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CLOSED What do you need to create the perfect sandwich? A review of BFree gluten free products – and a giveaway!

*Disclaimer: BFree Foods sent me a pack of BFree products free of charge for me to review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

I have vivid memories of eating bread as a child. At a time when meat was hard to find and throwing food away was simply not an option, bread was a household staple we thoroughly enjoyed: It filled our bellies and kept us away from hunger, and content in our little world. I remember my father and I would often dunk days-old bread into warm milk and have it for breakfast, in the kitchen of our tiny apartment. A lot of time has passed and a lot of things have happened in my life, yet I’ve actually never grown tired of bread. It is a simple yet deeply meaningful food, with the simplest of ingredients ๐Ÿ™‚

These days I’m always on the lookout for new breads to use in my panini and sandwiches. As I said in a previous post, I was inspired by my visit to this year’s National Restaurant Association Show (you can read my review here) to search for quality breads, to work hard to discover innovative and flavorful varieties, and to share my findings with my readers. This is why I was very excited when BFree Foods contacted me and asked me to review their range of gluten-free, low-fat and high fiber products, which are now available for purchase in select Chicagoland stores. Keep Reading

CLOSED Clean floors are the best :-) My review of Bona PowerPlus cleaning products – and a giveaway!

*Disclaimer: Bona sent me a pack of Bona PowerPlus products free of charge for me to review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Before our baby girl was born I used to follow a well-established “cleaning schedule:” Once a week, preferably on Fridays, I would get all my tools out and perform a thorough cleaning of the house, from top to bottom. Yes, it was time-consuming, but it also felt very rewarding. I’ll admit to being a bit of a “cleaning freak:” I just hate to see dust around me, and this is why I like to keep things clean and tidy as much as I can. Dirt and clutter? These are big no-nos to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

My cleaning schedule has simply gone out of the window since the arrival of our daughter. Now, I clean the house whenever I can, and sadly this does not happen very often. Thankfully, my husband has come to the rescue, and lately he has been in charge of most of the cleaning. I still like to vacuum, however I no longer have the time and/or the dedication to follow up with the thorough cleaning I used to do back in the day. I am so thankful to hubby for taking over the cleaning responsibilities, and I like to keep the tools well-stocked and to invest in time-saving cleaning solutions to make his mission easier. For all of these reasons I was very excited when Bona contacted me and asked me to review their latest range of cleaning products. Keep Reading

CLOSED Cheers to smoothies! A review of the Hamilton Beach Wave-Action blender – and a giveaway!

I haven’t always been a “smoothie gal” – but now I am. Since having the baby I have become more aware of what I eat and drink, and more determined to give my body the nutrients it needs to function well. I’m happy to report I’m eating more fruits and veggies than I was before becoming a mom. Thankfully, a new grocery store has opened in our neighborhood, and it takes me very little time to walk there and to stock up on fresh quality produce. The abundance of seasonal fruits and veggies inspires me and keeps me motivated. I love summer – and I love smoothies ๐Ÿ™‚

Being such a new and passionate smoothie supporter, I was excited when I was contacted by Hamilton Beach and asked to review the latest addition to their range of blenders, the Wave-Action blender. The blender I use regularly is one I bought a few years ago. It is a versatile workhorse, and besides drinks I have been using it to make soups, dips and even mashed potatoes. They all turn out creamy and velvety, just the way we like it. I was curious to see how the Wave-Action blender would fare compared with my old blender, so I happily took on the challenge. Keep Reading

The Red Gold Tomatoes giveaway winner!

Thank you all for taking part in the Red Gold Tomatoes giveaway. The winner is Regina, who wrote, โ€œBurgers!! We donโ€™t eat them a lot, so I think that is why grilling season excites meโ€ฆnot to mention I am not the one cooking!!”

The winner has been notified. Stay tuned – another giveaway is coming up soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

CLOSED The goodness of tomatoes, the goodness of summer: a review of Red Gold Tomatoes grilling recipes – and a giveaway!

To write about food is to write about memories – and this is certainly true in my case, when it comes to writing about tomatoes. To me, they remind me of the many gorgeous summers I spent in the countryside while I was growing up. My aunt and uncle owned a small house about 20 miles away from the city, and they loved having me and my niece Anne Marie over when school was out for the summer.

Those were the days I never got tired because the world and its wonders kept me in awe, and my uncle’s garden was something to behold. We used to play hide-and-seek in that garden, tirelessly running around the cherry trees, digging deep and hoping to discover allegedly long-lost treasures at the root of the old fir tree, or happily hunting down Colorado beetles in the mild sunset light. We would always play and eat in that garden – who could have resisted freshly picked raspberries, apricots, apples and, of course, tomatoes? Indeed, no day would pass without me eating a tomato from my uncle’s garden. Firm, slightly sweet and deliciously thirst-quenching, my uncle’s heirloom tomatoes would give me that much-needed energy boost to go on with my playing.ย  Keep Reading

Raw Spice Bar giveaway: We have a winner!

Thank you all for taking part in the Raw Spice Bar giveaway. The winner is jberry, who wrote, โ€œIf I had to pick just one, Cumin. Having a comforting quality, tasting like home in a way. It represents so many ethnic palates as well.โ€

The winner has been notified. Stay tuned for more exciting giveaways! ๐Ÿ™‚