Category Archives: review

Delightfully Simple Skillet Cornbread with Stonyfield & Barlean’s

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield as part of my participation in the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club.

This month the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club is partnering with Barlean’s, a family owned and run, American company making everything from fish oil supplements to coconut oil.

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I received a gift pack from Barlean’s which included four products: Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, Culinary Coconut Oil, Flax-Chia-Coconut Seed Blend, and Forti-Flax. 

Forti-Flax is ground flaxseed, a nutty ingredient full of nutrient super powers that is mega versatile.  The Flax-Chia-Coconut Seed blend takes all the benefits of the Forti-Flax product and adds extra nutrition and deliciousness with the chia and coconut seed pairing. I’ve tried it stirred into oatmeal, blended into smoothies, as a Greek Yogurt mix-in, and sprinkled into a salad and all-in-all I’m a fan for adding these seeds to the meals I’m eating for a triple punch of nutrition goodness.

Though I do enjoy the added flavor traditional Coconut Oil can add to some foods, such as stir fry dishes especially, I am truly thrilled over the Culinary Coconut Oil, which is flavorless and perfect for sautéing foods you don’t want to pick up that coconut flavor. I’ve been LOVING this product and truly feel like this is a kitchen tool I will continue to use for a long time. I’d easily say that this stuff is on the top ten list of products I’ve learned about through blogging that I truly love.

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I knew I wanted to highlight my new favorite cooking oil in my recipe this time around, and knew that pairing it with one of my THS Kitchen must-have ingredients from Stonyfield was an easy decision. Stonyfield Smooth & Creamy Whole Milk Plain Yogurt is always stocked in our fridge; it’s an ingredient I use in all sorts of dishes from breakfasts [mixed into egg bakes for extra fluffiness!] all the way to late night sweet snacks [pudding cakes with a healthified twist!]. 

I cook with the plain yogurt almost daily and am thankful that Stonyfield has been up for partnering with THS over the years so I can share my love of their products and all the ways you can easily use them with you all, too.

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When planning this month’s recipe, I realized with the perfect ingredient partnership of new kitchen obsession and ole kitchen standby, I decided this was also a fantastic opportunity to break out the brand-new kitchen tool I was stoked to start using, too.

A cast iron skillet has been on my “step-up your kitchen game!” list for several years.  I recently decided to put an Amazon gift card to use after coming across one glowing review after another of this Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet*, including two articles stating what a great deal the 10.25-inch size is on Amazon, especially if you are able to get free shipping if purchasing other goods or if you are a Prime Member.

I choose to get my Amazon packages delivered to the office because getting packages in the middle of the work day always seems to make my mood a little brighter.  The day that my new skillet arrived, three co-workers commented on how they have the same one and use it religiously.  I gained a list of recipe suggestions, accessory recommendations, and tips for cooking, cleaning, and re-seasoning before the end of the day.  After all three friends mentioned cornbread during our discussions, I took it as a sign from the Universe that a yogurt, coconut oil cornbread of awesome was a must for this months partner celebration at THS HQ. 

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Skillet Corn Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Barlean’s Culinary Coconut Oil in liquid form
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In one bowl, mix together corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt, milk, liquid coconut oil and honey. 
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture in two parts, stirring until just combine.  Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  • Pour into well oiled cast iron skillet.
  • Bake for 16-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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What are your favorite cast iron skillet dishes? 

Loving Lately

“This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds as part of my participation in the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lately I’ve been loving my own version of summer adventure.  Let’ call it an anti-adventure…lazy summer evenings on the back porch!  I’ve needed a break from the EXCITEMENT of unexpected “adventures” these days and am fully embracing the slow-down and sit-back attitude this month.

When Megan came to Scotia for part of her summer vacation, I took the opportunity to stay-cation all weekend long.  Long talks about the future, catching up on the present, and laughing as we shared stories about the past, it was my favorite kind of relaxation with one of my very best friends.  We took a lot of time on the back porch, both just the two of us and with other friends, too. 

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Megan’s first night in town my friend Tia joined us as we started the celebration with local butter smeared upon bakery rolls and some tastemaker freebie goodness: Blue Diamond Almonds in two of my most favorite seasonings they offer – Roasted Salted and Low Sodium Lightly Salted.  It was the perfect low-key and casual snack for our low-key and casual summer weekend kick-off. [I keep a can of the Low Sodium Lightly Salted in my office desk drawer at all times for mid-work day snacking. My serious-favorite for keeping hunger, and mid-day sugar cravings, at bay.

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Lately I’ve been loving spending time with the cats.  Benson spent a week in emergency treatment earlier this summer [speaking of unexpected adventures…]  I really thought we were going to have to put him down at least four times during a two week period of time and am so thrilled about the progress he’s made since first returning from the hospital.  [The bottom photo of him is very recent, which shows him looking like himself again!]  When Benson first came home Trouble seemed a bit ticked to not be flying solo anymore, but after a couple of weeks things seem to have returned to normal.

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Lately I’ve been loving simple, inexpensive Starbucks indulgences.  It had been quite a while since my last trip to Starbucks when we decided to stop in during a day of running work errands in Albany a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to gift cards located in my wallet, we treated ourselves to summery Frappuchino flavors and when I saw the above pictured Frappuchino Sugar Cookie, I couldn’t resist the cuteness in pairing it with my beverage.  It was perfectly sweet, and the chocolate icing was a nice addition to a traditional sugar cookie with vanilla frosting. 

After the great in-store experience, when I found Starbucks Iced Coffee bottles on sale buy one get one free AND happened to have a coupon for the same product, I pulled out some quarters and got 2 bottles for 50 cents total!  WINNING! I got one bottle each of the vanilla and caramel; both were sweet and smooth.  I definitely want to try the unflavored version of bottled iced coffee, too.  I think I would prefer a bit less sweetness in my coffee and removing the flavor may give me just that.

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Lately I’ve been loving to take the time to document the time I spend with this guy.  Recently we noted that we don’t have very many photos – selfies or those taken by friends – of ourselves together and I’ve been trying to take a few seconds to stop what we’re doing in our normal day-to-day lives and capture the moment every so often.  Nick and I recently passed our four year anniversary and it’s really fun to create a collection of memories of how we’re living our life these days.

Lately I’ve been loving this Pilot Elite commerical. Every time it comes on the screen while I’m watching Hulu+, I’m all smiles. And maybe I take it as an opportunity for a bit of a sing-a-long, too.

Last Week Listens

It’s been a very podcasty last few days. I loaded up my IPod with a fresh playlist to listen to while traveling back to New York from Dallas very early Thursday morning. You’ll notice I tried to fit in every Holiday episode I could to listen to before 2013 in an effort to wrap up the Christmasness in a nice little 2012 bow.  Here’s what I’ve listened to in the few days.

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  1. Kumail Nanjiani and Becky Reams – Dining with Doug and Karen
    Listened to: Thursday morning, while on the plane from Dallas to Newark.
  2. The Hobbit and The Habit of Storing Your Stuff – NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour
    Listened to: Thursday morning, while on the plane from Dallas to Newark
    Worth noting: I was in and out of the Hobbit talk, but was really interested in the talk about digital vs. physical entertainment and the storage of such.
  3. 21 – Soulmated! – Totally Married
    Listened to: Thursday morning, while walking through Newark
  4. Ep 52 – Happy Holidays – The Because Show
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while seated at gate C 136, with a Jamba Juice in hand
    Worth noting: The Because Show is one of my favorite shows – if you’re not listening to it yet, give it a try.
  5. Elna Baker: A Mexican Morman Christmas – The Moth Podcast
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while waiting to and boarding the plane at Newark.
    Worth noting: A laugh out loud-able story. I’d actually heard this story on another podcast before, but it’s so hilarious I deemed it worth another listen.
  6. 22 – “Suck” Them! – Totally Married
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while waiting for the plane to be weighed and measured, for the flight crew to inform us we were too heavy to fly [thanks Christmas pie!], and through the arrangements being made of United bribing two people to get off the flight.
  7. Josh and Ross 12/18/12 – Joss and Ross
    Listened to: Thursday afternoon, while in the air from Newark to Albany, grocery shopping and the putting away of groceries, and while doing the dishes.
    Worth noting: This is the first episode of the Joss and Ross show I’ve listened to, and I’m so happy I came across it.  If you’re a fan of Chelsea Lately, I’d suggest trying this one out.  Ross Matthews is my favorite person in the land of Chelsea, and he and Josh are really entertaining bouncing off of one another. A+ comedy conversation.
  8. 23 – Xmas Eve Cat Poop! – Totally Married 
    Listened to: Thursday night, while unpacking all of the bags I managed to fly home from Dallas with.
  9. #482: Lights, Camera, Christmas! – This American Life
    Listened to: Friday morning, while on a[nother] trip to the grocery store and prepping the ingredients I would need the next day for Nick’s birthday celebration. And doing the dishes again.
    Worth noting: So many great Christmas stories.  As you would expect from This American Life
  10. 24 – Confessional! – Totally Married
    Listened to: Friday afternoon, while cleaning the bathroom, opening the mail, and taking out the trash in the snow.
    Worth noting: Elizabeth opens up and shares from her heart. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Laime for a while now, and her “confessional” gives me such an appreciation for Totally Married, where she and her husband, Andy, share their lives and experiences and advice with listeners.
  11. The Moth Radio Hour: Episode 1010 – The Moth Podcast
    Listened to: Friday afternoon, while baking shortbread and making banana cream pie.
    Worth noting: I plan to listen to the Radio Hour online every week now.
  12. Judd Apatow – The Nerdist
    Listened to: Friday evening, while wrapping a few gifts for friends, cleaning off the kitchen table [which has become a ridiculous catch all of any and all things], and playing fetch with Benson.
  13. Catherine Smyka & Lisa Schuldt: StorySLAM Favorites – The Moth Podcast
    Listened to: Friday night, while doing the dishes, sweeping the kitchen and folding some laundry.
    Worth noting: Great story telling sharing bits about being human. Heart warming. Worth a listen.
  14. Approaching Ira Glass – True Story
    Listened to: Saturday morning, while making a latte and cutting veggies into dipper sizes. and doing some dishes. again.
    Worth noting: Another great story telling podcast.  This was the first episode of True Story I’ve listened to; happily subscribed.
  15. Sarah Silverman & Andy Windak – Dining with Doug and Karen
    Listened to: Saturday late morning, while making breakfast pizza and setting out the donut bites.
    Worth noting: I really love that my favorite podcast worlds are coming together. [Andy [from The Table Set podcast by Homefries] on a Nerdist podcast hosted by my favorite comedian, Doug Benson.  It’s a pop culture love fest in my ears!]
  16. Carly Craig – The JV Club
    Listened to: Saturday afternoon, while preparing buffalo chicken dip, and setting out the snacks.
  17. Mike Birbiglia – You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
    Listened to: Sunday morning, while organizing photos and files on my computer.
  18. Holiday Stores 2 – RISK! 
    Listened to: Sunday morning, while cleaning up the party mess and making scrambled egg muffins. and doing the dishes. again.

Coming up through my ear buds, I’m giving some new shows a try and spending some time catching up from my “Podcast for Later Listing” list – my holding place for podcasts when I get really far behind clearing out the queue.  I’m also super excited to finally listen to the 12 Guests of Xmas III episode of Doug Loves Movies.  [I’ve been saving it so Nick and I can listen together.]

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What podcast have you been listening to lately?