Archive for the ‘foodietot faves’ Category

Plum Organics Mighty Tots Giveaway #sponsored

Friday, July 25th, 2014

This post is sponsored by Plum Organics.

Hello, readers! Hope you’ve been having a fun and delicious summer. We’ve been on the road quite a bit, which has given us a good reason to try out some of the newest kids snacks from Plum Organics. We’re long-time fans of Plum’s all-natural products for little eaters, so we were glad to try out their new Mighty line of pouches, bars and puffs for growing tots.

Plum mighty tots | foodietots.com

As part of the launch of the new products, Plum is celebrating the wild imaginations of toddlers. When my oldest was just three, we set about planning our first kitchen garden. I gave him a sheet of paper and asked him to draw what he’d like to grow in our garden. Here’s what I got:

a toddler's garden | foodietots.com

From left, he drew three sunflowers, a hot dog plant, strawberry and peas. Of course. We couldn’t quite get our hot dog plant to grow, but we did eat a lot of garden-fresh peas and strawberries! I love the creative combinations kids come up with when you give them room to play in the kitchen or at the dinner table.

Plum has some fun “Ask a Toddler” videos on YouTube posing questions like, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” This one got big laughs from my two cow-loving foodie tots.

GIVEAWAY: Plum Organics would like to share a Mighty kit (pictured below) with one lucky reader. The kit contains Mighty 4 Pouches, Mighty Puff ‘Ems, and Mighty 4 Bars. The giveaway is open to US residents only and closes at 11:59 EST Thursday, July 31. Enter below.

plum mighty tots giveaway foodietots.com

I love the creative ingredient combinations Plum’s come up with for these new products, especially the Mighty 4 pouches that contain protein (Greek yogurt), fiber, vitamins and Omega 3s in flavors like pumpkin pomegranate with quinoa and chia seeds. Confession: I’ve been known to grab an extra pouch for myself for a quick breakfast or snack on the go.

Even my big kid, now age 7, has been enjoying the Puff ‘Ems — Cheesy Pumpkin Sage has been the favorite, and I like that it’s a cheese puff I can feel good about them snacking on, packed with whole grains and veggies. The bars are also full of nutrition, made with fruit/veggie blends like strawberry-spinach and a touch of yogurt and chia seeds, too.

Be sure to check out the Plum videos with your tots and encourage them to tell you how they’d answer the questions, too — I guarantee you’ll share some laughs!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Plum Organics. As always, all opinions are our own.

In the Kitchen at Cava Grill

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

We recently went into the kitchen at one of our favorite local eateries to learn how to make falafel. The foodie tot and I frequently lunch at Cava Grill on her days off from preschool. When I was explaining to her recently that both hummus and falafel start out from the same ingredient, chick peas, it seemed like a cooking lesson was in order. Fortunately, the kind folks at Cava Grill welcomed us into the kitchen to learn their secrets.

foodietot loves cava

Cava Grill makes their falafel and most other ingredients fresh in house each day. They work with a number of local farms to source their ingredients, including naturally-raised lamb, beef and chicken, and are working to ensure every item is GMO-free by the end of the year. Later this year, they’ll transition to baking pita in-house as well. Cava’s hummus and spreads are made in a central commissary and delivered to the restaurants three times a week; you can also find them at local Whole Foods, MOMs Organic Market and other natural grocers to enjoy at home.

But back to the falafel. It turns out their recipe is the result of a miscommunication when they started testing recipes. A cook didn’t mash the chick peas first and when the falafel were mixed, whole beans remained in the balls. This happy accident results in falafel that isn’t as dense as many others, and tastes fresh and flavorful.

fresh-made falafel at cava | foodietots.com

The foodie tot was eager to get into the kitchen and mix things up. There’s just seven ingredients: chick peas, salt, cumin, parsley, cilantro, onion and flour. The Mosaic District location, where we were cooking, goes through 100 pounds of chick peas each day — just making falafel!

Take a look at the video to see the foodie tot — and Cava’s director of operations, Rob Gresham — in action.

FoodieTot Loves Cava from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

While I couldn’t entice her to write this blog post herself, the foodie tot did consent to a post-visit interview.

Q.  What did you enjoy about making falafel?

A.  Putting everything in!

Q.  Were there any surprises in the kitchen?

A.  How big the cans of beans were. (6 pounds each!)

Q.  What’s your favorite thing to eat at Cava?

A.  Fawaffle! (i.e., falafel ;) )

In addition the the tasty falafel, we love Cava for its healthy and customizable kids meal. The meal comes with a mini pita, choice of brown or white rice, choice of proteins, carrot sticks and hummus. The girl gets her falafel, while the foodie boy prefers the lamb meatballs. Kids can choose fresh toppings too — the foodie tot gets either the cucumber or cucumber-tomato salad and kalamata olives. I love the “super greens” salad blend, myself, which includes kale and brussels sprouts; I get it fully loaded with toppings and usually go for the spicy harissa or sriracha greek yogurt dressing. Perfection. Drink-wise, kids can get organic milk or choose the freshly-made juice. It’s strawberry season right now, which means strawberry mint lime juice is our beverage of choice.

cava grill healthy kids meal | foodietots.com

Just look at that colorful, fresh, veggie-loaded meal!

A casual spin-off of the original Cava Mezze restaurants, there are currently 5 Cava Grill locations in the metro DC area, with five more on the way within the next year. The newest location, Chinatown, will open early this fall. Visit their website to find the location nearest you. They have a fun Tumblr, too.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored review, but we did receive a free lunch. As always, all opinions are our own, and we really, really love Cava! Many thanks to Nikki, Liz and Rob at Cava Grill for welcoming us into the restaurant.

FoodieTots Finds: Holiday Cards from Minted

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

It might seem odd for a blogger to say, but I love paper. Print magazines, real books, and stylish stationery are things I just can’t imagine giving up. And so I am a firm believer in sending holiday cards, though admittedly not always organized enough to do them early. With Hanukkah coming a full month before Christmas this year (we celebrate both), though, I’m feeling a little more pressured to get them out earlier. And, there are usually great deals from the online stationery sites to reward you for planning ahead. Minted.com is one of those sites, and has just launched this year’s holiday collection.

Minted holiday cards | foodietots.com

They asked us to take a look, and I quickly found a dozen or so photo card designs that I love. And unlike other places that offer a token one or two Hanukkah cards, Minted offers 75 designs, from the sophisticated to the casual.

Minted holiday cards

How cute is that holiday cookie exchange invitation?

Minted offers special touches, like pressed foil for a glittery touch, and allows you to use multiple pictures if you just can’t narrow it down to one. They have a unique “Find it Fast” tool that lets you upload a photo and quickly see it in multiple designs.

Minted find it fast | foodietots.com

And Minted designers personally review your cards and send a digital proof to ensure they look right before being printed — a definite advantage over those self-serve photo machines. I love their mini-books, too, for those times when you have a lot to share.

If you order from Minted.com by Monday, November 11, you can enjoy $25 off + free ground shipping on holiday card orders with code JOY25FS. Or check out their offers section for the latest discount.

Disclosure: I received a credit from Minted to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own. I have ordered and received Minted cards in the past and they are truly high quality and well designed.

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Favorite Things: Frozen Treats from the Streets of DC

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Our favorite things week moves right along with 3 of our favorite locally-made frozen treats of summer. Our love of dairy extends beyond cheese every once in a while, and we spend a fair bit of our summers searching out the best and brightest ice creams and other frozen goodies. Like these…

20130823-130056.jpg

1. Roasted Strawberry Gelato from Dolcezza — if you missed it, you’re out of luck till next year as the strawberry season here is so fleeting. But, you really can’t go wrong with any of Dolcezza’s decadent gelato flavors. Chocolate mint stracciatella is always a favorite of mine.

Milk Cult Popcorn Macaron Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich foodietots.com

2. Salted Caramel Popcorn Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich from Milk Cult – discovered at the Farm-to-Street Party, Milk Cult is a mobile ice cream sandwich and cold brew coffee company. What a coincidence, those may be my two favorite things.

Goodies Custard Truck at Truckeroo from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

3. Old school Root Beer Floats from Gigi, the retro Goodies Frozen Custard Truck we spotted last week at Truckeroo.

(Two favorites of previous summers still on our agenda: soft-serve at Northside Social and a visit to Pleasant Pop‘s not-that-new-anymore retail location.)

What favorite frozen treats have you discovered this summer?

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes {and Macy’s Giveaway}

Friday, November 18th, 2011

One of my favorite things about the holidays is learning the stories behind treasured family recipes. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to holiday meals, and yet I can’t resist the occasional tinkering or experimentation. While our Thanksgiving menu generally resembles the meals I had growing up, I’ve taken a few liberties with some dishes. We rarely spend the holiday with my own family, so I make the sweeter cranberry sauce we prefer instead of my aunt’s cranberry-orange relish, and add blue cheese to my mom’s green bean amandine. Other things, like sweet potato casserole, have made their way to our menu even though I don’t recall having had them as a kid.

For one of the first Thanksgiving meals my husband and I hosted, I decided to add a Southern twist to that ubiquitous sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. (This Oregon girl and New York boy now reside in Virginia; though just slightly in “The South,” there are a few Southern favorites we’ve embraced, like bourbon.) A splash of bourbon and crunch of pecans counters the sweetness, and the result is a fully-loaded crowd pleaser of a casserole that’s earned its place on the table every year. The kids go nuts for the marshmallows while the grown-ups like the sophistication of the bourbon. I’m kidding of course, the grown-ups go just as nuts for the marshmallows as the kids. After all, at what other meal of the year can you get away with topping the vegetables with candy?

southern candied sweet potatoes with bourbon

Recipe: Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large potatoes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/8 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 2 cups marshmallows

Instructions:

1. Wash, peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Place in a large pot and fill with cold water to one inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread potatoes in an 9×12-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, brown sugar, pecan pieces, and bourbon. Place marshmallows on top.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until marshmallow tops are golden brown. Makes 6 servings.

~~~

macys recipe contestWhat’s your family’s favorite holiday dish? Macy’s wants to know: Macy’s is cooking up a storm at its Facebook page and asking fans to share their most-loved recipes here. Then, fans can vote for their favorites for a chance to win fun prizes! The Facebook contest is open until November 30.

And, you can enter to win a prize right here: Macy’s is offering one lucky FoodieTots reader a choice of one of four products:

-          Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Ceramic Covered Casserole Dish (perfect for sweet potato casserole!)

-          Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Hard Anodized Fry Pans (set of 3)

-          Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Stainless Steel 15” Roaster with Roasting Rack

-          Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook

To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing which item you would choose and what you’d cook with it. The giveaway ends Friday, November 25 at 11:59pm, Eastern time. The winner will be notified by email so be sure to leave a valid email when you comment (will only be visible to me). For additional entries, tweet or share the contest on Facebook, then leave an additional comment here letting me know you’ve done so. Good luck, and happy cooking!

Update: Thanks everyone for entering our holiday giveaway — the contest is now closed and the lucky commenter is #13, Sara. Check your email, Sara!