Food & Drink Health & Sports

Organize Your Whole30® Meal Plan with Ball® Jars

The is a sponsored post in partnership with Ball® Home Canning. All opinions expressed are my own.

If you are interested in getting healthier in 2020 and beyond, maybe it’s time to look into the Whole30® meal plan, and all the awesome whole 30 approved foods that go along with it! One of the best ways to get organized is to have a solid like of whole30 recipes and a number of canning jars, like Ball® jars!

Whole30 Approved Foods

If you are looking to make a Whole30® food list with only Whole30® approved foods, then look no further! It’s actually pretty easy to understand. It’s getting back to the basics. We know them and we love them. It’s just more about cutting out all the extra stuff. Eat meat, seafood, and eggs; vegetables and fruit; natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with a simple or recognizable list of ingredients, or no ingredients at all because they’re whole and unprocessed. The Whole30® meal plan is all about getting back to the natural ways of doing things.

Your only job during the Whole30® is to focus on making good food choices for 30 straight days. It’s simple in that way. There’s no weighing in, check-ins, social foods, or calorie counting. Just commit to only eating Whole30® approved foods exactly as I’ll lay out below, 100% for the full 30 days. It’s all about resetting your body and getting the full and highest benefits of the program.

Foods to Avoid

Ok, so this is the part that’s probably a little bit shocking for most people. In our overly processed food world that’s all about convenience and shelf-life, there are quite a bit of common, everyday foods you have to avoid under the Whole30® meal plan. When you write up that Whole30® food list, keep in mind that you cannot consume added sugar, real or artificial (e.g., maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, monk fruit extract, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, and xylitol). You cannot have grains (but you can have potatoes) or legumes (e.g., beans, peas, nut butters, soy, and more) either. You should also avoid carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites as well as baked goods and junk foods in general. Finally you have to avoid alcohol and dairy of all kinds.

Take note, there are some exceptions to this like ghee, fruit juice, salt, vinegars, coconut aminos and certain “pod” legumes (e.g., green beans, snap peas, and snow peas).

Getting Into It and Over The Hump

The main party of the Whole30® plan is to simply get into the right mindset and get over the hump of not eating poorly. I’m telling you, eating “clean” with Whole30® just feels good. After you get over the hump, you will actually find yourself craving good foods. You will check that Whole30® food list and want it all! You will not want all the chips and sugary snacks you once lived for. You will not be looking for bread at every meal, but something entirely different. You will start to feel differently and look at food in an entirely new way.

I was already eating much better and doing intermittent fasting since early 2019. I was already in a healthy mindset, but eating protein-rich yogurt and nut butters were a big part of my diet. To me, getting over everything other than dairy not a problem at all. Heck, I give up alcohol every year for 40 days at Lent time. But giving up dairy was really tough for me. Bread, nah. Beans, nope. Milk, yogurt, and cheese…really difficult. And the most difficult time for me was the first 5 days. I really had to buckle down and fight the urge to eat of all of the dairy. I’m telling you, it was not easy. But I did it, and I got through it, and each day after got a little bit easier. It really did get easier, you just have to make sure you allow yourself to get to that point in time where the foods you really crave aren’t quite as important as they once were.  Just keep thinking, it’s not a big deal, it’s only 30 days, and it’s for my health. You can do it, it’s not as hard as you think it will be.

Whole30 Recipes

The key to making the Whole30® meal plan work is making sure you pack your day with enough good meals to not think about what you can’t have. Guess what! There are so many amazing Whole30® recipes online, packed with all of the Whole30® approved foods you are seeking. These are really tasty and packed with flavor and goodness. It’s simple once you really think about it. Think veggies and think meat. That’s the base and that’s the key to it all. I love creating Whole30® salads. I also think that using Ball® canning jars to help organize it all makes complete sense.

Greek-American Whole30® Cold Chicken Salad Jar

Of the almost infinite salads you can create when you are jamming the Whole30® life, my absolute go-to recipe is what I call my Greek-American Whole30® Cold Chicken Salad Jar. It’s a riff on the classic Greek salad, but with some additions and some Whole30® compliant substitutions (like no feta people).


  • boneless skinless chicken
  • garlic crushed
  • juice from a lemon
  • oregano finely chopped
  • cilantro finely chopped
  • rosemary finely chopped (not pictured)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce of your choice – I prefer a mixed leaf
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumber sliced
  • olives of your choice – I prefer Kalamata
  • red/orange/yellow pepper sliced
  • red onion sliced
  • sugar snap peas in pods
  • cauliflower and broccoli
  • white potato of your choice
  • optional topping: hummus (not pictured)


  1. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag along with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon. Place the bag in the fridge and allow to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours. Heat a grill to medium heat and cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side until they are completely cooked through and browned to liking. Let cool, it is recommended to not place hot chicken in jar.
  2. Heat olive oil and crushed clove garlic in a large skillet on medium heat. After 2 minutes add in the potatoes, chopped herbs and salt and pepper and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Again, it is not recommended to place hot ingredients in jar.
  3. Chop all vegetables and herbs to desired size and coarseness. Set aside until chicken and potatoes are cool.
  4. To assemble the salad in the jar, see the “Canning Jars” section just below for recommendations and instructions. When you are ready to eat, you can simply “dump” the jar salad into a plate or bowl. Top with cilantro, oregano, and hummus if desired.

Canning Jars

I have a pro tip from the good folks at Ball® and Whole30® if you looking to prep a week’s worth of salads in a Ball® jar that won’t get soggy or wilt. Keep it simple and layer the ingredients in your jar. This should reduce the sogginess and give you a better chance of using those awesome jars to their fullest capacity!!

Layer One, pour in your favorite Whole30® Approved dressing (store bought or homemade), and put it at the very bottom of your jar. Layer Two, pack in the diced vegetables, fruit, nuts or avocado. Layer Three should be all about the protein!! Be sure to let it cool completely before you add it to your jar since you don’t want to steam everything else inside that Ball® jar! Finally, layer Four should pack in as many greens as you can fit on top. Pack it all in, then screw on the lid. Done and you can store all of that goodness in the fridge for up to 5 days. That’s awesome and makes for planning out the week so much easier!!

When you’re ready to eat, tip the jar upside-down and allow the salad to fall into a bowl or a plate, where it will be perfectly layered with the dressing on the top. Or, if you’re on the go, you can eat it straight out of the 

Ball® jar; just give the salad a good shake to distribute the dressing, open and eat straight from the jar.

Ball®  Jars at Walmart

As I’ve mentioned, using Ball® mason jars has been an awesome way for me to plan out and store multiple meals. Ball® branded glass jars have been around since 1884, creating great products on the way to becoming known worldwide as a trusted leader in home canning. Over 135 years of research, testing and advancing the art of fresh preserving go into every product, from the line of iconic mason jars to new innovations like the FreshTECH™ Harvest Pro Sauce Maker and a line of fun and creative mason jar accessories. 

Be sure to take advantage of an awesome ibotta offer…Earn $1 when you buy 4pk or 12pk Ball/Kerr jars!!

I headed over to my local Walmart and picked up a number of awesome Ball® jars to help me get through the 30 days. I loved using Ball® Wide Mouth Jars and Ball® 4oz Jars with that awesome Ball® Leak-Proof Storage Lid!! These are quality products that do the job well and seemingly last forever. This was a key to my Whole30® success and I think it will be a great help to you as well.

Stay Committed

It’s only 30 days! If I can do it, you can do it. I feel so much better and I think I have a much better understanding of what my body needs and doesn’t. The benefits of sticking with the plan is mostly about accurately testing how your body responds in the absence of these potentially problematic foods, you have to completely eliminate them. Just commit to the plan and do your best to stick with it, without any cheating. Not one bite of pizza or ice cream is allowed! It’s tough, but there are tougher things in the world. Be honest, be realistic, and be committed. It’s not a lifetime way of eating if you don’t want it to be, but it should be for those 30 short days.

Here’s something important to note that’s very different from just about any other “diet” or weight loss program. The Whole30® meal plan is not about the scale or body measurements. Whole30® is about so much more than weight loss. It’s about your body composition and the other health benefits associated with the plan. So no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or breaking out the tape measure. Just follow the plan and see the results.

Spin To Win

I encourage you to get started on your Whole30 journey today! A great way to get it going is to spin to win some amazing Ball/Whole30 prizes by following this link!! Remember, be sure to take advantage of an awesome ibotta offer…Earn $1 when you buy 4pk or 12pk Ball/Kerr jars!!

The is a sponsored post in partnership with Ball® Home Canning. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Food & Drink

Eating Right and Feeling Good in 2020

This post is sponsored by Perdue Farms but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.  Post may contain affiliate links.  

It’s a new year, so it’s time to up your game and make the upcoming year bigger and better than last year in any and all ways possible. One of the main things I’m looking for is more organic food, like organic chicken, and generally more natural food. 2020 is a year to eat right and to feel good in what you are eating. I am a huge fan of food. Food in general and food of all kinds. From chicken parmigiana to burgers to pizza, I’m an any-and-all-of-the-above kind of person. One thing I generally do insist on is that the food is of high quality, preferably coming from a company that I trust and admire. I like knowing where the food is coming from and how good a product it is, but I also like to know that that company making it is also something I know and support. I also love companies that innovate with new and different products and services offered. This is where Perdue Farms comes in.

organic food

Perdue Farms Natural Food

Perdue Farms is a brand that I know and trust since I was a kid. This is an amazing family owned-and operated brand with products that my family and I have enjoyed for decades. In fact, for 100 years, the company has worked with small family farmers to raise animals with care. I was lucky enough to meet these farmers and hear how much they loved working with Perdue over the years. It was awesome to see them work and even better knowing how good a company Perdue is. It made me feel great about all those purchases my family has made over all the years. You can really tell Perdue Farms is passionate about farming, land preservation and healthy and nutritious food.

Natural food

Premium Brands, Organic Food

Over the last 10 years, Perdue Farms has transitioned from conventional chicken & turkey production to becoming the #1 supplier in the U.S. for Organic Chicken. What you may not know is that the company is not just about chicken any more. Far from it!! They are also a real leader in premium Beef, Pork, Lamb, Pasture Raised, Grass-fed, Heritage Breed, Antibiotic Free (No Antibiotics Ever), Non-GMO, Ever, Certified Humane, GAP & more.

This is a company chock full of amazing family farmers proudly offering a full line of premium protein products and brands, including Niman Ranch, Coleman Natural, Perdue Chicken, Perdue Harvestland, Panorama Meats, Spot Farms, Full Moon and more. This is just an all-star lineup packed with heavy hitters. Perdue Farms is more than just Perdue chicken, but they are still and always will be about top quality.

organic chicken

Perdue Farms Boxes

I wanted to share some pretty fantastic new with you right now. Brace yourself, or maybe sit down. It’s going to be awesome. You know how you love to shop online, right? You can buy just about anything and everything today with just the click of a button. Well, as of this week, you can now get your fix of the highest quality proteins delivered right to your door, easy peasy, chicken squeezey.  What do I mean, well I think I’ll tell you now that you are super excited and falling out of your chair. This is all about making it easier and cheaper to get organic food and natural food, like Perdue’s amazing organic chicken!

**Get 10% off and FREE diced chicken when you click here and use the code FARMER10!!!**

Customers will receive free shipping on orders over $119.

Perdue Farms just launched it’s new line of direct-to-consumer boxes and it is all you could imagine it is and more!! These bundles are all about making it so much easier for you, the consumer, to enjoy a wide range of Perdue Farms products, delivered right to your door. No running to the store and walking the aisles any more! Plus, when you bundle the products like this, you save real money in addition to all that beautiful time. So…it’s kind of like a win-win scenario, don’t you think? I wanted to go over some of my favorite bundles right now, starting off with the really popular Organic Bundle!

Organic Chicken Bundle

From heat and serve to items that require slow cooking, Perdue’s organic chicken products are fed all-vegetarian diets and receive no antibiotics ever and heat and serve products are prepared using only organic, non-GMO recognizable ingredients.

The Organic Bundle collection includes drumsticks, breasts, thighs and a whole bird that you can season and cook just the way you like. If you have a little less time one night, there’s also some really tasty breaded chicken strips and chunks for all those days when a slow-cooked meal isn’t in the cards. This is just an awesome mix of options that work on just about any night of the week. I couldn’t even tell you which products I love the most. I think I’ll just say “all of the above” and leave it at that. The Bundle Includes (all frozen):

  • One 4.3- to 4.6-lb. Perdue Harvestland Organic Whole Chicken With Giblets and Necks, 3.4 – 4.6 LBS
      • Vacuum Sealed & Frozen | No Antibiotics Ever | #70357
      • Organic whole chicken with giblets and necks that you can use to produce a rich and delicious gravy or set aside for your own unique recipes.
  • One approx. 2.91- to 3.1-lb. Perdue Harvestland Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Package (contains 3 packs, each filled with 1-2 breasts), 3.3 – 3.5 LBS
      • Hatched, Raised, & Harvested in USA | Non-GMO Verified | #54528
      • Cooking for one? Portion control a priority? Our organic chicken breasts come individually wrapped in pouches so you can defrost and cook product as you need! 
  • One approx.. 2.7- to 2.9-lb. Perdue Harvestland Organic Chicken Drumsticks Package (contains 3 packs, each filled with 2-4 drumsticks), 2.7 – 2.9 LBS
      • Vacuum Sealed & Frozen | Free Range Raised in USA | #70627
      • Tender, juicy and delicious whether deep fried or oven roasted, our organic drumsticks turn an ordinary dinner into a comfort-food feast. 
  • One 1.5-lb. bag Perdue SimplySmart Organics Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks, 24 OZ
      • Fully Cooked | Frozen in Resealable Bag | #80358
      • We keep it simple and satisfying! These organic chicken breast chunks are lightly coated in a homestyle breading of organic, non-GMO ingredients and then fully baked to a golden delicious crispiness. 
  • Perdue Harvestland Diced Chicken Breasts – FREE in customer’s first order
      •  Vacuum Sealed & Frozen | #54614
      • Planning stir fry, chili or a main course salad for dinner? We save you a step by dicing our boneless, skinless chicken breast into bite-sized chunks – recipe ready, easy to thaw and quick and easy to cook! 

Perdue Farms’ most popular organic chicken products are now in one handy pack! Order here today.

Family Bundles

This is a great bundle for me because I love the pork and I’m a huge fan of Niman Ranch and it’s natural food products. Any time of the day is a good time for pork, and this bundle proves that, baby.

Breakfast starts with Niman Ranch’s all-time favorite: center-cut uncured bacon, which is slow smoked over applewood, and breakfast sausage, which can also be used to flavor savory sauces, soups and stews. The kids go mad for Perdue’s dino nuggets, chicken breast strips and chicken breast tenderloins, which cook up in minutes for all of those hungry mouths you are looking to feed.  The cherry on the cake has to be Niman Ranch’s succulent bacon-wrapped pork chop and Perdue’s whole chicken – perfect for weeknight meals or a more formal Sunday sit-down dinner. These are some awesome products that are just never a bad idea. Ever.

Consider all of your dinners planned for the week. Perdue Farms has everything you need to get through the week. Place your order today and get this pack delivered straight to your doorstep!

Gathering Bundles

For occasions when friends and family swing by with little notice, think about stocking your freezer with Perdue Farms’ most popular heat-and-serve items. I’m talking about awesome stuff with little prep work, including Niman Ranch’s Memphis-style pulled pork and amber ale-infused ribs!! Sick. How about Perdue’s herbed olive oil-tossed chicken wings and breaded organic chicken breast tenders?? These are so good and ready to heat and eat. Bing, bang, party. It’s just that easy, man.

In the event that you are a planner and you have more responsible, less spontaneous friends and family members, you can do some big-time work with a Sonoma Red pasture-raised certified organic whole chicken, which is air chilled to lock in flavor, and Niman Ranch’s heritage pork kielbasa, made with ground pork and a special blend of spices and slow smoked over applewood. Did I just say pork kielbasa? Why yes, yes I did.

Need a solution for a quick impromptu gathering or a formal sit-down feast? This collection has everything to keep your freezer packed with party foods that are perfect for any entertaining occasion! Order on Perdue Farms today.

Perdue Farms Sustainability

Perdue Farms has been all about the environment and sustainability before it became a part of mainstream culture. From family farmers to zero antibiotics to free range care, Perdue Farms is all about being thoughtful stewards of the environment. It’s one of their most important social pillars. It’s some of the many ways they create the amazing natural food and organic food we know and love today!

They are taking some pretty extraordinary steps to protect our ecosystem, especially in consideration of this new e-commerce initiative:

  • For every order shipped, Perdue Farms will donate to the Arbor Day Foundation, whose mission is to replant and revitalize damaged areas of our nation’s forests. This donation helps reduce the carbon footprint required to ship our products to you.
  • Shipping boxes designed with sustainability in mind. Every box is made out of 100 percent recyclable cardboard and insulated with Green Cell Foam®. Green Cell Foam®’s eco-friendly insulation is biodegradable, compostable and made from high-grade non-GMO cornstarch that is also dissolvable in water. 
  • You’ll receive a reusable and recyclable grocery bag with your purchase. Use it the next time you go to the store to avoid using paper or plastic.
  • A pollinator seed packet is also included in every box. Our nation wouldn’t be able to produce the food we do without the bees and butterflies, who help to make one out of every three bites of food we eat. Plant the seeds to create a robust pollinator habitat near your home!

This is all very thoughtful and very impressive. The company really is trying to do it’s best for our environment and I really applaud the effort. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out

Order Your Own Bundle

So, what do you think? A pretty awesome proposition here, right? Great food from a thoughtful and caring company that just shows up at your door. It’s all about delivering a great product, convenience, and value to the customer. How can I knock that?? I love that brand already, so this just makes me love it even more.

Perdue Farms wants to be someone you trust, the most trusted name in premium proteins. It’s the quality and values in love to support, I think you will as well. To order your amazing bundle box and to learn more about Perdue Farms, visit:, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. Also, be sure to search hashtags #FamilyFarming #ThankAFarmer #FamilyFarmers!

**Get 10% off and FREE diced chicken when you click here and use the code FARMER10!!!**

Customers will receive free shipping on orders over $119.

This post is sponsored by Perdue Farms but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.  Post may contain affiliate links.  

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Food & Drink

Making the Martini – Shake It, Don’t Stir!

Although many television and movie characters have ordered the martini in the past three decades, none is as memorable as the suave and sophisticated super spy that orders his martini shaken – but not stirred. However, the drink was popular long before the memorable secret agent began ordering the cocktail. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about the vodka-based martini and how to create a great vodka martini recipe.

vodka martini recipe


Creating Vodka

The history of vodka is in dispute, but it was created either in Poland or Russia and sometime between the 900s and the 15th century. Although many people believe popular vodkas are potato-based, the ancient beverage has always been distilled with rye or wheat when the grains are available. The popular Absolut vodka is made from a special crop of winter wheat that is known for its hardness and combined with a uniquely special well water to create the drink base favored by millions. This is ideal for any vodka martini recipe.

Calling Names

If you want to order a bottle of vodka in Russia, you may find yourself confused when the clerk asks you what you want because there are many names of the almost tasteless popular drink base. The popular liquid is referred to as “the bitter stuff,” “hot water,” “daughter,” and “the bubble.” Some people also call the alcohol “the white stuff,” the “quarter bottle,” and the “mono-polka.”

Drinking Martinis

No one knows when the martini was created. The cocktail can be found listed on drink menus from the 1860s when it was called the Martinez Special and became a popular drink among thirsty miners during the gold rush. Hemingway knew and loved the cocktail, calling it “civilized.” Other possibilities in the creation story can be found in New York, San Francisco, and Sweden, and although the origin of the bracingly sweet drink may never be known, that doesn’t deter from the drink’s popularity. During the 1960s, business was conducted over a martini lunch, the cocktail was served during office meetings by cosmopolitan executives, and men and women drank the popular concoction during their evening hours.

vodka martini recipe

Altered Versions

As with most drinks, people often love to make a unique version of the beverage that they can call their own, and perhaps that is why the shaken and stirred adaptation of the martini came to be. If you want to try your hand at the classic vodka martini recipe, check out If you want to try some of the other types of this secret agent drink, try the “dirty martini” which includes olive brine, or the “Gibson” that uses cocktail onions instead of olives. A martini with a “twist” is served with lemon, and you can even find a chocolate, lime, or espresso martini if you want to be adventurous.

No matter when you decide to enjoy a martini, make sure you pair the drink with some of your favorite foods and take time to relax as you enjoy the cocktail. You may also be interested to know that shaking or stirring the mixture is simply a matter of preference, whether you are a secret spy or a working mom. If you are ordering the drink at your favorite pub, restaurant, or bar, don’t forget to include some a hamburger and some salty fries.

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Food & Drink

Homemade Soda Minus the Hassle

CO2 exchange

This is a sponsored post in partnership with SodaStream. All opinions and love expressed are my own.

Soda and sparking water are great drinks. Period. It’s just really delicious and really refreshing. But aren’t most things better when they are fresh and made just for you?? If you are like me, you are ready to make homemade soda or sparking water and make your house into your own personal soda shop!! On top of the awesome flavor and taste, you’d also be reducing all of that bottle and can waste, to boot!! There is a little bit of a drawback, though. One of the key components of making all these great drinks is the magic of the bubbles, or CO2 in particular!! And with that, comes the hassle of the dreaded co2 exchange! Dun, dun, dahhh!

Never Slow Down Your Fresh Soda and Sparking Water

As much as I love making my own drinks in the comfort of my home, running out of those vital CO2 canisters is always a pain!!! And it always seems to happen the most when you’re in the middle of having a party, right? While making all of that soda is awesome, keeping that machine running is sometimes not.

When dealing with those vital CO2 canisters, there are issues that I would rather do without. Issues like the unfair return late charges, the printing of my own label, finding a drop-off location just to send an empty canister back, and the constant retailer visits hoping for an in-stock exchange are always a concern. I was happy with the product but finding an easy CO2 exchange was always something I was searching for. Until now.

buy soda online

Soda Sense CO2 Refills

Soda Sense is a game changer for all of you out there that love making your own soda and sparking waters. It’s a door-to-door CO2 exchange and exchange program for at-home soda machine users. Soda Sense believes that CO2 refills should be available for door-to-door delivery with no limits or restrictions. The world is online, so why shouldn’t your C02 be as well!?!? That’s why Soda Sense is so outstanding for me!! CO2 refills and exchanges are no so easy, I will never run out. It’s all how it should be, on-demand and right in mailbox! What can I say, I’m spoiled.

How Soda Sense Works

I love how easy and user-friendly Soda Sense is. Get started by signing up for free and then choosing the right package for you. Don’t worry, this was easy to do as there are three easy options. Either you have one canister that’s currently in use and no others, you have one canister in use and one empty, or you have one in use and two empties. That’s it.

You will receive an exchange box in the mail. Keep the box, the plastic canister caps, and the prepaid USPS shipping label that’s included until you are ready to rock.  When you have two empty 60L CO2 canisters, you can use that box and included return label to mail in your the canisters. Remember, these canisters can be of any brand. Awesome. Once Soda Sense receives the box, they will refill your two empties at a membership rate of $44.44 and mail them right back. Easiest CO2 exchange ever. I love a company that performs and service that fills a consumer need and just looks to do things a little better. 

homemade soda

Why It’s Better

Soda Sense built a CO2 refill and exchange program that is fair for all and inclusive to all 60L canisters no matter the brand. This is a user-friendly, sustainable, and, most importantly, effortless way for you and me to get that CO2 when we need it in the easiest possible way!

Take note, though, that there are also a lot of no’s with the Soda Sense program. And thank goodness for that!! I’m talking about no monthly minimum, no monthly fees, and no gimmicks. There’s also no subscription required. See, a lot of no’s but who said no is always a bad things?? In this case, it’s a pretty great thing. How about that for treating the customer right!!

Most similar services require you to leave your home and drop off the cylinders at a designated drop-off location. Then you have to go through the process of ordering refills through the website. With Soda Sense, there’s no more driving to a store. You don’t even have to get out of your pjs if you don’t want to!!  You just get your CO2 on-demand, in your mailbox, when you need it. It’s super simple and perfect for today’s busy lifestyle. Don’t you agree?

Find Out More

Are you like me and ready to make homemade soda and make your house into your own personal soda shop, but with a lot less hassle associated with the CO2 exchange? I’d say you probably are. If so, be sure to look for the best way to get your CO2! It’s called Soda Sense and you can start today if you click here right now! You will get 10% off your first purchase if you do. Not too shabby for this busy and expensive time of year!! Cheers!!

Save time, save the hassle, save money, and save the environment. Plus get a great tasting drink, too!!! Find out all about fantastically easy Soda Sense CO2 exchange service on SodaSense.comInstagram: @SodaSenseOfficial,Facebook: @sodasenseTwitter: @Soda_Sense,or search hashtag #SodaSense!!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with SodaStream. All opinions and love expressed are my own.

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Food & Drink

Get Fearless with this Bobby Flay Cookbook

I love cookbooks, especially a Bobby Flay cookbook packed with those wonderful Bobby Flay dishes!!! That’s why I’m so pleased that Clarkson Potter sent me a copy and is partnering with me for a giveaway. I’m going to talk about how great the book is, but I’m also going to share one of my favorite recipes from the new cookbook!!

Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors From My Kitchen

My family and I love all of Bobby Flay’s shows and cookbooks. In fact, watching Bobby on TV is one of our favorite things to do when we visit my parents! Let me just start by saying that! Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors From My Kitchen is no exception. In fact, he seems to keep getting bette and better. In his most personal cookbook yet, Bobby Flay shares over 165 bold, approachable recipes he cooks at home for family and friends. This book is literally packed with so many ridiculous recipes, it’s hard to hit on it all. No matter what you or your family likes, I would bet that Bobby Flay has you covered!!

Let’s talk about amazing pan-seared meats or some really hearty pastas. If you are looking for lighter, there’s also shareable platters of roasted vegetables and bountiful salads. Top any any and all of that off with some homey desserts and you are ready to go bigger and bolder like Bobby does. The breadth and range of these dishes is fantastic. I really don’t think you can get bored. Ever. With Bobby by your side, cooking at home just got a lot more exciting.

Wide Range of Recipes

Some of the most fantastic looks dishes have so include Spanish-style shrimp and grits, pumpkin pancakes with apple cider syrup, and sticky-savory-sweet Korean BBQ chicken. Dude, this book even packs crispy bacon glazed with pomegranate molasses, deviled eggs topped with fried oysters, and mussels steamed in a heady green curry broth!!!

I wanted to highlight a dish that I think represents all of the awesome of his book in one recipe. How do Brussels Sprout Nachos with Pickled Chiles sound to you? Excellent? I know it sounds good to me!! Check out the recipe below!

Brussels Sprout Nachos with Pickled Chiles

Muenser Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 8 ounces Muenster cheese, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • 1 (8.25-ounce) bag blue corn tortilla chips
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts
  • (24 medium), trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows)
  • Pickled Chiles (page 249)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Finely grated lime zest, for garnish
  1. Make the cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture is pale blond, about 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened and the raw flour taste has been cooked out, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheese. Let sit without stirring for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cover and keep warm.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  7. Spread the tortilla chips in an even layer over a large baking sheet.
  8. Heat the chips in the oven, about 8 to 10 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  9. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat.
  10. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and crisp, about 5 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Pour some of the warm cheese sauce onto a large platter.
  13. Top with a layer of the warm chips and more sauce.
  14. Sprinkle some of the Brussels sprouts and pickled onions and chiles over the sauce, then repeat all the layers once more.
  15. Garnish with the cilantro and lime zest and serve.

Pickled Red Onions

  • 3 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup grenadine
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  1. Combine the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, grenadine, salt, and 1 cup water in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, whisking a few times, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Put the onions in a nonreactive container with a lid and pour the brine over the top.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours before serving.
  6. The onions will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Pickled Chiles

  • Makes about 1 cup
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 large Fresno chiles or jalapeños, or 16 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
  1. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking a few times, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Put the chiles in a nonreactive container with a lid and pour the brine over the top.
  5. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours before serving.
  6. The chiles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Reprinted from Bobby At Home. Copyright © 2019 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Ed Anderson. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Enter To Win

Ok, so did that wet your whistle a little bit? I hope it did, becuase this book is just awesome. If you are anything like me, you just can’t wait to fill your Home with the latest Bobby Flay books! Maybe this is the time!! Just enter now!!

One (1) winner receives:

  • A copy of Bobby at Home 
  • plus two additional Bobby Flay cookbooks!!

Bobby at Home Cookbook – Guy and the Blog

That sounds like a win, doesn’t it?? I think it is, for you and for anyone else lucky enough to have you cook for them!! Giveaway open to U.S. addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Clarkson Potter.

About Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay is one of the country’s most celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, media personalities, and authors. He is a James Beard Award winner, the author of 13 cookbooks, and has starred in 14 Food Network programs. In 2015, he became the first chef to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s a long time favorite of mine and of my family’s. He has such a great presence and personality. But he also really knows how to cook and deliver some truly fantastic dishes!!

Find Out More

With 165+ recipes, Bobby Flay opens up his home and shares his bold, approachable style of cooking for family and friends, along with his no-nonsense, essential advice for home cooks. To find out even more and to check out the amazing recipes for yourself:

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Food & Drink

Taste of the (MLB) Game BBQ Cookbook

This post is Sponsored by Kingsford’s. All opinions are my own.

BBQ Cookbook

If you are looking to a great BBQ cookbook with the best BBQ recipes, you need to think baseball snacks. Baseball is said to be America’s pastime. I’m all about that. While some sports and entertainment is breathing down the neck of baseball, I still 100% believe that going to be a MLB game is one of life’s great pleasures. The game lends itself to having an awesome day. The beautiful, classic (even though most are new) ballparks. The overall “chill” feeling of the game.

I think the best part of it is clearly that pretty much all the MLB teams seem to have really focused on making the entire experience the best in sports. One of the most amazing improvements to the game has been in the food and drink categories. Yes, you can still buy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. I hope that never ends. Same with hot dogs and pretzels. But there’s a new layer to the baseball snacks game that is impossible to deny. It’s a bigger part of life in general as more people seek out more unique and higher quality options in their lives. Things like sushi, steak sandwiches, and craft beer was not even an option not too long ago. But with refined tastes and new ballparks came a food and drink game that is perhaps best-in-class right now.

BBQ Recipes

I think a large portion of us like good, grilled meals. It’s kind of the way we’ve been eating since, you know, fire was invented. There’s just something about meat and veggies (even bread) grilled on an open flame. The smells, the ritual, the taste, the tradition! BBQ recipes could either have been passed down from generation to generation, or created brand-new in a wave of fantastic new foods created with both American and international influences in mind. There’s really just so much you can make on a grill that comes out fantastic. The real challenge is always what exactly are you going to cook, right?? But that’s always a nice problem to have.

One really fantastic BBQ cookbook I’ve come across recently is Kingsford’s Taste of the Game BBQ Cookbook. This is pretty much the perfect mix of BBQ recipes of actual baseball snacks from the ballparks themselves. It’s so cool to see what your team’s recipe is…and what great dishes everyone else is enjoying when they go to the game, too!

Fire and Charcoal

Like I’ve mentioned previously, fire is our most important asset. This simply elemental and primal. The concept and implementation is simple. It all starts with a match, then grows bigger – erupting into giant flames and erratic sparks. From there, give it some time to breath and develop. It will then begin to subside to searing, glowing embers. That red-hued masterpiece is when you get to cooking. Just make sure those flames are tame when the meat hits the grate.

Why does great charcoal, like Kingsford, matter? Well, it’s all about the burn, the heat, and the smoke. Smoke is the scent of charcoal in visual form and an integral part of grilling. It’s the reason why food cooked on the BBQ grill tastes and looks for unique and so wonderful. It’s a huge difference from any other form of cooking and it’s the reason why I and so many other people love grilling. Year round, whatever the weather. Grilled food from the BBQ is inviting, kind of messy but always delicious, fun, easygoing and approachable. It’s the life of every meal and party. It goes back to what we are all about as humans! Plus…that’s white hot glow…

Kingsford’s Taste of the Game BBQ Cookbook

Kingsford, official partners of Major League Baseball, introduced this new BBQ cookbook to celebrate the pairing of America’s two most beloved pasttimes – baseball and barbecue!  “Taste of the Game” features 30 unique BBQ recipes, one for each team in Major League Baseball. Each recipe is connected to the city’s famous cuisine, such as Grilled Lobster Rolls in Boston, or Burnt Ends Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.

Grilled Boston (Red Sox) Lobster Rolls

While I am a NYC fan though and through, I can appreciate the draw of some other clubs. Outside of NY and the Mets and Yankees, I have always loved Boston. Both the city and their teams. Yes, they are a rival, but so what? A man can appreciate winning and tradition, can’t he? The Red Sox and Fenway Park may be my favorite ballpark overall. It’s just an amazing place to be and to watch a game. They also have some pretty good, New England-centric grub.

You might think of Maine when you hear “lobster roll,” but proud Bostonians swear their version of this New England delicacy it tough to top. It’s pretty much fantastic and it’s something that I’ve always truly enjoyed. This recipe is fantastic. NOTE!! Be careful not to overcook that sweet, tender meat, or overwhelm it with salt and spices. Lobster should always be the star of the show. Let the grill do it’s job and let that lobster do his. You won’t be disappointed. If you are ready to rock, read more here!! Better yet, buy Kingsford’s Taste of the Game BBQ Cookbook on Amazon!

Here’s the recipe from the Taste of the Game Cookbook:

  • Yields: 4 Servings
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Prep time: 30 minutes


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs; parsley, tarragon, chives
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay or similar spice blend
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • pinch of cayenne or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
  • 4 top-loading hot dog rolls
  • 2 lobster tails, approximately 8 oz. each (in this case I used an entire lobster to include the claw and knuckle meat, too)
  • Lettuce (my addition)


Prep the grill and the seasoning
  1. Build a two-zone fire, placing preheated Kingsford® Original Charcoal or Match Light briquets on one half of the bottom grill grate and leaving the other side void. Replace the top grill grate and adjust the bottom vents to bring the grill temperature to approximately 400°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons butter, half of the herbs, Old Bay or similar seasoning, 1 teaspoon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and mix well. Set aside while you prepare the mayonnaise and lobster tails.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the celery, mayonnaise, remaining lemon juice and zest and herbs and cayenne pepper. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Set aside.
Prep the lobster and get grilling
  1. With a pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut lengthwise down the center of the lobster tails’ top shell to split the lobster meat in half. You can choose to split them completely or leave the bottom shell intact. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place split lobster tails meat side down on the hot half of the grill. Grill the tails for approximately 2 minutes until the meat is lightly charred.
  3. Flip tails over and grill for another 4–5 minutes while periodically basting with the seasoned butter. When done, the shell will have a bright red hue and the meat will be white.
  4. If the lobster meat is still partially translucent, move to the cool side of the grill and cover until fully cooked.
  5. When done, remove the lobster tails from the grill and let cool. For your safety, please reference the USDA safe cooking temperatures.
Assemble, plate, and enjoy
  1. Brush the rolls all over with the remaining butter. Place rolls onto the grill, cut side down, for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and brown the other sides.
  2. Coarsely chop the lobster meat and gently combine in the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture. Add the lettuce (my addition) then fill the toasted rolls with the lobster salad and serve immediately.

It’s a simple dish that packs amazing flavors and textures. The char and smokiness of the grill adds another dimension to this dish. It’s worth the effort. It’s a great meal just about any time of the year.

Find Out More

All recipes can be found on Kingsford’s website by visiting this website and the hard copy of “Taste of the Game” can be purchased on Amazon. Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball. Visit

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Food & Drink Health & Sports

Wellness Goals – Eat Good Food

This post is sponsored by on behalf of Conagra Brands.

Wellness Goals

It seems like so many of us are looking for good food –  healthy dinner ideas and healthy lunch ideas. A healthier lifestyle in general is also on the agenda, I’d say. I know have been in 2019 and it has been going pretty well so far. I’ve lost a bunch of pounds and started to exercise more. I look and feel so much better, but there’s still a lot of work to do!! I can’t wait to keep pushing it and building on what I’ve done so far.

As I’ve mentioned, eating well is such an important part of every single person’s life, that it really needs to be taken seriously. There are so many great ways to do this at home and do this while eating out. I’m going to focus on a few things I’ve come across for eating at home, which is a lot easier and generally cheaper to do.

Good Food

There are a ton of options out there today. So many food options that it can really take your breath away sometimes. So much to choose from, so many people give up because it’s almost too much. They don’t even know where to begin. I have a list of some good food, that works well when thinking of both healthy dinner ideas and healthy lunch ideas! My family and I have really been enjoying these meals. Each one is unique and tasty in their own way.

Evol Portabella & Goat Cheese Ravioli 

Pasta, pasta, and more pasta! C’mon, you know you love it so. Pasta in all of it’s varied and delicious forms, are one of my absolute favorite meal choices! When you’re looking for a quick, crave-worthy vegetarian meal, look no further than Evol Portabella & Goat Cheese Ravioli. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, it is good!

Raviolis stuffed with portabella mushrooms, goat cheese and romano & ricotta cheeses combined with crimini mushrooms, red bell peppers, spinach and an insanely tasty creamy basil sauce will leave you wanting for nothing. I’m a huge cheese and mushroom guy and this is it, man. It checks off all the boxes and then some. 

Evol is real food that tastes delicious with nothing artificial. The company’s commitment to quality really shows in the dishes bold, great taste and texture. This is a meal with a purpose, and that purpose is clean eating. Plus, it’s just so easy to make!! How can you top that? You cannot. You cannot top that. Order this amazing ravioli and more now!

Healthy Choice Beef Teriyaki 

I’ve been a huge fan of Healthy Choice meals for some time now. They have been consistently good and is a great choice for healthy dinner ideas as well as healthy lunch ideas! I’m really enjoying their new line of Power Bowls right now. These are delicious meals designed to help get your daily fiber and protein.

Do you like tender strips of all-natural braised beef mixed with rice, carrots, crisp Chinese broccoli, and delicious water chestnuts? What kind of question IS that you may be asking. Touché, my friend. You know it’s time to dig into tangy Healthy Choice Beef Teriyaki for bold takeout flavor that won’t take you down.

Bonus: this is a grain-free meal that sports some amazing riced cauliflower doused in a sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce that will keep your taste buds guessing. The best part? This zero-preservative meal lets you enjoy as much sweet teriyaki sauce as you’d like. I know, I know…you’re hungry. I get it, but there’s more to come!

Healthy Choice Simply Steamers Meatball Marinara 

Another great product line from Healthy Choice is their Simply Steamers options. These beautiful meals are culinary-inspired steaming meals with a crisp, fresh taste.

My family and I love Italian food. We are partially of Italian decent and live on Long Island…there’s no other way. But sometimes, Italian can get a little heavy. Have no fear, Healthy Choice is here!  When I need some healthy Italian love, I’m going to reach for the bold flavor and simple ingredients, of the Healthy Choice Simply Steamers Meatball Marinara!!

Find a reason to reward yourself with 100% natural meatballs, whole grain penne and freshly chopped spinach in a zesty Parmesan marinara sauce. This is literally one of my favorite flavors around, it’s wholesome, and it’s grain-free, too! Plus, it’s made with nothing artificial–just real ingredients, minimally proceessed, you can feel good about.

Udi’s Sweet Potato Crust Chicken BBQ Pizza 

We have hit on some great grain-free options. But how about gluten free? I know many of you reading right now are really interested in great options that taste great! Gourmet flavor or gluten free? With Udi’s you can have both, from breads, bagels, and muffins to pizza, frozen meals, cookies, and more! My family and I are particularly big fans of the Udi’s Sweet Potato Crust Chicken BBQ Pizza.

Udi’s BBQ Flavored Chicken Pizza has crust made from sweet potatoes and is topped with delicious mozzarella and smoked gouda cheese, sweet BBQ sauce, and white meat chicken. It’s gluten free and grain free. Udi’s Grain and Gluten Free Pizzas are a great source of calcium and protein, so you can feel good about this gourmet dinner favorite while you and your family are chowing down.

Find Out More

If you’d like to find out more about all of the amazing food being produced by these brands, please be sure to check them all out online at:

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Food & Drink Health & Sports

Easy High-Protein Snacks for Healthier Eating

high protein snacks hard boiled eggs


Easy high-protein snacks are a great way to get a little extra protein into your diet and keep you on your path to better health. Choosing healthier food options and staying on track on your mission to lose weight can be difficult. With the on-the-go nature of most of our lives, maintaining a healthy diet has its frustrations. The good news is that you can easily get in protein during your day to day happenings, curb hunger, and help build up your metabolism again. These easy high-protein snacks can help you do just that. These can also offer some great inspiration for some tasty high protein meals, too!

Easy High-Protein Snacks for on-the-go People

The biggest hurdle for most of us on our quest to eat better foods is just how much we’re on the go. Between work, the kids, and all the adulting we have to do in a day, it can be difficult to find time to eat healthy food options. The high-protein snacks below can help you stay on track, feel full, and keep you on the road to your goals.

Single-Serve Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein. Many people think Greek yogurt has the most protein for a quick snack, but a single-serve container of cottage cheese actually has 3 more grams of protein than Greek yogurt and is typically only about 110 calories.

Single-Serve Peanut Butter

Peanut butter packs a one-two punch when it comes to healthy eating. Not only is it protein-rich, but it also has good fats. That combination can help you increase your protein and healthy fat intake and leave you feeling fuller longer. There are a variety of single-serve peanut butter packs out there. So long as you’re not allergic, it’s an easy high-protein snack to keep in your pocketbook or glove box.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein. In fact, just one large egg has 6 grams of protein. In addition, eggs are the most bio-available protein source a human can eat, which means our bodies make the most of every egg we eat. Boil up several eggs and keep them on hand at home or in the refrigerator at your workplace for a quick snack during the day that helps you hit the protein mark.

String Cheese

String cheese makes an easy high-protein snack for almost anyone. Its convenient packaging and easy to eat shape make it the perfect option for everyone no matter where they are. If you’re trying to lose weight, you can still enjoy string cheese – just opt for the skim milk variety.

high protein snacks almonds


Single-Serve Almonds

Almonds are an excellent source of both protein and heart-healthy fats, making them a great option for a quick snack. At 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving, they’re a protein-packed snack that can be enjoyed almost anywhere at any time.

Tuna Packs

You’ve probably seen tuna pouches at your local grocery store. These pouches make excellent easy high-protein snack options. In addition to being conveniently packaged, these tuna pouches don’t have to be drained. Tuna is also comparatively low in calories compared to other protein sources, so it makes a great snack for the calorie-conscious. This can easily be made into one of my favorite high protein meals, too!


Beef, turkey, and pork jerky are all widely available at grocery stores. Jerky makes a great high-protein snack when you’re on the go. No matter how pressed for time you are, it’s easy to pull out a few pieces of jerky and snack away while working or driving.

Foods that Add Variety to Easy High-Protein Snacks

While the following options aren’t high protein per se, they do have more protein than you’d think in them. In addition, they make a great way to mix it up a little when it comes to your diet.

high protein meals grapefruit slices


Grapefruit Slices

Believe it or not, grapefruit actually has protein in it. A whole grapefruit has about 2 grams of protein. Add it to a pack of almonds and you have an easy high-protein snack with a little something extra.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder has 2 grams of protein in every 2-tablespoon serving. It’s a great way to add in just a little bit of extra protein to your smoothie or shake and change up the flavor, to boot.

Easy High-Protein Snacks Help Keep You on Track

There you have it – a few easy high-protein snacks that will help you hit your daily protein mark, curb your hunger, and allow you to eat something healthy rather than whatever junk you can find while you’re on the go. You can mash a bunch of these together an make some great high protein meals, too! These easy high-protein snacks make it so much easier to stay on your path to better health, and they taste good, too.

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