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One Happy Mama: My experience with a chocolate chip pecan pie with a candied bacon graham cracker crust

I absolutely love bacon. I could subsist on it, seriously. I also love pecans. I think they’re awesomely yummy! These are two of my weaknesses, so you can imagine my reaction when my BFF casually mentioned this pie, that a friend of hers serves at a local restaurant. Get ready, it’s a chocolate pecan pie, with a candied bacon, graham cracker crust. My heart skipped a beat when I envisioned this awesomeness!

Unfortunately, I live in PA, while my very lucky friend, Steph, lives in Hilton Head, the home of this wonderful pie. I’ve been vowing a visit, to no avail, but luckily, Steph loves me so much that she shipped one to me as a Thanksgiving treat!!! She was my most favorite friend that day! And, it was awesome. This pie had a cool smokey flavor that blended so well with the nutty pecans. It was dreamy.

I felt so privileged, that I posted a picture on my Facebook page and bragged to all of my friends. I was the only girl in PA that had a pecan & bacon pie from One Hot Mama’s in Hilton Head. I’ll tell you what, I was ONE HAPPY MAMA that day!

Are you jealous? Well I’m going to feel a bit like OPRAH when I tell you that you can have one too! My handy dandy friend Steph just sent me a link to order these pies and have them shipped anywhere! (ok, maybe just the US) Don’t you want one? I know you do! So, here is the link. Click it & order one so that you can be the envy of your bacon & pecan loving friends too!

Click here to get your pie!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie with a Candied Bacon Graham Cracker Crust Ordering Instructions

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Lenora Dame Jewelry Trunk Show

Lenora Dame Jewelry is hosting a trunk show of their designer accessories THIS weekend, both in person & online. This jewelry has been featured in many magazines, including In Style, shown in The Devil Wears Prada, and worn by celebrities, like Katy Perry! Lenora’s jewelry is sold in upscale stores such as Nordstrom & Anthopologie at premium prices, but this weekend only, it will be deeply discounted.

That’s not all…It gets better! For all of the lucky moms who have a Philly Burb Moms Savings Pass – YOU GET AN EXTRA 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE!!!!!

Lenora Dame is offering this special discount for current cardholders who present their key-tag at checkout.

Do not miss this sale. Grab your girl friends, neighbors, and strangers and make it a girls trip. Wine and snacks will be available for you to enjoy while you shop. It truly is the event of the season, and you don’t want to be caught missing out on all of the deals and steals that Lenora has to offer.

What: The Lenora Dame Holiday Trunk Show

When: Friday, November 14th 5-9 pm
Saturday, November 15th 9-5 pm
Sunday, November 16th 11-3 pm

Where: 1955 Ticonderoga Boulevard
Suite 500
Chester Springs, PA 19425
610-458-3290

**All credit cards accepted

The trunk show continues with 40% off this weekend on the website at http://www.lenoradame.com

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Rockin’ Rose Romano’s [SPONSORED]

1-IMG_2229Recently, the kind people at Rose Romano’s Italian Peppers sent me a few jars of their tasty sauce. Wow, am I a lucky girl. I was amazed by the beautiful presentation of the box I received, and I was intrigued by the recipes suggested in the insert. What I learned is that Rose Romano’s is actually more like a condiment, rather than a pasta sauce. As a coveted family recipe, owner, Dr. Marshall Angotti, created this gluten-free, low calorie, goodness as the perfect complement to your simple homemade dishes. Rose Romano’s Italian Peppers comes in two flavors, red pepper and green pepper, and the recipe possibilities are endless.

My biggest challenge was to figure out how I was going to use the red pepper sauce that I received, because the cookbook and menu created by Dr. Angotti is substantial! I decided on making a simple bow tie pasta tossed with garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, and salt & pepper. Once the pasta was seasoned, I spooned it onto a plate, topped it with the red pepper sauce, and served it with a side of crusty garlic bread. What a great, easy weeknight meal, even my girls loved it! We all went to bed with well nourished, happy bellies.

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The next challenge came with how to serve the green pepper sauce. I immediately thought of my nephew’s upcoming graduation party. I knew that my sister was making 100 pounds of Freakin’ Fabulous Roasted Pork for sandwiches, and a sandwich bar was the perfect stage for Rose Romano’s green pepper sauce. Along with traditional bar-b-que sauce, we offered a bowl of warm Rose Romano’s. The green pepper sauce was a sweet compliment to the savory garlic roasted pork.

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After my initial successes, I am excited to try some of the recipes suggested by Dr. Angotti. His recipes suggest topping almost anything with this unique food accessory, from hamburgers, to grilled chicken, to eggs. The ideas are creative as well as simple and healthy.

If you are looking for a new way to dress up a boring dish, or need a quick and easy gift idea, consider Rose Romano’s Peppers. You can order online or locate them at a store near you by visiting http://www.roseromanos.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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So What Are You Reading? Me, A Great Cookbook!

I can honestly say that I have never read a cookbook cover to cover as if it were a novel, until now. A few days ago, I came home from work and found a large envelope addressed to me. I excitedly ripped it open revealing a beautiful cookbook entitled, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking From In Jennie’s Kitchen, by Jennifer Perillo. Just flipping through the pages, skimming the contents, had me hooked. So, when I finally found some quiet time to read, that is exactly what I did.

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This is not just a collection of recipes adorned with beautiful pictures staged to perfection, it is more a manual of fabulous kitchen advice and simple recipes that will make you feel like a domestic rockstar! It opens with Jennifer’s personal story of the tragic loss of her husband, and how she has used the kitchen for healing and connecting with her daughters. It then moves on to share her advice on stocking a well equipped kitchen, and a rationale for cooking from scratch. I found myself connecting to and agreeing with everything that she shared. This woman is so wise!

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Any good reader talks to the text! I took LOTS of notes!

Jennifer Perillo’s advice and recipes are so simple; anyone can make them. They are well described, with clear steps. Jennifer proves that you do not have to be a professional chef to pull off healthy, homemade, nutritionally conscious food. It was so appealing to me, that I frantically scrounged up some sticky notes to mark all of the pages and recipes that called to me, especially one that I instantly craved just from the picture.

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“Slow-Roasted Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Panzanella”– Not only is it “pretty food”, it’s my new addiction!!!

So, are the recipes as good as they look? Absolutely, if not better! After reading the entire book, and tagging a multitude of pages, I dashed to the grocery store to gather all of the ingredients for her Slow-Roasted Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Panzanella. What an amazing dish. Not only was it very simple to make, it was gorgeous, and you all know how much I like “pretty food”. I loved this recipe so much that I have added it to my weekly menu, and will keep it there for a while. I also have fallen in love with her buttermilk pancakes, making the baking mix ahead of time, and pulling off pancakes from scratch on a weekday morning. My kids and husband are in heaven! I have to admit that a few of my old standbys have been dethroned…

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Buttermilk Pancakes from Jennie’s “All Purpose Baking Mix”.

Because of my success with the first few dishes, I will absolutely continue to try Jennifer’s recipes, in essence, cooking my way through her book. I am excited to see what other gems she has to offer, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. It is worth every dime! You too can feel the satisfaction and reward that comes from feeding your friends and family healthy, well designed dishes that look and taste spectacular.

Click here to purchase Jennifer’s book: Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking From In Jennie’s Kitchen

Jennifer’s Blog: In Jennie’s Kitchen

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Jennifer Perillo

Disclaimer: While I was provided with a complimentary copy of this cookbook, I was not paid for this review. All statements expressed above are my own feelings and opinions.

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Dinner Sanity Through DOJO!

Hallelujah!! I have found a new weapon for my mom arsenal. While I am a firm believer in family dinners, and we strive to sit down together as much as possible, I also realize that the dinner table can be a source of parental stress for me. From the start, my kids have been raised with an expectation of polite manners and conversation at the dinner table. I expect them to remain seated, behave like normal human beings, and ACTUALLY EAT THE FOOD!

Lately, my kids have left a lot to be desired. Some nights I feel like I am playing “Whack a Mole”, with all 3 of my kids randomly popping out of their seats. Other nights, it’s the “I don’t like this” chorus. (This is a whole other blog post in itself!) As a working mom with little time, energy, and patience, I was at my wit’s end…until I discovered one of the greatest educational/parental tools on the planet!

CLASS DOJO!

If you are not aware of this web based tool, allow me to introduce you. Class Dojo is a free website for teachers and school professionals to create behavior tracking plans though interactive media. I was first introduced to the dojo plan through my daughter’s second grade teacher. My daughter is delighted by her little monster avatar and the tally of points she is accumulating. As a mom, I am delighted by the weekly report that I receive via e-mail.

So, here we were, happily progressing, watching Amelia’s dojo points grow, when the light bulb went off. I am a teacher. I have a master’s degree in education, and I have extensive experience with behavior modification. Why can’t I use this at home to improve my kids’ dinner behavior?

Feeling like a rock star, I set out on my quest for dinner sanity. I went to www.classdojo.com to create an account. I first set one up for my real classes, as it is an awesome educational tool. Then I registered as my kids “teacher”, and I used the very easy interface to develop my “dinner dojo”.  Each of my kids were assigned a little monster avatar (the symbolism is much appreciated). Then I customized the behaviors to suit my dinner needs.

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Positive Behaviors:  helpful, good manners, cleaned up, stayed seated, positive conversation, ate well, tried new foods, made healthy choices.

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Negative Behaviors: disrespect, out of seat, rude behavior, wasted time, not eating, negative language, made a mess, not a helper.

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This site is so easy to use. Once you set up your account on a computer, there is an app, so you can control it from your smart phone or tablet! Yup, that’s right. This momma broke the “No Technology at the Dinner Table” rule and plunked the iPad right in the center of the table. What resulted was one of the nicest dinners we have had in months. Not only did everyone eat, stay seated, and clean up after themselves, but we were able to have meaningful conversations that felt like real connections. I hope that this new tool can help us get back on track to peaceful dining.

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If you think that this app can save your sanity too, here are my tips:

  1. Go to www.classdojo.com
  2. Set up an account as a teacher. The parent option only allows you to see your child’s progress in a specific classroom.
  3. Use the great tutorials to help you navigate and create on the site.
  4. If you have tech savvy kids, give them the student code so that they can check their own progress with their own account.
  5. You can also share the parent reports with other meaningful adults (the other parent, a grandparent, or babysitter)
  6. Expand past dinner. I also have a general expectations dojo for my kids. I chose to separate the two because they have to earn good dinner dojo to get fast food or other less nutritional treats.

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I really urge you to try this tool. If you do, please report back and let us know how it works for you. Hopefully we can restore peace and sanity one dinner table at a time J

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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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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.

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OMG!! I love this product so much that I just had to share.

The Snap To It apron is a traditional apron that has a removable dish towel front. They even sell replacement dish towels! This design is truly brilliant!

http://diaperbagwrangler.com/collections/snap-apron

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I am definitely putting this on my Christmas list!!!