Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

purelyelizabethgranola

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

Product Information:

Get ready to enjoy some of the best granola on the planet. Made with all natural, organic and gluten-free ingredients, including: quinoa, an ancient grain considered a complete protein; amaranth, high in b vitamins; chia seeds- providing excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants; and raw virgin coconut oil containing medium-chain fatty acids that get used as energy rather than stored as fat.

I received a pouch of this granola in my January Box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

Because I ate this granola as a breakfast cereal with milk, I decided that a breakfast tea was the way to go!  Recently, I discovered Glen Arbor Breakfast Tea from Whispering Pines Tea Company, and it’s a great breakfast tea.  Very woodsy and rustic, a perfect complement to a granola cereal!

What I Think:

This just may be the best granola I’ve ever tasted.  I was surprised with the first taste, because while it LOOKS like just about every other granola out there, the flavor is much better.

The cinnamon is well-defined.  The oats have been baked to a nice crispy texture.  A tasty nutty flavor from the pecans, and just enough plump, juicy flavor from the cranberry to give it contrast.

My one complaint:  I would like a little more cranberry in this.  That’s something that’s easily remedied by adding a handful of Craisins to the bowl, and even though I’d argue that the right amount of cranberries should be in the granola already, the flavor of the granola makes it worth it to me to open my package of dried cranberries and add a few to the bowl.

My Final Thoughts:

I really liked this.  It was a delicious granola, and I’m going to be picking up more from Chuck’s Produce, as I’ve noticed this on the shelves the last time I was there.  I’m definitely going to be wanting more!

summerberryflapjack

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

What’s In It:

rustic rolled oat flapjack with berry-infused cranberries

I received these Flapjack snack bars in my February box from Graze.

Tea Suggestion:

Since these oat bars have a very ‘breakfast-y’ snack sort of taste to them, I went with a black tea, this Australian Daintree Black Tea from McIver’s.   I love the way the rich, molasses-y sort of flavor melds with the flapjack snack!

What I Think:

I like the flapjack snacks from Graze.  In my post about my February box, I mentioned that they’re kind of like granola bars … well, they are … and they aren’t.  They have a granola bar look to them, and some similar ingredients to a granola bar, but the taste and texture reminds me more of a bowl of oatmeal that has been converted to convenient bar form.

The oats tastes sweet and nutty.  It has a rustic, hearty taste and texture to it.  I don’t eat oatmeal made from rolled oats often, because I prefer steel cut oats, but, I like the flavor of rolled oats in granola bars, oatmeal cookies and these.

And after mentioning oatmeal cookies … these not only remind me of a bowl of oatmeal, but a thick, soft oatmeal cookie but without the sweet dough.  It’s like it has all the goodness of an oatmeal cookie without the stuff that you shouldn’t be eating.

The berries in this are cranberries that have been infused with other berry flavors.  I definitely taste cranberry … do I taste the other berries?  Yeah, I think I taste notes of strawberry, perhaps, and maybe blueberry.

My Final Thoughts:

I “liked” this snack.  It’s really yummy and satisfying.  Like I said previously, it’s a little bit like a bowl of berry studded oatmeal in bar form.

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These Blueberry Almond granola bars are a delicious as a breakfast bar with a cup of coffee or enjoyed as a snack throughout the day. Made with organic oats, agave nectar, dried wild blueberries, almonds, flax seeds and a touch of sea salt.

I received an Awesome Bar in my March Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

With a granola bar like this … I wanted something equally as wholesome and nourishing, so I went with this Green Tea Powder from Nuvola Tea!  I don’t know that the flavors here necessarily were “complementary” but I still enjoyed the combination … it was a very energizing tea time!

What I Think:

This is – indeed – pretty darned awesome!

The texture – it’s not sticky the way some soft granola bars can be.  I get every ingredient … I taste every ingredient.  The oats have almost a nutty, toasted quality to them.  I taste almond, I taste blueberry, I taste the thin chocolate coating on the bottom of the bar.  The agave nectar and brown sugar provide sweetness without making for a cloying, overly sweet bar.  I can even taste the hint of sea salt.  And yes … I do taste the love that went in to these!  (Love is listed as an ingredient on the label!)

My Final Thoughts:

One of the tastiest granola bars I’ve tried.  It has a wholesome, nourishing quality to it, but it is still delicious enough to be enjoyed as a treat as well as a healthy snack.

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Sweet Lemon Pepper Biscotti

Product Information:

Not too sweet but very flavorful and somewhat addictive; do not let the “pepper” throw you. Made with Gran Marnier and fresh lemon peel. You will be pleasantly surprised.  Perfect for serving with a glass of wine and cheese or just as a dessert.

I received a bag of this biscotti in my February Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed my biscotti with this Budlabeta Estate Assam GBOP SPL from Upton Tea Imports.  This was a perfect pairing!  A bold, rich flavor of the tea was enhanced by the delicious, bright flavor of the lemon-y, peppery biscotti.  A really great tea-tea time treat!

What I Think:

Before dunking (because really, that’s the joy of biscotti, isn’t it?  Dunking it in tea?) I took a bite of the biscotti to test the texture.  Most biscotti is hard and crunchy … some veering on the side of rock hard!  Right off the bat, I notice that this biscotti is different!  Yes, it has that dry, crunchy texture, but it’s softer … not quite as hard on the tooth (and necessitating the dunk to soften the bite!) … this biscotti could actually be eaten without dunking, if you so desired.  It has a texture that reminds me of shortbread … buttery … almost crumbly/flaky!  It’s really quite splendid and a welcome change from the standard biscotti.

The difference – for me at least – between dunking and not dunking is that I found that the flavors were intensified when I dunked them into my cup of Assam tea.  Dunking brought out the sweet-tart flavor of the lemon and the hint of spicy bite from the black pepper!  The pepper was especially noticeable from the dunk … and not quite as prominent when it isn’t dunked.  But when not dunked … I notice more of the buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth consistency of the cookie, and I really liked that too!

My Final Thoughts:

I really loved the texture of this biscotti – it was almost tender rather than the rock hard biscotti that is so common.  It reminds me of a buttery shortbread.  It was sturdy enough to maintain its integrity when thoroughly soaked from a dunking, but, tender enough to bite into without the dunk!  You won’t break your teeth on this biscotti!

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Effie’s Oatcakes

Product Description:

One bite of these buttery, crisp and flaky oatcakes will transport you to Effie’s farmhouse kitchen. Made by two best friends from mother Effie’s fourth generation family recipe, these lightly sweetened biscuits taste of pure homemade goodness.

I received a package of these Oatcakes in my December Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

These Oatcakes go great with a cup of hot tea … a delightful breakfast or tea-time treat!  I like them with this New Vithanakanda Ceylon from Kally Tea.  The flavor of the tea is bold enough to enjoy with a dense “cookie” like this, and the two complemented each other quite nicely.

What I Think:

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from these before I opened the package, but I was definitely intrigued!

They look a bit like … well, I guess they are aptly named, because they look like what I would think an oatcake would look like.  They look like cookie bars with visible bits of oats baked in them.

They taste a bit like a cross between a granola bar and an oatmeal cookie, with the texture of a crisp oatmeal cookie.  I can taste the salt, and the sweetness.  I taste the oats, but it doesn’t have a really mealy texture … not bad … not bad at all!  In fact, I really like these!

My Final Thoughts:

These are really tasty. I saw an Oatcakes display when I was at Chuck’s Produce the last time I shopped there, so I think I might take a closer look next time I’m there and maybe pick up another package of them, because these definitely belong on the “I’d eat them again” list!  I’m also interested in trying their Nutcakes and their Semolina Crackers (the lavender flavor is especially intriguing!

Product Description:

This limited seasonal release sells out at every Connecticut farm market Nate’s Naturals attends. After making granola for over 20 years, they decided to start selling the delicious creations in 2008. An electrical engineer by trade, Nate knows that even the smallest details matter.

Made with organic rolled oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, honey and a touch of molasses. They then add real pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie spices. These natural & local ingredients are then baked slowly to toasted perfection.

I received a pouch of this Happy Jack Granola in my October Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

While snacking on this granola right out of the bag, I chose something refreshing to sip along with my snack.  I chose this green tea: Kenya Rift Valley Green Tea from Grey’s Teas because I hoped that the fruit notes of the tea would accent the granola in a beautiful way … brighten the flavors and help coax the pumpkin notes to express themselves.  I was right – the sweet pumpkin notes seemed to really pop! – and I was very pleasantly rewarded.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I tried this granola a few of different ways.  First, I tried it right out of the pouch by the handful.  YUM!  Then, I tried it sprinkled atop some plain, unflavored yogurt, and finally, I tried it as a cereal:  in a bowl with milk.

Generally speaking, I like granola, so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy this offering from Nate’s Naturals.  I didn’t really get a good look at the product or read any information about it until I opened the pouch to try it … so I was surprised to learn that this is a pumpkin granola.  I can’t recall ever trying a pumpkin granola before!

I think I prefer this as a yogurt topping than as a cereal, mostly because I wasn’t really fond of how the pumpkin seeds tasted in the milk.  It was OK as a cereal, but it really was amazing as a yogurt topper.  The tangy notes of the yogurt provided a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the granola, and I loved the different textures:  smooth, creamy yogurt, chewy raisins, crunchy granola … I had purchased this tub of yogurt originally to make smoothies, but I might end up using it all for with this granola before I get a chance to blend a smoothie!

Then again, it is really tasty as a snack, right out of the bag.  It is crunchy but not too hard, and I love the toasty taste.  It is sweet and lightly spiced, and every once in a while, I bite into a cranberry and I get a lovely tart note that sort of brightens it all up.

But what makes this granola truly special is the pumpkin.  Not just pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie spice, this is made also with pumpkin puree, and you can taste a little bit of pumpkin goodness in every single bite!  It isn’t an overwhelming taste, but it does give a really nice, unique flavor to this granola.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this granola.  It makes an awesome yogurt topper, and it’s quite tasty right out of the bag.  I see that Knoshbox is currently sold out of this granola, which is too bad, because this is delicious … something I’d definitely consider repurchasing!

When I found this restaurant on Living Social, I was quick to purchase the voucher.  I think I was most enchanted by the name.  I consider myself to be somewhat eccentric or odd (my family just calls me “weird”), and I like it when some place embraces their uniqueness.  So, I was very intrigued by the name, not to mention by the fact that Eclectic Kitchen boasts a “Local – Seasonal – Comfort Food” type of menu.

The #2 Scramble

Location:  4936 NE Fremont Street, Portland, Oregon

Order:  I ordered the #2 Scramble (Bacon, Red Pepper, Caramelized Onion, Sun Dried Tomato & Gorgonzola – $8.50) while my husband ordered the “Big Breakfast ($9.50)

What I Think:

The atmosphere at Eclectic Kitchen is a very homey one, in fact, it appears that it plays “home away from home” to a child or children on a regular basis with a corner set up with toys and the artwork on the walls appearing to be created by a young artist.  The walls are painted a bright, cheerful yellow, and maybe it was just me and my interpretation and consideration of the name of the establishment, but it felt very eclectic.

The water and coffee self-service station

I was kind of surprised by their self-service water and coffee station.   I don’t think I’ve been in a restaurant that has no real drink service … one either served themselves water or coffee, or grabbed a cold soda from the refrigerator located next to the cash register.  The only drinks that appeared to be “served” were fancy, latte style coffees or teas.

I didn’t let this lack of drink service dampen my excitement for this restaurant though, I didn’t mind getting my own water, as that is what we wanted to drink anyway.  I still looked forward to some local comfort food.

Unfortunately, much of the meal was somewhat disappointing.

My husband’s poached eggs were woefully overcooked (he likes a runny yoke, and this one looked almost fully congealed), the potatoes that were on both our plates were about barely warm, and my husband mentioned that his second piece of french toast had an almost meat-like taste to it that he found unpleasant.

In fact, the only bit of food that had any redeeming quality at all as far as my husband was concerned was the biscuits which were really good.

The Big Breakfast

My experience at the Eclectic Kitchen was a little better than my husband’s.  I, too, really enjoyed the biscuits, and especially tasty was the biscuits and gravy which came with my husband’s big breakfast platter.  I would have been happier, I think, had I ordered just a platter of biscuits and gravy.  The biscuits are tender, flaky and buttery.  Like something gramma would have made.  And the gravy was rich and thick and had a certain spiciness to it.  These biscuits were indeed something I’d call “comfort food.”

My scramble was alright, but it wasn’t anything I’d rush back to the establishment to eat again.  The eggs were cooked well enough, and I enjoyed the filling.  But, it wasn’t exceptional or really very memorable in any way.  It was just “OK” – not great, but not bad either.  I did enjoy the bacon, which my husband offered me off his plate because it was a little overcooked for his taste (I like my bacon crispy and he likes it a bit on the chewy side).

The potatoes were not really all that enjoyable, although they did have promise.  They had a nice amount of spice to them, but I think they would have been better if they were served at a warmer temperature and maybe if they had some crispy edges to them.  They were very tender, and cooked through, but, they tasted as though they were prepared earlier in the morning, and put on a steam table or something to keep warm, and the steam table wasn’t turned to the right temperature … resulting in lukewarm potatoes.

My Final Thoughts:

Unfortunately, with the biscuits being the only thing worth talking about, this is a place I won’t return to again.