OKAY. I must apologize. Five months later I emerge once again in the blogosphere. That was a long vacation. I wish I could say I went somewhere warm and tropical, but my horizon resembles a 500 square foot office, filled with great people and a lot of organic and gluten free snacks. And instagram (@mysuperfoods). I spend some time there too. It’s faster way to communicate visually all the things I have been wanting to say here but have been neglecting. So, I apologize.
Hello, SuperFriends! 2016 is off to a busy start, but I wanted to take a minute to say hello and give you a brief business update. These updates continue to be our most appreciated posts, despite my inability to offer them more frequently. Hopefully that will change with some new, creative ideas…
- We are launching a video series. There. The gauntlet is thrown. We’ve been talking about it forever and we’ve finally gotten started. We want a way to let people know who we are and what we are doing with this little company of ours. It’s a bumpy, slightly dark, sometimes hard to hear start. But, like everything we do as entrepreneurs, this will be honed and refined until it’s amazing and hysterical in all the right places. Like starting this company, we are jumping in and refining as we go. (I think Thomas Edison said it best) Videos will be available on our You Tube Channel soon. Stay tuned!
- New products are coming. Do you like GLUTEN FREE food? Why do I ask? No reason.
- We have officially welcomed our newest team member, SCOTT to the full time staff. Scott manages to survive every day in a room with three loud, bossy, hysterical, amazing women. He once wore a tiara because my daughters asked him to and then let us take a picture. He also manages MySuperFoods operations. These are all demanding jobs, for which he is commended.
- We celebrate one year in our new office on March 1st! It’s so nice to have space for our ideas, colorful walls to remind us that we are working for the all the kids out there and at least 5 places to get coffee and lunch in town whenever needed. (This is a marked improvement of walking downstairs into my kitchen, wishing someone left a surprise homemade lunch on the counter).
- Our Co Founders (Katie and Silvia) are taking all 5 SuperKids and husbands tubing this weekend. Because we don’t spend enough time together. And because we never have any fun.
A couple weeks ago, I opened my Joy of Cooking cook book and began reading out the names of cakes listed,
“Angel Cake, Sponge Cake, Daffodil Cake, Marble Cake, Coconut Pecan Cake, Italian Cream Cake, Red Velvet Cake…”
“STOP! That’s it!” My daughter Rachel yelled. We had a winner.
Claire took a little longer, wanting to hear every option. Some twice. She landed on Flourless Chocolate Decadence. After I explained what decadence meant.
This was not a regular activity for us. We don’t shy away from cake in our house, but we definitely don’t sit down to make two in one weekend. I had to buy two bags of powdered sugar for the buttercream frosting alone. That’s a lot of sugar! But I know that I passed on my sweet tooth to my daughters. One of them would eat carbs for every meal, every day, until the end of time, if allowed. Because of this, I know that “off limits” sugar means built up obsession for it. I experienced it myself as I grew up. I can still experience it now, if I let it. But now that I know more, I do better for myself and I want to help them learn that balance is everything. That even though eating cake at every meals seems like the best option, there are a few (dozen) reasons why it’s not. I want to explain quickly and away from the table how different foods helps us grow. I want to show them that cake isn’t an off limits, 2 times a year, evil, delicious confusing mess. Because at 6, they won’t understand most of that on their own. (I’m 36 and I still appreciate the guidance!)
So, when we started tuning into the 2nd season of the Food Network Kids Baking Championship, I thought I would take their growing interest in the kitchen to our own competition. (You may remember from last year that we are big fans).
We had winners across all categories:
- Biggest mess in the kitchen: Rachel. She takes no prisoners.
- Best use of 2 weekend afternoons: Mom. I loved every second of the sticky experience.
- Biggest boost in confidence: Claire. “Mom, I’m the best baker in the world.” (Though, in fairness, she has a pretty healthy confidence level in general)
- Best cake: Red velvet with cream cheese buttercream frosting. I was the only fan of the flourless chocolate decadence, but I LOVE dark chocolate. Even Claire admitted her sister’s cake was better (much to her competitive dismay).
Overall, a huge win for all of us. We are already talking about what we will make next time. And this past weekend, buried in snow, both daughters jumped at the chance to help me make everything from pumpkin pecan granola to whole wheat banana muffins.
My husband reassures me that he is happy to be a taste testing judge any day of the week.
So now that we’ve shared some of our favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes, how about taking a look at some of our favorite side dishes? You need to make sure to complement the delicious turkey that takes so long to make. Try these healthy and yummy side dishes to complete your Thanksgiving meal!
- Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese “Farroto” – We love butternut squash and blue cheese! This recipe looks absolutely delicious!
- Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad – Brussel Sprouts are so yummy and healthy and the Maple Vinaigrette really brings out the fall flavor in this dish!
- Salad with Oven Roasted Pumpkin & Feta Cheese – It’s pumpkin season and this salad looks delicious for a Thanksgiving side dish!
- Roasted Carrots With Gremolata – We always have carrots on Thanksgiving and this Roasted Carrots recipe looks incredible!
- Greens with Pomegranate Vinaigrette – I love to have a good side salad with my Thanksgiving dinner! Check out this one!
- Sautéed Broccoli & Kale – Broccoli is another healthy must side dish on Thanksgiving. Try this recipe with added Kale and Toasted Garlic Butter for extra nutrients and lots of flavor!
- Maple-Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Try something a little different with your sweet potatoes with this great recipe for Maple-Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
- Carrot Puree with Hazelnut Tapenade – This Carrot Puree looks so delicious and nutritious!
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Cider Drizzle – Acorn Squash is such a sweet treat and would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving meal! Check out this great recipe!
- Cinnamon Applesauce with Toasted Pecans – Cinnamon is a great Thanksgiving flavor. Make your own cinnamon applesauce this Thanksgiving with this great recipe!
- Orange Spiced Cranberry Sauce – It’s not Thanksgiving without Cranberry Sauce! Check out this yummy recipe!
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries – This Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries looks so delicious!
- Butternut Squash Gratin with Le Gruyère – This dish looks different and so delicious!
- Harvest Time Slaw – This Harvest Time Slaw is great for Thanksgiving and looks super flavorful!
- Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole – The kids will love this sweet Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole!
We hope these dishes inspire you to make the best Thanksgiving dinner yet!
I’ve been on the MySuperFoods team for two years (you can read my letter from when I turned one here). So this year, when I asked Katie and Silvia if the terrible twos were a real thing…They both said yes. I knew I was asking the right people. But what is it? Katie said: “It’s INDEPENDENCE. It’s the I CAN DO THIS attitude.” I stopped. I smiled. Why? Because I’m 27 and I feel that exact way. I’m dabbling on the line of I can do it on my own, but please tread lightly behind me in case I fall. I’m getting frustrated over certain things and now expressing it. I’m fully mobile and communicating with everyone around, so I need a bit more guidance and some defined boundaries.
I know Silvia & Katie have done this before (x2 or 3), but I’m sure I’m giving them different emotions than those SuperKids…and all I can say is THANK YOU! Thank you for choosing me to be the person you mentor.
- Thank you for the constant reminder that I’m part of something much bigger than what I can see around me. Our food system is broken, and I’m so excited to be a small part of a big change. I’m also contributing to a greater cause. Our social mission to end child hunger in the US really keeps us moving forward. I don’t care if I sell 1 single case to a new store. The most rewarding part of this adventure is watching our contributions grow. We’ve now donated over 75,000 meals to local food banks and shelters across the US. That’s something to be proud of.
- Thank you for being so dedicated to helping me grow within this company. You both treat me as an equal, but understand that I need reassurance and guidance. In your individual ways, you’ve praised by accomplishments and brought my weaknesses to light. You’ve each pushed me to dig deeper, work harder, and stand taller. I’m happy to admit my faults, and work toward better practices. I know I need to work on my organization and follow up skills. But.. my relationships are stronger, and I think my pitch is getting better with each expo.
- Thank you for giving me an opportunity that has developed into a deep passion. I never imagined myself being so motivated to learn about healthy and mindful eating. I’ve most certainly never pictured myself negotiating sales—and today, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I thrive on the rejection, and get super happy over my wins. I love the early morning merchandising trips. I love periodic sales reviews. I love setting up for expos, and then standing for 8 hours straight. I’m very lucky to be excited about going to work each day… especially rainy Monday mornings.
- Thank you for embracing my creative side, my millennial thoughts, and my need to talk ideas out. I know my ideas aren’t always practical, but I genuinely appreciate how you both listen. Within a small company, I can imagine it being hard to make employees feel like you’re being heard. You two let me talk. I might not always feel like I’m adding value. But, I always feel like you appreciate my most outrageous ideas– even if it’s just for the sake of knowing that I’m still thinking about the brand. You’ve refined more than just my palate.
- Thank you for the small moments of eye contact and heartfelt hugs that make me feel like my mistakes were just part of the plan. Each time I feel like I’ve dropped the ball, I’m reminded that this is a learning process for all of us. But, it’s the recognition of mistakes that make me work harder and the empathy that comes from the both of you that makes me want to continue growing. I’m blessed to have found two friends in my bosses.
- Thank you for being your authentic selves every single day. On good days and bad days, your true selves are present. What I adore most about this team is the laughter. Not a single day in the office is boring. And, then when we’re forced to be together for 4 straight days (I love expo so much) we really compliment one another. I love that. You’ve both taught me to never waiver from what I believe in, trust my initial thoughts, and keep an eye on the bigger picture. You’ve both made me a better version of myself, and I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring. I’m incredibly grateful to be on this rocket ship with the two of you.
Here are a few memories I’ve captured this year:
This was the first time I saw MySuperCookies at TARGET near my house. I was so excited, I told everyone in the store about them. The manager still calls me “The Cookie Girl.” I’ll take it.
After Expo West, Silvia and Katie sent me to Whole Foods in the Pacific North West. I drove around Portland, OR and Vancouver,WA for two days. I fell so-in-love (so so so in love) with Oregon. I’m so happy to have been able to travel by myself– I came back more confident, with a clear mission to work hard enough to be able to go back.
This SUPERTEAM spent a day at the Food Bank of NYC. We love their partnership, and couldn’t be happier to have prepared lunch and dinner meals for these families. It was a humbling experience, that really made me appreciate our social mission. If any of our SuperFriends have a local foodbank in their area, we’d love to donate! Let’s talk. You can also contribute to our virtual food drive here.
This is what happens when I sit down to eat, and they tell me it’s okay to write on the table. I’m always excited to bring out my inner child–and an opportunity for free advertising!
When you think of orange what comes to your mind? For us, here at MySuperFoods we think of ending child hunger.
DID YOU KNOW…
- 1 in 5 children in New York City relies on a soup kitchen or food pantry to eat.
- 1 in 5 seniors in New York City relies on soup kitchens and food pantries.
- Nearly 605,000 or 1 in 6 women in New York City rely on soup kitchens or food pantries for their next meal. (Stats are taken from http://www.foodbanknyc.org/news/go-orange-2015)
It’s that time of year again folks! September is dedicated to Hunger Action Month. Food Bank for New York City is celebrating it’s 10th annual Go Orange to End Hunger Relief! We are happy to say that we have partnered up for the last 4 years with NYC Food Bank in our social mission to end child hunger in the U.S.
On September 17th, specifically, the SuperTeam will join New York in volunteering and donating to this great cause! It is so important to us to give back to our community and our country that we strongly believe in- and every little bit counts. It feels super rewarding to be able to be a part of something that is constantly making strides to better the the overall community. We are thrilled to grow our partnerships across the country and commit ourselves to continue this growth as we make and distribute more MySuperFoods products.
So now, here is our Call to Action from our Followers!! There are so many ways that one can donate to their community- even the smallest ways count. Just a donation of $1 to NYC Food Bank can provide for 5 meals. Not only does NYCFoodBank dedicate a day within the month to “GoOrange,” but Feeding America does as well! On September 3rd, Feeding America asks for support in joining to end world hunger. As part of our commitment, we would like to pay it forward and keep the good deeds going!
If you’re looking into donating some of those extra cans or boxes that we always have in the pantry, click here to find the nearest Food Bank Donation Center. Listed below are a few other opportunities that MySuperFoods has participated in:
- Community Food Bank of NJ
- Summit Helping Its People (SHIP)
- Morristown, NJ Soup Kitchen
- Food Lifeline in Seattle
We are always looking for new ways to give back, so if any of our followers have any other suggestions we would love to hear from you guys to unite in ending hunger in the U.S!
Two years ago I ripped out a letter written by Vicki Glembocki in Parents Magazine. TWO. YEARS. AGO. Because it resonated with me then, when my little girls were only in preschool. My two years moved quickly and now it’s resonating even more. So here I am, one week away from sending my girls to kindergarten, rereading these beautiful words. This great advice. And really, it pertains to many back-to-school families. From kindergarten to college. The message being…breath. Go easy on yourself. And them. You’ve done well and they are okay. Every one has their own journey and this is yours. You can’t do it for them, so relax. Enjoy the ride.
Here is the letter.
Dear Kindergarten Parents,
Take a deep breath. I swear, you won’t get a call every day informing you that your child has run out of the classroom screaming “Mooooooomy!” Even if you get this call just once, like I did, it will make you feel like a bad parent for not adequately preparing your offspring for the rigors of school. Don’t fret: The transition to kindergarten can be tough on everyone. To get through, you may need to do some very hot yoga. Your child? She probably just needs a good midday snack. So pack good snacks. (Editors note: I think MySuperCookies and MySuperSnacks more than satisfy this request)
If you ever forget to pack a snack, you will never hear the end of it. Ever.
From here on out, in this age of uber-efficient technology, your most significant communication with your child’s school will probably happen in a two-pocket folder that your 5-year-old brings home each day. When there is a note for you in the folder – a permission slip, a reminder to send in box tops, a request to man the Pick-a-Pop booth during the pumpkin fair – fill it out right away. Touch paper only once.
Keep in mind that some kids will start kindergarten not knowing how to read a single word while others will be reading chapter books. Kids typically level out in second grade, so stop Googling “reading tutors”. Seriously. Step away from the computer. Now.
Assume that everything you say or do at home may be repeated to the kindergarten teacher. If not spoken, it can most definitely be drawn, and when the teacher offers to help write a caption for the picture, you child may say, “Mommy’s Wine With Olives.”
Whether or not you work outside the home, do not feel guilty if you can’t attend all of the many daytime events you’ll be invited to, such as “the 100th Day of School Party” or “Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Party” of the four-minute Halloween parade. Yes, it’s special for your child when you are there. But if you’re always there, it could stop seeming special. Be involved as much as you can – it keeps you in touch with your child’s activities and it’s good for you. You’ll meet the other parents whom you will likely be seeing at Back-To-School night for the next 13 years. You will make friends. Good friends. So bring a batch of brownies to the next PTA meeting and be nice.
Prepare yourself. This year, your child may come home from school with a wad of tissue in her hand and when you open it up you’ll find a teeny baby tooth inside. You will realize, maybe for the first time, that your child now has a life that you will not always be a part of. And you will feel very sad about this, and also very happy, all at the same time. So do what I did: Take another deep breath, pour a “wine with olives,” and whisper to yourself, over and over: “Give her wings.”
ATTENTION COOKIE LOVERS: yes, we’re talking to you, and your friends, and especially your kids… Here at MySuperFoods HQ, we’re huge fans of cookies (duh!) We’ve found the very best homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe, and we’re very excited to share it with you. We’ve made GLUTEN & DAIRY FREE chocolate chip cookies taken from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain that everyone in our office is raving about. They’re super soft and filled with dark chocolate chunks. They’re also quick to make, with clean ingredients…they’re right up our alley!
So, here’s my spin on Danielle Walker’s recipe. I chose to double all of her ingredients which are listed below, so that I knew I would have enough cookies for everyone I wanted to share with. I also chose to use Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life Brand), which is what makes this recipe dairy free. Danielle Walker’s recipe is gluten-free, so I figured why not make it dairy-free as well!
Mid-day pick me up. Dessert after dinner. Snack time at school. Late-night sweet tooth lovers-These cookies will surely satisfies anyone’s tastebuds!
I promise you, you won’t be able to have just ONE.
Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup palm shortening
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut crystals
4 tablespoons honey
3 cups blanched almond flour
4 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dark-chocolate pieces (dairy free)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the shortening and egg in a food processor and process for 15 seconds.
- Add coconut crystals, honey, and vanilla extract. Process again until combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and process for 30 seconds.
- Scrape down the sides and pulse again if necessary to fully incorporate the dry ingredients.
- Stir the chocolate in by hand.
- Use a large tablespoon to scoop balls of dough, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly press them down to flatten, making disks about 1/2-inch thick.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are browned around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
Hi MySuperFoods Blog Followers,
I’d like to introduce myself as a new blog member to the MySuperFoods Team. My name is Lauren and I’m interning here this summer! I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing company and to be able to gain the experiences I have thus far.
Today we’re talking snacks. And no, not chips and candy types of snacks, more along the lines of healthy, recharging our energy types of snacks.
I always feel better when I eat healthy. Whether it be waking up ten minutes early to whip up some egg whites or sticking to actually eating my salad that I brought with me to work- there’s no doubt that what I consume throughout the day has an effect on my work ethic and my mood as well.
But, where I really need to reign myself in is through my snacking habits. Walking into the kitchen looking for a mid-day or sometimes even mid-night snack can be dangerous, and we all know it! For me, it’s all about learning that there is always a healthier option out there.
A recent article taken from EatRight.org gives us plenty of easy, yet nutritious quick-fixes for snack ideas. Not only are these ideas perfect for kids as an after-school snack, but ideal for adults too!
1. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
3. Stuff a whole grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.
4. Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.
5. Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich.
7. Microwave a small baked potato. Top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa.
8. Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.
9. Toast a whole grain waffle and top it with low-fat yogurt and sliced peaches.
10. Spread peanut butter on apple slices.
11. Blend low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for thirty seconds for a delicious smoothie.
12. Make a mini-sandwich with tuna or egg salad on a dinner roll.
13. Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over a corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top with salsa.
14. Toss dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in instant oatmeal.
15. Mix together peanut butter and cornflakes in a bowl. Shape into balls and roll in crushed graham crackers.
16. Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable soup and enjoy with whole grain crackers.
17. Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.
18. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on hot popcorn.
19. Banana Split: Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal.
20. Sandwich Cut-Outs: Make a sandwich on whole grain bread. Cut out your favorite shape using a big cookie cutter. Eat the fun shape and the edges, too!
21. Spread mustard on a flour tortilla. Top with a slice of turkey or ham, low-fat cheese and lettuce. Then roll it up.
23. Rocky Road: Break graham cracker into bite-size pieces. Add to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.
24. Inside-Out Sandwich: Spread mustard on a slice of deli turkey. Wrap around a sesame breadstick.
25. Parfait: Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.
Snack Ideas taken from AmericanDieteticAssociation.org