Easy Pancakes, Anytime! {Giveaway For Texas Residents, Too!}

Easy Pancakes, Anytime!

Easy Pancakes

This post was brought to you by Batter World. All opinions are mine. Contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure for more information.

Our family loves breakfast, it's true.  Any time of the day, we can enjoy breakfast foods!  in the morning, especially, it's essential to have quick things to cook that are ready in a snap, but most of the convenience breakfast foods are just not very healthy.  I have found a way to make delicious, easy pancakes in no time flat, and they're made with simple ingredients, too.  

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Family Dinners are Important, Even On Busy Days {Dinner Table Question Game Printable}

This family dinners shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlakesAllNatural #CollectiveBias
Make Family Dinners Special #BlakesAllNatural ad #cbias

Fall is a busy time of year for us. Like most families, we have school, sports, and church events, holidays, and also three birthdays!  All of the boys were born in November or December and it's a crazy time of year!  Some days are so jam packed, that we resort to quickly eating whatever we can find in the fridge or going out to eat.  I simply cannot be stuck in the kitchen for hours, although I want to always provide my family with good tasting, all natural foods.

Keeping the freezer stocked with easy to prepare foods is a must for this time of year.  I was thrilled to see the selection of homemade comfort foods by Blake's, at Walmart the other day.  And right now, there's a great deal on ibotta that will make stocking up on Blake's frozen foods even smarter.

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Garlic, Garlic, Garlic! A Collection of Delicious Garlic Recipes {Plus An Awesome Gift for Cooks This Year!}

Garlic is the pungent, flavorful clove that has been a staple in many cuisines for years.  It has also been used for medicinal purposes, and is known as having antibacterial properties.  Sure, you may need a breath freshener after you eat it, but man, is it delicious!  My boys LOVE garlic.  We use garlic powder and dried garlic often, but really, there is nothing like the taste of freshly pressed garlic.

Garlic bulbs are easy to grow year round and also store for a long time.  If you love to grow garlic, Farm Fresh Feasts has tips on roasting and freezing garlic.  

I have collected some wonderful garlic recipes in this post, and I hope you will find some new ones that you love!  And make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a great gift idea for cooks and garlic lovers this year. 

Garlic Kale Hummus – Strength and Sunshine

Fire Roasted Game Day Salsa – DFW dad

Tomatillo Salsa – Life With Captain Fussybuckets

Garlicky Dill Dip – Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats

Homemade Hot Sauce – Ann's Entitled Life

Quick Garlic Seafood Appetizer – A Lady in France

Tomatoes Farcie – A Lady in France

Chicken Tajine – A Lady in France

Coriander Garlic Grilled Chicken and Green Goddess Sauce – Strength and Sunshine

Roasted Garlic Artichoke Pasta with Chicken – Ann's Entitled Life

Asian Lettuce Wraps – Life With Captain Fussybuckets

Garlic Chicken with Fettuccine and Kefir Sauce – Life With Captain Fussybuckets

Salami and Ham Stromboli – Life With 4 Boys

Paleo Paprika Cauliflower Rice – Life With 4 Boys

New Orleans Style Shrimp and Grits – Life With 4 Boys

Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage Paella – Life With 4 Boys

Savory Cinnamon Slow Cooker Chicken – Life With 4 Boys

Asaparagus with Butter Garlic Sauce – Recipes To Make

Homemade Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks – Recipes To Make

Bimbimbap – Recipes To Make

Southwest Chicken Soup – Recipes To Make

I recently found, what I believe, is the best garlic press!  I't s a great price on Amazon right now, too, less than $15 when it is regularly $25.  I love using this garlic press, which can also be used as a ginger press.  It's a mincer, chopper, grater,  and you can use garlic with or without peel, which I love because I hate peeling garlic!  It's just sturdy and constructed well.  It feels like an expensive kitchen tool, but it is inexpensive while being very high quality.  Best thing, it's dishwasher safe and won't rust.  It would make a great gift for anyone who loves to cook or just loves garlic.  It's one of the best gifts for cooks this year!best price for garlic press best price for garlic press

Order Your Holiday Desserts Now from Collin Street Bakery

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Cake

This holiday desserts post was brought to you by Collin Street Bakery. All opinions are mine.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are such a wonderful time of year.  Spending quality time with the family, eating delicious food, and just being able to relax is a great change of pace from the every day grind.  If you're a mom or especially a grandma, you might be a little bit stressed just thinking about all of the work that has to be done during the holidays.  I know that my mother and mother-in-law both spend countless hours in the kitchen, preparing the holiday feast for all of us.  

This year, why not make it easier on yourself and others in charge of cooking by ordering your holiday desserts from Collin Street Bakery?   We have tried the luscious praline pecan cheesecake and were in awe of the exceptional quality and flavor.  A great holiday treat is the Apple Cinnamon Pecan Cake, which is pictured above.  Washington apples are sprinkled with cinnamon and folded into Collin Street Bakery's unique honey batter and THEN topped with delicious, crunchy native Texas pecans and slivered almonds.  It's a special treat that arrives in a keepsake tin and if refrigerated, can stay moist and delicious for months.

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Ten Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

I LOVE pomegranates.  They are, without a doubt, my very favorite fruit.  I long for the pomegranate season and scoop up a few pomegranates whenever I see them in the store.  The boys love them, too, and they're full of yummy goodness!  A few weeks ago, I bought about 72 pomegranates for $30 from Bountiful Baskets and we are still enjoying them.  I've frozen some arils and also collected a few great pomegranate recipes to try!  Take a look and see what you think!  And if you have a great recipe made with pomegranates, let me know in the comments.

If you are looking for tips for picking, storing, and serving pomegrantes, check out this informative post from Frugal Minded Mom.

10 Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

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Real Food and How It Saves You Money

Can Real Food Save You Money?

Does your family eat real food with every meal or are boxed mixes and meals a regular part of your meal table? If you’re spending money on boxed convenience items, you’re not only wasting money, but you’re also probably not feeling the best. Real food, such as fruits, vegetables, fresh eggs and fresh meat on the other hand not only tastes much better, but saves you money over time.

To start, let’s look at the actual savings. A bag of flour, frozen veggies, chicken, soup and some cheese can create around 4 meals alone. You’ll spend around $2.50 for flour, $5 for the chicken, $2 for the vegetables, $1.00 for the soup and $2.50 for the cheese. For just over $10.00 you’ll cook 4 meals meaning that you’ll be paying around $3.25 for one meal.

Catch that word? MEAL. Not per serving.

For a boxed mix, you’ll spend $2.00 on the mix, $3.00 on the hamburger and get one meal. That’s $5.00 for one meal.  $1.75 extra per meal might not seem like a huge amount of money, but over time…it is. That equals out to $12.25 per week, $49.00 per month and $588.00 per year. What would you use it on if you had an extra $588 per year?

If that doesn’t convince you to cook real food, maybe this will:

Boxed meals are packed with chemicals and sodium. Most of them are VERY high in sodium…so high in fact that they can do damage to your body. When you’re not feeling well, you have high bills for medicine and doctors’ visits. Eating real food not only makes you feel better, but it actually keeps you healthier. Lower medical bills will save you money time and time again.

If you’re looking to cut your food bill, consider making the change and eliminating any processed foods in your home. By doing so, you not only save money, but you will feel better, your family will feel better and your wallet and home will be a calmer, happier place.

You can't always eat real food, it's hard, I know.  I strive to cook at home as much as possible, but there is always room for exceptions.  

To help you out, here are a few of my favorite real food recipes:

One Skillet Pork Chops and Orange Vegetables

Coconut Chicken Strips

Queso con Carne without Velveeta!

and for a great substitute in many casseroles:

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Have One Last “Snackation” This Summer!

This snackation post was brought to you by the J.M. Smucker Corporation.  All opinions are mine.

Smucker'sSchool may have started, but Summer isn't over yet!  I am planning a fun "Staycation" for my boys this weekend.  We will have fun games, water fun, and lots of yummy snacks, too! 

Both the Captain and D started public school for the first time today, and as a way to unwind, I am planning something to help us all relax and enjoy each other's company.  It was quite a stressful time starting back to school, so this time is much needed for all of us.  

I went to Walmart to pick up some supplies for our Staycation and what better aisle to shop in than the peanut butter and jelly aisle?  But I was really shocked with how many OPTIONS there are!  I was totally unaware of the Jif Whips until I saw them on the store shelf.  I chose the chocolate peanut butter option and we are going to dip fresh strawberries and apples in it.  

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Reduce Food Waste For The Earth And Your Wallet {Free Food Storage Printables!}

One of my favorite things to do is to go grocery shopping for the week.  I know that sounds crazy, but I really do enjoy it.  (It's even more fun without kids, but, I probably spend less when they tag along….ha!)  It is fun to see the fresh fruits and vegetables that my favorite store has.  We live about 20 minutes away from "my" grocery store, so I do like to stock up for the next week or two, to avoid too many trips to the store.  That means I need to have a game plan and also know how to reduce food waste by eating everything that I buy.

We have been much better about properly storing our food and eating it all up before it goes bad.  Sometimes life happens and we are invited out to eat when I had planned to make dinner, or we get sick, or we decide to go to Grandma's for the night.  I feel better about the food purchases that I make because I do know how to properly store them and how long they will be good in the fridge.  This goes for leftovers, too.  They usually have a short shelf life, but proper storage is key.

#SAVEITSUNDAY #FoodFairyTaleHere is a random food fact for you.  Did you know that Americans throw out an average of 400 lbs of food a year?  That is roughly $1,500 in food…thrown away because it wasn't eaten quickly enough or stored properly before it went bad.  That's a lot of pounds of food that are hauled off to the dump and a lot of money just thrown away.  It kinda makes me sick to think about it.

As Earth month comes to a close, I want to challenge all of us to learn some food storage Protection Pointers from Glad®.  The website has many pointers about how to properly store fruits, vegetables, and other foods so they will last longer and taste better when you do eat them.  

We go through a lot of strawberries around here.  I have started to buy many cartons of them because the boys love them!  Here's the best way to store them:


I think apples is seriously what we waste the most of.  The boys ADORE apples, but cannot usually eat a whole one by themselves.  An apple sounds so delicious but mid way through, they realize they are full and want to save it for later.  You don't know how many times I've come upon an apple that looks like this:

half eaten applesWell, now I know that I should probably take the time to cut up a bunch and let the boys eat what they can so we can waste fewer apples.


I have created these two handy printables for you to download, print, and keep on your fridge to anticipate just how long your foods will stay fresh and delicious.  (Just click on the image and download the PDF.)


Download this free printable to hang on your fridge!

Are you ready for a challenge?  Do you want to reduce food waste and stop throwing away spoiled food?  Check out Glad Protection Pointers and stop letting so much food go to waste.

I've admitted that we throw away way too many apples….what is your most thrown away food?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.


Show Your Creativity And Win Big With Turano Bread!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Turano via The Bloggy Moms Network. Views and opinions are my own.

Turano Bread Contest

My guys all love sandwiches, that's for sure, but sometimes it's good to use a little creativity with your bread.  Turano Baking Company is a 53 year old Chicago staple that has been serving predominantly the midwest. Recipes stem from Mariano Turanowho came to America from Italy in 1962 and began baking bread.  Over the past year, Turano has become a national brand and is now available at all Aldi locations in Texas. To celebrate the launch, Turano has partnered with renowned chefs Brian Luscher (The Grape Restaurant) and Uno Immanivong (Chino Chinatown in Trinity Groves) from Dallas, Texas to create their own #TuranoHack using Pane Turano bread.

Turano Hack Contest

Turano Bread is encouraging "getting creative between the slices" in their fun #TuranoHack contest!


What you have to do to enter:

1.  Visit Aldi to pick up some Pane Turano bread and any additional ingredients you need.

2.  Record a video of you making your own Turano Hack using Pane Turano bread and  additional ingredients from Aldi.

3.  Upload the video to Youtube or other online channel (i.e. Vimeo, Facebook).

4.  Complete the submission form on the Turano contest page by April 30, 2015 to be entered to win.

5.  BONUS: Use #TuranoHack to share your video on your social channels.


What could you win?

Grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize, while all entries have a chance of being featured on Turano’s social channels.


What is the judging criteria?

1.  Appetizing appeal of dish

2.  Originality & creativity in submission

3.   Amount spent on ingredients (The less spent, the better!)

4.  How well you represent Turano hack enthusiasm


Up for the challenge?  Have a great idea for a delicious Turano Hack?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you enter.  I'd love to see your creation!


My Quick and Easy Snack Solution for Busy Moms – With The Perfect Level of Sweetness!

This quick and easy snack shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #teastraightup #CollectiveBias  Enjoy the perfect level of sweetness!

#teastraightup #CollectiveBias

One thing about all mothers is true:  we are busy!  I have found that it does not matter what a mom does, if we have a child, our workload increases dramatically.  Some days are especially busy for me.  We are homeschooling the Captain this year for kindergarten, which some days takes more time than others.  Then there is cooking, cleaning (sometimes….haha,) changing diapers, laundry, kissing boo boos, sports practice, church, shopping, taking kids to the doctor, and much, much more.  My duties as a mom never, ever end.  I would not have it any other way, but some days are so busy, I forget to take care of myself.  Many times I am lucky to remember food and drinks for the boys, that I forget my own afternoon snack.  When we are out the door for whatever errand we have to run, I like having a quick, portable snack and drink to grab in a hurry.  

I have perfected my recipe for the crunchiest almonds ever.  I grab a handful of crunchy almonds on the way out of the house and I am good to go.  They offer a great, satisfying snack and protein.  I also like to keep some Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea in the fridge for a refreshing drink, too.  I love the real brewed tea taste of Straight Up Tea and that it has the perfect level of sweetness that I can enjoy anytime.  Depending on your mood or taste, it is available in three levels of sweetness in an 18.5 oz plastic bottle so you can pick your sweet spot!  The size is perfect for sharing with littles because, for some reason, that is what always happens in my house.  

#teastraightup #CollectiveBiasRoasted almonds are easy to make and keep for quite a while in the pantry.  I keep mine in a lidded jar and they last a couple of months.  They're delicious by themselves or with no bake mini cheesecake, as a crust or topping!#teastraightup #CollectiveBiasIngredients:

  • raw almonds
  • water
  • salt


  1. Soak your almonds.  (Not only is this the secret to maximizing crunch, it helps to neutralize phytic acid and encourage good enzymes so the almonds are more digestible, along with a lot of other benefits!)  To properly soak your almonds, put the almonds (however many you like!) in a glass bowl and cover them with warm water and a teaspoon of salt dissolved in it.  The almonds will swell, so make sure you have a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part almonds.
  2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave bowl on cabinet for 8-12 hours.  Check every few hours to make sure you have enough water.
  3. Throw out any nuts that float to the top because these are likely no good.
  4. Rinse, rinse, rinse.  Rinse the nuts after 8-12 hours until the water runs clear.
  5. Dry on a towel.
  6. Spread almonds on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and cook in the oven on 250° for 2 hours or longer.  Check every 30 minutes or so, stir and put back in the oven.  After 2 hours, take one almond out and let cool.  Check to see if the almonds are crunchy or still a little chewy and replace for as long as needed.  (Alternatively, you can speed up the process and cook for 30-45 minutes at 325°, but I have found that they're easy to burn that way and aren't as delicious.)  

#teastraightup #CollectiveBiasMaking these crunchy almonds is easy, but not nearly as easy as stocking up on Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea!  I found all three delicious varieties – Sweet, Unsweetened, and Sorta Sweet – in the beverage aisle at Walmart:
#teastraightup #CollectiveBias

See more reasons to love Snapple® Straight Up Tea on the Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea social hub where you can also confirm the product is available at your local Walmart and download a coupon to save on your Snapple® Straight Up Tea purchase!  It 


Moms – what is your go to snack for busy days?