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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pancake Recipe

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Samples provided One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to cook breakfast for my family. I am currently in my second year at the Orange County School of the Arts Culinary and Hospitality high school where I have been expanding my passion for culinary arts. One of my mom’s favorite snacks is Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts, so I surprised her over Thanksgiving break by making her white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes, and it was her favorite breakfast that I have made for her yet. What got me inspired to make these pancakes was when I saw that Mauna Loa now makes chopped macadamia nuts, making it easier than ever to make baked goods with the delicious nuts. The recipe is super simple. You can use any basic pancake recipe (or mix – which I don’t...

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DIY Disneyland Mickey Día de los Muertos Rice Krispy

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Disney, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Disney There are many delicious treats available to enjoy at the Disneyland Resort during Halloween and Día de los Muertos. Along with delicious Día de los Muertos foods, families can capture a photo with the sugar skull car in front of Ramone’s Auto Body Shop in Disney California Adventure and see an ofrenda honoring Ramone’s late friend Doc Hudson. One of our favorite Día de los Muertos treats available at the Disneyland Resort this year is the Mickey Día de los Muertos Rice Krispy treat. While at Disneyland this year, we had the honor of getting a DIY tutorial on how to make a Mickey Día de los Muertos from one of the “sweetest” candy makers at Disneyland, Rob. In the video, Rob shows families how simple it is to make this delicious...

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Celebrating a Love for Avocados

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Events, Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Avocado season is my favorite time of the year. Every morning, I wake up and make the kids and myself avocado toast for breakfast. I am always getting creative with the different toppings that go on our morning avocado toast, but there is nothing better than enjoying avocado toast when the delicious fruit is in season. Why avocado toast? Every kid loves avocados, and it is a great way to get good monounsaturated fat and nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients into their daily diet. Plus, avocados contain less than one gram of sugar per 1-ounce, the least amount of sugar per serving of any other fresh fruit. This avocado season,...

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Messy Minions Candy Bark Recipe

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Crafts, Entertainment, Family, Film, Recipes | 2 comments

 This post is in partnership with Bounty. Minions..Minions..Minions! My kids and I love everything about the minions. The first time that we were introduced to them in the first Despicable Me, we fell in love with them. My kids have minion clothes, hats, and everything minion. When I learned that Bounty was introducing Despicable Me 3 prints on their paper towels and napkins, I immediately knew that I needed to get some for my kitchen. Having three busy kids in my household, we’re always making messes or spilling things in my kitchen. That is why I need a paper towel that is strong enough to clean-up the biggest messes while using the smallest amount of paper towels to tackle the mess. The one brand that I have found to be the most absorbent is Bounty, and I was thrilled...

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The Secret Life of Pets ‘Pupcakes’

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Entertainment, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

 I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team One of our favorite movies to watch right now on Netflix is “The Secret Life of Pets.” The hilarious animated film is about a terrier named Max and a stray who Max doesn’t like named Duke. Together they go on an epic adventure in New York City trying to find their way home. The film has a great message, is super funny, and is a film that families can enjoy watching again and again. During the holiday weekend, my kids wanted to stream “The Secret Life of Pets” on Netflix, and I surprised them by making ‘Pupcakes’ for their movie snack. I paused the movie when the dogs were at the sausage factory for an intermission and brought out the pupcakes. The minute that my kids saw the paw print...

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Shrimp Broil Sheet Pan Recipe

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Family, Recipes, Sheet Pan Recipes | 4 comments

  Now that summer is quickly approaching; I have been thinking about quick and easy ways to get a healthy dinner on the table every night. I’ve decided to try and make as many sheet pan recipes for the family this summer so that I won’t have as many dishes to do every night. Since my kids love shrimp, I made a tasty Shrimp Broil Sheet Pan Recipe for dinner last week, and it was a hit in my household. The best part is that there was virtually no mess!! Shrimp Broil Sheet Pan Recipe Ingredients: 2 heads of corn 1 Pound of shrimp 1 Package of andouille sausage 1 Pound of small baby yellow potatoes 2 Tbls. Chopped parsley 1/4 Cup of melted butter 4 Cloves of garlic (minced) dash of salt and pepper optional rice Directions: 1....

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Sweet Chili Chicken Wonton Cup Recipe

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Are you looking for the perfect appetizer recipe for your next event? Crazy Cuizine is one of my favorite products to make simple and delicious appetizers. The meats are made with restaurant-quality products, and every time I make an appetizer using the Crazy Cuizine Sweet-Chili Chicken, it is always a hit with my guests. Crazy Cuizine recently offered one of their best recipes for us to share with all of your, and it is guaranteed to be a proud pleaser at your next event. Happy Cooking! Sweet Chili Chicken Wonton Cup Appetizers Ingredients: 1 Box Crazy Cuizine Sweet-Chili Chicken 12 small square wonton wrappers ¼ cup cream cheese Splash of milk Sweet-Chili Chicken Sauce (included with product) To taste: green onion garnish To taste: red chili garnish Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Spray 12-cup muffin...

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Blood Orange French Toast Recipe

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sample received Last week we got a special shipment. It was a beautiful green box and inside of the box were four beautiful Limoneira blood oranges. I immediately brought the oranges close to my face, and I was tantalized by the lovely aroma of the oranges. I couldn’t wait to share the oranges with my children, and they fell in love with the flavor of the blood orange. My kids were enjoying the Limoneira blood oranges so much that I decided to incorporate them into a recipe. I was getting ready to make the kid’s french toast for breakfast, and I wondered what the French toast would taste like with blood orange flavors. The result was some of the best french toast that I had ever made for the children. They devoured every last bite and asked if I...

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Disney’s Food & Wine Festival Beef Tenderloin Sliders Recipe

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in Disney, Recipes | 1 comment

 Recipe courtesy of Disney Where’s the beef? It is at Disney California Adventure at the Food & Wine Festival. While eating my way through the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, I enjoyed many delicious bites. One of the highlights of the festival was the Beef Tenderloin Sliders at the Garlic Kissed kiosk. The slider packed a large amount of meat that was juicy, flavorful, and every carnivore’s dream come true. Sliders are one of my go-to recipes to make on a busy night after the kids have had after school activities, and I need to make dinner in a dash. I was thrilled to find out that Disney was willing to share their secret recipe to this family-friendly “perfect” weeknight meal with us. Let’s get cooking, and make these tasty sliders for our families tonight. Make plans...

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Disney’s Apple Bacon Whoopie Pie Recipe

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Disney, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 Recipe courtesy of Disney One of my favorite desserts that I savored at the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival was the Apple Bacon Whoopie Pie. It was unlike anything I had ever had before, and I kept going back to order more. I was beyond thrilled when Disney offered the recipe for their tantalizing Apple Bacon Whoopie Pie for us to share with you. Have fun making this tasty dessert with your children at home, and then bring the kids to Disney California Adventure Park to have it during the Food and Wine Festival. Hurry! The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is happening until April 16th. Disney’s Apple Bacon Whoopie Pie Recipe Recipe courtesy of Disney Makes 12 BACON BRITTLE 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons chopped, cooked bacon BACON CAKE 1 box...

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Disney’s Moana Pua Cookies

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Disney, Entertainment, Family, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored Disney’s Moana is one of my favorite animation movies of last year. I loved the story, the music, and the message behind the film. It wasn’t just me that loved the film, but also my children. When I found out that we could watch the film before it was released on DVD with Disney Movies Anywhere, I couldn’t wait to download it and start watching it with my children. Ever since downloading it, we have watched it over and over again. We decided to invite some friends over for a fun Moana movie night, and since Pua is my younger son’s favorite character, I made adorable “Pua Cookies.” The cookies were a hit with the children attending our party, and the kids devoured every last crumb of the cookies. I brought them out to the children during one...

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Funfetti Rainbow Pancakes

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored I love making pancakes for my family every weekend. I am always trying different ways to make pancakes, and after being inspired by the upcoming National Pancake Day holiday, I decided to make funfetti rainbow pancakes for my kids. The recipe was easy to make using my new T-fal pan. While I used to make pancakes from scratch, I have found that Krusteaz takes just as good as making them from scratch, and allows me more time to be creative with the different types of pancakes I make for my children. When I made the funfetti rainbow pancakes this morning for my kids, they squealed with delight when their eyes first spotted the colorful pancakes. I made the pancakes extra special for my kids by topping them with whipped cream and extra sprinkles. How do you make funfetti...

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Super Bowl Mini Baked Potato Bites

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Giveaways, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored Are you ready for some football? The Big game is this Sunday, and everyone is busy planning recipes for their upcoming Super Bowl Party. My husband always gets together with his college friends at a different house each year to watch the game together. Since it is our year to host the party, I wanted to make some unique and fun dishes that I know his friends will enjoy. I went to Smart & Final to pick-up some of my favorite First Street Brand ingredients and spent the afternoon testing recipes. One of my favorite recipes that I can’t wait to serve on Super Bowl Sunday are the mini baked potato bites that I made. My children loved them, and gobbled them all up within minutes. The recipe is super simple to make, and I would recommend making...

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Trolls Rainbow Bars

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Entertainment, Film, Recipes | 10 comments

 Sponsored Are you ready to par-tay? Dreamworks “Trolls” is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray starting on February 7th! In celebration of the release of the feel-good movie of the year, I made the kids some tasty “Trolls” rainbow bars. I grew up collecting and playing with troll dolls as a child, and when Dreamworks released the movie, I couldn’t wait to share it with my children. We got dressed up in our most colorful outfits and went to the theater together as a family to watch the film. The film had my children giggling with delight and out of their chairs dancing in the theater. It quickly became one of their favorite films of the year. The DVD and Blu-ray edition of the film features an interactive ‘Party Mode’ that will encourage your children to sing – dance...

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The Perfect Banana Smoothie Recipe

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored My son loves banana smoothies. I have been making him one every morning for years, and it is an excellent way to sneak probiotics into his diet. Since I make him the same kind of smoothie every day, I am always looking for new ways to make it. When I was recently introduced to Organic Valley Grassmilk yogurt, it was the one thing that his banana smoothie was missing all those years to be the best banana smoothie ever. Grassmilk is cultured in small batches with milk from grass-fed cows. Since their cows are grass-fed, they produce milk with a perfect balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. The yogurt has a creamy topping that melts in your mouth with every bite, making an absolutely creamy smoothie. The first time that my son tasted his smoothie made with...

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Asiago and Heirloom Tomato Crostini Recipe

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017 in Recipes | 1 comment

 Sponsored in partnership with Laughing Cow My favorite thing to make when we have guests come over is the appetizer. I love to unleash my creativity to create fun and unique flavor combinations with my recipes. When having some friends over last week, I decided to make asiago and heirloom tomato crostini. The Laughing Cow is one of my favorite cheese brands to make appetizers, and when I noticed some new cheese flavors while shopping in my local grocery store, I knew I wanted to try making something new. I had made a recipe pairing sun-dried tomatoes and asiago cheese in the past, and wasn’t quite sure how the cheese would pair with heirloom tomatoes, and it turned out to be pure deliciousness. The recipe is super easy to make, and your guests will devour every last bite. Supplies...

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Cooking Fun with the Chase N Yur Face Cookbook

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in Recipes, Shopping | 0 comments

  Chase Bailey is one of the most inspiring children on the internet. He has been sharing his journey with autism and love for cooking with families online for many years. We even had the honor of having his inspiring mom, Mary Bailey, be a guest blogger on our website. This year was a big year for Chase Bailey as he launched his first cookbook, the Chase n Yur Face Cookbook. The minute that our Chase N Yur Face Cookbook arrived, I was overwhelmed with happiness. The cookbook is full of beautiful food photos, recipes, and my kids favorite – fun facts. All of the recipes have short ingredient lists and simple instructions that even my children have been able to make some of his recipes. There are so many recipes in my new Chase N Yur Face Cookbook...

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Disney’s Sugar Spiced Noodle Kugel Recipe

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Christmas, Disney, Family, Holiday, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We attended a media event as a guest of Disney The holidays are sweeter this year at the Disneyland Resort with their all-new Festival of Holidays celebration at Disney California Adventure Park. There are many delicious sweet and savory food offerings at different kiosks located throughout the theme park. One of the tastiest food offerings during the Festival of Holidays is the Sugar Spiced Noodle Kugel. While I was visiting the Disneyland Resort this holiday season, I was honored to be given a unique opportunity to learn how to make Disney’s Sugar Spiced Noodle Kugel and share the cooking tutorial with all of you. The recipe is a twist on a traditional dish served during Hanukkah. It features a lemon cream sauce with cranberries and frosted flakes. It is simple to make and a great recipe to invite your...

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Entice Rudolph with Reindeer Chow

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Christmas, Entertainment, Family, Film, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to watch the classic version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with my children. The timeless story brings out the spirit of the season in a way that is indescribable, and watching a classic holiday movie is one of the best ways to get your family into the holiday spirit. Along with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” we also enjoy watching “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” during the holiday season. The one thing that has been challenging for me in the past was finding the movies to download and watch with our children every year. When I learned that an Anniversary Collection of the three timeless films was being released this year, I jumped at the opportunity to add it to our home...

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Among Friends Allergy-friendly Baking Mixes

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Dining, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  When having a child with food allergies, finding baking mixes that turn out just like non-allergy baking mixes is a challenge. There have been so many times that I have purchased a gluten-free brownie mix, and the brownies turn out thin and tasteless – until being introduced to Among Friends Baking Mixes. I have been testing out their baking mixes for the past couple of weeks, and wish that I had heard about them sooner. Their pancake mix is my son’s favorite. It is hand-crafted using whole grain, gluten-free, no gums, no GMO’s, and no fillers. Only the ingredients that you would want in a pancake being served to your precious children. It’s not just pancake/waffle mixes that Among Friends makes but also a wide variety of cookies and cake mixes. They have something for everyone to enjoy....

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Disney’s Jack Skellington Sugar Cookie Recipe

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Disney, Family, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

  The best way to celebrate the Halloween season is by cooking delicious desserts and treats with your children. After visiting the Disneyland Resort with your family, come home and create magical memories together while making these tasty Jack Skellington sugar cookies. Here is the delectable recipe courtesy of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Jack Skellington Sugar Cookies Makes 18 cookies 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Icing 2 egg whites 3 cups confectioner’s sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Black food coloring paste Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add...

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DIY Minnie Mouse Halloween Candy Apples

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 in Dining, Disney, Halloween, Holiday, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Disney Halloween Time is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and our favorite thing about the holiday is all the delicious treats. There are so many tasty treats to try at Disneyland during Halloween Time, and the Halloween-themed Minnie Mouse Candy Apple is a favorite this year. While celebrating Halloween with my family at the Disneyland Resort this year, I had a chance to stop into Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park and meet with one of the talented chefs at the Disneyland Resort who taught me how to make a Minnie Mouse Candy Apple. Making a Halloween-themed Minnie Mouse Candy Apple is super simple, and can easily be made at home to impress some of your guests at your upcoming Halloween Party. Watch this step-by-step DIY...

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Trader Joe’s Tasty Tostada Recipe

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Trader Joe’s is my go-to place for a quick dinner. When I am stuck wondering, “what can I make for dinner?” the girls that work in the sample section of our local Trader Joe’s always have the answer. One of my favorite recipes that they have shared with me is their simple, delicious, and tasty tostada recipe. You can make these tostadas for your family within minutes, and everyone in your family is guaranteed to love the delicious flavor. I also made this recipe for a friend who recently had a baby, and she immediately asked me to share the recipe, because everyone in her family loved it. Everything you need to make this recipe needs to come from Trader Joe’s. The meat and the ingredients for the sauce come from their meat and salsa making it hard...

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How to Make Circus Animal Cookie Zootopia Bark

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored An outdoor summer Zootopia movie party would not be complete without some fun animal-themed candy treats. When planning our summer Zootopia outdoor movie night, I made the kids some delicious circus animal cookie Zootopia bark. Making candy bark is one of the easiest things parents can ever make for a party. It takes just a few seconds to make, and you can add virtually anything to the bark to theme it around your kid’s party. Since I was planning a Zootopia outdoor movie night, I wanted to make something colorful, festive, and animal-themed so I used circus animal cookies. The result – the kids loved it!! All I needed to purchase was two ingredients (white chocolate morsels and circus animal cookies.) How did I make it? I poured one bag of the white chocolate morsels into a bowl...

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How to Make Zootopia Pawsicles

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of our favorite scenes from the film Zootopia was when Nick Wilde made “pawsicles” and sold them to the hamsters. My kids laughed hysterically during that scene in the movie. With Zootopia coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on June 7th, I got started right away planning an epic Zootopia themed outdoor summer movie night complete with homemade pawsicles and Zootopia candy bark. We were fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of the film, so we surprised some of our closest friends with a pre-summer Zootopia outdoor movie night. All our kid’s friends couldn’t wait to come over and see their favorite movie again. Everyone brought their blankets, pillows and arrived in their pj’s for the movie. The minute that the pawsicle scene came on in the film, I paused the movie and brought our pawsicles...

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Calming Mornings with TAZO Chai Latte

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Dining, Family, Health, Hot Topics, Recipes | 0 comments

 “This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.” My favorite thing to do in the morning is brew a cup of tea and watch the sunrise while reading a book on our outdoor patio. It is calming, and the perfect way to start my day before the craziness of chasing after three kiddos all day commences. Before drinking tea, I was a major coffee drinker. I would drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day, and found that I was dependent on coffee getting me through the day. Part of my “new me in the New Year” commitment to taking care of myself, I have stopped drinking coffee and switched to tea. It was not as easy of a transition as I thought, and I was...

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Chocolate Passion Fruit Tart Recipe

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

  What to do when you are invited to a dinner party with foodie friends and you’re charged with making dessert? Especially when you spend far more time contemplating the savory side of a menu than the sweet side. This was my challenge one recent Friday evening. And I wanted to bring my A game. While it seems almost everyone loves chocolate for dessert, I lean towards something with fruit. And this got me thinking about a memorable sweet treat I had tried recently… a passion fruit filled chocolate. The tropical tang of the passion fruit is so unique and one of my all time favorites. Combine it with dark chocolate and it’s a match made in heaven. After a little thought, I decided to make a Chocolate Passion Fruit Tart. And while it’s been several years since I’ve...

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Kid-Friendly Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  I love ceviche, but I have never found a ceviche that my kids would eat. While I was in Mexico last month on a mission trip, I asked the family who we were staying with if she could help me to develop a ceviche recipe that was still flavorful, but that my kids would eat. She took my children and me into her kitchen and taught us how to make multiple different styles of ceviche. To my surprise, the kid-friendly version ended up being my favorite, and the best part – it is super easy to make, and can be made the night before. All of the ingredients can be found at Trader Joe’s, it costs less than $20 to make enough, and is enough food to feed 15-20 people. I recommend making it the night before so...

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Knott’s Boysenberry Meatball Recipe

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Knott's Berry Farm, Recipes, Theme Parks | 5 comments

 Recipe courtesy of Knott’s While at the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival this weekend, the boysenberry meatballs were one of my favorite dishes that I sampled. The meat was juicy, tender, and tantalized my taste buds. But, it was the sauce that made them some of the best meatballs that I have ever had before. Our friends at Knott’s Berry Farm were so generous to share their secret meatball recipe with us so that families can enjoy them at home for years to come. Every time that you serve the Knott’s boysenberry meatballs with your children, all the wonderful memories of your visit will come back. Boysenberry Meatballs Ingredients 2 lbs. Ground beef 1 cup Bread crumbs 1 ½tbs. Granulated garlic 1 tbs. Italian herbs ½ cup Milk (to soak bread crumbs) ½ tsp. Salt and pepper 1 jar...

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Kid-Friendly Veggies in a Bottle

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

  Trying to get my kids the daily amount of vegetables into their diet is one of the biggest challenges I have experienced as a mom. My picky eater is always refusing to eat his veggies, and I have to use creative tactics to get them into his diet like sneaking them into pasta sauces, pancakes, and more. Another way that I’ve been successful at getting him to eat his vegetables is with smoothies and juicing. The only problem with juicing is the massive amount of mess is creates in my kitchen and the long clean-up time. Since I am a busy mom who doesn’t have the time to juice daily for my son, I have been trying new products, and recently fell in love with Bolthouse Farms. Each bottle has 3 3/4 servings of vegetables, and they use...

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Cooking with Fig & Olive: The Cuisine of the French Riviera

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Well, it’s the New Year. The holidays are behind us and if my Facebook news feed is any indication, I’m not the only one looking to get serious about eating right after a month long blow out. Okay, it might have been two months. The timing could not have been better to receive a copy of Fig & Olive, The Cuisine of the French Riviera. This bi-coastal restaurant shares many of the recipes that have made it a popular dining destination. The recipes feature fresh, colorful ingredients with flavorful olive oils used in place of butter and cream. After flipping through and considering recipes to try out for dinner such as Whole Branzino stuffed with lemon, rosemary, thyme and garlic; Côte de Boeuf With Olive Oil Bérnaise; and Seared Orange Scallops with carrot purée, I came upon Francine’s...

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Fiesta Quinoa Salad with Garlic and Lime Grilled Shrimp

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Lent is right around the corner, and I’ve been busy in the kitchen whipping up new recipes that the family will enjoy eating during Lent. Since I have been on a strict diet in the New Year, I wanted to create a dish that was full of nutrition, and one that my kids will still eat. With quinoa being one of my favorite things to cook with in the kitchen, I decided to make a fiesta quinoa salad and pair it with garlic and lime grilled shrimp. The result was delicious perfection, and even the kids asked for seconds. The dish is super easy to make, and you can easily make it in advance (perfect for nights when you get home late from a sporting event). I served the dish cold, so you’ll want to make the quinoa...

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Lemon and Raspberry Pancake Recipe

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored We are lucky enough to have a lemon tree that provides us with a plethora of fresh lemons all year long. I love squeezing the juice from the homegrown lemons into my water every morning and then using them to create delicious dishes for my children. We recently received a gift package from T-fal to celebrate National Pancake Day that included HungryJack products, and I immediately thought that the kids would love it if I made them lemon and raspberry pancakes for their Sunday morning breakfast. I got up early and walked into the garden to pick the best lemon and berries to make the recipe. I substituted the water that was recommended on the back of the HungryJack pancake mix with the lemon juice to create the most flavorful pancakes that I have ever made. While making...

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Exclusive Zimzala Restaurant Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipe

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Dining, Holiday, Recipes, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

  Looking for the perfect cocktail recipe for your Valentine’s Day dinner or looking for one of the most romantic places to go out for a cocktail in Orange County? Zimzala Restaurant at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach is one of the hottest new places for couples to escape together for the night to sip on delicious handcrafted cocktails while enjoying the fresh ocean breezes. The general manager of Food and Beverage at Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel, Blake Brissette-Mathias, let us peek into his recipe book, and share two of his Valentine’s Day cocktail recipes. With more than eight years of experience, Blake is at the forefront of the culinary scene in Orange County by creating cutting new food and beverage initiatives. Get your cocktail glasses ready, and entice your husband tonight with one of these distinctive cocktails. Sex...

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Banana Caramel Cream Pie Recipe

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Recipes | 1 comment

  Who doesn’t love a slice of homemade pie after dinner? I have been challenging myself to try new things in the kitchen this year, and that includes becoming a better baker. I am great with making a healthy and delicious dinner, but when it comes to desserts, I fail miserably. While on my quest to become a better baker, I decided to make something simple for my first dessert and ended up with an incredibly delicious banana caramel cream pie. I was walking around the grocery store trying to think of what ingredients I could use to make the pie and wanted to ensure and keep the instructions simple. It ended up being one of the easiest things I have ever made, and everyone in my family devoured it. Ingredients: 1 Pre-made pie crust (freezer section) 1 Package...

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Egg and Avocado Toast

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

  I LOVE Avocado toast. The toppings are endless when making avocado toast. I decided to make an egg and avocado toast this morning since I’ve been trying to master the art of poaching an egg – it is harder than it looks, so I bow down to chefs everywhere who have mastered the art of poaching an egg. For the first time, I used a gluten-free Multigrain bread from La Brea Bakery. Since I’m trying to make healthier choice in the New Year, the flax seed in the bread is what caught my eye. Next I wanted to use some microgreens on top of the avocado, but our local store didn’t have any in stock, so I used regular sprouts instead. I then poached the egg, gave it an ice bath, and then put it on top of...

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Zootopia Zoo Snacks

Posted by on Jan 17, 2016 in Disney, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

  Sometimes my house can feel like a zoo. There are often kids running in and out the front door like a stampede of elephants, and I often have little growling tigers who don’t get their way. I know that I’m not alone, and life can often feel like a zoo for many parents. How do I calm my little monkeys when they are swinging from the ceiling? I serve them a healthy and delicious snack. In celebration of the upcoming film, “Zootopia,” I surprised the kids this afternoon with these tasty zoo snacks themed snacks – and they loved every delicious bite. Making the fun zoo snacks is simple. All you need are bananas (for the monkeys), peanut butter (for the elephants), and animal crackers (for the kids). I guarantee that these snacks will satisfy even the wildest...

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Dinosaur Egg Cupcakes aka Croods Cakes

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Entertainment, Featured, Film, Recipes | 3 comments

 The prehistoric family that we all know and love, The Croods, are back with all-new adventures in the all-new Netflix original series “Dawn of the Croods”. My family loves sitting by the fireplace together and dreaming of being in a prehistoric era while watching the hilarious series. Before sitting down to watch The Croods with my kids this weekend, I surprised them by making Dinosaur Egg Cupcakes aka. Croods Cakes. I am not going to lie. Making them was a labor of love. If you’re planning a Croods theme birthday party or dinosaur themed birthday party, then these will totally impress your guests. How do you make dinosaur cupcakes aka Croods cakes? First you start by making the egg shells. I purchased brown eggs and then while they were in the egg carton, I used a super sharp knife...

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Healthier Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Clearly I have never been born to fry meats, and that was proven true when attempting to make chicken piccata for the first time. The minute I heard the sizzle..I panicked and turned down the heat. It didn’t compromise the flavor, and benefitted the health of my kids. Is it still piccata? I think so..just to the 20th Century healthy family. How did I make it? I started out with my Grandma’s recipe of covering the chicken tenders in salt, pepper and flour while the butter and olive oil heated up..but I couldn’t follow through on clogging my families arteries. Instead – I drizzled fresh lemon juice on the chicken, then covered them in flour before sprinkling a tiny bit of salt/pepper on top. I added the chicken to the butter and olive mixture before turning down the...

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Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup Recipe

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  The weather is cooling down, and the kitchen is heating up. The one thing that my kids LOVE on a rainy day is a bowl of warm homemade soup. I am always trying new things in the kitchen, and when I found myself with a couple of extra cans of crushed tomatoes from the holidays, I made this Italian sausage and spinach soup. The result was pure deliciousness. It ended up being one of the best soups that I have made, and the kids ate every last bite. A successful homemade meal is one where there are no leftovers. The soup can be made in less than 20 minutes and guaranteed to be a new family favorite. Ingredients: 1/2 onion 2 Tbl. Garlic 2 Tbl. Olive Oil 1 Pkg. Sweet Italian Sausage (Sliced) 1 28oz. diced tomatoes 1/4...

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Garlic and Parmesan Broiled Asparagus Recipe

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Getting my kids to eat enough vegetables has always been a struggle. With asparagus being one of my favorite vegetables, I have been determined to make a recipe that my kids will like. It has been a constant battle of trying to make my kids eat their asparagus for years until finally developing the perfect kid-friendly asparagus recipe. Thanks to my lemon tree that continues to provide my family with an abundance of fresh lemons throughout the year, I was able to create this delicious garlic and parmesan broiled asparagus recipe that goes perfectly with any dish. If you are able to make the recipe during the Spring or Summer when the weather is warmer, you can easily grill the asparagus. Simply add a little foil to the barbecue and then add the asparagus mixture to the top...

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Cheesy Chicken Noodle Bake Recipe

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  As the weather keeps getting colder, I’ve been craving some of my favorite comfort foods. While I’ve never been big on making casseroles, my daughter helped me to create this delicious cheesy chicken noodle bake. It was creamy, delicious, and simple to make. ~Enjoy Cheesy Chicken Noodle Bake Ingredients: 1 12 1/2 oz. can of chicken (we used the one available at Costco) 1 10 3/4 oz. can of cream of chicken soup 1 8 oz. container of sour cream 16 oz. egg noodles 1/4 cup cheddar cheese 1/8 tea. Of salt and pepper Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 Cook egg noodles as directed on package, and drain. Mix all the ingredient (except cheese) and then place in a casserole dish. Top with cheese Bake for 30-35...

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Lightening It Up With White Bean Salad

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  With the holidays almost here overindulging is a certainty for me. Creamy buttery mashed potatoes with Madeira gravy, Italian sausage dressing, turkey skin… my favorite part of the bird, and that’s really just a glimpse of the gluttony I fall prey to. After a couple of days of this sin, I need a break. Something lighter and healthier starts to sound really appealing. Something like White Bean Salad. High in protein and low in fat, white beans are the perfect size, shape and texture to mix with vegetables and greens to create a delicious and satisfying meal or side dish. The bean salad keeps well and can be eaten cold or warm temperature, and best of all it’s easy and you can add pretty much any raw vegetables that appeal to you. I like to start with cooked...

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Disneyland Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Disney, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We attended a media event as a guest of Disney One of my favorite things about visiting the Disneyland Resort during Halloween Time are all the delicious desserts offered throughout the season. From decorated caramel apples to tasty cookies, there is something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth when visiting the Disneyland Resort. One of our favorite Disneyland seasonal desserts is the pumpkin cheesecake. Guess what? Now families can enjoy this popular tasty treat right in the comfort of their home thanks to our friends at Disneyland, who gave us their secret recipe to share with all of you. Put your apron on, bring the kids into the kitchen, and bring the magic of Disney into your home by making this delicious holiday recipe together as a family. Don’t miss celebrating Halloween Time with your family at the Disneyland Resort...

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Chicken Tortilla-less Soup Recipe

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  I’m calling this recipe my Tortilla-less Soup. I forgot the tortillas and honestly, this healthy soup doesn’t need them. Boasting tons of flavor from fresh vegetables, cumin, and roasting juices, it’s a light soup that’s easy to make and easy on the figure. Here are a few tips for making the soup: Cook the chicken breasts in advance until just done and then shred in long strips with the grain. To prevent chicken from becoming overcooked do not add into the soup until near the end, giving it just enough time to warm up. As the cooked chicken breasts rests, they will form juices. Be sure to add these juices to the soup. It’s a real flavor boost! For a textural difference, I like to julienne the vegetables rather than dice them. There is something so satisfying about...

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Quick and Easy Moroccan Spiced Wings

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Wings and football just go together. Here’s a quick and simple recipe for Moroccan Spiced Wings perfect for game day. These crowd pleasers require four ingredients, a grill, and minimal prep. While pretty much any rub you like will work, one of my recent discoveries that I absolutely love is the Moroccan Spice Rub from Spice Merchants in Laguna Beach. This blend of garlic, onion, chilies, sea salt, bay leaf, and spices such as cumin, clove, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger is perfect for grilled wings and a departure from the usual. They’re addicting. A few tips: If party wings aren’t available at your grocer, simply buy whole wings, remove the tips, which can be frozen and reserved for stock, and cut the wings at the joint. Dry wings before seasoning with kosher salt. Allow to sit for...

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Smoky Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Soup… I love soup. Even in the summer. While usually I’ll go for the chilled soups when it’s hot out, say an Andalusian gazpacho or a chilled summer squash yogurt dill soup, when the weather cools down a bit, like it did this past Sunday, chowders start to sound good to me. And what could make a better summer chowder than a corn and shrimp chowder? Usually when I see chowders they have potatoes in them, but corn is already carb heavy so I figured I’d ditch the potatoes and come up with a way of making it creamy, but still chunky without them. I prefer my chowders a little more on the brothy side anyway. So with that I came up with my own version. This one has bacon, and smoked paprika giving it a smoky flavor...

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Fig & Olive Signature Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  In celebration of National Pot de Crème Day on Thursday, August 27th, FIG & OLIVE shared their delicious signature Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe with us. As one of diners’ most beloved dishes, pot de crème is a prime example of dessert trends returning to simple roots—showcasing the pure classic taste of chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and other flavors without excessive garnishes and sauces. Dessert aficionados can mark the holiday with the restaurant’s comforting Chocolate Pot de Crème with Crunchy Praline Financiers and Vanilla Cream ($9), which stops short of over-indulgence with a shaving of orange zest and a modest-sized glass cup. Pot de Crème Serves 10 Ingredients: 2 cups Heavy Cream 1.5 cups Milk 4 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar 3 Egg yolks 11 Oz of Dark 64% Chocolate Directions: Bring heavy cream and milk light boil being cautious so...

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Grilled Turkey Zucchini Sandwiches

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Back-to-school time is just around the corner, and it is never too early to start thinking about healthy school lunches for your kids. Ever since my older son developed severe food allergies, I began to get creative with making healthy (and fun) school lunches. By packing him healthy and fun lunches, he doesn’t feel bad about never having the opportunity to buy a school lunch like many of his friends in school. One of my favorite healthy and easy school lunches to make my kids is turkey zucchini sandwiches. The kids love them, and they are packed full of nutrition to give them the fuel they need to be successful in school. Since my son has severe food allergies, I have to be extra cautious about the ingredients used to make their turkey zucchini sandwiches. It is important...

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Heirloom tomato, Avocado and Gruyere Gourmet Tuna Melts

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  While my husband and I enjoy our stuffed avocado tuna cups, I use the same mixture to make these kid-friendly gourmet tuna melts for the kids. The kids love them, and I love that I feel comfortable feeding them a tuna dish with SafeCatch tuna where every fish is tested and has a 70% stricter than FDA mercury limit. I recommend making the paleo stuffed avocado cups for the parents, and these for the kids – it’s two dinners in one! They are super simple to make, and will give your kids the perfect amount of nutrition that their bodies need to grow. I guarantee that this dinner will be a hit in your household, and a new favorite for your kids Mixture Ingedients: 2 large organic avocados (diced) 1/4 red onion (chopped) 2 Tbl. chopped cilantro 1...

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Paleo Stuffed Avocado Tuna Cups

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  With my husband on a paleo diet, I am always looking for new recipes to make for him. One of my favorite things to make him for dinner on a weeknight are avocado tuna cups. They are super simple to make, healthy and delicious. When it comes to making anything with tuna, I always use the purest product available on the market with SafeCatch tuna being my number one brand of choice. Why? They are the only brand that tests every fish and is 90% stricter than FDA mercury limit. Plus there is no GMO’s, additives and are BPA-Free. It is a brand that I can trust in knowing that my family is eating the safest and healthiest tuna available. Tip! Make double of the mixture, and then make gourmet tuna melts for the kids! Paleo Avocado Tuna...

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Lemon Glazed Cookie Recipe

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  I love to bake. It is one of my favorite things to do. My neighbor has a lemon tree that produces some of the largest lemons I’ve seen and filled with sweet lemon juices. She is always bringing them over for me to use in recipes, so when my kids were taking their afternoon nap; I whipped up these delicious lemon glazed cookies that are guaranteed to win over the hearts of everyone in your family. Enjoy making these sweet treats this summer… Lemon Glazed Cookies 3/4 cup sugar 2 Tbl. lemon juice 2 Tbl. lemon zest 1 3/4 cup flour 1/4 tea. baking powder 1/4 tea. salt 12 Tbl. butter 1 egg yolk 1/2 tea. vanilla Glaze 1 Tbl. cream cheese 2 Tbl. lemon juice 1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar Directions (cookies) 1. In a food...

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Soul Satisfying Spaghetti Carbonara With Brussels Sprout Leaves

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  On a cool evening earlier this week, I was craving a comforting but easy dinner. I already had Brussels sprouts on my brain and was thinking about how good they’d be if I separated them into leaves and sautéed them with bacon and tossed them with a few toasted bread crumbs. Not exactly a meal, but fortunately I also had some Parmesan and eggs in the refrigerator and spaghetti in the pantry and realized I had the makings of Spaghetti Carbonara. A perfect place for my Brussels sprouts leaves I thought. While Spaghetti Carbonara is very simple dish, its success is all about timing because the pasta needs to be hot when the eggs are added so they cook. To accomplish this I like to get the pasta water boiling and then reduce the heat until I’m ready...

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Lemon Chicken and Pasta Recipe

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

 When my neighbor surprised me with a basket full of lemons, I decided to make this delicious lemon chicken and pasta recipe for my children. The dish is simple to make, and kid tested, mom approved. Lemon Pasta Recipe Ingredients Table salt 1 pound spaghetti 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for serving 1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons) 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons finely grated zest (about 1 lemon) 1/4 cup juice from 2-3 lemons 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving Ground black pepper 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves or oregano Instructions Bring four quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven (or pot or what have you) over high heat. Add one tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook, stirring frequently, until...

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Whipped Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  When I woke up craving cheesecake but didn’t want to put the time and energy into making a traditional cheesecake, I got creative by making these whipped cheesecake bites with a hint of lemon and raspberry. The result was one of the most delicious desserts that my family has ever had. Did I mention that I was able to make them in less than 20 minutes? That’s right ~ they are a perfect dessert to bring to your next Summertime barbecue or potluck…and I guarantee that your guests will be begging you for the recipe. Whipped lemon and raspberry cheesecake bites Makes 24 bites Ingredients: 1 8oz. tub of whipped cream cheese 1 tea. of vanilla Juice from one lemon 1 cup powdered sugar 1/8 tea. lemon rind 1 10oz tub of cool whip 1 pkg. phyllo dough...

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Rosemary and Lemon Salt Scrub Recipe

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Beauty, Recipes | 0 comments

  I love using salt and sugar scrubs, and with the abundance of lemons growing in my backyard, I attempted to make a rosemary and lemon salt scrub. While most people make them using essential oils, I made them using only ingredients from my backyard lemons. I was able to use the rinds  from the lemons to make lemon infused bath salts, so I didn’t waste any part of the lemon. If you are going to use store bought lemons vs. organic, then I would recommend doubling the lemons used in this recipe since store bought have fewer juices and scent. Lemon and Rosemary Salt Scrub Recipe (Makes 12 4oz. jars) Ingredients: 7 cups of epsom salt 2 Springs of rosemary (chopped finely) 4 ounces of fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup of oil oil (I used lemon flavored olive...

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DIY Homemade Lemon Bath Salts

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Family, Parenting, Recipes | 1 comment

  Homemade bath salts are one of the easiest things to make, and parents can feel comfortable knowing that they are using a 100% all-natural product in their children’s bath. It’s all about the lemons this summer, and while making a rosemary and lemon salt scrub, we used the zest from the lemons to make this simple DIY lemon bath salts. The only thing you need to plan when making them is about 1-2 hours for the salts to fully dry out before storing in jars. Homemade Lemon Bath Salts Ingredients: 4 cups of epsom salts Zest from two large lemons (I would double if using store bought lemons) Cookie sheet Directions: 1. I used a small grater to get all the zest off the lemons 2. Mix the zest well with the salts in a large bowl 3....

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp Orzo Recipe

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Family, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

  Lemons..lemons..lemons! Our garden is blooming with lemons and that means that everything I make for the next month will more than likely feature lemons. After five days away from home at the most magical place on Earth, I was inspired to get creative with ingredients in my kitchen, and the one thing I could make was this incredibly delicious lemon garlic shrimp orzo. It was light, fresh and delicious. Perfect to detox from the churros, popcorn and corn dogs we have been noshing on for the past couple of days at Disneyland. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Orzo Ingredients: Juice from 1 lemon 2 Garlic cloves (minced) 1 Tbl. olive oil (we used lemon infused olive oil) 1/4 cup of parsley 1 pound shrimp 1 tea. salt 1 tea. pepper 2 cups of cooked orzo Directions: 1. Cook the orzo...

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California Pizza Kitchen Summer Cocktail Recipes

Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Dining, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Bring the flavors of California Pizza Kitchen home with these two delicious Summer cocktail recipes. California Roots is a cocktail made with fresh avocado and mint, vodka, fresh Agave Sour, a fennel salt rim AND their famous Cucumber-Basil Soda is filled with thinly-sliced cucumbers, fresh basil leaves and sweet homemade syrup. Perfect for a hot day, CPK’s newest Next Chapter cocktails and sodas are always a thirst quenching bang for any get-together. These two party favorites are delicious, refreshing, hand-crafted and super easy to make at home. California Roots Makes: 1 drink Ingredients: Lime wedge Fennel salt 1 ½ ounces vodka 1 ounce fresh agave sour ½ ounce agave nectar ¼ of a ripe avocado, mashed ice  Mint sprig Procedure In an electric spice grinder (or clean coffee bean grinder) combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon...

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10 Minute Lemon Chicken Recipe

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Our garden is producing more lemons than we could have ever dreamed, and that means that I get to be creative making lots of lemon recipes this Spring for my family. After a busy day working in LA, I found myself tempted by wanting to eat out of dinner ~ but decided to stay home and cook something healthy. I was on a mission to cook a quick and healthy dinner, and thought lemon chicken would be the easiest. I got some of the lemon olive oil I’ve been saving to make something delicious with, chicken tenders, capers and started to create what would become our new quick and healthy weeknight dinner. What do you need? 1 large lemon (2 if they are not organic/homegrown) 2 Tbl. capers 1 package (1 pound) fresh chicken tenders 3 jarred artichoke...

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Celebrate Kentucky Derby Day with Fig & Walnut Julep Recipe

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

 In celebration of the Kentucky Derby, Fig & Olive shared with us their exclusive Fig & Walnut Julep recipe. Beat the heat and enjoy celebrating the Kentucky Derby Day by making this refreshing cocktail. FIG & WALNUT JULEP 2 oz. Four Roses Bourbon .75 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquor .5 oz Lime Juice .25 oz Taylor Tawney Port .25 oz Simple Syrup 2 Black Figs (muddled) 3 mint leaves 2 Slices of Fig 1/4 inch thick Grated Walnut 1 Mint Sprig Ice Preparation Cut mint sprig to about 4 to 5 inches long (long enough so it will be able to peak over the edge of the rocks glass). You will have to strip the mint off each sprig until you have just 3 to 4 smaller leaves at the top of the mint for garnish. The rest of...

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Stained Glass Butterfly Cookies

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Easter, Family, Holiday, Mother's Day, Recipes | 0 comments

 It is Springtime and the best time to make sweet treats for your kids. Woman’s Day Magazine has been one of our favorite resources to be inspired to make delicious and creative treats with our children, and this months issue is packed full of a great recipes for Spring and Mother’s Day. Now that the temperature is rising, and the flowers are back in bloom this adorable dessert will bring the outdoors right into your kitchen! Stained glass butterfly cookies Active: 1 hr 30 min – Total: 2 hr 30 min Makes: About 6 dozen · 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour · ½ tsp baking powder · ¼ tsp kosher salt · 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature · ¾ cup of granulated sugar · 1 large egg · 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract...

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Fig & Olive’s Andalucía Gazpacho Recipe

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  As we go into the warm summer months, it is the perfect time to cook with the fresh flavors of the season. One of my favorite springtime and summer dishes is gazpacho, and the chef at Fig & Olive was so generous to let us share his favorite gazpacho recipe. It is packed full of nutrition, and the kid’s love it! If you haven’t already planted tomatoes in your backyard, now is the perfect time to plant so that you’ll have the freshest tomatoes to make this flavorful soup. Fig & Olive’s Andalucía gazpacho Yields 4 servings Ingredients: 2 lbs Tomato ¼ lb Red Bell Pepper 2 tsp Cumin 2 TBSP Sherry Vinegar ¼ cup bread (French baguette or bread of choice) 1 Hot House Cucumber 1 TBSP Salt 1 tsp Tabasco 2 cups water ½ cup Spanish...

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Mouthwatering Cheesy Maple Bacon Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

 Lunch provided on behalf of the National Pork Board How often do you feed your family pork? I admit that I am guilty of always feeding my family steak, chicken, and fish on a regular basis. Recently, my friends have been talking a lot about their kids finding a love in the different pork dishes that they have been serving their families. Pork is known to be a healthier meat, and is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast. When the National Pork Board offered to bring my family lunch for the day, I couldn’t resist so that my kids could have a chance to try the protein that everyone seems to be talking about. I took the kids for an afternoon at the park, and once we got home, a local chef delivered us a handmade pork...

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Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Primavera Recipe

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

 This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Bounty My kids love when I make pasta, however, I don’t love the mess that it makes in my kitchen. There is always sauce splatter on the stovetop, and unless the kids properly wash there plates then I’m stuck with hard to clean pasta sauce on the dishes the next morning. Once I discovered the new Bounty with Dawn ultra-durable paper towels, I don’t even question making pasta for my kids anymore. The 2-in-1 paper towel easily fights grease and mealtime mess with just one disposable sheet. In celebration of discovering this cool new product, I made a delicious sun-dried tomato pasta primavera recipe, that I couldn’t wait to share with all of you. Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Primavera Recipe Ingredients: 1 package of your kids favorite pasta 1 bottle of marinara sauce 2...

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Delicious Chicken Tostada Recipe

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Instead of having our traditional Taco Tuesday, we mixed it up this week by having Tostada Tuesday. With my husband working late, and one kid at baseball practice, I had to figure out a recipe that could be served at different times throughout the evening. When making the recipe I realized that it is my all-new favorite weeknight dinner recipe. It is so simple to make, can be prepared in less than 10 minutes, and everyone in my family loved it (even my picky eater). The toppings for the tostada can be made in advance (win-win for mom). Ingredients for the topping: 3 Tbl. olive oil 2 tea. garlic 1/2 package of “Just Chicken” pre-cooked strips from Trader Joe’s (you can use other branded pre-cooked chicken strips) 1/4 red onion 1 zucchini 1 cup of corn 1 cup...

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Birds Nest Cookie Tutorial

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Easter, Family, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

  I love Spring. The beautiful flowers, amazing weather and the sounds of singing birds. When the birds first laid their eggs in the small bird house on the edge of our front porch, I surprised the kid’s by making birds nest cookies for their afternoon snack. The cookies are super simple to make, and kid’s love them! Whether you’re looking for a tasty Easter dessert or just a fun treat to give to your kids this Springtime, then these birds nest cookies are guaranteed to be a hit with your kids. What do I need to make them? Baked sugar cookies (your own recipe or pre-made dough) Pastel green food coloring White icing Hershey’s chocolate eggs (pastel) Plastic icing bag and tip (can be found in the making grocery isle) How do I make them? Freshly bake your...

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Kid-Friendly Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Family, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

  I have tried so many different versions of chicken tortilla soup before finalizing this kid-friendly version that even my picky eater will eat for dinner. The soup requires very little work, and can simmer on the stovetop while working on the kids homework. When looking for a simple and delicious weeknight dinner for your family then this soup is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Kid-Friendly Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients: 1 lb. chicken (I used a rotisserie from the grocery store and used most of the meat) 1 onion 1 tea. cumin 2 garlic cloves 2 Tbl. Olive oil 2 cups of chicken broth 1 can of diced tomatoes 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies 1 cup of corn Optional 1/2 cup of water Directions: 1. In a dutch oven on high heat add olive oil,...

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Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Stew Recipe

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  I love everything about my crockpot, especially on a busy weeknight when I’m shuffling the kids to and from their activities and I have no time to cook. It is a time saver, a life saver, and seriously, you can put just about anything into it, leave the house, and it does the cooking for you?!?! It’s just about as good as having your own private chef, minus the clean up of course. My friend shared this recipe with me years ago and my kids go crazy over it. I typically serve it up with some jasmine rice and it’s a tasty, hearty, and nutritious meal for the whole family. Go ahead and empty out the refrigerator. If you don’t have the exact ingredients just use what you have in the kitchen. You can’t go wrong with this...

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Richard Blais Adds Sizzle To Baker Ranch Unveiling

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Events, Giveaways, Recipes | 3 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue Saturday Baker Ranch, Lake Forest’s resort style master-planned community went all out with a Grand Unveiling event featuring appetizers by Suzanne’s Catering, smoothies, tours of model homes by Toll Brothers and Shea Homes, plans for the community’s Promenade Park, live music, massages by Spa Gregorie, synchronized swimming demos, and my personal favorite part of the day, a cooking demo with Top Chef Winner and 2014 James Beard Award nominee, Richard Blais. Blais packed the beautifully equipped party room of Baker Ranch’s luxurious Grove Clubhouse charming his audience with humor and stories, providing tips on upping your cooking game should “Tony Bourdain show up” for dinner, all while walking us through how to make his gluten free pasta dish, Buckwheat Spaccatelli with Broccoli Pesto. This pesto was made with finely chopped broccoli...

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes With A Twist

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

   Without a doubt one of my top two favorite things in the world to do is spend an evening with family or friends or both cooking a wonderful meal. Two weeks ago my niece, Madi was on Christmas break from her first semester in college and I was beyond honored that she wanted to spend her very last evening home cooking a dinner with her mom and me. So what was Madi’s last dinner request? Chimichurri steak over arugula with roasted sweet potatoes. My sister Shan and I got to work on the chimichurri while Madi replicated her good friend Bryce’s sweet potato recipe. I have to admit I had my own idea of what I wanted my roasted sweet potatoes to taste like going in. Thyme, olive oil, salt… roasted. But Madi was raving about Bryce’s version...

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Mickey Mouse Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Disney, Recipes | 1 comment

 Disney Side party was sponsored by Disney M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! When planning our upcoming Disney Side party, I wanted to try and make a healthy “Mickey Mouse” themed snack for the kids. While walking through the produce department of our grocery store, I thought that blueberries and strawberries would somehow be able to come together to make a Mickey Mouse themed snack…I had no idea that they would end up being so cute. When we got home and started make the treat, everything came together…but I felt like it was missing something. So, I went onto Facebook, to seek some advice from my friends, and with a little brainstorming we were all able to figure out exactly what was missing to perfect the treat. Supplies needed: You’ll want to get a package of strawberries that are mostly round. Toothpicks Blueberries...

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Sweet and Savory Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini Recipe

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Featured, Recipes, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

  Making a romantic dinner for your honey this Valentine’s Day? Maybe like me you have a Valentine’s Day themed party and are looking for a festive dish that captures the holiday. These easy to make Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini are a perfect blend of sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy. Crispy baguette toasts are topped with a creamy mascarpone mixture and topped with a heart shaped strawberry that’s been resting in a luxurious bath of chocolate balsamic vinegar. Turbinado sugar lends a satisfying crunch and sweetness with roasted pistachios countering with a bit of salt. The basil adds a perfectly paired herbal note for the strawberries. Appetizer or dessert? You decide! Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini PrintSavory and Sweet Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini Ingredients1 French Baguette sliced ½ cup Olive Oil (enough to brush on both sides of baguette...

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Garlic and Prosciutto Flatbread Recipe

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Family, Featured, Recipes, Shopping | 2 comments

 samples provided With a son who has severe food allergies, olive oil is the only oil that I am able to cook with in my house. It is also one of my favorite ingredients to use to experiment with new recipes, especially after discovering We Olive in San Juan Capistrano. During the kids holiday break, we went to San Juan Capistrano to play at Zoomar’s Petting Zoo and to have lunch when I stumbled upon the boutique store, We Olive. Inside the store, was every kind of olive oil I every could have ever dreamed possible. I left with a couple different bottles of flavored olive oils and have been creating new recipes with the oils including this delicious garlic and prosciutto flatbread recipe. It was my first time making a flatbread, so I learned the do’s and don’ts...

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Spicing Up Super Bowl Sunday With Tandoori Cauliflower

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. Maybe you’re hosting a party or maybe you’re going to one… and maybe you’re looking for a unique appetizer that is on the healthier but still oh so flavorful side to balance out all of those delicious but sinful wings, nachos, and creamy artichoke party foods that are sure to tempt you. This easy Tandoori Cauliflower recipe compliments of Seven Happy Seeds’ owner Sujata is perfectly paired with Naan and a Cucumber Raita to cool down the heat of the Tandoori spice for an appetizer sure to please no matter whose team is winning. PrintTandoori Cauliflower With Raita and Naan Ingredients1 head of cauliflower cut into florets 3 TBSP canola or grape seed oil + more for drizzling 2 TBSP of Seven Happy Seeds Tandoori Marinade & Rub 1 package...

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Tamarind of London Rose Petal Martini Recipe

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

 Love is in the air and Tamarind of London is one of the most romantic dining destinations to spend dinner on Valentine’s Day. In celebration of the big night, Tamarind of London, has offered their Rose Petal Martini recipe for us to share with all our OC Moms. If you can’t find a sitter on Valentine’s Day, enjoy making this sweet cocktail for your Valentine. Tamarind of London is located just steps away from the ocean at 7862 East Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Reservations are available by calling (949) 715-8338. Rose Petal Martini Recipe Ingredients: 50ml citrus vodka 40ml lychee juice 5ml rose syrup (add another 5ml if you want the drink to be sweeter and if you want more color) Dash of fresh lime juice Method Pour ingredients over ice into cocktail shaker Shake vigorously Strain...

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When Pigs Fly Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 1 comment

  Do your kids like macaroni and cheese? What kid doesn’t? Elbow’s Macaroni and Cheese in Brea is one of my kids favorite places to have the ultimate mac ‘n cheese experience. The owners of the restaurant recently offered us their secret recipe to their popular dish “When Pigs Fly” for us to share with you! This macaroni and cheese dish is made with swiss and gruyere cheese with huge pieces of smoked bacon. It was my kids favorite dishes at Elbow’s and we are thrilled to be able to make it at home too! Enjoy this exclusive recipe, and bring your family to dine at Elbow’s Macaroni and Cheese. They are located at 215 West Birch Street in Brea. WHEN PIGS FLY MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS: FOR BECHAMEL SAUCE: 3 CUPS WHOLE MILK 1 SMALL ONION HALVED...

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Quick and Easy Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sample received Normally I’m not one to use pre-made or packaged foods, however every so often having emergency go to food that’s fast and easy is a life saver. Recently I received several internationally inspired pastas by Monterey Gourmet Foods to try and so I put them in my freezer knowing I’d find the perfect opportunity to give them a try. Sure enough I found myself in a situation where I needed to make dinner, had very little in the refrigerator and didn’t have time to run to the store. Monterey Gourmet Foods to the rescue! With three options to choose from – Spinach & Cheese Ravioli, Five Cheese Ravioli, and Potato & Cheese Pierogi – I did a quick inventory of ingredients I had on hand that I could use to toss with my dish. I had a...

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Alternative Sweets Recipe Roundup

Posted by on Jan 11, 2015 in Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

  In the United States we eat a lot of processed junk food.  I think we’ve actually become immune to the taste of it; sometimes sugary treats don’t even taste that sweet! The good news is that we can reverse the effect that years of consuming junk food has had on our taste buds and retrain our palate, in my opinion.  Or – even better! – we can orient our impressionable kids’ palates towards more whole foods from the beginning. My family doesn’t eat much junk food. But I come from a long line of natural sweet-tooths, so we try to satisfy that longing for sweets with reasonable choices.  We extremely rarely eat store bought sweets and are very picky when we do.  This keeps us away not only from refined sugar, but also hydrogented oils, preservatives, artificial flavors...

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Cauliflower and Celery Root Soup

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

 Cauliflower seems to be the new “it” food. It’s popping up on more menus and in more incredible looking recipes than ever. It’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detox properties are believed to help prevent cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. This mildly earthy vegetable can stand on it’s own cooked simply, added for texture to dishes, or enhanced with delicious sauces. Roast it and it takes on a beautiful nutty flavor. Steamed and then mashed and you get a great low carb substitute for mashed potatoes. Not to be outdone, celery root (celeriac) has health benefits similar to those of cauliflower and offers a decidedly more pronounced but incredible flavor to dishes if you’re a celery lover like me. Add to that when added to soups and puréed you get an unbelievable creamy texture without actually having to use cream....

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Fuel for Young Athletes: Pre-Game Eating

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Recipes | 0 comments

  Make sure your athlete eats a meal 2-4 hours before his/her event and starts hydrating at that time. The meal should consist of mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. Some examples include oatmeal with honey, raisins or other dried fruit, whole grain cereal + milk + banana, whole wheat sandwich, roll or wrap with turkey, chicken or ham, chicken noodle/vegetable soup with whole wheat bread. If the event is early in the morning, then make it a snack, but DON’T skip breakfast! It can be something small, like a piece of toast with nut butter and a glass of juice, a banana, granola bar, a small smoothie or yogurt… and don’t forget to start hydrating! Recovery Meals Recovery snacks are an essential part of sports nutrition., and after all, kids REALLY care about what snack they...

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Authentic Homemade Cannoli Recipe

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

  After marrying my husband, he would always talk about the cannoli’s that his Grandmother would make for him on Christmas. Since his family recipe was not passed down to his mother, nobody in his family had been able to make them until now. I had multiple failed attempts at making this authentic Italian dessert until I was passed down this recipe from one of my students parents (back in the day when I was a teacher). The recipe is seamless, simple and comes out perfect every time. There are not all the extra steps that are attached to most of the recipes I had tried before, and I love making them for Christmas every year. This year, was a little crazy, and my kitchen got a “little” disorganized. When I was having trouble finding the recipe I had...

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Cooking Made Simple with Sous kitchen

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Dining, Family, Recipes, Shopping, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 Review product received Have you ever felt like not preparing dinner for the night, but were tired of take out? I have felt this way many nights. We end up with pizza most times, but now there is a new way to combat that scenario. Sous Kitchen is a company that you can go to their website and order pre prepped, ready-to-cook meals. They ship them right to you door. How awesome is that? It is very simple to sign up and order. Once you do this there will be a scheduled delivery. Mine was on a Thursday which was perfect right before the weekend.   The meals are shipped in a box with a cooler and dry ice which keeps the food frozen you either thaw it to cook or you put it in your freezer for a...

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From Garden to Cookie

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Health, Recipes, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  You know how the call to do chores often falls on selective-hearing little ears? When the video game and TV programs drown out their commitment to living in the real world? Well, the antidote to this—I have figured out by doing double-blind unscientific studies using neighborhood children and my 5-year-old son—is to suggest to your child that they play in dirt. Yes, this call to soiled action moves butts, my friends! All you need to do is square off a section of dirt in your front or backyard where there is usually a lot of sun. Stray rocks or stones work very well for this purpose. With your child, remove any twigs, branches or other debris from the newly cubed plot. Hand him a small garden tool, like a mini-tiller or a small spade, and have him mess...

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Seasons 52 Butternut Squash Recipe

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Parenting, Recipes | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Braun We were recently treated to a wonderful afternoon of learning about delicious fall recipes for the cooler weather. Yes it’s that time of year for those comfort food dishes. Executive Chef Russell Johnigan of Seasons 52 showed us how easy it really can be to make delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup even on a school night. While enjoying squash dishes from time to time, this soup was a winner and tantalized my taste buds. It was bursting with flavor, full of subtle hints of green apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and honey; and the most surprising ingredient Chipotle Tabasco. The good news, a generous serving is under 475 calories! Definitely looking forward to making this one; comforting, satisfying and good for those cool, fall days. Braun was also present, demonstrating a fabulous...

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Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

  I grew-up with my Mom making the best beef stroganoff. Even now that I am an adult, I still call my mom often begging her to make me some of my favorite dish. Just like when I was a kid, I still don’t like when my mommy tells me “no” so I challenged myself to make my first dish of beef stroganoff on my own. I made this recipe with a combination of what I witnessed my mom putting into her dish, James Beard and Paula Deen. The mixture of the three recipes made the best beef stroganoff recipe I have ever had. Ingredients: 1 package of egg noodles 1 pound of stew meat 1/2 sweet onion 1/4 cup of flour 1 cup of beef broth 1/4 cup of white wine 1 cup of sour cream 1/8 tea....

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Indian Mango Lassi Recipe

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

  Our sweet tween neighbor Raneem is one of the most talented young cooks I have met, and my daughter and I have a blast cooking with her. This week, she shared her delicious Indian Mango Lassi drink with our family, and was so generous enough to share her recipe with all of you. This refreshing drink is easy to make, and your kids will love every sip of this sweet treat. Indian Mango Lassi Recipe Ingredients: 15 ounces mango pulp [half the can] you can find mango pulp at international stores 2 cups milk 2 cups plain yoghurt 1 tablespoon sugar Directions: In a blender, combine mango pulp, milk and yoghurt. Blend at medium. Stop and stir in sugar, pulse, then pour in pitcher. If you’re serving a lot of people, repeat the recipe using the other half...

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New Year’s Eve Kid’s Mocktail Recipe

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Entertainment, Film, New Year's Eve, Recipes | 1 comment

 We are a Netflix stream team member Are your kids ready to party like it’s 2015? The ultimate party animal, King Julien, is ready to party with your kids with his all-new series on Netflix, “All Hail King Julien.” In anticipation of the big night, we tested out this delicious kid-friendly mocktail recipe to serve to our kids on the big night. We started out with some fun mason jars and colored straws. Adding a rim of sprinkles to a glass is simple, and kids love it! To make a sprinkle rim on your kid’s glasses, dip the rim of the cup in corn syrup, and then dip into sprinkles. Hold the glass over the bowl of corn syrup for a few minutes until the dripping has stopped to avoid having the sprinkles slide down the cup. Ingredients: 1...

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Holiday Hot Cocoa Recipes

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

 One of the first cool weather traditions my family enjoys is the making and drinking (more like slurping) of hot cocoa. Each year, we have different styles of hot cocoa that we love to taste test. Now it’s not like the memorable hot cocoa scene in the holiday movie classic “Polar Express,” but these tasty versions should warm your taste buds and your tummy. Traditional Hot Cocoa Ingredients Around 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I like the Ghiradelli brand) 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) 1 cup milk or any combination – whole, half and half, low fat or skim Whipped cream or marshmallows Preparation Whisk together the cocoa, sugar and about 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the...

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Holiday Cookie Decorating with Walkers Shortbread Cookies

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 1 comment

 Sample product received One of our favorite holiday activities is to decorate cookies. Instead of decorating plain sugar cookies from the grocery store bakery this year we tried something new by decorating Walkers Festive Shapes Shortbread cookies. The shortbread cookies come with four different holiday shapes in a set of twelve (just enough for each of my three kids to decorate one of each shape). What I love about Walkers cookies in that they are made with just four high-quality ingredients: wheat flour, butter, sugar and salt. There are no “chemical names” on the ingredient list that I’ve never heard of before, just the ingredients needed to make delicious holiday cookies for our children. I got out different colored tubes of icing and lots of decorations to let the kids express their creativity while decorating their holiday cookies. We...

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Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles Recipe

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  With the holidays upon us, there’s no shortage of celebrating and party invites! Sometimes those invites include a request to bring a dish or appetizer. Hmmmm… what to make? These crispy Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles with Cranberry Drizzle are festive, fun little bites wrapped in flakey, buttery phyllo dough that are always a hit! And the best part is they can be pre-made and frozen until you are ready to bake them. Make a big batch and store them in your freezer in Ziploc bags to have at the ready for the parties you’re invited to! When you’re ready to bake, no thawing is necessary. Take them from your freezer directly to the oven. The Cranberry Drizzle can be frozen as well and re-heated on the stove. Ingredients: 1 pound phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package 2...

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Three Easy Ideas for Your Christmas Cheese Board

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

 What party is complete without a cheese board? Here are three ideas to add a touch of Christmas to yours this year! Include a Pink Peppercorn and Rosemary Goat Cheese Log! To prepare, chill your goat cheese, stem and chop enough rosemary to coat your goat cheese log, lay out in the length of the goat cheese log and roll so the cheese is coated. And then do the same with pink peppercorns. You will have to lightly press some of the peppercorns into the log. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, drizzle with high quality olive oil. Make your favorite paté recipe. I am fond of Emiril’s chicken liver paté recipe. Since paté is often served with cornichon and Dijon, I like to slice the cornichon into thin slices and use them to form Christmas tree...

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Holiday Cranberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Christmas, New Year's Eve, Recipes | 0 comments

 Item received for review   When getting ready to plan your upcoming holiday party, welcome your guests with a flavorful cranberry champagne cocktail. The recipe is simple to make and all the prep work can be done ahead of time to avoid added stress during your holiday party. Feeling overwhelmed by what brand of champagne to purchase? ARIA is not only an affordable brand with an average pricing of $14 a bottle, but also boast sophisticated flavors. ARIA comes from the Penedes region of Spain outside of Barcelona from an estate that dates back to the 11th century. For this recipe, I used the ARIA Estate Brut because of its lively and refreshing tasting notes.   Cranberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe Ingredients: 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 cup sugar 1 bottle ARIA Estate Brut Champagne saucepan strainer (cranberries for garnish)...

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Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

  The holidays are a fun time to bake treats with your kids but sometimes it can be difficult to find a recipe that kids of all ages can help make. My kids have been helping me make homemade peppermint bark during the holidays since they were just toddlers, and it is one of their favorite holiday treats. Before purchasing commercial store-bought peppermint bark for a holiday gift, make it at home instead. You’ll have a blast bonding with your children, and a homemade gift is extra special to receive during the holiday season. What do you need? It is simple! 1 box of candy canes 2 12oz. bags of white chocolate chips 1 tea. peppermint extract 1 gallon-size ziploc bag 1 sheet wax paper 1 cookie sheet Where do you start? Bring your kids into the kitchen, and...

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Healthy & Delicious: Roasted Shrimp Kale Salad with Pesto

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 2 comments

 My brother-in-law, John has a mantra, “I’m starting fresh on Monday.” This is usually recited during a weekend of over-indulgence such as this past week! Coming up with ideas for starting fresh isn’t always easy when you’re cooking for a meat lover, but recently I had my sister, Shan and John over for dinner and served a salad I had come up with when I was on a health kick myself. The verdict? They both loved it. The salad starts with a bed of kale with toasted almonds, golden raisins and Parmesan cheese tossed in roasted garlic dressing with lemony breadcrumbs. This is topped with an assortment of colorful ribboned vegetables that have marinated in a light vinaigrette and then roasted shrimp with kale pesto. The layers of textures and flavors make this a satisfying and delicious dinner, without...

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Moms Magnificent Fudge

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  I’ve had the recipe for Moms Magnificent Fudge sitting in the recipe box that I received when I was married, and yet I had never tried making it until this holiday season. Our family focus this year is to have most of our holiday gifts handmade vs. store bought. Nights like the one we spent making fudge together were special, and has strengthened our family bond. While I had thought that homemade fudge was too hard to make (I mean they sell fudge kits at Michael’s) it is actually super duper easy – just a little time consuming! We found it to be so easy that we made a second bath the following night. Purchase some cute treat boxes, make a batch of this fudge, and give your friends a gift from the heart this holiday season. Ingredients:...

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Pomegranate Turkey Recipe

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving | 1 comment

  Why make a traditional turkey when you can surprise your guests with a unique turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love doing a unique twist on traditional holiday dishes, and this pomegranate turkey recipe was the hit of the holiday in our family last year. It is easy to make, and gives the turkey a sweet flavor that tastes just like eating candy. If you find yourself staring at the giant bird defrosted in your refrigerator wondering what to do with it…try making this fun new recipe. Ingredients: 1 turkey 1 cup of softened butter 1/4 cup of chopped rosemary 2 cups of pomegranate juice 4 large pomegranates 2 garlic cloves 3/4 cup of brown sugar 2 Tbl. honey 1/2 cup of orange juice 4 Tbl. olive oil Dash of salt and pepper Directions: In a food processor,...

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Corner Bakery Chicken Pomodori Panini Recipe

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

 Recipe courtesy of Corner Bakery I love Corner Bakery. My kids love Corner Bakery. There is something for everyone at the family-friendly restaurant. One of my all-time favorite things to order at Corner Bakery is their Chicken Pomodori Panini. Chicken + Cheese + Basil all inside of Sourdough bread = bliss. Knowing that my instagram feed is flooded with constant pictures of this delicious panini, Corner Bakery offered to share the recipe to this popular sandwich with all of you. What are you waiting for? Get your panini maker out and try making this delicious sandwich for your kids. I guarantee that your kids will love this delicious warm panini. Chicken Pomodori Panini Ingredients: 2 slices of Sourdough bread Butter Garlic butter 4 slices of Provolone cheese 3 oz. of sliced chicken 1 oz. of roasted tomatoes 3-4 leaves...

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Roasted Pear in Dark Chocolate Balsamic with Burrata Recipe

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  About a year ago I discovered Dark Chocolate Balsamic. I’m not really a huge chocolate lover, but it is so incredibly delicious it’s downright drinkable. Since this discovery, I’ve come up with all sorts of fun ways to incorporate it into dishes and now that it’s Fall I started thinking about how good it would be with roasted pears. Dark chocolate and pears. They were made for each other. I also think rosemary is wonderful with roasted pears so I decided that would be part of my dish. But what else? When I was young my mom used to make this pear salad. I’m pretty sure it came from the back of the Del Monte Pear Halves can. Here’s what she did. Half a canned pear, a scoop of Best mayo, and grated cheddar cheese…quick and easy and...

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Cranberry French Toast Casserole

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Recipes | 7 comments

 Bakeware  & gift card provided from Baker’s Secret Tis the season for holiday baking! Get your family into the holiday spirit by baking with the rich flavors of the season. Treat yourself to some new bakeware this holiday season that can go from the oven to the table adding a touch of color to your holiday table. Baker’s Secret colored metal bakeware has a premium non-stick coating, dishwasher and metal spatula safe, and comes with a full lifetime warranty. We created this special recipe for you to prepare for your next holiday brunch. Cranberry French Toast Casserole Ingredients: 1 Loaf of Texas toast bread (thick bread) 8 Eggs 2 Cups milk 1 Cup fresh cranberries (divided) 1 Tbl. sugar 1/2 Cup brown sugar 1 tea. vanilla 1 tea. nutmeg Directions: 1. Cut the crust off the bread and then...

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