Simply Sweet Home

Recipes, Decor, Crafts, Product Reviews, Giveaways and more.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday Favorites - Week 23


Welcome to Friday Favorites! I hope everyone has had a good week!  Before we get to this week's featured posts, I wanted to remind you that I have a $40 CSN Stores giveaway going on right now, and I also launched a new giveaway on Wednesday for Bubble Chocolate! That stuff is seriously good, so if you're a chocolate lover go enter! Giveaway links can be found at the top of my site.

Hope you enjoy this week's featured posts! If you're featured, please grab my featured button for you sidebar. Thanks!!

Coconut Butterscotch Cookies from Create With Joy

Fun Sticker Magnets from My Frugal Lifestyle

Healthy Homemade Chicken Tenders from Get Healthy Cheap

Cozy Cat Cushion from Marvelously Messy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding in Edible Bowls from Mrs. Bettie Rocker

Can't wait to see what your working on this week! Please link up below. Don't forget to link back to me so that others can find this party, and please link up your actual post rather than your blog url so that we can easily find your post. Thanks for stopping by this week!



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bubble Chocolate Review & Giveaway

As the readers of this blog know, I love sweets, especially chocolate! So I was thrilled when I got the chance to sample some Bubble Chocolate .  Before I tell you how I liked this chocolate, I thought you'd be interested in how this product and company came in to being.

Bubble Chocolate's Story:  "If you (like we) have had the good fortune of traveling outside the US from time to time, either on business or for pleasure, most likely you would have discovered one of our European neighbors' most treasured taste experiences....bubbles-with-chocolate (technically known as aerated chocolate). Many years ago we developed a deep adoration for this chocolate's unforgettable sensation. We kept waiting for it to arrive to the US shores. It never came. So we finally decided to take matters into our own hands to make it readily available to all discerning cocoa lovers in the US. From our families to yours enjoy the virtues of Bubble Chocolate® each and every day!"

Personally I've never been to Europe, but I have had the pleasure of being acquainted with people who have, who incidentally brought back some European chocolate. So I have tried it before, and it was beyond delicious. Learning that Bubble Chocolate was modeled after gourmet chocolates from Europe, made me even more excited to try it.  And let me tell you, Bubble Chocolate did not disappoint!

Bubble Chocolate is meant to be savored, so as instructed by their FAQ page, I broke off a small piece of chocolate at a time. You then pop it in your mouth and let it melt for a few seconds. As you begin to feel the bubbles soften, you begin to chew gently, and the chocolate grows moist and creamy.

The chocolate has a unique, smooth texture and a rich, creamy taste. I've been breaking off just one or two pieces at a time to eat, and it is a very satisfying snack and taste sensation!  Being a fan of milk chocolate, I especially loved this bar.  (No surprises there!) However, I was surprised by the pleasant taste of the dark chocolate bar.  Generally I'm not a big fan dark chocolate, but I actually enjoyed dark bar from Bubble Chocolate.

So obviously I love the concept behind this product, and even more so than that, I loved the taste! I would definitely recommend this chocolate to all my chocolate-loving friends.  You can purchase a case of Bubble Chocolate online via the Bubble Chocolate website or at any of these retailers near you.

Win it! Today I'm very excited to give some of you the chance to try Bubble Chocolate! 5 Simply Sweet Home readers will win a Dark Chocolate Bar and a Milk Chocolate Bar to sample.

Giveaway Closed.  Congrats to our winners from the following sites:  Beauty with Mary, Rockin Deals 4 You, Gothic Mist, More or Les(ley), and My Own Take on Things.


Disclosure: For hosting this giveaway, I was given 2 bars of Bubble Chocolate for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are mine.  Giveaway prizes are being provided by Bubble Chocolate

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Monday, July 26, 2010

BBQ Stuffed Potatoes

Previously I've written about Big Bob Gibson's barbeque on this blog.  It is a local restaurant here in my town, but you may have seen them on shows like Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, and The Today Show.  Or you may have seen their book: Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint

Anyway, we go to their restaurant about once a month for one of their famous Barbeque Stuffed Potatoes (like the one pictured above).  These things are so good!  And they're huge! (I've never been able to eat a whole one in one sitting.) They're so great that my husband says that people shouldn't come to this area without trying it out.

I also attempt to make my own BBQ potatoes from time to time, although mine aren't nearly as good as Big Bob's. But still, it's a good alternative when you can't have the real thing. So if you ever have any pulled pork, beef, chicken, or turkey on hand, you should give this a try!

How to Make BBQ Stuffed Potatoes:

Baking Potatoes
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Bacon Bits
Meat Choice, shredded (Pulled Pork, Chicken, Turkey, or Roast Beef)

Directions:  Cook your meat choice in a crock pot. (I usually just cook it in a little Dale's Sauce (& water of course).  And I know sometimes my dad just seasons with salt/pepper and adds a little Coke.) You can also cook in a smoker if you have one, which would actually taste better and be more authentic.

Wrap your potatoes in foil and bake in the oven till done.  When done, pull back foil and cut potato down the middle. Add your butter, followed by your sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and chives.  Finally top with your cooked meat. 

You also top your potato with barbeque sauce if you wish. We buy Big Bob's red sauce, which is on sale at their website, and that's what my husband puts on his potatoes. (I eat mine "plain", although I do love their white sauce on grilled chicken!)

I'm linking up at It's a Blog Party, Blessed with Grace, Crazy Jayz  and some of these linky parties.


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Friday Favorites - Week 22


Happy Friday everyone! Friday Favorites will be a little different this week.  I've been incredibly busy the last couple of weeks, cleaning out our outbuilding (& getting ready for a yardsale).  And then this week, I've also been helping my dad clean up at his house, because he's getting ready to sell it and move to a smaller place.  So with all this going on, I did not get a chance to visit all your posts. (I only managed to get around to about half of them, but I will try to catch up this next week!) 

Anyway, since I didn't get around to everyone, and since I worked 10 hours today and only just got home a couple of hours ago, I decided to share some some things that I found the other day when I was looking for recipes for my ice cream social post.  I've discovered that Betty Crocker has a ton of great snack ideas for kids.  And with summer here, and the new school year just around the corner, I had bookmarked a few things to share here for later. But since I didn't get around to all the Friday Favorites stuff, I've decided that later is going to be now!  So I hope you enjoy these fun (& easy!) snack ideas for kids!

I look forward to seeing all you posts this week.  Please link up with me below!


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet Thursday: Summer Edition

sweet Thursday

Welcome to the Summer edition of Sweet Thursday! For those of you that are new here, Sweet Thursday is my monthly dessert carnival.  Readers are invited to submit their desserts to be featured here each month, and readers are also invited to link up their desserts via the linky tool below.  So sit back, enjoy this month's featured treats, and link up one (or two or three) yourself!

Next Month's Event:  The  Sweet Thursday theme for August is going to be Fruity Desserts.  This could be anything from Pound Cake served with strawberries, to a Lemon Meringue Pie, to blueberry muffins; just as long as it is somehow related to a fruit.  If you'd like to be featured in my post, please email your submission to me by August 24.  The linky event will start on Wednesday night, August 25. Hope to see you and your Fruity Treats there!

While you're here please take a moment to go by and say hello to our contributors! Enjoy the party!

Sundae Bubble Crown & Cream Puffs from a little bit of everything

Cookies & Salsa from From Mess Hall to Bistro

Furnkies (Peanut Butter Bars) from Sugar Bee Craft Edition

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake from My Sweet & Savory

Lemon Blueberry Polenta Cake from Abundance on a Dime

Chocolate Brownie Waffles from a little bit of everything

Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake from Comfy Cook Blog

French Vanilla Mousse from Simply Sweet Home

I can't wait to see all the Sweet things you're making this summer! Link up below.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CSN Store Giveaway!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with CSN Stores.  They are a collection stores where you can buy just about anything you're looking for.  Whether you need a new bathroom vanity, decor for a new baby nursery, a new set of pots and pans, or a pair of shoes, you can find it at CSN Stores.

Today I'm excited to announce a new reader giveaway of a $40 store credit from CSN Stores!  How would you guys use this if you won? I know many of you do a lot of cooking and would probably get something for the kitchen, right?  So today I thought it would be fun to highlight some kitchen items, specifically some items for cookie baking and decorating!


To win a $40 store credit from CSN Stores, simply visit their website. Then come back here and tell me something you'd like to have.

Giveaway Closed.  Congrats to our winner, Tara of Pure Felicity!


Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post. Giveaway prize is being provided by CSNStores.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

French Vanilla Mousse

With the theme of this week's Sweet Thursday event being summer desserts, I decided to make something cool and creamy. This recipe was originally for chocolate mousse, but I decided to try it in vanilla first, because I just love vanilla during the summer time. It was also my idea to add Nila wafers as a garnish, and in my opinion they were a perfect choice!  This mousse was very yummy, very fluffy, and VERY sweet!

I think this would definitely be good using a number of flavors. (Chocolate is definitely at the top of my list to try next!)  And I also think this would be a great recipe to add bananas to, for a fluffy banana pudding, or you may even consider adding other fruits like strawberry (perhaps layered together with pound cake for a lovely trifle....yum!)

So anyway, in case you can't tell, I definitely would recommend this recipe to you, not just because it was so delicious, but also because there's so much you can do with it!

Recipe for French Vanilla Mousse
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup cold water
1 (4-serving size) package French vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (8 oz.) container frozen light whipped topping, thawed
Nila Wafers (or other cookies to garnish with)

Directions: Whisk sweetened condensed milk and water in large bowl. Add pudding mix. Whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Chill 5 minutes.  Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into serving dishes. Chill. Garnish as desired. (I layered with Nila wafers.)

I'm linking up to these parties.


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Friday, July 16, 2010

It's An Ice Cream Social!

Don't you just love the blogosphere? One minute you're at a recipe party, and the next minute your at a craft party! And this weekend we can all go to an Ice Cream Social over at Kitchen Bouquet! With my husband on a no-dessert diet, and me busy with projects in the house this week, I didn't get a chance to make anything, so I'll be highlighting a few things that I found on some of my favorite sites instead!  Hope you enjoy!

Also, don't forget we'll be having Sweet Thursday here next week! Email your desserts to me by Tuesday if you'd like to be featured, or link up here on Thursday! Have a great weekend!

Coconut Ice Cream from Taste of Home

Easy Celebration Ice Cream Cake from Kraft

Berry Chocolae Ice Cream Loaf from Eagle Brand

S'mores Ice Cream Pie from Hershey's

French Silk Ice Cream Roll from Betty Crocker


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Friday Favorites - Week 21


Hello everyone! Welcome to Friday Favorites!

I've been working outside the home this week, and by outside, I literally mean outside! I've been going through boxes in our outbuilding, which is a job and a half! Basically I'm opening up a bunch of boxes that were packed 10 or even 15 years ago (and many not packed by me). And I'm reboxing, labeling, and reorganizing, and also setting some aside for a yardsale. Sounds fun, huh? Especially in the hundred degree heat! And then my mom has brought a ton of addtional stuff over for us to sale at our yardsale, so right now our building looks totally wrecked! Hopefully when we're all done, I can take some photos, and it will make for a great blog post! So I guess you could say I've been doing some blog field work!

So anyway, because of that, I've spent very little time on the computer this week, but despite this, I still managed to visit all your posts this week, so yay! And I've also added a couple of giveaways for you, so all in all, I guess it wasn't such a bad week for me in the blog world!

One quick reminder, next Wednesday/Thursday, I'll be hosting the Summer Edition of Sweet Thursday, so please come by and link up your desserts! Also, as of right now, I only have a few submissions to be featured in the post, so I invite you to email your submissions to me by Tuesday! Thanks!

Now let the party begin, as we take a look at this week's featured items! As always, I invite you to take my "featured" button for your blog if your post is featured!

Hand & Foot Sugar Scrubs from Give Me The Simple Life

Learn How to Paint an Artichoke at Mural Maker

Cajun Chicken Pasta from Newlyweds

Kid's Snake Tie from The Paisley Cupcake

Peach Coconut Pancakes from Breast Feeding Moms Unite

I'm excited to see what you've been blogging about this week! Please link up your posts below! Be sure to include a link back to my blog so that your readers will find our party. Thanks!



Brochure Giveaway

Brochures Printing Onlines is the place to go for your brochure printing needs.  They offer cheap brochure printing, and they make printing your brochures very simple with design templates, easy file uploads, live chat, and collaboration with a designer in real time.

Previously we have given away some two-fold brochures, and this month I'm happy to offer one of my readers 100 tri-fold brochures. You can use these to promote your business, your blog, your church or other organization, or use these to distribute important information.

Prize Specifications: 
100 8.5x11 Trifold Brochures
100lb Paper Gloss
Trifold/Letterfold, Z-fold
4 Color Both Sides Printing
Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above

Giveaway Closed. Congrats to Stephanie of DC Me's Giveaway Blog


Full Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated for this post.  For hosting this giveaway, I will receive 100 printed brochures.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ Chicken (& Lawry's Giveaway)

I don't know anyone who doesn't love summer grilling season!  Where I live, every weekend there's some grilling going on in our neighborhood.  I know because we can smell it from our front porch!  Now Lawry's is making the summer grilling season even more exciting with their new marinades.  Flavors include:

-Applewood & Plum - Juicy plums accent smoky applewood and add flair to all-American barbecue.
-Cilantro & Lime - Cutting across the diverse cuisines, this bright and zingy pair is a refreshing taste of summertime.
-Rosemary & Fig - Figs are an unexpected and regionally inspired match for aromatic rosemary.
-Chipotle & Maple - This culinary comingling deliver a fresh take on smoky, spicy and sweet.
-Brown Sugar & Bourbon - This duo brings a delicious dose of Southern charm to the patio.
-Cinnamon & Coffee - Bold and confident - with just the right edge of bitterness.
-Red Chili Sauce & Mango - The flavor of mango takes hot or sweet red chili sauce far beyond mere "condiment status."
-Tuscan Sun Dried Tomato - Featuring extra virgin olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, sweet red bell peppers, and a blend of herbs and spices.
-Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ - features Chinese five spice blend with a touch of Szechuan heat.

Recently I got to try two of Lawry's newest flavors: Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ and Tuscan Sun Dried Tomato. Not only are these marinades delicious, but they have a very unique taste.

I was very excited to serve the Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ Chicken to my husband last week. I've never made any chicken quite like this, and it was very well received. The marinade features a Chinese five spice blend, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper. Just imagine the best sweet and sour chicken from your favorite local Chinese joint and then add a spicy kick and your back yard grill! The result is yummy!

As you can see from the photos, I served our chicken over a bed of Asian style rice and vegetables. This was perfect for a quick and inexpensive gourmet meal.  And I love that these are 30 minute marinades, so I don't have to worry about doing the marinading the day before.  (Perfect if you sometimes have to throw something together at the last minute!)

I'm very excited to be trying the Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato next and will be posting the food as soon I've made it. For this purpses of this post, I've gotten a taste of the marinade already. It's an oil and vinegar based marinade, infused with sun-dried tomatoes, sweet red peppers, and a blend of herbs and spices, including rosemary and oregano. Yum! I'll let you know how it turns out on food, but I can already tell you, if the taste of the marinade alone is any indication of how it will be on cooked meat, we are in for another super-delicious meal!

Win it!  One Simply Sweet Home reader will win a Lawry´s Get Grilling Kit. The kit includes: 
  •  Both of the new Lawry´s marinades: Tuscan  Sun-Dried Tomato and Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ
  • Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • A set of skewers.
  • Pyrex marinating dish.

Giveaway closed. Congrats to Rene at Three Boys and an Old Lady!

I'm happy to link up each week to some fabulous blog parties.


Disclosure:  The opinions in this post are my own.  For hosting this give away I received a Lawry's prize pack like the one being given away.  I was not paid to post.  Lawry´s products, information and additional prize pack to give away are provided by Lawry´s through MyBlogSpark.

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