Tag - family meals

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen – Treat the Team Giveaway

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

Fall is here and if you’re anything like our family you are busy with school, activities, sports, and preparing for the holidays. Scouts, football, hockey, gymnastics, book clubs, robotics teams, whatever your family is involved in you are on-the-go.

Let’s be honest with running errands and shuttling the kiddos to their activities it can leave you with little together time and you know if your child is a part of a group they want to hang out with their teammates and club mates outside of that activity. So how do you fit in together time?

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is making it easier for small groups like families or large groups like sports teams and clubs to “treat the team” and enjoy a made-from-scratch meal, whether it’s dine-in or to-go.

The B Girls are part of an amazing scout-like group called GEMS where they get together bi-weekly and love seeing friends, and learning new things. It’s not often when we get the opportunity to spend extra time with our GEMS friends, but thanks to Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen we were able to enjoy a fun night of conversation, filled with laughter and no cooking or cleaning for me.

I’d love to pass on the opportunity to you. Check out a Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen near you to learn more about their menu, great kid’s meal pricing, and let the team and family bonding begin!

Win a Treat the Team Game Day Pack?

 

Enter to win a $50 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen gift card (with $4.99 kids meals, it goes a long way), 1 folding stadium chair, 1 fleece stadium blanket, 1 football, 1 first aid kit, and Treat the Team activity sheets that the kiddos will love.

 

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Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill Open in Concord North Carolina – #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post and giveaway. Any opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts.

 

If you are a local to the Charlotte/Concord North Carolina area you may have noticed the construction right outside of Concord Mills mall. Outback Steakhouse ® and Bonefish Grill ® are pleased to announce that they are both open for business.

 

Bloomin Brands Grand Opening of Outback & Bonefish Grill at Concord Mills Mall on 11/7/16 by Carolina Portrait Designs

Bloomin Brands Grand Opening of Outback & Bonefish Grill at Concord Mills Mall on 11/7/16 by Carolina Portrait Designs

 

Tony Reynolds, Managing Partner, Bonefish Grill says,“We look forward to serving the Concord community at the bustling Concord Mills Mall.” “Our hospitality goes far beyond our restaurant’s front doors and into the neighborhoods we serve and we’re thrilled to invite everyone to come in to sip and savor the winter season.”

 

While Concord Mills has a number of great restaurants already these two additions will give an added variety and provide more sit down restaurants for the whole family. Personally, I love the Outback Steakhouse ® and Bonefish Grill ® brands and as a person with food allergies can attest to the professionalism that these restaurants go to to ensure each guest matters.

 

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{Check out my post on Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy}


On that note, I strongly encourage you to consider these two restaurants as the holidays approach. Not only are they convenient for shoppers, but also provide a great meal when cooking is the last thing on your “to-do” list.

Outback Steakhouse ® is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday – Saturday. Bonefish Grill ® is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 a.m. Friday – Saturday and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Oh, and if you want to buy me a stocking stuffer I hear Outback Steakhouse ® and Bonefish Grill ® have gift certificates for purchase.

Speaking of gift certificates and giving, I’d love to give away a $50 gift certificate to your choice of either restaurant:

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Make Dinner Easy for You, Yummy for Them, and Healthy for Your Family

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

 

Now that school and extracurricular activities have begun, I often find myself at a loss for dinners. I either forget to put ingredients into my slow cooker, don’t have the right ingredients for my dishes, or end up only having a few minutes to fix something quick.

While my girls are pretty good about being thankful for the food they have they’re still kids, there are times when they don’t love what I’ve put on their plate.

I don’t know about you but some nights I really wish I had it together, so I’m always on the lookout for tips and recipes to make my weeknight dinners easy for me, tasty for them, and healthy for our family.

 

Tips to get your kids to LOVE Dinner MommyB

 

Green Giant Frozen Steamers to the rescue! Green Giant is kicking off the, “Fresh Take on What to Make” campaign in partnership with celebrity chef and TV host Gina Neely, Celebrity Chef and TV Host from “Down Home with the Neelys”.

This program offers expert tips and recipes to make back-to-school, weeknight dinners easier on parents. Gina developed 5 tips for conquering hectic weeknight dinners while making meals that are nutritious and delicious, including “one-pot wonders,” grocery list must-haves and her favorite ways to get kids involved in the kitchen.

In a Green Giant Frozen Survey, they found that more than a third of parents surveyed admitted to forgetting about, or even purposely cutting out, vegetables when crunched for time at the end of the day, leaving them out of meals an average of twice a week. This is despite four-out-of-five (83%) parents agreeing no dinner is complete without a vegetable.

Whether you’re like us and usually get a few veggies in but could always use more or end up missing out on the veggies, you won’t want to miss Gina’s ideas like Quick ‘n Easy Chicken Pot Pies and more. You can get more recipes and chat live with Gina and other parents just like us by joining tomorrow’s Google Hangout.

If you can use some ideas and inspiration come join me – Green Giant and Gina Neely are hosting a Google+ hangout tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm ET. Head here: http://bit.ly/1pkEbnY to RSVP and join me, can’t wait to hear your questions, and suggestions.

 

Green Giant Google Hangout

 

Comment here letting me know if you RSVPed and I can expect to see you! Also visit greengiant.com/easymeals for more meal ideas if you miss us.

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Green Giant, a brand that our family already loves and trusts and uses. We know the importance of healthy eating and want our friends to get their daily dose of vegetables as well. All opinions and thoughts in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Prince Lionheart theBOOST Plus Review

Mealtime is definitely one of Lil’ C’s favorite times of the day. Of course as parents we want to make sure our children are comfortable and have everything they need to have a successful meal. Since Lil’ C is 4 she’s not quite a baby in need of a highchair but sitting in the dining table chairs doesn’t quite sit up to the height of her plate without the assistance of a booster seat.

zboostplusmain

 

We’ve been trying out the Prince Lionheart theBOOST Plus for a couple of months to review all the features and in order to tell you more about our likes and dislikes about the product. Since we are using the booster for Lil’ C we don’t use the included tray, but it’s a great option for a smaller child.

We like the Prince Lionheart theBOOST Plus because:

  • It comes in four accent colors: Berry Blue, Galactic Grey, Flashbulb Fuchsia, and Gumball Green
  • There is a 3-point harness option for buckling your child in
  • The seat seems very durable in the months we have been using it and even through our move.
  • It’s super easy to clean, we just wipe messes away and the straps are removable for easy washing.

 

Things that we don’t love about theBoost Plus:

  • The price point is at the higher end for boosters
  • May not fit all dining room seats
  • Depending on your dining room chair it may be difficult for the child to seat themselves in the booster

Prince Lionheart theBOOST Plus Review

 

All-in-all I would say this is a great booster option especially if you are going to be handing it down to younger siblings/family members or friends because the quality is great and well worth the retail price. Check out more details on Prince Lionheart’s website: princelionheart.com

 

I received sample product in order to give you an honest review of theBOOST plus seat. Your opinions may vary.

Mississippi Crockpot Pot Roast and Gluten-Free Version {Guest Recipe}

I’m a pretty good cook. Like everyone, I’ve had my mishaps in the kitchen, but I can guarantee that people don’t groan when I bring a meal to a potluck.

One thing I have NEVER mastered is roast. You know, the traditional meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions after Sunday church roast.

Even with my mother’s guidance, whenever I make a roast, it’s a regrettable meal. Or it was until I discovered Crockpot Mississippi Roast. I tried it on a whim and it was by far the best roast I have ever made! It has become a staple in our home and with some tweaking I have made it gluten-free as well! Perfect for us in every way.

Crockpot Mississippi Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast (original recipe)

Ingredients:

3 lb pot roast
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 packet Au Jus mix
8 pepperoncini peppers
1 stick butter

Instructions:

In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the roast and sprinkle dry mixes over the top.

Lay the stick of butter in the middle of the roast and place the pepperoncini peppers
around the butter. (I also like to add a bit of pepper juice to the crockpot. It adds a bit more kick.)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Mississippi Pot Roast (gluten-free recipe)

Ingredients:

3 lb pot roast
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 cup of hot water
2 Tbsp Better than Bouillon (beef flavor)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
8 pepperoncini peppers
1 stick butter

Instructions:

Dissolve Better than Bouillon in water and pour in the bottom of a 6-quart crockpot.

Add the roast and sprinkle ranch mix, onion powder, and garlic powder over the top.

Lay the stick of butter in the middle of the roast and place the pepperoncini peppers
around the butter. (I also like to add a bit of pepper juice to the crockpot. It adds a bit more kick.)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

(Personally, I found this version to be even better than the original. The Better than
Bouillon just seemed to add more depth and richness to the roast.)

Mary BioMary Renee currently lives in Missouri with her husband and 2 year old “little diva”. Southern by birth and gluten-intolerant by a twist of fate, she is determined to work her way through all the comfort foods her momma made and then some, giving each dish a gluten-free twist that’s good enough for a Southern palate.

You can find her creating new dishes at Gluten Free with Southern Charm and dishing on her family at Joy in These Moments.

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes {Guest Post}

Every morning, my one-year-old daughter greets me with a smile and exuberantly exclaims, “mama, breakfast, pancakes!”. As you might have guessed, pancakes are truly the way to her heart and a staple for breakfast in our household.

In my pursuit to provide a wholesome, nutritious breakfast and simultaneously fulfill her request for pancakes, I’ve tested dozens of pancake recipes. While I love cooking from scratch, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to take a little help from the store when you need it.

As a busy mom with a hungry child who hasn’t quite grasped the concept of patience, I can’t usually spare 45 minutes to prepare pancakes. So, I have actually found the best solution for a quick and healthy pancake breakfast is a combination of a prepared mix with a creative twist.

These “heart healthy” semi-homemade pancakes are made with whole wheat pancake mix, infused with cinnamon, and fashioned into heart shapes. Moms can be confident in the added calcium, fiber, and iron, while kids will love the fluffy texture, sweet flavor, and fun heart shapes, perfect for Valentine’s Day, or, just as in our house, perfect for every other day too!

Easy Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipe

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes

Ingredients

• 2 cups of whole wheat pancake mix of your choice

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

• Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Heart Healthy Pancakes for the family

Directions

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Prepare the batter according to package instructions and mix in the cinnamon.

3. Grease the griddle and the cookie cutter(s) using butter or cooking spray

4. Place the cookie cutters onto the griddle and spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the cookie cutter (amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Also you might need to use the back of a spoon to even out the batter and push the batter into the edges of the cookie cutter)

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you can lift the cookie cutter and the edges will retain their shape (i.e. batter will not run and the edges will be browned).

6. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle (Caution: if using a metal cookie cutter, it will be hot)

7. Flip the pancakes and cook on the reverse side an additional 3-5 minutes

8. Serve with the syrup/topping of your choice (my daughter even eats them without any syrup!)

Bonus Tip

Mix your favorite fruit, like blueberries or bananas, into the pancake batter to add further flavor and extra health benefits!

What’s your family’s favorite healthy breakfast food??

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

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honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

Carolina Ribs on the Run Review {Giveaway}

I am a member of the Restaurant.com Review Crew.

In looking for a new restaurant to try out on our usual Sunday afternoons after church, I thought it would be nice to venture up to Mooresville this time around. Restaurant.com showcased a lot of great restaurants, unfortunately I’m allergic to shellfish so some of them didn’t work, but I found Carolina Ribs on the Run and took a peek at their menu. After checking to make sure there was something my girls and husband would like to eat there too, we headed up North.

Even with using our GPS it was a little hard to find Carolina Ribs on the Run because there’s no signage off the main road, but we did end up finding it nestled in a VERY quiet plaza. We definitely got a great parking spot. While we were there a few other customers trickled in, but since they were loading up a vehicle with bins of food I assumed most of their business came from catering.

Carolina Ribs on the Run Collage.jpg

There are some things we loved about Carolina Ribs on the Run and other things that we weren’t so impressed by. I’ll start with the things we liked:

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  • The service was good- the staff was very friendly and helpful with the menu and our food came out relatively fast.
  • The food was very flavorful, and came in large portions. The ribs and chicken quesadilla specifically were outstanding, and this comes from a woman who recently went to a BBQ festival and tasted several different styles of ribs/pulled pork.
  • Their prices were good, our tab was pretty standard for 2 kids menu entrees an appetizer and 1 adult meal. For the 4 of us our total tab was $29+ including tax, but with our Restaurant.com gift certificate we ended up paying $19+

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Neither good nor bad

[arrowlist]

  • The restroom – since the restaurant is on the smaller side there is one bathroom/toilet, but it is large in size. The restroom was mostly clean, and a GREAT height for small children/wheelchair accessibility, but considering the restaurant had opened a short while before we got there, it could have been cleaner.

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The not-so-great

[badlist]

  • Hubby and I found some small bones in my rib sandwich, when I approached the cook he apologized, I know these things happen, but definitely something to be careful of.
  • There were no children’s coloring pages or entertainment while waiting for food, {this would be a super easy fix though.}
  • The booths were hard to sit in for our entire family, but especially the children.

[/badlist]

As a restaurant, Carolina Ribs on the Run has some work to do, but the food is definitely amazing, which may be a reason they cater as well. If they are interested in building as a brand and restaurant they may want to consider fixing just a few small things that could potentially be more inviting to diners and families like:

  • Investing in booths that fit average size diners, not needing extra cushioning they’ve used and making it safer for parents to use boosters for their children or having children eat while sitting on their knees.
  • Being more vigilant with cleaning the restaurant inside and outside a little more, which would bring up their 91.5 public health score
  • Ensuring all food is safe and the best they can deliver to customers.

 

Want to read other opinions about Carolina Ribs on the Run??? To see what other people are saying about this restaurant, visit Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide.  The company offers savings at thousands of restaurants nationwide with more than 50,000 gift certificate options.  Restaurant.com brings people together to relax, converse and enjoy well-prepared and -served meals at affordable prices.  To date, Restaurant.com customers have saved more than $1 billion through the gift certificate program. Restaurant.com has operated since 1999 and is based in Arlington Heights, Ill.”

Give Restaurant.com a try on your own and see if you find an amazing restaurant that you’ve never tried before?? I’m giving one lucky reader a chance to win a $50 Restaurant.com gift card, enter here and good luck!!!

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Review-Crew-logoThis is a sponsored post in conjunction with Restaurant.com. The opinions above are my own honest thoughts and words. Your opinions of this restaurant may vary.

Favorite Family Friendly Restaurants in Charlotte

Restaurants Blog Hop

Living in Charlotte, North Carolina affords our family the opportunity to go out to eat, and Charlotte has some great restaurants to offer. While some of the restaurants mentioned below are chains, they are also restaurants who “do it well” in the family-friendly category.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza- Every Charlotte location is geared towards families. For mom – delicious salads and “mom favorite pizza toppings”. For dad – a large variety of beers to choose from. For the kids – you can ask for a piece of pizza dough for them to play with while you wait on your food.

Chick-Fil-A- Local Chick-Fil-A restaurants are great at hosting super family friendly events. These restaurants go above and beyond to cater to the needs of their patrons. We love the disposable placemats, clean play areas, and healthy meal options.

Chick-Fil-A Charlotte Family Friendly

Jason’s Deli– If you’re looking for organic, healthy options, this is the family-friendly restaurant for you. They have so many organic choices for adults and children from soups and sandwiches to their well-known salad bar, kids can choose from over 10 food options as well. Dine in and help yourself to their complimentary extras like mini muffins and soft-serve, low calorie frozen yogurt.

Moe’s Southwest Grill- Makes mini adult meals for the children with their fun, kid-friendly menu. Our family never runs out of chips, always enjoys being greeted by their famous, “Welcome to Moe’s” greeting, and love that they have fresh food choices and never use a microwave.

Moe's Southwest Grill Charlotte

Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop- Definitely a place to take the whole family at least one time. children and adults alike will enjoy the retro decor inside the restaurant. The food is okay, but the desserts are divine. Sodas, milkshakes, and ice cream treats are a must-try at this family-friendly spot.

Mimi’s Cafe- Great family friendly restaurant, with homestyle foods great for every member of your family. They offer a great kid’s menu selection, {my girls love the pancakes and mini cheeseburgers}. Both of my girls had their choice of restaurant for their birthday and they each chose Mimi’s Cafe.

Mimi's Cafe Charlotte Family Friendly Restaurant MommyB

East Coast Wings- This restaurant recently opened up int he Northlake area, and has families headed in regularly. With a large menu there is something for everyone, whether you’re a wing lover or not. Miss A is in love with their mini corn dogs and Lil’ C sticks with the traditional plain wings. On Wednesday nights Kids eat free from 3:30pm-10:00pm.

Earth Fare – Best night to go are Family Dinner Nights on Thursdays from 4pm-8pm. Kids Eat Free at Earth Fare with the purchase of an adult meal, valued at $5.00 or more. This restaurant also offers organic, healthy choices for kids meals.

Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna Recipe {Guest Blog}

I saw a recipe for Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna on Pinterest and ever since, I have wanted to try making it. I really love Italian food, {especially lasagna}, but I am trying to watch my waistline and heart health, so this healthy recipe is perfect for me and my family and I’m sure you’ll love it too!!

In this recipe I replaced most of traditional lasagna ingredients and also omitted a lot of the ingredients from the pinned recipe to keep my dish as low-calorie and heart-healthy as possible.

Ingredients: 

2 Large Zucchinis

1 Bottle of Ragu Light, No Sugar Added, Tomato Basil Sauce

¼  cup reduced fat parmesan cheese

1 bag chopped spinach {frozen or fresh, adjust cook time accordingly}

1 lb of 96% lean ground beef

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon pepper

**Please be mindful that Ragu sauces claim to be gluten-free, but encourage you to read the labels of each of their products to be on the safe side.

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Season the ground beef with garlic powder, pepper and onion powder.

Once fully seasoned, brown the beef in a skillet.

As the beef is browning slice your zucchini length-wise, in a shape resembling lasagna noodles. **The thinner you slice the noodles the more tender they will be.

Next cook the spinach on the stove top in a saute pan or if it’s frozen you may want to heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes. After allowing the spinach to cool, squeeze excess liquid using paper towels or a clean hand towel. **This is really important so you don’t have watery lasagna after its done cooking.

Once the meat is done browning, drain the excess fat/grease, {which was a very small amount}.

Assembling the lasagna:

Sprayed a 9-inch glassware casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place your first layer of zucchini, meat, spinach, sauce and parmesan and repeated for about three layers. {On the last layer, covered with zucchini, sauce and cheese and a little bit of garlic powder.}

Cooking:

Cook for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

**Because the liquid cooks out of the veggies, you should let the lasagna sit for about 15 minutes after you remove it from the oven so the liquid can re-absorb into the veggies.

Let the lasagna cool to a desired temperature and enjoy!

 

I was confident that I would like it because I am a veggie lover but my biggest critics are my kids who do like some veggies but are particular to which ones and how they are prepared. They love pasta or as they call it, “noonles” so I was impressed that they enjoyed the dish as well since it was noonle-less. They didn’t eat as much as I would have wanted them to, but definitely got a couple servings of veggies in their tummies with this yummy recipe.

It was a delicious, healthy recipe that will be a new favorite in my house!

 

Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna

 

Have you ever tried making your favorite food dishes healthier? Which ones, and how did they turn out??

Lisa is a Florida Native who currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. B.C. {Before Children} Lisa was an R.N. Currently Lisa has a love for hairdressing, finding fun play spots around North Carolina and giving great parenting advice.