Wednesday, February 26, 2014



I have been trying to make a delicious homemade biscuit for going on five years now.  Many people have told me how incredibly easy it is or that 'there's nothing to it', but for me, I have had a biscuit block.  I don't know if I was trying too hard, or just hadn't found the right recipe for me, but I have never been able to make a truly delicious biscuit (though I have made a few decent ones). I have always been able to cook or bake most anything, but not biscuits.

The first 7 or 8 batches I tried, 5 years ago, always turned out dry or hard or both.  I got discouraged, and I quit trying for a while.  About a year later, I tried again.  This time, my biscuits were not quite as hard or dry, but they did not rise at all like they should.  So once again, I got discouraged and quit after trying possibly a dozen batches (using several different recipes too, might I add).   I was so dispirited  that I didn't try again until about 6 months ago.

After tons of research on WHY I was having these problems, and looking up ways to avoid them, I was finally able to product a decent biscuit.  I kept at it, tweaking my recipe and technique a little at a time to try to make it a little better.

This morning, I finally did it!  I made the most delicious, perfectly raised, fluffy biscuit ever!  It may not look like a pretty Hardees or Paula Dean biscuit, but it is soooo yummy that I had to share it with you all!

Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour plus more for rolling out
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup cold milk (preferably whole)
2 Tbsp Butter or margarine, melted

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Mix will.
2. Add the 1/3 cup shortening cutting in with your fingers. Work it in until the mixture looks like it has the texture of very coarse corn meal.   Try to do this as quickly as possible so that the shortening doesn't melt.
3. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the milk. Mix it in using a fork.  Do this only until all the flour mixture is moistened.  Do not overwork it.
4.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead 3 or 4 times and flatten out with your fingers.  Add flour to the surface as needed to prevent sticking. Roll over the dough once or twice with a rolling pin, reducing thickness to around 1/2  thick.
5.  Dip a glass rim or round cookie cutter in flour.  Cut out biscuits.  DO NOT twist the glass!  Press straight down.  Twisting will prevent the biscuits from rising properly, and will make them hard. You may re-roll the dough and cut more biscuits until  dough is used up.  Place on a greased baking pan, brush tops with butter and bake approximately 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. 





*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 
7:09 AM Christine D


I have been trying to make a delicious homemade biscuit for going on five years now.  Many people have told me how incredibly easy it is or that 'there's nothing to it', but for me, I have had a biscuit block.  I don't know if I was trying too hard, or just hadn't found the right recipe for me, but I have never been able to make a truly delicious biscuit (though I have made a few decent ones). I have always been able to cook or bake most anything, but not biscuits.

The first 7 or 8 batches I tried, 5 years ago, always turned out dry or hard or both.  I got discouraged, and I quit trying for a while.  About a year later, I tried again.  This time, my biscuits were not quite as hard or dry, but they did not rise at all like they should.  So once again, I got discouraged and quit after trying possibly a dozen batches (using several different recipes too, might I add).   I was so dispirited  that I didn't try again until about 6 months ago.

After tons of research on WHY I was having these problems, and looking up ways to avoid them, I was finally able to product a decent biscuit.  I kept at it, tweaking my recipe and technique a little at a time to try to make it a little better.

This morning, I finally did it!  I made the most delicious, perfectly raised, fluffy biscuit ever!  It may not look like a pretty Hardees or Paula Dean biscuit, but it is soooo yummy that I had to share it with you all!

Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour plus more for rolling out
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup cold milk (preferably whole)
2 Tbsp Butter or margarine, melted

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Mix will.
2. Add the 1/3 cup shortening cutting in with your fingers. Work it in until the mixture looks like it has the texture of very coarse corn meal.   Try to do this as quickly as possible so that the shortening doesn't melt.
3. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the milk. Mix it in using a fork.  Do this only until all the flour mixture is moistened.  Do not overwork it.
4.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead 3 or 4 times and flatten out with your fingers.  Add flour to the surface as needed to prevent sticking. Roll over the dough once or twice with a rolling pin, reducing thickness to around 1/2  thick.
5.  Dip a glass rim or round cookie cutter in flour.  Cut out biscuits.  DO NOT twist the glass!  Press straight down.  Twisting will prevent the biscuits from rising properly, and will make them hard. You may re-roll the dough and cut more biscuits until  dough is used up.  Place on a greased baking pan, brush tops with butter and bake approximately 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. 





*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

American Girl characters past and present show girls today that they can do great things if they believe in themselves and each other. From a Native American girl living in the Northwest in 1764 to a contemporary girl whose passions inspire action, the characters in every story illustrate the power of determination, imagination, courage, and hope—the same spirit that inspires modern American girls. I had my own American girl doll when I was young, and now I've bought one for Laura as well. She loves hers just as much as I loved mine. She is still too young to read the books on her own, but we read a chapter a night until we get one of them done.

One lucky winner will receive an American Girl Doll & Book.

Organized by: Mom Powered Media. Giveaway ends March 6th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadia residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.




  a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Contact theiowamom@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments.
*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 
4:17 AM Christine D
American Girl characters past and present show girls today that they can do great things if they believe in themselves and each other. From a Native American girl living in the Northwest in 1764 to a contemporary girl whose passions inspire action, the characters in every story illustrate the power of determination, imagination, courage, and hope—the same spirit that inspires modern American girls. I had my own American girl doll when I was young, and now I've bought one for Laura as well. She loves hers just as much as I loved mine. She is still too young to read the books on her own, but we read a chapter a night until we get one of them done.

One lucky winner will receive an American Girl Doll & Book.

Organized by: Mom Powered Media. Giveaway ends March 6th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadia residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.




  a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Contact theiowamom@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments.
*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 

Monday, February 17, 2014



Recently, I was given the opportunity to do a review for Magestical Jewelry.  They are an online store that sells premium jewelry at a fantastic price.  They manufacture and distribute the highest quality products and deliver them right to your door.


For this review, I received a pair of Leaf Cluster Stunner Earrings.  This beautiful pair only cost $8.50 on their website!!  I love the way they look on me and how incredibly versatile they are.  They can be dressed up or down.  I have worn them with jeans to go shopping and on a dinner date with the hubby.

One of my favorite things about Majestical Jewelry is that they really do have a great selection within every price range.  With necklaces ranging from $8- $3500, bracelets from $11- $325, and earrings from $6.50- $1200, they have something amazing for everyone's budget.

My Verdict on Majestical Jewelry?  I love them!  They have gorgeous, high quality jewelry at every price point, and they ship directly to your door, complete with gift box and bag!


Can we say convenient gift giving?  (or self-gifting  )


Comment below and tell me what your favorite item from Majestical's website is.  Would you give it as a gift or buy it for yourself?

If you like what you see on the website, why not give them a 'like' on facebook as well?  Their page is HERE.


*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 
7:50 AM Christine D


Recently, I was given the opportunity to do a review for Magestical Jewelry.  They are an online store that sells premium jewelry at a fantastic price.  They manufacture and distribute the highest quality products and deliver them right to your door.


For this review, I received a pair of Leaf Cluster Stunner Earrings.  This beautiful pair only cost $8.50 on their website!!  I love the way they look on me and how incredibly versatile they are.  They can be dressed up or down.  I have worn them with jeans to go shopping and on a dinner date with the hubby.

One of my favorite things about Majestical Jewelry is that they really do have a great selection within every price range.  With necklaces ranging from $8- $3500, bracelets from $11- $325, and earrings from $6.50- $1200, they have something amazing for everyone's budget.

My Verdict on Majestical Jewelry?  I love them!  They have gorgeous, high quality jewelry at every price point, and they ship directly to your door, complete with gift box and bag!


Can we say convenient gift giving?  (or self-gifting  )


Comment below and tell me what your favorite item from Majestical's website is.  Would you give it as a gift or buy it for yourself?

If you like what you see on the website, why not give them a 'like' on facebook as well?  Their page is HERE.


*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

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In Fitness Confidential , America's Angriest Trainer Vinnie Tortorich along with co-author Dean Lorey explains to the reader  how he has managed to successfully get his clients (even famous ones, who are on a deadline to lose) to lose weight and add lean muscle mass for over 20 years.  In this candid and often brutally honest book, he breaks down what works and what doesn't, and shows you how to tell the difference.

His diet tips?  DON'T.  You only have to follow 2 simple rules to lose weight Vinnie Tortorich style, and guess what? Bacon is still on the menu!  Woo hoo! He shows you how to shop for a gym to join, a trainer, and fitness equipment .  Vinnie also shares some of the humorous situations he has found himself in as a trainer to a mostly high income client base. This memoir is rated 'R' because some of these hilarious stories are more than a little personal in nature.

This book was very easy to read, was straight to the point, and laid out everything you need to get yourself into the best shape of your life!

At the beginning of the book, he starts with the most important part of weight loss:  the diet.    I started reading this book 2 weeks ago, and started following his non-diet immediately.  I'm never hungry and I can eat pretty much what I want (as I said before, bacon is included, so I'm a happy camper).  I have already lost  SEVEN pounds!

The best part of Vinnie's book?  He offers FREE support with his podcasts .  There is also a lot of great advise on his website , VinnieTortorich.com

If you would like to purchase Vinnie's book, it can be found on Amazon, here for $9.99.

*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources. 
4:43 PM Christine D
Follow my blog with Bloglovin



In Fitness Confidential , America's Angriest Trainer Vinnie Tortorich along with co-author Dean Lorey explains to the reader  how he has managed to successfully get his clients (even famous ones, who are on a deadline to lose) to lose weight and add lean muscle mass for over 20 years.  In this candid and often brutally honest book, he breaks down what works and what doesn't, and shows you how to tell the difference.

His diet tips?  DON'T.  You only have to follow 2 simple rules to lose weight Vinnie Tortorich style, and guess what? Bacon is still on the menu!  Woo hoo! He shows you how to shop for a gym to join, a trainer, and fitness equipment .  Vinnie also shares some of the humorous situations he has found himself in as a trainer to a mostly high income client base. This memoir is rated 'R' because some of these hilarious stories are more than a little personal in nature.

This book was very easy to read, was straight to the point, and laid out everything you need to get yourself into the best shape of your life!

At the beginning of the book, he starts with the most important part of weight loss:  the diet.    I started reading this book 2 weeks ago, and started following his non-diet immediately.  I'm never hungry and I can eat pretty much what I want (as I said before, bacon is included, so I'm a happy camper).  I have already lost  SEVEN pounds!

The best part of Vinnie's book?  He offers FREE support with his podcasts .  There is also a lot of great advise on his website , VinnieTortorich.com

If you would like to purchase Vinnie's book, it can be found on Amazon, here for $9.99.

*disclaimer*  I received a copy of Fitness Confidential free of charge for the purposes of this review, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  These opinions are my own, and were not influenced by any outside sources.