February 28, 2014

Bad Ass Butcher: Andrea Deibler Makes Her Mark with Whole Animal Butchery

I was recently asked to guest blog for the upcoming Good Food Festival & Conference Chicago - one of my favorite events of the entire year here in our food-loving city. This Festival represents all things that have become so important to me - good food, whole foods, natural products, healthy living, environmental conscientiousness, community, sustainability, responsibility and supporting your local farmer and neighbor. This year's Festival marks the 10th Anniversary and everyone involved could not be more excited. I'll be at the Festival representing my family's company - Tiny But Mighty Popcorn - and I can't wait to connect with more incredible souls this year. Check here for tickets and I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, head to the Good Food Festival & Conference's Blog to read my piece on local Chicago butcher Andrea Deibler - one bad ass lady who is making a name for herself through the practice of whole animal butchery.

Andrea Deibler | photo: ©Ashley Arp

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February 21, 2014

To Be In Awe...

I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful Costa Rica for my second time this past week, and I was just as awestruck as the first time around. Being in the jungle, up in the mountains, on the beach looking into an endless ocean...you really begin to remember just how small we are and just how big & beautiful this world is. We must treat it with respect, as we must treat one another, for it's a force more powerful than we know.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.  -Albert Einstein

photo: ashley arp | Uvita, Costa Rica

February 2, 2014

Lightened Up Caramel Corn!

Usually, you're not going to find this girl indulging in sweets. I'm much more of a savory fan. When presented with the option of cheese or caramel corn, I'll choose cheese every time.  However, I recently discovered this recipe for lightened up caramel corn and it's gotten me to forget about cheese for at least a little while...

Just the right amount of subtle, sweet flavor (thanks to coconut oil for popping the popcorn and a little vanilla almond milk in the sauce), this lightened up caramel corn is a must try. It takes less than 15 mins to whip up this tasty little treat and it's perfect for a game day get together or movie night in.

Lightened Up (Tiny But Mighty) Caramel Corn

Adapted from Amy's Caramel Corn
Popcorn: Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a Stir Crazy or heavy pot with lid (there should be enough oil so it melts down to about a single layer of oil in the bottom of the pot).  Add 1/2 cup of Tiny But Mighty popcorn kernels to the oil and cover with lid (make sure not to add too many kernels - you also want these in a single layer at the bottom of the pot. Too many kernels won't allow them all to pop!).  Let pop, shaking pot once about halfway through to move unpopped kernels to the bottom of the pot, then remove from heat.  Move popcorn to a large mixing bowl.
Sauce: In a small saucepan bring 6 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp vanilla unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 cup brown sugar to a boil.  Simmer over medium heat and stir constantly for 5 mins.  Remove from heat and pour over popped popcorn and mix until well combined.  Let stand a few mins and stir again, repeating this step two more times - then enjoy

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