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Neko

Monday, May 26, 2014

Old El Paso Frozen entrees for two 


“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Old El Paso® through Platefull Co-Op.”

"Celebrate Cinco de Mayo all month long with delicious, handcrafted meals for two from Old El Paso - now available in the frozen aisle!

You can now find premium, handcrafted, Old El Paso Frozen entrees for two in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store. With eight different flavors of fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos, these entrees are sure to fulfill your dinner needs."

General Mills sent me these fab goodies:

Two (2) margarita glasses
One (1) Pitcher
One (1) Chip & Dip Platter
6 VIP coupons, each good for one Old El Paso Frozen Entrée

We're longtime fans of Old El Paso in the Omni household, and the frozen entrées make it incredibly fast and easy to have a tasty Mexican meal. My absolute favorites are the shredded beef enchiladas, and here is a picture of how I ate them last night, with some grated pepper jack cheese on top:



http://oldelpaso.com/products/Shredded-Beef-Enchiladas/3c15f7ac-0039-4f1f-85ba-6a56b39c2d4e

If you love Mexican food, like I do, but don't know how to cook it yourself, like I don't, you should give these entrées or try. You can check out what's up with Old El Paso here:

·Old El Paso® website - http://www.oldelpaso.com/

·Old El Paso® Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/oldelpaso


Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Nature Valley Products at Target! 


Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

"Introducing new Nature Valley Protein Granola, Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits, and Nature Valley Greek Yogurt Protein Bars!

With the goodness you’ve come to expect from Nature Valley, all-new Nature Valley Protein Granola is the perfect way to start your day in a bowl of milk, sprinkled on yogurt or as a quick snack!

Nature Valley Greek Yogurt Protein Bars come in delicious Strawberry or Mixed Berry flavors and packs 10g of protein alongside real fruit and nuts, offering a treat your whole family will enjoy!

And with the sustained energy from +26g of whole grains, new Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits hit the perfect trifecta: convenient, great tasting and fully satisfying.

Looking for a way to keep your new year’s resolutions while maintaining your on-the-go lifestyle? Then join the fun by blogging about these new Nature Valley products – and find great savings on Nature Valley right now at Target!"

General Mills sent me the following yummy treats: one pouch of Nature Valley Protein Granola, one box of Nature Valley Greek Yogurt Protein Bars, and one box of Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits.

http://www.naturevalley.com/Snack-Bars/OatsHoneyGranola

http://www.naturevalley.com/Snack-Bars/StrawberryGreekYogurtProteinBar

http://www.naturevalley.com/Snack-Bars/HoneyBreakfast

Here are 2 photos I took:



If you're like me, and you get a lot of your daily whole grain at breakfast, you'll want to give these products a try, because they make it so easy to get whole grains while eating something tasty. The granola gives the benefit of protein, which I have found helps me feel fuller and more satisfied longer. You can connect with Nature Valley here:

Nature Valley® website - http://www.naturevalley.com/

Nature Valley® Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/naturevalley


Monday, May 12, 2014

47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest 


The fine folks at Platefull sent me the following info:

"Do you know any talented home cooks or bakers? If so, their creativity in the kitchen could land them a spot to compete for $1 million and other prizes in the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest!

Original recipes may be submitted online at www.BakeOff.com now through May 8, 2014. The Bake-Off® Kitchens will evaluate all eligible entries and choose the top 100 recipes to compete at the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest Finals at the Omni Nashville Hotel on November 3, 2014.

For more information and official rules, please visit www.BakeOff.com!"

They also sent me a nice box of goodies:

•A coupon for Pillsbury® Gluten Free dough

•Pillsbury® Flour

•Reynolds® Parchment Paper, Foil, Baking Cups and Slow Cooker Liners

•Watkins™ Vanilla

•Bake-Off® Recipe Booklet featuring all 100 recipes that competed for the $1 million Grand Prize in last year’s contest

As you can imagine, I've been able to use the goodies to make some really tasty stuff. They have a bunch of terrific recipes on their site here:

http://www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/bake-off-contest/get-inspired

Here are couple of awesome recipes from last year's contest:


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Sweet and salty. Pretzels and peanut butter. Make an easy base of sugar cookies for a finger lickin' bar.

prep time 25 min total time 2 hr 35 min ingredients 7 servings 24
Ingredients
1 3/4
cups pretzels, coarsely chopped
1
package Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies
2
tablespoons Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
1
can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4
cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2
cup Jif® Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
1/4
cup caramel flavored syrup
Steps
1
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
2
Finely chop* 1 cup of the pretzels; place in large bowl. Add cookie dough and shortening. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until well mixed. Press dough evenly in pan. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes.
3
Meanwhile, in 2 quart heavy saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly until hot and mixture is thin. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut spread until well blended. Spread over baked crust. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pretzels. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Drizzle with caramel syrup. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered.

*Instead of chopping the pretzels, place pretzels in a large resealable food storage plastic bag. Seal bag; with rolling pin coarsely crush pretzels. Remove 3/4 cup. Seal bag and finely crush remaining pretzels in bag.



Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting

What a sweet and tasty way to get your veggies! Mix up seven ingredients in 30 minutes to make easy cupcakes.

prep time 30 min total time 1 hr 30 min ingredients 7 servings 24
Ingredients
1
bag (11.8 oz) Green Giant® Seasoned Steamers™ frozen honey Dijon carrots
1
box (15.25 oz) Pillsbury® Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1/3
cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
3
eggs
1/2
cup golden raisins
1/4
cup pecans, finely chopped
1
can Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Coconut Pecan Frosting
Steps
1
Heat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Microwave frozen carrots as directed on bag 3 to 4 minutes to thaw. In food processor, place carrots. Cover; process until finely chopped.
2
In large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, eggs and 1 cup water with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until blended. Fold in carrots, raisins and pecans. Spoon into muffin cups, filling three-fourths full.
3
Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Spread cupcakes with frosting.


Good luck to everyone who participates this year!! :-)


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Snack Bars - Only at Target 


“Disclosure: The information and samples have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.”

Here's what they have to say about them:

"Fiber One 90 Calorie Caramel Sea Salt Bars give you a delicious way to indulge without the guilt! Satisfyingly sweet and savory, these bars are a flavorful snack to feel good about!"

NEW 90 Calorie Caramel Sea Salt Bar

"Limited Time Only: Satisfyingly sweet AND savory, these bars are a flavorful snack to feel good about. Enjoy while you can! This exclusive Caramel Sea Salt flavor is only available for a limited time at Target stores, arriving March 2014.
- 20% daily value of fiber*
- 5 Grams of fiber per serving"

Fiber One® website - http://www.fiberone.com/

Fiber One® Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fiberone

And here's what *I* say: I've got to give the folks at Fiber One credit; if I had not read it on the box, I would not have known that I was eating a product with any fiber in it. The bars had a nice moistness and chewy texture to them, and are pretty tasty. They were fairly sweet, but they didn't really taste like caramel to me, and I honestly could not taste any salt at all; I added my own salt, and that made them even better. The one thing that's a little bit of a bummer is how tiny the bars are. Here's what the bars look like:


Yes, that's a postage stamp on the bar to show you the size. You don't get too much for the 90 calories, but, after all, these are not diet bars, they are fiber bars, and I'm guessing it's just not possible to put fiber in a soft, moist bar and make it low-cal too. Anyways, if you need more fiber, and you know you do, and you enjoy a sweet snack, they're definitely worth a try.







.


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Old El Paso Frozen Entrees 


Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Old El Paso® through Platefull Co-Op.

If you love Mexican food as much as I do, and you probably do since more Americans like Mexican food than American food (which I guess would be hotdogs and bologna sandwiches?), you'll be happy to know that Old El Paso has a line of tasty frozen entrées that provide exactly what you would want and expect from Old El Paso; Mexican classics with the familiar flavors that everyone in the family likes. Here's what they said about them:

"Old El Paso Frozen Entrees - No Way That's Frozen!

Delicious, handcrafted meals for two from Old El Paso - now available in the frozen aisle!
You can now find premium, handcrafted, Old El Paso Frozen entrees for two in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store. With eight different flavors of fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos, these entrees are sure to fulfill your dinner needs."

And here's what *I* say about them: They're good. These are not fancy gourmet items where you don't even know what half of the stuff in there is, you look at it and you don't recognize it and you're not sure you want to eat it. These are your basic meat, cheese, sauce and tortilla combos that are completely risk-free to serve; there's nothing in them that your kids will look at and go,"EW, what's THAT?!!" Here are the available varieties:

Chicken Burritos
Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Fajitas
Shredded Fajitas
Shredded Beef Burritos
Shredded Beef Enchiladas
Steak Quesadillas

The awesome gift pack that General Mills sent contained:

Two (2) margarita glasses
Two (2) dinner plates
Set of two (2) mini tongs
One (1) serving dish
4 VIP coupons, each good for one Old El Paso Frozen Entrée

I haven't figured out how to get the enchiladas out of the container without them falling apart, so I wasn't able to get a very glamorous photo of my real-life usage, but here's the best picture I got, of the beef enchiladas on one of the colorful plates that came in my gift pack:




You can connect with Old El Paso here:

http://www.oldelpaso.com

https://www.facebook.com/oldelpaso


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Target Breakfast Twist 


Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

The Target Breakfast Twist is:

"We all know that breakfast is an important start to your family’s day, but all too often, it’s rushed, hectic, and…monotonous. So what can be done to make breakfast a little more delightful and fun?

We’re looking for your surprising twists on breakfast using favorite items that start your family’s day off with a smile!"


This is the prize pack they sent me:

•1 pouch Nature Valley® Protein Granola

•1 box Nature Valley® Granola Bars

•1 box Honey Nut Cheerios® Medley Crunch™ cereal

•1 box Trix® cereal

•1 package Quaker® Oats

•1 jar Jif® peanut butter

•1 package Nutella® mini cups

•1 pouch Grandma Hoerner’s® Big Slice™ apples snack


Needless to say, we have been really enjoying all of these goodies; I probably shouldn't admit this, but my favorite is the Trix, because that was my favorite cereal when I was a kid. I had never had protein granola before, and I thought it was really good, and an easy way to get more protein in the morning, which I find helps me feel full longer. Doing something different and fancier for breakfast is a cool idea; if you're like me, however, you don't have time to be chopping up fruit, cooking, or putting a bunch of pieces of things together to accomplish this… that kind of limits the options. Now, if they were going to send a chef over to my home half an hour before our alarms blast us out of bed to put these things together for us, that would be great, but we don't have time to butter a piece of toast, much less spend 10 minutes putting 50 things on a bagel. Other than pouring oatmeal onto cereal, or cereal onto oatmeal, both of which would be gross, all we could come up with for breakfast-type combinations of the foods they sent us was to dip granola bars into something, and here are my exciting photos of that:


If you have a great deal of time and energy in the morning, you can find a bunch of cool breakfast recipe ideas here:

http://www.target.com/r/breakfasttwist-recipes




Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fiber One Fruit Flavored Snacks 


“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.”

"Introducing NEW Fiber One Fruit Flavored Snacks -- a delicious treat with the added benefit of fiber!
Whether you’re looking for a guilt-free #SweetTreat to help get you through the day or you want something you can feel better about giving the kiddos – these will hit the spot!
One pouch has 3 grams of fiber, 70 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 100% daily value Vitamin C – a better-for-you snack you can take on the go."

They sent me 2 boxes, and there was joy in the Omni household. I love a good fruit snack as much as the next person, and my husband REALLY loves gummies. These have attractive fruit shapes, nice colors, and good flavor. You can't tell that there's any fiber in there, but it's in there... and if you're like me, you're always glad to get a little more fiber. The vitamin C is a nice bonus. Here's little family story: My mother was way ahead of the curve in giving me vitamins every day when I was a kid, and apparently was questioned by other parents as to why she was giving them to me year-round, not just in the winter (some folks used to think that they would help fend off colds). Her response was that a child's nutritional needs were the same year-round, and thus I got the vitamins year-round. I had chewable Vitamin C's, too, once they became available; my mother was a big believer in C. We all take vitamins here, and getting extra in food is a +; being able to give a kid a treat where they get so much Vitamin C is fab. (Keep giving your kids their vitamins, of course-a snack is not a substitute!!) If your kids resist anything with nutritional value, put the gummies in little baggies so they think they're just having sweets... and hide some for yourself, too!!

Here are some pics. The little one is one I took to try to show the size of the little packs; about 9 gummies are in each bag, which helps with portion control:




Here are the links where you can check them out:

http://fiberone.com/products/fruit-flavored-snacks/assorted-fruit

http://fiberone.com/products/fruit-flavored-snacks/mixed-berry

Fiber One® website - http://www.fiberone.com/

Fiber One® Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fiberone

You can buy them, and many other goodies, at Target. :-)


Monday, January 13, 2014

Cheerios Family Breakfast Project 


From the fine folks at Cheerios/General Mills and Platefull Co-Op comes the following info:

"Cheerios believes that when families connect over breakfast, amazing things can happen... the Family Dinner Project, a grass roots movement whose mission is to help families everywhere access the benefits that come from connecting over a meaningful family meal.

As part of the Family Breakfast Project, Cheerios will be encouraging families to take seven minutes for seven days to have family breakfast and explore the possibilities that brings. After all, breakfast is the meal of shared possibilities. "

Visit the Family Breakfast Project here:

cheerios.com/family-breakfast-project

The guide is here:

"Breakfast is more than a meal -
it’s a chance to connect with your family at the beginning of the day.
We created this guide to give you one week of ideas that will help make that time easier, more fun, and more meaningful. Don’t feel pressure to follow the guide closely. Just take the ideas and tips you like and try them out!"

""MEET THE FAMILY DINNER PROJECT
At The Family Dinner Project, we’ve traveled the country
talking with parents about the importance of mealtime in helping families stay connected — and about its many physical, academic and emotional benefits for children. When Cheerios reached out in support of our mission to connect families through food, fun and conversation about things that matter, we were thrilled.
Breakfast is the perfect way to start the day together - looking forward, planning and dreaming about what the day might bring. A chance to love and support each other before we head out into the world.
That’s why we created the Family Breakfast Project together. It’s a way to help you get creative about your morning - to make it easier, more fun and meaningful. It’s also part of a movement of families and communities across the country who are committed to getting more out of their time together.
We know mornings can be hectic, but start with just seven minutes for seven days and see what healthy habits become part of your life forever."

http://www.cheerios.com/~/media/Files/PDF/7Day_Guide.ashx

They sent me a box of Cheerios, a Cheerios breakfast bowl, and a Family Breakfast Project T-shirt; I particularly like the bowl, and refuse to let anyone else use it. Everyone was happy to have the Cheerios; we're a Cheerios family for several generations. (M Iy mother used to have Cheerios for breakfast every single day. Her favorite flavor was Honey Nut.) Doing all this talking and activities first thing in the morning when everyone is exhausted, stressed, cranky, and scrambling around in a mad panic to get out of the house, though… I don't know if ANY family has had that kind of time and energy in the morning since 1959, but mine has certainly not, LOL. Things are better on the weekends, but then everyone gets up at a different time and wants to eat and get going on their day; no one wants to be held at the table at gunpoint to learn about a new fruit or answer the third degree about what they think or how they feel. If my family is going to spend time together without it being a negative thing with everyone being forced to do something they don't want to do and making sure I know it, it's going to have to be related to a DVD and junk food; it's just not going to happen at breakfast time.

If YOUR family is a little more flexible, and a little less frenzied in the morning, by all means give these ideas a try; having more meaningful communication with our children first thing in the morning is a very nice idea, and probably something that we as Americans should do more often as part of actually raising our children rather than treating them like little adults just because they know more about our tech gadgets than we do. And, of course, make sure they're eating something decent for breakfast; Cheerios are a great way to be sure they start the day with some nutrition and not too much sugar.

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.”

·Cheerios® website - http://www.cheerios.com/

·Cheerios® Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Cheerios


Thursday, December 19, 2013

And the winner is... 


The winner of the CleanSmart Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer is... Lupe G!! Stay tuned for more goodies!! :-)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

CleanSmart Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer 


The fine folks at Bolin Marketing sent me the following info:

"Breaking news in the war on germs!
If you could sanitize your hands with a product just as effective as what you use now, but without the skin drying side effects of alcohol, why wouldn’t you? CleanSmart is a breakthrough hand sanitizer that kills 99.9% of germs without drying your hands. It contains the same ingredient your body has always uses to fight germs – hypochlorous acid. With simple and natural ingredients, CleanSmart replicates hypochlorous acid so you don’t need to use harsh chemicals to stay healthy this cold and flu season. Combat the germ season with a breakthrough product that’s alcohol-free, hypoallergenic, and no fragrance has been added.
This product is a must-have for people who need to sanitize their hands frequently.
CleanSmart has been through rigorous government testing and is a proven germ killer. Plus it’s Dermatologist and Pediatrician approved safe for the whole family."

www.cleansmarthome.com

They also sent me both the spray and gel versions to try. I haven't gotten sick while I've been using it, and everybody's crawling with germs this time of year, so it seems to work fine so far... although I have no way to judge if it works as well as an alcohol-based product would. I demand more than functionality in a product, though... and CleanSmart fails that test. When a product says something like "no fragrance has been added," it often means "yucky chemical smell," and this product qualifies for that label. While there are probably plenty of men who would not care if their hands smell like a medicine cabinet, *I* don't like it. Even worse, both the spray version and the "gel," which is just a slightly thicker liquid, are tricky to use; they're very thin and runny, and it's harder to coat hands with them than with a regular gel. It does not dry out my hands, but it does leave them somewhat sticky.

I think that this brand has promise. If they add some fragrance to the product, and put it in a wipe so it's faster and easier to use, with less wastage, I would consider trying it again. One of you can try it right now; email me with a few sentences about why you need to sanitize your hands, and I'll pick one to win a FREE set of CleanSmart products. I'll post the winner in a few days.


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