that kind of vodka to add a wonderful spice and twist to the typical ingredients.
We love taking friends to this spot, because their made from scratch menu items are unique, flavorful and diverse. The unique space is really warm and inviting as well. We've only been to Tribe for brunch and I can say we've enjoyed it every single time.
We've never had to wait for a table, but they have a $4 "Wait Drink" on the menu that changes daily and is only available to guests waiting for seats. Cool idea, don't you think? Wish every place had this deal.
If you give Tribe a try, let me know what you ordered and how you like it!
post author: rachel
Over the weekend I whipped up some really tasty chocolate cinnamon protein pancakes. It was a very simple recipe, plus they are gluten and dairy free! They ended up being pretty thin but once you stack two or three up they're just fine and they taste wonderful.
- 1 1/3 pancake mix
- 1 egg
- 1 scoop protein powder (I use chocolate, thus the chocolate flavor)
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup almond milk (I like vanilla for extra flavor)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Lite or sugar free syrup to top
Not pictured but, I would also recommend adding a scoop of Further Food Collagen. I use it in just about everything. If you'd like to order some, use the discount code "RACHELSANTSCHI"
Another note, I think next time I make these, I'll add some cocoa powder or dark chocolate chips for a boost of chocolate flavor. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until throughly mixed.
I recommend warming the coconut oil so it's soft
and easier to stir into the batter.
2. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto a greased skillet.
3. Once pancakes are fully cooked, top with a dash of cinnamon and lite or sugar free syrup.
Makes for a delicious breakfast! Enjoy!
Happy Monday, everyone! Please welcome my mother-in-law and Rachel’s mom, Jeannie. We are so excited to have her share one of our favorite recipes!
Post Author: Jeannie
A big thank you to Rachel and Grace for allowing me to be a guest here on 30upahead.com. I have a wonderfully delicious recipe to share with you that has been a longtime favorite at the Santschi household. The day I first tasted this melt in your mouth bread is clearly etched in my memory ... I was immediately swooning over it and asking my mother-in-law for the recipe.
I was thrilled when I discovered it's made with a few simple ingredients I always have on hand and that it's a very easy, no fail recipe. To my delight, it is consistently requested by my kiddos when I come to town for a visit and when that delicious smell fills the air, it just feels like home no matter where you are.
1. In large pan, bring water and margarine to a boil. Stir in oatmeal. Set aside until cool (about 2 hours).
2. Transfer oatmeal mixture to mixing bowl and add next 4 dry ingredients and stir well (I use my KichenAid mixer on low to stir).
3. Add eggs and stir.
4. Slowly add flour and salt and stir.
5. Bake in lightly greased and floured bread pans at 350 until toothpick comes out clean (approx 1 hour) or muffin pans for about 35 min. Since there's just two of us here, I use mini loaf pans and freeze any extra for another day.
Mmm mmm good! I hope this scrumptious bread makes it's way to your table for breakfast, an after school snack or a late night treat. But whenever it is, I hope you share it with family and friends.
Heaven only knows the number of muffins that have been consumed at my kitchen table while listening to the heart of a friend or the ups and downs of a day at school or the office. Such sweet memories, each and every one!
Thanks for letting me be a small part of your day today. ☺️
Post Author: Rachel
I love these protein bites and they’re a staple in my fridge. They’re in high demand for so many reasons - when you need to curb a hunger attack, when you’re short on time and need a quick grab and go snack or just need to crush a sweet tooth craving.
Note - I have been using Further Food Collagen in everything! If you'd like to order some, use the discount code "RACHELSANTSCHI"
1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until thoroughly blended
2. With your hands, form the mixture into small balls and place on wax paper
3. Place in fridge to set and after half an hour, enjoy!
Store in fridge in an air tight container.
Just double this recipe from the get go so you’ll have plenty to share with your spouse, your roommate, the kids, etc.
Until next time!
Post Author: Rachel
You’ve probably noticed I love easy crockpot recipes. So yet again, I want to share with you one of my favorites.
Not only is this recipe simple, requiring just four ingredients, but it can also go with so many things. I've put it on top of salads, wrapped it in a tortilla, and it can even just stand on it's own. It has just enough spice and flavor!
For lunch, I put the buffalo ranch chicken in a big piece of romaine lettuce, topped it with cherry tomatoes, avocados, banana peppers and spicy ranch dressing. It was incredibly delicious! (photo below)
1. Place all ingredients in the crockpot and set on low for six hours or high for four hours.
2. Once the chicken is cooked through, about four hours, shred it by pulling it apart with two forks. The chicken should be very tender and easily shred.
3. Place it back in the crockpot for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Often times there is too much sauce left in the crockpot, so I don't keep all of it. I save just a small amount of sauce to store with the leftovers, but if needed later to reheat, I'll add some chicken broth or more buffalo sauce to taste.
Post Author: Rachel
As you know, I love experimenting in the kitchen and use my crockpot regularly. It's just so easy to throw some ingredients into the pot and let it do all the work until dinner time.
So, I wanted to share with you another easy recipe I discovered. Plus, the only actual cooking required is browning the meat.
1. Brown the ground beef. I used half a pound of ground beef and half a pound of turkey.
2. Chop, drain, dice the remaining ingredients as needed and then add to the crockpot. Set on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
3. Once the timer is up, grab a bowl and a scoop of this delicious soup. Top with cilantro and avocado.
I also added some roasted red pepper tortilla chips on top for crunch.
Note: To add a little more spice, throw in some chili powder or an extra jalapeño or two. Or if you're a cheese lover, top your bowl with some cheddar cheese.
This is such an easy recipe and a great meal for dinner or to pack for lunch at work.
post author: rachel
It's no secret - I love wine! I enjoy trying new wines, learning about different types of wine, the grapes used, and the barrels they're aged in.
About five years ago, my husband and I went to Napa and Sonoma and completely fell in love with exploring the vineyards and discovering new wines.
We have invested in a few upscale wines that we save for special occasions and once we pop the cork, we savor every drop. However, we have also found several very reasonably priced wines that we drink regularly. You don't have to break the bank to find wines that provide fantastic flavor, rich tannins and a smooth finish.
Here is my list of the Top 10 red wines under $25...
10. prophecy cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: "Prophecy Cabernet sources grapes from premier appellations across California. The wine is smooth and approachable with layers of blackberry, plum and raspberry with oaky notes of graham cracker and a smooth finish."
- Prophecy Cabernet Sauvignon
9. ozv old vine
Tasting Notes: "A robust Zinfandel from the region's signature 50-100 year-old vines. Jammy with raspberry, milk chocolate and mocha falvors, soft tannins and a supple mouth feel. Pairs well with Memphis-style BBQ Ribs; Angus-patty Hamburgers with Gruyere; Pepperoni Pizza; Hanger Steak with Balsamic Reduction."
- OZV Old Vine Zinfandel
8. Ménage à Trois silk
Tasting Notes: "With its bright, red ruby hue in the glass and alluring fragrance of dried violets and berries, silk beckons, promising an unforgettable experience. Succulent cherry and ripe raspberry flavors mingle with delicate hints of rose petals and toasty spice, and glide gracefully across your palate like liquid silk. Seamless and lustrous, Silk is the lavish, luxurious encounter you’ve been craving."
- Ménage à Trois
7. Robert Mondavi cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: "Layered and complex, our Bourbon Barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon leaps from the glass with aromas of blackberry cobbler, graham cracker, brown sugar, milk chocolate, coffee and smoke. A palate of blueberry pie, praline, sweet vanilla custard, caramel and mocha is framed by soft, chewy tannins and a hint of toasted oak on the lingering finish."
- Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Aged in Bourbon Barrels
6. 7 Deadly old vine zins
Tasting Notes: "Complex aromas of tart cherry, raspberry and caramel are wrapped in flavors of chocolate cake, vanilla oak spice, and plenty of wood smoke. Medium bodied with a rich smooth texture, mild tannins and a beautiful garnet color."
- Michael David Winery
5. 14 Hands cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: "The 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, juicy red that features aromas of dark cherry, black currant, coffee and subtle hints of spice. These flavors are complemented by a touch of spicy oak and emphasized by refined tannins."
- 14 Hands Winery
4. Dreaming Tree crush
Tasting Notes: "This wine brings juicy red fruit with good mid-palate weight from the Merlot, ripe, jammy flavors from the Zinfandel, and dark fruit and structure from the Petite Sirah and Tannat. This blend of the North Coast’s finest varieties results in a very tasty, complex wine with lots of fruit flavors and a long, soft finish."
- Dreaming Tree Wines
3. Decoy Red Wine
Tasting Notes: "Rich and concentrated, this wine reveals voluptuous layers of blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate. On the palate, hints of salted caramel and exotic spices add depth and complexity to the fresh fruit flavors, while carrying the wine to a long and silky finish."
- Duckhorn Vineyards
2. Freakshow cabernet
Tasting Notes: "Quickly becoming one of Michael David’s most sought-after wines, this brute of a Cab is midnight in color and medium in body. A myriad of French oak influenced aromas fill your glass, accompanied by toasted hazelnuts and blackberry cobbler. Flavors of ripe Mission figs and hints of clove and cinnamon give way to velvety tannins, balanced acidity and dark ripe fruits."
- Michael David Winery
1. Arrington red fox red
Tasting Notes: "Aromatic notes of wild strawberry and black tea are followed by flavors of mixed berries, vanilla and black plum."
- Arrington Vineyards
This is one of our absolute favorites, but if you want to shell out a few more bucks, you have to try their Russell 2014 at $33.00 or the KB915 at $60.00. This vineyard is incredible and honestly, all of their wines do not disappoint. Grace also featured this vineyard in her Top 5 Things To Do In Nashville.
Did I miss any? Add your favorite red wine in the comments!
Post Author: Rachel
This is a super simple cookie recipe and a great healthy alternative! It’s also perfect if you need to use some bananas that are about to go bad. We had a few bananas that were just about past their prime, so I went to Pinterest to find some recipes I could throw together.
Here's what you need...
- 1 ripe Banana
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1/2 tsp Agave
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
- 2 scoops Further Food Collagen
At the last second, I also decided to add some cinnamon on top!
Side note - I have been using Further Food Collagen in everything! If you'd like to order some, use the discount code "RACHELSANTSCHI".
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mash banana in bowl
3. Thoroughly mix peanut butter, agave and vanilla with mashed banana
4. Slowly add in coconut flour and collagen mixing well
5. Form into walnut sized balls on baking sheet
6. With a fork, flatten each piece and sprinkle cinnamon on top
7. Place in oven and bake 10-15 minutes
YUM! Hope you enjoy these as much as we have!
Would you turn down a chance to try some mouthwatering Italian food? Me neither! I recently had the chance to visit Tavernonna Italian Kitchen, a farm to table restaurant, located inside Hotel Phillips in downtown KC. This place has great ambiance, an elegantly modern atmosphere with a cozy vibe, exceptional staff and amazing Italian cuisine. They recently invited local media members and social influencers to test out some of the new specialty items on their spring menu.
As you can see from the menu above, we had the chance to try some exquisite dishes. We also taste tested a number of drinks and we were wowed; all wonderfully flavorful and refreshing. Also, I must say, everything was beautifully and creatively served, but the taste was even better!
These pasta dishes were out of this world! At Tavernonna's, Executive Chef Bryant Wigger creates these true Italian meals from fresh and locally sourced ingredients. I savored every incredibly flavorful bite.
In the photo above, the dish on the left is the Nettle Casarecce and on the right is the Spaghetti with wild ramps, focaccia bread crumbs and black pepper pecorino. Two fan favs, for sure!
The top photo is the Thyme Basted Scallops with caramelized cipollini, faro risotto, celery leaf gremolata, and bully porter sumo. It was scrumptious!
The photo above is the Alaskan Halibut with fregola, pancetta, sweet peas, tendril pesto and it was sitting in a beet sauce. For me, it was a surprisingly delicious combination - who would have thought beet sauce would make such a great base.
Dessert, oh my goodness, was equally wonderful! The perfect ending - gelato and espresso.
Everything was soooooo good, it was hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to chose, I'd say the Bruschetta - goat cheese always gets my love - and the Nettle Casarecce. YUM!
A fantastic experience, for sure, and the food and drinks were exceptional. Also, parking is validated at Hotel Phillips for all Tavernonna customers.
I'd highly recommend giving the spring menu a try for yourself. You'll be glad you did!
Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope your week is going swimmingly and that you enjoyed Rachel's post about her amazing trip to Sydney. I am SO ready for our next vacation and her post has definitely had me drooling over Sydney.
Some of you may not know this, but I am an especially lucky lady because my husband LOVES to cook. Must be a sibling thing ... he and Rachel are both comfortable in the kitchen and enjoy experimenting with new recipes. I have deemed myself the sous chef and stick to cutting fruits and vegetables.
Anyway, the hubs likes trying out new kitchen products and gadgets and researching better, faster ways to get nutritional meals on the table. With that being said, we purchased our first cast iron skillet!
We've heard great things about cast iron and were intrigued. So Sunday night, my husband couldn't wait to break it out. He decided to use it to cook chicken and, oh my gosh, it was like eating at a 5 star restaurant. What took us so long to add cast iron to our kitchen supplies??
After tasting it for myself, I had to know the benefits and WHY a cast iron skillet is so amazing. I've compiled a list, but honestly, you should just try it for yourself. We got ours here.
1. They are naturally non-stick when properly seasoned.
This is important and I didn't realize it could really be better for your health. Most non-stick sprays have chemicals in them, which is never a good thing. The more natural, the better.
Even a pre-seasoned cast iron pan can use extra protection, so season your pan when you get it. Heat it on the stovetop until it's smoking hot, then rub a little oil into it and let it cool. Repeat this process a few times.
2. They are so easy to clean.
Wash your pan thoroughly and by hand by with a mild soap and water using a soft bristled brush or a nylon scrubbing pad. Soap isn’t always necessary, but a little mild soap is fine.
After rinsing, promptly dry thoroughly by heating on high heat. When all moisture has disappeared, wipe it down with a little bit of oil on a paper towel and let it cool.
Remember, cast iron is not dishwasher friendly and metal scouring pads can damage a well seasoned pan.
3. They increase the amount of iron in food.
Makes sense, right? And, it’s incredibly cool. Several studies have shown that iron levels can increase significantly in foods cooked in cast iron pans. So, ladies, when it's that time of the month and you need to boost your iron intake, put your cast iron pan to use.
4. It retains its temperature.
For best results, preheat cast iron for 20 to 30 minutes in a hot oven or on the stovetop starting with low heat and gradually increasing the temperature (about 10 minutes). Remember, cast iron is slow to heat up and equally slow to cool down. Once it's hot, it retains its temperature longer and helps foods cook evenly and brown beautifully.
5. They are long-lasting and inexpensive.
A well cared for cast iron pan is practically indestructible. My in-laws have have used cast iron for years and they hold up great year after year.
Cast iron skillets are reasonably priced to begin with, but if you divide the expense over the number of years of use, it's just pennies a year!
What's your favorite kitchen tool? Please share below, I always need gift ideas for my hubby. ;)
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