Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Radical Review Wednesday - Unreal Candy

Hello, my name is LB, and I am a sugar junkie. I know it is a little uncouth to love candy these day, but I can't help out. I have loved it since I was young. As an adult, I don't buy too much candy, usually only for holidays. But now that I have discovered UNREAL candy, I might just have to buy candy more often!

Candy that has no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no GMOs, no preservatives, and even a low glycemic index... Say what?!?! You KNOW I HAD to try every kind they make! And the taste...

unreal candy coated chocolates - look at those cool colors,

candy coated chocolates -  these have a really nice chocolate flavor, very silky. Jeff said the ones with peanuts had a cherry taste? but I thought they were good. The peanuts tasted fresh.

chocolate caramel peanut nougat bar - very subtle flavor. The nougat didn't really have flavor, but the caramel was chewy and the whole bar came together nicely. Very filling. I would choose this over others.

peanut butter cups -these were good. The peanut butter had a good peanut flavor but wasn't quite peanut buttery enough for me. They were also pretty thin.

chocolate caramel bar - I saved the best for last! This was EXCELLENT!!! The nougat was flavorful - it was soft and chewy.  I did not want to share it with Jeff! I will DEFINITELY get this bar again!

chocolate caramel bar - the best unjunked candy ever!

This might have been my most favorite taste test yet! I recommend this candy, especially if you are jonesing for a sugar rush but want something that isn't quite as bad for you! Junk food that isn't junk. :) For more information, visit or visit UNREAL on Facebook


I am a bzzagent and received coupons to help facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 9/24/12

Ugh Blogger changed over to the new interface. It is horrible!!! I was hoping the people who was using it would send some suggestions that Google would take. I am getting a headache with all of this bright white shining at me. There is so much empty space around this small entry box. And all of the posting options are all spread out. What is the point? And when you type in the title, it doesn't drop down previous titles that start the same, so when you are typing monthly or weekly posts (like this!) it is just an added step. So tempting to switch to wordpress.

ANYWAY! Back to the food!!!! That is not what my intro paragraph was going to be, but that is just the way it is.

Monday: leftover lemon crockpot chicken

Tuesday: plain ole boring spaghetti

Wednesday: Parmesan Ranch Crispy Chicken Fingers

Thursday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas

Friday: leftovers

Not sure about baking anything this week... we have way too many desserts in this house right now!

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 9/17/12

Successful week... I actually made everything I was going to! And all was pretty good. Posts of the recipes are forthcoming, though i did post my Pumpkin Chip Cream Pie recipe. Mmm, good!

Monday: We went out for lunch, so dinner is optional!

Tuesday: Chicken Roll Ups

Wednesday: No Bake Cheesy Skillet Lasagne

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Lemon Crockpot Chicken

 Dessert this week will be  a combo of Hungry Girl's Peppermint Bark Fudge and Nutty Good PB Brownies. It will be the fudge with peanut butter swirl - have to use up the leftover pumpkin!

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pumpkin Chip Cream Pie

Pumpkin chip cream pie - easy and delicious
I always get so excited when I use leftover bits and pieces to make something. I had a pie crust that needed to be used, a half opened box of vanilla pudding, a box of pumpkin pudding that was expired, half a package of mini chocolate chips and a can of pumpkin that was expired. I found this recipe and modified it to fit what I had. This is REALLY pumpkin-y!

We couldn't wait to eat the pumpkin chip cream pie, so this is a little soft

Pumpkin Chip Cream Pie
based on this recipe


1 cup to 1 1/4 cup cold milk (I used skim)
1/2 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix*
1 package  (3.4 ounces)  instant pumpkin spice pudding mix*
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided (I used Cool Whip Free)
1 pie crust (9 inches) (graham is traditional for pudding pies - I used a dough one. Just precook it!)
Slivered almonds and chocolate curls, optional
*you can use one package or either vanilla or pumpkin spice pudding mix. Just decrease the amount of milk to 3/4 cups


In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Stir in the chocolate chips, pumpkin and pie spice. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Tastes better the next day!
Spread with remaining whipped topping; garnish with almonds and chocolate curls if desired.
Yield: 8 servings.

On the TOH Web site, people said that they froze it. I froze a piece, and it did taste great - but it took a long time to thaw.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 9/10/12

I have come to realize that on weeks I do not plan on going to the grocery store, I don't want to menu plan. It is difficult to take stock of what you have and plan a meal around that without thinking "If I don't have it, I can just run and get it!" My cabinets are so disorganized, which makes things much more difficult. And we won't mention having to stop what you ae doing every 10 seconds to keep your toddler out of trouble! We also have lots of leftovers of the Fresh mozzarella casserole (though I made it more like baked ziti) from last week, so yesterday and today we are eating that.

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Barbecue Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Thursday:  leftovers

Friday: Bacon Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken (modified)

 I never made pie last week, so I think after the kid wakes up from his nap and has lunch I'll make one. I settled on some kind of vanilla pumpkin pudding pie.

Saturday, we are celebrating Jeff's grandpa's birthday, so I will be making the famous Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Yes, Oreos have lasted in our house for 2 weeks! Yes I have held off making them until I had an occasion to share them!

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Playing with Matches: A Novel (Review)

Playing with Matches: A NovelPlaying with Matches: A Novel by Carolyn Wall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very uneven book. I loved all of the characters - smart talking Clea Shine, whose life begins with tragedy, her Auntie and all the relatives surrounding her, even the mystery children Wheezer and Finn. The setting is the rural South, complete with fields, a prison, a Bingo hall, and a river.

What I didn't like was the "mystery" of the book. It is written one way, and what happens that night carries through the rest of Clea's life. When the book flashes forward to her as an adult and she is STILL worried over it, I was surprised. Later on, a character gives a different account and yet even later on there is another account. So it is unclear exactly what happened, and that really makes to book fall apart.

However, the characters really do draw you into their world. I liked being able to see what happened to them and to have some issues resolved. But because of the mystery... this book only gets 3 stars.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 3, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 9/3/12

It is September! Not officially fall yet, but I just had to put up the fall MPM banner! I am HOPING to buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte today too! Mmmm.

Here is this week's menu:

Monday: It is Kids Eat Free at Applebees, so we are going there for lunch (using the last of our gift cards). Dinner will be snacks if we are hungry!

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan (from last week)

Wednesday: Bowtie Chicken from the freezer

Thursday:  leftover chicken parm

Friday: Fresh mozzarella casserole

Looks like it will be an Italian week lol! I am craving some Taco pasta- if hamburger meat is on sale this week Friday's recipe will be changed!!

Dessert this week will be some kind of pie... maybe something with my pumpkin spice pudding mix or maybe chocolate banana pie? I have 6 recipies open that I want to try! Must. Choose. One. Or ask Jeff to decide lol!

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I went to a birthday lunch and was told to bring dessert... no problem!!! Since the birthday girl is not too fond of sweets (and she bakes and decorates cupcakes for a living!), I wanted to find a cookie that wasn't really sweet. These cookies from Bake or Break fit the bill! The cream cheese gives it a different taste and makes them really, really soft. And unlike most recipes, I actually made this one as-is! My only note is that if you do not have a cookie scoop, you cookies will not be perfectly shaped - see my pic below.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 48 cookies
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used a 12 oz package)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or line baking pans.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until almost combined. Add chocolate chips, stirring until dough is thoroughly mixed.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. (These cookies will not brown like classic chocolate chip cookies.)
Cool cookies completely on pan on wire racks.