October 17, 2017

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup Recipe

Disclosure: Some of the links in this Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup recipe post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you click on one of those links and make a purchase but it comes at no expense to you. 

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup


Game-day food is mandatory at my house for several reasons including:

  1. we watch a lot of football games, and we need appropriate menu options to enhance the game watching experience, like this Crockpot Hot Wing Dip;
  2.  my little ones are always on the go, so we need easy, grab-and-go options to fill hungry tummies as we journey from one activity to the next; finally,
  3. since my kids have smaller appetites, bite-sized meals allow me to feed them a full meal with very little waste or leftovers. 
I was recently visiting a fantastic Atlanta restaurant just outside the perimeter called Universal Joint. They are best known for their delicious burgers and I tried one called The Steinbeck. It is made with pimento cheese, bacon, and jalapenos and to say it was mouth water would be an understatement (seriously look at the picture below and tell me you're not drooling). Mine was served without the without the peppers, but if I could have handled the heat, I know they would have been the perfect accompaniment to this succulent burger. I left the restaurant, and for days I was dreaming about the burger. I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to remaster The Steinbeck into a family-friendly game day recipe, and thus the Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup was born.


The Universal Joint - The Steinbeck Burger - Pimento Cheese, Bacon and Jalapeno Peppers

Ingredients: 
Pizza dough for 1 pizza - I use Pillsbury Pizza Crust
1/2 lb of ground beef, browned
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
Jalapeno peppers, diced to accommodate your tastes (I leave them off when serving my kids)
1 TBS burger seasoning. I use Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
1/2 cup of pimento cheese
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped

Preparation Instructions: 
On an ungreased cookie sheet spread out the pizza dough. Use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch the dough out as much as you can without creating holes; all the while, keeping the dough within the boundaries off the cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a hot skillet, brown the ground beef and drain. Return the meat to the skillet and add the burger seasoning, cook an additional 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and add the onions and jalapenos to the meat mixture, stir. I do not add peppers when I make this for the kids, but you can customize this to your family's tastes.

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup Ingredients

Next, spread the pimento cheese evenly onto the pizza dough, leaving approximately 1/4 inch space along all the edges. Sprinkle the meat mixture and then the bacon evenly on top of the cheese. Carefully, roll up the dough in a jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Pinch the seam to seal and tuck the ends under the rollup. Place the seam side down in the center of the baking sheet.

With a sharp knife, cut four to five, 1/4-inch deep slits along the top of the loaf. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm with ketchup and mustard for dipping.

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup

This recipe quickly became a family favorite and a game-day menu must. I've made it several times since football season kicked off and my kids are always asking for "burger rollup" for dinner. In fact, my oldest said he wanted this served for his birthday!

As the weather gets colder, this is an easy, comforting meal option that is taste-bud and family friendly. It's not fancy, but it sure brings back all the taste sensations of that delicious burger I had at Universal Joint.

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger Rollup Recipe

Have you ever been so inspired by a restaurant meal you've tried to recreate it or remaster it at home? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below. 

Also, don't forget to enter to win the free Smile Brilliant at-home Teeth Whitening Kit giveaway here

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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October 10, 2017

Regaining my Confidence with Smile Brilliant

Disclosure: I received the Smile Brilliant Sensitive System for free in exchange for an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own.

I've regained my confidence and eliminated coffee teeth stains with Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit.

If you had to identify your best physical feature what would it be? For me, it's my smile. Ever since I was young, I remember people complimenting my smile. I was blessed with very straight teeth, and I've  never worn braces or even had a cavity. I take particular pride in my teeth, and I've never been afraid to wear my favorite accessory, a smile. That is until lately. After two kids, my coffee intake has increased over the years, and the stains it deposited on my teeth became more and more evident over time. I found myself almost ashamed of the evidence my need for caffeine was leaving on my (no-longer) pearly whites.

I love being a mother, and I'm proud of my body for producing two beautiful blessings, but I'm not immune to the pressures of motherhood and the longing to regain some of the confidence I had before children. Whitening my teeth was a great way for me to start feeling better about sharing my smile with the world again and regaining some of my confidence. To achieve whiter teeth I decided to try Smile Brilliant, a teeth whitening kit perfect for busy, coffee drinking moms like myself.

Smile Brilliant sends you everything you need to get the smile you've been longing for by shipping a box straight to your doorstep. Inside you'll find catalyst and base pastes to create custom molds of your teeth, plus whitening and be desensitizing gels which you'll use after your custom fitted trays arrive. 


I've regained my confidence and eliminated coffee teeth stains with Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit.

It was easy to incorporate Smile Brilliant into my day-to-day routine because each night during my kid's bathtime I'd wear my custom whitening trays. I'd merely apply the whitening gel along the sides of the trays and fit them into my mouth for a relaxed, comfortable fit.

I've regained my confidence and eliminated coffee teeth stains with Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit.

After only a couple applications I started to notice a difference in the color of my teeth. The coffee stains were disappearing little by little, and I was beginning to see my pre-baby smile emerge.

I've regained my confidence and eliminated coffee teeth stains with Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit. These before and after pictures prove the teeth whitening system really works!

I personally used the Sensitive Whitening System since I have slightly sensitive teeth. I whitened every 2-3 days due to a slight sensitivity on my gums, which is a normal side effect. A great way to combat sensitivity when using the Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System is to add a layer of coconut oil or Vaseline to your gumline before you begin a whitening treatment.

I've regained my confidence and eliminated coffee teeth stains with Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit.

I've been using Smile Brilliant for about three weeks now, and the results really do speak for themselves.

I've regained my confidence and eliminated coffee teeth stains with Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit. These before and after pictures prove the teeth whitening system really works!

If you're an overly caffeinated, coffee-drinking mom like me and you're interested in boosting your confidence, try a Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit. You can save 10% off on your purchase by using promo code "everydaythoughts10".

Smile Brilliant is also gracious enough to give one of my loyal readers a chance to win their own teeth whitening kit (worth $139) simply by clicking the link below.

Brittany
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September 27, 2017

Why I'm Kneeling

Why I'm Kneeling and teaching my children to do the same - a parent's perspective on prioritizing raising God-fearing children.

If you are sick of hearing and reading about the wrongs and rights of activists kneeling during the National Anthem, keep reading. If you are undecided or firmly rooted in your ideas about our First Amendment rights and how they are expressed before, during, or after the playing of a song that represents our country, I beg you to stick with me. If you think there are too many voices screaming too many messages without a sympathetic ear listening to their left- or right-wing counterparts, then you are in the right place, because while I certainly have an opinion on the political climate in our country, I'm not about to share it. I'm not afraid to express my opinion, but I made my stand when I went to the polls last November, and until the next election, I'll be kneeling, in my home and in my church, and anywhere where God's grace is needed.

Aside, from First Amendment Rights, we also all have an opportunity to express our opinion on the second Tuesday, after the first Monday of November, every four years. In between those years, it's up to each individual to advocate for their side in whatever manner they deem appropriate to win the wavering hearts of onlookers or sway their adversaries. I'm taking an active stance, I have a lot to say, and I'm doing it through action rather than expressing my opinions. I'm doing it by teaching my children to kneel before their Heavenly Father and pray. I'm teaching these little minds and tiny hearts how to love their neighbors, how to care for the disenfranchised and poor, how to comfort those who need comforting, and remember the forgotten. Most of all I'm trying to teach them that the most important thing you can kneel in front of is the Cross. My action and commitment to my cause starts within my home, with children. 

I am growing where I'm planted, and right now I'm called to be a guiding light for two inquisitive minds with whom I share a roof. God has entrusted me to teach them the virtues of love, hope, faith, prudence, temperance, courage, justice, charity, and fortitude. I'm not a perfect mom, and I'm not teaching my children perfectly; I'm doing the best I can with the time and resources available to me. I am not bothered by men and women sitting, kneeling or standing. Peaceful protests are an incredible privilege to us as American citizens. 

I don't feel the need to fill your Facebook wall or your Twitter feed with posts and think they will change your mind. You're smarter than that and far too educated to be swayed by 140 characters. Plus, I'm too busy trying to change the hearts and minds of my tiny prayer warriors. The greatest gift I can give this world is two faithful, honest, pragmatic, and educated children with their own opinions and the ingenuity to make their voices matter. Children who know Their Father has abundantly blessed them with the right to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves and kneel for their Savior and any cause they believe worthy of their prayers.

Why I'm Kneeling and teaching my children to do the same - a parent's perspective on prioritizing raising God-fearing children.


Be Blessed,
Brittany
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September 20, 2017

KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush

Disclosure: I received the KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush for free in exchange for an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own.

It always happens sometime between serving them breakfast and their morning playtime. I start to hear squeals as both of my children become anxious about one of their favorite and most anticipated activities of the day. Their little feet start to swing frantically forward and backward from their perch high on their bar height chairs and my youngest starts repeatedly asking to "brush his teeth" in a language only the mother of a two-year-old can actually understand. 

I don't know where their love of minty-fresh breath and glistening pearly whites comes from, but as a mom, I'm certainly not complaining. 


KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush Review - a revolutionary new toothbrush designed by a pediatric dentist, with kids in mind

Recently, we had the opportunity to make brushing teeth a little more exciting for my oldest. We tried a revolutionary new toothbrush which not only makes it easier for my four-year-old to brush his teeth but it also ensures he is getting all those hard-to-reach places and it cuts down on how long it takes to complete the job. The KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush is a uniquely designed toothbrush with a three-sided head, meaning in one stroke it simultaneously brushes the child's teeth in the front, the back, and on the top. The shape of the brush aligns with the natural shape of the mouth, and it easily fits and glides across teeth. 


KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush Review - a revolutionary new toothbrush designed by a pediatric dentist, with kids in mind

Designed by a pediatric dentist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, the KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush is now my preferred toothbrush option for my children for its practicality and ease of use. It is intended for children 3-years-old and up, and it comes in two sizes; medium and large. My four-year-old used the medium size, and I think it's a great fit for his size and age. 

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the pros and cons of the KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush:

Pros:

  • Ergonomic design makes brushing kid's teeth easier than ever regardless if they need assistance or if they can brush on their own;
  • it cuts back on the amount of time it takes each morning to brush; 
  • the three-headed brush ensures children clean all those hard-to-reach places; and
  • it will soon be available at select Publix Pharmacies. 
Cons:
  • it comes in limited colors and designs, and 
  • the three-headed brush fits molars perfectly but takes a little more maneuvering around the incisors and canines. 
If you want to see some of our first impressions check out our Facebook Live video and demo here.



KidzStuff Super Powers 3X Toothbrush Review - a revolutionary new toothbrush designed by a pediatric dentist, with kids in mind

What are some of your favorite tools, tips, and tricks for making brushing teeth fun for your little ones?

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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September 11, 2017

A Parent's Guide to Cooking with Kids

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post, A Parent's Guide to Cooking with Kids, are affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission if you click on one of those links and make a purchase but it comes at no cost to you.

A Parent's Guide to Cooking with Kids

When I'm chopping and dicing and mixing and stirring I get an overwhelming sense of pride, not necessarily because what I'm making is so delicious or even noteworthy, but because I know that my work directly affects my family's health, well-being, and nutrition. I know that the care I take when I whip up a coffee cake or roll together a pan of Jumbo Chicken and Onion Enchiladas will benefit my family. I take special care with my meal planning and recipes every time I cook because I'm aware of their impact. I like to share this meaningful experience with my readers, and I do so by sharing many of my recipes, but more than anything, I love to share the experience with my children.


My kids are not strangers to the kitchen. In addition to watching my favorite cooking shows, they have also been my little kitchen helpers since they each were big enough to stand. They are accustomed to seeing me bake and cook, they enjoy being taste testers, and they fight over who gets to claim mixing duty each day. I try to include them in the entire cooking process from menu planning and choosing items from the farmers market or the grocery store to preparation before the cooking begins and then kitchen cleanup.

My husband and I developed a love for cooking together while we were dating, and we try to now include our children in the experience whenever possible. It's an understatement to say having kids in the kitchen can be challenging. There are the obvious safety precautions that always need to be considered. Additionally, they are unable to do the math for recipe manipulation, so you have to be prepared ahead of time if you plan on doubling or halving anything. Plus, and maybe most challenging, their tiny frames can't see or even reach the top of the countertops.

Over the years I've learned a couple of tricks to help make your time in the kitchen with your children fruitful for everyone. I'm sharing some of those hard-won lessons with you.

Choose the right recipe and explain everyone's individual role before getting started. Julia Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is not a good starting point for adults who don't know how to cook, let alone children. Start simple and work your way to more complicated recipes. If you're working with multiple children, it can be beneficial to clearly outline who will manage each duty, so there isn't any confusion once you start cooking.
Here are several cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes options. I have used many of these and included some of my personal favorites:

The best cookbooks for kids - a collection of tried and true cookbooks all with kid-friendly recipes. This is the perfect addition to any parent's cookbook collection if they desire to spend time with their children in the kitchen.


Make it fun. Turn a mundane, everyday task like cooking, into something fun and extraordinary, so your kids look forward to their time in the kitchen. You can do this many ways. For example, one afternoon my oldest son asked to play with play doh, after some quick thinking and an inventory of my cabinets I decided to make homemade noodles instead of playing with play doh. A little flour and eggs and two tiny but messy hands later, we had homemade noodles for our dinner that night and boy were they delicious! My son never missed playing with play doh. Making meatballs, meat loaf, and kneading bread are also fun ways for kids to get their hands messy while being helpers. These dipped peanut butter bananas are also a good introductory recipe.

A Parent's Guide to Cooking with Kids

Prepare ahead of time. Some kitchen tasks are just not appropriate for young children. If you can, try to have those things done before having the kids join you in the kitchen. Consider dicing, chopping, and butchering all necessary ingredients before you invite your little ones in to help. Make sure all the ingredients are handy once you get started so that your children are not waiting around as you gather mixing bowls and ingredients. We all know the attention span of kids is much shorter than adults and they need to remain stimulated throughout the process if you want to keep them interested.

Keep things interesting. Another way to inspire alertness and participation from children is to keep things interesting. Change up recipes, so your little ones aren't always helping with the same meal over and over. Experiment with flavors and textures. This is easy to implement even at the grocery store. Let your children pick a new fruit, grain, or vegetable and do some research on interesting ways to include it in your families diet. During the summer I let my kids pick new fruits like star fruit or dragon fruit, and when we come home, we sit down and taste it together.


Patience is key. I'm preaching to the choir here because having patience is a pretty obvious ingredient to parenting, but one of the things I really struggle with both in and out of the kitchen. Mistakes and messes will happen - remember that you are teaching your children a life skill, take a deep breath and try to fix what you can or improvise to make the most of a bad situation.

Have a backup plan. Keep a frozen pizza or some extra lunch meat available in case things don't go according to plan. Children are unpredictable, and you never know when they are going to dump the entire container of black pepper into the White Beans and Ham recipe instead of just a sprinkle. Opps!

The right equipment is essential. Certain items are beneficial if you want to be inclusive of little helpers in your kitchen. My boys both love to wear aprons and I'm a big proponent of them since they help keep their clothes a little tidier. I like to make sure each one of my kids has their own unique spatula, and I try to use bowls with spouts so that it is easy to pour things from one bowl to the next. A small egg timer is nice to have around because it allows them to get a better understanding of timing and a thermometer is a must to teach them early the healthy internal temperatures of various meats for safe consumption. Of all the tools and gadgets in my kitchen, my absolute favorite thing for cooking with kids is our kitchen caddie. It is a collapsible wooden contraption which the boys stand on so that they can easily reach the counter. Unlike a step stool or a kitchen chair, there are raised sides all the way around so that the kids are less likely to fall. We have the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper, and I swear by it.

Now that I've shared some of my secrets for cooking with kids, I'd love to know your favorite kid-friendly recipes. Please share recipe links in the comments below and let me know if you have any tips that I left out.

Be Blessed
Brittany
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August 15, 2017

Plan the Perfect Me-Day

Disclosure: "Plan the Perfect Me-Day" is a sponsored post from Red Dress Boutique, and I received compensation for publishing it. The opinions expressed in this post are not my own but I felt like their products align with my brand and I want to make sure I'm always keeping my readers updated on the latest trends in fashion, food, parenting techniques, and prayerful practices. I hope you enjoy! 

Plan the Perfect Me-Day with Red Dress Boutique

When it comes to crushing it, you are an expert. Emergency presentation at work to land a big client? On it. Last minute babysitter when your sister goes into labor? Have crayons, will travel. Best gal pal caught her no-good-BF texting with another girl? You’re the first one there with a bottle of Prosecco and a download of Lemonade (not to mention the baseball bat in your trunk).

You’ve been busting that cute little booty so hard doing everything for others that you hardly make time for you. Don’t worry, girl, we got you. Sit down, relax and open up that Google calendar (as if it’s ever closed). It’s time to schedule some much deserved ‘Me Time’ to regroup, recharge and rest that beautiful soul of yours. Check out our list of ideas for the Perfect Me-Day and claim some time for you.

1. Nailed It

Plan the Perfect Me-Day with Red Dress Boutique

It’s not easy clawing your way to the top – and it’s definitely no picnic on your cuticles. Take a time out from your corporate climbing and schedule yourself a mani-pedi at your favorite nail salon.

Fight the urge to go basic on color. This is your day, and you are feeling fun, flirty and adventurous. Try a poppy pink or neon blue for a change of pace and wear your cutest romper and comfortable (yet chic) sandals to complete your now uber-fun look. Not sure if you should spend the extra bucks for the paraffin wrap and extra foot massage? Girlfriend, yes. The answer is always yes.

2. Garden Party
Use your day off from the hustle and bustle to take in the beauty of nature at your local arboretum or botanical garden. The peace and quiet of the gardens will rejuvenate your soul, and all of the gorgeous plants and flowers will make an excellent backdrop for your selfie pic portfolio. Wear something equally beautiful like a trendy floral print dress and enjoy the inevitable compliments (and new Instagram followers).

3. Namaste
With a life as busy as yours, it’s important to remain flexible. So put down your iPhone and pull on your favorite (and cutest) black leggings for some serious yoga therapy. You may be a slayer in the boardroom, but your warrior pose could use some serious work.

4. Take in a Double Feature
Life’s been a bit bumpy lately, but there’s no doubt in our mind you’ll get your happily ever after eventually. Until then, however, there’s no shame in living vicariously through the silver screen for a little cathartic retreat.

Slip into something more comfortable, like anything from the always stylish and comfortable brand Everly, and take in a movie marathon at your favorite theater. There’s no better date than Y-O-U, and you don’t have to worry about sharing the popcorn.

5. Table for One
Lose yourself in fantasy during your much needed R&R with a tasty lunch for one and the company of a good book. If you’re a little nervous about dining alone at a restaurant, pick a place with lunch time bar seating or a patio with a view. There’s no need to be self-conscious when you treat yourself to a nice meal. After all, in a sexy jumpsuit like this, we’re pretty sure you won’t be dining solo for long.
6. Beat the Heat with a Summer Treat
Enjoy the summer being a tourist in your own town. Put on your biggest sun hat and your favorite summer outfit and pretend like you’re on vacation for the day. Walk downtown, shop for cheesy souvenirs and definitely (definitely!) get yourself some ice cream.

7. Catch Some Rays
Plan the Perfect Me-Day with Red Dress Boutique

We’d be bad friends if we didn’t tell you to make time for a beach day or two this summer. And a beach day all to yourself – well, that’s just about heaven. Pack light for this easy breezy day of relaxation. Just your favorite two piece, a towel, and some SPF will do.

If beaches aren’t your thing (or not an option – sigh) then you can easily have just as much fun at a pool. Either way, do your best to catch some rays this summer, and we’re sure your daily stresses will quickly fade.

8. Spa Day
The most obvious Me-Day of them all is a good old fashioned spa day. It may not be the most creative way to get some time to yourself, but it is certainly the most relaxing.

Schedule yourself a massage/facial/seaweed wrap/sugar scrub and take full advantage of the ‘quiet please’ policies to get the most out of your day of solitude. After a day like this, you’ll come out looking like a million bucks and ready to rock a smoking hot maxi dress to wherever (or whoever) the night takes you.  

******
How do you find time to unwind and refresh your mind, body, and spirit? Are there any pieces you're loving from Red Dress Boutique?


Be Blessed,
Brittany
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