Family Food Smart Swaps

Manic:  My daily efforts to try to get my family to completely (well not quite 100%…but close) swap out the junky foods for healthy fare in our busy home.

Managed:  Got my goals organized with rules (although I don’t dare tell my family that my new nutrition/shopping guidelines are called rules) and tools to make our family food smart swaps easier.  And some of my ideas are working!  Plus I found a book about discussing food and body image with daughters that I highly recommend.  Take a look and you will also see my salad recipe that my tween and all of her friends really like.  We swapped the bottled salad dressings that were loaded with ingredients that we couldn’t pronounce for our homemade simple salad dressing instead.  Check this out…

AZ Local: Visit Nonna’s For Hand Crafted Scrumptious Sauces, Pasta & More

nonna signI am so excited to tell you about my good friend’s delicious new store called Nonna’s Marketplace!  now openLyn McGuire is my former cooking class teacher only because she left her students (who all adore her) to pursue her dream of opening up her own pleasing sauce shop that offers her homemade hand crafted organic sauces that are to die for, along with pastas and more. storefrontShe also sells her made from scratch biscotti that is a must have dessert or the perfect complement to your morning coffee.  Nonna’s also sells pasta, both gluten free and regular, and a few other surprises, too.  My gal pal, Julie and I attended her grand opening yesterday, so here is a tour of the new must try Nonna’s shown in our pictures. Be sure to check out her lovely shop located at 12020 S. Warner Elliott Loop in the Equestrian Centre in Ahwatukee.  You will be glad that you did!

My friend, Julie tasting the grand opening samples.  All yummy!

My friend, Julie tasting the grand opening samples. All yummy!

The beautiful chef and store owner, Lyn McGuire, showing me the gluten free pasta selection.  She sells both gluten free and regular pasta.

The beautiful chef and store owner, Lyn McGuire, showing me the gluten free pasta selection. She sells both gluten free and regular pasta.

I felt like a kid in a candy store with those shelves stocked with all of Lyn's different scrumptious sauces!

I felt like a kid in a candy store with those shelves stocked with all of Lyn’s different scrumptious sauces!

Italy inspired flavors like Lyn's Puttanesca that blends spicy and tangy, with fresh tomatoes, onions, capers  and olives.  Fab flavor!

Italy inspired flavors like Lyn’s Puttanesca that blends spicy and tangy, with fresh tomatoes, onions, capers and olives. Fab flavor!

Or try Lyn’s Sugo sauce that is a mouth watering South Italy Mariana sauce.  Plus this is an original family recipe that combines tomatoes, onions and spices creating a perfect sauce. Like spicy like me?  Then you have to try Lyn’s Arrabbiata sauce, which is my favorite! Lyn’s website says that Arrabbiata is the Italian word for “angry” and that this zesty sauce it is an original family recipe with a divine blend of spicy tomatoes, onions, and red peppers creating an sauce with the perfect heat.

The Crimini Mushroom flavor is an original family recipe that is made of an unique blend of tomatoes, onions, Crimini Mushrooms, and spices creating a unique full of flavor perfect sauce.

The Crimini Mushroom flavor is an original family recipe that is made of an unique blend of tomatoes, onions, Crimini Mushrooms, and spices creating a unique full of flavor perfect sauce.

There are others to try, too….all good. pasta bowlPair a jar of sauce with one of her delectable pastas and you’ve got a homemade dinner in a jiffy or a thoughtful and unique gift to give.  pasta table Nonna’s also offers irresistible varieties of Lyn’s homemade biscotti.  My favorite is the chocolate orange biscotti, either dipped in hot coffee or ice cold milk.  Yum!  The vanilla cranberry cookie is also good and is the perfect consistency.biscotti Are you an olive oil dipping fan like me?  Do you like to make your own fresh salad dressing with a good olive oil base?  Then be sure to check out the outstanding olive oil offerings at Nonna’s….olive oilgift basketThoughtful gift baskets are also sold at Nonna’s.  Lyn does the work for you, so you can grab a tasty present that is sure to please your recipient.  As you can see, we did not leave empty handed. I was so busy snapping pictures, tasting and shopping that I forgot to get in a photo, but there is Julie checking out and two of those pretty white bags (that are packed with pastas, sauce, biscotti and olive oil) are mine.checking outWe couldn’t leave without getting a peek at Lyn’s shop kitchen and you know what they say behind every great woman is a great man (yes, I switched that up on purpose), so we were thrilled to see Lyn’s husband, Tom smiling and ready for my camera.  We are so happy for them…. owners

Yep, we left happy customers...

Yep, we left happy customers…

…And I had one happy family that night when I turned my Nonna’s shopping trip into a divine dinner that we all loved…

I grated fresh parmesan cheese to top it and I served it with garlic bread (not pictured).  So yummy!

I grated fresh parmesan cheese to top it and I served it with garlic bread (not pictured). So yummy!

Congratulations to Lyn and Tom and how lucky for us that Nonna’s is in our community.  I highly recommend a visit to Nonna’s located in Ahwatukee at 12020 S. Warner Elliott Loop in the Equestrian Centre. For more information, visit the Nonna’s website.

Announcing My Pal’s Amazing New Sauce Line That Ya Gotta Know About!

Manic:  Me trying to constantly come up with dinner ideas!

Managed:  Did a very cool thing last year when I signed up for weekly cooking classes with a couple of girl friends!  And now our awesome cooking teacher, Lyn McGuire has decided to share her goodness with all of us with her new line of homemade sauces called Nonna’s Nature’s Way Organic Sauces!  I am so happy for Lyn and even more thrilled that I can grab a jar of her homemade sauces and have a healthy and yummy dinner ready for my family in a snap!  I asked Lyn if I could write an article about her sauces so I could tell all of you the good news about her tasty sauce line!  

Lyn offers five fabulous flavors that come from the recipes of her ancestors’ home in the Puglia region of Italy.  With each jar, you truly get a taste of Italy from Lyn’s family cookbooks!  The five varieties include:

*Sugo

*Crimini Mushroom

*Arrabbiata

*Roasted Sweet Bell Peppers and Garlic

*Sugo alla Puttanesca

And I can tell you that I got to cook with all five varieties in my weekly cooking classes with Lyn and they are all good!  The Sugo sauce can be used for multiple recipes and I love the Arrabbiata because I like spicy! Another favorite of mine is the Roasted Sweet Bell Peppers and Garlic, but I truly love all of her flavors!

Each sauce is 100% natural and Lyn shares free recipes on her super cool website, too.  All of Lyn’s products are gluten free, vegetarian and lactose free.  And like I mentioned, simply scrumptious, too!

Nonna’s sauces can be ordered online and you can catch Lyn at many local Farmer’s Markets, too!  Here she is recently at the Silverleaf Golf Course Market….

 You can also catch Lyn and her gourmet sauces at:

1.  Ahwatukee Farmer’s Market at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center

4700 East Warner Road
Phoenix, AZ 85044
(just west of 48th Street)
She is there on Sundays from 9am to 1pm

2.  Scottsdale Old Town Farmers Market

Old Town Scottsdale
The parking lot on the SW corner of Brown and 1st
She is there on Saturdays from  8:00am – 1:00pm

3.  Mesa Community Farmers Market at Rendezvous Green
260 North Center Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
Center St. just South of University Dr.

She is there on Fridays from 9:00am – 1:00pm

Buy it, try it and support my amazing friend and very talented cooking teacher!  You will love it!  I will leave you with a picture of a dish that we made in a recent cooking class with Lyn called Pappardella Alla Cream.  See how good it looks?!  Well it tastes amazing!  And this recipe (and many others) can be made with Lyn’s sauces!  So check out her website and order your family some of the good stuff.  Pair her sauce with a glass of vino and you are in for a gourmet dinner made easy!

Congratulations to my cooking teacher and good friend, Lyn!  I am so happy for you!