A Gift Basket of Booze

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Here is a gift basket that will appeal to the adults who are interested in trying out some new liquor. It’s perfect for a 21st birthday or even someone more mature. A friend at work suggested this set up and it worked out better than I expected. Here are some basic instructions to make a Boozy Gift Basket of your own. Read more…

Maple Orange Shortbread

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I’ve been avoiding processed sugar lately and have found that doing so makes me feel rather healthy. Inversely whenever I dip into the candy dish at work I can feel the effects immediately. It starts as an ache in my sinuses and quickly turns into a headache. Sugar is a rather difficult ingredient to avoid but there are plenty of substitutes. I’m partial to only the most natural of sugar substitutes like honey or maple syrup.  Both have health benefits but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that maple syrup contains 54 different antioxidants. You can read more about it at the Pure Canadian Maple Syrup website. Read more…

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Biscotti

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We have a tough time at breakfast. Husband sticks with cold cereal but complains that the kids basically eat dessert for breakfast. This coming from the man who was eating Frosted Flakes this morning. That’s a battle I’m not going to win. However much that I want my family to eat healthy food I equally want to avoid fighting about food in the mornings. We’ve got to remind the kids to eat constantly anyway.

The breakfast conversations usually go like this: Read more…

Matcha Shortbread Cookies

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With these cookies, you can drink your tea and eat it too. I’ve been holding onto a small tin of matcha green tea with the intention of using it for baking and I finally found the perfect recipe to test it out. Wouldn’t you know it that I found the recipe on The Republic of Tea website! You’re starting to think that I work for the Republic of Tea right. I wouldn’t be opposed to that, but no, I’m just a major fan. Read more…

Downton Abbey English Rose Tea

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I ordered this tea because I’m not only a tea freak but also a Downton Abbey geek. Maybe it’s because the kids love getting packages in the mail or maybe it was because I was so excited but they were itching to taste this tea.

Downton Abbey English Rose Tea limited editionThis is a limited edition tea available from The Republic of Tea. The packaging describes the tea as a “vibrant, ruby-red infusion of rose, raspberry and hibiscus.” I agree with the depiction that English Rose Tea has “fruity, floral notes and a touch of sweetness.”  The ingredients include nigerian hibiscus, rosehip peels, apples, stevia, natural raspberry, natural rose and vanilla flavors, and rose petals.  So, it’s caffeine free and completely fine for the kids to drink. Read more…

Nuts about nut allergies

NUT FREE chocolate chips

Six years ago…Let’s set the scene. I stood a few feet away from a group of chatty moms as we all waited for the kids to be released from pre-school.  One of the moms thrilled about finding the perfect saddle shoes for her daughter informed everyone they needed to go to Nordstrom. Since it was close to Halloween the discussion turned to the rules about what candy could be sent into school. Certain kids had severe nut allergies so any candy potentially exposed to nuts at the factory was prohibited. For the most part, that ruled out chocolate and it was clearly upsetting this group of chatty moms.

“I don’t care,” exclaimed the saddle shoe mom. “I’m still sending in some Snickers. The kids should be able to have chocolate.” Read more…

An Ode to Yogurt

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Last year around this time, I attended a Cheesemaking 101 Workshop with the Cheese Queen in South Deerfield, MA. It was a fascinating mix of young and older people and several stood up and declared that the workshop was on their bucket list. I thought it was very interesting however, it did not make me yearn to make cheese on my own. Sometimes it’s just as valuable to learn what you don’t want to do. I have a sincere appreciation for the artisan cheesemakers out there but I’m not patient enough to make aged cheddar, nor do I have the desire to buy any additional equipment since my house is so small. I’ll stick with the 30-minute mozzarella when the mood strikes me, thank you very much. Read more…


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