Swag Bags and Taste of Seattle at IFBC 2013

After the first workshops ended today, conference attendees were spoiled. Did I say spoiled? Let me repeat, spoiled! We grabbed a conference bag and a complimentary Bob’s Red Mill bag and filled our bags until awesomeness treats spilled out.

After we finished our “trip to the candy store” we proceeded across the hallway to the tasting event of the conference. I sampled my way to a full belly and enjoyed food from W Seattle, The Hunt Club, and Poquitos.

Amazon.com Grocery Live Food Blogging IFBC 2013

These are the yummy treats that were given to us in a sturdy brown paper bag, fittingly called a “swag” bag.

I’m at the 2013 IFBC in Seattle and we’ve been challenged with blogging while various food brands present GMO- and gluten-free foods. All healthy stuff.

The Amazon.com Grocery brands are pitching their treats to us and the overwhelming theme is “real ingredients” and “foods that you’ll be proud to serve to your families.”

IFBC food bloggers are live tasting:

The event kicked off with a tasty summer strawberry candy strip tasting from Original Fruit Leather, @StretchIsland, which will help me meet the daily requirements for fruit.

I devoured a chewy and heavenly chocolaty truffle from Lindt, @Lindt_Chocolate.

Annie’s Homegrown, @annieshomegrown, pitched their organic bunny fruit snacks. It’s very low in sugar, ideal for your young ones.

I can’t wait to use the ground cinnamon from Sahale, @SahaleSnacks, who also produces food locally.

The bumblebar from JunoBar, @bumblebar, is certified organic, gluten free, and dairy free, and in an interesting package. This company is proudly non-GMO and family owned and operated in the sate of Washington.

I have never tried Brookside, @brookside_choc, chocolate until today. It is based in B.C. Canada and distributed and owned by The Hershey Company. I love the paring of dark chocolate acai with blueberry, it’s perfectly sweet. The chocolate used to make the products are not certified and will not be before 2016.

I sampled Dragon Fruit from Navitas Naturals, @NavitasNaturals, very textured and tastes natural. It’s delicious and high in magnesium. Navitas Naturals foods are certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and raw.

We sampled Manuka Doctor Bio Active Manuka Honey, @manukadr. It’s very sweet and comes from a native New Zealand plant, manuka. The honey is collected responsibly. I am going to use this in my teas (the honey should be added to warm, room temp, or cold liquids) and smoothies. However, you can use it topically for healing. The shelf life is long, store in your pantry.

We have an afternoon “pick me up” in our bag, Happy Squeeze—Fruit & Veggie Twist, from Happy Family, @HappySuperFoods, who started off providing pureed baby food and have expanded their line to toddlers and even adults. This is a great product for runners and athletes. Happy Family foods are certified organic and BPA-free packaging. Happy Family donates a portion of their profits to fight hunger.

YumEarth Organics Fruit Snacks has everything for the sensitive stomach and snobbish palette, real foods all the way. YumEarth, @YumEarth, foods are certified organic, gluten free, fat free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, and no artificial dyes. I highly suggest any parent (or non-parent) get some of these low-sugar and calorie packs from YumEarth—they are very gummy and 100 percent vitamin C!

Another chocolate bar we are sampling is the Scharffen Berger, @scharffenberger, also owned by The Hershey Company. This is a good piece of dark chocolate for all of you chocolate lovers. And the wonderful thing for those of us who are very conscious about where food is sourced from, Scharffen Berger produces chocolate in a limited supply to ensure that the beans are reserved in supply and reproduced.

I have a refreshing beverage from Zico Coconut Water, @Zico. I’m holding off on drinking it because I want to save it for later. Zico is zero fat and zero added sugar.

Drink Chia, @drinkchia, was created by a young woman who was training for a marathon who was looking for a nutritious drink to help her replenish her nutrients. She created it in her kitchen and after she saw her kids drinking her homemade drink, she decided to take it to the market. The creators want you to “shake it baby” and have fun.

Lots of wonderful presentations from Amazon.com Grocery.

Summer’s Almost Over


Southern Lemonade

My grandmother made fresh lemonade. And I also make lemonade during summer—it’s my favorite summer drink. I like how refreshing lemonade can be when you are soaked in sweat and miserable on the hottest of days.

I imagine in my old age, an elderly couple sitting on a front porch waiting for the sun to set, drinking a glass of lemonade. My partner is wearing jean overalls, while I’m decked in a house dress with slippers, rocking back and forth in a wooden chair.

We are content as we reminisce of yesterday when we were in better health. We are laughing, smiling, and napping occasionally, all while the sun slips away and summertime passes.

Mango and Corn Salsa

Mango and Sweet Corn Salsa

Mango and Sweet Corn Salsa

I have extreme episodic cravings. Sometimes it’s produce and other times, it’s sweets or meat!

A few months ago, I was into mango. My neighbor gave me some from her mango tree, and after three days of being on my countertop, the mangos were soft and ripe.

I’ll pair anything with organic sweet corn. The mango with corn salsa is sweet, sour, and salty—balanced perfectly.

I make this differently each time, mostly because of what ingredients I have available.


  • Mango, chopped
  • Sweet corn, 1-2 cups (I use frozen, thawed)
  • Tomatoes, at least 2 chopped
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Limes, at least 3 squeezed
  • Cilantro, not sure how much I used, but more likely a third of a
  • Salt, to taste


Mix it all together!

Must Eat Breakfast

A usual first stop for me while I am driving from Tennessee to parts unknown is Cracker Barrel. This country, home style restaurant is everywhere off of I-75. I love the pancakes with the warm maple syrup in a bottle. And I always buy candy such as Fruit Stripes from their country store, treats I haven’t seen in years!

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel