Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to cook a juicy, moist and delicious turkeys with Reynolds Oven Bag

Every year for Thanksgiving those that sit down and eat a meal with our family always ask me how I get my Turkey so juicy, moist and delicious.  I would love to tell them that I spend all day in the kitchen sweating to put out this picture Perfect Turkey, but it is not true.  As a matter of fact, it is easy.  All I use is one Turkey size Reynolds Oven Bag.

Here is the recipe that I use.  I have adapted it from Reynolds brand website.

Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey:



INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Reynolds™ Oven Bag, Turkey Size

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

  • 1 medium onion, sliced

  • 12 to 24 pound turkey, thawed

  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary

  • butter if desired



FIRST clean out the turkey taking out the neck and giblets.  Rinse turkey; pat dry.

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

SHAKE flour in Reynolds Oven Bag; place in roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. 

PLAVE turkey in bag 

ADD vegetables to inside of turkey. Brush turkey with butter and sprinkel with rosemary

CLOSE oven bag with nylon tie; cut six 1/2–inch slits in top.  Insert meat thermometer through bag into thickest part of inner thigh, not touching bone. Tuck ends of bag in pan. ( see photo above)

BAKE until meat thermometer reads 180°F, for my 14 pound turkey it only too about 2 1/2 hours to cook.  It was so simple.  


There you have it how I made a juicy, moist and delicious Turkey dinner for my family.  It was so easy and gave me time to spend with my family and that is what I am truly thankful for...



Disclamer: I did not receive anything to write this review, all the information was taken from Reynolds brand website  I just thought you might want to know my non-secret on how to cook a turkey.   


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Host a Pillsbury Potluck Party


Pillsbury Potluck Party


Looking for some impressive yet easy food ideas this Christmas season? Pillsbury.com has endless amounts of delicious dishes that you can prepare in just 30 minutes with 5 ingredients or less.
To help my friends and family get into 
the Christmas entertaining spirit...I have 
decided to host a Pillsbury Potluck Party.  
I thought it would be fun to have friends 
over to try out some of the quick and tasty 
ideas for easy appetizers, and desserts 
from Pillsbury.

So how do you host a Pillsbury Potluck Party?

First you invite some of your friends over.  You can
make an invitation or just e-mail them and let them
know to save the date.  Ask your guest if they would
bring an appetizer using Pillsbury products.

After you sent out invitations to your friends, and pick
Pillsbury recipe, you will be ready to host your
Pillsbury Potluck Party.

You can have your guest click here for free Pillsbury
food coupons from General Mills.

In order to host the best Pillsbury Potluck Party I am
asking for you to help me choose what dish to prepare.
I have narrowed down my choices to four great recipes.
Would you please leave me a commet tell me which
recipe you think I should make for my Pillsbury Pot Luck
Party?

I will be posting information on my Pillsbury Potluck
Party after the party.  Check back here for a link to My
Pillsbury Potluck Party post.

Find more information about how to host your own
Pillsbury Potluck Party at Pillsbury.com.

You can also friend Pillsbury on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/PillsburyIdeasFB  




Check out my giveaway at  http://nowamomof3.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-host-pillsbury-potluck-party.html
                                 
Disclosure: The Pillsbury product, information, food ideas, online
 coupon link, and prize pack have been provided by Pillsbury
 through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A New Spin on the Cookie Exchange: Host a Chex Party Mix-Change + Giveaway


Closed:
The winner is Amanda
Chex® Party Mix is mixing it up with a fresh idea that puts a whole new spin on the classic cookie exchange. Ditch the hours of baking and make 15 minute Chex Party Mix recipes instead – all you need is a microwave and some friends to stir up the fun.

    So here is what I did.  I invite some friends over for a party and ask everyone to make enough of their favorite Chex Party Mix recipe to exchange with other party guests.  We tasted, mixed, swapped, and shared our recipes.  We also decorated  treat containers so everyone would have Chex party mix they could giveaway to a friends for a special treat.    
This is the boxes I decorated for all the guest. 

      These are my three favorite boxes. 
     I hope my guest will like them too.


    Now for what goes in the boxes.  Here are the three recipes that we are making for my Chex Mix Party Exchange:  

          

    Chex mix Reindeer Feed 
    6 cups Rice Chex Mix
    1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips
    1/3 cup coarsely crushed candy canes 
    Crush Peppermint candy by placing them in a zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin over the bag until they are crushed (make sure you get all the air out of the bag before you use the rolling pin).  Place parchment paper on a lined cookie sheet.  Place cereal on the lined cookie sheet.  Microwave baking chips on high for 1 minute, then stir after every 30 second in the microwave.  do this until all the chip have melted and are smooth.  Add half of the crushed Peppermint candy. 
    Pour Mixture over cereal and toss until the cereal is coated.  Sprinkle with 1/2 crushed candy canes.  Let it stand for about 30 minutes.  Break up coated cereal and store in a zip-lock bag.
    Place the zip-lock bag in your decorated boxes.   

    Go a head and host your own Chex Mix Party Exchange.  Your guests are sure to love all the delicious Chex Party Mix recipes.  There are many Chex Party Mix recipes that will only take 15 minute to make and you can find these recipes at ChexPartyMix.com.
           Here are just some of the Photos that I took at my Chex Mix Party:

Here is everything set up for the party.  I made reindeer goodie bags for he reindeer feed.     


I just love the idea of Chex Mix Party Exchange, the take home boxes are so cute.
A friend tasting some of the Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch .  Yum.


This is Grams feeding Mare Bear some Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch.   She savored every bite.


Little Man loved the Reindeer feed.  It was his favorite


This is a fellow blogger friend check out her blog at
http://cumminslife.blogspot.com/

  

Now for what you have been waiting for....
The giveaway...

    Your Chex Mix Party Exchange Prize Pack will contain:

  • 2 boxes of Chex cereal to create Chex Party Mix recipes
  • 5 featured Chex Party Mix recipes
  • 10 takeout containers so your guests can take their Chex Party Mix to-go
  • $20 gift card to purchase recipe ingredients and decorating supplies for your own Chex Mix Party Exchange


Here is how you enter:  Closed:  The winner is Amanda
  • Mandatory: Leave a comment stating how you plan to put a fresh spin on the traditional cookie swap at your Chex Mix Party Exchange.

Additional entrees:

  • Follow me on Google for 2 additional entrees.  You must leave a comment stating you are following me for each entree. 
  • Share this Giveaway on your facebook page and leave a comment on this post tell me you have shared this giveaway on your facebook page.
  • Like Nowamomof3's facebook page or follow Nowamomof3's facebook page for an additional entree. You must leave a comment stating you followed me on facebook.
  • Leave a comment on any other story on my blog for one additional entree. You must leave a comment stating which post you commented on.



RULES: Maximum of 7 entries per person. The giveaway will end on December 9th at midnight.  I will randomly pick a winner at random.org on December 10th.  I will notify the winner by e-mail and posted winners first name or user name on my blog.  The winner with have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be chosen.  You must be 18 years or older and a US resident to enter.   




 Disclosure: The Chex Party Mix-Change product, information, and giveaway have been provided by Chex through MyBlogSpark. Nowamomof3 cannot be held responsible for sponsor's failure to deliver the product or service as agreed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Prints is having a photo contest to win $1,000 and $500 gift card


  I just found out about the cuties contest.  I like it so much I entered too.  It's the The Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest to win $1,000, a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate and be featured in their 2012 marketing campaign? Enter the Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest by clicking here.

Prizes awarded for:

  • Cutest Baby (0-2 years old)
  • Cutest Kid (3-10 years old)
  • Cutest Family
  • Cutest Couple
  • Cutest Pet
  
Here is the photo I used of Little Man.  I entered him in the Cutest Baby category.

Starting on November 22th you can vote for your favorite photo. Don't forget to tell your friends and family!

check out Tiny Prints website to Enter.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Morgan's Wonderland: fully-accessible family fun park

Morgan's WonderlandA place where everyone can play.  It sounds like such a great place, but for parents of special needs children it can sometimes only seem like a dream.  It is so hard for parents of children with special needs to find a place that is completely accepting of their child.  


As many of you know our daughter was born with a condition called Rett Syndrome.  We have been blessed with having her in our lives.  She brings a joy to our life that we know we would not have without her (and Rett syndrome).We love to do things together as a family, but  I do have to admit that we have had a hard time finding an amusement park that could understand our unique needs.


Some amusement parks try, but their worker just don't understand what we have to go through day in and day out.  One amusement park gave us a pass so we would not have to wait in line.  That was nice since she would not be able to wait in a long line anyway.  When it came our turn to go on the ride, the operator said she could only take one passenger with her.  That meant that either I could go with her or my son could go with her, but not both of us.  So what is the point of having the pass if one of us still has to wait in line.  They just don't understand how hard it is for us.  We are not trying to "cut" in line to save time, my daughter body is weak and riddled with neurological dysfunction, to say the least.  She also has seizures, cannot sweat effectively and has little purposeful use of her hands (The list can go on and on depending on if she is having a good or bad day).






So we were so excited when someone told us about the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park, Morgan' s Wonderland located in San Antonio, Texas. Morgan' s Wonderland was built with the idea of total inclusion where people of all ages and abilities can come together and play in an exciting yet safe environment. Morgan' s Wonderland has over 25 acres of rides, attractions and activities for people of all abilities.  Check our their website to find out more.


Morgan' s Wonderland is the perfect fit for our family. We made reservation to visit and took the 2 hours drive to San Antonio, Texas.  (They ask its guest to make reservations prior to each visit by visiting their website, so that the park is never overcrowded.)   





The photo above is me with all three of my kids at the massive butterfly playground.  It is specially designed for individuals with cognitive and physical special needs.  It features include ramps with wide open spaces big enough for two wheelchairs to maneuver around.

   
The Butterfly playground has traditional swings, adaptive swings and wheelchair swings too.  My two youngest enjoyed the adaptive swings that have a back on them.  




Mare Bear's favorite was the Sensory Village's Fix-It Shop were she was able to go for a simulated test drive through San Antonio and the surrounding Hill Country.  
 The Sensory Village's Saddle-Up Stable reminded Mare Bear of her favorite activity, riding a horse.


 The Carousel is specially designed for individuals with physical special needs.  It has traditional animals that go up and down (some have back support).  It also has benches and wheelchair chariots that go up and down too. 



All aboard for the Wonderland Express and Depot.  This photo is my whole family enjoying a ride in the caboose.  This little train has multiple cars with specially designed wheelchair-accessible ramps for full access for everyone.  The train runs all the way around Morgan' s Wonderland.  As you are riding you will pass rest areas with the sights and sounds of  the different countries of Africa, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy and the Caribbean.


At the Wharf we all took a turn being captain, we controlled mini-ships around a mini-lagoon with our captain's wheel.  The oldest two and dad took their turn at a catch and release fishing, but they did not catch anything. 
   
Another favorite was the Water Works where the kids could all get wet, that is why we saved it for last.  Mare Bear enjoyed all the different sensory activities involving lights and sound but most of all she like the tactile features (like the one shown in the picture above).

You don't have to have special needs to enjoy Morgan' s Wonderland.  The park had many people of all abilities.  The volunteer's that worked there all had different levels of ability too.  It really is a park for people of all ability. 

It truly is "a place where everyone can play".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to pick a Christmas card that perfect for any family:


 How to pick a Christmas Card that perfect for any family 


Christmas time is almost here and it is time to start picking out the perfect Christmas card.  My favorite cards have photos of my family and friends.  It is so nice to see how everyone has changed from year to year and I love seeing cute matching outfits.  Christmas card photos are kept and treasured, they are not thrown away like the paper cards.  With Tiny Prints Christmas cards collection you can pick a Christmas card with photos you have taken to keep and treasure for years to come .
Christmas Cards Blissful Christmas - Front : Chambord
Here is an example of one of  my favorite Christmas cards.
  Click here to check it out..
For my Christmas card I always like to include scripture or add something to point people to the TRUE reason why we celebrate Christmas but it is hard to find a Christmas card that has both the option for family photos and a message.  The card I picked (above)  already has the symbols of Christ's birth in a manger and a message of "Merry Christmas", that is one reason why I like it.

As many of you know I have 3 children, one of whom is special needs.  Having 3 kids makes it hard to get them all to smile at the same time, so I also like the option of having multiple photo in a Christmas card.  You can take a single photo of each child and then add them to the Christmas card photo (just like in the Christmas cards at Tiny Prints.)
Christmas Cards Divine Night - Front : Black
Here is another example of  a Christmas cards I like.  
Click here to see it.


At Tiny Prints you also have so many options that you can add to your photo.  From the color of the card or ink to having the option of the company sending your Christmas cards for you.  They even give you the recommended pixels your photo needs for just the right fit.  

Christmas Cards Counted Blessings - Front : Peppermint
I like this Christmas card too. Click here to see it.

  These are the three Christmas cards that I like best.  Now all I have to do is to choose one.  I think that I will take my photos first and see which one looks best with the photos I like best.

Check out tiny prints to meets all of your Christmas card needs.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Cake / cupcake

 Does this look like a nice turkey dinner?

Well than I fooled you.  This is NOT a Turkey dinner, it a cake.  Yes, I said a cake.  So how can you make a cake look like a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner?  Read on to find out.

First bake a cake.  I used a small 8" round baker to bake a cake.  As soon as it cooled I turned it out onto a paper plate (you can use a more decorative plate if you desire).  I took some white frosting (make sure you set aside some white frosting for the "mash potatoes") and I added yellow food coloring to make it yellow frosting.  I frosted the cake with yellow frosting.


To make the "green peas"  I used green fondant and rolled in  my hands to make a ball.  I did this over and over again until I had enough green balls added to the cake to make it look like peas.

To make the cranberries I did the same with red fondant (you could use red hot candies, but I did not have any).  To make the "cranberries" look more realistic I added red food coloring gel (this gave the "cranberries" a glazed look).


I took the left over white frosting and added it to the top of the cake to make it look like "mash potatoes".  Then to make the "mash potatoes" look more realistic I added yellow food coloring gel so it would look like butter running down "mash potatoes".



The turkey was a little bit tricky.  I had white fondant, but not brown and I did have brown food coloring. So I added the brown food coloring to the white fondant.  I had to roll it over and over to get the brown and white to mix together.  I used a serrated bread knife to cut it to look like two pieces of "turkey".  I rolled the two pieces again to get a more uniform look.


Then I added them to the cake, but it did not look right.  So I had to make gravy for the "turkey".  For the "gravy"  I used sugar babies candy and melted it in the microwave.  I poured the melted sugar babies over the "turkey pieces".


Again here is the finished product.  And, Yes, it did taste as good as it looks!





Mini-Turkey Dinner Cookie:

I tried to make a smaller version, but did not like it.  It is done on top of a cookie and then placed on a cupcake.  I took the idea from Disney's Family Fun website.  Check out their website for detailed instructions. The one on the website looks so much better than mine, I needed a better cookie.  I did not want to go to the store to buy the Peek Freans Arrowroot biscuits the recipe called for, but you can try it.    The Disney's family fun's Mini-Turkey Dinner cupcake looks so cute!







Saturday, November 5, 2011

Free Beech Nut Coupons


 I am very impressed with the Beech Nut Brand Company.  My son has been eating Beech Nut Brand baby food and cereal from the time he was old enough to eat solid food.  He really likes their baby food, but he is a picky eater.  He is the pickiest eater I know. When it came time for him to move up to toddler food.  I thought that Beech Nut Brand toddler food was a simple choice.  So I went out to our local HEB and bought over $10 in their steamer toddler food.  Well, to my surprise, he did not like them and would not eat any of them.  I was so upset to waste over $10 in baby food.  I am not saying that Beech Nut baby food does not taste good, because he will not eat other brand's toddler food either.

What makes this story so surprising is when I called  Beech Nut Brand Companyto ask them what they recommend, they were so understanding.  They did not try to defend their product.  They understood that even through he was a toddler, maybe he was not ready for toddler food.   They felt so bad that I had to throw away over $10 in their product that they sent me coupons to replace the products that we threw out.  What an awesome company.

So even though they did not ask me too, I wanted to share with you how much I like  Beech Nut Brand Company.

  Did you know if you are a new mom. You can call their number and get a FREE welcome kit with coupons and information.  1-800-BEECH-NUT (1-800-233-2468)

Here is what you get:

  • Guide to feeding your baby
  • A form for their rewards program
  •  2 coupons for $1 off beech nut cereal
  • one coupon for $1 off any 8 Beech Nut items
  • one coupon for $1 off any 6 stage 3 baby food
  • one coupon for $1 off any10  stage 2 baby food
  • one coupon for $1 off any stage 4 toddler food
  • buy 3 get one free stage 1 baby food


Thank You Beech Nut Brand for being an awesome company!

If you are not a new mother,  but you still like getting free Beechnut products check out their reward program by clicking here.

Easy Kids Christmas Craft

As a girl scout leader for a local browine troop, I am always looking for fun, simple and adorable craft projects that I can do with my brownies girl scouts.  Here is one of the projects we did.

Items you will need:

  • Stamp'n up Big show machine
  • Stamp'n up Sizzix "Blossom Party" die cut
  • Empty cola can
  • Votive candle 
  • Plain green card stock
  • Christmas card stock
First you will need to take your green card stock and cut it out in the shape of a flower petals.  My flower is 3 inches, but  you can make you bigger.  Cut the Christmas card stock  into a 1" strips or a little wider than your votive candle.  You will want to make sure that your strip of card stock are long enough to fit around that candle and leave a little from for a small overlap.  I used tape to secure the Christmas card stock to the candle.    


Now take your cleaned empty cola can and cut it so that it can lay flat.  Using you Big Shot machine, place the aluminium strip (cola can) between the plexiglass and the Stampn' up Sizzix Blossom Party.  Roll it through the machine (I let my Brownies try this step and they had fun.  They loved seeing the pretty flower cut out come out of a used aluminium can).  The Blossom Party" die cut will cut out a flower shape in the aluminium.


Using tape or (stampn' up) dimensional stick the aluminium flower to the green flower.  Place one or two dimensional on the bottom of the votive candle and press it firmly to the aluminium flower.

There you have it a beautiful easy Christmas craft that kids can make.