Cooking from My Loffredo Fresh Produce Boxes

Monday, April 20, 2020

Do you remember when going to the grocery store seemed like a chore? The one weekly errand that seemed dreadful? I know I do! And now, like many others, I find myself struggling with getting anything from my local grocery store. And longing for more fresh produce. I know I'm not alone. So, how happy was I to partner with Loffredo to help spread the word regarding their fresh produce boxes!

Loffredo is a full-line produce and specialty company that services Des Moines, Omaha, Kansas City, and the Quad Cities. And recently, they have added fresh produce options to the public to their list of growing services. So what does this mean for you? It means you can order fresh produces boxes that contain enough food to feed a family of four for a week! Their produce boxes come in two different options, one fruit or one vegetable, and each box is only $25! 

When they approached me, I told them yes immediately! I wanted to share with all of you the steps involved, what the boxes contained, and how I planned/cooked from these boxes over the course of one week. And cook I did! And baked. What a pleasure it has been to serve fresh foods daily and experiment with new recipes. I'm honestly thinking of ordering another set of each box next week! So how do you order? Read on....

To place your order for a fresh produce box, simply head here to the the Loffredo myshopify link. Scroll through until you find Pick Up in Kansas City. Upon ordering, you can pick up your curbside order at Loffredo Fresh Foods warehouse located at 750 Wyoming St, Kansas City, MO 64101. You will find their schedule for pickup on the site. Once your order has been placed, it will be available based on the schedule provided. Ordering is quick and simple and outlines the contents within each box. Again, you can order one of each box. 

Just check out the amazingness!






I cleaned all of my produce in a water bath of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I let them soak for about 15 minutes and I scrubbed the items that have harder exteriors. I let them all air dry on the counter top.



This entire process also lead me to cleaning out my fridge! Man, does stuff get pushed to the back! I threw out all the old, cleaned every single shelf, and then placed all the produce in pretty bowls, if it allowed.


 


The first night I served up leftovers, but cut up one of the heads of lettuce to make wedge salads. I added grape tomatoes I already had on hand, along with some feta cheese, and added the desired dressing. So simple, but so much crunch!


 

And I simply added sliced strawberries to McKinley's plate!


Found out my dad loves blackberries, so I made some blackberry bars for him the next day. I kept a few for us as well. Man, they were so good. A breakfast treat or for a snack during the day. I did both!



For dinner on night two, I made stuffed peppers! I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe, but made modifications based on what I had. I used mild Italian sausage instead of hamburger and the peppers, Roma tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow onion from the box. This was a two night meal that lead into a third day lunch. See below....




Day three, I made apple bread from one of the apples from the box. 



Lettuce from the box made lettuce cups with the extra filling from the stuffed peppers dinner! 


Day Four, Saturday if we're keeping track of days I'm cooking from the box. (This doesn't include leftover days.) I made broccoli salad as a side for our dinner. I used the two heads of broccoli, two apples, and one of the giant carrots.



We eat daily on the grapes, oranges, and grapefruit. I am going to cube up the pineapple and freeze it for smoothies. I made a fruit salad with the cantaloupe, kiwi, and other fruits. And, I plan to make potato boats from the baking potatoes that were in the box as well. Leave your potatoes and onion in a cool, dry space until you plan to use them. This will keep them from rotting. 

Going into this week, I still have a zucchini, that I may use for zucchini bread. I'm using my lemons and limes as add ins when needed. Apples are still being used for snacks. Grapes are almost gone. And a slice of orange, or two, make it into my Blue Moon during much needed Happy Hours! 

Honestly, this box has been a lifesaver this past week. And I'm truly ready to order my next round. I love having fresh fruits and veggies and I've really enjoyed advancing my culinary creations! A huge shout out to Pinterest!! 

If you decided to order, share your recipes and how you used the contents! It's too good an option to pass up!!

XO,
Andrea

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions expressed are my own. 

From Bedroom to Craft Room

Friday, April 17, 2020

Eighteen years ago this coming May, we moved into our house. And for nearly seventeen of those years, we used one of our three rooms as a spare bedroom. And in those seventeen years, I think I can count on two hands the amount of times it was used it for guests. 

In August of 2018, I was asked by Better Kansas City if I would like to come on their daily morning show and share one of my current projects. I jumped at the opportunity. I went on the show and talked about my kitchen update and how I did it myself. And as fate would have it, I have been on every month for a full year talking about everything from front porch updates, DIY lighting, and craft projects for kids and adults! 

And as I result from this amazing experience, I found that I needed to create a space to call my own for working and finalizing projects. Up until then, I was using either our kitchen table or coffee table in the den, leaving behind a giant mess until the project was complete. Sometimes it would take a few days. Others weeks. Last year I took matters into my own hands, and decided to convert the spare bedroom that no one was using (except for a catch all of all the things) and turn it into my very own work space. I dubbed it, my craft room.

It all started with clearing the entire space out! Ridding ourselves of the iron bed, that's still for sale by the way, gifting the mattress and box springs, cleaning out the chest of drawers and donating/pitching its contents, and selling it to a family for their kids room. We were down to bare bones!


I had a few ideas of what I wanted the space to look like, but I wasn't exactly sure how to make it come to life. I wanted girly glam with pink walls, touches of golds and accents of black. But my husband was not buying into the pink. He kept giving his input on other colors that he thought I would like. Like yellow or lilac. Nope! Not colors I liked or wanted. I wanted pink. Not bubble gum pink. I wanted pale pink. Ballet slippers pink. A hint of pink.

So how I did I decide? I'm a huge fan of the SureSwatch product. It comes with four sheets that you paint with various shades of paint, allow them to dry after two coats, and then hang in the room you are looking to paint. Move them around the room, allowing different light to hit them throughout the day, so you know what shade works best in the space. And for me, it was Barely Blush! The small piece of paper attached to the swatch was a wallpaper I was thinking of using on the accent wall, but instead I went with all painted walls and would later add photos.


Because the room hadn't been touched in seventeen years, the ceiling needed a fresh coat of paint too. And before the paint was barely dry, I was working with my dad to install the antique wire egg basket we turned into a light for a DIY project for Better Kansas City! I had always wanted to create my own light fixture and this was the perfect time to do it! It's amazing what you can do with a light kit and a little imagination. I love this piece. It's probably my favorite DIY to date. And I especially love how the orangy rust patina plays off the pink walls around the room! It's stunning!






Finally, it was time to paint! However, when I applied the first coat, I felt a slight panic. The lighting from the overhead light cast odd shadows and bright highlights. But I continued with my quest. When I turned off the light, and allowed the natural light to flow in from the window, all was calm. All was the perfect shade of pink! This room was knocked it out in a weekend! Walls in a day! The trim, baseboards, and window were bright white and completed by Sunday!


If you remember, several years ago I took a small portion of our den and turned it into my office. I painted one wall grey to give it color. I used a small sofa table as my desk, an antique cabinet for storage, a tufted desk chair, and bright yellow rug for a little pop. For my “new room”, I knew it needed to be a dual purpose room. A craft room yes, but an office as well. So I took the existing desk, chair, and cabinet up to its new home and played around with placement. We ended up putting the desk by the window so that I could look out at the world while lost in what to type next. I placed my yellow cabinet along the "entry" wall, so that when you walked by, it was the first thing that caught your eye. I find it to be the sweetest little cabinet and I love the aged paint. And I added the cutest chair to the mix!! Who doesn't need a shaggy gray chair in the corner to provide a space for reading or just pondering what project to work on next! 


The art deco mirror came from the old office as well. And I finally had a place to hang my wedding bouquet that was under the spare bed for nearly seventeen years! The rug was found in my parents basement and how perfectly does that pink compliment the walls and the green the chair?!? Fate!! 


 

The kitchen island that my husband gave me for Christmas makes the perfect crafting table! It has amazing storage, the middle drawer pulls out on both sides, and the open shelving helps display pretty sequins, glitter, and other shiny objects! 


Some of the little things that helped the room take shape were the addition of bright prints in different shapes and material. The frames were originally a bleached wood, but after covering the glass with paper grocery bags and blue tape, I spray painted them all a glossy black. I dug out my "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" print from the basement and hung it on the wall above my desk. Again, the colors pair perfectly. And lastly, I painted the closet doors with chalkboard paint so that my son can doodle while hanging out with me! It's a craft room after all! 




What I love most about this room is that it’s perfectly me! No, I'm not typically a pink girl, but the color reflects the mood of the room. A calming space for creativity, relaxation, and escaping when I need a little me time! 

When creating a new space within an existing room of your home, it doesn’t have to be costly. Mine all came together with odds and ends of things that I already had around my house. Pieces that worked in a smaller space still work in a "larger" one. I shopped out of my parents basement, and around their home as the yellow cabinet was borrowed from the a long time ago, but purchased new when needed/wanted and I added my own touch to amp up the chicness. And now, when I step into this room, I finally have a space that is just for me.

XO,
Andrea

DIY Spring Embroidery Hoop Wreath

Thursday, March 5, 2020

As of this week, spring temps are in the air, which means it's time to start changing out that winter decor! I did just that this past weekend with my front porch and now I have this adorable spring wreath to add! Last week on Better Kansas City, Belinda and I chatted about how cute and festive these wreaths are and just how easy they are to make! Here's how you do it!

You're going to need wooden embroidery hoops, and as luck would have it, they come as a set! When embroidering, quilting, or cross-stitching, you would use both of these hoops to help hold your fabric taut and in place. For this project, you get two wreaths for the price of one! YAY!

Next, pick all the decorating pieces that speak to you in terms of spring, or any other season you want to place on your wreath. I made one for spring, Christmas, and Mardi Gras, and I'm currently working on one for summer. In addition to the items you've picked, you're going to need floral wire. Make sure you get the floral wire that works best with your project. I picked up both green and silver depending on how much greenery I used or something that was more white based. Additional items you might need are wire cutters, a glue gun, and something to hang your wreath with, if you decide not to leave it as is. Looping thick ribbon is a great option.

Let's get started!

As you can see, I went with all things pastel, especially pink! Pink orchids, a pink, yellow, and white pom-pom garland, and darling pink bunny ears! 




Start by finding the place where you want to start on the wreath. For this one, I knew I wanted my orchids to line just one side of the wreath, leaving the other side open. I clipped off the stem to the best length for the wreath and began wrapping my silver floral wire all along the end to secure the orchid to the wreath. 


After you secure the end of the stem to the wreath, start wrapping the wire around the orchid all along the wreath, making sure to keep the wire tight, but your loops don't need to be too close together. Making sure the orchid is adhered to the wreath is key. 



Once I had the orchid attached to the wreath, I started adding the garland. Luckily, the garland was already wired so it was easy to add to the wreath.


Again, find where you want it placed on your wreath. I decided to bunch the pom-poms around the stem at the base of the wreath to cover the start point. Move the garland up and along the side of the wreath, making sure to fluff and cover up any empty spaces you see. 


Once you have everything in place, take a step back and look at the wreath from a slight distance. If you see that it needs a little more here or a little less there, adjust as needed. One thing I did was wrap the garland in between the flowers to add some depth. 


When I saw these darling bunny ears, I knew they would be the center/focal point of my spring wreath. And even though they are bunny ears, I don't think it screams Easter. This way, you can put it out now and keep it up well into spring. But, I have my summer wreath ready for when the weather calls, so the bunny will eventually have to go! 


I cut the stem of the pick to just under the ears and used a glue gun to adhere them to the wreath. This is the only piece that's glued, so if I decide to take it apart to create something new, the glue will easily come off. And, because it's on the back, you won't see if there's a slight flaw. You can use all of these pieces again and in very different ways. It would be a cute floral arrangement. Or, you could place the garland around a large round candle, place on a pedestal and cover with a glass cloche topper. 


And here is the final product!! It's darling! So sweet and screams spring!!! I hung this on one my parents doorknocker for the photo, but would definitely use a wreath hanger or a teacup hook that I have on the front of my house for year round wreath use! 


And that's it! So easy! And like I said, I made a Christmas and Mardi Gras version. Check them out below! 



A great DIY that is seasonal or year round depending on what you design! And what's great, a project that can be taken apart and the pieces upcycled for a completely different use! Love a versatile project!

Check out the Better Kansas City segment here to see Belinda and I working together on the summer hoop!

XO,
Andrea

Lent Forty Day Challenge

Thursday, February 27, 2020

I wouldn't say that I'm an incredibly religious person. But I would say that I'm a spiritual person. I don't attend church on a regular basis, but I did as a child and young adult. I do believe in a Holy Spirit. A higher being. Someone watching over us. And I don't think that because I don't attend church, or consider myself uber religious, that it makes me any less of a person who attends church regularly. I try to abide by the Ten Commandments, as all human beings should! I try not to cast stones. And I try to observe Lent every year. And it all starts with Shrove Tuesday, or as we call it, Pancake Tuesday!

So we are on day two of Lent. I didn't attend Ash Wednesday. I did, however, start the Lent Forty Day Challenge that I saw on Facebook yesterday. Have you heard about it? Over the next forty days, instead of giving up something, which I try to do as well, it asks you to Do More! I like that! Do More. My mom does this now. She, like me, gave up things for years, but found that she's a better person by Doing More. So here is the challenge that I chose to accept!

Over the next forty days, fill one bag a day with stuff. Reduce clutter around the house and do something with the things you decide to part with. Like donate to a charitable organization. Recycle things that are a fit for recycling. Throw away things that are truly worth the trash. Or sell the things that you think might be worth something. It's that easy. Or is it easier said than done?

I'm one who loves to try and declutter, but I usually end up making a giant mess, and then I'm overwhelmed and walk away from it all. Then, it's time for bed, and guess what? All that stuff is all over the house! And I didn't so anything more than just make more clutter! Earlier this week, Dr. Nikki Crawford of Your Peaceful Spaces was on Better Kansas City and I chatted with her after her segment about the decluttering your space mindset. I mentioned to her that I get overwhelmed with the mess I have created, and she said that was a result of doing too much! She said start small. A sock drawer. A spice cabinet. A shoe closet. Working in a smaller space will help you feel accomplished without getting overwhelmed at the mess you have made. In other words, don't Marie Kondo that space! I knew I didn't try that fade for a reason!

So, yesterday I started with a space that meant something to me, my new craft room. I've been meaning to organize my new island, but I haven't really felt the urge to do it. You know, motivated to start cleaning out the clutter. Yesterday, I put my mind to it, and got to work. And it felt good! I threw out old craft paint bottles that were nothing put oil. Old fabric glue jars that were dried up and unspreadable. I pitched used sponge paint brushes because I still had them why..... I cleaned the baskets out, restocked them, and gave everything a place. I used cute Mason jars to house beads, crystals, glue sticks, and Popsicle sticks. I gave the space a once over and I loved what it finally looked like! I made a small mess, cleaned it up, and threw one bag away! AND, by cleaning out the old, and making way for the new/usable, I cleaned out a closet in the basement! Day one was complete!






I know I may not get all forty days accomplished and that's okay. I am trying. I am doing more that I would have if I hadn't taken on this challenge. Today, I'm going to task myself with cleaning out my sons closet! It's way over due. I need to clean out his sock drawer, pajama basket, and truly look at sizes that are currently hanging in the closet! Wish me luck. It's no small task!

With that being said, are you going to task yourself with the Lent challenge? Are you the kind of person who gives up something or does more? Let's all share what we plan to do and check in over the next forty days to see how we are all doing! No judgement if we don't complete what we set out to do!! At least we tried!

XO,
Andrea


 
electric toothbrush