Month: June 2014

Once Again Nut Butter hires new Production Manager: Steve Blowers

Once Again Nut Butter, Inc.

About: Once Again Nut Butter,  a pioneer in the natural foods industry,  is an award winning employee-owned company that manufactures organic and natural nut butters, seed butters, roasted nuts and organic honey.

 

About Steve Blowers (Bio): I am from this area having been born and raised in LeRoy.  Between serving 6 years in the USMC and working many years in the automotive industry, my family and I have traveled and worked in several areas around the country including 10 years living in El Paso, TX while working in Juarez, Mexico.  My family and I decided to return to this area and I recently joined OANB.  I think I bring to OANB not only a wealth of experience from business disciplines such as purchasing, materials management, production, human resources and engineering but a continuous improvement mindset based in lean manufacturing.  I am married and have one daughter.

We asked, Steve:  What can you tell consumers that they’d be surprised to know about Once Again?  I know I was surprised to find out that this company located 50 miles south of Rochester had been in business for many years making nut and seed butters that  are found in groceries stores all over.  I have seen them in Wegmans in Rochester.  I have relatives in Michigan that saw OANB products on the shelf.  I spoke with a park ranger at the Mt. Morris dam that saw OANB product on the shelves of a store while on vacation in Hawaii.  Who would have thought?

Tell us more about you! Do you have any hobbies or interests?  I spend time trying to stay ahead of the curve in my craft by reading and studying management ‘experts’.  I like to read fiction and listen to books on tape (I drive more than 1 hour each way to work), I dabble in playing the guitar, I like to play golf, I have studied various martial arts for much of my life having achieved a 4th degree black belt, I exercise and do Tai Chi every day and I volunteer in various USMC veteran organizations.

What is the best part about working for Once Again?  The people.  The people that work in this company also own this company.  They care about the company and about each other.  I am fortunate to be in a position that provides me the opportunity to have an impact.  How could I not enjoy coming to work each and every day?

 What goals do you have as Production Manager for Once Again?  I want everyone to feel that they can express their beliefs, concerns and recommendations knowing that I am listening.  I want to help them develop processes to insure consistent, efficient, and long term production success in support of the growth of the business.  The people with whom I work are the experts in this business.  I am here to help them find their success which will translate into success for the company.

 What is your favorite Once Again product?  Old Fashioned Peanut Butter (although I am a big fan of oil roasted cashews).

 

Summer Time Popsicle Crafting!

What’s more refreshing than frozen fruity creations on a stick? The Popsicle has been a long time tradition for summer time! Ends up this delicious creation was the result of an accident by Frank Epperson (at age 11), who claims he left a cup of soda with a stick on the porch on a cold night. He officially introduced the concept in 1923 in California by the name of “Epsicle ice pop” (source: Inventors.com  link here). In the United Kingdom and Ireland they call it icy lolly, in Australia it is icy pole and in the United States we know it as Popsicle, frozen pop or ice pop.

Even though it has been around for a while and a favorite of most children it has recently graduated to appearing in adult festivities such as weddings, fancy events and chic parties! Grown-ups just didn’t want to let go of this fantastic treat and gave it a makeover to make it worthy of adult functions. The art of “Popsicle crafting” has caught the attention of several chefs, each creating their own version. Food trucks, specialty local shops, fresh food market stands all over the country are serving up gourmet popsicles made with exotic ingredients. Craft Popsicles made with savory spices, unusual combinations and even liquor have revolutionized the concept of frozen fruit on a stick.

20140610_150323000_iOSHere is the fun part, it is easy to create your very own fancy Popsicles at home. I recently bought a silicone mold, which in my opinion made all the difference. It is much easier to remove it and you have the option of some fun shapes too. I like mixing some unexpected fruits and vegetables combo which when frozen on a stick just works! My latest creation was the Spinach Mango Delight, simply combine mango chunks, baby spinach leaves, chia seeds and a little water to help blend it. My kids take Popsicle crafting very seriously and like coming up with their own recipes. My son created the “Honey Carrot Pop” which is a blend of carrots, apples and honey while my daughter’s “Sweet Monkey” is made up of Once Again’s Almond Butter with bananas and almond milk.

We recently attended a baby shower where popsicles were the center piece, all arranged in different shades of pink announcing the soon arrival of their baby girl. Their main ingredients were berries; just varying the amount of berries to milk gave them a beautiful array of pink colors. (Completely kicking myself for not taking a picture! Sorry!).

Go on and create your very own versions this summer, and dare to think outside the box to achieve unexpected flavors that will wake up your taste buds. I wonder if wine popsicles have been explored yet… oh the possibilities!

… enjoy your frozen treats,

Carolina 

Top 10 summer time activities to enjoy as a family!

Here are some fun activities you can enjoy with your family without much planning or major budgets. They can take as long as you want them to, so they are perfect for a whole afternoon or if you just have an hour to spare. Sometimes the best of times are a result of spur of the moment ideas!

  1. Camp out (or camp in)!  If you can plan a camping trip at a national park even better, but if your time is limited and or the weather doesn’t cooperate, don’t feel left out: Camp in! Arrange chairs in the living room, drop a long sheet over it and let the kids use their sleeping bags. Turn off all the lights and use flashlights only, no other electronics allowed either! Just camp stories and family bonding time. And of course indulge in camp like foods such as s’mores; which my version skips the marshmallow, we use a graham cracker with dark chocolate squares and peanut butter! No fire required and oh so good!
  2. Dance in the rain. Seriously, if you don’t do this at least once in your lifetime you’ll be missing out on one of the greatest moments in life. There is s'moressomething magical about laughing and jumping in rain puddles with a child. No rain? No problem! Turn on your sprinklers and watch your kids’ faces light up with excitement.
  3. Summer time journal Choose a notebook and decorate the front page with your family member’s names, this can be a whole family activity. One member of the family must write it in everyday! Write down what you did that day and you can even get more detailed by adding pictures and “mementos” you pick up along the way. During the school year there just isn’t enough time to do all this, so summer time is a perfect time to write wonderful family stories.
  4. Let the kids be in charge of meal time! Let the kids handle from planning the meal, choosing recipes, going grocery shopping all the way to cooking. Depending on their ages you can even let them surprise you with the end results all by themselves! Nice break for you from the kitchen, and they get to learn a little bit about all that hard work you put into cooking every day!
  5. Build something. And I really mean anything. A bird house made out of twigs or a wooden table requiring a table saw! Children thrive when working on projects. All of us have something we’ve always wanted to make (if not, visit Pinterest and you’ll be running to the supply shop full of inspiration), so enlist your children to help and get your hands dirty. Think about using recycled materials like old food jars or old broken furniture you may have in your garage, turn something old into new again.
  6. Take a hike. Sky is the limit on this one! It can be as simple as a long walk around a park or a special visit to an official trail near you. When going on a longer hike, don’t forget to pack up some snacks and lots of water.  Nut butters and crackers are a perfect combo of protein and energy and they pack easily and can sustain the heat well.
  7. Make some music. If you have anyone in the family who plays instruments let them take the lead. Just grab some old cans and fill them up with beans and start creating a beat! Turn trash cans upside down and use them as drums. Get your phones ready to record your musical creation to have a dance party!
  8. Explore the Map. Gather your family around a world map (on the web or a globe works too!) and pick a country you’d like to learn more about. Assign each family member a mission to dig deeper into that countries food, culture customs, native animals and plants. Share what you’ve learned and maybe discover a new spot to take a vacation trip to one day! It is so important for kids to learn and become aware of how amazing our world is, how different our cultures can be and how interconnected we all are nowadays.
  9. Be an artist. Choose your canvas and paint to let creativity run free! Find a beautiful landscape you’d like to paint for example. Each one will paint their own view of the landscape and who knows… you may just have some new wall art to hang!
  10. Summer time picnic!  Take meal time outside. Visit a park near you or go just find the nearest patch of green grass to lay a blanket in, it could even be your backyard! Take fruits and vegetables and remember to drink lots of water when outdoors this summer.

… enjoy your summer!

Carolina

Wake Up to Overnight Oats!

I have seen several bloggers post numerous recipes for “overnight oats” but I must admit I hesitated to the whole idea until about a week ago. I have been in search for ways to use some of my glass jars that I usually just dump into the recycle bin. In my leisurely search in Pinterest I came across the idea of using the peanut butter glass jar to make overnight oats. What really caught my interest was that instead of soaking the jar with water and detergent to clean it when all the butter was gone, I could just add the overnight oat ingredients to it as is and REALLY use up every last drop of nut butter!overnight oats recipe

I’m a huge advocate for “short cuts” that make your life easier when it comes to cooking. My mornings are way more rushed than I ever imagined they would be. I remember the days where I stretched out in bed and took some deep breaths contemplating what this next day would bring… nowadays I pretty much open my eyes to breakfast orders, homework help requests, reminders of lists I need to complete, and checklists of afterschool activities we must prepare for. Sure I could set an alarm and wake up 30 minutes earlier to give myself extra time, but that would mean waking up at about 4:30 am! Needless to say this whole “overnight oats” thing really was a perfect fit for my morning routine. Breakfast that was prepared the night before and actually gives me a reason to smile as I jump out of bed. I can’t believe I took so long to try it!

Some other side benefits were that my kids really enjoyed helping put them together the night before.  The idea of having “personalized” breakfasts for the next day convinced them to belly up to the counter and pick their own ingredients. I used some of my many Once Again Nut Butter jars that I’ve been saving since they have a nice airtight lid and are the perfect size. And if I get around to it this next weekend I might even paint the name of each one of our household members to the jars (Oh, if you know some good techniques for painting on glass let me know, that will be my next Pinterest search!).

The sky is the limit when it comes to “Overnight Oats” recipes. The main ingredients are a ¾ cup of old fashion oats of your choice, ½ cup milk of your choice (we used almond milk, unsweetened) and 1 tablespoon of Once Again Nut Butter, then you add your toppings. Close your jars and place it in the refrigerators overnight (or at least for 1 hour). That’s it! It will be ready to enjoy the next day, you can always add a little extra milk if it’s too thick the next day.

My husband’s version has an extra tablespoon of nut butter since he eats breakfast pretty early and doesn’t usually get to lunch until 1pm. My egg-and-toast-man wasn’t too sure about this oatmeal in a jar either, but after a couple of days where he actually endured his morning meetings and made it to lunch without a headache he was convinced too.

overnight oatsMy kids preferred theirs with lots of strawberries and blueberries, while I added some chia seeds and cinnamon to mine which reminds me of the more traditional oatmeal I used to eat as a child. You can eat it cold right out of the jar in the morning, which during the summer just makes more sense. Or you can also warm it up for a few minutes if you prefer it that way.

Have fun creating your own favorites!

… wake up happy every single day,

Carolina