Monday, February 28, 2011

CSN Review!



The most awesome folks over at CSN stores have offered me the opportunity to do a review of one of their products.  Since I'm a HUGE fan, I said absolutely!!  As you have probably heard, CSN has pretty much everything you can think of from outdoor playsets...
Swing-n-Slide - Winchester Wood Complete Swing Set
which my kids covet, to...
Popcorn poppers! Which was more in my price range ;) 
This was my last CSN purchase, and we love it!
(Item purchased with 35.00 gift code received from CSN online stores for hosting review)
There is a review posted on my blog of the popcorn popper if interested!

Since I'm in need of some new baking pans and cooking utensils, I'll be checking those out. 
Any suggestions? 
Be sure to check out CSN online stores (over 200!) for your next purchase. 
I have had great experiences with fast shipping and quality merchandise!




Chocolate (no) Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (nut free)

I've had Rice Krispie treats on the brain.  With chocolate.
Then, Mr. Terrible Two pointed out some Rice Krispie treats at the grocery store.  It was a sign.  I was destined to make some.  So I told Mr. Two that we would buy the stuff to make some krispie ("creepy" treats in Mr. Two speak).  So I bought Krispies (forgetting that I had an entire box at home) and marshmallows.  When it came time to make them, I couldn't get the chocolate part out of my head (no surprise there).  Then I thought about the soy butter I had left in the cabinet (a peanut butter replacement).  Chocolate, faux peanut butter, krispies...I was on to something.  I found a recipe and went to work, with Mr. Two as my soux chef.
He helped eat measure the Rice Krispies.
Soy butter peanut butter replacement.  Added to the melted butter and marshmallows. 
 Melted chocolate and butterscotch chips added to the top.
 and sprinkles. Because they're fun.
 yeah, baby 
look how the chocolate oozes all into the cracks. YUM.

Want the recipe?  Ready to go make them. Right now?!

Chocolate (no) Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats


1/4 cup butter, cubed  *I used 3 T. Smart Balance (and I didn't cube it)

1 package (10 ounces) marshmallows

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter *I used Soy Butter and only had a little over a 1/2 cup left

5 cups crisp rice cereal *I used 6 cups, b/c that's what I normally use with krispie treats

1 cup butterscotch chips *I didn't have quite a full cup, used about 3/4th cup

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips *of course I had plenty of these :)

Directions
In a microwave, melt butter and marshmallows; stir until smooth. (I melted my butter , then marshmallows on the stove top) Remove from the heat; stir in peanut soy butter until smooth. Gradually add cereal; toss to coat. Spread and press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. pan; set aside.

In a microwave, melt chips; stir to coat. Spread over cereal mixture. Cover and freeze for 15-20 minutes or until chocolate is set.  I just stuck mine in the fridge.  After sampling them of course.

I have even more pics, but figured I'd give you a break. I'll post more of the adorable Mr. Two in my Wordless Wednesday post.  I know, you can't wait right? (may be said with slight hint of sarcasm)

Giveaway going on for the kiddies until Friday 3/4 - check it and enter! *GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*


Oh yeah, and what do you think about my spring header?!  I had to brighten things up 'round here.  Even if spring is not officially here, I'm over winter.  Plus it was 80 degrees today!!  Holla!

Monday links that I'm linking up with can be found here!  Check out all the great linkys for food, crafts and hops!

Voting for Top 25 Foodie Moms is still going on if you would like to vote for Mo'Betta. On the right side bar above my button.  Do you see it?  Right under the header.  You just click on it and it takes you to Circle of Moms.  It's right there, you see it right?  Just making sure.  Not begging for a vote or anything.  Really, I'm not.  But, you know, you could.  Vote.  If you wanted to.  Just sayin' ;)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Low Carb and Bread Machine Pizza Crust

I know this is a deviation from the norm for Mo'Betta, but I have been searching for low carb recipes for my hubs who is diabetic.  He is currently diet controlled, but has to maintain a very low carb diet.  And if you have visited my blog before, you know that I am a carb addict!  But, since I love my baby daddy (x 3) I am experimenting with some low carb dishes.  This one was not a huge hit, but not a total failure either.  It's one I will probably make again, with a few adjustments.  Please excuse the pics, I haven't mastered how to take a decent pic without natural light!
Low-Carb Pizza Crust found here

•6 eggs  **I used 4 large eggs

•6 oz cream cheese (3/4 package) at room temperature **I used 4 oz of 1/3 red. fat

•1 teaspoon garlic powder **I used abt 3/4th teaspoon, but it was still too much for our taste

•1½ teaspoon oregano or other Italian seasoning

•½ teaspoon salt

•pinches of black and/or cayenne pepper **I used black

•1 cup (or a little more) shredded Italian cheeses, at least half of which is a hard cheese (Parmesan, Asiago)

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 350° F.

1) Be sure the cream cheese is at about room temperature. Using a regular blender, food processor, or  stick blender, mix the egg and cream cheese until well blended. Add the salt and spices and blend again.

2) Spread cheese in bottom of well-buttered 9X13 pan. Pour egg mixture over the cheese, and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the top is browning.

3) Remove from oven, add pizza toppings, and bake until done - about another 10-15 minutes.

I used a baking pan, and even though I buttered it, it stuck in some places.  I also cooked it a little too long.   I think it would have done better in a different pan than what I used.  I used less egg/cream cheese b/c I wanted to have a thinner crust.  Some of the reviews stated it was a soft, thick crust.  However, since I used a large pan, I think the six eggs would have done fine.  Also, it had a little too much garlic powder.  With that being said, he was like a real "crust" and made a great base for pizza toppings.  For someone who follows a low carb diet, I think this is a great alternative.  Like I said, I'll be making it again, and with a few adjustments, I think my hubs will like it better.
I was trying to capture the thickness of the crust, but obviously it didn't turn out well! 
I didn't take a picture of the finished pizza b/c my husband took it upon himself to prepare it, with strips of string cheese and I don't even know what else, but let's just say, it wasn't something I wanted to capture ;)  I should have taken a pic just so y'all could see.  men.

While hubs had the low carb pizza, the rest of us tried a new recipe for pizza crust made in the bread machine.  Talk about convenient!  When I first ate it, I thought it was just okay, but for some reason, when I reheated some for lunch the next day, it was really good!  I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that I've been very congested, and each day I'm able to taste and smell better!
I made a cheese pizza for the kids, and a buffalo chicken pizza for me!  (My favorite!)

Bread Machine Pizza Dough
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 cup flat beer *I used Yuengling Light

2 tablespoons butter *I used olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *I used half whole wheat

2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Directions

1.Put beer, butter, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast in a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting, and press Start.

2.Remove dough from bread machine when cycle is complete. Roll or press dough to cover a prepared pizza pan. Brush lightly with olive oil. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

3.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

4.Spread sauce and toppings on top of dough. Bake until crust is lightly brown and crispy on the outside, about 24 minutes.

I had a hard time getting this to "stretch", it may have needed to 'rest' a little longer.  But, after playing with it for a while, and pretending to work in a pizzeria (note to self- you are not skilled enough to toss pizza dough around in the air) I got two crusts out of it.

Like I said, intially, I wasn't all that impressed, but later, I thought it was yummy.  I love beer bread, so I will definitely being make this one again as well. 

Do y'all have pizza night at your house?  What's your favorite dough recipe?  Any low carb recipes are welcome too!  (My husband will thank you!)

Don't forget to enter my Yoplait Kids Prize Pack Giveaway! Ends 3/4.

 Linda's LunacyJust Married with Coupons   Free Hot Samples

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yoplait Kids Review and Giveaway!

                                              
How would your kids like to have this?! 
My kids were pretty excited!  Mr. Two immediately took off with the ball, while the girls grabbed the "alphabet" rubberband bracelets.  The girls then started playing with the Scavenger Hunt cards, even though it says Ages 3-5 (and they are 8 & 9).  I, of course, like the coupon for the free pack of yogurt!  The spoons are pretty cool too.  They have a nice big handle, so they are perfect for Mr. Two...
I think I should re-name him Mr. Long Lashes.  I know some women who go through an awful lot of trouble to get eyelashes like that.  You know who you are.

My kids love yogurt and have been eating it since they were very young.  I like Yoplait Kids yogurt b/c it has 25% less sugar than leading kids' yogurts (according to the box), and it's nice and thick, so Mr. Two can eat it without dumping it all in his lap.  It also makes me feel good to give them a snack that is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein.  (Which Mr. Two needs b/c he doesn't eat hardly any meat and can't eat peanut butter. Beans and tofu - yeah right) AND no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners!  Always a plus!
 My older kids like it too.  It also comes in convenient sized cups, so it's easy to pack in school lunches.

Are you a fan of Yoplait Kids?  Or just wanna give it a try?  You can go to  http://www.myblogspark.com/uc/main/76ee/ to download a printable coupon* for $0.50 off the purchase of one (1) four-pack of Yoplait Kids yogurt.

Or, you can enter this giveaway offered by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark!  The giveaway includes everything featured in the first picture:

  • a coupon* for any variety of the Yoplait Kids yogurt products (for free!) 
  • a foldable travel cooler (to take your yogurt on-the-go)
  • a cool four-piece spoon set
  • a magnet picture frame/calendar
  • trendy alphabet-shaped “Kiddie Bands”
  • a bounce-y ball and
  • a “My First Scavenger Hunt” card game-which my kids really like!
*This coupon offer for a free four pack of Yoplait Kids yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

So how do you win this cool kids stuff?

MANDATORY - Follow Mo'Betta via Google Friend Connect (located in left side bar) and leave a comment. This must be done before any extra entries will be counted.

EXTRA ENTRIES - These are optional, you can do as many of the extra entries as you like.  PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY.  2 entries=2 comments

(2 entries) - "Like" Mo'Betta on Facebook (can be done in right side bar).

(2 entries) - "Like" Yoplait on Facebook.

(2 entries) - Follow Mo'Betta on Twitter. Leave username in comments.

(2 entries) - Follow Yoplait on Twitter

(2 entries) - "Like" Mo'Betta on Networked Blogs (can be done in left side bar).

(3 entries) - Tweet about giveaway. Use the hashtag #myblogspark and include @YoplaitYogurt in tweet. Provide URL in comments. Can be tweeted twice daily for extra entries.  (First tweet - 3 entries, each additional tweet, one entry)

(4 entries) - Add Mo'Betta to your blog roll.

(4 entries) - Add my blog button to your site. Leave me the link.

(5 entries) - Blog about this giveaway.

*For extra entries such as being a twitter follower, facebook fan, etc., you must leave a way for me to confirm your entry (such as your name, twitter handle, link). You can leave your first name and last initial for Facebook & Networked Blogs. If I can't verify information, your entries will not count. No compensation was received for this post. Yoplait provided me with the free product, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark. The sponsor sent me the product free of charge to facilitate my honest review.

This giveaway is open to everyone (exclusions apply to free coupon, see note above) and will end next Friday, March 4, 2011 at midnight (EST). I will choose a winner via random.org and contact the winner via email, so make sure your email address is available in your profile or comment.  Thanks!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

General Mills Winner!

Congrats to Jen of Jen's RAQ! She was lucky commenter #22 chosen by Random Number Generator.  Jen and her family will be receiving FIVE boxes of General Mills Cereal, each containing a Hotwheels racer, compliments of General Mills, Hotwheels and My Blog Spark!  And Mo'Betta of course :)  Enjoy!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me to accept prize pack.  Otherwise, a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I have two more giveaways coming up!  One for the kiddies, and one for the grown-ups!  I will get them posted ASAP.  (As soon as I can get a little work done in this house! My husband seems to think I spend my day on the computer.  Why would he think that?  Can't imagine.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Healthy Choices

My baby loves an apple! He doesn't want me to cut it up anymore...getting to be a big boy!


Giveaway ends tonight for General Mills/Hotwheels Prize Pack -includes 5 boxes of General Mills Cereal with Hotwheels inside!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

mmmm, molasses.  I think it's a Southern thang.  I remember visiting my great-grandmother, who baked homemade biscuits everyday (and always had lemon drops candy in her candy dish), and she would sit me down at her kitchen table with a plate of biscuits and molasses.  That was some good stuff!  My great-grandparents ate biscuits, gravy, fatback, and bacon on a regular basis.  Granted, my grandmother passed away with heart disease, but she was 84.  My great-grandfather lived to be 98.  NINETY EIGHT years old!!  Of course, they also spent their days working.  Labor intensive work.  They had a HUGE garden, their own smokehouse, no computer.  They worked hard.  It would be interesting to see how their generation's HDL and LDL (cholesterol) levels compare to ours today.  Anyway, this really has nothing to do with my post, other than giving you background on my love for molasses.  Which I'm sure nobody is all that interested in.  Moving on....
Isn't it pretty?  So dense and hearty looking.  I find it attractive anyway.  because I'm a little weird like that. As you know, I love my bread, and we've already established my love for molasses.  So, when I saw Whole Wheat Molasses Bread at Joy the Baker, I immediately printed out the recipe.

Ingredients-
1 2/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt *I added a tablespoon of vinegar to skim milk and let it sit for the buttermilk.  Can you believe I was out of yogurt! Absurd, I know.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup molasses

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×4 or 9×5-inch loaf pan. Non-stick baking spray works well too.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk or yogurt and molasses.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine. The batter will be slightly thick, but not dry. Spoon batter into prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake loaf for 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on how evenly your oven bakes, you might want to rotate the loaf in the middle of baking. Be careful though. Don’t manhandle it too hard or it might deflate.
     **This is important!  I turned my bread after abt 30 minutes, but should have done it sooner.  I ended up with one spot that did not get done.  I haven't had that happen before.  Stupid oven.

When a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the loaf pan. Run a butter knife along the sides of the pan and carefully invert onto a wire rack.

This bread has a unique flavor.  It's hearty and dense, but just slightly sweet with the hint of molasses.  I love the texture with the cornmeal.  It's kind of like bread I've had at steak houses.  My kids weren't crazy about it, but warm bread slapped with a little butta...mmmm, good to me :)  Joy the Baker suggested Nutella with hers.  See why I love her?!  Or, you may be inclined to make french toast out of it the next day.  Top it with cinnamon.  and maybe more molasses.  Yeah, I went there.

Giveaway ending tomorrow for General Mills/Hotwheels Big Prize Pack (5 boxes of free cereal!)
Like my blog? Give me a vote in Top 25 Foodie Moms at Circle of Moms!

For other tasty dishes and fun crafts, check out these lovely blogs.....

H‘nSaModerateLifeTempt my Tummy Tuesdays


Get Your Craft On Tuesday
       PhotobucketTasty Tuesday Tuesdays At the Table


And Tuesday Twitter hops!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Orange Baked Donuts with Vanilla Creme Frosting (egg free)

and...
chocolate chip too :)

Are they not just the cutest little things?
Number One specifically asked for mini donuts this weekend, and of course, I obliged.  Because I'm the most awesomest mom.  Until I made her go clean her room, but that's a different story. (filled with lots of yelling, tears and drama. ugh.) You'd think I was asking her to clean the toilet with her toothbrush or something.  All I want is for her (her being almost 10) to pick her clothes up off the floor, hang up the clean ones, put the dirty ones in the laundry basket, and put away her toys.  Is that too much to ask? I think not.  But it's a battle all the same.

If you don't have a donut pan, you should go get one!  They are so much fun!  Store bought donuts should never pass the threshold of your mouth.  Not that I'm trying to tell you what to eat or anything (I totally am), but just check out the nutritional label on the little mini powdered sugar donuts that kids love so much. Hor-ri-ble. 

Anyway, you should make these little things.  They are adorable for one.  They look like a donut so your kids will eat them for two.  And third...well, I don't have a third thing.  The fact that my kids feel like they are getting a treat, while actually eating a much healthier alternative is reason enough for me to make them!  Not to mention that my little man can't have store bought donuts, so he really enjoyed these. 
And there are so many possibilities....

I adapted my recipe from Little Corner of Mine's Chocolate Glazed Baked Donuts

Ingredients :

1 cup all-purpose flour *I used 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup cake flour

1/3 cup sugar *I used 1/4 cup sugar b/c of sugar in yogurt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg *1 T. vinegar, 1 T. water and 1 t. baking powder for egg replacement

1 tub (6 oz/170 gm ) vanilla yogurt *I used 6 oz. of Yoplait Fat Free Orange Creme Yogurt

1 tablespoon canola oil olive oil

1 tablespoon milk *I used orange juice

1 tsp orange zest **this would have been a great addition and added to the orange flavor, but I was all out of oranges :(

For half the batter, I added some mini chocolate chips.

Directions

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Whisk together.

In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients.

Make a "well" in the center of dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Whisk until combined. Use a spoon and fill the greased donut pan.

Bake at 400'F for abt 7 minutes (for mini donuts). Remove and let cool completely on wire rack.

For the Vanilla Creme frosting - I used 1/2 cup powdered sugar and abt 1 T. sugar free French Vanilla International Delight coffee creamer.

A Rainbow of Happiness :D
These taste like....cake.  Little bites of cake for breakfast!  They are not heavy and dense like a cake doughnut, but good all the same.  Of course, they may have tasted or had a little different texture once they cooled, but...they didn't last that long.
Since I'm not a huge fan of vanilla, I preferred the unfrosted minis with the chocolate chips!  As I said, the possibilities are endless.  You can make so many flavor combinations!  I know I will be experimenting with a lot more varieties.
 
I'm still begging asking for your vote for Mo'Betta in the Top 25 Foodie Moms at Circle of Moms.  You can vote one time, until March 1st.  I would appreciate it!
and
I have a giveaway going on until Wednesday (2/23) for General Mills/Hotwheels Prize Pack - 5 free boxes of cereal!
and
Monday link-ups!
Mouthwatering Mondays

The Girl CreativeIt's a Blog PartyMakinguntitled
Photobucket and Eat at Home for Ingredient Spotlight - sour cream & yogurt

My Review of Orville Redenbacher's Hot Air Popcorn Popper

Originally submitted at CSN Stores

The Presto Orville Redenbacher's hot air popper pops regular or gourmet popcorn with hot air, not oil for a low calorie treat. Makes up to 18 cups of popcorn in under 2-1/2 minutes leaving virtually no unpopped kernels.

Features:

  • Makes up to 18 cups of ...


Must have if you like popcorn!

By Mommy blogger from NC on 2/21/2011

 

5out of 5

The kids and I LOVE this popcorn popper! Healthy with no oils, chemicals or preservatives; works fast and pops big, fluffy, perfectly popped kernels. Almost every kernel pops too. Will never use microwave popcorn again! (and my kids love to add their own flavorings - cinnamon/sugar is their favorite!)

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Tags: Using Product, Healthy eating, Quick and easy, Economic, Made with Product, Picture of Product

(legalese)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guilt free chocolate

Unless this is your first visit to Mo'Betta, you know that I am completely obsessed with like chocolate.  I don't however, like cellulite, a tummy pooch, and let's just be honest...a fat ass.  All of which I may or may not have at the moment.  Exercise has alluded me recently.  I don't even want to talk about it.  What I do want to talk about is chocolate!  It's my drug of choice.  However, even though I'd be perfectly content on eating a handful (or handfuls) of chocolate chips straight from the bag, I have a twisted sort of logic that helps prevent all the guilt associated with eating handful(s) of chocolate.  I figure, if I mix the chocolate with low fat ingredients, then that helps spread the chocolate out over a larger area, therefore, I'm actually eat less chocolate/fat per square inch, than if I just scooped up chocolate chips.  You know ratios, area, all that math stuff that we thought was useless.  Well, now you know why it's important.  Total nutcase justification.  Now, how do you make this...
and eat it without feeling bad?  Because it's low fat!  (Disclaimer - I'm not a dietician.  There is nothing healthy about this, but all the ratio stuff...totally true)

Ok, I've BS'd enough...what is this?  Umm, it doesn't exactly have a name.  It's another thing I sort of made up.  I think I'll call them Mo'Betta Chocolate Fudge Clusters.  That's a good name right?!

The best thing about this, is they can be customized to include whatever you have on hand, and whatever you happen to be craving at the moment.

You'll need -
1 can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1-2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever your chocolate preference)
add-ins...this can be whatever your heart desires.  I used pretzels, mini-marshmallows, and Rice Krispies.

(The fat-free sweetened condensed milk helps with the whole spreading out the chocolate ratio/square inch theory)

Take your condensed milk and chocolate chips and place them in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave this until chocolate is almost melted.  Stir together until nice and creamy.  I think it took about a minute.  You could stop here and have chocolate "fondue" and just dip stuff in it (spoon, pretzels, whatever) OR you can proceed.

I added in pretzels, "ma-mel-woes" (according to Mr. Two), and Krispies into the bowl and mixed it all together.  I didn't measure, just dumped some in.  Then I put my creation into my mini muffin pan.  (I sprayed it with non stick spray, just in case) and stuck it in the fridge to harden.  After 5 minutes, I got impatient, so I stuck it in the freezer.  I was having a chocolate crisis and I'm not a patient woman.  The chocolate "clusters" harden, then you pluck them out and eat.  Guilt free ;)  Now, these are not hard like a chocolate peanut cluster, but more like fudge.  Firm, but soft.  That's why I said 1-2 cups of chocolate chips.  I'm thinking that if you add more chocolate (I only used 1 cup...the whole chocolate ratio again) then they may get even harder. 
What I can say is...these are SO GOOD! 
They make the cutest little "mini" portions, and totally kick the chocolate craving.  My kids loved them too.  Except for Mr. Two...he has some strange texture issues. 
I am looking forward to experimenting with other "add ins".  The pretzels didn't stay crunchy by the way.  I think walnuts and dried blueberries would be scrumptious.  The possibilities are endless.  You don't even have to put these in a muffin pan, you could just dump them on wax paper and let them harden.  Or you could use little paper muffin cups.  So, go have fun with this.  Especially since they are guilt free and all *wink wink*

Please give me a vote for Top 25 Foodie Moms! You can click on the link on the right side bar above my button!  Mo'Betta was nominated at Circle of Moms...so exciting!

AND, I have a giveaway going on until Wednesday for 5 boxes of General Mills cereal.  Go enter!

I'm going to link this up with....


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