One Fruit You Should Buy Organic

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Strawberries recently became #1 on the Dirty Dozen list. The Environmental Working Group puts out a list annually of the top fruits and vegetables contaminated with pesticides. For the third year in a row, strawberries topped the list. In fact, 1/3 of all strawberries (non-organic) tested positive for TEN or more pesticides! One sample had 22 pesticides.

I know organic foods are more expensive. Although I care very much about what I feed my family (especially as a breast cancer survivor), I can’t afford – nor do I want – to purchase all of my food organic. However, something like berries, with all the pits and divots, contains too much pesticide for my comfort.

If you’re wondering about #2, it’s spinach. It is advised that if you purchase non-organic spinach, you should soak it in water and baking soda for 15 minutes. Then you’re good to go!

 

 

 

Fuego Bistro

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I don’t write restaurant critiques very often, but hubby took me out tonight for an early birthday date and Fuego Bistro was AMAZING!

We live in Mesa, AZ which is basically where fine restaurants come to die. After having lived in San Francisco (food mecca) for fifteen years, it’s been challenging to dine out in a city where McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King monopolize the chow real estate. We have to drive to Scottsdale or Phoenix (or Gilbert or Chandler) for decent dining. (With the exception of Dolce Vita!)

Fuego Bistro

We ate at a table near a small waterfall on the outside patio.  Lit by strands of patio lights, it was romantic. They are a self-styled “urban Latin” establishment. I ordered their seafood kabob with the Fuego house salad and green chile cornbread sides. I also had a cabernet. ALL of it was amazing. Normally, I like cornbread, but I LOVE theirs!

Willey had the chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. This is his favorite meal and Fuego’s twist on this common comfort food was adding a slightly spicy sauce over the chicken. He had a Malbec and gave it his rare sign of approval.

The service was incredible:  the host, our waitress, the water girl (seriously, I think she was 16?), all the other wait staff and bussers were super positive, energetic and attentive.

It’s obvious the owners fully appreciate the employees. Take a look at their message.

It goes to show you that if you acknowledge and applaud your human capital, you can achieve anything. They’ll love their work and do their best.

If you’re in the Phoenix area, you must check them out!

713 E. Palo Verde Drive

Phoenix, AZ  85014

602-277-1151

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m in Love…

with Vancouver!
The locals are so friendly.

We are eating well. 

We are walking everywhere.

Leaves as big as my foot.

There isn’t anything like changing your environment to jump start some inspiration.

C is for Cookie, or…

 

C is for Cooking

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking.

If it’s a lazy Saturday and I have plenty of time, I love cooking. I make a mean lasagna.

What better way to demonstrate love than to nourish people both physically and spiritually at the same time?

But after work, I’m tired. Everyone is looking at me. What’s for dinner?

I don’t know. I just want someone to rub my feet.

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10/10 – Would Recommend to a Friend

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I fought it for a long time. It seemed too expensive. I can buy my own groceries and cook dinners like that! But…I never did. I cooked the same dinners over and over again. My family and I were uninspired.

A family member (thanks Karen!) sent me a free box (includes 2 meals for 4 people). The box arrived with ultra-fresh vegetables and meats and the cutest tiny bottles of vinegars. Large recipe cards included detailed steps for cooking. My teenage daughters were intrigued and offered to help me cook (Huge benefit #1).

These boxes require actual cooking.  So if you don’t like cooking, don’t subscribe. We got busy washing produce, chopping, measuring, and mixing. Once cooked, the kitchen smelled amazing. We sat at the table with anticipation and we were not disappointed! Dinner was delicious (Benefit #2)!

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BlueApron.com

The meals are designed to minimize waste. We had no leftovers,  yet we felt satisfied. The box is cardboard, = recyclable; packaging = recyclable; the two large ice packs can be resused. But if you subscribe, you’ll quickly run out of room in your freezer should you save the ice packs. I cut the freezer bags open, dispose of the insides and recycle the plastic.

The cost is more than regular grocery shopping, but less than dining out. It’s a lot healthier than eating out so it’s a win-win in my eyes.

You can opt for a 2-person meal plan with 3 meals/box. Price/serving is $9.99 for a weekly total of $59.94.

A 4-person meal plan with 2 meals/box comes to price/serving of $8.99 for a weekly total of $71.92. you could get 4 meals/box for a price/serving of $8.99 and a weekly total of $143.84.

About the food:

  • farm-fresh, seasonal
  • meat has no hormones
  • sustainably sourced seafood
  • vegetarian preferences available

You can cancel at anytime and you can skip a week here and there with no problem (we did that when we went out of town for vacation). They also offer wine (with or without the meal plan).