Brittany wrote this on 15 November 2017
As I am sure you have noticed, Brittany’s Pantry has been pretty quiet lately! After the holidays last year, I took an unplanned hiatus from the blog. It was due, in part, to my hectic schedule, a few health issues, and a lot of creative burnout. Over the summer, as I reevaluated my priorities, I realized that while this blog had been personally fulfilling when I needed it most, I was moving beyond that point in my life. I would never want to write and create content here just because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. When that desire waned, I stopped.
I will keep this site active, if anything, for the very reason that I can’t live without it! I use this site for my own personal use to cook for my family every. single. day. Will I start blogging again? I like to think so. But I don’t know for sure. My husband and I are currently in the middle of selling our dream home and moving from South Carolina to Tennessee; an unplanned life change that has been stressful, sad, scary, and rather hard on my personal faith. As our family works through this (and moves…again) I am focused on my husband and kids. When my youngest started school this year, I decided to add a part-time job as a consultant for Rodan + Fields and that has proven to be a huge blessing in my life right now. Beyond those few things, I am uncertain what my future holds, but am trusting in Him who leads me!
Thank you to everyone who has messaged and asked after me and the fate of my little corner of the internet. I will pop in occasionally to check comments, etc, and I will continue to be active on BP social media. Thank you again, readers! I couldn’t have done any of this without you.
P.S. If you are curious about my new endeavors, here is the link to my R + F site! 🙂
Brittany wrote this on 22 May 2017
Have I mentioned that I have a new obsession? Big surprise, its food related.
FOOD TOURS! Not long after I moved into the Columbia area, I heard about the famous food tour here. I have had the opportunity to do it TWICE, at two different times of the year, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Columbia Food Tours is exactly what it sounds like! A tour of local restaurants in the city that perfectly represent the culinary atmosphere here in the South Carolina Midlands. We visited places big and small, fancy and simple. But ALL of them were wonderfully delicious. The food tour follows downtown Main Street, a gorgeous walking tour that spans several blocks, starting at the historical South Carolina State House. Our guide Brian, was great and touched on local architecture and history as we strolled through the city. Regardless of the time of year you book a tour, the walk is mostly shaded and absolutely beautiful! This IS South Carolina after all, and the year round mild weather make it a comfortable outing no matter when you go. Leisurely and relaxed, it is a pretty fantastic way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. I did the tour with my husband and we both highly recommend it as a date idea. That said, I have also been planning future tours when out of town friends and family come to visit! What better way to show them our awesome city than with a FOOD tour?! Ducking in and out of establishments, we worked our way up and down Main St, stopping here and there. Food and drink samples were JUST enough to give you a great idea about what each restaurant was all about, and definitely left us wanting to come back again! At each location we got to chat with the proprietors and ask questions about everything from the history of the building, to how they acquire their ingredients. It is true Southern hospitality at its finest and I have already returned to several of the restaurants because I just couldn’t stay away!
The places on the tour vary, but you can expect 5-7 different locations. The great thing is that many of the menu offerings change with the seasonal times of the year and it never seems to be the same thing twice! A great variety and definitely a great value for the price of the tour. Not only was it a fun way to learn about this new area my family and I now live, but we love to recommend it to anyone who loves to support local businesses. And loves food.
You can check the Columbia Food Tours website to learn about the different restaurant options! The site makes it incredibly easy to book a tour and the fantastic owners are prompt about any questions you may have. Another great way to see what they are all about is to check them out on social media! They have a Facebook page, Instagram account, and they are also on Twitter!
Have YOU ever been on a local food tour?
Disclaimer: The author received a free food tour in preparation for this post. As always, all words and opinions are strictly my own.
Brittany wrote this on 21 November 2016
After a LOT of work, endless recipe testing, and long hours, I have finished my new EBOOK!! Introducing Cooking Though the Holidays!
I am so excited to finally share it with all of you! This cookbook is a straightforward, no frills collection of recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holidays! Dishes that I serve my own family and friends on special occasions and that can help you plan out menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and on into the new year. Over 50 recipes with easy to find ingredients and a minimal number of steps to keep the stress level down and celebration time at a max!
The majority of the foods found in these pages are family recipes I have been making for years. You might recognize popular favorites from the blog sprinkled throughout the chapters. They are mixed in with brand new recipes I have never shared before! New dishes like my favorite Roast Turkey, Mustard Butter Salmon, and Chocolate Pie are all exclusively found in this cookbook. There are seven chapters, including an Encore chapter, dedicated to reinventing all those holiday leftovers! I love turkey sandwiches as much as the next person (extra mayo please!) but a Holiday Shepherd’s Pie is a great alternative. Or a breakfast of Maple Cranberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake to feed relatives staying for a day or two!
Above is Sweet Corn Porridge from the Encore chapter and below is a party favorite, easy Cream Cheese Veggie Spread!
Above is Citrus & Herb Turkey Breast W/Roasted Vegetables! Below is the most incredible Mulled Wine you will ever taste!
The cookbook features a photo of every recipe. It is easy to buy and is easy to download. At only 9.99, is it an affordable resource to go back to again and again. These dishes are great for the holidays, of course, but I use them year round and I have no doubt that you will too! No extra fluff. Just the same kind of great recipes you find here on Brittany’s Pantry!
Click on the BUY NOW button to order through PAY PAL! Once the payment goes through, you will receive a separate email to download you new cookbook! Thank you so much for your support and have a wonderful holiday season!
Cooking Through the Holidays by Brittany Arcand
Brittany wrote this on 22 July 2016
A great way to spend a Saturday. If you get a chance, check out the food tours through the city!
Brittany wrote this on 2 February 2016
Excited…about spring. Here in South Carolina, its right around the corner!
Planning…my vegetable garden. Right now it is a large parcel of red Carolina clay with tree stumps and bushes in it and its on a major slope and filled with rocks, but I’m planning! 🙂 We are talking about a MAJOR amount of grunt work to make it a useable space, but exercise is good for the body and digging in the dirt and growing things is good for the soul. So, using my children as free manual labor, we continue to toil in the soil.
Annoyed…at the amount of rain we have gotten lately. Last summer was a drought and ever since September, the sky has been making up for it and trying to drown us. Between the floods last fall and the continuous rain so far this winter, we are more than ready to dry out.
Loving…this new app I found called Library Thing. It is incredibly easy to use and I am having a blast cataloging all my books. You can scan the ISBN number and UPC code or type in the book individually and the app accesses Amazon.com etc to find the exact same book. Usually you can even pick paperback or hardcover too so that your library record is as accurate as it can be. Due to the fact that you can buy nearly ANYTHING on the internet, I was even able to catalog the ridiculously old and obscure books I find and collect. It tries to give you an accurate publication date as well and several of my books have been revealed as first editions. I also discovered that I have a fair amount of books that are over 100 years old. Neat-o, huh? This makes it SO much easier to check my inventory and avoid duplicate copies of books while raiding thrift stores and garage sales. I am ridiculously excited to see what my final book count is. Tally TBD.
Astounded…that this sweet girl turns 10 pretty soon. My oldest child will be in the double digits. Does the shock of how fast time goes by get slower as you get older? Cause I am flabbergasted by it.
Sweating…through the Couch To 5K program, with PiYo mixed in between. Getting in shape is awesome, but it sucks at the same time. Right now I am trying to get a routine nailed down to make the whole process a bit easier.
Craving…bread. And muffins. And scones. I have no idea why, but baked goods are on the brain. Don’t be surprised if that is what floods the blog this month. We can never have too many muffin recipes, right? Right??
Reading…a lot, actually! I just finished A Girl Named Zippy and have moved on to The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. The first was an incredibly humorous ( like, laugh out loud) memoir that covers small town life in Indiana in the 60’s. Author had a great voice and it was a charming read. Only halfway through the second book as of now, but I am LOVING it! No wonder it comes so highly recommended. What are YOU reading right now?
Spending…not money (see Anticipating segment below) but time. On my front porch. Because the forests of the south are gorgeous. And because there are no bugs.
Anticipating…a BIG vacation this summer. We just booked a week at a house on the beach on Oak Island, NC and it cannot get here fast enough. This is the first time our family has ever done something like this and to say that we are excited is a HUGE understatement! Bring on the sun, sand, and surf! With the possibility of pre-shopping for vaca clothes. 🙂
Obsessed…with these particular shows on Netflix: Covert Affairs, The Walking Dead (I know I am late to the party with this one), Heartland (A great show to watch as a family!), When Calls The Heart, and Greys Anatomy. No I didn’t start watching Greys until these last few weeks, and yes, I realize how lame I am for waiting. I am 10 years behind, but I have jumped on the McDreamy bandwagon.
Testing…a LOT of recipes that don’t seem very photogenic. I have been working on a new breakfast bake recipe but can’t seem to get it quite right. Either taste is off and the pics are great, or the taste is great, but it looks entirely unappetizing during its beauty shots. *sigh* Moving on to baking more muffins.
Pondering…how I am going to convince my husband to let me get chickens. He is very handy and can build me a coop and a chicken run no problem, but living where we do, in the forest in the middle of nowhere, may just be asking for trouble. Lots of predators and while I am all for teaching my children about the circle of life, watching a fox, bobcat, or hawk attack and march off with Big Bertha The Laying Hen might be a bit dramatic. I really really want my own chickens though, so I’m thinking I’ll risk it. Hehe.
What have YOU been up to?
Brittany wrote this on 9 December 2015
Yes, there are the obvious reasons that make me giddy; the celebration of the birth of Christ, the gift giving, the traditions, the FOOD, etc. But every Christmas, without fail, I receive cookbooks. I will proudly state that along with my husband and library shelves full of literature, cookbooks make my heart go pitty pat!
I am not very discriminatory when it comes to books about food, but more and more, I find myself reaching for those that are more suited to family meals rather than, say, a cocktail party or specialty meals. People ask me every holiday season what kind of cookbooks to buy for their wife/sister/boss/best friend/mailman, and I decided to just create a master list of good ones. These definitely veer toward the busy parents and children demographic, but nothing is on this list that I wouldn’t (or haven’t) used when I was single or married withOUT kids. They are just good cookbooks. And in a time when the internet (read: Allrecipes.com, Pinterest, etc) seem to have replaced our need for written recipes, these beautiful books welcome written notes in the margins and melted butter splatters across their pages. Try doing THAT with your electronic of choice.
For ease of use, I have broken them down into categories based loosely on need. I polled my friends, families, other professionals, major foodies, those who hate to cook, families with food allergies, and even cookbook authors. I also include a section if you are looking for cookbooks for your young chef. This is the BEST I could throw together! This is BY NO MEANS an all encompassing list and while I hope your find some of your favorites below, I also hope you see something new. There are thousands of cookbooks out there (and I could not possibly review them all) so please please PLEASE, if you don’t see your go-to choice, contribute to the discussion and mention what you love in the comments below.
All-Purpose, GREAT Cookbooks For Families
Dinner: A Love Story
By Jenny RosenstrachIf you are familiar with Jenny’s blog by the same name, then it is no surprise that her book makes this list. The recipes are straight from her family table and the cookbook is easy to use and easy to read. Much like getting reliable recipes from a good friend while you chat over coffee. The food is honest, practical, and incredibly delicious. Yes, it contains tips and food advice, but its less about being a chef in the kitchen, and more about how to get dinner on the table and have it taste great, regardless of who is eating it. You can absolutely read this cover to cover like a novel, but you can cook it all the way through too. Start with the Lazy Bolognese and the Apricot Mustard Baked Chicken. Her second book, Dinner: The Playbook, is just as great.
By Kathy Brennan & Caroline CampionDo you see that subheading at the top of the cookbook? Yeah. They aren’t kidding. Every recipe in here is simple and easy and delicious. None of them take a ton of time (hallelujah) and the ingredient lists are small. Think of it like a cookbook of staple recipes you will just rotate through over and over. You learn one recipe and then they explain how to turn that a different meal with one little tweak. They also cover the bases of good cooking, like why you should be roasting your veggies and how to make your own breadcrumbs. The Sausage and White Bean Gratin sounds fancy but is simple and hearty so be sure to give it a try! The Farfalle (Bow Ties) With Gorgonzola, Ham & Peas is crazy good and ridiculously easy. Weeknight cooking at its best. Or in my case, I will be making that after my Christmas ham has been picked over!
America’s Test Kitchen-Healthy Family Cookbook
By America’s Test Kitchen This book has it all. Healthy recipes that are easy to make and basically no-brainers for you and your family. With over 800 of them, you are bound to find foods in here for everyone. It covers main dishes, appetizers, etc, and is an easy, spiral bound book. Much like their other in this series, ATK has included tried, true, and simple dishes, making this a cookbook you will reach for again and again. The New Family Cookbook and the ATK Quick Family Cookbook are fantastic as well.
Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this cookbook. If you don’t have some version of this on your shelves, PUT IT ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST! This inexpensive paperback would even make a great hostess gift if you knew someone who didn’t have it. Time and again, this book gets mentioned by every kind of cook I know-including those who don’t like to spend time in the kitchen. It gets reached for over and over as the go-to, all-purpose, reach for when you don’t know what to do, kind of book. Its a classic for a reason people.
Great For Young Families or New Parents
Parents Need To Eat Too
By Debbie Koenig
AMEN! This book is bursting with easy to read, easy to make recipes. The author shares a bit of her experiences as a new mom, as well as encouragement and support. Recipes include the slow cooker, food to eat while holding/nursing a baby, meals that can be made in stages, and even how to turn adult food into baby or toddler food. A useful resource for sure!!
The Homemade Pantry
By Alana Chernila This cookbook made quite a stir when it was released. With a theme of practicality and frugalness, this book covers basic food items that have become staples in many kitchens. Here, Alana shows you how to make them yourself, forgoing the chemicals and packaging, and boosting the flavor. The cover picture of her homemade pop tarts are quite popular, but with a recipe to make your own chai tea, pickles, and even an incredible hot sauce, you won’t want to limit yourself. Don’t misunderstand-these are easy and straightforward. In addition, it makes a great resource for homemade gifts.
Good Cheap Eats
Jessica FisherWhen I started polling friends and family about their favorite and most used cookbooks, this author was mentioned again and again. I don’t personally have any of her books, but they are now on my Christmas list! This one is a favorite I have flagged and from the research I have done, I can’t wait to start cooking from it! Users shouted praise from the rooftops, claiming ease of use and no-nonsense ingredients. Great photos and recipes with limited steps (bonus!) make this a cookbook that can be navigated easily. And with chapter heading such as Meals On The Run, Stretching It, and Breakfast For Dinner, she already seems to pinpoint exactly how a busy family operates. I’m going to start with her Potato and Corn Chowder!
The Mom 100
By Katie Workman
The title says it all. With a solution for nearly every dilemma, Katie Workman gives you easy to make meals that are perfect when kids (or life in general) has you busy. Basic recipes with tons of room for variety will guarantee that you will be able to adapt meals to suit your families tastes and dietary needs while still expanding their horizons. Largely broken down by specific family food issues, this book is an incredible resource to plan your weekly meals and save you some time! Make-Ahead Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf? Yes please!!!
Specialty Cookbooks For Families W/Food Sensitivities
The Skinnytaste Cookbook
By Gina Homolka
Not a cookbook specific to any food issues, but definitely a great one if you are limited. This book includes vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free, and so much more. You can easily expand your taste buds while keeping within whatever guidelines you can. I love the recipes because they are good for you and it gives my family variety, making especially easy to incorporate them into the our weekly menus and cooking for company. Don’t worry. The recipes are familiar, like Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and Chicken Alfredo W/Broccoli, but they just have a little healthy tweaking. Gina’s blog is an expansion of the book so be sure to search her out!
Gluten-Free On A Shoestring
By Nicole Hunn
Straight up, easy to make recipes that are gluten-free and won’t break the bank. A fantastic staple cookbook for anyone new to celiac disease or a newly diagnosed gluten sensitivity. Tips and tricks to make the basics (Chicken Stock) and some specialty items (Apple Cake) along with strategies that help your bottom line-regardless of your menu choices.
Against All Grain
By Danielle WalkerA #1 bestseller, this cookbook includes grain-free and dairy-free recipes but keeps the emphasis on flavor. Focused on the foods that we all want to eat, regardless of dietary needs, this book is a paleo persons dream. There is even a special section dedicated to kids so that no one is left out. The recipes have fantastic pictures that will make you WANT to cook them, a detail my kids like when they page through books and request meals. 🙂 No refined sugars makes this a great book to use with kids, making sure to guide young tastebuds toward whole, natural foods. It is simple and healthy. Period.
The Forest Feast for Kids
By Erin Gleeson
I can’t even tell you how much fun it is to page through this book. Vegetarian recipes that practically beg to be made and eaten. The food is simple and straightforward, while still exposing you to things you may not normally choose. Beautiful pictures and whimsical writing make this book a blast for anyone who excludes meat, or just wants to expand menus a bit. Great for adults or kids alike. I could have put this below in the Kid section, but I love it as much as my kids, so here it stays. Strawberry Salsa anyone?
Cookbooks For Kids
Betty Crocker Kids Cook!
By Betty Crocker
My family received this book years ago and it has been through a lot. My kids love it and often page through to find something to surprise me with. Easy to read and with extra silly illustrations over the pages, my kids KNOW that it is designed for them. Lunchbox Chocolate Chip Cookies are a staple in our house and Mouthwatering Cinnamon Muffins are pretty darn fantastic. All with paired down ingredients and streamlined steps. A great cookbook that will grow with your kids and their skills!
The Cookbook For Kids Who Love To Cook
By Lisa Atwood
This cookbook is fantastic for kids that are a bit more advanced in the kitchen, but still has a few easy ones for beginners. Straightforward recipes that are easy to follow but with grown up methods. Think yogurt and fruit parfaits instead of just a smoothie. Or Cinnamon Swirl French Toast. I love that it pushes kids to be creative and builds skills with food KIDS can make but ADULTS will want to eat too. Perfect to instill confidence and foster independence!
Mom and Me Cookbook
By Annabel KarmelYou will see this cookbook again and again for a lot of reasons. It is a fantastic book for introducing toddlers and preschoolers to the art of cooking and gets them interested in what they are eating. This definitely falls into the ‘cute’ category. Fun recipes that are perfect for little fingers and would be a fantastic present for a little one, wrapped up in an apron!
Kitchen For Kids
By Jennifer LowThis is another cookbook on my ‘need to pick up’ list. Actually, it will be marked FAMILY and tucked under the tree! Sssshhhh. Don’t tell. 🙂 My kids love to try new things and this book, which boasts no sharp knives and no flame cooking, is perfect for my children and I to cook from together. The recipe for Oven Baked Pad-Thai is at the top of my list to make. Perfect meals for after school prep and ready in time for dinner!
Of course, cookbooks and preferences are very personal and change from family to family. My hope is that you get some great ideas for the holidays and perhaps, make your shopping a bit easier! If you didn’t see your favorites above, please note that I tried to avoid the ever popular suggestions that were no brainers when it came to cookbooks. Here are a list of some of the cookbooks that are overwhelmingly loved.
Any Barefoot Contessa Cookbook that was ever written. Because Ina Garten is…well…Ina Garten
Any of the classic Pillsbury Cookbooks, especially this one
Any of the How To Cook Everything series by Mark Bittman
The Joy Of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
I want to hear about YOUR favorites in the comments below! Hit me with the cookbooks you dog ear, splatter with stains, singe on the stove, and otherwise reach for in the kitchen! What do YOU cook from?
*This post contains referral links that help support this blog. All opinions belong to the author alone. All images via Amazon.
Brittany wrote this on 2 November 2015
That time of year when I give away something warm and cozy from one of my favorite ETSY shops, Pine Tree Goods! Once again, Hannah McKenzie, the artisan behind the handmade items, has outdone herself for this giveaway EXCLUSIVELY for Brittany’s Pantry readers! This has been such a successful event in the past, we paired up again to give all of YOU more FREE stuff! And of course, there will be two items which means there will be TWO WINNERS!! Keep the loot for yourself or gift it to someone you love! Either way, one of these beautiful accessories could show up in your mailbox.
Why do I host this giveaway every year? Because it is SO easy! Because I like to share what I love. And because I trust the quality and professionalism of this shop and have personally ordered (and currently wear!) several items! What better way to start off the holiday season than with free stuff? Right?!
This year, Hannah created a cowl made with 100% merino wool that is kettle dyed and ridiculously soft. And the colors?! Wow!
Do you see that little tag on the picture above? All handmade, quality Pine Tree Goods items come with a lightweight custom tag so you know that it has gone directly from the creators hands, right to yours.
The second item is a pair of the most luxurious mittens I have ever seen! Super warm and fleece lined, the yarn for these is a hand-spun merino blend created by a local spinner! They are size medium and will fit 99% of adult sized hands!
I love the subtle variation in the colors. NOTE: Camera not included in giveaway! 🙂
Ok. So now you have seen the fabulous stuff I am giving away. Here are the specifics and be sure to ENTER BELOW!
RULES: Entry options are below. Must be over 18 and a resident of the US to win and void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Two winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email or private message, then announced on the blog. Prizes will be mailed directly from Pine Tree Goods in Minnesota to the winners address. In the event that a winner cannot be contacted or does not respond within two weeks, another winner will be randomly chosen. Contest runs through midnight on Friday, November 13 and winners will be chosen within 24 hours of the deadline. The owner of this blog was not compensated in any way and receives no items, monetary or otherwise in exchange for this event. I just like to share stuff that I love!
Good luck everyone and be sure to spread the word so that your friends and family can enter too! Don’t forget to check out Hannah’s ETSY shop to sneak in some early Christmas shopping. She does personalized and custom orders so be sure to contact her and see what she can do!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Brittany wrote this on 27 July 2015
As you know, I recently moved to the South and am enjoying all the wonderfulness that accompanies this region of the United States. Beaches, forests, sweet tea, grits, all things deep fried, and the incredible people here have completely won me over. As a food writer, I count it as my duty to eat as much of a variety of food as I can, especially in a new place (I take this responsibility very seriously), and here in the south, that means shrimp, collard greens…and hushpuppies.
But I will get right to the point. There are just somethings that I have no desire to make myself. Fried zucchini blossoms, for example, are not in my general menu rotation. Sushi, while one of my favorite foods, just isn’t something I aspire to ever make at home a regular basis. I have no idea why, but hushpuppies are one of those kinds of foods. I rarely deep fry anything, and even though I love to order them when I am out and about, I have no immediate plans to ever make them in my own home.
Until now! The lovely people at Savannah Food Company (based in Savannah, Tennessee) asked me to try their product and from the moment the box arrived on my doorstep, our family has been grateful! We, my husband and kids included, were pleasantly surprised to see that they offer three flavors of hushpuppies: Savannah Classics Original, Sweet Corn, and Jalapeño. They were super easy to prepare and we popped them right from the freezer into the oven. Mmm. Mealtime hasn’t been the same since, and when I find something I really like, I definitely want to share it with all of you!Our favorite part? They turned out fantastically hot and crispy and crunchy on the outside, just as if I had made them from scratch myself. They aren’t heavy or greasy, and the different varieties keep us arguing over which is our favorite. They instantly became a regular item on my shopping list. Here they are pictured with summer BBQ and it is SO easy to just toss them in the oven before dinner. We have taken to making mixing Sriracha and mayo together and as good as that is on a burger, it is even better as a dip for these little nuggets. I have made them as a quick snack for my kids, and even served them with brunch! Hushpuppies, bacon, and a fluffy pile of scrambled eggs are pretty outstanding on a Sunday morning! I like to jot down ideas for future menus, and a big bowl of these with some different sauces for dipping are already on the agenda during football season. Here in the South, they are available at nearly every single grocery store you can find! They are also across parts of the midwest so if you want to find them in your area, click on this link to locate some near you. I consistently find them next to the fish sticks in the frozen food section, and at under 3$ a bag, they fit nicely into our family budget. Easy, classic, convenient, and crazy good. Give them a try and GET PUPPED! Be sure to check out Savannah Food Company on Facebook!I have been compensated for this post. All opinions, words, and photos are entirely my own.
Brittany wrote this on 4 June 2015
Hello my friends! My sincerest apologies for my lack of posts and recipes lately. There are several issues keeping me from blogging lately, and I have snuck out of the house to post a new Currently update. Hopefully, it clears things up a little…
Joyful…about the sunrises here in South Carolina. More often than not, they are breathtaking.
Eating…the frosted lemonades at Chik Fil A. They are creamy, tangy, and feel OH so fantastic on my throat!
Needing…the get my tonsils removed. Hence, the above mentioned frosted lemonades. Have any of you gotten your tonsils removed as an adult? I am NOT looking forward to it.
Reading…quite a bit actually. But I just finished Snow Flower And The Secret Fan by Lisa See and it was exceptional. If you love historical fiction and enjoy reading about other countries, this book is for you.Aggravated…by the total lack of Internet at my house. I have had no wifi (zip, zilch, nada, nien, negative) for a month now. Even my data signal is patchy and unreliable. Needless to say, this is a big part of my blogging silence. This unplanned hiatus is very frustrating and while I would like to say the end is in site, I have reservations. One of the bummers of moving to the middle of nowhere, I guess, but come ON! I should also mention that I am typing this while sitting in the corner of a public restaurant. Free WiFi is da bomb.
Excited…for several things. Summer vacation started here yesterday but also, my sister is moving from the West coast to the East coast and will be staying with us for awhile. I canNOT wait to see her!
Unwrapping…all of my worldly possessions. Our family moved into our newly finished dream home and I have been unpacking like crazy. Paper everywhere. Boxes everywhere. Stuff everywhere. How did we end up with so many ‘things?’
Discovering…just how much I miss writing when I can’t do it on a regular basis.
Praying…for several friends who are battling cancer right now. *sigh* I hate cancer.
Loving…having access to all my cookbooks again! And my kitchen aid. And my knife block. And my immersion blender…
Working…on taking better care of myself. So many of us Moms have this problem and I am no exception. Trying really hard to put myself first once in awhile.
How are all of YOU doing CURRENTLY??
Brittany wrote this on 16 April 2015
When I was a kid, we always had that flavor of Bigelow tea in the cupboards and even now, that spiced orange flavor is my all time favorite. I drink it hot, no honey, year round and never tire of it! Recently, I decided to branch out a bit and expand my tea horizons. I keep Earl Grey, green, and usually mint on hand, but wanted to shake things up a bit. Now that spring is here, the time of chilled teas and mixed flavors has arrived and I am taking full advantage of all that Bigelow has to offer!
I was happy to discover American Breakfast! A black tea that has an extra boost of caffeine, it makes a great substitute (or occasional alternative) to coffee. They have several variations of this flavor, but the one with honey is my current favorite. I like it plain with just a tiny splash of cream and poured over ice. Or without the splash of cream if I am being really good. Not only is it thirst quenching, but it is so darn refreshing, I find myself sipping on it most of the day. It is easy to find at your local grocery store, but I purchased mine at Walmart. It was clearly marked and so easy to find, I walked directly to it.Look at all that tea! The first group that caught my eye was all the lemon (and I loooooooove lemon) but I was stocking my shelves for spring and made sure to get a bit of everything.
Black tea is fantastic cold and so is green tea, so those are a kind of no brainer for me when the weather turns steamy. When making a big batch of sweet tea, I usually throw in a few tea bags of green, to give it an extra boost of antioxidants and to mellow the flavor a bit. Mixing citrus juice with my green tea is also a habit of mine and my family and our house guests sip on it all spring and summer! Now that I live in South Carolina, I take my tea responsibilities very seriously, but I wouldn’t want to be boring! The variety of flavors is one of my favorite things about Bigelow, and I admit, I love to lay out all the options when company comes. Hellooooooo Salted Caramel! But did you know that Bigelow is a 100% American company? Its true! In fact, their Charleston Tea Plantation is the largest working tea garden in the country. You can actually visit, tour, shop, and attend events there. A great mix of Southern culture and American history! In addition to being grounded here in the good ‘ol US of A, Bigelow has shipped and donated over 4 million bags of tea to US troops stationed overseas. Their way of showing support and saying thank you to the men and women serving our country. You can learn more about that awesome program by clicking here.
If you are looking to try something new with your tea this spring and want to carry those refreshing flavors into summer, try Bigelow’s Plantation Mint tea. I like to brew it, chill it, and then add lemon and orange slices with just a touch of sweetener. Serving it in a mason jar is optional, yet I swear it actually tastes better this way. I get all kinds of different ideas on the Bigelow Facebook page and Twitter feed. Check it out and follow along for all kinds of updates, facts, tips, and of course, recipes!
What kinds of Bigelow tea are you stocking up with this spring? Comment below, let me know your favorites, and we can swap beverage stories!
Brittany wrote this on 26 March 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JustAddRotel #CollectiveBias
Are you creating a big snacking spread for the Big Tournament? Looking for ways to spice up game day and save money at the same time? #JustAddRotel is the perfect way to spice up your favorite recipes. From guacamole to pot roast sliders, adding a can of RO*TEL makes a traditional game day recipe into something extraordinary. Click this link http://cbi.as/4wqx to print a Walmart coupon where you buy 3 cans of RO*TEL, you will get 1 can free!
My favorite way to use RO*TEL is in this warm, cheesy dip recipe. But don’t stop there! Salsas and casseroles are the perfect place to add some spice when you feed a crowd!
Be sure to look for RO*TEL in either the Pasta or Hispanic aisle in Walmart!
Brittany wrote this on 15 March 2015
I have great news! The fantastic people at ePantry have been generous enough to create an amazing offer exclusively for Brittany’s Pantry readers – Free method All-Purpose Cleaner, Free $10 Credit, & Free Shipping for first-time orders! Why is this such good news? Let me explain.
I recently tried ePantry, an automatic delivery site and loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you! I always appreciate it when my friends tell me about a great product they tried or a special deal going on at a store I love, so why would I keep this awesome discovery to myself?! I find something awesome and am sure to spread the word!
So what is ePantry? They are a online subscription service that only carries all-natural cleaning and personal care products. When I first came across them, the fact that Method products were the first to pop up was an immediate plus for me. I have been a dedicated consumer of all things Method since they first became available and have been purchasing them at my local store. So, I kept searching the site and recognized several of my other favorite products. Seventh Generation, Yes To Carrots, and Tom’s, to name a few. My favorite products paired with the environmentally friendly theme had me digging a bit deeper into the ePantry website, and ever since, I have been hooked. Would you like to know why? Oh good.
This site is incredibly easy to use!
All I had to do was sign up, answer a few questions, and ePantry delivers the products I want at a great price, right to my door. I generally shop sales and I like to clip coupons so I am getting the best price, but ePantry has prices better than the stores every single day. No special coupons or deals required. That is hard to beat. They publish the suggested retail price along with the ePantry price so you know exactly how much you are saving. I kind of love this detail! When I realized that I was able to plan out automatic delivery in advance (thereby ensuring that I never run out of laundry detergent or toilet paper) I immediately began to customize my orders. I planned out what I want to ship and exactly when I want to ship it. The site makes it very easy to adjust and move products to different times based on your needs. This helps me keep my household budget organized and in check too by making it easy to schedule only the things I need exactly when I need them. My box arrived right on time and I may have squealed when I opened it. Is it normal to get that excited about cleaning supplies?
This is my box. I was desperate to stock up on several things and just hadn’t had the time to make it to the store. With the move in progress and our new house finishing up, I knew that I was going to be doing extra laundry (as I unpack clothes and linens) and lots of quick dish washing before I organize and fill my new cupboards. I was worried about how well the liquid products would travel, but ePantry packaged everything great! Extra tape on the pumps and extra bags in case of leaks. Perfect.This was my total order this time around. I even decided to try something new and getting the Method stainless steel spray. My new house will have all stainless steel appliances and after all the commotion of moving, I figured they were going to need some love. And friends, let me tell ya, this spray smells stupendous! Apple. Mmmm. Most of my order is pretty basic. It is the same trusted products I always buy and always need. That is what is so great about this! It makes the same purchases I make every month so much easier.
But the products and ease of use are the only reasons I love ePantry.
My husband and I continually strive to live our lives as green as we can and this company helps us do that. For each order placed, ePantry donates 25 square feet of rainforest and carbon offsets all shipments and deliveries. In addition, they are a certified B corporation, a process that requires companies to meet-and continue to meet-certain social and environmental performance standards. You can check out all the details of how dedicated ePantry is to preserving the earth by reading about it here.
So back the offer.
Remember the Free method All-Purpose Cleaner, Free $10 Credit, & Free Shipping for first-time orders? Well there are several reasons I am so excited about this. The all purpose cleaner is my go-to spray that I use all over the house (bathroom, kitchen, kids rooms, etc) and I have several bottles stashed away in different rooms. It is what I reach for on a regular basis and the fresh grapefruit scent ensures I don’t have a house that smells like it was hosed down with chemicals. (Yes, the smell of cleaning products matters to me! I like my house to smell like my house, not a sterile hospital.) I have a feeling I am going to to through a whole bottle when setting up my kitchen! I also have several packages of their wood cleaning wipes on hand and I strongly urge you to give them a try! Like all method products, they smell awesome, and they keep our wood furniture in great shape. They are the only product I trust to touch our piano, a treasured, antique piece inherited from my Grandmother! So. Here are your steps to taking advantage of this great deal!
– Sign up for an account with this link. My limited-time offer is only available now through March 20th!
– Answer a few simple questions about your home, cleaning schedule, and favorite products (this only takes 2 minutes!) and ePantry takes your responses into consideration to get a feel for what you like and to suggest products for future shipments. This is a very handy resource and can totally save you time! They are only suggestions so ultimately, you order only what you want.
– Next? Customizing your basket! Try some new products and/or order your long-time favorites. You can add or remove as many products as you wish, whenever you wish! It was during this process that I discovered their soy candles and have been just a little obsessed with their Eucalyptus/Spearmint candle ever since. The Maple/Cinnamon one is SO going on my next order.
-Note: To get the all-purpose cleaner and $10 off, there is a $20 minimum. The minimum is for first-time orders only.
-Last step! Once you have filled your basket with the products you want, click Finish & Pay. Your free all-purpose cleaner and $10 credit will already be included!
Want some help? Not sure where to start?
To demonstrate what a great value this offer is, ePantry has put together an example basket. Of course, browsing ePantry’s full product lineup is something that I highly recommend as there are so many products to pick from, so be sure to look around a bit!
This sample is filled with a bit of everything!
method All-Purpose Cleaner: Free with your offer!
method Dish Soap: $3.89
method Dish Soap Refill: $4.99
method Daily Shower Spray:
Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap: $4.03
Seventh Generation Tub & Tile Cleaner: $4.39
Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner: $4.39
ePantry Cellulose Pop Up Sponges: $2.99
ePantry Pure Soy Candle 8oz: $9.95
With a $10 Brittany’s Pantry credit, the total for this basket comes to $28.70, which is great for $66+ worth of products!
Your shipping plan is up to you and you are not required to stick to any kind of schedule. Get your products as often or as spread out as you want. Edit the timing and the content at any time. It is all flexible and totally up to you and your own household needs! If you find you need assistance, the ePantry customer service is exceptional. I even answered a question in the pop up chat box and earned an extra 2$ off my shipment! How great is that?!
And one more thing!
When you refer friends and family to ePantry, you get $10 off! Each person you refer will get $10 in credit for their first order! And, more good news! You will also receive $10 in credit for each person who checks out. So, basically it is just winning all the way around. Great prices with the convince of delivery with spectacular products. Clearly you can see why I am loving this site so much!
Good luck! Don’t forget to start here with this link to ensure that you get the special offers exclusively for Brittany’s Pantry readers! But hurry! It ends on March 20th and wouldn’t want you to miss this awesome opportunity!
**This post contains affiliate links that may lead to compensation for the author. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
Brittany wrote this on 20 February 2015
Snapping…pictures of the sunrise. A few months ago, I realized that the sunrise out the patio door of our rental house was heart-stoppingly beautiful 99.9% of the time. I started taking a picture every morning. We are moving at the end of March into our much anticipated dream home so I hope I find a great new spot to observe from!
Laughing…at the TV show Hart of Dixie. Thank you, Netflix, for allowing me to watch and fall in love with shows I have never heard of before and to do it at my leisure. This busy Momma appreciates it.
Nibbling…on these yummy, crunchy clusters from Brookside. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been kind of addicted to them lately. I get mine at Target, but I have found them just about everywhere. Including, once, at a random little gas station in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.
Waiting…for the completion of our dream home! We are about a month or so away from moving in and 101 daily decisions on paint, lights, and finishes are keeping me up at night. So fun. So stressful. Sooooo hard to wait.
Writing…a lot lately! And as you may have guessed, its about food. I have some fun announcements coming up soon so stay tuned!
Reading…as much as I can! I started a book club when I moved to South Carolina and because my life just is not busy enough, I thought it would be cool to do a reading challenge as well! I found this list on Pop Sugar and thought the different categories are kind of awesome. I am reading a different book for each one-no doubling up-and am having a blast researching obscure titles. I mean, come on. A book written by an author with my same initials? A book with bad reviews? Sign me up! I even started a Facebook group to help keep anyone interested in the Challenge motivated and full of ideas! Find me on Facebook if you want an invite!
Hoping…I didn’t make a HUGE mistake when I signed up for my first 5K. Eeek! One Run Columbia is at the end of march and in an effort to deal with some health issues, I decided that taking up running was a good idea. Clearly I was not in my right mind when I registered, but that is beside the point now. I have too much pride to walk it, so…let the training continue!
Realizing…that I use way too many exclamation points in my writing.
Organizing…my life! My house is good, but you know all those hand dandy printables that I see on Pinterest that are all cute and decorated and coordinated with each other? Yeah. So not me. I don’t want my stationary to match my outfit or my daily tasks to be color coded by priority. But I DO need to keep better track of appointments and my online obligations. So what did I do? I printed out one copy of every single style of free calendar that I could download. These next few months will be an experiment in organization methods. I’ll keep you posted on what works. Ha! Get it? Posted? Heh heh.
Exhausted…by my (almost) three year old, Lane. My husband calls him the destroyer. This is not an exaggeration. Here he is in his dormant state. Its a good thing he is cute…Obsessed…with pimento cheese. I had no idea what I was missing out on, all those years living in the north. As a recent transplant to the south, I am really really really enjoying the quest for finding the perfect pimento cheese. Which will no doubt turn into a major marathon of recipe developing. If you aren’t familiar with it, pimento cheese is a kind of cold dip that is, as far as I can tell, shredded cheeses, maybe some mayo, cream cheese, minced pimento, and spices. I am telling you guys-this stuff is da BOMB! My mouth is watering as I write this.
Starting…this book. Looks fun, don’t you think?
What are YOU currently up to? Anything exciting?
Brittany wrote this on 13 January 2015
Delving deep into the Brittany’s Pantry archives, I have pulled forth recipes that I may have posted years ago, but still make on a regular basis. Remember. Nothing gets posted on this site unless I make for my friends and family. Not just once and then never again, but food that is reliable and worth a spot on our everyday menus.
But back to the round-up.
No one wants recipes for watermelon smoothies and asparagus salad when it is snowing outside. What we need is good food we can make during the darker, more dreary months, that keeps us generally eating within the season. That was one of the things I tried to remember when compiling this list for you. Also, this is a little bit healthy, a little bit comforting, and a LOT of tasty goodness. Some of you are after healthy food to help you reach your fitness goals or to add to your already hefty repertoire of good-for-you recipes. I have some of those for you. Many of you are after anything that will warm you up when you come in from the sub-zero temperatures outside. I gotcha covered. For those individuals that just want a meal that feels like a warm hug from Granny, look no further. There is a little bit of everything here on this list and hopefully, you will find what you are looking for, and a few things you didn’t even know you were after. Anything to get us through till spring, right?
WARM YOU UP RECIPES
Tator Tot Hotdish: Meat. Po-tators. Little bit of veg. Good ‘ol cream soup. It is a classic and traditional meal from the North Star State and eating it may just bring out a bit of an accent, dontchyaknow. This is so comforting it is practically medicinal. If this hot dish doesn’t warm you to your bones, there is no hope for you. Also, I am from Minnesota, ere go, this is a hot dish. Anywhere else in the country and you have my permission to call it a casserole.
Ultimate Hot Chocolate Version #1: I have several versions of hot chocolate on my blog, preferring to make it with a variety of flavors and methods. However, this is my general fail safe recipe and I make it all. the. time. What is better at bringing on that cozy feeling than hot chocolate?
Crockpot Apple Oatmeal: Throw it in the slow cooker and leave it till morning. Doesn’t get much better. It is so good and so easy to do, I have lost count of the number of times I make this every month.
Hobo Dinners: Such a great change from the normal dinner and a fun and different way to use ground beef! Everyone layers what they want in a foil packet, it bakes away, and no mess!
Rum Raisin Rice Pudding: Few things will make your toes curl and goosebumps raise on your arms as tucking into a bowl of steaming, creamy rice pudding. The heat spreads from your tummy out to your fingertips and all is right with the world. Talk about warming you up. This stuff conjures visions of ski chalet fireplaces and wool socks. Trust me.
Green Tea Smoothies: Fresh and clean, these healthy smoothies have a hit of matcha powder that pairs great with the spinach. Not overly sweet and incredibly satisfying, these are in regular rotation at our house. A great boost of nutrients when the variety of fresh produce available during the colder months can be low.
Baked Brown Rice: If you only make one recipe from this round-up, let it be this one. This healthy dish is simple, but tastes amazing. It goes with everything, meets a myriad of dietary needs, and bakes by itself in the oven! How great is that?! The leftovers are great cold in a tortilla or stirred into scrambled eggs in the morning.
Healthy Black Bean Salsa: For those of you looking for something deferent to bring to a game day get together besides hummus, I have your solution. This makes a great winter recipe because the two main ingredients, black beans and tomatoes, come from a can, and the rest of the ingredients are available year round without compromising flavor! Super good for you and easy to make, this is good on top of a lettuce salad with grilled chicken, or stirred into any manner of dishes. Of course, scooped up with the chip of your choice is good too.
Pomegranate Sorbet W/Mini Chocolate Chips: Tangy and refreshing, this is a stellar treat that won’t undo all your good work. I make this year round and it always hits the spot. The best part? Its practically guilt free. A scoop or two fits right into a healthy eating regime.
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps: These just may be the best kept secret on this blog. The flavor is out of this world and I cannot tell you how freaked out you will be (in a good way) when you finally try them. Super low carb, gluten free, and using only lean meat, vegetables, and a few spices, you have a meal you could eat for days and days! Hot or cold, you will clean your plate. A great, light meal in the middle of winter!
Banana Bran Muffins: These beauties are one of the first recipes I ever posted and is still one of my favorites. They are cozy and warm and will make your house smell absolutely heavenly. The banana keeps them sweet and the bran makes them filling and hearty. Tucked in the freezer they make a great quick grab and go breakfast.
Simple & Classic Beef Stew: The ultimate in comfort food, this stew never goes out of style.
Bistro Braised Chicken: Just like a toasty blanket fresh from the dryer, this dish warms you to your toes. It has all the comforts of a classic chicken noodle soup, but with a punch of extra flavor and the added plus of being able to eat it with a fork. Nom.
My Go-To Sloppy Joe Recipe: Nothing says comfort like the foods we used to eat as a kid. This is my fool proof, make all the time, stash in the freezer, finger licking good Sloppy Joe Recipe. I make it pretty much the same as my Mom taught me, but with a few twists. It is like eating nostalgia on a bun. The fact that it isn’t too bad for you is just a great side benefit!
Cornmeal Pancakes W/Blueberry Sauce: These taste even better than they look. So comforting you could swear they came from a gal named Flo at your local diner.
Brittany wrote this on 16 December 2014
I love it when bloggers make lists of recipes this time of year. Don’t you? It is so handy to have such fun foods all in one place! I am no exception and this collection may be my favorite ever. A little bit sweet and a little bit savory, this has some of everything from the Brittany’s Pantry archives so that you can add in a dish or two to aid in your menu planning! Hope this gives you some ideas! Enjoy!
Appetizers & Starters
Roasted Pepper Hummus – So pretty, so healthy, and so easy. A great snack to set out that accommodates picky eaters and those with food sensitivities alike!Mini Corn Muffins – A great little two bite snack that you can bake up and tuck in the freezer. Defrost and serve for a no mess nibble that sits perfectly on a cocktail plate!Instant Veggie Dip – This genius dip gets mixed up ahead of time so the flavors meld. It also doubles as a gift! Mix up the spices, pour them in to a jar, and top with a ribbon and the completed instructions. Who wouldn’t want that under the tree?!Roasted Shrimp W/Two Sauces – Shrimp and dip are a party staple, but this version turns it up a notch! Roasting brings out the sweet flavor of the seafood, and the Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce and Tangy Mango Sauce gives your guests two spectacular choices!Sun-Dried Tomato Dip – I cannot say enough good things about this dip. Trust me when I tell you it is absolutely spectacular. And gorgeous too, yes?
Drinks & Beverages
Spiced Tea Mix – Tea, orange, and Christmas spices come together for this hot drink. Also fantastic for a gift, I am particularly in love with this recipe since it lets me rock out all retro and use TANG. Remember Tang?
Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate Mix – This recipe is just what it says. Make a big batch out of ingredients in your pantry (that you can actually pronounce) and use it all season long.Hot Apple Cider – Simple, classic, and you can make it in your crockpot. Score.Holiday PUNCH – Such a gorgeous beverage! This tangy punch is appealing to the eye, as well as being darn tasty. One of my favorites! Set out a bottle of spirits on the side for those who wish to make it a full on cocktail!
Main & Sides
Roast Pork W/Mustard & Peach Glaze – I make this year round, but the flavor is certainly worthy of a holiday meal. The best part? It is incredibly easy, leaving your mind to focus on other things. Like what to get your Secret Santa.
Pomegranate Glazed Carrots – Few recipes are as universally pleasing to the masses as this one is. Gorgeous on a buffet and beautiful on the plate, these jewel-like veggies are a stunning-and healthy-addition to any menu! Lemon Potatoes – Take advantage of the citrus in the supermarkets right now and make this light dish!
Pork & Prune Stew – Served with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes, this stew is a showstopper. Easy, surprisingly low fat, and absolutely bursting with flavor. Just right when you need a comforting dish that can be gently reheated when company shows up.Creamy Penne W/Shrimp – This pasta is so special, we made it a New Years tradition. We look forward to it every year and it never disappoints. Positively drool worthy.
Cranberry Orange Pumpkin Spice Muffins – Can’t. Stop. Eating. Them.Pioneer Bread – Think of this quick bread as a healthy, less intimidating, more attractive cousin to the fruitcake.Honey Buns – Served for breakfast, brunch, or snack, these beauties will disappear faster than you can say Rudolph. Make a double batch.
Baked Doughnuts – This no frills recipe allows you to top or dust these as you choose. Straight out of the pan is an option I select often. Apricot Scones – I try not to pick favorites, but these may top my list of scones that I can’t live without. Tender and flakey, these will ensure that you will never head to a bakery again.
Dessert & Treats
Sour Cream Cherry Bars – The recipe says ‘bars’ but it is really just a super simple delivery system for an outrageous pie. This big batch is great for a crowd but you will want to keep them for yourself!
Chocolate Eclair Dessert – You need this in your life. No bake and make ahead, I will understand if you make nothing else all Christmas season. It is that good.
Christmas Munch – When you make this, be sure to pace yourself. Keeping it under lock and key may be necessary. Then again, it IS Christmas… On second thought, just make double.
White Chocolate Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake – This incredible dessert has a bunch of steps but really isn’t that difficult. It is however, simply superb. An incredible centerpiece to a table.Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies – These get an easy boost from using a packaged mix. Making these are a family tradition each year as they are super easy for my kids to do almost entirely on their own!
Maple Nut Cookies – Perfect for an exchange or carefully packaged for a friend or neighbor. The smell alone will warm your heart.
Chewy Ginger Cookies – Hands down, this is easily one of the best cookie recipes of all time. Chewy and full of flavor, these top the list of holiday treats. And year round treats, for that matter…
Ginger Chai Blondes – Add a cup of tea with one or two of these bars and you have a perfect treat. They are soft, but still chewy, and perfectly sweet. The flavors are subtle but spectacular and absolutely worthy of being wrapped in paper and taken to someone you love.