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Christopher Elbow Chocolate Turtles

There is a running debate in our home over which Christopher Elbow Chocolate Turtles are better – the dark chocolate or the milk chocolate. With my preference for the dark chocolate and my husband preferring the milk chocolate turtle, there is no hope for a compromise although I keep telling him that if he eats dark chocolate, he will acquire a taste for the richness, subtle differences, and the bold flavor that dark chocolate offers.He then goes into some tirade about how women always want to change men and I realize there is an upside to him not enjoying dark chocolate turtles:  I don’t have to share.  Read more »


The Joy of Jeff’s Peppers

Central Valley, California is a 450 mile long, 50-mile wide flat valley known for growing some of the best peppers in the United States. At Jeff’s Naturalsa Napa Valley-based company specializing in jarred Mediterranean food products – red peppers grown in the Central Valley are roasted, sliced, and packed within 24 hours of harvest to ensure a pepper with a light, smoky flavor and a smooth yet crisp texture. Read more »


“If I’d Known You Were Coming”

Everybody needs somebody. Just one other person who is as faithful to them as they are to themselves.

Winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award (the John Simons Short Fiction Award) in 2013, If I’d Known You Were Coming is a collection of 12 short stories written by Kate Milliken. Although each story stands alone, many of the colorful characters reappear in several of the narratives which makes parts of the book appear to be a novella. The common theme that runs through all the stories is the dysfunctional characters –  people who abandon or neglect their children, chase addictions, skirt responsibility, or succumb to their fears or desires – whose flaws impose great harm upon others.
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Next Organics: Dark Chocolate Nuts

One month from today – February 25, 2014 – is National Chocolate Covered Nuts Day.  If you’ve never heard of this holiday, you’re not alone….but I’m all for celebrating anything that involves chocolate. Unlike Valentine’s Day which emphasizes chocolate and roses, National Chocolate Covered Nuts Day celebrates two of earth’s most perfect foods: nuts and chocolate, providing the perfect excuse to devour a variety of wholesome nuts covered in rich dark chocolate. Read more »


Fig Food Soups

The Fig Food Company makes nine delicious, organic plant-based soups that taste just like homemade, which is just what you would expect from a company that uses organic ingredients grown primarily by North American farmers. The first time I read about Fig Food Company, a wave of trust washed over me – and not just because the founder, Joel Henry is an honorable guy who cares passionately about nutrition, organic farming, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and improving the environment – but because the ingredients list reads like a “who’s who list of what grows on a farm.” So, when I don’t have time to make homemade soup, I rely on soups made by Fig Food Company. Read more »


The Skinny on Skinny Pop

Skinny Pop is without a doubt the best tasting popcorn on the market. With four (4) varieties to choose from:  Original, Black Pepper, Ultra Light White Cheddar, and Sweet, Skinny Pop has a flavor to appeal to nearly everyone.  The company starts with premium popcorn kernels, sunflower oil, and a small amount of salt to make the perfectly popped corn kernels and either leaves it as is (Original), adds just enough black pepper to give the pop corn a kick (Black Pepper), a small amount of evaporated cane juice to sweeten the popped kernels just a bit (Sweet), or adds natural flavors, rice flour, and lactic acid to please those who want a hint of cheddar flavor without the dairy (Ultra Light White Cheddar). Read more »


Picos Camperos

Picos Camperos are delicious mini breadsticks with a crunchy exterior, a delicate center and the aroma of fresh-baked bread. A staple of Spanish culture, picos are used as a vehicle to eat cheese, ham (wrap the slices around), or dips but can also be enjoyed with soup, chowder, and nut butters. Read more »


“The Problem with Teenagers is Their Parents”

In my mailbox this week was the current issue of New York Magazine (Jan 20, 2014) which displays the upfront and in-your-face shot of a raging mother and a calm teenage son with the words “The Problem with Teenagers is Their Parents emblazoned across the cover. My first reaction was to read the cover story (The Collateral Damage of a Teenager, an excerpt from All Joy and No Fun:  The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior, to be published later this month), and then either tear the cover off or hide the issue from my teenage daughter thinking this would be another article about over zealous helicopter parents pushing their kids to the brink of insanity. But, after reading the article, my opinion completely changed. I e-mailed the link to both my daughter and husband with the by-line:  “you have to read this.” Read more »


Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal

Oatmeal can be boring; why else would grocery stores offer so many flavored varieties in the cereal aisle? The problem with flavored oatmeal is that most are loaded with sugar, sweeteners or additives that don’t provide any nutritional benefit beyond raising the caloric and sugar content. Purely Elizabeth (of granola fame) recently launched four new ancient grain oatmeal and hot cereals: Read more »


“CivilWarLand in Bad Decline”

In these times, strange times that they are, seeing someone do something that’s not patently selfish and fucked-up is like a breath of fresh air, good clean fresh air, not that any one of us would know good clean fresh air if a vial of it swooped down and bit us on the ass!

George Saunders has a way with words that makes his short stories both horrific and hilarious. A writer with a message, Saunders writes of modern-day culture – corporate greed, authority, inequality, socio-economic class, narcissism, hate, racism, helicopter parenting, plastic surgery, obesity, physical perfection – and magnifies them a thousand times to make a point:  we live in one messed-up world. Read more »