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snack stick review and GIVEAWAY!

hiya friends…  How’s yer summer treating you ?   It’s no secret that summer is my least favorite time of the year. But sometimes a little something extra can help push me through. 

Like last week.

  I have a good friend named Amy, and she and her husband Brian raise grass-fed beef, free range chicken, lamb and heritage pigs, raised drug-free, GMO-free, in a fresh-air pasture raised system in a small town in Kansas.

She and her hubby were frustrated with trying to find healthy, nourishing snacks for their family, so they decided to make snack sticks with their heritage pigs! 

CCR snack sticks ( click for more information) 

She sent me some to try and see what I thought.  They come in 2 flavors so far, jalapeño and bbq… With more flavors to come! 

  

Oh. 

My.

Gosh! 

These are absolutely fantastic!  Like incredibly. 

They are made with few ingredients, all of which you can recognize. ( you can’t say that about too much these days) 

Jalapeño-

Pork

Sea salt

Evaporated cane juice 

Jalapeño peppers

Encapsulated citric acid

Celery juice

Black pepper 

Red pepper 

Dehydrated garlic 

Coriander

In beef collagen casing



BBQ-

Pork

Evaporated cane juice 

Brown sugar

Sea salt 

Encapsulated citric acid 

Celery juice 

Ground mustard

Dehydrated garlic

Coriander 

In beef collagen casing 



Each stick is only 90 calories and has 5 grams of protein, and very low carb! ( jalapeño has 3, bbq has 1)

Just look how tasty! 

  

Friends..I have some good news! Amy was kind enough to send me enough to share! 

5 lucky winners will get one of each flavor to try! 

  

There are three ways you can enter

1- like CCR brand on Facebook

2- share this post 

3- share CCR brand’s Facebook page with your friends 

You can enter all 3 ways, you just have to comment on this post or my Facebook page ( so that I’m sure I get you in the drawing 😉) 

This contest is open  to everyone. Family members included, just pass the word on about these amazing snacks! 

Winners will be chosen at 6 pm MST this Saturday, August 1.

If you can’t wait that long ( and I promise  you, you really don’t…  You can order them  directly from their website ..

CCR Brand

$17 for 12, $5.95 shipping 

$30 for 24, $5.95 shipping 

$100 for 96, $11.95 shipping 

Personally, I’m replenishing my stock this afternoon! 

Good luck! Spread the word! 

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laundry balls ~ a giveaway!

where else could I possibly go after introdicing so many of you to SOAP NUTS??

 

dryer balls. yup… I have fun with my laundry… what can I say?

 

So ya’ll are wondering what in the heck are dryer balls?

 

here you go!

what do we do with these???  well.. you put them in the dryer with your laundry and they

1~ help you laundry dry faster.. making your dryer more effecient

2~ natural fabric softener… the bouncing of the balls between you clothes ‘softens’ the clothes and helps them to be less wrinkled

3~ you can put a dab of essential oil on the balls before throwing them in the dryer and they will make your clothes smell purty

4~ when folding your laundry, you can have the kids fish them out

5~ I happen to know that they bounce a little. making folding laundry a bit more fun

6~ they are just so darm cute 🙂

 

I’m going to show you how to make these..

 

*warning * they are addicting…

* yarn…  make sure it is 100% wool.  you can find it at any craft store.. and often find a coupon online as well

* scissors

* an old stocking… it’s ok if it has holes

 

start by taking your yarn and start to roll it into a ball… I like to keep my thumb in place so that it makes a little hole

roll your ball as big as you want it… you can make them all different sizes.. ( the more the merrier)

cut the tail and weave it into the hole.

if you want to make a design, take a scrap of yarn and randomly wrap around in any crazy design

dont worry if it seems loose, it will tighten up soon

 

next, take you ball and carefully insert it into a stocking… ( if there is a hole in it, knot it so that you create a ‘pocket’ so that the ball does not have the hole directly on it)

 

tightly knot the stocking around the ball, so that it is snug in there.

 

then add another..  and another.. make a whole chain!!

 

Next.. wash it in the hottest water that you can.

Ans stick in in the dryer..  I run it through a little extra cycle, just to make sure it is uber dry.

 

now.. the fun part.

 

using your scissors, carefully cut the stocking away from each ball…

 

 

and there you have it! dryer balls 🙂

Last month, Ali and her friends went white water rafting…  I washed a couple of the girls sleeping bags before they went.

 

when the girls got to the cabin, they unrolled their sleeping bag and snuggled in the bottom of one .. was one lonely dryer ball…  They ened up throwing it across the room at each other for entertainment.

yet.. another use for these babies.

 

sooo….  in honor of it being Wednesday… I want to share. ’cause I love you.

I’m going to give one of you your very own set of balls!

 

simply click on the comment box and the giveaway prompts are waiting for you!!!  enter using the “share on your wall” option once a day.. giving you extra chances!

 

ready.. set.. GO!!

being rich *giveaway*

 friends, I have a story to share ( I know big surprise. ) you see, I like to talk, and my pup , Fenway can only listen to me for so long, so I’m chatting with you !

You may know that in my past life I was a cosmetologist. I worked in the same building for over 20 years. ( the ownership changed 3 times, but like the bathroom, I always stayed… I was a fixture there)

Over the years , I made a lot of friends, both co workers and clients.  To this day i am still friends with so many people who I met there.  I am actually still friends with 2 girls that I gave their first day of school kindergarten haircuts to! They are both married with children now.. ghheese…. I sound old when I say that..

Anyhoo… I was kind of an amazing nail tech back in the day. And what happens when you ‘do nails?’  you sit across from someone, hold their hand, and talk for an hour… it doesn’t get more intimate than that… you really get to know someone.

Like Mrs. m.

Mrs. m was a hot ticket.  She had an ‘air’ about her that turned some off, but I just loved her. She said it like it was.. like it or not.

Mrs.m and her husband had a very nice house in an upscale neighborhood in the outskirts on NYC. They also summered on the Cape. ( where I met her)..

After a few years, they sold their NYC house , put everything in storage and starting renting a place in Sedona for the winter.

They talked about buying a place out  in AZ.  They spent the summer talking about what they wanted  and they disagreed ( c’mon friends, they  are married!) 

Mr. m was still traveling for business a lot during this time period..

So the fall came, and they headed to AZ to what she thought was a meeting with a realtor. Turns out, it was a closing. He had bought the house that he liked without her.

She was furious. She stood up, walked out of the room and caught the next flight back to Boston.

About a month later , when she came in to see me at the salon, she had her car FULL of all of her kitchen items. She had her kitchen storage locker delivered to the cape and gave it ALL to me.

Now picture.. I am newly married with just the basics… she gave me a kitchenaid mixer, matching food processor, blender, ice cream maker, entire set of pots and pans, serving dishes.EVERYTHING

I was in Heaven 🙂

She was so furious with Mr. m that she told me that he was going to buy her all new kitchen items once they resolved the AZ. issues.

So one day, we are facing each other, I’m about to paint her nails with OPI ‘ Chicago Champagne Toast’ ( yes, I still remember this, I pay extreme attention to detail… and this was her color)

She looked into my eyes and said ” what makes you rich?”

Now I was confused, because I was anything BUT rich… Scott was still in school and we lived off of my paycheck.. And the tips that I made paid for groceries for the 3 of us)

She then said, ” picture that you could have anything that you want..it’s not as cool as you’d think. Now think about that one thing that just makes you happy. that you feel happy just because you have it and you want to surround yourself with it..it’s the thing that makes you rich”

her thing? was kitchen clips. She could have had anything that she wanted, but kitchen clips made her rich.

So that got me to thinking…  what makes me ‘rich’

the answer?

socks.

I

puffy heart

socks.

And they don;t even need to match :).. A few years ago my mom knit socks for everyone for Christmas.  When we opened them, we all had mismatched socks. She had wanted us to search out which family member had our matching sock.

here’s the thing.. we all liked that they were miss matched and that she had done it that way .. we kept our socks that we had opened

so the following year she gave us these for Christmas

I KNOW!  how cool are these????

I love love love the fingerless gloves!!!!  everyone say hi to Fenway pup 🙂

then earlier this year she made me these…

YOGA socks!

( sorry about my crazy legs & feet 🙂

so there you have it. Mrs. m was a very  wealthy woman, but it was a $5 item that made her rich.

now, because I puffy heart all of my wonderful friends.. I have a surprise for you….

Look what mom made Just for one of you!!!!!!

there are many ways to enter…

1~ like seabreeze designs~ cape cod socks on Facebook

2~ Leave a comment on the blog telling me what makes YOU rich

3~ Share a barefootgirlinthekitchen on Facebook

4~ refer a friend to barefootgirlinthekitchen

5~ ‘Like barefootgirlinthekitchen on facebook ( if you havent’ already)

6~ sign up for new posts via email

7~ pin a barefootgirl recipe or post to pinterest

now… I found this really cool way to host a giveaway ( please forgive my newbie-ness) but I cannot install it here on this blog until I learn how to speak a foreign computer language… It’s just not working for me… so to enter the contest, head over to  hand knit socks by mom giveawayand check off all that applies to you 🙂 ( but remember to tell me what makes you rich.. I really want to know.. and it just might help me with my Christmas shopping 😉

***Don’t forget that after you comment to head over HERE ( click on the word here) to officially enter :).. sorry about the confusion… hopefully someday I can have that directly on the blog….***

Mom is also offering an October special…  All of the proceeds from everything that she knits goes toward our big 40 mile breast cancer walk in May.  So for the month of October she is offering free shipping on any item !! With all proceeds going toward finding a cure for breast cancer

check out her stuff.. she makes the most amazing fingerless gloves ( perfect for texting , and driving, but never texting and driving at the same time, because that is very very bad)

She had tons of stuff that she has already made, and she is more than happy to take custom orders… think ahead to the Holidays, these are all perfect gifts 🙂

This post has taken me forever to type… I need an internet fairy to come help me with the behind the scenes part of the blog….

*waves my magic wand*

xooxox

and good luck!

ps…..   HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD !!!! oxoxox

banish boring salads

well… maybe not banish but know that there are options out there.

You know how when you got to a restaurant and some of the fancier salads look sooo good… but you have a hard  time shelling out 13 bucks for a salad..

yeah  me too.  Here’s the thing.. you can make these at home!!  Now I know some of you are like, “duh? is she going to seriously walk us through salad making 101?”

yes. Because I have a few friends whose diets have changed and they need to add more fruits and veggies into their diet & want to show the amazing amount options that are out there. If you already know all of this.. I apologize…. just scroll to the bottom to help answer a question about my next giveaway.

WHOA!!! wait.. YOU!… get back up here.. I’m not done yet.

We’ll start with making a dressing….  yes.. making it is super simple.. and there are 17,000 combinations that you can create… just use a basic formula and add the flavors that you like!

you will need

1~ an acid.. either vinegar, lemon or lime juice, wine….  1/8 cup

2~ an oil…. olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil.. coconut oil ( my new FAVORITE! ) 1/4 cup

3~mustard… again… SO many flavors out there… play with it! 1 tsp

4~ honey.. or maple syrup ( the real stuff) or agave…. 1 tsp

5~ (optional) herbs.. fresh or dried… or sesame seeds, or crushed garlic….. 1/2-1 tsp.. depending on how strong you would like ( always start with less then add more)

6~ sea salt and pepper…..  I have a slight salt obsession as well…..  we’ll chat about this later 🙂 remind me if I forget.

simply add everything to a small ball jars

   put the top on the jar and shake….

you just made dressing 🙂

trust me.. you can’t get that out of a bottle…. anywhere.

I don’t like overly dressed salads, so I usually use about a tablespoon per salad.. if you like more, then add more… I mix it with whichever greens I am using so that they are coated, then place in serving bowl… top with toppings…

like the quiche ‘recipe’  ( are you starting to get my method of cooking… it’s always a formula, then playing with ingredients… because I am a firm believer in  play!  <—- please read this post, it’s one of my favorites 🙂

so.. you will want

1~ green of choice… baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, romaine, butter lettuce..

2~ dressing of choice

3~ ( optional.. ) protein of choice… ( chicken, beans, salmon, beef, tofu, edamame.)

4~ other veggies.. just pile them on!

5~ (optional ) cheese

6~ (optional) something for crunch.. croutons, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sliver almonds

7~ (optional) dried cranberries or apricots or mandarin orange wedges

and  you, my dear have just made a killer salad worthy of any restaurant.

here’s your 13 buckaroos back 🙂

This salad  has

baby spinach

basic vinaigrette

topped with edamame ( I used trader Joe’s ).. about 1/2 cup

black beans .. about 1/4 cup

1/4 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese ( if you are vegan, by choice or m=by force, eliminate it…  the avocado give the same mouthfeel… and you probably wont miss it)

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

finish with sea salt and pepper..

I ate this for lunch yesterday and it kept me full all afternoon!  ( and peeps ask me all the time where I get my protein from 🙂  )

so be brave…. look beyond iceburg, cukes and tomatoes ( not that there is anything with it, it’s the only way I can get my kids to eat a salad, so I still make it… ) and have fun!!!!

NEEEEXXXXTTT…

I have fallen in LOVE with Greek Yogurt. Have you tried it yet? I buy the non fat plain and it tastes just like sour cream. I sub it out for sour cream all the time.  It is also a perfect base to make granola parfait but also… to make some ‘creamy’ sauces!  like this

Chipotle cream sauce

I used about 1/2 the can of peppers.. if you like it more mild, use less

about a cup of the Greek Yogurt

half a lime

I put them all in the magic bullet looking thing and blended

if you don’t have one of these babies, you could use a blender, just keep scraping down the sides.. or use a food processor.

that’s it folks… does it get simpler than that? I think not.

The girls had this on their tacos last night & I topped my tostada with it.

the girls’ taco filling is made with lean ground chicken, then when I add the taco seasoning ( only half the package… it’s so loaded with sodium.. a little goes a long way.. you also can make your own, considerably knocking the sodium down, but I had it so I used it) and when I add the water I add a can of refried beans. They blend in perfectly… it stretches the filling and boosts the protein 🙂 I’ve been doing this for years..

It also freezes and defrosts well, so you can make double the amount and have it in the freezer for a super quick dinner…. If you need to cook for one, make a batch and freeze it into individual portions…  again.. quick dinner for one

*if you have dinner for one, please do me a favor and do it by candle light.. you are special and should have a nice dining experience.. if you want you can face time me and we can eat dinner together 😉 *

My filling was chopped mushrooms, sautéed  in oil, then  I mashed some back beans and lime juice in, seasoned with sea salt, cumin & chile powder

I placed it on a small flour tortilla that I heated in my cast iron skillet ( I CANNOT say enough how much I love  cast Iron to cook with)

top with cheese ( if vegan, try the daiya cheese shreds.. it’s very good, melts and stretches like cheese and can be frozen.. It is on the pricey side ( $5 a bag) but it does freeze, and I just pull out what I need when I need it )

the I added avocado.. fresh salsa.. Chipotle cream sauce and some plain Greek yogurt..  YUM!  ( and sooooooo easy )

As far as the rest of the chipotle peppers ( I’ve never had a recipe that I’ve used the whole can ) I take a freezer bag & label it… place in a jar

then press out the air & seal

Whenever I need some for a recipe, or a burst of flavor, I just break a piece off! No waste here.. yo!

so now that I’ve made you hungry… I have a question for all of you.

I have a fun company that has offered for me to give away one of their products.  I have the choice…

1~ 1 big gift for one lucky recipient…

OR

2~ 10 small gifts ( of the same item) so that TEN of you can win….

so whatcha all think? 1 big winner or 10 smaller ones???

smooches friends!!  oxooxo

quick and easy quiche

quiche scared me.  for years. for real.

I don’t know why I was so scared to make it, but it was so intimidating ..  but lets be real… it’s eggs, and cheese and cream and crust. could it get simpler?

no.

PLUS.. it’s like when you make pizza  you can have fun disquzing your leftovers  I mean… being creative with ingredients 🙂 

And you can have it on the table in under an hour

AND  you can have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, snack. 3 am munchies  ( who am I to judge? ) whatever your little heart desires…

 

Mine is based off of this recipe.

 

I have  loosely included the ingredients, because each and every time that I make it I make it different. Use what you like.. just follow the base of the recipe & you’ll be good to go 🙂

 

quick and easy quiche

1 pie crust un-baked ( I use the Pillsbury roll out brand near the dinner rolls)

1/2 cup of cheese of your choice ( I used goat cheese with dried cranberries)

1/2 cup of another cheese of your choice ( I used feta)

1/2 cup to a cup of veggies of you choice ( I used baby spinach & diced onion)

1/4 cup bacon, ham, sausage… whatever you have ( omit if vegetarian) <– I did that

1 cup heavy cream or light cream ( both work, heavy cream just makes it richer) I had heavy cream.. now I have a quiche baby.. If I don’t judge your 3 am munchies then you can’t judge my quiche baby. I called it.
First so I win 🙂

fresh herbs.. chives, parsley, thyme.. whatever floats your boat.. if you don’t have fresh use a smaller amount fo dried, but rub it between your fingertips to release the scent. ( I used fresh parsley and chives)

 

local friends, I have fresh (organic chives, mint and rhubarb up the whazzooo if ever you want some.. let me know )

Sea salt and pepper ( I used sea salt and pepper 😉

 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out pie crust, place in pie plate and crimp edges really pretty for the camera. ( oh wait, maybe that’s just my house) just crimp. ( unless you want to take a picture and send it to me… that could make me smile 🙂

sprinkle cheese on the prepared pie crust.

 

In a bowl, beat eggs lightly, add cream. herbs veggies and meat. lightly mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust..  finish with an extra grating of pepper.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 35-40 minutes or until quiche is set and lightly browned.

 

Kiss your pup a lot while it’s baking.. because that is way more fun than cleaning the kitchen 😉

Let sit a bit before cutting.

( the cooler it is the easier it is to cut)

I love to serve it with a light salad with lemon dressing & parm cheese.

 

( did you know that I love cheese? like so much that I named my car after cheese? true story. I’ll tell you about it sometime)

 

so you know what an awesome food blogger I am? Tian and I ate the whole quiche before I realized that I forgot to take a picture of the finished quiche.

yep…. I’m classy like that.

 

and since it’s almost FALL  ( my very favoritest time of the year..I come to life in the fall).. I enjoyed one of these while staring at my four-legged bundle o joy.

This might just be my favorite  pumpkin ale.. I love what the box states…

off centered ales for off centered people.

 

it’s like they knew me when they brewed this 🙂

 

Remember, there is still time to enter for the 1803 wax melter give away contest consider sharing with your friends.. it will make me happy and if they win then it will make them happy 🙂 

t-48 hours until the race….. I must be crazy…

 

xoxoxox~shel

 

quaintness overload.

seriously.

be ready.

Yesterday after my mom & I had a most wonderful lunch, we went to Christmas tree shops (❡❡ dontcha just love a a bargain ❡❡)  to browse through things that we didn’t need to find things that we couldn’t live without.  I bought some super-de-duperly cool fall napkins .

Ali’s lunch is stylin’ today, I tell ya 🙂

Mom asked me if we could stop at this little shop that she had always wanted to… it is called Cinnamon Sticks and Candlewicks  it is tucked into a little shop on route 28  at a bend in the road in lovely, West Dennis, ma.. on the Cape. 

If you think it is quaint from the outside….. just hold onto your pants, cause the inside is downright charming 🙂   :if you are a boy in your teen years that still thinks that your bum hanging out makes you look cool… the for the love of God.. PLEASE hold those pants!!!!:

and it smelled HEAVENLY!  The first thing that we saw were 1803 candles. These are the nicest candles that I have ever had my hands on, and let me tell you, I’ve had my hands on A lot of candles!  They are made of Soy wax…. grown by AMERICAN farmers!  how cool is that?

The packaging had my heart instantly, being ball jars and all….. ( I have a slight obsession with ball jars) 

what’s so cool about soy you ask??

well here ya go…

Soy Wax is made of soybeans grown in the United States.  It is a renewable resource and environmentally friendly.

 clean burning
 non-toxic
 non-carcinogenic
 biodegradable

Soy candles will leave your home free of soot on your walls, curtains and furniture.

and… they smell amazing!  And they have the coolest names..  Cabin on the hill, barn raising, grandpa’s trees, north woods cabin.. just to name a few…  The gentleman behind the counter told us that once we burned one of these candles, we would never go back to any other candle. I think he is right 🙂

the store had all sorts of tiny cubbies with a mix of antiques

LOVE! the rolling pins!!!

Mom and I spent quite a bit of time walking around and taking it all in… enjoying the incredible smells:)…  This business is run by a lovely husband & wife team, JoDee& Bob Harvey.  ( their adorable granddaughter was there as well as their pup and a sweet little kitty cat 🙂  ( I forget their names 😦  )

~ Btw…. the first weekend in December they host a holiday festival with clam chowder, pulled pork, dips.. and a whole lot more.. if you are in the area and want more info… leave them your email on their home page and they will keep you up to date.. I’ll be there 😉

Something else kinds cool happened…  While checking out , Mom started talking to Bob and it turns out that Bob’s family grew up RIGHT across the street from my stepdad, John’s family!  ( North of Boston).. small world, eh?

While Mom & Bob were reminiscing  about the good ol’ days, I thought it would be fun if I wandered around & took some pics.. and bought a small gift to share with one of you!!!

YOU’RE always on my mind 🙂 

so that’s exact-alatally  what I did 🙂

My favorite scent from all that I had to choose from was called ‘barn-raising’.. the description states

Everyone has a job to do on barn raising day…(blend of barnwood, redwood, cedar)

so here is what I have for you ! a six pack of 1803 melters. Each soy cube is infused with fragrance, essential oil and botanicals…  You can melt each wax sube in a wax melter for hours of scent.

yeeaaah…. I debating on telling you this, but since we are friends and all…. I bought a set of wax melters for me in a different scent … and I went to smell it lsat night and the wax and essential oil blend is SOOO  soft.. that I broke off a tiny piece and massaged it into my dry heels.

Now you REALLY think that I’ve lost it… It’s ok.. I get it… I live with me too… le sigh.

I’m certainly NOT recommending that the lucky winner try this…  but I’m also not certain that I won’t do it again tonight 🙂

I really did fall in love with this scent… and to prove it to you ….  here is my barn raising candle next to my birds nest of sea glass

( sea glass is sea glass that Ali has been collecting for me for years and the birds nest is from a mama bird who had her babies right out side of my window… I watched them grow actually fly away… months after the nest had been abandoned, I took it as my own to hold treasures 🙂

the label on the candle reads…. ‘Men women and children have a job to do on barn raising day’.. I mean, how could you not love that? you can get your kids to do work!

ps.. if you want see see more pics of this adorable store… click here

SOO…   down to business… what do you have to do to win? I’m offering you a lot of chances!

1~  LIKE barefootgirl in the kitchen on facebook.. then leave a quick comment there..( on barefootinthekitchen’s facebook page)  it can be one word. just let me know that you were there.. if you already like me *flips hair* then just leave me a quick comment… again.. one word is fine… you could even just say booger. I would take that.. because I know that that is your secret way of professing your undying love to me  .. *swoons*

2~ refer a friend that you think might like barefoot to my blog and follow either by signing up for emails ( click the white box on the left above the facebook like box)  or following though wordpress…Have my new found friend ( thanks to you ) Leave a quick comment with who it was (AHEM… YOUR NAME)  that referred them. You each will get an entry into the giveaway.. you refer  ( I keep spelling reefer by accident.. this could be bad)  let’s try that again…. you can refer as many friends as you want.. and you will receive a separate entry for each  one of my new friends… AND  your friend can get an extra entry ( or 10) if they refer one of their friends and do exactly the same thing…. leave a comment about who loved who first… I promise , I’ll keep track.

3~ and if you don’t think that you have any friends that want to love me, or you just want to hoard may awesomeness all to yourself, I understand.. I’m a girl 😉 If this is you, then all that you have to do is leave me a comment in the comment area.

you are welcome to say booger too.. there is no food in this post 🙂

AND!!!!  you can do ALL of these for multiple entries!!!!  because you are my friend… and you rock my world!

2 last things……   I only mention this because when I first started reading blogs..this I did not know… ( don’t laugh ) but many times in a post I will refer to something that I’ve written in the past & I will type a hyper link this will take you back to that post that I was talking about… if something that I wrote did not make sense, then perhaps the past post will clear things up ( keep in mind, I’ve been at this for a few years, so some of you may have read things that others have not)  I try to make sure that you see the hyperlinks by making them a different color.. so if you see writing that isn’t this lovely black, there’s your sign 🙂 If the word is a purty color then click on it… It might make my post make a whole lot more sense…. then again, maybe not.

Once in awhile I will change the color just for fun, so if you roll over a colored word and when you click it it does nothing… then just move on.. there is always tomorrow.

and lastly, my dear friends…. I will keep the contest open until midnight on Saturday.. this gives everyone time to share the love. Think Woodstock here…

I will choose the winner at random  using random.org  when I get home from runningmy first 5 k on Sunday…….and promptly ship out to the winner on Monday morning. 

I have 6 other prizes for upcoming give aways… and waiting to hear back on many more… some are home made and some are donated and kinda funky &  fun stuff 🙂

have a great night, invisible blog world friends 🙂

*confession*

I cheated.

And I lied.

Well sort of.

I made apple pie. Remember how I said that I wasn’t going to bake an  apple pie ???

Well, Ryan has been begging me to bake a pie.

Begging!!!

Begging!!

BEGGING!!

So I finally gave in..homemade apple pie♥♥♥

with fresh cinnamon sugar whipped cream

and little cinnamon covered pastry hearts

My pie filling:

about 6 apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced

( I’m not exactly sure what kinds they were *they were a mix, because when they opened the ropes last weekend to that part of the orchard, I made a mad dash & just picked)

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp all-purppose flour

pinch of salt,

grating of fresh nutmeg & about 1 tsp of cinnamon.

I mixed these all together then poured into a pastry lined- pie plate & topped with a second pastry.

I poked purty little holes all around the top of the crust to let steam escape, brushed an egg wash allover the top of the crust & dusted with some cinnamon sugar. I used my pastry scraps to cup out little hearts, arranged them on top of the crust & then hit them with a little egg wash / cinnamon sugar action.

I used aluminum foil to protect the edges & baked it at 375 degrees using convection bake for about 45 minutes, ( 400 if you don’t have convection bake)

removing the foil after 1/2 an hour.

I baked off the little remaining heart toppers at the same temp, but they only took about 12 minutes.

The whipped cream was a pint of fresh heavy cream whipped with 1/4 cup homemade cinnamon / sugar mixture until thick. (refrigerating both the bowls & the whack prior to whipping helps it whip up much faster 😉 )

but here lies the deception.. I had already promised to make Swedish meatballs for dinner & since time is not always on my side, I had to take shortcuts.

I bought ( hold onto your seats here…) frozen already prepared meatballs from the freezer section of the grocery store; canned gravy & half and half !!

*I’ll give you a moment to regain your composure before I go on*

It gets worse..

ALL of this while I’m on the phone with Jason in Florida giving him my secret meatball recipe.

and I had frozen balls on my stove.

I suppose I need to hand my crown over at this point?

:here is where the lying part comes in:

Ry said, ” mom, you’ve outdone yourself, I love the way that you prepared these meatballs !”

Me: “thank you”.

Now technically I did prepare the dish… and I added bay leaves to the simmering fake-out meal, but since I didn’t actually make the meatballs well, that could be misconstrued as lying.

But they were happy with their meatballs and when all was said & done..

they had pie 🙂

and everyone was happy!

Now for the winner of the super-de-duper apple corer..

Christina!!! Congraulations!!  And thank you to all who participated.  I have a few more ideas for giveaways in the near future..

Christina..email me your information & I will get this baby shipped out to you 🙂

apple picking part deux & giveaway!

My sister Jodie called me earlier in the week to see if I was interested in going apple picking.  Despite the fact that we just went last weekend I eagerly said yes!

This meant

1) some quality girl-time

2) I could use up my apples from last weekend to make more of that yummy apple butter

So I loaded my crackpot with all the fixins’ & we headed back to the orchard.

no. wait. That’s Ryan from years ago.

THIS was yesterday… My niece, Mollie was desperately looking for a green apple. She was a bit excited when she found one!

Ali & my niece, Alexis…

♥Lex♥

we went for a hayride to a pumpkin patch

Lex was very concerned with liability issues

Jodie, Lex & I found the cornfield

Jodie with her girls

Ali & I

Mollie munching on one of many apples..

I fell in love with this little apple… it’s perfect!

to give you an idea of how little it is, I placed it next to my coffee mug.

♥♥♥cuteness♥♥♥

so now.. for the giveaway…

In honor of my passion of all things APPLE   (and my pathetic attempt to see who’s reading) I’m going to give away one of those new-fancy-dancy apple corers!

All that you have to do is

a) comment on this post as to what your favorite apple dish is

OR

b) sign up to receive new post via email

OR.. if you do both, then you will be entered twice!

The winner will be announced Friday evening…

good luck!

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