Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Slow-Cooker Asian Chicken with Canada Dry TEN

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV



Here in California it seems that the perfect Spring weather has gone missing and Summer weather has stepped up and taken over. That means cool treats, crockpot meals, and shorts, swimsuits and tanks are approaching faster than ever! Towards the end of the summer we are making a family trip to Disneyland. Yes, the most magical place on the earth! We're going to be staying at one of the Disneyland hotels and that means there will be amazing pools at my fingertips, errr feet... 

Now, currently, there's no way in the world you would catch me in a bathing suit! No sir. That's why hubby and I have been eating and drinking healthier the past few months and will continue until it's vacation time! I have found for us that the trick to sticking to it and continuing to eat better is by finding little things that help keep us satisfied and happy! One of these things happens to be the TEN sodas. Have you tried them yet? They come in the form of 7-up TEN, Sunkist TEN, Canada Dry TEN & A&W TEN and they are absolutely amazing! You seriously don't lose out on any of the flavor of a full calorie soda but they are only 10 calories! Sounds pretty good, right?



We have been drinking these TEN sodas for a while now since we found them one day while shopping at Walmart and we've found that they really do the trick! My husband, especially, is a huge soda drinker and these have been a lifesaver for him! Plus, they're helping me get closer to my bathing suit goal! Woot!


Not only do we like to enjoy the TEN sodas by themselves, but I've also found them extremely useful in the kitchen, especially in my crock-pot dinners! I love finding new ways of infusing flavor in my dishes and these work wonders in that area because they still contain that punch of flavor, but don't add all those unwanted calories to our food!

For a healthier version of that slow-cooker root beer pulled pork you see floating around the internet, you can try substituting the A&W TEN and keep the same delicious flavor, but eliminate some of the calories! Today i'm going to share with you one of the amazingly tasty recipes I created for Slow-Cooker Asian Chicken using the Canada Dry TEN soda, so you, too, can get ready to jump into the pool with confidence! Enjoy!


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Slow-Cooker Asian Chicken:

Ingredients:
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Canada Dry TEN Ginger Ale
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Directions:

Place chicken breasts in slow-cooker, along with remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 

Serve over stir fry veggies and steamed rice!

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Right now you can download a coupon here that will save you $.50 off of your purchase of TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share with your friends you will get a $1.50 off instead! {Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17}

Find out more about the whole line of TEN products by visiting them on Facebook and Twitter!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ultimate Family Movie Night with #Tonyspizzeria


This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tony’s Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #tonyspizzeria http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.




Some of my favorite memories over the past couple of years are the ones where my hubby, daughter & I would kick back, watch a movie, have lots of food & snacks and maybe even play a game or two! Family movie night! Woo! Now, my son, who is only 11 months old, does not fully comprehend family movie night just yet. To him, it's a time to run around the living room, smashing cars into the wall and eating everything off the carpet (his version of "snacking,") but soon he, too, will be able to truly enjoy family movie night with us and that is something i'm really looking forward to!

Today I'm going to give you a some ideas so that you, too, can create the Ultimate Family Movie Night with your family! Now, this isn't going to be just your plain ol' family movie night. Oh, no! It's an Ultimate one. I'm talkin' pizza, cupcakes & games!

Tony's Pizza + Red Vines Cupcakes + Games + A Movie (of course!) = The Ultimate Family Movie Night!

Are you ready?!


First, and in my opinion, the most important part of the Ultimate Family Movie Night, is to gather your food supplies! In our home, no family movie night would be complete without Tony's Pizza! It's a super affordable pizza that tastes delicious! Plus, pizza and movies were just meant to be! So, the first thing you're going to do is print this coupon, like I did, for $.75 off of 2 Tony's Pizzas (while supplies last!) and head to Walmart to pick some up! While you're there you're also going to grab a box of cake (cupcake) mix, some frosting and some red vines (plus the ingredients to make the cupcakes!) 

You can also pick up some fruit, veggies, popcorn, crackers, chips or whatever else you like to snack on! Also, don't forget to grab some drinks while you're there (we love mixing fruit punch and sprite together!)


Then it's time to prep the party food! After you've gotten all your ingredients together, it's time to pop that popcorn, cut up your fruit & veggies and bake your cupcakes! After your cupcakes are finished baking you can make your Red Vines Frosting and dip them! {Cupcake Instructions below!}



Once your Tony's Pizza is out of the oven you can cut it up and make it easy for everyone to grab a slice (or 2, or 3!)


aaaaannnd put your Red Vines Cupcakes on display! 

Throw in a little popcorn and Ta-da! Now your food area is complete!


The next thing you're going to want to do is get your games in order! I've made this super fun Pizza Scramble Game that you can print {printable version below!} See which of your family members can unscramble the pizza toppings the fastest!


Since I scrambled all the words, I didn't think it was fair to compete, but my daughter & hubby did! Hubby actually ended up winning after getting stuck on one of them for a couple of minutes! ;)

Another fun game that we have done in the past is Marshmallow Catch!  One family member has to sit on their knees on the floor with their hands behind their backs and their mouth wide open, while the other family members take turns tossing marshmallows into their mouth! Rotate until everyone has had a turn "catching" the marshmallows. You can keep score and see who can get the most marshmallows into the other family members' mouths or you can just laugh, have fun and eat the marshmallows!


After game time, it's time to devour your pizza, cupcakes and popcorn and watch your movie! We chose to stick with the "pizza" theme we had going on, so we watched 'Toy Story' because, of course, they take a trip to Pizza Planet! 


 If you're going to eat dinner and watch a movie with the family, why not make it a super memorable event? I hope this post gets you pumped and helps you to throw an Ultimate Family Movie Night at your house!


Red Vines Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
  • 1 box white cake/cupcake mix
  • eggs (according to package)
  • water (according to package)
  • oil (according to package)
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 4 red vines
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Directions:

Prepare and bake cupcakes as directed on the package. Set aside to cool.

While cupcakes are cooling, chop red vines into small pieces and place in a medium saucepan with sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often and making sure mixture doesn't burn to the bottom. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until mixture has cooked down to less than 1/4 cup and has formed a thick syrup. Allow syrup mixture to cool, then mix it into the frosting can.

Once cupcakes are cool, take a cupcake and dip the top into the frosting mixture. Top with a piece of red vine for decoration and you're all done!




{Click to enlarge & print!}

Make sure to check out Tony's Pizza on their Website, Facebook & Twitter.

Friday, April 4, 2014

#SpreadTheFlavor: Why Kids Need Breakfast + Breakfast Fruit Pizzas {with Philadelphia cream cheese}

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #CollectiveBias


They always say "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Who they are, I will never know. But they say it and we all listen and believe them wholeheartedly. 

Ever since my daughter was a teeny tiny little girl, she has always gotten out of bed in the morning with a big smile on her face and very sweetly asked for breakfast immediately. Most the time when I bring her breakfast she is still half-asleep, and she sleepily eats it with her eyes half-shut. That kid. I was the opposite when I was young, the thought of breakfast alone would make my stomach hurt. My dad would try to make me eat some scrambled eggs or bacon before heading out the door, but most of the time I would turn it down. Now, test days... that was another story! On test days they wouldn't accept "I'm not hungry," or "my stomach hurts." No, no... on test days I had to eat something, even if it killed me...

Studies have shown that children that eat breakfast in the morning perform better at school and especially during tests. Breakfast refuels their bodies and gives them the energy they need to get through the day. It also kickstarts their metabolism and helps them burn calories throughout the day.

Simply consuming breakfast cereals packed full of sugar is not the best option for kids (or anyone!) I, myself, am guilty of eating those delicious, colorful & sugar-filled bowls of cereal and so is my daughter, but we try to avoid them as much as possible and choose more nutritious options instead. Eating foods filled with fiber and whole grains will help your kids to stay more focused and remember important facts and information while they're learning and taking tests! So, it's easy to see why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day... right? That's why it's important to make sure you're making breakfast "happen" every morning!

 

I always like to be prepared and make sure I have exactly what I need for breakfast, which is why I like to head to my local Walmart and pick up all the breakfast items i'm going to need for the week! This week I grabbed a bunch of strawberries, kiwis, bananas, pineapple, english muffins, Philadelphia cream cheese (strawberry & blueberry!) and some eggs and wheat bread!


Today i'm going to share with you one tasty, nutritious and energy-packed breakfast option for kids that will get their bodies energized and help them run and play until they can run and play no more... Breakfast Fruit Pizzas made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese! Can you say yum? No, really... say it! Yum. 

Philly soft cream cheese + english muffins + colorful fruit = the perfect breakfast! 

This bright and fun little breakfast treat will get kids, even the ones who normally don't like breakfast, excited about it! If you have time in the morning let your kids assemble their own fruit pizzas! I wake my daughter up a little earlier just so she can come in the kitchen and help me prepare her breakfast! Have a butter knife in the cream cheese container, have the english muffins already toasted and the fruit already cut into pieces and let them go crazy! Kids love helping out in the kitchen -- especially when they get to eat whatever it is they've made!


Spreading on her cream cheese like a champ! Holding the knife a little awkwardly... but still! :) She did one half of the english muffin in Strawberry cream cheese and the other half in Blueberry cream cheese!


Picking out the perfect fruit pieces for her creation! 


This simple breakfast idea isn't really a "recipe," so I'm not going to include the instructions below... It just requires english muffins, Philly Cream Cheese and a bunch of different fruit (cut into pieces)! Have fun with it, be creative and let your kids be creative! I've also included {below} some tips to make breakfast time stress-free along with some printable notes you can put in your kids' lunches to make them smile! :)

Here are a couple of tips to make breakfast time stress-free:


Printable Lunchbox Notes (click to enlarge & then print):



Monday, March 31, 2014

The Monday Sundae


For years now my daughter has been talking about starting her own restaurant. She's 7 and she has decided that her goal is to have a family restaurant where the children get a sucker on their birthday. A cherry sucker, specifically. She has also decided that there will be an ice cream sundae on the menu called the "Monday Sundae" and it will help you get through the long week of work/school. She has been begging me for months to help her bring her vision of the Monday Sundae to life, so I thought it was time to finally see it through...

We wanted the Monday Sundae to be the most comforting ice cream treat in the whole world. It had to give people a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling that would help ease them into the work week... We all know how hard it can be to get out of the "weekend mode!" So, we had to start with a base of something that was so amazing, so ooey-gooey, warm-you-from-the-inside-out delicious that all other things would pale in comparison... soooo... we used a Warm Cinnamon Roll. Oh yes, we went there...

Next we scooped on a heaping pile of Butter Pecan Ice cream, because it is most definitely a comforting ice cream... We followed that up with a massive amount of Salted Caramel and finally, the pièce de résistance, Chocolate Covered Candied Bacon. How badly are you drooling right now?

Let me warn you, though... This is probably the best ice cream sundae you will ever taste. The Chocolate Covered Candied Bacon alone is absolutely mind-blowing... Plus, the caramel?! And the cinnamon roll?! You must think we're crazy... But, I promise you, this time, our craziness has paid off and because of our craziness you will be able to fly through the week and the weekend will be here before you know it. And guess what... from now on you will look forward to Mondays because the Monday Sundae is here to help you.



Monday Sundae:

INGREDIENTS:

4 Slices Bacon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar caramel dessert topping
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cinnamon rolls
Butter pecan ice cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack (coated with baking spray) over the top. Coat both sides of the bacon with brown sugar and place on the rack. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bacon is firm and crisp. Remove from oven and immediately remove from rack. Place on parchment paper and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Meahwhile, heat chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl until melted, then, carefully spoon it over the top of each strip of bacon and allow it to cool. Once it has cooled you can break it into pieces.

Add sea salt to jar of caramel and mix well.

Place warm cinnamon roll into your serving bowl, top it with a giant scoop of butter pecan ice cream, as much salted caramel as your heart desires, and finish it off by sprinkling the chocolate covered bacon over the top.

You now have the most comforting dessert in the entire world at your fingertips… You can now conquer the world.  

Makes 4 Sundaes.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

3 Year Blogiversary + Tiny Hands Giveaway!


So, today is officially my 3 year Blogiversary! Wow. I can hardly believe it's been 3 years already... I'd like to start off by saying Thank You! Thank you all so much! You all are the reason I do this every day... all of your likes, your comments and your support! I have loved getting to know some of you and even making some dear friends over the years. It's funny how food and recipes can really bring people together, but it really, really can.

Over the past 3 years I have watched Diddles & Dumplings become so much more than just a blog. It's become almost like it's own entity. With feelings... okay, so that's going a little far, but, it's definitely become something much more than I could have ever imagined! I've been presented with some amazing opportunities (especially this past year) like being named Spokesperson for the National Pork Board for their Cooking For Comfort campaign and getting to create recipes for their amazing Cookbook, I've developed recipes for countless companies and brands, I've been featured on many sites, most recently, People.com and have had my recipes (as well as stories about my blog) published in newspapers and magazines. Whew. I'm tired just talking about it all... Oh, and one more thing... There is something I have yet to share with you...

I have recently taken on the role of Managing Editor of Raise Magazine, a local family-centered magazine full of recipes, crafts and useful information for families! That's kind of awesome, right? I will be creating delicious recipes for the magazine as well as making sure we are featuring the best and most exciting content for our readers! I am so excited for this opportunity and am so grateful to be a part of this outstanding magazine!

Overall, it's just been a fabulous couple of years and I really and truly thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of Diddles & Dumplings. I couldn't have done any of this without your continued support and encouragement! So...because I love you all and because you are the best readers in the whole entire would, I want to take this time to share something adorable with you and give you a chance to WIN one for yourself:




Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen? I know it's the cutest thing I have ever seen, by far. Not only are these little necklaces super duper cute, but they are also scented! Meaning... when you put it on, you smell the amazingly delicious scent of maple syrup wherever you go. Now, of course, your nostrils will get used to it after a little while, but the next time you put the necklace on... BAM! There it is again ;) These little charms pack a potent punch of yumminess. 

Everything in the Tiny Hands shop is absolutely adorable. She has so many necklaces to choose from and even earrings, rings and bracelets, too! Check out some of the other adorable necklaces you can choose from:



My daughter is completely obsessed with the lollipop necklace and has begged me to get it for her! As soon as she saw (and smelled!) my waffle necklace she said "I HAVE to have a scented necklace!" And the truth is... everyone should have a scented necklace. If you don't have a scented necklace then you truly aren't living life to it's fullest! 

So, if you want to be cool and strut around wearing a deliciously adorable little Waffle Necklace, then you should probably enter this giveaway and try to win one! TinyHands was nice enough to offer one for me to give away to Diddles & Dumplings readers, so that one of you can be super cool! ;) Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Make sure to follow Tiny Hands to see what adorable new creations, sales and discounts they have going on:


Thursday, March 27, 2014

#ProtectPixieHollow Pirate Fairy Treats


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #CollectiveBias


***See Below to Find out what YOUR Pirate Fairy Name would be!!***


When my daughter and I saw the trailer for the new Disney Movie: The Pirate Fairy we knew immediately that we would have to see it! It's a story about a fairy who steals the Blue Pixie Dust from Pixie Hollow and joins forces with a bunch of pirates! Tinkerbelle and her friends set out to get the Blue Pixie Dust back and well, let's just say, some fun stuff happens along the way! My daughter and son were both pirates this past halloween, because, let's face it... Pirates are awesome. It's true! We all know it... So, being the pirate-lovers that we are, we wanted to create some adorable treats that would get us pumped for the Blu-Ray release! Of course, we had to head to Walmart to pick up supplies, first...


We first had to grab our Blue pixie dust... I mean, Jello. ;)


Then it was off to find the treasure! Or jewels and pirate ships... Err... Strawberries and grapes!


My daughter thought it would be appropriate to wear part of her Halloween Costume and get in "character" as she put together the Pirate Fairy Ship Jello Cups. I totally agreed! How can you properly create Pirate Fairy treats if you, yourself, can't relate to Pirate Fairies? That's a question you really have to ask yourself...


After you've added your dollop of whipped cream and your strawberry "ship" you can add your extremely girly and extremely adorable sail. Pirate Fairy Ships have to be girly, right?


Next, she put together the Blue Pixie Dust Covered Jewels (because Pirates love treasure!) First she took the grapes off the stems and placed them into a bowl. Then, we washed them really well and drained the excess water off!


Now it was time for the Blue Pixie Dust! The best part... by far! There's nothing more magical than Pixie Dust! Next, you just shake and shake and shake until you can shake no more!


The results: These adorable Pirate Fairy Ships!


And these delicious Blue Pixie Dust covered Jewels!

Disney's The Pirate Fairy is available at Walmart starting April 1st, and only at Walmart can you get an additional Pixie Hollow Bake Off DVD which includes 10 animated shorts! I'm almost as excited about the Bake off DVD as I am about the movie! How fun is that?

Before you create your delicious Pirate Fairy Treats, make sure to see the chart below and find out what YOUR Pirate Fairy Name would be! That way you can properly "get in character" before making your special treats!


Blue Pixie Dust Covered Jewels:

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups grapes
  • 1 (small) box Berry Blue Jell-O mix


Instructions:

Once grapes are removed from the stem, wash grapes well and drain excess water. Place grapes in a bowl or a large ziplock bag, pour powdered Jell-O mix over grapes and shake well! Once grapes are evenly coated you can place them in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until coating has hardened.


Pirate Fairy Ship Jell-O Cups:
Ingredients:
  • 1 (large) box Berry Blue Jell-O Mix
  • 5 Tablespoons whipped cream
  • 5 strawberries, stems removed & halved
  • 5 toothpicks
  • 5 "sails" cut from Wrapping paper or scrap paper
  • 5 small, clear cups
Instructions:

Prepare Jell-O according to package instructions. Once jello has cooled slightly, pour into small, clear cups and place in refrigerator for several hours. 

While Jell-O is in the fridge, cut your "sails" from wrapping paper or scrap paper. We found that wrapping paper was easier to use and lighter and just made a better sail overall. Attach sail to toothpick and set aside.

Once chilled, remove from fridge and place a tablespoon of whipped cream in the center. Add your strawberry "ship" and attach the sail. 





Monday, March 24, 2014

The Best Stuffed Mushrooms Ever



Here in California it seems like we've somehow missed Spring. It's been mid-70's weather for weeks now and i'm totally not complaining because I know most of the country has been experiencing snow-crazed weather, but seriously, where's my Spring? The only real benefit to this that I can see is that it's caused my darling husband to break out his grill, spatula and tongs and once again take his position as Grill Master. I love when he becomes Grill Master for the Spring & Summer seasons because that means I get the night off from cooking (with the exception of the side dishes & appetizers, of course!) 
Which brings me to today's recipe... what i'm about to share with you will change your life. Hopefully. No, no... I know it will... I made these amazing stuffed mushrooms this past Friday to go along with some juicy steaks my dear hubby was going to barbecue and we loved them so much that we made them again on Saturday. They are really that amazing.

If you love creamy, garlicy, bacony goodness and you love mushrooms then you're going to fall madly in love with these delicious mushrooms. I love them so much that I'm picturing them in my mind and debating making them again tonight as I type this. Once you've made these you will either love me because I've introduced you to the best stuffed mushrooms you have ever tasted or you will hate me because you will never be able to eat another stuffed mushroom as they will never ever compare to their awesomeness. Either way, prepare yourself for the tastiest thing to hit your mouth since... well... since whatever the last tasty thing was that you ate... 



The Best Stuffed Mushrooms Ever:

Ingredients:
  • 12 white button mushrooms
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or oil)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook bacon and reserve about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Allow bacon to cool, then crumble. Remove stems from mushrooms, mince and place into medium skillet over medium heat, along with reserved bacon grease and minced garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until mushrooms are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, bacon and garlic/mushroom mixture. 

Fill a mushroom with [about] a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture and place into shallow baking dish. Repeat with all mushrooms.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and filling is starting to brown.

Allow mushrooms to cool slightly then, try really, really hard not to eat them all within a minute or two.


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