February 05, 2016

Nothing You Could Do....

It's been awhile since I posted Penelope's lunch. She has been eating hot lunch at school a lot lately, and on the days I have made her lunch, I admit I have been lacking some creativity. Here is a lunch I prepared for her earlier this week. Not to exciting but I thought the Lunchbox Love was pretty noteworthy.

Pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, pretzels, a Cutie, some green olives, a few flower and worm gummies and a healthy probiotic chocolate hidden underneath.

January 25, 2016

ZeroWater Ready Pour Pitcher Review

Water is one of the most important beverages you can give your body. It helps maintain the fluids needed for your body to function, it helps your skin look great, it cleanses your kidneys, it can also help control your calories and facilitate weight loss. But how clean is the water you are drinking?

ZeroWater provides water filtration products for the every day consumer. Their 5-State Ion Exchange Filters remove virtually all total dissolved solids including minerals, salts, metals, chemicals, runoff and various other solids. It is certified to remove lead, mercury and chromium. In fact it is the only filtration system to reach the FDA approval of purified bottle water.

So why spend money on bottles of water that not only break your bank but are harmful to the environment when ZeroWater makes it easy for you to get clean healthy water in your home.

Their Ready Pour pitchers are an easy and convenient way to not only get your family to drink more water but to make sure that the water they are drinking is as pure as possible. I received a 10 cup Ready Pour Pitcher for review and love it. You just fill it with your tap water and the ZeroWater filter does it's job of removing all impurities. We like refrigerated water in my home so I love that I can fill this up and keep it in the fridge for easy access. It has a sealed lid and reservoir so you can be certain when pouring that you are only receiving water that has already been filtered. Each filter lasts between 15 and 30 gallons of water and will notify you when it is time to change the filter.

Are you curious to find out about how clean your local water is? You can check out the TDS score in your area here.  Mine is 436.2 with 010 being the maximum allowed by the FDA for bottled water and 500 being the EPA recommended amount for tap water. That's cutting it pretty close.

I am sure you have probably heard about the Flint water crisis. Their water supply was contaminated with large amount of lead making it unsafe to not only drink but even to bathe in! It's a terrible crisis that ZeroWater is helping fight with their Filters for Flint program. You can purchase filters to donate to Flint, Michigan, and ZeroWater will match your product donation as well as take care of shipping charges. Check out their twitter page for more details.

Also be sure to take a look at other ZeroWater products that fit your lifestyle.

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.

January 21, 2016

Mary's Secret Ingredients Winter Box Review

Back in August I received my first Mary's Secret Ingredients culinary box for review. Recently I was sent their winter box to share with all of you.

Each season; spring, summer, autumn and winter, a specially curated box of edible goods, ingredients and cooking tools is made available for foodies everywhere. The items in each box are carefully chosen and include unique and gourmet items that you have probably never even heard of. Boxes can be purchased individually or you can purchase a year subscription where you will receive a new box 4 times a year. In addition to the items included in each box you will also receive custom recipes in your email to help make the most of each box.

I love learning about new products, especially ones that are food related. What I love even more about Mary's Secret Ingredients is that if you find something you absolutely need to have again, you can easily purchase it via Mary's Marketplace.

What was included in the Winter box?

Herbed Coffee Rub from Just Cooked Foods- The richness of coffee along with oregano, cumin and chipotle add a new dimension to the flavors of pork, beef and lamb.

This all natural rub is made in San Francisco, California. Take a nice big beef roast and rub it with olive oil and then coat with this tasty rub.  Pop it in the oven and you got a delicious and flavorful piece of meat. Serve with some potatoes and a nice green salad and you have an easy and satisfying meal. I love the richness of this rib.

Laiki Red Rice & Black Rice Crackers- Laiki® Rice Crackers are 100% wholegrain, vegan, gluten-free, nonGMO, and delicious!

Made with only three ingredients rice, oil and salt. These are a great snack option. I received two 100 hundred calorie snack packs. Although they slightly differ in color I thought both varieties tasted pretty much the same. They are crunchy, salty and go well with salsa.

Loaker Rose of the Dolmites in White and Dark Chocolate- A unique shape inspired by the Alpine Rose of the Dolomites: a small jewel of exquisite chocolate with a creamy heart waiting to be discovered...

These chocolates are not only pretty but they are so yummy. Made with Italian hazelnuts, bourbon vanilla pods and pure chocolate these are creamy and decadent. My favorite of the two was the dark chocolate.

Michel et Augustine Cookie Squares in Milk Chocolate and Caramel and Dark Chocolate with a pinch of sea salt-

These half chocolate, half shortbread rectangle cookies are made with French flour and real butter and absolutely no preservatives. To be honest with you I wasn't quite sure what to make of these. Are they a cookie, is it a candy bar? They taste just okay in my opinion.

Nutraw Pistachio Rawbar

Made with just 5 ingredients, these bars are organic and free of artificial additives and preservatives. Pistachio's happen to be my favorite nut and this did not disappoint. It has all the pistachio taste in a convenient little bar that is perfect for a quick healthy snack.

RawSpiceBar Winter Herb Blend- RawSpiceBar creates freshly ground, global spice blends each month for creating dishes from around the world. Direct to your door for $6 a month.

This particular blend is a mix of white peppercorns, thyme, oregano, savory, tarragon and sage. This is perfect for your next roasted chicken. As soon as you open up the packaging it smells amazing and it tastes even better.

You can get your hands on an upcoming Mary's Secret Ingredients box online. The next one will start shipping in March.

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.

January 20, 2016

Fit & Fresh Review

I have yet another Fit & Fresh review to share with you! This one is for one of their Retro Insulated Lunch Bags and a Jaxx Shaker Bottle.

First of all I love the lunch bag I was sent, it is so my style. It looks like a fashionable little purse. This "retro" bag is offered in several patterns, it just so happens that the one I was sent totally matches the d├ęcor in my home.

I love the round handle that makes it super easy to carry. It has a magnetic closure to keep everything secure. It is the perfect size for a full lunch, you can fit a water bottle and several containers in it, no problem. The inside lining is easy to clean and PVC free. It is also insulated to keep your food cool with the help of a removable non toxic ice pack. These stylish bags sell for only $14.99.

The Jaxx Shaker Bottle is part of their Jaxx Fitness collection. This 28oz. bottle makes it easy to mix up your protein shake, or other weight loss supplement while on the go. It contains in agitator that is designed to give you a clump free beverage. I tested it out with some protein powder and almond milk and was impressed that I did not need to dirty my blender. Since my mom currently drinks Herbalife shakes I decided to gift this to her and she loves it. It has a snap cover so you don't have to worry about spillage. It also comes in several different designs and sells for only $9.99

Be sure to check out all the other great products from Fit & Fresh online.

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.

January 16, 2016

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
3/4 cup Freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbs. Orange zest
Sesame oil
Cooking oil of choice
Dried ginger
Garlic Powder
Red pepper flakes
Sweetener of choice, I used Monk fruit sugar in the raw
Oyster sauce
Soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar

Cube chicken in small pieces and put in a bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch over chicken and stir to completely coat each piece of chicken. In a large wok heat cooking oil on medium high, I used Thrive algae oil, along with the sesame oil. Approximately 2 tablespoons of each oil to fry up chicken until browned crisp and cooked through. You might need to add a little more of both oils if it looks like your chicken is not frying up. Once the chicken is done remove onto a plate and set aside. Lower wok heat and add the orange juice, about 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder about a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of the rice wine vinegar, the orange zest, a tablespoon of oyster sauce about 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger. Add red chili flakes to your liking. In a small bowl combine about a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and stir until dissolved. Raise wok heat and pour cornstarch mixture into sauce. Make sure you stir sauce continuously as it will thicken up quickly, once it does add chicken back into the sauce and stir so that it is well coated with the sauce. Serve with rice and/or veggies.

This was a big hit with everyone, Penelope even had 3 servings of chicken!

January 05, 2016

Chicken "Pop" Pie

Penelope and I made a Chicken Potpie for dinner tonight, or as she likes to call it a chicken "pop" pie.

Chicken "Pop" Pie

2 Sticks of butter
2-3 Chopped green onions
1 cup Flour
1 3/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Thyme
3/4 tsp. Pepper
3 cups Chicken broth
1 cup Milk
2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and cubed
1 cup Canned peas drained
1 cup Canned corn drained
Refrigerated pie crust, I used a store bought rolled crust that comes to sheets in a package.

First to cook your chicken season the breasts with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. In a large skillet heat your oil of choice. I used Thrive algae oil. Cook chicken breasts on medium high to medium heat for 10 minutes per side and then cube.

Next in another large skillet, heat butter over medium high heat until melted. Add the onion and stir. Add the flour and seasonings and stir. Slowly stir in the broth and milk while you continue to stir. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cook for around 2 minutes until thickened. Add the peas and corn and turn heat off. This will make enough filling for two 9 inch pie pans or you can use a large oval casserole dish like I did. Unroll your pie crust and form onto the bottom of your baking dish. pour filling to the top of the dish and then cover with remaining pie crust. Cut some slits on top and then bake in the oven at 425 for 40 minutes. Chris said this was the best potpie he has ever eaten.

Langostino Tacos and Sopa de Arroz

We had yummy battered langoustine tacos and sopa de arroz for dinner last night. I battered the langoustine with a beer better made from a box mix and dropped them in my deep fryer for 2 minutes. We topped our tacos with fresh salsa, lettuce and crema.

Fresh Salsa
4 Roma tomatoes chopped
4 Green onions chopped
About a 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1 and 1/2 chopped serrano peppers, seeds and all.

Mix everything together and enjoy.

I also added corn and peas to my rice at the same time that I put in the water. Just make sure if you use canned that you completely drain them.

Notice the cocktail in the background of my photo? It's called a Hanky Panky. I bought Chris  this Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book for Christmas.

It has some pretty unusual recipes along with some written history on when and how the drinks came to be.

Hanky Panky

1 1/2 ounces of gin, we used Brokers
1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth
A dash of Fernet Branca, a type of bitter herbal liquor

Pour everything in your cocktail glass on the rocks with a twist of orange peel.  It is herbal and surprisingly refreshing.

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