Archive for January, 2013

plantainchipsProduct Description:

These savory treats are made from freshly harvested plantains, a fruit that is kinda like a starchy banana. Turbana lovingly hand-peels each plantain, slices them into thin coins, and crisps them in veggie oil using a cooking process that ensures minimal oil absorption.

I received a sample bag of these chips in my January Love with Food box, and you can learn more about ordering this product on the Love with Food website.

Tea Suggestion:

I generally like iced tea with salty snacks like this one (makes it easier to gulp down … salt makes me thirsty!) but, I found these to be quite tasty with  a lovely cup of jasmine pearls tea, specifically, this Fragrant Pearl Jasmine Green Tea from Life in Teacup.  Something about the soft, exotic flavor of the jasmine just went so nicely with the starchy taste of the plantain.

What I Think:

Looking at these, you might expect them to taste like banana.  And the first time I tried a plantain, that’s what I expected … and I was surprised to find that they really don’t taste a lot like banana.  There are … hints of a banana-like taste there, but they taste more starchy … imagine a russet potato and a banana having a love child.  That would be closer to what I experience when I taste these chips.  They taste starchy like a russet potato … and this is what I taste most.  That starchy, fluffy taste of a baked russet potato, captured in a very crispy chip.  But there are hints … of something else in there too … something vaguely fruit-like.

I really like these … they are very thin … thinner than other plantain chips I’ve tasted in the past, and this gives them more of a potato chip-like taste … very light and crisp.  Not really oily or greasy … although in the thinnest of the chips, I can taste hints of oil. But they don’t leave a greasy residue – I usually test this by putting chips on a piece of paper … and usually with fried chips, I can see some tiny spots of grease … sometimes more than just tiny spots.  But with these, absolutely no grease spots … tiny or otherwise.  Impressive.

They are saltier than I’d expect from a “lightly salted” chip, and while I  don’t find this off-putting, I don’t think I would want to try something with more salt.  These have plenty of salt!

My Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed these a lot, and while I haven’t tried a lot of plantain chips (not even quite a few) … maybe fewer than a handful of different brands/varieties … this particular variety and brand is my favorite.  The main reason is the fact that they are so cut so thin, and they are fried in such a way that they aren’t greasy.  So, I get a deliciously thin, crispy chip that is not at all greasy in taste or feel.  If I had to change anything, I’d lighten up on the salt a wee bit more.  I liked them as they were, but, I think I’d have enjoyed them even more with a little less salt.


Actually … it’s been here for a while.  I have been dealing with some personal issues, so I haven’t been writing a whole lot for my blog.  Sorry about the absence … but hopefully, I can get a few posts written and try to get caught up.  Who am I kidding … getting caught up at this point is a lost cause!  ha!  I’ll just roll with it.

I really am liking these little boxes from Love with Food.  I think I might keep these boxes going after my three month trial subscription expires.  I’ll see what next month’s box offers, and make a more definitive decision … but for now, I’m happy with what I’m getting from this company.


The International Delights product card … the same image appears on both sides … that’s the error. The other side usually has a list of the products in the box.

The theme for this month’s box is “International Delights” and what a delightful box it is.  Shortly after receiving the email notification that my box had shipped, I also received an email notification telling me that there was an error with the product card in the box.  Apparently the printer made an error with the printing of the card, and it wasn’t caught until it was too late, and the products were not actually listed on the box.

But that’s not a big deal.  The email listed the products that we received, and that’s good enough for me. I do enjoy the cards, but, they are certainly secondary to the food!  This month’s box includes:  Lightly Salted Plantain Chips from Turbana (which I’ve already consumed, and the review for them will publish tomorrow!), Almond Anise Biscotti from Biscotti di Suzi (Yum!), two tiny chocolates from New Tree (Cinnamon Milk Chocolate and Belgian Biscuit Dark Chocolate), Apple Strawberry Applesauce from GoGo Squeez, Firecracker Chocopod from Chuao Chocolatier (seriously, this is one of my favorite chocolates out there, I was so thrilled to see it in my box!), Shortbread Tea Cookies from Kyotofu (having tried some of their goodies before, I was very happy to find these in the box too), and finally Tiger Spice Chai from David Rio.  Yes… that’s right … TEA!  (PLUS tea shortbread cookies!)

Like I said, I am very happy with this box … this one has definitely won me over!  I couldn’t wait to start digging in … so like I said, I’ve already started in on the plantain chips!  Watch for that review tomorrow!  To learn more about Love With Food, click here.

petitamusejanWell … actually, it arrived a couple of days ago.  It had been mis-routed, the postal carrier delivered it to the wrong house … fortunately, I have honest neighbors and they brought me the box. 

If you’re interested in receiving a box of gourmet samples delivered to your door every month, learn more here.

This month’s box brought me samples of four different products:  a pouch of Original Granola from Oat Cuisine, two items from La Vigne Organics – Dried Persimmon Slices and Kumquat Fruit Leather, and a Porky Pop from Black Pig Bacon.  (As in a bacon lollipop!  Yes!)

I’ve previously reviewed the Kumquat Fruit Leather, so I won’t review that one again, but I did enjoy it so I’m looking forward to enjoying it again.  As for the rest of these goodies, I can’t wait to get started!

cookies2Product Description:

These Jam Sandwich cookies will remind you of holiday baking with your family. The cookie sampler brings you four incredible flavors to try: raspberry lemon, blackberry lime, marionberry rosemary sea salt, and strawberry balsamic marjoram.

I received this sampler basket of cookies in my December Knoshbox; additional sampler baskets can be purchased for a limited time in Knoshbox’s Market.

Tea Suggestion:

I love shortbread cookies with a cup of good, hot black tea, and this English Breakfast tea from Butiki Teas proved to be just the right choice!  The richness of the tea together with the buttery, sumptuous flavor of the cookies was just heavenly!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness!  Is there anything better than a buttery shortbread cookie?  I think – other than peanut butter blossoms – that shortbread might just be my favorite kind of cookie.  And really, peanut butter blossoms are my favorite for sentimental reasons – they remind me of gramma.

But when it comes to the taste my palate craves, it’s butter shortbread cookies all the way!  I just love them.  So rich and delicious … I love the way the cookie just sort of crumbles over the palate and then seems to melt on the tongue, tasting of deliciously sweet butter.  YUM!

So, needless to say, I was thrilled when this cute little basket filled with four shortbread cookies … and because these are jam sandwich cookies that means double the shortbread pleasure.  And with a bakery name like Butter + Love, the buttery part of the shortbread is implied, isn’t it?  I knew I was in for a rich, buttery treat!

From the top, clockwise: Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt, Raspberry Lemon, Strawberry Balsamic Marjoram, and Blackberry Lime

The first thing I notice about this sampler is that each of the four cookies are different, so, I consult the Butter + Love website to find out which one was which!  Here are my thoughts on each cookie:

Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt:  This cookie is a culinary experience in savory and sweet.  The marionberry jam is sweet with just a hint of tartness to it.  I like that I am not noticing a lot of seeds from the marionberry jam here.  The rosemary is baked right in to the cookie, and it delivers a savory taste to the otherwise sweet, almost creamy taste of the shortbread.  Slightly resinous and woodsy tasting, I think that the rosemary gives this gourmet treat an almost rustic kind of taste.  The touch of sea salt here adds not so much of a salty taste (there is a bit of that too, though), and acts more to accentuate the flavors.  It brings out the buttery taste of the shortbread and marionberry and rosemary.

Blackberry Lime:  This was the next cookie I grabbed from the basket.  Another love at first bite!  Here I am able to notice the texture of the cookie better, I think, and I realize that these are not “golden brown” but quite pale.  They look like they might even be slightly underbaked, although they do not taste like it.  No doughy taste, they taste as though they’ve been perfectly cooked.  But what this pale color means is that there is very little crunch or crispy snap to the cookie, instead, it is soft and crumbly.  I like!  I like!  It tastes very fresh and I love the soft texture.  And the blackberry and lime is a compelling contrast of sweet and tart.  A well conceived combination of flavors.

Strawberry Balsamic Marjoram: YUM!  I love this sampler … every single cookie is like a new adventure.  The one thing in common between the four cookies is the cookie itself … the buttery shortbread.  But for the two square cookies – this and the Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt cookie – there are other ingredients added to the shortbread.  Here, the addition is marjoram.  The marjoram gives the cookie a slightly citrus-y undertone with just a hint of woodsy flavor.  The strawberry balsamic jam is delightfully sweet and tart, and I like that the balsamic is just a hint of flavor, acting more to accentuate the strawberry rather than take on a big presence of its own… except in the aftertaste, where I notice the balsamic more.  This was a really yummy cookie.

Raspberry Lemon: I saved this one for last because I had a feeling it would be my favorite … I love lemon cookies, and I love the combination of raspberry and lemon.  This is delightful!  The raspberry gives just a little bit of sweetness, and the lemon brightens the whole cookie.

My Final Thoughts: 

While the Raspberry Lemon was my favorite of the bunch, I loved every single one of these cookies … and I don’t know that I’d choose one over another!  I’d want to get all four of them again … these are definitely going on my re-order list!


photo from 479°
Click on the pic to go there

Product Description:

Indulgence doesn’t have to be guilty — especially when it comes in our 100-calorie single serving packs. Now you can enjoy a delicious treat of air-popped organic popcorn coated with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt. No regrets!

I received this pouch of Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn in my Love with Food tasting box for December.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed this popcorn with a cup of this Japanese Black tea from Tealet.  I liked the way the cocoa notes of the tea brought out the sweetness of the caramel.  It made for a decadent treat at tea time!

What I Think:

What do I think?  YUM … of course!

I love caramel, I love salted caramel even more.  And this Sea Salt Caramel popcorn from 479° proves to be my favorite popcorn from 479° so far.  I mean, I’ve tried a few different popcorn flavors form 479° … and some I’ve liked, and some I found just alright.  But this … this is AWESOME!

There is just the perfect amount of sea salt on these fluffy, crispy popcorn kernels that are well coated with caramel.  I like that it doesn’t just cut through some of the sweetness to lighten the sweet notes a little, but, I can taste enough salty taste to make this a true salty-sweet snack.  And a deliciously satisfying crunch, too!

My Final Thoughts:

What I liked best about this, really, is that I found it to the sweet point before I finished the 1 ounce pouch that I received in my tasting box from Love with Food.  I didn’t feel like I over-indulged.  I felt like I got just enough salty-sweet flavor without feeling guilty after I munched on this treat … and my sweet-tooth was satisfied after consuming only 50 calories!  That doesn’t happen often … and I love it … and I love this popcorn!

saltvinegarProduct Description:

Made from nutrient-rich cassava, these gluten-free chips contain 30% less fat than regular potato chips. With an unforgettable crunch and an abundance of tempting flavors, Wai Lana Chips are a uniquely delicious, all-natural snack.

Learn more about Wai Lana on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

With these zesty chips, I highly recommend iced tea!  You’ll want something that quenches the thirst and washes over the palate to ready it for more!  I brewed some of this Red Vineyard tea from Fusion Teas and let it cool, and I loved how the sweet fruity notes contrasted with the sharp acidic tones of the vinegar and the salty taste in these chips.  A really delicious snack!

What I Think:

Oh goodness … these just may be my favorite Wai Lana Chips thus far.  I love Sea Salt and Vinegar flavored chips anyway, because I love that tangy, sour vinegar-y taste together with the salt.  And that is coming from someone who normally shies from sour flavors, but all bets are called off when it comes to vinegar.  I became a huge vinegar fan when I was young … my gramma used to add a splash of vinegar to green beans when she served them to me, and this is the way I prefer to eat this vegetable now … and let’s not forget the malt vinegar sprinkled over french fries (chips?) like they do at H. Salt Fish & Chips.

And even though these chips aren’t made from the humble potato, but the Cassava (Yucca) root, they sure do the distinctive flavors of vinegar and salt proud!  These are tangy and delicious.  The yucca root notes are mild with the stronger flavors of vinegar and sea salt, but, it does taste different than a potato chip.  It has more of a savory flavor, and I like the way this melds with the other flavors.  I prefer these over salt and vinegar potato chips!

My Final Thoughts:

As I’ve professed with my previous reviews of the Wai Lana Chips, I’m a sucker for the texture of the Cassava chips.  Here, the slightly savory, very mild onion-ish kind of taste of the cassava works so well with the flavors of tangy vinegar and salt.  I love these.

Just when I thought that the Goodies Box had gotten their act together and the boxes were going to start arriving a little sooner rather than later … the December Box arrives on January 2.  Yeah, I know that the holidays and the slow delivery this time of year could have been the reason for the hold up, I get that, but, really?  Did Christmas and New Years come as a surprise to anyone?  These two holidays arrive the same time every year, and I think some careful planning could have helped to avoid such a late delivery.

goodiedecBetter late than never?  Yeah, I suppose, except that they never are late to charge the account for the box, you know?

Anyway, now that I’m finished grumbling, let’s explore this month’s [err… last month’s] Goodies Box, shall we?  This month’s theme is “Naughty or Nice” according to the card in the box, and the box includes some familiar favorites as well as some new goodies that I am really confident that I’ll enjoy.

On the more familiar side are two Sun Cups from Seth Ellis Chocolatier:  one mint and one sunflower butter.  Since I’ve previously reviewed these delightful confections, I won’t review them again, but, even though I have tried these before, it doesn’t mean that I’m disappointed to find them in this month’s box.  These are seriously yummy!  I think it was with these delicious Sun Cups that I discovered just how yummy sunflower butter really is!

Also in this month’s box are a bag of Cinnamon Apple Chips from Bare Fruit, Chocolate Mint Cookies from World Table, an Oatcake from Effie’s Homemade, Garden Veggie Crisps from EatSmart Naturals, and Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn from Rocky Mountain Popcorn!  YUM!

Another deliciously assembled box from Goodies Co.  I look forward to tasting each and every one of these Goodies!