Parragon Cookbooks That Fuel Your Family For Back To School #BackToSchoolWithParragon


This back-to-school season every parent wants to make sure they’re fueling their children’s bodies with good, healthy, wholesome foods.  Parragon has a few great cookbooks that will not only help you cook healthier for your family, they’re all recipes that even the pickiest of children will enjoy.  If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know that I started Nutrisystem in January.  Every single recipe that I’ve seen in these books fits into my Nutrisystem plan, so I can indulge in the same meal as my family which is pretty rare these days.


I received Power Food, The Sugar-Free Kitchen, and The Superfood Kitchen and I am so thrilled with these books!  The greatest thing for me is that the nutrition facts are all there in the books, no need for me to have to calculate and see if it’s something I can have…it’s all labeled right there and I get to enjoy every last one of these recipes.


Power Food is a small book, but don’t let that fool you.  It has over 100 easy, wholesome recipes that pack a nutritious punch.  Each recipe is bursting with powerful natural ingredients and offering a dynamic combination of vitamins, minerals, and essential trace elements.  There are so many great options for meals throughout the day so you can choose how you want to power up your day.  Choose from kick-start breakfasts, energy boosting snacks, protein packed main courses, and even irresistible desserts that feel like something you shouldn’t eat, but is good for you.


The Sugar Free Kitchen is a great way to help us cut back the amount of sugar that we consume.  It seems that sugar is hidden in everything these days and we all wonder why obesity is such an issue these days.  With recipes from breakfast, snacks, lunches, dinners, desserts, and even baked goods, you can choose where you want to cut the sugar, or create a whole day’s plan using this fabulous cookbook.


The Superfood Kitchen is full of ingredients that are nutrition powerhouses…foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals for the ultimate health boost, improving energy levels and strengthening health and well-being.  The Superfood Kitchen is a great collection of feel-good foods that the whole family will be able to enjoy.  There is lots of great information about the superfoods you’ll find inside, and why it’s important to include these in our diets.  Recipes available from breakfast, snacks, lunches, main dishes, to desserts and baking.  Who knew good-for-you could taste SO good?

Once you get your hands on these Parragon cookbooks you’ll see why I am so excited about them…they’ll help get my family a little healthier, one meal at a time.


***I did not receive any financial compensation, simply the product free to me in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.***

Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut Spread #Review #Recipe


Rigoni di Asiago may be a brand you already recognize…I’m a huge fan of their fruit spreads.  They introduced a new Dairy Free Chocolate Hazelnut Spread and it is INCREDIBLE!  This spread is certified vegan, dairy free, organic, and completely free of GMO’s.


This isn’t your run of the mill hazelnut spread, so I didn’t want to use it in a boring, plain way.  I usually would have it on top of toast or a waffle but what fun would that be?  Time to get creative!


I wanted to try a couple different ways with pancake batter so I pulled out my electric skillet and decided to have a little fun.  The pancake with the swirls didn’t work out very well, it was actually quite a mess.  The one with the spread in the center cooked perfectly, and the kids loved it!  (If you try this also,  you will need to put a little more batter on top to cover the hazelnut spread…I left it off for the picture to show how I was using it.)


The pancakes with the hazelnut spread centers were fantastic!  A really nice spin on an old favorite for an all new delicious creation.


For me, chocolate hazelnut cookies sounded like the perfect way to use this amazing goodness.  The spread worked nicely into the batter and made the cookies have such an amazing taste…but beware!  These things are DANGEROUSLY delicious.  I created a recipe using the Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Dairy Free spread, if you’d like to see how heavenly these Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata cookies are the recipe is included below.  (You’re welcome 😉 )

Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Cookies


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Dairy Free spread
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt a medium bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl until smooth.  Beat in eggs (one at a time) until fully mixed.  Mix in vanilla and Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Dairy Free spread.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Chill for 2-4 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees
  5. Drop balls of dough (about 1 tbsp each) on a non-stick baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 14 minutes and move to cooling rack immediately.


If you can’t find this spread in a store, you can also find it here on Amazon as well.


***I did not receive any financial compensation, simply the product free to me in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion***




Shredded Chicken Taco Recipe

Spice up your taco Tuesday with my shredded chicken tacos.  It’s the least amount of work you’ll ever put into making the tastiest tacos ever.

You’ll need:

Whole chicken





Salt and pepper to taste


Here’s how simple these shredded chicken tacos are!  You put lemon halves inside the chicken and put it in the crock pot.  Once the chicken is in the crock pot, simply put the rest of the ingredients on top and pop the lid on.  Put the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours, and shred when done.  Delish!!

Stephany’s Mouth Waterin’ Chili Recipe

No matter what the season, slow cooker chili is a MUST in this house.  I make it at least once a month because we just can’t get enough of it.  I wanted to share my recipe with all of you so you can try it for yourself.  I guarantee, it will also become a monthly staple meal in your home.  (As long as you like spice, that is!)  It’s a super simple to prepare meal that delivers “OH MY GOD!” results.



1-2 lbs stew meat

1 lb hot ground pork sausage

3 cans S&W chili beans

1 can (15-16 oz) tomato sauce

2 packages McCormick hot chili seasoning

1 can or glass jar of sliced jalapenos

5 habaneros

minced garlic (use as much or as little as you like)

Step 1

Brown the stew meat and ground sausage in a skillet (I use a large deep skillet and do them both together because they end up in the same crockpot anyways).  Once the meat is mostly cooked, add it to the crockpot.

Step 2

Add in your chili beans, tomato sauce, chili seasoning packets, half of your jalapenos AND half of the jalapeno juice from the jar, habaneros, and garlic.  Mix together.  Set slow cooker to low and in about 6 hours you have the most amazing tasting chili you’ve ever had 🙂


If you’d like, top with some shredded cheese and sprinkle in crackers.

Black Forest Banana Bread Recipe

I love, love LOVE baking!  Recently I’ve gotten a few new cookbooks and have been really enjoying putting them to use.  One of my favorite new cookbooks is Dump Cakes by Cathy Mitchell.

Banana bread has always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.  When I found an awesome twist on it in the Dump Cakes cookbook I knew I was going to try that first above anything else.  I hope all of you try this for yourself and see how amazing it is 🙂



1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cups chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Drain cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice.  Coarsely chop the cherries.

Combine brown sugar and butter in large bowl; beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy.  Beat in bananas, eggs and reserved cherry juice until well blended.  Stir in chopped cherries, chocolate chips, and pecans (or whatever type of nut you choose to use if any).  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did, and remember, this is just one of the simply amazing things available in Cathy Mitchell’s Quick and Easy Dump Cakes and More

***No compensation was given of any kind.  I bought this cookbook for myself, and absolutely love it.  My post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Cathy Mitchell or anyone associated with her***

Home-Made Playdough Recipe

If you’re looking for something fun and entertaining for the kid while still easy and inexpensive, I have the perfect thing for you. I have been making playdough for my kids for years. With this simple recipe, your kids are sure to have hours of fun. (They also love helping make it and watch it transform from liquid to solid.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups salt
2 tbsp oil
3 cups water
1 tbsp cream of tartar

In a large pot, whisk all the ingredients together until well blended (now is where you would also add in any food coloring you want). On your stovetop, heat the mixture on medium/medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. When the dough starts to form into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan it’s ready!

I love this playdough because it’s 100% edible (although it won’t taste good), and non-toxic. Store it in a Ziploc bag until it gets too hard to play with and then you can have fun making more 🙂 .

This is what it will look like when you whisk it all together.

This is what it looks like when done heating. There will be little flakes stuck to the bottom and sides like you see here, it washed right off and won’t harm the pot you’re using.

After about 10-15 minutes cooling you’re ready to play!

Cookie cutters make for great fun!

Stephany’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


After being let down time and time again by many chocolate chip cookie recipes, I came up with my own! I hope you all enjoy my take on an awesome chocolate chip cookie!

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp Country Crock Original, melted, cooled until warm
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degreed

In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Mix together butter and both sugars until well combined. Beat in egg (plus extra yolk) and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded spoonfulls onto cookie sheet. Add 3 or 4 extra chocolate chips to the top of each ball of dough. (More for visual appeal than anything else). Bake cookies for 12 minutes, and allow to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack to finish cooling.