Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Green Giant has a surprise



Do you have a surprise talent? I’m a pretty run of the mill Type-A, list-maker Sally. Does list making count as a surprise talent?


Okay, so really the surprise for anyone who doesn’t know me except through this blog is that I can sing. I mean, enough that I can sing in front of several thousand people without wetting my pants. And for those who meet me in real life, they’re typically impressed that I have a blog.
Them: “You have a blog? You write? Really? And people actually come every day to see what you have to say?”
Me: “Yeah, I know shocker. I'm sure it's just to see the kids.” Doh.

Well, I’m here today to tell you that The Green Giant – the Jolly one, not the hubby one – has a surprise talent. But first, check out some of the talent The Green Giant captured in a recent video:
Some of those were pretty unbelievable, right? Like how ‘bout the lady who puts tennis rackets around her body… what the heck?


While I don’t have any crazy surprise talents that amazing, I do have a talent for eating, which came in handy recently when the kids and I were lucky enough to sample some of the new Green Giant Veggie Chips.
You read that right. GREEN GIANT MAKES VEGGIE CHIPS! And good ones to boot.

The first kind we tried were the Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – Zesty Cheddar flavor. Using a combination of corn, red and green peppers, these light chips have a fiery taste that’ll put a little pep in your step. They disappeared faster than you can say Jolly Green Giant.


That's Natalie holding a chip and giving a thumbs up sign. 
Next up, we tried the Whole Grain Sweet Potato Chips – Sea Salt flavor. Light and airy with a hint of salt, these chips were so good they didn’t last long in this house. And I didn’t feel guilty since they have 40% less fat than regular potato chips.

Wanna share your surprise talent with The Green Giant? You can by logging onto Facebook here.
Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent at www.facebook.com/greengiant

Click here for an $0.85 off coupon! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boar's Head gets heart-healthy


This post brought to you by Boar's Head.  All opinions are 100% mine.



I’m sure you can imagine that over the last four years we’ve been concerned about our heart health. So when Boar’s Head announced their Boar's Head heart-healthy deli meats, I thought I’d give it a look-see.

With Ryan’s already compromised heart, I want to make sure he’s eating food that won’t give him further problems in the future, let alone the rest of us. Boar’s Head now makes meats that are lower in sodium and cholesterol-inducing fats.

Henry and I ARE eating deli meat in conjunction with our paleo diet even though some others don’t. I’ve taken to eating a deli meat lettuce wrap or eating it plain with some sides. With seasonings like Maple glazed, Blazing Buffalo, Cracked Peppermill Smoked, and Lemon Pepper Roasted, it’s easy to keep the menu interesting.

In looking over the Boar’s Head website, there’s one recipe in particular I’m curious to try called Ovengold Turkey Spaghetti Squash Tumble. I love spaghetti squash and this is one more way to get it into my mouth!

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To make it, you will need:

1 small spaghetti squash

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup frozen peas, thawed and drained

¼ cup tomatoes, diced

5 oz. Ovengold Turkey, diced

Boar’s Head Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste



Directions:

1.     Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Cut the halves into equal pieces

2.     Place the squash in a steamer basket in a Dutch oven with water and cook on high to steam until fork tender (15-20 minutes). {My note: you can also steam it in a large pot on the stovetop}

3.     Using a fork, remove the squash strands from the shell, set aside.

4.     Heat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat.

5.     Add the garlic, basil, parsley, and squash; toss lightly to coat.

6.     Add the peas, tomatoes, and turkey. Lightly sprinkle with parmesan cheese.



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Friday, February 22, 2013

apartments



This post brought to you by apartments.com.  All opinions are 100% mine.



Henry and I love looking at real estate. Love, love, love it. I remember pre-kids we’d go to open houses on Sunday afternoons just to pass the time. I stored up design ideas for when we actually bought something and he took notes on prices. Let’s just say we were highly educated on our housing market by the time we bought a single-family home.

This was 15 years ago before the internet went crazy with blogs, ezines, email, and search engines. It was a new horizon just waiting to be explored. I remember shopping for an apartment by actually driving around to the different developments and picking up brochures. We had more apartment complex tours than I care to admit.

I think about how different a world we live in now when our younger siblings are looking for their first places by researching ONLINE!  This is especially helpful when you’re moving to another city and multiple trips aren’t convenient. We shopped for our single-family at the popular realty sites, but did you know you can search specifically for apartments at apartments.com?

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Apartments.com is extremely user-friendly. If you know your zip code and can point and click, you can search their site. Even better, for those on the go, they have a mobile app available for the iPhone, iPad, and Android.

For fun, I took a look at what apartments are available near us. I liked that apartments.com has a map on the side of the page showing which part of the city each complex is located in. You can also select how many bedrooms and baths you’d like and read descriptions for each apartment complex, making their search results more relevant to your needs. In most instances, you can find out availability by contacting the apartment complex through the apartment.com website.

Are you in the market for a new apartment? Why don’t you give apartments.com a try? To stay in the loop, follow them on Twitter at @aptscom



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Friday, February 1, 2013

Avocados


This post brought to you by Avocados from Mexico.  All opinions are 100% mine.

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I can't remember how old I was when I was first introduced to the avocado. It was when we lived in Washington, DC so I was under twelve. I remember my dad would smash them up and mix in some salsa for his own version of guacamole. I still make it that way when I'm in a hurry.

Avocados can be intimitating becuase, let's face it, if food is green, kids and adults alike tend to look sideways at it.  Think about it: asparagus - green; brussel sprouts - green; broccoli - green. But take it from Sam I am.... green food can be rather tasty. I know Henry hadn't tried avocados before he met me. (but I convinved him to take one teeny-tiny bite and the was hooked!) Even our kids eat them!

Aside from being green, avocados sometime gets a bad rap for being high in fat. Here's the kicker though - they're high in the GOOD kind of fat and are packed with so many nutrients they've been deemed a superfood. They contain all 18 essential amino acids our body needs; they're rich in fiber; high in Vitamin A, contain omega-3 fatty acids, carotein (the stuff good for eyes typically associated with carrots), Vitamin C, E, selenium, zinc, and so much more. For more information on the health benefits of the avocado, click here. 

As I got older I realized that avocados can be eaten in forms other than guacamole. Seriously... did you know that? They're delicious on sandwiches, hot or cold. To dress up a turkey sandwich, throw some bacon and sliced avocado on top. For a hot version, saute cubed chicken in garlic, melt jack pepper cheese on top and cool it down with sliced avocado. Slip it all inside a toasted pita and you've got yourself a downright delicious meal.

Avocados are great diced up in salads, too. I make a summer salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, black beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice and AVOCADO. It's the bomb. Remove the black beans and corn and it's paleo-friendly. Double Bomb!

The other day I had guacamole served on top of grilled salmon. This will be my new summer recipe... It was unbelievably good and now that we're cutting out processed foods, I was looking for other ways to eat guac.

In my internet surfings for paleo foods, I've also seen people use avocados to make soup creamy instead of a milk-based product. And as a secret ingredient in baked goods. Really the possibilities are endless.

Avocados from Mexico are teaming up with bloggers to get the word out that avocados are not only good for you, but delicious.  To do this, they've come out with a fun Share the Avocado Love Facebook app - where you can send friends free gifts on Facebook or download ringtones. I now have a fun, mexican-style ringer for my phone.

You can also purchase gear at Avocados from Mexico Cafe Press store  I'm excited to wear the apron I just ordered when grilling up my salmon this summer.

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But it doesn't stop there. On February 7 between 3 and 4 pm EST, they're having a #iloveavocados twitter party where you can win gifts valued up to $500. Follow @guacgrl or hashtag #iloveavocadoes to participate.

Tell me, have you trie avocados? What's your favorite way to serve them?

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Loving Leggings


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense.  All opinions are 100% mine.

It typically takes me a few years to catch on to a new style, so much so that sometimes it's on the way out when I'm finally liking it. Not so with leggings. The 80s are back to stay (at least for now) and leggings are starting to grow on me. No nonsense just released a line of colorful leggings/tights that make it affordable to add leggings to anyone's wardrobe and can be found just about anywhere... from the drugstore, grocery store and mall. It's "style made easy."

No nonsense tights and leggings come in several different colors and styles (think denim, cordoroy). I live in jeans so I like that leggings give me another option for a playdate at the park and are versitile enough to wear to book club with the girls. (my BFFs not my daughters) They can go from playful and fun to chic and sophisticated. I'm more comfortable with a classic look with fun accessories thrown in, like this:





Preppy Stripes



Preppy Stripes by leighann-marquiss featuring a pearl gold necklace

However,  with the different colors and textures available, you could wear these puppies with any style.

I'm not the only one talking about No nonsense leggings and tights. Jill Martin, the sportscaster and television host, is also hot on their trail. Take a look at this video she put together with No nonsense:



Follow No nonsense on Facebook  No nonsense on FacebookNo nonsense on Facebook and Twitter @benononsense to keep up with the latest happenings. But most of all, check out their new leggings and tights in a store near you.





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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mrs. Smith Pies and $50 William Sonoma winner!

Nothing like getting in under the buzzer. Our winner commented on the last day of the giveaway.  Elisa is lucky duck who's getting a coupon for a free pie and a $50 William Sonoma card compliments of Mrs. Smith's Pies. 






Congratulations, Elisa! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Giveaway with Mrs. Smith's Pies


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith's.  All opinions are 100% mine.


I know, another giveaway. Can it really be? This time it's through Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish pies.

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I was asked to review four Signature Deep Dish pies available through Mrs. Smith's pies. I'm a pretty critical pie-eater. Mainly, I don't eat store-bought ones if I can help it. Or ones that use canned filling. If you can't tell the difference, good for you. I can.

However, I thought I'd take Mrs. Smith's up on this opportunity to see just how far the pie-world has come. Plus, these pies sounded scrumptious:

Peach Pie with Cream Cheese Icing
Cherry Pie with Butte Fudge Sauce
Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Icing
Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

Um, yeah. I'll try a few of those... or all of them. First up was the Dutch Apple and Cherry Pies. I thought there was a ton of topping for the Dutch Apple, but believe me, stick it all on there, it's very good.



The fun thing about these pies is that they each come with a packet of sauce so you can customize them. I drizzled the caramel onto the apple (which was oh, so delicious), but let everyone choose how much fudge sauce they wanted on their cherry pie.



I opted for a little chocolate....



Then came the pumpkin and peach pies, both with cream cheese icing.



Peach:



Pumpkin:



My kids opted for a little more icing than I did. Both kinds were yummy, but I especially liked the pumpkin with the icing. The spicy-sweet was a perfect combination.

If you're a homemade pie maker, here's what you need to know:
1. These pies are the most like homemade that I've ever eaten from a store. Their crusts are flaky and the fillings aren't overly sweet and fake tasting. You can taste the actual fruit - a big plus in my book. The pumpkin is amazing. I actually thought, "I'm not sure I'll make homemade pumpkin pie again. Ever." while I was eating it.
2. These pies come frozen, but raw. You won't save cooking time by making them, but you will save the time it takes to make a crust and peel, pit, core, or slice fruit. They each cook for at least an hour and need time to cool and set up.

If you're a pre-made pie buyer, here's what you need to know:
1. This is as close to homemade as you're going to get. Even if you buy pre-made crust and fill it with fruit filling, it won't hold a candle to these pies.
2. These pies take longer to cook than some store-bought pies, because they come raw. Don't let the extra cooking and cooling time deter you. They're totally worth it.

Now comes the fun part. Mrs. Smith's wants you to try their pie, too, and perhaps pick up a serving platter and pie cutter to boot.... They're giving away a coupon for a free Mrs. Smith Signature Deep Dish Pie AND a $50 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. To enter, you must:

1. Comment and tell me which deep dish pie you'd buy with your coupon: Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Icing, Dutch Apple with Caramel Sauce, Cherry with Butter Fudge Sauce, or Peach with Cream Cheese Icing; and what you would buy from Williams-Sonoma if you won the $50.
2. Follow Mrs. Smith's on Facebook and Pinterest (and come back to comment letting me know)
3. Follow me on Pinterest  (and come back to comment letting me know)



If you're not on Pinterest, get there.... follow me. I'm bringing back the Pinterest Party and you can join me! If you need an invitation, email me. Okay, now go enter to win your pie and gift card. You won't regret it.



NOTE: Make sure I have a way to contact you in case you're the winner! This giveaway will close on Weds, December 5.





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