Saturday, February 28, 2015

Half and Half Pizza and Cheesy Bread Sticks + Pizza Cutter #Giveaway!

Don't miss any of the giveaways going on now! Visit the Giveaways Page and enter to win!

I love pizza - everyone in my house loves pizza (well, except for the 17-month old, she's not on board yet). What do we all love in addition to delicious, cheesy, tasty pizza? Cheesy bread!! Oh yes, the cheesy bread... yumm...

This recipe brings both of those happy delicious worlds together into one complete and cheesy meal! I love making one dish that will be completely devoured, leaving me no leftovers to put away, and happy full tummies in the process. Perfection.

The cheesy bread side is amazing. Ooey, gooey, garlicky, parmesan-ey, and mozzarella-ey... everyone was making happy googly eyes at these cheese sticks. There was gnashing of teeth over the last slice. These were happily devoured. Make sure to have a side of good marinara to dip these in - if you're a dipper.

I was offered the chance to review the Bru Joy Pizza Cutter Wheel and to give one away! I am very excited to share this terrific pizza cutter with you today, and just as excited to share the DELICIOUS half and half Pizza and Cheesy Bread Sticks recipe below with you. If you can't decide which you like better - pizza or ooey, gooey, garlicky cheesy bread sticks - then this recipe is definitely for you.

The Bru Joy Deluxe Pizza Cutter Wheel is fantastic - it has a great weight to it, and is perfectly sharp to give you nice, clean, all the way through cuts just the way you want them (without having to roll back and forth, and back and forth, or press so hard you're afraid you're going to break something). It's a fantastic, quality pizza cutter that you will enjoy for many years!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter to win your own deluxe pizza cutter wheel!

Half and Half Pizza and Cheesy Bread Sticks adapted from Lauren's Latest


for the pizza dough
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey {or sugar}
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup...depending on the heat & humidity}

for the cheesy garlic bread sticks
2 tablespoons softened salted butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

pizza toppings
1 can mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/2 cup sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup BBQ sauce or marina
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Prepare pizza dough by adding the yeast and honey (or sugar) to the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine and allow to proof for 5 - 10 minutes, or until yeast is bubbly.
  2. Add in the salt, yeast, and half the flour. Fit the mixer with a dough attachment, and allow to combine, slowly adding more flour until the right consistency is achieved. On low-medium speed allow the dough to combine, when it starts forming a ball, set a timer for 5 - 6 minutes and allow it to combine and knead the dough.
  3. The bowl should be fairly clean, and the dough ball well formed. Remove the dough from the bowl, add a little bit of oil to the bottom of the bowl, return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 1 - 2 hours (will not double in size).
  4. When dough has risen, turn the oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour your counter, and roll the dough out to the size of a 16" pizza stone (or pan if you don't have a stone) - it should be fairly thin.
  5. Place prepped dough on the pizza stone.
  6. Combine the softened butter and minced garlic (for the cheesy bread), and spread that mixture on half of the pizza dough. Top the butter, garlic mixture with the 1/4 cup grated parmesan and the shredded mozzarella.
  7. On the other half of the pizza, spread the marinara or BBQ sauce, then top with sausage, bacon bits, and mushrooms (or use other pizza toppings of your choice). Top with shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted, starting to brown, and crust is golden brown and cooked through.
Bru Joy Pizza Cutter Product Information:
  • THE BEST PIZZA CUTTER WHEEL - If you looking for a professional pizza cutter that is easy to use and gives restaurant style pizza slices, then you've found it! The Bru Joy pizza wheel slices through any toppings and cuts even the largest pizza effortlessly thanks to its extra large 4" stainless steel blade that is super sharp.
  • EXTRA SAFETY PROTECTION - Bru Joy's pizza cutter wheel's handle is longer, softer, more comfortable to grip and slip-resistant. More importantly, its built-in finger guard not only protects your finger from being cut, but also lets you cut through pizzas more easily.
  • RESTAURANT STYLE PIZZA PRESENTATION MADE EASY: Larger 4" blade means by just one easy roll over, you will get a beautifully sliced pizza that lives up to any pizza lovers' expectations.
  • MADE OF TOP QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL THAT WILL NOT RUST - Clean is easy. Simply wash it in hot soapy water then towel dry or pop the cutter into dishwasher. The stainless steel blade will not rust.

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Bru Joy Products for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Super Crumb Coffee Cake

It was a coffee cake kind of morning... but I don't yet have "THE" coffee cake recipe that will make me forsake all others... yet.

So I keep trying - when the urge for coffee cake strikes, I pull up the trusty laptop and play around on Pinterest and see what jumps out at me.

Today's cake was this incredibly moist, buttery, and cinnamon-sugary deliciousness from Sally's Baking Addiction. My cake did NOT come out at all like hers - as you can see from above, the cake batter decided to try to take over the crumb topping and somehow came up around the edges and tried to obscure the cinnamon sugar yummy topping - it was all good though! That just meant the cinnamon sugary yumminess ended up almost like a gooey filling layer.

This was a delicious coffee cake, and I would definitely try it again and see if I can get mine to behave and bake up like it's intended. Either way though - it's a winner and a keeper. My son gave it two thumbs up and said "10 out of 10, I would eat it again!" (Yes, that rhymed too - he's special like that).

If the coffee cake "bug" bites you anytime soon - pull this one out and give it a try! Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee, and some delicious fresh fruit and you'll have a wonderful start to your morning!

Super Crumb Coffee Cake from Sally's Baking Addiction

Baker's Joy Baking Spray (or use butter to grease and flour generously)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 2 TBS granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10 TBS (1 and 1/4 stick) butter, chilled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (or add 2 tsp of distilled white vinegar to enough milk to equal 3/4 cup and allow to sit for 5 minutes before using)
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 9-inch springform pan (or 9" round baking pan) with Baker's Joy Baking Spray (the one with flour in the spray) or grease with butter, sprinkle heavily with flour, and tap out the excess.
  2. Blend the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl by whisking until combined. Slice your cold butter into smallish pieces and add to the bowl, cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture (set aside for topping). 
  3. Add the baking powder and baking soda into the flour mixture in the bowl, followed by the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla (use a stand mixer to blend if the batter is too thick - mine wasn't super thick and I used a Danish Dough Whisk to combine). Blend batter for about 2 minutes, until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top as needed.
  4. Into the reserved 1 cup of flour mixture, add the cinnamon and brown sugar and blend with a fork until combined. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the cake batter, pressing down lightly and spreading evenly across the top.
  5. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 50-58 minutes (I baked mine for 55 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan. Slice and serve warm if desired, or if you want it to be completely set before serving, allow to cool for a full 2 hours.

Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Blogger Recipe Challenge: Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatloaf

Have you taken the Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Challenge yet? If not - you have until the end of March to do so! Find all the details here.

I requested to receive a packet of the Italian Meatballs Healthy Solutions Spice Blends which contains: Dehydrated onion, parsley, lemon peel, spices, dehydrated garlic, sea salt, and paprika. Contains (8 tsp of seasoning mix per packet). I had an idea in mind as soon as I picked my seasoning blend, and although I need to apologize for the poor pictures (this meatloaf was dinner, and there was nothing left to take better pictures with the next day when there was decent natural light again), I am overall pretty happy with how this one came out!

This is an easy to make and family friendly twist on traditional meatloaf. The spice blend gives the meatloaf tons of flavor, and the meat is kept moist from the spaghetti sauce mixed in and poured over top. Serve this cheesy loaf up with some garlic bread and a crisp Caesar salad for a delicious and filling dinner!

Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatloaf 

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 packet Healthy Solutions Italian Meatballs Spice Blend
1 cup spaghetti sauce, divided use
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or 2 mozzarella cheese sticks)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine ground beef, spice blend, 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce, grated Parmesan, egg, and oatmeal together in a large bowl.
  3. Place half of the meat mixture on the bottom of a loaf pan / meatloaf pan.
  4. Create a small indentation, leaving about a 1/2-inch margin along the edges. Fill the indentation with the shredded mozzarella cheese or two cheese sticks, side by side. 
  5. Shape remaining meat mixture into a rectangle approximately the size of the loaf pan, and place over the top of the shredded cheese topped meat mixture already in the pan. Carefully press mixture to seal any edges (to try to prevent the cheese from seeping out during baking).
  6. Spread remaining spaghetti sauce over the top of the meatloaf, and cover with foil.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour. 
  8. Optional: after 1 hour baking time, remove meatloaf from oven, sprinkle about 1/4 - 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese over the top and return to the oven, uncovered, until cheese has melted and begins to turn lightly brown (about 10 minutes).
  9. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 - 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tranquility Silicone Teething Necklace #Review + #Giveaway!

Eternal Love Parenting offers several styles of Silicone Teething Necklaces - if you haven't heard about these yet, definitely swing by their website and check them out to learn more! These are intended to be worn by mom for your baby to chew on and play with, and should not be given to an unsupervised child.

As you can see - my 17 month old thought this thing was something pretty wonderful! She played with it for nearly an hour straight - wearing it, taking it off, chewing it, spinning it, chewing it, chewing it, on off, on off... I sat with her, photographed her, giggled as she played and we both had a great time!

The necklace is made of great, durable quality silicone that feels good on baby's gums and teeth - and whether or not they're teething (which Lindsey does happen to be) your baby will get great use out of this. And bonus points, it looks really nice on - no one will guess it's a teething necklace (or keep it under your shirt, in your diaper bag, or in your purse and pull it out when you need to entertain baby).

I am excited that I have the chance to give one of these amazing necklaces away to one of my readers! I hope you will enter via the Rafflecopter widget below - and make sure to visit the Giveaways Page and enter to win all of the current giveaways going on now!

If you want a special discount on this fantastic necklace right now - visit this page and enter your e-mail for an instant 25% discount code!

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Eternal Love Teething Jewelry for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Photo Collage Blanket #Giveaway!

Don't miss any of the giveaways going on now! Visit the Giveaways Page and enter to win!

 I am SOOOOO excited to have the chance to not only review this super fun product, but give one away as well! I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of photo products - pretty much every year at Christmas most of my faraway family in Washington state will get some sort of photo gift from me. It might be a calendar, a coffee mug, a travel mug, a photo book, an ornament, or a tote bag - there are so many good options for every day, useable items to share and I know those gifts are always treasured and that they bring a smile to the receiver's face when they see a smiley picture of their granddaughter, daughter, son, grandson, etc. It is always good to know where you can get quality products that will be made with care and provide memories that will truly last through the years.

Source: offers many fun photo projects, blankets are just one of the many, many options! Make sure to pop over to their website and take a look through everything they offer!

These photo blankets are durable, machine-washable, printed on high-quality fleece (or velveteen), and make wonderful gifts for your family and friends - and wonderful additions to your bed, couch, favorite sitting chair, etc. as well!


I love how HUGE this blanket is - I am one of those people who is always cold and wants to wrap up in a blanket every night when it's time to unwind and cuddle on the couch and catch up on an episode of Castle or Mindy Project, so this comfy fleece blanket is just the right size for me. I chose to use only 4 photos on my blanket, but with how large the photos printed up you could EASILY fit many more on there and still have them be a good size.


See my project here!

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Knife Sharpener Review + #Giveaway!

Are you as guilty as I am of not sharpening your knives as often as recommended? I rarely, rarely sharpen them - and can often tell when I'm cutting meat, fruits, veggies, etc. that my knives could use some TLC! When I was offered the chance to review this knife sharpener and give one away as well I was excited - it would give me a little nudge to take better care of some of my most often used kitchen tools, and share the love with my readers too!

This is a wonderful, compact knife sharpener that will keep your blades sharp and smooth for years to come. It is super easy to use, and consists of 2 sections - number one for sharpening, and number two for honing the blades.

The suction cup function works really well and makes it super easy to use - we have granite counter tops and it stuck really well (my husband actually had to wiggle something underneath to release the suction, it was stuck on so well)! And it is VERY easy to use! Follow the simple instructions, based on how much work your knife needs, and voila - take a dull blade, to an effective, sharpened blade that will slice easily again, in no time!

Enter to win your own knife sharpener via the Rafflecopter widget below! Come back every day for another chance to enter.

Don't miss any of the giveaways going on now! Visit the Giveaways Page and enter to win!

Product Information provided via Amazon:

    • SAFETY FIRST - Extra strong suction pad design is a safer and convenient way for sharpening with one hand 
    • Unique sharpening wheel design, convenient to SHARPEN BACK & FORTH 
    • TWO STAGES of sharpening, in one small compact unit at a great value!
  • Dull knife is a dangerous knife!
    • Using too much Pressure and not Achieving results is not a Sharp Way of Life. 
    • System Knife Sharpener is the Best tool for Kitchen, Ceramic, Hunting, Fruit, Butterfly, Pocket and Survival knives. 
    • Always keep your knives Sharp; LIVE SHARPLY
  • Step 1: COARSE SHARPENING is suitable for Blunt and Ceramic knives
    • Using a slight Downward Pressure you will Quickly bring your dull knife Back to Life. 
    • With only three to five pulls Running the Blade from its Heel to its Point you will Remove All Nicks.
  • In Step 2: FINE HONNING you will Polish the knife Edge to Maximum Sharpness in just a few Pulls
    • In normal conditions it is Recommended to Sharpen your knives Once a Week. 
    • Often it is Enough to just Polish them. 
    • When Knives are Very Blunt expect to use a Bit more Force and Time.
    • Do not put the System Sharpener into the Dishwasher and Keep out of the Reach of Children. 
    • The Ceramic and Metal Blades may turn to Black which is a Normal Phenomenon! 
    • Keep in mind that this Sharpener isn't suited for Serrated Blades and Scissors!
  • Ceramic Bond wheel & Diamond Grinding wheel + Suction pad design
    • SAFE, simple and Easy to Use for an everyday Kitchen Chef 
    • Will NOT CAUSE NICKS in the Blade 
    • Suction pad design Allows extremely Safe and Stable Sharpening on the counter Top or Table.
    • Money-back Satisfaction Guarantee

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from System Sharpener for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Organic Rosehip Seed Oil #Review

This is such a wonderful moisturizing oil! It is great for skin, face, hair and nails! I've been rubbing it into my super dry hands and nails the past few days, whenever I notice my knuckles are a little itchy or the skin on my hands is looking dry and a little cracked (especially in the winter I really struggle with dry skin on my hands.)

This oil works SO well for that - with just a few days of use I am noticing less dry skin - my knuckles are staying moisturized longer and the oil absorbs right in and doesn't leave you feeling greasy at all. It has a noticeable scent from the rosehip compared to other moisturizing oils.

I really like the way this oil works - it is a wonderful moisturizer to keep in your bathroom; I love how multipurpose it is! It's an all-in-one!

Product Information via Amazon:

  • ONE PROVEN INGREDIENT ACROSS TIME AND GENERATIONS - Foxbrim brings you only the highest quality Rosehip Seed Oil. 100% pure and certified organic. Cold pressed to retain all the valuable nutrients. Absolutely no fillers, additives, parabens or fragrances used. With Foxbrim, you ensure you receiving the highest quality oil available. Never compromise.
  • AMAZING GUARANTEE - Foxbrim proudly stands behind all it's premium products with a total satisfaction guarantee. If you are unsatisfied in any way we will provide you a full refund. No questions asked.
  • GO NATURAL WITH FOXBRIM - Know what you're putting on your skin and body. Proven natural ingredients and oils provide you with the results you want without worry. Foxbrim's Rosehip Seed Oil feeds your skin and body with Vitamins A & C, essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic) and antioxidants. When nature has the answer why look elsewhere?
  • MANY USES & BENEFITS - Great for treating scars, burns, stretch marks and other skin blemishes. Treat dry and damaged hair. Heal brittle nails. All the great benefits of an exceptional oil. Only the highest quality rosehip seed oil available. Brought you proudly by Foxbrim.
  • THE MIRACLE OIL - Rosehip Seed Oil is renowned for it's nutrient-rich composition. Put this miracle oil to work for you. It's many benefits include reducing appearance of blemishes, correcting UV damage, fading suns spots and discoloration, treating fine lines and wrinkles and even more. Those suffering from skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis and acne will find Rosehip Seed Oil to be an exceptional alternative to synthetic products that may include harsh and harmful chemicals. Enjoy the moisture brought you by nature.

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Foxbrim for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Biscotti Baby Shower ~ Green Tea Almond Biscotti

Biscotti Baby Shower

Today we are honoring the arrival of Tara's 2nd child with a twice baked cookie - biscotti! Tara blogs at Tara's Multicultural Table (please do yourself a favor and drop by if you haven't previously - the photography will have you drooling). I actually just spent the past month stalking Tara's blog, as I was lucky enough to have her as my assignment for February's Secret Recipe Club!

I knew when I heard we were doing biscotti that I wanted to use some of the green tea powder I recently received. I've already shared this smoothiethis smoothie, and these green tea cupcakes all of which I really enjoyed!

So, I began perusing Pinterest (like I do pretty much every single time I need to take an idea and turn it into a recipe). And lo and behold - guess who's recipe popped up on my radar? Tara's! So, what better way to celebrate Tara's new beautiful bundle of joy then to feature one of Tara's own recipes today.

When I was making this dough, I used a Danish Dough Whisk to incorporate all of the ingredients and I have to say how much I love this new kitchen tool! It works SO well for everything from cookie dough, to bread dough, to cake and brownie batter! If you love to bake, definitely check it out (see picture and Amazon link at the end of this post).

Find Tara around the web:
Instagram: @taramctable

This is a lovely biscotti - it cooked up perfectly crisped on the edges, but still tender in the middle. The matcha powder is strong enough to taste it, but not overpowering - it makes an EXCELLENT accompaniment to a cup of tea!

Find all the beautiful and delicious biscotti recipes shared today by bloggers from all over who want to honor Tara and her new addition!

Green Tea Almond Biscotti from Tara's Multicultural Table

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons matcha powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds

For topping:
1 egg white
1 tablespoon sugar (use coarse / turbinado sugar if you have it - I used granualted sugar)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or baking mat.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a larger bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), beat the eggs for a minute or two, or until well combined and light in color;  mix in the melted (and slightly cooled) butter and vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients just until the dough comes together then fold in the slivered / chopped almonds.
  4. On the prepared baking sheet, press the dough into a 12-inch long log, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle evenly with the sugar. 
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until firm and golden on the bottom, about 22-25 minutes. Allow to cool until able to be handled (approximately 15 minutes). Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees.
  6. Once able to be handled, use a serrated knife to cut the log on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices back on the baking sheet with the cut side down. Bake in the 275 degree oven until crisp on the bottom, 15-20 minutes. Flip the cookies onto their other side and continue to bake until the second side is crisped, another 15-20 minutes. 
  7. Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in airtight container and enjoy within two weeks.