A winning recipe and one you won’t want to miss. So stay tuned for updates.
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I arrived home recently to three cases (yes, CASES) of Marie’s Salad Dressing upon my doorstep. Now I may not look like it, but I love a good salad. And when I have a salad, much like Elaine, I like a BIG SALAD. Boiled eggs, cucumbers, mandarin oranges, pecans, you name it, I like it in my salad.
Image courtesy of Tumblr
My case of Marie’s salad dressing included two of my favorites, creamy yogurt blue cheese and ranch, along with Marie’s newest blend, Lemon Herb Vinaigrette. It was a case of love at first bite. Heh. See what I did there? I used the new flavor as a glaze for some snapper I baked over the weekend, and it was fantastic ! I simply added some dried Italian seasoning to it, brushed it on and grilled it in a foil packet. I can hardly wait to try it with asparagus, brussels sprouts and so many other things ! The creamy yogurt ranch and blue cheese are awesome as dippers, and I am so happy to have them around to accompany my stockpile of fresh veggies that I pretend are chocolate during late-night snack attacks. I also made a great artichoke dip the other day with the blue cheese dip, here’s my recipe if you’d like to try it ;
Combine all ingredients together, chill for an hour, serve with toast point, chips or cracked pepper crackers. You can also sprinkle shredded parmesan on top, and heat this dressing in the oven for about 30 minutes and it’s DIVINE.
Naturally I must tell you all about Marie’s before I get to the BEST PART OF MY POST, so here we go …
Marie’s NEW Lemon Herb Vinaigrette:
Please check out their site www.maries.com for hundreds more recipe and usage ideas.
—And Make Life Beautiful for Others Around You
There is nothing more personal than the way one grieves. For most of us, being faced with the loss of a near and dear one is not only unimaginable, it is also one of our worst fears. This fear is not unfounded, though, because no matter how “prepared” you think you can be for the demise of a beloved, when it actually happens, you really have no idea how you will react emotionally and physically. Because no two people are alike, it’s only natural that every individual’s reaction to a deep personal grief or loss is very unique. What is useful, however, is to hear from others how they dealt with loss and grief—it gives you strength and comfort in knowing that someone else has felt a similar pain and lived through it. That is the premise on which Grief Resource Centers like the one in The Woodlands, Texas are founded.
This coming Saturday, November 3, 2012, the 3rd Annual Jazz Brunch, a popular fundraiser, is being held at the The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center. I will be the keynote speaker this year and share my thoughts and experiences on “How to Live On After A Devastating Loss”.
For someone reading or hearing about me for the first time, my background and credentials may seem somewhat disconnected to the topic of this upcoming motivational speaking engagement. Health and fitness expert, successful entrepreneur, acclaimed and award-winning author, personal trainer, sports nutritionist, bodybuilder and winner of many beauty pageants—so where does all this fit in with speaking about grief and loss? If one were to believe that inner beauty is what reflects on the outside to make a person beautiful, it would be logical to assume that my life has been easy, uncomplicated and happy. Possessing inner beauty would be easy for someone who has not seen a life of pain.
In my case, the story is quite the opposite. Not only has my life been challenging in many ways, I have also seen extremely deep and personal loss and grief. But I have lived through all of that with a smile AND I strive to help others face grief with the same tenacity I did.
“I lost my 19 year-old son in a car accident. My 23 year-old brother died of a heart attack. My father, whom I was very close to, died when I was quite young. With each blow I felt as if my life was over but a voice deep within me said it wasn’t—that my life had a purpose and that’s why I was still here to live on after losing my closest loved ones. It was up to me to find that purpose and work towards achieving it. I may not quite have reached my goal yet, but I can truly say I have found my purpose. And that purpose is to make friends with life and help change lives one small step at a time. That’s what I am trying to do.
No one says the road to healing is easy or that there is one proven path to get there. But if others have taken the journey and lived to tell their story, you can too. That is my core message I wish to communicate through my speeches like the one I am scheduled to present at the Jazz Brunch this weekend.”—Theresa Roemer
Since I’m a “mommy blogger,” I’m often offered some really cool opportunities to meet new people and participate in fun events. That happened this weekend at the Southern Women’s Show in Jacksonville!
I was invited to meet the women behind the new The Balancing Act morning show that airs on Lifetime TV. They take their show on the road each Spring and Fall as “The Balance Your Life Road Tour” and they had a stop in Jacksonville this weekend at the Southern Women’s Show. I talked to some of the tour sponsors and brand managers, mingled with other local bloggers and media peeps, and left with some free goodies. (I even won a $50 gift card from Verizon Wireless. Score!)
The grand finale was meeting Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey! She was very petite! And very talkative!
Teresa was very excited to tell “her side” of the New Jersey Housewives drama. It’s truly sad that she is in such a battle with her family, including her sister-in-law Melissa who is on the show. I asked Teresa how she handles being a working Mama (she has four beautiful young daughters ) and she said she just makes it work. She is very driven. She mentioned that her husband definitely helps her manage (Juicy Joe! Who called her a couple of times during the autograph session. Her cell phone said “Honey.”) I also asked her if she had a Bravo TV spin-off show in the works and she said she doesn’t want to do something that would showcase her family and children. She’s more interested in a fun cooking show. (She has two Italian cookbooks on the New York Times bestseller list.)
It was a fun afternoon and I even treated myself to some new bling before I left. How cute is this costume jewelry?! (I think Teresa would be proud.) Unfortunately for my husband I have this store’s address and a coupon to visit them during the holidays. Hey, I always support my fellow southern women.
By: Pam Kaye
As a “thank you” to all my supporters I am lowering the ebook price of my book: Nude, Unveiling Your Inner Beauty and Sensuality, to $2.99. I appreciate your support and wanted to make it available at a low price for you and your friends.
I face a new challenge every day and that is what keeps me fired up and strong. In order to capture these life lessons and to share with my readers, I am writing a new book! Keep coming back to my blog to hear more about my new book.
I am excited about the airing of my interview tomorrow with “The Balancing Act,” America’s premier morning show on Lifetime Television. It will air at 7:00am (ET/PT). For today’s women who face the daily challenges of trying to balance life, career, family, and find time for herself, this show offers some simple, yet highly effective solutions. The show is immensely entertaining and I know you will enjoy it!
Theresa Roemer www.theresaroemer.com
Taking care of my family’s dental health is important to me. Even more so after my daughter’s trip to the dentist that turned up several cavities! When I got the chance to feature this electric toothbrush for family dental health, I jumped at it!
Bling Dental Products presents their most technologically advanced, powerful electric toothbrush- The Jäger iOsonic™ Toothbrush. The Jäger iOsonic™ is your at-home weapon to combat plaque buildup, gingivitis, cavities and gum disease. The ultrasonic technology also improves stain removal helping you keep your smile brighter.
The Jäger iOsonic™ combines the power of ionic and ultrasonic technology. The Jäger iOsonic™ is “the most powerful ultrasonic brush available at 40,000 strokes per minute – almost 30% more than the leading competitor”! The Jager iOsonic toothbrush adds a ionic cleaning component too!
Ionic Technology: “During your brush cycle the Jäger iOsonic™ releases a constant flow of positive ions from the lithium power source and temporarily reverses the polarity of your teeth. The change in polarity causes plaque to be repelled from your teeth and drawn to the negatively charged toothbrush head. Ionic repolarization during your brush cycle coupled with the power of ultrasonic technology dramatically increases the impact your daily brushing routine can make on your overall dental health.”
Another super nifty thing about the Jäger iOsonic™ toothbrush is that it incorporates a powerful UV sanitizer for your toothbrush heads built right into the charging base. Just close the lid and the UV light automatically powers on killing 99.9% of the bacteria on your brush head. I think that is a pretty awesome feature. Unfortunately, I dropped my toothbrush charger on the floor and the UV light stopped working so I need to order another.
The Jäger iOsonic™ comes with two brush heads that quickly pop on and off and the bristles even have different colors making it easy for my husband and I tell ours apart. I never thought about it before but more than one person can use the electronic toothbrush which helps justify the cost a little more for families on a budget. The Jager iOsonic took a bit of getting used to. There is no need for harsh brushing and scrubbing as you tend to do with a manual toothbrush. You just hold the Jager iOsonic up to your teeth and let it do all the work of stroking your teeth clean as you gently and slowly move it over your teeth until the two minute timer goes off. It kind of tickles at first but you get used to it quickly. I feel a real difference after using it. It really does leave my teeth feeling super smooth like when I leave the dentist office.
Also, my husband went to the dentist after using it for about 3 weeks and the dental assistant said his teeth looked great. She also said that it was unusual that he had less build up on the back of his teeth than on the front. He said he was concerned about the build up on the back and had been using the Jager toothbrush extra long there. So I thought that sounded pretty impressive and really speaks to the results.
One lucky reader will receive one Jäger iOsonic™ Electric Toothbrush & UV Sanitizer ($229 value).
Jager iOsonic Toothbrush Giveaway Dates: October 3- November 1, 2012 Midnight CST
How to Enter:
Just use the Punch Tab form below to enter. Sign in with facebook or email (email only used to notify winner) and get your entries. Good luck and thanks for entering! http://familyfocusblog.com/jager-iosonic-toothbrush/
By: Scarlet Paolicchi
It’s an exciting day at The Balancing Act! Today we are announcing our winners for our Tales of Fall Treats Recipe Contest and our Next Celebrity Chef Video contest in partnership with Kraft’s Bakers Chocolate. We were amazed by the number of entries and the number of votes we received. Thank you so much for all of your support as we tried something new. As you will see, it the contest was very close. Drum roll please…the winners are…
Caramel Applesauce Cake Caramel Frosting
Submitted by: Nadine Mesch
Total votes: 260
Winner of $1000 Fall Bash from Kraft Baker’s Chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together until well combined, approximately 1 minute. Add applesauce, caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk: continue to beat until well combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, then turn cakes out onto a cooking rack; allow cool completely. Frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, ice cream topping and milk; beat to desired consistency. Frost. *As soon as the leaves begin to fall my family requests this special favorite”
Nadine shared this amazing story about why this recipe is so important to her family.
” My youngest daughter always requests the Caramel Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting for her birthday. The cake is moist and flavorful. The applesauce, spices and caramel sauce just makes this cake the epitome of comfort food. For years I frosted it with a cream cheese frosting. and that is always a good accompaniment to an apple cake. One day, I decided to add some of the caramel sauce to the frosting. It was fantastic!! It added creaminess and actually decreased the sweetness of the frosting.
Now that some of our children have moved away, when they come home, one will always…. say, “Well mom, I know its not Fall but can we make that caramel applesauce cake?” And of course, I make it :)”
Submitted by: Wendy Rusch
Total votes: 246
Winner of $500 Fall Bash from Kraft Baker’s Chocolate
Place chocolate bar pieces into a medium glass or steel bowl. Warm cream in microwave until it starts to bubble around the edges, remove from microwave and pour over chocolate bar pieces. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth and creamy, be patient, it will come together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with liners 20-24. Combine crumbs, 3T sugar and melted butter. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of crumbs into each liner and press down with narrow glass bottom or your fingers. Set aside. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together soft butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just mixed. Being careful to not over mix. Divide evenly over pressed crumbs. Fill 1/2 full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove to racks to cool completely.
When cakes are cooled, remove middles with apple corer or paring knife. Stir cooled chocolate ganache, fill cupcakes. Too thick warm in microwave at 15 second intervals until soft enough to fill cupcakes. Mix together marshmallow cream and butter until smooth, add in powdered sugar and 1 T cream at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Use more powdered sugar to thicken if needed. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes, then drizzle with chocolate ganache and sprinkle with graham crumbs, if desired.
Wendy shared this story of why this recipe is important to her family.
I love creating new and fun recipes, especially for cupcakes!!! It started when I was planning cupcakes for my son’s wedding, then my mind just blossomed into all kinds of creative flavors. One day while trying to create MY version of a s’more cupcake, I noticed some bananas up to no good, one thing lead to another, and BOOM, the The Banana S’More cupcake was born. Friends and family love it and it soon became my most requested cupcake!!! It will be your favorite too!!! :o)
Submitted by: Angela Gray
Total votes: 213
Winner of $250 Fall Bash from Kraft Baker’s Chocolate
Satiny Chocolate Frosting
Combine chips, milk and butter in a LARGE sauce pan, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; blend in powdered sugar. Set pan into ice bath; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until frosting is fluffy and holds it shape. It should make a peak with a spoon and hold it. *remove from ice bath or it will continue to harden. Remove frozen layers from freezer and put on a platter lined with wax paper strips. Just cut them and slide them slightly under cake, they will catch all the mess and when you gently pull them out your platter will be all clean and pretty. Spoon about a 3/4 C of the ganache filling on your first cake layer and repeat until you reach your third layer. *DO NOT ice the top layer ! * Frost the top with the SATINY CHOCOLATE FROSTING first then start on the sides. Smooth top as much as possible with a flat knife dipped in hot water. Take your Chocolate Jimmies (chocolate sprinkles) and gently take your hand and press them up the sides only .Continue until you have went all the way around. GENTLY remove the wax paper strips and discard. Put remaining frosting into a piping bag and pipe 12 medium size swirls onto top of cake. I used a no#21 tip. *space them out before you start piping to make sure you get 12 and they are even. Top each swirl with a milk chocolate truffle and a white chocolate truffle, alternate them. If the bottom of your cake is messy where you pulled out the paper you may use the same tip and pipe a border around the base of the cake.
Angela shared this story of why this recipe is important to her family.
“This cake was invented for my Son James’ Birthday; he is a bona fide chocoholic. He always has been! Even as a toddler he craved chocolate and I would find candy bar wrappers stuck down in the couch and in his mattress. One of his favorites at an early age was chocolate covered coffee beans from William and Sonoma. So for his 14th Birthday I knew he would ask for chocolate but I asked him to come up with some flavors and ideas I could work with. The orange and chocolate combination is one of his favorite. So after pouring over recipe, frostings and decorations this is what I came up with. Several people even ask me where I bought his cake at! I love baking for my family, especially my son, he is a great kid and is always appreciative…especially if it is chocolate!”
Yum! These are three tasty desserts you can try at your next gathering. And now we move on to our quest to find the next Celebrity Chef and I think we found her! Join us in a round of applause for our Next Celebrity Chef Video Contest.
Submitted by: Claudia Lamascolo
Total votes: 101
Claudia will be featured in an upcoming segment of The Balancing Act!
And finally, let’s give a big congratulation for Claudia Lamascolo for winning with her Celebrity Chef Video. Stay tuned to The Balancing Act to see Claudia making her delectable dessert Mock Brownie Tiramisu on the show and get the recipe. Her video was engaging and shared how she makes this yummy treat for all to enjoy. It’s a quick and easy party treat that you are sure to enjoy. It’s also a great treat to make with the kids. Yes, it’s that easy!
Thank you to everyone who entered and voted! It was a fun contest and all of the entrants had great recipes to share. We hope you are enjoying the start of your fall season and will consider giving these recipes a whirl at your next gathering.