Sweet & Savory Jambalaya

One of the highlights of my Mom 2.0 conference  in NOLA this year was winning a recipe contest sponsored by Zatarain’s.  For those not familiar with Zatarain’s, they make everything from frozen entrees, to spices, but are probably most well known for their boxed rice mixes (of which I’m a big fan).  When my husband was working in another state and I was juggling a baby, and working outside of the house FT, I loved this stuff because I could make a big batch and add lots of fresh veggies & protein, then eat it for a couple of days.  It’s filling, full of flavor, and the boxed mix gives me a nice base that I can be as creative as I want with, depending on how much time I have and what other ingredients I have on hand.  I knew a lot of people would be entering the contest, so I wanted to try something different.  I’ve been really into sweet & savory things lately, so I thought adding a little fruit to the dish would be a fun way to mix it up!  Here’s what you’ll need for this sweet & savory jambalaya that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package Zatarain’s Reduced Sodium Jambalaya Mix
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 package (12 ounces) Andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch clices (can use turkey sausage as a substitute)
  • 3 cups pineapple, cut into chunks (fresh is best, but I won’t judge)
  • 2 cups of craisins
  1. In large skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add onion & peppers, cook and stir 5-7 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, Jambalaya Mix & water.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover & simmer about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in shrimp & sausage. Put the cover back on and cook for 8 more minutes.
  4. Finally, add pineapple & craisins. Cook for an additional 2 minutes with cover on.  Make sure shrimp is pinkish and rice and veggies are cooked, then remove from heat, let cool a little bit and serve.

Win $2500 from California Black Ripe Olives (Dress Up Your Dish!)

Mediterranean Roasted Olives

Mediterranean Roasted Olives

 

I am thrilled to announce several fun contests being put on by California Black Ripe Olives.  Time is of the essence here, folks, so keep in mind one contest ends on April 26th, the other June 1.

With that said, here are the details:

From olive artichoke party dip to lime marinated seafood salad to the kid friendly pizza tacos, California Black Ripe Olives are every season’s hottest accessory and they truly make the dish!  I know a lot of you love to cook as much as I do (can I call what I do cooking??) so chop chop–pun intended–and start showing the California Olive folks what you’ve got, because they’re giving away some loot!

FIRST CONTEST: (ends April 26th)

  • Tweet a picture of a can of California Black Ripe Olives next to your favorite accessory.   Be fun, be fabulous, be forward thinking.  The more pictures you tweet, the better your chances of winning!

    Prada Wristlet

    Win this Prada wristlet!

  • Be sure to tweet this hashtag with your picture #CalOlives
  • What you’ll win: Prada, baby!  Check out the wristlet, pictured right
  • For FIVE bonus entries, make a recipe using a can of California Olives and tweet a photo with hashtag #CalOlives
  • Final Note: Winner will be announced May 2nd on California Olives Facebook Page

 

Cali Black Olives

SECOND CONTEST: (ends June 1st)

  • We already know olives go with everything.  Now it’s your turn to “Dress Up Your Dish!”
  • Share how you accessorize your meals with California Black Ripe Olives for a chance to score one of 3 $100 Gilt gift cards, for REAL fashion accessories at insider prizes.
  • One lucky winner will take home $2500 in cash for creating the ultimate ensemble!!!
  • Three finalists will be selected based on creativity, ease of preparation, taste, and if the recipe used at least 6 ounces of California Black Ripe Olives (easy, right?)
  • Finalists will be announced June 15th, then it’s up to the fans to decide who will take home the cash.
  • Go here to enter (we’d love it if you told us about the dish you entered)

Disclaimer: I bet you guys were expecting me to say this was a sponsored post, Nope!  In fact, California Black Ripe Olives sent me to Mom 2.0—NO STRINGS ATTACHED.  I had such an amazing time and I loved their entire team so much–not to mention their product–that I just want to help spread the word about their awesomeness.  They are a joy to work with and I know whomever wins this contest will have the same experience.  Good luck…now, get to tweeting, creating & snapping photos! xo

 

Memorable Moments of Mom 2.0 (Part 1)

NOLA Ritz

NOLA Ritz, locale for Mom 2.0

 Life is about memorable moments. Creating them. Savoring them. Replicating them.  (It never hurts to try.) As Mom 2.0 approached, and the talk on twitter, facebook, and email peaked leading up to the 3 day conference,  my excitement increased. I knew I would learn a massive amount of information. The ingenuity, creativity, dedication, and passion of women like Kimberly Blaine, Jyl Pattee, Emily McKhann, Andrea Wishom, Liz Gumbinner, Beth Lemanach is knock your socks off inspiring. I honestly don’t know how you guys do it. While I only dropped named a few names, truth is—every single person I met during Mom 2.0 moved me in some way. I left every conversation thirsty for additional knowledge, empowered, and excited to do more. Faster. Better. Smarter. I wondered how on earth I was going to manage it all, plus a full time career as a TV Anchor.  The content at Mom 2.0 is top notch. I was often torn as to which breakout session to attend. The New Style: Bloggers, Brands and the Post Review & Giveaway Era or Video, Multimedia and Monetization: How Video Can Realistically Raise your Visibility and Credibility??   Creating and Building Influence or Personal Brand Building: Real-time Coaching and Brainstorming on Building Your Personal Brand and Where it Can Intersect with Big Brands??  Ultimately, I discovered it was the people BEHIND the message, more than the message itself that stayed with me…and THAT’S what making memorable moments is all about. The bonds you create with people. The lasting friendships, and partnerships. Conferences allow brands, bloggers, and PR folks to see the REAL you, not the person hiding behind the computer screen. On several of the headers on my site I have three words that I was happy to hear often throughout Mom 2.0. Authentic. Engaging. Approachable. More Mom 2.0 posts are to come, but if someone were to ask me to describe the people and discussions at the conference, I would describe them quite simply with the words we live by at  A Mom Knows Best.   Authentic. Engaging. Approachable.

Tiny Prints-Little Business Cards That Make a Big Splash!

business cards

I’ve worked at a lot of places.  And had a lot of business cards.  Working in television, my cards have been pretty standard…until now.  Here’s a glimpse of what my business cards have looked like for the past 15 years or so.  Just switch out the ABC, for CBS, NBC, or FOX…and change the station number;  the cards all pretty much look the same.

Practical...but boring

With the birth of A Mom Knows Best and the upcoming Mom 2.0 conference in NOLA, I knew I wanted something different. Something that showed I’m more than a business woman and a news anchor, something that showed personality.  I couldn’t go wrong with Tiny Prints.  I love the company’s whimsical designs, variety, and can’t- go-wrong approach to selecting and creating business cards.  Now, let me just state, this is my FIRST time ordering business cards myself, someone else has always done it for me.  Tiny Prints made it a breeze, folks.  LOVE THAT!!  Know what else I love?  24/7 live chat…don’t think I didn’t use it, TWICE.  I am a sucker for good customer service (hard to find these days) and Tiny Prints had it.

I chose the “Fresh Logo” folded cards, so I could put the A Mom Knows Best logo on the outside and add my picture to the inside.  To see another awesome Tiny Prints business card, check out Stacy Nerdin’s from Tree, Root, and Twig.  Here’s the outside of my business card.  I mean, are these not the cutest??

A Mom Knows Best business

Choose from polka dots in 4 different colors!

 
Cute…right?

The back of the card has a space for notes (love!)

To say I’m pleased with how the cards turned out is an understatement.  I might try a different card next time, because Tiny Prints has so many fun options, making the possibilities endless.  I also think I’d choose a card where I could include a little bit more text.  But, these were a HUGE hit at Mom 2.0…and they are memorable.  Many thanks to Tiny Prints for helping me out.

As an aside, for those of you wondering why all my pics are blurry…not to worry, new glasses are being ordered.

*Disclosure: I received my business cards from Tiny Prints at no cost in order to facilitate this review.

Getting Bronzed for Mom 2.0 (Cancer Free)

I took the advice of my friend Carrie and decided to get a spray tan for Mom 2.0.  Not that I ever would have gone to a tanning booth…I mean, c’mon, my husband had cancer TWICE.  Melanoma is not something to mess with .  Trust me, waiting nearly six hours while your husband has his face operated on at the Cleveland Clinic is not fun.  Being the one to have to go through that surgery—wondering if you are going to survive—and being left with the scars is even less fun.

You know what is fun, though?  Walking into Airbrush Tanning in Cranston, as white as a ghost , and walking out like I just got back from a trip to Mexico. O.M.G.  This place rocks.  Seriously.  If you have a an airbrush tanning place around you, go check it out…and if you live in RI, you must stop by this place.

I’ll admit, it’s a little strange at first having someone else see your business.  Of course, you have the option of wearing your bathing suit, but since I am wearing a strapless dress this weekend, I went topless.  I figured there’s nothing she hasn’t seen.  She sprayed me by hand—let me dry—then sprayed me again. (I was thisclose to asking her if she could spray muscle definition in my arms and legs, but figured I shouldn’t push my luck.)  The whole process took about 20 minutes and was worth EVERY PENNY of the $25 I spent.  At the airport 6 people asked me if I just got back from vacation.  Nice.

I’ve had the spray done once before at Airbrush Tanning, before I was to host an Oscar show.  I loved the results that time as well.  I used a mild soap in the shower every day and cocoa butter as lotion and my tan lasted about 10 days.  Here’s to looking bronzed–cancer-free– into May!Bronzed with John Besh at Mom 2.0

Have you ever tried Airbrush tanning?  What did you think?

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