Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats: April 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy

Today starts a 3-month series on grocery store favorites!
ALDI has long been a mainstay for our family and today I'm sharing my latest loves.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy

If you've been around for even just a minute, let along the 11+ years I've been food blogging, then you know without a doubt my love for ALDI.

In fact, in 2015, ALDI noticed and sent me on an all expenses paid trip to their Chicago headquarters for 2 days of fun and behind the scenes action. You can read about that trip HERE. It met friends there that I still keep in touch with today. Such a fun experience!

Ever since our kids were just babies, I've been shopping at ALDI. Back then due to saving money on our grocery bill {that's still the case at times}, but now it's often because I just love their products! This month three Iowa bloggers and I are partnering together to share our ALDI favorites - and stay tuned as next month is Costco and in June it's Trader Joe's!

Be sure to check out my friends who are doing the same:
Hilary at H.Prall & Co

I recently did a big grocery haul at ALDI and snapped some photos of my favorites that are a MUST at our house currently. A worker asked if I was videotaping for something {I lied and said I was shopping for a friend and she needed to see some things....}. 

Sometimes being a food blogger can be embarrassing. So let's get started! Here are my current {as of Spring 2021} ALDI favorites.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy

Butter
ALDI has the best price on butter. I stock up on this stuff during the holidays when baking is on overdrive. I always buy unsalted butter {that way I can control the salt in the dish} and ALDI's brand has never steered me wrong.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Specialty Chocolates
Since ALDI started in Germany, their European chocolates are delicious. I snag a container of their fun chocolates each time I'm there {in this case their Dark Chocolate Coconut Almonds}. I keep them on hand to gift to friends - often my neighbor who helps transport my kids to school. They are a great sweet treat!

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Corn Tortillas
We eat a TON of corn tortillas - especially my husband. Whether in breakfast tacos or our weekly Mexican night. Their authentic taste is so good! They are also good cut into triangles, sprayed with cooking spray and cooked in the air fryer for some quick tortilla chips.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Minced Garlic
In my opinion you can never have too much garlic, but peeling and chopping it is a PAIN. I love their squeeze bottles of minced garlic. It makes it so easy when needing garlic for a dish. It stays in the fridge fresh until the next use.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Barbecue Sauce
ALDI's Burnman's brand always has the most delicious varieties of barbecue sauce! Texas, Memphis, Kansas City and Carolina sauces were this months specialties. My kids love anything barbecue, so I'm always grabbing a bottle to make sure we have enough on hand.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Aged White Cheddar Cheese
My favorite hard cheese! This aged white cheddar has never steered me wrong. I always have a block in our fridge. Lately I've been slicing it up to bring along to long days at the ballpark with a variety of crackers and fruit. It's super sharp and tangy, yet a bit creamy too.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Protein Pancake & Waffle Mix
Now, I often make my own homemade mix, but on crazy days I like having this mix around that not only tastes good, but is amped up with extra fiber and protein. It also has a recipe on the box for yummy muffins! My kids love those - I'll often add some mini chocolate chips to the batter to jazz them up.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Mini Avocados
Who knew, right? I always buy these because sometimes I feel I waste the bigger avocados. They are smaller and great for avocado toast with a fried egg on top {one of my daughter's favorites}. Also great for a small batch of guacamole!

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Pork Sausage
I love grabbing these packages of ground pork sausage and having it on hand in the freezer. We'll eat it in my Amish Breakfast Casserole, in spaghetti or my super popular Cheesy Sausage Tortellini Bake. They have mild and spicy varieties, so depending on your mood - either is great!

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Chicken, Beef or Veggie Broth
Not all of us are Laura Ingalls and have time to make our own homemade broth, so I always recommend ALDI's organic versions that taste fresh off the farm. In the winter I'm often buying a few cartons of these for my Chicken Noodle Chowder or my Cheese Tortellini Minestrone Soup. It's also good to have on hand when cooking roasts in the slow cooker.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Mexican Street Corn Dip
Have you had this dip yet? It's great with a Frito chip to eat as dip and even better slathered on a grilled burger. Creamy, slightly spicy and full of juicy corn. When I don't have time to make my Jalapeno Corn Frito Salad, it's a good stand by.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Almond Milk Coffee Creamer
Now, I buy and drink all kinds of dairy - I just happen to love this almond milk version! It comes in a Sweet Cream and Caramel and both are delicious. Each morning of mine starts with hot coffee and I'm not adult enough to drink it black. I always need a bit of creamer!

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Whole Coffee Beans
What's coffee creamer without coffee? I first had this version at a friend's house. Now, I subscribe to a coffee service {this one...it's amazing}, but I always like to have a back up in my cupboard in case I run out. I buy my coffee in whole bean, but it comes already ground as well.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Mama Cozzi's Fresh Pizzas
What family doesn't love pizza? I love ALDI's fresh take-n-bake pizza section. This Chicken Flatbread Southwest Style version is incredibly tasty. My kids love anything with meat or cheese. Their XL pizzas are huge and can feed a crowd quickly for only around $5.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Pieces for Baking
Again, chocolate! I do a lot of baking and good chocolate can make or break a cookie or bar. These Belgian baking pieces are fabulous in my famous chocolate chip cookies and my 5 Ingredient Million Dollar Bars. They are rich and decadent and because of that I've found you don't need to use quite as many as a regular chocolate chip.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Limes
Yep, I'm a lime lover. I especially always have a bag on hand {check out that price!} when the whether starts to warm up. I love nothing better than a chilled cocktail on my back deck. These moscow mules are always a hit - and when in doubt I mix up sparkling water and fresh lime with a splash of gin or vodka.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

White Cheddar Puffs
My kids are 11, 10 and almost 7 and they EAT ALL THE TIME. They often prefer snacks over meals {sigh} so I have quite a few on hand. I recently bought this white cheddar puffy popcorn in individual bags so we'd have them on hand for sports tournaments. We all loved them.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Pesto
Yes, homemade pesto is easy to make {I have a whole post on how to make it here}, but often we don't have time or a fresh basil plant in our backyard. Guess what? Jarred pesto is just as good! Drop a few spoonfuls onto hot pasta with some fresh Parmesan or slather some on a grilled sandwich.

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

Wine Seltzers
Again, we are gearing towards warmer weather and nothing is more refreshing than a wine seltzer! If you like a little bubbly, then you'll enjoy these. My store had the peach variety, but I've also seen watermelon. Treat yourself ladies!

ALDI Favorites: What I Love, What I Buy...my recent popular ALDI buys.

What do you think of my ALDI favorites? Did you find some that are new to you? Ones you are dying to try? Are there any here that you've been buying for years?

I'd love to hear ALL your thoughts.

And remember - next month is Costco and shortly after that it's Trader Joe's. More fun to come! Tag me on social media {@sweetsavoryeats} when sharing, I'll be sure to share the love.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

This Blueberry Muffin Loaf has been a staple in our house for years!
Tender and bursting with blueberries, make this sweet bread soon.

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

Doesn't this Blueberry Muffin Loaf just look like Spring?

If so, you are in luck, it tastes like Spring too - light and tender and bursting with fresh blueberries. I've been making this sweet bread for years. It all stemmed back to a time when I threw away my dreadful silicone muffin pans {I don't like silicone muffin tins...I can never get them clean} and instead decided to throw this batter in a loaf pan.

I haven't looked back!

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

In fact, each Summer when we travel to Lake Okoboji my brother-in-law expects me to bring a few loaves along for our casual breakfasts on the deck in the morning. He likes nothing better than to sip his coffee and have a slice!

Lucky for him I bake up a few batches of this muffin loaf and my famous banana bread to bring along. Most of it doesn't often last the week we are there.

Everyone is always fighting over the last slice - serve with with softened butter and it goes twice as fast. There really is nothing better.

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

I first shared this sweet bread in 2013, which feels like ions ago! It's hard to believe that was 8 years ago and I've been blogging over 11 years now. What in the world. Seems crazy. But it does go to show that classic recipes never go out of style.

This blueberry bread is a fan favorite with my kids as an after school snack. When I reshot photos for this post, it was one of those days.

"Mom, is this for us?"

Absolutely kids - photos are finished {they've learned to ask} so dig in!

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

What people love about this bread is that it's not overally sweet like some. It's tender and fluffy with a crunchy sugar coated crust with just enough sweetness to make it perfect for breakfast.

Or an afternoon snack!

People also love the subtle almond extract flavoring I add to the batter making them go....hmmmm.....what is that?

Trust me, add it!

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

Bake this up soon for your family whether for your Saturday morning breakfast, a brunch with friends or a side treat when you opt for breakfast as dinner {we do that often - the kids love it!}. Often when I'm racking my brain for what to make for dinner it inevitably turns into breakfast.

If not for breakfast, make it for a neighbor or just for a friend as a surprise!

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

Please share your photos when you make this bread! I'd love to see them. Tag me {@sweetsavoryeats} and I'll be sure to share the love.

Blueberry Muffin Loaf

Blueberry Muffin Loaf
Yield: 10
Author: Ally
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 50 Min
This delicious sweet bread tastes just like a blueberry muffin! Tender, just slightly sweet and bursting with blueberries make it for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar + add'l for sprinkling on top
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 4 oz shortening, melted
  • 2 cups blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl sift together all the dry ingredients and also set aside.
  3. In another microwave safe bowl melt the shortening. After allowing it to cool a bit, whisk in the buttermilk, egg and extracts. 
  4. Gently combine the dry and wet ingredients together into a batter, being careful to not overmix.
  5. Sprinkle the blueberries with a light dusting of flour and fold them into the batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the loaf with a few pinches of sugar.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until a nice golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing.

Calories

288.08

Fat (grams)

12.38

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.91

Carbs (grams)

40.06

Fiber (grams)

1.39

Net carbs

38.67

Sugar (grams)

19.29

Protein (grams)

4.24

Sodium (milligrams)

317.23

Cholesterol (grams)

25.93
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @sweetsavoryeats on instagram and hashtag it #blueberrymuffinloaf
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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Oreo Fluff Bars

To all my Oreo fans - this one is for you!
A shortbread crust, hot fudge and a fluffy topping makes the most delicious Oreo dessert.

Oreo Fluff Bars

Hi friends!

Oh do I have a fun one for you today. If you like Oreos please keep reading, this dessert is simple and can feed a crowd.

But hey - how's your Spring going? Have you started your garden yet? Are you itching to get outside? Are your kid's sports schedules ruling your life?

That last one may just be my life.

Oreo Fluff Bars

I meant to make this stunning and fun dessert over the weekend after our daughter's softball tournament got canceled {so much rain!}, but you know what I did instead?

Laid on the couch that afternoon.

I read my book {this is what I'm reading}, dozed on and off, cuddled with the kids and to some "wasted a few hours". I like to call it resting. It does a body good at times!

So finally on Monday once the kids were shipped off to school, I made it! They came home to a treat and I got to make it and photograph it in peace.

Oreo Fluff Bars

I also had to HIDE THESE OREOS.

It's rare I buy them, so any glance from the kids would prove they'd be gone in an instant. I succeeded and they hid nicely until Monday.

Two-thirds of these delicious cookies made it into these Oreo Fluff Bars and I'm saving the rest for our next ball tournament this weekend {the snacks needed to get through being outside ALL day are endless}.

Oreo Fluff Bars

Even though there are three layers to this dessert - they are easy! Don't feel intimidated, I mean one of the layers is simply spreading a jar of hot fudge on the crust. You can do that.

The shortbread crust is buttery and simple and will remind you of pie. It bakes up easily and is the only time you'll need the oven. After that everything stays cold in the fridge!

This might become my favorite Summertime fridge dessert - the perfect chocolate-y, cold bite you need on a hot day.

Oreo Fluff Bars

Have you had Oreo Fluff before?

It's fairly popular in deli's and grocery stores around these parts. It's a combination of cream cheese, Cool Whip, sugar and obviously Oreos - crushed and chopped so that every bite is perfection. You spread this fun layer on top of the hot fudge and then lay a big intact Oreo on top, perfectly spacing out 20 squares.

These bars feed a crowd!

Oreo Fluff Bars

My kids went bananas for this!

I also sent many slices off to the neighbors {I cannot be trusted with this much sugary goodness in my fridge} and I'm fairly sure they loved it too.

This is easily a dessert that can be made a day or two ahead - prepping food ahead is my jam! It leaves time for others things. I cannot wait to see you guys make it.

Oreo Fluff Bars

Oreo Fluff Bars
Yield: 20 bars
Author: Ally
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 12 MinTotal time: 27 Min
This three layer fluffy Oreo dessert is a new favorite! A shortbread crust, hot fudge and a fluffy cream layer come together in the best cold dessert that makes everyone happy.

Ingredients

For the crust
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
For the middle layers
  • 12 oz jar hot fudge
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 16 Oreos, crushed or chopped + add'l 20 Oreos for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13  or 11x15 pan with cooking spray (a 9x13 will result in a bit thicker bar, a 11x15 pan a bit thinner bar).
  2. In a stand mixer whip together the butter and sugar until combined. Sift in the flour and continue to mix until it resembles course crumbs. Dump this mixture into the greased pan and with your hands press down to form the bottom layer.
  3. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. When the crust is cooled, spread the hot fudge over the crust.
  5. In the stand mixer cream together the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gently fold in the Cool whip to combine, followed by the crushed/chopped Oreos. Spread this cream layer over the hot fudge layer.
  6. Lay 20 additional Oreos flat on top of the cream layer in 4 rows of 5. Place the bars in the fridge for at least one hour before serving. Keep in the fridge when storing.

Calories

269.81

Fat (grams)

18.45

Sat. Fat (grams)

11.30

Carbs (grams)

24.18

Fiber (grams)

0.69

Net carbs

23.48

Sugar (grams)

10.59

Protein (grams)

2.61

Sodium (milligrams)

159.41

Cholesterol (grams)

35.87
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @sweetsavoryeats on instagram and hashtag it #oreofluffbars
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls

One of my favorite Mexican dishes, these Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls 
are full of flavor!
They also make the most delicious leftovers.

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls

If you follow me on Instagram, you see me making a version of this recipe ALL THE TIME. I shared it a few weeks back and even got a message from a reader saying, "I was about to think you had forgotten about this pork dish, it's been awhile since you shared it!"

Hahahahahaha.

People pay attention!

I first saw my friend Jenni at The Gingered Whisk make this years ago - and my first thought was BRILLANT. I chatted with her last week and got permission to share my version of her recipe today. Thanks Jenni!

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls

What I love about this recipe is the simplicity of it. I like to purchase small pork loins {usually the 2-3 lb ones} at the grocery store when they are on sale. They are often a BOGO offer and can easily be thrown in the freezer to use up later.

After that, grab your slow cooker and get to work!

Just two ingredients make this the most incredible tasting Mexican pork around - brown sugar and salsa. But, I highly recommend using my blender salsa recipe. It's hands down what makes it so delicious. 

I make this salsa once a week {I'm not kidding}. We pretty much drink the stuff. It tastes authentic and just like what you'd be served at a Mexican restaurant. Better yet - it makes a big batch so you have lots on hand to pour over these burrito bowls right before serving.

Oh course, any favorite jarred salsa works - but trust me, my recipe is good!

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls

This pork can cook all day while you are gone, or even home, it requires no maintenance at all. Once cooked it shreds beautifully in the sweet brown sugar and salsa mixture. It's sweet, but not too sweet, yet still has all the smokey flavors of a great Mexican dish.

Pretty darn perfect!

Like I said, I've been making this pork for YEARS, but only until recently did I actually take photos of the final dish and think about putting it on the blog!

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls


These burrito bowls are currently one of our favorite dinners. Every single person in our house adores them {and that is saying something!}. I let everyone dress them how they like, but everyone prefers the tasty pork served over our favorite Mexican rice and refried beans.

By the way our favorite Mexican rice is La Preferida. It's the best! You can buy a 9-pack off Amazon, which I highly recommend. Their canned refried beans are super too - or you can try my homemade recipe HERE.

After the pork is layered on the rice and beans I top it with lots of salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls
I cannot wait to see your own version of these Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls! They can be dressed up an which way, however you like.

You know what else is great? If you are a meal prepper, perhaps working out of the home, these bowls can easily be prepped in separate dishes for the week ahead. The leftovers taste only better than the day before.

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls

Sweet Mexican Pork Burrito Bowls
Yield: 6
Author: Ally
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 8 HourTotal time: 8 H & 5 M
This sweet, Mexican pork is slow cooked and then layered into a burrito bowl with all the fixings - rice, beans, guacamole, salsa and more!

Ingredients

For the Pork
  • 2-3 lb pork loin
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup blender salsa
Toppings for the Burrito Bowls
  • Mexican flavored rice
  • Refried Beans
  • Blender Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Shredded Cheeses
  • Cilantro
  • Sour Cream

Instructions

  1. Place the pork loin, brown sugar and blender salsa in your slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  2. The pork is done once it easily shreds apart, it could take more or less time depending on how fast your slow cooker cooks.
  3. Right before serving into the burrito bowls, place all of the shredded pork on a large rimmed baking sheet, turn the oven to BROIL and place the pan of pork on the top rack.
  4. Watching carefully, broil the pork for 2-3 minutes, then using tongs stir it around and let it go another 2-3 minutes until slightly crispy.
  5. Serve the pork warm over a bed of rice and beans, topped with shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Notes:

Feel free to top these burrito bowls with whatever toppings you enjoy. Other options could include diced onion, corn, crushed tortilla chips, etc.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @sweetsavoryeats on instagram and hashtag it #burritobowls
Created using The Recipes Generator