Category Archives: Food

Carmel Honey Company



We choose to buy from specific companies for variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because we love the origin story, sometimes it’s because the product is so phenomenal. Isn’t it great when you can both in one product? That is the story with the Carmel Honey Company. The the origin story of a 14 year old who has his own honey company is mesmerizing. But you don’t buy this honey out of charity, you buy it because it is phenomenal. I got a chance to meet the founder, Jake, and try some of his phenomenal honey at the recent #LLBlogNotaConf blogger getaway in Carmel by the Sea.

The Carmel Honey Company is run by a now 14 year old but it didn’t start that way. It started as a 5th graders career project in his class. They were all assigned roles and positions that would occur within a company. Jake was assigned the role of web designer. He created a fully functioning honey business site due to his already existing passion for honeybees. This project didn’t stop with just a website that he took that fully functioning website and used it to help create the Carmel Honey Company. Now Carmel Honey Company has a hundred and twenty-five hives. Our young entrepreneur owner had just come from the Food and Wine Festival where he was with Graham Elliot the weekend previous to the honey tasting I was at. 

Jake has a serious passion for bees of all types he doesn’t stop with just running a profitable business. He also does non-profit work and going into schools and talking about bee culture and what we can do to help the bees survive because the bees help us survive! He is a very impressive young man! 

You know that I love business, business education and young entrepreneurs. But that is not the real reason that I’m loving the Carmel Honey Company right now. It’s for the honey! The tasting that I attended we got to try 4 different types of honey. We got to try an orange blossom honey, a sage honey, a wildflower honey, and a meadowfoam honey. Now I’ve had a lot of honey. I come from the Central Valley, the land of produce, so of course I had some great honey from some great beekeepers. My personal favorite and standard honey I use everyday happens to be the Mandarin orange honey but I have to say that the Carmel Honey orange blossom honey is phenomenal! It has an extra tangy citrus bite that just isn’t there in a lot of the orange honeys that I’ve eaten. The sage honey was intriguingly savory yet still sweet and harmonious to the idea of using it in a great sauce over beef. Wildflower honey, which typically is my least favorite honey, was really good.  But the honey that gave me the greatest pause was the Meadowfoam honey. I’ve never tasted anything like that.

I’ve tried a lot of other varieties of Honey (pomegranate honey anyone?) but I’ve never tasted anything quite like Meadowfoam honey. It is a single source honey and has a unique sweetness. It tastes like dessert. Like rally good vanilla marshmallows that have been toasted in preparation of a s’more. It’s rich and dense and everything that a great dessert should be. This isn’t a honey that you’re going to eat a lot of. But it is a honey that is going to satisfy that sweet tooth. I personally think that this will be great over a grapefruit or just when you’re rummaging through the kitchen going to need something a certain something and that will satisfy it. I think would also be great in any kind of dessert baking or any time you want to reduce the sugar but keep a luxurious sweetness. I am thinking of strawberries and marscapone cheese with a drizzle over the top. I’m sure that this is not the first Meadowfoam honey to exist but it was phenomenal and entrancing.

I love all the honeys that I tasted that day but the Orange and the Meadowfoam will keep me ordering time after time. So go support a kid who has started a very successful and thriving honey business and get some great honey. Now if you will excuse me, I have made myself hungry!

(While I was at the #LLBlogNotAConf  and the honey tasting was an included event, I was not paid for this post. All opinions are mine and I did receive gift for attending the tasting.)

Pupusa Pizza (Its Gluten Free Pizza)

Pupusa Pizza

I stink at lunch. I just do. My kids always do sandwiches for their lunch but I am gluten free and lazy. So I am really bad about actually getting up and making myself something. That makes for a crazy lady who waits until she is starving, then eats all the junk food in the house… Not good. So when I got a care package from Del Real Foods, I decided it was time to conquer lunch! 

WP_20160429_12_20_55_ProThis is a super easy dish that is tasty and gluten free. I wanted to create something with items I just had on hand and needed no real prep! The base of this recipe is a Cheese and Bell Pepper Pupusa. I know, you don’t know what a pupusa is ;). It is like a cheese filled corn tortilla. I looked at it as a cheese crust for a little personal pizza! 
So lets get into this!


1 Del Real Pupusa (these are fully cooked)
1 tablespoon precooked Del Real shredded chicken 
1 1/2 tablespoon shredded mozzarella (I like cheese;)
3 artichoke hearts (mine were thawed from frozen)
Optional: pizza sauce (I didn’t use it)

Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. Put your pupusa on a baking sheet. Spread on the pupusa 1/2 tablespoon of mozzarella, then artichoke hearts, then chicken, and then remaining cheese. Cook for 15 minutes until everything is golden brown and delicious! The inside of the pupusa will be all gooey too! 

Eat and enjoy! It doesn’t get any easier than that! It would make a great lunch or dinner and you can customize it to each person!!! Yum!


(Disclosure: I was sent food from Del Real Foods but all opinions and thoughts are mine!)


Bargains for Eating Out on Halloween


I don’t know about you but Halloween can be crazy over here! This year we are taking the kids to church for a couple of hours then we are going Trick or Treating. Somewhere in the middle of that we will also be eating dinner;). Luckily, many restaurants want your Halloween eating out dollars! Here are a few of the deals I know of this year!

Jamba Juice– My local Jamba Juice is running kids’ smoothies half off and are giving $1 coupons off for adult smoothies too. They did tell me that different areas may have different deals.

Chili’s– They are running a promotion where kids in costume eat free! That is 1 kid’s meal to 1 adult meal purchased. I received a coupon in my email but I don’t think it is needed.

Outback– The Outback has a coupon on their site that is good for kid’s meals that are $2.99 or 15% off your whole bill. The really nice thing about this deal is that it is good for dine in or curbside take away!

Chipotle– They are running a $3 burrito deal when you add something unnecessary to your costume.

Sonic Drive In– They are running 50 cent corn dogs to celebrate Halloween!

Sizzler– Sizzler is also running a kids eat free in costume deal. It is also 1 kids meal to every 1 adult meal purchased. 

Baja Fresh– They are also running a kids eat free in costume promotion! It is also a 1 kids meal to 1 adult meal deal.

So the real question is: Where are you eating this Haloween?

Have Hard Boiled Eggs? Now What?

Hard Boiled Eggs

I love hard boiled eggs. They are a great source of protein and just plain delicious! Whether you boil them or bake them (325 degrees for 30 minutes) I am sure that we will all be rolling in hard boiled eggs by next weekend! After the baskets and the egg hunts, what are we to do with all those eggs?

1)Deviled Eggs! This is the most common hard boiled egg recipe. Peel, cut in half, scoop out the yolk. Mix with mayo, salt, pepper, a little mustard and paprika. Put the mixture back into the whites. There are many variations but this is the basics.

2)Egg Salad Sandwiches: Chop up the eggs, mix with mayo and mustard. Add celery, paprika, salt and pepper. Put on your favorite bread!

3)A regular salad (Cobb style) is a perfect use of hard boiled eggs. Lettuce, bacon, chopped eggs, tomatoes, cheese, carrots and what more do you need?

4)Spring Asparagus that has been lightly blanched. Then top it with chopped egg with a splash of vinegar along with salt and pepper. The crispness of the asparagus with a touch of fat and acid is just decadent.

5) A shredded brussel sprout salad. You can either shred the brussel sprouts or peel the leaves. Then lightly saute them (with bacon if you like) then pull it off the fire. Add it to chopped eggs, slivered almonds, corn and season it with salt and pepper! A yummy and great way to eat brussel sprouts!!!

There are my 5 ways. What recipes do you have to utilize hard boiled eggs? Share the links!!!

Homemade Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup

When the weather turns the heart starts to crave soup! And when life is crazy there isn’t much easier to whip up and serve than a pot of soup. But in this house a soup that is served for dinner must eat like a meal!

This is a soup I crave, especially when I was pregnant;). But between being gluten free and the husband not being a giant fan of going out to dinner for pasta, I had to find a way to make this soup! I finally found a recipe and I was stoked! It is easy, quick and fairly cheap.

1lb Italian Sausage (I use the Italian Sausage from the Meat Market, 2 links)
2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
3 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups Kale or Swiss Chard, chopped
2 cans Chicken Broth
1 qt Water
1 c Heavy Whipping Cream

Cook your sausage. I remove the casing and then fry it. You could also bake for 1/2 hour at 300 degrees and then cut into slices.

Put your onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, and garlic in the pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn on low heat, add kale and cream. Heat through and serve!

I serve this fabulous soup with my Brazilian Cheese Rolls and a salad. The rolls are gluten free and cheesy and so tasty too!

Chocolate-Coconut Rice (with Success® Boil in Bag Rice)



I admit, I have a rice cooker. So it may sound a little odd that I am taking a look at Boil in Bag rice from Success® Rice, right? But you would be wrong! There are lots of times that Success® Boil in Bag Rice is a great choice, especially since they are the only brand that has boil-in-bag Jasmine rice (my go to white rice).

WP_20140821_17_36_58_Pro4 Instances that Success® Rice is a must:

1) When I don’t have time to make rice in my rice cooker! Making Jasmine rice in the rice cooker can easily take 30 minutes or more. Success Jasmine rice only takes 10 minutes.

2) When we are on vacation. We tend to stay in places that have kitchens but I don’t really want to do a lot of cooking;). All I need is a pot and some water;).

3) When I just want a little rice. My giant rice cooker can’t handle real small amounts.

4) When my rice cooker is busy;). Yes, you read that right. When I created this recipe I wanted some dessert and my rice cooker was full of rice and seasonings for dinner.

So that said, let’s get to the recipe!

We are gluten free over here so rice is a staple! While I love traditional rice pudding I don’t make it often because it is heavy and takes a while. I wanted something a little lighter that would quench my sweet tooth.

So I present to you, Chocolate-Coconut Rice!


Chocolate Coconut Rice
  1. 3 cups prepared Jasmine Rice
  2. 4 tablespoons melted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (can substitute other sugar or honey)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 6 tablespoons shredded, sweetened coconut
  6. 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  1. Dump everything into a bowl and mix together. The heat from the rice will melt the chocolate.
  1. You can serve it hot or cold!
Nerd Family
(This post is sponsored by Success® Rice. While they paid for the subject all thoughts, words and recipes are mine! Check out more rice recipes from Success® Rice by checking out their Pinterest and Facebook!)

Caprese Quinoa


Quinoa seems to be this magic food. It is a complete protein and fulfills the mental need for a starch to complete a meal. I have decided to get my family to eat quinoa! This is my first step in this path.

I adore a traditional caprese salad but never find it to be quite enough for a complete meal. This perfectly encapsulates summer eating for me with fresh tomatoes and basil. And I love my cheese and I love this dish;). My kids on the other hand didn’t love it but they ate it and a couple even asked for seconds. That is a good sign, right?

Where is your family on the quinoa path? Do they like it? Have they tried it? Let me know!!!

By the way, this recipe makes quite a bit and would be a great gluten free option for a picnic or potluck!


Caprese Quinoa
  1. 5 cups prepared and seasoned quinoa
  2. 1/2 ounce of basil cut into a chiffonade (a little clam shell with the stems picked out)
  3. 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
  4. 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, in small cubes
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. salt to taste
  1. Toss all the ingredients together. If you toss them in a warm rice cooker the flavors marry together well. Eat hot or cold.
Nerd Family


The 4th and Final week of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge!

I really can’t believe that it is the 4th and final week of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge! It has been a great month trying out the #LivingNowFoods gluten free products and coming up with some new recipes that will all be posted soon! I am so grateful for the paid Ambassadorship through Mamavation and Living Now Foods that has taken me on this fabulous journey! But the journey isn’t really over because on July 2nd at 6pm – 9:30pm (pacific) there will be a twitter party for the #LivingNowFoods campaign! I hope you all also entered the giveaway for a giant box of Living Now Foods gluten free products! But first, here are some of my gluten free adventures for the week!



My first adventure this week is with another quinoa dish! I made BMT Quinoa! It is quinoa with bacon, mozzarella cheese and grape tomatoes. That is seriously just about all there is too it. Quinoa is still a new dish to my kids but the bacon has totally won them over!


My next dish may not be the prettiest girl at the ball but it was tasty! We are mid birthday season here in the NerdFamily so I decided to make my first gluten free cake from scratch, well actually… NerdDad made it;). We used Barefeet in the Kitchen’s Gluten Free White Cake recipe using Living Now Brown Rice flour. It didn’t look like her’s when it was done cooking but was great! In reality it was probably just over mixed. But now we know and they all can’t work perfectly out the gate!


My last dish was a huge hit and a totally experiment! I recently saw someone say on Facebook that you could use quinoa as a meatloaf binder and that gave me some inspiration! Last week I had a child request my Turkey Bacon Spinach burgers as a birthday dinner. When I make those, I only use half of the meat mixture for burgers and free the rest. Well, I decided to make like a meatloaf muffin! I took the remaining half of the meat and mixed in 2 cups of quinoa. Then baked them off in little silicon muffin tins. They were so good. My kids said they didn’t even taste the quinoa and the family devoured all of them! The nice thing about making them in muffin cups is that you can lift the meatloaf out of the cup and leave all the grease behind. I think I will be making a big batch of these next time so I can freeze some to have on hand and ready.

Well, that brings this adventure almost completely to a close. Make sure to pop over to last week’s wrap up to enter the Rafflecopter for a giant set of gluten free supplies and to join the #LivingNowFoods hashtag for a great twitter party!

(Disclosure: This is a compensated post but all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone!)


Week 3 of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge and a Giveaway

I can’t believe that I am already in the 3rd week of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge!!! For those who have missed this, I am doing a paid Ambassadorship through Mamavation and Living Now Foods. Basically I am using their products this month and sharing some of my experiences weekly!

I made a family favorite this week! I made a gluten free take on Cheddar Bay Biscuits, which are the kind of rolls they serve at Red Lobster. These were really tasty! I used the All Purpose Flour as the base of the rolls. They are a bit pale because I used mozzarella instead of cheddar but you have to use what you have;). The secret to this biscuits really is the melted butter and garlic powder  mixture you put on after the biscuits are cooks. Yum!

It was my (now) 11 year old daughter’s birthday on Tuesday and she wanted breakfast for dinner. And she was specific that she wanted eggs, bacon and pancakes. So I made some gluten free buttermilk pancakes with the All Purpose Flour. My secret ingredient is vanilla and brown sugar. It leaves them so sweet that you don’t really need syrup. I used a pancake pen to make a variety of shapes! I made dots, hearts, stars and snakes. The kids loved it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie

I also made my family staple of my fabulous Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are such a hit that people don’t know that these cookies are gluten free. The main starch in this is white rice flour. Made with fresh dough, they are good but the texture tastes a little grainy. But if you freeze the dough and cook it from frozen, they are magic. They will stay poofy and light and you can make a giant batch ahead of time;). This is one dish my husband always asks me to keep in the freezer and they are a huge hit at our monthly game night.

That brings this week’s adventures to a close. But wait! There’s more! Living Now Foods has decided to do a giveaway for the readers of all the Ambassadors! You can enter here, or any of the blogs, because it is a combined giveaway with 1 unified Rafflecopter. There will be 3 winners who will receive big boxes of Living Now products!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for this piece but all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone!)

Week 2 of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge

week 2 Living Now Foods

I am bringing week #2 of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge to close! For those of you who missed last week’s post, I am doing a 30 day gluten free challenge with Living Now Foods and Mamavation! This is the kind of work I love getting paid for! Cooking and eating! I have made some very yummy stuff with the Living Now Foods! Lets take a look!

WP_20140604_20_54_04_ProI made the Living Now Foods Chocolate Chip Banana Bread this week and was so good! Matter of fact I am finishing it off as I type (shh, don’t tell Jeremy because he went to be early;). I am very open with the fact that I was prepared to hate this but I love it. I am a banana bread snob. My family has always made it from scratch and my mom didn’t do a lot of cooking so that says something. But I haven’t developed a gluten free recipe yet and I have been craving banana bread something awful. This is moist and flavorful. Just enough sweetness with a good texture. It is so good! And because it is a mix this is something you can have on hand when gluten free friends (specifically me) visit. So good and so easy!!

WP_20140602_18_11_15_ProI also made Greek Yogurt Muffins this week! It may not look like much but it may be my new favorite gluten free baked good! This is a tweak off an old gluten filled muffin recipe that I had laying around. These are tender and sumptuous. they have this melt in your mouth baked quality that is hard to get in gluten free recipes! My key ingredients for this are a flavored Greek yogurt and the Living Now All Purpose Flour. These also only took about 10 minutes to put together and I can’t wait to see how they freeze (if I can get enough left to freeze;).

WP_20140605_18_21_57_ProZucchini is starting to come into season around here so finding recipes for them is great. Fritters and pancakes are always a big hit around here so I thought it would be perfect to come up with a gluten free zucchini and corn cake! The most time consuming part of all this was shredding the zucchini. Other than that this is a super easy recipe that comes together with Living Now Foods Brown Rice Flour. You mix and fry them on a flat top or skillet. And it was a huge hit with my kids! So any way to get just a little more veggies in them is a win!

So that is this week’s adventure! If you want to keep up on everyone’s experience just follow the hashtag on Facebook! Since I have already made the gluten free switch I am challenging you all! Can you substitute 3 meals a week with gluten free alternative? What are you biggest gluten free challenges? Let me know and maybe I can take them on for you!

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for this piece but all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone!)