Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kroger Skillet Meals Review

My family absolutely enjoyed the Kroger Skillet meal, garlic bread and salad kit. We already use the salad kits on a weekly basis, since they are so easy, convenient and tasty! We always get the Caesar ones, since I have carrot allergies. Sometimes I just add a tomato or two for some added veggies! I've always purchased the name brands of frozen garlic bread, but now that we've tried Kroger ones, I think I'll switch! In this pic we tried the rigatoni and sausage frozen meal, which was tasty.  Thanks to BzzAgent, I got to try this for free!!!

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Influenster - Suave Product Review

Since I'm a member of Influenster, I get to try products for free and write a review about them. The week of Thanksgiving, I received my SuaveFamily Box, which included FULL SIZE Suave Morroccan Oil Conditioning Mask, Suave Men's Body Wash, and Suave For Kids Detangler Spray.  My husband and son already use the body wash on a normal basis, so were pretty happy to get a free one. They love this stuff! Get's them clean and makes them smell manly, not all girly with the usual body washes I buy.  My daughter absolutely loved the detangler spray, since she has semi-long hair which is often prone to tangles.  She said it worked good, and she really liked the scent.  I just happened to have recently bought the Suave Morroccan for Colored Hair Shampoo & Conditioner, and decided to try the shampoo I bought with the conditioning mask sample. OMGee! I absolutely love the scent and the way it both makes my hair smell and feel. So silky smooth!  You use the mask 1-2 times a week. I have used it once a week, and it's working wonders on my hair. Who says you have to spend a lot on professional brands when you can buy Suave! :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cranberry Orange Cookies

The holidays are here, and it's time to heat up those ovens and start baking yummy treats!  Here's a great recipe I got from a friend, and tweaked it just a bit, to accommodate the Denver altitude.

Large bowl:
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Medium bowl:
2 1/2 C flour (add 1/4 C more for high altitude, like I did)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

2 C finely chopped fresh cranberries

~ Preheat oven to 375 degrees ~

1. Add all ingredients in "Large bowl", until smooth and creamy.
2. Add all ingredients in "Medium bowl".  Combine into "Large bowl, using an industrial-strength mixwe, or your bare hands. A little wooden spoon will NOT cut it with this recipe!
3. Once combined well, toss in cranberries, again mixing well with hands or something strong. Heck, score points with the husband and tell him you need his strength!
4. Scoop out into 2 inch amounts and place on ungreased cookie sheets or baking stones, about 2" apart. Remember to alternate pans for each batch, to have cool pans so cookie dough does not spread prematurely. 
5. Now this is tricky...the recipe calls for 10-12 minutes, but at out "Mile-High" altitude, I had to bake them for more like 20 minutes.  You'll have to experiment and keep an eye on your batches, until you can figure out the perfect time.

This recipe should make 48 cookies, but I guess it depends on the size you make them.  I doubled my batch to accommodate a Thanksgiving fellowship.

Oh, and almost forgot, there's a recipe for icing these, although I thought they were delicious as is, and didn't bother.  I'll add it though, just in case you want to!

1/2 tsp. orange zest
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 1/2 C confectioner's sugar (powdered)

Mix ingredients and spread over cooled cookies.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Easy Baggie Omlette

Recently my husband was reading a frugal finance book, and it mentioned making omelettes as a budget friendly and healthy meal.  He began to do an internet search for recipes and happened upon one that suggests making omelettes in a baggie.  I must admit that I was VERY skeptical about this method, but tried his finished product and was convinced it was a great idea!  Now mind you, this method is a bit longer than traditional pan frying!  But if you're like me, struggling to get the silly thing to cook evenly and not burn, you'll love this! I would definitely suggest experimenting with time and ingredients to suit your own personal taste, but here's a good starting point that works for us.

1 ziplock-type sandwich baggie
2-6 eggs (depending on your diet!)
Additional ingredients per taste (cheese, chopped deli meat, diced veggies, spices, etc.)

1 - Start a large pot of water, bring to boil.

2 - While you're waiting for water to boil (and since a watched pot never boils!), pull out all your ingredients and seal them into the baggie, trying to remove as much air as possible.  Carefully squish it all up, until the eggs looked "scrambled".

3 - Once pot comes to full boil, add your omelette baggie and cook it at high boil for 15-30 mins, depending on how cooked you want it, and how many ingredients you use. The more ingredients seem to need a little bit more time for cooking.  Best way to check is to carefully press into the omelette and if it doesn't seem to seep any juice, it's most likely done.

4 - Turn off the burner, and remove the baggie with tongs.  Empty the omelette onto a plate, and voila! 

Happy eating!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sooji Ka Halwa - Semolina Halwa

Some people think I have an obsession with anything Indian.  Well, according to Webster's Online definition, they are absolutely correct! 

~ Definition of OBSESSION ~
1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation <an obsession with profits>
2: something that causes an obsession
~ Synonyms ~
Passion, enthusiasm, fascination, attraction, etc.
I would say that MOST people on this planet have an obsession of some kind.  Whether it's sports, cars, books, other people, fashion, religious conviction, and on, and on.  As a Christian, we believe that we are to have passion and zeal in loving and serving Jesus and people. 
So, yes, I have an obsession with India.  Want to know why?  Because God Himself put it there, and has verified it numerous times publicly and personally, to both my husband and I.  It goes beyond a cultural thing, even though it helps to know the many cultural aspects of the Indian subcontinent.  It's an unexplainable heart-wrenching, deep down inside, that when you see pictures of the people, when you hear of tragedies that beset them, both by default and design, or when you simply hear the speaking accent or the aroma of spices, you are instantly enraptured.  You choke up, tear up, take deep breaths so that you can gain composure, but no amount of mind-over-matter can truly cause this feeling to dissipate.  It's especially obvious, when only so many years previous, you can remember the times a relative took you to eat Indian food, of which you swore you'd never, ever eat again.  Or the times you'd call a customer service center, and demand the desperately-trying-to-speak-English Indian to connect you to someone that can speak English clearly and understandably!  And again, when you know beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt that you'd {previously} never give up wanting to own a happy American home, and would never leave the safety, comfort and cleanliness of American soil.  And here you have come full circle, wondering what life will be like in so many different circumstances, when you finally do go to that country, of which God has called you to (definitely NOT your original "white picket fence" plan).  Yes, I've been there once, and it definitely scared me and brought me to my knees!  But at the same time, I am still compelled to return.  I'll never forget the moment we (husband and I) were in the worship service of one of our sister churches in India, and the overwhelming voice of God telling me that these people needed someone to share His Gospel with them.  Other churches had closed down in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, and He reminded me of that.  "Who will reach them for Me?"  I broke down and told Him, "here am I, send me."  Recently, I was questioning how it would be possible for us to reach them, and God quickened to my heart that it would not be on mine or my husband's ability, but on His.  We will merely be His instruments, and it'll all come from Him.  Not my strength, but His. 
So, in my continual pursuit of widening my Indian cooking skills, and keeping the dream alive in our home, I have found a wonderfully tasty recipe, that just tonight I made successfully!  If you like Cream of Wheat or Malt-O-Meal, your sure to enjoy this treat!

Sooji Ka Halwa Recipe
By , About.com Guide

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 and a 1/2 cups sooji/ rawa (semolina)
  • 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter - super easy to make at home, just google it!)
  • 3/4 cup mixture of cashews (coarsely chopped ) and whole raisins/ sultanas
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup whole/ full cream milk (half & half works splendidly)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 pods of green cardamom split open


  • Heat a deep pan on a medium heat and when hot add the ghee. When it melts, add the Sooji and mix well.
  • Roast the Sooji (stirring frequently) till it begins to turn a very light golden color and give off a faint aroma. The roasted Sooji will have the grainy consistency of wet sand. Now add the cashews and raisins to the Sooji and mix well.
  • While you are roasting the Sooji, in a separate pot and on medium heat, bring a mixture of the milk, water, sugar and cardamom to a boil, stirring often.
  • When the Sooji is roasted, gently add the water and milk mixture, stirring all the while to prevent lumps from forming. If any do form, make sure to break them with the back of the stirring spoon so you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Cook the mixture till it is thick and begins to come away from the sides of the pan.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to a warm temperature. Serve now in individual bowls.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Kroger Fruit Smoothie Bars

Now that I'm a BzzAgent I get to try all kinds of free products (full size, mind you!), and in return I share my opinions and give reviews. Today's is about the Kroger Fruit Smoothie Bars.  BzzAgent sent me some coupons in the mail, one specifically for me to get a free box of these frozen treats from my local King Soopers.  Once I brought them home, I passed them out to my husband and kids to try, along with one for myself.  My kids thought they were pretty good, but didn't seem overly impressed.  My husband like them so much that he ate another one that night, and again had one last night!  I personally thought they were pretty good, although I'd liked them to have been a little sweeter, and possibly bigger.  We tried the Strawberry Banana flavor.  It really did taste like a strawberry banana yogurt that was frozen on a stick.  There were actual chunks of strawberries and bananas inside.  Pretty good in my opinion, and possibly an occasional item I would purchase when desiring a frozen treat.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Private Selection Chocolate Molten Upside Down Cake Review

So, recently I signed up for something called BuzzAgent, and although it took awhile to be offered my first campaign, now that I have, I'm loving it!  You get full-size samples to try, and review through avenues like Twitter, Facebook & blogging.  So, here's my first review!

Once I qualified for and received an invite to the PS Upside Down Cake campaign, I was able to immediately download an e-coupon onto my King Soopers "soopercard".  I then went to my local King Soopers, picked out one of three yummy flavors, brought it home, and followed the directions on the box.  Wow!!!  This was extremely delicious!  So thick, and fudgy!  I gave us pretty big portions, and I was personally unable to finish mine because it was so rich and chocolaty.  This is a choco-holics nirvana!!!  A day later, I warmed up another piece for each of us, and a friend, and it was still super yummy, even from the microwave!  Original price in my local store was $9.99, and I would say that it's totally worth every penny I would've spent (remember, I got it free to try!).  You can probably find it in most King Sooper and Kroger grocery stores.

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