Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lloyd's BBQ Giveaway Winners!

The winners have been selected and e-mails sent to the five winners of the Lloyd's BBQ coupon giveaway.

You can see the list of winners on the Rafflecopter widget in the giveaway post.

Thanks everyone for entering and be sure to check out the Cook'n Recipe Organizer Giveaway.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Qrunch Burgers Winners!

The winners of the Qrunch Burgers coupon giveaway have been selected through Rafflecopter and e-mails sent.

You can check out the giveaway post to see the list of winners on the Rafflecopter widget.


Congratulations and be sure to check out the active giveaways.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cook'n Recipe Organizer - review and giveaway

I received a complimentary copy as a participant in the Tryazon Cook'n Recipe Exchange Party back in October. I had previously had an older version. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

I love to cook and to bake. I love to find and try new recipes. One of my biggest challenges was always organization. I have a recipe box that is partially populated with cards. I have a recipe accordion file that is full of some recipes that I got from my family at one of my wedding showers, plus some others that I have added. I have two write your own cookbooks - one that maxed out on space (you could add refills and I did until the rings could hold no more) and a second one that is not quite full but is set up to hold a combination of papers you write directly on and some pockets to hold recipe cards. I also have a folder that contains hundreds of recipes that I have clipped from newspapers, magazines and even printed from the internet over the years that I had wanted to try. Once I tried them, I would either transfer them to a recipe card or a cookbook or throw them out if we didn't like them. (This was all before Pinterest of course, now I just Pin them and try them later. My organization there is a whole other issue.)

Having my recipes was great, but with so many places, it could be hard to locate the recipe that I was looking for, although I became an expert on location of some of the most used recipes. In addition, sharing with friends and family required either typing it up to share or writing it out on a note card. Then, a few years ago, I discovered the wonder that is Cook'n Recipe Organizer.
There are a number of features that I love about Cook'n. The first is that I can easily enter my own recipes. Not only can I type them up, if I am able to find a recipe online, I can use the features in Cook'n to capture recipes from the internet. In my experience, most of them over clean but sometimes you have to do a little bit of cleanup to align the ingredient name. One of the improvements that was made in the most recent version is that you can capture from almost any site now...it used to be limited to a handful of sites. I often will do a quick search to see if I can find a similar recipe, as a means of expediting the load of the recipe. There is also functionality that let's you scan or capture a photo of a recipe and import it to your cookbook. You can customize your chapters, to organize in a way that makes sense to you and change them as you go. I started with just a dessert category, but have since split it out to put cookies into their own chapter. I love the flexibility.

The program is able to calculate the nutrition per serving and uses values from the preferred or designated brand for the ingredients. Can't find your favorite? You can add you own ingredients and brands, allowing you to base your calculations on the ingredients and brands that you use. This is a nice feature in my opinion. For my favorites, I have entered the details from the nutrition label on the package and made that brand my preferred brand for the ingredient.

Once you have a recipe saved, it is also easy to scale your recipe. There is functionality to help you with menu planning and will even generate a grocery list. Plan your menu by dragging and dropping the recipes onto the weekly plan. Then, click on the grocery list and it will generate based on the recipes. Clean up the list to remove on hand ingredients and you are ready to go.
With the newest version, you can now Sync your recipes to your mobile devices. I really like this functionality, because now, I can take the iPad to the kitchen and easily access my recipes where I am, without having to print or walk back and forth to my computer while I am baking and cooking. It is also nice because with it on my phone, I can quickly reference a recipe...whether I am at the store and found a great deal and want to update my meal plan or I am talking to a friend and want to share it with them. Speaking of sharing, quick share buttons that allow you to e-mail, post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ are available on your recipes. You can also use the embed in website button to get an HTML version complete with formatting for the theme. You can share links to your recipe as well.

There are several available cookbooks that you can buy and download into the software. This is a great way to find new recipes and increase your database. Just the other week, there was an offer from Rhodes bread in the Sunday coupon flyer to download their cookbook to Cook'n. Most of the other cookbooks are available for a nominal cost.

The newest version also features a Live Recipe feed, that provides a picture and link to several recently used recipes. It includes the most captured recipe from the last 24 hours and last 7 days, giving you the perfect opportunity to find some popular recipes. You can even customize the feed to easily follow your favorite sites and see the recently added recipes.
The search functionality in the software allows you to search a particular cookbook or chapter, all of Cook'n or even the internet. Search by key words to find ingredients you have on hand, focus on recipe names only and even search based on ratings. It really has worked well for me when looking for recipes.

I really can't say enough good things about the software. I simply love it.

I think it makes a great gift for family or friends that love to cook. This weekend, Cook'n is offering a great special on the software. You can get it for only $20, the regular retail price is $80...that is 75% off! Here is the link to this amazing offer. After this weekend, you can still save on your purchase, go to http://www.dvo.com/ to place your order and simply use the following code at checkout to save 50%: mb-busymom.

You can learn more about Tryazon by visiting them on Facebook or following them on Twitter or Pinterest.

Giveaway!

In addition, I have the opportunity through my participation the Tryazon party to giveaway one complimentary copy to one A Busy Mom of Two reader.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway will remain open through December 10th. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

I received a complimentary copy as a participant in the Tryazon Cook'n Recipe Exchange Party back in October. I had previously had an older version. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. The discount code and the giveaway copy are compliments of Cook'n.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lloyd's Barbeque - Giveaway!

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.
A few weeks ago, we took a family vacation to Walt Disney World (I really do mean to share the insights, tips and tricks, but I never seem to have the time). We timed our trip this year to hit the end of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. My son, who as of late seems to be becoming quite a little foodie, wanted to try food at all the stations. We didn't get to all of them, but did hit quite a few of them. One of the first things that we tried was a Pork Slider at the Hawaii station. It was pork, a pineapple chutney, a spicy mayonnaise on a slider roll.

As I was exploring the Lloyd's page on Hormel.com, I found a recipe for a Barbeque Pineapple and Chicken sandwich.
I am certain this dish is not quite the same, I was thinking of starting with this recipe, swapping in Pork for the Chicken, omitting the cheese and adding a spiced up mayo to see how close we could get to the sandwich we all enjoyed at Epcot.

Giveaway!
As a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger, I have been invited to share with my readers 10 coupons for Lloyd's BBQ. You could try the recipe I mention above or any number of recipes featured on the Lloyd's page or simply enjoy them as sandwiches (also good just served up 'open-face' on crackers).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway will remain open through December 5th. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Coupons are only good until 12/31/14 and will be mailed to the winners. A Busy Mom of Two is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.


No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information and images for this post.

The Day After Thanksgiving

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.

Thanksgiving was a wonderful (and quiet) holiday. It was just the four of us at home celebrating and one of my friends, whose husband and kids had traveled to his hometown for the week, joined us for the meal. Everything was so flavorful and it was nice just to relax at home and spend time together.

With a mid-day meal, we didn't do anything formal for dinner. I pulled out some finger foods and dessert (pumpkin cheesecake) for the group to munch on. Times like this my family enjoys snacking on cheese and crackers. A perfect time to enjoy a Hormel Gatherings Party or Snack Tray (we love the Snack Tray size - they are great for snacking with just the family!)

In fact, we kept and cleaned the tray from the HORMEL GATHERINGS™ Supreme Party Trayand actually as pictured here refilled it with the contents of the smaller HORMEL® Snack Tray Pepperoni Bites (the pepperoni, cheese and pretzels)
and served it with some crackers and dip to make it a one stop snack station.

I hadn't planned to go out shopping at all yesterday, but the family joined my friend for one quick stop so she could have others check out the furniture she was going to get - since her family wasn't there to help her. Then, after the kids went to bed, I ventured out to Target to pick up a few of the less popular Black Friday deals. It was strange, there was almost no lines and there were even some of the displays that were not on the beaten path that were still fully intact (I had to remove the little plastic disc from the end of the hanging posts that holds the items in place during transit in order to purchase the item - all but one post had the disc still there). I was able to get everything that was on my list and more - 40% off all clothes was a great deal, I might have gotten more if I didn't want to get home at a decent time. I was glad I didn't linger, as the parking lot and minor road ways were icy and it only got colder as the night went on.

This morning, again, no early alarm setting for me. When I did get moving, I made three quick stops - Target (10% off Target Gift Cards), Kohl's (assorted doorbuster deals through 1 pm) and Giant Eagle (Amazon gift cards, 20% Fuel Perks). I had planned to get to CVS, but was beat and decided I could go later or tomorrow.

We enjoyed leftovers for lunch and now, we are just relaxing and the kids are watching movies. I love long holiday weekends with nothing specific scheduled to be done. I think it is a wonderful contrast to our normally (over) programmed lives of sports, activities, school and work.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information and images for this post.

Holiday Gift Guide kick-off

It still seems a little strange to me that we are less than a month from Christmas and the other winter holidays that are celebrated.

With the weather we have been having in northeast Ohio, I must say that I am definitely in the mood. We had our first notable snow fall over a week ago - certainly nothing like Buffalo saw, but snow and cold.

Then, of course, with a white Thanksgiving and Black Friday now underway, it continues to put me into the holiday mode.

I don't have a set list of specific items, but more so some thoughts on types of gifts that have served us well over the years. Gifts that the kids come back to over and over again and those that we get the most feedback on. Hopefully, if you are stuck with what to get someone on your list, some of the ideas that I share will help you come up with some ideas. The link will take you back to posts that I have done over the years at the holidays...and yes, it is likely that many of them will overlap - perhaps that is just further evidence that they have stood the test of time that I still consider them a good idea.

I don't have many, but there are a giveaway or two that will be coming up during the series too.