Organic Snacks from Envirokidz and a Costa Rica Trip Giveaway


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Now that a new school year is underway, I thought it would be the perfect time to overhaul the way my family eats. It’s not that we eat unhealthily, but I would really like to replace some of the food we eat now with organic, non-GMO foods. That means finding organic brands to feed my family that taste GOOD. I have a six-year-old and a two-year-old at home and they aren’t signing off on anything that isn’t tasty.


My family had the opportunity to try out some Nature’s Path Envirokidz goodies and we instantly fell in love. Envirokidz has a range of cereals and bars more that are all gluten-free, vegetarian, whole grain, low fat, wheat-free and trans-fat free. So, if you have a kiddo or family member who can’t have gluten, you can feed them the same cereal or snack as everyone else! I’m partial to the Lemur Peanut Chocolate Drizzle Crispy Rice Bars myself. And my lil’ dude agrees! He calls it his special chocolate bar. 

Now that you’ve heard about my family’s favorite new treats, I have some fun news for you…Envirokidz is hosting a very exciting contest! They are sending three families on a trip to Costa Rica to help save the sea turtles. These families will visit SEE Turtles, a non-profit wildlife conservation travel operator in the OSA peninsula.



The contest winners and their families (three groups of 4 people) will get an all-expense paid trip to Costa Rica in March of 2015. They will spend three days working with Costa Rican organization Latin American Sea Turtles to catch endangered green and hawksbill sea turtles in the Golfo Dulce, a beautiful gulf located alongside the Osa Peninsula. They will also help researchers set out nets, measure the turtles, and collect important data before releasing them back to the water.

In addition, the winners will participate in a mangrove restoration project by helping to plant two species of mangrove trees that are critically important to turtles and other wildlife. AND the winners will get to visit a chocolate farm to see how the world’s favorite treat is made! The winning doesn’t end there though…Ten lucky runner-ups will receive EnviroKidz gift baskets.

To enter and find official contest rules, please visit

Compensation was provided by Nature’s Path

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Celebrating National Olive Oil Month #PledgeForEvoo

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian.

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Celebrating National Olive Oil Month


We love to create home cooked food and test out new recipes for our families with one of staples that we are always using is olive oil, and specifically the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Pompeian.

From grilling fish to sautéing veggies to a simple dressing, we love to use Pompeian olive oil, a renowned brand for over 100 years. Bursting with flavor, we love how Pompeian offers a full-bodied taste that enhances food while also adding health benefits. This includes a product that is cholesterol free and contains far less saturated fat (only 2g compared to 7g) than butter.

Olive Oil Month

To celebrate this heart-healthy option, Pompeian is celebrating National Olive Oil Month this August by launching the Pompeian Pledge, a call for consumers to swap butter for olive oil in everyday recipes.

To take the pledge, the first 1,000 fans who sign up will be randomly selected to receive a gift from Pompeian (a free movie redemption code and a coupon for a free bottle of olive oil), plus every week five additional fans who have pledged will win a fun prize pack on Pompeian’s timeline.

The main part of the pledge is to show how easy it is to swap butter recipes for olive oil where Pompeian is partnering with movie theaters across the country to swap movie theatre popcorn butter with Pompeian Olive Oils.

Olive Oil Month

To learn how easy it is to swap butter for olive oil, check out Pompeian’s conversion chart where you can discover how easy it is to make the swap using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Special Blends, the premium Varietals Collection and more!

From soups to salads to meat and more, olive oil from Pompeian is a great way to enhance your food and enjoy it’s many healthy benefits. Don’t you think it’s time to make the easy switch?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian.

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Hatchery Launches a Marketplace for Small Batch Specialty Condiments


Foodies will love the latest news from Hatchery, an online Marketplace that supports independent farmers and small-batch food makers from across the country, with the launch of their exciting new marketplace.

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With the movement towards understanding where our food comes from and supporting small companies, the team at Hatchery has traveled the country and hand-selected over 100 local food makers who combined have several hundredproducts in its Marketplace, including the likes of Seattle-based Mustard and Co., New York-based Better Off Spread, and Oregon-based Meso Nutso. This includes trips to green markets, visiting family farms and traveling dirt roads – all to discover passionate makers.


Through their service you can enjoy, The Tasting Box, a monthly subscription service that sends customers 5-6 sample-size products where you can sample jams, honeys, syrups, spreads, cooking sauces, oils, vinegars, salts, spices, seasonings and more;  the new Marketplace where you can can buy the full size item if you loved it in the box and the Guide where you can discover original recipes, videos, tips, tutorials, etc.

Another cool feature is that every maker within Hatchery’s Marketplace is profiled with a photo, brief story and map showing where their products are made, so that shoppers know exactly who’s making their food and where it’s coming from. In addition, Hatchery goes beyond the traditional retailer, by providing complimentary services to help support and drive sales for their local makers, including innovative packaging solutions, taste testing, marketing and brand support, video production, social media support and editorial and recipe development.

This allows the online shopping experience to be more personal as they introduce consumers to these amazing makers.

For more information, visit


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Celebrity Chef Interview with Kelsey Nixon

Interview with Kelsey Nixon

Looking for some health and easy recipes that you can discover right from your pantry? Just ask Kelsey Nixon – host of the Emmy-nominated show Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel, and author of the new cookbook, Kitchen ConfidenceEssential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything.Check out our recent interview with Kelsey where you will discover some delicious ideas on how to stock your pantry and cook better this year.

Kitchen Confidence

Momtrends: What are some of your go-to kitchen essentials?

Kelsey Nixon: On my show and in my book I focus on essential tips, tools, and techniques that I think every home cook should know about. When it comes to a go-to “tip” I’m a huge fan of making it a priority to keep a well-stocked pantry. Nothing makes getting a home cooked meal on the table easier than being able to first turn to your pantry and find most of what you need there. By stocking up on canned goods like beans, tomatoes, broths/stocks, artichokes, and olives in addition to grains like quinoa, pasta, and rice you’ll always have a great base to build a meal upon. These ingredients are always in my pantry – as a result I know that I’m just a few steps away from making a delicious, nutritious and easy homemade meal for my family that I can feel good about. You can then fill in the blanks with other produce and protein. Developing a habit to cook from your pantry will make your life as a home cook so much easier.

An essential tool that I turn to every day (multiple times a day!) is a good, sharp chef’s knife. Working with a knife that is good quality and feels great in your hand will make you a more efficient cook and increase your confidence in the kitchen overall. When it comes to an essential technique, I think learning the basics behind a good stir-fry will immediately give you another quick weeknight dinner option. Knowing what pantry staples to rely on and the proper technique for this simple approach will equip you with the skills to whip out dinner in no time.

Momtrends: What are some of your tips for summer entertaining on a budget?

Kelsey NixonI love to entertain, but there’s no question that it can get expensive quick! A potluck can be a great way to host a party and only have to provide a few of the dishes, which helps to keep your budget under control. It’s also fun to see what your guests will bring and you may even walk away with a few new recipes to try. I also suggest turning to your pantry to see what you have on hand before you begin planning a menu for entertaining. Ingredients like canned beans are super affordable and a perfect pairing for a summer bbq. Whether you’re making a chilled bean salad or savory baked beans, it’s easy to feed a lot of hungry guests with a simple side dish like this. Canned tomatoes and broths are a perfect base for a big batch of sauce or marinades for meat to throw on the grill as well.  Some of the world’s best chefs use canned tomatoes in their signature red sauces. That’s because fresh tomatoes are only in season three months out of the year. When tomatoes are canned, they maintain their flavor, nutrients and freshness – making them a fantastic option for a sauce that’s sure to please a crowd on a budget. 

Momtrends: What are some of your tips for healthy cooking?

Kelsey Nixon: Making an effort to plan your meals in advance will be a huge help when it comes to eating more healthfully. Having a plan will eliminate unnecessary mindless snacking and those last minute orders for pizza and Chinese take out. I think being more aware of what we’re eating is the first step to making smarter choices. I also think that cooking at home will automatically result in healthier eating options. When we reach for convenience foods, they’re usually lacking in nutrients. Even a simple homemade meal of a quick pasta sauce thrown together with canned tomatoes and veggies takes only minutes to make and is something you can feel good about serving your family. I always try and turn to what ingredients I have on hand first before resorting to take out or delivery. (Which I still do my fair share of!)

Momtrends: How did the idea for your new cookbook come about?

Kelsey NixonI really wanted to write a companion book to my show Kelsey’s Essentials. Just like on my show, I hope to inspire home cooks that anyone can cook – it’s simply following directions and then gaining the confidence to use cooking as a creative outlet. My cookbook is filled with recipes that I think every home cook should have in their back pocket. The recipes are familiar, yet updated. For example, my lasagna has butternut squash and parsnips and my roast chicken is slathered in Moroccan spices. The techniques are simple and straightforward, yet the flavors are exciting and different! Writing my cookbook was an unbelievable labor of love, one of the hardest yet most rewarding work projects I’ve ever done. I hope people enjoy the recipes as much as I do. I’m so proud of how it came together.

Momtrends: How do you find balancing work and mommy hood?

Kelsey NixonDifficult! I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like I’ve got the “balance” figured out. Most days I just feel like I’m juggling both roles. There are days when I’m a better career woman and there are days when I’m a better mom. I’ve found that the most important piece of advice I’ve received is to be kind to myself and realize that no one has it completely figured out. At times I feel like I’ve got a great rhythm and I’m really fulfilled. But there are also times when it’s necessary for me to step back and readjust my priorities. More than anything, I have gained a huge amount of love and respect for any mama out there trying to juggle multiple roles. It’s a really tough and often times thankless job, but it’s also an unbelievable gift to get to experience both. I wouldn’t wish for it to be any other way. 

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Chicken of the Sea Great American Gratitude Tour #100YearsOfGood

Chicken of the Sea Great American Gratitude Tour


Did you know that the Chicken of the Sea brand is turning 100 years old? As one of the nation’s leading providers of seafood, Chicken of the Sea is celebrating their centennial by paying it forward through the Chicken of the Sea Great American Gratitude Tour. Through this campaign, they will be recognizing 100 amazing community leaders across the nation by awarding a total of $1 million in 2014 (that $10,000 per recipient)!


100 Years of Good logo

This nationwide giving back campaign is on a mission to discover charities, individuals and organizations that are doing amazing work in their communities. If you know someone like this, you can nominate them at

Chicken of the Sea Tour

You can also join in the celebrations by posting photos of gratitude on social media with the hashtag #100YearsofGood for a chance to have them appear in their 100 Years of Good story wall, and the fun opportunity to meet the Chicken of the Sea team during their nationwide tour. This includes a six-month, 56-city journey that will be making stops around the country, including the NYC area where you can meet with the brand from August 22nd to August 24th. This includes stops on August 22 at the Stop & Shop (70-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Averne by the Sea, NY 11692) and on August 23 and 24 at the Long Island Seafood Festival (86 West Ave., West Sayville, NY 11796).


To celebrate Chicken of the Sea and this upcoming tour, we are excited to share their delicious recipe for Salmon Patties.

1 (5 oz) can, drained Chicken of the Sea® Skinless & Boneless Pink Salmon
1 teaspoon dry minced onion
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Dash pepper
2 tablespoons dairy sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a small bowl combine salmon, onion, parsley, lemon juice and pepper.

Stir in sour cream, egg and bread crumbs.

Shape into 4 patties.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and cook patties about 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, turning gently.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Full Disclosure: Winner must be 18 years or older and a US Resident. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim their prize. Contest ends August 30, 2014 at Midnight EST. Winners will be picked by By entering this contest, you will automatically be signing up for the Momtrends newsletter. This is a sponsored post.

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School Lunch Ideas #LUNCHBOXLOVE

School Lunch Idea

We have been in back-to-school mode – planning for school shopping and getting lunch ideas together. To help us out, we have been inspired by some ideas from with their delicious collections featuring fun and healthy options for our kids’ brown bags. This includes favorites like Kid-Friendly Apple SandwichesCucumber And Cream Cheese Sandwiches and Edmame And Garlic Scape Hummus . We are also sharing some of our own recipes that we tried and tested in the Momtrends’ kitchen over the years with some of our favorites being Squash Soup,Turkey Soup, an Updated Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a Baby PB & J Bagel Sandwich that we know your kids will love. Check out our recent lunch box collection, and let us know what some of your favorite lunch box ideas are in the comments section.

Check out Lunch Box Ideas #LUNCHBOXLOVE

by Serena Norr at


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Easy Chocolate Banana Cheesecake Pops



If there are two flavors that I think are natural partners, it’s chocolate and banana. They complement each other in such a delightful way and any time that combination is in effect, I’m a happy girl. That goes double when we’re talking about dark chocolate. So, I thought it would be fun to create a sweet, chocolate banana treat with Silky Smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolate. 

We’ve spent the past week at my family’s vacation home in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and while I don’t mind cooking on vacation, easy is definitely the name of the game, which is why I set out to make a super easy treat that everyone in my family from my mama to my kiddos would love.

I’ve always found a nice frozen dessert to be especially refreshing in the summertime, so I decided to make some easy, frozen chocolate banana cheesecake pops. I’ve seen cheesecake pops all over Pinterest and thought they would taste extra delicious frozen.

Did you know that when you add fruit to batter it loosens it up? Hence, these pops have a decidedly more rustic look than the typical, round cake pops. You don’t have to worry about making uniform little balls, which makes it a perfect recipe for the kids to help with!


1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/3 cup of sugar
1 banana
6 pieces of Silky Smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolate
1/4 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
lollipop or craft sticks


1. Mash the banana with a fork.


2. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and mashed banana with an electric mixer.


3. Place the batter in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up a bit.

4. Place spoonfuls of the batter on a cookie sheet and insert a lollipop or craft stick into each one.

5. Melt the Silky Smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolates in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.


6. Drizzle the melted chocolate over each cheesecake pop.


7. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top.


8. Freeze for at least 3 hours until firm and enjoy.


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Cooking Made Easy with Blue Apron

While I do love to cook, but it can be grueling when I realize that I make the same thing every week. While I do love our rotation of taco nights, pasta and chicken, and I am also always looking for new recipes that both my kids and I will love.

Blue Apron

Enter Blue Apron, a meal kit delivery service providing at-home chefs with all the fresh, pre-portioned ingredients needed to cook incredible meals. This includes a service that features tasty and healthy meal options that take around 35 minutes to prepare (on average) with easy to follow recipe cards and seasonal ingredients.

Blue Apron

How it works is that you can opt for a meal plan. They offer meals every week or based on your needs, with no commitment. Starting at $9.99 per person per meal, this includes a menu of delicious and interchangeable food options with current offerings being Oven-Fried Chicken, Shrimp Summer Rolls, Lamb, Mint & Pea Orecchiette and much more.

Blue Apron

To test out this service, I made Trofie Pasta, Roasted Poblano and Quinoa Sopes and a delicious Three Pea Salad. To start a collection of pre-portioned ingredients arrived at my door, along with three recipe cards. This included a description of the recipe and easy-to-understand cooking instructions. Since everything was portioned for me the meal was ready in about 40 minutes that we all devoured and loved. Complete with fresh and delicious ingredients, this was a such a fun way to try something new while also having everything I needed right at my fingertips – it really doesn’t get any easier than this!

As for the food, it simple was delicious and something that I am excited to add to our rotation, which hopefully will continue to grow thanks to Blue Apron.

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12 Recipes with Summer Fruits and Vegetables

Check out 12 Recipes with Summer Fruits and Vegetables

by Serena Norr at

While we love summer for the travel and warmer weather, we also love it for the incredible access to fresh fruits and vegetables. With parties and summer entertaining in full swing, we have been scouring in search of some ways to prepare of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables. From fresh fruit pies to summer salads, here are just a few of our favorites.

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Plan Your Perfect Summer Picnic

Perfect Summer Picnic

Warm evenings, no school, and farmer’s markets overflowing with in-seasons fruits and veggies makes summer the perfect time for a picnic. Throw together a simple salad, some leftover chicken and an ice-cold rosé to go with some of our favorite picnic accessories. Cheers!

I love how this Malvern Bamboo Cheese Board Set is both practical and pretty and seriously ups your picnic game. But it’s also easy to stash in a basket or tote. Genius.


Huntsman Basket for 4 w_ AccessoriesThis Huntsman Basket for 4 w/ Accessories has everything you could need for a civilized meal outdoors. Each basket includes four 8” ceramic plates, four wine glasses, stainless steel flatware, napkins, a food cooler, an insulated wine pouch, a hardwood cutting board, spill-proof salt and pepper shakers, a wood-handled cheese knife, and a stainless steel waiter’s corkscrew. Not to mention it’s packaged in an adorable, easy-to-carry basket.

2 Bottle Wine and Cheese Cooler

Or keep your picnic simple with the Wine and Cheese Cooler which has an insulated interior to keep your Brie and bubbly chilled as well as acrylic glasses, napkins, a corkscrew, bottle stopper, cheese knife, and a hardwood cutting board.

Striped Picnic Blanket

I like to picnic on the ground where I can lay back and savor my wine or even grab a mid-afternoon nap if the mood strikes me which is why this Stripe Picnic Blanket is a perfect fit. With a waterproof underside, this blanket is large enough for the whole family (58″ x 53″) but folds up, Velcros closed and has a shoulder strap and carry handle for easy transport.

Portable Picnic Table

If you’re a little squeamish about your prosciutto being so close to nature, you may prefer this Portable Picnic Table. Pull the suitcase-looking contraption out of its carry case and  – voila! – a tabletop and four seats to keep your summer dress off the grass and the ants out of your antipasto.

Portable GrillChicken kebabs. A shrimp appetizer. Goat-cheese stuffed baby bell peppers. (Is your mouth watering yet?) This modern, foldable, Portable Grill make all your hot food dreams come true – at the park under the evening sun. It even comes with a convenient carry bag.

Happy picnicking!

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