Let’s get it started!

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I’ve been pondering making a mommy/cooking/writing/whatever-else blog for a while now, and have finally taken the time to do so! A friend of mine has recently fully introduced me to the amazing network of mommy, review, and giveaway blogs that is on the net and I’ve become hooked. After taking baby steps – joining some survey sites, reviewing more products online, and joining Influenster – I’ve decided to take the plunge!

Please be aware that this is a free-for-all blog. I love cooking, saving money, and I lean toward the crunchy side of things more often than not. With that said, let’s get it started!

I talk about Bountiful Baskets a lot. I can’t say enough good things about this great non-profit food co-op. It provides a basket full of fresh fruits and veggies, bought as locally as possible and usually worth about $50, for a contribution of $15. It’s run completely by volunteers, and has pick-up sites all over the US. Many sites also offer extras like organic baskets, homemade bread, granola, and extra themed veggie or fruit packs. This week, my area’s site has Tropical Granola (with macadamia nuts, coconut, papaya, and pineapple), an Asian-themed Veggie Lovers’ pack, organic 9 grain bread, organic blueberries, small brown lentils, organic multigrain bread with Omega-3, and white corn. The extras cost more and come in bulk (the bread provides 5 1lb loaves, and the lentils are 25lbs, for example) but boy is it worth it! The sourdough bread tastes like the loaves I got from the farmer’s market in San Francisco, and the bread is unsliced, so we made lots of cheesy garlic toast with it.

I recommend this organization to everyone – I absolutely can’t get over the value. The produce you get in the standard basket each week is always a surprise, but I like it that way. It encourages us to go outside of our routine and find or think of new recipes to try, and I love getting surprised with the occasional pineapple or bundle of asparagus. Who doesn’t like surprise asparagus? Here I have a recipe for you that we came up with to get rid of our extra yellow squash and zucchini, toddler-approved as always!:

Southwestern Garden Chicken

• 1 package of skinless boneless chicken tenders

• 1 can of Rotel

• 1 1/2 cups of cheese or Velveeta

• 2 medium sized squash, we use 1 yellow and 1 zucchini

Put thawed chicken in a casserole dish, a 11×9 works fine with room to spare. Slice squash thinly and add with Rotel to the chicken. Add a pinch of salt and pepper or Tony’s Creole (we swear by Tony’s) and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Grate cheese and sprinkle generously over the chicken before returning it to the oven for 15 minutes. Goes great with brown rice.

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