Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Quick Homemade Tomato Soup!

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Tomato Soup is basically tomatoes, yet I can't figure out why almost all of the recipes I look up are full of cream, butter, sugar and chicken stock.  I am not a vegetarian, however I am all for meals and days that are meat free.   This tomato soup is a basic, delicious, easy to make and perfect in all seasons!

Ingredients - 

Veggie Broth - *see notes below* - 32 oz
Whole Tomatoes - I used canned 2 - 32 oz cans (please look for zero additives)
Yellow Onion - 1 medium sized
Shallot - 1 small
Garlic - use fresh, not jarred - 4 cloves
Sea Salt - I used a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt and Atlantic Hand Harvested
Pepper - to taste - about 3 teas
Olive Oil - about 3-4 oz

Optional - 

Fresh Basil Leaves
Sour Cream Topping (obviously this negates the vegan claim)
Shredded Sharp Cheddar - grass fed to taste
Grass Fed Plain Yogurt - I use Stonyfield 

In a dutch oven pot, saute the onions, shallots, garlic and spices in the olive oil.
Add-in the whole tomato cans.
Heat gently
Add-in the veggie broth
Heat and Stir
Use a hand submersion blender.  Please note - the soup is hot...do NOT turn on the hand blender before you have put it in the soup.  If you do, hot soup will fling everywhere and it bloody well hurts.  I, of course, did not do this....I'm just letting you know, in case you didn't already know. *sigh*

If you do not have a submersion blender you can use a stand blender.
Just let the soup cool down, so you do not damage the plastic blender jar.

Now that your soup is blended and mixed.  Heat again gently and taste.  Tweak to taste.

My Notes:

I use Pacific Foods Veggie Broth. It is the only one I can find with no additives and no sugar.  If you want to make your own....obviously that would be awesome!

I use Stonyfield Plain Grass Fed yogurt - no sugar and organic.

Use veggie broth with no sugar.  Pacific Foods makes a yummy organic one with no additives and no sugar.  When you don't have time to make your own.

Look for tomatoes that have zero additives. Just organic tomatoes.

Three Cheeses Grilled Sandwiches dipped in Tessemae's BBQ Sauce! 

This is not a sponsored post.  This is just what I buy for my family.  I am a part of Stonyfield blogger team.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Put The Limes In The Coconut Cake!

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I have always had a sweet spot for everything coconut.  And limes may just be the most perfect companion to coconuts!  This coconut-lime cake is perfect with a cup of hot coffee or a cold glass of almond milk.   I made for an afternoon snack, but it is simply the perfect summer morning treat for brunch!  We can do brunch on a Friday - riiight?

Ingredients - 

Oat Flour - 15 oz
Baking Powder - 2 teas
Eggs - 3
Grass Fed Yogurt - 6 oz
Almond Milk (please note below) - 2-3 oz
Coconut Oil - 4 oz 
Vanilla - 2 teas
Vietnamese Cinnamon - 1 teas
Dark Brown Sugar - 5 oz (an unrefined sugar works well too)
Lime - 1 for juice
Coconut Shavings - unsweetened and very finely chopped (a blender works well) 3 oz

Coconut Shavings - 2 tbs (as desired for icing)
Limes - 2-4 for topping and/or zest - you'll need slices for the top and zest to sprinkle

What to do - 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Sift the flour,cinnamon and baking powder.

In mixing bowl - sugar, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, lime juice
Add-in the sifted flour
Mix-in the coconut oil
Mix-in the grass fed yogurt

Glaze - 

Confectioners Sugar - 3/4 cup
Lime - use 1/2 for juice
Heavy Cream or Almond Milk - just a dash - enough to mix

Stir vigorously until smooth

After the cake is mostly cool, top and drizzle with the icing!

Top with lime slices and then sprinkle the lime zest. (as desired)

   My Notes - 

As always - ingredients matter!  We are using the limes for the juice, zest and whole slices and therefore should absolutely be organic.  Or better yet - have a lime tree?  Use unsweetened and unsulfered coconut.  We use Stonyfield's Grass Fed yogurt (cows should always be grass fed...as nature intended).  And we are a bit over-the-moon for New Barn Almond milk!  I have been waiting for an almond milk, not full of additives!  I use Simply Organic and Frontier Co-op spices. 

Green towel is from Williams Sonoma, as are most of the things in my kitchen. *sigh*
I have 4 zesters of different styles and sizes and the Kitchen IQ one, consistently works the best. Seriously.
The super cute green fork and knife is from PBKids

Enjoy and happy baking! 

This is not sponsored.  Just what I buy, bake and how I eat.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Moms Night On The Town...Sort Of?

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Perhaps I should explain.  I don't date much. Yes, I'm married and I encourage other moms to get out and date their husbands.   I just don't usually take my own advice. Why?  I don't know.  I have lots of excuses - I travel, I never have a babysitter...yes, I have a teen...but, little one is...a bit much...we'll say.  

I managed to get out on our last trip to Alabama (I simply looove Birmingham).  My husband was working there and we surprised him.  I paid a babysitter for the night and we went out with his work friend and his wife / girlfriend. 

It just wasn't my night?  I ended up being ignored and texting my mom to save my sanity (or perhaps not?) and thought maybe perhaps other wives went through the same thing?  Geez, is it just me?  We ended up in....I think they're called "dive bars"?  I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure I understand the meaning of that phrase now....

Notes: There were two bartenders, this all happened before 11:00 on a Friday night and I really do not have anything against Wet Seal.  Really.  And I'm clearly bad at dating.  

When was the last time you went out with your husband? Friends?  How did your evening go?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blueberry & Cucumber French Vinaigrette Salad! #TasteWhatMatters #SavorSummer

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Yes, we are happily partnering with Tessemae's All Natural to bring you this yummy summertime dish.  However, if you follow little island studios on Instagram, you probably already know - we buy Tessemae's products sponsored or not!

Upon our travels and living in DC a few years ago, I fell in love with Tessemae's All Natural dressings.  I had all but stopped buying salad dressings from the sheer amount of additives in them.  Even the organic ones (though not near as bad).  Then at Whole Foods one Saturday morning, I had just escaped the house sans kids and it was sample day, I spent several minutes chatting with the Tessemae's All Natural rep about their products, company and vision and I was immediately a fan.  Then I tasted the dressings and have bought them every since! 
What I have found with Tessemae's dressings is that yes, they're amazing on your basic salad, but you simply must cook with them to experience all they offer!  I have made truly the most incredible roasted chicken with the Tessemae's Lemon Garlic and the French Vinaigrette.  Their foods are made from what I use in the kitchen.  No nasties, additives or things I can't pronounce and have no idea what they are.  I approve! (if you follow me on Instagram, you know this is a big deal)

I am so very pleased to announce that Tessemae's All Natural doesn't just have salad dressings.  I jumped up and down in the store (yes, really....call my Whole Foods manager and ask) when I saw their BBQ sauce and other condiments.  Please believe me when I say they are all nothing short of spectacular!

Tessemae's version of Matty's BBQ sauce is Whole 30 approved, organic, made in small batches and there is no sugar added.  Go ahead...find another BBQ sauce with no sugar added.  I'll wait.

Cucumbers - 3 large beautiful & organic
Blueberries - organic & about 2 cups
Cilantro - a handful
Celtic Sea Salt - to taste
Pepper - just a pinch

Tessemae's French Vinaigrette - to taste (about 1/4 cup)

Mix your cucumbers and blueberries together.
Add-in a pinch a Celtic Sea Salt.
Dice your cilantro & add in.
Pour in your French Vinaigrette 
Taste and Tweak, if necessary.


My Notes:

We use organic ingredients. 
Especially our berries, which are on the highest in pesticides list.  
Food matters. 
Feed your family like their health is depending on it.

Add the BBQ sauce to roasted potatoes (roast or sauté with olive oil)
and it's life changing.  Dip organic raw carrots into the BBQ sauce.  
It's perfection!

Follow Tessemae's All Natural on Instagram for more recipe ideas!
 Thank you Tessemae's for making sauces and dressings that I would make myself for my kids. (only yours tastes better)

This is partnered with Tessemae's.  Opinions are my own. Yes, yes, yes - absolutely love Tessemae's foods!  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Strawberry Skillet Cake

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Strawberries and summer go together like....well....strawberries and summer!  We have been eating loads of strawberries and needed something pretty for an afternoon outing and add fresh strawberries ....

Ingredients - 

Strawberries - fresh and organic - about 1 1/2 cups halved to cover the top
Sugar - 3/4 cup coconut sugar or biodynamic sugar
Oat or Spelt Flour - 1 1/2 cups 
Eggs - 2 eggs
Vanilla - 2 teas
Baking Powder 1 teas
Ceylon Cinnamon - 2 teas
Cardamon - 1 teas

1/2 cup of grassfed whole milk

coconut oil

Bit of Maple Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix and sift the dry ingredients - flour, spices, baking powder
In mixing bowl mix the eggs, vanilla, sugar
Add in the dry ingredients slowly whilst the paddle is turning.
Add in the whole milk slowly

Wipe the skillet with coconut oil.
Pour in the batter
Half your strawberries and add all over on top of batter.  No need to push the strawberries into the batter
Sprinkle just a touch of maple sugar on the top
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until pick comes out dry.

Enjoy with coffee, coconut milk or freshly made strawberry ice cream!

Happy summer! 

 My Notes - 

Yes, I'm a bit obsessed with color and that doesn't stop with cookware and cooks like a dream! I seek out organic and fair trade strawberries for my family!  

Food Matters.  Farmers Matter! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Strawberry-Berry Crumble!

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A crumble is about the easiest and most delicious dessert / brunch / snack you can make and we simply love them year around!  Berries are in season and is there any better way to welcome-in summer than to make a summer berry crumble and eat in the sunshine with your morning coffee?!  Right now we have the most amazing opportunity to stay at a horse farm in Lexington and I have to say - it is bliss.  Grab some freshly picked berries or even frozen berries (no worries, they were picked in season) and some amazing butter and get to work!

Ingredients - 

Berries - Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and even some Raspberries - fresh or frozen
Butter - 6 oz we use grassfed butter (please choose a quality organic and/or grass fed butter)
Oats 1 1/2 cups - we use Irish Oats or Bobs Red Mill Organic Oats
Ceylon Cinnamon - 2 teas (or more)
Cardamon - 1 teas
Baking Powder - Non-GMO and no aluminum - 1 teas
Flour 1 cup - we use oat flour (it's gluten free)
4 tablespoons Muscavodo Sugar
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
Maple Sugar - just enough to lightly sprinkle on top of strawberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Take a 10 iron skillet and pour 2 cups of strawberries on the bottom.  
The strawberries - berries should cover the entire bottom.  
Lightly sprinkle a bit of maple sugar on top of the strawberries.

Mix your spices, butter, oats and flour together and sprinkle entire batch of batter on top.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy hot or cold with coffee or milk.

Happy Summer! 

My Notes:

Ingredients matter.  I use organic strawberries whether they are fresh or frozen.
I use grass fed and/or organic butter - like Kerrygold
Yes, I'm obsessed with Staub pans - the colors make me happy (and yes, they cook like a dream)

Please change out whatever berries or fruit that is in season! We love this blackberry maple crumble! Add blackberries and maple syrup instead of the strawberries and blueberries.

Head to the farmers market every time you can and talk to the farmers, tell them thank you for all they do!

Happy, happy summer, lovelies!  

Friday, June 10, 2016

LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Comes To Disney XD! #LegoFreemaker

This is happily sponsored by Disney and LEGO!

Premieres Monday, June 20 at 10:00 a.m., ET/PT on Disney XD!

Introducing new heroes and villains to the LEGO Star Wars universe, the animated television series "LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures" will premiere MONDAY, JUNE 20(10:00 a.m. EDT), on Disney XD. Set between the events of "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," the action comedy series follows the Freemakers, a family of sibling scavengers who operate a salvage and repair shop in space. The series will also feature familiar characters and locations from the filmed Star Wars saga.

Fans will get a sneak peek at the series during a special live-stream "LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Battle of the Bricks" event tomorrowSaturday, June 11 (8:00 p.m. EDT). Presented by Disney XD YouTube stars and LEGO enthusiasts will gather in teams to determine the galaxy’s BRICK BUILDING CHAMPION. Instagram celebrity, Zach King will host, and a panel of LEGO Master Builders will judge the showdown.

We are pleased to partner with Lego and Disney to bring you information on upcoming awesomeness! Opinions are my own! My the force be with you! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stonyfield & prAna Summer Cravings - Style & Eats! #SummerCravings #spon

Last season we had such a blast partnering with Stonyfield and prAna for women's style and mens,  we thought we'd do it again!  

Summer season comes with it's own cravings - frosty treats, breezy dresses and cool and light refreshing eats and prAna and Stonyfield have got us covered!  This summer we are satisfying our summer cravings with refreshing grassfed yogurt fruit bowls and with prAna's go-to Quinn dress that is simply perfect for everything summer throws at you

If you follow me on Instagram you already know I wear prAna and I buy Stonyfield Organic Yogurts (and frozen chocolate ice pops - oh my!) whether it is sponsored or not.  Yes, I have high standards when it comes to food, but these days you simply must.  Buying grass fed organic yogurt is what I choose for my family. And seeking out recycled, organic, hemp and fair trade clothing makes a statement that ethical style matters. Farmers matter.    The Quinn dress is the quintessential perfect summer dress - it's gorgeous, stays dry, goes from the beach to dinner out with friends!  I have it in black and white and purple - which my daughter likes to keep in her closet. *sigh* 

The bright coloring is part of bluesign®  - wear the bright colors you love without fear of polluting the air and water with harsh chemicals. Since 2012, prAna has partnered with bluesign® systems to ensure that the fabrics we use meet the highest environmental and human safety standards.  

The Belladonna Dress on the left couldn't fit me more perfectly - also highly recommend! 

Our 5 Top Summer Cravings

Fresh organically grown, fair trade berries
The perfect summer dress - the Quinn Dress (you knew I was getting to that)
Perfectly Painted Piggies 
The brightest happiest beach blanket and tote (yes, I know that's two ;)
And a refreshing grassfed organic yogurt bowl (yep, Stonyfield yogurt)
THIS Fresh Fruit Bowl!'

I start with bowls of plain Stonyfield 100% grassfed organic yogurt 
I top first with Q'ia (it's a technically a breakfast cereal but, full of seeds that are delicious)
Dried White Mulberries (from Navitas Naturals)
Now top with what's in season - strawberries, cherries, pineapple, coconut - anything and everything!

It is the happiest summer treat!

Summer Travel Must-Haves - prAna Belladonna Dress in Charcoal - 
posted on Instagram - items are not sponsored!)

This is the prAna Gemma Sweater - which is really a spectacular beach cover-up!

Right now prAna is offering all Little Island Studios readers a 15% discount for women and mens and prAna has free shipping over $99!  
Now through July 7th!
Use code SCS16NIBR when placing your order.

We have a spectacular giveaway - Stonyfield Grassfed Vouchers to make your own summer fruit bowl and a prAna clothing item of your choice!  

Giveaway is open to US only, please and prize is shipped via Stonyfield and prAna, LIS is not responsible for shipping, what fits or if you don't want to make a fruit bowl and simply eat the grassfed yogurt out of the container.  Totally your thing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yes, yes, yessss, I am happily a Stonyfield blogger and this is a paid post and I am a prAna influencer.  Opinions are my own and I buy Stonyfield organic foods and prAna clothing, bags and whatever else they'll sell me whether sponsored or not. (if my husband happens to ask, the clothing in all of the pictures was sponsored...I *ahem* did not purchase myself  and am now broke :D *crying laughing*)

Men's Summer Style and Eats Giveaway! #SummerCravings #spon

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What is your summer style?  What do you simply crave in the summer?  A stylish mate for picnics at the park or a summer dinner at the beach?  No, I'm not offering a dating service, but rather to plant a seed about prAna's recycled, organic, fair trade and hemp options for men's style!  I'm slightly obsessed with their clothing - washes and holds up well and fits like a dream! And that's all a girl wants sometimes - a dreamy date!  Ethical fashion is always in style.  We must have all the fresh organic and fair trade berries, a spectacular grass fed yogurt fruit bowl and a go-to go-everywhere summer outfit! 

The seaside breakfast crew!  This prAna corduroy jacket is one of my most favorite things he wears!

Please check out prAna on sustainability and the materials they use!  prAna is where I go to first when choosing ethical fashion.

This is prAna's travel Bhakti Weekender bags - soft weekend luggage I recommend.  (the fluffy vest is yes, prAna too and is completely dreamy - I think I shop their sales too much?)

Sometimes I pretend to buy things for my husband and then I commandeer them.  I'm not sure he has caught on yet?  I am thinking I ...he needs a surfboard!

prAna's stance on their organic cotton! Woot! 

We are so pleased to offer a giveaway with Stonyfield Organic Grassfed Yogurts!

Please enter at our Summer Cravings post and also grab ideas for your next summer snack for Women's Quinn prAna dress and Stonyfield Grass Fed YogurtHERE!

We have a pair of prAna Men's Bridger Organic Jeans for men and Stonyfield Grass Fed Organic Yogurt!  

Giveaway is open to US only.  Prizes are shipped via companies participating.  LIS is not responsible for shipping, wear or what kind of fruit bowl you eat!  None of our business.

Enter this giveaway and then head over to Summer Cravings for Women and enter that Stonyfield and prAna giveaway, as well!  You're welcome! 

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We have partnered with Stonyfield and prAna! I am SO happy to be a Stonyfield Blogger and a prAna insider!  Opinions are my own! (and the pictures above are mine and the items are purchased by me!)