Monday, November 28, 2016

Apple Crunch Pie, Holiday Table & SING© Sweepstakes

You guys, Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is on its way! How did this happen?! I hope you all had the most wonderful Thanksgiving, whatever you may have done. I've had a fabulous week with my mom in town, cooking and sightseeing. It was so nice to have her here for the holiday, and to enjoy her traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Oh yeah, I let her to all the turkey day cooking, complete with her recipes. I, however, was in charge of the desserts and decorations. I'm one of these people who enjoys a good home cooked meal but enjoys decorating the table even more. So when it came time to lay everything out on the table, I went to town. And when my kids and I were discussing what to make for dessert, I knew just what pie recipe I wanted to use. 

Apple Pie is kind of a big deal around these parts. We all love making the pie and then, of course, eating it. As a family, it's easy to get everyone involved in the baking process. With this easy Apple Pie Crunch Pie, I got all the kids in on the cooking process and it turned out perfect! 

Here's what you'll need:
  • 3 apples, cubed
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup pure brown sugar
  • 1 cup Grape Nuts® cereal
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla 
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 5 tbsp soft or nearly melted butter
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
Here's what you'll do:
  • Chop and cube apples and set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
  • In another mixing bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, and Grape Nuts® cereal.
  • Mix in the vanilla and honey, stir together, then add in the melted butter. Stir all ingredients together until blended. 
  • Pour apples into the pie crust and cover with the Grape Nuts® cereal/oat mix, creating a thick topping over the apples. 
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the top starts to lightly brown. 
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. 
  • Serve warm and enjoy!! 

Decorating for the holidays is always a treat for me. I will be honest and say that I have been slacking in that department for the last couple of month because of this last move. But I did manage to take the time to plan and design a tablescape for Thanksgiving. I wanted to use brighter colors and not the traditional deep, Autumn colors that I'm used to. I went with blue as an accent and really loved it. And Sunflowers, I mean, I love them and always have them around the house. Heidi helped me set the table and with the placement of the flowers. I find that this time to cook and decorate is such a great way to get the kids involved during the holidays. 

And let me just say, my Apple Crunch Pie was a nice addition to my table, only for about 5 minutes before we dove in a ate every last bite! Adding Grape Nuts® cereal to recipes had been a secret of mine for years. It's one of my all time favorite cereals. Right now, when you purchase participating Post Cereal Brands, like Grape Nuts®, you can enter the Sing Sweepstakes for a chance to win the $100,000 grand prize, plus the chance to instantly win lots of prizes including movie tickets, speakers and more! I bought my box of Grape Nuts® at Target because, duh, Target is my one-stop shop for everything! It was super easy to purchase and enter this great Sweepstakes. And even if I don't win, I'm going to take my family to see the new super cute movie SING© -it looks so darn cute- in theaters starting December 21st. I figure I'll try and do as many family-centric activities as possible this holiday season! 

Here is a COUPON for your next box of Grape Nuts® or Post Cereal Brands! I encourage you to get it and make this amazing Apple Crunch Pie and other new recipes using Grape Nuts® cereal! Also, I'd love to hear how you love the movie SING© once it comes out! 
Happy Holidays and enjoy the time spent doing your traditions this season!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Promotion starts 11/1/16 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 3/31/2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, 18 years of age or older. See Official Rules for instructions on how to enter, how to obtain codes without purchase, prize details, restrictions, odds of winning, etc. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor:  Post Consumer Brands, LLC.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Creamy Cauliflower Mash with Bacon

Happy Thanksgiving week!! As a carb lover, I have no problem with starchy foods like potatoes, and I often will look forward to a good mashed potato or potato wedges. With that said, I try to eat as healthy as possible and am not opposed to finding delicious alternatives for some of my favorite dishes. Case in point, this cauliflower mash.

I do love eating mashed potatoes but can honestly say I like this cauliflower mash more. I think I make a potato dish once every few months, versus a cauliflower dish close to once a week. I try to get as much protein as possible in my diet and cauliflower is a great source {11g in one head}. Not only is it lower in carbs, cauliflower is higher in potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and calcium. Plus, I think it tastes wonderful, too. 

This mash recipe is a simple two step process. In 30 minutes you can have a healthy and delicious meal that I hope your whole family with enjoy. Plus, there is scientific proof that cauliflower has many health benefits! Check out this great article I found and make sure to make this dish after~

What you need:
  • 5 cups cauliflower florets 
  • 3 oz plain cream cheese 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 strips cooked bacon {I used turkey bacon}
What you'll do:
  • In a large pot or sauce pan, stir together cauliflower, cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper and water. 
  • Cook on medium heat {covered} for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Then simmer {covered} for an additional 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from flame and pour into blender or food processor, being extra careful because it's hot. 
  • Blend/chop until all cauliflower is smooth and thick. 
  • Add bacon to blender and mix into the cauliflower. 
  • Pour into serving dish and serve warm. Enjoy!  

                                                    Enjoy this healthy and delicious dish! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A View From the Top

I did the ultimate Chicago tourist activity and took the fam up to the Skydeck in Willis Tower (former Sears Tower), America's tallest building and once the world's tallest tower. I have always wanted to go up there and see the views. We got so lucky with the weather that day in that it was clear skies all around! I actually had to wear my sunglasses up there because some spots were so bright...clearly, in these pics we have a hard time keeping our eyes open lol. 

The  Ledge at Skydeck itself was very cool. It takes a few seconds to get your bearings and step onto the glass ledge that hangs off the side of the building so high up. It's on the west side of the tower and we went up in the late afternoon, so the sun was nice and warm on the windows. The kids loved standing on the open piece of glass and looking down onto the street down below. There was a line to get onto the ledge and the large group of young women in front of us took about a thousand of pictures and selfies, I swear even patient me was getting a little upset lol. But it all worked out and the overall experience was happy and beautiful and worth the money. I will probably be going up again, maybe when there is a fresh layer of snow blanketing the city.

If you want more info about the Willis Tower or the Skydeck, check it out here!! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Simple Autumn Bathroom Decor

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetUnderTheRim #CollectiveBias

Can you believe that Thanksgiving, my favorite foodie holiday, is just over a week away?? Or that it's almost time to decorate for Christmas- if you haven't already? I'm actually one of those who waits until the day after Thanksgiving to go Winter-holiday crazy and get out all the Christmas decor because I absolutely love Autumn decorations MORE! Yes, I'm a big fan of Fall and look forward to the months when all my pumpkins, squashes, and orange colored tchotchkes take over my home. So, it's no surprise that I attack my bathrooms with Autumn decor, too. 

I will tell you that I DO NOT decorate my bathrooms with Christmas or Winter themed decor and I can't really say why... I just don't care for it. But for those of you who think Fall rocks as much as me, it's totally easy and doable to add touches of Autumn to your family bath. I found real pumpkins for really great prices at Target, and fake-porcelain ones in the OneSpot, also at Target. Using old candle sticks and some thrifted glass bowls, and my guest bath is looking pretty Autumned-out this Thanksgiving. 

Also, my mom is coming to visit from California -yay- because no one can cook a Thanksgiving dinner quite like Mom, am I right? So, I know keeping the toilets clean for any visitors over the holidays can be hard, and tedious, without the right products. That's why I'm sharing that my new favorite toilet bowl cleaning brush is the NEW Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber and Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber Refills. This toilet scrubbing system is so great, it scrubs the messes you’ve been leaving behind in your potty without having to use a traditional brush that can make a mess. The disposable scrubber reaches messes under the rim that competing products miss using a built-in bleach alternative cleaner pumice that scrubs away rust & hard water stains. And it has a flexing head that allows maximum contact with the toilet bowl, meaning a super clean commode. If you're like me and you've used Scotch-Brite™ Brand products in that past, then you know the genuine Scotch-Brite® brand scrubbing power that is in their products. Oh and my Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Scrubber is so clean and sleek that you can hardly notice it in my decorated bathroom.

Let me tell you, when you go to Target to get your Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Scrubber, it's in the home section where they sell the plungers, mops, and other toilet brushes. They are NOT in the toilet bowl cleaner section where they sell soaps and other cleaning supplies (if that makes sense).  Also at Target, you can get an Instant Redeemable Coupon on each product labeled “Try Me Now! Save $2” which is in addition to this 15% off Cartwheel coupon (11/13-11/19)!  I also encourage you to visit this site to see what other bloggers have done with their Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Bowl Scrubbers.... major bathroom inspiration! 

I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving and last few weeks of Autumn holiday decor! Do you decorate for Fall in your bathrooms? And what do you use to clean your potties?