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.


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.



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.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Baking with Truvia®

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Truvia® Natural Sweetener.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Truvia®  Baking Blend is a mix between Truvia®  (made from stevia and erythritol) and granulated sugar. It has 75% less calories and three times as much sweetness as using sugar alone. I showed it to you a few weeks back as a sweetener for my Paleo Chai Tea. Today, I'm going to show you pumpkin pancakes from the Truvia® website, perfect for the holidays.

First mix your dry ingredients in a bowl:

Then take away the ginger from your helper before he spills it everywhere. (This is a very important step.)

Mix your wet ingredients in a blender... I know, you thought I was going to say bowl. My mom always mixed her pancakes in the blender so I do, too. It comes in handy later, believe me.

Another thing my mom has always done is to use a very hot skillet (you can smell the heat it's so hot) without butter or oil. If your pan is hot enough the pancakes don't stick, and they're soft and fluffy.

The pumpkin puree in the batter turns the pancakes a beautiful orange tint. I tried one without any enhancements... they're really good with a subtle hint of pumpkin.

Then I defeated the entire purpose of Truvia® by adding butter, maple syrup and pecans. Well, the pecans don't ruin the purpose, but you know what I mean.

The verdict:  Yum!!

If you were to recreate one of your favorite holiday recipes with Truvia, which one would you choose?

Visit the Truvia® website for more tips and information on Truvia® Baking Blend

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Ayala Bar Giveaway with Artisan Design Gallery

UPDATE:   Nicki S. is the winner of the Ayala Bar necklace! Congratulations, Nicki!

Ayala Bar giveaway!  Our friends at Artisan Design Gallery are teaming up again with Living with Three Hobbits and a Giant to give away this beautiful Baby's Breath cross pendant necklace from international jewelry artist Ayala Bar.  Israeli native Ayala Bar designs popular and unique pieces for confident, stylish women all over the world.  Her limited edition collections always have interesting combinations of bracelets, ringsearrings and necklaces that coordinate or stand alone to make a beautiful statement.

To enter this contest you have 3 chances to win. The contest starts Monday, November 12 and runs through Sunday evening, November 18.  Make sure you come back to this page and make a separate comment for each entry. Random Number Generator will select a winner. I'll announce the winner, Monday, November 19.

To Enter: 
  1. Visit Artisan Design Gallery's website and sign up for their newsletter.  
  2. Follow them on Twitter,  @artisangallery, for all you tweeters out there! 
  3. Pin the graphic from my main page to your Pinterest board. 
Remember to return to this page and make a separate comment for each entry.