The Mommyhood Life

Food

The Perfect Beach Day Snack – A Delicious Bread Tray

This post was sponsored by Heluva Good! as part of an Ambassador Program and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The Perfect Beach Day Snack - A Delicious Bread Tray

The Perfect Beach Day Snack – A Delicious Bread Tray

I can’t believe it’s Labor Day weekend already!  Are you heading out on the water or hitting the sandy beach to celebrate?  If you are, I have the perfect snack idea for you!

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Living in Florida we spend a lot of time on the boat and at the beach, it’s pretty much a way of life down here.  With three kids, you can imagine snacks are always on my list of what to pack, and knowing that space can be limited on the boat plus, we will likely be carrying food to a sandy beach once the boat is anchored, limits my snacking options.  With space being a concern, I also like to find snacks that everyone likes, both the kids and the adults.  Chips and dips are always a popular duo, but after a few days in a row, my go to snack becomes mundane and it’s time to get creative.

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Luckily with Heluva Good! Dip there are so many other dipping options!  With a assortment of flavors including French Onion, Buttermilk Ranch, White Chedder and Bacon, Bodacious Onion, and more, they really have a flavor to satisfy everyone’s taste buds and to pair with whatever you want to dip.

One of my family’s favorite foods to dip in every flavor of Heluva Good! Dip is bread, in particularly pumpernickel bread.  It is a tasty and satisfying snack that is super easy to prepare and take out to the beach.

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I grab a couple loafs of bread from the bakery, uncut.  As I said pumpernickel is a favorite of mine, but we also love French bread and Seseme bread.

For the small loafs I cut it into thin slices.  For large loafs or the round loafs that pumpernickel usually comes in I just tear it apart by hand into small chunks.
I then package it all back up in the bags I bought it in, or in a ziplock bag. 
The bread can be put right in your beach bag and is ready to go, and the small Heluva Good! Dip tubs fit easily in any cooler.

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Once we get to the beach, the kids will either snack right from the bag, or if there’s a group of us, like at a Labor Day party, I will bring along some plastic bowels/plates so everyone has room to dip. 

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I love how easy this appetizer is, yet it is not something often thought about, making it an awesome snacking experience!

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What is your favorite food to dip?
Make sure you look for these bold-favored dips in the dairy aisle at a store near you!

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Quick and Simple Back to School Meal Time Ideas with $1.99 Rotisserie Chicken!

This post is sponsored by Boston Market, All opinions are my own.

Quick and Simple Back to School Meal Time Ideas

Back to School Meal Ideas

Back to school season this year has had me thrown for a loop.  The kids are starting their second school year in Florida and the school year starts very early down here.  

Going into this summer, I assumed this year wouldn’t be as bad after hustling through last year, I was wrong!  After living my entire life in New England, I guess it is still a habit to think of August as a summer month.  When school supplies started popping up in stores before the 4th of July, logically I thought “wow, I guess we have to start shopping” but did I? No!  I am so accustomed to the 4th of July being the kick off of the summer festivities not the time that the summer fun starts to wind down.  So, I procrastinated and procrastinated and as you can surely imagine, the first few weeks of school this year had me frazzled, pus to add to the stress, the youth sports season started at the same time.

There were several nights that I spent trying to squeeze through the school supply isles of my local department store with all the other stressed out mothers, after already spending hours on a practice field.   Luckily by day one, the kids had their new school clothes on and their backpacks packed, but once they got on the bus, I realized I hadn’t even thought about dinner, or lunch for the second day.  I excitedly thought about how I could now stroll through the grocery store without any kids attached to my carriage, but the last thing I wanted to think about was cooking.  Luckily Boston Market saved my sanity!

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Boston Market Family Meal

I love Boston Market because I can run in and get a complete meal for my family that is not only affordable, but it also feels like home cooking.  We are still sitting around the table passing the mashed potatoes and vegetables at the end of the day talking about how school was, and this makes my heart happy and my brain a whole lot less frazzled.

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Boston Market Family Meals feed families of three, four or more.  I usually get the Family Meal for 4, because my husband works the night shift and isn’t a big eater at dinner time, so it is always more than enough food for us.   With a main dish of rotisserie chicken, meatloaf, roasted turkey, or BBQ ribs, plus 4 sides and corn bread, this family dinner is an easy way to get everyone to the kitchen table without any complaints!
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$1.99 Family Meal Deal!

Boston Market is offering a whole rotisserie chicken for only $1.99 with the purchase of any Family Meal!  In addition to feeding my whole family a delicious wholesome Family Meal, I got a whole fresh, never frozen rotisserie chicken for just $1.99.  These chickens can be used in tasty school lunches, afternoon snacks, and into dinner recipes to save time without sacrificing flavor.  This deal made meal times during the school week so much more manageable!

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How I used my $1.99 Fresh Never Frozen Rotisserie Chicken

Breakfast:

Omelets!  I love mixing up the usual cereal or waffles quick breakfasts that happen in my house during busy mornings.  Omelets are a perfect option when I have cooked chicken in the fridge waiting for me.  My kids love eggs, and I love being able to add some nutritious chicken breast and veggies to their breakfast.  With the help of Boston Market’s $1.99 meal deal, I can have a hot breakfast on the table as quickly as it takes my children to pick out which cereal they’d want.

Lunch:

Chicken Salad is a lunch time favorite for my family, the kids love it as a sandwich, while my husband and I can eat it by the bowl full.  Using Boston Market’s Rotisserie Chicken makes my normal chicken salad a lot more flavorful, plus there is no cooking for me!  Lunch is ready in a few minutes.

Dinner:

For a third meal, I used what was left of our rotisserie chicken in a quick Ceaser Salad mix to add some protein to flavor to it.

For $1.99, this Boston Market Meal Deal, saved me time while feeding my family 3 delicious meals in addition to the original family dinner I purchased. 
Are you struggling with meal time during the back to school stress?  Boston Market has you covered!

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What is your favorite Boston Market meal?

Un-Slump Your Summer Lunch Routine!

This post is brought to you by StarKist and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. 

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We are half way through summer break, which means my family has hit a lunch slump!  During the school year, the kids not only have breakfast at school, they also typically buy lunches there or bring sandwiches and purchase extras from the snack line.  During the summer, I must go from planning one meal a day to three plus snacks.

My grocery bill triples, the kids complain about “this again”, while my time is consumed with making meals.

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StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches

Luckily, I was invited to learn more about StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches at Blogher last month. 
I grew up seeing StarKist Charlie in commercials and my mom always having cans of Starkist Tuna in the cabinets for Tuna sandwiches.  However, I had no idea how much of a variety Starkist offers and how many meal ideas there are using not only their original tuna but their delicious Tuna Creations.   that have opened my meal time options wide up my meal time variety, while saving me time on meal prep.

I received a couple pouches of the Tuna Creations Pouches at Blogher to try, and they have been in my shopping cart every week since.

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They are Quick and Easy!

Each pouch is a single serving and requires no can opener or draining.  Just tear it open and your good to go.  This may sound silly but there have been afternoons when I purposely didn’t use the tuna fish in the cabinet because I didn’t want to deal with draining the can and the fish smell because my dishes weren’t done.  No judgement please.

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They are Nutritious!

Featuring at least 13 grams of lean protein and less than 110 calories per pouch, these are the perfect snack option to keep you going.

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They are Versatile:

I am on the go constantly, so you will likely find a pouch and a plastic fork in my pocketbook for an instant snack anywhere.  The flavor options are great on their own, but I also add them to my salads and pastas, top our chicken breasts with different flavor creations, make sandwiches with them, top veggies with it, and so much more.

My favorite way of serving the StarKist Tuna Creations is to open a few pouches of the Thai Chili Style Pouches and spread it into a nice bowl and pair it with crackers for a party appetizer.  No one knows all I did was tear open a pouch and served.

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They Taste Great!

StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches are Available in 21 varieties, including 13 deliciously seasoned Tuna & Salmon Creations, tuna & salmon in water or oil, as well as low sodium options.  The meal options are limitless and with such a vast variety you never get bored when using them as a healthy snack option!

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Want to learn more about the great flavor options StarKist offers?  Visit http://starkist.com/,

Make sure you get social with StarKist Charlie!
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Stress Free Summer Fun Ideas To Stay Busy

This post was sponsored by Budget Saver Twin Pops as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

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Stress Free Summer Fun Ideas To Stay Busy 

If you are looking for fun ways to create memories this summer than keep reading! I have got some great stress free summer fun ideas for you and your family to enjoy! I love the warm summer days, roasting marshmallows by a fire, catching fireflies, endless days at the pool, and the list can go on! 

Summer is on of my favorite seasons! I love being outdoors and getting to spend time with my family! I think if you can look back at your own childhood, I think you too will find a lot of great memories happen in summer. Getting to go on family vacations, pool days,  eating TwinPops on the front porch, as it drips down your face! 

Creative Ways to Make Memories This Summer 

Bucket List

Let your child create a bucket list of things they might want to do. Go fishing, spend the day at the park, have a picnic, visit a museum, etc. Help give them ideas and let them pick a few items that they want to do. Then create a little sheet with their ideas, and as you complete them they will have a blast marking it off their summer bucket list! 

Outdoor Games 

Create fun outdoor games the whole family will enjoy! You can have water balloon fights, make a life size twister game on your lawn, or play kick the can. Find fun and easy games that you could do on one cool summer evening! Games are such a great way to connect, and share lots of laughs! 

Treasure Hunt In Backyard 

Create your own treasure hunt in your own backyard! Get it all set up, create a little map for your child, and send them off to see if they can find the treasure at the end. You can find cheap dollar toys to have them win as their prize. They will have so much fun trying to find the prize at the end! Get creative and use things in your yard, like flowerpots, flowers, big rocks or wood to mark spots to find their next clue. 

Sweet  MOMents

Nothing is better than a Twin Pops on a hot summer day! Tasty and cool, to help cool you down after a hot summer day. You can get messy and then just rinse off with the hose or take a cool shower! Your kids will adore the fact that you are letting them get a little messy while they devour their sweet treat, great MOMents (short for mom moments)!

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If you didn’t know The Twin Pop was invented all the way back to the great depression! Two children would split one for a nickle, for a nice sweet treat. Budget Saver Twin Pops are great to create memories, and delicious! You can get the cutest pictures with them eating one, and it dripping down their face! Nothing screams summer more than this! You can buy Twin Pops in a variety of flavors, grape is the big winner in my books!

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Also, make sure to head over and share your own MOMents and enter the #twinpopscontest for your chance to win a grand prize!  Head over to Instagram or Twitter and and show how you make every moment sweet with Budget Saver Twin Pops while using the hashtag #Twinpopcontest. Your entry could be select as a Weekly or even the Grand Prize Winning MOMent!

You can enter by  By entering you have a chance to win a weekly prize or possibly the grand prize! 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to U.S. residents, 18+. Enter by 8/13/17, For Official Rules, visit http://bit.ly/2pDfETF

Drive In Movie or Movie Night at Home 

If you live somewhere near a drive in movie theater, consider taking the family to go watch a movie!! Sitting at a drive in makes for such a great time! Or create your own movie night at home! Find a movie the whole family can agree on and create fun movie theater style treats for the family to enjoy! 

What is your favorite summer activity?

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Hope your summer is stress free and full of fun, now let’s all enjoy some Budget Savor Twin Pops!

Also make sure you get Social with Budget Savor Twin Pops on Facebook!

 

 

Why I Cook with My Kids and the Importance of the 4-H Food Smart Families Program

This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

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One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon is in the kitchen cooking with my children.  I grew up making countless memories and learning to cook in my Nana’s kitchen and now I enjoy passing on what I learned to my children.

One of our favorite recipes is one I made countless afternoons with my Nana, Vegetable Soup.  The kids get loaded with healthy veggies in every serving, plus it lets them get hands on with picking, chopping, and cooking lots of different vegetables.

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I love being able to instill a love of healthy cooking in my children.  However, I also know that I am lucky to be able to have the resources to do this for my family, with Nearly 16 million children living in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year.

However, 4-H Food Smart Families is helping create more food secure homes by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.  Knowledge is power, and this is gives families who are struggling to make ends meet, the knowledge they need to be able to feed their families well.

Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states!

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Teens at Teachers

The Food Smart Families program incorporates an effective 4-H “Teens as Teachers” model that uses the influence of young people by engaging teens to empower their peers and families today and to help establish life-long healthy habits.

More than 400 youth have been trained in the Teens as Teachers model and serve as mentors, teaching younger children and empowering their families to shop better and cook smarter.

There have been positive changes in youth behavior as a result of 4‑H Food Smart families, check out these amazing statistics:

  • 90% of youth participants now think being active is fun and good for fitness
  • 89% now encourage their families to eat meals together
  • 87% said their families have purchased healthier foods
  • 86% now eat fruit for a snack over unhealthier options

Isn’t this an amazing program?

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Learn more about 4-H Food Smart Families and how you can help here, plus connect with them on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

Tips For Having the Perfect Movie Night at Home

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Tips For Having the Perfect Movie Night at Home

If you are looking to create a fun and perfect movie night at home, than try out some of these options below! Having a movie night at home with the family can be lots of fun! Plus it is a more affordable option than going to the theater, and you get comfier seats!

Below you will find the perfect way to create a movie theater feel in the comfort of your home! One thing I love about watching movies at home, is you can pause them when you get up to use the restroom or refill your drink!

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Creating a Movie Night At Home

Atmosphere: Make sure it is a nice low key atmosphere. Dim the lights or even turn them off, so you get that dark room effect like in the movie theater! Make sure you have good comfy seating, or lay out blankets and pillows to lounge on the floor if you want.

Snacks and Drinks: You can’t have a movie night at home without good snacks. Think delicious popcorn! G.H. Cretors sent me some yummy popcorn to try and I am inlove with the Just the Cheese Popcorn by G.H. Cretors, they do have other flavors. It is popped and ready to be devoured! Make sure to have licorice, chocolate candies, cotton candy or any other movie theater treat. Then of course you can forget tasty drinks to wash them down with! If you want a more healthy option do veggies and hummus or protein balls.

Themed Snacks: Say you are watching a chick flick, you might want a fun virgin drink to sip on, if it is a cartoon, make cupcakes that resemble a character, scary movies, do gummy worms or other gooey snacks. Just make it fun and light hearted.

Put Away Electronics: Make sure to put up your electronics when you watch a movie. Just like going out, you have to turn it on silent. Try and make the most out of your movie night, by spending time with each other.

Picking a Movie: Make sure to pick a movie that everyone would probably enjoy. Read reviews so that you don’t end up with a movie that turns out to be really slow and goes nowhere. Find a movie that is new for everyone to see or watch one of your families favorites!

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As you can see throwing a movie night at home can be very laid back and fun. Just make sure you have good seating, great movie, and delicious snacks and I think you will please everyone!

What tips do you have for planning a perfect movie night in for the family?

Learn more about G.H. Cretors here, and get social with them:
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Disclosure:  I recieved a Movie Night Box from G.H. Cretors to help facilitate this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

 

Take a minute for yourself to enjoy dessert! Duncan Hines Perfect Size for 1

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Duncan Hines, All opinions are 100% my own.

Duncan Hines

We’re busy moms, and as such we all know how few moments we get to ourselves a day.  Between the meals, cleaning, pickup lines, homework and everything in between, we must take full advantage of the minutes we get of silence without little people crawling on us.

 When I get that quiet couple of moments at the end of a long day, before I collapse on the couch, I am usually craving a warm sweet treat.  However, the last thing I want to add to my already crammed to-do list is baking or the mess that comes with it.

Now thanks to the new Perfect Size for 1 by Duncan Hines I can eat chocolate cake every night, if I want to with just a mug, some water, and about a minute!  No mess, no wait, no leftovers, but all the yumminess.  How perfect is that?

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Quick and Easy

Perfect Size for 1 is an individually portioned cake mix that is made quickly and easily in a 8oz coffee mug that is easy in about a minute!  That’s right 1 minute and you have a warm delicious treat just for you. 
Each box comes with 4 individual pouches so you can have a treat whenever you want!

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Customize your Favorite Treat

Craving something different?  Customizing any of the Perfect Size for 1’s varieties is easy.  Switch up the liquid, instead of using water to make your treat use milk, coffee, exc.  Also, the add-in possibilities are endless, mix nuts into the apple cinnamon muffin mix or extra chocolate chips into the chocolate cake.  My favorite is adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top of my cake and some caramel drizzle.

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There are 18 Varieties

Perfect Size for 1 comes in 18 different flavors, which are good for morning, noon, and evening indulgences!  School vacation is coming up soon, the breakfast options are going to be a hit in my house with three kids who are always hungry.

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These are a must have in my pantry now.  I look forward to sneaking away and indulging my sweet tooth every night. 
Have you tried the Perfect Size for 1 pouches yet?  What is your favorite flavor?

Learn more about Perfect Size for 1 here and get social with Duncan Hines!
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The $100 Margarita at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

 Thanks to The Network Niche, today’s post is sponsored by Fleming’s Steak House & Wine Bar.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

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Are you ready for Cinco de Mayo?  I have the perfect way to celebrate.  With the delicious $100 margarita at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar!  

I was invited to an amazing event last night to try this unique drink and it was incredible.  Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar took a drink that is usually thought of as a pool side drink and brought it to another level!  

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However, the $100 Margarita is only available for a short time, from May 4-6, so get your friends together, get a babysitter, and head out for the perfect night out!

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The $100 Margarita includes Tequila Herradura Seleccion Suprema and Grand Marnier Contenaire premium liquor and is served in Baccarat’s designed Diamant Highball.

When purchasing this on a one of a kind experience, you also get to take your glass home in an iconic red box.  This is a yummy way to indulging way to elevate your Cinco de Mayo celebration!   

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Are you ready for Cinco de Mayo?
Visit Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar to take your Cinco de Mayo to a new level!

Get Social with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar!
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Blueberry Shortcake Recipe with Fresh From Florida

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own. 

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Living in Florida has been fantastic for my taste buds!  The hot weather makes my family crave fresh fruit and veggies, and Florida delivers during every season.

Florida Farmers make it so easy for everyone to eat fresh produce year around!  Within a 5-mile radiance, there are over a dozen farmers markets held on various days of the week, and in Florida something delicious is always in season!  My favorite is the Dunedin Downtown Market, I love the quaintness of Dunedin with the cute shops and restaurants, and this market is held in the center of town so we can shop for our weeks produce and then enjoy a morning stroll around town.

One of my family’s favorite treat is Blueberry Shortcake, it combines one of our favorite fruits and an indulgent biscuit with whip cream.
We like to make this to enjoy after Sunday dinner or for breakfast on special mornings.  The only problem I encounter with this recipe is that if I shop with my children, the blueberries never make it home.

Being new to Florida, I was used to digging through a carton and finding a few big juice blueberries surrounded by small sour ones.  So, when I bought my first package of berries in Florida, I ate them all in less than 10 minutes and had to go back to the farm stand to get more for the kids.  Every blueberry was plump and sweet!  So now whenever I shop, I always look for the Fresh From Florida label on produce, seafood, and even wine!

Want to try some delicious Blueberry Shortcake?  Here’s the recipe:

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Blueberry Shortcake

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup and 3 Tbsp. of Sugar
2 Tsp of Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup of Butter
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp of Almond Extract
1 1/2 Cups of Cool Whip
2 Cups of Blueberries

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Shortcake Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees
Wisk together Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, and 2 Tbsp. of Sugar.

Using a mixer add in butter, once Butter has crumbled mix in Milk and Almond Extract.

Gather Dough and break into 6 pieces, place on a buttered baking pan.
Cook for 13 to 15 Minutes till the bottom is golden brown.

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Blueberry Jam Directions:

In a medium sauce pan simmer 1 1/3 cups of Blueberries. 1/2 cup of Sugar. and Lemon Juice on medium heat for 8 minutes.  

Once the blueberries have softened and the mixture has a syrup like look, Mix in 2/3 cups of Blueberries.  Remove from heat and let cool.

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Cream Directions:

My kids love cool whip, and I love shortcuts, so we use cool whip instead of making a whip cream from scratch.  However, this can easily be swapped out for any whip cream you like.

Take 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip and fold in 1 Tbsp. of Sugar and 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla Extract.

Once everything is cooked and cooled down, it’s time to assemble.  
Cut the shortcake biscuit in half.
Spread the whip cream on both sides of the biscuit and add a large spoonful of the Blueberry Mix.

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Put the Biscuit back together, and add a dollop more of whip cream to the top of the shortcake with another spoonful of Blueberry Mix.
If you haven’t eaten all the left-over Blueberries yet, you can add a few to garnish the plate.

That’s all, a yummy, almost from scratch, delicious dessert!
What is your favorite was to cook with fruit?
Need more ideas?  Check out the Fresh From Florida recipe page!

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My Families 5 Favorite Foods this Winter with Fresh from Florida!

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own

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Winter is upon us down here in Florida and I think it might have dipped into the 60’s for a day or two.  With this being my families first winter after moving down from Boston, we were ready for the beach even on those 60 degree days.  

In New England that temperature is a cool summer night.  As you can guess, all the new northerners stand out from the true Floridians when “winter” strikes.  While my kids are at the bus stop in shorts and sandals, they’re in a sea of kids wearing fur lined hoodies.  

While it did dip into the “frigid” 60’s on a couple occasions, the rest of the winter has been incredible.  I didn’t really know what to expect weather wise in our first year, but I can honestly say Florida during the winter has my absolute favorite weather.  High 70’s and sunny pretty much 90% of the time, what’s not to love! Beyond the weather my favorite advantage of living in a region with such an amazing climate is the ability to get fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables all year round!

  I have fallen in love with being able to stroll the Tampa area farmers’ markets each weekend and pick up juicy fruits and crisp vegetables from local farmers all year long. 

With so many of my family’s favorite produce being in season this winter, my family has eaten healthier than ever before.

Curious when each fruit and vegetable is in season?  Find out here.

My Families 5 Favorite Fresh from Florida Recipes this Winter 

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Florida Grape Tomato and Orzo Pasta Salad
Tomatoes are in season all winter long in Florida and my kids would eat them by the dozen, so by putting them in a pasta salad they turn into a great afternoon lunch on a breezy sunny day.

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Cheddar-Bacon Florida Sweet Corn
Corn is another veggie the kids love that is in season all winter long, and Lilly has asked for corn-on-the-cob for breakfast on numerous mornings, so this recipe is a favorite in our house.

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Florida Strawberry Parfait
This is our go to dessert or afternoon snack.  Each member of my family says strawberries are one of their favorites and this recipe is beyond simple!

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Florida Avocado Smoothie
With 5 of us getting up and out the door during the week, mornings are crazy.  This Avocado Smoothie is an easy and quick breakfast that I can take with me and avocados are in season through January in Florida.

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Florida Beef and Sweet Pepper Skewers
My husband is Brazilian, he LOVES to barbeque and in Florida he does it constantly!  My favorite vegetable is Bell Peppers, I eat them raw, sautéed, grilled, any-way I love them.  So, this is a recipe he often grills us up and it’s delicious.

Want to check out some more yummy recipes?  Head over to Fresh from Florida!  

Whether I’m stocking up on produce at my local grocery store or at one of the cities farmers’ markets, I always look for the “Fresh from Florida” label.  That way not only am I getting fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am also helping the local farmers in my community profit and be able to continue a sustainable farm and keep growing quality food for all of our families.

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Looking for a local Farmers’ Market?
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