My Chicken Fried Steak Outstandwich Won!

Good afternoon! How are you all doing? By now, you have probably had lunch and you’re now wondering what’s for dinner. Well, I may have an idea. I recently entered one of my favorite sandwich recipes in a contest hosted by Kraft over at Dee’s blog called Cocktails With Mom. I used to eat a tasty version of this sandwich at a local mom and pop eatery in the tiny town I grew up in.

I found out today that my recipe won. I am excited! The recipe is for a Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich (click the blue sandwich title to head on over to Dee’s blog for the recipe). It is really easy to make. In the recipe, you can use prepared chicken fried steak (if you are lucky to live in the south where it is in the freezer section) or make your own like I did when I prepared it last night. I just used Alton Brown’s recipe that I found while Googling and it couldn’t have been more simple.

My recipe, along with Dee’s Texas Style BBQ Beef and Shrimp Sandwich, will be featured on Kraft’s new Outstandwich.com website and I will receive a gift card for winning. I just wanted to share my good news and share an easy, local Texas recipe with my readers.

Have a great day!

A Better World Rewards Players’ Good Deeds

I admit that there are only a few online games that I play on occasion. For a game to really catch my attention and hold it, it has to be fun, easy and I like when I can interact with friends. With my friends spread out all over the world, it isn’t possible for a regular board game night, but games online have changed that. We can still play each other and have fun.

Recently, I was introduced to a Facebook game called A Better World. This fun, interactive game rewards players for in-game activities and real world acts of kindness and expressions of gratitude. I hear it is popular with women. I can see why. Many women, including myself, shy away from games that are full of violence and just waste time. The game is designed to help those playing feel better about themselves while supporting others and making positive every day choices. Players can personalize their own characters and even care for virtual pets.

Here is a video that shows how the game works. I especially love the positive encouragement from others and the Thump a Thought activity.

 

The game offers more than 15 locations for community members to explore, including the:

Department of Do Good – A place you can share real world good deeds you’ve performed and see what other members of the community have done

Gratitude Grotto – A charming area where you can reveal what you are thankful for and express your support for messages left by others

Sanctuary of Hope – A building where you can communicate your hopes and dreams and send encouragement to other players

Arcade – A play area with uplifting mini-games to enjoy alone or with friends

A new feature is the Better Pets Pet Shop, filled with adorable puppies, cute kittens or even a magical unicorn

You can either purchase or earn Facebook credits by completing offers. You can also earn Do Good Gold by inviting friends to play the game. It is a fun and positive way to spend a few minutes of free time if you are into Facebook games, in my opinion. It has a similar social game atmosphere to other popular Facebook games, but the premise is different than what I have seen in other games.

A Better World was created by ToonUps, “a digital entertainment company that has focused on developing digital content that encourages a positive outlook and altruistic behavior for more than a decade.”

Check out the game on Facebook at Facebook.com/ABetterWorld.

Fine Print: I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

See "Sid’s Backyard Campout!" Tomorrow!

Who likes to have a campout in their backyard? We hadn’t tried this with the boys so we thought it was fun to try. This weekend we not only had a little mini-campout in the backyard, but we also had our own private screening of a Sid the Science Kid episode.

Thanks to The Jim Henson Company and our local PBS station, we received a “Campout in a Box” kit that allowed us to screen the newest episode that is set to premiere tomorrow. We received a pocket projector with the episode on it, a Sid the Science Kid blanket, campout recipes and more. We sang songs, had snacks and then got our jammies on and watched the episode called “Sid’s Backyard Campout!”. 

The episode features Sid and his father spending a fun-filled day answering questions about the outdoors while camping out in their backyard. It was super fun camping in our own backyard while watching the episode outdoors. My boys had not seen Sid the Science Kid before and loved it. Both were pretty restless and had just had crying meltdowns from being overtired. As soon as the episode started, they smiled and were glued to the big screen. They giggled and laughed and really enjoyed it. After the show, they slept like babies. It’s a cute and informative show and I will definitely let them watch future episodes. Have you watched before? Check it out tomorrow and let me know what you think of the newest episode. I don’t want to spoil it for you with too many details, but I love how it teaches the boys science and is educational.

We are going on a short camping vacation soon and I thought this was a really fun primer for the boys. They loved wearing their jammies outside, eating S’mores and hot dogs and watching the episode. I think we will watch movies and shows outside more often. This would be great fun for a block party. A scavenger hunt, yummy snacks, a tent and/or camping blankets and a few kids and you have a great backyard campout.

“Sid’s Backyard Campout!” premiers tomorrow, Monday, June 20 on your local PBS channel. Check here for times it will air on your local station. It airs on Houston Channel 8 KUHT and KUHTD at 10 a.m. (according to our channel guide). If you don’t get a chance to watch or DVR it tomorrow it will also air again on June 24, July 12, July 27 and Aug. 19. 

Learn more about Sid the Science Kid at pbskids.org/sid.
 Shannon
Fine Print: We received the items mentioned in this post in exchange for our honest opinion. Not other compensation was received.

Win a National Park Picnic Trip With Safeway

We are planning a short vacation soon and I am really excited. We will be at a fun campground that has all sorts of outdoor and water activities for the kids. We will be roughing it in an air-conditioned cabin. Yeah, sorry, I don’t do tents so well.

I love that we can grill outside and have a picnic for every meal. It’s a local park, but one day I’d love to visit a national park. I also love that we will have a refrigerator so I can keep it stocked with our favorite healthy snacks like dairy, fruit, veggies from the garden and fresh lean meats to grill outside. I will definitely be making a trip to my local Safeway store which is Randall’s (after loading my Safeway Club Card with coupons here) before we head out on our trip.

What do you pack in your picnic? Have you checked out Safeway’s fun site PackYourPicnic.com? Not only are there excellent recipes and dairy facts in celebration of National Dairy Month, but you can also enter daily for prizes and to win a grand prize trip for your family to a national park. At the site, you will find an instant win game and sweepstakes. You can play the Dairy Dunk Game and see if you instantly win. It’s fun and the kids enjoy playing it with me. You can find out what dairy your favorite foods pair well with and then fling the food into your dairy. If you don’t win a daily prize (a gift card) you can still get an entry into their grand prize drawing which is a picnic in your favorite national park. The prize pack includes round trip airfare, accommodations and ground transportation for four, plus a $200 My Choice Gift Card. Full details and official rules can be found at the Pack Your Picnic website.

I have been chosen as a Safeway National Dairy Month Ambassador. Follow my blog posts and tweets by following me at @PotamusPrefers and hashtag #SafewayDairy on Twitter.

 Shannon

Fine Print: This project has been compensated as part of the June Dairy program for Safeway. The opinions are our own.

Energizer Inductive Charger Video Review

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am notorious for losing my cell phone when it’s battery is about drained, so I can’t even call it to find what couch cushion it is hiding under. I have a hectic life and if I am not losing the phone, one of my kiddos has hidden it after playing their Thomas game.

Anything that makes it easier to charge and keep up with my phone is welcome in this house. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the new Energizer Inductive Charger. This device is one step ahead in leading the way forward toward true universal charging. The Inductive Charger is Qi-enabled (pronounced chee). This allows it to charge Qi-enabled devices now (with a sleeve for iPhone or a door for Blackberry) and in the future when devices come Qi-enabled out of the box. The device I received charges your smartphone without a cord or cable attached to the phone and has dual charging zones to charge two devices simultaneously. In addition, there is a USB port for additional charging needs (in case you have a device that isn’t supported or need to charge three phones at once… keeps them in one place to avoid being lost). It’s really easy to use. I thought I’d shoot a quick video to show you just how easy since photos alone wouldn’t do the simplicity and coolness justice, in my opinion.

Here is our video:

Product specifications:

  • Delivers easy, convenient, cord-free charging for the iPhone® 4, iPhone® 3GS/3G and BlackBerry® Curve™ 8900 via sleeve and door accessories
  • Offers large inductive charging areas with additional USB charging port
  • Is compatible with Qi-enabled devices today and in the future; Qi is an open source standard for products defined for 5 watts of power or less (e.g., phones, mp3 player, cameras)
  • Provides freedom of placement within the two large inductive charging areas
  • Does not contain magnets for alignment, so charging doesn’t require precise placement
  • Features a sleek, rounded rectangle design with LED charge indicators

All in all, I really do love this device. It is so easy to lay my iPhone down on the Energizer Inductive Charger and forget about it then grab it when I am ready to go. It’s a great home base for our phones. I love that the sleeve is easy to pop on and off. I would love if the sleeve came in more colors. The black doesn’t bother me, but I know many people who love to dress up their phones in colors and designs. I think when the Qi technology is built into future phones it will really be awesome as long as it can still be used with a case. And, being a newer technology, the price can add up a bit when having to buy the charger and a sleeve (or more than one if you have several phones in your home). It is also only available for iPhones and one Blackberry model at this time. On a good note, since the sleeve on the iPhone 3G and 3GS doubles as a protective case, you will save money on a case.

Buy: The suggested retail price is $89 for Energizer Inductive Charger. The sleeve (or door if using Blackberry) retails for a suggested price of $34.99. You can buy the Energizer Qi-Enabled 3 Position Inductive Charger at Target (in stores and online) and online at Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and HomeDepot.com. At the time of this posting, Amazon had the best price with the charger on sale for $59.83 and the sleeves $25.24.
 Shannon
Fine Print: I received the items I reviewed in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. The opinions and experiences are my own.