Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November Movies on Demand Giveaway Winner Announced

Congratulations to our November Movies on Demand Giveaway Winner:
Vanessa V.

Our winner won:
•             (1)$10 Cable Cash
•             (1)$25 Visa Gift Card
•             (1)Brave T-shirt

Vanessa, you have been emailed and have 48 hours to respond and claim your prize, or a new prize will be drawn.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Caribbean Pot Roast Featuring Savory Pot Roast Crock-Pot Seasoning Mix

Yum, yum, YUMMY!!!!!  This was SO easy and SO good!  Besides the meat and veggies, there are only 4 other ingredients that turn this into AH-MAZing!!!!  You seriously can't ask for much more than that!

I am a huge fan of traditional Pot Roast, but I wanted to do something a little bit different this time!  I used the Savory Pot Roast Crock-Pot Seasoning Mix and just added a few other ingredients to make it  "Caribbean!"  I'll let you in on a little secret.....I was terrified to put Sweet Potatoes in with my roast.  TERRIFIED!  BUT, I will be the first to tell you, they were INCREDIBLE with the pot roast!  The sweetness of the Orange Marmalade with the Savory Pot Roast Seasoning Mix was the perfect balance!  There was plenty of sauce, and JUST the right thickness, to spread over my meat to add lots of extra flavor on my plate.  We were all members of the clean plate club tonight.....even the kids!  HALLELUJAH!

This is the last week to enter the Crockin' In the USA Recipe Contest!!!!  All the details are below!
I've now used all 3 Seasoning Mixes and they're all equally amazing!!!  I made a Pumpkin & Apple Stuffed Pork Loin with the BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix, Beef and Barley Stew with the Hearty Beef Stew Seasoning Mix and now the Caribbean Pot Roast with the Savory Pot Roast Mix.  I can't wait for you to try them!

P.S.  Remember, I am THE JUDGE for this contest, so if you're recipe makes it into the top 10, I will be the one choosing the winner!!!!  I cannot wait to see what you all come up with!  Get Crockin'!

Crockin' In the USA is a recipe submission contest, where all you have to do is use one of the brand new Crock-Pot Seasoning Mixes in a unique way, to create your own Slow Cooker recipe.  

The Seasoning Mixes come in 3 Flavors...
Hearty Beef Stew, Savory Pot Roast and BBQ Pulled Pork.

The contest runs from November 1 through December 17, 2012.  All of the details will be posted on the Crock-Pot Seasoning Mixes Facebook Page on November 1, so be sure to "like" this page so you don't miss out!  The grand prize winner will receive 1 Year of Free Groceries, an $8,500 dollar value!  Who couldn't use that?!

The timeline for this contest is as follows:
  • November 1-November 25 - Submit Your Recipes
  • November 29-December 13 - Vote for your favorite Recipes
  • December 17 - Winner will be Announced

Here's what you need to do:
  • Step 1: Pick up some some of the Crock Pot Seasoning Mixes at Target nationwide (located near the Crock-Pot branded appliances) or in your local grocery store in the spices aisle.
  • Step 2: Secure 1, or all 3 varieties of Seasoning Mixes
  • Step 3: Create and AWESOME Crock-Pot Seasoning Mix Recipe with your Crock-Pot Seasoning Mix!
  • Step 4: Submit Your Recipe
  • Step 5: Get your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. to vote for your recipe submission.

1.75-2 lb. Boneless Bottom Round Roast (or whatever kind of roast you like)
1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, quartered then sliced
2-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1.5" pieces
1 large stalk celery, cut into 1.5" pieces
1 pkg. Savory Pot Roast Crock-Pot Seasoning Mix
9 oz. Orange Marmalade
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Cumin

Directions: (I used a 3 Quart Slow Cooker for this)
Place your sweet potatoes in the bottom of your crock.
Place your roast on top of that.
Surround it with the carrots and celery.
Top it all with the onions.

In a bowl, mix together the Savory Pot Roast Seasoning Mix, Orange Marmalade, soy sauce and cumin.

I love when she wants to help!!!
Pour your mixture over everything in your crock.

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

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Movies on Demand - November Giveaway!

As much as I might want to deny it, the Holidays are now upon us.  Our local radio stations are playing Christmas Music, Christmas lights are going up and Thanksgiving is this week!  YIKES!  How did that happen so quickly?!  LOL  Time sure does fly!  Movies on Demand is has another great line-up this month in ADDITION to some great Holiday Movies as well! Again, Movies on Demand is making it possible for me to stay up to date on all of the new releases right from the comfort of my own home, which I LOVE with the cold weather!

Last month, we had our first Giveaway with Movies on Demand on cable, and I have one again next month too!

Be sure to follow Movies on Demand on Facebook to make sure you don't miss out on the latest titles and news.  I can't wait to see Brave with my daughter and Men in Black 3 with my husband.  Meet Me In St. Louis is my ALL-TIME-FAVORITE Musical to watch, so I'm happy it's part of the Holiday line up!

Enter to Win:

The Prize Packs include:
•             (1)$10 Cable Cash
•             (1)$25 Visa Gift Card
•             (1)Brave T-shirt

To Enter:

Use the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer:  I am being compensated by Movies on Demand for this post.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Slow Cooker Holiday Menu

Before I learned the art of crocking, I used to panic about when I was going to cook everything, how I was going to keep things warm while I switched one thing out of the oven and put another in, etc. etc. etc.  Now that I have MASTERED the art of crocking, panic no longer has to ensue!  Everything is done and I can relax!  When I serve dinner, all I have to do is take the lids off!  LOL!

To make your Thanksgiving a bit easier, I've assembled a few Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Recipes for you, to help make your Thanksgiving a bit less stressful!  Save the oven for the precious 22 lb. Turkey if you're serving a large crowd, or if you're serving a small crowd, keep that oven space for some pies!

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:




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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I made this for dessert when we came home from Trick or Treating, but this would be fabulous for Thanksgiving dessert!  Bread Pudding is really very easy to make and this was delicious!

In case you missed it, I've mentioned it before, but I've made Bread Pudding before in the oven and it was a complete failure.  It seriously would NOT cook and it tasted like scrambled eggs.  NOT what you're going for when you're making a dessert!  Fast forward about 4-5 years and I got up enough guts to try it again, but in my slow cooker.  I'm so happy I did!  It turns out wonderfully!

You can really switch this up any way you choose, or use any type of flavored liquor you want.  If you don't want to add liquor, just add some canned pumpkin and a bit more liquid and sugar. :)

1 French Baguette, cut into 1/2" cubes and left out overnight to dry out.
1/2 cup craisins
1/4 cup Pumpkin Spice liquor
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp.cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 cups heavy cream

Directions: (I used a 3 quart crock for this)
Spray your crock with non-stick spray.
In a small bowl, soak your craisins in the pumpkin liquor.

In a bigger bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, sugar, melted butter and heavy cream.

Stir in the Pumpkin liquor and soaked craisins last.

Add in the bread and stir.

Dump it all into your crock.

Place a towel under the lid and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.

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Cranberry Orange Sauce

Jellied Cranberry Sauce isn't the only "sauce" that exists, folks!  LOL  I love fresh cranberries.  I know, I know, they're not everyone's "cup of tea," but for those who enjoy them, they will really enjoy this sauce!

First of all, let me tell you, this takes NO TIME at all to put together!  My daughter and I assembled it in about 4 minutes....that includes me stopping for pictures.  It was SO simple and easy and I think it tasted awesome!  There was still the tartness of the cranberries, but the sauce was just sweet enough to balance it out.

You could serve this sauce "as is," which is nice and chunky, or you could use an Immersion Blender and puree it.  I thought about it, but I thought it was really beautiful the way it was.  I also like the cranberries "popping" open in my mouth.  (I'm really into ""' marks tonight, aren't I?!!!!)  You can serve it whichever way you like!

1 - 12oz. bag cranberries, frozen
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. Orange Juice
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Orange Zest

Directions: (I used a 2 Quart Crock for this)
Place the frozen cranberries in your crock
(Aren't they so pretty?!)

Add in the sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and orange zest.
(Again, so pretty!!!)

Now, mix it up!
(That's my Ella.  She's my little helper!)

Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours, or on HIGH for 2-2.5 hours.
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Green Bean Casserole

I don't think I'll ever make Green Bean Casserole in the oven again!  This was SOOOO good and SOOOO easy!  I just love a "good" and "easy" recipe!

Green Bean Casserole is a "must-have" at all our Thanksgiving Family gatherings.  My mom made it when I was a kid, my sister now makes it for the family every Thanksgiving, and my Father-in-law makes it at their family Thanksgiving every year too.  I would be totally lost without it!

I served this at our Mock Thanksgiving Dinner last night and it was seriously perfect!  It took me less than 5 minutes to assemble it and turn it on!  You're gonna LOVE this, I PROMISE!  Save the oven space and utilize those slow cookers folks!!!!

2 - 14.5oz. cans Green Beans, drained
6 oz. French Fried Onions, divided
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions: (I used a 2 Quart Crock for this recipe)
Place the drained green beans at the bottom of your crock.

In a bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and pepper.

Mix half of the French Fried Onions in last.
(We like A lot of onions, but if you don't, only add a 1/4 of the container)

Pour this mixture over your green beans and mix it up.
 Top with the rest of the French Fried Onions.
(or less than that if you don't like it really oniony)

Cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mom's Stuffing - Mrs. Cubbison's Stuffing Review

According to the new "Thanksgiving Across America" Survey, Turkey is a menu "Must-have" on thanksgiving, with Stuffing a "close second."  Stuffing is definitely a must-haveThanksgiving family tradition for us too!  It is ALWAYS part of our Thanksgiving meal.  I'm lucky to have grown up eating my Mom's FANTASTIC Stuffing.  I'm also lucky to have had the pleasure of also indulging in my Father-in-law's stuffing as well these past 12 years!

In our family, the top 3 main ingredients in our stuffing are Onions, Celery and Seasoned Stuffing Mix. According to the "Thanksgiving Across America" Survey, "...over 80% said celery and onions topped the list."  How can you go wrong with those ingredients, really?!

If you'd like to read more of Mrs. Cubbison's Fun Facts about Thanksgiving, please visit and check out the rest of the "Thanksgiving Across America Survey."

This was my first time using Mrs. Cubbison's and it won't be the last.  It made my stuffing delicious!  I also love the way it's packaged.  It comes in a box with 2-6oz. packages.  No more half-opened bags of stuffing hanging out in your cupboards!  It made my stuffing just as delicious as my Mom's, so that's really all that matters!  If it can do that, it definitely passes my test!

This was my first time cooking my stuffing in my slow cooker.  It turned out AWESOME!  So moist, so delicious, so perfect!  You'll have that precious oven space you always long for, and your stuffing will still turn out perfectly!

You can follow Mrs. Cubbison's on Facebook and/or on their Youtube Channel!

For this recipe, I used my 5 Quart Slow Cooker. This amount fit perfectly.  If you cut this recipe down a bit, you would definitely be able to get it into a 3-4 Quart Slow Cooker.

3 - 6 oz. bags Mrs. Cubbison's Seasoned Stuffing Mix
3 cups celery, diced
3 cups onion, diced
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 lbs. ground beef, browned and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 sticks butter, melted
2 Tbsp. Onion Powder
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Sage
1.5 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
32 oz. Chicken Broth

Brown the ground beef and season it with a bit of salt and pepper.

In another pan, heat up the Olive Oil, then cook your onions and celery until they are translucent.

In a bowl, add the stuffing, ground beef, seasonings and butter and chicken broth.

 Mix it up.

Dump it all into a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or on HIGH for 2 hours.

*Disclaimer: This sponsorship is brought to you by Mrs. Cubbison's who we have partnered with for this promotion.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kenmore Fall Blogger Summit 2012 Part 2

As some of you may remember, my Part 1 post was kind of the last part of my Kenmore Experience in Chicago.  It was the story of how I won the French Door Refrigerator :)  You can read all about it here. 

This post will be Part 2/3 posts :)

♪♫Let's start at the very beginning......♪♫ (Sorry, it's the musician in me!)

It all started with yet another eventful flight.  My first flight was actually on the run way (again,) then cancelled when they didn't have the part to fix the aircraft in Detroit.  Honestly, I'm happy I wasn't on that plane.  I'm a true believer in things happening for a reason!  I did make it onto the very next flight out, by the grace of God, and made it to Chicago about an hour and a half after I was originally supposed to land.  The Kenmore representatives were there to greet me and graciously agreed to claim my luggage for me when it finally arrived (3 hours later) so I could go to the hotel!

We stayed at Hotel Felix, which was only 3 blocks from the Kenmore Craftsman Brand Live Experience Studio.  My room was beautiful and insanely comfortable!
 Kenmore provided each of us with a lovely goodie bag!  That popcorn didn't last long, just sayin'.....
The lobby even had a wonderful sign to greet us!

I spent Friday afternoon touring Chicago with my good friend, Kyle.  We met during our run as "Hero" and "Philia" in "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum" in 2007.  We stopped at Orange for a delicious lunch and some Fruishi.

I don't know the names of the rest of the places we went, but we sure did have fun wandering around Chicago! I'm pretty sure we walked about 12 miles.....and it felt marvelous!

 I do remember "The Bean." ;)  We had some fun taking pictures there.....along with the rest of Chicago!

Friday evening, Kemore hosted a reception right at the Kenmore Craftsman Brand Live Experience.  The first thing I found was this lovely slow cooker.....

We mingled while we watched chef, Jeremy Levin prepare our 4-course dinner.  It was amazing to watch the careful plating.

Here was our menu for the night.  Pretty fancy, huh?!

I've never met a brussel sprout I liked until I ate this! First course: Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Delicata Squash, King Trumpet Mushrooms & Eggplant Puree.
Second Course: Wild Rice & Smoked Trout Francini, Chamed Watercress and Salsa Verde
This dish contained the best tomatoes I've ever tasted in my life!!!  I always save the best bite for last!
Third Course: Confit Hangar Steak, Kohlrabi Gratin with Arugala Chimichuri
Fourth Course: Grilled Apples & Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Milk Caramel & Basil Cream

After our lovely dinner, Kenmore got right to "business!"  They chose 5 team captains for the next days' activities based on the most creative and recipes with the best "stories" we submitted to  I was the last Team Captain they called!  I won that spot with this recipe for my Decadent Sweet Potato Casserole. Here's a photo of Kari Karch (Kenmore's in-house chef) announcing me as the final Team Captain!
This photo courtesy of Kenmore
We then had a taste test among captains.  We had to taste the Chimichuri sauce from the 3rd course and name as many ingredients as we could.  Here's me tasting the sauce....
This photo courtesy of Kenmore

Guess what?!  I guessed the MOST ingredients!  I WON!!!!  My advantage for winning?  I got to pick 2 teammates before anyone else!  We went around the room and each person gave a little info on what their blog was all about.  I ended up with an extraordinary team of women!  
From left to right.....
Whit of Whit's Amuse Bouche, Kelly of 3 Boys and a, Kiran of, Vianney of Sweet Life and Janice of Celebrating Family

These are all blogs you're going to want to follow!  I've never met a more fun, intelligent, awesome group of women!  We really were the "dream team!"  We deemed ourselves, "Team Hope!"  (That was an accident really.  LOL
This photo courtesy of Kiran Srivastava
After all the excitement, my new teammates and I walked back to Hotel Felix together.  We decided to meet bright and early the next morning for breakfast!  That was when I told my teammates I was going to win the refrigerator.  They laughed.  I'm pretty sure they thought I was crazy!  Hee hee!  Sometimes it's all about the mindset!  ;)

To be continued.......

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