Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mom it Forward and M-DISC. Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.
I am what most people would call a shutter bug. Whether I have my big daddy DSLR or my iphone on me, I’m always snapping a photo of this or that. Of people and moments that mean a lot to me. Memories that I wouldn’t be able to access if they just disappeared. Do you ever worry about your data disappearing? Your precious family photos. Videos you’ve taken of vacations, your children’s recitals, graduations? I don’t have to worry about that any more since I was introduced to M-DISC. What is M-DISC you ask? “M-DISC is a unique storage solution that preserves photos, video, and important documents…practically forever. People use M-DISC to create a “hard copy” of their treasured memories, and important information. By hard copy we mean something they can hold in their hands, and have complete control over. This process is also called “archiving”, formerly only embraced by businesses and universities, it is not gaining traction among consumers. M-DISC is the brand leader in personal archiving because it’s economical, simple to use, and will preserve data for more than 1,000 years.” 1,000 years people. That means generations and generations to come behind us will be able to share and cherish our data.
I’ve always been one to love a good challenge. Heck, coming up with dinner every night can be a challenge. You know those nights when it’s you against the refrigerator and pantry. Opening the doors, staring inside and saying what in the world am I going to put together to feed all these people that live with me? Those are the times creativity comes into play. I’m putting that creativity to good use with today’s recipe challenge. “To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Dreamfield’s Pastapalooza summer promotion, we are calling upon bloggers to compete in five “Market Basket” challenges throughout the summer. Bloggers will be challenged to use the ingredients in the Market Baskets (plus up to 2 more of their choice) to create original pasta salad, side dish or summer entrée recipes. Fans and friends will vote for their favorite recipe from each Market Basket category, with the winning blogger receiving a $1,000 donation to their local food bank/pantry; a $200 donation will go to the food bank of choice of the remaining bloggers. One randomly drawn fan/participant who voted will win a family pack of Dreamfields + a $1,000 donation to their local food bank/pantry.”
It just so happens to be my birthday week! Yes I celebrate all week long, doesn’t everyone? My actual birthday isn’t until this weekend where I’ll be celebrating all things birthday cake as well as Independence. We like to celebrate the 4th of July with family, friends, fireworks and you guessed it … FOOD. While the grill is fired up we’ll be serving up these beautiful bites of grilled bruschetta, They’re the perfect start to any entertaining you may be doing. Piled high with creamy dreamy burrata, salty prosciutto, fresh basil (thankfully our garden is in overdrive at the moment) and the kicker? They’re topped off with a finger licking organic Blueberry Balsamic Sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm. What more could you ask for in an appetizer? Well other than another slice please.
Heroes. Everyone has one (if not more than one). They could be a neighbor, a police officer, a fireman, military personnel, your Grandma, your dog. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. My first Heroes were my parents. My Mom who tirelessly made our school lunches, showed up to each and every single function we could sign up for, and believed in me with a fierceness that knew no bounds. I never really marched to the beat of a normal drum. When I put my mind to something (no matter how off the wall everyone else thought it was – and trust me that was often) she believed in me wholeheartedly. Priceless. My Dad was in the military while I was growing up. It’s not an easy job, but one he believed in. I have a deep respect for the military and the people who serve and for the freedoms they provide us with. Although he wasn’t always there because of serving our country, I always knew he loved me and believed in me. Last but not least, my husband is my Hero. He works hard all day to provide for our family. Despite his long work hours, he’s a hands on Dad and spends a great deal of time teaching and playing with our children. He is the best Father they could wish for and he puts up with my crazy. I am a lucky girl indeed. Those are my Heroes. I’d love to hear about YOURS.
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I dig pizza. I like it hot or cold (I blame college for my love cold pizza, but some habits die hard and cold pizza still works for me). Apparently I’m not alone in my obsession love for pizza. With tasty toppings and melty cheese, it’s honestly no surprise that pizza is America’s sweetheart. The makers of Freschetta® pizza know that is not the only thing that matters. If you are following a gluten-free diet, a crust you can trust is also important. You’ve got to #TrustTheCrust yeah? Freschetta® Gluten Free Pizza expands the range of options for consumers who are eliminating gluten from their diets with pizza that’s full of flavorful toppings, with a light, airy and crispy gluten-free crust that is certified by the Celiac Support Association. Gluten Free doesn’t mean flavor free. Gluten Free products have come a long way. We have two of the five in our family who have gluten sensitivities. It’s nice to have flavorful options that our WHOLE family can enjoy. This good looking (and yes tasting) cheese pizza that we’ve jazzed up with fresh basil happens to fall under that category. It comes with a perfectly thin and crispy crust just the way I like it.
Summer is hard work for a parent y’all (please tell me I’m not the only one). We’re week 1 (O-N-E) into our summer vacation and I’m already hearing “I’M BORED” “WHAT CAN WE DO?” “I’M HUNGRY” sideeye. Here’s hoping I make it through the summer. What is helping? These Watermelon Mojitos for one thing. Fun to say, fun to drink. Now you can make them with or without the rum depending on whom you’re serving them to. Mine will have da rum. Options, you know we love them around here.
June is National Dairy Month (and all the Dairy lovers stand up and cheer). To celebrate the occasion, our friends at Real Seal are hosting a pin to win sweepstakes. You could win a $100 VISA gift card just by re-pining your favorite dairy recipe in the Real Seal Pin to Win sweepstakes. If you’re anything like me you LOVE pinning all the things to Pinterest so this should be easy peasy yeah? Did I mention there’s a prize at stake? Thought that might get your attention (well that and the ice cream because she’s a looker too.)
I’ve decided to share a few more of my personal adventures here on my little corner of the world wide web. I’m not sure how many of my virtual friends out there are into motorcycles but here’s hoping that a least a few of you are (if not no worries, there’s plenty of food posts, diy/craft and travel related posts to keep you occupied for a very long time).
I’ve been riding on the back of a motorcycle since I was a kid. My dad rode a Kawasaki something or another with what I lovingly referred to as a banana seat on the back. Despite my Mother’s pleas that it was death trap and I should remain with my feet firmly on the ground, I braided up and jumped on holding onto my Dad and smiled the whole time. Once you’ve had that feeling of the wind in your hair and what I can only describe as flying there’s really no turning back.
Head’s up, this Sunday is FATHER’S DAY. Ah, Father’s Day, you know the day we celebrate the man that your Mom thought was a baller (totally saw that on Instagram and had to borrow it – hilarious). All year, Dad has been providing and caring for you, his dear family, while awaiting his special day. So this year, skip the omelets and extra ties that are just going to sit in the closet, and thank Dad by giving him what he really wants: wake him up on Father’s Day morning with a juicy, sizzling brat and his favorite beverage. That’s right Bratfest in Bed!
Introducing Bratfast in Bed, a new Father’s Day tradition from Johnsonville that makes all of Dad’s Father’s Day dreams come true. Get the grilling started early. Really early. Wake up Dad with a juicy, sizzling brat, then post a picture on our Facebook wall or tweet it @Johnsonville and help us start a new Father’s Day tradition. Make Dad’s dreams come true with #BratfastInBed. The tasty way to celebrate Father’s Day.
When my friends at Lucky Leaf, asked me to create a few recipes using their pie filling I started off with a Flourless Dark Chocolate Black Forest Cake. It’s made using Lucky Leaf’s Premium Cherry Pie Filling. The pie filling is both IN and ON that insanely delicious cake. If you’re into cherries I think you’ll really dig that. For my second recipe I opted for a simple summer treat the whole family will love. Strawberry Cheesecake Pops. It’s made using what else? Strawberry pie filling. These pops are as simple as can be to make. In a few hours time you’ll be fighting over who gets a second or third. Or maybe that’s just our family? We are passionate about food.
It’s been a little quiet in my corner of the world wide web lately. The past two weeks have been crazy around here. What with the end of the school year and the oh 100 activities that are jammed into those two weeks (why for the love of Nutella do they do that to us poor frazzled parents?), and OH can’t forget about this –> my newly acquired Motorcycle Learner’s Permit (braap braap) needles to say I’ve been away from the kitchen. When I wasn’t at a school activity I’ve been burning up the black top in my sparkly helmet.
This is going to fall under the don’t knock it until you’ve tried it category. It is an ice cream I’m seriously in love with. I first tasted a sweet corn ice cream a few years back and I’ll admit I was skeptical at first, I mean it’s corn and ice cream that shouldn’t work but I’m SO glad I tasted it because it rocked my ice cream loving world. When there’s fresh corn I’m making sweet corn ice cream. Period. Pair that with a knock your socks off Blueberry Balsamic sauce and you’ll be making it all summer too.
Tarts aren’t always sweet. Nope they can absolutely be savory too. Versatile dishes, those are my favorite, back to that whole loving options thing and versatile is the perfect way to describe this particular tart. This beautiful little baby is perfect as an appetizer as a light lunch or even dinner or (because we’re not stopping with that) it’s elegant enough to serve for all your post party guests. Want more? It can be served warm or room temperature.
I have a sweet tooth. A pretty wicked one which isn’t good for someone who doesn’t necessarily prefer to bake. If you asked me I would tell you I’m a cook. Don’t get me wrong, I can bake, I just prefer the flexibility of cooking vs the rigidness that baking requires. You just can’t wing it when you bake and I like to wing it, always have. For me at least, when I try to wing it when baking things go all kinds of wrong and they’re not easily fixable like when I’m cooking. When cooking, I can adjust this add a pinch more of that until it comes around to what I had envisioned the dish to be. So when you’ve got an easy delicious dessert that requires minimal baking, I’m SO in. There’s a reason Panna Cotta is my go to dessert ; )
Peach Bellinis are one of my favorite spring and summer time drinks. I am after all originally from Georgia which means I kind of have to like peaches (and peanuts, preferably boiled (yes boiled) but that’s another story for another day). I would lose my Georgia Peach card if I didn’t and I’m just not willing to give that up. Nope. There’s something about biting into a fresh juicy Georgia peach (I’m sure there are lovely peaches grown elsewhere but again back to that whole being born in Georgia thing. Route for the home team and all.) you know it’s a good peach when you end up with sticky sweet lips afterwards. And okay a sticky chin too, that’s just going to happen, unless you’re perfect and well I’m not so don’t forget the wipes.
Chicken and pasta with bacon. I’m in. Every. Single. Time. What I love about this pasta dish, well it would probably be easier for me to tell you what I don’t like about it. That would be that somebody else wasn’t making it for me. That’s about it. There are so many plus items for this dish. It’s made in less than 30 minutes. You can use leftover grilled chicken and bacon to save time. Before the emails start flying into my inbox asking how does anyone have leftover bacon let me tell you. You have to HIDE a few slices when you’re cooking it for breakfast and then you can use it during your evening cooking. Simple. That is if you’re good at hiding things. Otherwise just plan on making more bacon. There are worse things.
Spring is in the air. FINALLY. Can I get a halleluiah? It’s been a long hard COLD winter and I’m looking forward to all things spring and summer. Including entertaining. We love to have people over all year round but especially when the weather is warmer and the days are longer. Having friends over doesn’t mean things have to be fussy. I’m not into fussy dinners. They’re nice every once in a while (you know when I want to be stressed out to the max because that’s what ends up happening) but for the most part I like jeans and t-shirt kind of entertaining.
I like a lot things and one of those just happens to be motorcycles. I’ve been riding on the back of motorcycles since I was a kid. My Dad had a Kawasaki with what I can only describe as a banana seat that I thought was just the best since thing sliced bread. Everytime I had the chance I was on the back with my braids flying in the wind and a huge smile plastered on my face (you quickly learn to not smile if you don’t want to eat bugs – truth). My Mother sat in the fetal position and rocked every time we went out and to this day when I tell her I’m going on a bike trip I get the same comments. My response is “duly noted”. I still have my braids flying in the wind but these days it’s on a Harley. This weekend my family and I are headed to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) to experience MotoAmerica. It’s our first superbike event and I think I’m probably more excited than my kids. These riders go round that track at speeds nearing 200 mph . Just wow.
I love making homemade scrubs all year long but it seems like I really get into them in the spring and summer. Something about showing a little extra skin and all and wanting to be prepared. Yes I like to be prepared. I was a girl scout after all. No one wants to have ashy, grey and dull looking skin right? We took a trip to OBX last month during bike week. The ocean is one of my happy places. I gravitate to it. It’s so calm and peaceful which is the complete opposite of my life in general so maybe that’s why I’m all about the ocean. Deep and salty. Very salty. Which brings me back to this salt scrub.
Don’t let the flourless fool you, this cake is absolutely amazing, and yes you can make a cake without flour. I have to say (and I’ve probably said this before) but I had my reservations when I first started making flourless cakes way back when. I mean a cake without flour? How and can that even be good? The answer to all the things is YES. This my friends is a whole lot of dark chocolate gluten free goodness on a plate and you should make it immediately.