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?

Asian Lettuce Wraps (And Keeping the Leftovers Fresher, Longer!)


Asian Lettuce Wraps

I have been cooking new things lately that are both healthier and different, to add variety to our meals and keep things exciting.  Since we homeschool and Daddy comes home for lunch, I am cooking a lot.  It's great but very challenging, at times, to fix different things for the family that we will all enjoy.  I decided to make Asian Lettuce Wraps one day, and everyone liked them.  Well, the boys wouldn't actually put the mixture in the lettuce, but I still call it a win.  Plus, the leftovers were super easy to store and reheat the next day.


  • one head of lettuce (I prefer Boston or Bibb)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup organic Tamari soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 TBSP organic cornstarch
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced


  1. Heat 2 TBSP oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and cook ground turkey until cooked fully.
  2. While meat is cooking, rinse and separate the head of lettuce.  Lay leaves out onto a towel to dry.
  3. In a bowl, mix broth, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch.  Set aside.
  4. When meat has finished cooking, remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add 1 TBSP oil to the pan and cook carrots for about 3 minutes, then add in the ginger, garlic, and zucchini.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes until done to your liking.
  6. Return the meat to the pan with the vegetables and add in the broth, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch mixture.  Stir well.
  7. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  8. Remove from heat and serve mixture in lettuce leaves.  Roll up and enjoy!  (You can dip wraps in soy sauce or any other delicious sauce to jazz them up a bit!

And the best part is that the leftovers can quickly be put in GladWare® and put in the fridge for the next day.  I put the lettuce in one container and the meat mixture in another.  Perfect!  And, a Protection Pointer from Glad:  "Add a lightly dampened paper towel in with the lettuce to keep it crisp."  For more Protection Pointers for all different types of foods, visit the Glad website.

Gladstoring lettuce in fridgeSince the beginning of the New Year, I have been trying to first of all, make sure all of our food is stored appropriately so it will last longer, and secondly, remembering to serve leftovers so no food goes to waste.  I love that the GladWare is pretty and colorful so it doesn't sit, unnoticed in the fridge. 

Asian Lettuce Wraps

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


Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

This casseroles post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

winter casseroles

Check out Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

by Gena at

Casseroles are not just for church potlucks anymore!  I love casseroles because they can be a great side dish or a whole meal rolled into one.  Casseroles are also great for hiding vegetables in a delicious dish, using leftovers, or for busy week night dinners.  They usually can be prepared ahead of time and sometimes frozen for future meals.  There is no limit to what you can make a casserole out of!  I try to use real food ingredients so the casserole is not just a big dish of junk.  For instance, I try to use homemade cream of mushroom soup if the recipe calls for it, which is pretty simple to make and keep on hand.  Any of these casseroles would look elegant served in a beautiful casserole dish.

I have collected nineteen delicious, hearty casseroles that are great for serving on cold winter nights!  Pick one or pick them all and enjoy!  Add them to a Foodie recipe collection of your own and get a head start on the week's meal planning.


Light & Delicious New Year’s Eve Snacks

New Year's Eve Snacks

The last two months have been a whirlwind of traveling, celebrating, shopping, and EATING!  Before the boys' birthday party, I was on a "healthy eating plan" and had lost some weight, but with the tempting foods of the season, it was very hard to practice healthy eating and moderation.  While I think we did a good job, there was definitely some unhealthy eating going on.  I kept that in mind when creating this collection of snacks for our annual New Year's Eve party.  Let's be honest….we will eat whatever is available on nights like this, so why not have healthy options available?  Sometimes I eat just to stay awake, so it's better to eat real food than some of the other NYE traditions.  All of these recipes are easy to pack up and transport to your New Year's Eve party, too!  

Finger Foods

Healthy Popcorn – Musings of a Modern Hippie

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans – This West Coast Mommy

Quick & Easy Mini Bruschetta – Three Different Directions

No Bake Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites – Grace and Good Eats (pictured)

Eggplant French Bread Pizza -Simmworks Family Blog

Veggie Pizza Appetizer – Simmworks Family Blog

Candied Nuts – Turning the Clock Back

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars – This West Coast Mommy

Homemade Potato Chips – Thrifty Jinxy

Chicken & Tomato Meatballs – Thrifty Jinxy

Kale Chips – Ann's Entitled Life

Matbucha – Ann's Entitled Life

Oven Roasted Parmesan Green Beans – Ann's Entitled Life

Lemon-Herb Deviled Eggs – Brittany's Pantry (pictured)

Three-Ingredient Tomato, Broccoli, Cream Cheese Bites – Couponing for Freebies

Apple and Cheese Quesadillas – The Thrifty Couple (pictured)

Watermelon Lime Party Bites – Driftwood Gardens

Fruit Cups – See Mom Click (pictured)

Apple Bacon Arugula Bites – Thrifty  Northwest Mom

Panko Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Chocolate Candy

Dips, Spreads, and Salsas:

Avocado and Greek Yogurt Dip – Turning the Clock Back

Easy Creamy Onion Dip – Thrifty Jinxy

Black Eyed Pea Hummus - Mama Likes To Cook (pictured)

Sweet Pepper Cream Cheese Dip – Mama Likes To Cook

Dragon Fruit Salsa – Mama Likes To Cook (pictured)

Easy Veggie Spread – Brittany's Panty (pictured)

Black Bean Salsa – Brittany's Pantry (pictured)

Watermelon Pico de Gallo – The Thrifty Couple

Cowboy Caviar – Housewives of Frederick County

Fresh and Easy Homemade Guacamole – See Mom Click

Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus – Two Healthy Kitchens

Peanut Butter Silk Pie Dip – Two Healthy Kitchens

Italian Cannelini Hummus – Two Healthy Kitchens

Queso con Carne without Velveeta

Tomatillo Salsa

Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip


Mango Shrimp Ceviche – Confessions of an Overworked Mom (pictured)

New Year's Eve Snacks

If you happen to attend a party that is well supplied with New Year's Eve snacks, make sure to pack yours in Glad® food protection.  Glad® MatchWare is great for stacking in a reusable shopping bag, easily setting up at a party, and then just popping the lid back on and bringing back home.  Then, you can limit the number of dishes and nothing goes to waste.  Wake up late on New Year's Day (if you're so lucky!) and snack on your party leftovers for a mid morning brunch.  Nothing beats that!

Near Year's Eve snacks

Visit the Glad website to enter the Food Fairy Tale sweepstakes. You could win a $2,500 grand prize by sharing your Food Fairy Tale! 


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

Find Just What You’re Craving with Twinings of London Teas {free sample, too!}

This post was brought to you by Twinings of London tea.  All opinions are mine.

TwiningsTea is a much loved part of the day for many adults.  A hot cup of tea can provide comfort, peace, and warmth on a cold winter morning.  A tall glass of iced tea is perfect for a hot summer day, as well.  Growing up, I was only aware of tea in the sweet iced tea version.  As an adult, my tastes have expanded and I love trying new flavors and types of teas.  While I am a creature of habit and tend to stick with something I like, I also love the ability to sample and try new flavors from time to time.

Twinings of London is a tea lover's dream.  With over 50 types and flavors of teas, there are many options to choose from/  Use their Tea Explorer to discover the perfect tea that you are looking for.  

TwiningsWhile I mentioned I am a creature of habit, I love being given different flavors of teas that I wouldn't have ordinarily tried.  I have discovered some of my very favorite blends by receiving them as a gift.  Who knew that I would love Green Pomegranate, Raspberry, & Strawberry tea?  

TwiningsAnother personal favorite is all things Chai.  French Vanilla Chai, Pumpkin Spice, Chai, Apple Spiced Chai, or regular, it is such a delicious blend of black tea and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger to create a fresh, spicy taste.  I like mine sweetened and cold, too.


Twinings of London takes tea making seriously.  They have been in the tea business since 1706.  That's over 300 years of crafting fine teas that people love.  One interesting fact – there are nine "master blenders" that travel the world to find only the best teas, spices, herbs, and fruit infusions available.  What a job, right?!  Twinings teas are sourced and custom-blended to provide the perfect balance of tea taste, flavor, and aroma.  Varieties include green, black, and herbal, Organic & fair-trade certified teas, cold brewed teas, and K-Cup packs.  

Twinings of London has quickly become a well loved tea of mine.  Depending on my mood and cravings, there is a tea to satisfy!  I encourage you to take advantage of their "Raid The Pantry" offer to try for yourself!  Twinings is offering readers a chance to Raid the Pantry and sample three flavors of tea.  Visit the Twinings website and choose the three samples you would love to try!  Also check out their special Member Rewards, Tea of the Month Club, Tea Mail, and Auto Delivery options.  

Stock Up on Fig Bars for the Holidays!

This post was created in partnership with Nature's Bakery fig bars. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Nature's Bakery fig barsThe holiday season can be stressful and chaotic, and our good eating habits tend to go out the window for a few weeks (months?)  This year, I decided to have healthier snack foods on hand for our family and I have been proven time and time again how smart this was!

Running errands with the kids?  Don't stop for fast food, grab a Nature's Bakery fig bar.  Wrapping gifts and don't want to stop?  Fig bars.  Watching a Christmas program and need to dig a delicious but healthy snack out of your bag?  Fig bars!  Every time one of us gets hungry, instead of grabbing something unhealthy, I get a Nature's Bakery fig bar.  All three of the boys (ages 6, 4, and 1) LOVE fig bars.  Their favorite flavors are blueberry and strawberry, but all six of the delicious flavors are satisfying, healthy, non-GMO, and trans fat free.  Other flavors include: apple cinnamon, raspberry, peach apricot, lemon, mango, and fig.  Yum!  Each package contains two mini fig bars, which are the perfect size for little hands.  The sticky center can be a little messy, but when something tastes so good, it's hard to make much of a mess.  
Nature's Bakery Fig BarsNon-GMO ingredients include:  stone ground whole wheat flour, dried cane syrup, brown rice syrup, fig paste, canola oil, rolled oats, oat fiber, ammonia-free caramel color, sea salt, citric acid, natural flavors, baking soda, and more, depending on the flavor.  (The blueberry fig bar is colored with red cabbage extract!)

Nature's Bakery Fig Bars stocking

Join Nature's Bakery Fig Bar Fanatics Program and enter to win a box of fig bars for yourself in the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers – Perfect for Holiday Parties!

This appetizers post has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

Check out 21 Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers

by Gena at

Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers

The holidays are officially here!  It seems unreal that next week is Thanksgiving, but it's true!  It is definitely one of my favorite holidays because well….the food is delicious!  I am looking forward to the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and all the other delicious sides, but also the yummy appetizers to eat before the big meal.

 I have collected 21 fun, festive, flavorful appetizers on Foodie and all would be perfect for snacking while the turkey cooks or those Christmas parties that will be happening soon.  Take a look and pick a few favorites before you head to the grocery store.  These recipes are sure to wow your crowd!

What are you serving this year?

Prepare New, Quick Lunches For The Family with Jimmy Dean {$50 Walmart giveaway, too!}

This quick lunches post has been brought to you by Jimmy Dean®. All opinions are mine.

I am so lucky to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and we are even luckier to be able to have lunch with Daddy most days because he works close to home. The thing I do not like, however, is finding something for all of us to eat at lunchtime. We usually do our homeschool in the morning, along with chores and sometimes errands, and a nap for Baby Brother squeezed in somewhere, as well. Preparing a variety of quick lunches with flavor is tricky! Thankfully, Hubby and the boys love sandwiches, but cold lunch meat sandwiches every day get old pretty fast.

Today I got creative with the Pulled Pork with Potatoes Bowl from Jimmy Dean®‚Äč and surprised everyone with hot pulled pork sandwiches. They were a big hit! I also made Hickory smoked turkey breast sandwiches, which Hubby requested we have again after I made them for dinner a few weeks ago. The NEW Jimmy Dean® and Jimmy Dean Delights® frozen lunch and dinner entrées are filling, delicious, and priced right.

I found a lot of great inspiration on the Jimmy Dean Pinterest page, and I have created my own #ShineAnytime Pinterest board to pin all of the great lunch and dinner options for these new Jimmy Dean products, found at Walmart in the frozen entrée section. I was hoping that our Walmart had more of the sandwiches to keep on hand for lunches, but I will have to check out some more Walmart stores to stock up.

If you are concerned about calories, have no fear. The Jimmy Dean Delights look equally as delicious. You get TWO yummy snack sized smoked ham and cheddar sandwiches on pretzel buns for only 290 calories. There are also barbecue options like the Delights pulled chicken sandwich and chipotle pulled pork sandwich for 300 calories for two snack sized sandwiches. I cannot wait to try the Jimmy Dean Delights Golden Roasted Turkey Bowl with potatoes, carrots, and celery for 210 calories. Check out the other Delights Beyond Breakfast choices from Jimmy Dean.


Follow Jimmy Dean on social media:


Do you want to stock up on Jimmy Dean frozen entrees and other ingredients that will wow your family? Enter to win a $50 Walmart gift card below!

$50 Walmart gift card giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart: Jimmy Dean . The opinions and text are all mine.


In A Hurry For Dinner? Can Frozen Foods Be Delicious?

This frozen foods post has been brought to you by Jimmy Dean®. All opinions are mine.

How often do you have nights where dinner falls through, you come home late from work and your family needs to be somewhere in ten minutes, or when you just have hungry little (and big!) people to feed and nothing to serve? As much as I plan, those days happen to everyone, I am sure. I used to think that nothing that tastes good could come from the freezer section. Of course there is always frozen pizza, but that gets old and sometimes we just are not in the mood for pizza.

Last night was one of those nights. We had been running errands all day, the younger boys had a late nap, and it was already 4:30 when I got to thinking about dinner. (We eat at 5 here!) I went to the freezer and saw some frozen chicken breasts and frozen hamburger meat, but there were also some Jimmy Dean® frozen lunch or dinner entrées that I had picked up at Walmart for nights just like this. I felt a huge sense of relief because I know that my family would love these meals. (You can find these in the frozen meal section at Walmart.)

We have always loved Jimmy Dean sausage. I make delicious sausage balls for appetizers and it is always the New Year's Eve party staple. Jimmy Dean's breakfast sandwiches are delicious, too, and Jimmy Dean® frozen entrées are no different? They're hearty and delicious, as you would expect from the Jimmy Dean brand. I knew that my family would love the Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese because well, who doesn't like Mac & Cheese? I also picked up the Grilled Steak with potatoes and bell peppers and a Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast sandwich because the men in my family are sandwich fanatics!

The Jimmy Dean frozen entrees were a huge hit! They tasted fresh and delicious. It was so, so nice to grab these out of the fridge, warm them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and serve them to my family. They don't taste like a frozen meal, or at least like no frozen meal that I have had.

The all-around favorite was the Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese, just as I suspected! Before cooking the bowl, I could see the chunks of cheese that melted and made this meal exceptional. And ……..bacon. Need I say more?

This mac and cheese is more than your average mac and cheese. For starters, this bowl has 23 grams of protein! Imagine being able to cook a hot bowl of mac and cheese with that much protein in less than the amount of time you would spend making a box of mac and cheese. The Bacon Mac & Cheese tasted like gourmet mac & cheese. Real ingredients, real flavor, and so good!

I plan to purchase more of these frozen meals and sandwiches the next time I am at Walmart. They're filling, priced right, and perfect for chaotic nights when all we really want is a quick, hearty meal. Check out the other available options from Jimmy Dean that go beyond breakfast.

Follow Jimmy Dean on social media:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart: Jimmy Dean . The opinions and text are all mine.