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Make Your Own Gluten-Free Hard Cider with this Handy Kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop

Built on the principles that making beer—real beer, from real ingredients—can be simple, tasty and more importantly, fun, Brooklyn Brew Shop sells stylish brew kits and ingredient mixes for seasonally-inspired beers and ciders. All of their kits are designed for use on a standard kitchen stove and use real ingredients instead of the less flavorful extracts and additives typical in other homebrewing kits.


Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Hard Cider Kit is stylish, affordable and super easy to use and offers a simple way to turn leftover apples or pears from fall farm excursions into delicious, home-brewed, craft quality hard cider. It contains everything you need to turn apples or cider from your local market into something a little more festive. It’s good for three batches of hard cider and since cider is naturally gluten-free, it’s an ideal gift for gluten-averse merrymakers and curious epicureans alike!

While apple picking season might be over, cider is a drink that can be served all holiday season long!

The Kit includes 1 gallon reusable glass fermenter, 3 packets yeast, vinyl tubing & clamp, racking cane & tip, chambered airlock, 3 packets cleanser, and screw-cap stopper. All you need is apple cider/juice! You can even bypass the apple juicing yourself for pre-pressed cider from your favorite farmers’ market. Simply add a few packets of yeast to your fresh squeezed apples (or pre-pressed cider) and let science work its magic. After two weeks add three tablespoons of honey to your fermented juice to give the cider the extra dose of sugar it needs to carbonate. A couple weeks later and you’ll be sipping delightfully fizzy Hard Cider by the fire.

This is the perfect holiday gift for the cider lover in your life. Or, by it for yourself and serve it at your holiday party to impress all your friends and family!

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Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Send Cheryl’s Gluten Free Cookies to your loved ones this Valentine’s Day!

In June I attended the Summer Fancy Food Show where I met Elisabeth Allwein, the Food Development Director at Cheryl’s. There, I had the chance to talk to her about Cheryl’s new line of gluten free cookies and brownies, which just hit the market this past summer! 

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The gluten-free line features Cheryl’s famous baked goods including fudge brownies, brownie walnut cookies, snicker doodle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and buttercream frosted sugar cookies, which is to die for. The new gluten free goodies exceed the FDA regulations for gluten free foods, meaning you can safely eat all the cookies you want! The gluten free line is made in separate, dedicated gluten free facility. And they make for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your gluten free loved one(s)! 

I’ve tried a lot of gluten free cookies over the years and I have to say that the buttercream frosted cookie is one of the best by far. It is soft and sweet enough that it keeps me coming back for more. I’m also a big fan of the snickerdoodle cookies and fudgey, chocolaty brownies!! The Brownie walnut cookies and chocolate chip cookies are for those that prefer hard and crunchy cookies, they taste great, but I just prefer the softer cookies. 

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Each cookie and brownie is individually wrapped and available for purchase online. From birthday gifts, to holiday gifts, to thank you gifts, there is something for everyone and every budget. Gluten Free Cookies and Brownies range from $6.99 – $49.99.

Another reason I support Cheryl’s is because they use a gluten free bakery in Columbus, OH, owned byARC Industries, an organization that aims to offer employment opportunities to developmentally and intellectually disabled adults. Cheryl’s already employs some people from ARC, and continues to support this community group and their kitchen, as a training ground for seasonal hires in the future. Cheryl’s brought in some of its own gluten-free equipment, sanitation and production processes as well as management to work with ARC employees. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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The Perky Goat Coffee Company // Coffee Subscription

Are you tired of giving gift cards to those coffee lovers on their list?  Looking for something a little more…engaging?  Give the gift that keeps on caffeinating!

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The Perky Goat Coffee Company a subscription box company offering monthly shipments of coffee.  They are unique in that they meticulously seek out smaller coffee roasters with a compelling story to tell. they get to know roasters personally, tasting coffee along the way, and then share their story (and coffee!) with subscribers.

The Perky Goat Coffee Company:

  • Introduces subscribers to awesome new coffees and roasters around the country.
  • Introduces their selected coffee roasters to a broader audience.
  • Helps coffee roasters grow their businesses, while sharing their story.
  • Throws a little fun in along the way!

A feature that sets The Perky Goat Coffee Company apart from other coffee subscription services is that they go the extra mile to truly impress subscribers. They don’t just throw a bag of coffee in a box, slap on a label, and call it good. They give subscribers an experience to enjoy as they learn about new roasters and savor new coffees.  

Included in each monthly box:

  • two bags of coffee from the Roaster of the Month
  • inserts telling the story of the roaster and describing their featured coffees
  • a special Perky Goat bonus item (t-shirt, stickers, etc)
  • custom and precise wrapping and packaging – they want subscribers to feel like they are receiving an amazing gift that they can’t wait to open and enjoy each month

The Perky Goat Coffee Company doesn’t charge the Roaster of the Month a thing to participate.  They purchase freshly roasted coffee from them just as any other customer would. Then they take it to the next level by sharing with subscribers around the country and linking back to the roaster’s site on their website. Subscribers can then purchase their newly discovered coffees directly from the roaster!  

We are obviously not looking to grow rich with this approach.  Our margins are extremely small and our grassroots marketing is for the benefit of these local, small coffee roasters who have sometimes invested everything in order to obtain their American Dream.

Use coupon code HOLIDAY2016 for 15% off of your first purchase made before December 24, 2016! 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate. I was not paid to write this review.

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Find Gluten Free Deals on Groupon Goods

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

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I love using Groupon because there are so many different ways to save money! You can find great deals on fitness classes, restaurants, massages, nails, hair salons, getaways, and even gluten free goods! 

Groupon Goods is great for finding discounts on designer brands, electronics, everyday essentials, and fun finds delivered right to you. Any Groupon user knows about Groupon Goods, but Groupon Goods might not be the first place you would think to look to find gluten free products. 

Groupon Goods has great deals on all types of gluten free items, including, gluten free cookbooks, magazines, subscription boxes, gift baskets, baking mixes, baked goods, protein powders, crackers, protein bars, cooking class. There are so many gluten free deals – there are so many deals! 

Deals are constantly changing but there are always a variety of gluten free items posted. It’s a great way to save on your favorite gluten free items and it’s also a great way to explore and try new gluten free products for a discounted price. 

Do you use Groupon Goods? How do you save money with Groupon? Leave a comment below with ways you’ve saved or tips for other Groupon users!

 

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Moroccan Magic Argan Oil & Essential Oil Lip Balm

With winter, comes chapped lips. Every single year. I can’t tell you how many chap sticks and lip balms I’ve tried throughout the years, but I was very excited when I finally tried Moroccan Magic...and it works!

Moroccan Magic Lip Balms are all natural, organic and made without gluten ingredients. I do not like to eat foods with artificial ingredients and keeping those ingredients and chemicals off my body – and lips! – is very important too.    

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Moroccan Magic Lip Balms are available in four varieties:

  1. Rose
  2. Peppermint Eucalyptus
  3. Lemon Thyme
  4. Coconut Almond

My favorite is the rose! It has a delicious smell :) It is smooth and hydrating and stays on for a long time, but does not get greasy or leave that icky feeling on my lips after being on for a long period of time. 

Moroccan Magic Lip Balms are made with organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Coconut Oil,Organic Lemon Essential Oil, Vitamin E, Organic Rosemary Blend, Organic Thyme Essential Oil, and Organic Calendula Blend. These ingredients have so many great benefits including; 

  • Deep Moisturizing
  • Silky Smooth
  • Lightweight Finish
  • Anti-Aging
  • Cooling
  • Repairing
  • Protective

You can purchase Moroccan Magic Lip Balms online and at Whole Foods Markets in NY, NJ and CT. These make great gifts and stocking stuffers! 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Drift Away Coffee // Holiday Gift Guide

Driftaway Coffee is a small-batch coffee roaster that offers mail-based coffee subscriptions.  

What makes Driftaway unique is their special approach to “taste matching.”  When you sign up, you are sent a sample pack of four different coffees from around the world, and then rate each coffee. This kit also exposes people to the different tastes coffee can have, based on where it’s from and how it’s been roasted. So it’s part-fun and part-educational! From then on, customers only get coffees belonging to the profiles they like. The coffees are changed each month, so it’s a great way to try new coffees out – while knowing that it’s always something you will love!

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I like to think of Driftaway as all the best things in life rolled up into a single package – great coffee, cool packaging, and surprises in the mail!  The best part about it? They’ve got a great story and they’re super convenient, too.  

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While Driftaway has only been around since 2014, people are starting to take note. They’ve been featured on Gear Patrol, Food52, the Kitchn, and Coffee Review. They’ve recently added features to the site so that you can now rate and review every coffee you get, and keep track of your favorite and not-so-favorite coffees! Your coffees will get even more personalized to your taste, and you can know your coffee palate better!

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Driftaway Coffee is perfect for all coffee lovers and makes a great gift! Gift options include gift subscriptions, e-gift cards and gift sets that include brew kits, with a variety of delivery options. The subscription prices start at $36 and vary based on quantity and subscription length.

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The first delivery of every kit is the “Rise and Grind” tasting kit – four different coffees, 1 oz each. The four coffees I received included:

  • Nicaraguan, with tasting notes of Toffee and Peanut – somewhat nutty
  • Kenyan Thika Chinia Estate with tasting notes of grapefruit, cedar and melon
  • Bralizian Minas Gerais Fazenda Alta Vista with tasting notes of chocolate, peanuts and citric
  • Papua New Guinea  Wangi Valley Ulya with tasting notes of toffee, cocoa and dark chocolate – my favorite! 

In December, they are roasting on all Fridays and will be shipping on the following days: December 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th. All ordered placed by December 16th will arrived by Christmas Day.

 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Certified Steak and Seafood Company

Jeremy and I love cooking together. Cooking and trying new foods was one of the things that we bonded over when we first met. Six years later, we still enjoying making dinner together, trying new foods and new recipes, whether at home or at a restaurant. This past Friday night we had the chance to cook a delicious, high quality meal together thanks to Certified Steak and Seafood Company. They sent over a Surf and Turf kit complete with: 

6 oz. Bahamian Lobster tail (2 pack)  
9 oz. Chilean Sea Bass  
8 oz. Angus Filet Mignon

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While we love Chilean sea bass, it is a fish we have only ordered at restaurants. And not very often, as it can be expensive. Sea bass is not something either of us had ever cooked before. After doing a little “research” on google we decided on a simple recipe: garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. We baked the sea bass in the oven at 400F for about 20-25 minutes and finished it with lemon juice. It turned out absolutely perfect. It was perfectly cooked and held its shape during cooking, yet flaked easily when I shook my fork at it! It was so buttery, tender and smooth.It was definitely the highlight of the meal for me. 

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If there was ever a steak that you would believe could melt in your mouth, the Certified Steak and Seafood angus Filet Mignon is it. It has a delectable almost sweet beef flavor, with a strong buttery undertone that has to be tasted to be believed. Each filet mignon is hand-selected, cut from the center of the tenderloin, aged and custom trimmed for consistency in color and quality. It is a flavor you will remember long after your meal is over. Great accompanied by grilled root vegetables and horseradish mashed potatoes.

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The Angus Filet Mignon was also delicious, and one of the best and highest quality pieces of meat we’ve ever purchased. They truly did melt in my mouth! We pan seared it in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic then finished it off in the oven for 15 minutes, rotating half way through. 

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This was the first time I’ve ever tried Bahamian lobster tail. I’ve only ever had Maine lobster. So, how did these compare? Bahamian lobster is not as sweet as Maine lobster, is milder in flavor and not as rich. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t taste good! It was just different. You can grill the lobster tails or broil them. Included with the kit were three recipes, and we chose to follow the one provided for the lobster tail. We broiled it with a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

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QUALITY, VALUE, AND COMMITMENT

Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood directly. The brothers’ experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.

Their vast experience in selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade means they’re able to bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts and hotels demand. Living the prime life has never been so easy. Beyond providing great products at affordable prices, the brothers’ background in working with commercial customers has taught them about the importance of taking each customer’s needs into consideration. It’s their commitment to quality, value and attentive service that sets Certified apart.

All of products come from inspected and certified sources. Ranchers and fisheries have to undergo a rigorous process to become a source and are reviewed on a regular basis. USDC and USDA inspectors are on-premises and keep a constant watch over all processes. Each and every product undergoes a chemical and/or pathogen analysis and is certified by an outside lab to ensure safety and quality. The institute-trained chef in the test kitchen samples all products for quality in presentation, consistency and taste. Yes, the standards are demanding, but customers expect and deserve only the best. 

Not only do you get quality steak and seafood you know you can trust, it tastes good and it will surely impress anyone you are cooking for. Certified Steak and Seafood also make great gifts! 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

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RawSpiceBar // Holiday Gift Idea and $5 off your subscription

Spices are one of the healthiest ingredients you can add to your food. Spices add flavor to your meal without adding fat or calories. Changing up bland proteins and sides is easier — and more exciting — than you’d think with RawSpiceBar

RawSpiceBar is a subscription kit that delivers 3 freshly made, small batch spice flavor kits for as low as $6/month. Each kit includes diet customized recipes plus an origin and history of spices from a new region.  RawSpiceBar collaborates with chefs and spice experts around the world, ensuring authenticity of each of our flavors and dishes.

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Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. The most recent kit was the “Oktoberfest Spice Box.” The three spice mixes included: Horseradish and Mustard Seed, Schnitzel Spices, and Caraway, Fennel and Anise Bread. This recipes included with the kit included: Horseradish & Mustard Cabbage, German Chicken Schnitzel, and Caraway Cheese Soft Pretzels. But I wanted to try something different.

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While these recipes sounded good, I had so much fun experimenting with these spices and different seasonally inspired recipes!

Schnitzel Roasted Broccoli 

I thought it would be fun to try something different with the spices,so I used the Schnitzel mix to make roasted broccoli. 

Simply coat broccoli in rosemary oil – or your favorite oil – and sprinkle with Schnitzel seasoning and salt. Roast in the oven at 375F for 35-40 minutes. I was surprised by the heat level the Schnitzel spices had! 
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So I’m not a big bread baker, as in I never make bread. It’s just not my thing, so instead I used the Caraway, Fennel and Anise tested great on potatoes. 

Pan Roasted Potatoes with Caraway, Fennel and Anise 

Again this recipe is very simple. Boil potatoes until barely tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. 

Heat olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry potatoes, turning often so that they brown but do not burn. Once they begin to brown, sprinkle seasoning over potatoes and cook for one to two minutes. Remove potatoes from pan and serve with your favorite roasted chicken dish! 

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Get $5 off a 6 or 12 month gift or subscription using code FLAVOR6.

Just a few highlights about why a RawSpiceBar spice subscription box makes an awesome holiday gift:
  • Each month, a custom blend of exotic flavors from an international destination will grace the doorstep – and soon kitchen – of your loved ones. 
  • With an economical price point of just $8/month, the monthly spice box is the perfect stocking stuffer, an amazingly low priced gift for the quality and global nature of the box. 
  • Customized recipes for diets of all types- and a great way to add flavor without added salts, sugars or additives.
  • Perfect for friends, family, co-workers and clients as a gift that keeps on giving into the new year!
  • RawSpiceBar’s spice boxes are perfect for the annually trending color-themed gift guides offering pops of reds, oranges, beiges, greens…you name it! 

The blends contain only the spices listed on each blend with no added fillers such as MSG, salt, rice or flour, and all of the spice blends are 100% gluten free.

Boxes are shipped the first week of every month. And shipping is always free! The spices come in reusable packaging that you can use to store your spices.

Get $5 off a 6 or 12 month gift or subscription using code FLAVOR6

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Ecofarms Organic Vegetable Heirloom Seeds Kit

Why buy vegetable seed packets that are often produced in bulk when you can give yourself or anyone else a fresh beautiful heirloom seed kit with real Organic Vegetable seedsIt’s a perfect gift for mom, sister, co-worker or friend. Just about anyone who enjoys gardening will enjoy this kit.

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EcoFarms products are created with two goals in mind–quality & innovation. Ecofarms hand packed organic vegetable seeds are sold in small quantities.  

IMG_0068I love gardening and I have been gardening since I was a little girl. I still go home every spring and help my mom plant the vegetable garden the backyard of my childhood home. The past few years have produced weak crops. Many of our plants justdidn’t grow, produced very little, or were eaten by bugs – or animals! Gardening is a great activity that bring’s families closer together and this gardening gift kits come presented in a fresh beautiful box to excite people about the activity. It’s the perfect small gift. Teach your family or friends about growing their own food for themselves and experience some of the best varieties of vegetables ever grown on the planet.

This kit includes TEN of the best variety of seeds ever sown. Ecofarms hand packs each tube with enough organic seeds to create a beautiful home garden. The seeds have a high germination rate because they pack the boxes in small lots and since these heirloom kits rarely sit on the shelves for more than a few weeks– they are always fresh.

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The kit includes a basic instruction card for getting your plants going and includes the following 10 varieties of seeds:

Tendersweet Carrot (50-70 seeds)
Red Burgundy Onion (50-70 seeds)
Golden Beauty Corn (7-12 seeds)
Long Purple Eggplant (40-50 seeds)
Delikatesse Cucumber (10-15 seeds)
Brandywine Tomato (15-20 seeds)
California Wonder Pepper (30-40 seeds)
Calabrese Broccoli  (50-60 seeds)
Great Lakes 118 Lettuce (30-40 seeds)
Utah 5270 Celery (50-60 seeds)

Not only are the seeds organic, they are non-GMO project verified. Choosing heirloom seeds preserves endangered food heritage traditions and encourages biodiversity in food crops.

The good thing about heirloom seeds is that you can save them for a few years without any issues. If you can’t plant the seeds now, the best way to store this kit is to keep the seeds in the tubes and put the pods or the whole box into a ziplock bag. Make sure that you squeeze all the air out of the bag before you close the bag. Once you push all the air out, seal the bag and put it in the freezer. As long as they stay frozen they will last for a few years. Onion seeds are the only ones in this kit that will not last as long as the others. Usually onion seeds are good for 1 or 2 years of storage. After that you won’t get the same germination rate as fresh seeds. The main thing that hurts seed storage is a fluctuation in temperature and moisture. Both of those factor’s will reduce the time you can save the seeds for. Since most people do not go into their freezer more than once or twice a day or keep it open to give them a chance to defrost, the freezer will be the best spot to keep them. When the time comes for planting, take out the pods and leave them out for a day before putting them into the soil. They need to reach room temperature before you plant them. 

You can purchase Ecofarms Organic Vegetable Heirloom Seed Kit on Amazon

Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge to review for my blog. All my opinions and thoughts are my own.

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Moonshine Chocolate Fudge Bars

Earlier this month my mom introduced me to The Chocolate Moonshine Co. She met the owner at a trade show and he gave her a box of samples for me to try (thanks mom!).

 The Chocolate Moonshine Co. has been making gourmet fudge and chocolate items for over 25 years.They offer 33 flavors of Artisan Fudge Bars all which are gluten free and egg free! 

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The flavors range from black raspberry and pink lemonade to tiramisu, toasted almond and birthday cake! 

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The chart was nice, but it was hard to tell some of the flavors as they didn’t all match up to a description. Some were easy to determine while others left Jeremy and I wondering what we were eating! I do have to say, we did enjoy all the flavors we tried. Jeremy loved the hazelnut (I’m not a fan) and I loved the toasted almond and tiramisu. The chocolates come in boxes and make great gifts!

You can create your own box and order