Gift giving made easy with Uncorked Ventures

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More and more of us have friends that are far away these days and I find I’m often sending gift baskets long distances to celebrate weddings, birthdays, and big events. The problem with this is that you usually need to handpick the items yourself, package them in a way that looks beautiful but still ships well, and then pay huge postage fees on top of the cost of the gift itself.

Or, you could go with an Uncorked Ventures gift basket and let them do all the work for you while you accept all the thanks. With collections specifically for chocolate lovers, those who love to cook, and wine lovers, it’s easy to find that perfect set for even the hardest to buy for. 

Uncorked ventures wine gift baskets

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Who doesn’t want an Honestly Good meal in just minutes?

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Lean Cuisine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HonestlyGood #ad

Back when I had a corporate job, I brought lunch almost every single day. Some days lunch was just what I grabbed as I was running out the door, and some days it was leftovers and lovingly made lunches.

But, the days I really looked forward to were my Lean Cuisine hot lunches, which always felt like a special treat. I would find myself craving Lean Cuisine meals and would even *gasp* opt out of restaurant meals in favor of my favorite meal: Lean Cuisine Pizza

Lean Cuisine Pizza
In addition to being delicious, these Lean Cuisine lunches taught me a lot about portion control and the idea of "not hungry" vs. "stuffed". They ended up being a great tool for me back then and even on the days I ended up eating out or we ordered in, I had trained myself to stop eating when I hit the point I wasn't hungry anymore instead of eating everything I was served.

But, while my days of corporate office life are behind me now, and these days I work from home right next to a fully stocked kitchen, I feel like I need Lean Cuisine meals more than ever. Sitting next to kitchen with a full refrigerator and pantry tricks you into thinking that you will prepare gourmet lunches every afternoon and that you will be able to eat better than ever before, but that hasn’t been the case for me. Instead, I find I’m more rushed than ever with two kids, a job, and a website to run, so lunches for me almost always take a back seat.

This typically means that I skip breakfast most days, graze throughout lunch, and then am starving when dinner rolls around. Even though I’ve made an effort to make healthy choices, I haven’t eaten foods that fill me up enough or feel like a meal. This means I tend to snack in the afternoon and eat more at dinner, which takes a toll after a working at home for 5 years now.

When I heard about the Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals debuting this year, I decided I needed to make Lean Cuisine part of my weekly meal plan again. With gourmet choices such as Plum Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish and Pomegranate Chicken, I knew I had found a great solution for enjoying a hot lunch in my busy day.

Honestly Good at Target

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Udi’s gluten free foods for morning, noon, and night {review}

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Udis selection
are you know someone who has gone gluten free, whether it is celiac disease or simply because they feel better without gluten in their diet. My mom and aunt went gluten free back in 2010 and since that time I have met more people than I can count who also made the switch.

For this reason, I always try and keep some gluten free foods on hand when I know I might be entertaining guests with dietary concerns and I always choose Udi's Bakery. With so many gluten free selections ranging from breads and rolls to pizza and tortillas as well as desserts and cookies, Udi's really does have most of the foods I normally serve as well as some decadent treats that we all love.

For instance, this jelly toast, which was supposed to be gluten free peanut butter and jelly toast until someone omitted the PB. Hello, dessert.

Welch's jelly on toast

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Roasted corn appetizer with manchego cheese and lime recipe

Roasted corn with lime and manchego cheese appetizerA few weeks ago, my cousin took me to one of her favorite Seattle restaurants, Señor Moose in Ballard, to try a corn dish that she adored. The description said roasted corn and epazote with cream, and I had a hard time imagining how that would taste, but I decided to trust her and take a chance. I’m glad that I did, because one bite of their famous Esquites appetizer, and I was sold. 

I'm not normally one who likes creamy flavors mixed with citrus, but somehow in the Esquites, it just all blended together perfectly with the sweetness of the corn and the hint of spice. And, even though it's been weeks since I tasted it, I still dream about how delicious it was.

We’ve been playing around with creating a similar recipe here at home by looking up other fresh corn recipes now that our neighbors bring us ears of corn each week. We came up with our own version of the corn appetizer that uses manchego cheese instead of epazote and doesn’t have a cream base and wanted to share it so you can try it with all the fresh corn of the seaon. It’s not as amazing as what's at Señor Moose’s, but I must admit it’s pretty darn good.

Interested in trying it out? Let's get started:

What you need

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