Archive for January, 2014

The box actually arrived a few days ago … they aren’t running late, I am!  I know that every month I write out my gushing praise of this company, but, trust me, the gushing praise is well deserved.  I love Knoshy!

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This month’s box was crafted with health in mind – starting the new year off right with healthy snacks!

This month’s box included:  Apple-2-the-core dried apple snacks from Peeled Snacks, an 11 ounce container of Zico Coconut Water, TWO energy bars from Off The Farm (I love Off The Farm bars!), a package of Vampire Killer Kale Chips from Brad’s Raw Foods, a pouch of granola from Purely Elizabeth, and a chocolate bar from Theo Chocolate.  (YES!  Chocolate!)

It would seem that “healthy snacks” seems to be a similar theme with my two boxes that I received this month, but, that’s OK.  However, I would have probably been more thrilled with a tea time box (January IS hot tea month, you know!)  Then again … I’d be thrilled with a tea time box any time.  Ha!

I can’t wait to start knoshing on these boxes!

sourcreamonioncashews

Photo from Graze.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Sour Cream and Onion flavored Cashews.

I received a tray of these cashews in my December Graze Box!

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed these with a tall glass of iced tea, and the iced tea I happened to have chilling in the ice box when I opened up this tray of cashews was this Honey Ginger Flavored Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas.  A very refreshing tea and the sweetness of the honey went along nicely with the savory qualities of these nuts.

What I Think:

I like these.

The flavoring is strong.  It tastes like the same kind of sour cream and onion type flavoring you’d get on a potato chip, only it’s on a lightly salted cashew nut.  And even though the flavoring IS strong, it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the nut.

There is just enough flavoring so that there is no mistake that you’re eating something sour cream and onion flavored … but it also allows the natural sweet, creamy, nutty flavors of the cashew to also come through, so I am able to enjoy both the sweet nutty flavor, the salty notes, the tangy flavor of sour cream and the savory notes of onion in every morsel.  It’s a bit like a flavor explosion – yum!

My Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed these.  I put a “like” on this snack because I certainly wouldn’t object receiving them again.  December’s Graze box has been a BIG winner.

The theme of this month’s Love with Food box is “Wake Up To a New Year!”  And there were so many tasty things to “wake up to” in this box, and I just couldn’t wait to start digging in to some of them…

???????????????????????????????The first thing that I dug into was the bag of Lightly Salted Almonds from Blue Diamond Almonds.  I enjoyed these.  They’re almonds with less salt. No salty residue on my fingers after I ate these, and I also like that the whole bag was just 100 calories!  I don’t know how popular this particular variety of almond would be in my household though … my hubby and daughter are in the bad habit of liking a little bit of food with their salt.

The next thing I tried was the three candies from from Lovely Candies.  These start out with a texture that is similar to Starburst candies, but they taste juicier and fruitier … and less “waxy” than Starburst.  I like these a lot!  These are something I’d definitely like to have again.

???????????????????????????????I’ve also tried the Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies from Home Free.  These are tiny, crunchy little cookies that are gluten-free, whole grain, nut free, and appear to be vegan (no eggs or dairy).  Sadly, they’re also kind of … taste free.  They didn’t taste horrible, but they weren’t tasty either.  They just were … rather boring, and not something that I’d be sad if I never ate again.

I also quickly gobbled up the Organic Berry Berry Chewy Granola Bar from Annie’s Homegrown.  I think what I liked best about this bar is the “berry berry” part – it seems like most of the granola bars that I encounter tend to be focused on chocolate or nuts, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I liked tasting the berries in this bar.  It wasn’t a sticky bar and had a chewy texture and there was some crunch to it too.  A satisfying granola bar.

Other items in this month’s box include:  Multi-Grain Sea Salt Skinny Sticks from Hi I’m Skinny, Banana Split Baby Mama Drama from Mama’s Magic Mix, Orange Fruit Bar from Oskri, Columbia Supremo from Coffee Borsa, Pretzo Change-O and Original Milk Chocolate Squares from Jer’s Chocolates.  I’ll be sampling these items at a later time, and writing individual reviews for them, with the exception of the coffee because I don’t do coffee!  I was able to find this coffee a home with a friend of mine who does enjoy coffee, and she enjoyed this.

This month’s box was jam-packed full of goodies!  Yay!

EspressoChip

The Holiday Trio box has three different cookies in it: to the left is the burnt sugar and fennel cookies, the middle is the salted rosemary, and the right is the espresso chip.

Product Information:

100% whole wheat shortbread with espresso and chocolate chips

I received the Lark Holiday Trio box which included these cookies in my December Knoshy Box!

Tea Suggestion:

When I have shortbread cookies, I like to have a rich black tea to go along with … perfect for dipping!  I chose This English Breakfast Tea from Tea of Life to drink with these cookies.  Yum!

What I Think:

OK, I am not a fan of coffee.  No, that’s not completely accurate.  I used to be a big fan of coffee, but, I realized at some point that it was that morning cup of java that was making me feel ill around 11 am every day.  And what I’m not a big fan of is feeling ill.

So, I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking more tea.  At the time that I was drinking coffee, I was also drinking tea but I was more of an occasional tea drinker.  I fell in love with tea and the rest is history.

So, whenever I’m encountered with stuff that … has coffee or coffee products in it (and espresso is coffee) I tend to be a bit … leery of it.  And so I was leery of these shortbread cookies.  But, I do love the other cookies I’ve tried from Lark so I  was hopeful.

And these are tasty.  A strong coffee taste to them and notes of chocolate.  I wish there was more chocolate but every once in a while, I get a bite with big chocolate flavor and I like that.  I love the texture of these cookies.  Lark manages to nail the shortbread texture perfectly in their cookies.  It’s sort of flaky and layer-y and buttery and crumbly … and just plain WOW!

My Final Thoughts:

These were tasty.  Of the different Lark cookies that I’ve tried, I’d have to say that these were my least favorite, but that’s because of the espresso.  I would have much rather had the spiced chocolate krinkles cookies from Lark … they sound amazing!  However, these cookies do get bonus points for being made with whole wheat.  It makes me think I’m eating healthy when I know that I’m not.  But, the illusion helps me feel less guilty … somehow.  So, I liked them … but didn’t love them as much as I’ve loved the other Lark cookies.  Still real good though.

naturalcrispsProduct Information:

Using a handful of natural ingredients, 34 Degrees carefully bakes their wafer-thin crackers until they are subtly toasty and overtly tasty.

These flavorful crisps pair well with mild to sharp cheeses, blue cheese, spicy spreads, and orange honey butter. They are great for parties and holiday celebrations!

I received a sample pouch of these crisps in my December Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I don’t often drink a jasmine tea with the foods that I review, because I find that the jasmine often interferes with the flavor of the foods and I don’t get to explore the foods properly.  But that wasn’t the case with these crisps!  I thought that this Organic Jasmine Tea from Kally Tea was a perfect complement to these crackers – the savory of the crisps contrasted nicely with the sweet, exotic notes of the jasmine.  A really nice way to enjoy these crisps!

What  I Think:

I didn’t pair these with cheese or any type of dip.  Instead, I ate them right out of the package with a cup of jasmine tea, and I found it to be a delightful tea time, indeed!

I love the texture of these!  They’re so light and crisp.

Really tasty.  There’s not a lot to them, they’re SUPER thin and crispy and really … that’s it.  Just a crispy bit of a cracker.  Not overly salty, no extraneous flavor additions … these are kind of like an extra super thin saltine cracker with a little less salt.

But I think that’s what I dig about them.  They are just simple little crackers with a really enjoyable, crispy, crackly texture.

My Final Thoughts:

I am definitely going to be buying these again.  I found them in my local grocery store, and they have a variety of flavors, so I think I’m going to do a little exploration of these crisps, and next time, I’ll try them out with cheese and dips too.

bananasfosterIngredients:

fudge pieces, honey almond slivers, pumpkin seeds and banana coins

I received this Bananas Foster Snack in my December Graze Box.

Tea Suggestion:

For this yummy, sweet and salty snack, I decided to go with something that was both sweet and a little bit savory:  this Genmai Hojicha from Sara’s Tea Caddie.  The warm, toasty notes of the tea accentuated the nutty notes of the almond slivers and pumpkin seeds.  A really nice tea time!

What I Think:

This snack surprised me with the very first bite.  And with that first bite, I immediately clicked on the “like” box on my Graze products page.

I sort of mindlessly grabbed a few pieces out of the tray and popped them into my mouth … and the banana – is soft!  It’s a dried banana … but it isn’t a banana chip like I thought it would be.  It’s not hard, dense and crunchy like a typical banana chip.  This is soft and chewy and delightfully banana-y!

I love the sweet and salty quality of this snack, and the varying textures: the honey almond slivers and the pumpkin seeds add a little bit of crunch.  The fudge bits and the honey from the almonds add some sweetness.  The nuts add a salty taste.  The banana adds a great banana flavor and chew to the mix.  It was chewy, crunchy, salty, savory and sweet all in one bite!

My Final Thoughts:

The more I munched on this snack, the more I enjoyed it, and by the time I finished the snack, the “like” was upgraded to “love”!  I love the different textures and the way the flavors all work together in this snack.  Yum!

sugarcookieProduct Information:

What would Christmas be without sugar cookies? We’ve sugar cookied our marshmallows so you can sugar cookie your tea, your hot chocolate or just your afternoon snacks.

What I Think:

As you might remember, I was introduced to this handmade marshmallow company by Knoshy in my November Knoshbox.  After visiting the Wondermade website, I decided I had to try their Christmas Gift Set of Marshmallows, which includes their Bourbon flavored Marshmallows, Honey flavored Marshmallows (which is only available in this Christmas set), Peppermint flavored Marshmallows, and these Sugar Cookie flavored Marshmallows.

These … are amazing.  They taste like marshmallows, of course, but I can definitely taste the sugar cookie element too.  I can taste a cookie dough-like flavor.  It’s not a strong, overwhelming presence, but its there.

The marshmallow itself tastes like a vanilla marshmallow.  Like what we think of when we think “marshmallow,” but with the added dimension of sugar cookie-ish flavor.  YUM!

And of course, the marshmallow is infinitely better than anything you’ll ever taste from a supermarket.  Trust me, if you haven’t yet tried a homemade marshmallow, once you do try one, you’ll never go back to the mass-produced stuff they sell in the grocery store!

My Final Thoughts:

These are delicious right out of the package.  That’s how I ate my first few … but then I made myself stop and save the rest for a cup of hot chocolate. They make a good, steaming cup of hot cocoa taste even better, and I was surprised that I could even taste the sugar cookie-ness of these when they were submerged in the hot chocolate!  It’s certainly more subdued in the presence of the chocolate, but, the flavor does come through.  YUM!