Monday, September 30, 2013

Arriving on DVD from Entertainment One on October 8th -- The Horses of McBride -- Based on a Real-Life Holiday Miracle -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy by the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.


"When Nicki (MacKenzie Porter) discovers two horses stranded deep in the Rocky Mountain snow, she makes it her mission to find a way to get them to safety. With no other options, she picks up a shovel and starts to dig out the mile long path, inspiring both her father, Matt (Aidan Quinn), and the entire community to band together to save the horses in the spirit of Christmas."


My Thoughts:

My parents couldn't have chosen a better weekend than this past one to come and visit.  Not only was the fall weather beautiful, but the leaves were changing color, making the scenic roads here in CT a treat to drive through.  And, when we were not out picking apples and pumpkins with the girls, stopping in at local craft fairs and library book sales, we were catching up on movies I have recently been sent to review, or have watched.  When I used to live at home years ago, I loved watching Hallmark movies with my mom, when they would air on Sunday night each month.  Then, when they introduced the Hallmark Channel, our girls night's become so much fun.  We would pop a fresh batch of popcorn, snack on some of our guilty pleasure chocolates, and watch sappy love stories, or heartwarming family movies that would have us both in tears and reaching for the tissue box. :-)  These are memories I will treasure, and hope to create down the road with my girls.

On Saturday, the UPS driver dropped of an upcoming DVD release from Entertainment One, "The Horses of McBride."  I couldn't wait to rush up into the kitchen to where my parents were sitting to show my mom.  I knew she would get as excited as I did when she saw the cover.  I waited to flip the DVD over and read the synopsis of the movie, until when I was with my mom.  In unison, we both said it looked like a great movie, especially because it centered around the holidays.  I don't know about you, but next to fall, my next favorite time of year is Christmas, not just for the light displays and beautifully decorated trees, but for the wonderful offering of family friendly movies that air on television or become available to own on DVD.  And, this upcoming DVD, if I hadn't have received to review, would have been one DVD I would have picked up to watch with my mom. :-)

After the girls and boys went to bed Saturday night, I surprised my mom with popcorn and her favorite candy, and put the movie on for us to watch.  We each had our own box of tissues next to us, in case we needed them...and we did!  Don't worry, I will not spoil the ending of the movie.  Just know that if you love heartwarming movies, or holiday films, that this is one worth picking up.  I can see why the folks at Entertainment One said it would be destined to become a holiday classic.  My mom and I already agreed that we would watch it again on Thanksgiving night when we put up the Christmas tree.  And, my mom will be picking up a copy to add to her growing collection of holiday films, so that she can watch it and lend it out to her girlfriends, who also love these types of movies.


Three (3) lucky readers will win a DVD copy of this sure to become holiday classic, thanks to the folks at Entertainment One.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy by the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Arriving on DVD Tomorrow -- PHINEAS AND FERB: MISSION MARVEL -- Review

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views shared are mine and mine alone.

Own Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel on Disney DVD - October 1, 2013
Each DVD comes with a FREE collectible comic book inside with an Exclusive Mission Marvel poster

After Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s latest "-inator" scheme accidentally removes the powers of some very well-known Marvel Super Heroes (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk), the heroes enter the world of Danville and team up with Phineas and Ferb to relocate their powers, defeat the Marvel Super Villains (Red Skull, MODOK, Whiplash and Venom) - who have also shown up to steal Doofenshmirtz’s power-draining technology - and save Danville from ultimate destruction! 

All Star Voices:            Vincent Martella (“Everybody Hates Chris”) as Phineas Flynn; Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure) as Candace Flynn; Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“Game of Thrones”) as Ferb Fletcher; Caroline Rhea (“The Suite Life of Zach and Cody”) as Mom Linda Flynn-Fletcher; Richard O'Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ever After: A Cinderella Story) as dad Lawrence Fletcher; Alyson Stoner (Step Up 3D, Camp Rock 1 & 2) as Isabella; Dee Bradley Baker (“American Dad!,” Star Wars:The Clone Wars”) as Perry the Platypus; Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (“Phineas and Ferb,” Rocko’s Modern Life) as Major Monogram; Dan Povenmire (“James Bond Jr.,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) as Dr. Doofenshmirtz; Tyler Mann (“Modern Family” “Weeds”) as Carl; John Viener (Ted, “Family Guy”) as Norm; Maulik Pancholy (“30 Rock,” Hitch, 27 Dresses) as Baljeet; Bobby Gaylor (“The Bernie Mac Show,” “Phineas and Ferb”) as Buford; Jack McBrayer (Wreck It Ralph, Despicable Me) as Irving; Drake Bell (“Ultimate Spiderman,” High Fidelity) as Spider-Man; Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes,” “Ultimate Spider-Man”) as Iron Man; Travis Willingham (The Guardian, Secondhand Lions) as Thor; Fred Tatasciore (“Ultimate Spider-Man,” “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”) as Hulk; Liam O'Brien (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”, “Sofia the First”) as Red Skull; Charlie Adler (Aladdin, “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”) as M.O.D.O.K.; Peter Stormare (Fargo, Armageddon) as Whiplash; Danny Trejo (Machete, Heat) as Venom; Chi McBride (I, Robot, Gone in Sixty Seconds) as Nick Fury & Stan Lee also guest stars as himself."

Creators and                      Dan Povenmire (TV’s “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons”)
Executive Producers:     Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (TV’s “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “The Simpsons”)

Episodes:                            1 - “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel”
2 - “Fly on the Wall”
3 - “Sidetracked (Part 1 and 2)”
4 - “Primal Perry (Part 1 and 2)”
5 - “Backyard Hodge Podge”
6 - “Where’s Pinky”
7 – “Knot My Problem/Mind Share"
Run Time:                           Approx. 145-minutes of content

Rated:                                   TV-G

Aspect ratio:                      1.78:1 Widescreen (Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions)

Sound:                                  2.0 Dolby Digital

Languages/Subtitles:     English, French & Spanish


My Thoughts:

As I am writing up this review, the Phineas and Ferb theme sing is being sung in my head.  If you have young children and tweens who watch this show on Disney, then you have probably either heard them singly the catchy theme song, or have found yourself a time or two singing along to it when it plays.  As for the show itself, this is one animated series that my husband loves to watch with the girls.  While he is not a big fan of ponies and princess shows, he loves Phineas and Ferb, as it reminds him of shows like The Simpon's, Family Guy and a little bit like South Park.  

I usually end up watching this popular animated series with the girls after they finish their breakfast in the AM, and then my husband will watch the recorded version with them when he gets home, so that I can prepare dinner.  Even though the girls have already seen the episode, they love spending time with Daddy, as they snuggle together on the couch, to watch Phineas and Ferb.

So, when I was sent a review copy of  PHINEAS AND FERB: MISSION MARVEL on DVD recently, I knew three people in my house who would go crazy for it.  And, did they!  This past Saturday AM, while I was trying out a few new recipes in the kitchen, my husband and daughters, still in their pajamas, gathered up all the blankets and pillows that they could find and laid on the living room floor, to watch the seven episodes that make up this new DVD release.   Our kitchen and living room are one big open space, so I was able to watch them as I was cooking.  They kept letting out giggles and gaps as they watched their two favorite characters, Phineas and Ferb partner with popular Marvel Super Heroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk, to help get their powers back.  While I would have thought this would have been more geared towards boys, as it dealt with Marvel superheros, my girls couldn't get enough of it.  And, that night, my husband surprised me and shared a few of his prized Marvel action figures with them.  Who knew he would be passing along these action figures to his daughters.  

The DVD was so good, that on Sunday, my husband and daughters sat to watch a few of their favorite episodes from this DVD, that was when they weren't reading the comic that came with the DVD. If you have a Phineas and Ferb fan in your house, or even a Marvel superheroes fan, you will want to make a point to pick up PHINEAS AND FERB: MISSION MARVEL when it arrives on DVD tomorrow.  And, with the holidays right around the corner, this would make for a great stocking stuffer idea. :-)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views shared are mine and mine alone.
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You Would Never Know It Was Frozen Seafood -- Skillet Crisp Tilapia with Citrus Salsa Recipe Using Gorton's Seafood #Giveaway #WickedGoodSeafood

Disclosure: I received free product from Gorton's to help facilitate my review of their frozen seafood line.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

Do you have one night a week reserved for seafood on your dinner menu?  I usually try to cook up a fish dish every Saturday night, especially during the summer and fall months when we have the local farmer's market happening.  There are usually a handful of local fishermen who bring their daily catches and sell.  I don't know about you, but fresh seafood is so delicious.

But, there are times when we can't make it to the farmer's market, they don't have anything we want to cook up, or I am just too busy to stick to my Saturday Fish Fry night.  When any of the above happen, my quick and easy alternative is to reach into the freezer and pull out a box of Gorton's frozen seafood.  From fish stick for the girls, to grilled tilapia and haddock. Gorton's have been our go to for delicious tasting seafood.  While it is frozen, it tastes just as good, or sometimes better than the fresh seafood we pick up at the farmer's market or order in a restaurant.

In addition to offering a wide assortment of products, Gorton's also has an extensive recipe collection on their website, that will give you inspiration to turn one of their boxed frozen seafood products into an amazing entree , that will surely have your family wondering if it is fresh or frozen.  More times than not, they will think you slaved over the stove to infuse so much flavor into the fish fillets. :-)

Recently, I was sent a fun review pack from Gorton's, which included free product coupons to try out new or even pick up some of my family's favorite Gorton's products.  I ended up picking up two boxes of the Gorton’s Skillet Crisp Tilapia with Classic seasonings, which my husband and I love.  While I knew my husband would know it was Gorton's based on flavor and look, I wanted to try out one of the recipes I found on the Gorton's website to create a new, unique dish, simply by using the Gorton’s Skillet Crisp Tilapia with Classic seasonings I had in the freezer.

Below is the recipe for Skillet Crisp Tilapia with Citrus Salsa, along with a photo taken from the Gorton's website.  Preparation of the dish was easy. And, the end result was "Wow!"  I couldn't believe how much flavor this recipe made the skillet crisp tilapia fillets.  I am not sure I can go back to just cooking up the tilapia fillets like I used to.

Turn this:

Spice up Skillet Crisp Tilapia for dinner with a delicious salsa of tomatoes, oranges and onions. Bold spices make for a whole new experience your family will love.

Prep Time: 10-12 minutes

Cook Time:  15 minutes

Servings:  4


4 fillets (1 package) Gorton’s Skillet Crisp Tilapia with Classic seasonings
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 navel oranges, large - peeled, sectioned and chopped
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
6 Tbsp cilantro, fresh - chopped (divided)
2 tsp jalapeno pepper (optional), finely chopped, seeded
2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil


  1. In large bowl, combine tomatoes, oranges, green onions, 4 tablespoons cilantro and jalapeno pepper. Season, with salt and ground black pepper, if desired; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, blend olive oil, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. Brush both sides of fish fillets with cilantro spread. Arrange frozen fish fillets, leaving space between fillets and cook at medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning fillets over as needed until fish is fully cooked.
  3. Top each fish fillet with a couple tablespoons of reserved citrus salsa.

Have you tried any of Gorton's frozen products?  If so, do you have a favorite? And, have you had an opportunity to try out one of the many recipes available on the Gorton's website that use this frozen fish?  To browse the recipe section, click here now --

If you have never tried Gorton's frozen seafood and love seafood, then make a point to pick up a box the next time you go food shopping.  Once you try one of their products, you will fall in love with Gorton's just like my family and so many others have.  To become familiar with the Gorton's product offering, stop by now to explore products. available.  While there, make sure you download a coupon to save on your next Gorton's frozen fish purchase.  And, don't forget to check out the recipes section to find recipes to turn a simple box of Gorton's seafood into something truly amazing! 

Having trouble finding Gorton's products at your local market?  Click here to use the online store locator to help you find a store in your area carrying Gorton's Seafood --  

Stay connected to Gorton's Seafood by following the on their social media pages, and checking out their official website for new product additions, coupons and more: |

  Want to win a trip to boston?


 Head on over to Gorton's Facebook Fan Page to Learn more and to 

enter now --


Want to try out some of Gorton's new frozen seafood products?  Then, enter my giveaway for a chance to win three (3) $2 off product coupons, 1 Gorton’s-branded ship wheel keychain, an assortment of Gorton’s recipe cards and beautiful seaside/Gorton’s postcards.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!
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Gorton's Wicked Good Seafood
Disclosure: I received free product from Gorton's to help facilitate my review of their frozen seafood line.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

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What I am Reading Now -- "The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life" by Tory Johnson #shiftwithtory, #toryjohnson

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for review consideration. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Hyperion Books, a division of Hachette Book Group, and Krupp Kommunications are pleased to announce celebrated television personality TORY JOHNSON'S instant achievement: THE SHIFT: HOW I FINALLY LOST WEIGHT AND DISCOVERED A HAPPIER LIFE (published 9/10/13 | $22.99) hitting #1 on the New York Times hardcover Advice How To List (9/29/13). 

"Hyperion Books purchased the title back in September 2012.  Heidi Krupp, well known for her successful public relations agency, represented Tory in the deal.  She said, "Over the years, K2 has worked with Tory in many capacities, from agent to PR, sponsorships to partnerships, but as her personal friend, I am so proud of Tory for making The Shift in her own life and then sharing her journey with the world." 

Shift with Tory

With her just-published book and the launching of her cross-country "Shift with Tory" Tour on Monday, September 23, 2013 in New York City, Tory is on a mission to share her story and help others.
Tory Johnson said, "I'm not a doctor, trainer or nutritionist, nor am I offering a quick fix.  I'm a busy woman with a family who finally discovered that there's no pill, potion or plan that trumps patience and perseverance in the battle to lose weight.  The response to THE SHIFT has been overwhelming, and many messages have brought me to tears. I'm eager to meet with readers in six cities, to share my journey, listen to their stories, and help more people to shift for a healthier, happier life."


One conversation with a powerful woman executive at the network changed everything for Tory.  Only twenty months ago, a discrete comment that her "clothes didn't do her any favors" rang true for her; what she really heard was "lose weight, or lose your job."  Seventy-two pounds later, Tory's amazing 5-step plan and her inspiration fill the pages of THE SHIFT.  In the tradition of her prior multi-million-dollar companies, Spark & Hustle and Women for Hire, she's taking this message on the road with six nearly-sold-out events in New York, Dallas, Boston, Tampa, and Chicago."

Readers and attendees will understand her powerful lessons:
  • Why What You Put in Your Head is More Important Than What You Put In Your Mouth
  • Every Day is Day One
  • Shift Gifts-the lessons you can use to continue the journey
  • Nail Polish Can Help You Lose Weight-it's True!
And so much more. 

Dallas-- Hilton Dallas Park Cities: 5954 Luther Lane, Dallas, TX 75225

Boston-- Hilton Boston/Woburn: 2 Forbes Road, Woburn, MA 01801

Chicago-- The Meadows Club: 2950 West Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Tampa-- TPepin's Hospitality Centre: 4121 N. 50th Street, Tampa, Florida 33610

Washington, DC-- Waterford at Springfield: 6715 Commerce Street, Springfield, VA 22150


About Tory Johnson:

Good Morning America contributor, Tory Johnson, is all about helping women make great things happen. Tory made the shift from employee to entrepreneur and built two multi-million dollar businesses after a painful firing. Now, after a second major shift-losing more than 60 pounds in a year-Tory is on a mission to help others change their thinking and achieve a better life. A #1 New York Times bestselling author and contributing editor to SUCCESS, Tory lives in New York with her husband and their teenage twins.   
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Welcome in Fall w/ Easy to Prepare...and Oh So Tasty Apple and Pumpkin Recipes from Taste of Home #Recipes #Foodies

Welcome Fall -- We Have Missed You!!!

Did you make it apple or pumpkin picking this past weekend?  Now that the girls are finally feeling better after being sick with a head cold these past two weeks, it was nice to finally get out of the house, and enjoy the crisp fall air.  I don't know about you, but fall is by far my favorite season.  While I love the warm weather of the summer, fall offers the wonderful changing colors of the leaves, while offering a bounty of foods to be picked and enjoyed, including apples, pears and pumpkins.  And, this weekend seemed to be the weekend for picking here in CT, as the local farms were bustling with families.  

My parents surprised us by coming to visit, which made our apple and pumpkin picking experience with the girls that much more enjoyable and memorable.  Last year, only Savannah was walking, but she didn't care too much about the apples.  This year, both girls are walking, love snacking on apple slices or helping me make or taste test homemade apple crisp, or my grandmother's famous double layer apple pie.  After our trips to two local farms, where we enjoyed hayrides through the orchards and to and from the pumpkin patches, I returned home with enough apples to try out some new recipes, along with some family favorites.

One recipe that I was excited to try out, was Golden Apple Bundles, which I had marked to try in Taste of Home Recipes Across America: 735 of the Best Recipes from Across the Nation cookbook, which came out earlier this month from Taste of Home.  Thanks to the kind publishers, I am able to share this recipe with, so that you can try it at home with the apples you picked with your family this weekend, or plan to in the coming weeks. 

Golden Apple Bundles
By Taste of Home
This recipe is an interesting way to use apples. I usually make them on Fridays, so when family and friends drop in on the weekend, I have a nice dessert to serve. They bake up flaky and golden brown outside and moist inside.

-- Lila Eller, Everett, Washington

Prep: 20 Min.
Bake: 25 Min.
Makes: 10-12 Servings

2 cups chopped peeled apples⅓ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup raisins
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon lemon peel
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pastry for double-crust pie
1. In a large bowl, combine apples, walnuts, brown sugar, raisins, flour, lemon peel and cinnamon; set aside.
2. Roll pastry to ⅛-in. thickness. Cut into 5-in. circles. Spoon about ¼ cup apple mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of the pastry with water. Fold over and seal edges with a fork.
3. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400°; bake 10 minutes longer. Brush each with milk and sprinkle with the sugar. Return to oven; bake 5 minutes longer.

Source: Taste of Home Recipes Across America: 735 of the Best Recipes from Across the Nation

Prefer pumpkin recipes over apple ones?  Not to worry, as I was also given permission to share an easy to prepare, and oh so flavorful pumpkin dinner rolls, which is also found in the new Taste of Home Recipes Across America: 735 of the Best Recipes from Across the Nation cookbook.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

By Taste of Home
Serve these spicy-sweet pumpkin rolls for dinner -- or any time of day -- and get ready to hear a chorus of "yums" in your kitchen!

-- Linnea Rein, Topeka, Kansas

Prep: 20 Min. + Rising
Bake: 20 Min.
Makes: 20 Rolls

¾ cup milk
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 to 2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In a small saucepan, heat milk, brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter and salt to 110°-115°; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk mixture. Add 1½ cups all-purpose flour, wheat flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.
3. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
4. Punch dough down. Divide into 20 pieces; shape into balls. Place in a greased 13x9-in.baking pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled.
5. Melt the remaining butter; brush over the dough. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

I hope you are able to find time to enjoy the fall with your family, either by taking scenic drives leaf peeping, or visiting local orchards to pick apples and pumpkins.  And, if you are looking for new recipes to try and serve up to family and friends with the upcoming holidays, why not consider picking up a copy of the new cookbook from Taste of Home, Taste of Home Recipes Across America: 735 of the Best Recipes from Across the Nation.  Since receiving last month to review, I have not made a recipe from this cookbook that my family didn't enjoy.  I even had to lend out the cookbook to friends looking for recipes to spice up their weekly meal plans with, or that special entree or dessert to enjoy for a special occasion, or to bring to an end of summer cookout.  

I would love to hear which recipes you have tried from this new cookbook, or even see photos of the final product -- that is, if you can take photos before family and friends get to the table. :-)


About Catherine Cassidy, Taste of Home Editor-in-Chief:

Catherine M. Cassidy is Editor-in-Chief of Taste of Home. She is responsible for driving editorial direction and product strategy across the brand's media platforms. They include Taste of Home, the number one food and entertaining magazine in the world;; social media; special interest publications; and cookbooks. She also is responsible for editorial direction for the magazines Simple & Delicious and Healthy Cooking and Enthusiast Brands Birds and Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm and Ranch Living, and Reminisce.

Cassidy has toured the country as the face of Taste of Home for national and local TV, radio, and newspaper interviews in support of the best-selling Taste of Home products, including its cookbooks.  Prior to joining Taste of Home, Cassidy served as Editor-in-Chief of Prevention magazine, the nation's largest health publication, at Rodale, Inc. Cassidy joined Rodale in 1986 as an associate editor in the book division, and was later named Executive Editor of Rodale's Custom Publishing division. She started her career at Runner's World and Fit magazines in Mountain View, California. Cassidy lives in Mequon, Wisconsin, with her husband and two daughters.

About Taste of Home
Taste of Home is a go-to resource for the holidays and any time of the year for information on food, cooking and entertaining. Each year, thousands of great home cooks from across the United States and Canada submit more than 40,000 recipes, of which 3,000 are published in Taste of Home magazines and online, making Taste of Home one of the largest and most successful practitioners of user generated content. Before being published, every recipe is tested in the Taste of Home Test Kitchen to ensure that it can be prepared with affordable, everyday ingredients from regular grocery stores. Taste of Home content is available in print; online at; in books; via digital download on iPad, mobile apps and Kindle; and Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

For more information please visit, and follow on Facebook and Twitter
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