Archive for September, 2013

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Think all good food has gone extinct? Think again!

Thanks to Good Boy Organic’s, lunch has become fun again. No need for a time machine: one bite of the certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free cheesy Organicasaurus and you’ll be transported back to the cave man days! Tame your hunger and let your inner dinosaur ROAR! Oh and did we mention it’s also baked and not fried and therefore has 40% less fat than regular corn cheese puffs?

I received a bag of these “cheese puffs” in my September Love With Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I like iced tea with snacks like this, and in the fridge chilling was a pitcher full of this Secret Garden Tea from Kaleisia Tea.  Refreshing and deliciously fruity … a nice contrast to the slightly salty, crunchy cheese snack.

What I Think:

Taste wise, these are basically “cheese puffs.”  Fluffy, crunchy, corn puffs with cheddar cheese flavor, but shaped into fun dinosaur shapes that would be especially appealing to younger children.  Me, personally, I don’t need my cheese puffs to be dinosaur shaped.  Then again, I don’t really eat a whole lot of cheese puffs.

In comparison to the commercial cheese puff that we are probably all most familiar with, these are less cheesy tasting.  My fingertips don’t turn orange when I eat these.  They also don’t feel greasy after handling them, which is a big bonus in my book.  They do have a slightly different taste to them … which I attribute to the baked and not fried aspect of these.

A quick label comparison told me that these have less fat than the commercial cheese puff, and I like that these are organic.  They taste less cheesy, though, and there is noticeably less cheese flavoring on each puff.  Overall, though, I found these to be an enjoyable snack.

My Final Thoughts:  

They’re alright.  I’m not big on snack chips to begin with, and cheese puffs are not something I eat regularly.  But, for an occasional snack, I think I could see myself preferring these over the commercial, mass-produced cheese puff that is readily available everywhere.  I like that its organic, I like that it’s baked and not fried, and overall, it’s a healthier snack choice than your average cheese puff.

Why it is that I love Knoshbox above all other tasting boxes!  It’s because they put forth some EFFORT in their boxes every month!  Sounds simple enough, but, really, it’s so important … at least to me … from a consumer perspective.

???????????????????????????????Every item selected in this month’s box is something that I’m excited to try.  I’ve tried products from Bumble Bar before, but these were energy bars that I really enjoyed so I don’t mind trying them again.  In this month’s box, I received the Peanut and the Cherry flavored Bumble Bars … and since I’ve already tasted and reviewed the Peanut bar (click on the Bumble Bar link to read the review), I won’t review that one again.  But I look forward to trying the cherry one … yum!

Occasionally, Knoshbox does include items that I’m not terribly excited about, but for the most part, there is more items that make me go “Yum!” with enthusiasm than products that make me go “sigh” with disappointment.  But that’s not the only reason why Knoshbox is my favorite box…

Every box has a theme that is apparent not just by reading the product card (which they DO include in every box!)  This month’s theme is “Perfect Pairings.”  On the product card, they suggest foods or beverages with which to pair the products.  So, with every review of these items, I’ll try to remember to mention what it is they recommend pairing that product with … although truth be told, I’ll probably be pairing it with nothing more than a cup (or glass) of tea.

In addition to the aforementioned bumble bars, this box has Rosemary and Olive Oil potato chips from Deep River Snacks, A great big chocolate bar from Olive & Sinclair,  a large basket of Cranberry Hazelnut Crisps from Potter’s Crackers (OK, so I might be looking for an amazing cheese to enjoy with these too.  The product card suggests either a marscapone and goat cheese.   Sounds good to me!), and a package of Orange dried fruit crisps from Simple & Crisp.  These look interesting – they’re thin slices of orange that have been dried!  I look forward to trying these!

A box of yum … that’s what arrived in the mailbox today … thanks to Knoshbox!

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Product Information:

The original Creation is our trademark recipe that offers oven-baked corn with just the right amount of simple caramel, made to perfection. Pure, natural ingredients combined to make a snack that’s deliciously addictive.

I received a pouch of this caramel corn in my July Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed a cup of Dorchester Breakfast Black Tea from Harney & Sons with these Caramel Cosmos Creations.  YUM!  The tea has a natural caramel-y undertone to it, and these caramel snacks brought those notes forward.

What I Think:

Having previously tried the Salted Caramel Corn snacks from Cosmos Creations, I was pretty confident that I’d enjoy these too.  The big difference, of course, is that the salty aspect is missing, and if given the choice, I’d choose the salted caramel.

These are similar to caramel corn … but there is a noticeable difference too – no hulls to get stuck in between your teeth.  Nice.  These … basically taste like Corn Puffs cereal that have been coated with caramel!  YUM!  They aren’t so much popped corn as they are a puffed corn that has been baked with caramel-y goodness.

My Final Thoughts:

I like the crunch of these, I like the sweet corn taste, and I love the delicious caramel coating.  I like that I can munch on these and not encounter unpleasant hulls or unpopped corn.  They are different from caramel corn … but with enough similarities to make you think that’s what you’re eating!

Yes, that’s right, my final goodies box.  I resubscribed to Love with Food, and I really think that two boxes per month is enough for me (and I gotta keep my Knoshbox!) and this … Goodies Box … I hate to say it … but, I’ve come to the realization that it’s just … not up to par with the other boxes that I receive.

???????????????????????????????So, instead of receiving my box from Goodies, I decided to upgrade my Love With Food box to receive their deluxe box every month.  I’m hoping this was a winning decision.

The first thing that I notice with this box is that instead of a card explaining that there will be no product card in the box … there’s just … no card whatsoever.  OK … now, I understand … this is an inexpensive box.  $7 a month … no big deal, right?  But, come on … please make some attempt to make the box special … put more effort into it.  I’d be willing to pay more per month if I felt like there was some effort in these boxes, but I’m just not feeling it anymore.

So, here’s what I received in this month’s box:  a bottle of Acai Grape flavored Pure Life Splash water, a bag of Kashi Hummus Crisps, a pouch of pitted snack olives, a bag of Fuji Red Apple Chips from barefruit, a Zone Perfect bar, a tube of Attiki Honey, and a savory tea (Spinach Chive) from Numi Organics.

Of these items, I will be giving my youngest daughter the snack olives and the apple chips because they’re more up her alley, so I won’t be reviewing these products.  The item I’m looking forward to most (and it probably comes as no surprise) is the savory tea, as I’ve wanted to try Numi’s savory teas ever since I noticed that they are carrying them.  That review will eventually publish on the SororiTea Sisters blog.

The other items, I’ll give ’em a try and publish my thoughts about them when I do.  Anyway … my Knoshbox should arrive soon … and that’s what I’m looking forward to!

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Product Information:

Our all natural peanut butter blended with rich dark chocolate. It’s like a peanut butter cup in a jar! Great on a sandwich, but just as wonderful spooned over ice cream, spread on fruits, or simply eaten out of the jar. It’s equally delicious as an ingredient in your all-time favorite baked goodies like chocolate cake and bread pudding. 

I received a sample of Dark Chocolate Dreams in my February Goodies Box.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I tried this product several different ways.  The first was to slather some on my Toasted Sesame Seed Graham Crackers.  Then, I cut up a Honeycrisp Apple (I love it when my favorite apple is in season!) and dipped the apple into the peanut butter.  Finally, I tried some spread onto the Banana Nut Bread Bakery Crisps from Stacy’s Bake Shop (my review of this product will post soon!)

My overall impression of this product is very good – I like that this is very peanut butter-y … the chocolate is there but it doesn’t overwhelm.  Don’t get me wrong, the chocoholic in me is all about as much chocolate as possible, but, the parent in me is more inclined to purchase this product for my daughter knowing that there’s at least some peanut butter goodness to this.  It is sweet, creamy, peanut-y, and salty.  Luscious!

On the graham crackers, this peanut butter is insanely good.  I love the way the salty and sweet interact this way.  The salty really comes out to “play” on these graham crackers, and I like the way the chocolate tastes with the salty notes.

On the apple, I found that the sweetness came out more.  I liked how the juiciness of the apple kept my mouth from feeling dry from the peanut butter.  But my favorite way to enjoy this chocolate-y peanut butter – by far! – is atop the banana nut bread crisps.  My favorite way to enjoy peanut butter is with bananas, and then to add chocolate to it … it was heaven.  YUM!

My Final Thoughts:

I think I’m going to pick up a jar of this the next time I see it on a grocery shelf.  My daughter, who is a nutella fan, would really enjoy this, I think!   And I’m envisioning how good this will taste on a peanut butter, banana and marshmallow cream sandwich.  Oh … goodness … just the thought of that is enough to send me to a very happy place!

CastletonGraham

Photo from Knoshbox.
Click on the Pic to go there.

Product Information:

Castleton Crackers does it again! These all natural, hand made crackers are unlike any graham you’ve had before; toasted sesame seeds are baked in to create a unique, nutty flavor that will tempt you to devour the entire box.

I received a box of these crackers in my July Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I’ve been on a bit of a chai kick lately … probably because the cooler weather of autumn inspires it!  When I enjoyed these crackers as is … I chose to prepare a chai latte using this Star Anise Masala Chai from Blue Lotus Chai.  I loved the way the spicy chai contrasted with the salty sweet crackers.  When I ate these crackers as S’mores, I went with something more basic, like this Lapsang Souchong from the English Tea Store.  This was a perfect pairing, because the smokiness of the Lapsang gave the gourmet S’more made with the roaring heat of the broiler in my oven a bit of that campfire authenticity.  Yum!

What I Think:

These are crazy good!  They have the naturally sweet taste of a graham cracker, with a savory salty note and nutty sesame seeds.

They are crunchy and tasty … and they satisfy not only that hunger that tends to have one grabbing for cracker snacks, but they also satisfy one’s craving for both salty and sweet.  These are really unlike any graham cracker I’ve ever tried.  I like that they’re not too salty – just a delicate sprinkling of salt to these.  And they’re not too sweet – the salt cuts through some of the sweetness to bring balance and deliver a not-too-sweet sort of snack.

I’ve sampled these a couple of different ways.  First, I tried them right out of the package with a cup of tea.  They were very good that way.  Then I tried them with some cheese spread.  The saltiness of the cheese brought out the more savory qualities of the cracker but did not completely overpower the sweeter side of the graham.  This made for a very unique and tasty experience.

Finally, I decided to get out the Elephant Ear Marshmallows from 240Sweet that was also included in this box, and I roasted the marshmallows atop some chocolate which I placed on a couple of the larger crackers in the box for a unique twist on s’mores.  Yummy!  Using these crackers as the base of s’mores (especially when a sugary marshmallow like the Elephant Ear Marshmallows are used) is when I really got to appreciate the salty notes of the cracker … It was a salty sweet TREAT!

I also tried these with some Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. and it was out of this world good.  (My review for this chocolate peanut butter will be posted tomorrow!)  Again, I liked the way the salty and sweet interacted here.

My Final Thoughts:

However you choose to serve these … these crackers are really good.  The best graham crackers I’ve ever tasted.  I was reading the box and noticed that they also have lemon ginger flavored graham crackers … those sound insanely good, too!  I think I’m going to have to try those at some point!  Maybe Knoshbox will be good to me and have a lemon themed box someday … and include these as part of that box.  Hey … Knoshbox, are you listening?

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Product Information:

Stacy’s Bake Shop Bakery Crisps are made from bread that is twice baked to create a flavorful, crispy snack.

Bake Shop Bakery Crisps can be enjoyed by themselves or with dips and toppings to accompany any snacking occasion. These versatile snacks are appropriate throughout the day, whether as a mid-morning snack with coffee or an end-of-day treat.

Learn more about these Bakery Crisps here.

Tea Suggestion:

These Vanilla Pound Cake Bakery Crisps make a really, REALLY great tea time snack.  I enjoyed them with a chai latte that I made using this Strong Brew Chai Concentrate from Chico Chai.  Delicious – and I liked how the vanilla notes of the crisps brought out the vanilla notes in the chai!

What I Think:

???????????????????????????????This product has been catching my eye lately in the grocery store, and when one of the grocery stores offered a dollar off coupon, I decided that I’d try them.

Basically, they’re like a snack cracker/cookie that has been made by thinly slicing bread and then baking them until they’re crisp.  They come in several different intriguing flavors – two sweeter varieties:  this Vanilla Pound Cake and also Banana Nut Bread (I got a box of this flavor too, so I’ll be reviewing it at a later time), and two varieties that are on the savory side:  Herbed Baguette and Pretzel Bread.  The store where I purchased these two boxes only had the two sweeter crisps, so, those were what I grabbed … but I think even if all four were offered, I would have definitely grabbed a box of this Vanilla Pound Cake.  It just sounded too yummy.

And these are really tasty.  They are crunchy and sweet, reminiscent of a butter shortbread cookie, but a little sweeter.  I really like the texture, because in addition to the crunchy … there is this fine … buttery texture to it that evokes thoughts of … well, of a rich, buttery pound cake.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these.  They make a great tea time treat.  I also served some of these to my youngest daughter and her best friend and they both really enjoyed them. I can definitely see myself buying these again … and again!