Thursday, May 30, 2013

Making Easy and Delicious Deviled Eggs

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I made one of my favorite, all-American classic recipes, Deviled Eggs. Everyone I know loves them, and the great thing about Deviled Eggs, is that you can make them with any of your favorite ingredients.

I have eaten them with salmon, bacon, potatoes, and lots of other tasty ways. You just can't go wrong with Deviled Eggs, and whether you make them to share at your own party or gathering, or take them to someone else's, they will be gone quickly.

For many years, I boiled the eggs the way my Mom did, which is to say I boiled them to death. I now let them come to a full boil for one minute, and then remove them from the heat, and cover them for 15 minutes. They come out perfectly every time, and there is no longer any guess work about how long they should boil.

This time, I made the eggs with only mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, sea salt, white pepper and paprika.
I just add as much mayonnaise and Dijon mustard as I like. I don't measure anything. I do taste it as I go along because there is the possibility of adding too much mustard, and that will ruin them for me.
I am not a mustard fan, but I do love the Dijon here.

I finally bought this cute platter made just for Deviled Eggs, and I am so glad I did, I love it.
One of the great things about these eggs is that they are welcome anywhere, from a simple picnic to a fancy party.

I love Deviled eggs!! Do you?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Pretty Pink Tulips

Yes, I know this is supposed to be wordless, but I would like to start having my Wordless Wednesday be a beautiful picture of flowers.
Flowers always make me happy and if I were rich, I would buy a bouquet for every room in the house.
Have a marvelous, wonderful Wednesday everyone!!
Photo from the gorgeous blog Natalie Knows 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Celebrating June Dairy Month With Savings From Safeway #EverydayDairy #cbias

*I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Neptune Retail #cbias #SocialFabric #EverydayDairy

When my kids were growing up, I always tried to make sure they drank a lot of milk, and ate as many healthy dairy products as they could. I am happy to say they still love milk and dairy products, so I was excited to hear about a great way to celebrate June Dairy Month at Safeway. For dairy lovers like me and my family, Safeway is having a great promotion that lets you enjoy everyday dairy items at a great savings.

Starting May 29 - July 2, Safeway is having a promotion where you save $5 when you spend $15.
I love this great offer, and it lets me take advantage of the fantastic savings and tremendous variety of products that Safeway has to offer.

Be sure to look for signs and banners in your local Safeway highlighting June Dairy Month and the Save $5 When You Spend $15 offer.

Though June Dairy Month hasn't yet officially started, when I was at my local Safeway last week, I needed to buy some of the everyday dairy items that my family and I use. I really needed cheese for snacking and cooking, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese for one of my favorite seafood dips.

I love how convenient and easy it is to find my favorite dairy products at Safeway, and usually they are on sale, too!!

When summer rolls around, I love incorporating healthy dairy products into our everyday meal and snack plans. One of my favorite ways to do this is by making healthy and delicious smoothies.
Thankfully, everyone in my family loves smoothies, so I can easily put in healthy ingredients that they will find delicious. Chobani Yogurt is a family favorite.

To make this yummy smoothie with four servings, just put 2 cups of orange juice, 3/4 cups milk, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1 banana, and 2 cups of ice cubes into a blender. Blend until smooth.

These creamy orange smoothies are something I have for a summertime breakfast at least a couple of times a week. They are a great way to get everyone to benefit by eating healthy yogurt, milk, and fruits.

My six year old grandson loves my smoothies, and I love giving him a delicious drink that is filled with healthy ingredients. That is one of my favorite summer routines, making smoothies for my family, whether they are for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

We have been eating Kraft Cheese for as long as I can remember. For many years, I bought the regular Kraft Slices. Now Kraft offers many different kind of sliced cheese, including this kind made with 2% milk and containing 1/3 less fat that regular cheese.

I have wanted to try Kraft Natural Slices, but my local Safeway was out of them. I love cheese of all kinds, and this is one dairy product that I buy a lot of every week.

I make grilled cheese sandwiches for my family all the time. In fact, I am a little famous for them in my family, and now my grandchildren think I am pretty good at it, too!!

When so much produce starts becoming available in the summer, I start adding things like tomatoes to make these fabulous tasting grilled sandwiches. My family and I love them, and I really pile on the low-fat cheese to make them extra cheesy.

Of course, one of the easiest and best tasting ways to enjoy great dairy products are the simplest. Like a bowl of one of my favorite Greek yogurts, Chobani.

I often eat it for breakfast or a snack on a hot summer day when all I want is something cool and delicious.
String cheese and yogurt popsicles are a favorite with my grandchildren, and a snack I love giving them.

I gave my granddaughter a spoon to eat her yogurt, but she thinks her hands work better!!

I could make bread pudding everyday and enjoy eating it. I make all different kinds, but when summer rolls around, I use a very basic recipe so that I can top it with lots of fresh and delicious berries.

Bread pudding calls for lots of milk in the recipe, but I substitute some of that milk with Nestle Coffeemate Creamer. It makes my desserts so great tasting, and this Vanilla Nut flavor is becoming one of my favorites.

It is so easy to incorporate healthy dairy products into your family's meals by celebrating June Dairy Month with Safeway.

Make sure to take advantage of this great money saving promotion where you can Save $5 When You Spend $15 offer, beginning May 29.

If you would like to see my shopping trip at Safeway, take a look at my Google+ Photo Album.

You can also connect with Safeway on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Sweet Girl

I have mentioned before that I am the proud grandmother of four grandchildren, ages, 6, 3, 2, and 1. The three oldest are boys, and the youngest is Ashley. She is the sweetest of the sweet, but can also hold her own in a scuffle with the guys!!

Yes, I am pulling the grandmother card here, and showing off my little sweetheart with these pictures. When she yells "Nana, Nana!!", my heart melts.
One of the joys of finally raising your own kids is when they make you a grandparent. It is one sweet gig for sure.

Have a wonderful and happy weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scoring Some Deals At The Thrift Stores, Come Take A Look!!

Only a dollar each, and perfect for holding your olive oil for yummy bread dipping. Reminds me of wine country in California!!

It is no secret that I used to be sort of a snob about shopping at thrift stores. I liked buying new, there was no doubt. But when money becomes such a big issue in your life (like the lack of it!!), you are smart to change your thinking about how you spend it.
My daughter Megan is a huge thrift store shopper, and she really showed me how to score some deals and have a lot of fun in the process. What was I thinking?? Shopping at thrift stores is fun, money saving, and the thrill of the hunt can be addicting!!

I wanted to share some of my finds here, and just say I was so wrong about thrifting. Live and learn, right?

I love white dishes and platters. This was only $5 and it was in perfect condition.

I love this soft blue jacket with a white T-shirt and jeans. It feels super vintage and was only $4.

I had wanted this decorating book from Domino Magazine for a few years and found it at Goodwill for $3.

Blue tags were half off so of course I needed Margarita glasses. These have a vintage feel for sure.

These plaques had been black and I spray painted them turquoise. I might change the color, but I thought they were pretty.

Happy Thrifting and Happy Wednesday everyone!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Really Needed Chocolate and A Recipe For Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yesterday, I had a terrible, over the top craving for chocolate. I say terrible because I really didn't have anything on hand to satisfy my craving.

Then I remembered this recipe for Double Chocolate Chip Muffins. The double part is because you not only add chocolate chips into the batter, but then sprinkle more chocolate chips on top of the muffins just before they are put into the oven.

I think they taste great right out of the oven when the chocolate is still warm and soft. Add a big glass of cold milk and you have a little bit of chocolate heaven.


Make sure you don't over beat the ingredients, and just gently fold in the chocolate chips.

I like filling my liners almost full so that the muffins are as big as possible. Sprinkle the muffins with more chocolate chips just before popping into the oven.

Recipe For Double Chocolate Chip Muffins:


2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups of milk (whole preferred)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 Tbsp. cold black coffee
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 1/3 cup additional of chocolate chips for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with paper muffin liners.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. In another large bowl, add the milk and oil, whisk together. Whisk in beaten eggs. Whisk in cold coffee and vanilla extract.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones, only mix until all ingredients are combined, do not over mix.
Gently fold in the 1 cup of chocolate chips into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle tops of muffins with additional chocolate chips.
Bake in the oven about 18 minutes. Let the muffins rest 10 minutes before eating.

Makes about 18 muffins.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Give Simple Wine Sippy Cup Review

Give Simple
 One of the best things I love about summer are all the outdoor concerts, picnics in the park, and beach days with friends and family.
Since I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest, when out weather is clear and sunny, my family and I like to head outside and enjoy it. Our activities usually include eating and drinking, and very often, a bottle of wine.

As seen on The Chew and The Today Show, The Wine Sippy Cup is the perfect answer for enjoying your glass of wine without any worries about spilling it. The Wine Sippy Cup has the familiar wine glass shape in a spill resistant double glass tumbler.


Photo: Looking for the perfect gift? Three words: Wine Sippy Cup!

Available from Give Simple, the cups come in four fun colors, or clear. They have a 10 oz. wine capacity, are made of SAN acrylic plastic, and are BPA free.

A friend and I took my two Wine Sippy Cups out for a little dinner at the beach a few nights ago when the weather was just gorgeous. I have to say I did enjoy using them, and I especially loved the fact that I wasn't trying to balance a regular wine glass on my picnic blanket or hold it while I was trying to eat. Yes, I actually take real wine glasses with me outdoors because I don't like using paper cups or other kinds of cups to drink from.

The glasses were great, and would certainly make a terrific gift for yourself or the on the go wine lover in your life. Whether at the beach, an outdoor concert, or tailgating, The Wine Sippy Cup is a handy and stylish answer for enjoying your vino on the go.

*I was provided two of these products for review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Top 5 List Of Things To Do To Stay Young (When You're Not)

I think the thing about getting older for me is that I'm surprised how fast it got here. All those hundreds and thousands of days came and went, and left me where I am today, yes, a little wiser, and definitely older.

Whenever I hear someone complain about aging, I like to say that it beats the alternative, which is not being here at all. Life is absolutely a gift and I would like to remember that each morning when I wake up to see a brand new day.
I have made a list of 5 things that you can do for yourself at really any age, but this list gets more important as each year passes.

1. Do Yoga
You have to be physically active as you get older in order to stay healthy, that is a fact. One of the kindest things I ever did for myself was to enroll in a yoga class. Yoga helps me to stay stretched and balanced both mentally and physically. It helps me to stay in the present moment and listen to my body and what it is feeling. I try to practice yoga at home five days a week, and on the days I don't, I am just not as happy as the days that I do practice. And one of the coolest things about yoga is that you can start at any age and have it benefit you in so many wonderful ways.

2. Drink Lots Of Water
I know we've all heard this forever, but it's true. Water is so great for so many reasons, including the fact that if you are drinking it, you aren't drinking things that are bad for you, like soda. Water is good for your skin, your kidneys, and can help you to feel full and not have the urge to snack. I love water, and that it is so good for me, and helps me to keep my weight down.

3. Call The People You Care About
So many of us keep in touch with friends and family with Facebook, texting and email. We get information, yes, but there is nothing that can replace hearing the voice or laughter of someone you love. I always feel so much better after I have talked to someone I care about on the phone. Talking to family and friends keeps us healthy by not being socially isolated, and this is a problem for so many seniors.

4. Buy Good Underwear
I am guilty of buying bras and underwear that really don't fit me very well, and certainly don't flatter my shape at all. It is definitely wise to invest in undergarments that are going to hold you up and hold you in comfortably. This gets more important with each passing year, trust me.

5. Have That Chocolate, Or Glass Of Wine, Or Whatever
What I mean is, don't deny yourself life's little pleasures. But the key to this is of course, all things in moderation. Don't over indulge in anything. Have one glass of wine, not three. Have two chocolates, not the whole box. I know this is easier said than done, but just consider it character building, which is good for us at any age.

This is by no means a complete list, and I could easily add hundreds of more ways to try to stay younger. Getting older is hard, that is very true in so many ways.
But I do believe in counting my blessings, and going forward each day with a positive attitude. If anything, I know that what you expect, usually comes, so I try to expect the best and sometimes I actually get it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Simple Suppers - Mushroom and Red Onion Pizza

I love pizza. I know lots of us do, but I also know it's so easy to call for a pizza, that not too many people make their pizzas from scratch.

It's actually pretty easy, and I love being able to choose my toppings, and exactly how much of each topping I want. I am calling this a Mushroom and Red Onion Pizza, but it also has a layer of spinach on it. It gives the pizza an extra healthy boost, and I don't even taste the spinach. I know some people don't like spinach, so this is a great way to sneak it on a pizza, especially for kids.
The pizza dough recipe is for a whole wheat crust. It's easy, great tasting, and can also be frozen for later use. I usually put some kind of meat on my pizza, but this time I didn't, and I honestly didn't even miss it.

I love making my pizza healthy with a whole wheat crust. I think it's fun kneading the dough, and kids really enjoy helping out to knead it, too. Pizza making is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen and I love having my grandsons cook with me.

Healthy and delicious ingredients. I usually make a white sauce, but this time I used already made Ranch dip from the grocery store. Because it was a dip, it was thicker that Ranch dressing, and it tasted great, and was super simple.

Recipe for Mushroom and Red Onion Pizza

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine the water, yeast, and all purpose flour in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the whole wheat flour, oil, and salt. With your hands, or a large wooden spoon, work the ingredients together until the dough holds its shape.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough becomes sticky while you are kneading it, sprinkle a little all purpose flour over it.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, large bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, for 1 hour. After the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured surface and divide it in to 2 parts. Shape the dough into balls, cover them with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 20 minutes. The dough is then ready for use. This will make 2 pizzas.

Pizza Sauce and Topping:

1/2 cup Ranch Dip
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 large red onion, lightly sautéed
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread Ranch Dip evenly over pizza dough. Put an even layer of spinach over ranch Dip, followed by the mushrooms and red onions. Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Avocado Love and Avocado and Mango Topper Recipe

When you grow up in Southern California, you start taking for granted the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables year round.
When I was a kid, I thought everybody got to eat oranges and strawberries and melon whenever they felt like it. Our kitchen always had fruits and veggies in it, and my parents especially loved eating avocados.
They were serious avocado eaters, and my Mom made so many meals and snacks with them, that I frankly got sick and tired of them. For years the smell of guacamole made me almost nauseous.

Fortunately, I have come around to loving avocados again. I don't live in Southern California anymore, but I am loving having them available at the local grocery stores. I have been adding them to salads, making dips with them, and slicing them to top our burgers.

One of my favorite ways to liven up grilled chicken or fish is to make this Avocado and Mango Topper Recipe. I am not a big mango fan, but it pairs perfectly with the creamy avocado to make a yummy topping that is both sweet and spicy.

Avocado and Mango Topper Recipe


2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 cup seeded, diced tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno pepper
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper


In a medium bowl, combine mango, tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add avocado and toss gently. Use as topping for grilled chicken or grilled fish.

This recipe makes enough to top 6 servings of chicken or fish.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Helping To Fight Childhood Summer Hunger With Odwalla and Champions For Kids #Odwalla4Kids #cbias

*I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®, Odwalla, and Champions for Kids #cbias #SocialFabric All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

I am so proud to be a part of this month's Champions For Kids Simple Service Project called, Hunger in the Summer Project.

 The month of May is all about helping to feed children during the summer months when school is out.
Champions for Kids has partnered with Odwalla to help with this very important need that exists in so many communities all around the country.

I went shopping at Walmart where I bought lots of healthy and delicious Odwalla food bars to donate to my local food bank. The food bank is always in need of donations, especially this time of year when school is not in session.

During the summer months when school is out, millions of children lose access to school breakfasts,
lunches, and snacks that they receive during the school year. Only 1 out of 6 children who receive free or reduced price meals during the school year continue to receive them during the summer.

This puts an additional burden on low-income families to provide more meals for their children during the summer months.

I am making my food donation to the North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank. This food bank has provided food for needy families, emergency services, and advocacy services since 1967.

They also have a thrift store in the community, called Second Season, and all profits from the store benefit the food bank.

Fishline partners regularly with local groups and businesses to sponsor food drives whenever possible. They are an important and vital part of the community.

I had asked some of my friends and family to donate whatever they could to my donation box. Besides all the many great Odwalla Bars, we were able to donate crackers, juice, cookies, soups, cereals and more.
Some of my friends have still been affected by job loss and an uncertain financial future, so I am grateful for any donations they could give. I know these donations will help out at the food bank, and help provide meals and snacks for kids.

This is my grandson Jayden, who is six years old. Jayden has come with me several times when I have worked on other Champions for Kids projects.

He knows what the word "donate" means, and that we are sharing with others as best we can. He is my little buddy when it comes to helping get together donations and taking them to the food bank.

We are inside Fishline, waiting to make our donation. I am grateful everyday that my four little grandchildren have a warm home and plenty of food to eat.

I love working on this Champions for Kids Hunger in the Summer Simple Service Project and telling everyone about the great need that must be filled. It is heartbreaking to think about the number of children that will go hungry this summer.

This is the food bank's director who accepted our donation with such grace and gratitude.

You can make an impact in your own community and help fight summer childhood hunger. You can do this by doing your own Odwalla Hunger in the Summer Project.

Start by letting everyone you know about the food needs of children in the summer months, and then hold a food drive in your own community. Ask family, friends, co-workers, and others to make donations.
Healthy snacks like Odwalla Kid Bars (or regular bars) and Odwalla Juice Boxes would make a great contribution, and are easy to distribute and eat. Donate the food you collect to a food bank, and make an impact on childhood hunger this summer.

You can share your donation on the Champions for Kids website, and also see how other people just like yourself are helping to fight children's summer hunger.

I really love Odwalla food products and I admire the company's philosophy about the importance of helping out in the world.

I am grateful to Champions for Kids and to be able to be a part of this wonderful project.
I would like to thank the North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank and all the great people that work there and donate their time.

Champions for Kids has a goal of mobilizing 20 million people by 2020 to become champions for kids.
Get involved, and you can be one of them!!

You can see my shopping trip to buy Odwalla food bars at Walmart by going over to my Google+ Photo Album.

You can also connect with Champions for Kids online and Odwalla and on their Facebook pages and Twitter.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

See's Candies Review and Giveaway - Mother's Day

If there is one candy company that I love, it is See's Candies. For any and every holiday or occasion, See's is the gift that I love to give and receive.

See's Candies has been a part of my family for decades. I have one memory that I love about See's that I'm sure my own children have heard many, many times. Over 50 years ago, on Christmas Eve, our family would receive a five pound box of See's chocolates. My father worked for a company in Los Angeles California that sent it's employees a box of See's Candies every year. And before we went to bed, we were allowed one piece of candy. Between the excitement of Santa coming, and that huge box of candy, this made an impression on me that has lasted a lifetime.

I was so happy to be able to do a review of See's Candy. This box of cream filled centers is my absolute favorite. Every creamy filled, melt in your mouth bite is so delicious.

This one pound box is perfect as a Mother's Day gift or any occasion for the chocolate lover in your life.

See's Truffles are amazingly delicious. They come in an 8oz. size, and are filled with different delicious centers. The 8oz. Regular Pack is filled with a variety of nuts and chews, soft creamy centers and more.

This is my grandson, the third generation of See's Candy lovers. He is enjoying a chocolate truffle. He had two, and asked for a third!

See's Candies are so delicious, and a perfect gift for yourself, friends, family, or anyone who loves high quality, delicious chocolate.


Popcorn and Pearls and Frugal Family Tree will be hosting a Giveaway for $25 See's Candies Gift Card to one lucky reader.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 *Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts May 5 2013 and ends on May 19, 2013 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize. I was sent a product to review for this post.