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Peach Heaven at my house

September 19th, 2012

I just HAD to share what I’ve been up to. This is totally a new thing for me, I’ve never canned before (aside from a batch of strawberry jam a few years ago) but living here on the island I’m surrounded by the best fruit imaginable. I took a hint from my dear friend Maya and decided to start canning. Peaches are a family fave so I called up my talented Mom and asked her all about canning peaches, she shared her tips and hints with me and I jumped right in.

I thought canning these would be difficult, but it was actually quite easy and so much fun. Especially for Lola who tried to take a bite out of approx. 8 peaches while I was working on this yesterday. Stinker! Needless to say I was pretty proud of my accomplishment – 10 quart jars of peaches canned and ready to enjoy. The best part for me was knowing that I only had a short window of time yesterday, and I decided to fill it with producing something so worthwhile for my family. I love that feeling – imagine what I could do with a whole day!

Today I woke up and decided to try making Peach Honey, it’s AMAZING AMAZING! (want the recipe??)

Interested in learning how to can fruits and veggies? Let me know! I have a great source who is willing to share her techniques and canning expertise on Boutique Cafe for you soon. If you’re interested please comment.

Get conscious about cooking for children with “Organically Raised”

August 12th, 2010

Organically RaisedI admit it. I need to be more conscious about what I cook whether it’s for my children or the grownups in our home. Though I do my best to make healthier choices at the grocery store, I often fall back on tried-and-true (often not organic, not super healthy) recipes. I definitely want to expand—and tempt—my children’s palettes and Anni Daulter’s new book, Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers, just might do that!

Anni Daulter is the founder of Bohemian Baby, an online organic baby food
service. I reviewed Bohemian Baby a few years ago and four years later I still remember how fabulous their organic baby food was. It was tempting even for me, and I don’t eat baby food unless it’s added to an “adult” recipe! I knew with such fabulous, fresh baby food recipes, Anni’s new cookbook wouldn’t disappoint.

Cited as a “hip, holistic guide to creating delicious, healthy, and organic meals for children ages 6 months to 3 years,” Organically Raised “shows parents how to replace bland processed shelf staples with flavorful, pesticide-free meals that babies will love, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of good
nutrition and enthusiastic eating.” My favorite part of that quote? Pairing “good nutrition” and “enthusiastic eating.” That is something I for sure want my kids to pair!

One of my favorite sections in Organically Raised is “Hot Topics: Popular Mama Questions Answered.” From when to start feeding your baby solid food to what to do if you can’t get your little one to eat veggies, this section will set new (and “old”) moms at ease when it comes to their child’s nutrition. I also love the suggestions for on-the-go healthy snacks. I can always use more ideas in that department!

Organically Raised

Each recipe has a handy little box with a nutrients list and the book is sprinkled with helpful cooking tips and tricks. The photos are gorgeous, or as my friend Quinn of Limelight Food Photography would say, “lick-the-pic” delicious. Another fave is the small section on healthy mix-ins like flaxseed and even dried seaweed. Who knew you could sprinkle ground, dried seaweed on dishes?

I didn’t get a chance to test out many recipes mainly because I don’t have all those healthy, organic ingredients on hand and was too lame (i.e., I never planned ahead) to add them to my shopping list. But I have bookmarked Lorrin’s Basil-Walnut Pesto Quesadilla, Poppy’s Three-Cheese “Fancy” Panini and Massimo’s Tuscan Rustic Pizza with Fresh Herbs, Veggies and Three Cheeses. (Can you tell we love cheese around here?) I’m also throwing in Mayasita’s Cuban Black Beans (we LOVE black beans and I have yet to make them completely from scratch, dried beans and all) and Joey’s Roasted Coconut Oat Balls. In fact, the ingredients for the first three are on my shopping list as we speak I type!

Organically Raised also includes:

  • Important information about nutrition for children

  • Common food allergies

  • Feeding journal

  • Inspiring “Mama Mantras”

I know many of you are already pros when it comes to creating healthy, organic meals for your children, but for those of us who aren’t, Organically Raised is a great place to start. Don’t believe me? Check out what moms cooler than me have to say:

Organically Raised

Lasagna Pan—Cornered.

November 11th, 2009

The pan you’ve seen…it’s the corner lover’s dream. Emily did a review on the Baker’s Edge brownie pan.

The u-shaped pan bakes corners in more than just 4 corners. The brownie pan has been the craze with bakers everywhere and now the bakers edge has introduced the lasagna pan with the same extraordinary u-shaped lines.

pr_slp3I’m a simple cook…by that I mean I’m not very good at it. Lasagna is a big meal for me so I felt a bit overwhelmed with the task of putting this u-shaped pan to the test with all the ingredients that go into creating this pasta.

The preparation wasn’t bad at all. The noodles just fold into place with the u-shaped corners and everything else just pours perfectly into its spot. I put the pan in and minutes later I had a delicious crispy lasagna.

I think anything I create in the oven that comes out unburned is a masterpiece, so I needed an objective opinion. I took the lasagna out of the pan and dished it onto a couple plates and took it to my neighbors to get their take on the taste of this dish.

Sheepishly they began eating away because it did look crispier than any lasagna ought to be…but that is what makes this lasagna so good. Immediately they raved about the perfect pasta that is crispy on the outside yet deliciously cooked on the inside. I admitted that it wasn’t my amazing cooking skills nor my brand new oven that delivered such an appetizing lasagna but it was my incredible new u-shaped pan.

Available online at bakersedge.com.
-Amber

D-Lux 57 aprons are D-licious!

November 6th, 2008

D-Lux 57Though we did an apron review only a couple weeks ago, it’s never too soon to do another one! Fashionable aprons are all the rage and it’s no wonder why. With all the fun designs and flirty styles, every girl should have at least one hostess-with-the-mostess apron. If you are still on the hunt for the perfect apron, look no further than D-Lux 57. These aprons are some of the most delicious ones you’ll find!

D-Lux 57 aprons come in three sizes for three ages of cooks: adult, tween and little. You can coordinate to create the perfect mother/daughter set or even grandmother/granddaughter set! The aprons are fully lined so everyone’s party clothes are protected from spills and splatters. D-Lux 57’s 100% cotton fabrics, which come from the quilting market, are of the highest quality, made in the USA and known for their soft feel.

D-Lux 57From vintage to modern to retro, the fashion prints on these aprons are some of the yummiest around. Two of my daughters (the 11-year-old and 1-year-old) and I are now the proud wearers of D-Lux 57 aprons. (Well, I’m the proud wearer…the other two have to wait for theirs until I can buy a third for the 8-year-old.) But before I could be wowed by the aprons I found myself adoring the matching fabric keepsake envelope in which the aprons arrived. The envelope, made of the same high-quality fabric and craftsmanship, is an ingenious way to store these aprons. The hooks in my pantry are getting a bit crowded and the keepsake envelope means I can stack the aprons neatly on a shelf or in a kitchen drawer. Plus they make for great gift packaging, and I always love a product that comes in its own packaging!

D-Lux 57Once I got past the sweet little pouch and pulled out my Dottie Aqua & Brown apron, the drool started, and it continued until I had opened the tween-size Wild Safari and the little cook Asian Kids aprons. (I think I’m experiencing some flashback drool right now…) The fabric was just as soft as promised and the prints just as delicious. The style of the adult and tween aprons seems like it would fit a variety of body shapes and sizes, and the kimono-type styling of the little cook apron was the perfect variation on a theme. I am dying for my baby to get a little older so she can toddle around the kitchen—or the craft table—in her D-Lux 57 apron!

D-Lux 57’s delicious aprons are already getting noticed. Check out this YouTube clip from a recent Desperate Housewives commercial depicting Bri wearing the Pink Pears apron.

D-Lux 57 just introduced a new line of laminated plasticware that includes trays and bowls and coordinates with their beautiful aprons. True to D-Lux 57’s own words, “Cooking never looked so good.”—Emily

* Promotion! D-Lux 57 is offering Daily Dish readers 10% off plus free shipping on their order! Simply enter code BCDD101130 at checkout. Offer expires December 31st.

Cook your holiday meals in style

October 21st, 2008

TAYGAIt’s been over a year since our last apron review and that is far too long! With all the fabulous fabrics and styles our there, the Daily Dish was overdue for another one. I couldn’t think of a better way to break the apron-free streak than with TAYGA.

TAYGA believes you should “surround yourself in style,” and if you’re cooking or crafting while wearing one of their aprons then you’re definitely surrounded in style! Handmade in the USA, TAYGA aprons are doubly chic with their fully reversible design and 100%-cotton designer fabrics. Their aprons are also fully lined and include pockets for extra functionality (and an added dash of style), plus the adjustable waist and neck ties mean the fit will be as sweet as your favorite dessert recipe.

TAYGAI received their most popular style, the Marilyn, in scrumptious reds and whites. It is a heck of a lot sexier than my current blue plaid apron; in fact, it’s so flirty and fun I’d be hesitant to wear it…ever…if it weren’t washable! It fits like a dream and I love that when—not if—I splatter spaghetti sauce on the front I can just flip it over and start with a clean slate. (Wish I could do the same thing with my kids!) Along with the Marilyn my other favorite designs are the Klaudia and the Casandra.

TAYGAAlong with women’s aprons, TAYGA has a collection of beautiful children’s aprons. You can even combine the two for a wonderful mom and daughter set. Sounds like a great gift for the holidays, though with all the holiday cooking you may “need” to open that gift a little early!—Emily

** Giveaway! TAYGA is giving away one of their super sweet mom & daughter sets (pictured here), a retail value of $108! Please leave a comment telling us your favorite TAYGA apron; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: October 29, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Woodbridge Grill makes for a smokin’ backyard BBQ

May 22nd, 2008

Woodbridge GrillOnce Memorial Day is over, Father’s Day is just around the corner, which really stresses me out because I’m always at a loss for great gift ideas. You can only give so many ties, Old Spice soap-on-the-rope (hey, my dad swears it was his favorite gift), and men’s facials (okay, that gift probably never gets old). But if the man you’re shopping for is big on barbecuing, I’ve got a “hot” gift idea for you—and it’s not a “kiss the cook” apron.

Woodbridge GrillWoodbridge Grill’s Get Smokin’ smoker boxes are an easy way to give a yummy smoked flavor to whatever you’re grilling. How easy? Easy enough for me to do after reading the directions only once. ;) Get Smokin’ wood smokers come in three flavors: Applewood, Mesquite and Toasted Oak. The canister contains wood chips and seasonings along with a small, metal smoker box and magnet. Simply fill the box with wood chips, securely close the lid, and then use the magnet to mount it underneath the grill over the hottest point of your barbecue. Turn on the heat and once it starts smoking add your meat, fish or veggies around the smoker.

Woodbridge GrillWe tested the Applewood smoker with country style boneless pork ribs. Usually we like to marinate our pork ribs but to truly test the smoker we left them completely naked. I wanted to see what kind of flavor the smoker would add to our ribs. Sure enough, the ribs had a faint applewood flavor to them, but what I really liked—and I think this was due to the smoker—were the almost caramelized grill lines on the ribs; they were lightly sweet and crispy. The ribs did need a little Famous Dave’s barbecue sauce, but I found this only enhanced the smoked flavor. Everyone had seconds, so I’d say Woodbridge Grill’s Get Smokin’ smoker box was a big hit!

Woodbridge Grill was recently nominated for two SoFi Awards including Outstanding Food Gift. (SoFi, which stands for Specialy Outstanding Food Innovation, is the NASFT’s prestigious annual product awards competition.) Looking to give the barbecuer in your life an award-winning, “tasteful” gift this Father’s Day? I suggest the Family Pack from Woodbridge Grill. He’ll get all three flavors and you’ll have a few less meals to plan this summer!—Emily

** Giveaway! Woodbridge Grill is giving away a gift pack to two lucky winners! Please leave a comment telling us your favorite grilled food; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: May 30, 2008 (midnight). The winners will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.

* Congratulations to Stacey M. and Cheryl K., the winners of our Woodbridge Grill giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

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