Monday, June 30, 2014

FOODIE TUESDAY: Four Fab CK Mondavi Wines For Your 4th And Beyond #CKMondaviHeroes #CleverGirls #Sponsored #recipe

Here at ChiIL Mama we love to chill out with a great bottle of white or red wine and CK Mondavi has long been one of our top picks for quality and affordability. Did you know CK Mondavi is THE perfect 4th of July wine. Not only is it the only wine in the under $10 price point that's 100% American made & grown, but a percentage of sales goes to supporting veterans!

With Independence day on the horizon and a long weekend of relaxing ahead, we're stocked up and ready for fun with four fine CK Mondavi wines. We're particularly jazzed to be one of the first to try Blonde Five, which will be available to the public in August.

Looking for a tasty pairing for your 4th of July grilling fun? 

Marc Mondavi’s Monster Burger 

Crimp the edges well, grill to perfection and serve with my CK Mondavi Zinfandel.

Marc says: I find that if I’m going to enjoy a burger cooked on my grill, I want one that is chock full of flavor. I’ve found this recipe passes my test for a hearty, tasty burger.

Serves Six
3 lbs. hamburger meat of your preference
2 tsp. oregano
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
½ lb. cheese of your choice
1 egg beaten
½ cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl except the cheese. Take a little less than ¼ lb. of the mixture, roll it in your hand and flatten as you would a regular burger, but thinner. Place three to six cheese chunks in the center. Prepare the top of the burger the same way and place over the first burger. 

Thanks to CK Mondavi for shipping us:
- Chardonnay 
- Blonde Five
- Cabernet Sauvignon 
- Scarlet Five 

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're confirmed fans of red wines and CK Mondavi's Scarlet Five rocks with hints of black cherries and plums and the best attributes of FIVE reds: 

CK Mondavi's Cab Sav is another long time fav of ours.

Chose your favorite:
With these reds and whites you won't be blue!

The new girl in town:

Blonde Five is delicious enough to turn heads from the red. I'm a former red head... blue/black haired for a year... and now back to natural blonde, so I'm partial to blonde. 

This Blonde Five wine is smart and succulent with notes of pear, baked apple, honey, lemon, & honeysuckle! CK Mondavi's suggested pairings (grilled shrimp, spicy chicken and mild cheeses) are are all top picks of ours too. Yum!

We dig the twist tops. 
Here in Chi, IL we celebrate the 4th of July and summer in general with loads of free outdoor fireworks displays, free concerts in every genre imaginable and outdoor picnics. And CK Mondavi wine goes great with the great outdoors! Even if you're not so great about remembering the cork screw! 


Our readers love to make a difference and support worthwhile causes, so we frequently run local philanthropic opportunities under HELP LOCALLY and national and even international opportunities under HELP OUT.  We're happy to introduce you to 

  • A percentage of each bottle sold between May - August is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes (up to $50,000).
  • Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), is an organization that supports the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families.
  • Funded entirely by public donations, IFHF serves U.S. military personnel wounded or killed in service to our nation and their families. For more information, visit
We're all about honoring our vets. In fact, one of our oldest friends (literally) is Cliff, a Marine and a WWII veteran. We just celebrated his 93rd birthday last week, on June 26th, with an outdoor party. How do you celebrate your special milestones? 

Did you know:
      • CK Mondavi is run by the legendary Napa Valley wine icon, Peter Mondavi Sr., a World War II veteran.
      • Owner Marc Mondavi was born on the 4th of July and 2014 marks his 60th birthday.
Celebrate July 4th and beyond with CK Mondavi reds and whites so delicious and affordable, they'll banish the high priced wine blues!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hot Microwavable Coffee Mug Cakes Via P&Geveryday #PGeveryday #sponsored

I'm a busy mom with a tween, a teen and my own booming business to run. So sometimes easy is key. The internet is an invaluable resource, but it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information out there! That's why when P&Geveryday™ reached out to me to do a feature, I was happy to oblige. I've been a member of their site since November of 2011.

P&Geveryday™ is committed to making every day just a little easier by helping you achieve a life full of rewarding moments every day. The site aims to inspire, support and empower you to unlock the extraordinary potential in your everyday life.

I went on today and found these adorable Coffee Mug Cakes that are easy to make and look great. Click here for the recipe!

I'm going to suggest them to my favorite young chefs. Then I'm crossing my fingers for a breakfast in bed for this Fourth of July weekend with a coffee cake or muffin version. I'd also be thrilled with a cake version to go with the evening's fireworks!

From the time they were tots, my kids have loved to play "Robot Restaurant" and bring us breakfast in bed... complete with the bill (tip expected). Now that they're 11 & 13, the food can be quite good at "The Robot Cafe". The kids design their own menus (listings and art) and they create gorgeous place settings, so it's well worth the "bill" to see them being so creative together. 

P&Geveryday™ is about listening to what you truly need and sharing resourceful ideas, advice and products to make it easy for you to enjoy life ... every day.

The site features content and resources on beauty, family, food, health, home and more - all alongside great offers from the innovative and trusted brands you love.

What you will discover on P&Geveryday™
      • Delicious recipes, beauty trends, and smart tips
      • New products to try out for yourself, family and home
      • Product ratings and reviews
      • Fresh ideas and inspiration
      • Coupons and samples from your trusted brands
      • And much more!

P&Geveryday™ is your online platform created by Procter & Gamble, a company that has been establishing brands for the past 175 years, helping people around the world have extraordinary days. Every day.

Click here to check out the P&Geveryday website and get social with them on the P&Geveryday Facebook page.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Morton Arboretum's
TREE-mendous Summer Events are Fab Fam Friendly Fun!

–  The first of three cultural festivals, this July 5-6 event unfurls a roadmap to uniquely American music, performances, 
food and fun for the family  –

This 4th of July weekend, celebrate the U.S.A. with traditional music, food and entertainment during The Morton Arboretum’s Travel America festival. The first of three new cultural festivals at the Arboretum this year, Travel America will highlight current and past American traditions including performances by Native American dancers, rollicking music ranging from blues to bluegrass and food showcasing our country’s culinary history.  

Taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 5-6, the festival will feature time-honored games like sack races, a bean bag toss, three-legged race and a pie eating contest, along with a roster of live entertainment. Additionally, festival-goers can board the Arboretum’s Acorn Express Tram to learn all about trees native to America, from Arboretum docents.

 “America is not only home to a great variety of cultural traditions, but also to a wide variety of trees that make our country beautiful, including the iconic and endangered oak tree,” said Jenelle Hardtke, Special Events Manager at The Morton Arboretum. “With storytelling and games, music native to the American experience and food from all corners of the country, Travel America will take visitors on a virtual road trip, while showcasing the trees that are so integral to our country’s history and beauty.”

Four performance areas will showcase a range of musical acts.

Show times for July 5 and July 6:

10 a.m. A trio of Chicago musicians, Lucky 3 Blues Band, delivers original music and well-known blues tunes with a twist.
10:30 a.m. In its 34th year, White Saddle Band knocks out American hits from greats like Elvis, Hank Williams and Bob Seeger.
11 a.m.  Trio Guadalajara’s authentic Southwestern style mariachi includes influences of Mexican and South American music.
Noon The acoustic folk music of Trillium features banjo and fiddle as well as lesser-known instruments like the hammered Dulcimer.
12:30 p.m. 60s tribute band Shindig! transports audiences back in time with beloved songs from The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys, and more.
12:30 p.m.  The Midway Ramblers Cajun Band’s zydeco and Louisiana blue has rung out from stages at The House of Blues and Schuba’s.
2 p.m. Performer Rick Pickren has a storied history with country and bluegrass music. A descendent of Buffalo Bill Cody, the singer-songwriter has shared the stage with country stars Dolly Parton and George Strait.  
2:30 p.m. Returning to the legendary days of the 70s, 1976 rocks out with songs from Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Regulars on the blues festival circuit and at Buddy Guy’s Legends, the highly-acclaimed Rockin’ Johnny Blues Band will take its vintage Chicago blues sound to the stage at 2 p.m. July 5 and 3:30 p.m. July 6.

Travel America will also feature several dances and demonstrations that represent the many faces of the United States and spotlight distinctively American customs and experiences. 

These include:
  • Bringing children’s literature to life, storyteller Chris Fascione’s one-man show entertains crowds of all ages at 10 and 11 a.m. July 5-6.
  • Clad in ceremonial dress, Native Pride’s high-energy performance blends contemporary and traditional Native American dancing at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. July 5-6.
  • Entertainer Cowboy Randy brings the origins of cowboy culture and folklore together with yodeling and rope tricks at 1 p.m. July 5-6.
  • Line dancing is made easy with friendly instruction from Dance with Janet Line Dancers at 1 p.m. July 5.
  • Performing group The Silver Bogs will lead vintage square dancing and other barn dances at 3:30 p.m. July 5 and 2 p.m. July 6.
  • Storyteller Swiftdeer-Paige presents an immersive look at Native American life, emphasizing its respect for and connection to the natural world at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. July 6.
  • The Cadillac Ranch Dance Team will teach line dancing moves at 3:30 p.m. July 6.
Husky Hog BBQ, Toasty Cheese, Chicago Pizza Boss, Taquero Fusion and Fasano Pie Company food trucks will offer festival-goers an abundance of casual dining choices and the Arboretum’s Gingko Grill will serve up July 4th staples like burgers and hot dogs.

Travel America is one of three new cultural festivals on the Arboretum’s exciting roster of TREE-mendous Summer events. Click here for more information. 

About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, the Fall Color Festival, Illumination and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes 885,000 visitors annually and receives support from 38,600 member households.  Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at

Admission Rate
Nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $12 for adults ages 18-64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and over ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2-17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children under age 2. Parking is free with admission. Members receive free general admission all year long. 

INCOMING: Rio 2 Summer Tour THIS Wed 7/9 at Kohl Children's Museum #rio2summertour.


Chicago area families are invited to attend the Chicago stop of our Rio 2 Summer Tour, bringing Soccer Fever, Games, Samba Lessons, and Fun for the Whole Family! Join in on the Summer fun!

Families will have plenty of reason to shake a tail feather down to the tour; it’s full of interactive activities for all ages including portable viewing stations to watch soccer games, live from Rio; screenings of RIO 2; Samba performances and lessons; customizable Carnival masks; soccer challenges, and much more! All guests can also turn their fun into a global sensation by joining a cross country karaoke from the party via the sing- and dance-along photo booth.

Wednesday, 7/9    
Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview, IL 60026
1:30-6:30pm CT    
Game Times - 3pm CT

- RIO 2 is on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD July 15 - 

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings the party to the people with its cross country RIO 2 Summer Party Tour. Families will have plenty of reason to shake a tail feather down to the tour; it’s full of interactive activities for all ages including portable viewing stations to watch soccer games, live from Rio; screenings of RIO 2; Samba performances and lessons; customizable Carnival masks; soccer challenges, and much more! All guests can also turn their fun into a global sensation by joining a cross country karaoke   from the party via the sing- and dance-along photo booth.

With the Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD release right around the corner, Fox Home Entertainment will bring the party from the Amazon this summer with a bunch of family-friendly fiestas across the country. You can find the Summer Party Tour any time of day, check out pictures from the tour, follow the GPS enabled tour bus, and explore all sorts of RIO 2 goodies at  

Follow the tour on social media with #rio2summertour.     



Bringing the Spanish tradition of the running of the bulls to the United States!
Face the adrenaline rush of a lifetime as you run beside 1,500-pound bulls stampeding down a quarter-mile course, then celebrate with thousands of thrill-seekers in a massive, day-long festival that also features our insane tomato food fight, Tomato Royale!
Just how awesome is it? Watch the video and find out!

The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale are coming to the Hawthorne Race Course, located just 9 miles outside of Chicago in Cicero, Ill., on Saturday July 12, 2014. The thrilling, day-long festival appeals to runners and spectators alike for being an Americana version of the world-renowned Running of the Bulls, which has taken place in Pamplona, Spain for centuries (and is celebrated July 7-14 of 2014), as well as La Tomatina, which has taken place in Valencia, Spain for the past 69 years. Marking the first time the event has come to the United States in a nationwide series, The Great Bull Run has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, ESPN and NBC’s TODAY.

The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale are an ultra unique form of entertainment, designed explicitly for the thrill-seeking and fun-loving individual. A bucket list event for so many around the world, The Great Bull Run’s co-founders Rob Dickens and Brad Scudder were inspired to bring these two time-honored Spanish events to the United States, making the once-in-a-lifetime experiences both more accessible and dynamic. With renowned entrepreneur Mark Cuban of Mark Cuban Companies famously investing in The Great Bull Run on Shark Tank this past April 2014, a total of 25,000 participants have turned out for previous Great Bull Runs and Tomato Royales, including a 72-year old woman in Texas, and fans calling it “the thrill of a lifetime,” The Great Bull Run is well on its way to being among the greatest of American festivals. The following outlines each component of the event:

I. Running with The Bulls: Saturday July 12, 2014 11am-1:30pm: Runners will experience the thrill of a lifetime as they enter a ¼ mile stretch of Hawthorne Race Course’s track with two sets of twenty 1,500-pound bulls who run at a clip of 35 miles per hour.

Rob Dickens, Co-Founder of The Great Bull Run, who has run with the bulls nearly one dozen times himself, clarifies that no sprint or running training is necessary to run with the bulls, just a heavy dose of courage, a willingness to grab life by the horns, and a desire for the kind of rush that comes from doing something so unusual. “We amp up the excitement factor by partnering with Lone Star Rodeo out of Crofton, Kentucky, to handpick the best and rowdiest bulls this side of the Atlantic. At the same time, we’ve decreased the risk of serious injury by providing course fencing for runners to climb and, most importantly, selecting bulls without sharpened horns like those in Spain,” says Dickens.

The Great Bull Run’s Running with The Bulls at Hawthorne Race Course will occur between 11am and 1:30pm in six different sessions on Saturday July 12, 2014. Tickets are currently on-sale online for $55 until June 20, 2014 and then for $60 until July 8, 2014 at A ticket includes: One running with the bulls; One Tomato Royale food fight; Access to the day-long festival featuring great music, tasty food, fun games and cold beer; Access to all spectator areas for both The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale; One Great Bull Run t-shirt; One Great Bull Run bandana; One beer (if 21 or over). Participants must be 18+ to purchase tickets. 

II. Tomato Royale: Saturday, July 12, 2014; 3pm: Arguably the country’s most epic food fight, Tomato Royale takes place after the running with the bulls and adjacent to its track. Tomato Royale is inspired by Spain’s famous La Tomatina festival, which dates back to 1945. When the music starts, participants sprint to the massive mound of tomatoes piled in the center of the arena and the food fight begins. In this wild and friendly battle, it’s every man for himself as tomatoes are hurled at family, friends and strangers. Each Great Bull Run ticket also includes entry to Tomato Royale, but non Bull Run participants can join in the fun too. Tickets solely for Tomato Royale are currently on-sale online for $40 until June 20, 2014 and then for $45 until July 8, 2014 at A ticket includes: One Tomato Royale food fight; Access to the day-long festival featuring great music, tasty food, fun games and cold beer; Access to all spectator areas for both The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale; One Tomato Royale t-shirt; One beer (if 21 or over). Participants must be 14+ to purchase tickets.

Spectators: Whether seeking the thrill of watching people run with bulls or throwing tomatoes at one another, spectators are welcome. Options for viewing areas consist of stands, bleachers and standing room areas next to both The Great Bull Run track and Tomato Royale arena.  Tickets are currently for sale online for $10 until July 8, 2014 at Children 13 and under are free.

Safety and Concerns: The Great Bull Run has now held six events at various locations across the country with 25,000 people participating in total. There are obvious risks associated with running with real bulls, but of all participants, only two have required significant medical attention (one for a broken wrist and one for a broken pelvis) – an injury rate much lower than an average college football game. There have been no deaths in The Great Bull Run. The bulls used in The Great Bull Run are well cared for by Lone Star Rodeo and an onsite veterinarian. There is absolutely no animal abuse or cruelty at any time. The bulls are transported in accordance with all laws and regulations governing the transport of animals. Tomato Royale is mindful of food waste and makes every effort to source tomatoes that are unfit for human consumption.

For current updates of The Great Bull Run and Tomato Royale, visit Facebook at and Twitter at

Summer Time is Me Time Via Netflix #StreamTeam #NetflixKids #Ad

This month our Netflix Stream Team Theme is all about the big kids (AKA: Grownups).

This summer we're all about taking care of the kids and ALSO taking time out for the big kids (AKA: grownups). This month's Stream Team topic is timely as always, and it's all about mom. Your favorite shows may be on hiatus, but Netflix has a selection of titles to get you through the summer months. And yes, that includes all-new episodes of one of our favorite Netflix originals -- Orange Is the New Black season 2 just launched June 6. So it's a great time to catch up or jump on board if you haven't seen it yet.

Disclosure:  ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  All opinions are our own.

We totally kick back and relax with Netflix when the kids are tucked in bed or off to sleep overs with friends or grandparents. In fact, my husband and I are so busy that if if wasn't for Netflixs and flex scheduling, we wouldn't be able to keep up with any series!  We love lazing around in the hammock with headphones and Netflix on a portable device when we have down time. But my husband shoots TV shows--often for weeks on location and brutal 12 hour days. And I review plays, movies, and live concerts which mostly fall on nights and evenings. As you can imagine, that cuts into our regularly scheduled TV time. 

And then there are the kids... At 11 & 13, our kids have full, exciting, busy lives of their own with lots of activities and no driver's licenses! You know what that means...

Parenting is generally a 24/7 gig, and those long summer days can be loooooooong if you're at home with the kids when school's out. And you're the taxi driver, cook, and entertainment planner, among other things. Summer break often means MORE work and LESS break for parents, just like those so called "vacations". So don't forget to take a sanity break from summer break and kick back with Netflix and something YOU chose to watch.

Available on Netflix:

1. Orange Is the New Black- We actually haven't seen it yet, but I know friends who rave about it. Thanks to Netflix Stream Team for the rockin' Orange Is The New Black beach bag, book, and squishy chicken. It's been a HUGE hit on the beach and a huge hit on Netflix.

4. Sherlock-- We're huge Sherlock fans here at ChiIL Mama! Every time we come to the end of their all too short seasons (those Brits!) I go into major withdrawal.

5. Breaking Bad- We've seen the first few seasons of Breaking Bad but are woefully behind. Yay for Netflix. We can binge watch while the kids are off at sleep away camp for a week!

Sleeper hits you may have missed:

1. Weeds--Ditto for Weeds. We've seen some of the early seasons but aren't anywhere near caught up. Nobody needs a good kid-inappropriate series like parents do! It's a great antidote to all the sugar & sweet you end up watching with the littles.

3. Freaks and Geeks--We love love love Freaks and Geeks and have seen all the episodes multiple times. Highly recommended.

Thanks again to Netflix Stream Team for the rockin' Orange Is The New Black swag bag, book, and squishy chicken. It's been a HUGE hit on the beach and a huge hit on Netflix. They also sent along a fun Turbo Fast light up head band and buttons. These aren't for the grownups per say--though we do know more than a few grownups who would be happy to indulge and rock that look!  

We're counting on this fun swag and the awesome animated episodes they're based on to keep the peace in the car on long road trips and give us a bit of whine free me time. We caught a press preview of the movie Turbo before it even hit the theatres, reviewed the Wii game, and now we're digging the Netflix cartoon version. Turbo is sure to become a fast favorite in your family too.

ChiIL out with us this summer in Chi, IL and beyond at ChiIL Mama (family friendly) and our sister site ChiIL Live Shows (adult). Check back with ChiIL Mama for more cool Stream Team Themes every month!  Stay cool and stream on...

Disclosure:  Once again, ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  All opinions are our own.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

GRAND OPENING TODAY! Fresh Thyme Has Arrived in Deerfield WIN a $25 Giftcard From ChiIL Mama #Freshthyme

It's Thyme to Celebrate a new, healthy market! 
ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and Fresh Thyme

Fresh Thyme opens TODAY in Deerfield, with many other stores popping up in the area throughout the year. Here at ChiIL Mama we're all about green living, eco-friendly choices, and eating healthy food, so we're more than happy to welcome another Fresh Thyme to the area!  

**CLICK HERE for your chance to WIN a $25 Fresh Thyme gift card giveaway!  Then check out Fresh Thyme's GRAND OPENING festivities TODAY, Wednesday June 25!** Enter through midnight July 2nd.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is elated to partner up with Fresh Thyme and thank them for providing a gift card for our giveaway. We have been paid to share the grand opening info with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Announces Second Grand Opening in Deerfield, IL 
on June 25, 2014

The first 250 shoppers on grand opening day will receive a limited edition custom Deerfield Fresh Thyme reusable bag filled with over $50 of healthy groceries. Grand opening day will feature events for the entire family including food sampling, live entertainment and giveaways. Additional events are scheduled to continue throughout the week. 

We're also super stoked to see Super Stolie, a long time Kindie Musician friends of ours, will be there to rock your socks off from 11-1pm, with family friendly kids' tunes. She frequently plays Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids, a rockin' weekly kids' series where 
ChiIL Mama's the press sponsor.

We're also excited to see our long time friend, Momma Cuisine, Chicago Mom and Cooking personality, will be there doing a cooking demo from 12-1pm. Johanna Cook (AKA: Momma Cuisine) lives up to her name! 

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a new specialty grocer featuring healthy and organic value-priced offerings, is excited to announce the grand opening for their second location in Deerfield on Wed. June 25, 2014.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a new specialty grocer featuring healthy and organic value-priced offerings, is excited to announce the grand opening for Illinois’s second store location in Deerfield on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 7 a.m. CST. The Deerfield Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Harriet Rosenthal will be on site for the ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. CST at the 35 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, Illinois 60015 store location. 

“We look forward to opening Illinois’s second Fresh Thyme store in Deerfield,” CEO Chris Sherrell stated. “The grand opening event will be an exciting day to shop, try our different products, and participate in activities throughout the day.”

“Fresh Thyme’s goal is to provide our local communities with fresh, natural products at a great value,” Sherrell said. “We also strive to build solid relationships within each community we call home and look forward to the opportunity to do so in Deerfield.”

It’s time to raise some RUCKUS that Fresh Thyme has finally arrived in Deerfield, IL! We think people are going to love this new store and what it has to offer. 

Fresh Thyme has already hired many local community residents for managerial and hourly positions. There are still numerous full and part-time employment opportunities available at the Deerfield Fresh Thyme store. Anyone interested may apply online at

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a new full-service specialty retailer focusing on fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings, all at amazing values. The stores’ signature offering is an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables. In addition, Fresh Thyme’s full-service offerings include a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, natural and organic groceries, dairy and frozen, as well as vitamins and body care products. Fresh Thyme is offering a NEW shopping experience to the Midwest and is scheduled to open a total of 60 stores by 2019. 

You can learn more by visiting, and be sure to keep in touch by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is elated to partner up with Fresh Thyme and thank them for providing a gift card for our giveaway. We have been paid to share the grand opening info with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own.

Comments left on our blog about Fresh Thyme can be used on Fresh Thyme promotional materials.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

FOODIE TUESDAY: Almondina® Cookies Giveaway, Review, Recipes & A Cool Back Story

Almondina® - The Delicious Cookie 
Without the Guilt

I never had a cookie baking grandma. During my childhood it seemed just about every book that featured a grandma had her baking cookies! But neither of my two grandmas baked me cookies... EVER. That's why everyone needs a Grandma Dina! Her cookies, still made with the original family recipe, are available all over the nation and over seas too, to any and every one who wants to buy them, whether you have a cookie bakin' grandma or not.

(all images used with permission from Almondina)

That's one reason why, here at ChiIL Mama, we jumped at the chance to partner up with Almondina® for a review and giveaway. See, we LOVE to eat cookies, and share cookies. And we empathize with all those kids, moms and grandmas who just don't have the time or talent to DIY. It's our absolute pleasure to work with Almondina. They sent us a BIG sampler box with a wide variety of their extensive line of cookie flavors. And we were wowed by these tasty treats. Best of all, this all-natural, crispy almond cookie has no cholesterol and no added fat, salt, or preservatives and has only 30 calories!

Even better--They're ready to send a BIG sampler box of Almondina® cookies to one of ChiIL Mama's lucky readers! 

**ENTER HERE  if you would like to WIN.** U.S. entrants only. Open nation wide. Enter through midnight 7/7/14.  Please note that previous winners of Almondina giveaways are ineligible. 

Disclosure: Thanks to Almondina® for providing product for review purposes and for our giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.

We love that they're thin and crispy and can even be justified as a fairly healthy treat! The Cinnaroma® and Choconut are our absolute favs.  We're also jazzed at all the great recipes available HERE on their site.  These cookie slices can be layered up with Nutella, whipped cream and various berries for a sweet treat. Or you can use cream cheese and lunch meat or whatever you can imagine, for a creative, unique appetizer. 

Almondina® biscuits in the following flavors:

· Original - America's all natural favorite with almonds and raisins
· Chocolate Cherry - We combined the world's finest dark chocolate
  with plump cherries to produce an irresistible, decadent treat without guilt.
· Choconut - Rich tasting crunchy chocolate, but low in calories
· Cinnaroma® - The original biscuit for cinnamon lovers
· Gingerspice - Trend setting, with chunks of Australian ginger
· AlmonDuo® - Double-nut wonder with almonds and pistachios
· AnniversaryT - Award winning delight with a touch of anise
· BranTreats® - Made with oat bran and the finest cinnamon "Cookies For Breakfast"
· Sesame - Irresistible, exotic, flavorful
- Seasonal Pumpkin Spice - A seasonal attraction with a delightful touch of fall spices combined with the highest quality almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Including new products:
· Chocolate Dipped – the Original® dipped in the finest, pure, rich dark chocolate was previously offered only certain times of the year is now available year round
· Delights – The Original® Almondina totally encased in Milk chocolate
· Yogurt Dipped – Brantreats® dipped on one side with a layer of all natural yogurt and new Toastees!

The Almondina® Story:
We also adore the back story. This cookie's got history! Here's a 
terrific & heartwarming bit of summer reading. So cuddle up in the hammock with a box of Almondina® cookies and check out this story! 

Yuval Zaliouk was a world renowned musical conductor and for the past two decades has been the owner of Almondina. Zaliouk's company is based in Ohio and his Almondina cookies are sold in all 50 States and several foreign countries. 

Where can I get some?!
Almondina distribution has expanded and is now readily available at stores such as Fairway, Hy Vee, Giant Eagle, Brookshire, Mollie Stone’s, Hannaford, Jewel, Whole Foods, The FreshMarket, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus World Market, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and many others. You can see their complete distribution at Almondian store finder.

Almondina are unique - a gourmet cookie, health food and snack, all in one. These extraordinary gourmet treats are created from Yuval Zaliouk's secret family recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation and was introduced to the market in 1989. It is wonderfully crunchy and does not have to be dipped. It is a delightful accompaniment for coffee, tea, soft cheeses and fine light wines.

Almondina® Biscuits are:

· All Natural
· Free of cholesterol, coloring and preservatives
· Made with no added fat or salt
· Low in calories - only 30 per slice
· Kosher and Pareve (non dairy)
· with tea or coffee
· as a cracker with cream cheese, Brie or other soft French cheeses
· with a glass of sherry
· crumbled as an ice cream topping
· served to youngsters with milk
· as a delicious breakfast on the way to work
· Crunchy, addictive, healthful

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Disclosure: Thanks to Almondina® for providing product for review purposes and for our giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.