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Monday, September 12, 2016

Kellogg's Sends Them Back To School (and enter to win)

By now, I think we've all made it through back to school.   The excitement, the nerves, the unknowns have been put to rest.  Hopefully students are starting to settle into their new school routines and are enjoying their classmates and teachers. 

Personally, I love back to school time.  September is a beautiful month with brilliant blue skies, warm days and cool nights.  To me, this is the perfect time of year.  I also love the fresh start that back to school offers everyone - students, teachers and parents.  My youngest daughter was disappointed with her learning skills evaluation at the end of last year and I pointed out that learning skills are one person's evaluation.  Maybe this year, with hard work and effort her new teacher will see something that last year's didn't see. 

Kellogg's welcomes back to school with  NEW products for the lunch bag.  Products that are delicious, and wholesome too.

Brown Rice, Rice Krispie Treats are perfect for the lunch bag this school session.   Kids love them, and parents approve of them.  These are the same ooey-gooey treats that kids have loved for generations, but now with the nutritional  goodness of brown rice.  These bars are low in saturated fat, trans fat free, contain no artificial colours and provide 8g of whole grain per serving. 

Or, give new Nutri-Grain Fruit & Nut Medley Bars a try.  These little bars of goodness are jam packed with real ingredients and contain no artificial flavours or colour.  Real fruits and nuts make up half the bar along with crispy puffed rice and gluten free oats.  This amazing little bar is available in two flavours: Orchard Cherries & Almonds and  Harvest Blueberries & Mixed Nuts.   (While this may not be suitable for school lunches re: nut allergies, this makes a perfect after school snack.)

As always, we love these new Kellogg's products.  Look for them on your grocery store's shelves this Fall and give something new a try. 

Thank you to Kellogg's for offering my readers a chance to win a back to school prize pack.  It will include a backpack, and a couple of the new items.   Giveaway is open to Canada.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fun Facts About Cats and their People, plus a Giveaway From Arm&Hammer!

Calling all cat people!  This post is for you.

Last week marked International  Cat  Day, and now we can celebrate here on the blog with a giveaway that I know cat owners are going to want to get in on.  But, first....let's talk cats. 

I often share my little kitty,  Purrcilla's picture on Instagram.  She is a complete sweetie who has stolen the hearts of our entire family.  I've shared a little of her story and how she came to live with our family previously on the blog.  In a nutshell, she found us, she was sick with an infection due to having a broken leg.  In her first six months with us, her life often hung in the balance.  We always say that a warm home, good food and lots of love and care saw her through and made her fight for her life. 

Cat Fun Facts

Below we are going to share some fun, cat facts, as found in a survey by Church & Dwight Co, the maker of ARM & HAMMER, sampling adult cat owners in the US. 

  • 79% of people say they treat their cat like a human
  • 74% of people feel that their cat is friendlier than humans
  • 95% of people feel that their cat lightens their mood
  • 35% of people prefer to cuddle with their cat, instead of their significant other
  • 39% of people say that their significant other complains about changing cat litter
  • 75% of people say that cat litter is a major issue and wish it weighed less
Where do you fit in with these findings? 

New Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Lightweight Cat Litter

I do love my sweet kitty dearly, but admit that tending to the cat litter is a daily chore that I rather not have.  But, the reality of having a house cat as a pet is the litter. 

I have to admit that cat litter is a bit of an issue for me.  It's hard for me to purchase and it's hard for me to tend to.  Having a back issue, I can honestly say it's a pain!  However, I am the main caregiver of our cat and sometimes there just isn't any other options. 

Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Lightweight Cat Litter has come to my rescue. 

It's 50% lighter than their regular kitty litter, the box contains the same amount, yet it is lighter to lift due to revolutionary low-density micro-particles. This litter is 100% dust free, which makes it so nice to pour and bend over while scooping.  And, this litter provides a seven day guarantee!   Our litter pan is behind our kitchen door.  We placed it there when we first got her, for her ease with the broken leg, and I've yet to be successful in moving it.  So, a seven day odor control guarantee is a big deal to me. 

For more information on this litter visit: armandhammerpets.ca

Giveaway for my fellow cat-people

I am so pleased to offer the below items for giveaway to my cat-loving friends! (Canada)

Please use the form below to enter to win a prize package as pictured above.  Please remember one may enter at multiple blogs, yet, you can only win this prize pack once. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shop and Win with Growers Near You at your Loblaws Store #WeLoveFood #NearYou

It's the most wonderful time of year here in Ontario.

It's that time of year when we are blessed with a bountiful harvest right in our own backyard.  Farmer's markets, roadside stands are popping up (and they are great),  yet, we don't have to look much farther than the  produce department  at our local  Loblaws stores. 

Loblaws prides itself  with it's commitment to sourcing local produce to stock their store shelves.  In fact, take a look around the produce section and you'll see that right now is the perfect time to see Ontario-grown fruits and vegetables throughout the department.   Loblaws is committed to  buying Canadian (Ontarian) first. 

Growers Near You
As I browsed through my local store this past weekend, I was greeted with a display of balloons sporting the Canadian flag, letting shoppers know that stores are now brimming with lots of Canadian goodness.

Shop What's In Season
While shopping over the weekend, I picked out some fresh new potatoes, strawberries, a basket of peaches, and a cucumber.

You can taste the delicious freshness when eating produce coming from our own backyards. 

Get Inspired
Chef Michael Abramson has aligned with Loblaws to create some tasty, unique recipes just in time for using that abundance of home grown produce.  Why not try this one tonight?


This vegan-friendly play on a classic nacho is a great way to mix things up for the summer – or any time of year. Turn any fiesta into a smash hit with these mouth-watering savoury bites.

Serves: 6 people (allow 2-3 smashed potatoes per person)
Prep time: 60 minutes
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Chef: Michael Abramson on behalf of Loblaw


  • 16-20 Mini New Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced

Taco “Meat”
  • 1 cup Walnuts (toasted)
  • 1 ½ tsp Mexican chili powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tomato Salsa
  • 1 ¼ cup PC® Flavour Burst Tomato of Yore Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup Basil (or coriander)
  • 1 Small JalapeƱo
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tsp Sea salt

Cashew Sour Cream
  • 2 cups Raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ¾ - 1 cup Water
  • 1 ½ tbsp Cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp  Sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Wash potatoes well.

  1. Boil 10 cups (2500 ml) of water and add 1 tsp sea salt.
  2. Add mini potatoes and continue to boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a skewer – approx. 10-12 minutes, but will vary depending on potato size.
  3. Drain potatoes and rinse well under cold water to halt the cooking process.
  4. Take one potato at a time and place between the folds of a double folded, clean kitchen towel. Press down firmly to “smash” potato to about 1-1 ½ cm thickness.
  5. Place “smashed” potato on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining potatoes.
  6. Preheat oven to broil. Brush "smashed" potatoes on both sides with olive oil and return to the baking sheet.
  7. Place in preheated oven and broil for approximately 4-6 minutes until the edges just begin to crisp up.

Taco “Meat”
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and walnuts on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. Place in oven for approximately 5-7 minutes – shaking pan every couple of minutes. Look for them to darken a shade and smell "toasty".  Be careful – toasting any nut can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds.
  2. Place toasted walnuts and all other taco "meat" ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Keep a bit of texture.
Tomato Salsa
  1. Wash and seed tomatoes. Chop into fine dice and place in medium-sized bowl.
  2. Finely chop onion. Add to bowl with tomatoes.
  3. Mince basil and jalapeno with seeds. Add to bowl.
  4. Add lime juice and sea salt and mix together gently; drain any excess liquid that has accumulated in the bowl prior to serving.
Cashew Sour Cream

  1. Add cashews to 4 Cups (1000 ml) boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cashews sit in water for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse cashews and add to high speed blender with remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend at high speed until you reach a "sour cream" consistency. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time if required.
  4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not using immediately.

Potato Assembly

  1. On a serving plate, top smashed potatoes with 1-2 tsp walnut taco "meat,” 1 tsp of fresh salsa, 1 tsp of cashew sour cream and 1/2 tsp green onion.

TIP: “Smashed” potatoes and taco “meat” can be made up to 4 hours in advance. Fresh cut tomato salsa may be kept refrigerated for 2 days. Cashew sour cream may be kept for one week if covered and refrigerated.