Friday, September 30, 2011

101 Autumn Recipes by Gooseberry Patch

Don't you just love Autumn? I love it because the weather cools off, life takes on a familiar routine and I get to cook comfort foods! Thanks to Gooseberry Patch for putting together another fab cookbook, 101 Autumn Recipes so I can find new foods to make for my family.

I love the 101 line of cookbooks from Gooseberry Patch. Not only are there 101 recipes but there are also 101 mouth-watering photos of each recipe. I purchased a copy of this cookbook for my local library, which I know they are going to enjoy as much as I have.

Here are the chapters and some of my favorites to try:
  • School Days:  Break-of-Day  Smoothie, Cinnamon Toast Balls, Cheese Pops (I'm making these for my Christmas Open house) A Pocket Full of Pizza and Warm Spiced Milk
  • Busy-Day Dinners:  Thumbs-up Cornbread Salad, No-Bake Pumpkin-Butterscotch Pie, Autumn Apple Milkshake and Caramel Fudge Brownies
  • Fun with Friends:  Toasted Ravioli, Cheddar-Bacon Balls, Pumpkin Chowder, Touchdown Butterscotch Dip, Swampwater Dressing, Pumpkin Patch Cheese Ball (adorable) and Cream-Filled Witches' Hat
  • Country Harvest:  Harvest Apple Cheesecake, Cran-Orange Pork Medallions, Chestnut Stuffing, Ben's Pecan Blondies, Mom's Caramel Sweet Potatoes, Honey Pumpkin Pie
I promise to post more recipes and photos later. Click here to get Carol's Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.

Right now enjoy this pie:

Honey-Pumpkin Pie

15 oz can pumpkin
3/4 c. honey
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. milk
9 inch pie crust

Stir together pumpkin, honey, salt and spices in a large bowl. Add eggs and mix well; stir in both bilks. Place pie crust in a 9" pie plate; flute edges, forming a high rim to hold pumpkin filling. Do not pierce crust. Place pie plate on oven rack; pour in filling; Bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until set. Let cool before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.

Yum :)

You can get this book at Barnes & Nobel spiral bound or on the Nook (wonderful pictures are on the Nook Color) and of course at Amazon and on the Kindle.  Check out Gooseberry Patch, too.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's a Keep Thursday Recipe Link up

It's a Keeper Happy Thursday!  You know what that means….It’s a Keeper Thursday! Time to link up your fav recipes and craft projects! I'm the lucky ducky cohost with Christina! This is a weekly link up and it is a gem. I'm always finding new recipes and crafts to try!

*BTW the recipe photo link up is all across my blog. I have no control over it because It isn't my link code. So sorry for the inconvenience.*

(Here is a note from Christina..stop by her blog) Would you like to be a co-host on It’s a Keeper Thursday? It’s simple, all you have to do is email me at itsakeeperblog at gmail dot com!  I’ll then contact you to let you know if you’ve been selected!

I love all of the recipes that are shared here each week – I can’t wait to see what’s linked up today! But before you do, I have just a few little guidelines….
  • Give me a GFC (right side bar), Facebook and/or Twitter follow! I'll follow back. If you leave a comment I'll visit and comment, too. 
  • Your link should be a food or craft/project related itemLink up as many as you’d like!
  • Add It's a Keeper's button to your sidebar or blog post – help spread the word!
  • Be sure to check out some of the awesome posts that others have linked up! Let them know that It’s a Keeper sent you!

Free Amazon mp3 credit! Hurry it won't last.



Enter code FALLMP3S to get a FREE $2 MP3 credit from Amazon.com!

Enjoy! Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pumpkin and Ghost Brownies


Pumpkin and Ghost Brownies

Ingredients

1 box of your favorite brownies
Buttercream frosting or frosting of your choice
Cookie cutters

Directions

Make the brownies according to ingredients and directions on the box. Bake, according to directions in a 9 X 13 pan. Let cool and then use cookie cutters to make your pumpkin & ghost shapes. This works great with any cookie cutters without a lot of details.
You can mix coloring with your icing to get orange, green,etc. You can also top brownies with seasonal sprinkles. Do this with any holiday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hearts of Palm Salad Recipe

Here is another new salad we made this summer. I really didn't want to get burned out on the old standby lettuce & tomato salad so each week I tried adding in a new salad. This is a new family favorite. We had heart of palms for the first time during an Aruba vacation. I was thrilled to have found them in my local store. Most stores should have them in the can good aisle somewhere near the artichokes. If I can find them in my tiny town you should be able to find them in your store.

Hearts of Palm Salad

Ingredients

1 can of hearts of palm
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup of tarragon vinegar
2 garlic clove, minced
1 each of yellow, red and orange bell pepper
1 small head of lettuce or equivalent of any other type of lettuce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the hearts of palm into slices/pieces, toss in bowl.
Cut up veggies into pieces and toss in bowl.
Tear up lettuce and toss in bowl.
Mix together olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Toss it with veggies right before serving. Serves 4 side salads.

Do you have a favorite salad? Feel free to leave the recipe!

Free Pumpkin Gooseberry Patch Cookbook and Recipe

Guess what time it is???? Time for a FREE Gooseberry Patch ebook! I love this book. You can get it on Nook, Kindle and Apple! (Always check and make sure it is the price you want to pay. It is only free for a short time.)
Here is one of the recipes in the book. It is called Dinner in a Pumpkin. I've ALWAYS wanted to make this and will do so very soon. No picture now but I will have one once I get this recipe worked into my menu plan. Have you made it or something similar? Let me know. 
Dinner in a Pumpkin

10-12-inch Pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
2 T. oil
2 lbs. ground beef, browned
10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. brown sugar, packed
4-oz sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 c. prepared white rice
8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Remove top of pumpkin and set aside; hollow out, discarding everything but the pulp. Decorate with permanent markers, if desired, and set aside. Saute onion in oil and a 10" skillet; add beef adn heat until browned. Drain. Stir in soup, soy sauce, brown sugar and mushrooms; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add rice and water chestnuts; heat thoroughly. Pour mixture into pumpkin shell; replace top. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees until pumpkin is tender, one to 2 hours depending on size. Be careful not to overcook or pumpkin may collapse. Serves 6 to 8.
Some of the other recipes that I want to try is Pumpkin Chowder, Sweet Potato-filled pumpkin, October bisque, Autumn soup and Pumpkin Ice Cream pie. Well just about every recipe in this book I want to try, yes even the Pumpkin Fudge and Pumpkin Cobbler!  Oh wait, did I mention that there is a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice? I'm so going to make this pronto! I really hate paying $4 for 2 oz. of this in the store. Now I have the recipe.

So click to get the free cookbook. If you don't have a Nook, Kindle or iAnything, you can still download this on your computer with the Nook and Kindle for PC.  


Monday, September 26, 2011

Free Betty Crocker Fall Recipe booklet


Check out these tasty Fall recipes from Betty Crocker. You'll find Lemon Mousse Cake, adorable Barn Cake and animal cupcakes, Chocolate Turtle Cake and much more!

Betty Crocker Prize Pack Giveaway #MyBlogSpark

Do you like baking for your kids? Betty Crocker is counting on that with the newest product, Betty Crocker® Fun da-middlesTM which is the first boxed-cupcake mix of it kind. This one will give your little guest a sweet center surprise. Really? Yes! Check out the Betty Crocker Fun da-middle How-To Video: http://bit.ly/bcfundavideo

  • Combining cake mix and filling pouch in one box, Fun da-middles cupcakes have a special creamy filling that bakes inside the cupcake.
  • Available in three delicious flavors, Vanilla Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling, Chocolate Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, and Vanilla Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, Fun da-middles cupcakes are a fun and portable treat that children can take everywhere they go!
These are yummy treats! I was surprised at how easy they were to make. I love making filled muffins and cupcakes. I usually insert the cream filling after they have been baked and cooled. This mix saved a step by allowing the mixture to be added before baking. Very easy peasy!

Here is the fun prize pack that was sent to me to try. Guess what? The winner of this giveaway will get one, too! How awesome is that?
  • One sample of new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles cupcake mix
  • One cupcake pan
  • One oven mitt
  • One package of cupcake liners
  • One box of cupcake gift notes
To learn more about this product check out:

To enter this wonderful giveaway (Ends 10/15/11 at 12:01am USA only, click below "Read More" to enter using the new Rafflecopter, quick and easy entry form!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

$25 Amazon GC Rafflcopter Giveaway Round Up

RafflecopterRound Up Giveaway
Welcome to the Rafflcopter Round Up hosted by Simply Stacie and Makobi Scribe. The prize for my blog is a $25 Amazon card! Please fill out the Rafflcopter form below:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Heiress by Susan May Warren iPod giveaway


They can buy anything they want—fame, power, beauty, even loyalty. But they can’t buy love. The beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price can buy everything their hearts desire. But what if their desire is to be loved, without an enormous price tag attached? When one sister betrays another for the sake of love, will she find happiness? And what happens when the other sets out across the still untamed frontier to find it—will she discover she’s left it behind in the glamorous world of the New York gilded society? What price will each woman pay for being an heiress? Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, two women discover that being an heiress just might cost them everything they love. (Click here to read Chapter one)

Scraps of Life Book Club Review: I'm a huge fan of Susan May Warren. I love historical fiction and was thrilled to get a chance to read another one of her books. I read Nightingale about a year ago. This book is from one of my favorite times, the Gilded Age. The author was right with her descriptions of the people of this era and the sights and sounds of every day life. I got totally lost into reading of this book. I fell in love with the two main characters, Esme and Jinx, who are sisters.

The young ladies lived a live of being pampered, fancy clothes, help dressing them, intriguing balls and more. The sisters were very different in their views of their every day life and of future and present love. They both made choices and that would change their lives forever.

Ms. Warren crafted a wonderful read. I am not waiting for part 2 of this fascinating book! Click here to read excerpt of Chapter 1 and to purchase the book.


About Susan:  Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com.

GIVEAWAY



Win an opulent Gilded Age Prize Pack fit for an Heiress from Susan May Warren!
Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest historical book, Heiress!

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

Heiress, a richly complex historical romance, is the first in Susan's three book Daughters of Fortune series. In honor of Heiress’ debut, Susan is hosting a FABULOUS Gilded Age Giveaway and giving away an opulent prize pack fit for an heiress!



One grand prize winner will receive:


  • A $100 gift certificate to ModCloth.com
  • A sleek silver iPod™ Shuffle
  • A beautiful strand of Pearls
  • Titanic DVD
  • Speakeasy Compilation Music CD from Starbucks™
  • Heiress by Susan May Warren

Click one of the icons below to enter. But do so soon - this giveaway ends 10/5/11. The winner will be announced Thursday, October 6 on Susan’s blog.


Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Thanks to the sponsor and Litfuse I was given a copy to read in exchange for posting a honest review. The words expressed here are my own tasty words.

Worldwide Day of Play Celebration #C2Play2Day

 Outside playing is good for everyone, no matter the age. I"m a mom with tween/teen girls so our play time is much different from playtime of a mom with toddlers. Even though our play time is different it is still extremely important to include it into our regular schedule.

My girls love walking, running, bike riding, hiking and swimming. These are large motor skills that really get the heart pumping. The fresh air and mild temps are the ideal days for these activities except for swimming. Tween & teen girls go through a lot of body changes, as we all well know. These type of activities help them build muscles and strengthen their bones.

Some of the other outside activities that my tween/teens enjoy are bubble blowing, chalk art, playing music, taking pictures, reading, fishing, carving pumpkins, building a bon fire, playing in the rain, geocaching and doing crafts. These type of activities use more small motor skills. Even though these activities do not push the heart into pumping fast they are just as important. As simple as some of these activities seem to be they are wonderful because they are creative and free flowing. They are perfect de-stressors for their busy lives.
One thing that we love to do is go fruit picking. This is a seasonal thing but it is a perfect way to get out of the house and be together. Some of the seasonal pics are strawberry; peach; veggie patch; blueberry; blackberry; apple; pumpkin and Christmas tree season!

Do your kids play outside? Do you play outside with them? I do admit that I love watching them play. I've always enjoyed that. It is amazing to me at how creative kids can be on their own. Family time is very important to us. It seems that the older they get the more difficult it is to get everyone together to play and have fun outside. How do you make time to play together as a family?

(Sponsored information) The Worldwide Day of Play is September 24th and it is the centerpiece of Nickelodeon's The Big Help, a program to empower kids and families to make healthy lifestyle choices every day. On this day, kids and families are encouraged to participate in the Worldwide Day of Play to turn off the TV and play outside. Physical activity can improve health, self-esteem and the well being of children. Teach kids a healthier lifestyle of limited TV time and a more physical activities.  Clorox 2® is a proud sponsor of Nickelodeon's 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play. So take the Clorox2® Play 2Day pledge to play outside! Go here to take the pledge, http://clorox2play2day.com/.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here. 

Tiny Tips by Gooseberry Patch gift ideas


Calling all Gooseberry Patch friends and soon-to-be new friends. I have a fun, new book for you to check out. Gooseberry Patch recently released their new "Tiny Tips" series of mini, hard backed books, 100 pages full of every day, tried and true tips. 

I had the pleasure of reviewing Tiny Tips for Get-Togethers (click the title to go to that review and tips) and Tiny Tips for Gifts to Make & Give. As always, I brought out a pack of sticky notes to go through the Tiny Tips books. These are hard back books, just the right size to stick in your purse to have something handy to read when you have a few minutes here and there. I read mine while I was waiting for my car to get fixed at the service station.

Tiny Tips for Gifts to Make & Give is just the right book for the up and coming Holidays. I'm always looking for new goodies to share and this book gave me a lot of new ideas.  Here are a few of my favorite new tips:
  • *Make a bath mitten! Fold a washcloth in half; sew two sides closed, leaving one side open. Sew on a loop and place a bar of soap inside. (VERY EASY)
  • *Color copies of vintage fabrics make terrific one-of-a-kind stationery, scrapbook pages, envelopes or gift tags.
  • *It's simple to give votive holders a frosty look. Coat holders with spray adhesive, then roll in mica snow. Candles tucked inside will glimmer. In the book, the votives are arranged on a cake stand. (Adorable)
  • *If you know someone who's a music lover, use sheet music for wrapping gift boxes. Look for single pages of nostalgic tunes at flea markets or tag sales.
So what do you think? Did you like any of my Make & Give tips that I want to try? Do you have one to share? I'd love to hear it.  Please leave a comment below. 

If you love cookbooks or just looking for some new recipes to try, click Book Book of Home Cooking and enter to win this cookbook jammed packed with over 400 recipes! This contest ends 9/23/2011.

Don't forget to pick up this book for yourself or for a gift!

Tweet and get $2 at Amazon App Store

What a deal! Click the photo or, HERE to go to Amazon.com. When you Tweet the message "Tweet and get $2 to spend at Amazon Appstore for Android" via the link they will deposit $2 into your Amazon account to use in the app store!

I just tweeted. How about you?

Click TWEET to go to Amazon for the details. Very easy.

Happy Thursday. While you are here check out my giveaways on my right side bar and click HERE to enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card here on my blog.

This was a reward I found on my own via Amazon and I did receive the $2.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Soups and Stews Recipe Round up

(Check out my Quick & Easy Tomato Soup)

YUM! Today is Gooseberry Patch's Recipe Round up with Soups and Stews. 
There's nothing so comforting as sitting down to a warm & hearty bowl of soup after a chilly day, is there? Some of our favorite fall recipes are for bubbly pots of comfort food...cheesy potato soup, beef stew with carrots, chicken & dumplings. The list goes on and on so tell us...
Which are YOUR favorite recipes for Soup or Stew?
Share 'em all in today's Recipe Round-Up!

Here's one to inspire you from our Cookbook of the Week,
101 Autumn Recipes...don't forget this book is half off this week!
Carol's Tomato Soup
Tori Willis from Champaign, Illinois shared her Aunt Carol's recipe. Aunt Carol was who taught her the grilled-cheese crouton trick...sounds SO tasty, doesn't it?
CarolsCreamyTomSoupblog 4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
4 c. tomato juice
1/4 c. fresh basil
1 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. butter
salt and pepper to taste
In a stockpot over medium-low heat, simmer tomatoes and juice for 30 minutes. Purée tomato mixture and basil in a food processor; return to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring until butter is melted; do not boil. Garnish with Grilled Cheese Croutons. Serves 4.

Grilled Cheese Croutons: 
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 t. dried thyme
6 slices bread
3 slices American cheese
Combine butter and thyme; spread over one side of each bread slice. Place 3 slices in a skillet, buttered-side down. Top each with a cheese slice and a bread slice, buttered-side up. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until toasted and golden. Cut into one-inch squares.
Link up YOUR Soups & Stews below 
GBPRecipeRoundUp
Want to add this hop to your OWN blog?
Be our guest...just click here to get the code

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tiny Tips by Gooseberry Patch

Have you heard about the new Tiny Tips books by Gooseberry Patch? These books are ADORABLE- like anything coming out of the Gooseberry Patch farm isn't adorable, right? Oh I digress but as always I'm a huge fan of their cookbooks and now a new fan of their Tiny Tips books.

I had the pleasure of reviewing Tiny Tips for Get-Togethers and Tiny Tips for Gifts to Make & Give. These are 100 page books, jammed packed with quick & creative tips and quotes complied for their given subject.  As always, I brought out a pack of sticky notes to go through the Tiny Tips books. These are hard back books, just the right size to stick in your purse to have something handy to read when you have a few minutes here and there.

The Tiny Tips for Get-Togethers was a perfect book for me because whenever possible I do love to toss together a get-together. I'm always looking for new ideas to try and to share with others.  
Here are a few of my favorite new tips:

  • *A good rule of thumb for appetizers...serve 6 to 8 per person if dinner will follow. Plan for 12 to 15 per person if its an appetizer-only gathering. (Good to know. I always have plenty of food for my parties BUT never know what to tell someone when they ask how much to have per person.)
  • *Toss a bundle of cinnamon sticks or orange peel into a crackling fire for a delightful fragrance. (I'm trying this this weekend for our first bon fire of the season!)
  • *Peppers make garden-fresh servers for catsup, relish and mustard! Just cut a slice off the bottom so they'll sit flat. (YES and it is beautiful! Here is my example that my 11 year old made when she was in charge of the veggie tray.)
  • *Be sure to have some plastic containers and labels on hand to send everyone home with leftovers...if there are any! (Super tip. I love sending home leftovers. Next time I will have containers ready to go!)
  • *For a party favor they'll "flip" over, copy family favorite recipes onto 4" X 6" index cards and slip into a mini photo album. (I do this for myself and now I know to do this for others. My picture is of mini photo albums where I slid in pictures and recipes for recipes that I want to try. Once I try them and find that they are worth eating again I then put them on an actual recipe card. Sometimes, if there is room, I tape/glue the photo to the back of the recipe card.)
How about you? Do you have any "tiny tips for get-togethers?" I'd LOVE to hear them. Leave a tip and then go enter the Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home cooking Giveaway. Hurry it ends 9/23/2011. 

Don't forget to pick up these Tiny Tips books for yourself or for gifts for others!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are you playing in the Million Minute Game Challenge?

Are you participating in the Million Minute Family Game Challenge? If so how are you doing with logging your minutes? If you aren't participating, click here to read more and enter the Word Shout game giveaway. If you are an adult, enter the What's a Dame to Do? giveaway.

Our group is called Crazy Gamers and we just logged 4,635 minutes. The top games played are Space Empires, Magic the Gathering, Pinochle, Combat Commander and Small World.  Ever heard of them? Some of our other games include Sponge Bob Game of Life, Ccandy Land, Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, Yinsh, Word Shout, Seven Wonders, Dungeon Quest, Carcasone, Rummikub, Heroclix, Heroscape, Cthulhu, Rory Story Cubes, Clue, Apples to Apples, aMAZEing Labyrinth, Pocket Battles, Ticket to Ride, Five Crowns, Seismic and Ablaze!

What are some of your favorite games? Check out one of our player's on Board Game Geek to find out about some of the listed games.

Did you know that board games have been around for 3000 years? Click here, History of Board Games, to learn more.

If you aren't registered to play I hope you do it soon. The Challenge last until the last day of December.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rally for Recess DANNON Danimals Getting Kids Active

I'm curious as to what kind of physical activity your children get at school. The reason I'm asking, I just recently found out that Schools nationwide have had to cut recess time due to limited resources, and some schools do not provide any playtime for students at all. Apparently the Government recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of mild to strenuous activity per day. On average, over the past 20 years kids have lost 8 hours a week.

Is this a school problem or a home problem? I can see where cutting PE for kids in school is a school problem but I can also see where it is a home problem, too. Schools can't provide everything for the students so parents can make sure the kids are being active at home. This lack of PE or playtime at school or home is a growing epidemic.  


The company, Dannon Danimals® - delicious and nutritious kids snacks that include on-the go smoothies and lowfat yogurts with calcium - is motivating Moms and kids to rally around this cause, by launching a national initiative called "Rally for Recess."

"Rally for Recess"
creates healthy competition, pitting school against school. Five schools have the opportunity to win new playground equipment and an all-day recess celebration. Through February 8, 2012 purchasers can find codes on Danimals packaging (or free by mail) to enter and register their school online. The top school in each of the five categories (based on size) with the most codes registered wins! For more information visit: RallyforRecess.com.

My girls are homeschooled and I do have to say that they do not get 60 minutes of mild to strenuous activity every day. My girls are involved or have been involved with Dance, Drama, Tae Kwon Do, Swimming, Soccer, etc. One of the benefits of being homeschooled is that I do have full control over their meals and snacks. 

We are huge fans of the Dannon Danimals on the go smoothies and yogurt. We love the Banana Split and Rockin' Raspberry flavors of smoothies and all of the yogurts, especially the Tropical Sherbet variety. We've found that a healthy balance is key for their activity and for their food intake.


How about you? What type of activities do they have at school? Home? What healthy snacks do you offer? 

Check out that Rally For Recess and input the product codes from the Dannon Danimals to be entered to win playground equipment!



I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Danimals and received a gift card to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

FREE NOOK books! 3 HOT cookbooks! Yummy

Here are three free NOOK books. Get them quick as you never know how long they will be free. If you do not have a NOOK you can still get them with the Nook software for your computer or phone!

If you have a KINDLE then check Amazon for the same books. They are often free at the same time the Nook books are free. Click the link below each book for the direct link. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Game Closet Organization tips


 GAME CLOSET ORGANIZATION TIPS

All you really need for a successful Family Game Night are good friends and family and your favorite games! But if getting to your games or finding the one everyone is dying to play is derailing the fun in your house, it might be time for a game closet makeover. Alison Deyette, a lifestyle expert and author of the blog “Ali on the Go,” shares a few tips to ensure you’re prepared for Family Game Night fun time and time again.

1.     Store Games in an Easily Accessible Location: Keep all your games in one place, such as a closet or storage ottoman. If you don’t have the closet space for a designated area for family games, consider storing your games near the TV in an ottoman with a lift-off top, or in a large trunk or storage bin. That way, it’s easy to get to a game when the family is looking for something to do together, or when your favorite show is over.

2.     Assign Shelves in the Game Closet: Designate each shelf in the family game closet for a particular game category. With separate shelves for word games, party games and active games without a box, everyone knows where each game goes and clean up is quick and easy! Consider keeping games for the little ones on lower shelves so they can grab them on their own for spontaneous play at any time.

3.     Store Games Side by Side: To ensure games are easy to see and grab from the shelf, store board game boxes side by side vertically, similarly to books on a bookshelf. This way, every game is easily accessible and you don’t have to worry about trying to pry one game from the middle or bottom of a stack.

4.     Find a Place for Small Game Pieces: Want to ensure you never lose those Scrabble tiles or Monopoly houses again? Use plastic tote boxes to store smaller playing items like these, as well as dice, timers and pawns. You can also use a fishing tackle box to keep all the tiny pieces separated and safe between Family Game Nights.

5.     Create a Binder to Store Game Directions: Place the directions from each game in a clear sheet protector. Alphabetize the sheets by the name of the game so directions are easy to find when you need a reminder about who goes first in The Game of Life or how much money each player starts with in Monopoly.

6.     Find Time in Your Busy Schedule for Family Game Night: Plan ahead to make sure you’re completely organized before everyone sits down at the table for Family Game Night. Make all of the treats the day before and place everything in personalized goodie bags to ensure each guest is accounted for. Also, determine which games you’re going to play ahead of time and set everything out the night before to increase everyone’s excitement for the big night!

Don't forget that HASBRO's Family Game Night: www.facebook.com/familygamenight on Wednesday, September 28th. You can also participate in the Patch Games, Million Minute Family Challenge and Game Giveaway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Creamy White Chili a Gooseberry Patch Favorite Fall Recipe

From Gooseberry Patch: With the official start of fall just a week or so away and a welcome nip in the air around here (sorry, Texas!) we are definitely in an autumn state of mind when it comes to the kitchen. Seems like the change in season just calls for warm & hearty recipes, like the one we're sharing today. Which recipes are YOUR Favorite Fall Recipe? Share 'em all with us below so we can visit your blogs, too!
Here's one to inspire you from our Cookbook of the Week, Autumn in the Country...enjoy!

Creamy White Chili 

This recipe was shared by Janelle Dixon of Fernley, NV and has such a fabulous flavor with its blend of green chiles, cumin, sour cream and chicken.Thanks again for sending it in, Janelle!

Ingredients

1 T. oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 onion, chopped
14-oz. can chicken broth
2 15-1/2 oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 4-oz. cans chopped green chiles
1-1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. dried oregano
8-oz. container sour cream
1/2 pt. whipping cream
10-oz. pkg. corn chips
8-oz. bag shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken and onion.
Sauté until chicken is cooked through; set aside.
Combine broth, beans, chiles and seasonings in a large soup pot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.
Add chicken mixture; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add sour cream and whipping cream; mix well.
Top with corn chips and cheese. Serves 8.

More Fall Recipes


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Giveaway General Mills' Cereal Treats Bars Gift Pack

Yum Yum! Check out the tasty Lucky Charms and Golden Grahams Treats by Betty Crocker.
  • Flavor varieties include the ever popular Golden Grahams® (130 calories) and new Lucky Charms® Treats (100 calories), loaded with popular favorites like chocolate and marshmallows.

  • Cereal Treats Bars contain less than 140 calories per bar and are made with wholesome cereal, making them a snack option that you can feel good about giving your kids.

  • TWO Box Tops for Education seals on each box of Cereal Treat Bars, making earning cash for your school doubly cool! 
Have you purchased these treats yet for your kids? My daughters love them for snack time.  The girls think that these are cool treats because they are made with two of their favorite cereals. I, myself, love the Golden Grahams Treats! Yum.

Here is your chance to enter to win a box of each along with this really cool and stylish lunch bag. Check out the other goodies, too. I was most impressed with the packaging of these two snacks because they came with not just ONE but TWO Box Top for Education tabs! Double score.
 
 The giveaway winner’s prize pack will contain:
  • One box of Lucky Charms® Cereal Treats Bars
  • One box of Golden Grahams® Cereal Treats Bars
  • Lunch bag
  • Locker whiteboard
  • Colored pencil set
ENTER TO WIN THE ABOVE Gift pack. One winner in the USA and ends 9/28/11. To enter click on the below READ MORE to use the very easy Rafflecopter giveaway form.

CONNECT 4 Launchers game review from HASBRO



Are you ready for the fast-flying, frantic action of Connect 4 Launchers? This revamped version of Connect 4 is sure to keep everyone in the family engaged and entertained for hours of out-of-your-seat fun.
Grab your launcher, aim for the two-tiered horizontal game unit and try to strategically land checkers in the top or bottom tray. Try to be the first player to get four-in-a-row horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Complete with three games in one – Basic Frantic Launch, Championship Frantic Launch and Advanced Power Launch – the fun is nonstop for players of all levels!
Crazy Gamers Review 

We play some really fun games with our Crazy Gamer group (Click our group to see other game reviews.) This review comes from a HASBRO game which is a play off the original Connect 4. I grew up playing Connect 4 and loved it as a kid so I was excited to get this game to review with our group.

This is a two player game for ages 5 and up. The game can be played with two on a team but it isn't easy to do. There is a launcher that is used to get your checker to the lower or upper level. If you are sharing it with a team mate, you must keep passing it back and forth. As for the age 5 and up that really has to do with being able to get the checker on the launcher and then coordinating it onto the two levels of the board. The age is right on.
This is a very fast paced game. Once you use up all your checkers the game is over or when someone gets "Connect 4". We were always able to get a Connect 4 before running out of checkers. This isn't a game to play if you want a quite, cool off game for the evening. This is a bouncing around, fast moving and giggling fit of a game. 
This would make a great gift for any family for the up and coming Holidays! Wednesday, September 28th is Family Game night! Check out the Hasbro links for more information. It is their 3rd year hosting this event. 

Facebook
Family Game Night: www.facebook.com/familygamenight
Scrabble: www.facebook.com/officialscrabble
Monopoly: www.facebook.com/monopoly
Trivial Pursuit: www.facebook.com/trivialpursuit
Cranium: www.facebook.com/cranium

Twitter
FamilyGameNight: www.twitter.com/familygamenight
Trivial Pursuit: www.twitter.com/trivialpursuit_
Cranium: www.twitter.com/playcranium

This is a sponsored post. A game was given to us to play and post a review. Our own tasty words and opinions are expressed here. 

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