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Can You Recycle Milk Cartons? Here’s What You Need to Know!

My kids ask me almost every day: can you recycle milk cartons? If you’re wondering the answer to that question too, here is everything you need to know about recycling food and beverage cartons!

Can you recycle milk cartons Here is everything you need to know about food carton recycling!

*This post was sponsored by the Carton Council as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #RecycleYourCartons #IC*

Can You Recycle Food and Beverage Cartons? Here’s What You Need to Know!

I can’t tell you how often I see all kinds of food cartons in the trash instead of the recycling bin where they belong. If you want the 411 on food carton recycling, here are the answers you’ve been looking for! Don’t throw away those food and beverage cartons. They ARE recyclable and they do belong in recycling bin. How about juice boxes? Are they recyclable too? Yes, indeed! I have totally thrown away food and beverage cartons and other food cartons in the past, but today I’m answering the question, can you recycle food and beverage cartons cartons once and for all! Food and beverage cartons of all sorts are absolutely recyclable! Yes!

Can you recycle milk cartons in Iowa
You’d almost have to be living under a rock these days not to have heard about the huge problem we have with plastics. Sadly plastics are overtaking our oceans and wreaking havoc on wildlife. More and more cartons are used for food storage these day! I even saw a lot of water in cartons instead of plastic bottles when I was at Expo West back in March!

And the good news is cartons are a great choice. If you’re trying to reduce plastic use at your house, start looking out for food packaged in cartons. You might be surprised by all of the options.

Food and beverage cartons are an eco-friendly choice. They’re made mostly from paper with a thin layer of plastic or sometimes aluminum, they are lightweight and compact, and they have low carbon footprint. With an average of 93% product and only 7% packaging, cartons use the least amount of materials possible, helping preserve our Earth’s precious resources. The great thing about recycling food and beverage cartons is that they are made into other paper products or chemical free environmentally friendly building materials! It’s a win-win to use and recycle food and beverage cartons!

Learn more at Carton Council!

Can You Recycle Milk Cartons

What Types of Recyclable Food and Beverage Cartons are there?

A quick glance around my kitchen revealed a bunch of different types of food and beverage cartons. I have bought all of the following types of food and drink in cartons over the years and they are all recyclable!

  • soups cartons
  • broths carton
  • milk cartons
  • juice cartons
  • coconut cartons
  • wine cartons
  • cartons of 1/2 and 1/2
  • tomato cartons
  • cartons of beans

how to recycle food cartons

How Can You Recycle Food and Beverage Cartons?

It’s so easy to recycle food cartons! To recycle food and beverage cartons, all you have to do is empty them out and put them in recycling bin every time! It’s very easy to recycle since many recycling companies now accept straws and lids too. There’s no excuse not to toss your empty cartons in the recycling bin.

how to recycle milk cartons

Wondering how the food and beverage cartons are recycled and what they’re turned into? Watch this quick video for the answers!

 

Curbside carton recycling is available to more than 62% of U.S. households, which honestly seems low to me.  Use this zip code locator to find out if your local recycling center accepts cartons. My area in Iowa does accept cartons for recycling. I hope your area does too. If you want to connect with Carton Council, you can find them on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

Do your kids also ask if you can recycle food and beverage cartons? I would love to hear that recycling food cartons is an option in your area!

If you liked this post on recycling food cartons, you might like these posts too:

One Meal a Day for the Planet Eating Challenge

Book Review of Green Enough by Leah Segedie

5 Ways to Live Sustainably

Can You Recycle Milk Cartons? Everything You Need to Know about recycling food cartons!

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips to Help Your Garden Thrive

High heat in the summer can wreak havoc on your summer vegetable garden, but you can do things to several tings to help. These seven hot weather summer gardening tips will help your garden thrive even during high heat summers.Help your garden thrive in hot weather with these 7 must know hot weather summer gardening tips.

Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! 

This Tuesday my gardening friends and I are sharing tips for summer gardening. From tips to help you keep your garden alive while you vacation, to summer blooms, and easy garden tasks to do this summer, make sure you click through the links at the end! tuesdays in the garden

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips to Help Your Garden Thrive

Every year it seems like some other issues arises to cause trouble in the garden and keep me on my toes. We’re only in early June but record high summer temperatures are already causing problems in my garden. I’ve read that we’re in for the hottest summer on record this year, and so far, it seems like the forecast might be right. To help my summer vegetable garden thrive during the hot summer weather, I’ve put together a helpful list of tips. Let me know what you would add!

1. Plant summer vegetables that tolerate high heat

It’s not too late to plant veggies now, but it will help if you plant summer vegetables that tolerate high heat. Not all veggies like the heat, but some really do. Here’s a list of summer vegetables that tolerate high heat. If you’re worried about a hot summer, make sure to grow veggies that will be able to handle it.

  • okra
  • corn
  • hot peppers
  • eggplants
  • tomatoes
  • watermelon
  • cucumbers
  • oregano
  • sage
  • thyme
  • rosemary

Also, if you plant vegetables later in the summer, stay on top of watering! They need water to germinate if you’re planting from seed, and they need lots of water initially to really grow. If you want to plant cool weather crops, it might be better to hold off until fall. Here’s a list of vegetables to plant in the fall.

watering the garden in hot summer

2. Make sure your plants get enough water

Most plants need around an inch of rain per week. While there’s nothing as great as a soaking rain for garden veggies, you can help them succeed during dry times by making sure they get enough water. If you have to supplement water, the best way to water your plants is with a soaker hose, but I’ve also had good luck watering individual plants only with a bucket and large tin can. Watering the plants only helps keeps weeds down too. And if you use a bucket and a tin can, you can also add a bit of food to the water to help fertilize your plants at the same time.

3. Keep the weeds down

Weeds are competition for water and soil nutrients so keeping them at bay will help your garden plants absorb the most water and nutrients they can get from the soil. I don’t know anyone who likes to weed, but it’s important to keep them under control one way or the other. Here are some helpful weeding tips you may find useful.

4. Mulch heavily

Mulch is one of your best friends in the garden. Not only does it help keep the weeds down, but it also helps keep the moisture in the soil. During the hot summer, you want as much moisture in the soil as possible. I can’t stress enough the important of mulching. Here are tips for how to use mulch and free places to find!

5. Shade cloth can help your plants

Shade cloth or netting can help your plants a lot in hot weather by protecting them from both the heat and the sun. I’ve read that shading your plants can help keep soil and air temperatures as much as 10 degrees cooler than the outside air which can make a big different on super hot days. For best results, hang the netting several inches above your crops by using hoops or wooden frames. Covering your crops has other benefits too – such as keeping pests at bay! Learn how to easily cover a raised garden bed here.

how to cover a raised garden bed

6. Pay attention to the weather forecast 

Paying attention the weather is a great way to be proactive in the garden. Knowing that the weather is going to turn hot and dry for time will let you take steps before the weather gets too hot. You can take a couple days to cover your crops for instance, or make sure that your garden has been fed nutrients ahead of time. Stay informed about what’s coming so you can prepare and protect your garden!

helping seedlings survive transplating with bioflora seaweed creme

7. Make sure your plants get enough nutrients

Another really important thing to do during hot weather is to make sure your plants get enough nutrients. Hopefully you have a nutrient rich soil already, but don’t forget to feed your plants a good organic plant food during the summer to help them out during the really hot times.

Tuesdays in the Garden

hearth and vineFrom Patti @Hearth and Vine – How to Care for Plants While You’re on Vacation

homemade food junkie

From Diane @Homemade Food Junkie – Vacationer’s Garden Survival Guide

an oregon cottageFrom Jami @An Oregon Cottage – Summer Flowers to Grow

From Shelly at Frugal Family Home – 5 Minute Summer Garden Tasks

From Angie the Freckled Rose – Flowers to Attract Pollinators

If you liked this post on helping your summer vegetable garden thrive in heat, you might like these posts too:

7 Methods of Natural Weed Control

What to Plant in Your Garden in June

How to Kill Cucumber Beetles Organically 

10 Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips

Turn this Shish Kabob Recipe in an Easy Greek Sandwich Tonight!

You don’t have to dig deep into my blog archives to realize I really love Greek flavors! And this shish kabob recipe is another absolutely delicious and easy Greek inspired meal idea. Olives, feta, lemon, and oregano enhance just about any food, in my opinion and you’ll find these flavors and plenty more in this quick and and easy recipe for a Greek sandwich made with steak shish kabobs.

Easy Greek Sandwich Shish Kabob Recipe

*This post is sponsored by Ken’s Dressings. All opinions are mine.*

The weather is heating up in Eastern Iowa and that means we’re breaking out the grill. Grilling is a great way to keep the house cool. It’s also fun to involve my husband in the cooking. However, this recipe is so easy that even if you can’t get your husband out to the grill, you can absolutely make this quick Greek Sandwich yourself!

Turn this Shish Kabob Recipe in an Easy Greek Sandwich Tonight!

The first thing you need to do to make delicious steak shish kabobs is find the right steak. If you have an unlimited budget, the best beef cut for making tender shish kabobs is a filet mignon or a porterhouse. If your budget is a little bit tighter, I recommend using sirloin (it’s what I use!) To save time, ask the butcher at your meat counter to cut the sirloin into 1″ cubes. They should be able to do that for you for free, and having the butcher cut the meat will save you time.

Marinating is the next big key to getting flavorful steak shish kabobs. A super easy way to marinate your meat is to use pre-made salad dressing! While it’s not a lot of trouble to mix up your own marinade, using a pre-made salad dressing will save you time, and every minute counts when you’re trying to feed a starving family!

Beef Shish Kabob Pita Sandwich

We really love Ken’s new Simply Vinaigrette for marinating steak. The Greek version works very well in this recipe. And a quarter cup is all you need! If you’re using a more expensive cut of meat, you can marinate more quickly – about a half hour. If you’re using a less expensive beef cut, it’s best to marinate your steak overnight for best flavors.

The Simply Vinaigrette Greek is the perfect marinade if you love Mediterranean flavors as much as I do! Ingredients include cider vinegar, garlic, and lemon giving the grilled beef for this Mediterranean sandwich a nice tang. My kids said these beef shish kabob were some of the best kabobs I’ve ever made! And that’s a huge compliment coming from my children.

grill the beef shish kabobs and pita bread

How to Grill the Steak Shish Kabobs

Fire up the grill and get it nice and hot. We use a gas grill so I just turn it on medium and close the lid to let it heat up. When the grill is almost hot, skewer the meat on your skewers. We use reusable metal skewers, but you can use whatever you want. If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes ahead of time so they won’t catch on fire. Now, put them on the hot grill and cook for about 2 1/2 minutes per side. That means you’ll flip the skewers about four times. Brush a little dressing on the pita bread and heat for 30 seconds per side on the grill.

Easy Greek Pita Sandwiches made with Beef Shish Kabobs
To assemble your easy Greek Sandwich:

Simply add steak, lettuce, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes and a drizzle of Ken’s Greek Dressing to taste! That’s it! Enjoy. Serve with olives, hummus, and fresh tabbouleh salad if you want. You can also skip the pita and just eat the ingredients deconstructed too!

Nutrition

Calories

3118 cal

Fat

201 g

Carbs

110 g

Protein

203 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 6

Make this Easy Greek Sandwich Shish Kabob Recipe Tonight!

Quick and delicious pita sandwich with Greek flavors. Made with grilled beef shish kabobs and loaded with veggies, this sandwich makes a great dinner or delicious lunch too!

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

Instructions

    Grill the Beef Skewers
  1. Place steak cubes and dressing in an airtight container and marinate 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  2. Heat the grill up to a medium heat.
  3. Skewer the meat and grill for about 10 minutes, 2 1/2 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached.
  4. Assemble the Sandwiches
  5. Brush a small amount of Ken's Simply Vinaigrette Greek Dressing on the pitas and heat on the grill for about 30 second per side.
  6. Cut the pitas and half and fill with beef and your choice of lettuce, feta, cucumber, tomato, and more Ken's Simply Vinaigrette to taste.
  7. Enjoy!
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https://simplifylivelove.com/greek-sandwich-shish-kabob-recipe/

Do you also love grilling in the summer? What’s your favorite food to grill? Many thanks to Ken’s for sponsoring this beef shish kabob recipe post! Please connect with them on their websitefacebookinstagrampinterest, and youtube.

If you liked this easy Greek Sandwich shish kabob recipe, you might like these posts too:

Greek Marinated Pork Loin for quick sandwiches

New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich 

Hot Oven Sandwich Perfect for the Freezer

 

7 Must Know Tips for Hiking with Kids This Summer!

This summer is supposed to break record high temperatures, but that doesn’t mean we should stay inside. Even if you aren’t adventurous, make this the summer to go hiking with kids. Here are a few tips to get your kids outside and having fun even when they’d rather be inside on electronics!7 must know tips for hiking with kids

*This post is sponsored by Merrell. All opinions are mine.*

7 Must Know Tips for Hiking with Kids This Summer!

1. Keep it fun

Your kids will enjoy hiking most if you find interesting trails for them to hike. My kids prefer trails in and around water most of all, so that’s what we look for when deciding where to hike with our kids. Trails that have interesting geologic features, vegetation, or wildlife will also be more fun for your kids so keep that in mind when looking for hiking locations.

2. Bring snacks and water bottles 

You can bet your kids will be hungry and thirsty even if the trail is short and they just ate. Having water bottles and quick snacks can mean the difference between an enjoyable hike or an annoying time. So make sure you have a few things to ward off hungry and thirst when you go hiking with your kids!trusting kids to make good decisions is important when hiking with kids

3. Trust your kids 

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, American kids are increasingly overprotected with little independence or autonomy. Unfortunately, overzealous parenting styles can cause real harm to our kids making them dependent and anxious. One way to help them be more independent can be on the hiking trail.

Trusting them to make good decisions on the trail can be hard as we watch them scramble up rocks and jump around, but it’s important to have a little faith that your kids will be just fine! Let them scramble. Let them choose their own path. Encourage them to be safe and trust that they will.

hiking with kids

4. Be positive

If your kids are anything like mine, they’re always yelling, “Look at me!” Don’t be afraid to tell them they’re doing a great job. Positive reinforcement makes all things more enjoyable. Smile at your kids and let them know how fast and strong they are. Help them have confidence in their hiking abilities even when you want to scream and look away.

waterfall at Malanaphy Springs in Decorah Iowa

5. Leave no trace

There’s nothing worse than trails covered with trash. Not only is it a great idea to teach kids not to litter, it’s awesome to take it one step further and pick up trash as well. We always make a habit of picking up trash on the way back. It’s not hard to do, especially if you stuff a small bag in your pocket before setting out on the trail.

It’s empowering for kids to know they can make a difference through very small actions. Pack it in, pack it out is a great motto your kids can embrace when hiking. There’s more to leave no trace than picking up trash though. Leave the vegetation alone, stay on the trail, and fill in any holes your kids may dig. All of these things are easy ways you can leave no trace when hiking with kids.

6. Be prepared for mishaps

While I don’t want to schlepp all the things all the time, there are a few things I try to have on hand when we hike. Bug spray. Sunscreen. Small first aid kit. We never know what will happen when we hike with kids, but rest assured something minor will happen almost every time. Being prepared for the inevitable makes hiking with kids much more enjoyable.

hiking with kids in streams

7. Dress for success

Make sure your kids are dressed properly. We like to have hats along always. Not only do they help protect from the sun, but they’re also good at keeping ticks out of hair. I know you don’t want your kids to come home with ticks.

The other big consideration for hiking is proper foot attire. Since my kids like to hike around water and climb more than anything, water shoes with good traction make a lot of sense. Why we love the Merrell HYDRO 2.0 for hiking with kids

Why we love the Merrell HYDRO 2.0

My kids prefer to explore water with shoes on, but they also like to climb, so we need a multi-purpose shoe for hiking. We found the Merrell Hydro 2.0 sneaker sandal to be a great multipurpose hiking shoe for kids. Not only is this cute sneaker sandal great for hiking trails, but it’s also fabulous for water exploring.  It’s made from lightweight recycled materials that dry quickly so feet don’t stay waterlogged. We also like the closed toe that offers more protection than an open toe sandal.  Plus it’s cute and comfortable! What more could you want in a kid’s hiking shoe?

I hope these tips inspire you to get outside and hike with your kids this summer. I know firsthand that the electronic struggle is real. But hitting a hiking trail with your kids can be a fantastic way to bond with the entire family. And keeping the kids off electronics for an even a couple hours is a very good thing.

Do you have a tip for hiking with kids? Please share how you plan to get out and about with your kids this summer!

If you liked this post on hiking with kids, you’ll like these too:

Natural ways to prevent tick bites

What to do if you are bitten by a tick

25 things to have in your car for ultimate summer fun

Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones Make an Easy Summer Fruit Snack

Are you looking for easy summer fruit snack ideas that your kids will LOVE? Make them Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones and check out this the other great ideas to make eating fruit fun this summer!fresh fruit waffle cones - fruit in cone on a platter

Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones Make an Easy Summer Fruit Snack

Does anyone really have trouble getting kids to eat fruit? I sure don’t. In fact, I have to sometimes yell at my kids for eating too much fruit. They’re eating me out of house and home right now! It’s hard to get upset over eating too much fruit, but sometimes, enough is enough already.

sliced fruit for Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones

That’s one reason I love these fresh fruit cones. It stretches the fruit a little bit further! Instead of each kid eating one peach, one apple, a quart of blueberries, and a bunch of grapes, I can cut up a reasonable amount of everything and serve them a little bit less. They really don’t need to eat all day long!

My kids love fruit in waffle cones. Waffle cones make everything better, don’t you think? Maybe if I was a really nice mom I would get all fancy and dip the cone in chocolate and sprinkles, but I’m not really all that nice. 😉

fresh fruit cones

Aren’t they pretty? To make these, I just filled medium-sized waffle cones with blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, and peaches, kiwis, and apples.  Then we ate them with fresh whipped cream. So tasty! the sky’s the limit as far of what you can put in these fun fruit cones – and instead of whipped cream, you could also add ice cream. These fresh fruit filled waffle cones are totally easy and versatile.

I’m sure you don’t really need a recipe to learn how to make fresh fruit waffle cones, but just in case, here you go!

Easy Summer Fruit Snack
Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup apple, sliced
  • 1 cup peaches, sliced
  • Waffle cones
  • Fresh whipped cream, optional

Instructions

  1. Clean and prep all fruits.
  2. Add to waffle cones.
  3. Serve with fresh whipping cream, if desired.
  4. Enjoy!
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https://simplifylivelove.com/fresh-fruit-waffle-cones/

Looking for more summer fruit snack ideas? Here are several to enjoy!

frozen srawberry yogurt cupcakes

Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes

Layered Fruit “Cake”

Healthy 4 Ingredient Fruit Dip

What fruits would you put in these delightful fresh fruit waffle cones?

Are you looking for easy summer fruit snack ideas that your kids will LOVE? Make them Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones and check out this the other great ideas to make eating fruit fun this summer!

 

Delicious Omaha Restaurants to Try This Weekend!

Earlier in April I was treated to a surprisingly delicious culinary tour of Omaha Restaurants. On this amazing trip, a lovely group of bloggers was treated to some of the best restaurants in Omaha! If you’re looking for a new restaurant to try this weekend, all of these are great ideas! And if you need a reason to add Omaha to your bucket list, here are 10 delicious reasons to visit this fun city! I recommend wearing stretchy pants. 😉

Fresh Scallops at Dante Omaha Restaurants

*This post is sponsored by Visit Omaha, but all delicious opinions are mine!*

Delicious Omaha Restaurants to Try This Weekend!

If you think the Midwest culinary scene is boring  – let me assure that it’s not! Local, fresh, innovative, and very diverse! That’s how I would describe the food scene in Omaha which boasts an insanely large number of restaurants!

Every one of the Omaha restaurants featured in this list serve delicious food, wonderful drinks, and a fun atmosphere. If you have the chance, you should try them all! For a Culinary Feast, here are 10 of the best restaurants in Omaha to add to your list of places to try!

Dante OmahaDante

Located in West Omaha, Dante is a restaurant you must try! Chef and owner Nick Strawhecker provides an authentic Italian experience, serving a delicious Italian-only wine list, authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, and a seasonal, rotating menu using fresh produce from local farmers. If Nick is serving up scallops the night you go, I highly recommend eating them! So, so good!!

Reservations are recommended at this beautiful restaurant, so click here to make one!

Blackstone Reuben from Cresent Moon Alehouse - one of my favorite Omaha Restaurants

Crescent Moon Ale House–

The Blackstone Reuben served at Crescent Moon wins the prize for Omaha’s Best Reuben by the Omaha World Herald. It was originally created at the famous Blackstone Hotel right around the corner from Crescent Moon and is really good. I thought I didn’t like Reubens, but after trying the sandwich at the Crescent Moon, I am singing a new song!

Make sure to head out to Crescent Moon for a delicious Reuben and a craft beer. They have an amazing collection of beers that every beer lover will enjoy AND a yearly Reuben Fest! Don’t miss it this year.

Stirnella Bar & Kitchen

Stirnella Bar & Kitchen

Stirnella describes itself as a refined gastro pub with an approachable global menu. It’s a beautiful restaurant and bar. And, I love that it also sources fresh and local ingredients and embraces its Nebraska roots. I recommend trying the burratta with grilled peasant bread and the spätzle with onion confit and roasted mushrooms! Delicious!!

You can also make a reservation to eat at Stirnella. Click here to reserve a table online.

Le Bouillon Omaha

Le Bouillon Restaurant and Raw Bar

If you’re looking for a fun casual French dining experience, Le Bouillon in the heart of the Old Market is the place to go! Featuring one of a kind art and a fun bar, we really enjoyed learning about the history of this restaurant and sampling their delicious sandwiches and fries. The bartender also makes delicious drinks.

Make your reservation here.

Monarch Prime Omaha - Looking for some delicious Omaha Restaurants to try this weekend? This list of 10 restaurants for drinks, meals, and sweet treats includes some of best restaurants in Omaha! Be sure to add them to your list of places to try and make it to all of them!Monarch Prime

Located in the beautiful Hotel Deco in downtown Omaha, Monarch Prime can be described as a modern steakhouse featuring their own dry-aging program and delicious seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Monarch Prime serves lunch and dinner and daily, as well as a Sunday brunch.

You’ll also want a reservation at Monarch Prime. Details on making one are here.

Looking for Delicious Drinks?

In addition to the drinks I mentioned above, the following restaurants in Omaha also serve up an amazing drink! Be sure to check out:Brickway Brewery & DistilleryBrickway Brewery & Distillery

Brickway Brewery & Distillery is the perfect place to take the ultimate beer and spirits connoisseur! Located around the corner from Le Bouillon Restaurant in Omaha’s Old Market, Brickway is proud to distill and brew some of Omaha’s best craft drinks. They make a mean flight of Moscow Mules and their pretzel is delicious. Sign up to take a tour and learn first hand how Brickway approaches spirit distilling.

Howard Street Wine Merchant in Omaha

Howard Street Wine Merchant

Looking for a delicious bottle of wine? Make sure to stop in a Howard Street Wine Merchant for free tasting and a nice selection of wines to take home. Howard Street Wine Merchant is accessible through Le Bouillon Restaurant and Raw Bar and is a fun place to spend a few minutes on a rainy afternoon!

Laka Lono Omaha

LAKA LONO Rum Club

For a fun experience, make sure to head downstairs to LAKA LONO Rum Club. This fun tiki bar boasts an amazing bar experience with fun seating and lots of rum based drinks. For the ultimate experience, go with a group and try the Volcano Bowl! You will enjoy this flaming group drink.

For a Sweet Treat:

The Cordial Cherry in Omaha

The Cordial Cherry

The Cordial Cherry is a confectionery that sells fine artisan chocolates. If you like chocolates and chocolate covered cherries, you must stop in and visit this cute little shop located next to Dante. As the name suggests, the specialty here is handmade chocolate covered cordial cherries, decorated into the cutest little works of art. They’re almost too pretty to eat, but not really. Make sure to pop in when you go to Dante!

coneflower creamery in omaha

Coneflower Creamery
For a delicious ice cream treat, you have to head over to Coneflower Creamery! Located in the Blackstone District, this cute little ice cream shop’s motto is Farm to Cone Ice Cream and it is absolutely delicious. I really love Brian Langbehn’s commitment to local. He’s the founder, chef, and scoopologist at Coneflower Creamery and is committed to the highest quality ingredients sourced from local farms. I can attest that the homemade Smore’s Ice Cream treat is absolute perfection!

For the Ultimate Omaha Culinary Experience!

cooking class at Provisions by the Grey Plume

If you want the ultimate Omaha culinary experience, sign up for a cooking class at Provisions by the Grey Plume with Chef Clayton. Making homemade pasta was amazing. But the  the upcoming classes look fabulous too. A Couples Pho’ Class class and a sausage making class would be so much fun! Chef Clayton is knowledgeable and entertaining, and the food we made was delicious. Learn about all the classes Chef Clayton teaches here!

Another really fun way to experience Omaha’s culinary scene is to sign up for a tour with Omaha Culinary Tours. OCT arranges the culinary tour, and you eat! Like steaks? Take the Classic Steakhouse Tour. Want to try craft brews? Take the Brews and Bites Tour. They’ll drive you to and from each location on the trip and take care of all the ordering ahead of time. Prepare for a lot of fun, laughter, history, and delicious food. The prices are pretty reasonable so sign up for one today!

If you liked this list of some of the best restaurants in Omaha, you might be surprised by all the amazing activities your family will love in Omaha too. Check out this Weekend Getaway to Omaha post and start planning your Omaha getaway!

What do you think are the best restaurants in Omaha? I’d love to hear!Looking for some delicious Omaha Restaurants to try this weekend? This list of 10 restaurants for drinks, meals, and sweet treats includes some of best restaurants in Omaha! Be sure to add them to your list of places to try and make it to all of them!

New Orleans Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

Treat yourself to a taste of New Orleans with this Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe! It’s quick to make and delicious to eat. Best of all, you can make these sandwiches in advance and freeze them! Add these ingredients to your shopping list and enjoy the wonderful flavors of New Orleans you’ll experience with my take on the Central Grocery Muffuletta Recipe.Pining for New Orleans? This Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe is perfect! It's quick to make and delicious to eat. Add these ingredients to your shopping list and enjoy the wonderful flavors of New Orleans you'll experience with this Central Grocery Muffuletta Recipe.

Many thanks to Ken’s Dressings for sponsoring this freezer friendly sandwich recipe. All opinions are mine. #KensDressing

New Orleans Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

It’s that time of year when life goes absolutely bonkers for me. With four kids who run track, are active in spring ball and have lots of music lessons, nights and weekends fill up. Every year I think our schedule will be less hectic, but it never is. Life is always crazy for us in the spring, which is why recipes like this one come in very handy.

To survive this crazy season, I really rely on the homemade food I keep in my freezer. Otherwise, it’s ball park popcorn for dinner almost every night. Been there, done that, don’t judge. Since I started cooking freezer friendly recipes, though, it’s so much easier to have a dinner ready on very busy nights. Freezer sandwiches are a family favorite, and this Muffuletta is absolute perfection.New Orleans and Central Grocery

Central Grocery Muffuletta Recipe

I first tried this sandwich at Central Grocery a few years ago when I was in New Orleans for Shiftcon, a wonderful conference I go to every year. If you get the chance to try the original, I highly recommend it!! If it’s not possible to get to New Orleans, though, never fear. It’s easy to make something very similar to the Central Grocery Muffuleta Recipe. Here’s what you need to know:

This sandwich is made on Italian bread with Italian meats and cheeses, but the icing on the cake so to speak, is the Italian olive salad. I love the olives on this sandwich. So good! I can’t find a great olive salad in my Iowa grocery stores, but I’ve found it’s very easy to make my own. And it only takes a few minutes if you get the right ingredients.

Muffuletta Sandwich made with Ken's Simplfy Vinaigrette

To make an olive salad, I use pre-sliced green olives with pimentos, add in a few spices, fresh garlic, and three tablespoons of Ken’s Simply Vinaigrette Garlic and Basil. The longer you can let the salad sit for the flavors to really come together, the better it will be. But I’ve made it only a few minutes ahead of time before and it’s still good.

Ken’s Simply Vinaigrette Garlic and Basil works so well in this Muffuletta sandwich recipe. It’s a fresh and flavorful dressing that is just as good on a simple salad as it is on this easy freezer friendly recipe.  Ken’s is a family owned business that traces its roots to Ken’s Steak House, a longstanding Boston-area favorite since the 1940s.  Ken’s new lineup of Simply Vinaigrette dressings is made without artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners and are very tasty. With over 60 winning dressing combinations, you’re sure to find a variety of Ken’s to suit your taste buds.

muffuletta sandwich recipe

After you make the flavorful olive salad, all you need to do is find the right bread, meats, and cheese, and get layering! I like to heat the final sandwich in the oven to get the cheese all melty. This step is different from Central Grocery Muffuletta recipe – they instead smash their sandwich for several hours with a heavy pan! I don’t personally do that, but if you want to, be my guest!

Printable Hot Central Discount Muffuletta Recipe

Nutrition

Calories

1701 cal

Fat

147 g

Carbs

42 g

Protein

78 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 4 -6 servings

New Orleans Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

A freezer friendly hot sandwich, perfect if you like the flavors of New Orleans, and great for busy evenings.

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

    For the olive salad
  • 10-ounce jar green olives with pimientos, drained and chopped (or buy one that's already prechopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Ken's Simply Vinaigrette Garlic & Basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • For the Sandwiches
  • 4-6 sesame seed topped rolls, or one 10" Italian sesame seed topped round loaf
  • 1/4 lb Genoa Salami
  • 1/4 lb Capicola or 1/4 lb deli ham
  • 1/4 lb Mortadella
  • 1/8 lb Sliced Mozzarella
  • 1/8 lb Provolone Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine chopped olives, dried oregano, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and Ken's Simply Vinaigrette Garlic & Basil dressing in a small bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. Slice the bread and top with the olive salad - make sure to spread the oil mix from the olive salad on the top and bottom of the bread.
  4. Then add the cheese, then the meat.
  5. Wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Freezer Options
  8. If you want to freeze these, just wrap them and freeze. Let them thaw in your freezer overnight and cook as directed above. Or, place them in the freezer completely frozen and cook them for about 25-30 minutes.

Notes

Note: if you'd rather eat this sandwich in the traditional manner, don't bother heating it. My family loves the heated sandwiches though, and I like that it's freezer friendly.

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https://simplifylivelove.com/muffuletta-sandwich-recipe/

Have you tried a Muffuletta sandwich before? If not, you should especially since it is so easy to make thanks to Ken’s delicious salad dressings! Many thanks to Ken’s for sponsoring this post. Please connect with them on their website, facebook, instagram, pinterest, and youtube.

If you liked this freezer friendly oven sandwich recipe, you might like these too:

Our favorite taco meat – perfect for the freezer

Spinach Mozzarella meatloaf

Another Easy Oven Sandwich recipe

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Last updated: May 24, 2018

One Meal a Day For the Planet Eating Challenge

What is veganism? Curious about vegan travel? Want to join along in the One Meal A Day Eating Challenge? This post will tell you about going vegan from a non-vegan perspective. Why, how, and travel tips for vegans. You’ll get it all in this post!What is veganism? Curious about vegan travel? Want to join along in the One Meal A Day Eating Challenge? This post will tell you about going vegan from a non-vegan perspective. Why, how, and travel tips for vegans. You'll get it all in this post!

*This post is sponsored by One Meal a Day for the Planet. All opinions are mine.*

One Meal a Day For the Planet Eating Challenge

I was inspired to join the One Meal a Day for the Planet Eating Challenge because of actress, mother, and author, Suzy Amis Cameron. Her new book, OMD: Add One Plant-Based Meal Every Day to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, Save the Planet (coming out in the fall of 2018) challenges people to make small dietary changes. For many of us, going full vegan is just not possible or attractive for one reason or the other. Instead of telling people it’s all or nothing, Cameron advocates swapping out just one meal a day an idea I can fully support.

When I met up with the One Meal a Day Crew at Shiftcon back in February, I knew I wanted to join in. I often lament about modern ag in Iowa. I don’t like the chemicals that permeate our air and water to grow corn and soy for animal feed. I’ve seen the statistics about modern agriculture being a top five contributor to green house gas emissions. I just think we eat too much meat in our society.

Eating plant-based meals is a great way to cut your carbon “foodprint.” One of the reasons I’m a huge propenent of eat local is to reduce our carbon footprint. You can have an even bigger bang for your buck, so to speak, by eating just one plant-based meal a day.

vegan meal for the one meal a day for the planet eating challenge

So what is veganism, anyway?

You’ve all heard the joke about vegans, right? How do you know someone is vegan? That’s all they talk about. It’s similar to crossfitters. How do you know a crossfitter? It’s all she talks about. {I happen to be a crossfitter, so I can totally joke about them.} I am not vegan, though. I was a vegetarian for about two years in college and I really liked it. But then I married an Iowa Farm Boy who liked meat.

And you know what? I like meat too. And cheese. I really like cheese. I’m not about to give it up full time. But I will totally give it up for one meal a day. I already prioritized one vegetarian meal a day – usually breakfast or lunch, but sometimes dinner. How difficult can going vegan really be?

Well, let me tell you, vegan is quite a lot more difficult than vegetarian. And I decided to undertake this One Meal a Day Eating Challenge during one of the busiest times of my life. I have been traveling almost non-stop since Earth Day when I announced this challenge on Instagram. It has not been easy. But it is totally doable, and despite all the traveling and yummy food I’ve been eating, I’m maintaining my 10 pound weight loss from earlier in the year!

So what is veganism, anyway? Veganism means avoiding any and all animal products from food to clothing. That means no eggs, honey, meat, cheese, or milk products. I’ve heard from many vegans that they chose the lifestyle for health reasons. Other people choose to go vegan for the health of the planet. Still other people choose to go vegan out of concern for animal rights. 

Whatever reason you might choose to go vegan, over the last two weeks, I’ve found that it can be tricky – particularly when traveling.

old quebec city - navigating vegan travel

Navigating Vegan Travel Opportunities

During this challenge, I’ve realized that vegan travel is not really that easy, but it can be done. In the last couple of weeks, I spent almost an entire week in Charleston, South Carolina, and another {almost entire} week in Quebec City, Canada. Here are a few tips I have for the vegan traveler:

  1. Choose ethnic cuisine. Certain ethnicities are just really conducive to veganism. Do you like Mexican or Thai food? You’re in luck! They both have lots of vegan friendly options. One of my favorite vegan lunches has been the rice and bean bowl. Add sauteed veggies, guacamole, and spicy salsa and I hardly miss the meat or the cheese! Yum! Phad Thai with tofu? Also yum!
  2. Check out HealthyCow.net – a phenomenal database of vegan and/or vegetarian restaurants.
  3. Pack your own snacks for those times when you really can’t find any vegan options at all. They do exist, but if you take along your favorite granola or have access to hummus and veggies, you’ll be all set until you can find a restaurant or shop with vegan options.
  4. Book a hotel with a fridge at the least, or a kitchen, so you can prepare your own food if you’re in a pinch.
  5. Ask restaurants for substitutions. I found more vegetarian options than vegan, but it’s totally acceptable to ask a restaurant to leave off the cheese or the honey topping to make a dish vegan.

tropical nice cream - vegan dessert

Vegan Food Ideas I already had on the blog before starting this challenge!

Turns out, I already have several vegan snack ideas on this blog before I started this challenge. If you’re looking for vegan meal snack ideas, check out all of these recipes. They’re either already vegan, or can be simpy by leaving out an ingredient or subbing an easy ingredient – like almond dairy for milk dairy.

Pineapple / Pomegranate Smoothie

Tropical Nice Cream

Blueberry Nice cream

Almond Milk Pancakes

Olive Garlic Hummus in the Instant Pot

Want to join me in this 21 day OMD Challenge? Click the link and sign up to receive the newsletter! It’s filled helpful info, sample menus and more. It’s pretty easy to do and you might be surprised by the benefits of changing your diet for just one meal a day!

 “The very same foods that protect your health also protect the health of the planet.”–Neal Barnard, M.D.

 

5 Must Know Tips for Transplanting Tomato Plants

Homegrown tomatoes are the best!! And it’s not that hard to grow them, but you can do a few things that make a big difference in growing successful tomatoes from the very beginning. To get your tomato seedlings off to the best possible start, you must know these five tips for transplanting tomatoes! It all starts with the transplanting.Must know tips for planting tomato seedlings

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! Today, you’re in for a treat. Not only do we have lots of great gardening tips to help you get your spring planting right, but we also have a few homemade gifts you can quickly put together, just in time for Mother’s Day! Make sure to read to the end of the post and check out all the great ideas from my dear gardening friends.

5 Must Know Tips for Transplanting Tomato Plants

Have you planted your tomatoes yet? It’s generally safe to plant them around your frost free date.  Our official frost free date (May 15) is right around the corner, but I always check the long range weather forecast before deciding when to tansplant my tomato plants. Fro the last three years, we have had a killing frost after May 15, so quite often, transplanting tomato plants has to wait. If you’re looking forward to transplanting tomato plants, too, make sure you read these must know tips!

pinch off bottom leaves
1 .Dig a deep hole and pinch off the tomato plants’ lower leaves.

I like to plant my tomatoes deep for a couple reasons. First, it’s super windy out here in the Iowa Prairie and planting them deeply gives them better support from the wind. It  allows roots to develop all along the tomato stem which helps make the plant stronger. So, dig a hole deep enough that only the top leaves will be showing on the ground. Pinching off the lower leaves also encourages roots to develop too, so carefully pinch off the leaves before you put the seedling in the hole.

Make sure to support the stem as you cover it with dirt. Be careful when you’re covering the plant with dirt so you don’t accidentally harm the little seedling. I like to support the stem with one had and fill the hole with dirt with the other hand. You don’t want to break the stem as you cover it – I’ve done it and it makes me very sad. Make sure you cover the seedling up to the top leaves.

2. Wondering how far apart to plant tomatoes?

Make sure you give your tomatoes enough space to grow.

  1. Dwarf tomato varieties only need to be about 1′ apart, with 2′ – 3′ between rows.
  2. If you’re staking your tomato plants, they’ll need about 2′ of separation to grow, with 2′ – 3′ between rows.
  3. Using large cages? They’ll need to be about 3′ apart, and probably 4′-5′ between rows.
  4. Want to let your tomatoes grow without support? You’ll need a lot of room! About 3-4′ between plants, and 4′-5′ between rows.

water the tomatoes after planting

3. Water tomato plants generously after planting.

Newly planted seedlings need a nice drink of water immediately after planting so make sure you water right away. I like to make an indent in the dirt around the plant so the water stays near the seedling instead of running away. You’ll want to continue watering for a few days if you don’t get a rain pretty quickly after planting.

mulch tomatoes

4. Mulch right away.

Since you’ve gone through the effort of planting tomatoes, just go ahead and mulch them right away. I’m often tempting to skip this step and get to it later, but I’ve found later sometimes never comes. Mulching right away is a great way to keep down the weeds and it also helps keep them moist. I used old hay we got for free in this picture, but a better mulch is straw because it’s weed free. My hay is very, very old, so I hope nothing will sprout from it. I could be wrong though, and end up seriously regretting the use of this old hay. I’ll let you know if that’s the case!

support tomatoes with homemade tomato cages

5. Add a support trellis or basket immediately.

Another key to tomato success,  is to add support right away. Tomatoes like to be supported and I know from experience that if I don’t support them right after planting, I won’t ever get back to it. Pretty soon I end up with a huge tomato jungle – and while I don’t think that’s a terrible thing, it does make picking the beautiful fruits more difficult and a lot of them end of smashed by my big feet. In years past, I used these homemade tomato baskets last year. They are easy to make and easy to use, but they take up a lot of space so you need a large growing area if you want to use homemade tomato baskets.

tomato trellis from moss mountain farm

This year I am hoping to use these homemade support systems I saw a Moss Mountain Farms. I love that this tomato system takes up less room than my huge cages and I think it’s awfully pretty too! Also, it’s a way to grow more tomatoes in less space since you don’t have to set the tomatoes so far apart. Do you have a favorite tomato trellis you like to use?

And that’s the start to a successful tomato season! Have you planted your tomatoes yet? I’d love to hear your ideas for success too. 

tuesdays in the garden

Tuesdays in the Garden

Want more garden tips from my friends from around the web. Make sure you click over to everyone’s posts and check out what’s going on in different parts of the country! We’ve got a couple homemade gift ideas that might be perfect for Mother’s Day this weekend, as well as growing tips too!

frugal family home

Shelly from Frugal Family Home is sharing a mini green house idea for small spaces!

hearth and vine

Patti from Hearth and Vine is sharing a cute DIY Gazing Ball – what a great gift is this?

an oregon cottageJami at An Oregon Cottage is sharing her homemade Salad Dressing Gift Basket

homemade food junkie

Diane from Homemade Food Junkie is sharing tips for growing strawberries in DIY towers

angie freckled rose

Angie the Freckled Rose is sharing tips for adding visual interest in your garden!

If you liked this post with tips for transplanting tomatoes, you might like these post too.

7 Methods of Natural Weed Control for a Weed-Free Garden

Companion plants you must have in your vegetable garden

How to grow a three sisters garden

How to kill cucumber beetles organically