Category Archives: Recipes & Food

10 Fun Facts About Honey

Guess what! My husband and I have been talking, and we’re really thinking about getting BEES next year! Just the thought of it is exciting because we use a ton of honey and keeping bees of our own moves us one step closer to living more sustainably – plus we’ll be helping the bee population. Continue reading

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How to Make a Dye-Free Pink Ombre Cake

I’m a little behind. My baby girl’s first birthday was over a month ago, and I still haven’t written a thing about it here! I’m blaming the snow that threw off our party schedule for 3 weeks.

I did post some photos, though, and I got more than a few questions about her pink ombre cake, so I thought I’d share how I made it. So many parents are avoiding artificial food dyes these days, and it’s so important for us all to know that giving up those chemicals doesn’t mean we have to give up the fun of a brightly colored birthday cake!

For my wee one’s first, I settled on a pretty pink cake in graduated ombre tones, colored entirely with the juice of a beet. Here’s how to do it (it’s easy!) along with some of my favorite cake decorating tips that I picked up throughout my years as a cake decorator. I hope you find them helpful!

Dye Free Pink Ombre Cake

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Mantry Subscription Boxes for the Seriously Fun Foodie

This post about men’s foodie subscription boxes was brought to you by Mantry, who provided the sample for review. No further compensation was received.

Mantry Subscription BoxThere’s a new subscription box on the market, and it’s geared toward men. 

Ladies, we must infiltrate. Mantry is where ALL the good stuff is. The good news? It’s not really just for men. It’s for anyone who likes to discover unique artisan food products and learn all about what to do with them (<<that’s the best part. They tell you how to use each item!)

And this isn’t a box of flimsy samples. These products are carefully curated, full-sized and accompanied by a pamphlet filled with stories and recipes/uses to best showcase them. You can expect 6 items in each shipment, and they all come packaged in a cool USA-made crate. (Mine now lives on my counter.)

And there are themes. Cool themes like Smoke & Whiskey, Awards Night or Craft Beers. The box I got was full of items that contain …wait for it…beer and spirits!

Dude. I am all over it. 

Mantry Subscription Box

Now remember, you’ll get different stuff, but my Mantry crate contained:

  • all natural salame from Olli Salumeria
  • Dogfish Head Ale Chowder
  • Butter & Scotch Green Chile Margarita Popcorn
  • Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup
  • Wondermade Guinness Marshmallows
  • Reginald’s Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter

Mantry Subscription Box

I got a little giddier with each item I pulled out of the crate. I’m not sure which is my favorite, but the ginger syrup resulted in some seriously cool handcrafted drinks (the enclosed tip sheet included a recipe for a Dark & Stormy, which made for a very smiley me.)

Mantry Subscription Box

And the bourbon peanut butter? OMG. My banana has never been so happy.

Mantry Subscription BoxEach surprise in the crate was freshly made with real ingredients, and I really think the popcorn may have been popped about 1/2 hour before it was shipped to me. There wasn’t a single thing I wouldn’t purchase again, and because they’re all full size, there’s still a little party going on in my kitchen.

The verdict: The other subscription boxes I’ve tried should run and hide. Mantry is king.

Mantry Subscription Box

 

You purchase helps support artisans and US-based small business. To learn more or subscribe to Mantry foodie subscription boxes, visit their website or join the conversation on Facebook.

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Spring Forward with Natural Probiotics #NaturalProbiotic #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This post about natural probiotics and digestive system balance has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

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Coffee is not breakfast. I know this. And thinking about running is not the same as actually hitting the pavement. We all know this, too. But, like so many time-starved, too-busy parents, I’ve let a lot of my healthy habits slide down to the bottom of my to-do list this winter. It’s a slump, and I want out!

So, as we spring forward into Daylight Savings Time, I’m embracing the energy of the upcoming season and stepping away from the hot chocolate mug in favor of things like longer runs, longer sleeps, actually taking my prescriptions meds (oops) and getting back to a fresher diet that makes me want to dance through my garden with my babies. (Smoothies full of tiny fresh spinach leaves, please!)

Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop

And, because my family has a history of digestive problems, I’m making some changes to my diet that should help balance my system. In short, more probiotics. Good bacteria = a healthier, happier gut! The great thing about this new promise I’ve made to myself is that there are so many yummy ways to get those good “bugs” in your belly!

#shop #NaturalProbiotic

I think the most obvious way to get probiotics is to eat yogurt. Homemade yogurt is the easiest thing ever, and so delicious when piled high with odds and ends from around the kitchen. Mine is different almost every day, including things like you see above: almond butter, homemade jam, bananas, pumpkin seeds, Greek yogurt chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

#NaturalProbiotic #shop yogurt bowl

The truth? Despite the benefits, I do tend to get yogurted out quickly. That’s why this will be my first year of fermenting! I’ve been reading a lot about making probiotic-rich homemade sauerkraut, and I’m determined to make it happen this year. If I have luck, I may even move on to kimchee. I’ll admit, the idea of live things in my food really did bug me out a bit at first, but now I’m just fascinated. I can’t wait until our fresh cabbage is up!

BUT, I know all too well that sometimes the yogurt doesn’t yogue, the cabbage harvest tanks, or the kids simply do not allow ANYthing but Play-Doh, and for those times, there’s Insync Probiotic (available at your friendly neighborhood CVS.)

Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop #cbias

Insync Probiotic contains B. infantis, which is doctor-recommended. Because probiotics are delicate living organisms that promote better digestive health, it’s important that they land in your digestive tract alive and well. Insync Probiotic uses GI Guard®, a gradual release system that ensures your friendly bacteria don’t get killed off by heat, moisture or even your own stomach acid. (Because who wants to bother taking them if they don’t arrive alive, right?)

Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop #cbias

To learn more and join the conversation about natural probiotics, connect with Insync Probiotic on Facebook and Twitter.

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The One Food You Should Always Buy Organic

One Food to Buy Organic
Sure, there’s the Dirty Dozen Plus,™ including apples and strawberries and those items that have been found to contain the highest levels of pesticides*, but are those really the fruits and veggies that should be at the top of your “Do or Die” organic list?

In a word, yes. It’s important to keep those high-level foods in mind, but it’s not quite that cut and dry. Grapes made the dirty list, but if you only eat grapes once every few months, you may not need to worry so much about them. On the other hand, if you’re eating asparagus or mangos every day in your lunch, you should consider springing for organic varieties even though they are stars of the Clean Fifteen™.

The point? The most important food for YOU to invest your organic budget in is the one YOU eat most frequently.

For us, walnuts are at the top of the list. That jar in the image above? Walnuts and cranberries. I pass them through the food processor and my husband uses them on his oatmeal every morning. Every. Single. Morning. For five years and counting! And he uses a lot. I fill that jar more than once a week. It costs us a fortune, but with all the health benefits of walnuts and oats, I can’t really complain.
Organic Walnuts

So, since they play such a big role in his diet, I’ve been looking for a good organic supplier. The oats were easy – we get those from a local Amish bulk store. The walnuts took a little more searching, but now we’ve found SunRidge Farms. They sent us some samples, and we were hooked. In addition to having great quality in taste and texture, just about everything we want to see on a label was there, too:

Organic Walnuts

I, myself, am not a fan of walnuts, but I did see the benefits of snacking on almonds first hand when I had gestational diabetes (twice!) I know they help control my blood sugar, so I was glad to see that SunRidge Farms offers them, too. Here’s a list of what we’re snacking on and why:

Organic Walnuts ­ USDA-certified organic and a wonderful natural source of Vitamin E and essential minerals copper and manganese.
Organic Almonds ­ Full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and copious amounts of Vitamin E, potassium and magnesium.
Pistachios ­ A lower-calorie option among most nuts. They contain significant amounts of protein, fiber, Vitamin B6 & B1 and magnesium.
Tamari Roasted Almonds ­ All natural, non-GMO almonds that are freshly roasted in-house in small batches, and then coated in mouth-watering, savory, tamari shoyu.

All of SunRidge Farms products are not only great for you, but are also great for the environment! Conveniently packed in re-sealable, BPA-free packaging, each snack is produced in their recently expanded solar-powered manufacturing facility. To learn more and see their entire selection of organic and non-GMO products , please check out SunRidgeFarms.com.

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*Source: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

 

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