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Category Archives: Organic

Ocho Coconut candy bar…muy bueno!

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This is an organic coconut and dark chocolate combination which is worth the higher price in the candy bar arena.

The chocolate has a once snap on top of the chewy coconut. I paid $1.99 at Safeway and it was worth it.

They also make toffee, and peanut butter bars, so be on the look out and when you spot one, buy it! And oh my, they have mini bars, too!

Their web site states “OCHO Candy was created to provide candy lovers with a delicious, organic alternative to traditional candy bars. We use the finest ingredients and hand craft our bars so that you can taste the difference in every bite.”


DRY Soda is anything but dry and is fantastic!

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DRY Soda

Summer is here and I’ve been looking for a refreshing beverage that is 1.low in sugar and 2.tasty 3.could serve as a mixer with vodka, etc.

Here it is! DRY Soda makes flavored seltzer water for adults. It’s all natural with only 4 ingredients! It comes from Seattle and the company is committed to helping small farmers and producers and giving back to those communities.

From their web site:

“DRY Soda is excited to continue its commitment to local food producers through DRY Gives Back. DRY Soda celebrates our country’s independent farmers and producers and we want to inspire others to seek out and buy local foods whenever possible. In addition, DRY Soda will continue to sponsor events that recognize and support local food and producers.”

It comes in multiple flavors: Blood Orange, Ginger, Vanilla Bean, Apple, Cherry, Rhubarb(!), Lavender, Juniper Berry, Cucumber, Wild Lime, and Pear. Not all flavors are available at all retailers.

I have tried the Cucumber and it’s perfect on a warm day, and might be great mixed with a little gin. The blood orange is just a hint bitter and very refreshing and the Vanilla is like a cream soda without all of the sugar. It takes me back to grade school field trips because Cream Soda was what I would bring with my sack lunch.

The sodas come in bottles and cans, and cost about $1.25 each and they are truly worth the cost. Visit their web site for all of the info.

I will be posting cocktails made with these soon. Here’s a link to DRY’s cocktail recipes.


My Favorite Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin breadI have had this recipe for at least 10 years, and each time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it more often. The bread is fantastic; moist, somewhat dense, sweet without being overly sweet, and just plain good. It also freezes really well. The original recipe is from Cottage Living, a wonderful magazine which is no longer published. I have tweaked the recipe a bit.


Pumpkin Spice Bread

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves ( I use a bit more)

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil ( I use Wesson)

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin

1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan (even though mine is non-stick, I still grease and flour the pan)

2. Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Combine oil, sugar, and pumpkin in a large bowl, beat with a mixer until smooth, mix in egg.

4. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until blended. Pour batter into loaf pan.

5. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes, and remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

bread in panTip: don’t decrease the sugar, or the bread will taste salty.

A note about organic vs. regular pumpkin: I have baked this bread using both kinds of pumpkin and I can’t tell any difference. There is a different texture between the two. Check out this photo, the yellow/orange, dense pumpkin on the left is the organic. The orange, chunky is the Libby’s.

2 kinds of pumpkin

Lavender and Blueberry in your chocolate

Dagoba has a winner with this combination of lavender and blueberry in dark chocolate. I was a bit skeptical, so I bought a small square, and now I’ll need to go back for a full-sized bar.
The chocolate is very satisfying without being too sweet, and it’s organic, too. Win, win, win.

Chocolate Fusion Bar….Amazing

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This is a new favorite. It’s organic chocolate flavored with Jasmine Green Tea and Tangerine essence. The texture is creamy and the taste is perfectly balanced. The flavors are subtle and linger on your tongue.
I bought it at a grocery store in Colorado. I’ve had it for some time, and if I had known it was so good, I would have devoured it long ago.
“The Tea Room” is the company which makes it. The story on the back of the package says that the founder of the business started in Switzerland and after traveling the world he landed in San Francisco, and opened a patisserie and tea house. Thus the name “The Tea Room”. Check out their site
They make a variety of flavors, I look forward to trying all of them. They have all kinds of treats on the site, too, even macarons!
If you see one of these bars for sale, buy it and you’ll have a new favorite, too.

The best organic chocolate I’ve had

A gift box of chocolates arrived for Christmas, and admittedly I wasn’t to excited about getting organic chocolates. My experience with organic chocolate hasn’t been pleasing. Most bars are bland, or chalky. In fact, I didn’t even try any until last week. That’s 2 full weeks of ignoring chocolate for those of you keeping score at home.

So, imagine my surprise and delight….The milk chocolate bar from Full Circle Exchange Chocolate is undoubtably the best organic chocolate that I’ve tasted. Made with 41% organic cocoa, it tastes like a Swiss or Belgian chocolate; smooth with a nice snap. I am on a mission now to find where I can buy this retail. I may have to go online and order more. It’s really that good!

There are other varieties in the gift pack and I’ll let you know of more favorites as I discover them.

This company is a fair trade company and you should read about it on their web site. Even better, order some chocolate, and help improve the living conditions for the growers, and producers. You will be rewarded with an excellent chocolate bar and feel pretty darn good about helping others help themselves. And best of all…they are from my home state of Idaho!

Image from Full Circle Exchange web site.