Every Purchase Matters

Every Purchase Matters Fair TradeFair Trade Package Klout

As you know by now, I love food. Furthermore, I love quality food. What if I told you that certain food products you see at your local market were not only GREAT tasting but also help to make a possible difference for people around the world. Before Rochelle and I left for Cabo I received a package (Klout Perk) from Klout that contained several goodies that were Fair Trade Certified. Being among the 80% of Americans who do not know what Fair Trade certified products were I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about Fair Trade and sample a selection of their certified products.

Fair Trade Klout Perk

What Is Fair Trade?

It’s exactly that – fair. Buying Fair Trade Certified products can help farming families in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. There are over 11,000 products throughout the grocery store that bear the Fair Trade Certified label and purchasing these products is an easy way to support the hard-working people who grow and sew the products we love.

  • Quality Products: Farmers receive training and feedback to help grow products that meet the quality requirements of the global marketplace helping them increase their incomes and improves their communities.
  • Improving Lives: Workers receive fair wages, safe working conditions, access to education and healthcare.
  • Protecting the Environment: Farmers receive higher prices for organic crops and learn about sustainable farming.

Fair Trade Certified Products

Fair Trade USA Products

Allegro Coffee: This medium-bodied coffee is balanced, sweet & chocolaty. Cafe La Duena is a blend from a small-holder women farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico and San Ignacio, Peru. This organic coffee gives focus and celebrates women coffee farmers and is… oh so delicious! Caffeinate Your Conscience™ and learn more!

Alter Eco: This dark chocolate coconut toffee bar is made from cocoa sourced from small farms in Peru. Crunchy, toasty texture, chewy and smooth with a fantastic buttery finish. Find this awesome chocolate bar  online or at your local natural food store or Whole Foods.

Bhakti Chai: Get your spice on with this Fair Trade black sea. Made with freshly-pressed organic ginger, fiery spices and non-GMO soy milk. Mmmmm….

Badger Balm: This organic Cocoa Butter lip balm truly is magic for your lips! Creamy and rich with a delicious fragrance of dark chocolate. $4.99 and worth EVERY penny 🙂

Guittard Chocolate Chips: The cocoa beans for these Semisweet Chocolate Chips were grown in West Africa and delivers a deeply rich flavor perfect for your favorite cookie recipe. Check out Guittard’s original chocolate chip recipe here!

Numi Organic Tea: Lately I’ve been getting more into tea. Numi hand picks premium organic teas and herbs and blends them with only real fruits, flowers and spices. This Jasmine Green Tea was sourced from the first Fair Trade gardens in China where workers wages have increased 30-40%. To learn more about Numi’s commitment to people, planet and pure tea visit numitea.com

Sweetriot: sweetriot supports Fair Trade and sourcing exclusively in Latin America which directly supports a better life for farming families through fair prices and direct trade. Celebrating culture & diversity on every package they are building a movement to fix the world. This 70% dark chocolate bar is all-natural, organic and sweetriot’s very first Fair Trade Certified and Organic line. Sweet for the world and sweet for you, check them out!

Simply Organic Cocoa Cayenne Cupcake Mix: Simply Organic offers healthy, wholesome, organic and gluten-free products you can trust. Made with Fair Trade Certified cane sugar, cane sugar syrup and cocoa powder, these mixes help to improve the communities where the products are grown. This unique cake mix offers the delicious rich flavors of Fair Trade Certified cocoa with a kick of cayenne. Dress them up with homemade vanilla or cherry cream cheese frosting!

Learn More!

I was given a free product or sample because I’m a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. Fair Trade Certified products rock and I just want to share it with the world! ~Crystal


Bitchen’ Chocolate-Grenache Truffles

Truffles and Wine

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and tonight I made some bitchen’ Chocolate-Grenache truffles for a Valentine’s Day pajama party I’m attending tomorrow. The requirements? Jammies, vino and some sort of chocolate goodness to share. I had a few glasses left of the 2009 Bitch Aragon Grenache from Spain that I opened last night to pair with my pizza and decided to use it up in this easy-to-make and oh so decadent recipe.

Chocolate Wine Truffles

Chocolate-Grenache Truffles

  • 10 ounces semi sweet (60%-70% cocoa)* chocolate (chopped small)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grenache wine (you can substitute any strong red wine. I’ve make Cabernet and Zin truffles before… experiment and have fun!)
  • 6 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cup confectioners sugar (sifted)

Chocolate Truffles

In a small saucepan heat the wine on medium-high and reduce until you have about 4 tablespoons. Once reduced, melt chocolate on low with the butter and wine reduction using a double boiler. Don’t have a double boiler? No problem. Heat some water in a pot and place a heat resistant bowl over it. This will allow the chocolate to melt without it burning. Stir the mixture until smooth and then remove from heat and mix in cream and powdered sugar. Pour mixture into a glass baking dish. Cover and chill over night.
Truffles Banner

Once chilled, use a scoop to portion the truffles and roll to desired ball size. Roll in following mixture to coat.

Sift Together

  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Makes 24 truffles *Use the best quality chocolate you can find. Chocolate chips will not work well for this recipe.

Thanks to our winery chef, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray,  who shared with me a similar recipe many years ago!

Like this recipe? Check out our Chocolate Cranberry Zinfandel Brownies recipe.

Wine Pairing

Bitch Aragon Grenache 2009

Bitch Aragon Grenache 2009 (Spain)

This is a wine about pleasure. Subversive pleasure. Dark cherry and raspberry aromas are underpinned with spicy, peppery notes with hints of anise. Aragon Grenache displays extraordinary natural acid balance, even at elevated ripeness levels

Winemakers will tell you that Grenache is a bitch to grow. And, it’s a bitch to make. It’s a wine that can easily be vapid, but potentially as profound as wine gets. Bitch Grenache Aragon 2009 from a selection of un-oaked Grenache wines from various sub-regions of Aragon and Navarra, around the Southern regions of the Ebro river valley. The wine sees no oak. The objective of the wine is to provide pure, explosive, unadulterated, hedonistic, uncompromising, juicy Grenache.

Retail: $12.99

Chocolate Cranberry Zinfandel Brownies

Chocolate Cranberry Zinfandel Brownies

Happy Holidays to all of our friends and family. Here is a simple, yet extremely decadent holiday treat incorporating chocolate (always an all time favorite), a little wine and tart cranberries.

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups of fresh cranberries
½ pound unsalted butter
1 cup Kenwood Vineyards Zinfandel 
1 T vanilla extract  
4 eggs 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1  ¼  cups all purpose flour
How To Make Zin Brownies
Pour the Zinfandel and 3/4 cup of fresh cranberries in a saucepan and reduce down to 1/2 cup. Set aside and let cool slightly. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Don’t have a double broiler? Place a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water and melt chocolate and butter by stirring occasionally.  Let cool slightly. In a mixer bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, zinfandel reduction (make sure this is slightly cooled) and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Add chocolate mixture to the sugar/egg mix. Fold in flour until just mixed in. Drop in remaining fresh cranberries and mix slightly. Pour into a half sheet covered with parchment or foil. Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until the center comes out clean with a toothpick or knife.
Makes 24 brownies.

Wine PairingWine Pairing

Zinfandel, of course! Some personal favorites are Creekview Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel, Bella Maple Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel and Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Zinfandel. How about you? What are some of your favorite Zinfandel wines?