Posts Tagged ‘Friendly’

quinnpopcorn

Photo from Quinn Popcorn.
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Product Description:

Subtle, sweet, salty, and slightly addictive, our Vermont Maple & Sea Salt is a little like kettle corn excpet with the smooth sweetness of maple.

Like all of our popcorn, we never use GMO crops, coatings or chemicals on the bag, or any other scary stuff! This is truly microwave popcorn reinvented.

Learn more about Quinn Popcorn on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I generally like iced tea with popcorn, because I like something I can drink easily (not so hot that I need to blow on it to cool the surface!) to help tone down the saltiness as it builds on my palate.  I wanted something crisp and clean, something that wouldn’t interfere with the yummy flavors of the popcorn.  I chose to chill some Dragon Well Tea from Foxfire Teas, and it was just perfect.  The tea was sweet and mild, slightly vegetative, and allowed the flavors of Maple from the popcorn to really shine through.  Yummy!

What I Think:

This review is LONG overdue.  I received this popcorn in my Earth Day Foodzie box (yes, that’s right, back in April), and I did eat one bag of the popcorn back in April.  It was so good, and impressed me so much, but the flavor was so distinctly autumnal, I decided to save the second bag of microwave popcorn for an evening later in the year, when the maple flavor would be something I really savored.

This popcorn reminds me a little bit of the original Orville Redenbacher’s flavored microwave popcorn varieties that were released a few decades ago … back when the cheese powder or the caramel were packaged separately from the popcorn, and you’d first pop the popcorn and then add the caramel or cheese powder.  Not in flavor or quality, mind you, because this is infinitely better than anything I’ve ever tasted from Orville Redenbacher’s, but because the flavoring comes in a separate pouch and you sprinkle it on yourself after the popcorn has been popped.

But that’s where the similarities end.  First of all, unlike the microwave popcorn that you buy in the grocery store, this is not all caked onto the center portion of the bag, because there is no oil or whatever that congealed gunk is in the microwave popcorn bag.  The popcorn in this compostable, chemical-free bag is loose, freely roaming in the popcorn bag, not stuck together in some weird goop.

After the popcorn has been popped, you open the bag, and pour in the package of canola oil.  According to this, the oil used is supposed to be good for you, or at least better for you than aforementioned caked gunk that is in the other microwave popcorn bags, and I’m inclined to believe it.  I don’t know why I believe it, I just do.  congealed goop versus clear, pourable, expeller pressed canola oil.

This canola oil doesn’t really impart a lot of flavor, but it does keep the powdered flavor of maple sugar and grey sea salt on the popped corn kernels.  I like that these flavor pouches come separately, and I can choose how much of each ingredient I want in my popcorn.  I used half the pouch of the oil, and I still very much enjoyed the popcorn.  This did result in some of the maple and salt ending up loose, in the bottom of my bowl rather than stuck to popcorn, but I didn’t really seem to mind as the bowl of popcorn vanished in record time.

The popcorn – underneath the flavored sugar and salt, underneath the canola oil – is the key to what makes this popcorn so much better than any popcorn that had been popped in a microwave.  It is light and fluffy.  Tender yet crispy.  The hulls are thinner and not as hard as some other microwave popcorn.  Even without the flavoring, this is easily the best microwave popcorn I’ve ever had.

But the flavoring!  Oh wow!  Maple sugar and grey sea salt.  Do I need to say more?   This is the best kettle corn ever!  This flavor of popcorn could easily be a vegetarian’s substitute for bacon.  All that’s missing is a little bit of smoke, which could easily be supplied by tea if you choose a Lapsang Souchong like the one I mentioned above.

My Final Thoughts:

I requested an air popper for Christmas, because I do prefer air popped popcorn.  I like the option to serve popcorn without any additives (although occasionally, I’m sure I’m going to melt some butter and have a little sea salt on it), but, for the times when I want flavored popcorn, I’m probably going to order some Quinn’s Popcorn online.  I want to try the other flavors too!   This stuff is outstanding!  My one complaint:  I wish there were fewer unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bowl.  Other than that, this popcorn is without fault!

My Foodzie box arrived on the afternoon of the 19th, but I decided to save this post for today – Earth Day! – since I selected the Earth Day themed box.

The three boxes we had to choose from this month were “Outdoor Entertaining” as well as this Earth Day box, and held over for another month was the “Brooklyn Box,” although by the time I had received my email and got to the website to choose my box, the Brooklyn Box had sold out.  I was a little disappointed by that, because I found it difficult to choose between the Brooklyn Box and the Ski Lodge Box last month, and while I am completely happy that I chose the Ski Lodge Box, I would have liked to have the option to choose the Brooklyn Box.

But rather than lament about not being able to choose the Brooklyn Box, I am going to spend this time effusing over the Earth Day Box!  My Box included two sesame seed bars from Bumble Bar, popcorn from Quinn Popcorn, Styrian Pumpkin Seeds from CB’s Nuts, dried plums from Blossom Bluff Orchards, and a can of Classic Gold Sparkling Yerba Maté from Guayaki … in other words:  TEA!  Yay!

So as you can imagine, I wasn’t too disappointed that I couldn’t choose the Brooklyn Box because I did get some really awesome selections from the Earth Day box.  Also included in the Earth Day box was a special bonus:  a reusable mesh produce bag from Flip & Tumble – an environmentally friendly option to those plastic bags from the store.

The theme card in the box explained the inspiration behind The Earth Day Box:

We obviously care a lot about good food, but when the foodmakers commit to earth-friendly practices, we can really taste the sweetness of saving our planet.  This month we’re featuring some of our favorite sweet and savory snacks that are grown sustainably or make a commitment to green processing and packaging.  You’ll sip on a sparkling yerba mate with organic ingredients made in a carbon-neutral processing facility, earth-conscious organic and non-GMO popcorn in compostable packaging and sun-dried plums produced with only the energy provided by Mother Nature herself.

I look forward to trying these goodies!  Be sure to watch this blog for reviews of each of these products!

I’m a little behind on writing restaurant reviews, so I guess now is as good a time as any to start trying to catch up.  We (my husband and I) visited La Costita one afternoon a while ago, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  In fact, I think it’s been one of my husband’s favorite restaurant stops in a while! 

Order:  For an appetizer, we chose a plate of Chicken Taquitos ($6.99).  Even though we visited at lunchtime, I ordered off the dinner menu.  I chose the Chimichanga Jorocha ($14.59)

Location:  14626 SE Sunnyside Road in Clackamas, OR

What I Think:

My husband and I both enjoy Mexican food, so when the Living Social deal of the day offers savings for a local Mexican restaurant, I usually jump at that offer.  I mean, it’s a no-brainer, I know my husband and I will both love the food.  And it was one of those Living Social deals that lead us to visit La Costita in Clackamas, Oregon.

The decor is what I like to refer to as “Mexi-Casa” … which I actually probably shouldn’t call it because there actually is a restaurant that I used to frequent in California called Mexi-Casa, and I don’t want to infringe upon anyone.  So let me just say that it had a very standard yet festive Mexican type decor:  Brightly colored tiles, Hispanic artwork … you know what I’m talking about, right?

Right off the bat, I need to mention that although it does appear on the menu, there is no horchata!  Now, I am sure that this is no big deal to many of you out there, but it is to me, because no Mexican meal is totally complete without horchata, in my opinion.

My husband's Enchilada Combination Plate ($7.59)

The service at La Costita is really second to none.  I was astonished at how quickly we were taken to our seats, and how quickly we were brought water and warm chips and salsa.  Both were very fresh, and the salsa was spicy.  I loved that I could feel the snap of the fresh veggies in the salsa!  It tasted like it had just been made only moments before being brought to the table.

Our appetizer was brought out to our table, sizzling hot, within minutes of placing our order.  These chicken taquitos were so tasty.  They were made with flour tortillas which gave them a crisp, light texture on the outside, with tender, lightly spiced, juicy chicken inside.  Their Guacamole was not too heavy, and tasted more of avocado than of other ingredients.  YUM!

Before we had even finished our taquitos (there were three whole taquitos which were cut in half to make six half taquitos), our server had returned with our piping hot entries.  I could still hear my chimichanga sizzle as it was placed in front of me.  The chimichanga was filled with tiny, tender shrimp.  The crab meat was moist, although the tiny shreds gave it an almost canned quality.  My entree was delicious and I enjoyed it however, I did find myself wishing about halfway through that I had ordered something else.  The crab was a little disappointing.  It didn’t taste as fresh as it should have. It didn’t taste bad; but it just didn’t taste as good as I had anticipated.

However, the rest of the experience was top-notch, so I don’t feel the least bit of hesitation to recommend this restaurant to everyone reading this post.  It’s a great place to eat:  great service and good food!

My Final Thoughts:

While I wasn’t over-the-top thrilled with the crab meat in my chimichanga, and I was rather dismayed over the fact that there was no horchata, the rest of the food was more than satisfactory.  I didn’t leave feeling hungry or dissatisfied.  The service was fast and friendly, the food arrived super fast, and it was hot and tasty!   We will definitely visit La Costita again!

La Costita Mexican on Urbanspoon