Archive for the 'Food and Cooking' Category

Proportions – Custom Nutrition for Your Dog *Review*

If you have a dog in your home, chances are you treat them as one of the family. You might be helping yourself and your family to eat a better diet by reducing carbs, starches and fried foods and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables. You can make the same healthy choices for your furry family member!

Proportions offers a whole food nutrition program for your dog. Their whole food meals contain balanced portions of Hearty Stew, Harvest Fruit and Vegetable Mix, and a reduced portion of the highest quality kibble.

Why feed whole food?
• More even, consistent level of energy, rather than a carb/sugar high followed by a crash
• More lean muscle mass; reduced body fat
• Gleaming skin and coat
• Less body odor/dog smell
• Reduces the pro-inflammatory insulin surge associated with high carb diets

The Proportions philosophy:

  • We believe . . . that the same kind of common sense we use to feed our families should guide how we feed our dogs.
  • We believe . . . that quality kibble can be a source of energy and nutrition, but shouldn’t be your dog’s sole source of nutrition.
  • We believe . . . that dogs do better when their diet includes whole foods similar to what they evolved on – minimally processed, human-grade meat for protein.
  • We believe . . . that the phytonutrients, enzymes, and other nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables enhance canine diets far more than spraying synthetic vitamins and minerals on kibble.

.

Proportions customizes your dog’s meals according to the seven key factors a canine nutritionist would review. The Proportions website features an easy to use calculator that determines the daily caloric requirements for your dog.  This enables them to customize your dog’s portions in proportion to your dog’s size, age, body mass, and energy level.

Each meal you receive from Proportions is custom-made just for your dog and has only the calories your dog needs to stay healthy and fit. Rather than buying a large bag of dog food that may go bad before you get to the bottom of it, Proportion’s meals are individually portioned and wrapped to naturally preserve freshness and labeled with your dog’s name, photo and unique calorie requirements. Every four weeks, you’ll receive 28 days of custom, premeasured Proportions meals delivered right to your door and labeled with your dog’s name and photo on the package! Each week’s meals ar packaged in a special recyclable box, designed to make it easy for you to take out one individual meal at each mealtime.

I received a trial of two Proportions meals for my dog, Obi Kenobi, to try. Each meal consisted of 3 separate pouches – Crunchy Blend, Hearty Stew, and Harvest Mix.

To prepare the meal for Obi, I started with the pouch of Crunchy Blend (kibble).

The Crunchy Blend was LiveSmart Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula. It has ingredients like deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oats, dried beet pulp, whole sweet potatoes, whole carrots, whole apples, and more, including many vitamins and minerals.

I then added the pouch of Hearty Stew.

The Hearty Stew was Hand-Carved Chicken in Pumpkin Soup. Among its wholesome nutrients is boneless chicken, water, pumpkin, carrot, and pea. Right when I opened the pouch, I could smell the stew. It smelled really good, unlike any dog food I had ever smelled before. From the smell of it, I knew that Obi was going to love it.

I added the last pouch, the Harvest Mix.

The Harvest Mix is a blend of dried carrots, freeze-dried broccoli, freeze-dried spinach, freeze-dried peas, dried apples, freeze-dried blueberries, freeze-dried bananas, and other dried fruits and vegetables and extracts. When I saw that the Harvest Mix contained fruits and vegetables like broccoli and blueberries, I thought that would be the deal breaker. I didn’t expect Obi to take a liking to that. Well, I was wrong!

After adding  all the pouches to the bowl, I lightly mixed them.

The liquid from the chicken stew rehydrated the Harvest Mix. There was no need to any extra water. I placed the bowl on the floor for Obi and he immediately began chowing down on it!

The fruits and vegetables from the Harvest Mix were no problem for him!

He finished the entire bowl. For Obi, Proportions is bowl licking good!

.

You will NEVER find these in a Proportions meal:

  • Fats and proteins from unspecified “Animal” sources – if the animal isn’t named it could be anything
  • Animal by-products, such as heads, beaks, hooves or intestines – also often from unspecified animal types. These are not ingredients a dog’s body can optimally utilize
  • Fillers such as powdered cellulose and rice hulls that offer no nutritional value.
  • Chemical preservatives, including Ethoxyquin or BHA.
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • Sugars and sweeteners, which can aggravate health problems like diabetes.

.

To try a Proportions meal for your dog, visit the Proportions website and click on the Get Started button, where you can input your dog’s information into the Proportions Calculator. They will then send you a risk-free trial of two custom, premeasured Proportions meals for your dog in a recyclable package with your dog’s name and photo on the box!

When you sign up for the Proportions program, the 10-Day Starter Kit is FREE! The starter kit will help you gently incorporate Proportions into your dog’s routine over a course of 10 days – a total of 20 meals. During the 10 Day Transition period, you will transition your dog to the Proportions program in 3 stages, adding Proportions in increments.

Proportions also features a Canine Nutrition section on their website where you can go and learn many things about dog nutrition. You can learn some great information like how to read a dog food label and good and bad ingredients found in dog foods. If you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s nutrition, you can even ask an expert. The website even features a comprehensive list of AKC-certified dog breeds with their individual characteristics.

Proportions can also be found on Twitter and Facebook. And don’t forget to check out the Proportions blog!

.

.

Disclosure: I received a trial of 2 Proportions meals in exchange for my honest opinions.  I did not receive any monetary compensation. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own and different people may have different outcomes.

Good Earth *Review and Giveaway* CLOSED

I enjoy cooking meals at home for my family, but now and then it’s nice when I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal or trying to multitask with several dishes being cooked at once.

Introducing Good Earth dry dinner kits:

When dinner means tons of pots and pans and mixing or chopping for hours, sometimes dining out seems tempting. Now with new Good Earth TM dry dinner kits, you can have restaurant taste without the restaurant wait and still have a wholesome dinner.

With appetizing entrées from Good Earth, dining in is sure to become the new dining out. Enjoy cooking a sophisticated, restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home. Each variety includes vibrant and flavorful sauces along with specialty ingredients like sweet basil, white wine and dried tomatoes. Delicious dinners that allow you to keep a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste, Good Earth dry dinner kits are perfect for whipping up a no-fail, five-star cuisine in less than 30 minutes.

100% whole grain, no trans fat, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no MSG – just add meat and, voilà! Dinner is served.

Coming to stores this June, Good Earth dry dinner kits offer a selection of four delectable meals: Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta, Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp with angel hair pasta, Herb Crusted Chicken with mushroom risotto and Tuscan Chicken with penne pasta.

.

Thanks to MyBlogSpark, I received a Good Earth gift pack that included a Good Earth Mediterranean Chicken dry dinner kit, two sets of bamboo flatware, two bamboo dishes, a bamboo utility board and a 100% recyclable grocery tote.

The bamboo items included in this gift pack are of great quality. They also come in real handy for preparing and serving the dry dinner kit.

The reusable grocery bag is a very generous size and I am going to love using it when do our shopping!

The Good Earth Mediterranean Chicken dry dinner kit was so easy to make and was delicious! It really did taste like something I could order from a restaurant. It only took about 20 minutes to make! Included in the dinner kit is 100% whole grain angel hair pasta, creamy sauce with olive oil, Mediterranean seasoning with tomatoes, and seasoned whole wheat flour. All I had to add was chicken, a little olive oil to cook the chicken in, hot water and a little milk. The directions where so easy to follow. I really like that the box also featured chef-inspired tips like substituting the chicken with pork tenderloin or stirring in fresh asparagus pieces or artichoke hearts near the end of cooking. I loved the seasoned whole wheat flour. With the chicken breaded in the flour, it smelled so wonderful as it was cooking and tasted just as wonderful! It was a great healthy meal that my family loved!

.

.

Win it:

1 lucky reader will win a Good Earth gift pack like the one I received. The gift pack includes:

  • Good Earth Mediterranean Chicken dry dinner kit
  • Two sets of bamboo flatware
  • Two bamboo dishes
  • Bamboo utility board
  • 100% recyclable grocery tote
.

To Enter:

Main (MANDATORY) entry: Leave a comment here mentioning which new flavor of Good Earth dry dinner kit you would like to try.

(There are 4 flavors: Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta, Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp with angel hair pasta, Herb Crusted Chicken with mushroom risotto, and Tuscan Chicken with penne pasta)

If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it most likely got sent to moderation. If this happens, I will approve your comment asap.

.
Extra Entries: (must do main entry above first.)

1 entry: Subscribe to my blog by email or by reader. See right sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you subscribe.

1 entry: Follow this blog on Networked Blogs. See right sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you follow and include your name.

1 entry: Follow me on Twitter.  See right sidebar. Leave a comment and include your Twitter ID.

1 DAILY entry: Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment and include a link to your tweet. Feel free to copy and paste the following:

#Win a Good Earth gift pack – dinner kit, bamboo items & tote  http://wp.me/pWep5-1M  #giveaway ends 6/25

3 entries: Add my NEW button to your blog (see right sidebar for code) or add my blog to your blogroll. Leave 3 comments and include your link in at least one of them.

5 entries: Mention this giveaway on your blog/site. Leave 5 comments and include your link in at least one of them.

.

Giveaway ends June 25, 2010 at 11:59PM CST. Open to US residents. I will select a winner using Random.org and announce the winner the following day. Winner will also be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply. Any comments that do not follow the rules are ineligible to win. Good luck!

.

.

Disclosure: I received a Good Earth gift pack in exchange for my honest opinions. The gift pack, information, and additional gift pack for giveaway were provided by Good Earth and MyBlogSpark. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, and different people may have different outcomes.

Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised and Updated *Review*

I enjoy cooking and love it when I discover new recipes. I like recipes that are easy to follow and result in a great tasting dish. I have a slow cooker and love using it! It is so nice when one is able to prepare the ingredients and cook them in the slow cooker without standing over the stove or oven watching and waiting.

Fix-It and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised and Updated by Phyllis Pellman Good is a fabulous cookbook full of 700 wonderful slow cooker recipes and information. This revised and updated version has some great content like:

  1. Brand New: 100 new recipes for slow cookers.
  2. Brand New: “Prep Time,” “Cooking Time,” and “Ideal Slow-Cooker Size” are included for each recipe.
  3. Brand New: 4 pages of basic and very helpful “Extra Information”:
    • “Substitute Ingredients for When You’re in a Pinch”
    • “Equivalent Measurements”
    • “Kitchen Tools and Equipment You May Have Overlooked”
    • “Assumptions about Ingredients in Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, Revised and Updated
  4. Brand New: 1 page of “Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker: a Friendly, Year-Round Appliance.”
  5. Brand New: Additional tips and tricks for making the most of your slow cooker, spread throughout the book.
  6. Brand New: A second color — a rich purple — for recipe titles, contributors’ names and addresses, the words “Tip” and “Variation,” and the numbered instruction steps.
  7. Brand New: The drawings on the opening pages of chapters and the spot illustrations throughout.
  8. Brand New: 1 page of tip-in color, right inside the front cover.
  9. Brand New: 2 pages of review excerpts to position the original book’s success, immediately following the tip-in page of color.
  10. Revised: An improved Index!
  11. Revised: A personal Introduction to the book by author Phyllis Pellman Good.
  12. Revised: Good’s personal comments and voice throughout the recipes.

All the recipes contained in this cookbook come from households across the country. It’s great to see so many great cooks out that have shared their loved recipes. There are recipes for appetizers, snacks and spreads; breakfast foods; breads; soups, stews and chilis; main dishes using beef, pork, pasta, chicken, turkey, seafood, beans, and meatless main dishes; vegetables; desserts; and even beverages.  The “Prep Time,” “Cooking Time,” and “Ideal Slow-Cooker Size” inclusions are a great feature. This makes it so much easier to decide when I should start on a recipe, how long it will take and if it is more sensible to use my large or small slow cooker. I also like the added helpful information such as the substitute ingredients. I sometimes come across a great looking recipe I would love to fix and get disappointed when I discover that I don’t have a particular ingredient.

Here is an excerpt that I think many of you would enjoy:

Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker: A Friendly Year-Round Appliance
by Phyllis Pellman Good,
Author of Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised & Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes

1. What to buy

  • A good standard size for a household of four is a 4-quart slow cooker. If you often cook for more, or you like to prepare sizable roasts, turkey breasts, or chicken legs and thighs, you’ll want a 6-quart cooker.For parties or buffets a 1½ to 2-quart size works well for dips and snacks.
  • Cookers which allow you to program “On,” the length of the cooking time, and “Off,” are convenient. If your model doesn’t include that feature, you might want to get a digital appliance timer, which gives you that option. Make sure the timer is adequate for the electrical flow that your cooker demands.
  • A baking insert, a cooking rack, a temperature probe, and an insulated carrying tote are all useful additions offered with some models. Or you can buy some of them separately by going to the manufacturers’ websites.

2. Learn to know your slow cooker

  • Some newer slow cookers cook at a very high temperature. You can check the temperature of your slow cooker this way:
    1. Place 2 quarts of water in your slow cooker.
    2. Cover. Heat on Low 8 hours.
    3. Lift the lid. Immediately check the water temp with an accurate thermometer.
    4. The temperature of the water should be 185°F. If the temperature is higher, foods may overcook and you should reduce the overall cooking time. If the temperature is lower, your foods will probably not reach a safe temperature quickly enough, and the cooker should be discarded.

3. Maximizing what a slow cooker does best

  • Slow cookers tend to work best when they’re ⅔ full. You many need to increase the cooking time if you’ve exceeded that amount, or reduce it if you’ve put in less than that.
  • Cut the hard veggies going into your cooker into chunks of about equal size. In other words, make your potato and carrot pieces about the same size. Then they’ll be done cooking at nearly the same time. Softer veggies, like bell peppers and zucchini, cook faster, so they don’t need to be cut as small. But again, keep them similar in size to each other so they finish together.
  • Because raw vegetables are notoriously tough customers in a slow cooker, layer them over the bottom and around the sides of the cooker, as much as possible. That puts them in more direct contact with the heat.
  • There are consequences to lifting the lid on your slow cooker while it’s cooking. To compensate for the lost heat, you should plan to add 15-20 minutes of cooking time for each time the lid was lifted off.
    On the other hand, moisture gathers in a slow cooker as it works. To allow that to cook off, or to thicken the cooking juices, take the lid off during the last half hour of cooking time.
  • Use only the amount of liquid called for in a recipe. In contrast to an oven or a stovetop, a slow cooker tends to draw juices out of food and then harbor it.
    Of course, if you sense that the food in your cooker is drying out, or browning excessively before it finishes cooking, you may want to add ½ cup of warm liquid to the cooker.
  • Important variables to remember that don’t show up in recipes:
    • The fuller your slow cooker, the longer it will take its contents to cook.
    • The more densely packed the cooker’s contents are, the longer they will take to cook.
    • The larger the chunks of meat or vegetables, the more time they will need to cook.

4. Debunking the myths

  • Slow cookers are a handy year-round appliance. They don’t heat up a kitchen in warm weather. They allow you to escape to the pool or lake or lawn or gardens — so why not let them work for you when it’s hot outdoors. A slow cooker fixes dinner while you’re at your child’s soccer game, too.
    So don’t limit its usefulness. Remember the dozens of recipes-beyond-beef-stew in this collection!

    One more thing — a slow cooker provides a wonderful alternative if your oven is full — no matter the season.

  • You can overdo food in a slow cooker. If you’re tempted to stretch a recipe’s 6-hour stated cooking time to 8 or 10 hours, you may be disappointed in your dinner. Yes, these cookers work their magic using slow, moist heat. Yes, many dishes cook a long time. But these outfits have their limits.
    For example, chicken can overcook in a slow cooker. Especially boneless, skinless breasts. But legs and thighs aren’t immune either. Once they go past the falling-off-the-bone stage, they are prone to move on to deeply dry.

    Cooked pasta and sour cream do best if added late in the cooking process, ideally 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time if the cooker is on high; 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time if it’s on low.

5. Safety

  • A working slow cooker gets hot on the outside — and I mean the outer electrical unit as well as the inner vessel. Make sure that curious and unsuspecting children or adults don’t grab hold of either part. Use oven mitts when lifting any part of a hot cooker.
  • To prevent a slow cooker from bubbling over, either when its sitting still on a counter, or when its traveling to a carry-in dinner, fill the cooker only ⅔ full.
    If you’re going to exceed that limit, pull out your second slow cooker (what — you have only one?!) and divide the contents between them.

The above is an excerpt from the book Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised & Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes by Phyllis Pellman Good. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Reprinted from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. © by Good Books (www.GoodBooks.com). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2010 Phyllis Pellman Good, author of Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised & Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes

Author Bio
Phyllis Pellman Good is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have sold nearly 10 million copies.

Good’s cookbooks have also appeared on the USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She is the author of Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly: Healthy, Low-Fat Recipes for Your Slow CookerFix-It and Forget-It 5-Ingredient Favorites: Comforting Slow- Cooker RecipesFix-It and Forget-It Recipes for Entertaining: Slow-Cooker Favorites for all the Year Round, and Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook: Slow-Cooker Favorites to Include Everyone (with the American Diabetes Association), all in the series.

She and her husband, Merle, live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

For more information about Phyllis Pellman Good, visit www.Fix-ItandForget-It.com and www.facebook.com/fixitandforgetit

Disclosure: I received a copy of the above mentioned book, from FSB Media in exchange for my honest opinions. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, and different people may have different outcomes.


Welcome to Go YAY!

My name is Danetta. I am a stay at home mom to an active 7-year-old boy and wife of 11 years to a hard-working man. We live in southeast Texas with our fearless and adventurous dog, Obi Kenobi.

This is a PR friendly blog. I enjoy discovering new products of all kinds. If you are a company or PR rep and have a product that you would like reviewed, please fill out my form.

Post Categories

Grab my button

Go YAY

Blogs and sites I recommend

Stats

Blog Stats

  • 6,322 hits