Freebie Tips and Advice

Ever feel lost in the free samples and coupon world? Well here are some free tips and advice that we hope will help you during your journey!

Guests will “ooh” and “aah” when you bring in this fabulous ice-cream torte ringed with chocolaty Almond Joy bars. It’s super easy, feeds a crowd and can be made days ahead for convenience.

Coconut Ice Cream Torte Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 13

Serving Size: 13

Calories per serving: 532

Fat per serving: 29 g

Coconut Ice Cream Torte Recipe

Ingredients

  • 18 macaroons, crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 26 snack-size Mounds or Almond Joy candy bars
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 quart strawberry ice cream, softened
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. In a microwave, heat hot fudge topping on high for 15-20 seconds or until pourable; spread over crust. Trim one end from each candy bar; arrange around edge of pan. Freeze for 15 minutes. Spread vanilla ice cream over fudge topping; freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Spread strawberry ice cream over vanilla layer; sprinkle with almonds. Cover and freeze until firm. May be frozen for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Remove sides of pan.
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Rich, creamy and delicious New Orleans flavor — once served, this dish will become an immediate family favorite!

Spicy Creole Tortellini Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 3

Calories per serving: 380

Fat per serving: 7g

Spicy Creole Tortellini Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package (9 ounces) three-cheese tortellini
  • 1 package Simply Organic Gumbo Base Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pound precooked shrimp

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, combine Gumbo Base Seasoning Mix and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.
  3. In a small skillet, warm shrimp.
  4. Drain pasta. Add shrimp and sauce. Gently toss to evenly coat the pasta.
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This apple-filled side dish will do double duty as a gorgeous centerpiece at your next holiday meal table. Roasted acorn squash are stuffed with a sweet and buttery mixture of apples, nuts and dried cranberries.

Sweet Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apples, Nuts and Cranberries

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4

Sweet Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apples, Nuts and Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 2 small acorn squash, cut in half horizontally
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 small granny smith apple
  • 1 small honeycrisp apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 pinch sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • honey (for drizzling)

Instructions

  1. For the squash:
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large glass baking dish add 4
  3. tablespoons of butter. To melt it, just pop into the oven while it preheats.
  4. Slice 1/8 of an inch off the bottoms of each squash half so they will sit flat.
  5. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan. Lay the squash face down (with the “bottom” facing up) so the exposed flesh touches the brown sugar butter mixture in the pan. Bake in your preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until knife pierces easily.
  6. For the stuffing:
  7. Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted and hot, add in the diced apples. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until soft, but still firm and textured. Measure and add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a couple pinches of sea salt.
  8. Remove stuffing mixture to a medium-sized bowl and add in the chopped walnuts, pistachios and cranberries. Measure and add in the vanilla extract and poppy seeds, toss together until well combined.
  9. To serve:
  10. Invert the baked squash onto a platter or individual plates. Spoon in some of the brown sugar and butter from the baking dish and drizzle it into the center and along the tops of the squash.
  11. Fill the squash centers with the apple filling and top with more chopped pistachios and a drizzle of honey. Serve warm.

Notes

Cinnamon, nutmeg and poppy seeds round out this feast of delectable late fall flavors. Pairs well with poultry, pork and portobello mushrooms.

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This grand-prize winning poultry recipe will have friends and family coming home for the holidays … with smiles!

Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Serving Size: 4

Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 free-range chicken (4-5 pounds)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 lemon, juiced (reserve lemon halves)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Simply Organic All Seasons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved and cut on a bias
  • 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash chicken under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Mix orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil and set aside.
  4. Rub chicken with melted butter over and under skin and inside chicken cavity.
  5. Mix pepper, All Seasons Salt and garlic powder in bowl and massage over and under the skin and inside the chicken cavity. Stuff chicken cavity with juiced lemon halves.
  6. Place chicken in roasting pan. Distribute pressed garlic, parsnip, rutabaga, carrot, and onion evenly around the chicken. Pour orange juice mixture over the chicken and vegetables.
  7. Roast for 1½ to 2 hours, basting and checking. When chicken browns and chicken legs move freely, the chicken is done.
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Love coffeecakes? Here’s a yummy recipe which teaches you to make Back Porch Blueberry Coffeecake.

Back Porch Blueberry Coffeecake Recipe

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 10

Back Porch Blueberry Coffeecake Recipe

Ingredients

  • Crumbs:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cheese Topping:
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg plus one yolk
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon flavor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cake
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan.
  2. In medium bowl, combine crumbs ingredients, and work with fingertips until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In small bowl, mix all cheese topping ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Then beat in eggs and lemon zest. Beat until creamy.
  5. In another mixing bowl, blend flour and baking powder. Add milk, vanilla and dry ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix until just blended. Stir in the blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  6. Spoon cheese topping (in dollops) over batter. Sprinkle crumbs over all. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and cake tests done.
  7. Dust cake lightly with powdered sugar.
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Enjoy this lightly encrusted Citrus ‘n Herb Tilapia with a hint of summer.

Citrus ‘n Herb Crusted Tilapia Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Calories per serving: 250

Fat per serving: 5g

Citrus ‘n Herb Crusted Tilapia Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tilapia
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Citrus 'n Herb Seasoning
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Set up 3 bowls: 1 with flour, 1 with egg mixed with water, and 1 with bread crumbs mixed with Seasoning.
  3. Dip tilapia in flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumb mixture, and place on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Spray coated tilapia with cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping half way through cook time

Notes

Pairs well with Spring Salad with Citrus Herb Vinaigrette.

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A cool, refreshing treat that provides the perfect spice combination for the holiday season. Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

Eggnog Cream Pies Recipe

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2 pies (8 servings each)

Serving Size: 16

Eggnog Cream Pies Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 unbaked pastry shells (9 inches)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cartons (one 8 ounces, one 12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 3-3/4 cups cold eggnog
  • 3 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant cheesecake or vanilla pudding mix
  • Additional ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Line unpricked pastry shells with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on wire racks.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, allspice and nutmeg until smooth. Fold in the 8-oz. carton of whipped topping. Spoon into crusts.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggnog and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping; sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
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While breaded with a spicy cornmeal batter, there’s nothing corny about this delicious white fish filet. It makes a great meal any day of the week.

Breaded Fish Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6

Calories per serving: 320

Fat per serving: 17g

Breaded Fish Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds white fish filets
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 package Simply Organic Gumbo Base Seasoning Mix
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. 1. Rinse fish and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. 2. Place flour in a flat, shallow pan or on a plate.
  3. 3. Combine egg and water in another flat, shallow pan.
  4. 4. Combine cornmeal and Gumbo Base Seasoning Mix in a third flat, shallow pan.
  5. 5. Lightly coat each filet in flour. Then dredge in egg mixture, followed by seasoned cornmeal mixture.
  6. 6. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry each filet until golden brown, flipping only once to minimize breakage. If filets are thick, you may choose to bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes after browning in a skillet.

Notes

To help mitigate any strong fish flavor, marinade fish filets in milk before breading.

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Simple and sweet, this large recipe can serve a crowd. Your family and/or guests will love the seasonal spices and the comfort of a belly-warming dessert.

Apple Cranberry Cobbler With Spiced Whipped Cream Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 18

Calories per serving: 290

Fat per serving: 13g

Apple Cranberry Cobbler With Spiced Whipped Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
  • 10 ounces cranberries, thawed and drained, or fresh if available
  • 1/4 cup Organic Valley Salted Butter, cubed (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick-cooking type)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or spelt flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Simply Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tablespoon Simply Organic Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Simply Organic Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (Maple Valley Brand)
  • 1/2 cup Organic Valley Reduced Fat Milk 2% Milk Fat
  • Whipped Topping:
  • 1 pint Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon Simply Organic Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Round up some assistants and prepare tart apples such as Granny Smith, Cortland, or your family's favorite heirloom variety. Thaw and drain frozen cranberries, or wash and pat dry fresh berries. Toss cranberries and apples together into a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, using a pastry cutter or two knives, blend together to resemble a coarse meal: Organic Valley Salted Butter, sugar, quick rolled oats, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, spices, and sea salt.
  4. Stir in maple syrup and milk. The topping mixture will become somewhat sticky. Drop the cobbler mixture by the spoonfuls onto the apple/cranberry compote and pat down slightly. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until apples are soft and topping has become golden.
  5. Whip cream with cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar until stiff. Serve atop warm cobbler and melt into the "comfort zone.

Notes

Apples and cranberries can be prepared up to 2 days prior (sprinkle with lemon juice), if stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge.

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“Serve this hearty entree with Spanish rice, homemade salsa and tortilla chips,” recommends Lucy Shifton, Wichita, Kansas. Make this in the morning, bake it that evening. A hearty entree.

Mexican Manicotti Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 8

Calories per serving: 431

Fat per serving: 20 g

Mexican Manicotti Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 package (8 ounces) uncooked manicotti shells
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Sliced ripe olives, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the uncooked beef, beans, chili powder and oregano. Spoon into uncooked manicotti shells; arrange in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine water and picante sauce; pour over shells. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover; spoon sour cream over the top. Sprinkle with cheese, onions and olives if desired. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.
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I didn’t need a special basketball player cookie cutter to shape these sporty cookies—gingerbread men cutters make the team!

Butterscotch Basketball Cookies Recipe

Serving Size: 24 servings

Butterscotch Basketball Cookies Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • FROSTING:
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Paste food coloring

Instructions

  1. In a microwave, melt butterscotch chips; cool for 10 minutes. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix well. Beat in melted chips. Gradually add flour; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-1/2-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter and a 3-in. round cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 5-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, combine shortening, water, flour and vanilla in a bowl; mix well. Gradually beat in sugar. Place 1 cup frosting in a plastic bag; cut a small hole in corner of bag. Pipe shirt and shorts on players. Fill in outline and smooth with a metal spatula. Tint 1/4 cup frosting black; place in a plastic bag. Pipe lines on round cookies to create basketballs; pipe hair, eyes and noses on players. Tint 1/4 cup frosting red; pipe a mouth on each player. Tint remaining frosting to match team colors of your choice; pipe around shirts and shorts and add a letter on shirts if desired.
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This is a down home recipe that I have used for years, and thought I would share it! The buttermilk marinade is terrific and is such a comfort food.

Southern-Style Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 8

Southern-Style Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 5 cups vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk together buttermilk, mustard, salt and pepper, and cayenne in a bowl, and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.
  2. When you are ready to cook the chicken, combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and onion powder in the other plastic bag. Shake to mix thoroughly. Transfer one marinated chicken piece at a time into the dry ingredient bag, and shake well to ensure complete coverage. After all chicken pieces are coated, repeat the process by dipping them in the buttermilk marinade and shaking in the dry coating again.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, making sure not to burn the oil. When oil is hot, fry chicken in batches until golden brown and juices run clear, turning chicken to brown evenly.
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