Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What Happens On An Organic Dairy Farm?







A couple of weeks ago I went on a very last minute trip to Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire to visit Stonyfield Organics organic dairy farms. I am a part of one of their blogger groups and have loved working with them and have always loved their products for myself but especially for my children. But after this trip I have realized the amazing health benefits for my entire family with eating an organic diet. My eyes have been wide open!





We spent 4 days road tripping through Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire and visited 3 different farms. Two of these farms once were regular dairy farms and then switched to being organic farms and have realized how important this change has been for their farms and for their animals. The other farm that we visited is a non profit organization who has amazing activities for families and has amazing views of the Maine coastal line. We were able to kayak and spent time on the property. I wish this farm wasn't on the other side of the continent so that I could take my family there! Looks like we will have to make a special trip out to the New England area! 




We learned about the special precautions that these farmers are willing to take the extra time to do to make sure that their farms and products are organic! It was eye opening realizing that these farmers are willing to do this to make sure their farms are organic because they believe in it!





Another day we spent in the Stonyfield plant learning how they produce their different products and also the special precautions they also take to make sure that everything is organic. I was also mind blown with how they reduce their amount of waste. They do everything that can to make sure that they provide the least amount of waste as possible which in turn is better for our environment! Below is 7 fun facts about organic dairy provided by some of the Stonyfield staff! 






*Seven Facts About Organic Dairy* 

• Unlike foods labeled “natural”, foods carrying the USDA organic seal are grown and processed according to strict third-party audited standards. It’s a seal that isn’t just chosen, it’s earned. 

• In order to carry the USDA seal, Organic food must be produced without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, and antibiotics. That makes it safer for you and the people growing it. 

•Science is now starting to show that some organic foods may really be better for you for reasons beyond just avoiding toxic persistent chemicals. For instance, one recent study suggests that full-fat organic dairy may help to improve your balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids, a ratio that is critical for good health and brain development. 

• Animals raised on organic farms have to be treated humanely. For instance, organic dairy cows are required to spend ample time outside, grazing on grass (120 days a year at minimum), just as nature intended. Veterinarians tell us that organic cows live twice as long as cows not grown organically. 

• Genetically modified or engineered organisms (also known as GMOS) are not allowed in organic food production. 

• Organic farming practices are better for the environment, and therefore for all of us. Because toxic persistent pesticides are prohibited, those chemicals won’t end up in the land, air, or our groundwater, lakes, rivers and streams. 

• Buying organic shows the food industry that you care about how your food is grown and made. Every organic purchase is a vote with your dollars and can influence the choices businesses make. A cup of organic yogurt much more than just a delicious snack, it is a vote for a toxic-free future for us all.








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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back to School with Krusteaz


Back to school is a glorious time of year! I love having my kids back on their schedules and I love being able to get more done during the day instead of having to drag all my children on errands during the day to try to accomplish everything that i need to get done.

My little boy Remington started kindergarten this year and my oldest is in 2nd grade. My husband and I walked our boys to school for the first day they were excited and nervous. Then my husband headed to work and I took my little girl and headed to my moms house to prep for a catering job we had that weekend. I cooked and baked all day long until I had to head home to grab my boys from school.

When I left my moms house my little brother said "you better have hot freshly baked cookies right when your kids walked in the door" It had been a crazy day full of baking and that was the last thing that I wanted to do. But I knew that I had to be a good mom and grabbed a box of Krusteaz Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies and my daughter and I whipped those up! So easy and yummy!

My brother was right that is exactly what my kids needed when they walked in. To see that their mom missed them and wanted to make sure that they had cookies when they walked in the door! Luckily I had Krusteaz there to save the day!


Luckily Krusteaz is here to giveaway one of their fun back to school baking kits! These are super fun and easy to bake with the whole entire family. And this kit comes with a cute apron for you and your little chef. Along with some fun kids kitchen tools and cookie cutters. And of course a selfie stick to top it off! 
Krusteaz, a delicious brand of convenient, high quality boxed baking mixes, wants to help by sharing their new Bakery Style Cookie Mixes with you and your family.  To get you ready for back to school,  one of you lucky readers will be winning a "Back to School" kit for the whole family to enjoy together! What will be in it is....

  • New Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mixes including:
    • Triple Chocolate Chunk
    • Meyer Lemon
    • Double Peanut Butter
    • Brown Sugar Oatmeal
    • Oatmeal Scotchie
    • Butter Vanilla Sugar
  • A Krusteaz lunchbox
  • Some fun kitchen items like a Krusteaz-branded oven mitt and aprons (one for an adult and one for a child!)
  • A selfie stick (for fun family photos taken while baking and enjoying cookies!)
  • Cookie cutter and measuring spoons for kids from Curious Chef
  • Cookie recipe inspiration cards






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Monday, August 31, 2015

Baked Beef and Bean Chimichanga


We are Mexican food lovers. We have it almost weekly. Which unfortunately means that I am always looking for variety. My eldest son is a taco lover and the middle is a quesadilla lover. My husband loves enchiladas and I love just a little bit of everything. Chimichangas aren't a regular in our menu. Mostly because I used to deep fry these babies. And Im not going to lie sometimes I still do. But for this time I baked them. Stuffed these tortillas rolled them up and baked them. Topped them with some green enchilada sauce, cheese, sour cream, and garnish then enjoy! 


You can also add the enchilada sauce inside the chimichanga before you roll it up. But since my younger son doesn't love any type of "sauce" I decided to keep it out this time. Next time ill place it in their too and then put his on one of the edges so I know which one is his! 


Baked Beef and Bean Chimichanga
Tri tip , cooked
Refried Beans, heated up on the stove top 
Mexican blended cheese
Tortillas

Garnishes: optional
Green Enchilada sauce
Sour cream
Tomatoes, diced
Green onions, thinly slice
lettuce, chopped into fine pieces



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grab a tortilla and spread beans on it. Fill with a couple of large spoon full of meat. Sprinkle with cheese. (You can add some enchilada sauce here) Roll up and place seam side down on greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Continue steps until you have made all the chimichangas that you would like. Then brush with melted butter. Then cook for 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and top with green enchilada sauce and any other toppings that you would like! Then serve! 





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Back to School Labels



In Arizona students go back to school a few weeks earlier then other states. One of the things that has been a game changer for our back to school is these Minted name labels. Even though my boys school has each child donate a variety of school supplies that the whole class shares I also allow my boys to pick out their favorite supplies that they can keep in the backpack, in their desk, or at home for their homework. You have no idea how helpful it is for each of my children to have their own name labels on their supplies (even my 2 year old has her own labels for her crayons) so that when it comes to homework time my boys know which box of coloring pencils, markers, crayons, and glue is theirs.





















I also labeled my boys backpacks and their lunch box and water bottles so that they do not get lost. And I cannot wait until it is jacket season and I can put the labels on their jackets so that they don't loose them at school or at their friends houses. I am always having to track down my children coats and having other children's coats lost at my house.



The best thing about these Minted name labels it that they are water proof and very durable. They are also dishwasher safe and non toxic! So great for all my children lunch box containers and water bottles.



My other children's name labels also have our phone number on them so that they can be returned to us if lost. Luckily there is not many Remington's out there that it is easy to return to us!

So head on over to Minted.com and check out all their fun name labels and the other fun things that they offer!




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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Peach Cobbler Bars



Summertime means cobbler in our home. We love making berry and peach cobbler. We love to top everything with ice cream! Only problem is trying to photograph something with ice cream on it when it is 110-120 degrees F outside! No matter what time of day it is it is hot! So very little ice cream photography happens.




These bars are very yummy with just the frosting on it. It makes them way more portable to gatherings or delivering treats to neighbors, friends, or family. So don't feel like these HAVE to have ice cream on them to be yummy. But if you can top them with ice cream!



Using Krusteaz snickerdoodle cookie mix makes them the perfect texture of getting the bar feel with also having the cinnamon sugar touch of cobbler! These are a must for all those peaches that are in season right now. So head to the kitchen asap and whip these bars up! Everyone will thank you!


Peach Cobbler Bars
1 Box Krusteaz Snickerdoodle Mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2-3 fresh peaches, sliced thinly

Glaze:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

Vanilla Ice Cream

For directions head over here!






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Friday, August 28, 2015

Grilled Peach and Berry Salad


This pregnancy I have been on a huge salad kick! I eat it almost daily for lunch and there is a salad somehow involved in our dinner at least 4 times a week. I have my favorites and my go-to's but I am always trying to add some type of variety to them. This salad is usually my strawberry salad. But when I picked up a 30 lb box of freshly grown peaches I knew just what to do with them. That same day I also picked up a huge flat of raspberries. So I decided to throw those in there too and it was just the perfect touch. Raspberries and peaches together and my absolute favorite fruit combination.

A few weeks ago I was able to go on an amazing organic farm tour I learned so much and can't wait to share with you all the information in a couple of days! When I got home my husband commented on how I was an organically changed person haha. I was and have been on a huge organic kick! And every single time I got to the grocery store (which unfortunately is every day) I check to see what types of Stonyfield products they have and grab a couple! Lets just say our fridge is fully stock and I have been using their products daily! And both of my boys have Stonyfield products in their school lunch everyday! We.Are.Hooked!


So the perfect dressing for this salad was a creamy yogurt poppyseed dressing. One word...unreal! Stony field's Greek yogurt was of course my go to Greek yogurt and made this dressing exceptionally well!




I was browsing through the Wayfair website for the perfect additions to add to summertime salad makings. This glass bowl is something I have always wanted. It is perfect for layering type of salads and makes any salad even prettier to display. I paired it with this fun bamboo salad hands and it worked out perfectly for serving my family up some salad!


Grilled Peach and Berry Salad
1 large bag of spinach, trim ends if needed
2-3 peaches, pitted
1/4 cup blueberries
1/3 cup raspberries
4 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1/3-1/2 cup candied walnuts

Grab a cast iron skillet and heat up on a stove top over medium heat. Drizzle olive oil down. Grab peaches and cut into thin wedges. Place them in the hot cast iron skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are tender but not falling apart. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. (You can also do these on the grill) Grab your favorite salad bowl and layer the spinach leaves in. Add in the blueberries and raspberries. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, candied walnuts, and sliced peaches. Drizzle with creamy poppyseed dressing.

*I have also made this recipe with fresh peaches not grilled or cooked in a cast iron skillet and it is still very yummy!*

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
3/4 cup Stonyfield Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoon grated onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping Tablespoon poppyseeds

In a blender or a jar combined all ingredients and shake up!


*Disclamer: This is a sponsored post by Stonyfield Organics and Wayfair. I was compensated for doing this post. However recipes and thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Announcement and a GIVEAWAY you won't want to miss!

A few months ago I was attending the Mom 2.0 conference and had the great opportunity of meeting the wonderful staff of Lansinoh. As a young mom with 3 young kids I have spent more then half of my marriage either being pregnant or nursing. And let me tell you it is a rough stage to be in sometimes. When I walked around and saw the sponsors of the event I realized how many of these companies pertain to my life as a mother. Not all of them pertain to my life as a food blogger but almost every single company pertain to my life in some way or another.

As I passed the Lansinoh booth it flooded back memories of being pregnant and nursing. And what great products they had created for me as a mom to use. I knew that the next time I found out that I was expecting I knew exactly who I wanted to be in contact with!

They had a jar where you could put your business card in to win different types of prizes. And I was the winner of one of the grand prizes! Which was a one-on-one interview with Daphne Oz. I was able to sit down with her and talk about her new cookbook, traditions that she is starting with her new family, the joys of cooking, motherhood, being a host on ABC's The Chew, and her parents Dr. Oz and Liz Oz as grandparents, and so much more. I felt like I was talking to a friend. She was so kind and offered me kind words of encouragement of being a young mom who loves to cook and how to get myself out there!




Well I received an email from a marketing communications specialist of Lansinoh the day I found out I was pregnant. Yup thats right baby #4 is on its way!!! It was the weirdest thing and he asked me if I would like to try out some of their new products. I knew that it would be perfect timing to do an announcement of my pregnancy along with a giveaway! So I am here to do a giveaway for 1 of you lucky readers to win a Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump along with Momma bottle NaturalWave nipple 




The Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is the only pump with three pumping styles and eight adjustable suction levels. This allows moms to choose the settings that work best for them – often finding a setting that most closely replicates the way baby feeds at the breast. This can help a mom maximize production during a pumping session. The Signature Pro has both stimulation and expression modes, so you start with the stimulation phase to trigger let-down, and then move on to the expression phase. This makes for a more comfortable and efficient pumping session.
The pump features a hygienic closed-system design, which differentiates the Signature Pro from some of the popular pumps on the market today. With the closed system design, milk goes from the breast, through the flange, and into the collection bottle without going through any tubing. This means you don’t have to clean the tubing, which is a nice benefit since mom pumped that milk for her baby and not for it to get trapped in the tubing! But, very importantly, milk backup is a risk in open system pumps and can lead to mold and bacteria growth in the tubes and motor. This will not happen with the Lansinoh pump, ensuring the milk stays clean and pure.  

Then there are additional features that moms love about the pump: First, the pump comes with the ComfortFit™ flanges. They’re available in two sizes and the outside edge of the flange is soft and flexible, rather than hard plastic. This makes the flange fit more comfortably and can create a more secure seal between breast and flange, improving overall suction. Second, the pump has a lighted LCD screen with a timer. This means moms can see exactly how much time they're pumping, and their preferred levels of pumping. Best of all, moms can see that information day and night. 






And the Momma Bottle NaturalWave Nipple is clinically proven to reduce nipple confusion in established, breastfed babies.  Backed by more than 50 years of research, the silicone NaturalWave® Nipple enables baby to engage in the natural, wavelike sucking actions learned at the breast, making it easier for baby to go from breast to bottle and back to breast.

The Lansinoh mOmma Bottle is BPA and BPS free and can be used to safely store breastmilk in refrigerator or freezer. The ergonomic design is compatible with both the Lansinoh Signature Pro™ and Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump.

 I cannot wait to give these items a try when baby #4 is born! So all you have to do is enter in some info below and you will be all set to enter! May the odds be ever in your favor!






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