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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is 34 - Birthday Giveaway

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to ME...Happy Birthday to Me!  

Today I turn 34.  Seems like such a big number this year.  While 2017 has started off with a lot of sickies in our house I am hopeful that this year and this BIG number brings joy and happiness to me and the whole family.  



As I pass another year I find myself even more grateful and thankful for this growing world of connections on my blog.  I would have never thought my space on the internet would have grown to this over the last 10 years.  So...while I am enjoying my day with my family and thinking about the year to come I want to thank you all by offering a fun and easy giveaway. 

WIN a $25.00 Starbucks Gift Card!!  

Enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck and thank you for taking the journey with me...here is to another great year!!

Rafflecopter Form:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


What is your favorite drink to order from Starbucks?


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Friday, January 13, 2017

Pizza Baked Potatoes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of RAGÚ® Homestyle Pasta Sauce. All opinions are entirely my own.


This time of the year the holiday traditions are packed away in the garage and the families get ready for the Big Games. Seems like every weekend there is some sort of sporting event to get excited for.  In our house we have sports on the brain and on the TV pretty much every weekend. Poor kids; daddy won't share the TV!  Now, I am going to be honest with you, I don't care a bit about the sports that are on TV, instead I think about hosting the best Big Game party for our friends and family!  Hosting is the best part - meal planning, decorating and of course the kitchen visiting.  

My biggest issue with hosting these great parties is the timing - usually the Big Games are in the evening.  Dinnertime with kids means we need to provide more than chips and salsa for our menu and just any other day, I do not want to spend a ton of time around the stove preparing a meal.  

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Introducing our new favorite Game Day menu item - Pizza Baked Potatoes.  This recipe is a whole meal without having to spend a ton of time in front of the oven.  When I first came up with this idea, I was literally holding a jar of  RAGÚ®
Homestyle Traditional Pasta Sauce while looking at some potatoes on my counter.  It's like it was meant to be.  

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Pizza Baked Potatoes 

Free Printable Recipe here.


Ingredients:

Baked potatoes 
RAGÚ Homestyle Traditional Pasta Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pepperoni
Optional: any other pizza toppings


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Directions:

1.  Prepare potatoes to be baked.  I do mine in the oven, slightly oiled.  

2. Place potatoes on a foil lined baking pan; preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

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3. Once potatoes are baked, slice them open in order for them to be filled with sauce and toppings.

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4.  Pour about 3 TBSP of RAGÚ Homestyle Traditional Pasta Sauce into the potatoes. 

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5. Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella cheese over the sauce. 

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6.  Place pepperoni and any other pizza toppings on top of the cheese. 

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7.  Bake Pizza Baked Potatoes at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  

8.  Remove from oven and serve while hot.  Enjoy!


Although, this might seem like an adult Big Game meal option, I will let you know that this creative spin on a kid favorite is a hit in my house.  It is so much fun to think of new recipes using traditional household favorites like RAGÚ pasta sauce.  

Big Game Party Tip:

Create a Pizza Baked Potato bar to allow your guests a little freedom with their Big Game meal.  Set out prepared baked potatoes along with sauce and all the toppings in bowls on a bar or table.  Instruct your guests to add sauce and toppings to their baked potato and then the hostess can pop them in the oven while the game is on.  

Super easy tip but this will have your guests in awe over your Big Game Party hosting skills!  

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Start your creative Big Game spread planning by heading to your local Kroger like I did.  You can find your favorite RAGÚ pasta sauces and get cooking!  I told Jeremy that we have to start thinking of other non-pasta dishes using these great RAGÚ sauces that come in three other varities - RAGÚ Homestyle Cheese Pasta Sauce, RAGÚ Homestyle Meat Pasta Sauce, and RAGÚ Homestyle Roasted Garlic Sauce.  There are so many possibilities and so many of them could be great for any upcoming parties like the Big Game. 

Why do we choose RAGÚ?

RAGÚ has a delicious made-from-scratch taste, contains farm grown ingredients, vine ripened tomatoes, fragrant herbs like fennel, garlic, basil, ground black pepper and no artificial flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup!  

This is a Homestyle Pasta Sauce I can feel good about serving my family and friends!  


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Be sure to download the coupon for $0.75 off any ONE RAGÚ Homestyle Pasta Sauce today! 


What #Ragutailgating non-pasta dishes will you create using RAGÚ pasta sauces for The Big Game?

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Valentine's Day Cocktails

If you are like us, we usually spend Valentine's Day with the kids - oh parenthood.  This year I would like to give a little extra Valentine fun to our celebration and create a yummy cocktail for the adults to enjoy once the kids are in bed.  I found a few that I am really excited to try.  It will be hard to pick THE one for this Valentine's Day!

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Check out the following Valentine inspired Cocktails:


Conversation Hearts Vodka Martini by The Shopping Mama

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Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats by The Cookie Rookie 

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Strawberry Rose Sangria by Jennifer Meyering 

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Strawberry Moscow Mules by Black Berry Babe

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Cupids Pink Arrow Cocktail by No Spoon Necessary 

Valentine's Day Cocktails, Valentine inspired Cocktails, Conversation Hearts Vodka Martini, Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats, Strawberry Rose Sangria,  Strawberry Moscow Mules,  Cupids Pink Arrow Cocktail, Raspberry Italian Cream Soda, Strawberry Mimosa, Chocolate Strawberry Martini,   Sugared Cranberry Ginger Mimosas

Raspberry Italian Cream Soda by The Cookie Rookie

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Strawberry Mimosa by Baking Beauty 

Valentine's Day Cocktails, Valentine inspired Cocktails, Conversation Hearts Vodka Martini, Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats, Strawberry Rose Sangria,  Strawberry Moscow Mules,  Cupids Pink Arrow Cocktail, Raspberry Italian Cream Soda, Strawberry Mimosa, Chocolate Strawberry Martini,   Sugared Cranberry Ginger Mimosas

Chocolate Strawberry Martini by Lemon Tree Dwelling

Valentine's Day Cocktails, Valentine inspired Cocktails, Conversation Hearts Vodka Martini, Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats, Strawberry Rose Sangria,  Strawberry Moscow Mules,  Cupids Pink Arrow Cocktail, Raspberry Italian Cream Soda, Strawberry Mimosa, Chocolate Strawberry Martini,   Sugared Cranberry Ginger Mimosas

Sugared Cranberry Ginger Mimosas by The Cookie Rookie

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Told you it would be hard to pick one drink for that special day!  ha!  Enjoy your Valentine Day celebration and make sure you take time for you and your partner.  

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What Valentine Day Cocktail do you want to try this year?



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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

A few weeks ago we had our good friends over for dinner to celebrate the holiday season.  When I invited them over I knew that I had to find a meal that was easy to prepare on a work night but also that was gluten-free.  This is a new venture for me and I wanted to make sure I did it right and boy I am glad I did.  The recipe that I made was so good that we had it again for dinner last night.

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Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup 

Free printable recipe here. 


Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, frozen
16 ounce salsa
5 cups chicken broth
1 TBSP cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
15 ounce canned black beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounce canned whole kernel corn, drained
3 TBSP lemon juice

Toppings:
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Guacamole 
Salsa
Tortilla Chips
Tortillas

Directions:

1.  In a large crock pot place the frozen chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot.  

2.  Add salsa and chicken broth to the crock pot - stir well making sure that some of the mixture gets under the chicken. 

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3. Add seasonings, beans, corn, and lemon juice to the crock pot. 

4.  Stir mixture well before covering with lid and cooking for 6-8 hours on low.  

5.  About 30 minutes prior to serving time, pull chicken out of crock pot and place in a bowl to shred.  

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6.  Place shredded chicken back into the crock pot and stir soup well. 

7. Let soup cook for another 20 minutes.  

8.  Serve hot with optional toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and tortilla chips.  Enjoy!!

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This soup serves between 8-10 adults.  It is a great meal to make on the weekend for lunch left overs.  Also, what a great recipe this has been to get my kids to eat veggies and black beans!  YES mom wins.  I loved that with the addition of gluten-free chips and tortillas we were able to enjoy a great meal with our friends without the worry of making her sick.  Accomplished and I found a great new recipe that we love!


What is your favorite crock pot soup recipe to serve your family?


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