another week, another giveaway – $50 kohl’s gift card

The winner of the Vitamix Giveaway was announced here, but we’re not ready to let go of our giveaway mania.  We have so much to be thankful for this year … and you all are on the list.  We so appreciate that you all read our posts, enjoy our recipes, and engage in the conversation.  Thank you!

So we’re going to keep on giving …

For the next three days, you can enter to win a $50 gift card to Kohl’s.

Kohls $50 giftcard giveaway // Dec 2-9

Maybe you need a new outfit for the office party?

Or (since we’re a real food blog) maybe you’re looking for a new stainless steel sauté pan?  Kohl’s carries Cuisinart.  Fiesta Ware.  They have cast iron.  Stainless steel.  They even have a few pieces of stoneware.

Or maybe your dreams of all handmade wooden toys for your kids Christmas are fading fast and you need to get your hands on any Batman related paraphernalia ASAP!  (They also have a few Melissa & Doug toys … but our local store just doesn’t carry that many.)

Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered.  Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

almond joyful Christmas cookies (no bake, paleo-friendly)

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It’s that time of year when it’s so  easy to be naughty. Cookies. Pies. Cakes. Candy. It’s everywhere. Sweet samples at the store. Santa shaped cookies with royal red icing at the coffee shop screaming to be eaten. We’re barely two weeks into the holiday season and, if you’re like us, starting to feel a little sausagey in our favorite jeans.

But we’re not willing to throw in the cards and see how many pounds we can gain before Christmas, just in time to resolve to lose weight in the new year.

So we challenged ourselves to create something tasty, nourishing and full of goodness.  Sweet enough that we can still indulge in the fun treats, but feel good about it while doing so.

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We landed on a no-bake paleo-friendly Almond Joy-like cookie ball that had the kids begging for more.  And as we’ve said before, if the kids like it… we know it’s good.

Almond Joyful Christmas Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

For the coconut balls:

  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 6-7 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (60 percent cacao)
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Pinch sea salt

To make coconut balls, combine all ingredients (except chopped almonds) in a food processor and pulse till combined.  If your coconut oil is solid this will take more than a few pulses (maybe 10 or 15).  Shape teaspoon-size bits of the mixture into balls, and roll them in the finely chopped almonds.  Put the almond crusted coconut balls in the fridge while you make the chocolate sauce.

For the chocolate sauce, combine all the ingredients in a double boiler and stir continuously until everything melts together and is luxuriously chocolatey.

We used a teaspoon to spoon chocolate over half of the coconut balls and then sprinkle with a little more of the chopped almonds.

One thing to note … this makes just a little too much chocolate sauce for two dozen cookies, but we like this sauce on ice cream … and at least one of the four children in our households would like to guzzle it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 🙂

Makes about 2 dozen 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls

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We are linked up:
Domestic Superhero

making memories with food

We’re guest posting a tried and true bread pudding recipe today over at Modern Alternative Mama. (Apparently, we are bread pudding crazy this week).  We’re also reminiscing about lost loved ones and using food as a touchstone during the holidays to keep their memory alive.

Kate (founder of MAM) also happens to be one of the incredible real food bloggers we’ve teamed with for our Vitamix Giveaway!  If you haven’t visited her site before, maybe this will be a good excuse.


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I remember so vividly the moment my grandmother (affectionally known as Pidge) gave me her mother’s recipe for bread pudding.  It was October, 2001.  I had broken up with a long-time boyfriend and just moved into a new apartment in Beverly Hills on Peck Drive.  As in Gregory Peck.  One of my favorite actors of all time.  (Have you seen Big Country? or To Kill a Mockingbird?  Then you probably love him, too …)

Anyway … I was on the phone with Pidge (which was not unusual as my grandmother was one of my best friends … second only to my mom … in fact, Pidge was the first person I told about my future-husband the day after I met him, but that’s another story).  Gram was an amazing woman for whom family always came first.  Her prayers were never for our success (not that she didn’t want us to succeed), but for our happiness.  And her love and devotion unwavering.

Anyway … back to October, 2001 … I’m sure I called to wallow in sadness over my recent break-up.  But a great lesson I learned from Pidge was not to wallow in sadness.  To look in front of me and see all the promise of a new day.  To find grace and keep faith that no matter what heartbreak and hardship was looming, because nothing lands on our plates that we can’t handle.

So there I was wallowing in despair … “Oh whoa is me.  I will never find love … Wah Wah Wah”

To read the rest (and to get her delicious recipe), click on over to Modern Alternative Mama …

Don’t forget to register for the Vitamix Giveaway …

And stay tuned because we’ve got at least three more pretty great giveaways planned before Christmas!

we’re giving thanks for this giveaway

A few months ago we introduced you to these ladies …

Pic for O'Mama's

Rebekah and Kaelin head up our local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Do you know about WAPF? Amazing group, promoting real food diets, traditional cooking methods and conscious eating. And Kaelin and Rebekah are two pretty remarkable real food advocates …under their inspired leadership, we’ve seen the local chapter meetings nearly double in size!! Which just means more people are caring about the food we eat. More people caring about their food means more people are living consciously. And more people living consciously means the world we live in has no choice but to get better. Yay Kaelin and Rebekah for leading the charge!

To say that we were excited when they emailed us offering to sponsor a book bundle giveaway is kind of an understatement.

And then they told us the books they wanted to give away and we were so excited!!!!

You’ll see for yourselves how incredible these books are … Jeanne uses the recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon as a foundation for so much of her cooking.  Reading Kaayla Daniel’s Soy book will change the way you look at this so-called “health food.”  And it might just be because we’re geeky real food foodies, but the Milk book by Ron Schmid is just fascinating.

So we’re pretty thankful this week (which is just a lucky coincidence that it’s the week of Thanksgiving) to have such a great giveaway, from these incredible sponsors.

Do yourself (or someone you love) the favor of registering to win … seriously 🙂

Nourishing_Traditions

Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
A full-spectrum nutritional cookbook with a startling message animal fats and cholesterol are vital factors in the human diet, necessary for reproduction and normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Includes information on how to prepare grains, health benefits of bone broths and enzyme-rich lacto-fermented foods.

soy-story

The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, Kaayla Daniel, PHD
A groundbreaking expose that tells the truth about soy that scientists know but that the soy industry has tried to suppress. Soy is not a health food, does not prevent disease and has not even been proven safe. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive problems, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, even heart disease and cancer.

the-untold-story-of-milk

The Untold Story of Milk, Ron Schmid
The role of raw milk in the rise of civilization, the milk problem that led to compulsory pasteurization, the politics of the dairy industry. Revised and updated with the latest scientific studies documenting the safety and health benefits of raw milk. Raw milk is a movement whose time has come. This book will serve as a catalyst for that movement, providing consumers with the facts and inspiration they need to embrace Nature’s perfect food.

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Congratulations Krysti S! Please contact us at omamasblog@gmail.com with your mailing address so we can have Rebekah and Kaelin send your prize to you!!

my favorite (store-bought) cough syrup

It’s that time of year.  Runny noses and chesty coughs.  My kids seemed to be hanging onto a minor cold forreeeevvvveeeerrrr.

I sort of blame myself.  About a week ago we were invited to the park to play with a new friend and I hated to pass it up.  It seemed they were almost over their colds, so I figured if they were bundled up we’d be fine (it was a sunny 40 degrees). They had a ball, but we all payed the price.  Their cough flared up, and my 4 year old hardly slept a wink that night.

Jeanne has shared a lemon-ginger-honey homemade cough syrup that I think tastes as good as candy, but my kids weren’t feeling it.   We’ve used it before (and it works wonders), but like many kids (and grown-ups) they change their mind a lot!

I ran to the co-op that morning, and grabbed the most familiar children’s cough syrup they had.

It’s inexpensive.  It works.  My kids like it.  So it’s a winner in my book.

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I purchased it locally, but it’s available HERE in our Amazon store.

I don’t stress too much about colds, as it gives their little immunities a chance to get a work out.  But (because I can’t help myself) I’ve also been feeding my kids lots of bone broth (disguised in Tortilla Soup) and upping their probiotics.

Happy to report we’re on the up and up!

Abby

Disclosure: The FTC requires we let you know this post contains affiliate links. We receive a small commission on purchases you make through our Amazon store (usually 4%).  The price is the same for you, and we really appreciate it! Right now our profits are keeping this blog afloat, but we’re just waiting for the day it’ll buy us each a ranch on a few hundred acres.

happy weekend

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Yesterday was one of those beautiful crisp fall days that on reflection seems just too perfect to be a real day.  The sky was blue.  The air so clean.  Mid-November and no snow on the ground.  (There’s a snow storm blowing in tonight, so we are enjoying solid ground as much as possible.)

And like most Saturdays, we’ve got a weekly round-up of not just O’Mamas, but things we love around the web.

Our most-pinned post this week was the recipe for a Homemade Chia Pod.  It was a close tie with Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk, but that one is almost always our most pinned so it’s nice to change it up!

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Our most read post was A Night Away.  If you haven’t read it yet, the two us managed to sneak away by ourselves for an overnight getaway.  What a treat it was!

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Around the web:  Along with the rest of people who use the internet, we’re big fans of Momastery.  She’s hosting her third Holiday Hands, and if you have a little extra to give you should check it out!

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We’ve got a ton fun stuff planned the next few weeks.  New recipes and a ton of giveaways…. the most exciting being a VitaMix in early December!  To make sure don’t miss anything you can either find us on Facebook HERE or join our mailing list on the right side of the screen.

Happy Weekend!
Jeanne and Abby

maple syrup & coconut milk caramel sauce

vegan caramel

A few weeks ago I was in charge of bringing caramel apples to a kid’s birthday party.  A kid’s birthday party in which over half the kids were gluten and dairy intolerant.

So the standard caramel sauce wasn’t going to cut it.

I was in a pinch and hoped to avoid running to the grocery store.  I did a once through on the pantry and fridge and decided to try my hand at a coconut and maple syrup caramel sauce.

You guys! It was so good.  And you know how in this day and age nothing is original?  While I’m sure something similar has been done, this recipe came straight out of my head!

  • 1 full-fat can of organic coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla (optional)
  • pinch (or two) of salt

In a medium size sauce pan, pour in the maple syrup and turn the heat on medium.  Once the syrup warms up, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Continue stirring over medium heat for the next 30ish minutes.  Keep an eye on it, stirring every few minutes to keep from burning, especially towards the ends. The longer you cook it down, the thicker the consistency will be.

I ended up slicing apples and serving the caramel as a dipping sauce.
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 Shared at:
Delicious Obsessions

ways kids can help out and give back during the holidays

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The holidays can be hectic and overwhelming, filled with high hopes and even higher expectations.  And now that we are officially six days into the holiday season (if you include Halloween in the season), we are doing our best to teach the kids that this time of year isn’t about the commercial hooha that’s marketed pretty much everywhere they turn.  We want them to know that the experience is more important than the trimmings.  That showing compassion, spending quality time together and being generous with others is what makes for the happiest of holidays.  Not so easy in a world that streams advertising aimed at kids who can’t even read yet.

One of the things we know too well is that kids LOVE to help.  They do.  It makes them joyful.  Have you ever known a 2 year-old who didn’t want to put dishes into a dishwasher?  Especially the really breakable ones?  That were passed down to you from your great grandmother from the “Old Country?”

Or maybe you’ve noticed that kids (all ages) LOVE to learn new things.  Again, they do.  They are sponges who want to absorb as much information and stuff as we can throw at them.  It gives them great happiness to be the one who knows the “truth.”

We figure, if we give our kids the opportunity to help and to learn over the holidays, there is no way for them not to have a happy season. 🙂

So we’ve been looking for ways to include our kids in the holiday planning, prep and partying.  Sure, some of these things would be quicker and easier and prettier and maybe even more “perfect” without little hands helping, but who wants perfect?

Read the whole post today in our guest post for Modern Alternative Mama …

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healthy hot chocolate

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My boys woke up this morning needing to go outside.  While I do my best to get them out despite the cold, it’s not what I want to do the instant I wake up.

But one thing I’ve learned about living in cold weather is the only way to enjoy the winter is to just embrace it.  Wow, it feels weird even typing that.  This Texas gal has come a long way, folks.

What is the one universal thing everyone must do after playing in the snow? Drink hot chocolate.

My version is simple and I feel pretty good about giving my boys as much as they’d like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw milk (you can sub for your milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon organic dark coco powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grade B maple syrup

Mix all ingredients in small pot and warm over medium heat until you reach desired temperature.  You can use more or less coco or maple syrup depending on your preference.

This made just enough for my boys to share.  It’s a thrill as a mom to feed them fun treats that aren’t bad for their bodies!

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We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop: Real Food Wednesday
The Domestic Superhero