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Send a SMILE!

3 Jan

cookie greetingHappy New Year, everyone! I can’t believe it’s already 2013. I remember what feels like yesterday, I was sitting in class writing the year 2000 on all my papers… and feeling like I couldn’t believe the 90’s were over. How funny!

I have a really fun new gift idea for you all… you can now send friends and family a smile! For only $5 and free shipping, you can go to Cheryl’s Cookie Greeting, and have a beautifully frosted cookie along with a $5 gift card to her site sent!! I can’t believe I just found out about this… it’s SUCH AN AWESOME IDEA! There are all kinds of themes for the cookies as well…my favorite is “Have a Sunny Day”. Click here to see all the cookie themes.

I hope you like this idea as much as I do. Go check out the site, and send a smile today!! ūüôā

*Image from

Meal Idea Monday: Introducing Crock Pot Girls! (and Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole)

5 Sep

Good morning, everyone! It’s a beautiful day, and I’m super excited to share with you a wonderful resource for slow cooker recipes. It’s called Crock Pot Girls, and you have got to check them out! They have a grea facebook page, and just started a great website as well. There are SO many wonderful crock pot recipes, and more are always being added- literally every few minutes by fans from all over!¬†Crock Pot Girls¬†is an¬†awesome resource¬†for¬†our Food Tidings community¬†because the crock pot is such an AWESOME tool to use when creating meals for our loved ones. It’s simple, easy, and the results are delcious!

Here’s a recipe that I found on their facebook page for Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole. This is very kid friendly, and if you ask me, adult friendly too! I made this for my family this past week, and it turned out GREAT! All my kids ate it, which is saying a lot for my picky little ones. It even made enough for me to freeze an 8×8 pan (a disposable pan of course!)¬†to bring to a friend who just had a baby. Thanks for the recipe, Crock Pot Girls. And here’s to many, many more! ūüôā

Thanks Crock Pot Girls for a delcious recipe… see how pretty it turned out?!

Resource: Crock Pot Girls
1 pkg rigatoni (16 oz) or large tube pasta
8 oz diced ham
1 pkg (8oz) sliced pepperoni
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion chopped
4 cups (16 oz) shredded, part-skim mozarella cheese
2 cans (15 oz each) pizza sauce
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
3. Drain pasta and place in a 5 quart slow cooker.
4. Stir in the beef mixture, cheese, pizza sauce, soup, pepperoni and ham.
5. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Yield: 12-14 servings. ENJOY!
I’d love to hear how this turned out for everyone… we love your comments! Have a great day!

Food Tidings Loves Olive Creations

15 Mar

My husband and I went on an awesome date night the other night. First of all, the reason it was wonderful was because we were alone… just the two of us. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my kids more than life itself. But, we were so ready for some time alone. Time where we can have a conversation for longer than 5 minutes without being interrupted. I’m sure you all know what I mean!

We went to dinner, and then we went to a local shopping area and just walked around. We saw this storefront that said “Olive Creations“, and we were intrigued. My husband Zach guessed it right, it was olive oil! They feature 47 different¬†extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.¬†They also have gourmet jellies and mustards.

The best part was that they had little pieces of bread, and tiny cups to taste test any flavors we wanted. My favorites were peach and coconut lime. How delicious would it be to use coconut lime infused olive oil to make chicken breast?

Needless to say, we’re very excited about this new shop. We’re excited for the owners because they stepped out on faith, and are living their dream. I love locally owned shops- they’re just a beautiful thing.

So, if you live in the Phoenix Arizona¬†area, check out Olive Creations! They’re located at I-17 and Happy Valley in the mainstreet shops at The Shops At Norterra. If you don’t live in the Phoenix area, then find a local shop and support it!

Here are some of the pairing¬†possibilites of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars taken from their website…how delicious to they sound?!

Golden Pineapple White Balsamic + Garlic EVOO
Lemon White Balsamic + Tuscan Herb EVOO
Strawberry Balsamic + Basil EVOO
Peach White Balsamic + Tuscan Herb EVOO
Blackberry Ginger Balsamic + Persian Lime EVOO
Dark Chocolate Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
Mushroom Sage EVOO + Lemon Balsamic
Blueberry Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
Dark Chocolate Balsamic + Chipotle EVOO
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Balsamic + Roasted Walnut Oil
Red Apple Balsamic + Hojiblanca EVOO
Fig Balsamic + Garlic EVOO
Pomegranate Balsamic + Persian Lime EVOO
Strawberry Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
Red Apple Balsamic + Roasted Walnut Oil
Lavender Balsamic + Herbes de Provence EVOO
Cinnamon Pear Balsamic + Roasted Walnut Oil
Cherry Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
Espresso Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
Traditional Balsamic + ANY EVOO
Coconut White Balsamic + Butter EVOO = Coco-butter
Coconut White Balsamic + Lime EVOO
Coconut White Balsamic + Roasted Sesame Seed Oil
1 Part Lemon Balsamic + 1 Part Butter EVOO + 1 Part Garlic EVOO
Garlic EVOO + Butter EVOO
Pomegranate + Garlic EVOO
Vanilla Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
Chocolate Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO
Vanilla Balsamic + Chocolate Balsamic
Chocolate Balsamic + Espresso Balsamic
Chocolate Balsamic + Coconut White Balsamic
Coconut White Balsamic + Lemon EVOO
Lavender Balsamic + Lime EVOO
Raspberry Balsamic + lemon EVOO

Toe Blooms Giveaway!!

17 Feb

Picture Courtesy Of Toe Blooms

Tell me these aren’t the cutest things you’ve EVER seen?! They’re called¬†ToeBlooms, and they’re decorations for baby girls’ feet and tiny little toes. The creator, Hallie,¬†came up with the idea after having¬†trouble finding¬†shoes that would stay on her baby’s feet. It’s just brilliant, and I’m so excited about these that I just had to share it with you all!!

They have this style (shown above) that go on the toe, and they have ones that wrap around the foot and can be worn with socks (shown below.) This is the perfect gift to bring along with that meal you’re scheduled to bring for your friend who just had a sweet baby girl!

But wait, there’s more to this wonderful blog post. I contacted the creator of ToeBlooms, and she would love to give a pair of them away to one lucky winner!!! I’ll be randomly picking a¬†winner on February 24th- deadline is midnight on Feb 23rd. So, here’s how we’re going to do it. You can qualify for¬†3 entries…

1. Leave a comment here telling me where you’re from, and who you’d like to give these sweet little ToeBlooms to.

2. Become our fan on facebook, then leave a comment there lettting me know you’ve don it and are hoping to win! Click here to do that. If you’re already a fan, leave me a comment on our¬†facebook¬†page letting me know that.

3. Invite your friends on facebook to “like” our page. Just click on “suggest to friends” on the right of our page, and suggest Food Tidings to all your facebook friends! Once you’ve done that, leave us a comment on our page to let us know you’ve done that.

GOOD LUCK! The winner¬†will get to¬†choose which pair they’d like to have from the ToeBlooms website. This is going to be fun! Remember, I’ll pick the winner on Feb 24th, and deadline to enter is midnight Feb 23rd. Go and enter now!

Picture Courtesy of Toe Blooms

Meal Idea Monday: French Dip Sandwiches and more!

10 Jan

I recently was introduced to a really awesome recipe blog by my beautiful sister. It’s called Our Best Bites, and she just raves about it. She has made several of the recipes, and they’ve all turned out awesome. She called me one night after she made their French Dip Sandwiches, going on and on about how great they were, and how easy it was to make them. I have the ingredients in my cupboard to make them tonight, actually!

When we had our 4th baby, who is almost 6 months old already (where does time go?!), my sister Sarah brought us dinner. For dessert, she brought ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce! She got the recipe on Our Best Bites. It was SO cute too- she had it in a great jar, labeled really nice with a beautiful bow on it. It made the dinner that much more fun to eat because we were looking forward to dessert! So once the kids were in bed, we settled in and enjoyed some hot fudge sundaes. My husband was in HEAVEN!!!

Another recipe that she made recently was the peppermint fudge cupcake jars. Yes, cupcakes in a jar! Isn’t that the cutest idea ever!?¬†First of all, the presentation of these delicious cupcakes is just the best. I had so much fun eating my cupcake on Christmas Eve¬†out of my own little jar! I think these would be SO fun to bring with a meal for someone.

Ok, I have¬†one last idea for you from this wonderful blog.¬†It’s the brown sugar body scrub. I can’t wait to try this, and I’d love to give it out as a¬†gift.¬†So for those of you¬†who know me, if you receive¬†homemade body scrub in a cute little jar with a pretty bow¬†for your next birthday,¬†act surprised okay?

Football, Family, and Amil’s Chili

16 Dec

When my husband Zach was younger, he has fond memories of getting together with family during football season. He’s from Colorado, and the Denver Broncos have been his team since he can remember. He even¬†remembers where he was, and how sad he was when John Elway announced his retirement.

There was one meal that he had often when his family got together to watch the Broncos… chili. It was a recipe from his Grandpa Amil, and it brings back memories when we have it today. I was so grateful when he shared this with me, and excited when I got the recipe from his mom several years back.

Now I’m excited to get to share it with you all! I’m actually making some today, and plan to bring half of the recipe to a fellow teacher that my husband works with.¬†The great thing about this chili is that it freezes really well! It makes a great big batch, so it would be plenty to make one batch for both your family and the family you’re bringing a meal to. Plus, it’s the perfect time of year for some hearty, yummy chili!

4 regular cans of chili beans (or 2 big cans)
4 regular sized cans of diced tomatoes (or 2 big cans)
1 white onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork (I just usually use 1lb of whatever I have on hand- beef or turkey, and skip the pork)
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup (plus 1/8 cup more if you want it spicier) chili powder
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
sour cream
shredded cheese
extra onions, chopped
flour tortillas, buttered, warmed

-Brown beef and pork with the onions and green peppers, drain
-Add salt and pepper to taste
-In a big pot, add the beans and tomatoes with the beef mixture
-Add chili pepper (I usually just do the 1/8 cup first, then let others make it spicier in their own bowl if they want)
-Let simmer until green peppers are soft- 1hr or longer

Note: I’m using my crock pot with it today, and I will have it on low all day long to let the spices really get into the whole batch….

This is really, really yummy served with warm buttered flour tortillas to dip into the chili. We also serve it with lettuce, tomato, and cheese¬†on top,¬†plus a little dallop of sour cream. YUMMY, I can’t wait for dinner!

Meal Idea Monday: Inspired2Cook Blog

1 Nov

Hey y’all! It’s Monday again, and that means it’s time for some Meal Ideas… ūüôā Lori, a member of our Food Tidings community, has shared an incredible website with us called Inspired2Cook.

I checked it out, and it’s AWESOME! Lori’s good friend and neighbor Andrea is the author of Inspired2Cook. I was reading a little about her on her site, and she says her hope is that people will leave her site inspired to get in the kitchen and cook. It was certainly true for me! This site looks perfect for those of us who are wanting to find great recipe ideas to bring to our friends and family!

There are tons of recipe ideas on the site, and I cannot wait to try some of them out. Thanks for the tip, Lori. And a double thanks to Andrea for creating Inspired2Cook. Check out her site today for some of Andrea’s favorite recipes that she likes to take to friends and family. Thank you for using your talent in the kitchen, and putting it out there to share with all of us!

29 Sep

We want to let you all know about an incredible resource that will be very beneficial to those who have cancer, or for someone who has a family member or friend has cancer. It’s called

Here’s what the site says:
“ is a service provided by Christina‚Äôs Garden, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to assist those battling cancer. Our free cancer resource website provides cancer patients and their loved ones with information and links to valuable resources to assist with finances, medication and doctor schedules, communication, support, assistance, education, travel, housing and more. We also provide suggestions on ways that loved ones can help. There are many resources available, however, they are sometimes difficult to find as we have found out through personal experience. We have worked very hard to provide the best resources and will continually add resources as our research progresses. We have also strived to create a site that is easy to follow and navigate, a site that will not overwhelm users.”

The creator of knows first hand what it’s like to have a loved one with cancer, and has experienced the trials of trying to find the right resources. His wife, Christina, passed away at age 31 from cancer on January 27, 2009 after a courageous 10 year battle. In May of 2009, he left his career as an attorney to start Christina’s Garden, and now What a wonderful way to honor and remember his beloved wife, and to provide much needed guidance for others facing cancer.

This looks like the perfect go to website for those courageously battling cancer, as well as for their friends and family. There are many resources out there for those with cancer, and has succeeded in putting them into one easy to use website. They’ve included Food Tidings on their list of resources, and we’re grateful to be included as a resourece for helping others during the trials they face. Check out, and visit their facebook page.

Adding That Special "Something"

18 Sep

A few weeks ago, I blogged about our friend Julie at Come Have a Peace. She had some amazing ideas for how to add that extra “something” to make the dinner you bring that much more special. It got me thinking, what can I do to make the meal I bring super fun and special? So, the last meal I brought to our friends was my test run.

I used one of Julie’s ideas- bringing fun plates and napkins. I decided on the color yellow because when I think of yellow, I think of sunshine, happiness, and cheer. And that’s what I wanted our friends to feel when they were eating. I think that changes everything about bringing dinner- fun plates and napkins just really change the “feel” of the dinner.

Then I had found some really awesome things at Michael’s on sale. It was a plastic popcorn bowl, matching napkins, and matching coasters…. movie night! So I got some candy, some microwave popcorn, and put it all together nicely. I added this “movie night” with the dinner I brought. I think it all turned out so great! I really enjoyed putting it all together, and I couldn’t wait for our friends to receive it.

I hope this helps spark your creativity when thinking of what to bring your friend for dinner that much more special! I loved how Julie from Come Have a Peace said it- it helps to take a meal from delivering help to delivering help AND happiness.” So true!

Here are the fun yellow plates and napkins, wrapped with a beautiful red bow

Here’s the “movie night” package I brought along with dinner…
This is what the popcorn bowl looked like from the front…

If you have any ideas, please share with us- you can leave a comment here or you can stop by and visit our facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!

Getting Creative

2 Sep

We’d like to thank Julie at Come Have A Peace for writing a wonderful post on her blog about Foodtidings. She even had some very creative ideas for making the meal you bring even more special. She writes:

Start the trend where you live. Someone is sure to be expecting, starting to feel lousy, packing boxes, or having their kitchen remodeled … or you could be next and benefit from your organized “Food Tidings” friends. Great things to add to a meal you deliver to a friend:

  • a package of fun napkins to make tired, ill, or new people feel better
  • a package of paper plates to spare friends some clean up
  • a card with the “menu” written on it
  • a package of coffee for a single pot
  • a box of tissues or tea, if you’re reaching out to a friend with a cold

I LOVE those ideas! Thanks, Julie, for sharing your ideas and blogging about us!

I was inspired last night as I was at Michael’s, looking in their $1 bins for fun things. They had these cute movie night themed napkins and a matching plastic popcorn bowl…wouldn’t it be fun to bring a box of candy, a package of microwave popcorn, fun napkins, and a fun bowl for the popcorn? Put that altogether and you have given your friend a movie night along with dinner.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful to you, and make bringing meals to loved ones even more enjoyable. Get creative, and have fun with it! If you come up with any great ideas, please share them with us on our facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!