Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sweet Drops

I recently went on a trip up north to see my sister in Lake Stevens Washington. My sister is on the health kick too and she was eager to show me some secrets she had found. She is off sugar and has spent a lot more time in Whole Foods lately. She found these  Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops from SweetLeaf® and quickly told me how she used it in your morning coffee.  I was so excited because I LOVE stevia, being nature's only calorie free sweetener that doesn't have chemicals. It is from a plant. I was also excited because I knew that there was a package from  SweetLeaf® on it's way to me. They had contacted me to see if I would be willing to review the product and see what I thought. So I got busy reading up on the product. 

SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™, made with stevia leaf extract and natural flavors, can be added to foods or beverages – from yogurt to oatmeal, water to coffee, sauces to smoothies – for sweet, sugar-free flavor. 

The drops are available in 17 flavors and come in a convenient dropper bottle. A little Sweet Drops flavor goes a long way, making every bottle an impressive, and tasty, value.
Here are the available flavors:
Coconut • Watermelon • Cola • Lemon Drop • Valencia Orange • Berry
Chocolate Raspberry • English Toffee • Vanilla Crème • Hazelnut • Peppermint • Root Beer
Grape • Apricot Nectar • Chocolate • Cinnamon

Then I got busy tasting. Each morning at my sister's I used the  Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™ to sweeten my coffee. I was so delighted! With some half and half, two drops of vanilla cream and 2 drops of chocolate, I had myself a hot mocha. No chemical creamer here. 

Since then I have been able to make my famous homemade whipped cream, using 1 cup of whipping cream and 6 drops of  Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™ vanilla cream. Whipped like crazy and it comes out perfectly like my whipped cream that I usually make with sugar. 

Kudo's SweetLeaf® You now have a permanent customer! 
Note, that is just a sample size of the sweet drops. I was sent a sample, but the opinion on this product is my own and I was not paid to write this. 

Plate Toppers

I was sent a sample of Plate Topper and it passed my testing with flying colors, so I wanted to share information about it with you!
Plate Topper is the world’s first airtight, BPA -free cover for plates. It saves time, eliminates food waste and saves sanity in fussing with plastic wrap and aluminum foil! The Plate Topper is the perfect solution for keeping leftovers preserved in the fridge or microwave and is also great for transporting food to and from parties, picnics or family gatherings. 
They stack easily in the fridge too.
These cool plate toppers aid me in my constant quest to lower my carbon footprint. No plastic wrap is better for the environment.
They come in two sizes, Original and mini. They also come in four colors.
Available online at

Moscow Mule

I recently got to review The new book THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE COCKTAIL. What a treat! This book reveals the answers to all your burning cocktail queries and more. Focusing on the precise measurements to help you craft the perfect cocktail as well as the recommended garnish and embellishments, you'll no longer have to guess what the perfect cocktail should taste like.
Illustrated with whimsical “blueprints” of each cocktail, the book features 75 different cocktails and recipes for both modern cocktails and classic favorites.
Not sure which stemware is appropriate? Consult the mini guide on identifying the correct glass in the back of the book. Mix, shake, strain, or stir? An easy legend right up front provides symbols for each and more. Exact measurements and notes on precise procedure will help everybody from the novice bartender to the seasoned mixologist.

Living in San Diego in the historic Gaslamp district, I decided to make my districts drink. Down here every restaurant features Moscow Mules. It is considered the gaslamp's signature drink. They serve it in copper cups. I didn't have copper cups, so I went with a tall tumbler like the book suggested. 

I followed the blueprint and was very pleased with how the drink turned out. I only made one change and that was to add candied ginger as the garnish instead of lime. My history with limes is not so great, so my husband was very pleased with the added ginger. The drink was perfect thanks to THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE COCKTAIL

Moscow Mule

2 oz Vodka
4 oz ginger beer (ginger soda)
Lime wedge, or candied ginger

Fill a tall tumber with ice. Pour in 2 fluid ounces of vodka , coating the ice. Add in 4 fluid ounces of ginger beer (ginger beer contains no alcohol and ginger soda works the same). Stir briefly with a spoon. Garnish with a lime wedge or candied ginger. 

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

What do you do with your leftover Halloween Candy?
A little while ago I made Gluten-Free Homemade Milky Way Bars. They were a huge hit in this house. So much so that I had to make them again so that I could make these cookies. Well I think the cookies are even more popular than the candy bars
 You can use this recipe for leftover all kinds of Halloween candy bars. Get ready for a swarm of people to your kitchen when these babies come out of the oven! 

Gluten-Free Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies
2 cups better batter gluten free flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Milky Way Bars

See Kid-Friendly Halloween Treats

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Combine flour, baking soda and salt and whisk together. 
Add Butter, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Vanilla, and eggs to flour mixer and Mix until fully incorporated. 
Chop up your milky way bars.
Gently fold in the milky way chunks into your batter. 
Scoop onto baking sheets or stones prepared with parchment paper. 
Bake for 15 minutes.
 Leave on the cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. 
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Healthy Non-Gmo snacks

Have you tried the new Enjoy Life baked chewy bars? Oh my they are my favorite! I am excited when I find healthy non-gmo snacks that I can grab and go. It is very hard to find, and that is why I usually end up making my own. I have been down sick for a while and these have been my friend during this time of not being able to be active in my kitchen. 
Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Egg Free,
Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free.

They come in four flavors. Caramel Apple, Mixed Berry, SunButter Crunch and Cocoa Loco.
Enjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life FoodsEnjoy Life Foods

Get them at your local grocers, or buy direct here

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Parsnip Fries

I recently returned home from a three week trip to the Northwest, with a horrible cold. I loved my trip, but alas, I brought the Northwest cold and flu bug home with me. Frustrated I settled in my bed with boxes of kleenex, vitamins, herbs, and a lot of books to read. 

While going through all of the titles that had been recently sent to me for review. One caught my eye;
The subtitle; How I Cooked My Way Out of Chronic Autoimmune Disease. 
Being sick already, and knowing this book would go right along with my whole food beliefs, I dug in. 

As all of you know on here, I am a big advocate of whole foods, organic foods, non-gmo foods. I get a lot of eye rollers here. This stuff is real. How about instead of rolling your eyes, you give it a try. Trouble with migraines? Sleeping? Bloating? Joint Pain? Skin issues? I am willing to bet most of them can be solved by fixing what you eat, instead of taking drugs to mask the issue. 

I wrote an article on the dangers of our food earlier, you can read that here:

This book covers all the main issues we face regarding our food. She also outlines the traditional american daily schedule, both how we eat, and what we do, that aids to the chronic diseases we all face. She explains how to change things and how to learn to eat right and avoid all of the chemical laden food we are presented with every day. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is ready to make a permanent change in their life. I am well educated in this area, and couldn't agree more with author Mee Tracy McCormick. This book would be a great start to understanding the roll food plays in our sicknesses.

You can get the book at Amazon and other book stores. 

I thought I would include one of her healthy recipes that will shock the kids. Parsnip fries. They have the same taste and texture as the carb loaded potato fries, but they are great for you and not loaded with carbs. Try them!
Parsnip Fries

2 large parsnips
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Wash and slice your parsnips. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a large cookie sheet, spread out your fries and toss with olive oil and sea salt (if you are a garlic lover you can add fresh garlic too). Place them in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve as a side dish to burgers, sandwiches, or just as a great snack. 

Introducing Knork

I was excited to be asked to review Knork.
"What is Knork" you ask? It is a new flatware designed to make eating and cutting easier. Knork utensils have combined cutting and piercing capabilities into a modern, elegant package and It is being used on Bravo's Top Chef . 
As the name states, it is like a combo knife and fork in one. You get all the pieces like normal, the spoons, forks, knife etc... However each piece is functional on it's own. Please see the diagram below for a complete example. "KNORK Flatware is ergonomically designed to correctly fit the way we naturally eat. Its patented design combines innovation and function to produce a complete line of modern flatware designed with comfort, style and stability in mind. Each piece features attributes unique to KNORK including smooth stem fingertip platforms, ergonomic shape and a heavier, balanced design that won't bend or fall from a plate. "

Find out more about Knork at

Garlic Cheese Pumpkin Shaped Spread

Pumpkin Shaped Garlic and Cheese Spread. Perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving!
 I wanted to do some sort of cheese spread for us to enjoy with a glass of red wine, for a quiet nice relaxing day.  Why not make it seasonal? I have seen various pumpkin shaped spreads, but most of them use gluten filled cheese crackers as the coating on the outside. I used paprika. I used Wyle's gluten free pretzels for the stem and parsley for the leaves. The spread is very yummy and if you are not in the mood to be creative, it will taste just as good inside a serving dish. Here is how I did mine. 

Garlic Cheese Pumpkin Shaped Spread

1 tsp butter
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese

For Garnish:
Gf Crackers

Melt 2 teaspoons butter in small skillet until sizzling; add garlic and sugar. 

Cook over medium–high heat, stirring constantly, until garlic just starts to brown (3 to 5 minutes). Immediately remove from heat. 

Combine garlic mixture and all remaining spread ingredients in large bowl.

Beat at medium speed until creamy. Shape cheese mixture into pumpkin shape with hands. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.

Garnish with pretzel, parsley for stem and leaves. Sprinkle with Paprika. 

Serve with your favorite Gluten Free Crackers. I used Crunchmasters 7 ancient grains gluten free cracked pepper and herb crackers. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Super Seedz

I have a new favorite healthy snack!
Let me introduce to you Super Seedz!

They are vegan, gluten free, have no cholesterol or trans fats. They are anatural source of fiber and have very low net carbs. SuperSeedz are high in heart healthy proteins and omega 3 oils…plus they are rich in zinc and a great source of iron, phosphorous, vitamin E and tryptophan.
SuperSeedz are also great for men’s prostate health and are nature’s most alkaline foods making it a natural cancer inhibitor.
Kathie started making her super seedz for salads and yogurt toppings. Then friends and family loved them so much that she started selling them at local farmers markets, and the rest is history. 
i was excited to review this product, because I am all for healthy products. These seeds are so yummy and satisfying. If I have a bag of these nearby, I won't be tempted to reach for a bag of chips. 

With flavors like Coco Joe, Curry, Sugar and Cinnamon, Super Spicy and so much more, there is a flavor for everyone! Find out WHERE TO BUY HERE.

If you still are not sold, Check out the top 9 health benefits of pumpkin seeds
1. One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium.  Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
2. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
3. Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s .
4.Pumpkin seeds have high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds2 may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health.
5.  Anti-Diabetic Effects
Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.4
6.  Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.5
7.  Heart and Liver Health
Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.6
8.  Tryptophan for Restful Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.7
9.  Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study even found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the side effects.
Get your Super Seedz today! Two thumbs up from Mom, What's For Dinner!  

Halloween Eyeball deviled eggs

If you have a halloween party to go to. These eyeballs are the perfect appetizer to take. I like to try, even though I may fail, to get some protein into kids before they devour all that candy. These are playful, and still taste amazing. 

Gluten-Free Deviled Egg Halloween Eyeballs 

8 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TB prepared mustard
Salt and pepper, for taste
Blue Food Coloring
Hot Sauce *optional

Boil your Hard boiled eggs, let them cool (8 minute boil, drain, chill instantly)
Peel Your Eggs, 
cut them in half, horizontally
Remove the yolk
Place yolks in a bowl with Mayo and Mustard, salt and pepper.
Mix well until creamy.
Add food coloring and mix.
Lay out your egg white portions
Distribute the yolk mixture evenly between the whites until all gone
To make the Eyeballs:
Slice your olives in half. Place in center of the egg.
They taste like regular deviled eggs... I swear!
If you want you can get creative and make faces. 
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