One-Pot Minnesota Wild Rice Tator Tot Hotdish

This post was created in partnership with Nordic Ware, all opinions are my own.  It could be said that I embrace my heritage a little too well. I say "uff da" on a regular basis, as well as "you betcha".  And as for Minnesota nice? According to Wikipedia "Minnesota nice is the stereotypical behavior of people in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered". That definition might as well be a description of me. Sometimes there just isn't any escaping the way we are raised and manner in which people live in this land of snow and cold.  Keeping in … [Read more...]

Sautéed Peas with Parmesan & a Giveaway

I received the following product for review purposes, all opinions are my own.  When I was growing up frozen peas were not a stable. Fresh peas were abundant from my mother’s garden. Unfortunately I did not inherit her green thumb, so frozen peas are my children’s reality. Lacking the fresh vibrant taste of newly picked peas, I endeavor to add some flavor to our frozen variety by sautéing them with enhancing ingredients. A little salt, pepper, Parmesan, onions and butter can add make a typical bag of these vegetables come to life. The latest enhancement to my sautéing is … [Read more...]

Create Your Own Meal of Choice at Chipotle

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions expressed are my own.  I remember the first time I ate at a Chipotle. It was before kids, meaning it was a whole other world. Picky eating didn't really play a part in that experience. Fast-forward around ten years later and now I have three little boys. Eating out with children is an entirely different experience. As my boys get older their preferences are developing. For instance my 10 year old he becoming more distinct in his choices. He used to like fish. He used to like taco seasoning. Now he refuses to eat either. Such is … [Read more...]

4 Simple Tips to Create Your Best Easter Meal

I have been compensated for this content, all opinions are my own. In my early twenties I remember hosting some of my first holiday meals. It was an exciting and fun time, but it was also stressful. The only truly way to learn is through trial and error. You just don't know anything until you try it. So I dove headfirst into preparing Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving meals. Now, many years later {how did I get so old?!} I have quite a bit of experience. I'm no professional, but with time comes wisdom. Well, at least that's what I strive for.  Families have different customs and … [Read more...]

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

Happy Pancake Day! During this season of frosty snowflakes and chilly temperatures, I enjoy making waffles or pancakes for breakfast on Sunday mornings.  My youngest son is something of a waffle connoisseur. He would probably eat them everyday if he could. His affinity doesn't transfer to pancakes with quite the same level of enthusiasm, but nonetheless he is still a fan.  In an attempt to temper his passion for all things carb-induced I made these Whole Wheat Oatmeal pancakes. I feel a little bit better serving pancakes with whole grains, though of course they taste best cooked in … [Read more...]

Christmas Appetizer Idea- Cranberry Compote

The holidays are here again. Every year is the same, this season zooms by at warp speed. I find myself with too many tasks and not nearly enough time to complete them.  Last Christmas Eve I spent hours wrapping presents.  This time around I'm all about simplifying the season wherever I can.  When it comes to entertaining and attending parties it helps to have a dish at the ready which is delicious and  easy to prepare.  This year I tested out a Cranberry Compote recipe using Brie.  I think anytime Brie is added to a recipe it is immediately a bit more … [Read more...]

Understanding the Dedication Behind Bigelow Tea

I was not compensated directly for this post, however I do have a professional connection to Bigelow Tea through my employer Collective Bias.  All opinions are my own.  #AmericasTea #CollectiveBias #cbias During this season of transition to colder temperatures and changing colors, there is a quiet comfort that comes from enjoying a warm cup of tea.  My favorite way to sip Bigelow Tea is by witnessing the morning light descend upon the autumn colors that I can view outside my windows.  I need to see open spaces to clear my mind and make me feel at ease. Luckily there … [Read more...]

POPSICLE® Rules For Being A Kid Guidebook

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.   Most of us should embrace our inner child a bit more often.  If you happen to actually be around children on regular basis you might be inspired to dive into the fun.  Or you might be caught up in the do's, the don'ts, and the musts.  It is hard not to be sucked into the responsibilities of life.   My boys seek fun openly and play everyday.  In fact if they don't have sufficient time for free imaginative play everyday- they become very crabby.  Life is limitless in many aspects … [Read more...]

Strawberry Vanilla Pudding Trifle {#LuckyLeafSpring}

Spring has finally come to Minnesota.  Well, at least I hope so.  Technically the trees don't have any buds yet, but the robins have descended.  That's a good sign, right?  To help bring a bit of spring from the outdoors into my home, I recently received a bouquet of tulips from FTD.  Receive a special discount of $10 off select spring bouquets courtesy of Lucky Leaf.  While I might not have any tulips yet outside, at least I can have my own spring indoors with these beautiful flowers.   To coincide with my spring tulips I also created a delicious Strawberry … [Read more...]

Cauliflower Tabouli with Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook

 During the cold winter months it might seem improbable, but summer is bound to come again.  Minnesota residents  live a bulk of the year in the midst of snowy skies and freezing temperatures.  The sunny summer months can be short and intense.  Those that live in mild California might have access to a farmers market year around.  This concept of fresh, local vegetables and fruits year round is not a reality here.  Our local produce availability has a short, but plentiful time span. We are inspired to "live it up".  To help Minnesota resident make the … [Read more...]

Moist Chocolate Cake with Dunkin’ Donuts “Bakery Flavor Dunked In” & a Giveaway

My husband has fond memories of when a Dunkin' Donuts opened in the town he grew up.  The store was this almost magical place where his parents could get a cup of good coffee and he could pick out a tasty doughnut treat.  I can still hear the excitement in his voice describing the happy memories associated with Dunkin' Donuts.   We don't currently live anywhere near one of these popular stores, but nonetheless we CAN still enjoy the best of both treats with Bakery Flavor Dunked In coffee varieties. Yes, you read that correctly.  It's bakery doughnut goodness flavored into … [Read more...]

Delicious & Easy No-Bake Valentine’s Day Inspired Cheesecake {#LoveableLuckyLeaf}

 The season of love is here.  If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy way to add a little something sweet to the Valentine's holiday I recommend the No-Bake Cheesecake recipe I recently tried from Lucky Leaf.  Officially the recipe was a strawberry version, but there is no reason that one can't tweak the recipe to suit their specific tastes.  Cherry- Raspberry- Strawberry.  Clearly, there is no wrong choice when it comes to making this cheesecake look festive for this time of the year.   I had the privilege of watching the entire process of … [Read more...]

Vegetarian Chili Pasta Bake {#CansGetYouCooking}

I'm not a fan of pre-made meals. Yes, they serve a very useful purpose in those moments when you need supper on the table immediately, but as a whole I much prefer to make my own supper.  Just because I prefer to make my own meals doesn't mean I have a lot of time to cook.  My ideal dish is a homemade meal made without tedious work.  There are a few useful items I ALWAYS keep in my pantry in order to make supper in a jiffy.  I consider canned beans and tomatoes the staple of my cupboards.  Diced canned tomatoes are used is a wide variety of dishes, I find it is best to … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Family Fave Veggie Casserole & a Giveaway (6 Winners!) {#CountryCrockCasserole}

I think I'm in denial, but the calendar doesn't lie and Thanksgiving is next week. How the heck did that happen? Time is illusive at my house. It is a fact that there are 24 hours in any given day, but most of the time it seems as though it is much less.  I don't have the time to accomplish all the tasks I need to in a day.  I'm contemplating cloning myself or giving up the need to sleep.  Wish me luck.  I've mentioned it before and I'm stating it again- I am committed to creating recipes that are convenient and easy.  I need a delicious dish that is simple and … [Read more...]

Chocolate-Cherry Turnovers

It is officially the season of sweet treats.  And while the preferred dessert over Thanksgiving is undoubtedly pumpkin pie, it is always pleasant to have a few options available for those with different taste buds.  The Southern Pie Book provided some recent inspiration for my family's holiday season.  The book is full of delicious looking options.  The best part for me is the beautiful pictures accompanying every recipe.  What's a recipe without a picture? For me, not much.  Ya gotta have a picture!  (Butterscotch Pie featured on the … [Read more...]