Vegetable beef soup over pasta – made simple with #Ragu #simmeredintradition #ad

Vegetable beef soup over pasta made simple with #Ragu #steepedintradition #ad #giveaway at

Now that winter looms around the corner, it’s starting to feel like soup season. We had a chilly day here in Northeast Tennessee, and the evening temps will continue to be low all week. Knowing that I’d have a busy day tomorrow, and not much more time today, I knew that it was time to make some soup that could be reheated the next day. Since time was tight, we ran into the local drugstore to get the one thing I needed to fill out the recipe — Ragu pasta sauce.  I used this as the base for my vegetable beef soup to give it the right amount of richness without needing to add a can of chopped tomatoes, which tend to be too watery.  My kids don’t like the chunk of tomatoes in canned versions, either.  Ragu’s pasta sauce has a depth of flavor that complements the beef in this soup.  You can serve it with any pasta of your choice.  We like to stir in macaroni, alphabet pasta, and even thin spaghetti. I’ve even been known to stir in a box of uncooked macaroni and cheese!  [Read more…]

New Mexico Piñon Coffee makes the season bright

Disclosure: I received product samples; opinions shared are mine.

Pinion coffee #giveaway #HappyHolidaysHop - enter at

Remember that commercial from the 70’s…..a little girl wakes up to the smell of brewing coffee and knows that her big brother is home from college.  I loved that commercial!   Although I do finally drink coffee these days (a must with my long commute), my palate is still very selective about my drink. It has to taste good; I can’t stop at the gas station and drink whatever they have on the hot plate.  Making my own coffee at home is more about preference in flavor rather than saving money, although the latter is a bonus, too!  New Mexico Piñon Coffee arrived at my doorstep, and it was love at first sip.  I was able to try three of their delicious flavor varieties.  One lucky reader will win A Breakfast for Two box, valued at $39.99 in the Happy Holidays Hop!  [Read more…]

Will you be the next Pie Queen or Pie King?

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Marie Callender’s, the iconic dessert brand. Opinions shared are mine.

Enter for the chance to be @MarieCallenders new Pie Queen or King!

When I taught Social Studies, we made salt dough “clay tablets” each year.  Students could write any message on these tablets, using the cuneiform alphabet.  Every year, there was at least one student who wrote the message, “I LOVE Pie!” on the tablet.  It really could be a national motto, couldn’t it?  Marie Callender’s is a national brand that is known for fabulous desserts. They are searching for the new Pie Queen or Pie King. Will it be you? Click here to get more details!  [Read more…]

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bars IN SECONDS #CheesecakeInstincts

#AD #CheesecakeInstincts #giveaway $15 Paypal CASH --
We’ve been busy with trying to sell our home, trying to buy a new home, and still enjoying the sunny days of summer. There have been many days when I’ve rushed out of the house for a showing, then tried to get home in time to host friends and family for an impromptu get-together. Quick-to-fix healthy foods are my saving grace, and I often need to rely on convenient items like these Strawberry or Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars from Fiber One. You can even save a little cash by using this exclusive Publix coupon from 7/16/15 to 7/29/15! This is a great way to indulge while watching the calories. Here’s how to make your tasty treat in just a few seconds!
[Read more…]

Easy Italian Chicken Doesn’t Just Fight Hunger #ad #WeSparkChange #Shop2Give

Disclosure: As a participant in this campaign with Walmart, I have received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Easy Italian Chicken - make it with #WeSparkChange ingredients! #Shop2Give #ad

When my kids hop in the car, the first thing I hear is, “I’m hungry!”  Sometimes it’s frustrating to try to fill those bottomless pits, but I try to stop and remember how very blessed I am.  Many of the students at my school depend on the cafeteria breakfast and lunch because they don’t have food at home.  Our school sends home snacks and meals for the kids to prepare on the weekends, but I worry about those little ones when school is out.  On the days that we stayed home because of snow, those children must have suffered from hunger.  Sitting in a classroom and trying to focus on history or math is tough when the stomach is growling.  All too often, there are children who must battle that problem.  Therefore, I’m so grateful that I can feed my children when they ask for something to eat. My husband and I have jobs that enable us to satisfy that hunger with delicious, nutritious meals.  Not every parent is able to fill those hungry beaks, yet the rest of us can help to bridge those gaps through our regular shopping trips.  You see, Feeding America Food Banks plan to donate up to 75 million meals based on the purchases we make at Walmart.  I used two ingredients from  participating brands  to make a family favorite – Easy Italian Chicken.  This recipe doesn’t just fight hunger at my house; it also helps to provide two meals at Feeding America!   [Read more…]

Creamy Blueberry Vinaigrette made with Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! #whipitup

Disclosure: I’m excited to bring you this post from Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! The thoughts and opinions shared are mine.

Remember that time when you opened the fridge and decided to eat the rest of that salad you made, only to find that you’re out of salad dressing? We’ve all been there. Next time I’m in the mood for a fresh take on salad, I’ll whip up this delicious, creamy vinaigrette using Yoplait Greek 100 Whips as the creamy base instead of buttermilk or mayonnaise. Sweet salad dressings appeal to me, but my regular poppyseed dressing has over 200 calories per 1-oz serving. Ouch! When I factor in the preservatives and other ambiguous ingredients, it’s also hard to tell what I’m actually eating.  When my daughter saw the Yoplait Greek 100 Whips in the store, she asked it we might be able to make homemade dressing with it.  I thought that was such a great idea!  Three ingredients and about one minute went into preparing this delicious Creamy Blueberry Vinaigrette. My kids loved dipping croutons in it; I preferred it with raw veggies and greens.  In fact, our homemade dressing was so simple and scrumptious, I may never buy prepackaged dressing again!  Ready to get started?  First, be sure to click here for this printable coupon to get $1 off the purchase of 5 Yoplait Greek 100 Whips!  [Read more…]

No more burnt pancakes – find out my secret!

Disclosure:  I received product to sample. I am not a doctor and do not make any medical claims.  The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Since my mom wasn’t native to the US, she didn’t know how to make many American foods. Mom had to work hard to learn to prepare “normal” dishes that my friends loved. I remember the first time I tried french toast at a sleepover! I came home to tell my mom about it, so she asked my friend’s mom for the recipe. As far as I knew, pancakes came from a just-add-water Bisquick box. It never occurred to me that pancakes could be prepared from scratch. He loves pancakes the way that bears love honey.  When I’m too tired to decide what to cook, we have “Brinner.”  Breakfast for dinner is always popular with my kids! We try lots of different recipes, including sour cream pancakes and fruit-topped goodness.  Unfortunately, the first pancakes of the batch always had to be thrown away because they were burned to a crisp. The griddle was never quite hot enough, then it was too hot, then it scorched the pancakes. Finally, FINALLY, I learned a special trick. No more burnt pancakes! [Read more…]

Homemade really means Made at Home – #HolidaySecrets with Marie Callender’s #sponsored

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Marie Callender’s. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Marie Callender’s and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.


Scenario 1: Your kids announce that they invited their teacher to come for a home visit.

Scenario 2: Your sister asked you to bring an extra dish to the family dinner….10 minutes before you were planning to leave the house.

Scenario 3:  It’s 8:00 PM and you suddenly remember that you’re supposed to take a dessert to the church luncheon.

We’ve all been there.  It’s the last minute of an already tight time-crunch and you realize that you’re sunk.  Keep a Marie Callender’s dessert in your freezer for a moment such as this.  The delicious goodness of a homemade dessert is there; just add a personal touch to make it completely yours!  Read on to see how I added a special note of flavor to Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie by topping it with a homemade eggnog whipped cream. [Read more…]

Harvest Halloween Giveaway featuring Maggie and Mary’s products

Disclosure: I received product samples. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Enter to win a prize package from Maggie and Mary's -

Welcome to the Harvest Halloween Giveaway! This blog hop is hosted by Holly at Hollybee Tells. As we celebrate the changing leaves and cooler weather, let’s enjoy some great prizes, too! At our giveaway, you have a chance to win a fabulous prize package from Maggie and Mary’s. [Read more…]

Mason Jar salads make a fun lunch – book review

Disclosure: I received this book to review. The post contains affiliate links; if you make a purchase through these links I may receive a small commission. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

A couple of years ago, one of my students gave our team a basket of salads for an end-of-year gift.  The salads were delicious;  even better, they were assembled in layers inside mason jars.  I ended up purchasing more items from the farm where the salad ingredients were grown.  Inspired by the delicious salad idea, I wanted to experiment with more jarred lunches.

Mason_Jar_Salads-pomegranate_pear [Read more…]