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If You Are Able to See This…You Need to Make Changes

We are no longer located at this website URL.  Please visit us here and update your bookmark to penniesonaplatter.com.  Thank you!

If you are able to read this post, it means you are not subscribed to the correct Pennies on a Platter URL. As of July 22, you will no longer be notified of the latest posts on Pennies on a Platter, unless you go (right now) to my updated blog and re-subscribe. I’m happy to have you as a loyal reader and do not want to lose you, so please, go now and click on the “Subscribe RSS” tab or scroll down to the “Subscribe by Email” field. And, more importantly, update your bookmark from https://penniesonaplatter.wordpress.com to just http://penniesonaplatter.com.

Thank you!!
-Nikki

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Let’s Get Real…and a Giveaway! – CLOSED

Simply French Bread CutI have been asked many times by my peers, “How do you do it?”   I’ll say, “do what?”  Then, they will follow up with some sort of “How do you have time to make dinner every night for your family?”  Or, if someone invites us over for dinner, they will make sure to add some disclosure about their cooking not being completely homemade and therefore is not “Pennies on a Platter” standard.   I think this is all flattering and such, but let’s set the record straight:

I do not cook dinner every night (nor will I ever!) and there is no such level of cooking as “Pennies on a Platter” standard.

Gasp!  <Pause>

So this leads me to today’s giveaway.  When I was contacted by Pillsbury to review their new Simply… line and then host a giveaway for their products, I jumped at the chance.  Why?  Because I love Pillsbury products <gasp, again!> and use them often <gasp, gasp….breathe!>.  🙂Simply French Bread

After thinking about it, I can see why my friends and family think I might make everything from scratch.  These are the majority of the recipes that I post on the blog.  It’s just that there’s not really much to a post on how I bake my Pillsbury biscuits, for instance.  You feeling me?

Wednesday I posted this recipe in which I use the Pillsbury crescent rolls.  It’s one of our regular meals.  Today, I’m giving you the chance to win a Pillsbury prize package.  Pillsbury recently introduced two new products called Simply…Buttermilk Biscuits and Simply…Rustic French Bread.  This is the information they gave me before I decided to try them out:

They really are the perfect solution for home cooks who are busier than ever, but still want to nurture those they love with something home-baked that they can feel good about serving. What’s great is that they are made with wholesome ingredients, including flour, buttermilk and sugar. They also contain zero grams of trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial colors or flavors.

And, that’s exactly how I felt about the biscuits and French bread when I tried them.  Although in the past few years I’ve learned to make numerous bread recipes from scratch, I’m never embarrassed to prepare refrigerated doughs when I just don’t have the time to wait for the yeast to do it’s thing and then bake the loaf for an hour.   Being highly involved in our church and community, time is limited and this probably holds true for many.  I actually encourage you to stock up on some Pillsbury products and see what you can create!  It beats spending the money to eat out, right?

Photo supplied by Pillsbury

This prize package includes a bread basket, bread board, artisan honey and a spreader, along with coupons to try their new Simply… products.  To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment of your favorite Pillsbury product.  If you don’t have one, then please tell me which product you would like to try.  And, if you are not familiar with their line, then head on over to their website to see what they have to offer. If you browse around a little, you’ll find some easy and delicious recipes!

The giveaway is limited to domestic US residents only, one entry per person. Those who do not follow the terms will not be considered.  Comments will close on Sunday, February 20 at 8 PM PST and I’ll announce the winner next week.  Although the giveaway is sponsored by Pillsbury, the opinions shared in this post are mine.

Good luck!

You Have Ooey Gooey Hearts. Thank you!

DSC_9309Well, everyone, the month of January has come and gone.  You clicked and you clicked and you clicked in order to support Veronica King and her precious children.  Now I have the results you’ve been waiting for…the total you managed to raise just by visiting Pennies on a Platter.  I was going to remind you of some Superbowl recipe ideas today, but I’ll post links for you on the Facebook page instead.

Let me first share with you some statistics.  If any of you are very familiar with how advertisements work on blogs, you will know that usually the payment amount is very minimal unless you’re some sort of high-end (famous) blogger.  Typically, there is an arrangement of x-cents or dollars per x-thousand hits.  Not much.  You definitely now know I do not blog for the money.  But, of course, every little bit helps.  🙂

Despite this, you managed to beat my monthly average by 441%!  Outstanding!  The fact that the hits increased that much was so encouraging to me, telling me that there are many of you out there that have ooey gooey hearts and care, even for someone you may not know.

So, without any more delay, the total we raised for Vee (both by donations via PayPal and your clicks on the blog):

$1,577.29 !!

And, over $430 of this amount was simply you sitting at your computer and pressing with your wee little finger on that mouse of yours.  Fantastic!  The other $1,000+ comes from generous donations via the PayPal button displayed on the blog during the month.

vee bellyThis is a picture of Veronica’s belly with Carter inside (scheduled to join our world via c-section next week) and Jeremy’s ring.  What a bittersweet photo.  If you’d like to see more of these beautiful belly shots, photographed by my bestie, Vicki, click over to Veronica’s blog.  Your click will also contribute to a continuation of raising money for Vee as she now has an advertisement that pays her for you just visiting and reading, just like you did here last month.   Use this opportunity to leave her encouraging notes and to remember to pray for her often.  She updates occasionally with her honest and raw emotions, so please grab a tissue first.  Her writing is heartfelt, genuine and nothing like I’ve ever read before.   By God’s grace alone she is amazingly staying strong for her children, but she needs your loving words and prayers to help her sustain this strength.

Next week I will share with you the recipe and a quick tutorial for the heart shaped cookies above.  You can quickly make these (yes, I said quickly) for Valentine’s Day.  Until then, hug and kiss the ones you love even when it’s not Valentine’s Day, because last month I think we learned you do not know when you’ll no longer have that opportunity.

Thanks, again, everyone!  I’m so very humbled.

No Recipe Today, But…a Giveaway! – CLOSED

pizza peelJust because I love you.  And, just because I love making pizza and want you to love it, too.  A pizza peel from me to you.  This is not a sponsored giveaway.  It’s just me sharing my love.  🙂  Pizza peels are great for transporting your homemade pizza to the oven and beautiful for serving. (Look at that gorgeous Acacia wood!)

Rules:  One winner will be picked randomly (only US residents, please).  Leave me a comment of your favorite pizza and/or toppings.  I’m on the hunt for new variations, so make them good!  One entry per person.  Contest ends Sunday (January 23, 9:00 PM PST) and I will announce the winner next week.  Good luck!

PS – I love you!

So Humbled…

IMG_0205

You are fantastic!  You love, you care and you hurt for Veronica.  You want to do something about it.  I can tell by your clicks.  Thank you!  (Jeremy and their daugther, Faith, pictured above.)

We just finished our first week of January and the hits to raise money for Vee are outstanding.  You are also donating via PayPal!  Again, thank you!

Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we work together to help someone?  Isn’t it even more amazing when people who do not even know Vee make amazing efforts to help?  The Internet has made it even more possible to gather people from around the world to contribute.  When I think about it and put it in perspective, it honestly brings tears to my eyes every time.

Another blogger, Mama Still Wears Gucci, just teamed up with us and is also donating her ad revenue this month to Veronica.  It’s the same idea, click on her site…surf page to page…let those ads load on her page and you will help raise even more money for Vee.  But, Gucci Mama can go even further.  If you actually click on her ads, it will raise even more!  AND..if you click on “The Big Deal on BlogHer” ad and take 45 seconds to register, you will raise three more dollars.  It adds up!

I just found out about Mama Still Wears Gucci and love her honest writing style.  She can relate with Vee, as she lost her loved one 9 years ago.  It still remains a vivid memory for her, a vivid nightmare.  So, while you’re there, take a moment to say hello and encourage her.  And, most importantly, remember to pray for these women…

Now, go click!

It’s January 1st…

Veronica and Kids…which means it is the first day to start raising money for Veronica King just by visiting Pennies on a Platter.  If you missed my post about how together we can help this precious family, please read it here.  In a nutshell, I am donating 100% of the small profit I receive from the one advertisement on my blog to Veronica for the month of January.  When clicking on my site this month, you will raise my blog hits which will in turn raise more money for Veronica.  Please share with all of your friends and family.  Visit Pennies on a Platter as much as you can until January 31st to make this a great month!

If you would like to make a monetary donation to Veronica, please click the “PayPal” button in the top left column.

Happy new year!!

Your Top 10 Favorites of 2010

One of the fun things about having a food blog is seeing what posts are most popular to my readers.  I can see stats that show the most-read posts broken down by day, week, month, year and all time.  I wanted to round up the top ten favorites you’ve read this year and share them below:

Ham & Cheese Pretzel BitesHam & Cheese Pretzel Bites – These have been a hit since the day I posted them.  From the comments I received, even if you can’t achieve a desirable look, they still taste just as grand!

Oven Baked Tater TotsOven Baked Tater Tots – I’ve had a couple of people try these and say they are just too dang messy to make.  That’s where I say that it takes some practice to get to the perfect consistency so they aren’t as messy.  Either add less milk or do not mash it up as much.  Other readers shared their ideas for fillers and flavors.  One even mentioned making sweet potato tots!  Mmmmm, that just sounds too good!

Honey Yeast RollsHoney Yeast Rolls – This is a returning favorite from last year.  Even though I’m not a fan of honey in general, I love these rolls!  It’s also an easy recipe to try your hand at working with yeast for the first time.

Buffalo Chicken BitesBuffalo Chicken Bites – I am definitely not surprised that these are in the top ten.  It’s probably in the top five in my household alone for football food favorites.  Coating them with Cornflakes cereal and then baking in the oven creates the perfect bite size snack.

Baked Creamy Chicken TaquitosBaked Creamy Chicken Taquitos – This is the best recipe for prepping in advance and storing in the freezer for a last minute weeknight meal.   Whenever I’m out of town, I make sure there are a few of these ready for Ben to pop in the oven.

Chocolate Peanut Butter TorteChocolate Peanut Butter Torte – Wow, I honestly haven’t made this in a long time and now anxious to make it again soon.  Our guests still talk about this dessert and have since made it themselves for others.  It’s such a pretty presentation and not as hard to make as it may look.

Pizza BitesPizza Bites – My post earlier this week highlighting New Year’s Eve ideas included these pizza bites, but served on a stick.  Obviously they are going to be just as good off the stick, maybe even better!

Hot Chocolate on a Stick (Hearts)Hot Chocolate on a Stick – What else can you serve on a stick beside the pizza bites?  Hot chocolate, of course!  🙂 In the middle of winter, who can resist a comforting mug of hot cocoa?  This is a perfect gift idea, but also a great way to have hot cocoa (with GOOD chocolate) on hand and ready to stir up at a moment’s notice.

Freezable Lemon BarsFreezable Lemon Bars – One of Ben’s favorite desserts ever.  Whenever I give him the option for choosing dessert, this one usually comes up as one of the choices.  It’s also a good recipe for keeping in the freezer for when you have unexpected guests and need a last minute dessert.  I’ve also given this out a few times as the dessert with a meal provided for new moms.

Popcorn CupcakesPopcorn Cupcakes – These were fun to make for some of Ben’s college students that came over for a movie night.  The idea came from the ever so fun book “Hello, Cupcake” and seems to be one of my most highly searched recipes from Internet search engines.  It was even featured as cupcake of the week last year on ESPN.  Yes, you heard me right, ESPN…the sports channel!

As we close another year, I’d love to hear what you’d like to see appear on Pennies on a Platter in 2011.  You can email me (contact info on my About Page) or leave a comment here.  Happy New Year everyone!  2011 is going to be a blast!