Have You Tried #UdisGlutenFree

I participated in this program on behalf of Udi’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

udisglutenfreeWhile gluten free diets or lifestyles seem to new to many, our family has been aware of the struggles of eating gluten free for many years because some family members were diagnosed with Celiac disease before most people had even heard of it.  Back then the gluten free options of prepared products was very scarce and to be honest, NOT very good.  AT that time we quickly learned that gluten was in so many products you’d never even think of from spices to soda.  But the biggest issue was finding GOOD options for your typically gluten filled foods like bread products.  This past week, our family has gotten the chance to check out a variety of Udi’s Gluten Free products.  Although we aren’t aware of a direct need to eat gluten free, I have heard from many friends how they feel better when they have eliminated gluten from their diet.  And it’s also nice to know of some good tasting gluten free options that we can find to have in our home when gluten free friends or family come over.

Here’s a little more info on Udi’s and gluten free living:

In just a few years, Udi’s has become the #1 gluten-free brand in America. You can view Udi’s history here.

“Udi’s changed the way consumers think about gluten free. We made can’ts, cans. We removed the restrictions that made living gluten free a struggle and made the transition seamless. We created a community for folks to share, build and create. We brought joy. “

Understanding Gluten Free Eating

  • 78% think others don’t understand what a burden it is to be gluten free
  • Only 10% are medically diagnosed
  • 37% are self-diagnosing
  • They have an avid thirst for knowledge and look to multiple sources for information including friends/family, search engines, websites and stores
  • 72% would go without or to another grocery store if they could not find Udi’s
  • 87% say that Udi’s made them feel normal again

Understanding Gluten Free Consumers:

  • 74% rely on friends & family for information and recommendations
  • 70% use search engines or web portals
  • 67% use websites
  • 49% engage with social media sites
  • 56% make their purchase decisions in-store
  • 25% rely on cooking shows for food/nutritional information
  • 36% think events or organizations are important

Gluten free defines their food choices, not who they are. They want to intersect with information in their everyday lives

What are the benefits of eating a gluten free diet?
Wheat in general is a natural inflammatory so when you eat a ton of wheat, you may feel a little bit bloated, so any reduction in wheat will help alleviate those symptoms. We find that with a lot of people are sticking with the brand or eating gluten free just because they feel better.

But if you have celiac disease, your body doesn’t have the ability to process gluten and you can’t actually absorb the nutrients. So that actually has very long term effects!  Udi’s is a real solution for those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Will the benefits be seen if a family eliminates gluten products one at a time or do you have to completely go off of gluten to see the results?
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, then you absolutely have to go off of it all the way! That’s the only way your body is going to heal itself and stay healed. If you are choosing to eat gluten free for your own health reasons then that is up to the individual. Some people choose to start by adopting “Gluten Free Friday.”

Are there any tips for families who want to cut back on gluten but not go completely gluten free?
We make simple substitutions in my family. So when we have pizza nights, I started using gluten free pizza crust instead of a wheat-based crust. There are some great gluten free pastas out there, so you can substitute gluten free pasta on spaghetti night. A lot of the time, no one notices a difference!

Will going gluten free help my child who has the occasional stomach grumbles?
That may be up to the individual. Simply make those trade-outs for gluten free products and see how your child is feeling before deciding to stick with it. Make a simple substitution like using gluten free bread for their sandwiches.

Do you have suggestions for trying to accommodate everyone in the family, when not everyone is gluten intolerant?
We see all the time that it is so much easier when the whole household goes on a gluten free diet together, so that everyone feels they are part of the group. What we try to do on our website is create recipes that nobody in the house would know that they are gluten free and recipes that the whole family can come together and enjoy.

How has eating gluten free become a trend?
The way we eat is always evolving! Because we always are traveling and adapting to other types of eating, we as consumers continue to want more and more choices. Eating gluten free is the same; we are hearing more about how processed foods are unhealthy and now we just want another option for taking control of what they are eating and another option for eating healthier. It’s like eating vegetarian. Even non-vegetarians choose to be a vegetarian even if it’s only one day a week, just because it’s another healthy option.

Where can we find Udi’s products?
You can find us at national grocery stores. Sometimes it is in the bakery, sometimes it is in the frozen food section, depending on the product. Use our website store locator to find which grocery stores are carrying your products.

What new things are introduced to the Udi’s line?
We did just introduce a line of four frozen meals: a Classic Mac ’N’ Cheese with Penne Pasta, a Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese, a Sausage Lasagna and a Kale and Broccoli Lasagna! We really tried to make these taste homemade. For example, we used real cream and real ingredients so they would be tasty!

What is your best selling bread?
Our best sellers, by far, are two breads: the Whole Grain Bread and the White Sandwich Bread.

Are you in restaurants?
We have been working in the food service arena for the past two years. Our hamburger and hot dug buns are at stadiums, Red Robin and most other hamburger joints carry our hamburger buns and we are just starting to get traction with our pizza crust. We are really working hard to make sure that there are gluten free options for people in restaurants!

Our thoughts on Udi’s Gluten Free products:

I’ll be perfectly honest and say I really didn’t anticipate liking too many of the products.  The gluten free items I’d tasted years ago ranged from bland to plain gross.  But of all the things we’ve tried the boys have loved them all and the only one I didn’t love was the granola bar because it was just a little too crunchy for me.  (I have a serious texture issue and they were mostly soft and chewy but some bits would hit into a good crunch so it wasn’t something I’d get for me.)

But the soft and chewy Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites were A-mazing.  As were the Soft & Chewy Snicker Doodle cookies.  Seriously, none of these sweet treats left you feeling like something was missing or had the slightest hint of after taste or anything but sweet yumminess.

udis gluten free treats cookies chocolate granola bar brownie bites snickerdoodles

 

 

 

I was really not sure about the bread, especially how the kids would take to it.  We regularly do whole grain breads but these loaves just felt heavier when picking them up.  I was prepared for the boys to decline this one.  But they devoured both varieties.  We had sandwiches, toast and even some plain.  As I mentioned the loaves felt heavier but the bread its self wasn’t dry.  It was denser than a white bread obviously but I thought it was good and definitely wouldn’t mind using it regularly.

udis gluten free bread collage

 

While I do know there are some regular chips on the market that are gluten free, some are a cross contamination risk, so be sure to do your research.  But Udi’s Gluten Free crips were a big hit here too.  They reminded me very much of something else I’ve had but I can’t for the life of me place it.  I was a big fan of the Simply Salt Ancient Grain Crisps and the boys loved the cheese varieties.

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Find Udi’s Gluten Free products near you!

 

 

Crock-Pot® Cuisine: Rustic Beef Stew #crockpotcuisine

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Crock Pot Cuisine introduces a line of all natural chef inspired meals designed specifically for your Crock Pot. As a busy, single mom I am in love with the concept.  And I was super excited to get to try them first hand.

 

crock pot cuisine how it works

Get 25% off of your order at CrockPotCuisine.com through March 31, 2014 with code: CPC25BLOGI

 

Rustic-Beef-StewRustic Beef Stew

Our home-cooked, rich and savory Rustic Beef Stew will warm you from the inside out. Made with fork-tender seasoned beef blended with chunky baker potatoes, baby carrots and sweet caramelized onions in a flavorful demi-glace sauce, our all-natural beef stew is a hearty, delicious meal that will leave you satisfied.

Ingredients: Potatoes, Carrots, Cooked Diced Beef (Beef, Water, Rice Starch, Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Spice), Demi Glaze Sauce (Water, Beef Rib-eye Flavor Concentrate [Cooked Beef Rib-eye Including Juices, Corn Oil, Beef Fat, Yeast Extract, Beef Flavor, and Flavor], Corn Starch, Red Wine, Mushroom Base [Sautéed Mushrooms, Mushroom Extract, Salt, Flavoring, Canola Oil, Sugar, Potato Flour, Onion Powder], Mushrooms, Onions, Salt, Soybean Oil, Spices, Xanthan Gum, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Flavors), Caramelized Onions, Celery.

 

My Thoughts on the Rustic Beef Stew:

Our family loves beef stew so I didn’t have much doubt that this would be a hit. It was the perfect wintery day meal.  I wasn’t sure if it would be enough just as it was so I did make up some egg noddles that we topped with the Rustic Beef Stew but it probably would have been just the right amount without it as we did have leftovers.  Again, it’s so easy.  With the beef stew there wasn’t even anything additional to add once you started it. So you could truly just toss it in and wait until it was ready to serve.  Boys all gave it two thumbs up!

Step 1

Crock Pot cuisine rustic beef stew (4)Empty the ingredients into your Crock-Pot with 1/2 cup water.

 

Step 2

Crock Pot cuisine rustic beef stew (1)Wait

 

Step 3

Crock Pot cuisine rustic beef stew (6)ENJOY

 

 

Also Available in:

Rustic-Beef-Stew

Rustic Beef Stew

Layered Beef Lasagne-10-edit

Layered Beef Lasagne

Sesame-Ginger-Chicken.jpg

Sesame Ginger Chicken

HerbDumplings

Roasted Chicken and Mini Herbed Dumplings

Herb-Chicken

Lemon Herb Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and

crock pot cuisine coming soon

Get 25% off of your order at CrockPotCuisine.com through March 31, 2014 with code: CPC25BLOGI

 

 

 

 

Crock-Pot® Cuisine: Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken #crockpotcuisine

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Crock Pot Cuisine introduces a line of all natural chef inspired meals designed specifically for your Crock Pot. As a busy, single mom I am in love with the concept.  And I was super excited to get to try them first hand.

 

crock pot cuisine how it works

Get 25% off of your order at CrockPotCuisine.com through March 31, 2014 with code: CPC25BLOGI

 

 

Cajun-ChickenCreole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken

Bring a little taste of the bayou to your dinner table with our Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken. Made from a piquant blend of spicy andouille sausage and chunks of tender all white meat chicken breast blended with fluffy white rice in a rich, savory jambalaya sauce, this wholesome New Orleans classic makes you feel like you’re dining on Bourbon Street.

Ingredients: Rice, Andouille Sausage (Chicken Breast Meat And Thigh Meat, Water, Contains 2% or less of the following: Spices, Parsley, Crushed Red Pepper, Paprika, Flavor, Onions, Garlic, Salt, Sugar, Vinegar, Pork Casing), Jambalaya Sauce (Water, Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Onions, Olive Oil, Chicken Broth, Hot Sauce [Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic], Corn Starch, Sea Salt, Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Paprika, Thyme, Spices, Red Pepper), Tomatoes, Seasoned Diced White Meat Chicken (Chicken White Meat, Water Soy Sauce [Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt], Less Than 2% Rice Starch, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Vinegar, Salt, Spices), Green Bell Peppers, Celery, Onions, Scallions. Contains: Wheat, Soy.      

 

My Thoughts on the Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken:

First of all, it is super easy.  I did it with the 4 hour instructions (it also gives you 8 hour instructions).  I knew there was a good chance 2 of my boys wouldn’t eat it, and they didn’t even try it…which worked out fine because Timmy and I really really liked and apparently were really really hungry because we finished it all between the two of us.  It has a great kick to it and everything comes out a great texture/doneness.  This is one I’d definitely like to add to our dinner rotation. I normally don’t do things that require an alternative meal to be made but honestly this is so easy it’s not a huge deal to throw something else together.  But I’m pretty sure if they gave it a chance they’d actually like it, but I’m not sure I’m going to tell them that. MORE FOR ME!

Step 1

Crock-Pot® Cuisine Creole Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken (3)

 Toss in your frozen meat and veggie packet.

 

Step 2

Crock-Pot® Cuisine Creole Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken (4)Add rice after several hours (depends on what setting you use).

Step 3

Crock-Pot® Cuisine Creole Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken (5)Enjoy

Also Available in:

Rustic-Beef-Stew

Rustic Beef Stew

Layered Beef Lasagne-10-edit

Layered Beef Lasagne

Sesame-Ginger-Chicken.jpg

Sesame Ginger Chicken

HerbDumplings

Roasted Chicken and Mini Herbed Dumplings

Herb-Chicken

Lemon Herb Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

and
crock pot cuisine coming soon

Get 25% off of your order at CrockPotCuisine.com through March 31, 2014 with code: CPC25BLOGI

Jimmy Dean Makes My Recipes Easier With #JDCrumbles

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Jimmy Dean. This could include Jimmy Dean providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Our family recently got to try the new Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles.

While Jimmy Dean tends to spark my taste for breakfast, it won’t take you long to find a ton of different ways that these fully cooked sausage crumbles can make recipes for any meal easier.  If you need help being inspired, check out the  the Jimmy Dean site.

The first thing I HAD to try from the site was the Cheesy Sausage Pinwheels! As I have admitted MANY times in the past, I am not a great cook.  I have come to realize my biggest issue in the kitchen is a lack of patience.  This recipe was fairly simple however my cheese spread wasn’t soft and I didn’t really want to wait for it to soften so after struggling through a  set of doing them the proper way and fighting with the dough to not tear apart, I decided to modify the recipe and make my own version, it required much less spreading and no cutting or rolling.JDCrumbles 4

Instead I took one dough square and covered one half in spread and Jimmy Dean Sausage crumbles leaving a small edge all the way around the outside edge.  Then folded the dough over making my variation of a calzone.  Slightly less work and just as delicious.

JDCrumbles (2)

 

I also saw and HAD to try this Easy Sausage Party Dip.  And let me just tell you, it WAS easy.  Like put-it-on-the-stove-sit-down-start-reading-a-book-and-totally-forget-about-it-for-about-an-hour-and-it-was-still-delicious easy!!!  Yeah that’s a total win in this mom’s book.  Boys each gave it two thumbs up.

jdcrumbles easy sausage party dip cheese salsa tortilla

 

Lastly, I decided to try Jimmy Deans sausage crumbles to spice up a meal I make regularly.  As a working mom without a lot of time in the kitchen, and who doesn’t really enjoy being there anyway, I turn to pasta often.  I usually use a jar of sauce and add a few spices to our tastes and call it a day.  But for a heartier more flavorful option, I used my favorite jar of spaghetti sauce, added my normal spices and then about half a bag of Jimmy Dean Sausage crumbles.  It made a huge difference in the quality of the meal without adding any additional prep time!!  This will definitely be something we will do again!pasta family dinner quick fast easy food kids spaghetti jimmy dean sausage crumbles jdcrumbles recipe

 

Jimmy Dean sausage crumbles are also available in these two other varieties as well:

Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Jif. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

As a busy mom, sandwiches are a saving grace sometimes.  But it can be easy to slip into a run of the same old thing all the time.  I swear I ate bologna (with just mayo) everyday for an entire school year when I was a kid.  Then I couldn’t look at bologna for a good long while.  But sometimes we just have to get a little creative and do something new with the classics.  Sometimes in our house it’s as simple as switching it up from PB on bread to making it a cup of PB and some graham crackers or making peanut butter quesadillas.

If you’re creative with YOUR sandwiches, check this out….now through November 8th, Jif Peanut Butter is running their Most Creative Sandwich Contest – challenging families across the country to create an original sandwich recipe that includes two tablespoons of your favorite Jif products! Parents and children with 6-12 can submit their original sandwich for a chance to win a $25,000 college fund and a trip to New York City!

Peanut Butter Rolls Sushi Style

Peanut Butter Rolls Sushi Style

I love this peanut butter roll which was a past contest winner. We are still trying to decide on what we could make to enter but you should head over and enter now before the contest ends on 11/8, be sure to read the entry rules first too!

Enter Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest!

 

 

Get Creative with Starburst Candy Corn #StarburstCandyCorn

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Starburst Candy Corn. I received product samples to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Tori Spelling for StarburstHalloween is often looked at as a kids holiday by most people.  Visions of kids in costumes collecting candy are usually our first thoughts.  But Starburst Candy Corn wants you to reconsider having a little fun yourself this Halloween.  Yes, I said Starburst Candy Corn.  It’s the fruity flavor you love in Starburst in the iconic candy corn shape.  And Tori Spelling and Starburst think it lends itself to some great projects for mom to enjoy this Halloween.    Check out the  Starburst Candy Corn Facebook for full details on all of Tori’s ideas on how to have fun with Starburst Candy Corn. (I’ve included pictures of just a couple of her ideas.)

 

 

 

Tori Spelling for Starburst

Tori Spelling for Starburst Tori Spelling for Starburst   Tori Spelling for Starburst

 

As super  cute as all these ideas are, I simply couldn’t bring myself to craft with this delicious Starburst Candy Corn.  So, I picked the Candied Cupcakes Tori made here. Super cute (and girly) and you can still enjoy the candy corn.

Tori Spelling for Starburst

 

Of course I’m no Tori Spelling, so I didn’t even try to make them EXACTLY like she did. I decided that since this was a fun Halloween idea, I’d put my own lil Halloween-ish spin on the cupcake design.  So one night after tucking the kids into bed.  I started playing in the kitchen.  Because I’m so often ready to crash by the time I gt them to bed I haven’t been doing a many projects lately so it was fun doing something without a deadline where I needed to rush out the door.  I made fun confetti cupcakes (ok they aren’t really Halloween-y but they ARE fun.)  And topped them with purple frosting!  Orange and purple, that’s Halloween colors…right? Eh, I say they are! starburst candy corn review cupcakes craft 4

And since I was alone in the kitchen I may have done some pre-decorating taste testing.  I really like the Starburst Candy Corn.  I like traditional candy corn but I can’t eat very much of it because it’s so sweet.  I like the fruity flavor of this a lot.  Since it’s not all as Halloween looking because of the fruit flavored colors, I went with only using the orange ones.  But I think the other colors would make for adorable cupcakes anytime of the year and pink or yellow would be super cute for a baby shower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

starburst candy corn review cupcakes craft 2 One of my favorite parts of this idea is that you really don’t have to worry about how you frost the cupcake because no one will be able to tell once you add the Starburst Candy Corn to the top!  And since I am a horrible cake/cupcake decorator, this is a huge plus for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

starburst candy corn review cupcakes craft 3

I was very happy with how they turned out.  I used a boxed cake mix and the frosting actually came straight from the can already purple so it was a super easy project but it was fun to do something creative and crafty feeling by myself for a change.  And there was plenty for the kids to enjoy the next day, after I had a chance to clean up my mess, in peace!  If you’re feeling more adventurous in the kitchen check out this Cheesecake Mousse Paula from Frosted Fingers created and topped with Starburst Candy Corn.

starburst candy corn review cupcakes craft 1

 

Do you think YOU would like Starburst Candy Corn?

 

 

Help Schwans Feed America

This fall, Schwan’s and Feeding America will encourage consumers to share a few words for what they are thankful for. Schwan’s is making an initial 250,000 meal donation, and then each “thankful” that is shared will trigger a five-meal donation to Feeding America. We’re also promoting “Thankful Thursdays,” where meal donations to FA are doubled each Thursday for the length of program – a great way to help us in the fight against hunger.

feeding america

 

 

I shared what I’m thankful for. Won’t you help Schwans feed America but simply sharing what YOU have to be thankful for?

 

belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits #Sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for belVita. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating

belvita soft bake breakfast bars

This week my kids go back to school…all three of them!  To say I’m struggling with sending my ‘baby’ off to school is a slight understatement so I’ll be needing all the help I can with reducing stress in other ways.  belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits is one way to do this.  Our house is often chaotic in the morning and we do as much as we can to reduce the morning stress by doing things the night before such as making lunches but finding a quick easy and nutritious breakfast that the boys will actually eat is a struggle.  I had previously heard of belVita but their original breakfast biscuits didn’t look like something my kids would go for.  But the new soft baked line is essentially like having cookies for breakfast (only more nutritious).  What kid doesn’t want cookies ANY time of  the day!?!?

belVita soft baked breakfast biscuits come in mixed berry and oats & chocolate and are currently available in your cookie/cracker aisle for approx $3.69 per box of 5 individually wrapped biscuits.  All the boys loved the Oats & Chocolate variety as did I!  And I was really surprised that it kept me as full as it did for as long as it did.  They are soft so they are a little crumbly but I would consider taking it on the road on those particularly hectic mornings!

If you, like me, could you all the help you can to cut back to school stress, check out this full list of tips:

 

Easing Stress during the Busy Back to School Season

Soon families everywhere will be getting back in the school year routine. Here are some tips to help parents get ready from the Lifestyle Mom, Dana Hilmer:

1. It’s important to schedule down time for you and your family. Before signing your kids up for this year’s after-school activities, think about your family’s priorities and the impact each activity will have on your schedules.

2. It’s just as important for you to have a tasty, healthy breakfast as it is for your kids. Perfect for eating on the go, belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits come in two varieties, Mixed Berry and Oats & Chocolate, grab a banana and a latte and you’re good to go with nutritious morning energy.

3. Take a little time each night to get organized for the following morning. By making lunches and selecting outfits before bed each night, you’ll free time each morning for other things.

4. Be sure to keep healthy snacks in the kitchen for after-school snacking. Nuts, crackers and fruit are great to give kids right when they walk in the door to keep them from grazing on unhealthy snacks, or spoiling their appetites for dinner.

5. Moms often complain about not having enough time for themselves, but when life gets busy, it’s even more important to carve out that time. Treat “me time” as a priority.

6. Start a to-do list with three sections: the priority of the day for yourself, the priority of the day for your family and the priority of the day for your work. Start with these items, and only move on to other less important items once they’re done.

7. Use Sunday nights to plan your dinners each week. If you take a few minutes to think about how you can creatively use the leftovers from one night to the next, you can create a full week’s worth of healthy, tasty dinners that your family will enjoy.

8. Give yourself the freedom to say no without guilt. Activities or commitments that may not be right for your family are okay to decline. Saying NO gives you the permission to say YES to things that are important to you.

9. Back-to-school season is also cold and flu season. You can keep your entire family healthy with these simple habits: eating well, getting enough rest and washing hands regularly.

10. Create a network of support for yourself. This network looks different for everyone. Consider asking your partner and kids for support. They can be a great help with tasks you feel comfortable handing over.

Getting your day off to a good start can really make all the difference in how you feel all day long, this includes what you eat for breakfast as well as how rushed/stressed you feel as you get ready.  We’ve all had those mornings when we’ve overslept and wake up with that panicky feeling. It’s hard to turn a day around when you start that way.  For me getting everyone to school WITH all the stuff they need is often half the battle but if we can do it without feeling crazy and rushed it really helps me have a much better day!

 

More about belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits

· 20% Daily Value of Fiber (contains 7 grams of fat per serving) · 11 grams of Whole Grain per 50 gram serving
· Good Source of Energy Releasing B-vitamins
· No High Fructose Corn Syrup
· No Partially Hydrogenated Oil
· No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Sweeteners

Frito-Lay Summer Fun #Giveaway

I participated in this sponsored campaign for One2One Network. I received monetary compensation and product to facilitate my post, but all opinions stated are my own.

Tostitos_logoLays_logo

Summer time means baseball, the beach and backyard gatherings with friends!  While I truly love getting together with friends and family, I tend to be the one that always volunteers to bring the chips to BBQs.  Between my schedule and pure lack of culinary skill, I don’t tend to attempt to get too creative with my snacks.  But thanks to Lay’s and Tostitos I stepped outside of that comfort zone for a recent family gathering and was amazed with the results.

black-bean-corn-bitesTypically when I think of Tostitos® Scoops!® I think of a traditional salsa.  I’ll usually just grab a jar or two off the store shelf and consider it done.  But Frito-Lay asked me to try these Corn and Black Bean Bites.  Because the store was out of limes, I substituted lemon juice. And because my lack of culinary skills left me unable to properly CUT an avocado (instead I sort of mushed killed it) there was not avocado in my creation.  But it was still a BIG hit!  I am honestly not sure if I’ve ever had people ask me what was in something or how I made something before.  It was kind of cool!

Then came the even trickier, at least for me, challenge.  Make a bean or veggie based dip that would be good paired with Lay’s® Classic potato chips.  I don’t know about you but when I think of classic potato chips I’m not thinking of the healthiest of dips!  So I did some thinking and some searching and I came up with something I thought would fit the bill.

kalynskitchen twice baked cauliflower dip recipe pin

Recipe and photo from Kalyns Kitchen

It’s veggie based for sure….healthy, well healthier than some and you can adjust something to make it even healthier if you want.  This twice baked cauliflower recipe turned out AMAZING.  Honestly my biggest struggle was trying to find a dip that I thought went with the Lays Classic chip.  I think this one was perfect.  If you’ve never heard of it before, you can use mashed cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes.  I hadn’t honestly tried it before this party and yes you CAN tell the difference.  Even with the cheese and bacon a slight cauliflower taste comes through.  But this dip was a huge hit.  It was awesome to hear everyone saying how good it was and telling others they HAD to try it.  I did add considerably more bacon than the recipe calls for because, I mean….it’s BACON.  But it was so good!

 

 

 

 

Not all chips are created equal! Look for chips made with simple ingredients, like Lay’s® Classic potato chips, made with potatoes, oils and salt, and Tostitos® Scoops!® tortilla chips, made with corn, oils and salt.

 

 Find more from Fito-Lay’s Online:

Tostitos_bag Lays_bag

 Enter to win (1) $50 AMEX gift card

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Stories from the Bright Side from @HAPPYsuperfoods #Sponsored

Sponsored content: Happy Family presents Stories from the Bright Side

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“Stories from the Bright Side” is a campaign that Happy Family is running throughout the summer that shines a humorous light on food and feeding challenges that parents have through sharing funny stories told by top bloggers that are then acted out by improv troupe the Upright Citizen’s Brigade.

We, as parents, have all experienced funny moments around food and Stories from the Bright Side is meant to make people realize that others are dealing with the same things we are!

Visit the Happy Family Facebook page and upload your own funny feeding story for others to see and laugh about(and also to check out other consumers entries).  There is a sweepstakes that is part of this contest where Happy Family will pick a funny feeding story to award $20K towards a child’s college education (the rules and regulations are on the Facebook page).

Being a parent is full of challenges, including many things you never even considered before kids.  When you learn you will become a parent for the first time you worry about so many things, but at least for me, learning to deal with what others thought about how I should parent, wasn’t even on my mind.  But that changes quickly as people seem to have no issue in telling a new or expecting mom exactly how she should do just about everything when it comes to parenting.  However, for me the most surprising thing was dealing with my own mom’s opinions.

Yes, grandma is a wealth of information and I depended on her a lot to help me overcome fears of doing everything wrong.  But times change and sometimes grandma’s ways become a little outdated as we learn more about children, medicine etc.  It was this idea that lead to MY funny feeding story.  At least, it was funny to me!

You see when my first born was about a year and half old he worshiped his grandma and grandpa.  He also had a sweet tooth unmatched by just about anyone but his mom.  So one evening while over at G&G’s for dinner, grandpa piled a plate full of food fit for an adult and plopped it in front of my toddler.  Now mind you, my son was a good eater.  He ate a great variety of food and healthy quantity but the plate in front of him was simply a ridiculous amount for such a tiny person.  But the boy gave it a good effort and got surprisingly close to finishing.  When he was showing all the signs that he was listening to his body and was done eating, I was ready to let him be done.  As someone with issues with food as far back as I can remember we were letting our kids listen to their own hunger signals and allowing them to stop eating when they were full.  But this went against the house rules of grandma and grandpa and their clean plate club.  As they coaxed and pushed my full toddler to finish his plate, he continued to nibble though he was obviously full. But it wasn’t until Grandma dropped the bomb, no dessert if you don’t clean your plate, that the trouble really began.  That was all it took for my lil man to attempt to clean his plate despite his tummy’s signals to STOP!  And it wasn’t kidding because within minutes, everything his little body didn’t have room for exploded back out on to his plate.  Of course, I felt horrible for my young child who now wasn’t feeling well.  But truth be told, I gloated whole heartedly on the inside because I had repeatedly told them he was full, that they’d given him too much and they were going to make him sick.  Thankfully, I was finished eating….but they weren’t.  Well after that they were!  And no one tried dessert that night.

Now maybe I’m a little twisted because I could see the humor in the situation, or maybe is karma, but nonetheless I saw it in the moment. Often times when we’re in the trenches of parenting we can’t always see the humor.  But when you look back I’m sure EVERY ONE has a funny feeding story to tell!

Enter Stories from the Bright Side at Happy Family’s Facebook page today!

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Launched on Mother’s Day 2006, and founded and operated by moms, Happy Family™ is the first organic brand to offer a complete line of nutrient-rich foods for babies’, toddlers’, and kids’ growing bodies (Brands include: Happy Baby, Happy Tot, Happy Bellies, Happy Puffs, Happy Yogis, Happy Squeeze and more). Constantly innovating, Happy Family has been a pioneer in the industry, adding extra nutrition to its products—like Salba, the super chia, probiotics, and Choline for brain health—whenever possible. Happy Family has been consistently recognized for its dynamic team and its extraordinary growth and innovation, including winning Food Processing Magazine’s R&D Team of the Year, being named by Forbes as one of America’s most promising companies; and most recently, Shazi Visram, CEO and Founder of Happy Family, being named a member of the Young Global Leader Class of 2013 by the World Economic Forum. Happy Family believes that every baby deserves to be a happy baby. With every product sold, the company supports Project Peanut Butter, a nonprofit that feeds starving children in Malawi, Mali and Sierra Leone.

Visit the Happy Family store locator to find a store near you where you can use this  $.50 off Happy Family organic snacks and meals!

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I have been compensated for sharing about the Happy Family Stories from the Bright Side promotion, story and opinions expressed are my own.