Thursday, December 7, 2017

Krusteaz Cookie Mix for your next Cookie Swap

Please note I did receive product and compensation from Krusteaz, in exchange for this blog post. 

I need a mug or shirt that says "I just wanna bake Christmas Cookies and watch Christmas movies all day long."  Seriously, this time of year I cannot get out of the kitchen.  (except to curl up with a blanket and watch some Hallmark Channel.)  And it seems like here lately Cookie Swaps and Exchanges are being such a hit for holiday parties and get-togethers.  So when I was approached by Krusteaz to sample their Cookie Box Mixes, I knew I had to give them a try. 
 Nothing catches my eye like a decorated sugar cookie.  I tried a box of the Krusteaz butter vanilla sugar cookie and followed the directions for roll out cookies.  Wow, were their cookies surprisingly full of flavor and remained soft days after baking.  I was so pleased with how they turned out and couldn't wait to include them on my Christmas cookie plate. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Canned Zesty Peach BBQ

Please note I did receive product from the Washington State Fruit Commission in exchange for this blog post.

A golden orange colored barbecue sauce with flecks of red, is a great way to capture summer flavors for marinades and sauces to be used all year long.  I recently received a shipment of stone fruit from the state of Washington and couldn't wait to put up the sweet summer flavor of fresh picked peaches. I found this recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and will be spooning it over chicken or fish this winter.  Simple to make and taste great.

For more ideas on how to preserve stone fruit please visit  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Febreze One Fabric and Air mist

 This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to try new Febreze One Fabric and Air mist.  I enjoy entertaining, but occasionally the house needs some freshening up?  Whether that is getting rid or pet odors or cooking smells, I put Febreze One to the test in my home.  With two scents bamboo and orchid and an easy spray handle I set to work using it on everything; furniture, bathrooms, even clothes.  That's the great thing about Febreze One!  It is designed for both air and fabrics, so it can act as your go-to, all in one, air freshner.  And there are no aerosols, dyes or heavy perfumes.... bonus!!!  

Right now you can find Febreze One Fabric and Air Mist at Meijer stores, and check your mperks for $1.50 coupon. Put one in your closet, one in your bathroom and one in your kitchen, because you are sure to enjoy this great product.  
When you run out simply purchase refill bottles and reuse the sprayer.  

Please note I did receive product samples and compensation in exchange for this blog post.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sampling Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC

I recently sampled some coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC., an online coffee distribution
company based in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.  Since 2011, fresh and eco-friendly roasted coffee has been delivered to coffee-lovers across america. Initially, the company started with a selection of single origin coffees and custom artisan blends, but now they have expanded and have purchased rare and exotic coffees, grinding and
packing equipment and branching off into loose leaf tea. 
I had the pleasure of sampling some of their medium roasts coffees.  I found the Dominican Republic to be a delightful cup with crisp hints of apples and vanilla.  A perfect cup to wake up to each morning.    I found the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to be a straightforward well balanced cup of coffee that can take on some cream and sugar if that is to your likening.  And I am currently drinking my way through the Guatemala Huehuetenango which has subtle hints of chocolate and orange.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cherry Limeade Jam

It's mid-July and I have been in my kitchen 3 days straight canning up a storm.  In the back of my mind I keep thinking, "Winter is coming."  Granted that's a good 5 months away, but still, I want to be prepared.  All kidding aside I have a fabulous jam recipe to share with you as a way to savor those delicious sweet cherries.  Some day dreary day this January I will open a jar of this Cherry Limeade Jam and remember the hot and steamy days of summer.  The citrus notes in this jam are sure to energize you on those dark winter mornings atop your breakfast bagel or toast.  Grab your cherry pitter and get to work on this recipe because the sweet cherries won't last long without some sweet preservations!

And for more recipe ideas for sweet cherries be sure to check out 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Mad Otters Tea Party

Earlier this spring we were going through a Tea Party phase at our house.  The kids had a little tea set and would love to sit around and pretend to drink from pink tea cups and pretend to eat plastic cookies.  Somedays they dressed up. Somedays they ate real cookies but both kids were crazy to play tea party.  So when MacchiOTTo turned 5, I thought a little girls tea party would be a perfect theme for an afternoon party.

But if you know me well, then you know the gears in my mind turn (alright spin) rather wildly when it comes to party themes.  So I thought about tea and the Mad Hatter came to mind.  And since Hatter had 2 T's and Ott has 2 T's my mind really started to race so we hosted a Mad Otters Tea Party! A fun and whimsical little girls birthday party with lots of colors, hats and of course tea!

First up I had an outdoor decoration that was the "Mad Otter" himself.  I'm sure you've all seen the two sided decorations of a snowman on one side and scarecrow on the other.  Well our snowman got a make over and with some artificial flowers for hair and a new ribbon and bow tie he turned into our Mad Otter.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Crock Pot Southwest Chowder with Farmers Pantry Cornbread Crisps

It has been a crazy couple of months around here but no matter how busy you get you can always dump some food in the crock pot and enjoy a great soup recipe later.  Today I'm sharing a recipe for Crock Pot Southwest Chowder.  And what goes better with the flavors of the southwest than cornbread.  So I'm also sharing about Farmer's Pantry Cornbread Crisps.  Sprinkle a few on top of your soup and you will have one tasty meal for this chilly spring nights.  
Available now at WalMart stores in Indiana, Farmer's Pantry Cornbread Crisps come in three varieties: Honey Butter, Jalapeno, and Original.  They come in full size bags or snack size bags and this mom likes them because they are made using real corn in a nut free facility.  Perfect bite sized treats that are baked and not fried.  Enjoy on their own or garnish in a bowl of your favorite soup.
And now for the recipe:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Extra Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup in the crock pot.

This recipe for Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is so creamy I had to call it Extra Creamy.  It is so easy to make, and your family is sure to want seconds.
In our neck of the woods January has been pretty mild, and I am not complaining one bit.  A day without snow is a day closer to spring.  But every now and then there has been a drop in the temperatures and that calls for soup.  A good thick soup that will stick to your ribs.  One that goes well with a nice warm roll.  And besides the recipe I was also going to share a little about BFree Foods Bread.  We are a food allergy family, so whenever I can find products that are made in allergy free facilities I am always eager to try them and share.
While BFree Foods are labeled as Wheat and Gluten Free they are also egg and dairy free.  We found the taste and texture to be very pleasing and not dry at all.  It's great to know there are tasty options out there for those with food allergies.  BFree Foods makes wraps, buns, bread, rolls and bagels in white and brown seeded flavors. It can be found at Meijer stores.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cran-Apple Moscow Mule with a Lemon Rimmer

I enjoy a good cran-apple drink during the winter months.  There is something about those flavors that seem festive and can be adapted for fun and easy party drinks.  I recently, recieved a pair of Moscow Mule mugs, so when Stirrings asked me to try their cocktail mixers and rimmer garnishes, I knew I had to figure out a way to combine the two.  

This recipe I created flirts with a traditional moscow mule base in that is has vodka, ginger and citrus.  But since we are in the winter months I added some cranberry and apple flavors and some fizz just to be festive.  If you like sweeter drinks, I think this will be right up your alley.  I used Stirrings Apple Martini Mix and their Lemon Drop Rimmer to garnish.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Reviewing the Kuissential Versa


A few weeks ago, I included the Kuissential Versa in my holiday gift guide for foodies.  Well today, I'm giving you a more in depth look at this unique all in one brewing system and travel mug. Just imagine being able to take your french press coffee on the go. No mess. No bitter taste, just a richly brewed hot coffee while you travel.

The Kuissential Versa uses a reverse french press brewing sytem.  The revolutionary process of removing the grounds allows your afternoon coffee to taste as delicious as your fresh brewed morning coffee.  Simply pull up the grinds and separate out the sediments from your drink and replace with a drinking lid.

Step One: Add coffee and water to the brewing capsule.  Then pull the plunger to adjust the mesh filter flush against the sides of the capsule.

Step Two: Place Coffee Mug over the brewing capsule, screwing in place and then turn over.  Allow coffee to seep for a couple of minutes.

Step Three: Pull up plunger to separate grinds from coffee. Unscrew the capsule and deposit for easy clean up.

Step Four: Screw on your travel mug spill proof lid, and enjoy your coffee anywhere.

The Kuissential Versa is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

You can now purchase the Kuissential Versa on Amazon

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookie

Santa will scurry down the chimney a little quicker this year to get a taste of these Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies.  

There is something about the taste of my traditional Christmas cookies that make the holiday complete each year.  Sure the tree and lights are nice.  Family is great to have around.  And presents are fun.  But give me a sugar cookie or peanut butter blossom and that's when it is officially Christmas at my house.  The taste of those cookies are what I remember from my childhood and enjoy baking as an adult.  And along with the annual assortment of snicker doodles, snowball cookies and fudge, I like to try out a new recipe each year as well.  This years recipe I adapted off the back of a bag of Andes mints.  So without further ado I give you... Chocolate Peppermint Cruch Cookies.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reviewing the 3DLightFX

 Miss MacchiOTTo loves playing with her My Little Pony's and now every night she has her very own Twilight Sparkle night light.  This 3DLightFX puts off the perfect glow using LED lights.  The unit stays cool to the touch and after 60 minutes it turns off by itself, which is perfect for putting little ones to sleep.

The 3DLightFX requires batteries (so it's cordless) and comes with a sticker to place behind it on the wall.  Since it doesn't require an outlet you can put the light ANYWHERE!!!  The instructions for hanging the night light are easy to read and follow.  I found the night light to be a high quality plastic with bright colors and nice details and would recommend this night light to anyone.  You can purchase this at Target and

Please note I was sent samples of this product in exchange for this blog post.