Philly Farm & Food Fest This Sunday

philly-farm-food-fest

 

Who else will be attending the Philly Farm & Food Fest this Sunday? We are beyond excited to be able to spend a few hours to support our local growers and food producers.  We try our best to shop small and support local, we are blessed to have some pretty awesome farms in very close proximity to where we live.  We frequent Stella’s, Conte’s, Johnson’s, Springdale Farms.  We love going to the Collingswood Farmer’s Market on Saturdays so that we can be able to have a variety of produce and farms to support. Not to mention the countless hours that we could spend in the Reading Terminal Market.

We have also contemplated joining a co-op and we go back and forth every year about if we should or not.  So I’m looking forward to seeing the CSA Pop Up Shops throughout the event, so that maybe I can get some better clarification on whether it’s the right decision for us.

We love that this is a family friendly event with so much to do and see.  Awesome features of the event that we are interested in are the workshops and cooking demos, checking out some of the local cookbook authors, opportunities for the kiddos to learn, touch, and taste, and of course the Local Libations Lounge.

Tickets are only $20, and children under 12 are free! BUY TICKETS ONLINE

It is going to be an absolutely great way to spend a Sunday.  Join us! Please let us know if we’ll see you there!

For more information about the 2015 Philadelphia Farm & Food Fest, please visit www.phillyfarmfest.org. Fans can also follow them on Twitter (@PhillyFarmFest, @FairFoodStand and @pasafarming) and “like” them on Facebook (Farm & Food Fest, Fair Food and PASA). Also follow along with #PhillyFarmFest

 

 

Disclosure: Friendspired was provided with complimentary tickets to the above mentioned event.   All opinions are mine alone and may differ from those of your own. Regardless, we only recommend or share products or services we use personally and believe will be good for readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Jenn GaffneyPhilly Farm & Food Fest This Sunday
read more

HoneyBaked Ham Easter Celebration – #HoneyBakedEaster

honeybakedham

Hosting Holidays are stressful enough.  Figuring out how many people are attending, what time to host, the menu, you name it!  As a pretty active family, that wants to enjoy holidays with our loved ones and not run around like crazy people, I love the convenience of having meal solutions at my fingertips.  Below are 5 tips that help us stress less when hosting.

1. PLANNING – Planning is key to success.  Having a game plan in place provides for a foundation, but there should always be flexibility.  We start our planning by heading over to Pinterest and finding some new twists on our holiday standards.  Assign side dishes or desserts to family members to make it easier on yourself.

honeybakedhambunnybread

2. PREPPING – Why not purchase some of what you need ahead of time?  That doesn’t mean just the food and beverages – it can be simple items like decor for your table. Mix it up and have fun. If you look around and see spring inspiration surrounding you, you cannot help but be excited instead of anxious for the upcoming holiday. Some of my favorite decorations are items that were either made for me (like the bunny above), or something that has history – like some of my grandmother’s dishes.

3. PURCHASING – The week before get all of your items needed to host your feast. We love the premium products from HoneyBaked Ham that are simple to serve and even more delicious.  They are outstanding on their own, or they can serve as a base for you to add your own twist.

4. PRIMPING – Now that you’ve got everything purchased, set up your space.  Put out the place settings. Involve the kiddos, have them make cute name cards or place holders.  Once that’s done, take a moment to relax and primp yourself.

5. PARTYING – Once the guests arrive, and the food is complete, serve it up and take time out to enjoy the memories with one another.  Those moments are what it’s all about.  Don’t sweat the small stuff – enjoy one another.

honeybakedtablescape

honeybakedhamplate

HoneyBaked really helped to take the stress out of hosting.  Their ham is absolutely incredible, filled with so much flavor.  The turkey breast was tender and so easy to cook.  What made it even better were the side dishes that I don’t care to cook on my own, are AMAZING.  So having the “heat and serve” sides available were such a time saver.  Everyone enjoys them, so why not take a little pressure off of my plate and enjoy time with our family.

honeybakedsides

We absolutely enjoyed our ham, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, all from HoneyBaked.  Which left me to make some green beans (plain since hubby doesn’t like the casserole) and corn.  I usually buy bushels of corn at the end of it’s season from a local farm, Stella’s around here.  We then cook and freeze for special occasions.  Sadly, we ate all that we had, so that didn’t make it to the table.

happy-abby-ham

This time of year is always so harried for us.  Bill is an accountant, it’s Tax Season.  He works on Easter, and every single day of the week starting mid-march.  So it’s important that when we have time together, we actually spend time together.  That’s really hard to do when we are in the kitchen trying to make a wonderful meal.  Since I’m not the best of chef’s I am happy that I can still have a great holiday dinner, even if it is with a little bit of help.

What tips do you have for surviving holidays?  

You can also enjoy HoneyBaked Ham this Easter.  You can redeem a $5 off $50 purchase coupon at a HoneyBaked Ham nearest you.

Offer valid 3.14.15 – 4.4.15. Must present coupon at time of purchase to receive offer. May not be combined with any other offer. One coupon per person at participating retail store locations. While supplies last.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of HoneyBaked Ham. All opinions are mine alone and may differ from those of your own. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Jenn GaffneyHoneyBaked Ham Easter Celebration – #HoneyBakedEaster
read more

Christmas Baking – Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love when it is time for baking for the holidays. I used to try to make a few different kinds of cookies, however, about 4 years or so ago I was on Pinterest and found this interesting Peppermint chocolate chip cookie http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/2010/11/28/peppermint-milk-chocolate-cookies/

It has now become the only cookie I make. I mean I make some others for special events or parties, don’t get me wrong. But for all the cookies I give out to my husband’s co-workers, friends, teachers, and neighbors this is the cookie I make. To be fair, now that I’ve been making them for so many years it has now become expected that those are what I am to make.
Right after Thanksgiving I start getting my count for how many cookies I will be making. The other reason I love these cookies-other than making my house smell amazing!- is that they become cut and bake, which makes my life so great when I need a quick last minute item for a party, or something. The dough is recommended to be chilled at least 24 hours before you bake. I usually make quite a few batches and just keep them in dough logs until I need them. I don’t know if breaking up the making of the dough and the baking is what makes them feel like less work.
peppermintchocochipcookies copy copy
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temp.
7 ounces mini chocolate chips
7 ounces Andes Peppermint crunch chips
1.In a samll bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt-set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth(about 2 min)
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorpated.
4. Then stir in the flour mixture followed by the chocolate and the peppermint chips.
5. Put dough on saran wrap and roll into a log. Wrap to seal and put in refrigerator until firm-24 hours recommended
to bake-
Line bakeing sheets with parchment paper or baking mat, slice the dough into disks 3/4 inch thick. Place the disks 3 inches apart. If the chips fall out just push them back in.
Bake at 350 degrees. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time. Total time to bake is 7-10 minutes-but err on the side of less until you get the hang of the timing.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet until form enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Enjoy!! And don’t be surprised when they get requested next year!
Signature-Lana
Lana BrennanChristmas Baking – Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
read more

Did You Know McDonald’s is REAL Food

 

friendspired-loves-watermark

There are so many myths and theories about McDonald’s menu.  There is a lot of talk about the fast food industry in general.  While I’d love to be that Mom/Wife that can provide my family with nothing but whole foods that are home cooked and well thought of ahead of time.  Reality is – I’m a working mom, I work outside of the home 40+ hours a week, with a husband who does the same.  We are lucky that we make it out the door on time most days.  To say that we are “on-the-go” is an understatement.  While I’d love to be able to say that I make time each day or even week to devote to the preparation for our meals, I don’t.

mcds-our-food-your-questions

 

When we are “on-the-go” I don’t feel bad stopping at McDonald’s to get meals that suit our needs. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Not only do I know that I’m getting something that we enjoy, but something that is a nutritious option for us.  McDonald’s recently launched their “Our Food – Your Questions” Campaign.  I have to say, it was an eye opener for me.  I did see a viral video years ago about Chicken McNuggets.  I have to say without researching, it completely swayed my opinions on Chicken McNuggets.  I’m happy to say that their recent campaign has totally changed my opinion.

What I loved to learn about even more, is where the potatoes come from that make all of the fries that we love! America’s greatest french fries come from potatoes from farmers right here in the US that are passionate about what they do and the food that they grow.

Give it a try for yourself, ask your question – McDonald’s wants to know what questions you have!  They might have even answered your question already.  I know that I was definitely impressed with what they had to say.  We now happily eat our chicken nuggets and I happily stop for coffee every morning, since it’s only $1 and it tastes great.  Abby is specifically happy about their new fresh fruit option of Cuties for her Happy Meal.  She normally lives for the apple slices! We also are known to get the kiddos in our lives Treat Packs from McDonald’s around Halloween.

mcd-gift-fest-compressed

You can even join in on McDonald’s Gift Fest going on through the 22nd. A McDonald’s gift card makes a perfect stocking stuffer, gift for a bus driver, teacher, etc.  It’s one of our go-to gifts for each other for our stockings.  Friendspired Friends have a chance to win a $25 Gift Card that they can add to their stockings by entering our giveaway below.

Signature-Jenn

Disclaimer:  Friendspired was provided with a giftcard as a part of being a McCafe Mom.  All opinions expressed above are our my own.

Jenn GaffneyDid You Know McDonald’s is REAL Food
read more

Pool Party – Favors

cdv_photo_007

A month or so ago, a good friend asked me to help come up with her daughter’s birthday favor. I am always a huge fan of something edible- Seven’s chocolate skates. She was having a pool party and wanted to have it beach themed. While we were brainstorming I came up with a pail of “sand” pudding, a beach ball cake pop, and a beach ball thank you tag.

Whenever I have an idea in my head sometimes it doesn’t always translate to real life. I know what I want it to look like, can’t describe it, but somehow make it happen. It’s weird, I know.

Ingredients- For Sand Pudding
Milk
instant Vanilla pudding
Nilla Wafers (finely crushed)

There are a few different options that include whip cream, or cream cheese. Since this was for kids I decided to go with just plain pudding and crushed wafers. To make about 30 of them in a 3 inch pail I had to use about 4 large boxes, 4 single serve boxes and 2 boxes of Nilla wafers that I crushed in my food processor.

Once the pudding was firm(about 5 or so min) I scooped about an inch or so in the bottom of the pail. Then sprinkled a good amount of crushed wafers to give it a nice layer. Another layer of pudding and wafers. I left a bit of space at the top since I was adding the beach ball.

It was a pretty quick process and with the instant pudding I was done with them in a little under an hour. I liked transporting these way better than cupcakes. No frosting to get screwed up or anything-they were just heavy.

favors2

Lana BrennanPool Party – Favors
read more