Kitchen July 23 2012

BonBon Break


Growing a vegetable garden. Making jam. Baking bread. BBQing pizzas. Drying garlic and onions. If you told me 20 years ago that I would be doing these things and LOVING them, I would have laughed. But it is the truth, I have found pure unadulterated fun in each of these tasks and I am constantly blown away by how   E A S Y they are. That’s right, I said, “Easy”.

A couple of years back, an island friend was telling me how simple it was to crank out a dozen jars of berry jam for her boys. Really? Yes. And now I will share the secret with you. Local fruit. Your kitchen. Low sugar. Save a ton of money. Incredible over-the-top “Mom this tastes like our yummy strawberries from the garden” flavor. Are you sold yet? Come on in…

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About Val: Val is the creator of the Food & Garden site Mental Chew and the co-editor of Bonbon Break. She is a former middle school science teacher who put her career on hold to be at home with her two babes.

When Val breaks away from her keyboard, she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, camping, tidepooling, birdwatching, sailing, traveling and potlucks. She gets a kick out of combing the web for recipes and then adapting them for her husband, family and friends to enjoy. Through her love of organic cooking, she became interested in growing her own produce and Mental Chew gave her the chance to combine her love of food and gardening as well as explore her new passion of photography. Follow Val on FacebookTwitterPinterest.

 PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES ::: That’s So Michelle

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About Michelle:

Michelle spent the past 10 years of her life writing in some form or another.  In college she wrote about Jane Austen novels, Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson …After college, she spent a very busy five years writing about politics. She covered the 2008 presidential election, and conducted interviews with high profile businessmen and politicians.  She’s appeared on Fox News and MSNBC to discuss my reporting. Currently, she is a media gal at a think tank in Washington, DC.In 2010, she started “That’s so Michelle” as place to write about things that she felt — as a serious journalist — she didn’t know how to write about yet. Fun things like her family, her dog (named Honey) and her love for food and entertaining. Follow Michelle on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


This week’s challenge is all about kitchen organization, both overall and with specific emphasis on keeping your countertops and sink clear and clean.The reason I chose this challenge as the first of the year is because keeping your kitchen organized (and functional) is so important to keeping our whole house running smoothly, and can have such a positive impact in our lives.So, let’s start off with a bang and really do something that has a big organizational impact. This will help keep us motivated to continue on with the rest of the challenges, and start seeing the positive results of our efforts right away.

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About Taylor: Taylor Flanery is a Mom of 3, former lawyer, freelance writer, and editor-in-chief and head writer at,, and Taylor’s goal for herself and others is to have a clean and organized home that you actually have time to enjoy. She’s personally been making good progress toward that goal in her own home for over 10 years, taking small incremental steps forward. She loves to teach others how little steps done regularly can help you achieve big results in your home.

Follow Taylor on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or subscribe for her newsletter.