Monthly Archives: May 2017

Harmony Acres Soap Company

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You’ve heard of a #latergram on instagram, but is there a #laterpost on wordpress? Let’s say there is. Cuz this is a #laterpost but still so worth it.

A little while ago, we got these awesome vegan bath and beauty goodies from Harmony Acres Soap Company. They’re a small, family-owned business located in North Carolina. When they learned that skin absorbs 90% of what you put on it, they took matters into their own hands and began developing their line. They have a policy of integrity and consistency with no synthetic ingredients.

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We sampled four of their delicious products: Lemongrass Lotion, Sweetgrass Body Butter (no longer on the website) and two scents of soap~ Appalachian Spring and Grapefruit de Pink.

Of all four items, we LOVED the lemongrass lotion. It’s beyond bright and refreshing, and as an unexpected bonus, it seemed to repel bugs when we were on the patio all summer. The lotion was light and clean, and it absorbed smoothly. Both of us were big fans of the soaps as well. The Grapefruit bar was the perfect way to wake up every morning – zesty and cheerful. The Appalachian Spring bar was earthier but not to the point of being overly masculine.

Harmony Acres Soap Company has expanded a lot since we bought our goodies. They now have a line of canine products, baby products, lip balms, natural deodorants, face moisturizers, beard oils, and outdoors-y stuff like poison ivy remedy.  A few of their items contain honey, so you will need to read ingredients. For the most part though, Harmony Acres Soap Co. has a LOT of very unique and effective vegan bath and beauty products. You can get the entire line by visiting their website. Happy scrubbing!

Springtime White Bean and Fennel Soup

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Our local farmer’s market is up and running, and already there are loads of gorgeous greens . This week, we tried something different (or different to us) and went with fennel. Sure, we’ve used fennel a handful of times and it’s a nice crunchy, surprise in salads or as a pizza topping.  There have been a number of cool, rainy nights in our area though, so we opted for soup. Also highlighted – another spring green, spinach! This recipe is gluten-free and SOS-free. It makes about ten portions.

 

 

Springtime White Bean and Fennel Soup

 

1 red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

4 cups chopped fennel bulb and stalk, a few fronds reserved

1/2 cup plus 8 cups vegetable broth/stock (store bought or homemade)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. ground white pepper

1/2 tsp. ground sage

1 bay leaf

1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cubed

2 15-oz. cans of white beans, rinsed and drained

pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup fresh spinach, cut into ribbons

 

In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute chopped red onion, chopped fennel bulb/stalk and 1/2 cup vegetable broth.  Saute, sitrring often, until onion is soft and wilty, about 5 minutes. Add 8 cups remaining broth, minced garlic, dried thyme, white pepper, ground sage, bay leaf and canned tomatoes with all juices. Cover soup pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until all fennel is very tender and flavors have combined to create a fragrant soup.

Remove from heat, take out bay leaf, and using an immersion blender, puree the soup until very smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove soup in batches and blender until smooth in a regular blender or food processor. Be sure to vent regular blender/processor, lest the steam from the hot soup builds up.

Once the soup is smooth, add chopped tofu cubes, rinsed beans and optional red pepper flakes. Simmer over low heat an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Before serving, stir in spinach ribbons and garnish with reserved fennel fronds.

Cook’s Note: This soup is even better the second day!

Cindy’s Black Bean Salsa

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The Dirty Hippie’s mom makes this fantastic dip  every time we go visit. Finally, after a few years of devouring what could only be described as buckets of her black bean salsa, we got the recipe and she agreed we need to share it with everyone! This recipe is great for sharing at picnics, potlucks and parties. It’s naturally gluten-free and can be made SOS-free as well. What are you waiting for? Grab some chips and dig in!

 

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Cindy’s Black Bean Salsa

2 15-oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small red onion, minced fine

16-oz. bag of frozen corn kernels, thawed

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 jalapeno, minced fine (use seeds if you like it spicy!)

juice of 3 fresh limes

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

4 Tbs. olive oil (optional)

 

Toss all ingredients together and serve chilled. Can be made a day ahead.