Keep the Holidays Delicious with a Pumpkin Pie Station

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc.. All opinions are entirely my own.

it’s  that time of year when you get to enjoy so many yummy pumpkin treats. i love them all – pumpkin bread, pumpkin frapes, pumpkin cupcakes. but the best treat of them all is most definitely pumpkin pie!!!! this year i have already enjoyed….and stocked up on Sara Lee@ Pumpkin Pies. they come frozen, are easily stored in the freezer, and can cook right up in a matter of minutes, ready to take to any of your holiday gatherings or just because. don’t tell anyone, but i ate all my pumpkin pie leftovers for breakfast the other day!

i love that Sara Lee@ Pumpkin Pie has a rich, traditional flavor with smooth pumpkin custard. the special blend of cinnamon and spices are just right. and there are lots of ways you can enjoy it. by the slice, in a milkshake, you can even add your own toppings to change it up!

plus it is really easy to make. just heat, cool and serve. no messy kitchen or dishes to clean, which gives you more time to spend together as a family.

i thought it would be a lot of fun to have our own pumpkin pie station at our next gathering. it’s easy to set up and share with family, friends, coworkers or employees. Sara Lee@ Pumpkin Pie is also a great choice to serve when you have numerous mouths to feed and since it’s so easy to prepare, its an awesome timesaver during this busy holiday season. plus…don’t forget to serve it at your Christmas dinner.

check it out! a Pumpkin Pie Station, complete with fresh whipped cream and all the yummy toppings you could ask for. it also looks pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

it’s the perfect treat to top off any and every seasonal gathering or occasion!

you can find your own Sara Lee® Frozen Pumpkin Pie Dessert at your local Albertsons Supermarkets! so run, don’t walk to stock up for the season.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.}

Easy Tuna Deviled Eggs and Tuna Avocado Toast for a Fun OC Playdate

This is a sponsored post.

there is going to be a heat wave here in Orange County this week, which is exciting for my boys. they really want to invite their friends over to swim one last time before the weather cools down. since we just recently moved, we haven’t had anyone over for a swimming playdate. it’s so exciting for us to have a pool! of course the kids will be having a blast swimming, while i will get to hang out with the moms. the perfect opportunity to make light lunch or snack for everyone to enjoy. StarKist sent me over some packets of their new StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD – with flavors that include Thai Chili Style, Jalapeño, Hot Buffalo Style, Tapatío, Sriracha and Rice & Beans in Hot Sauce. wow! so i created a food spread around them that i think everyone is really going to enjoy.

the two flavors i used were the StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD Sriracha and the StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD Tapatio.

i made two super simple pairings that were quick and easy to make. a fun way to enjoy tuna that is already seasoned in a BOLD way. us moms are always looking for delicious and nutritious meal solutions to fit our busy lifestyles. each StarKist Tuna Creations packet is single-serve and requires no can opener and no draining. it gives you a good source of lean protein and is 110 calories or less to keep you fueled. plus they add an extra kick of flavor! add it to your favorite salads, meals and snacks…or you can just grab a fork and eat straight from the pouch wherever you are—just Tear. Eat. And Go!

for my first easy pairing, i used Tuna Creations BOLD Sriracha. this tuna’s hot sauce flavor is made from red chili peppers, garlic and vinegar with a garlicky spicy kick. it’s the perfect addition to a ramen noodle salad or tuna burger. enjoy on rice cakes, crackers, noodles, with eggs, bok choy, salad, edamame, and sesame seeds.

i decided that Tuna Deviled Eggs would be a favorite for everyone. in a bowl, i mixed the yolks of four hardboiled eggs, one packet of Tuna Creations BOLD Sriracha, 1-1/2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise, and a dab of mustard. once mixed together, i filled the hardboiled eggs halves and then topped with chives. EASY!!!!!

next up i used the StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD Tapatio with Lime flavor to make mini avocado toasts with a Mexican flair. the Tapatio flavored tuna is pretty spicy, so it works well with cooler foods. StarKist partnered with Tapatio to add their hot sauce and a touch of lime juice to their classic chunk light tuna. a perfect blend is ready to enjoy on corn chips, on a salad, in a taco or straight out of the pouch.

to make the Mini Avocado Tuna Toasts, i used mini baguette toasts, drizzled with olive oil. broiled them in the oven for ten minutes till crisp. then i spread avocado on each of  them, followed by StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD Tapatio, pico de gallo and a sprinkle of quest fresco. EASY!!!

finally, for the table spread, i am just going to use some items i already have around the house. it’s really easy to create something that your friends will think is amazing with very little work. the tuna deviled eggs and tuna avocado toasts, along with a few pretty plates, a pitcher of water with ice, some small mason jars with paper straws, and a bowl of chips with some salsa will make the perfect light lunch for everyone to enjoy at the playdate.

i can’t wait for my last swimming playdate of the year. i kind of hope it stays sunny so we can have few more. i just love living in sunny Orange County. we are so lucky!

for more great recipes and ideas, visit StarKist online, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

{This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }










DIY Veggie Pizza Pockets for your School Lunch Boxes

the kids are finally back to school, which means let the lunch packing begin! i don’t know many parents who love packing lunches, but there is really no way around it. so i’ve been trying to figure out some fun and creative ways to to give my kids a wholesome lunch that they will eat. that’s the key. do you know how many times i send my kid to school with a full lunch box, only to have everything come right back home uneaten?!!!! so frustrating. so, i have partnered with Kroger to share a fun idea for Back-To-School lunch packing!

i headed across the street to Ralph’s, a my local Kroger store. when it comes to buying food for lunches, i find myself buying food from natural and organic brands such as Horizon Organic. i have to say that it’s one of my favorites. Kroger has tried to ensure that finding natural foods for your family are easy to find because purchasing real food for our families shouldn’t be time consuming. all you do, is go to an aisle and look for the “live naturally” signs. you can find them on almost any aisle and even in the refrigerator section. this is were the organic and natural products are found, and where i purchase most of my groceries.

Live Naturally Foods at Kroger Ralphs

here is my stockpile of Horizon products from cheeses, milk, to pastas, to crackers and cookies, there’s a lot to choose from.

my boys were especially excited about Horizon’s Good to Go! snack packs. we’ve never gotten them before, so they all wanted to try them as soon as i brought them home. boys….you have to wait for lunch!

and now to pack the lunches. i’ve got something up my sleeve that i know the boys will love. winning!!!!!

Easy Lunch Box Veggie Pizza Pockets

as most kids do, my boys like those pre-made DIY lunch kits. they do like the meat, cheese and cracker varieties, but their all-time favorites are the DIY pizza kits. so that’s what i decided to make for their first school lunches.

to make this DIY Veggie Pizza Pocket Lunch, all you need is some Horizon Organic Mozzarella sticks, sliced veggies such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, whole grain pita bread, and marinara sauce. (i used the Simply Truth brand).

i started by cutting the pita bread into quarters, and made sure to pull it apart so the boys could easily stuff them with pizza toppings. i also cut the cheese stick in have and pulled apart the tops so the were easy to shred.

i filled a disposable condiment cup with marinara sauce, and sliced up some bell peppers. cucumbers, zucchini, onions and even carrots would taste great too. whatever your kids will eat is what is best to use.when it’s lunch time, they can have fun filling each pita quarter with sauce and then their favorite pizza toppings.

paired with a Horizon Organic milk box and a Simply Truth Organic Applesauce pouch, this is a great lunch choice any day of the week. my boys were super excited to take this one to school, and they said their friends wanted to try them too.

plus you can’t forget a snack. the boys are loving the Horizon Good to Go! new snack combos. they are a fun snack kids love. peel open before practice or pack it their lunchbox. with real organic nutrition and 6 grams of protein, it’s a deliciously easy way to keep them going. just toss them in with the lunch and they’re good to go! no pun intended.

What do you pack in your kid’s lunch?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.



Back to School with Dino Buddies

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Yummy Dino Buddies. All opinions are 100% mine.

summer has finally come to an end for our family, and the boys have just gone Back-to-School.  it’s great to have our family begin to settle back into that Back-To-School time routine. but i also find that this is such a busy time of year. getting the kids Back-to-School ready is a lot of work for parents. school supplies, new shoes, new clothes, forms to fill out, fees to pay, schedule changes and carpools to figure out…it’s no easy task. and then once school begins….the homework!!!! i’m always look for opportunities to simplify getting homework done. i find when i set the boys up with a fun snack, it gets finished much faster with less complaining and less attitude. this week i made a fun Dino Buddies snack complete with a dinosaur scene. and would you believe it only took minutes to create?!!!! not only was it easy, but my kids thought i was super cool. mom win!!! since Dino buddies are fully cooked and microwavable, they make snack making easy….which is very important for our busy family. to make this fun dinosaur inspired meal, all you need is a couple broccoli and cauliflower florets, slices of bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, your favorite dipping sauce, and of course Dino Buddies! place the cauliflower florets as clouds, the broccoli florets and tomatoes as the tree tops, and use strips of bell pepper as tree trunks and grass. for the dinosaur water hole, use the bottom of the bell pepper as a dish for your dipping sauce. since Dino Buddies are fully cooked and microwavable, they make this snack super easy. once you have cooked Dino Buddies, place them among the vegetable trees and clouds. there you have it….the perfect dinosaur snack. when i’m looking for an afternoon snack, i’m looking for things that are not only fun for the kids, but filling, taste good and not full of sugar. Dino Buddies are made with boneless skinless chicken breast, are an excellent source of calcium, omega 3, iron, and have 0g trans fat. the boys love the taste of the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. Dino Buddies make a great after school snack, but they can also make a perfect Back-to-School meal! as you know, our family is always on the go. not only are we running around Orange County sharing all the fun happenings, but the boys have a ton of after school activities – dance, swimming, water polo, Boy Scouts, robotics, and music classes mean we are on-the-go almost everyday. it’s nice to have a few boxes of Dino Buddies on hand for those nights when i don’t have a ton of time to cook. it’s so much better to pull out a box of Dino Buddies than to pick up fast food. I can find Dino Buddies at my local grocery store and warehouse club. i always think of the new school year as a fresh start… hopefully, by having Dino Buddies on hand, the days when things get a bit hectic, i will be covered in the snack and meal departments. Dino Buddies to the rescue!!!!

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Homemade Shark Attack Pop Tarts for Shark Week

it’s Discovery Channel Shark Week, which means lots of shark movies, shark television shows, and shark themed activities and treats. my boys love shark week so much that i decided to find a fun Shark Week activity for them….of course in a food theme. so, i came up with Homemade Shark Attack Pop Tarts! super easy to make and even include oozing blood from a shark bite. they are pretty much a homemade strawberry pop tart with blue icing, fishy sprinkles and a gummy shark. i found the gummies at our local Sprouts market and the fishy sprinkles are by Wilton and i purchased them from Michael’s Craft Store.

How to make Homemade Shark Attack Pop Tarts

all you need to make these Shark Attack Pop Tarts is pie crust (i used the refrigerated ready-made), strawberry jam, confectioners sugar, blue food coloring, sprinkles (optional) and shark gummies. plus, one egg for the egg wash.

first, cut the pie crust into rectangles. you will need two of the same size for each pop tart. for best results, use a ruler and a sharp knife to cut the dough.

place the bottom half of the pie crust on a baking sheet.

top each rectangle piece of pie crust with strawberry jam, making sure not to get it too close to the edges. leave at least a 1/2″ border.

next, place the second pie crust rectangle on top of the jam. with a fork, crimp all the edges to seal. also prick the top of eat pop tart a few times.

brush each pop tart with egg wash. a mixture of one beaten egg and a dash of water.

place the finished pop tarts into a preheated 450º F oven. bake until golden brown. approximately 10-12 minutes.

finally, mix the confectioners sugar with water until the correct frosting consistency. add food coloring. frost the pop tarts and add sprinkles and gummy sharks. then enjoy for Shark Week!!!! YUM.