Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

vampirekiller

Photo from Knoshy.
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Product Information:

There is no better way to start the new year with a healthy snacking plan! Our favorite kale snack is hands-down these organic kale chips from Brad’s Raw Foods. The ‘vampire killer’ is crispy, nutty and has a great garlic flavor. Organic, kosher, and vegan.

I received a package of these kale chips in my January box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat chips, I usually like a glass of iced tea to go with it … and kale chips are no exception.  The iced tea I had chilling in my ice box when I snacked on these kale chips was this Cherry Limeade Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.

What I Think:

I really like kale chips.  I’ve had a few different kinds in the past, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve tried.  My family has been less receptive to the idea of kale chips.  Which is both a blessing and a curse:  when I do happen to buy (or receive as part of one of my monthly subscriptions) a package of Kale Chips, I get to enjoy them for myself and not have to worry about them disappearing before I have a chance to taste them.  That’s a blessing.  But on the curse side, because I’m the only one who likes them … I don’t buy them often because I don’t like buying things just for me.

I like the flavor of these Kale Chips … I love the garlic-y taste!  The cheesy flavor is there too, but it is less apparent … or perhaps I should say that it doesn’t stand out quite the same way as it does in some of the “cheesy” flavored kale chips that I’ve tried in the past.

But the garlic-y notes are delicious.  Not too sharp on the garlic, just enough to let you know that what you’re tasting is garlic … it’s an easily identifiable flavor but it doesn’t go overboard and make your mouth feel like its in desperate need of a thorough brushing, flossing and a handful of breath mints before anyone’s gonna kiss you.

On the downside, I didn’t like that most of the kale pieces were small “crumb-ish” size.  It was a bit more like eating a handful of peanuts than it was like eating chips, you know?  I also didn’t like that I came across a couple of large stems in my package.

My Final Thoughts:

I loved the flavor of these, I just wish that there was a bit more attention paid to the details of the chips.  Less large stems in the package and more large, leafy crisps.  I have seen this product in Chuck’s Produce, and have been tempted to purchase because I did enjoy the flavor … but I’ve found myself looking for another brand that carries a similar garlic-y flavored kale chip because I didn’t like having a package that was mostly crumbs.

alehousecheddarProduct Information:

Castleton Crackers of Vermont never ceases to amaze us with their delicious new crackers. The latest out of Vermont is their Alehouse Cheddar made with local craft ale, cheddar cheese and very mild horseradish mustard. All natural, and hand-made in Vermont.

I received a full sized box of these crackers in my November Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I chose a mild white tea go to with these crackers.  I wanted something mild because I didn’t want anything to interfere with some of the more nuanced flavors of the cracker and I wanted something cooling to soften the effect of the horseradish mustard.  The horseradish is mild, as the description above states, but, it does build a little bit and the white tea helped to cleanse the palate in between crackers.  I chose this China Mutan White Tea from Mark T. Wendell – and the crackers and tea made for a lovely tea time!

What I Think:

I’ve tried a few different Castleton Crackers since I’ve started this blog.  The first package that I tried were the Windham Wheat crackers, and then I tried the Rutland Rye and the Sesame Graham crackers.  Now we have the Alehouse Cheddar Crackers and these are reaffirming for me why I love this company’s crackers so much.

Not only are they a handcrafted cracker that are made in small batches and obviously broken by hand rather than crafted in an assembly line in a factory somewhere, but the flavor of these crackers just cannot be beat!  You just can’t get this kind of taste in a commercially manufactured cracker.  The crackers not only look like they were made in someone’s home kitchen, but they taste like it too!  You can taste the love in them.

As much as I loved the salty and sweet contrasts of the aforementioned Graham Crackers that I tried most recently from this company, I think that these Alehouse Cheddar might be my new favorite.  It’s surprising to me, really, because I’m not a big fan of alcohol, as I’ve mentioned before, but, I love the way the flavors are represented in these crackers.

I taste the cheddar, but it doesn’t hit me over the head with cheesy flavor.  I taste notes of the ale, but the most intriguing note that captures my interest is the horseradish.  It’s not an overwhelming flavor … it’s in balance with the other notes in the cracker.  But, it is a flavor that builds and after I’ve eaten a couple of crackers my mouth is pleasantly warm and I can feel that enjoyable “burn” in the top of my throat and even that hint of a sting near my eyes and nasal passages that one gets from horseradish.  I love horseradish, so these notes were certainly a welcome surprise to this cracker.  I like that it starts out subtle but the heat builds.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these crackers.  Then again, I’ve really enjoyed all the different crackers I’ve tried from this company … but I think that the unique layers of flavor in this cracker might just make it my favorite!  They have the cheese, they’ve got some ale flavor, and some horseradish mustard … all that you need is a cup of tea!

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Herbs are a perfect accompaniment to cheese. This delicious recipe combines feta cheese with rosemary, basil, and black pepper for a flavor that perfectly complements our hummus popped chip.

Learn more about this product here.

Tea Suggestion:

These make a great snack with any kind of tea, really, but I chose this First Flush Black Tea from Teatulia.  It’s a flavorful tea, and I liked the way the sweetness of the tea brought out some of the savory qualities of the cheese and herbs.  A really tasty combination.

What I Think:

I found these popped hummus chips in single sized serving bags at my local Subway.  Just about everything about this product enticed me:  popped hummus chips … yum!  Feta and herb … YUM!  I also liked that there are no artificial flavors or colors, and because they’re popped chips instead of fried … that means less fat too.

These are really tasty!  They have a zesty flavor to them.  I can taste the tangy feta cheese and I can taste notes of rosemary, pepper and basil, as well as a hint of onion and possibly garlic.  They are very flavorful.  And they have a very satisfying crunch too.  They are a delicious, salty snack chip that doesn’t taste or feel greasy, and that’s a plus.

My Final Thoughts:

Two thumbs up for these.  I like that they aren’t greasy like a potato chip, but they have all the other qualities of a snack chip that I look for.  They’re crunchy and salty and have a really tasty, savory flavor.

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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.

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Crunchy wagon wheel pasta flavored with cheddar cheese and a hint of jalapeño heat. These unique pasta chips combine the look and taste of pasta with the delightful crunch of a chip. With 50% less fat than regular potato chips, it’s okay to indulge.

I received a bag of these pasta chips in my June Goodies Box!

Tea Suggestion:

With these zesty chips, I wanted something that I could guzzle when I needed to help quench the jalapeño heat that builds on the palate, so I turned to iced tea.  The iced tea that I had chilling in the fridge when I opened this pouch of chips was this Lime Cola Flavored Black Tea from 52Teas.  YUM!  I really like the way the tangy flavor of the lime contrasts with the warm spice of the jalapeño.

What I Think:

I didn’t know what to expect when I opened this package … pasta chips?  Weird!  And they are indeed weird!  These are the most unusual “chips” I’ve encountered in some time.

The size and shape is reminiscent of “Honeycombs” cereal.  The texture is crunchy, I was almost expecting them to have the texture of uncooked pasta, although I’m not entirely sure why.  They have a texture that resembles a dense corn chip, but without the grain-y mouthfeel.  Very different, but not at all unpleasant.  On the contrary, I’m actually enjoying these quite a bit.

The chip itself is very “different.”  It doesn’t taste potato-y or corn-y or like any other type of chip that I’ve ever tasted.  I like that these don’t taste or feel greasy like a potato chip usually does, I like that these have a good, crisp texture, and a really hearty taste that is quite satisfying.

There is a good balance of cheddar and Jalapeño pepper flavor.  These aren’t super hot as I thought they might be given the fact that they’re called “Cheddar Jalapeño” … this is more like a nacho cheese sauce kind of heat … you know the kind of cheese sauce that has some diced jalapeño peppers already in it?  It’s a lively amount of heat, but not so much that I have to extinguish a fire on my tongue after each chip.  The warmth builds gradually in a very agreeable way.

My Final Thoughts: 

I would definitely buy these pasta chips again.  I really liked them.  I visited the Pastitas website and found that they have six different flavors and I’m definitely intrigued!  I’d love to try them all!

Product Description:

Golden with a delicious baked cheese flavor, these crackers make for the ideal treat with our signature Flagship cheese melted right in!

Learn more about Beecher’s on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Crackers are a favorite tea time snack of mine, preferably with cheese … and these have the cheese baked right in.  I enjoyed these with a cup of Good Afternoon Tea from Grey’s Tea.  The smokiness of the tea lent itself very well to the delicious cheesiness of these crackers (and I do love a good smoky cheese!)  A very yummy pairing!

What I Think:

These crackers kind of threw me off at first… the texture kind of threw me off.  I thought that maybe they were stale because they didn’t have that light and crisp kind of texture that you get from other (commercial-type) cheese crackers.  These are denser and crunchy … but it took eating a couple of crackers to realize that they aren’t actually stale, they’re just not your typical cheese cracker.

And it’s not just the texture that’s different… it’s the cheese too.  I can really taste the cheese!   And it doesn’t taste like some artificial cheese.  This tastes like cheese that you might taste at the cheese bar in Whole Foods.  I can taste the quality in this cheese.  It tastes rich and sharp and delicious.  The cracker is lightly salty, and has a pleasing tangy cheese note.  Easily, the best cheese cracker I’ve ever tasted.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall the crackers are really outstanding … even if they do throw you for a loop at first!  They are deliciously crunchy and satisfying, with a distinct cheesy taste and a hint of saltiness.  They are wonderfully savory, something that I definitely will be buying again at my local Whole Foods (I was so excited to find them there the last time I was shopping, but I didn’t buy them because I knew I was getting some in this box).

Our visit to the Northwest Public House offered some very interesting surprises.  The Northwest Public House is just off of 23rd Street (one of my favorite streets in Portland), and it is a house that’s been turned into a restaurant/pub with a very home-y kind of feel to it.  Another Living Social opportunity to sample the cuisine of Portland…

The Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops

Location:  2327 NW Kearney Blvd, Portland, OR

Order:  I ordered the Chicken Roulade (small plate) and the Baby Chef Mac (small plate), while my husband ordered the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops (that was the first big surprise of the evening … the second was that he really liked it!)

What I think:

When we first entered through the front door, I was shocked at how cozy this place was.  It was almost too cozy.  It felt a little crowded to me, and if our Living Social voucher wasn’t just about to expire, I would have suggested coming back on another evening.  However, it was a “now or never” kind of predicament with the voucher on the verge of expiring, so we were seated near the bar, which appeared to be the only available table in the place.  (I learned later that there was also a dining room upstairs, and there is also outdoor seating, although with it being January when we dined at this establishment, outside didn’t seem like the optimal place to dine)

Since our visit, it would seem that they’ve changed the menu just a bit, as I no longer see the Chicken Roulade on the menu, which is just as well, as it was my least favorite item ordered for the evening.  Also no longer on the menu are the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops, which is kind of shame, because my husband devoured this entree, which was complete with a side of brown rice and topped with a delicious sweet-and-spicy mango salsa and steamed vegetables.

This is a dish that I would have never guessed that my husband would order, I figured he’d probably order a burger.  But it was a wonderful surprise for him to order this, I like to think that my journey as a novice food critic is having a positive effect on him as he is becoming more adventurous and trying new things.

My husband was good enough to share with me a couple of bites of his entree.  The scallops were perfectly cooked and were very tender.  The veggies were delicious – especially the mushrooms.  I also really enjoyed the mango salsa, which really elevated the flavor of the overall dish.

As I mentioned before, I was not as impressed with my Chicken Roulade.  It was a chicken breast that had been pounded thin, and then wrapped with goat cheese, peppers, and arugula, cooked through and then sliced very thin.  Three slices, topped with lemon basil cream sauce, were put on the plate along with a serving of sweet potato mash.  The sweet potato mash was delicious, as was the cream sauce.  The chicken, however, was overcooked.  The filling was tasty but there really wasn’t much too it, and it did little to disguise the fact that the chicken was dry and flavorless.  The only thing that saved these overcooked discs from being completely inedible was the lemon basil cream sauce, which was incredible.

Kahlua Krème Brûlée

Fortunately, I also had a small plate of Chef Mac & Cheese to help satisfy my hunger.  Really, I would have been happy with just a large plate of the Mac & Cheese rather than ordering the two smaller plates.  Seriously, I wanted to crawl into this bowl of Mac & Cheese … it was absolutely the best Macaroni and Cheese I had ever eaten in my life.  The blend of cheeses (aged cheddar and smoked gouda) and the garlic cream sauce combine to make an incredibly rich, flavorful, creamy delight that elevated this comfort food to new heights.

For dessert (which was my third and final surprise for the evening!) we shared a bowl of Kahlua Krème Brûlée.  I absolutely love Crème Brûlée, it is my favorite dessert, so this was a big treat for me.  There was not a lot of Kahlua flavor to this dessert, but there was a LOT of burnt sugar on top – which is my favorite part of the dessert, so I left quite content.

My Final Thoughts:

Despite my misgivings about the Chicken Roulade, this is a place I’d be very happy to visit again, if for no other reason than to enjoy the most delicious Macaroni & Cheese in Portland.  (If you think you’ve tried better Macaroni & Cheese in Portland, please comment on this post and let me know where I can try it!)  This is comfort food at its finest!

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