Archive for May, 2012

Product Description:

These yummy cookies are topped with shredded coconut and cocoa nibs. Cookies are dehydrated at 105 degrees.

Learn more about Sunna’s Cookies on her website.

Tea Suggestion:

This cookie make a deliciously different tea time treat.  Since this is a locally made treat, I decided to go for a locally acquired tea, so I brewed a cup of Buddha’s Delight from Mint Tea to enjoy with this, and it was a delightful moment of tea and cookie.  The warm spices of the tea paired nicely with the sweet coconut and dates.

What I Think:

So many things about this cookie make me happy.  I am happy that it is a handcrafted, local food item (it was in my Portland Tasting Box, so it better be local, right?) and I am happy that Sunna’s Cookies is a company that sells its wares on Etsy.  I love that Foodzie is helping Etsy sellers gain some exposure.  I’m happy that this is a raw and vegan food, although I’m not exactly sure why, because I’m neither vegan nor a raw-food foodie.  I think that it just makes me feel good to know that this is might be healthy, or at least, it seems like it might be given that it is a raw, vegan food item.  Those terms make me think “health food.”  But mostly, what makes me happy about this cookie is that it is chocolate!

YUM!  This is really good.  I love the texture, it’s a bit like eating raw cookie dough – it’s soft and moist and chewy.  And really, who doesn’t love raw cookie dough?  The chocolate is rich and the coconut adds sweetness and it’s own, distinctive flavor.  I can taste the dates in there, and the walnuts give it a moment of crunch every once in a while.

It doesn’t taste exactly like cookie dough, because, well, the pastry dough part of it is not there.  Instead this is a bit more like one of those health food power bars, only I am enjoying it much more than I do most of those commercially made bars you can find at most grocery stores.  It tastes delicious, and it is really satisfying. I felt hungry before I tore into this cookie, and now, I feel satiated.

My Final Thoughts: 

When I first received this cookie, even though it is chocolate (and coconut!) and even though it’s a locally handcrafted food, I wasn’t too sure about the vegan and raw part, mostly because I don’t think I’ve ever had a “raw” cookie except for raw cookie dough and this didn’t seem like it was going to be that.  But one bite had me convinced.  I really like these … I’ll have to get these again and maybe try the other flavors!

Photo from Foodzie. Click on the photo to go there.

Product Description:

Made from chickpea flour, sesame seeds and spices, we fell in love with this spicy, South Indian version of chow mein noodles. Grab them by the handful or throw them into your favorite soup.

Learn more about SCL Marketing on their website.

These crispy noodles can be purchased on Foodzie for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

You’ll want iced tea and LOTS of it with these spicy, crunchy snack noodles.  I brewed some of this Lemon-Lime Meringue flavored Kukicha from 52Teas and chilled it, but if you don’t have any of this amazing tea on hand (this VIT flavor has since sold out), I guess any delicious iced tea will do.  I’d recommend something light and refreshing, to help counter the incredible spice of these noodles.

What I Think:

I think I’m in love, that’s what I think!

These are incredible.  I love that they are inspired by the spices of India, and not just doused with a heavy amount of powdered hot chili spice.  I can taste the curry in these, and I love that!

At first glance, they look pretty harmless.  In fact, what they look like are the chow mein noodles that I enjoy snacking on.  They’re a little thinner, perhaps, than the kind I find packaged in a can in the grocery store, but other than that, they look just like the same noodle.  They even pack the same crunch as those noodles … but with the Indian spices, they sure don’t taste like those noodles I’m used to.  These really deliver a seriously spicy blow to the palate!

But it’s not just spicy, there’s some complexity within it, and I think that’s what I’m enjoying most of all.  The heat isn’t the type of heat that keeps your mouth on fire, after a few moments (and a swig of iced tea), the heat tapers and then I notice hints of nutty taste from the chickpea and sesame seeds.

My Final Thoughts:

These are incredibly tasty – but certainly not for wimps!  These would make great toppings for a fresh garden salad or perhaps a creamy tomato soup (YUM!) but, that’s only if you can stop eating them long enough to actually use them for something other than right out of the package snacking.

Since my husband has started eating (and enjoying!) Thai food, I jump on just about every Thai restaurant voucher that LivingSocial offers … That’s how I discovered Mee-Sen Thai Eatery. 

The Crying Tiger Salad

Location:  3924 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR

Order:  My husband ordered the chicken Pad Thai ($9), and I was feeling brave enough to try the Crying Tiger Salad ($14) from their specials menu.

What I Think:

The decor of the Mee-Sen Thai Eatery is very rustic … in fact, it what it reminds me of is what one might find as a seating area outside a food cart.  It almost seemed a little too rustic … like they were trying too hard to capture a certain atmosphere, but not quite getting there.

But really, the decor is the only thing about Mee-San that I found a little disappointing.  The food is AMAZING.  My husband enjoyed his Pad Thai, although it wasn’t his favorite Pad Thai that he’s had (he’s had it from three different establishments now), but he liked it.

But the Crying Tiger Salad!  OH MY!  This is a romaine salad, topped with red onion, scallions, cilantro, Kaffir leaves, roasted chili, and lime juice, and then smothered with a thinly sliced, marinated rib eye steak.

First of all, let me say that you should only attempt to eat this if you’ve the palate for spicy food.  If you wear make-up, you should wear waterproof make-up when you eat this stuff.  It makes not only the tiger cry but had me weeping as well.

It as an explosion of flavor … not just hot and spicy, but, after the hot and spicy notes began to subside, my palate was treated to sweet and sometimes sour notes.  The spicy often prevailed, of course.  This was easily the most flavorful, interesting, and exciting salad I’ve ever had.

It was not only an exploration of flavors but also of textures.  The steak was super tender, it seemed to melt in my mouth.  The vegetables were crisp, and a side of sticky jasmine rice came along with the salad.  I found this to be especially nice at cooling the palate a little so that I could enjoy the other flavors of the salad.

My Final Thoughts:

If you like Thai Food, you really MUST try Mee-Sen.  Just writing this post and reliving the memories of the food there makes me want to go back.  The food is absolutely delicious.

Mee-Sen Thai Eatery on Urbanspoon

Photo from Foodzie. Click on the photo to go there.

Product Description:

A long time French favorite, the pâte de fruit is a little jewel-like confection bursting with fruit. The deep dark purple color comes from the local marionberry, a sweeter, juicier version of the common blackberry.

Learn more about Willamette Valley Confectionery on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed these yummy confections over the course of a couple of days, and tried them with different teas over these samplings.  Two different teas stood out as an outstanding pairing.  First, I recommend this Organic Gurance from Butiki Teas.  These fruity candies gave an interesting dimension to the malty tones of the tea and really accented the fruit notes of the tea as well.  The second tea I’d recommend is this delicious Sweet Roast Green Tea from Mauna Kea Tea.  The toasty notes of the tea added an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the confection.

What I Think:

If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to read more about this product.  If you don’t really care for the sweet stuff, this may not be the treat for you.

That is my way of stating up front that these are incredibly sweet.  Almost too sweet.  They are covered in sugar, and with my first bite, it almost felt like I was biting into a sugar cube.

But, that’s not to say that I dislike these, because I do like them.  But they are really sweet, and I can’t eat more than two or three at any one time.  After that, I can begin to really feel the sugar on my teeth.

All that being said …  these are also an incredible tribute to the Marionberry.  Inside the coating of sugar lies a gelled mash-up of Marionberries, and that part of these confections tastes just like the berry.  If the sugar were somehow removed from the confection, you’d have a pure Marionberry flavor.  I even came across a seed or two, and even though I’m not particularly fond of berry seeds because they tend to get stuck between my teeth, I didn’t find these to be bothersome, and seemed to lend some authenticity to the candy.  That is to say, it allowed me to somehow justify eating these sweet treats, because at least part of this was fruit-like.

My Final Thoughts:

Even though they are very sugary, I find these to be enjoyable in small amounts.  My interest is piqued at some of the other varieties of pâte de fruit that Willamette Valley Confectionery offers.  Right now, it appears that they have a “City of Roses” basket of fruit, which is rose infused pear pâte de fruit.  Sounds yummy!

Picture from Foodzie. Click on the Photo to go there!

Product Description:

For a spicy snack, we went straight to the source. Whole jalapenos are sliced thin, fried and sprinkled with sea salt. Don’t be fooled by its mild beginnings, it takes a few seconds after the first crunch and then bam, you’re hit with the heat.

Learn more about Deano’s Jalapeños on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

With these HOT snacks, I recommend iced tea … a LOT of it!  I recommend an iced white tea with these, because white tea tends to have cooling properties, something that definitely benefits the mouth and body after popping a few of these in your mouth!   Try a Silver Needle tea, like this Organic Silver Needle from Teavivre.  It is light, crisp, and very refreshing!

What I Think:

WOWZA!  These Jalapeño Chips take the idea of jalapeño flavored potato chips one spicy, and possibly one healthier, step further.  Eliminating the potato all together, Deano’s thinly slices the peppers themselves and fries them up until they’re crisp and then lightly salts them with sea salt.

And they are indeed spicy.  But they also have some sweetness to them too … I can taste the fruity element to the pepper.  This delicate sweetness is often overpowered by the sheer heat of the pepper, but, I like that every once in a while, my palate takes notice of the sweet notes.

I love the texture of these.  They have been sliced so thin – making them light and crisp – but yet they pack such a wallop of INTENSE heat and flavor.

My Final Thoughts:

These are so addicting!  Yeah, the spiciness of the pepper has me breaking out into a sweat, my eyes continuing to well up as tears are running down my face and my mouth is ON FIRE, but, I am still finding myself reaching for the bag for MORE.

I absolutely love these!

Product Information:

Saigon cinnamon and granulated sugar coat a Very Vanilla Bean puff.

Learn more about 240Sweet on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I love the combination of cinnamon and chocolate, so I couldn’t resist brewing some of this Organic Chocolate “O” from The Tea Spot to sip with these marshmallows.  It was a perfect choice.  The tea is rich and chocolate-y, and the Saigon cinnamon gave this treat a perfectly warm, spicy taste that contrasted with the sweet of the marshmallow and the tea so nicely.  YUM!

What I Think:

240Sweet has quickly become my favorite source for handcrafted marshmallows.  Why?  Because they have such an amazing assortment of flavors, and every marshmallow that I’ve tried from them thus far has been so remarkably fresh and fluffy and absolutely delicious!

Their Elephant Ear Marshmallows – at first glance – appear to be nothing more than vanilla marshmallows dredged in cinnamon and sugar.  But the chefs at 240Sweet chose to use Saigon Cinnamon, so the cinnamon flavor is strong and adds a zesty warmth to the puff.  What I really like, though, is how the cinnamon offers a nice contrast to the sweetness of the puff… making these so irresistible!

My Final Thoughts:

YUM!  I’ve tried a few of the marshmallow offerings from 240Sweet and I think that these are my favorites so far.  The contrast between spicy and sweet is absolutely amazing.

I just couldn’t resist this Foodzie box.  I do love to take a walk on the hot side, and there were just so many uniquely spicy items that I had to check out this box.  And now that it’s here, I am really impressed by it. 

This month’s box includes two different Mango Fruit Leather selections from Heat Sweets, Muruku Crispy Noodles from SCL Marketing (a local company … well, fairly local, it’s in Albany, Oregon), Chile de Arbol Powder from Whole Spice, Chile Crunch from Chile Colonial, Jalapeno Chips from Deano’s Jalapenos, and Sultry Sauce from Torchbearer Sauce.  An awesome selection.

Just a couple of side thoughts/wishes on my part, I think they should have included Secret Aardvark sauce (made in Portland, of course) … it is my absolute FAVORITE hot sauce.  It has replaced Tabasco sauce in my pantry.

Other wishes for this box include chocolate (I do love spicy chocolate!) and some tea would be nice too, there are a lot of spicy teas out there that could have been appropriate for this theme!

But these wishes aside, I am very impressed with this box and its inclusions.  Emily and Rob explained their inspiration behind this box like this:

If you’ve hung around Foodzie long enough, you’ve probably heard us talking about one of our all-time team favorites, the famous Chile Crunch.  It’s a spicy Mexican condiment of arbol chiles mixed in with toasted garlic and onions, and oil.  We use it daily in our kitchen and sound the alarm when we’ve reached the bottom of the jar.  You could say we’re sorta obsessed.  We wanted to share it so badly we crafted a box around it.  From the sweet heat of mango habanero and jalapeno fruit leathers to the crunch of Muruku Hot & Spicy Indian Crunchy Noodles, these products bring the heat. ~Emily & Rob

I have to admit that the Chile Crunch is one of the products in this box that made me want it so badly.  That and the Jalapeno Chips.  Those two were the ones that hooked me, but, I’m excited to try all of these.

Watch for reviews of the individual items as I taste them!  Thanks again, Foodzie!