Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crock Pot Sticky Hoisin & Sesame Ribs

I don't know about you but I don't like eating things that are sticky.  Messy. Or, anything where I have to work hard on getting to the food.  Needless to say Ribs are near the top of the list of food items that fall into this category.  Don't get me wrong I like the taste of ribs, but it always seems like a lot of work to get the meat off the bone or the constant wiping of hands anytime during the meal when I want to grab something else.  So I have found a solution to eating the ribs.  And I have found a recipe to make the ribs.  
That's right by using your crock pot, you can make the meat fall right off the bone of these ribs and thus avoiding the mess while eating them.

And, while I used lamb ribs in my version of this recipe you can easily substitute beef or pork.  And the sauce of this recipe has great flavor.  In fact it's good enough you probably wouldn't mind licking your fingers so there goes that dilemma.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Comfort Care Diapers

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They say the average baby goes through 2,788 diapers the first year.  With all those changes, you better get one that fits well and doesn't leak.  So today I'm sharing a sponsored post about Member's Mark Comfort Care Diapers.
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With having two kids in 3 years we definitely know a thing or two about diapers.  Our kids tend to grow fast and we move into the next size of diapers in a hurry, therefore I don't have time for leaks. So while we've tried all brands and varieties, I can safely say that for the past two years we have really come to like the Member's Mark Comfort Care Diapers from Sam's Club.
(Sneak Peek inside my diaper bag.)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Needmore Coffee Roasters

Every morning, after I finish my first cup of coffee but before I start my second cup, I say in my head, "I need more coffee."  Ironically, today in my coffee cup is Needmore Coffee Roasters, from Chesterton, Indiana.    
Beginning in 2014 with a one pound coffee roaster, this female owned business noticed an absence of fresh roasted coffee in the area and started selling coffee at the local farmers markets.  While providing customers with amazing coffee she was also able to tell them a little about the farmers who grow their coffee, and each bag of coffee has a little information about the location it came from as well.  A year and two roasters later Needmore Coffee Roasters now operates a 3 Kilo drum roaster from US Roaster Corps which gives the operator a lot of control over the temperature to better control the roast.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Perfect Cup, Perfect Measures

This post brought to you by Folgers. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Latte with Ott, A.
This may sound cliche' but it's true what they say, when they say that "The third times the charm." (ok now, that I've got the rhyming out of my system..)  At least when it comes to my coffee.  I mean it always seems like whenever I try a new brand/roast of coffee the 3rd pot I make is the best one. Since every brand/blend is different the first pot I make is usually too weak.  So I measure things out a little differently the next time and the second pot I make is too strong, but by the third one I've figured it out and get it right.  Now I just wasted two mornings drinking coffee that wasn't perfect, and life's to short to drink bad coffee.
But, Folgers came out with their Perfect Measures coffee in pre-measured portions.  These coffee pods can be easily added to an automatic drip coffee maker for a consistent great tasting cup every time.  No more too weak or too strong pots, simply personalize your cup to your number of Perfect Measures and you have the perfect cup each time.  Perfect right?!?!
Folgers Perfect Measures come in 5 flavors: 100% Columbian, Breakfast Blend, Classic Roast, Classic Decaf and Black Silk.  These pods are about the size of a quarter and easy to count out and throw in your coffee filter basket.  No mess and no coffee grounds getting all over your cabinets.  Simply add one pod for every 6 ounces of water in an automatic drip coffee maker.  No measuring, no guessing just a perfect cup of coffee the first time and every time.
Right now Folgers Perfect Measures is only available in Indianapolis, St. Louis and Kansas City locations, but should become available nationwide in the near future. For now, go check out CVS or Marsh in Indianapolis.

Visit Sponsors Site

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gourmet Fish for Busy Moms

    As a mom I know you want your kids to eat and try a variety of different foods, but sometimes when it comes to fish I struggle with how to prepare it, play guessing games with when it's done and in the end... don't fish sticks just seem easier? 

      Well I have found these new Bumble Bee SuperFresh fish products that bake up as simple as those fish sticks, but taste better, offer more variety of fish and flavors you as an adult will enjoy eating far more than those battered fish sticks.  
      I know moms work hard at feeding my kids a variety of different foods in order to have a well rounded diet.  But I also know life as a mom is busy and getting supper on the table in less than a half hour can be a challenge.  So here is the meal I threw together for our family this week.  Tilapia with Lemon, Pepper and Herbs, a side of carrots, an Apple-Rice Salad and a garlic cheddar biscuit. And I'll be sharing the recipe I used for the Apple-Rice Salad as I think you'll find the mixture of sweet fruit flavors with the zesty vinaigrette dressing give your tongue some exciting flavor combinations and compliment the Tilapia nicely.

      Friday, November 6, 2015

      Developmental Milestones, VTech Toys & a Giveaway

      Every parent gets excited about the milestones their baby's reach that 1st year of development.  First tooth, first time clapping their hands, first time crawling and first time walking.  As a parent you take pictures, write down the date in the baby book and call the grandparents with the good news.  I know for us, Mr. ShOTT of Espresso has started pulling himself up and standing along the edge of the couch.  Each time he tried and was successfull at doing so we would clap and cheer.  And then, it was nap time and all of a sudden standing in his crib was far more interesting than laying down in his crib.  Ahhhh... the joys of parenting.  
      VTech toys knows how important each milestone is with your childs' development and has an online resource, the Milestones page, to assist parents with each stage along the way.  VTech has assembled an expert panel of 6 individuals who collaborated a list of catergories for each phase of development from newborn to age 9. One of the experts on this panel is Dr. Deborah Sharp Libby, a leading expert in early childhood language and reading. Each age range consist of developmental abilities in Language and Cognitive, Social and Emotional and Physical and Motor.  All the characteristics and developments that your child goes through for each age range are listed out for you.  And on the same webpage VTech also recommends products that cater to that childs age and abilities.  This is ideal for searching for Christmas and Birthday gifts for any younger children on your list.

      Tuesday, November 3, 2015

      Crock Pot Festive Pork Roast

      It was 10 am on a Tuesday, a thawed pork loin roast was sitting on my counter, a festive dinner party was only 6 hours away and the only thing I could do was.... open up a bottle of wine.

      Ok, actually the wine was for the recipe.  And.... the pork roast was going to bake all day in my crock pot so that's why I started early.  But in all seriousness, this pork roast has amazing flavors to it.  It was super simple to make and everyone was asking for seconds.  And the best part is that any leftovers can totally be shredded and made into sandwiches the next day.  (Bonus!)   

      Monday, November 2, 2015

      Utopian Coffee Co

      I think it's safe to say the crisp and cool fall like weather has finally arrived here in central Indiana. And if you're someone who only drinks coffee during the winter months then I've got a coffee roaster you should check out.  (Or, if you're someone like me who drinks hot coffee year round, then you'll want to be sure and try some roasts from Utopian Coffee Co.  Based out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana and established in 2006 by two cousins who wanted to bring specialty coffee beans from around the world, back home to roast locally and sell.  Those original plans have developed some unique direct trade relationships with coffee growers in Rwanda and Guatemala and opportunities to foster the growing and harvesting of the beans as well as improve the quality of living and infrastructure for the farmers.
      For example in Rwanda the company buys from a woman run co-op, that grows coffee and then in between harvests has a sewing facility to teach the woman a trade. The Hingakawa, Rwanda roasts has a bright and crisp taste with fruity notes and a sweet finish.  I loved drinking this roast and found it to be a great afternoon pick-me-up cup.  Utopian Coffee Co. is proud of the relationship they have established with this co-op and you can read more about that on their blog.

      Wednesday, October 28, 2015

      Bitsy's Brainfood Spooky Snacks

      Halloween is right around the corner and while you may be thinking candy, suckers, chocolate and all the other sweets and treats that one can hand out, you may also want to have some items on hand for the wee little ones who don't eat candy yet, or some options for food allergy kids.  I recently discovered Bitsy's Brainfood, a line of children's snack packed full of fruits and veggies.  While it comes is a colorful packaging with cute cartoon characters it is an excellent source of Omega 3 DHA, Vitamins A, B12, D3 and Folic Acid.  
      Bitsy's Brainfood Smart Cookies don't take the fun out of Halloween, they offer a wholesome and healthy alternative for families. Cookie flavors include Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin and Orange Carrot Beet and come in fun letter shapes.  My oldest child loves announcing which letter she is eating as she works her way through the package.

      Tuesday, October 27, 2015

      Hallmark Personalized Books make great gifts

      MacchiOTTo is 3 years old and loves to read.  She reads her books.  She reads her little brothers books.  She reads magazines.  She reads my cookbooks.  She reads her dad's old college text books. Anything with print and binding, you can bet she will find and turn the pages to look at, regardless if there are pictures or not.  So when Hallmark asked me to try out their new Personalized Books for kids, I was happy to oblige and give MacchiOTTo something new to look at.  

      Wether your little one is into trains, dinosaurs, princesses or tea party's there's sure to be a book theme that will interest your little one imagination.  Each book contains your child's name in the title. Their name becomes the main character in the story and is mentioned on every page.  And the best part is that you can customize the character to look just like your child by selecting the hair color, eye color, skin tone and even sometimes the style of the hair.  And, thanks to the folks at Hallmark one lucky reader of this blog will win their own book to make and giveaway at the end of this blog post!

      Monday, October 26, 2015

      Heirloom Coffee's Papua New Guinea

      I was recently asked to try the Papua New Guineau roast from Heirloom Coffee, LLC  in Medford, Massachusetts. Heirloom Coffee offers a wide selection of coffee from all over the world specializing in heirloom variety beans.  Their roast can be purchased online, or at their store in Medford.  

      But today I'm blogging about their Papua New Guineau, Organic, Direct Trade roast.  These beans are grown in the Morombe Province of Paupa New Guinea at altitudes ranging from 3,000-6,000 feet. The beans have been graded as PSC Grade AA which goes through an additional round of hand-sorting to produce a finished product of larger and more uniform beans.

      Tuesday, October 20, 2015

      Hearty Lamb Stew in the Crock Pot

      Cooler nights are coming and this recipe for Hearty Lamb Stew is sure to stick to your ribs and keep you warm.  I love when lamb can be used in a comfort food style.  This dish has an almost gravy like thickness to it and is easy to prepare in your crock pot and enjoy later.  Potatoes, carrots, peas and celery make this a well rounded dish and my favorite part is that one of the ingredients is wine so you can use some in the recipe and save the rest to enjoy with your meal.