Gift For Food Lovers : Mary’s Secret Ingredients Box

For the past few months, I have been seeing people talk about the cooking box Mary's Secret Ingredients. It seemed different than the normal food and snack boxes, so when I was offered the chance to review one I typed yes so fast that my fingers hurt a little. What is Mary's Secret Ingredients? It's a limited edition culinary subscription box that not only contains unique, gourmet products but also a small kitchen tool you never knew you needed but suddenly can't live with out. It's delivered right to your door each season. What really makes the box stand out though is that the founder Mary creates custom recipes using each product and emails them to you so you stay inspired. They also contribute to Feed The Children to end global hunger. Want a peek? Here is my Fall box... … [Read more...]

An Ode to Ready Made Dough

I used to be a scratchist. I made everything from scratch and sniffed at those who didn't. After all, it barely takes more time to mix up some dough right? But then I started the breaking down of my barriers with the peanut butter dough for my Reese's cup cookies at Christmastime. Then I started making Birthday Cake cookies with cake mix and next thing I knew I was throwing refrigerated cookie dough in the cart without a second thought. The thing is, it's just so versatile. Pinterest is full of cookie dough hacks that let you make treats from the ordinary to the crazy complicated. But my favorites involve next to no work. I was able to whip up these delicious Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn Cookies in 15 minutes with just sugar cookie dough and Brach's Pumpkin Spice candy corn. Don't they scream Fall to you? You slice, bake, add the candy corn immediately upon removing (it's okay if they melt into the dough a bit), and then let cool. So good! For a few of my favorite ready … [Read more...]

Avocados and Apples

Apples and avocados seems like a mismatched pair. But when you put them together it's a true marriage of flavors. And it's the perfect combination for this time of year, when Fall is on your mind but you are still hanging onto the last days of summer. It's the best of both worlds! I first started combining the two when my girls entered Kinder a few years back. With three lunches to make (my husband gets one too), I was awash in apples. I started putting them on my cheese and avocado sandwiches and never looked back. And while sandwiches (and open faced toast) are still my go to, I have expanded to a couple of more dishes, the most perfect blend of Summer and Fall being my avocado and apple salad. This simple dish, with a side of bread, is a favorite back to school week meal of ours. I hope you enjoy it too! … [Read more...]

Wine Pairings for Dinner Parties

Hosting a dinner party always brings about the mixed feelings of pleasure and terror—pleasure at the prospect of enjoying food and drinks with your family and friends, and terror at having to ensure everything goes to plan. One thing you shouldn’t worry about is deciding what types of wine to serve alongside the various courses of your meal, as choosing the right bottle to match your food is a simple as taking a browse through this featured guide. So let’s get started with the first course! … [Read more...]

Fast Food Fridays : Italian Meatball Sliders

Even though I try to make most things from scratch at home, I do occasionally use convenience products to get dinner on the table faster. The key is using products that are as high quality as possible. One of my favorites is the Aidells line. Their high quality ingredients set them apart from other lines. And they are freaking delicious. Though their sausages are usually my go to, I also love their meatballs. We often use them as appetizers at parties and in the girls' lunches. Another one of my favorite ones to use them is for a fun Friday night supper: meatball sliders! … [Read more...]

Fast Food Fridays : Breakfasts on the Go

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day; it's the one meal my kids will actually eat. So I really try to stuff them with the most filling thing possible. I go with full meals most mornings... oatmeal with fruit, eggs with bacon, french toast. But sometimes the chaos means breakfast needs to be something quick. And something we can eat on the walk to school. My go to items are egg in toast and PB&J toast but on a big days, we need more of a protein punch. So on the mornings when I just can't get er done, I depend on a few convenience items. One of those is El Monterey breakfast burritos. They are packed with protein and ready in under five minutes. Plus my San Antonio bred girls chow down on them. These girls were bred on rice and beans and they gobble down breakfast burritos like my college self gulped breakfast tacos. … [Read more...]

Go Big For the Big Game With Candy Ice Cream Cakes

The kitchen is where I get creative and I love it, especially when I get to get creative with dessert. This #BigGameTreats shop, with my desserts for the holiday that celebrates football as my friend's adorable daughter calls it, has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Be forewarned, you will want to make this easy cake ALL THE TIME. … [Read more...]

To Feingold or Not to Feingold

The Feingold Diet is occupying my mind these days. One of my focus areas on my list of resolutions and commitments is how we eat. But I wasn't expecting to concentrate on it so soon. Then I came to terms with the fact that at least one, and probably both, of my girls has ADHD. The Feingold Diet is supposed to curb many ADHD and ADD and even Autism behaviors. A friend of mine has used it with great success. At first I will all bandwagoned up and then I checked out the site and saw it's $70 for PDFs. I mean I get it. Websites don't pay for themselves and materials cost money and so on. Yet I am still having problems paying for something that I have so little understanding off. The main points seems to be avoiding artificial dyes (which we do) and preservatives (which we could be better about). Then there are things like getting rid of corn syrup, MSG, HVP, etc. The thing I was not familiar with was the elimination of salicylates (which occur naturally in foods like … [Read more...]

How to Not Cook Until the New Year with Yahoo DIY

Thank you Yahoo! for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Yahoo!, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. Ahhh, you're finally made it. Unless you are running to the mall for last minute gift ideas, today is the touchdown of the holidays. Hannukah has ended, the solstice has been celebrated, and Santa comes tonight. Now it's your time to chill out and relax. To really get your chillaxing on, step away from the stove and make the next few holiday meals stretch as long as possible. Instead of being like this... Become a fridge ninja, and presto, dinner is done! … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Football Feast

As you get ready for Thanksgiving this week, don't forget the other must have for family fun: football! I have many memories of poking around my grandparents farm, a different game on in every room. My dad and his siblings has every type of football pot possible going on and there were repeated consultations over squares on the betting sheet. It was a thrill to watch the score climb and the time countdown ever close to my winning square. Living in a college town has allowed me to capture some of the excitement of that post Thanksgiving football frenzy. The only problem is that so much of the fun revolves around tailgating. And while I love tailgating it never seems to work out. Mainly because we don't get up early enough. Or the kids are in a bad mood. Or the thought of finding a parking space makes me all nervous like. So when Sonic offered to send me a gift card for tailgating snacks, I brought the tailgate to us. Oh yeah, ALL THE SNACKS and ALL THE GAMES. And while Sonic is … [Read more...]