For new blog posts, please visit this site:


Hope to see you there!


raw meat

Picture a box of delicious, tender, flavorful grass-fed beef delivered right to your door.

It’s not a dream. It’s a reality with ButcherBox!

And the best part… you can send boxes of awesome meat right to the door of family and friends as gifts!

Have a hard-to-shop for guy on your list? A foodie that would love flavorful cuts of meat? ButcherBox might just be the answer to your gift-giving challenges.

Founded by Mike Salguero, the company is striving to build a new kind of food community based on making grass-fed beef available on a wider scale, provide a convenient experience, and align Americans back with nature.

Salguero was first introduced to 100% grass-fed beef through a local farmer who sold ¼ and ½ shares of cattle. Hooked after his first taste, he preferred the more natural flavor and liked the health benefits that came from grass-fed versus grain-fed beef.

He soon discovered a very small percentage of the beef produced in the United States is one hundred percent grass-fed, and largely inaccessible to many parts ofhte country.

He set about to change that.


By partnering with a group of small farms, ButcherBox is able to purchase in large quantities and pass the savings along to its customers.

The products are less expensive than similar cuts at grocery stores and ButcherBox focuses on bringing top quality right to your door.

Admittedly, I was a little dubious about having meat delivered to my home, but I gave it whirl.

The box came packed in dry ice (which is really cool – pun intended), packed inside an insulated bag. The cuts of meat are flash frozen in individual packages.

When I opened the box, the bag actually had frost on it, so no worries about the meat thawing during delivery. It was frozen solid.


The box I received had a mix of pork and beef. It included bacon, sirloin tips, top sirloin, pork chops and ground beef bricks as well a recipe card and welcome letter.

Impressed with the packaging, I soon found myself equally impressed with the meat.

The first thing we cooked was the bacon. Crispy, flavorful and so good, it got a thumbs-up from the breakfast-eaters at my house.

The pork chops were quite possibly the very best, moistest, most flavorful pork chops I’ve ever had.

The beef was full of rich, strong flavor.

ButcherBox starts at $129/month  and comes with 7-10 lbs of meat. According to the website, it works out  about $6.50/meal and shipping is free to the contiguous 48 states!

Shoppers can “beef” up boxes by selecting additional products like ribeye.

Right now, four box options are available including all beef, mixed box, beef and chicken, or beef and pork.

If you are looking for a fabulous gift for someone hard to shop for (or yourself) think about ordering from ButcherBox. Your taste buds will thank you.

To find out more about ButcherBox or to order from the company, visit ButcherBox.com

The folks at Big Chill have come up with some great tips for creating a scary kitchen this Halloween! Here are their hauntingly hip ideas!


Got a bug for all things ghoulish? Or maybe you just know that Halloween is not your typical holiday? Halloween is a time to show off your creepy side; the side of you normally reserved for haunting cemeteries, flying on broomsticks, or mixing mysterious potions. While most of us have already outgrown trick-or-treating, there is still plenty of ghoulish celebration to be found in Halloween parties, dinner parties, or simple ghostly gatherings. And what better place to come together than the kitchen?

Your kitchen is your cozy and beloved space year-round, responsible for cooking up all kinds of trouble on a daily basis. However, this is the time of year to really cook up some bewitching magic and illusion.

With a refrigerator full of surprises and a pantry full of delicious candy, there is no better time to invite loved ones into your kitchen for a bowl of zombie brains.

Let your creep side out! Here are 10 Decorations for a Frightening Halloween Kitchen.


1.) Halloween Hutch

Give kitchen hutches and dish cabinets a spooky makeover with the addition of Halloween decorations and accessories. Introduce jack-o-lantern themed plates, skull shaped sugar dishes, or simply add spider webs where there were none before. There is no way to incorrectly decorate your Halloween hutch, as long as you stick with the general theme – The creepier, the better.


2.) Spooky Kitchen Tables

Halloween 1

Your Halloween kitchen or dining room table display is where it all comes together. When it comes to October 31st, there is no spooky theme off limits, and there really is no strict format when it comes to ghoulish and ghastly tabletop decorations. Stick with classic black and orange colors, or stay inspired with a Tim Burton or Bride of Frankenstein theme. And don’t forget to reserve a place for Mr. Plastic Skeleton, your most important guest at dinner and source of all after-hours gossip.


3.) Spider Magnets

Glue plastic spiders or bugs to magnets to decorate your refrigerator, stove, or dishwasher with some Halloween-themed creepy crawlers.


4.) Ceiling Hats

Hang witches hats from the ceiling to remind everyone that you brew magic in the kitchen daily. Simply use tacks and clear fishing line to create the illusion that the hats are floating in mid-air.


5.) Creepy Cauldrons

Handcraft a creepy, well-utilized witches cauldron with a little bit of creativity and magic. No witches kitchen is complete without a cauldron, and can be used to serve your guests by filling it with cold sodas or punch. Try these instructions for the perfect handmade cauldron.


6.) Skeletons at Work

Freak out guests, friends, and family by propping up a skeleton in your kitchen and positioning them to perform household duties. Skeletons can do dishes, cook on the stove, or even sweep up that spilled bucket of eye balls you’ve been meaning to clean up. Now put those bones to work!


7.) Monster Knives

This one is a simple and creative way to spook up your kitchen display of knives. Simply draw or use these simple printouts to create your favorite monster, then sending him to the grave by way of your home knife collection.


8.) Ghostly Decor

Paint wine bottles to look like monsters, or spray paint mason jars to look like delicious sugary candy corn. There are endless ways to get creative and turn your kitchen into a haunted cookery your ghoulish guests will never forget.


9.) Fancy Pumpkins


Paint pumpkins in matte or metallic colors to create an eye-catching effect on traditionally orange gourds. Or, cover and glue pumpkins in lace or rhinestones to bring out your fanciest, bling-iest Halloween ghosts. Place fancy pumpkins on top of your refrigerator, in kitchen hutches, or anywhere that needs a fall-themed accessory. Small pumpkins also make perfect autumn additions to kitchen table centerpieces.


10.) Eerie Dry Ice

Nothing sends a chill up the spine like the effect of mysterious fog flowing freely from your kitchen sink. For those who aren’t afraid of a little science experiment, dry ice can be a great way to create a fog-like effect for that extra spooky Halloween touch. Look for instructions and ideas here, but be sure to read up on dry ice safety if this is your first time working with the solid form of carbon dioxide.


Information provided by Big Chill.

NewLight Portraits

Sometimes I like to share about things I think are cool – and this is definitely one of them…

Newlight Photo.png

NewLight Portraits Infuse Lighting Technology Into Any Photograph

Patented LED prints are more vivid, lifelike and impactful

 Photography has evolved over time from Victorian portraits only the wealthiest could afford to smartphones that inspire users to snap shots of everything. And, sepia print photos can now be turned out on surfaces from canvas to coffee mugs. As every good photographer knows though, an impressive photo is all about lighting. Even if a print is dark and details are lost, technology from NewLight Portraits can infuse life and brilliance into any photograph.

Patented cutting edge LED technology illuminates NewLight photographs from within transforming a great picture or logo into an extraordinarily vivid portrait. NewLight Portraits are self-contained units that are only 5/16 of an inch thick. They can be framed or hung on the wall as is. Inside of NewLight Portrait are special LED lights, which highlight the focal points of any image. When the unit is turned off, it looks like a regular photograph. When the unit is turned on it illuminates an image from within making it extremely crisp, vivid and lifelike. NewLight Portraits bring out the true colors, depth and detail of an image capturing family photos, baby pictures, landscape photos, pet photos, or just about any photograph in perfect replica.

“I always thought it would be cool if I could somehow use LED lighting to not only show off my family pictures hanging on the walls of my house, but to beautify the traditional sign,” said NewLight CEO Joe Brychell. “I never thought track lighting did family portraits any justice. So, years ago I started working on the concept of lighting photographs and signage from the edge instead of the front. After about 200 prototypes and what feels like a million hours of work, I came up with a patented technique to manipulate modern LED light to evenly distribute and also highlight the focal point of a photograph from the backside. It gives me such joy to know that our customers proudly hang our products in their homes, offices and place of business to show off what is really important to them.”

NewLight Portraits need to be plugged into an outlet. They are extremely efficient and consume less power than other light sources.

NewLight Portraits are available in print sizes ranging from 8×10 to 24×36 in portrait or landscape orientations. Each portrait includes an electric plug, switch  and approximately 6 feet of cord. Additional extension cords are available if needed.  Most people choose to run the cord behind the wall to the portrait (this is comparable and as simple as running a single speaker wire) to hide the cord from view. For more information and custom ordering, visit: www.newlightportrait.com.

About Newlight Portrait

 Always fascinated with lighting and the dramatic affects it can have on different objects, Joe Brychell created NewLight Portraits in 2016. An engineer by trade, Brychell developed and patented a method of lighting photographs and signage from the edge instead of the front. All Newlight Portraits are built in America.

Big Chill


Join me today as I welcome Lisa Tilley from BigChill.com

I kid you not – you have to check out their cool appliances!

Welcome, Lisa!


From as far back as we can remember, kitchens have represented the most important part of any household. The fact that most families spend the greatest part of their day together in the kitchen proves how vital a part it plays in the household.

And since their development, refrigerators have been a staple in any kitchen anywhere in the world, creating and telling stories about the families that own them.

Over the years, refrigerator has grown from being a simple commodity to a representation of style and design expertise, a foundation of the kitchen.

People at BigChill.com pride themselves on taking all of these inspirational designs, capturing their nostalgia and creating modern made classic refrigerators. Check out this timeline of the refrigerator for a look into the early days of the fridge, and to see what inspired the Modern Made Classics of today.

Find out more about the company at  BigChill.com

Chef AJ Early from Boise, Idaho, shares tips on throwing a perfect 4th of July BBQ. Welcome, AJ!

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and there is no other holiday that is more perfect for a backyard BBQ. Whether you invite friends, family, or both, you’ll want to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and that everyone has a great time. Follow these steps to make sure your patriotic shindig is perfect.

Comfortable Seating

 The first thing you want to do is make sure there will be a place for everyone to sit and enjoy themselves. If you don’t have enough outdoor furniture to accommodate all of your guests, you have a few options. First, you could rent chairs from a local party rental store, or even buy some inexpensive ones to have on hand.
You could also bring some of your indoor chairs outdoors, or utilize things like coolers, crates, or bails of hay as seating. The last option is to ask guests to bring portable chairs along with them.

Get Rid Of Pests

 This time of year, mosquitoes are out with a fury. They are pesky little critters, but they can also carry dangerous diseases, and even a few swarming around will surely dampen your guest’s spirits.
There are a lot of ways you can protect your backyard from mosquitoes: place traps or use a bug misting system, and make sure to get rid of any standing water before the event.
Utilizing a canopy or porch with mesh curtains is always a safe bet if you have those items, otherwise, you’ll want to take extra measures for your backyard BBQ. You can spray pesticides beforehand, but if chemicals aren’t your thing, burn citronella candles or torches, or place fans blowing outward from the party area. Mosquitoes have a hard time flying in wind.

Prepare Your Grill

 The next step to ensure BBQ perfection is to make sure your grill is ready to go before the big day. According to Tony Roma’s pitmaster, there are five steps to preparing your grill for a gathering. First, give it a good scrub  down and make sure it’s clean and free of debris. Second, make sure you have enough fuel to get you through, and if you’re in doubt, grab some backup. Third, make sure you have all the tools and utensils that you’ll need. Next, grab an instant read thermometer. This will not only help ensure your meat is cooked properly, it will also help keep you from overcooking it. Last, make sure you have a grill light or a flashlight. If you end up grilling after it gets dark, it will be very hard to tell when your food needs to be flipped or rotated without some direct light.


 Now that you’ve got the grill and the backyard prepared, it’s time to get crafty. You don’t have to go all-out for an outdoor event, but taking a little time to make everything look festive will delight your guests, especially the little ones. You can go super simple by using red, white and blue bandanas as placemats, grabbing some red, white, and blue flowers, and printing up some little flags to wrap around water bottles. You can also get extra
crafty with the kids by gathering together to make
these homemade“fireworks”
this cute DIY marbled red, white, and blue garland.
Image from All You
Image from Market Colors


Of course, the most important aspect of any backyard BBQ is the food. There is nothing more All-American than burgers and dogs, so that’s always a great option to go with, especially since you can have guests bring sides and desserts. But, if you want to escape tradition a little, this is my idea of the perfect 4th of July BBQ:
Start everyone off with this delicious grilled vegetable salsa:
Photo by Quentin Bacon
1 cup store-bought refrigerated fresh salsa
1/2 bell pepper (any color), grilled and diced
1/2 medium red onion, grilled and diced
Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, toss the pepper, onion, and oil.
Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the pepper and onion into 1/4-inch pieces and transfer to a bowl. Add the salsa and stir to combine.
Next, give everyone something a little different, yet still thoroughly America, with these root beer ribs:
2 racks baby back ribs
1 bottle (2 liters) root beer
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place ribs in large baking dish. Pour all but 1 cup root beer over ribs. Sprinkle 2
tablespoons salt over ribs; cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight, turning once if possible. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove ribs from root beer and pat dry with paper towel. Discard root beer in pan; wipe pan dry. Place ribs back into pan. Add 1 cup water; cover tightly with foil. Cook 2 hours or until meat is nearly falling off the bone. Meanwhile, make root beer barbecue sauce: In small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is soft, stirring frequently. Add
remaining ingredients (including reserved 1 cup root beer and 1/2 teaspoon salt); heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Just before ribs hit the 2 hour mark in the oven, preheat grill for indirect grilling over medium-high heat. Put bones on cooler side of grill, bone side down. Brush with some Root Beer Barbecue Sauce and cook 10 to 15 minutes, then flip. Brush with sauce again and cook until ribs are lightly charred and meat is falling off bone. Serve with any remaining sauce.
Can’t forget the veggies! This succotash salad is super easy and a perfect addition to 4th of July:
1 pound fresh okra, trimmed
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Place mixture on cooking grate, and grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°). Grill tomatoes 3 minutes or just until they begin to pop. Turn okra, and grill, covered with grill lid, 2 to 3 more minutes or until tender. Transfer okra and tomatoes to a serving dish, and sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.
Last, impress your guests by ditching the classic flag cake and going with this fruit-tart flag instead:
Photo by Tara Donne
Fill premade miniature tart shells or phyllo cups with sweet mascarpone cream (recipe below), then arrange on a tray and top with blueberries and halved strawberry slices to create stars and stripes.
Mascarpone Cream:
Beat an 8-ounce container of mascarpone cheese and 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until smooth. Gently fold in 1/2 cup freshly whipped cream.


The last step to a perfect Fourth of July gathering is of course, the fireworks. If your town or a nearby one has a great fireworks show, start the grilling early in the afternoon so you can all head down to save a spot early. Otherwise, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got plenty of fun to go around. When you get the show
going, start with the smallest fireworks first, and work your way up to the bigger ones. Building anticipation is a great way to keep your guests entertained the whole evening, especially the little ones. Just remember to
firework safety, and clean up everything once it is cool enough to touch.
AJ Earley is a personal chef, freelance writer, and root beer float enthusiast from Boise, Idaho.


SS logoWhen we arrived home from vacation, I had the most wonderful box of goodies awaiting from ScentSicles.

If you haven’t heard of them, ScentSicles are the first scented ornaments that make any Christmas tree smell like you’ve trekked into the woods and cut it down yourself.

ScentSicles scented ornaments bring the magic to the season by allowing Christmas enthusiasts everywhere to have all the convenience of an artificial tree but with the real-tree smell so many of us desire.  It’s true – no messy pine needles but still the real tree smell that makes it feel like Christmas!

SS3 low rez

And the ScentSicles are so easy to use. Just hang on your tree, inhale the wonderful fresh-cut tree smell, and relax knowing that there aren’t any pesky needles to clean up. ScentSicles holiday scents include: White Winter Fir, Christmas Time Spruce, It’s a Wonderful Pine, SnowBerry Wreath, and Two Dashes of Cinnamon.

SS 7 low rez

ScentSicles offer the following products:

  • ScentSicles Table Ornaments – the ultimate housewarming gift!  Better than a candle and always “on”, this festive jar filled with holiday scents is a safe way to infuse the home with the smells of the season…without the flame.
  • AutoSticks – the annual holiday trek to Grandma’s house wouldn’t be complete without the smell of Christmas for that car ride.  Just hang a ScentSicles Autostick from the rearview mirror or hide under your seat, and let the memories begin!
  • Decorative Ornaments – one of the most popular holiday traditions is decorating a Christmas tree.  Enjoy new decorative ornament designs including gold and silver glitter.  Beautiful and fragrant!
  • Scented Sprigs – go from Grinch to Cindy Lou in a flash with the aroma of perfectly sized smaller ScentSicles ideal for tucking in a wreath, placing in a tablescape or hiding in a mantle display!

I’d noticed ScentSicles in a few of our local stores a month or so ago, so when the opportunity arose to review their products I jumped at it.

I can’t say enough about how much I like the scents and the ease of use (my idea of a perfect combination!).

As a special holiday surprise, one lucky randomly drawn winner will receive a ScentSicles Gift Package! The gift package includes ScentSicles ornaments, AutoSticks and their new table ornament!

Just post a comment below about your favorite scent of the season to enter!

For more information, visit: www.scentsicles.com

And be sure to watch this fun video with Jack:

%d bloggers like this: