Favorite Things

Last night my book club had our annual Christmas “Favorite Things” party.  And it got me thinking about my favorite “things” for the kitchen and home.  Obviously our faith, family and friends are more important than “things”…I think that goes without saying for all of us. But it is the season of giving and sharing so I am going to share some of my favorite things in case some of you need some last minute gift ideas for someone on your list!  And if you are in P-town, some are local!

Olio & Vino:  I love their lemon balsamic vinegar and tuscan herb olive oil.  I do equal parts of both and marinade chicken breasts overnight.  It is amazing and my hubby, who doesn’t *love* chicken the way that I do really really likes it.  Healthy, easy, and since it only takes a little bit it’s fairly inexpensive.  www.olioandvino.com

Mississippi River Distilling Company:  My friend Stephanie is their chef and and I love love love their products.  Based in Le Claire, Iowa it is a local distillery that makes their products with ingredients from local farms.  Each bottle has a bottle number and a batch number and you can look up the numbers on their site and see which farms it came from.  I recommend the River Rose Gin (and I do not like gin but this is good!) and the Strawberry Vodka.  In Peoria you can get it at Friar Tuck.  www.mrdistilling.com

Mullins Whey Protein:  This is the best protein powder we have EVER used.  It is unflavored so you can mix it with anything.  Try it.  It’s whey protein from Wisconsin (!) You will love it. http://www.mullinswhey.com

Amagansett Sea Salt:  Ok, so saw this on an episode of the Barefoot Contessa.  No surprise there.  But it was really cool to see how they “harvest” the salt so i ordered it.  It was amazing. http://www.amagansettseasalt.com

Thirty-one:  I love 31’s products, especially their large utility totes.  Perfect for vacations, laundry, storage, you name it.  I love the little utility bins for the pantry.  Great quality, great company, and my sister-in-law sells it so you can order here.  www.mythirtyone.com/104813/

Josie Maran Argan Oil:  This has saved my skin, which is really really dry.  I love it.  Worth every penny. You can order on her website or find it at qvc or sephora or ulta. A little goes a long way so don’t be scared of the price.  I use it on my hair, under my eyes (hello 40), and on any dry spots before bed.

Lost & Found:  The cutest little gift shop in Peoria Heights, IL.  Lots of vintage and hard to find things.  Love it.

Woodwick Sea Salt Caramel Candle:  Our daughter came in the house one day and said Yum, I can’t wait for those cookies.  Plus it crackles like a fireplace.  Perfect.  🙂

Save Me San Francisco Wine:  The band Train has a winery and all the profits go to charity. It’s around $10 a bottle and really good.  And all the profits go to charity.  Did I mention all the profits go to charity?  Charity people.  In Peoria you can get it at Fresh Market or Hy-Vee. I haven’t tried Friar Tuck yet.  We have had the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir.  Opposite ends of the spectrum and both are good.

Merry Christmas!!  Love to all!

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