Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce

Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Fresh Ingredients for an Amazing Side Dish Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Fresh Ingredients for an Amazing Side Dish
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

I am thrilled to announce that this is my very first sponsored post! The wonderful people at Urbangrains.net have asked me to try some of their products and help them promote their amazing goods. Urbangrains states that they are a “spunky, imaginative ambient food producer aimed at offering high quality, occasionally unusual foods, using only natural ingredients, with the least processing possible. The first such product I received was their Pomegranate Sauce. I was hooked at first taste. My mind raced with item to try it on but since I was making spareribs and vegetables for dinner I decided to add a spoonful or two to my light sautéed veggies. Wow! Quite impressive. The fruity flavor addition added a bit of umami to the dish and coaxed so much flavor out of the vegetables that I just could not believe it.

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes Added to Vegetable Medley Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes Added to Vegetable Medley
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Add the Magic - Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Add the Magic – Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The label on the jar states that this is a 100% pure product of Greece. This magic potion consists of fresh pomegranate juice, grape must syrup, apple, onion, balsamic vinegar and salt. Nothing more. No preservatives or chemicals of any kind. I think that is very appealing now that we know the damaging effects chemicals have on our bodies. But it is the flavor that really drew me to this product. And its versatility. Although I haven’t tried all of these ways yet; I know it would be great on pork, beef, chicken and cheese. Try bringing a small wheel of brie to room temperature, spread some of Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce on the top and serve with crackers or bread. The tang of the sauce combined with the creaminess of the brie is absolutely delicious!

Vegetable Medley with Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce and Asian Spareribs Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Vegetable Medley with Urbangrains Pomegranate Sauce and Asian Spareribs
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Be sure to go on line to Urbangrains.net and order some for yourself. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how you love it.

Disclaimer: I am being compensated for writing this post, but the opinions I shared are 100% my own.

365 Vegan Smoothies

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New Book by Kathy Patalsky

I have been very fortunate to receive some fabulous books, hot off the press, to review. Not the least of these was 365 Vegan Smoothies. What better time to have a different smoothie every day. It summer, so a cool smoothie is refreshing. It’s bathing suit season, so losing a few extra pounds is a fabulous bonus. Plus a myriad of fresh, juicy, ripe fruit is abundant at farm stands and supermarkets.

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Blueberry Beginning Smoothie

The author of 365Vegan Smoothies is a writer and photographer. Kathy Patalsky is also the blogger behind the very popular blog Healthy-Happy-Life.com. Inside the book the smoothies are categorized by the predominant benefit of the smoothies. Each month of recipes is for different purpose such as: detox, energizing, slim-down, strengthening, calming, brain boosting, healthy-digestion, healthy-heart, anti-aging, mood boosting, immunity-boosting, and beauty-boosting. It shows you how delicious smoothies are when made with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

I learned so much about the benefits of fruits and vegetables. If I ate with health in mind at every meal I would need no vitamin supplements of any kind. I have to admit that I am too much of a carnivore to live on a plant based diet alone. But I do like the idea of having a vegan smoothie for breakfast or lunch. And Kathy’s recipes are fabulous! I started my smoothie journey with the Peanut Butter Banana Swirl Shake on page 121 in the chapter of slim-down smoothies. WOW! Was it ever rich and creamy. It was like eating delicious decadent ice cream for lunch. It was so thick it wouldn’t even go through my thick straw. No worries, I ate it with a spoon and got every last tasty bit. I was full. And it stayed with me until dinner time! I have been going through the book and trying a different smoothie each time. Although I must confess I have repeated the first one a couple of times. I’m hooked. And the biggest bonus of all is that I have lost nine pounds with feeling deprived one iota. I highly recommend you treat yourself to this fabulous new book. Taste the smoothies and boost your health in the process.

Watermelon Frosty – Slim Down
Serves 1
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Ingredients
2 cups frozen watermelon cubes
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
½ banana
1 teaspoon maple or agave syrup
½ to 1 cup coconut water
boost it: pinch of cayenne
Instructions
Combine the watermelon, lime juice, banana, sweetener and ½ cup coconut water in a blender. Turn on blender to low speed to get things moving. Slowly add more coconut water and blend, increasing the speed to high until the mixture blends into thick, frosty bliss.
Notes
The entire recipe has only 201 delicious and healthy calories.
foodandfondmemories.com http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/
This book was sent to me free of charge to review, but the opinions are 100% my own. 

Mellon Patch Inn

Mellon Patch Inn

Mellon Patch Inn

Queen Room at Mellon Patch Inn

Queen Room at Mellon Patch Inn

Ahhh! The lazy days of summer. Steve and I were looking for a quick getaway to relax and enjoy the scenery. Lucky for us we discovered the Mellon Patch Inn on North Hutchinson Island, about an hour and twenty minutes from our home. A short drive and we were at our destination.. Perfect. We pulled in to the parking lot and took in the view. Lush tropical landscaping and clear blue sky beckoned us to enter the Key West style inn. We were graciously welcomed by the Block family, Chris, Michelle and their 5 1/2 year old daughter Cady.

Cady and Hershi - Best Buds

Cady and Hershi – Best Buds

Backyard and Dock

Backyard and Dock

Now I have to be honest, we have known Chris since he was about 16. He has been one of our son’s best friends since he came here from England, he worked for us in our catering business for years and was even Best Man at Brian and Eve’s wedding. We haven’t seen him in a few years. In fact Cady was probably only about a year old. Chris is like a second son to me so it was a very special visit to be able to spend quality time together. Cady is amazing! She looks like an angel and is smart as a whip. She totally fell in love with Hershi and he with her. Hershi even ran up the steps after her, and he’s not a fan of steps.

Blue Crab Trying to Claw its Way Into Our Room

Blue Crab Trying to Claw its Way Into Our Room

The entire inn has a seaside vibe with fabulous artwork adorning the walls in every room. Mellon Patch is modern and filled with light and love. Our room was on the first floor and because it has direct access to the patio it is considered a pet friendly room. Our sliding glass doors led to the patio and back yard complete with dock. We found it a great place to chill with a glass of wine and watch the sunset over the water. The only quirk was that it was blue crab season which meant they were everywhere. We all managed to stay clear of them until the last day when Chris was in the garage and a crab grabbed his toe. Fortunately he had socks on! Funny, you think of crabs moving rather slowly, but not these critters. If we could have caught them we would have had an amazing meal but they were way too fast for any of us.

After unpacking Steve, Hershi and I went exploring. We found a really cool Antiques Mall and did a little damage there. But there are many other attractions in the area. About twenty minutes north is the Vero Outlet Mall; there are airboat rides; Indian River Lagoon Wildlife Boat tours; and right across the street from Mellon Patch is the National Navy UDT-Seal Museum. When we returned to the inn the aroma of smoked meat guided us directly to the garage where Chris was smoking a pork shoulder for our dinner that night. Now the Mellon Patch Inn is really a Bed and Breakfast but since we were like family, Chris made dinner of us. We had amazing smoked pork sandwiches complete with BBQ sauce and chips and got to catch up on lost time.

English Breakfast at Mellon Patch Inn

English Breakfast at Mellon Patch Inn

We awoke to the smells of a real English breakfast wafting all the way to our room. We joined the other guests for a fantastic start to our day with fresh juice, fresh fruit salad, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, hash browns and assorted breads. Utterly full and relaxed we headed just across the street to the beach. The inn even supplies beach chairs and towels to take with. We spent hours sunning, chilling in the ocean, shelling and sunning some more. A cool breeze kept us totally comfortable the entire time we were at the beach. As soon as we walked back toward the inn the heat became stifling. It’s amazing what an ocean breeze can do for your soul and the sound of the waves just lulls you into total inner peace.

Steve at Chuck's Seafood

Steve at Chuck’s Seafood

For dinner our second night we went to Chuck’s Seafood which was established in 1961. We had the pleasure of dining outside overlooking the water and sunset. Our food was delicious and decadent. We started with a fresh salad, then Steve had fried shrimp, I had fried oysters and we both had crisp sweet potato fries. What made the evening really special was that we met a great couple, Jacques and Jodie, who were traveling by boat all the way to Martha’s Vineyard, and we became instant friends.

Eggs Benedict at Mellon Patch Inn

Eggs Benedict at Mellon Patch Inn

We really hated to leaving our new found paradise but we had to get back to reality, though I don’t know why! We enjoyed a fantastic breakfast of Eggs Benedict and spent a bit more time with the Block family before heading back home. This was a glorious couple of days and I really highly recommend a stay at the Mellon Patch Inn. It’s the perfect place to regain your sanity.

Sunset View from Chuck's Seafood Dining Deck

Sunset View from Chuck’s Seafood Dining Deck

Mellon Patch Inn

Chef Chris Block, Proprietor

3601 North Highway A1A

Ft. Pierce, Florida 

772-462-6699 and toll free 877-462-6699

Rates start at $119 for a Queen room