Sunday, March 29, 2015

March Fun Foodie & Spring Finds!

March was a great month to come across some delicious new items as well as things perfect to have just in time for spring break! Here are some fun finds I'm highlighting this month, in hopes you may be intrigued to check them out yourself too!


Michael Keller, the founder and owner of Calolea is one of California’s early harvest pioneers.  Through experimentation Michael discovered how special it can be to experience the flavors of the early harvest olive oil. The later harvest olives yield a greater quantity of oil that is milder in flavor which invites the infusion of fresh ingredients such as Meyer Lemon, Blood Orange, Garlic and Habanero. I used this oil for a couple dishes, including a seafood paella I made recently. It was perfect for cooking and it also added a nice body as a finishing oil!


This imported smoked paprika is from the famous La Vera region of Spain. Following a century old recipe, hand-harvested peppers are smoked dried over holm oak for a minimum of 14 days . This gives the paprika its unique rich flavor. It's also only made in small batches to ensure optimum aroma, color and flavor. I found this paprika to be especially good in recipes as it adds flavor and depth to rice, meat, seafood, stews, soups, eggs, vegetables, etc. The sweet smoked paprika has a deep, rich flavor with a slightly sweet undertone; whereas the hot smoked paprika has a deep, rich, slightly spicy flavor. The company that provides this paprika is Kiva. At Kiva, they strive to provide innovative food from around the world that is great tasting, healthy and of the highest quality. They are committed to using only ingredients that are sourced directly from local farmers that practice sustainable and eco-friendly methods. I used this to make a Hungarian Goulash recipe I've been testing and it came out amazing! I cannot wait to order more since the flavor really stood out, compared to other brands I've tried.

Just add beer, mix and bake to make delicious Boardwalk Food Company beer bread. Entertaining not only got easier, but tastier and more fun! Made in America, Boardwalk mixes are available in four flavors. Any 12oz beverage will work offering a multiple variety of scrumptious options. Part of the fun is deciding what lager, ale, pilsener or stout to use. With craft brews popularity, and microbreweries popping up in more and more places, the list of choices are endless! For St. Patrick's day, I used Guinness to make a Guinness loaf which was delicious and so easy to prepare. You could even use any beer or if you're not into beer, I've also found carbonated beverages will work too! I look forward to trying out the other flavors they have available including Lemon Poppy Seed, Rosemary Sea Salt and Cornbread... In fact, if you want to try a package of their Beer Bread yourself, leave a comment and a winner will be chosen on April 4th who will receive a set compliments of Boardwalk Food Co!


Now these are some muffin tops I can enjoy! I love my set of 6 Mr Muffin - "Muffin Top" Bake Cups. These are extremely cute and the novelty blue jeans shaped cups make it even funnier as your favorite muffin batter bakes up and spills over the waistband cupcake holder lol. Joel especially liked these and made our weekend morning muffins even more fun to eat! If you need some recipe ideas to make and bake up using these baking cups, I've got quite a few to choose from. In fact, if you want a set of your own, leave a comment and a winner will be chosen on April 4th who will receive a set compliments of Mr. Muffin!


I can never have too making silicone baking mats in my kitchen. They are the perfect liner to baking sheets, baking pans and even roasting pans. These mats from Baking Wizard are of a premium quality and there are two mats included in the set. They fit perfectly for half sized baking trays (18 x 13 inches). My favorite part of these baking mats is that it makes cleaning so much easier and my baking pans have a longer life because of them! Aside from lining my trays and pans, they are also great for preparing pasta and bread doughs. I love the versatility of these! 

With spring break happening, now's the perfect time to pick up some good travel items. I love Dot to Dot products since they've made packing easy and organized for me. This 18" Packing Folder holds up to 8 to 12 shirts or pants. I simply fold and stack the items neatly in the center of the organizer, then fold over the flaps to create a packaged envelope. There's even a folding board with folding instructions included! This makes it easy to separate my items by outfit or type of clothing without having to rummage through my suitcase.

Just as I mentioned above, this packing organizer is exactly the same, only a few inches smaller for smaller articles of clothing. I won't pack anything without them!


Also from Dot to Dot are these travel bottles. After spending more money that I needed on those travel sized toiletries, I opted for these travel bottles which allows me to use toiletries I already have on hand. These travel bottles will not leak during airline travel, are TSA approved and approved for carry-on. They're the perfect size and are absolutely safe for travel. Aside from toiletries, they make good containers for food too, such as condiments for a small picnic since they are FDA approved and 100%BPA Free! These are made with a soft but sturdy silicone body, making it easy to squeeze out contents to the last drop...
Lastly, I recently purchased a Fuji Film Instax camera to use at our wedding and other occasions. I came across these mini frame stickers by Sticky Shoot which adds a bit of fun and pizzaz to pictures we take. This package includes 80 colorfully designed stickers that compliment your pictures. They are easy to use as well with only three steps! Aside from framing pictures, they can also be used for occasional notes and messages. 

Not all water bottles are created equally! I recently got this water bottle and LOVE it for so many reasons... For one, it's easy to clean especially since it's dishwasher safe. Another reason is that it won't clog because the fruit/veggies/herbs can be easily added and removed with the central chamber. The wide opening and large holes prevent items from getting clogged. The screw on top is also strong in which I haven't had any issues with it leaking and as much as I've dropped my bottle, it's completely impact resistant!This bottle made out of shatter proof tritan plastic has a large 24 oz capacity, wide mouth opening, BPA free and FDA approved!