Reminder on September Farm coupon

Just a quick reminder that today is your final chance to use the September Farm coupon for 20% off a one-time order, using the coupon code CONFESSIONS20.

September Farm has another promotion running, expiring tomorrow, offering a $10 gift card free of charge with a purchase of $50 or more.

CONFESSIONS20 coupon expires at midnight.

Thanks,

Shari

September Farm Giveaway Winners

Hi everybody.

Thanks for entering the giveaway for a September Farm cheese sampler! I’m happy for each of you who joined the fun. Jessica Thomas is our fortunate winner! She said

Oh yum!! I love their cheese!!! We’re traveling to Lancaster this weekend and September farm is on my list of places I want to go.

(If anyone wonders exactly how winners are selected on this blog, see the endnote below for a full explanation.)

Now, for the rest of you, all is not lost. I’m sorry; I know – you never win. You’ve told me that before. However, this time we find ourselves in kind of a win-win situation, because September Farm is offering a coupon code for 20% OFF any orders made in the next two weeks with the coupon code CONFESSIONS20. How great is that?

Again, a few products worth highlighting (including that amazing cheese) are their gift baskets of all sizes, snack foods, smoked meats, best-selling cheeses, and fresh cheese curds. Oh! And their chocolate whoopie pies! Since my last post I had the opportunity to try those little chunks of heaven, and oh my word. They brought tears to my eyes.

Plus, September Farm staff have recently reworked shipping prices, creating more affordable options for those of us who live at a distance.

The 20% off coupon expires November 29, one use only per customer, so be sure to get everything you need right away. You’ll have a chance to enter the coupon code at checkout, and again, that’s CONFESSIONS20.

Thanks for supporting a great business. Happy shopping!


Full explanation: After each giveaway, my husband and I compile the names and email addresses of all commenters who enter (in this case, from each of two blog posts, as well as all email entries) into a spreadsheet. We assign each commenter a number, and check to remove any duplicate entries – such as when someone adds a note to their own comment, replies to someone else’s comment, or inadvertently enters twice. Then, let’s say there are eighty-nine people left. We ask random.org to choose a number between one and eighty-nine, and whatever number is picked, that’s our winner.

Hope that made everybody happy; or if not happy, then resigned. Okay, bye. xo

Giveaway: September Farm Sampler

As of Nov 14, 2017, this giveaway is closed.

Confession: I do love a good cheese, a good family, and a good story. All three come together in the business I’m promoting today: September Farm Cheese.

If you live near Lancaster County, you already know about September Farm. Their beautiful store is the place to stop for amazing fresh cheese, sandwiches, ice cream, and more. But did you know you can buy September Farm products from their webstore and have them shipped to your doorstep?

The Rotelle family has been involved in food production for four generations. In 2007, Dave and Roberta established September Farm Cheese, using milk from their own excellent dairy to produce the finest quality cheese.

Since then, September Farm has become ever more widely known for their delicious creations:

Handcrafted Monterey Jack

  • in many delightful flavors
  • including the award-winning Chives & Dill

Handcrafted Cheddar

Authentic Dutch Gouda

And much more, including Swiss, Havarti, Parmesan, and Mozzarella. Their own dairy still produces all the milk used in manufacturing the cheese. They age and ripen their cheese in their temperature and humidity regulated cheese cave.

I’ve been privileged to be a frequent taster of September Farm products – one of the Rotelle children lives in my community, and we always try to schedule our church potlucks for right after she’s visited home and returned bearing gifts. Okay, that was a joke. But still, I’ve loved every one of the cheeses I’ve tried: they’re creamy, nuanced, and perfectly textured.

I’ve also visited September Farm’s lovely store in Honey Brook, PA, sampling good things and making purchases. I love visiting on location, but it’s not always possible – so I’m really excited about their growing online presence!

They’ve recently expanded their online offerings, adding many products that were previously available in-store only, including fresh cheese curds, meats, relishes and dips, and beautiful gift baskets with customizable options, perfect for tasteful (or did I mean tasty?) holiday presents. Purchases can be made from their webstore at any time.

Today, September Farm and I are offering you a chance to win one of their Small Samplers free of charge! A Small Sampler includes

  • Three 8-ounce bars of handcrafted cheese (your choice of eleven flavors!)
  • One 8-ounce Lebanon Bologna
  • A September Farm cheese wire

Here are the flavors one fortunate winner will get to pick from.

Mild Cheddar
Medium Cheddar
Sharp Cheddar
Robertson’s Extra Sharp Cheddar
Smoked Cheddar
Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeño
Honey Jack
Pepperoni Augusto Jack
Chives & Dill Jack
Garlic & Basil Jack
Joy’s Tomato Basil Jack

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing to win a Small Sampler, I’m asking you to share this post on social media, or forward by email to a few friends. Then leave a comment below. Keep in mind that September Farms staff will read your comments, so if you have favorite flavors, or new cheeses you’d like to see them develop, be sure to let them know – and don’t forget to say thank you! {wink}

Cheese, anyone?


Don’t be shy if you are new to Confessions. This is the perfect chance to say hi and leave your first comment. I’d love to meet you!

I was given a Small Sampler by September Farm Cheese in exchange for hosting this giveaway, and it was scrumptious. All facts have been checked to the best of my ability with knowledgeable sources, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Giveaway will remain open for one week, closing at midnight on November 14, 2017. Open only to persons with a US mailing address. Winner will be chosen by random.org.

This giveaway is closed.

School lunch system

Confession: If there is one thing that tries my soul, it is thinking of enough ideas for my children’s packed lunches during the school year.

Ideally, I would move toward turning that responsibility over to them. But it has been hard for me to figure out how to do so while a) monitoring what they pack, b) getting out the door in time, and c) avoiding insanity as we all trip over each other making our own ham sandwiches at 8 am.

To tell you the truth, we are lucky. At our school, we have the option to buy hot lunch from the cafeteria two days out of five each week, for most of the year. This is an amazing gift and leaves only three days to pack, if they like the lunch enough to sign up for it. But still, I will not let that fact put a cramp in my whining.

This year, thanks to the forethoughtful questions and ideas of my friends Shaunda and Jolynn, I thought more about our plan than usual. A week before school I had no strategy at all, but by adopting others’ intelligent ideas and adding in our own, we found a method we really like.

Here’s what we do.

Each Saturday, the school kiddos and I spend an hour or so preparing lunch ingredients for the coming week. Someone might bake cookies or bars, and package them in serving sizes. Maybe someone else makes single-serving fruit and Jell-O cups. Another child cuts up fresh fruits and veggies and bags them. (Yes, they keep just fine. Even apples, if dipped in a mild salt water, can last the week nearly white.)

When I make our traditional pizza supper Saturday evening, we wrap some extra dough around tasty fillings and bake them, to make individual stromboli, crescent rolls, or hot pockets. These we wrap and put in the freezer.

I also buy easy-to-pack things: string cheese, yogurt cups, clementines, granola bars, trail mix, chips, dried fruit, cookies. I did not say all of it is healthy.

We put everything in the fridge, freezer, or pantry, easily accessible.

Then I update a lunch list to hang on the wall for the week (click to view). Their choices change every week based on what we made and what I have on hand, but my list has standard categories – here are the choices for a fresh fruit or veggie, here are the salty snacks, here are the desserts. No, you cannot pick three desserts.

Each school morning, I prepare only a main food for them (a sandwich, a bowl of re-heat-able food, or often, one of those baked sandwiches we made). The kids look at my list and pick three or four side options to go with it, and fill their own lunchboxes. (They mark things off the list so they don’t repeat. If I want them to repeat, I put it on the list multiple times.)

WE LOVE THIS METHOD.

In a couple of years, I hope to do it informally, without the printed list. For now, I still have to monitor the packing. It is not seamless. One of my children likes piggy-backing extra goodies if I don’t watch out. One is poky in packing, and needs to be hustled along. But it’s so nice to have all our options laid out, and to get the children involved in the process. They are more excited about their lunches than they used to be, and mornings are smoother.


How do you simplify lunch packing? What foods do your children love to take to school? I’m ready for some fresh ideas on homemade or simple sides.

Our favorite pizza

Confession: We always have pizza on Saturday nights, unless we are away from home. It’s a tradition I grew up with in my family, and now my children count on it.

The soft and delicious crust is a recipe passed down to me by my mom.

Pizza Dough

1 scant Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup warm water

— Stir together and let rest 5 minutes.

1 Tbsp. oil
½ tsp. salt
Garlic salt to taste
Oregano to taste
2 ½ cups hi-gluten flour

— Add, and knead with dough hook attachment in mixer until dough is soft and elastic, no longer clinging to sides of bowl. Let rise till double, 30-45 minutes. Pat into pizza pan.

Sometimes I shake extra herbs into the dough – sage, thyme, parsley, basil. Or I use half a cup of whole wheat flour and two cups of hi-gluten.

Recently we’ve been stuffing the crust. We cut string cheese in half the long way and wrap the dough around it – or use equivalent size strips from a chunk of bulk cheese.

Then we butter the top of the crust (only the stuffed part) and sprinkle it with garlic salt, to make basically a stuffed breadstick. Now the crust is the best part of the pizza!

We add pizza sauce and our favorite toppings – usually a pound of bulk sausage, browned; mushrooms (on all but two slices); shredded mozzarella; and lots of pepperoni. We bake it at 375° for 30 minutes, and enjoy together.

Yum.


Do you have food traditions for certain days each week? I’d love to hear them, and give them a try in our family.

Also, just FYI – I let Kelly comment on my last post to give an update on how she’s doing. By now she’s as active as ever, having to be reminded of the doctor’s orders to go easy on her tummy until her follow-up appointment. Thanks for your kind words to her and to me.