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Paqui Gourmet Tortilla Chips

Some of the most basic simple foods are the hardest to make. Consider tortilla chips which are primarily made of three ingredients: corn, oil, and salt. How hard can it be to make really great tasting crunchy tortilla chips? Well, according to many tasters who have snacked on the mass market commercial offerings, the answer is “pretty hard.”

The secret to great tasting tortilla chips is to use high quality fresh tortillas fried in oil hot enough to cook them to a perfect crisp but not so hot as to darken the chips. If the oil is not hot enough, the chips will be greasy and if the oil is too hot, the chips will be overdone making the corn flavor an afterthought. Read more »


Where does a $1 contribution to United Way of Central Iowa Go?

United Way of Central Iowa (UWCI) is just one of 35 United Way chapters in Iowa and one of 1,256 chapters in the United States, but this mid-west chapter office raised more than $29 million last year and distributed $21.9 million (75%) in grants to local organizations that focus on health, education, and income. United Way is – for lack of better words – a way to unite people and organizations – with UWCI focused on the people and organizations in central Iowa. Read more »


Introducing Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy “Ice Cream”

Be one in a million.

Ben & Jerry’s of Burlington, Vermont recently started making “ice cream” with almond milk instead of dairy products which has shoppers scavenging for pints that give new meaning to the word “ice cream.” Dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO, and Fair Trade certified, Ben & Jerry’s new frozen desserts are disappearing off the freezer shelves as fast as they can be restocked. Read more »


Minis: Non-Dairy “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

An ice cream sandwich is the childhood dessert we never outgrow even as we pass through the stages of adulthood. A simple concept – ice cream enveloped between two chocolate wafers – is what makes the ice cream sandwich so timeless because, really who doesn’t like ice cream, chocolate, and wafers?

Being on a dairy-free or plant-based diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an ice cream sandwich because So Delicious Dairy Free makes a creamy and rich vanilla “ice cream” sandwich with almond milk instead of cow milk. Read more »


The Makers Apron

Most people don’t get too excited about aprons but I do because an apron not only protects clothes but also helps keep things – measuring spoons, spatulas, a tissue, or scissors – close at hand.

Years ago I read a cookbook (Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan) that gave me some invaluable advice:  gather all your ingredients on the countertop before starting a recipe. The second great piece of advice that I had to learn through trial and error was to always use an apron that is functional and fashionable. Although the second aspect is arguably trivial, there’s no doubt a fantastic piece of clothing makes us feel happy and that’s what a Maker’s Apron does. Read more »


Where does a donation to Kars4Kids Go?

Kars4Kids, Inc. (Kars4Kids) is a 501 (c) (3) national organization dedicated to the educational, material, emotional, and spiritual needs of Jewish children and their families. Specifically, Kars4Kids appears primarily to be the fundraising entity for another 501 (c) (3) organization called Oorah, Inc., based in Lakewood, New Jersey (with the same business address as Kars4Kids) although they also fund other programs – school placement, tuition assistance, summer camp, holiday food and gift packages, parent education and counseling.

Oorah, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) organization that provides Jewish children and their families with youth and family programming, education and studies, and community outreach. Read more »


Panniello Sun Dried Vegetables

The right amount of seasoning can always take a pasta dish from good to great but figuring out the right herbs and spices to give a dish that zing is often perplexing. More oregano? basil? garlic? Instead of trying to figure it out, consider using Panniello sun-dried vegetables to add flavor and complexity to your next pasta dish. These packets of dried vegetables and spices are wholesome and natural with easily recognizable ingredients that make a robust addition to almost any sauce. Read more »


Introducing the ZBLT

You can be a vegan and have your bacon, too!

The Zucchini Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (ZBLT) Sandwich – crispy zucchini bacon, crunchy green lettuce leaves, and vine-ripened tomato slices piled high on whole grain toasted bread slathered with mashed avocado or Just Mayo – a plant-based mayo by Hampton Creek – is the vegetarian and vegan’s answer to the classic BLT. Read more »


DeLallo Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta

Bruschetta (pronounced “bru sketta”) is an Italian appetizer made with toasted or grilled bread brushed with bit of olive oil, salt (and often garlic) and then topped with chopped tomatoes mixed with onions and basil or chopped roasted red peppers mixed with herbs and spices, or beans and more. Technically, bruschetta is both the bread and topping but in the USA, bruschetta is often referred to as the topping. Read more »


Where Does $1 to 4-H go?

Most people know 4-H is a youth development organization but some may not know the national 4-H is administered by the National Institute of Food (NIFA) under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – federal government offices.

The national organization is also known as the National 4-H Council which overseas and assists the 3,000 local offices and 110 land-grant universities – universities granted federal land to focus teachings on agriculture, science, and engineering – to administer the organization’s programs. 4-H operates at the state and county level in the United States and although these offices operate independently as separate non-profits, they collectively administer 4-H programs. Read more »