Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jimmy Dean Better Breakfast Better You! and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Jimmy Dean.
However the opinions and feelings expressed here are my own.

The holiday season is nearing an end my friends. Unless you count Valentines day...and in that case the holiday season is just 3/4 of the way through! Let that put a little sparkle in your eye, now. However whether you count it or not, January is staring us right in the face.


January. The old girl is usually pretty cold in my neck of the woods. Also a  bit boring. No one wants to make anything with butter and sugar anymore, holiday parties are over, and my pants are too tight. Not really my favorite month...if you catch my drift. 

But with January also comes the opportunity for change. A fresh start, if you will. That is something to smile about. While I love (and have a serious addiction) to butter and sugar...it is bit refreshing to take a break from them for a spell. I cannot deny it. I often tend to get in a butter/sugar frenzy by the end of December. Come January I am ready to bring in a replacement! Something that is a little bit better for you!


A couple of weeks ago I was given some samples of Jimmy Dean Delights breakfast sandwiches. 


Jimmy Dean has come out with several options for breakfast that have less fat, while still tasting great. I have to say I was a bit skeptical of these breakfast sandwiches at first. I'm more of a grind-the-wheat-make-the-bread-from-scratch kind of chic. However I am finding in my ever increasing busy life...I make better choices when there are "better choices" available quickly

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of these products! They are really good. They have a lot of protein and much less fat than Jimmy Dean's regular product. Two things that are a great bonus. I have found (in my many years battling the bulge) that eating more protein really helps a lot. Protein combined with whole grains is a magical potion. I am looking forward to hanging out with both of these two. More of these, less of the butter/sugar combo we discussed earlier. The new Jimmy Dean products will be a great addition to my routine. I look forward to having them as an option on a busy morning. Ok...let's be honest. I can count on one very tiny finger the mornings that aren't super busy around here. Must be the mother-of-five gig I'm trying to pull off.


If you would like to enter to win the $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway leave me a comment telling me one choice you are going to make this January to improve your self. One simple way you plan to make a better you.


Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c)       Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d)      Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
This giveaway will run from December 28th to January 30th

.
The official rules can be found here.

To visit the other bloggers participating in this giveaway click here.




Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowman Pop-Tarts Sled and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Pop-Tarts®.



THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


If you are looking for a fun little kitchen project, 
give these Snowman Pop-Tarts a go!
I had a fun time with my kids while we put them together. 

If you would like to enter to win the $100 Visa Gift Card  from BlogHer leave me a comment below telling me the thing you love most about Christmas! Be sure to leave me your email address as well. You have until December 25th to enter.
Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c)       Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d)      Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
 
The official rules can be found here.
There will also be a second opportunity to enter next week. Watch for another Pop-Tarts post that will include a video my family and I put together.
Click here to see the other 9 bloggers participating in this campaign.



Snowman Pop-Tarts Sled
Time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 sleds
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Royal Icing:
4 C powdered sugar
3 large egg whites
1/2 t cream of tartar

Sleds:
12 Pop-Tarts
1 bag extra large marshmallows
1 bag regular marshmallows
24 candy canes
assorted candy....red hots, hard cinnamon candies, mini chocolate chips...what ever suits your fancy!
Big Red Gum
Edible Color Markers (totally optional...but fun!)


1. To make the Royal Icing put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, or a stand mixer. Beat on medium high speed for at least 7 minutes. You want it to hold a peak.
2. Leave the icing white, or add food coloring if you choose. I opted to turn a bit of it red. 


3. Glue the candy canes to the top of the Pop-Tarts with the Royal Icing. 
4. Build your self a little snowman with the marshmallow. Use the Royal Icing to stick each part together.


5. I used these fun Edible Markers to draw faces on the snowmen, and to add little details to the scarfs. (made from Big Red gum)I got the markers at my local WalMart.

Use your imagination! Have FUN!!!!!




Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weebles Prize Pack and $100 HasbroToyShop.com Gift Card Giveaway

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Weebles.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Just the other day we got a big fat package on the doorstep.
It had been one of those days.
You know the kind.
Everyone was bored.
There was "nothing to do, Mom!"
It was the kind of day when the 
WhiningFightingCrying level FAR exceeded the....
CooperativeLovingFamily level.
I'm sure that doesn't happen very often at your house. You'll just have to use your imagination and trust me when I say...
those kind of days really stink.
 
Inside the package was a whole collection of Weebles from Playskool. Included were the Weebles Musical TreeHouse, Weeble Wobble-Go-Round, Weebles Wobblin' Go-Carts, and a Weebles Figure Assortment.


Can I just tell you honestly. 
There were smiles all around.
They really added a lot of fun to our day!
My LittleTwinBoys loved them. They seriously played for hours with them that afternoon, and have been
enjoying them ever since. 

A certain daughter who is eight years old,
and will remain nameless
also played with them for hours.....
just between you and I.

Weebles , you really saved the day.
And the night.
And the next morning, and afternoon as well.

If you would like a chance to win a fun Weebles Prize Package and $100 HasbroToyShop.com gift card you may enter below! Leave me a comment telling me your favorite RainyDayHaveFunWithYourKids Activity.
Be sure to leave your email address with your comment. 
This giveaway will run from today to December 24th. The winner will be announced on Monday December 27.

The Rules of the Giveaway are....
No duplicate comments.
You may receive 2 total entries by selecting from any of the following entry methods:
a)  Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt above.
b)  Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
c)  Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
d)  No-effort entry: Follow this link and provide your email address.


This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. 
The official rules are available here.


Here is a short video of my LittleTwinBoys hanging out with their new Weebles.

You can check out 9 other bloggers sites with more videos, and of course more opportunities to enter and win.




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pop -Tarts Video and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Pop-Tarts.

                                  
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
 
                                  Well hold on to your hats.
I have made a video for you!
Just for you....
to laugh at,
to chuckle at,
to grin at.


And hopefully you will be laughing,
and chuckling,
and grinning 
WITH us....more than AT us.
Here's to hoping!!






***If you would like to enter to win $100 Visa Gift Card leave me a comment below telling me what dish....or dishes you will be making this Thanksgiving. Entry comments left here will be combined with the entry comments from the Pop-Tarts Thankful House Post. If you entered at end of that post, you are welcome to enter here as well.


For a second entry (on this post)...
1. Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below)
2. Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below)
3. Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

Click here to see the 9 other bloggers participating in this review program. They are each giving away a $100 Visa gift card as well.
To link to the official sweepstakes rules, you can click here

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

$100 Visa Gift Card, Ghirardelli Chocolate Waffles, and Chocolate Toffe Cheesecake

This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and Ghirardelli.




THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


All right guys and gals, I'm going to give it to you strait. This post has a whole lot to offer you. Two fabulous recipes using Ghirardelli Chocolate..... and a chance to win $100 Visa Gift Card courtesy of  BlogHer . Hot diggidy dog. What a great day.

I will give a small warning. If you don't like chocolate...please avert your eyes. Chocolate is the topic of discussion today, and it's going to be laid on thick. Thick and rich and luscious and delectable and down right fabulous. If those words don't entice you...well then. I'll have to see you another day with some sort of tasty vegetable recipe in tow. I'll be up nights trying to figure how to make it luscious and delectable. But you are worth it...I'll give it my best shot.


As for the rest of you chocolate lovin' readers...we are in for a treat!

If you would like to enter for a chance to win $100 Visa Gift Card then leave me a comment below telling me your favorite way to eat chocolate! Be sure to leave your email address. The winner will be announced on December 16th.

For a second opportunity to win...
1. Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below)
2. Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below)
3. Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

If you would like to view some Chocolate Waffles and a delectable Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake.....well then keep on a scrollin' down. You won't be disappointed! 



Chocolate Waffles, dripping with homemade strawberry jam and adorned with a dollop of whip cream. Chocolaty richness in every bite. This recipe comes from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook.
These Chocolate Waffles are WONDERFUL!!!! My family was thrilled beyond belief when I served them up for breakfast. Some ate them with maple syrup, some with strawberry jam, some just ate them plain. Take your pick. They are good as can be and would make a wonderful holiday breakfast.



Chocolate Waffles
Time: 30 minutes
Yeild: 14 waffles

2 C flour
1 C Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 T baking powder
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
2 C milk
4 large eggs, separated
4 T canola oil
1 C Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


1. Combine the baking powder, flour and cocoa in a mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, egg yolks and oil. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.
3. In another bowl beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. It shouldn't take long, only about 3 minutes.
4. Fold the egg whites into your chocolaty batter.
5. Stir in your chocolate chips and you are ready to roll.
6. Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray and cook until done.

Serve with maple syrup, or strawberry jam.



 CHOCOLATE TOFFEE CHEESECAKE


Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake.  Need I say more. This heavenly dessert would make a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving Holiday Feast. I for one, am planning on making it...just so I have another chance to eat it. It really is down right SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!
If you are a Cheesecake fan, this dessert it for you.

Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake 
Time: 90 minutes + time 3 hours refrigeration
Yield: 12 servings
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Crust:
30 Oreos
1/3 C melted butter

Filling:
4  8 oz packages cream cheese
1 C sugar
2 t vanilla
1 C sour cream
4 eggs

Topping:
8  oz  Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (2/3 of a 12 oz bag)
8  oz whipping cream
dash salt
1/2 t vanilla
1  12 oz bag health toffee pieces



1. For the crust, grind your Oreos in a small food processor. Place the crumbs in a small mixing bowl. 
2. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and mix to combine well.
3. Get out your handy 10 inch spring form pan. Press the crust crumbs over the bottom of the pan and up 1 inch of the sides. It works well to use the a small measuring cup to help form the crust to the pan.
4. Beat the cream cheese in your stand mixer, or with hand held beaters for about 2 minutes, until smooth. 
5. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined.
6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg.
7. Stir the sour cream into the mixture, just until incorporated.
8. Place a 9x13 pan of water on the lower rack of your oven.
9. Pour your cheesecake filling over the chocolate crust.
10. Put the cheesecake into a 350 degree oven and bake for 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cheesecake comes out clean.
11. Cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
12. Put all topping ingredients (but the toffee chips) into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, and then stir. Keep heating in 30 second increments until the chocolate melts and can easily be incorporated into the cream. Whisk it together well.
13. Set the chocolate topping on the counter and let it set up for about 15 minutes, or until it begins to thicken a bit. You need to be careful here. If you pour it over the top of your cheesecake when it's too thin you'll have a real mess on your hands. You want it thick enough that once you put it on the top of the cheesecake, you can gently push it over the side and it will set nicely. The longer you let it sit, the thicker it will become. 
14. When the topping is the right consistency pour it on top of the cheesecake. Gently push it over the sides in several areas with a spoon.
15. Cover with toffee chips and return to the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.





To see BlogHers Official Rules Page click here.
You can also see 9 other bloggers Ghirardelli Recipes, and enter to win their $100 Giveaway. Just click here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pop Tarts Thankful House and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Pop-Tarts®.



THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

When Pop-Tarts® so graciously sent me some samples of their limited edition Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts I knew my kids would enjoy making something fun with them.
Actually....I think my kids would have been pleased as punch if I would have agreed to let them eat these Pop-Tarts® round the clock until 
each 
box 
was 
gone.

They're funny that way.
When they know what they like,
they just want it...
and want it....
and want it!

Does anyone else have that problem?
Your kids never do that!!!!????
Well my goodness, 
sounds like you better give me some advice then, 
won't you?


 I was asked by the good folks at Pop-Tarts®
to create a recipe using these very Pop-Tarts®

I was in the mood for a little crafty cooking fun so my kids and I made these cute little.....


Thankful Houses.

What makes them thankful?


Well, while we were building and constructing and candy sampling and decorating, we chatted about the things we were thankful for.
Then we wrote the things down on some little tags, put the tags on some toothpicks and stuck them all around the little houses.
It was pretty cute to see the things they came up with.

"Light Saber"
and 
"Candy"
were both represented.
(both extremely loved and extremely important...) 
We had a fun time!
I think you will too!
 If you would like a chance to win
$100 Visa Gift Card from  BlogHer, 
leave me a comment below telling me the thing you are
most grateful for this November. 
Be sure to leave your email address as well.

For a second opportunity to win...
1. Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below)
2. Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below)
3. Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.


There will also be a second opportunity to enter next week. Watch for another Pop-Tarts post that will include a video my family and I put together.

 Pop-Tarts® Thankful House
Time: 2 hours
Yield: 2 houses
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!
PRINT RECIPE

Royal Icing:
4 C powdered sugar
3 large egg whites
1/2 t cream of tartar

candy for decorating

toothpick 
labels
mini marshmallows


1. Place all ingredients for the Royal Icing in your stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl.
2. Stir the mixture around just a bit to incorporate.
3. Mix on medium high, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally to be sure all of the powdered sugar gets incorporated.

4. Continue to mix on high for 7 - 10 minutes. The icing should hold a peak when it is ready.


5. Put the icing into 3 quart sized Ziploc bags. Tie the top with a twist tie, clip a little hole in one of the corners and you are good to go.  Keeping the icing in a ziploc bag really helps to keep it moist.




6. Assemble the walls of your house as pictured above.


7. Cut 2 triangles out to help hold your pitched roof.


8. Carefully place the triangles and the roof on. Slather the edges up with icing. You will need some extra hands to help you hold it up for a couple of minutes, until the icing sets. This icing is really quite magical and sets up very quickly. If your roof doesn't meet at the top, just put pipe some icing in the crack to help seal it up.


9. Decorate your house as desired.
10. Write little thankful tags, stick them on a toothpick and place them around your house. The toothpicks need to be stuck into a marshmallow, or candy pumpkin. Then secure the marshmallow, or pumpkin with some icing.

Enjoy!

Click here to see the 9 other bloggers participating in this review program. They are each giving away a $100 Visa gift card as well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lawry's Seasoning and Bakeware Giveaway


I recently received the above gift from Lawry's and MyBlogSpark. As you can see there are four different seasoning packets included, as well as a large baking dish. 

I have really enjoyed these products.
The seasoning packets are remarkably good! 
A good seasoning packet can really make dinner
time a lot easier, can't it?
This girl is not opposed to a good collection of seasonings
all brought together in one little pouch.

Watch for tomorrows post, 
I'll be using one of the above packets to 
make a great, easy dinner.

 Lawry's and MyBlogSpark have agreed to send the above package to one of you fine readers.

To enter the give away leave me a comment at the bottom of this post telling me your family's favorite QUICK meal. 
Be sure to leave me your email address within your comment, 
so I have a way to track you down.
The Giveaway will close at 
midnight on Thursday November 4th.
I'll announce the winner on the 
morning of Friday November 5th.
Thanks and have a great day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Ultimate Family Vacation

Sponsored By

 Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine and Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

The Ultimate Family Vacation. What would that look like in my minds eye. We are entering into a new age-phase at my house. I'm not talking about listening to "new age" music. I'm simply stating that....these kids of mine are getting older. We are past the baby stage, so there are no diapers or nursing routines to work into the mix. Eliminating those two things really opens up the possibilities, doesn't it!  I do believe I could come up with some great vacation plans.

Plans that would incorporate a wide range of interests. Our Ultimate Family Vacation might have to be a potpourri of sorts.

A hand full of days spent at Disney Land for the LittleTwinBoys.
(ok, the rest of us would love that, too.) 

A night out to see Wicked or Hairspray for TheParents and TheGirls. 

Some kind of sporting event we would all tolerate while TeenSonMark lived it up.  
(He's really hoping at least one of his twin brothers shows an interest in sports. The rest of us are just a bunch of music nerds....poor kid.)

And of course, the Ultimate Family Vacation would have to include a long stretch of days where nothing was planned. Nothing but time to do what ever suits our fancy. Play a little card game together, wrestle on the floor, dance around to MyHandsomeHusband's piano music, catch some frogs, swim in the lake, and read a good book.
(I like to go light on the frog catching and lake swimming. Heavy on the good book.) I'd want to talk about silly things. Talk about religion. Talk about other matters of importance. Remember about the past. Laugh about embarrassing moments. Laugh about life. Laugh with and about each other.

You see. It would need to be a mix. A mix of planned activities and open, unscheduled time. Time together. Time to really get to know each other better.
Time to talk,
and play, 
and laugh, 
and not answer the phone.   


Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kraft and Sears in Chicago

 This is not a paid post. The Kraft products pictured below were given to me as a gift. I am receiving no payment for this post. Just passing along some opinions.

 Earlier this week I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago with some of the Blogher team and a hand full of  very fabulous bloggers. We met with Kraft and Sears to discuss our blogs, and how Blogher works in general. It was a lot of fun! I was thrilled to be able to meet Lisa Stone, CEO and Co-Founder of Blogher. Also pictured above are David from Leite's Culinaria, Claire from Life in Chicago and Courtney from CJane Enjoy It. There is really something wonderful about being with fellow bloggers. Let's just say, there was never a lack of conversation! I felt privileged to be among these fine people. They are real veterans in the blogging world (and I am just barely stepping off my front porch) so I felt very blessed to rub elbows with  these talented and knowledgeable folks.


Kraft sent us home with some of their great products. Look at this fun Halloween Mac and Cheese! My boys were loving it for lunch today. I have to admit, I am guilty of buying the generic brand of mac and cheese. You know how it goes, my friends. Every penny counts these days, doesn't it?
However....this Kraft Mac and Cheese puts my cheap no name brand to shame. 
Serious shame. 
It was so much better, I ate a bowl full myself.

After a small bowl of the "Cheesiest" I gave this new Kraft Chipolte Mayo a try. It is a light Mayo with only 40 calories per serving. Wow! It was full of great flavor. Loved it. Loved it.



Here is a sampling of the other things they sent home with me. Zero yourself in on the Mint Oreo Fudge Creams. Oh my. I would definitely be embarrassed if you were to look in my pantry and see just how many of those cookies are left. 
It's down right shameful. 
Lucky thing the Kraft Chipolte Mayo was light.
Thanks Kraft. It will be fun to try more of your great products!


The view from my Hotel window.



What a beautiful city.


Hello Mr. Trump. Please don't fire me.

Who would have thought a little (well, a kind of chubby) gal like myself would be heading off to Chicago to meet with these amazing brands. It was a real honor.
An honor in deed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Ordinary Family

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and ABC's No Ordinary Family.


This fall ABC has a new show coming out called No Ordinary Family. You can watch a video trailer of the show at the bottom of this post, or like it on facebook

Are we a Super-Hero Type family? Well no. I have to admit….when I was asked to write about my family of 7 being extraordinary, I was at a bit of a loss. Sure, I think we are pretty great!

 But, pretty normal. 

Nothing too extra-ordinary really.  

So, I had to put my thinking cap on.

Really tight.

I thought about the extraordinary things a person might see if they peeked into my kitchen window between the hours of 3:30 and 7:00. They might see things like a teasing-happy teenage son, two daughters in tears (girls can only take so much teasing), two daughters arguing with each other, one twin boy spilling red punch and crackers on the kitchen floor, and another twin boy tracking muddy shoes onto the kitchen floor. All of this while a mother tries to help with homework, make a little dinner, ask kids to practice the piano, pile kids in the car to run to different activities,while she asks “how was your day, and your day, and your day too dear?” 

Someone stealing a look through the window might think…

“Why. In. The. World. Would someone CHOOSE this! The chaos! How can one stand it? Seems extraordinarily crazy to me!”

They would be right. It does seem crazy! It is crazy!

But just you wait now.

It just so happens that the chaos is a small price to pay. Small,indeed. It’s the price I pay for….

A teen son who comes through the door after school saying “Are the twins having a nap? Could I wake them up early so I can wrestle with them?” A daughter who’s willing to look around the school cafeteria and sit by the underdog. Little twin boys who want to cuddle and read stories at any given moment. A young daughter consumed with looking after her dear friend that has Leukemia. A Teen Son who offers to accept his younger sisters punishment.  A bunch of kids dancing around the living room while their Dad plays a fast jig on the piano. A whole slew of kids standing along the sidewalk cheering and clapping while one of their siblings learns to ride a bike.

It’s the love. Plain and simple.

The love of a family is hands down, fabulously, exceptionally, out of this world……extraordinary.

I have a sneaking suspicion that your family is just as extraordinary. I would love to hear some of the sweet things that happen in your “pretty normal” lives. Get your thinking cap on, and leave me a comment. Can’t wait to hear what kind of love is buzzing around your house.  Now don’t go thinking things like “there isn’t any love around here”. Put your thinking cap on tight. Really tight. I think you’ll be surprised what you can come up with.

ABC’s No Ordinary Family hosted a video contest to find the most EXTRADORDINARY family in America and starting September 27th you can help vote for the winner!  Between September 27 and October 1, watch the top 5 video submissions and vote for your favorite.  Click here for details and be sure to vote!





Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baking with Betty 2010

This past week I was super fortunate to be in attendance at the Baking with Betty event, sponsored by General Mills in Minneapolis. It was so very wonderful! 
My entire trip was paid for by General Mills...how thoughtful!
I was one of 30 bloggers invited to the event. It was so fun to be able to chat with other blogging gals. Let me just say...there was never a lack of conversation. We had a lot to say to each other. There were four bloggers from Utah invited including Laura from RealMomKitchen, Jessica from UtahDealDiva, and Deborah from Taste and Tell. Other bloggers include Megan from MegansMunchies, Amanda from I Am Baker, and Julie from Joy's Hope. It was a fabulous group of gals. Really inspiring. I felt very honored to have been chosen.



Monday night we went on a fun boat cruise. They served dinner right on the boat and we got  to see some beautiful, 
BEA.U.TI.FUL. 
real estate along the lake.


The next day was spent at the General Mills Headquarters...were a lot of fun art can be seen. Check out these Cheerios! Right in the middle of a little rock garden. Wow, who would have thought.


I thought this quote was especially insightful.

These are they. 
The fine, famous, well thought of....
Betty Crocker Test Kitchens!
Wow. Seriously. I had to keep pinching myself.
The fine folks at General Mills had a full day planned for us. They told us a lot of fun background,
history if you will,
about good old Betty Crocker.
It turns out that she is a business...not a real person.
I know, I know. Try and hold your tears in. It's true.
Back in the early 1900's General Mills developed her persona to answer the questions homemakers were sending in to their company.
She became a way for the company to help homemakers learn to cook, and cook WELL.
Back in the 1930's and 40's Betty Crocker had her own radio program. When I mentioned this to my own dear Grandma she said that she can remember her own mother talking about Betty Crocker and the great advice she gave about cooking. 
Pretty fun!
General Mills is still very interested in helping homemakers learn more about cooking. We spent the day in the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens making all kinds of yummy things.
Yummy, EASY (so easy) recipes that I will be sharing with you very soon. If you have read my blog for any amount of time at all, you know I am a huge fan of a good cake mix. The possibilities are really endless. With just a few added ingredients you can have something FABULOUS in a short amount of time.

Just look at a few of the fabulous things we made! 


In the process of fabulousness....


Considering the fabulous....


Look no further....these are the fabulous.


...and the CUTE fabulous.....

...and the beautiful fabulous!
We made all of these recipes with Betty Crocker Products.  



The 8 different pictures of Betty Crocker. Is it just me, or does she get younger looking the older she gets? 


Betty Crocker wanna-be.
Thanks for the fun trip General Mills. I loved it a lot!