Friday, July 29, 2016

Blackberry Limoncello Lemonade


So...I have roughly 5 acres of blackberries.

When we moved to our new home in April we knew we had a big job ahead of us in clearing out the overgrown blackberry bushes. My husband quickly convinced me that we need a tractor to mow all of this and I'm really glad I listened to him. I usually do, he has good ideas, even though it's tough to admit sometimes!

We've mowed strategically and have a few areas around the house that are providing prolific amounts of blackberries. I'm talking about easily picking over a pound of blackberries each day. The kids have been happy eating them plain for now, but I'm starting to become creative with the uses. That's where Blackberry Limoncello Lemonade came from.

Serves: 4
You'll need:
2 cups of washed blackberries (reserve a berry per serving for garnish)
1 cup of sugar
2 lemons, juiced (reserve a thin slice of lemon per glass for garnish)
Limoncello
5 cups of cold water
ice cubes

*Omit Limoncello for a virgin drink, increase recipe to the juice of 3 lemons.
*My tall glasses hold 2 cups of liquid, and I used one shot of Limoncello per glass for a light alcoholic drink or two for a stronger drink.

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan heat the blackberries and sugar until boiling. Using a spatula start to mash the berries to help release their juice. Remove from heat and allow to cool. I pour it into a shallow dish and place in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the cooling process.
2. In a large pitcher mix the lemon juice, water and blackberry mixture.
3. Prepare each glass by filling with ice cubes, pouring the Limoncello over the ice and filling with the blackberry lemonade. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a blackberry.



Monday, July 18, 2016

4 Essential Oil Blends for Summer, plus a chance to win Rachel Zupke's 101 Essential Oil Blends ebook!

final ebook cover

Hi friends! I'm so excited to be back here sharing about essential oils (did you try any of the diffuser blends back in January?). We're going to go through a few more blends, this time for summer - they smell so marvelous and have such great benefits for us. These blends - and 97 others - are in my published an ebook, 101 Essential Oil Blends for Aromatic and Topical Use. Bianca was kind enough to let me share it with you and I'm giving a copy away so read on to find out how to win it!
FYI did you know that you don't need a Kindle or other ereader to read an ebook? You can download them to your computer, phone, or tablet as well as print them out (most, including this one, are PDFs!).

Topical Essential Oil Blends for Summer

Everyone's summer looks a bit different both in scenery and in how much you put on your plate. I don't know about you but we try to do lots of fun things since the weather is so nice (yay Pacific Northwest!) and that sometimes means burning the candle at both ends. I love the first blend for it's pick-me-up ability when have just one day between camping trips (anybody say laundry?) and the second for when I need a little help to chill out and focus on a road trip or after getting home from one. They are given in ratios that allow you to make a roller bottle and put them on your wrists, bottoms of your feet, back of your neck, along your spine, and/or on your chest depending on how much aromatic effect you want.

Energize and Refresh
Citrus oils of orange and lemon calm and refresh while cedarwood helps maintain vitality and clove mimics antioxidant effects. When wearing this one topically, do not apply to skin that will be exposed to the sun as citrus oils cause UV sensitivity.

2 : 2 : 2 : 1 ~ Orange : Lemon : Cedarwood: Clove

for a 5 mL roller bottle, do the number of drops listed and then top with carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, etc)
Lift
Lift and refresh with lavender and rosemary; this soft yet powerful combo brings harmony to the body and helps open the mind.

2 : 1 ~ Lavender : Rosemary

for a 5 mL roller bottle, triple the number of drops listed (= 6 drops lavender, 3 drops rosemary) and then top with carrier oil

Aromatic Blends for Summer

These blends are intended for use in a diffuser. You can purchase diffusers in all shapes and sizes, and, thankfully, for quite economical prices from online retailers or from your favorite essential oil company. I love diffuser blends for the welcoming atmosphere they bring to my home, the calming effects they have on me and my family, and, at the simplest, the great scents they permeate the room with.

Flower Patch
Bring home that light and airy feeling of peace and joy experienced at a lavender farm or flower garden.

1 : 1 : 1 ~ Lavender : Geranium : Ylang ylang

for a diffuser meant for a single room, double this recipe and put two drops of each in the diffuser with the appropriate amount of water for your machine
Farmer's Market
Seeing your favorite farmers again and finding a new product at the weekly market give you a thrill that only comes with summertime.

3 : 2 : 2 ~ Lime : Orange : Tangerine

for a diffuser meant for a single room, use this recipe as is and put the called for drops of each in the diffuser with the appropriate amount of water

A Giveaway!

Like I said earlier, the blends I shared with you in this post are just 4 of 101 blends in my ebook. I'd love for you to read more about it so hop on over to my blog, Mason Jar Values, and read a bit about why I put this resource together and what I've included in it. Come on back and comment below with 1 thing you learned OR 1 thing you are interested in learning more about (from the table of contents, perhaps?). I'll pick one reader at random on July 31st and email you a PDF copy of the book!

A Coupon Too!

Can't wait to find out if you've won? Or are you ready to start using essential oils and love saving money? How about a coupon code? Use the code pierogiemama and get $2 off the $7.99 price tag...but only through July 31st.

I'm passionate about helping people use essential oils safely and effectively and share more about why I wrote my ebook here. What's one thing you learned OR one thing you want to learn more about? Comment below and be entered to win a copy of 101 Essential Oil Blends for Aromatic and Topical Use!

Don't forget to use the coupon pierogiemama for $2 off until July 31st!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Salmon Alfredo


Ever since I learned about Zaycon Fresh Wild Alaskan Salmon (and put it to the test by tracking down the fishery that caught my box of salmon and learned that it is true wild caught!), I've made a habit of cooking salmon about once a week. We call it Seafood Sunday. Salmon has so many nutritional benefits; omega 3 fatty acids being the most important. I am so thankful to be able to give this amazing protein to my family on a regular basis.

But what does "wild caught" mean, and why is it important? I'm always researching my food to make 
sure that I am, at the very least, aware of what is the quality of the food I purchase. Because the FDA cannot control the great wide ocean, seafood cannot be labeled as organic. After all, especially during a salmon's lifetime, they travel the globe. We don't know what they are eating because we aren't feeding them! So the next best thing is to make sure that your seafood is wild caught and not farmed. Farmed seafood is not always fed the best choice in food and the quality of care is usually appalling (though "legal"). There are many articles telling you why farmed seafood is not a good idea though, so I'll let you do the research on that one. 

So when Zaycon Fresh rolled out Wild Alaskan Salmon at a truly amazing price, I was initially a little wary about it at first.  But I gave it a shot and  fell in love with my first filet.  Using the barcode on the side of the box from the fishery, I was able to track down where my salmon had been caught and when. Isn't that pretty awesome that in this day and age we can find that information?


And by the way, you might be wondering what this Zaycon Fresh thing is. It's super easy. You sign up, enter in your zip code and it will populate "events" near you. Each event will bring fresh or frozen meats to an agreed upon place and time. You place your order for what you'd like and then on the day of the event you bring your order slip and they put your case of bulk meats in the trunk of your car for you. You don't even have to get out of the car! Throughout the year they will offer different products; such as delicious bacon, fresh ground beef, fresh chicken breasts, frozen breaded chicken fritters (I like to make this), select steaks, pork, turkey and ham! They are constantly adding more. I've bought all of our bulk meat from Zaycon Fresh over the last 2 years and have never had an issue with the quality. 

When you sign up, they'll send you non-spammy newsletters letting you know what they're adding, great recipe ideas and you can refer friends to get credit for your next purchase. That's part of the reason why I'm telling you about it - because when you sign up under my referral link, I get a tiny bonus that goes towards my next purchase of food. Thank you!

And without further adieu, I give you my favorite way to use left over salmon. Because even for a family of 4, we often cannot finish a whole fillet of salmon in one sitting. No worries, I save the left overs and make this delicious salmon alfredo later in the week.

What you'll need:
3 cups of loosely broken up left over salmon, about half a fillet (if you are starting from scratch, check out my honey lemon baked salmon recipe)


1 package of your favorite pasta, prepared as directed (trotolle pasta is my favorite!)

For the sauce:
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
salt and pepper to taste
the juice of half a lemon

Directions:
1. Prepare the box of pasta as directed, rinse in cold water and allow to drain.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a heavy, large saucepan. Turn the heat up to medium-high and very slowly add the heavy cream, about a half cup at a time. Continually stirring, allow the cream to fully heat each time before adding more. Bring the cream and butter to a light boil and dump in the fresh Parmesan cheese, always stirring. Reduce to a simmer and continue to stir. Don't let that cream scorch!  The sauce will thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and brighten up the sauce with the lemon juice at the end.


3. Toss the broken up salmon into the sauce and stir to coat. 
4. Pour over your noodles and enjoy! I like to serve this with steamed asparagus or a romaine salad.

Sign up for Zaycon Fresh and save a boatload on all of your meats!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Win a Tula Gossamer baby carrier!

gossamer

Who doesn't love a gorgeous Tula Baby Carrier? Here's your chance to win one in sweet Gossamer print. This is a beautiful print with so much beautiful meaning.

This Carrier features:
  • Light gray canvas base
  • Removable, regulated hood in light gray
  • Highest quality Duraflex buckles
  • Large front pocket on the contouring hip belt
  • Dual-adjustment straps, provide the perfect fit
  • Extra padding around leg-opening for baby’s comfort
  • Supportive shoulder padding for your optimal comfort
  • Hand-made from 100% ├ľko-Tex Standard 100 certified canvas
  • Instruction brochure
Each Tula carrier:
  • Can be used in both front and back carries
  • Can be used from 15-45 pounds (standard sized carriers) and 25–60 pounds (toddler sized carrier)
  • Standard sized carrier can be used from birth in combination with Tula Infant Insert* (sold separately)
  • Provides an ergonomic M-position seat supporting optimal development for baby’s body
  • Easy to care for and machine washable
Product measurements:
  • Standard Size Carrier Panel Measures 15.5" tall, 15” wide at the seat, and 17” wide at the top.
  • Standard Size Padded Shoulder Straps measure 20” when not expanded and 23” when expanded. The webbing attached to the strap is an additional 29” long.
gossam

This Tula Baby Carrier can be all yours! All you have to do is enter to win below! This giveaway is open to US & CA and ends on 7/31 at 11:59Pm EST. Must be 18 years and older to enter. Good luck!!

 
Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US &CA ,must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Toddler Approved Snack Mix



Summer is officially here and my family is super excited because we bought a camper! My husband and I grew up camping in tents, but we have been bit by the GLAMping bug and have found just how much easier camping is when you have everything contained in one spot.

We've already been out a couple times in the last month and the girls have been watching me each week as I methodically prepare the camper for the next upcoming adventure. Setting aside clean clothes for the weekend, filling the fridge and pantry with our meals and most importantly - the snacks.

The other day Ruby (my two year old) says "Mama, I help you?" and I thought to myself about how can I involve the kids in prepping for our camping trips. So I sent them upstairs and instructed them to set out two sets of clothes for camping and to fill their backpacks with books and a few toys to play with.

When they were done we started to prepare their snack mix for the weekend. It's really to veg-out and pull out all the junk food when you're camping, but why when good nutrition is so easy to prepare ahead of time? Involving the girls in their meal planning helps them get a sense of what is a good choice for snacking and we also get to work on skills like measuring, scooping, pouring, shaking and ingredient identification.

Ingredients:
Gerber Lil' Beanies (original or white cheddar broccoli)
1/2 cup of cashew halves
1/2 cup of dried blueberries
1/2 cup of dried sweetened cherries or cranberries
1 cup of lightly salted popcorn














And into the camper is goes, ready for this weekend's adventure!


...Not before a taste test first, mom!

My appreciation for this snack mix is because it is chock full of protein from navy beans, thanks to the Lil' Beanies and cashews with a mixture of sweet from the berries and salty from the popcorn and nuts. The non-messy crunch factor is also a big deal! Knowing that Gerber now offers non-gmo kid snacks  makes this an easy choice.


What kind of snack mix do you prep for your kids?
Gerber Lil' Beanies are an easy way to add crunchy, yummy protein into any kid snack

You can find them in the kids snack section at Walmart. 



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