Archives for January 2016

Game Day Recipe Ideas You Need!

This is a sponsored post full of game day recipe ideas for SheSpeaks and P&G. All opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

A variety of game day recipe ideas for appetizers, drinks, and desserts perfect for the big game or for any party or get together! Includes prep and cleaning tips too.

I really love watching the big game with family and friends, especially when one of our favorite teams is playing! I love to entertain, however, I also want to watch the game. So I usually make lots of finger foods, dips, and easy to eat things that can be prepared in advance. That way, everybody gets to eat yummy foods and I get to still watch the game!

These game day recipe ideas are all perfect for the big game because they can be made in advance and almost all of them can be kept warm in a crockpot.

Game Day Recipe Ideas

If you love jalapeno poppers, I’ve got three different ways to serve them: in wonton wrappers, easy poppers you can throw on the grill, or as a dip.

This Italian sausage and white bean dip is addicting…make a double batch!

These ham & swiss finger sandwiches are always a crowd pleaser, and can be kept warm in a crockpot.

Garlicky chicken pesto pizza can be cut into small squares for easy pick up.

This warm bean dip pulls double duty as both an appetizer and as a filling for burritos.

This cookie dough dip is a favorite of kids & adults!

This holiday popcorn can be made anytime of the year. And trust me when I say to make extra because it will be gone before you know it!

Pickleback Shots anyone? It’s a fun way to do a shot (if you like pickle juice!)

Make your own edible shot glasses using your team’s colors with Jolly Ranchers (you can make Jolly rancher vodka, too!)

I’ve got lots of appetizers, cocktails, and dessert recipes here, and on my Tailgating & Party Food board on Pinterest too.

Honestly, game day can be messy. You’ve got people eating on your couches, lots of spills because you’re only half paying attention, and stains on clothing is almost always a given. With P&G products at Walmart, clean up can be a breeze!

A variety of game day recipe ideas for appetizers, drinks, and desserts perfect for the big game or for any party or get together! Includes prep and cleaning tips too.

Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels are a must have for entertaining. The Unique Trap & Lock Technology quickly absorbs messes both big and small and makes clean up a snap. Also use them to serve finger foods, or fold them up and use as napkins. These are a regular staple at my house because you can use them everywhere.

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Don’t forget to stock up your bathroom with Charmin Ultra Strong Mega Rolls!  These tw0-ply toilet paper mega rolls  are 4times stronger when wet than the leading bargain brand, are clog-safe and septic-safe, and with a washcloth-like texture that helps clean better than the leading flat-textured bargain brand toilet papers. And it’s so soft!

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You should also make sure you have a can of Febreze Air Effects Linen & Sky spray in the bathroom to keep it smelling fresh because Febreze actually eliminates tough odors rather than covering them up. And the best part is that the fine mist infuses air with a scent that is subtle, not overpowering…perfect in a busy bathroom.

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And after all the fun, finish the clean up with Tide PODS…another staple here. Yes, they may seem more expensive than traditional detergents, but they are a 3-in-1: they’re actually detergent, stain remover, and brightener all in one tiny pack! And Tide PODS do more than detergent alone: they’ll get your laundry 6 times more clean and target tough stains (basically anything the kids wear!) with specially formulated with HE Turbo technology. They work in any temperature of water and in standard and HE machines.

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I also have some quick and easy cleaning tips for when you don’t have time to clean that will help you prep for game day.

From prepping to clean up, you’ll find everything you need to make your game day a winner at Walmart.

Do you have favorite game day recipe ideas, traditions, or cleaning tips to share?

photo credit: tkaiponen via photopin cc

What’s A Pickleback Shot?

One of my favorite cocktails is a Dirty Vodka Martini, which is vodka and olive juice. I ask for it “so dirty it’s nasty” because I love olives. Now if you haven’t had one, you’re probably thinking that it sounds disgusting. And it does, but it actually is a great pairing! But when my brother’s girlfriend said “Hey, let’s do a pickleback shot!” I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she told me what it was and I said You’re crazy, that sounds disgusting! Then I tried it, and it was awesome!

What’s A Pickleback Shot?

If you're not a fan of taking shots, then you have to try a pickleback shot! It's a pickle juice chaser that cleanses your palette of the taste of alcohol.

A pickleback shot is (originally) a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice. Sounds weird, tastes delicious…especially if you’re like me and don’t like taking shots. The pickle juice acts like a palette cleanser, and so you don’t even taste the alcohol at all. But if you don’t like pickles, then read no further because you definitely won’t like pickleback shots.

Pickleback shots have been around forever, apparently. According to this article, “People have been chasing whiskey with pickle brine for God knows how long, but the term “pickleback” wasn’t coined until 2006.” I hadn’t heard of these until last month, and ever since, I’ve been telling everybody about them!

The same article also says: Aliases for the pickleback include “Piskey Whickle” and “Bartender’s Handshake.” I think we should start calling them a Piskey Whickle. Say that 5 times fast after a shot or two!

All you have to do is take a shot of your favorite whiskey, and chase it (meaning shoot the pickle juice shot right after) with the pickle juice. You won’t even taste the alcohol!

If you're not a fan of taking shots, then you have to try a pickleback shot! It's a pickle juice chaser that cleanses your palette of the taste of alcohol.

You can take a pickleback shot with any kind of alcohol…whiskey, vodka, tequila…whatever floats your boat. I happen to hate tequila, but everybody always wants to do tequila shots. Next time I’m asked, I’ll ask for a pickleback shot to follow it up with.

It’s a fun, novelty thing you can introduce to your friends at your next get together or night out. Try it!

And while I’m not a big fan of shots, I am a big fan of making fun and creative shots for others.

jolly-rancher Check out my recipe for Jolly Rancher Vodka, and serve them in Jolly Rancher Shot Glasses or White Trash Wine Glasses (that also double as a shot glass!)

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Chocolate Pudding Shots are always a crowd favorite. These Champagne Jello Shots are fun, too!

For more cocktail ideas, check out my Happy Hour board on Pinterest.
Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Happy Hour on Pinterest.

Preventing The Flu: Tips For Prevention & Care

Preventing the flu. That statement makes me laugh because I have kids. They’re like little walking germ magnets. And while they’ve already been sick this year, they didn’t get a super nasty case of influenza or “the flu” and I think it’s because we do everything we can to try to prevent it. So I thought it might help if I shared tips for preventing the flu with you that are easy to incorporate into your day-to-day life and to teach the kids too.

If the flu hasn't made it's way to your house yet, you are lucky! There are ways for preventing the flu. This post explains what the flu is, symptoms, and how to steer clear of it.

 

Now let’s say that the kids get the flu. How do you care for them? First off, make sure to follow safe and proper dosing of over the counter medicines. I have 10 tips for to help here. ALWAYS read the drug facts label and never give oral cough/cold meds to kids under the age of four. Give them lots of love and snuggles, and chicken soup. For more tips and tricks for dealing with sick kids, I love these tips from real moms.

And the last 3 weeks here have been full of puke. I mean almost all of us have gotten hit with the stomach flu. Jason got it first three weeks ago, I had it last week, and then Ethan and Mia got it this week. Luckily Lila hasn’t got it yet, though chances are she’s probably going to since our house seems to be covered in sick.

So is the stomach flu the same as preventing the flu? Kinda…but the stomach flu is HIGHLY contagious. So wash hands. Wash hands a lot. Wash hands and then wash them again! If someone gets it, wash all toys and wipe everything down to get rid of the virus. You’ll find more on the symptoms and treatment of the stomach flu here.

If the flu hasn't made it's way to your house yet, you are lucky! There are ways for preventing the flu. This post explains what the flu is, symptoms, and how to steer clear of it.

 How do you avoid the flu during the cold and flu season?

My Life In Pictures: January 1 – 15, 2016

In October, I started what I thought was the best idea EVER: To share my Instagram pictures a couple of times a month since I can’t seem to find time to write! I decided to call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here. So here’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks…other than the entire family getting hit with the stomach flu…

After coveting Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner for months, I finally bought one and spent an hour filling it in with birthdays, anniversaries, and upcoming events. Visit Emily Ley and grab a planner, gorgeous office supplies, and more.

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My sister Angie and her daughter Nikki and I are HUGE fans of Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and my sweet niece asked if me and a friend would like to join them at Sur for dinner as a surprise Christmas gift to my sister. We went on a rainy Tuesday night, and got lucky because several cast members from the show were there! And yes, we did see Jiggy, but the picture I got of him made him look like a moving blob of fur.

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On the last day of the kids’ Winter Break, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific (we have annual passes) and I snapped a quick photo of some tube anemones that turned out to be one of my favorite photos of all time. No filters, no editing…just amazingly gorgeous. Naturally.

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The dog woke me up at the crack of dawn last week, and I have to say I’m honestly glad that she did or I would’ve missed this amazing sunrise. Again, no filters, no editing…just amazingly gorgeous. Naturally.

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Pie Face! The kids have wanted this game, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I finally found Pie Face at Amazon.com and the kids (young & old!) have a blast playing with it. My favorite part of this picture is Lila’s face.

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Jalapeno Popper Wontons (Perfect for Game Day!)

How to make a spin on classic jalapeno poppers...jalapeno popper wontons! Includes links to other popper recipes and other tailgating & party food recipes.

Just about everybody I know loves jalapeño poppers. Some make them with just cream cheese and jalapeño, others add bacon or sausage. In our case we add all three, and more cheese! I love twists on classic recipes, and this recipe for jalapeno popper wontons doesn’t disappoint. But first, a couple other favorite twists…

My mom makes the yummiest easy jalapeño poppers ever. You can bake them or throw them on the grill. Either way, they’re delicious. They ain’t pretty, but they don’t need to be.

How to make  classic jalapeno poppers... and recipes with a twist like jalapeno popper wontons! Includes links to other popper recipes and other tailgating & party food recipes.

I also make a pretty damn delicious jalapeño popper dip.

How to make a spin on classic jalapeno poppers...jalapeno popper wontons! Includes links to other popper recipes and other tailgating & party food recipes.

As you can see, we’re big fans of jalapeño poppers. Another fun way to make them is in wonton wrappers. It’s super easy to do and they’re always a hit. Make a double batch because you won’t have any left!

Jalapeno Popper Wontons

How to make a spin on classic jalapeno poppers...jalapeno popper wontons! Includes links to other popper recipes and other tailgating & party food recipes.

Jalapeno Popper Wontons
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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 lb of bacon, cooked and crumbled (*See Notes)
  • 1/2 pound of bulk sausage (I used Jimmy Deanâ??s hot sausage), cooked & crumbled (*See Notes)
  • 4 to 6 jalapenos, seeded and chopped. If you like heat, leave about 3 of the jalapenoâ??s seeds in.
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Wonton wrappers

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Place wonton wrappers on the cookie sheet. Place about a teaspoon in the middle of each wrapper.
  4. Fold each wrapper in half to make a triangle, fold them up into a small basket, or pinch in the middle and pull the edges out to make a "star".
  5. Spray the tops of the wontons with cooking spray. Bake 5 - 7 minutes until browned on the edges.

Notes

*Check out my post on how to oven fry bacon and sausageâ?¦you can cook both in 20 minutes and you just throw away the mess!

If you have leftover jalapeno mixture, make more wontons! You can also put the mixture in a small crockpot and heat through. Serve with tortilla chips.

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http://mommyofamonster.com/jalapeno-popper-wontons/

Super easy to make, and always a hit. They’re perfect for game day!

How to make a spin on classic jalapeno poppers...jalapeno popper wontons! Includes links to other popper recipes and other tailgating & party food recipes.

My husband said they’d be delicious with some jalapeno jelly to dip them in. We’re going to try that on Sunday!

Love jalapeno poppers? Then you'll love these recipes for jalapeno poppers with a twist, like jalapeno popper wontons. Includes links to other popper recipes and other tailgating & party food recipes.

Game Day is coming up! Check out my Pinterest board Tailgating & Party Food for even more recipes!