Decadent Sweet Potato Mashed

Decadent Sweet Potato Mashed

Decadent Sweet Potato Mashed, wondering why this is decadent well for one it’s definitively not your average sweet potato mashed that’s for sure. This little number is from East Africa made popular by Kenyans. It’s usually served with steak strips – Nyama Na Irio, a quintessential Kenya cuisine. I discovered Irio while in college, my girlfriend swear by it, at first I was apprehensive, my first thought was – what the heck happened to the regular sweet potato mash. One day she coerced me into trying it out and hmm let just say it’s an acquired taste. At first try, I wasn’t gung ho about it until I had kids and I wanted to introduce more veggies into their meals, Irio seems like a perfect way to do just that. It’s a combination of sweet potatoes mashed with green peas and corn, that’s it – simple but it packs a punch.

Decadent Sweet Potato Mashed

Nyama Na Irio

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 large onions, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 can of sweet corn – drained
  • Olive oil to coat
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt & black pepper to taste

 Direction

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚ F.
  2. Put the sweet potatoes and onion in a bowl
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt
  4. Arrange the sweet potato and onion on a baking sheet
  5. Place in the oven until the potatoes and onions are tender and golden, about 35 to 50  minutes
  6. While the potatoes are in the oven, heat up the sweet corn and frozen peas
  7. In a saucepan, melt the butter and heat up the butter milk
  8. Transfer the sweet potato and onion from the oven into a bowl, add the warm buttermilk mixture*, peas & corn and mash until desire texture
  9. Taste and season with more salt & pepper, if desired

You can serve it with whatever you see fit, but if you want to go the traditional Kenyan way serve it with seasoned steak strips as shown in the picture above.

*Depending on how you like your mashed potatoes, you can reduce the milk/butter mixture for a less creamier outcome

Linking up with Orgjunkie & Musings of a Housewife today – check them out for more weekly menu options.

Great Buy at @BestBuy – @Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard #HarmonySmartKeyboard

Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard

When I got the new Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard from BestBuy, I couldn’t help but be excited. We finally have a universal remote that can control all our devices. The Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard is a full sized QWERTY keyboard perfect for anyone with a smart TV, or a gamer with various gaming devices. It works with Xbox,  Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation 3, Smart TVs and Mac/PC computers. I love the fact that we can now surf the internet with ease. Also have you ever tried to search for a movie on Netflix that little remote that comes with our smart TV doesn’t cut it.  Trust me it’s a pain, so this keyboard for us has been a blessing. Now using the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard, I can replace all my remotes and control our TV, Cable Box and gaming devices at one central location.  Using the wireless keyboard, I can stop, remind, play, and pause my DVR without any problems. I can reply to Facebook message, tweet, skype, review stocks on yahoo finance – you name it I can practically do it using my wireless keyboard.

Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard

Setting up the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard was easy, granted I followed the instruction to the tee. The setup was done through the Harmony App downloaded on Android and it took me less than 30 minutes.

Now that I am all set up with the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard, I no longer have a need for my old remotes.

New Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard at bestbuy

The Harmony Smart Keyboard delivers the full Harmony control experience for TV-connected Internet and home entertainment devices.

  • Harmony Smart Keyboard makes enjoying digital media in your living room easier than ever. The specially designed keyboard simplifies text entry on internet-connected entertainment  devices. Touch the “Movie” Activity button and the right devices switch  to the right settings. Plus, it has integrated DVR and set-top box controls playback and volume buttons, and a touchpad  for cursor control on a PC or Mac.

Additional features 

  • 3 one-touch activity button
  • Short and long presses provide 6 total activities
  • Integrate touchpad for cursor control on PC or Mac

Harmony Hub controls devices behind cabinets or wall using IR, RF, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.
Harmony App turns iOS & Android smartphones into personal universal remote

The Logitech Smart keyboard is available exclusively at Best Buy for $149.99

 

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Fashion That Gives Back – Runway Moms For A Cause

runway moms for a cause

Runway Moms For A Cause. If you’re looking for something special to do for Mother’s Day weekend, I suggest you check out “Runway Moms for a Cause” (RMFC), a fashion fundraising event by L-Shandi, an award winning fashion house.

RMFC is a runway show for philanthropists to take a stance on an often overlooked issue, and lend a helping hand towards a solution.  The second annual, black tie event will focus on “Power Moms” raising funds for local non-profit organization called “KIDSAVE” in their mission to create change – so forgotten orphanage and foster kids grow up in families and connected to caring adults.  By 2020 KIDSAVE’s goal is to connect 1,000,000 orphans and foster youth to parents and mentors to enable them to experience love, hope and the opportunity for a successful future.

Runway Moms For A Cause is part of a 2014 Mother’s Day Weekend celebrations, this is their second annual event and it’s being held on Friday, May 9, 2014 at Renaissance Washington, DC – DuPont Circle Hotel. It starts at 7 p.m. You can purchase an advance ticket by clicking here

Check out a sneak peak of their inaugural event

Like Runway Moms For A Cause on Facebook

Follow L-Shandi on Twitter

Runway Moms For A Cause

Here is a little bit of information about Kidsave International 

Kidsave’s mission is to create change so forgotten orphanage and foster kids grow up in families and connected to caring adults.  Children cannot raise themselves. Without families, the odds are against them growing into productive citizens and the loss to society is devastating. In the summer of 1999, Kidsave gave 177 older orphanage children summer vacations in the US with American families — and 97% were adopted. It was a miracle for these children and for Terry and Randi (founders of Kidsave) it provided the basis for creating Kidsave’s Family Visit Model, a program that has now been successfully tested in Russia, Colombia and the USA as way to help older orphanage and foster kids find parents and committed mentors. In the years since 1999, Kidsave has helped over 12 governments and 3,000 children. Yet countless millions languish in orphanages and foster care. Kidsave’s goal is to change that — so that every child has a permanent family. Kidsave’s goal is to find families and permanent connections for one million children by 2020. http://www.kidsave.org

Travel in Style with American Tourister #PackMoreFun

Travel in Style with American Tourister

Travel in Style with American Tourister. Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry about which stylish luggage to purchase that can accommodate all our needs. Favored by Jet-setters American Tourister offers stylish, lightweight and durable luggage for all your travel needs. They have an array of options from garment bags to light-weight travel sets.

Here are 5 options that can help you Travel in Style with American Tourister.

Globetrotters can’t go wrong with their Color your World line, I especially love this black and white floral print.

American Tourister Color Your World-black-whitefloralprint

Their Splash Wheeled Boarding Bag makes a perfect traveling companion it has multiple pockets for organization and an in-line skate wheels for easy maneuver.

American Tourister Luggage Splash Wheeled Boarding Bag

This iLite Supreme UltraValet Garment Bag will make a perfect companion on a business trip.

American Tourister Luggage Ilite Supreme Ultravalet Garment Bag

Looking for something to take on weekend getaway how about this Astronolite 25″ Expandable Upright

American Tourister Luggage Astrono-Lite 20 Inch Upright

If you’re traveling with the family you might want to consider picking a luggage set like this ultra light weight Fieldbrook II 4 Piece Set, perfect to safeguard all your family belongings.

American Tourister Luggage Fieldbrook II 4 Piece Set

Disclosure: I received  one of this items as a gift  from American Tourister via Disney Social Media Mom Conference. However, all opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links. 

Coconut Candy Balls

Coconut Candy Balls #recipe #hardcandy #sweets

This Coconut Candy Balls is probably the shortest recipe, I will ever share. It’s only two ingredient, yep two how simple is that. Like most of the recipes I share it’s pretty easy to make with the exception of the temperamental sugar melting process. It’s a candy I grew up eating, my parents use to buy it for us from the street vendors, and we weren’t allow to have more than two or three at the most. It’s a popular sweet in Africa, Pacific and some Asian countries. I know its big in Liberia, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and Guam.

I wanted to share the same memory with my kids, so I decided to create a lazy version of the recipe. I said lazy because the street vendor uses real coconut and not the prepacked ones. Anyway, back to the recipe – I am not crazy about melting sugar it takes some sort of patience that I just don’t have, so this little number was a hard one for me to accomplish but it’s not because the recipe itself was hard it’s me, all me. Another issue I had was coming up with an appropriate name for this sweet ball of candy gooeyness. I was debating calling it caramelized coconut candy balls, then I thought how about candied coconut balls but that just sounded weird, however the familiarity of the name coconut candy balls feels more appropriate. Yes, I understand it’s not your typical coconut candy ball but heck it’s all I got.

Coconut Candy Balls

coconut candy balls recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Coconut Flakes (I used Sweetened)

Directions

  1. Using a heavy-bottom sauce pan, melt the sugar on medium high heat until it’s light brown – being careful not to burn it.
  2. Stir in coconut flakes until they are all cover in the melted sugar.
  3. Let it cool for a few minutes then scoop out and roll into a ball, it will be sticky so dip your hands in cold water to help make it easier. Another option is to scoop it into parchment paper and roll it into a ball either option works.
  4. Serve warm for a chewy coconut candy or cold for a hard candy.

That’s it. Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me. Hope you enjoy it and please come back with feedback – positive or negative – I am a big girl, I can handle it.

Today, I am linking up with Orgjunkie and Musings of a Housewife

Disney Magic at Play Collection at Kohl’s + $50 Kohl’s Giveaway

We are heading to Disney next week for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration so when I heard about the newly released  Disney Magic at Play Collection at Kohl’s, I had to check it out.  Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.  The line had a lot of offer, the spirit of Disney is in every detail and I can’t wait for the girls to see what I picked out for them. The collection is appropriately priced with prices starting at $10.99, and going all the way to $21, pretty sweet right, I know. The collection had something for both boys and girls, from Minnie Mouse peplum shirt, striped tutu dress, Mickey Mouse Baseball Muscle Tee and Shorts to Mickey Mouse Soccer Tee and “Original Mickey” Shorts. The available sizes ranges from infants (12-24 months), toddlers (2T-4T), boys (4-7) to girls (4-7).

Disney Magic at Play Collection at Kohl's

As you shop for the kids spring and summer outfit,  don’t forget to check out the Magic at Play collection exclusively at Kohl’s its available in stores and online.  Here is a Kohl’s $10 off coupon, it’s valid both online and in store. The collection had so many great pieces it was hard to settled on one, so we went a bit wild, picked up a few pieces and I can’t wait to see the girls wear it next week. If you’re interested in seeing what we picked out, then follow along on Instagram, I will be documenting our mini Disney vacation and also giving you an inside look into the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

Disney Magic at Play Collection at Kohl's

 You didn’t think, I would leave you out did you? Of course not, our friends over at Disney & Kohl’s wanted one of our readers to check out their new collection, so today they’re offering you a chance to win a $50 Kohl’s gift card.

Disney Magic at Play Collection at Kohl’s + $50 Kohl’s Giveaway

Disney's  Magic At Play  $50 Kohl's Giftcard Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today, I am linking up with Musings of a Housewife and she’s offering $10 off intimate purchase from Kohl’s.

Disclaimer: We’ve been compensated in the form of a Kohl’s Gift Card and/or received the product at a reduced price or for free.

Salted Caramel Coffee Martini

Salted Caramel Coffee Martini

I am not much of a coffee drinking but in honor of National Caramel Day which is tomorrow, April 5 guess what I will be drinking - Salted Caramel Coffee Martini courtesy of RealBeanz. RealBeanz Caramel Focus is created with premium brewed coffee and its enhanced with vitamins and energy-infused herbs including Ginkgo Biloba, an herb known for increasing blood flow to the brain and it also acts as an antioxidant. In addition, it has been proven by scientist to increase IQ level. Increase IQ level? hmm where do I sign up?

Salted Caramel Coffee Martini

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Rim martini glass with caramel and sprinkle with sea salt
  2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of caramel into glass
  3. In a shaker, add Kahlua, vodka, RealBeanz Caramel flavored Iced Coffee and ice
  4. Shake vigorously and pour into martini glass

How are you planning on celebrating National Caramel Day?

Chicken and Cheese Crostini: Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese

Chicken and Cheese Crostini:  Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese

I am a simple no fuss gal, however I love entertaining and spending time with my family, which is one of life’s ingredients that keeps me happy. With a busy life, entertaining can be a daunting task but with this easy Chicken and Cheese Crostini recipe, entertaining family and friends is a breeze. Chicken and Cheese Crostini is one of my favorite Hors d’oeuvre. We enjoy this recipe so much that I sometimes make it for dinner. It’s very filling and its a healthy option. I used Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese which is reduced fat, and they are perfect for snacking on the go or adding delicious flavor to your favorite sandwich.It’s made with high-quality ingredients, and it provides a good source of protein and calcium.

The Alpine Lace Swiss Deli Cheese is available in prepackaged slices, or at the deli counter where they can freshly slice it for you. I got the prepackaged slices at Stop and Shop. However, they also have it at any Walmart with a Deli or, if you are located in the North East, then  you can get it at ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Acme, A&P, BJ’s and many other grocery stores. You might want to call ahead to make sure the store carries the product though.

Chicken and Cheese Crostini is a great appetizer that can also substitute as lunch, so you can make it for the kids to take to school. It will help fuel their busy day, by providing the energy and deliciousness they need.

Chicken and Cheese Crostini:  Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, Diced
  • 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken
  • 4 Campari tomatoes, diced
  • 6 slices Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese , halved
  • 1 long French Baquette

Chicken and Cheese Crostini:  Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese

Direction

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil an onions
  3. Saute for a few minutes until onions are soft and translucent
  4. Add Chicken and cook until hot stirring occasionally
  5. Add the tomatoes and seasoning, and simmer until the liquid is reduced
  6. Remove from stove and allow to cool
  7. Cut the baquette diagonally into half-inch slices
  8. Brush bread pieces with olive oil and place on a baking sheet
  9. Put it in the preheated oven and bake for 4 minutes
  10. Remove from oven when bread is lightly toasted
  11. Put 2 tablespoon of the chicken mixture onto each toasted bread slice and top with half slice of Alpine Lace® Swiss Cheese
  12. Bake Crostini until cheese is well melted and golden.
  13. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.

 Disclosure: This Chicken and Cheese Crostini recipe is sponsored by Alpine Lace® however all thoughts and opinions are my own. This week, I’m linking up with Jo-Lynne and Laura for Menu Plan Monday.

Free Pirate Fairy Activity Sheets & Coloring Pages

This weekend, my family and I had the pleasure of attending an advance private screening of  Disney’s The Pirate Fairy  and I have to say we loved the movie. It’s scheduled to be released on Blu-ray, DVD, digital download Tuesday April 1. It’s a great addition to the franchise. The story was compelling, it’s about a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina.  Zarina steals Pixie Hollow’s Blue Pixie Dust, and flies away to join forces with the Pirates of Skull Rock. It was left onto Tinker Bell and her friends to return the Pixie Dust back to its rightful place. Its a great flick for the whole family, its filled with lots of laugh and teaches kids about friendship, and loyalty.  You are certainly welcome to join the fun by downloading these Free Pirate Fairy Activity Sheets & Coloring Pages.

Free Pirate Fairy Activity Sheets & Coloring Pages

Free Pirate Fairy Activity Sheets & Coloring Pages



Don’t forget to grab Disney’s Pirate Fairy, it’s out on DVD + Blu-ray combo pack on April 1st, 2014!

How to Run a 5k for the Ultimate Beginner

How to Run a 5k for the Ultimate Beginner

I’ve always enjoyed running, I ran track in high school, sprint actually 100 meter dash, and I also did the 400 meters relay. Penn State relay was  the race everyone wanted to be a part of. I only wished I could remember my time, because I was fast. Yep a lot has changed since then that’s for sure.  I continued my love for running while in college but I mostly did local charity run. Less than 5 years ago, I signed up to run the ING New York City Marathon, sadly I wasn’t selected.

Running was always my me time, my serenity that was until I had a leg injury early last year, which resulted in me sporting a leg brace for a few months, and I’ve been scared to run ever since. However, my goal this year is to rekindle my love for running. Although, I am not quiet a newbie runner I am nervous at the thought of hitting the tracks again. So how do I go from being a couch potato all the way to crossing the finish line, well about How to Run a 5k for the Ultimate Beginner!

How to Run a 5k for the Ultimate Beginner

If you’re a newbie runner, or just trying out runner for the first time. These tips will  help you transition from newbie to stellar. First, to kick start your new love, you will  have to invest in a pair of good running shoes and a comfortable running clothes that wick away moisture from your body to reduce chafing. Having a stick of Body Glide isn’t a bad idea either as you can apply it on your feet to prevent blisters or anywhere else on your body that might be rubbing together. In my case, it will be my thunder thighs. To begin, you will also need a timer, I use my Samsung Galaxy Gear which comes equipped with a timer and it also sync to an app on my phone called S Health.

The key to running a 5k for the ultimate beginner is learning how to do pace yourself. In the beginning, everything should be broken down to 30-second intervals. You can do anything for 30 seconds! Head outside or onto the treadmill and start walking for two minutes. This gets your heart rate going and hopefully will calm your nerves a little bit. After those initial 2 minutes, run for 30 seconds. After the first sprint and you try to catch your breath, walk it out for two minutes. Keep a log of how long it takes you to regain your breath. If it is two minutes, then you’re on track – run for another 30 seconds. If it is 5 minutes, then walk for 5 minutes and then run for 30 seconds.

On your first day, you need to walk/run for at least 20 minutes. Write down your time and splits on a calendar. Every day you are out there, write down how much you walked vs. running. In this example it would be 2min/30sec for 20 minutes. Your goal for the first week is to hit the pavement 4-5 times with consecutive being best.  Trust me, your legs will hurt after the first couple of days, but getting back out there will help to make it easier. After the first week you will notice how fast your body adapts to this new exercise and you starts to crave it!

The goal for the second week is to increase your running time to 30 minutes. If you are still having a hard time, keep the same split times as the first week. If you are feeling stronger, run for a minute and walk for two minutes. Keep increasing the time running in either 30-second increments, depending on your fitness level. Keep your walks to 1-2 minutes though. If you started out walking 5 minutes, keep running for 30-60 seconds but reduce the amount of walking until you’re down to two minutes and then start to increase your running time. You need your heart rate to increase before you increase your running time.

By the third week of running 4-5 times a week, your body would have become conditioned to your new exercise regime. At the beginning of this week try running for 5 minutes then walking for 1 minute, running for 4 minutes, walking for 1 and on down until you are running 1 minute and walking 1 minute. You will be surprised that at first it will seem impossible to run for 5 minutes at a time, but your body just might enjoy it. Keep working on these splits and see if you can reduce your resting time to 30 seconds.

The key to running success is to increase the amount of time running while reducing the time walking. On average, a super-fast runner will compete a 5k in less than 25 minutes and an average runner less than 40 minutes. Most people that run-walk a 5k finish in less than 50 minutes. Learning to run in splits and not for sheer distance is the best way to start out learning to run and the best way to learn to run a distance of 5k.

Well, I hope these tips will help you in achieving your dream of running a 5k.