Join the food advisory panel and earn Amazon Gift Codes!

#ad This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Would you like to have your voice be heard by a major food manufacturing brand? Do you also love talking about food, grocery shopping and your lifestyle, while also earning rewards for sharing?

Many of my blog followers are already participating on a group panel and are loving the perks (Amazon gift codes) that they are saving to use for holiday gift shopping.  You could be doing the same so apply now while there is still plenty of space in the group.

An American food company has partnered with C Space to create a private, password protected online community where members will share their thoughts and opinions on all things food. The online Food Advisors Community is aimed to help gain a greater understanding of the lifestyle and needs of their consumers, so they can improve current food products and create brand new ones.

Do not miss this opportunity to impact and influence the future of this major food manufacturer. This is your chance to help determine what they will put on grocery store shelves next! Your ideas will help inspire fresh flavors and new food products. How cool is that?

You can share your opinions in just 5 to 10 minutes a week and easily access the community online, whenever it’s convenient for you, 24/7. You can also earn Amazon eGift cards as appreciation for your valuable contributions throughout the community. Where else will you be able to lend your influence, collaborate with your peers, and earn rewards for your participation?

There are a limited number of spots available in the Food Advisors community and they are filling up fast! 

Click here to see if you qualify and to start making an impact today:

Enlightened: The good for you ice cream Review and Giveaway

Who doesn’t love ice cream? But we all hate the calories, right?  Well I have a delicious alternative to traditional ice cream and it’s actually good for you! It’s called Enlightened!

With some flavors as low as 60 calories per serving (the Chocolate and Snickerdoodle flavors), Enlightened ice cream is high in protein and fiber, low in calories, fat and sugar and made with all natural ingredients. It’s chock-full of creamy swirls, chewy chunks, and delicious ingredients.

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Matt’s Pumpkin Cake Recipe!

As promised here is the Pumpkin Cake recipe I made today.  It’s so easy and it comes out wonderful each time.  It’s one of these recipes that you just can’t screw up.

First let me say we always make it in a disposable tin.  Not only is it more convenient but I feel it cooks more evenly.

You will need the following:

1- 16 ounce can of pumpkin puree

1 – 13 ounce can of evaporated milk

2 – teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (you can substitute this if you don’t have it in the house with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg)

4 – eggs

1 and 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar (I have cut this to 1 and 1/4 cups and it tastes just fine buy you be the judge)

1 box yellow cake mix (any brand will do, 18.5 ounces)

1 cup of melted butter

1 cup of chopped pecans

1 – teaspoon of vanilla (don’t worry if you don’t have this it won’t affect the taste that much I have forgotten to put it on occasion)

Put the butter in a microwavable dish or cup and melt it slowly. Put aside.

Mix together in a mixing bowl (we do it by hand no need to dirty your mixer) pumpkin, evaporated milk, spices, eggs and sugar.  Pour into your tin. Sprinkle boxed cake mix over liquid ingredients, then melted butter, then pecans.

Preheat you oven at 350 degrees.

When it reaches temperature place it on a baking sheet (because the till is flexible you don’t want a mess on the floor before you even get it into the oven) and bake for 65 minutes.  Cake should be firm on the top by the bottom is like a pumpkin custard.  As it cools it will get firm.

Serve alone or with ice cream.  It’s delicious!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it.


Here is a list of 10 foods that you can use well past their expiration dates.

Now remember you have to use common sense if it looks bad or smells bad then it’s not worth making your family sick but as a general rule these items do not expire even though they have expiration dates on them.  The Food & Drug Administration requires companies to put an expiration date on all food items but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them past the expiration date.  I do all the time.  Many items will lose their potency like herbs but the items listed below are fine to use way post their expiration date.

There is new legislation that will simplify our food labels in the near future – it’s about time.  They are so confusing “use by” “expiration date” and more.

We through thousands of dollars worth of food away each year that can be used past their expiration or use by dates.

  1. Eggs – are good for up to five (5) weeks after their expiration date provided they have been properly refrigerated. How do you know if they’re still good, toss the eggs in a bowl of water, if it sinks, then it’s still good to eat. But if they float, throw them away.
  2. Cheese – you obviously don’t want to eat mold on cheese but if you think about how cheese is made you won’t be so afraid to cut that mold off and eat the remainder of that expensive cheese.
  3. Dry Pasta – has up to a 2 year shelf life provided it is kept in a cool environment.  If it is kept in a hot environment it can make bugs and you would want to toss that.
  4. Bread – of course it will be stale but there are many things you can do with stale bread like making French Toast, Bread Crumbs, Croutons or just freeze it before it gets stale.
  5. Yogurt – unopened yogurt will last up to 2 weeks after it’s expiration date.  Remember if it looks gross or smells gross then it’s time to toss it otherwise it’s fine to eat.  If you wind up with excess yogurt and want to use it before it expires you can make smoothies (and freeze them in plastic bags), yogurt pops for the kids (freeze them) or make salad dressings and freeze them as well.
  6. Chocolate – if chocolate is stored in a cool place (70 degrees or below), it will outlast its sell-by date for many months.
  7. Condiments – things like mustard, mayo and jam or jelly can last long past their expiration dates if they are properly stores or refrigerated.  Turn them upside down to keep the air out (make sure they are properly closed or you will have a huge mess) you can even place a piece of plastic wrap under the cap and they will last you a long time.  I’ve been using expired mustard, jams or jellies for a long time but of course I smell and taste them to make sure they are still good to consume. I’m a bit more apprehensive about Mayo since it contains eggs.
  8. Frozen Foods – don’t be so quick to toss that frozen food that has expired.  As long as it is not freezer burnt it’s perfectly fine to use.
  9. Bagged Lettuce – my mother in law taught me this trick years ago when I first got married.  She taught to me take a paper towel and place it inside the bagged lettuce and it will keep much longer.  The paper towel absorbs the moisture which causes the lettuce to get rancid faster.  Make sure you change the paper towel often or as soon as it gets wet and you will see how much longer your bagged salad will last.
  10. Milk – experts say you can freeze milk to extend the life but for me the key is “organic” milk.  We don’t drink a lot of milk in our house but it never fails each time I have a recipe that calls for milk I’m out of it.  I started to notice that the expiration dates on organic milk were three times as long as the expiration dates on regular cows milk.  Believe organic milk is worth the extra money and will last 3-4 weeks in your refrigerator.  When my dad was a live and living alone I would buy him organic so that it would last a long time.  Give it a try you won’t be sorry and organic dairy is my healthier for your family to consume.


Do you know all the health benefits of Macha Tea?

While watching the Dr. Oz show today I was enlightened about all the health benefits of drinking Macha Tea.  I had heard about the tea before but never really paid much attention to it until now.  Try to invest in an “organic matcha” to avoid destroying any of the health benefits from the chemical pesticides that other teas are sprayed with during the growing process.  It’s such a small investment to improve your health so give it a try.  I am going to order today.  I found a few brands that have great reviews (below) so just click on the brand and it will take you right to place your order.

You may also want to invest in a Matcha Tea wisk it is necessary to get the best result from your loose tea. See below for inexpensive ones you can purchase.

Here are the health benefits that Matcha Tea is supposed to provide:

1. High in Antioxidants
2. Loaded with Catechin, EGCg
3. Enhances Calm (boy do I need this)
4. Boosts Memory and Concentration (boy do I need this too)
5. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
6. Burns Calories
7. Detoxifies the Body
8. Fortifies the Immune System
9. Improves Cholesterol

How to make Matcha Tea in a cup! (Watch this video)

STEP ONE: Heat spring or filtered water to 175-180 degrees this is important you don’t want the water too too hot.
STEP TWO: Add a few drops of hot water to matcha powder and mix into paste with a matcha wisk.
STEP THREE: Add more hot water to paste mixture and stir. Try 1 teaspoon to 6 ounces of water. Adjust measurement to suit taste.
STEP FOUR: Matcha is ready to drink




Stevia vs. Sugar: Which do you use?

After being diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia, I had to find an alternative to sugar. I have the worst sweet tooth, so it was – and still is – very difficult for me. I joined an online support group and stevia was recommended by many of the folks, like me, who cannot have sugar but crave sweet. I prefer Stevita brand; it was the only brand available back when I was first diagnosed. Since then, I have tried several brands but Stevita is still the only one I like. There are so many on the market now you have lots of choices (I didn’t). I’ve stayed with Stevita because, for me, it has the most ‘natural’ taste.

Here is a conversion chart provided by the folks at Stevita in case you need to bake with stevia.