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Category Archives: Recipes

Cook’n Recipe Organizing Software Giveaway!

Cook’n is a wonderful all in one recipe software.  There are so many features to this software that you will never need another!

500 recipes already installed
Super easy to add your own recipes and personalize
Capture internet recipes in seconds (which means that you can import any recipe you find online!)
Auto fill for quick entries
Change serving amounts in a heartbeat
Counts calories
Nutritional facts
Makes grocery list
Tons of pre loaded cookbooks or make your own, and print it out with its own table of contents.
Plus one free cookbook download with purchase
Menu planning. Yay! With grocery list!
Easy step by step instructional video
Customize categories to make it work for you

After installing the software, which went off without a hitch, it took almost no time to figure out how to use it.  I took about five minutes to watch the introductory video, and it went a long way in explaining the basics.

While I’m loving the software, I was worried about spending a lot of time inputting my own stuff only to have a computer crash and lose it all.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost everything when either my computer died, or one of the kids downloaded a virus and the hard drive needed to be wiped, so this was a pretty big consideration for me.  I sent a question in to DVO and got an immediate response with instructions for a 2 click back up, it seriously could not be any easier!

I added my new Sweet & Salty stir fry recipe, and it took less than two minutes.  Almost everything was auto filled as I typed, and I just had to copy and paste the instructions.  Not only that but you get a nutritional break down for your recipes too.  It gives you the calories and breakdown for the entire recipe and you just divide to get your serving amounts.  Because it is a new recipe to the program those nutritional values might not be perfect, but it gives you a pretty good idea.  You can also use that nutritional guide to make your meals healthier by substituting or omitting certain high calorie or high fat items.

While adding my recipe I came across a small problem.  The coconut oil was not one of the pre-loaded ingredients.  It took less than a second to add but I was not able to edit it to include the nutritional information.  I talked to Brent over at DVO, and was told that while the capability is not there right now, they are aware of it and diligently working to add it.  As soon as they have the fix it will be automatically downloaded to your software!   I can’t ask for much more than that.  Also in the works is Cook’n mobile, this will allow me to sync all of my recipes with my ipad and make it easier to use in the kitchen, or take your shopping list with you to the grocery store, can’t wait!

With the huge number of recipes to choose from the search feature is a blessing.  You can look for a single ingredient to find a recipe to help with dinner planning, or so many other options that you’ll never have any trouble with the ‘What’s for Dinner?” question again.

The only real glitchy part I found that is a bit disappointing is the accuracy of the nutritional information.  When I first tried the info for my self inputted recipe it was only about 80% complete.  I figured that was because it was not a recipe that came with the program.  Unfortunately though, it seems that even with the pre-loaded recipes that information is far from complete.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the feature is there but I wish it was a little more rounded.  Now having said that I am sure DVO is well aware and working to update, which will in turn automatically be updated to my software.

Win it!  DVO has graciously offered one of our followers a copy of Cook’n, that is an $80 value!  I know you will love it as much as I do.  This giveaway is open internationally.

To enter the giveaway please go to this link on Facebook – Cook’n Rafflecopter Giveaway  In order to provide you with the convenience of rafflecopter entries we must install the widget on facebook, as wordpress free blogs do not have the capabilities.  I would however appreciate if you could bookmark this page to do your daily entries.

Disclaimer: DVO Software provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Giveaways, Recipes

 

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Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway!

When I first got word that I would be receiving a quart of coconut oil, I thought, now what the heck am I going to do with that?  Weirdly enough, a couple of days later while I was doing a nutritional consult with my trainer he spent ten minutes telling me how great this stuff is.  It was at that point that I mentioned I would be getting some of it to try.  Now I’m not allowed to say that this stuff is amazingly good for you, so I won’t, but I will say that it leaves vegetable oil in the dirt and you should too.  Leave the veggies in the dirt that is, at least as far as oil is concerned.

I decided to try the oil on my most love/hate recipe to see how it would go.  This is going to sound crazy but despite the fact that it’s a super healthy meal, I don’t make stir fry’s often.  I’ve tried using a dozen different packaged sauces, or just plain soy, and I just can’t find a flavour that I like.  Funny enough, a plain stir fry just tastes too ‘earthy’ for me, and the packaged stuff doesn’t do much to cover that unpleasantness.  This however I loved and will make over and over again.  The coconut oil really made the difference.

When I first received the oil it was solidified, it’s pretty cold here in Calgary, even on a good day, so that is normal.  I just followed the directions to bring it back to a liquid, it took no time and very little effort.

Here are some Coconut Oil facts that may interest you:

Learn about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
Tropical Traditions Video
How to use Coconut Oil
What is virgin coconut oil?
Popular coconut oil recipes

And our recipe that you might want to try, it was beyond yummy!

Sweet & Salty Coconut Oil Stir Fry

Makes aprox 4 servings, can be stretched with more rice.

2 boneless skinless chicken breast(optional)
1 ½ cups rice – 3 cups cooked
1 head of broccoli  cut into florets
¼ head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 red pepper cut into bit sized pieces
1 medium sized onion
4 medium sized carrots cut julienne
2 TBLS coconut oil
1-2 TBLS Reduced sodium soy sauce (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

After the chicken is defrosted, cut into bite sized pieces.  I used about a tablespoon of coconut oil to sauté until fully cooked.  Once chicken is cooked, set aside.  Add the other tablespoon of coconut oil and sauté veggies starting with the harder to cook like cauliflower, and adding the lighter stuff as you go.  Sauté veg until warm but still crisp.  Once veggies are cooked to your liking re-add chicken and then add soy sauce.  I also add a touch of soy sauce to the rice.  Serve stir fry over hot rice.

While I don’t find coconut oil actually tastes of coconut but the oil gives a wonderfully sweet, yet mild, taste to add to the salty flavour of the soy sauce.  It makes a blah stir fry into a fabulous and healthy meal for the family.  My hubby doesn’t like the taste of coconut so I didn’t tell him what was in it, he loved it 😉

TIPS:

I am not an advance planner, which anyone will know if they’ve been paying the least amount of attention to my posts. My dinners each and every night are decided on generally at the very last minute. We do not have a microwave, and even when we did I hated defrosting stuff that way. My solution to this, at least for chicken breast that I need to cut up is to put them in the skillet with a lid and leave them on the minimum heat for about 10-15 minutes. Works like a charm to defrost those babies.

Another thing I do that might help you save time, is instead of spending 15 minutes cutting up carrots into tiny pieces, get yourself a good peeler. Peel the tough outer layer off the carrots then over a bowl ‘peel’ the rest of the carrot in short even strokes. You will end up with pieces not quite as uniform and pretty but they are roughly the same size, and cook just as quick. The middle core that you can’t quite shred gets saved for a snack the next day.

I’ve also been using the coconut oil as a replacement for any margarine I would normally use.  It’s funny how chemistry can alter the flavour of a dish, but it does!  I used it last night to cook some eggs, and with a touch of salt it tasted more buttery than if I’d used actual butter, I’m not kidding!  I also used it in a quick sauté for a side dish of broccoli and carrots, and once again it added flavour to what would normally be pretty blah.  I will say that I’m not a fan of how it smells while you’re actually cooking with it, but thankfully the results are so much tastier than the smell.  I’m not one who’s big on trying new things when it comes to food, but I’m so glad I gave Tropical Traditions Coconut oil a try, because slowly but surely I’m getting hooked on this stuff.

Win it!  Tropical Traditions has been kind enough to offer one of our readers 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!  That is a value of $40!

To enter the giveaway please go to this link on Facebook – Tropical Traditions Rafflecopter Giveaway  In order to provide you with the convenience of rafflecopter entries we must install the widget on facebook, as wordpress free blogs do not have the capabilities.  I would however appreciate if you could bookmark this page to do your daily entries.

If you are interested in ordering from Tropical Traditions please use this link – Tropical Traditions.  I will receive credit for referring you, and you will receive a free cookbook!  They have much more than just coconut oil there, it is all certified organic, and a great place for ingredients if you are going gluten free.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 

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