February 21, 2012

What do you love about Barilla® Whole Grain?


Have you ever had a bad experience with whole grain pasta? I have! The first time I tried a whole grain variety, I wasn't impressed. But things have gotten much better on the whole grain front! Barilla®, the pasta experts, have come out with their own line of whole grain pastas, which are not only good for you, but they taste good too!

We all know whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet, and now it's easy to incorporate them in to your meals with Barilla® Whole Grain pastas. Even kids love them! My daughter Alexis liked all of the varieties we tried, but she was a big fan of the Medium Shells Conchiglie in particular, as well as the Penne. You can easily substitute Barilla® Whole Grain pastas into dishes you regularly make, to make them that much healthier for you and your family. Why not make macaroni and cheese with the Barilla® Whole Grain Shells? Or a baked pasta dish with the Barilla® Whole Grain Penne? The Barilla® Whole Grain Rotini would make a fun pasta salad, and then there's always the old standby, spaghetti and meatballs, made with the Barilla® Whole Grain Spaghetti. The possibilities are endless!

Barilla® Whole Grain pastas are made with 51% whole wheat and are an all-natural and excellent source of fiber, delivering three times the fiber of regular pasta. Plus Barilla® has a taste guarantee...If you don't love it, you get a free box of Barilla® blue box pasta. Either way you'll end up with a product that makes you happy. That's a win-win situation!

I used the Barilla® Whole Grain Penne to make a fabulous pasta salad (see below), but there are so many others things you can make using recipes you already have, or even recipes Barilla® can help you out with, so pop over to TryBarillaWholeGrain.com and check out the Dinner Kit for recipes and other tools that make it easy to put healthy and extraordinary meals on your table. You can have a healthy, delicious dinner using Barilla® Whole Grain pastas in no time, even on a busy week night, when things can be a little hectic, all in 9 minutes to al dente. Now that's a healthy meal that worth waiting for!

To be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, courtesy of BlogHer and Barilla®, leave me a comment letting me know what you love about Barilla® Whole Grain!


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
b) Tweet about this promotion @BarillaUS with the following unique term in your message, #BarillaWG, and link to your Tweet in a comment on this post.
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to your post in a comment on this post.
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/21/12-3/30/12.

Be sure to visit the Barilla® Whole Grain round-up page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers' reviews and find more chances to win!

Now let's talk some pasta salad!


What You'll Need:
1 - 13.25 ounce box of Barilla® Whole Grain Penne, cooked according to package directions and cooled
1 small package of frozen corn, thawed
1 small package of frozen peas, thawed
1 small package of sun dried tomato strips
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan
1/8 cup of white wine vinegar
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil

Cook Barilla® Whole Grain Penne according to directions and drain. Place pasta in a large glass bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Add peas, corn, carrots, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan to the cooked and cooled Barilla® Whole Grain Penne and toss to mix. Set aside.

In a glass bowl or canning jar, mix together white wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, oregano, dried parsley and basil until incorporated. Pour over Barilla® Whole Grain Penne/veggie mixture and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes and then serve.

Notes: If you want the pasta salad to chill faster, cool the cooked pasta with cool water before assembling the salad. You could also add other chopped vegetables, such as celery, red onion, bell pepper, etc.

Posted by Dianne at 9:00 AM

October 19, 2010

Try It You'll Like It: The Perfect Truffle in Frederick, Maryland

The Perfect Truffle

What does a girl like? This girl likes margaritas and chocolate! So I was very pleased when I stumbled upon The Perfect Truffle in downtown Frederick when we were out exploring a few weeks ago when Darlene was visiting from Tennessee. You might not know it, but chocolate truffles are one of my all time favorite things!


Darlene and I both got a box of truffles with flavors we picked out. Alexis even got a small box of her own. Darlene's favorites were the Guinness truffle and the Grand Marnier truffle. Alexis loved the Chocolate Mousse truffle. And me? Well I liked the Key Lime truffle, which is not surprising given my love of Key Lime anything! I would probably have added the Salted Caramel truffle to my like list too if Alexis hadn't eaten them before I got a taste!

If you like truffles be sure and check out The Perfect Truffle. They are even on FaceBook! They are located in the very quaint area of Shab Row and Everedy Square in downtown Frederick and not only can you get some fabulous truffles, you can find all sorts of other neat things to do in that area. What are you waiting for?

Posted by Dianne at 10:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 12, 2008

Try It You'll Like It: Michele's Granola

Michele's Granola

A few weeks ago when I was at My Organic Market I stumbled upon Michele's Granola and fell in love! I got the Pumpkin Spice variety (pictured above) because I'm all about pumpkin anything, but she also makes Cherry Chocolate Macadamia and an Original version. Michele is based out of Baltimore and carries the product to market in a van that is powered by waste vegetable oil, donates part of her proceeds to help women in developing countries and her website is carbon neutral through wind power...How cool is that?

I was very pleased with the Pumpkin Spice variety! It was fabulous! The product is a bit pricey, but it's definitely worth it for the occasional treat or as a gift to take along for a hostess or friend. The ingredients are wonderful and the taste is fabulous! So if you live in Maryland, Virginia or DC see if you can't find a place that sells her granola near you and if you don't she ships too!

So what are you waiting for?? Try it...You'll like it!

Posted by Dianne at 7:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

Try It You'll Like It: Izze Sparkling Juices


I've been a quest for the past year to find a good alternative to the traditional soda to serve when we have guests over for dinner and when I found Izze Sparkling Juices the search was over! The Blueberry, Grapefruit and Clementine versions are really fabulous! They are no sweeteners added (and more importantly no artificial sweeteners)...It's nothing but real juice with sparkling water. As an added plus the container is completely recyclable too so you're not filling up the land fill either. Now that's a "soda" you can serve and not feel guilty about!

Try Izze Sparling Juices at your next party or get together...You'll love them!

Posted by Dianne at 2:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 23, 2008

Try It You'll Like It: Garden Planning


Every year around this time I start perusing online garden sites and start deciding what I want to grow in my garden. In the next few weeks I'll start buying seeds and the planing will go into full swing! This year is even more exciting as I have a lot more room to plan! What to grow? What to grow? The possibilities are endless!

I must admit I love starting plants from seed. There is just something very satisfying about planting a seed, watching it grow and then enjoying the end result. It's also fun in terms of getting Alexis involved and letting her see where her favorite vegetables/fruits come from. We've had a garden every summer of her four years and in the last couple of years she really has understood what was going on in terms of planting the seeds, watching them grow and then eating the fruits of our labor. This year will be even more fun because she's all the more inquisitive!

Tomatoes and Blueberries Oh My!

For weeks now Alexis has been asking me when we could begin planting things. I usually start planting some seedlings indoors in early March so they'll be ready to go straight into the ground so we look at the calender and keep discussing what month it is now and when we'll start planting. Her main desires are strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, peas (both pods and snow peas), cucumbers and peppers. What's not to like about that list? This year I'd also like to plant some watermelon and pumpkins since we'll be gardening on a larger scale. I also want to plant on a scale that allows Alexis to munch, us to eat out of the garden during the summer and be able to preserve food as well. We'll see how it goes.

Sugar Pumpkins

Another passion of mine is herbs. I plant them in the garden as companion plants for pest control and such, but I also keep them growing in planters nearby the house so I can go and snip what I need as I cook, so herbs will definitely be in the mix. We'll also plant some eggplant, various lettuce type plants, okra, maybe some corn, cantaloupe, green beans and carrots. It should be fun!

I order most of my seeds from Seeds of Change, but I also get a few from Gurney's and Park's Seeds. I buy organic whenever possible and I also like heirloom seeds as well. This year I plan to save some seeds as well, which is something I haven't done in the past. I also buy products from Gardens Alive, which focuses on earth friendly, organic solutions to garden issues at reasonable prices. (If you haven't figured it out yet I'm all about organic! ;o))

So I'm planning and dreaming. How many of you out there have gardens of your own? What do you grow? Do you preserve? Do you save seeds? Speak up and let me know what you're thinking in terms of your garden. Let's talk a little gardening! Later in the summer we'll talk a little eating of said gardens! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 1:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 27, 2007

Try It You'll Like It: Vermints


A few weeks ago I picked up a tin of Vermints at My Organic Market and Alexis and I loved them! The best part (and the part Alexis loves most) is that there are real bits of mint leaves throughout the mints! They are completely natural, no high fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners and come in six different flavors! (We like the Wintermint!)

Check out their website and see if there is a flavor that interests you!

Posted by Dianne at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2007

Try It You'll Like It Gadget Edition: Pampered Chef's My Safe Cutter


Alexis loves to help in the kitchen and she was forever wanting to cut things. A four year old (and then three year old when we got the cutter) with a knife? I don't think so! That would just be all sorts of stupid!

A friend of mine was having a Pampered Chef party and you know how that goes...You always feel obligated to buy something, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money. When I saw the My Safe Cutter and its claims I thought "Why not! It's only a few bucks!" I got one for Alexis and one for Nelson and I must say I was pleasantly surprised that it was really an awesome little tool!

Now Alexis loves to help me cut things when we're cooking. She even cuts her own snacks! We've used it on cheese, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, bread, celery, boiled eggs, etc. and it works like a dream! So if you have a little one in the kitchen that wants to help cut, then get one of these little gems! They can cut to their hearts content and you don't have to worry about them cutting themselves in the process!

For more information or to purchase your own My Safe Cutter go here!

Posted by Dianne at 1:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2007

Try It You'll Like It: Dagoba Lime Chocolate Bars and Hemp, Pumpkin & Sunflower Bars


I recently got a sampler of Dagoba organic chocolate bars and they were all delicious! If you like chocolate, you'll most definitely love Dagoba! My favorite was the Hemp, Pumpkin & Sunflower bar, closely followed by the Lime variety.

Here's the low down for the Hemp, Pumpkin & Sunflower bar:

Dark chocolate with omega-rich hemp seeds, heart healthy pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and a touch of Balinese sea salt. An energetic combination of power foods for body and mind in a base of our delicious 68% dark chocolate.

The seeds give it a bit of a crunch and the sea salt gives it just the right touch!

And more info on the Lime variety:

Our version of citrus and chocolate, with lime and macadamia nuts. Refreshing, original, and a surprising treat for the taste buds!

The lime give it a nice citrus zing, while the macadamia nuts give it a bit of a surprise. Very nice indeed!

I highly recommend these bars, or any of the Dagoba bars for that matter! They are available online through the Dagoba website or most likely at your local natural market. (I'm able to pick them up at My Organic Market here in Maryland.) Try them and see which one(s) you like!

Posted by Dianne at 1:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 22, 2007

Try It You'll Like It: Silicione Cupcake Liners

I've been on a quest lately to cut down on waste in all areas of my life, including my baking and cooking endeavors where so many disposable things are readily available and encouraged for use by cooks.

When Alexis' birthday rolled around and she requested cupcakes to go along with her castle cake I decided there had to be a better way to make cupcakes than with the same old throw away liners. It turns out there is an option...silicone cupcake liners! I didn't even know they made those!

The liners are oven safe to 500 F and you don't even need an muffin pan! You just fill them up and bake! Simple as can be! Then when you're done you just wash them and they're ready the next time you want to make cupcakes or muffins. And the best part is you'll never have to by liners again! How easy is that?

Posted by Dianne at 2:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2007

Try It You'll Like It: Stash Tea Organic Jasmine Green Loose Leaf Tea


A friend of mine knows I LOVE tea (hot in the winter, iced in the summer), especially green teas, and recently she has converted from bagged teas to the loose leaf varieties. She has been telling me consistently since she switched that there is no comparison to the taste of loose leaf teas and I would love them, but I hadn't gotten around to actually trying any loose varieties.

Last week I finally ordered some Organic Jasmine Loose Leaf Green Tea from Stash Tea and I must say she's absolutely right! The flavor is superb! Plus an added bonus (that I always like) is the fact that it's more environmentally friendly than throwing away all those tea bags!

I brewed the Organic Jasmine Green Loose Leaf Tea as iced tea using a Giant Tea Ball. I also have a mesh tea ball that can be used for a single cup of tea, though I must admit although I've had for years I have never used. (I will now though!) This tea made an excellent iced tea. In fact I'm enjoying a glass now!

If you like tea, whether hot or cold, visit the Stash Tea online store and see what they have that you might like. (I myself prefer organic, but they've got a little bit of everything!)

Posted by Dianne at 3:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack