Apple Pie Cookies & Dessert Mash-Ups Cookbook Review

I just realized that my last post was also apple pie related, but you will want to stick around for this one too. The cookies are delish, but the cookbook it came from is divine!

It’s from Dorothy Kern, the woman behind the fabulous blog Crazy for Crust. I have been following her blog for quite a while now and love all the desserts she comes up with. This cookbook is a compilation of dessert “mash-ups”…two-in-one treats like these Apple Pie Cookies. I have several recipes bookmarked, like Chocolate Chip Cookie Toffee Bark (definitely going on my Christmas “to make” list), Cookies ‘n’ Cream Magic Bar Pie (my kids really want to make this!), Oreo Peanut Butter (holy yum) and Pumpkin Pie Magic Bars (I have a thing for magic bars and all things pumpkin. These will be made very soon!)
I’ve been given permission to share the recipe for these Apple Pie Cookies…but if apples aren’t your thing, Dorothy offers variations, like Reese Cups or Hershey Kisses. My kids came up with some of their own variations as well…

Apple Pie Cookies

Yield 30 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Bake Time 11 minutes
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 1⁄2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all- purpose flour, divided
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced small (just about 1 1⁄2 cups)
1⁄2 cup water

Powdered sugar, for dusting *I omitted this
Tip: If apple isn’t your thing, you can simply place the cookie dough in the muffin pans, bake them, and then add a Hershey’s Kiss or a mini peanut butter cup to the top when they come out of the oven. It’s a great flavor twist!
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 12-cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and 1⁄4 cup of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and 1 1⁄2 cups of the flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Place the diced apple in a small saucepan with the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until the apples begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain well and let cool for 10 minutes.
5. Scoop 1-tablespoon balls of cold cookie dough and place one in each cavity of the mini muffin pans. Press down to flatten slightly, and use your finger to create an indent in the centers for the apples.
6. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon over apples. Stir to combine. Place 1 teaspoon of apples in the hole of each cookie.
7. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are browned. Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. It’s easiest to remove them with a knife. Cool completely on a rack, then dust with powdered sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*reprinted with permission from Dessert Mash-Ups Cookbook
Needless to say, these cookies didn’t last long! If you have a foodie friend with a sweet tooth on your Christmas list, this cookbook would be an excellent gift. The recipes are awesome and each has an absolutely drool worthy picture to accompany it!
*I was given a complimentary copy of this cookbook for review from Ulysses Press. I received no compensation. All opinions are my own. 

VTech InnoTab 3 Review & GIVEAWAY! {#sponsored}

Guess what?! We are already half way through October. You know what that means? CHRISTMAS will be here before you know it! Don’t panic however, because I have an excellent giveaway to help you get started for those 3-9 years old on your shopping list.

The VTech InnoTab3 Plus learning tablet!
I needed my 6 year old to help me with the review, so he got a present a little early 😉 He was pretty excited about it too –
After having the personal experience of having to replace my iPad after my young son dropped it and cracked the screen, I am delighted for him to have his very own durable learning tablet. I also absolutely love the fact that it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This is new from the InnoTab 2, which you could purchase a separate pack. It also comes with an A/C adapter.
My son loves the 180° rotating camera and using the special effects (it comes with 55 different effects). It also has a video recorder to make movies AND kids can import and listen to their own MP3s with the music player. This is a great feature for older kids!
 
The InnoTab 3 Plus comes preloaded with 12 different apps, so kids can get started playing/learning immediately, but you have the option of more than 800 educator-endorsed, age and stage appropriate cartridges, software and apps that can be purchased and downloaded from VTech’s Learning Lodge app store. This is great for growing the product with the child and preventing boredom. The additional games and apps do have to be purchased, but keep in mind that kids can get years of use from this one device. You can’t say that about too many toys! 
 
I love that my son is able to learn while playing, and still feels like one of the “big kids” with his own tablet. With two older sisters, sometimes he wants things that he isn’t old enough for!
 
So who wants a chance to win a VTech InnoTab 3 Plus for a little boy or girl in their life? This is going to be a short giveaway, so go ahead and enter now via the Rafflecopter form! (US residents only…sorry my Canadian friends!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was provided with a sample product for review purposes. All opinions are my own, or that of my 6 year old! The sample product, giveaway product and information has been provided by VTech.

Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwiches for #BreakfastNight {#GIVEAWAY, #sponsored}

Did you know that September is National Breakfast Month? It’s pretty well documented on the blog here that I love breakfast food, and that we do breakfast for dinner. A lot. We aren’t the only ones… In a national survey, Krusteaz found that nine out of ten (91 percent) Americans say they eat breakfast for dinner, with 56 percent doing so once a month or more. For families with children in the house, the trend is even more prevalent as 67 percent say they have breakfast for dinner once a month or more. With that in mind, Krusteaz has declared Wednesdays as  “Breakfast Night“. It totally works for me!

With all the sports activities my kids have going on right now, dinner needs to be pretty quick and easy. That’s one of the reasons why I love doing “breakfast suppers”. When I can find shortcuts, like using Krusteaz pancake and waffle mixes, well I’m all over that too. Last Wednesday we made pancakes and Belgian waffles using Krusteaz mixes. Two kids ate pancakes, while Number One and I had these Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwiches. I made mine into a Monte Cristo – which is basically combining everything fabulous into one sandwich…it’s a French Toast/Belgian Waffle/Cheesy/Meaty/Sweet and Savory combo.

Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwich

2 servings
*Prepared waffles (My waffles were about 8 inches, so I used two and cut them in half; if you are using small 4 inch waffles, then you will need 4 of them)
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 pound thin sliced ham
1/4 pound thin sliced turkey
6 slices cooked bacon
cranberry sauce (the canned kind works great for this…can also use fruit preserves instead)
Dijon mustard (optional)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Pam cooking spray or butter

*We made waffles with Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix

  • Heat a griddle, panini press or George Foreman (this is what I used).
  • Combine eggs, milk and cinnamon (if using) in a large, shallow bowl.
  • Dip one waffle (or one half) into egg mixture, flipping to coat each side.
  • Place waffle on greased or sprayed griddle and top with 2 slices of cheese, 1/2 the ham and turkey, 3 slices of bacon, and top with thin slices of cranberry sauce or a tablespoon of jam/preserves and desired amount of mustard (if using).
  • Dip second waffle (or half) into egg mixture, coat both sides, and place on top of meat/cheese.
  • Close top if using a panini press or George Foreman and let cook until top is lightly browned and crisp. If using skillet or griddle, cook one side until browned and set, then flip to cook other side.
  • Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Recipe Source: Makin’ it Mo’Betta and Foodie Crush

Looking for other quick and easy breakfast night options?

Pancake and Sausage Muffins


Easy Oven Pancakes – mix up your favorite pancake mix and pour into a baking pan and bake….no standing and flipping!

For the GIVEAWAY, Krusteaz would like to help you make Breakfast Night a tradition in your house too! They have agreed to provide one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader with:
  • Buttermilk Pancake Mix (1)
  • Blueberry Pancake Mix (1) 
  • Belgian Waffle Mix (1) 
  • Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix (1) 
  • Krusteaz coupons for free product.  
Entering is simple via the Rafflecopter form below. {US Residents only}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Krusteaz provided me with the above pictured products and coupons (not pictured) so I could host my own ‘Breakfast Night’. All opinions and love of breakfast food are my own.

“I can not tell a lie” or can you?! Talking Honesty w/our Kids – #GIVEAWAY #HTHonesty #sponsored

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Right? Isn’t that what we tell our kids? But then do they hear us tell someone “oh, I’m so sorry I can’t volunteer for xyz, I have a (made up) appointment” or “Oh, I love what you’ve done with your hair” just to turn around and tell someone how bad it looks. I mean seriously, haven’t we all told little white lies here and there? Please tell me I am not the only one who has been in a situation like that (because that will really make me feel like I have earned the Lousy Mother Award). Kids learn what they live. That’s a scary thought sometimes. So, how do we instill the values we want in our children? How do we begin those important discussions about things like honesty? First, as parents, if we are going to talk the talk, we need to walk the walk. {I’m trying, really, I am!} Second, we can open up discussions with our children. This can sometimes be difficult…especially depending on the child’s age. (I have a 13 yr old. ‘Nuff said.)

That’s why I am excited to share this new line of children’s books called The Principles of Our World, from Harvest Time Partners. They are designed to help parents reinforce the importance of things like Honesty, Courage, Teamwork and more. I think it’s important to start these discussions early, and continue to reinforce them as they get older. My 6 y/o has just started recently with telling little lies like “yes, I brushed my teeth” when he didn’t. So this book came at a great time so we could talk more about our family values and review different scenarios before he is faced with them.
I really like the way the books are laid out..they are broken down into chapters, and each chapter gives a real-life situation in which the person has to decide the best course of action. The following is from the above pictured book Principle of Honesty
As I reviewed the situations in each chapter, I would stop and ask what he would do in that particular situation before reading the resolution. It opened up some great discussion about how we always have a choice to make, and how important it is to make the right one. Honesty really is the best policy. And what about when we, as parents, screw up?! Well, for me, the best option is to fess up. Just say straight up…I made the wrong choice, I should have done this or that, and try to make it right. Kids are faced with all kinds of situations, and even though we try to arm them with the values and education they need, they are going to make mistakes along the way. So, they need to learn about taking responsibility for bad decisions. I always tell my kids ‘you did/said it, now own it’. If you do it, stand behind it or admit why it was wrong. It’s better to face it and get through it than to try to hide or ignore it.
GIVEAWAY
Are you interested in viewing the Principles of Our World book series? They are great for parents or teachers who would like to read them to children (ages 4+) or for young, independent readers (ages 7+). I think they are a great resource to have, because really, can we have too much help raising children?!
Just enter via this

The giveaway will run through October 3, 2014.

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Harvest Time and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Back to School with Balance Bar – #GIVEAWAY {#sponsored}

My kids went back to school today. Mind. Blown. This has been the fastest summer EVER. I just can’t believe school is back in session, sports have started back up and before you know, BAM, it’ll be Christmas. Let the panic attack begin. Just kidding, no time to panic. It’s time to meal plan, break out the crock pot, makes lists, and get super-mom organized…and lucky for us, Balance Bar is trying to help with that!

Balance Bar, along with parenting expert and Mom blogger Jenny Ingram, from Jenny on the Spot, have some awesome suggestions for surviving ‘back to school’. 
For example: 
·         Keep Smart Snacks within Reach. Back to school isn’t only exhausting for kids. Moms and dads get worn down too so smart snacking is important. Pack a supply of nutritious snacks to have in your purse for when you’re running errands or going from school to practice. ItzyRitzy’s reusable snack bags are perfect for keeping your on-the-go snacks organized and always handy. Fill them with grapes, almonds, carrot sticks and Balance bare bars for a healthy snack sure to satisfy both busy moms and kids until dinner!
·         The (digital) calendar is key.To make sure no one misses an activity, homework deadline or playdate, color code each kid in your calendar so you know exactly who is doing what and where and when. The Cozi app – is free and great for organizing your upcoming activities and goes everywhere you do since it’s on your phone.  
·         Pack bags within your bag.  If you’re like me, you have a huge bag. It’s great for storing lots of things, but it can be hard to find anything if you’re not organized. Keeping a mini bag that holds chapstick, hand sanitizer and other items frequently used items in a brightly colored small bag that stands out can help with that. The ItzyRitzy’s reusable snack bag can even double as an organizational bag that’s stylish too!
·         Miniature First Aid Kits. It’s helpful to have some first-aid basics in your bag for everyday incidents that are bound to happen. Jenny’s homemade first aid kit includes Band-aids, Neosporin, Kleenex and wipes, and says the wipes are much more effective than napkins at cleaning up whatever messes my kids have.
·         Be prepared for homework. With after-school activities, keep homework supplies in your car and bag so your children can do their work while you’re waiting for soccer/volleyball/etc practice. Keep rulers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors, calculators and a clip board in the car to make sure you’re prepped for any homework assignments.
·         Label everything. With 3 kids, and all the supplies and gear that come with them, labeling is important. Mabels Labels are great for lunchboxes, backpacks, jackets, shoes, sporting equipment and anything else. It also helps avoid lost items in the school coat closet.
·         Pack healthy school lunches efficiently.  Trying to accommodate everyone’s lunch needs is hard. Jenny suggests making their sandwiches and then let them choose 3 snacks for themselves. In your pantry, have mom-approved snacks (like Mixed Berry Balance bar bars) in three drawers and every kid is allowed to choose 1 item from each drawer to add to their lunch.
·         Transitioning summer bedtimes.  Late nights are not going to work once school starts, so gradually transition kids’ sleep schedules. 4-5 days before school starts, move their bedtimes up 10-30 minutes. It’s a slow process but really helps to ensure they’re rested and ready for the first day. Since school has already begun for my kids, it’s important to stick to a nighttime routine and consistent bedtime. I know my kids are going to be worn out by the end of the week!
The Back to School Survival Kit contains these Balance Bare bars. They are made with fruits and nuts, are non-GMO, and Gluten/soy/dairy free. The best part…they taste good! The Sea Salt Caramel Nut tastes almost like a candy bar. It’s my favorite, followed closely by the Sweet and Spicy Nut. I love the hint of spiciness in with the sweet, and it’s a unique flavor idea. However, I also like the Mixed Berry Nut. I’ve been throwing them in my gym bag for after a workout, my daughter has had them as a snack before volleyball, and they are great for curbing my late afternoon ‘Iwanttoeateverything’ phase that hits me around 3:00pm.
The GIVEAWAY consists of your very own Back to School Survival Kit. (The one pictured above is missing a couple of bars. We got hungry before I could take pictures!) The kit contains – 

To win, just enter via the rafflecopter form. Shipping only available to US addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the above pictured kit to facilitate this post. Both kits and information are provided by Balance Bar. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed regarding product are my own.

Homemade Chocolate Frosty – no ice cream maker! {#TruMoo #ad}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TruMoo for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Don’t you hate when you get all excited about a recipe and then you realize it takes a special appliance or ingredients that you don’t have? That’s how I felt when I first saw a DIY frosty recipe floating around on Pinterest. I clicked over just to find out it required an ice cream maker. Now, I have an ice cream maker and I love it…but it’s one of those that requires ice and salt and needs to be monitored while churning, etc. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I break that out for special occasions. THIS recipe is different. No ice cream maker needed! And it uses common ingredients that you may already have in your fridge/pantry.

It’s thick and creamy and taste just like a Frosty from Wendy’s! But guess what…this one is made with light whipped topping, fat free sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa, and lowfat 1% TruMoo Chocolate Milk! Just blend the ingredients together and stick in the freezer for 30 mins to an hour, stir and enjoy!

My kids are so excited that I can make these at home, and I am excited that they are getting more milk in their diet (my 11 and 13 year old girls are not drinking enough milk these days). TruMoo Milk contains no artificial growth hormones, no high fructose corn syrup and contains 8 essential nutrients. (See TruMoo for more information)

This one was in the freezer for a full hour and was nice and thick and spoon worthy! If you take it out sooner, you can use a straw…just depends on your preference!

Homemade Chocolate Frosty

1 container of whipped topping (8 oz); frozen
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (8 oz) chocolate milk (I used 1% TruMoo)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into freezer safe container and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from freezer and stir. Makes 2 servings.

Recipe source: Averie Cooks

It’s easy and delicious. The leftover condensed milk can be stored in the fridge so you can make this again and again 🙂 We’ve already made it a couple of times!

If you are not a chocolate fan, that’s okay, because TruMoo also comes in Strawberry and Vanilla flavors. You can make your own special frosty drinks with whichever flavor you like best. See more great ways to enjoy TruMoo.

*GIVEAWAY*
Would you like to try TruMoo too? All you have to do is leave me a comment answering the question “What TruMoo flavor are you most excited to try?” For an additional entry, like TruMoo on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did so. I will be choosing 2 people to receive 2 FREE vouchers for TruMoo products. (US only please) Giveaway ends 8/14 (midnight, EST), winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to confirm win.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief Project {#sponsored}

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.

Spring is in the air! (Finally!)  The flowers are blooming, the trees are blossoming, the grass is growing….and while everyone is enjoying all those lovely things, some of us are also experiencing watery eyes, itching, sneezing, copious amounts of mucous….yep, fun times! Our church was filled with flowers on Easter Sunday and it was gorgeous, but within 10 minutes my eyes were pouring and I was sneezing and then the congestion started.

Can you relate to seasonal suffering?! I’ve been trying natural remedies over the years to help combat my symptoms so that I don’t have to take so much medication. One of the best things I’ve found is doing a sinus rinse. This can be done with a Neti-pot or with a squeeze bottle (I use a bottle, but my mom uses the pot). It is simple to do (albeit a little awkward feeling initially) and it helps rinse out the irritants in your sinus cavities. I first tried it when I was pregnant and didn’t want to take medicine, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Most recently, I’ve learned of Zarbee’s Naturals which is made with natural Butterbur to help combat congestion.

I just received my sample, so I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, but I am looking forward to it. Zarbee’s Naturals is a natural supplement that is free of dyes and gluten, and Butterbur is a natural plant extract that has had very good results in clinical trials. It is available over the counter at CVS and Target and if you visit the Seasonal Relief Project website, you can receive tips to help with seasonal congestion and sign up for a free product sample. Zarbee’s Naturals is intended for children 12 years of age and over.
 

Every time someone visits the Seasonal Relief Project website to share how Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief with Butterbur worked for them, the brand is donating to four causes that support exposure to and the protection of fresh air, including Fresh Air Fund, Children & Nature Network, Moms Clean Air Force, and Healthy Child Healthy World.

What are your tried and true remedies for seasonal congestion?
 Zarbee’s is a dietary supplement and statements regarding the efficacy have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Citrus Blueberry Loaf with Meyer Lemon Glaze {quick and easy version!}

Krusteaz provided me with complimentary product to help facilitate this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

I don’t know about where you are, but Spring was here. It was awesome! And then it left….but hopefully by the weekend it will be back. (Fingers crossed!) The warmer temperatures and amazing sunshine really put me in the mood for everything citrus! Lemon, lime, orange…you name it, and I’ve probably pinned it in the past couple of weeks. The only problem with having a huge list of things on my “to bake” list is finding the time to actually make them. The kids have had sports, then they got sick with all the pollen and stuff floating around, my little guy’s asthma acted up…the list goes on. SO, enter the quick and easy recipes that I love so much – like this one!

This bread starts with a mix and has a hint of citrus from lemon and orange zest. Then it is topped with a glaze made with Meyer lemons that really gives it a pop of sweet lemon flavor that makes your taste buds do a happy dance!
Glaze is good. Am I right, or am I right?
Look at that gorgeous color! Mother Nature may not be screamin’ spring where you are, but this is! It gets the rich yellow color from the eggs, and I used farm fresh eggs (for the first time ever) and was amazed at their vibrant color. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw a pic.

Citrus Blueberry Loaf with Meyer Lemon Glaze

  • 1 package Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix (you will need the pouch of mix and the can of blueberries that comes in the box)
  • 1/3 cup water*
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (I used the zest of one orange and one Meyer lemon)
*I used the juice of my orange, plus enough water to equal 1/3 cup
Meyer Lemon Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • approx 1 T. Meyer lemon juice
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease or spray an 8″ loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend together the muffin mix, water, oil, eggs and zest.
  4. Drain and rinse blueberries and gently fold into batter.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then place on wire rack.
Glaze – Mix powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to reach desired consistency. Pour over warm cake.
Recipe adapted from Krusteaz
The only thing I would do different is to add some additional fresh or frozen blueberries. You could also skip the glaze or use orange juice in the place of the lemon juice. For more quick and easy recipe ideas, check out the Krusteaz website. They have several recipes using their mixes as a base, which is pretty darn convenient. They even have a special section for Easter! Next on my list…Cinnamon Rolls made with their Country White Bread mix. My kids looovvveee cinnamon rolls!

Spring Cleaning with Balance Bars (GIVEAWAY)

Spring is finally here! I think. You can’t be too sure nowadays. However, if the pollen and asthma/allergies are any indication, then yep, Spring has finally sprung! Even though the pollen does cause my family and I lots of issues, I still love to see the flowers and trees blooming. It gives me a renewed sense of happiness and well being. It makes me want to make things fresh and clean….and that means spring cleaning! I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to cleaning. Not that I’m doing it, but hey, I have the resources whenever I get around to it! Not only do I want to purge and clean my house, but I want to shape up my diet as well. I’ve gotten back into the habit of lots of processed junk and too much sugar and carbs in my diet. Registered Dietitian, Sharon Richter, has come up with some tips to help us all start cleaning up our diet, by spring cleaning our pantry!
Balance Bar is doing their part as well, by offering healthier alternatives to many ‘grab and go’ snacks and teaming up with J.R. Watkins  which has awesome products without harsh toxins, so that we can “Spring Clean” inside and out!

Balance Bar comes in a variety of flavors, like Dark Chocolate PeanutDark Chocolate Crunch and Dark Chocolate Coconut.  And if you follow my blog, you know that I big pink puffy heart dark chocolate!

Not only do they come in my favorite flavors, but they have 13g of protein, and are gluten free. They make a good pre- or post-workout snack and are great for keeping in your purse or desk drawer for a mid-day snack to tide you over until your next meal. I shared my Balance Bars with my workout buddies and they were well received. It’s not a candy bar, but it doesn’t have the really harsh “protein-y” taste that some protein bars do. I know for me, that I am more likely to make poor food choices when I am really hungry, so keeping healthier snacks around is important. Learn more by following Balance Bar on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

In addition to the Balance Bars, today’s giveaway also includes this White Tea and Bamboo All Purpose Cleaner and Hand Soap by J.R, Watkins. It has a very fresh and clean scent without using harsh chemicals. I have already given the all purpose cleaner a work out since I have a lot of kitchen counter tops…and they constantly need cleaning! Learn more about the products by checking them out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

So, on to the giveaway! To get you in the mood to start your own spring cleaning, Balance Bar and J.R.Watkins are providing a prize pack to one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader including a variety of Balance Bars and the above White Tea and Bamboo All Purpose Cleaner and Hand Soap.

You’ll receive more bars than pictured. I sort of ate most of mine before taking blog pictures. oops.

Just enter via a Rafflecopter giveaway form. Prize pack only available for shipping within U.S.

Disclosure: I received the same prize pack as being offered as a giveaway. Both prize packs are provided by Balance Bar/JR Watkins. No other compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own.

Skinny Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast w/GIVEAWAY! {#sponsored}

Today I get to talk about one of my favorite things…BREAD! Hi, my name is Kim and I am a carb-addict. Seriously, I love bread – all kinds of bread, and so do my kids. If there is a bread basket around, you better watch out, b/c they will crush it. So, it’s no surprise that when I was given the opportunity to get free coupons for Arnold®, Brownberry® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® and Pocket Thins® and Thomas’® Bagel Thins ®, I jumped on it. I was already a fan of their products, and purchase some items on a regular basis. 

Like these Arnold®, Brownberry® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® Rolls. I use them for sandwiches frequently, like this breakfast sammie loaded with lots of protein (eggs, Canadian Bacon, reduced fat cheese) and the rolls are only 3 PointsPlus on Weight Watchers®! They come in 100% Whole Wheat, Healthy Multi-grain, Honey Wheat, and Flax & Fiber. I like to make this sandwich on Bagel Thins ® too. However, I’ve had this recipe pinned for a while, and definitely wanted to try it out. I came up with a slightly different version and it was quite tasty!

I enjoyed this on my sun porch on a (finally!) nice day, and (briefly) pretended like I was on vacation…because it reminded me of something I would only eat while splurging at breakfast or brunch while on vacay!
However, this quick and easy version can be made anytime, letting you feel like you are splurging, when you’re actually not!
YUM! If you are not a fan of cherries, you could use any no sugar added/sugar free pie filling (apple, blueberry, etc.) or fresh fruit too.  Blueberry and lemon curd will be my next flavor combo!

Skinny Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

1-2 Tablespoons reduced fat/fat free cream cheese (depending on taste preference, I used 2 T.)
1/4 cup No Sugar Added Cherry Pie Filling
1 egg or 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
Cooking spray (I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray)
sprinkle of cinnamon
powdered sugar (optional)
  • Add cream cheese to bottom half of roll.
  • Top with pie filling.
  • Place top of roll on pie filling, making a sandwich. Gently press together.
  • In a shallow bowl, beat one egg or pour in Egg Beaters, sprinkle with cinnamon (a lot or little depending on taste preference. I like a lot!)
  • Carefully dip sandwich in egg, flipping to coat both sides. Allow excess to drain off.
  • Heat a skillet on medium high heat and coat with cooking spray (can also use reduced calorie butter spread).
  • Add sandwich and cook until browned on bottom, then flip and cook other side.
  • To serve, add a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Skinny Kitchen

 I’ve only made one at a time, so I saved my leftover egg/cinnamon mixture in a sealed plastic container to use later in the week, as well as the pie filling. I’m pretty sure the pie filling could be frozen as well, but I haven’t tried that yet. (I have another super easy recipe using pie filling coming soon!)
You could also make French Toast with bagels. I usually buy the Thomas’® Bagel Thins® Bagels because they are only 110 calories and 3 PointsPlus on Weight Watchers®. (They come in Plain, 100% Whole Wheat, Cinnamon Raisin and Everything) but when shopping I saw these….
Banana Bread Bagels! I knew my kids would flip since they love banana bread. They smell heavenly (the bagels, not my kids) and I don’t even like bananas! I think they would be really awesome in this recipe I found for Bread Pudding using bagels. However, I don’t think ours will last long enough! I need to go back to the store anyway, because my 5 y/o loves pizza made on bagels, and I need plain for that. We also like to make pizzas on flatbread. Arnold®, Brownberry® and Oroweat® makes Pocket Thins® Flatbread which are perfect for this, and they are only 3 PointsPlus on Weight Watchers too! They come in 100% Whole Wheat and Healthy Multi-grain.
Now, who wants to get their own free product coupons AND a $25 Visa Gift Card?! Because I appreciate all of you, and want to enable you in your own carb-loving addiction, one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader will win just that! To enter, use the Rafflecopter form. (If viewing this in an email, you will need to open it up in the browser so that the form will load.) Open to US residents only.
Disclosure: Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins® and Bagel Thins ® provided me with coupons for free product and a gift card for recipe ingredients. The opinions and photos are my own!