Thursday, February 23, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #101

7 comments:
Welcome to the 101th Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this past week - if you haven't checked these posts out yet, I hope you will!



~~~

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!


-


Grandma's House DIY // Kitchen Organizing - a Hanging Basket That Has Changed My Life




Oh, the Places We Travel // Be a Graffiti Artist at Cadillac Ranch




Mel Claire // Mardi Gras King Cake with Cream Cheese Filling




Delightful Repast // Yorkshire Pudding - Yorkies




Lambert's Lately // Potluck-Perfect Baked Lasagna




Of Fairies & Fauna Craft Co. // Crocheted Wool Basket That Stands




If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!





Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry

7 comments:

I've never cooked curry before, and furthermore never cooked with lentils before, so why not test my skills at both at once while continuing to get used to my Instant Pot??

I shopped around a few recipes and decided what bits and pieces I wanted to put to use.

Then while cooking it, adapted even more and I basically ended up winging the whole thing.

The result  was rich and filling and delicious! It's not often at all we eat a meat free meal, but we were all very pleased. (If you want to make this vegan, leave off the sour cream!)

Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry
serves 4

1 can coconut milk
1 14.5oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups dry red lentils
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ diced onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 chunk (about 1.5 inches) fresh ginger peeled and minced
5 cups vegetable broth
2 ½ tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bag baby spinach

(as you can see in the picture, I intended to use spinach, but forgot to add, and also made decision to add potatoes after I took the picture. Use both!)

On SAUTE setting on the Instant Pot, saute onions, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the potatoes. (Theoretically, maybe you can add them, but I boiled separately as it was a last minute decision and added at the end - they should cook fine along with everything else.)

Place lid on the Instant Pot and make sure spout is on SEALING.

Cook on MANUAL high for 15 minutes. If you didn't include the potatoes, boil potatoes on the stove while the lentils are cooking.

Let natural release for ten minutes before turning nozzle to venting and opening when pin drops.

Add cooked potatoes (and 2 cups of fresh chopped spinach if you'd like) and mix so that all is hot and the spinach is wilted.



To serve, I topped my bowl with a dollop of sour cream and red pepper flakes and we ate this with a crusty roll for sopping up all the goodness - a flatbread such as naan would also be wonderful with this.

My verdict? I am now a convert to curry and to lentils!  Delicious, easy, nutritious meal that is frugal, too? Score!









Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Party in Your PJs #146

1 comment:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.   In addition to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle, you'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma IdeasWood of Bell Trees and... here!

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.


Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!



Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest
Heather ~ Woods of Bell Trees | Facebook | Instagram

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle 

Kim is a small town girl who love simple things. Simple cookies, simple crafts and simple people. She is a wife, mother to one son and two adorable fur babies. Slightly addicted to reality TV and sitcoms, but she loves curling up with a good book or a good walk while listening to podcasts. You can find her at The Cookie Puzzle, where she shares her love for cookies and crafting. 

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

 Heather @ Wood of Bell Trees

Heather is a wife of a peanut butter fanatic and mom of one silly human and one furry canine, wrangling life on 2nd shift and glitterizing everything as she goes!






The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com

Features from Last Weeks Party!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment, we all love comments
-If you were featured, grab a"Featured" button, found below.
-Consider adding our Party button to your Party Page or Post.





Monday, February 20, 2017

NibMor Drinking Chocolate Banana Smoothies

11 comments:

I've been sharing with you some of the things I've been making with NibMor's line of organic dark chocolate products.  I wanted to tell you about their drinking chocolate separately from my main NibMor chocolate review, because these are a special treat that even those needing  to avoid chocolate candies due to sugar content can enjoy.

Instead of using cane sugar to sweeten their cocoa blend, it uses organic coconut palm sugar.

What's the difference?  Coconut Palm Sugar is low on the glycemic index (meaning it has a lower effect on glucose, or blood sugar), making it a safer choice for an occasional indulgence for those with diabetes.

Emphasis on occasional - coconut palm sugar is still a carbohydrate, and will still rack up the calories.

For me, I find it to be a far more acceptable substitute for cane sugar than more chemical alternatives, simply in terms of taste.

In addition, NibMor drinking chocolate is dairy-free and works great with non-dairy milks (like coconut), so it's a treat vegetarians can enjoy, too.

With the NibMor drinking chocolate, I actually would have been fine if it'd been a little less sweet than it was - and also found I enjoyed it more when I used more coconut milk than called for. (I'm that way about hot chocolate in general - I like a milder, milkier taste)

I'd received one pouch of each of their three varieties: Traditional, 6-Spice, and Mint.  I enjoyed them all - but the flavored varieties were really interesting. The Mint was like a liquid Thin Mint cookie, and made for a wonderful midafternoon snack, split with my husband.


I was a little confused about the package instructions to be 'sure not to boil' with no guidance on why, so I decided to avoid messing it up and just made some cold chocolate milk with the Mint Drinking Chocolate.

One thing that really impressed me was that with just a bit of whisking, the powder was entirely blended into the coconut milk, leaving no residue either in the mixing cup where I blended it, or in our glass after we'd finished it.  That never happens with previous chocolate drink mixes I've tried.

My favorite flavor was the 6-Spice, and I'll be looking or more of this - in addition to the coconut palm sugar and cacao powder, it has a delightful blend of cayenne, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, white pepper and sea salt.  The result for me was like an amazing chocolate chai - it wasn't hot, but the spices added a really welcome depth of flavor. This will be the version I seek out to keep in the pantry.

Finally, we decided to put together a smoothie - we haven't done this too often in  the past, because our old blender was...well... sad.  We finally got rid of it and replaced it and this seemed like the perfect creation to try in it.

I say that to say - ignore the ingredient amounts in that picture - we were eyeballing what we put in, and frankly we went a little nuts and wound up with LOT of smoothie. Good thing it was so delicious!

So I'm sort of guessing on  the amounts that would make more sense for smoothies for two, here - but I do recommend putting things in the blender in the order listed (start with the bottom of the list in the picture)

Chocolate Banana Smoothies for 
Two


2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup whole milk
1 package NibMor Drinking Chocolate
Ice (optional - will make a frozen drink)

Add each ingredient to the blender in the order listed, ending with ice if desired.

It's fine to vary the ratio of yogurt to milk, depending on your preference - the yogurt will make for a thicker, more tangy smoothie.

Blend, following your blender's recommendations for making smoothies.  If need be, stop the blender to use a spatula on the sides of the blender to completely mix the smoothie.

That's it! Divide into glasses and enjoy!

If you'd like to try NibMor drinking chocolates, they are available for purchase on their website, at select local stores, or through Amazon.

On their website, you can choose from six-pouch sets of any of the three flavors, or a variety package of two of each flavor.

You also still have a couple more days to enter our amazing NibMor Chocolate Experience Giveaway, which includes one pouch of each of the drinking chocolate flavors, along with a TON o other goodies!









Thursday, February 16, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #100

9 comments:
Welcome to the 100th Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this past week - if you haven't checked these posts out yet, I hope you will!



~~~

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!





Lavender Filled Felt Hearts for Valentine's Day // Pale Blue Corner




Chocolate Raspberry Brownies // Simply Stacie




Mini Sloppy Joe Bites // The Country Chic Cottage




White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles // Gluesticks




Bookcases Upcycled with Paint & Wrapping Paper // The Boondocks Blog





10 Design Choices I Made in Our House That I LOVE // Grandma's House DIY






If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!





Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!


Review/Giveaway: Frontier Bites Gluten-Free Snacks

31 comments:

Sometimes, it seems like you have to choose between delicious and healthy when it comes to snacks.  I try to choose wisely and have had to give up some old favorites due to issues with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), but I still crave small bites now and then and don't want to have to give that up.

My personal snacking inclination leans toward crunchy and crisp and I prefer savory or lightly sweetened over intensely sweet things (desserts are for sweet things - and only as a special occasion for me).

I hadn't heard of Frontier Bites before, but when the opportunity to review their line of gluten-free snacks came up, I jumped on it!

Frontier Bites are the brainchild of a pair of brothers, Nate and Matt, who set up a competitive challenge for themselves to come up with a recipe that could be an alternative to the highly processed energy bars available at the time. The rules were that the result could only include 10 or fewer ingredients one could find in their pantry, include no refined sugar, and be gluten, soy and dairy free.

Nate won the competition with his Almond Blueberry Lemon Bites, and after tweaking, they proved to be good enough to set them on the path toward starting their own business.

Tragically, in 2011, before they were able to bring those plans to fruition, Nate was killed in a river rafting accident, leaving Matt to carry on for both of them.

Until recently, Frontier Bites came in three varieties:  the original Almond Blueberry Lemon Bites, Macadamia Pineapple Coconut, and Pecan Cherry Cinnamon.

Now, they have two new flavors, and these are the ones I was sent for review: Cashew Cranberry Orange, and Pumpkin Seed Apple Vanilla Bean.

I immediately tore into the Cashew Cranberry Orange - this is already one of my favorite flavor blends and I was excited to see what they'd do with them.   I was not even slightly disappointed - the puffed millet and brown rice make for a snappy bite complimented by the crunchy almonds, and burst of flavor from the dried cranberries and bright orange oil, which tasted as fresh as if I'd bitten into a newly peeled orange slice.

I was and am smitten - everything about these granola nuggets is exactly what I've been looking for. After my first taste, I was almost reluctant to share with my husband (but I did, because I'm nice like that. He loves them, too!)


The Pumpkin Seed Apple Vanilla Bean Bites were also very good, and shared the same perfect crunch and flavors that play well together.  The apple tasted like apple, the vanilla was discernible, and the hulled pumpkin seeds were nutty and delicious.

Each nugget is just about an inch big, and five of them makes a serving size of about 110 calories. I found them to be pretty satiating, although they're tasty enough that might well eat more than a serving just because they're so good and fun to eat.

Frontier Bites are also perfect for taking along as a portable snack - the nuggets are lightweight carrying and hold up well to jostling without turning to crumbs.

In fact, my husband and I took these along with us to the Woman's March last month, and it was very easy to pull one or two out of a baggie even while standing in a dense crowd. They provided a welcome bit of sustaining energy, and we plan to be sure to bring these along for future outings and road trips.

The 3.53oz resealable bag contains about five servings, and is available for purchase on their website for $4.99 each.  They also carry packs of 8 single serve pouches for $15.00.

You can also find Frontier Bites on Amazon, or you can check their store locator to see if they are available for purchase in your area.

Frontier Bites is letting us host a Giveaway - one of our US readers will receive a 'mixed case' of Frontier Bites, containing one resealable pouch of each of their five flavor blends, valued at $25. Keep reading to see how you can enter to win!


http://frontierbites.com/
https://www.facebook.com/frontiersnacks
https://twitter.com/frontierbites
https://www.instagram.com/frontierbites/




To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 3/2. 

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!