Denny’s Diners Partners with the Fantastic Four! #DennysDiners

Is your family looking forward to the new Fantastic Four movie as much as mine is? Set to open nationwide on August 4th, and starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan, this movie promises to be a blockbuster this summer. What better way to get pumped for the new movie than with a delicious meal inspired by the movie?

Denny’s Diners is pleased to partner with this sure-to-be hit by offering a Slamtastic Four as part of their new menu, featuring a selection of iconic Denny’s dishes inspired by Marvel’s first family of superheroes. Available now, the new menu explodes with dishes such as the sizzling Human Torch Skillet, The Thing Burger and the Invisible Woman Slam®. Fans of the movie will love the new offerings.

FSM Inside Spread

The Invisible Woman Slam looks like it’s going to be my favorite. Blueberry pancakes, topped with fresh strawberries and bananas, served with eggs, bacon, and hash browns – yum, yum yum! The perfect breakfast for me – I love pancakes topped with fruit any day of the week.

Invisible Woman Slam

The Dr. Doom Lava Cake is sure to be a hit with my kids. And who am I kidding? I totally want to try it too! It looks like the best chocolate overload, doesn’t it? Chocolate topped with chocolate ice cream – you can’t go wrong!

Dr Doom Lava Cake

What’s more,to celebrate the highly anticipated movie, Denny’s is offering one lucky Fantastic Four fan a trip for two to the movie premiere on Aug. 4. Now, through July 19, fans may visit www.dennysfantastic4.com to enter for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime. Don’t wait – enter today!

dennys homepage layout_Page_1

If you could have a super power, like the characters in Fantastic Four, what would you choose to have? I’m thinking invisibility would be my choice – what about you?

Three Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas #BuddigTasteChallenge

Breakfast is probably the one meal of the day that  I don’t eat like I should. When I’m in a rush, I grab my coffee and I’m out the door. I’m usually running late, so if I’m going to make breakfast, you better believe it’s going to be a quick one. These Three Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas are my go-to in the mornings when I need to make something super-quick. Then, after I make that breakfast, I’m gonna enter it in the Buddig Taste Challenge…because Buddig, of course! Buddig really helps me take this recipe to the next level with their ham. You’ve got to try it – it’s so good!

Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas2

INGREDIENTS
    • Prep: 5 min
    • Cook: 2-3 min each
    • 8 flour tortillas
    • 8 hard-boiled eggs, diced
    • 2 (2 oz) pkg Buddig Original Ham, chopped
    • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
    • 1 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco
    • Optional: Sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro


DIRECTIONS

  • Heat a non-stick electric skillet to med-high heat. Combine diced eggs and chopped Buddig ham in a medium bowl.
  • Place 1 tortilla on skillet and top with a small handful of each of the three cheeses. Spoon a generous portion of the egg and ham mixture over the cheese and top with another small handful of each of the three cheeses.
  • Top with another flour tortilla and use spatula to flatten. When the bottom tortilla begins to turn a golden brown color, flip the entire quesadilla over. Flattening with the spatula also helps hold everything together when you flip over.
  • Continue cooking until the other side is also golden brown, about 1 minute.
  • Remove to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Top with chopped cilantro and sliced jalapenos.

 

Breakfast Quesadillas
This is seriously one of my family’s favorite recipes – my preschooler even loves them! I could even use your vote. I am one of 9 bloggers that were selected to participate in the Buddig Taste Challenge and would love your vote if you like my recipe. If chosen as the winner, I could win a $1,000 Visa gift card and a chance to meet the Buddig family. Fingers Crossed!

SO PLEASE VOTE for my Three Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas! Voting ends May 31st and every 25th voter will receive a $1.00 coupon for Buddig products.

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch {Review}

Lately I’ve noticed that my energy levels have been down – like, way down.  At the beginning of the year I was so gung ho about working out and eating better, but after about three months it just started to taper off.  My system needed a reboot…fast.  When I started to really think about what could have possibly caused this energy shift, it hit me – I stopped eating breakfast!  Granted, I was never much of a breakfast person, but if there was one thing my short stint as a Weight Watchers participant taught me was that breakfast is essential to both weight loss and energy maintenance.  Doh!

HBO_GREEKYOGURT_3D_Average_LEFT

To kick-start this change in my morning routine, I recently picked up a box of the NEW Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch Cereal (because Greek yogurt is all the rage, after all). I absolutely loved the taste of the Greek yogurt along with the light honey flavor this cereal offers.  My daughter has been helping me finish off the box by eating it as an after-school snack!

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek

The new Honey Bunches of Oats Greek is made with two unique granolas made with Greek yogurt, crispy whole grain flakes and a touch of honey. With 33 grams of Whole Grains, one bowl provides over two-thirds of your day’s Whole Grains. {Nutritionists recommend eating three or more servings of whole grain foods per day (about 16g whole grain per serving or at least 48g per day).}

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

  • 33g of Whole Grain per serving – over 2/3 your day’s whole grain
  • Serving Size: 1 Cup
  • 230 Calories
  • Provides 12 essential vitamins and minerals
  • 5g protein per serving

LEARN MORE

The Honey Bunches of Oats website is a great place to learn about all the different varieties of cereal, along with a few recipes you can make.  You can also like Honey Bunches of Oats on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

Disclaimer: I am part of the Mom It Forward blogger network. Mom It Forward and Honey Bunches of Oats partnered in support of this campaign. Honey Bunches of Oats compensated me for participation in this campaign. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday Faves 2/8/12

Time for this week’s Friday Faves! I started this series as a way to share some of my favorite things from the past week. They can be products, websites, experiences, TV shows, or just whatever tickled my fancy this week. Here were my faves of the week!

Quaker_Real_Medleys_Apple_Walnut_Oatmeal

1.) Quaker Real Medleys Apple Walnut Oatmeal – Ask anyone that knows me – I have never been a breakfast person.  That being said, my new healthy lifestyle has forced me to rethink my morning habits and I now know that eating a good breakfast really is an important part of eating well.  I’ve been doing my best with my food choices and try to eat breakfast most days.  Some days it’s just a banana or a granola bar, but on my favorite days it’s Quaker Real Medleys.  I’ve only tried the Apple Walnut Oatmeal, but I love it so much that I don’t even need to try the others.  It’s definitely a treat for me though because it’s kinda pricey, and I only buy it if I have a coupon.  This oatmeal is jam-packed with goodies – the walnuts and cranberries are my favorites!  Soooooo delicious – it’s my new morning go-to!

Loreal BB Cream

2.) L’Oreal B.B. Cream – I received a sample of this product in the mail to try and, even though I’ve only been using it for a few days, I really like it so far.  I should also start by saying that until I received this product, I had no idea what a B.B. cream was – evidently they’re the new “thing” in cosmetics.  The L’Oreal B.B. Cream delivers 4 beautifying actions in 1: hydrates, corrects, evens and perfects.  It’s a very light, white lotion with tiny beads that transforms to your skin tone within seconds.  For me it provides great coverage and takes seconds to apply.  And for me, the coverage is so good that I just skip the whole foundation/powder routine!

chi-straightener

3.) CHI Straightener – I can’t believe I actually paid $100 for a hair straightener at Kohl’s last year, but I have to admit that I love this straightener.  Since I have curly hair – and we always seem to want what we don’t have – I’ve owned many straighteners in the past to try and tame my unruly mane.  I even had a travel straightener that I used to carry around in my purse!  Hands Down – the CHI straightener is the best.  This straightener gets so hot (410 degrees, I think) that, once my hair is dry, I can be done straightening my hair in about 15 minutes.  Definitely worth the $$$ it costs to purchase this bad boy!

Well, that’s it for this week.  Come back next week to see what new randomness I’ve discovered!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product from SheSpeaks/L’Oréal to facilitate this review.  However, a positive review was not required, I just really love the BB Cream!

Chicagoland Eats: Burnt Toast Restaurant

Venue: Burnt Toast Restaurant (Elgin)

Website: http://www.btrestaurant.com/

Location: 2942 N. Randall Road, Elgin, IL  On Randall Road, just north of I-90.

Hours: Mon–Sat: 6:30am – 2:30pm; Sun: 7:00am – 2:30pm (just open for breakfast & lunch)

Parking: Normally I wouldn’t mention parking for a restaurant, but it’s important to note that if you head here on a weekend, parking could be hard to find.  The lot (used by both Burnt Toast and an adjacent restaurant) was almost full and cars park haphazardly throughout the lot.  I arrived at 1:00pm on a Sunday (close to closing time) and it was hard for me to find a spot.  Be prepared to drive around for a while looking for parking.

My Experience: What initially drew me in to try Burnt Toast Restaurant in Elgin was the building.  The restaurant exterior reminds me of a quaint family home in the mountains.  Like something I would see on an episode of House Hunters on HGTV.  The outside intrigued me enough to check it out.

Burnt Toast Elgin

The waiting area was full, of course, but thankfully most were large parties and I was just having lunch with a friend.  Within 10 minutes our table was ready…not bad for such a packed house!

When walking into the main dining area, my first impression was “Whoa – this place is HUGE!”. By the looks of the building on the outside, I had no idea that the restaurant was so spacious!  This photo shows only half of the dining area.

Burnt Toast Elgin Inside

The menu at Burnt Toast definitely caters more to the breakfast crowd with a wide variety of pancakes, eggs, waffles, crepes, skillets, and such, but they also offer a moderate selection of lunch items like salads, sandwiches, burgers, and the like.

While perusing our menus. I happily sipped on my giant cup of coffee.  Loved the cup size, but one drawback for me was that they don’t offer any flavored creamers. Sad smile  I love my coffee, but I love it a lot more when it tastes like French Vanilla.  Winking smile

Burnt Toast Elgin Coffee

What happened next, though, was probably the biggest letdown of my experience.  While still trying to decide what to order, we all heard a load BOOM*CRASH and the entire restaurant went silent.  A waitress dropped a plate of food as she was delivering to a table just a few tables over from us.  The dropping of the plate is not what bothered me – mistakes happen, I get that – but the waitress’ attitude about the whole thing was really disgusting.  Instead of quietly turning to the couple (whose plate of food now lay on the floor) to profusely apologize, she instead bent down to pick up the mess from the floor, rolling her eyes the entire time!  She looked as though she were trying to call attention to herself, rather than try to diffuse the situation.  Even though my plate wasn’t the one all over the floor, I felt really bad for the couple as they sat in their seats, dumbfounded.

Anyhow, our waitress was attentive enough and quickly took our order.  I decided on the Cobb Salad, while my friend ordered the potato pancakes.  (The same girl that dropped the plate a few minutes earlier delivered our food, but this time – THANKFULLY – without incident.)

Burnt Toast Elgin Cobb Salad

Notice how much bacon is on my Cobb Salad?!?!  I think there must’ve been 10 slices of bacon crumbled on top!  The salad came with lots of meat and lots of cheese with a side of warm cornbread.  I liked the salad well enough, however, the yolks of my eggs were a little soft in the center.  (No worries, I still ate it. Smile)

Overall, my experience at Burnt Toast Elgin was decent.  Nothing bad enough happened that would deter me from visiting again – although next time I’ll likely opt for a breakfast item.

Have you ever visited Burnt Toast in Elgin?  I’m curious to know what you thought.

Udi’s Gluten Free Granola {Review}

I am not a breakfast person.  Never have been, really.  My mornings are so rushed that I barely have time to shower, get dressed and head out the door for work.  I’m lucky if I can apply make-up before I get to the office.  But today, I sat down at the kitchen table and tried all four varieties of Udi’s Gluten Free Granola.  (Hey, what good is a review if I don’t try them all, right?)

I was sent 4 bags of Udi’s Gluten Free Granola to try: Original, Vanilla, Cranberry, and Au Naturel.  I sprinkled a handful of each flavor onto a little bit of light vanilla yogurt.  I tried them all and the Original flavor was definitely my favorite.  It was packed with granola, raisins, banana chips, and nuts.  And it was…Oh. My. Goodness. GOOD!  The other flavors were great too…the dried cranberries in the Cranberry version offered just enough tartness to compliment the oats.  Not a single flavor I didn’t like.

I finally left the house this morning with something in my stomach and, admittedly, I felt really good.  I was full, but in a good way.  Believe it or not, I actually passed up donuts, bagels and pastries at my morning meeting.  And I never do that.  My plate is usually the fullest at the conference table.  But today, I had breakfast at home and I’m pretty dang proud of myself.

And, if I’m going to be totally honest, I even had some as my after-work snack…and again as my after-dinner snack.  Udi’s Gluten Free Granola is so tasty, I can (and did) eat it all day.

Udi’s, a Denver-based family business, opened their first bakery in 1988.  They are committed to creating baked goods that are delicious, hearty – and 100% certified gluten-free.  Udi’s isn’t limited to granola either.  They have a whole product line that includes bread, bagels, pizza crusts, and more!

  • Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, the #1 gluten free baked goods brand, revolutionized the category when it introduced the first gluten-free bread that tastes and looks like “real” bread.
  • Udi’s products are so delicious that you will wonder if they are truly gluten-free.
  • Udi’s products contain no artificial ingredients and very few preservatives.

So go ahead and give Udi’s a try…while I try NOT to make it my before-bed snack too!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive four 12-oz bags of Udi’s Granola to facilitate this review.  However, all thoughts, opinions, and comments are my own.

El Dia del Nino (Children’s Day)

In about an hour – well, definitely by the time I post this – it will be El Día del Niño, or Children’s Day.  Children’s Day is an event that is celebrated around the world on various days, including many Latin American countries.  In Mexico,  El Día del Niño is celebrated annually on April 30th.   Although not a state holiday, children feel special on their celebrated day.  Some schools even close for the day or let the kids wear shorts and a colored shirt.

I searched online for about an hour, looking for any local events that honored the day, with no luck.  I couldn’t find a single event in all of Illinois celebrating the kids on April 30th.  Not a library, park district, or local club.  Hmpf!  Guess I’ll just have to figure out something to do.

I figured we could get out of the house, visit family and spend some time together.  Then – I checked the forecast.  Rain…AGAIN!  Bah – so sick of this weather!  Guess I’ll be staying in.

But – that’s not necessarily a bad thing!  Kids don’t care what you do with them, simply that you spent time with them.  Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of tickle fights with my dad.  Tickle fights = FREE fun – in your PJ’s.

So, that’s what I’ll do with my family tomorrow.  We’ll have breakfast and lounge around.  Watch a movie (or two), maybe play a board game, and just chill.  Together.  Maybe I’ll even throw in a few tickle fights.

And, speaking of breakfast, Kellogg is helping kick off El Día del Niño this year!  Kellogg believes in the power of breakfast and its ability to bring out the best in each day. One way for moms and kids to celebrate El Día del Niño is by starting their day off right with breakfast and enjoying a ticket to the movies.  Here’s how you can be a part of Kellogg’s current promotion for a free kids movie pass with a mail-in official form:

  • Buy any three Kellogg cereals (8.7 oz or larger) or EGGO Waffles (6 count or larger) and receive a free kids movie pass (up to $7.50 value) with mail-in official form.
  • The order form can be found on special packages of Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Krispies.  Tear pads are also available in the cereal aisle or from an EGGO freezer cling.

So, have fun with your families!  And remember, a little bit of time, goes a LONG way.

Disclosure: This post is part of a blogging program from the Kellogg Company and Latina Bloggers Connect.  I am eligible to win a $35 payment for this post.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Easter!

Today has been great!  Not much to post, but we started off the morning with a wonderful breakfast of Chorizo & Eggs:

And ended with a fantastic picture of my kids:

I’m not biased or anything, but aren’t they SOOOO cute?!?!

Happy Easter, everyone!

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