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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Island’s Miracle Premium Aromatherapy Gift Kit

 

A little while ago, I told you about an awesome Essential Oil Diffuser from Island’s Miracle, and this time I’m here to share with you Island’s Miracle’s Essential Oil Aromatherapy Gift Collection. It’s the perfect companion for Island’s Miracle Diffuser. And together these are potent aromatherapy powerhouse that, with today’s streses and strains should be in everyone’s home, like, yesterday!

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There are 10 different essential oils in this fabulous gift set,¬†Frankincense, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Tea tree (Melaleuca), Patchouli, Rosemary, and Silver Fir. These are pure, undiluted oils, not loaded with fillers, additives, or “carrier oils” (cheaper oils that dilute the essence of the scented essential oils but themselves provide no scent). And the testing Island’s Miracle uses is bananas!¬†Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, FTIR Scan (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), Microbial Testing, and Organoleptic Testing… Holy moley! If only our food supply was tested that well in this country! All of them are therapeutic grade and ultra-premium. The gift box they come in even includes information on what effect you can expect to derive from the oil, country of origin, and scent family to expect. And lest you think you’re getting some sample-size collection here, all ten bottles are a generous 10ml size.

And all this for a very reasonable $35.95 with free Prime 2-day shipping. Coupled with their fantastic diffuser, and with the holidays right around the corner, you’ve got a gift that will keep on giving the entire year! This is a good set from a real company that puts a great deal of thought and care into their products and I’m happy to help them spread the word about their goods. I love my set and I know a few people who can expect an Island’s Miracle gift set under their tree soon!

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Connect with Island’s Miracle:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Island’s Miracle. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

HouseParty: Mixing it up with Mezzetta Party #MezzettaMixer

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Mezzetta has been a brand we have used in our home for decades. From the roasted peppers that go great on a pizza, blended to add to a sauce to the Peperoncini that I slice up for sandwiches or eat whole with a salad. I have started baking our own breads because finding a bread with “friendly ingredients” is possible but at a hefty price point. I don’t believe you should pay more when you want less chemicals! When HouseParty announced they had openings for a Mezzetta Party, you bet I signed up.

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Mezzetta Party Kit contained:

  • (1) Apron with a cute Mezzetta logo that has an Olive and finally an apron with 2 large pockets. Those that give you one pocket don’t realize that I have 2 hands and usually I act like I have three by grabbing more utensils that I can hold.
  • (1) Visa Card for the Host to purchase products/ingredients for the event.
  • (1) One of the cutest Slotted Spoon that is perfect for draining the brine/liquid but still getting the olive and/or pepper you seek. No need to attempt to “harpoon” a pepper with a fork or pretend I can balance an olive out of a jar like Houdini.
  • (16) Coupon Booklets that included Mezzetta inspired recipes.
  • (16) Reusable Mezzetta branded Tote Bags that were very welcomed by my guests, due to the new state law, which will make California the first state to pass a state wide law of banning shopping bags.

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I have been doing really good with puff pastry and just like that, you can make the dishes savory or sweet. Easy to use and a great way to showcase what is in season. I found the most beautiful baby heirloom tomatoes, so they were a must mixed with a ricotta and Mezzetta’s Sun Dried Tomatoes “bedding” for them to rest on. I allowed guests to make their own dish by pre-chopping veggies they could add to their tart. Easy and almost mess free (well, bunching up the used parchment paper can be labor intensive ūüôā ).

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Combined with an Italian braised pork that I used Mezzetta’s Sweet Cherry Peppers and also paired with fresh Italian (Cubanelle) Green peppers, and doused in Pinot Grigio wine. You simply brown the seasoned pork first, brown the veggies and then add the peppers with a nice healthy wine bath. I add a bouquet of Lavender and Herbs, and just stick in the oven (covered in a braiser) at 350 degrees for a couple hours. Easy and tastes like you took all day to make when it was the oven that did all the work. I also love the all in one pot cooking method!

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The Olive bread was a cinch too. I use my “lazy girl” method, which can be used with any combination of Mezzetta’s Olives and most of their peppers.

Mezzetta’s Olive Blend Bread:

  • 1 3/4 cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 to 3/4 of warm water (105 degrees)
  • Olive Oil to baste bowl and bread

I put the above in my mixer (with dough hook) and make a well with the flour. I add the yeast and the warm water and allow it to “bloom” (bubble a bit) for about 5 to 8 minutes. I add my salt and then mix. If it needs more water to allow for a dough that is supple, I add by the teaspoon. I knead (well, the mixer does it) for about 7 to 10 minutes. I then get a bowl and add some Olive Oil to allow the bread to proof in the oven (105 degrees) for an hour (cover lightly with plastic wrap). Once the dough is proofed, I then put it in the fridge (do not punch the dough down).

I used about 1/2 a cup of mixed Mezzetta Olives, you can use peppers of your liking as long as the seeds are removed and they are chopped. Same goes for the olives, no stones or anything. Once I chopped what I want, I then take the dough out and start kneading my ingredients in. I sometimes add cheeses and a mix of dry and fresh herbs. Try to not over knead when incorporating your olives/pepper mixes. This can produce a rough dough. I will then shape the loaf into a desired shape and I then put the dough on a baking stone (a pan is fine with parchment or at least oiled to reduce sticking). Cover with a light towel and allow the dough to proof again for about 40 minutes to an hour. I sometimes baste mine with more Olive Oil or you use Warm Water to create a nice crust. I have sprinkled Parmesan to even Maldon (flake) Salt on mine before putting it in the oven. Add a couple slashes to allow the bread to breathe (steam escape) and bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on size/shape) or until done. Allow to completely cool before slicing! You can also make the dough ahead and leave it in the fridge for up to a week after the first proof (the dough gets a richer flavor if you at least leave it overnight in the fridge)…….told you it was a friendly
recipe ūüôā

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Mezzetta allows us to make dishes that look beautiful, taste great, but took only a few minutes to make. I like that! The less time I spend in the kitchen, the more time I can spend with Family & Friends!

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Get you Mezzetta Fix and Make it betta’ at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from HouseParty and Mezetta.  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.

Come join us and Celebrate being Orgullosa with P&G products and you won’t leave hungry too!

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Have I told you yet how much I love being part of the Orgullosa family? Well, in the past I have thrown several parties for VocalPoint, which is part of the Procter & Gamble group. Orgullosa is also a division of that group and it’s about having pride in our family and heritage. You celebrate by sharing P&G products and hosting an event. These gatherings are always a hit and I usually gather a group of friends and start making memories. At this event, I received several new products and some old favorites to share.

The kit included such brands like Olay, Secret, Crest, Downy, Always, Tampax, Covergirl and Tide.

You get samples and coupons to share with guests, along with trinkets like a folding (compact) mirror and even a fashionable bracelet.

I tried the items out before sharing with guests and because my event was in early May, I went with a Cinco de Mayo/Mother’s Day theme. I figure celebrating two holidays equals twice the fun!

Let’s get started…..

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Tide Pods– The idea is to only need one capsule to clean a full load. The capsule has three colors, white for the detergent, then orange and blue colored swirls for the stain remover and brightener. I first like how easy it is to use and it’s HE safe. The scent is Spring Meadow, which is light and pleasant. I like the aspect of just throwing a pod in the washer with dirty clothes and only worrying about softener. I was skeptical but must admit that my grey colored load came out clean, without any stains on any article of clothing. The clothes also did not feel stiff or stripped, like many detergents tend to be harsh on cottons and linens. This was a favorite with many guests because of the ease of use. We all dislike those heavy detergent boxes and feeling like doing laundry is close to making lab experiments, when you start adding boosters like stain remover, whiteners, brighteners…..you name it. These pods provide a guarantee clean and because the stain remover is included, if I miss a stain it really does not turn into a big deal.

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Downy Unstoppables– I have used these enhancers before and love them. What I had not tried was the “pink” colored scent, which is called Shimmer. Don’t worry, your clothes will not be full of glitter but the name refers more to the enticing smell these scent boosters create. They compliment well with the other liquid Downy softeners you purchase, so it’s not like throwing in a bottle of perfume with your wash. Think a long lasting clean scent! I love using them on bath mats, towels to bed sheets. They are very easy to use, just shake and pour into the drum, plus it’s safe for HE washers. They work so it’s hard to stop using them. I also have found other purposes for them like leaving an open packet under the sink and say bye-bye to trash smells. You can also pour some of the flat beads into a tray and keep it in the bathroom. You control how much “boost” you want and I like that because some articles of clothing, like gym clothes needs it! We also found ourselves sniffing the packet and they even encourage it in the stores, where you push on the bottles to smell them.

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Olay 2-in-1 facial cloths– I sometimes can’t wait to get home and wash my face and it’s not that I don’t like make-up, but the experience is like washing the day away. I now know I am home and ready to relax. I have been there where mascaras to lip glosses creating stains on white colored towels so these facial cloths actually save my towels. So effective that they even remove my waterproof mascara! It gets better and because this is an Olay product, it’s more than just a “wet nap” for your face. The facial cloths are formulated with pro-vitamin B5, beta-hydroxy and witch hazel. The cleanser not only washes your face effectively in a gentle manner but also tones your skin . I never break out after using the Olay 2-in-1 cloths and it’s because the leave my skin clean! Being that this is an Olay product, the girls were fanatic about it. Everyone wanted to know what Olay item P&G had included so eager that I think they did not appreciate me leaving this one to the end to present.

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Always/Tampax Radiant Collection– This item is the end all to having to hide that tampon or pad. I have had those moments when I am hunting for a pen to just have a tampon pop out of my purse. Soooo not pretty! The packet included a purse that allows you to store both tampons and pads neatly. This little purse was created for this purpose so everything fits as it should, brilliant! They also included 1 Always pad, 3 liners and 2 tampons. Orgullosa events really takes care of us and this is one example on why they are so popular. You get introduced to new brands in such a fun way but also take home samples!

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Secret Clinical Strength– I have not tried the clinical formulas but we have those stressful days that do not always come from just physical exertion, but just the everyday stuff from traffic, meetings, kids, and even sometimes husbands. I name no names! We were sent the “ooh-la-la lavender” scent, which I appreciate as lavender has calming effects. I now know to sniff my underarms if the need arises :). I tried the solid and was afraid of maybe it being more powerful would mean more drying, and even a little harsher to the delicate skin in that area but I am happy to report it is not. I can describe it as having a double-guarantee. You have extra insurance if needed and if not, you will be fine. With warmer months approaching I also feel better and even safer if I sweat. I’m a girl and armpit odor is bad as it is but we are suppose to smell like flowers ūüôā

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Crest 3D White- I use(d) a brand that starts with an “A” after trying several brands years ago. I first must admit I am a whitening teeth fanatic. The whiter the better because I drink pomegranate and cranberry juices daily, which is great for my body but not kind to my teeth. I am always in “preventing mode” so I brush my teeth and then rinse with a whitening solution afterwards. I think tooth health is essential not only to how our body is feeling but also in how we look. Put on all the make-up you want but yellow tooth will ruin a look. The box on the crest 3D white states it removes up to 80% of surface stains. I notice no asterisk after but note it says, “Up to”. Okay, let’s put it to the test and I did a week and a half before the Orgullosa event. My results can easily be stated by one phrase, “I dropped the “A” brand for the Crest 3D”. I have noticed on the bottom edges where your teeth meet the gums are whiter and I feel my teeth are cleaner after brushing. The Icy Cool Mint flavor tastes a little like bubblegum but because it works, I just will flashback to my younger years when brushing. Great way to start and end your day ūüôā

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Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara– I am currently a user of this mascara because at my last Orgullosa event, they included it. Having an extra tube of mascara is always a plus and that does not mean I won’t still rave about it either. I love the brush and the wand makes application a cinch. The brush has fine bristles and in large quantities, so you get perfect separation without over-working the lashes. The formula also does not clump heavily while you apply. I always disliked getting the perfect separation of lashes but needing more mascara, that once you apply the right amount, it looks like spider legs because your lashes decided to meet and now you have 5 very thick lashes. Not with this one and I have in error paid big bucks for other brands when all along Covergirl’s Lashblast hung on a peg at my local store. I have learned that paying high prices does not mean high quality in cosmetics. Try this mascara and you will be thankful!

Not done yet……

Orgullosa included a mirror that flips open and stays open. The flip cover allows you to set it where and in the position you want without it falling. I have compacts and they are always propped against a candy dish, tissue box, whatever will hold it but not anymore. Another simple and practical idea that rarely gets used!

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We also all received bracelets with the Orgullosa trademark. Flaunt it and it comes with a beautiful quote too. I love the strength they encourage us to have and these small rewards are very appreciated because we all need reminders….it’s what keeps us going.

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Included where also coupons to save you money. There were coupon booklets for each guest and not only for all the brands but others they Venus, Oral B, Pampers, Pantene to Charmin. We appreciate these booklets because one thing our group has in common, is making that dollar stretch. We are proud of the savings we acquire all year because they help us provide more for our families.

No party is complete without the food. Guests must be fed as this is a celebration. Orgullosa does not miss a mark and I present to you, the Orgullosa Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting! Oh, my!

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Celebrating our heritage with Carnitas that we made into mini street tacos tacos.  Guests could also make salads as they liked and I had a guest bring black beans and rice.

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Can’t have plain tacos, we need salsas and all the trimmings too. ¬†A guest made the Molca red sauce from scratch!

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Habanero and Serrano Pepper Nachos with Cotija Cheese!

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I encourage you to sign-up with Orgullosa because not only could you host parties like I do but there is more to the programs they offer. VocalPoint and Orgullosa have samples, coupons, advice, and even support! It’s one of the best decisions I ever made was to join and I think my guests agree too.
http://www.vocalpoint.com
http://www.orgullosa.com

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The above products and brands were received from Orgullosa, a division of P&G. All items were free of charge and my only obligation was to share and host an event with guests. My opinions and review are based on my experiences with the brands, which may differ from yours.

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