September 20, 2016

Oodles of Fun

I just had an Oodles of Fun Cupcake Party thanks to #tryazon and #oodletip!   We celebrated my nephew's birthday this past weekend and I received a wonderful box of goodies filled with Sweet Creations by Good Cook.  In the box were cupcake dividers, cupcake stand, cupcake corers, cupcake batter scoops, cupcake papers, cupcake boxes and oodle tip decorating bags.  They even were generous enough to include a gift card to buy extra decorating products.  I couldn't pass up the sprinkles!

I have to admit that I really do like the decorating bags. They are one piece bags that already have the tip on the bag.  All you have to do is fill the bag, snip the tip to desired level and decorate.  The tip is designed to include many shapes like a giant swirl, a star swirl, a rosette and even writing.  You just snip to the level that will create these designs and away you go.  It literally takes minutes to decorate your batch of cupcakes, and you can do it with one bag.  The bags are twelve inches so they can hold quite a bit of frosting.  The best part is that these bags are disposable so less mess to clean up!   While I was using my gift card at Walmart I even saw bags that come with a shell tip. They really can take your cupcakes to the next level -- they will look professionally decorated!

As a side note, I really love the cupcake stand and cupcake boxes too.  The cupcake stand folds up flat so it is easy to store and adds a nice element to a party and the boxes are adorable.

For more information check out their site at or you can watch a video here:

September 17, 2016

Blount Organic Soup

Blount Organic Soup

Through Tryazon and Blount Soup I was able to try their gourmet soups.  I brought six samples along with me to my book club.  They included Savory Harvest Bisque, Broccoli Cheddar, Ancient Grain Minestrone, Coconut Lentil, Vegetarian Chili and Tomato Bisque. Some of the comments included that they liked the texture of all the soups and that they love that it is organic.  However, everyone said that they were too pricey.  My store sold them for $5.99 for a 16 oz. size.  They are convenient as you can microwave them right in the container and the upper rim does not get hot so it was nice to not get toasty fingers!  Everyone agreed that the Tomato Bisque was not good at all.  However, the Savory Harvest Bisque was a favorite followed by the Broccoli Cheddar and Coconut Lentil.  Not all stores sell these products so be sure to check online to see where they are sold in your area.


May 26, 2016

Daily Deal

Would you like to try a sample of Green Mountain coffee?  Well, then click on this link for a free k-cup sample:

May 5, 2016

Veggie Burritos

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would share this family favorite recipe!  Buen apetito!

Veggie Burritos

1 Tablespoon olive oil
Veggie Burritos
1 onion, sliced thin
1 carrot, sliced into thin slivers
1 green pepper, sliced thin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced*
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1 cup canned corn, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 1/4 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup Mexican cheese
shredded lettuce
8 flour tortillas for burritos

Cook onion, carrot and green pepper in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add jalapeno pepper, mushrooms, corn, garlic, cilantro, oregano, salt, lime juice and rice.  Cook until heated through.  Add cheese and cook until melted.

Warm up tortillas per package directions.  Add an 1/8 of the mixture down center of tortilla, sprinkle with shredded lettuce and roll up.  Repeat with other tortillas.

Servings:  8 tortillas

*Be careful when cutting up the jalapeno pepper.  Do not touch the seeds (unless you're wearing gloves) as they will irritate your skin.

April 26, 2016

Games and Puzzles

Which Flour Doesn't Belong

I thought it might fun to test your knowledge about all the different types of flour there are.  I never even knew some of these existed!  Below are three groups of flours.  Tell me which one in each group doesn't belong.   Answers are listed below!


Sweet Potato




Tomato, Sorrel, Beet and Parsnip are not flours.  All others are!

April 24, 2016

Tip of the Day

If you want to make sure there are no weevils or insect eggs in your flour, freeze it for 48 hours before storing.  This will kill any of them already in flour.

Do not store your all-purpose flour near food or products with strong odors such as onions or soap powder.  Instead store in a container with a tight fitting lid in a cool, dry dark area.  If stored properly it will keep 10 - 15 months.  Whole Wheat flour will keep for 3 months.

You can store your all-purpose flour in the refrigerator and it will keep 24 months.

You can freeze your flour.  Repackage it in an airtight, moisture-proof container or bag and store in freezer at 0 degrees F.  It will keep for several years.  Whole wheat flour, on the other hand, will keep for 6 months.

April 22, 2016

Did You Know. . .

that the way that flour is made is by grinding and sifting grains (or other foodstuffs) especially wheat?  Other examples of grains that are used to make flour include barley, rye, corn, rice and buckwheat.  Other foodstuffs include cassava, soybeans, bananas, potatoes, acorns, amaranth and mesquite.

that grinding stones from Russia, Italy and the Czech Republic were found to have been embedded with starch grains which suggests that people 30,000 years ago processed roots from ferns and cattails into flour?

that in 1818 on this date that Cadwallader C. Washburn was born in Livermore, Maine (he died on May 15, 1882)?  In 1866, he built a flour mill at St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota and his Washburn-Crosby Co. (forerunner of General Mills) would market Gold Medal flour. Click on this link to see a 1951 Gold Medal Flour TV commercial!

November 24, 2015

Butterscotch Pudding Dessert

I know many of you are in the process of planning your menus for Thanksgiving (among a whole list of other things like cleaning, ironing the tablecloth, etc.!).  Well, I think this dessert would be a great one to serve for this holiday meal.  It's a little easier to make than a pie but with the same taste of a pie.

Butterscotch Pudding Dessert

2 sticks butter (half pound)
2 cups flour
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

3 cups cold milk
2 pkgs. (4-serving size) instant butterscotch pudding & pie filling
12 oz. Cool Whip (the large size)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt butter.  Mix flour and powdered sugar together. Pour butter over flour mixture and stir until combined.  Press into a 9 x 13" pan.  Bake 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Beat milk and pudding mixes with whisk until blended.  Spread 1 1/2 cups onto bottom of crust.  Add 1 cup cool whip to rest of pudding mix.  Spread over pudding layer.  Top with remaining cool whip.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Butterscotch Pudding Dessert

November 1, 2015

Autumn Trail Mix

Autumn Trail Mix

I just put this trail mix together this morning and thought it was a great combination.  You can put more or less of the ingredients depending on your tastes.  Also try it with other cereals like Chex or Honey Nut Cheerios.  I just used what I had on hand.

Autumn Trail Mix

10 oz. bag of Salted Caramel Sweet & Salty Pretzels*
11.1 oz. Cashews (halves & pieces)
1 to 1 1/2 cups Cheerios
1 cup Candy Corn

Just mix it all together. . . how easy is that?!!

Servings:  about 8 cups

*I used Synder's of Hanover brand

October 11, 2015

Product Review

Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls

Do you love cinnamon rolls but don't have the time, knowledge or the energy to make them yourself?  Well, let me tell you about a new product from Rhodes.  They now make microwaveable cinnamon rolls that take a minute to make!  Just plop one on a microwaveable plate, heat on high for 60 seconds and then drizzle the cream cheese frosting on.  That's it!  And what's nice about this is that you can make one and save the others for another time because all the cream cheese frosting packets are individual ones.  It's that easy!  Plus they taste good too!  I like that they are a generous size and so convenient to satisfy that sweet craving.

Note:  Through Tryazon I was able to try them for free.  #tryazon  #rhodesbread

June 19, 2015

Product Review

Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurt

Not too long ago I was able to try Muller's Dessert Inspired Strawberry Cheesecake yogurt for free through Bzz.  It was actually quite good.  There was a small flavor of cheesecake mixed up with some strawberry swirls and then topped with a graham crumble crunch.  I liked that there was no high fructose corn syrup or artificial preservatives, flavors or sweeteners and that it was filled with protein and calcium which is, of course, good for you.  The portion is not very big but it is enough to fill that craving for something sweet along with the added healthier bonus.  There are other flavors to choose from and they include Raspberry Brownie Supreme, Dulce de Leche Delight and Peach Cobbler.   Krogers and its affiliates do sell them for around $1.39 each.  Here is a coupon if you would like to give them a try:  coupon

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May 16, 2015

Product Review

Red Baron Brick Oven-Style Pizza

I just tried out the new Red Baron® Brick Oven-Style Pepperoni pizza for free, thanks to Red Baron brand &  I expected it to taste just like most other frozen pizzas but my family really liked this one.  The texture of the crust was not too rubbery and not too hard like some cardboard tasting brands.  The flavor of the sauce was good.  However, I did need to blot some of the grease from the pepperoni (have you ever done that?!).  The price was reasonable as well (mine cost $3.50) so for a quick lunch or snack you may want to try this brand.  The one disappointment I have is that at this time was that there was not a lot of varieties.  My store only had the trio cheese and the pepperoni variety.  According to Red Baron's site there is also Meat Trio and Sausage Supreme.  I think a spinach and mushroom or other veggie type variety would be a great addition.  If you decide to see if this pizza will be "love at first bite", let me know!

"Love at First Bite" Commercial

April 30, 2015

Bean Fajita Tacos

As I'm sure you're aware of, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner so I thought I would share this recipe with you.  I love, love, love this one -- it's so simple, so easy, so fast and so yummy.  It's also a good one where you can substitute ingredients that you  and your family like.  The added bonus is that it's healthy for you. . . shh, just don't tell the kids!

Bean Fajita Tacos
Bean Fajita Tacos

1 large green pepper (or orange or yellow or red), sliced and halved
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained (I used original)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cilantro
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tacos
Mexican cheese
Toppings such as guacamole or sour cream, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 13" pan.  Add peppers, onion, tomatoes and beans to pan and mix.  In small bowl, mix oil, chili powder, cilantro, oregano, garlic powder and salt.  Drizzle over vegetables.  Stir.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender (do not cover).  Spoon into taco shells and sprinkle on the cheese. Serve with guacamole or sour cream if desired.

Servings:  8 tacos

April 28, 2015

Let's Talk

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between caramel and butterscotch?  Well, I never knew the answer until I did some research.

The difference has to do with the sugar.  Caramel is made using granulated sugar (somtimes it's cooked along with milk and or/cream, butter and sometimes vanilla).  Whereas, butterscotch is made with brown sugar and has more butter than caramel.

And for those you may be wondering where toffee fits in. . . here is your answer.  Toffee is actually butterscotch but it is cooked to the hard crack stage.

April 22, 2015

Did You Know

that the word "caramel" comes from the Spanish language?  It is believed that caramelo actually referred to caramelized sugar and not the chewy candy that we associate with today.

that the first time that "caramel" is used in the English language was in 1725?

that caramel is made when you slowly boil sugar?  As the sugar cooks it begins to break down and turn into a dark, amber liquid. 

that soft caramel was invented in the United States?

that the difference between making hard caramel vs. soft caramel has to do with temperature?  Soft caramel is cooked to 245 degrees F.  Whereas, hard caramel is cooked to 290 degrees F.

that Milton Hershey actually began making caramels before he started making his famous chocolate?