food

Loving Lately 🍏🍒🥒🥝🥕

It’s time to start the new year off right! So for my first edition of the Sadie’s Nest “Loving Lately” 2017, I’m keeping it real with my current favorite… Door to Door Organics! My sister and brother-in-law surprised me this holiday season with a gift subscription to the on-line grocery store with home delivery. In case you missed that, it’s an on-line grocery store with HOME DELIVERY! (Some of you might have been doing this for years…) I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve already had two deliveries!

I can literally choose any recipe from one of my favorite blogs or cookbooks and just click on the desired ingredients from the comfort of my pajamas, and then up to two times a week a delivery person will bring my order to my front door. The one catch, if you want to call it that, is I have to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with every order. I chose the “Bitty Mixed Box” (which is plenty). It means that with every delivery I will receive $19.99 worth of organic and local fresh fruits and vegetables. I can let them choose seasonal offerings or I can substitute for selections I think would suit us better. Door to Door Organics has a huge variety of products, most of them local (which I love). I can specify a list of offerings that are all non-GMO (which I also love) and their certified organic selection (hence their name) is terrific! Organic Worcestershire sauce and Kalamata olives? Got it.

If your order adds up to over $75 (not hard to do with a family of 6), delivery is free. Oh, and as if it couldn’t get any better… it does. On your next delivery date just leave out all of the previous boxes and packaging and they will recycle/take-care-of-it for you! I might never have to leave the house again.

 

Update: Sadly, as of November 2017 doortodoororganics is no longer providing services.

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Loving Lately 🎓

Loving Lately: Learning

Can I just get a shout out for perpetual learners? Students of life… Most of the time I wear this title proudly. I mean, there’s always room to grow and more to know. Especially since things are constantly changing. Kudos to accountants out there keeping up with the tax laws, and lawyers out there keeping up with legislation. I’m baffled by computer people always stepping up their firewalls and encryption games while the hackers consistently rise to the challenge. I won’t even start to get into all of the science and medical data that constantly proves itself wrong with the latest testing. But sometimes wouldn’t it just be nice to know the answers?

Afterall, I only want to know how to run a blog! Thankfully there are many people willing to share their information. Take for example the husband and wife team from PinchofYum.com. He handles the technical stuff and she does the recipes; together they’ve been pretty successful and kindly enough they tell us how!

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Click here for info on How To Start a Food Blog from Pinch of Yum

Like my dad says “I could fill a library with the stuff I don’t know.” Isn’t that the truth! However, school is in session: for the kids and their momma.  And I’m trying to cram as much knowledge as I can. If you know me at all, you know I have nothing else to do. 😉

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For 10 Tips of Working From Home Like a Pro by MyDomaine click here

I recently read tips from one of my favorite blogger/instagram-ers, What’s Gaby Cooking about how to make an editorial calendar. She likes to schedule with her photographer and stylist, in the studio, 4-6 weeks out.  (Wow.) I’m not going to hide it, that sounds amazing.

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For the info by Gaby click here.

Another of my faves, she’s local… but she doesn’t know it- was recently doing a shoot, I think for her cookbook coming out next year or the video promotions associated with it? Anyway, Rachel Schultz thank you for keeping it real and showing a little behind the scenes.

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For more about the shoot and Rachel Schultz click here

Needless to say, I have a long way to go.

Simple Summer Entertaining

It occurs to me that I haven’t contributed to my entertaining section of my blog in a while. And although I haven’t hosted any major gatherings lately, there have been several little ones. So here are some tips for those awesome summer days that turn into impromptu gatherings. I just love this time of year. 

1. Invite (or cordially accept) your friends over. Maybe the people you hung out with on the 4th of July? You probably like them.

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2. Whether you are sending out informal invites (phone calls or texts) or the neighborhood has migrated to your back yard, serve snacks. Everyone wants to eat- usually right away, and in my experience often all day. Keep corn chips and salsa on hand at all times. (If you happen to have avocados, tomatoes, onions and seasonings, a little guacamole is a fun seasonal treat.) Of course most kids (and adults) I know are happy with Doritos too.

3. The same goes with drinks. Sure it’s nice to have a cooler full of chilled pop (or whatever you like). If you have the time to stock up on beverages great! Maybe you have a limited budget? Hey, no worries, it’s just nice to be together… but at least serve water… iced is even better… and if you have time for lemon or limeade, they’re just classic.

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4. Just add water. In the northern midwest we have a short season where it is desirable to be wet while we are outside. I like to take full advantage of it. You don’t have to have a pool or pond or lake… The kids I know are happy with a sprinkler or slip ‘n slide or good old fashioned balloon fight!

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5. Now you are not obligated by any means to feed everyone a meal unless you have said you would, but I can’t imagine another way. If you’re not prepared, it’s always fun to order pizza. I think it’s a good idea to keep hot dogs and buns on hand all summer long. We’ve had parties where everyone brings their own meat (and/or veggie patties) to grill which can be fun too. Of course it’s always a winner when you put burgers and brats over the flame. Can you smell the summer in the air?

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6. The fun is not over until you serve something sweet. It can be cheap and store bought. It can be thoughtfully homemade. My suggestion? Make it something that’s going to melt. Popsicles or ice cream cones… Sticky chins and drips down shirts are what memories are made of this time of year.

 

Loving Lately 🇺🇸

Loving Lately: Fourth of July Ideas

I love the 4th of July. It is red, white & blue, backyard BBQ’s, summer weather and fireworks. Yes, it’s the day we celebrate our independence (for which I am grateful). It also has become everything I associate with a holiday; annual gatherings with family and food with aromas specific to the day. I’m a sucker for flag cakes and sparklers, and I succumb to the bug spray and driving home late- because I am all in baby! (Featured image courtesy of thewinthropcronicles.com)

Let’s just start the day off right. Breakfast anyone? Patriotic Waffle image courtesy of ModernParentsMessyKids.com

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Decorating for the 4th of July can be easy.

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Courtesy of Pinterest

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Courtesy of Pinterest

Dressing for the holiday can get as creative as American Pie…

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Image courtesy of Pinterest

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Courtesy of Pinterest

Speaking of which, is it possible to have too many pies for a holiday? I think not.

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For 4th of July Blueberry Pie check out betsylife.com

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Courtesy of Land O’Lakes

Oh my goodness, then there is cake! How cute are these berry drippings?

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Image courtesy of tasteofhome.com

I think I could handle this 4th of July Sparkle Cake, and can I just tell you how much I love the rustic simplicity of it?

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Image courtesy of Pinterest

Then you’ve got your traditional make the flag out of berries cakes.

While some 4th of July ideas are timeless… some are new to me. I mean I’ve seen the red, white and blue rocket ship popsicle; But I wish I was this creative! Homemade striped popsicles!!!?? I think you’re awesome!

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Popsicle image courtesy of theviewfromgreatisland

Of course if you are looking for a simple idea to make a statement try this… (yes it’s Sangria, but I think it would look pretty in water too!)

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Courtesy of Pinterest

If you can carve a pumpkin maybe…?

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Image courtesy of bhg.com

The crafty folks out there might want to try this jar made patriotic candle holder project from CountryLiving.com…

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Of course you can’t beat this classic sparkler activity for kids and adults alike!

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Image courtesy of Huffington Post

But more than anything, please be safe, enjoy your family & friends and have a Happy 4th of July!

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American flag and fireworks image courtesy of Pinterest

Loving Lately 🍀

Loving Lately: St. Patrick’s Day

One day a year it is perfectly acceptable to eat and drink green food and beverages; and my mother makes enough corned beef and cabbage to feed a small army. I just cherish holidays that have sentimental food attachments.

In honor of the special day, I’ve collected a few fun recipes that represent the notion.

How Sweet Eats’ Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks

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The Metal Pan’s Guinness Empinadas

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My very own, Sadie’s Nest’s Shepherd’s Pie

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And a little something to wash it all down… The Pioneer Woman’s Guinness Float

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day! And thanks a mil for joining me, you’re grand!

*Featured Image and Irish blessing courtesy of the internet.

Loving Lately ⚠️

Loving Lately: Information

This week was sadly informative to me. I saw new articles about Johnson & Johnson admitting their baby products contain causing chemicals; the French were told to avoid 185 cosmetic products; Mars recalls chocolates in 55 countries because they contain plastic; A list of wines containing high levels of arsenic….

Here I go again. But in all seriousness, I am so thankful for the people who go out of their way to share, unveil, discover important information. Whistle blowers like FoodBabe.com take it upon themselves to spread alarming facts. Information is power, because “what you don’t know can hurt you.” Granted you might never eat a Girl Scout Cookie again, and you might be terrified by the alarming percentage of glyphosate, a cancer causing herbicide, in your German beer. But at least you know, and once you are informed you can try to make the best decisions for you and your family. I’m not perfect in my choices. Not everything that goes into my mouth is organic or non GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). We occasionally eat at chain restaurants that not committed to any ethical standard besides what the FDA insists upon (squirming in my seat). Certainly I value and accept invitations to dinner from friends and family members who may not hold to my food values. That said, I think every amount you do in making healthy and whole choices matters. Every certified organic product you consume is that much less deadly and disease causing chemicals and such that you and your loved ones partook. And it supports farm practices and preservation of truly natural methods of growing food and livestock that you can feel proud about passing on.

I think the first video I watched that truly made an impact was about factory farming from themeatrix.com. It seems simple in concept to me now, but it was mind-blowing to me a decade or so ago. I grew up in a rural area. I saw cornfields and farms regularly. I never thought farms not being what I understood them to be.

I realize the draw of “factories”, pesticides, genetically modified fertilizers… Of course producers want the most bountiful crops and largest livestocks. But at what cost? Who is really paying the price? We are aware that we are ingesting known carcinogens, contributors to heart disease, links to Autism and Alzheimer’s. Not that long ago they were putting lead in make-up; and people’s hair and teeth started falling out. Remember that Chinese emperor who was so special, he was the only one allowed to drink (now known to be toxic) jade tea? He “got sick” and died. We don’t even know all of what we are doing to ourselves. Do you really want to be part of food and product experiments?

Ok, I’m done. (today)

 

 

Smokin’ Hot Potato Skinny’s

It’s Super Bowl season, time to gather up and chow down! And who doesn’t like watching the guys toss around the ole pig skin while munching on some potato skins? No one around here anyway! (Although to be honest, I can eat potato skins all year round.) This is a great and lightened up (aka “skinnier”) version of a family favorite, with all the flavor. It’s got Greek yogurt for a little tang and smoked Gouda to bring the BBQ flavor inside. It’s a crowd pleaser for men, women and children alike… which makes it a perfect choice for this family! Happy Game Day!

8 Small Russet potatoes

3 Tbsp Olive oil, divided

1 Tbsp Course Kosher salt

1 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper, divided

3/4 cup Whole Milk or Non-fat plain Greek Yogurt (such as Chobani)

8 oz. Smoked Gouda (or Smoked Cheddar), shredded

1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic

1 tsp Granulated Onion

1 tsp Salt

3 Strips Regular or Turkey Bacon, cooked & chopped into small pieces (optional)

2 Scallions, sliced (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°.

On a baking sheet, using a brush or your hands, coat the outside of the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and an even coverage of the coarse salt. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly for handling, and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, outline a rim inside the edges of the potato skin, about 1/2 inch thick. Then using a spoon, scoop out the potato to make room for the filling. Reserve 1 cup of the warm potatoes for the filling. (Keep the rest for a couple breakfast potato pancakes?) Brush the potatoes with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of the black pepper and return to the oven for 4-5 more minutes.

In the meantime, place the cup of baked potato in a medium bowl, add the Chobani yogurt, 3/4 of the shredded gouda (reserving 2 oz. for topping), Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, and salt. Mix well until combined.

When skins are ready, carefully remove them from the oven. Spoon the potato, yogurt and cheese mixture into the center of each skin. Top the skins with the remaining shredded cheese, black pepper and bacon pieces. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so, until cheese is melted. Take the skins out of the oven, and top with the chopped scallions (and if desired more plain Chobani Greek yogurt). 😉

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Pizza Bagels

This is proof that food can be fun. I have some cherished childhood memories of my dad making pizza bagels. It’s the kind of food he’d make for us while mom was away at a baby shower or something. It seemed exciting because, well for one, we were cooking with dad. Second, it was all things we were familiar with and knew we liked. Pizza! For another, it really seemed like we were getting creative. Taking something made for one thing and turning it into something completely different. Kids eat that kind of stuff up! (Figuratively and literally… and so do adults.) It really doesn’t get much easier!

As organic as possible:

Makes 8 servings

4 plain or everything Bagels, cut in half

1 – 14.5 oz jar or can of favorite prepared or homemade pizza sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

4 oz Pepperoni

*Any other topping you like (my kids pretty much stop right there)

 

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Place bagel halves, open faced, on a baking sheet. Spoon on desired amount of sauce on each bagel. (Side note: This is a lot of fun for kids (big and small). And everyone can adjust the toppings to their preferences.) Place a handful of shredded mozzarella on top of the sauce. Sporadically or methodically place pepperonis on top of the cheese (keeping in mind they will shrink in size when they cook).

Place the pizza works of art into the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Leave it until it starts to brown if you prefer. This is your show. But do allow them to cool slightly before you bite into them, because the sauce will be surprisingly hot, and if you burn your tongue on the first bite, you will ruin the rest of your dinner. …And tasty pizza bagels are too tasty and fun to not enjoy!

Ringing in the New Year & the Winner

I’d love to say that it’s a tradition of mine to ring in the new year with glitz & glam, song & noise, friends & fun…

That would be a bold faced lie.

In fact, it seems like for the past few years I was pregnant or up most of the night feeding an infant, so sleep was more valued than celebration… and I’ve slept right through most of them.

But not this year!

This year we feasted on food from around the world!

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This year we blew into noise makers and lit off sparklers!


  

As 2016 rolled in, I hugged my loved ones and said “Happy New Year!”

…And it was a lot of fun!

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(I get it, no promises on the future, but I get it!)
To commemorate the New Year on my blog, I started with a cookbook giveaway that celebrates family and food! (Seems befitting) I entered the number of comments on random.org and it selected #22. Congratulations Dave, you are the winner of Return to Sunday Dinner! (And Dave, aka dad, thank you for your support of my blog.) I look forward to checking out the Spam Cookbook, (a delicacy of Hawaii). Please contact me via email to claim your prize! 🎉

And thanks to Ryan French for many of my New Year’s photos!

 

 

Organic Vs. Non GMO

By now you know that I’m an advocate for organic eating. Trust me I understand economics (well enough anyway) to know that it’s not always the “affordable” option. But I do feel strongly that it is an important issue. I say with every recipe “as organic as possible,” because I believe every bit matters. We don’t even know what we are doing to ourselves (as in mankind) with all of the crazy things we are putting into our food and therefore into our bodies. Information is knowledge… (as long as it is truthful and accurate.)

Ok, enough from me. I came across this article from a food blogger making great strides in the world. Most recently she was a part of the movement to get Starbucks to take the harmful artificial coloring out of the pumpkin spice latte (it wasn’t adding flavor). And a catalyst in getting Subway to list their ingredients and remove the dangerous chemical azodicarbonamide from their bread. Bravo! (BTW that chemical is used for making yoga mats and shoe rubber, is not supposed to be eaten, and was only in bread served in North America, not Australia, EU or the UK. Thank you FDA.)

There’s a lot of confusion and debate about what non-GMO and organic labels really mean.
The labels are very different! It’s crucial to understand the difference if you want to pick out the healthiest and safest food for you and your family. Every time we decide to buy a product, we are supporting so much more than our bodies. We are shaping the landscape of the entire food system – everything from the environment, land, air, water to the farmers themselves. And this is why I want you to know the truth about the “Non-GMO” label and what it really means.

What exactly does the “Non-GMO Project” label mean?
The “Non-GMO Project” label only verifies that a product doesn’t contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients (or technically less than 0.9% GMOs). While that is good, it’s not the whole story about what the product contains, how it was produced, and where it came from.

But when I have a choice, I always choose organic food because of these reasons…

10 reasons why “Organic” beats “Non-GMO” every time:

1. Certified organic foods are also non-GMO.

2. Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic pesticides, and contain much lower pesticide residues overall.

3. The most widely-used herbicide on the planet – Glyphosate (Roundup) – is prohibited on organic crops.

4. Organic ingredients aren’t processed with toxic hexane.

5. Organic crops are prohibited from being fertilized with sewage sludge.

6. Organic meat isn’t produced with growth-promoting drugs, like ractopamine.

7. Organic animals aren’t fattened up with growth-promoting antibiotics.

8. The non-GMO label claim is unregulated.

9. Organic foods prohibit many of the chemicals known as “obesogens” that trigger our bodies to store fat.

10. By choosing organic food you’ll automatically avoid most of the “Sickening 15” … Chemicals like synthetic preservatives, synthetic pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics are not used in organic food…

For the original article and more information check out foodbabe.com

Also this Sadie’s Nest post was updated and amended from the original as Subway has removed azodicarbonamide from their bread! Hurray! Next maybe they will offer organic options?