I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
When it comes to cookies, chocolate chip cookies are pretty much at the top of the list. And as much as I love baking homemade chocolate chip cookies, I don't have a gazillion hours in the day to make everything homemade all of the time.
To be honest, I don't like most store bought cookies. Many are too soft or too hard and taste like they have been sitting around way too long. With some there is a weird aftertaste that tastes so unnatural it makes them taste like they were made in a chemical laboratory. You don't have to worry about that with Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies. These cookies are delicious, the perfect crispness, and no weird aftertaste.
My husband, who really should be a food critic, was skeptical at first, but after trying one, he went for another and then another. The only bad thing is that they are kind of addicting. We went through the whole box in just a couple of days.
In addition to being so delicious, Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies are Non-GMO and contain no hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. They retail for $3.49 to $3.99 each and are available at almost all major retailers, including Kroger, Ahold Delhaize stores, Publix, Whole Foods Market, and Sprouts Farmers Market. To find a store near you, visit: backtonaturefoods.com/where-to-buy
I love to eat healthy fresh foods like salads, but as the temperature drops, I find myself craving warm comfort foods like soups, casseroles, and breads. While these can be healthy, I notice a decreasing amount of fresh vegetables grace our table this time of year.
The key for me is finding fresh vegetables that I love to cook and eat. Some of my favorites this time of year are carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, cabbage, acorn squash, butternut squash, and sugar snap peas. Sugar snap peas are pretty much my favorite all year long, but they can be a bit pricier so I keep my eye out for the marked down packages. I never pay full price for sugar snap peas because in my local stores, they run $5 to $6 a pound, but when they mark them down 50% or more, I snatch them up. They are usually packaged in the produce section with a sale by or use by date so when they get close to that date, the store marks them down. I use within a day or two of purchase and they are always fresh and delicious.
Since shrimp are on the pricier side too, when I see a deal I buy a pound or two for the freezer. Some of my favorite shrimp recipes are Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo and Shrimp and Grits. I like to buy raw shrimp for recipes so there is less chance I will overcook them. I am almost always multi-tasking in the kitchen since I have four kiddos so any help in the "not overcooking department" is always appreciated.
Slightly sweet and savory with just a little kick, you will love these honey lime shrimp with sugar snap peas. So much flavor in the sauce...pour it over the rice to soak into every delicious bite!
Honey Lime Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas
1 pound medium or large raw shrimp
1/2 cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
Juice and zest of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ to ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh sugar snap peas
Hot cooked rice for serving
1. Thaw shrimp in a colander under running water. Then peel off shells. Most shrimp is deveined when processed, if not, remove veins. Set shrimp aside.
2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a Zipper seal bag or plastic container. Add the shrimp. Refrigerate for ½ an hour or more.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high. Then add the shrimp, marinade and sugar snap peas. Cook until the shrimp turns a creamy pink color. Serve over rice.
Linking up at Mommy Moments
I think beets are one of those vegetables that are often overlooked like turnips or brussel sprouts. Maybe you've never tried them. Maybe they grace your table once a year for a special dinner. Maybe you tried canned beets once at a salad bar. Whatever your experience with beets, these roasted beets are a game changer.
Simply delicious! These balsamic roasted beets are tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and roasted until tender. That's it. Simple seasonings that come together to create an amazing flavor explosion.
And guess what? You don't even have to get out the measuring spoons. Just drizzle the olive oil and vinegar, grind the salt and pepper and toss. If you have never peeled beets before, let me tell you it's really easy to peel beets after they have simmered for an hour. The skins will soften and come right off with a pairing knife.
Balsamic Roasted Beets
4 to 5 large beets*
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1. Boil beets, then reduce heat and simmer on low for about an hour.
2. Peel beets, then quarter and toss in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
3. Toss with salt and pepper.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400 degrees F. or until tender.
*4 to 5 beets is just a recommendation (for a family of 4 to 5). Make as many or as few as you like.
I think it's funny how our approach to Halloween costumes has changed over the years as we have had more children and consequently have less time to devote to things like getting the perfect Halloween costumes for our kids.
I told a friend this story with no intention of posting it, and she said you should write about that. I thought it was such an ordinary thing, but maybe it isn't in our perfect pinterest world of high expectations.
So here is my story…I took the boys to a church Halloween party last week and when we pulled into the parking lot, the boys noticed children in costumes. Uh oh, huge Mom fail, I never even thought to have the boys put on costumes.
I had spent the time between school pick-up and the party trying to get my 8 year old to sit still long enough to do his homework and making homemade applesauce. This is no easy task. It is hard to get him to do his homework every night. We finally got something accomplished with him sitting on a stool in the kitchen reading to me while I peeled and cored apples. This was a potluck church party so I needed to get the applesauce done to have something to take.
Somehow I managed to make applesauce and get all four kids in the car and get there almost on time. We were less than 5 minutes late to a two-hour party, which is on time in Mom-time.
I was feeling pretty good about this, and then we pulled into the parking lot and saw THE COSTUMES! The boys were pretty let-down and I felt really bad so we turned right around and went home. Luckily we live about 5 minutes away, but I knew this would make us a half hour late so I let go of the need to be on time for this one. I pulled into the driveway and said run into the house and grab something out of the costume bin. (We have saved all of our costumes over the years and they are in a big dress-up bin in the little boys’ room, a benefit of having 10 Halloweens under our belt.) I never even got out of the car. I stayed in the car with the baby while the boys ran into the house.
A few minutes later, Captain America, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and a bat came bounding out of the house. I didn’t know what they would choose. We hadn’t even discussed Halloween costumes yet this year and here they were… three very happy boys dressed in costumes they have worn a million times.
Most of our costumes are hand-me-downs, homemade, or purchased after Halloween on clearance or second hand and they are the best. One thing life with four kids has taught me is that simple is usually best and that everything doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.
Linking up at Dream, Create, Inspire
We have enjoyed an abundance of fresh peppers and tomatoes this fall. We actually still have a huge pan of green tomatoes gradually ripening on the counter. It's fun to see them starting to turn orange then red among the bright green sea of tomatoes.
We love stuffed peppers, although the kids find them a bit challenging to eat. Plus the work of stuffing the peppers (while not difficult) is a step I would rather skip so I make this kid-friendly casserole instead. I love making one pan meals like this stuffed pepper casserole. If you are a regular here, you are used to seeing my favorite pan in the world...my iron skillet. This baby can cook just about anything anywhere. It makes preparing this casserole a breeze transitioning from stove top to oven with ease. If you don't have one, no problem. Just use a skillet when cooking on the stove, then transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish.
I actually came up with this dish last summer when we had an abundance of pepper from the garden so we have enjoyed it a lot over the last year. It's one of our favorites and I hope you will enjoy it too.
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
4 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 tomatoes, diced
1 heaping cup cooked rice
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus a little extra to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brown beef with pepper, onion, and garlic in skillet at medium-medium/high heat.
3. Then remove from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Sprinkle top with extra cheese then bake about 25 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
As the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to fall I find myself craving the warmth of hot tea and fresh baked goods. These pumpkin chip muffins have been a family favorite for many years. You may have seen them on the blog before...this old post just needed an update.
I always feel like baked goods are healthier when they are homemade because I can control the ingredients. I have been baking with coconut sugar a lot lately since it has a lower glycemic index than regular granulated sugar, so I put coconut sugar in these and they are amazing. You would never know the difference. I also use coconut oil and often add ground flax to up the nutritional benefits of these muffins.
I don't use as many chocolate chips as I used to because they just don't need them, plus kids and chocolate equals messy faces and hands. You can easily double this recipe which if doubled uses a whole 15 oz. can of pumpkin. I like to just double it and then I don't have a half can of leftover pumpkin to store. Plus any extra muffins freeze beautifully.
3/4 C. Coconut sugar (or granulated)
1/4 C. melted Coconut Oil (or vegetable oil)
3/4 Cup Canned pumpkin
1/4 C. water
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (I just grate some whole nutmeg)
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup ground flax (optional for the added nutrition - does not change the flavor)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
2. Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Whisk in pumpkin and water.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. If using ground flax, you can add it here.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients stirring just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Place muffins in the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 20 minutes for regular muffins and around 25 minutes for extra large muffins.
Makes 12-14 regular size muffins, depending on size.
Disclosure: The prize pack was provided by wondercide. I was not compensated for writing this post. Any opinions are my own.
I was contacted by wondercide to see if I would be interested in reviewing their Per Parent Try Everything Sample Pack. Since we do not currently have any pets other than a fish, I offered to host a giveaway for all of you wonderful readers.
A little about wondercide:
I love natural products and I love this company. You should read the story of why wondercide was created by CEO, Stephanie Boone, for her beloved dog, Luna. You can truly feel safe using these products on your pets and in your home.
About the Pet Parent Try Everything Sample Pack:
Can't decide what natural product to try first for your dog or cat? How about all of them? This bundle offers one of every pet product sample in a great (and discounted!) package. With this pack, you can try Flea & Tick Control for Pets + Home in Cedar, Lemongrass, and Rosemary; all 4 natural pet shampoo bars; the miraculous Skin Tonic Spray; Fresh Dog Deodorizer; plus Pet Product News 2016 Inventory Essential DETOX Ultra-Pure Bentonite Clay.
This bundle includes:
It's that funny time of year in the garden when there isn't much work to do except continue to harvest and use its produce. No more weeding or watering, it is October after all and the garden will soon fade into its winter landscape.
I love this time of year when I have piles and piles of peppers and tomatoes. Some we grew ourselves and some were given to us from very generous friends and my Mom (thanks Mom!)
So we have been making the most of this bountiful harvest. Fajitas are a really easy and delicious way to use lots of peppers and tomatoes. I made these with chicken, but you could use shrimp, pork, or beef - whatever you fancy. Or just make vegetarian fajitas which would be delicious with the sauteed vegetables and caramelized onions. Yum!
I tend to keep it simple when it comes to fajitas. In my opinion all you need for great flavor is onion, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper, but this is one of those anything goes kind of recipes so feel free to experiment and have fun creating in the kitchen!
Olive or coconut oil
1 to 1 1/4 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips
1 sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
2 to 3 bell peppers, cut into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp. jarred minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
Fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
2 tomatoes, sliced (optional)
Serve fajitas with:
Pico de gallo
1. Heat an iron skillet or other heavy skillet at medium heat. Once warm, drizzle some oil in the skillet to keep food from sticking.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally chicken, onion, peppers, garlic, and cumin until chicken is cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Turn the heat up to medium high to caramelize the onions for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Then add tomatoes, only cooking long enough to warm.
Serve hot with tortillas and your favorite condiments.
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided.
Have you tried Lundberg Family Farms Grounded Snacks Red Rice & Quinoa Tortilla Chips yet? If you haven't, you must! These chips are incredibly delicious and healthy.
We tried all 5 flavors and love them all, but of course there are always favorites. They are available in Cinnamon Sugar, Ancho Chile, French Onion, Aged White Cheddar, and Pink Himalayan Salt. I thought Ancho Chili would be spicy, but when I tried it, it was reminiscent of the best BBQ chips I have ever had with a little kick. They are amazing! Cinnamon Sugar comes in second for me. I love cinnamon sugar chips, but don't like getting the big sugar crystals all over when I eat them. No big sugar crystals here. They are very flavorful, but in a lighter way. You can taste the cinnamon sugar, but without all the mess.
Want to know more? Red Rice & Quinoa Tortilla Chips are USDA Certified Organic, whole grain, gluten free, allergen free, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, and kosher. And I love that Lundberg Family Farms is an independent family-owned company that is operated by third and fourth generation family members.
We also tried Lundberg Salted Caramel rice cakes which were the perfect snack on the way home from a fun all day family outing. I love the light sweet & salty flavor. And yes...that is a cast. This little trooper broke his arm about a week and a half ago on the monkey bars. He hasn't complained too much and will be out of the cast in about three weeks. It's amazing how quickly they bounce back at this age.
You can get these amazingly delicious Lundberg Farms Red Rice & Quinoa Tortilla Chips at amazon.com and Thrive Market as well as other supermarkets and natural food stores. To find a store near you, visit: lundberg.com/where-to-buy
Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
I have been giving our kids vitamins for several years. When the boys were younger, their pediatrician recommended giving them a multi-vitamin and we have ever since. I am a label reader, and yes I even read vitamin labels. I want to make sure I am giving my kids the best that I can.
Yummi Bears Organics is the first and only organic and GMO-free gummy vitamin for children with nothing artificial added. Yummi Bears features 16 essential nutrients for your child’s healthy growth and development. They also contain entirely natural strawberry, orange, and pineapple flavors. In addition, they are fruit pectin based, and free of gelatin, gluten, and dairy.
So what do the boys think of Yummi Bears Organic Vitamins? They love them and the best part is they ask for them everyday. I don't even have to remember.
I also tried Slice of Life Organics Adult Gummy Vitamin B12. I have never taken B12 vitamins before, but considering my exhausting schedule, I figured they could be beneficial. They contain B12, along with folic acid and B6, to support heart and circulatory health as well as energy metabolism. They contain all natural berry flavors and organic colors. Like Yummi Bears Organics they are fruit pectin based, and free of GMOs, gelatin, gluten, and dairy. These little vitamins are easy to take since they are delicious and you just eat them like gummy candy.
Want to try these vitamins for yourself? They are made by Hero Nutritionals and are available at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Ralphs, Kroger, Smart & Final, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Jimbo’s, amazon.com, and costco.com. To learn more visit heronutritionals.com.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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