Kielbasa, Potato, Pine Nuts & Bacon Dinner (Recipe)

This is a new-to-my-family recipe that I came up with – we are going to call it Kielbasa, Potato, Pine Nuts & Bacon (with a little spinach) by Taste of Home’s Kielbasa Potato Skillet but altered due to what was available in our house.  I was expecting all of us to like it, I mean- it’s kielbasa and potato with bacon.  That’s a lot of things to like.  I wasn’t expecting the whole family to want seconds- thirds- and fight over who got leftovers to bring for lunch!

kielbasa potato pine nuts and bacon dinner recipe

What you need:

1 pound red potatoes, cubed
3 tablespoons water
2 Kielbasa (Kielbasae? Kielbasas?)
1/2 cup chopped onion (The kids and I are not onion fans, although I love the flavor they add to dishes. I don’t chop the onion, but leave it large- then it’s easy to pick out!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
2- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 -2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme ( I went heavier- did almost a full teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups fresh baby spinach (I’ll call this one optional- we didn’t have it, I didn’t use it.  I bet it would be good)

1/2 to 3/4 c toasted (roasted) pine nuts

5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (Listen, I’m not going to judge you if you do 6. or 7.  It’s bacon!)

What to Do:

Place already cubed potatoes and 3 T water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until tender; drain. (I cut them pretty small- they cook faster, but it also means I don’t have to cut again for the kids)
In a large skillet (I like to use my cast iron skillet for dishes like this- it’s a super easy way to add iron to your diet), saute kielbasa and onion in oil until onion is tender. Add potatoes to skillet and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a separate dish, toast your pine nuts- set them aside to toss at the very end.

Add vinegar, mustard, thyme, brown sugar and pepper to skillet- stir to coat.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Add spinach and bacon; cook and stir until spinach is wilted.  Add pine nuts, stir  and serve.


Do you have other Kielbasa recipes? I’m always looking for new ways to cook it- it’s one of those things I always keep in the freezer for last minute meals.  I’d love to have more ways to prepare it!

Valentine’s Wedding Extravaganza Giveaway

VALENTINE wedding giveaway

Welcome to the Valentines Wedding Extravaganza Event! This event is hosted by Dixieland Mom Product & Travel Reviews and So Cal Coupon Mommy and co hosted by This Mama Loves Her Bargains, Freebie Spot, Chillingly Cheap, &  Spend with Pennies.

We have some amazing prizes up for grabs! Like this gorgeous wedding gown by Alfred Angelo:

The winner will choose her size.
Another awesome prize, from Kay Jewelers is winner will get their choice of one of these wedding sets!
Also up for grabs are these amazing wedding favors available from My Wedding Favors: (Winner will get choice for up to 100 guests):
One lucky winner will get this beautiful Unity Ceremony Set:
One lucky bride will get her Bridal Bouquet in her choice of colors thru FTD
Also up for grabs is this awesome 16 x20 Canvas print from Easy Canvas Prints
What Great wedding Favors these would be from Candles by Nature:
Winner will receive one candle
Last but not least, One winner will receive a VISA gift Card valued at $500 and sponsored by all the amazing bloggers participating in this event!!
Entry is simple.  There are two entry forms, the Giveaway Tool for all the regular entries and the Rafflecopter for Facebook likes only.  We have to do it this way now due to Facebook restrictions on how we do our giveaways. All entries will be combined and drawn randomly via to ensure fairness. Sorry that we had to complicate it like that, but Facebook left us no option in the matter. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to the winning notification email, so please add to your safe list so the email doesn’t get sent to spam if you win. If no response is received, winner will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be chosen.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer & Rules: Giveaway is open to residents of the US age 18 and older. Void where prohibited. The participating bloggers are not responsible for shipment of prizes. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social network medium.

$100 Amazon Giveaway Facebook Blast

amazonblastWho wants to win an gift card?  Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon Facebook blast. We host one of these blasts each week! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for the blast here. If you are a reader, then good luck! The winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $100. The giveaway is open WW.

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Harman Stoves Offer Eco-Friendly Way to Heat Your Home (Giveaway)

This post brought to you by Harman Stoves. All opinions are 100% mine.


We have used a fire-burning woodstove or insert for several years to heat our home in the cold months.  It’s saved us hundreds a year if not more in oil costs.  We’ve been able to burn trees that have fallen from storms on our property, or those of friends, finding a way to have those trees not go to “waste” and giving us a good workout in the meantime, between chopping, splitting, stacking and bringing the wood in.  I have noticed more and more that families are using fireplace inserts or pellet stoves (like the Harman Pellet Stoves) to supplement their heat to use furnaces less.  It also means we’re not using as much heating oil- which reduces our carbon footprint.

I think more and more of us are leaning towards using a popular heating alternative for many reasons- I know in my area, a lot of families are looking to woodburning stoves in one form or another because you can still generate heat even when the power is out- something we’ve had happen more and more frequently with severe storms in the past few years.  We’ve had several storms now where we lost power for anywhere from 5-8 days- others have lost longer- but we were one of the few houses that was “warm” at 64 all day simply from having that fireplace insert going.  With or without the fan blowing, it can still be used for heat.

Harman™ has forged a brand of premium pellet stoves and inserts that are “Built to a standard, not a price.” Even heat, easy maintenance, advanced technology and distinctive features place these stoves in a league of their own.

A stove is freestanding and offers a traditional and charming ambience. Stoves can be conventional and efficient woodburners, pellet or coal fueled. They are available in a variety of sizes and style and are easily added to most rooms. Inserts are installed inside an existing fireplace to provide a more efficient, clean burning fire. They can be wood, pellet, or coal.

We had a hard time deciding between a pellet stove or a wood-burning stove or insert. Ultimately for us, it came down to what we’d incur less cost for- and given the number of trees on our property and friends’ properties, wood won.  The pellet stove is a great alternative and from what I have seen at friends’ homes, a bit less dusty than a wood-burning option.

One BIG piece of news: The federal tax credit on 75 percent efficient biomass heating appliances, which expired on Dec. 31, 2011, was reinstated on Jan. 2, 2013. The bill includes a “tax extender” for Internal Revenue Service Section 25C, which provides a tax credit for, among many other things, qualifying biomass-burning stoves!The extender provides a 10 percent tax credit of up to $300 on a qualifying biomass heating appliance purchased between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2013!

Pellet Stoves are Awesome

What do you use to heat your family’s home?  Have you considered a Harman stove or similar? 

Harman T-Shirt

One reader will win a Harman notebook and a Harman t-shirt!

To Enter: Leave a comment and tell me which Harman product you like or  something that struck you as interesting from the Harman site.  

This giveaway will end on February 16, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. US only.  Winner chosen randomly. 

Wanna Win Something? Giveaway Linky

mavens of money giveaways
WIN a Kate Spade Purse – ends 2/1

WIN a KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 QT Stand Mixer – ends 2/1

$5 Giveaway Daily – ends 1/31

Save on Gas! Fuel Rewards Network Giveaway – ends 1/31

Designer Purse Giveaway – Kate Spade Shopper Bag (retail value $248) – ends 2/2

Freshwater pearl & sterling silver hand stamped necklace – ends 2/1

Madame Deals Event RoyalNote Amazon Gift Cards Giveaway – ends 2/13
Little Passports membership

$1000 Cash Giveaway

$25 Visa Gift Card

$100 Amazon Gift Card

Acer Chromebook

On-In Beauty Starter Set 3 winners

Clifford the Big Red Dog Prize Pack 5 winners

Hello Winter $1000 Cash Giveaway – Ends 2/24

$25 Giftcard to CafePress ends 2/10

Coupon for FREE Bottle of Purex Crystals for Baby ends 2/10


Love LEGO bricks? You’ll LOVE LEGO’s YouTube Channel! ($1000 LEGO Giveaway) #LEGOChannel

One of my favorite childhood pastimes was building with LEGO blocks.  I’m so happy to say that all three of my children seem to have inherited my love of LEGO blocks, and each spends time regularly playing with them.  We’ve had Quatros, Duplos, and “regular” LEGOS, we’ve had sets and we’ve had individual pieces. We’ve got accessories, kitchen items, apparel, and whatever else we can find.  

One thing we’ve not had was a way to view the LEGO shows that don’t appear on the TV “on demand” from our cable provider- or to view the LEGO videos that have aired elsewhere or are made for online viewing…until recently.  LEGO has it’s own YouTube channel and we’ve found a new way to watch our favorite toys come to life.  

TheLEGO channel is fabulous.  Just about any LEGO-produced video you can find, from product information, TV ads, shows, and behind the scenes stuff- all in one place.  AND, you can create playlists to match interests or your kids’ ages and have them be able to access a list with content that YOU want them to  be able to watch- no surprise videos popping up.  We have all experienced or heard of someone innocently stumbling upon “adult” content or something not in our taste and having playlists means we eliminate that risk. 

I will say, I do hope that LEGO expands on what they offer for videos and include some fun DUPLO videos- I know my kids would get a big kick out of seeing their LEGO farm friends on screen, and my little girl would be ecstatic if her princess friends came to life.  My oldest is very into the LEGO Friends line and keeps asking me if there are episodes for Friends like there are for Ninjago.  So LEGO, if you see this…we want more!  Please!


There is a lot of content on web; creating a playlist on the Official LEGO® Channel is a great way to ensure your kids are entertained and watching videos you can feel good about. 

Visit the Official LEGO® Channel to build your own playlist to watch with your kids and then reply below for a chance to win one (1) $1,000 gift card to buy your family’s favorite LEGO® products!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LEGO. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Cascade Complete Pacs help us get 2013 off to a fresh, clean start! #CascadeComplete

Lazy may be too harsh.  Overtired, and stuck to the couch mama?  In any event, we had a super full dishwasher two nights ago, and both my husband and I forgot to run it.  Not only did this mean the dishes didn’t get washed, but all three of my favorite coffee mugs were in there.  Tragic. I haven’t been really happy with the dishwasher detergent we’ve been using, and was very annoyed because I just *knew* that the dishes weren’t going to come clean.  Then the doorbell rang- it was a delivery including a sample of Cascade Complete Pacs!  Score!

cascade complete

See, with an older dishwasher…things haven’t been getting quite so sparkly clean.  That’s with rinsing ahead of time.  I get really, really annoyed when I have to pre-rinse things and then put them into the dishwasher (first world problems, I know. But if you have a machine that’s got a job, I want it to do the job it’s supposed to do!) The new Cascade Complete pacs combine all the cleaning power of powder and the power of gel and combine to make a super cleaner.  I think they need to make an icon for this product wearing a superhero cape. I love it.  Take that, icky dishes!

cascade complete pacs

So after my dishes sat dirty overnight in a very full dishwasher, I was all mad at myself because I just knew I’d be doing handwashing to finish the job.  Annoyed with myself for forgetting, I popped a Cascade pac into the dispenser, turned the dishwasher on, and crossed my fingers.

Turns out, I didn’t need to cross my fingers.  These tiny pacs have a powerful punch.  I may not always be one to use “regular” store bought cleaners, but especially during cold and flu season, especially with the illnesses my family has had in the past month alone, I do use them.  There was nothing left on any dish nor on any piece of flatware in my dishwasher.  Usually there’s a little surprise waiting for me somewhere amongst the clean dishes, waiting to taunt me and make me want to scream in frustration (I can’t be the only one who finds the “treasures” the dishwasher misses?)– but even after sitting overnight in their filth, the dishes were shiny clean.  No spots, even.  I’m a happy girl.  I’m a convert, too. A box of the Cascade Complete Pacs is already on my shopping list for this week!

Of course, I have a shiny new dishwasher in the garage waiting for my husband to have time to install it and then I will REALLY be off to a fresh clean start, with a brand new, efficient dishwasher AND Cascade Complete!  Until he gets the chance, I’m glad to have these pacs because they work so well.  It’ll be a dishwashing dream, having a new, efficient dishwasher and a well performing product to clean the dishes with!  

About Cascade: In 1953, Cascade entered the automatic dishwashing market with claims of “spotless dishes” to the 4% of households with dishwashers. This fast-moving world of household innovations was just in its beginning stages, and Cascade stayed at the forefront for the next 50 years by developing a range of automatic dishwashing products perfect for a variety of families, needs, and lifestyles. Today, with decades of experience and dishwashers in more than 60% of households, Cascade continues to grow, striving for immaculate dishes every time with its brilliant automatic dishwashing powders, gels, pacs, and additives.


“This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Cascade blogging program, and I received free product from P&G for participating. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.”

Does That Home You’re Thinking About Have These Red Flags?



If you’re tired of wasting money every month as a renter, perhaps it’s time to buy your own home. You may have taken all the appropriate steps, such as improving your credit score and saving for a down payment. Likewise, you may have looked into various surety home loans and applied for financing. But while you’re no doubt eager to find and purchase a house, this excitement shouldn’t cloud your judgment.

Once you sign the loan documents and take possession of a house, you’re responsible for all repairs. For this reason, it’s important that you examine each house with a keen eye and check for red flags.

1. Several homes for sale on the street. If a particular street or neighborhood has several properties for sale, be cautious. This can be a coincidence, or it might signal a bigger problem. Perhaps the neighborhood has a problem with vandalism, pests or burglary. You can contact your local police and request a crime report for the community, or speak with current residents.

2. Outdated appliances and rooms. There is nothing wrong with buying an older home. In fact, you might snag an older property at an amazing price. But if the property hasn’t been updated in decades, it may take a lot of time and money to modernized the space. Consider whether you have the resources to update the kitchen and bathrooms, and replace broken appliances.

3. Possible foundation issues. Pay attention to how the yard slopes. If the property slopes toward the house, rain water can easily flow toward the house and damage the foundation. You can inspect the foundation for cracks or other noticeable problems, however, it’s best to bring in a home inspector to ensure that the foundation is in good condition.

4. Fresh paint smell. It’s common for sellers to give their property a fresh coat of paint. But sometimes, sellers paint walls to disclose problems, such as a leaky roof. Be suspicious. A leaky roof can cause mold and mildew to develop in the attic and between the walls.

5. Evidence of pests. The occasional spider or beetle is common, but if bugs are a persistent problem, you might pass on the house. Check underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks and look for droppings and signs of pests. If you decide to bid on the house, state that the bid is subject to a successful termite inspection.

Buying a new house is an exciting time, but if you rush the process, you might purchase the wrong property. Take your time and thoroughly inspect each house before submitting a bid.

Guest Post provided by Becky W

Kids School Vacation Package at the Westin Copley Place

The Westin Copley Place in Boston is offering  a special Kids School Vacation Package with rates from $199 per night!  Not sure what to do with the kids this break?  Or, do you have a short vacation like we do, and don’t have a full week to get away?  The kids and I are heading up to Boston for a few days for some fun in the city!

westin copley place boston

WHO: Families looking for a fun getaway during February school vacation (whether it’s in the form of a vacation or a staycation) are welcome to enjoy a special Kids Vacation Package at one of Boston’s most celebrated hotels, The Westin Copley Place.

WHAT: The Westin Copley Place has put together a special February Kids Vacation Package, now available for booking. Children 12 years old and under will be given special discounts and have a number of exciting activities to participate in during their stay. With rates from $199 per night, the family vacation package includes:

· Kids (under 12) eat breakfast free each morning of their stay in the breakfast restaurant, The Huntington ($26 value)
· Kids (under 12) eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée in Turner Fisheries, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (up to $25 value)
· Milk and cookie sent to room at check in ($15 value)
· Complimentary in room movie each day (up to $16 value)
· Complimentary in room high speed Internet access ($12.95 value)
· Complimentary parking ($47 value)

Guests and kids can wind down or start the day by enjoying one of the Westin’s daily activities. The list, available upon check-in, may include, but is not limited to:

· Story time
· Postcard decorating
· Movie night
· Cookie decorating / tour of kitchen

Book this special package online today, or call (866) 716-8121 and reference KIDSCLUB.

I can promise you we’ll be frequenting the pool- swimming in Feburary up here in New England? YES please!

westin copley place hotel pool

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013

WHERE: The Westin Copley Place
10 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 262-9600


We will be staying at the Westin Copley Place and sharing a review in a few weeks about our experience.  Opinions are and will be my own!