10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Cook Dinner And Wash The Dishes (Giveaway)


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by On-Cor but all thoughts are my own. #CountOnCor #OvenTimeTips

Something you all have probably figured out about me by now is that I’m a fan of easy dinners. I do not like to spend hours in the kitchen and I would literally rather be doing almost anything else than cooking and washing dishes. Because of this, our menu stays pretty simple unless Sinisa is in charge of dinner (so blessed to find a man who actually enjoys cooking). He makes a lot of great meals but they are generally meat & potatoes and I’m more of a pasta girl.

One thing I love that we don’t have often is lasagna. It’s one of my favorite meals but it’s also one of the most time consuming meals that I know how to make. From cooking the noodles to layering the pan full of yumminess, it’s a lot of work! Unfortunately, my busy schedule (and avoidance of cooking complex meals) keeps me from making lasagna as often as I’d like to enjoy it. Thankfully though, there’s a solution and it’s easy – On-Cor’s Lasagna with Meat Sauce. On-Cor does the prep work, so I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making dinner! This frozen, fully-cooked multi-serve entrée is conveniently packaged and ready to heat and serve which makes it possible for me to enjoy my favorite meal. I just heat it up in the oven, add a side of fresh salad and breadsticks and dinner is on the table with little fuss. It doesn’t get any easier than that. (Plus, as a bonus, you don’t end up spending your evening scrubbing a pan full of baked on cheese!)

Less time in the kitchen means more time doing other things I enjoy. Here are some of the things I’d rather do than cook complicated dinners and wash dishes…

Cuddle with my kids on the couch – Let’s face it…eventually my boys are going to be “too cool” for mom cuddles and, at 8 and 9, I fear that time will be here sooner rather than later. So if they want to cuddle I am going to drop what I’m doing and cuddle with them. It’s one of my very favorite things to do!

Work on a DIY project or craft – I enjoy working on crafty projects (like this football themed wreath I made) but they can be really time consuming. Making something while dinner cooks in the oven lets me easily multi-task!

Help my boys study for their spelling test – Notice I didn’t say “homework” because I’m helpless when it comes to math…. but I actually enjoy quizzing them to prepare for their spelling tests.

Take some “me time” to read a book – I love to read and have a stack of books just waiting to be read. I’d much rather lose myself in a good romance novel or get some good tips from a parenting book than stand around in my kitchen.

Catch up on that tv series I’ve been watching – I’m a bit of a tv junkie and my DVR is full of shows to watch. I’d love to catch up on the family friendly shows in my queue- like the super hero show my boys and I are enjoying together.

Work on a puzzle together – The boys and I love putting puzzles together. We usually have one out that we work on throughout the week whenever we have a spare minute or two. We could get a lot done while waiting for dinner to cook!

Beat the next level on my smartphone game – I’m not a huge gamer but I do enjoy a good strategy game. When I find one I like, I tend to want to play it often, especially when I am trying to beat a tough level. Spending a few minutes extra doing this in between folding towels is a fun way to spend time.

Read a book to my kids – Since I don’t get much time to read any books for myself, children’s books will have to do! I like to read to my boys and listen to them read to me. They also have to read for 20 minutes each evening as part of their homework so we can do so while dinner is cooking.

Play a game – My family enjoys playing games together and we try to do so every weekend but sometimes life gets in the way and we have to skip a game night. Having 30 or so extra minutes to play a game mid-week is a great stress reliever for me and fun family bonding time for all of us!

Catch up on work so I can go to bed at a decent hour – I love working from home but the downside is that my work seems never-ending. There is always something else I could be doing- whether it’s a post that needs to be written or an email that I need to respond to. Catching up on work while there’s still daylight means that I can go to bed before the clock is telling me it’s the next day already.

What would you do with the time you saved in the kitchen? Would you enjoy a bit of “me” time or spend some extra time with your kids? 

For your next family meal, head to the freezer aisle of Jewel-Osco or check out the store locator at www.on-cor.com to pick up one of On-Cor’s entrées. There are a number of popular flavors and varieties available, like Macaroni & Cheese, Gravy & 6 Salisbury Steaks, and Penne Pasta & Meatballs with Tomato Sauce – all reasonably priced and made with no added MSG- so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing other things!

GIVEAWAY! On-Cor is giving away a fun prize package for one lucky winner that includes a coupon for the On-Cor product of your choice along with a bunch of other goodies. Enter to win in the form below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take The OREO Cookies Dunk Challenge

Official rules can be found here: bit.ly/OREOSweepsRules

 

Our family loves OREO cookies so I always make sure to have a package or two in the pantry. It’s one of the only cookies that everyone in our family likes but what is funny is that we all eat them differently. Lucas loves to twist the cookie into two and lick off the white cream filling while Jacob likes to take bites of the cookie so he gets a bit of the cream filling and the chocolate cookie in his mouth together. I love to crumble mine up into pieces as a topping for chocolate pudding so I can slowly enjoy the chocolate treat while Sinisa sticks the whole cookie in his mouth and eats it in one bite.

It’s also fun to dunk our OREO cookies in milk! There are dozens of ways to dunk OREO cookies, including OREO Cookie’s tried-and-true dunking techniques – the Twist & Dunk, the Double Dunk, and the Plunge. Personally, I like to break mine in half before dunking it. Sinisa and the boys prefer to use a larger glass and dunk the cookie in one fell swipe.

OREO cookies wants to see how everyone dunks their cookies and are asking people to visit Walmart to pickup OREO cookies and then post their dunking technique with #OREODunkSweepstakes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Those that do will be entered to win! 40,000 lucky finalists will have a chance to win one (1) of  five (5) VIP Grand Prize trips to a Celebrity Dunking Event in NYC or Los Angeles, plus $2,000! Learn more here.

 How do you dunk your OREO cookies?

 

Get A Taste of the Mediterranean At Home

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

As a busy mom, I am always on the lookout for easy meals. Typically this means we are stuck with quick pasta dishes and chicken, but I’ve recently discovered a new line that lets me add a little bit of Mediterranean flavor into our menu rotation. Wild Garden’s ‘Taste of the Mediterranean’ line features three all natural ten-minute Marinades and three 90-second heat and serve Pilafs.

The Marinades come in three flavors- Shawarma, Turkish and Persian. I love that all of the spices are mixed together and come in a convenient pouch. Just dump, mix with meat and let sit for 10 minutes and then the meat is ready for the grill, skillet or oven. The meat can then be enjoyed as kebabs, put in pita bread as wrap ingredients or used to top your favorite rice.

The Wild Garden website has some recipes and we loosely followed one for wraps. We used the Shawarma marinade to flavor steak and then put them on flatbread with tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. I topped mine with Tzatziki sauce and Sinisa enjoyed his wraps with hummus. We are looking forward to trying the Turkish marinade to make kebabs, one of Sinisa’s favorite foods.

The pilafs are the perfect dinner starter or side for an entree. They come in three varieties- Rice & Lentil, Bulgur and Couscous. These products are sure to become a family pantry favorite because they are so easy to heat in their pouches. I really loved the rice and lentil one. Not only was the flavor great but I like that it has caramelized onions mixed in.

Do you make Mediterranean dishes at home? Which is your favorite?

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad On A Pita

This post was made possible by iConnect and Litehouse Foods. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine. #SoldinCold

 

Lunch has always been a meal that I tend to skip because I’m so busy working that I forget to eat. I’ve started making “eat lunch” an appointment on my calendar to remind myself to take a break and eat something. Since I only have about 15 minutes or so to eat I try to make things that are easy and quick. Today I chose to make myself a chicken bacon ranch salad wrap for lunch and it was so delicious I had to share it with you all!

Ingredients:

To make:
  • Slice your chicken, onion, tomato and pepper
  • Layer your veggies, bacon and chicken on your pita
  • Sprinkle cheese on top
  • Drizzle with Litehouse dressing 

This lunch was filling and delicious. I love Litehouse’s Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing but had never had any of their ranch dressings before. I love this one flavored with avocados and real bacon. They also have Homestyle Ranch and Jalapeno Ranch flavored dressings. You can find Litehouse products in the refrigerated produce section of your local supermarket.

What is your favorite lunch recipe? I’d love for you to share in the comments below since I can always use more ideas!

More Time To Make Memories

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.)

Food is a big part of the holidays and usually what I’m still needing to shop for the couple days before Christmas. Creating delicious meals and party favorites brings joy to many but unfortunately, shopping and preparing foods during the holidays can get hectic and add more stress to an already busy season. I love grocery shopping and sometimes lose myself while walking down the aisles looking for ideas and foods to inspire me but sometimes that leads to me spending too much time in stores which is not something I have an abundance of this time of year.

For over a decade I have enjoyed shopping at Sam’s Club to save time and money around the holidays. I can find a great variety of quality foods and save even more time this year with their new Club Pickup. Their Club Pickup is a free, “personal shopper” service that is focused on making shopping more convenient for members. Club Pickup provides an easy and quick pickup option through seamless ordering online at SamsClub.com from any computer or mobile device. The service is available at all 653 Sam’s Club locations. I love how this is done. In this tech-savvy world we all use apps and online shopping so Club Pickup is something that is very simple to do. I can place the order on my phone while waiting for the kids in the car pick up lane at school. During very hectic times (like this week!) there is also an easy reorder feature as well which is a great tool that lets me order go-to items quickly by creating a list of my past purchases.

One thing about Christmas that rings true is the plentiful parties and meals. Fantastic desserts and treats and great recipes that bring smiles to all.  That is one of the biggest reasons I shop at Sam’s Club around the holidays. I can stock up on all kinds of party favorites and new side dishes that also guarantee I will have leftovers (which is one of my favorite things about hosting).

This year we tried some new side dishes like sweet potatoes with pecan butter and marshmallows. We also bought the staples like scalloped potatoes. Sam’s Club has something for everyone.

The 200% satisfaction guarantee on high-quality produce, meat and baked goods is the number one reason I keep going back and why I am always eager to try new offerings at Sams club.

We also purchased Holiday decor from Sam’s Club including Christmas plates and a festive, fresh wreath for the front door. Being able to check one thing off the to-do list without leaving the couch gives me more time to make memories with my kids.

Feeling At Home With Endless Shrimp

As a boy I loved going to the fish market. Looking at all the varieties of fish and thinking of the great ways to prepare it was almost more fun than eating the fish. No matter what the occasion, shrimp has always been a food I could not turn down. As I have my own kids now I love that I can introduce the world of shrimp and tasty flavors to them. I cherish family time and love going out to dinner so I choose Red Lobster to help me enjoy both tasty seafood and time with my kids trying to get them to fall in love with some of my favorite foods from the sea. Now is a great time to do so as Red Lobster is celebrating the return of endless shrimp.

Endless Shrimp is going on now for a limited time at Red Lobster! At Red Lobster, Endless Shrimp is the number one guest-requested event. Guests don’t have to choose just one sauce or flavor – they can enjoy as much shrimp as they like, any way they like, and can even mix-and-match different preparations. This year, guests can choose two out of five shrimp preparations for their initial order, including NEW! Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites, featuring a balance of sweet and spicy flavors, and guest favorite Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp. Knowing all this, I got the kids hyped up and issued a challenge (my boys love competition) to see who can taste more flavors. Ok, I win, but in the long term we are all winners at Red Lobster and my kids get a taste of awesome shrimp flavors.

I started my meal by ordering the Sweet Teriyaki grilled shrimp and Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites. It was an amazing flavor meant for a spicy food lover. The sweet Teriyaki shrimp also comes with wild rice so that enriches the meal.

The next serving of endless shrimp was the Shrimp Linguini Alfredo. It was creamy and delicious and almost too big of a serving for this Dad.

As the night moved forward I ordered delicious Garlic Shrimp Scampi and Hand-Breaded Shrimp with cocktail sauce. So much flavor and even more shrimp. It was a never-ending celebration of shrimp on my plate.

The best way to make Endless Shrimp better is to have a great drink with the meal. Red Lobster serves all sorts of beverages, wines and cocktails. I am a big beer lover so I tend to stick to beer if I’m drinking. This time Red Lobster got my attention with their new beer based cocktails.

 

Red Lobster introduced two new beer-based cocktails that pair perfectly with Endless Shrimp dishes – the Seaside Shandy and Angry Lobster, available exclusively during Endless Shrimp. Crisp and refreshing, the Seaside Shandy features Shock Top Belgian White Ale, Cointreau and fresh citrus. Bold and spicy, the Angry Lobster features Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider, tropical fruit juices and a kick of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. Both cocktails are served in a beer can-shaped commemorative glass with the Red Lobster logo that patrons can take home with them. Since I am a very busy Dad I took this opportunity to try them both and have a relaxing evening with my family. Both cocktails were good and enhanced my dinner.

As we wrapped dinner up the kids were left wondering what new flavors of shrimp they can order next time. My oldest especially, as he is starting to like some seafood. Red Lobster is always a great destination and it will make you feel like home away from home without taking a vacation. I can not wait to see what new flavors they will come up with next and what exciting new cocktails show up.

 

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Oscar Mayer’s New Carving Board Pulled Pork {Review}

I love pulled pork. If I plan ahead and am on top of things around the house I’ll make it in the slow cooker. For this to happen though, I need to have my meat thawed and the ingredients ready so you can probably figure out that this doesn’t happen very often. Thankfully, I can get my pulled pork fix easily with Oscar Mayer’s new product.

Do you like how I made a little campfire with my food? :) I normally don’t eat such nicely displayed food but pulled pork on crackers is my favorite way to enjoy the meat. Oscar Mayer makes a few different varieties of the pulled pork but my favorite is the plain with no seasonings. I add some barbeque sauce and shredded cheese and I have a quick and easy lunch in minutes.

I really liked the convenience of this pulled pork. Making my own takes time and I’m normally busy working in the mornings and don’t think about food until my stomach growls in the afternoon and by then it’s too late to make it. I thought the Oscar Mayer meat was soft and, though this one didn’t have the extra seasonings, it was plenty flavorful. After getting some to review I have bought more at the store so you know that I’m definitely a fan of it.

(Disclosure: I received a sample from Oscar Mayer but all thoughts are my own.)

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.

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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.)