Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Porchetta & Roasted Veggies

Now, I can’t take full credit for this recipe, as much as I would love to…I was watching Chef Anne Burrel’s show Secrets Of A Restaurant Chef and absolutely had to try-out this recipe. It’s a rustic Italian pork roast that is full of flavor…and you get your side dish of veggies done at the same time! Let me just say that I can’t even tell you just how thrilled I was with it. (even though I made a few modifications to the original recipe)

View complete posting: Porchetta & Roasted Veggies

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue Raz Smoothie

With Spring here and Summer right around the corner, it's time to get into the "smoothie mode"! My family L-O-V-E-S smoothies. And during the Summer, we really go through a lot of juice and frozen fruit. And the smoothie tends to become breakfast quite a bit too.

May Giveaway Link-Up! (Beginning Or Ending In May)

Do you have a giveaway beginning or ending in the month of May?

This is the 2nd month of the Giveaway Link-up! So go ahead, enter & post any and all giveaways that begin or end in the month of May.

And readers, feel free to visit & enter as many giveaways as you like!

View complete posting: May Giveaway Link-Up! (Beginning Or Ending In May)

CEVIA Mother's Day Photo Contest

I came across this giveaway and just had to pass it along.
If you have never heard of CEVIA before, you're not alone. I hadn't either. However, they have a wonderful giveaway this year for Mother's Day.
The Bedazzle Your Mom Photo Contest! CEIVA knows that there's one thing your Mom loves more than anything else: you. CEIVA Digital Photo Frames can receive photos from you and the whole family, and show them automatically. The best part? Mom can see them without a computer...

View complete posting: CEVIA Mother's Day Photo Contest

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Follow ~ 4/23

Hello Everyone! It's Friday Follow time again!
Thanks for stopping by today. I love when a visitor happens to pop-in for a while.

Since I am most likely one of many stops along this blog hop, here's a quick rundown of this week's postings.
Don't forget to participate in the GIVEAWAYS! Who knows, you could be a lucky winner!
Friday Follow

View complete posting: Friday Follow ~ 4/23

The Purpose of The Valleys

"God wants to build our faith in the valleys. We love the mountaintops...but in the valleys we build our faith. When we come face to face with a dark valley, we get on our knees." ~ The Purpose Driven Life

This quote taken from The Purpose Driven Life stared me in the face every time I went into the kitchen during the month of March. I would glance over at it, read it and then not really take the time to contemplate it's truth.

Whenever life is at it's "best" and there doesn't seem to be anything that urgently needs "fixing", it seems like my prayer life is far less active. Why is that? How come I'm not praying and giving thanks as much during the "rosey" times in life? And what a shame that is...

View complete posting: The Purpose of The Valleys

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Frozen Yogurt & Donuts

So, I picked Grace up from school today…and she wanted a Mommy & Me afternoon. (Little sissy was home sleeping with Grandpa on duty)
After feeling “special” for a moment, I of course said, “Okay.”

Then I made the mistake of asking her what she wanted to do.

“How about yogurt?!”, she squealed.

“Yogurt? The yogurt we have at home?”

“No silly! The the chocolate yogurt at the yogurt shop…by Walmart.” (yes, she even gave me a landmark )

View complete posting: Frozen Yogurt & Donuts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kathy van Zeeland Giveaway

It's my first official GIVEAWAY!!!

There is no question who my favorite handbag designer is...Kathy van Zeeland wins out everytime! In honor of my birthday (May 1st) I am going to reward 1 lucky reader with a Kathy van Zeeland clutch in May.
To be more specific, Kathy van Zeeland's Uptown Girl Signature Clutch.
Winner will be announced on May 15th.

View Complete Posting: Kathy van Zeeland Giveaway

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tips From Daddy At The Driving Range

My hubby, Charming, had found a great deal on some golf clubs for our 5 year old Grace. And insisted that we make the purchase...I didn't fight him on it at all. I knew that this meant that it would create Daddy & Daughter Dates...which I fully encourage.

Well, we went as a family for Grace's first trip to a driving range.
The location: The Grand Sierra Resort's driving range
This driving range is set up with incentives...

View complete posting: Tips From Daddy At The Driving Range

Spring Has Finally Sprung

This year has been filled with changes...and I've learned that unlike Southern California, you can't expect Spring to come in a timely manner in the Reno/Tahoe area. There have been a barrage of weather systems hitting the area...even up to this past weekend...dumping rain and snow in the mountains and valley floor.
How can anyone plan for planting any gardens or picnics for that matter? I've been dying to plant my little herb garden again, but I know that if I don't wait until May then the chances of freezing nights destroying my herbs runs very high. And this is extremely frusterating for a So. Cali girl who's been transplanted in Reno. Very frusterating indeed.

Now to me, Spring means flowers, gardens, butterflies, sunny afternoon picnics, that "fresh" smell that only Spring can bring...Being born on May 1st gives me an extra love for Spring I think. Perhaps by my birthday this little miniture rose bush will be in full bloom...

View complete posting: Spring Has Finally Sprung

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Giveaway For 3 Winners!

For those of us who can find the time to read…or just really want to add another book to our library…or would like a free gift for a friend…

View complete posting:Book Giveaway For 3 Winners!

Scrapbooking Supplies!

Crafts & Supplies at!

JoAnn's is offering a pretty sweet savings on scrapbooking
supplies now through April 24, 2010.
There is always something that catches my eye at JoAnn's, but this savings really makes me want to grab all of those photos that I have of my little darling kiddles and get them properly stored. My bestfriend and I joke that when the kids are 18 we will brew some coffee, bake some croissants and sit down to get our scrapbooking done. (I'll let you know if that actually happens)...

View complete posting: Scrapbooking Savings!

FREE Sample, FREE Donut & FREE Tax Tips!

If you love Dunkin' Donuts®, then you're going to want to get your hands on this sample. I just found out about it this afternoon...and of course, who doesn't want to try a little something for free?! The new Dunkin Turbo is described as: rich, smooth, medium roast coffee has an extra boost of delicious Dunkin’ Donuts® flavor to kick-start your day!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

So, how do you get your free sample you ask? You just select your favorite variety of DD coffee (they only have the new Dunkin Turbo available right now) and fill out the information below to receive a 1.1 oz. sample pouch by mail. You'll be tasting Dunkin' Donuts® coffee at home in no time. They ask that you please allow six to eight weeks for delivery. Available to U.S. residents currently residing in the continental United States. Limit one sample per household while supplies last. And, of course, you must be 18 or older...

View complete posting: FREE Sample, FREE Donut & FREE Tax Tips!

A Few More Savings Deals!

Celebrate Mom at
Attention Kohl's Shoppers!
Here are some deals that you just might want to take advantage of this week...
Kohl's Power Pricing Sale
Shop Kohl's 2 Day Sale for great savings throughout the store
Run Dates: 04/13/2010-04/14/2010

Shop Kohl's Big Weekend Sale April 16 through April 18
Shop all extra extra Specials Friday, April 16 2pm-midnight and Saturday, April 17 12am-3pm

Expect Great Things at
10% Off Home Styles brand with Coupon Code: HOMESTYLES
Run Dates: 04/13/2010-04/24/2010

View complete posting: A Few More Savings Deals!

Cheesy Pub Beer Bread

Just look at this golden loaf of comfort!
Oh, just the smell of this bread in the oven immediately takes me back to when my mother used to make it when I was little. It seemed like she made it all the time when I was in grade school...I don't know what happened after that. Somehow it just disappeared from our menu altogether.

Well, it’s BACK! And back to stay! This is truly the easiest recipe in the world to make a scrumptious loaf of bread. In fact, you’ll find that you have to hold yourself back from making it all the time.

Would I call it a comfort food? Oh yeah, you better believe it! So enough chatter…let’s get to baking! (And we only need 6 ingredients to get the job done!)
Start with some all-purpose flour. Nothing fancy here…the simpler the better.

Add baking powder. Then give it a little stir with a fork just to mix it around.

Next add some sea salt. Stir that in with a fork.

A little bit of sugar…bread needs just a touch of sweetness. Again, stir it in with the fork to get it all incorporated.
Now for the best part. Here’s the beauty of this…you can use a cheap beer or a pricey port. It’s up to you. 
To be honest, the darker beers tend to give the best flavor…at least that’s what Charming says. (He really liked this Michelob Amber Bock) But no matter what you choose, you’re still going to love it. (This happens to be my preferred method of enjoying a beer.) 

Pour in that yeasty goodness…it’s not only our flavoring agent, it’s the secret to not needing yeast or self rising flour!

Give everything a good stir…I just use my fork, but a spoon is fine too. And don’t worry, it’s supposed to be lumpy & bumpy.

Now you can skip this step if you are trying to stay away from dairy, or just trying to cut some calories….

I take some shredded colby jack cheese (1 cup) and add it to the dough. Mild or sharp cheddar cheese is really good too!
Grab a loaf pan and grease it with 1 Tbsp. of the butter.
Form the dough into a rough ball.
Plop our cheesy beer dough into the pan and form a loaf.
Then into the oven for 45 minutes. And trust me…you’re going to wish that you had made two loaves when the aroma starts wafting through the air.

When the timer goes off, remove the bread from the oven but don’t turn it off! Cube and melt the remaining butter. (I melt it in a microwave safe measuring cup for about 30 seconds)

Then carefully pour all of that melted butter over the top of the bread.
Resist temptation and return the glistening, buttery bread to the oven for another 10-12 minutes. We want that butter to get the top of the bread all crusty and golden brown.

The timer sounds! The bread is removed from the oven! There should be a slight springiness when it’s pressed. A knife makes its way through the loaf…a little bit of butter is slathered onto the bread….and instant gratification!

So perfect alone for a little snack. (A great pairing with roasts, corned beef or Norwegian Meatballs)
Enjoy, Enjoy, ENJOY!

Cheesy Pub Beer Bread
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
3 cups Flour, All-Purpose
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Sugar
12 oz. Beer, dark or light
1 cup Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese, shredded
5 Tbsp. Butter, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with 1 Tbsp. of the butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, sea salt and sugar. Stir to fully incorporate ingredients.

Pour beer into dry ingredient mixture. Stir just enough to incorporate through the dry ingredients. Dough should be lumpy.

Add cheese to dough. Mix with hands just until cheese is dispersed through the dough.

Form into a ball. Take prepared loaf pan and place dough inside. Lightly press dough to form a loaf.

Bake loaf in preheated oven for 45 minutes for first bake.

Melt remaining butter in a microwave safe bowl or cup for 25-30 seconds on high.

Remove loaf from oven and carefully pour melted butter over entire loaf.

Return loaf to oven for 10-12 minutes. Crust should be golden brown and loaf should have a slight give when fully baked.

Place on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before serving. ENJOY!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tax Day Freebies & Deals!

Friday Follow I know, I missed the Friday Follow...My only excuse was that I was completely engulfed in the Ultimate Blog Party. However, I am going to try to make it up to you by doing some freebie/discount hunting...


Starbucks lovers...Don't forget this date! On April 15th, come into any Starbucks with your reusable travel mug and get a free brewed coffee!

There are so many more deals & a Disney giveaway....
View complete posting: Tax Day Freebies & Deals

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Okay, I know that there are some people that are in complete denial...but the time has come for us to open our eyes and see that our nation really does have a problem. Even more so, our children have a HUGE problem with the food they are eating.

Now, I'm as guilty as the next Momma out there...Cheez-its, sugary cereals, greasy pizzas, frozen chicken nuggets, are all to be found in my kiddles' diets.

But this Chatty Mom is making a change! Oh yeah, I signed Jamie Oliver's petition and I am determined to make a change in my family. Honestly, I don't like buying frozen foods...they don't taste very good anyway. And it only takes me a couple extra minutes to cube a chicken breast, dredge it in seasoned flour and fry it in peanut oil (or bake it in the oven, if I have more time). Not to mention the fact that the chicken nuggets I make taste SO much better with almost no sodium at all...

View complete posting for giveaway link: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I have been buttonless for too long!

Well, I finally did it...yep, I decided that I shouldn't be a mommy blogger without a button. I felt so left!

So I created my own! Wooohoo!

The Chatty Mom
Button Generator Code Provided By:

Time For The Ultimate Blog Party 2010!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hello & Welcome To The Chatty Mom’s Post For
The Ultimate Blog Party 2010!
(click on banner above to join the party)
I can’t even begin to tell you just how excited I am to participate in The Ultimate Blog Party. Let’s start things off properly…

Hello, my name is Tanya, a.k.a. The Chatty Mom. I decided to start blogging when I relocated from sunny Temecula, California to weather scytsophrenia area Reno, Nevada.

View complete posting: Time For The Ultimate Blog Party 2010!

Have A SNAPFISH Account?

If you are like me and store your photos on several different photo sites (Snapfish, KodakGallery,Flickr, etc.) then you probably don't get then printed very often. I can't even tell you how many hundreds of photos I have stored and unprinted right now.

Well, Snapfish is celebrating their 10th birthday by giving some great discounts this entire month!

View complete posting: Have A SNAPFISH Account?

What's With All Of The "Snarky" Talk?

Has anyone else noticed how "SNARKY" seems to be the word for 2010? I have never heard it used before, outside of the Old Hollywood movies...and yet it is popping up in everything from commercials, talk shows, blog sites, sitcoms and soap operas. And just the word itself holds an air of, I don't know...with a British accent everything just sounds so much more attractive and classy to me. (I'm a sucker for British accents...thank you Cary Grant & Laurence Olivier)

View complete posting: What's With All Of The "Snarky" Talk?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ATTENTION ALL SKIERS: The Sierra Snow Is Calling!

If you have missed the amazing snow that the Reno/Tahoe area has received this better get into your car, plane, train or jet as quickly as you can. If you're able to, teleporting would be highly recommended.

The ski conditions have been fabulous for the Sierra ski resorts this Winter and so far the Spring skiing hasn't been anything to sneeze at either. This past weekend the Sierras received a nice 2-3 foot unloading of snow from the clouds as they passed through. It left me wondering when Spring was actually going to be allowed to show itself. Well, Spring will have to wait...

View complete posting: ATTENTION ALL SKIERS: The Sierra Snow Is Calling!

Monday, April 5, 2010

New! ~ Friday Follow

Friday Follow

I had never heard of a Blog Hop before...have you? It's a way to network and get connected to other bloggers...a rather easy way to start building your blog and get noticed by others you don't know.

So, this Friday I'm going to start joining in on the fun. I just have to remember that I've told myself this...which means that I better grab my calendar right now and make a note on it. (I think that drives Charming crazy...I have notes on all sorts of dates, almost blending into eachother) And hopefully everything goes never knows what one will encounter.

View complete posting: New! ~ Friday Follow

Easter Pudding Baskets

I wanted to do something a little bit different for an Easter treat this year...and the Robin's Eggs Nests are such an easy build, I figured that I could incorporate those with one of my kiddles' favorite treats. Pudding!

Okay, so I start off by lining a large muffin pan (12 muffin cups) with some saran wrap. This is where I'm going to be building my baskets...

View complete posting: Easter Pudding Baskets

Ear Aches Are Horrible!

I remember how bad my ears would hurt when I was little...and nothing you did helped until Momma came to the rescue.
Poor little Rose came up to me with huge tears rolling down her cheeks and a tissue pressed against her ear.
"Momma, my ear hurting." More tears begin to roll...
"What happened baby?"
"My ear hurting. I need medicine to make better. Hurry Momma. Fix it."

My heart is completely melted and my mind is racing to remember what my mother used to do to help my ear aches....

View complete posting: Ear Aches Are Horrible!

Finding Positives When Cold #6

When days come filled with strife (with a 3 & 5 year-old they are bound to come) and I feel completely rundown...I try to find a positive in the day. Like today, I've had 2 nights of very little sleep coupled with a battle against a cold (which finally tookover) which makes me one short-fused Momma. I hate being a short-fused's not fun. There is nothing positive in being short-fused...NOTHING.

To avoid becoming the Momma that I can't stand in the stores, I find myself taking A LOT of deep breathes and counting to 10 over and over again. There really is something to counting and taking deep breathes...I used to think people were crazy, but they really knew what they were doing all along. Charming tells me that I do it without even thinking now...all the time. (oops)

View complete posting: Finding Positives When Cold #6

Scrumptious Citrus Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate & orange...perfect all by themselves, but such a scrumptious union of flavors when they are brought together.
It only seemed right that they should come together to make a perfect scone. I can't believe that I've never come across this combination in a scone before.

So let's get started by preheating the oven to 400°F. By the time your oven is ready, your scones should be in the shaping stage. (that's how quick and easy these are to make)

I grab my Kitchenaid mixer and use the paddle attachment to make this super simple dough. Start with 2 cups of all-purpose flour...

Add 1 Tbsp. baking powder...

And 1/4 tsp. baking soda...

Give it a quick stir (on LOW) just to get things mixed nicely...

Then 1 tsp. of sea salt...

We need a little sugar, so add 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Give it another quick little stir to get all of that sugar incorporated.

Then take a small grater or zester and a medium sized orange...and start grating that wonderful skin releasing the orange's oils. Be careful not to zest the pith (white) of the orange though...we don't want that in our mix.

Give it a quick stir just to get the orange zest distributed through the flour mixture.

Time to turn the attention to the butter...COLD butter. Start by slicing 1/4" pieces of butter (or breaking them off)...

Then slice again into cubes. This will help it while mixing...cold cubes are better than cold slices.

Next, the cold cubes of butter go into the mixing bowl.

Mix on the lowest speed setting until pea sized balls begin to form. (about 4-6 minutes)

In a small mixing bowl add one egg....

Give that egg a little beating...

Measure out 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and add it to the egg.

Mix the egg and cream together.

Turn the mixer on the lowest speed setting, then add the egg & cream mixture to the dry ingredient mixture...

Make sure to do it on low speed so that the kitchen doesn't get a dusting.

Mix just until incorporated. The dough should be slightly sticky.

Then we just plop our dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

I like cutting my dough in half...then either using it to make half a batch of another type of scone (like The Keys' Key Lime Scones or Cranberry Orange Scones, which is what I'm doing this time)

or wrapping it in saran wrap (and then in a freezer bag) and storing it for later use.

Time for the CHOCOLATE!!! I love Ghirardelli's 60% Cocoa Chips...but if you have semi-sweet chocolate chips, they will work just fine as they do in this batch. For me, the darker the chocolate, the better...when I haven't already consumed them all.

Taking 1/2 cup of chocolate morsels, I give 'em a good chopping. Not too uniform though, leaving some larger pieces to pop up in the scones is really quite alright.

These little morsels get a quick toss in very little flour. Sifting chocolate slivers from flour is a bit difficult, so I just use 1/2 teaspoon of flour to start with and then add a little more if needed. (that way I don't have to sift the chocolate from the flour)

Pour the chocolate chips onto the dough and begin to quickly work the chips into it by folding & kneading. 

I tend to fold it in, then separate it into three balls, then fold those back in again. It doesn't have to be even or perfect... that's the beauty of scones.

Then press, or roll with a floured rolling pin, the dough into a 3/4"-1" thick slab. When doing this, Be sure to move the dough around so that the dough doesn't stick to the surface. Add flour to the surface area as needed.

Then take a biscuit or cookie cutter (I like the cookie cutters) and dip it into a little flour before pressing out the scones. This will allow the cutter to release the dough easily.

Place the scones onto a baking sheet lines with parchment paper or a silpat. If you don't have one, put it on your Wish List and broadcast it to everyone you know.

Next step, take an egg and a tablespoon of water and mix them to make an egg bath.

Then take that egg bath and with pastry brush…

Apply it to the top of each scone.

The last step before putting them into an oven…sprinkle the top of each scone with sugar (granulated or raw).

Then into the preheated oven (400°F) for 15-20 minutes. (time varies by size & thickness, these took 16 minutes)

Remove the scones from the oven once they are golden brown and firm to the touch. Move the scones to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes.

While cooling, take half of the orange that was used for zesting and juice it.

Oh yeah, we're going to make an orange glaze!

Be sure to strain out any seeds and pulp...they make the glaze not so pretty.

Measure 4 Tablespoons of orange juice and add 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) to the orange juice.

Then I start by using a rubber spatula or spoon to mix the sugar into the juice...followed by a whisking to get all of the little balls of sugar broken up and incorporated.

And when it’s done, there is a wonderful glaze that is ready to drizzle over the scones. Drizzle…just enough to make them look even more inviting and pretty.

Be sure to place a cutting board or parchment paper under the cooling rack for this step…or your counter will become extremely sticky welcoming every ant in the neighborhood.

Just look at how desirable these little beauties are! And did I mention how amazing they smell?

Now that you've seen how easy it is...go make some for yourself!