Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winner of Holiday Baking Package

True Random Number Generator      ClOSED: WINNER #11 Ambrosia 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blogspark and Safeway Baking Giveaway

True Random Number Generator      ClOSED: WINNER #11 Ambrosia 

I was so thrilled to be part of this Holiday Cookie Exchange Spark, as I was just getting into my holiday baking when my package arrived in the mail. One pouch of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, a package of Glad extra deep containers and a $25 gift card to Safeway Grocery stores (also valid at Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi’s) I will be able to use this over the holiday gift as Dominick's, one of their branches, is in my hometown!!

Why not start a new tradition and host your own cookie exchange. Visit for great ideas and recipes. There is a fun Sweet Memories Game my kids love playing. Won another bag of cookie dough!!!

To use my Sugar Cookie Pouch, I chose to make Spritz cookies off their Bake Sweet I usually use the Joy of Cooking recipe but this was so much easier. No measuring just dumping and pressing.

I divided my cookies into thirds, kept one plain, dyed one green and the other red to make a more festive look. I think they turned out great. They puffed a little more than my traditional recipe but tasted great. They made about 6 dozen, not sure of the exact count because I did not start counting until I was packing them into my Glad containers, which held the 6 Dozen I counted plus several eaten.

This is a great Cookie exchange recipe simply because of the ease and amount from one recipe. Pack a few dozen up for a neighbor as well. I would consider these still homemade!!

I also made 100 google readers the same day I received this pack so I am thrilled to celebrate with a giveaway.
One of my readers will also get this great "Happy Holidays Treats" prize pack. Sugar Cookie Pouch, Gladware and $25 Safeway Gift Card.
Even if you don't have a safeway in your town, think of a great gift for a family member or friend that does. You still get the cookie mix and containers to help with the excessive holiday baking.

To enter this great holiday giveaway just follow a few simple rules: Giveaway Ends
Sunday, December 19th, @ 5pm EST.

1)Become a follower of Close to Home
2) Leave a Comment telling us your favorite holiday baking shortcut or recipe

Additional entries:
1)tweet about this giveaway and comment with the link 1 Submission
2) Follow Close to Home on Twitter @stayclosetohome 1 submission
3) Let us know what you won on the Bake Sweet Memories game 1 submission

Good Luck and Happy Baking

Safeway, Betty Crocker, and Glad provided you with the gift card, information, and prize pack through MyBlogSpark.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Old El Paso Taco Night Giveaway

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I am so thrilled to host my first My Blogspark giveaway from Old El Paso.  Old El Paso is  sponsoring family taco nights.  Well in my family this is at least a monthly if not bimonthly event.  The kids love making their own tacos with the fixings of their choice.  They also thought it was fun to eat with their cactus bowls.  I used one to lay out the toppings.

In the mail I received 3 cactus bowls and a cactus dip bowl plus a Old El Paso taco seasonings  and a $10 gift card to buy the ingredients for our taco night.

For our taco nights, I usually use turkey meat and to make it go a little farther while adding more protein and fiber with the addition of a can of black beans in with the meat.  I have also used vegetarian refried beans as the first ingredient in the taco shell as well.  I have never made my own taco seasonings before as I love the taste of Old El Paso seasonings.  I often buy their low sodium version.

The best news is in the midst of the holidays you don't have to worry about what you are fixing for dinner because one lucky reader will get the same prize package as I did.  Just  leave a comment on this post and let us know about your favorite taco topping.
Contest Ends 11/20 at Noon.

Not only do you get a $10 credit card for your fixings but you can get a coupon for .60 cents off your Old El Paso Purchase.  Click here:

Plus check out for a fun family game to play at your family night.

Old El Paso provided you with the products, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark.

Be sure to check out my other blog CLOSE TO HOME for great crafts, recipes and entertaining tips.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Super Easy, no cook Homemade BBQ Sauce

You may be going off to a BBQ this holiday weekend or just entertaining your family at home.   Instead of buying the bottled stuff at the super market why not try this vinegar based sauce.  The recipe makes a ton 2 qts so  you can easily halve it.

 My daughter (8 yrs old)  made a batch of this sauce for a father's day gift.  We made a label on the computer and just glued it onto the jar.  Add a topper and you have yourself a great hostess gift.  Make sure you tell them it lasts in the fridge for 1 month.

I simply tried it over chicken but I am sure it would be great with a pork tenderloin in the crock pot for pulled pork sandwiches.  Very tasty and you can add any other ingredients to make it your own.

  • 1 quart apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (20 ounce) bottle ketchup
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice


  1. In a large container, mix together the apple cider vinegar, ketchup, paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pour into an empty vinegar bottle, ketchup bottle or other container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.