Sunday, October 31, 2010

Holiday Baking with Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil

With the holidays now fast approaching, we will all be thinking about those delicious holiday treats.   Most are extremely sweet, full of sugar and also full of fat.   For many people, they often look for baking alternatives to help control the amounts of sugar and fat in their desserts.

Olive oil has many health benefits.    According to the Food and Drug Administration, consuming about two tablespoons of olive oil a day may reduce your risk of heart disease.   The greatest benefit comes by substituting olive oil for saturated fats rather than just adding more olive oil to a diet.    Source: Food and Drug Administration,

In many recipes, even baked goods, olive oil can be used as a substitute for butter, margarine, or other oils like corn or sunflower oil.   Olive oil can even be used to grease a pan.  Using three-quarters of  a teaspoon of olive oil for every one teaspoon of butter or margarine cuts the fat in a recipe. 

Bertolli's Extra Light Tasting is a mild, light tasting olive oil that does not overpower delicate foods.   This makes it great for baking.   The "light" refers to its mild, light flavor.   The oil has been filtered to remove any strong taste, making it an ideal substitute for butter or vegetable oil for baking.  

I recently had the opportunity to test Bertolli's Extra Light Tasting Olive oil in a delicious recipe by Chef Fabio Viviani.  Chef Fabio was Bravo's Top Chef Season 5's "Fan Favorite"  and is serving as Bertolli's brand ambassador.  He is known for his expertise in Italian and Mediterranean cooking and creates gourmet recipes that are healthy and easy to prepare.

The recipe I tested was a Classic Olive Oil Cake with Blueberries.


4 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 cups Bertolli's Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil, divided
2 containers of blueberries
juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.  Beat eggs with 1 1/4 cups sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium high speed until eggs are pale and thick, about 5 minutes.   Slowly beat in milk.  Slowly add flour blended with baking powder and mix just until blended.  Add 1 cup Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil and beat just until blended.  Turn into prepared pan.  Bake in center of oven 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes clean.  Cool on wire rack 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely.

Meanwhile, for blueberry sauce, combine blueberries, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil and lemon juice in 2 quart sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until blueberries start to burst.  Remove from heat, stir in lemon peel.  Let cool to room temperature.  Serve blueberry sauce with cake.

This cake is absolutely delicious! It is a nice finish to a meal.   This cake is easy to prepare and I can see it becoming one of my go to recipes.     I think this cake fits well into any season.   I am thinking the next time that I prepare it, I would like to experiment with a more seasonally inspired sauce.

If you are interested in finding more recipes using Olive Oil, visit the Bertolli website.   There is a great selections of recipes ranging from appetizers to dessert.   

disclosure:  I received a sample for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.  

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program

Alright, so if your children are like mine, we trick or treated at our local church trunk or treat.   Then got invited to a friend's church for Trunk or Treat.  Both of those events being earlier in the week, then we decided that we needed to do something officially on Halloween, so we Trick or Treated at the local mall.   

If you are like us, you have a ton of candy.  Some will get eaten, but the great majority of it will still be sitting around at New Years.    There is a program called Halloween Candy Buy Back.     Local dentist and community groups will buy back all of the unwanted Halloween candy to help Operation Gratitude.    Operation Gratitude puts together care packages for troops stationed overseas.   Last year, they received and shipped 60 TONS of candy!  

Check out the Halloween Candy Buy Back site to find a dentist or community group in your area.  Or if you are a dentist, who would like to participate in this program, you can also find more information on the website.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Carmex Healing Lotion and Healing Cream Review and Giveaway

Carmex is a brand that I was not very familiar with until my husband introduced me to it.  Growing up in Minnesota, he used Carmex for chapped lips.  I recently became a member of the Carmex Blog Squad Team.  As a member of their Blog Squad Team, I received a kit that included the new  Healing Lotion and Healing Cream. I was really excited to test out these new products to see how they would work for me.

For over 70 years people have come to love the healing power of Carmex lip balms. Finally, Carmex Skin Care is here with a new solution to heal, soothe and moisturize your dry skin. 

Carmex Healing Lotion  is made using a patent pending process that delivers healing and moisturization without a greasy feeling.    
*  Use it anywhere your skin feels dry 
* Daily use will help protect and keep dryness away 
* Rich healing ingredients, including Aloe  and Vitamin E nourish and moisturize skin. 
* Absorbs fast for a non-greasy feel, had a light pleasant scent.  

Carmex  Healing Cream  is made using a patent pending process that delivers concentrated healing and moisturization of your driest, roughest skin.  

 * Use on your driest skin- especially hands, feet, elbows, and knees
* 9 healing ingredients penetrate and help repair your very dry, rough, or cracked skin
* Concentrated - use a small amount 
* Absorbs fast for a non-greasy feel: has a light, pleasant scent.  

My elbows are always a problem, so I tried the Carmex Healing Cream on them.   I am really happy with the results.   My elbows feel much smoother after several days of daily use.   I really loved the feel of the cream, it is non-greasy which is something that I dislike about other lotions.   The fragrance is very light and does not overwhelm you.   Which is something else I personally liked about this product, because most of the time, I select unscented items.

Both can be found at Walgreens,, and and the retail price is $5.99 for each product.

Carmex is graciously offering one of my readers Carmex Kit including:  1 Carmex Healing Lotion, 1 Carmex Healing Cream, as well as Carmex Moisture Plus sticks and a flavored assortment of their core products in tubes, stick, and jar.

Become a Fan of Carmex on Facebook 
Follow Carmex on Twitter

For additional entries:

Become a GFC follower of The Squeaky Grocery Cart
Become a fan of The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook 
Become a fan of The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter

This giveaway will end on November 10th, 2010.  The winner will be selected by and notified by email.

disclosure:  I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of review.   I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Recycled Bread Tag- Monster Craft

A while back, I saw this post about recycling bread tags and painting them to look like little monsters.   I thought that was a great idea and wanted to try it.     It has taken me a little while to save the bread tags.   I would get a few, then my husband would come along and throw them away. 

I finally got a stash of them and tried my hand at making little monsters. 

To create them, I used an assortment of acrylic paints.  I even used some glow in the dark paint, as well.    If you decide to use glow in the dark paint, I would suggest using 2 to 3 coats to get a good color.   My children and I had a great time painting and deciding what our monsters should look like. 

I decided to turn my little monsters into jewelry.   I added some wire to make antennas and wiggle eyes.
I think this would be a great craft to do with a children's group.   I also am playing with the idea of using these in some way as a scrapbook page embellishment.  I think there are a lot of possibilities for these.     I will definitely make more for next Halloween. 

Lawry's What's Your Flavor? Review and Giveaway

As a mom, my favorite question is, " Mom, what's for dinner?"    I am always looking for products and recipes that are easy to prepare, but provide my family with a delicious meal.  I enjoy cooking.  But sometimes after a long day at work, I just don't want to spend all night in the kitchen. 

Lawry's introduces four new seasoning mixes to make easy, delicious meals any day of the week! Each seasoning packet is an exciting meal idea that quickly turns ordinary chicken, beef, or pasta into a tasty meal the entire family will love.

Asian Style Beef & Broccoli
Chimichurri Burrito Casserole
Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Garlic Chicken
Tuscan Style Chicken Marsala with Garlic and Basil

The first package we tried was the Chimichurri Burrito Casserole.   The Chimichurri sauce is a traditional Latin American sauce.   This seasoning packet gives it a new twist.    I also played with the recipe suggestions found on the the package.   Since my family and I do not eat much red meat, I prepared this recipe using ground turkey breast and added black beans, onions, corn, and olives.   I also did not make burritos.  Instead, I made a Mexican Lasagna, layering the meat and vegetable mixture with sauce, cheese and tortillas.
By playing with the seasoning, I think it shows just how versatile you can be with your meals.   I paired the Mexican Lasagna with a simple avocado salad for a meal that was quick, easy, and my family loved it.   

I am really looking forward to testing out the other seasoning packages.   I think the only problem there will be is deciding which one to make next.

Lawry's and My BlogSpark are graciously sponsoring a "What's Your Flavor?" giveaway.   The winner will receive the following:
                                    A Large 4.8 qt Pyrex Bake N Store marinating dish,
                                    A set of skewers,
                                   Lawry´s two new marinades, 
                                                    Szechuan Sweet and Sour BBQ 
                                                    Tuscan Sun dried Tomato
                                    Four new Seasoning Mixes-
                                       Asian Style Beef & Broccoli
                                                  Chimichurri Burrito Casserole
                                         Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Garlic Chicken
                                       Tuscan Style Chicken Marsala with Garlic & Basil

                                   A bottle of Lawry´s Seasoned Salt .

Mandatory Entry:  

Tell which of the new flavor packages you would like to try.

Please leave separate comments for each entry, along with your email address.

Additional Entries: 

Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart in GFC
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook 
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter

This giveaway will end on November 7th, 2010.   The winner will be selected using and notified by email.

disclosure:  I was provided with free product to sample for the purpose of this review.   The gift package is provided by Lawry's through My BlogSpark.   I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Candy- Tricks or Treats

One thing that I love about Halloween is even the candy can be a trick or a treat.      These are some of my favorite Tricks or Treats candies.

How about a Hot Lix sucker complete with a scorpion?    The suckers come in Blueberry, Apple, Banana, or Strawberry flavors.   Can you imagine finding that at the bottom of your trick or treat bag.   I have never tried one of these, but I think  I am going to pass on this one.  
Hot lix has other varieties of insect candies.  If you aren't wild about scorpions, how about ants, crickets, butterflies, or mill worms?

The Jelly Belly Company  used to make the Bertie Bott's any flavored beans that were inspired by the Harry Potter movies.   They have changed the name of these to Beanboozled.      With these, you never know what you are going to get.   You might get a delicious flavor like chocolate pudding or you might get Beanboozled and end up eating a dog food flavored bean.     BeanBoozled jelly beans come in 20 flavors, 10 weird flavors matched up with 10 look-alike tasty flavors.
I have had these before! We used to do a taste testing kind of Fear Factor style.    Just thinking about some of the flavors, still makes me a little ill.    I have had the displeasure of tasting the rotten egg, barf, and booger.   I am glad to see that they discontinued the bacon flavor.   You owe it to yourself to at least try them once.   That is usually enough!   I will stick with my favorite buttered popcorn flavor.

Now for some treats!

Who doesn't love wax lips?   For some reason, I have always love to get a pair of wax lips for Halloween.   I rediscovered them with my children.    On my son's first Halloween, he was given a pair of wax lips.   We worked so hard to get a picture of him with them on and did finally get one.   Every year since, we buy 4 sets of lips and take a family picture.     This year, the guys are getting wax mustaches and us girls are sticking with the classic red lips.  

Another favorite is Peeps!   Thank you to the Just Born Company for branching out and embracing other holiday celebrations.   Peeps are one of my favorite parts of  Spring and Easter.     But, now I am delighted with sugar coated marshmallowy goodness at Halloween!   I love the pumpkins and ghosts, but my favorite by far is the Chocolate Mousse flavored cats.    I am just praying for the weather to get a little cooler.   I love to put them in hot chocolate. 

What are some of your favorite Tricks or Treats?   I  am always looking for new ones.  

Pumpkin Carving

Last night, we hosted our annual pumpkin carving party.   We thought it would be fun to have everyone over to carve pumpkins, now it has turned into a Halloween tradition. 

doom and gloom pumpkins
This year for some reason, my 2 and 5 year old were into skeletons.   Here I wanted to make, happy, cute jack o'lanterns and they are all doom and gloom.  

After carving the designs they selected, I made my own cute, happy, hearts and rainbows jack o'lantern.    Ok, maybe not all that, but it was something less menacing.  

I thought I would share some of my favorite pumpkin carving webites and some tips.  

Pumpkin Carving Tips:
Look for pumpkin carving pattern books and tools on clearance after Halloween.   Stock up for the next year.

If you decide to draw your design on the pumpkin use a water-based marker. Mistakes are erased easily with a damp sponge. 

Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh with a large spoon,  ice cream scooper, or scooping tool.

If you open your pumpkin from the bottom, it makes it easier to sit over a candle or other light source.  

To prolong the life of the jack-o'-lantern, seal in moisture by coating all cut surfaces with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil, or cover it with a damp towel when not on display.

This pumpkin just had too much fun
You can check out Pumpkin Masters.  This  is a great website to visit for tips and free down loadable patterns. Zombie Pumpkins also has some great information and patterns.  

PartyLite Candle Review

I absolutely love candles!   They are simple,elegant, and can be used to create any mood.  Candles make beautiful gifts for the holidays, house warmings, or just because.  I recently had the opportunity to review PartyLite.   

 For Halloween, I love to decorate with Black Cats and Pumpkins.    Since, we have our own resident black cat, I immediately fell in love with the Black Cat and Kitten Tealight holders.    The cats are playful and charming and they fit into my Halloween decor perfectly!    The Black Cat measures 9 1/2" and the Kitten measures 2".   

If you are looking for something more Harvest inspired,  you might like  the Joy of Autumn Seasonal Fragrances.  The Mini Pumpkin Jar Set contain three long-burning candles in richly-scented Leaves of Fun, Apple Orchard and Spiced Cider.  (2 ½” tall; $24.95 set).    It is so cozy to be in the house on a cool day with the scent of apple and spices filling the air.  

Currently, PartyLite is  hosting a daily instant win game and sweepstakes in November and December with the grand prize of a $10,000 room makeover.     Plus you can play daily for your chance to win a $50 Gift Certificate.     If you are interested in learning more about PartyLite's products, visit their website to find more beautiful decorating ideas.  You can also find a consultant in your area.  

disclosure:  I was provided a sample for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed in this most are my own. 

Sunday Scavenger Hunt

1.  5 senses-   I choose this picture for my 5 senses photo because it looks delicious, smells wonderful right from the oven, tastes amazing, and is soft and sticky to touch.  

2.  Children

3. Dining

4. Night

5. Sky

Fan Stamp Review

I recently had the opportunity to test out Fan Stamp.    My children love to have temporarily tattoos, but Fan Stamp is even better.   It is press on face paint.    Your child can be transformed into any character or show team spirit in just a matter of seconds.  

You peel the plastic cover from the cardboard and place the stamp.   Press firmly over the image and then slowly peel it away.   Then you lightly tap with the powder pad. There is no mess and no water like with a temporary tattoo.   The great thing also is that each design can be applied multiple times.

There are lots of different designs to choose from making these great for Halloween, but also birthday parties, tailgating, or anything else you can think of.

My daughter really loved the Disney Princess designs.   I think she asks me daily to put one of the designs on her.   I used Fan Stamps for her Princess party.  The little girls at her party loved it as well!    
I  liked the fact that the stamps are made out of  100% pure minerals.   I also like that it was so simple to use.   I was able to apply the designs for each of the girls at the party quickly, and each time was perfect.

Be sure to check out Fan Stamp's website for more information about the product and available designs.

disclosure:  I was provided with a sample for the purpose of this review.   I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sesame Street Live! Elmo's Healthy Heros

This past weekend my family and I went to see Sesame Street Live.    Which was kind of thrilling for me, I know that is kind of sad. But, as I kid I always wanted to see Sesame Street Live, but I never got to go.     I actually won the tickets, by entering a contest that was hosted by our local newspaper.     The show's title was Elmo's Healthy Heros.    So the contest was to submit a healthy kid friendly snack food.    

I entered a recipe for Cran-Apple Yogurt Pops.     This is a really simple recipe and your children can help make them. 


2 cups Vanilla Yogurt   (use your favorite brand)
2 cup    Apple Sauce
1 cup    Whole Berry Cranberry sauce

Pour all of the ingredients into a blender and mix well.     Pour into paper cups or popcicle mold and allow to free for at least 2 hours.   

The show was a lot of fun!   Elmo and his monster friends were trying to help Super Grover learn about making healthy food choices, getting enough sleep, and good hygiene.   

There was only one thing that I didn't like so much.    As an adult, who grew up watching Sesame Street, don't change Cookie Monster!!    For 30 years, Cookie has eaten cookies.    I don't want him to eat broccoli!!   There is just something wrong with Cookie saying, YUMMMMM, ME LOVE BROCCOLI!   maybe they should make him broccoli cookies or something along that line, I think I could deal with.   

Winners of the Wholly Guacamole Giveaway

Sorry everyone for being so slow in posting the winners.   The grand prize winner is Crystal and the 2nd prize winner is Ronda!   Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wandering Wednesday/Halloween Craft Recap

Welcome everyone from Wandering Wednesday.   I am going to post a Halloween Recipe and Craft recap today.    In case you missed any of my Halloween posts, this is the place to check them out!   

Edible Eyeballs

 Monster Book

Mummy Candy Jars 

 After some trick or treating, treat yourself to a relaxing Pumpkin Facial.  

I can't wait for Halloween to get here!

Edible Eyeball Recipe

This is a quick little treat that will be easy to make with children.  You will need the following ingredients:

small powdered sugar doughnuts
gummi lifesavers
vanilla frosting, tinted red
mini chocolate chips
popcicle or lollipop sticks

1.  Take the powdered sugar doughnut and pipe or spread a small amount of frosting onto the center of the doughnut.

2.  Stick a gummie lifesaver onto the frosting.  Place a chocolate chip in the center.  For an extra effect, you can pipe icing to make the eyes look bloodshot. 

3.   Insert a stick into the bottom of the doughnut. 

The finished product is something fun for kids of all ages!   

Halloween Hulabaloo- Alize Cocktails

Halloween isn't just a kid's holiday.  If you are looking for something a little more adult for your Halloween Party, you might want to try these cocktail recipes.    I recently had to opportunity to sample Alize Liqueur Gold Passion and Red Passion vodka based drinks.

Alize liqueurs infuse premium French Vodka with exotic fruits from the jungles of Brazil, Chile, and the Pacific Islands.   All Alize products are 16% ABV.   I think the Red Passion is my favorite.  It combines the flavors of passion fruit and cranberries with vodka.   I have tried it in several cocktails we made at home.   It is great by itself on the rocks or in martinis.   I also used some as a flavoring in baking my Cran-Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Here are some recipes to try for your ghoulish Halloween Cocktail Party.

                                               Devil’s Punch                                              

2 ounces Alizé Gold Passion
2 ounces  Bacardi Limon
Splash of Canton Ginger Liqueur
Splash of Cranberry juice
Splash of Lime juice
Splash of Ginger ale

Vampires Kiss 

1 ½ ounces Alizé Red Passion
1 ounce Alizé Gold Passion
1 ounce premium vodka
Top with lemonade and serve in a martini glass.

or how about some Mad Scientist Sangria? 

Mad Scientist Sangria

1 ounce Alizé Red Passion
1 ounce red wine
Chill Alizé Red Passion and red wine. Just before serving add 1 part ginger ale. Serve in a wine glass and garnish with a slice of apple or orange.

                                   After a long night of trick or treating, try treating yourself to one of these delicious cocktails.  

Disclosure: I was provided with samples for the purpose of this review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free Slime

You can get free slime!  Just in time for Halloween, maybe.  It says allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.   kids will love this stuff. 

Thanks to Lisa at My2CentsFl

The Fair

This week, the local county fair is going on.   When I was pregnant with my son, I was on bed rest.  The TV became a good friend of mine.  I remember watching this old episode of Andy Griffin.  Aunt Bea was in a dither over her pies that she was baking for the county fair.    I remember thinking what neat thing to do,so nostalgic.

Growing up in the South, I have always heard people talking about entering this or that in the fair.   Back years ago, it was the thing to do.  It was also a great source of pride to local farmers showing their produce or housewife's showing off their baking skills.   

I had never entered anything in the fair before. So I made it a personal goal to enter something in the fair.  The first year, I won 3 ribbons!    This year, I entered 6 items in the crafts category and only 2 in the domestic arts.   I am very far from a domestic goodness,  so I am very proud when I win a food ribbon.   

My family and I have not had the opportunity to go to the fair.  It is driving me crazy because I want to know if I won anything this year!!  I will know in a few days I guess, I will keep you posted 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Possibly Free Candy Corn at CVS this week

It is being reported that the CVS coupon machine is printing .99/1 Brak's candy corn. The candy corn is on sale this week for .99. I have not got to test this out yet, but I thought I would share the information. If you get the coupon let me know! It's jsut not Halloween without candy corn.

Winner of the RecipeNut/Hormel Prize Package

The winner of the RecipeNut/Hormel prize package is Dana!! Thank you to everyone who entered. Don't forget I still have the Wholly Guacamole giveaway going on. I will be selecting to winners in that giveaway.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween Hulabaloo- Snapily Review

I recently had the opportunity to try out       Snapily prints "living prints".   The pictures have motion and expression to them.   They use a special software that interlaces images to make lenticulars.   Lenticulars is a type of plastic with lenses that create a special effects sensation. 

You have a wide variety of items that you can create, everything from greeting cards and scrapbook pages to invitations, business cards, and notebooks.

I created a custom Halloween card using our costumes for this year.   You choose a pre designed card or create one from scratch.   There are lots of designs to choose from.   That was the hardest part for me!  But once, I selected my design, it was very simple to create. . I uploaded my selected pictures and it only took a few minutes to create.   The cards are 6 x 4.25 inches.   You can print a custom message on the back of the card.    I thought the price was very reasonable, starting at $3.25.   

I received my card in just a few days after ordering.   It arrived in great shape and my children were so excited seeing themselves and the picture movement.   These are a fun twist on the standard creating card. 
If you are looking for a unique way to create custom cards, I would recommend  

disclosure:  I did receive a custom card for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.   

A little bummed out today

I was a little bummed out today, when I noticed I lost a follower.   It was only 1 follower, but come on!!   I guess because I have had a lot of things going on in my life right now, I took it personally.     I am trying to blog everyday, but sometimes it just isn't possible.    I hope that my readers understand that.  Stick with me, I am trying!!   

I hope you are enjoying the Halloween posts.   This is such a great time of year and I am getting ready to bake up a storm, so there will be more recipes and other fun stuff to come.   
Please leave comments, I love them!    I honestly get so excited at the thought that someone actually reads what I post.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Free Pumpkin at Earth Fare TODAY ONLY!!!

Tonight at Earth Fare is Family Night! Kids eat free and you will get a free pumpkin

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Host a Hershey's Cookie Exchange Party!!

The holidays aren't too far away!   This holiday season  the Hershey Company is offering bakers an opportunity to host one of 1,000 Hershey Cookie Exchange Parties.    From now until November 15, you can visit to apply for a chance to host a party and receive a party package filled with all the necessary cookie exchange ingredients.  

When you visit  between now and January 15, you can enter  Bake, Share, and Win.   One lucky grand prize winner will win a kitchen makeover for themselves and a friend!  

Candy Coupons!

 There are some great printable coupons for Halloween Candy!! 
Save $2.50/2 Nestle Variety Bags (20 oz or larger)
Save $1.50/1 bag of Wonka Mix-Ups (18.7 oz and larger)
Save $2/1 bag Nestlé Butterfinger, Crunch, and Wonka Variety Bag (22 oz, 34.6 oz and 48 oz)
Save $2/1 package of Wonka Best on the Block (20 pack, 28 pack or 40 pack)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halloween Hulabaloo- Nature's Path Enviro Kids Treats

 Nature's Path is making treat size EnviroKidz Peanut Choco Drizzle Crispy Rice Bars.   I love these bars as much as my kids do!  It is the perfect treat combining a little bit of chocolate with a little salty peanut taste.  My personal favorite combination.    I have to stock up, because my children have loved eating them for snack.   These bars are also 100% USDA certified organic.  In addition to being organic, the bars contain whole grains, low fat, low sodium, and non-GMO verified.      I appreciate companies that make snack foods as wholesome as possible.  

I am so happy to see these in a treat size.    October is Celiac Awareness Month.  Trick or Treating can be difficult for children with food allergies.  The EnviroKids bars are also gluten free and certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization.   If you have a child with food allergies or know someone with food allergies, this would be a perfect treat to share with them.

disclosure:  I received a sample for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Bake for the Cure! Homemade Pizza

 This is my second recipe this week for Bake for the Cure.    The contest asks bloggers to share 2 recipes each week.   The first recipe was from the Bake for the Cure Cookbook, with my own special twist.  If you love cinnamon rolls, you will love this recipe!  The second recipe was a Fall family favorite recipe using ACH products.

My recipe is homemade pizza.   The reason I selected homemade pizza is because I love to cook with my children.     My mother, who is a breast cancer survivor, cooked and baked all the time with my sister and I.   Growing up,  I learned so much about cooking and baking from her.  I feel that it is important and want to pass to my children a love of cooking as well.   This is a recipe that is easy and fun for us to do as a family.   For preparing the crust, I follow the package directions. 

1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 envelope Fleishmann's Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp.  salt
2/3 cup very warm water   (120-130 degrees)
3 tbsp. oil

Preheat oven to 425

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add water and oil.   Mix together until well blended; about 1 minute.

Add gradually, 1/2 cup flour until soft dough ball is formed.  will be slightly sticky.  Add additional flour if needed to form dough ball.

Knead on a floured surface adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.  With floured hands, press dough out to fill greased pizza pan or roll dough to a 12 inch circle and transfer to greased pizza pan.

Top as desired with pizza sauce and toppings.   I think for us the most fun comes from putting the toppings
on.  Of course, everyone likes to snack on the olives and mushrooms.  You can customize this recipe to suit your family with your favorite toppings. 

Bake on bottom oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is brown.

There is nothing better then the smell of pizza coming from the oven.   Pizza is one of those quick meals that can actually become some treasured time with your children.    Please leave some comment love on my Bake for the Cure post.   Every comment helps!!

Halloween Hulabaloo- Monster Book Craft Post

My family and I are HUGE Harry Potter fans!    My favorite of the Harry Potter series is Prisoner of Azkaban.   In that movie, there is the great scene where Harry struggles with his monster book.

I absolutely love that book and wanted to try to recreate one for our home.  After some thought, I finally figured out how I would make it.    This project is fairly inexpensive to make.   I would say the grand total for the project is somewhere around $6 to $7.   But some of the materials I already had on hand.

This is a list of materials you will need: 

1 large book     I used one of my old college text books that I still had.  But, you could find something suitable at the Goodwill or other thrift store.

1  package of  teddy bear eyes,      These can be found at your local craft store, with doll making supplies.

faux fur,    you will need enough to cover your book.  

modeling clay

hot glue

gold and black spray paint

fake teeth   I purchased a pair at the $ store for this project. 

gold scrapbook letter stickers

Step 1.    Once you have selected a book,  lightly spray paint the page edges gold.   Allow time for those to dry.

Step 2.    Using the modeling clay, sculpt mounds for the eyes.

Step 3.   Cover the book with faux fur and use hot glue to hold in place.   You will want some extra on the book opening side to create tentacles.

Step 4.   Make small holes to insert the eyes into place.

Step 5.   Create tentacles by by folding and gluing pieces together, cut off excess.

Step 6.  Lightly spray paint the faux fur black and allow for dry time.   Apply the stickers to the fur. 

Step 7.   Glue  teeth into place.  You can add paint to these to make them look weathered.   Allow time to dry and

 It is not movie accurate, but you get the idea and looks great especially if you dress up as any of the Harry Potter characters.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Hulabaloo- Pumpkin Facial

Some times mommys need a spa day.  But it is not always easy to get there.   This is a great at home facial with pumpkin as the main ingredient.  It is easy and you can whip it up with just a few ingredients.   Pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin A and enzymes that will nourish and brighten your complexion.  

For making your own pumpkin facial, you can use either fresh or canned pumpkin.

1. Grind up 12 almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder until texture is more fine than rough, but not powdery.

2. Add 1/4 cup honey and 1/8 tsp. olive oil and blend well.

3. Mix in 8 oz. of canned pumpkin puree, stirring enough to combine all ingredients.

After cleansing face and neck, smooth the facial over the skin, working away from the eyes. Leave on for 5 minutes and then rinse in the shower or with a warm water splash.

Read more: How to Make a Pumpkin Facial Mask

Bake for a Cure!! Cran-Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Cancer is a disease that has touched everyone's life in some way.   It touched my life when I was 9 years old.   My mom was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.    At 9 years old, it is hard to process the full meaning of cancer.   She found out in late November and had a mastectomy  two days after Christmas that year.  The biggest thing I remember was being afraid that I would lose my mom.   I am happy to say that mom has been a breast cancer survivor for 25 years.  

When I was invited to take part in the Bake for the Cure, I jumped at the chance!    It is a small way for me to honor my mother, other survivors, and those who have lost their brave fight with this disease.  The rules for the contest are:

1.  Select a recipe from the Bake for the Cure Cookbook, but with your own unique twist.

2.  Select a favorite fall comfort food recipe using ACH products

The  first recipe I selected to prepare is, Classic Cinnamon Rolls from the Bake for the Cure Cookbook.    This recipe was a challenge for me.   I had never made homemade cinnamon rolls and decided to be ambitious.   My twist on the recipe was to add a seasonal flair to it.   I used apples and cranberries to create a filling. 

The ingredients are as follows:
1 cup mashed potatoes (about 2 medium sized potatoes)
1 cup reserved potato water
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup hot water
2 envelopes Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 eggs
8 1/2 to 9 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup diced apples
1 1/2 teaspoons Spice Island Ground Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Spice Island Ground Ginger
1/2 cup Alize Red Passion vodka

3 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon Spice Island 100% Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract
5 to 6 tablespoons milk
2 or 3 drops of red food coloring

Combine potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt, and hot water in a large mixing bowl.   Stir until butter melts;  set aside and let cool.   Combine yeast and 1/2 warm water in small bowl.  Let rest 5 minutes. Add eggs, 2 cups flour, and yest mixture to potato mixture.  Beat until well mixed.  Continue to add flour, 1 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.

Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (4 to 6 minutes) or knead with an electric mixer using a dough hook.  Place in a greased bowl, turn to coat. Cover.

Let rise in a warm, draft free area about 1 hour until doubled in size.  Punch down the dough, divide in half.
Mix the filling ingredients together, cover, and let sit while waiting for the dough to rise.

Roll one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12 x 18 inch rectangle.  Spread half with butter.   Spoon mixture onto the surface.   Roll up tightly lengthwise, sealing edges.  Cut into 12 slices.   Place onto greased 13 x 9 inch pan.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover

Let rise for 30-45 minutes until nearly doubled.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes

Cool for 15 minutes Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over rolls.  

For someone who has never baked anything like this before, I am very happy with the end results!!   The dough is very soft and melts in your mouth.   The filling is everything sweet with a little spice.  I chose to tint the icing a light pink color in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, as another little twist on the recipe.     If you try this recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halloween Hulabaloo- Wholly Guacamole Review and Giveaway

I have to admit that I am a guacamole snob. If it is not freshly made, then I am not interested. When I was contacted by Wholly Guacamole to do a product review, I was very skeptical. I did kind of turn up my nose to pre-made guacamole. I figured it would have tons of preservatives and artificial coloring to keep it green.

I have to admit that I was WRONG!! The Wholly Guacamole was amazing! It has such a fresh taste, you would swear that it was freshly made.   I also like the versatility of this product.  You can add your own favorite ingredients, to make more your own.

  The Wholly products are truly all natural and made without preservatives. Each container of Wholly Guacamole contains "at least 90% avocados and 10% spice".  The ingredient list on the Classic Guacamole packaging, is simple. I am label reader and I appreciate those companies that that keep their food simple and wholesome.

Between the Classic and Spicy Guacamole, I have to say that my favorite was the spicy. But, I am a spice junky and love it that way. My children and I absolutely loved the 100 calorie snack size guacamole packages. It was a convenient and healthy snack to take to school or work.

With Halloween, just around the corner, guacamole is something that can a little fun to your ghoulish parties.
 Wholly Guacamole has graciously offered to sponsor a giveaway.   One winner will receive a "grand prize" package containing guacamole, salsa, and queso dip.   The runner will receive a coupon for a free Wholly product to try.

Mandatory Entry:

Please visit Homegating HQ  ,  pick which recipe from the recipe playbook sounds best.   Come back and tell me your favorite.   While you are there look for the coupons!

Extra Entries: 
Become a fan of Wholly Guacamole on Facebook.
Become a GFC follower of The Squeaky Grocery Cart
Become a fan of The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook
Become a fan of The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter

Please leave a separate comment for each entry with your email address.  Two winners will be selected at random on October 20, 2010.

disclosure:  I received samples for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.  

Terrific Tailgating- Belly Charms Team Glass Tile Pendants

Being a FL girl, I am naturally a Florida State Seminole fan. I was thrilled to work with Sonya at Belly Charms and review her Team Glass Tile Pendants.

I am not one of those super fans who show up to a game wearing body paint. I like to keep my fandom a little more simple. I selected to review her FSU glass tile pendant.

My necklace arrived beautifully packaged in a little draw sting bag. It certainly would make a great gift for someone else, but this time it was a gift for myself.

The pendant is very lite and comfortable to wear.  A chain is included, but you could wear it on a cord or others chain.   I have gotten so many complements whenever I wear it. Since our football team is off to a great start this year, I know I will be wearing it a lot more. 

If you aren't a FSU fan, she does have other teams available. If you are not a huge football fan, visit her store! There is jewelry for mothers and expecting mothers, everything from bracelets and necklaces, to belly button rings.  I know you will find something you love. 

disclosure: I was given a Team Glass Tile pendant for the purpose of this review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Halloween Hulabaloo- Decorating with Spider Rings

Today, I started putting out some of my Halloween decorations.   This year my children seem extra excited.   This year will be a little bit more fun since our little girl is older and more into holidays.
 One of my favorite things about Halloween is spider rings.  I have loved them since I was a child.   There is something just fun about them.   The other great thing about them is that they are inexpensive and you can buy them in bulk.    I love to find new ways to use them around the house.

spiders everywhere!
Just hanging around

One place that I think they make look especially festive is the light fixture above our dinning room table.    You simply snip the ring open, then stack them on the light fixture.    It takes about 100 spiders to cover my hanging light fixture, for a cost of about $3. 
A few other ideas for spider rings:
  let the kids string them to make a garland.
they can be used for napkin holders
decorations for cakes or cupcakes
use gray thread or fishing line to have them hanging around a mirror

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

 This week was difficult for me to find something simple.  I am still looking for something to fit.   Hopefully, I will be able to add it later.  

Golden  I had a hard time with golden this week, but I thought the corn stalks in the maze where a golden color. 

Smell- It is hard to beat the smell of fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts.