Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

Monday, January 26, 2015

#AD Big Game Meal Idea: 5 Cheese Macaroni & Cheese & Hot Wings

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeHero #CollectiveBias
#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime

Hey everyone! I’m actually getting pretty excited for the Big Game coming up next weekend! Why? Because even though I don’t follow football too closely, the team I root for will be playing…and I’m not working – which means it’ll be the perfect excuse for a family lounge day!


#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime
#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime

Yesterday evening we kind of practiced in our own little way. I worked day-shift but then stopped by Walmart and bought some hot wings from the deli and ingredients to make homemade macaroni and cheese, then came home and created my tasty meal for the family. We ate our comfort food around the table and then played games together for a couple of hours.


#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime
#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime

It seems the past week I've been so busy that we haven’t gotten to take the time to just relax a little bit as a family and I’m glad we sat down together and had a family night – that’s why I’m even more excited to watch the Big Game! Also, after a week of eating well it’s nice to have a special family Sunday dinner together.

I have made homemade macaroni and cheese in the past before, but never wrote a recipe down, so this time I figured I should write it down so I can (a.) remember it, and (b.) share it with you!

5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

What you need:

1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup of shredded Romano cheese
1 cup of shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup of apple wood smoked Gruyere cheese
3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb of macaroni noodles
3 cups of half and half
¼ cup of butter
2 Tablespoons
Green onion
¼ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
3 cups of crushed bread crumbs

Cook Macaroni noodles until ale dente. Drain and then pour into a large baking dish.

In a large cooking pot, melt butter over medium heat, and then add flour, stirring constantly until smooth. Slowly add in the half and half and then begin adding cheeses one at a time. Continue mixing until the cheese is melted completely. Pour mixture over macaroni and stir until cheese sauce covers all noodles.

Top with crushed bread crumbs and then add crumbled bacon and sliced green onions (to taste). Bake uncovered in an oven set at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime

This guilty indulgence was a BIG hit with the family and makes a perfect main dish to add along with your other Big Game snack foods – like hot wings!

Tyson hot wings are located in your local Walmart deli and are really nice because they are precooked – meaning grab and go! I love to cook, but I always have certain items that I just buy instead of make – like these. They taste delicious and are a great price!


#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime
#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime
#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime
#AD 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe with #GameTimeHero Hot Wings @Delianytime

Do you have any plans for next weekend? Are you going out somewhere or staying home with the family?

~Melissa

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Favorite Moment From This Week


 I've gotta admit it, this last week I worked way too much for my liking, and this week will be the same. Fortunately I'm nearly through filling in and training new hires, so it looks like I won't be working outside of the home at all next month! I'm ready for a little break. As a new week approaches I looked back through all of the photos and events over the past seven days, and this stuck out more than anything else.

Emma got to read to her Papa for the first time. 

Before my dad left last Monday (after traveling up for her birthday party) Emma sat down with him and read from her Dick and Jane book - the same book we used to teach Anika how to read.

As I glanced over and watched them read I had to take out my camera and snap a few quick photos of the two of them sharing a special moment together. 

This by far was the best memory that I had this week.

What was your favorite memory?

~Melissa

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

25 Scrumptious Smoothies

Check out 25 Scrumptious Smoothies
by Melissa Kaylene at Foodie.com

Check out 17 Scrumptious Smoothies
by Melissa Kaylene at Foodie.com

Hey everyone! So I've found myself kind of on a roll on here the past 24 hours sharing stuff with you! I think it’s because I know that the next 72 hours I’ll be busy working my “other” job and won’t be at my computer quite as much.

In the summer time one thing I love to do is make smoothies. I know we are still quite a ways away from the warm weather, but with all of the extra hours I've been working at my ‘real’ job the past couple of months, I've been thinking that I really should be making more smoothies now too! (I’m talking about the kind with the protein powder and vitamins, not the rum!) J I’m not a huge breakfast person and on busy or early mornings it would come in handy to just have a big smoothie to drink for extra energy.


I love smoothies because they can become a healthy meal, or can turn into a delicious treat (or cocktail!) I've been browsing at Foodie.com for some smoothie ideas and I’m thinking about taking a couple different smoothie recipes and measuring out all of the ingredients and putting them in a zip lock bag so all I have to do is add the ice and liquid portion of the smoothie to the blender, making it even easier to create.  Have you ever done something like this? I’m thinking it would obviously work better with some recipes versus others, but it sounds like a good idea anyways.

I've collected 25 different delicious looking recipes that I wanted to just pass along and share with you (there are even a couple of my own smoothie recipes that I create a couple of years ago in there). If you have any smoothie recipes of your own please feel free to share them and link them in the comment section! I love to see everyone else’s favorites.

Okay, off to bed for now, 5:15 comes way too early!

~Melissa
Compensation was provided by Foodie via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Foodie”

Monday, January 19, 2015

Brancott Estate Flight Song Wine

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Brancott Estate Flight Song. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp

This week has been filled with so much celebrating that even though I’m completely exhausted (and the week is just beginning!) I’m so happy and grateful for such a wonderful start to the New Year!  

I know it doesn't look like it with all of my food related posts, but I have been attempting to eat better lately, and have been eating a salad every day and I have cut my alcohol consumption way down. But with that being said I can’t completely eliminate my favorite wine and cocktails, and I want to share one of my new favorite wines with you today! 

Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp

Brancott Estate Offered to send me a couple of bottles of their Flight Song wines which are 20% lower in calories than comparable wines for me to review, and of course I couldn’t resist!  Wayne and I tried their Pinot Grigio and Savignion Blanc this past week and I must admit at first I was a little skeptical but was pleasantly surprised! With how much I liked them.

The Pinot Grigio was my favorite of the two – it was very light and refreshing, I nibbled on raspberries and strawberries with it, but I think it could be paired with many different foods since the flavors were balanced so well. I would definitely buy this wine – and not only because it has 20% less calories vs. most other Pinot Grigios out there, but that definitely is a perk! J

Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp

Though Sauvignon Blanc is not normally my first wine of choice, Brancott’s is made very well.  It has lots of flavor and punchy aromatics you would expect from a normal good Sauvignon Blanc, but saves you a bunch of calories – so you can have that second glass without the guilt!

Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp

With January over half over I’m proud to say that I even though I don’t see too much change, I do feel so much more better by increasing my veggies and being more active – plus I always make sure to have a hot bath once a week with a glass of wine while I catch up on my favorite reality shows – it’s my guilty pleasure that helps me wind down after a crazy week!

Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp
Brancott Estate Flight Song #FlightSongResolutions #IC #sp

If you’d like to find out more information about Brancott’s Flight Song wines check out their website HERE.

~Melissa

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigGameSnacks #CollectiveBias
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

Hey everyone! This week has definitely been all about celebrations around here! In addition to Emma’s birthday party yesterday, there has happened to have been a couple big games that were played this weekend too – leading up to the really Big Game in a couple of weeks!

My Dad and his wife came up for Emma’s birthday party this weekend (they live in Canyonville – 3 hours away) so I decided to not only have the birthday party, but to also have a little themed meal while we all watched the game together! I was shopping at Walmart for snacks last week and I saw some new Cheez-It products and instantly thought of what I would be creating: cheese themed snacks for everyone, because, well, we are kind of cheese addicts. Cheez-It has these new Cheez-It Grooves which are pretty tasty (and found in the snack food aisle) as well as Cheez-It Crunch’d, which are a completely new product that I found in a middle aisle display case - Crunch'd is Cheez-It's first-ever crunchy puff made with 100% real cheese, and they are delicious!

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

Anyways, we had our family and a couple of friends over to hang out – it’s always fun just relaxing and catching up with everyone.

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

I found a few football shaped serving dishes and bowls and began creating. First I made a fruit and cheese platter with strawberries, raspberries, grapes, two different kinds of cheeses, and the Cheez-It Crunched – everything was for finger foods.

Next I made some Cheez-It Chicken Fingers with The Cheez-It Grooves, and all I have to say is that I should have made twice as much! They were really easy to make too!

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

Cheez-It Chicken Fingers

What you need:

2 cups of Cheez-It Grooves Cheddar Flavor
1 pound of chicken tender strips
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
Salt and/or Pepper for taste.

Place Cheez-It Grooves into a large zip up plastic bag and crush into small pieces using a rolling pin. Add cheddar cheese to the bag and shake until mixed.

Meanwhile in a bowl beat two eggs, then dip chicken strips into egg mixture and place one strip at a time into coating mixture. Shake until completely covered then place onto a greased cookie sheet. 

Top the chicken strips with any additional Cheez-It Grooves mixture and / or salt or pepper if desired.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees. Serve alone or with your favorite dipping sauce!

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

To keep along with the Cheese theme I made a big batch of homemade chili – I hadn’t made it in a long time and forgot how easy it is to make, and how much better it tastes! To go along with the chili I made some parmesan crisps. If you haven’t made them before they are literally the easiest things to create, and can be used for a variety of appetizers as well as fun little scoops for chili!

All you do is grate the desired amount of parmesan that you would like, and then place them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and broil them on low heat until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.  If you like multiple things to scoop your chili with, I’ve found that Pringles work really well too – and come in a large variety of flavors! It definitely makes the meal more fun for the kids. (Okay and the grownups). J 

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

Last but not least to finish off my cheese-themed snacks I had to make a treat – and what is more cheese themed than cheesecake? I decided to make them fun finger food bites for the game drizzled with a caramel sauce! This cheesecake recipe is really easy to make, but I did cheat a bit and bought one of the ice cream toppings that hardens when you pour it for the caramel so they wouldn’t be as sticky – and they tasted so good!

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Mini Cheesecake Bites

2 packages (8 oz each) of cream cheese, softened
½ cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Caramel ice cream topping (optional)

Crust:
1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of melted butter

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together, and then press into the bottom of a mini muffin pan lined with mini cupcake papers. Set aside. In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat with a hand held mixer until combined. Spoon the mixture into the mini muffin pan on top of the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top and when toothpick is inserted it comes out clean.

Cool slightly and then pour caramel sauce over the top if desired. 

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

I kept the decorations pretty simple for our Cheese themed party, and just set out a thick green fabric along with some brown paper bunting and mini football cut outs. It’s nice to be able to just throw something together for everyone and have a fun time.

Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart
Cheese Themed Big Game Snack Ideas #BigGameSnacks #ad @walmart

Have you ever had a themed big game day meal before? I’d love to hear more ideas for food themes!

~Melissa