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...]

Apple Cranberry Stuffing Recipe & a Lucky Leaf Prize Pack Giveaway

If you are attempting to design your Thanksgiving meal for this holiday season, I've got a super simple recipe that is sure to be a hit.  Stuffing can be tricky business. Do you actually stuff or not? I'm all about staying as healthy as possible on the big day.  I personally always pass on cooking the stuffing in the turkey, just so I can remove that potential risk.  No one wants to be sick on Thanksgiving from under cooked poultry problems.  My solution is just to avoid the situation all together.  I decided to try a recipe from Lucky Leaf.  I could claim I … [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is the last week of our Slow Cooker features.  I've come to reaffirm my love of a slow cooker over this last month.  The whole idea of plopping some ingredients in the pot in the morning and having all the work taken out around the supper hour is brilliant.  Sure, it does take a little time in the morning, but the benefits at supper time are worth it.   This week I made a Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe.  Many recipes I've previously made required browning of the meat ahead of time.  This one did not.  Score.  I'm all about less pans and less … [Read more...]

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

There are grande moments in life. And well..... those moments are grande. But mostly life is made up of small moments that make us happy, that brighten our day.  They don't have to be jaw-dropping. Instead they are simple and sweet. They can bring us a sense of calm or a subtle smile to the lips.   For me those moments include appreciating the fallen leaves on a chilly autumn morning.   And discovering that my husband has washed the dishes. Hooray!  For my husband those little moments include discovering a new well-made board game. Or discovering a … [Read more...]

That Perfect First Taste of Seattle’s Best Coffee{#GreatTaste}

My alarm blares it's annoying sound at 5 am every day during the work week.  5 AM.  It's indecent.  It's miserable.  I begrudgingly roll out of bed- straight for my coffee.  I don't particularly like waking up so early,  but it's a great time work.  The house is quiet and I can focus on the plethora of spreadsheets that are the basis of my job.  The only way I can actually focus on the information displayed on the computer screen is if I have had a smoothing cup of coffee.  A good cup of coffee is everything.  I've had my share of different … [Read more...]

Easy Fall Meal Idea- Slow-Cooker Chicken and Pasta Soup

It's week three of our Crocktober event.  Are you loving the recipes? I know I drool every time I see what my fellow bloggers have created. This week I prepared a Slow-Cooker Chicken and Pasta Soup recipe.  It was so easy.  It was cozy and tasty.  My family scarfed it down.  This was my first time cooking pasta in a slow cooker and I must confess I was a bit skeptical.  I was worried it wouldn't cook thoroughly.  Of course, the little stars I purchased cooked in no time at all and I was left with a one pot meal.  Easy clean-up, my … [Read more...]