Saturday, November 17, 2012

October/November Winners

I want to say Congratulations to the winners of our October Giveaways!  I appreciate everyone who comes out and enters because it's what gets us great sponsors and great prizes!

PrintRunner 250 Business Cards Winner:  Cris H.-Facebook Fan-Awaiting confirmation

Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Prize Pack:  Mary M.-Blog Comment-Awaiting Moderation

Mia Mariu Makeup: Neha D.-Twitter Fan

Sunburndt Giveaway:  Shirley G. Z.-Tweeted

Bundle Monster Ceramic Knife Set:  Toni F-Tweeted

Antidote Chocolate:  Diana S.-Blog Comment

Kristian Regale Winner:  Ellen L.-Pin It

$100 Minted Gift Card-Cassie S.-Facebook Fan

Tattler Reusable Canning Lids-Cori W.-Facebook Fan

Molly's Suds Giveaway-Shirley H.-Easy One Click Vote

Uglee Pen Giveaway-Kathryn D.C. Newsletter Sign Up










Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Organize your World with YouCopia SpiceStack!

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I have no problems cleaning.  Bathrooms, vacuuming, laundry, floors, you name it-I am on it.  Just call me Cinderella!  Organization on the other hand is not my friend.  I can spend an hour organizing a cabinet ever so perfectly only to get up the next morning and discover the elves wrecked havoc in the night.  It can be quite a dangerous adventure at times, especially when opening my spice cabinet because things will literally jump out at you as if to say "pick me, pick me!"

It's only funny in black and white.  When you are dogging spices raining down on your head, it's really not so fun.  Honest.  So, as you can imagine, anything that makes my organizational skills or lack there of much easier is definitely on my Christmas Wish List!  I have a great item to add to my Christmas Gift Guide. If you are unorganized, this product is going to be a godsend.  If you are organized,  you are going to love this because it speaks your love language.

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What you ask?  YouCopia Products.  They are organizational items like SpiceStack that organizes spices, CafeStack that organizes K cups, and even MiniStack for things like vitamins and medicines.  I am telling you, this thing is sheer genius.  I was so excited when I got this in the mail, that I dropped what I was doing, braved the spice cabinet and organized away.  Please don't judge me as you view the before and after picture.

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I literally had two shelves and a basket full of spices and managed to organize them into my SpiceStack and one shelf-we are very spicy people here.  It freed up a shelf which I now house breathing medications on and a basket which now holds some of my beauty products.  I am in love with this product, and I love that it comes with stickers that you can either put on cute little glass jars if you want them all matchy matchy or on the front of the SpiceStack so you know at a glass what shelf the spices are on.

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I didn't use the stickers since it's more fun to watch husband search for the spices!  I am still waiting on a Kuerig (hint hint to the husband), but when I get one, I am definitely getting a CoffeeStack to organize my K cups!  I also love that I can choose white or silver, and both look so sleek and clean in a kitchen!

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So, check out all the products available at YouCopia, and stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with their promotions and organizing ideas!

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products listed in the above post for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own, honest, and unbiased. Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide-Flavor Secrets: Back to the Basics by Chef Lynn Miller Giveaway 12/03

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In my mind, I am a fabulous cook.  Look out Rachel Ray, Paula Deen and Emeril, because ya'll have nothing on me!  However, the end results are more like Lucille Ball.  Wait, you mean everyone doesn't use the fire alarm for a timer?

Seriously, it seems I could literally burn boiling water.  I trudge on though, undaunted and try daily to create something that is truly tasty.  Who's with me on this?  I know I have some fellow readers who want to be an Iron Chef, but end up with failed project after project.

No more, I say!  Why?  Because of my wonderful acquaintance Lynn Miller.  You know her, although you don't know it yet!  Since that was a clear as mud, let me explain.  Chef Lynn has created some of the great recipes for Mex America-remember those awesome Honey Wheat Tortillas? She also created the brag worthy recipes at Season's Harvest, the company  responsible for those all natural salsas and dessert toppings!

She has written a cookbook that not only gives me a recipe but tells me step by step how to do things.  It's more of a tutorial, and I have discovered that even I can achieve a decent meal by following her Flavor Secrets:  Back to the Basics which makes it much easier for me to understand what I am supposed to be doing.

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This cookbook is not only perfect for your average home cook, but it will make a great addition to a cookbook collector's library, i.e my mother.  It is the perfect gift to get almost anyone for Christmas!  I have scanned in a couple of pages for you to see, and while I know it's impossible to see every word, you can see how detailed her directions are.  I know if I can create something delicious with her book, than anyone can!





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I decided to try Lynn's Potato Bread recipe which was so easy to follow, and I decided to turn it into rolls rather than loaves since my family loves hot rolls with supper.

Potato Bread

1 medium potato
warm water
5 teaspoons dry yeast (2 packets)
 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt

1.  Peel and dice the potato.  Place in a small saucepan.  Cover with water and simmer until it's cooked through and very soft, about 15 minutes.

2.  Drain the water off the potato, but keep it.  Add more water to make a cup if necessary.  When the water cools to lukewarm, mix it with the yeast and sugar in your mixer bowl.

3.  Mash the potato with a fork and add it to the yeast mixture.

4.  Heat hte milk and butter to lukewarm and add it to the yeast mixutre.

5.  Using the dough hook, mix in teh flours and last, the salt.  After the flours are thoroughly mixed in, turn the machine to high and beat it for 2 minutes.  NOTE:  If you don't have a mixer, just simply knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes.

6.  Place the dough ball in a greased bowl.  Then turn it over so the whole thing is greased.  Cover it with a thin kitchen towel and set it in a warm place until it doubles, about 45 minutes.

7.  Punch the dough down with your fist.  Re-cover it and let it rise about 30 minutes more.

8.  Form into loaves:  Roll dough into a large rectangle.  Fold it over twice.  Then fold the ends under and place it in greased loaf pans.  Pat down to release any air.  Let rise again for about an hour.  The dough should rise about the pan.  NOTE:  I separated the dough into small baseball sized portions and tucked all the ends under forming a ball.

9.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake until browned on top, 40-45 minutes.  NOTE:  It takes less time to make the rolls, just cook until browned since every oven varies.

10.  Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks.  Wait at least an hour before eating if you can!  The bread will continue to relax and finish baking.

You can see from my picture that her recipe turned out beautifully.  I could have made them darker, but I like my bread a little lighter crusted!  Either way, I cant wait to try her Arugula salad and devilled egg recipe ideas!

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You can purchase the book here for $25 plus tax (so worth it for me), and you can check out information about classes and much more on Chef Lynn's website Flavor Secrets .  Also for some awesome free cooking tips, follow her on Facebook, and you can win this cookbook for your very own! Chef Lynn has graciously offered one of her awesome cookbooks up for grabs right in time for Christmas!  So you can either enter to win one for yourself or to gift to someone else!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Looking for a Smooth Writing Pen? Look No More-PaperMate Inkjoy Pen!


I have a personal irritation, more like a pet peeve.  I hate pens that just don't write well.  I don't really know how to describe it other than I want a pen that just glides while I write.  Of course, it has to be comfortable to hold on to as well.  Thanks to 20+ years of playing then teaching Classical piano followed by 12 years of perpetual typing, I have a tiny case of carpal tunnel.  Okay, I minimized the issue.  My whole hand goes to sleep just signing my name on 10 homework sheets a night!
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So you can imagine that I never turn down an opportunity to review a pen.  NEVER.  I am always looking for that perfect pen.  I fully expect a spotlight of sun to shine on that pen while the angels sing when I find it!  In the mean time, I have found a really good pen that I like a lot:  the PaperMate Inkjoy Pen

This pen writes so smoothly, it's almost like it writes on air!  It's really so good that my husband not only tried to steal mine, but he took the second one and gave it to someone at work!  I have to tell you that is almost grounds for divorce in this house, because no one messes with Mama's pens.

It'ts got a cushy rubber grip that pampers my fingers, and so I can say I think I've seen the light!  Seriously, ya'll are going to want one of these pens, or more because they are just that good.  One last great thing:  the ink is black in the one I reviewed, which is important if you work for the State as my husband has informed me.

Anyways, you can click here to see the pen and see what you are missing!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

You'll be in Heaven with Season's Harvest Dessert Toppings!

I have a little quirk about me that isn't necessarily something brag worthy.  I love chocolate.  A lot.  I have been known to sit with a jar of hot fudge sauce fresh out of the fridge, spoon in hand, and pretend that it's fudge as I enjoy every delectable lick.


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Shhh.  Don't tell my husband.  Every time he accuses me of it, I point to the kids.  No matter what they are being accused of they answer "I dunno" or "wasn't me" anyways, so it's a pretty fool proof  method I have going on here.  
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I knew I was in a tad bit of trouble when I received a box of four dessert sauces from Season's Harvest for review purposes.  If you recall, they are the ones that made that sinful Raspberry Apple Salsa I love so well!  
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I decided to use my topping for more than just ice cream although if you can tell from this picture of my husband's concoction he enjoyed for 5 nights in a row, it's really good on icecream.


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We have a cake in the South we make and since I have a G rated blog, I have renamed it.  These sauces were awesome substitutes in the cake and kicked it up a notch.


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Better than Cuddling Cake

1 chocolate cake mix  
1/4 cup of melted butter
3 large organic eggs
1 1/4 cup of whole milk
Sweetened Condensed milk
Jar of Butterscotch Schnapps sauce
Jar of Chocolate Overture Sauce

Mix the cake mix with the butter, eggs and milk and whisk by hand for about 2 minutes until all the ingredients are blended and the batter has gotten thick.  Bake according to box directions

While the cake is hot, poke holes all over the top of the cake with a wooden spoon.  Pour a whole can of sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cake and allow to sit so the milk can soak in.

Microwave the Schnapps for  a minute or so until it melts and drizzle over the top of the cake.  Let completely cool.  Then ice the top of the cake with melted Chocolate Overture Sauce and allow to cool.  

Serve on a plate with whipped topping and chocolate chips.

After I gave each of the kids and the husband a serving of this cake, I sent the rest to husband's work.  It's just too rich, sinful and good for me to resist for too long, so it had to go!  

These sauces would be perfect either at your Holiday party or dinner.  You can add it to a fondue pot and sit around fresh fruit to dip in it, or have a cool ice cream bar complete with all the sauces for your guests! Hey, you can even buy an entire set to give to someone as a gift!  This stuff is sinfully good!

You can find many other products from Season's Harvest, gain inspiration on thePinterest boards, and keep up with all the latest promotions on Facebook andTwitter

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products listed above to facilitate my review.  All opinions are honest, my own, and completely unbiased.  Please do your own due diligence before choosing to purchase from a company.