1
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Creamy Mashed Potatoes
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Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake
3
Win 5 Free Packages of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter
4
Snowman Peanut Butter Balls – a Fun Holiday Recipe!
5
Cheddar M&M’s Popcorn, perfect movie night popcorn!
6
Slow Cooker Chipotle Leg of Lamb Tacos
7
Gelato Latte Hot Chocolate
8
Having fun with your house decor with color and toys!
9
Best Hot Chocolate Recipes To Prepare For The Cold!
10
What’s Your Wish? #WishesDelivered
11
Cheesy Stuffing Broccoli Casserole
12
Deluxe Cheesy Jalapeno Omelet
13
Frozen Vegetable Recipes and Why Frozen Veggies Rule!
14
Creamy Chicken Noodles + $100 Visa gift card giveaway!
15
Loft Living With Our New Reading Nook!
16
Halloween in Disney World!
17
Spooky Halloween Oreo Pudding
18
Come Grocery Shopping With Me!
19
20 Minute Pumpkin Butter and Frozen Waffles
20
Cute Halloween Treat Bag Ideas for Kids and Adults

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Creamy Mashed Potatoes


What do you think of when I say the words comfort food?  For me, I think 2 things.  Macaroni and Cheese.  And Mashed Potatoes.   Thankfully this post is about one of these foods.  The holy grail of love and comfort… mashed potatoes!

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and then we have the big month of December which is full of festive dinners and parties ahead of us.  One side dish that is always a staple is mashed potatoes.  This weekend we had our annual Friends Thanksgiving dinner and it was fun and delicious. And of course, there were potatoes there!  Is Thanksgiving even possible without mashed potatoes?
Thanksgiving with Friends.  Tons of yum.  Not pictured here, 3 pieces of pie I ate.  #thanksgiving #friends #food #yum #potatoes #stuffing #beans #biscuits #chicken #pie

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Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake

This Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake recipe created by me was sponsored on behalf of DREAM™.

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Do you dream of chocolate cake at night? Ok, me too.  This Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake is double the chocolate and extra moist.   So if you aren’t dreaming of chocolate cake, you will be now!

I don’t make cake very often but when I do I like to go the rich route.  The more chocolate, the better.  This cake here is made up of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It’s a double decker of chocolate love and I hope you’ll be asking for a 2nd slice.

But first.. we have to make it!
It’s so hard for me to sometimes get past the batter.   When I see a beater with chocolate batter on it I know they aren’t going in the sink or dishwasher.  They are going straight into my mouth.  Does your family ever fight over who gets to clean the beaters?  As a kid when my dad was on the road, I would sometimes have to cook dinner for myself.  Because I had a love of cake from the beginning, I would just make cake batter and eat it in my room.  In my teenage years,  this somehow seemed like a good idea.  I still think it’s a good idea.. but I’m not sure if I have the perseverance to eat as much batter as I could 15 years ago!

 Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake

 

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Win 5 Free Packages of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Purina for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have a cat? Have multiple cats? Well meow to you…

In today’s post I’m giving one winner 5 coupons to go the Dollar General and pick up 5 packages of  Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter!  High 5 happy cats and cat owner!

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Snowman Peanut Butter Balls – a Fun Holiday Recipe!

This Snowman Peanut Butter Balls recipe for Family Holiday Ideas has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PBandG #Yippee  #CollectiveBias
 

I’m just rushing into Christmas spirit, there’s no stopping me.   I saw my first tree being sold outside this weekend.  I’ve been listening to The Ronettes sing “Frosty The Snowman” since last week.  I made gingerbread houses.  I made cookies.  I am crafting up paper Christmas trees.  I’m pumped.  Family holiday season is here guys!

I know some people get upset hearing Christmas music in stores in November, but I say get in the spirit! When you hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” come on when you are in the store aisles buying cat food, sing your heart out.  Sure, you might not be able to reach that high note, but press on your ear Mariah-esque and pretend you can.  

I’m obsessed with these Snowman  Peanut Butter Balls.    They are delicious.  They are super cute.  Does a holiday treat need to be anything more than that?  Plus they are snowmen!  There’s nothing with a snowman on that I don’t fall in love with.  

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Cheddar M&M’s Popcorn, perfect movie night popcorn!

This Cheddar M&M’s® Popcorn recipe, which is a perfect movie night popcorn, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
 

Step on up.. Step on up.. you’re invited to Movie Night!
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Slow Cooker Chipotle Leg of Lamb Tacos

What do you think of when you hear Leg of Lamb?  What recipes come to your mind?

Tacos might not be the first… but I’m here to change that!

These Slow Cooker Chipotle Leg of Lamb Tacos are super delicious as they are slow cooked with a bunch of spices for flavor.  The lamb itself gets to marinade in this sauce for 8 hours making it oh so juicy when you grab a fork and cut it up. Unlike sometimes when you slow cook, the marinade doesn’t always sink down into all the meat, but these tacos have flavor in every single bite you take.

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Gelato Latte Hot Chocolate

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This creamy and delicious Gelato Latte Hot Chocolate recipe created by me is sponsored on behalf of DREAM™.

Cozy frog slippers? Check.
Comfy blanket? Check.
Cats? Check.
Heater on full force? Check.
Chunky sweater? Check.
Good book? Check.
Cup of the warmest and most delicious hot chocolate? CHECK!

This is my idea of a perfect cold night date with myself.
Gelato Latte Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a ultimate weakness of mine.  There’s something about it that can cheer someone up right away.  Maybe it’s the warm feeling on your hands.  Maybe it’s the memories of Mom making it for me when I came in after a long day of sledding.  Or maybe it’s just that smell of chocolate.   During the Winter hot chocolate becomes our #1 drink. After we come home from work, usually frozen, we’ll quickly make 2 nice hot cups of hot chocolate and sit in front of the heater.  For dessert, brownies are pushed to the side and hot chocolate is favored on chilly nights.  For a night by myself with a book or watching The Tudors (I’m obsessed) I’m going to choose a big mug of hot chocolate, along with a big handful of marshmallows. 

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Having fun with your house decor with color and toys!

“How many kids do you have?” might be a often asked question to strangers who enter our house.
My response “4 cats” and a smile.

Brooklyn Loft Living Reading Nook_13

What’s surrounding me right now?
I’m lying on a carpet. I have FiFi Bofinkles next to me who’s kissing up a storm to the side of my face.  I’m resting my elbows on a smiling snowman pillow. My cup of green tea has  Mr. Messy on it.  Above me is a robot, a lion, a alien and multiple organic shaped stuffed animals with great personalities.  

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Best Hot Chocolate Recipes To Prepare For The Cold!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vaseline for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s almost Winter.  I might have just said that a few days ago but I’ll say it again. It’s almost Winter.  

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What’s Your Wish? #WishesDelivered

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPS. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love my UPS man. I hope he’s reading this post because he really is the best. He waves at me in his truck if he sees me on the street.  He notices when I change the color of my hair.  He carries my litter and cat food actually inside my loft for me.  He is the best.  I want to bake him cookies.

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Cheesy Stuffing Broccoli Casserole

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Not to cause immediate stress but Thanksgiving is 17 days away.  

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Is it a big day with family or is it more low key?  Does everyone eat at the dining room table, or is it more casual where you just line up, fill your plate and then scatter throughout the house to have conversations while getting down with your overindulgence of food? 

As a kid mine was pretty low key.  It was my direct family and it was almost at the exact time of 1PM.  Mom would make the meal, dad would help out peeling the potatoes and carving the turkey.  I would help out by eating 4 or 5 biscuits.  Goodness, I love biscuits, don’t you?

One thing that’s pretty much stayed a staple for Thanksgiving is Kraft’s Stove Top Stuffing.  My mom would make this every single holiday.  Even now as I’m older and have my own Thanksgiving tradition with friends in NYC, I still love this stuff.  I’ve tried other gourmet brands that cost $12 a bag.  I’ve tried making my own (delicious, but I’m always worried about time on Thanksgiving day).  One thing that Matthew and I both agree on, Stove Top can’t be beat.  It’s nostalgic but it’s delicious. It’s the kind of thing you make on your stovetop and immediately need to eat a forkful to eat.  Ok 2.  Ok 3.  It has a special place in my stuffing loving heart.

 What’s my other favorite part of Thanksgiving? No, not the pumpkin pie.  And no, not watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  Although I love both of those.  My favorite is…..

LEFTOVERS!

Oh baby, I love leftovers!

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Deluxe Cheesy Jalapeno Omelet

The truth is that I made these Cheesy Jalapeno Omelets for the first time in June.  It was was when the jalapeno plants in the garden started exploding with peppers all over each plant.  And then after I tasted it for the first time I knew I had to share the recipe with you guys.  Now it’s November and the recipe is finally here.  What has taken me so long? Well I’ve just been eating these Cheesy Jalapeno Omelets nonstop!

What do you have for breakfast, is it usually a quick meal or do you like to sit down with it?  I don’t really like meal rushing, so usually I sit down for every meal.   Breakfast ranges from toast and a banana to something more savory, like scrambled eggs or a omelet.   On weekends it tends to get sweet with homemade pancakes and waffles.  Right now I’m all about pumpkin pancakes, YUM.  But back to this omelet.

The basis of this recipe is my favorite scrambled eggs recipe.  Not to brag, but they kinda have been declared the best scrambled eggs by many eaters, so yeah.  It’s a good start.  This recipe for eggs has been with me for a long time and I pretty much stick with it as it’s my favorite.  Throw in some cheese and chopped up jalapenos, fold the eggs instead of scrambling and the Cheesy Jalapeno Omelet is born. 

First, you’ll need one jalapeno to make 2 omelets.  Then you want to chop it up.   Here’s some jalapenos that are still growing, even though it was October!  We have a big bag of them in the kitchen.  Jalapenos also freeze great if you want to throw them in the freezer to make them last longer.
Cheesy Jalapeno Omelet

 

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Frozen Vegetable Recipes and Why Frozen Veggies Rule!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Frozen Food Foundation. All opinions are 100% mine.

The coldness suddenly hit last weekend.  One week it was fine with a thin sweater, then suddenly it’s tights, long sweater, winter coat and hat.

One thing that comes with the Winter is lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.  For us, the garden will still be growing a few vegetables under greenhouses, but there will be no peas, no corn and no carrots.    Farmers markets will be closed, or only selling hearty greens.  Grocery stores will have vegetables, but they won’t taste fresh as they’ve been shipped and prices will raise.  You’ll suddenly see raspberries for $7 instead of the $1.50 you were paying in June.  Oh and corn on the cob?  If you’re in a cold location, good luck seeing it until next Summer.

So how do you get your vegetables during the Winter?  Here’s what I suggest, frozen vegetables!

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Creamy Chicken Noodles + $100 Visa gift card giveaway!

The chilly weather arrived. Towards the middle of October we started to feel a slight breeze come in and then towards the end of the month I was bundled up in sweater, winter coat and hat while my teeth rattled on my walk home. I love the fall and winter for many reasons, such as the best holidays and chillier weather, but there’s also another big reason why I love it so much: comfort food!For the next few months we’ll be enjoying soups, stews, creamy casseroles, chili and many slow cooker recipes. Each night we’ll be sitting down to dinner trying to warm up our bones and our hands by holding a bowl of yumminess. It’s also a time for families to get together for the holidays, enjoy smiles and memories, and secretly attempt to win the best side dish at Thanksgiving.  
 
These Creamy Chicken Noodles are a blue ribbon winner in my family’s heart. It’s perfect for a side dish, but it’s also perfect for a man dish. We love curling up with a bowl of this on a chilly night; it really hits the right spot, just like your fluffy slippers do to your toes!
Creamy Chicken Noodles_8 Read More

Loft Living With Our New Reading Nook!

Do you remember a few weeks ago I posted about designing a reading nook?  Well it’s done and I couldn’t be more happy!  Thanks to everyone for suggestions on their favorite items to pick. It was  hard tossup on so many things, I think I changed my mind about the couch and the rug 88 times but finally decided!  So then I spent the next few weeks waiting for the delivery guys hoping they’d have my goodies!  The couch was last to arrive, but as soon as we unboxed it – I was set!  The reading nook was all ready to be snuggled into.

As a reminder here is what I wanted:
A cozy spot of our loft to curl up and disappear from work and life for a few minutes (or hours).
A place that I could read and drink many cups of tea.
With the winter coming up, somewhere extra cozy that was warm! Pillows and blankets!
Couch, Rug, Table, Light were the necessities. 
The rug needed to be super warm as we have concrete floors.  They are extremely cold in the winter. 

Are you ready? Here it is!   Not only am I love with my nook but you’ll see below all the cats love it too.   I’m constantly fighting with them to move over on the couch.  Isn’t it funny how a 8 pound cat can take up as much space (if not more) than a human?
Brooklyn Loft Living Reading Nook

 

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Halloween in Disney World!

Happy Halloween gorgeous Ghouls!
Grab a bucket of candy, some apple cider and a black cat and let me take you on a journey to Disney World for Halloween!

A week ago, it was my birthday.  I’ve always wanted to go to Disney World for my birthday and Halloween so a couple weeks ago we booked the trip!  To say I was excited would be a understatement.  On my first trip to Disney a few years ago I stayed up late every night reading Disney forums and books, preparing myself.  For this one, I had the basics set but there would be a new celebration: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a Halloween Party that takes place in the Magic Kingdom on special nights in September and October.  It’s a separate park ticket (Disney is great at making money!) so they close the park down for only the Halloween party guests! They also keep the park open late on these nights.  We were there until 12AM dancing and collecting candy.

Collecting candy? YES! During the Halloween Party there are specific dedicated spots (usually next to rides) that you can line up and trick or treat.   Noone is too old for this! Me, Matthew and 2 friends – all over the age of 30 – had a blast going from stop to stop.  When you get into the park they even give you own trick or treat bag.  If you fill it up, you can get a new one and keep on going!  I haven’t been trick or treating in many years so it was lots of fun to get my sweet loot!

Did I mention costumes?  You have to wear a costume!  Disney has some of the best dressed characters, so you need to go big! Although I felt like the majority of visitors don’t go all out (the majority don’t wear a costume! *GASP*) we had to!  My costume changed about a hour before we left for the airport, but thankfully I have a few clown costumes laying around.  Everyone has clown costumes ready to grab for special occasions, right?

So here we are, Mr & Mrs Clown.  
Disney World Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

 

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Spooky Halloween Oreo Pudding

This is Halloween Week!

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! 

La la-la la, Halloween! Halloween! 

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween!

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the best soundtracks, right?  I’m glad you agree too!

October is my favorite month and even though I’m sad to see it go in just a few days, it ends with the best holiday!  What’s not to love about Halloween?  You get to dress up, you get to be imaginative, you get to decorate with pumpkins all over your house, and noone looks at you weird at a parade when you knock over a kid to get that lollipop they threw out of that Halloween float.  

I’ll be doing 2 fun Halloween posts this week – this delicious dessert and our Haloween adventure we had at Disney World just a few days ago! Stop by for that on Halloween!

Now on to the Halloween Oreo Pudding!  It’s made up of the 3 of the best words.
Halloween – yes.
Oreo – yes please.
Pudding – oh goodness yes.

Halloween Oreo Pudding_4

 

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Come Grocery Shopping With Me!

Do you like grocery shopping?  How often do you do it?  I’ve written before about how I do a fair amount of my shopping online so I wanted to introduce you guys to a new service called Farmigo which is a online farmers market that empowers families to eat better, bypassing the supermarket. 

Farmigo

We had a explosion of vegetables during the Summer months to the point that we don’t usually buy any produce for a few solid months.  I know not everyone has their own garden though so Farmigo is great for those that still fresh vegetables while supporting local farmers.     You’ll see below that I did use Farmigo to order meats, cheeses, breads and a couple vegetables we don’t grow.   Their selection is wide and varied on the season.  I think Farmigo is great because unlike a CSA where you get a box of surprises, here you get to pick what you want.  If you are meal planning for the week then you know you’ll need tomatoes, basil, corn, hot dogs and hot dog buns.   This won’t result in you getting a box full of 4 heads of lettuce and figuring out what the heck you’re going to do do with them.  

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20 Minute Pumpkin Butter and Frozen Waffles

This shop for 20 Minute Pumpkin Butter and Frozen Waffles  has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #4MoreWaffles #CollectiveBias

The smell of waffles is lovely.

The smell of waking up to waffles is even more lovely.

Eating waffles is the most loveliest.

Who loves waffles? Throw your hands in the air.  I hope I see everyone’s hands up. How can’t you love waffles? I’m not sure if I believe people when they say they don’t like waffles.  It’s like someone saying they don’t like the movie Dirty Dancing, I don’t believe them.  Dirty Dancing is the best, forever and ever.

I can honestly go on about how Dirty Dancing is a cinematic masterpiece forever, but I’ll leave that for another time.  If you are feeling in the mood now, just listen to this song.  It gets me happy everytime I hear it.  Ok listen to this one too.  

Waffles!  

Waffles have been a go to breakfast for us lately, because they are both delicious and quick.  With frozen waffles, you throw them in the toaster oven for 6 minutes and they’re done.  Then it’s up to you how you want to eat them  – do you do syrup? How about jelly?  How about butter?  How about.. pumpkin butter?  That’s where my pumpkin loving heart is about now. 

20 Minute Pumpkin Butter and Waffles_6

 

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Cute Halloween Treat Bag Ideas for Kids and Adults

This shop to make Halloween treat bags has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #SweetOrTreat #CollectiveBias

It’s almost Halloween – are you excited? I sure am.

My costume is ready, a giant pumpkin sits in our window lit up for Brooklyn, bite size chocolates sit on a table asking me to eat them and my Halloween treat bags are made for friends!  I know Halloween is usually set aside for kids, but as a Halloween loving adult, I know there are lots of us that still love Halloween even though we’re over the age of 15.   There’s something great about Halloween, maybe it’s the reason to be creative with costumes, maybe it’s spooky ghosts and pumpkins, maybe it’s decorating your house with orange, maybe it’s pumpkin baking season, maybe it’s the candy or maybe it’s just the memories of being a kid and going door to door to fill up your treat bag.

For Halloween this year I’ll be bringing treat bags to our studio space to give it to our friends there.  No matter the age, when someone gets a bag full of sweets and toys, it will make them smile.    While looking for treat bags, nothing really stuck out to me, so I decided I was going to make my own to stuff Skittles, Starburst, stickers and pencils in!

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For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.