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Natural Goodness Blog

  • Three Recipes for an Easy and Impressive Easter Brunch

    Easter is early this year, so we want to help you get ahead with a simple, affordable and tasty brunch menu that will leave your guests (even if they’re just your kids) thinking you worked way harder than you actually did.

    We’ve lined up three courses: sweet, savory and drinkable. So, whether you’re adding to a table full of family-favored staples or creating a simple spread for a few people- these recipes are sure to please.

    Take a look and be sure to share your family favorites (and photos) on our Facebook page!

    Drinkable: Peach Almond Smoothie

    While most people don’t think about beverages when they’re drafting a brunch menu, we think mini-smoothies are the perfect starter course. They also happen to look adorable served up in festive glasses. This Peach Almond Smoothie is light, flavorful, delicious and pairs exceptionally well with both sweet and savory brunch items.

     PeachAlmondSmoothie

     Savory: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Brunch Ring

    Next up is something savory to fill up on. This bacon, egg and cheese brunch ring is beyond easy to make and SO. INCREDIBLY. YUMMY. Not to mention, it makes for a beautiful addition to your Easter table décor. Seriously, just try it- you won’t be disappointed.

    BaconEggCheeseBrunchRing

     

    Sweet: Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

    No brunch would be complete without a sweet little something and this Strawberry Shortcake Trifle fits the bill. Prepare this visually delightful recipe single-serve, in stemless wine glasses, or layer it in a traditional trifle dish for easy sharing. The recipe calls for Cool Whip, but we prefer the real deal using Oakhurst Heavy Cream. (For an easy, real-deal recipe, we look to Martha.)

    StrawberryShortcakeTrifles

  • Five St. Patrick’s Day Crafts Kids Will Love

    St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and at first you might think of this particular day as an, a-hem, “adult” holiday…there’s plenty of fun to be had for the kiddos, too!

    Try one of these 5 cool crafts (and snacks) and celebrate with the little leprechauns in your life.

    1.   Skinny Shamrock Shake

    A healthy(er) twist on the traditional Shamrock Shake, this delicious milkshake is actually hiding a little bit of spinach. Shhhh- don’t tell the kids. AND don’t forget to use Oakhurst Milk.

    SkinnyShamrockShake

     

    2.    Pot O’ Gold Paper Chain

    This cute craft requires only construction paper and a stapler. It’s great for helping older toddlers and young school-age kids with their scissor skills. Add a pot o’ gold at the end, or just make a rainbow chain for some fun household decorations.

    PotOGoldPaperChain

     

    3.    Shamrock Hat

    Your littles will love playing leprechaun in this adorable shamrock hat. All you need is a paper plate, some scissors and green markers or paint for a fun St. Patrick’s Day craft that makes for some super cute pictures, as well!

    ShamrockHat

     

    4.    Rainbow Pudding

    Here’s another yummy snack idea that will definitely impress the little ones. This “Rainbow Pudding” is really just vanilla- but the added magic of food coloring makes for a very festive treat. This recipe calls for pudding made from scratch, but we promise we won’t tell if you make it from a box.

    RainbowPudding

     

    5.    Beaded Shamrocks

    This cool craft is great for developing fine motor skills in toddlers. Follow the instructions in the link to twist your pipe cleaners into shamrocks. Then, let the kids string beads for a fun St. Patrick’s Day keepsake.

    BeadedShamrocks

  • Cream Isn’t Just for Coffee: 5 Recipes You Have to Try Right Now

    If you’re a coffee drinker, you know a little (or a lot) of cream makes your morning cup of  joe all the more delicious. Here at Oakhurst we are no strangers to the endless drool-worthy recipes that use cream- so, we’ve rounded up our five favorites, just for you:

    1.    Heavy Cream Biscuits

    (http://honestcooking.com/heavy-cream-biscuits/)

    Normally biscuits are a weekend treat, but this delicious recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes, so you can make them any day of the week. Yum!

    biscuits

    2.    Seared Scallops with Smoked Thyme Cream

    (http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/seared-scallops-with-smoked-thyme-cream)

    Love to cook? Having a date night in? This gourmet tasting recipe requires only 7 ingredients, including Oakhurst Heavy Cream

    scallops

     

    3.   Creamy Sundried Tomato and Spinach Pasta

    (http://www.thecookingjar.com/creamy-sun-dried-tomato-and-spinach-pasta/)

    Get your veggies in without sacrificing one ounce of flavor and richness with this easy to make and even easier to eat pasta recipe

     

    sundried tomato pasta

    4.    Panna Cotta

    (http://www.younminerecipes.com/recipe/panna-cotta/)

    Panna Cotta is a traditional Italian dessert that looks WAY fancier than it actually is. It takes only 5 ingredients, a few minutes and 4 hours of “chilling” time to make this incredible dessert that will wow your friends and family.

    panna cotta

     

    5.   Apricot Almond Baked Oatmeal

    (http://food52.com/recipes/31621-apricot-almond-baked-oatmeal)

    This delicious baked oatmeal is the perfect way to start a cozy winter day!

    oatmeal

  • Game Day Recipes to Get You Psyched for Sunday

    The big game is coming up this Sunday and whether your watching for the football, the halftime show or the ridiculous ads – there’s one thing we can all agree on- the food!

    We’ve pulled together 4 fantastic game day recipes that are easy to make and perfect for the whole family.

    1.    Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

    (http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/homemade-soft-pretzel-bites/)

    A game-day classic, this homemade version is not only tasty, but also perfect for getting kids involved in the cooking!

     gameday pretzel bites

    2.    Sour Cream, Cheddar and Bacon Dip

    (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/sour-cream-cheddar-and-bacon-dip)

    The name of this recipe pretty much says it all. I mean, how can you go wrong with cheddar and bacon? Grab some Oakhurst Sour Cream and quickly whip this up – it will be gone before the first quarter, guaranteed.

    BaconDip_mainBLOG 

    3.    Roasted Cauliflower Poppers

    (http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/appetizers-snacks/organic-roasted-cauliflower-poppers-recipe/)

    With all the indulgent snacks on the table, it’s a good idea to have at least SOMETHING containing a vegetable available. These cauliflower poppers are the perfect choice because you can’t even taste the healthy. 😉 Kid tested, parent approved!

     cauliflower poppers gameday

    4.    Football Whoopie Pies

    (http://thebakermama.com/recipes/football-whoopie-pies/)

    New Englanders love whoopie pies  and this recipe is just too cute to leave out of our game day lineup. Total prep and cook time is less than 45 minutes. Total eat time…TBD, but this won’t last long!

     gameday football whoopies

  • 6 Fun Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions with Kids

    Most of us are pretty familiar with making New Year’s resolutions, but it can be a bit tricky when it comes to kids. Young kids may be too little to understand the concept of self-improvement, while older kids can be resistant to change or goal-setting. According to parents.com, the ideal age for helping your kids make resolutions is 7 to 12 years old.

    Whatever your children’s age, if you think they’re up for the task of making resolutions, here are 6 strategies to help guide them in their goal selection.

    1.  Walk the Walk
    The most important thing you can do in helping your kids make resolutions is to make some yourself, and be open and honest about your goals and your progress. Tell your kids about your plans for the year and how you hope to achieve them – then ask if they have anything they want to work on with you.

    2.  Be Positive
    As adults it’s easy to use New Year’s resolutions as an excuse to be hard on ourselves and call out our own faults but when it comes to kids, it’s important to stay positive! Make your resolutions more about what you can do to be better, rather than correcting existing flaws. Sometimes, it’s just a change of wording. Instead of “stop eating junk food”, try resolving to “make more homemade meals”.

     

    ResolutionsHomemadeMeal

     

    3.  Give them Guidance
    Ideally, kids are able to come up with their own resolutions but sometimes they need a little guidance. Try creating resolutions categories and encouraging them to make one goal for each category. Example categories could include things like: health/fitness, friendships, work/school and around the house.

    ResolutionsList1

     

     

    4.  Track their Progress
    Tracking progress helps kids keep their resolutions top of mind and also makes them feel great about how well they’re doing. A great way to do this is to break down resolutions into smaller goals (see: #3) and then use stickers or a star chart to acknowledge each time they accomplish one of their mini-goals.

    ResolutionsStarChart

     

    5.  Make it a Family Affair
    If kids are still skeptical about making their own resolutions, try creating a set of family resolutions. Do you want to play outside more as a family?  Take a trip together? Do a better job recycling? Creating family resolutions can help get everybody involved, even those too young or unwilling to create their own.

     

    6.  Start a Tradition
    Keeping resolution-making fun is what will really get the kids involved. Consider starting some resolution traditions like a family dinner out, a game night or even a special food treat that everyone shares while they make their goals for the new year.

    ResolutionsGameNight

     

  • 5 Creative and Affordable Holiday Gifts for Teachers

    As the holidays creep closer and closer, the list of people we’re expected to buy gifts for just gets longer and longer. While there is nothing more gratifying than giving someone a gift they love and deserve (and boy, do teachers deserve something nice!), the stress of picking something out can be overwhelming.

    So before you jump on Pinterest and get completely overwhelmed by all the Teacher Gift Ideas – we thought we’d scan through them for you, and then give you a summary of our favorites – and a couple tips for what to avoid.

     No matter what you buy for your kids’ teachers, it really is the thought that counts. But if you really want to go above and beyond, stay away from things like trinkets and home décor (unless you really know their personal style), as well as baked goods (they get SO many), and scented lotions and candles that are very much a matter of personal taste. 

     Still stumped on what to get? Here are our top 5 creative and affordable holiday gifts for teachers:

    1.   This super cute chapstick apple is a really fun gift for a teacher. It’s a little bit crafty, a lot affordable and has the bonus of offering the teacher something almost everyone loves – EOS chapstick!  http://www.thesuburbanmom.com/2015/08/03/an-apple-for-the-teacher-eos-teacher-gift/

    AppleEOS4Teacher

    2.  If you have somewhat older kids, capable of more advanced crafting, this DIY sharpie mug is pretty awesome. This particular version is dishwasher safe, making it way more practical than the first couple sets of instructions that were circulating the web. http://catchmyparty.com/blog/dishwasher-safe-sharpie-mug-diy

    MarkerMugForTeacher

     3.  A live plant is always a thoughtful gift, and can really help brighten a teacher’s classroom. This particular craft calls for a cute paint job on the pot that reminds teachers just how instrumental they are in helping kids grow. http://gigglesgalore.net/thanks-for-helping-me-grow-teacher/

    FlowerPotForTeacher

     4.  If you’re not into crafting or just don’t have the time, many teachers claim the nicest gifts they receive are handwritten notes from their students and their parents. It may seem small, but just telling a teacher how much you appreciate them can be the most meaningful gift of all.

     5.  For all the practical parents out there, you can never go wrong with an Amazon gift card, or a new set of markers, pencils or other classroom supplies. Some teachers have wish lists that they’ve created for their classrooms online, so don’t be afraid to ask them if there is something in particular they need.

  • Moving Stories from the Journey to Arlington National Cemetary

    Today is the big day. The Oakhurst truck filled with thousands of wreaths arrived at Arlington National Cemetery early this morning and our volunteers have begun unloading it for the official wreath laying ceremony at 10:30am. According to Joe Masse, our volunteer driver, and Jeff Reinold, a 36-year Oakhurst employee and Vietnam War Veteran, it’s been an amazing journey and an incredibly moving experience for both of them.

    OakhurstTruck

    Before Joe and Jeff started unloading the Oakhurst truck, and begin the emotionally moving act of helping place thousands of wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes, they shared with us some uniquely special moments from their journey this past week.

    Tag

    According to Jeff, the incredible women of The Gold Star Wives of America really stood out in his mind. He shared a particularly moving conversation he had with one of these women. She told Jeff that she and her husband had lived in California – very close to where Jeff had lived at the time – and that her husband had been deployed around the same time as Jeff. “This trip brings people together from far and wide, but sometimes the world is an incredibly small place,” said Jeff. The woman continued her story and told him that when her husband left she was only 21 and that she was three months pregnant. She also told him that it was only a few months later when there was a knock at her door bringing with it the bad news that her husband had been killed. She said she hid from the messenger because she couldn’t bear to hear the news, and let her father greet their unwelcome visitor. She spoke of how devastated she was at the time but how incredibly happy she is that her husband’s memory lives on through this incredible event and its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.

     Jeff then told us that her story, along with the countless others he has heard this week, reinforced in his mind that the real heroes are those buried at Arlington. We believe that every man and woman living or dead who has fought bravely for our country is a hero and should be honored as one.

    It came as no surprise that Jeff went on to say that because he found the trip so awe-inspiring, he plans to be a part of the annual Wreaths Across America pilgrimage to Arlington National Cemetery every year, until he physically can’t do it anymore. He also notes that the Wreaths Across America initiative has inspired him to dedicate his free time to a cause that involves honoring our country’s veterans when he retires. He said, “This trip has made me realize that I HAVE to be involved with an organization like Wreaths Across America.”

    Both Joe and Jeff echo the sentiment that the crowds along the convoy route from Maine to New Jersey have been incredible, but they did say they felt that Mainers were the most patriotic, standing in the streets as the trucks drove by, waving flags and shouting “thank you.” They concluded that the outpouring of support and patriotism has been so inspiring and moving that it’s really hard for them to put it all into words.

    Jeff Reinold & Joe Masse

     Thank you Joe and Jeff for representing Oakhurst on this important journey and for being there to help pay tribute to American’s fallen heroes.

  • Wreaths Across America – A Tribute to America’s Fallen Heroes

    The Wreaths Across America Journey is a powerful tribute to America’s fallen heros. Anyone who has witnessed it first-hand would echo that sentiment. That’s why, for the 5th consecutive year, we’ve decided to donate transportation services to Wreaths Across America (WAA) and help deliver 230,000 veterans’ wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, December 12, 2015.  Jeff Reinold, a Vietnam War veteran and Oakhurst sales representative for more than 35 years will be joining our driver, Joe Masse, on the trip this year.

    Joe&ParkerWAA

    “For me, this trip is all about honoring those who served and the heroes who didn’t come home”, said a modest Reinold whose own bravery and service should not go unnoticed.

    Wreaths Across America is a Maine-based non-profit that coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and other veterans’ cemeteries in all 50 states and beyond. 

    The wreath-laying effort began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, donated 5,000 evergreen wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Today, the annual weeklong pilgrimage from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery is known as the world’s largest veterans parade. The event is made possible by thousands of volunteers who organize local ceremonies, raise funds to sponsor wreaths, and participate in the events. The cost of the program is paid by individual wreaths sponsors and corporate donors. Volunteer professional truck drivers make the trip each year carrying truckloads full of wreaths.

     Truck

    The very first ceremony of the trip began early yesterday morning with a sunrise service at Quoddy Head State Park where the U.S. Atlantic coast meets the Canadian Atlantic coast. The trip starts here to represent the program’s reach from ‘sea to shining sea’. The parade will conclude next Saturday, December 12th with a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. This year they anticipate delivering and placing 230,000 wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Arlington National Cemetery

    You can follow along during the journey on Oakhurst’s interactive map and watch the “Escort to Arlington” streamed live at http://waa.oakhurstdairy.com. Be sure to take a look at our Dashboard Camera – you’ll feel as though you’re on the road with Joe and the rest of the convoy. Don’t forget to check out our Cab Camera, too.

    For more information about the “Escort to Arlington” and how you can sponsor a wreath, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

  • 5 Holiday Treats Made with Egg Nog

    Egg Nog is a holiday staple. Especially Oakhurst Egg Nog! But there’s only so much of it you can drink straight from the glass (or is there?). If you’ve got a fridge full of delicious Egg Nog and are looking to get creative- here’s 5 recipes that’ll inspire you to start cooking!

    1.     Egg Nog Pancakes

    Who says you can’t have egg nog for breakfast? These pancakes are perfectly fluffy with just enough tasty egg nog flavor to make you feel warm and fuzzy throughout the holidays. These would be so yummy on Christmas morning! http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/11/eggnog-pancakes/

    EggNogPancakes

     2.     Bundt Cake with Egg Nog Frosting

    You pretty much can’t go wrong with an egg nog bundt cake drizzled in egg nog frosting, can you? Not to mention how pretty this cake would look on a holiday dessert table. Try the recipe as is, or sub in one of our Buttered Rum Egg Nog for an extra special twist. http://cookingwithruthie.com/2013/12/05/egg-nog-bundt-cake-egg-nog-frosting/

    BundtCake w EggNogFrosting

     3.     Egg Nog Fudge

    This would make the sweetest (literally) holiday gift. Perfect for all the candy lovers on your nice list!

    http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/11/30/eggnog-fudge/

    EggNogFudge

     4.     Baked Egg Nog Doughnuts

    We’ve never met a doughnut we didn’t like – and this egg nog doughnut is no exception. The fact that it’s baked (and not fried) makes it a little bit healthier…maybe…and also way easier to clean up. Make it with or without the suggested rum glaze, it’s delicious either way!

    http://www.savorysimple.net/baked-eggnog-doughnuts-with-eggnog-rum-glaze/

    EggNogDonuts

     5.     Ginger Cookies with Egg Nog Cheesecake Dip

    Cookies + Egg Nog + Cheesecake? Count us in! There’s pretty much no way this recipe could go wrong. Plus, it’s easy to put together and store, making it the perfect treat to bring to your next holiday party. Get the recipe here: http://www.a-kitchen-addiction.com/soft-baked-ginger-cookies-with-eggnog-cheesecake-dip/

    EggNogCheescakeDip

  • 5 Simple and Easy Ways to Teach Kids Gratitude

    The holiday season is totally magical, but with all the new toys and gadgets and lavish meals it can be easy for kids to get wrapped up in the wanting part of the season, and miss out on the giving part- and especially the gratitude part.

    Teaching kids gratitude is about more than just manners, though. According to research from the Greater Good Science Center, grateful people are more stress-resistant and have a higher sense of self-worth. Who doesn’t want that for their kiddos?!

    Teaching your kids gratitude doesn’t have to involve anything extreme like cancelling Christmas or giving away all of their toys. Here are five of our favorite ways to incorporate gratitude into your family’s daily life and remind your kids to be grateful.

    1.     Model Gratitude in Daily Conversation

    It’s as simple as remembering to say “thank you” in your daily life – and making sure you mention it out loud when you feel grateful for someone else’s gift or actions. Even things as simple as talking about gratitude help kids to recognize and remember the feeling.

    2.     Practice Giving

    Bake a batch of cookies with your little ones and then let them choose people they are thankful for to gift them to. It could be a teacher, pediatrician, neighbor or babysitter – the act of giving will make your kid feel good and encourage them to think about those they are grateful for.

    Gratitude Cookies

    3.     Insist on Thank You Notes

    I know, I know – it’s like pulling teeth (wait, don’t kids like losing teeth?) – but insisting on thank you notes from an early age will instill great habits for when they get older and means more than you probably know to friends and relatives. There’s something about a handwritten thank you note that brings a smile to almost anyone’s face. And it forces your kids to think about the gift they received and what they love most about it.

    Gratitude Note

    4.     Sometimes, Say No

    One of the best ways to teach kids gratitude is to sometimes say no. Especially during the holiday season, it’s easy to get wrapped up in wanting each and every new toy – and as parents – it feels good to be able to give our kids all the things they want and revel in their excitement. But if we always say yes, our kids won’t learn to truly appreciate the things they have. Sometimes, waiting a few days, weeks, months or years to get the things we want the most makes them feel just that much sweeter in the end.

    5.     Unwrap with Care

    Christmas can be incredibly overwhelming for little ones who are unwrapping dozens of new toys. While kids are often prone to opening everything in one big frenzy, it pays to slow down and enforce a “one gift at a time” rule. Watching others open their gifts increases anticipation and excitement, and having time in between presents allows little ones to think about and appreciate the gift they have now, versus wondering what’s inside the next box. Remind kids to say thank you after each gift, and keep a list of what they received so they can write thank you notes later!

    Gratitude Gifts

    Learning gratitude takes time, but I think most of us would agree, it’s #SoWorthIt.

    What are some of your holiday family traditions that center around gratitude?