Archive for November, 2013

Celebrating, Football, and Eating!

Turkey Cheese Ball, Tastefully SimpleMust give thanks my friend and Tastefully Simple co-worker Karen Showalter-Goodwin, for bringing this cute and delish Turkey Cheese Ball to our special event a couple of weeks ago.  Our Special Event included a special visit from our Founder and CEO, Jill Blashack Strahan and Karen’s Turkey Cheese Ball sure did catch the attention of Jill!  She loved it so much that it was shared on Jill’s facebook page and featured in Tastefully Simple’s Blog.  You may read all about it below!

For my family, each Thanksgiving day becomes a day full of three things.

  1. 1. (The most important) Celebrating the abundance of things we have to be thankful for. Last year, like many years, we went around the table sharing what we were thankful for … all hearts melted when my young cousin boldly stated, “This day, and, all of you.”
  1. 2. Football. Sometimes interrupted by a tryptophan-induced nap, but nonetheless, a whole lot of watching and throwing around the pigskin.
  1. 3. Eating. Eating a lot. A lot of turkey, in particular. The day starts with eating hors d’oeuvres while perusing shopping ads, followed by a festive feast with a flavorful turkey. The evening concludes with an only-mayo-and-leftover-turkey-on-the-bun sandwich over a “friendly” card game of gin rummy.

Tastefully Simple’s Founder and CEO, Jill Blashack Strahan, recently shared an adorable turkey cheese ball on her Facebook page and I was inspired to make a Tastefully Simple version. So, this year, I think I’ll add one more turkey to my family’s day of thanks.


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Creamy Wild Rice Stuffing

Creamy-Wild-Rice-Stuffing, Tastefully SimpleI was so excited when my friend and Marketing Specialist Eydie Stumpf with Terra Media Marketing Group  asked for all of her Facebook friends to submit their favorite Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe!  I just happen to have a favorite and wanted to also share with my foodie friends!  Enjoy (-:

Wild Rice Soup Mix (Tastefully Simple)
5 cups hot water
2 tsp. Garlic Garlic™
2 – 3 Tbsp. Onion Onion™
6 – 8 slices diced bacon
4 stalks diced celery
14 oz. bag seasoned breadcubes
½ cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine first 4 ingredients; simmer 45 minutes. Sauté bacon in large skillet until browned; add celery. Cook until celery is tender. Toss bread cubes in large bowl with bacon mixture and cranberries. Add prepared soup, season to taste with salt and pepper; mix well. Place dressing in greased 9 x 13 baking dish; cover with foil. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 10-12 servings.

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Do you have leftover Halloween candy?

Everything-Bars, Tastefully Simple

Not sure about you, but Halloween was slow in my neighborhood this year. I was prepared with lots of goodies for the ghosts and goblins who would be knocking at my door, but alas, none came by. So when I saw this blog post written by Mandi, a blogger over at the Tastefully Simple headquarters I got excited about the prospect of transforming the candy into a tasty dessert.

Here’s Mande’s story….

This week, I was super inspired by all the fabulous Halloween treats my kids brought home. Of course, they have far more candy in their possession than they should ever eat! So what’s a mom to do but provide a little assistance? The best part is that my favorites are typically not their favorites, so I get an over abundance of goodies to snack on.

One of my favorite candy bars of all time is a Take 5®– there’s chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, pretzels and caramel – what’s not to love! How does one replicate that peanutty, sweet and salty goodness?  I used Tastefully Simple’s Sweet Swirl™ Caramel Cake as the base and put a variety of treats on top. Fabulous!

The pan was gone in a matter of a day. It was the right combination of sweet and salty to make the perfect treat!

Absolutely Everything Bars

  • Yield: 12-15 Servings


  •  Sweet Swirl™ Caramel Cake (Item #…) (reserve caramel packet)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts chopped
  •  Pretzels
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Mix first three ingredients together and pat into a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350°. Cool crust for 10 minutes. Spread single layer of pretzels. Cut corner off caramel packet and drizzle over pretzels. Sprinkle with peanuts and M&M’s. Melt chocolate chips over very low heat on stove top. Place mixture into a freezer bag and cut a small tip of the bottom corner and drizzle over toppings. Cool for 30 minutes or until chocolate hardens.

Tips & Hints

• Any candy peanut-, chocolate-, or caramel -candy combination could be used for these bars.

• The next time I make these, I’ll probably break the pretzels into small pieces to make the bars easier to cut.

• Marshmallow crème would be a great topper on these. Try spreading it on the crust right after baking before putting on the other toppings.

• This dessert is perfect for the kids to help with; they can sprinkle their favorites on top!

  • Cooking Method: Bake

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