tried & true: Chocolate and Bacon Soufflé Pancakes

Best pancakes ever

If there’s a cult recipe in our house, it’s this one: Ginger Elizabeth’s Chocolate and Bacon Souffle Pancakes. They usually start appearing quite frequently in the Fall… as we snuggle in on the couch on Sunday mornings with coffee and football. And trust me… you’ll never want to make “regular” pancakes at home again! So go ahead and celebrate “National Pancake Day” on September 26th with this recipe, and you may find yourself waking up early on the 27th to make some more!

Chocolate and Bacon Soufflé Pancakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅔ cup milk (your choice of whole/lowfat/nonfat)
  • ⅔ cup half & half
  • 3 eggs (separated)
  • 6 T butter (unsalted) - melted
  • ½ cup Valrhona Pearls - if you use chocolate chips, make sure they are broken into tiny little pieces, even the mini ones to get the right effect!
  • 8 pieces of bacon - cooked and crumbed/chopped
  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, half and half and the egg yolks.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined with no lumps.
  3. Whisk the egg whites on high speed using a blender, until stiff peaks are formed. Fold the whites into the pancake batter.
  4. Fold in the melted butter.
  5. Ladle the batter onto a hot griddle to make 4-5" diameter pancakes. Immediately sprinkle with Valrhona pearls and bacon.
  6. As soon as the batter starts to bubble (which will be REALLY QUICK!), flip the pancakes to cook the other side.
  7. Serve with REAL maple syrup! (And if you like butter on your pancakes, try one first without it... because these are really buttery on their own!)



Same Old Red Robin, But Some Things Get Better With Time

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Red Robin for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


The M Family is a family that loves burgers. We do. Mr. M has a weak spot for any burger that is advertised as “spicy,” I have a weak spot for a great teriyaki burger, and Miss L adores a good slider or two. So whenever we’re out and about near a Red Robin, we always seem to find our way inside for lunch or dinner or somewhere in-between.


Last week, it was an just an ordinary Saturday trip for groceries that landed us in the shopping center, and when Miss L was given the options, she chose Red Robin without blinking. But this time, things were a little different. And in a good way!


First, there was an automated kiosk on the table to order from. Our waiter grabbed our drink order, but then let us know we could browse and pick out any appetizers to order on the screen while we were waiting. So while I was glancing up at the latest sports scores, Mr. M slipped in a secret order of onion rings. Well isn’t that dangerous! I was a little shocked when they arrived at the table, but trust me that I wasn’t upset one bit.


Then the Kids’ Menu had changed and there were suddenly more options for Miss L to choose from (which is always a good thing!) and an even easier way for her to select her options. When we head out to eat, we always ask her to order for herself, but sometimes she gets nervous trying to memorize all 3-parts of an order. With the easy picture menu, she blurted out her order (Mac & Cheese with apple slices & lemonade) with confidence and didn’t even need our help. OK then… guess she’s good to go with that!


As for us, we stepped away from our usual burger order and went with two of the new ‘Red Robin’s Finest’ burgers: The Southern Charm with sweet potato fries & the Black & Bleu with steak fries. It was nice to enjoy a fancier burger in your same familiar burger joint, and something just seemed to make the whole experience shine a bit more. And the bottomless Arnold Palmer’s didn’t hurt either… as I was able to put down four of those with the help of our attentive waiter.


At the end of the meal, our waiter asked if we were members of Red Robin Royalty. I suddenly remembered a co-worker of mine bragging about how great it was and as a member you get a free birthday burger when you sign up for Red Robin Royalty, so I jumped on the little kiosk and signed myself up right away. Because, honestly, we know we’ll be back for another visit in the near future, whether it’s because the littlest member of the family requested, Mr. M really wants a good burger, or I just want to catch a game while noshing away on those ridiculous onion rings. Red Robin is just a very comfortable atmosphere for enjoying good food, drinks, and company!

Visit Sponsors Site


For the love of fruity Fruttare


If there’s one area I linger at too long in the grocery store, it’s definitely the beloved frozen treats section. There always seems to be something new, delicious and incredibly intriguing for me to take home and try… and one’s willpower can only last so long! That’s how I ended up taking home a box of Fruttare Coconut & Milk bars one day… and now I can tell you just how delicious they truly are!

I usually stay away from buying fruit bars, because in all honesty, I’d rather just pick up a piece of delicious summer fruit out of the fridge for dessert. But the creamy milk and coconut combination made me curious (as did the Strawberry and Milk flavor) and I figured that fellow coconut lover Miss L would adore them as well. When I realized they were only 60-140 calories each, I threw all guilt out the window and happily purchased a box!

And… they are pure coconut bliss in a bar!

There are actual chunks of coconut in there too, which was a little shocking at first. Then again, I’m used to anything coconut flavored also being colored bright blue, so there’s that! Luckily Fruttare is sort of the exact opposite, as those whole strawberries, coconuts, limes & bananas you find in the bars are sustainably farmed as well.

Fruttare has eight other flavors to try: Strawberry, Mango, Black Cherry, Banana and Milk, Pineapple, Strawberry and Milk, Mixed Berries and Milk, and Lime. So far, I’ve seen them available locally at Target, Rite Aid, & Walmart, but you can check to see where you can find them in your neighborhood.
So let’s recap:
· Low calorie snack
· Made from great tasting fruit and sources sustainably farmed strawberries, coconuts, limes & bananas (you can see the actual chunks in the bar!)
· Nine absolutely delicious flavors
· Available all over for you to buy
Take a chance on Fruttare in the freezer aisle on your next window shopping visit

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


#DisneySMMC On The Road Portland event



At the beginning of June, I was lucky enough to be one of the select few “moms” invited to attend the first #DisneySMMC #OnTheRoad event in Portland. I had signed up on an online interest form long before the event, and got the happy email on the morning of May 18th. And I was so excited to go that, you might remember, I made these crazy business cards to give away!

I would describe the event as a “mini PD conference” and it was geared toward moms/parents who were a part of social media buzz… be it an online blog, the twitterverse, or just old-fashioned super connected moms in the neighborhood. There was a quick buffet breakfast to start the morning, then a solid set of back-to-back presentations with a short bathroom break in the middle, and finally some extra time in the room afterward to mix and mingle and network with fellow attendees and the presenters.

Our hostess for the day was Jamie Langdon, who shared this adorable video with us about how much Kids Remember on their WDW vacations:

The rest of the day’s lineup included Tyler Slater (Disney Destinations), Erin Glover (Social Media Director at Disneyland),  Victoria Lim (multimedia journalist) – who gave us that awesome Magisto free trial code, Andrea Rojas and Megan Sayers from Babble.comMarianne Richmond (children’s book author), and finally Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka. the Crafty Chica) & her daughter Maya (Maya in the Moment).  For a wonderful detailed wrap-up of all the details, check out this post from Saving Up For Disney.


While the event was short in time, it was packed with substance and well worth the trip just to meet the wonderful friends I met! It’s wonderful that Disney plans and puts on these events to bring great people with similar interests and perspectives together!  I just hope that I’m lucky enough to attend another one of these events in the future!


banana cream pudding magic

I have some serious banana cream pie lovers (& critics) in my life: Mr. M and my Dad. So when I stumbled on the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding, I earmarked it for a day when they both could enjoy it. It’s definitely not a pie, but more of a banana cream trifle, and so darn easy to make as long as you’ve got the time! Well, the day to try out the recipe just happened to be this Saturday… and I can proudly share the recipe it here because it earned their well-respected banana cream seal of approval.

banana cream pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: dessert
Serves: 8 servings
  • 14-oz condensed sweetened milk
  • 1½ cups cold water
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 4 Ripe Bananas
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 box (12 oz) Nabisco Nilla Wafers
  1. Mix the condensed milk with the water on a low speed for 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and mix on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  2. Whip the cream in a large bowl until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in the cold pudding mixture until completely combined.
  3. Pick a glass bowl or dish to use for serving. You'll want it to be big enough to layer all of your ingredients inside! Layer the Nilla wafers along the bottom, then add a layer of bananas, and top with a layer of the pudding cream. Repeat for an additional set of layers.
  4. Wrap up the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and enjoy! (It's best if consumed before it's been in the fridge for 8 hours... but in our house, it's still yummy the next day)