Everyday Mom's Meals: May 2014

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

One of our favorite things is to make tacos. And the more variety the better; when I went to the cabinet one day to look for a taco seasoning I was disappointed to see that I was out and hadn't noticed on my last shopping trip. So I looked up a recipe and found a few ways to tweak the combination. New tacos were born this evening; I hope you love them as much as we did.

Chipotle Turkey Soft Tacos
1 tbs. olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
3 tbs. chipotle taco seasoning –recipe below
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tbs. dried chopped onion
¼ c. water
3 c. shredded cabbage
8 medium sized tortillas (8 inch)
 2 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend (optional)
 Sour cream (optional)
 Hot sauce (optional)

In a medium pan add ground turkey, dried onion and chipotle taco seasoning. Cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Drain if needed. Add chopped tomatoes and water. Cook until tomatoes have softened and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat. Add tortillas to freezer bag and microwave for 20-30 sec. to warm through. Carefully remove from microwave and then from freezer bag to a plate.  Add ¼ cup of meat mixture to the tortilla. Top with cheese and cabbage. And sour cream, and hot sauce if desired. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Enjoy!

Chipotle Taco Seasoning 
1 tbs. chipotle powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. paprika
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all seasonings together. Mix to combine. Store in an airtight container, and use in your favorite taco or dip recipe.


Meal Plan June 1-6

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
Grilled Cubed Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms*
Orchard Salad*
Dinner Rolls

Monday
Bratwurst
Garden Macaroni Salad*
Corn on the Cob

Tuesday From Previous Menu
Pork Chops
Stuffing
Applesauce
Baked Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday
Barbecued Chicken
Wild Rice Casserole*
Green Beans

Thursday
Eggs
Sausage Links
Hashbrown Cakes
Toast

Friday
Sliced Peaches



Friday, May 30, 2014

Grilling and Campfire Cooking Day 2 {A Review and Giveaway}

Welcome to the second day of celebrating Gooseberry Patch's newest cookbook, Grilling and Campfire Cooking

Just in time for supper the great folks at GP have rounded up some fantastic, absolutely delicious, and most importantly, simple recipes from across the country perfect for your next backyard barbecue or weekend camping trip.

When I first saw this recipe I was instantly intrigued. One, we are huge berry lovers, and I knew this would be perfect for when U-pick season is finally upon us. (For the record, we've only got another week to go...not that I'm counting the days or anything...) Two, I make a Sweet Grape Salad that has a brown sugar topping, which is to die for, so I know just how well is marries with fruit!

This is the perfect summertime dessert. So sweet, so delicious and quick to make on a busy day, or when guests drop by and you want to treat them. Fresh fruit, a creamy sauce and an almost candy like topping... do I have you drooling yet?? 

If you didn't see the first recipe I posted from this book, be sure to check it out here. Not to mention there is a chance to win a copy of Grilling and Campfire Cooking for yourself! Or with Father's Day just around the corner, if you have a male foodie in your life, it would make a great gift too! 

Strawberry Gratin
Found on page 204 Contributed by Lisa Kastning Marysville, WA
8 c. strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 1/2 c. sour cream
2 TBS half-and-half
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, packed
Optional: ice cream, pound cake

Place berries in a an ungreased 9x13 baking pan. In a bowl, whisk together sour cream, half-and-half, and salt. Spoon evenly over berries. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil until brown sugar has melted and is lightly golden. Serve as is, or spooned over ice cream or slices of pound cake. *NOTE* Shown here served in dessert cups found in produce section next to strawberries and topped with whipped cream.



 


Shared on The Country Cook May 30, 2014
Strawberries at Very Good Recipes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Grilling and Campfire Cooking Day 1 {A Review and Giveaway}

I'm back with yet another fantastic Gooseberry Patch cookbook for ya'll! I'm super excited to share this one. One, because it's filled with delicious recipes just in time for summer grilling and camping; and two, because I just so happen to have a couple included in this one! It gives me such great joy to know the great folks at GP love my food enough to include my recipes in their amazing publications! (If you're interested, my Kansas City Pork Chops can be found on page 10 and Mini Parmesan Corn on page 97!!) 



We love to grill. In fact, we enjoy it so much we do so year round. Yep, we're the people who have been known to throw some t-bones on the grill during a blizzard. (True story! Ask our neighbors. They were so jealous!) But I will admit, during the warm, sunny months is when I absolutely enjoy it the most. There is just something about firing up the grill that screams summer to me; and this book is full of tasty recipes to celebrate all things barbecue season. Everything from salads to main dishes to desserts and beverages, it has something for everyone. 

The first recipes I'm sharing is one I know you're just going to love. What says cookout or barbecue more than a creamy, cool, crisp, coleslaw? I have many different versions I make, but the thing that caught my eye about this one right away was the dill

I am a huge dill fan, and any time I can add it to a favorite dish, it just takes it over the top. This is so simple to make and so delicious, I know it will be a great addition to your next backyard get together! Grab the charcoal, or maybe the propane tank, and get grilling all summer long. Oh, and Gooseberry Patch is giving (1) lucky winner a change to bring this book home to your kitchen. Just scroll down below the recipe to enter!  

Snippy Snappy Coleslaw AKA Zippy Dill Coleslaw
Found on Page 173, Contributed by Brenda Mclancon McComb, MS
1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
2 TBS ranch salad dressing
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS white wine vinegar*
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dill weed, extra for garnish
1 (16 oz.) package 3-color shredded coleslaw mix

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except coleslaw mix. Whisk until smooth. Add coleslaw mix; stir until well combined. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving. *NOTE* I substituted white distilled vinegar since I have that on hand.






********Giveaway********
Rules:
1. This contest is open to US Residents 18 and older ONLY.

2. The winner will be chosen by Random.org 

3. The winner will be notified by email and Facebook. He/she will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

4. When leaving comments for entries, they MUST BE SEPARATE ones AND include an email address so it's easy for me to find the winner. If entries are together, it will only count as (1) and if no email, entry will not be considered.

5. If any of the extra entries are items you are already doing, please just remind me!


6. Contest Ends: June 10, 2014

(1) Lucky Winner will receive:
(1) copy of


Mandatory Entry:
1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite grilled meal!

Extra Entry:
1. Become a Gooseberry Patch fan on Facebook. Leave me a comment when you have. 

2.  Follow Gooseberry Patch on Twitter. Leave a comment saying you've done so.


3. Follow Gooseberry Patch on Pinterest. Leave me a comment when you have. 


GOOD LUCK!


Disclaimer: I was given a free cookbook and one to give away to a fan for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Soul Food Saturday


This year for my mother’s birthday I decided to bring the party to her. Her having to work on her birthday wasn’t going to stop the celebration or in anyway slow it down. I took it upon myself to deliver this fresh baked out of the oven coffee cake to lift her birthday spirits, and share a pick me up with others in the office. Let them eat cake, celebrate a birthday, and have coffee on a work day! Grab a big fork, a cup of your favorite coffee, and a friend. Because this is a party, and everything sweet is best shared with a friend!

Cinnamon Cranberry Coffee Cake
Package yellow cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 eggs
1 c. sour cream
½ c. vegetable oil
1 c. dried cranberries
½ c. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray 9”x13” pan with non stick butter spray. In a large bowl, add the cake mix and pudding mix, stir to combine, and remove lumps. Add the eggs, sour cream and oil. Mix until well blended. In a small bowl combine the sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Then place cranberries in a layer over the batter. Then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour the remaining batter over the top. Then finish with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Then cover top with foil sprayed with non stick spray so as not to stick to topping. It will keep the top from over browning. Bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick will come out clean, and top will be golden brown. Allow to cool 15- 20 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with coffee, or at room temperature. Either way you choose, you’ll want more than one slice.


Meal Plan May 25-30

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
We're going on a picnic!!
Ham Salad Sandwiches*
Deviled Eggs
Potato Chips
Watermelon
Veggies/Dip
Brownie Delight Cake*

Monday
We're going to a baseball game!!
Pizza
Easy Caesar Salad

Tuesday
Sloppy Potatoes
Cottage Cheese
Pickles

Wednesday (Alex's Pick)
Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese
Creamed Corn

Thursday
Grilled Pork Chops
Stuffing
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Applesauce

Friday

Baked Penne with Mushrooms & Bacon*
Bread Sticks


Friday, May 23, 2014

Stretching Your Grocery Store Budget {Indiana Family of Farmers}

Each week when Americans head to our local grocery store, we fill our carts with items on our list, we compare prices, we search for bargains, we clip coupons. All in the name of saving money. Stretching our budget. And I know so many of you are in the same boat as me...we wish our grocery budget would stretch just a little further. I notice prices going up each and every week on the items we buy the most. It's frustrating. 

But in reality, did you know we in this country spend a smaller percentage of our income on food than any other country in the world? At just under 10%, we are at the bottom of the list! And when we consider food consumed at home specifically (vs. eating out), the U.S. leads affordability with only 6.6% of American incomes going toward the grocery bill. 


I'm not going to lie. When I found out those statistics, and looked at the chart above, I was shocked. I guess you don't realize just how good you've got it, until you learn what others in this world are dealing with. Just another example of "the grass is always greener on the other side" until you learn it's not; and you just need to be thankful for the resources available to us. 

Now, while it's a fact America has one of the most affordable food supplies in the world, that doesn't mean your budget isn't any less strained. And making a food budget work in today's economy is something we can all agree is a challenge. So, in that spirit, my good friends at Indiana Family of Farmers have come up with a 4 part blog series, Affordable Food Options For Your Family, From Ours. During this series, bloggers like myself will be sharing our tips, ideas and options for your family. 

Our first challenge? How many meals can we make for $50? The guidelines? Every meal must have some form of meat protein. The plans can include breakfast, lunch and/or dinner options or all the same type of meal. Cost of pantry staples (flour, sugar, spices, etc.) do not have to be included in the $50 budget. 

I was happy to step up to the challenge. Below you will find my meal plan for $50 (for me, this means 3 dinner options), links to recipes I already have online, tips as to why I chose each one, and a brand new recipe I think you'll be very excited about!

$50 Budget Meal Plan 

Meal #1
Chips n Salsa

Meal # 2
Toast

Meal #3
Olive Garden Salad (see recipe below)

My Tips for Stretching a Grocery Budget
1. Sale Prices: When you saw a chicken dish on the menu, did you think I was crazy? Chicken can be one of the most expensive items at the grocery store. But for me it's simple. I don't buy it, unless it's on sale. Wait for those great deals. Usually at least one store around us has it on sale every week. 

2. Casseroles So, you've bought the chicken on sale, but there isn't enough in one package to feed your whole family. But wait. What if you stretch that amount by adding other ingredients and make a casserole? It's a great way to make a smaller amount of protein feed a large number of people. 

3. Make Your Own vs. Bottled That salsa recipe? It can be made for pennies on the dollar compared to buying the already jarred. Sure, it's going to take a few extra minutes, but not only does it taste better, it goes further for less money. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about paying a few extra pennies for convenience, but in this case, making my own is a win win.  

4. Breakfast for Supper In this house, traditional breakfast foods for dinner are a huge treat. And I know many families that agree with us. But besides just being delicious, it's a great way to save some money too. Foods you typically eat in the morning tend to be a little less pricey than dinner foods. Sausage vs. steak for example. Potatoes. Bread. All things that can be economical and easily feed a crowd. 

5. Freezer Beef For our family one of the biggest ways we save money is by always having a surplus of beef in our chest freezer. Sure, the initial cost of a 1/4 or 1/2 beef may be a little salty, but in the end I can tell you from first hand experience just how much money it saves you. Having beef (or other proteins) on hand reduces your weekly budget while still including your favorite meats in your diet. 

6. Buying in Season Produce can be one of the things you spend the most money on every week. Sometimes I can't believe the cost of our favorite fruits and veggies. But if I try really hard to buy at the peak of the season, not only do I get the freshest choices, but also the most economical. And when things are in season, you can also take advantage of buying from your local farmer or farmer's market, saving you even more money! 

So there you have it, my best tips on making that grocery budget stretch a little bit more. I hope something stands out as one you want to try and you can keep a few extra pennies in your wallet. But remember, no matter what we are spending each week on food in this country, so many around the world are spending so much more, for so much less, and for that we can always be grateful. 

Copycat Olive Garden Salad
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
3/4 c. black olives
3/4 c. grape tomatoes, halved
Pepperoncini Peppers
Croutons
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Dressing: 
1 c. oil and vinegar dressing
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/2 TBS dried oregano
1/2 TBS dried basil
1 TBS sugar

In a bottle or jar, place all ingredients for dressing. Shake well. Refrigerate for 24 hours before using. To make salad, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. If not serving right away, don't add croutons. Add dressing a little at a time until desired consistency. Mix well. Serve immediately. 




Shared on The Country Cook May 23, 2014

Disclaimer: As part of the Affordable Food Options For Your Family, From Ours series, I was compensated for this post. All thoughts opinions are my own. 



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Earth Fare Comes to Fort Wayne

I am so excited. We have a new store here in Fort Wayne, and it's a great addition to our community. Foodies are gathering at the doors and shoppers are crowding the aisles. That's right folks, in case you haven't heard, Earth Fare has come to our city; and I am honored to be blogging for them too! 

That's right, once per month you're going to see a recipe of mine that I purchased all of the ingredients for at Earth Fare. But before I get to the yummy dish, let me tell you a little more about this new grocery store, or at least new to us. 

Earth Fare's mission is to connect communities and improve lives through food. Their vision is to be the most trusted organic and natural food market in the country. To be a place where healthy decisions are easy, shoppers can have confidence in the food they buy, and patrons always feel welcome.  

And I can tell you from personal experience they excel at all of this! The first time you walk through the doors, you are greeted by friendly employees, beautiful food and an easy to maneuver store. 

Plus, what really sets Earth Fare apart from other stores is what their products do not contain. No products contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors/sweeteners, and synthetic growth hormones in fresh meat and dairy. Basically you can shop without having to read the labels, because they already have and you can trust you are getting the absolute best there is. 

For my first recipe I had Memorial Day and summer picnic season on the brain. And for us, neither of those are complete without a great pasta salad. But the fantastic thing about this version is that it's full of so many yummy things, it also makes a great lunch, or even light summer time supper. When the temps are so high, cooking is out of the question and you're practically melting, this is filling without being heavy. 




If you want to learn more about Earth Fare, or maybe see if you have one close to you, be sure to check them out online. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Antipasto Pasta Salad
1 lb. short cut pasta
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 (2.2 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
3 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
3 string cheese, chopped
1/4 lb. Genoa salami, chopped
3/4 c. creamy Italian dressing 
1/2 TBS dried parsley
1/2 TBS Italian seasoning 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse well with cold water. Drain well. In a large bowl combine cooled pasta, peppers, olives, tomatoes, cheese, salami, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Pour dressing over top. Stir again. Chill for at least an hour before serving. 






Shared on The Country Cook May 23, 2014

Disclaimer: I was provided with a gift card to purchase ingredients from Earth Fare. All thoughts opinions and the recipe are my own. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

No Straw Required

I am not a huge alcohol drinker. Sure, I enjoy the occasional drink now and then, but they really come few and far between. I don't enjoy wine like 99% of my friends, and there is only one or two beers I can stomach. I'm more of a "fruity drink with a an umbrella in it" kinda girl; and one of my favorites, the pina colada, was my inspiration behind this new dessert.

This was actually what I made when we celebrated Easter with my parents. With two families so close, it's great to be able to see everyone on holidays, but it also requires so logistics so we don't feel like we spend half the day in the car driving. So for the past couple years, it's been easier for us to see my parents on Good Friday and then my in-laws on Easter. It allows us to spend quality time with each side without having to leave in the middle of the fun.

My mom was taking care of the main course (her famous beef n noodles) and side dish (her also famous coleslaw) so I volunteered to make dessert. But before we were headed out there in the late afternoon, I had a busy day with my little man planned. He was home from school, we had eggs to dye and other fun things to do. Needless to say I didn't want to be in the kitchen for most of it.

Luckily, this cake almost makes itself. Almost. Seriously though, if you can stir and pour, you can do this. Plus, it is prepared in a couple separate steps, so while it cools, you can be doing other things too. It is so moist, so sweet and bursting with those pina colada flavors I love so much. It's perfect for warm weather too, because it's delicious while still being light.

If you're looking for a sweet treat for your Memorial Day cookout, keep this one in mind. Your guests can enjoy some libation flavors with no straw required!

Pina Colada Cake
1 box angel food cake mix*
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut, divided


Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine cake mix and pineapple with juice. Mix well. Pour into an ungreased 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack completely. When cool, sprinkle cake with 1/2 cup coconut. In a small skillet over low heat, toast other 3/4 cup coconut until browned on edges. Top cake with Cool Whip over coconut layer. Sprinkle top with toasted coconut. Chill until serving. Refrigerate leftovers. *NOTE* You will NOT add the other ingredients the cake mix calls for.






Shared on The Country Cook May 23, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

You know the days that you’re so busy the planning of dinner takes a back seat? With thoughts somewhere in your head that you know you have a box of something that will be a quick fix? Today happened to be one of those days. Then low and behold I found that “quick fix” box, but to the irony I find I am missing the main ingredient. So, in comes the whole new idea.
 
 
Jambalaya with a Twist
1 pound hot sausage links 
1 pound imitation crab meat-flaked
3 tsp. cumin
1 family pack chicken fried rice -2 seasoning and 2 rice pouches
2¾ c. Hot water
 
In a large skillet cook sausage to package directions. After sausage is fully cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Add hot water, seasoning pack, cumin and rice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 20-25 minutes or until rice is completely cooked and water has absorbed. Stir occasionally. Slice sausage on a bias, and flake crab meat. In the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in sausage and crab meat. When done, rice will be tender, sausage and crab meat will be warmed through.


Meal Plan May 18-23

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on blog
^Recipes being re-blogged


Sunday
Grilled Lemon Lime Chicken*
Corn on the Cob
Watermelon

Monday
Green Beans
Sliced Peaches

Tuesday
Garden Pea Salad^
Sliced Beets

Wednesday
Biscuits n Gravy
Scrambled Eggs

Thursday
Soft Tacos
Chips n Salsa

Friday
Hot Dogs
French Fries



Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring Had Sprung...Or So We Thought

April in Indiana is an odd thing. One day it can be cold as can be, and the next is will be hotter than you know what. One day it can be sunny and beautiful, and the next you might need your winter coat. This year, we actually had to use the snow shovel in April, while last year we had one of the hottest on record with temps reaching 90 degrees. So when "spring time" comes to the Hoosier state, we are never quite sure what to expect.

I give you this meteorology lesson because the weather, or should I say the fickle weather, is the #1 reason why you are getting this recipe today. See, I wanted to grill. Sure, we grill all year long, but when it is really cold, only Mr. Everyday ventures outside to get it done. This mama grills, but the temperatures have to be above freezing, no rain, and preferable sunny. 

I had gotten a great deal on some bone in chicken thighs at the grocery store and I was going to grill them. I had been craving something charred from the grill for weeks. When I made my menu plan, it was 60 and sunny. I guess I didn't realize I needed to consult weather.com when planning meals as well. But by the time the day came to grill said chicken thighs, it was windy, rainy and the thermometer was struggling to get higher than 45. Plus, it just so happened to be a night when the hubby wasn't home to grill; and this girl wasn't standing outside in that no matter how hungry I was for grilled chicken!

So I regrouped; and you are going to be so happy I did! When you see the photo of this chicken, you're never going to believe it was cooked in the oven, but I promise you it was! I'm sure these would be just as delicious on the grill, but on those days when that just isn't possible, here is a simple dinner idea that takes almost no time at all to prep and the oven does all the work. They are crispy on the outside, but the juices will run out! Tender and bursting with flavor...absolutely delicious. And if you're like me a crave all things lemon during the summer months, these will become a go-to classic! 

Sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate with my dinner plans. That's okay though because staying quick on my feet is what makes me a better cook. Plus, those weather debacles lead to new yummy things for me to share with you, so it's a win win! 

Oven Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken
7 bone in chicken thighs, or your favorite cut
Juice of 2 lemons, divided
2 TBS olive oil
1-2 TBS lemon pepper seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay a wire rack on a large cookie sheet. (I actually had to use 2 small ones.) Spray racks and cookie sheet with non-stick spray. In a small bowl whisk together juice of 1 lemon and olive oil. Brush chicken pieces, on both sides, with oil mixture. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning, salt, pepper and parsley. Lay on wire racks, skin side up. Roast for 30 minutes. Lower temp to 375 and roast for an additional 30 minutes or until juices run clear. As soon as you remove from oven, Pour extra lemon juice down over chicken before serving.


Shared on The Country Cook May 16, 2014

Chicken at Very Good Recipes



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celebrate Berry Season With New Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy {A Review}

Are you as excited about berry season almost upon us as I am? Okay, I realize for some of you it's already here, but for us, we've still got about 3 weeks to go, and I am counting the days! One of our favorite summer time activities is visiting our local U Pick farm and coming home with pounds upon pounds of yummy berries. And now we've got a whole new way to enjoy them with a great recipe from  Honey Bunches of Oats


Their original recipe features New Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Cinnamon Crunch, giving it an extra boost of protein, fiber and whole grain. The added combination of nutrition helps to deliver a healthy breakfast option the whole family will love. The cinnamon breakfast squares, made with the cereal, are perfect for topping with Greek yogurt and freshly picked berries for an even greater boost of protein to keep the whole family full. The fresh berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and are a great way to step into spring! 

These make the perfect breakfast for a busy summer morning, or even a simple snack or dessert later in the day! The flavor of the cereal goes so well with the yogurt and berries. It's so refreshing and gives you the energy you need for a full day. 

Cinnamon Breakfast Squares with Yogurt & Berries
1 c. Honey Bunches of Oats Cinnamon Crunch cereal
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, extra for garnish
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 TBS butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (6 oz.) container Greek yogurt
3 c. fresh berries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
Honey for drizzling

Preheat oven to 425. Grease an 8-inch square pan. In a large bowl combine cereal, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. While stirring, slightly crush the cereal with back of spoon. In another bowl beat eggs. Add milk, melted butter and vanilla. Mix well. Combine with flour mixture. Pour batter (it will be thin) into prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes until set when slightly touched in the middle. Remove and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. To serve cut into 6 equal sized bars. Top each with Greek yogurt and berries. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon.




Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample in exchange for this feature. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Springtime Snack with Peanut Butter & Co. {A Giveaway}

I don't know how it is in your house, but when the temps start to rise, and we are spending more and more time outdoors, our appetites begin to rise with them. I guess we're so busy and doing so many fun activities outside, instead of sitting inside avoiding the cold of winter, we burn more calories and need to refuel more often. 

And then when summer vacation arrives (In this house, that's in 17 days...not that I'm counting or anything!) it takes me a few days to remember I'm responsible for feeding this little person lunch every.single.day. until school starts again! Not to mention snacks while he is enjoying time outside, or while we are on the go doing all the things we love to during summer. 

Needless to say, easy, effortless, yummy snacks are a must in this house! They have to be something you can eat with your hands, no matter what you're doing, and they need to give us the energy we need to suck every last drop of fun out of summer we can! 

That's exactly what I had in mind when I created these using my buddy's Peanut Butter & Co's The Bees Knees Peanut Butter! My son loves the flavor of peanut butter and honey. In fact, during the school year, it's one of his favorite sandwiches for me to pack in his lunch. So when I remembered a friend telling me about these no bake peanut butter balls she makes for snacks after her trip to the gym, I knew this peanut butter would be perfect in them! 

If you love peanut butter, you're going to flip for these. If you love no bake sweets, you're going to flip for these. If you love coconut, you're going to flip for these. (Oh, and if you don't, you can easily roll them in something else. Chopped nuts perhaps!) These are so easy, even the kids can get in the kitchen and help make them. Yet another thing we love to do during summer vacation...usually on rainy days! 

The summer months are just around the corner, and your family is going to need extra energy to stay ahead of the sun. So be sure to make a big batch of these for them to nibble on while around the pool, enjoying a ball game, having a picnic, whatever summer means to you. Oh, and Peanut Butter & Co. wants to send (1) lucky winner 2 jars of The Bee's Knees to try in your kitchen! Just scroll down for the giveaway!! 

No Bake Peanut Butter Coconut Balls 
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. Peanut Butter & Co. Bee's Knees Honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 pinches salt
1/3 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Place oats in a food processor and pulse until very fine. (Think flour consistency) In a large bowl add ground oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Stir well. Using a cookie scoop, form balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Roll in coconut. Place in fridge for 1 hour to set. Refrigerate leftovers.


Shared on The Country Cook May 16, 2014


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Power Up Your Kids With Dannon® {A Review}

If your kids are like mine, they are counting down the days until summer vacation. Okay, I can't lie...I'm counting too! I love having my favorite little man home with me every day, all day, all summer long. But here is the only downside I have. Finding things to feed the little guy! We're talking 3 meals per day and snacks in between. And of course I want to make sure whatever I give him will give him fuel for all our favorite summer time activities. That is where Dannon® and their new Danimals® Superstars Greek Yogurt come in! 


Made specifically to appeal to the unique taste preferences of kids and nutrition expectations of moms, Danimals® SuperStars further exemplifies Dannon’s commitment to making more nutrient rich products.

Danimals® SuperStars provides parents with an easy and fun choice. Kids love the flavors and parents can feel good about the nutrition profile. With 10g of protein per 4oz cup, Danimals SuperStars contains twice as much protein as regular lowfat yogurts*. Danimals SuperStars is a great snack to help kids fuel any adventures their days may bring.


Danimals® SuperStars Greek Lowfat Yogurts can help provide kids with the nutrition they need. Each cup is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D, which help build strong bones, along with an excellent source of protein (25 percent of the Daily Value). Also, similar to other Danimals® products, Danimals® SuperStars has no artificial colors or flavors and no high fructose corn syrup.

Danimals® SuperStars is available in 4oz 4-count packs in five delicious flavors made specifically for kids, including: Strawberry Slide, Strawberry Banana Sprint, Cotton Candy Thrill, Mixed Berry Half-Pipe and Cherry Rush.


I love giving my son things I know he will love that I can feel good about. Things that taste great and are great for him too. And now I know all summer long he can refuel, energize and enjoy Danimals® SuperStars Greek Yogurt! 

For more information, you can find them online and connect on Facebook too! 

Disclaimer: I received samples in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 12, 2014

TWIX® Bites Coupon {#EatMoreBites #Shop}

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

For those of you who loved my 3 Musketeers Dip recipe (And I know many of you did...to the tune of over 4,000 Pinterest shares!!) I have great news for you! Now you can try and #EatMoreBites with #Collective Bias.

The same brands you love are now in bite-size pieces. You’re probably wondering why they didn't think of this sooner! Enjoy TWIX® Bites today. These little unwrapped morsels are perfect in any recipe or for snacking on-the-go. Save big on Bites at Walmart by sharing this coupon:


So be sure to stop by your local Walmart and pick some TWIX® Bites and now with this coupon, you can buy enough for a friend too. Sharing is caring, after all. And when it's chocolate, that's just a bonus!

Tuesday Treats

From the second week of March until April 23rd our daily schedule was turned on its ear. See, after missing a record amount of school due to snow, our school corporation decided that instead of adding all those days onto the end of the year, they would extend our school day by an hour, resulting in a 4:30 p.m. dismissal time.

If anyone doesn't think that extra time wasn't hard on everyone, let me assure you it definitely was. The teachers, staff and students were all exhausted by the end of the day. Parents had to rearrange schedules. Some kids weren't getting off the bus until 6 o'clock...let's just say while we all appreciate the fact we aren't going to have to be in school until July, we are also very happy it's over!

During those weeks, the school also decided the kids could bring in a healthy snack and bottle of water to eat around 3:30, the regular dismissal time. After all, most of them were used to going home and having a snack, so it was very kind of them to realize the students would need that to push through that last "power hour."

As a mom who is always at the school volunteering, I've come to know our school's amazing office staff, and they are a great group of people. So I decided they too needed a little treat mid-afternoon to keep them going until 4:30. Now, I couldn't do it every single day, but Tuesdays became the day I ventured up the street (yes we live about a block from our school) with something yummy in hand.

These were one of those Tuesday Treats, as they came to be called. I have to admit, I've been on a muffin kick lately. I can't get enough of them. I love having them around for snacks, quick breakfasts, or sweet treats when I don't have time to make dessert. We really enjoy the flavor of orange and cranberry together, so I knew these would be a hit with my boys. But I was equally happy to know the fantastic and deserving office staff enjoyed them too.

I'm so happy to have my little man home at 3:30 p.m. again! Plus we only have 19 days of school left! If you still have a little bit of time left in your school year, maybe you could do something nice for those who work so hard for your kids every single day too! Might I suggest these yummy and easy to make muffins??!!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon zested orange rind

2 tsp. turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)


Preheat oven to 400. Spray a muffin tin, or use paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cranberries. Stir well. In a medium bowl whisk together orange juice, oil, egg and orange rind Pour into dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Spoon into muffin tin, filling each about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm. 



Shared on The Country Cook May 16, 2014

Muffins at Very Good Recipes