Friday, September 30, 2011

September Thank You

As September draws to a close...
and by the way,
was it just me or did it fly by??
I don't know what it is but some months just seem to do that.

I wanted to take a minute to thank my lovely blog sponsors.

Emily over at
She's the gal that made my blog look so snazzy!


The lovely Rebecca and her fab shop 
full of vintage goodies!


One of my favorite shops for all natural handcrafted soaps and lip balms.
Their soaps smell divine!
Thanks Julia & Wayne.


Laura over at her etsy shop
has the absolute best selection of organic & heirloom seeds.
The perfect shop for vegetable and herb gardeners!


And last, but certainly not least 
with an outstanding selection of 
gorgeous eco-friendly napkins and other sewn delights!



If you haven't had the chance to visit them, please do...
they truly have some wonderful & unique shops.

A big September thank you to all of them!!


Interested in becoming a sponsor...email me,
I'd love to hear from you!


It's the last day of the month and the last day to 
enter my giveaway so hurry on over!

Happy Friday!


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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Gift of A Fall Meal

I love Fall.
There is a certain crispness to the evening air and 
the foliage starts showing off some lovely colors.

To me it also means soups and stews, maybe some chili.
I love Fall cooking.
I turn to different spices and flavor profiles and 
it's a welcome change from the lighter, less hearty Summer fare that we usually consume.

I was given the most wonderful basket of fresh vegetables from a friend last week,
and having some beautiful ripe tomatoes from my own garden, 
my thoughts instantly turned to a ratatouille.

I was inspired by this recipe from Food & Wine.

I made a few changes, like the addition of fresh thyme to the goat cheese butter and 
some allspice to the ratatouille.

The results...a wonderful Fall meal.


The gentle saute brought out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and 
the allspice added a certain warmth to each bite.
The sapid goat cheese was a perfect match to contrast the vegetables.


It was a simple, colorful meal, accompanied with a glass of wine.
As we sat in the backyard with the sun going down, it just felt like the
ideal marriage to the crisp Fall evening.

Happy Fall!


ps...there's still time to enter my giveaway here

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birthday Celebration

Please note this giveaway is now closed!

Happy Birthday
 to
The Hairy Peach!!

It's officially 1 year old...and I can't help but celebrate.

It's been a very fun year!
I've learned a lot about blogging, met a ton of people,
 and made some wonderful new friends.

According to my posts and pictures...I've eaten a lot!!!
I take more pictures of food than I thought possible and now look for 
"Photo Op" shots when I'm cooking and plating.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all my followers, 
the ones who have been with me from the very start and 
those that have joined in along the way.

I love your comments and emails and I look forward to each and everyone of them.
Thank you for being such an inspiration and support!

This first year has been a great one...hoping there's many more to come!

I wanted to do something to show my appreciation to all my followers out there.
So I've teamed up with some great etsy shops and have some wonderful
birthday presents to give away...to you!!




1. A set of 4 Large Eco-Friendly napkins from JAQS studio 

2. A set of beautiful hand sketched carrot notecards from Dren Culture 

3. $10 shop credit to Sweet Mother Nature

4. A tasty "Pie in a Jar" from Let Them Eat Pie


4 prizes means 4 winners!!


Please note this giveaway is now closed!!!


{ Entry }

Leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing about birthdays { +1 }

{ Additional Entries }

Like "The Hairy Peach" on facebook { +1 }

Favorite any of the 4 featured etsy shops 
{ +1 for each - that's 4 possible entries! }





Give this birthday giveaway a shout out on facebook or twitter { +2 }

Post a link or give it a shout out on your blog { + 5 }

The more you enter the more chances you have to win!

Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry and 
 don't forget to include contact information.

Giveaway ends September 30th

*Giveaway is open worldwide*
but due to the perishable nature of #3 and #4  - 
they will only be available to ship within the USA but 
prizes #1 and #2 are available to ship worldwide*

The Best of Luck!!

Please note this giveaway is now closed!


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Delights


It's Tuesday...


and this week 
I'm tickled pumpkin!!

Check out these delicious
pumpkin-y
finds from etsy!!


Pumpkin Cheesecake for your lips...yes please!!



Or how about retro pumpkin for your heels??



Or maybe some squishy pumpkin pie marshmallow goodness for your tummy?



I'll be able to walk around with pumpkin heels, 
a little cheesecake on my lips and pumpkin pie in my tummy...
Sounds like a perfectly pumpkin-y Tuesday to me!

What's your favorite pumpkin treat?

ps...don't forget to check back in a couple of days for my birthday bash giveaway!!


Linking up with Sarah over at

Happy Tuesday!


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Spaghetti Spruce Up


I'd love to say that I cook something gourmet,
beautiful and completely from scratch every night,
but the reality is I don't.
There is this little thing called life!

work 
family
teenagers
homework
soccer practices
housework

Did I mention soccer practices?
Oh yeah, and those hungry teenagers!!

Some nights I'm just too tired or I don't have the time.
It's those nights that I turn to a 
"Spruce Up"
Quick tips to liven up some store bought ingredients.

In this case 

Spaghetti Spruce Up

* Cook your favorite pasta/noodles while you prepare the sauce *

Brown 1 pound ground turkey or beef in a deep skillet.
Add one jar of store bought pasta sauce...whatever your favorite flavor is.


Rough chop one jar of marinated mushrooms.
Add to the skillet, including the marinade from the jar.
Also add one medium size wineglass of red wine,
or about 3/4 cup.


Rough chop some black or green olives
You can put more or less depending on your preference,
I use a large handful as my measurement.


Simmer slowly over low heat, for about 10 minutes
Adding fresh grated nutmeg and a few torn basil leaves during the last couple minutes of cooking.


Pull out your dinner plates
Add your sauced pasta
Grate some fresh nutmeg and parmesan cheese over top
Add a basil sprig 
and 
Voila


A beautiful, tasty & easy...spruced up dinner.
All in less than 30 minutes.
You can't beat that on a busy weeknight!



Now where are those soccer cleats?


PhotobucketThere's still time...enter my giveaway here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Gluten Free Cow

Please note this giveaway has ended.

We have a winner!

random.org has spoken and

Angie

Congratulations you are the winner!!

I will be in touch today via email with details.

Thank you very much to all who entered!





I love macaroni and cheese!
It's comfort food at it's finest.
There's something familiar and of course very delicious about it.

I usually make it from scratch.
It's not difficult but it's not the quickest if you have a time crunch.
There's all the usual brands that you can buy at the store, but
honestly I never really felt good about those and they don't taste that great either.

I was recently introduced to a new brand of cheese sauces by
Riega Foods
They are all natural and gluten free.
It is a family owned business which really appeals to me as well.
I'm all for supporting local and family whenever possible.
You can find their products in natural food stores
and grocery chains, including Whole Foods.
Just look for the bright packaging and happy cow!!

They come in four great flavors;
Yellow Cheddar, White Cheddar, Pepper Jack and Alfredo.



I made the Alfredo one night, 
just quickly over some pasta as a side dish and it was great!
Creamy, natural tasting...it didn't have a processed taste at all.
These will be a pantry staple in my house from now on.



I had the chance to talk with Riega foods, 
and they ended up sending me all four flavors to try out,
 along with some recipes for inspiration.
Thank you!


I made their
Spicy Pepper Jack Mac 
over the weekend with fantastic results.
(recipe at bottom of post)


The flavor was wonderful!

There was a tiny bit of heat from the pepper jack, 
but it was mellowed with the addition of sour cream.
I used a four cheese blend instead of straight cheddar,
 added a breadcrumb and butter topping and finished it off with chopped cilantro.

A HUGE hit with my family...it was all gone!!

I think the pepper jack sauce would also make a great nacho topper!


Riega Foods has generously offered to give away a sample pack to one of my readers:
That's 3 packages of each of their 4 flavors...
12 packs in total!!

Entry is simple...
Just leave a comment telling me what flavor most appeals to you...that's it!

{ Extra Chances }

Like Riega Foods on facebook { +1 }

Follow Riega Foods on Twitter { +1 }

Like The Hairy Peach on facebook { +1 }

Follow The Hairy Peach { +1 }

Give a shout out about this giveaway on your blog { +5 }

Please leave a separate comment for each entry and make sure you leave contact info!

The more you enter the more chances you have to win!!

Giveaway ends September 20th, 2011

This giveaway has ended.


Gluten Free 
Deluxe Spicy Pepper Jack Mac

3 cups GF elbow macaroni 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
1⁄2 cup milk 
1⁄4 cup sour cream 
1 tbsp. melted butter 
2 packets Riega GF Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce Mix

1. Preheat oven to 375°. 
2. Cook noodles to desired tenderness and drain. 
3. Mix Riega GF Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce with milk until smooth.
4. Grease a 1 1⁄2 quart baking dish and add noodles, melted butter, Pepper Jack Cheese Mixes, sour cream and 1⁄2 of the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until well blended.
5. Sprinkle rest of shredded cheddar cheese on top. 
6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes (uncovered) or until cheese
topping begins to brown.

Top with sliced jalapeƱos before baking for an extra kick!



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Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Family Blog


For those of you that follow me regularly,
 you know that I'm all about food and family.

Though this is my blog, my family keeps up with it.
They read it, they give praise and constructive criticism...
and of course are frequently my "tasters" when it comes to the food I make.
I love the fact that this is a family blog.

When my 13 year old son got wind of the fact 
that I was approached by Heelys 
to review a pair of their wheeled shoes...he was all over it!



So this post is a joint effort with myself and
 my creative son Dakota 
whom some of you might remember from here.

He choose the "Wave" shoe to try out.


Stylish enough for a teenager, 
yet fun enough to be a kid!

He used to own a pair as a young child, but hadn't "rode" a pair in quite some time.
We had numerous laughs as he practiced 
getting the hang of it in the kitchen before venturing outside.
I found out my countertops are good for a lot more than chopping vegetables,
they also make a great handrail!

He was soon all geared up and zooming the front yard.
Heely's are a great way to spend some active time outdoors!
He loved all the fun he had with them,
and as a Mom I like how sturdy and well made they are.

So where does the creative part come in?
Well, Dakota is what one might call a budding cinematographer
or as he refers to himself an audio-visual nerd!

So without further ado I give you this...
Dakota's tribute to his Heely's shoes.



As for my involvement...
I just did what I was told by the director!


Thanks Heely's for a fun family project!


You can find Heely's here on the web
or
on their facebook page



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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Coffee Table


I remember my Grandma's coffee table well.
It was a beautiful mid century teak table...rectangle, 
with a woven shelf underneath.
When I was little I didn't know anything of it's design or how stylish it was.
What I knew, was what the tin that sat on the top held.

It would be one of two things.
Dutch licorice.
 An acquired taste for sure, 
of salty black drops that are nothing like what we know of licorice here.
Or sometimes it held powdery Wilhelmina peppermints, my Grandpa's favorite.
I was happy with whatever was hiding under that lid.

And on that shelf underneath,
Better Homes and Gardens Magazine...always!

It's funny the things you remember...the tidbits you pull from memory.
And funnier still, is that I now get 
Better Homes & Gardens magazine, some 30 years later! 
Reading it always makes me think of my Grandma.

Did you know their first published issue was back in the 1920's?
That's pretty impressive!

It's a light read, gardening tips, some home decorating and a few recipes.
It used to be the recipes were simple weeknight fare,
 maybe a casserole, nothing too out of the ordinary.
To be honest, I don't often make or even read the recipes.
But lately I've noticed a more modern look and feel to the magazine, including the recipes.
In the last issue, this instantly caught my eye.





Let me tell you...it was fantastic!
The mahi mahi was so moist from poaching.
There was a delicate sweetness from the coconut milk, 
and a spirited kick from the chiles.
I chopped up crystallized ginger and ladled the hot coconut broth over top,
which released the sugars and the beautiful ginger taste.
The bok choy added both needed color and texture,
 with the lime zest balancing out the dish with a burst of fresh citrus.

My husband declared it a restaurant quality dish.
When he says that, it means he really likes it!
A definite make again in our kitchen.

So from now on, I won't be so quick to skim over the recipes.
They've obviously been in print a long time for a reason.
You never know where your next gem of a dish might come from!



ps...don't forget to enter the pet giveaway here

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Nervous Nellie AND a Giveaway


Nervous Nellie: 
A person who is inclined to worry

Or rather in my case...how about a 
Jittering Jumbo


Meet Jumbo, our little 5 year old Yorkie.
He's a sweetie pie...except that he's a terrier and notoriously 
nervous...about everything!
They bark, they tremble...they run around frantically
 like they are attempting to make crop circles in the carpet!

Nothing, and I mean nothing can soothe him when he gets like this...and we've tried everything!!
That was until I found these...



They contain a special blend of herbs including chamomile, that help keep dogs calm and relaxed.
They are great for travel stress or in our case, just everyday nervousness.
I was a little skeptical, but I figured I'd give them a try.

So do they work?
They do!!

It's not instant, but a little while after I give him a couple, he calms down, 
he actually lays down and stops creating patterns in the carpet!
Kind of like grandpa falling asleep in the recliner 
after too much turkey on Thanksgiving!

He loves them!!
Look at that face...can I have just one more please??



where I got them from is a new online pet store offering a great selection
of high quality pet products for both cats and dogs.  
They even have free shipping on orders over $45.
So save yourself a trip to the pet store!

Best Pet Health
 has generously offered one of my readers the chance 
to try out their very own bag of Pet-Ease!

So if you have a "Fidgety Fido" or know someone who does, make sure you enter!


{ Entry }

"Like" Best Pet Health here on facebook and leave a comment letting me know { +1 }

Be a follower of this blog  { +1 }

Follow Best Pet Health on Twitter { +1 }

"Like" The Hairy Peach here on facebook { +1 }

Give this giveaway a shout out on facebook or twitter { +2 }


Giveaway ends September 12th and is open to USA only.

Make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry,
and don't forget to include contact info so I can reach you.

Linking up with Fido's Freebies
on
All Things Dog Blog
Pop on over and say hi!

Good Luck!



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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Easy Elegance


I love Jamie Oliver.
Well, maybe love is kind of a strong word, but you get the idea.
I've made many a recipe from his collections and I've never, ever been disappointed. 
His dishes have a certain relaxed flair to them.
I like to think of them as, easy elegance.

It was my husbands birthday a couple weeks back 
and since he didn't want to go out for dinner to celebrate,
I figured I'd make a special meal at home.

After some serious pouring over cookbooks for inspiration,
I decided on Jamie Oliver's
from his Italy cookbook, one of my all time favorites.



The stuffing has pinenuts, olives, bread and herbs, 
and brings this wonderful warm and savory, 
extremely aromatic accompaniment to the leg of lamb.
It gets roasted with baby potatoes, 
fresh rosemary and whole unpeeled garlic cloves.
It's a unfussy recipe to prepare but the finished plate results are beautiful.
For the last 15 minutes I roasted some mini courgettes in the pan to finish out the meal.



I cheated a little on the dessert with some 
store bought mini cheesecakes from Whole Foods,
but I made homemade raspberry sauce to accompany them.
So easy and so delicious. 
Raspberries, sugar, a little water, 
the juice and zest of one lemon.
Simmer until the sugar melts, cool and put through a blender.
It keeps for about a week in the refrigerator and is so good over ice cream!!

It was a lovely family evening at home.
To me those are the best birthdays.
Great food and time with the people that you love.

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