Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Caramel Dessert Recipes

Caramel is one of my favorite things, it is just so delicious that I had to share some yummy caramel dessert recipes from around the web. Check them out below. The Salted Caramel Butter Bars I have made a few times and let me tell you, they are addicting!

Salt Caramel Butter Bars by Is This Really My Life

Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Squares by Butter with a Side of Bread

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake by Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Caramel Cream Pie by Sugary Sweets

Salted Caramel Shortbread by Erica's Sweet Tooth 

Real Deal Southern Caramel Cake by Grandbaby Cakes

 Salted Caramel Pudding by Portuguese Girl Cooks

What are your favorite ways to eat caramel?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Independence Day

We celebrated our Independence Day with a parade and our family slip n slide party. What did you do?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

How Dream Dinners Work

As promised (when I first told you about Utah Dream Dinners), I am here to tell you more about them.

But first I want to tell you how much I have been loving this experiment with Utah Dream Dinners. My family is already sitting down to dinner at a regular time and we are sitting down together! That is huge! I love that it doesn't take long to make dinner, especially during this busy summer. I love that my kids are trying new foods that I wouldn't normally think about introducing to them so we are eating a bigger variety of flavors and foods. Two thumbs up to Dream Dinners!

Okay, so here is how it works. First you go to the Utah Dream Dinners website to order the meals you want and scheduled a time to go assemble the meals.

When I got to the Dream Dinners kitchen the first thing I noticed is how clean everything is. There is a place for you to keep your purse and belongings, a clean apron waiting for you and of course a hand washing station.

The kitchen is set up in small stations with everything you need to assemble your meals. The recipes are clear and easy to read. The Dream Dinners crew is there to help you with anything you need and they are also quick to clean up behind you so each station is always clean and ready for the next cook.

Some of the ingredients are frozen like the meat or pasta but it is still great, fresh, quality food. Last time I was assembling my meals I was zesting an orange and a lime. I can't remember the last time I did that.

Once each meal is finished and ready to go you can place it in your designated refrigerator until you are ready to leave. Assembling meals is so fast! You can hurry in and hurry out or take your time and have fun with it.

There are so many different kinds of meals to choose from, my girls went nuts for the Canadian Bacon Stuffed French Bread and the Fircracker Beef Sliders. I put the sauce on the side so they could dip their sliders in it (they are really into dip these days).

Cooking for a family of five with three young children can be hard but I haven't felt that way with Dream Dinners. I really have started to enjoy cooking again! The only meals I have to think about are breakfast and lunch. How easy is that? That means I am only grocery shopping for breakfast, lunch and produce.

Don't forget you can try Utah Dream Dinners Introductory offer for only $25 and learn how to take away dinner time stress.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

San Francisco 10th Anniversary Trip

Travis and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week! We decided to take a trip to San Francisco to celebrate. The crazy thing is, we had not gone on a trip just the two of us since our honeymoon. We were past due for a getaway!

Below are a few pictures from our little trip. We spent more time enjoying the trip than taking pictures.

I can't even tell you how many of these vanilla shakes with caramel sauce I ate at Ghiradelli Square.

We love Blondie's Pizza!
 AT&T Park is so pretty!

And it just so happened that we were there during the annual Gay Pride Parade. I will spare you the pictures. Too many naked people.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reading List

Here a few of the books I have read recently.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, who secretly marries the newly crowned Edward IV. Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for her family’s dominance, but despite her best efforts, her two sons become pawns in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London. In this dazzling account of the deadly Wars of the Roses, brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England.

I really loved this book and am now on the the second book in the series.  I really didn't know much about the cousins war and found it really interesting.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

This was a pretty good book. It is worth reading. 

The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny, Jerry B Jenkins
Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason three times in his first three years, people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results. Instead, it’s based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached, a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.”
The tough-love philosophy Matheny expressed in the letter contained his throwback beliefs that authority should be respected, discipline and hard work rewarded, spiritual faith cultivated, family made a priority, and humility considered a virtue. In The Matheny Manifesto, he builds on his original letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports−hint: it starts with parents and coaches−and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manager to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility.

I would recommend this book to anyone with young children. It is so much more than a youth sports book. Matheny offers a great perspective on raising children to have a strong character and good values. I really like his direct approach and old school views on life.

What have you been reading?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fresh Fruit Pizza with Nutella

Recently we made these Fresh Fruit Pizzas with Nutella. the kids loved making them! We even made a fun little make your own fruit pizza bar with mini pizzas. It was a hit with the kids!

I am over at the Rhodes Blog showing you how to make them. I hope you will check it out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Our Sad Excuse For Dinner

Am I the only one out there that dreads dinner time? I am so unprepared by the time dinner rolls around that I am scrambling to throw a dinner together and I end up looking like a short order cook and can't even sit down to eat with my family. I am not sure how it got that way. I will just blame it on life with twin toddlers, although that's really only a small portion of it.

I use to try and plan out our family's dinner menus ahead of time and then plan the grocery list around that but I have just been swept away in life and landed in this mess at dinner time. I am usually a pretty organized person but when it comes to dinner I fail miserably. My poor family!

As a mom it's my job to make sure my kids eat good healthy meals, not like the picture below. Ha!

Trying to make dinner is frustrating too because Sammy and Sadie end up clinging on to my legs while I try and cook making cooking difficult so there are many nights when we grab fast food. I don't even know what our monthly food budget is because of our expensive fast food  dinners and total lack of planning. Fast food for 5 people can add up fast! Plus I am teaching my kids poor meal time habits.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

Growing up I remember dinner being a time when we sat together as a family and talked and enjoyed our time together while we ate. I want my kids to experience that. I don't want them thinking our current dinner situation is a good one.

I am going to turn our sad family dinner time around though! I am going to be part of the Dream Dinner Experiment! I am actually really excited about this! Utah Dream Dinners is about taking the stress and madness of dinner away. You look at the menus online and choose which ones would be best for your family then you show up to the store to assemble them. No grocery lists, no shopping, they have taken that hassle away from you. You take your meals home and all that's left is to cook the pre-assembled meals.

I am going to even let my little ones help me cook some of the meals. They love to try and help cook and with Dream Dinners taking all the hard work away it will make it easy and enjoyable. While I am at it I can even teach them how to set the table and clean up after dinner right? I can't forget about teaching them table manors too. How am I supposed to teach them these things when I can't even sit down to eat with them? Dream dinners is going to help me in so many ways!

Right now Dream Dinners has a great offer for Whatever DeeDee Wants readers. Purchase 3 meals for only $25. They will also teach you how to make all your dinners for 1 month in only 1 hour! Click here for more details.
I tried this out and am happy to say I am a fan! I wouldn't be telling you about this if I didn't like it.

I will be telling you more about my experiences with Utah Dream Dinners soon. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.