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Jun 22 2015

Review: Tito’s Handmade Vodka

When it comes to mixed drinks, I prefer a vodka cranberry or vodka and 7-Up. My vodka of choice in the past was Stoli’s, but I recently had the opportunity to sample Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is made right here in the US, in Austin, Texas. More about Tito’s:

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas’ first and oldest legal distillery. It’s made in small batches in an old fashioned pot still by Tito Beveridge (actual name), a 50-something geologist, and distilled six times. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is designed to be savored by spirit connoisseurs and everyday drinkers alike. It is microdistilled in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs. This time-honored method of distillation requires more skill and effort than modern column stills, but it’s well worth it.

It is heralded by the country’s top bartenders and mixologists as one of the smoothest expressions of the spirit, and Wine Enthusiast awarded it a score of 95 Points — higher than Ketel One, Absolut, Belvedere, and Grey Goose.

Tito’s is made from 100% corn mash, so it is naturally gluten-free, which makes this girl very happy! I always store my vodka in the freezer, so I popped my bottle of Tito’s Homemade in the freezer the day I received it. I decided last night to have a vodka 7-Up while making dinner.

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This drink really hit the spot! So smooth! The only thing missing was a lime! How could I have forgotten to get a lime?

Tito’s Handmade Vodka can be found in select stores across the US. Check the Tito’s website to find the location closest to you, as they may vary based on state laws.

Have you tried Tito’s Handmade Vodka? What do you think?

*The products mentioned in this post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything. 


Jun 19 2015

Summer Salad Dressing

One of my favorite things to eat for dinner in the summer is a large salad. My large salads include plenty of ingredients, including protein, to make it a well-balanced meal. You really don’t need a recipe to make a salad, but if you want to make your own dressing from scratch, having a recipe to follow can come in handy. 

Colman’s Mustard has a line of dry powder mustard and prepared liquid mustard. The recipes below use both varieties to help season the dressing. 

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Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice to taste salt
  • ½ cup Dijon Mustard
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 2 tsp Colman’s Dry Mustard 

Directions: In a bowl, whisk the egg yolk and a tbsp of the Dijon mustard. Slowing start pouring in the oil while whisking. When it starts to thicken, add some lemon juice or water to loosen it and avoid splitting. Add the remaining Dijon and honey and the Colman’s mustard powder. Adjust seasoning and serve chilled.

Spicy Thai Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil (or any flavorless oil)
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • zest of one lime
  • 4 tbsp. Colman’s Prepared Mustard
  • 4 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce (make sure to use GF)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce (Thai Kitchen is GF)
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 fresh thai chili, finely sliced (or to taste) 

Directions: Combine ingredients and enjoy!

What is your favorite dinner salad? What is your favorite dressing?


Jun 17 2015

Review: Arbonne Protein Shake Mix

As a gluten-free runner and personal trainer, protein powders are an essential part of my refueling protocol. It is important to begin the refueling process within 30 minutes of the end of your workout, so what easier way than in a protein shake on your way home from your run or the gym? 

I have tried many different protein powders over the past several years. I have learned that many don’t work for me personally for various reasons, so I usually try to stick with soy-free, plant-based options at this point. One of the biggest complaints I hear about protein powders is how they don’t always mix well and the athlete is then left with a chunky drink to choke down. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care how good something tastes, I don’t like to chew my drinks. 

I have a friend that sells Arbonne and gave me some free samples of the Arbonne Protein Shake Mix to try. I really liked what I read about it, so I was excited to give it a try. 

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More about Arbonne from Amy:

Everything Arbonne produces is gluten free, dairy free, no GMO’s, no parabens, vegan, and 100% hypoallergenic. The protein powder itself has the most digestible protein, pea protein, out there.

Amy is an IronMan and this is one of the products that she uses daily. 

I have tried both the Chocolate and Vanilla Protein Shake Mixes and have fallen in love. I have never tasted a smoother protein shake from a powder. I didn’t feel like I was drinking anything like the products I have used in the past for this purpose and I actually look forward to drinking it after my workouts! 

Amy has graciously offered to give our readers 20% off their order. In order to receive this discount, please visit Amy’s Arbonne page and click on the “Get in Touch” button towards the top. You can also browse the products from that page. 

Have you tried any products made by Arbonne? What about the Protein Shake Mixes? 

*The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything. 



Jun 15 2015

Gluten-Free Summer Grilling Marinades

The official first day of summer falls on Father’s Day this year. Sunday is June 21st and in an effort to help celebrate dad and summer grilling, I want to share a couple of grilling marinades with you guys. One of the best things about cooking and/or grilling at home is the ability to control the ingredients. This is especially true if you make everything from scratch. 

Salmon is a huge hit in our house, even with our picky kids. Of all things, I never expected the kids to like salmon. While I normally season salmon with garlic powder, paprika, dill, sea salt and pepper, the marinade below sounds awesome and I look forward to making it later this week.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Carrington Farms Milled Flaxseeds
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots or green onion
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
 
Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together ground flaxseeds, vinegar, olive oil, water, shallots, mustard, and garlic. Pour over the Salmon. Let salmon marinate for at least 30 minutes, then grill as you normally wood.

Grilled chicken is another popular dinner item in our house. Whenever we have grilled chicken, I try to make extra so that quick meals can be prepared when time is short. I really enjoy a mixed greens salad topped with leftover grilled chicken and avocado. 

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Ingredients:
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
¾ cup soy sauce (make sure to use GF soy sauce)
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Colman’s Dry Mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh parsley
 
Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir in mustard powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use to marinate chicken before cooking as desired. The longer you marinate, the more flavor it will have.

However you choose to celebrate, take time to enjoy the time spent with friends and family. 


Jun 12 2015

Review: GoMacro Macrobars

When I was contacted by GoMacro to see if I was interested in reviewing their products, I was thrilled! I have tried and love several of their Macrobars, but haven’t tried them all. They are a great company with a nice, minimally processed line of bars. More about GoMacro:

GoMacro is a family-run natural food company with roots in organic farming and dedicated to making the best tasting food with the highest quality ingredients. Everything they make is 100% vegan, USDA certified organic, certified non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and made from mostly raw ingredients. “At our core, we believe that everything we put in our bodies should have a beneficial impact.”

Logo + Bars

There are now 11 different flavors:

  1. Protein Pleasure – Peanut butter chocolate chip
  2. Prolonged Power – Banana + almond butter
  3. Protein Purity – Sunflower butter + chocoate
  4. Sweet Rejuvenation – Cashew butter
  5. Wholehearted Heaven – Almond butter + carob
  6. Balanced Goodness – Granola + coconut
  7. Protein Replenishment – Peanut butter
  8. Sweet Revival – Sesame butter + dates
  9. Sunny Uplift – Cherries + berries
  10. Protein Paradise – Cashew caramel
  11. Morning Harvest – Apples + walnuts

I have now tried them all with the exception of the Sweet Revival (can’t do sesame) and I really like them all. I think my favorites are the Protein Paradise, Wholehearted Heaven and Balanced Goodness. GoMacro bars can be found in select health food stores across the US and online. GoMacro has graciously offered a one-time special 40% off discount to our readers. Simply place your order here and enter the code “BLOGGER” at checkout and you will receive the 40% off your first order. 

Make sure to keep up with GoMacro on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. They will soon be debuting a new line called “Thrive” that will offer 3 different bars with ingredients that have been selected to specifically target specific systems in the body – neurological, cardiovascular and digestive. 

Have you previously tried GoMacro bars? If so, which one is your favorite?