Ripe Bites: February Food News and Products

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine
Joseph Joseph

For example, the Space-saving lunch box ($18) offers a large base for sandwiches and dry food, a top compartment with a divider for wet food or snacks, and a silicone lid with a locking collar to keep it all fresh and safely inside. When empty, the top compartment fits inside the base and locks together for easy transport. A Space-saving cutlery set ($16) features a stainless-steel knife, fork, and spoon, whose magnetic design stores them neatly together in their own storage case. More on the GoEat line can be found at

Reduce Your Mountain of Mason Jars: Free Book

reCAP, a mom-founded company that invented and sells a series of functional lids for Mason jars, is offering a free downloadable eBook that promises to help you “reduce your mountain of Mason jars.”

The 10-page book features recipes for on-the-go smoothies and all-natural hair masks and face washes, as well as strategies for cleaning up an easily cluttered craft area.

To download your copy, visit

reCAP Mason Jar Smoothies

Here are three fun smoothies from reCAP, all made with the same Basic Vanilla Smoothie Base:

Basic Vanilla Smoothie


1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

6-8 oz. vanilla yogurt

1 tsp coconut oil

Classic PB&J

Add to base:

½ cup strawberries

2 Tbsp peanut or nut butter

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Super Berry Blast

Add to base:

1 cup mixed berries

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp turmeric

Maple-Oat Cinnamon Swirl

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 package instant oatmeal

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Blend ingredients and serve in a Mason jar.

How to Speed Clean Your House For Guests


You just got a call from some friends who are in town and want to drop by to say hello. Don’t worry, very few people live in a perfect home. So, relax and get ready to clean up. You can speed clean your home in a matter of minutes. And if you run out of time, I’ll show you how to cover up the dirt.

1. Start with the vacuum — Vacuuming the floors can make your house look clean. If you have carpeting, concentrate on vacuuming the main areas. Don’t worry about going behind furniture – no one will be looking there. Use your vacuum on the hard floors, too. Vacuum the rugs in the entrance area and anywhere you’ll be sitting with your guests.

2. Wipe away pet hair — Use my rubber glove trick to remove pet hair quickly. Use a rubber glove and wipe the pet hair to the edge of the piece of furniture. Use a damp paper towel and wipe it off.

3. Wipe away fingerprints – Are there fingerprints and smears all over your kitchen appliances? Just wet a blue microfiber cloth and go over everything. Don’t look back. You’ll have sparkling clean appliances in minutes.

4. Fluff your furniture — Fluff and straighten your furniture so it will look cleaner. Puff up the throw pillows and fold the blankets so everything looks neat. If you have a stain or spot, place a folded blanket over the area.

5. Put out clean towels — Put clean hand towels in the kitchen and the bathroom. You don’t want your guests using those dirty ones.

6. Collect clutter — Fill a laundry basket with all the clutter. Take the basket upstairs where your guests won’t see it.

7. Empty the sink — Nothing makes your kitchen look dirtier than a sink full of dirty dishes. Put everything in the dishwasher or if the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, put them in a bucket and hide them under the sink!

8. Distract them with food — Keep some treats in the freezer, especially for pop-in guests

9. Use a nice scent to make your home smell clean — People definitely relate scents to cleanliness, and you can use some essential oils to make your own “clean home” spray. Mix 8 ounces of witch hazel and 8 ounces of vodka in a spray bottle. Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. Shake well. Use this spray to freshen the air or as a linen spray on sheets and towels. It's perfect to use when company is coming. Spray on doorjambs and room entrances. Your guests will get a light scent as they enter the room.

10. Dim the lights — Dim the lights and light candles. It seems simple, but it will keep the focus off your home and on your visit.

11. Don’t stress over the mess — If all else fails, just relax and welcome your guests with a huge hug and your sparkling personality.