Posts Tagged ‘hot’

Picture from Foodzie. Click on the Photo to go there!

Product Description:

For a spicy snack, we went straight to the source. Whole jalapenos are sliced thin, fried and sprinkled with sea salt. Don’t be fooled by its mild beginnings, it takes a few seconds after the first crunch and then bam, you’re hit with the heat.

Learn more about Deano’s Jalapeños on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

With these HOT snacks, I recommend iced tea … a LOT of it!  I recommend an iced white tea with these, because white tea tends to have cooling properties, something that definitely benefits the mouth and body after popping a few of these in your mouth!   Try a Silver Needle tea, like this Organic Silver Needle from Teavivre.  It is light, crisp, and very refreshing!

What I Think:

WOWZA!  These Jalapeño Chips take the idea of jalapeño flavored potato chips one spicy, and possibly one healthier, step further.  Eliminating the potato all together, Deano’s thinly slices the peppers themselves and fries them up until they’re crisp and then lightly salts them with sea salt.

And they are indeed spicy.  But they also have some sweetness to them too … I can taste the fruity element to the pepper.  This delicate sweetness is often overpowered by the sheer heat of the pepper, but, I like that every once in a while, my palate takes notice of the sweet notes.

I love the texture of these.  They have been sliced so thin – making them light and crisp – but yet they pack such a wallop of INTENSE heat and flavor.

My Final Thoughts:

These are so addicting!  Yeah, the spiciness of the pepper has me breaking out into a sweat, my eyes continuing to well up as tears are running down my face and my mouth is ON FIRE, but, I am still finding myself reaching for the bag for MORE.

I absolutely love these!

Product Description:

Our original spicy blend and boldest brew, with traditional flavors of cardamom, ginger, clove, pepper and cinnamon. Brewed with organic Assam black tea and sweetened with
organic cane sugar.

Learn more about Dragonfly Chai on their website.

What I Think:

I found a bottle of this chai concentrate at New Seasons Market when I visited them recently.  I had tasted (and really enjoyed) Dragonfly Chai before when I dined at Cup and Saucer Cafe, but I really wanted the chance to experiment with the concentrate myself.  So, I decided to pick up a bottle of the Spicy Black Tea Chai concentrate.

And it is SPICY!  Usually with spicier chai blends like this one, it is because they added lots of ginger, but, what is different here is that it doesn’t taste overly ginger-y.  I taste a lot of ginger, but, I also taste cinnamon, clove, pepper and cardamom.  It is spicy but it is not a concentration of peppery spice, allowing the other spices to reach the palate.

It is really easy to prepare a cup of latte:  2 parts of chai concentrate to 1 part milk.  I tried it once using coconut milk in place of my milk mixture, and I didn’t really care for it, so I think I’ll leave the coconut milk to my smoothies and keep using a mixture of 1/4 cup one percent milk and 1/4 cup half & half (to make 1/2 cup of milk mixture) and add that to 1 cup of chai concentrate.  Then you can heat it on the stove or in the microwave until its a suitable temperature … and enjoy.

Really, it’s not that much easier than to make a stovetop chai latte using loose leaf tea, BUT it is a lot less messy, and that’s just as important to me as simplicity because I hate cleaning up the mess after preparing chai using the stovetop method (that is, simmering the loose leaf chai blend on the stovetop in a mixture of milk and water for a few minutes, straining and serving) It’s messy, and for that reason I rarely make a stovetop chai.

DragonFly Chai to the rescue!

My Final Thoughts:

I’ve tried a few different chai concentrates, and there are some that I really enjoy, and some that I really didn’t enjoy at all.  This is one that I really enjoy!  I also LOVE that DragonFly Chai is a local company, based in Portland.  If you like chai, but find that you don’t want to deal with the fuss and mess of making your own on the stovetop, give DragonFly Chai a try!

Normally, I’d publish tea reviews on one of two tea review blogs to which I contribute:  SororiTea Sisters or the Tea Review Blog.  However, since this tea was part of the Jump Start My New Year Tasting Box from Foodzie, I decided to review this tea here on my foodie blog. 

Product Description:

This is tea for coffee lovers: Rich, dark, with hints of caramel and dark spice. Pu’er is green tea that’s been sun-ripened, which both mellows its flavor and increases its healthful compounds. These are believed to aid digestion, assist in weight loss and eliminate alcohol toxins.

Learn more about Five Mountains on their website.

What I Think:

It’s no big secret that I love tea.  But I don’t love all tea, and I believe I mentioned on my article about the arrival of my Jump Start box that I’m not the biggest fan of Pu-erh.  And I’m not.  If I had to list my teas in order of preference, Pu-erh may not end up as the last on that list, but it would certainly rate in the bottom three.

That being said, I am slowly developing an appreciation for Pu-erh, as I am finding more and more Pu-erh teas that I’ve actually enjoyed.  They weren’t just “drinkable” but actually enjoyable.  This Pu-erh from Five Mountains certainly rates as enjoyable.

It is a rich, flavorful Pu-erh (or Pu’er, as Five Mountains calls it) with a beautiful sweetness that tastes similar to caramel.  There is also a warmth to this tea with hints of gentle spice.  It is earthy and a little brine-y which is often expected in a Pu-erh, but, it is not quite as brine-y as some Pu-erh teas that I’ve tried, and I appreciate that.  Some Pu-erh teas can be almost fishy in taste, and it is that fishy taste that makes me not so fond of Pu-erh.  I am glad that this is NOT fishy, only a little salty perhaps, and it is a distant flavor that doesn’t disrupt the aforementioned rich caramel-y flavor and spiced tones that I find so enjoyable about this tea.  In fact, the hint of salt in the background may actually work to this tea’s favor, accenting the robust flavors of the tea just right.

My Final Thoughts:

This tea is remarkably smooth from start to finish, with no bitterness or astringency.  Just sweet, rich flavor that makes the tea an absolute pleasure to sip.  If all of my Pu-erh experiences were as positive as this one, I wouldn’t have had to preface this review by saying I’m not a big fan of it, because this is grand!

Product Description:

Unapologetically flavorful with a splash of bergamot citrus. A refreshing new take on the classic Earl Grey.

Learn more about Teatulia Teas here.

What I Think:

As you may recall, this is the tea that I received in my Tea Time Treats tasting box … yes, the tasting box from September!  I had tried and reviewed this tea before, but, since I am just now finishing up the last of this tea from my September tasting box, I thought I’d explore it a little via review for this blog.

I do love Earl Grey, it is one of my favorite flavored black teas.  There is just something about the tangy flavor of bergamot when combined with the bold flavor of black tea.  An incredible flavor combination.

What makes this Earl of Bengal a bit different from a typical Earl Grey is the tea base that is used which is a black tea from a tea estate in Bangladesh.   This gives the black tea a different flavor:  it is robust and full-flavored, but with a smoothness to it that is moderately astringent.  In my first tasting of this tea, I did not note any bitterness to the cup, and while there is not a strong bitter taste with this tasting, I notice just a hint of bitterness – a savory bitterness – that hits about mid-sip.  The bitterness leaves almost as quickly as it arrives, offering just a bit of contrast to the sweeter tones of the tea and the tangy notes of the bergamot.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoy this tea.  A lovely rendition of Earl Grey!

How’s this for being a bit behind?  This is one of the items in the AUGUST Foodzie Tasting Box!   Fortunately, though, it is the last of the August items that I need to review … and I do have an excuse.  My blender broke down earlier this year, and I hadn’t yet replaced it until September… even so, it still took me a couple of months to get around to actually breaking out the blender and whipping up this delightful confectionery beverage.

Where to Buy:  Serendipity 3 on Foodzie

Price:  $35.70 for a 6-pack of 6-oz pouches

Product Description:

From the famous NYC Landmark restaurant, Serendipity 3, Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. A blend of 14 exotic cocoas mixed in a blender with milk and ice to create a devilishly delectable drink!

What I Think:

I guess it is fair to say that I like it.  I am, after all, a chocoholic.  These 6 ounce packages make enough to share with others … or to make an incredibly indulgent treat for one.  I shared mine with my youngest daughter, my husband and my brother-in-law, mostly because they were around while I was making it, and I would have felt incredibly selfish to not share it.

My daughter says it tastes like a frosty (from Wendy’s) and… I’d agree with that, except that this has more depth of flavor.  I can taste more chocolate in it.  While I would describe the frosty as a pretty one-dimensional treat, this has many layers of chocolate-y flavor.  This is the “frosty” for chocolate connoisseurs.

The chocolate is incredibly rich and creamy, with profound notes of savory bitterness and sweet chocolatey goodness.  This puts every chocolate shake that I’ve ever tasted to shame.  Even the ones I’ve made.

This is SOOOOO good.

Now, for the bad news.  It’s quite pricy.  At $5.95 per 6-ounce package, I can’t really justify the price.  Especially considering that I could make more ice cream shakes using a high-end ice cream than I could with one package of this mix … and still end up spending less than I would with just one package of the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix.  Of course, the ice cream shakes would not taste as delightful as this decadent treat, but… I fear that much of the complexity in the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is lost with my young daughter (who compared it to a frosty) and my husband (who would be just as happy, I think, with a store brand fudge bar).  And since I am more of a tea drinker than a chocolate ice drink consumer, I just can’t find a justification for purchasing this.  I am REALLY glad that I had the opportunity to try it though… because it was AMAZING!

My Final Thoughts:

Very good.  I can’t help but wonder how delicious it would be if I had dropped a banana in the blender and made a Frrrozen Banana Hot Chocolate.   Hmm… maybe I will have to buy just one box… if for not other reason than to try it with the banana!

One of our (hubby -n- me!) favorite go-to places is Buffalo Wild Wings.  We can always count on them to deliver a power-packed punch of flavor when our taste buds are craving something hot and spicy, but they will also have something our daughter (or possibly daughters … if our oldest is joining us too) will also enjoy.

Location:  9810 NE Cascades Parkway in Portland, OR

Order:  Hubby ordered 12 boneless wings in Medium sauce and my youngest daughter ordered the chicken tenders with french fries.  I ordered six boneless wings with Caribbean Jerk sauce and six boneless wings with Salt & Vinegar seasoning.  We ordered an order of Soft Pretzels and Roasted Garlic Mushrooms to share.

What I think:

I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed when visiting Buffalo Wild Wings.  Their wings always taste fresh and their sauces are tasty.  My favorite sauce is the Caribbean Jerk Sauce which is about as high as my spice tolerance will go.  I used to be much less of a wimp and could probably have gone for their Mango Habanero (and I’m tempted, let me tell you), but I think that my taste buds have mellowed significantly as the years have crept up on me.

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

I like the Caribbean Jerk Sauce because it starts out hot, but not too wildly hot.  It offers some delicious fruity notes at the start including the fruit flavors of the peppers.  The contrast of flavors is really delightful; although the heat does build rather rapidly.  By the second wing, my mouth is quite warm and I’m beginning to feel a bead or two of sweat on my forehead.  But even at their spiciest, I still can taste the contrasting sweetness.  They get so warm, that I probably couldn’t eat more than six of these, and on this occasion, I ate three and brought the rest home for another day.

How I discovered the Caribbean Jerk Sauce is kind of a funny story – one visit, I ordered the “medium” wings, and my husband was sure he’d want something spicier than the medium, so he ordered the Caribbean Jerk.  Shortly after our food had been delivered to our table, I was eating from his basket, while he was eating from mine.  But… I digress!

On this occasion, I happened to discover a new favorite:  Salt & Vinegar seasoned wings.  Unlike the sauced wings, these are not quite as messy to eat because they’re not coated in sauce.  If you like Salt & Vinegar potato chips … you’ll like these.  I followed up my three Caribbean Jerk wings with a couple of these, and found that while these are not hot or spicy, the salt and vinegar flavors seem to add definition and dimension to the Caribbean Jerk spices.  I could taste the layers of flavors!  It was a very interesting experience!

One minor glitch – no celery was brought with our wings.  I don’t know if they’ve decided to forgo the celery these days or not, but I happen to enjoy the side of celery.  It not only is a hint of healthy in this otherwise fat-laden affair, it also helps to tame the heat from the lively sauces.

soft pretzels

On this visit, I also enjoyed another tried-and-true favorite:  Roasted Garlic Mushrooms.  These are very similar to deep fried mushrooms, except that the mushrooms have been infused with roasted garlic flavor.  The roasting of the garlic mellows out the pungent, aggressive tones of the garlic, leaving a mild, sweet flavor that really makes all the difference.  The garlic highlights the meatier characteristics of the mushrooms, giving them a depth that is not normally experienced.  These are so delicious that I’d be quite satisfied with just a plate of these for lunch.

While the soft pretzels were not bad, they weren’t anything spectacular, either.  They were just… soft pretzels.  Soft and fluffy interior.  Lightly crisped exterior.  Not too much salt.  Tasty, but not something I’d order again.  Next time, though, I think we should try the Fried Pickles!

My Final Thoughts:

I love Buffalo Wild Wings.  While the atmosphere leaves a little to be desired (I’m not a sports fan, but my hubby is, so he likes it just fine), I go there for the eats and I leave with my cravings for hot & spicy satisfied and my hunger appeased.   The service is pleasant and the food is tasty.

Buffalo Wild Wings on Urbanspoon

Where to Buy:  The Ticket Kitchen on Foodzie

Product Description:

Bold but not afraid to be sweet, our signature French Dark chocolate is just aggressive enough. Swirl a block of our signature French Dark chocolate into 6-8 ounces of steaming milk, and you’ll have a cup of hot chocolate worth lingering over. We can’t help feel that the stirring adds to the experience, soothing you over while building up anticipation for that first sip. The hot chocolate that results is the same caliber you will find in the world’s finest cafes and bakeries. Trust us, we know our hot chocolate.

Every hot chocolate Ticket Stick is handmade in our San Francisco chocolate kitchen of fine French couverture.

What I Think:

I don’t really drink a lot of hot chocolate, mostly because I’ve usually a cup of tea in hand.  But, I must say that I absolutely love the concept of hot chocolate on a stick.  No need for a spoon, just heat the milk and stir your way to a decadent mug of chocolate-y goodness.  And the best part, licking the stick after most of the chocolate is melted away – YUM!

And this Hot Chocolate on a Stick is totally yum!  Certainly not your ordinary hot chocolate!  It is quite possibly the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted.

The chocolate block is pretty large.  I used just six ounces of hot milk to make my hot chocolate, but, I think it would have worked well with eight or even ten ounces of hot milk as well.  With the six ounces, it made for a very rich, dark chocolate experience.  The flavor is sweet with a faint note of bitterness, and so very pleasantly chocolate-y.  Chocolate enough to satisfy even this chocoholic!

And what is especially cool about this hot chocolate on a stick is that you can add a little chocolate to whatever you’re drinking – how about a chocolate chai latte?  Or you can turn your morning cup of coffee into mocha!  Delicious!

The Ticket Kitchen offers many different options with this unique and delicious hot chocolate – you can purchase as few as two hot chocolate cubes on a stick for $7.00 or 36 for $120.00.  A little pricey for a cup of hot chocolate.  But then again, this isn’t your average cup of hot chocolate!  This one is for serious chocolate drinkers!

And for those who like their hot chocolate on the spicy side, they now offer Three-Chili Hot Chocolate on a Stick, featuring a blend of chipotle, ancho and cayenne chili peppers.

My Final Thoughts:

This Hot Chocolate on a Stick takes hot chocolate to a whole other level.  So good, it doesn’t even need a marshmallow!