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.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ann Romney's M&M Cookies

In keeping with the election spirit and my "foodie" personality (along with my love for cookies) decided to try out Ann Romney's cookie recipe she submitted for the Presidential Cookie Contest.  The kids were a little skeptical when I said the words "gluten free" which I explained meant no flour in this case.  They quickly got over the scare and ate them up!! My son even hid what was left the next morning! I took a few to work and they loved them also. These cookies were soft and yummy!
Ann Romney's M&M's Cookies 
Makes 3 dozen cookies 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 
1-1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter 
1 tablespoon light corn syrup 
3 eggs 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
4-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
6 ounces chocolate chips 
2/3 cup M&M's candies (I used 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
In a large bowl, cream sugars, butter, peanut butter, and corn syrup with an electric mix until well combined. 
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. 
In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda. Stir oat mixture into peanut butter mixture until combined, then mix in chocolate chips and M&M's. 
Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets.
 Bake at 325 degrees for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.  (I used my cookie scoop and baked for 12-14 minutes)
 Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
These were delicious, but personally in a contest against Laura Bush's Texas Cowboy Cookies, I would of chosen the Cowboy Cookies.  Now to get the ingredients and try Michelle Obama's cookies out!
Then let the real voting begin (on cookies)!!


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