Belgian Beet Rock Sugar & Himalayan Salt Stone Set

all natural sugar

Belgian Beet Rock Sugar

Ideal for sweetening tea or coffee, The SugarLab’s Beet Sugar is authentic Belgian brown rock sugar made popular in tea shops by Teavana. Distinctively packaged in an apothecary jar, this all natural rock sugar is gluten-free, Kosher and non GMO.

Made from sugar beets instead of sugarcane,the rock crystals get their brown colors from the natural presence of molasses.

Himalayan salt

Himalayan Salt Stone Shaver Set

Large Himalayan Pink Salt stones are distinctively packaged with a stainless steel shaver, ideal for gourmet cooks to add just theperfect touch of salt with foodie flair. Includes three or more stones weighing approximately 24 ounces along with a sturdy, premium stainless steel grater.Learn more.

To see the full line of all natural seasonings, salts, sugars and gourmet gifts, check out www.spices.com

5 Super Secrets to Make Fluffiest Cakes without Eggs

Cakes are proof that good still exists in this world. Young, teenagers, or adults, everyone wants a slice every now and then. That yummy, moist, fluffy slice that melts right in the mouth has a charm that no one could escape. The main ingredient that lends a cake its moist texture is an egg. It is considered to be a cardinal element needed to make a moist cake. But some of the most delicious cakes are available eggless too. If you are a baker at heart and wish to serve eggless cake to your family or guests, then you don’t have to fret a bit. This article will take you on an eggless ride in the world of cake. Every flavour that can be baked with egg, can be made available in eggless variety too and they will be as scrumptious as the one with eggs. Here how you can do it:

  1. Replacement of Eggs

First thing first, replacement of egg with soda and vinegar. Sounds strange? The main role of eggs in a cake is to bind the mix and lend a fluffy and airy texture. This strange-sounding mixture of soda and vinegar will play the same role in your eggless cake. It will give the cake rise and will be responsible for light texture. Make sure to use distilled vinegar, so that it doesn’t add to the taste. Without adding a lighter agent, your cake will become heavy, just like the cookie.

  1. Beat’em Up

You have to keep in mind to beat and blend smooth all the buttery and oily part of the batter. If mixing is forming bubbles and lumps, it will be best to whip them all while baking an eggless cake. After whipping, you will get a similar texture like a cake with eggs in it.

  1. Add Dry Ingredients

Once your mixture is whipped, fluffy texture of butter or oil is ready, add dry ingredients to it one by one and in smaller quantities. This way, the air in the mixture will not be lost and the texture will remain soft. Using a folding movement in a single direction will yield the best result for an eggless cake. Do not let the air escape by adding large quantities of dry ingredients else the baked cake will be dry instead of moist.

  1. Do Not Check the Cake

Wish to check the cake, how’s it coming up or whether it’s done or not? Whatever you do, do not open the oven to check on the cake until the baking is done. Every time you open the oven before the final product, you lose a certain amount of temperature and the cake will become stone-hard when subjected to cold and hot temperature alternatively. This wait will get you sweet results.

  1. Remove from the Pan Immediately

Once the cake is done, remove it from the pan immediately. This is one trick you have to follow while baking an eggless cake otherwise even a well-cooked cake will collapse and will become dense. It will affect the taste and will make the cake look bad too.

Follow these secrets to the core and garner appreciation from one and all.

Healthy Bodies, Inside and Out

This winter, as Spring is (hopefully) around the corner, you might be having a hard time holding onto those New Years Resolutions or even trying to stay healthy or active as a part of your regular lifestyle. I know for me, February is my “ugh” month, I often find myself with a case of the winter blues and really just “done” with the gray and the cold. I find it hardest to be motivated in February, and not just grab a bag of chips and pop on the Netflix. What to do? Try something new, a little change can often be just the thing you need, a little bump to get you moving.

DIY kits

Have you ever heard of Purple Carrot? You have probably  heard of similar ideas, pre-ordered meal kits delivered to your home that you cook yourself. This is the ONLY 100% plant-based meal kit company of the kind, where you can get pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking healthy, vegan meals at home. As we are learning, eating plant-based meals even if only one day or a few times a week, has a positive impact on people’s health, the environment, and animal welfare. The food is very good, but it definitely takes time to make, so prepare to spend some time in the kitchen. While not difficult, some of the items made were challenging and to me very unnecessarily time consuming, like making my own veggie burgers. But we learned new things, so that was something. I can honestly say, even as vegetarians, we had never made any of these recipes before, so they were interesting and new.  Find out more here-

Trying to get yourself moving? It can be challenging in this weather. One of the fitness groups I belong to recently posted a meme which said “I was sad, then I bought some new workout clothes and now I’m running!” I was clearly amused, but it’s also true. Sometimes a new pair of leggings or shirt or sneakers makes you feel good, and then when you feel good, you move. Also, you of course need to show them off, right? Your couch will not be impressed. You however will be impressed with the Brooks Running Ghost Tight. I can’t say enough good things about it. I thought they were going to feel like shrink wrap when I saw them, but they are wildly comfortable. It’s ultralight fabric keeps  you cool and wicks sweat and the color options (3 total) are fun. Price $120 at  https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/brooks-ghost-tight-womens/221347.html

Winter can be rough on the skin, rough all over. The new Limited-Edition NIVEA Creme City Tins from NIVEA® Creme are easy to carry around. They are tiny- easy to toss in your purse, backpack, or pocket, and give you a “protective layer of care that prevents the loss of moisture throughout the day” as per the brand. Smooth and soft, it has provitamin B5, which helps it last longer. You can use it on your face, hands, lips, and body- it’s good all over. These limited-edition tins are now available for $.99, get yours at www.NIVEAusa.com.

give back

For your love, no matter if they are one or a hundred and one, take a look at these. Not only are they amazingly adorable, but each toy funds 10 meals for a hungry person. These ethically produced, hand-knit dolls and stuffed animals give 10 meals to hungry children around the world for every item sold. Hand made by artisan knitters in Peru, these handcrafted, heirloom-quality dolls are great for anyone who loves stuffed cuddles. There are 27 toys to choose from currently, and two sizes are available in most cases.

“cuddle+kind has partnerships with several respected humanitarian agencies including World Food Program USA, Children’s Hunger Fund, Breakfast Club of Canada and WE Charity to guarantee that every purchase directly benefits children in need.” (Information given by the brand)

Choose your favorites here- https://cuddleandkind.com/collections/hand-knit-dolls.

Think You’re Not a Chef? You Can Prepare Gourmet Meals at Home – We Promise!

You don’t have to be a good cook to make great meals. The thought of coming up with your own recipe might boggle your mind, and you might be confused about what some of the fancy kitchen gadgets you see on cooking shows are even for, but even you can create delicious, gourmet meals that your family will love and that will impress your guests. 

Here are the easy things you can do to prepare your own gourmet meals at home:

Start with the Best Ingredients

You’ll elevate your cakes with gourmet vanilla syrup. You’ll create mouth-watering roasts with high-quality, grass-fed beef. You’ll actually love vegetables again with organic asparagus grown in season and artisanal cheese. Just choosing the highest-quality ingredients that you can get will make your food taste amazing.

Don’t limit yourself to what’s at your local grocery store. Shop at the farmer’s market, find small specialty shops in your area or order online. If you aren’t sure what makes ingredients good, do a little research online or get to know your grocers and ask them a lot of questions. Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have about the ingredients you use, the more powerful you will be in selecting the best ones and in creating delicious dishes.

Get a Few Basic Tools

Besides the ingredients you use, the tools you use will have a big impact on the quality of your meals. You need the best basics to get started: A high-quality knife set, cookware set, and baking materials. A few notable choices include a stand mixer, a culinary torch, and a thermometer. If you really want to get fancy and throw down some big cheddar, you can upgrade your oven, as well. 

Know that you can work miracles with utensils you find at the dollar store, but having high-quality tools at your disposal will make your work easier. You aren’t Gordon Ramsay, so you can’t expect to get top results with little more than your skill and innovation. You need the help, so get it in the form of great kitchen tools.

Find Great Recipes

Most recipes that you will find on popular websites are designed for mass audiences. They are typically for meals that are easy to cook and that will be ready quickly. These are not the kind of recipes you want to use if you want to make gourmet meals that will elevate your everyday menu. Instead, you should search for gourmet recipes provided by reputable chefs.

Know that you will most likely need to pay for access to these recipes. You may be able to get a subscription for online access, or you may have to buy a hard copy of a cookbook. Just do your research first to make sure you are getting recipes that are truly gourmet and that have been created and vetted by experienced and celebrated chefs.

Follow Directions to the Letter

You aren’t Julia Child yet, so don’t try to be. You should not be trying to experiment while you are in the kitchen — at least not until you master the basics. If you want to cook a gourmet meal successfully and you don’t have the formal training to do it, you need to let the recipes created by the professionals guide you. That means that you need to follow the directions to the letter. If the recipe says to sift the flour first, do it and don’t just dump the flour in straight from the bag. If the recipe says to marinate the meat for two hours, leave it for exactly two hours. Don’t try to rush the process, and don’t let it sit for too long.

You may not have disastrous results if you cut a few corners or make a few changes to the recipe, but any success you have will be luck. You’ll be able to improvise once you’ve gained some experience and have a lot of successes under your belt.

Follow these simple tips, and you’ll soon be creating meals that your guests will think you had prepared by a gourmet chef. You don’t need culinary training — you just need to have the right tools and the right recipes, and you need to follow directions.

Healthy Humane Menu Plus a Giveaway!

With all of the garbage that is put in our food today, it is important to be conscientious about where your food is coming from. Not only that – but where your meat is raised is a BIG deal. By buying welfare-certified animal products, or more plant-based products, you send a strong message to food companies that you care about the treatment of farm animals. Most of the nearly 9 billion animals raised for meat, milk, and eggs in the US are suffering in inhumane factory farms. I know – it is disgusting and sad to even think about it. But where DOES your meat come from?

A normal medium size family spends hundreds of dollars each month on things like chicken, beef, and sausage. As consumers, most of us do not realize just how powerful we are. As a group, we have the power to make something a success or even push to have something inhumane pulled from the shelves. But it takes us as one collective to actually get it done.

ASPCA Healthy and Humane

It is time to put a STOP to these inhuman conditions and we, as consumers, can fully harness the power of our collective purchases and demand better lives for farm animals with the Shop With Your Heart initiative launched by the ASPCA. This initiative gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives.

Here are five simple ways to become a more aware and welfare-conscious consumer when shopping for your family’s groceries.

  1. Eat Seasonally – Eating foods in season means that you’re able to buy from a more local economy and avoid having your food ship from other countries. This means fresher foods picked at peak ripeness too!
  2. Shop Locally – CSA’s and local farmers’ markets help support local, often smaller scale, farmers, and ranchers who are producing outside of the traditional factory-farm system. If you aren’t sure where to start, visit your local farmers’ market and start asking some question – this guide will get you started.
  3. Conquer Labeling Confusion – Marketers create confusion with their flashy labels and clever catch-phrases. But unfortunately, sometimes they care more about finances than transparency. Words like “natural” or “humane” often don’t have any oversight to actually tell you as a consumer anything concrete. However, some phrases and labels do have regulations associated with their use, and that’s what you can start to look for as a savvy shopper. Here’s a guide to labeling to get you started.
  4. Be Careful to Minimize Waste – One of the ways we can treat the animals used for food respectfully and humanely is by making the most of the food we purchase. Purchase only what you know you’ll use and serve the right sized portions to avoid wasting what your family buys.
  5. Look for Certifications That Mean Something – Unlike marketing gimmicks, there are certain certifications and awards that have true meaning. For example the USDA Organic label shows that the produce grown (or fed to the animal) didn’t use banned pesticides. Others include Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane

See The Good Groceries Guide for more information about how our shopping habits impact the lives of those around us – animals included.

WILL YOU TAKE THE PLEDGE?

Take the pledge to be a more welfare-conscious shopper: aspca.org/shopwithyourheart. Everyone who signs the pledge also gains access to an exclusive Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands.

ASPCA Healthy and Humane

MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

To fully harness the power of our collective purchases and demand better lives for farm animals, the Shop With Your Heart initiative gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives.

SHARE YOUR BUYING POWER!

Post a photo of yourself on your social media channels or use one of the resources here to show your friends, family and co-workers you are a part of the movement with sample language like:  “Join the movement with me and pledge to #ShopWithYourHeart! aspca.org/ShopWithYourHeart @ASPCA.” 

ENTER TO WIN!

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Cream of Tartar, Recipes and More

If you ever bought a can labeled cream of tartar and got a powdery stuff inside, don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with either your eyesight, or the product. That’s the way it is supposed to be. Cream of tartar is an acidic substance that also goes by the names of potassium bitartrate and potassium hydrogen tartrate.

This powdery substance is actually, a by-product of the process of making wine. Who would have thought, right? Well, I wouldn’t be so keen on writing about cream of tartar and its many uses if it hadn’t been for an article I read the other day. It contains everything there is to know about cream of tartar, from culinary uses to those that go beyond the kitchen.

Prepare the Perfect Dessert with Cream of Tartar

When preparing a dessert like cakes, cookies and meringue pies. Because, let’s face it. Preparing a delicious meringue pie is not enough if it doesn’t look inviting. And to look inviting the topping should be fluffy. The answer to achieving this fluffiness lies in whipping the egg whites. More precisely, you should add a 1/8 teaspoon for each egg white while you are whipping. So if the recipe calls for 3 egg whites you add 1/8 teaspoon x 3. This will help the formation of air bubbles and you can rest assure your topping won’t be flat. What’s more, cream of tartar when added to eggs will increase their tolerance to high temperatures.

Say you need whipped cream to top your cupcakes with. A recipe as simple as this one will call for a pinch of cream of tartar to be added to a cup of heavy whipping cream, two tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Uses of Cream of Tartar Beyond Cooking

There are plenty of helpful uses cream of tartar can be the star of. They are all pretty much connected to the kitchen in that cream of tartar can help you clean your burner pans and give your old copper kitchenware its shine back. An even simpler mixture, that of water and cream of tartar will be a great aid in cleaning steel appliances and removing scratches from them.

If this is not enough, cream of tartar can be used in the bathroom as well. A teaspoon of cream of tartar and a cup of white vinegar will make the magical solution that will help you remove mildew and mold in your toilet.

This incredible powder can even help you save your stained clothes. Only a pinch of it mixed with some lemon juice will do wonders with stained clothes.

If you are flabbergasted by all these uses of cream of tartar too, then go ahead and buy a can next time you go grocery shopping. It will be handy at any time since you will only need a pinch, be it for recipes or other uses, and its shelf life is pretty long (of course, provided that you keep it in an airtight container in a cold and dark place).

Fasta Pasta Maker

fast pasta dish

Developed by popular demand and due to the overwhelming success of the original Fasta Pasta Microwave Cooker, here comes the Fasta Pasta Family Size , which cooks approximately 8 servings of pasta at once!  You can expect the same great features as the Original Fasta Pasta – only bigger.  Deemed the Number 1 Microwave Pasta Cooker by America’s Test Kitchen Gadget Guru Lisa McManus, the Fasta Pasta has been featured on numerous national television programs, magazines, newspapers and digital media. From busy moms to college students to senior citizens, our customers love that Fasta Pasta cooks and drains your pasta in one container in minutes, but asked for a larger version to use for the whole family.  It was time to increase the Fasta experience!

Don’t be fooled by its no-fuss appearance, this microwave pasta cooker will not disappoint.  It is the perfect hassle-free way to cook pasta for large dinner parties or families on-the-go. With its patented reservoir design, the water circulates throughout, ensuring perfect pasta every time.

This made in the USA product is BPA-free and FDA-approved, and even includes a free cooking guide and recipes! Fasta Pasta Family Size cooks all types of pasta, vegetables, soups, casseroles and rice, without stickiness or starchiness from start-to-finish in minutes. Treat your guests to second and third helpings, with this upgraded pasta maker. The new dimensions (8.5W x 13L x 6H) can be used in standard size microwaves that measure 21 inches wide or larger. Accommodating as much pasta as you need, it’s guaranteed that no one will leave your house hungry this summer. Works great with all kinds of summer pasta salad, such as macaroni, rotini and more! This is sure to make your meal prep easier than ever.

Available for Purchase on Amazon, www.fastapasta.com , www.scsdirectinc.com  and at specialty retailers nationwide. Retail Price: $19.99

The best-selling Original Fasta Pasta can be purchased for $14.99 by visiting Amazon, www.fastapasta.com, www.scsdirectinc.com  and at specialty retailers nationwide.

Turkey Soup

This recipe is really easy, and it’s great to use left over meat with it. I always make this after  a family dinner or, Thanksgiving, Christmas even. You take those left overs and the carved up turkey ( bones and fat and all)  boil it for a few hours with vegetables till all the meat falls off. Toss some beans in there, you have left over soup with whatever meat you had on hand. It makes a great hearty soup, my kids like to eat it in mugs after a rainy day .

soup

 

Ingredients

The remains of your turkey or chicken ( even Ham works) with bones, skins, fat, everything. No need to pick off the itty bites of extra meat, it’ll come off later. This is going to make the broth for the soup

2 cups of left over Turkey or Chicken or Ham

3 stalks celery chopped

1 large onions chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

2 large tomatoes chopped

1 cup mushrooms

1 cup both red and green peppers

1 1/2 cups chopped carrots.

1 bag of dried beans which have been soaked over night or 3 cans white northern beans ( rinse them)
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