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Tropcial Traditions Organic Palm Shortening Review

On Day 1 of rowing The Story About Ping, we learned about China for Social Studies and Geography. So, I thought it would be fun to make homemade eggrolls with Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening.
They were so yummy that we all wanted to make them again. We also made Chinese rice noodles and egg drop soup for The Story About Ping

Then I remembered the small round fried donuts we used to eat at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet and decided to make good old fashioned raised glazed donuts. :D

I thought that would be a good way to review Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening. =) 

Can you believe I have not used any kind of shortening for 4 years?! I use butter or oil in recipes that call for it. I had no idea what palm shortening was when I first heard of it and found out that it is derived from palm oil and palm oil is derived from the palm fruit. 
"In its natural state, palm oil is a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with most of the unsaturated fat being monounsaturated fat. Palm shortening is palm oil that has some of its unsaturated fats removed, giving it a very firm texture, and high melting point. The melting point of our Organic Palm Shortening is 97 degrees F., making it very shelf stable. It is NOT hydrogenised, and contains NO trans fats!"
It's organic, good for you, and can be used for "baking, shortenings, margarines and deep fat frying."

Because it is shelf stable, I like to keep a gallon of this in my food storage. It retails for $35.75/gallon, but is on sale now until August 1st for $19.85 (44% off). This is a great deal for a whole gallon.

Here is your chance to win some ~Tropical Traditions is sponsoring a giveaway for one gallon of Organic Palm Shortening. To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you would make if you won.

~Giveaway closed~


Here's that donut recipe that many of you have asked for: Crispy and Creamy Donuts. =)

It gets its name because it tastes so much like a Krispy Kreme donut. In the past I have always used butter instead of the shortening it calls for in the recipe, but this time I used Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening. The only complaint: I could not make enough of them!

Our winner for the Palm Shortening is commenter #78: Sable. Congrats! And thank you to all who entered and support my love for Tropical Traditions. :D

For extra entries:
  • Do you have a favorite Tropical Traditions product? One you would like to try? Share!
  • Browse TT free coconut recipes and share one that you would like to try.
  • Subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter. {Watch for the free shipping coupons!}
  • Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter.
  • If you subscribe in a reader or by email or follow my blog in Google Friend Connect give yourself an extra entry.
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a link to your status.
  • Blog about this giveaway for 3 entries. 
              Your comment is your entry. This giveaway will close on 8/5/2010 and is only open to U.S. residents. (TT will ship internationally, but not for giveaways.) Be sure to leave me an email so I can contact you if you win!

              Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

              Meet Ping {FI♥AR}

              We will be rowing our first Five in a Row book this week. For our fun memory for The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiess, we raised a duckling and named it Ping.
              Making our selection.
              Bringing Ping home.
              This is about the size Ping is in the story!

              Ping has been so much fun to raise. He (we call it a he, but we are not sure!) is very social and did not like to be alone from the moment we brought him home. However, he bonded with our chickens and has become like a mother hen to them! They follow Ping around everywhere. If they get out, we only have to get Ping back in and the chickens will follow. Ping also quacks at the chickens if they get out and does not like to be alone. It is so funny to watch!

              Ping is now full grown. It has been fun to raise a duck and we have learned a lot about ducks just from watching Ping grow. I have lots of fun learning activities planned for this story and hope to start this week, because in two weeks we are taking Ping to live with Nanie, the kids' great grandma. (It's a surprise!) She raises ducks and we think she will love Ping as much as we do.

              I planned to do this first FIAR book before I decided to do Before Five in a Row. The activities are all planned out and will be geared mostly towards Malachi, but I have some fun planned for Eliana too. When we get back from our vacation (family reunion) I will hopefully share all that we did.

              Delightful Links:

              I found a copy of The Story About Ping online! I'll share more links in my next post.

              Bilibo Play Shell Review

              Have you seen the Bilibo Play Shell?  It's a cool little toy that doesn't do anything. This award winning toy is designed to inspire creativity and active play.

              It's supposed to the the toy that gets played with instead of the box.

              I think my kids fall into the category of 'playing with the box more than the toy' so I was excited to see what they thought of the Play Shell.

              We took it to the park, the fountains, and the pool. . .

              . . .  and they found lots of uses for it around the house.

              They have used it to:
              • sit in
              • balance
              • rock and spin
              • fill and pour
              • carry treasures
              • and more
              Malachi uses it as a part of the army bases that he builds for his army guys.  Eliana can use it as a cradle for her baby.  I can imagine the use it will get when it snows!

              It is designed for ages 2-7, but my 9 year old loved it to spin in. It is made of durable high-density polyethylene, is shock resistant, non-toxic, is 100% recyclable and comes in 6 colors. It is designed to be used on soft surfaces (Elli easily tipped over in it).

              I love that it encourages hand-eye coordination and balance. But, mostly I love it because my children have to decide how to play with it.

              But, that is not why I wanted it originally. I thought it would be a great tool to help little ones sit through a chapter book. I was worried they wouldn't want to sit through a longer book (I have one child that has to be moving to pay attention!) and I am just beginning to read longer books to my 3 and 5 year old together.  I envisioned them quietly rocking, balancing or spinning while I read. But, it wasn't necessary - they wanted to sit on my lap instead.  =)

              You might recall that CSN has 200+ stores. You can buy the Bilibo Play Shell from their Toys and Games Online store for $25.99 with free shipping. I looked around and that is the best price I could find (not considering the free shipping!).

              So, that is what I bought for this review. What would you buy if you had a chance to spend $30 at CSN Stores? Leave me a comment letting me know for a chance to win a $30 gift certificate from CSN!  This is the only required entry.

              ~ This giveaway is now closed ~  Congrats to Onefrugalgirl!

              For additional entries:
              • Do you have a favorite CSN Store? Tell me what it is for an extra entry. I think mine must be Toys and Games Online, but I'd like to check out their other stores as I will be needing some baby furniture soon (since I gave all mine away after Elli).
              • Tell me how many kids beds are available to browse at CSN's bedroom furniture store
              • If you subscribe to or follow my blog give yourself an extra entry. 
              • Tweet about this giveaway for 2 extra entries. Leave me a link to your status! 
              • Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post for 4 extra entries.  Leave me a link to your post!
              • Enter my Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent giveaway for another entry, or let me know you already did. 
              Your comment is your entry, so please leave me a comment for each entry. This giveaway is open for U.S. shipping only and will be open until 8:00 pm MST on July 15, 2010. I will contact the winner by email, so be sure to leave your email address. You will then have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be chosen.

              Thanks to CSN Stores for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

              Disclosure: I was given a one time use $30 gift certificate to use for this review and I offer my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any other way. 

              Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent Review/Giveaway ~ Closed ~

              I have a confession to make.

              My husband does the laundry.

              He is a wonderful help to me in every area of the home, but he owns the laundry. I help him by starting a load or rebooting the laundry, but he is such a routine guy that he does a great job about keeping Mount Washmore climbable.

              I think he enables me.

              So, you might be wondering why I choose to review Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent (when I could have chosen another product)?

              I'm just a little excited for the little one I am carrying! And I thought this would be a great excuse opportunity to dig out and assess my cloth diaper stash. Cloth diapers are, after all, expensive, and my stash has been through 2 babies. So, I will need to start adding to my stash a little each month before baby is born.

              Plus, I needed a little incentive to do something. My first trimester is never very productive. (Can you tell? Have you missed me?)

              Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent is an environmentally safe, non-toxic detergent.

              The ingredients: soda ash, sodium percarbonate and mild surfactants.

              I know that you cannot just use any detergent on cloth diapers, so I did some research and found that these ingredients are "cloth diaper safe."

               It also contains a non-chlorine destainer and deodorizer, which would be an added bonus for cloth diapers. =)

              I used 1 scoop per load. With powdered detergents, I usually let the washer fill a little and agitate it to dissolve the soap. And I got bubbles! I've made my own "environmentally friendly" soap in the past and it doesn't bubble. (Bubbles make it work better, right?) :p

              The detergent is unscented, so what I got was odor-free clean smelling cloth diapers. Any kind of odor (even smelly good odors) makes me nauseous during my first trimester, so I love this stuff! 

              Here's my newborn stash:
              • 10 All in Ones (AIO's) 
              • 12 Indian Prefolds
              • 5 Pro-Wrap Covers

              Considering they outgrow this size so quick (6-10 pounds), I think this is enough. What do you think? (If I wash daily?)

              Okay, I have this thing about adding vinegar to the rinse cycle, so I also did a load of freshly pee stained sheets and bed covers (I use blue pads).  I am really sensitive to smells and especially because I was still in my first trimester when I did this experiment, it was really hard not to use the vinegar! (For some reason, the vinegar doesn't bother me). But everything came out smelling odor-free, except the blue pads (but only I could tell). It might just be the material in the blue pads though because everything was washed together and everything else smelled fine.

              Then I had fun washing cute little onsies (all neutral colors, since baby's gender will be a surprise!).

              I washed Elli's pink baby . . .
              . . . Which made for a very happy girl:

              Then, I washed all the sheets in the house, a few blankets that were put away for the summer, Elli's car seat cover, some rugs. . . any and everything I could wash, EXCEPT the regular laundry! You know, all the other stuff that needs washed too. =)  

              Before I make this review any longer, as I am in the habit of doing, I'd like to give you a chance to win a 5 lb container of Powdered Laundry Detergent!

              To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you would wash with it if you won! If you would do a regular load of laundry, that is okay. ;-)

              ~This giveaway is now closed~ Congrats to Anna

              For extra entries:
              • Tell me of another product that you would try from Tropical Traditions, if you could choose any. 
              • Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a link to your status.
              • If you subscribe/follow my blog give yourself an extra entry. 
              • Blog about this giveaway for 5 extra entries. Leave me a link to your post! 
              • Tropical Traditions also has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number 5835118. By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy with your first order! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how one can incorporate coconut into their diet. This is worth 10 entries, so please leave me 10 separate comments if you do this! Note: I am not paid for referring customers, but I will receive a free jar of coconut oil!  If you need help ordering, please see my referral program instructions page.
              Your comment is your entry. Please leave me an email address so I can contact you if you win. You will then have 48 hours to contact me with your information or I will choose another winner. 

              This giveaway is open until Thursday July 15th 8pm MST and is only open to US residents.  (TT will ship internationally, but not for giveaways.)

              Thanks to TT for sponsoring this review and giveaway! 

              Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.