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easy entertaining over here thanks to mr. coffee


Anderson has been sick the past few days.  Just this morning he had his first bites of food thanks to some friends stopping by real quickly- one to kill some time before a doctor's appointment and the other to drop off my tart pan she had borrowed.  Both were excuses for them to get out of the house with their kids and I was happy to have the company now that Anderson was on the mend and not contagious anymore.

Although I got Anderson dressed before their arrival I was still rocking my Christmas plaid pajamas and uggs when they arrived.  The house was somewhat picked up though and I had Mariah Carey Pandora playing so all would be happy.  I also had my Mr. Coffee Latte machine which I was given about a month ago.  It made asking friends if they wanted a quick chai super simple.  It also makes lattes with ease, gingerbread ones at that.  Yesterday I was able to make a quick warm drink before heading out on a cold walk with the boy.



I have to say when the machine arrived I was skeptical.  Was this simply going to be warming milk and adding in coffee?  Isn't that a cafe au lait?  Things picked up though as I've experienced the nice convenience of this one-stop-shop.  It really is easy to manage and I can see loving it to make tea lattes and hot chocolate in as well. No stove top mess and no other parts to clean.

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte values at $99 but you can get it for 
$10 off plus free shipping if you use this code: MLAT10A.  

Could be the perfect gift for that person who spends too much money on fancy coffee drinks or like me enjoys a cup of something fun around 3:00 but is too frugal to go spend money on a coffee!

This machine will be coming with us to my parents this Christmas so we can try out some more creations with it, so far my favorite being the gingerbread latte recipe they suggest.  Thanks, Mr. Coffee!


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Guest Post: New Mom (Anytime) Gift Guide

Today's Guest Post is from Michelle Perez of Simply Complicated.  I met Michelle in college and since then she has gotten hitched, had a baby, and lives in Guatemala where her family are doing some great work.  Read more on her blog and until then, check out her gift guide for new moms!  Thanks, Michelle!



I am a new mom to and am still very much in the ups and downs of learning how to how to take care of a very small human and myself. Even though I think all new moms would be happy with a nap, a long shower and a meal on their doorstep I have put together a gift guide that stretches a bit beyond the basic. You could say this is just in time for the holidays, but the truth is, this is an anytime of year gift guide. Enjoy.

1. Sugar & Spice Kitchen Towels We all know new moms like and appreciate home cooked meals. But I was surprised as a nursing mom, how hungry I was all. the. time. Friends of mine were so sweet, because they brought over a meal AND muffins or bread or baked goods …

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This is a dinner I've been thinking about and trying to figure out when I'll make it next.  It'll probably happen sometime this weekend because it was simple and oh-so-satisfying.  It was a perfect new-mom meal. New-Mom as in I had time to make it, and I'd like to bring it to new mom's too.



I'm tempted to even make a few and stock my freezer with them for when we're hungry or when I need to bring someone a meal, a task I think I'm finally now up for seeing as I've been able to figure out our schedule more and get back in the kitchen.

Apart from pulling apart the chicken this dish comes together really quickly.  The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapenos, an item I thought we had in our fridge but it turns out what I thought were pickled jalapenos were actually molding olives.  Not so great.  Next time I'll add in the jalapenos but they're definitely optional.


So this weekend, you should make this.  Dare I say my mouth i…

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When I think about canning I want to make things that I'll use year round.  I want staples that I can go to that'll make pasta sauce, chili and stuffed peppers that much more delicious.  I want to make a recipe that tastes amazing in large part because the tomatoes used in it were fresh in the summer then preserved.
Although I did can some tomatoes last summer I ended up not using them as often as I thought I would.  I still found myself going to the store for diced tomatoes here and there when I should have been in the mindset to use my canned tomatoes and just crush them into the recipe.  Canning fail.

So, this year I decided to make some sauce.  It was an all day affair, let me tell you, but worth it in the end.  I looked to the Ball website for canning recipes and used their recipe for tomato sauce with basil and garlic.  You can see the original recipe here.  
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