Our #StockUpForSummer series with Dr. Praegers continues! Last week we were cleaning out the freezer…

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and this week we are filling it with items that fit our summer lifestyles! For our family, I love to stock the freezer with summer soups, smoothies, frozen entrees {that I trust}, popsicles, pesto and cocktails. Each of these items is specific to our summer lifestyle. For our #StockUpForSummer, I spent a morning shopping, an afternoon cooking and a few minutes stocking our freezer shelves. Have I mentioned I love stocking shelves? Straight rows? Same foods? TYPE A? Or should I say Type G for should be working at a Grocery store. I digress…

thanks to Dr. Praeger’s Super Greens and Littles, we have a great supply of gluten free, organic, non GMO entree solutions too. I’m proud to say, operation #StockUpForSummer was a huge success.

Just take a look…

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from top…

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to bottom.

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And side to side.

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What exactly do we have in here? Let me show you…

{Gazpacho}

I love this summer soup and so do my girls. Trust me, I know that not all kids are going to like a summer soup. But if your kids don’t, adults do. And this is a perfect lite lunch to have on hand for those impromptu picnics, drop in guest or just too hot to cook. Pull it out the night before or morning of and it’s a perfect cold savory lunch or dinner side.

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 Recipe:

6 cups veggie juice
32 ounces of creamy tomato soup (I use Pacific)
The juice of two limes
4 cloves of garlic pressed
2 tablespoons of Italian dressing
2 cucumbers peeled and diced
2 green peppers diced
2 red peppers diced
1 sweet onion diced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
sea salt to taste

Mix it all together and refrigerate over night. Spoon into canning jars and freeze.

{PESTO}

This is a staple in our freezer and one that we replenish throughout the summer with fresh basil and garlic from the Farmers’ Market. It’s easy to melt, make into dips, toss in pasta or add a dolap into gazpacho. Mmmmmm.

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Recipe

  •  3 cups of extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
  • Juice of three limes (have four just in case)
  • 6 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 5 ounces of freshly graded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds or favorite nuts. We like to experiment with different flavors.
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (4-5 cups)
  • Sea salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the desired consistency. My girls like their pesto to have some texture. Taste as you blend to ensure a balance of salty to acid. If it’s too salty add more basil, lime and olive oil. The beauty of pesto is that it’s rustic and can be made to desired tastes, those who like bland and those who like bold. Different strokes for different folks, I say!  Fill (jars) and freeze!

 {Berry Bowls}

I don’t know about you, but at our house we are always looking for a little something sweet. These berry jars are the perfect sweet frozen treat in the summer. They make great breakfasts that my girls can make on their own by adding yogurt and granola or milk over the top. And are perfect with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice-cream on top!

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Recipe:

  • Berries washed and air dried
  • Canning Jar

This is the easiest of them all. Simply wash the berries and let them air dry. Once they are dry, fill a canning jar and pop them in the freezer.

{Popsicles}

This is one of my favorite tricks. In the summer we have smoothies for breakfast and then I take the left over smoothie in the blender and fill our frozen popsicle containers. Breakfast in the morning, snack in the afternoon. 

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Recipe:

  • Berries
  • Flax Seed
  • Spinach or Kale
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Banana
  • Coconut
  • Almond /Coconut Milk
  • Ice

There is no science to our smoothies. I love to involve the girls and get them taste testing. Trying flavors and filling their cup with fabulous healthy flavors.

{Frozen Entrees}

Typically you’ll find Dr Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers in our freezer! But since we were introduced to the “Littles”  and even though my girls aren’t littles any more, they do love any chance to dip.

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Recipe:

This recipe is rather simple. It looks a lot like this…

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For me whether it’s the California burger or Super Greens  I eat my veggie burgers  toasted and like a bun free burger on top of lettuce tossed in a light vinaigrette, sliced cherry tomatoes and a little mustard. SO easy, delicious and filling.

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{Cocktails}

I love entertaining and in the summer love the freedom to just invite people over… last minute. A batch of cocktails in the freezer allows me to serve my guests right away and to share in a cocktail with them. Without running around trying to throw something together.

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Recipe:

I’m sure you have a favorite cocktail up that pretty sleeve of yours. For this frozen favorite, all you need is your best blended beverage, pour and store. Perfect for an impromptu guest, a sip on the step or a cheers among friends while dining alfresco!

Summer. Come soon. We are ready for you.

And there you have it! Our #StockUpForSummer frozen favorites. But it doesn’t have to stop here. Please join me and @DrPraegers for this Wednesday’s #FamilyRecipe all about #StockUpForSummer AND we will be giving away coupons for free @DrPraegers product throughout the chat! So come on over, share your #StockUpForSummer ideas and enter to win some of our freezer favorites!

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Summer is just around the corner. Can you believe it? Soon my girls will be home and I can’t wait.

Lazy mornings…

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afternoons spent at the lake with a gaggle of girls…

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long bike rides…

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No more packing lunches. No more homework. Did I mention packing lunches? Let’s pause just for a moment and dream… sigh.

Okay, now back to reality. Honestly, as dreamy as thoughts of  summer can be, the reality is my children will be home and hungry. And if I’m not ready, I will be cooking, snacking and shopping for what feels like all day, every day. Back in that dreamy world, I am soft spoken, have the patience of a saint and the tone of an angel. But the reality is I’m human, and I get cranky. Yes, even The Gracious Girl gets cranky. So to keep my kids fed and me on my gracious best during the summer of 2015, I MUST have a plan.

One of my favorite ways to prepare for summer  is to stock my freezer with healthy (except for the Girl Scout cookies, I see it as part of my community service) grab and go items. So when Dr. Praeger’s contacted me about their new Super Greens Veggie Burger and partnering with #FamilyRecipe, I jumped at the chance to create an entire series. Because not only do I LOVE Dr. Praeger’s, my kids love Dr. Praeger’s AND its a regular item in my freezer. So, thanks to Dr. Pragers we are kicking off a series for #FamilyRecipe:

The Gracious Girl’s Guide to #StockUpForSummer!

Today we are just getting started! Because before we can #StockUpFor Summer we have to have plan and freezer space. Right?

Clean OUT the Freezer! A perfect weekend activity. Many times we have food that has overstayed it’s welcome. And in the spirit of “frozen” sometime we just have to, sing it with me…

“LET IT GO! LET IT GO!”

Let’s be honest. There’s a whole lot of food in there just hanging out, taking up room and will never be eaten. I cleaned out our freezer last weekend and I’m embarrassed to say what I found. Maybe Halloween candy, perhaps a half a dozen votives with melted wax stuck to the sides and bags of freezer burned veggies just begging to be put out of their misery. Wait, did I mention that there may have been a bag of sangria that melted, dripped all over the sides and bottom and then froze again? Did I know this before cleaning it out? Maybe. Have I pretended that I didn’t? Very likely.

Anyhow, much of it is gone. All clean and it feels good!

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Of course I left the Girl Scout cookies and Vodka. Priorities.

Step 2:

Gather some supplies. My list is rather simple, glass canning jars.

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I don’t like to use a lot of plastic, and my friend @MyGreenSide once suggested glass. And so I stock up on canning jars and they do the trick. Plus, I can wash and reuse them throughout the summer. There are three sizes I use in our freezer:

Wide Mouth pint

Traditional Half Pint

Wide Mouth 2 ounce

To make this series doable, I think that’s enough for this weekend. Stay tuned for #StockUpforSummer Part II on Monday when we will Fill the Freezer. And mark your calendar for this… 

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May the frozen force be with you!!! Good luck.

 

 

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#Sheaffer200 Winners!

by Mindy Lockard on April 10, 2015

And the winners…

Sheaffer Bracket

of our #Sheaffer200 bracket giveaway are:

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Round 1: @OliveTulips

Round 2: @germgina

Round 3: @PattyStable

Round 4: @CorreyHope

Please send me a DM on twitter or email mindy@mindylockard.com and I’ll get your beautiful #Sheaffer200 winning to you!

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#GameDayParty Snack Cones

by Mindy Lockard on March 31, 2015

This is kind of a big week for basketball fans. You know, a little something called THE “Final Four” …

And, while I’m a basketball fan, by marriage, I’m really a fan of any excuse to get together with friends!

So call your friends over and let’s get some #GameDayParty snacks ready.

Are you in?

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  • decorative paper
  • washi tape
  • string
  • bold and unique flavored chips and popcorn (I love Kettle Chips for this very reason)

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Step 1: Cut paper in half, making two triangles

Step 2: Twist the paper into cones

Step 3: Fasten with washi tape

Step 4: Fill with your favorite snacks and be sure to mark the flavors. As a guest may not appreciate having their mouth unexpectedly set on fire.

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Check back tomorrow for more from our #Sheaffer200 #GameDayParty ideas and join us Thursday for our twitter chat hosted by Sheaffer Pen and joined by a panel of party and basketball experts!

#Sheaffer200 #GameDayParty Promotional Image

 

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Tour of Bob’s Red Mill

by Mindy Lockard on March 24, 2015

In the spirit of today’s #FamilyRecipe

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I’d love you to join me on a behind the scenes tour of Bob’s Red Mill…

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So, cover your hair and put on those protective goggles.

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I think you’ll be impressed with not only the size of production, but the cleanliness of the facility {spotless} …

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the milling technology…

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the testing to ensure the product is safe for consumers…

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the quantity of grain produced for all over the world…

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and Bob’s musical ability

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Are you ready? Let’s go!

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