Ragu® – An important staple in my family’s pantry

“This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu®. The opinions and text are all mine.”

Spaghetti Tacos - a family favorite. Quick & easy too!

Spaghetti Tacos – a family favorite. Quick & easy too!

As summer comes to an end it’s nice to finally get back into a regular routine. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing fun things with my family. I also enjoy having a normal routine. I guess you can say I’m a “creature of habit.”

When it comes to dinner it’s really hard to plan things during the summer months. Either we’re not home because we’re off doing things, or everyone is always on the go-go-go and no one is around for a normal family meal or it’s just too darn hot to cook. When the kids go back to school and we’re back into our normal routine I’ll get right back into cooking dinner every night like I normally do.

Growing up my mom always cooked dinner and everyone sat at the table together. Dinner time was (and still is) family time – a time to reconnect with one another, find out what is going on in each other’s lives and spend quality time together.

In our home cellphones and other devices are off limits. They are not allowed at the table – ever!

Thinking back on dinner time with my family it was always something special. Even if mom made something as simple as pasta it was still a special time with my family.

A staple in my mom’s pantry was always Ragu® Spaghetti and Pasta Sauces. My mom always kept Ragu® on hand to whip up a last minute meal or to create some amazing dishes. Ragu® is a long standing family “tradition,” so to speak. My mom used Ragu®. I use Ragu®. I’m sure my kids will use Ragu® when they grow up too. It’s our go-to sauce.

Ragu Dishes

Ragu® is also a staple in our household pantry.

Funny story, my mother in law is 100% Italian. She made everything from scratch, including her pasta sauce and gravy. When my husband and I were first married we invited her over for dinner. Since I was still learning how to cook I just made some pasta, a salad and garlic bread.

My mother in law was mortified that I was used “jarred sauce.” She didn’t realize that Ragu® was the only sauce I knew. It was what I grew up with. I didn’t know how to make it from scratch and frankly I like the ease and convenience of opening a jar.

I didn’t think my mother in law was going to eat dinner that night, but she did, and she enjoyed it! She even told me that she would have never eaten jarred sauce before but after trying it she really enjoyed it.

Ragu® is so versatile. You can use it in so many ways from something as simple as pasta or mini pizzas to meatloaf, baked ziti and tomato soup.

I like to stock up on Ragu®, that is why I like that I can pick up bulk packages at my neighborhood BJ’s wholesale club. In fact my husband and were just at BJ’s a few days ago where I picked up some Ragu® to replenish my pantry supply.

Ragu 1

Ragu 2

Ragu 3

What an awesome deal! Three huge jars of Ragu for $2.43 each.

The jars I picked up at BJ’s are larger jars (45 ounces) compared to the regular jars (24 ounces). I use more Ragu® in some dishes (baked ziti, lasagna, stew) than with others. If I find that I only need a portion of the jar I simply close the lid and store it in the fridge for a few days until I need it again. I use Ragu® in some way or another at least twice per week.

Purchasing a three pack at BJ’s is convenient for me because it means I have plenty on hand for when I need it. Plus saving money is always nice too.

If you would like to learn more about Ragu® Spaghetti and Pasta Sauces check out Ragu’s homepage. There you can learn about the products as well as some amazing recipes. You can also check out the brand on social media.

I would also highly recommend checking out the brand’s Pinterest page for mouth-watering recipe ideas – www.Pinterest.com/RaguSauce.

To find a BJ’s location near you visit www.BJs.com.

Do you use Ragu®? What is your favorite flavor? What is your go-to Ragu® recipe?


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Related Posts:

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!


Hampton Creek Ice Cream Sandwiches 1

Did you know that today (Sunday, August 2, 2015) is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day? Yummy! This is one day I am more than happy to celebrate.

In honor of this day I thought you might enjoy this delicious sounding Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.


Just Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches


2 cups Just Cookie Dough (available at HamptonCreek.com)
1 quart ice cream, flavor of choice
1½ cups dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or any neutral flavored oil)


1 2 3



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for my the enjoyment of my site readers. The recipe was shared with permission. 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Yoplait Yogurt… it’s not just for breakfast


Do you like yogurt? I do. My kids do too. In fact they have been eating yogurt since they were toddlers. I didn’t start eating yogurt until I was a young adult. Yogurt wasn’t as popular when I was a child as it is today. Not only that, there were limited flavors and varieties decades ago.

I know a lot of people who enjoy yogurt too. It seems like most of them eat yogurt with their breakfast or in place of a regular breakfast. My kids have been known to do that too.

Sure, Yoplait yogurt is a yummy breakfast option, but you can enjoy Yoplait yogurt all day long, not just for breakfast.


Yoplait yogurt is a delicious any time treat.

One of my favorite things to make is Frozen Breakfast Bars. In fact my teenage daughter makes them often. They are great for breakfast, as a snack, after work/school snack and even a late night treat.

These are super easy to make and you can use any flavor or variety of Yoplait yogurt and fresh fruit. This recipe is made with blueberries but we’ve made it with raspberries and strawberries too. My son suggested watermelon but I think it might be too watery for this recipe (but I bet it would taste good).

These bars take about 10-15 minutes to make and about 3+ hours to set in the freezer.



  • 2 1/2 cups of oats & honey granola
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 containers (5.3 oz each) Yoplait Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh fruit
  • 2 tablespoons of oats & honey granola, coarsely crushed



Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups granola and the melted butter. Firmly press in bottom of ungreased 8-inch square pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on cooling rack. Freeze about 5 minutes or until cold.


Spoon yogurt over crust; gently spread to cover. Sprinkle with fresh fruit and crushed granola. Freeze about 3 hours or until firm.


Remove from freezer 10 minutes before cutting. To make bars, cut into 5 rows by 2 rows. Wrap each bar tightly in plastic wrap. Store in freezer.


You can mix and match the Yoplait yogurt and the fresh fruit. For example, use blueberry Yoplait yogurt with fresh strawberries, or Blackberry Harvest Yoplait yogurt with raspberries. You can also use any Yoplait yogurt. The only one I have not tried this recipe with is the Yoplait whips. It might work with that too.

Because these bars are so sweet and fruity they would make a great dessert too. You could easily serve this treat after dinner. Maybe not in a bar form. Perhaps served in a small custard cup.

Another easy frozen treat (ideal for the summer months) is a frozen yogurt “sandwich.” Simply take two of your favorite granola-like cookies or breakfast bars (I prefer Natural Valley Breakfast Biscuits). Spread your favorite Yoplait yogurt on one side of the cookie/bar, then top with another cookie/bar. Wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer a few hours until frozen. What you get is a delicious frozen on the go treat that you don’t have to worry about melting and making a huge mess (trust me, they are so good you’ll gobble it up immediately).


These are also so easy to make that your kids can help you make them (or make them on their own).

You can find a nice variety of Yoplait yogurt, such as Original, Light, Greek (my favorite variety) and Gogurt at your local Walmart.

How do you enjoy Yoplait yogurt? Do you only eat it at breakfast time or do you find unique ways to enjoy it all day long – even on the go?

What is your favorite Yoplait yogurt recipe? I would love to hear about it. Please comment and tell me about it.

Yoplait Logo


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Related Posts:

Yummy Forth of July Snack Recipe


Forth of July Snack Recipe

Can you believe that it’s almost the Forth of July? Seriously… time is flying way too quickly. Wasn’t it JUST Valentines Day? Sigh…

One of our local grocery stores has already started to stack the shelves with Back-to-School supplies. Ugh! Our daughter just graduated high school this past Friday. I don’t want to think about Back-to-School time for at least another eight weeks.


Are you planning on hosting (or attending) a Forth of July party? If so, check out this easy to make recipe to show off you Patriotic spirit. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual chips and dips available at most parties. Plus it’s made from better for you snack options.

This recipe is from Pirate’s Booty Fruity Booty and Rickland Orchards.

Here is what you’ll need to create this festive treat

  • 1 package of Pirate’s Booty Fruity Booty
  • 1 package of Rickland Orchards Greek Covered Almonds
  • 1 package of your choice of a blue candy/nut (M&Ms, jelly beans… what ever you can find).

Mix all the ingredients together and serve in Patriotic bowls.

4th of July recipe


That’s it! How easy is that to make. It’s something your children could easily whip up while you are busy focusing on other foods for your party.

As I mentioned earlier in the post, this recipe is made with better for you snack options.

Pirate’s Booty Fruity Booty: 

  • Baked rice & corn puff
  • 0g of Trans Fats
  • Cholesterol and Certified Gluten Free
  • Peanut and tree nut Free
  • No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives
  • Made with Real Fruit

Rickland Orchards White Almonds:

  • Dry roasted almonds covered in a Greek yogurt coating
  • Two times more protein and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt
  • Trans Fats and Cholesterol Free

When looking for something “blue” try and find something better for you like the Pirate’s Booty and Rickland Orchards White Almonds. Maybe you can find a blue coated nuts? For this recipe we used blue chocolate candies.

If you are looking for more great snack options for your holiday party, backyard barbecues, camping or picnics be sure to try out other Pirate’s Booty products. My family is a huge fan of Pirate’s Booty. They are a great anytime snack.

I just recently learned about Rickland Orchards. They have a lot of yummy Greek yogurt products that I am interested in trying out. Their Greek On The Go snacks look and sound so good.

For more information about Pirates Booty please visit PiratesBrand.com. And for information about Rickland Orchards visit RicklandOrchards.com. Both brands can be found on social media. All links are found on their website.

What do you think about this recipe? Would you be interested in trying it out for yourself? What would you choose for the “blue” color?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.

Pirates Booty Rickland Orchard Recipe


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

Check out Friendship Dairies new Superfood Generator


When the weather outside is hot and humid, the last thing I want is to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. For that reason I try and spend as little time cooking with the stove and oven whenever possible. I don’t mind so much at dinner time, but when it comes to breakfast and lunch, even snacks, I want something that is quick and easy to make.

I also tend to get bored with the foods I normally eat, week after week. I like to mix things up whenever possible. For example, I recently tried making asparagus for my family using balsamic vinegar instead of the olive oil and garlic way I normally prepare it. Or I’ll top a baked potato with Brussels sprouts instead of broccoli.

I enjoy foods that you can add to, to change it up a bit. That is why I am enjoying The Original Superfood, Friendship Dairies cottage cheese’s newly launched Superfood Generator.

I’m sure many people are aware of Friendship Dairies cottage cheese. I grew up with the brand. It was the only brand of cottage cheese my mom would eat. To be honest if you asked me to name another brand of cottage cheese, I couldn’t do it. I know Friendship Dairies cottage cheese because my mom always had it in the fridge.


Friendship Dairies cottage cheese has been around since 1917.

I used to think of cottage cheese as a food people eat when they were on a diet or watching their weight. The truth is Friendship Dairies cottage cheese can be enjoyed by anyone, at any time. It makes for a great breakfast, lunch and snack. Plus it doesn’t require the stove or oven and it’s something you can take with you on the go.

Friendship Dairies cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein (10-19 grams of protein depending on which Friendship Dairies cottage cheese product you choose) and calcium. It’s a great source of sustainable energy, which means it will help keep you on the go.


As I mentioned earlier in this post I enjoy products that I can mix up a bit and make it different, this way I don’t get bored with things. Friendship Dairies has recently launched the Superfood Generator – an inspirational online tool that helps people discover the endless deliciousness of cottage cheese mix-ins, and their nutritional benefits.

You can find the Superfood Generator at the Friendship Dairies website, FriendshipDairies.com.

All of the recipes created in the Superfood Generator are super tasty and very easy to make. Friendship Dairies also has recipes to satisfy just about anyone including Choco Berry Bowl and Sweet & Crunchy Delight for those looking for something a bit sweet, or a Chicken Satay Bowl or Kimchi Bowl for those looking to make it more of a meal rather than a snack.


They even have smoothie recipes. Never in a millions years would I think to use Friendship Dairies cottage cheese in a smoothie. Have you ever used cottage cheese in a smoothie? I am going to have to try that one day soon as soon as I replace my blender (I broke it packing it with too much ice).

Check out the Superfood Generator here – FriendshipDairies.com/Superfood-Generator.

What I love about the Superfood Generator is that you can add your favorite fruits, veggies and herbs or you can mix in things you have in your pantry and fridge.

Here is one of my favorite combinations – Banana, raisins and honey. It contains antioxidants, potassium and protein.

Mix in 1

Another yummy one is apples and oranges (I used Mandarin oranges). This is a great source of fiber, Vitamin C and of course protein.

Mix in 2

Check out the Superfood Generator for yourself and see what amazing combinations you can think of.

If you would like to learn more about the Superfood Generator and Friendship Dairies products, visit their official website, FriendshipDairies.com. You can also find the brand on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Do you have any yummy ways to enjoy Friendship Dairies cottage cheese? Are you planning on checking out the Superfood Generator for delicious snacks and easy to make meals? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



*I have partnered with Friendship Dairies to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.

Related Posts:

Bake perfectly every time with Perfect Bake



I would consider myself a decent cook. I can follow recipes or make up my own with no problem what so ever. I’m also good at taking whatever we have in the pantry and fridge and whip up a meal at the last minute.

Sadly, when it comes to baking I’m the total opposite. I can never get baked goods to turn out too good. I even mess up pre-made cookies, the kind you plop on a cookie sheet and bake.

I don’t know what it is about baking that I can never get right. Even when I follow recipes exactly I mess up. You should have seen the mess after I tried to bake cake inside ice cream cones. Oh my! Was that ever a catastrophe.

Baking, for me, is also very messy. There are so many things that need to be weighed and measured. I also have a teeny, tiny counter top space and no room for multiple bowls, measuring spoons and cups, ingredients and so forth. I’m not kidding. My available counter space is the size of an average placemat. Maybe if I had a large counter top or kitchen island I could be a great baker.

I was recently asked if I would like to review a product called Perfect Bake.

Perfect Bake is a special scale that can weigh the ingredients exactly all in one bowl. There is no need for extra measuring cups or spoons. Simply pour the ingredients into one of the Perfect Bake bowls and the scale and accompanying FREE app will tell you when to stop, pour, bake and so forth.

Perfect Bake

It almost sounds too good to be true. I was excited to give Perfect Bake a try.

Here is some additional information about Perfect Bake.

  • No more measuring. Perfect Bake tells you when to stop pouring
  • Smart Scale connects to your phone or tablet
  • Free app for iOS or Android devices guides you through baking each recipe*
  • Place a bowl on the scale and Perfect Bake lets you know exactly how much ingredient to add
  • Tell Perfect Bake the number of cookies you want to make, and it automatically scales the recipe
  • Choose from hundreds of recipes, or create and save your own
  • Pantry Feature gives you lists of delicious recipes from the items you have on hand
  • NEW recipes are added without having to update app
  • Includes scale, phone/tablet stand, 3 mixing bowls (small, medium and large), oven thermometer and 3.5mm cable
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included)

I was concerned that we would have to set Perfect Bake up on our router. Our router is set up where we need to include every device’s MAC address in order for it to connect to the internet. Not everything has a MAC address. Sadly there are devices I couldn’t set up because of that. Thankfully Perfect Bake doesn’t require set up on your home’s router. It connects directly to your smartphone or tablet via a plug that is attached to Perfect Bake.

I’m not always good when it comes to technology. With Perfect Bake I had it up and ready to go in minutes. Set up is a breeze and really only requires batteries and connecting to the free app that you need to download.

Perfect Bake comes with hundreds of recipes to choose from. You can even add your own favorite recipes. But remember, this is for baking, not cooking.

Perfect Bake recipe screen shot

Perfect Bake has recipes for muffins, cookies, breads, snacks, ice cream, cupcakes, pancakes, scones, waffles, biscuits, brownies, bars and my personal favorite – Mug Cakes.

There are also recipes that are Gluten and Dairy Free.

Perfect Bake is so easy to use. Simply connect the scale to your tablet or smartphone, connect to the app and choose the recipe you would like to make. Perfect Bake tells you all the ingredients you’ll need. Simply follow the instructions exactly (starting from the bottom of the screen and moving up) and Perfect Bake will guide you step by step. There are even brief videos to show you how to do things if needed.

The scale is very sensitive and pick up even the tiniest ingredient. I was very impressed by that. You can even see the graphic filling up as your fill the ingredients in the bowl so you know when to stop pouring the ingredients in.

If you pour in too much of an ingredient, don’t worry. Perfect Bake will automatically adjust the other ingredients to allow for that so you won’t have to worry about ruining the recipe.

A feature I really like is that you can tell Perfect Bake how many baked goods you want  and it will automatically adjust the recipe and tell you how much to scoop or pour out. For example, if you want 18 cookies instead of 12, Perfect Bake will adjust accordingly. Or if you want 8 muffins instead of 12, Perfect Bake can also help you with that.

I’m pretty impressed by this feature. This is a great feature if you bake for school (for a bake sale or classroom party) and need to make a lot of baked goods. No more guessing. Perfect Bake does all the recalculating for you.

The Perfect Bake app also has a grocery list option where you can create a grocery list of all the ingredients you’ll need to bake whatever delicious recipe you are interested in.

Perfect Bake Apple Pecan Mug Cake

Another awesome feature is the pantry section. You can scroll through the pantry section and mark off the ingredients that you know that you have on hand. Perfect Bake will then show you recipes you can make utilizing what you have on hand. There is no need to go out and purchase a lot of extra ingredients and it’s a great way to use up ingredients you already have on hand. In addition its a great way to try out new recipes you might not otherwise have tired.

Please note that the app for Perfect Bake works with iOS 6.0 or higher and Android OS 4.1 or higher. It is not compatible with Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7 (1st generation).

Perfect Bake can even weigh cookies to make sure you are measuring out the correct amount and not making them too big or too small.

Where has Perfect Bake been all my life? All these years of messing up recipes, baking cookies that were way too big or too small and other baking catastrophes could have been avoided by using Perfect Bake.


I currently have many recipes starred on the Perfect Bake app. I’ve also tried a few recipes including Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies and Nutella Mug Cake. I LOVE the mug cake recipes. They are super simple to make and my kids enjoy them too.

Speaking of kids, Perfect Bake is easy for kids to use too. In fact it could turn your child/teen into a great baker.

If you would like to learn more about Perfect Bake please visit PerfectBakeApp.com. There is a tab on the site to show you were you can buy Perfect Bake. I know it’s available from Brookstone, as well as other retailers.

What do you think about Perfect Bake? Does it look like a product you would like to have?

I think this would make a great house warming gift, gift for newly weds or a gift for someone who simply loves to bake (or who can’t bake).

Perfect Bake Logo


*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts