This holiday season, and beyond, you can inspire others to ‘give a chip!’ Deep River Snacks’ offers a wonderful and simple way to give to others while at the same time giving back to what matters most to the recipient with their Chips & Charity gift basket for the holiday season! As charitable giving is a growing trend, this is a perfect gift for anyone from your loved ones to co-workers! Essentially who loves to give back, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Deep River Snacks 2

Chips & Charity is a delicious assortment of kettle chips + a $10 charity gift card that the recipient can use to make a donation to the non-profit of their choice via justgive.org.

These aren’t just any chips – Deep River Snacks’ are proudly made in the USA without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and they are Non-GMO, Certified Gluten-Free, and Nut-Free, too! In addition, each bag features a great charity partner with a back story that means something important to a Deep River Snacks’ founder or employee.

The $10 gift certificate is redeemable on justgive.org and allows the recipient to choose from over 2 million charities! What non-profit did “Mom” choose? Lucy’s Love Bus! This incredible organization allowed “Mom’s” daughter to receive Traditional Chinese Medicine while battling neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, for close to three years. Unfortunately, “Mom’s” oldest daughter passed away at the tender age of 5 this year, and this will be her first Christmas without her sweet daughter. Giving back to Lucy’s Love Bus was truly such a wonderful way to honor her little girl and bring hope to other families going through similar situations this holiday season!

Available for purchase on Amazon.com for $24.99, which included 12-2oz bags + $10 charity gift card.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Pure Bar Founder, Veronica Bosgraaf, has developed a delicious recipe for eggnog this holiday season – made without eggs! Rich, creamy, and full of spice, the recipe below serves 4 people. Yum! The recipe can be found in her cookbook, Pure Food.

Vegan Eggnog

Ingredients

2 cups almond milk, homemade or store-bought (“Mom” prefers Orgain Organic Protein Almond Milk)
¼ cup spiced rum (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
½ to 1 cup ice

Preparation

1. In a blender, combine the almond milk, rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, and ice. Blend on low speed until smooth and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Veronica Bosgraaf, founder of Pure Bar and cookbook author of Pure Food.

Pure Bar Founder, Veronica Bosgraaf, has developed these decadent, gluten-free Peppermint Brownies, which are perfect for serving this holiday season! The recipe can be found in her cookbook, Pure Food.

Peppermint Brownies

Ingredients

Grapeseed oil or coconut oil spray, for greasing
½ cup white rice flour
½ cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut oil, at room temperature
1 ½ cups organic cane sugar blended
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
4 large eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 325ᴼF. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with oil and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white and brown rice flours, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using a handheld mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture ½ cup at a time, beating until just combined. Stir in the walnuts and spread the batter in the prepared pan.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.

Makes one 8-inch square pan.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Veronica Bosgraaf, founder of Pure Bar and cookbook author of Pure Food.

Hosting family & friends at your home over the holiday season? Skip the pastries and serve this delicious and simple breakfast that will fill guests up and fuel them for holiday fun! Make it easy on yourself as well by having them assemble the tacos themselves!

Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco

Ingredients

6 eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free, organic eggs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chorizo links – about 7 ounces (“Mom” prefers Aidell’s)
1 medium onion
1 cup cilantro, divided
1 medium tomato
1 cup sour cream (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sharp cheddar (“Mom” prefers organic)
10-12 corn flour tortillas (Mission makes Gluten-Free Soft Tacos)
Chipotle Tabasco (suggestion for topping)

Preparation

Mix sour cream, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and put aside.
Char tortillas over gas flame or directly on electric burner until blackened in spots, turning with tongs. Place in IMUSA tortilla warmer or aluminum foil and set aside.
In an IMUSA non-stick sauté pan add olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sweat onions for about one minute and add diced chorizo
Cook for 5-6 minutes until chorizo is browned.
Add half of the cilantro and all of the cooked chorizo to beaten eggs and mix. Bring eggs back to the IMUSA pan and cook on low heat, mixing from time to time.
Place cooked eggs, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and remaining cilantro in separate bowls and lay them out throughout the table with the warm tortillas.
Allow your guests to assemble their own breakfast tacos.

*Recipe and image courtesy of IMUSA.* 

The holiday season is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” But for some, it’s quite the opposite and the holidays can actually be more like the most miserable time of the year.

Steve Siebold, a psychological performance and mental toughness coach who is the author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, says, “The change from everyday routines, the large gatherings, the decorating, shopping and more can make many people feel overwhelmed and stressed this time of year.”

Siebold offers his top tips to reduce the stress of the holidays and make it more enjoyable:

1. Slow down: Life is challenging enough as it is, and with all the extra commitments and things that have to get done this time of year, it can cause panic and chaos for even the most mentally tough people. When you find yourself moving a million miles an hour, take a step back and slow down. Instead of getting overwhelmed in everything you have to do, focus on one task at a time. Looking at one thing in front of you compared to the big picture makes it much more manageable.

2. Ask for help: There’s no reason you have to do everything by yourself during the holiday season. Ask for help. If you’re hosting Christmas dinner, for example, ask your spouse or children to help with the shopping, coking, decorating, setting up the guest bedroom, taking out the trash, walking the dog, etc.

3. Don’t feel bad about saying ‘No:’ There’s only so much time in a day, and with all the extra commitments at the holidays, don’t feel guilty about telling people ‘no.’ A very simple response to soften it is, “I would normally love to help; however, I already have so much on my plate right now. I’ll have to pass on the offer. I would love to help another time.”

4. Take a break: If the holiday season gets to be too much, take a break. Put everything down for a day and go do something you really enjoy. If you feel a day is too long, take 30 minutes to an hour and go for a walk, spend time doing something fun with a friend, take your kids to the park, read a new book, work on your business plan for the New Year, watch TV or whatever it is that will take your mind off of the holidays.

5. Talk it out: It’s never a good idea to keep your feelings bottled up inside. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, talk to a close friend you can confide in, a therapist or try journaling. In fact, become your own best means of support and talk to yourself. Put things in perspective and tell yourself the craziness of the holiday season will only last for a few weeks and then life goes back to normal. Tell yourself it’s only temporary and that you can hang tough a little longer.

6. Lower your expectations: Many people have ridiculously high expectations of what the holidays are supposed to be like. Stop paying attention to what you see on TV. Stop being influenced by those holiday catalogs. Take the pressure off and just let the holidays play out naturally.

7. Focus on being rather than doing: One of the best ways to find happiness this time of year is to focus on being rather than doing. Make a list of the 10 things you are most grateful for in your life, and review them every morning for the month of December. Monitor how this simple activity impacts your emotions.

Article courtesy of Steve Siebold, author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class. Learn more at www.mentaltoughnesssecrets.com.

*Image courtesy of imagerymajestic on FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Tis’ the season to indulge, and why not indulge in these delicious White Chocolate Ginger Cookies made with fresh ginger, vanilla paste and white chocolate chips?

Terra’s Kitchen White Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened (“Mom” prefers organic)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature (“Mom” prefers organic, cage-free eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, can substitute vanilla extract
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (we suggest using a microplane)
11 ounces white chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, salt and baking soda.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully combined. Add in the vanilla paste and ginger, mixing until just combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture 1 cup at a time. Add the white chocolate chips.

Drop by the heaping tablespoon full onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly golden (12-15 minutes), cookies will appear still slightly soft in the middle, but will set up firmly as they cool. (Note: For smaller, less decadent cookies use a teaspoon measure and bake for 8-10 minutes). Using a spatula, remove cookies from the parchment to cool. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Makes 2 dozen big/over indulged cookies.
Makes 4 dozen smaller/less decadent cookies.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Terra’s Kitchen.*