Category: Food and Dining

Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. {Book Review}


Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. by Katie Shelly is truly an original and exciting cookbook. The uniqueness completely drew me in. Instead of giving word for word directions, you’ll follow unique & original illustrations of each ingredient needed and of what steps to take. I love that it’s not your every day average cookbook. Not that there’s anything wrong with those but this is different and that’s good!

picture-cook-cookbook-infographics-02-581x630Improvisation, Experimentation, and Play in the Kitchen. This book completely speaks my language! Everything you need to know to create all of the dishes is included. There’s a Legend section, Basic Techniques, and Metric Conversion. The Basic techniques are great! If you have no idea how to easily mince garlic, chop an opinion, dice round things, or slice an avocado you’ll soon see how with step by step illustrations!


The recipe categories are Breakfast, Soups & Stews, Hefty Meals, Sides & Salads, Fast Snacks, Sauces & Dips, Drinks, and ends with Desserts. There are Thoughts On pages throughout as well as tips to make preparing something easier.

The Thoughts on Tacos which is one of my favorites gives an elaborate page full of ingredients you can mix and match to make you own unique recipes. Other pages like these include Omelets, Pizza, etc. The combinations certainly are fun suggestions and encourage you to try something new! The recipes are easy to read and uses a minimal amount of words.


Not just me, but my kids like this cookbook too! We’ve made Sparkle Toast, Home Fries, Hungry Enchiladas, Banana Bread & Eggplant Parmesan and each were hits with my family! We are pretty excited to try more of the recipes soon! There’s 57 total recipes.

Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. offers a fresh and fun approach to creating recipes of all kinds! The appeal is great for all ages and cooks of any level! Be prepared to have your cooking be inspired visually! Highly recommend this cookbook. It would make a great gift too!

Interested in Purchasing?  Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. is available on in hardcover ($13.13) or digital format($9.99).  Prices are subject to change.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors




If your aim this Holiday season is to surprise some one with a gift that will leave a lasting impression, why not aim for something handmade? Nielsen-Massey with their fine vanillas and flavors makes this extremely easy! I think their products would make a wonderful addition to those desserts in a jar gifts that can be thrown together fast.

When looking through the companies recipes page ideas I learned their products can be used for more than just baking but in easy to make skin care products. These thoughtful DIY gift suggestions are sure to be well appreciated by friends a loved ones!


Over the weekend, I made chocolate chip cookies per the recipe suggestion found on the companies website. Let me just say, these chocolate chip cookies may just be the best I’ve ever had. The Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla was quite present in taste and just added that extra special something.

I can’t wait to try it out this vanilla for our annual December sugar cookies and for the cake frosting I plan on making for my sons upcoming 4th birthday cake! This vanilla is certainly very high quality and smells amazing! I would recommend every kitchen pantry having a bottle on hand.
It’s very easy to make the suggested skin care product with Neilsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Sugar and I’m happy to share the recipe below. I plan on making this as soon I get a jar for it. It sounds quite delightful and it’s not too late to start making this now before Christmas gets here!

 Vanilla Body Scrub

1 cup Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 or 2 drops of an essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, etc.
Decorative, waterproof container

Mix ingredients together in a bowl.

Spoon into a decorative, waterproof container.

Wrap in decorative paper.

Instructions for use: Apply a small amount to damp skin while in shower or bath. Gently scrub skin with a soft washcloth. Rinse thoroughly.


P1160645Overall, I’m quite impressed with the pure vanilla sugar and pure vanilla extract I’ve used from this company! I would certainly recommend these and am eager to see if I can find them locally! These products can be found at numerous places online and are well worth the price for the quality you are getting!

Please visit the Nielsen-Massey website for more product information and additional recipes, including more DIY gift ideas.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

Eco at Heart Stainless Steel Drinking Straws {Review}

ecostraw3We are big smoothie and shake drinkers. So, I’m a little embarrassed on how many straws we go through on a monthly basis. I kept thinking there had to be a better solution and one that was not just good for my family but great for the environment too. Then I learned about the Eco at Heart Stainless Steel Drinking Straws. These straws have already saved us money and a bit of space from having to keep all those disposable plastic straws around in our kitchen. These are completely BPA free making them a fabulous alternative.ecostraw2

This set of five comes in pack of five which also includes a handy cleaning brush. The straws are 3/8″ wide and 8.5″ long. The wide size I really like because it makes drinking smoothies easy without any sort of strain because most straws are sometimes a little too small for such a purpose. These straws are stainless steel so I would recommend only using these for cool beverages for obvious reasons. Iced coffees are great with these straws but hot ones would probably render you getting burned. I was worried if these would make my shakes taste off but they don’t. There’s virtually no odor or odd taste. I sometimes put these in the freezer to use later to keep what I’m drinking colder longer and that works out fabulously!

I would recommend when giving these to children to use, to make sure they aren’t wiggling around too much because steel would probably hurt and could chip a tooth! That’s really the only downside I see to these straws and there’s even a word of caution on the back of the packaging that warns of this! If cleaned right after use, you shouldn’t have any issues keeping these clean and looking great. But if you don’t the handy little brush that’s included helps tremendously. These straws are dishwasher safe as well.

If you aren’t happy with the straws, the company offer a full money back guarantee. Whether you are looking for something like this for yourself or for a friend, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The pricing isn’t bad at about $15.00 for 5 straws especially if you factor in the re-usability, ease of cleaning, and the good for the environment these products and the company that’s created them is doing!

Interested in purchasing? Premium Jumbo Stainless Steel Drinking Straw 5pk from Eco at Heart  can be purchased on right now for $14.97 and is eligible for Prime shipping.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

#1 Top Quality Stainless Steel Measuring Cups By KitchenMade™ Review


Enjoying baking and cooking quite a bit, I’ve been through a number of measuring scoops and cups. The sad thing really is that I’ve been through numerous sets since I’ve been married approximately eight years! Those just wore out overtime as measurement numbers faded, handles bent, and overall the integrity just started to fail leaving each anything but attractive or useful anymore. Well, recently I was turned on to the KitchenMade Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and this set is pretty exceptional. After using these many times in my kitchen, I am quite certain these will last for a lifetime! Continue reading