“Tailgate” At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

This post is sponsored by Farm Rich. All thoughts are my own. Visit your local grocery store to pick up Farm Rich snacks for game day!

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero
"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

It’s about that time of year the regular football season is ending, playoffs are starting, Fantasy Football where our Fantasy Football teams are down to the wire, playoffs are starting, and parties are being planned! 

We all know that when football is involved, so is tailgating.

Tailgating is really fun, but it’s a lot more work to tailgate than it looks. You have to buy your game tickets, get to the game early, find parking in a lot that lets you tailgate, make sure you have all your food with you, and then you have to cook it all… It’s a little like camping but only for a few hours in a parking lot.

Fun? Yes. A lot of work? Yes. Plus, could you imagine tailgating at this time of the year? It’s pretty chilly (unless you live in a warm climate, of course).

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

Instead of going through the trouble of tailgating at the game, you’ll probably have a lot more fun and save a lot more money if you “tailgate” at home! Inviting family and friends over to watch the game in the comfort of your home is a great alternative and far easier way to “tailgate.” You can get a bigger group of people together, and you can serve up delicious food and refreshing drinks without worrying whether you brought all the pieces of the portable grill or worrying about ice leaking out of the cooler into the rest of the car. 

To make things even less complicated and a lot more fun for yourself as a host, it’s a good idea to shop for food that’s ready to go. Buying and making all the food and drinks sound like a great idea, until you realize you only have a few hours the morning of the game to get everything together…plus cleaning your house, walking the dog, etc. It’s a lot to take on, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be falling asleep while trying to watch the game. 

Could you imagine all that you put in to hosting going to waste because you’re just too tired from putting everything together? That doesn’t sound fun at all.

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

Well, Farm Rich, one of America’s favorite snacks and appetizers brands, offers the best snacks for your game day “homegate” and has a few options to make your life easier and watching football games a lot more fun!

Why go through the trouble of making your favorites from scratch when they’ve already made all of your tailgating favorites like Loaded Potato Skins, Mozzarella Sticks, and Jalapeño Peppers ready to go, waiting for you in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store?

Add some cold, crisp Dr Pepper into the mix to go with your favorite tailgating snacks, and you’ve got an unbeatable combination that your guests will go crazy for! This tasty treat combo will be your new #HomegatingHero

Farm Rich‘s products are really easy to prepare and there are 2-3 ways to cook each product, so you can pick your favorite way to cook up everything. What I love about their products is that the cooking time is pretty short (around 10-12 minutes for the whole box) so you aren’t waiting too long for the food to come out, and everything is really easy to prepare. That means more time watching the live game and having a good time with your friends and family, instead of prepping food and watching the replays and highlights after everyone cheers and you realize you missed something awesome.

As we all know, stadium food can be too oily, fatty, and full of salt. Tasty, but not healthy! The Farm Rich products I had a chance to try taste great but don’t rely on butter or salt to flavor their food. You can see in the ingredients they use the basics needed to put the food together, which I really like. 

Even though Farm Rich‘s products are great snacks on their own, it’s fun to take their foods and do something extra! On the Loaded Potato Skins, I added some fresh chives for a little extra flavor. I would have added some sour cream, too, had someone not finished the sour cream I had in the fridge! Haha, I can’t be the only one with that problem. Adding some toppings can take your snacks to the next level, and if you have time to do so or if you have some good ingredients laying around the kitchen, I definitely think you should try it! 

Head to FarmRich.com/homegating to plan an easy, delicious and exciting game day spread from home, and score with your family and friends. There you’ll find some creative takes on Farm Rich recipes and ways to save on Farm Rich products. 

Whether you’re planning a full-scale home tailgating experience or a cozy day in when you watch football these next few weeks, grab some Farm Rich snacks to make things easy!

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

I can’t wait to hit the grocery store and see what other Farm Rich products I want to try. I’m thinking that meatballs sound like a great idea!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: For Workout Junkies

Gift Guide For Workout Junkies

We all know someone in our lives who just can’t stop moving! Whether they’re lifting at the gym, running on trails for miles, or taking a hot yoga class, they’re staying active. I put this gift guide together to help you think of what the perfect gift would be for that fitness junkie in your life.  This list is based on some products that I own and love and some that are just crazy popular among the fitness community these days. Take a look–I hope you find something on here that works!

Glute Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands Set- $9

According to all the trainers and fitness models on Instagram, resistance bands like these help to engage your glute muscles further when doing certain exercises like squats and kickbacks. Whether the person you might be buying this for works out at home, at a gym, or on-the-go say at like a hotel or something, these bands are perfect for those looking for toned and sculpted thighs and buns (ha!)!

The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide: 200 Recipes and Weekly Menus to Kick Start Your Journey

The Bikini Body 28 Day Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Guide- $18

As a Kayla Itsines fan, I purchased this book thinking it might be helpful in addition to my BBG workouts–and it really is! It’s full of healthy recipes that actually taste good too, so you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself or feel like you’re just eating lettuce all day. Plus, it’s full of information on nutrition and fitness tips. Oh, and there’s also a 28 day workout included, which is great for beginners who might just want a taste of what BBG is like. 

The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide

The Bikini Body Motivation and Habits Guide- $18

Kayla Itsines is releasing a brand new book in time for Christmas! While I haven’t looked at the book myself, it’s highly anticipated among her BBG community, which is the largest fitness community in the world I think? I think that was a statistic either they, or Forbes, has shared before. 

The Inspiralized Cookbook

Inspiralized Turn Vegetables into Healthy Creative Satisfying Meals – $15

Spiralizers are a common love between the fitness and foodie communities. I’ve spiralized zucchini quite a few times to turn them into noodles, which make for a totally guilt-free spaghetti alternative. This book is full of recipes for spiralizing vegetables, which is great for someone who might really be missing spaghetti, or someone who wants to get a little creative with how they eat their vegetables.

Paderno World Cuisine 3 Blade Vegetable Slicer Spiralizer Counter Mounted and includes 3 Stainless Steel Blades

Paderno World Cuisine 3 Blade Vegetable Slicer Spiralizer Counter Mounted and includes 3 Stainless Steel Blades – $20
This is the spiralizer that I have and really like. It’s one of the most popular spiralizers on the market, and for good reason. I love it because the suction cups under the stand help keep everything stable while I turn the handle. Plus, it handles oddly shaped vegetables well, too. 

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller, Black and Speckled Colors

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller Black and Speckled Color -$8 – $20 depending on size
I still remember the first time I used a foam roller! After a heavy gym workout, my gym partner and I stretched and used foam rollers, and WOW it hurt so good. Whether someone does heavy workouts or frequent workouts, foam rollers help with soreness and help the muscles recover faster. I bought one of these AmazonBasics foam rollers earlier in the year and now I can foam roll whenever I need to in the convenience of my home instead of waiting to foam roll at the gym. 

S'Well® 17-oz. Pink Topaz Water Bottle

S’Well 17-oz. Pink Topaz Water Bottle – $35
Does the fitness junkie in your life forget her water bottle all the time? Well, who could forget this cute pink water bottle by S’Well?! It’s cute and eye-catching color and design will help forgetful fitness junkies stay hydrated.

bando Work It Out

 

Ban.Do Work It Out Exercise Mat – $32
This cute exercise mat sets itself apart from all the rest! It’s great for someone with a sense of humor…or a strong love of pizza! 

Women's Alo Moto Leggings

Women’s Alo Moto Leggings- $110
These leggings are so popular right now, it’s not even funny! Alo is the brand behind these moto leggings you see all over the gym and on Instagram. Black is the classic color they come in, but they come in quite a few colors. I love them (I have them in black!) because they’re comfortable whether you’re with weights at the gym, running, or doing yoga. It’s not often you find leggings versatile enough to do all three. You could probably even wear the black leggings to a bar!

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version)- $149
Fitbits are very popular these days, especially among the fitness community. I got my first Fitbit in 2012 as a Christmas gift, and I used it for so many years! It’s a great way to motivate someone to keep moving throughout the day and to help someone keep track of their fitness goals. I know some people say they can use their phones to track that stuff, but TBH I’m not always wearing my phone! Especially when I’m at a barre class or something like that. There are so many brands to choose from when it comes to “step trackers”, including some off-brand ones. Fitbit is pretty reputable though and their devices are definitely high quality. 

Resistance Band Set - Include 5 Stackable Exercise Bands with Waterproof Carrying Case, Door Anchor Attachment, Legs Ankle Straps and Exercise Guide Ebooks

Resistance Band Set – Include 5 Stackable Exercise Bands with Waterproof Carrying Case, Door Anchor Attachment, Legs Ankle Straps and Exercise Guide Ebooks- $25
Resistance bands like these are great for home workouts and travel! They’re easy to stow away but give you the effect of using dumbbells if you use the bands correctly. This set comes with everything you need to get started, including an exercise guide to walk you through your resistance band workout!

Women’s Nike Free Tr 7 Training Shoe- $100
Everyone needs a good pair of training or running shoes. Nike Free makes some great training shoes, making it no surprise that they’re some of the most popular trainers out there! Seriously–at the gym, I always see at least 10 girls wearing these shoes. If your workout junkie is a Nike Free fan or is usually at the gym training, these shoes are a great gift for them.

FlipBelt - USA Original Patent, USA Designed, USA Shipped, USA Warranty

FlipBelt – USA Original Patent, USA Designed, USA Shipped, USA Warranty – $28.99

FlipBelts are great for runners or those who exercise outdoors! For those morning or evening runs, this FlipBelt helps runners carry all the necessities while they’re out and about without being bulky.

SoundPEATS Bluetooth Headphones In Ear Wireless Earbuds 4.1 Magnetic Sweatproof Stereo Bluetooth Earphones for Sports With Mic (Upgraded 7 Hours Play Time, Secure Fit, Noise Cancelling) - Black - $25.99

SoundPEATS Bluetooth Headphones In Ear Wireless Earbuds 4.1 Magnetic Sweatproof Stereo Bluetooth Earphones for Sports With Mic (Upgraded 7 Hours Play Time, Secure Fit, Noise Cancelling) – Black – $25.99
I hate when I’m at the gym and they’re blasting music I don’t like, but I can’t drown it out with what I’m listening to. Or when someone is grunting from the other side of the gym. Noise-cancelling wireless earbuds like these will make sure what you’re playing comes through clearly while blocking out those noises that just end up breaking your focus.

BlenderBottle Classic Loop Top Shaker Bottle, Clear/Black, 28-Ounce Loop Top

BlenderBottle Classic Loop Top Shaker Bottle, Clear/Black, 28-Ounce Loop Top – $7.99
If your favorite workout junkie looooves protein powder, they probably can never have enough BlenderBottles. Not only are these bottles portable, but these bottles help when making protein shakes to really make sure all the powder has dissolved into the water or milk being used. Plus, they’re pretty easy to clean.

Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker with 24-Hour Playtime, 66-Foot Bluetooth Range & Built-in Mic, Dual-Driver Portable Wireless Speaker with Low Harmonic Distortion and Superior Sound - Black

Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker with 24-Hour Playtime, 66-Foot Bluetooth Range & Built-in Mic, Dual-Driver Portable Wireless Speaker with Low Harmonic Distortion and Superior Sound – Black- $23.95
This bluetooth speaker is great for blasting workout music and/or workout instructions! Plus with a built-in mic, long bluetooth range, and lots of features to keep the sound from distorting, these speakers are an essential!

Invisibobble I Live In Wonderland Collection ORIGINAL the traceless hair ring holiday trio – $8.00

I wrote about these in the Beauty Gift Guide, but they’re worth sharing here too. Traceless hair bands are a necessity for working out! I love these invisibobbles and ever since I started using them, I can’t live without them. Plus, they’re waterproof/sweatproof.

SoundCore nano Bluetooth Speaker with Big Sound, Super-Portable Wireless...

SoundCore nano Bluetooth Speaker with Big Sound, Super-Portable Wireless… – $21.99

This cute little speaker is great for playing music loud to keep you motivated during workouts! Plus, it’s portable and you can bring it anywhere. I have a little speaker like this for when I do BBG at home. I can bring it outside or just play my music in the house. 

That’s what I’ve got on this list! Is there anything you would add to the list, or maybe something you’ve added to your own wishlist?!

 

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

The Easy Way To Make The Perfect Cheese Board

 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Ile De France Cheese

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard
Magazines and Pinterest are always showcasing them–overflowing with perfectly ripe fresh fruit, high-quality cured meats, perfectly flavored cheeses… Is it any wonder why putting together a cheese board or cheese platter can be such a daunting task for those of us who aren’t cheeseboard experts?!

I’ve been pretty intimidated by cheeseboards myself, but I’m finally getting comfortable with them. The truth behind putting a cheeseboard together is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you would like it to be. I wouldn’t call myself a cheeseboard expert but with these steps and tips, you’ll be all set to put together your own cheeseboard with ease.

You’re only a few quality ingredients and a few steps away from putting together a beautiful and inviting cheeseboard. 

Here’s what you need to know!

Decide what kind of cheeses you would like to put out.

Soft, semi-firm, aged, or bleu, there are so many different types of cheeses you can put out! To keep things simple, it’s best to stick to one or two types and perhaps get a couple of cheeses that fit into each of those categories. Here I have goat cheese, brie, and Saint André, which are all soft cheese, and a bleu cheese for those who love the flavor. 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Ile De France Cheese

Here are the exact cheeses I’m using:

  • Ile de France Brie 
  • Ile de France St. Agur
  • Ile de France Saint André
  • Ile de France Plain Goat Cheese

Each of these cheeses should be available in your local supermarket! Ile de France brings great flavor to all their cheeses. 

Decide which crackers/bread you want to put out, based on the cheeses.

There are so many types of crackers and breads to choose from, just like how theres plenty of cheese to choose from, too. Whole-grain? Water crackers? Woven wheat crackers? Multigrain? Seed crackers? White bread baguette? Breadsticks? One or two simple but tasty crackers and/or breads are a good choice for a cheeseboard. If you’re looking to make things simple and easy, pick crackers that will go will multiple cheeses and be able to hold the weight of the cheese. 

Any jams, dried fruit, or nuts to go with the cheese and crackers?

The stronger cheeses can be tied together with simpler ingredients like honey and nuts, while the milder cheeses will be well complemented by flavorful jam. You can also go the savory route with tapenades, pestos, and hummus spreads. Remember that you don’t need to have any of these, but they do add to the cheese and crackers, helping to tie all the flavors together. 

Any components to complement the cheese and crackers?

This is where you can get creative and think of what meats, fresh fruits, dried fruits, olives, etc. go with the flavors of your cheese board. Salamis, grapes, dried apricots, marinated olives, etc. help to really make the cheeseboard like it’s overflowing with so many options and flavor combinations. Don’t be afraid to add some color, texture, or flavor. 

If you’re skipping the toppings for the cheese and crackers, do make sure you have a few options to complement the cheese and crackers. If you’re skipping the meats, fruits, and other snack foods, have more options for spreads, jams and toppings for the cheese. Just don’t serve plain cheese and crackers–you’ll need something to make it look, feel, and taste more like a cheese platter. 

Arrange the board!

Layer the cheese and crackers in between all the other components of your board. To make things pretty, think of patterns in which you can arrange things. I’m using a simple wooden cheese board here so that the food on the board really stands out. 

Set out wines that pair well with the flavors of the cheeses!

Keep in mind that you may need to have 2-3 bottles to pair the wines and cheeses well, but it’ll be well worth it. Do a little research to figure out what types of wine go well with the cheeses you’ve selected. 

On this cheese board, the bleu cheese goes well with a cabernet sauvignon, the Saint André pairs well with a chardonnay or a white blend, the brie pairs well with any white wines, and the goat cheese pairs well with Bordeaux wines. So I’ll need at least a cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay or white blend, and a Bordeaux (which is closest to a merlot and cabernet sauvignon blend) to get the best flavor pairing. 

Here are the exact wines I’m using:

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Légendes wines are quite elegant but also affordable at about $18 each. The Georges Duboeuf wines are highly rated with the ones I’ve used rated at 90-91 points. The prices however are anywhere from $10-$35. Both makes are excellent, and I highly recommend their wines. 

And… that’s about it! Keep these simple rules and steps in mind, and you’ll put together a cheese board that no one will be able to keep their hands off of. Make a plan and stay cool! It’ll look great, and taste even better!

Things to keep in mind:

If you really want your cheese board to leave a good impression, you’ll want to read these tips. Keeping these things in mind will help you to assemble the best cheese board for your guests! 

Dietary restrictions and food allergies. Do any of the people you’re entertaining have dietary restrictions or food allergies? Any vegetarians in the group, or perhaps someone with the need for a gluten-free diet? If you don’t know or are unsure, it’s better to play it safe by keeping the certain components of your cheese board separate. It’s totally alright to arrange two or three smaller boards with those ingredients grouped separately, say by meat, cheese, and crackers. Your guests might thank you for it!

Cheese preferences. While most of us are probably big fans of cheese (the more, the better am I right?!), not everyone loves the same cheeses. Even within my own family, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to so many varieties of cheese. Stronger cheeses might not be universally loved by all your guests, even if you personally live for something as strong as a bleu cheese.  Do a little research and make sure your guests love the cheeses you wish to place on the board. It’s safe to have a mix of mild and strong flavors. Be sure to have different cheese knives for the different types of cheese so that they don’t mix! 

Labels. Labeling the items on your cheeseboard with little picks or maybe with a chalkboard next to your cheese platter will help your guests decide what they want to eat! It will help answer a lot of the questions your more curious guests might have. 

Show guests how to pair their wines and cheeses. It’s best to not assume that everyone is an expert when it comes to pairing their wines and cheeses. Kindly recommend some wine and cheese combinations for guests who may be a little shy, anxious, or just don’t know what to pair together! You can also put up a sign next to the cheese with some recommendations if you’re hosting a larger group of people. 

Use high quality ingredients. Sometimes it can be tempting to assemble a cheeseboard with inexpensive ingredients. I’m talking raisins, saltine crackers, overly-salted nuts, etc. It’s so much better to stick to a few high quality ingredients than to deck out the board with a variety of snacks. 

Add some character with some decorative flair! Candles, flowers, foliage, and other decor can take the look of your cheeseboard display to the next level! Just be sure that people can still get to the food easily enough. You don’t want anyone burning their sleeves on a tea light just because they wanted to slice some brie. 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

What do you think? How do you feel better about assembling a cheeseboard now? What else would you add to your cheeseboard?