Learning from Others

Sport Berkey winner, vacation, and emails!

Sport Berkey filtering water bottle

The winner of last week's Sport Berkey filtering water bottle giveaway is:

Anne Jisca

Thank you to everyone who participated!

The Sport Berkey is a filtering water bottle. Go here to read my review and see a video demo of my Sport Berkey filtering some very red food-colored water into clear drinking water! :) Over the life of the bottle and filter, the Sport Berkey water bottle comes out to just 4 cents per bottle of filtered water, making it a great alternative to bottled water, especially when traveling or in a location without access to good drinking water. :)

Vacation? :)

Speaking of traveling, I'm going to be doing some next week! The children and I are flying to Ohio to spend a month (yes, a month!) visiting with family and friends there. It's been over a year and a half since our last trip there, and most of my family hasn't even met little Moshe! :)

So, I'll be staying at my parents' house, and they are internet-less. And we're cell-phone-less. With all the "lesses", I'll have MORE time for fun! ;)

However, unlike last time where I took a complete break from doing anything online, this time I'll be taking my laptop with me and hopefully will obtain internet access a couple times each week and and share about our adventures and some food pictures! :)

I have some amazing guest hosts lined up for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, so you can still share your kitchen tips or come read everyone's kitchen tips each week even though I'll be on vacation. :)

Joshua is also threatening to take over my blog while I'm away. So you never know what you may find here during the month of May! ;)


My email inbox has plagued me for... probably YEARS. I have always been behind, even though I don't get a lot of emails. I get a lot of requests for help with kefir making, yeast bread troubleshooting, and even requests like the measurements to double a recipe, figure out the calorie caount of a recipe, etc...

In preparation for my vacation, I've been going through the 300+ emails that haven't been answered. Most of them I COULD answer, if I had 10-15 minutes to write. But I have come to realize that I just DON'T have that 10-15 minutes... times 300! So I've been deleting all the 6 months+ old emails that I simply cannot get to. I feel so guilty doing that! But really, having them sit there for another few years is not going to help anyone, either.

So if you've emailed me, thank you. I read all my email and have been doing better about replying! But if you emailed a year ago and never heard back, unfortunately I am most likely not going to be able to respond. Thank you for understanding and for allowing me to keep my priorities in order (as much as possible!). :)

(Okay, I know probably no one reading this is even wondering about an email they sent me. But I had to write about it to help ease the guilt!)

Sport Berkey Filtering Water Bottle: Instantly clean drinking water! (Video review, giveaway, and discount)

Sport Berkey filtering water bottle
Sport Berkey: on-the-go filtering water bottle

If you've been a reader here for very long at all, you've probably heard me rave about our Royal Berkey water filter.

Our Berkey is a counter-top water filtering system that is effective, affordable, and perfect for disaster readiness, as it filters without electricity and can even filter rain water!

Read more about the Berkey here. We bought ours 3 years ago from More Than Alive and love it! We're still using the original filters, which should last another 3 years yet. At 1.6 cents per gallon over the lifetime of the filters, we are so blessed to have clean water for cooking and drinking that is practically free!

The Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier is a water bottle with the same great black Berkey filtering element, set up for on-the-go instant filtering. More Than Alive offered to let me try out a Sport Berkey, along with giving away one here. (Scroll down for giveaway details!)

Sport Berkey filtering water bottle

Initially, I wasn't really sold on the idea of the Sport Berkey filtering water bottle. After all, the water from our Royal Berkey is so inexpensive, and I am completely infatuated with my Contigo water bottle. Plus, I'm at home 95% of the time so I just carry water with me when I go out.

However, I am really liking the Sport Berkey water bottle! I decided it wasn't really fair to compare the price of its filtered water to the Royal Berkey, but instead, compare to bottled water.

The Sport Berkey isn't exactly cheap, at $29. Using water from any source (think a rain barrel, stream, or river!), you can refill it 160 times, making each bottle of water 18 cents.

If you're refilling from the tap (city water or well water), you can refill about 640 times, decreasing the price per bottle to just FOUR CENTS. FOUR CENTS, people! And that's for a 22-ounce bottle.

What I love about the Sport Berkey:

  • Instant, on-demand, on-the-go filtered water.
  • Perfect for traveling. You can take an empty Sport Berkey through security at the airport, and then fill from a drinking fountain. So much better than paying inflated prices for airport water or drinking straight from a fountain!
  • Bottle is BPA-free, and water is filtered just prior to drinking. This water tastes great, just like water from our Royal Berkey!
  • Perfect for emergency preparedness or disaster readiness. The Sport Berkey has a shelf life of 50 years!
  • All the same great water features as other Berkey water filters: clean, healthy drinking water with beneficial minerals remaining.

The filter in the Sport Berkey can be replaced for $17. This makes subsequent refills even cheaper than 4 cents. Now, I haven't had my Sport Berkey long enough to need to replace the filter, so I can't attest to how well the actual bottle holds up over the years.

I would not want to use the Sport Berkey water bottle to replace our counter-top Royal Berkey water filter. We use lots of water for cooking and drinking, and there's no way a little bottle would supply those needs!

However, if:

--You are not the head of a household and want something personal-sized

--You travel a lot

--You have limited space

--You're on a limited budget

--Or you currently buy bottled water

...then I think the Sport Berkey could be a great investment!

How well does the Sport Berkey water bottle actually filter? Well, I did a food coloring test to find out. I was giddy over the results, and have photos and video proof of red water turning crystal clear!

Sport berkey water bottle adding food coloring

For my filtering experiment, I used some food dye we had on hand.

Sport Berkey with red water inside

I put a bunch of food coloring in the Sport Berkey water bottle.

Sport Berkey water bottle in action

Suck (or in this case, squeeze!) to filter the colored water.

Clean filtered water from the Sport Berkey water filter

The results? Completely clean drinking water!

Watch my video of this process:

That's just the visual test. The taste test comes when you can take smelly, chlorinated tap water and turn it into delicious, pure-tasting drinking water!

Tap water varies a lot, and here in the Seattle area our tap water tastes pretty good. In Ohio, the city tap water smelled and tasted awful, and wasn't always safe for drinking (not by my estimation, but by city officials). We were relieved and excited when we got our Berkey water filter and it actually worked on that horrible water! (We had been buying reverse osmosis water, and were accustomed to that.)

The Giveaway:

More Than Alive is giving away a Sport Berkey water filtering bottle to a reader here! If this product is of interest to you, this is your chance to get one for free! Log in and leave a comment on this post saying you would like to be entered. Giveaway is open today and tomorrow ONLY, Thursday and Friday, April 14-15, 2011.

The Discount:

More Than Alive sells quality bulk herbs, bulk foods, and more -- including our favorite household necessity, the Berkey Water Filter. If you've been waiting to order a Berkey water filter, this discount will give you $20+ off your order!

Use this discount code to receive 10% off your order from More Than Alive today and tomorrow ONLY, Thursday and Friday, April 14-15, 2011.

Code: TX2Q4

Full disclosure, as always: When we purchased our Berkey water filter from More Than Alive several years ago, we were so thrilled with it that I signed up as an affiliate with More Than Alive. Purchasing through my links helps support this website!

I don't review something unless we would spend our own hard-earned money on it, and such is the case with the things we have purchased from More Than Alive. I'm delighted to be able to offer giveaways and discount codes for More Than Alive! :)

Eat Well, Spend Less: Week Two Series Links

I am so honored to be a part of the Eat Well, Spend Less series! Jessica from Life As Mom has done a great job brainstorming and helping us create a timely series that covers lots of bases!

My post this week detailed my 5 top favorite frugal foods and how I serve them. Here are the 8 other posts along that theme -- all well worth checking out! I've found so much inspiration here and I know I'll be returning to implement some of these ideas in our own home! :)

Jessica at Life As Mom writes about her five favorite meals that help her save money without sacrificing appeal. I love how she shares about a few of her splurges, as well. Grocery budget help from people who eat and enjoy really good food is very much my style! (Tell me to live on soup? Let's at least make it fun!) You'll love her food photos, too.

Carie at Denver Bargains shares 5 great pantry meals you can make affordably. "For me, the key to cooking frugally is to be willing to experiment: there aren’t very many recipes in my house that are set in stone.  I try not to let the lack of one or two ingredients keep me from making a meal, so I often experiment with different substitutions!" Also see Carrie's wonderful post "Eating, Spending Nothing: How to live off your pantry".

Aimee at Simple Bites delivers her 5 favorite frugal recipes with photos that make me drool! The Lentil Shepherd's Pie looks especially gourmet! I also second her suggestion of black bean burgers -- such a favorite! :)

Mandi at Life Your Way shares recipes for her 5 frugal meals here. Smoothies are one of her suggestions, and it's one I've turned to for a healthy, easy dessert or breakfast. (For the past couple weeks, whenever the kids ask for dessert, I say "Okay, what kind of fruit do you want on your yogurt/kefir?" ;)

Shaina at Food For My Family writes "When Two Meals Become Five". Shaina always draws me in with her amazing photography! This week she shares about her food budget categories (categories? I am so haphazard in comparison!) and some of her personal food savings tips!

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship shares her Five Frugal Must-Have Real Foods. Umm, yum?! :) I love Katie's suggestions, and even though they're similar to my own from this week, her post is a great read!

Alyssa at Kingdom First Mom gives her tricks for making frugal meals, including "Use garlic liberally!" and "Keep it simple". See Alyssa's meal list and the rest of her tips here! :)

Katie at Good Life Eats shares Pantry Meals To Keep The Budget On Track. Katie gives 5 frugal pantry breakfast meals, 5 dinner meals, and 3 dessert ideas. Everything she suggests sounds delicious to me, and you won't want to miss her usual, outstanding photography! :)

Next week, we'll all be sharing the final installment in the Eat Well, Spend Less series! :)

Giveaway winners and discount code for Cultures For Health!

The 3 winners of the Cultures For Health giveaway earlier this week are:

Tammy (tmwalker2003@)
Shannon (shannon@)
Mary (meriah9@)

These ladies will get to choose a culture from Cultures For Health -- kefir grains (what is kefir?), sourdough starter (how do I use that?), yogurt starter (homemade yogurt?), or whatever they wish to try! :)

I also have a discount code that is valid this week Thursday (today!) and Friday ONLY, April 7-8, 2011.

Use this code: TR2011 and get 10% off anything you order from Cultures For Health!

Many thanks to Cultures For Health for this giveaway opportunity! :)

(Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Cultures for Health. I asked them if they would offer a giveaway to readers here and they graciously agreed.)

Eat Well, Spend Less series: Covering every facet of grocery budgeting and styles!

Yesterday, I promised a round up of all the posts in the Eat Well, Spend Less series! I've poured over each of these posts and they are well worth your time!

Jessica at Life As Mom writes about Avoiding Expensive Ingredients to Eat Well & Spend Less. Her post is right on! You know from my grocery shopping posts that even though we eat lots of beans and rice (yum!), we also splurge where it matters to us, and good food does matter to us. Go read Jessica's post; I smiled through the whole thing! :)

Carie at Denver Bargains writes about Simple Steps To Get Started Using Coupons. Carrie's post is an approachable guide and that girl knows her stuff! (She'll answer your questions in the comments, too!)

Aimee at Simple Bites shares Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples. I love her suggestions, and there's tons of discussion in the comments at her post, too! :)

Mandi at Life Your Way writes about how she is able to Budget for Lots of Fresh Produce. I'm on board with that, for sure! :)

Shaina at Food For My Family has a stellar post about Menus and Meal Planning. Seriously, go read her post and get inspired! I'm not the best menu-planner and I needed to read her advice!! :)

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship outdoes herself again with two posts: When to Splurge, settle, and skip and Cutting the Budget on Whole Foods. She shares what works for them and gives real-food food budgeting encouragement, all without making me feel guilty for those cinnamon rolls I made last week. ;)

Alyssa at Kingdom First Mom writes about Using Coupons on Healthier Foods. Her insights are a valuable tool for anyone who wants to use coupons but not buy as much processed stuff! :)

Katie at Good Life Eats shares about Homemade DIY Pantry Staples. Along with some great ideas, Katie's food photography always amazes me! Her food blog has some of the best food photos, period. (My pics look a little boring after you come back from her blog...) ;)

And my own contribution, where I write about buying in bulk, long term food storage, and even touch on losing weight on a budget. :)

Giveaway from Cultures for Health (and a video of my whole milk kefir vs. fat free milk kefir!)

My homemade milk kefir...

I'm delighted to be able to offer a giveaway this week (3 days only!) from Cultures for Health! You may have heard me mention Cultures for Health when talking about kefir and yogurt last week.

Cultures for Health is a company located here in Washington state and they offer starters and cultures for a variety of different healthy foods -- like milk kefir, water kefir, sourdough, yogurt, buttermilk, kombucha and more! Cultures for Health also offers supplies for cheese making, sprouting, and other fun stuff.

Cultures for Health offers 10 different kinds of yogurt starters, including some that will culture right on your counter (like kefir), skipping the tedious warming of milk and monitoring temperatures. (I know some people say that homemade yogurt is super easy, but I beg to differ!) :)

I'm excited that three of you will get to choose a culture from Cultures for Health! This is your opportunity to start making your own kefir or yogurt, sourdough bread, buttermilk, kombucha, etc.

The giveaway (3 winners!):

Go here to enter the Cultures for Health giveaway. Giveaway is open Monday, April 4 through Wednesday, April 6, 2011. THREE random winners will be given the opportunity to choose a culture of their choice from Cultures for Health! :) (Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Cultures for Health. I asked them if they would offer a giveaway to readers here and they graciously agreed.)

Whole milk kefir vs. fat free milk kefir

Now, when we were discussing the consistency of yogurt and kefir last week, I ended up making some kefir with fat free milk instead of my usual whole milk. The difference in results really surprised me!

Whole milk kefir

This is how my kefir normally looks. I use whole milk and it's thick and creamy! The spoon shows what is stuck to the spoon after stirring the kefir.

Kefir made with fat free milk

This is the spoon after stirring my kefir made with fat free milk! The kefir is a little lumpy, thinner, and not "stringy" or "ropey" at all!

I took this video to show you the difference... enjoy! :)

If you make your own milk kefir, I'd love to hear what kind of milk you use and what the consistency is like! :)

Sourdough, cultured dairy, and more traditional food preparation (Gnowfglins eCourses and eBooks -- review)

Sourdough pie
Sourdough dinner pie... one of the recipes/techniques
that has me anxious to jump into homemade sourdough! :)

Have you heard about traditional soaked breads and muffins (or maybe read Nourishing Traditions) but thought it sounded too complicated? (That's me!)

Have you wanted to learn how to make real sourdough bread, but just didn't know where to start? (That's me!)

Have you been reading about homemade yogurt, kefir, and cheeses, but wondered if they were really worth learning how to make? (That's .. almost me. Finally, something I can kinda sorta partially do!)

I'm a very hands-on person, and reading about something often times just isn't enough. I think this is partly why I love making videos to share here. Something that sounds complicated when written down can seem so easy in a video! This is also why every single one of my recipes has at least one (but usually more) photo of the finished product, and always has -- from the very first recipe we added.

Actually, I prefer to have someone showing me things, letting me do it myself, and seeing the main points in writing -- all at the same time!

I understand when I see it done, it starts making sense when I am doing it myself, and I can remember it when I see it in writing! :) (Now what style of learning would that be?!)

All of this is why I'm SO excited about the new ebook and ecourses from Gnowfglins! Gnowfglins is an acronym for:

God's Natural, Organic, Whole Foods -- Grown Locally, In Season

Whether you're 100% into the healthiest foods possible, or just dabble in the hard core stuff (like me with kefir, haha!), if you want to learn more about traditional food preparation, Gnowfglins is an AMAZING resource. (Go here and scroll down to see everything they offer! You will be amazed!)

The Fundamentals eCourse will guide you as you take steps towards traditional cooking (soaked grains, fermented foods, water kefir, dairy kefir, cheeses, and lots more!). The videos are a beautiful quality and will persuade you that you CAN do this! (At least, it worked for me!) :) There is also a Fundamentals eBook (think of it as your class syllabus for the Fundamentals eCourse).

I've wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread for years, but never took the time. I also felt intimidated by the whole idea, yet didn't want to just browse Amazon and buy the highest rated sourdough cookbook. I'm picky like that... and somewhat lazy, so I like someone to hold my hand and do all the hard research for me. (Usually Joshua ends up with the research job!) :)

Enter Sourdough A to Z and the Sourdough eCourse! There are video tutorials and extremely detailed lessons for making sourdough and using it in every way imaginable. I'm planning to work through the Sourdough course this fall, as the weather cools off again and I (hopefully) have some spare time. Joshua is excited because he loves sourdough. I'm excited because the Gnowfglins Sourdough course has given me confidence! :)

Gnowfglins also offers Sourdough A to Z (eBook) by itself if an eCourse isn't your thing. I printed my copy of Sourdough A to Z and it's thoroughly detailed. Sourdough English Muffins are one of the first things I want to try... after I get my own sourdough starter going! :)

But, if you're interested in any of the eCourses, you get them ALL for the same low price so there's no need to pick and choose! :)

The newest eCourse from Gnowfglins is Cultured Dairy and Basic Cheese. This course will move you beyond my little posts about making my own kefir, into the world of sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, and all kinds of cheeses -- kefir cheese, feta, traditional mozzarella, fresh cheddar, and a whole lot more. Everything I've seen from Gnowfglins is approachable yet extremely informational.

While the Fundamentals and Sourdough A to Z eBooks are sold as individual products, the eCourses are offered on a subscription basis. I am impressed at the subscription rates Gnowfglins offers.

Gnowfglins ebooks
My printed copies of the two ebooks. I like a recipe I can hold in my hands! :)

For example, let's say you decided to take the Sourdough eCourse, and purchased the Sourdough A to Z eBook, which contains all the recipes and detailed information. (It's 150 FULL pages long!)

A 1-month subscription to the Sourdough eCourse is just $11. (This includes unlimited access to all 3 eCourses!) During that month's time, you can watch a good portion of the videos, start making sourdough, and when the month is over determine whether or not you want additional time to access the online eCourse videos. The book is yours to keep, forever, so you can continue to use the recipes and information from it, even when you're past the learning curve.

As I mentioned, these eCourses are detailed and thorough, so if you decide to work through all the lessons you'd need a bit longer than just a month! But you are completely free to pick and choose which topics are of interest to you, and learn those things. :)

If you do decide to purchase more than a 1-month subscription, you'll get a discount. For just $10 you can purchase a recurring month-to-month subscription, which you are free to cancel at any time for no charge. If you sign up for a year's subscription, it's just $8/month!

If you're truly interested in delving into new cooking adventures, I recommend more than a 1-month subscription because there is just so much available at Gnowfglins! There's no need to try to rush through and not ENJOY the process! :) (Go here and scroll down to see everything available!)

Have you heard about traditional soaked breads and muffins (or maybe read Nourishing Traditions) but thought it sounded too complicated? (That's me!) If you want to make changes in your baking methods but feel overwhelmed, here is an example of how these videos will help:

And here is the recipe for the Basic Soaked Muffins shown in the video above! :)

Since I already make kefir, I'm planning to make these kefir chese balls, which are a simple, no-cook kefir cheese. (I'll let you know how it goes! I just need to get some cheesecloth first.)

I honestly just love Wardeh's videos. She has a way of inserting helpful tips from her own experience. Even though I don't have fresh cow's milk (and really didn't need to learn how to skim cream from it!) I thoroughly enjoyed watching this video from the Gnowfglins You Tube channel:

Gnowfglins also has a blog with some of their recipes available online. If you're already familiar with Nourishing Traditions, sourdough, and cultured dairy, you'll enjoy these great recipes! Much, much more is available if you sign up at Gnowfglins! :)

Click the title for the recipe (and beautiful photos!):

Chocolate Sourdough Cake recipe
Whole Wheat Sourdough Crackers recipe
Sourdough English Muffins recipe
Oh-So-Fluffy Sourdough Pancakes recipe
Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe
Sourdough Spice Cake recipe
Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas recipe
Sourdough Waffles recipe

...and believe it or not, that is just a FEW of the things explained and detailed in the Sourdough eCourse and eBook! :)

water kefir
Water kefir -- one of the foods detailed in the Fundamentals eCourse

Am I switching our diet and lifestyle to "real" food and "soaked" everything? No. You will continue to find some very naughty recipes on my website. ;) But if you've been reading here for the past few years, you may have noticed a trend toward healthier and easier. I'm always up for variety and I hope to keep things healthy-ish and easy-ish even when I want to try something new! :)

Full Disclosure: I am honored to have been asked to help promote the Gnowfglins eCourses as an affiliate. You know I wouldn't tell you about something unless I felt it could be a good value for YOU! I feel the Gnowfglins eCourses are a valuable learning tool well worth the cost -- if learning these topics interests you. I understand being on a tight budget though! Notice all the links to recipes you can try without signing up for anything? :)

Giveaway Winners: The Everything Beans Book

The 10 winners of The Everything Beans Book giveaway (chosen by random.org) are:


If you were one of the winners, you should have already received an email with instructions for claiming your prize! :)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Sounds like many of you are as passionate about beans as I am! :)

Many thanks to Katie at Kitchen Stewardship for this generous giveaway! I'll be sharing about making Mexican Black Bean Burgers later this week (maybe Thursday?) but if you want the full ebook (all 95 pages!) you can purchase it here!

Full Disclosure:

Katie has given permission for some of the recipes from her ebooks to be shared online. She guarantees that there will always be content exclusively available in the ebook version!

I received a copy of The Everything Beans Book and Healthy Snacks To Go for review purposes. I am an affiliate for Katie, which means your purchase helps support both Katie and me as bloggers! :)

Review and Giveaway: The Everything Beans Book (10 winners!)

The Everything Beans Book

I was excited when Katie from Kitchen Stewardship approached me, offering a review copy and giveaway of her new ebook, The Everything Beans Book!

You know I love beans, and cook with dried beans on a near-daily basis! I'm in love with slow-cooked pinto beans and beans with toppings (like sour cream, cheese, cilantro, or fresh tomatoes, and hot sauce of course!) is my idea of gourmet dining -- on a budget! ;)

But really, even just tender fresh-cooked pinto beans with a little salt is enough. (Definitely add salt to your long-term food storage consideration! It's cheap and makes plain foods much more palatable!)

Anyway, I printed out my copy of The Everything Beans Book when it was released 10 days ago, and have spent a bit of time reading it and looking over new recipes to try. I've only tried one so far, but it was a BIG success! (Not going to the grocery store as often means I need to really plan ahead for new recipes or non-essentials!)

Which recipe did I decide to try first? Pasta with White (Bean) Sauce! I had everything on hand, and it looked easy and different.

Pasta with White Bean Sauce is an easy white sauce, but the flavor is impressive! The beans help thicken the sauce, while boosting the protein and fiber. There's not usually many redeeming qualities to white sauce, but this bean version made us feel semi-justified in enjoying one of my favorite meals -- pasta with white sauce!

I admit, I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this sauce recipe is! I tasted it as I made it (which did result in the addition of chicken base for a flavor boost), and was dubious as to the end result. However, in the end I thought the cheese, beans, -- everything was just right about this sauce. I do think I prefer smooth sauces, so in the future I may try blending this recipe. That said, I did still really enjoy this sauce slightly-chunky (mashed beans)!

I don't usually serve "mystery foods" to Joshua, but knowing that both white sauces and beans are not on his list of top favorite foods (although he does enjoy them occasionally!), I didn't divulge anything further than "Hey Honey, I tried a new white sauce recipe!"

I served the pasta and sauce with grilled chicken, and Joshua said it was "very good". I said "Really? Well, there's white beans in the sauce." He said, "Really? Well, I can't taste them. It tastes like macaroni and cheese, not beans."

Wow! Now, I could taste the beans in the sauce, but I liked the flavor. (I also knew they were there, so I'm not completely sure I would have been able to distinguish the flavor and identify it without knowing.)

I'm thinking we may add mashed white beans to white sauces a lot more often, especially since it's so easy to cook a big pot of beans, freeze in 2-cup portions, and thaw as needed. The presence of beans also cut down on the need for as much butter/flour for thickening, which is an added health bonus!

There are many more delicious-sounding bean recipes in The Everything Beans Book, and I'm planning to try several of the bean soup recipes, after I make a trip to Business Costco (or maybe Fred Meyer) and get some more beans since I just have pinto beans left right now!

Why I'm loving The Everything Beans Book:

  • It's easily printable (duh!). I like to hold paper copies of recipes in my hands, and with the click of a button (and a whole lot of paper!) this was a reality! :)
  • The recipes are tested -- by Katie and her team. I feel confident making these recipes!
  • There is lots of info about the recipes and beans in general! I was quite impressed!
  • I can actually see myself making a good portion of these recipes. Sure, there are some that I don't think I'll try. But many that I plan to! :)


Healthy Snacks To Go

Katie also sent me a review copy of her Healthy Snacks To Go ebook. Who doesn't like snacking?! And the promise of homemade power bars (that have gotten rave reviews from other bloggers) is inviting.

Unfortunately, I didn't have this ebook before our last Costco trip 2+ weeks ago (patting myself on the back for breaking my Costco addiction enough to wait more than 2 weeks between shopping trips!!) and so I need to buy some bulk nuts and dates in order to actually make the power bar recipes. (I'll post pictures when I do!)

Aside from one recipe that doesn't include measurements or a photo (leaving me feeling unmotivated to try "Cold Balsamic-n-Spelt Salad"), the recipes look approachable and sound yummy!

I have made a few batches of the homemade Wheat Thin Style Crackers (original recipe from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book, and shared in Healthy Snacks To Go) and they are GREAT!

If you've ever wanted to duplicate Wheat Thins at home (for a fraction of the price), this is your recipe!

I think these crackers are fairly easy to make. When you consider the high price of a box of "real" Wheat Thins, these crackers are well worth the time! I try to include helpful tips in the recipe instructions and notes (Katie does this as well in Healthy Snacks To Go!) so that even if you've never made crackers before, the process will go smoothly and quickly for you. And, the amount of work involved can be reduced if you use a food processor to blend the butter into the flour.

Yes, it's a small chunk of time. I estimate 15-20 minutes to make the crackers, and then 5-10 minutes to bake. And then there's the clean-up. But the kids can help make these, and have a great deal of fun with it, too!

Giveaway and Discount

Now, here's the extra exciting part: Katie is offering to give a free copy of her book, The Everything Beans Book to 10 readers here! (Or, winners can choose to receive Healthy Snacks To Go instead of the Bean Book.)

How to enter the giveaway:

1. Go to The Everything Beans Book and scroll down to view the table of contents.

2. Come back here and leave a comment telling me which recipe looks most interesting to you! :) You are now entered in the giveaway!

Giveaway is open from Monday, March 14 through Friday, March 18, 2011.

10 winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Monday, March 21, 2011.

Discount code:

Katie has also generously offered a 20% discount on all of her ebooks! (If you're selected as a winner in the giveaway, you will receive a refund for the ebook you purchased.)

Go here to see Katie's ebooks, including The Everything Beans Book and Healthy Snacks To Go, and use this code to receive 20% off your order: TAMMYS20

This discount code is good now through March 20, 2011.

Full Disclosure:

Katie has given permission for some of the recipes from her ebooks to be shared online. She guarantees that there will always be content exclusively available in the ebook version!

I received a copy of The Everything Beans Book and Healthy Snacks To Go for review purposes. I am an affiliate for Katie, which means your purchase helps support both Katie and me as bloggers! :)

MoreThanAlive Giveaway Winners!

The 5 randomly selected winners of the coffee giveaway from More Than Alive are:
Rachel ShannonLynnJaimehamp@Maddiemb@Amanda
The winners can select their choice of 1/2 pound of cane creek coffee or herbal tea blends from More Than Alive!
Many thanks to More Than Alive for offering this giveaway, and to all of you who participated! :)
Coupon code for 10% off still good through today, Friday, March 11, 2011 at MoreThanAlive.com: TX2Q4
Come back Monday for another foodie giveaway I think you'll love... and that one will have 10 winners! :)


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