Category Archives: Food

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta | #Melitta #coldbrew #coffee #pourover
~Thank you to Melitta for providing product for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~




If you’re like me, you can’t wait for fall weather to arrive. And not just because that means pumpkin spice everything, but because we will be able to warm up with hot coffee. Until then, we have to deal with the hot summer weather and if we want our coffee fix, an ice cold coffee will do the trick.

I’ve tried cold brew coffees for Keurig and when it comes down to it, it’s just piping hot coffee brewed over ice cubes, that melts said ice cubes, makes my coffee watery, and I end up with a luke warm cup of joe. It just doesn’t work for me.

I’ve also tried brewing extra coffee in a regular coffee pot and putting it in the fridge to cool for the next day. But by the next day the coffee has completely lost its oomph. Yea, that doesn’t work for me either.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta | #Melitta #coldbrew #coffee #pourover

So how do I get the perfect cup of cold brew coffee? One word – Melitta. Did you know that Melitta has a Pour-Over Cone that fits a single coffee mug, so you can get real fresh brewed coffee day in and day out? And guess what, it doesn’t just work for fresh hot coffee (although I can’t wait to try that when the weather cools down), but it works wonders for cold brewed coffee too.

Artisan Cold Brew with Melitta

  1. In a pitcher, add 2/3 cup of ground Melitta Coffee to 16 oz. of cold water. Mix well.
  2. Cover pitcher and chill for 4+ hours. Remove from refrigerator and stir vigorously.
  3. Place a Melitta Cone Filter in a Melitta Pour-Over Cone. Set cone atop a carafe or jar. Pour the stirred coffee/water mix into the filter. Wait for all liquid coffee to filter through and drip in carafe below. Repeat pour-over process until all mix is filtered. You now have Melitta Cold Brew Concentrate.
  4. Keep Cold Brew Concentrate covered and chilled for up to a week. Enjoy!

This is THE best way to enjoy a cup of cold brew coffee at home. I have had a cup almost every day since getting my new Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brew Cone & Travel Mug, and used this process as inspiration. I did make a simple tweak though, and now I get the perfect iced coffee to-go anytime I want.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta | #Melitta #coldbrew #coffee #pourover

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta | #Melitta #coldbrew #coffee #pourover

The simple change I made was rather than brewing 16 oz. at a time, which would logically yield 2 cups of coffee, I put 12 oz. of cold water into 2-3 mason jars at a time. The 12 oz. jars are perfect for filling up my travel mug.

Then I added 1/3 cup of Melitta ground coffee to each jar and let the jars sit in the fridge until I’m ready for a cup. Whether the water/coffee mixture sits overnight or maybe for a day or two, each cup is fresh and full of rich flavor.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta | #Melitta #coldbrew #coffee #pourover

When I’m ready for a cup, I place a cone filter in the Pour-Over Cone, and filter my cold brewed coffee right into my mug. I add a little sugar before filtering the coffee and add my favorite creamer afterwards. Place a few ice cubes in and I’m ready to take on the day!

I have my coffee in hand, kids in tow, and the summer heat is not putting a damper on my day. This Melitta pour-over brewing process is absolutely the best and strongest cold brew coffee I’ve ever made at home!

Want to join me for a cup?

Easy Cold Brew Coffee with Melitta | #Melitta #coldbrew #coffee #pourover

Where’s your favorite place to enjoy an ice cold coffee?

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*Thank you to Melitta for providing product for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

~Thank you to BulbHead for providing me with a Red Copper Brownie Bonanza for review. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~




I really enjoy making sweet treats from scratch, but sometimes a few shortcuts aren’t bad either. This was definitely the case when I made brownies this weekend. I’ve been so busy, but wanted to treat my family to something fun and tasty, so I pulled out all the shortcuts I could to make some Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies.

The first shortcut? Using a box brownie mix. I have no shame in admitting that I actually save money and time by sometimes using a box brownie mix. But the taste is still there so my family gets to enjoy the chocolatey treat all the same. Whether you’re loyal to baking from scratch, or use a box brownie mix, there is no judgment here.

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

The second shortcut? My new Red Copper Brownie Bonanza from BulbHead. Ya’ll! This is a total game changer when it comes to baking brownies. You will never again have to hear your kids complaining about the other one got a bigger piece of brownie because with the Brownie Bonanza, each and every brownie is the same size. And not only that, it’s so simple to get these perfect brownies at no extra effort from you.

Just how does Brownie Bonanza give you the perfect brownies each and every time? Let me show you.

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway
Brownie Bonanza comes in 4 pieces – pan, tray, grid, and cooling stand (not shown).

Simply place the tray into the pan, and for my Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies, mix up the box brownie mix per the box instructions and pour it over the tray.

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

Then mix up the cream cheese topping (full recipe below), dollop spoonfuls atop the brownie mix, and swirl it around. Swirl it up/down, left/right, around in swirls, however you want to.

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

Now, this is where the magic happens. Insert the grid for those perfect sized brownies and bake according to the box instructions.

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

When the brownies are done baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Only remove the grid once the brownies have cooled down. Aside from touching to know they’re cool, you’ll also notice the outsides of the brownies separate from the grid.

The ceramic nonstick, anti-scratch surface is one of the fun features of the Brownie Bonanza. The grid slides right out, leaving you with 18 perfectly sized brownies. I guess I should also mention that even though it’s a nonstick surface, I still took extra precaution and sprayed the pan and grid with nonstick spray.

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway
Just look at those brownies! We’ve already finished off the ones I made over the weekend, but I think I need to make some more.

To make serving just as easy, place the cooling rack underneath the pan/tray and the tray of brownies will separate from the pan. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy!

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

It’s Red Copper Brownie Bonanza for the shortcut win!

Easy Cream Cheese Marble Brownies + #BrownieBonanza Giveaway

Is the Red Copper Brownie Bonanza a shortcut you’d like to use? You’re just in luck because BulbHead is going to give two lucky Making Time readers their very own Brownie Bonanza! Scroll down for the giveaway form.

Want to make brownies this weekend and can’t wait for the giveaway to end? Head over to BulbHead or Amazon, and grab a Red Copper Brownie Bonanza for $19.99!

What is your favorite brownie recipe?

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Enter this giveaway and try your luck at winning a Red Copper Brownie Bonanza from BulbHead! Two entrants will win! #entertowin #BulbHead #RedCopper #BrownieBonanza #giveaway

Two lucky Making Time readers will win a Red Copper Brownie Bonanza from BulbHead! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on August 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*Thank you to BulbHead for providing me with a Red Copper Brownie Bonanza for review. This post also includes affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


27 Sweet & Savory Poolside Treats

27 Sweet & Savory Poolside Treats

Summer treats come in so many forms. From ice cold and refreshing popsicles, to healthy energy bites and fresh fruit, there’s so much to enjoy. If you’ll be lounging poolside this summer, here’s a list of 27 great treats to take with you!

Healthy Peanut Butter Cup Muddy Buddies (Gluten-Free, Vegan) | Strength & Sunshine

Apple Cashew Snack Bites | Strength & Sunshine

Healthy Snickers Ice Cream Bites (Vegan + GF) | Rhian’s Recipes

Frozen Grapes on a Stick | Two Healthy Kitchens

No-Bake Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal Bars with White Chocolate | Two Healthy Kitchens

Veggie and Fruit Popsicles | The Classy Chapter

Pina Colada Ice Cream Floats (Kid-Friendly) | Living Sweet Moments

Pina Colada Popsicles (Kid-Friendly) | Living Sweet Moments

3 Ingredient Oreo Cookies & Cream Milkshake | Recipe This

Classic Chocolate Brigadeiros | My Gorgeous Recipes




Shark Sand Cups | Penny Pincher Jenny

Instant Pot Mexican Hot Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Bars | This Old Gal

5 Minute Fruit Salad | Recipe This

Mango Kiwi Lemonade Popsicle | A Cookie Named Desire

Key Lime Dip with Toasted Coconut | The Dinner Mom

Carrot No Bake Energy Bites | Vegan Heaven

Strawberry Protein Bars | One Clever Chef

Watermelon Pizza Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing (Sugar-free, Low Carb, Gluten-free) | Wholesome Yum

Beach Bum Chex Mix | A Few Shortcuts

Easy Ranch Popcorn | A Few Shortcuts

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls | Mission to Save

Summer Fun Cake Balls | This Mama Loves

Fruit Punch Airhead Popsicles | Masshole Mommy

Frozen Fruit Kabobs | Super Healthy Kids

Cantaloupe Juice Popsicles | Gym Craft Laundry

Robot Nuts & Bolts Trail Mix | Lemon Lime Adventures

Sweet Nut Clusters |  Super Healthy Kids

Will you choose a sweet or savory poolside treat?

*These are not original Making Time photos or recipes, but are the property of the blogs they are linked to. I have received permission to use them in this roundup. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.
 

28 Deliciously Fresh Spinach Dishes

July 16th is National Fresh Spinach Day and I have the perfect roundup of 28 deliciously fresh spinach recipes! #NationalFreshSpinachDay #spinach #recipes

Did you know July 16th is National Fresh Spinach Day? It most certainly is and I’ve got an awesome list of dishes that use fresh spinach as an ingredient. Even if you and your family don’t like spinach in its raw and natural form, these dishes will quickly change your mind about the leafy green.

Artichoke Spinach Chicken Burgers | Strength and Sunshine

Warm Spinach and Feta Cheese Dip | Mama Likes to Cook

Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata | Mama Likes to Cook

Lemon Sauteed Spinach | Dinner with the Rollos

One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Bowtie Pasta | Trial and Eater

Spinach Artichoke and Asparagus Strata | Cooking in Stilettos

Bacon and Spinach Alfredo Pizza | Walking on Sunshine

Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip | Savory Tooth

Roasted Vegetable Tortellini Bake | Mashup Mom

Crustless Vegetable Quiche | Making Time

Pressure Cooker Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken | This Old Gal

Sweet & Spicy Peach, Chicken, Hatch Chile and Spinach Pizza |Farm Fresh Feasts

Simple Creamed Spinach from Scratch |Farm Fresh Feasts




Creamy Potato & Spinach Soup | Rebooted Mom

Sweet Potato and Baby Spinach Frittata | Sidewalk Shoes

Feta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts | This Mama Loves

Spinach Stuffed Steak Pinwheels | The Dinner Mom

Spinach and Mushroom Pizza Bites | The Dinner Moms

Super Easy Lo Mein | Tammilee Tips

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Pasta | This Old Gal

Tomato Mozzarella Appetizer with Spinach and Bacon | Low Carb Yum

Spinach Crepes with Pan-Roasted Vegetables | Happy Foods

Best Spinach & Pineapple Almond Milk Smoothie | Midwest Modern Momma

Ground Turkey Meatballs With Spinach and Parmesan | One Clever Chef

Sun Dried Tomato Spinach Genoa Salami Pinwheels | Small Town Woman

Gouda Spinach Hasselback Chicken | Small Town Woman

 Greek Spinach Pie Recipe (Low Carb, Gluten-free) | Wholesome Yum

Spinach and Cottage Cheese Gravy – Palak Paneer | Masala Herb

Which fresh spinach dish are you excited to try?

*These are not original Making Time photos or recipes, but are the property of the blogs they are linked to. I have received permission to use them in this roundup. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential + Giveaway

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

~Thank you to WOW Gear for providing SnackPals for review and helping me take control of snack time. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own.~

I want to talk about snack time today. Do you like snack time? I love snack time, mostly because it gives me a few minutes of quiet in the mid-afternoon while the kids (and I) munch on something. And of course they love it because their little bellies are satisfied between meals.

But the reality is, sometimes snack time gets a little messy. If I portion too much, my daughter ends up spilling whatever she doesn’t eat. She starts playing with her food and the next thing I know her bowl is upside down and her crunchy snacks scattered across the floor. And it won’t be long before someone steps on and crunches them, creating even more of a mess.

On the flip side, if I don’t portion enough for my son, he’ll go grab the bag or box of whatever I gave him to snack on and will sit and eat way too much. Then when dinner time rolls around he’s not hungry, but wants to raid the fridge right before bed. I don’t think so!

Hmm. Now that I’m talking about it, I’m starting to rethink how much I like snack time.

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

Just as my snack time woes were getting the best of me, I got the opportunity to try the new SnackPals from WOW Gear. They have completely changed the dynamic of snack time in my home, from solving my portioning issues to keeping snack time mostly tidy.

Take a look at these five reasons why SnackPals are a snack time essential in my home and then enter to win some for your kids too!

1. Portion Control

I already mentioned the issues I have with snack time portion control between both kids. SnackPals have a creative design that takes care of this problem so there’s no over eating.

I simply fill the SnackPals container with my kids favorite snack and for them to access the snack, they have to flip the SnackPals upside down and give it two shakes. When they turn it back over and open the lid, they “magically” have a nicely portioned amount of snack in the cup.

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

The way it works is when in an upright position, there’s a flow gate/interior flap that stays in a closed position. No snacks can get in and no snacks can get out. But when flipped upside down, the flow gate opens so snacks can slip through to the top cup. Shaking the SnackPals twice allows just a mouthful of snacks to become accessible in the cup.

Now my son gets only what I give him and he has to take it slow when eating because SnackPals will only allow him so much at a time.

2. Fewer Spills

The design of SnackPals also creates snack times that are much less messy. Since in a closed container and not having open access to every crunchy piece, if my daughter happens to drop it or it falls off the table, I’m left with possibly a few snacks on the floor that may fall out of the top cup, but certainly not a whole bowl of snacks scattered everywhere.

And just imagine the mess it prevents while snacking in the car. No more cleaning the car and finding two month old cereal laying around.




3. Clean Snacks

Using SnackPals also helps keep the snacks clean. My daughter is guilty of pouring her drink into her food and playing with it. But she’s not able to do this when using her SnackPals. Her food stays clean and doesn’t end up in the trash.

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

Or if she’s snacking at her brother’s soccer practice and drops her SnackPals on the ground, only a few snacks fall out and with a couple of shakes she can continue to eat those that are clean and enclosed in the bottom. Otherwise, she’d try to pick up what spilled and continue eating them. I understand a little dirt never hurt anyone, but I have to draw the line after a certain point.

Clean Snacks = Less Waste

4. Take Anywhere

SnackPals can go ANYWHERE! Use them at home, in the car, on plane rides, while camping, on vacation, to grandma’s house, to school, to daycare, the park, the beach, the mall – anywhere. Who doesn’t love easy, on-the-go snacking?

5 Reasons SnackPals Are a Snack Time Essential #WowGear #SnackPals #snacktime #portioncontrol

5. Fun Snacking

SnackPals are tons of fun for kids. Both of my kids love to turn them upside down and give them a few shakes. It’s like they’re performing magic. Start with no snacks and a few shakes later – voila! – the snacks magically appear.

Sometimes they get a little crazy and shake their SnackPals like maracas, but it’s all in the name of fun snacking.

Where will you take your SnackPals?

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Take back snack time and enter to win 2 SnackPals from WOW Gear! #snacktime #giveaway #WOWGear #BTS #backtoschool

One lucky Making Time reader will win two SnackPals! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on July 10, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

*Thank you to WOW Gear for providing SnackPals for review and helping me take control of snack time. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Thai Curry Lime Shrimp

This Thai Curry Lime Shrimp recipe is an easy way to have a taste of Thailand right in your own home! #recipe #ThaiCurryLimeShrimp #Thai

Thai food is one of mine and my boyfriend’s favorites. We order it all the time and each time we do, I think to myself I need to figure out how to incorporate the bold and vibrant Thai flavors into dishes at home. And that’s exactly what I’ve done with this Thai Curry Lime Shrimp.

I cannot even begin to tell you how amazingly delicious it is. The curry offers up some heat and the lime adds a little sweetness. The two flavors are perfect compliments to each other. And it’s just like summer – a little hot and spicy, but sweet all the same!

This Thai Curry Lime Shrimp recipe is an easy way to have a taste of Thailand right in your own home! #recipe #ThaiCurryLimeShrimp #Thai

4.0 from 1 reviews
Thai Curry Lime Shrimp
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Thai Curry Lime Shrimp recipe is an easy way to enjoy the bold and vibrant flavors of Thailand, right in your own home!
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • ¾ cup Thai Green Curry Sauce
  • 1 fresh lime (juice and zest)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 package of peeled/deveined medium shrimp (40-50 shrimp, thawed)
  • Tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 3 tsp paprika
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix the mayonnaise, Thai Green Curry Sauce, juice from the lime and 3 cloves of garlic. Set aside.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add 3 cloves of garlic, the shrimp (be sure to remove the tails) and paprika. Cook for about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the sauce mixture to the shrimp and simmer until warm.
  4. Serve over pasta (angel hair pasta works great) or rice. For a healthier option, serve over spiralized zucchini.
  5. Top with lime zest and enjoy!
Notes
This recipe is just as delicious with chicken instead of shrimp!

This Thai Curry Lime Shrimp recipe is an easy way to have a taste of Thailand right in your own home! #recipe #ThaiCurryLimeShrimp #Thai

This Thai Curry Lime Shrimp recipe is an easy way to have a taste of Thailand right in your own home! #recipe #ThaiCurryLimeShrimp #Thai

If you’re wondering about the Thai Green Curry Sauce, it can be purchased at Aldi. At least, that’s where I get it. I don’t know if it’s available in other stores, but if it’s not and you don’t have an Aldi near you, the sauce can easily be substituted with a different curry sauce or maybe even try a sweet chili sauce.

When you try the recipe, come back and let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Do you enjoy the bold and vibrant flavors of Thai inspired dishes?

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

10 Fun 4th of July Dessert Recipes




10 Fun 4th of July Dessert Recipes #recipe #IndependenceDay #4thofJuly #desserts

The 4th of July is THE summer holiday for families and friends to get together and enjoy each others company. And it’s not just the company we all love, but the food. Oh, the food! While it may not be as easy to create red, white and blue themed main dishes, there are tons of fun ways to incorporate these holiday colors into desserts. Check out these 10 fun 4th of July dessert recipes for inspiration!

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches by Saving Dollars & Sense

Easy Puff Pastry Berry-Cheese Danish by Giggles, Gobbles & Gulps

No Bake Cheesecake by We Know Stuff

5 Minute 4th of July Fudge by Club Chica Circle

Red White and Blue Parfaits by To Simply Inspire

Firework Bundt Cake by Penny Pincher Jenny

4th of July S’mores To-Go by As The Bunny Hops

Red, White & Blue Cookie Waffle Dessert by Club Chica Circle

Patriotic Pinwheel Cookie Pops by Two Kids and a Coupon

Homemade Jell-O Pudding Pops by Saving Dollars & Sense

Which dessert recipe will you try?

*These are not original Making Time photos or recipes, but are the property of the blogs they are linked to. I have received permission to use them in this roundup. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Carlucci’s Waterfront: Fine Dining for Families

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation
~I received a Carlucci’s Waterfront gift card to help facilitate my review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

To end our family’s staycation in Mt. Laurel, NJ this past weekend, we decided to have a nice sit down dinner after checking out of the hotel and before heading home. I searched around online to see what restaurants were in the Mt. Laurel area and came across an Italian fare, Carlucci’s Waterfront.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci’s Waterfront is just one of six of Carlucci’s family of restaurants, and is owned and operated by the Capuano family. When the Capuano’s came to the US from Italy in ‘83, they brought along with them some amazing family recipes and are sharing those recipes in their restaurants.

As adults we enjoy the food, atmosphere and overall experience of fine dining, but as parents, kid-friendly dining is imperative. Carlucci’s Waterfront is the perfect combination of the two – fine dining for families – and was a perfect way to end our family weekend.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Upon pulling into the parking lot, which is fairly large by the way, you see the restaurant sitting in the distance. At the moment, Carlucci’s is doing some renovations, but luckily is still open for dining.

As we walked in, we were immediately greeted by the hostess who sat us right away. We arrived just after Carlucci’s opened at 11:00 am on Sunday, so the restaurant was pretty empty. But it didn’t take long before guests started rolling in.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

And lucky for us, we were seated at a great table right next to a set of sliding doors, and had an amazing view of the outdoor seating and the waterfront. While it was a very nice day out, it was still a bit too nippy to eat outside on the terrace which I would have loved, but I’m glad we were still able to enjoy the view.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

After being seated, we were each poured a glass of water, and brought out a plate of bruschetta and basket of bread. You’d think my family hadn’t eaten in a week because the bread was gone before I could blink. The bruschetta was delicious and I could have eaten the whole plate, but I was generous enough to share with everyone else even though they hoarded the bread.

We then ordered some additional beverages and our meals. I want to add that Carlucci’s Waterfront offers a lunch menu on Sunday’s, which in my experience is rare, so that was a nice little surprise. And before we knew it our dishes had arrived.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

I started with a Caesar Salad and then moved on to my Seafood Duette. The Seafood Duette is a combo of scallops and shrimp tossed with spinach, cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil with a touch of lemon, white wine and zafferano, all served over a plate of linguine.

Ooohhh maaan, my taste buds were in heaven! My daughter even had a few bites. I’ve had “Italian food” before, but this was real and it was love at first bite.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

My other half started with some Lentil Soup, one of the soups of the day, and then enjoyed some Broccoli and Shrimp Pappardelle. This dish consists of homemade pappardelle sautéed with broccoli, shrimp and cherry tomatoes, in garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

It looked very appetizing on my end and his favorite part of the dish was the shrimp and sauce. He didn’t much care for the pappardelle, but simply because it is a larger sized pasta. Any other pasta and he probably would have cleaned his plate, so it’s just a personal preference. But he enjoyed trying something new!

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

The kids enjoyed some typical children’s menu favorites. My son, the picker eater, had his usual Chicken Fingers and French Fries, and my daughter had some Penne Alfredo.

I tasted the Penne Alfredo and I have to say, I would be very surprised if the alfredo sauce was not homemade. It was like no alfredo sauce I have ever eaten before. It had a bit of a sweet taste to it and was very distinctive. If my daughter didn’t eat it, I certainly would have had no problem finishing it for her.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

The food was absolutely delectable and the overall ambience was delightful. Carlucci’s Waterfront also features a fully stocked bar for any type of adult beverage you may want.

While we were dining, a group of guests strolled in, ordered some drinks from the bar and then enjoyed some conversation on the terrace before coming back inside to dine. Carlucci’s really is a great place to just come and hang out, and enjoy some amazing food.

Carlucci's Waterfront was a great way to end our fun family weekend in Mt. Laurel, NJ! There's nothing like a fine dining restaurant that caters to families! Head over to the blog to check it out! #CarluccisWaterfront #finedining #staycation

Carlucci’s Waterfront also offers banquet and event dining, including wedding events. The restaurant itself is beautiful and then open up the sliding doors that lead to the outdoor terrace, and you’re all set for your next large event.

It just so happens that while we were there, a group of guests were preparing to host a baby shower and I was thinking to myself Carlucci’s was a great choice. I would love to hold a party there!

I can say with confidence that if we are ever in the Mt. Laurel area again, we will definitely be dining at Carlucci’s Waterfront. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to go back!

Do you have a restaurant in your area that offers fine dining for families?

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*I received a Carlucci’s Waterfront gift card to help facilitate my review. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the restaurant. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the restaurant.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Stylishly & Affordably Set Your Easter Dinner Table with Kmart + $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway
~This post is sponsored by coupons.com. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.~

If you have a Kmart in your area and you’re not taking advantage of its grocery selections, you are truly missing out. Most people tend not to think of groceries when they think of Kmart, but I oftentimes shop there for household supplies and yes, general groceries. You know I love saving a buck or two anywhere I can and Kmart happens to be one of the places I can do that!

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

Easter is just two weeks away and is one of the holidays that my family gathers together for a big family feast. This year I’m helping prepare for my family’s big Easter dinner and have been tasked with table settings and centerpieces. Can you guess where I’ll be shopping? Kmart, of course! And I’ll be saving along the way!

Before I head to the store, I decided to do a little browsing online. I know they’ll have everything I need, but I wanted to get a head start because I tend to be a bit indecisive. I’m one of those people who picks something out, puts it in the cart, does some other shopping and then loops back around because I’ve changed my mind. By looking online, I can at least see what I might be able to expect in-store and ponder my final decisions beforehand. Otherwise, I might be in the store ALL day.

I’m starting with the centerpieces and the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Easter, is Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. How can I incorporate these into cool centerpieces that are more than just pleasing to the eye? I want centerpieces that people can really enjoy and won’t just be stored or trashed after the holiday.

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

I think it would be cool to make them tasty! In the spirit of Easter, why not have some centerpieces that feature candy shaped like Easter eggs and Easter bunnies? My family loves chocolate, so I certainly know a centerpiece with chocolate will not go to waste. This week, Kmart has Easter 6-pack candies and Lindt Gold Bunnies on sale for just $2.50 (ends 4/8)! And next week Easter Packaged Chocolates will be just $1.50 (4/9 to 4/15). These deals are totally worth two trips to the store!

The candies will all be perfect for my centerpieces (and a snack while I’m putting them together, just saying). If I arrange them all in cute little baskets, with some grass filling (that can be reused next year, I might add), nothing will go to waste and my family will get a little extra surprise at Easter dinner this year!

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

So with the centerpieces all planned out, I need to decide on coordinating table settings – plates, utensils, cups, etc. Since I’m going to Kmart, I want to look at the store’s own Smart Sense brand.

I already buy Smart Sense products on a regular basis so I know they’re worthy of my family’s Easter dinner, but a special little added bonus is that when I spend $10+ on Smart Sense items, I’ll earn 25% back in Shop Your Way Rewards Points (ends 5/1). It’s a win-win!

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

Look at these cute and decorative plates and cups I came across! The design and colors are great for an Easter celebration, and I love that they match. I’ll be getting dinner plates, salad bowls, dessert plates, cups, napkins and utensils. Lots of utensils! My family likes to eat, toss their dishes, take a break and then come back for more before hitting the dessert table.

On top of the centerpieces and table settings, I think I’m going to put together a host gift for my mom, since she’s hosting everyone this year. I know after having all of us crazies in her house, she’ll need a little something special for herself. She loves snacking so I’m thinking a few Smart Sense snacking nuts and trail mixes will do the trick!

Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

So you see? Kmart’s grocery selections are worth visiting! All the candy and tableware for my family’s big Easter dinner are going to be perfect and I think my mom will be overjoyed at her host gift. On top of that, this is one holiday my wallet won’t feel the wrath!

What will you buy at Kmart in preparation for Easter?


Preparing for a big Easter family dinner? Kmart can help you with all your needs, from tableware to Easter candies. And your wallet will thank you for shopping at Kmart, too! Head over to the blog to find out how you can save at Kmart this Easter holiday and enter to win a $100 Kmart gift card! #LifeisRidiculouslyAwesome #Easter #savingmoney #Kmart #ShopYourWay #giveaway

Need to do a little Easter prep yourself? One lucky Making Time reader will win a $100 Kmart gift card! So get those entries in and start planning your next trip to Kmart!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on April 16, 2017 at midnight.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post is sponsored by coupons.com. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Tackle Picky Eating with a Mealtime Treasure Hunt #GotrovoFun

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

~Thank you to Gotrovo for providing a Mealtime Treasure Hunt for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

I used to sarcastically brag that my 5 year old son had quite the food palette, with a diet that consisted mostly of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs. So sophisticated, right? But now I can do some real bragging and I owe all my thanks to Gotrovo.

I’ve tried a few different tactics to get my son eating new and different foods. I’ve tried hidden veggie recipes, letting him help prepare his meals, cute food creations and even the eat it or do without method (most of the time he’d choose to go hungry, which broke my heart). After all of these fails, I knew I needed a different tactic and that’s what Gotrovo’s Mealtime Treasure Hunt offers.

Concept & Setup

The whole concept behind the Mealtime Treasure Hunt is that kids get rewarded in a fun way (getting to the treasure) for trying new foods. The set, which includes a washable double-sided treasure map, a plate, bowl, cup, fork and shovel (spoon), navigation coin and reward cards, all have a treasure theme.

The map features things like treasure chests, pirate ships, castles, fairies, mermaids and waterfalls. My son absolutely loves everything pirates and treasure, so I knew for sure this was exactly what he needed.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

To get started with the Mealtime Treasure Hunt, you simply set up the place setting. Put the map down (either side), choose the treasure and place the appropriate reward card on top of the treasure chest in the middle of the map. Then set the plate of food on top of that and add the fork and shovel, which is just too cute by the way. It’s a spoon, but looks like a shovel for digging up the treasure. And don’t forget the cup or drink to wash the dirt off any treasures found.

Treasure Hunt Rules

One of the things about the Mealtime Treasure Hunt that I really like, is that you’re in control of the foods offered. You get to choose the rules of the hunt, too.

For my son, I decided that each bite he took would get him one step closer to the treasure. So after every bite he moves the coin to the next spot on the map until he gets all the way around and to the treasure. Ten bites of food and he’s treasure bound!

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

As a kid who has a limited taste for food, I feel like this is suitable for him, but you can change the rules depending on what you’re trying to get out of your child. I just wanted the boy to take a bite of something he wouldn’t normally eat. Once he starts eating more foods on a regular basis without using the Mealtime Treasure Hunt, I’ll change the rules to continue challenging him.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

You’re also in control of the treasure. Just think of anything you know your child would enjoy and pick one as the treasure for that particular meal. And any meal at that – breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s great for all meals and even dinner’s out. Just take the map and navigation coin along with you.

As for the treasure, there’s even a reward card that lets your child choose his own treasure once he reaches it. But again, it’s all up to you how you set it up and let it play out.

Treasure Ideas:

  • Child’s favorite candy
  • FaceTime with grandparent(s)
  • Hour at the park
  • New toy
  • Money
  • Weekend at grandma’s (this is a win-win for parent and child, haha)
  • Favorite food for lunch tomorrow
  • Stickers
  • New crayons
  • Trip to the library
  • Outing to a matinee movie
  • Skip a chore

In my opinion, the more involved the treasure, the more involved getting to the treasure should be. For example, if the treasure is an outing to a matinee movie, I would make the treasure hunt a little more challenging, meaning the meal is a little more challenging for your child. I might require my son to take more bites of veggies to get to the treasure.

Does it work?

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

So how did my son do? Let’s just say he’s a challenge himself. The first night was a complete failure. He didn’t even take one bite! But I think I know why. I was so excited to give the Mealtime Treasure Hunt a go, that I went into it a little too strong. I gave him a plate with all foods that he wouldn’t normally eat and I think that was a mistake on my part.

I offered meatloaf, roasted potatoes and cabbage. I knew for sure he wouldn’t eat the cabbage, but I still wanted it on his plate for exposure. I thought for sure he’d at least take a bite of the potatoes because I even put ketchup on them. He eats ketchup on everything! But no. Not. One. Single. Bite.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

I realized that I needed to ease him into it and couldn’t expect him to dive right in, even though that would have been great. So the next time we tried the Mealtime Treasure Hunt (must have been wild hair day too, haha) I made it a little easier for him. I gave him chicken, which I knew he’d eat, but only gave him enough bites of it to get him eight steps closer to the treasure.

This left him with two more bites to X marks the spot. And to my surprise he took a bite of rice and then ate a piece of carrot. I almost cried! He never eats rice or carrots, and he ate both bites like it was nothing.

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

He reached the treasure and claimed his prize of M&M’s (his favorite candy). He was so excited that he got the treasure. I think giving him that initial push of being so close to the treasure helped a lot and knowing it would only take two more bites to reach his destination, it was a breeze for him and a victory for me.

Since then we’ve had some failures, but we’ve also had some victories. In my book, no victory is too small. Just the other day, he took a few bites out of a burrito, which is another food he would have never even looked twice at. I let him help me put it together and it was nothing but a little rice, ground beef and shredded cheese, but this was huge for him!

Have a picky eater at home? Me too! The Mealtime Treasure Hunt by Gotrovo has been helping my picky eater try new foods and I couldn't be happier! Head over to the blog to check it out! #Gotrovo #MealtimeTreasureHunt #pickyeater #GotrovoFun

That particular night I let him take the shortcut to the treasure, which is another cool feature of the Mealtime Treasure Hunt. If your child is struggling, is eating a smaller meal, or as in this case, eating multiple bites of the same thing, the map offers a shortcut that only takes seven bites to get to the treasure.

Now my son asks about his treasure map when it’s time to eat. He knows all of the great treasures that could be in store for him and it makes mealtime fun. When I tell him that he gets to use his treasure map, he always says “Okay, I’m going to eat chicken and rice and carrots.” As I mentioned above, that was the first meal he ate and successfully found the treasure. I just melt when he says he wants to eat rice and carrots. Hopefully soon he’ll start eating them without needing a reward for doing so.

Do you have a picky eater who would benefit from the Mealtime Treasure Hunt?

Get the Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt on Amazon for just $21 (Amazon prices change all the time so act fast)!

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*Thank you to Gotrovo for providing a Mealtime Treasure Hunt for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.