Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Friday, August 26, 2016

Eat Better at Gatherings with Zucchini Toast Appetizers

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. 


With Labor Day quickly approaching, I've been thinking a lot about all of the foods that are going to be served at the cookouts. Heavy foods, greasy foods, and let's not forget the potato chips. This year I am doing something a little different, and plan to serve up a few lighter, healthier options. Right now is a great time to use some of those garden veggies you spent all summer growing. And if you were lucky enough (unlike me) to get a bounty of zucchini in your garden, then you are going to definitely want to think about adding some Zucchini Toast Appetizers to your buffet table. 

ZUCCHINI APPETIZER

Yogurt and low-fat mayo based and served over snacking bread, it is so much tastier and healthier than chips. I made these for dinner earlier this week and got high praise from the husband on how good they were. I believe "AWESOME" was the word he used to describe them. There really is an "awesome" medley of flavors packed onto each snack bread, you may want to double the recipe for extras because they will go quick!

Ingredients
3 medium zucchini, shredded

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tablespoon GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
36 slices snack-size rye bread

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Zucchini Appetizer


You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.




If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



What healthier options are you serving this Labor Day?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

AutoRight SteamMachine Gets the Car Clean without Chemicals!

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my policy tab for more information.


Many of our summer days were spent in the car, traveling everywhere from big cities, to islands, to sleepy beach towns. Spending so many hours in the car, it was bound to get dirty and disgusting. We're tracking in dirt and mud, sand, and crumbs from snacking on long road trips. With so much going on, I didn't spend much time really cleaning it these past few months. Just scoop out the chip bags and water bottles and call it a day. I was a bit too tired to dig in and give it the good scrubbing that it really needed. Who really wants to spend a whole weekend day scrubbing out the car? Not me!

Saturday we were supposed to get scattered showers, so I figured I'd take the time to finally give it the tlc it needed. I just received an AutoRight SteamMachine, so I was a bit eager (well, as eager as anyone can be when it comes to cleaning) to see how quickly I could get the job done.  


And it turns out, I had the whole interior done in less than 30 minutes! The AutoRight SteamMachine is a fantastic little portable cleaning machine. Quickly and easily blast away car's dirt and grime with just the cleaning power of steam. I love that I could get my entire car clean without the use of any chemicals. Simply fill the water tank, let the machine warm up, then steam away all of the dirt. Easy, peasy. The machine does run for about 30 minutes on one tank of water, though if you get done quicker, you'll need to empty out the excess.

For the most part, I only needed to use the handgun nozzle to get most of the car's interior clean. However, there are 10 attachments you can use to steam the carpets, crevices, and upholstery. Most of the attachments fit right in the front of the machine for convenient storage.


I was pleased to learn that the AutoRight SteamMachine is safe to use on leather.

Here are a few Before & After photos of my car.



The interior and floor was caked with sand and dirt, and who knows what the kids spilled all over the seats. Now it's clean and shiny. Almost like new once again.

The floor mats were pretty dirty, but a quick blast of steam loosed up all of the dirt, then I was able to wipe them down with a dry towel to remove the dirty water, leaving them nice and clean.



Most parents probably understand how icky kids can get the interior door handles. My kids are no exception. Look at how gunked up they got the doors.



All this clean with just a blast of steam, which I find quite impressive! I have always been pleased with the cleaning results I have received by using HomeRight's products, and the AutoRight SteamMachine has been added to the list of of my favorite tools to clean with now too. You can buy your own AutoRight SteamMachine on the HomeRight website or on Amazon.com.

WIN IT!


One lucky reader is going to win an AutoRight SteamMachine of their own! Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. No P.O. Boxes will be accepted. Giveaway will run through 9/7/16. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below.


Back To School Bread Giveaway!

Most of our kids have already headed back to school already. If not, the rest will soon be returning as well. I don't know about you, but my girls pack their lunches every single day. Costs can really add up for lunches, so I want to help out a little. I have 5 Free Schwebel's Bread Coupons (expire 12/31/16)  that I am going to give to one lucky reader.


This giveaway is not affiliated with Schwebel's in any way. They are from my own personal stash of coupons. I only ask that you make sure that you can find the product at a store close to you as the products are only available in limited markets. You can see if your store carries them HERE.

Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. No P.O. Boxes will be accepted. Giveaway will run through 9/5/16. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Grilled Vegetable Open Faced Sandwich

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.

Due to health issues, last month I started a new life as a vegetarian. Honestly, I was a little worried that eating was really going to suck for me. I do love chicken and am totally mourning the loss. In a panic, I started emailing all of my vegetarian and vegan friends asking for their best recipes. I received some great suggestions before it dawned on me that Golden Blossom Honey has a really great vegetarian section I should have been browsing. I test so many of their recipes on a weekly basis, it was a "duh" moment, for sure.  

Dinners started out a bit challenging, but thankfully I am finding some great meals that the whole family can enjoy without too many alterations to the recipes (don't worry, I'll still be sharing some of their favorite meat dishes since they aren't jumping on a vegetarian diet with me.) One that I didn't have to change was this Grilled Vegetable Open-Faced Sandwich.


It has a real Italian flare with the spices and pesto. Great for lunch or dinner. Jason has never liked eggplant, but he ate his entire sandwich and didn't even realize there was a slice on it. I do love those recipes where I can sneak a few extra veggies into my family's diet and they don't even realize it!


Ingredients
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano, dried
1 tablespoon GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
salt and pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, halved
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/4 inch thick slices
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced in half horizontally
1/2 cup pesto, found in dairy department
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE




 

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.



If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



How do you sneak more veggies into your family's diet?

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Double Decker Peanut Butter Cookies

Late last month we took a week long trip to Canada (pics coming soon!) We did a lot of the touristy things in Toronto, but I think some of the most fun we had was stopping by the supermarkets to load up on stuff we don't get here. Ginger Pepsi for my father-in-law, Coffee Crisps for my bestie, and Tim Horton's drinks for the girls. Jason came across some peanut butter sandwich cookies that he had to have, though I am sure we probably carry the equivalent somewhere local.

Yesterday, Allison asked why we didn't spend much time making crafts and baking this summer. We were so busy with traveling and other adventures, I admit, I slacked on the creativity with the kids these past few months. She did ask if we could make something before summer's end, so we thought we'd end the summer with a bang and made some Double Decker Peanut Butter Cookies. The girls got a little baking in and Jason will get his fix on peanut butter cookies (which are much better than the store bought ones anyway!) now that he's out of his Canadian bought box. Win-Win!

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

We started with a basic peanut butter cookie recipe, but then sandwiched the filling that I use for my peanut butter balls between two cookies, resulting on one amazingly scrumptious double decker peanut butter cookie.

Cookie Ingredients:

1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Filling:

16 ounces confectioner's sugar
1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup butter, softened (real butter- not margarine or a spread)
2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix until well blended.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to 3/8 inch thickness, then using fork tines, make a criss cross pattern on top of dough.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes, or until cookies are golden. Cool on wire rack.

Once cookies are completely cool, beat all peanut butter filling ingredients together until well combined. (DO NOT make the filling ahead of time or it could possibly harden. If this happens, just beat in a little more milk until you get a smooth texture.) Spread peanut butter filling across the flat surface of a cooled cookie, then top with another cookie. Serve.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies


Did you do a lot of baking or crafting this summer or did you slack off like me?



Monday, August 15, 2016

Come Explore Beautiful Indiana Dunes This Fall! #IndianaDunes #BeachesandBeyond



Be honest. When you think of Indiana, you think corn. It's true, we have a ton, but I'll be the first to tell you that there really is more than corn in Indiana, and I'd like to encourage you to stop by for a visit this fall. There's really nothing more beautiful than the Midwest in autumn, and if you love the great outdoors like my family does, you'll want to hit up Indiana Dunes because there's so much to explore!


One of my family's favorite outdoor activities is biking, and you'll find some of the best bike trails in Indiana Dunes. If you don't have your own, pop over to the visitor's center where you'll find Pedal Power Rentals. You can choose from several different styles of bikes to rent at very affordable rates. Additionally, this fall they are offering special group tours. Choose to roll through the European Market, Century of Progress Homes, or take a Sunset Beach tour.



If you prefer to walk, there are many scenic foot trails in the area.



I adore the beach, so I highly recommend a stop at Indiana Dunes State Park where they are in the process of building an amazing lookout right now. Climb the stairs and on one side you'll get a spectacular view of the beach, and on the other you'll get a great view of the land.




Or, if you are a little more athletic, skip the stairs and challenge yourself to a hike up many of the sand dunes for an equally spectacular view.


If nature hiking isn't your thing but you still love to walk outdoors, Historic Downtown Chesterton has many fun and unique locations to explore. Get your shop on, eat in the diner, or take a stroll through the quaint park.


If you don't stop at Dog Days Ice Cream parlor and treat yourself to a Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cone, you are really missing out on one of life's little blessings.
 

In Historic Downtown, you'll also find the world's smallest piece of owned land:


Indiana Dunes has some of the most beautiful and well-maintained parks I have ever visited. From the trails, to the fun playground equipment, to the beautiful landscaping, you'll really want to spend some leisure time in any of the Dunes parks.


I don't know much about Pokemon Go, but Allison was squealing with delight about all of the Poke Stops and Pokemon Gyms she was finding in the area. If you are into Pokemon Go, I think you'll have a lot of success collecting them at Indiana Dunes!


Fishing at Indiana Dunes is also a really popular activity. There are more than 15 great fishing locations at the Dunes. Be sure to check out the fishing section on the Indiana Dunes website to plan ahead.



The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk is one of my favorite areas to visit for a sunset stroll.



A new concrete cap and and handrails on the breakwater make it easy to fish, bird watch, and is a beautiful spot for sightseeing. Off in the distance you get an amazing view of the steel plant as well as Chicago!


You'll get to see many people taking advantage of the weather, frolicking in the water or spending time boating on it, all the way until the sun goes down.


If you are looking for a great place to spend time outdoors this fall, be sure to come to Indiana Dunes. Bike, hike, paddle, fish, dive into the historic parts of town, bird watch, or fitness buffs- push yourself on the 3-Dune Challenge. There's really something for everyone at Indiana Dunes.



What areas of Indiana Dunes interests you? Do you prefer the laid back beaches, the biking and hiking trails, or a low-key sunset stroll by the water?


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