Posts Tagged ‘foods’

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.

About Bernod’s PopCity:

Just the most trend-setting new products to explode onto the scene of the ever-popular world of flavored popcorn. It’s no wonder Americans eat 17 billion quarts of the stuff each year! We handcraft fresh recipes for our line of flavored popcorns, making sure that you get only the highest-quality product.

Learn more about Bernod’s Group on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

When it comes to popcorn, I generally prefer it with iced tea, because it tends to refresh the palate quickly (it’s easier to guzzle iced tea than it is hot tea!) and cleanly.  This is especially true for savory popcorn like this Truffle Salt Gourmet Popcorn.  I chose this Organic Spring Twist from Butiki Teas and poured it over ice, and the light, crisp, fruity taste with vegetative undertones seemed to meld in perfect harmony with the savory, salty, earthy flavors of this Truffle Salt popcorn.  YUM!

What I Think:

Recently, I was contacted by the nice people at Bernod’s Group, and as a thank you for mentioning them in one of my posts, as well as reviewing their yummy organic Cherry Vanilla Cotton Candy, they sent me a package of not one, not two, but FOUR of their yummy gourmet popcorn treats!  I’ve already reviewed the two that are readily available from their website:  the caramel corn and the kettle corn.   (and just as a side note, my husband touts the caramel corn as the BEST caramel corn he’s ever tasted!)

But this Truffle Salt Gourmet Popcorn is not on their website, so I contacted Bernod’s to find out where one might be able to obtain this yummy popcorn, and they informed me that their gourmet popcorn selections are also available at HomeGoods.   Awesome!  I love that store anyway, so this is just another excuse to shop!

Anyway, this stuff is awesome!  The popcorn is fluffy and lightly seasoned with truffle salt.  The truffle is what really makes the difference here between ordinary popcorn and something extraordinary – because it gives it a delightful, savory taste that is so irresistible!  There is a hint of buttery goodness too – it’s not a heavy buttery essence, but just a hint that accents the sweet, toasty, popped corn taste.

My Final Thoughts:

Slightly earthy, and tasting truly gourmet, I found myself not wanting to stop!  Just so good!  Yes, I absolutely need to make a stop into HomeGoods the next time we’re in the area (if you’re in the Portland/Vancouver, WA area, the HomeGoods where I shop is located in the Cascade Station near the airport.)  I want more of this Truffle Salt Popcorn, and I think that my husband wants more of that caramel corn too!

Learn more about Bourbon Barrel Foods here.

Product Description:

Many paprikas are smoked, but none of them are bourbon smoked.  Try this combination of sweet, piquant paprika and the mellow, oaky flavors of fine Kentucky bourbon.

What I Think:

To be honest, this was the item I was least excited about in the Bacon and Bourbon Tasting Box.  I mean, paprika?  Really?  We’re talking my least favorite spice.

But… let me explain WHY it is my least favorite spice.  You see, growing up, the main cook in the household wasn’t exactly a “gourmet chef” by any stretch of the imagination.  Sure, most of the food was edible, but, flavorful?  That’s another thing all together.  Bland would be the way I would describe most of what I ate in my adolescent and teen years.

We had a container of paprika in the spice cabinet.  It had been there since I was eight (probably longer) and I don’t think it had ever been replaced during the time I lived in that house.  The only food that I can remember paprika ever being used for was to sprinkle over deviled eggs, and that was for color, not for flavor (or at least, by the taste of them, I can assume it wasn’t for flavor, because I didn’t taste any difference between those deviled eggs that were dusted with paprika and those that escaped the dusting).

So, in my mind, paprika is that spice that is used for color and not flavor.  In fact whenever preparing a recipe that called for paprika, I would either omit it, or add something else from my spice cabinet.  I never considered paprika a spice worth having in my cabinet … Until now!

But with this spice being in my tasting box, it exposed me to the flavor of paprika!  When I first opened the tin, I was blown away at the smoky scent.  Sweet, smoked, and just a hint of spice.  It smells really good.  A little taste reveals a profile that is a little bit peppery, a little sweet, and with a lovely dimension of smoke.  It is a powerful flavor!

I’ve sprinkled this on fried eggs, and it’s spectacular. For Christmas, I made scalloped potatoes, and used 2 teaspoons of this paprika in the sauce and it elevated the dish from ordinary to extraordinary.  Move over, nutmeg and oregano, you’ll need to make some room for the Bourbon Smoked Paprika!

My Final Thoughts:

This spice is very flavorful stuff!  My deviled eggs will never be the same!  If you suffer from bland food syndrome like I did when I was a kid … get the cook in your house a tin of this!

Where to Buy:  Wayne’s Fine Foods on Foodzie

Price:  $4.99 per jar

Product Description:

The original Wayne’s Green Tomato Relish started in the 1950s as a clever way for Wayne to use up the unripened green tomatoes that remained in his garden every fall. People liked it so much, that he decided to enter it into the Macon County Fair (Macon County, IL). There it garnered a first prize blue ribbon (hence the “award winning” part of our moniker). The relish is delicious on grilled and spicy foods and for appetizer, alone on a cracker or dolloped over cream cheese.

What I Think:

I love trying unusual relishes and other condiments – and this one would certainly qualify as unusual.  I can’t think of trying a relish made of green tomatoes before.  But I’m really quite impressed with this.

The green tomatoes give the relish a nice texture and a mild, tangy flavor.  There is a nice sweetness to this that reminds me of sweet chutney.  Overall, its a very mellow flavored relish – a little sweet, a little sour.  It’s very tasty and makes a great topping for a hot dog, which is how I am enjoying it today.

I like that not one ingredient dominates over the others.  Even though this is a “green tomato” relish, it could have very easily been called something else, because I don’t think that the green tomatoes are the main flavor component.  They are nicely balanced with the sweetness of the bell pepper, and the sour notes of the vinegar, and even the faintest hint of warmth from the onion.  It’s really quite good, and something I would consider purchasing again!

My Final Thoughts:

I am really enjoying this relish.  It is quite different from any other relish I’ve ever tasted.  It has a very homemade feel to it – like something that the neighbor with the very prolific garden made and handed out to the neighbors for the holidays.  This one rates very high on the YUM scale!