Recipes to Celebrate National Peanut Day

Featuring the California Home Goods Everything Bagel Sesame Seasoning




Did you know that the mighty and tasty peanut is not really a nut? Nuts grow on trees; and peanuts grow underground just like potatoes. They are an edible seed that forms in a pod, thus belonging to the family Leguminosae along with peas and beans. 

But whether or not you treat peanut as a legume or not, what’s important is that you truly appreciate what this protein-packed plant brings. Aside from its innate tastiness, peanuts are high in antioxidants, Vitamins E and B6, and other minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Last September 13 is actually National Peanut Day. Whether you like your peanuts crunchy, creamy, or chunky, we’ve got you covered. We’ve hand-picked the best recipes you can do at home to still celebrate #NationalPeanutDay2019. After all, it’s better to be late than never!


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Peanut Crusted Tofu Triangles

Whether served solo as a finger food, or as a sidekick to complete a savory dish, this crispy and savory recipe will never disappoint! This vegan and vegetarian friendly appetizer will surely be a treat even for the meat-loving peeps.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, drained

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 large egg white

  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided

  • Cooking spray

  • Everything Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Cut tofu crosswise into 8 equal pieces. Cut each piece into two triangles. Arrange tofu in a single layer on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Cover tofu with additional paper towels. Place a cutting board on top of tofu. Place a heavy pan on cutting board. Let stand 20 minutes. Pat tofu dry with paper towels.

Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg white in a shallow dish. Place peanuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. Combine ground peanuts, garlic powder, ginger, red pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Dip one side of each tofu triangle in egg mixture at a time. Dredge the same side in peanut mixture. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add half of tofu; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. (Watch closely to prevent burning.) Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and tofu. 

Serve on top of stir fried rice, Asian noodles, or salads. Finish off by topping with the sesame-salt seasoning blend




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Crunchy Veggie Bowl with Peanut Sauce

If you like to eat your greens in a fun and unique way, then you’re going to love this veggie salad bowl recipe. Served with a soft boiled egg topped with warm sultry peanut sauce, any simple salad will truly feel indulgent.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. For the sauce:

    • 2 red or green Thai chiles, chopped

    • 1 garlic clove, grated

    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

    • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

    • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

    • Kosher salt

  2. For the salad:

    • 4 large eggs, room temperature

    • 1/4 head of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

    • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

    • 1 golden beet, scrubbed, cut into matchsticks

    • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on a diagonal

    • 1 Persian cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

    • 1 large handful of bean sprouts

    • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

    • 1/3 cup torn mint leaves

    • Kosher salt

    • 1/3 cup unsalted, toasted peanuts, crushed

    • 4 cups warm cooked brown rice

Pulse chiles, garlic, peanut butter, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce in a blender until smooth. Transfer peanut sauce to a small saucepan and add 1/4 cup water (if too thick, add a splash or so of water as needed). Heat over medium-low, whisking often, until smooth and hot, about 5 minutes; season with salt. Keep warm over low heat, whisking occasionally.

Cook eggs in a large saucepan of boiling water 7 minutes (whites will be set and yolks still slightly soft). Drain; transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill until cold. Drain and peel; set aside.

Toss cabbage, scallions, beet, celery, cucumber, sprouts, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl to combine; season with salt. Top with peanuts.

Serve salad with brown rice and eggs, drizzled with some peanut sauce, with more sauce on the side.





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Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti

When we think of peanuts as the star of any dish, Asian cuisine always comes to mind. This sweet and spicy noodle dish is no-fail recipe that will be loved by literally anyone. Try this out in your home, and you’ll see you never need to go out whenever you’re craving for some Kung Pao.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup sherry

  • 3 tablespoons chili paste with garlic

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 egg whites

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 lb spaghetti

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into ¾ inch cubes

  • 10 -15 whole Chinese dried red chili peppers don’t eat these, they are for color and heat

  • 1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic

  • 3 cups coarsely-chopped scallions greens and whites

TO MAKE THE KUNG PAO SAUCE:

In a saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons cornstarch until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Stir in the soy sauce, sherry, chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar and sesame oil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 20 minutes).

TO MAKE EGG WHITE-CORNSTARCH MIXTURE:

In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended but not frothy.

TO BRING THE DISH TOGETHER:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta and cook a minute shy of al dente.In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, heat ¼ cup olive oil for about 1 minute.

Add the chicken to the Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture and mix. As carefully as you can, add the chicken and egg white mixture to the pan in one large pancake shape. Cook until the egg mixture sets.

Using a large spatula, carefully flip it over then with a wooden spoon, gently separate the pieces. As soon as they darken in color (about a minute) stir in the garlic and scallions. Let the garlic and scallions cook for about 30 seconds (do not brown the garlic, it will get bitter) add the Kung Pao Sauce and toss and stir to coat the ingredients.

Add in the cooked and drained pasta and combine with the sauce. If you pan isn’t big enough, combine them in a big bowl. Add in the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the bowl.

Top with extra chopped scallions.






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Peanut Butter Cheesecake

With a set of ingredients that you can easily find in your fridge or your pantry, this dessert recipe will be easy to whip at any time of the day. Best part is, there’s no need to worry if you made so much, because these hand-held cheesecake squares can be put into ziplock bags meant for later enjoyment.

INGREDIENTS:

  •  20 peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies (2 inch), finely crushed

  •  3 Tbsp. margarine or butter, melted

  •  2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened

  •  1/2 cup sugar

  •  1/2 tsp. vanilla

  •  2 egg s

  •  1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix crumbs and margarine; press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch square baking pan. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1/2 cup of the batter; set aside. Spread remaining batter over crust. Stir peanut butter into reserved 1/2 cup batter. Spoon over cheesecake. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

Bake 35 to 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Cut into 25 squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.






5 Reasons Why Making Your Bed Every Morning is Good for You

Featuring the California Home Goods Fabric Storage Bins

Did you know that we spend one-third of our lives in bed? And that’s probably one of the reasons why every September 11th, National Make Your Bed Day is celebrated-- to treat our beds with respect, just as they deserve it. 

But of course, that’s not just why there is a national holiday meant to pay homage to that 2-minute task some of us dread every morning. Apart from celebrating and giving thanks to the fact that you woke up on a soft and comfy bed, and not on the cold hard ground, the habit of making your bed every morning is actually beneficial to your whole being.

Here are 5 reasons why taking the time to make your bed every morning is good for you:

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It cultivates self-discipline.

When you roll out of bed every morning, especially on busy work days, the last thing you set yourself to doing is to make your bed. Some think or say things like: “I don’t have the time”, “It’s just going to get unmade again later”, or “No one will see it anyway”. While that dreaded feeling is understandable, know that coming up with these kinds of excuses just to spare 1-2 minutes of your time making your bed is another way of avoiding self-discipline.

Most forms of self-discipline are seen as harsh or restraining; but it shouldn’t be. Engage your mind and just focus intently on your task at hand: making your bed. By doing so, you will quickly see that making the bed isn’t actually bad at all.


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It lowers stress and sets the right mood.

The bed takes up more than half of the space of most bedrooms. Thus, a cluttered bed means a cluttered space. And the sad truth is, a cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind as well. Many studies have shown that there is a direct link between clutter and stress.

A neat (no need for fancy hotel standards) and properly made bed will instantly make your room more pleasant, more put together. In turn, it’ll create a feeling of tranquility, order, and competence. Moreover, it will quickly show that you care for your home and for yourself--that feeling of being cared for will help lift your mood and lighten your emotional burdens, setting you up for a lighter and happier day.




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It helps boost productivity.

Making your bed doesn’t stop on starting your day with a lighter and more pleasant mood, it also helps you be more productive for the day. According to the author of the book, The Power of Habit, “daily bed making becomes a keystone habit-- something that kickstarts a chain of other good decisions throughout the day, and gives you a sense of taking charge…(and these habits) lead to a greater sense of well-being and stronger skills.”

So yes, by simply taking that short time to pull the sheets, arrange the pillows, and straighten the comforter, you’re already starting your day right. After that feeling of discipline, accomplishment, and motivation after bed making, you’ll be more inclined to complete one task after another.





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It teaches you mindfulness.

Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness of the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It is witnessing your thoughts without criticism or judgment. We can learn to apply that in every single thing that we do--including making our beds. 

Just like washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom and doing your laundry, making your bed is actually the perfect time to practice mindfulness. Once achieved, every task, even the household chores and all the other mundane items in our list of responsibilities will now feel more important and more rewarding instead of stressful or painful.





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It promotes restful sleep.

Even the most beautiful and organized room will look cluttered with an unmade bed. Imagine a nice and big hotel room with a rumpled unmade bed. Would that invite you quickly slide into those sheets? Probably not. 

Coming home to your room with a well made bed just feels so much better at the end of a long, busy, and tiring day. When you feel more relaxed coming home, it’s pure pleasure just by climbing on to that smoothly made bed with plump pillows. Hence, you’re more at peace and more ready than ever to take that restful sleep.


If not to celebrate the fact that you have been making your bed every morning and reaping all these benefits and more, use this observance to finally start that habit of spending a couple of your minutes after waking up to straighten and tidy up your bed. Because this might just change your life! Should you need more essentials to help you in tidying up your bedroom or getting better sleep, California Home Goods is here. Head to our Amazon store to browse through our best-selling bedroom must-haves!

Recipes Kids Can Make For Their Grandparents

Featuring the Chefmaster 6-Pack Neon Food Coloring Gel Kit



If there’s anyone in this world who is willing to feed and spoil your kids better than you, that would be none other than your parents. Sometimes, even to the point when it somewhat annoys us, our parents would go and give our kids all the things that we can’t or don’t like. 

But we all understand. Because we have all been there. As kids, our grandparents have spoiled us too. 

So on this special holiday for Grandmas and Grandpas, encourage your kids to do a little something to give back that kind of love their grandparents give them. And what better way to show your sincere gratitude for someone than by doing some good ol’ kitchen labor of love?

For this year’s Grandparent’s Day, we’ve compiled delicious and goof-proof recipes that your kids can easily make for their grannies and gramps (with a lil’ bit of your help, of course):



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Antipasto Kabobs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini

  • 40 pimiento-stuffed olives

  • 40 large pitted ripe olives

  • 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing

  • 40 thin slices pepperoni

  • 20 thin slices hard salami, halved

  • Add other cold cuts and appetizers according to your preference

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, olives and salad dressing. Toss to coat; cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Drain and discard marinade. For each appetizer, thread a stuffed olive, folded pepperoni slice, tortellini, folded salami piece and ripe olive on a toothpick or short skewer.




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Smoked Salmon Cheese Spread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

  • 1 package (4 ounces) smoked salmon or lox

  • 3 tablespoons horseradish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

  • Chopped walnuts and snipped fresh dill

  • Assorted crackers

Place the first seven ingredients in a food processor; process until blended. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with walnuts and dill. Refrigerate, covered, until serving. Serve with crackers.

Just in case you can’t find Creole seasoning, you may do this instead: Get 1/4 teaspoon each salt, garlic powder and paprika; and a pinch each of dried thyme, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.





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Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless - 1 lb

  • Ham - 4 slices

  • Swiss cheese - 4 slices

  • Flour - ½ cup

  • Salt - ¼ tsp

  • Pepper - ⅛ tsp

  • Eggs - 1 to 2

  • Water - 1 Tbsp

  • Bread crumbs / panko - ½ cup

  • Parmesan cheese (optional) - ¼ cup

Chicken – Slice in half to make them thinner. (You can also purchase them this way to save time). Season with salt and pepper. Place them between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Pound with a meat tenderizer until they are flat and about ¼” thinness.

Dredging stations – Mix together flour and salt & pepper in one bowl / dish. Whisk together egg and water in second bowl / dish. Mix together bread crumbs and cheese in a third bowl / dish. You can also feel free to add some spices like dried mustard, thyme, or parsley for more flavor.

Preheat oven to 450 F (232 C) degrees. Spray a large non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place a slice of ham on top of the chicken, then the cheese and roll. Set aside. You can secure them with a toothpick if needed.

Dip chicken into the flour mixture, then egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs.Place chicken onto the baking sheet seam side down.

Bake about 25 minutes, or until until chicken reaches 165 F (74 C) degrees. Cheese will start oozing out. Serve with simple buttered veggies on the side and a ranch dipping sauce. Enjoy!






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Mini Iced Fairy Cakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100 g (4 oz) softened butter

  • 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 100 g (4 oz) self-raising flour

  • 1 level tsp baking powder

  • 225 g (8 oz) sifted icing sugar

  • 2-3tbsp warm water

  • handful of sweets, food coloring, sprinkles and other toppings to decorate

Preheat the oven to 200C fan, 180C fan, gas 6. Place fairy cake cases into a 12-hole bun tin, to keep a good even shape as they bake. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat for 2-3 mins until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Fill each paper case with the mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cakes are well risen and golden brown. Lift the paper cases out of the bun tins and cool the cakes on a wire rack.

Put the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually blend in the warm water until you have a fairly stiff icing. Spoon over the top of the cakes and decorate with sweets.






Best-Ever Labor Day Celebrated at the Workplace

Featuring the California Home Goods Bento Lunch Box




Still hungover from your Labor Day weekend shenanigans? Don’t worry, California Home Goods has got you covered! 

Assuming you have already made the most out of that much-needed long weekend off, let’s all take this time to really look back on why was Labor Day celebrated years ago. Well, minus the hard manual labor, this holiday was created to pay homage to the social and economic contributions of the workforce.

Whether you’re a big boss, an entrepreneur, or a rank and file employee, that doesn’t really matter--what’s important is that you take this time to appreciate all the people who work hard with you or for you. Because that’s what Labor Day is all about.

Here are some workplace, business, or office celebration ideas you would like to cop so we are all truly reminded of who do we honor on Labor Day:



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Send “I Appreciate You” Notes to Your Colleagues

Take some time to send short appreciation notes to all those who you work with, regardless of their positions. Doesn’t have to be a love letter though--even a one-liner is all it takes to make someone feel truly appreciated. Just get some cute sticky notes and write: “Dear _____, I appreciate you __________.” You’ll see that that one line could go very far. It’s a simple but memorable way of letting someone know that his/her work is never unnoticed.




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Plan a Labor Day Awards Night

This special labor day party idea is specifically for business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and all those who are fortunate enough to have people working for them. If you’re really serious about making your employees feel that they are appreciated, plan out an event to give them awards or certificates. Special awards, that is. Ask your employees in secret or through private messages to nominate and vote for winners a week or so in advance. Plan out fun award categories like the Early Bird, Best in OT, Mr. & Ms. Company Spirit, and the like. Be as creative and as fun as you can!





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Host an All-Out Lunch Potluck

If most of you have work on Labor Day, then that’s not a problem! Bring the celebration to your office or business! Encourage each and everyone to bring food-to-share of all kinds. Or, you can even set a theme by asking them to bring their favorite Mexican dishes, Chinese food takeouts, and the like. Allot a few hours in the middle of your workday to just sit down, have a nice meal, relax, and share nice conversations with everyone in the team.






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Give out Treats

We understand that sometimes, there are really some workplaces that are so busy that they couldn’t afford to go all out in sacrificing one work day to celebrate this occasion. So, if that’s the case, you shouldn’t be so stressed about it. Bringing in a box of donuts, giving away cookies you made at home, or even making a DIY office decor for everyone can already mean so much. For a nice touch, set the goodies on a table in a common area (like your office pantry), with a sign saying “Thank you for your hard work. Please get one” or something like that.







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Cook for Them

If you really want this Labor Day to be extra special, then this time, do a labor of love for them. Instead of simply throwing a party or taking them out to lunch, prepare custom lunch boxes for each. On the day before, make ahead some nice and delicious lunch meals that you know they’ll like. Then, come lunch time at the office, surprise everyone by handing out bento lunch boxes with a simple note on the lid.







Honoring all the people who you work for, who you work with, and who work for you is just as important today as it was decades ago. As with any occasion, commemorating Labor Day doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be heartfelt.







Easy but Incredible Recipes for the Bacon Lovers

Featuring the California Home Goods 4-pc Condiment Server Set


If you are one of the people who believe that bacon makes everything better, then read on because this post is just for you! With International Bacon Day celebrated here in the US every Saturday before Labor Day, we’re here to help you celebrate this very day created for just for the all-time bacon lovers such as yourself.

We have found some of the easiest and most amazing bacon recipes you could whip up any day, no matter the occasion. Because seriously, who needs a reason to eat bacon?

Ready your kitchen tools and your grocery shopping list, because after learning these deliciously creative bacon recipes, you’d want to make them, stat!



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Cloud Nine Mashed Potatoes

With crispy bacon as the superstar of this recipe, you may forget that this one is supposed to be a side dish. No more cherry on top because bacon is the ultimate finishing touch for these ultra creamy spuds with a boozy twist.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 medium potatoes

  • 2/3 cup half and half (or milk)

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup gin (or vodka)

  • Cooked crispy then crumbled bacon

  • Roasted garlic

  • Parmesan cheese





Cook and drain peeled potatoes. Shake over low heat to dry. Beat in hot half and half and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in gin or vodka.

Add cooked and crumbled bacon and roasted garlic. Mix lightly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top then bake for 5 mins.




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Lemony Bacon Artichoke Dip

Set aside the classic spinach artichoke dip, because if what you need is a crowd-pleasing party dipper, then this one will definitely win you (and your guests) over! With the crispy bacon adding that savory smokiness to this dish, you might just want to make the recipe in a double dose as there’s a great possibility that you won’t see any leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped

  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 2 teaspoons in pan. Add artichoke hearts and garlic to drippings; cook and stir 1 minute.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, onion salt, salt and pepper until smooth. Beat in lemon juice. Fold in artichoke mixture and half of the bacon.

Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining bacon; top with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve in small dipping bowls or appetizer trays with pita wedges, crostinis, or crackers.





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Chicken & Bacon Tart

Bacon pizzas are so common nowadays that sometimes, the bacon lovers club don’t really make those in their homes as often. So this time, instead of the easy-to-make pizzas, we’ll make bacon the hero of a sweet, spicy, and savory dish that will surely be devoured all year round! With crisp puff pastry and store-bought chicken strips, making this incredible bacon dish will surely be a breeze.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 pound bacon strips, cut into thirds

  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 package (9 ounces) ready-to-serve roasted chicken breast strips

  • 1/4 cup jalapeno pepper jelly

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Saute onions and apples in drippings until tender. Stir in the chicken, jelly, thyme and salt.

On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry. Roll into a 10-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Transfer to a 15x10x1-in. parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Prick with a fork.

Spread chicken mixture over pastry to within 1 in. of edges. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Press edges with a fork, forming a decorative border.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley.






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Bacon Maple Doughnut Bites

Bacon for dessert? Why not? These delicious bite-sized treats are so easy to make and believe us, they’ll be quick to disappear from your table as well! The all-time favorite doughnut bites plus bacon as the main character, no one would dare turn these down at any time of the day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup 2% milk

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • Oil for deep-fat frying

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 7 maple-flavored bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk egg, milk and melted butter until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

Heat the oil to 350° in an electric skillet or deep fryer. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, turning often. Drain on paper towels.

In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, milk and vanilla until smooth. Dip warm doughnuts into glaze; sprinkle tops with bacon.






Genius Home Hacks for First-Time Dog Owners

Featuring the Tribal Naturals Organic Hemp Oil for Dogs


Welcoming a new dog for the very first time sure is exciting. However, just like with having a new home, a new car, or nonetheless a baby, it doesn’t come without responsibilities. So it’s totally understandable if you’re currently worried, restless, or overwhelmed while feeling the excitement at the same time. 

Just like with any relationship, owning and taking care of a dog is a commitment. While you enjoy the perks of having a four-legged pal and a new partner in crime, this little creature also relies on you to be the sole provider of attention, nutrition, entertainment, care, and love for the rest of his dog years. 

Thus, in light of National Dog Day celebrated every 26th of August, we here at California Home Goods want to give you all the help you can get as first-time pet parents. Assuming you have already prepared yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially before you have actually decided to bring in a dog in your home, we’re here to give you some more essential first time dog owner tips and tricks.

Hopefully these precious dog advice we’ve collected just for you would help turn you into a doggo parent rookie to a savvy pet owner in no time:



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Pet-Proofing Your Home

Just like welcoming a new baby, you have to need to dedicate a few days (or sometimes even weeks) to prep your home for your new dog. Make ready the new environment for him according to his size and breed. Take a good look at your home by imagining yourself as a dog or pup. Then, make the necessary adjustments or installations. Move plants. Get electrical wires out of the way. Transfer fragile collectibles. Keep away cleaning products and fire-hazard items. Make a list of all items like these, and check it twice.




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DIY Doggie Bed

There’s a wide variety of dog bedding you can find and buy online or in pet stores. However, most owners nowadays stick to DIY beds because most if not all breeds will eventually outgrow those pup-sized beds in no time. Especially if you’re having a dog that’s not of the small play dog breeds, you might want to consider making your own instead. Using wooden pallet(s), crib mattress, and a fitted sheet, you can already make your pal a comfy place to rest.




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The Must-Have Food List

Just like humans, dogs need to eat right as well. It sure is tempting to share your four-legged pal whatever it is you’re eating, but unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it. Be informed. Know by heart what your dog can and cannot eat. In addition, it would also help greatly if you consult with a veterinarian about the best vitamins and supplements to help make your pup grow healthier everyday.






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Essential Cleaning Tools

Cleaning up after animals is no joke. Thus, if you’re decided to bring a dog into your home for the very first time, you have to seriously prepare yourself with the cleaning responsibilities--most especially when your pal isn’t potty trained and fully adjusted to his new environment. Buying all the fancy cleaning supplies is great, but there are always options so it won’t burn a hole in your pockets. For example: using baking soda for cleaning carpets, a squeegee to get fur from sofas and car seats, charcoal bags to get rid of deep-seated pet smell, and more.



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Pet First Aid Kit

This is actually one of the most important tips for first time dog owners, but unfortunately not often given. Like humans, dogs need their first aid kits too. Like us, they also get hurt and encounter accidents from time to time. While we’re all hoping that they don’t go through any of these, it’s always best to be prepared. Curate your pet’s very own first aid kit that includes wound dressing supplies, extra leash, medicine, dietary supplements, and the like.





Whether a first or a 10-time dog owner, you always have to assume all the responsibilities of taking in a pet under your care. Remember that as your dog will have your back for as long as he lives. So in turn, you need to be 100% dedicated in providing him the happy and healthy life he also deserves. Check out some of our pet-friendly products in our Amazon store.







Heavenly Desserts You Can Make as Food Gifts

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They say, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. And that’s mainly the reason why Be an Angel Day was created. An annual celebration every 22nd of August, this day is meant to encourage more people to do random acts of kindness to others. It’s also a day meant to remind everyone to embrace their inner angel, and always be kind to one another no matter what.

The sky is definitely the limit when it comes to participating in this special holiday. You can spread positivity through social media, pay it forward, express your gratitude to those people who have helped you, or you can simply make a random person smile with your kindness. 

But this time around, why don’t you take your angel self to the next level? Do a little labor of love and make their palates or tummies happy. Give out some heavenly desserts as gifts to the people who have touched your life and make them feel they’re loved and appreciated. To give you inspiration, here are some amazing recipes to help you give those special people a taste of your dessert heaven:




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White Chocolate Candy Clusters

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 pounds vanilla-flavored candy coating, confectioner's coating, or almond bark, cut up

  • 1 1/2 cups mini colorful marshmallows

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter cereal

  • 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts




In a large saucepan melt the candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Pour melted candy coating over mixture, stirring to coat. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheets lined with waxed paper. Let stand until candy is set. Decorate the chocolate clusters with food glitter or sprinkles. Makes about 40 pieces.

You also can pat the mixture into a buttered 13x9x2-inch pan. Let it stand until set; then, cut the candy into squares. Then, to make more special, put the white chocolate pieces in mason jars and put a simple kind note to show your angel love.



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Glitter Rice Krispy Pops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tablespoons butter salted

  • 5 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

  • 2 cups white chocolate dipping chocolate

  • Sprinkles, food glitter, edible pearls, etc.

  • white, milk or dark chocolate dipping chocolate

  • 48 cake pop sticks

In a large saucepan combine butter and marshmallows. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until marshmallows are completely melted. Once butter and marshmallows are completely combined and melted, remove from heat and add Rice Krispies cereal; gently stir until well combined.

Using a cookie dough scoop or large tablespoon, form the Rice Krispies treats into little balls on a sheet of parchment paper. Continue to scoop out until no Rice Krispies remain.

Note: if your cookie scoop starts to get sticky, then lightly spray with cooking spray just once and continue on scooping.

Let the Rice Krispies treats set on the parchment paper for 5-10 minutes, then taking one Rice Krispies treat at a time, roll then into a smooth ball and place back on parchment paper.

In a glass measuring cup or bowl, add 1 cup of the white chocolate melting chips, heat for 1 minute in the microwave, then stir vigorously. Return back to the microwave and heat another 30 seconds to a minute, and stir again until all the chocolate has melted and is smooth. You will need to repeat this step about 1/2 way through your treats, to dip the remaining Rice Krispies pops.

Using a fork place one treat at a time in the melted white chocolate, pick up the treat with the fork again, once it is completely covered and gently tap the fork on the cup or the ball to get off the extra chocolate. Place the Rice Krispies treat back onto the parchment paper and repeat.

If you are decorating the pops right away and not adding any additional chocolate, once you have placed the Rice Krispie treat on the parchment after being dipped in chocolate, top with sprinkles or your choice of edible decoration.

Let all the chocolate harden on the Rice Krispie treats. Then pick up and insert one white cake pop stick into the bottom of the Rice Krispie treat and set it aside; finish the rest of the pops using the remaining cake pop sticks and Rice Krispie treats.




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Coffee Mug Mixers

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

  • Shortening

  • 1 cup instant coffee granules

  • Plastic, Decorative, Wooden, or Vintage Spoons

  • Optional toppings: toffee bits, sugar sprinkles, edible pearls, crushed candy canes, edible glitter, etc.

  • Disposable pastry or cellophane bags & ribbons

Melt chocolate over steam bath or in microwave. Melt chocolate slowly, stirring frequently. If chocolate clumps or doesn't melt smoothly, add 1/2 teaspoon of shortening. Do not use butter! Butter has milk particles that will cause chocolate to separate.

Combine half of the dark chocolate with instant coffee. Spoon onto spoons as shown in video. Place into refrigerator until set. Decorate with your choice of milk chocolate, white chocolate and/or various garnishes. Let set completely before placing into decorative bags and packaging as gifts.






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Lemon Meringue Angel Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

  • 1 cup cake flour

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd

For the MERINGUE TOPPING:

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 cup sugar






Place egg whites in a large bowl. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.

Add cream of tartar, vanilla and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on lowest oven rack at 350° until golden brown and entire top appears dry, 35-40 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.

Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake; split into two horizontal layers. Place cake bottom on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread with lemon curd; replace cake top.

For meringue, in a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread over top and sides of cake. Bake at 350° until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. 

Spread gold and silver metallic glaze on peaks to decorate. Transfer to a serving plate. 






Pocket-friendly Travel Hacks for Your Wanderlust

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Want to have a full and happy life spent in many parts of the world? Who wouldn’t, right? Most of you would say: “If only I had the time” or “If only I have the budget for it”. Well, you know what? With all the cheap fares, budget hostels, and travel rewards, feeding your wanderlust shouldn’t really be a problem.

Traveling on a budget doesn’t have to mean you have to play homeless or nomad while going on a scavenger hunt for festivals with free food. Just keep in mind that instead of luxury vacations and extravagant trips abroad, your goal must be to explore more places, experience new things, and making the best memories--and those shouldn’t be as expensive or worrisome as you might think.

So since it was just National Aviation Day last August 19, what better way to commemorate the occasion than giving you cool and inexpensive hacks so you could travel with ease:



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Nothing Beats First-Hand Travel Stories

Everybody knows that research is essential when you’re about to go to some place you’ve never been to before. But apart from the ever-reliable World Wide Web, there’s actually a better way for you to get some good intel: crowdsourcing. One of the best (and cheapest) ways is to get first-hand advice from family and friends that have already been to your planned destination. Nothing beats learning from the travel experiences of the people you trust.




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Travel Off-Season

When picking the time to feed your wanderlust, choose the dates when the place you’re going to is not populated by tourists. Off-season is always the best time to go. Not only are the plane tickets cheaper, but also almost everything is actually priced lower-- the accommodations, food options, the tickets to tourist spots, and more.







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Go for Adventures You Need Not Pay For

It sure is nice to go to luxury beach resorts, theme parks, museums, and common tourist destinations. However, in order to visit all those popular must-see attractions, you’d have to be financially prepared. If in case you’ll get short on the budget side, that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the fun. Make new memories without burning a hole in your pocket by choosing activities that you don’t need to pay for--go on a hiking trip, visit a nearby beach, go cliff diving, explore local markets, bike around the city or get friendly with the locals. 




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Save Luggage Space for the More Important Things

This traveling or backpacking hack is applicable regardless of where you’re heading off to. While we understand that you want your travel OOTDs to be on point, that doesn’t mean you have to max out your luggage space on wardrobe, shoes, and accessories alone. Save some space for items that you might need for traveling comfort, for emergencies, for health purposes, and the like. Remember that while your goal is to enjoy in a place where you’ve never been to, you must not neglect your health, privacy, and security.




Choose Accommodation a Few Blocks Away From Tourist Hot Spots

When searching for the best budget-friendly traveling hacks, you often see people suggesting that you stay in cheap hostels, bed and breakfasts, or inns. While those are still good ways to cut down on your accommodation budget, there is another thing you can do if you don’t want to sacrifice your comfort (or taste) after a tiring day of wandering and adventures. Choose hotels that are not really in the center of popular tourist destinations. 







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Enjoy Local Street Food

One of the best ways to get to know a different culture is to immerse yourself in their food. And, the cheapest way you can do that is aside from asking locals what to eat, is to try all the street food you can find. More often, street food is actually the best and most authentic cuisine you can find on travels. If you’re a bit skeptical on sanitation, then you could just pick out food stalls that are popular--those that have lines. That way, you’ll know that the food they’re selling is not sitting out for too long.


California Home Goods has a wide array of lifestyle essentials including items that are very useful for your travels. Don’t forget to check those out as you plan for your next wanderlust!