Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers

Let me tell you about a typical day for our little family. We wake up and someone will always complain about breakfast. Always. We get ready for school, I drop the big boys off and then Nash and I head home for a day filled with errands and chores, play time and some basic preschool time, whatever else that we have to do and hopefully a nap thrown somewhere in there, too.

We pick the boys up at 2:45 and then the real fun starts. Between soccer, flag football, tackle football, activity day for church, and chess team - we're hopping all over town. except for Thursdays. Thursdays are usually quite and oh so appreciated!

Throughout all these different activities I have at least 1 hungry kid. (read: whiny, bored, and/or complaining like the dickens.) On these crazy days I usually have dinner waiting in a crock pot, but that could be hours away - so, we stock up on snacks. And my poor van. Well, you can imagine with 4 boys what the inside looks like. (but, it makes for a great weekend chore for the littles so...I win.)

And snacking. Ugh. I really kind of hate it. The things I want my kids to snack on and the things they want to snack just don't allow us to see eye to eye.  Enter Del Monte. Del Monte sent us a gift pack containing their new product, Fruit Burst Squeezers, to try out.

These fun and convenient little squeeze packs contain 1 1/2 servings of fruit puree or a fruit/veggie combo puree. No artificial flavors and no high fructose corn syrup. Made right here in the U.S. and is an excellent source of vitamin A and C. They are available at your local Walmart, in packs of four, for under $3.00.

That's the technical stuff - here's the inside scoop; the stuff that moms really want to know:

It's pretty good and healthy. Fruitburst Squeezers are a blended purée of real fruit and real veggies. Flavors include mango-peach, blueberry, strawberry, apple-cinnamon, and mixed berry. Our family's most liked flavors ended up being apple-cinnamon and strawberry. The blueberry was a little on the sour side. And bonus: they are even better when refrigerated. 

Super convenient: great to throw in your purse, diaper bag, lunch box or take along on the way to practice, school, ect. I packed one along on my recent doctor's appointment for Nash - even though he is only 2, he was able to eat it completely on his own without help from me. (which...was great. It may have spared me from an awkward moment - I was almost completely naked under the office gown. Ahem.)

And finally, the packaging. What is it about squeezable food that kids love?! My boys think it is super fun. Best marketing packaging ever. 

May I suggest that you try new Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers? Of course I can - it's my blog. Next time you are at Walmart, pick up a pack. Your kiddos (or you- grown ups love them, too) will be glad you did.

Because you finally got to the end of this post - here's a fun giveaway for you! Del Monte is giving away a $50 Walmart gift card to one reader. All you have to do is leave one comment on this blog post answering what you, or your kids, or someone that you know is going to be for Halloween. Completely selfish on my part: I need some ideas!  If I don't know you personally, make sure to leave an e-mail address also so I can get in contact with you. I will randomly choose a commenter on Monday, October 7 and post the winner that day.

UPDATE: I've had several people message me that their comments aren't showing up on my blog. If you've read this post via facebook, my blog facebook page, or instagram and can not leave a message here, please go back to original media post and leave a comment there (or 2 if you are a follower) and I will add it to the drawing. Sorry - tech stuff, UGH.

Bonus: if you "Follow" my blog (over there---->) enter twice by commenting "follower" in a separate comment.

Happy Commenting!

"Like" Del Monte on Facebook. Follow on Pinterest & Twitter.
For  more info on Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers or other Del Monte products, go here.

The Del Monte products, information, gift pack, and gift card have been provided by Del Monte.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

review: 50 simple soups for the slow cooker

a book appeared in my mailbox that i didn't know was coming, which is alright by me because i love books, especially cookbooks and this one is titled, 50 simple soups for the slow cooker by lynn alley. score.

just a couple of weeks ago travis and i were discussing my weird prejudice about cooking soup during the summer months. i suppose it comes from my mom, that prejudice, because only 1 day after that discussion i heard her say, " i can't wait for cook soup". it's true. to me, fall is all about football games, chilly weather, crunchy leaves, fat orange pumpkins, big hardy mums sitting on my front porch, halloween...i could go on, but what i was leading up to is the culmination of the season: fall food. more particularly, fall baking & soups.

i've got my eye on the new taste of home fall baking edition as we speak, so it was only fitting that a soup cookbook show up at my door, too. and for the slow cooker?! yes, please.

what i like most about this book, as silly as it seems, is the format. it's a binder-type cookbook with beautiful pictures of...well, soup. out of the 50 recipes, there are at least 20 photos. that is something i really like in a cookbook.

now on to the important stuff. the author combines some interesting flavors to come up with some bold recipes for this book. take spiced apple pie soup or eggplant soup with cumin, yogurt, and dill. these don't sound particularly appetizing to me, but i can appreciate the endeavor. and maybe one day i will get an itch for something different and i will all ready know where to go.

what does sound appetizing, though, is the corn chowder with potatoes, poblanos, and smoked gouda. and the blue cheese potato soup. and the french onion soup. ...and there are quite a few more. the author chose quite a few ethnicities in her soup selections: hot and sour, minestrone, swedish rhubarb raspberry soup, spiced spinach dal with coconut milk, and many others. and all 50-recipes are vegan or vegetarian.

and i keep forgetting these are SLOW COOKER recipes. that means you do very little and you can leave and come home to a  yummy dinner and a yummy smell wafting through the air. i love slow cookers.

see for yourself. i believe this book will be a wonderful addition to my cookbook collection. it is being carried by select walmarts. or online here.

and just as a sneak peak, here is a recipe i want to try.

potato, broccoli, and cheese soup

2 T. ghee or butter (butter for me)
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 lg. potato, quartered
6 c. water
1 small head of broccoli, quartered
1 c. grated sharp cheddar
1/2 c. cream or sour cream

in a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion until lightly browned. transfer the onion to a slow cooker and add the potato and water. cover and cook on LOW about 6 hours or until the potato is tender. add the broccoli during the last 30 minutes or cooking.

using a handheld immersion blender, puree the ingredients to the desired texture. stir in the cheese and add salt to taste.

ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cream.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Diet Food

okay, so i am on a diet. a real live freaking diet. i went and bought an actual scale and spent 50 bones on food just for me. i even cleaned out my own little drawer in the refrigerator...this is mostly because little hands will snag my goods and in one of our daily hectic moments,  i will get all crazy and stuff my face with chocolate chips. steps.

anyway, some of the things i bought included fresh arugula and spinach leaves and pre-cooked chicken. by tyson. i actually kind of love it. i've bought it a few times since mr. nash-man has been born and it is really great for quick salads, quesadillas, throw-together pizza, ect.

so i made this really good salad by accident. i tossed arugula and spinach leaves together and served the above chicken on top, sprinkled with shredded parmesan, salt and pepper, and drizzled with a salad dressing i just made up on the spot. guess what? that salad dressing rocked and my simple salad turned into an awesome salad, just. like. that.

i poured a little olive oil in my dressing shaker, smashed up a clove of garlic, squeezed lemon juice in and seasoned with salt and pepper. i mixed it all together and ate that mother up!

now, if only i can stay away from those chocolate chips...

ps. my sis-in-law, danielle, started a cake blog! she lives in st. louis and is the most talented cake decorator i know. all her cakes are amazing and taste unbelievably good. check her out...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

dinnerRevolution by Chef Jeff

Chef Jeff Pirtle has written a  new cookbook called  dinnerRevolution. The "revolution" part is taking on dinner, 10 ingredients or less, and able to be prepared in under 30 minutes. And he has come up with over 200 HEALTHY recipes that do just that.

With over 10 years of experience cooking everywhere from health-care as a certified dietary manager to cooking for the rich and famous on yachts and cruise ships, Chef Jeff has done it all. He also had a home-based private cooking practice based in Charlotte, NC where he cooked for local-celebrities and busy families, using regular ingredients from the grocery store. Ingredients that you can actually pronounce! This is where he came up with the idea for this cookbook.

The cookbook is actually an e-book, meaning it can be downloaded immediately upon purchase to be stored right on your computer or if you are technology savvy, a kindle or iPad for easy access. No actual books to take up space on your counter that could otherwise be used for prepping. And I don't know about you, but how many times have your hands been covered in whatever you are making and the page has flipped? Hopefully this doesn't just happen to me? (Does this totally sound like an info-merical?!)

The cookbook is filled with healthy, easy-to-make meals ranging in each category, beef, poultry, pork, seafood, and vegetarian. One of the recipes I have already written down ingredients for Mexican Shrimp Tortilla Soup. Hello! that sounds so good. And one of the first recipes in the book? Autumn Chicken Salad, combing the flavors of Fall with diced apples and walnuts.

To be honest, the book is a little pricey. $27.00. But, it does come with a 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied, so that makes it a little more worth it. And honestly, the recipes are ones you will go back to time and time again. Also included are a grocery store savings guide with tips and trades to help save time and money at the grocery and a dinner menu planner. And the recipes included really are easy-to-make and pretty healthy...and family friendly. I'm probably just cheap. :)

But, the best part? Chef Jeff is raffling off 6-free! copies to readers of my blog. Just go here and enter. Even if you don't win you still get 6 free recipes from the book.

Chef Jeff will e-mail the winners with a link to download the e-cookbook. Good Luck!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Products I Love, plus Some Really Good Food, Too.

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Make-Up Remover

I LOVE this facial cleanser that I've been using for about a month. It is light and smells awesome, plus it removes all the make-up plus mascara. The only thing I don't love about it is how small the container is (6 oz. Boooo.) And I think it was kind of pricey. I'm glad to have found a good drug store option and hope it stays on the shelves for a long time. Don't you hate when you finally find something you love, only to discover that it has been discontinued?

Sensodyne Iso-Active Toothpaste

I'm the only one who uses Sensodyne toothpaste in the house, so you know it has to be AWESOME for me to pay $6 for it. But seriously, I love it. I will admit, I am a sucker for ads and commercials and when I first saw the ads for this toothpaste a couple of months ago, they got me. Now I don't really know if all the little toothpaste bubbles explode off your toothbrush into every little crevice between each tooth like the commercial suggests, but I like to think that is exactly what it is doing anyway. The toothpaste comes out in a gel form but foams up as you start to brush your teeth. And the flavor is really good. The only sucky part is that sometimes a little gel will continue to come out even after you've stopped pushing the top, which can create a gel-ly mess around the top of the container. And my kids keep trying to snatch it from my bathroom, but they're not old enough for $6 toothpaste, at least not until they've got permanents.

Next up, Five Guys.

Holey Moley, I am in love. Friday night T-bone and I got to go on a date, thanks to his brah brah and his lovely girlfriend. They watched our kiddos and they were even in bed sound asleep when we got home. Score! (And no one was hurt - there wasn't even blood on the carpet this time! Double Score!)

We drove around for like, 30 minutes trying to decide what to eat. Finally, I pulled into Five Guys. It just opened up in our city and I've heard really good things about it. And they were all RIGHT! It was amazing. Amazing burgers, amazing fries and cherry coke from the fountain. Who has fountain cherry coke? Really awesome places, that's who. They also had malt vinegar for the fries, which is my favorite. And the guy who manages used to be our boss from our Logan's Roadhouse days from college (that's where we met, you know), so it was fun getting to catch up with him and kind of fun seeing his face when he realized I was preggers with #4 and that we were still married after 8 years because I'm pretty sure he had to get on to us a couple of times for making out in the back while we were working.

Anyway, it's my new favorite place and all you local readers should go ASAP.

And finally, these BREAD MACHINE cinnamon rolls.

I made these beauties for General Conference weekend and they are really easy and really good. They aren't the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had, but for minimal work, they're pretty darn good. Here's the recipe...

For the Dough:

1 c. milk
1 egg
4 T. butter
3 1/3 c. flour
3 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. yeast

For the filling:

1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Put the dough ingredients into your bread machine and hit the dough cycle. That's it! It takes about an hour, so go do something fun in the meantime. Once it's done, set the dough into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it can rise. This takes about another hour. Once it has doubled in size, put your dough out on the counter and roll it out with a rolling pin. Shape it into a rectangle if you can, but I've always had problems with this...I just do it the best I can. Spread the filling over the dough and roll up, sealing the seam with your finger. Cut about 1 inch slices, you should have about 12 rolls. You can put your rolls in a muffin tin or any kind of baking dish. I always use a glass one so I can put it in the dishwasher afterwards. Let the rolls rise a little longer, 20-30 minutes and then put them in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned on top. If you like icing, and who doesn't like freaking icing on a cinnamon roll?, put about 3 cups of powdered sugar in a bowl with 1 T. milk. Stir until creamy, you can add more powdered sugar or milk to get the consistency you want and then just pour over the top.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oatmeal at Mickey D's?

One morning in the midst of our 12th move in 8 years, I ran to McDonald's to grab breakfast, for just the night before I had packed up the entirety of our kitchen, not leaving even a single spoon.

While ordering the breakfast usuals, bacon-egg-cheese muffin for myself and Mcgriddles for everyone else, my eyes landed upon the word oatmeal within the contents of the menu.

"Oatmeal"? I thought to myself. "I love oatmeal". And the picture was right before me so I knew it was true. So I ordered it, too.

And it is seriously delicious. It consists of apples and golden raisins swimming in a sea of rolled oats with (or without) brown sugar to sweeten it up. And you know I went with the brown sugar. But, its completely optional.


This morning, I am eagerly waiting on a plumber to come rescue my 2nd bathroom woes of the toilet not flushing properly. We have 3 bathrooms, so it's not a dire situation, per se, but the boys have been using our bathroom for a week and sometimes they forget to flush. Which makes it kind of dire. Boys are gross, you remember.

I woke up thinking about the commercial I had seen the night before advertising McDonald's new oatmeal, but of course, I am not missing the plumber. So, I made my own. It was good.

I use Quick-Cook Steel Cut Oats, which I prefer unless we are making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, then I am over the moon with the rolled kind.

I topped it off with half of a finely chopped apple and some raisins, along with just a dusting of brown sugar and it totally hit the spot.

In other news, I also ate a bad blueberry this morning. Who knew blueberries could make one gag? It was was G. R. O. S. S.

And in more other news, I completely fell out of my chair and landed on my face struggling with the remote control. I only wanted to see the Today Show, what the hell happened? It's a mystery. One that I'm pretty sure has to do with my gestational situation.

Have a happy day...and as Bert would surely say, "Don't forget the oatmeal".

Monday, November 29, 2010

To Card or Not to Card...

Everyone loves Christmas cards and I am no exception.

But, this year? Wasn't into it.

Again, we find ourselves moving (permanently!) during December; a reason in itself to not decorate and get all stressed out with...everything that goes along with it.

But, since I did that last year and it was no fun for anyone, I've decided to have some kind of serenity in my home this year. So, I bought a table top tree and mini decorations to stand in place of our 6 footer and I am making an awesome advent calendar for the kiddos (and the grown-ups) as a reminder of what the season is all about.

The rest of it? Staying in storage. (okay, I got a few things out) And even though I have little pin-pricks of jealousy when I drive past my neighbor's beautifully lit home with their ginormous picture window that allows me to see the decorations inside, too. I am okay with it.

And the cards? It was the one thing I could let go of this year without thinking about it over and over and over. Plus, it was one more thing I didn't have to do.

But, one night, I was bored and found myself blog hopping on stranger blogs I had no business looking at. One of the blogs talked about Shutterfly Holiday Cards and they had me hook, line, and sinker.

I followed the link and found myself ahh-ing and oooh-ing over all of Shutterfly's amazing holiday card collection. And then I knew. I am okay giving up my big tree, Christmas lights, and little decorations here and there, but after seeing all those cards, there was no way I was letting the card thing go this year.

Some of my favs?


There are just so many to choose from and my boys' sweet little faces would look perfect on one of these cards.You can find your favorites, here.

And, they have fun gift ideas, like calendars that you can design yourself using all your favorite photos. A perfect gift for Grandma and Grandpa, no?

The best part? Shutterfly is giving away 50 free photo cards just for blogging about how awesome they are. You can get the all the deets for yourself, here.

Happy Carding...

PS...Find anything odd in the above Christmas cards? Something most parents wouldn't do?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Auntie Anne's At-Home Baking Kit

The people at Auntie Anne's sent me their At-Home Baking Kit for review. I will admit, I have only bought a pretzel from Auntie Anne's a handful of times, but seriously, it rocks, no?

The kids were probably more excited than I was because I decided to make this into a family affair. And it proved to be a fine one. The baking kit came with very easy-to-follow instructions and was very kid-friendly.

The kit contains ingredients to make 10 large salted or cinnamon/sugar pretzels. Once we decided what kind each of us wanted, we went to work making the dough, which we were able to put in our stand mixer and let it do all the work for us.

After just 30 minutes for rise time, we were ready to roll out our pretzels. Step-by-step instructions on how to do just that were also included. The kids decided to make pretzel faces, but were able to make the classic pretzel shape as well based on the pictures from the instructions.

A few minutes in the oven and the pretzels were done. They turned out great. The kids had a blast making them and I think this is a really fun family opportunity. This would be a perfect activity to do with your kids around the Holidays or for family night. It would also be a neat gift for a kid on your Christmas gift list, especially an older child who could make the pretzels by them self, or I guess anyone who loves Auntie Anne's pretzels! I've got a few people I know would love this that might be getting a kit, too!

As for cons, the only thing I could come up with is that instead of enjoying a pretzel at the mall, we were at home. And, I'll take the mall, yes? But, for some, this is a huge pro, which is probably why Auntie Anne's came up with this product. Either way, you get an awesome tasting pretzel so it's a win-win all around.

The kit retails for $7.99 and are available at some Auntie Anne's locations across the U.S. You can find the nearest participating retailer to you here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crystal Light Pure Fitness: A Review

For years my mom has asked me why I don't keep anything to drink in the house. She thinks it's weird, but I think it's just healthier. I always have cold water in the fridge. We always have a couple of gallons of milk and O.J. and occasionally I will buy apple juice or soda.

But, we pretty much stick to water.

My sister-in-law came by a few weeks ago with a box of Crystal Light Pure Fitness. I was hesitant at first because last time I checked Crystal Light was loaded with aspartame, a yucky artificial sweetener that has been linked to a whole host of neurological problems.

But Crystal Light Pure Fitness has none of that. It's naturally sweetened with a mix of Truvia (stevia-based) and cane sugar. It also has no caffeine, no artificial preservatives or flavors, and is gluten-free, too!

One little package of this stuff just contains 30 calories, and the taste is really quite good. There are three flavors: Grape, Strawberry-Kiwi, and Lemon Lime. I tried the Grape and Strawberry-Kiwi, both were delicious.

While most times we are going to stick to our boring and weird water, I am going to start having Crystal Light Pure Fitness on hand, if anything just to keep my mother at bay.

*Some information from here.

*Photo from here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Holy Hamburger!

photo: Nigel Cox

Has anyone seen the September cover of Bon Appetit? Oh. My. Gosh. I couldn't find a picture of the actual cover, but I think it is just a close up of the one above, which is a featured recipe in this month's magazine.

Any Bon Appetit lovers out there? I received a subscription a couple of years ago and just recently got suckered into another year. (They were giving a free cookbook with it). Right now, you can purchase a year for only $1 per issue. ONE DOLLAR PER ISSUE, folks.

I will admit that some of the recipes are over my head. They frequently feature ingredients that I can't even pronounce and preparation techniques that I wouldn't even know where to start.

But....once you get past that part, the recipes are pretty easy to follow. The photos are so tantalizing that your mouth will actually water and the inspiration the flows from the pages is not something you can just find anywhere.

So there is my justification for buying another subscription to a magazine I have only gotten a recipe out of once. But, it's worth it, I promise. And cookbooks are my thing.

Now on to that hamburger. I have been craving red meat something fierce. I usually don't eat much meat (yet I am not opposed to it), especially in the summertime, but lately I can't get enough. So hamburgers are on my to-do list for this week. And it's a happy time when hamburgers are on the menu.

I don't know if this is a plug for the magazine or the hamburger. My advice is to go for both. Your belly will thank you for the burger and your eyes will thank you for the magazine.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

McDonald's New Fruit Smoothies

I've been dying to try McDonald's new fruit smoothies ever since my eyes discovered the ginormous billboards all around town enticing like-minded individuals that know smoothies are the best, and  should be consumed as meals three times a day.

It was good. As good as any other smoothie I've had at an actual smoothie cafe. McDonald's offers two flavors: strawberry banana and wild berry. They were equally tasty. The best part: $2.78. Wowza. Beats a fancy $5.00 one.

As for nutrition, there is a lot of added sugar in this smoothie, even in a small. You can check that out here.

 I'd call this maybe a dessert smoothie based on the amount of sugar, but it is what it is. It's still delicious and when you are having a moment, sugar is the best remedy.

More garden recipes coming next week!

*This is not a paid review.

iPhone Dump 2019

In January, boys 7th grade took home conference championship Disney on Ice with Emma  Pretty meager winter, we...