Happy Memories Of Highchair Meals

When I was asked to write about feeding my children to promote the Happy Family’s “Stories from the Bright Side” campaign, I immediately thought of all the humorous pictures I had of my children in the highchair. You know the kind…the ones teenagers hide before their new girlfriend/boyfriend comes over and the photo albums are pulled out. It will be tough to limit them all to a post because I have many of them!

 

The messiest meal I have ever given my children is spaghetti. I think I spent days cleaning off that red sauce from the cream colored high chair tray and, even then, was left with a pinkish tint. I decided alfredo sauce was a great alternative after that!

All children are messy but I think Lucas is one of the messiest I have ever seen. I swear that child can make a mess of a cheerio. While on vacation this weekend we were at a really nice restaurant and Lucas took his french fries and was rubbing them between his hands until they crumbled into a pile on his plate. He’d then proceed to eat them by shoving them into his mouth. While not proper eating for a fancy restaurant, I was just happy he was sitting quietly. One of my favorite food related memories of Lucas is his first birthday cake. He really loved that because he had a whole little cake to himself and he happily squeezed it between his little fingers!

Happy Family partnered with 7 mommy and daddy bloggers to bring their “Funny Feeding” Stories from the Bright Side to life for other moms and dads to enjoy. These videos shine a humorous light on food and feeding challenges that parents have through sharing funny stories told by top bloggers that are then acted out by improv troupe the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. They are pretty funny to watch and remind me that many parents have gone through similar experiences that I have.

Have a funny feeding story of your own? You can submit your own Stories from the Bright Side on Happy Family’s Facebook page, by sharing your own video, written story and image around food and kids. All submissions will be judged by a panel from Happy Family for a chance to win $20,000 towards college.

You can “like” Happy Family on Facebook by clicking the “like” button above. Make sure to grab a $0.50 coupon to save on Happy Family organic snacks and meals. You can find a store locator here.

I’d love to hear about your favorite food-related memories from when your children were little if you would like to share in the comments below.

(Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Happy Family blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.)

 

Chick-fil-A’s New Mocha Cookies & Cream Milkshake {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received coupons to try the milkshakes but thoughts are my own.)

Chick-fil-A's New Mocha Cookies & Cream Milkshake

My favorite place to get a milkshake is Chick-fil-A. I absolutely love their peach flavored shake but I think that flavor might have a run for it’s money after I try their new flavor, Mocha Cookies & Cream. The Mocha Cookies & Cream milkshake features Chick-fil-A’s home-style Icedream®, OREO® cookie crumbles, coffee, Hershey’s® chocolate syrup and is topped with light whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. The chain’s first new limited-time flavor since 2011 is available now through mid-October (or while supplies last).

The Mocha Cookies & Cream milkshake is a perfect dessert for customers on-the-go or those wanting an afternoon treat. “The new Mocha Cookies & Cream milkshake offers coffee and chocolate lovers alike a delicious and ‘craveable’ summer treat,” said David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of product strategy and development. “We hope this new flavor will become a seasonal favorite among our customers and perhaps as popular as our Peach and Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshakes customers have demanded over the past few years.”

Customers who re”treat” to Chick-fil-A during the month of August to try the new Mocha Cookies & Cream milkshake are encouraged to share their photos and experiences via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, using the hashtag #MochaRetreat.

Want to try one yourself? I’m giving away cards for free milkshakes!

GIVEAWAY

8 readers will win a card for a FREE milkshake

HOW TO ENTER

Tell me your favorite milkshake flavor

{For an extra entry, share this post and leave a second comment}

Giveaway ends August 26, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 21 or older and a US resident to win. Winners will be chosen at random.

Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty {Wisconsin Dells, WI}

One of my favorite Midwest vacation destinations is Wisconsin Dells. I remember going there when I was younger and we would always have breakfast at least one morning at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty.

Now that I have kids of my own I knew we had to stop by the restaurant when we went to the Dells for our very first family vacation.

Everything was just like I had remembered. Old fashioned tables and tableware and homemade food served family style. It was a great way to start off the day. My favorite are their sugar covered doughnuts! And just a heads up- if you want French Toast you need to get there early in the morning because that’s the only time they offer them.

Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty serves lunch and dinner as well but I’ve never tried anything but their breakfast selection. They also have a cute little touristy store that you can shop in while you wait for your table.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. We paid for our meal and all thoughts are my own.)

Quaker Fuels Healthy, Busy Families

(Disclosure: This is a compensated post on behalf of Quaker but all thoughts are my own.)

When I was growing up my dad offered me a lot of advice. One of the most common things he’d repeatedly tell me was how important it is to eat a good breakfast. He told me how he’d read that people who ate breakfast tended to weigh less and have more energy throughout the day.

As a parent I keep my father’s advice in mind as I raise my children and we go about our daily routine. We are always on the go so we need to start our day with something that will keep our bellies full all morning and give us the energy that we need to go from soccer practice to swim lessons to the playground. These past few days it’s been chilly in Chicago {seriously- I thought about turning on the heat last night….} so I wanted to make a nice, warm breakfast for the kids. For me, the Quaker name is synonymous with breakfast and I discovered a whole new line of products I didn’t even know about.

Quaker sent me some products to try and as soon as I opened the package I was overcome with the smell of maple. One of the best breakfast smells ever! The new ‘perfect portion’ oatmeal packages let people make as little or as much oatmeal as they want and, since they are unsweetened, let the consumer choose how they want to sweeten their oatmeal. I normally add brown sugar to mine.

Another item Quaker sent me to try was their soft baked bars. These are perfect for busy families. Ten seconds in the microwave and you have a hot breakfast ready to take in the car or on the bus. The cinnamon nut bread with pecans, raisins and sweet swirls of cinnamon makes a delicious treat.

Quaker not only fuels healthy, busy families but they inspire them through programs that encourage physical activity. Quaker serves as the title sponsor of the Chicago Fire Juniors, the club’s youth player development program that supports more than 10,000 soccer kids and families in Chicago and nationally. As a “soccer mom”, I love that Quaker sponsors this program because I think soccer is both fun and a great way to learn about teamwork and other important life skills.

One special event coming up is The Quaker Invitational which is hosted by Quaker and the Chicago Fire August 9th through August 11th. Hundreds of Chicago Fire Juniors teams from around the country will come together for a weekend of soccer, community and fun. The two winning youth teams will earn a chance to play on The Chicago Fire’s home field, Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL on Sunday, August 11, and each player in the tournament will receive a free game ticket to attend the Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact MLS game.

In addition to the Chicago Fire, Quaker has joined forces with national and local organizations to reach families through nourishment, education and physical activity including the National Football League, Fuel Up to Play 60, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Movement and Common Threads.

Now that you have heard about how Quaker fuels healthy families, including mine, which of their delicious breakfast options are you interested in trying first?

 

The Best Restaurants In The United States, Canada And The United Kingdom

Remember a couple days ago when I posted my favorite family friendly restaurants around the Naperville, IL area? Well now I am excited to share posts from bloggers all around the United States and even some from Canada and the United Kingdom so that next time you travel you will have a list of recommended restaurants to try!

Eastern US

Tampa, Florida – I Run for Wine
Annapolis, Maryland – Maryland Momma’s Rambles
Framingham, Massachusetts – 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Orleans County, New York – Living Off Love and Coffee
Charlotte, North Carolina – MommyB Knows Best
Eastern North Carolina – Rebecca Lately
Raleigh, North Carolina – The Dirty Floor Diaries
East Greenwich, Rhode Island – Mama Luvs Books
Richmond, Virginia – Close to Home

Western US

Phoenix, Arizona – Brie Brie Blooms
Aliso Viejo, California – Una Colombiana en California
Oceanside, California – Adventures of Valley Writer
San Diego, California – Toot Sweet 4 Two
Wildomar, California – Simple Sojourns
Las Vegas, Nevada – Growing Up Gabel
Las Vegas, Nevada – Home Cooking Memories
Reno, Nevada – Saving in Nevada
NE Oklahoma (Route 66) – The Creative Princess
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Masterpiece
Austin, Texas – Texas Type A Mom
Dallas, Texas – The Effortless Mom
Dallas/Denton County, Texas – Coffee & Giggles
Houston, Texas – A Day in Motherhood
Palestine, Texas – Going Crazy! Wanna Go?
Provo, Utah – Clarks Condensed
Salina/Sevier, Utah – Home Maid Simple
Salt Lake City, Utah – Summer Scraps
Bainbridge Island, Washington – Popcorn and Pearls
Seattle, Washington – Faith Filled Food for Moms

Northern US

Chicago, Illinois – East 9th Street
Lake County, Illinois – THE ROCK FATHER
Long Grove (NW Chicago Suburbs), Illinois– Make Dinner Easy
Naperville, Illinois – Making Time for Mommy
Cincinnati, Ohio/Northern Kentucky – {enjoy the view}
Detroit, Michigan – Roasted Beanz
West Michigan – Eat Local, West Michigan!
Rochester, Minnesota – The Mama Report
St. Charles, Missouri – Robyn’s Online World
St. Louis, Missouri – inRandom
Omaha, Nebraska – Midwest Mammas
Seward, Nebraska – Busy-at-Home
Dayton, Ohio – Mudpies and Tiaras
Miami County, Ohio – The Home and Garden Cafe
Greenville, South Carolina – The Destiny Manifest
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Outnumbered 3 to 1
Norwalk, Wisconsin – The Mommy Bunch

Southern US

Northwest Arkansas – Jamie’s Thots
Northwest Arkansas – MamaBuzz
Atlanta, Georgia – The Jort Report
Cumming, Georgia – In the Kitchen with KP

Canada

Quispamsis/Saint John, New Brunswick – Older Mommy Still Yummy
London, Ontario – Creative Cynchronicity

UK

Banbury, UK – Bubbablue and Me
Bristol, UK – Slummy Single Mummy
London, England – The 21st Century Housewife
Portishead, UK – Practically Perfect Mums

Fresh Juice In Minutes With The Green Star Elite Juicer

(Disclosure: I received the juicer to review but all thoughts are my own.)

I have heard so much about juicing lately so I was interested to try out the Green Star Elite juicer. Based on our body’s natural chewing process, the Green Star Elite by Tribest Corporation is the only juicer on the market that offers a system that mirrors what our body does naturally to protect even the most delicate of vital nutrients and extract maximum nutrition. It uses a 3-stage process (crushing, mixing, and pressing) to produce higher juice yields and enhance the nutritional value of every drop and uses special technology to make the nutrients in the juice last up to 72 hours in the refrigerator.

Sinisa went to the store and came back with a variety of fruits. We had grapes, apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, and a pineapple. The juicer came with some recipes but we decided to make our own mixed fruit juice. Sinisa chopped all the fruit up into small pieces.

I found the Green Star Elite juicer easy to use. You just had to put a small amount of fruit in the chute and then turn the machine on and put the plunger in it to push down the fruit in the chute. This step is repeated until you have the amount of juice in the cup that you want. Turn it off and voila you are done! I personally, think the juice tastes best after it’s been in the fridge for a couple hours so it’s nice and cold.

Sinisa cleaned the machine and thought cleaning it was easy since it came with a brush to get in all the crevices. He found it a little difficult to put the pieces back together after he cleaned it and said they had to be put together like puzzle pieces but he feels that now he knows how they fit together it will be easier to do the next time.

Overall, I was very please with this juicer and am happy the process was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Have you ever used a juicer? What is your favorite fruit combo? I’d love ideas for next time.

 

 

Favorite Family Friendly Restaurants Around Naperville, Illinois

Ever travel and wonder what restaurant to eat at? Which ones are kid friendly? Which ones have good food? Well wonder no more! Members from the Social Fabric blogging community are sharing our favorite restaurants in the United States, the UK, and Canada. I am sharing about restaurants in the Western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and in about a week will be sharing everyone else’s posts as well. Here are my favorite kid-friendly local restaurants:

All Aboard Diner

1) All Aboard Diner (Downer’s Grove, IL): We love this train themed restaurant! Ask for a counter seat and a train will come along the counter and deliver your food. This is a favorite to visit on birthdays because the train will bring around a little cupcake (they also have a party room). Thomas the Train plays on a tv screen and a train runs around the ceiling of the restaurant to keep the kid’s entertained.

2) Johnny Rockets (Bolingbrook, IL): This is a fun, old-fashioned diner. Pick a song from the tabletop jukeboxes to listen to while you eat. Favorites at this restaurant include burgers and milkshakes.

Lobster Grilled Cheese from Jimmy’s Grill

3) Jimmy’s Grill (Naperville, IL): During the summer this restaurant is a great place to go because of their large outdoor patio. It’s located in Naperville’s cute downtown area and is a fun place to people watch. The food is delicious as well. Last time I went I got the lobster grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a little pricier than we are used to but it’s pretty decently priced for the area. Kids are welcome at the restaurant and given crayons and paper to color.

4) Choo Choo Johnny’s (Naperville, IL): Similar to All Aboard Diner, this is another train themed restaurant where a little train delivers the food. Check the website for deals and coupons.

Pretzel dog with bacon and cheese & chili cheese tots

5) Sonic (multiple locations): This is a fun drive-in restaurant. They have great “happy hour” deals on foods and milkshakes. I love their new pretzel bun hotdogs, the boys like their french toast sticks, and Sinisa loves their cranberry juice with cherry syrup.

6) Lou Malnati’s (Bolingbrook and Naperville, IL): I live in Chicago so you know I had to have a pizza place on this list! While not my favorite place to go for pizza, I love going here for their salad. Yes, you read that right….I said I’d choose salad over pizza! The rest of my family does like their pizza though.

Cracker Barrel

7) Cracker Barrel Old Country Buffet (Romeoville and Naperville, IL): This restaurant is great for spending some time relaxing with the family. The porch is full of rocking chairs. There is a country store inside to check out as well while you wait for your table. Each table has an old fashioned game and there is a fireplace inside which gives the restaurant an at home feel. Crayons and an activity sheet are given to each child. My favorite food here are the cinnamon apples I get as a side dish with my French toast.

8) Culver’s (multiple locations): I discovered Culver’s when I was in college. I like their burgers because they toast their buns. The kid’s meal comes with a free custard which the boys can get if they eat their lunch.

BONUS: Bolingbrook, IL has a restaurant at the small, local airport called Charlie’s where kids can watch the planes take off and land. I’ve never been there before but it’s on our “to-do” list :)

Where do you like to eat in the Chicago suburbs?

Easy Cakes With The Holstein Pound Cake Maker {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received the pound cake maker to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Cake w/ strawberry topping

It gets so hot in the summer that turning the oven on is the last thing I want to do. Thankfully, I discovered the Holstein Pound Cake Maker which is a handy little portable machine that makes baking cakes quick and easy.

The maker comes with a booklet of recipes which I didn’t have much luck with but I learned that I could use box mixes which was easier to do and tasted better. I used a fun confetti mix left over from the 4th of July. The mix took only a few minutes to put together and just about 7 minutes in the pound cake maker. There is no timer on the maker so I used my microwave timer to time it. The boxed mix made 5 pound cake “loaves”.

Pound cake cooling off

Sinisa made a topping for the pound cake instead of using frosting. He mixed cool whip and strawberry syrup together to make it. We then added strawberries and blueberries for a fun summer treat.

Pound cake dessert

Overall I enjoyed using the pound cake maker and liked how easy it was to make cake. When not in use it can be tucked away in the cabinet which saves precious counter space in my kitchen. You can make any flavor cake you’d like. I think next time I am going to try carrot cake.

Giveaway:

One reader will win a Holstein Pound Cake Maker

Image courtesy of http://holsteinhousewares.com

How To Enter:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1)  Tell me what kind of cake you’d make

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow @holsteinkitchen on Twitter

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Comment on another one of my blog posts

Giveaway ends August 5, 2013 at 11:59pm central time. Must be a US resident, 21 and older to enter.

Schwan’s: Home Cooked Taste From Your Freezer

(Disclosure: I received products from the company to try but all thoughts are my own.)

My mom always had Schwan’s deliver food when I was younger. I remember loving the variety of food that was available. My favorite was the bow-tie pasta and vegetables mix. When I was visiting her as a teenager I’d make a quick dinner for myself by adding some butter and seasonings to it.

As an adult I had never ordered from Schwan’s so I was excited to get an opportunity to try some of the foods they offered. I got a few bags full and still haven’t tried everything that was delivered but I wanted to share about some of the items that I enjoyed.

Triple Berry, Apple, Rhubarb Pie with Vanilla Sauce– I do not like rhubarb pie but rhubarb paired with berries and apples turned out to be an amazing combination. The pie comes with a packet of vanilla sauce but it’s also delicious with their vanilla ice cream. I couldn’t get enough of this pie and I recommend baking it and bringing it over to a friend’s so you don’t eat it all yourself ;)

Pot Roast (image courtesy of schwans.com)

Fully Cooked Beef Pot Roast with Gravy– Sinisa loves pot roast but we don’t make it very often because it’s time consuming. This pot roast was ready to go into the oven and came out tender. We had plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.

Roasted Baby Bakers– Normally I slather my baked potatoes with butter, cheese, and sour cream but these potatoes don’t need anything else! They are perfectly seasoned and tiny potatoes so they cook quickly. We enjoyed these with the Pot Roast.

Cheese and Herb Biscuits– These look tiny when they come out of the bag but don’t be fooled because they plump up nicely. The amount of shredded cheese in them is generous and they remind me of the cheesy biscuits from my favorite restaurant.

Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel Poppers

Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel Poppers– I wasn’t sure if I’d like these but the combo of salty pretzel and sweet filling won me over. They made a great snack since they only took about a minute to cook in the microwave.

Sliced Ham– I love using my crockpot so I looked on the Schwan’s website to see if anyone had tried this method of cooking the ham. I read that some people said that their ham turned out kind of dry after they cooked it. I was worried but when my ham was done cooking I pulled it out and was pleasantly surprised to discover it was nice and juicy. Since the ham was already sliced, I had just put it in the crockpot and put a slice of pineapple between each slice and cooked it in the extra juice.

Want to try some of these items or any of the other ones from Schwan’s? New customers receive $5 off of $25 or $10 off of $50 when you place your first order online at http://www.schwans.com. Enter coupon code ‘CHIARA2′ at checkout to save instantly.

 

10 Healthy Summertime Eating Tips For Kids

Just because the routine of the school year goes away for the summer doesn’t mean your child’s nutritional requirements should go on vacation, too! According to practicing family physician, Andrew Abraham, M.D., a father of two, the key is to aim for nutritional balance.

“Summer is a challenge because so many seasonal activities revolve around foods that are more delicious than nutritious, such as lemonade, ball park franks and ice cream,” said Dr. Abraham. “But health-minded parents don’t have to let their kids’ summers be a vacation from healthy eating.”

Dr. Abraham recommends the following summertime healthy eating tips for kids:

1. Keep fruits available – Put a bowl of apples on the table. Keep bananas on the counter, and place ready-to-grab grapes on the top shelf in the refrigerator.

2. Make vegetables fun – Turn a cucumber into a caterpillar, cherry tomatoes into a summertime snowman, and green peas into a necklace.

3. Turn off the TV – Hula-hoops, baseball bats, and butterfly nets— there are plenty of ways to entice your kids off the couch for a little exercise.

4. Drink water – When the weather is hot, especially for extended periods, children can get dehydrated. Let them pick out there own water bottle to carry with them.

5. Grow a family garden – Everything kids cultivate in their own garden provides a lifelong lesson in where food comes from, and that is step one in developing healthy lifelong eating habits.

6. Visit a dairy farm – Learn how cows convert pasture grasses into milk for your table.

7. Take family trips that are active – Teach your kids how to enjoy exercise by trying hiking, swimming, or bicycling.

8. Experiment in the kitchen – Let kids learn how to prepare their own food. The more they know about their food, the better their eating habits.

9. Shop at farmers markets – Help kids interact with the people who grow their food, and develop shopping skills, while visiting one of America’s 8,000 farmers markets.

10. Get extra nutrition – Try products that supplement your child’s nutritional intake, like Orgain Healthy Kids, the organic nutritional shake developed by Dr. Abraham to help kids get the ready-to-drink nutrition they need. Available in Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.

More information about Orgain Healthy Kids:

Great for snacks and lunchboxes, for picky eaters, or when kids are sick, Orgain Healthy Kids is an organic nutritional shake that provides perfectly balanced nutrition with 8 grams of organic protein, organic complex carbohydrates, organic fiber, a complete vitamin and mineral blend, and a blend of 10 different certified organic fruits and vegetables. Gluten-free, Orgain Healthy Kids is free of soy, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and corn syrup. Founder Andrew Abraham, M.D.’s personal experience as a cancer survivor and practicing physician inspired him to formulate Orgain Healthy Kids, and its companion line for adults, Orgain. A portion of net proceeds is given to cancer patients who cannot adequately meet their medical and nutritional needs. For more information, visit www.orgain.com.

(Disclosure: This is NOT sponsored, I just thought these were great tips my readers would enjoy. I have never tried Orgain Healthy Kids products before.)

Southern Stew {Recipe}

Here’s a great recipe to make on New Year’s day! A common good luck food in the southern United States are the black eyed peas. Black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, so Allens Vegetables wanted to share this great recipe, wishing you only the best of the good luck that is yet to come!


Ingredients


1 Rotisserie chicken, fully cooked
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup Green peppers, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
8 oz. Smoked sausage, cooked and diced
1 can Allens Cut Okra, Tomatoes and Corn
2 cans Allens Blackeyed Peas, drained and rinsed
1 32 oz. carton Low sodium chicken broth
2 cups Water
1 tsp. Cumin
1 pound medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions


Remove meat from chicken, discarding skin and bones from chicken. Chop into bite size pieces. Set aside until needed. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add peppers, garlic and onions. Saute 5 minutes until peppers and onions are tender. Add sausage and continue cooking until sausage is browned. Add okra, tomatoes and corn, peas, chicken broth and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add reserved chicken and cumin. Stir to combine. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until shrimp are pink and opaque, about 8 minutes. Ladle into 6 shallow soup bowls. Serve hot.

(Disclosure: Recipe and image courtesy of Allens Vegetables. This is not a compensated post.)

Cooking With Nuts {Fisher Nuts/Food Network Prize Pack Giveaway}

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time to break out the roasting pans and make an extra trip (or two) to the baking aisle. Fisher Nuts is teaming up with Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, a regular judge on Chopped, to make your holiday cooking a bit easier and offer some simple twists for cooking with nuts during the holidays.

Here are some of my favorite ideas she offers:

No Regret Vinaigrette: Need a new vinaigrette? Roast a handful of nuts and blend them with 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice.

Upgraded Spice Rub: Next time you’re cooking meat, add some ground nuts to your spice rub. The nuts can mellow some of the heat from the spice and add needed richness to the mix.

Fresh Twist on Rice: Nuts are delicious in a classic rice pilaf. Stir some roasted nuts into the rice just before serving. You can also mix nuts with wild rice.

MY RECIPE

One of Sinisa’s favorite things to make for breakfast are crepes. We normally fill them with Nutella but we decided to try making a filling for them with Walnuts instead. Here’s the recipe:

Crepes Ingredients:

2 eggs

TBS sugar

2 TBS salt

3 cups flour

3 cups milk

Crepes Directions:

Beat the eggs, salt and sugar. Add flour and milk and stir to a soupy consistency. Ensure that the batter is smooth and has no chunks.
Let the batter sit for a bit. Ladle the batter on a hot oiled up pan and flip crepes one at a time.

Filling Ingredients:

20 oz. Walnuts

1 cup milk

4 TBS sugar

Walnut

Powdered sugar (optional)

Filling Directions:

For the walnut filling use a food processor or a chopper to grind up 20 oz of whole walnuts into a fine consistency. Once that is ready, heat milk with sugar on a stovetop, stirring occasionally. Once it is boiling add the ground walnuts and stir quickly for about a minute until it turns into a paste like consistency.

To Serve: Use about a spoonful of mix and spread on the crepes and fold. Before serving you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win a prize pack valued at $70. It will include: Fisher Chef’s Naturals Slivered Almonds, Fisher Chef’s Naturals Pecan Halves, Fisher Chef’s Naturals Walnut Halves & Pieces, Food Network 5-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Cups, Food Network Silicone Spatula, OXO Whisk and a Wood Cutting Board.

HOW TO ENTER

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me how you include nuts in your cooking

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli on Twitter

4) Follow me on Twitter

5) Like Fisher Nuts on Facebook

6) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

Giveaway ends December 26, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I am working with Fisher to share Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipes and create my own original recipe using Fisher Nuts and tools they provided. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.)

Dinner In 15 Minutes With Campbell’s Skillet Sauces

This season has been so busy with work, Holiday prep, family commitments, and preparing for my Final I’m taking tomorrow morning in my college class. If I’m going to get dinner on my table this month it has to be easy to make. With two little boys it also has to be kid-friendly because I don’t have time to be making two separate meals.

I was recently introduced to Campbell’s Skillet Sauces. The sauces come in six different flavors:

  • Creamy Chipotle with Roasted Corn & Black Beans
  • Marsala with Mushrooms & Garlic
  • Thai Green Curry with Lemongrass & Basil
  • Toasted Sesame with Garlic & Ginger
  • Fire Roasted Tomato with Red Bell Peppers & Chiles
  • Scampi with White Wine & Garlic

All of the sauces can be found at the grocery store near the other marinades and sauces. With this product you can have a delicious dinner on the table in only 15 minutes with just three easy steps:

    1.  HEAT.  Heat oil in skillet over medium/high heat.
    2.  ADD.  Add your protein or vegetables and cook until browned.
    3.  STIR.  Stir in sauce and heat to boil. Reduce heat and cover for five minutes or until protein is cooked through and/or vegetables are tender.

On a busy night we decided that we were going to try one of these Campbell’s Skillet Sauces. Sinisa and I debated over which flavor we were going to try first and with which meat we were going to make it with. Sinisa wanted to make the Creamy Chipotle with Roasted Corn & Black Beans with Pork and I thought Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms & Garlic sounded good. Eventually we decided to make Chicken in the Toasted Sesame with Garlic & Ginger sauce. We thought about both pasta and rice as sides and decided rice sounded better with this Asian inspired meal.

Sure enough dinner was on the table in less than 20 minutes. The chicken was tender and the sauce it was in was thick and delicious! After eating we decided that the only thing we’d change would be to put vegetables in with the chicken and sauce. I can’t wait to try the other Campbell’s Skillet Sauces and create other new meals for our family to enjoy.

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Campbell supplied me with the product so I could post about my experience. All opinions are my own.)

Mini Meatball Sandwich Bites {Recipes}

This is a quick and easy recipe from the Quick Meal Queen, Natashja Szortyka, using Mama Lucia Meatballs. The recipe is for delicious mini meatball sandwich bites! These would be great as an appetizer at a holiday party or while watching this weekend’s football game.

Ingredients

1 12-ounce package Mama Lucia Meatballs
1 8-ounce can refrigerated crescent rolls
Marinara sauce
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

1) Heat oven to 375°F. Thaw out meatballs in microwave for 1 minute; cut in half.
2) Dip each half in marinara, then roll them in the cheese until they are well coated
3) Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around two meatball halves. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4) Bake at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown

Optional: With about two minutes left, sprinkle parmesan cheese on each crescent.

Menu Plan {11/5-11/11}

Monday: Crockpot Ribs

Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday: Chicken Marsala

Thursday: BBQ Teriyaki Pork Kabobs

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Clam Chowder

Sunday: Italian Sausage w/ Gnocchi and Vodka Cream Sauce

Gift Idea For Foodies {Giveaway}

HerbNZest’s Holiday Trio Gift Set makes a tasty and useful present for foodies and cooking novices alike! Created by mom of two and food lover, Deboleena Dutta and made right here in the USA, HerbNZest’s all natural and vegan condiments are simple enough to build everyday meals around, exciting enough to showcase on special occasions, and yummy enough to enjoy straight out of the jar (suggested uses included on each label and easy recipes are available online). Each gourmet condiment is made in micro-batches to maintain the flavor, goodness, and quality of the ingredients. Moreover, they are healthier with low sugar and salt content and only olive oil.

 The Holiday Trio Gift Set includes gift packaging, recipe cards and one jar each of:

•  Chipotle Cranberry-Orange Relish – Cranberries, apples, and oranges are cooked with chipotle and other spices to create a zesty and tangy relish with a hint of smokiness.

•  Caramelized Apple Champagne Mustard – A spicy brown mustard with sweet undertone from hand-caramelized apples and onions and a well-rounded rich flavor fromchampagne.

•  Fennel Saffron Pumpkin Butter – Pumpkin Purée, spices, and extra-virgin olive oil are blended in with fragrant saffron and sweet fennel seeds to create an exotic and aromatic savory butter.

******

Buy It: $16 for the 5 oz-jars or $25 for the 8 oz-jars. Both sizes include gift packaging and recipe cards. Products are available for purchase online or at select Whole Foods and other fine retailers.

Win It: One reader will win the HerbNZest holiday set and HGTV TV star Monica Pedersen’s new gorgeous coffee table bookMake It Beautiful – Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home. Monica’s book also makes a thoughtful gift for all those DIY party-throwing divas out there.   Total value of gifts is more than $50!

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Let me know who this would be a perfect gift for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Like HerbNZest on Facebook

5) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

6) Follow @HerbNZest on Twitter

7) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

8) Leave a comment on another post

Giveaway ends on November 11, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I have not tried these products and I was not compensated for posting this giveaway. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)