Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fillable Pan = Ding Dong Cake!

I'm not a big fan of prepared "snack cakes" really, but I LOVE a good Ding Dong on occasion.  So, when I was asked by Taste of  Home to do a Volunteer Field Editor's review of the Baker's Advantage Fillables 2-Piece Non-Stick Round Cake Pan, I knew exactly what I was going to make first...a Ding Dong cake!

The directions were easy to follow and the pan worked better than I expected.  Although it was a little tricky to clean (because of the indents) the first time, I learned to soak it a few minutes and then cleanup was easy, breezy.

I made a chocolate cake, filled it with whipped vanilla frosting, and then topped it with a chocolate ganache.  Voila...a Ding Dong cake!

The fam loved it!

 Everyone should own a pan like this...Click HERE to get a pan of your own - there are different shapes to choose from, too.  The possibilities are almost endless.  You could fill the cake with M&Ms, jams, & etc.  You can even use the bottom, non-indented pan to make tarts.  How fun is that! 

Eat, pray, love,


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review of Farberware Spiraletti...Fruit & Vegetable Slicer

A few weeks ago I was notified by Taste of Home that a kitchen gadget was being sent to me for an honest Volunteer Field Editor review of the product.  Shortly after being notified, the Farberware Spiraletti showed up at my door. How fun is that?!

Because it was a crazy week with work and kids when it came, I had to wait before I could set it up and play with it...I mean use it and provide my honest review.  (I LOVE kitchen always seems like I get to play when I get a new one.)

Finally the time came, and I could try out the Farberware Spiraletti.  (Who else hears VegoMatic 3000 in their head when they say the real name?  Ok, maybe it's just me.)


I got it out and set it up, which was very comes setup essentially.  I quickly realized it was designed more for left-handed people if placed with the cutting blades and what appeared to be the "front" facing towards me.

So I just turned it around, stuck it to the counter (with the amazingly strong suction cups that are on the bottom for stability - which is a huge plus in my opinion), peeled a sweet potato, put in the Thick Spiral blade (green), put the sweet potato into position, started cranking with my right hand and using the Push Handle with my left (takes a little coordination, but easy to figure out quickly), and abracadabra...beautiful, orange spirally ribbons of sweet potato...SUCCESS!

I actually couldn't believe how easy and fast it all went once I got in my spiralizing groove.  I have used a handheld version in the past, and while I have had success with it as well, it is very messy and very time consuming.  It's also very picky about what it will spiralize and what it won't.

Aren't those orange ribbons of sweet potato gorgeous?  I think they are real beauts.  I did zucchini with the green and orange blades as well and had the same success.

Now let's talk about cleanup.  It cleans up like a champ. I essentially rinsed each part, dunked them in soapy water, rinsed again, and let air dry.  Done!

So, in a nut shell...I loved it...I will use it over and over again...I will give it a great review...and...I will be giving it as a birthday gift to my sister (ssshhhh...don't tell her).

And I think you should give it as a gift, too!  (Here's an link to make it easier for you...

Eat, pray, love,


Friday, September 16, 2016

Simple & Delicious Cookbook Binder...meets Thursday night!

It's been a super busy has been jammed packed with meetings, an employee resigning, demanding clients, & the list goes on & on.  The Littles have had a busy schedule as well with our caseworker's monthly home visit (we have 2 foster daughters), Little #2 turning 3, newly turned 3 year old's well-being checkup, etc.  And, the hubs starts his new position on Friday.

So there I sat on Thursday night with no dinner the Taste of Home Simple & Delicious Cookbook Binder I go!

I pull out the list of possibilities I made when I first got the cookbook and immediately find the one...Quick Chicken & Wild Rice Soup...the word "Quick" sealed the deal.  And a bonus...I can do it in my Tupperware microwave pressure cooker (this bad boy is a whole other post...if you've never heard of it, go check it's worth every single dime) - making Quick even Quicker. The recipe calls for a stove top prep., but I've learned soups do fabulous in the pressure cooker so I know it will be fine. Not to mention, the chicken can be frozen and still come out cooked perfectly after only 30 mins...which mine was, because of lack of planning...again.

So everybody went into the pool (even the rice - uncooked), the lid went on, and 30 mins. later...fabulous, yummy Quick Chicken & Wild Rice Soup!  It was definitely simple & very delicious.  The flavors all melded together and became a lightly creamy and rich tasting soup.  Very satisfying and filling.  This one will for sure be added to my, What the heck's for dinner tonight? list. It is a 5-star winner in my book!  (The only adjustment I made was adding corn.  We're a love some corn in our chicken soup kind of family.)

Just another reason - or should I say, another recipe - as to why everyone needs this new cookbook.

Until next time...

Eat, pray, love,


PS:  Links to buy this amazing cookbook...Simple & Delicious Cookbook Binder...can be found in the previous post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Simple & Delicous Cookbook Binder...OMGoodness!

I'm back...and hopefully back for's been a lonnnng time, but I was given a great opportunity from Taste of Home and had to get back in the saddle, here on...

It all started a couple of weeks ago when  I received this amazing new cookbook from Taste of Home (TOH) in the mail.  It's called Simple & Delicious Cookbook, and it's a binder chucked full (1,314 recipes full!) of yummy and easy recipes.  My first thought was...oops...I must ordered it and totally forgot.  Then, upon checking Facebook, I found out that I had received a message from the Volunteer Food Editor's (VFE) illustrious mentor & leader, Susan, informing me that I had been chosen to review said cookbook.  My next thought was...Score!

Once I got the Littles to bed that night, I began perusing the cookbook making a list of possible recipes to try and review.  I only made it half way through the book and already had chosen 2 pages of options.  Boy is my family going to eat good this next month.  :)

Not only are there a ton of fabulous recipes, the binder is organized by categories with a summary of recipe names and pics on the back of each tabbed title page.  How easy is that?!  You decide what type of recipe you'd like to make, go to that category and choose away.  Not only have they packed this awesome cookbook with tons of recipes, they have included several pictures of the completed recipes.  Buyer will drool on this cookbook...however, the pages clean up move TOH, smart move!

But wait...there's more...not only do you get 1,314 recipes with the purchase of this fabtabulous cookbook, you also get a card in the front the of the book that once completed and returned to TOH you get a FULL year's subscription to Taste of Home magazine.  You heard me right...a FULL year of TOH...why would you not get this cookbook?!  I know, MIND.BLOWN.

For the next couple of weeks I will be posting reviews of my top recipe picks.  For my first review I chose to make the Avocado Bean Dip from page 47.  How could you go wrong with a hummus-guacamole-ish dip, right?  And it did not disappoint.

It was fast, easy and tastes amazing.  This will definitely be a go-to dip for parties, get togethers and just plain old Wednesdays. And as a's actually pretty good for you.  Beans, avocado, lime, it with tortilla chips or fresh veggies and you have a great snack packed full of healthy fats and lots of protein. The kids (& the hubs) won't even know it's good for them.

My first recipe will definitely be getting 5-stars from me and will become a part of my dip line-up for years to come.

 I know what you must be thinking by now..."How do I get my own copy of this amazing cookbook that I'm sure to not be able to live without AND my FULL year of TOH magazine?"

It's simple...follow one of these links...You're welcome!  ;)

 Simple & Delicious Cookbook Binder -


Simple & Delicious Cookbook Binder -

Well, that's about it for this post.  I'll be back soon with another incredible recipe to share.  Have a great day!

Eat, pray, love,


Monday, December 2, 2013

TOH - Holiday Card Swap!

Hi from chickluvs2cook!

It's Taste of Home Christmas card time again...and I absolutely love getting all of your cards & recipes in the mail each day!  I can hardly wait to start trying them.  This is my 5th year to participate in this card swap, and I have been waiting anxiously for it to start.

If you have found your way here you have probably received my Christmas postcard. I send postcards because I think they are fun and an easy way to mail Christmas wishes to a lot of people (they also can be saved and used as a recipe card.).  All I have to do then is direct the receiver to my blog and they can get all of my info here. So, here goes...

I still live in Yorkville, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago and is located in what they consider the Fox Valley area. I am married to a great guy named Mike and we have a 4 year old puppy named Kiki that we adopted from a shelter. We don't have kids of our own, but love spending time with our nieces and nephews. They range in age from 8 yrs. old to 26 yrs. old ~ 5 boys and 2 girls. We travel a lot to see them b/c they live in IL, IN, KS, AR and now Thailand (for awhile - we haven't been to see him...yet).

My husband & I have been truly blessed with amazing families and fabulous friends.  They all bring so much happiness and joy to our lives.  We are extremely lucky to have family that are also our very close friends, and friends that feel like family.

I am the General Manager of an environmental consulting firm located in Geneva, IL and enjoy my job (most of the time).  It keeps me busy that's for sure.  My husband of nine years was recently laid-off from his job yet again (2 years ago he was laid-off from his job of 14 years & had only been with this new company for a little over a year).  So, he is on the job hunt again but has been fortunate to find a very nice part-time job to help with the bills while he is searching.  We feel very blessed that I have a good job and we are able to make it until he is gainfully employed again.  The right job is out just the timing thing that frustrates us at times.  But we are confident that it will happen when the time is right and that we will be just fine until then.  Our God is a good & gracious God!

As for hobbies, the main one is cooking...everything and anything about cooking. I collect cookbooks, watch the FoodNetwork every chance I get, and love to try and develop new recipes. I have even won a couple of local contests and  aspire to winning a big one one day. I have been cooking since I was little and would help my grandmother in the kitchen. She taught me so much in our 16 years together.

I was actually just notified that one of my recipes is being considered for publication in Simple & Delicious in the Summer of 2014.  WooHoo...that's a big dream of mine...& it might just happen!  I'll keep you all posted on that big news.  ;)

If you like great community cookbooks, you need to check out the one I helped compile and publish for a local women's club that I am a member of here in Yorkville -  We had it published a few years ago, but still have some and sell them at any of our big events.  They are still really popular and contain a ton of really awesome recipes.   I have really enjoyed being a part of this group of amazing women all working for the betterment of our community.  Even with all of the hard work we do to raise funds and give of our time we still manage to have a great time, and I have made some wonderful life-long friends. 

My other hobby (like I need one more thing to do) is photography. I take pictures of everything...I'm kind of the family historian shall we say via photos. I find it so amazing to capture a moment in time and have it to look back on whenever I want to remember or relive the memory.  I take literally hundreds of pictures a year and love being able to go back and relieve a year when the mood hits me.

Well, that is about it for me.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Eat, pray, love,

Brigette Schroeder (TOH BB - chickluvs2cook)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Almost...Mr. & Mrs. Stewart

We're heading to Denver tomorrow to celebrate Mike's sister Annette's wedding. I'm so excited I could just about burst! She's marrying an amazing man named Peter Stewart. They truly are a perfect match(.com)! (That's how they met. 😉)

We are so blessed to be able to share in their very special day...and enjoy getting to know our new "family" members from Canada over these next few days.

Can't wait to tell you all about it next week!

Eat, pray, love,


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Those of you that know me...know I love a good deal or a coupon for dinner or movies or whatever.  One of my favorite "coupon" sites is Groupon.  They have deals for so many things and we have really been able to enjoy some fun things and eat a some new places, because I got a great deal on Groupon. 

So...if you like a good deal and like to try new things...check out the link below for Groupon...& have some fun!

Check out here!

Eat, pray, love,


PS:  There is also a Groupon button to the right, if link doesn't get you to where you want to be.