Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Friday, May 27, 2016

Refreshing Watermelon Mint Ice

*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.

The temperatures have really spiked this past week, and normally I'd be really happy about that, but I just found out that our central air isn't working. Shame on us for not checking on it before it got this hot out. Even the dogs are feeling it. Rocky is blowing stinky dog breath in my face right now trying to cool down and extract a little revenge at the same time. It's going to be a few days before the repair man can come out, so we'll be heading into Memorial Day weekend trying our best to stay cool caveman style. Doors shut, blinds down, and sipping on lots and lots of fruity beverages to cool down and stay hydrated. My girls love those frozen icees from the convenience store during the summer, but I thought it would be fun to beat the heat yesterday by making our own fruity icees. This Watermelon Mint Ice really hit the spot on a hot spring day

Watermelon Slushie

Now, the girls don't like mint, so I ended up splitting the batch into one with mint and one without since I knew they'd complain about the mint addition in theirs. I, on the other hand, love a fruit and mint combination, so I left the recipe as is for my glass. Either way, this is truly a refreshing treat without the added sugar you get from convenience store slushies.

6 cups watermelon, seeded and cut into chunks
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped


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's your favorite way to stay cool on hot days?


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Young Love

Just a few of my favorite snaps that I took of my best friend's son and his girlfriend before prom :)

Monday, May 23, 2016

$15 Amazon Summer Vacation Giveaway!

School's Out For The Summer! Not quite here since we still have 2 weeks left, but we're pretty excited that the end of the school year is just around the corner. I haven't hosted a giveaway of my own in a bit, so I thought it would be fun to offer a giveaway for a $15 Amazon gift card to help you pick up a few summertime essentials, like a new beach towel or road trip snacks, or even a good book. Whatever your summer-loving heart desires!

The giveaway is open to ALL and will run through 6/6/16. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected. Please make sure you are properly doing each task you claim an entry for, otherwise your entries will be removed from the giveaway form. Please enter on the giveaway tools widget below. Good Luck!

PRIZE: $15 gift card

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tomato Cheese Crostini is a Perfect Party Appetizer!

*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.

We are officially in party season. Dads, grads, weddings, and good old fashioned family reunions are about to hit full force. If you are hosting any celebrations this summer, you probably know that the key to any successful get together is delicious food that is easy to serve. Some of my favorite party foods are simple finger foods that can be tossed together quickly. While Mariah won't be graduating until next summer, I am already making lists to help ease the burden of party prep later on. It's never too early to start making a game plan! One item that I know we'll be serving is crostini. I love this appetizer because it's simple enough for spaghetti dinner night, but classy enough for a graduation or wedding as well. I've tried a lot of recipes before, but my all-time favorite crostini recipe is this Tomato Cheese Crostini from Golden Blossom Honey.


The bold feta flavor mixed with the sweet honey and tomato dressing is truly a  mouthwatering combination. You might want to keep a few extra loaves of French baguette on hand because these will go quick!

1 French baguette cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (7 ounce package) feta cheese
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste



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!

Are you hosting or going to any weddings, graduations, Father's Day parties, or family reunions this summer?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Save Kitchen Time & Space with the Power Pressure Cooker XL™

*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.

I think today's parents can all agree that they feel the pressure bearing down when it comes to getting dinner on the table each night because we are all just so busy! I know it's something that I constantly struggle with. I hate that sinking feeling when I hear, "What's for dinner?" and I haven't laid anything out or even so much as made a plan for what I can get tossed together quickly that night. What's a girl to do when she's faced with 3 hungry mouths and not a lot of time to get dinner in their bellies before they lose their minds?

Enter my new hero: the Power Pressure Cooker XL™. I'm fully convinced that this handy dandy machine should come standard in every kitchen! 

Power Pressure Cooker XL

I've heard a lot of horror stories about pressure cookers over the years, so I never entertained the idea of purchasing one of my own. My mother-in-law has an older one that she uses, and frankly, the noise it makes is so loud it scares me.

I was really nervous to try the Power Pressure Cooker XL™ when I first received it, I read through the user manual 3 times before putting it to use. I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to injure myself or anyone else while it was powered on. Turns out, I was needlessly worried. Modern pressure cookers have many safety features in place to prevent injury. Additionally, I can't express enough how EASY it was to use!

Power Pressure Cooker XL

Effortlessly prepare meals 70% faster over conventional cooking methods with the Power Pressure Cooker XL™. There are so many amazing features on this machine! Slow cook, steam, stew, and preserve with just a touch of a button. 

I recently removed my rice cooker, crock pot and soup pots from my kitchen because the Power Pressure Cooker XL™ provide me with the same features they offer, all combined into one fabulous machine. I love having extra kitchen space now! 

This weekend I thought I'd try my hand at making a full-blown dinner in under an hour, all in one pot. I was able to cook 3 pounds of boneless ribs in 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. 

As soon as they were finished, I brushed them with BBQ sauce, then placed them under my broiler to crisp. Meanwhile, I quickly washed the inner pot, then started pressure cooking mac and cheese. All in all, my dinner was complete in 50 minutes. The ribs were the most tender I have ever made, and the mac and cheese was simply divine!

It even passed Jason's seal of approval since I heard him loudly say, "I love the Power Pressure Cooker XL™!" Dinner was definitely a success. Tender, juicy, delicious, and done in under an hour. And, unlike my mother-in-law's outdated pressure cooker, I couldn't even hear it running. I had to double check that it was actually on. Really, who could ask for more?

Pressure Cooker Mac & Cheese

Here's how I made 5 Cheese Mac & Cheese in the Power Pressure Cooker XL™:


2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded Italian 5 cheese 


Set pressure cooker to highest setting. (I used the meat setting). 
Place elbow macaroni, chicken broth, heavy cream and salt in the inner pot. 
Secure lid to a complete close. Press cook button, and pressure cook for 8 minutes. Once finished, release steam.

Stir in butter, milk and cheese. I replaced the lid on the pressure cooker for about a minute (but did not turn it back on) just to get the cheese melty faster. Give another quick stir to make sure cheese is evenly distributed across all noodles, then serve. 

5 Cheese Mac and Cheese

The Power Pressure Cooker XL™ intuitive one-touch setting is designed for a variety of foods. Meat, fish, vegetables, beans, rice, soup and stew can all be perfectly cooked quickly without even thinking about it. The combination of its flavor infusion technology and high-pressure environment results in:

• Locked in nutrients
• Meats and seafood with intense flavor without added fat
• Tender, crisp veggies with intact fiber
• Cheaper cuts of meat transformed into juicy perfection

I've only just scratched the surface on all that this machine can do. Since I just started my garden, I can't wait to try the canning feature this fall! Additionally, I just learned that you can pressure cook frozen meat in about 40 minutes, which totally solves my "What's for dinner?" headache when I forgot to defrost it that morning. Whoop! Whoop! 

The Power Pressure Cooker XL™ is available in 3 sizes: 6, 8, and 10 quart models, and start at $99.99. Stop by to learn more about its features, or to purchase your own. It really is the best kitchen appliance for the time-strapped cook who refuses to compromise quality for convenience. 

Power Pressure Cooker XL

What would you like to cook in your new Power Pressure Cooker XL?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cooking with Ragú Because Simple Homestyle Dinners are Best! #SimmeredinTradition #HomestyleSauces

Allison has been very curious about her heritage lately. Always asking about where we came from, trying to memorize which family member descended from which country. I think it's fascinating to her because we really are a mixed bag in our house. Irish, Italian, English, and Native American all flow through our veins, and she loves comparing that with her friends. When she first started asking about our heritage, I started reflecting on long lost family members, and I always go back to thinking about my paternal grandmother. It makes me sad because she passed before I was born, but when I hear stories about her, I think I must be very much like her.

My grandma loved cooking for her family, much like I do, so when my mom came across one of her old (and I mean OLD!) cookbooks, she passed it to me because she knew that I would love to have something of grandma's that would remind me of how similar we are.

Even though the book is super fragile from her years of use and from years of storage, I love flipping through the delicate pages, seeing notations in my grandma's handwriting, but best of all, finding her favorite recipes handwritten and tucked between some of the pages. Even though I never got to meet grandma, these treasures make me feel very connected to her.

One thing that I really love about the book and handwritten recipes is that they are all simple. You won't find any complicated, Julia Child type recipes here. Just good old fashioned, no-fuss recipes that my family loves.

Simplicity is key when preparing meals for my family, and I love that Ragú Pasta Sauce helps me make a homestyle meal that is easy, yet hearty and delicious.

Ragu Homestyle

Ragú Homestyle packs a lot of flavor in each jar and is their thickest pasta sauce yet. You can tell because it hugs each pasta noodle perfectly! Each ingredient is peeled, chopped, and simmered with a special blend of herbs to build a bold flavored sauce. You won't find any artificial flavors, artificial colors or high-fructose corn syrup in this sauce. Ragú takes no shortcuts when it comes to making these delicious homestyle sauces.

One of my favorite ways to use Ragú Pasta Sauce is in my Baked Penne Rigate. I like this recipe because it's really easy, very tasty, and the 4 of us can eat it two nights in a row, making it an inexpensive meal as well.

Penne Rigate


1 16 ounce package dry penne pasta
1 pound lean ground beef
2 jars Ragú Homestyle Thick & Hearty Meat Sauce
12 slices provolone cheese
12 slices mozzarella cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup chopped dry basil


Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente; drain
Brown beef over medium heat; drain and add Ragú Homestyle Sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place 1/2 the pasta in dish; top with 6 provolone and 6 mozzarella slices. Spread half the meat sauce mixture over the noodles. Spread a thin layer of sour cream over meat sauce.
Repeat pasta, meat, cheese and sauce layers; finish by topping with the Parmesan and basil.
Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve.

Penne Rigate

Ragú Homestyle Pasta Sauces are currently available in most major supermarkets. Be sure to check out the many Ragú Pasta Sauce Recipes on the Ragú website and start making your own homestyle dinners today!


Want the chance to try Ragú Homestyle Pasta Sauce for yourself? I am giving one lucky winner $10 PayPal to try their favorite Ragú Homestyle Sauce. Enter through 5/31. Simply leave me a blog post comment telling me which Ragú Pasta Sauce Recipe from the recipe tab you would love to try. Be sure to leave me your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! I am giving one additional entry if you follow me on Pinterest (link on my sidebar). Just tell me what name you are following with.

Good Luck!
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