West Elm, the modern, contemporary furniture arm of Williams-Sonoma, is having a sale of up to 65% off some really great pieces to brighten up your home decor for the new year. A few items I think are great buys: striped jute cotton rug ($12.99) — chunky plaited wool rug ($59.97) — organic clover bath mat ($24.99) — teak bath shelf ($39.99 – $89.99).
On the Net: www.westelm.com/shop/sale
Have you seen Palmolive’s microsite, GoodLivingKitchen.com, with B. Smith as the celebrity spokesperson? I love when companies embrace diverse angles to reach various online communities. GoodLivingKitchen.com is a wonderful site filled with healthy recipes and kitchen tips for busy moms who want to entertain and cook like pros.
I wish that the site had a social networking component such as a Facebook page and a Twitter account to connect with and also the ability to leave comments on articles. It is such a well-developed site that the only missing component is the social aspect.
On the Net: www.goodlivingkitchen.com
It is the holiday season and there is high caloric food everywhere! I have done quite well thus far, especially since I’m currently doing a 6-week challenge. I haven’t caved into buying Christmas candy and cookies and haven’t planned to bake with my daughters until Christmas Day, so no overeating up until the big day for me.
Even though I am watching what I eat I have also been watching food news because it’s fun.
The Food Channel released their annual list of food trends recently. I agree with them that in 2010 we will be going back to basics with more natural foods. It’s getting easier to buy foods that are good for us and aren’t overly processed. I’m excited to see the new products that will come to market in the new year that have whole ingredients.
The Food Channel also thinks sustainability will be hot in 2010. I think there are still a few more years to go before it becomes mainstream. Sustainability still equals considerably more in cost for most Americans. So while a subset of Americans will be all about sustainable foods and eating, it won’t be a priority for the vast majority.
On the Net: www.foodchannel.com
I rarely bake. No. I take that back. I NEVER bake. Bakegoods to me is whatever I pick up from Starbucks and honestly that has got to cease because Starbucks is expensive!
Now that the weather is getting nippy and the leaves are colorfully littering the streets, I finally feel the holidays coming. This Thanksgiving and Christmas I want my daughters to get that real holiday feel where they smell cakes in the oven and see pies cooling on the countertops. That’s what I grew up with. My father always cooked the most delicious cakes and pies. He took pride in it. So this year I’m going to replicate what I had as a child for my daughters. As long as I follow the recipe I should be fine, right?
I saw this beautiful Autumn Leaf Bundt cake tin from William Sonoma and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. If I’m going to make a cake I’d love for it to at least be creative and beautiful as well as delicious. The Bundt pan is a little steep at $34.00. I’m sure it will last forever, though.
On the Net: William-Sonoma.com
There were several food brands that sponsored Blogalicious. Quaker Food, Burger King and Con Agra come to mind, but for me the food sponsor that really stuck out was HomeFree Treats.
HomeFree Treats makes baked goods like cookies and coffeecakes that are free of peanuts, eggs, tree nuts and dairy. This is especially important as food allergies continue to rise in this country. Some children cannot eat regular cookies and cakes like the rest of us, so I was thrilled to see a brand at Blogalicous that is catering to children who have special dietary needs because children of color also face the same dietary challenges as other kids. Kudos to HomeFree Treats!
HomeFree Treats included a sample in our swag bags and it was very tasty. I tried the organic oatmeal cookie. I am very picky about cookies; they’re not my favorite treat, but was pleasantly surprised with the taste. You know how sometimes you buy those organic cookies from Whole Foods and they taste like cardboard? These are quite good. Your children will enjoy them if they have special dietary needs or if they don’t. HomeFree Treats is also a great way to give your kids an organic dessert. I like that.
On the Net: www.homefreetreats.com
If you are ANYTHING like me then you know when four o’clock rolls around dinner anxiety strikes. Sadly, I ask myself each and every day: What am I going to make for dinner? It is the bane of my existence!
Clearly I’m not alone in my daily dinner dilemma, so Procter and Gamble and NBC Universal have teamed up to create DinnerTool.com, a site that helps busy moms get fast, easy, and different recipe ideas each day because clearly kids can’t eat hot dogs every day.
Officially launched today, I gave Dinner Tool a whirl and behold! Here’s what I will be cooking for dinner tonight: Chicken and Chanterelle Mushrooms Pot Pasta.
I really like the concept of DinnerTool.com because I honestly need all the help I can get in the dinner department. I spend way too much money eating out and can save my pennies if I had unique recipes that I can try each night.
You’ll find that DinnerTool.com has a lot of recipes, but the design and the functions are sorely lacking. You can tell it’s in beta stage, but that’s okay — for now.
On the Net: www.dinnertool.com
It’s funny: I love beautifully modern kitchen appliances, but I don’t like to cook. Scratch that: I love to cook, I just don’t do it that well.
KitchenAid just launched their brand-new Architect series and, yes, I’m swooning. Essentially, the Architect series is just like KitchenAid’s previous series of stand and hand mixers, food processors, and blenders except these are now smaller. Sounds like KitchenAid ditched the old adage: “Bigger is always better.”
Despite the smaller sizes, KitchenAid assures loyal customers that the quality, speed, and performance remains the same. And who can go wrong with the silver finish. It matches everything!
On the Net: www.kitchenaid.com
I don’t think we’ll ever discover why our generation of children have peanut allergies. Surely it has something to do with genetically modified foods and the chemicals farmers spray on our crops, but I digress.
Now that there are so many children with peanut allergies we have to find alternative ways to send our kids to school with the good old-fashioned PB&J sandwich sans the peanut butter, of course.
“Spreads made from other nuts or seeds provide a nutritious alternative to peanut butter,” said Joyce Barnett, a registered dietitian and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern.
She recommended that parents give the following spreads a whirl.
• Almond butter – This nut butter is high in protein and is a great source of potassium. Research has shown that almonds, which are tree nuts, can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as total cholesterol levels.
• Soy nut butter – Made from soybeans, soy nut butter generally has as much fiber as its peanut counterpart. It’s peanut and tree-nut free, but children with soy allergies should avoid it.
• Sunflower seed butter – Another spread created for kids with peanut allergies, sunflower butter is peanut and tree-nut free. One two-tablespoon serving has more than a third of a child’s daily magnesium and vitamin E requirements
One of the reasons I don’t shop at health food stores exclusively such as Whole Foods and our local store, Earth Fare, is because of the huge cost of organic and non-conventional foods. Sure, you know when you shop at Whole Foods you are going to buy much better food for your family, but at what cost? It costs a lot to eat healthy and that fact deters a lot of shoppers from doing all of their shopping at health food stores.
I didn’t know this, but Whole Foods stores now have Value Tours that will help you shop for good food on a budget. The Whole Foods Value Guru enlightens with personal money-saving kitchen tips on the Whole Story blog every other week at blog.wholefoodsmarket.com. And you can visit your local store to take a Value Tour to learn to shop Whole Foods Market on a budget and still enjoy the broadest selection of quality natural and organic products.
You can also download The Whole Deal online here to find weekly sales and coupons.
And, here’s a frugal and delicious recipe from Whole Foods.
Continue reading Shopping On a Budget at Whole Foods? Yes, It Can Be Done
How many times have been driving in an area that you aren’t quite familiar with and all you want to do is get a healthy salad or a decent cooked meal that doesn’t involve a burger and fries? I think we’ve all been there before.
Now from your iPhone or Blackberry you can search by zip code the best restaurants that have healthy meal options via a free mobile download called GoodFoodNearYou.
GoodFoodNearYou helps you find the best alternatives to greasy combo meals that reign as America’s most eaten foods on the go.
GoodFoorNearYou is free and can be downloaded at www.goodfoodnearyou.com.
I usually don’t do this. In all my years reviewing products from electronics to hand cream I haven’t put two products up against each other, but since I plunked down cash for two food magazines over the past week I figured I’d give you my take on each and let you know which one you should spend money on.
Food magazine (www.thefoodmag.com) is brand-new on the magazine scene. In fact, their February/ March 2009 issue is their premier issue and in a lot of ways it shows. While the attractive cover with Mario Batali looked promising (that’s why I grabbed it off the shelf) I was disappointed with the inside design. Each article’s title is designed with a different typeface, color, and design, which made the magazine feel cluttered, disjointed, and messy. A little uniformity will go a long way in the forthcoming issues. Although some of the articles were interesting they lacked real depth and I even found a few glaring editorial mistakes. The Good News: The team behind Food effectively got their glossy on newsstands nationwide in one of the most bleak economic times the country has ever seen. That says a lot for their tenacity and how they’ve been able to sell their vision to advertisers and distributors. Now, all they have to do is tighten their design and add more interesting articles and they’ll be a major player in the food magazine industry.
While Food Network magazine (www.foodnetwork.com) isn’t new, it’s definitely new to me. I was really impressed by how interesting each and every editorial page of the magazine is. The sleek, stylish design coupled with the mouth-watering recipes, tantalizing photos, and well-written and well-researched articles make for a superior magazine. It’s one of those magazines that you can read over and over again and find something new each time you flip through. It’s a definite must-have! The Bad News: Food Network magazine is published by Hearst and while it’s terrific, their next issue isn’t coming out until May! Ridiculous. Either you publish a magazine regularly or you don’t; no skipping months allowed!