coconut oatmeal raisin bites

coconut oatmeal raisin bites

Two years ago, I was part of the blogger ambassador team with the California Raisins and worked to create some fun new recipes and share them with you guys. I am still so thankful for that trip and group of bloggers – we had the chance to stand between the vines, talk to the farmers, and find out everything there is to know about the goodness of raisins.


At the time, I knew raisins were good for you, but I didn’t realize just how good!

Zero fat, no cholesterol, and no added sugar. I mean….you can’t really get better than that on a nutritional label. Plus, raisins offer 9% of your daily fiber and potassium, and 6% of your daily iron (per quarter cup serving).

California Raisins are a great choice for healthy, on-the-go snacking or for adding an extra punch of nutrition into your holiday dishes. And bonus – they’re super affordable! According to the USDA, raisins are the most economical dried fruit option.

Sip, Savor, Repeat with le creuset giveaway

What goes better with the holidays than a wine + cheese break in the afternoon?

Well, no wine for me, BUT we did some damage to this plate of cheese and snacks last week, and I can’t wait to make another.

le creuset wine and cheese collection

Wine and cheese hour is something that is still new in our family, but I’m all for embracing the tradition! I love that while having wine and cheese feels fancy, it doesn’t need to take a lot of time OR be complicated.

So when Le Creuset offered up some of their new Wine and Cheese collection to try out, I knew it would be perfect for the holiday season with family and friends.

The round platter with the cutting board is my new favorite piece! I actually have it sitting in the center of dining room table as I type this, just waiting to be filled up again with cheese and snacks. It’s a great set up – cheese in the center, everything else around it, all in one place. Plus, the cutting board is super smooth and easy to clean.

I am a sucker for cookbooks.

fettuccine alfredo

I guess it should be no surprise at this point since that’s how I really got into cooking. Between cookbooks and the Food Network (before all the weird reality shows and cooking competitions), that’s how I learned. Reading cookbooks, cover to cover. It still took me a while to make things from some cookbooks because I was intimidated about certain recipes – and still am! But that’s why I love America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.

I had the chance to review their Cooking School Cookbook last year, and it’s still one of my favorites! So I was really excited to review this new book – the New Family Cookbook.

And it just happened to show up at the perfect time. Nick had been talking about making some fettuccine alfredo, so I decided to test out the recipe in the new cookbook and it did not disappoint!

baked macaroni and cheese

I am all about the carbs lately.

I mean, I guess I have a valid reason, but still. The only fruit I’ve been able to handle the past 2 months is in juice form and I want exactly zero vegetables. Some nights I’m able to have salad with dinner, but green beans? Peas? Broccoli? Nope, nope, big nope.

baked macaroni and cheese

So while I’ve been trying to eat as balanced as possible, the majority of my meals have definitely been carb heavy.

But – I think I’m turning a corner!

And regardless of what I’m eating, ya’ll need to be making this macaroni and cheese.

baked macaroni and cheese

I’ve talked about the Lowell’s before (especially because of breakfast casserole), and this is another dish that is full of memories for me. Jill always made the best baked macaroni and cheese. THE BEST. No one else at church fellowships or holiday get togethers could touch hers – it was always, always, always my favorite. And I still love it more today than any other mac and cheese I’ve had!