Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cookies for Christmas

Over the years I've been blogging, I've put out a fair amount of cookie recipes. For someone who doesn't like to bake cookies, that's saying something. Here is a list of a few of  the many recipes I've posted on various sites, with photos, and I hope you try at least one this holiday season to share with your own loved ones! 

Double Chocolate Biscotti
Double Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti is one of those gifts that everyone loves to receive. Streamlining preparation with a boxed mix makes this faster and the results are more reliable. You can use just about any flavor of boxed cake or muffin mix and add in nuts to chocolate chips to dried fruit. The possibilities are endless and the recipients of your delicious gift will truly appreciate you.

Double Chocolate Biscotti
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 55 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 biscotti


1 box (18 ounces) chocolate chocolate chip muffin mix 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
2 large eggs 
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter - melted 
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate coating - melted


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or cover with parchment paper.
2.      Combine muffin mix and flour in a large bowl and blend well.
3.      Add eggs and butter and blend until a stiff dough forms.
4.      Divide dough in half and shape each half into a 12-inch roll.
5.      Place rolls 2 inches apart on one of the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly to a 2-inch width.
6.      Bake for 30 minutes.
7.      Remove from oven and let stand for 1 hour. After standing time cut with a serrated knife into 12 equally thick slices.
8.      Lay, cut sides down, on both sheets and bake for 5 minutes longer. Turn cookies over and bake for another 5 minutes.
9.      Remove from oven and cool on wire racks before dipping just the bottoms in melted chocolate. Refrigerate on waxed paper until chocolate is firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week. These can be frozen for up to 3 months.

White Chocolate and Orange Truffles
White Chocolate and Orange Truffles

White chocolate can be overly sweet, but balanced with citrus-y orange peel and coated in nuts, the edge is taken off and all that's left is pure decadence.

White Chocolate and Orange Truffles
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 24 truffles


8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (do not use white coating)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel 
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
powdered sugar and very finely crushed nuts to coat


1. Heat an inch or so of water in a small saucepan to a simmer.
2. Place chopped chocolate into a heat-safe bowl and add orange zest. Pour cream and extract over chocolate and place bowl over simmering water. Make sure the bowl is large enough to rest on the saucepan without touching the water beneath.
3. Stir until melted and smooth.
4. Remove from heat and let stand for an hour at room temperature. It is necessary for the chocolate to cool at room temperature so that there is no condensation when adding the plastic wrap later on.
5. Cover the surface of properly chocolate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour until well set.
6. Scoop chocolate into one-inch balls with a rounded teaspoon or melon baller. Roll immediately in powdered sugar or nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve. These will keep for a week in the refrigerator. 

Almond Cookies
Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies 
Makes about 36


1/2 cup margarine, shortening or butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
whole almonds for the tops


1. Cream butter, shortening or margarine with sugar. 
2. Add egg and almond and mix well. 
3. Add dry ingredients - except almonds - and blend. 
4. Roll into 36 balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment. 
5. Press an almond into each cookie and bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. 

Grandma's Confetti Cookies
Grandma's Confetti Cookies

Confetti Drops
Mrs C.L. Searfoss


1 c spry (shortening)
2 c flour
6 T sugar
1/4 c milk
1 oz confetti candy (multi-colored non-pareils)
1 t vanilla or almond extract
1/4 t salt
red food coloring
powdered sugar


1. Mix shortening and sugar and salt. 
2. Add red food coloring to milk so it distributes well-enough so the dough will be a pretty pink. Add extract to milk also. 
3. Add flour alternately to shortening and sugar mixture with milk. 
4. Add confetti and mix well so it gets throughout the dough.
5. Roll into 1" balls and flatten slightly on greased cookie sheets. 
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Do not let them brown!
7. The original recipe says to roll them in powdered sugar while warm but I always wind up with a sticky mess if I do this so I let them cool first.

Orange Gingerbread and Chocolate Chunk
Orange Gingerbread and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

There isn't a Holiday season that goes by when we don't have gingerbread in one form or another. The kids love gingerbread men, and I adore ginger snaps. But rolled gingerbread dough is not the easiest to work with and sometimes a softer cookie is just right. Infused with orange and filled with chocolate chunks, this drop version is not only easier, but softer - and everything is better with chocolate.

Orange Gingerbread and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Serves: Makes 5 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter - softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 teaspoons milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat together butter, sugar and zest until fluffy.
3. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined.
4. Stir in molasses and milk.
5. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices and stir well until a thick, smooth batter forms.
6. Stir in chocolate chunks and drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until bottoms are very lightly browned - do not over bake.
8. Cool on racks.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes 
Serves: Makes 4 dozen cookies


2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unpacked light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder


3 ounces cream cheese - softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Blend together pumpkin, sugars, oil and eggs until smooth.
3. Stir in flour, spice and baking powder until well combined, dough will be thick.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until puffy and just beginning to brown on the bottom. Cool on racks.
5. Once cool, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Ice cookies and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cheesecake Bites
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cheesecake Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cheesecake Bites
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours

There's no busier time of year for many moms than the winter holidays. While most of the treats I make are the baked kind, I like these because they're completely no-bake but every bit as decadent as 
anything else I serve. Setting time is important, so don't skimp on the 4-hour refrigeration time - you'll be glad you waited.


Cookie Dough Layer

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mini semi-sweet morsels
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Layer

1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese - softened
1/2 cup heavy cream - whipped stiff

Chocolate Layer

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate coating pieces


1. Cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
2. Add flour until a soft dough forms. Fold in chocolate morsels.
3. Press cookie dough layer evenly into an 8x10 pan with straight sides.
4. Blend cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in heavy whipped cream.
5. Spread over top of cookie dough layer and cover with plastic wrap so that wrap is not touching the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
6. Melt chocolate chips or coating until smooth and spreadable. Spread over cream cheese layer evenly and refrigerate for another 2 hours or overnight until firm. Cover with plastic wrap that is not touching the chocolate top layer.
7. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting with a heated and dry knife.

Chewy Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies
Chewy Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies

I came across cookies like these at the store recently and I wasn't willing to spend 
nearly four dollars for 12 cookies. In my house, they would be gone so fast it wouldn't be worth the cost. Just across from the cookies was a seasonal baking display filled with all sorts of baking goods including cake mixes at a great sale price. I decided I could make those same cookies using my favorite cake mix cookie recipe, and I was right. The store version costs about 30 cents each and my homemade version is about 15 cents apiece.

Chewy Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 18 minutes (add cooling time)
Serves: 16


1 Devil's Food cake mix (11 - 12 ounce package)
2 sticks (1 cup) margarine - divided
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Pour cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
3. Melt 1 stick of margarine and add to cake mix. 
4. Lightly beat eggs and add to mix. Stir well - this will form a sticky dough.
5. Roll dough into 32 balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased 
cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool cookies completely.
7. Cream together the remaining stick of margarine, cocoa and powdered sugar. Add milk if 
necessary so the filling is of spreading consistency. 
8. Spread about 1 teaspoon of filling onto 16 cookies. Top with remaining cookies. 
Decorate with filling thinned with a small amount of milk, if desired.

Chocolate Crusted Chocolate Tarts
Chocolate Crusted Chocolate Tarts 

Chocolate-Crusted Chocolate Tarts

Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes
Stand: 30 minutes


1 recipe Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart Shells (see recipe below)
1 twelve- ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Halved or chopped hazelnuts (filberts) (optional)(almonds)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Prepare Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart Shells; set aside.
2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate, cream, and milk. Microwave, uncovered, on 100 percent power (high) for 3 to 4 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring once each minutes. Stir in honey. ( Or, place chocolate in a medium-bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan combine cream and milk. Bring to boiling. Pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in honey.)
3. Place egg in another medium bowl. Gradually stir hot chocolate mixture into beaten egg. Pour into tart shells.
4. Bake 25 minutes. Cool slightly on wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm. If desired, garnish with coarsely chopped hazelnuts (filberts). Makes 12 servings.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Crust: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. 
2. Lightly coat 12 - 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. 
3. In a medium bowl stir together 
4. 1/2 cup melted butter, 
5. 2 tablespoons sugar (omitted), 
6. 1-3/4 cup crushed chocolate wafer crumbs (about 32 cookies)(I used Oreos with the filling), and 
7. 2/3 cup ground hazelnuts (I had almonds on-hand and used those). 
8. Press into the bottom and sides of prepared muffin cups. Bake for 5 minutes. Using the bottom of a 1/4 or 1/3 cup dry measuring cup, lightly press down bottoms of crusts. Set aside while making filling.

Cookie Dough Bites
Cookie Dough Bites

There isn't much better than raw cookie dough. These bites mimic the real deal without raw eggs - totally safe and totally delicious!

Cookie Dough Bites


1 cup salted butter-softened
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
6 ounces miniature chocolate chips


1. Cream butter and sugar together. 
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well--use your hands to get it together the best. 
3. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. 
4. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.  
5. Dip in chocolate or drizzle with chocolate or eat as is--equally delicious no matter what! 
6. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving
7. Store in the refrigerator.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Preheat oven to 350ยบ and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (this may be reused for baking more than one batch and your cookie sheet stays clean). I mix all cookies by hand because I think it really makes a more tender dough.

1 stick margarine or butter at room temperature. If margarine make sure that it has at least 60% fat content.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar NOT packed in a measuring cup
Cream above ingredients until well incorporated and fluffy then add and mix:

1 large egg (also at room temperature)
1/2 t. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients:
1/2 scant t. baking soda
3/4 c. all-purpose flour (Note: I made these on a humid day and needed 1 cup flour)
1 c. old fashioned oats (not instant - the ones that take about 5 minutes to cook)

Add to the 'liquid' mixture to form a fairly stiff dough.

Chop about 1/3 c. craisins (dried cranberries) and mix into the dough. There should be enough so that every cookie has a few pieces of the fruit.

Drop by rounded teaspoons on cookie sheet about 1 1/2 - 2 inches apart.

Bake for about 12 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned and you can smell the cookies ... if you time the first batch all batches will be consistently baked and not too dark.

Remove to cooling racks and cool completely. Keep well in a tin or plastic container.

Holiday Cut-Outs
Holiday Cut-Outs

Holiday Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Makes 2 dozen cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter - softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oven to 375° F.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light.
3. Add vanilla and egg and stir until well combined.
4. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until a soft dough forms.
5. Shape dough into a flat disc and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before rolling.
6. Dust rolling surface with an equal mixture of all-purpose flour and powdered sugar. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
7. Place cut cookies onto a baking sheet prepared with cooking spray or covered with parchment paper.
8. Decorate with colored sugar or other decorations as desired.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly golden.
10. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Munchies
Peanut Butter Munchies

Peanut Butter Munchies
Makes: 32 cookies

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the 1/4 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Beat in as much of the dry ingredients as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining dry ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon. Form chocolate dough into 32 balls about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Set aside.

3. For peanut butter filling, in a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth. Shape mixture into 32 (3/4-inch) balls.

4. On a work surface, slightly flatten a chocolate dough ball and top with a peanut butter ball. Shape the chocolate dough over the peanut butter filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into a ball. Repeat with the remaining chocolate dough and peanut butter filling balls.

5. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. [NOTE: I rolled mine in powdered sugar before flattening slightly]

6. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until they're just set and surface is slightly cracked. Let cookies stand for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. Makes 32 cookies.

To Store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Raspberry and Chocolate Thumbprints
Raspberry and Chocolate Thumbprints 

Nothing signals the imminent holiday season like baking cookies. I don't think there is another month in the year where cookie consumption is so high. With all the varieties available, it's no wonder. My own family has many favorites, but it seems like the common thread throughout them all is chocolate. This slightly different version of the classic thumbprint is just the ticket. Not too sweet and just chocolatey enough to satisfy.

Raspberry and Chocolate Thumbprints 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Makes 4 dozen cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup chocolate morsels
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350° F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cream butter and sugar together. Add yolks and blend well. Stir in vanilla.
3. Sift together flour and baking powder.
4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until a soft and pliable dough forms.
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheets. Make an indentation in the tops of cookies with the handle of a wooden spoon or with your thumb.
6. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven.
7. Fill each indentation with seedless raspberry preserves -- using a baby spoon works well for this.
8. Place cookies back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until they just start to brown.
9. Remove from oven and immediately drop 2 or 3 chocolate morsels on top of each cookie. Let cool completely.
10. When cookies are cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Flax Bread

What exactly is Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Flax Bread? Well, this is the official statement:

Ezekiel 4:9® Sprouted Flax Bread is 100% flourless and free of conditioners, additives, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. It is also made with filtered water and no added fat and is low-glycemic, diabetic-friendly, pH-balanced and kosher-certified. Each slice of contains 90mg of Omega 3, 5g of protein, 4g of dietary fiber and 18 amino acids from vegetable sources.

That's awesome, right? Of course it is, but anything that good for you can't really taste good, can it? In this case, yes it can.

When I was offered this bread to try I was excited but skeptical. being hypoglycemic, I need a low-glycemic bread if I'm going to eat bread at all, and the nutrition in Ezekiel breads is superior to others, and 4 grams of fiber and no sugars make it ideal for me.

Although it's full of flax (which can taste off sometimes), it isn't fishy in flavor in the least, but it is a bit dry.
I preferred this bread toasted because of the drier texture, but once it was covered in natural PB with honey, it was just fine as-is. Try it for French toast or Monte Cristos or Croque Monsieur as it soaks up egg and milk very well and doesn't fall apart in the process.

The bottom line is, I've already been out to my local health foods store to buy another loaf, and that's saying something. I can finally have an entire sandwich without worrying about a blood sugar drop later on and it helps me feel fuller longer, as well.

If you like any of the Ezekiel breads, you'll definitely love this one!

*Ezekiel 4:9 bread was provided to me free of charge. All opinions are wholly my own and not influenced in any way by free product.

Monday, October 22, 2012

College Inn Ultimate Recipe Challenge Exchange

What a couple of weeks! I don't know about everyone else, but I'm just about ready to curl up in a big (red) blankie and hibernate until Spring. After getting everyone outfitted for school, finishing up a huge project, driving my mother to, from and all over Indiana for a week, I need a nap.

 Before anyone, woman or animal, can hibernate, you need to stock up the old tummy reserves, right? Of course. There's no better way this time of year to do that than a good old fashioned roast, soup, stew or casserole and one of my personal favorite additions for flavor is College Inn Broth. Boxed or canned, it's just the right balance of flavor I'm looking for when I don't have time to make my own stocks or broths from scratch (which doesn't seem to be too often lately!).

So, when I received some College Inn Broth goodies and recipes from Amanda Freitag for a dinner party, I got right on it. First, I made Amanda Freitag's Beer Braised Bold Beef Stew and Smashed Potatoes. Everyone loved it. Several of us ate it at home and it made enough for me to share at work, as well. The flavor and color was so rich and it went together easily. If you get the chance to make this, do it!

 Beautiful, isn't it? 

Next, I made my mom and grandmother's chuck roast, which I've posted about before, but instead of the usual water added, I used College Inn Tender Beef Bold Stock. I can say there was not a shred of meat left on that platter at the end of the meal. For that recipe, go HERE.

Our family chuck roast, even better.

Fun times at the dinner table. Not sure what all the giggling was about, but it's all good.

Now my favorite store-bought broth has paired with Amanda Freitag for a fantastic contest and fun giveaway. See what you think of this:

The Facebook contest is running until October 28th . The grand prize winner will win a $5,000 cash prize and a three day trip to San Francisco for two to attend a charity dinner with Amanda Freitag. (Who doesn't love Amanda Freitag?) Click HERE for the College Inn Facebook page and HERE for the contest app.

Two category winners will each receive a $500 cash prize AND Chef Amanda Freitag is one of the judges. Contestants may enter up to 10 recipes in the following categories:

Side Dishes

For each eligible recipe entry, College Inn will donate $1.00 towards the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Campaign, up to $20,000! That. Is. Awesome. I've partnered with Share Our Strength for more than a few campaigns and this one is just another step toward ending childhood hunger. Good deal.

Now, the giveaway part happens right here. I have a little package of goodies for one lucky winner that includes College Inn products and branded cooking utensils and goodies:

o Five-piece cutting board set
o Soup to-go mug
o 60-minute kitchen timer shaped like a cooking pot (this is SO cute!)

Leave a comment and you will be instantly entered! Make sure to leave an email where you can be reached.

Contest ends Monday, November 5th at 11:59 PM so enter today!

**Disclaimer: All College Inn Product, branded products and gift card for ingredients was provided free of charge. All views are my own and not influenced in any way by College Inn.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blow It When It's Hot

Do you believe that there's not enough emphasis on soup in contemporary culture? Have you ever wondered why nobody has ever written a rap about soup? Have you ever dreamed of being in a music video about soup?

Here's a mugshot ... er, photo, of the rapper himself.

Okay... probably not, but just in case the whole idea appeals to your strange and twisted sense of humor, then why not get involved with this little project:

John Inverness is an armchair philosopher. He does philosophise about other things, but it is mainly about armchairs. John loves soup. So much so, that he has written a rap about it, based on Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot". It's very funny, but he needs a bit of moolah to make a video. He needs your help.

Head on over to watch this very silly video and drop a buck or two to help John reach his goal!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Simplify Your First Week Back with Kraft Foods Giveaway

UPDATED 8/31/12 We have a winner! Each comment was given a number and the numbers were run through a randomizer - the capture below shows the number to be 1 which is RHONDA! Congratulations Rhonda, and thank you everyone for participating!

There is quite possibly nothing more difficult for caregivers of school-aged children than back-to-school time. The rush, the runaround, the paperwork, the planning, the meals. It can make your head spin. With 5 off to school myself this year, I know this all too well.

Kraft has stepped in once again with a fabulous giveaway chock full of time-savers and sanity savers. I'd be hard-pressed to name my very favorite from this list of goodies I have to share, but I think the organizer in me is completely in love with the Weekly Meal Planner Pad  and Calendar Stickers. The Meal planner pad has a large magnet across the back so I can hang this at Family Central, a.k.a. the refrigerator. There are spaces for lunch, dinner and snacks/dessert along with a Notes section for AM, NOON and PM appointments and such. There's also a handy "Need to Buy" column - this really does keep everything all in one spot and ends the age-old question of "what's for dinner?" Now I point and they read.

The stickers are totally adorable as well and have everything you'll need for the whole year: travel, birthdays, wedding, shopping days, dr. appointments, work-outs and more! A quick label makes viewing your day at-a-glance so much easier.

The kids, of course, LOVE the CHIPS AHOY! Chewy Gooey Caramel and Chewy CHIPS AHOY! made with Reese’s ® Peanut Butter Cups. Here's a little hint, 5 seconds in the microwave make the centers even MORE gooey. Just in case you needed more.

The backpack is large and sturdy with lots and lots of pockets for pens, notes and change etc. and the sweat-free ice pack is perfect for use anywhere as it won't leak onto books or papers. As soon as the kids hit the door, have them use germ-X Hand sanitizer to save yourself the headache of back-to-school viruses. And once they're all clean, sit them down with those cookies and a glass of milk served with a classic Krazy Straw. My kids use these for everything they drink and they're sturdy so they can be washed and reused over and over.

There's also the cutest little notepad EVER ... shaped like an apple and very handy for those little notes you want to tuck into the kids' lunches or for the few things you need to grab on a shopping trip. Go have a look at it!

What else is in this pack? Lots more!

  • A full box of CAPRI SUN Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice Drink(Fruit Punch):  CAPRI SUN Super V is a new refreshing fruit & vegetable juice drink that kids will enjoy and moms will feel good about serving. The new ready-to-drink beverage, which comes in the popular CAPRI SUN pouch, contains a combined serving of fruits and vegetables (3/4 from fruit juice and 1/4 from vegetable juice) and is a good source of fiber, offering a perfect blend of nutrition, great taste and “kid cool.” 

  • A coupon for LUNCHABLES with Smoothie: New Turkey and Cheddar Sub Sandwich with Chiquita® Strawberry Banana Smoothie and Double Stuf OREO cookies is the perfect first-day lunch time option that combines all of your kids’ favorites! You can also try the new Chicken Strips and Deep Dish Pizza options to add some variety to lunchtime! Also, look out for more exciting Lunchables news coming your way next month directly from the Lunchables team J

  • A coupon for JELL-O with Mix-Ins Pudding Packs:  Feed your family a snack you can feel good about with new JELL-O with Mix-Ins. Mix your favorite toppings into your favorite pudding flavors to create your new favorite dessert. Kids will love trying the six fun flavors like Strawberry Shortcake, OREO Dirt Cup, Birthday Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Turtle Sundae and Banana Caramel Pie. And you’ll love that they’re made with real milk.

  • And two boxes of New! VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS Dinner Kits in Creamy Beef Stroganoff and Lasagna: Craft your family a quick, easy, molten and melty dinner made with the liquid gold of VELVEETA. Wield your skillet and one pound of ground beef to forge a feast of new Creamy Beef Stroganoff, with premium seasonings, curly ribbon pasta, and creamy VELVEETA cheese sauce. Or, forge VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS Lasagna by smiting together one pound of ground beef, lasagna noodles, red sauce and premium seasonings together with the liquid gold of VELVEETA.

OK now - I KNOW you'll love this prize box as much as we did, so here's how to enter for your chance to WIN this $100 gift pack!

Each one of the following actions will count as a single entry for this great prize, so the more you do, the higher your chances of winning.

1. Follow @CookingwithAnne on Twitter and Tweet the following:
I'm entered to WIN KRAFT prizes and more @CookingwithAnne !
Come back here to the blog and leave a comment with a link to your Tweet.

2. LIKE the Cooking with Anne page on Facebook. Come back here to the blog and leave a comment letting me know you've done so.

3. Follow me on Pinterest at  and come back here to the blog to leave a comment letting me know you've done so.

That's THREE ways to win! 

Contest ends August 30th at 12:01 AM EST.

*Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me and has provided me with a gift of equal value for review.  This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by Cooking with Anne.