I’m so proud to have Eggland’s Best as one of my sponsors for BlogHer 2012, in New York City, this summer! As you already know, I’ve used their eggs for a long time, now, and so I feel very blessed to be able to work with them and share what I know about the company [...]
I’m so proud to have Eggland’s Best as one of my sponsors for BlogHer 2012, in New York City, this summer! As you already know, I’ve used their eggs for a long time, now, and so I feel very blessed to be able to work with them and share what I know about the company and their products, with you!
I am actually on pins and needles about Eggland’s Best’s first ever recipe contest! Have you entered, yet? You still have until August 12 and I hope that dozens of Busy-at-Home readers will take part. I’ve decided to try and inspire you, by creating a recipe of my own! Hopefully, it will start those wheels turning and you’ll submit your own fabulous original for the contest. You have so many options to choose from, since the entry can be for Breakfast, an Appetizer, a Main Course or a Dessert.
I know I’ve already shared a time or two (or fourteen), that I prefer to use Eggland’s Best eggs in my cooking and baking. Since I do spend so much time in the kitchen, and I need results I can count on every time, I always do my best to use ingredients that produce consistent, reliable quality in whatever I make. Eggland’s Best eggs help me achieve that; plus, when compared to regular eggs, their nutrition is simply superior. Here’s why I believe that.
Eggland’s Best hen feed which is an all-natural, vegetarian feed containing healthy grains, canola oil and Biotene™, (a unique and all natural feed supplement which includes rice bran, alfalfa meal, kelp and Vitamin E), is why their eggs are so different from others on the market. The feed contains absolutely no added hormones, antibiotics or steroids of any kind and is free of any animal fat, animal byproducts, recycled or processed foods. Their high, stricter than USDA, standards mean you can count on the quality and freshness of their products. Most EB farms deliver Eggland’s Best eggs to the store within 24 – 48 hours of laying and never more than 7 days. Under USDA regulations, regular eggs can be stored up to 21 days after laying before they get packed into cartons. Wow! Who knew? The careful attention to the health and nutrition of their hens, their commitment to quality and freshness, and the nutritional value of their eggs is why I’ve made the choice to use Eggland’s Best eggs.
EB eggs have two times more omega-3s, double the amount of vitamin D and 10x the amount of vitamin E. EB eggs are also a good source of iodine, selenium, riboflavin, and folate and have 25% less saturated fat vs. an ordinary egg. Each large EB egg supplies 200 micrograms of lutein for eye health, and all for only 70 calories per egg. That’s fantastic, and exactly the kind of value for my dollar that I want, when I choose the best products for my family to eat! It’s also another reason that Eggland’s Best is the right choice when picking ingredients for my new recipes. Speaking of which, I think you’re going to LOVE this one! My family devoured it with great gusto and I’ll bet yours will to. :)
I have to apologize, in advance for the pictures in this post. The wonky lighting in my kitchen is a whole post on it’s own, but it seems no amount of editing was particularly helpful in some of these photos. I appreciate your indulgence and will strive to remember to cook when the natural light is better, rather than relying on the bane of my kitchen existence, overhead flourescents. :)
I know you were paying really close attention, and realize that we only used 1/2 the crescent dough, to make this casserole. The other half can be used for a second casserole, some delicious breakfast pastry or any number of other recipes. I made crescent rolls. I’ll share them in a future post.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received the Eggland’s Best baking set pictured, above, in order to facilitate the creation of this recipe and supply pictures for the post. Eggland’s Best is a partial sponsor for my trip to the BlogHer 2012 conference and I am happy to write this post sharing their recipe contest, as a thank you. I was not required to write a positive review of the company or their products. I just truly love them! The recipe is an original. As with every review and post at Busy-at-Home, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. Busy-at-Home is administering the giveaway and Eggland’s Best is providing the prize.
There is NOTHING “classic” about my panzanella. If you’re hoping for a traditional, made-like-a-little-Italian grandmother, panzanella, this won’t be your recipe. But, if you are looking for out-of-this-world delicious, incredibly simple and quick to prepare for a homey get-together with family or friends, you just hit the jackpot! Classic panzanella is all about the bread [...]
There is NOTHING “classic” about my panzanella. If you’re hoping for a traditional, made-like-a-little-Italian grandmother, panzanella, this won’t be your recipe. But, if you are looking for out-of-this-world delicious, incredibly simple and quick to prepare for a homey get-together with family or friends, you just hit the jackpot!
Classic panzanella is all about the bread and a fabulous vinaigrette to dress it. Panzanella is made from chunks of hearty, chewy bread (usually day old or stale) mixed with variations of fresh vegetables, herbs, mozzarella or even olives and tossed with an olive oil and vinegar dressing. The exact ingredients and variety of bread seem to vary by region, in Italy. When I prepare it, the bread is still the main ingredient, but I’m more than just a little picky about how I get that bread ready to be salad.
Bread, dipped in delicious vinaigrettes made with high quality olive oils and vinegars from O Olive Oil, is sublime. But soggy, mushy bread, no matter how perfect the flavor, is a huge textural problem for me. I just can’t do it. So, the bread needs to be prepared to absorb flavor and still retain it’s texture – toasted and crusty outside, soft and wonderful inside. This recipe allows me to do just that and enjoy delicious panzanella, albeit a slightly less than conventional version. I think you’re going to love it!
You’ll remember that I shared my first taste of O Olive Oils and Vinegars with you, just a few short days ago; and we took a little journey through the Italy in my mind. :) We talked about the recipe contest being sponsored by eRecipeCards.com and O Olive Oil; and how you would be able to give me a boost with my contest entry, soon. If you haven’t done it, yet, I hope you’ll stop by eRecipeCards.com and register for your own free recipe box. You’ll be able to save a personal file of fabulous recipes from bloggers all around the net; and more than that, you’ll be able to vote for my recipe in this contest, Rustic Panzanella, by adding it to your recipe box. You can read more about the contest and entries, as well as discover all the uniquely delicious products O has to offer, by following them on Facebook.
I actually struggled with the decision to enter this recipe. I created two extraordinary dishes with the O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil I reviewed (I’ll definitely be sharing the second, a bit later.). Which to enter? It was hard to decide. I even noticed, this evening, that one of the other entrants posted a panzanella recipe on the erecipecards.com site, just before mine. Great minds think alike, I guess! But, my version is different enough, that I think it will have great appeal to a wide audience, who may have never tried panzanella before, or perhaps thought they wouldn’t like it. The point of this contest is to showcase O Olive Oils and Vinegars and make them the star of the dish. That’s why I’m making Rustic Panzanella my official entry. O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and O White Balsamic Vinegar meld into a blissfully flavorful vinaigrette. :) So, let’s go strolling, again, and enjoy the tranquility of shady olive groves and fragrant vineyards, right at our own kitchen tables!
I received a bottle of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and a bottle of O White Balsamic Vinegar in order to test them in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. Additionally, I used them to create a recipe for a contest, where I could potentially win other O Olive Oil products. No monetary compensation was received for this review and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.
I’ve been in recipe creation mode, lately, and have come up with several that I’m excited to share with you. Sometimes, creating new recipes is awesome. Sometimes, it’s a laboratory concoction gone awry. :) My indulgent family participates in my experiments with patient smiles and sometimes, a deep breath and closed eyes. I’m so grateful [...]
I’ve been in recipe creation mode, lately, and have come up with several that I’m excited to share with you. Sometimes, creating new recipes is awesome. Sometimes, it’s a laboratory concoction gone awry. :) My indulgent family participates in my experiments with patient smiles and sometimes, a deep breath and closed eyes. I’m so grateful for their pioneering spirits.
Have you ever gone to the pantry to get some inspiration for a guestworthy-dessert, only to be left staring at basic pantry staples and kids’ snacks? It happens to the best of us. -lol- But, if the snacks happen to be Dole Fruit Cups, you may be able to save a trip to the grocery store and have everything you need to create something simple, but elegant; and your guests won’t be able to get enough! This was such a fun recipe to create; and has been dubbed Mandarin Orange Delight. I couldn’t be more pleased with the reviews from my favorite critics, so I know it will definitely be a hit for summertime parties. Whether you choose to serve it simply, or style it for more elegant entertaining, this easy to prepare dessert will make you famous (or at least a familiar face in the neighborhood)! :)
View my shopping trip to purchase the recipe ingredients in my Google+ Album.
This is a two phase recipe, but both phases are super easy. Mix and bake a simple crust, then whip up the filling, fill the crust and let it chill, leaving plenty of time to prepare for and enjoy your guests. When you see it, you’ll know it was worth it. When you taste it…oh man, just wait ’til you taste it! :)
Dole Fruit Cups make fantastic, quick and healthy snacks for your favorite on-the-go kids. They’re just fruit — that’s it — 100% fruit, packed in it’s own juice. The fruit is packaged in easy-to-take containers, that are perfectly portioned and they have varieties to fit the preferences of all the “individuals” that you cook for. Toss them in a lunch box, offer them after school as a snack; OR when you’re in a hurry to make something fabulous for guests, get creative and let them be the inspiration for a delicious new dessert! Be sure to follow Dole on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on new products, and to be the first to hear about promotions and coupons. I’m guessing that Dole Fruit Cups will be as well-liked in your house, as they are in ours!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. #CBias #SocialFabric
Until the last couple of summers, I have never really had a problem with allergies. My children have always had bouts in the early spring and again, at harvest time. The last two summers, I too have struggled with drippy sinuses, cough and the sore throat that results from it. We have tried so many [...]
Until the last couple of summers, I have never really had a problem with allergies. My children have always had bouts in the early spring and again, at harvest time. The last two summers, I too have struggled with drippy sinuses, cough and the sore throat that results from it. We have tried so many products, over the years, to give some relief. All of them designed to relieve or mask symptoms and get us through the worst of the season. Recently, I was introduced to Zarbee’s Cough Remedies and I feel so much better about using them for myself, and for my family. I love how easy this product is to find. Buy it right off the shelf at Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, RiteAid, Kroger and so many more.
Nothing on the market, can CURE allergies, and most allergy medications can offer some measure of relief to allergy sufferers; but most of them employ long lists of chemicals and artificial ingredients to do it and can be incredibly costly. As my family and I have made the slow and steady change to embracing more preventative health measures, that include healthier diets and exercise, we have also sought more natural options for providing relief when we do occasionally succumb to some ailment or another. Since nothing can actually cure our allergies, we wanted something that could help with the most frustrating symptom — the relentless cough that comes from the continuous sinus drip at the back of the throat and the resulting sore throat. My discovery of Zarbee’s Cough remedies for adults and children has been a real blessing. With natural ingredients like their proprietary blend of buckwheat and other honeys, plus lemon, zinc and citric acid (Vitamin C), our coughs have been quieted, sore throats soothed and, from what I personally understand about zinc and Vitamin C, our immune systems boosted, so we can heal more quickly. When I looked at the ingredient list, the only difference between the regular and nighttime versions, was the addition of melatonin. I love the all-natural ingredients! This will be helpful for more than just allergies. We will be using Zarbee’s cough syrups during cold and flu season, too.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergies and after this year’s unusually mild winter, the dreaded allergy season arrived extra early, resulting in bothersome coughs and colds in allergy sufferers across the country. Although a cough related to allergies may be relatively harmless, it can be very disruptive, causing sore throat, interrupted sleep and in some cases, trouble breathing. How will you know if you have allergies or if you are getting sick? And what are the proper precautions when you start to experience symptoms?
Dr. Zak Zarbock, creator of Zarbee’s, the #1 all natural, safe and effective cough alternative, shares his top five tips for identifying and treating coughs due to seasonal allergies – and how to tell when it’s more than just hay fever.
- Know your symptoms.
Allergies can have similar symptoms to the colds and coughs caused by viral or bacterial infections. Symptoms of allergies typically include clear runny or stuffy nose, red, itchy eyes, sore throat and cough from drainage behind the nose. Asthma may also be triggered by allergies, leading to a worsening cough, wheezing, and often breathing difficulty. Symptoms of an infection may also include runny nose, congestion and cough, but unlike allergies, may be associated with fever, green or yellow nasal drainage, and general achiness.
- Keep an eye on the calendar.
Coughs that begin on or around the same time every year are often caused by allergies. Seasonal allergy sufferers commonly react to pollen counts that are high from certain trees, grasses and weeds. However in many instances, allergies may be a year-round affair for those who react to insects, dust mites, animals or mold spores.
- A little prevention goes a long way
Reduce exposure to allergy triggers. Simple things like showering or washing the hair before bed will help rinse pollen from the skin and hair. Keep car and house windows closed during peak seasons. Consider a dust filter mask when outdoors in high pollen conditions. Vacuum carpets and wash sheets and pillow cases on a regular basis. And remember to frequently change furnace and air conditioning filters as this may be an important line of defense.
- Treat SAFELY and effectively
Choose all natural remedies to treat coughs related to allergies. Keep airways moist and clear of mucus with natural saline sprays and rinses. Use antioxidant-rich honeys, like those found in Zarbee’s Cough Syrup, as a proven remedy to calm coughs and soothe and coat sore throats.
The first time I opened a bottle of Zarbee’s Cough Syrup, the aroma that overwhelmed me was HONEY. It even looks like honey. The adult version I tried was honey and lemon and I tasted both – no mediciney after-taste, just honey and lemon. The children’s versions were grape flavored, and while the honey was definitely still a strong taste the grape was predominant. If anything, I would prefer that the children’s version just be plain honey and lemon, too. Either way, both did a good job of subduing the coughs and cooling the irritated scratchy throats that our coughing had caused. I felt so much better about using these products and my guess is that you will like them better for your own family, as well. Please check out the Zarbee’s website for detailed information and be sure to follow them on Facebook (where you can grab a coupon) or on Twitter, to keep up with the latest news on these natural and effective products.
I received samples of Zarbee’s cough syrups for adults and children, in order to test them with my own family and collect information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
Lucky Leaf was a new brand name to me, until I realized they are owned by the same company that produces Musselman’s products. They started out in 1949, making fresh applesauce, eventually adding apple pie filling and finally a full line of premium pie fillings. They also make apple juice, cider and apple butter, as [...]
Lucky Leaf was a new brand name to me, until I realized they are owned by the same company that produces Musselman’s products. They started out in 1949, making fresh applesauce, eventually adding apple pie filling and finally a full line of premium pie fillings. They also make apple juice, cider and apple butter, as well as some specialty products. One of the first things I noticed, and that made a HUGE impression on me, is that Lucky Leaf’s pie fillings were not OVERLY sweet. YAY! They had sweetness, but it was more like slightly-sweetened fruitiness. I could taste fruit, not just the sugar. I love that!
While pies, cobblers and crisps are the obvious baking options with pie filling, there are other delicious recipe options that will add a special touch to your summer celebrations. With Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, summer birthdays, barbecues and church picnics on the calendar, it’s fun to be able to create something a little different and unexpected. The Lucky Leaf Pinterest boards are loaded with fun ideas.
I was able to whip up two recipes, this week, that utilize Lucky Leaf pie filling. With just a couple of minutes of simple prep work I made Strawberry Pie Pops and Peach Dump Cake with Butter Pecan Ice Cream. Both were my adaptations of recipes included in my review pack from Lucky Leaf; and both were scrumptious!
For some reason, that completely escapes me, I didn’t get pictures of the steps, when making this yummy dump cake. Since, you simply put everything in a bowl and mix, however, I’m pretty sure you will replicate this simple treat, with ease.
Mandatory Entry: Visit the Lucky Leaf website and find a recipe you would like to try. Leave a comment on this post, telling me the title of the recipe and the flavor of pie filling you would use. Click DO IT and then Enter! You’re done! You can also fill out the optional additional entries that are unlocked, when you submit this mandatory entry, if you’d like even more chances to win. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received an assortment of Lucky Leaf Pie Fillings and a popsicle mold set to test them out in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the products. The giveaway is being administered by Busy-at-Home and the prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Lucky Leaf.
If you’re like most of the rest of the country, your life is super hectic and your entertainment budget is shrinking. With the national economy stressing our personal economies, with soaring gas costs, multiplying food prices and an overall higher cost of living that hasn’t been matched by our incomes, I think most families have [...]
If you’re like most of the rest of the country, your life is super hectic and your entertainment budget is shrinking. With the national economy stressing our personal economies, with soaring gas costs, multiplying food prices and an overall higher cost of living that hasn’t been matched by our incomes, I think most families have had to step back and rethink what “vacation” means. A recent study, by Embassy Suites with Parents magazine, groups families into four categories: Dabblers, Extenders, Maximizers and Accumulators. It was no surprise, to me, to find that a majority of the families who responded, (56%) consider themselves to be Vacation Dabblers.
- Dabblers: take vacation days here and there throughout the year
- Extenders: stack vacation days onto holidays when they already get time off from work/school
- Maximizers : bank up vacation days for one long trip
- Accumulators: hold onto vacation days until the very end of the year, when they have to “use ‘em” or “lose ‘em”
Our family has always been in that Dabbler category. We like to spread the fun around! Plus, it’s difficult for my husband to get extended periods of time off from work, without coming home to a HUGE mess; which sort of makes a long vacation more of a punishment, in the long run. Also, with five kids, an extended stay, far from home, was simply too costly to fit our budget. David has worked for the same company for more than 20 years, now, and so receives four weeks (20 days) of paid vacation time, each year. Since he isn’t allotted sick days, however, a day or two of that is always set aside, in case of illness; with the rest taken a day or two at a time throughout the year. Usually, there is a need or commitment that is fulfilled with the extra time, but sometimes, he takes a day, “just because” and we do something special – a sort of “stay-cation”.
As a family, we have taken ONE planned vacation, in 29 years, that wasn’t attached to another event (By that, I mean we would never have made the trip on our own, if it hadn’t been part of some other organized event.) or us “staying over somewhere” when we were picking someone up from their stay in another state. There’s been only one trip that we planned and saved for. That trip was four days and three nights, when we drove to Minnesota, to the Mall of America. It was fun because we were all together, but it’s not a trip we would ever make again.
It really does work well, and can save money, to plan a little extra time around a journey you need to make anyway and fit in a fun family vacation. Picking up our daughter and her friend from church camp in Colorado, was an example of that. We added one day to the drive and turned it into a family weekend get-away. All five of our kids were there, as well as our future son-in-law and our daughter’s best friend. It was money we had planned to spend anyway, making the drive, so budgeting in one night’s stay at a hotel and the cost of food and activities for one day, made it a memorable trip for everyone. It was so much fun!
We also took a week-long trip, once, when our older three were very small, as part of a church event. We went to Rapid City, South Dakota. I loved that trip. It was a blast and created so many irreplaceable memories; but it also ate a huge chunk of our annual budget and created some debt we would never consider burdening ourselves with, again, now that we’re older and wiser.
If you can’t pay cash for your vacation, you create a huge source of stress and problems that no amount of time off will be able to resolve. For us, it’s so much more fun to vacation on a smaller scale and really make it special. That way we can relax and enjoy the time, and our family, knowing that the money for our trip is budgeted and our celebration won’t create any kind of financial hardship. Planning ahead – knowing what we can spend for activities, a place to stay, and food – means we can simply enjoy and relax. Plus, getting the kids involved in planning for your trip builds enthusiasm and anticipation, which will only serve to make the trip that much more fun! When you make your plans, seek out hotels and restaurants that offer the best value for every dollar you spend and create an atmosphere that makes your family feel welcomed, at home and just a little pampered. Look for unique, one-of-a-kind experiences. Remember that the best value, isn’t always the least expensive, but the one that provides the highest quality and quantity of amenities and fun per dollar that you spend. You don’t even have to travel far from home to do it, which means your vacation cash will go even further. When you have a plan in place, you can just cut loose and have a blast!
It would definitely be fun to have the disposable income to take our kids on a really great extended trip, but since they have never really experienced that, and I can’t remember a time when income was “disposable” -lol-, they, and we, have come to think of “vacations” as a long weekend at home renting movies, inviting friends and eating “junk” food, renting a boat at the lake, or going out to a movie or even “camping” in the back yard. Long weekend vacations have also included driving a couple of hours to visit relatives and visit a theme park for a day. When it’s a REALLY special “stay-cation”, a night at a hotel is the ultimate treat and always a great surprise. As a matter of fact, some of our most fun vacations, have been “stay-cations”, where we make the 30-40 mile trip into the city, spend the night at a hotel, swim in the pool, eat out someplace nice, go to the zoo or go-cart riding or maybe catch a movie. Occasionally, we have just gone to the hotel, swam and had a family movie marathon, right in our suite. We’ve been blessed to have children who get excited about, and are genuinely appreciative of, those small opportunities and make the most of those fun family moments.
Since staying in a hotel is such a treat and not something that happens more than one or two times a year, we make every effort to get the most for our money and have an awesome experience at a really nice place when we plan a “trip”. With our large family, we always look for a hotel with suites, to give us the needed space and it definitely has to have an indoor pool. This summer, we’re excited to take a short “stay-cation” and we get to stay at a hotel that we’ve never been to before. It’s exciting because, not only does it meet our two requirements (suites and pool), it also offers some fantastic amenities for families that were not available in hotels where we have stayed, previously. After visiting their website and seeing these great pictures of the facility, we are looking forward to our stay at Embassy Suites with even more great anticipation and excitement!
Embassy Suites is part of the Hilton Worldwide brand and a full-service, upscale chain that offers two-room suites, which means plenty of room for our family to spread out. Free cooked-to-order breakfast is a standard amenity, at Embassy Suites, as is a nightly Manager’s Reception with free appetizers and beverages. Everything I have checked, so far, for two-room suites at our Lincoln Embassy Suites is only $149 for the night! I don’t know if you’ve priced a really nice hotel for a large family, recently, but to us, that’s an exceptional price! Plus, they offer some phenomenal package deals and book your room early rates, where I noted our suite was available for as low as $101 a night on particular dates. Excellent! That makes extraordinary stay-cation budget-sense and we couldn’t be more excited to experience the homey, comfort of the suites we’ve seen pictured online. You won’t believe all they have to offer! Visit the Embassy Suites webpage to get more information or to make a reservation; and you’ll definitely want to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of their latest deals and promotions.
Embassy Suites is so committed to helping families “more-imize” their vacations and have the best experience possible, (regardless of the length of their stay), that they have pledged to give guests 366 Days of More. They’ve taken it even further, with their new “Get MORE Vacation” contest on Facebook, where the 5 lucky winners will receive SEVEN Nights at Embassy Suites Hotels, plus $10,000 cash to use for spending cash and airfare! Now, THAT is an extended vacation!!! If our family had that kind of opportunity, we would be headed to California for a long overdue visit with our daughter and son-in-law and a trip to Disneyland. What would your family do? Can you just imagine? You’ll need to round up your family for a “Show Us Your Vacation Face” picture and then submit it with your entry. So, be sure to read about it and enter for your chance to win.
Whether you travel across country, or have a special weekend get-away right at home, Embassy Suites can help make your vacation a comfortable, high-quality experience without unraveling your family’s budget. The extra attention to details and amenities convinced us that it would be a great place for our family to “get away”. I encourage you to enter the giveaway and check out all Embassy Suites has to offer. Be sure to check back, in a couple of weeks, for an update on our own summer “stay-cation” at Embassy Suites!
I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador Program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Embassy Suites Hotels and received a one-night complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel to facilitate and research this review, and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. A positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the company and products.
Sometimes flavors can be so full, so rich, so fabulously unique that your mind transports you to a place that you associate with those tastes and aromas. I had that experience, this week, and the journey was magnificent, as well as a surprise. I’ve never been to Italy, though I would love to visit there. [...]
Sometimes flavors can be so full, so rich, so fabulously unique that your mind transports you to a place that you associate with those tastes and aromas. I had that experience, this week, and the journey was magnificent, as well as a surprise. I’ve never been to Italy, though I would love to visit there. Most of my ideas and imaginings about it have been fueled by movies, books and television, so maybe it would be nothing like I imagine, anyway. But, I have visions of rolling hills and old stone cottages, lush green olive groves to shade and cool me in the heat of the day and miles and miles of vineyards. Accurate or not, that’s my vision and it’s where I go when I am treated to an exceptionally delicious dish, or food, that I particularly associate with Italian flavors. So, imagine my surprise when I made this delectable journey, only to find that the ingredients that sent me there are created in the sunny, wine country of California! Mmm….hmmm….I went to Italy in California. Holy GPS Error, Batman!
O Olive Oil is perfectly located, in northern California, where they hand-harvest ripe Mission olives in the foothills of the Sierra mountains. They work alongside the owners of small, family farms to select the best pesticide-free, black, reddish purple and green olives for their pressed oils; and in keeping with their commitment to quality, rush them to the press where they are crushed within 48 hours of harvesting. O also produces their delectable wine vinegars and balsamic vinegars from the fine grapes produced in the Napa Valley. I’m excited about their commitment to age-old organic processes and techniques, while using the best American-grown olives and grapes, to create and meld these sun-kissed flavors in their high-quality olive oil and vinegars!
It is my great fortune to have been selected to test, and create a recipe with, two exquisite O Olive Oil products — their California Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and their California White Balsamic Vinegar. O has partnered with eRecipeCards.com to sponsor a recipe contest, with 24 bloggers competing. I’m so excited and honored to be part of it!
If you’ve never visited eRecipe cards.com before, you need to head right over there and sign-up for your own free eRecipeBox! The site is loaded with thousands of fantastic recipes, posted by bloggers from all around the web. They have an easy to use search feature that lets you find exactly what you’re looking for. Search by Ingredient, Title or Blogger. Save the recipes you love into your own personal eRecipe Box and retrieve them quickly and easily, on future visits. Plus, later in this fun recipe competition, with O Olive Oil and Vinegars, you’ll be able to vote for my recipe, by adding it to your eRecipe Box. It’s going to be AWESOME!!! Just sayin’.
What appealed to me, first, about O Olive Oils, is that they are never infused or blended with extracts and seasonings, after the fact. The olives are cold-pressed and crushed along with whole fruit (clementines, oranges, Meyer lemons, figs etc.), within 48 hours of picking, to maximize the flavor of the blend being created. The true flavors of the olives and the fruit are melded in the pressing; and create a unique and powerful taste experience that you won’t get in other olive oils. The oil I’m reviewing is garlic oil and not citrus, but like all O Olive Oils, the ingredient list is minimally marvelous — Mission olives, kettle-roasted garlic — that’s it! Flavor and then MORE flavor! Simple, pure and delicious !
Today, I want to introduce you to the two products, I personally, have been testing and will be working with for the contest.
1. O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil: What a fabulous combination! Olive oil and garlic are both so good for you and to merge them into one, is absolute genius! When I pulled the cork (yup, a cork – no screw tops) from the top of this bottle I was immediately greeted by the fragrance of the roasted garlic and the “sweet” smell of the olives.
Never before, would I have considered using the words “sweet” and “olive” in the same sentence, but it’s there, an almost fruity smell, that comes blended with the aroma of smoky, roasted garlic. Tasting it, I get the same subtle hint of roasted garlic, not overpowering, but the first sensation on my palate; and then just as you think that the garlic will be the only taste, there is the lingering taste of the Mission olive. This delicious olive oil is light, and yet, still has an almost buttery richness. Fabulous!
2. O White Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegars are different than wine vinegars. While wine vinegars are prepared from fermented wine, balsamics are made from grape pressings that have never been fermented to become wine. The aroma of O’s White Balsamic (also corked) is at once vinegar, but then quickly reminiscent of a sweet wine. It has to be the grapes, a combination of muscat and malvasia. It’s color is pale gold and the flavor, like the scent, has that same heady “bite” of vinegar, married with the sweetness of the grapes. It’s light and crisp, incredibly robust and flavorful! It is the perfect level of acidity to accompany the buttery richness of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, and for purposes of my initial taste-test, I just couldn’t get enough!
I definitely love these products! In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you the
tasting testing, mentioned in the picture above, has not been my only time delving into these delicious products. As a matter of fact, lunchtime, snack time, pretty much any time has been enough of an excuse for me to sample them, again. I need to complete my recipe contest entry and photos, very soon, or my “testing” will send me running to the market for new bottles!
By visiting the O Olive Oil Facebook page, I learned that their products will be on sale in most Whole Foods stores throughout the month of June; so, this would be a great time to grab a bottle, or two, or six. I also picked up some great tips and recipe ideas on the Facebook page. One day soon, you’ll see my recipe creation posted there. I can’t wait to share it with you!
So where’s the last place that some incredible flavor has transported YOU??!! I’d love to hear about it and to know what food inspired your perfect “dream-away”!
I received a bottle of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and a bottle of O White Balsamic Vinegar in order to test them in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. Additionally, I will use them to create a recipe for a contest, where I could potentially win other O Olive Oil products. No monetary compensation was received for this review and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.
We purchased our home not quite two years ago and loved it from the very first moment. It was a dream to find something so near to what we had hoped for and when we first moved in, EVERYTHING was perfect. -lol- You know about that sweet honeymoon period, in any new home, where you [...]
We purchased our home not quite two years ago and loved it from the very first moment. It was a dream to find something so near to what we had hoped for and when we first moved in, EVERYTHING was perfect. -lol- You know about that sweet honeymoon period, in any new home, where you choose to overlook small, minor flaws, right? Well, at about six months, those aren’t as small and minor as the happy day you moved in. And after two years, “I never really liked this house, anyway.” How bad do you REALLY hate that orange and gold paisley wall paper border in the bathroom? Is that avocado green shag carpeting from the 1970′s bugging you, yet? For us it was much more simple — cheap and very old showerheads — certainly no deal-breaker when it came to buying a house, but a nuisance, just the same. The one in our master bath has been the most glaring problem. Not only was it ugly, it shot water from every part EXCEPT those little holes from which one would expect water to cascade. Nope. No cascading. Just shooting. Oy!
You never saw a man get so excited as when I mentioned to David that I was going to be reviewing a new Danze showerhead. The anticipation in the air was almost palpable. There was talk of tools and fixing and some other manly utterings. Which is kind of funny and shows how desperately he wanted a new showerhead, because David is NOT a handy-around-the-house kind of guy. He will do almost anything to avoid a “fix it” situation. Duct tape or Gorilla Glue need to be the obvious solutions or he would rather hire someone to do whatever needs done. He’s incredibly intelligent. He’s got mad skills when it comes to investing or lawncare or computers — all the things he loves; but handyman-type stuff is his arch enemy. So as you can imagine, I was a little concerned about this enthusiasm to tackle plumbing. But, I figured it was probably safe, because he would likely forget all about it, by the time the showerhead arrived.
Well, arrive it did. I was involved in several other projects and didn’t have time to do the necessary “before” pictures, right then, so I placed my new Danze D460024PNV Showerhead on the kitchen counter, to wait until I had an extra minute to deal with it. Fast forward about two hours and I had completely forgotten about the showerhead. David arrived home from work and while I DID hear him saying something from the other room, I have to admit I did that “mom thing”. You know that thing where you can sort of tune someone out, but still appear to be listening? “Mmmm hmmmm. — Ok. — Uh huh.” It’s only after you hear the faint clanking of tools in the background of your very “focused on something else” mind, that you realize what you’ve done; and before you can say another word, and run up the stairs, the old showerhead has been ripped from the wall. Well, not exactly ripped, but that sounds so cool and dramatic. Don’t you think?
I have to tell you, I am INCREDIBLY impressed! My not-so-handy-man had just removed my old showerhead and replaced it with the new one in about five minutes flat. There was no maiming or swearing; and showers have never been more glorious! It works beautifully. I love Danze! I love my new showerhead! I love that it was easy to install and I didn’t have to do it! I love my fix-it guy and life is good! But, I do not have any old, crusty, “before” pictures to show you the dramatic improvement in beauty and aesthetics; so on this one, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Crusty.
What I do have is the lovely “after” pictures, above — all sleek and polished nickely and perfect! (Honey, we may need to redecorate the bathroom, now.) The shape is modern and lovely and the power — wow! the power! The showerhead has something called Pressure Manifold™ Technology, which means it delivers maximum water force, even at low water pressure. It’s amazing! The showerhead has 40 easy-clean jets and is available in four different finishes: Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze, and Polished Nickel PVD. Click on the “Where to Buy Button” on any Danze product page and you’ll be directed to both local and online sources for their great products.
Danze has generously sponsored a giveaway for the same faucet as I reviewed, the Danze D460024PNV, in Polished Nickel PVD! So be sure to enter below, for a chance to win one for your home. To enter, visit the Danze website and find another product for your home, that you would like to try. Leave a comment on this blog post, telling me what it is. Then use the Rafflecopter form to register your entry and unlock the additional optional entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a Danze showerhead in order to test it in my own home and collect information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. While Busy-at-Home administers the giveaway and randomly selects the winner, the prize is provided by Danze and shipped by them , directly to the winner.
My husband LOVES coffee. He loves the smell of the beans and the smell of them being freshly ground. He loves the smell of coffee brewing and the aroma as he lifts the cup for that first sip. The flavor, and warmth, are relaxing and comforting as he begins a new day or as he [...]
My husband LOVES coffee. He loves the smell of the beans and the smell of them being freshly ground. He loves the smell of coffee brewing and the aroma as he lifts the cup for that first sip. The flavor, and warmth, are relaxing and comforting as he begins a new day or as he winds down in the evening. He’ll drink it black, or if I have it, with cream and sugar. He’ll drink it hot or iced, specialty flavors or plain. Coffee…he’s a fan.
To say that he was excited when we received the Capresso MG600 Coffee Maker, to review, is a mild understatement. We have been using a pod/cup – style coffee maker for the last several years, because it makes so many more drinks than just coffee — iced tea, iced coffees, chai latte, hot chocolate, etc. One machine to do several jobs seemed like a great plan to me. What I didn’t realize was how much David missed the experience of brewing a full pot of coffee and enjoying the aroma that filled the house, as much as he enjoyed drinking the coffee. Putting the Capresso MG600 on the kitchen counter was like reconnecting with a long lost friend. Let’s just say, “He was happy.” When the box arrived, everything was carefully and lovingly unpacked and in just a few short minutes, the first carafe of freshly brewed coffee was complete.
The coffee maker is black and fingerprint-proof stainless steel. I love that! It’s beautiful AND it’s easy to keep it that way. It also has an on-board water filtration system – a small charcoal water filter that removes up to 82% of chlorine and other impurities from the water, as it cycles through the machine to brew a pot of coffee. Another one of my favorite features is the permanent filter. No paper filters are necessary and the permanent filter is super simple to empty and clean. It also has something called “drip stop”, which allows you to pour a cup of coffee while the pot is still brewing. David really likes the handle on the glass carafe. He says it’s balanced better than most and makes pouring easy.
The Capresso coffee maker is sturdy and very contemporary looking. It has a stainless steel-lined heating system, so your water never comes in contact with aluminum and the need to decalcify is greatly reduced. That’s a great bonus to me! It also has a 24-hour programmable clock/timer with an easy-to-read LED display. It will automatically shut off, after two hours, if you forget to hit the off button. This built-in safety feature is another thing I like about the Capresso. If you or someone you care about is a coffee lover, you will also enjoy Capresso’s blog, where they share tips and ideas for storing coffee, recipes for delicious coffee drinks and other beverages, as well as information about using all their other great products, like a milk frother, espresso machine or an electric water kettle for brewing perfect tea. Check it out and see all they have to offer!
David loves the Capresso MG600 and the delicious coffee it brews. There’s no doubt in my mind, that this would be a fabulous Father’s Day gift for the special guys on your list, this year. You can order one directly from the Capresso website AND you can register for our giveaway to try for a chance at winning one! One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will be adding this high-quality appliance to their own kitchen!
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: Visit the Capresso website and check out all the other products they have to offer. Leave a comment on this blog post, letting me know which one you would love to try in your own kitchen. Then use the Rafflecopter form, below, to submit your entry and open the optional additional entries. Good luck! (You must be 18 or older and a resident of the US to enter. Mandatory entry must be completed before any optional entries will be counted. Winner will be selected in random drawing using random.org.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a Capresso MG600 Plus Coffee Maker in order to test it in my own kitchen and gather information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.