Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Celebrate National Pizza Month With Classico and Giveaway #sponsored

It doesn't have to be National Pizza Month to enjoy eating and making your own delicious pizzas.
With Classico pizza sauces, it's super easy to put together the ingredients and enjoy fresh from the oven pizza at home.

Classico sauces come in Traditional Pizza Sauce, White Pizza Sauce, and Fire Roasted Pizza Sauce flavors. All three are delicious, and you can count on Classico to use the finest ingredients to give their sauces a delicious, full-bodied flavors.

My family and I recently enjoyed a family pizza night, and I made a delicious pizza with a homemade crust, and using Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce.

I love making my own pizza crust from scratch, but you can save time by using a prepared crust from the store.
Just oil a pizza pan with olive oil so that the crust doesn't sick to it, then spread the crust generously with the pizza sauce of your choice. Put on the toppings of your choice, and then top with a generous amount of Mozzarella cheese.

Homemade pizza is super easy , and Classico sauces really are a great start to a delicious pizza.

My grandchildren's favorite pizza is pepperoni with black olives, topped with lots of Mozzarella I like this too, but I spice it up a bit by adding finely chopped red onion.

Yum, nothing like hot, homemade pizza, right from the oven!!

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I've partnered with Classico and received product, coupons, premium items, and reader giveaway coupons, as part of my participation. However, no payment was given, or expected for posting about the program, and all opinions  expressed here are my own.

In honor of National Pizza Month, Classico Pizza is giving away a coupon for a jar of free pizza sauce to three readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts Oct 30 2013 and ends on Nov 14 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 products to review for my post.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Now that we are just about done with October, we are in peak pumpkin love at my house.

I love the smell of pumpkin treats baking in the oven. These cupcakes are so yummy, and the cream cheese frosting is amazing.

I made these and posted them on my other blog, Frugal Family Tree, and you can hop over there for the complete recipe.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Enjoying Bigelow Tea and Their Exciting New Look #AmericasTea #cbias #shop

Bigelow's great new look.

When I like something, I tend to really like it, and so I don't want what I like to change. Are you like that too?

I recently found out that Bigelow Tea was changing their packaging, and since Bigelow is one of my very favorite brands of tea, I wondered what kinds of changes they had in mind.

Bigelow Tea is a family owned company that has been in business for almost 70 years. I've enjoyed drinking their herbal tea, green tea, and other flavors almost every day for many years now. I'm a passionate tea drinker, and I love how Bigelow offers so many varieties and flavors to choose from.

So off I went to Walmart to stock up on Bigelow Tea for these chilly days we are having, and to check out their new packaging.

I have to say that I love the new look, it's streamlined, and cleaner, and simpler. Each box also lets you know all about the particular kind of tea you are drinking, why the tea comes in a special foil pouch, and much more.

I came home with lots of boxes of tea, including one of my favorites, Constant Comment, a very flavorful black tea. I'm also trying something new, Lemon Ginger, an herbal tea that contains probiotics which supports healthy digestion.

While I was at Walmart, I ran into an old friend who is going through a tough time. She invited me over for a chat, and I knew right away that I would bring her a basket filled with Bigelow Tea and treats to cheer her up. Who wouldn't love a tea basket filled with Bigelow's lovely new packaging and delicious varieties of tea? And my friend is a tea lover just like me, so this would be a welcome surprise for her.

Bigelow Tea's new packaging includes information on the back of the box on how to brew the perfect cup of tea, and how much caffeine (if any) is in each variety of tea.

On the top of each box is one of nine stories about the company's heritage, values, and a lot of fun facts about Bigelow Tea. I especially loved the story about how plucky and hard working Ruth Bigelow was, and how determined she was to make the company a success.

 I like supporting family businesses, and knowing more about the Bigelow family and how they started their company is interesting to me. This is a great touch that lets me connect with the company on a personal level.

This year I had promised myself that I would be more health conscious and aware of the foods and drinks I consume. I've actually been pretty good at replacing a healthy cup of tea for something that might be loaded with sugar or lots of calories.

This Lemon Ginger tea is delicious, and I am a big probiotics fan, so I'm happy to be getting some in my tea. Green tea is also one of my favorites, and it is so healthy for you, too.

One of the things I love about Bigelow Tea is that they offer so many choices to their customers. I can find herbal tea, decaffeinated tea, black tea, and green tea in an amazingly large number of flavors.
I love being able to offer family and friends a large choice of teas to drink, and it really makes the cup of tea personal to the tea drinker.

For me, Bigelow Tea sets itself apart from other brands because of it's quality, wide selection, and dedication to bringing the very best tea available into our homes and kitchens.

Here in Washington State, we are famous for our large amount of rain, and we've already had a number of wet and rainy days so far this fall.

Having a hot cup of tea is one of my favorite ways to chase away the gloom. Sharing tea with my family and friends is such a good way to keep our connections strong.

My mother used to say that things always look a little better after a cup of tea, and I think she was right. She loved Earl Grey tea in the mornings, and often had her own friends over to share a cup.

I was happy to put together this basket of Bigelow Tea for my friend, and take it to her. I also included some chocolate, a new tea mug, and some freshly baked cookies.

Sometimes I forget about how important friends really are, and Bigelow Tea inspired me to show how much I care about the people in my life.

If you are a tea lover, or know tea lovers, be sure to go check out the all new Bigelow Tea packaging.

 You'll still find all your favorite varieties and flavors, but in their lovely new boxes.

Bigelow Tea has a wonderful website that I frequently go to for recipes, information, and inspiration. Right now there is a great recipe for Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread, using Bigelow Pumpkin Spice tea.

You can also connect with Bigelow Tea on  Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

I'm a real brownie lover, and have started making them from scratch, which is really easier than you might think.

But then I ran across a recipe that was for cream cheese brownies, using a mix, so I gave this recipe a try. Wow, these are super delicious!!

I'm putting them on my list of go-to recipes for the future. While, my family gobbled them up here at home, they would be perfect for an up-coming holiday office party, or similar event.
Just make sure you use a high quality mix. I used Ghirardelli Brownie Mix.

Recipe for Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies


4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 regular size box brownie mix
water, vegetable oil, and eggs called for in brownie mix
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
In a small bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.

Make brownie batter as directed on brownie box. Spread 3/4 of brownie batter in pan. Spoon filling by tablespoon evenly over brownie batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling,
Cut through mixture with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Cool completely before cutting, about 2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes approximately 12 brownies, depending on size of slices.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Donuts, and More Donuts

It is no secret that my family and I love sweets. The fall seems to bring out something in me that wants to bake delicious desserts and treats all the time.

Donuts are one of my favorite things to make because they are delicious any time of day. In fact, a cup of tea and a freshly baked donut is one of the best afternoon pick-me-ups I can think of.

I shared this recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Donuts over on my other blog, Frugal Family Tree. If you love donuts, buy yourself a donut pan because making them with a pan is super easy.
And so worth it, they are delicious.

I made Chocolate Donuts With Orange Glaze awhile back, too. The chocolate flavor in these donuts really stands out in this recipe, and it's a must for chocolate lovers.

Have a fabulous Friday everyone :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quick Family Meals, Sweet and Sour Rice Bowls #kraftrecipemakers #shop

I love being a part of my daughter's very busy household. She is a super active mom of three, a great wife to her husband, and now has a part-time job. So you can imagine that we are always on the look-out for easy meals that are quick, delicious, and help solve the nightly question of what to cook for dinner.

I recently picked up a package of Kraft Recipe Makers, the Sweet and Sour Chicken flavor.
Kraft Recipe Makers are yummy meal kits that contain two sauces with a recipe, and you add your own fresh ingredients. Each meal starter will help you make a quick and delicious dinner that is sure to please your family.

I decided to make Sweet and Sour Rice Bowls with chicken meatballs. We actually eat a lot of rice, and are always looking for ways to put more veggies into our meals. Bell peppers, especially red ones, are a favorite to cook and eat.

This Recipe Maker comes with a Sesame Ginger simmer sauce, and a Sweet and Sour Pineapple finishing sauce.

I'm really hoping my son-in-law likes this dinner. He loves rice bowls, but is used to eating them at restaurants or take out places.

I'm making a big batch of chicken meatballs, some to use now, and some to freeze for later. You can make your own, but it's much quicker to use the already cooked and frozen ones from the grocery store. Just pop them in the microwave to heat them. This is a great time-saver when you are in a hurry.

I chopped up the two bell peppers and red onion and put them in a large frying pan. Then I added the Sesame Ginger simmer sauce and cooked them until they were crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Then it was time to add the meatballs, can of pineapple chunks, and the Sweet and Sour Pineapple finishing sauce.

Cook for about 3 minutes more, or until heated through. Stir everything all together and serve over hot rice. The sauces smelled so good, and I just had to taste a meatball with all that yummy sauce!!

I like making rice in the rice cooker because it's so easy. Just make rice your favorite way before you start your other meal preparations.

Kraft Recipe Makers really make cooking your meal fast, so make sure you have your rice ready.

I love family meals that appeal to all of us, including my grandchildren. With everyone so busy, it's important that we all sit down together for dinner each night. When I cook, I don't always have the time to cook from scratch, so I welcome short-cuts in the kitchen.

My Sweet and Sour Rice Bowls were a hit. The kids liked them and my son-in-law asked if I could make some for him to take to work, where he can heat them up. Yay!!

I'm always happy to find ways to make cooking easier, but still lets us enjoy great tasting meals. I can't wait to try the other flavors of Kraft Recipe Makers.

Recipe for Sweet and Sour Rice Bowls with Chicken Meatballs


1 package Kraft Recipe Makers Sweet and Sour Chicken flavor
5 cups cooked white rice
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 small red onion
about 20 small, precooked chicken meatballs (homemade or store-bought)
1 8 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained


Cook rice.
Heat frozen meatballs in the microwave until hot, set aside. Cut bell peppers into bite size pieces.
Slice onion. Put vegetables into a large frying pan. Add the Sesame Ginger simmer sauce to the pan.
Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Add cooked meatballs, can of pineapple chunks, and Sweet and Sour Pineapple finishing sauce.
Stir together. Heat 3 minutes, until heated through.
Serve over hot rice.

Serves 5

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Fall Favorite, Apple Bread Pudding With Vanilla Ice Cream

Fall is definitely in the air here in Washington State. Apples are everywhere it seems like, and inspiring us to make some yummy desserts.

Come see the recipe for my Apple Bread Pudding at Frugal Family Tree, where I am also writing with my two daughters, Samantha and Laura, again.

Hope you are enjoying your fall.