Category Archives: FOOD!

Granny Betty’s Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings

Thanks to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers and Envy Apples this blog was compensated for this post, and some social media love. This has not impacted my post, and all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links that provides this blog with a small commission if you purchase through them, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!
I LOVE apples. Like a lot! And so when I got the chance to make a recipe with Envy Apples, I knew just what to make. I had to call my Granny Betty and get permission to share the recipe though. Lucky for y’all she was happy to help.

Now, don’t let the name fool you. Just because they recipe calls for Mountain Dew doesn’t mean it’s going to taste like the soda. And, it won’t be all green and alien looking either.

Instead, the soda comes together with the other ingredients to create a delicious concoction that almost has the consistency and texture of a softer apple pie.

Trust me!

These apple dumplings are fantastic! Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a tasty dessert that will be polished off faster than you can ask for a second helping!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review?  Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly   😉

The amounts in the recipe listed below make 16 dumplings, but because it’s just me and my husband, I cut this recipe in half. You can also add a little more cinnamon to your apples if you prefer, but I liked them just lightly dusted personally.

Be sure to use Envy Apples when you make your dumplings too, by the way. They are perfect for this recipe, and come out just as soft as you could possibly want in a dessert like this. Sooooo good! Alright, enough talk…let’s get to the yummy recipe, shall we?

Granny Betty’s Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings



  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 4 medium sized apples
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 can of Mountain Dew (original formula – do NOT use diet or any other flavor of Mountain Dew, trust me!)
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Spray a 13X9 pan with cooking spray
3. Cut each apples into four slices and remove seeds
4. Lightly dust the apples with the cinnamon
5. Wrap each apple slice with one crescent roll, enclosing it completely, then place in the pan
6. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar and bring to a slight boil, stirring constantly
7. Pour the sugar and butter mixture over the top of the dumplings
8. Finally, pour the can of Mountain Dew over the dumplings
9. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
10. Pull out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream
I opted for ice cream with my dumplings. Soooooooooooooooo tasty. I think this recipe is perfect for any time of year, but I know for sure I’ll be making it again for Christmas dinner!
What do you think? Are you willing to give this recipe a try? Or, if you did try it, leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought of it!
Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

Also be sure to try my Apple Cider Martini! Click the image below to get the recipe:

This dessert has the consistency and texture of a softer apple pie. Don't be frightened by the name. It's delicious. Click through the image for the recipe!

Quick Meal Idea – Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Y’all! I’m ALWAYS looking for fast and easy meal ideas. As an entrepreneur I don’t have time to be slaving away in the kitchen all day. I need the recipe to be simple to understand, quick to prepare – oh and it HAS to be delicious. That’s why I love this meal idea – Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

It’s like Buffalo Chicken wings…only NOT! And ohhhhh so yum!

Before we go any further, let's please the FCC shall we? This post does contain affiliate links. If you buy anything via these links, I'll receive a small commission to help pay my bills without any additional cost to you. Thanks in advance for your support! Okay, disclaimer out of the way! Back to the fun stuff below the image!

Best part? It features all the flavors you want when you’re indulging in Buffalo Wings, but without all that pesky guilt that comes with it. Second best part? You can quick it in one pan, and dinner will be ready in under a half an hour. Say what?!? I know! So good!

I think it’s keto friendly too. Keto friends – will you let me know if I’m accurate on that?

Let’s dive into what this recipe calls for shall we?

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps



  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the diced pepper and celery, and sauté until tender, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
  3. Add the hot sauce and sauté while stirring for another minute or two, until the sauce is heated through and everything is well coated. Remove from heat and stir in the sliced green onions.
  4. To serve, fill Bibb lettuce cups with a few tablespoons of the chicken mixture and enjoy!

Need a dinner idea? This Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe is quick and easy to throw together. It's delicious and filling, and dinner will be ready in 30 minutes!

How easy does this recipe sound? It is sooooooo easy! And, if you do want to add a splash of ranch dressing on top – I won’t judge you girl. I know it might not be keto or diet friendly, but sometimes you need a little ranch to cool down that hot sauce. Am I right?

What are your favorite quick and easy meal dishes? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Also check out my Hearty Minestrone Soup by clicking the image below:

Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula Vertical

Get Ready to Drool Over This Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula

Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula Horizontal

I don’t know about you, but I’m a HUGE fan of soups for dinner. Why? Because they are filling, you can throw just about anything into them, and they are typically pretty cheap to create. If you’re looking for a delicious, and drool-worthy soup, you simply must try this Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula.

Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula

This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.

Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50-55 minutes

Serves: 6-8


  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 28-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 c. organic vegetable broth*
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)
  • ½ T. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 c. Fusilli pasta
  • 2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 c. fresh arugula

Optional Garnish:

  • ¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese* Use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency, if needed



  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.

  2. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.

  3. Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.

  1. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.

  2. Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.

  3. Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.

  4. To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls and top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and/or a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal. Enjoy!

If you're looking for a delicious, and drool-worthy soup, you simply must try this Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula. 

Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain and Grupo Niche to Kickoff the Food & Wine Festival at Busch Gardens

This weekend the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival begins and I just learned some more exciting news about their kickoff weekend! Check out the notice they just sent me below the image!

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2018) – Chart-topping artists Sister Hazel and Edwin McCain, and Latin sensation Grupo Niche will take the stage this weekend at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay’s fourth annual Food & Wine Festival.

The festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays March 3 through April 29. Concerts are included with any Pass, Fun Card or daily admission.

Sister Hazel – Saturday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m., Gwazi Park

Originally from the sunshine state, Sister Hazel has been considered “one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years.” The five gifted and seasonal musicians exude natural talent and charisma with their chart-topping hits “All for You” and “Lighter in the Dark” earning them multiple spots on Billboard charts. Along with being outstanding musicians, the band hosts annual philanthropic events like “Hazelnut Hang” and gives back with Lyrics for Life benefiting cancer research and patient-care. Don’t miss out on celebrating with Sister Hazel here at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Edwin McCain– Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m., Gwazi Park

Proclaimed the “great American romantic” by the New York Times, Edwin McCain has swept the nation with over 20 years of pop music and endless touring. His love ballads and genuine personality makes concerts feel more like nonstop parties. With classic hits like “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask for More”, McCain has proved time and time again that he is truly a one-of-a-kind performer.

Grupo Niche – Sunday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m., Gwazi Park

Join us as we welcome the salsa sensation, Group Niche, to this year’s Food and Wine Festival! Residing in eccentric country of Colombia, this group has taken Latin America by storm with its Latin flares and outstanding performances.


  • Food, Wine & Brew Sampler – Guests with exclusive interests in culinary offerings can purchase a Food & Wine sampler that includes any samples of choice throughout the Festival. Samplers are available in quantities of five, eight or twelve and start at $29.99. New this year, a Pass Member exclusive 15-item Sampler is available for the same price as a 12-item Sampler.

  • Wine, Bourbon and Tequila by the Bottle – Guests can take home a part of the Food & Wine Festival with wine, bourbon and tequila available for purchase by the bottle at the Xcursions gift shop.


  •  For a limited time, buy a Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE! Experience both parks through 2018 for the price of one.

  • For those wishing for more VIP offerings, the Annual Pass includes unlimited admission for 12 months, free parking, no blockout dates, in-park discounts and other benefits, valued at more than $350. With EZpay, Annual Passes start at just $14 per month for one park, and $16 per month for both Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island

The Festival features all-new twists on cuisine at 13 culinary cabins, along with favorites like mango shrimp ceviche and beef brisket on a spiced corn waffle. Experience bold new eats at the Savory Tavern with fried frog legs with bacon corn fritters, or indulge in flavorful treats at Artisan Eats with beloved dish duck fat truffle fries and then spice it up with tostones rellenos de pollo at Comfort Kitchen.  Opt for lobster tart with leeks and Swiss cheese or mushroom vol-au-vent at the Light Fare Canteen, or relish in the robust flavors at Chef’s Plantation with salmon cake with lemon aioli, Korean-style ribs and all-new short rib and brie grilled cheese.  Guests can elevate the Food and Wine Festival experience even more by sipping a carefully curated selection of fine bourbons and new tequila tastings.

The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays from March 3 through April 29 and is included with any Pass, Fun Card or daily admission. Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog at, or “Like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page, and follow @buschgardens on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat.


About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 31,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests. Visit or Busch

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company. Visit for more.

Best Game Day Dip Recipes Part 2

Game Day Dip Recipes Roundup 2

I am absolutely obsessed with dips! Especially on game day. Give me a dip, some chips and/or some veggies and I’ll watch just about anything on television.

If you have a big day coming up, I HIGHLY recommend these delicious dips from my bloggy friends! Check them out below.

Part 2 of My Best Game Day Dip Recipes Roundup

  1. Sweet Potato Lentil Hummus + A Vegan Mezze
  2. Obatzda: A Creamy Bavarian Cheese Dip | Foodal
  3. Easy Black Bean Dip
  4. Homemade Spinach Hummus Without Tahini
  5. Fajita Chicken Cream Cheese Dip – The Weary Chef
  6. Host a Home Bowl: Big Game bingo and chili cheese dog dip! – Mod Podge Rocks
  7. Vegan Nachos with Mock Meat and Guacamole – Avocado Pesto
  8. Makeover Spinach and Artichoke Dip | The Foodie and The Fix
  9. Cheesy Buffalo Shrimp Dip
  10. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
  11. Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip
  12. Crock Pot White Cheddar Cheese Queso
  13. Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip
  14. Beer Cheese Dip Recipe
  15. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders with Ranch Dip
  16. Soda Bar and Taco Dip- Game Day Greats
  17. Dill Dip with Rye Bread
  18. Bacon Artichoke Dip
  19. Cheesy Artichoke Dip Variations
  20. 21 Day Fix Homemade Roasted Salsa Verde
  21. Gameday Recipe Football Bean Dip Cups – Kat Balog

A Quick and Easy Dip

Photo credit: Kraft Recipes

One of my absolute favorite dips of EVER? Velveeta and chili! Ohmigosh! Have you ever had that? All you need is a pound block of Velveeta cut into 1/2 inch cubes and a can of chili. You can do chili with beans or without, but I’ve always preferred without. I’ll throw the ingredients into a crockpot on low about an hour before game time, stir every 15 minutes, and by the time everyone arrives and gets settled we’ll have a bubbling chili cheese dip. YUM! Sometimes it need to be cranked up to high for a few minutes to get it all melted, but this dip is a crowd pleaser EVERY TIME!

What are your favorite dips? I’d love to know in the comments below as I’m always looking for something new and delicious to serve…or just eat on my own while binge watching Chuck! haha!

Also check out part 1 of our Game Day Dip Recipes Roundup!Best Game Day Dip Recipes Part 1

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip – Game Day Dip Recipes Part 1

Best Game Day Dip Recipes Part 1

How do you dip for game day? I love me a good dip. Yep! Dips are like the greatest thing of ever for tortilla chips, potato chips, all the chips! And, many of them go great with veggies. I’ve even been known to take a dip and transform it into a marinade or salad dressing….ya know depending on what’s in it. Yum-o!

In other words, in case you haven’t guess, I LOVE dips! That’s why when the Big Game was approaching, I asked my bloggy friends for their best game day dip recipes. They did not disappoint! In fact, they gave me so many, I had to break it down into two posts. WOWZA! Check out some of their recipes below!

Best Dips for Game Day – Part 1

  1. Easy Guacamole Recipe – Best Ever Authentic Mexican Restaurant-Style!
  2. Beefy Taco Dip
  3. Creamy Collard Dip
  4. Caramelized Onion Dip
  5. Lemon Garlic Hummus
  6. White Bean Garlic Hummus
  7. Fruit Dip
  8. Baked Vidalia Onion Parmesan Dip
  9. Creamy Black Bean and Corn Dip
  10. Hot Beef Dip
  11. Quick and Healthy Mediterranean Dip
  12. Homemade Restaurant Salsa
  13. Healthy Taco Dip with Greek Yogurt
  14. 3 Easy Party Dip Recipes
  15. Smooth and Creamy Hummus
  16. Easiest Veggie Dip Ever
  17. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  18. 6 Ingredient Taco Dip
  19. White Queso Dip
  20. Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip
  21. 7 Layer Dip Cups
  22. Chili Queso Dip Recipe
  23. Creamy Pickle Dip

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

How awesome is that starting line up? I want to eat all the dips! Just me? Do you feel my dip desires? Okay, wait…that got a little weird. The point is, I love how versatile you can get with a dip recipe.

What’s the craziest dip you’ve ever eaten? Or, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever dipped and eaten? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

One of my favorite dips is fruit into a chocolate dip y’all. Especially strawberries. I LOVE gooey chocolate on a fresh and juicy strawberry. Now that I’m drooling, I’m heading to the kitchen to make…well… DIP!

Until next time, my your page views be high, and your bounce rate be low!

Also check out part 2 of our Game Day Recipe Round-up!Game Day Dip Recipes Roundup 2

Sandwiches and Handhelds Perfect for Game Day

When the big game is coming up, what is your go to item to serve? I personally love sandwiches and handhelds because you can create just about anything with bread, meat and cheese. Here are some of my favorite recipes from my bloggy friends perfect for game day:

Pigs in a Blanket with Hot Dogs
Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas Recipe
Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets
Ham and Swiss Sliders
Pulled Pork Mini Tacos with Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze & Apple Carrot Slaw | Feast…
Baked Mini Shrimp Tacos
Italian Meatball Subs
Cheesy Beer Brats with Fried Pickles
Pretzel Hot Dog
Juicy Oven Baked Burger Sliders Recipe
Game Day Mini’s: Recipes Perfect for the Big Game
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Bleu Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Chicken Wings for Game Day – A Recipe Roundup

I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine a football game without chicken wings somewhere on the menu. I LOVE chicken wings!

That’s why I went to my bloggy friends and asked them for their best chicken wing recipes. Check out a few of the options they sent me! They all sound like a winner, winner, chicken dinner to me!

  1. Glazed Chicken Wings
  2. Thai Peanut Chicken Wings Appetizer
  3. Tandoori Chicken Wings
  4. Spicy Thai Red Curry Chicken Drumsticks
  5. Honey Chipotle Wings Recipe
  6. Jerk Chicken Wings
  7. Baked Curry Chicken Wings with Mango Chutney
  8. Irresistible Moroccan Lemon Wings | Foodal
  9. Low Carb Crispy Baked Teriyaki Wings
  10. Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Wings – Beauty and the Bench Press
  11. Air Fried Buffalo Chicken Strips: Healthy Comfort Food – Beauty and the Bench…
  12. Honey Sriracha Wings Recipe
  13. Spicy Peach Chicken Wings
  14. Restaurant Style Buffalo Wings
  15. Grilled Buffalo Wings
  16. Asian-Style Sticky Ginger Grilled Wings



Super Bowl Snacks Part 2

Super Bowl 2018 is fast approaching! Yesterday I posted 29 snacks perfect for game day, and today I’m back with part two of my recipe round up from my bloggy friends. They just have the best food ideas EVER, don’t you agree? Check them out below, and then let me know your favorite Game Day bites!

Super Bowl Snacks – Part 2

Bacon Wrapped Apricots
Smoked Salmon Crostini
Ricotta and Prosciutto Cracker Appetizer
Baba Ganoush Recipe | What To Buy, Cook, Use
Cucumber Salmon Appetizer | Healthy And Delicious Recipes
Game Day Fried Deviled Eggs with Chow Chow Relish
Cajun Red Beans and Andouille Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Cheesy Pumpkin Beer Soft Pretzel Twists | Feast In Thyme
The Best Tex-Mex Arrachera Fajita Recipe | Foodal
Eat Cochinita Pibil Once and You’ll Never Make Regular Pulled Pork Again
Oven Fried Garlic Parmesan Shrimp | Beauty and the Foodie
Oven Fried Chicken Taquitos
Bacon bites recipe
Sloppy joe bread bowls
Methi Jeera Puffs | Cumin Fenugreek Puffs – LET’S COOK HEALTHY…
Ultimate Slow Cooker Cocktail Sausages – The Weary Chef
Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Pork Bites – The Weary Chef
Quick Mexican Tuna Salad & Avocado Bowl Recipe {GF, DF}
21 Day Fix Mole Chicken Chili | The Foodie and The Fix
How To Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn {5 Ways}! | The Foodie and…
Game Day Recipes: Nacho Bites
Fried Pickles with Sriracha Ketchup
Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe- Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Bites Copycat Recipe
Taco Salad With Doritos
Chili Cheese Cups — A Leftover Chili Recipe!
(ad) Tyson® Game Day Recipes at Sam’s Club
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Cornbread Cups
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chili Recipe
Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Recipe

Meatballs 10 Ways – Just in Time for Super Bowl

I LOVE meatballs! Like a LOT! It’s by far my favorite party food, and the first thing I look for at any get together because:
1. They are hard to screw up and
2. There are so many different flavors you can create with them!

That’s why I was stoked to find these 10 meatball recipes. Enjoy!