Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

We received a plate full of goodies the other day at work and on that plate were some yummy looking pretzel things.  Unfortunately I did not get to try one, but was left intrigued.  So you know me I had to attempt to create it.  They turned out delicious!! Perfect blend of salt and sweet.  Also great for people like me who are in need of a quick treat to make for this Christmas season.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites
small pretzels
Hershey Kisses, Caramel Filled, Hugs or caramel filled Dove chocolates

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Line your pretzels on a baking sheet.  Top with the chocolate.
Place in the oven for 4-6 minutes.  Just long enough for the chocolate to melt a bit.
Remove from oven and quickly push an M&M in the center of each chocolate.

(We used the caramel Kisses on these)
 Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow them to set up.
(Caramel filled Dove Chocolates on these.)
*Taste on both the Kisses and the Dove chocolates were the same, but the Dove were easier to push the M&M into and the caramel stayed inside.
Remove and enjoy or giveaway to someone!!
Paired with some Caramel Popcorn Puffs.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pear Crisp

I was so excited to get my hands on a box of pears.  I canned most of them, but ran out of clean bottles so I needed to find something else to do with the small amount I had left and this is what I found! It was delicious and a nice change from the usual apple crisp.

Pear Crisp
from the Pioneer Woman
4 -5 whole Pears
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Topping Ingredients
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans very finely chopped (I left these out due to allergies)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core, and dice pears. Place into a bowl and stir together with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir together. Drizzle melted butter gradually, stirring with a fork as you go until all combined.
Pour pears into a baking dish;
 Top with crumb topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Place pan on top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Yum!! Sounds delicious on this cold day!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Few of My Christmas Faves

WOW!! Christmas day is coming really fast this year.  I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite Christmas recipes.  They make great gifts and a great splurge!! **Watch out a few are addicting!!
Most adorable..
Delicious and addicting...

A few yummy easy gifts...
Just a few quick ideas! Now I want to start baking something fun!!
Happy cooking!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sour Cream Apple Pie

If you remember at Thanksgiving I was looking for a new apple pie to try out.  Well after a friend suggested a sour cream apple pie I went on a hunt for a great recipe.  This is it and it is a keeper.  It was the favorite pie of the day. The combination of flavors is delicious!!  Too bad I forgot to get a piece of it topped with vanilla ice cream though! 
Sour Cream Apple Pie
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups diced apples, peeled
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Beat sour cream and egg together.  Add flour, sugar, salt and vanilla.  Mix until smooth. Stir in apples. Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Mix the crumb topping ingredients until crumbly.
Remove pie from oven and spread with crumb topping.
You may want to shield the edges at this point.  Bake 20 more minutes.
Enjoy with some ice cream or whipped cream on top!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crockpot BBQ Bacon Wrapped Apple Chicken

This is one of those meals that is so simple and easy.  Great for those busy days.  The combinations of flavors was amazing.  Everyone loved it! No leftovers..
Crockpot BBQ Bacon Wrapped Apple Chicken
from Chef In Training
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 8 chicken tenders)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice fresh or from a bottle
5 small apples peeled and chopped
8 slices bacon

In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and peeled/chopped apples.
Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon (or 1 piece around each tender) and place in a greased slow cooker.
Pour BBQ-apple mixture over chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is done.
It really was delicious! The whole family loved it!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giveaway of Warner Brother's New Movie "Thunderstruck "

Warner Bros. is proud to announce the release of Thunderstruck on DVD and Blu-ray December 4th 2012, along with the Thunderstruck Blog App!

This app has some really fun features;
  • Free-Throw Challenge Game! Are you up for a Free-Throw Challenge? Show us your skills! Make as many baskets as you can and unlock special clips along the way! 
  • 7 Thunder-ific Tips for Kids! Does your kid dream of going pro? Use these awesome tips to help them sharpen up their skills! “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”- Kevin Durant.

NBA superstar Kevin Durant plays himself in this action-packed family film about a basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian (Taylor Gray) magically switches basketball skills with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high school team... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life! But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner means working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season.
Sounds like a great family movie!!
Now for the exciting part..
One lucky reader will win a copy of this movie!!
To enter follow the directions below." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I'm sorry I've been having trouble with the form to enter the giveaway.  Just leave me a comment telling me your favorite sports movie to enter.
Good Luck!!

Disclosure: Warner Bros. supplied the information, blog app and giveaway.  All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Thanksgiving Menu

I finally sat down (I had to while waiting at the tire store) and got my Thanksgiving menu put together.  This year I am keeping is pretty simple since it will just be my little family I am feeding. First off I would like to tell all of you who read my blog I am so thankful for you! Thanks for allowing me to share my love and my craziness with you!!  Hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

2012 Thanksgiving Menu

Turkey (will cook in the oven, but will use this recipe)
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Fresh Vegetable Tray with Ranch and Dill Dip
Grandma's Rolls
Broccoli Salad
Crab Salad
Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie
Apple Pie - I am in need of a good recipe...hint hint!!
Cheesecake (not sure what kind yet debating trying a pumpkin cheesecake.)
Ok so I am still wavering on a few items!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

This was one of those recipes that is so delicious you can hardly believe it is so simple to make! The whole family loved it.  I will be putting it on the family favorite list!!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes
from Hidden Valley Ranch Packet
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered (I used Russet potatoes and diced them into bite sized pieces)

Place potatoes in a gallon-size food Storage Bag and add oil; seal bag. Toss to coat. Add salad dressing mix and toss again until coated.

Bake in ungreased baking pan at 450°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are brown and crisp.
Oh YUM!! I'm craving some right now!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Del Monte "Add Some Garden" Contest and Giveaway!

I love having canned fruit and vegetable on hand.  They make quick easy side dishes and are awesome to just be able to open and add to a recipe.  Del Monte has a great variety of canned fruits and vegetables.  It is a name brand you can trust to taste delicious!
 Cut Green Beans
Whether I use Del Monte green beans to make:
        Mom's Shepherd's Pie
Whole Kernel Corn
Or a can of Del Monte Corn to make:
Or many other ways I use their products.  I love the fact that I can count on Del Monte to provide not only a quick help to any meal but:
·         Del Monte canned fruits, vegetables, and tomatoes contain the same essential nutrients as fresh varieties
·         Del Monte fruits and vegetables are grown in the best growing regions of the United States, providing consumers with a consistently quality product
·         The majority of Del Monte products are picked at the peak of ripeness and canned on the same day, to ensure nutrients and flavor are locked in.
It helps make meal planning much easier and takes some stress off!!

Right now Del Monte is having a fun contest:
·         Visit the Del Monte Facebook page from November 5th through February 4th to enter the Del Monte “Add Some Garden” contest for the chance to win one of the many prizes available, including kitchen appliances, and $25 or $500 gift cards to Williams Sonoma
·         There will be five phases during the contest in which Del Monte will feature a different canned variety every two weeks
o   Green beans (November 5- November 18)
o   Corn (November 19- December 2)
o   Tomatoes (December 3- December 16)
o   Peaches (January 7- January 20)
o   Pears (January 21- February 3)
·         Fans will have five days during each phase to submit their best tips, and consumers will be able to vote for their favorite tip during the second week of each phase
·         The five winning tips for each phase will then go head-to-head for a chance to win a Grand Prize culinary travel adventure, valued at $10,000, which will be announced February 15th

Now for the exciting part Del Monte has provided a great gift package to one lucky reader to help you get started entering the contest.  The winner will receive:
·         Five (5) Del Monte canned varieties- Green Beans (1), Corn (1), Diced Tomatoes (1), Peaches (1), and Pears (1)
·         $25 Visa gift card
To enter follow the directions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck,

The Del Monte product, information, and two gift packs have been provided by Del Monte.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Armadillo Potatoes

  Growing up in Idaho, the potato harvest is such a big deal we always got 2 weeks off of school for it.  Once you were old enough you worked in the potato harvest, which was hard, dirty and often boring work, but it provided a great paycheck!! I have been on a potato craze lately.  Maybe I am missing the potato harvest time..who knows!  But just a warning there will be a few potato posts in the near future. These potatoes where delicious and fairly simple to make.  Who cannot like the name!!
Armadillo Potatoes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash the desired amount of potatoes.
Cut them in slices being careful not to cut all the way though, you want the bottom still intact.
Brush with melted butter or olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
*Use any seasoning you like on potatoes.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. 
I drizzled a little more butter on them about half way through the cooking process.
It was a good way to get the kids to eat the skin and all!
Some of my family dipped the slices in Ranch, others in ketchup and some just ate them plain.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day and a Cookie Failure!

Happy Election day!! Hopefully by the end of today we will know who our next president will be.  I am excited that today will end the negative ads everywhere. In honor of the big election I have told you these past couple weeks that I was on a mission to try the presidential cookie bake off recipes out.  I succeeded in the trying part. I successfully made Laura Bush's Texas Cowboy Cookies (just for old time sake and they sounded delicious.), Ann Romney's M&M Cookies and finally found the mint chips to make Michelle Obama's Mama Kaye's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies .  That is where unfortunately the success ended.  For this is what they looked like:
Trust me they look better than they tasted.  
Now for the confession...I'm sure it wasn't the recipe it was the person who made the recipe's fault.  
The recipe calls for one stick of  butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening, which I personally do not like to use.  So thinking I'm smart thought I could just substitute real butter in it's place..WRONG!!
Obviously the butter flavored solid vegetable shortening makes all the difference.  
I'm considering this an learning experience and my kids loved the Andes mint pieces.  Although they told me I should of just let them eat them out of the package.   So FACT is my attempt at recreating the presidential cookie bake off and letting my family decide which was the winner FAILED!! 
The bright side is perhaps in four years I will get the chance to take up the challenge again!
For today I will enjoy my freedom to cast my own ballot! 
Don't forget to vote!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall Back to Fitness with ChapStick and a Giveaway!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out some of ChapStick's newest products.

ChapStick® Sport Ready
Designed with the Active consumer in mind, ChapStick® Sport Ready offers advanced, on-the-go hydration fit for any adventure. The perfect accessory for people on-the-move, ChapStick® Sport Ready has a clip top that keeps your ChapStick® right at your fingertipsSure to be the perfect partner for any game under the sun … or on the slopes, ChapStick® Sport Ready has you covered with broad spectrum SPF 30 and water-resistant protection for up to 80 minutes!

I have always wanted to test my self with running and have recently started up..very slowly.  It is more like a "wog"!!  Anyway, I found this Chapstick perfect.  I can apply it before I go exercise and it lasts the entire time. Having moisturized lips is a huge ordeal to me.  It drives me crazy if they are not so I am constantly applying it. The great thing with the Active Sport Ready ChapStick is you don't have to constantly be applying it.  You can feel it working.  My girls loved the scent.  They said, "Yum it reminds me of Skittles."   Definitely in love with this product!!

 *ChapStick® Sport Ready is part of the exclusive Active line, which also includes ChapStick® LipShield 365 and ChapStick® Ultra® 30.

ChapStick® Raspberry Crème
Satisfy a thirsty pout with new mouthwatering ChapStick® Raspberry Crème – made with 10 moisturizing ingredients and a luscious fruity flavor, lips will be left feeling soft and silky. ChapStick® Raspberry Crème delivers fruity hydration to your lips with ingredients like Aloe and Vitamin E and contains SPF 15 to protect from the sun’s UVB rays.

Now this new flavor is so good.  It will hook you with first smell and keep you hooked when you apply and feel how easily it glides on and feels on your lips.  My middle daughter is a "lip balm snob" she has only liked one brand for years and that is all she will wear....WELL that was until she tried this and since taken it over as her own.  She is hooked!!

Fact is we loved these ChapSticks and will now look for them first when we go to buy something for our lips.  Love that it protects, nourishes and smells delicious!! 

Now the really exciting news...Drumroll please........
One lucky reader will win this great Fall Back to Fitness with Chapstick prize package and get to try it out for themselves.

Your ChapStick® gift(s) will contain:
 ChapStick® Sport Ready, ChapStick® Raspberry Crème, cosmetic case and exclusive ChapStick® Towel

To enter follow the directions below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck! Let's get moisturized healthy lips!!
Disclosure: “The ChapStick® product, information and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.”


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