Lunch Date with Uncommon Goods // GIVEAWAY

lunch date with Uncommon Goods

You may have noticed I have another new affiliate in my sidebar.  I’m so excited to partner with Uncommon Goods to bring you today’s post!  The fine folks at Uncommon Goods offered to let me pick out something special to try out and share.

Men can be hard to buy for.  I know Jared just buys what he needs/wants and whenever a gift-giving occasion rolls around I get the “I don’t need anything” shrug.  So for our “halfiversary” (yes, we still celebrate our half year anniversary) I decided to treat him to a lunch date in our dining room. I picked up this tasting plate and this adorable tea towel and planned our date around them.

One of our favorite easy meals is from scratch chicken nuggets.  I bread them using olive oil and a mix of panko, whole wheat bread crumbs, parmesan and spices and bake them for 5 minutes on each side.  I know it’s not terribly fancy, but it makes for a nice lunch with a sliced pear and some veggies.  We like to splurge a little on fancy dipping sauces (here we tried a spicy mustard, Carolina style barbeque sauce, yogurt ranch and a sweet and spicy barbeque).

Tea Towel from Uncommon Goods via Lost and Fawned

lunch date with Uncommon Goods on Lost and Fawned

I can see us using this plate a lot.  It would be great for bread, olive oil and cheese or fruit with honey, yogurt and chocolate.  It makes a simple meal a little more special.  Find more great gift ideas for the guys in your life here.

I adore the tea towel as well.  We already have an Oregonian tea towel to celebrate my childhood home.  It’s time we added some Ohio pride to our kitchen.  I love the handmade details and rik-rak trim.  It looks so sweet hanging in our kitchen.

Dipping Plate from Uncommon Goods via Lost and Fawned

As a bonus, Uncommon Gifts to offering one lucky L&F reader $50 to treat themselves with a little something (or perhaps find something special for an upcoming birthday).

Giveaway - Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods Giveaway IdeasThere are so many amazing items at Uncommon Goods, seriously something for everyone.  $50 can go a long way.  You can find lots of great ideas under $50 here.

There are a ton of ways to enter this giveaway.  Use the widget below (if you are reading from an RSS reader, click here to view the widget) to enter.  Some entries can be done once per day to earn bonus entries.  Giveaway will close at midnight on March 6th, 2013.

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 This giveaway is courtesy of Uncommon Goods.  I was provided with the reviewed products, but the opinions and description are my own.  I only review products I love.

New Affiliate // Tazo Tea

TAZO Affiliate

We are big tea drinkers in our house.  I love fruity teas, herbal teas, a good black tea, any tea.  I have been a Tazo drinker for awhile, so when I got the chance to affiliate with Tazo I jumped at the chance.  I love their teas, but I had no idea that their online shop had so many beautiful gifts.  Between their selection of drinkwear, accessories, tea enhancers and of course artisan teas, it would be so easy to put together a lovely care package for tea lover.

TAZO GiftsMy Gift Picks:

Holiday Veggies with Country Crock

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It’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu here in the US!  Whether you are hosting and have to plan the bulk of the meal, or a guest (like me) who brings one special dish to add to the menu, it’s best to plan ahead so you are not scrambling to throw something together last second. Besides the turkey, I think veggies are one of the most important parts of the meal.  Done right, they can also offer a healthy option to round out a heavy meal.  Using Country Crock, which has 0g of trans fat, instead of butter makes your healthy sides even healthier.  And with Country Crock’s seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Honey you can get pretty creative.

Country Crock asked me to share a healthy vegetable side dish option and use Country Crock instead of butter.  I used the last of my garden rainbow carrots to put together this festive option to go with your turkey and mashed potatoes.  You could of course use regular orange carrots as well.

Approx. time 30 minutes.  Serves about 6 (as a side dish). Ingredients:

– about 1 lb of carrots (I used a rainbow variety)

– 2 tbsp. Country Crock

– 2 tbsp. honey

– 1 whole lemon for zesting

– kosher salt to taste

1.  Cut carrots to lengths of about 1.5″.  All pieces should be 1/2 inch in diameter.  Half and quarter as necessary.  I useds a mix of rainbow carrots from our garden and organic carrots from the local grocery store.  Peel them if you prefer.  I wanted a rustic look, so I scrubbed them really well and left them natural.

2.  Once the carrots are all cut, place them in a large pan in a single layer.  Fill the pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and about half way up the carrots.  Add your Country Crock and honey.  Zest the lemon over the pan.  I added about a teaspoon of zest.  Since we are using Country Crock instead of butter, you shouldn’t need much seasoning.  I added just a pinch of the kosher salt.

3.  Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium-high and leave pan partially covered to cook carrots.  This should take about 10 minutes.

4.  Test carrots with a fork.  If cooked, remove lid and allow to continue boiling until remaining liquid evaporates leaving a nice thick glaze.  This can take anywhere from 5-12 minutes depending on your stove top.  Once the water evaporates, the carrots will quickly start to caramelize.  The glaze should be a nice golden color.  Remove from heat and serve.

As a bonus, we also have a giveaway today to make your holiday a little more festive!  This week you can enter to win this beautiful Thanksgiving kit provided by Country Crock!  Kit contains Harvest Pumpkin Tiny Taper Holders, 10″ x 6″ Italian Scalloped Bakers and 13” Wire Baker Rack.  There are a number of ways to enter, and you can tweet the giveaway once a day to earn bonus entries!

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For more yummy side dish ideas, visit The Country Crock Chronicle’s Thanksgiving Side page.

Thank you to Country Crock for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Fall Recipe Round-Up

This evening I have been pouring over recipes to find something special to bring to Thanksgiving.  No luck yet, but I did find a bunch of other recipes to add to the card file to try.  Here are some of my favorites.

Roasted Pear, Gorgonzola & Honey Toast – Naturally Ella

Apple Cider Sangria – How Sweet It Is

Caramelized Pumpkins Seeds – Cooking with my Kids

Pulla – Pure Vegetarian

Pork & Apple Potstickers – Katie at the Kitchen Door

Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes – Baker Girl

Spiced Brown Butter Pumpkin Pretzels – Top with Cinnamon

[Read more…]

Mug Round-Up

With the weather getting chillier, our teapot has been busy.  I have a thing for mugs.  It’s my go-to souvenir choice.  I always check for new vintage mugs at the thrift store.  We have quite the collection of miss-matched mugs in our  cupboard (this is one of my favorites).  Here is a round-up of beautiful mugs I would love to add to my collection this fall…

Featured above:  Vintage Los Angeles Mug from Dear Yesterday Vintage – $8

1. Carnaby Flame Mug Jonathan Adler – $18  //  2. Ferm Living Small Cup – $16.50  //  3. My Deer Mug from Modcloth – $26.50  //  4. Alphabet Mug from Pottery Barn – $10  //  5. Wives of Henry VIII Mug from Mentalfloss – $12.95  //  6. The Met Mug from The Met Store – $15  //  7. Basket Mug from Unica Home – $17  //  8. Speckled Boulder Mug from LEIF – $12  //  9. Tug Mug from Unica Home – $14  // 10. Spray Flowers Mug from Cath Kidston – $8  //  11. Hand-Painted Dotted Dinnerware – $24 for 4

[Read more…]

Spring Shoot & Giveaways with Cotton & Brass

It’s spring on Cotton & Brass right now!  The ladies and I put together a beautiful spring inspired tea party featuring pops of bright spring green.  Check out more photos (by the talented Christa Kimble) from the shoot here and here.

Michelle also put together an amazing how-to for that show-stopping green pistachio bundt cake.  Cut into that cake at any party and guaranteed you’ll have the prettiest dessert on the table.

And the icing on the cake is not one, but TWO giveaways from Sara and me!  Win my necklace or bracelet over here.  And win Sara’s handmade stationary set over here.  Enter both giveaways today and win some spring green to get your spring and summer going!

Reminder >> Time to start thinking about your garden

Though winter may be raging outside here in Northeast Ohio, it’s time to start planning your garden if you haven’t already.  I know I started getting my seed catalogs this week and we have been having fun milling through them an marking pages.

I think we’ll be building one or two more beds this year and will be raising our existing beds an extra 6 inches.  I would LOVE a whole bed for lavender this summer since we have such nice sun, but I need to do some extra reading before I have Jared take the time to build a box for me.  Artichokes fascinate me, but I think they may be too advanced for me.  Last year we learned a lot about what we needed to plant more of, and what we didn’t use as much of.  For instance… LOTS more snow peas this year, we were way overboard on lettuce last year.  It was a great season for learning.

Here are some of my favorite seed resources:

Are you trying anything new in your garden this year?

It worked! I made short ribs!

Earlier I hoped my short ribs would look and taste half as good as Ree’s (from the Pioneer Woman Cooks).  Low and behold I just opened the pot and look at these!  They look and smell so good I can’t believe I made them!  It’s like while I was upstairs Ina Garten snuck in and switched the pot.  I’ll report back later to let you know if they taste as good as they look.

In the Slow Cooker Today: Braised Short Ribs

Jared is sick this week.  And we are in need of comfort food.  Short ribs were FINALLY in stock at the store, so it’s as good a time as any to give them a go.  I’ll be using this recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooks.  Hopefully they look as good as Ree’s.  We’ll be making egg noodles instead of polenta to keep it a little simpler.

Photo courtesy of  The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Fall Foods Worth Trying

It’s no secret autumn is my favorite time of year.  And in addition to layers, cool weather and changing leaves fall brings some of my favorite flavors and comfort food.  Foods that simmer long and low, apples, spices and of course pumpkin.  But with the great pumpkin shortage of 2011 roaring, I can’t find plain old canned pumpkin anywhere.  So instead, I pour over food blogs.  Here are some recipes I’m dying to try…