Category Archives: Food Bloggers

The Fare Trade Artisanal Basket

When it comes to food, I love supporting small businesses.  Whether it is a doughnut from Sidecar or a dark chocolate bar from Madecasse, I’m always on the lookout for unique goodies that you can’t find at a regular supermarket.  The Fare Trade is a monthly subscription service that provides food treats from small businesses, and after connecting with the company through twitter, they were kind enough to let me try The Fare Trade artisanal basket for the month of August.

the Fare trade artisanal basketThe Fare Trade works with a variety of different food curators – from chefs and culinary influencers to local farmers and small businesses to create an artisanal basket that is delivered to subscribers each month.

What sets The Fare Trade out from other gourmet food delivery boxes is not only to they pick unique items, they also include cards with a recipe for each of the ingredients in your box from the featured chefs for that month.  Subscribers can also go online and watch video tutorials from the featured chefs.  For the month of August, chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts provided a bunch of unique recipes that paid homage to their Midwest roots.

The Fare Trade Artisanal Box Recipe CardsEach basket also aims to tie in with the season, and August’s basket was full of items that would be perfect for a summer afternoon BBQ.

The Fare Trade Artisanal Box Close UpThis basket included:

Quinn Popcorn:  This Oakland based company strives to create popcorn that is free of GMOs and artificial ingredients.  While I couldn’t try the popcorn due to my allergies, my husband was quite intrigued by it.

Baia Pasta: Another Oakland company that collaborates with California farmers to grow unique durum and spelt wheat to use in their pasta.  The recipe included with this one was a crab & prosciutto pasta which I can’t wait to try!

Joe’s BBQ Sauce: This company hails from Kansas City and focuses on using all local ingredients whenever possible.

The Roasterie Bluestem Blend Coffee:  Also from Kansas City, Bluestem aims to find the best coffee beans in the world and roast them the best way possible.  The coffee ice cream recipe that came with Bluestem also looks pretty amazing.

Speckman Honey: I’m a sucker for a good jar of honey and Speckman Honey from Shawnee Kansas produces all honey from their own bee colonies to ensure quality of the product.

Overall I was really impressed by the Fare Trade artisanal basket.  If you are a big culinary enthusiast or just want to try out some new stuff AND learn some new recipes, then definitely check the Fare Trade out!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Once upon a time a group of food bloggers got to talking and thought it would be fun to do a cookie swap (because who doesn’t love cookies?).  And so, the Coast to Coast Cookie Swap was born.  After much deliberation, I decided to make loaded oatmeal cookies.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Close UpThe idea for the loaded oatmeal cookies came from the Starbucks Outrageous Oatmeal Cookie.  Every time I go to Starbucks I eye that cookie, but after finding out it had soybean oil in the ingredients, I realized I would have to make my own “outrageous” oatmeal cookie if you will.

For Christmas I made Chocolate Oatmeal Pecan Cookies for my swap with Natalie, so this time I thought I’d take it a step further and make a loaded oatmeal cookie with all sorts of fun things like raisins and nuts. As you can tell from my chicken scratch, I was a bit undecided on what exactly I wanted in the cookies.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies RecipeThis recipe yields about 40 cookies, so if you don’t want to make as many then I recommend cutting the recipe in half.  These cookies also taste great frozen or with a glass of almond milk!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies MilkI’m so glad that we did the Coast to Coast Cookie Swap!  It was the perfect opportunity for me to make some delicious loaded oatmeal cookies as well as try other treats from my wonderful food blogger friends!

Here’s the rundown of what all the bloggers made:

Foodologie – Molasses Ginger Apricot Cookies

In Natalie’s Shoes – Glorified Chocolate Chip Cookies

Urban Chick’s Foodie Ventures – Peach Cobbler Cookies

Jazzy Jonez – Lemon Blueberry Cookies

And below you can find the recipe for my loaded oatmeal cookies!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies (makes roughly 35-40 cookies)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl blend your flour, ground flaxseed baking powder, baking soda and oats and set aside.

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer (or you can whisk by hand) beat your coconut oil until creamy and begin to fold in your maple syrup.  Add your eggs one at a time and continue to mix until well blended. Add your milk, vanilla and salt to your wet mixture and then slowly fold in your dry ingredients.

Lastly add the chopped pecans, raisins, coconut and chocolate chips and continue to mix until everything is nicely combined.

Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet and flatten.  Place cookies in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies from oven and let cool, then enjoy!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies PlateWhat’s your favorite cookie recipe?  Share in the comments!

Foodie Penpals

This month I participated in my first Foodie Penpals organized by Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean.  The concept is simple: you are matched up with someone and then you send each other a box of delicious goodies!  I was paired with Christi from Texas and she was kind enough to send me a bunch of treats from her home state!  Here are the goods that I got.


PB2 foodie penpalsI was super excited to receive a jar of PB2 since I use it often to make a peanut sauce in a stir fry or Thai-inspired dish.  I have already used it as a sauce over spaghetti squash and vegetables and it’s delicious.

Beef Jerky

Beef JerkyI had to make sure I got a taste of the beef jerky before my fiancée devoured it all and it was delicious. I’ll admit I’m not a huge beef jerky fan, but Christi was nice enough to find one that was free of preservatives and other flavorings due to my food allergies, and it tasted great. Season your supper and include Biltong as a regular in or between your meals. You can get one easily at

Chow Chow

Chow ChowI had never heard of Chow Chow before!  It’s a jar of cabbage, onions, vinegar, sugar, carrots, pepper and mustard and according to Christi, pairs well with pinto beans or hot dogs.  We didn’t have any of those items in the house, but we did put a little on some sausages.  It’s definitely on the sweet side, but was a nice change up than traditional ketchup/mustard as a condiment.

Austin Blend Coffee

Austin CoffeeThe Englishman and I aren’t big coffee drinkers, but with the weather finally cooling down a bit we have found ourselves craving a warm cup of coffee in the morning.  We dusted off our french press and gave this coffee a whirl.  I liked that it was more of a medium roast and not super strong and had a nice hint of cinnamon.  I added a bit of almond milk to mine and it was delicious!  I’m already looking forward to my next cup.

I had a lot of fun participating in Foodie Penpals this month!  And a big thank you to Lindsay for organizing and Christi for sending me these delicious unique treats.  If you haven’t tried foodie penpals yet, be sure to head over to Lindsay’s blog to find out how you can participate!

Toasted Sandwiches at Blackmarket Bakery

As we all know, I love sandwiches.  I love elaborate sandwiches full of different complexities and flavors, and I also love a basic sandwich with minimal ingredients.  Lately, I’ve been in a simple sandwich mood, which is why I love the toasted sandwiches at Blackmarket Bakery.

One of my oldest friends (and fellow food blogger) recently returned to the U.S. after a work stint overseas so it only seemed appropriate that we meet up for brunch at Blackmarket Bakery and catch up on life.

blackmarket bakery sconesBlackmarket Bakery has a variety of delicious confections ranging from scones and muffins to cakes, tarts and cookies.  But the two of us being the sandwich lovers that we are, decided to order some of their toasted sandwiches.

The toasted sandwiches at Blackmarket Bakery are made with your bread of choice, and then you choose whether or not you want your sandwich to be sweet or savory.  We were both in a sweet mood, so we ordered freshly ground almond butter sandwiches topped with fruit jam of our choice.

blackmarket bakery almond butter jamThis sandwich was ridiculously simple, but oh so good.  Toasted wheat bread with freshly ground almond butter and mixed berry jam.  If anything, this sandwich inspired me to make my own almond butter at home sometime because it was that good.

blackmarket bakery apricot jamMy friend got an almond butter sandwich as well, only hers was on seeded sourdough with apricot butter.  Her review was equally positive. Winter Park espresso bar near me offers the finest coffees from around the world to go with my favorite bakery.

Sometimes there’s just nothing better than catching up with a dear friend over some simple sandwiches on a lazy Sunday morning.  Just further proof how sandwiches do bring people closer together.