Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wholesome Wednesday: Swirly Jell-O Cookies+My Family's Sugar Cookie Recipe

Today's recipe is something I've been making for many, many years.  My mom has been making this sugar cookie recipe since before I was born.  Both turn out excellent every single time.  They are so easy to make, you don't even need a kitchen-aid or a mixer.  Just a bowl and a spoon.  :)

My Jell-O cookie recipe is healthier than the ones I've seen lately online.  It calls for a lot less butter and sugar while you still get amazing color and flavor.  And if you want to make the color truly pop, just add some gel food coloring.

This recipe is a little different in that I've rolled the sugar cookie and Jell-O doughs together to create beautiful bright swirled cookies.  They're absolutely gorgeous and even though the Jell-O dough is mixed with sugar cookie dough it doesn't detract from their flavor.  You can use any flavor of Jell-O in these cookies and even sugar free Jell-O if you want.  I've used my faves which are strawberry and berry blue.  I hope your family loves this recipe as much as we do.

This recipe originally came from Betty Crocker's 110 Cookie Recipes published in August, 1990.  It was also called Crisp Pastel Cookies probably due to the fact that Jell-O is a brand name.  We've always called them Jell-O cookies though.  :)

The only thing I've changed is to halve the recipe and add a 3 ounce package of Jell-O to each half to increase the color and flavor in the dough.

Jell-O Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 package (3 ounces) any fruit-flavored gelatin
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat oven to 400 degrees (for swirl cookies 375).  Mix sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla, eggs and gelatin (dry).  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

Use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough out on to trays.  Place 3 inches apart on the ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Christmas Cookie Cut-ups

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, either room temp or cold
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl, except the sugar.  Cut butter into this mixture with a pastry cutter until it resembles fine meal.  Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla until well blended.  Add to flour mixture and stir until dough forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm.  Roll out on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

Swirl Cookies
1 recipe Jell-O cookies, chilled
1 recipe Christmas Cookie Cut-ups, chilled

Roll out doughs one at a time between 2 pieces of waxed paper.  I rolled mine 8x11 inches and about 1/4 inch thick.  Place doughs in freezer for at least 30 minutes or until cold enough to remove waxed paper without dough sticking.  Set Jell-O dough on top of sugar cookie dough and start rolling up the dough on the longest side.  Continue to roll tightly, fixing any tears in the sugar cookie dough while rolling.  Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and place back in freezer for at least 30 minutes or until cold enough to slice without warping rolls.

Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and place on baking racks 12 to a rack and bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Glee Gum Giveaway

Do I have something special to share with you!!  Glee Gum contacted me recently about trying out some of their gum and they also offered to give some away to my readers!  While I'm not as big of a gum chewer as I used to be when younger, I was still excited to try Glee Gum.  They sent all this gum to try.  I especially loved the classic bubblegum flavor.  I love that it stays super soft while chewing as other gums do not.  

So it was a win/win for me to host the giveaway especially since Glee Gum is all-natural, gluten-free with no artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners or preservatives.  Glee Gum is the only gum in North America made with chicle.  Chicle is a natural tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforests of Central America.  All gum used to be made with chicle, but today most of those other gums are made from artificial things.  I love that Glee Gum uses chicle because its an Eco-friendly way to help conserve the rainforest.  The chicle is also what gives Glee Gum such great, long-lasting chew.  Even the packaging is made from biodegradable, recycled cardboard.  This makes it a no-brainer choice to chew.  I love things that are all natural and great for the environment.

Make sure to check out the store locator, Glee Gum is available at Cost Plus World Markets and Whole Foods. 

In this giveaway, you have a 3 chances to win!!  Three, yes I said THREE readers will win 3 packs of Glee Gum in their flavor choice and a coupon to use on a future purchase.  Just use the rafflecopter form below to enter!  Contest runs from May 25th-June 5th, open to US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 *Glee Gum sent me these products to review and giveaway.  All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wholesome Wednesday: Lasagna Casserole

About a year ago, I found a recipe on Money Saving Mom that looked good.  I love casseroles and anything Italian.  And I really love this recipe although I have changed a few things to make it more to my taste.  I needed a little more of an Italian taste, so I added some garlic and spices.  Also the Touch of Philly shredded mozzarella gives everything a creaminess that is just amazing.  And I always add veggies of some sort to my lasagna and adding either kale or spinach is a great way to almost hide them from kids or other family members.

Lasagna Casserole
1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
8 oz. veggie rotini or whole wheat rotini
1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
dried oregano and basil to taste (I typically crumble in a palm full)
1 15 oz. can of Italian spiced diced tomatoes
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
8 oz. touch of Philly mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
2 1/2 oz. kale or spinach

Brown ground beef until cooked through, draining if needed.  While meat is cooking, boil noodles according to package directions.

Add garlic to meat mixture, cook till fragrant about 30 seconds.  Add spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano and basil.  Allow to come to boil, turn down to simmer and then slowly add kale/spinach until wilted.  Set 1/2 cup of mozzarella aside to sprinkle on top of casserole.  Combine the rest of the mozzarella, cottage/ricotta cheese, beaten eggs and salt and pepper.

Layer a third of the meat sauce on the bottom of a greased 9x13 casserole dish, then 1/2 of the noodles, then 1/2 of the cheese mixture.  Repeat ending with a topping of meat sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (until bubbly).  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 6.

If you can't wait 10 minutes, as we frequently can't casserole will be a little juicy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tomato Poached Eggs

At my house we've always been fairly healthy when it comes to food, but lately we've also been trying to push more fruits and veggies along with protein.  I know I already posted a recipe from the Drop 10 Diet, but this is pretty great too.  Incredibly filling too.  But it did make me want to take a nap after lunch because I was so incredibly full and warm.  :)

Tomato Poached Eggs
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 finely chopped garlic clove
2 cups spinach/kale
2 cups low sodium tomato sauce
2 eggs
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Saute mushrooms and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil, till juices mostly evaporate.  Stir in spinach/kale; add tomato sauce.  When sauce heats and bubbles slightly, add eggs and cover.  Poach eggs until cooked, about 5 minutes.  (Mine took about 8 minutes)  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Serve with a slice of whole wheat bread.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tropical Traditions Giveaway Winner!!

We have a winner in the Tropical Traditions Giveaway!!  Susan C.!!  Be on the lookout for an email from


Sundays at Tiffany's By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Honestly, the book far outweighs the movie in amounts of happiness distributed.  There is   more of everything including plot, humor, and heart in the book.  A read it till the end and find it's past one in the morning.  It was worth the dark circles.  A delight of a read with a pace that ambles by like an old friend.  

I  admit that I caught the movie version first.  Not typical of me, since the book version is always better.  Movies are great but you don't get the same feeling for the characters and in this case you get a weaker story on screen.  The movie version is certainly a feel good romantic comedy.  Yet, it lacks a few things from the book like the fact that the imaginary friend is an adult from the start.  I suppose someone down the line thought it would be less weird/potentially creepy that way.  

Truly though, it works.  I mean it's not as if we're introduced to perverts here.  Imaginary friends are not creepy no matter their age or gender or species.  They fall under that category of magical helpers who basically can do anything they like and still be certified as normal.  They key is the sincerity.  If they weren't truly out to help their kid(s), then it would be unwanted attention or harassment.

Basically, Jane has an imaginary friend that has to leave her when she turns nine.  It's one of the rules.  Except that Jane is supposed to forget all about Michael so it doesn't hurt.  She remembers him and he ends up seeing her as an adult.  The story winds around why Jane and Michael are meeting for a second time which has never happened to any imaginary friend.

The magic is the best part in my opinion.  Magic is best left alone and it is.  Michael can just snap his fingers and things happen.  He doesn't know why and can't explain it.  Jane asks about it but there are no answers.  The point isn't in the magic because it's all about Michael and Jane.  

So, if you're looking for a love story without exaggerated drama and with a touch of magic, then this might be the perfect book for your next gloomy day.  Not all stories have this much warmth without the cheese.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wholesome Wednesday: Nutty Blueberry Smoothies

I'm sure you read about how the amazing cake I'm working on isn't quite right yet.  Tastes great, but looks like a pile of goo.  So needs some changes.  I'm thinking more cake and possibly some whipped cream instead of custard to give it more form.

Since the cake didn't progress the way I thought it would, we still need a recipe for this morning.  I've got Nutty Blueberry Smoothies or strawberry for those people who don't like blueberries.  It's a really simple recipe and I had everything on hand.

Nutty Blueberry Smoothies
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon Earth BalanceAlmond Butter
1 tablespoon Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
6 oz. low fat greek or regular yogurt ( I used vanilla in the blueberry and strawberry in the strawberry)
1/2 c skim milk

Put all in blender and blend till smooth.  See easy peasy.  Just the way I like recipes to go.  If you decide to go the strawberry route, just use a cup of strawberries.

Now you're probably wondering why I've specifically linked those ingredients in the recipe.  Later in the week you're going to see reviews of those products because each company has graciously offered to give some away.  So stay tuned if you've been wanting to try out Hemp Hearts or Earth Balance products.  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tomorrow will be late :(

So tomorrow's Wholesome Wednesday post will be a bit later.  And won't be the awesome dish I promised yet....well because the recipe needs more work.  It tastes great.  Like a strawberry lime margarita, but looks like a pile of goo.  Either that or I didn't chill it enough.  Which is a distinct possibility because I'm incredibly impatient.  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Couple More Mariano's Deals!

I was just at Mariano's in Arlington Heights, and they have organic fuji apples for $.69 lb!!

And Roundy's whole chickens for $.99 lb.

Both really awesome deals.  And they're getting more organicgirl salads tomorrow because I think there were about 8 on the shelf tonight. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mariano's Fresh Market Match-ups May 10 - May 23

Here are the best deals May 10 - May 23, 2012

Double Daze

Every Wednesday you can save 100% more on manufacturers’ coupons.  The manufacturer gives you a deal, and we double it.  Redeem up to 5 manufacturers' coupons worth up to $1 each and spend a minimum $25 in a single transaction, and we make those 5 coupons worth $10. That’s 100% more savings.

Mariano's Fresh Market Coupon Policy

Best Deals
Organicgirl Salads 5 oz. $2.99 Print $2 here (exp. 5/21)
            Amazing Price for organic salad $.99
 Vidalia Sweet Onions $.69 lb Print $.50 off 5 lbs here
            Final Price $2.95 for 5 lbs Vidalias
Florida Crystals Sugar 32 oz. $2.79 3/11 RP, Print $.65 here
            Final Price as low as $1.29 during Double Daze
Barilla Pasta 12-16 oz. $.99 4/22 SS
            Final Price as low as $.24 per box during Double Daze
Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce 8.5 oz. $2.29 Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $.29 during Double Daze
Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple Large 4.5 lb ea $2.49
Strawberries 1 lb $1.78
Organic Strawberries 1 lb $2.99
Red Bell Peppers $1.49 lb
Microwavable Artichokes 2 ct. $3.99
Jumbo Hass Avocados $1.09 ea
Green Asparagus $1.99 lb
On the Vine Cluster Tomatoes $.99 lb
Organicgirl Salads 5 oz. $2.99 Print $2 here (exp. 5/21)
            Amazing Price for organic salad $.99
Roundy’s Baby-Cut Carrots 1 lb $.89
Vidalia Sweet Onions $.69 lb Print $.50 off 5 lbs here
            Final Price $2.95 for 5 lbs Vidalias
Seedless Lemons 1 lb $1.99
Rambutan $7.99 lb
Papaya $2.79 ea
Young Coconuts $1.99 ea
Cherimoya $3.99 ea
All Natural Fresh Pork Baby Back Ribs $3.99 lb
USDA Choice Strauss Lamb Loin Chops $7.99 lb
Fresh Lake Superior Whitefish Fillets $6.99 lb
Fresh Store Made Beef or Chicken Kabobs $4.99 lb
Perdue All-Natural Whole Bone-In Turkey Breast $2.69 lb
93% Supreme Lean Ground Beef 3 lb pkg. $3.99 lb
USDA Choice Black Angus Beef Boneless Ribeye Steak $8.99 lb
Fresh Marinated Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $2.99 lb
Old Fashioned Applewood Thick Sliced Bacon $3.99 lb
Fresh Hawaiian Marlin Steak $19.99 lb
Fully Cooked Jumbo Snow Crab Clusters $8.99 lb
Mariano’s Market Fresh Steamed and Flavored Shrimp 26/30 ct. $13.99 lb
Fresh Live Cherrystone Clams 3/$1.98
Jalapeno Crab Salad $4.99 lb
Vita Classic Smoked Salmon 4 oz. $6.99
Dietz & Watson Black Forest Ham $6.99 lb
Volpi Prosciutto $7.99 lb
Sara Lee Honey Turkey Breast $5.99 lb
Colby or Colby Jack Cheese $4.99 lb
Albacore Tuna Salad $9.99 lb
Broccoli Cheese Salad $5.99 lb
Steakhouse Potato Salad $2.99 lb
Napoletan Style Pizzas $4.99 ea
Grilled Italian Chicken Breast 2/$5
Vero Gelato 6 oz. $1.99 ea
Tea Pot Cake $22
Tea Cup Cake $8
Mother’s Day Bonnet Cake $10
Chop Block Bread $3.45 ea
All Butter Gourmet Cookies 6 ct. $3.75
Sweet Onion Rolls 8 ct. $2.75
Pinna Imported Pecorino Romano Cheese $4.99 lb
Saint Andre 75% Triple Cream Cheese $14.99 lb
Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese $19.99 lb
Carr Valley Menage $12.99 lb
English Huntsmen Cheese $14.99 lb
Prairie Breeze Cheese $10.99 lb
Roundy’s Select
Coffee 10-12 oz. $5.99
Tea 20 ct. $1.49
Dressing 12 oz. $2.49
Root Beer 4 pk. $2.49
Appetizers Selected 8-10 oz. $2.99
Orange Blossom or Raw Honey Spread 8 oz. $2.79
Salsa 16 oz. $2.49
Natural and Organic
Cascadian Farm Cereal or Bars 9-17 oz. or 5-8 ct. $2.69
Pam Organic Cooking Spray 5 oz. $2.99
Blue Diamond Baked Chips 4.25 oz. $2.49
Pamela’s Whenever Bars or Cookies 7-7.25 oz. $2.99
Florida Crystals Sugar 32 oz. $2.79 3/11 RP, Print $.65 here
            Final Price as low as $1.29 during Double Daze
Roundy’s Vegetarian or Omega 3 Eggs 1 doz. 2/$4
Barilla Pasta 12-16 oz. $.99 4/22 SS
            Final Price as low as $.24 per box during Double Daze
Dunkin’ Donuts Bagged Coffee 11-12 oz. $5.99 4/1 RP
            Final Price as low as $3.99 during Double Daze
Brownberry Wide Pan Bread 24 oz. $2.39
Glaceau 20 oz. Vitaminwater or 23.7 oz. Smartwater $.89
Doritos, Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips or Rold Gold Pretzels 8.5-16 oz. $2.49
Old Orchard Juice 64 oz. $1.99 Print various coupons here
Chicken of the Sea Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water 5 oz. $.99
Roundy’s Purified Water 35 pk. $3.49
Kashi Cereal 7.5-17.5 oz. $2.99 Print $2/2 here (30 pts)
            Final Price $1.99 wyb 2
Fiji Water 6 pk. .5 ltr. $5.49
A Taste of Thai Quick Meals 4-5.75 oz. $2.99
La Preferida Spanish Rice 5.25 oz. $1.39
Gianotti Pasta Sauce 26 oz. $3.99
Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce 8.5 oz. $2.29 Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $.29 during Double Daze
Herdez Salsa 16 oz. $1.89
Tropicana Trop50 Juice or Tea 59 oz. $2.99
Helluva Good Dips 12 oz. $1.79
Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt 5.3-6 oz. $.99 Print $.50/2
            Final Price as low as $.49 wyb 2 during Double Daze
Roundy’s Cream Cheese 8 oz. $1.49
Sargento Shredded Cheese 16 oz. $3.99
Roundy’s Cheese Cubes 8 oz. $1.99
Roundy’s Sour Cream or French Onion Dip 16 oz. $.99
Organic Valley Omega-3 Milk 64 oz. $2.99
Imperial Spread 16 oz. $.89
Silk PureAlmond 64 oz. $2.49 Print $.75 here
            Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze
Lifeway Low Fat Kefir Cultured Milk 32 oz. $2.99 Print here
Pillsbury Cookies or Pie Crust 2-24 pk. $2.49 4/1 SS
            Final Price varies
Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter 8 oz. $2.69
Lia Marie Garlic Spread 12-14 oz. $2.99 Print $1 here (zip 63115)
            Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze
Kashi Steam Meals or Entrees 9-10 oz. $2.49 Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $.49 during Double Daze
Palermo’s Primo Thin Crust or Hand Tossed Pizza 13.46-23.5 oz. $4.69 3/25 SS, Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $2.69 during Double Daze
Birds Eye Voila! Meals 21-23 oz. $3.99 Print $1 here, Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $1.99 during Double Daze
Home Run Inn Pizza 16-20.75 oz. $4.49
Eggo Waffles or Pancakes 8-12 ct. $1.69
Gardein Protein Meat Alternatives 9-10.5 oz. $1.99 Print $1 here
            Final Price $.99
Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers w/o Sauce 12 oz. $1.19
T.G.I. Friday’s Single Serve Entrees 12 oz. $1.99
Totino’s Party Pizza 7.5-10.9 oz. $1.09 2/26 SS
            Final Price as low as $.69 wyb 5 during Double Daze
Talenti Gelato 16 oz. $1.99 Print $.55 here
            Final Price as low as $.89 during Double Daze
Boca Meat Alternatives 4 ct or 10-12 oz. $2.49
Clemmy’s Ice Cream or Bars 1 pt. or 4 ct. $2.49 Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $.49 during Double Daze
Roundy’s Ice Cream 48 oz. $2.48
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches, Bars or Cones 15.9-24 oz. $3.99
Nature’s Bounty, Disney, Marvel or Ester-C Vitamins or Supplements B1G1
Aquafresh4.6-6.4 oz Toothpaste or 1 ct. Children’s Toothbrush $2 5/6 RP
            Final Price FREE during Double Daze
Sensodyne 4 oz. Toothpaste or 2.2-2.4 oz. or 40 ct. Poligrip Adhesives $4.50 5/6 RP, Print coupons here
            Final Price as low as $2.50 during Double Daze
Ensure Regular 6 ct. $7.99 4/1 SS, Print $1.50 here
            Final Price as low as $6.49 during Double Daze
Slim-Fast Meal Bars or Shakes 4-5 ct. $4.98 Limit 4 Print $1 here, Print $1 here
            Final Price as low as $2.98 during Double Daze
Organix Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Products 3.3-13 oz. $2.98 Limit 4
Dial 8 pk. Bar Soap $3.98 Limit 4 Print $2/2 here
            Final Price $2.98 wyb 2
Colgate 6.4 oz. Toothpaste or Colgate Plus 1 ct. Toothbrush B1G1 Limit 4 4/29 SS, 5/13 SS
            Final Price varies
Bayer 100 ct. or 120 ct. Genuine Aspirin $3.98 Limit 4 3/18 SS, 4/29 RP, 5/13 SS
            Final Price as low as $1.98 during Double Daze
Huggies Jumbo Diapers, Slip-ons, Pull-ups or GoodNites 12-50 ct. $8.98 Limit 1 4/15 SS
            Final Price $6.98
Enfamil Premium Powdered Baby Formula 22.2-23.4 oz. $22.99
Crest Tartar Protection, Cavity Protection or Whitening Toothpaste 8.2 oz. $1.88 Limit 1 4/29 PG
            Final Price $1.53
Depend or Poise Adult Disposable Undergarments 10-72 ct. $10.98 Limit 1 4/15 SS, Print $2 here
            Final Price $8.98
Organic Favorites
Organic Raspberries or Blueberries 6 oz. $2.99
Fresh 100% USDA Organic Ground Beef 16 oz. $4.99 ea
Applegate Organic Sliced Lunchmeat 4-6 oz. $4.99
Garden of Eatin’ Party Size Tortilla Chips 16 oz. $4.99 Print $1/2 here
            Final Price as low as $3.99 each during Double Daze
Julie’s Organic Frozen Desserts 3-4 ct. $3.49
Roundy’s Organics Milk 64 oz. 2/$5

Friday, May 11, 2012

OMG $2 Q for Organicgirl Salad!

I've been working on the matchups for Mariano's and this morning when checking facebook, I saw that organicgirl posted a coupon for $2 off any product!  And that's amazing because their salads are $2.99 @ Mariano's the next two weeks!!  So make sure to go to their facebook page to print it.  This makes salad for $.99.  :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Klutch Club

I have something brand new to share with y'all this afternoon.  Now I know most everyone has heard of Birchbox, Cravebox and Julep boxes, but have you ever heard of a Klutch Club?  I certainly hadn't until Klutch Club emailed me and asked if I'd like to try out one of their boxes.  Of course I said yes as I love all things organic and natural.
25 lb cat added to show true size of box :)

It came this week in the mail.  A big grey box shaped like a shoebox.  It was really cute to open and the inside box just slides right out.  I got to sample their April box with a theme of "Spring clean your body".  Inside there was:

Kristin McGee's Power Yoga DVD
Enjoy Life Plentils bag of lentil chips
Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Seed and Fruit mix
HyDrive Energy Berry Blast drink mix
Kind Plus bar Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
Barlean's Flax Oil
Shea Terra Rose Hips Black Soap (I'm absolutely loving this!!)
Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water
Tea Forte 3 teas Cherry Marzipan, Honey Yuzu, Cucumber Mint (Love to try new tea)
Hyde $25 off a purchase

So all in all its a cute little box with a lot of things in it that I've never tried before.  This is definitely a box you should sign up for if you're interested in trying out new natural/organic things every month.  The boxes run $18.00 for a month by month subscription and go down to $16 a box when you sign up for an entire year's worth of boxes. 

Right now you can sign up and enter the code BrightPink to save 10% on a Klutch Club box.  And that 10% then gets donated to Bright Pink which is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support for high-risk individuals.  It's great that the amount you're saving goes to a great charity. 

*Klutch Club provided me with this product for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wholesome Wednesday: Microbaked Apple

Today's Wholesome Wednesday doesn't have a picture unfortunately  I made it again and snapped a pic.  Because I've been reworking a recipe that I had hoped would be ready, but isn't.  So I have this to share instead.  It comes from the Drop 10 Diet book.  I just recently checked it out because I'm always looking for more healthy ideas to add to our menu.  Last night I made these Micro baked Apples and they were quite good.  There's no picture because I didn't realize that they'd be as good as they were.  Also they just look like a mess.  Not really any way to pretty them up for a photo.  :)

Micro baked Apple

Microwave a small cored apple (depending on how thick the peel is you might want to peel them too).  Fill the hole with 1 tablespoon of raisins and microwave until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Mine took about 2 1/2 minutes.  So do keep an eye on it.  Top with 1/2 cup low fat vanilla ice cream.  

So the recipe couldn't be simpler.  And it tastes amazing.  Kinda like a hot apple pie without the crust.  I definitely recommend trying it out.  :)

As soon as I finish the recipe I've been playing with I'll post some photos, but you'll have to wait till next Wednesday to get all the details.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cookies For Rookies-The Looneyspoons Collection

Since I love cooking and baking I go through a lot of cookbooks.  The most recent one I had was The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet & Greta Podleski.  I'd seen one of their cookbooks before about a decade ago, when I lived in Seattle.  And the cookbooks are really cute.  They're illustrated, with pictures on almost every single page and have a lot of nutritional information in them. 

As you might have noticed, here at Rosie Discovers, we're suckers for anything with peanut butter and chocolate in them.  And I do mean anything.  So it was a no-brainer to try out the Cookies for Rookies recipe.  I quite like this recipe because it makes a more moist cookie than the other oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe that we love.  It reminds me more of a soft peanut butter cookie.  It even has the cute fork marks on top.  There are only two things I changed in the recipe.  First, I used a peanut butter with honey already in it (which I absolutely love!!).  Second, I made my cookies smaller.  A 1 1/2 inch cookie is a little big for me, so I used a tablespoon cookie scoop to make mine.  If you make a smaller cookie, you should get about 3 1/2 dozen out of the recipe and you'll also have to adjust the cooking time to about 7 minutes.

Cookies For Rookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mixer, beat together brown sugar, butter, peanut butter and egg on low speed till well blended.  Add dry and chocolate chips and mix well.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough 2 inches apart onto greased or lined cookie sheets.  Flatten with a fork to 1/4 inch thickness.  Bake about 7 minutes.  Watch to make sure cookies don't dry out and over bake.

To me this is the perfect cookie size.  This way you can have more than one, because you'll definitely want too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

alternaVites Kids Review

Recently I got asked to review alternaVites Kids, a quick melting vitamin for kids.  It's a really neat concept.  The vitamins come in these little tubes and are about the consistency of pixie sticks.  One tube contains a full dose of multivitamins and minerals.  The crystals are quick melting too just like a pixie stick.  There are a variety of ways you can take them too.  You can just pour them straight on to your tongue.  Lick it off a spoon.  Mix them into smoothies, yogurts, puddings and shakes.  Sprinkle it on top of fresh fruit.  There are a ton of ways you could take these.  Also since they're so versatile, it should be easy to find a way your kids will love.

AlternaVites Kids also does not contain any sugar, aspartame, HFCS, nothing artificial, no animal products or by products, no egg, no soy, no milk, no peanut, no tree nuts, no wheat, no fish or shellfish and also certified kosher pareve.  I really like that alternaVites don't contain any of these common allergens.  Especially great in a children's vitamin as a lot of kids aren't diagnosed early if they have allergies. 

I got to sample the strawberry bubblegum flavor.  And they amazingly do taste like strawberries and bubble gum.  The alternavites Kids even taste sweet because of the xylitol.  I'm sure your kids and the kid in you will love them.  A package of 30 packets retails for $15.95 and you can receive a 20% discount when you use the code moms20 to place your order.

Make sure to check out alternaVites Kids on facebook and follow them on twitter.
Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Apple Pie with a Coconut Oil Crust + Tropical Traditions Give-Away!!

Recently Tropical Traditions offered to let me try out some of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.  I'd never used it before but had heard that its incredibly good for you.  Dr. Oz says so too.  :)

Here's a video about Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

I've tried a few things with coconut oil and not all were a baking success.  As you've read, I tried making an entirely coconut oil pie crust and a lemon blueberry bread (both were fails).  I do quite like to use it when making anything with meat and also throwing some in with the rice when I make it in the microwave.  To me it doesn't add a coconut taste to anything I've made.  Which makes it perfect!  How to Use Coconut Oil: There are hundreds of uses!

I did email Tropical Traditions because I was having issues using the Coconut Oil to bake with and they recommended using half coconut oil and half butter.  Upon learning this, I knew exactly what to favorite apple pie.  So here's the recipe and the pics:

Coconut Oil Double Pie Crust Recipe

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt
5-7 tablespoons ice water

You can make the crust in two different ways, you can use the food processor or you can use a pastry cutter.  I prefer using a pastry cutter because I've always used one.  If pressed for time, I'd break down and use the food processor.

(Pastry Cutter) 1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Then add coconut oil and butter, work them into the flour using the pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. 
2. Add 5 tablespoons ice water and work into flour mixture.  Continue to add water till dough comes together but don't add enough to become sticky.
3.  Separate dough into 2 even pieces.  Using hands work one piece into a thick round.  Roll out with rolling pin, large enough to fit a 9-inch pie pan.  Do the same with second piece of dough.

(Food Processor) 1. In food processor bowl, combine all ingredients except water.  Pulse several times till mixture resembles coarse meal.  2.  Add 5 tablespoons ice water and pulse till dough comes together.  Adding more water as needed.  3.  Separate dough into 2 even pieces.  Using hands work one piece into a thick round.  Roll out with rolling pin, large enough to fit a 9-inch pie pan.  Do the same with second piece of dough.

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie (adapted from The American's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)

5 lbs your favorite type of apple (I prefer tart: rome, mcintosh, granny smith, jonathon) peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest (if I have it I use it, if I don't it still comes out great)
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (I use bottled if I don't have a lemon)

1. Toss the apples, sugars, zest, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl.  Transfer to a large Dutch oven or a large cooking pot, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are fork tender but still hold their shape, 10-20 minutes.  Transfer apples and their juice to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Drain the cooled apples thoroughly through a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice.  Stir the lemon juice into the reserved 1/4 cup of apple juice.

3.  Spread the apples into the dough-lined pie plate, mounding them slightly in the middle, and drizzle with the lemon juice mixture.  Loosely roll the second piece of dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over the pie.  Trim, fold, and crimp the edges, and cut 4 vent holes in the top.

4. Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees, rotate baking sheet, and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes longer.  Let the pie cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours; serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

My recipe differs in that I use apples that I like instead of a mix of tart and sweet.  I've also increased and added spices.  This tastes more like a classic apple pie to me.  And yeah, it is important to cook the apples before hand.  If you don't, they'll shrink and you'll be left with a lot of empty space at the top and your crust will collapse when you cut it.
Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil

On to the giveaway, Tropical Traditions has graciously offered to send a quart of Coconut Oil to one lucky reader.  You can enter below using the rafflecopter entry form.  Contest will run from May 4th - May 15th.  Open to residents of the US and Canada.  Also you if you're a new customer and place an order with this link you can get a free coconut oil cookbook.  Tropical Traditions Weekly Sales

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yoplait Lactose Free $.30 coupon

MyBlogSpark sent over a coupon for $.30 off a lactose free Yoplait yogurt.  So make sure to print it, as this will make a pretty good deal.  :)

Wholesome Wednesday: Cornbread

I’ve always loved cornbread.  And I love it in any shape or form.  This is an incredibly simple recipe that mixes up in minutes.  It's also surprising that it doesn't have any butter in it.  But the buttermilk and sour cream keep the cornbread from being dry.  It's incredibly moist.  It will also please picky eaters as it doesn’t have added corn kernels or any spicy things.  This cornbread goes great with my almost paleo chocolate chili.

Wholesome Wednesday: Cornbread
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup sour cream
2 cups buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, beat egg then whisk in buttermilk and sour cream.  Whisk well and bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 375 degrees for 20-24 minutes.