Smallfoot Dvd/BluRay Giveaway!

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We recently received an advance copy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s film Smallfoot.

It was so cute! If you are looking for a cute family movie to watch this holiday season, Smallfoot is perfect! And you are in luck, because today, December 4, “Smallfoot” will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On December 11, “Smallfoot” will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

If you are like us and love the Dvd/BluRay/Digital combo pack, that will be released on December 11, 2018.

Smallfoot is an animated adventure for all ages, with fun new music by Zendaya & Common and featuring an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human! News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.  This is an epic story about friendship and courage!

BLU-RAY ELEMENTS

“Smallfoot” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • Yeti Set Go Sing-Along – Sing-Along, fun facts and much more!
  • “Super Soozie” Mini Movie – Custom animation featuring the yeti toddler, Soozie.
  • Migo in The Secret of the Yeti Stones – Featurette featuring Channing Tatum
  • Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot – The making of Smallfoot
  • Nial Horran “Finally Free” Music Video
  • Cyn “Moment of Truth” Music Video
  • “Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” Music Video
  • Theatrical promos

“Smallfoot” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot

I am so excited to give away a copy of Smallfoot to one reader! Entering is easy: Just leave a comment on this post- What is your favorite holiday tradition? Looking at Christmas lights, caroling, a special family meal, midnight mass, ugly sweaters?

I’ll chose one winner on 12/10/18 and notify the winner via email and will be shipped directly to the winner by the giveaway sponsor.

Recipe: Stuffed Squash

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This is a very hearty dish! Perfect for cold winter nights!

On Sunday, we made dinner for a friend. She’s a vegetarian, and we wanted to make something hearty, filling and nutritious. After searching for a few stuffed squash recipes, and hitting up the grocery store, I picked up a butternut squash. Originally I wanted a acorn squash, but most of the stores were wiped out from Thanksgiving.

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Fruits and veggies cooking in stock. Juicy Gems add a nice tart aspect to the dish.
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The Chopped Squash “guts”

We chose ingredients that were healthy and worked well together. This recipe is naturally vegan and Gluten free. There is an option to top the squash with poached eggs, if you want a little more protein.

This recipe is a little more work than my usual fare, but it’s really tasty and makes A LOT.  To save time I used one of the bags of Mirepoix (pronounced meer pwah)I had prepped and froze last week. If you don’t do prep cooking, check your local grocery store freezer case for frozen mirepoix.

I get all of my spices from Penzey’s. They have 67 stores across the country, and you can order from their website too. They frequently have coupon codes for free samples or shipping when you place an order- It’s worth a google search!

You can serve this as a main dish or a side.

Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 2 small Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cups onion, diced (I used a sweet onion)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (15 ounce can approx.)
  • 1 ounce pouch of Juicy Gems dried pomegranate arils
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp. French Tarragon
  • 1 tsp. Rubbed Sage
  • 1 tsp. French Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 T. Air Dried Shallots

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Directions:

  1. Cut Squash in half, remove seeds/membrane. Brush with oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes, until squash is fork tender.
  3. While squash is cooking, In a large pan, melt butter, and saute fruit, veggies, and spices/herbs. Cook over low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, arils, and broth. Cook for another 20-30 minutes or so, or until broth is mostly absorbed and garbanzos are tender.
  4. As the stuffing cooks, once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out about 1/3 of the squash. You want to create a cavity for the stuffing. Set the “guts”  aside- You can chop it up and add it to the stuffing, or serve it on the side (I just ate it with butter while the stuffed squash cooked).
  5. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, and fill the cavities with the veggie stuffing. Top with more salt and pepper, as needed.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Serves 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side dish. For added protein when served as a main dish, top each portion with a poached egg. Not sure how to poach an egg? Alton Brown has a great tutorial here. 

 

Talk Back: What is your go-to Vegetarian dish? 

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Zuppa Tuscana Soup CopyCat Recipe

IMG_5194.JPGThis is one of my favorite recipes to make and freeze. It makes a great meal to take to someone who is sick, bereaved, or just had a baby.

I discovered the recipe while I was pregnant with Lil’ Man and craved soup. I’ve tweaked it a bit from the original that I discovered online to fit more of our families tastes and sensibilities (the original recipe called for a lot of butter, half and half, and pork Italian sausage).

It’s gluten free naturally, and can be easily made vegetarian. I’ll include substitutions under the recipe.

 

Creamy Tuscan Soup

(Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat from Olive Garden)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb turkey Italian sausage, crumbled (not in the casing)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (that’s 1/2 packet of the pepper flakes that come with take out pizza)
  • 1 large diced white onion (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup bacon crumbles (I like the ones from Costco)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 4 large cartons of chicken broth (your favorite brand/variety)- it’s about 12-ish cups of liquid. You could also do boullion cubes and water if you prefer.
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3 large potatoes sliced (skin left on)
  • 1/2 bunch Kale or spinach, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage in a large stockpot, crumble it up as you cook it.
  2. Once sausage is cooked, add bacon, onions, and garlic, and cook until onions are soft and clear (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the broth, and cook on medium until the soup boils.
  4. Lower stove to low add sliced potatoes and cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk, red pepper, and the kale/spinach and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, until kale/spinach is tender.

Makes about 10-12 servings.

To make this dish vegetarian, use soy italian crumbles and vegetable stock.

To make this dish vegan, use the variation above, and also substitute the evaporated milk for your choice of non-dairy milk.

As you store this soup in the fridge, it will become spicier, so I recommend no more than 2 days in the fridge before freezing it.

5 Tips for Moisturized Skin this Winter!

dsc07774It’s finally starting to chill out here in Southern California at night. I love taking a hot shower when it’s cold, but combine that with the dry winds and low humidity and that means dry, itchy skin. Here are five tips to help keep your skin smooth and supple this winter!

  1. Don’t take a hot shower. I know, the temptation is there, but take a warm shower. The hot water strips the moisture from your skin. If you love a steamy bathroom, put a bucket in the shower, and turn the water on very hot, allowing the water to be caught in the bucket. Save the water to water your plants or grass with (after it’s cooled). Then when it’s time to hop into the shower, turn the temp down, pull out the bucket and enjoy the steam and a warm shower!
  2. Dry brush! Dry brushing is a great way to sweep away dead skin, and increase blood flow. It also helps move lymph through your body, which some people say is one of the keys to a good detox. I use this dry brush set– I love it. Here is a great video about dry brushing.
  3. screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-07-54-pmExfoliate! Using a moisturizing exfoliant will sweep away the dead skin cells, which is what gives your skin that ashy dry appearance. I like the 100% Natural Arabica Coffee Body Scrub from New York Biology. It’s moisturizes with Organic Arabica Seed Oil, Cacao Extract, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Olive Oil, and Organic Grape Seed Oil. It uses Coffee and salt to scrub away the dead skin cells. Oh, and it smells GREAT!
  4. Moisturize! Lock in the moisture from the shower with a high quality body lotion or body butter. Avoid products that contain Mineral Oil, Petroleum, and Petrolatum. These ingredients are not absorbed by your body, but leave an occlusive film on your skin. Some people like using straight Coconut oil. I prefer using the lotion bars from Little Red Howse.
  5. Drink Water! I know, you’ve heard that you need 8 glasses a day, but really, it’s important to keep your body hydrated from the inside by making sure you get plenty of liquid! Water is best, but juice, milk, and yes, even coffee count too. Just make sure that you are drinking more non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, as excessive amounts of both can lead to dehydration or other ill effects. I use these powdered stick beverages in at least 2 of my 20 ounce water glass (which is really just a shaker bottle) each day. You can also infuse water with fruit. I have this pitcher in the fridge with lemons and cucumbers in it right now!

I’d love to hear your tips for keeping your skin moisturized this winter!

Review: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker!

Last night, Lil’ Man and I got to attend the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker . It was his first time at the ballet, and my first time in a few (mumble mumble) years.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of the Nutcracker, here is a good synopsis.

The music and costumes were great, and Henry loved that there were kids dancing on stage too. The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is touring all over the US and Canada right now. To find your closest show and save on the Moscow Ballet’s celebrated Great Russian Nutcracker 2015 North American Tour click here. USE PROMO CODE: JOY

This is a great show for kids (and adults). The story is easy to follow, and the music is very lively. It is a great first ballet experience for anyone!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies! (Egg Free)

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Yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

I had a can of pumpkin open the other day and I decided to make cookies. Part of the show that hubs is in has a scene where all the characters eat cookies on stage. They had been eating Madeline’s, which are super tasty, but high in calories.

So I opted to bake something a little lower in calories. I also made the cookies quite small (1 tablespoon, instead of two), to cut down on calories.  I added pumpkin instead of the eggs and some of the fat to lower the calories and add fiber and fruit.

In keeping with the spirit of using up what we have in the house, I also used only brown sugar, as we were out of white sugar.Lil’ Man was a big helper- He added the chocolate chips and helped scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets. He’s going to be a Master Chef yet!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c butter (or use vegan margarine if vegan), room temp
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c flour (I used AP, but feel free to use wheat or even 1 for 1 gluten free)
  • 3/4 c. almond meal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the first 4 ingredients until smooth using a hand mixer on medium.
  3. Add remaining 4 ingredients until a soft dough forms, using hand mixer on low, or by hand with large wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-13 minutes.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

Variations: This recipe is east to make as vegan, just sub out butter for the solid fat of your choice. To make GF, sub in GF flour of your choice.  To make it nut free, omit the almond meal and increase the amount of flour to 2 cups.

 

Coming to San Diego this Winter: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker!

The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is coming to San Diego Dec. 15! My Readers Can Save on Tickets Now with this exclusive offer from US Family Guide .

It’s the ultimate holiday tradition and creates memories for a lifetime. The production includes over 200 romantic costumes and 10′ tall playful animal puppets; shimmering colorful, backdrops splashed with 3-D effects; life-sized Matrushka (Nesting) Dolls and a puppet show for shadowing the Nutcracker Story at the opening Christmas Party. During the battle with Nutcracker Prince and the 3-headed Rat King, a golden cannon shoots roses! In the Magical Snow Forest an authentic Russian style Troika Sleigh, known as the fastest sleigh in the world, is escorted by Father Christmas (Ded Moroz) and Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) on their way to Act II. The Great Russian Nutcracker is known for its dedication to world peace with Act II named the “Land of Peace and Harmony.” The first scene of Act II features a stunning “Dove of Peace” with a 20′ wingspan and danced by 2 dancers each with one feathered wing. All ages feel the spirit of the season at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Use the code JOY to get the biggest discount of the season for your family.

Save on the Moscow Ballet’s celebrated Great Russian Nutcracker 2015 North American Tour. USE PROMO CODE: JOY

I am so excited to take Lil’ Man! I know he’ll love it!