Recipe – Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad

Ok, these recipes are ones that I have made up on the fly. They are the ones that seemed to go over well with the family and I want to try to remember how I made them. I am sure that they are similar to someone else’s recipe, probably your great-aunt twice removed on your dads side. 😉

I don’t claim to own the recipe, I just want a way to keep track of what my family likes.

Maybe you will like them too!

Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad

1/2 store bought rotisserie chicken – shredded (save other 1/2 for dinner tomorrow)

1 C sour cream

1 red pepper, diced

2 tbs Franks Wing Sauce

1 pkg dry ranch dip mix

4 slices bacon – cooked crisp, chopped

1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream, ranch mix and wing sauce in a large bowl until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix. We served this with warm tortillas for the family, and wrapped up in a lettuce leaf for me. I could also see it working very well on bread or even mixed with cold cooked pasta for a quick salad. 

Tillamook Light Yogurt. Really.

Mornings in my house are a wee bit crazy.

Ok, that may be an understatement.

My breakfast often resembles coffee.

Maybe because it is coffee.

I know, I know….I need to eat in the mornings.

I love yogurt but have you seen how much sugar is in a serving of flavored yogurt?

26 grams of sugar in a single serving of a leading blackberry yogurt.

Dude.

I was recently given the opportunity to try a new yogurt.

Tillamook Light Yogurt.

A serving contains 15 grams of sugar. That is much better

But….

Light? Ewwwww. Have you tried light yogurt? It always has a chalky taste and a yucky mouth feel. Right?

My samples arrived – vanilla and strawberry – and well….it’s light yogurt. I put it in the fridge and avoided it for a few days.

Because it is light yogurt.

But….I love all things Tillamook. Cheese, ice cream, sour cream, butter? Yummmmy!

Finally, I knew I just had to take the plunge and try it. Even if it is light yogurt.

When I opened it, it smelled pretty good. Consistency was nice – not watery like some other light yogurt I have tasted.

And this made me smile.

You can see the little vanilla bean specks in there….. nice touch Tillamook.

I’ve never been a big fan of plain vanilla yogurt so I added some fresh berries.

You know what? It is awesome. No chalky mouth feel at all. It is smooth, creamy and delectable. Vanilla is a huge hit!

I actually looked forward to trying the strawberry!

But it disappeared.

My kiddo says it was fantastic. 😉

I will be adding this to our shopping list with no hesitation.

{Mommy Rambles was provided a sample of Tillamook Light Yogurt. All opinions and yummy yogurt are mine. Except when stolen by my kiddo.}

Special ocaasions only?


We just got home from a mini-trip.

I’m tired.

Seriously tired.

Naturally the very first thing the kids clamored for as we walked back in the house was dinner.

It’s like they expect to be fed every day or something.

I stumbled to the freezer (Did I mention I’m tired?) and did a quick inventory of the contents. Freezer burnt broccoli, chicken nuggets, popsicles, and COOL WHIP whipped topping. Hmmm…..

This mini-trip we just took was not a special occasion, but it sure felt like it. It was incredibly nice to have an “everyday” special day. Maybe I could carry that same feeling through to dinner.

Are you sure they have to be fed? 

Everyone was a bit grouchy after being cooped up in the car. Well, make that a lot grouchy. I think we all needed something to smile about.

My family’s all time favorite dessert is something we call Pink Fluff. We serve it at big, important dinners. Because Pink Fluff is awesome.

And besides tasting quite yummy, it is a cinch to make. Why don’t I make this more often? I have all the ingredients on hand almost all the time.

I knew what could pull this evening out of the grumpies. PINK FLUFF!

I grabbed the chicken nuggets (you knew it, didn’t you….) and the COOL WHIP. Nuggets for dinner, Pink Fluff for dessert!

If you have not tasted Pink Fluff, please try it. You can make it in any flavor, just change the flavor of the gelatin. All measurements are approximate. This is a very flexible dessert.

Flexible is awesome. :)

First take 4 ounces (about half a package) of cream cheese. Cube it and toss it in a mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat it until it softens up. Or you could plan ahead and actually take it out of the fridge ahead of time and let it soften, but mine was on short notice, and this works just as well.

Next boil 1/2 C water. Turn off heat and add in 1/2 of the small package of gelatin dessert. We usually make strawberry. Hence the name….Pink Fluff. Stir for about 2 minutes or until you are sure the gelatin is dissolved. Add the gelatin mix to the cream cheese and mix until it is totally combined.

Next add in about 8 ounces of COOL WHIP. That is about half a tub. Just toss it right in the bowl and mix well. You will probably need to scrape down the sides once or twice.

Scrape all that yumminess into a bowl and stash it in the fridge. Then pull it out at an ordinary dinner and rocket it to a special dinner!

And please don’t tell my Grandma that I shared this super easy recipe with y’all. 😀

{Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.}

Seneca Oatmeal and Fruit cups, revisited. Plus a giveaway!

 WINNER! 

Last year I was given the opportunity to review Seneca Oatmeal and Fruit Cups.

I thought that they were a great choice for morning when there is not time for a sit down breakfast, but I did find a few drawbacks.

(Full review here)

I recently had the chance to try the two new flavors, Maple & Brown Sugar and Cranberry Apple.

Both new flavors have a very short ingredient list, which makes the “mom” in me very happy.

We tried the Cranberry Apple first. Just 45 seconds in the microwave and it was the perfect temperature. Peeling back the top, I could smell cranberries! The consistency was  perfect. Not too thin, not too thick. Big cranberries and apples were visible in each spoonful. Love love love this!

Next up is Maple & Brown Sugar. I wanted to like this. I tried to like this. I even added a bit more maple syrup attempting to like this. I just couldn’t. The texture seemed a bit off and while I could smell maple, I didn’t taste any.

Am I an oatmeal snob?

Final verdict for Seneca Oatmeal Cups? LOVE the Cranberry Apple. LOVE. And I can’t wait to find them in stores, because I will be buying them all up. Mine!!! This will live in my pantry right next to the Vanilla Peach from the last taste test. :)

Skipping the Maple & Brown Sugar.

Want to give them a taste for yourself? Of course you do!!

One reader will win a 2-pack of each new flavor of Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit!

Mandatory Entry 

Leave a comment below telling me about your child’s favorite breakfast food (1 entry per person)

Extra Entries (1 comment per extra entry)

“Like ” Seneca Farms on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SenecaSnacks). Then come back here and tell me you did so. (1 per person)

“Share” this post via Facebook or Twitter and let me know you have done so by a comment bellow. (2 extra entries per person)

This giveaway is available to US residents only and will end on March 28th at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Random.org. Winner will be posted March 29th, and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

Mushrooms? Seriously?

When someone says the word “mushroom”, the first image that comes to my mind is the can of button mushrooms we always had in the house while I was growing up. They were slimy. They were salty. They had a strange texture. I did not like. Now that I’m the grown up, mushrooms have not been a part of my culinary repertoire. There have been times while walking in the produce department that my eye has strayed to the displays of fresh mushrooms. They certainly didn’t look like the ones I ate while growing up. They actually looked pretty interesting. But all I knew how to do with mushrooms was open the can, dump into spaghetti sauce, then pick them back out before eating. So I kept walking.

Recently I was contacted by The Mushroom Council, a group of U.S. mushroom growers. They are promoting National Nutrition Month (March) as the perfect time to “get your plate in shape” with mushrooms.

Mushrooms huh?

The hook? 

“Increasing the intake of lower calorie foods, specifically mushrooms, in place of those higher in calories, like ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing calories and fat while still feeling full and satisfied after a meal. This approach of replacing some ground beef, turkey or other meat with mushrooms is known as “swapability.” It works because mushrooms’ hearty texture and rich flavor allow them to blend seamlessly with meats. The mushroom and meat “swapability” technique is an economical way to make family meals more nutritious and works great in family favorites like lasagna, burgers, tacos or chili.”

Swapping some of the meat? That sounds pretty interesting. 

Mushrooms and Meat: The Perfect Partner

Replacing some of the ground beef, turkey, or other meat with mushrooms is an easy technique called “swapability”

Mushrooms’ hearty texture and flavor make them compatible with meats both as a complement or replacement

Swapping in mushrooms for a portion of the higher-calorie ingredients, like meat, in a dish reduces calories, fat and sodium without compromising on flavor

The “swapability” approach is an economical way to make family meals more nutritious

This simple three-step “swapability” strategy is perfect for family favorites like burgerslasagna pizza, chili – or any dish that calls for ground meat:

o    Chop up your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of the ground beef or turkey;

o    Cook and season mushrooms the same way you would meat;

o    Combine the cooked meat and mushrooms and use the mix to complete your recipe.

I think I could try this. It sounds easy enough, and they provided links to several recipes.

RECIPES:

Crab and Mushroom Cakes with Chipotle Aioli

Mushroom Burger Wrap

Cremini and Pork Meatballs

Chocolate Chili

Mushroom Flatbread

Almost Lasagna

Mushroom and Beef Bulgogi Tacos

Chocolate Chili? I am willing to try anything that starts with the word  “chocolate”. Heh heh. Mushroom Council – Your challenge is accepted!

Using half my normal amount of ground beef.

Beefy

Next I carmalized the onions.

While the onions were doing their thing, I contemplated the next step. What do I do with these?

I chopped, and took a deep breath, and added them in.

The mushroom/beef mix. It smells really, really good!

Then I added in the beans, tomato sauce and spices.

Then I did this. Oh yes I did.

I simmered for about 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. That is such an awesome word. Meld. 

Verdict? Total yum! Do you see that happy face? No, really, it IS his happy face. He’s 17, this is ecstatic. Teen boys don’t show much emotion. This is a recipe that will have a solid place in our menus…..and…..I WILL try a few more mushroom swaps. 

Interested in learning more? Join us at a Twitter party on Monday, March 12th at 8:00 PM EST. The event hashtag is #Mushrooms and there will be prizes awarded. (US and Canada, 18+). RSVP is available at: http://resourcefulmommy.com/8634/mushroom-channel-twitter-party/

 

{{Mommy Rambles was compensated for this post by the Mushroom Council and Global Influence, but the yum was all mine!!}}

 

Sharing a cup of joy and a giveaway #PeetsCoffee #Cbias

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try Peet’s Coffee for the first time. That stuff is GOOD! Now, just in time for the holiday and for gift giving, I thought we would give Peet’s Holiday Blend a try.

You can follow along on my shopping trip HERE.

Once I had this yummy coffee in my hands, my next mission was to try and figure out for whom to make a gift of coffee.

You know how I love my coffee.

And I love giving gifts.

Giving the gift of coffee? Yes please!

Gosh, who can I chose to give a gift of coffee to? I want to give the gift of Peet’s Coffee to more than just one person.

What if instead of giving the gift of coffee I gave the gift of something made with the coffee? Then I could give the gift to many people!

Yes!

I am going to make Peet’s Coffee shortbread cookies. Can you say yum???

I have all my ingredients, ready to go.

Look at this amazing Peet’s Coffee! I wish you could smell this!

Have you ever tried the ziplock method? Talk about easy!

Cut into cute squares. The coffee is so aromatic, it really smells amazing while baking.

Cooling. It wouldn’t hurt to sneak one… Or two….

Packaging up, with cute ribbons.

I can’t wait to hand these out! Peet’s Coffee makes more than just a great cup of coffee, it is perfect to cook with!

Would you like to win a Peet’s Coffee gift pack worth $75?? I thought so….

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to Peet’s and then come back here and tell me what blend of Peet’s you would most like to try. (One entry per person)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on Facebook  using the buttons below. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (one extra entry per person)

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 9th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose a winner from all comments. Winner will be contacted. Even though there are several #PeetsCoffee giveaways are running right now, each person can only win once in the #PeetsCoffee Holiday giveaway.

“This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias However all opinions and yummy cookies are my own”

My John Hancock

Holiday sendCheer(ios) – part 2

I found them at WalMart!

After learning all the details of the Cheerios sendCheer campaign, I knew we would be participating. We headed out to our local Walmart to try and find them. Our first stop was in the cereal aisle. The specially marked Cheerios boxes were right on the bottom shelf. They were at a great price also, $3.00. Think about that for a moment. By spending $3.00 on a great big box of Cheerios, and sending in the postcard, Cheerios will donate $1 to the USO! That is awesome!

We also found them on the end of an asile.
Cutting this out takes less than a minute!
Easy-peasy!

I asked for the kids help. I wanted to know what we should write to another military family. I think we came up with exactly how we feel, and we let Faith choose some decorations. :)

Ready to go!

If you missed my first post and are wondering what this is all about, here is the quick rundown:

This fall, Cheerios® and the USO are partnering to send “Cheer” to military families to thank and encourage them for their commitment to our country.  Specially marked boxes of Cheerios cereal will feature “Cheer” postcards, which can be cut out and mailed to military families through a partnership with the USO.  Even more, for each postcard received, Cheerios will donate $1 to the USO to help support programs for military families.  Cheerios has already donated $150,000 and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received by November 30, 2012.

I had planned on coming up with a fun recipe to make with the Cheerios. Maybe cookies? Granola? Energy bars?

Riiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhttttttt.

Do your kids do this?

Cheerios don’t last long in our house. But usually they make it longer than two days. Sheesh. Do your kids do this?

Pretend this is a picture of cookies!

If you would like to find out more about this awesome campaign and find out more about Cheerios and the USO, click below! Keep your eyes open at your local Walmart and pick up a box! Bring a smile to a military family’s face. Do it!

This post has been compensated as part of a sponsored charitable opportunity for Collective Bias. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I am not Pioneer, but I am Woman

What am I doing wrong?

I can cook. I can cook well.

But this one recipe is beating me. Ok, maybe that’s not quite true. I can make this Chicken Pot Pie. But when I try to double it, it fails me. The obvious answer is…

Well, don’t double it then.

But it’s not that easy.

I am lazy.

If I have to stand there and chop up a billion carrots, then I may as well chop 2 billion carrots and freeze half so I can be extra lazy on another night.

But every time I try to double this pot pie filling, it turns out like soup. What am I doing wrong???

Original recipe calls for 2 C chicken broth, 1 C heavy cream, 1/4 C white wine and 1/4 C flour.

To double, you would think that you just…well…double it.

When I did, it became soup. Tasty, yummy soup, but still soup.

Next try…. I used the same “doubled” liquids but upped the flour to 3/4 C.

It was chowder.

Yesterday I dropped the liquid to 3 C broth, 1/2 C wine and 1 C Cream then upped the flour to 1 C.

WTHeck. Still chowder. A thick chowder, but not Pot Pie material.

Ideas????

20111014-140923.jpg

Click Protein Drink Review and Giveaway

***********WINNER************

A review for a protein drink on a special needs blog?

MommyRambles, have you finally lost your mind? Do you need more coffee to help you think clearly?

YES.

There are some days (weeks?) during which Faith is, ummm, needier, than others. During those days (weeks?) my eating suffers. I don’t have much time or energy to eat a balanced meal. I find myself drinking lots and lots of coffee. Sugary, cream filled coffee.

Wheeeeeeeeee! *Twitch twitch*

Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could take care of some of my protein needs while getting my much needed caffeine buzz? It was this line of thinking that led me to protein shakes. Thinking I had just solved the greatest mystery of all time, I skipped on down to my local GNC and bought an expensive jug’o’powder, sashayed on home with my prize, made up my happy shake, then spit it out. That stuff tasted like monkey butt.

(Disclaimer: I do not actually know what monkey butt tastes like, but it has to be somewhat similar)

I wasn’t quite ready to give up on my idea of fulfilling my protein/caffeine needs in one shot just yet. I took to my trusty interwebz and began reading reviews. It seems that monkey butt is the most common flavor of protein shakes. Bleck. However, I noticed one protein powder getting pretty good reviews. Heck, some of the reviews were straight out raves!

So I ordered Click Espresso Protein Drink. I tried Vanilla Latte.

Oh emm gee.

Click, mixed straight up with water, was hands down the best tasting protein I have ever tried! And it had just enough caffeine in it to help me get through my long days without a huge sugar crash.

“The innovative idea of combining espresso coffee (nature’s own original energy source) with protein and nutrients into a gourmet tasting healthy energy drink just CLICKed one day says fitness experts and founders Greg and Beth Smith. CLICK provides the energy support we all crave with without all the high calorie sugar and fat! Perfect for weight management, a mid day pick me up, or to supplement a work out; CLICK boosts your energy, curbs your appetite, and burns fat so you can perform! CLICK delivers the health you want, heightened with a rich and delicious taste – so good you’ll forget that it’s also good FOR you!”

Vanilla Latte Click has become a morning staple. It was exactly what I was looking for, a perfect mix of coffee, vanilla and protein. Even if you think that protein shakes are not for you, try this one. Hot, cold, blended or even made into ice cream. It is smooth and rich and about as anti-monkey butt tasting as you can get! Want to try some yourself? Of course you do! Mommy Rambles would like to offer one lucky winner a 14 serving size canister of their very own to get Click’n!

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to Click and then come back here and tell me what flavor you would like to try in a comment below. (One entry per person)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Connect” with Mommy Rambles on Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment telling me you did. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter up to twice a day. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (2 entries per person possible per day)

Approximate retail value is $25.00. Open to US residence only. Mommy Rambles was not compensated in any way for this review, and I am buying the giveaway canister myself. I just really really like Click. Click probably does not even know I exist. If they do see this……Hello! I love you! Please make caramel latte next, pretty please!!!!

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 7th, 2011. Winner will be posted on August 8th. Winner will then have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

GOOD LUCK!

My John Hancock

Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit Review and Giveaway

*************WINNER*********************

It’s not groundbreaking news that breakfast provides us and our kids with the nutrition and fuel our bodies need.  And we all know that eating oatmeal and other whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and promote overall good health.  But, busy mornings and finicky kids can make it hard to find the time to make something that is both nutritious and delicious.

Did you know that*…

  • Nearly 60% of U.S. parents of children ages 3-17 admit that their child skips breakfast, with more than half of U.S. Moms wishing their child ate a more nutritious breakfast.
  • 58% of U.S. Moms say they skip breakfast regularly. 46% of Moms who skip breakfast say they do so because they do not have enough time to prepare or eat it.
  • 57% of single adults say the number one reason they skip breakfast is that they don’t have enough time to prepare it.
  • While 71% of U.S. adults agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, 67% of those admit to skipping breakfast.

*Results of 2011 Children’s Nutrition Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Seneca Farms

During the school year, our family is pretty good about eating breakfast. Oatmeal or cereal during the school week, and heartier breakfasts on the weekends. Come summer time, we start to slack off. I’m not really sure why either. We tend to have lots of doctor and therapy appointments scheduled for the summertime. I schedule the “biggies” for summer to minimize the amount of school absences. We do most of our yearly check in with specialist during this time and most of those specialists are about 2 hours away. That means early mornings and long days. I know Faith and I get cranky if we don’t eat a good breakfast. For Jon, breakfast is even more important since it can set the whole tone of his day blood glucose wise.

This needs to change. We need breakfast every morning.

When I was given the opportunity to review Seneca Farms new Oatmeal and Fruit Cups, of course I agreed!

From Seneca Farms:

“Just launched in April, it is the perfect choice for anyone who has trouble finding time for breakfast in the morning. In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee, heat the six-ounce microwaveable cup – no milk or water necessary – in the microwave for 45 seconds. Seneca’s Oatmeal & Fruit has no trans fats or cholesterol, and is a great source of Vitamin C.”

When the packages arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to read the ingredient list. Short. Top 3 are water, diced peaches and thick cut oats. Through the top of the cups, large pieces of diced peach and in the apple cup, diced apples are visible.

The first one we tried was the Vanilla Peach. 45 seconds in the microwave and it was ready. We peeled off the top and it smelled just like fresh ripe peaches. The texture was a bit more liquidly than we are used to having our oatmeal, but it worked well with the large chunks of peach. The vanilla was not overpowering but a nice compliment to the peaches.

The Apple Cinnamon was next. Same 45 seconds in the microwave. We peeled the top and were struck by the scent of very sweet fresh apples. This one seemed to have more liquid than the Peach Vanilla. The taste was defiantly spot on. But. The texture was off. It was too “liquid” not enough “oatmeal” for my families tastes. If felt strange. More like chunky applesauce with bits of oatmeal.

Since the Peach Vanilla was such a hit, I thought I would try getting more opinions regarding the Apple Cinnamon. I sent some in to work with my hubby. His directions were to find someone willing to try it and to give me an honest review.

Hubs co-worker Jim was up for it. His emailed review “Apple  & Cinnamon – was too sweet and consistency is odd.  Not quite what was expected for oatmeal.  More along the idea of applesauce with oats added in but not oatmeal.”

The Peach Vanilla is going on our next shopping list. It was a great solution to a busy morning. I think we will be skipping the Apple Cinnamon though. New flavor combinations are launching in the future and I will be trying them. :)

Want to try them for yourself?

One reader will win a 2-pack of each flavor of Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit!

Mandatory Entry

Leave a comment below telling me about your child’s favorite breakfast food

Extra Entries (1 comment per extra entry)

“Like ” Seneca Farms on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SenecaSnacks). Then come back here and tell me you did so.

“Tweet” about this giveaway on twitter including @SenecaFarms and then come back here and leave a separate comment.

Subscribe to Mommy Rambles and let me know you have done so by a comment bellow.

This giveaway is available to US residents only and will end on July 31, 2011 at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Random.org. Winner will be posted Aug 1, 2011 and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

“This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.”

My John Hancock