Showing posts with label Food Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food Review. Show all posts

Monday, August 12, 2019

Nonni's Biscotti Reviewed

Nonni's Biscotti Reviewed
Looking for a light and airy snack? Perfect to accompany a nice cup of tea or coffee? Nonni's biscotti is a yummy alternative to the after meal cookies and sweets or a mid afternoon snack.

Biscotti The Alternative Snack

The biscotti are made with real butter, eggs and sugar. No preservatives or artificial flavors are used in Nonni's recipe.

Each biscotti is individually wrapped which is very user friendly and keeps the biscotti fresh. The biscotti are light and airy yet crispy. These are perfect for those who like to dunk a crispy treat in their coffee, tea or milk.

These are a very nice alternative to sweets and cookies, but remember that biscotti does translate to a crisp cookie or biscuit. Biscotti is the plural of biscotto and biscotti are traditionally twice baked to obtain the light and dry consistency.

Who Is Nonni?


Nonni is the grandmother of the founder of Nonni's Bakery. The lore of the biscotti recipe began with Nonni in Lucca, Italy an area of Tuscan. The family recipe was then brought to America over a century ago.

Flavors Of Nonni's Biscotti


There are quite a few flavors for the Biscotti!


  • The Originali
  • Cioccolati
  • Dark Almond Chocolate
  • Limone
  • Salted Caramel
  • Toffee Almond
  • Turtle Pecan
  • Triple Chocolate


Where To Buy Nonni's Biscotti


The Biscotti are not inexpensive at our local independent grocer or brand name grocery store. I have found the selection and prices are much better on Amazon. If you'd like to look for Nonni's in your area, check the retail store locator here.

Amazon has a very nice variety pack of Nonni's Biscotti which has four flavors of the Biscotti: Originali, Limone, Turtle Pecan and Cioccolati. The biscotti are much lower priced online than I found locally.


Biscotti are a nice change of pace for those who like sweets and snacks. The flavors are subtle so no need to be worried about being over powered by the flavors. 

As they used to say, "Try it - you may like it!" The tagline of Nonni's is Nobody treats you like Nonni's!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Friday, February 15, 2019

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups Reviewed

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups are the best hot chocolate in a k-cup. After trying several brands, I finally found a delicious milk chocolate hot cocoa mix k-cup.
When I am chilled to the bone by the winter cold weather, I seek out my Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups for my Keurig coffee maker. There isn't anything better than a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, especially when I need it fast!

I was hesitant to try the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa simply because I don't normally like hot cocoa.  In most cases, I much prefer hot chocolate.  But, I really wanted a hot chocolate k-cup that I could make quickly when needed to warm up.  So, I kept tasting and testing.  My search is now finished and I extremely surprised that it has ended with a hot cocoa k-cup instead of hot chocolate. Regardless, I am thrilled the search is over and I have a k-cup that meets, and exceeds, my requirements.


Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups 

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups, Milk Chocolate, 72 CountSwiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups, Milk Chocolate, 72 CountCheck PriceI tried several different brands of hot chocolate k-cups, but most of them tasted like nasty hot water.  As I said, I was hesitant to venture into the hot cocoa k-cups.  I really didn't wish to waste my money, again.  However, the Swiss Miss cocoa is a real winner!  

The Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa from the k-cup has a nice rich and delicious taste.  Plus, it really does have a milk chocolate flavor just like the package states.  Since it is made with water, and not milk, it isn't as thick as a homemade cup of hot cocoa, but it doesn't have that cocoa aftertaste.

Now, when I come in from the cold, I have a fast and easy hot drink to warm me up.  Oh, and it is extra delicious with those little marshmallows added. 



Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups are the best hot chocolate in a k-cup. After trying several brands, I finally found a delicious milk chocolate hot cocoa mix k-cup.

 

The Snow Leopard Mug

Snow Leopard Coffee MugSnow Leopard Coffee MugCheck PriceThe snow leopard mug you see filled with the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa in the photo, is available on Zazzle.  It is one of my own personal photos that I have made available on a variety of Zazzle products.  The Snow Leopard mug does seem totally appropriate for warm hot cocoa on a cold day.  

Visually, I think the marshmallows bring out the beauty of the Snow Leopard's gorgeous fur.  



My mug is a little different from the one that is offered on Zazzle.  In my desire to feature the snow leopard face, I didn't realize I had off-centered the image until I got my own mug in the mail.  At that time, I went back into the Zazzle mug image set-up and centered the image on each side.  


Grab Your Mug of Swiss Miss Cocoa & Join Me Today!


Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups are the best hot chocolate in a k-cup. After trying several brands, I finally found a delicious milk chocolate hot cocoa mix k-cup.


 

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Friday, February 8, 2019

Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maine Syrups & Gift Set Reviewed

Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maple Syrup & Gift Set Reviewed
I love cooking for my family, therefore a gift for my kitchen is always the right gift.  

When I received my Stonewall Kitchen gift set this year from my husband, I was immediately thrilled by the pretty blueberry batter bowl.  I admit, my one weakness is mixing bowls.  I love them, especially if they have a spout.  

I was also pretty excited to try a new pancake mix.  Turns out, I prefer the Stonewall Kitchen pancake mix to any other that I have ever tried.  That is rather surprising since I have used a popular grocery store brand for decades and have always liked the flavor and texture of the store brand.  However, the Stonewall Kitchen pancake & waffle mix has a better taste. 

The gift set also came with Wild Maine Blueberry Jam and Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup.  By now, you have probably guessed it was a blueberry themed gift set.  He also gave me a bottle of Wild Maine Maple Syrup separately.  Actually, he probably bought that for himself, but it was included with the gift.


Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix


 Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake and Waffle MixCheck Price If you love pancakes, and you prefer using a mix, you will want to try the Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix.  As I said in the introduction, I was extremely surprised to find that I prefer it to the brand that I have used for a lifetime.

The mix requires that an egg, milk & melted butter be added, but I always have those on-hand, so no problem.  I quickly whipped up the batter and made our first batch of pancakes.  I wasn't sure what to expect since the batter was a lot thinner than other pancake batters, but my fears were unfounded.  The pancakes were delicious.

When we sat down to eat, neither one of us was talking, we were too busy eating!



My Preferred Method for Cooking Pancakes


 Oster Electric Skillet, 16 Inch, Black/Stainless SteelCheck PriceIt is important that I note how I cook the Stonewall Kitchen mix pancakes.  I use my electric skillet, set to 350°, with about a half-inch of Crisco vegetable oil covering the bottom of the skillet.  In effect, I am frying my pancakes in oil, uncovered.  I turn the pancakes when bubbles start to form on the side that is up.  I only turn them once.

Because the clean-up is easier, the second time I made these pancakes, I used my Cuisinart Griddler.  I can also cook more pancakes at one time since the Griddler opens out flat which allows me to cook on two grills at the same time.  I didn't expect there to be much difference, but there definitely was a difference.  The pancakes were simply not as good.  They still tasted okay, but after the first batch cooked in the electric skillet, they were disappointing.

Therefore, from now on, I will always cook my Stonewall Kitchen pancakes in oil in my electric skillet.


The Stonewall Kitchen Syrups


I am a huge fan of blueberry syrup when it is really good, but I hate it if it tastes artificial.  My husband prefers Maple syrup, but like me, he is selective.  It has to be real maple syrup.

Few blueberry syrups live up to my standards.  Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup is, by far, the best I have ever eaten!  

Believe it or not, my husband has said that the Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Syrup is the best maple syrup he has ever tried.  Big wins there for Stonewall Kitchen!  We are both very picky when it comes to our pancake syrup.

Oh, and the bottles are really cute too!



 Stonewall Kitchen Breakfast Gift Baskets and Sets (5 Piece Blueberry Gift Set)Check PriceMy Stonewall Kitchen Blueberry Gift Set


Yeah, I know.   Now you all want my gift set too.  Well, you can't have mine, but you can have one like it.  I can tell you from experience, this is a great gift for the cook.

Do note though that the blueberry set comes with blueberry syrup.  You may also wish to purchase the Maine Maple Syrup separately like we did.

The gift set includes everything you see in the picture and comes wrapped in the cellophane bag tied with a Stonewall Kitchen ribbon like mine in the top photo.  

Gift Set Includes:
  • Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • Blueberry Batter Bowl
  • Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
  • Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup
  • Blue Spatula

 

 
Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maine Syrups, & Gift Set Reviewed

 

Related & Relative Articles


I am not the only blueberry loving Contributor!  Olivia has previously revealed her love for the fruit too. Plus, you may have recognized the phrase I used in the introduction, "my one weakness".  That is actually a quote from Lark Rise to Candleford.  Dorcas Lane uses that descriptive phrase several times in the movie and it always tickles me to hear her say it.

You may have noticed the Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix is also for waffles. Literally, it is named Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix. You can make those waffles in a really cute heart-shaped waffle maker that was reviewed here by Bev Owens.

Olivia reviews some of the best recipes, as well as a cookbook recommendation, for all of us who love to consume this delightful bit of heaven on earth!

Lark Rise To Candleford ReviewLark Rise To Candleford Review

Enjoy Lark Rise To Candleford the BBC series which inspires, enlightens and entertains the entire family. The Lark Rise to Candleford series is based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Flora Thompson

Mini Muffins- Bake Ahead and FreezeMini Muffins- Bake Ahead and Freeze
Mary Beth shared her own personal recipe for blueberry apple oat muffins here. She also gave us the basic recipe for her bake and freeze muffins which could include many different fruits & nuts.

Heart Waffle Maker ReviewedHeart Waffle Maker Reviewed
Bev reviewed this heart shaped waffle maker to make our waffles in the shape of a heart as an expression of our love. Small and lightweight this heart shaped waffle maker can be a fun addition to any kitchen.




Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maple Syrup & Gift Set Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Review of Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans

Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. (Source: Wikipedia)
Cafe Du Monde is a famous coffee shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  It was opened in 1862 and is famous for it's chicory-blend coffee and Beignets.  It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for Christmas Day (and the occasional hurricane).  Luckily, this famous cafe suffered only minor damage during Hurricane Katrina.

I've visited Cafe Du Monde twice on visits to New Orleans.  It has a charming atmosphere and the Beignets are the most delectable pastry you will ever taste.  I do have to admit, though, that I personally find the famous chicory coffee 'undrinkable'.  I do not like the taste of chicory and I dislike strong coffee.  But if you love chicory coffee or Vietnamese-style iced coffee, you will love the Cafe Du Monde coffee, particularly their Cafe au lait. 


Cafe au Lait




Cafe au Lait  (Image Source)

Cafe au lait is coffee with hot milk added.  This is different from coffee known as 'white coffee', which has cold milk or other whitener added.  Cafe au Lait simply means “coffee with milk”. 


Beignet




Beignets (Image Source)

Beignet is a French pastry that is deep fried and served topped with powdered sugar.  It is so light and flaky and irresistible! 

The allrecipes site has a recipe for you to make your own Beignets at home if you are not able to visit Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. 



Beignet Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions:


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
  2. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F (180 degrees C) hot oil. If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough. Drain onto paper towels.
  3. Shake confectioners' sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm.


There are also box mixes of Beignets available if you do not care to go to the (delicious) trouble of starting from scratch. 

The word Beignet, of course, means donut.


Visit Cafe Du Monde




The original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand is located at 800 Decatur Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In 1985 a second cafe was opened and today there are 8 Cafe Du Monde locations in the New Orleans Metropolitan area.  

The Cafe Du Monde coffee stand is a 'must-see' and very tasty attraction for any New Orleans Visit. The literal translation of Cafe Du Monde means “Coffee of the World”

Related Links:













(c) 2/2/2019. Article by Wednesday Elf




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Monday, January 14, 2019

Reviewing Sam's Pizza Crust Recipe

Pizza crust from scratch is easier than I thought.
Over the years I have tried to make homemade pizzas. And over the years I have repeatedly failed. But today I made homemade pizza, just the way I like it, using a pizza crust recipe from Sam's Place. My little pizzas turned out great and I can't wait to bake some more.


Sam's Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

Sam's Place is a blog site with a collection of recipes. Sam's recipes are generally easy and tasty. He writes about his passion for "preserving family recipes and creating new ones". I visit his blog regularly and see that he shares quick and easy recipes. 

When I decided to try to make pizzas at home again, I went directly to his blog. I found his dough recipe here. I only needed yeast, oil, water, flour, and salt. 


I spread the dough out on the pizza stone - baking stones are great! I pressed the dough into a thin crust with my fingers. I didn't worry that they weren't round. On each pizza, I added sauce, mushrooms, cheese, and  coarsely ground black pepper. Yes, that is one of my little pizzas in the photo above.



Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone




Why I Tried Making Pizzas Again


Recently I was watching a cooking show on television. Lidia was making little pizzas for the grill. She gave me a craving for pizza. Grocery store pizzas are okay, but not my favorite. Pizzas delivered from a local restaurant are divine but expensive. And I never end up eating the entire pizza. Even if I try eating all the leftovers, I either forget or I grow tired of eating pizza and inevitably I end up wasting food.


In the past I have tried making my own pizzas. I don't remember making any pizza that tasted better than the cheapie pre-made pizzas in the freezer section. Frankly, I eventually gave up.


But after watching that television show with the grilled pizzas and remembering Sam's easy dough recipe, I gave it a try. I dug out my baking stone and started up my KitchenAid mixer. Also, I have had good luck using SAF instant yeast. Previously, I failed when baking anything with yeast. But between using the SAF yeast and the fact that my water comes out of my tap at just over 100 degrees, I have been successful making breads. And now I'm successful with making homemade pizza crust.


Imagine making your own pizzas, personal sized or extra large, thin or thick crust, just exactly the way you like them!



The second pizza I made today. Doesn't it look tasty?


Related Links:


Cynthia reviewed the Kitchen Aid Pizza Wheel. She recommends it because it is "strong, durable, and ergonomical". Take a peek at her review for more details. I need one of these.


I bought my KitchenAid mixer two years ago. I had always thought it was an extra and over-priced gadget that I didn't need. But since I have it, I LOVE IT!  This is a purchase I've never regretted. 


Heather has been a KitchenAid Artisian mixer fan longer than I have. In fact, her review helped convince me to get one of my own. Heather's article also includes information about the annual timing of sales on these mixers. Get that important information here

Sam also has a Fresh Tomato Spinach pizza recipe. I'll try that next. 

Because Lidia's Kitchen show is what started this recent pizza craving, I'm including a link to her Grilled Pizza recipe. Yum! 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, December 22, 2018

River Street Sweets – Savannah Candy Store Review

(c) Wednesday Elf

The Sweet Taste of Savannah!

On historic River Street in Savannah, Georgia you will find a candy store that has been renowned for their world famous pralines for 44 years.  Everyone who walks into River Street Sweets will be enticed to try a sample of the pralines or fudge or other candies on display. 


A simple taste of these delicious handmade candies will also find you purchasing a bit of this, a little of that…. and of course a few pralines. So many sweet treats to choose from.  One whole wall is filled with every flavor of saltwater taffy you can imagine.  I have yet to go into the store without leaving with at least a few tasty tidbits. 



Oh Fudge – How River Street Sweets Came About


Chocolate Fudge - River Street Sweets
Stan & Pam Strickland had a gift shop on River Street called The Cotton Bale where they sold knick-knacks and Christmas ornaments.  In 1978 they were at a gift market trade show in Atlanta with their daughter Jennifer and son Tim looking for new items for their store .  Tim, age 11, found a fudge pot and begged his parents to put it in the store.  

They finally agreed and a week later, on St. Patrick's Day, the first batch of chocolate mint fudge was made. It sold like crazy and soon it became obvious that candy was much more popular than the gifts they had been featuring.  Within six months, River Street Sweets became a full-fledged candy store.

Today, they are known worldwide for their gourmet southern sweets. On a visit to River Street Sweets you can watch candy makers dip pralines onto a giant marble slab Stan bought from a gravestone company. You can also see them stir glazed pecans in  huge copper kettles and see the 100-year-old saltwater taffy machine in action. They make their sweets in the stores and also ship them out around the world.




Come on a video tour of Savannah Street Sweets




The Savannah store is run today by grown-up Jennifer and Tim, while just down the street Stan "The Candy Man" operates Savannah's Candy Kitchen, the largest candy store in the south since 1990. 


If you cannot make it to Savannah, other River Street Sweets stores can be found in the Mall of Georgia in North Atlanta, in two places in Charleston, SC, and in Myrtle Beach, SC, as well as Key West and Lancaster Maryland. New locations will soon be coming to Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina.  You can also order them online from Amazon or through their catalog or website.  



Holiday and Gift Baskets



Office Party Basket - River Street Sweets
The wicker gift baskets are popular with tourists for taking home to friends & family.  They are irresistibly filled with delights such as pralines, bear claws, glazed pecans, hand-stretched peanut brittle, nougat log rolls and creamy chocolate fudge. Or grab a box of your favorite sweets (mine is fudge with walnuts). 

All candies sold by River Street Sweets are made using their own family recipes to make the finest and freshest handmade Southern candies around.  Not surprising, their best sellers are the glazed pecans, their bear claws and the oh-so-delicious pecan pralines.




How the Pralines are Made





A Sweet Treat you'll love. 









(c) Travel Review written by Wednesday Elf (12/22/2018)




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, December 17, 2018

How to Make Super Easy Gingerbread Cookies

If you have wanted to make gingerbread men but are too intimidated or short on time I have a great kitchen cheat for you! Even I was able to successfully bake these cookies with Wilton Gingerbread Man Cookie pans and Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix. However, please note that the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie mix is "limited edition". Perhaps it is only seasonal. So stock up now for your future gingerbread cookie-baking adventures.


Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix



I depend on cookie mixes. And have had really good luck with the Snickerdoodle and the Peanut Butter flavors. So it was an easy thing for me to buy the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix.


I followed the directions on the bag to make the cookie dough. The ingredients list is super short:

  • bag of cookie mix 
  • stick of butter 
  • one egg 
  • tablespoon of water.

I split the dough in half - using one half for each pan - and dropped by small spoonfuls into the pans. 





Wilton Gingerbread Man Cookie Pan


When I saw these adorable cookie pans at a local big box store, I could not resist. I'm not at all skilled with baking, but I really wanted to try these shaped cookie pans. I have had a great time making these cookies and I think these would be fun pans to use when baking with a child.

The pans are nearly 12" tall! They are non-stick (I still used a very light coating of spray cooking oil). And the pans have raised details that create slight indentations in the finished cookies. The indentations can be guides for icing placement. I left mine plain (I tell myself that because I left the frosting off the cookies were a "healthier" version of cookie!)


Big Gingerbread Man cookie pans by Wilton



Super Easy Gingerbread Cookie Pros and Cons



The best things about these super easy gingerbread cookies are that they are quick, easy, and tasty. Minimal time is spend in the kitchen and the cookies are oh so good.

When the pans are filled using the "dropped by small spoonfuls" technique the cookies are big and soft (similar to a brownie). I prefer that type of cookie.

My picky-eater friend said that the flavor was very good. I agree.

The possible "cons" of these cookies are that these are not the gingerbread cookies your grandmother made. If you are looking for original gingerbread men, this may not be what you are looking for. 

These cookies were not the "crispy"/"crunchy"  original style of gingerbread men. 

I have made these cookies using these pans three times. I have learned that the gingerbread dough does not "spread" during baking as much as some other cookie dough. So my first attempts resulted in the hands and feet not being fully formed. On my most recent attempt, I dropped small spoonfuls of dough in the cookie pans feet and hands. That created fully formed hands and feet.

My next attempt will include pressing the dough down into the pan to see if the result with be the thinner and more crunchy cookies. 




Related Link:


Do you love Snickerdoodles? 
Do you prefer super thick, cake-like cookies?  

Me too! 

Check out my Easy Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie recipe. 




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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Pinto Beans Latin Style Reviewed

A Little Spice Is Nice

pinto beans
Pinto Beans image from public domain
A discovery at the grocery store of pinto beans Latin style is what I would like to review with you today. I had asked my husband to pick up a brand of pinto beans that I had seen on a television commercial. He called to tell me that they did not have that brand in stock but they had Bush's Cocina Latina and they looked pretty good. I told him to go ahead and get some and we would try them. Oh my goodness! These beans are really good!

As I mentioned a while back in an article about soft foods, I really like to eat pinto beans. They are a wonderful source of fiber and protein and a good substitute for meat. They are low in saturated fats and offer a source of manganese and folate along with being helpful in lowering HDL and LDL cholesterol. Besides the health benefits, they just taste good!

So, my husband brings home his little discovery and I decide that they might be good as a topping for a loaded potato. I baked a couple of potatoes, heated up the can of pinto beans and voila we had a meal!


We sprinkled just a little bit of cheese on top and the results were absolutely delicious! The pinto beans are in a tomato sauce with onion, garlic, serrano peppers and just a touch of bacon. The flavor on top of the potato was really awesome!

I have decided that a can or two of these beans will now be a staple on my pantry shelves. There are so many ways that they can be served. Alone as a side dish is an obvious choice. I plan to add a can the next time I make chili because I think they will add a little kick to the dish. I also, think they might be really good if I make them into refried beans.

You might worry that the serrano pepper will make these pinto beans pretty hot. It is true that the serrano is hotter than the jalapeno but to be honest I didn't think these beans were too hot. I like spicy foods but I don't like the heat level to be much more than medium. Honestly, these beans had just the right amount of heat for my palate. They were a little hot but not so much that I had to grab water or wipe tears from my eyes. I wouldn't like that.

So, if you are looking for something new to add to your menu I suggest you give these pinto beans with a Latin style of flavoring a try. We liked them so much that we plan to try the other flavors that the company offers in this line called Cocina Latina.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, April 2, 2018

Reviewing McCormick Smokehouse Maple

Smokehouse Maple by McCormick
McCormick's Smokehouse Maple has become one of my favorite spices. Living in the Baltimore area, I take it for granted that everyone is familiar with McCormick spices. Realizing that not everyone may be aware of this sweet, smokey blend I thought I should stop keeping this little secret to myself. 


Smokehouse Maple by McCormick


Smokehouse maple is an excellent spice that is recommended for pork and chicken. Some people use it on fish and I regularly use it on burgers. Just a small amount of this seasoning (dry rub) goes a long way in adding a sweet, smokey flavor to your meal.

Ingredients list: 
salt, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses (refinery syrup, cane molasses, caramel color), garlic, onion, spices (including paprika, chili pepper), orange peel, red bell pepper, maple syrup & natural flavor (including smoke)

If you are looking for recipes, McCormick provides a selection of recipes and meal ideas that use Smokehouse Maple specifically. I hadn't thought of using it on grilled corn on the cob! What a great idea.


 Why I prefer the Smokehouse Maple


When I am camping at The Shack, all of my hot meals are prepared on the grill, in the smoker, or in hobo packs in the wood stove. My land is on what had previously been an apple orchard. So my wood stove and my smoker are fueled with apple wood from my yard and hard wood from my woods. 

I prefer grilled foods and smoked foods. That smoked flavor is my preference. When I return to the apartment, I do not have an access to a grill and am not able to smoke my foods.

I typically fry or bake a pork chop with a light sprinkle of this seasoning. Or I add a bit to my burgers. McCormick's Smokehouse Maple takes care of my grill cravings when I am unable to grill. 







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kerrygold Butter Review

Butter? Yes, please! Make it a triple! As you can surmise I am a fan of real butter and not the imitation. Butter fans will absolutely enjoy Kerrygold butter which I enthusiastically recommend; your potatoes, vegetables, muffins and baking dishes will thank you!
A new memorable find! Kerrygold Butter for your eating and baking pleasure!


Kerrygold Butter Review

Grass fed cows throughout Ireland contribute to a golden, creamy butter that deserves its' place among premium butters whether in the United States or United Kingdom.  I have found a huge difference in taste between brand name and store brand butters and now I must add a third comparison category for the premium butter.

The butter is premium in taste, but I was pleasantly surprised the price is not at a premium. The cost of Kerrygold butter is comparable to brand name sticks and tubs of butter! Kerrygold has also entered the big box stores and grocery stores and the prices can be even less expensive than brand name butter.  Kerrygold is also available online as are other Kerrygold dairy products.


The fat content of Kerrygold is slightly higher than comparable butters which contributes to the creamy, melt in your mouth taste and golden color. A quick nutritional comparison finds Kerrygold butter slightly less in salt and slightly higher in fat content. The remaining nutritional comparisons do not differ. A non salt version of Kerrygold butter is also available for those who prefer to bake with unsalted butter or are watching their sodium intake.


Kerrygold Products


I have long been a fan of Kerrygold Dubliner cheese and was pleased to see more products offered by this brand in my store. Just as I recommend Kerrygold butter I enthusiastically recommend Kerrygold Dubliner cheese.

This is a white cheese with a wonderful texture that tends toward the hard side, but is mild in flavor with a very slight nutty flavor. Dubliner cheese is a nice twist for your mac n cheese dishes and melts wonderfully for any dish that needs a cheese that melts well. I always include Dubliner on the cheese and cracker appetizer plate and time after time this is the cheese that disappears first.

I am obviously a fan of the Kerrygold line of dairy products and love a product that is grass fed!



My Favorite Recipes To Use Kerrygold Butter

Grandma's Irish Soda Bread Recipe
Old Fashioned Bread Pudding
Grandma's Mac N Cheese Recipe




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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

IKEA Food Reviewed

And You Thought It Was A Furniture Store!

ikea has food
IKEA image courtesy of pixabay.com
We recently visited the new store that just opened in our area and were surprised that IKEA food was even an option. My husband and I were prepared to see interesting types of furniture in the huge store. Well, let me rephrase that. We had heard from others that we should be sure to try the meatballs while there.

To be honest, I had envisioned something like Costco or a weekend at any given grocery store where there are people offering samples of food to try. I wasn't sure why IKEA would offer samples other than a sort of hospitality type gesture. Perhaps I thought that it was a way to celebrate the Swedish culture and their style of meatballs. Was I in for a surprise? You bet ya!

It seemed like there were miles and miles of furniture. The place is huge! Let me tell you the place is a virtual maze of interesting vignettes of ideas for the home or office. I oooed and ahhhhed at every corner, but I digress. There are signs overhead to guide you to different areas and at one point I noticed that the sign showed that we were on a path that would lead us to the restaurant. I said to my husband, "These people have thought of everything! Since this place is so enormous, they know a person can get hungry from all of this walking. So, they feed you too!" I should probably mention that upon entering the store we saw an area for parents to drop their children off so that they could shop in peace. Anyway, we headed for the restaurant...

It appeared that others had entertained the same thought, the place was packed with people. We got in the cafeteria style line and quickly got waited on. I chose the meatball dinner and my husband chose the salmon dinner, both were very reasonably priced. Oh my word! The food was really good. My meatball dinner included five or six meatballs, mashed potatoes and a vegetable dish of carrots and cauliflower. The potatoes and meatballs had a gravy like sauce over them and there was this other stuff next to the meatballs that almost looked like cranberry sauce. Well, I was in heaven! 

I really liked the gravy like sauce that covered my mashed potatoes and some of the meatballs. I said to my husband that I would really like to get some of it to use at home. Turns out, I could get some right there in the store along with frozen meatballs and all sorts of other food items. Who knew, right?

For some reason I only purchased one packet that day. Silly me! I was delighted to see that there is an option to get the cream sauce online!

Oh, and that stuff that looked like cranberry sauce on my plate. First of all, it was extremely good and tasted great when I dipped a piece of meatball in it. It was not a Swedish version of cranberry sauce but instead it was Lingonberry jam. This stuff is awesome! Kind of sweet but also tart much like cranberry sauce. I enjoy it with meat but it is also good on a piece of toast in the morning.

So, here is the deal. If you find yourself close to an IKEA store, you need to go inside. Prepare to spend some time there because there is a lot to see. Treat yourself to some of their food! I'm telling you; you will not be disappointed! By the way, the salmon that my husband had was wonderful. You can buy it frozen in the store, too. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, January 15, 2018

Reviewing Barbacoa Sauce by Frontera

Barbacoa Sauce by Frontera
I have just returned from a camping trip. During that camping trip I used the Red Chili Barbacoa Slow Cook sauce with roasted tomato and chipotle by Frontera. These little packets of sauce are my favorite. I use it in roasts, soups, tacos, quesadillas, and tamales. If you like Mexican foods and Mexican inspired recipes, I think you would like this barbacoa sauce.


Beef Barbacoa Red Chili Slow Cook Sauce


I learned about these sauce packets from my son, who typically likes food that is spicier than what I can tolerate. However, he thought I'd like the flavor of the soups he makes with this sauce, and he was right. It is spicy but not too spicy - the label lists it as "mild". In my opinion (and I am not a chef) it has a smokey, spicy, rich flavor.

He calls them soups, but to me they are thicker and richer, more like a beef stew. We both make these soups with a variety of ingredients; beef, carrots, hominy, potatoes, yams, onions, peppers, and so much more. Basically, you start with a base of beef and the barbacoa sauce, then add what you have on hand.

While camping, I only brought along the packet of barbacoa, and roast, and some potatoes. I slow cooked it in an enameled pan on top of the wood stove. What a wonderfully easy and delicious meal.


Delicious barbacoa roast with potatoes



Frontera Foods


Frontera Foods may or may not sound familiar to you. But the
click for more information
name Chef Rick Bayless may sound more familiar. He appears on a public television cooking show called Mexico - One Plate at a Time
Also, Chef Bayless has written several cookbooks. 

I enjoy watching his shows, I like his recipes, and am very thankful for this sauce that helps me easily create meals with an authentic Mexican flavor. In fact, thanks to a lesson from my son and this wonderful barbacoa sauce, I recently made tamales in my own kitchen. 


Where to Buy Frontera Beef Barbacoa Sauce


I have trouble finding the sauce in the stores local to me. I am fortunate that my son always stocks up on packets and saves them for me. He easily finds them at his local Target store. They are available on Amazon and the Frontera Foods website has a list of participating groceries. My local groceries, that are not on the list, carry the Frontera products in a hit and miss fashion.

Side Notes: 

For more information about The Shack (my current camping trips and my future retirement/homestead plans) take a peek at my blog Treasures, Travel, and Tales. Also, the pan in the photo may look familiar. I purchased it for The Shack and wrote a review about it in February 2016. I still believe that Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey but Worth It. Unfortunately, it looks like these little pans by Martha Stewart are a little more difficult to get. Good thing there are many other brands still easily available.


A few of the cookbooks by Rick Bayless on his Amazon author page



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