Posts Tagged ‘condiment’

chocolatealmondProduct Information:

What do you do when your roommates start eating all of your chocolate almond butter?  Put your name on it, like I did!  What began as a kitchen experiment has turned into the perfect combination of premium chocolate with California Almonds for a nut butter so good you’ll want to put your name on it too.

Learn more about this product here.

What I Think:

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this stuff yet.  It’s so yummy.

For the purposes of this review, I smeared some of this nut butter on apple slices.

There is a good balance between chocolate and almond.  It’s very rich and chocolate-y, but I can still taste the delicious nutty flavor of the almond.  It is sweet, a little salty and a whole lot yummy.  This would be good on just about anything, and even better right out of the jar.

Just out of curiosity, I compared the numbers in the nutritional information of the chocolate almond butter and the classic almond butter (both from Justin’s) and the numbers are very similar.   I’m no nutritionist by any stretch of the imagination, so, I’m not going to pretend that I really know what all those numbers mean.  I don’t.  But, based on what I see, I think that if the classic almond butter can be part of a “healthy” diet, I don’t see why this product couldn’t be.  And this has chocolate in it, which makes the chocoholic in me very happy.

My Final Thoughts:

Before I tried this Chocolate Almond Butter from Justin’s, the Maple Almond was my favorite nut butter from them, but now, I’d be hard pressed to decide which one I like better.   Both are simply phenomenal.  Every product that I’ve tried thus far from Justin’s has been exceptional and this one is too.  I really can’t say enough good stuff about Justin’s nut butters (and let’s not forget their peanut butter cups!  YUM!)

saltvinegarProduct Description:

Made from nutrient-rich cassava, these gluten-free chips contain 30% less fat than regular potato chips. With an unforgettable crunch and an abundance of tempting flavors, Wai Lana Chips are a uniquely delicious, all-natural snack.

Learn more about Wai Lana on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

With these zesty chips, I highly recommend iced tea!  You’ll want something that quenches the thirst and washes over the palate to ready it for more!  I brewed some of this Red Vineyard tea from Fusion Teas and let it cool, and I loved how the sweet fruity notes contrasted with the sharp acidic tones of the vinegar and the salty taste in these chips.  A really delicious snack!

What I Think:

Oh goodness … these just may be my favorite Wai Lana Chips thus far.  I love Sea Salt and Vinegar flavored chips anyway, because I love that tangy, sour vinegar-y taste together with the salt.  And that is coming from someone who normally shies from sour flavors, but all bets are called off when it comes to vinegar.  I became a huge vinegar fan when I was young … my gramma used to add a splash of vinegar to green beans when she served them to me, and this is the way I prefer to eat this vegetable now … and let’s not forget the malt vinegar sprinkled over french fries (chips?) like they do at H. Salt Fish & Chips.

And even though these chips aren’t made from the humble potato, but the Cassava (Yucca) root, they sure do the distinctive flavors of vinegar and salt proud!  These are tangy and delicious.  The yucca root notes are mild with the stronger flavors of vinegar and sea salt, but, it does taste different than a potato chip.  It has more of a savory flavor, and I like the way this melds with the other flavors.  I prefer these over salt and vinegar potato chips!

My Final Thoughts:

As I’ve professed with my previous reviews of the Wai Lana Chips, I’m a sucker for the texture of the Cassava chips.  Here, the slightly savory, very mild onion-ish kind of taste of the cassava works so well with the flavors of tangy vinegar and salt.  I love these.

champagnevinegar

Photo from Petit Amuse.
Click on the Pic to go there.

Product Description:

Most versatile of the Chaparral bunch, this vinegar is light with citrus notes.  It’s perfect for any type of salad, marinade, or sauce.

I received this sample bottle of vinegar in my November Petit Amuse sampler box.  You can subscribe to Petit Amuse here.

What I Think:

Happy New Year!

And what better way to ring in the new year than with some Champagne?  Well, since I am not much of a drinker, I think I’d prefer to go with this Champagne Vinegar from Chaparral Gardens, thank you!

For the purposes of this review, I used this vinegar as a salad dressing for a basic green salad of romaine lettuce, cucumber, radish and carrots.  I didn’t add any oil, nor did I add any extra spices – just Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

And really, I didn’t need any more than that to have a very enjoyable salad!  I think that’s what I like best about this vinegar, is that I can enjoy a salad without the extra fat and calories that oil would add.  This has a really lovely taste to it.  I can’t tell you that I’m tasting the difference here that the champagne adds to the vinegar, because, this doesn’t taste like champagne … at least, not to me it doesn’t.  It doesn’t even hint at champagne to me.  What I taste is a crisp, light vinegar taste that tangy, but also a little bit sweet.  I notice the citrus-y notes as described in the above description.

My Final Thoughts:

This is really good.  It’s light and refreshing, and I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that excited when I received this in my tasting box in November.  Not that I was disappointed, really, but, let’s face it, it’s not as exciting as the other items in the November box.  However, this turned out to be a very exciting way to enjoy a simple salad!

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

Product Description:

In 2007, Chef Josh Henderson created Skillet Street Food in Seattle. Out of a vintage Airstream trailer, he created innovative lunch menus based on American-inspired food prepared with classic technique and seasonal ingredients. 

His new Skillet Pumpkin sauce was featured in October’s Autumn Harvest box- it’s a versatile sauce that can be used as a base for many recipes, spread onto all things grilled or used simply in place of ketchup on just about anything.

I received this jar of Pumpkin Sauce in my October Knoshbox.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I tried this pumpkin sauce two ways:  First, I spooned some over a pork chop, and then I tried some right off the spoon.

This tastes a little less like pumpkin and a bit more like well-seasoned, vinegar-y brown sugar sauce.  That’s not to say that I don’t like it, it’s actually quite tasty … it’s just a little different than I expected it to be.  And I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting – I guess I expected more of a pumpkin-y taste … like pumpkin puree.  Here, I can taste the pumpkin, but, it seems to be competing with the vinegar and spices.

It is a tasty sauce, though, and it goes spectacularly well with pork chops.  I suspect it would be equally as a condiment with turkey (I think I might try cooking down some cranberries and blend them to a puree, and mixing the cranberries with this pumpkin sauce for an alternative to my usual cranberry relish that I make every year)

My Final Thoughts:

I am REALLY glad that I got the opportunity to try this pumpkin sauce from Skillet.  I’ve been coveting it for a while now, contemplating an order, and while I don’t think that this is something I will reorder (I might, though), I am glad that my curiosity has been satiated by Knoshbox (thanks!!!)  Having this in October’s Knoshbox made the box worthwhile for me.  (Yes, I realize that the stuff doesn’t cost as much as the Knoshbox, but did you forget?  I also got Bacon Peanut Brittles in my box too)

Photo from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

This is not just your run-of-the-mill caramel sauce. This is cajeta – a Mexican specialty made from caramelized, reduced goat’s milk. Compared to standard caramel sauce, this is more savory with a slight tang. Even though we usually just eat this out of the jar with a spoon, it would make a delicious sauce for baked desserts, fresh fruit (mmm…apples!), ice cream, coffee drinks, and even mild cheeses.

I received a jar of this caramel in October’s Petit Amuse Sampler box, and this caramel can be purchased online at Petit Amuse.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I drizzled some of the caramel over a sliced apple.  Then… I licked the spoon.  Mmm!

I think I’ve mentioned my love for caramel once or twice on this blog.  And I’ve been hearing about Fat Toad Farm’s caramels for a while, on various gourmet food sites and such, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time now!  So I was thrilled when Petit Amuse included it in the October box!

This stuff is awesome.  It is not quite as sweet as other caramel sauces I’ve tried, this has a somewhat savory edge to it that I find compelling.  Oh, that’s not to say it’s not sweet … it certainly is.  It’s caramel!  But because of the goat’s milk, it has a tangy quality to it.  This doesn’t taste like caramelized sugar sauce … this is smooth and creamy and rich … with a distinctive savory tone, a tangy note and maybe even a hint of smokiness to it.

My Final Thoughts:

This is so much tastier than anything found on the grocery store shelf.  You can taste the goat’s milk and that really makes all the difference in the world.  I love that while it is sweet, it doesn’t taste sickeningly sweet … you can eat it by the spoonful!   So, so, so YUM!

Product Description:

Nothing says Country Summer Fair like cherry pie and barbecue. These fresh organic cherry preserves are amazing on anything from waffles to bbq pork, and we frequently eat them straight out of the jar!

Grown in Washington state, these are some of the best preserves on earth. Lori & Gary Middleton built their business on passion for the land and a promise to create healthy organic foods.

I received this jar of Bing Cherry Sauce and Preserves in my August Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat this preserves spread on toast, I like to enjoy it with a breakfast-y blend, and one of the best morning/breakfast type blends I’ve come across lately is this Organic Morning’s Journey from Hugo Tea.  It is so rich and smooth, and the natural fruit notes of the tea go together very nicely with the bright, sweet flavor of the bing cherries.

What I Think:

My review for this jar of preserves is long overdue, as I received it in my first Knoshbox.  However, I had received a couple of different boxes around that time that all seemed to have some sort of preserves or spread in it, and I don’t eat that much toast!  So, I needed to wait until my supply of preserves had dwindled somewhat before cracking open another jar.  Actually, I did open this jar a while back, just to try it on the Belgium Waffle (also from Knoshbox), but, after I closed it tightly, I stashed it in the back of the refrigerator so that I could finish off the other jams/jellies/preserves that I had in the fridge.

Enough with the excuses already, right?

This stuff is really good.  As I scoop out a spoonful of it, I can see the huge pieces of bing cherry in there – most of them look like they’re WHOLE, pitted cherries!  This chunkiness makes it a little difficult to spread onto toast (for the purposes of this review, I tried the preserves on a piece of toasted, buttered 8-grain bread), but given that these are big, juicy cherries, I’m not complaining about the ability to spread.  It does spread onto the toast, it just takes a little more effort than with your average jelly.

I also tried this as a sauce.  I warmed it up a little in the microwave, and then topped a slice of pound cake with the warmed sauce.  This was really delicious!  When served over a sweet, rich piece of pound cake, it made the sauce taste even sweeter, so this application is recommended for those with a sweet tooth only!

My Final Thoughts:

This is no average preserves.  I LOVE that it’s a local product, made right here in the state of Washington.  It really tastes like fresh, sweet Bing Cherries that have been pitted and simmered in a light syrup to bring out the natural juices to create a loose preserves.   I like that it’s not too sweet (unless it’s topping something that is already sweet!) because Bing Cherries are typically a sweeter cherry anyway, and if they had used too much sugar to make this preserves it would have ended up like a cloying, candied cherry sauce.  But, that’s not the way this one turned out at all!  This tastes very true to the fruit, and maintains the level of natural sweetness that Bing Cherries have, without being too over the top sweet.  Overall, a very enjoyable preserves.

Photo from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Unlike most crackers, Castleton crackers are not just vehicles for other foods but are flavorful and hearty enough to be standalone snacks. They come in large cracker sheets that you break, which adds a nice rustic quality but are sophisticated enough to present at a dinner party. With the addition of caraway, sesame and poppy seeds, this rye cracker has not only a strong rye flavor but also pleasant nuttiness. It would be stellar with cream cheese and lox or for snacking on its own.

These Castleton Crackers are available from Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

With such a hearty texture and tasty rye flavor, I wanted something that would complement the cracker without overwhelming it.  I chose this 2012 Margarets Hope 2nd Flush Darjeeling from Darjeeling Tea Lovers.  The delicious muscatel notes of the tea seemed to accent the unique complexity of the cracker, while something about the buttery taste of the cracker and the astringency of the tea just seemed to really go together perfectly.

What I Think:

Having already tried the Windham Wheat crackers from Castleton, I was pretty confident that I’d probably enjoy these crackers, even though rye crackers are not usually something I tend to reach for when shopping for crackers.  I usually prefer wheat (and I like the rice crackers too!).  It’s not that I dislike rye, I actually quite like rye bread, I just never really considered rye crackers.

But now that they’re sitting in front of me and I’m devouring the small sampler package that was part of my Petit Amuse box for October, I’m asking myself WHY have I never really considered rye crackers?  I really am enjoying these.

I love the caraway seeds and the flavor they add to the cracker.  They are slightly anise-y, adding a hint of licorice-y flavor to the cracker, while the poppy seeds add a nice crunch and the sesame seeds add a nice, nutty flavor to the cracker.  These crackers are even better than rye bread, and I daresay that I like these better than the Windham Wheat!  They have that same buttery, delicious quality of the Windham Wheat crackers, but, with more texture!

My Final Thoughts:

I like these crackers a lot.  I am considering making these a permanent staple in my pantry.