Mom Knows Best

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gluten Free Peppermint White Chocolate Brownies & A Virtual Cookie Exchange

The holidays are almost here and I have a healthy Gluten Free Peppermint White Chocolate Brownie recipe to share with you. These brownies are also high in protein. So go ahead and indulge in this holiday treat. These brownies are moist and so decadent and have a wonderful peppermint flavor.

These brownies are made with Garden Of Life Chocolate Cacao RAW Organic Meal protein powder. One scoop of this protein powder has 20 grams of clean, Organic plant protein and 44 Superfoods, including organic grass juices, fruits, and veggies. It is also loaded with fiber and low in sugar.

Gluten Free Peppermint White Chocolate Brownies
                                           Makes 16 squares 

1 15oz can black beans, rinsed/drained
1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 scoops Garden Of Life Chocolate Cacao RAW Organic Meal  or 1/4 cup of protein powder
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

 10 ounces white chocolate chips
 1 cup crushed peppermint candies


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor.
2. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. Spray an 8 x 10" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and line  with parchment paper. The        parchment will help you lift the brownies out later.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread it out evenly.
5. Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake for 30- 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in     the center comes out clean.
6. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
7. Using the parchment paper, lift the brownies out of the pan and place them on the counter.
8. Frost with melted chocolate chips and sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies on top.

Topping directions
  Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish. Cook the chocolate on high in 30 seconds increments until melted, stirring in between. 

This post is a part of the 2016 Virtual Cookie Exchange. Please take a moment to visit the other blogs participating in the round-up. 

Blogs that are participating:

Try it - Like it    Snickerdoodles   
Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen    Ginger Snaps    
Craftcore    Candy Cane Twist cCookies       
MomNoms    Cranberry Almond Cookies         
The Olive Blogger     White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti    
Mom Knows Best    Peppermint white chocolate brownies    
My Pin Adventures    Christmas Candy Cookies        
A Moms Perspective    Ginger Bread Cookies    

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fall Is A Great Time To Think About Anti-Aging Products

      The other day, my youngest son and I were on a walk. My son was fascinated by all the different color leaves on the ground. He was collecting them as we walked and showing me the different colors. Each leaf, for him, was more exciting than the other. I was noticing that some leafs were soft while others were dry and crunchy. The leaves made me think of the change of the seasons and how my skin was also changing. The cooler weather was making my skin feel dry and I felt the need to use more lotion. When I thought about the skin on my face, it made me think of how my skin is aging like the leaves on the trees thus giving me fine lines. I also thought about how the trees would be renewed in the spring with new leaves and that made me wish that my face would be renewed with new skin, one without wrinkles.

That is how I think about using Anti-Aging products, a renewal of life. My skin, like the leaves, is aging and needs to renewed to look nice again. I can renew my skin, with the fine lines, with an Anti-Wrinkle serum and give it new life. When I use  I.Lublin  Anti-Wrinkle serum, I sense that my skin is getting the help it needs to smooth away those fine lines. This serum nourishes my face with natural and organic ingredients so I can have younger looking skin. I just love how silky my skin feels after I use it as it has natural botanical ingredients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

When my skin looks good, I feel good inside. I feel more confident when I smile as those fine lines are less noticeable. My skin does not have to be old and dry like the leaves on the ground, instead, it can look and feel like the fresh new leaves of the spring. I like that this age-defying Anti-Wrinkle serum has been tested and contains ingredients that work to make my skin look nice. I just want to give my little bottle of serum a kiss and say thank you for keeping my skin young.

Do you know someone who would like their skin to be renewed? This anti-wrinkle serum comes wrapped up in a pretty little package and makes a great gift. I know finding this package in my stocking or under the Christmas tree would make me smile. 

So give yourself of a friend the gift of younger looking skin. After a couple of uses, they will be smiling when they see softer skin that is not dry like the fall leaves. You can find out more about I.Lublin  Anti-Wrinkle serum at the below link.

"These opinions are my own and I receive a sample of the above product to facilitate this post."

Monday, November 28, 2016

How To Grow A Pizza At Home With Mushroom And Basil Kits

My boys and I grew wonderful ingredients to make a pizza.

When I think of mushrooms and basil, I think of a delicious pizza. So when a company asked me if I wanted to grow my own mushrooms and basil at home, I said "yes!" I wanted to teach my boys where food comes from. Since we live in the desert, my boys don't have much experience with seeing food grow. So when our Mushroom Farm and Garden-in-a-Can arrived my boys were excited to know more about how this box and can were going to produce mushrooms and basil. They wanted mom to make a pizza.

So when the mushroom farm arrived, we unboxed it and discovered a plastic bag filled with we presumed was dirt and white stuff. We also found a package of tomato seeds, even the company is thing pizza, and a small water bottle. The basil kit was a can that had a pop off top and under that we found dirt and a small package of basil seeds. My boys and I read the instructions to see how to set everything up. My boys asked questions like "how do mushrooms grow?" and "how long will it take for the mushrooms and basil to grow?" I think they were anxious for everything to grow so they could eat pizza. The instructions said the mushrooms could be ready to harvest in ten days. The basil would start to sprout in a week.  

My boys and I then prepped the mushroom farm by opening the box and cutting a section of the plastic. The mass in the plastic then had to soak in water for eight hours. The basil in a can was simple to start. We opened the can and added some water and the seeds. The basil can then went on the windowsill. After the mushroom thing soaked, it was placed back into its box and placed in a corner by the window. I put my boys in charge of watering the items as I tend to forget to water plants. Plants don't make noise, like kids, when they are hungry. 

My son sprayed the mushroom farm twice a day with the included water sprayer and gave the basil some water too. After seven days, we began to see results. I was amazed that I grew mushrooms! The basil was even sprouting. It won't be long until we can harvest the mushrooms and basil for a pizza. The boys are counting the days down as according to the instructions, three more days and the mushrooms will be ready to use. I am hoping the basil will be ready too.

    These cool Mushroom Farm and Garden-In-A-Can make great Christmas gifts. Back To The Roots has many other products that teach kids about growing food. Go check out their collections. I love their Grow One, Give One program. When you take a picture of your product and upload it to their website, they will donate the same item to a classroom of your choice. We are going to donate one to the gifted teacher at our school. This will make for a great lesson for the kids in the gifted class.

Back To The Roots Website

Check out my recipe for Wild Mushroom Pizza With Caramelized Onions!

"These opinions are my own and I received a Mushroom Farm and a Garden-in-Can from Back To The Roots to facilitate this review."

Wild Mushroom Pizza With Caramelized Onions

When life hands you lots of mushrooms- make pizza.

  The boys and I had fun growing our own mushrooms with this cool kit from Back To The Roots. When we started growing the mushrooms, all I could think of was pizza. I love mushrooms on pizza and I knew that oyster mushrooms would give my pizza such a wonderful taste along with some delicious caramelized onions. This pizza was so good. Find out more about our mushroom growing here:

   I had never cooked with oyster mushrooms before so I did my research on how to cook them. These tasty mushrooms are best sliced and sauteed in some oil as they need to be cooked. This brings out a nice flavor. If you just place them on the pizza without cooking them, they tend to dry out. So I cooked my mushrooms with the onions and then added some rosemary and the flavor was so good. I also added some other brown mushrooms as my kit only gave me a small amount of oyster mushroom. You can make your own pizza dough or buy some at the store. You can also experiment with other cheeses like fontina but I prefer mozzarella on my pizza. The cool thing about this mushroom kit is that it will sprout mushrooms again so I am hoping my next batch will yield more mushrooms so I can make my pizza next time with all oyster mushrooms.

    Wild Mushroom Pizza With Caramelized Onions     
3 tablespoons olive oil
                     2-3 onions diced into small pieces  
 2 garlic cloves, minced  
                                                  1 pounds oyster & brown mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces    
                   1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
      pizza dough for one pizza   
                     2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded  
salt for sprinkling

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions and garlic. Cook the onions and garlic for about 10 minutes or until light brown. Then add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat and form your dough on your oiled pan. Spread the mushrooms and onions all over the crust. Be generous with the mushrooms and onions and spread them all over the dough. If no dough is showing that is good as this makes the pizza taste so good. Place the cheese on top of the mushroom mixture and sprinkle lightly with salt. The salt will help bring out the great flavor. Bake at 400 F for about 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.   
      Pizza dough recipe
        2 cups flour    
3/4 cup warm water
         1 teaspoon salt   
 1 tablespoon oil
         1 tablespoon sugar   
1 1/2  teaspoons yeast or one yeast package
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until dough forms a ball, adding more flour if needed. Knead on floured surface into a ball. Let dough rise in a warm place for an hour. Using your hands form the dough on an oiled stone or pan.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sugar Babies Hot Cocoa Giveaway

Sugar Babies Hot Cocoa
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Creamy Chocolate Mixed with Gooey Caramel

You'll Fall In Love With This Delicious Candy All Over Again!
Sugar Babies Hot Cocoa

Sweet, rich, and overflowing with caramelly goodness, Sugar Babies have been an American favorite since the 1930’s. Brew up a cup of this cocoa and savor the chewy caramel treat’s smooth, slow-cooked caramel and candy taste in your favorite mug.

Want to know what I thought of Single Serve Hot Cocoa Experience?
See My Complete Review HERE

How would you like a chance to try this Hot Cocoa for FREE? If you said YES! You're in luck! Thanks to this awesome sponsor, FOUR lucky readers will win a 40 Count Box of Sugar Babies Single-Serve Hot Cocoa for their K-Cup Brewer. Enter on the widget below for your chance to win. Remember the more entries you do the better your chances are to win!
Two Rivers Holiday Coffee & Cocoa Hop: Sugar Babies Hot Cocoa Giveaway Nov 28 - Dec 11
Welcome To The
Sugar Babies Hot Cocoa 

Dates: November 28, 2016 at 12:01 am EST through December 11, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST

Prize: FOUR lucky readers will win a 40 Count Box of Sugar Babies Hot Cocoa.

Hosted By: PaulaMS' Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies
Sponsored By: Tootsie Roll Hot Cocoa

I would like to give a big shout out to all the blogs participating in this giveaway! I couldn't do it without you. Thank you for bringing this promotion to your readers. Please take a minute to follow them!

By following us on our social networks we are able to get the best giveaways together on the internet! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you have any questions or are a brand/company and would like to work with Paula Stewart please contact us HERE.
Disclaimer: PaulaMS' Giveaways, Reviews, and Freebies nor any blog promoting this giveaway, is not responsible for the awarding of the prize. Sponsors are responsible for prize fulfillment. Any Questions about this giveaway? Email Paula At paula_stewart (at) ymail (dot) com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: PaulaMS has received the product mentioned above for free to facilitate the writing of this review. *Some of the links on this blog post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, she only recommends products or services that she uses personally and believes will add value to readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

More Giveaways
 There are EIGHT more giveaways for you to enter on this hop!
All have FOUR WINNERS so be sure to hop around and enter for a chance to WIN some great prizes! Remember you can't WIN if you don't ENTER.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Winter Is Coming: Amazing Ways To Boost Your Workout


Image Source: Bob Wick BLM

The days are getting colder, the nights longer and by the time you’ve finished this article it’ll already be dark. In all honesty, the last thing you want to do is leave your cozy Netflix nest, put your trainers on and go outside.

However, thanks to the following handy hints and tips you’ll soon be raring to head out into the fresh, frosty air feeling energized, alert and ready to take on the holidays!

Dress Smart

It may sound obvious but having the right gear can make all the difference as well as having a significant impact on your performance. The trick here is light layers that can easily be added/ removed in a breathable fabric such as polypropylene, followed by a few thin micro fleeces or wool jumpers which act as insulation.

Food Is Fuel

It’s vital in winter to eat, healthy well balanced and nourishing meals that’ll keep you going. Thanks to thermodynamics, hearty meals such as pasta bakes, shepherd’s pie, and bowls of steaming vegetable soup with crusty bread not only taste delicious but also warm up your inner core.

Winter Warm Up

A drop in temperature can be a bit of a shock to the system so start your warm up early by doing some jumping jacks, a light jog on the spot or even a few runs up, and down the stairs, indoors-any low-level aerobic exercise will do the trick!

Use The Buddy System

The best way to make sure that you stick to your workout plan? Grab a friend and do it together as many psychological studies have shown that social interaction increases motivation, plus who doesn’t love a good gossip while they’re pounding the pavements!

Get Out and About

We all know that having kids keeps you pretty busy so why not burn off all their extra energy at the same time as some good old calories? This time of year is perfect for nature walks, bonus points if you see a squirrel, football games or family bike rides. Of course, why not get into the winter spirit and take them ice skating?

Body Boosters

Winter also means cold and flu season, so it’s important that your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off those nasty viruses. By taking natural herbal supplements like Echinacea you can help reduce symptoms, boost your immune system and, if taken early, it can lessen the severity of a cold or flu.

However, if you do get sick don’t panic as often a quick trip to the doctor can sort out any health queries or questions. Ideal for busy moms, the GetDoc app means you can make an appointment on the go via their user-friendly, secure booking system that lists both doctors and clinics nearby, as well as any specialty department you may need.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Don’t stress if you find you are exercising less often than you did in the summer. Aim to do some form of aerobic exercise three times a week, but if you only manage two days at the same intensity and time, then that’s absolutely fine.

Baking Bread And Turkey Pot Pies

The weather is getting cooler outside and the days are growing shorter, for my family that means more time is spent inside.

  I am not a cold weather person and I dread the change of seasons. The colder weather brings not only coldness but also less sun. It seems to get dark too early so that means less time to play outside. The cold days are perfect for baking bread. Since I am stuck inside, I like to use my time baking bread. Baking bread gives the house a great scent and the warmth from the oven makes the house feel warmer. Homemade bread also tastes so good, way better than that bread wrapped in plastic that you get from the store. My husband loves when I bake bread because I tend to bake other things since the oven has to be on for a long time. Baking bread also means that my husband will get a dinner that is baked in the oven.

  This past week the weather was cooler, so I decided to bake a loaf of my pretzel bread. When I was kneading the bread, I thought about what I could make for dinner. I remembered that I had some Turkey Pot Pies in the freezer that would go great with my warm pretzel bread. Now these pot pies are the good kind, not like the ones I had as a child that tasted like the box they came in. The turkey pot pies that were going into the oven with my homemade bread are made by Blake's. This company uses only the finest organic and all-natural ingredients and makes their pies from scratch like my bread. They have wonderful people who fill these flaky crust pies with hormone-free and antibiotic free meat and garden vegetables. I will gladly let my family eat turkey when it has none of the nasty hormones and antibiotics.

  The homemade bread and turkey pot pie fill the house with a nice aroma. My husband comes home from work and says "it smells so good in here, when do we eat?" My husband is happy that it was a cold day. He loves when I bake bread and cook a delicious turkey pot pie. I bought my turkey pot pie at Sprouts. Blake's also makes beef pot pies and other natural meals. Just look at all the stores that carry Blake's products.

Where to purchase
Blake’s meals, including Blake’s Turkey Pot Pie and Beef Pot Pie are available at: Target, Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Meijer, Publix, The Fresh Market, Kroger, Natural Grocers, Earth Fare, Fresh Thyme, Raley’s, Winco, Ralph’s, Harris Teeter, Hyvee, HEB, Jewel, Hannaford, Shaw’s, Market Basket, along with many Natural Food Stores & Coops. Meijer and Publix carry only Blake’s Turkey Pot Pie and Beef Pot Pie.

                               Find out more about these delicious pot pies:

                                             Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Instagram

 Company Info
Blake’s started as a family farm in Concord, NH by Great Grandma Clara Blake in 1929 raising the finest free-range, all-natural turkeys and soon became a holiday standard for thousands of New England families. In 1970 Charlie Blake sold their first pot pie from the back of his ‘67 Chevy van at St. John’s Church in Concord and thus Blake’s pot pies were started. Four decades later, Charlie and his wife, Sally, were distributing pot pies throughout New England and built a new production facility at the farm. Very little had changed. They were still using Clara’s recipes, cutting vegetables by hand and making gravy from scratch. Theirs was a thrifty, mom-and- pop business operating with a simple goal: Put healthy meals on the table for as many folks as possible. Today, Blake’s meals can be found nationwide and every meal is still made from scratch in small batches just like they always have been. Blake’s has grown from just pot pies to a variety of meals include an organic line of meals and gluten free as well. Blake’s is blessed with a wonderful staff and a shared vision for positively affecting the lives of their customers through their food

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
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