Thursday, March 31, 2016

My #MakeItYours Inspired #CookieRecipe using Country Crock Original Buttery Spread

Here at Selena Thinking Out Loud, I enjoy getting in the kitchen to cook my own meals and bake too! Sometimes, I have no idea what I will come up with until I finish the entire meal or dish. I have been lucky so far! Below, you will find my personal review for Country Crock Original buttery spread and my cookie recipe with photos, inspired by their #MakeItYours campaign. Happy Cooking!

My Quick Product Review

I had the opportunity to try a complimentary 15oz. tub of Country Crock Original Buttery Spread from my Influenster custom voxbox. Before baking, I did use the spread on some gluten-free toast for breakfast and on some freshly-baked banana bread. The spread did have a buttery taste and complimented them very well. I did try to cook a batch of pancakes with this spread, but I didn't quite like the taste it gave my pancakes. I think heating the buttery spread in the frying pan changed its flavor, so I will only use it on top of my pancakes, toast, breads, mashed potatoes, other dishes, and of course for baking! I was also happy to see that they are using real ingredients to provide a nice-tasting, overall product. I would recommend that you give this product a try. I picked up my 15 oz. tub from Ralphs grocery store (Kroger).

My #MakeItYours-Inspired Cookie Recipe
Today, I decided to test a cookie recipe, inspired by the #MakeItYours Country Crock campaign. You can join in on the fun, by following the Make It Yours Cookie Recipe on their website, click here

In my recipe, I did use the Country Crock Original buttery spread as well. By the way, I was also a little nervous because I didn't know how my cookies would turn out until I tasted them, after they cooled. In the end, I was SUPER happy with the texture of my cookie and its taste! If you decide to make them, let me know how you like them in the comments below!

Dried Apricot and Raisin Cookies

Wet Ingredients
1 Cup Country Crock Original Spread, tub (cold from the refrigerator)
3/4 Cup and an additional 1/4 Cup Pure Cane Brown Sugar
2 Eggs

Dry Ingredients
3 Cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour by Bob's Red Mill
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Salt
1-1/2 Cups of chopped and cubed Dried Apricots
1-1/2 Cups of Raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

2. Mix the brown sugar, eggs, and Country Crock Original spread in one bowl, until smooth.

3. Then combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl before adding it to the buttery mixture. Your dough should be nice and creamy like this ------>

4. Then add in the chopped and cubed dried apricots and the raisins. (Use more or less. It's up to you) Mix the dried fruit into the cookie dough.

5. Once your batter is ready to go, scoop 1 Tablespoon fulls onto a non-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. (This will avoid them from sticking to the cookie sheet and breaking)

Tasting Review 
This cookie is SO light and fluffy in texture. It may have been a result of me using the Gluten-free flour, which is a great alternative. I was super-excited about my results. With the amount of brown sugar I used, this cookie is still not too sweet. It would go nicely with a cup of mid-day tea or a grab and go cookie from the cookie jar. I enjoyed the dried apricots and raisin combination I decided to use. They work very nicely together. 

Testing other mix-ins will continue because I have more cookie dough left, so I am going to add chocolate chips to the dried fruit to see how that tastes as well. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

#VLOG: Bardsdale Farm Tour in California - #FarmFreshtoYou

This past Saturday, I visited Bardsdale Farm in California for a tour of their orange and avocado farm. They are one of the farms that provide organically-grown, fruits and veggies for Farm Fresh to You customers. I have been getting my organic produce from Farm Fresh to You for the past two months now, so I wanted an up-close look and on-the-ground experience as well. 

Come on and join me on my Bardsdale Farm Tour recap video below! 

Get $10 Off your first box at Farm Fresh to You, when you use the code: SELE8487

Saturday, March 19, 2016

$150 PayPal Cash #Giveaway! Open Worldwide. Ends: April 7, 2016, 11:59PM/EST

Selena Thinking Out Loud is happy to team up with some amazing bloggers to bring you this $150 PayPal Cash for 1 Winner, Open Worldwide! Now that Spring has arrived, if you're our lucky winner, there is SO much you can do with your winnings. You can establish a beautiful vegetable and flower garden. You can pay a bill, support a charity, shop online at your favorite boutique, or take a weekend getaway! Your options are endless!

Welcome to the $150 Paypal Giveaway!

One (1) Lucky Winner will receive $150 PayPal Cash

Enter using the Giveaway Tool entry form, below. All entries are optional, but the more you do, the more chances you have to win! 
Good Luck!!

Disclosure: Selena Thinking Out Loud and the other bloggers involved in this giveaway were not compensated, and are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Lil' Blog and More will be sending out the prize. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter this giveaway. This giveaway starts March 20th, 2016, and will end on April 7th, 2016 at 11:59 pm. The winner will be emailed, and have 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen. Once a winner is drawn and confirmed, the name will be announced on the GiveawayTools form. Open to worldwide entries. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

VLOG: #Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie Recipe for St Patrick's Day and Family #Dinner

On St. Patrick's Day and for your next family dinner, why not try my Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie (Cottage Pie) recipe! 

I enjoy making wholesome meals in the kitchen that fill the tummy but have a vegetarian twist. In the video below, I take you step by step through my process for making this tasty meal. Bon Appetit!!

Your Grocery List of Ingredients
3 large Potatoes
1 bag of Gardein Beefless Ground
1 large Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 cup of Carrots, fresh or frozen
1 cup of Peas, frozen
1 cup of String Beans, frozen
2 Tablespoons of *All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups of Vegetable Broth (1 cup for gravy and 1/2 cup when mashing potatoes)
1 15.5 oz (16oz.) can of Black Beans, rinsed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Pepper (Seasonings and Spices, you like)
Bake 350 degree for 35 minutes or until the potatoes have browned on top.
*You can substitute the All-Purpose Flour with a gluten-free flour option.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie Recipe by Selena Thinking Out Loud
A plated serving of Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, recipe by Selena Thinking Out Loud

Leave a Comment Below...
What special meal do you prepare to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Funny or Die: The Bachelor: Expanded Age Bracket Edition #parody

Are you a fan of The Bachelor on ABC? The finale episode airs tonight, Monday, March 14, 2016. Who will Ben choose as his finance?! 

Well, while we wait to see, check out this parody's take on the show, called: The Bachelor: Expanded Age Bracket Edition. What would happen if a 35-year old woman were cast as a contestant on "The Bachelor"?

Watch Now and Rate it... Funny or Die, below!

Monday, March 7, 2016

$50 Usborne Books and More #Giveaway! Open to US. Ends: March 22. 2016, 11:59PM/EST #BooksforKids

Here at Selena Thinking Out Loud, education means SO much! That's why I am very happy to invite you to enter the $50 Usborne Books and More Giveaway with Free Shipping! Your child or students will enjoy fiction and non-fiction books from award-winning authors as they use their imagination to discover, learn, and thrive. A good book can make all of the difference and start them on a journey of endless possibilities. Bedtime stories, reading time, show and tell, and other instances when books are used, gives them time to bond with you, develop their mind, and motivates them to want to learn even more. 

Learn more about Usborne Books and More, below, and enter the giveaway for $50 worth of books (Winner's Choice) and FREE Shipping, hosted by Love, Mrs. Mommy! Happy Reading!!
Winner's Choice of $50 in Books to Usborne Books and More Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Usborne Books Consultant Heather

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Promoted By: Selena Thinking Out Loud

The Prize

One (1) Lucky Winner Will Receive, 

Their Choice of $50 in Books + FREE Shipping!

For a Detailed Review

*~*~*~  Love, Mrs. Mommy's Usborne Books Review, HERE! *~*~*

Rules and How To Enter
Open To US. 
Must be 18 years or older to enter
Giveaway Runs 3/8/16 12AM/EST through 3/22/16 11:59PM/EST 

Good Luck!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy received the 4 books shown in the giveaway image at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. Love, Mrs. Mommy, Selena Thinking Out Loud, and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

@FarmFreshtoYou VLOG Review + $10 off #CouponCode - Fruits and Vegetables from the Farm to Home or Office

Selena Thinking Out Loud is talking all about fresh, farm-grown, organic fruits and vegetables, from Farm Fresh to YouFarmers work hard to provide for their families and to make sure that people all over the world are getting good, quality, produce. If you enjoy cooking at home as much as I do here in Southern California, then you'll enjoy learning more about how you can get farm-grown, organic produce delivered right to your home or office. They pick the produce when it's close to time for your delivery so you know that it's fresh from the farm! I also have a $10 Off Your First Box, Coupon Code for you too (see below)!

My Farm Fresh to You Video Blog Review
In the following Video Blog Review, I share:
  • how I first learned about Farm Fresh to You 
  • PROS and CONS of the organic produce delivery service
  • a look inside one of my boxes of produce
  • $10 Off Your First Box, coupon code (also mentioned below the video)

Get $10 Off Your First Box with Coupon Code
First, go to and click the Sign Up button to enter your zip code. This will ensure that they deliver to your area. Then follow the steps to get your free account set up. Then you will want to enter your promo code, use code SELE8487. This code will ensure that you get $10 Off Your First Box. (How-To steps are also in the image below!)

FYI: By the way, your box of produce will be delivered to your door BEFORE you have to pay for it. Then they will automatically apply the coupon code to your bill thereafter. This code is good for first time customers and any customers who have been inactive for at least 3 months.

Photos of Meals I've Made and Produce From My Boxes
New Box is Here!

 Red Leaf Lettuce, Kiwi, Onions and Gold Beets Salad with an Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

 Rainbow Carrots and Collard Green Soup with Kidney Beans

Romanesco Sauteed with Gold Beets and Garlic

 Squash Soup with Kale and Great Northern Beans

Sauteed Vegetable Medley of Baby Broccoli Chard and Rainbow Carrots  with Onions and Garlic

Watercress Red Beets and Carrot Salad

Nicely-Wrapped from the Farm

 Baby Broccoli

Rainbow Carrots


Gold Beets (looks yellow, not red)


Full Refrigerator of Farm Fresh to You
Fruits and Veggies

Leave Your Comments Below
Are you incorporating more fruits and veggies into your meals this year? If so, how?