The ALL NEW Farm Fresh To You: A Fruit and Vegetable Subscription Box Service #FarmFreshToYou #Review and #Recipe

Farm Fresh

Farm Fresh To You, is not my usual subscription box that is filled with beauty related products but in some ways this one is too. Think of this Organic box as a Veggie and Fruit delight filled with food that will definitely aid in not only wellness, health, but beautifying you from the inside out. Let’s not even overlook that I absolutely love vegetables and fruit. I get excited and I’m one of those people that says, “look at that ___________, it’s gorgeous and I then start filling a produce bag like it’s going to sell out that second. ¬†I try to purchase Organic when possible, as long as the produce looks good, is not overly priced and easy accessible. I hunt everywhere and most times lose track of how big the fridge is when I’m stuffing Lacinato Kale bundles in the dairy case. I’m not a juicer and truly just love how vegetables and fruit taste like. I will purchase the unknown produce item, google it in the car, and then have plans for what I’m going to make by the time I get home. I’m a believer of not, “knocking it until you try it”, and this is when I was so fortunate in being able to try Organic produce delivered to my home by Farm Fresh To You.

This is how the Service Works:

You have boxes that fit your cooking, eating to family size to choose from. Don’t like a vegetable or fruit offering? You simply can exchange the product for another by using the allotment (amount you are spending on the box of your choice) to replace that selection. Simple! Some items are harvested in limited numbers, so I did find a few items I could not add more of but sharing is something I do well and I like that customization is available and user friendly when ordering.

You can order from the Boxes below and this is with delivery included pricing:

  • Mixed Fruit & Veggie Boxes– that range from $26 for the Small (1-2 people) to the Monster Box (6+ people) for $58.00
  • Traditional CSA Boxes– is for produce that only comes from their own farm and neighboring partner farms. You can pick a Regular Box (2-4 people) for $33 or the More Box (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • No Cooking Boxes– Options that fit the busy person and have items that are easily made or quick to grab and eat while on the go. A Small Box (1-2 people) is $26 and you have Regular Box (2-4 people) for $33 and the More Box for (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • Fruit Only– 100% fruit and you have a Small for $26, Regular for $33 and More for $46.00
  • Veggie Only Boxes– If you are Pro-Veggies 100%, you can opt for this selection. This one has two choices, the Regular Box (2-4 people) and the More (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • Organic Snack Pack– Like I said, no excuses and this service gives you the option for healthier and better tasting packs that range from $35 for the Mini and serves 5 office people, to the Large for $110 and serves 30 people.

Each area has a delivery day, so it depends which zone you fall in on what day of the week they deliver. Mine was Friday but the best part, they deliver between the hours of 8PM on Thursday and 8AM on Friday. Yup, you wake up to surprises and what a great way to end a week. You can even prep meals on the weekend to eat better and tastier next week. You can also add other items like fresh eggs, local honeys to nuts and other treats.

What did I Order:
Okay, I have to start by saying that it’s just my Husband and I (and a dog) and we eat fresh as much as possible. I rarely open a can in this house and it’s usually to do a shortcut meal when using beans or roasted tomatoes. I love to cook and I love to change my weekly meals, so eating fresh fits us nicely and it’s just hard to get off it once you eat everything with texture and flavors intact. With that said, I went for the Monster Box from the Mixed and Veggie selection. I then again have one of those moments where the pictures get the best of me and I added more to my box. I ended up with a total of $59.35 and the box retails for $58, but I got what I wanted. I did change my selection like lowering the count of Gala apples from 10 to zero and adding Honeycrisp, plus changing items so I could add Purple Bell Peppers and so on.

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When it Arrived:
I am not ashamed but I pretended I was catching up on my DVR when I was really just stalking my door. Farm Fresh To You delivered at 1:16 AM and not even a dog barked. The delivery person kindly placed two brown colored boxes by our gate and they were cold to the touch. The employees wear a bright colored vest and even the white truck’s engine was in “shhhhh mode”. If it was not for my “ninja at midnight” ways, I would have heard zilch.

My box was outside for 3 minutes. Hey, I had to first announce, “it’s here….it’s here, I’m not waiting for you (to my half asleep Husband) and I’m getting them”. It took energy and one minute longer to find my sandals because I was not stepping outside in my slipper socks ūüôā

  • Box #1- Bartlett Pears, Ruby Crescent Potatoes, Honeycrisp Apples, Nantes Carrots, Broccoli, Assorted Lettuce, Red Pomegranate, Gypsy Peppers, Black Grapes, and Hass Avocado

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  • Box #2- Valencia Oranges, D’ Anjou Pears, Baby Bok Choy, ¬†Celery, Lacinato Kale, Asian Pear, Mixed Medley of Cherry Tomatoes, Purple Bell Peppers, and Zucchini

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The four items I was eager to use from the boxes were the Medley of Cherry  tomatoes, the Purple Bell Peppers, the Gypsy Peppers and those adorable Ruby Crescent potatoes.

  • Rustic Sausage, Potatoes and Vegetables

Rustic cooking for us is cooking with what we have at hand and what comes to mind. ¬†Simplicity at its best and you measure ingredients by your mood and cravings, no rules and let the flavors shine! It’s about enjoying each ingredient and not drowning it out.

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I decided to make a nice rustic dish of peppers, onions, tomatoes and sausages.  I used an Organic Chicken based sausage that was made with Sweet Basil and Roasted Garlic.  The sausage is pre-cooked but frozen.  I cut the larger potatoes in half and left the smaller ones as-is.  Added roughly chopped Green and Red Bell peppers, white onion, Italian Cubanelle Pepper and few garlic cloves.  I tossed everything with Olive Oil, salted, added dry tarragon, blacked cracked pepper, and dry lavender.  I cooked covered on the roasting setting (425 degrees) for 20 minutes.  This is to allow the potatoes to get a head start cooking and my frozen sausage to defrost.

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After 20 minutes have lapsed, simply add the softer and more delicate peppers, like the Gypsy and Purple ones, plus the tomatoes and toss with melted butter and parsley.  Remove the defrosted sausages.  The butter and veggie mix gets added and mixed to the previous semi-cooked contents.  You toss and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.  Then add the sausages back.  I left the 2 chicken based ones whole and then sliced a (pre-cooked) pork Italian one to give the dish that added flavor.  Cook another 25 to 30 minutes uncovered, or until potatoes are tender. Two minutes before taking the dish out, I tossed the fresh Rosemary t0 give the dish a slight hint of flavor and aroma from the herb.

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I then served the dish with a little cheese on top and a nice crusty loaf of bread.

This code gives you $15 off your first box!

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Farm Fresh To You.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Sano: Vitamin C Serum+ Daily Skin Revitalizer and Vitamin C Eye Gel+ with Silk Peptides #Review #SanoSerum

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I have been wanting to incorporate Vitamin C into my skin care regimen after doing some research.  In the following weeks, I will be reviewing products that will focus around brands that deliver to your skin the maximum Vitamin C and hoping to see positive results. You can read my post on my research at- Topical Vitamin C use in Beauty Products Research and Information

My first to test and review is by a brand named Sano Naturals.  I liked from the get-go that they back-up their beauty products.  If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase and skin care experience, they will refund your entire purchase price, no questions asked.  They also include a bonus item with purchase and that is always a positive!

 

Sano Vitamin C Serum+:

On the bottle it states the product is of high potency and a Daily Skin Revitalizer. The bottle is a beautiful cobalt blue in color and the dark hue aids with preserving the product, which is rated at 20% concentration. I next looked at the ingredient list and you have an Organic Herbal Infusion, Aloe, and then Vitamin C. So far I am happy that water is not the delivery agent and other good quality binding ingredients were used along with the vitamin. The list goes on but everything is recognizable and friendly, not something I am use to in the “beauty world”. You get Hyaluronic Acid, which helps with inflammation (puffiness) and dry skin. It’s an ingredient you see for treating Eczema. Sano also uses kosher Vegetable Glycerin to Organic Jojoba oil. Jojoba has many good properties from being used as a fungicide and preventing mildew growth, to being able to deliver moisture without leaving an oily residue.

Results-

Even though most studies for Vitamin C ranged from a month to 12 weeks, I used the product for a period of 2 weeks. I eat a pretty balanced diet that is rich in greens, vegetables and fruit but I have those days that I wish I could say I ate bad, but it’s mostly that time gets in between meals and I eat late. Inconsistency happens! I noticed when I apply the Sano Vitamin C Serum+, my skin quickly absorbs it. It was so quick that my skin felt soft but with no product residue. I even tested one side of my face by applying just simple H2o and even water does not get absorbed at this rate. It usually would roll off but not this serum. So far I was happy with my first application and in not getting an oily appearance and/or feeling. I continued use and by day 4 saw what appeared as smoothness. Let me add no blemishes, pimples, blackheads or any skin occlusions. This serum is friendly when it comes to any acne suffers and even though people say mine is in the mild range, I myself is the one that deals with it so I rate it moderate at times to those moments that you get the monster bump that never comes up. My pores appear smaller just because my skin looks smoother and plumped up but in a good way! I continued use and noticed less was needed as I continued to use the product. My skin was hydrated enough that where I used 2 to 3 drops in one area, then changed to only needing one drop. The one drop then glided better when applied because my skin did experience positive changes. I don’t feel I have lost “years” when it comes to aging but I definitely look better. I look like I slept well, drank all my 8 glasses of water, and even ate well……even though that is not always the case. I was definitely happy with the results!

Retail Price Point: $18.95

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Sano Vitamin C Eye Gel+:

This is a bonus item with purchase.  You again have a cobalt blue colored jar and I love that the product comes with a safety seal that you peel, so no air or anything that can damage or eat up the Vitamin C benefits while in storage. Easy to store and even pack in an overnight bag.

Results-

I never thought a gel could deliver moisture I was happy with but this one did the trick. Being that it’s a gel, the product goes on cold and instantly starts working on my morning’s puffy eyes. The Aloe in the product is very gentle to the skin in that area and I love how my make-up glides on after. Some eye creams would roll up sometimes due to the residue left behind and I had to then try to collect these little eye cream left-overs while at the same time not messing up my make-up. Not with the Sano’s Vitamin C Eye gel+. The product is rich in Peptides to Hyaluronic Acid. Do not be fooled, this gel does moisturize but the area is left with a supple and replenished look. I had zero eye irritations and found the gel friendly to my allergy suffering eyes. A little goes a long way, I used what I could as lightly dab out of the container, maybe the size of two rice grains per eye. The instant results alone of reducing puffiness is hard to beat and I used it with the Sano Vitamin C Serum +, just to get that extra help in my problem areas. My only small con is the product coming in jar form. I prefer bottles with pumps or that have an applicator like a dropper. I’m just not a fan of dabbing into a jar due to bacteria/germs, but due to the performance of the product, it would not deter me from buying it.

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Check-out the products provided by Sano Naturals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sano Naurals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

Topical Vitamin C use in #Beauty Products Research and Information

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I have been researching and doing my homework on the effects of Vitamin C at the dermis level because even though I have tried products that contain trace amounts, I have never tried a beauty item that it’s main focus was delivering Vitamin C.

How does Vitamin C benefit our Skin:
Upon reading and even finding “home-remedies” for DIY serums to putty like creams, I decided to leave my Vitamin C manufacturing to the professionals.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a collagen builder. Collagen is a protein that helps in the growth of blood vessels, to cells (and yes, the skin kind too). Your body needs collagen to be able to rebuild and to even creating scar tissue, as this is a form of “rebuilding”. Collagen is what also gives our skin firmness and that supple look we all want due to it’s smooth looking effects. We all want to look vibrant and younger, so this where the antioxidants also play a part, something that Vitamin C contains. Antioxidants aid with everything from inflammation to neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals is what causes damage to our DNA and it’s results is aging, so may see early signs like fine lines, wrinkles, just plain old cell damage that comes from products, to the environment (oxidative damage) and sun exposure/burns. The vitamin is used for dry skin, healing wounds, helping with reduction of fine lines/wrinkles to elasticity.

The research is still limited to the total effects and benefits from Vitamin C via topical application, however I did read that the pH of our skin does effect how much we can absorb, thus benefit from the vitamin. Topical application of ascorbic acid will cross the epidermis into the underlying dermal layers, but you want the higher percentage (concentrate) to be able achieve maximum benefits.

What to look for in Vitamin C beauty products:
Like with most vitamins and my experience with Vitamin A (retinol), oxidation is a factor in deterioration of a skin product that contains Vitamin C. Just exposure to sun, air, light will start the degrading process, so look for products that come in dark colored bottles to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Many of the better products will add other antioxidant rich ingredients to boost and also slow the rate of deterioration and conserve the ascorbic acid properties.

What can you expect by using Vitamin C:
I read studies both in humans and animals. Mostly noted was a high potency of Vitamin C levels being used and in combination with other binding ingredients but the main impact came from the 5 to 10% concentrations used in those studies. This may be why a high potency level will give best results. People reported elasticity changes to reduction of fine lines/wrinkles to a supple and smoother appearance. The impact is greater in people who may not consume diets rich in Vitamin C but even those that did have such a rich diet, noticed positive changes just not as apparent as those that did not. Topical Vitamin C may also have skin lightening effects in a mild form, which are caused by reductions in melanin production and melanin oxidation.

I hope the above helps when making decisions to include Vitamin C as part of your beauty routine!

Garlic Gold: Tri-Color Quinoa Grain Vegetable Medley Salad that can be Baked too #MeatlessMonday #recipe

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This recipe is a 2-in-1, where you can make a salad or go for a a little protein kick by adding an egg and baking. Bakes in less than 15 minutes! ¬†A Great Spring dish and perfect for our latest California’s weather where it is hot in the day but cold at night.

Let’s begin….

1/4 cup of Tri-Color Quinoa (measure dry and pre-cook with water, with a little salt and pepper)
1/2 cup of Kale (roughly chopped)
1/3 of a cup of Broccoli
1/8 of a cup of Green Bell Pepper
1/2 a Zucchini
1 Slice of Red Onion
1 Slice of White Onion
1 tablespoon of Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (reserved for cooking phase)

Garlic Gold Nuggets to taste and you can also add a Goat Cheese crumble

Optional (if Baking)-
1 egg
Fat of your choice (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, ect.) to oil the dish
Honey Goat Cheese crumbled on top
Garlic Gold Nuggets and an Arugula toss (raw arugula with a drizzle of the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette)

I start by cooking the Quinoa and it takes about 10 minutes. If any water is left, drain and just set aside in a bowl.

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I then start chopping all the vegetables and this is roughly done because I am aiming for bite size.

Heat up a skillet and add the 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil or any fat of your choice (or even none). Start sauteing the onions and bell pepper until you get a nice golden color but keep in mind you want crunch left.

I add the saute onions and bell peppers to the bowl with the Quinoa. Using the same pan, I saute the zucchini for a little over 1 minute because again I aiming for a par-cooked texture and I want the vegetable to get color but preserve some firmness.

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The zucchini gets added to the bowl. I then add the broccoli and kale and again saute for under a minute.

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The cooking intensifies the flavors and takes the bore out of eating your vegetables ūüôā Once everything is in the bowl, I add the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette.

The Garlic Gold adds flavor and this is why we used little to no seasonings beforehand. Toss and then you can enjoy as-is, add the goat cheese and/or move on to baking.

If Baking-
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I used an oven-safe au gratin dish that fits the above contents nicely and allows the egg to have room. It’s approximately 2-cups in size. I used a Coconut Oil and a Butter blend to oil my dish and prevent the egg from sticking.

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I then add the vegetables and Quinoa mix, make sure everything is evenly spread and leveled.

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I cracked 1 egg an it’s up to you if you wish to add a little milk when whisking. Once the egg is whisked, I then simply pour it over the vegetables and add the crumbled goat cheese.

I bake the dish for 15 minutes, with the first half covered (tented with foil so it does not come in contact with the cheese) and the other half uncovered. The vegetables remain with a nice crunch and full of flavor.

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I opted to top my bake with an Arugula toss (arugula and a little dash of the Garlic Gold vinaigrette) and a dash of the Garlic Gold Nuggets. This adds flavor and you get a nice warm and cold contrast.

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This dish can be made ahead and just add the egg and bake when you are ready. You can have the salad on top of romaine lettuce with a toasted pita on the side, but it’s filling, low in calories and fat but most importantly……Garlic Gold delicious! Enjoy!’

 

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You can also make this easy dish by getting your own Garlic Gold Products at:

On-line–¬†http://garlicgold.com/

Visit Garlic Gold on Facebook–¬†https://www.facebook.com/GarlicGold

Twitter–¬†https://twitter.com/garlicgold

See the pretty Garlic Gold products and the other dishes you can create on Pinterest–¬†http://www.pinterest.com/garlicgold/

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I received the above product free of charge from Garlic Gold.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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