Posts Tagged ‘Love with food’

white bean

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

Ingredients:

Whole Navy Beans, Whole Grain Long Brown Rice and/or Long Grain White Rice, Pure Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Guar Bean Gum, Sea Salt.

I received a bag of these chips in my February Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

As with most salty snacks like this, I went with a glass of refreshing iced tea, and the tea that I had chilling in my fridge when I opened this bag of chips was this Very Big Hill Dew Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.  I liked the sweet-tart contrast that the drink brought to this salty, savory snack.

What I Think:

Having previously tasted another Beanitos product, I was fairly sure I’d enjoy these too.  And I did enjoy them.

What I like best about them is the texture of the chip – crisp, but not dense like a typical corn chip.

I also appreciate that they’re not too salty.  I can taste the bean.  I can taste what seems like a hint of lime to these too … and I found myself wanting a little more of that acidic flavor.  I think that maybe just a little bit more lime would really brighten up the flavor a bit.

My Final Thoughts:

A tasty snack.  As I said above, I found myself wanting a little bit more of that lime note.  It would be really tasty with a guacamole with an extra squeeze of lime, I think.

chocolatey

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

About Pure Notes Dark Chocolatey 70%:

TCHO PureNotes™ exquisite dark chocolates are the purest expression of the cacao bean itself. As with wine, what you taste is precisely, and only, what’s in the bean. There are no added flavorings, only pure dark chocolate.

About Mokaccino Serious Milk + Blue Bottle Coffee:

Warm, roasted nuttiness and complex dried fruit notes from freshly roasted Blue Bottle coffee blend seamlessly with the dense caramel and cocoa notes in our SeriousMilk chocolate. Named Best Flavored Milk Chocolate in America by the International Chocolate Awards.

Both these bars were in my February Love with Food box.

In my February Love With Food box, I received two squares of chocolate.  The first is a dark chocolate square:  Pure Notes Dark Chocolatey 70%.  This is an intense dark chocolate.  A nice snap.  I allowed the chocolate to melt on my tongue a little and I could taste notes of rich, dark fudge, reminiscent of a rich, creamy fudge that you might have drizzled over your ice cream in the really good ice cream parlors.  I could also taste roasted notes, like a roasted nutty flavor.

This dark chocolate square reminded me a little bit of a really, really good Fujian black tea – rich, malty and even a little caramel-y.  So much complexity within the layers of this chocolate.

mokaccino

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

The second square is a milk chocolate with coffee square:  Mokaccino Serious Milk + Blue Bottle Coffee.  Now, normally, I frown at coffee flavored things, but, this chocolate bar is quite yummy.  I could happily devour one or more of these chocolate squares daily.  The coffee notes bring out something extra in the chocolate, and it becomes a very full, rich, decadent flavor for the palate.  Sweet, creamy, and indulgent … and reminds me of those mocha drinks I used to love but can no longer drink because I realized that coffee consumption causes me to feel sick a few hours later.  Fortunately, I didn’t feel that way after I ate this chocolate square … the only thing I felt a little later is a desire that I had more chocolate!

My Final Thoughts:

These chocolate bars from Tcho were amazing.  Then again, when is chocolate not amazing?  But these were really, really good.  The next time you’re looking for really, really good chocolate, you won’t go wrong with Tcho.

emilysblueberries

Product Information:

Besides being delicious, blueberries specialize in true-blue anti-oxidant power and are particularly bewitching covered in chocolate.

I received a pouch of these chocolate covered blueberries in my February Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I decided to go with a fresh tasting green tea to drink while I devoured these yummy blueberries, so I chose this Organic Gunpowder Green Tea from Simple Loose Leaf. The tea has a light, brothy texture and a delicious nutty background of flavor, and I liked the way this contrasted with the sweet-tart flavor of the blueberries and the bittersweet dark chocolate.

What I Think:

I was recently told that I “like everything!” by someone visiting my blog and reading a few of my reviews.  And I guess, yeah, I’m guilty of that.  Most of the foods that I’ve reviewed here, I’ve enjoyed.  Occasionally, I’ll try something I don’t like, and I’ll tell it like it is when I come across those foods.

I sometimes wish that I had a more “discerning” palate, but, when I think about it, there’s nothing wrong with finding something that I like in most foods.  It means that I get to enjoy more variety in my diet.  Variety is the spice of life, baby!

And I do like these blueberries from Emily’s chocolates.  First of all, I love that this is a local company.  (Well, kind of local.  We’re in the same state, anyway!)  The dried blueberries are big and plump, and the dark chocolate shell is soft and decadent.

My Final Thoughts:

I devoured the bag in no time, and I found myself wishing that I had more.  Because this IS a local company, I know that I’ll be able to find these products in some local shops, so next time I see them on the shelf, I’m going to be putting some in my cart!  Yum!

bananasplit

Photo from Mama’s Magic Mix website.
Click on the pic to go there.

Ingredients:

freeze dried bananas and strawberries, salted peanuts, caramel puffs & chocolate covered graham crackers

I received a pouch of this snack mix in my January Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

With this salty and sweet snack, I went with something light and crisp:  White Tea!  And one of my favorite White Teas as of late is this Makaibari Bai Mu Dan from Tea People.

What I Think:

This mix is not at all what I expected when I opened the package.  What I expected was granola, I suppose, although now that I read the package again I don’t know why it is that expected this to be granola because it doesn’t actually say granola anywhere on the package.

It’s a “mix” of dried fruit, nuts, crunchy graham cracker-y “cookie” like things that are coated with chocolate (although there were only 2 of these in the bag), and at the top of the pouch there were these “puffs” of sweetness that tasted a bit like a sweetened cereal.

I had about six of those tasty cereal puff things that sat right at the top of the package, and when I looked into the package when I first opened it, it appeared that these were the only thing in the package so I was surprised when I fished out a strawberry piece … and all the puffs were gone!  Had I known that there was more to the package than just those puffs I would have poured the mix into a bowl and saved some of those puffs for last because like I said, they were the tastiest part of this weird mix.

I enjoyed the individual ingredients of the mix.  The cereal puff things were tasty.  They were actually the tastiest part of this mix.  Then there was a layer of freeze dried strawberries and I liked those, as well as the three pieces of freeze dried banana.  The peanuts … were peanuts and they weren’t bad.  They weren’t really salty though, and I guess that’s what I missed there.  The chocolate coated cookie things were alright although they were a bit … lacking in something.

But overall, this … just seemed like a very disjointed sort of snack mix.  Nothing really seemed to work together.  Even the dried strawberries and bananas didn’t really seemed to work together and that always seems to be a classic fruit combination.  The peanuts just didn’t work in this.  I liked that the fruit was freeze dried because I do enjoy the light crispness of freeze dried fruit, but when combined with the peanuts and the other components … it just all seemed a bit like a jumbled mess.

My Final Thoughts:

This was alright.  It was edible.  Is this something I’d buy again?  No.  I found it to be a rather confusing combination of foods that didn’t really seem to go together at all.

jersquare

I received both of these squares from Jer’s in my January Love with Food box.

Original Jer’s Square Information:

Jer’s Original Squares are crafted with all natural Valencia peanut butter mixed with crunchy rice crisp covered in premium milk chocolate. Now, you can have Jer’s Squares 4 oz. boxes on hand at work, at home, or on the go! That’s what we call “out of the box” thinking!

My Thoughts:

This is yummy!

The peanut butter center is lightened up with the crackly crunch of rice crisp.  The chocolate is sweet and creamy, the peanut butter is too, but there is enough “salty” to it to give it a nice savory quality and to cut through some of the sweet.  I’d take these over a peanut butter cup any day!

Pretzo Chang-O Jer’s Square Information:

Pretzo Change-O Milk Chocolate squares are crafted with sweet and salty pretzel bits mixed with all natural Valencia peanut butter covered in milk chocolate. These 4 oz. boxes are great for sharing, putting into a candy dish at your house or office, or stashed away for that quick fix when needed. After all, that’s how we’re able to pack big flavor into such a little package.

My Thoughts:

The Pretzo Chango-O is also a milk chocolate candy.  Instead of the crispy rice in the original square … this has salty pretzel bits which adds more salt to the treat.  The center is a little denser than the original was because of the pretzel bits, and it’s crunchier.  But I love the additional salty notes to this square.  Of the two, this one was my favorite, but I loved them both! This is truly a salty-sweet treat!

My Final Thoughts:

I want more of these!  That is all.

orangebar

Photo from Love with Food.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

The Oskri All – Natural and Gluten – Free Orange Fruit bar is the perfect refreshing snack on the – go.

I received this Orange Bar in my January Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

To go with this orange bar, I decided to go with a green tea and I brewed up this Organic Long Jing from Steepster.  I loved the tea and liked the bar … I don’t know if this would be a “perfect pairing” or not but I enjoyed tea time.

What I Think:

This is a really unusual fruit bar, but I am enjoying it.

Most of the reviews on Love With Food that I saw were kind of negative about this product.

I liked it though.  It has a bright orange flavor, and I can taste and feel the dates, raisins and figs in this too.  I feel the texture of these dried fruits … and taste the sweetness from them.

There are also dried bits of orange in this, and it presents a somewhat hard, almost ‘crunchy’ chunk in the bar.  At first, I was kind of put off by this, but, after a couple of bites, I started to enjoy this element of the bar, and it reminds me a little bit of the Orange Crisps from Simple and Crisp.

My Final Thoughts:  

Definitely different, but I didn’t hate it.  I actually liked it after I became accustomed to the textures that are in the bar.  It’s a different taste, a different texture, but it’s bright and has a really vibrant flavor.

I’m running a little bit behind because I took about a two week hiatus from posting there!  This box arrived a couple of days ago, and this month’s Love with Food theme is “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.”  There are lots of delicious chocolate-y type treats in here (perfect for a Valentine’s-y type box) as well as a few savory selections.

???????????????????????????????Right at the top of the savory list is a bag of Beanitos (White Bean with Sea Salt flavored).  As some of you might recall, I’ve tried the Black Bean with Sea Salt Beanitos, so I look forward to trying these.  Also on the savory list (and the last thing on the savory list!) is a pouch of Mario Pitted Snack Olives.

These olives were the first thing I tore into after opening the box:  they are green olives.  There were six olives in my pouch and they were pretty tasty.  The package says that there is a hint of savory pepper but I didn’t taste a lot of pepper until the aftertaste, where it sort of tingled on my palate.  I enjoyed the olives, and I like that the pouch doesn’t have a lot of “brine” in it … makes it an ideal lunch bag snack.

Everything else in the box I’d consider “sweet” snacks:  A bag of honey graham snacks from Back To Nature, a bag of chocolate covered blueberries from Emily’s, A chocolate chip biscotti from Biscotti de Suzy, two chocolates from Tcho, and chocolates from Gavottes.  I am loving all the chocolate selections here!

Also, as a special gift from Love With Food is a nifty little chip clip in the shape of a heart with the Love with Food logo on it.  Love this!

???????????????????????????????

 

Product Information:

I’m a grain based snack packed
full of whole grains to bring you
a heart healthy treat.
I also have up to 40% less fat
than regular potato chips, YAY!!

I received a bag of these snacks in my January Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

As with most salty snacks like these, I like to drink iced tea!  And the iced tea that I have in my fridge is this Cherry Limeade Tea from Southern Boy Teas!   The tea is sweet, a little bit tart, and fruity while the snacks are crunchy and salty … and it made for a very enjoyable snack time!

What I Think:

These are interesting.  They look like straws.  They taste like corn chips, but without that dense texture of a corn chip.  These have a puffier, crunchy texture that reminds me of my favorite round onion flavored snack.  You know the snacks I’m talking about, right?  And that’s really cool, because, I think I might like the texture of those snacks as much as I like the flavor of them … maybe I like the texture just a little more than the flavor!

And I’m enjoying these.  Not just the crunchy, puffy texture, but also the sweet multi-grain taste.  There is a nice level of saltiness, and I love that they’re only 100 calories for this bag.  These are the kind of snacks that I can really enjoy because they’re not only tasty but they are guilt-free too.

My Final Thoughts:

I like these.  I’ll be on the look out the next time I’m shopping at Whole Foods or Chuck’s Produce.  I’d definitely pick up a bag if I found them in the store.  I’d be interested in trying their other flavors too, especially the sweet onion and the sweet potato flavors!

The theme of this month’s Love with Food box is “Wake Up To a New Year!”  And there were so many tasty things to “wake up to” in this box, and I just couldn’t wait to start digging in to some of them…

???????????????????????????????The first thing that I dug into was the bag of Lightly Salted Almonds from Blue Diamond Almonds.  I enjoyed these.  They’re almonds with less salt. No salty residue on my fingers after I ate these, and I also like that the whole bag was just 100 calories!  I don’t know how popular this particular variety of almond would be in my household though … my hubby and daughter are in the bad habit of liking a little bit of food with their salt.

The next thing I tried was the three candies from from Lovely Candies.  These start out with a texture that is similar to Starburst candies, but they taste juicier and fruitier … and less “waxy” than Starburst.  I like these a lot!  These are something I’d definitely like to have again.

???????????????????????????????I’ve also tried the Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies from Home Free.  These are tiny, crunchy little cookies that are gluten-free, whole grain, nut free, and appear to be vegan (no eggs or dairy).  Sadly, they’re also kind of … taste free.  They didn’t taste horrible, but they weren’t tasty either.  They just were … rather boring, and not something that I’d be sad if I never ate again.

I also quickly gobbled up the Organic Berry Berry Chewy Granola Bar from Annie’s Homegrown.  I think what I liked best about this bar is the “berry berry” part – it seems like most of the granola bars that I encounter tend to be focused on chocolate or nuts, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I liked tasting the berries in this bar.  It wasn’t a sticky bar and had a chewy texture and there was some crunch to it too.  A satisfying granola bar.

Other items in this month’s box include:  Multi-Grain Sea Salt Skinny Sticks from Hi I’m Skinny, Banana Split Baby Mama Drama from Mama’s Magic Mix, Orange Fruit Bar from Oskri, Columbia Supremo from Coffee Borsa, Pretzo Change-O and Original Milk Chocolate Squares from Jer’s Chocolates.  I’ll be sampling these items at a later time, and writing individual reviews for them, with the exception of the coffee because I don’t do coffee!  I was able to find this coffee a home with a friend of mine who does enjoy coffee, and she enjoyed this.

This month’s box was jam-packed full of goodies!  Yay!

naturalcrispsProduct Information:

Using a handful of natural ingredients, 34 Degrees carefully bakes their wafer-thin crackers until they are subtly toasty and overtly tasty.

These flavorful crisps pair well with mild to sharp cheeses, blue cheese, spicy spreads, and orange honey butter. They are great for parties and holiday celebrations!

I received a sample pouch of these crisps in my December Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I don’t often drink a jasmine tea with the foods that I review, because I find that the jasmine often interferes with the flavor of the foods and I don’t get to explore the foods properly.  But that wasn’t the case with these crisps!  I thought that this Organic Jasmine Tea from Kally Tea was a perfect complement to these crackers – the savory of the crisps contrasted nicely with the sweet, exotic notes of the jasmine.  A really nice way to enjoy these crisps!

What  I Think:

I didn’t pair these with cheese or any type of dip.  Instead, I ate them right out of the package with a cup of jasmine tea, and I found it to be a delightful tea time, indeed!

I love the texture of these!  They’re so light and crisp.

Really tasty.  There’s not a lot to them, they’re SUPER thin and crispy and really … that’s it.  Just a crispy bit of a cracker.  Not overly salty, no extraneous flavor additions … these are kind of like an extra super thin saltine cracker with a little less salt.

But I think that’s what I dig about them.  They are just simple little crackers with a really enjoyable, crispy, crackly texture.

My Final Thoughts:

I am definitely going to be buying these again.  I found them in my local grocery store, and they have a variety of flavors, so I think I’m going to do a little exploration of these crisps, and next time, I’ll try them out with cheese and dips too.