Welcome To The Shakin 'N Bakin Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

How to Print Recipes: You can print out each individual recipe featured on this blog by clicking the "share" button at the bottom of each post. It will open up to show you options, click on print and another window will open up with the recipe inside it for printing.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Healthy School Lunchbox Ideas

My little grand daughter is attending her first year at school. She attends Kindergarten all day long and primarily packs a lunch for school. When I pack her lunches, I make sure she gets a well balanced and healthy lunch to munch on and I throw in a few surprises from time to time too.

Childhood obesity is a problem and according to the CDC, Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, a frighteningly high statistic for the youth of America.

Here are some great healthy school lunchbox ideas and some tips I learned along the way.

* Teach your children from an early age to eat "healthier" breads...wheat, whole grains, etc. In addition, introduce them to flat wraps and soft tortillas too. Use these to make their lunchtime sandwiches.

* Always toss in some fresh veggies and fruits for your child to munch on. We rotate the following choices to keep it interesting: celery with peanut butter, carrot sticks, grapes, apple slices, banana plain or with peanut butter, mandarin oranges, etc. Twice a week we also pack a mini salad and are blessed that Gia was taught early on to enjoy a good freshly-made salad.

* Homemade Soups - Every week when I cook lunch and dinners here at home I always make a little extra. I freeze these portions in small plastic snack-sized containers and pack them in my grand daughter's lunchbox. The cafeteria aides will reheat them for her in the cafeteria's microwave. Not every school has this option, but her's does.

* Additional Snacks: mini bags of granola, Welch's Fruit Snacks, mini boxes raisins, mini boxes yogurt covered raisins, mini packs of peanuts, Lance's Whole Grain Cracker Sandwiches, jello and pudding snack cups, apple sauce snack cups, etc.

Note: We do not buy those expensive and typically "un-healthy" prepackaged lunch meals that are marketed towards kid's school lunches. They are loaded with sodium, preservatives and other things that growing bodies do not need! If you are buying them for your kids, please read the labels carefully. While they are convenient, most are not healthy and they are all definitely expensive!

As a parent and now a grandparent, I firmly believe that you must teach your children to eat healthy at a very early age. If you do, they will carry those healthy eating habits into their school years and adulthood.

*** Samples were received to facilitate this article feature **

Disclaimer: Shelly Hill has personally reviewed the product listed above. Shelly has not received any monetary compensation for her review. Shelly did receive a free product to try out so she could evaluate and use it for her review. Her thoughts & opinions in this review are unbiased & honest and your opinions may differ. The Shakin N Bakin Blog is not responsible for delivery/shipping of giveaway items won from this blog nor are we responsible for mis-use or injury caused by items won from this Blog. Content on this blog is copyrighted, all rights reserved. We reserve the right to legally pursue anyone who violates our rights and/or steals our copyrighted material.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cookbook Review: Best of Bridge Holiday Classics

I love to cook but I am really passionate about baking. Over the years I have amassed quite the collection of cookbooks and one of my favorite cookbook publishes ~ Robert Rose sent me one to review. This is a fabulous cookbook for the upcoming holiday season.


Title: Best of Bridge Holiday Classics
Publisher: Robert Rose
ISBN: 9780778804871

Synopsis: This new collection will meet all of your holiday entertaining needs, from casual potluck get-togethers to festive brunches, and buffets to elegant sit-down dinners and cocktail parties. It's all here ~ from Christmas morning Wife Saver and Sumptuous Spinach & Artichoke Dip to Old-Fashioned Butter Tarts. The Food Gifts & Leftovers chapters take the edge off holiday planning.

The cookbook has 225 recipes for special occasions. I love that it has a spiral bound and a hardcover so it will lay flat on your counter when you are using it. The foodie photography in this cookbook is really festive look and it makes you want to try out that recipe right away.

Examples of Recipes in the Book:

* Christmas Morning Wife-Saver
* Midnight French Toast
* Cranberry Scones
* Nippy Cheddar Rabbit
* Brie with Sundried Tomatoes
* Eggnog Supreme
* Senate Salad Bowl
* Classic French Onion Soup
* Roast Turkey with Sage Bread Stuffing
* Fruit & Nut Shortbread
* Chocolate Raspberry Torte
* Pumpkin Cheesecake
* Crazy Crunch
* Christmas Marmalade
* Plus many more!!!

The printing is what I call a "medium to large" print which makes it very easy on the eyes when you are reading the recipes. I appreciate that because my eyesight is not as good as it used to be. I love that everything is organized nicely by chapters and almost all of the recipes call for everyday ingredients that you can find readily available. Instructions/directions are given for each recipe and they are presented in a very easy & understandable format.

After looking through the book, I have already decided that come New Year's Eve when the family is here for our annual party, I am going to make the Best Seafood Lasagna recipe on page 114. I think it's going to be a real winner along with the Hot Artichoke Dip on page 56.

This cookbook has something for everyone and I personally think that many of the recipes will quickly become family favorites!

You can find the Best of Bridge Holiday Classics Cookbook at Robert Rose, as well as various other cookbooks that they have to offer. I highly recommend them!

Disclaimer: Shelly Hill has personally reviewed the product listed above. Shelly has not received any monetary compensation for her review. Shelly did receive a free product to try out so she could evaluate and use it for her review. Her thoughts & opinions in this review are unbiased & honest and your opinions may differ. The Shakin N Bakin Blog is not responsible for delivery/shipping of giveaway items won from this blog nor are we responsible for mis-use or injury caused by items won from this Blog. Content on this blog is copyrighted, all rights reserved. We reserve the right to legally pursue anyone who violates our rights and/or steals our copyrighted material.

Orange Spiced Pumpkin Martini Recipe

Fall is definitely in-the-air here in Pennsylvania and our entertaining these days has moved indoors. With that said, there is still plenty of fun to be had on the weekends, especially when you have a delicious cocktail in-hand. This particular cocktail recipe is courtesy of VOGA Italia.


Orange Spiced Pumpkin Martini Recipe

2 oz VOGA Prosecco
2 oz Pumpkin flavored vodka
1/2 oz triple sec
1 dash orange zest
1 dash of cinnamon

Pour vodka, triple sec and orange zest into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist, a dash of cinnamon and serve.

Disclaimer: You must be 21 years of age or older to drink alcohol. Please drink responsibly. You can visit Voga Italia to learn more about their products and to obtain additional recipes.