Sweese.jpegIt seems the terms ‘efficiency and durability’ are often two very important principles omitted from manufactured products these days.

With flimsy material and cheap plastics many products I used to rely on aren’t made the same way anymore.  Sweese is a company that has both efficiency and durability as their guiding principles in making their products.  Many of these products are made from a high-quality porcelain, which is resistant to chips and stains, while also being oven and dishwasher safe! Making these products built to last and saving you money in the long run.

Recently, I was asked to join the Ambassador Program with Sweese and by doing so I was able to pick from a list of products I would like to use and try. I chose the assorted color mugs, which I immediately put to the test!

Upon receiving my mugs, which came very well packaged, I directly put them right in the dishwasher.  I always like to see how dishes and cookware fare after running through the dishwasher.  I then made coffee and allowed my black coffee to sit in the mug for a few hours and guess what; no coffee stained line in the middle of the mug.

After making my delicious cabbage, potato, and leek soup I recently blogged on, I pulled out a container from the freezer and wanted to use these mugs for serving my soup…yep you guessed it, no stained lines in the middle of the mug.

After a few weeks testing this product, more so for myself I am sold on Sweese and the quality and durability they have in the production of their products! If you are looking for a great product to have or a perfect gift to give for the holidays you may want to check Sweese out!  You can purchase these products directly on their website http://www.sweese.com

Have a wonderful day friends!



Potato, Cabbage and Leek Soup and its Dairy-Free!

IMG_1616When it comes to food I think soups are my absolute favorite.  Well…soups that are clean, healthy, gluten-free, dairy free, and free from crappy ingredients…those types of soups are my favorite!!!

A good soup feeds the soul and nourishes the body without weighing you down.  The simplicity of making soup is extremely grounding and rewarding for me knowing I’m using whole ingredients as well as cleaning out my refrigerator before any vegetables go bad.  Making soup is more or less a feeling of connection to healthy whole foods grown in their truest form that soothes and awakens the soul.

I know a bit philosophical there, but at any rate, today I’m sharing my version of Potato, Cabbage and Leek soup.  Like with so many recipes this recipe can be altered with ingredients.  When my mom made her ‘Potato Leek Soup’ she didn’t use cabbage but her recipe called for nutmeg of all things.  So this just goes to show how versatile and even taste specific you can make a soup to fit your dietary restrictions or desires.

In a large pot I added a small amount of vegetable broth and sautéd the diced onions and chopped garlic over medium heat.  If you choose to use olive oil that is fine too.

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I then added diced onions, garlic, and a bit of salt and pepper and cooked for 2-3 minutes, until the onions were translucent.  Next, I added diced celery and carrots and cooked for another 3 minutes.

I then added shredded cabbage, chopped leeks and cubed potatoes; allowing them to sauté in the pot.

Finally I added 3-4 cups of vegetable broth and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. I forgot to add my bay leaf in this step, but the soup turned out pretty tasty without it.

I continued to simmer the soup for another 25 minutes allowing all these delicious flavors to blend together.

And that was it!!!

You now have a tasty and easy soup that pairs well with my Rosemary Focaccia Bread.

Your lunch and/or dinner is served!






  • 1 small- medium head of cabbage
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 7-8 small to medium sized yellow potatoes
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 2 regular sized carrots
  • 1 large leek or a 1/2 cup of leeks chopped (I used 2 large sized leeks)



  1. In a large pot add either a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of vegetable broth turn on medium heat and add diced onions and chopped garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add diced celery and carrots and cook
  3. Add shredded cabbage, chopped leeks, and cubed potatoes (either peeled or unpeeled)
  4. Add 3-4 cups of broth (Either vegetable or chicken)
  5. Add Cumin and Bay leaf, salt and pepper
  6. Simmer for 25 minutes and allow it to cool for 10-15 before serving



Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Focaccia 3Temperatures finally took a dip and the 90 degree heat I think is finally over. I know, I know, when winter drags on, we’re all going to be welcoming these warmer than normal days. I guess that’s why we have seasons to fully appreciate each one as they come and to be grateful!

With October well underway, hearty and healthy meal recipes seem to be popping up everywhere from newsfeeds to magazine covers. Who doesn’t love this time of year? The smell of leaves, campfires, apples, apple crisp to all things pumpkin.

This was my first, and certainly not my last time making focaccia Bread. I plan on making a gluten-free/dairy-free version sometime soon.  This one is all for my husband to enjoy.  Some may be wondering ‘what is Focaccia?’ With a crisp outer layer and a soft inside this bread is perfect for sandwiches, soups, stews you name it. It is a flat bread made with olive oil, originally from the town of Genoa, Italy. Due to the ease of making, and the versatility it’s no wonder this bread is one of the most popular breads worldwide.

This bread is the kind of bread you can make on a Saturday or Sunday morning and have fun adding different kinds of toppings. It is also a great bread to make with kids because you need to “knead” help to poke the bread!  I’ll talk more about that in just a bit.

Focaccia 5

Using a regular old cookie sheet (with sides) lightly spray some cooking oil and place parchment paper on top of it inside the pan, the oil prevents the parchment paper from sliding around the pan. Once you have combined the bread flour, and all-purpose flour with the activated yeast it needs to be evenly mixed. You should use a mixer to combine the ingredients, but my husband hand mixed it (and I really mean hand mixed…like he really mixed it with his hand) for me because I didn’t want to have to take out my big mixer only to use it for like 3 minutes to wash every little part. But I would say if you have a mixer you may want to use it making sure everything is properly and thoroughly mixed.

The key here when you are mixing it to make sure the ball of dough is not sticky to the touch and if it is to slowly mix some more. Then you want to take the dough out of the bowl, or ‘to turn the dough out’ onto the already prepared parchment lined sheet and drizzle with olive oil, and cover the dough with either a bowl or a towel for 2 hours until the dough basically doubles in size.

After the dough has raised, with olive oiled fingers you will gently press out the dough on the parchment paper, flattening it from corner to corner. You are going to want to make as many dimples or indentations as you can, here is where the help from your ‘littles’ is needed poking the dough and then cover it again for about 45 minutes.

As you allow the dough to finish rising, prepare your toppings. I decided on fresh rosemary since I have quite a bit from my herb garden, onions, oven roasted grape tomatoes, and a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese…again can you tell I made this for my husband???

Focaccia 2

In Italy, when they make focaccia, the trick is to add a few splashes of saltwater to the dough. So after the bread is done rising, and before the toppings splash a little cool salt water with your finger tips (make sure not to over wet the bread), then add your desired toppings and generously drizzle the entire flattened dough with more olive oil. The Focaccia is going to bake until it puffs up and has a golden crust (not brown) for about 20-25 minutes. I actually had my focaccia in closer to 30 minutes, but I kept an eye on it. Once I removed the bread, I sprinkled with a bit of sea salt flakes before serving.

I hope you all enjoy!






3 ½ cups of bread flour

1 Cup of All-Purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ ounce paket of instant yeast

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, (and more for drizzling)

1 teaspoon Sugar

¾- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Rosemary

Plus, any additional toppings



  1. Line sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In one bowl mix 1 1/2 cups of water and sugar.  Sprinkle the yeast on top.  Don’t mix. Wait about 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  3. Combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour salt, rosemary in a large bowl.  Add the oil. You can either mix by hand or use a hand mixer or a larger mixer to combine the ingredients.  Knead out the dough on medium speed until ot forms a ball that is not overly sticky. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Take out the dough or ‘turn the dough out’ on the lined parchment paper tray, drizzle with more olive oil and cover with a bowl or clean kitchen towel.  The dough will double in size and this should take about 2 hours.
  4. Using oiled fingers, press or indent the dough dimpling it all over the bread.  Once you have made enough cover the dough again to allow it to finish rising for about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Mix in a small kitchen bowel salt and water . 1 tsp or so of salt to about a cup of cool water.  Mix the salt in the water and sprinkle/Splash the Focaccia but don’t soak.  Then add your sliced onions or toppings of choice.  Add more olive oil and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s puffed and golden brown.  Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  7. ENJOY