Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered through their giveaway (now through 12/31/17).


This post was created in partnership with Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. I received complimentary products and compensation to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.

The Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ is four appliances built into one: a slow cooker; a stove top for searing and sautéing; a steamer; and an oven for baking. A true multi cooker.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


The Auto-iQ™ Technology features more than 80 pre-programmed recipes which you can select from the cookbook (included). You simply gather the recipe ingredients, select the recipe number, and violia! Dinner! Compared to a traditional slow cooker which only heats from the side, Ninja’s Triple Fusion Heat® brings bottom, side, and steam heat together for easy one-pot meals. The food is hot! and cooked very quickly. If you like slow cooker recipes and more, you will love the recipes available in the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ cookbook!

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


The 6-quart nonstick pot is dishwasher-safe, there is a glass lid with handle, steaming/roasting rack, and 100+ recipe cookbook with over 80 Auto-iQ recipes. The food stays warm for up to 12 hours with the auto Stay-Warm and programmable digital timer.

Ok, so what can the do? Well, lots of stuff:

Besides the programmed meals (which saves time, and dinner-thought-headaches), there are Manual Functions:

• Sear – an innovative heating element turns your Cooking System into a skillet so you can sear meats and sauté vegetables in one pot.
• ACCUTEMP Slow Cook – Worry-free ACCUTEMP temperature control operates behind the scenes to ensure meals aren’t overcooked or underdone.
• Bake With a controlled temperature range from 250°–425° you can dry bake hearty roasts or steam bake breads, cakes, and more.
• Steam veggies for that delightful “snap” or steam light proteins like seafood to play up their naturally subtle flavors.

I wanted Hubby to use this for the blog post because of all the neat features. This is so up his alley. Unfortunately, he was very busy last week, so it was up to me. He had picked out a Jambalaya recipe from the book, and I decided to sorta follow it. I changed nothing about the cooking, but I did swap out some ingredients: smoked sausage for andouille (which is a bit spicey for me), orange and red peppers for green.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


I then followed the step-by-step instructions in the included cookbook:

• Cut up ingredients.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


• Sautéed the chicken, vegetables, and sausage together – which I was leery about since it was included with the peppers, onions, and sausage and not cooked alone – unnecessarily as the chicken was juicy, moist, and well cooked.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


• Added the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, chicken broth, spices).

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


• Clicked the Auto-iQ™ Layered Bowls, recipe 15, allowed it to work its multi cooker magic for 20 minutes.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


• Came back to really HOT (as in temperature), well cooked, well seasoned Jambalaya. The rice cooking was amazing – this recipe cooked for 20 minutes, and the rice was absolutely perfect. My rice cooker takes longer than 20 minutes!

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


So, how can you get the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™?

• For a limited time, you can use my code ANN15 to receive 15% off your very own Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ offer good from now until Dec. 31, 2017.

Exactly who could use a Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™? Well anyone really but if you know a newlywed, someone having a bridal shower (this would be THE best shower gift!), someone who doesn’t really know how to cook (the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ really makes cooking simple), those people are all great candidates for a Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. If your old slow cooker or multi cooker just isn’t doing it for you, definitely look at the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ – and don’t forget this coupon code: ANN15 to receive 15% off between now and 12/31/17.

You can also enter for a chance to win one of (20) Prizes – One Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ by entering your email (you can get additional entries for sharing on social media):


Please note: Winners will be randomly selected from all program entries and Ninja will facilitate fulfillment of the 20 winning prizes.

Also note: that giveaway widget is not hosted on my blog. I do not see any of the information you enter. It is not my giveaway. Please see the details at the entry point above.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).



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2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog

2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog. Highlighted items from the fabulous 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog.


Disclosure: I did receive a sample box filled with beautiful handcrafted items made by artisans around the world from 2017 World Vision Gift Catalog. No other compensation was given to me for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

One of the biggest issues many people have with giving to a charity, is that overhead costs eat up too much of the donations. At World Vision, you can see the tranparency and note much is rolled back into the community programs. Read more here.

9% Fundraising + 6% Management, 85% to Programs
In 2016, 85% of World Vision’s total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need. Read more here.

2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog. Highlighted items from the fabulous 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog.


The World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog offers many types of gifts, including “in the name of” to help the hungry. Hubby got this lovely gift of a goat and two chickens as well as 10 Small Farm Animals from me.

Look for these types of donations under Animals and Agriculture. The gift donations range in price from $25 to $2975, so a price-point for everyone.

There are also plenty of lovely items in the 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog that make perfect gifts for you to wrap and place under the tree (or buy for yourself!)

2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog. Highlighted items from the fabulous 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog.


This Hope Bracelet is simply gorgeous. And I mean beautiful. I have a lot of items from the World Vision Catalog, and this is one of the loveliest. It is new this year! Check it out here.

Hope Bracelet by Patricia Heaton. Designed by Emmy® winner Patricia Heaton exclusively for World Vision and handmade by artisans in India who are thriving through fair trade business. The cost is $100.
Adjustable. Approximate size: 2.5″ W x 2.5″ H x 1.5″ D. Each is unique – size and color may vary slightly.
Please note your gift is tax-deductible, less the fair market value of $30.

The ring in that photo is also new foor 2017. You can find the Wraparound Ring by clicking here. For $65 you’ll receive this beautiful wraparound ring that was made by fair trade artisans in India.
Adjustable. Each is unique – colors and size may vary slightly.
Please note your gift is tax-deductible, less the fair market value of $22.

2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog. Highlighted items from the fabulous 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog.


There are also gifts for the home, such as this African Soap Box. Mine was made in Kenya, and is heavy as well as beautiful. The cost is $85.
his ornate hand-carved soapstone box is etched and designed by local artisans in Kenya. Using this sustainable resource these artisans are lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.
Approximate size: 2 ½” x 5 ¼” x 1 ½”
When requesting the soapstone box, please note your gift is tax-deductible less the fair market value of $20.

2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog. Highlighted items from the fabulous 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog.


Every gift is handmade, so therefore unique. The Tree of Life Votive Holder is amazing! You can see where it was put together in the photo above (ok, so Courtney had to point it out to me, I didn’t notice!)

This lovely votive holder is handmade from cast-off metals. The artisans in India work hard to raise themselves out of poverty and help light the way for their children’s education.
Approximate size: 6″ tall
$75 Please note your gift is tax-deductible, less the fair market value of $11.

2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog. Highlighted items from the fabulous 2017 World Vision Holiday Gift Catalog.


This Upcycled Artisanal Bowl is simply amazing. You can see above how it was worked together. That is a close-up of the inside of the bowl.

This stunning bowl is up-cycled from reclaimed industrial waste such as wires and metal. Artisans in India have hand bent and soldered each piece into inspirational shapes to create this artistic and elaborate bowl that is great as a decorative piece or to hold special items.
$135 Please note your gift is tax-deductible, less the fair market value of $40.

There are a lot of products for sale at the 2017 World Vision Gift Catalog. If you are looking for unique holiday gifts, something different for yourself, or a donation to help people in third world countries, definitely check out the 2017 World Vision Gift Catalog.


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Hubby’s Newest Truck Purchase!

Hubby bought a new truck a few weeks ago. He was waffling on whether or not he wanted one. His RAM was four years old, drove great, had low mileage, and had no physical or mechanical problems.

So why buy a new truck?

Well, the RAM truck had an 8′ bed. Hubby bought it thinking he was going to really need that long bed, but we didn’t get as much use out of it as planned. Then too, I wouldn’t drive it. It took up two parking spaces and was so long; I was always nervous about clipping something or other.

When we bought my vehicle two years ago we noticed it came equipped with a lot more safety features. And Ford was leading the way with new and innovative technology, much of which was available on their trucks (and some of it was leased to Land Rover.) They had blind spot alert, adaptive cruise control, great cameras, etc. A ton of wonderful safety features not currently found on many other vehicles.

Hubby was also playing around with tow packages. He was considering going to 12,000 pounds to match his trailer. That made his world of vehicle choices much smaller.

So safety plus towing capacity were his main criteria. From test drives durning his last purchase search, we knew diesel was not for us.

Hubby spent a lot of time zeroing in and comparing the RAM (which he was very familiar with), Ford (which is not aesthetically pleasing to him), GMC and Chevy (there were variations even among those two brands, and his business owns an old Chevy that he is very pleased with). Once again he took to the internet to find out what packages fit his criteria, and which additions he could live without. He then did an area search for various vehicles that met at least most of those criteria.

Along the way, he stumbled upon the Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program. The program was something he keyed on hard as his truck was “unusual” with that 8’ bed, and there just were not enough data points (same vehicles sold) in the United States to give a firm trade-in value for it.

Locally, the highest trade-in offered to him at a non-participating dealership was $28K. That just was not enticing enough to trade in his truck and get a new one.

The Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program said his trade-in was worth $30,500. That meant if he found a dealership that understood how the program worked (and not all of the dealerships that were part of the program did), he could get $2500 more credit toward his new purchase (and pay less sales tax too).

The KBB authorized dealerships have a no risk proposition – they can either turn that trade-in over to KBB for a check for the trade-in value or keep the vehicle on their lot and sell it (for hopefully more money than the trade-in value).

Some of the dealerships did not understand that. They were offering Hubby far less in trade-in value even with being a participating dealership.

Hubby went down the road of “this close” to purchase with three dealerships and was in final negotiations with a dealership in Tennessee (he decided not to go with them as the delivery was not by flatbed), locally (for a RAM), and in Warren, Pennsylvania for a Chevy. Best deal wins.

He went with the Jones dealership in Warren, PA, as they not only gave him a terrific deal, but they found him a truck that had the options he wanted (350 miles away in Virginia) and went down to pick it up to make the sale. They understood exactly how the KBB program worked, and they even gave him a bonus $500 off (via coupon) after he verbally agreed to the price. (Hubby wanted me to make sure I mentioned the dealership as he felt they really went above and beyond.)

They told Hubby that the KBB trade-in is not always the best trade-in price. Sometimes the dealership itself can give a higher trade-in value for a vehicle. Where the KBB trade-in really helps the consumer is if they have a vehicle that is unusual, so lack of data does not mean a lower trade-in price.

Another internet truck purchase - this one with Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program details! If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, you need to read this post!


Hubby chose the Chevy Silverado over the RAM and the Ford for several reasons – the Chevy had better safety features than the RAM. The newest RAM wasn’t all that much different than the one he purchased four years ago in safety features, so he’d just be buying a new truck to have a new truck. The Ford was loaded with safety features. But he finds those trucks unappealing, and just couldn’t do it (it was also $10K more; the only one the dealer could find that had the options hubby wanted was a fully-loaded, top of the line truck).

Hubby made the mistake of taking me for a test drive in a Denali. Oh my, that was nice! I loved the fold out running boards, the lovely leather interior, the dual climate control, the navigation system – you know, all the stuff that is so important to driving. I disliked the sluggish shift though. Hubby explained that the engine was smaller, so that was why it seemed to stick.

With this in mind, Hubby went down the path of GMC and Chevy.

Another internet truck purchase - this one with Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program details! If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, you need to read this post!


The Chevy offered increased safety feature, a tow package he could live with, a larger engine, and all the lovely little “things” that make driving more comfortable (except for the magnetic suspension which is only available in the GMC Denali trim Sierra truck – he couldn’t get that). The price was also incredibly right. General Motors was giving a ton of rebates on the purchase of a new truck (some ended at the end of August), the dealership gave a bit off the asking price, and then there was that terrific KBB trade-in.

The only hesitation Hubby had was what if the Labor Day sales offerings were better? My concern with going down that path was he was looking for packages that were so specific that the inventory would be even more squeezed. As it was, he had a choice of a black or white truck, and that was about it. After Labor Day, there may not have even been that available, and then the opportunity would be lost.

Another internet truck purchase - this one with Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program details! If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, you need to read this post!


In the end, he purchased this beautiful Chevy. It came with those retractable running boards (see photo below), leather interior, dual climate control, bed liner, the max trailering tow package he wanted, safety features we found acceptable (no adaptive cruise control though – which is just about our favorite feature on my vehicle). He wants to add the fender flares, and he has ordered a new bed cover (the same one he ordered for his last two trucks, an Extang Tri-Fecta).

Another internet truck purchase - this one with Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program details! If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, you need to read this post!


All-in-all now seems to be a very good time to purchase a new truck. The manufacturers are giving deals to move merchandise. The KBB program really helped make our deal happen. In the age of the internet, this was our third vehicle we bought online sight unseen. We have learned something new every single time we have purchased a vehicle online, and would not hesitate to do the experience a fourth time.


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