SkipHop.com: 25% Off Sitewide + FREE Shipping (+ FREE Chevron Tote w/ $30 Order!) = Great Deals

Today only, SkipHop.com is offering up 25% off sitewide + FREE shipping on ANY order (no minimum!) when you enter the promo code HOLIDAY13 at checkout. Plus, you can score a FREE Chevron Tote with any $30 purchase (Note that the FREE Chevron Tote will automatically be included with your $30+ purchase, but it will not appear in your shopping cart and you must spend $30 after the code has been applied)! There are lots of highly rated items that would make fantastic baby shower or Christmas gifts, so be sure to browse around!

Here are a few bargains I spotted…

Wise Owl Stroller Toy ONLY $6.75 shipped after code HOLIDAY13 *This same toy is selling for $8.99 on Amazon and has great reviews!

Hug and Hide Stroller Toys ONLY $7.50 shipped after code HOLIDAY13 *These same toys are selling for $9.74-$13.49 on Amazon with awesome reviews!

Dunck Stacking Bath Toys ONLY $7.50 shipped after code HOLIDAY13 *This same toy is selling for $7.99 on Amazon with great reviews!

Zoo Safety Harness Mini Backpack with Rein ONLY $12 shipped after code HOLIDAY13 *This same item is selling for $12.99 on Amazon with fantastic reviews!

+ Lots More!

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Meatless Wine Pairing

As we get closer to winter, we are able to pull fewer vegetables from the ground. Fortunately, there are root vegetables, squash and some late season corn and zucchini popping up. The good news: the starchier veggies are wonderful wine vegetables with less interference than some of the greens and herbs we use in the summer months have. In general, lighter more versatile reds are easy to pair with most veggies, as are most non-oaky whites. But we’ve come up with a few meatless meal pairings for you bought to you by BottleNotes.com
NAISSANCE Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) $30
The mineral notes and crisp acidity in this sauyvignon blanc make it a perfect pairing for veggie cooking. Use the last fresh zucchini of the season and either grill them or use them to make an onion and zucchini frittata.
L’ECOLE NO. 41 Chenin Blanc 2012 (Columbia Valley, WA) $15
This robust white wine is a great match for quinoa, as well as root veggies like beets, parsnips and carrots, roasted and plated with lentils and shallots. The wine is crisp and versatile with a mineral finish.

PERTICAIA Rosso 2010 (Montefalco, Italy) $15
Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean cooking night after night. Just pick up the phone and order. Looking for the perfect pizza pairing? This Umbrian red is it. It’s a dark and earthy mostly sangiovese blend is perfectly spiced for that mushroom or cheese slice.

CAPEZZANA “Ghiaie della Furba” 2007 (Tuscany, Italy) $55
A splurge wine is in order to celebrate the arrival of fall. Try this elegant mostly cabernet blend with dark cherry notes and a hint of spice. If you’re still pulling garlic from your garden, try a very simple pasta dish made with olive oil, grated parm and garlic.

Lemon-drop Chicken Wings

Lemon-drop Chicken Wings

Ingredients

½ cup vodka*
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pounds chicken wings, tips trimmed off
This recipe uses Vodka as one of the ingredients…

Directions

1. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine vodka, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Add the chicken wings and mix to coat. Cover bowl or seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. 2. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9- by 13-in. baking pan with two layers of foil. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in the pan, and pour the marinade evenly over all. Bake until meat is well browned and pulling away from the bone, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm. Note: One reviewer of this recipe stated in part: “…I definitely recommend these! I followed the recipe exactly for our Super Bowl party and they were a huge hit! They had just enough flavor and our guests who don’t like spicy foods liked having chicken wings at the party..

Rooting for you

Did You Know?

Radishes, first cultivated in China thousands of years ago, have enjoyed an almost cult-like reputation in certain parts of the world. In ancient Greece, the vegetable was so revered that gold replicas were made and offered to the god Apollo.  In Oaxaca, Mexico, radishes have their own festival, celebrated each year on December 23. During “Night of the Radishes” (Noche de Rábanos), talented townspeople show off sculptures carved from giant radishes—some weighing nearly seven pounds.

Radishes reached Massachusetts in the early 1600s, and today Americans eat more than 400 million pounds of the root a year.

POWER UP

A favorite snack food for waist watchers, radishes are low in calories (less than 20 per cup) and digestible carbohydrates, but high in water content and fiber—characteristics shown to satisfy the appetite. Radishes are also rich in vitamin C, folic acid and anthocyanins, which help stave off heart disease and protect against colon and liver cancers. They have diuretic and detoxifying properties as well, helping to flush toxins from the liver, kidneys and gallbladder.

Buy · Store · serve

There are many types of radishes, and they vary in flavor and sharpness—from the popular petite, juicy, crisp orbs known as red globes to the more pungent, turnip-like (in shape and size) black radish, which is often found in Russian and Polish cooking. Daikon radishes are beige in color, have a carrot-like shape and are spicier than their red globe cousins, while Korean radishes are vibrant jade green, large and squat, with a sweet flavor.

When purchasing, select bright, firm radishes with smooth, unblemished surfaces and fresh, perky greens. Be sure cello radishes are firm, well formed and free of blemishes, mold and cracking.

To store, remove the greens. Wrap radishes in damp paper towels, place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for a few days. Cello radishes should be left in the plastic bag and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Enjoy radishes raw, cooked or pickled (see recipe). Add thinly sliced radish to salads or dip a few red globes into hummus for a healthy snack. Get creative…and don’t underestimate the versatility of the humble radish. —Kathleen Keating

RECIPE

Pickled Watermelon Rind with Radishes

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

 

Ingredients

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

½ cup sugar or honey

1½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. whole cloves

4 small dried chiles

4 wide strips lemon peel

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1½ pounds peeled watermelon rind, cut into

¹⁄³-inch chunks (about 5 cups)

8 radishes, cut into small wedges

Preparation

Place vinegar, water, sugar or honey, salt, cloves, chiles, lemon peel and ginger into a medium pot, and bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Add rind, reduce heat, cover and simmer until rind is tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover pot and stir in radishes. Ladle into glass jars, seal tightly and chill overnight. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Use as a condiment or serve as you would chutney with grilled meats.

Girls Mini Backpack – $3.99 at Sears

Disney Girl's Minnie Mouse Mini Backpack at Sears.comSears offers the Girl’s Mini Backpack in Minnie Mouse (pictured), Dora the Explorer, Ariel, or Disney Princess for $3.99. Plus, Shop Your Way Max members bag free shipping. (Not a member? It’s free to sign up for a 90-day trial; otherwise, shipping adds $5.75.

In-store pickup is also available.) That’s $7 under the lowest total price we could find for a comparable item sold elsewhere. Each backpack features a zippered main compartment and is recommended for children aged four to six.

Homemade Cheez-Its

cheezits

My kids love it when I buy Cheez-Its – which is not that often.  I hate reading what is in these crackers, the carbs that they consume and most of all – the price of just one box!  I started searching for the perfect homemade recipe and ended up finding something close to what I wanted.  After a few tweaks, I ended up with the perfect recipe!

INGREDIENTS

8 oz Sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 stick (4 Tbs) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 – 6 Tbs ice cold water

Place the cheddar cheese, butter and salt into your mixed and whip well, using your paddle attachment.  If you do not have one of these, you can whip it longer using your regular whisk.     Once well blended, add the salt and flour until mixed — it will appear pebbly.   Slowly add in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough forms a ball (this usually takes around 5 – 6 tbls when I’ve prepared this myself).

 

Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for around an hour – until firm.  Once ready, preheat the oven to 375.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (this is important so that they do not stick to your pan nor burn).

 

Divide the dough into two parts and begin rolling out one of them.  Make sure you place flour on the countertop and your rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking.  Roll it out until it is around 1/8″ thick (you do not want it very thick or your crackers will be more chewy).  You can use a fluted pastry cutter and cut the dough into 1″ squares.  I like to have fun with mine, so I use mini cookie cutters and cut shapes such as stars, apples, leaves and more!  Place the crackers onto the baking sheets.

crackers2

Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until they are turning brown at the edges and becoming “puffy.”  The cooking time may vary depending upon your oven, so make sure you keep an eye on them as they can very quickly burn.

Once done, remove the crackers and place onto a rack to cool.  Then, serve and enjoy!

30% off your purchase
 
GAP’s Family and Friends event is back. 

You can get 30% off of your ENTIRE purchase!  No coupons required!  Awesome time to shop for your little ones back to school clothes. 

This promotion runs through this Sunday, August 11, 2013.

Avocado Pistachio Almond Muffins

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Ingredients

-1 Cup Pistachios

-2 Scoops Tera’s Whey Vanilla Bourbon Protein Powder (1 Serving)

-1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce

-1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour

-1 Tsp Baking Soda

-1 Tbsp Baking Powder

-2 Packets Truvia or Stevia

-4 Tbsp Organic Honey

-2 Caps (2 Tsp) Vanilla Extract

-2 Caps (2 Tsp) Almond Extract

-2 Egg Whites (Cage-Free, Organic)

-1 Extra Ripe Avocado

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-In a medium mixing bowl add: garbanzo bean flour, Truvia, protein powder, baking soda, and baking powder.

-Set aside

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-Cut open avocado. Remove seed and scoop avocado into a separate bowl.

-In bowl, mix together: applesauce, vanilla, almond with the avocado.

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-The avocado mixture will look like baby food, don’t let it scare you.

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-Separate the egg yolks and add the egg whites to the avocado mixture.

-Save the egg yolks for another recipe or use them for a hair treatment.

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-Add avocado mixture to the dry ingredients bowl.

-Mix well.

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-It will turn into a pea green.

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-The muffin batter smelled delicious. It wasn’t quite sweet enough. I added 4 tbsp of honey to give it an extra boost.

-That did the trick! .

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-Oh, how I regret buying pistachios in the shell. It took me almost ten minutes to crack open enough nuts to make a cup!

-Learn from my mistake and buy them with the shell off!

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-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Line pan with eight muffin liners.

-Scoop 1/2 cup into each each liner.

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-Top with three pistachios and approximately one tsp. of honey drizzle.

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-Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.

-Edges should be golden and the toothpick should come out clean when you poke them.

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Mini Omelet Muffins

You Will Need:

  • Muffin Pan (a pan that makes larger muffins works best!)
  • 6 Eggs (beaten and seasoned with ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper)
  • Mix-Ins (you can really choose anything you want here, but for a more healthy option, choose less meat and cheese, and go for more veggies!)

    -Diced Ham or Bacon
    -Carrots
    -Tomatoes
    -Onions
    -Spinach
    -Bell Pepper
    -Shredded cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously grease the bottoms and sides of your muffin pan to ensure a stick-free removal once the omelets are done baking.

2. Make sure your eggs are beaten and you’ve added the salt and pepper.

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3. Fill the bottoms of your muffin pan (about 1/3 of each individual tin) with the different mix-ins you chose. Try some ingredients by themselves or make a bunch of different, yummy combinations. It’s really up to you 🙂

4. Then fill the tins with your eggs. The omelets will puff up a little when you bake them, so make sure to leave just a tiny bit of space at the top of each tin.  Stir each mixture slightly to combine your eggs with the ingredients.

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5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until you can poke the centers with a knife and it comes out clean (or almost clean).

Let them cool a bit before eating them, but once they’re done, go ahead and chow down… Or, save them for later!  You can eat them warm or cold, at home, on the go, at breakfast, for lunch, or even at dinner. They’re a yummy, healthy choice for any time of the day.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Gluten-free baked mac and cheese, baby.

Gluten-Free Baked Mac and Cheese

My husband loves a classic baked macaroni and cheese for his favorite comfort food so tonight we baked a lovely dairy-free “mac ‘n cheese”. This recipe works with any gluten-free pasta shape. Spirals are fun.
The trick with baking gluten-free pasta is to not over-boil it first- keep it al dente. It continues to cook in the sauce.
Ingredients:

12 oz. gluten-free penne, spirals or macaroni pasta

3 tablespoons light olive oil
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk, or non-dairy milk
2 cups shredded non-dairy gluten-free cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon gluten-free honey mustard
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup Best Gluten-Free “Bread” Crumbs – for topping
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon paprika and/or dried basil
Halved grape or cherry tomatoes, optional
Instructions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and pre-cook the gluten-free penne just until it is al dente – tender, but still quite firm to the bite. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly under cold water. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and stir in the rice flour (I like to use a whisk to do this). Cook and stir the flour for about 10 seconds, then slowly add in the almond milk, whisking to blend the flour paste and almond milk.
Bring the mixture to a bubble (it will thicken as it heats) then reduce the heat to low. Add the shredded vegan cheese, sea salt, mustard, nutmeg, and stir. Continue stirring the sauce until the cheese melts, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a 6-cup baking dish, combine the cooked penne with the hot cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with gluten-free bread crumbs and paprika. Add tomatoes and dried basil, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until heated through and bubbling.
Serves 4.