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May 31, 2014

Glutenfree Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake




Online I'm pretty vanilla. I make a conscious effort not to write all the things that pop into my brain on a daily basis. Part of this is an effort to not offend anyone online, but a larger part of it is that what I put online is only part of the person I am. In public I'm not very controversial. I think many things, but have learned as I've gotten older that learning to bite your tongue is hard, but an important lesson. I transfer this understanding online. I could have larger blog hit numbers if I ranted about things daily, if I attacked another person's point of view, or spoke vocally about everything that entered my brain. I chose not to. Yes, the person I am on my blog is only part of the person I am offline. However, it is the part of me that highlights the things that I wish I could be more of in life in general. My blog is me edited down to the person that I strive to be and oftentimes fail miserably at attempting to achieve offline. It's still me though either way.

So vanilla always makes me think of desserts. I love dessert as most of you know and last week I tried a new recipe for Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake from the March 2014 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.



This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes 2 hours of total time, 20 minutes of which is active, and makes 8 servings. I did make a number of large changes to the original recipe. First, instead of using all-purpose flour I substituted brown rice flour and a tablespoon of xanthan gum. Secondly, I used my mixer. I know the recipe says not to do the whole recipe in the mixer, to stir the dry and wet ingredients separately and not to over mix or the top will crack. Well, I hate having to make more dishes, so I ignored the instructions. That's right I threw everything in the mixer with the paddle attachment and let it go. Yes, the top split a little bit, but it tasted just as good and no one in my house cared. Plus, I was happy since I only used one bowl. I did find that my total cooking time was a little longer than the recipe suggests, approximately 1 and a half hours total.



This cake turned out really well. It rose beautifully and the gluten free flour made for a moist cake. If you aren't a fan of brown rice flour, potato flour, sorghum flour, or white rice flour would work just as well. I rarely use gluten free all-purpose flour, but it would also be an acceptable substitute. If you use the all-purpose flour omit the xanthan gum since most pre-made gluten free all-purpose flours already have it in the ingredient list.

For the recipe go to Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake. 

May 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Casserole





I hate college alumni magazines. My least favorite part is the looks at me section also known as notables, people of note etc. I went to a very large undergraduate school and people seem to jump at the chance to laud on themselves in the alumni magazine. The worst is the magazine I receive from one of my undergraduate majors (I'll be nice and not name which one). It turns into an almost pompous one upmanship contest. I was published in such in such magazine, oh wait I won an award, and so on and so forth. I think that I am going to write my own write-up. It will focus on the fact that my kids actually helped me to move the trashcan back from the curb and picked up their toys from the floor in their bedroom. That has to be as exciting as reading another blurb about some former graduate who has become much more successful than I am, no thanks.

My kids have been in moods (not in a good way) due to the end of the school year. Tomorrow is the last day and I am so ready! Due to my kids attitudes I have trying to make meals that are quick and easy to put together. This week I tried a new recipe for Black Bean and Chicken Casserole from the May issue of All You Magazine.



This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes 4 and a half hours of total time, 12 minutes of which is active,  and makes 6 servings.  I only made a few changes to the original recipe. I used leftover chicken from a roasted chicken recipe I had made the previous night. It was a nice way to save money and use leftovers. Pre-shredded cheese is always more, so I buy big blocks and shred it myself. It saves a lot of money over the course of a year. Finally, I make my own chili powder. I prefer the taste to store bought and I can make a big batch at once. As I normally do I also make beans from scratch using dried beans and my slow cooker.

If you're looking for something quick and easy this is the recipe for you. It goes together very quickly and made enough for two meals for my family of four. The taste is mild enough that even my kids liked the dish and the slow cooker made the cooking work beyond simple. The flavors are simple, which during a busy week is fine with me.

For the recipe go to Black Bean and Chicken Casserole. 

May 27, 2014

Quality Yacon Syrup Review

Disclaimer: I received a product in order to facilitate this review. As always all opinions expressed are solely my own. 



I try to eat a large variety of foods. Instead of being scared off by things that I have never seen or tried I embrace the unknown. However, I am still constantly surprised by new foods and food trends that I haven't tried. Yacon syrup is one trend that I had heard about, but never tried for myself so I was interested when I was offered the chance to review it and share my opinions with my readers.

Yacon is a perennial plant that grows in the Northern and Southern Andes. It is a close relative of the sunflower and recently has become more readily available nationwide through use as Yacon syrup and Yacon tea. It has become popular with diabetics and dieters and can be found in a large variety of health food stores.

The taste is similar to molasses, just a little sweeter tasting. It can be substituted for sugar or molasses in cooking and baking recipes, which is the manner in which I decided to use the Yacon syrup I was sent to review.

I made two recipes using the syrup, one with the syrup unheated (which is the way that many people prefer), and the other in a pumpkin muffin recipe. Here are the two recipes that I made:



Yacon Syrup Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins
  • 1 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
Combine all ingredients in a mixer. Blend until combined. Bake in a 12 cup muffin pan (with liners or greased), for 20 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven. 



Yacon Salad Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons Yacon syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, serve over spinach or other greens. 

Overall, the Yacon worked well in the recipes that I tried. I did not use it as a dietary supplement like many people have so I can't evaluate it on that component. As a sugar substitute it worked well and my kids didn't notice when I substituted it for sugar. Make sure to refrigerate the syrup after opening. I had a little left in the bottle that I didn't put into the fridge and it solidified on the bottom of the bottle, so don't follow my example! 

For more information go to the following links: 

May 26, 2014

Ozeri Brezza III Dual Oscillating 10 Inch Fan Review

Disclaimer: I received a product in order to facilitate this review. As always all opinions expressed are my own.



I hate being overheated. Having grown up in Seattle I was in no way prepared when I moved to West Virginia. The summers are much hotter and the humidity higher than what I grew up with. The first year I thought that I could get through the summer with no air conditioning or fans. I look back at it now and laugh. I live in air conditioning during the summer, especially when the temps get to 95 with high humidity. My husband and I got married outside in August 10 years ago, my family from Seattle almost melted into the pavement in the 100 degree weather. Luckily, the reception was air conditioned, but my mother never talked about Seattle being hot during the summer ever again. In order to keep my air conditioning costs down I use fans to circulate the cool air throughout the house. Recently, I was given the chance to try the Ozeri Brezza III Dual Oscillating 10 Inch Fan and share my review with all of you.



Here is a list of features that the fan offers:

  • Up/down and left/right oscillation
  • Button can be pushed to stop the oscillation, enabling precise and direct airflow
  • 4 different speeds
  • Ultra quiet
  • Ships fully assembled
  • Has a remote


So what did I think? Overall I really loved this fan. It came out of the box already fully put together, which is always a plus in my book. Since the fan can be stopped during the oscillation, you can have it pointed directly at you when you sleep or straight up and down to save on cooling costs during the summer and warming costs during the winter. The remote is a nice bonus since you can adjust it from across the room while in bed etc. This fan was popular enough in my household that my husband and I are thinking of ordering a second one for my son's room. Plus the soft noise would be a nice way to help him sleep. 



Honestly, my list of cons is really short. The price is 42.95 plus shipping. While this is higher than some fans, it really is well built and very quiet. If you are putting this fan on a desk it might be a little on the large side, but when used in a room like we have been doing it's the perfect size. 

For more information go to the following link: 

May 24, 2014

Delicious Gluten Free Banana Bread




My brain seems to be on overload. I'm having one of those weeks where the combination of dreaded doctor appointments (which are luckily done), the end of the school year, and the stress of trying to figure out my life in two months when my youngest starts school is coming to a head. When I was at the store today I realized my patience with human beings seems to be pretty low, a woman almost hit our car when pulling out of her parking spot and I had to stop myself from saying a rather bad swear word in front of my kids. My husband isn't doing much better than me, he almost told the woman at the fast food drive through off for being less than pleasant. I think the end of the school year is driving all parents nationwide slightly insane.

I have been trying to clear out my cupboards and use the foods that I have already bought before school ends on Thursday. Last week in order to use the blackened bananas I had on my counter, I tried a new recipe for Banana Bread from the Food Network.



This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 3 hours and 10 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active, and makes one 12 serving loaf. I made a few significant changes to the original recipe. First, instead of regular flour I used white rice flour and a small amount of xanthan gum (about 1 tablespoon). Secondly, I cheated. I poured all the ingredients into my mixer and let it do the work. I hate, hate, hate using two separate bowls when baking and I avoid it if I can. I found that the total time to bake the gluten free banana bread was slightly longer, closer to an hour and 20 minutes.



The texture of this bread was great. It tasted very similar to non-gluten free banana bread and my two boys couldn't tell the difference, they thought I had made them regular banana bread. The bread is a little on the buttery side, which I like, but if you prefer you could reduce the total amount of butter to 3/4 of a stick or substitute coconut oil.

For the recipe go to Banana Bread.

May 23, 2014

thinkThin® Review and #Giveaway

Disclaimer: The product, information, and gift card have been provided by thinkThin. As always all opinions expressed are solely my own.



Not being able to eat gluten can be easy for main meals and very hard for snacks and munchies. Many gluten free pre-packaged foods have an odd aftertaste or are just not very good. I am one of those people that keeps buying every gluten free product I find in the hopes that they will taste as good as I remember their gluten counterparts. Honestly, I don't even know if I remember what real bread or pizza taste like. In my mind though they are heavenly and if I could I would eat an entire pizza for dinner tonight. Thanks to genetics that can't happen so I keep trying to find gluten free alternatives that actually taste good. Recently I was given the opportunity to try thinkThin Lean Protein & Fiber bars and share my review with all of you.



thinkThin Lean Protein & Fiber bars have 150 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 5 grams of protein per bar. They are made with 100 percent non-GMO ingredients and are low in sugar and gluten free. Best of all they are available in 5 delicious flavors: Chocolate Almond Brownie, Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Honey Drizzle Peanut, and Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate.

I loved these bars, which is saying a lot for me. As any of you that have read my blog for a while know, most products I tend to be middle of the road on, they have some great qualities and other not so great qualities. These bars really impressed me. The flavors of all three types of bars that I was sent (Lean and Protein, High Protein, and Crunch Mixed Nuts) were delicious and my favorite was the high protein brownie crunch since it was high in protein and kept me full for hours. I snack all the time and seem to be constantly hungry so anything that keeps me full is a big win in my book.

For more information go to the following links:

·         The Official thinkThin page
·         thinkThin on Facebook
·         thinkThin on Twitter
·         thinkThin on Pinterest

Now for the fun part! You can enter for a chance to win the same gift pack of bars that I was sent to sample plus a $25 Visa gift card. Enter thru the Rafflecopter form below. I will post the winner on the widget once the giveaway ends and announce the winner on Facebook. US residents only. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 22, 2014

Petbrosia Customized Dog Food Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.



We live in a pet household. Even before my husband and I were married and had kids we adopted a cat and rescued a dog. Over the years a few of our older dogs have passed away and last year we added a Pomeranian mix into our household. He is tiny, spirited, and pretty adorable. At times he can also be pretty spoiled. Since he is small he doesn't eat a large amount of food and we have always bought better dog food for him, even if it costs more. Recently, I was given the chance to try Petbrosia dog food and give mine (and my dog's) review.



So what is Petbrosia? Petbrosia offers the first nutrition system for dogs and cats that is designed for their unique needs. The site uses a veterinarian and nutritionist designed algorithm to find the perfect fit for each pet's unique nutritional needs. A pet's breed, age, and weight are used to find the perfect food fit. The food is all-natural, contains no corn, soy, wheat, gluten or by-product meal and includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help maintain healthy joints. The food is shipped directly to your door and you can chose to automatically have a new box shipped to your door so you never run out.



When the food showed up at my door for our dog Dalek (yes I have a Dr. Who obsession), it came with a full sheet showing a break down of the ingredients, feeding guidelines, and nutritional amounts per serving of the food. I left the box on the counter after opening it and my cats decided that they needed to sample it before the dog. After rescuing the food, I gradually added it to my dog's food over the course of a few days in order to avoid stomach issues. So what did my dog think?

Pros:
  • First off, this foods smells and looks great. The moment I opened the box every animal in my house came running to investigate. 
  • The ingredient list includes actual food such as dried navy beans, sweet potatoes, alfalfa, and more. 
  • The protein per serving is great, 30.81 percent. 
  • My dog loved the food, he ate the whole bowl and licked it clean. 
  • My dog has continued to enjoy the food, which for him is a big deal since he can be very picky with new food. 
Cons: 
  • The website froze up on me when I tried ordering the first time. This happens with all sites during busy times though, so it isn't something I would be concerned about happening again in the future. 
  • The price is a little high, approximately 40 dollars including shipping for 10 pounds. However, we have paid almost as much at the pet store for all natural food so it's within the price range of other high-quality dog food options. 
For more information or to order food for your pet go to the following links: 
Right now you can get $10 off your First Purchase of Petbrosia Pet Foods by entering the code BRL10.

Interest in trying the food for your own pet? Enter the rafflecopter form below to win a 3 pound bag of pet food. Only open to the lower 48 states, not Hawaii or Alaska, US addresses only, no PO boxes. Good luck everyone! I will post the winner on the rafflecopter form once the giveaway is over and share on social media (I am working on getting better about this I promise :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

May 20, 2014

Polenta with White-Bean and Roasted Pepper Ragout



I hate going to the doctor. Not just a little bit, I dread the whole experience. During my twenties I was horrible about going, I pretty much didn't go other than when I was pregnant. Then I had pneumonia and I go at least twice a year now. However, I still hate it. Growing up my mother had diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure in addition to being over weight and having horrible anxiety. I have been lucky to have only inherited the horrible anxiety, especially when it comes to doctors. A large part of it stems from having kidney problems growing up and spending a lot of time in the hospital. It made me avoid going to the doctor unless I was sick. Since my mother had so many problems I always have to have a lot of blood tests, which come out normal every time, but I still hate the whole process. Yuck.

One way I try to stay healthy is by cooking meals that are either vegetarian or use meat as an ingredient rather than the main part of a meal. My kids have grown to love beans as much as meat, which is a win in my book. Last week I tried a new recipe for Polenta with White-Bean and Roasted-Pepper Ragout from Martha Stewart Living Magazine.



This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 45 minutes of total time. 30 minutes of which is active, and makes 4 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First, I used homemade chicken broth, the taste is better and you can control the amount of sodium. Second, I used quick-cooking polenta, I prefer it since it's quick and easy. I doubled the amount of polenta since my family loves polenta.

I liked that this recipe was simple and easy to prepare. My husband and I enjoyed the combination of the beans and polenta, it was a nice change from having pasta or rice. I wasn't sure what my two boys would think, but they loved the beans and ate their whole servings. This would be a nice summer meal since it's light and doesn't take much time to cook.

For the recipe go to Polenta with White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Ragout.

May 16, 2014

Anastasia Confections' Salt Water Taffy Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.



I have a slight taffy obsession. Growing up the largest fair in our state had homemade taffy. It was delicious and I would buy a ton of it every year. Now as an adult every time I eat a piece of taffy I think of those fond childhood memories. Taffy is just a fun type of candy and now it has it's own day! May 23 is National Taffy Day and I was given the opportunity to try Anastasia Confections Salt Water Taffy and share my review with all of you.



Anastasia Confections is a family owned business in Orlando, Florida. They create their salt water taffy by whipping the mixture during the cooking process making a great creamy and smooth texture. Due to this process the taffy doesn't have to be pulled since the mixture is created with air already blended in. They have 59 flavors of salt water taffy to chose from in addition to other candies and confections.



I was sent a bag of assorted flavors to try along with one of their world famous coconut patties. Here is my list of pros and cons:

Pros:
  • The bag had a variety of flavors to chose from. 
  • The taffy was airy and light. 
  • Not overly sweet. 
Cons: 
  • I grew up with the type of taffy that is pulled and you see it being made in front of you. It's bought in chunk like sticks and you almost suck on it to eat it. This taffy is much softer, it almost melts in your mouth. It's not a bad thing, it's just different from fair taffy. 
  • All the flavors were good, but my favorite was the chocolate by far. The fruit flavors my youngest son liked, but I am not a fan of fruit candy. Not liking fruit candy is a personal preference though and most people would love all the flavors. 
Overall the salt water taffy had a nice texture, taste, and I liked that there were a variety of flavors in the bag. They would be nice as an alternative to chocolate if you wanted a non-chocolate candy that could be shared. 

For more information go to the following website: 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

May 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Baked Beans



I am so sick of spam comments. This week I had two major food sites spam me. I expect spam from small sites, but these were pretty major food selling sites that obviously set up fake accounts to leave fake comments with link backs to their sites. I expect more of larger sites, they should be able to get links without shady tactics. The funny thing is if they had asked for a review I would have done one with a no-follow link. However, PR companies have figured out that they can have follow links on sites by spamming in the comments. I really hate this practice and have thought about emailing the two companies that left their addresses as spam comments. I'm not going to name names, but they are big enough to know better. Maybe I should be flattered that a company that large decided to spam me for a follow link, but I'm not. I'm just annoyed.

On to lighter subjects, food! Last week was very hot so I used my slow cooker most of the week. I tried a new recipe for Slow Cooker Baked Beans from the May/June 2014 issue of Eating Well Magazine.


This recipe has 13 ingredients. It takes 8 hours and 15 minutes of total time, 15 minutes of which is active, and makes 12 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First, I used dried navy beans, homemade chicken broth, and sweet onions. These are just personal preferences. Additionally I left out the bourbon. I don't keep liquor in the house except for cooking and I didn't want to have to buy a small bottle just for the the recipe. Finally, I found that my beans needed a little longer than the recipe stated. I always let my beans cook 8-10 hours on low, I like my beans very tender and this recipe was no exception.

As with any recipe with bacon in it, my kids loved this dish. The beans were sweet, without being overly so, and with 10 grams of protein per 1/2 cup they were a nice way of sneaking in beans to my family's diet. If you aren't a big fan of maple syrup or brown sugar you could try substituting other sweeteners such as agave etc. and the beans could be changed to great northern or switched to canned and the time cooking time decreased.

For the recipe go to Slow Cooker Baked Beans.

May 10, 2014

Mediterranean Tuna and Bean Salad




Lying by omission. This has been the hard life lesson I have been trying to teach my oldest son the last couple of weeks. I think that as adults we do it all the time. Some lies we do to spare other people's feelings, but some lies by omission we do to make our selves feel better or avoid feeling uncomfortable. Instead of lying I have been trying to teach my son ways to be constructive with his criticism. If you don't like something don't lie about it, but don't make the other person feel bad about the situation. It's okay if you don't like dinner, just don't say it was horrible. Instead tell me what you liked about the dish and add a compliment at the end, "I liked the peppers in the meal even though the dish was spicy, it reminds me of that great recipe with peppers you made last week." You don't have to like everything and you shouldn't have to lie about it, just don't tell the truth in a way that hurts someone else. I would rather that someone told me something constructive than tell me that everything that I ever did was wonderful and great, nothing is learned or gained from never having anything negative told to you. It's all about balance in the end, both positive and negative comments help us to be well rounded individuals.

Since it has been hot for the last week in my area I have been trying to make cooler foods for dinner. It doesn't help that my oven broke and it wasn't until today that I finally got a new one. So cold salads have been on the menu in my house a lot lately. Last week I tried a new recipe for Mediterranean Tuna and Bean Salad from the Kroger home mailer. 



Now 99 percent of the time I don't copy recipes outright. The exception I have always made are recipes that are sent in coupon circulars and recipes on packages. I still change the steps to avoid copyright, but I view these recipes as advertisement for the product and company and not in the same category as other printed recipes. So here is the recipe from Kroger: 
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans solid white tuna in water, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 radishes, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix. Serve over spinach or salad of your choice. Also great with crackers. 

That's it. I would suggest adding a small amount of fresh dill if you have it. I love fresh dill with tuna it gives it a nice fresh taste and during the summer dill is very easy to grow in a pot or in your garden. My dill is doing great right now and I look forward to many recipes using dill soon. 

May 7, 2014

Yolli.com 5 Tier Silver Cupcake Stand Review

#sponsored Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.



I have a lot of kitchen gadgets, and when I say a lot I have a ton. Now granted, I bought almost all of them on clearance, but I still have drawers and shelves full. Almost all of them I use frequently since I bake and cook on a daily basis. There are a few that I bought and then within a year they went in the bag to go to the second hand store for donation. Everyone loves melon ballers and cherry pitters, but after finding them at a great price I literally never, ever used them. They went for donation. I do love pretty display items for baked goods. Not only do they look great on the table, but they prevent cupcakes and muffins from getting smushed down. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a 5 Tier Silver Cupcake Stand from Yolli.com.



The 5 Tier Silver Cupcake Stand holds 29 cupcakes or muffins. There are 8 centimeters between each tier and the whole stand is metallic silver. It comes in a box in separate pieces which are easily screwed together.

So what did I think of the stand? Here is my pro and con list:

Pros:
  • Looks great on the counter. It really is a pretty way to display cupcakes, especially for a party or shower. 
  • Cupcakes or muffins are easy to place on the stand and don't crash into each other since they are all on separate tiers. 
  • Easy to assemble. 
Cons: 
  • After a few days the stand has to be retightened. The screws tend to come loose after sitting on the counter for a few days. Since most people will probably store the stand in pieces, this isn't a huge deal. 
  • Make sure to tighten the screw holding the stand together. If you fail to tighten the screw the stand will not be stable enough. 


The stand worked well with both cupcakes and muffins and could also sit in a fridge easily if you had frosting that needed to be refrigerated before a party. Plus it would be easy to transport to an event in pieces and then reassemble. In addition to the cupcake stand the site has a variety of other tools such as cake pop sticks, cupcake liners and baking decorations. 

For more information go to the following site: 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

May 4, 2014

Serafino Double Wall 16 oz Iced Tea & Coffee Glasses Review

#spon Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Serafino Double Wall 16 oz Iced Tea & Coffee Glasses with Milk
With 4 people in my house we go through a ton of dishes, especially cups. My kids are always using new cups for milk, water, you name it. Each member of my family also has their favorite cups. I prefer coffee mugs (yes even for water), while my husband is obsessed with various glass cups. Recently I was given the opportunity to try a new type of glass cup, the Serafino Double Wall 16 oz Iced Tea & Coffee Glasses.

These glasses have a double wall design which makes them easier to grip and are more shatter resistant than normal glass cups. They are designed to keep your hands from getting hot with warm beverages and keep the outside from getting condensation when drinking cold drinks. Best of all they are microwave and freezer safe making them nice for a variety of drinks and they come with a 1 year limited warranty.

So what did I think? My husband was a huge fan of these glasses. They were great for keeping his beer cold without making the outside wet from condensation (and therefore slippery). Here is my pro and con list:

serafino double wall glasses strawberry almond milk smoothie
Pros:
  • Keeps hands from getting warm when drinking hot beverages
  • No condensation with cold drinks
  • Nice for heating drinks in the microwave
  • Easy to grip for adults
Cons: 
  • Fragile. I would recommend hand washing these glasses, the walls are pretty thin and I wouldn't trust them in the dishwasher 
  • Hard to grip for small hands. My kids had a hard time gripping the glasses. These glasses are definitely more for adults 
  • While they say they are shatter resistant, I had one break when it hit the floor (from a low height) so be careful when using them
Overall these cups were a nice way to enjoy hot and cold drinks. As long as you are careful when handling the glasses they are great for everyday use or a party (especially for beer and cold drinks). 

For more information go to the following link: 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

May 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Nacho Soup

I went grocery shopping last night with my two kids. We didn't get to the store until 9 and I was worried that the store would be crowded and my kids would be wild. Turns out I love Friday nights at the store. It was dead, no cranky women (like there always are on Saturday afternoons), very friendly cashiers, and my kids were perfect. It helped that they were tired and too sleepy to run around acting crazy. All I know is that it was the best grocery shopping trip I have had with my kids in years. I told my husband this morning that I am switching my shopping to late on Fridays, if nothing else it will help to keep my sanity the rest of the weekend.

It's been soup season in my house. Our spring weather has been all over the place. One minute it's 90 and the next we have snow. My oldest told me that the weather is drunk this year, it definitely has been a little off. Since I love soup year round (even when it's hot, weird I know), I tried a new recipe for Chicken Nacho Soup from the April issue of the Food Network Magazine.

This recipe has 17 ingredients. It takes 8 hours and 20 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active, and makes 4 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First, I used homemade chicken broth. This is the method I use for most recipes, it saves money and cuts down on the amount of sodium. For the cheese sauce I allowed it to sit for approximately five minutes. This allowed it to thicken and made it easier to pour over the soup. Finally, I added the chicken at the beginning of the recipe. I prefer to cook my chicken in the soup adding flavor. The meat came out very tender, so there was no problem with toughness.

We are big soup fans in my house and this recipe went over well. It was mild enough for my kids to enjoy, but with enough flavor for my husband and I. You can adjust the amount of heat by removing (or not) the amount of jalapeno seeds. The recipe states that this dish makes 4 servings, but it was more than enough for my family of four with leftovers for the next day.

For the recipe go to Chicken Nacho Soup.
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