Archive for Food and Treats

Chiquita Cooking Lab Contest

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

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What’s your best Chiquita Banana Recipe?  It could be worth up to $4000.00 when you enter your recipe at the Chiquita Cooking Lab!

Click here to start your recipe!  Once at the website “scratch” off the yellow section to the right. After the section is clear it will give you 3 (three) ingredients.  The ones I got were Apple, Banana & Oats. Then you start entering your recipe. You will be asked for your name, email address, your recipe name, ingredients, how to prepare and cook time.  After you submit your recipe, you will receive an email thanking you for your submission and a reminder to look for the next week ingredients.

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One winner will be chosen each week and could win a $4000.00 cash prize, and will have their recipe promoted on Chiquita’s digital and social channels. Also, 4 (four) random winners will be chosen each week and will receive a Chiquita gift bag.

So, what are you waiting for? Show off your best recipe! It could pay off!

#MMlovesChiquita  #ChiquitaCookingLab

Don’t forget to like Chiquita Banana on Facebook too!

 

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NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser

NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser

We drink a lot of water. We are currently on well water. The water itself is fine, however, we have to add salt since the home has an on-demand water softener system. It is the salt in the water that makes our water no-so-great. That is why we were excited to be offered a NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser. No more carting home 10 1-gallon water jugs since we can use!

The NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser is a nice little appliance to have in our home. It has a stainless steel front and black sides and back. It has a slim size, which makes it a great choice for smaller homes or areas within the home. We put ours just off the kitchen in the master suite hallway since there is no room in our small kitchen.

NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser Specs

~ 33.65 lbs.
~ 1-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.
~ Removable plastic drip tray.
~ Hot & Cold water dispenser
~ Two push button controls – the hot water has a safety regulated “hot water” push button, making it safe for children.
~ Light indicators.
~ Hot water 176°F – 203°F.
~ Cold water 41°F – 50°F.
~ Compatible with 2-gallon, 3-gallon or 5-gallon bottles of water.
~ Features a stainless steel water tank which delivers a plastic free taste when drinking both hot and cold water.
~ UL Certified.
~ Easy no installation; simply remove it from its packaging, add a water bottle and plug in!

NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser Review

We really like having the water dispenser. It saves on boiling a kettle of water, making it very convenient to get a cup of tea or hot chocolate. It is holding up well under our family of ten’s use of it. Granted the younger children cannot get hot water unless they have two of them to maneuver the child-safety feature on the buttons! It is easier for the children to get a drink and a lot less mess too, unless of course they overfill or spill, which they have yet to do, thankfully.

The only thing I really do not like about the unit is the fact that the buttons to dispense hot and cold water, as well as the child-safety button are all plastic. I fear they will eventually snap or break under heavy, extended use. I hope I am wrong but only time will tell. We have had it for nearly a month now, but we did limit the children’s use until this past week when I knew I would be doing the review.

Overall, the NewAir WCD-110SS Water Dispenser has been a welcome addition to our home and I am looking forward getting much use out of it.

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Go Back to School with Harvest Snaps #HarvestSnapsFan

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post in the form of product. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a healthy back to school snack for you and your children? Try Harvest Snaps ! Harvest Snaps come in six different flavors: Snapea Crisps Black Pepper, Snapea Crisps Lightly Salted, Snapea Crisps Wasabi, Snapea Crisps Caesar, Lentil Snaps Tomato Basil, Lentil Snaps Onion Time.

Our children really liked these snacks. I only got to try a couple and thought they were powdery tasting. It was a weird taste bud war going on, seriously, because I wanted to like them. Our youngest found the Green Peas Black Pepper flavored one hot, so he only liked the non-hot flavors. These made a great after school or before bedtime snack. Of course, I forgot to take photos of them snacking! Other ways I can see Harvest Snaps being used are: back-to-School lunchboxes, post-workout snack, lunch sides, crunchy salad toppings and for sports fans gameday snacks and tailgating events.

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A Little Bit About Harvest Snaps

Here are some Harvest Snaps facts:

~ Snapea Crisps are made from 70% pea. Lentil Snaps are made from 65% lentil.
~ Harvest Snaps offers a healthier snacking option. They are baked, not fried.
~ Harvest Snaps are all-natural and guilt-free. Each of the 6 flavors are high fiber and protein, and low in sodium and fat.
~ These healthy treats are a great snack for the whole family, except my hubby did not try them. I think we forgot to ask him! Oops…
~ They are non-GMO.

FFR Harvest Snaps


Harvest Snaps Fun

For fun, you can visit the Lunchspiration microsite, create a Bento Box and be entered to win your own Harvest Snaps!

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Can You Say Huge Farm Fresh Egg? – Wordless Wednesday

My daughter showed me this farm fresh egg last night and we could not help but wonder which hen laid this egg. She thinks it was a smaller one because the smaller hens are mighty when it comes to laying over sized eggs! Guess we will never really know.

FFR Huge Egg 090214

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Ripple or Sorbet? Cool Recipes for Frozen Treats

Ripple or Sorbet? Cool Recipes for Frozen Treats

On a sweltering hot day, there’s nothing like digging through the freezer to find a chest of buried, icy treasure hidden in the freezer – especially if it’s homemade. It’s now possible to make your own ice cream in almost any flavour imaginable!

Case in point: Perry’s have brought out a chicken wing flavor, while rumor has it that it is possible to indulge in a pint of cheeseburger flavored ice cream in Venezuela. We’re not suggesting you try to top such taste insanity – instead, you can cool off with the following delicious treats, which the kids can help to make!

The Healthy One: Frozen Yogurt

For a lower calorie treat, try yogurt as a healthier base for your flavors rather than milk, cream and sugar. Bung some natural Greek yogurt, honey for sweetness, and a fruit or two of your choice into the ice cream maker for 30 minutes and await the perfect results. Peach, banana, kiwi and strawberry make for kid-friendly flavors that aren’t too tart.

The Chocolate One: Nutella

Fact: the number of Nutella jars sold in a year could cover the Great Wall of China eight times. Thankfully, for a swirl of chocolatey heaven in your vanilla, you’ll only need about half a cup for this recipe, which should be combined with whipping cream, milk and eggs once the ice cream maker gets going. Add crushed walnuts caramel sauce and banana for a banoffee spin.

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The Takeaway Option: Popsicles

Your kids won’t want to miss a moment outside if it’s sunny, so opt for popsicles for a quick-fire cool down. Blend ripe watermelon with lemon juice and sugar and pour into popsicle molds for a healthy snack, or freeze chunks of banana and strawberry on skewers dipped in chocolate for irresistible fruit kebabs.

There are of course an endless number of different flavour combinations to create, so why not do some research, create a wishlist, and start making your own ice cream today! You’ll never turn back to store bought, once you’ve had the first bite….

This is a guest post.
Photo Copyright: foto66 / 123RF Stock Photo. Used with permission.

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Garden Harvest – Wordless Wednesday

Garden Harvest

The little ones raided the garden one day and found these organic veggies! Can you say yummy garden harvest?

FFR Children's hands full of veggies

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Chiquita!

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What comes to mind when you think of the word Chiquita??? Bananas of course! But I am here to tell you that the Chiquita brand is MUC HMORE than bananas! It is a whole variety of snacks and good things with fruits!

Chiquita sent us a bunch of products to try! They were great! So great that they got eaten REALLY fast in our house! We took the snack packs to a local firework show and shared with friends and family whose children thought they were equally yummy and fantastic!

The best part of the products we received is that the larger (multi-size) packs can be resealed and the smaller individual packs are hand sized and easily opened and eaten!

Here is what we reviewed:

Family Pack Green Apple Bites and Red Apple Bites

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This family pack was great because it allowed us to open and reseal the bag! This is a great option if you want to buy in bulk and reseal for later. For the purpose of this review we ate a few apples from the family pack and resealed and ate the rest later. Normally our family would devour the entire family pack as we LOVE apples. However, the resealing worked great! the children were able to open and reseal with ease as was mom! The fruit inside stayed fresh and moist with the reseal option so this was good…also no browning!

 

The next product we reviewed was:

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These little bags are AWESOME!!! Although we reviewed these in summer and found they are GREAT for picnics…I must say I will be buying them for school lunches this year! What a wonderful alternative to chips in the lunchbox! The packaging is easy to open and provides 1/2 cup of fruit for little tummies!

Finally…

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These were by far the favorite…of course who does not like a dose of caramel with their apples! LOL! We loved these…they went fast at our firework picnic! Although … being at a picnic …at night… the caramel apples was probably not the best option because the caramel got everywhere and stuck to little hands because it was dark out and all we had for light were a few glow sticks. BUT…in normal picnic pr lunch situations … THESE ARE GREAT!!! The caramel cup is small and individual and the apples are yummy. We have tried competitor brand apples and caramel dip where the dip package was attached to the apple container and that always made a mess because when you pulled the tab to open the caramel it either flung the apples out of the package or the caramel dripped. THESE ARE SEPARATE and AWESOME… I like these 10 times better than the ones I used to buy since the caramel container is a separate “sauce” that comes inside the apple bites… it lets the caramel REMAIN separate from the apples and it opens with ease and no dripping (unless you tipped it over LOL)

OVERALL… I was very please to review these products … they will most certainly be purchased for the upcoming school year and packed into lunches! Way to go Chiquita!!!!

 

 

 

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The Benefits of Organic Beef Over Traditional Beef

This is a partnered post.

Lately more and more food related articles can be seen in the headlines and on social media, which I think is great because consumers are becoming more aware of what they are eating and what they are putting into their bodies. From old news of mad cow disease to pink slime to buying all organic food and pastured meats, we are seeing an increase in interest and buying of organic, grassfed, NON-GMO products.

Organic Beef_

We use to buy traditional beef in the stores but stopped, finally, and ordered grassfed organic beef online from a farm which comes to the Green Market we sell at once a month. We order online and pick up on market day. It makes for very convenient ordering and buying.

So what are the benefits of organic beef over traditional beef?


The Benefits of Organic Beef Over Traditional Beef

Loony Acres Neighbor's Dutch Belted cows collage

1. No fillers (such as pink slime).

2. More Omegas-3 and much more nutritious. “In B-vitamins, beta-carotene (look for yellow fat), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin K, and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Studies show grass feeding results in higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, the “good” naturally occurring trans fat.” (Source: marksdailyapple.com)

3. No pesticides or chemicals. Generally speaking, organic and grassfed farms do not use pesticides or any other chemicals.

4. Cattle are happier and healthier. There are less diseases and illness among grassfed beef, if raised correctly. The cows get plenty of sunshine, fresh air and pasture. Only if a cow is not performing well or does not possess the breeding qualities a farmer wants to continue putting into his or her herd, will he or she cull (kill) or sell the cow.

5. NON-GMO. Most organic farmers do not use GMO products. Take us for example, when we planted our pasture we used NON-GMO seeds. Our grain that we feed our cows is organic, NON-GMO.

6. Less fat content. Organic, grassfed beef is typically lower in fat than traditional beef. That is why it has to be cooked slightly differently than traditional beef. (see #2).

If you would like to buy organic beef, visit
http://www.americanfarmersnetwork.com/beef.html

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Non-GMO Artisan Oils

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Emile Noel Artisan Oils

We try really hard to eat healthy, and as I always say, we are a work in progress. As organic farmers, I think the difficult part is walking our talk, which means avoiding GMO products as much as humanly possible when there are no labeling laws in the state of Illinois or much of the United States for that matter. Here is an interesting article that includes a map graphic of how many states have labeling, which ones are reviewing it and which ones have done nothing: http://onforb.es/1ls9AUE). Walking the organic talk also means eating organic, which we do but we are not at 100% yet.

We love learning about companies committed to offering us organic, Non-GMO products. That’s why I was interested in working with Emile Noel Non-GMO Artisan Oils.


About Emile Noel

Emile Noel is a family run business, started by Emile Noël in Southern France. Their website states, “The Emile Noël oil mill offers only organic products – farmed without chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or GMOs. In 1972, we were the first oil millers in France to press organically-farmed seeds.”


Emile Noel Non-GMO Artisan Oils
offers a variety of organic, virgin-pressed oils including: mild olive, robust olive, sesame, toasted sesame, sunflower oil, sunflower spray, pumpkin seed, hazelnut, walnut, and sweet almond.

Review of Emile Noel Non-GMO Artisan Oils

We were sent a bottle of Sweet Almond oil. I have never used almond oil so at first I was at a loss as to how to use it. Then I decided I would substitute it for the oil we usually cook with.

Emile Noel Non-GMO Artisan Oil Sweet Almond_

We made egg muffins and used the Sweet Almond oil to cook the eggs in:

Emile Noel Non-GMO Artisan Oils Sweet Almond-1_

There wasn’t any difference in how the oil cooked the eggs and I don’t think we noticed anything different about the taste of the eggs either.

Emile Noel Non-GMO Artisan Oils Sweet Almond-2_

However, when I made homemade bread we definitely tasted a slightly nutty flavor and I don’t know if it was the oil or perfect weather but the bread turned out great, if I do say so myself! I just made regular bread with unbleached white flour.

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For not having used almond oil before, I’d say that it was a good experience and you can expect us to purchase it in the future. I mean what was there not to like about the Sweet Almond oil? Nothing. My only concern would be finding a large enough bottle. I used the whole bottle making these two items. We usually buy most oils in a gallon size. But that isn’t going to be most families dilemma is it?

Visit http://usa.emilenoel.com/oils/seed/ for more information on these tasty non-GMO artisan oils.

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Food Choices Documentary

Michal Siewierski is an Emmy nominated TV commercial producer and Filmmaker. He is making a new documentary film called, Food Choices, after experiencing the amazing effects that a plant based diet had in his own life and health. He lost over 45 pounds. Food Choices is a film about food that connects all the dots – health, environment and animal rights – topics often controversial. This film should empower you, the viewer, with explosive and ground breaking information that could be truly life changing!

Food Choices Documentary Trailer

Michal has been running a popular Indiegogo campaign which can be seen here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/food-choices-documentary/x/7308429

The film is scheduled to be released in March 2015 in Chicago.

To learn more, please visit:

www.foodchoicesmovie.com
www.michalsiewierski.com

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