2015 Easter Recipe Roundup

The time has come for a good old-fashioned Easter Recipe Roundup! We’ll share a few of our savory favorites from over the years. Whether you’re having a brunch, hosting an old-fashioned holiday dinner, or just looking to make some homemade fun for your kids, you might find something inspiring here.

First up, what better way to start your Easter morning than with these Green Eggs (With No Ham) for breakfast?

Green Eggs (No Ham)

Green Eggs (No Ham) for your Easter Breakfast

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Honey Lime Pepper Jelly #CanItForward

#CanItForward Giveaway!


Honey LIme Jalapeno Jelly

Are you excited about canning season yet? We are giddily participating in the Ball #CanItForward festivities by joining in a giveaway of Ball products, a longstanding staple in our own homes. On Saturday August 16, Jarden Home Brands will celebrate home canning with the first annual International Can-It-Forward Day, when they will gather in New York’s Union Square for a full day of canning and how-tos, all streamed live on the web. All the festivities will be hosted by host Top Chef Hugh Acheson. What a good time, eh?

I am so, so happy that there has been a canning revival in the last few years. There is just something so satisfying about spending a day hard at work and then stepping back and seeing jars and jars of home goodness lining your counter. And jams and jellies are the perfect thing to start developing your canning prowess – the failure rate is low and the deliciousness level is high! This pepper jelly is something I have been making for years and not only serves as a sweet and spicy treat on toast but can be used as a sticky glaze for all types of meats – it is especially great on pork or lamb chops. Maybe you can make it in your own brand-new set of Ball products – make sure you check out our giveaway instructions (and the Honey Lime Pepper Jelly recipe) after the jump. …

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Mother’s Day Giveaway: Win a Fabulously Flirty Apron!

 Nothing is more fun and fitting for us than a Mother’s Day giveaway.

Mother’s Day Gift for Anne: A drawing by her daughter (and Donna’s granddaughter) Lily. The likeness is uncanny! I do believe I’m wearing a snazzy apron here!

This is our holiday –  motherhood is, of course, at the core of our blog. Though we have also become good friends over the years, that unique, primary connection was definitely the heart of our connection when we were fortunate enough to reunite almost fifteen (!)  years ago. What a journey it has been and continues to be!

(Donna’s note: Anne, my birth daughter, and I reunited in 1999 and for me it was love at first sight – the very first time I saw Anne at the San Diego airport in October 1999, it was a feeling like falling in love. But, a mother-daughter relationship is more than just biology. It is years of loving and nurturing each other. And so, Anne and I started down the road not knowing where it would lead us. It was a surprise to us both that cooking was what would make us close. Our mutual love of cooking – with nearly 15 years now of laughing , sharing and cooking in the kitchen – that healed us, that brought us together, that made “us” who we are.)

This blog is an ongoing labor-of-love project for us, so we always look forward to doing something special for Mother’s Day. And aprons are the ultimate uniform of a loving mom in the kitchen, no? This year we’re excited to offer a giveaway from Flirty Aprons – how perfect, right?

Simply leave a comment below for the chance to win the super-stylin’ apron of your choice. You can leave one comment each day and each one is an entry. For multiple entries, post on social media about this give away and then leave a comment here for each time you shout out. We’ll announce the chosen-at-random winner next Sunday, May 18. (Please make sure a working email address is connected to your username, so we can get in touch with you in case you don’t see the announcement post. We promise not to use it for any other purposes.)


Garden in Your Pantry – Inspire Your New Year with our Vegan African Peanut Stew



 Start the New Year off right by entering the Del Monte® Garden in Your Pantry Sweepstakes, and cooking up a bowl of our Vegan African Peanut Stew!

Vegan African Peanut Stew

Vegan African Peanut Stew


With the New Year comes a New Beginning – and a fresh new way of creating in the kitchen. Let 2014 be the year of nutrient-dense foods and healthier ways of cooking them, we say! You just can’t get any healthier than this African Peanut Stew – with a vegan twist. African Peanut Stew is a wildly popular dish in Africa – usually made with chicken. But here, we vegan-ize this dish without sacrificing flavors or textures. It is, we think, better than the original chicken version. We added sweet potato chunks in place of the chicken and coconut milk in place of the cream. And the humble peanut is a nutritional powerhouse, it turns out. Who knew? Peanuts are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and contain resveratrol, the potent antioxidant found in grapes and red wine. These legumes have numerous other nutrients and antioxidants which make them nutritional rivals of berries. And, one more bit of good news: roasting increases their nutritional value! The addition of Del Monte® Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies added at the last minute adds freshness and brightens this stew. These tomatoes have just the right texture and the flavors are sweet with a little added green chile punch. Usually I use diced tomatoes cooked down in a soup of sauce, but in this case, they are adding a bright finishing touch. Heaven in a spoon! Here’s another bonus to using Del Monte’s diced tomatoes – the nutritional value of tomatoes is actually increased by the canning process – which makes the nutrients more accessible to be used by your body. I have loved Del Monte products since I started cooking with my mom in the early 1970s – her shelves were lined with Del Monte products. When you have Del Monte products in your pantry, you have garden quality™ fruits & vegetables at your fingertips. Join us here at Apron Strings by starting the New Year right and adding some garden quality goodness to your table, and be sure to check out the Del Monte page. We are participating in the Del Monte “Garden in Your Pantry – Inspire Your New Year” sweepstakes. One winner will be chosen from comments to this sponsored post.

Please leave us a comment with the answer to this question: “What are your favorite fruits and vegetables to stock in your pantry?” Good Luck to all our amazing Apron String followers!


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And the winner of the Aroma Dehydrator is . . .

 . . . Karen Toensfeldt Compton!
Congratulations Karen! We will be in touch shortly to arrange shipping and handling for your prize! 
Thank you again to all of our entrants. It was genuinely fun to read through the comments and get new ideas for foods to try in the dehydrator. Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to your upcoming harvest season!

Photos all via Aroma Housewares. Again, this is not in any way a sponsored post.

– posted by Anne


Check out our end-of-summer giveaway: a 5-Tray Aroma Dehydrator!

Enter to win this fabulous 5-tray dehydrator!

Summer’s drawing to a close, and food enthusiasts everywhere are getting down to business with their late-summer preservation efforts. Canning gets tons of attention of course, as well it should. But dehydrating your fruits, veggies and herbs is another wonderful way to extend the life of your produce.  I used to do any dehydrating in my oven on a low temperature, which is manageable, but having this awesome piece of equipment has been a huge blessing.

Check it out!

The Aroma Dehydrator!

It’s lightweight, it’s easy to use, and gets fantastic results.I use it all the time for ludicrously healthful snack recipes like our Cheesy Kale Chips and Crunchy Broccoli Puffs.

From the manufacturer: “Perfect for everyone from outdoor hobbyists to the health-conscious, this dehydrator is designed for efficient, even drying. It handles everything from fruit slices to beef jerky on five spacious, height adjustable trays. It’s equipped with an electric fan and automatically rotating trays that spin in both directions, and was designed to prevent the overheating that eliminates food’s vital nutrients. The clear vented lid controls moisture and lets you monitor the process without disruption. Includes 5 stackable rotating trays, fruit leather sheet, drying screen and instructional cookbook.”

(I should also mention here that this is in absolutely no way a sponsored post. I’m genuinely, authentically enthused about the product, scout’s honor.)

So! You have six ways – one of which can be done once a day! Like so:

1. Leave a comment here, once per day, with something you’d like to try dehydrating. That’s IT! Every comment you leave counts as one entry (the other ways to enter you can only do once apiece).

2.  Like our page on Facebook (and then leave a comment here telling us that you did, so as to give you your point).

3. Follow us on Twitter, and then comment accordingly.

4.  Share the link for this giveaway and then leave us a comment here about that – Twitter, Stumble Upon, Facebook, or any other way!

5. Pin this giveaway on Pinterest, and then tell us so here.

6. Mention our giveaway on your own blog and leave us the link in a comment.

Winner will be selected via Random.org. We’ll announce the lucky reader after Labor Day weekend, and announce the winner on Thursday  September (yes, we’re already talking about September) fifth. Entries accepted through Wednesday at midnight. Best of luck to you all!

Mmm, bounty. Photos all via Aroma Housewares.

- posted by Anne


And the winners are . . .

Northwest Gourmet Basket

Northwest Gourmet Basket

Thanks again to everyone entering our anniversary giveaway! It’s been an amazing and delicious four years. And for us, the fourth anniversary is apparently the fruit anniversary. So without further ado, time to announce the winners of these glorious Oregon fruit baskets from The Fruit Company.

First, the grand prize goes to:

10. Madeline Brubaker!

And the three runners-up are:

29. Darla Schmecekr!

15. Kimberly James!


34. Meghan Finley!


All selected via Random.org. Congrats, winners! Please email us at ourapronstrings [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing addresses!

We’ll be having another giveaway – and a big announcement – coming up in just a few weeks here. Stay tuned!


**Important disclosure: We are not affiliated with, nor are we receiving any compensation from The Fruit Company for this post.