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Unless otherwise noted, all content and photos are property of Elle @ Elle's New England Kitchen. Copyright 2008-14. All rights reserved. If you'd like to reprint an article or use a photo, please contact me for permission at ellenekitchen at gmail dot com. All photos, unless specified, have been taken by me, and if used without permission, an invoice will be forwarded to the proper business/individual. Thank you.

 

 

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Monday
Dec032012

Tate’s Baking for Friends Review +Cookie and Bar Tower Giveaway

GPTowCkBrA_1

I absolutely adore Tate’s Bake Shop. Have I ever been? No, It’s not close enough for me to just hop on over. This may be a good thing, however, since their stuff is fabulous--I’d be there every single day! The cookies, the brownies, the bars…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Giveaway is CLOSED. The random winner is #43, Jamie. Congrats, Jamie! And thank you to everyone that entered. 

I can personally vouch for the thin, ultra crisp cookies. They’ll make you swoon. And want more. The butter and brown sugar really shine in these, as do the soft chocolate chips. The brownies? They’re the epitome of melt in  your mouth, fudgy, chocolatey goodness. They’re what other brownies can only dream about being like. You want to swoon? Get your hands on some of Tate’s brownies--trust me on this!

Kathleen King, the baking genius behind Tate’s Bake Shop, has written her second Tate’s cookbook, Tate's Bake Shop: Baking For Friends. Just like her first, Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton's Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads, this one is packed full of recipes you’ll actually make. You don’t need exotic ingredients or 12 pans and 50 hands. These aren’t recipes you’ll dream of making one day because they’re so complicated--you can make these now. They’re the ones you’ll reach for again and again, and make for your family and friends.

That’s not to say that they won’t impress, because these recipes certainly will! Here are just a few of them as I flip through the book: Three Berry Crumb Pie, Cinnamon Swirl Scones, Ginger Plum Muffins, Pfeffernusse (my mom loved these for the holidays!), Chubby Tate’s (the thick, soft and chewy cousin of Tate’s signature ultra crispy chocolate chip cookies), Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake, Blackout Cupcakes, and so many more.

So far, from this book, I’ve made:

  1. The Milk Chocolate Cake, which is bordering on brownies and is not nearly as sweet as you’d think, but delectable.
  2. The Raspberry Chocolate Scones, which are as far as you can get from dry scones, and have a nice touch of orange zest.
  3. The Hurricane Irene Cookies, which are chock full of good cookie things--oats, chocolate chips, coconut, pecans and toffee bits, and like the cake I mentioned above, not as sweet as you’d think, but a fabulous chewy cookie with lots of great texture.

I have many more recipes bookmarked to try, as well. The Breakfast Cookies are definitely being made in the next week or so. Cookies for breakfast? I’m in!

GPTowCkBrA_1

The folks at Tate’s have generously offered to give a Cookie and Bar Tower to one of you lucky readers, and trust me when I say it, you want this. Your taste buds want this. Heck, I want this, ha! I’ll put my order in for one soon so I can splurge and share it for the holidays, but one of you can have this now!

It includes three 7-oz boxes of cookies, one each of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and white chocolate chip macadamia nut. Two rich, buttery raspberry bars, two chocolate chip and walnut loaded blondies, and two rich, dense and fudgy plain brownies round out this crowd pleaser. Each 7-oz box contains approximately 12 cookies, and bars measure 4" x 2.75"

US shipping only.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you’re most looking forward to trying--the cookies, the raspberry bars, blondies or brownies, and be sure to use a valid email address!

Optional for additional entries:

2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment here letting me know that you did. You can do this once a day.

3. Share this post on Facebook and again, leave a comment here telling me that you shared it. You can also do this up to once per day, if you like.

That’s it--easy! I’ll choose a comment (using the random number generator) next Monday, December 10th and announce the winner on Tuesday. The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me or I’ll choose another name. Good luck!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Tate’s Bake Shop: Baking for Friends at no charge. My opinion is my own and not influenced in any way.



Tuesday
Oct232012

Well-Together Challenge with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care-Week 4

White Mountains, NH

Well, here we are, at week 4--the final week of the Harvard Pilgrim Well-Together Challenge! It’s been a lot of fun checking out the posts from the other bloggers that have been taking the challenge as well. Hopefully, you guys have followed along and picked up some great tips for better health and wellness.

What have I learned in these four weeks? I’ve learned that healthy habits don’t always mean giving up what you love. I’ve learned that small changes make a big difference over time, and if you stick with them, you’ll be better off in the long run, and you won’t have to say “Why wasn’t I doing this all along?”

I’ve also learned that healthy habits don’t have to take all day. It all adds up. You don’t have to feel like you need to work out three hours a day. A little here and a little there, and before you know it, your new challenges turn into habits that you actually enjoy!

The yoga challenge for me has been very helpful. It just feels so good to get into those stretches, and to take some time to actually breathe deeply and release that stress of everyday life. Do it in the morning and you’ll feel refreshed all day. Do it before bed and you’ll sleep like a baby. You just can’t lose! And if you’re stuck in the office all day, you can even do yoga at your desk! If your boss is wondering what the heck you’re doing, just reply that it’ll make you more productive--who can argue with that?

Be sure to also check in with Carrie at Maine Mom on the Run. She’s been trying out some of my recipes that are family oriented and pretty easy to get on the table. Which isn’t always simple, as we all know! Having a family means less time and more running around.

Beach Fence, NH

I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well atHarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn. Harvard Pilgrim is on Facebook, as well as Twitter--follow this hash tag for more tips in the #WellTogetherChallenge.

This is a paid post, but as stated above, the thoughts and opinions here are my own.



Monday
Oct222012

Robinhood Meetinghouse Biscuits Review

Robinhood Meetinghouse Cream Cheese Biscuits

Do you love biscuits? I do! When I was a kid, my mom used to make them all the time. She made the drop biscuits from the standard store bought baking mix. It was easy for her, and that’s what she grew up with. I loved them hot out of the oven with butter.

Now that I’m in charge of the biscuit making for my family, I make them from scratch, right in the food processor. It’s a good way to use some buttermilk, if you’ve got some kicking around in the fridge. And everyone in my family loves them!

Robinhood Meetinghouse Triple Ginger Biscuits

Sometimes though, I’m in a rush trying to get dinner on the table, and just don’t have the room in the kitchen (I have a small island) to pat them out and cut them, and have an extra baking sheet out there, too. Or I want/need a snack and just don’t feel like making them. We all have days like that, I’m sure!

This is where Robinhood Meetinghouse Frozen Biscuits enter the picture! I received some samples from them to try in my kitchen, and wow--we were impressed! They’re a family-run business started by Chef Michael Gagné. He brought his biscuit recipe home to Maine from Virginia, and started the Robinhood Meetinghouse restaurant. Soon his daughters were bagging and selling the biscuits to-go from the back porch of the restaurant. Now they sell them in your grocers freezer, made using the same wholesome fresh ingredients that we use in our kitchens.

Robinhood Meetinghouse Pecan Sticky Buns

Their products are made without artificial flavors or colors, corn syrup, preservatives, trans-fats, or GMO’s.

These are great to keep in the freezer for an easy comfort food fix, snack, dessert, or accompaniment to your family dinners. And you can feel good about them because of the fresh, natural ingredients they’re made with, and because they’re flaky, tender and delicious! Mine came out a bit lopsided because I used an old but beloved baking sheet that’s a little warped, but they rose beautifully like biscuits your grandma would make.

We tried the Cream Cheese Biscuits, the Triple Ginger Biscuits, and the Pecan Sticky Buns. They were all just what you want in a biscuit or a gooey sticky bun, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick some up to store in the freezer for those times when you’re short on time or just want a warm comforting snack. Check out all of their varieties! Herb Parmesan? Sign me up! Check their site for availability in your area.

A huge thank you to Robinhood Meetinghouse for setting me up with some samples! I truly appreciate it. It’s easy to get behind a product that’s all natural and that tastes as good as these do!

Robinhood Meetinghouse Cream Cheese Biscuits



Tuesday
Oct162012

Well-Together Challenge with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care-Week 3

Rye, NH

I can’t believe we’re already on week 3 of the Harvard Pilgrim Well-Together Challenge! The month is flying by and soon the holidays will be upon us. Which means food, and lots of it. Now is the time to make those small changes that will soon become good habits.

That’s what the Well-Together Challenge is all about. Little changes that are easy to incorporate into your every day (or weekly) routine. Park farther away from the store, take the stairs, maybe switch out that sugary, syrupy coffee drink for good old straight up coffee--or tea. Half and half instead of cream? We like to make our own soda by pouring about 3/4 of a glass of soda water, then topping it off with a low sugar lemonade or juice. Or even just some sliced lime or lemons. All of these small changes add up and really make a difference when you look at the big picture!

These changes can help take you right through the holidays and into the new year, too. Wouldn’t it be great to be ahead of the game when everyone’s making New Years Resolutions? Heck yeah, it would!

I’m still doing yoga 3-4 times per week, for about 15-20 minutes. After you do it for a while and you learn some different poses, you can change it up and do a simple warm up, the poses that you love and that you know feel great, and then an easy cool down. If you get up a bit earlier, you can get it all done in the morning and feel good all day!

Be sure to also check in with Carrie at Maine Mom on the Run. She’s been trying out some of my recipes that are family oriented and pretty easy to get on the table. Which isn’t always simple, as we all know! Having a family means less time and more running around.

Hampton Beach, NH

I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn. Harvard Pilgrim is on Facebook, as well as Twitter--follow this hash tag for more tips in the #WellTogetherChallenge.

This is a paid post, but as stated above, the thoughts and opinions here are my own.



Monday
Oct152012

October is Fair Trade Month

Fair Trade Products

 

Do you buy Fair Trade products? What is Fair Trade? Check out this short video to find out:

We were sent a sampling of Fair Trade products to try, and as usual, we weren’t disappointed in the quality and flavor. There are so many things to choose from, and every purchase you make helps people’s lives directly.

Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. We enable you, the consumer, to make a difference with your dollar. We help people and the planet work in tandem so both are healthy and sustained. We provide farmers in developing nations the tools to thrive as international business people. Instead of creating dependency on aid, we use a market-based approach that gives farmers fair prices, workers safe conditions, and entire communities resources for fair, healthy and sustainable lives. We seek to inspire the rise of the Conscious Consumer and eliminate exploitation.

Fair Trade Products

Your Fair Trade purchases:

  • Provide health care
  • Fund the building of schools for education
  • Fight poverty by giving farmers the tools they need to earn a living on their own
  • Support environmentally sustainable farming practices
  • Guarantee women their health care, rights and freedom from harassment

I hope you’ll check out the Fair Trade USA site to see all of the ways that supporting this effort is helping people all over the world! With the holidays approaching, giving Fair Trade products will do so much more for our world than just a trip to the mall for the same old tired gifts. Everything we’ve had from Fair Trade has been excellent quality and taste!

Join the conversation on Twitter by following  @FairTradeUSA and use the hash tag #FairTradeMonth. You can also find them on Facebook. And look for the Fair Trade Certified label when you shop! It’ll let you know that your purchase is socially and environmentally responsible.

Fair Trade Products

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Fair Trade products to try at no charge, and was not paid for my opinions.



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