Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Circus is coming to Detroit Nov. 13-17

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS, a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon.  The show will make its metro Detroit appearance at The Palace of Auburn Hills, November 13-17, 2013. How exciting is that?!  We've never been to the circus before, so it's a big deal in our house!

Ringling Bros. ® Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats.

Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS opens an hour before with the interactive All Access Pre-showFREE admission with your ticket. Families can participate in interactive experiences such as learning juggling and balancing skills, get performer autographs, see one of Ringling Bros. majestic Asian elephant’s paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and meet the Ringling Bros. Clowns, whose side-splitting spoofs, absurd antics and comical parody are guaranteed to keep audiences roaring with laughter!  Personally, I can't wait for this part especially!  My kids are going to LOVE it!     

Performance Schedule:
Wednesday, Nov. 13 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, Nov. 14 – 7:30 PM
Friday, Nov. 15 – 11:00 AM & 7:30 PM
Saturday, Nov. 16 – 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday, Nov. 17 – 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Tickets are priced from $14 - $82.  All seats are reserved and tickets are available for purchase at The Palace box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, and online at 
For more information, visit or visit them on Facebook.

I hope to see you there!!!!!
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TruMoo Goosebumps DVD Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Wendy R and Mary Fanara Coleman for winning the Goosebumps DVDs from TruMoo!!!

Please respond to my email within 48 hours to claim your prize or  new winners will be chosen.
Thank you to all who took the time to enter!
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cranberry Apple Crumble - Recipe for

When asked me to write a few recipes for them, I was VERY happy to oblige!  I used the wonderful PanSaver slow cooker liners with each of my recipes, and they made clean-up an absolute cinch!!!

This dessert turned out AWESOME!!!!!!  It's my favorite to date! At the bottom will be the sweet and tart combination of apples and cranberries, topped off with a healthy and buttery crumble!!!!! So, grab all the ingredients you need and let this dessert be the highlight of your evening!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Gluten-Free

This soup came about from leftovers I had from making my Fall Harvest Soup!  I actually had an entire other batch of the soup prepped and ready for a demonstration and it was cancelled a few hours before it was to begin.  I didn't want to make a whole other batch, so I improved and made something completely different!  Boy, and I happy I did!!!!

This "chili" I'm calling "chili" because it tastes like chili, but is the consistency of soup.  It has an incredible amount of flavor and is just the right amount of spicy for a good chili!  It is delicious all on it's own, but my husband felt it was even better with some "fixings."  I used a sprinkling of Mexican blend shredded cheese, a dollop of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and a few crushed tortilla chips.  YUM!  You can decide how you want to eat your chili!

Just a note: If you don't have better than bouillon, use chicken broth.

I hope you enjoy this deliciousness!

Servings: 6-8

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 cup Navy beans, soaked overnight, rinsed
1/2 cup Northern beans, soaked overnight, rinsed
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
10 oz. can diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. tomato paste
I Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 tsp. better than bouillon chicken
8 cups water

Directions: (Use a 5 quart or larger slow cooker for this)
*Make sure you've soaked your beans overnight previous to starting this recipe.
In the bottom of your crock, place the chicken, navy and northern beans.

Add the carrots and onions

 and both cans of tomatoes.

 Add in the minced garlic

and tomato paste.

Next, add the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the better than bouillon over the top
 and add the water.  Give it a stir.

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

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Stop buying pumpkin puree from the store!  Instead, pick up couple of small pie pumpkins and get crockin'!!!!!!!  I bought 2 small pie pumpkins from the Farmer's Market for $3.00.  I made approximately 6-8 cans worth of puree!  Holy Cow!!!  And let me tell you, it wasn't hard!  Want to know how I did it?  Keep reading!

Servings: Makes approximately 6-8 cans of pumpkin puree

2 pie pumpkins

Directions: (Use a 5 quart or larger slow cooker for this)

Wash your pumpkins and cut off any blemishes.

Cut the stem off and either scrape the seeds out, or cut it in half and then remove the seeds.

Cut up your pumpkin, skins on and everything and put the pieces into the slow cooker.

Cook your pumpkin on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
I tried this a couple ways from here.  I tried pureeing it with the skin on.  I couldn't get it smooth enough, but I was using a little food processor.  If you have a good one, give it a try.  It keeps all those important nutrients in there!  If not, do like I ended up doing....let the pumpkin cool.  Once it's cool, use a spoon and gently scrape the pumpkin from the skin!  It will come off like BUTTER!  
Put it into a food processor or blender with enough water to make it move.
Put it into freezer bags according to how much pumpkin you typically use at a time.  I did approximately 1 cup baggies.
Freeze them until you're ready to use them.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Harvest Soup - Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan

This soup was truly and sincerely inspired by my trip to the Farmer's Market.  I had no idea what I was going to make before I left.  I wanted to just walk around and be inspired by the beautiful, in-season ingredients I was about to encounter.  Boy!  Was I ever inspired!!!!

I first came across the most beautiful beets.  You know what?  I have NEVER bought fresh beets before.  Never!  Mine have always come from a can.  Yup!  I'm telling the truth.  I love beets.  My grandma always made them warmed up with a little butter and salt on them.  I decided it was time to conquer them!

I came across a lot of other ingredients....beautiful carrots, leeks, TONS of butternut squash, huge sweet onions, green beans, wax beans, sweet peppers, pie pumpkins, red potatoes and giant zucchinis!  I brought them all home and decided to go with a vegetarian version of Borscht Soup!  Borscht Soup is a Ukranian soup with the main ingredients being beets, cabbage and potatoes.
My husband came home and asked where the bountiful harvest came from, LOL!!!!!!

What came of this was a sweet and tangy soup chock full of good-for-you things!  This soup will definitely warm you up this Fall/Winter and leave you feeling healthy and happy!

Servings: 6-8

1/2 cup Northern beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup Navy beans, soaked overnight
4-5 beets, peeled, washed and chopped
2 cups butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
3-4 carrots, cleaned, halved and chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. tomato paste
6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar in the raw
1 Tbsp. dill
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
3 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
5 low sodium vegetable stock cubes
10-12 cups water
(If you don't have vegetable stock cubes, use 10-12 cups vegetable stock and no water)

Directions (Use a 7 quart slow cooker for this recipe)
*Make sure you soak your beans overnight before beginning this recipe.
Before we begin, let me help you with a few ingredients you might be intimidated by in this recipe.
First, the butternut squash.  You will need a VERY large knife and a lot of strength,  LOL
Cut it in half.  Scoop the seeds out.
My advice, from here, put on a pair of disposable kitchen gloves.  Butternut squash tends to leave a film on your hands that is weird.  Trust me on this.
 Using a vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash.
Then, chop it up!
On to the beets.....
Cut off the greens, peel them and wash them.

 Cut off both ends.
 then, chop them up!

Oh leeks....these little guys are harmless.
Cut off the greens.
 Then, slice about a half an inch from the root end to the tips.
 Turn it a 1/4 turn clockwise and slice it again the same way.
 Fill a bowl with clean water and swish the ends of your leek around in the water vigorously.
Keep changing the water until you no longer see dirt in it.
 Then, chop it up!

Ok, on to the soup!
In your crock, place the butternut squash and beets.
Add in the leeks and carrots.
Add in the onions and minced garlic.
Now, add in the tomato paste, red wine vinegar, dill, parsley, salt, pepper and vegetable stock cubes.
Lastly, add in your beans and water and stir it up.

Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 5 hours.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Recipes to Warm You Up this Fall

Fall weather is definitely here.  I refuse to turn the heat on.  I'm just not ready for it yet.  I have been using my fireplace, however.....I LOVE my fireplace.  As I sit here typing this, I have a beautiful fire going.  This got me thinking.....what are my favorite "Fall" recipes?

Chicken with Apples and Onions
Such a simple, yet delicious recipe.  It's naturally gluten-free and is a cheap, healthy dinner!
Click here for the recipe.

White Chicken Chili
This is THE most AMAZING recipe....but not quite as healthy.  But hey, it's ok to have every once in a while.  It's not going to kill you to have a little extra cheese in your diet for a day or two! Everything in moderation, right?!  Right! Your family will LOVE this!
Click here for the recipe.

Hope's Pot Roast
Not a good picture....sorry about that!  (It's from my beginning days as a food blogger!) Picture aside, this is an AMAZING pot roast.  It's easy to throw together and will fill you up with goodness!  The cabbage is the secret ingredients, I tell ya!
Click here for the recipe.

Better than Lasagna Soup
This soup is sensationally good!  Don't let the longish list of ingredients detour you!  It's worth every single one of those ingredients and will definitely warm you up this fall!
Click here for the recipe.

Here are 5 more recipes from my new bloggie friend Shay of Mix and Match Mamma.
Shay is the mom of two kiddos (with one adopted daughter on the way!) who loves to spend time eating dinner with her family each night without spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing it.  Her method?  Mixing and Matching!  You don't need to learn a lot of recipes, you just need to learn how to mix and match a few staple methods and transform them into different meals your family will always love.  Always seasonal, always festive, always delicious and always simple.  Dinner is about spending time with the ones you love, not spending time slaving away over the stove.

White Chicken Chili
Click here for the recipe.

Cornbread Chicken Enchiladas
Click here for the recipe.

Honey Mustard Brisket Tostadas
Click here for the recipe.

Chicken and Dumplings
Click here for the recipe.

BBQ Apple Chicken Sandwiches
Click here for the recipe.

What is your favorite Fall Comfort food?
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jump Into Fall with Udi's new Gluten-Free Fall products #Review

*Disclosure: I received free product from Udi's in exchange for this post.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.

I don't buy very many gluten-free baked goods.  Number one, they never taste very good and number two, they're usually full of things I've never heard of.

Udi's has some incredibly delicious new Fall products!  Pumpkin muffins and Ginger Cookies.

The Pumpkin muffins are to die for!  They actually have pumpkin seeds in them (minus the shell, so don't worry!) to give them a little extra texture and nutritional value.  The texture of them is just like any other non-gluten free muffin.  It definitely stays together when you eat it and doesn't crumble into oblivion!  LOL

I have NEVER liked a ginger cookie I've ever tasted.  Never.  There is something about ginger I just don't like.  These cookies TOTALLY changed my mind.  I hesitantly took a tiny little piece (so I could say I tried them) and proceeded to finish the entire thing!  These are incredible!!!!!  Honestly, they're some of the best gluten-free cookies I've ever had!  You need to try these!

Both of these products are PERFECT for the fall and into the winter months!  I can see myself packing one of these muffins for when my family takes a trip to the cider mill for donuts (which I can't have.)  I can also see those Ginger Cookies made into some fun desserts!  There are so many possibilities with both of these products.

Udi's products are all natural, without artificial flavors, colorings, preservatives or other synthetic additives.  So, if you are not going to eat them right away when you buy them, you might want to throw them in the fridge or freezer. 

You can learn more about Udi's products in the following ways:

Which Udi's product would you most like to try?
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