Peach Pie Recipe

August 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Food

Who Love Fresh Peach Pie?

I know I love fresh peach pie and my family does too.  I’m always excited when Branstool Orchard in Utica, OH has their fresh peaches. We stopped by last weekend and bought three pecks of peaches.  One went to my Dad and the other two we got to eat and make pies with.

peach pie

Peach Pie Recipe I used this recipe for the filling. The crust I just used Pillsbury pre-made dough found in the ref. section.

5 cups of peaches.  Peel them and cut them up.
3/4 cup sugar (recipe says 1/2 – 1 cup. I used 3/4)
1 1/2 t lemon juice (I didn’t use it because I was out. Just make into pie quickly so they don’t brown)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

Place one of the pie crusts in the bottom of the pie pan. Make some holes in it with a fork to vent.

peach pie crust

 

Mix the cut up peaches and lemon juice (if you remembered it.. lol) and set aside.

peaches

Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl.

sugar flour

Take the dry ingredients and mix well with the peaches

peach pie

Pour mixture into the  pie shell.

peaches

Slightly wet the edges of the bottom pie crust.  Place the top crust and lay over top of the filled pie pan.  Pinch the edges of the two pie shells together.

Make a fun design in the top shell to vent.

peach pie crust

Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes.  Mine cooked for about 40 to almost 45 minutes.

peach pie

Then you just have to enjoy!

peach pie

I have to apologize because the family was so excited to eat the pie when it cooled that I totally forgot to get a picture of a piece of the pie! We like to eat it warm and put whip cream on it.  It would also be good with ice cream, but we didn’t have any for this pie.  It was SO good, by the way.

 

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Black Raspberry Jam

July 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Food

Making Black Raspberry Jam

We decided to try making black raspberry jam from the fresh black raspberries that we pick at the farm.  Each year at the farm we get black raspberries this time of year.  We had a bumper crop this year.  Alex is picking some. As you can see, there are a lot that aren’t ready yet. The red ones will be turning black by next weekend. But there were still plenty to pick this weekend.

black raspberries

We had the kids helping along with one of Elise’s friends.  I didn’t pick many, I took pictures though! lol

picking black raspberry

All of us got a little scratched up trying to get through the thick brush and thorns.  Dave was blazing a path with a machete, so that helped.

picking berries

picking berries

Look at how big some of them are. But not all of them were that big.

black raspberries

We ended up with 21 cups of berries!

black raspberries

We have never canned anything, but decided we wanted to try.  We bought a canning book and canning jars, a basic kit that has the tongs to get the jars in and out of the boiling water. That is a must in my book.

I washed all of them first.

canning jars

As we prepared the black raspberry jam we heated up the jars in the hot water bath so that the jars didn’t break when we  poured in the jam.

canning jars

Black Raspberry Jam Recipe (as per the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving)

9 cups of crushed black raspberries (we started out with 9 cups of berries, but once we mashed them we had to add about 3 more cups!)
6 cups of sugar
Add the berries and sugar to a large pot.  Bring to a boil slowly.  Stir the whole time, dissolving all the sugar.
Cook rapidly to the gelling point (we had to look up what a gelling point was – it’s kind of hard to explain so you might want to look it up, but you use a spoon and the jelly, jam will break away from the spoon in a sheet or a flake.
Stir frequently as it thickens and then remove from heat.
Skim foam if necessary (it was necessary for us)
Pour the jam into the jars (we used the funnel and a ladle) and leave 1/4 inch of room from the top.
Put on the lid and then place into boiling water for 15 minutes. Be sure there is 1-2 inches of water above the top of the jars at all times.

Dave had the kids both helping.

cooking

We mashed the berries and that is when we discovered that we need a lot more berries than we thought. We started out figuring out 9 cups of berries, not 9 cups of crushed berries.  It took about 12 cups of berries to equal 9 cups of crushed berries. Just so you know.

cooking

Looks yummy doesn’t it?

black raspberry

Once it was ready we put it into the jars.

canning

Once we filled the jars, we put them into the boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

canning

black raspberry

We got five 4 oz jars and 4 pints.

black raspberry jam

Love the little 4 oz jars for gifts. They are just so cute! We’ve given all those away already.

black raspberry

The black raspberry jam came out really good.  I might suggest adding a little bit of pectin next time to thicken it up just a bit more. It’s a little on the runny side, in my book. My Dad didn’t think so at all though, so maybe it is a matter of preference.

We had a great time picking the berries and making the jam. The kids were really proud that they got to pick the black raspberries and then make jam from them!

 

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Ice Cream Sandwich

May 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Food

Recipe for an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!

 

ice cream sandwich cake

I will tell you that the Ice Cream Sandwich cake itself is not a pretty sight. It isn’t a fancy looking elegant cake. It is more like… oh wow.. what a mess THAT is!

Carrie posted this on my link party a few weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to try it since then. Here is her post.

My best tips…  Be prepared BEFORE you start the process.  I was not.  I decided to make this on a whim. My son ran to the store for me, and came back with 2 boxes of semi frozen ice cream sandwiches to start. The whipped cream was semi frozen also.

Ingredients for the Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

  • 24 ice cream sandwiches (I wanted vanilla, but I know others like peanut butter or chocolate ice cream in them)
  • Whipped Cream – a large tub
  • 12 – 19 oz bag Candy – I used Reece Cups and crumbled them up. You could use Oreos, Butterfinger, Toffee… etc.
  • Caramel syrup. – you could also use chocolate.

Prepare First

  • Make sure your whipped cream is thawed (if it was frozen)
  • Unwrap and break up your candy
  • Make sure your ice cream sandwiches are unwrapped and well frozen before beginning.
  • Trying to unwrap soft ice cream sandwiches, a bunch of Reece cups while you are trying to build this and things are melting…. isn’t a good recipe for success.  Just sayin’.

Recipe

  • Layer 6 ice cream sandwiches across your cookie sheet. (You can also use a large flat platter. It gets kind of heavy, so make sure whatever you use can go in a freezer and is supportive.)
  • Top it with a layer of whipped cream, sprinkle a layer of candy pieces on it and top it with some caramel.  then repeat those layers. (I can’t give you exact amounts, just wing it – what looks right to you)
  • I went up four layers. The top layer I did not include the caramel sauce, although I could have. I already had such a melting mess that I had to get into the freezer quick… lol

ice cream sandwich cake

If my whipped cream had been completely thawed it would have been easier to spread.

ice cream sandwich cake

See, I told you it isn’t pretty…  Looks like a real mess!  But I didn’t care, I was too excited to try it.

Now take this concoction and put it into a freezer for a couple hours.

ice cream sandwich cake

Ours stayed in the freezer over night.

I took it out this morning, expecting it to look a little different I guess…. but it looked just the same… .but frozen solid.

ice cream sandwich cake

Since we started it too late for the kids to have any last night … since it had to still freeze,  I did what any  step mother would do – I said they could have a little piece this morning! Yes, they ate their breakfast first.

ice cream sandwich cake

I cut this piece into thirds for them.

ice cream sandwich cake

It passed the kid test with flying colors! They loved it. What i think will be fun is that it was SO novel that I let them have a dessert in the morning (I won’t even let them have pop tarts for breakfast on a school morning) they will have really fun memories of this cake.

Elise

Zach

Alex

By the way I tried it also… and loved it. I’m not a huge fan of the DQ ice cream cakes, but I LOVED this! The sandwich part of the ice cream sandwich is such a perfect layer.

This one is going to be in our “keep” file … for sure!

ice cream sandwich cake

I did see another version where they did it in a cake pan – lined with foil. It would have been just a double decker I’m thinking… rather than my 4 layers. I didn’t do it this way because I thought it would be hard to get out of the pan. It wasn’t until I went back (after I made mine) and looked at the recipe again to see that they had  lined the pan with foil first. Duh!  But the kids loved the tall 4 layer ice cream cake.

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Organizing and DIY Link Party – Week 16

April 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, DIY, Food, Kitchen, Organizing & DYI Monday Link Party

Finding Cool Ideas From Others for Organizing and DIY

I know I have found some great organizing and DIY ideas from Pinterest and other blogs.  I love that we can share our ideas with others and that we can find ideas from others via social media.  I found the inspiration for my headboard  on a blog and paint color for my bedroom on pinterest.

organize and DIY

Here are some neat ideas that I think you will want to try.  I know I’m for sure going to make this ice cream cake and will also use the picture hanger for my step son’s graduation celebration.

Color Code Your Keys

This is such an easy way to color code your keys and to do it in a fun and personal way. Laurel from A Bubbly Life  found the idea from pinterest with a sparkly glitter key. I love her colors… but I have to say I think the glitter one would be fun too!

Organizing and DIY

 

 

Clothesline Photo Display

This is so simple and so cute.  I want to try it for my step son’s graduation party.  Jillian from ‘Hi, It’s Jilly’ came up with this cute display.

Organizing and DIY

 

Easy Ice Cream Cake

I am SO going to try this!  I like the store bought Ice Cream Cakes.. pretty well, but they seem almost too hard or the icing isn’t right. I don’t usually buy them. But I love ice cream sandwiches, whipped cream and of course the goodies on here.   Carrie from Saving 4 Six  used peanut butter ice cream sandwiches and oreo cookies.  Her other post (linked on her post) with the recipe she uses Butterfinger candy pieces in place of the oreo cookies (that is one I’d more likely try… oh or Snickers or Reece Cups)

Organizing and DIY

 

Bead Board Dishwasher Make over!

Carrie from Saving 4 Six also linked up this Bead Board make over of her dishwasher. I thought this was such a good idea. If that looked worked in your kitchen it would be such an easy way to add some character and help a dishwasher look new!

Organizing and DIY

Link up to my Linky Party! I’d love to see the ideas you create yourself or find from other inspiration online!

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (url code under button tab )
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.
6) By linking up to my post, I might use your pic (with link and credit to you) next week in my post!

 

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click here 
This party will be open until April 29, 2012 at 11:59pm

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Fav Pin Friday Pinterest Linky Party

Easter Ideas from Pinterest!

I love finding fun things on pinterest!

pinterest linky party

There are some of the cutest ideas for Easter floating around out there!  Who doesn’t love bunnies and all the spring colors.    I saw this idea from Pinterest and thought it was SO cute!

Peep S’Mores

Make a Peep S’More.. at home!   You use your typical graham crackers and Hershey chocolate bars – but you add a Peep for the Marshmallow (after all it is marshmallow).  You put just the bottom half (1 cracker, chocolate and Peep) in the microwave for about 8-12 seconds I think. I know marshmallows really puff up huge in the microwave. I can’t wait to try this with the kids!

peep smores

You can find this post at Eclectic Recipes 

Lori found the Peep S’mores on Pinterest and she put another spin on them.  What a neat idea this is! She made up Peep S’More packs for her kids parties at school.  She got the little bags and then she printed up the instructions and put on the back.  Hopefully the kids will wait until they get home to open and make them, rather than opening and just eating all the ingredients out first!  I LOVE this idea!

peep smores

You can find this darling idea at My Wood Spoon

Bunny Cupcakes

Isn’t this cupcake darling?  So simple, yet looks so awesome!  I first saw just the backside shot of the bunny in the cupcake. When I went to the post I found this pic with the front of the bunny done up too.  It is a blog written in spanish, but some awesome recipe. Worth hitting the translator for.

bunny cupcakes

You can find this idea at Cupcake Perfecto.

Angry Bird Easter Eggs

How cute are these?

angry bird easter eggs

You can find the post for these on The Tip Junkie party ideas

 

Would love for you to link something you would like pinned!

Guidelines

1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out, or stumble or pin it. (Only pin my Fav Pin Friday button, not any of the pics I put up from pinterest please – those aren’t my pictures.)
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!
5) Please click on the pictures, it will take you to my pinterest boards where I pinned these pics.  Please repin these pictures, as it will help the people who originally posted the picture. Visit their posts to help them out.

If you like the pinterest parties you can go to Kim’s at Crafty Mama of 4. She has Pin it Friday 

If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.

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Fav Pinteret Pin Party – Week 9

St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest Pins

Have you checked out Pinterest for any St. Patrick’s day ideas?

pinterest linky party

These were some of my favorite pins for Saint Patrick’s Day! This just looks SO awesome! Look at the green sprinkles on top. lol

pinterest

Love whoopie pies!!

pinterest
These look too good to eat… and expensive!

pinterest

 

Would love for you to link something you would like pinned!

Guidelines

1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out, or stumble or pin it. (Only pin my Fav Pin Friday button, not any of the pics I put up from pinterest please.)
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!
5) Please click on the pictures, it will take you to my pinterest boards where I pinned these pics.  Please repin these pictures, as it will help the people who originally posted the picture. Visit their posts to help them out.

If you like the pinterest parties you can go to Kim’s at Crafty Mama of 4. She has Pin it Friday 

If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.

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Saint Patrick’s Day Milkshake

Saint Patrick’s Day Milkshake - Surprise Your Kids

Saint Patrick’s Day can be a lot of fun.  You can do something as simple as give your kids a green milkshake and they will be thrilled.  We don’t decorate for St. Patrick’s day, or go to any big parties or bars to drink green beer. But I have fun doing special things for the kids if we have them on that day. (My step kids, we have week on/week off).  One year I made them Green eggs and ham for breakfast, another year I made green pancakes (ewwww..)  I don’t know why I necessarily pick breakfast to create green creations – maybe because it seems to scary to create them later in the day? lol

But this year I decided to go with my new green smoothie for them. Fun thing about it, is that it can be a really healthy shake and they don’t realize it.  It tastes like banana and peanut butter, so the kids don’t  even realize there is spinach in it (if you don’t want them to know).  It is a great way for them to have a healthy snack after school or for breakfast in the morning… any day of the week.

I have been drinking one most mornings. Actually this makes enough that I usually have half for breakfast and the other half is my lunch.  It holds you for so long too.  I don’t get the cravings at 10am. So this would be a really good thing on school mornings for the kids, rather than those sugary cereals.

Saint Patrick's day milkshake

Recipe for Green smoothie Shake

1/2 cup vanilla low fat yogurt
1 cup skim milk
1 banana (you can freeze before hand if you’d like)
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
3-4 Cups leaf spinach
4-5 ice cubes

One thing that I’ve done, if I end up with bananas that are starting to go bad, I’ll cut them up individually into plastic bags and freeze them. Then you can take them out and throw them in the mixer. You don’t waste the bananas and you get a colder, thicker shake.  I found this recipe on pinterest and she always used frozen bananas in hers. You can find her link in my full post (link below).

Makes about 48 oz of shake.

You can see my full post here for Green Spinach Recipe

 

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Favorite Pinterest Pin Friday – Linky Party – Week 8

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Favorite Pin Friday Link Party, Food

My Favorite Pinterest Cupcakes this week!

Have you seen how many cool cupcakes there are on pinterest? omg… there are SO many and they look SO good!  I think I could spend all day just pinning cupcakes, although my pinterest followers might get a little sick of it! lol

pinterest

I spotted these cupcakes one evening and didn’t pin them at that moment.  I then went back later and couldn’t find them anywhere! I tried searches, I looked on a zillion cupcake boards.  Then about 2 weeks later I spotted them again and was so excited.  I think they just look so cool together.

cupcakes

I think these cupcakes look so cute! Think how nice these would look on a table at a party. I don’t know that I’d really like the marshmallow frosting, I’m a butter cream girl…. but I still like the cupcakes.

flower cupcakes

Isn’t this cute? lol.. It just made me last.

wizard of oz cupcakes

 

Guidelines

1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out, or stumble or pin it. (Only pin my Fav Pin Friday button, not any of the pics I put up from pinterest please.)
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!
5) Please click on the pictures, it will take you to my pinterest boards where I pinned these pics.  Please repin these pictures, as it will help the people who originally posted the picture. Visit their posts to help them out.

If you like the pinterest parties you can go to Kim’s at Crafty Mama of 4. She has Pin it Friday 

If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.

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Spagetti Tacos Recipe

February 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Food

If iCarly Can Eat Spagetti Tacos, The Triplets Can Too!

Want to surprise your kids? Tell them you are going to make them spagetti tacos!  Chances are they will know exactly what you are talking about.

I can’t tell you how excited three 11 year olds were when I asked them if they wanted Spagetti Tacos for dinner. I got several … “What?” and then “Do you know who eats Spagetti Tacos?  iCarly does… and Victorious had them on their show just last night!!”  They were beyond excited!! What a riot… a meal that isn’t particularly healthy (not at all) it was a real winner with my kids.

I heard about this recipe from @MamaBzz who had them on her blog a couple weeks ago.  I told her I would have to try it!  I just now went to her blog to pick up the url and realized she had topped her with shredded cheese…oops… I forgot that on mine!

Ingredients:

Taco shells
Spagetti Sauce
Ground beef /Venison(I used)
American Cheese
Spagetti
Shredded Cheese (optional for top – that I forgot)

Directions:

Ground the meat
Boil your spagetti
Heat your spagetti sauce
Microwave (or heat in oven) your taco shells

Oh… look at this idea I had to use to hold my taco shells (I think I was as excited about this as I was at the recipe… I might have seen it on pinterest, but I’m not sure – they might have been using something similar)

Turn your cupcake tins upside down and use to hold your taco shells. It worked awesome!!!

taco shells

I have to tell you.. I was super excited about this! lol

taco shells

Line your taco shells with a slice of American cheese

The cheese will melt when you put the hot spagetti in it.

taco shells
 Drain the spagetti, mix in the sauce and meat and spoon into your shells.  I found these tongs to work a little easier.  

spagetti tacos

Serve!  - This handy holder works great to also carry them into the table!

Yes.. these would look better with shredded cheese on top! You could also use parmesan cheese on top if you preferred, but my kids didn’t miss it.

spagetti tacos

 

spagetti tacos

The happiness followered. Alex was trying to decide how to eat that first bite. lol

Elise just dug right in!  She decided that this is what she wants for her birthday dinner this year!

Enjoy!

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Green Smoothie Recipe

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Food, Health & Safety

Spinach Green Smoothie and it’s Yummy!

I found this recipe for this green smoothie on pinterest and decided to try it and loved it!  I know… looks gross… like something for Saint Patrick’s day or something. Am I a total healthy freak who thinks all that gross healthy stuff tastes good? Nope.. not at all.  I am a total sugar-holic (but going through sugar de-tox now! LOL ) I do not have a taste for veggies, they are hard for me to get down, so this is a great way to do it.

green smoothie

Does it taste like spinach…. NO!  Believe it or not.

I have been having one each morning and it holds me until lunch… easy!
This has been referred to as a diet secret weapon…. and I can see why!
It tastes like a banana peanut butter milk shake.

It is around 350 calories per serving – but remember, it is a meal and it is so healthy and will help you not to have those in between cravings.

Ingredients

1/2 cup fat free or low fat yogurt (Greek yogurt would be good, but it is more expensive, so I don’t use it)
1 cup skim milk
1 banana (you can slice & freeze ahead if you want, I use ice cubes instead)
1 T peanut butter
several cups of leaf spinach
hand full of ice cubes

spinach smoothie

Cup up your banana

bananaAdd 1/2 cup yogurt

yogurt

Add 1 tablespoon peanut butter

peanut butter

Add 1 cup skim milk
Fill the rest with spinach

green smoothie

Add a handful of ice.

spinach smoothie

Pulse your blender until the ice has made it’s way down. I like to put it on top because it seems to push the spinach down a little better.  Once your ice is chopped pretty well… then let it blend on smoothie or high for about a full minute.  There shouldn’t be any pieces of spinach left. (at least that is how I like it)

green smoothie

You get a large serving. Drink it all.

green smoothie

It tastes like a peanut butter banana shake!!!  Honest! My 11 year old tried it and liked it (the other one wouldn’t try it)

Green Monster

So happy I found this… you’ll have to try it!

Green monster smoothie

 

I made the shake myself. These are my pictures. Please do not use them without permission, other than pinning them to pinterest. That I would love! :)

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Organizing and DIY Link party – Week 7

Link Up Your Organizing and DIY Posts

Do you have any ideas for organizing and DIY for Valentines day? Do you do anything special for Valentines Day?

organize and DIY button

What is Valentine’s Day like at Your Home?

valentines day balloons

We have a special dinner which is a bit different. We have chocolate chip pancakes! I did it one year for fun and the kids haven’t forgotten. When they mention Valentine’s Day, they mention chocolate chip pancakes! I have done them in heart shapes, but I didn’t last year when I took these pictures. We’ll see what tomorrow brings when I make them this year.
chocolate chip pancakes

This is what Dave had waiting for me for Valentine’s day one year. I came in late that night from a trip and this was on the table for me.
Organizing and DIY

Share your DIY, crafts, decorating, organizing projects and Valentine’s Day posts!

You can find the link for my button on my top “Buttons” Tab. (right now I only have the Organizing Mission Monday button, so it is fine to continue to grab that) 
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

I also have a Pinterest Favorite Pin Friday Linky Party! Be sure to watch for that!

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View
This party will be open until Feb 19, 2012 at 11:59pm

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Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu! Has it Hit Your House Yet?

(Originally Cold and Flu was posted on Chat with Sandy 12/30/10. I am bringing it back because I like these products. I am no longer a GT VIP blogger and I’m not getting compensated in any way for this post. But I do believe in these products and use them myself and wanted to let you know)

Cold & Flu  has hit mine… several times.  We have had colds, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, strep throat, sinus infection in the last 3 months between the 10 of us.

Genesis Today

Not fun is it?  Yuck!!

What have I had?  I will tell you that I thought 2 different times that I was getting sick. But it was like 1 day of a little sore throat and then it was gone.  Last night was the first night that I wondered about a cold. My nose was stuffy, but so far today it seems fine.
You know.. I hate even writing this! Because as soon as I start bragging that I haven’t gotten sick… I’m going to get whammied!!

I was going to put this video at the end of this post….but I want you to see this.  Dr. Lindsay Duncan was on the View and did a great job explaining some of these… After the video… check out the rest of our adventure with these juices. Consider this a commercial break! lol

What have I been doing that the rest of my family hasn’t been?  I’ve been drinking Omega Orange Juice from Genesis Today.  Do I know that is why I haven’t been sick and they have been?  Nope, I don’t.  Could it be?  Sure…

cold and flu

My boys got home from the first 3 weeks of basic, both with congestion and the beginnings of colds and coughs.  I started them drinking the Omega Orange and also the Resveratrol, Acai juices along with taking the new Vitamin C and Acai chews that I received from them.

cold and flu

Neither of them have gotten worse like you would expect with a cold. They are both doing great. The first several days that took Nyquil at night and Dayquil during the day. But then that was it. About 3 days and they are better.  Again… can I say it is from the Genesis Today products that they are better?  No… I can’t.

cold and fluWe had several different juices from Genesis Today to try.  The favorite of my older boys (we were out of Omega Orange) was the Pomegrante & Berries with Resveratrol. We also tried the Cranberry Goji and the new Veggie Blast.

genesis today

genesis today
cold and flu

genesis today vitamin c chews

The Vitamin C chew has 200% of vitamin C in it, along with some other great stuff.  It tastes good, reminds me of a starburst piece of candy.

genesis today vitamin c chewThe Acai chew is the same size. The consistency is slightly different.  It is just a little firmer. The taste is very much the same as the Acai juice. It is a little tart, and I like to have my coffee to drink after I eat it.  It doesn’t taste bad, but my mouth is actually watering as I type this. lol

genesis today acai chew
My thoughts on the new Cranberry Goji juice – taste wise, I don’t care for it. But… remember!!! The Genesis Today products are about the health benefits for you and what they can do… Let me tell you… the pure form of these things do not taste good. You can get the concentrated form and take 1 oz a day.. and it is terrible! But they have made these juices in a diluted 8 oz serving form that I get at Walmart. So those of us who want the health benefits but want a better taste.

The Veggie blast tastes like cold tomato soup.  I personally have never liked V-8 because of the peppery taste. The Veggie Blast did not have the peppery taste when I was drinking it. Now – what I did notice was an “after burn” in my throat – not really my tongue. Kind of strange really – but a good way to get your veggies in!

I have to start eating healthy and this year is going to be kicked off right. Genesis Today is going to be part of my healthy lifestyle for 2011 and beyond!

Disclosure: I am on the Genesis Today VIP Superfood blogger team. I did receive samples of the Veggie juice, Goji juice and chews to try. I was allowed to use the video if I wanted to (which I did). The pictures are my own and opinions are my own.

(Update 2012 – I’m no longer a GT blogger and did not get compensated with any product to repost this blog)

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Favorite Pinterest Pin Friday

Love Pinterest? Love Hot Chocolate/ Hot Chocolate?

I found several really yummy looking mugs of hot chocolate and coffee on pinterest I wanted to share. It is cold and snow outside, I mean seriously below zero cold…. what is better than to come in and sit by a hot fire, and cozy up with a mug of hot chocolate or coffee? I want to share some of my Favorite Pins this Friday with you!

I have found pinterest to be a really great source of ideas. I mean really, who would think to make homemade marshmallow hearts to put into their hot chocolate?  I wish I would think of it normally, but I certainly didn’t.  I have seen homemade marshmallows before, but I’ve never attempted them myself. Have you?  I get so cold in the winter, that half the time when I cozy up with that hot mug of cocoa or coffee, it is to also warm up my hands! lol I’d love to see what you pin!

pinterest

I decided that making this a linky party maybe wasn’t a great idea. I had several people tell me they had a hard time linking up their pinterest handles. So I thought I would can the linky party and invite you to leave your pinterest link in the comments!

Here are a few of my favorite pins this week. Enjoy! You can see all these pins on my pinterest boards 

hot chocolate

 

pinterest

pinterest

 

coffee

International delight iced coffee

coffee bean candles

Aren’t these great?  Please follow my boards, and let me know your link and I’ll follow you back.  When you go to my #FavPinFriday board, if you like these pins, please repin them! It will help the original poster of the picture.

Please leave your pinterest board links in the comments so I can follow you back and others can follow you too!

OrganizerSandy Pinterest Board 

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Healthy Smoothie

January 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Food, Health & Safety

Super Healthy Smoothie that taste good!

I’m like things to taste good, especially a healthy smoothie and often when I see or hear of “healthy” food, it doesn’t taste good.  Here is something that that I like and is really healthy for me. 

healthy smoothieMy sister gave me the recipe for this shake that she has been having in the mornings. She started drinking it in January of this year and has lost 11 pounds, just because she isn’t hungry during the day.  She is still eating.. but she isn’t snacking.  {perfect!!}

I made it again today, and other than my Lean Cuisine that I ate for lunch, I have been great with water and now a piece of gum. It is 3:54pm (and that 3:00 hour usually kills me) and I’m fine. So really hoping this works for me too.

healthy smoothie

Here is the recipe:

1) 1 cup Omega Orange Juice (you can use any juice here. My sister uses a juice with grapefruit etc..)
2) 1 cup Frozen Fruit (mixed)
3) 1 cup Greek Yogurt
4) 1 cup fresh spinach (I just use a big bunch)
5) 2 Tablespoons Flax Seed
6) 2 Tablespoons Metamucil (I didn’t have for first batch. My sis recommends the berry favored. I could only find orange)
7) ice – optional

healthy smoothieJust measure everything out and put into the blender

Greek Yogurt

greek yogurtFrozen Fruit – My husband went to the store for me, and got blue berries instead of a mixed frozen bag of fruit. No complaints.. the blue berries are good.  But next time I’m going to try the mixed fruit.

These are frozen.. not sugared as they appear
frozen blue berriesNext I added the Omega Orange Juice from Genesis Today. Love this juice! You can get it at Walmart. I drink it every morning, so I wanted to use it.  (update July 28, 2012 – I’ve not been able to find Omega Orange anymore at Walmart. Not sure why and I’ve not checked into it. But this was my fav!

omega orange juice
Add your fresh, washed spinach

fresh spinachMy sister just said to take a big bunch of it. Hard to really measure a cup

healthy smoothieAdd your 2 T of Flax seed and 2 T of metamucil

flax seed

flax seedThen you turn on your blender and blend it all together

healthy smoothieI had to stop once or twice to get stuff off the side and move the spinach down, but it mixed pretty well.

healthy smoothie

healthy smoothie

You can add ice if you want.  I don’t know that it needs it, but I did add a few cubes each time I made it. Of course you can add the ice in at the beginning.. I just forgot.

shakeThen blend some more

healthy smoothie

I originally poured it into a 12 oz glass. That was too small. I needed a bigger cup.

omega orange shakeI have had things with flax seed in them before… so I wasn’t too sure about this. I was a little scared to try it.  I thought…. spinach, flax seed .. oh no.  This shake did not have the metamucil in it.

healthy smoothieBut this really was good.  I was so pleased!  It wasn’t one of those that I had to hold my nose and force down. I enjoyed it.

I made it again today with the Metamucil.  It was thicker.  I noticed that right off the bat.  If I would have taken a picture, you wouldn’t have seen all the bubbles, it was more like a thick milk shake. I got a straw.  It was also very good. I didn’t really notice any change in taste adding in the Metamucil.

Some of it was left at the bottom of my cup.. maybe about 1/4 of a cupful… and I went to wash the cup out a little later and it had really thickened up. I defiantly think that was the Metamucil at work.

I’m going to keep drinking them. I’ll try some different combination’s with the mixed fruit, and maybe I’ll try another one of the Genesis Today juices in it… but for now I am wanting to stick with the Omega Orange.

Update: I posted this originally on my Chat with Sandy blog 2/7/11. I have not been able to find the Omega Orange juice for awhile when I go to Walmart. You can use any juice, and I’ve made it with Acai or Resveratrol from Genesis Today also. I’ve inspired myself by reposting this. I’m going to get these started again. They are good… and good for me.

Disclosure: I have done some work with Genesis Today in the past and love their products. This post was not done as a review, promotion or even the knowledge of GT.

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Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh

Visit to Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh

I drove about 3 hours to Pittsburgh PA last December 2010 to go to the Giant Eagle Market District Store.  I wasn’t even sure that it was the actual grocery store that I was going to, until I was there. (shows what a dingy I am).  I just knew it was called the Market District and I also knew that I was going to do some cooking!  There were five bloggers,  Kim from www.Crafty Mama of 4.com and Beth from www.The Plus Size Mommy.com were both there, and they were from the Pittsburgh area.

giant eagle

I loved the candy section, can you tell?

candyand one more!

Sugar Daddy candyOk… now for some healthy stuff!

Giant Eagle growing lettuceThe store was pretty amazing.  Of course you had your normal food items, but then there were so many speciality foods – get this… they grow their own lettuce there!!  They also sell other lettuce, but isn’t this cool?

sugar caneHow often have you seen sugar cane at your grocery store?  Beth was laughing because her husband is from Jamaica and she said she wanted to get him one for Christmas.

giant eagle sausageJust how items were displayed was unique. I loved this sausage … it reminded me of garland.  Maybe I’m just a little too much into the Christmas decorations right now?

coffee beansThis was a bin of coffee beans…oh did it smell good there.  There are things like oil and vinegar bars there. You purchase your bottle and you can come back and refill it from all the different kinds of oil and vinegar. Who knew?  Not I…. I don’t use enough oil and vinegar to even think about it.  Obviously…. gourmet cook I’m not.

cheese wheelThere is an entire area for cheese!  I looked at what looked like some really crazy fancy dessert and asked about it.. it was a dessert cheese! Never would have thought!  I am realizing I am just a regular ol’ gal! LOL

picklesJust had to take this picture!!  I just thought it would be a cool picture.  Big barrel of pickles….. now I do know what those are!

We toured around this massive grocery store, stopping at the beginning of our tour for a smoothie. I got a peach one and had supplements added of antioxidants and protein.  It tasted pretty good… maybe a little too yogurtery for me (in other words…. it had that healthy taste to it – although it was still very good)

There is a restaurant in the store. You can sit down and eat a meal – tour the open food bars, get a piece of pizza or make a crepe – and then sit down with a glass of wine and eat.  In Pittsburgh being able to buy alcohol in grocery stores is something unusual. But they got a permit with some very stringent regulations. The alcohol has to be rung up on separate cash registers and there has to be a separate entrance – those are just two of them, I’m sure there are others.

After our tour we went up to the cooking school as you saw on the video. That is something that I would take advantage of if I lived close. What a fun evening for a group of ladies or several couples to have a date night. They also have kid classes – we saw the beginnings of the gingerbread houses that were going to be decorated the next day by the young class.
filet mignon sous vide
Our cooking class was fun! There were two teams of 4 people each. We each had our own stove tops and food trays. I did some cooking, but I was having too much fun taking pictures to cook much.
risotto
My favorite was the Porcini scented mushroom risotto. I’ve never made it. After you sweat (yes sweat.. a new cooking term for me too) the shallots – you add the Arborio rice. It has to toast and the shell start to crack….you then add in the broth slowly… I mean really slowly. You add 1/2 cup and then stir, until it soaks in… another 1/2 cup…and so on and so forth – until you add 4 cups. It took us about 20 minutes to make it. Then you add in heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese.
Then cooking sous vide was of course all new too. Sealing your food in a bag… then cooking in a hot moving water bath… just seems almost simple to me. I mean, it makes me think of cooking frozen food – like vegetables. But the water bath units are very expensive, and they move the water around. The advantages – you can cook the food all the way through evenly adn uniform every time. So for the filet mignon, if 4 people want medium rare steaks – you just set the temperature to the specific temp to get that done and they will all cook the same, all the way through.
Donna from Giant Eagle and Chef Scott
Donna was such a great hostess to us! As we toured Giant Eagle we had several people behind the counters telling us we couldn’t take pictures. All I had to say was, “I’m with Donna” and point to her. They would all say, oh.. ok. LOL
Collective Bias crew
I always love to do things with Kim and Beth. We have such a good time together.

Disclosure: I was sponsored to go to the Pittsburgh store for the night I had to stay over by Giant Eagle.  I also received a gift bag.  I did not receive any cash compensation for the actual traveling to and from Pittsburgh. The pictures, video and thoughts are all my own.

(Reposted from 1/9/12)

 

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DiGiorno pizza Review

December 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Food, Reviews & Giveaways

(This post was originally posted on Chat with Sandy on 12/26/10)

Feeding Large Families Can Be Expensive

Digiorno pizza

With both of my older boys home we have been having meals with all ten of us.  I have been lucky in the sense that we have 8 children, but 3 of them don’t live with us anymore.  Mix that in with the fact that my 4 step children are only with us 1/2 the time, we don’t have that many meals with everyone home.

But for 2 weeks with them home from boot camp we have had and will be having many meals with everyone.  Finding meals that will feed all of us for not a boat load of money (and that are easy too) are pretty important.

I didn’t have any problem at all with doing a shop for Collective Bias for DiGiorno Pizza.

consumer queenOff to Walmart I went on December 23rd to do some shopping.
I checked Consumer Queen’s Data base to see if I could find a coupon. No luck on that one…poo.

bell ringerA sign of the holidays… isn’t it?  The store was really crowded.  I didn’t have any problems finding the frozen pizzas.  I was a little bummed that they didn’t have a vegetable pizza – that is my favorite. But I ended up getting a meat pizza, cheese and also a mushroom garlic. They cost $4.98 each.  Pretty good for a nice thick pizza like that don’t you think?

Dave had purchased a Red Baron pizza at Kroger the week before. It didn’t have nearly so many pepperoni’s and was much thinner. It wasn’t so good.  He told me that he was trying to decide between the DiGiorno and the Red Baron. I had to laugh because he had no idea I was going to be doing this shop for the DiGiorno the next week.  He picked the Red Baron because it was less expensive. He told me later he was sorry he did.

The pizza went over well.  I had several thoughts from my family.   Here they are:
1) “It was Great!”
2) “It was too doughy”
3) “The mushroom garlic was too garlicy”
4) “Make sure you get this again”
5) “I wish they had veggie”

pizza

I started out with 2 pizzas and 6 people.  My boys and Dave. Then Dave’s 4 kids came over and we popped in a 3rd one to cover us all.

pizza

Three self rising DiGiono pizza’s, 2 liters of pop and a bag of chips later, we had a lunch meal that fed us all.  The pizza’s cost $4.98 each, the 2 liters of pop cost $1.76 and the chips were $2.88.  Total cost of the meal:  $19.58 to feed 10 of us… for a total of $1.96 per person.  Pretty good!

family goofyHere is the whole gang… being goofy!  Thanks DiGiorno for the pizza!  lol

Disclosure:  Collective Bias compensated me for the pizza and shop. The pictures and the opinions are those of mine and my families.

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Kids Activities – Make Your Own Cake

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Activites for Kids, Blog, DIY, Family & Friends, Food

Making and Decorating a Cake Is a Fun Project

Why go out and buy a “store bought” decorated cake when the kids can create one for the occasion?

cake

They were so proud of this cake they decorated for their Dad for his birthday a couple years ago.  You never know what kind of creation you may get.

We don’t have the kids decorate all the cakes. But it is a fun project for them to do occasionally.

When they were eight years old for their birthday, we told them they could either make their own cakes this year, or we would buy them – (like we usually do).  The triplets have always gotten their own birthday cake for their birthday. Yes… three cakes.  We also always sign Happy Birthday to each one of them individually. (Yes.. we sign it 3 times)  They all decided without even saying it twice that they wanted to make their own cakes.

We let each one of them pick out any cake mix and frosting they wanted at the store.   We got foil cake tins so that there was no problem with not having enough cake pans, and so there would be no problem with someone having a pan that was a different size than the other.

 

They each got turns making their own cake.

cakes

Then they went to the decorating

kids decorate cakes

I think we must have gotten some extra vanilla frosting for the middle of the cakes.  They all have vanilla inbetween layers. I can’t remember the exact reason for that now. lol

Think he is proud?

Here are their finished products

Elise’s strawberry creation

Alex’s chocolate frosting & cake

Zach’s vanilla with devil’s food cake

They had so much fun creating their cakes.  It of course is a great money saver, but they had a blast doing it… and still talk about that birthday and how cool it was. They also got surprised when we took them to Walmart to look at some things Daddy needed.  We walked by the bikes and Dave told them “Surprise… Happy Birthday.. Pick out a bike!!”  I think Dave and I were as excited as they were.

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Recipe – Brownie Goodie Bars

July 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Food

Awesome Brownie Goody Bars Recipe:

by Hoosier Homemade

Do these look awesome or what?  Liz from Hoosier Homemade has graciously offered to let me borrow some of her fantastic recipes to share with all of you.  I was browsing her site and saw these.  I had to stop! OMG… these look awesome.

I’m hoping to have actually made these before this post, so I can show you some pictures of my own.


Hoosier homemade brownie goody bars

Recipe:

1 box brownie mix.
1 cup vanilla frosting (You can use premade or homemade)
1/2 cups salted peanuts  (optional)
2 cups Rice Krispies (or store brand is fine)
2/3 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1 1/3 semi sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and bake brownies as instructed on box.
Let Brownies cool completely

Frost brownies
Sprinkle peanuts on top and put in the refrigerator

Microwave:
Heat slowly the chocolate chips and peanut butter. (heat about 1 min at a time, stir and heat longer if needed. Takes approximately 2 minutes)
Add the chocolate/peanut butter mixture to the Rice Krispies and stir until all are combined.

Take brownies out of refrigerator and spread on top.

Refrigerate 1 hour more until set.

Cut into pieces and enjoy!

This recipe was originally found on the Betty Crocker site and adapted by Hooiser Homemade where I found it.  Be sure to stop by her blog and see more great recipes.

 

 

 

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Candy Shop

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Food

These Are Candy’s I Remember As A Kid

Don’t childhood memories bring back sweet memories?  To walk to the candy store  (well it was really a Drug Store, but we thought of it as the candy store.) was a really special treat when I was a kid.  When we went to visit my Grandfather in South Egremont, there was a little candy store about a block away.

The main memory I have of candy from that store was rock candy and dots on a paper.  I didn’t get any of that at this store, because the rock candy was on a string, not stick. It just wasn’t the same, you know?
Here are some candies I also really  remember.

old time candy

 

Does anything look familiar to you?

What about Razzles?  I remember that my good friends Patty and Ann always had Razzles at their house. I also remember as a young girl sneaking a couple of them. (that is so bad!)  These are so sour though. I remember them being pink.  I tried one and it was so sour…. I thought it was terrible.  But I’m sure kids love them.

Razzles

What about the wax lips?

wax lips

I remember that kids sometimes passed these out as birthday favors at school.  That and Bubs Daddy gum. Remember that? I would have gotten that if I saw it. That was like a foot long piece of bubble gum.  My brother and I loved them.  Remember they had a bunch of different kinds of lips  The smell…. remember that?

The candy cigarettes? We used to get them.  I would never buy them for my kids though.

candy cigarettes

But look… no more red tip! The ones we used to get had a small red tip on one end.

candy cigarettes

I also always loved the gold nugget gum.  I think the little bag made it more fun. Don’t you?

good nugget gum

All those little yellow pieces of gum.

rock gold gum

Once in awhile we used to get these little bottles with the juice inside. Bite off that wax tip and drink away.

wax bottles
The kids thought they were fun too!

candy wax lips

 

candy

What are your best childhood “candy” memories? Do they still have that candy on the market?

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Recipe – Easy Kids Snack

June 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Food

Shake ‘n Go Snack Mix Recipe

We all want quick and easy snacks for our kids don’t we?  I found this easy and fun recipe on Betty’s site!   This would be really cute for a kids party or a late night movie snack.  If the kids wanted to have a camp out in the backyard or it would also be awesome for camping or a beach day. I also think the kids would love to make it.

It is called a recipe, but when there is no flour, sugar, oil or anything to mix up, I have a hard time thinking of it as a recipe.   It is an easy variation on the chex mix that we always think of … you know, the one where you have to mix in the Worcestershire sauce, bake it, pull it out and turn it – bake some more.  (But that is awesome too!)

It is so super simple.  .. well, stir it up, no shake it up I guess.

Here is What You’ll Need:

* 5 cups of Chex cereal (I bet Crispex would also be good)
* 1 cup of Teddy Grahams snacks
* 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/4 cup jelly beans or M&M’s.(Bring on the M&M’s for me!)

Put everything in a big baggie, seal and shake!

You can pour it into fun cones like this, or ice cream cones.  Doesn’t that sound fun?

You can also take the safer route and put it in a no spill travel cup for the kids to snack out of when you are in the car.  Have you seen those other little travel bowls that never spill?  Those would be perfect to put something like this in for the car.

You can see the whole recipe on the  Better Crocker post along with oodles of others of course.  The picture is from the Better Crocker site (it is not my own picture)

 

 

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