Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Savory Summer- Enter Now!

Pampered Chef Grilling Basket, with my soon to be famous grilled bananas.
Nothing says Summer like getting out on the grill.

Welcome to the 2012 Savory Summer blog-hopping giveaway event! I have teamed up with Measuring Flower, Graphoniac, and a bunch of other awesome blogs to bring you some tasteful food or food-related giveaways (each worth at least $25)–just in time for picnics and pool parties!

For my Savory Summer Giveaway I have a grill basket from the Pampered Chef thanks to the wonderful and amazing Celebrate Your Inner Chef with Bonnie Coats. As a bonus, the winner will also get a 12 pack of bars or cookies from Boundless Nutrition 

So enter now, I have made this giveaway super easy, you aren't even required to like my page or follow me, but it would be nice. Also for more info check out the reviews on there products, here and here. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review - Pamper Chef Grilling Basket

A couple of weeks ago, I had a disaster. Okay, not a real disaster, but a cooking disaster. I was outside taking advantage of the early Spring here in Wisconsin and grilling. I was making hamburgers and grilled pineapple for desert. I love grilled pineapple, and these burgers were fresh from Becks in Oshkosh, and so so good. Well as I am grilling everything is falling through the grill we lost a burger and some pineapple to the charcoal below. (Please don't talk to me about gas grilling, that is no way to grill, man up and get some charcoal!) It was awful, the lost pineapple brought a tear to my eye. Well I was talking to my friend Bonnie about this, and she agreed that it was horrible to lose such good food to the dangers of grilling. So she hooked me up with a very cool product from Pampered Chef, a grilling basket. My fruit and vegetables are now safe from the charcoal! This basket is so easy to use, and since it is flexible, you can fit just about anything in there! cut a half rack of ribs in half, put them in the basket and they won't fall apart, asparagus, pineapple, and what I am sharing pictures of today, grilled banana! (I should have taken pictures of the other stuff but we were too busy eating it!) All you do, is slide the locking ring down, open the basket, then close it and slide the ring back up to lock it in place, then you put the food on the grill. I love how it makes turning things on the grill so easy, and I can't wait to grill some fish with this. Just use a little cooking spray meant for the grill and the basket will help keep everything right where it should be, thanks to that ridge there isn't much sliding at all! So this is simple, you quarter a banana skin on longways (You end up with triangle pieces) Then you drizzle on a little honey followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Grill them for about 5 minutes per side, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The completed desert.
The quartered unpeeled bananas.
The seasoned bananas on the grill in the awesome basket!
Don't over cook, they will just start to change colors and they are perfect!
Oh so a couple more things about this awesome basket: it's divided, this means that if I wanted to, I could cook different things on each side without the flavors mixing. It will also fit on most grills with the lid closed, (just not mine because it's round) These baskets, Sell for $31.50 and you can talk to Bonnie here to order yours, or come back Wednesday to enter to win one in the Savory Summer Giveaway!

I was provided a basket to review, but the opinions are my own. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review - Boundless Nutrition

I am so lucky to be able to review these products from Boundless Nutrition which I will be giving away in the Savory Summer giveaway starting on Wed. (Please come back for that!)

Boundless Nutrition is a company located in Austin Texas and they sent me a sampling of their products, they are healthy and delicious! Since you will get to choose a flavor, I am going to review all of them. :) The things I suffer through to help you guys out. ;)

First let me tell you about these products, and why I am in love with the Omega3 bars.
-These are gluten free.
-They have 300mg of DHA and EPA Omega-3 this is some of the info they gave me on that "We are the industry leaders in ocean sourced omega-3 nutrition bars. We accomplish this with a proprietary process that our company developed. We only use the purest molecularly distilled fish oil that does not contain any heavy metals, dioxins, toxins or mercury, and this is strictly monitored throughout the production process."
-These bars are  loaded with antioxidants, they have 3 cups worth of decaf green tea in each bar, plus they have darck chocolate. Yum.
-The ingredients are 100% all natural
-Great source of Fiber, and calcium and not a whole lot of sugar. 5frams of prebiotic fiber and 25%RDI of calcium.
- High Quality Whey Protein THey use a custom whey protein modeled and sourced from the "highest quality milk" This means no antibiotics or growth hormones.
-The taste and lets get to that right now!

Omega 3 Bars

Blueberry Pomegranate Crunch
This is a delicious bar, it's not too sweet and a bit tart. It has an amazing texture and is nice and chewy. This has a strong pomegranate flavor, but it is light and fruity. It really smells delicious! I had no idea this has raisins in it until I read the ingredents. This does not have the "health bar" taste that a lot of protein/meal replacement bars have.

This is really nice, it doesn't have that overwhelming coffee flavor that some Mochas have, it has a nice texture too, like a chewy granola bar, my favorite part about this one was the organic dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Mint
Once again the texture is consistenh, and really good, nice and chewy. I have to say it is hard to decide which is better, this one or the blueberry pomegranate. I have to say, I like the variety in the flavors. This company is not a one trick pony, you get different flavors for different moods. I can see myself snacking on one of these instead of a candy bar on one of those many days that I skip lunch. (Did I mention these can be meal replacement bars too?)

Dark Chocolate Peanut
I was nervous about this one. I am a peanut butter purist, I think it should live in sandwiches, and cookies. I don't like it in my smoothies, or in ice cream or anything else (Okay I take that back, chicken satay) I was so afraid I wasn't going to like this one and after I devoured the other bars I didn't want to be let down. I wasn't. This one reminds me a bit of the Mocha, it has the nice dark chocolate, and there isn't a peanut butter flavor it has those amazing pieces of the organic dark chocolate in it, and really is another winner.

Perfect Fit Cookies

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and White Chocolate Macadamia
I am going to be honest, I did not love the cookies like I did the bars, I did like them though. These cookies are really chewy they are not super sweet cookies like you would traditonally get or like grandma makes. They do have that "health food" taste like you get with a lot of other nutrion bars and cookies, however unlike many of those, you can finish one of these. The peanut butter was by far my favorite, followed by the macadamia then the chocolate chip. If given the choice between one of these or the bars I would go with the bars. However I know my husband really liked these and if you are a cookie person you will too!

You can get these wonderful boundless nutrition products at stores HEB, Central Market, and Whole Foods (I MISS TEXAS!) For those of us that can not find them locally you can also order them online: here. Don't just take my word for it, go out and try these bars, they are 100x better than a lot of other bars that I have tried, not to name names but I couldn't even finish some of the ones I have tried, (Like the guy who is climbing up a mountain...) 

Disclaimer: I was provided a review sample. Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Live Below the Line

Now many of you don't know that I am a student. I am going for a degree in Human Services, there is so much bad in this world, and I want to be one of the people that helps others in their time of need. I'm a fixer, one of the first people to jump in line to help someone who needs it as long as I can, sometimes even if I can't. I had hoped to write about this yesterday, but I didn't get a chance. I hope to update you every day of the challenge.

One of the huge problems in this world is poverty, poverty is the cause of lots of different problems, it is linked to things like crime, disease, death and hunger. Hunger is easy to help, so many people live in excess, they throw away half their food after eating, they can afford to go gout to eat several times a week, they get giant gourmet coffees at the drive through every morning before work. I am not saying that it is not okay to do these things, to each their own, I just hope that the next time someone is paying $7.50 for a coffee they take a moment and remember that this is the budget for many people for 5 days for all of their food.

This week I am taking the Live Below the Line challenge and my chosen charity is The Global Poverty Project. This week I will be eating on $1.50/day. I decided since I do all of the cooking in the house, and because it would help stretch the budget, my husband would take the challenge with me. So, for 5 days and two adults we get $15 for groceries. (I did not include my son in this as I did once a month cooking for him, and most of his meals are already made although he will share most dinners with us.)

If you would like more information or to donate my link is here:

To help with this, I did check for sales at my local grocery stores and gas stations for sales.

Grocery List

1 dozen eggs $.99
1 bag white rice $1.00
2 cans of green beans $1.00
1 Gal milk $3.29
1lb butter $1.79
1 Canister oatmeal $1.79
2lbs lentils $1.94
1 bag carrots $1.00
2lbs bananas $1.29 

Total $14.05

The extra change, I am counting towards the staples we have in the house, flour, sugar, etc.  I don't think it's cheating too much since we're also sharing with the kiddo since I'm not including him in the budget. :)

Yesterdays menu:
Breakfast - Oatmeal
Lunch -  Lentil soup
Dinner - Lentil soup and flat bread

I did fine yesterday, wasn't too hungry or anything. :) Quite happy with how it turned out. My husband said the soup was hearty enough to get him through work. So... so far so good. Let's see if we can make it without breaking down.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Coconut Oil

I have to tell you, I have fallen in love- with Coconut Oil. It is so freaking amazing! Okay there is a ton of sciency stuff to go along with it, but I want to tell you the practical stuff that I have found for it:

  • Cooking
  • Diaper Rash Cream
  • Brushing your teeth (seriously)
  • Hair Conditioner (just a little on damp hair after the bath)
  • Fights lice! 
  • Massage Oil (just melt it a little first)
  • Lip Balm
  • Lotion
  • Fights Wrinkles
  • Speeds of the healing of bruises
There are a lot of reported health benefits  as well but I don't know them for certain so I don't want to say- I'm not a doctor but I have read a lot about that too, including help with weight loss. I love how it tastes in my foods, I like how it doesn't make me feel all greasy and weighed down after eating it, and I love how useful it is! There are a ton of different types out there, and you can find it at most every grocery store, so go check it out, give it a try, and let me know what you think!