Summer Sipping

Posted by on June 19, 2010 | 2 Comments

summer sippingMy good bloggie friend and holistic nutritionist diva, Meghan Telpner, has released yet another ebook.

Summer Sipping has contains over 20 deliciously refreshing beverages … including one of mine! Yes, of course I am in full support of all of Meghan’s ebooks, but I am just so darn proud that she selected my recipe (Watermelon Lemonade) for inclusion.

I have obtained a copy, and these are the highlights that I like about this ebook:

* All natural, whole food recipes with no refined sugars

* Tons of customizable blender ideas

* “Info Sheets” – Beyond the actual recipes, Meghan includes some fun and useful informational and “how-to” pages within

* All are alcohol-free as is (some have an alcohol option)

* Pictures, lots of big, colorful eye-candy

The recipes that are exciting me most include the Orange Sherbet, Mocha Frappe, Cherry Bomb, Mint Chocolate Shake, and Coconut Lemon Quench. But there are many more to choose from.

The ebook is available here (along with her other ebooks and tutorials) for $14, and according to Meghan, “the first 50 peeps to get their copy of Summer Sipping will also receive a free copy of Whole Foods for Whole Health Mp3.”

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Cherry Sale!

Posted by on June 18, 2010 | 5 Comments

cherry festI do shop the deals at my local Whole Foods once a month, but those seem to vary by location, and aren’t always advertised specials (ie – sometimes I will show up to discover locally grown broccoli crowns for $.99 a lb!).

But, this time I received a sale alert that specifically stated it is “nationwide” … the catch? One day only, TODAY! If you are passing by a Whole Foods today (Friday, June 18), you can swing in and pick up as many cherries as you want for just $1.99 per pound. It is Cherry Fest.

In honor of this event they are also hosting a giveaway for a week long trip (including airfare!) for two to the Northwest cherry-growing states. And, June 21 begins Cherry week on the Whole Foods blog, where you can submit a cherry recipe for a chance to win a $1000 Whole Foods gift card!

Happy stone fruit season,

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Veggie Opinions Wanted, Low Glycemic Challenge, and Nut Butter

Posted by on March 18, 2010 | 14 Comments

Yes, more on the veggies, but I swear I have a cookie recipe waiting in the wings for my next post! Ooops, sorry, I said low glycemic in this post; I will save the cookie talk for now.

First up, I received my second CSA, and would love some opinions, ideas, and even links to your favorite recipes for using a few items in the box. In addition to the staples that will likely be used up in my salads (assorted lettuce, carrots, etc.), I received:

  • Beets: 4 modestly sized ones (is it just me, or do the roots look kind of like alien fingers?)
  • Leeks: 3 seriously jumbo ones
  • Mandarins: 3 lbs – they must have had some leftovers from the citrus share!
  • Green Chard: 1 boisterous bunch

CSA Produce

Last week’s beets were done roasted and balsamic style, so I am thinking of a different route this time. And with the size of those leeks, I think I will have time for a few leek inspired meals! The one mandarin I have sampled was alas a touch dry, I am hoping the others are nice and juicy. Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on how to use up this wonderful produce?

Now, speaking of healthy food, my good bloggy friend Meghan is hosting her 5 Days Low Glycemic Eating group supported challenge beginning on Sunday. Click on the banner below to head to more information about this program. She has to be the cutest nutritionist ever!

Finally, what is your favorite nut butter? I spotted this deal on Amazon for Justin’s Nut Butter, which seems to be all the rage lately. If you do the subscribe and save (remember, you can cancel anytime and you still get to keep the discount!) and coupon code, on top of the already discounted price, it does come out to 50% off, trust me. I was scoping it out to purchase, but not sure if I should take the plunge.

To put it in perspective, the 1 lb containers of Organic Chocolate PB come out to $3.87 each, with the 1 lb  containers of Natural Chocolate Almond Butter at $5.57 each. Oh, and subscribe and save gives you that really good shipping so the goodness arrives right away. What do you think, have any of you tried Justin’s? Worth it? I still want to hear what your other favs are too? I seem to be getting those nut butter cravings. In addition to said chocolate varieties, I also have my eye on these ones …

justin's nut butter

I mean, cinnamon and peanut butter – heaven, right?

I know, so many questions, so little time. But I promise that you will all be rewarded with some more recipes to come. I think the CSA was just what I needed to realize I had my mojo all along. And just so you know – we polished off every last veggie from CSA #1 before #2 arrived. Yeah, I am pretty proud of all that green intake.

CSA Produce

All this veggie talk has me suddenly craving some chocolate …

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Who Knew $3 Could Buy You This Much Health?

Posted by on January 13, 2010 | 6 Comments

When we moved back to Lake Tahoe I was elated to return to our old doctor. He brings decades of emergency room work to the table, but he merges his medical training with the studies he acquired over ten years ago in alternative medicine. I love that he looks at the whole person, seeks out causes rather than just treating symptoms, and how he doesn’t frown upon Eastern or Western medicine. He uses both. All that matters to him is what is effective in bringing people to a true healthy state.

But, what he emphasizes most is that people need to take an active role in managing their own healthcare. When they rely too much on doctors, that is when things go wrong. His wisdom feeds my desire to learn, which led me to discovering the most awesome deal on a book that I must share.

new medicineLast week I ordered “New Medicine: Complete Family Health Guide” for $3.18. This is a $25 book that was published in April of 2009 and it was just $3! I wanted to make sure it was okay before suggesting it, and wow, it is better than okay.

This is a BIG book that gently covers so many different health topics, concerns, and diseases / disease prevention in an encyclopedia-type format. It explains each topic (in layman’s terms) along with treatments using diet, herbs, alternative medicine, prescriptions, and/or surgeries. Whatever is effective and available. The authors don’t instill their opinions, rather they give you a good baseline of information to help you understand all of your options (whether Eastern, Western, or plain old diet) and feel knowledgeable enough to manage your own health. I am impressed. Of course, I have only had time to skim it since my husband has already swiped it to read himself, but at $3, I really don’ think you can go wrong.

Honestly, I have no idea why such a new and thorough book has been marked down so dramatically – we are not talking out-dated material here! I am also not sure if the price is temporary, so if you are interested, I would jump on it.

What does this have to do with a food blog? Well, not a lot. But I have noticed that most of us foodies seem to take a higher than average interest in health, and really, where else could I share such a good deal?

So, while we are on the topics of food and health, are there any books you recommend?

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Gift of Homemade Jam

Posted by on January 4, 2010 | 18 Comments

I love it when the holidays just keep on giving! Four days into the new year, and what should arrive, but a wonderful gift package from Maggie at Dog Hill Kitchen. Out of the blue this lovely lady sent me a gift of homemade treats, including caramels, jams, and almond cookies (for taste-testing the jam!).

homemade jam

And these aren’t just any jams …

homemade jam

Is she amazing or what? Of course, I am not going to leave you all hanging. Though I don’t yet have my own recipes for preserves, Maggie can definitely tell you how to do it. See her posts on:

The nitty gritty of making grape jelly

Autumn olive jam and leather

Thanks Maggie!!

homemadejam2

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

How Do You Sweeten?

Posted by on December 15, 2009 | 15 Comments

floridacrystals2In my inbox today, I received an email from Mambo Sprouts with information about, and a coupon from Florida Crystals. You can get the coupon yourself and print it at floridacrystalscoupon.com, but it is a wee bit different from your average coupon.

They offer you the chance to “donate” a portion of your coupon to the Jaguar Conservation Fund. Yeah, I know, playing the guilt on us foodies trying to save a nickel during these hard economic times … while supporting organic sugar nonetheless! But it does look worthwhile, and it got me to thinking about my “sugar” choices (which seem to be evolving in recent years), and curious about yours and any insight you might have.

This week was the first time all year that I bought white sugar (to top these awesome Snickerdoodle Blondies, after all, who could resist?), but my husband was grateful. It is still the only sweetener he really likes in his coffee. It was organic, but still white sugar no matter  how you rationalize it. I do often keep a bag of Trader Joe’s organic brown sugar on hand, and use it in small amounts when needed (it is so frickin’ good!).

In all cases, I do choose organic sugar, and for the longest time I couldn’t remember why. But the other day, while in the grocery store, I saw a small reminder – pesticides and genetic modification. Sugar is a top pesticide crop, and it is increasingly being added to the GMO list. While I do my best to minimize our pesticide load, I am firmly against GMO’s, and work oh-so-hard to avoid them. Luckily, since we use sugar (I am including evaporated cane juice/sucanat in this term) so seldom, it doesn’t eat into my budget.

The three sweeteners we use most often in my house are honey, maple syrup, and fruit. In our day to day lives, I really prefer just making fruit-sweetened goodies, like our favorite Banana Bread and our breakfast smoothies. But, here and there I use a little honey or maple syrup to jazz up a salad dressing, make a sweeter treat, for a recovery drink or bar, or simply to mellow out a sauce. As you probably already know, I mostly buy honey and maple syrup on Amazon when the deals pop up, and I certainly don’t use these by the glug, so again, not a problem using these slightly higher end natural foods without breaking the bank.

I do have some pure stevia on hand, which I got for an insanely good price on clearance, that I use very, very sparingly. If the fruit in my smoothie isn’t quite sweet enough, a very small dash of stevia brightens it up. Otherwise, I really don’t like the stuff. It is used so much in natural foods these days, and both my husband and I can really taste it no matter the medium. Does it taste funny to anyone else?

Many people love agave, and while I have used it in the past, it was only to use up the quantities I purchased for such a good price. Again, we aren’t big fans; and yes, we have tried a few different brands. Raw honey still wins hands down for us any day.

So what about you? Are you a sugar-aholic (like my husband) or weening yourself off (like me)? What types of sweeteners do you use and why? Is there a perfect recipe that you have discovered/created for your favorite sweetener?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I took the middle ground – 25 cents for me, 25 cents for the Jaguars. It seemed fair.

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Let’s try that Awesome $3.00 off Coupon Again, Shall We?

Posted by on December 14, 2009 | 3 Comments

Last month I posted about a $3.00 off coupon for Hain Celestial products, but some of you have trouble with the printing. Well, I finally have a source page that should work for everyone (hopefully you can still find the items on sale too for even more value!). Plus, it looks like a pretty cool site on holiday entertaining from that mega-natural food corp. They have the printable coupon, sweepstakes, and recipes here – www.entertainingnaturally.com. Enjoy!

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Your Recommendations: Holiday Party Recipes

Posted by on December 1, 2009 | 15 Comments

Believe it or not, we have never thrown a holiday party. Our first home was quite remote, and since our more centralized friends had a party every year, we just never bothered. But this year, the key party-throwers not only have two little ones in tow, but they are also planning a three-week trip to Germany for the holidays to be with family. So it is up to us and our new centrally located home to throw a winning holiday party and bid them a relaxing bon voyage.

So here I am asking all of you wonderful readers for some recipe advice!

This week I am going to test out a dairy-free and light version of Hot Buttered Rum for the event (will definitely be posting if all goes well!), and we are planning on some crockpot pulled pork with homemade soft-baked rolls. But really, we need so much more. What are your favorite holiday party recipes? And do you have suggestions for any of the following …

  • Kid-friendly bites – There will be a good handful of 2 to 3 year olds there. Some all natural / from scratch recipes would be best since my good friend is doing her best to start her little one out without processed foods or candy.
  • A Vegan Recipe or Two – Just in case there is a vegetarian or two, I want to make sure I have some suitable options.
  • Dips and Noshes – We keep a dairy-free household, but I seem to be able to convert most recipes with ease, as long as it isn’t a three-cheese dip or something!
  • Hmmm, a semi-traditional German recipe might be a nice gesture too!

Sweets, savories, beverages, what do you love to see at parties? Thanks in advance for your ideas!  More recipes and giveaways to come …

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Deal Alert: Organic Broth, Specialty Flours, Salt … Pantry Necessities!

Posted by on November 21, 2009 | 7 Comments

Hain Celestial has been emailing around a printable coupon for $3.00 off 3 products (that link should take you straight to print it) from there Spectrum, Hain Pure Foods, Imagine, Sunspire, and Arrowhead Mills product lines. The coupons are also affixed to several of their chicken broth packages in stores.

Since it is the holidays, many of these products are also on sale (Sunspire chocolate and carob chips, broths, flours (gluten-free and regular), etc). I used two of the coupons today and got Imagine Organic Creamy Soups (the new ones are dairy-free and soy-free with a potato base) and Organic Chicken and Vegetable Broths for just $1.00 each! Plus, I picked up a Hain Sea Salt for just $.19. I will be  going back to use another coupon to stock up on the sea salt (I had completely run out!) and some more broth (it is our favorite brand for flavor and ingredients). 

Also, I have noticed Good Earth Tea and Coffee has been on sale a lot, and they have a printable coupon for $1.00 off up too. I can highly recommend their White Tea – Vanilla Blend (it is actually lemongrass, not a big vanilla flavor), Sweet & Spicy Red Tea, and Mint Tea. I just printed another coupon and will sample a couple of other flavors (since the teas are on sale for $2.50 a box at my local Raley’s Grocery) when I go back for that broth.

Just wanted to give you all a heads up!

 

Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Favorite Cookbooks Giveaway, Fundraisers and Dealios

Posted by on November 14, 2009 | 10 Comments

Is it just me, or did Black Friday hit early this year? My inbox is flooded with special offers from just about everywhere. Perhaps I shouldn’t sign up for quite so many e-newsletters!

Speaking of deals, I have a few things to share for the upcoming week. Stick with me here, I will jump onto a few different things in this post …

I am going to be hosting “A Week of Favorite Cookbooks Giveaway, starting on Monday, and lasting through Friday (giving away a different surprise cookbook each day). Keep in mind, this is just some of my favorites, I have many more! If the response is good, I may be coaxed into doing this giveaway again. So each weekday of this coming week you will receive:

  • A giveaway of a “surprise” cookbook with a mini-review of the book (there will be options for gluten-free, whole foods, and vegan foodies too!)
  • A recipe either from that cookbook or inspired by that cookbook

Five days, five books, five reviews, five recipes, right here. Be there, enter, enjoy, win.

Also, there are two more fundraiser cookbooks that were just released:

fundraiser cookbooks

Kid-Friendly Recipes: The Blogosphere’s Best (ebook)

Cost: You Decide. Proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and you can purchase this e-cookbook of 49 recipes for any dollar amount. You choose how much you are comfortable donating. I did contribute a favorite recipe to this e-cookbook that I think you will enjoy!

The BloggerAid Cookbook: Recipes from bloggers around the world making a difference (full color book)

Cost: $30. Proceeds go to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP). Honestly, I am not sure if I have a recipe in this book or not! I submitted on time, but didn’t follow the proper procedute. So I assumed I was out, but I keep getting all of the BloggerAid Cookbook “insider” emails. Either way, I am sure it is a fantastic book and for a great cause.

Finally, before I forget, the Cooking Light dealio ends today. And as I found out, you can order it even if you have a subscription. As long as you use the exact same address that is on your subscription they will simply tack on another year – no overlap. So of course, I ordered!

Also, I received an email about $5.00 worth of printable coupons from Cascadian Farms. They have tons of good products, but I like their organic frozen fruit (a must for making smoothies in winter!) when on sale … and I have coupons. They are pricey otherwise. Anyway, I wanted to pass these gems on, click here to print them.

Oh yes, one last deal mention. If you do live near a Whole Foods, be sure to pick up their Whole Deal Flyer/Booklet this month too. They are starting to be better about putting items on sale while the corresponding coupons are on. They had a fair price on Tazo tea, which turned into a good price with the $1.00 off coupon on the Whole Deal.

Did I miss any great coupons, deals, or fundraisers? Do tell.

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