Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"S'nores" S'mores Oatmeal - Gluten-Free

I turned S'mores into Oatmeal!
Why the "S'nores?" in the title?
You see, on the 4th of July, we were all sitting around a campfire and my son asked for something unusual!  Let me show you...

Our FitAddict friend Andrea Lauren challenged me to make S'nores Oatmeal, so we did!
How does it taste?  Incredible.  No, for real.  It's amazing.  Sinful.  And OH SO GOOD!  And you know what?!  It's really not all that bad for you!  You can leave out the brown sugar and cut down on the calories, but I threw it in there for the kids' pleasure.  I owed them one.  They eat everything healthy I throw at them.  They make me a super proud mommy!

We used dark chocolate chips, but you can use milk chocolate if you like.  We also used gluten-free graham crackers, but you could use regular if you're not gluten-free.  
This is a super fun recipe for the kids because it's EASY to assemble and then when it's done, the kids get to "decorate" their oatmeal!  My kids are suckers for this!

Servings: 4-6

1 cup gluten-free steel cut oats
2 cups almond milk
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Dark Chocolate Chips
Mini Marshmallows
Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

Directions: (Use a 2-3 quart Slow Cooker for this)
In a well-greased crock, place the steel cut oats.

Pour in the milk, brown sugar and vanilla.

Give it a stir.

Cook it on LOW for 8 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.
Stir and place into bowls.
Place your toppings into separate bowls and let your kids (or you!) decorate their bowls of oatmeal!

It's super fun for the kids to do!
I took a quick video of my kids decorating their oatmeal!

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Sriracha Creamy Shredded Chicken - Gluten-Free

What can I say?!  I was in the mood for SPICY!  Oh, let's face it, I'm always in the mood for spicy!  LOL

However....I do have a family to think about, so I feel as if I took precautionary measures to tame down the spice a bit.  My kids are 4 and 7.  They both ate this without complaints, but I did make sure they had plenty of non-fat plain Greek yogurt (we use this instead of sour cream) on their dinners ;)  They were just fine and I didn't hear any complaints.  (Unless you count the one from my husband because he didn't put any of the Greek yogurt on his....whoopsie!)

This is everything the name suggests!  It's spicy from the Sriracha, it's creamy from the cream cheese and you shred it when it's done cooking ;)  Not only does this taste delicious, but the recipe only contains 4 ingredients and is STILL delicious!  That's not an easy task, so this is a keep folks!  This would be a great recipe for those days where you seriously don't have time to fuss over dinner!

You will see below I used my chicken breasts and cream cheese frozen.  They cook up nicely that way as long as they're not too thick or they don't reach the proper temperature in time.  I buy cream cheese when it's on sale and freeze it for future use.

*see below for some serving suggestions

So, go grab these few ingredients and get crockin'!

Servings: 6-10 

3-4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (mine was frozen)
1 onion, halved and sliced
5 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
8 oz. 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese (mine was frozen)

Place the chicken into the bottom of your crock and top it with the onions.

Pour the sriracha sauce over the top and add in the block of cream cheese.

If you're cooking your chicken FROZEN, cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
If you're cooking fresh thawed chicken, cook on HIGH for 2.5-3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.

Shred the chicken between two forks, then stir back through sauce in the crock.

Serve any way you choose and ENJOY!

Serving Suggestions:
Over the past couple of days, I've served this a few different ways.
The first way I served this was on GF white corn tortillas with some shredded lettuce and non-fat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

For the kids, I served this as quesadillas!  I heated up the shells with mozzarella cheese and the shredded chicken.

I also served just the chicken in a bowl with some shredded mozzarella, shredded lettuce and some non-fat plain Greek yogurt!

This would be great over salad or on nachos or in crunchy taco shells as well!  Get creative!
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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Kayem Artisan Sausage #Recipe and #Review

I had the extreme pleasure of reviewing Keyem Foods' new line of Artisan Sausages and BOY am I in love with them!
Before I get to how I used these delicious sausages, let me give you a little bit of information on them!  First, they are GLUTEN-FREE!  Yay!  They contain no artificial flavors or MSG and are made with premium cuts of pork sirloin and are blended with natural ingredients.  These also come fully cooked and contain 35% less fat than the average pork sausage.  This is excellent news!

You see three of the flavors pictured above, but Keyem Artisan Sausage comes in 5 flavors; Andouille; Sweet; Fire-Roasted Pepper Jack; Pineapple Uncured Bacon; and Sweet Pepper Provolone.

I literally got right to cooking with these delicious sausages!  I even created a recipe for you!
I call this Fire Roasted Pepper Jack Sausage Soup.  You are SO going to want this recipe, so click here and it will take you right to it!

I used the Pineapple Uncured Bacon Sausage to make this delicious dish.  I added the sausage to some brusses sprouts, halved and sauteed along with some diced up pieces of bacon.  I served it over rice and it was absolutely incredible.  I don't think I even added any salt or pepper!  It was delicious as is!

I used the Andouille Sausage in some scrambled eggs one morning.  I used the sausage, some red onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and some Garlic and Herb Mrs. Dash seasoning. They were so tasty and SO easy to whip together!

If you haven't tried Kayem's Artisan Sausages yet, I highly recommend picking some up!
Kayem is available at Meijer throughout the greater Detroit area.  You can find out more about Kayem at Kayem.com/products

*Disclaimer:  I was given three packages of sausages in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Fire Roasted Pepper Jack Sausage Soup #Gluten Free

I was recently asked to review Kayem Foods' Artisan Sausages and I'm so happy I did!  It allowed me to create this delicious soup!

You know how you have a bunch of things in your refrigerator you really need to use?  Yeah, that's the situation I was in.  I had broccoli with only a couple more days left in it, some carrots in the same situation and onions growing in cupboard.  LOL  I decided to throw it all into a soup and see what happened.  What happened was pure deliciousness!  

Funny story really....I actually used HOT diced jalepenos in my soup and let me just tell you something...........it was H-O-T!  LOL  I've changed the recipe below for you to use mild.  TRUST me when I tell you....you do NOT need the heat from the jalepenos!  I promise!  This sausage is delicious, but spicy ;)

Servings: 4-6

1  cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. fresh minced garlic
2 Tbsp. mild diced jalapenos
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 package Kayem Fire Roasted Pepperjack Artisan Sausage, sliced into rounds then halves
6 cups no-salt chicken stock

Directions: (Use a 5-6 Quart Slow Cooker)
Place the carrots, broccoli, onions, garlic and diced jalepenos into the crock.

 Sprinkle in the Fiesta Lime Seasoning, salt and pepper.

Add in the sausages.

Last, pour in the chicken stock.

Give it a quick stir and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 3.5-4 hours.
This one is spicy, but SO flavorful!  You'll love it!

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XFINITY TVGo App #Review

If you're an "on the go" type of person or family like me, then the XFINITY TVGo App is perfect for you!  We first used our XFINITY TVGo App while on a short family vacation over mid-winter break.  The kids loved having a "movie night" at our hotel.  We used it again shortly after while staying in a hotel over Easter weekend.  The kids were ecstatic to have the app!

XFINITY customers can watch live TV on more than 75 channels from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You'll also have access to thousands of TV shows and movie titles through their On Demand service. What's super cool is you can also download some shows and movies to your phone or tablet to watch when you're offline.  This is super helpful if you have an iPad like mine that doesn't have a data plan and only works through wifi.

Above, you see what the screen looks like after you easily log into the app.
Below, you see what the Family/Kids section looks like.  There are hundreds of movies and TV shows for your kids to watch.  You can use the filter to see what's available for download, or to separate movies from tv shows.  Of course, the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner allows you to search specifically for things.

As a parent, I really appreciate the parental controls.  My son is 4, so he doesn't read yet.  99% of the time he asks me before clicking on anything, but in my opinion, just because it's in the kids/family section, it doesn't necessarily mean it's appropriate for children ages 4 and 7!  

As mentioned above, you can also access live TV.  There are tons of choices obviously and I think it's a really nice feature.  When I'm busy blogging, I don't really like to have the TV on, but I do like that I can have my iPad next to me and glance at it and listen to it.  This is one of my favorite features of XFINITY TVGo!

Some fun Xfinity TVGo App facts for you:
XFINITY TV customers watched more than 3 million hours of comedies, dramas and reality TV on XFINITY TV Go and programmer apps throughout Watchathon Week, up 64 percent from last year’s event. Providing an all-access pass to TV’s hottest shows, XFINITY Watchathon Week, which was April 6-12, unlocked full seasons of the best in entertainment content from premium, cable and broadcast networks for XFINITY TV customers to enjoy for free.

 During the Final Four, TV Everywhere viewership across our XFINITY TV Go platforms skyrocketed, up 292 percent year over year with nearly 330,000 total live streams nationwide for the action-packed semifinal games.

We've tried just about every cable company out there and have finally settled with XFINITY.  We've been very happy.

Do you have XFINITY?  Have tried the app?  Let me know what you think below.

*I was not monetarily compensated for this post.  I was only given a trial period of the app.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Roominate #Review and Playdate!

I'm excited to tell you about a new product that came across my email recently!

Roominate is an award-winning, stackable and customizable building set.  It contains a motor and light circuit, modular pieces and universal joints.  There are ENDLESS possibilities as to what you can do with the Roominate pieces.  

We had a playdate with our Roomniate goodies!  I opened all 3 boxes and mixed them up.  I put the same amount of pieces into 3 different containers, but gave each child the makings of a "fan."

I sat the kids down and gave them instructions.  I told them they could build whatever they wanted with the pieces they had.  They were allowed to trade/take/give pieces to one another with permisson.  All children had access to the walls and paper, but my 4 year didn't have eyes for anything other than the Roominate pieces, so he let the two older kids use all the walls.

They got building and BOY did they have fun!

I took a couple videos of the kids because they were just too cute with these things!  SO engaged.  So creative and so QUICK to figure things out!

The Roominate Studio retails for approximately $29.99.  This is a 70 piece set, with 4 wall/floor panels, 24 furniture pieces, 16 connectors, a motor, switch, battery pack, screwdriver, doll, pet and 20 sheets of craft paper. 
The Roominate 3-in-1 Helicopter set retails for approximately $19.99.  This comes with 24 furniture building pieces, 12 connectors, 2 arches, a switch, motor, battery pack, screwdriver, doll and pet.

Our guest has already asked his mom for more sets of these!  My kids have been playing with them non-stop and haven't created the same thing twice yet ;)  I'm a happy mom and my kids are happy too.  What a great, educational and quality product that stretches my kids' imaginations.

If you'd like to find out more about Roominate, please visit their website at http://www.roominatetoy.com/

*Disclaimer: I was given the 3 sets pictured above in return for hosting a playdate using the Roominate products.  I was also given a gift card for Playdate materials.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Surf Sweets - Gluten-Free, Organically Sweetened Candy Just In Time For Easter! #REVIEW

I'm SUPER excited to tell you about the amazing new candy I found through Surf Sweets!
Not only is Surf Sweets GLUTEN-FREE, but it's also oranically sweetened, which will make your Easter snacks a whole lot healthier!

Surf Sweets products are:
~Free of Artificial Colors and Flavors
~Non-GMO Project Verified
~Corn Syrup-Free/ Dairy-Free/ Casein-Free
~Allergy Friendly - Free of the 10 Most Common Allergens
~100% recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C per serving
~Made with Organic Fruit Juice and Sweeteners

So, let me get straight to the good stuff and tell you about all the amazing products they sent me to review you can stuff your kids' Easter baskets with! (Don't worry, I taste tested EVERYTHING for you, so you wouldn't wonder whether or not they were really good....cuz they are....and they may all be gone, just sayin'!)

Oh MAN, do I LOVE a good jelly bean!!!  These are top notch jelly beans, and this is coming from a Jelly Belly addict.  They are absolutely perfect and they have THE BEST crunchy little outer shell a jelly bean could ever have.  These are the Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans which include Tropical Punch, Lemonade, Mixed Berry, Pineapple, Tangerine and Watermelon!  YUMMMMMMMY!!!  These are my new favorites!  

These are the regular Organic Jelly Beans and the Organic Fruity Bears.  The jelly beans include Cherry, Grapefruit, Grape, Lemon, Strawberry and Orange.  Let me tell you, they are incredible!!!  Again, the best jelly beans I've ever had!  Not a bad flavor in the bunch!

The Fruity bears TOTALLY take me back to my childhood!  They're delicious and lightly sugar coated.  They coming in several flavors, including Cherry, Grapefruit, Grape, Lemon, Strawberry and Orange.  They're vegan too!

I don't think I can stress enough how delicious these gummy treats are.  Back when I was in high school, I used to stop and get a bag of peach rings every Thursday on my way to Chamber Singers practice along with a French Vanilla Cappuccino.  (Healthy, right?!)  This TOTALLY brought me back!  These did not disappoint!  I was a little hesitant trying the watermelon rings for some reason, but you know what?!  I LOVED them...even more than the peach rings and I didn't think that would ever be possible!
They're vegan too!

If you're into the not-so-sweet type of treat, then the Organic Original Fruit Chews are TOTALLY for you!  These are soft and delicious.  They are lightly sweetened and won't break your teeth if you know what I mean!

The Choco Chews are definitely chewy.  They are the perfect amount of chocolitiness in your mouth! (I think I just made that word up and I'm keeping it!)  They definitely soften up as you chew and are extremely addicting!  (You've been warned!)

Surf Sweets are available in natural and organic grocery stores across the country including Whole Foods and online at Amazon.com and NaturalCandyStore.com.  Visit www.surfsweets.com

*DISCLAIMER: I was sent all of the above photographed products for free in exchange for this review.  I was not given any monetary compensation otherwise.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Red Wine and Garlic Sirloin Tip Roast

I love when I walk into the meat market and the butcher tells me what's on sale because it provides such inspiration!  Plus, I like to save a buck or two!  Who doesn't, right?!

Red wine.  Let's talk red wine.  I needed an excuse to break open a bottle.   Truly, I did.  I used half for this roast and the other half?  Well, let's just say it was put to good use ;)

If you've never had a sirloin tip roast before, you're missing out.  They are super lean and cook up beautifully!  This recipe is fool proof.  I mean, seriously, it's one of my easiest recipes to throw together, so ANYONE can do this!

Let's talk garlic now.  I absolutely adore garlic.  Garlic and red wine make a mighty fine team, let me tell ya!  I left all my garlic cloves whole for this recipe, but I kind wished I had thrown them into my food processor and SLATHERED the yumminess all over my roast.  When I make this again, that's what I plan to do.  So, make this recipe as is below, OR do as I just mentioned.  I think you'll find the extra step totally garlicriffic! ;)

Servings: 4-6 

24 oz. mini yellow potatoes
2.5 lb. sirloin tip roast
20 garlic cloves
2 cups baby carrots
1 head green cabbage, cut into chunks
2 cups red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: (Use a 7 quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.)
Place the potatoes and half of the garlic cloves into the bottom of your crock.

Next. place the sirloin tip roast on top and salt and pepper well on both sides.

Place the remaining garlic cloves on top of the roast.

Place the carrots around the roast.

Place the cabbage on top and salt and pepper it.

Pour the red wine over the top.

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

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