Mommy Made From Scratch

Friday, November 22, 2013

$75 Core Kitchen Giveaway! *ended*

**Congrats to Heidi Coblentz Mettler! You have been emailed with details!**

I had the pleasure of reviewing some great Core Kitchen products earlier this week and am crazy about their products! Check out my review here.

I hinted on Facebook about an upcoming giveaway with Core Kitchen. Well here it is...just in time for the holidays! Core Kitchen has been gracious enough to giveaway a $75 e-gift certificate to their online store!

Image courtesy of Core Kitchen

Core Kitchen has a large variety of kitchen related products including bamboo and silicone kitchen tools and utensils, poly cutting boards, knives, glass prep boards and trivets as well as cast iron kitchen products.

Image courtesy of Core Kitchen

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. You may need to refresh the page a few times for the form to load properly. There is only one mandatory entry for this giveaway. All other entries are optional. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents 18 and over. Winner will be notified via email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway period. Good luck!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Core Kitchen Review & Fall Deliciousness {Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread}

I was so excited to be contacted by Shannon from Core Kitchen to test out and review some of Core Kitchen's products. In the mail I received the Dual Grip Large Cutting Board in Strawberry, the Large Grip Strip Funnel Cutting Board in Strawberry, a Bamboo + Silicone Spoon in Strawberry and the Large and Mini Bamboo + Silicone Pointed Spatula Set, also in Strawberry.





Each of the pieces are made with great quality. I love all of the bright color choices available including: strawberry (pictured), teal, magenta, onyx, lime, manchester, dublin, etc. The silicone on the utensils is strong and durable and the bamboo adds a special, modern touch. I have a number of bamboo products in my kitchen. One of the things I love about bamboo is that it is easily and quickly regrown so that the forests and all the animals in them remain safe and can sustain life.

The cutting boards are wonderful! I have a hard time finding cutting boards that I really love. The Strip Grip Funnel boards have silicone strips on the back to keep them in place when cutting. The Dual Grip also has silicone on both ends that extends to the back of the boards to also keep them in place. I love the funnel aspect of the Strip Grip Funnel board as it makes it easier to get the food that has been chopped into the bowl or pan without spilling all over the counter. Both boards have a hole at the top for easy storage. They are easy to clean and very durable.

I used the spatula set to make one of my family's favorite fall recipes...Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. Take a look below to see them in action!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
3 cups sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp group cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup water
1- 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Grease the bottom and sides of two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans; set aside. 

Beat sugar and oil on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Alternately add flour mixture and water to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin. 




Take a look at those spatulas in action! My three year old loved using them.

Add chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pans.



Give the monkeys some extra chocolate chips to snack on while you wait...


I love how easily the spatulas scraped out the pumpkin can and the mix bowl! I can't stand to waste any food leftover in the containers.

Bake the bread at 350° F for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight before slicing for best results. If you don't have time or self-control to wait overnight just wait 20-30 minutes at least before slicing.




So here's my bottom line on Core Kitchen products: Great quality. Gorgeous colors. Modern design. Great price point

Be sure to check out Core Kitchen at their website, on facebook, twitter and Pinterest. Core offers all sorts of kitchen products beyond the cutting boards and utensils I reviewed, including: glass prep boards and trivets, knives and cast iron products.

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! Check back at Mommy Made From Scratch for an upcoming giveaway from Core Kitchen!

*Disclosure: I was given these products to review at no cost to me. I was not given any sort of monetary compensation for my review. All views expressed in this review are strictly my opinion.*

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Diamond Candles Review and Giveaway!

I am so excited to have been given the chance to review Diamond Candles!

I have seen and heard a lot about Diamond Candles and have been itching to give one a try. When Diamond Candles contacted me to do a review I got to choose from the many scents available on their website. Some of my favorite options were: Cinnamon Tea, Chocolate Truffle, Peachy Mango and Vanilla Lime...you didn't expect non-food scents to be my favorite, right?! This is primarily a food blog afterall.

Anyways, moving on...

I chose Vanilla Lime since we're at the end of summer and lime screams summer to me. When it arrived I was happy to see how much care was put into packaging the candle to get it to me all in one piece.




Then it was time to light this baby up, enjoy the aroma wafting throughout my house and wait for my ring to appear. My candle took about 10 hours of total burn time for my ring to appear.


The rings come wrapped in a small foil pouch so that they don't get all waxy. Once the ring was visible I followed these instructions and used tweezers to remove my ring and unwrapped it from the foil pouch. Here's what I found!



Diamond Candles says that each ring is worth between $10 and $5,000. They suggest if you have a question of the value of your ring to take it to a jeweler to be appraised. I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure mine is along the $10 to $100 range. Either way, it's a beauty.

Unfortunately for me I have big fingers so it will only fit my pinky finger. I think I'll give it to my daughter in a few years. Hopefully she won't inherit my big fingers. Most rings are sizes 6-8 and I'm more of a size 10. To me this is the one down side of the whole thing. But if you love the ring, you can always take it to a jeweler and have it re-sized.

I mentioned the scent wafting throughout my house...I wasn't joking. The scent is not overpowering but just powerful enough to make my whole house smell yummy. Also, the candles are soy-based so they are environmentally friendly and all natural.

Bottomline: Smells amazing. Loves the environment. Gorgeous jewelry although too small for my giant fingers. Chance at a ring worth lots of moolah. Great price. ($24.95 for a 21 oz. candle and ring)

Please check out Diamond Candles online, on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Also feel free to watch this video about Diamond Candles and all of the ring reveal videos along the right side of the You Tube page.

Now for the best part...I get to give a Diamond Candle away to one of my lucky readers!

Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below. You may need to refresh the page to get the form to load or wait a few minutes for it to load. Once the giveaway is over I will contact you via email with a special code to order your free candle!

Good luck!

**Congratulations to Alan Saxon on winning the candle from Diamond Candles! You have been emailed.**

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Guest Post from Simply Shaye: Four Ways to Save for a Summer Getaway

I'm excited to have Shaye here from Simply Shaye to share with us some fun yet simple ways to save a buck this summer and give us a chance at affording a summer vacation. Each tip she will share with you is something that anyone can do.

Feel free to leave comments on what you think, things you've tried, how you saved for your vacay, etc. Be sure to check out Shaye's blog, Simply Shaye, for more tips, advice, food, family, life and an adorable dog named Sheba.

Thanks Shaye for the great tips!



Four Ways to Save for a Summer Getaway

Summer vacation. Once the stuff of dreams, too often as adults the magic of summer gets lost in worry about higher electricity bills and summer camp fees. As temperatures rise and the kids get more and more antsy, the idea of a summer getaway becomes more and more tempting. Summer is the prime time to spend a little quality time with your family and get a vacation recharge.

"But how could I afford it?" I hear you ask. In these times of ever-longer work weeks and ever-thinner budgets, the idea of a family vacation seems impossible. Whether you're staying at home or out in the workforce, I know that the life of a mother doesn't offer a lot of time to pick up a second job. This article will give you some ideas that you can easily integrate into your family's life to save or make some money here and there- and maybe net yourself a trip away with your family!

Ditch the Gym
No, I don't mean stop exercising! Fitness is important, but you can stay fit without throwing money down the gym membership drain. Running in the great outdoors, lifting free weights and following along with exercise DVDs at home are all great ways to stay fit and still stash that gym payment away toward a week at the beach.

Tap into Tap Water
Water is important, but there's no reason to pay for something you can get for free. Buying bottled water is an expense that can really add up over time. Switch to tap water and your budget and the environment will thank you! If you don't like the taste of tap water or are worried about water quality, consider investing in a faucet filter, like the kind made by Brita!

Your Clutter Might be Another Person's Treasure
We all have things lying around that we don't need or use. Sure, that shirt might have seemed like a great purchase at the time, but if it has been sitting in your closet all season maybe it's time to make some money off of it! Sell your old consumer goods like clothing, appliances and technological gadgets at a yard sale or online to make a little extra cash and make your housecleaning a little simpler.

Take Care of a Furry Friend
Dog boarding is a great way for moms to earn a little money on the side because they can do it in their own homes. If you're like me and you love dogs, then you get the added bonus of making a new furry friend by dog boarding. Simply take care of someone's pet while they're on vacation. You get paid, and your family gets to enjoy the company of an exciting- but temporary- house pet. Meanwhile, the pet owner is able to relax, knowing that Fido is in your capable hands.


Don't let summer slip by without taking a break with your family, and get some creativity in your budget! It can be hard to scrape together that cash, but with these and other money-saving habits, can help you be well on your way to making your vacation dreams a reality!

Shaye is a single mom that has a passion for family, budgeting, healthy living, fitness, and travel. She loves finding new ways to cook healthier and stay fit, all while doing it on a budget. She has a beautiful son and one eccentric dog, but wouldn’t have it any other way.. Follow her blog at http://simplyshaye.wordpress.com!  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Simple Glazed Donuts

Happy National Donut Day!

It's days like this that make our country wonderful...that and National Ice Cream Day...Chocolate Day...Pie Day...you get the point.

Nothing beats fresh donuts right out of the fryer or oven. But honestly, who wants to get up early in the morning and wait in line to have a chance at getting the donuts you desire only to be disappointed when they're out of your fav.

Now I know this blog is "Mommy MADE FROM SCRATCH"  but I have a confession...these are not completely made from scratch. GASP! No really, I am not a morning person so to have really, truly fresh donuts made from scratch first thing in the morning would only take a miracle. So this recipe is my solution. It's better than Krispy Kreme AND no one really needs to know that you didn't make the dough. It'll be our little secret.


Simple Glazed Donuts
1 can Pillsbury Grand Buttermilk Biscuits
Canola or Peanut oil (for frying)

Icing:
1 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T milk

Remove biscuits from can and separate. Using a 2 liter or 20 oz. plastic pop bottle cap or a 1 inch round cutter, punch a hole in the center of each biscuit. Keep the small circle of dough if you would like to make donut holes.

Heat oil in a chicken fryer pan or deep pot until bubbles form on a wooden stick as seen below. FYI: The picture below is from an old project. This is not the pan I used for the donuts. Use something much deeper than this!


Carefully place each donut into the hot oil for 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, flip each donut over to cook the other side. Once evenly browned, remove and place on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet to drain the oil off.

To make the icing/glaze, in a small bowl mix together the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. If the glaze is too thick, add a small amount of milk to it until it is to desired consistency.

Take each donut and place in icing then flip over or spoon icing over the entire donut. Place back onto wire rack to dry.


And that's it! The simplest way to make glazed donuts "from scratch." Happy Donut Day!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

If you've been following this blog for a while now you know that it's odd for me not to blog for 4 months in a row. Needless to say, I've been busy. I can't stand the fact that I never posted even one Christmas recipe the whole holiday season but certain things in my life have had to take priority over this blog.

I am a stay at home mom of a 3 year old and a 5 year old in kindergarten. Since September I have been working on my daughter's school carnival that was held in early December. It has been really hard for me to balance everything I had to plan and create for the carnival. Then disaster struck the day before the carnival when I got a call from my husband saying he was in a car accident on his way to the hospital after having severe pain in his lower back and abdomen. Thankfully he was fine as far as the accident was concerned but he got his first ambulance ride as a result of his inability to drive from the pain of his mystery illness. Sadly I missed the carnival but had great help in all of the other PTO members who filled in for me.

Since all of this went down, my husband has been up and down in his still mystery illness. He has seen many doctors and specialists but still has no real answer as to what is going on with his body. He can be perfectly find one minute then in a lot of pain the next.

To add on to all of this, we have been planning to sell our house for the past six months or so and have been struggling to get all of the projects done and organizing/de-cluttering finished especially with my husbands' body in and out of service.

Prior to all of this happening I had been going back and forth on whether to continue with this blog or not. I feel as if I spend less time with my husband and kids and put more priority on my blog followers when I am actively blogging. This is completely backwards as to how life should be. I love my husband and kids more than anything and should show them that through more quality time with them rather than spend that time perfecting photographed dinners. I'm still on the fence as far as how much I will blog in the future but I do know that it will be a lot less than before.

Whew!

With all of that being said, I couldn't have you read all of this without rewarding you with a good recipe. Since Valentine's Day is fast approaching, I thought I'd make a sumptuous chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese frosting and cherry chips sprinkled on top. These are such sweet little treats for the loved ones in your life! Enjoy!



Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Cherry Chips
1- Best-Ever Chocolate Cake recipe from Better Homes and Gardens
**Since I didn't change anything on this recipe other than to scoop into a cupcake pan and bake for a shorter period of time, I won't type out this recipe for you. Click the above link to check it out!**
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt
1/2 lb. confectioners sugar
1 T. milk
cherry flavored baking morsels

Bake cupcakes according to recipe directions. Allow to cool completely.

Mix with an electric mixer butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar a bit at a time on low speed. Add the milk. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more milk. Beat the frosting until fluffy.

Spread onto the cooled cupcakes then sprinkle with the cherry morsels.

Happy Valentine's Day!



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Simple From Scratch Play Dough

My kids love to play with play dough. They're addicted to it like I'm addicted to chocolate, except they don't eat it...well at least not most of the time. Problem is, they tend to play with it for hours so it dries out fairly easily.

One way to make play dough more economical is by making it from scratch at home instead of buying it at the store. When I make my own play dough I suddenly become the coolest mom ever in my kids' eyes. They are so amazed that I can make this stuff by myself and that I can make virtually any color I want to.

So if you want to be as cool a mom as me and save yourself some dough (pun intended), follow this simple recipe and become magical in the eyes of your children.


Play Dough
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
food coloring or icing color

In a saucepan, add the flour, cream of tartar and salt. Stir to evenly mix. Add the water and oil. I used canola oil and it worked perfectly. Vegetable oil will work just as well if you have that instead. Stir until evenly mixed.


Turn stove burner onto medium-low and continue to stir with wooden spoon. Stir until the mixture starts to become more solid. My stove is very slow at heating up so this step took me a few minutes but if you have a stovetop that heats up quickly, it may only take 30 seconds to a minute to complete this step.

At this point, add in some food coloring. I like to use these icing colors from Wilton as they provide bolder, deeper colors than most liquid food colors.



Stir the food coloring in over the hot burner. The mixture will start to really thicken but keep on continually stirring.


Once the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pot, forming a ball, remove from heat.


Scoop out the dough onto some waxed paper and let sit until it cools.



Once cooled, knead the dough a bit with your hands to remove any lumps. Store in zippered plastic bags or airtight plastic or glass containers. This recipe will make approximately 2 containers of store bought playdough. I made two batches, one yellow and one violet for this tutorial.






Now I'm officially the coolest mom ever.