Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grandmother Warren's Baked Fudge Pudding Recipe

Baked Fudge Pudding


Ahhh, Baked Fudge Pudding! Growing up this was one of my Father’s all-time favorite desserts and if you are a chocolate lover it will soon become one of your favorites too! (Think the best ever warm, gooey, hot fudge cake!)

In the days leading up to Christmas, as we were taking down our Christmas decorations, I noticed a box labeled "Grandmother's Recipes". This shamefully forgotten box held many of Grandmother's hand-written recipes. I took it inside and we all dug through them. Smiles and heart-warming memories flooded in as we gazed upon her precious recipes, lovingly written in her elegant handwriting that is all so familiar to not only her kids, but her grandchildren as well.

Born on Christmas Day!

My Grandmother, Marlene Warren, was born December 25th, 1930. It must have been hard growing up a Christmas Baby. When she was still with us we always made sure to wish her a Happy Birthday before a Merry Christmas and to do something special to celebrate it.

Our something special this year is to honor what would have been her 80th birthday by giving Christmas gifts of one of her favorites, Baked Fudge Pudding. I think this was one of Grandmother's favorite chocolate treats to make. It’s a fun, easy to make recipe that will delight your family & guest!

Ok, so this is not a traditional kind of a cake. When prepared, Baked Fudge Pudding has a rich layer of warm chocolate fudge on the bottom and a crispy, chocolate brownie cake on top. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and the "Ahhh" factor will instantly kick in!

This unique Baked Fudge Pudding Recipe does not need to be frosted, and you do not remove it from the baking dish. Simply mix the ingredients together, bake, and let it sit for a bit so the fudge soaks into the bottom of the cake. After 30 minutes or so of letting the chocolaty fudge goodness set in, you're ready to serve. It should still be warm enough to gently melt a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a gooey warm treat that will instantly warm you from your head to your toes! It travels well and re-heats beautifully in the microwave or oven.

Grandmother Warren's Baked Fudge Pudding Recipe

We updated a few items to reflect today’s options.

Pre-heat Oven to 350

In a large bowl SIFT together these dry ingredients;
  • 1 Cup flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • ¾ Cup pure cane, granulated sugar

  • 2 TBS cocoa

  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

    In a 2nd bowl mix together these wet ingredients;

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use imitation)

  • ½ cup of milk (We tried Half & Half and it was NOT as good, so use skim milk for best results.)

  • 2 TBS melted butter

  • ½ Cups chopped walnuts (Optional: In case someone is allergic to nuts)

    Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Turn into your baking dish and smooth it relatively flat and uniform across the dish. We have used various size dishes and find that something in the 12” x 8” x 2” works quite well for this recipe.

    In a 3rd Bowl thoroughly mix these ingredients;
  • 1 ¼ Cups of light brown sugar

  • ½ Cup of cocoa

    Sprinkle this mixture over the top of your batter.

    Now you’ll need;
  • 2 Cups of hot water

    Pour the hot water over the entire surface. Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. We found that 45 minutes worked best in our oven. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30-45 minutes.

  • We hope that your holiday season is spent with those you love creating beautiful memories that will last a lifetime!

    Enjoy our family recipe and let us know how you liked it!

    From our family to yours, would like to wish you a great holiday season and a happy new year!

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Grandma's Tender Sugar Cookies Recipe

    Baking Holiday Cookies
    Baking holiday cookies is a great way to enjoy spending time with people you love during the holidays. Friends, family, and kids alike can all participate and have fun being involved in a festive holiday tradition. Sugar cookies are a holiday favorite because they are easy to make and even more fun to decorate!

    Last week I went to hang out with a friend of mine who teaches elementary school. We flipped through an old Woman's Day Magazine from 2009, trying to pick out one recipe out of dozens of amazing holiday recipes. See some of our favorite cookie recipes here at; and there are others we found that make for an amazing tailgating treat that can be found on the Blog (or at

    We chose Grandma's Tender Sugar Cookies to make because we had all the necessary ingredients the recipe called for, plus enough to double the recipe!  Not to mention we wanted to decorate cookies! We also had a recipe to make homemade Sugar Cookie Frosting (look below for recipe) that tasted amazing, and was essential in helping us decorate the cookies.

    Recipe for Grandma's Tender Sugar Cookies
    (Makes 30 Cookies)

    These classic sugar cookies are perfect fillers for gift tins, picnic baskets, wine baskets and portable coffee sets because they are palate-pleasing, easy to pack, festive, and delicious!

    • 1 cup shortening
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs (recommend: hormone free or brown eggs)
    • 1/4 cup milk (recommend: skim milk)
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt (recommend: sea salt)
    • (Optional) Powdered Sugar or Flour for dusting
    • (Optional) Icing to decorate cookies
    • (Optional) Cookie Cutters - various designs

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar.
    2. Add eggs, milk and vanilla.
    3. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to shortening mixture and beat until smooth.
    4. Dust surface with powdered sugar (or flour) and roll out dough to a 1/2 inch or less. Cut with cookie cutters (or cut into strips if not using cookie cutters) and place on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets (or non-stick baking pan).
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies looks light brown.
    6. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.
    7. When cookies are cool, dust with powdered sugar or frost them with Sugar Cookie Frosting (look below for recipe). Further icing decorating can be done if desired.

    The recipe was very easy to make, and we went ahead and made a double batch so there would be enough that she could take to give to her class of elementary school students. We mixed up the batter and stuck it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so that it would be easier to cut with cookie cutters. While it cooled down, we headed to the store and bought an interesting glitter gel icing that came in 4 different colors (silver, blue, green and red), along with a staple green and red tube of cookie icing so that our sugar cookie designs would really stand out!

    After getting back, we sprinkled some flour (instead of powdered sugar) on the rolling pin and the countertop and got busy rolling out the dough and cutting out designs using various cookie cutter designs.

    We had cookie cutters shaped like gingerbread men, christmas trees, bells, snowflakes, candy canes, hearts, angels and wreaths. Batch after batch came out of the oven, perfectly baked and filling the house with the tantalizing aroma of holiday cookies.

    After letting them cool, we got to work decorating them. First we mixed up a homemade batch of Sugar Cookie Frosting that was simply amazing. I've never enjoyed such a delicious icing before this recipe!

    Recipe for Sugar Cookie Frosting
    (Makes Frosting for 12 Cookies)

    • 1/4 cup shortening
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. almond extract

    1. In a medium bowl, beat together all ingredients. Thin with a little water, if desired. (Ours was thick, so we added a little water and it worked out beautifully.)


    Baking these holiday sugar cookies was a wonderful experience, I can't even remember the last time I spent an evening having fun decorating holdiay cookies! Using the tubes of colored icing, and glitter gel icing (wonder how healthy that is for you?), we spent time and love on each cookie, creating our own unique creation of our own imagination.

    Most of the cookies we put the Sugar Cookie Frosting on, then decorated with tubes of colored icing. Others we omitted the frosting and just went straight to decorating them. Either way, they were addictive simply because they melted in your mouth and left you wanting more!

    Enjoy this holiday cookie recipe, and make enough to share! They are great additions to slip into picnic baskets, picnic backpacks, lunch totes, coffee totes, and wine baskets! Remember to check out for more great holiday ideas and gift ideas. Make this holiday season one to remember!

    Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Holiday Cookie Recipes and Activities

    Holiday Baking Activities
    Baking together is a family activity that bonds kids and adults. Spend some quality time together this holiday season and invite everyone to join in the baking activities. Try a healthy holiday treat with a Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe that melts in your mouth; or enjoy an Orange Spiced Shortbread Cookie recipe that compliments your cup of coffee like no other with it's exquisite blend of citrus and spice!

    Create a picture of Christmas by making Candy Cane Twists with the kids! This holiday recipe lets kids twist and form candy canes from dough and decorate them using chopped peppermint candy, or red sugar!

    Roll out some fun and assign tasks according to abilities so that everyone gets a chance to contribute. As you bake, remember that taste-testing is half the fun! Double or quadruple the recipes so that you can share yummy treats fresh from the oven, have enough to give as gifts, and stock up for people to enjoy through the holidays.

    Holiday Cookie Recipes
    Click here for more on our Holiday Cookie Recipes Article, including recipes for Candy Cane Twists, Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Orange Spiced Shortbread!

    Baking holiday cookies is a tradition that runs deep during the holidays, so remember to teach other generations your recipe secrets and enjoy creating special moments that will last a lifetime!

    From's family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Holiday Season! It's the best time of the year, so laugh, love, and be merry!

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    Gingerbread Houses & More Family Holiday Activities

    The holiday season is full of much needed time off for everyone. It's the time of year when kids are home from school and parents are off work. There will be time for everyone to simply hang out, even between all of the shopping to finish up gift lists, attending holiday parties, traveling, cooking (recipes), putting up decorations, and countless other holiday season activities.

    Enjoy some play time for both adults and children this holiday season by creating Gingerbread Houses & Towns! Get an ingredients list, Gingerbread-making tips, and more holiday activity ideas for kids of all ages.

    Gingerbread Houses & Towns
    This is the perfect opportunity to stay warm inside, turn on some Christmas music, make some hot chocolate and get in the spirit of the holidays by creating something unique together. Turn off the TV and shut off the video games; it's time to have fun creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces of art!

    Momma's Gingerbread Town
    As described in Holiday Activity Ideas for Children, my Mom and sister would have a Gingerbread House Party over the holidays to celebrate both my sister's birthday and Christmas. It's an activity that children and teenagers alike enjoy because they are free to be as creative and festive as they want. Building a masterpiece worthy of eating and showing off with pride through the holidays is an activity every kid enjoys. Transform your holiday experience with your children and create some lasting memories this holiday season!

    Momma's Gingerbread Town Ingredients:
    • Graham Crackers
    • Gingerbread
    • Powdered Sugar
    • Food Coloring
    • White Icing (that's where food coloring comes in)
    • Pretzel sticks
    • Tootsie Rolls
    • M&M's (plain & p-nut)
    • Skittles
    • Raisins
    • Marshmellows (small)
    • Toothpicks
    • Old birthday cake figurines (ex: Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs)
    • Animal Crackers
    • Gummies
    • Gumdrops
    • Licorice
    • Peppermint
    • Candy Canes (miniature)
    You can add any ingredients you like, those are just a few of the ones used most. If you are too busy to bake your own gingerbread, there are ready made kits in stores you can buy. More than likely, you'll want to make sure you add some more ingredients (listed above) to really make an extraordinary house. Get friends and family to join in on the fun and create Gingerbread Houses & Towns of unique design and imagination!

     [ It took 2 pictures to capture this one-of-a-kind Gingerbread Town. There is so much detail!]

    Gingerbread Tip 1
    To make railroads or walkways, you can take Tootsie Rolls and roll them between your palms until they are stringy like spaghetti then lay them around or through your Gingerbread Town!

    Gingerbread Tip 2
    If you have to stop building and don't want your house and materials to dry out, seal it in plastic wrap.

    Gingerbread Tip 3
    Use an old shoebox, or cardboard box to put your Gingerbread house on that way it is easier to transport. has numerous ideas for creating your Gingerbread experience. Click here and find gingerbread recipes, no-bake alternatives, gingerbread house blueprints, tips for designing landscapes and model houses. There is no limit to imagination, so dive right in with your kids and have fun building, designing, eating and shaping your own Gingerbread houses and towns over the holiday break!

    Family Holiday Activity Ideas
    Holiday activity ideas are meant to heighten a family's bonding experience and create a lifetime of cherished memories. There are many ways you can get creative this holiday season. Here are a few more ideas you can bring to life with your kids this holiday season.
    • Hand-Crafted Ornaments: Buy blank ornaments from an arts & crafts store, a little paint, some newspaper and you're ready to go! Kids love making their own creations, and being able to show off their handy work on trees and wreaths makes it even better. A perfect opportunity for kids to make gifts for grandparents, parents, siblings and friends. Plus, it's a memory worth creating when they can look back 10, 20, 30 years from now and admire their childhood creations every holiday season.
    •  Snow Flakes: Remember folding up construction paper and cutting snowflakes and angels to hang on your Christmas tree? It's an easy activity that allows your children to entertain themselves and contribute to holiday decorations. All you need is some construction paper, kid-safe scissors, glue, crayons, or markers. After they've cut out designs, have them decorate them and then hang them on the tree, give as gifts, or send them in Christmas cards!
    •  Christmas Coloring Pages and Printable Activities: We found a ton of Christmas themed printable activities at that are sure to keep you and your kids having some relaxed fun over the holidays. Just print them out and get set up with colored pencils, crayons and washable markers and let them create their own masterpieces! Make sure to stay involved with praise and questions while they color, or better yet join in on the fun!
    From our family to yours, would like to wish you all a very Merry Holiday Season. It's the best time of the year so laugh, love, and be merry!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Thanksgiving Ideas

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Right now, households all over the country are filled with tantalizing smells of home cooking at its best! Whether it's stock simmering on the stove, pies being baked, turkeys being seasoned, casseroles being made, or side dishes manifesting in preparation for the bountiful feasts of Thanksgiving Day, you can be sure that the day before Thanksgiving is as important as Turkey Day itself.

     Healthy Holiday Recipe Ideas
    Amidst the traveling and preparations that entail the Thanksgiving weekend, there will be more need for food-planning than the actual turkey (or ham) of Thanksgiving Day. Leftovers won't last forever, and the need for quick healthy recipes to satisfy the entire holiday crowd are in high demand. Don't waste anymore time - get your ingredients and plan ahead for a time you can make these easy and delicious healthy dishes and stow them away in the refrigerator or freezer until it's time to heat up and serve!

    "Let’s start with dessert first! After spoiling your taste buds with our Hearty Pumpkin Pie dessert, we have three delectable main dish recipes for your holiday menu. Everyone will be thankful for Stuffed Turkey Breast, Cioppino Seafood Stew and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Lasagna this year, even the leftovers."
    Click to read more and get these healthy recipes that are ready in one hour... 

    Now you've got a few more healthy recipes you can add to your tables, and cookbooks. How about some game ideas for children and some family activities that will create bonds and savory memories for years to come?

    Holiday Game Ideas for Children
    Celebrate in ways everyone can enjoy with games, outdoor activities, recipes, and arts and crafts! Many cherished childhood memories involve activities during the holidays, so it's time to be an active participant in the lives of your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and cousins.

    Click here for fun printable activities and great game ideas for children this holiday season...

    Holiday Family Activities
    Activities during the holidays include more than just eating. Need a little inspiration for some fun holiday family activities? Try these simple, easy, and structured games that everyone can participate in, be creative, establish memories and get connected! Football can be in the background, but make family your main focus and turkey your main dish! Don't worry or stress during the holidays, take a look at these Tips for De-Stressing the Holidays!

    The holidays are about being grateful and giving thanks for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon you, your loved ones and your life. Be thankful for your life, and remember not to sweat the small stuff!

    Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    Fall Creek Falls Camping Trip in TN

    The weekend before Halloween we took a trip across Tennessee, catching glimpses of tailgating Alabama and Tennessee Volunteer fans getting ready for the football game as we headed towards the breathtaking beauty of Fall Creek Falls State Park, near Knoxville, TN to do a little hiking and camping.


    The Cumberland Plateau sits on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, and in late October the mountains are aflame with color! The river streams were down to smaller trickles due to lack of rain, but standing among the colorful trees with leaves strewn across the ground really heightened the experiences! We walked along the riverbeds, admired the Cascades, and stood on the very edge of the 85 ft. Cane Creek Falls and took in the beautiful colors of the gorge and large boulders of mountains topped with colorful trees.

    To fully enjoy one of America's highest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains, we took our picnic backpack on our hike down to the base of the 254 ft. waterfall where we enjoyed a light picnic. Light picnic meaning sandwiches, apple slices and bottles of water! Not as romantic as I'd have liked my first waterfall picnic to be, but with tourists and hikers constantly wanting to take pictures where we'd set up our picnic, it would have been rude to hog the best spot!

    The hike to the bottom of Fall Creek Falls is quite unlike any trail I've ever been on, and so gorgeous!

    With steep steps, large boulders to climb over, a small cave and a huge mountain cliff above you, the walk down can be completed in 20 minutes, although gawking and picture-taking can add another 20 minutes! Walking back up tends to break a small sweat, but the view makes everything worth it!

    Luckily we were able to secure one of the few remaining camping sites, since you pretty much just show up and hope they have spots because they don't take reservations. Pitching the tent and setting up was easy, and we were soon relaxing by the perfect moonlit fire, having fun and enjoying the atmosphere of the campsite. The next day we reluctantly made our way out of the Cumberland Plateau. However; we weren't done yet!

    A few country back roads and 30 minutes later we were at Burgess State Falls.

    Burgess Falls will take your breath away. The entire river provides smaller waterfalls and multiple cascades around every bend until you reach the steep drop of rushing water. It's less than a mile to the huge waterfall, with two trails (one semi-paved and the other a more challenging hike) which makes it easier for people of all ages to check out the beautiful fury of Mother Nature.

    We explored the top of the falls, again standing right on the edge next to the enclosed staircase down to the base of the falls, which look exactly like the Pterodactyl cages in the movie, Jurassic Park 2! I attempted to catch a blue crawfish (crayfish, crawdad, mud-bug, poor man's lobster, etc.) while my boyfriend sat next to a cascading four foot waterfall and made sure I didn't fall in. All along the riverbank you can pick up needle-size black cone shells and tiny river clam shells while watching the leaves swirl and dance in both the air, and river currents!

    We collected leaves of every shape and color on our hike and by the time we'd left I could identify every type of tree leaf we'd collected, thanks to my Forester.

    Now, all of those leaves I saved during this changing of the seasons is on the way to my Momma, down in Florida. She'll love seeing a sample of colorful fall weather in the mountains. Nestled amongst the palm trees is a hard place to be if you miss the changing of the seasons.

    Look for our video on YouTube, coming soon! Until next time, enjoy more pictures!

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Take advantage of Fall Leaves - Go Camping!
    With the beautiful weather, beautiful trees and sunny days of October quickly dwindling away, many people are getting outside to enjoy the warmth of the fall season.

    Cool breezes sweep through the trees and bring changing leaves dancing into the air, making everyone stir with delight.

    I want to feel a deep mountain breath. Walk up trails to see a bird's eye view of the affect Fall is having on the mountains.

    So, this weekend I'm finally going camping!

    This will be the first time I've gone camping in October and I'm pretty excited, especially with my cozy new wool socks! Going to be heading towards East Tennessee with my wildfire fighter boyfriend to take in some of our country's great State Parks.

    Yes, ladies. A wild-fire fighter.

    There will be great footage about the waterfalls and natural beauties I'll have seen; along with interviews with other people enjoying the fall outdoors by camping, hiking, fishing and traveling. I'll find out how campsite tailgaters cheer on their favorite NCAA football teams!

    Look for videos and pictures in our upcoming blog!

    Isn't Nature grand?

    Enjoy the weekend before Halloween with plenty of football tailgating and family get together. You have time to grab your family and head to the park for a gorgeous fall picnic! Take along a healthy recipe, and tell us all about your experience. Share your picnic photos, photos of fall scenery, and places you know of that people should check out! Find us on TWITTER, or email us and share!

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Roll Up Pancake Recipe Treats for Fall!

    The last few months, we have taken on the joy of seducing your senses and taste-buds with our frightfully filling, and eerily delicious healthy recipes. With plenty of healthy tailgating recipes; our Free Picnic Cookbook; and an abundance of recipes continually being added to our site, there are no ends to which you can turn the tables on un-wanted calories and replace them with healthy alternatives!

    Halloween is definitely a "tricky" time of year. How do you manage to avoid the pounds and pounds of Halloween cookies, candy, cakes and pies that signal the beginning of the holiday season?

    You fight fire, with fire. Load up on healthy treats and recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth! If you're prepared with healthy snacks and meals to combat the seductive allure of unhealthy foods, you'll have a better chance of keeping yourself healthier, and keeping the weight off throughout this holiday season. Check out our Delicious Fall Recipes here...

    Try this easy Roll Up Pancake Recipe for a mouthwatering breakfast treat that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee.

    -3 eggs (recommend: hormone free or brown eggs)
    -3 tbsp flour (recommend: whole wheat flour)
    -3 tbsp milk (recommend: skim)
    -2 tbsp sugar
    -1 tsp vanilla extract
    -Jam or Jelly of your preference (recommend: sugar-free strawberry)
    -Fruit (recommend: strawberries, blueberries)

    -Heat up a medium skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray with cooking butter or grease with olive oil.
    -Mix all ingredients together.
    -Pour 2 or more spoon-fills of batter onto skillet and smooth into a circle.
    -Flip within the few minutes it takes for one side to lightly brown.
    -Remove when both sides are evenly golden.
    -Spoon your favorite jam, jelly, or fruit on one side of your pancake then roll it up and enjoy!

    If you're looking to find gift ideas for the coffee lovers in your life, a portable coffee backpack or tote more than measures up to all "coffee break" needs. Complete coffee and tea service on the go; wherever; whenever; is a luxury all coffee, tea, and hot chocolate enthusiasts will enjoy for years to come! Complete with state of the art thermoses, these sets are also perfect for storing your favorite soup, stew or chili as you head to your next tailgating party or fall picnic!

    Enjoy incorporating healthier and tastier treats into your daily diet and you'll soon notice positive changes in both your mood and your body. A soothing cup of Joe is not only good for your health, but is also bound to start your day off on the right foot.

    You'll love the inspirational ideas that manifest when you can have Coffee Breaks, Anytime, Anywhere! Remember to add in a little fun with Roll Up Pancakes and keep in mind that life is stress-free and easy if you find ways to soothe your soul on a daily basis!

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Tailgating or Homegating?

    -Are you tailgating or homegating this Game Day? 
    Are you heading out to the stadium for another of those great crazy parties in the parking lot; or are you making your own unique game day party at home, at a neighbor's, or friend's house? Maybe you're heading out to the pub or sports bar with a couple of buddies to watch the game, down a couple of brews and scarf down some wings. Whatever your pleasure this game day, we all know that given the preference we would all be down at the stadium enjoying tailgating at its finest! So, for those lucky tailgaters who are counting down the hours until they get to tailgate, take heed of some quick important tailgating ideas that will make your tailgating experience one-of-a-kind!

    Tailgating Ideas

    Come rain, sleet, sun or snow, the crowds will amass in parking lots and fields across the nation during the football season. Some college tailgates like the University of Tennessee and the University of Washington move their tailgating antics onto the water, cruising up and down the rivers and making their boats tailgating central. So, the question is: Are you ready to brave this wild celebration and tailgate like a pro? Do you have the essentials and fundamentals prepared so you can have an extreme and exciting tailgate?

    Bring as many as you can, the wild ones, the shy ones, the crazy loud fun ones, and the cute ones of course! Nobody likes to tailgate alone, and having a posse of endearing friends around is sure to provide exciting entertainment and a fun atmosphere. You'll draw in some new tailgater friends that will come around and party with you at the next tailgate! Who knows, you might even meet some new tailgaters worthy of "friending" on Facebook! Its all about having fun, socializing and meeting fellow fanatics!

    2nd - LOTS & LOTS OF FOOD!

    Never, ever head to a tailgating party without a portable grill and plenty of meat, veggies, desserts and snack food. If you're looking for tailgating food ideas, look to the University of Mississippi. Tailgating in the Grove for an Ole Miss game is tailgating at its finest, with elegant tailgate setups with centerpieces, silverware and delicious gourmet Southern feasts everywhere you look!

    It's always better to prepare your own Healthy Tailgating Recipes at home prior. Unhealthy eating and snacking every week of football season will leave you bloated and a few sizes higher by the end of the season - not to mention it causes serious healthy risks! So, prepare your marinades and dishes before you're racing off to the stadium and you'll enjoy your tailgate without worrying about the calories! We'll have continuous updates on Healthy Tailgating Recipes all season long, so feel free to snag our recipe ideas and browse through our site's immense selection of recipes for ones that suit your taste!

    3rd - DRINKS!

    Whether you're indulging in some refreshing ice tea, lemonade, diet sodas or water, remember to bring your insulated coolers to keep them nice and chilled! For those tasty adult beverages such as bloody marys, mimosas, wine, adult sodas, beer and mixed beverages remember to bring your essential portable bar-ware and wine sets for your drinks. Don't forget to keep the necessary refreshments ice cold in portable insulated coolers. Bring your drinking game and get ready to stay hydrated all tailgate long!

    4th - OUTDOOR GAMES!
    No tailgating game is complete without some exciting entertainment and outdoor games to battle the competitive spirit permeating throughout the air! Entertaining tailgating game ideas include your favorite game sets like Corn Hole, Ladder Toss, Washer Toss, Tailgate Bowling, and Frisbee and remember to pack them in your vehicle along with plenty of outdoor furniture. Folding tables, portable sports chairs, stadium seats, hammocks, umbrellas, pop-up canopies and more, are necessary tailgating essentials that will ensure you and your fellow tailgaters have guaranteed comfortable seating and an official base tailgating setup.

    If drinking games such as beer pong, flip cup or quarters are your style, remember the plastic cups, ping pong balls, quarters, ice, water and a table. For those who enjoy the sport of drinking, various games can be played with a simple deck of cards, a beer funnel, beer helmet, and a keg. Don't forget that you can spice up the ante of classic outdoor games by betting drinks on the loser of Corn Hole or Ladder Toss. Just remember to enjoy yourselves and play responsible. Drinking is always better in moderation, you don't want to become a sloppy drunk and be a burden on your friends and family. You'll never hear the end of it if you act a fool and do something embarrassingly unforgettable!

    5th - TEAM SPIRIT!

    Sheer enthusiasm is a MUST for tailgates! You've got to get pumped for the game, so break out the face paint, body paint, jerseys and unique logo'd tailgating gear to show your team spirit and differentiate yourself as a true tailgating fanatic! To be a true tailgater you have to dress the part before you can act the part. Never dress in any colors that would affiliate you with the opposing team and remember that you can never dress too crazy on game day. A true tailgater will be covered from head to foot in team colors and apparel, taking pride in their appearance and daring others to outmatch their team spirit! Once you are truly decked out and marked as a tailgater you are ready to act the part. Chant your team's fight song up and down the tailgating zone and watch as you gather a following of people and bask in the glorious chorus of "Go -insert team-" that will follow your march where ever you go.

    Create unforgettable tailgating moments every game; be the ultimate tailgater! If you're enjoying the game from your homegating party, the sports bar, of your mother-in-law's house remember that deep down you are a tailgater at heart.  Never let a loss spoil your fun; drinks ruin your life; or your environment dampen your spirits. Keep that tailgater spirit alive sports fans, and remember every tailgating party is unique, as is the spirit within each of us. Safe tailgating, everyone!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    End of Summer & Labor Day Ideas

    Summer is winding down as September looms around the corner, but don't feel as if there is no time left for the festive and leisurely pace of summer. The fun is just beginning!

    End of Summer & Labor Day Picnic Ideas
    Cool mornings and evenings provide the best times to head outdoors to your favorite picnicking spots. Whether you're heading out for a walk on the beach, or going hiking, canoeing, or camping you're going to want to bring plenty of delicious food and drinks for your trip.

    Picnic Backpacks Make Picnics Simple
    Picnic Backpacks make life so much simpler. They're hands-free, durable, comfortable and equipped with a cutting board, salt & pepper shakers and all the glasses, plates, utensils, linens and insulated space you need for an exciting picnic adventure! The end of summer means that warm, sunny summer days are limited, so get outside and enjoy them while you can! Perfect for any types of picnics, picnic backpacks are so efficient and convenient to just grab 'n go! They are great alternatives to traditional picnic baskets and make great gifts for relatives, newlyweds, birthdays and anniversaries. Here are a few fun ideas that you don't want to miss out on before summer is over, and remember that picnic backpacks are effortlessly trendy and make adventures a lot easier!

    Dancin' in the Moonlight...
    We highly recommend a moonlight picnic during these warm summer nights. Choose your favorite outdoor spot away from a lot of city lights and see infinite amounts of stars while getting cozy with your loved one, or pointing out shooting stars to your kids. Bring along a picnic blanket, folding picnic table or portable chairs, and enjoy the cool evening getting lost in the magnificence of our mystical universe. Enjoy playing/listening to some guitar, or bring along an iPod and relax while munching on some wine and cheese. If you have more of a sweet tooth, find a spot you can have a campfire and roast some marshmallows! Camp out in your backyard or head to a local state or national park and see what magic will transpire as you enjoy a star-filled night!

    With the hot days of summer hitting their peaks, the days are more beautiful than ever to get out and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. Have you spent enough time outside in nature this summer to last you through the cold winter months?

    Tandem Bikes
    Have you ever tried tandem bicycling? Imagine how much fun you would have running around in such a unique and fun way! Not to mention all the attention you'd get from people who wish they could join you as you head out for an adventurous picnic!

    Outdoor Concerts
    Have you hit up an outdoor concert in your city or community? You'll love the music, the people, the ambiance and most of all you'll be supporting your community as you enjoy a social picnic with your loved ones!

    History in the Making...
    Have you visited a local historical site? Learn more about your country's history and make a road trip out of your adventure. Stop at various places and see what local communities are promoting because things happening today are what makes history! If you have a motorcycle, it would be a great way to see the sights and enjoy a cool ride!

    Don't forget that Labor Day Weekend marks the transition into the beginning of
    fall (though it may take awhile for temperatures to "fall") and also kicks of College Football! Woohoo, Tailgating time!

    Are you ready for tailgating this fall?

    Monday, August 02, 2010

    Romantic Picnic Locations & Entertainment Ideas

    Okay, so how many of you know that August is Romance Awareness Month?

    Well, for those of you who just learned that Valentine's Day isn't the only time romance is "officially" in the air, we've got some great tips for creating spontaneous romantic moments with your sweetheart - with a fun romantic picnic for two! Get outside and enjoy the beautiful summer weather with your loved one and put some fun and romance on the menu!

    Having an exciting time outdoors, being silly and laughing with the one you adore is the best remedy for ensuring a healthy life. Plan ahead for your romantic rendezvous and read up on some of our favorite "Romantic Picnic Activities and Game Ideas" for some fun and memorable entertainment!

    If you need help selecting the right picnic basket for your particular romantic outing, we know just what you need to consider when you're looking to "Find the Perfect Romantic Picnic Basket!"

    There are so many places that you can take your sweetheart, and so many ways you can enjoy your "alone time" together. Get some tips on "Choosing the Right Romantic Picnic Location"; it may save you from being bombarded with the loud antics from an overcrowded place. Romantic picnic locations are limitless, but remember that remote picnic locations are the best kept secrets for romantic picnics!

    Slip away with your partner and head for your favorite secluded beach to gaze upon a romantic sunset. Unwind and get tangled up in your lover as you sip perfectly aged wine and nibble on crackers topped with scrumptious smoked salmon and cream cheese. Remember to tuck away an assortment of delectable cheese and fruit in your romantic wine basket or insulated picnic tote. Don't forget to bring comfortable and portable outdoor furniture that will allow you both to enjoy your outing without having to worry about seating!

    Strap on a comfortable picnic backpack for two, or grab your fully-equipped picnic basket for two and head towards a breathtaking mountain-top view where you are free to hike, bike, and climb your way towards an awe-inspiring view. Indulge your senses with the beauty of nature while you spread out your feast upon a cozy picnic blanket and enjoy the heavenly view - with your very own angel keeping you company!

    Discover your local National Park, or State Park, and take a refreshing dip in the beautiful fresh waters before relaxing to catch some rays. Enjoy the simple seduction that comes with feeding each other delicious fresh fruit and sipping on sparkling white wine from your full equipped romantic picnic basket for 2.

    For the heartier souls, a canoe or kayak trip with an insulated cooler set full of your favorite drinks and snacks makes for an exciting adventure you will both enjoy!

    At, we're eager to share the knowledge about the joy a romantic picnic can bring to any couple - no matter what age!

    A simple, yet elegant romantic picnic for two is just the ticket to make an ordinary outing, extraordinarily divine! Remember to spoil your loved one and continually strive to make them feel special! After all, aren't they your better half?

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

    July 23 is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day! 

    To celebrate National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, here is a scrumptious Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe that tastes divine! All you need area few simple ingredients and an ice cream maker. 


    These days, old fashioned hand cranked ice cream buckets have been updated to a more refined selection of ice cream makers. No more working those muscles with a hand-crank, now you simply push a button to get your cold tasty treat!



    Ice cream makers can get pretty pricey (up into the hundreds of dollars), but in keeping up with our simple, fun and elegant style, we've selected one of the best reviewed ice cream makers by Cuisinart, that can be yours for around $50. 



    If you're feeling creative, try adding your favorite toppings in as you make your homemade vanilla ice cream! Healthy ice cream toppings include fruits like strawberries, blackberries, bananas, blueberries and raspberries. Peanuts, walnuts, pecans and almonds are healthy nut toppings to sprinkle on top!



    For the rest of us who enjoy indulging that sweet tooth with sugary deliciousness, try adding crumbled up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Kisses, Oreos, sprinkles and M&M's to satisfy your choco-nut taste buds! Of course, caramel and chocolate sauce are perfect last minute toppings as well, although I must admit that hot fudge is my #1 topping choice for my vanilla ice cream!


    Whatever your preferred toppings may be for an ice cold creamy treat, make sure you're ready with a fully insulated and stylish Ice Cream Tote to keep it cold wherever you go! Try taking it along on your romantic evening picnic for two, and have some fun by starting out with dessert! This way you won't fill up and can feast on the rest of the yummy treats waiting inside your picnic tote, after having dessert first!

    Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

    • 2 large pasteurized eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 cups whipping cream
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract



    -Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until they are light and fluffy, approximately 1-2 minutes.

    -Whisk in sugar, just a little at a time, until all the sugar is added, and then whisk for about 1 minute longer.

    -Add the cream, milk and vanilla and STIR to blend.  DO NOT WHISK at this time, as that will create bubbles and the resulting ice cream will not be as rich and dense.

    -Transfer mixture to ice cream maker.  Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions.

    -Freeze for at least 3-4 hours prior to serving.

    Enjoy your fresh homemade vanilla ice cream and remember to share your delicious homemade treats with neighbors, friends, and family this summer!