#YouShareWeShare and Give Back to #NewOrleans

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Subway blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Over the last 7 years here at Experimental Mommy, I have had the great fortune of working with a local charity that I truly admire which is making a major impact in my community.  The Second Harvest Food Bank is leading the fight against hunger in South Louisiana by providing food access, education, advocacy and disaster response. In fact, they supply over 23 million meals to 210,000 people annually, a truly magnificent achievement.
The lazy days of Summer are carefree and allow kids to just be kids.  For some.  However, there are children in my community that rely on the steady meals provided by their schools. When the school year ends, these children no longer have access to hot meals and nutritious snacks. Fortunately, Second Harvest Food Bank supplies Summer Feeding programs at local schools, community centers and camps to ensure no child is left without food.

For all of these reasons, I am thrilled to learn that SUBWAY® Restaurants in the USA and Canada are joining forces with several charities this summer to give back to local communities through the “You Share. We Share.” program.  I could not be happier to see that Second Harvest Food Bank will be the recipient of this generosity in the New Orleans area. The “You Share. We Share” campaign encourages the community to get out and share their weekends with SUBWAY® Restaurants, and SUBWAY® will share right back by donating a percentage of weekend sales, up to $100,000, directly to a local charity in need.

While you are out and about on the weekend (through August 31st), soak up some quality family time at SUBWAY and feel good about helping your community, too! Even better? Find your local SUBWAY® and entice your family and friends by sharing photos of your meal on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #YouShareWeShare.

Learn more about Second Harvest Food Bank by following them on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy!

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Subway blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Be a Superhero with Denny’s Fantastic Four

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Denny’s. All opinions remain 100% mine.
It’s summer in New Orleans. It’s hot. Did I mention the humidity? Outdoor activities that don’t include swimming are all but impossible. So, we have taken to air conditioned activities to fill our summer fun.  Our favorites? Taking in a movie and tasting new dishes at local restaurants.

Lucky for us, on August 7th we can enjoy both! One of our favorite restaurants to visit with our kids, Denny’s, is partnering with 20th Century Fox to bring the adventure of the summer movie event ‘Fantastic Four’ to diners across the nation. After being immersed in the movie, you can fly over to Denny’s (don’t forget to wear your superhero cape) and dine on the limited time ‘Slamtastic 4′ menu. Even though the movie is not out just yet, you can taste the new menu offerings now which include themed items such as the Human Torch Skillet, The Thing Burger and the Invisible Woman Slam.

To celebrate the new yumminess and the highly anticipated movie, Denny’s is offering one lucky Fantastic Four fan a trip for two to the movie premiere on Aug. 4!  Simply visit the sweepstakes page before July 19th to enter for a chance to live like a superhero!

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What are you doing to beat the heat this Summer? Do you plan on seeing the Fantastic 4?

Get Your FREE Wendy’s Frosty in NOLA this Memorial Day

It’s hot in New Orleans but Wendy’s is cooling down it’s loyal customers this Memorial Day with a FREE Small Frosty Treat at participating locations. Wendy’s is hosting a “Customer Appreciation” Day on Memorial Day, May 25th and will kick off the warm summer in the coolest way possible. See below for the list of participating locations in the New Orleans Metro Area.

 

Restaurant Address

City

State

Zip Code

1810 S.W. Railroad Hammond

LA

70403

2201 W. Thomas St. Hammond

LA

70401

129 Cumberland St. Bogalusa

LA

70427

1201 W. Oak St. Amite

LA

70422

14123 University Avenue Hammond

LA

70401

69340 Hwy. 21 Covington

LA

70433

1034 Hwy. 51 N. Ponchatoula

LA

70454

3325 N. Causeway Blvd. Metairie

LA

70002

7009 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie

LA

70003

3855 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie

LA

70002

3636 Williams Blvd. Kenner

LA

70065

4226 W. Esplanade Metairie

LA

70006

300 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie

LA

70005

1190 Terry Pkwy. Gretna

LA

70053

4959 Lapalco Blvd. Marrero

LA

70072

3601 Gen. DeGaulle New Orleans

LA

70114

7021 Westbank Exp. Marrero

LA

70072

2500 Manhattan Blvd. Harvey

LA

70058

1115 Stumpf Blvd. Gretna

LA

70053

4005 Behrman Hwy. New Orleans

LA

70114

2700 Highway 190 @ 3rd St. Covington

LA

70433

3803 Hwy. 22 Mandeville

LA

70471

71 Park Place Dr. Covington

LA

70433

177 Northshore Blvd. Slidell

LA

70460

73632  Hwy. 25 Covington

LA

70435

2200 Florida St. Mandeville

LA

70448

709 Washington St. Franklinton

LA

70438

1129 S. Clearview Pkwy. Jefferson

LA

70121

3138 S. Carrollton Ave. New Orleans

LA

70118

2100 Williams Blvd. Kenner

LA

70062

100 James Park West St. Rose

LA

70087

3705 Jefferson Hwy. Jefferson

LA

70121

4801 Airline Dr. Metairie

LA

70003

5701 Read Rd. New Orleans

LA

70127

1301 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans

LA

70130

4200 S. Claiborne Ave. New Orleans

LA

70125

4605 Chef Menteur Hwy. New Orleans

LA

70126

5600 Tchoupitoulas St. New Orleans

LA

70115

6166 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans

LA

70122

3000 U.S. Hwy. 90 Avondale

LA

70094

1440 W. Airline Hwy. LaPlace

LA

70068

4296 Main St. LaPlace

LA

70068

13211 Hwy. 90 Boutte

LA

70039

1018 Grand Caillou Houma

LA

70363

5946 W. Main St. Houma

LA

70360

1510 Martin Luther King Blvd. Houma

LA

70360

1536 Gause Road Slidell

LA

70458

2501 Old Spanish Trail Slidell

LA

70461

3204 Paris Road Chalmette

LA

70043

3915 Pontchartrain Slidell

LA

70458

2405 Gause Blvd. Slidell

LA

70461

1135 Audubon Drive Thibodaux

LA

70301

810 N. Canal Blvd. Thibodaux

LA

70301

199 Memorial Blvd.

Picayune

MS

39466

1001 Hwy.90 Bay St. Louis

MS

39520

 

 

Enjoy!

Beech-Nut Goes Organic

This post was written by Linzy of Crawfish Tales. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

When I had my first child I was working part time and basking in the new mommy glow. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do including making baby food. However with baby number two, second child syndrome is real. I am back to work, which I love, but that leaves very little time for making baby food. But as my little one is starting on baby food this month, I really didn’t want to compromise on the health benefits and freshness of the home cooked foods.

Just as I was researching baby foods to see what path we would take into the prepared baby food lines, I was offered the opportunity to test out Beech-Nut’s new line of baby food, 100% natural and organic. This is the combination I was looking for! We are going to be starting out on stage 1 foods, which are available in this line. When you read the ingredients on the back of the jar it says…organic carrots.

And that’s it! I am in love!

It is like I made it at home but I didn’t have to find the time to do it. When we get to stage 2 foods there are some new and interesting combinations for her to try such as apple, raspberry & avocado and butternut squash & sweet corn. I have such amazing memories of the baby food process with my first child. It is fun to watch them taste and enjoy new foods. You get to see their little faces light up with excitement when the bib goes on.  I am looking forward to that same experience with my second child but this time I know that I can provide her the same nutrition in a product that works for my family today.

The new line only has high quality ingredients and follows the same gentle cooking method inspired by how mom would cook it at home. They focus on refraining from adding excess water and not cooking the nutrients away. The result is food with textures, colors and flavors that are as close to homemade as you can get. In fact, this new line won Product of the Year in the baby category for its 100% naturals and organic lines by Taylor Nelson Sofres, a global leader in consumer research surveyed nationwide.

Sidenote: The little honeypot glass jars are adorable and I am sure I can find plenty of arts and crafts to do with them once I have empty ones.

Since we are just starting out on solids, we are going to check out the oatmeal and rice cereal stage 1 in the Naturals line to get started. But the new 100% organic line is offered in stages 1-3. The products can be purchased at Babies R Us, Walmart.com, and Diapers.com among other places.

My favorite part of the entire line is that there are adult recipes available using this baby food line. For real. So if you need to run to a dinner party and bring something you can grab a jar of this baby food and whip something up. Here is one of the recipes they offer:

Pear & Black Cherry Vinaigrette with Mixed Green Salad

What you Need:

  • 1 cup, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Beech-But just pear & black cherry, ½ jar.
  • Mixed greens about 10 cups.
  • Small pear, diced
  • Blue cheese, crumbled
  • Candied nuts

How to Make It:

Add Beech-Nut just bartlett pears and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and combine. Add olive oil in a slow stream into the balsamic vinegar and Bartlett pear mixture while rapidly stirring with a wisk. Toss salad dressing with greens, pear, nuts, and cheese until lightly coated. Done!

Curing the Spring Slump with Breakfast from Denny’s

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy. I am a #DennysDiners Ambassador and I am compensated for my time and effort. All opinions remain 100% mine.

The end of the school year is close…14 days to be exact. In September, I was the epitome of June Cleaver serving the kids a hot breakfast full of protein and love to start the school day off right. Somewhere around December, oatmeal and fruit became the norm and by February, the kids were lucky if we had time to eat a quick bowl of cereal before running out the door to beat the bell.

Fortunately, I was asked to continue as a Denny’s Ambassador and I decided to give our breakfast routine an overhaul.  As soon as we walked in to our local Denny’s Diner, the smell of maple syrup made my kids eyes as big as saucers as they watched the stacks of pancakes being delivered to lucky customers. Despite the crowd, we were seated quickly and a friendly waitress brought the kids some colorful menus.

Recently, Denny’s launched a new kids menu featuring much-loved characters from DreamWorks Animation’s award-winning film and television franchise. The characters of the Penguins of Madagascar adorned our kids menus in a variety of interactive, themed puzzles and games which kept the kids busy while waiting for our stacks of heaven on a plate.

On the back of the menu, we noticed that there was a QR code to scan. My older daughter picked up on this immediately and was able to download the DreamWorks COLOR App which gave her access to an exciting selection of movie content and games plus an opportunity to take selfies with your favorite characters. Throughout the year, Denny’s will offer three more  DreamWorks kids menus inspired by films Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Croods, Home, How to Train Your Dragon and more.

When our food was brought to the table (the girls went with the Build Your Own Grand Slam, Jr. option), they fell in love with the new Adventure Kids’ Cups, too. My little one drank every last bit of her milk (perhaps a little too quickly) in order to see what animal was inside the cup. We can’t wait to go back and collect all 4 animals!

If your breakfast could use an overhaul like mine, bring the kids to Denny’s before school lets out for Summer. And since breakfast can happen at ANY time at Denny’s, consider going on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m when kids eat FREE!

Get a Taste of Fall at Denny’s

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Denny’s.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Even though it’s still shorts and flip flops weather here in New Orleans, I look longingly at my favorite sweaters and boots stored in my closet.  Fall must be around the corner, right?  If the weather won’t cooperate, I will get my much needed taste of Fall in other ways.  Out comes the Halloween decorations and spiced candles as I attempt to trick my home into feeling “in the season.”

But there is one thing that always helps me get into the spirit…..PUMPKIN.  From pumpkin pie to pumpkin muffins and pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin rolls, I love it all.  As the holiday season approaches, Denny’s is celebrating some of America’s favorite festive flavors with the introduction of its limited time “Season’s Flavorites” menu. And guess what’s on it? (WARNING: You may drool on your keyboard.)

Pumpkin Pancakes! 

The new Pumpkin Pancakes Breakfast offers guests a seasonal taste with two fluffy pumpkin pancakes topped with pumpkin whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served with two eggs cooked to order, hash browns and a choice of two bacon strips or sausage links.  I might as well stop writing this article now because I am sure you are running to your nearest Denny’s.

If you are not a pumpkin fan, well I guess we can’t be friends.  But don’t worry, Denny’s has some delicious seasonal flavors on the menu including Gingerbread French Toast and a Red Velvet Milkshake.  In fact, Denny’s most iconic dish has been given a fall-inspired makeover with the Build Your Own Holiday Slam™.  But if it’s holiday traditions you crave, try the Holiday Turkey & Dressing Dinner which offers tasty sliced turkey breast, savory stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce served with a choice of two sides and dinner bread.

Tell me, how do you get in the “spirit” of Fall.  What are your favorite holiday foods?

Some Things are Just Better Together #NescaféCoffeemate

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

What’s a chocolate chip cookie without a tall glass of milk? Or a school lunch without peanut butter AND jelly? The love poem just wouldn’t be the same without both roses AND violets.  It’s a fact that somethings are just better together.  Fortunately, the people at Nestle subscribe to this school of thought and have united two products that would obviously be a great pair:

Nescafe Coffee and Creamy Coffee-Mate

Can you think of a better match?  Nescafe with Coffee-Mate is available in three varieties (French Vanilla, Hazelnut and Original) and the duo is bound to be a staple in my office.  And the best part? No coffee pot necessary.  Simply boil water, add two tablespoons, stir and enjoy.  Check out my video below:


My hubby is the main coffee drinker in our home so he could not wait to give it a try.  Since he is a high school teacher, he is often running out the door in the morning to beat the bell and while caffeine is an important part of his routine, convenience is a high priority, too.  But the ease of making a cup of coffee that tastes great has completely won him over.  He has taken the French Vanilla and Original flavors to the teacher’s lounge to spread the wealth!

Want to try the new Nescafe with Coffee-Mate? One lucky reader will win a two week supply! Enter below:

 

Witness the Miracle of Cascade Platinum ActionPacs #CascadeShiningReviews

This review was written by Erin on behalf of the Experimental Mommy and was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

After visiting the Cascade Test Kitchens last month and seeing with my own eyes the miracle of skipping the pre-wash, I knew I had to share the wealth with a good friend of mine.  After all, friends don’t let friends unnecessarily pre-wash, right? Erin agreed to host a party for 10 of her friends to show the cleaning power of the Cascade Platinum ActionPacs and below are the undeniable results.

In preparing for her party, Erin baked this batch of brownies the night before and let the bakeware sit out overnight with NO rinsing at all!  She was super skeptical about this part and it turns out that Erin was not alone.  Cascade Platinum in partnership with Marie Claire performed a survey and did you know that 46% of espondents believe that skipping the pre-wash will lead to dirtier dishes? When in reality, breaking this habit – and skipping pre-wash – along with using Cascade Platinum, will help them achieve the ultimate clean and sparkle every time.

Before the guests arrived, Erin set up her table with my Cascade Platinum ActionPacs, Rinse Aids, and tips for loading the dishwasher right on the table so that all the guests could read it and benefit from the helpful suggestions.  Did you know that 89% of those surveyed did not realize that most dishwashers feature a garbage disposal, which safely disposes of any remaining food soil on the dishes making pre-washing completely unnecessary?

Guests were served french toast and mimosas and had a great time learning about the benefits of Cascade Platinum.  Then, it was time to put up or shut up.  The proof is in the pudding, right?  Guests helped load the dishes (without rinsing) based on the tips from Cascade, placed a Cascade Platinum ActionPac in the washer and started the cycle.

After some time to socialize and enjoy the party, it was time for the big reveal!  Erin’s dishes, even the ones that sat in the sink for 24 hours, came out spotless.  Best magic trick ever!  Her guests were amazed that the product actually works better, yes better, when dishes have food stuck on them.  No pre-washing is necessary.  And who has time for that anyway?

Here is what Erin had to say about the results:

My party guests were extremely surprised at how well these two products worked together.  The Cascade Platinum ActionPacs not only got the leftover food off the dishes, it also cleaned them to a spotless shine.  And the rinse aid helped to dry the dishes so that each dish that came out the dishwasher could be put away instead of having to be dried off.  I think of the rinse aid now as “the cherry on top.”  I will never run my dishwasher without it!  Because of this product review I am firm believer in Cascade Platinum and would recommend it to friends and family.  You shouldn’t have to spend your life doing what Cascade can do for you.

If you are amazed by the cleaning power of Cascade Platinum, head over to their website and leave a shining review using hashtag #CascadeShiningReviews!  And don’t miss a beat by following Cascade on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Erin and I want you to witness the miracle first hand, so enter the giveaway below to win a Cascade Platinum Prize Pack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you “Dish-Wasting” Your Time?

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy. I am a member of the Cascade Kitchen Dish Council. All opinions remain 100% mine.

I find myself referring to the old saying “Time is of the Essence” on almost a daily basis.  As a Mom with two kids, a full time job, a social media consulting company, and a blog conference, I have to put my time to good use and wasting it would be disastrous.  After having the opportunity to visit the Cascade Test Kitchen last month, I learned how I can save precious minutes by skipping the pre-washing of my dishes.

You heard me right….NO PRE-WASHING.  This is not a dream.  It’s the power of Cascade Platinum.

 

Armed with the right tools of the trade and a lesson in dishwasher anatomy and loading, I am completing my kitchen duties in record time!  Are you a “dish-waster?” A new survey from Cascade Platinum and Marie Claire reveals that nearly all people are doing their dishes incorrectly with 96-percent wasting up to an hour pre-washing their dishes each week – when they should not. In order to get the most optimum clean and shine, it’s important to skip the prewash and use Cascade Platinum. This is because the special enzymes in Cascade Platinum latch onto the leftover food particles, breaking them down so they can wash away – even 24-hour stuck on food.

Other fun finding from the survey:

  • Nearly half (46%) of survey respondents believe that skipping the pre-wash will lead to dirtier dishes. When in reality, breaking this habit – and skipping pre-wash – along with using Cascade Platinum, will help them achieve the ultimate clean and sparkle every time.
  • Two-thirds (65%) of survey respondents organize their dishwashers just like their closets – with everything stacked in its rightful spot.
  • Almost half (42%) of respondents have actually gone so far as to re-load the dishwasher after their family goes to bed because they did not think their family member(s) did it right the first time.
  • More than half (56%) of respondents load their dishwashers after each meal.
  • The majority of survey respondents (57%) cringe at the thought of hosting a party because of spotted wine glasses.
  • So if people stop pre-washing, how would they spend all that time they’ve saved? Almost half of those surveyed (46%) said they’d spend it shopping on line.

Are you up to the challenge? Get some Cascade Platinum and stop the pre-washing routine today!

Game Day Grub: The Starting Lineup {Recipe Roundup}

Whether you’re hosting a Fantasy Football draft, a Superbowl party or taking it on the road for tailgating, your guests will be hungry for the win looking for snack-able foods.  Below are some of my favorite dishes that are sure to score a touchdown at your next event (just make sure you have a touchdown dance ready).

Corn and Black Bean Bites

Cheesy Macaroni Vegetable Bites

Hot Bacon Dip Recipe

Caramel Cream Cheese Party Dip

Cuban Style Hot Dogs

Creamy Tacos Entree

A-1 Tailgating Burgers

Quesadilla Recipe Roundup

Bacon Wrapped Lil’ Smokies

Chili Cheese Dip

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Bites

Wonton Chicken Tacos