Win a coupon for free Bob Evans mashed potatoes! (better than mine)

November 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

I REALLY liked the Bob Evans® Refrigerated Mashed Potatoes that we were sent to review! I totally admit that they are better than the last time I made mashed potatoes. John liked them a lot too but of course the kids will not eat any mashed potatoes still! Which makes a refrigerated version that I can pop in the microwave perfect for us. If you are not looking forward to the job of making mashed potatoes this holiday season I recommend buying these to save yourself the trouble because they are that good! I prefer the original that we tried over the cheddar (a bit too rich for me but still good and John really liked them) but they also make mashed potatoes with sour cream & chives, sweet potatoes, and southwest style. There are no Bob Evans restaurants anywhere close to us so I have never tried the brand before this. It seems they are expanding to a lot of grocery store food as well and I hope to see it in stores by me soon. In addition to their varieties of mashed potatoes they also sell everything from refrigerated breakfast sausage to entrees and frozen breakfast  sandwiches. We aren’t the only ones who think these are good, click here to see what others are saying.

You may also be interested to know that, beginning on October 25th, Bob Evans Food Products is looking for families to do their best American Idol impression and enter for a chance to win a FREE trip for four to Walt Disney World® or a MinoHD Digital Flip Video Camera.  It’s as simple as visiting our Super Spud Sing Along website and uploading a home video of you, your kids, your spouse – or even your pet – doing your own rendition of our Super Spud song on www.superspudsingalong.com.

Enter to win a coupon for a free package of Bob Evans mashed potatoes:

  • leave me a comment letting me know how often you eat mashed potatoes and if you get them premade or make them from scratch
  • open to US mailing addresses only
  • Contest ends Wednesday Dec 1st 2010

Help solve the stuffing debate and WIN $150 towards the holidays!

November 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests, Recipes, Reviews

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I know there are a lot of people still unsure of their menu. It seems stuffing is the one thing that everyone has a strong opinion on! I am a bit picking and I personally don’t care for any stuffing with sausage. I do like it with mushrooms and apples though and I remember sort of liking the one my grandmother once made with raisins when I was a kid. There are just so many different stuffing recipes out there. Does your family all agree on their favorite type? Do you make more than one kind to keep everyone happy? Want to share a recipe with me? I have only made stuffing a few times so I am a little nervous about messing it up! I decided to try something new to me and bought two bags of Pepperidge Farm corn bread stuffing and some (Swanson broth) yesterday. I am not sure what I want to add into it besides the celery, onions, butter and broth. So if you have some suggestions for me you might be lucky because Swanson Broth is sponsoring an amazing giveaway for me!

Everyone has their favorite kind of stuffing and that’s why Swanson Broth is inviting people across the country to take a side in the Great Stuffing Debate at http://bit.ly/StuffingDebate

To celebrate the Great Stuffing Debate Swanson was super generous to me and will be to one of you as well! I received a $200 Visa gift card to purchase any variety of Swanson Broth as well as any other food food I needed for Thanksgiving. Additionally I also have a $150 Visa gift card to give away to one of my readers in celebration of Swanson and the Great Stuffing Debate. Any extra money before the holidays is a great thing!

TO ENTER to win a $150 Visa gift card:

  • Leave me a comment on this post with any of your stuffing tips or preferences.
  • For TWO extra entries send me your FAVORITE stuffing recipe (or a link to it) in a second comment.
  • Contest ends Black Friday 11/26/11
  • Open to US mailing addresses only

*M80 contacted me on behalf of Swanson Broth and provided me with a $200 gift card to use for stuffing and holiday food as well as a $150 gift card that will go to one of my readers.

my new sew phase

November 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Projects

Well I have loads of things I SHOULD be doing and instead I am totally wanting to sew! I am not good at it and I don’t do it “right” but as long as I don’t care about perfection its fun! It all started with Ben repeatedly requesting a court jester costume and insisting I could make one. It wasn’t so bad, it was pretty fun actually and I am proud of my first sewing project as a mom. Since then I have made each of the kids PJ bottoms (one pair a bit snug and two too long), the girls dresses with matching headbands (had to make 4 headbands total because I kept making them too small), a failed doll outfit and today I made a dress for Templeton (now a girl but was formerly Hamilton, John’s childhood little stuffed mouse). Here are a few pictures for fun:

Musselman’s is more than just applesauce!

November 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

We have been enjoying Musselman’s applesauce for awhile now but they just sent us some of their other products to try! I wasn’t sure what to expect with apple butter but oh was it really good! It was like spreading some apple pie on my english muffins! It tasted great and smelled perfect. Ben also loved it and wanted to just eat it by the spoonful (but I only let him have it on his muffins so that we didn’t finish it in one sitting!). They even have a bunch of recipe ideas using the apple butter (the scones one looked good to me).

We also got to try their apple cider and that was a hit with all the kids, they don’t get juice at home much so it made them very happy.

Still loving Musselman’s applesauce!

November 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

We are very lucky to keep doing reviews for Musselman’s applesauce! They keep coming out with new products and we love applesauce. There are two NEW flavors of Musselman’s apple sauce: Totally Fruit Mixed Berry and Healthy Picks Granny Smith! We got the snack sized packages of each and they are great to have on hand for school lunches/snacks. I really LOVE having a big supply in the fridge because when I am in a mad rush in the morning it is easy to grab and is one of the rare healthy things that ALL FOUR kids will eat (the kids are picky in very different ways so I’m packing a big variety of things most days and it can get challenging) . Some of my kids thought thought the new granny smith flavor was too tart (but still ate it anyway) but I really like it since I have always loved granny smith. I have to say that the mixed berry was a huge hit with all of us and it may be my favorite type of applesauce ever! I really liked it a lot! You can click here for a 40 cent off coupon.

Stained Glass NYC makes a unique gift this holiday season!

November 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Stained glass always makes me think of my father because he used to work with it when I was a kid. I have always liked stained glass pieces and thought it would be something I would try making but so far I haven’t gotten to it! If you’re also a fan of stained glass and are looking for a one of a unique gift Stained Glass NYC creates gorgeous one-of-a-kind stained glass boxes and more.  Glass boxes are great to give as jewelry boxes (even better when paired with a necklace!) or they work well for desk accessories for both women and men. The prices range from about $35 to $125.  Along with lovely gift boxes, Stained Glass NYC also offers stained glass designs including wall hangings, sun catchers, iconic landmarks, and an array of custom work for the home. I really like the lidded boxes but my favorites are pictured below, a set of candle holders (I just love what the candlelight does to the colored glass) and a neat box that makes a great pencil holder. You can purchase them on Etsy here!

my latest obsession: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!

November 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Recipes

This is a bad thing, I have made these 3 times in the last few weeks (and I was going to make them last night until I realized I didn’t have enough brown sugar). Its all my friend Rebecca’s fault because she gave me some she made and I fell in love with them. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for Rebecca to send me her recipe (she did send it pretty quickly though) and I found one on line and with some tweeking here is my version of these addictive cookies:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie COOKIES:

  • 1-1/2 cups (15-ounce can) pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs (I have been using egg substitute)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (spray spoon with Pam to make measuring/pouring easy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups  white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)

FILLING:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (8 ounce stick)  reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups  confectioners’ sugar

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

2. MAKE THE COOKIES: With the stand mixer, beat together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, and molasses. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then beat in the salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and beat on low for about 1 minute, until all of the flour is wet. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then beat on medium for a short time until the batter looks smooth. Scoop and drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. I use the pampered chef 2 tbsp scoop for dropping the batter and I get 48 cookies which equals 24 finished whoopie pies!

4. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they feel firm to the touch. To test, gently press your finger in the center, and a slight indentation should remain. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to sit on the pans for another 5 minutes. Cool completely before adding the filling.

5. MAKE THE FILLING: Put the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in the mixer bowl and beat on medium-low speed for about 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined. Decrease the speed to low and add the confectioners sugar a little at a time. Beat on medium until the frosting is smooth, about 1 minute.

6. ASSEMBLE: Spread the flat side of half the cookies with the filling. Top with the remaining cookies. Because these cookies tend to be sticky place a piece of wax paper between layers for storing. Keep the cookies in the refrigerator!

I totally miss HALLOWEEN!

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Our Life

Halloween is my favorite holiday! Its the best part of Fall. I was thinking about it a lot today since I bought two Halloween costumes on sale for $2 each this morning (Yoda for Jillian and pirate for the boys – just to use as dress up).  I am slowly taking down the decorations that are Halloween specific, at least I can leave the more general Fall things up a little longer. I wish I had written some more Halloween posts, like how I made Ben a jester costume for under $7 (my first time sewing any type of clothing!). But before its way too late I’ll just post some pictures of all our Halloween fun.

My Family LOVES Mythbusters (and the MythBusters Science of Sports Kit)

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Team Mom sent us a Mythbusters Science of Sports Kit and I knew it would be a hit with the kids AND my husband because they’re fans of the Mythbuster tv show (and sports fans). We  already had the Mythbusters Weird World of Water but I didn’t know they had any other kits and was excited to learn that there are a bunch of Mythbuster products out there (Mythbusters Power of Air Pressure, Mythbusters Forces of Flight and a Mythbusters Hit the Target Trivia Game)! The Science of Sports Kit is great because it connects science with sports and those are both things that interest our boys already so combing them just adds to the fun. Our boys are 6 and 8 years old and they are great ages for the Mythbuster products and its something they like to do with their dad. With the kit the kids can pretend to be Adam and Jamie and test some sports myths/facts. You can learn to locate the sweet spot on any bat, learn how curve balls work, and learn how to “rest and digest” for added energy.  The kit Includes: string, mallet, ping-pong ball, baseball, rubber ball, chart, sticker sheet, marker, clear tube, face paint, stick, and activity guide so that you can test out some sports myths. It isn’t anything fancy but anything that promotes science is good to me and the kids were happy with it! I think the Science of Sports or any of the Mythbuster products would interest young fans of the Mythbuster show.

Olivia Olivia Olivia! Great books and now cool toys!

November 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

OLIVIA! We have several of the Olivia books so I knew our girls would like the new Olivia toys. Jillian is two so the plush Olivia is hers and Jamie is four and the perfect age for the ingenious Olivia 2-in-1 transforming playset house! I would have LOVED the house as a kid because it opens up two different ways to reveal Olivia’s house or a pirate ship! They really pack a lot into a toy that folds back into a compact house with a handle on top to take along (and all the pieces fit easily inside!). At first I though Jamie would not be able to open and close it on her own but she had no trouble at all. The house/pirate ship also comes complete with furniture, pirate gear and an Olivia figure. Our boys are six and eight and they like to play with the set with the girls (especially the pirate side). I am hoping that Santa brings Jamie the Olivia’s family set (this one is a Toys R Us exclusive) so that all the kids can play together at the same time. When I was at Toys R Us they had a big Olivia display with a bunch of neat toys and different Olivia plush dolls (I heard that they also have Olivia stuff at Target and Kmart too). I love it when kids can play with characters from their favorite books, how sweet to read Olivia to Jillian while she snuggles her own Olivia!

*Boy I was REALLY SLOW posting this review because I kept forgetting to get good pictures of the kids with the playset. I just gave up and am posting with Toys R Us images!

Next Page »