Friday, October 26, 2012

Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Prize Pack Giveaway 11/11 #MyBlogSpark!


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You may be thinking "Ally, vegetables, aren't Holiday gifts,"  and are probably wondering why I am adding   vegetables to my Holiday Gift Guide.  Well, I am not necessarily suggesting they are the perfect gift to hand out on Christmas Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever Holiday you celebrate.   However, I do have a very great reason to add them to my list.  

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Thanksgiving and Christmas are both super busy days at our house.  We are literally up before 6 am preparing the feast that we are going to eat later on that day, and the cooking continues all day, yet it only takes about 20 minutes to eat it before an hour of clean up ensues.  You guys know I am a stickler for making most things homemade, because I am Southern and that's how my Mama and Grandmother did it.  However, I am all for finding ways to keep me out of that kitchen all day long.


Green Giant Seasoned Steamers IS the way to do this!  Each bag comes with four servings in it, I pop the whole bag in the microwave for 5-8 minutes (six minutes was perfect in my microwave), open and serve.  So, if I have 12 people for supper, I just pop 3 bags in the microwave, easy peasy! 

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What I love:

1.  Taste 
2.  Ease of preparation
3.  Portion sizes
4.  Pretty good selection with 6 veggies available

What I don't love:

1.  Price at $3.59 a package my store was charging, 
it's a little pricey unless it's on sale or I have a coupon
2.  I need a family sized bag (there's 5 of us now)

That being said, I really, really lucked out when I went to the store.  This bag normally retails for $3.59, but was on sale a dollar off at $2.59.  In addition to my one free coupon, I had some $1 off coupons I had been saving until they went on sale, so I nabbed up 3 bags for $1.59 each which isn't much more than a bag of unseasoned veggies!  We tried the potatoes and the broccoli and both are so delicious I will be buying them again, especially every time they are on sale.

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I have already added the broccoli to our Holiday menu, and I may add some of the other varieties to our menu as well.  You can get a $1 off coupon to try them out for yourself, and don't forget to add them on Facebook so you don't miss any promotions!


Now for the really exciting news.  One of my readers is going to receive a prize pack (seen below) from Green Giant Steamers.  I am trying out a new giveaway application, so please feel free to leave me useful feedback on how it is working and if you like it!   It's a click and go software similar to what you are used to using!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fun food from the last week-Spider Cupcakes and Witches Brooms

My three year old Mika is just really enjoying Halloween this year.  Every time we run to a store, we have to spend a half hour browsing the costumes, scarecrows, and checking out all the decorations!  So, I would be remiss if I didn't cherish these moments further by having fun food and crafts the kids can help with to make it even more special this year.

I have two "recipes" to share with you this week, and honestly, ANYONE can make them.  The one recipe is out of a family recipe and is homemade, but you can easily substitute store bought if you don't bake, or simply don't have the time.  You can trust that kids don't really discriminate when it comes to desserts!

Spider Cupcakes
1 batch of Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes *recipe below
1 double batch of Cream Cheese icing *recipe below
18 Oreo Cookies
6 Twizzlers pull and peel licorice sticks

Fill a gallon zipper bag with icing, and squeeze all the icing down in one corner.  Snip off the corner about 1/4 inch.  Ice the cupcakes icecream style swirling the icing 2-3 times to be pretty.

Snip each licorice stick into 3 equal pieces and peel the strands apart.  Lay 8 pieces of licorice on each cupcake in the form of spider legs.

Top each with an Oreo cookie which is the spider.  You can pipe on eyeballs if you wish!


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Grandma's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes

The mayonnaise is simply replacing the oil and eggs in a normal recipe!

3 cups of self rising flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together the Flour, sugar and the cocoa powder to get out any lumps.  Stir in the Mayo.   Gradually stir in the whole milk and vanilla until the mixture is smooth.  Either spray your muffin tins or use paper inserts (I spray) and  fill with a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  This is the perfect size to fill a regular muffin tin.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


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Cream Cheese Icing

2 sticks of butter, at room temp
2 packages of cream cheese (16 oz) at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
4-6 cups of powdered sugar

With your mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add in vanilla and mix well.  Then gradually add the powdered sugar in until you like the thickness of the icing.  Weather and humidity affect things like candy and icing, so you may need more or less each time you make it.


Witches Brooms
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This is just a quick and easy snack item that the kids loved assembling and eating!

I took thin pretzel sticks and cheese sticks to make these.

Cut each cheese stick into four equal parts

Fray the ends like a broom, and insert pretzel stick into the opposite end like a broomstick.

Fly away or eat!


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