Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cleanse Day 7 Skin Brushing & Gardein Giveaway

I have missed a couple of days in recording my progress with this cleanse and I apologize.

I don't usually blog every day (just Monday through Friday) so that is my excuse :)

Things are progressing nicely.

I still haven't had any issues with hunger or headaches and I don't find myself craving sweets (which were previously a downfall).

I still crave bread, but on Twitter the other day Laura gave me the idea to make some flax crackers.

I found a couple of recipes that I liked but then I haven't made them...yet.  However when I found myself at Earth Fare I bought these:

These fit the ingredient requirement of my cleanse and they are pretty darn tasty.

Now I will make my own crackers this weekend when I have a little more time, but until then these will hold me over. 

I wanted to share with you a simple tool you can use to aid your body in flushing out toxins...the dry skin brush:

In Clean Dr. Junger suggests using a skin brush before showering to:

  • stimulate blood and lymph flow
  • remove dead skin cells
  • stimulate hormone and oil glands
  • reduce cellulite
  • strengthen immune system
  • stimulate nervous system, tone muscles, and tighten skin
  • nuture your body
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and is responsible for eliminating 1 lbs of the toxins in your body.  When your skin can't release the toxins you may get rashes, acne, hives, itchiness, body odor, eczema, or psoriasis.

By using the dry skin brush you are helping the skin do its job to the fullest and hopefully preventing some of those irritations.

To use it you start from your feet and work you way to your neck, and always brush towards your heart.

The process should take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

I have enjoyed it tremendously.  My skin feels invigorated and alive (plus a little pink...but that goes away after my shower).

I do believe I will keep up this practice each morning even after I've completed my cleanse.

Now that I have provided a brief explanation on skin brushing I want to change gears and provide to you a GIVEAWAY!!!!

The people at Gardein have been kind enough to provide one of my US readers with a prize pack to include:

1 "Cheat on Meat" t-shirt
4 coupons for free Gardein products

Are you familiar with Gardein?

They produce meat substitutes which are full of protein and come in quite a variety. 

I know at my house the seven grain crispy tenders are popular with my kids:

Just look at the nutrition information on these tenders:

I must say though that my personal favorite is the BBQ sweet and tangy wings:

So would you like to win the giveaway and score this awesome t-shirt along with 4 coupons?

All you have to do is leave a comment (show me some love) any comment will do.

For additional entries:

  1. Tweet this giveaway with a link to this post and @rachelkyle0402 mentioned (then leave a comment that you did this).
  2. Follow me on Twitter
  3. Follow Gardein on Twitter
The giveaway will be open until Sunday March 4th.  I will announce the winner on Monday the 5th.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Foodie PenPal Reveal

Today is the day that I get to reveal to you what I received from my foodie penpal.

To hold the suspense a little longer let me first say that I sent a box to Lindsay who writes the blog Biking Before Bed.  Be sure to head over to her place and see what I sent.

Ok on to the reveal.  I received a box from Miranda, Twenty Something and Broke.

She sent an awesome box, take a peak for yourself:

Do you see what I see?

I thought you would spot it. 

It is the cutest little fondue pot.  I love the size as it is just perfect for an appetizer (or dessert) serving of fondue.

Let me spread out the contents so you can see everything.

All the fixins' for either a cheese or chocolate fondue.

Let me let you get a closer look at my favorite item:

I had no idea red velvet chocolate existed, but once my cleanse is over I will be sampling this goodness.

Miranda thank you so much for such a cool and thoughtful box.

Now readers and bloggers, would you like to become part of the Foodie Penpals?

No problem here is the 4-1-1.

On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send  an email to me at and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. – this is SUPER important so you get on the right list!
You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!
***PLEASE NOTE: if you send an email, you WILL GET A RESPONSE within 48 hours. If you don”t….please re-send your email or contact me via Twitter (@LeanGrnBeanBlog). Last month we had a few emails get lost as spam so we’re trying to avoid that!

Be sure to head over to Lindsay's blog, The Lean Green Bean, to see what other bloggers/readers received this month.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cleanse Day 5 Vegan Black Bean Soup

Two posts in one day I know I can barely contain myself.

However I meant to post Cleanse Days 3 & 4 yesterday, but I was having too much fun to do so.

Sooooooo I will post twice today and give you the skinny.

Speaking of skinny (although that is really a frame of mind) I have dropped another lbs from 154 to 153 now.

And I have to share, while we are on the topic of weight, that Owen (who is 9) told me last night there were two things he enjoyed about being on a vegetarian diet:

1) Having more energy
2) Seeing that I am skinnier

Well I know who is my favorite son now :)

Just kidding!  No really he is my favorite.

Back to Sunday.

Sunday was a great relaxing day.

It was also a day where I needed to get back on the cleanse horse and make sure that my eating was up to par.

I had a fantastic pineapple berry smoothie for breakfast, eggplant for lunch, and for dinner...this:

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Vegan Black Bean Soup

3 cans (15 oz) black beans
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
3 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano

In a pot put your olive oil and onions on medium heat.

Cook for about 5 minutes and then add garlic, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.

Puree 1 can of black beans (with liquid) and add to pot.

Add a second can of black beans (with liquid) not pureed.

Take your third and final can of beans drain and rinse them...then add to the pot.

Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Remember to stir frequently.

I am very happy to report that this is delicious.  My family loved it and I think the only addition I will make is to serve corn bread with it (the sweet would be a nice complement to the spice).

I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon and I will be back tomorrow with Day 6 of the cleanse and a giveaway (not cleanse related).

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset

Cleanse Day 3 & 4 and a WINNER!

First of all let me congratulate my winner Ashley, from The Vegetable Life, on the sriracha giveaway from WIAW The Day Before My Cleanse

Ashley you will be enjoying some rooster sauce by Wednesday :)

Now let me start of by saying Happy Monday to you all.

It was a wonderful weekend in my neck of the woods. 

My aunt came down from Virginia and stayed with us till this morning.  My kids LOVE having her come down and do pretty well taking turns for her attention.

Her visit made the weekend a little problematic for my cleanse, it isn't her fault though.

See we have 3 birthdays in one month and we all got together this weekend to celebrate (Kyle on Feb 7, my dad on Feb 22, and my brother March 7).

We had pizza and ice cream (Roman Raspberry sorbet from Talenti for me).

However it meant that I sort of didn't eat what I was supposed to on Saturday night.

I was sure to forgive myself and get back on track Sunday.

One thing I do want to say about Clean is that Dr. Junger points out even if you veer off track you can get back on the cleanse and don't beat yourself up about it.

You are supposed to be taking stress and toxins out of your life not creating more.

So I may do an extra day or two to make up for the ground I lost, but I still feel really good.

One thing I did want to talk about is the type of sleep I have been having, and in one word:


Each morning when I wake up (before my alarm every day mind you) I feel refreshed and as if nothing troubled me in my sleep.

I try to take the extra time I have in the morning to practice deep breathing (pushing out lots of CO2) and just meditate (or try to make my mind calm...which is a little difficult for me).

It makes for a more put together me in the morning so that I don't get all frazzled when there are 3 different breakfast orders and I need to make 4 lunches. 

Everyone starts off on a better foot.

You are supposed to take time and do things for yourself during the cleanse.  And I am particularly looking forward to this (i.e. massage, yoga, facial, body wraps).

This week I have a body wrap scheduled.  I don't know if I will do anything else (just depends on what awesome Groupons or Living Social deals pop up).

As aside I have noticed that there are tons of Groupons and Living Social deals for massage and the like, which is making it easy to treat myself.

Which brings me to my question of the day.  Do you use these on-line coupon sites?  If so what was your favorite/best deal?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Cleanse Day 2

To keep myself accountable for my cleanse I am hoping to blog each day and journal how things are going.

So just to recap I have started a cleanse and am following the 21 day program designed by Dr Alejandro Junger in his book Clean.

Day 2 of the Elimination Diet went well.

It is recommended to drink plenty of water, but as that can get boring it is good to have a back up plan.

For me that is hot tea (although it is a bit more difficult to drink in 77 degree weather).

Anywho the tea I picked up was Green Tea Kombucha from Yogi.

It is completely delicious and really quite filling.

I am still not suffering from hunger.  In fact I told Kyle last night that I felt I was listening to my body and realizing that most of the time I am not actually hungry that it is just a feeling I have (possibly from boredom).

I don't think I describe that well, but I have found that I don't really need that much to make it through the day.

I still feel good and full of energy. 

In fact I went to the Y and lifted as well as did a little light cardio for about an hour.

Avoiding constipation while on the cleanse is of utmost importance as that is one of the primary channels for expelling the toxins you've built up.

Dr. Junger suggests a number of things to make sure that you stay regular while on the cleanse such as:

  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil at night
  • Natural Calm (a magnesium supplement)
  • Fiber
  • colon hydrotherapy
  • exercise
  • drink plenty of water
You get the idea. 

Well to make sure that I stay ahead of the curve I went ahead and chose the least invasive and bought some Triple Fiber from Earth Fare (my local natural grocer) and have to say it doesn't taste all that good.

But I wasn't expecting it to. 

It did make me a little bit nervous when it said on the label it could cause choking.

I thought holy cow will this end up killing me?

To my families displeasure pleasure I am still alive and well.

The one bit of advice I do have for you is that when it says combine 1 scoop with 8 ounces of that. 

Don't get creative and try to drink it with more water (it only prolongs the experience as I speak from personal experience).

You do need to drink it quickly after mixing so that the mixture doesn't thicken.

I won't gross you out with any further details, but sufficed to say I feel fine.

Well I think on that note I will leave you for today. :)

I hope you have a glorious weekend.

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

Cream of Broccoli Soup

On Wednesday I showed you a broccoli soup that I made and promised that I would post the recipe on Friday.

Well guess what today is Friday...YEAH!

The soup was quite simple, most of the cooking was actually completed by my husband (I have to give him credit where credit is due).

Broccoli Soup

4 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 1/2 C chopped onion
1 medium green pepper chopped
4 C broccoli stalks chopped
1 C broccoli florets thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 C vegetable stock (or water)
2 C almond milk (unsweetened and regular flavor)
1/2 C Greek yogurt
1 bay leaf
pinch of allspice
dash of tamari
dash of thyme
pepper to taste

In a pot put your Earth Balance, onions, and bay leaf.  Saute the onions until they are transparent on medium to medium-high heat.

To the mix add your green pepper, broccoli stalks, and vegetable stock.  Continue the cooking process until the veggies are softened.

In a separate pot steam your broccoli florets.

Remove the bay leaf from your large pot and then pour your mix and almond milk into a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour back into the large pot and add in your florets and Greek yogurt.

Mix until everything is incorporated and serve immediately.

Would you like a taste? 

Look how yummy and chunky it is. 

This was pure deliciousness in a bowl.

Don't believe me?

Here is my bowl once I was done.

I rest my case.

The soup was creamy and yet not to heavy (thanks to the Chobani plain Greek yogurt).

I hope you will give it a try and let me know if you do.  I would love to see how your creation turns out.

Also be sure to enter my sriracha hot sauce giveaway that is ending tonight (I am super excited to share this with one of you my wonderful readers).

Have a great weekend.

Weather here today is 77 so I have a hard time realizing that it is still winter.

Is the weather nice where you are?  What sort of plans do you have for the weekend?  I plan for lots of time outdoors!

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Cleanse

So I decided this year for Lent (and my general health) that I would complete a cleanse.

Are you making a face?  Because all of my family members have made a face when I announced this.

It's ok.  I promise it won't be weird and in the end I think I will have learned a lot.

My motivation came from two wonderful bloggers Laura of Sprint 2 The Table and Melinda of One Green Generation.

I have read along while Laura has gone through two cleanses and was struck by her ability to stick to it and to find plenty of enjoyable things to eat.

As for Melinda she completed the same 21 day program and blogged about it, starting with day 1 here.  I read all of her posts and have taken her advice in prepping for my own journey.

The program I am following is from Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger

The book gives you Dr. Junger's background (spoiler alert...he is a cardiologist) and his own journey to a cleaner lifestyle.  There are stories about some of the people he has helped, as well as a wealth of information as to why cleaning your internal system can affect everything about you (in a positive way).

Wednesday February 22nd was Day 1 of what is termed the "Elimination Diet."

To prep for it I had a body wrap on Tuesday to help speed my bodies elimination of toxins and I was sure to drink plenty of water.

The purpose of this diet phase is to pull yourself off of caffeine, sugar, and wheat (main allergy causing ingredients).

You are supposed to eat only from the Elimination Diet foods.

So what did I eat?

For breakfast I had a delicious Cinnamon Roll Smoothie...seriously it was like drinking a roll.  I promise it is WAY more appetizing than it looks.

Lunch was eaten at my favorite grocer, Earth Fare, where I had a plate of greens (spring mix, kale, spinach, broccoli, and sprouts) with a side of spinach hummus as well as regular hummus and a few chunks of pineapple.  To drink, a new love of mine, kombucha (cherry flavor).

Dinner was a serving of brown rice spaghetti topped with artichokes, olive oil, and some nutritional yeast (no picture, but it was really all that pretty).

All through out the day I drank a bunch of water and probably had to pee every hour, which is recommended by Dr. Junger.  I got a little tired of getting up so much...but it is all for a good cause.

As for any potential negative side effects...none.  I wasn't hungry and I didn't get any headaches.

I felt really good and am excited to start day 2 as I have already dropped 1 lbs (155 yesterday morning to 154 this morning).

This isn't about weight loss, although I need to drop some weight, but I am hoping to eliminate many years worth of toxic build up in my system and become a more energetic and youthful 34 year old mom and wife.

I intend to blog about my cleanse partly to keep myself accountable and to share the experience, but I will also have recipes and food (that I am not eating but the family is) so that I can continue to write about what I love...FOOD.

I hope you all are having a wonderful day and just want to know have you ever completed a cleanse?  If so do you have any advice?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gift Baskets Guest Post

So, let’s face it: we are all busy. 

We make breakfast, put in another load of laundry, get kids to school, go to work, and multi-task (e-mailing while on the phone while writing to-do lists while thinking of how everything else we have to do is going to get accomplished).

Our day is consumed. 

And amid our crowded to-do lists and busy, hectic lives, we can lose sight of what’s important. 

It’s not to say that we don’t care about friends and family, but when you’re going 100 miles a minute, birthdays and anniversaries can slip into the background.

And even when we are clever enough to remember these occasions, who’s to say that we can afford the appropriate gift – let alone know what the appropriate gift is. 

I was never really one for gift baskets when I was younger.

There I said it.

But, over time, it dawned on me that they’re kind of a perfect gift. 

They’re ordered and delivered, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling a date with the person of honor – when you see them - and the gift is practical. 

A basket itself has tons of uses: for children on Easter, for napkins at parties, for books on a bedside table, for shoes, for, well, just about anything. 

And you can customize the gift basket any way you wish.  So, if you know the friend, it’s much easier than physically going somewhere, trying to remember all their favorite things. Running from store to store comparing prices: time consuming and annoying.  Shopping online: click, click - easy. And the sites that specialize in gift baskets give you all sorts of ideas, making it easy to find something awesome for someone you may not know all that well, or have lost touch with.

So instead of trying to squeeze in a trip to the mall on your lunch break, try just going online while you actually eat your lunch (for once) and peruse thousands of personalized baskets in all different price ranges. 

The recipient will be glad that you’ve taken the time to think of them, and that you’re not getting them another bottle of super market vino on your way home.

About the author; Trudy Abood is the VP of, one of the top suppliers of quality gift baskets. She is a mom of 2 boys, one of which founded GGB and the other is also VP at the company. She formally owned Chalifour's Flowers in Manchester, NH; the largest flower shop in the state.

WIAW The Day Before My Cleanse

Happy What I Ate Wednesday to you all.

Just a quick check.  Have you all been ramping up your veggie in-take?

If not Jenn, Peas and Crayons, and I would like you to do so (your body will thank you).

So I titled today's post "The Day Before My Cleanse."

For Lent I decided I would do a cleanse and I will post all of the details tomorrow.

But today I give you my Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) eats before I began limiting the types of food I consume.


There is no picture for a reason...I didn't eat breakfast. 

Please don't hate on me, it was just one of those days where it just didn't happen.  I was busy with the children and trust me I made up for it at lunch.


Black bean quesadilla which was filled to the brim with: black beans (duh), kale (my favorite), mushrooms, onion, and a little cheese all toasted up in a spinach tortilla shell.

For a little added kick I splashed this all over the insides:


Holy Smokes Batman this stuff is good.

My husband keeps telling the kids it is rooster blood, I don't think they believe him (but it is hard to tell).

I have read both on Laura's blog, Sprint 2 The Table, and Jenn's that this stuff is the bomb.

It took Jenn telling me to get off my butt and order some for me to actually do it.

I am so very much in love with this that I have something special at the bottom of the post.

Back to the eats.


Broccoli soup made with Chobani plain Greek yogurt (recipe coming on Friday).

So there are my eats.  Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers at Jenn's and see what others were eating.

Now for my surprise.  As I have completely fallen in love with sriracha I would like to give one of my readers a chance to do the same. 

Would you like to have your very own bottle of rooster blood?

If so leave me a comment below (any comment will do)

If you would like to have more than one entry you can additionally to the following (just be sure to leave a separate comment):

1) follow me on Twitter
2) like me on Facebook

I will have the giveaway open until Friday the 24th and the winner will be announced on Monday's post.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday

Happy Friday to you all.

I hope that you have fun plans for the weekend.

I know here in Carolina the weather is supposed to be in the high 50's...just beautiful.

I have a meeting on Sunday with one of the gardners from my childrens school so that we can plan how to have a veggie/herb/fruit garden in our front yard but still have it be presentable to the neighborhood (We are going to plant extra food so that we can donate it to the local homeless shelter...a project for my kids to learn about serving others).

But Saturday...well it is the piece de resistance: my husband and I have a date night planned.

Thank you to my parents who will be watching my wild animals children.

Seriously these three can do some damage.

For our fun evening we are planning to go to dinner but also here:

Is it wrong to be excited about going to Trader Joe's?

I think not. 

I LOVE grocery stores and have to travel an hour to go to TJ's so I think it will be well worth the visit.

Now to justify the trip I have to pick out a great restaurant in the Raleigh/Cary area? 

Any ideas? 

Well I have to go do some research on restaurants so I am going to leave you now.

I hope you have a wonderful time and I will be back on Monday with some meyers lemon recipes...WOOHOO!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Carrots and Ginger an Improv Challenge

Happy Thursday one and all.

Today is the reveal day for the monthly Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.

The two ingredients we were challenged with was carrots and ginger.

As soon as I heard this I knew exactly what I wanted to make, and then I modified it.

Carrot Donuts with Ginger Turbinado Sugar

1 3/4 C all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax meal & 3 Tbsp water whipped)
3/4 almond milk
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
3/4 C grated carrots

Combine all of the ingredients together.  If you really want to put all of your dry ingredients in one bowl and mix and then put all of your wet ingredients in another bowl AND then combine the two you can.  I just don't possess a ton of patience and so I combine everything into one bowl.

You can spoon your dough directly into your greased donut pan, OR

You can scoop it into a plastic bag, nip the tip, and pipe the dough into your pan (it just makes it a little neater as long as your tip wasn't nipped too big).

I know I just said I didn't have any patience but I did pipe the dough.

To give the donuts a little extra zing I combined some fresh ginger and turbinado sugar for a couple of days.

The sugar was sprinkled on top of the donuts just before I put it in the oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

For a little extra love I added a vegan buttercream on top.

1 Tbsp Earth Balance softened
1 tsp almond milk
a tiny splash of vanilla extract
powdered sugar (add enough for your desired thickness)

The result was pure deliciousness and not much guilt.

Be sure to check out the other wonderful creations my fellow bloggers have come up with. 

Oh and also I would like to announce the winner of my Food Should Taste Good giveaway.  The lucky comment was # 33 from Maggie who write the fantastic blog Kitchie Coo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIAW Valentine's Day

Happy What I Ate Wednesday Friends!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine's Day even, if like our host Jenn, you aren't completely into the holiday.

I have to say that I was pretty amazed how many times the guys at work said "Happy Valentine's Day" to me. I really figured it would pass most of them right by. I suppose I should give them more credit :)

Today I want to show you what yesterday's eats entailed for my children.

I will warn you though there is a copious amount of pink and hearts...what can I say I love my kids.

For breakfast we started off with heart shaped pink pancakes:

I topped Caroline's with powdered sugar (pictured above) but the boys opted for Nutella (and ate them before they could be photographed).

For lunch:

A PB&J cut into a heart shape, veggie straws, a fruit leather (pomegranate from Target...and they are organic), as well as homemade apple-pear sauce (sweetened with cinnamon).

And last but not least:

An iced vegan sugar cookie topped with crushed freeze dried strawberries (completely delicious and thank you Celeste for giving me the idea). 

For dinner:

A Field Roast mild Italian sausage on toast with mustard.  I topped it with homemade brussel sprout slaw and had a side of jalapeno Food Should Taste Good chips. 

I LOVE Field Roast and was completely in love with all elements of this meal.

So what did you have for Valentine's Day?

Be sure to hop over to Jenn's, at Peas and Crayons, and see what other bloggers had this week.  Your mouth may water, but I promise you won't be sorry.

Two quick announcements:
  1. Yesterday day I ran a one day giveaway to give a little love to my readers.  The winner is Jess from Floptimism.
  2. Also I have a Food Should Taste Good chip giveaway running through tonight.  You too could win some yummy chips just like my jalapeno ones I had for dinner.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is day in which we are reminded to tell people we love them (if you have a second Google has a super cute video).

Valentine's Day was first romanticized by Geoffrey Chaucer back in the high middle ages (so says Wikipedia).

However it is more than just telling your spouse/significant other and children you love them, be sure to think beyond the immediate family and branch out to friends and co-workers. 

You can show them that you care by doing something nice for them or bringing in a nice little treat for everyone to share.  For example the man at the top of the totem pole in my office brought in cupcakes for everyone (homemade by his wife...we know most men have difficulty baking).

This morning I spent a laborious amount of time preparing lunches for my boys today (I will share the cuteness tomorrow) and making sure that things were red and/or heart shaped.

I don't know if they care one way or another, but I hope they enjoy the extra prep work (even if just a little bit).

To show my love for you, my readers, I am giving you a giveaway.

I promised when I reached 100 followers of my site I would host a giveaway...I am a little late as I am now at 111, however let's not by picky.

In honor of Valentine's Day I would like to give one of you a subscription to one of the magazine's below:

If an international reader wins I will fix you up a little care package.

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below (anything will do just leave me some love!!).  The giveaway will be open only today and I will post the winner tomorrow.

For extra entries you can:

  1. Tweet the giveaway (please be sure to include @rachelkyle0402) and comment that you did.  A sample would be "I want some Valentine's Day love @rachelkyle0402" and be sure to link to this post.
  2. Post on your Facebook status and comment that you did (be sure to include the link).
As if one giveaway isn't enough I have another giveaway going on for 5 bags of Food Should Taste Good chips here.

Be sure to enter both the more the merrier.

I hope you have a wonderful and happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Food Should Taste Good Giveaway

When I saw this on my porch...I got excited:

Check out the ways these are made good and a product everyone can enjoy:

I was given a wonderful opportunity by the good people of Food Should Taste Good to try 5 bags of chips (of my choosing) AND provide a giveaway to you all (my wonderful readers).

Can't get much better than this.

Are you familiar with these delicious snacks?

Well if not let me tell you a little bit about them. 

The company was started in 2006 with a mission to create a healthier snack using quality ingredients.  They are a good source of dietary fiber and come in 16 flavors in their 5.5 oz line: Multigrain, Sweet Potato, Olive, Jalapeno, Lime, Cantina, The Works!, Chocolate, Blue Corn, Cheddar, White Cheddar, Toasted Sesame, Hemp, Jalapeno with Cheddar, Hatch Chile and Kettle Corn.  There is a brand new line of Kettle Cooked Sweet Potato Chips with 4 flavors: Original, BBQ, Salt & Pepper, and Salt & Vinegar.

The flavors I selected were:

The Works, Jalapeno, and Salt & Vinegar (sweet potato chips)

I will start with the chocolate, because I really thought they would be the weirdest (even though Andrea from Clean Up and Eat said they were delish).  These were a good dessert chip.  Perfect alone or with a sweet vanilla yogurt dip. 

Kettle Corn fell in line next just for the sweetness it provided.  They taste just like kettle corn you would get at a street festival or county fair (just made with better GMO's).  I feel these are good just on their own, no need for any dips however I do need to work on a caramel dip and then they would be completely over the top.

Jalapeno I enjoyed in nacho form.  A little homemade pico de gallo and a sprinkling of cheese was all it needed.  These chips do pack a bit of heat, which I LOVE (the rest of the family not so much, but they are wusses when it comes to spice), and a make a great side to any Mexican feast.

Salt & Vinegar has been a chip I started liking when I was pregnant with Caroline almost 3 years ago.  Something about the salt & vinegar combination sat well with my stomach (which was in a constant state of flux from that little girl).  Anyway the sweet potato version ramps it up by adding the slight sweetness on top of the yummy salt and vinegar tang.

The Works...well lets just say these were my favorite (which was a really tough decision to make) but I love bagels, especially Everything Bagels.  That is exactly what these tasted like and I just fell in love.  I used a homemade ranch dip with plain Chobani Greek yogurt and was just in heaven.

Now that I have your mouth watering for some delicious crunchy chips lets get to the business of entering the giveaway.

The Prize: 5 bags of Food Should Taste Good chips (you get to pick the flavors..WINNING)

To enter you just need to do the following:

1) Leave a comment and tell me what your number 1 flavor would be

For additional entries you have the option to do 1 or all of the following:

2) Follow my blog and comment (or let me know you already follow)
3) Follow me on Twitter and comment
4) Like me on Facebook and comment
5) Like Food Should Taste Good on Facebook and comment

If you would like you can get a coupon from their site here.

The giveaway will be open until Wednesday February 15th and is only open to US residents.  I will announce the winner on Thursday's post.

Have a wonderful Monday and I hope you all are ready for Valentine's Day.  I know I am super excited to share my post with you tomorrow.

Friday, February 10, 2012

11 Things to Know About Me

I was tagged by Chelsy who writes the blog Mangia to participate in an 11 Random Things Survey.

Here are her answers here.

I am supposed to:
1. List 11 random things about myself.
2. Answer the 11 questions she asked me.
3 Come up with 11 questions to ask other bloggers.
4. Tag 11 bloggers to do this next.

So here are 11 random things about myself

1. I have one tattoo (a green four leaf clover on my honor my Irish roots)
2. I have always loved tall guys but married a guy 5'5" (I love him more than the tall guys)
3. I trained to be a police officer but switched to an administrative civilian job
4. I love travelling and Europe is my favorite spot
5. I attended Montessori school as a child and firmly believe it is one of the best educations out there
6. I have an 8 lbs dog named Zeus (yes the irony is not lost on me)
7. I work better with men than women (less drama and men are more straight forward)
8. I am a member of PETA (not in a crazy way, but just in way that I need to stand up for animals)
9. I love UFC, especially Georges St. Pierre (the best pound for pound fighter out there)

10. I was a cheerleader in high school and college
11. I am a huge sports fan and cannot wait for baseball season to start I love the Phillies (especially Cliff Lee)!

Here are Chelsy's 11 questions and my answers

1. If you could travel one place right now, where would it be?  Dublin, Ireland
2, If you could invite one person, living or dead, to your next dinner party, who would it be?  Julia Child
3. If you were about to have your last meal, what famous chef would you want to prepare it and what would you eat?  Tal Ronnen and he could surprise me with something fantastic and vegan.
4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten? Anchovies
5. What is the dish you are most popular for? It seems simple but pancakes are what my kids love me for the most (especially with chocolate chips and peanut butter in them)
6. What is your favorite thing to make (for yourself, or for others)? Desserts I love to make them (always more of a baker than a cook).
7. What is your favorite way to sweat?  With cardio and lifting weights I feel so much more alive after a trip to the Y.
8. If you have 1 million dollars what would you do (where would you go, what would you see, eat)? I would call in "rich" to work and then spend my life travelling and enjoying delicious vegan food wherever I went...I would see the world with my family.
9. Ryan Reynold's or Channing Tatum?  Hands down Ryan Reynolds.
10. Favorite condiment? Mustard
11. Favorite type of candy? Dark chocolate by Endangered Species

Tag 11 bloggers (whew this is a tough one):
1. Sharon from Bit of the Good Stuff
2. Laura from Sprint 2 The Table
3. Jen from Three Little Piglets
4. Jenn from Peas and Crayons
5. Lauren from Keep It Sweet
6. Lindsey from Gingerbread Bagels
7. Celeste from Growing up Veg
8. Jill from Dulce Dough
9. Kristin from Stuft Mama
10. Jacqueline from The Dusty Baker
11. Sarah from Peas and Thank You (a girl can dream that she will participate right?)

My 11 questions are this

1. What is the one dish, or baked good, you haven't mastered?
2. What is one of your secret indulgences, non food?
3. Favorite beverage (alcoholic or non)?
4. Most prized possession?
5. What is your dream job (if money was no object)?
6. Favorite vacation you have taken or would like to take?
7. Most used cookbook?
8. Do you watch reality tv (if so what is your favorite show)?
9. Most embarassing moment
10. 1 ingredient in your kitchen that you always have on hand for emergencies?
11. Favorite meal to eat (either that you prepared or have at a restaurant)?

I hope those of you that I tagged will participate because I always love to see peoples answers to these things (I have a weakness for quizzes I just love to take them).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and on Monday I will be back with a giveaway....WOOHOO!