Monday, November 30, 2015

Apple Cranberry Galette Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SplendaHoliday #CollectiveBias

The holidays are now in full swing, and I'm pulling out all my holiday cookbooks and magazines to bake some of my favorite recipes for family and friends. Holiday desserts and treats are always very welcomed at parties and our friend's homes, and I'm happy to bring them.

Apples and cranberries are both delicious on their own, but I think that when you combine them, they are especially good. As much as I love pie, it's not always easy to make a great piecrust. But when you make a galette, it's very simple because you are rolling out one free form piece of dough. In fact, the more rustic looking, the better!

All this dessert eating means that my family and I are eating an awful lot of sugar. But that doesn't have to be the case when I bake with SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, and SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend that I picked up at Walmart.

Did you know that the average American consumes more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day? And by swapping one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, you can save more than 600 calories!

With all the treats that we eat during the holiday season, using SPLENDA® is a great way to help avoid that extra holiday weight gain that we all seem to have.

Adding frozen yogurt instead of ice cream to a slice of the galette helps keep the calorie count down without sacrificing any of the great taste.

My recipe called for white sugar for the dough, and brown sugar for the fruit filling. I used half the amount of SPLENDA® that I would have used of regular sugar, and I think the recipe turned out great!

You can go to the SPLENDA® SWEET SWAPS™ website to get recipes and tips on how to swap out SPLENDA® for regular sugar in your baking and cooking.

The first thing you are going to do to make this galette is to make the dough, which is quite easy, and then leave it in the refrigerator for at least and hour. You want the dough to be nice and chilled so that it handles better.
Then you peel and slice 4-5 apples. Then toss them in a frying pan with melted butter, SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After they are softened, add the cranberries and cook for a few minutes more.
Roll out the dough into a rough circle, place the fruit into the center of it, and fold the edges over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash, and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

Recipe for Apple Cranberry Galette


For crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons ice-cold milk

For Fruit Filling:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4-5 apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk


For making crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together egg yolk and milk, pour into flour mixture, stirring just until dough starts to form a ball. Press together with lightly floured hands, and form into a flat disk. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

 Peel and core apples; cut each into wedges. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. When butter is foamy, add apples and stir frequently until they are slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add cranberries.
Sprinkle brown sugar blend, cinnamon, and nutmeg over apples. Stir into fruit, and continue cooking about 5 minutes more.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into an approximate
10-inch round. Place on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Scoop fruit mixture into center of round.
Fold about 1 inch of dough all the way around to form a rim. Combine egg and water, brush outside of galette with the egg wash.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on pan 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

J&J Holiday Baking with Splenda

You can find SPLENDA® products in the baking aisle at your local Walmart. What SWEET SWAPS™ recipe would you like to make for the holidays?

Be sure to check out more delicious recipes using SPLENDA® right here on their Pinterest board.

Happy baking!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

M&M's® Hot Chocolate Christmas Cake Recipe

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

The holiday season is here and I'm very excited that I've already started my holiday baking. It's my favorite time of the year to share desserts and treats with family and friends. I have the most wonderful memories of my mother being busy in the kitchen, baking delicious pies, cakes, and cookies.

My mom would save her change in a jar all year round so that she would be sure to have enough money when Christmas came so that she could buy the ingredients she needed for her baking and candy making.

I like to think about her when I'm baking for my children and grandchildren, and they seem to love my baking, just like I loved hers.

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy the seasonal M&M's® I always find at Walmart, and sure enough, the other day I found M&M's® Hot Chocolate flavor. So, so good!! And I also bought the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting to make a yummy cake for my family.

It's so easy to whip up a cake with this cake mix and frosting, and I simply added hot chocolate mix and chopped M&M's® Hot Chocolate candies to the cake batter for a great hot chocolate flavor.

I also bought some M&M's® Holiday Peanut because peanut is my absolute favorite kind of M&M's®, though I have to say that all the other flavors are a close second.

When my four year old granddaughter saw this cake she said it was beautiful, and that is one of the reasons I bake, for love, for family.

I want her to remember her and I baking together, which we frequently do, and remember how much fun we had in the kitchen.

And if you love baking as much as I do, how awesome would it be to win a KitchenAid® mixer? Be sure and enter the sweepstakes to be eligible  to win one of eight mixers being given away.

Holiday #BakeInTheFun

Simply add chopped candies and hot chocolate mix to the batter to give it that great hot chocolate flavor. I always make sure to use parchment paper and vegetable oil so that my cake doesn't stick to the pan, it works every time.

Put together and frost both layers of the cake, then the real fun begins! Decorate your cake with the sprinkles that come with the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting, and the M&M's® Hot Chocolate flavored candies.

This is really such an easy way to make a fun and festive cake that you can enjoy at home, or bring to a holiday gathering.

Recipe For M&M's® Hot Chocolate Christmas Cake


1 box of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup hot chocolate powder
3/4 cup M&M's® Hot Chocolate flavored candies, roughly chopped

For frosting cake:

1 container Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting
additional M&M's®


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and place parchment papers (if using) into 2 8-inch round cake pans.
Combine cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add in chopped candies and hot chocolate mix, stirring well.
Divide evenly into the prepared pans. Bake 20-24 minutes until done, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans, put on a wire rack and let cool completely before assembling and frosting.
Decorate with sprinkles and candies.

My family and I drink a lot of milk, we can go through quite a few gallons in a week. I always appreciate the low prices on Great Value Milk at Walmart.

Having a glass of milk with dinner and dessert is something that many people take for granted. But many families with children aren't that lucky, and go without milk and it's essential nutrients because it's not typically donated to food banks, even though it is in high demand.

More than 46.5 million Americans – including one in every six children – rely on Feeding America food banks each year. And one of the most requested food items is milk. But sadly, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year.

But we can help out by making a small donation at The Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of milk – and all of the essential nutrients, including protein, that it provides – to a family in need in YOUR local community.

When you purchase two bags of M&M's® at Walmart ( 9.4 oz. bags or larger) up to a gallon of milk will be donated to the drive. What a great way to help get milk to children who need it. And you can also make a donation to the Great American Milk Drive here.

You can find all these products, and additional flavors of M&M's®, at your local Walmart. Check out the baking aisle for all kinds of great dessert and baking ideas.

Use this coupon to save $1.00 on any two (2) bags of M&M's® Chocolate Candies 8 oz. or larger.

Be sure to check out more delicious holiday baking recipes here. And tell me what your favorite holiday recipe, I'd really love to know.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pork Stew with Butternut Squash and Apples Using Nordic Ware 3 Qt. Dutch Oven #Holidaycooking #MadeinUSA

* I received Nordic Ware products to review and share a recipe. All opinions shared are my own.

The holidays are here and as a busy mom who works full time I am always looking for ways to make fancy dinners easier. Everyone always tells me how great a crock pot is but I do not own a crock pot since I am the sort of person who has a hard time leaving things plugged in and cooking when I leave home. But I have been wanting to find an item that can give me a slow roasted taste to my dishes while I am home doing other tasks, a dutch oven was the perfect solution for my family. I have seen them in stores and have always wanted a Nordic Ware Dutch Oven.

The Nordic Ware 3 Qt. Dutch Oven has been a wonderful addition to my cookware and bakeware collection. The red is beautiful and the cast aluminum pot is sturdy without being heavy like cast iron. It even has a self basting lid! Made in the U.S.A. with lifetime warranty this will be a pot I plan to cook delicious meals in for decades. It is non stick, non rusting with efficient even heating from the cast aluminum built. Make sure to use oven mitts with this cookware as the handles do get extremely hot when using for oven cooking.

The Fall and Winter for me are a time I enjoy cooking the most. When it is cold outside there is nothing like a delicious home cooked meal to bring my family together and warm us up. Most people are cooking turkeys and hams during this time of year so I decided to try a new Pork Stew recipe to serve something different.

I love the flavors of apples and butternut squash together, with that in mind I created a recipe that was simple but tastes amazing.


2-3 lbs of Pork Shoulder
2 Apples
3 Potatoes
1 White Onion
1/4 cup of apple cider
1 Can of Organic No Salt Added Butternut Squash Soup

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut into even chunks apples and potatoes, slice onions into long strips. Place pork and apple cider into Nordic Ware 3 Qt. Dutch Oven. Add potatoes, onions and apples. Open can of organic no salt added Butternut Squash soup, add soup on top of ingredients, do not mix. Cover with dutch oven lid, place in oven for 2 1/2 hours. Check to be sure pork is cooked entirely before serving. Enjoy!

You can follow Nordic Ware for great recipes and more on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


Zooligans Shoes Review and Giveaway

*I was sent a pair of Zooligans for this review. All opinions shared are my own.

My son has definitely inherited my love for shoes! He likes getting new shoes and showing them off to all the people he sees. In my job outside of blogging I work in the shoe industry so I see a lot of kid's shoes and recently found out about the brand Zooligans. They are adorable animal character shoes for kids. My son loves animals and when I showed him Zooligans he squealed with excitement. He also suggested a giraffe based shoe since giraffes are his favorite animal.

We reviewed Tux the Penguin Boots since I thought it would be a perfect gift idea for the holidays. When the shoes arrived in a cute little box that can be converted into a stuffed animal carrier we were both excited to see the animal print on the bottom of the shoes. We both agreed they look great but as as a Mom I needed to know if they were good for his feet and durable. Zooligans have a "paw flex" technology in the soles so your little ones can play and jump without their shoes holding them back. They are shaped like an animal paw on the bottom and are designed to move like a flexible paw in all directions. Roomy toe boxes in addition to flexible soles are on my must have list for shoes for my son's feet, thankfully Zooligans has that as well.

My son has been wearing the shoes for over a month now and they have held up to his roughness and the few rainy days we have had in California. He insisted on taking them with us on our vacation to Knott's Berry Farm last week and he loved showing them off. From the gal at Starbucks to our local banker lady everyone has been shown the cool penguin boots and the paw prints on the bottom. I like the durability as well as the super cuteness of Zooligans. I have been recommending them to the Moms I know who are looking for a cute alternative to plain boots.

Zooligans carries soft sole leather/suede shoes for infant's delicate feet, I saw the cutest little lion shoes that would be perfect for babies. They make sandals, casual shoes and boots for toddlers and little kids. You can find Zooligans on their website and also at Nordstrom.

To celebrate the Holidays Zooligans is offering a promo code for ordering on their website ZOO20 for 20% off. We are also hosting a giveaway on Frugal Family Tree for a pair of Zooligans shoes.

Ollie the Owl Boot

Penny the Penguin Boot


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts November 24, 2015 and ends on December 8, 2015 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize. I was sent a product to review for this post.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Butternut Squash Pecan Bread Recipe

Let me just say that I'm a huge butternut squash fan. I love it roasted in so many different things, like soup, salads, and stews. It does taste a lot like pumpkin, and has that sweet, creamy taste that is just so good.

The other day I made a batch of roasted butternut squash to make soup, and I had some left over. I had a recipe for butternut squash quick bread, so I thought I'd give it try. Wow, am I glad I did because this bread is fabulous!

It's moist and sweet, and when you warm up a slice with a little bit of butter, it's so good. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea for dessert or as an afternoon treat.

I added pecans to the batter but walnuts or even chocolate chips would work, too. I love making quick breads to eat at home, or give as gifts during the holidays. This recipe is one I'll be making again because it is just so yummy and my family loves it.

Roasting the butternut squash with olive oil and salt and pepper is easy. Baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes softens it nicely, and makes it easy to mash with a fork, which is how I used it for this recipe.

Recipe for Butternut Squash Pecan Bread


1 cup roasted and mashed butternut squash
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass or metal loaf pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the butternut squash, eggs, oil, water and sugars until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice.
Stir the dry ingredients into the butternut squash mixture. Combine just until incorporated; do not over mix. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Let sit in pan for 15 minutes, take out and let cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is inspired by My Baking Addiction, and I did alter a few things. Enjoy!!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Fall Cookie Favorite, Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Yesterday, it finally started to really feel like fall weather here. Fall makes me happy, and when I'm happy, I like to bake. I've been making quite a few apple desserts lately, and so I thought it was time to make something with pumpkin.

These Pumpkin Spice Cookies are pretty fabulous, and I made them fairly large, big enough so that one was enough for each of my grandchildren to enjoy.

I think that one of the delights of baking is the way the kitchen smells so heavenly when something good is in the oven. These cookies smell like fall itself, and should do just the trick if you need a yummy pumpkin treat fix.

I live near a wonderful market that sells fresh spices by weight, so I was able to go buy my fall spices that I need for my baking. They are super fresh and less expensive when you buy them this way. Who wants to open that bottle of pumpkin pie spice that has been sitting around for years because you only use a teaspoon or two of it every season?

So, if you are looking for a great cookie recipe, try these, soft and yummy glazed cookies, Perfect with a glass of milk on a chilly fall day.

Recipe for Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cookies


2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with baking spray, or line with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 or until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cookies.

To make glaze, combine powered sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Makes about 18 large cookies.
I made these cookies last year, and they are so yummy that I wanted to share them again.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Bulu Box Healthier Options Monthly Mail Subscription

* I will be receiving a 3 mo. subscription to Buubox to review and share my opinions on.

I am a huge fan of stuff arriving in the mail! I love getting packages from online shopping, gifts from family and am starting to have a bit of an obsession with monthly mail subscriptions. I love the idea of a company making a few selections a month for new things for me to try. I have lost over 10 pant sizes in the last 2 years and am always looking for new healthier items in my life.

The perfect partner in the pursuit of a healthier you, Bulu Box is like having a personal trainer and a nutritionist as a best friend. Each month, a box of healthy discoveries is shipped right to your door for just $10. You learn about that month's 4-5 premium samples, try each one and see what fits into your individual healthy lifestyle. 

For sharing your opinions on each month's samples through a quick survey, Bulubox will give you 50 Rewards Points (that's $5!) to use in our shop to get more of your favorites. Get a 3 Month Subscription for just $15 (regularly $30)! at Bulu Box - Use code WOWZA 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sweet Potato Soup Recipe For Fall

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables during the fall and winter. I love their sweet flavor, and the fact that they are very healthy for you. I often roast up a batch as a side dish for dinner, and then will eat the leftovers for lunch during the week.

My local indoor farmer's market had them for a great price last weekend, so I ended up buying quite a few pounds of them. And as much as I love them, I can only eat so many roasted sweet potatoes.

Since I'm such a big fan of cooking Butternut Squash Soup, I thought that the sweet potatoes would make a great pot of soup, too.

The soup is quite delicious, and I even managed to get my grandson to have a small bowl. Nothing makes me happier than to see my grandchildren try new foods, especially ones that are good for them.

Since the weather is so cold and snowy in lots of the country still, this is a wonderful soup to make and enjoy for a cozy lunch or dinner.

Recipe for Sweet Potato Soup


1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a Dutch oven, saute celery and onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Discard bay leaf. Using an emersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Or, using a regular blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return batches to pan and heat through. Use desired toppings.

Makes 4 servings.


This is a repost from last year, a favorite that I'm happy to share again.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Eat The Foods You Love With Nexium 24HR And A Recipe For Kielbasa And Veggie Soup

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseNexium24HR #CollectiveBias

Now that the holidays are only weeks away, I'm trying to make sure that I have time for everything I need to do. That means finding simple ideas and solutions to make my life easier. Like most of us, I stress out over work, meals, and finding enough time to spend with my family.

Simple but hearty soups like this Kielbasa and Veggie Soup make getting dinner on the table pretty easy, and there's even leftovers for lunch the next day. But as much as I love these spicy kinds of soups and stews, I have to be very careful about what I do eat.

You see, I suffer from frequent heartburn. If you've ever had serious and painful heartburn like I have, you start figuring out what the triggers are and try to avoid them. Spicy foods, overeating, and stress can all bring on painful heartburn.

Luckily for me, I discovered Nexium 24HR. I simply take one pill each morning and it gives me all-day and all-night protection. Who knew that there was such a simple solution to my frequent heartburn problem?

When I talk about having heartburn, it's a very serious subject for me. Stress and eating the wrong kind of foods combined together, landed me in the emergency room a couple of years ago.

I had a lot of stressful things going on in my life, and one night I was upset, and made the mistake of having a spaghetti dinner with my family. The heartburn was excruciating and the next morning I went to the emergency room because I didn't know how else to make it stop.

Nexium 24HR lets me take control over my heartburn, and lets me stop worrying about it all the time. By taking the purple pill once a day, I can have 24 hour relief from my frequent heartburn and indigestion.

I'm happy to say I've never experienced the kind of heartburn that landed me in the emergency room again. But since I am so susceptible, Nexium 24HR is the simple and effective answer I was looking for.

Now that I have my heartburn under control, I can more easily enjoy cooking and eating some of my favorite meals.

You can make this soup with either Kielbasa or Polish sausage, but I do love the heartiness and spicy kick of Kielbasa.

You just brown the Kielbasa and onions in a little olive oil, and then remove them from the pot. Put in the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, corn, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the veggies are tender.
Add the Kielbasa and onions bake into the pot, along with the milk and cheese, and stir.

This really is a delicious fall or winter soup that the whole family will love. And now that I have Nexium 24 HR protection, I can enjoy my soup without worrying.

Recipe for Kielbasa and Veggie Soup


 2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fully cooked Kielbasa or Polish sausage, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 16 ounce can whole-kernel corn
1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra cheese for on top of soup


 In a large soup pot, cook kielbasa and onions in olive oil until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and wipe fat from pan.
Add potatoes, corn, chicken stock, carrots, tomatoes, garlic powder, salt and pepper to pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, cover, 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add milk, cheese, onions, and sausage. Cook, stirring over low heat until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.

For me, just one pill a day makes a huge difference in my life, and is a simple solution for my frequent heartburn.

Are you ready to find simple solutions like I did? Just go to Walgreens where you'll find Nexium 24HR in the antacid aisle.

If you suffer from heartburn, what foods would you eat if you didn't have to worry about it?
 I'd love it if you'd like to share.

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