Take the Nature’s Harvest® Whole Grain Challenge | $25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

nature's harvest whole grain challenge

We often hear about the importance of whole grain in our diets, but do you know how much you're supposed to have each day? There are lots of products on store shelves that offer a "made with whole grains" variety of their product, and as a rule we generally opt for those. But even making more whole grains choices, we still might not be getting enough each day. Dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat 48 grams or more of whole grains daily and children ages 4-13 years old eat a minimum of 40-48 grams per day. But are you getting that much? And if not, how do you get more whole grains in your diet? Nature's Harvest®  has recently launched the "Whole Grain Challenge" to help families reach the goal of consuming 48 grams of whole grains each day. It's not as hard as you may think! For instance, Nature's Harvest® Bread, available in grocery stores nationwide, offer varieties of bread, and each contain at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving . As part … [Read more...]

Old Fashioned Chocolate Malt Mason Jar Shakes | Dreyer’s EDY’S® Giveaway #FrozenCustardTime #Spon

Dreyer's Frozen Custard, easy chocolate malt shake

I've been looking at this photo for nearly a year now. It was taken last Fourth of July at our neighborhood parade. It reminds me of this time of year, where things slow down, communities come together, and we do things together that have been done for generations. We had so much fun that I've already started planning for our "Old Fashioned Family Fourth" this weekend and as part of this sponsored post for Dreyer's® Frozen Custard, I have a delicious chocolate malt recipe to share. How does your family celebrate Independence Day? We attend a parade, spend the afternoon at the pool, barbecue, play tailgate toss, cook s'mores over the backyard firepit, and, of course, do fireworks after dark. It's refreshing to be a part of activities that are tried-and-true, where we're not plugged in, and dare I say, nearly old-fashioned. So this year we're going to embrace it and because of that I'm "cooking up" a cool treat for our friends and family this year. I prefer to … [Read more...]

Have Your Bread and Eat It, Too, with Sandwich Thins, Pocket Thins, & Bagel Thins! Recipe & $25 Gift Card Giveaway!


  When watching what I eat, saying no to breads is always hard for me. I love me some carbs! Luckily, there are healthy alternatives out there for those of us who want to have our bread and eat it, too! From breakfast to dinner, there's a healthy choice for every meal using Thomas' Bagel Thins, Oroweat Pocket Thins, and Oroweat Sandwich Thins. Each has a Weight Watcher PointsPlus Value of 3 and come in a variety of flavors! Thomas' Bagel Thins are only 110 calories, cholesterol-free, low in fat with no trans fat, and you can find them in Plain, 100% Whole Wheat, Cinnamon Raisin, and Everything. Oroweat Pocket Thins Flatbread is available in 100% Whole Wheat or Healthy Multi-Grain and can also be found under the Arnold or Brownberry name. Oroweat Sandwich Thins rolls can also be found as Arnold or Brownberry and are available in Whole Wheat, Multi-Grain, Honey Wheat, and Flax & Fiber - all are cholesterol-free and free of high-fructose corn syrup, too! Rather than feeling … [Read more...]

Quick Family Meals: Hawaiian BBQ Pineapple Spinach and Pork Stew over Rice with #KraftRecipeMakers #shop #cbias

hickory bbq beef, hawaiian pineapple pork stew slow cooker

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. Monday and Wednesday are my crazy busy days of the week. We go from sun-up to sun-down. Over the last few weeks I've realized quickly that if I don't plan ahead, we're either stuck with peanut butter sandwiches or drive-thru for dinner. For families like mine, and moms like me who want to prepare a good meal for their family, but might not have the time, Kraft Recipe Makers is an effortless way to help me create a delicious, and different, easy meal for my family for dinner tonight. Besides being strapped for time those two nights each week, I also suffer from dinner rut. I tend to make the same things more often than not, and while most of the time that's okay, my husband would like a little more variety. Honestly, I would, too, but coming up with new recipes and then shopping for all those … [Read more...]

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan with Milled Flax and Spinach #SamsDemos #CBias


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. With the start of the new school year our routines changed drastically. My oldest daughter has reached the age where there are extra-curricular activities nearly every day of the week - which is wonderful, but it takes its toll on our evening routines, especially dinner. I quickly realized that my family would be better served by quick and simple meals made at home than by running through the drive-thru at the end of a long day of activities. Luckily, Sam's Club has a number of recipes and cooking demos available for weeknight mealtime inspiration.  One of the ways I can really help our schedule is by buying in bulk items that we use regularly, so shopping for some of our pantry staples at Sam's Club is something I do often. That way I don't have to make so many trips to the grocery store! I can … [Read more...]

BBQ Chicken with Cheesy Pasta and Summer Vegetables using Velveeta Liquid Gold #VelveetaRecipes #CBias

velveeta, velveeta cheese, liquid gold, nachos, dips, macaroni, cheesy broccoli soup

Friday was the last day of school, so over the weekend my girls and I hit up the library for some summer reading materials and, as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®, made a quick trip to Walmart to get ingredients for our favorite summertime meal using Velveeta 2 lb. loaves. My BBQ Chicken and Cheesy Pasta with Summer Vegetables includes all the flavors of summertime in one delicious, rich meal! Adapted from a casserole recipe I came upon a few years ago, and inspired by our summer garden, I found that this was a really easy, healthy meal to make for our family. It has flavors that please everyone and the tang of the barbecue mixed with the richness of Velveeta's "liquid gold" and crunch of the summer veggies gives this meal a seasonably unique taste - like everything awesome about summertime just exploded in your mouth. Plus it's really versatile - you can have it as a hot and fresh meal tonight and then have the leftovers cold from the fridge as a pasta salad … [Read more...]

Wholly Guacamole HUNGRY Channel | Chef Event Recap, Review & Giveaway

wholly guacamole wholly salsa prize package

Last month, while attending the BlissDom conference in Dallas, I enjoyed an exclusive Chef Event sponsored by Wholly Guacamole that featured chefs from their HUNGRY Channel on YouTube and a wealthy of delicious eats, both savory and sweet, made with Wholly Guacaomle and Wholly Salsa. I'm pleased to share with you some of these foods, created by chef Alex Thomopoulos, host of HUNGRY Channel's "Bites & Booze: Gluten Free" episodes, as well as offer a giveaway of a cooler full of Wholly Guacamole products! These are just some highlights of the fun we had. Click this image to enlarge the photos. My fellow bloggers and I joined Wholly Guacamole and chef Alex T at the Culinary Focus Research and Science Center in Irving, Texas, where we tried our hand at specially created recipes that, as Chef Alex says, just happen to be "gluten-free." We were all split into groups and worked alongside Alex and in-house chefs to create delicious and nutritious dishes, as pictured above. My team made … [Read more...]

Cupcakes for Breakfast! Or, How I Learned to Make My Family Smile in the Morning #CoolWhipFrosting #CBias

cupcakes for breakfast

So, the other morning I woke up to these grumpy faces: Noone wanted to get out of bed, let alone start their day. When we all did finally get out of bed, it was evident we got out on the wrong side. After a trying morning, and finally getting everyone off to school (my husband included), I decided I wanted to do something special for those sour faces. My brainstorm settled on surprising my family cupcakes for breakfast the next morning. I justified this choice in that it wouldn't be any worse than having a bowl of sugary cereal, in fact, why not just make the cupcakes with the cereal? Breakfast cupcakes... I was thrilled just thinking about it. I mean, hey, we all have to wake up each and every morning. And it's a fact of life that some mornings are just better than others. But, my goal was to make this one memorable in a good way... getting up before we really want to and having breakfast is something we do everyday, but this day will be the one to remember. I pictured my daughter … [Read more...]

Renuzit Tempting Indulgences Inspired Dessert | Chocolate-Covered Red Velvet Cake Cookies #TemptYourSenses

Make Every Day Sweeter, Tempting Indulgences, Renuzit, Red Velvet Cake, Air Freshener, Scent, Dessert, #TemptYourSenses, Fragrance

Our home has been smelling like the sweetest bakery these last few days thanks to the new Renuzit Tempting Indulgences home air freshener. In fact, my husband I were discussing how long it's been since we've had red velvet cake when we saw a certain pancake house commercial that had red velvet pancakes. We looked at each other and I knew exactly what had to be done next. I needed to head over to the grocery store to get what we needed for a delicious dessert. Since I like to keep things as simple as possible, I decided I wanted to make red velvet cheesecake cookies, using a box cake mix and pre-made cheesecake filling. I just needed a few additional ingredients to those, like eggs, butter, and sugar, to make our dessert dream a reality. My little Abigail and I headed over to Walmart yesterday morning to pick up all the ingredients. I was really pretty excited to make these cookies! As we were going along, we were able to get the box cake mix and eggs (I already had the butter and … [Read more...]

Hodgson Mills Summer Pastabilities | Giveaway


Quick! Name me one of your favorite things about summertime! I'd place a good bet that the majority of you would say the food! From barbecues to picnics and potlucks, there's a flavor and pace of summertime meals that makes them stand apart from the rest of the year. Hodgson Mill, known for their quality whole wheat pasta varieties, knows that summer meals are full of "pasta"bilities and they want to know the how you would create the best summer pasta salad. As for me, I absolutely adore pasta salad in all shapes and forms, but I wanted to make a special recipe for Hodgson Mill and their Summer Pastabilities Pinterest Contest that represented the cool textures and flavors of summer. So, I made my very favorite lunch sandwich into a salad! I call it the Summertime BLTA Pasta Salad :) It's got Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bowtie Pasta instead of bread, bacon that is cooked in the oven instead of fried on the stove (healthier!), cherry tomatoes, chunks of avocado, a homemade buttermilk … [Read more...]

Healthy Snacking with Pretzels: Easy Fudge with Pretzels Recipe

fudge pretzel recipe

  I don't mind admitting (bragging?) that I pride myself on my ability to get my kids to eat (and enjoy) healthy snacks. One of the staples in our pantry is a big bag of pretzels, and my oldest daughter will always remind me to get more when the bag is getting low. I'm really happy, though, that my two-year-old loves them, too. I appreciate that they're a filling snack, they're low-fat, they don't melt(!), and, most importantly, they taste good for all the different palettes in my home. One afternoon my youngest got exceptionally excited about having pretzels for a snack! The easiest thing to do for us to encourage healthy eating is by keeping the healthy stuff within reach and keeping the sweet treats out of reach and only for special occasions. Don't get me wrong, I'm not that kid of mom - believe me, we love treats! - but I've learned that if you have the "munchies" and you've got a choice of chocolate cookies or slices of apples, you're going to choose the chocolate … [Read more...]

The Night Before Thanksgiving: A Quick Dinner to the Rescue #TysonGoodness #CBias

#TysonGoodness, #CBias

'twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through our home the countertops were clean and the dishes were done, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but three sweet angels wanting some dinner... Now I didn't want to make a big meal production - that would be for the 'morrow - so to the freezer I went in search of a solution.... Thanksgiving dinner requires a lot of time and preparation. The night before Thanksgiving I had the house all ready for our guests and my day of cooking all planned out. The last thing I wanted to do was slave over dinner the night before! It was definitely a call for a quick dinner idea, and new Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches came to the rescue. We have four very different palettes in our home, but I knew that a chicken sandwich was something we all would enjoy, and I was glad to almost have the night off of cooking. Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches come in two varieties - plain and Cheddar Cheese. I made a couple of both so that we could all … [Read more...]

My Favorite Family Recipe: No Bake Cookies

easy no bake cookies recipe

Food, in all its various forms, has created a lot of memories in my family, and there are staples to be had at our dinnertables or dessertables. At Thanksgiving, I think everyone in my family can agree, Grandma Jukes' rolls make the meal complete. At other gatherings, there's got to be Banana Crush served. My mom had a Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake that to this day my dad's mouth melts for. And no other family can make toast quite so many ways as ours (am I right, my cousins?). Over 30 years ago, a recipe book was even compiled by our family, and I feel pretty special that I have a copy that has stood the test of time (despite being burnt on the stove a few times!). A conversation featuring Coca-Cola over at Socialmoms.com has prompted me to share one of our favorite family recipes, from the Jukes Family Cookbook. No-Bake Cookies are not only fun to make and delicious to eat, but it's so uncomplicated that children can do it and do it well. Submitted to the family cookbook by Ruth Jukes … [Read more...]

Chex Mix | Holiday Recipes + Giveaway!


"Christmastime is here...." The Charlie Brown song has been in my head all week! The next week is going to be busy with get-togethers and visiting friends, good food and even better desserts. One of the staples at most holiday gatherings I've ever been to is Chex Mix. Did you know, though, there are so many more recipes than the traditional flavors? Bringing a special blend of Chex Mix to a party is a sure way to stand out from the crowd and get your taste buds going creatively! Recently I made Cranberry-Orange Chex Mix for some goodie bags and I thought it turned out so well! It was a perfect blend of those special holiday flavors, and it was really easy to make (although, I modified it a bit from the "official" recipe, as I don't care for almonds). There's recipes and flavor selections for nearly every taste bud and every situation, whether you're in a hurry or can take your time experimenting, you can check out all the options available at Chex.com. I also thought it might be … [Read more...]

Old El Paso’s Family Taco Night | Say “Feliz Navidad” for Dinner!

old el paso logo

Christmas Eve dinner is somewhat it's own holiday meal tradition. Some people I know enjoy soup together, and in our home we order pizza every year. What do you do for Christmas Eve dinner? If you are looking to "spice up" your holiday dinners, then may I suggest a less ordinary idea for a new tradition ~ Family Taco Night with Old El Paso! My husband has a "secret family recipe" for tacos, which I'm not able to share, but let's just say they have been called the taco version of the Big Mac. Part of the "special sauce" for these tacos is taco seasoning, and Old El Paso taco seasoning works perfectly! We love it when Michael makes these for us and I really think it doesn't happen often enough (hint, hint)! I will share, though, my personal favorite Mexican-inspired recipe - which is perfect for busy families because it's a crock-pot recipe! It is so easy and so yummy! TEX-MEX SLOW COOKER CHICKEN 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-wide … [Read more...]

A Simple, Yet Fancy, Recipe with Mrs. Dash

Mrs Dash

Many years ago I worked at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast in downtown Sacramento. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I learned so much from my time there. Working there introduced me a whole new world of food. We hosted tea parties there once a month, and were often asked to cater events, in addition to providing breakfast and evening snacks for our guests. We made foods and served foods that I didn’t grow up eating - these were fancy foods, if you know what I mean! One of my favorite shifts to work at the B&B was at the afternoon teas. There was so much good food, and sometimes there were leftovers for me to take home ;) I remember one in particular tea party where for one of the courses we served, among other things, turkey breast tea sandwiches. One of our larger groups raved about them and asked what the special ingredient was. I wasn’t privvy to that “insider” information, so I went and asked the Innkeeper to come out and talk with them about what made … [Read more...]