April 14, 2011

New Blog Alert!

Posted in baking, Random, Recipes and food tagged , , , , , , , at 3:25 PM by Rockin' Rita

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up that my friend Angela aka Fab Find Foodie just started a new blog! It’s going to focus more on her adventures in the kitchen than giveaways and reviews, but I think you’ll really enjoy it. PS: she’s got a super special giveaway to get things under way…so what are you waiting for?! Come on check it out… just click the button below or visit at Move Over Betty!

February 16, 2011

mmmm food

Posted in breakfast, Recipes and food, snacks tagged , , at 3:22 PM by Rockin' Rita

Some of my favorite granolas are made with Kashi cereals. Try their lines of GoLean Crunch and GoLean Crisp as part of your granola mixture.  Tired of “just granola?” Turn your granola into a trail mix by adding things you love like nuts, berries, even chocolate covered raisins are delish! This posts comes direct from the Vocalpoint program. I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share it with you.

Make your own granola

Make your own granolaAs you can see below, it’s easy to make your own granola, which you can use as an afternoon snack, breakfast, sprinkled over yogurt—whatever you want. The first recipe is the base for granola mix, which is great just on its own. But the recipes after it contain a few add-ins that can customize the base to your liking. The last recipe is one for chewy granola bars, which are great for super-portable snacking!

Granola Base

3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon (you can add more or less, depending on what you like)
1/3 cup honey (you could also use maple syrup, if that’s what’s on hand)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray and set it aside.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the remaining liquid ingredients in a glass measuring cup. Heat the liquid mixture for one minute and stir its contents, then pour over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Thinly and evenly spread the granola on the baking sheet. Pop the pan in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes, or until the granola is a light golden brown.

Enhance the base granola after baking by mixing in different combinations of dried fruits, nuts or seeds:

Tropical Granola

¼ cup macadamia nuts
½ cup dried pineapple
¼ cup flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup dried papaya
½ cup banana chips

Harvest Blend Granola

1 cup dried apples
½ cup halved walnuts
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (salted and roasted)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
½ cup dried cranberries

Fruity Granola

½ cup dried apple chips
½ cup banana chips
½ cup dried papaya
½ cup raisins
½ cup dates

Chewy Granola Bars

2 cups of quick oatmeal
¾ cup wheat germ
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. Kosher salt
4 tbsp. butter

Brown the oatmeal and wheat germ in a large, dry frying pan on medium heat. In a separate pan, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from stove and mix with the dry ingredients.

Once the dry and liquid ingredients are mixed, stir in your favorite mix-ins, including chocolate chips or dried fruit.

Spray the bottom of an 11×13 pan with non-stick baking spray, or line with wax paper. Firmly press the mixture into a glass-pan, as if you’re making Rice Krispies treats. Let cool at room temperature. After three hours, cut into bar-shaped treats, package in wax paper or snack-size bags and store in an air-tight container.

January 30, 2011

Are You Really Doing Everything You Can To Lose Weight?

Posted in beverages, Health and Wellness, Weight at 9:42 PM by Rockin' Rita

Think about it a moment. You have changed your diet and you exercise regularly. You are doing well keeping up on your resolution to lose weight, but it’s just not coming off as quickly as you’d like. Ask yourself this: “Are You Really Doing Everything You Can To Lose Weight?”

Have you been drinking more water lately? No? Maybe you should re-think that.

The Virginia Tech Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise researchers conducted a survey among twenty-four inactive and overweight or obese men and women ages 55 to 75.

The participants were divided into two groups. “Both groups followed a diet of 1,500 calories per day for men and 1,200 per day for women. But group 1 drank 500 milliliters (2.11 cups) of water a half hour before meals, while the second group did not drink water. The result? Water drinkers ate 13 percent less at each meal and lost about five pounds more on average. They also lost weight faster over a 12-week period. And, after 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals had lost 15.5 pounds, compared to 11 pounds for the non-water drinkers, a nearly 30 percent difference. The water-drinkers also continued to lose weight (though at a slower rate) – over the following year, even though they had stopped their low-calorie diets. The study authors attribute this to the fact that those participants continued to drink water before meals.”

Do you think this study has any relevance if you are not overweight or obese? Do you do anything to flavor up your water? Do you even drink any water (besides coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages)?

Here is one of my favorite secrets to wanting to drink more water. I like to flavor it up. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of those diet powder beverages (such as crystal light), but most often I use True Lemon, True Orange, or True Lime. It’s all natural made, from crystallized lemons, oranges, and limes and its great tasting.

January 24, 2011

How to Plan a Cooking Party for Kids

Posted in Birthdays, Parties, Recipes and food tagged , , , , , , , at 3:48 PM by Rockin' Rita

If you are anything like me then January and October have always been big months for birthdays. Growing up I always had a lot of friends with January and October birthdays. What do kids always want to do when it comes to their birthday? Have a party of course.  I found this video through Swag Bucks and thought it was a very clever and  inventive way to hold a party for kids that they and their friends will be sure to enjoy and remember for time to come. Getting kids involved in the kitchen is also a great way to get them to feel more connected to the family and to the food they are eating!

How to Plan a Cooking Party for Kids

What are some of your favorite children’s birthday party ideas? Do you have any favorite birthday parties that either you and/or your kids have had and/or gone to? Do you know of any inventive ways to get your kids to eat healthy? How do you get kids involved in the kitchen? What’s a good age to get them started cooking and baking?


More kids cooking party tips

January 21, 2011


Posted in breakfast, Holidays, Recipes and food tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:21 PM by Rockin' Rita

Ok so one of my favorite foods is oatmeal. I just love it! It’s great for warming you up on a really cold day and is great at filling you up. Not to mention all the fiber and protein and other health benefits! I am one of those people who love to add just about anything to it. What I add in depends on several factors (my mood, the time of the month, and cravings just to name a few).  I swear it can take me over an hour just to make a bowl of oatmeal. No, really! I’m serious. Please stop laughing. I know it’s crazy.

I love honey and cinnamon OR nutella (mmm) and granny smith apples OR apricots and strawberries. Sometimes I just throw in a bunch of baking spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.) and brown sugar to a couple of packages of apples and cinnamon flavored oatmeal. Or I’ll do honey and smashed bananas (Mmmmm). I’ve even been so crazy to put in those yummy graham cracker sticks (cinnamon or honey flavored) OR oreo’s OR other cookies OR left over cereal crumbs (especially Quaker Oatmeal Squares and Quaker Life). I just can’t stand it plain!!! And I’m not a maple oatmeal or raisins in oatmeal fan. Weird, right?! I also don’t like Quaker brand instant oatmeal. How strange is that?

Are you the same way? What do you like in your oatmeal? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever added in? What type of oats do you use (quick, old-fashioned, steel-cut, instant from packages, etc)? Does brand matter to your taste buds?

In honor of National Oatmeal Month, RedPlum (that wonderful coupon supplier) posted an article all about oatmeal! I thought I’d share it with you all. To read the entire article click here.

6 Cool (Low-Cost) Ways to Spice up your Kids’ Morning Oatmeal

  1. Peaches and Cream
  2. Peanut Butter and Bananas
  3. Rainbow Oatmeal
  4. Mini Oatmeal Cups
  5. Buried Treasure
  6. Oatmeal Muffins

January 12, 2011

How’s That Resolution Going?

Posted in Health and Wellness, pasta, Recipes and food, Weight tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:36 PM by Rockin' Rita

How’s that resolution to lose weight going? Lemme guess, if you are anything like me you have been tempted and probably given in. Giving in once in a while is ok. Really, it is. Just don’t give up. I told you I’d be here for you and I am.  Today I’d like to post some videos of recipes that are simple, delicious, and can satisfy you. But best of all, they can fill you up and help you keep that resolution! These recipes are courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis and come from her show “Everyday Italian.” Click the link to see the recipe. Enjoy.


Farfalle with Broccoli

Giada whips up a quick dish of bowtie pasta with broccoli.


Penne with Spinach Sauce

Giada tosses penne pasta with a light and healthful spinach sauce.


Roasted Eggplants and Tomatoes

Roasted eggplant and tomatoes is a great way to get kids to eat vegetables.

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