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Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • Friday Favorites - Week 2/21

    Whoopie! Friday is here and we are six days away from the Florida Strawberry Festival.   The Florida Strawberry Festival runs for 11 days starting February 27 to March 9th.  I've been busy at the market doing inventory and ordering all of our goodies to make sure we don't run out of anything in the next few weeks. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorites this week.

    Parkesdale Market Goodies

    Parkesdale Favorites

    The Parke family has been growing strawberries in the Plant City area for over 50 years.  Whether you enjoy our berries in one of our World Famous Strawberry Shortcakes, Strawberry Milkshakes or straight out of the box, we can all agree that our berries are extra sweet.

    You will not believe the emails I receive about these cookies.  I get requests all of the time for the recipe.  But I also get emails from happy people who are so excited about having our cookies even though they no longer live in the area!  The secret to our cookies is in their texture and strawberry flavor.  Our strawberry cookies have the perfect firmness: not too soft to be chewy and not to hard to be crunchy.

    How to get your kids to eat veggies: Veggie Platter


    While checking out new blogs, I found Thea from Time with Thea.  She's a mom who loves decorating, DIY projects, food and photography.  In her blog, she shared a way to get her kids to eat more vegetables by preparing a small veggie platter for her kids to snack on while she was preparing dinner.  This was a God send to me.  My girls are always asking for a snack while I'm in the middle of preparing dinner.  Now I cut up a few veggies with some ranch dip and they are having fun trying out new veggies and enjoying their favorites.  I'm happy because I know they are getting their veggies in and when it comes time for dinner they haven't spoiled their appetite.  Thank you Thea!

    How to make the perfect cup of Chai Tea Latte at home

    how to make the perfect cup of chai tea latte

    While I'm a big fan of Starbucks coffee, I'm also a bigger fan of their Chai Tea lattes.  For years, I've tried to make it at home without success.  I can honestly say that I'm loving my chai tea at home every morning.  It's probably been at least one month since I have not gone to Starbucks.  So, here's my secret.  I start with either Yogi Rooibos Chai Tea or Stash Chai Tea and two cups.  One for the setting the tea bag in hot water and the other for frothing the milk.  Last year, my husband got me a milk frother from William Sonoma for Christmas and it's been put to good use.  While the tea bag is steeping I add the sugar so it breaks down.  After waiting about 5 minutes, I remove the tea bag and top the tea with the frothed milk.  Perfection.

    For more Friday Favorites, go visit Heather at Housewife Glamour!




  • Sunshine Burgers Review

    Disclaimer: I was given product by Sunshine Product, free of charge in exchange for this review through their partnership with FitApproach.  All opinions are mine based on my experience. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.


    My experience with veggie burgers hasn't been a pleasant one.  Over the years, I've tried several different brands from the grocery store without much success.  Mostly because the veggie burgers I have tried always end up very dry and tasted like cardboard.

     Southwest Sunshine Burgers

    I was excited to sample the Sunshine Burgers because unlike other veggie burgers, Sunshine burgers are organic, non-GMO and vegan.  They are also free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn, oats, dairy, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. Sunshine burgers are made from sunflower seeds and brown rice.  After researching Sunshine Burgers, I found out it was started by Carol Debberman.  A mom who wanted to feed her family a soy-free veggie burger without fillers or preservatives.  A woman after my own heart!

    Sunshine Burgers' philosophy is to bring a nutritious alternative for those seeking a healthier diet.  With eight different varieties; Garden Herb, Black Bean Southwest, Hemp & Sage, Shiitake Mushroom, Quarter Pound Original, Barbecue, Falafel and Loco Chipotle, they range in protein content from 7 to 10 grams per patty.

    My review

    I tried the Black Bean Southwest first because I thought it would be fun to do a "huevos rancheros" take on it like the ones I had when I visited San Antonio, Texas.  My breakfast turned out great.  Most importantly it was not dry or tasteless.  You can really taste the sunflower seeds, black beans and rice in this burger.


    Next, I tried the Garden Herb.  While it looked very green, I could definitively taste the sunflower seeds, rice and carrots in it.  Being able to read the ingredients listed on a nutritional panel is important to me.  I feel comfortable when I know what I'm feeding my family is something I would use in my kitchen.

    Lastly, I chose the Hemp & Sage breakfast veggie burger.  I followed the instructions on the package to bake them for 5-7 minutes at 375.  I'm not very hungry in the mornings, so I grabbed a couple of bites and finished getting my girls ready for school.  After my morning run, these patties were an amazing treat to refuel.  They were moist and tasty and most importantly they were easy to grab and eat on the go.

    Closing Thoughts

    Out of these three, the Hemp & Sage tasted very similar to the Black Bean Southwest.  They both had a great black beans and rice flavor topped with sunflower seeds, which I loved.  The Garden Herb reminded me of a spinach souffle visually but it tasted like carrots, which I also enjoyed.

    I can see myself buying these burgers to supplement my caloric intake while training or as post-run fuel.  Thank you Sunshine Burgers and Fit Approach for the opportunity to review your product.

     Click here to see if Sunshine Burgers are available in your area.  You can also connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Healthy Broccoflower Salad with Raisins

    All week long I've been thinking about this week's Meatless Meal challenge ingredient: raisins.  I contemplated baking something, but I knew I wanted something healthier.  I came up with this healthy broccoflower salad inspired by the more common broccoli salad. Originally I was planning on using cauliflower, but while picking up ingredients at the market, I noticed we had broccoflower.

    healthy broccoflower salad

    Broccoflower is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.  It has the same texture as regular cauliflower, but it is slightly sweeter. When picking a broccoflower, make sure to pick one that has firm, tight florets and no brown spots.  You can store unwashed broccoflower in the refrigerator for about five days.  Broccoflower is a great source of vitamin C and folate.  And did you know, it has more protein than white cauliflower or broccoli?


    healthy broccoflower salad

    Roasting the broccoflower allows for the caramelization of the natural sugars in the vegetable.  So make sure to cut the broccoflower in flat pieces to get the most caramelization possible.  The result is a light, refreshing, colorful salad. 


    For more great raisin recipes, make sure to visit Heather's page.


    Have you tried broccoflower?

    Do you like yogurt-like dressings?

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