Tag Archives: local

I’m changing my name…

…to Mrs. 240Sweet Marshmallow.

Because if you love something this much, you really should just marry it.

(Don’t tell my former husband…) :)

I found 240Sweet through Eversave, and the shipment of marshmallows I received had me floating a few inches above the ground for days!

About 240Sweet:

240Sweet is a division of Lemleys’ Catering, an Indiana-based catering business with over 40 years of experience, and they make one mean marshmallow.

Chef Alexa, the talent behind 240Sweet’s puffs, is a true artisan. The puffs (over 70 different flavors!) are handcrafted in small batches with local, all natural and organic ingredients. The selection is always changing, and includes everything from Vanilla Bean and Elephant Ear to exotic flavors like Bacon, Maple and Toffee, Saffron Pistachio, Sweet Tea, PB&J….I could go on all day.

A few photos of the puffs we’ve tried might give you an idea of why I’m still swooning…

(My apologies to the pack of Elephant Ear puffs that did not last long enough to be photographed :oops: Cinnamon-toasty nom nom nom…)

The praline puff is crusted with handmade brown sugar pralines. My husband's favorite!

Behold the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Puff. (I would call this the MotherPuff.) The aroma of chocolate fills your senses before you even take a bite. If you're a true chocoholic, it's intoxicating.

Just look at the texture! Nothing sticky here. Just pure soft, fluffy, puffiness. I'd sleep on them if I could!

The one question people have been raising when I tell them about 240Sweet? The price.The Caramel Swirl puffs aren’t the only ones that are a bit salty, if you know what I mean.

But I ask this: What are you comparing them to? Those grocery store marshmallows that cost $1.00 a bag? Let me assure you, there is no comparison. This is an entirely different product. And each bag is around the price of having a dessert in a restaurant, or going out for ice creamand my puffs lasted longer than either of those would have.

It’s the curse of being discerning about your food. When you’re avoiding artificial ingredients and mass production, sometimes the cost does go up a little. But you know what you’re getting is real, and you can feel good about eating it (just don’t feel too good too often – they are marshmallows, after all :) )

I mean, really, when was the last time you just sat and experienced on of those dime-a-dozen grocery store marshmallows?

Another plus: The packaging is minimal and locally sourced. Bonus!!

And while you could sandwich them between grahams or toss one in your cocoa, one lone marshmallow is enough for a satisfying, decadent dessert all on its own. (If you’re willing, they are plenty big enough to cut in half and share.)

I couldn't decide if I should eat this one, or just rub it on my cheek. They're SO soft!

Gourmet marshmallows are not something I plan to keep in my house on a regular basis (They’re just too tempting, and my son doesn’t eat sugar yet), but I may indulge in another shipment around the holidays. They’ll make such a unique gift for some of the foodies on my list!

So, the next time you want to treat yourself to something a little bit different – and a LOT extraordinary –order yourself a few packs of puffs from 240Sweet.

And then try to keep your feet on the ground. ;)

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Follow @240Sweet on Twitter for contests, trivia and more. You just might win some marshmallows!

Disclosure: Chef Alexa heard my marshmallowless cries, and sent me a complimentary March Marshmallow of the Month shipment for review purposes. I will be forever grateful :) but was under no obligation to provide a positive review of the product, nor did I receive any compensation for my review.

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Date Night Snack Plate

Wow…what a day. I was up and at ‘em at 5am, getting ready to go peddle my goods at my parents’ yard sale. Business could have been better, but I made enough to cover my next shipment of cloth diapers! :D

We did a little visiting at an old friend’s house after the yard sale wrapped up, then headed home around 8pm with a very sleepy baby. He zonked in no time, leaving a little bit of time for mommy and daddy to sit and breathe. The perfect opportunity to break out some of the fun finds from our last shopping excursion! (Many of which required me to put my disdain for dairy on hold for the evening. I’m telling you, I don’t even miss most of it, but that darned cheese gets me every time…)

The husbo set to work poppin’ corks while I started assembling a happy snack platter for us to graze on while watching some random whatever on TV. Have I mentioned that we used to do this a lot when we first started dating? Despite all that’s changed, I guess some things stay the same, and we still like our foodsploration!  Do I mind that our date night isn’t fancier, or spent out on the town? Nope…not one bit. I love knowing that my son is safe and snuggly in the next room. Wouldn’t have it any other way, or at least not yet, anyway.

The array of tidbits included: 

One apple and a few Medjool dates (SUCH a treat!)…

Jicama slices, sprinkled with lime juice and an individually packed teaspoon of organic chile pepper…

And finally, a lovely cheese trio: some heavenly cheddar curds, a sharp New York cheddar, and my new favorite…

A French cheese called Mimolette. It’s dry and tangy, and if you like to pair cheese with fresh apples, you’ve GOT to try this one!

It’s a little ugly on the outside…

until you get to know it. :D

A healthier-than-usual pour of this Hunter’s Valley Berry Mountain Red

Not too fancy, not too sweet – just the way I like it.

Did I mention it’s a local wine? Two woots for buying local!

I was wishing we had some fresh berries to cap off the evening, but there were none to be found.

But we did have… *drumroll please*… Chocolate (What else?) in the form of 70% cacao dark chocolate covered cocoa nibs!

Nice and bitter, barely sweet. I must have these sprinkled over vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream, or maybe vegan banana soft serve. 

Just a few, though. It’s a rare occasion when the entire ABCGP family has the opportunity to sleep late in the morning, and I wouldn’t want anything to mess with my much-needed Zzzzz’s!

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Imagine your perfect snack plate…what’s on it?

What’s your favorite cheese?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

A Simple Father’s Day

Dinner is done, baby’s in bed…phew. Time to sit for a minute.

This was our first Father’s Day, and we’re not big fancy-shmancy people, so I planned a bunch of small things which all added up to a pretty perfect day.

First, we visited the Shade Mountain winery in Middleburg, PA. We had our wedding celebration there, and many of our pics were taken in the vineyard (see My Story.) Now that we have a tiny new family member, we thought he deserved a few pictures among the lovely grapes too…

After a bit of misty reminiscing, we grabbed a bottle of Shade Mountain’s spearmint wine and headed to the Selin’s Grove Brewery for sandwiches to take on our picnic. If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to stop in…they have great beer, and they find themselves towards the top of many “Best Brew Pubs in the US” lists! Bonus: Much of the menu is locally grown or made, and they have a fun veg selection. :D

And off we were to drive up to the Mt. Pisgah altar. It’s a long, bumpy drive, but it’s totally worth it if you’re looking for the ultimate picnic spot.

**FUN FACT: When we first started dating (again), we drove up this mountain and saw 36 dead porcupines!

It’s like a big beautiful piece of art right in the middle of nowhere…

The view is stellar…

Daddy and his boy…

You-know-who…

The official Father’s Day photo.

Silly me…I nearly forgot. You can’t have a picnic without food!

He: The Chipotle Turkey Wrap. Chips were stale. Boo on that.

She: The Sunflower Sandwich (Cheddar cheese, mixed greens, tomato, red onion, honey mustard and sunflower seeds on locally baked bread. It seemed to me that there should be apples in there, so I added them on. It was perfect with a side of zingy apple slaw and a fat pickle. I don’t eat a lot of pickles because I have high blood pressure, but I didn’t want to be wasteful ;) )

We washed it all down with cocktails of spearmint wine and iced green tea, garnished with a sugar cane swizzle stick! Too cute! They went down waaaaay too easily…

We ate, we talked, we played with our boy and we thought about how lucky we are. Then, I relaxed on the blanket with one love of my life while the other hunted for wild blueberries.

It was a good day, for a good daddy.

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How did you spend Father’s Day? 

What is your favorite picnic food?


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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

My First Mother’s Day: Part 1

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fine mommas out there!

Rewind to yesterday:

Since we have lots of moms to celebrate this year, my husband made dinner reservations on Saturday. 

Mad props to the husbo for: 1. making reservations, 2. making them on Saturday at 4pm when the restaurant would not be so busy, and 3. choosing a local restaurant I’ve been wanting to scope out for nearly 3 years now!

Emma’s Food for Life is located in downtown Selinsgrove, and their niche is fresh food made from local ingredients. I complain a lot about the lack of restaurants like this, so I’m glad I finally got a chance to check it out.

I’ve heard that Emma’s runs some sort of free dinner program once a month, but I’ve been a little too scatterbrained lately to look into it. I finally took a moment to peek at their website, and here’s the scoop: In the monthly newsletter, it says that one night a month, they host a Free Community Dinner featuring live entertainment. It’s run on donations, so it’s sort of a “give what you can” deal.

They also feature a Seasonal Specialties Menu with $5 lunch and $10 dinner specials. Roasted potato and radish pizza for $5? Grass-fed steak with Chanterelle Gratin for $10?! Wow. Who knew? Shame on me for leaving Emma’s on my To-Do list for so long! I guess I need to limit my complaining about the lack of interesting restaurants in Selinsgrove from now on!

Bonus: A list of local suppliers on each table. Could this mean we might find a supplier of grass-fed beef? I plan to do a little digging…

Now, I’d like to introduce you to our dinner:

We started out with green tea infused with mint, which came with a little pot of honey for sweetening. A lovely idea, but the honey and the ice didn’t mix so well and I ended up with all my honey frozen to my straw. Yummy, but a little weird.

Appetizer: Falafel with lemon tahini sauce. A good choice, although I like a little more spice…

Then we noticed it….FREE WINE? Well, sort of. No liquor license means they can’t sell, but each entree comes with a complimentary glass (or you can BYOB.) Shane chose the Reisling, I opted for the Cab Franc. I asked for a small glass because I am super careful about alcohol these days, and I don’t want to have to pump and dump.  Pretty generous for a free pour, I’d say…

The menu had me a little giddy! By 4pm, I had eaten exactly one bowl of oats and 2 dates, so I was ravenous. After a long, methodical deliberation (I’m not the most spontaneous chick sometimes) I chose the Marvelous Mushroom Lasagna, which is layers of whole wheat pasta, an exotic mushroom mix and butternut squash topped with Swiss and Parm. 

Yeah, I know. I said I’m off dairy. I’m bending the rules today. Sue me. (Then see below where I say I’m still off dairy.)

Gooey, sweet, and really rich, it did not disappoint. The asparagus was a fun surprise and helped lighten the dish a little. It was lemony and perfectly cooked. I don’t think I’ve ever had better.

Shane’s choice: the Vietnamese Salad Rolls. (At least I believe that’s what these were called. Oops… Bad blogger.) They arrived with a peanut dipping sauce and wheat-y noodles sprinkled with sesame seeds.

He’s been looking for these for years, but can only find fried egg rolls, so he was just tickled pink a masculine shade of blue.

We are usually dessert-at-home kind of people, but we have a card (purchased for a MERE $5!) from the local Boy Scouts that entitled us to a free dessert (that card has a few dozen local businesses on it, with discounts or offers for each. You can’t spend a better five spot.) 

So we splurged and each got one…Me, the Chocolate Zucchini Cake. He, the Frozen Irish Whiskey Torte.

Thick, rich, chocolatey and really dense. Right up my alley. I brilliantly forgot about my glass of Cab until this point, when I had a pile of chocolate in front of me! Couldn’t have worked out better. 

Shane’s not a chocolate fan (gasp!) so he wasn’t excited about the crust, but he gave this guy a thumbs-up anyway. I had a bite, and it was darned yummy, but I didn’t really taste whiskey.

This is what it looks like when Finn and I are sitting at a restaurant table and I get distracted for a second. Spacey, I know. That is a toy mushroom, in case you’re wondering.

So, feeling stuffed and happy, we headed a block or so down to the coffee shop. Daddy-O’s plan was to get some fun drinks and let me play for a while online, but they were closing. At 5pm. On a Saturday. We found out that they close every day by 5pm. Then we remembered that’s why we’ve never eaten there. What a waste of a coffee shop with a great menu.

***This is the part where I say that I agree with myself about dairy. Now, my meal surely wasn’t low fat or low cal, so I’m not sure exactly what element had me puffing up beyond belief about an hour after we ate, but I suspect the cheese. I nearly had to undo my button, and I haven’t felt like that in months. I still love the cheese, but I’m thinking it might not be worth it. It just doesn’t feel like it’s making me any healthier. I don’t think that’s any reflection on the food at Emma’s, though. Most people would dig that cheesiness.

And then the wild hurricane blew into town, nearly knocking us over in the parking lot and whipping me in the face with my own hair. I find that INCREDIBLY annoying.

So we tried to go home, but then we spotted it. The rainbow. And our adventurous death-defying spirits drove us to go RAINBOW CHASING!

So it’s not quite as thrilling as storm chasing, but we thought it was pretty cool. Neither of us had ever seen a full, double rainbow from end to end before. You can sort of see both rainbows in the pics. It’s really neat how the colors reverse in the top one.

We got so close it felt like we could just reach out and touch it…

 I’m not even sure what to say about this pic. Ripe with symbolism, don’t you think?

And then, a very happy Mommy, Daddy and sweet sleeping baby headed home for some down time. After starting the day at 3am, I needed it.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the rest of the mommies!

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Filed under Recipes & Food