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 Fairy of Food meets Food Elf?

When my children get home from their grandparents’ this afternoon, they are in for a big surprise! Apparently their elf, Ollie, has been busy in their absence. I guess, since he was adopted into the Fabulous Food Fairy’s home, Ollie felt the need to get in on the kitchen action. Ollie popped on over to the only elf fashion wonderland, and grabbed himself a cooking ensemble!

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Now that Ollie is ready for the kitchen, he is patiently waiting for the girls to get home on this rainy Sunday! Cinnamon muffins will be the perfect way to reconnect and hear about the wonderful weekend my girls had with Grammy and Coach at the beach.

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The Details:

Where: www.elfoutfitters.com

What: This website offers adorable outfits for your elf. Themes include the kitchen, a luau, a superhero, a tutu/ballerina, and many more.

The Specifics: My kitchen kit came very discreetly in a brown envelope with a covert return address. Inside was the kit which included a REVERSIBLE apron and a tiny star cookie cutter. The greatest part was the idea card that gives suggestions on how to present the outfit that you purchased.

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The Price: $7!!! with free shipping!! I personally feel that this is a great bargain for such a cute handmade item. In fact, I liked it so much, I bought the superhero and luau outfits myself.

In short, I love this product. It adds whimsy and fun to the season without turning into one of those crazed Pinterest moms who stages elaborate scenes to top the rest of the world in elf behavior. This is reasonable and sane for any busy mom.

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I hope that your holiday season is filled with fun and meaningful moments with your family. It is not too late, pop on over to this site and get in on the fun!

**Disclaimer– This product was provided to me to try and review, but the opinions are my own and were not influenced by the manufacturer in any way.

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Crockpot Jambalaya

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A cold rainy day
Will dampen the mood
To get off the couch
And cook some good food.
No reason to fret,
No reason to whine.
Crockpot Jambalaya
Is a meal that’s divine!

Today was a yucky rainy Sunday. The only thing I had to do was run out to the pharmacy. I didn’t want to shop, I would not clean, I just wanted to veg. Cold and rainy weather is not my friend.
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Days like today, I just want warm…a warm blanket, a warm cozy spot on the couch, and a warm tasty meal. The problem is that once I settle into that warm cozy spot on the couch, under my warm fleecy blanket, with my warm snugly doggie at my feet, I don’t want to get up. Crockpot jambalaya is a prefect recipe for this kind of day.

This recipe is perfect for the lazy cooking days. No lengthy prep, no constant stirring, no elaborate finishing process. Just cut, dump, wait, and then eat. In fact, this dish is so efficient in promoting relaxation, I grant you permission to deviate from the traditional dinner table and eat it in the family room while watching a movie as a family.

Tonight, my kids will settle in on the floor, spread a large blanket beneath them, and enjoy dinner, “picnic style”. It is a fun treat, and I use the format to bribe (or threaten) them into eating it all gone (ex. “If you do not eat all of you dinner, we will not be able to have picnic dinners again!”…I know, they will need therapy…blah, blah, blah.) My husband and I will claim the couch, and a movie will be chosen. Peace, family, warmth, and a great meal are the necessary ingredients to make this a fantastic Sunday.

So, whether you are an experienced cook, who just wants to take a night off, or a novice kitchen mom, who is looking for a low-risk start, this is the recipe for you. Not only will your family love it, but you will feel relaxed and fulfilled by your new cooking from the couch skills. Enjoy!

Crockpot Jambalaya

Ingredients:

1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound of andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound of peeled, deveined shrimp without tails
6 cups of chicken broth
3 cups so white rice
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 cup of chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. of fresh oregano
2 Tbsp. of fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. of Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. of fresh thyme
1 tsp. of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally.

Garnish with a slice of warm cornbread.

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Finding Peace in Waffles

I’ve been yelling ALOT lately. My kids are out of sorts, and some days I feel like I am raising a pack of wild raccoon  They scurry around the house, eating everything, and making large messes.

By Phil Coale, AP

By Phil Coale, AP

When I attempt to correct them, they run off snickering. UGH!! Then the extreme mom frustration sets in. At this point, I usually start with my litany of punishments and rants…threatening to bring out “the big black trash bag”, “time-out”, “no friends today”, “Ollie is watching” (our elf), “Santa’s coming”, “Don’t make me call Daddy!” (the little buggers have learned that Daddy is much nicer than mommy, so this one needs to be retired…)

Usually on a day like this, I grudgingly clean it up, then get distracted with another chore, and sometime around 2:00 in the afternoon, I find my cold coffee next to my soggy breakfast. No wonder I was STARVING and miserable!

Well, I decided to STOP. BACK OFF. RELAX. I came to the realization that I am not Donna Reed. I work full-time. I have a blog. It is Christmas, and I am married to a UPS driver (pretty much out of commission until after the holidays). I stood on the knowledge that I am generally a clean person, my friends and family know this. My children are good kids, who usually listen. This circus is temporary!

Coffee?? Where was my coffee? and my waffle? I made a healthy breakfast for myself, but have yet to eat it. I WILL HAVE MY WAFFLE!

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I grabbed my warm coffee, and my crisp waffle, at 9:00 in the morning, and I settled into my cozy nook in the kitchen. Isn’t that why I bought myself leather chairs with ottomans? I enjoyed my breakfast, smiled at my children, and found my missing inner peace.

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So, here is the recipe for my “Peace Waffles”. Try them. Put your feet up. Let your kids make a mess. Be a happy mom.

I’m glad I did.

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The Steps to Inner Peace Through Waffles…

1. Start with a multi-grain waffle (I like Van’s)

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2. Toast it in the toaster.

3. Spread a layer of peanut butter on top. (any nut butter would work)

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4. Top with a sliced banana.

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5. Sprinkle with pecan halves.

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6. Serve with coffee, or tea.

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7. Eat it in peace!

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Peace Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 multi-grain waffle
  • 1 small banana
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of pecan halves

Preparation:

1. Start with a multi-grain waffle (I like Van’s)

2. Toast it in the toaster.

3. Spread a layer of peanut butter on top. (any nut butter would work)

4. Top with a sliced banana.

5. Sprinkle with pecan halves.

6. Serve with coffee, or tea.

7. Eat it in peace!

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On Monday, December 3rd, I will be featured in the weekly newsletter for AllFreeCasseroleRecipes use the link below to subscribe to this great resource. I’d hate for you to miss out!

The Casserole Connection Newsletter Subscription

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So my husband is thinking I am not so fabulous this week. I have hit the internet to holiday shop because, frankly, I hate shopping in real life. The problem lies in the fact that I have also purchased almost one of everything for me too!! OOPS!

Well, there is one purchase for which I will not shed any buyer’s remorse. It is a handmade dipping oil bowl from Neal Pottery. It is the coolest thing ever!

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This all started at dinner with friends. My friend, Susan, was telling me about a dipping oil bowl that she had received as a gift a few years ago. She shared how much she loved it, but regretfully has never found where to buy another one. Thanks to the wonders of Google…I was able to find on ETSY! Right there, at the table in the restaurant, I ordered a few as gifts (and maybe one for myself, because I AM the Fabulous Food Fairy!)

Well, I was impressed from the moment I opened the box. Not only are the bowls beautiful, but sweetly tucked inside was a personal thank you note. How’s that for customer service? My own reaction to this handmade creation fills me with excitement to give this gift!

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The box has been sitting in my dining room for a week now, with all the other unwrapped holiday loot, but curiosity got the best of me, and I had to give it a go!

First, the bowl is beautiful! Second, it came with a recipe! Here is the process. I dare you to read on and not jump over to ETSY and buy one!

According the recipe, I grated a fresh clove of garlic on the raised ridges on the bottom of the bowl.

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It smells so freakin’ good!

Next, I mixed the suggested herbs and spices, in a separate bowl. It is a great feature that they have you make the herb mixture in bulk. I think I will make some for each bowl I plan to gift. It is also great because it is all ready to go, should a quick impromptu party erupt at your house, which is common in my neighborhood.

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Next, you sprinkle some of the herb mixture into the bowl, over the freshly grated garlic.

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Finally, pour some olive oil into the bowl, coating the seasoning goodness!

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Then dip away with fresh crusty bread!

No need for an enchanted wand, the bowl does all the magic.

So, Neal Pottery sent me a thank you note, but I truly believe they are the ones who need to be thanked. This is one of the greatest gifts I have purchased this season…even if it was a gift for myself 🙂

To purchase your own, click here:

Neal Pottery Dipping Oil Bowl

Enjoy!

Disclaimer– I purchased this product on my own, and this post is an expression of my own opinion.