Archive for February, 2013

I was pleasantly surprised with the early arrival of this month’s Goodies box, especially after having received January’s box in early February.  I actually received the box earlier this week!  Nice!


I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really mind a whole lot when the box arrives late.  Better late than never, right?  But I do find it a little upsetting that they’re never late at charging my account for the monthly subscription, and when the box arrives late every month, it gets a little … old.  You know what I’m saying?  So it was nice that this box arrived earlier than I was expecting it to.

The theme of this month’s box is “Better Together” – which explores some classic food pairings as well as some unique new flavor combinations.  Inside the box, I found two samples of Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter & Company, a pouch of chickpea snacks from Nutty Bean ChickPz, a pouch of Yogurt Pretzels from SnackWells (I’ve already devoured these – so there will be no individual review for them.  But they were tasty.  Not as tasty as chocolate covered pretzels, then again, keep in mind that I am a chocoholic!), a bag of Plentils Crunchy Lentil Chips from Enjoy Life, a bag of Chips Ahoy Chewy Chocolate Chip with Reese’s from Nabisco (I also ate these cookies already … and of course they were yummy, but, they were rather “commercial” – you know?  Nothing really special.  Something I can buy off the grocery store shelf.) and something that I’ve tried before:  Bacon Popcorn from J & D’s.  But I’m not complaining because I enjoyed it, and this gives me an opportunity to review it for the blog.

Some nice choices for this box.  Some of these items I’ve not tried before so I’m looking forward to trying them.

???????????????????????????????Product Description:

Hearty multi-grain pita chips make the perfect partner for creamy hummus in this deliciously portable snack pack that needs no refrigeration. The classic Mediterranean dip, made with chickpeas, sesame paste and a hint of lemon is healthy and all-natural.

I received this “snack kit” box in my January Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I recommend a sweet, vegetative green tea to go with hummus and pita chips!  This Lin Yun Green Tea from Infussion is perfect!  A delightfully refreshing tea to serve with this snack.

???????????????????????????????What I Think:

This is a fun snack kit.  Inside the box is a bag of pita chips and an easy-to-squeeze tube of hummus.

The multi-grain pita chips are very crunchy and dense.  They look to me like they were made from real pita bread … they’re thick and dense like that.  The flavor is hearty and nutty, with a nice saltiness.  Not too much salt … but enough to enhance the overall flavor of the chip.

???????????????????????????????I probably wouldn’t want to eat these on their own though.  The thickness is really kind of difficult to get past without the dip.  They aren’t enjoyable to snack on without the dip.  With the hummus dip, though, this becomes a really enjoyable snack.  The hummus dip is smooth and creamy … and I like that there is enough dip in this little tube to generously cover each of the pita chips in the bag … I’m not left with a lot of extra pita chips and no dip to enjoy with them.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this snack kit.  I think I probably would have preferred a little something in the hummus dip, since I usually prefer a roasted pepper or a garlic flavored hummus as opposed to the plain or traditional hummus.  This is good, but, I think that a roasted pepper or garlic flavored hummus would have been even better.  Good, but not awesomely great.

???????????????????????????????Product Description:

Spinach, tomato and potato put a healthy spin on a traditionally not-so-healthy snack. Made with natural, wholesome ingredients, no preservatives or additives and 40% less sodium than regular potato crisps, these are chips you can feel good about eating.

I received a bag of these veggie crisps in my December Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because I really wanted to focus on the flavors of these Veggie Crisps, I chose a pure White Tea … this White Peony Tea from thepuriTea turned out to be a nice choice.  While I wasn’t particularly crazy about Veggie Crisps overall, I found that the white tea did help make this tea-time snack a bit more enjoyable.

What I Think:

These colorful crisps make it easy to determine whether you are eating a potato, a tomato, or a spinach crisp.  The potato are a pale, off-white color (like the color of unflavored potato chips), while the spinach are a sage-y green and the tomato are a light shade of orange-y pink.

The potato crisps are kind of boring but then again, when it comes to chips, I’ve been eating the Wai Lana cassava chips and I didn’t realize how boring they made regular potato chips taste!  But even though the potato crisps are a little boring as far as taste, I like their crunch!

The tomato and spinach crisps are equally as crunchy as the potato, but they bring a little more to the party … and that is FLAVOR!  The spinach has a tasty note of spinach to the chip, and after eating two or three without eating any of the others, I find that the spinach flavor multiplies.  It’s a very interesting and unexpected flavor to find in a snack chip.

The tomato is actually a little disappointing … and I suspect this has something to do with the fact that I LOVE tomatoes.  When asked what my favorite fruit is, I will usually respond with “tomato.”  Especially the freshly-picked, homegrown variety that ripen on the vine in the summer sun.  They are so sweet and pleasantly acidic, and I love that contrast.  But I find that these tomato crisps lack that acidic punch.  They have a little bit of tomato flavor, but it’s a bit like drinking watered down tomato juice.  The tomato flavor emerges a little bit after eating more than two or three pink-ish orange colored crisps consecutively, but not really enough where I think “TOMATO!” after I pop one in my mouth.  It’s not a real obvious tomato-y flavor.

My Final Thoughts:

I like the idea of these veggie crisps; I like the concept of a healthier approach to crunchy snack chips.  But, I find these to be just a little … off.  They don’t taste bad, really, but, the potato crisp is kind of boring and well, like a potato chip … and that’s nothing really very original.  The tomato lacks a substantial tomato taste.  The only crisp in this pouch that offers a real unique approach and some interesting flavor is the spinach crisp, and I’m just not that big a fan of spinach to say that this is something I’d buy again.  I’m glad I got to try them, but, am I a big fan?  Not really.

And I’m in love with the food that was sent in my February Love with Food box!

???????????????????????????????This month’s theme is “Sweet and Spicy Valentine’s Day” and they sent me some amazing treats in my box!

Included in this month’s box is a pouch of BobbySue’s Nuts (which I immediately opened and devoured, since I have already tasted and reviewed these yummy salty-sweet-gently spiced nuts!  I was so happy to have these in this box, because they are SO good!)  Also in this month’s box are:

  • two Truffle Piglets from Hagenborg Chocolates
  • Chocolate Madeleines from Donsuemor
  • Fruit Snacks from Funny Face
  • Jer’s Squares Chocolates
  • Pico de Gallo Bean & Rice Chips from Beanfields
  • Nektar Honey Crystals from Nektar Naturals
  • Tomato Basil Sipping Broth from Millie’s Savory Teas (This sounds like one very interesting “tea” blend – I can’t wait to try it!) 

There you have it, a stunning list of goodies from Love with Food.  This is the last month of my pre-purchased subscription that I got through my friend’s Groupon account, so, I’ve been considering whether or not I wanted to cancel this subscription … but, after receiving this box stuffed full of amazing goodies, I’ve decided I’m going to keep this subscription!  Yay!

Watch for reviews of each of these items.  I’ll probably be reviewing the tea broth on the SororiTea Sisters site … so be sure to check that site out as well for that review!

The Pepp from S’more Bakery

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Knoshy, Product Review

???????????????????????????????Product Description:

They’re here! The Peppermint S’mores hand crafted by New York City’s S’more Bakery. Handmade peppermint marshmallows are sandwiched between two dark chocolate + sugar grahams and spread with a layer of semisweet chocolate ganache.

I received a package of these S’mores in my December Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

Since I wanted to really focus on the S’mores goodness here, I decided to go for something simple and straightforward, tea wise.  I chose this Basic Black Tea from Fashionista Tea.  The rich, smooth flavor of the tea made this S’mores treat even more delightful.

What I Think:

Oh my goodness.  These are good!

This is what the s'mores looked like when I took them out of the oven.

This is what the s’mores looked like when I took them out of the oven.

I baked them in my oven at 300 degrees.  The instructions on the back suggested a five minute bake time, so I set my timer for four minutes to check them… and at four minutes, they appeared to be barely warm.  I touched one, and there was no gooey-ness to the marshmallow.  So I set the timer for another two minutes, and when I returned they looked like this!  All melt-y and mooshy.  So messy that if you don’t like to have sticky fingers, you should eat it with a fork … me, I ate the first one with a fork but after that decided that s’mores should be fun so I picked one up and ate it.

Yummy!  These are s’mores, reinvented.  The cookie was soft and chewy, and it tasted a little like a graham cracker, but, I have to admit, I associate much of that crunch of the graham cracker with the graham cracker flavor … so I thought that the graham cracker experience was lacking just a little bit.  And after I finished the s’mores, I found myself thinking that it needed more chocolate (although, interestingly enough, I didn’t find myself thinking that at all while I was devouring them!) … but I really loved the peppermint aspect.  And the marshmallows were sublime!

My Final Thoughts:

These are perfect if you’re not sitting around a roaring fire, roasting marshmallows and able to make the S’mores the traditional way.  Or if you want a gourmet version of the treat.  Or anytime you want something absolutely yummy!  I love these, and I want S’more!  Sure, I found myself wanting more crunch from the graham, and … afterward, I found myself thinking about more of a ooey, gooey chocolate-y experience that you’d get from the traditional S’mores with a chunk of candy bar tucked between the roasted marshmallow and the graham cracker … but, while I was eating it, I was in a S’mores-y heaven.

Crunchy Cinnamon Apple Chips

Crunchy Cinnamon Apple Chips

Product Description:

These 100% natural apple chips are crisp and satisfying. They’re slowly baked in a wood-burning oven to intensify the apple’s natural sweetness, then kissed with a whisper of warm cinnamon. Only 50 calories per serving, no added sugar or preservatives.

I received a sample pouch of these apple chips in my December Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I love these apple chips as a tea-time snack!  The naturally sweet, apple-y taste goes along so well with this Dong Ding Oolong from Far Leaves, because I liked how the cinnamon notes of the chip and the sweet, apple flavor melded with the natural caramel-y undertones of the Oolong. It made for a really lovely treat!

What I Think:

Apple Chips are often a swing and a miss with me, because they are either so thin and wispy that they lack a good, strong, apple-y flavor or when cut thicker, they often lack crunch, making them more like soft, dry fruit chunks rather than something I’d call a chip.

These are great!  They thicker cut – no wimpy, thin cut apple slices here!  And they pack a crunch too!  These taste like apples with a lovely cinnamon accent.  They have a very pleasing, crisp texture that I want when I want a snack chip, and they are sweet and flavorful too.

I did get one or two “chewier” textured chips that were reminiscent of the aforementioned “soft, dry fruit chunks,” but overall, these were a definite HIT with me.

My Final Thoughts: 

Apple Chips are not something I frequently indulge in, primarily for the reasons I mentioned in my first paragraph of this review … I simply haven’t found apple chips that I found to be satisfying in both flavor and crunch.  These Apple Chips from Barefruit offer both sweet, delicious apple-y (and cinnamon-y!) flavor as well as a that great crunch that I look for in a chip-like snack.

January's Knoshbox

January’s Knoshbox

OK, so I’m a lot behind!  I have to update on the two boxes that I’ve received.  I received my January Knoshbox “on time” – that is, about the same time of the month that I usually receive it … but, I haven’t posted about it.

I also received January’s Goodies Box … in February.  I didn’t post about it either … so I’m going to combine my posts for the Knoshbox and the Goodies Box this time around.

The theme for January’s Knoshbox is “Snow Day Snacks,” and included A huge pouch of “Just Good Chocolate” hot cocoa mix.  And when I say “HUGE” I mean it … we’re talking 12 ounces of product!  Also in this box was a full package of Salted Rosemary Shortbread cookies from Lark Fine Foods, which I’ve previously reviewed so I won’t do that again.  These are a favorite of mine so I certainly was happy to have another package of them!

Also in this month’s box is a “Mighty Maca Bar” from Beareded Brothers, and a box of Sea Salt Caramels from Liddabit Sweets.  The Sea Salt Caramels are another product that I’ve reviewed previously, but I’m NEVER going to complain when I get some of these!  They are so good.

January's Goodie Box

January’s Goodie Box

January’s Goodies Box has the theme “New Year, New You” and included seven very tempting goodies.  So, even though I was a little dismayed that it appeared that we AGAIN were receiving late boxes, getting so many goodies in one box for such an affordable price, it’s a little hard to complain, you know?

This month’s box included a Whole Wheat fig bar from Nature’s Bakery, A can of Cascal soda, Strawberry Fruit Chews from Stretch Island (which I’ve already enjoyed – they were delicious!  Sweet and deliciously strawberry, I love that these are made with fruit only … no sugar added!)  Traditional Hummus and Pita Chips snack kit from Wild Garden, Blueberry Granola from Go Nola, Spicy Falafel Chips from Flamous Brands, and a cookie from Skeeter Snacks.

So, another great box from Goodies Company … but, I do wish they’d get their shipping on track.  I think this month might be better, because I’ve already received a notification that the package was shipped.  Let’s hope!

And … of course, another great box from Knoshbox.  No surprise there, Knoshbox is my favorite monthly food box subscription.  If you can only get one box per month … this is the box I’d recommend.  It might cost a bit more, but it is OH so worth it!

Product Description:

light crispy crunch, an artisan update on a nostalgic childhood treat

I received this chocolate bar in my November Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I loved pairing this chocolate bar with Earl Grey teas like this Posh Earl Grey from Lu-Lin Teas.  I love the way the flavor of the dark chocolate enhances the bergamot orange notes from the tea.  It’s really a delicious tea time pairing!

What I Think:

I enjoyed this chocolate bar spread out over many weeks, and I think that’s one of the things I liked best about it.  It was so rich, sweet and chocolate-y (I think 60% cocoa is just the right level for me!) that one small square broken off the bar was more than enough to satisfy my chocolate craving! 

I really wasn’t sure I would like it though … I mean, Quinoa?  Really?  I like quinoa just fine when prepared as a side dish … but in a chocolate bar?  But as it turns out … the quinoa ends up tasting a lot like the crisped rice in a Crunch bar.  It has that same crackly crunch to it, and I find that added texture makes this a very satisfying chocolate bar, indeed.

My Final Thoughts:

I love that this is an organic chocolate bar … I love the snap of the dark chocolate, and the richness of it … and I love the quinoa in it!  I especially loved how satisfying I found just a small piece of the chocolate bar to be … this is something I will definitely purchase again!