Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe: Brown Sugar Ham Soaked in Coke!

Most of you know by now that I am the mother of three young boys. What you may not know is how MUCH these little boys can eat! You can't tell by looking at them how much they love to eat, because they are all so very small for their respective ages, but I can assure you that they eat more than most adults! When Aaron went to see the Nutritionist earlier this year, she was astounded at his calorie count. I anticipate their appetites will increase as they get older, and that my normal grocery trips may be replaced by warehouse club trips in the not so distant future. It's important to make sure that they are eating a balanced diet. With Aaron on a high calorie count diet, it's difficult at times to get all those calories in, and still make sure the necessary nutrients are included. So, I plan our meals making sure the nutrients are there, then I add in all the calories I can to the kids food.

Because my boys love to eat SO MUCH, it is vital that I come up with affordable recipes now that feed us all (with leftovers) so that in a few years, I have an established cooking routine of affordable recipes. Today, I am going to share with you one of these recipes, that is just 4 ingredients and super simple to prepare, and these boys devour this ham!

Recipe: Brown Sugar Ham Soaked in Coke

1 Ham (size of your choice)
Brown Sugar
1 can of Coca~Cola
1 can of pineapple slices

Just place the ham in your baking dish face down, and use toothpicks to secure the pineapple slices to the ham. Next, I pour about 1/2 cup of brown sugar (depending on the ham size) over the ham, then pour the can of coke over the top. I cover it all with some aluminum foil, then bake in the oven according to the directions for the ham you have purchased.

I serve this with a salad, potatoes, a green veggie, and rolls. It is great for leftovers, though as these kids get older, the amount of leftovers is getting smaller and smaller (haha!).

I also feel strongly that establishing a dinner routine with kids at an early age is important. When they are young, they enjoy their meal times with mom and dad where they can tell us about their day. As kids get older and develop stronger friendships outside of the home, they tend to have more in depth relationships with non-family members. It is important to develop and cement familial bonds with them from early on. While some kids won't be excited about this dinner ritual during their teen years, once they become adults with families of their own, they will recall this tradition and treasure it. Likely, they will continue it within their own family.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Coca-Cola® blogging program. If I am one of the first 100 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 gift card. For more information on the program, click here."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Filtrete Blog Tour

Today is my birthday, and I have been waiting to share this particular post with you on my special day. You see, I have had allergies most of my life, and I had to have weekly shots for years. Last year, the respiratory issues got severe and I had to step up the medications, and finally my doctor came to the conclusion that I have developed allergy induced adult onset asthma. Which is not fun at all.

When we first moved into our current home, we were excited to find washable air filters, which we thought would help my allergies. Except they didn't. We could wash them weekly, and they'd be dirty, but the house would still be full of dust. So, we had to find another alternative. The solution we found (and the reason I was SO excited to participate in this specific tour) was the Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction Filter from 3M (which captures 94 percent of large airborne particles, such as household dust, pollen and mold spores, from the air passing through the filter. It also captures up to 40 times more microscopic particles, such as smoke, smog and particles that can carry bacteria and viruses, than ordinary fiberglass filters). We found them in a size that replaced our washable kind, and we can swap them out quarterly, and they have made a huge difference! I still have to use my asthma meds when I am outside more frequently, but my breathing indoors has improved tremendously. The dust in the house was also dramatically reduced. These filters do what filters are supposed to do.....they FILTER and catch the nasty stuff in the air so we don't have to breathe it in! If someone in your family suffers from allergies, and you aren't using these, I strongly suggest giving them a try. At our local hardware store, these were a few dollars more than the ordinary filters, but those made no difference for us, and these have saved me a lot more than those few dollars in reduced allergy medication alone!

Filtrete and Mom Central were kind enough to share the following information with me that I wanted to pass along to you: Since most people with allergies develop them during childhood, Dr. Alanna Levine, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), shares the ABC's to help maintain a healthier home environment for children:

* A is for Avoid: Whenever possible, avoid irritants that often trigger allergies, such as products made of feathers or down. Use hypoallergenic pillows on your child's bed, and limit exposure to perfume, talcum powder, hair spray, air fresheners, fabric softeners or other strong odors or sprays. Strong fragrances and odors may aggravate allergy symptoms.

* B is for Balance: Maintain a consistent balance in the home to help minimize allergens. Keep the windows shut and use central air conditioning during high pollen seasons to help protect children from pollen particles that trees, grasses and weeds release into the air. These particles can harbor in the eyes, nose, and airways, causing allergy symptoms to flair for those allergic to pollen. Also, give children washable, non-allergenic stuffed toys when possible, and be sure to wash the ones played with the most on a weekly basis, in hot water at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

* C is for Change: Change items that are easy to neglect but are important for maintaining a healthier home, such as leaky faucets, pipes and other high moisture areas that are common places for mold growth. Don't neglect their air in the home either. Change your filter every three months, and use a high performance filter, such as a Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction Filter from 3M.

For more healthy home living tips, money saving offers, filter change reminders and more, Moms can register to receive seasonal e-newsletters through the Clear Advantages program by visiting You can also get these and more by following them on Twitter at @Filtrete.

 “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Filtrete and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”