Thursday, December 24, 2015

Add some fruit (juice) to your Holiday menu

It's not too late! Christmas will be here tomorrow, but you can still add some fruit into the menu! 

Easy Apple Salad Dressing

  • 2 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Cinnamon, two shakes
  • Ground cloves, one shake
Add all ingredients into a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Pour over salad just before serving.

Apple Lemonade

Juice your own sweet lemonade without any sugar or preservatives! Whip out that juicer you have stored in the cabinet and get to juicing again.
Some blenders are also capable of creating this sweet lemonade recipe. Instead of using a juicer, you can use a heavy duty blender as well. If you are, peel the apples and lemon for better results.

Apple Lemonade

  • 4 apples, cored
  • ¼ of a lemon, with peel

Press lemon through the juicer and then run the apples through.
It is that simple…fresh, sweet lemonade!

Add some sliced fresh fruit for added flavor and a festive Holiday look!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mega sized Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Searching Pinterest (the story of my life), I found a recipe that struck me as delish! They were Oreo filled chocolate chip cookies. Of course I just HAD to put my spin on the original recipe (click here for the original recipe)  so what I did was made my cookies MEGA sized!! I'm not even joking...each of my cookies can easily feed 3 people. They are more pies!

First I started out with these scrumptious morsels...

Then I added some chocolate chip cookie dough like this...

And I ended up with these...

However, it is difficult to see how HUGE these cookies, I mean pies, really are. So, what did I do? I made up a batch of normal sized chocolate chip and M&M cookies to show you the difference in size. 

It is still hard to see, but hopefully my MEGA and HUGE references give you the idea :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bahlsen Holiday cookies

Bahlsen, the leaders in cookie making in Germany, were kind enough to send me some of their delicious cookies. I have three bags: Chocolate covered Pfeffernusse, Holiday assortment and Gingerbread assortment.
The Chocolate covered Pfeffernusse are a soft gingerbread cookie that is covered in a thin layer of chocolate. The combination of the chocolate with the spicy gingerbread is delicious.
The Holiday cookie assortment is a mixture of crunchy gingerbread cookies that come in a variety of shapes such as gingerbread people, hearts and starts. Some are plain and others are covered in chocolate or have a dab of jam in the center. 
The gingerbread assortment is a mixture of crunchy gingerbread cookies along with the soft variety. These were the favorite of my one and a half year old daughter!

We (meaning myself, husband, teenage son and toddler daughter) each tried all of the cookies and over all we agree that we enjoyed them and will order them in the future. The only cookies that did not make it to our bellies were the variety with the fruit center. The fruit was too chewy for the baby and even a little bit too chewy for us as well.
All in all, we give these amazing cookies a 9 out of 10, with 10 being the best possible score! Please do order them for your Christmas gatherings this season! 

Frosch cleaning products

I recently tried a new line of cleaning products. Frosch, an eco-friendly brand out of Germany, is now available to us here in the United States!

The Aloe Vera dish soap, Universal Lavender cleaner and Baking Soda all purpose cleaner all have a fresh, clean scent without inundation of that chemical smell that other brands have. If I had to describe the odor of the products, I would say it is a combination of Ivory soap and baby powder. 

The dish washing liquid is not only gentle on the nose, but easy on the skin as well. Using this line of products through the house gives me the feel of safety. Safety because they make me feel as if it is safe to breathe immediately after used. 

Next, I am planning to try the Bio Spirit glass cleaning spray! It is said to offer streak free cleaning without ammonia! Yup...definitely the next on my list to try.

Don't just take my word for it though...try some out for yourself.

Check out the little Frosch frog! Isn't he so cute? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

3 versions of an oatmeal!

It's always great when we stumble upon a good recipe for our favorite cookie. Check out my three variations of the classic oatmeal cookie. I have included the basic: oatmeal raisin, the tropical: orange coconut and the chocolate: oatmeal chocolate chip.

Sometimes I like to make one basic cookie recipe in bulk and then split it up into different batches to add different additives. You can definitely do that with these three recipes.

Oatmeal cookies, in my opinion, compliment any Holiday cookie platter! You can even add Christmas colored M&M's to bring pretty colors to the platter.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

¾ cup Crisco, butter flavored
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350*.

Spray cookie sheets with butter spray. (Or line them with no stick foil)
Blend Crisco, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla until blended.
In separate bowl combine oats, flour, soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add dry mix into wet mix and slowly blend.
Add raisins. Mix.
Drop by teaspoon full scoops onto sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Orange Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

¾ cup Crisco, butter flavored
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla
3 tbsp orange juice
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened

Preheat oven to 350*.
Spray cookie sheets with butter spray. (Or line them with no stick foil)
Blend Crisco, sugar, egg, milk, vanilla and orange juice until blended.
In separate bowl combine oats, flour, soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add dry mix into wet mix and slowly blend.
Add coconut. Mix.
Drop by teaspoon full scoops onto sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chips Cookies

¾ cup Crisco, butter flavored
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*.
Spray cookie sheets with butter spray. (Or line them with no stick foil)
Blend Crisco, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla until blended.
In separate bowl combine oats, flour, soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add dry mix into wet mix and slowly blend.
Add raisins. Mix.
Drop by teaspoon full scoops onto sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Homemade tomato soup recipe

The ultimate fall meal in our house is a grilled cheese sandwich served with tomato soup...which I have blogged about before!

My son likes to dip his grilled cheese into his tomato soup and then eat it. I, on the other hand, prefer to eat my sandwich and drink my soup from a mug. My husband just likes the soup with no sandwich and my little girl...well, she LOVES grilled cheese but makes a cute little face when I give her the soup. I bet she will love it when she gets older!

Enjoy making this easy tomato soup for your family this Autumn...

Homemade Tomato Soup

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes (I like Furmano's) 
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Water 
  • Optional: milk or cream

Add onion, garlic and spices into a pot with olive oil.
Cook until soft.
Add tomatoes and 1 cup of water to the pot.
Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.  It will get thick.
If you are adding milk or cream, add in a splash now.
Allow soup to cool.
Add to blender and blend.
Enjoy this with a homemade grilled cheese sandwich!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chocolate peanut butter Chex snack mix: perfect Autumn snack

Monkey munch, puppy chow, reindeer mix...whatever you call it, there are so many variations of this Chex mix snack.

My family loves this stuff and our favorite recipe is this one for chocolate peanut butter Chex mix. Chocolate and peanut butter is the absolute best sweet treat least it is in my house!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Snack Mix Recipe

9 cups Chex cereal, heaping
1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet), heaping
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine
1 to 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Empty cereal into a LARGE bowl and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl combine chips, peanut butter and margarine. Heat for 1 minute on high, stirring after 30 seconds.

Remove after 1 minute and stir until there are no lumps. If you need to pop it back in, do so and stir until there are no lumps.

Pour mix over cereal and stir it in well. All cereal pieces should be coated with the melted mix.

Add powdered sugar over the coated cereal and mix until coated.

Store air tight in the refrigerator.

TIP: Last year for Christmas, I purchased lock and lock containers from QVC. I filled them with this mix, placed them into the matching Holiday gift bags that they came with and gave a bag to each of my neighbors as a Christmas gift :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Anyone else dreaming of pecan pie?

I'm guessing it is the cool and rainy weather, but I have been thinking about baking for Thanksgiving all morning!
I actually sat down and composed a document that contains many of my special Holiday recipes. Yes, I am definitely a "list" type of girl. Lists are my life!

Here is a recipe for the pecan pie that I make every Thanksgiving. I actually make the chocolate version because my family can't get enough of it.
I also included a recipe for a super easy pie crust. It is the perfect time of year to start testing out new recipes for the upcoming Holidays. Let me know if you decide to give this recipe a try...

Pecan Pie

3 eggs (beaten)
1½ cups of granulated sugar
½ cup of corn syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla
6 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine
1 cup of pecans (halves or chopped, your choice)
1 pie crust

Combine eggs, sugar, syrup, butter and vanilla. Mix together.
Pour mixture into your pie crust.
Sprinkle pecans over the top of the mixture.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350°.
Eat warm (not hot) or refrigerate.

For a chocolate pecan pie: Add 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the bottom of the pie crust before adding pie filling.

Pie Crust

1 Stick of margarine, cut into pieces
1 Cup of flour
4-6 tablespoons of cold water
2 teaspoons of salt

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into a ball.
Roll out dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper.

This will make one 8-9 inch pie crust.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quiet places to sit, work and drink coffee...

Are you a writer looking for a quiet place to sit and write? How about a teacher looking for a quiet place to grade papers? Whatever it is that you do, so many of us are looking for a cozy and quiet place to do it! Fast food spots are often noisy and that can be extremely distracting when it comes to concentrating on work. Restaurants are usually pretty quiet, but the servers don’t appreciate us taking up residence at one of their tables for two hours. So, what are we to do when we need a quiet place to work that offers comfy seating, free wireless and coffee? Here are three options in the Raleigh area that you might enjoy!

Panera Bread
The Panera located at 8511 Colonnade Center Drive #110 is a great place to work. It is filled with natural light, due to its many windows and has a lot of cozy seating. This particular location has two floors and lots of booth seats. If you plan on working for several hours, it’s no problem! Grab a bite to eat or something to drink as you work. As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to make a purchase if you are going to be sitting in an establishment for a while.

Starbucks on Falls of Neuse Road (near Chipotle)
Often times, the smaller Starbucks stores do not offer many seating options. The Starbucks location at 6176 Falls of Neuse Road does offer a good amount of seating. There are comfy booths as well as counter seats. This location offers plenty of natural light as it is located on the corner of the shopping strip. This means windows all around!
Enjoy something sweet with your coffee or try the spinach and feta wrap with your tea!

Jubala Café
Jubala is located at 8450 Honeycutt Road #104 and is usually pretty full! They offer individual table seating, bar seating and shared table seating. Toward the back of the establishment are long tables with about six or eight chairs tucked beneath. You can choose to sit at any long table, but be prepared to share it with several others. There are windows across the front as well as the back which can offer decent lighting on a bright and sunny day. Jubala does offer a wide range of coffee and tea options as well as food choices.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fall baking anyone? It's cheesecake time...says the Dunkin Donut man!

Time to bake the cheesecakes! (Get's a take on the "time to bake the donuts" Dunkin Donut man commercials.)

Now that the weather is cooling down, we won't mind leaving our ovens on to bake a luscious, mouth watering, award winning cheesecake, right?

Here is my "Taste of Home magazine" award winning cheesecake recipe. In addition to being published in Taste of Home magazine, this recipe has been published in several of their "Best Of" cookbooks over the years!

Mascarpone Cheesecake recipe

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cartons (8 ounces each) Mascarpone cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 small container of heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon caramel ice cream topping

Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square).
Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter.
Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.
Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cheeses, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth.
Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust.
Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
Remove springform pan from water bath.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
Refrigerate overnight.

Remove sides of pan.
Before serving, prepare topping.
Place heavy cream in a stand mixer and mix on high speed until almost stiff.
Stop mixer and add powdered sugar.
Continue mixing until ready to spread.
Garnish cheesecake with whipped topping; drizzle with caramel.
Refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Spaghetti squash: How the heck do I cook this stuff?

OK... spaghetti squash is as hard as a rock before it is cooked. So, how in the world do you cook this stuff that everyone seems to be raving about? Of course I have an answer for you.... You use the crockpot! 

Spaghetti squash + Autumn = Crockpot cooking

Plug the slow cooker in and turn it onto high setting, dump 1 cup of water into it, poke knife holes into the squash, place it inside, cover with the lid and let it steam/cook for a few hours. It is as easy as that! 

It will be hot when it is cooked, so remove it using tongs....yes, lesson learned the hard way : )

Cut it in half, remove the seeds with a spoon and then spoon out the spaghetti squash into a large bowl. 

At this point, you can add whatever you like.

For something like the picture you see above:

1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. butter or olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley, to taste

Add butter/oil and mix well.
Add cheese and spices.
Mix well and serve.

How easy is that? Want to add protein? Add cooked shrimp, lemon juice from a lemon and whala...a complete meal! 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Comfort food for fall: grilled cheese and tomato soup

Do certain foods make you think of certain seasons? For example: doesn't watermelon bring your thoughts straight to summertime? How about hot cocoa: does it zip you away to the winter? Well, comfort foods whisk me away to the fall!

One of my favorite, easy comfort food options are grilled cheese and tomato soup. They both warm you up inside. And generally speaking, the whole family will enjoy. 

The other night, I decided to make grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. My son's eyes lit up when he sat down at the table and my daughter loves her grilled cheese sandwiches! It was a quiet dinner of sorts. I mean...who wants to talk when they are enjoying such warm comfort foods?

I serve my tomato soup in a mug, just as my mom used to do. And we use the Horizon organic American cheese slices in our sandwiches. For the tomato soup, we choose Campbell's organic variety, which comes in a box.. It has a good tomato flavor without too much tang. 

So, next time you are short on time, or do not feel like cooking up a gourmet meal, throw together some grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup! 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Coffee: Make this stuff at home and save your dough: tips and recipes

I know, I know, you LOVE driving through your favorite Starbucks on your way to work, school, shopping, or just about anywhere you go! And that is OK. But, if you have realized that you could have made an extra house payment over the past couple of months with the money you spent on coffee, try something new. Make it BEFORE you leave the house and make it taste the way you like it to taste!

Who says you can only prepare plain coffee at home? Not me! Check out these tips on making coffee at home and having it taste like a coffee house brew.

  • Start by setting your coffee pot to brew the night before you need it and have it waiting for you in the morning....
  • Pour into your favorite travel coffee mug (If you do not have one, buy one that you really like. This will make it seem as though you just stopped at your favorite coffee spot for the coffee you are drinking.)

7 tips and tricks to make enjoying your beverage just a little bit easier and tastier

1. Store your coffee (beans or ground) in the freezer. This will keep it fresh for a longer period of time.

2. Be sure your beans and/or ground coffee is wrapped properly when stored in the freezer. They can easily take on the flavor of the other foods being stored in there.

3. If using a Keurig to prepare a cup of coffee, add your liquid creamer to your mug prior to brewing. Doing it this way keeps you from needed a spoon for stirring! Just pour, brew and drink.

4. If you want to make milk foam for your cup of coffee, take warm milk and pour it into the blender. Blend for a few seconds until light and foamy…just like the coffee shop!

5. Use filtered or bottled water to make your coffee. This will make your coffee taste better than if you use tap water.

6. Want to grind your own beans, but do not want to invest in expensive equipment to do it? Use a small spice grinder! You can buy a black and Decker spice grinder for less than $15!

7. For iced coffee, brew your coffee using 2 times the amount of coffee grinds you normally would. By pouring it over ice, the ice will dilute the coffee.

Now, add some of these for the perfect flavor...

Add one or more of the following:

A flavored powder coffee creamer
A Maxwell House International Cafe instant coffee, flavor of your choice
A Maxwell House International Delight mini, flavor of your choice

* If you add a little bit of each three, and purchase 2 different flavors of each, your morning options can be extensive. You can easily have a different coffee flavor each weekday morning for your drive to work or to drink before the kids get up for school.

Try Hot Chocolate Coffee:

1 pot of fresh brewed coffee
1-2 packages of powdered hot chocolate (depending on how rich you want your coffee)

Prepare your pot of coffee. When it is complete, add hot chocolate mix to the pot (minimum 8 cups).
Add half and half if you would like. Stir and enjoy!

How about Cinnamon Coffee:

2 Tsp. cinnamon (ground)

Prepare your coffee pot with coffee and water. Before you brew the coffee, add cinnamon to the coffee in the filter.
Brew pot, add creamer if you would like and enjoy!

* You can also use pumpkin pie spice or ground cloves in the place of the cinnamon!

Always check back to for more coffee tips and recipes! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cherry danish recipe

Ever tried cherry danish made with pie crust? Well, here you go! These are perfect for a Saturday morning treat! If you are not a fan of cherries, you can most definitely use another fruit that you just can't live without.

I came up with this recipe one day when I was craving cherries and something sweet. I suppose you could even use a refrigerated pie crust to make it even simpler. But, this one is so easy, you don't even need to!

Cherry Danish


 1 Stick of margarine, cut into pieces
 1 Cup of flour
 4-6 tablespoons of cold water
 2 teaspoons of salt


Cinnamon sugar


1 can of cherry pie filling


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. of milk or water (more if icing is too thick)

Line a cookie sheet with no-stick foil.
Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine all ingredients for dough together in a large bowl. Form into a ball.
Roll out dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper into a circle.
Sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar.
Cut dough into 4 equal parts.
Roll each part into a roll.
Twist each roll into a swirl and press together with fingers. Then, create a small dip into the top of each roll to hold the fruit.
Add cherry pie filling onto each roll.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Top with icing.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Easy pumpkin bread recipe with recipes for: cream cheese frosting, chai and cinnamon sugar

I have a side business where I bake for family and friends. This week, I offered pumpkin everything...including pumpkin bread.

I can not reveal my recipe for pumpkin bread, but I do have a super easy and really good one that I CAN share! 

I like mine with chocolate you can see from the pictures of the batter. I make this every year for Thanksgiving morning. We eat this while we watch the parade and I sift through all of the Black Friday sale ads!

In addition the pumpkin bread, I have included recipes for the cream cheese frosting, chai sugar and cinnamon sugar. 

Give it a try and tell me what you think! If you add chocolate chips, add about 1/2 cup to the recipe.

Easy Pumpkin Bread

1 box white cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh puree)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 single serving cup of apple sauce (4 ounces)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 shake ground cloves
Chai sugar*
Butter spray 

Preheat oven to 350*. 
Spray 2 loaf pans with butter spray and then lightly coat them with chai sugar. In a bowl add cake mix, pumpkin, egg, milk, apple sauce and spices. Mix well with wire whisk, removing all lumps. Pour evenly into two pans. Sprinkle chai sugar over the top of each. Bake for 60 minutes.

Deanna's Chai Sugar

1 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container or plastic bag. You can easily double or triple this recipe.

For an extra treat, make this cream cheese icing to spread over your bread:

Cream Cheese Icing

4 ounces cream cheese, soft
1/2 stick butter or margarine, soft
1/2 tsp vanilla or bakers mystery flavor
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp milk

Mix cheese and butter with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Slice bread and serve icing along side.

*You can also use cinnamon sugar instead if Chai sugar!

Basic Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of white granulated sugar

Mix ingredients together and store in an air tight container or plastic bag.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My jogging stroller and power smoothie recipe!

It's no secret...I love to run! Now that it is starting to get cooler outside and less humid, I have been running outside more than on the treadmill. Normally, I have to wait for my husband to get home to go for a run or I go when the baby is with her Nonna for the day. But, not anymore!

I found a really inexpensive jogging stroller online. I posted on a local Buy Sell Trade group on Facebook asking if anyone had one they wanted to sell at a good price and that is how I found it. To make it even more convenient for me, the lady just happened to live in my neighborhood! So, my husband drove over and picked it up last night.

When he got it home, we put air in the tires and I cleaned it really well, Then, I took my little missy out for a run! She is used to going for walks in her little red umbrella stroller. But this stroller was made for my little Princess. She was comfortable and cozy and had amazing support for her little legs and feeties! 
But, when I started to run, she thought that was the best thing ever! She squealed in delight and laughed and laughed! I loved it as did she! 

So, after a good run, what is better than a fruit and protein filled smoothie? Nothing! 

Pineapple Blueberry Protein Smoothie

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice*
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (preferably vanilla)

Add all ingredients into blender. Mix, pour and enjoy! 

*Tip: for a creamier smoothie, use milk in the place of the pineapple juice or use sparkling water and frozen or fresh pineapple to cut back on calories. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Banana bread overnight oatmeal recipe with video

I'm not sure about you, but during the week, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking a healthy breakfast! Shoot...I don't feel like cooking breakfast period...let a lone a healthy one. BUT...I do know that it benefits my body to eat healthy. Sooooo....I decided to give one of these "overnight oatmeal" recipes a try.

As usual, I have to make it my own. So, I created a banana bread flavored overnight oatmeal recipe. What you're supposed to do, is make it at night and have it ready to chow down on in the morning. But, to make life even easier, I make 3 or 4 at a time and have them for the week! Cause that's how I roll. 

Give this super healthy and super tasty breakfast recipe a try. And yes, you eat it cold. And yes, my 1.5 year old LOVES this stuff!

Look how easy this is to prepare!

Banana Bread Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

1 banana, medium to large
1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup cashew milk, unsweetened
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon pecans or walnuts, chopped

Mash banana in a bowl.
Add oats, milk, seeds, cinnamon and honey.
Mix together well. 
Add to a mason jar or other type of glass jar with an air tight lid.

In the morning before eating, top with nuts and enjoy!

This recipe has:
327 calories
0 cholesterol
9 grams of protein
12 grams dietary fiber
15 grams sugar
11 grams of fat
81 grams sodium
Vitamins A,C,calcium and iron 
This is according to the Myfitnesspal app.

The recipe I have listed here is for 1 serving. Just double to triple to make several days worth! 

Sensor lighting: a great safety feature!

I am all about being safe and feeling safe. I have circumstances in my life that unfortunately cause me to always be looking over my shoulder. So, when Innoo Tech  contacted me about trying out their new waterproof solar sensor light, I jumped on the opportunity and to be quite honest, was very thankful for it.

This little gadget puts off an amazing amount of light. We placed it just outside of our front door. It stays on a low setting when it is not activated and when it is activated, it shoots out this super bright light. You may think that a solar powered light would be dim and barely noticeable, but that is NOT the case with this light. 

The light comes in a small box, which is waste! It comes in a box that is a slight bit larger than the light. Not a box that is 5 times the size of the light and has to be filled with bubble wrap or crumpled paper. This is great for the environment! 

There are directions inside of the box and specifications (what the product includes) listed on the back side of the box.

The Holidays are quickly approaching and this will make a spectacular gift! 

For more information and/or to purchase this product: Solar Motion Sensor Light by Innoo Tech Free shipping is available with Amazon Prime

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dreaming of the Holidays...Personalized coffee mugs plus coffee cake and Bisquick recipe!

As I was smelling the aromatic fumes of my coffee brewing this morning, while noticing the gray skies outside my window, I began dreaming about the Holidays! You know...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. 
Then, I remembered that a friend of mine makes personalized gift items. Funny story...that is how she and I met! She advertised on a local Buy Sell Trade group on Facebook that she made and was selling personalized Starbucks mugs. Well, you know how I love my coffee, so I bought one for me and one for my mom in law. 

Isn't it adorable? And to top things off, it is a true Starbucks mug so you can use it to get free refills when you buy a cup of regular coffee at Starbucks! What a deal!!!!
Comment to this post with your email address if you would like information about ordering!

Then, after I texted her to place an order for Holiday gifts, I started thinking about coffee cake because what goes better with coffee than coffee cake? Particularly MY coffee cake. I make a New Jersey style coffee cake. I even named it NJ coffee cake. The reason for this is because I grew up eating this stuff! You can find it in bakeries and deli's all through New Jersey, but not here in North Carolina! So, I developed my own recipe so I could have it any time I want it. My coffee cake has more crumb than cake and that is just how I like it!

Here is the recipe:

NJ Coffee Cake

1 stick butter, salted and softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk, 2%
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Crumb Topping

1 1/2 sticks margarine
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
6 cups Bisquick 
5-6 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350*.
Line a 9x13 pan with no-stick foil.
Cream together butter and sugar.
While creaming, mix together flour and baking powder in a large bowl.
Set aside.
Add eggs into creamed mixture.
Add milk into creamed mixture.
Add flour and powder into wet mixture.
Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan.

Prepare crumb topping:

Add sugars, Bisquick and cinnamon into a large bowl.
Cut in margarine and combine with hands until well mixed.
Sprinkle topping over cake with hands, squeezing it together as you do. (You want the topping to be lumpy).

Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through in the center. 
Cool for 15-20 minutes and top with powdered sugar.

You may have about 1/2 cup of topping left over, you do not want topping to run over the sides of the pan.

Save money and make the Bisquick! 


8 cups flour
1 1/4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tbsp salt
2 cups shortening

Combine 1st 4 ingredients into a large bowl.
Cut in shortening until course crumbs are formed.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
This recipe makes about 10 cups of baking mix.

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