July 24, 2016

Flavor Your Life!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is truly the one must have in everyone's kitchen. It is versatile and can be used in so many preparations from a cooking oil, in a marinade, as a dip and drizzled on just about anything. It is also good of for you! Flavor Your Life  is a campaign supported by the European Union, Unaprol and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture dedicated to sharing the good news about European Extra Virgin Olive Oil and why it should be your first choice when choosing quality olive oil for you kitchen.

Olive oil in Europe has been revered for centuries. Farmers take much care in cultivating their olive trees to make sure they produce the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes in a variety of tastes and I learned that the type of olive tree, the climate and soil of the area it is being grown, and the time of harvest all play their own roles on taste. For instance, olives harvested early in the season produce oils that are greener and more pungent. Olives harvested at the end of the season are mild and buttery. Their are also different varieties of olive oils based on the European country they come from. Spanish oil is typically golden yellow with a fruity and nutty flavor. Italian oil is dark green and more herbaceous. Greek oil tends to be green and packs a strong aroma and flavor. French oil is more pale with a mild flavor. One thing we can all agree on though is Europeans know their Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Here is a simple recipe for a classic Caprese Salad you can enjoy made with some European Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Caprese Salad

Fresh mozzarella cheese
Vine ripened tomato
Basil leaves
Flavorful Extra Virgin Olive Oil- I used an imported brand from Italy.
Balsamic vinegar
Course sea salt

Slice your mozzarella and tomato in rounds. Alternate layers of tomato, 1 basil leaf, and mozzarella. Drizzle with some EVOO and some balsamic. Sprinkle with salt. I like to pour balsamic on the plate rather then on top of the salad because I like to be in control of how much of the balsamic is in each bite. I don't want the light and fresh taste of the olive oil to be overpowered by the vinegar.

To find out more about Flavor Your Life and find some tasty recipe ideas go like them on Facebook.

Arctic Bear

For those of you that don't k now my husband Chris works on the Arctic Circle in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. He works in the oil field on a 3 week on 3 week off rotation. The other day they found this cutie roaming around camp.

He was probably out looking for some lunch. Don't you just want to snuggle with him? They also have polar bears up there, but no penguins, that's the other pole people. Think this is frightening, take a look at this.

Those are Alaska's state bird, the mosquito. Eeek!

July 17, 2016

The Original Bacon Kit Review

What's better then waking up and enjoying some tasty crisp bacon for breakfast? Waking up and enjoying some homemade tasty crisp bacon for breakfast of course.

The Original Bacon Kit includes almost everything you need to make 5 pounds of delicious home cured bacon, because you can never have too much bacon. All that's missing in the kit is a 5 pound slab of pork belly, and you can get your hands on that at your local butcher, or Costco. I was pretty excited to receive this kit for review because I am a bacon lover, but then who isn't? If anyone ever tells you they don't like bacon, I would be very suspicious of that person. How can you not like bacon? In a sandwich, on top of a juicy burger, crumbled over some gooey mac and cheese, swimming in a spicy bloody mary, dipped in chocolate or any number of ways, everything taste better with bacon.

I was so excited to immediately get in the kitchen, make some bacon, and then enjoy a fat BLT, but then I read the instructions and realized that it would be a week before my baking would be ready to scarf down. Yes, it takes a week to turn fatty pork belly into delicious home cured bacon, but let me tell you something, it is so worth the wait.

First thing you do is take your pork belly and put it inside the provided plastic bag. Pour the entire bottle of pink curing salt, that comes with your kit, into the bag and then shake it up. Making sure to coat the entire piece of meat. The kit also comes with a maple sugar that you would add at the same time, but I prefer my bacon salty and savory.

The next thing you do is put the bag in the fridge for 7 days, turning the bag over once every day. This is a total tease...

Finally after 7 days you get to pull your slap of pork out of the fridge, rinse it off under running water, and then pat dry. If you have a smoker you would then smoke up this bad boy piece of meat. Unfortunatly I do not own a smoker, but it wasn't really an issue because The Original Bacon Kit comes with directions on how to use your oven instead.

Take the provided thermometer and insert it into the pre bacon piece of meat and heat your oven to 200 degrees. Put the meat inside a baking pan and pop it in the oven for 2 and 1/2 hours. After the 2 and 1/2 hours you take your now bacon out of the oven and put it in the fridge to cool for at least an hour before slicing. Oh the anticipation!

Finally cut your bacon to your desired thickness, fry it up and enjoy.

My bacon came out amazing. Way better then pre packaged store bought bacon, and I now have 5 pounds of bacon sitting in my fridge, waiting to be devoured in every way imaginable.

The Original Bacon Kit is a must for any bacon lover, which is pretty much everyone who isn't lying to themselves. You can order it online here.

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

July 06, 2016

Jarlsberg Summer Giveaway Contest!

Jarlsberg is celebrating 60 years of making delicious cheese by hosting a Jarlsberg Summer Giveaway contest. Enter daily, now until August 31, 2016 to win a Big Green Egg Grill valued at $1400!

To enter just complete the entry form, with an option of also submitting a photo showing how you enjoy Jarlsberg cheese,  for a chance to win. Be sure to share your entry with the hashtag #jarlsberg. You can also enter via their Facebook page. Winners will be chosen at random weekly for the remainder of the contest. Good luck!

July 04, 2016

Cloud Bread!

After all the hoopla all over Pinterest and foodie blogs, I finally made cloud bread. The recipe is everywhere just look it up. It's basically eggs, cream cheese and cream of tartar mixed and baked to resemble something like bread or more like buns. It's soft and pillow-y hence the name cloud bread. It's a great substitute for bread if you are low carbing it. I made sandwiches for the family on cloud bread and everyone loved them.

Chris thought it tasted like soft white bread and couldn't believe what it was made out of. Just to warn you ahead of time, this does not have the texture of real bread, it's kind of like a meringue but with a little more consistency to it. Still for those of you trying to limit your carb intake and are tired of lettuce wraps this is a nice change. Just try it!

June 27, 2016

Cotton Candy Grapes...Say What?!

I just found something today and I am utterly perplexed, Organic Cotton Candy Grapes. They look like grapes, they smell like grapes, they taste like grapes...if grapes were grown at the county fair and a few accidently fell into the cotton candy machine. Seriously, if you are like me and you have never heard of cotton candy grapes before head out to your local Sprouts and pick some up, before they are long gone. I hear that despite the price of $3.99 a pound, these sell out fast. They are also only available for a limited time in the summer. So skip the fair and have grapes instead, your mind will be blown.

June 26, 2016

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

1 Head of cauliflower
3/4 cups of cheese
2 Eggs
1/2 cup of crushed pork rinds
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
A little flour
Cooking oil

Make sure your cauliflower is dry and then chop up and put into food processer until it looks like instant mashed potatoes. Put cauliflower in a bowl and add the cheese, eggs, pork rinds and seasoning and mix together. Form cauliflower mixture into desired size of cakes. Dust both sides with a small amount of flour, or you can put some flour on a plate and just quickly put both sides of cakes in the flour. In a frying pan heat up some cooking oil, I used Canola. Fry cakes in the hot oil until they are brown and crisp flipping over once. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chives.

These cheesy cauliflower cakes were a big hit!

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