Fall Travels with Cascade Ice Sparkling Water

October 29th, 2014

We have done tons of amazing one day road trips this Fall, all throughout the Eastern Sierras. We even crossed the state line and headed in to Nevada for some shopping. The heat broke and the crisp autumn air is perfect for hiking, sightseeing, picnicking and leaf viewing.

All that time in the car (things are not close together in this part of California) leads to road trip drinks and car snacks, which don’t tend to be on the healthy side.  That’s where Cascade Ice Sparkling Water comes in. It’s no secret that I love flavored waters, but I only like the no sweetener kind which seem to be getting harder and harder to find. I was absolutely delighted when Cascade Ice asked if I would like to try some samples of their Organic Sparkling Water.

Cascade Ice sent over the whole organic line and holy cow are the waters delicious. There may have been discussions over who got to try which flavors and more than a few bottles were stolen and finished off by the five year old.

He doesn’t look one bit sorry for stealing my water.

Cascade Ice is such a great option for a beverage and a delicious alternative to soda, sports drinks and other sweetened drinks. It is “no sweetener added” not just zero calories or nothing artificial. The waters are also gluten free and sodium free. My husband and I don’t have that many overlapping beverage options because he is allergic to aspartame and dislikes Splenda. I don’t like Stevia or iced tea, so we aren’t left with that many things besides water that we can share. Well, beer, but that is a whole different post.

The flavors are all refreshingly fantastic, but if I were forced to pick a favorite, I think it would have to be the Organic Grapefruit. So delicious! And grapefruit flavors can be hard to get right, but this really did taste like water with a twist of grapefruit.

My one caveat about drinking Cascade Ice in the car is, as with any sparkling beverage, you need to be careful when opening it, especially when traveling to a higher altitude. When we went up to Bodie (a rise of 4,000 feet), I waited until we got to the State Park to open one. Just in case. Or do the open, recap, open, recap method. And speaking as someone who as exploded quite a few car beverages all of my lap, I would much rather have a water get everywhere than a dark, sticky soda.

Cascade Ice Sparkling Water

I was doing some poking around on the website and Cascade Ice has a variety of products –  a non-organic line of waters, cocktail mixers and seltzer. The whole website makes me thirsty. There’s also a handy location finder to see which products are available near you. Some are also available on amazon, but be wary of similarly named products.

Excellent beverage choice for the school commute, too.

I was provide product to review for this post, but was not otherwise compensated.

Saturday in the Park

October 28th, 2014

We happened upon a deserted park last Saturday and had an amazing time. Until we didn’t. But that’s just life with kids.

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A little more fall color

October 21st, 2014

We did a little more Fall color exploring after our trip to Bodie last weekend. The Virginia Lakes area was past peak, but still quite lovely. Most of the places up above 8500 feet are done for the season, but there are still lots of turned leaves lower down the mountains.

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Indestructible Applesauce Oat Muffins with Pears

October 20th, 2014

I have made these applesauce oat muffins many, many times. It isn’t my recipe. It is almost exactly this one for healthy oats and applesauce muffins. I’ve made these with store bought apple sauce, homemade apple sauce, apple-pear sauce and straight pear sauce. All good.

I have also messed up this recipe a million times and it always still turns out great. Forget the sugar? With the pears you can’t tell. Switch the baking powder and baking soda amounts? Delicious, but slightly flatter. Forget the butter? Can’t even tell. Make the muffins while holding a baby? Easy! While wearing a baby? Even easier.

I make a double batch and pop them in the freezer. I put a frozen apple oat muffin in a tupperware the night before and it is perfect in Spencer’s lunch. These muffins are one of the only things he requests ever single day. He even defies the no sharing food at school rule and grants his best friend that is a girl a secret bite. Apparently, she demands one.

The muffins are the best.

The only major differences from the original recipe is a reduction in the sugar and the butter and I use regular flour instead of whole wheat.

Pear Oat Muffins

Applesauce (or Pearsauce) Oat Muffins

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce or pearsauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a muffin tin with papers or spray with pam (recipe makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (in order) mixing to combine between each one. (I am lazy and also have found that they turn out just fine even if you don’t mix the wet/dry ingredients separately and combine)
  4. Spoon into muffin pan, dividing equally.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean
  6. Remove from pan and cool on rack. When completely cool, freeze or store in an airtight container.
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