©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Quaker Real Fruit Medley's Apple Walnut Oatmeal

I spotted these at a few local stores recently.  I was a bit hesitant at first because the price ranged from $1.70 to over $2.00 for a single cup.  I know I saw coupons for them on a website, but now can't find them.

Anyway, last weekend I picked up the Apple Walnut Oatmeal at Publix just to try.  There are two ways to prepare it.  One is to add boiling water and the other is to add water and microwave it.

I chose the second option.

I prepared it and waited a little bit while it cooled.  My first thought was that it had a lot of nice texture which in my opinion is much better than the packets of oatmeal.  The flavor was pretty good.  I think I would like just a bit more cinnamon in it.

Would I buy it again, yes if they were on sale or I had a coupon.


Gardener's Hand Scrub - Sample

I made up another pretty sample for the gift making day at our Church.  This time I used the pink Dawn. 

I squirted about 1/2 cup of Dawn into the bottom of the mason jar and then poured the sugar on top.  It mixed much easier this way.  It wasn't as pink as the Pin on Pinterest, so I added a couple drops of orange dye to make it a bit peachy.  I think I might bring the other Dawn soap that I used for my very first sample too.


Peppermint Sugar Body Scrub - Sample

Our church has an annual gift making day for children.  This is the first year that I am involved and I thought it would be nice to make some "spa" type of gifts.

All you need is
Coconut Oil
Small Mason Jar (these are 8 oz)
Granulated Sugar
Liquid Dye (optional)

In each mason jar add approx 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and start with a 1/2 cup of the coconut oil.  I find that if you warm it in the microwave for about 30 seconds it will be a nice liquid consistency.

Add a few drops of the fragrance and dye.

Carefully stir it all together.  You may need a bit more sugar and oil.  It should still be grainy.

I then added a few strips of double sided tape and a pretty ribbon.  I just stink at making pretty bows.  I also added a label.  I couldn't get the original striped label to print correctly so I just downloaded a premade label from Avery.

Shortbread Bites

I spotted this recipe the other day on Pinterest.  I absolutely love shortbread cookies.  I also am on my annual hunt for a new cookie to make and bake for a cookie swap.

Well I made these cute little cookies today.

1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
3 tbs granulated sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 tablespoon(s) red and green nonpareils or sprinkles or 1/2 cup mini baking bits

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in medium bowl. With hand, gently knead in nonpareils or baking bits until evenly blended and dough forms a ball.

On lightly floured waxed paper, pat dough into 8" by 5" rectangle; freeze 15 minutes. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares. Place squares, 1/2 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.


Bake cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months.

These came out pretty good, I do think it could use 1 more tbs of sugar. 


Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Drink

I have been searching high and low for the recipe for Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice drink.  There are lots of copycat recipes and then....I stumbled upon the real recipe from an ex-barista.

Here is the link to her blog entry.

The key is you must have the Cinnamon Dolce syrup.  I didn't even have to ask for a pump, the sweet girl working just grabbed one for me.

Ingredients for a single cup
Apple Juice 12 oz
Cinnamon Dolce Syrup 3 pumps or 3 tbs
Caramel Sauce (the ice cream topping kind)
Whipped Cream

I don't understand their sizes at all, I am just not into fru-fru coffee.  Just give me a Dunkies Medium, 2 sugar and cream.

Woops went off topic...Anyways, I decided to make a double sized batch so that Miss V and I could have them in our pretty new glass mugs.

So I poured 24 ounces of apple juice into my big 4 cup glass measuring cup and went to put the handy dandy pump into the syrup and proceeded to spill a bunch.  Why and how?  Well the pump is about 3 inches to long for my bottle so it spilled out the top and all over the counter.

After wiping up the sticky mess, I measured out 6 tablespoons of the syrup and poured them into the apple juice.  I microwaved the juice/syrup for about 3 minutes until it was hot.

I then poured the hot juice into our new glasses.

Then of course we had to have a squirt of whipped cream.

Then a quick swirl of caramel syrup.

The verdict....oh yea!!!  It was right on!  Both Miss V and  I loved it!


Snowman Soup labels 2012

I needed to make some updated Snowman Soup labels for our Christmas Gift Making day for kids at our church and here is what I came up with.

The last one is beachy because we live in SW Florida.  I am not sure which one I should print, or if I should just print a few of each out.  That way the kids can pick which one they want to put with their gift. 

What do you think???


Wilton Apple Pocket Pie Press

See that cute little gadget?  Miss V convinced me to get it at Walmart.

There is no recipe in the box so I had to make one up as I went and didn't really measure anything.  I sliced up a couple Granny Smith Apples and put them in a sauce pan with granulated sugar, a dash of lemon juice, a tablespoon of butter, dash of salt, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg.  I cooked it until the apples were softened.

I opened and unrolled the pie dough.  This is the first time I have been disappointed with store bought dough from Publix.

 After cutting out only 8 pieces of dough, I quickly realized that the bottom doesn't fit so you need to stretch it a bit.
Then add a couple tablespoons of filling.  Egg wash the edges of the bottom dough.

 Then add the top layer.

 Crimp and press the dough together.  It was a PAIN to get the pies out of the press.  When done, poke a couple of holes into the dough and egg wash them.  I did sprinkle on some cinnamon/sugar mixture.

 Look at all this extra WASTED dough...

 Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.

They came out cute, but are a total waste of time and dough.

Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy

So I had pinned this recipe awhile ago from Martha Stewart.  I have been in a cooking rut lately and just making old standby dinners.  Yesterday after I dropped Miss V off at school I ran to Sweetbay and picked up the ground beef and some white bread. 

1/4 cup safflower oil (I used light olive oil)
1 large onion, grated (about 1 1/3 cups) (I just put the onion in my food processor with the grater blade)
2 slices white bread
1/2 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 garlic cloves, minced (1 1/4 teaspoons) (I find it easier to just use a microplane)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons plus a dash of Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch, plus 1/4 cup for dusting
1 1/2 cups beef broth (I use Beef Stock)

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 1 cup onion. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 35 minutes. Set aside. (This could easily be done earlier in the day) 

Soak bread in milk, flipping once. Finely chop. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup onions, the sirloin, garlic cloves, bread, egg, parsley, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix with your hands to combine. Divide meat mixture into 6 oblong patties (about 5 inches long and 3/4 inch thick). Dust with cornstarch.


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil, and reduce heat to medium. Cook patties, 3 at a time, for 6 minutes, without moving them. Flip, and cook until cooked through, about 9 minutes. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining patties. (I browned them well on both side and then placed them into a 13x9 pan)


Make the gravy: Add cooked onions and 1 teaspoon cornstarch to same skillet, and stir for 1 minute. Raise heat to medium-high. Pour in broth and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and whisk until broth is clear and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and return patties and juices to skillet, spooning sauce on top. (I poured the gravy over the top and then put them in the oven at 400 to finish cooking since I was baking the potatoes at the same time)

They came out super moist and we really enjoyed it.  It was yummy and filling.  The onion gravy was also perfect on the baked potatoes.

I think I will definitely make them again this winter and just finish baking them in the oven.  It made is much easier.


Popcorn Seasonings

Anyone that knows me, knows that I tend to go overboard.

Who wants just one or two different flavors when you can have ten???  Nine of these are from Kerns and one is from Target.  I still can't find the Kerns Butter Spray so it looks like I will be using my little chocolate fondue pot for melted butter.

Also from the idea found on Pinterest, mix in something "sweet".

I think my guests at our Murder Under the Big Top will have lots of tasty treats this Saturday!


Mini Pumpkin Breads

I found this recipe on Pinterest and the original recipe can be located here at Bakingdom

3 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water

1/2 cup ( 127 grams) brown sugar
1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray mini loaf pans or muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour, or grease and flour each one; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the oil and apple sauce. Mix in the sugars until combined, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Mix in the pumpkin until thoroughly combined. Stir in the water. Add the flour mixture, and mix just until no streaks of flour remain. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and set aside while you mix the streusel topping.

To make the streusel: In a medium bowl, mix the the streusel topping ingredients until combines and it is lumpy.

Divide the streusel evenly over the loaves or muffins.

Bake mini loaves for about 25 minutes or, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove loaves to a wire rack to cool.

This recipe made 8 mini loaves and 9 good sized muffins.


Thomas' Pumpkin Spice Bagels, Yes please!

Thomas' Pumpkin Spice Bagels, Oh yum!!

I bought these the other day at Publix during a BOGO sale.  Wow they are even better than I thought they would be.  I think I might try and make a small batch of the Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese that is going around on Pinterest for these.

Has anyone else seen these or tried them?  I would love to hear what you think of them.

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