Saturday, November 14, 2009

Product and Site Review: SproutBaby.com, Bye Bye Bugs Organic Insect Repellent, and $2,500 Giveaway!


Aside from being a green, organic mom, I'm also a HUGE fan of the Food Network.  So, imagine my delight in finding out that celebrity chef Tyler Florence is the mastermind behind Sprout Foods organic baby food!



I've been  HUGE fan of Tyler Florence for years!  His "Food 9-1-1" show was one of my favorites.   The man knows food ;)  I remembered seeing these unique pouches in the baby aisle at our local Publix grocery store, but that was long after Green Organic Girl was finished with her last jar of puree.  But I am so glad to see more and more organic baby food offerings coming available, and I had no idea that Tyler Florence was the chef and organic dad behind Sprout Foods.

Sprout Foods can be found online, from the fabulous website, SproutBaby.com. They offer a huge array of products, from diapering, to kid care, to mom care!  We got to try out a fantastic organic insect repellent, called "Bye Bye Bugs", made by the Bye Bye Shop.  Living in South Florida means that we spend a lot of time outside.  And waiting just outside are plenty of mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other biting pests.  The weather was lovely last night, and we enjoyed it, while grilling in the back yard.  Before we head out, we always spritz ourselves with some kind of bug spray.  We, of course, avoid DEET at all costs, and we're glad to see more natural products available.  Lately, we've been using Jason "Quit Bugging Me" natural insect repellent spray.  It is all natural, and it works, but the smell is a bit unpleasant and strong, though it does go away.  However, it appears that we've found a new favorite, in the "Bye Bye Bugs" that SproutBaby.com sent us.  This organic insect repellent is a lovely smelling blend of red thyme, lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint essential oils.  It comes in a very convenient spray bottle, and just a light spritzing is all it takes to keep the nastiest mosquitoes and biting bugs away.  It goes on very easily, and doesn't leave a greasy film.  I even spritzed a little on my hand, and patted it on my face, and my makeup didn't smear.  We love this stuff!  I can vouch that it really does work, as we had the unfortunate incident of our grill running out of propane.  Hubby had to come outside and unhook the tank, and make a quick Home Depot run to get it exchanged.  When he returned, it was much darker outside, and as hubby wasn't wearing any spray, he got bitten numerous times.  Green Organic Girl and I were outside for over an hour after dark, and we weren't bitten once :)

Bye Bye Shop makes a few other products, including the very cutely named "Bye Bye Monsters" spray; a blend of relaxing essential oils for scared children to use at bedtime, to spray around their beds, to ward off scary monsters.  We don't have a problem with scary monsters, but I would love to try out the "Bye Bye Germs" spray, which is an alcohol-free blend of eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and tea tree essential oils, for disinfecting.  I'm totally against conventional hand sanitizers -- I'm a firm believer that they do more harm than good; killing off your own body's natural defenses, and potentially creating "super bugs", by weakening, but not killing, harmful bacteria.  "Bye Bye Bugs", however, is one all-natural sanitizer I would welcome into my home (and in the car, and in my purse) :)

We'd also like to wish SproutBaby.com a Happy First Birthday!  To celebrate, SproutBaby.com is giving away $2,500.00!!  Every purchase made between October 15, 2009 and December 15, 2009 is an automatic entry in the giveaway.  Entries can also be made without a purchase.  Click on the picture below for more details :)



Please keep up the great work, SproutBaby.com! :)


Images above of Sprout Foods, Tyler Florence & Baby, Bye Bye Shop products, and $2500 giveaway courtesy of SproutBaby.com.
One bottle of "Bye Bye Bugs" spray was provided for free for review.

No promotional consideration was paid for this post.

Creamy Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Seafood Pasta Alfredo

I'm having a grand time, experimenting with the vegetarian food supplement, nutritional yeast, which I first posted about here.  I'm discovering all sorts of uses for this amazing, vitamin-B-packed, all-natural product, that adds an amazingly cheesy and nutty flavor to foods, all without the dairy.

Green Organic Girl loves shrimp and pasta, and tonight's dinner adventure was an attempt at a creamy Alfredo-like pasta, with shrimp, scallops, and asparagus -- minus the traditional cream, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, to accommodate my milk allergy.  The experiment was a success!!  I'm also happy to report that it was super easy to make -- requiring not much more effort than the traditional recipe.  Here is my dairy-free, and egg-free version, using organic fusili pasta:

1 lb dry pasta
1 lb fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut in one inch pieces
1/2 lb frozen, cooked, peeled shrimp
1/2 lb frozen scallops
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup rice flour (or substitute with all-purpose flour)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2/3 cup almond milk (or any unsweetened soy or nut milk)
1 tbsp vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)

Cook one pound of your favorite pasta in salted, boiling water, according to package directions, to al dente doneness.

While pasta is cooking, thaw the shrimp and scallops in a colander under cool running water.

 In a dutch oven, sautee the garlic and asparagus in extra virgin olive oil on medium heat.

In a small bowl, blend together the nutritional yeast, rice flour, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.  Stir in the almond milk to form a slurry.  Set aside.

Drain the shrimp and scallops well, and toss with the garlic and asparagus.  Turn the heat down to medium-low.  Add the yeast and almond milk mixture, stirring constantly, as the sauce will thicken quickly.  Cook for about two minutes.  Drain the pasta well, and toss with the sauce.  Cook for another minute, and serve immediately.

This dish was a hit with my cheese-loving hubby and daughter.  I'm very happy to have found a way to incorporate creamy pasta dishes back onto our menu, while keeping them dairy-free :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Have a Green Christmas: Recycle Used/Broken Christmas Lights at The Home Depot and Save $3 Off New LEDs!



Happy Veterans' Day everyone!   We'll always remember those who made sacrifices for us.

We're enjoying a family day together, and soon we'll be heading off to The Home Depot.  While it doesn't snow in the Florida Keys, we still love to decorate for the holidays.  Nevertheless, no matter where you live, there's always the problem with broken strings of lights.  We have a couple sets that have just completely given out.  This year, The Home Depot this year is offering a special recycling program for used and broken strings of Christmas lights!  Until November 15th, they're also offering a $3 off coupon when you recycle your old lights, and purchase a new set of eco-friendly, low-power, long-lasting LED Christmas lights!   Perfect timing, as our old lights have reached the end of their useful life.

We're big fans of LED lighting in this house, as they are super-bright, they stay cool, and use so little power.  Hubby is a wedding DJ, and has proudly phased out all of his old conventional stage and show lighting, and incorporated all the latest and greatest in DJ LED technology.  He puts on a fabulous show, and never has to worry about tripping circuit breakers at the hotels and parties he attends, as the whole rig uses so little power.   He also doesn't have to sit around after a gig, waiting for his light rig to cool anymore.  LEDs stay cool, from their low power consumption, so hubby can just pack up and go.  We use LED flashlights for emergencies, and we'd love to eventually phase out our CFL bulbs, which are already more energy-efficient, for LED bulbs, in our light fixtures around the home.  We're very happy that we'll be able to incorporate some more energy-efficient lighting this holiday season, and that our old lights are going to be recycled and disposed of in a responsible way.

So, hurry and dig out those old lights before this coming Sunday, November 15th, and enjoy a Green Christmas ;)





Christmas Light Trade-In image courtesy of HomeDepot.com.
No promotional consideration was paid for this post.

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