Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Creme Pie

This pie is almost too good to be true.  Creamy, dessert pies are some of my favorites.  I'm not always a huge fan of mushy fruit pies (minus apple, of course), but I love me a creme pie.  I used to love going to Village Inn when I was younger and looking at their pie case.

My top picks were usually French Silk, Pecan, Pumpkin, Apple or anything fluffy and decadent.  Like this one.

I had the opportunity again to feature a dessert with COOLWHIP Whipped Topping as the star, and I invented this pie last weekend.  I had gotten a jar of Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel sauce at the Sweet Basil Market a couple of weeks back and was just dying to use it up.  And not by me just eating spoonfuls of it at a time, in something really meaningful.

Some of our best desserts are quick and easy.  This pie is no exception.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Creme Pie
1 pkg. graham crackers (about 10)
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 12 oz. jar Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Sauce (or any favorite chocolate sauce)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 container COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor crush graham crackers until they resemble fine crumbs.  Pour in melted butter and pulse to combine.  Press graham cracker mixture in the bottom and up the sides of an 8 in. pie shell.  Bake for 10 minutes, allow to cool.

In a bowl combine softened cream cheese, sugar and 1 c. of COOL WHIP.  Layer as follows: 1/2 of the pecans, 1/2 jar of sauce, COOL WHIP mixture, other 1/2 jar of sauce, remaining COOL WHIP, remaining pecans.

Set in fridge to set for at least one hour before serving.

This is a great pie to take to anyone needing a pick-me-up or a potluck, as it keeps well in the fridge for many days.  I should know, as the husband and I kept reaching in and grabbing bites here and there.

It was bad.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bacon Cheese Turkey Burgers

I ate one of the best burgers of my life last night.  The husband ate a third of it while I wasn't looking.  Darn me, for getting up from the table to get the kid's milk.

You really think I would learn by now.

Remember that line from the Christmas Story, where Ralphie narrates that his mother hasn't had a hot meal in 10 years?  Sometimes I feel like that is me.  Up and down.  All the time.

But...I'll admit it, this burger was good cold, too.

Every piece of this dinner was cooked on the grill last night, in between the hot spring heat and a vicious thunderstorm.  We eventually ate.  And it was good.

Burgers, bacon, potatoes and asparagus all done on the grill.  Minimal clean up and great taste.  My kind of meal.

Bacon Cheese Turkey Burgers
*makes four burgers
1lb. ground turkey
2 T. Worchestire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. onion flakes
1 t. dried parsley
1/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs {I used panko}
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
dash of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients into the ground turkey, shape into four patties.  Grill on medium to high heat, 7-8 minutes a side.  After flipping burgers place bacon straight on the grill until desired doneness, set aside.  Top with a slice of sharp cheddar last few minutes, and throw on buns to get toasted.

Assemble burger, bacon, tomato, sauce, etc.  Eat!

What is the best burger you've ever eaten?  Where did you eat it?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bacon, Tomato & Guacamole Grilled Cheese

Oh, do I ever love a good sandwich.  Hats off to the inventor, he has given me many, many meals.  Last night was no exception.

With the husband working and the kids in bed, I invited a girlfriend over for some wine and sandwiches.  Two of my loves.  We had a fun time chatting about her recent wedding and just catching up.  I'm not even mentioning what we had for dessert, as that is a whole 'nother post.

So, one of my favorite sandwich memories, is a story I've heard often, but wasn't even there to witness.  My husband has an aunt who is a prankster.  You always have to be looking behind your back when she is around, as you could be the victim at any given moment.

I've heard the story over the years that she was usually in charge of making sandwiches when her husband, uncles, nephews, etc. went on fishing trips.  Being the jokester that she is, she would leave the plastic wrapping around the Kraft cheese singles when layering their ham sandwiches.

Imagine their shock and bewilderment when they took their first bite!  Not very easy to bite through plastic wrapping.  I'm sure they all just rolled their eyes and yelled "Susie!", and then moved on to catching their fish.

Now to my grilled cheese creation.  Gosh, it was good.  We both claimed we probably won't make just a simple grilled cheese ever again, they were that good.

Bacon, Tomato & Guacamole Grilled Cheese
Focaccia bread
Kraft Swiss and Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Guacamole {2 avocados, 1/2 c.sour cream, 1/2 c. salsa, salt, pepper}

Preheat a panini press or grill top pan.  Assemble sandwiches - bacon, tomato, cheeses, guacamole spread on both slices of bread.  Spray the press with cooking spray.  Grill until golden brown and cheese is melted.

We both claimed we'd only eat one half of this and save the rest for later.  That didn't happen.  We devoured both halves.

A big thanks to Foodbuzz and Kraft for allowing me to create this sandwich.  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for free Kraft Singles and a stipend.

What would you put on your dream grilled cheese?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Pickin' = Jam Makin'

Photo Source
With the less-than-stellar-dumps-of-snow we didn't seem to get this winter, along with the mild spring, our strawberries here in Iowa are ready!  A few weeks earlier than usual, but that doesn't bother me.  Every year I make strawberry freezer jam and every year about 6 months into it, I run out.

This year I vowed to get 2 flats instead of my usual one and make that many more batches.  I'll let you know how long it lasts us...

The kids and I headed out this morning to The Pride of the Wapsi and picked up our freshly picked strawberries.  Now, by all means, I would LOVE to pick them myself, but I shelled out a few more bucks to have their workers pick them for me.  Can you imagine two kids under the age of 2 and me trying to pick two flats?  It would be awful.

I'd have to keep the little man from eating every single one he sees, and the little miss would get lost.  She runs.  Fast.  And I would spend more time chasing her than my strawberries.  You have to pick your battles.

We did get a nice shot of all the families out early this morning, hunched over (quite the workout!), picking their strawberries.  This place was busy.  They also have raspberries later this summer and quite the pumpkin spread in the fall.  A great place if you live in eastern Iowa.

I might regret this later, but here is a shot inside my fridge.  I also have two more flats shoved in there, one being held for a friend.  What she doesn't know is that I'll be charging her rent.

And like I say every year, I grew up thinking this recipe was some big family secret.  Until I finally started making it myself a few years back, only to have my mom say "the recipe is right on the box of Sure-Jell".  Otherwise known as the pectin she uses.  Thanks Mom.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
2 c. crushed fresh strawberries
4 c. sugar
1 pkg. dry pectin (we use Sure-Jell)
3/4 c. water

  1. Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water into the strawberries. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers.
  2. Place tops on the containers, and leave for 24 hours. Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.

You have to make this!  And I've made a ton of other variations as well - black raspberry, red raspberry, peach, blueberry.  Every single one I've tried is just as simple as the strawberry, the only things that differs is the amount of sugar each fruit uses.

Store this stuff in your freezer for up to a year.  If it lasts that long.

Want to know who won my cookie cutter giveaway?  Erica Best!  Erica please email me and I'll get those shipped out next week.  Thanks to all who entered.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal + Giveaway

I always forget that I can check out my favorite magazines at the library, keeping them for up to a week.  Last week when I went there I stocked up on reading material, including some cooking magazines (shocker).  I am probably one of the last people on Earth that has yet to get a Kindle, Nook or iPad.  That doesn't mean I don't want one badly though!

Hopefully one will come in due time.  I keep wishing.

A version of this baked oatmeal was in one of the magazines and was calling my name.  I wanted something we could eat on for a few breakfasts in a row.  It kept great in the fridge and I just kept reheating the leftovers and pouring a little milk over top each morning.

The little miss devoured it and the little man kept saying "I don't like it".  You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
*feel free to substitute any fruit
2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
2 T. butter, melted
1 c. fresh blueberries
1/4 c. chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.  Meanwhile in a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, and spices.  Stir in the milk, blueberries and melted butter.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Transfer to dish, sprinkle with nuts.  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

And now for my giveaway!  I just couldn't pass these classy cookie cutters up this past weekend.  I got a pair for a good friend and a pair for my blog friends.  Wouldn't they be just perfect to cut out some cute tea sandwiches, sugar cookies or even sliced watermelon for your next girl's night out?

I even thought of cutting out some brownies with them.

But then again, my mind always reverts back to chocolate.  Sorry.

So, do you want to win these?  It's easy-peasy, just answer the below question.  And then pass on my blog to all your foodie friends.  They might want a chance at winning too.

Would you rather have a fancy drink or a classy pair of high heels on your next night out?  Sorry, guys, answer for your wife, girlfriend, or inner-lady.

I'll choose one random winner this coming Friday.  Ready.  Set.  Go!
*U.S. residents only*

Monday, May 21, 2012

On the Road with Good Eats

Various events had us on the road this weekend, just getting back home this morning.  The husband had a bachelor party to attend, I met up with some friends as well as visiting his parents and some other family.  The bachelor party took us to our old stomping grounds where we both attended college and lived for a few years after.

I miss that place greatly.

Of course I had to visit my favorite bakery.  Scratch Cupcakery has moved to a new location and it is HUGE!  Much larger than their first place, it is evident how much business they have.  The line was out the door when I arrived and the customers did not stop coming in.

I wish I owned a place like this.  Sigh.

The owner of Scratch also recently opened up Sweet Basil Market.  A foodie lover's paradise.  It has many bulk ingredients for baking and cake decorating, homemade jams, salsas, marinades, pastas, the list goes on an on.

I bought my first bag of quinoa (wish me luck!), along with some cute cookie cutters (that will be a giveaway later this week!) and other goodies that I just

For dinner I met a friend at myVerona, a fun, hip Italian restaurant downtown.  We sat on the deli/bar side, where it is a little less upscale, but very, very tasty.  After shooing the waitress away about 3 times as we were chatting too much to even look at the menu, we decided on their famous hand-cut fries with cheese sauce for an appetizer and then their version of a pizza margarita (with prosciutto!) for our entree.

It was fabulous.

The fun didn't stop yesterday.  We spent the day with his family and even left the little miss with Grandma and Grandpa so we could get some one on one time with the little guy.  We took him to the local fish hatchery and to check out all the rainbow trout.

He had a GRAND time feeding the fish and wanting to jump in the water.  It was a beautiful morning and just great to get outside with him and enjoy nature.

How was your weekend?  Fun trip?  Quiet weekend at home?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pom-Spritzer Cocktails

I am apologizing for the lack of quality photos on this post, first and foremost.  Sorry, I forgot my camera and had to rely on others.  But trust me, this drink is GOOD.

At a recent bridal shower, I drank until my little heart was content.  It went down like water.  Which is bad I know.  But, when you are thirsty and a thirst-quenching drink is placed before you, you just cannot help but guzzle it.

And then have another.

Pom-Spritzer Cocktails
*this makes a LOT
1 bottle pomegranate juice
1/2 liter Sprite (use club soda if you want it less sweet)
1 bottle Moscato wine
a few splashes of citrus flavored vodka

There really is no exact science to this recipe, again I apologize.  Get creative and just start slowly, tasting as you go.  You can tweak it to your liking.

On a side note - did I tell you I have two tomato plants started and two red pepper plants started?  Thanks to my parents who came down last weekend.  I put them to work on my flower beds and they also did a little gardening.

Here's to another Pom-Spritzer, hoping I can keep them alive and generate some produce.

Happy Drinking!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

7-Layer Dessert Bars

I bake a lot.  I'll admit it.  But, I will also admit, that I give most of it away.  I take these delicious bites to work, daycare, my husband's work and in little care packages to friends.  I like to give.

I normally would never, ever make two pans of bars in one night, but this week was an exception.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but my husband is a cop.  He works odd and crazy hours, but loves his job and does a mighty fine good job of it.

This week happens to be Police Officer Memorial Week.  If you haven't taken the time to thank those that serve us day in and day out, please do.  They do so much more for us that you'll ever know.  With that being said, we honored the men (and women) yesterday with tons of food to feed all three shifts.  I was in charge of dessert for two of the shifts and this is what I baked up.

Two easy bar desserts that took me less than 15 minutes to whip up.  I'm featuring the 7-Layer Dessert Bar today, but I'll also fill you in on the other one below (even easier).  I've been eating these bars for YEARS, and frankly, you can change up the layers in anyway you like, it all bakes up the same.

7-Layer Dessert Bars
(layer in this order)
1 pkg. pre-made or homemade cookie dough (sugar, pb or chocolate chip)
1 c. Nutella
1 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. butterscotch chips
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 small can sweetened condensed milk

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Layer in ingredients in above order, starting with pressing down the cookie dough, spreading on Nutella, sprinkling on coconut, chips and walnuts, ending with drizzling on sweetened condensed milk.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

These cookie bars are simply: 1 boxed yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. canola
oil or applesauce, 1 c. chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Both of these pans can be baked at the same time, saving you precious time and your oven less heating time.  A done deal!

Who else bakes for others?

Am I the only one?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spicy Charred Broccoli

Here I am chatting about vegetables. 

Sorry, if you are not a vegetable fan.  But please keep reading.  Vegetables are good for you and I am fairly certain we all do not eat enough of them.  Me included.

One of the vegetables I adore is broccoli.  Right behind asparagus and corn on the cob (although that isn't really a healthy veggie...).  I could eat broccoli up in almost any dish, but I really, really am a sucker for it in any stir-fry, chinese or thai dish.  This broccoli reminds me of that.

Flipping through the latest Food Network magazine yesterday, I found this recipe.  With a head of broccoli in the crisper needed to be used up, I declared a "grilling" night and our whole meal was thrown on the grill, so we didn't have to heat up the house.  Cheddar-bacon brats, roasted potatoes and spicy charred broccoli.  I adapted their recipe a bit to what I had on hand.

Spicy Charred Broccoli
1 head of broccoli, cut into pieces
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine or white vinegar
4 t. sesame oil or canola oil
4 t. honey
1 t. red pepper flakes

Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. 

In a bowl combine all ingredients, minus the broccoli, stir and set aside.  Place broccoli in a sprayed grill pan.  Place on direct heat 2-3 minutes, stirring around occasionally, until broccoli is cooked through and a bit charred.

Remove from grill and toss with dressing.  Serve immediately.

Oh...this broccoli is SO good.  Try it with your next meal.  Feel free to leave out the red pepper flakes, if you cannot handle heat, but honestly it just gives a bit of bite to it.  Not too much heat.

What is your favorite veggie?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

DIY Sunday: Monogrammed Ceramic Tile Wall Art

Happy Mother's Day!  It's been a crazy busy weekend.  I was the personal attendant in a good friend's wedding so I've been fluffing dresses, holding purses, running errands, getting out stains, climbing in and out of cars, taking pictures, holding drinks, you get the idea.

Everything went off without a hitch, it was beautiful.

Today we are heading to my Grandma's house with other family for a good 'ole fashioned summer barbecue. It should be fun and filling and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous today, I'm sure we'll spend most of it outside.

So, this is what I gave the bride and groom.  Their last name (obviously) beings with a "T", so I crafted a cute little piece of wall art for their home.  I used the colors in her kitchen and family area for the design and just went with it!

You will need:

  • Wooden board
  • Spray paint
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mini ceramic tiles (found mine at Michael's)
  • Drill
This project is pretty self-explanatory.  Have the husband, or if you are handy, yourself, drill two holes near the top of the board, so that the ribbon will eventually be threaded through.  Spray paint both sides and let dry.  Arrange tiles into the letter you want and carefully hot glue all tiles to the board.  Let dry.  Then feed ribbon through and tie into a bow so the board has room to hang.

Make sense?

The ideas and possibilities are endless with this craft project.  You could use just about anything to stencil out the letter - buttons, bottle caps, rocks, what have you!

Made anything crafty lately?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grilled Flank Steak Fajitas

Oh, did we have a yummy dinner last night.  If you saw my Facebook post yesterday, you'll know I was a little worried that once the steak once cooked, the husband would just start digging in and we wouldn't even have a chance to assemble the fajitas.

It was a close call folks.

As he massacred the slicing of the steak, he was alternating a slice with a bite.  I got mean and yelled.  It wasn't pretty.  He still, after 2.5 years of me food blogging doesn't understand the "perfect shot".

Who else uses a grill pan?  We love ours.  I think it was a wedding gift circa 2006, and a great one indeed, it has gotten a LOT of use.  It's great for veggies in the summer.

This sucker also gets hot.  Like, touching fire, hot.  Have pot-holders ready and available.

Flank steak is a less expensive cut of meat, but if cooked properly (not too over done) and sliced against the grain, it is moist and tender.  It worked perfect for these fajitas.  In fact, the husband was a tad disappointed that I didn't buy two.

Hard to please.

Grilled Flank Steak Fajitas
*feeds 2
1 flank steak
lemon pepper seasoning
1 small onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
flour tortillas
shredded cheese
sour cream

Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Place sliced veggies in a grill pan sprayed with non-stick spray, sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper seasoning.  Place on top rack of grill to get cooking a few minutes before steak is ready to be put on.  Continue to stir until tender and slightly charred.

Generously rub steak with lemon pepper seasoning and salt, both sides.  Place on grill and cook to desired doneness.  For a medium steak, like we had, it cooked 5-6 minutes a side.  Let steak rest on a cutting board, then slice against the grain into strips.

Assemble fajitas and eat!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Walnut Chewies

With the husband gone a couple of days for work, I needed chocolate.  Bad.  And this little cookie did the job.

I often wonder if I am the only mother out there that sometimes NEEDS something so bad (like chocolate) just to get through the day with two little ones.  Don't get me wrong, our kids are great, happy, healthy little bundles of joy, but they are BUSY.

My mom watched them one day last week while I was attending a Leadership Conference and her exact quote was, "I didn't even get my make-up on until they both went down for their nap!  They're so busy!"

Yep, I know.

This cookie has ooey, gooey, dripping caramel in the middle thanks to the delicious candy of the Rolo.  Who doesn't love a Rolo?  Don't lie, you do.

Chocolate Caramel Walnut Chewies
1 devil's food cake mix
1 egg
3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. water
24 Rolo candies
2 c. crushed walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To the cake mix add: egg, applesauce and water.  Stir until you have a wet dough.  Take rounded spoonful, place in a Rolo and wrap dough around.  Dip tops in crushed walnuts.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet, bake for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Then eat to your heart's desire as your kids are running circles around you.

That is what I did.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

DIY Sunday: Garage Sales

Its been way too many weeks since I had a DIY Sunday.  Sorry.  But, it's back!  This weekend has been city-wide garage sales in our town and with the weather being great (despite some thunderstorms during the night) the crowds came out.

Yesterday morning a girlfriend came over, we loaded up the kids and hit the town.  Three hours later I came home with ALL of this.

For $25 bucks.

What a steal.  Especially on the kid's clothes.  Each piece was basically 50 cents to a dollar for slightly used items, some of them still with the tags on them, never having been worn.  I am not above garage sales.  I find them fun, you just never know what you are going to find.  In fact I love hosting them as well.

I've seen this book around popular lists, so I snagged it up.  Who has read?  Is it good?  I just finished my last book, so maybe I'll sit down with this one tonight after the kids are in bed.

We can hope.

Even the husband was impressed with all the summer play clothes I got for both kids for such little money.  In my opinion there is no reason to buy them fancy stuff when by the end of the day it is covered in milk, spaghetti sauce, juice and dirt.

Not in that order.

And not to be forgotten, two brand new stainless steel round cake pans (which I needed!) and a fun soup mug, for my cooking needs.

Who else loves a good garage sale?

And before I forget...the winner of my last giveaway for a sample pack of Funky Monkey Snacks is...Peaceful75.  Please email me so I can have them ship your snacks out pronto!

Thanks to all for entering!

I love to have fresh cantaloupe with some cottage cheese. It's something my Grandmother used to give me as a kid, and it always reminds me of her, plus it's delicious and refreshing :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Classic Coconut Cake

This elegant, yet simple cake, has become a family birthday staple.  Many of us request it and it never disappoints!  But, there is one very hard component.  Read on to find out.

classic coconut cake (

I was thrilled and excited a few weeks ago when I was asked by Foodbuzz to come up with a dessert post using COOL WHIP Whipped Topping.

I did not have to even think twice about which dessert I was going to make.  This classic coconut cake made an appearance in our family's birthday gatherings a few years back.  My mom starting baking it up for my niece and it stuck.  We all loved it.  You will all love it.  Lover of coconut or not, there is just something about this cake that screams EAT ME to everyone.

And did I mention it's easy?  A good-quality yellow cake boxed mix pretty much does the work for you.  We are all short on time, especially us moms, and although this cake looks elaborate, it comes together in a jiffy.  Everyday desserts don't have to be boring, this cake surely represents that.

classic coconut cake (

Classic Coconut Cake
Print this Recipe!

1 boxed yellow cake mix
1 pkg. instant french vanilla pudding

16 oz. sour cream
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. shredded coconut

8 oz. COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 c. reserved filling mixture

1.  Cook cake as directed, adding pudding mix to the batter, dividing into two round or square cake pans.
2.  Allow cakes to cool on wire rack.
3.  Mix the three filling ingredients together and reserve 1 cup.
4.  Once cakes are cooled, split cakes into 4 layers.
5.  Spread filling between each layer.  Frost sides and top with frosting mixture, then cover the whole cake in shredded coconut.
6.  NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT.  Cover cake and refrigerate for 3 days.  Don't peak, don't taste test, heck, don't even look at it.  These 3 days of coconutty-goodness make this cake.

classic coconut cake (

Now, who is going to make this for their next birthday or celebration?  It's easy, delicious and grand.  Don't be that one bringing a store bought cake - this is too easy!

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

classic coconut cake (

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Funky Monkey Snacks

I love getting packages in the mail.  It just makes my day when I'm walking up the sidewalk and I see something setting on the front step.

What makes it even better is that I often get packages from various companies or relatives sending goodies for the kids, so I never really am expecting anything - it is generally a fun surprise, each and every time.  Last week I received these:

Funky Monkey Snacks contacted me awhile back about sampling some of their healthy snack product and of course I said yes!  I often feel that when I am home I am serving breakfast, cleaning up breakfast, finding  mid-morning snacks, serving lunch, cleaning up lunch, finding snacks for after nap time, cooking dinner, serving dinner, cleaning up dinner and if the family is lucky - serving dessert.

I do a lot of cooking, serving and cleaning.

As a mom, it's sometimes hard to find healthy snacks for my kids.  We eat a LOT of fresh fruit, cheese, peanut butter, veggies and dip, crackers and homemade granola bars.  Other than that I tend to shy away from any pre-packaged products, unless their ingredient list is small and I can read it.

Enter in Funky Monkey Snacks!

Lets just say the husband and the little man ate one package 10 minutes after I opened the box.  It is simply dried fruit, but has the texture of potato chips, with the sweetness of fruit.  Really, pretty fun and neat.

Would you like to try a sample package?

The generous folks over at Funky Monkey Snacks are willing to send a reader the same sample package I received.  I know many of you are moms needing snacks for your kids!

To enter simply leave a comment telling me your favorite healthy snack. 

It's that simple.  Get commenting!  U.S. residents only.  Contest ends at Noon CST on Thursday, May 3.