Apr 102014
 
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I was provided a travel stipend to visit Bailey Farms during a Blogger Event to learn about BellaFina Peppers.  Opinions expressed are that of my own.

Bellafina Peppers at Bailey Farms

Wanting to add more color to your meals and more vegetables to your diet? I recently visited a farm here in Florida that grows a product that will do exactly that.

Bailey Farms, which operates here in South Florida and in North Carolina, is a company that grows a variety of crops that mostly consists of peppers. One unique item that is grown at this facility is a variety of sweet colorful peppers called BellaFina.

Bailey Farms visit

BellaFina peppers are used in a variety of dishes including salads, stews, and are often stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, and grains. They are a food that is low calorie, fat free, sodium free, and high in Vitamin C.

On a recent Blogger trip to the the Ft. Myers Florida area, myself and other Bloggers got to see first hand where these Baby Bell Peppers (BellaFinas) are grown, nurtured, and packed to be sold.

Randy Bailey at Bailey Farms

Randy Bailey the owner the farm, explained to us the method with which they use for growing these special peppers.  Then the scientist behind the development of these peppers, Bill McCarthy, gave us a background on how this hybrid came to be a reality.

Bellafina Pepper Plants in the field at Bailey Farms

Randy then showed us other items that they grow on the farm. There were Chilis, Poblanos, Jalapenos, and other peppers, and he even showed us a Tomatillo that they grow.

Randy Bailey Discussing Crops at Bailey Farms

After our education on peppers, Randy invited us all to go out and hand-pick our own peppers to take home.  The field was packed with so many colorful plants lined with vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow.

I just took a bag and went to picking my veggies right off the plants. I had plenty. 

Bellafina Pepper Plants

I was really excited about this because my kids asked if I would be bringing home some peppers. I also looked forward to sampling them.

After tasting these, in my opinion BellaFina taste like no other pepper. They are mild, sweet, and remind of a fruit versus a typical strong-tasting Bell Pepper.

Production facility of Bellafina Peppers at Bailey Farms

After our farm tour, we went to their packing area to see how the peppers are sorted and prepared to head to the store.

Seeing all the colors together just reminded me again how pretty these peppers really are.

Bellafina Peppers in the packing house at Bailey Farms

After the packing tour, we headed over to lunch.  Now we were getting to see these peppers in action, and put them to the cooking taste test.

Bellafina Peppers Menu at Bailey Farms

There was a gourmet lunch prepared by Local Chefs John and Susan Maranda. They created dishes where the BellaFina Pepper was either highlighted or used as the main ingredient.

It all tasted amazing, and I especially liked the Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing and the Stuffed BellaFina Peppers with Anchovies and Capers. I know now that I want to try other recipes with these peppers stuffed.

For other BellaFina recipes visit baileyfarmsinc.com/#recipes.

Centerpieces made with colorful peppers

I have to admit that one of the things that stuck out to me at the meal, was our edible centerpiece. It was beautiful, and it gave me a great idea for summertime table decor.

This will probably be showing up on of my tables as a decoration.

Bellafina Peppers at home

Of course when I got home I had to display my peppers in a bowl but they did stay there very long.  The kids and I were gobbling them up and my toddler was even eating them.

Have you ever tried a BellaFina Peppers before? If so, have you tried them in a dish, or plain?

To learn more about Bailey Farms and Bellafina Peppers visit the website at baileyfarmsinc.com, You can also follow them on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/Bailey-Farms-Inc and Twitter at twitter.com/baileyfarms.

Look for BellaFina Peppers in supermarkets such as Walmart, Publix and other national chains. They will also be coming out in a plant form to grow at home as well.

FFM

Sep 192013
 
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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Michelina’s. All opinions are 100% mine.

Michelinas Logo

As a mother of 3, I am always trying to fit more activities into less and less time.  Being able to prepare a gourmet meal between morning pick-up and the next errand is typically not going to happen during the school week. This doesn’t mean that I should have to go without, I am a foodie and love to savor delicious recipes.

Michelina’s understands that most of us are facing similar situations regardless of whether we are at the office, or working at home. To make meal preparation easier, they have combined Italian heritage with American innovation creating dishes made from fresh ingredients at an affordable price. Since we all like to save money and time but still have the desire for something tasty and innovative, Michelina’s has commissioned bloggers to create lunchtime recipe hacks on some of their popular frozen meals through Make It Your Michelina’s.

I got an opportunity to check out these recipes, and have compiled a list of a few easy ones that I would like to try!

frozen dinner turns into gourmet meal for the family!

Image source honeybearlane.com

Check out Honey Bear Lane’s twist on Tuscan Inspired Garlic Chicken and Penne with White Chicken with bacon, fresh basil, diced Roma tomatoes, and fresh Parmesan. honeybearlane.com/2013/09/frozen-to-gourmet-in-10-minutes.html

Finished spicy Michelina's alfredo with chicken and veggies

Image source mashupmom.com

Look at how Mashup Mom adds spice to Fettucine Alfredo with broccoli, chicken strips, and more! mashupmom.com/spicy-michelinas-alfredo-with-chicken-and-veggies/

Manicotti @ItsOverflowing

Image source  itsoverflowing.com

Discover how Its Overflowing adds black olives and Parmesan cheese  to pretty up Manicotti. itsoverflowing.com/2013/09/gourmet-lunch-at-home/

Which recipe do you want to try?

These recipes have given me so much inspiration already, and are really making me hungry. I can’t wait to get an opportunity to try them out!

Want to make your own lunchtime or dinnertime hack? Check out these additional recipes at Michelina’s community website Franks ‘n’ CheeseChicken Parmesan Bites, and Lettuce Wraps.

You can also Follow Michelina’s on Facebook or Follow Michelina’s on Twitter.

Enjoy your lunch!

FFM

Visit Sponsor's Site

Mar 302013
 
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Goya Cookbook

Thanks to Goya, I was given a Hard Copy of their MyPlate Cookbook to check out recipes to prepare, along with Goya Quinoa and Goya Olive Oil to get me started on a Quinoa Salad.

Goya recently launched a bi-lingual “MyPlate” Cookbook that features 30 quick, easy, and healthy recipes.  These dishes are inspired by Mexico, Central America, South America, Spain, The Caribbean, and beyond, and are listed by price per plate. The cookbook is broken down into 10 complete plates that fulfill all of the food groups illustrated in the ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Goya is proud to collaborate with The First Lady’s LetsMove Initiative and the USDA to promote MyPlate, a new tool for healthy eating. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

 

 Goya Quinoa

Prepared Goya Quinoa.

The cookbook includes recipes for fish, chicken, steak, salad, quesadillas, smoothies, and so much more. So far, I have prepared the Black Bean Quesadillas, and I also made the Quinoa Salad.

Goya Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Ingredients needed for the Quinoa Salad included lemon juice, cilantro, tomato, scallions, Goya Olive Oil and Sazonador Total.

Goya Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Creating the Quinoa Salad was easy, and the results were tasty. It has a beautiful color and unique texture.  My daughter even tried it, and she is a picky eater.  I had to substitute in another brands chicken bouillon and it seemed a little salty to me. As an alternative I may use less in the future or skip the bouillon altogether. FYI, this tastes even better the second day.

Want to check out these recipes as well?  You can download a FREE copy here->Goya MyPlate Cookbook for a limited time, or you can enter to win a Hard Copy below.

To learn more about Goya and it’s food visit goya.com.  You can also check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/goyafoods and Twitter at@granfamiliagoya. FYI, Goya has coupons, so be sure to check them out here Goya Coupons.

Giveaway

And thanks to Goya, I have been authorized to giveaway a Hard Copy of the  “MyPlate” Cookbook to one (1) lucky Frugal and Fun Mom reader.

To enter, please allow a moment for the Rafflecopter Form to load below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FFM

Frugal and Fun Mom did not receive compensation for this post, but was provided a Hard Copy of a Goya MyPlate Cookbook along with Goya Quinoa and Goya Olive Oil for free to review. The opinions expressed in this post are that of my own. 

Jan 072013
 
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I love his expression! He actually did like it.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have started my son on baby food. This actually will be the 3rd time that I have made my child’s baby food from scratch. I initially decided to do this to save money, but then I liked the idea of knowing exactly what my kids were eating.  Plus, as they got older, I would start adding the spices I used on our meals and by the time they got big enough to eat what we were eating, they had no problem transitioning over. I found the whole experience to be very rewarding.

I got the go ahead a few weeks ago to start my son on solids from my pediatrician and he reminded me to test out each food one at a time in order to detect allergies. I also asked if it would be O.K. for me to go straight to fruits or veggies and just skip rice cereal all together (I read that you could in a baby magazine article), and he said it was fine to do so.

This time I started out with bananas and my son went nuts over them. I fed him this for a week, just once a day.  It was the equivalent of maybe a quarter of a ripe banana mashed up. Here are some great baby food recipe ideas for Bananas: wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com

 

The shocked look of trying green beans!

Our next adventure was green beans. I steamed them first and then pureed them in the blender along with some of the left over water from steaming.  I poured this puree into ice-cube trays and froze. I ended up feeding him a defrosted ice-cube of green beans once a day along with some bananas.

Everything up to the point seemed to be going fine, however about a week and half in, I noticed that he was getting constipated. I decided to stop feeding him the baby food until he had a regular bowel movement. FYI, Bananas are known to cause constipation.

He is now over 5 months and bowel movements are back to normal again, (thankfully) and I decided to started him again on food the week minus the bananas. Our next adventure will be sweet potatoes and we will see how it goes…

Do you have any recommendations of first foods for baby? Any great recipes?  I would love to hear them, feel free to leave a comment below.

FFM

Nov 282012
 
disclosure for site

Thanks to Del Monte, I was sent a package with canned fruits and vegetables, so I could  “Add Some Garden” into my meals, and share ways I did this via recipe ideas.

If you are not familiar with Del Monte, their canned fruits, vegetables, and tomatoes contain the same essential nutrients as fresh varieties and are grown in the best growing regions of the United States. In addition, the majority of Del Monte products are picked at the peak of ripeness and canned on the same day, to ensure that nutrients and flavor are locked in.

I decided to use the Whole Kernel Corn, Diced Tomatoes, and Sliced Peaches and turn them into part of a meal and dessert!

First, I made a Corn Salsa with the Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn and Diced Tomatoes.

 Corn Salsa Recipe:

1 Can of Del Monte Diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn
1/2 Cup of Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Cup of Chopped Red Onion
1 Tbsp of Hot Sauce

Directions:

Simply combine all of these ingredients and refrigerate. Serve as a topping on fajitas, taco salad, cooked poultry or fish, or use as a dip with tortilla chips.

I then made a Peach Cobbler with the Del Monte Sliced Peaches.

Peach Cobbler Recipe, credit Cooks.com

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 cups canned or fresh fruits, with juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.Pour melted butter into a 9-inch square baking dish.In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir in milk and almond extract, if using; mix only until combined.Pour the batter over the melted butter in the baking dish.Ladle fruit with juice over the top of the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until batter rises to the top.

Serve as is, while still warm, or top with vanilla ice cream.

This turned out great and my son asked for seconds! I highly recommend using the almond extract in the recipe.

Want to “Add Some Garden” to your own recipes and be eligible to win prizes? Make sure you check out Del Monte’s Facebook Contest!

Visit the Del Monte Facebook page from November 5th through February 4th to enter the Del Monte “Add Some Garden” contest for the chance to win one of many prizes available, including kitchen appliances, and $25 or $500 gift cards to Williams Sonoma.

There will be five phases during the contest in which Del Monte will feature a different canned variety:

  • Green beans (November 5- November 18)
  • Corn (November 19- December 2)
  • Tomatoes (December 3- December 16)
  • Peaches (January 7- January 20)
  • Pears (January 21- February 3)

Fans will have five days during each phase to submit their best tips, and consumers will be able to vote for their favorite tip during the second week of each phase.The five winning tips for each phase will then go head-to-head for a chance to win a Grand Prize culinary travel adventure, valued at $10,000.

Winners will be announced February 15th!

To learn more about Del Monte products, visit their website at delmonte.com or check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/delmonte or Twitter at @DelMontebrand.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

And thanks to Del Monte, one Lucky  Frugal and Fun Mom Reader will receive a Prize Pack with:

  • Five (5) Del Monte canned varieties- Green Beans (1), Corn (1), Diced Tomatoes (1), Peaches (1), and Pears (1)
  • $25 Visa gift card
To Enter, Please allow a moment for the Rafflecopter Form to load below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FFM

“The Del Monte product, information, and two gift packs have been provided by Del Monte in order to facilitate this post. Opinions expressed are that of my own.”

Nov 192012
 
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After about 2 days or so, I feel myself starting to get tired of the Thanksgiving leftovers however, I don’t want to let any of them go to waste! This year my goal is to use as much of them as I can in various dishes.

Check out the following recipes I compiled to reuse the leftovers from this year’s Thanksgiving.

Breakfast:

Photo Credit Sloe Cooker at Food.com

Potato Pancakes Recipe. FYI, this got excellent ratings!

Source Food.com

What you need:

2 cups mashed potatoes (approximately)
1 -2 egg
1/4 cup flour
salt
pepper
garlic
onion (optional)
chives (optional)
cheese (optional)
oil or Crisco, for frying
sour cream (optional) or applesauce, for garnish (optional)
 
Directions:

Mix mashed potatoes, egg, flour, salt, pepper, garlic, and any optional ingredients, into mashed potatoes. Preheat skillet and add a couple of tablespoons of Crisco shortening or oil. Make sure the mixture is not too thin. Pour 1/4 cup batter into hot pan; brown on both sides. Enjoy with sour cream or applesauce.

Instead of sour cream or applesauce as a garnish, you could even add some Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce or Jellied Cranberries.

 
Lunch Time:
 
 
 Photo Credit Frugal and Fun Mom
 
Cranberry and Apple Turkey Salad Recipe.  So simple to make!
 
 
What you need:

10 oz  of Shredded Turkey Breast
1 Apple Chopped
1/2 Cup of Dried Cranberries or Whole Cranberries Sauce
1 Stalk of Celery chopped 
2 tbsp of Mayonnaise
 
Directions:
 
Combine all of the ingredients. You can either serve this on top of lettuce/ house salad, crackers, or put on your leftover rolls.
 
If you don’t like the idea of Turkey Salad, just make a Turkey Sandwich with your leftover rolls. However, if you like to keep it interesting, take some of your Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce or Jellied Cranberries spread it on the top of the bread, add mayo on the bottom piece with some lettuce, and you have an AWESOME sandwich.

For Dinner:

 

Photo Credit Frugal and Fun Mom

Pulled Bar-B-Que Turkey Sandwiches Recipe. This is so easy!

Source Frugal and Fun Mom

What you need:

Shredded Turkey
Olive Oil
Bar-B-Que Sauce
Rolls

Directions:

Put some olive oil in a pan, add the shredded turkey and your favorite Bar-B-Que sauce.  Heat it on Medium.  Once it is hot, serve it on your left over toasted rolls with a side of Cole Slaw (or put the Cole Slaw on Top).

Appetizer:

Photo Credit allrecipes.com

Gary’s Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe.  This also got excellent ratings!  

Source allrecipes.com

What you need:

1 (6 ounce) package chicken flavored
dry stuffing mix (Substitute with your leftover stuffing)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/2 pound imitation crabmeat, flaked
2 cups butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
 
Directions:
 
Arrange mushroom caps on a medium baking sheet, bottoms up. Chop and reserve mushroom stems. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 
In a medium bowl, mix together reserved mushroom stems, prepared dry stuffing mix, cream cheese and imitation crabmeat. Liberally stuff mushrooms with the mixture. Drizzle with the butter and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until stuffing is lightly browned.
 
Any other ideas for the Thanksgiving leftovers? I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment below.

I hope you enjoy your meals, and Happy Holidays!

FFM

Nov 152012
 
disclosure for site

This fall, Chef Boyardee encourages families to get in the kitchen with their little chefs. 

The Little Chefs Project is the first crowd-sourced e-book made by moms, for moms. And, thanks to the help of 40 bloggers from TheMotherhood.com, The Little Chefs Project provides fun tips for cooking with kids and makes getting in the kitchen a fun, learning experience.

Thanks to Chef Boyardee, I was sent a package with items to help my kids and me create a delicious Braided Spaghetti Loaf inspired by The Little Chefs Project!

Check out the pictures below of my kids helping me out in the kitchen!

My daughter does a great job of pouring on the spaghetti!

My son does a great job of taste testing the mozzarella!

Look at him shake on that Parmesan!

My daughter does a great job as well!

Here is the finished Braided Spaghetti Loaf!

My kids and I had such a great time doing this together.  It reminded me how much fun it is to have them help me out in the kitchen.

To check out recipes like this one visit, Chef Boyardee ME! Recipe Card at Chef Boyardee’s Facebook Page.  Here you can customize a recipe e-card that gets you and your family in the kitchen with Hector Boiardi himself!

You can also tune in for a six-part series of 30-minute online cook-alongs for tips, tricks and recipe ideas for cooking together in the kitchen. Visit TheMotherhood.com for a complete schedule of the cook-along series.

Giveaway Details: 

And thanks to Chef Boyardee, (1) lucky Frugal and Fun Mom Reader will receive a Chef Boyardee Prize Pack with 2 coupons for FREE Chef Boyardee, 1 pizza kit, Set of 5 Chef Boyardee recipe cards, 1 Chef hat and 1 Chef apron.

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below and allow a moment for it to load:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

FFM

Frugal and Fun Mom did not receive compensation for this post, but was provided a Chef Boyardee Kit for free along with infomation for the PR firm representing the company. The opinions expressed in this post are that of my own.

 

Jul 232012
 
disclosure for site

 

I have heard some really great things about this movie and can’t wait till it comes out on DVD! In the meantime, the kiddos and I can enjoy these Recipes and Kid’s Activities inspired by the film. Hope you enjoy them as well.

 

 

CLICK HERE–>THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN FREE Summer Fun Kit  to print. The “Hunny” Bee Cookies look adorable! 

For more information on the film:

“Like” THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OddLifeMovie

Follow THE OFF LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/OddLifeMovie

 Plus, Check out the trailer below:

THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN opens in theaters everywhere on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012!

FFM

Photos and information provided by Walt Disney Studios.

Jun 252012
 
disclosure for site

Head on over to Del Monte Fresh Produce Facebook Page to print a .50 off coupon for Del Monte Gold Sweet Pineapple!

CLICK HERE–> .50 off coupon for Del Monte Gold Sweet Pineapple to print yours! There is a short form to fill out to get it.

When you are finished, check out my 2 recipes for Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Watermelon Pineapple Salsa for some great recipe inspiration!

FFM

A gift bag was provided by Del Monte Fresh Produce for sharing this post.