Posts Tagged ‘November’

oldsalties

Photo from Ovenly.
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Product Information:

Named best bakery in NYC by Time Out New York in 2013, this creative kitchen explores culinary traditions with a twist. These ‘Old Salties’ are the perfect beer nut to snack on during the game; they’re roasted in bacon fat, tossed with Worcestershire sauce and coated in Old Bay Seasoning.

I received a pouch of Old Salties Peanuts in my November Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

These peanuts are very zesty and you’ll want to have a tall glass of iced tea nearby when you start munching on them.   Might I suggest some yummy Butter Beer flavored Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas?  The sweetness of the tea contrasts nicely with the spice of the peanuts.

What I Think:

I’ve been wanting to try these well-spiced peanuts for a while now.  I don’t recall off-hand where it was I had heard about them, I think it may have been in one of the Foodzie boxes that I didn’t receive (remember the last few months of Foodzie when we could choose our box?  My mind keeps going back to the “Brooklyn” box that I turned down in lieu of receiving the Earth Day Box.  (I could be wrong, but, I think these were featured in the Brooklyn Box.)  It was this product that was luring me toward choosing the Brooklyn Box but ultimately, some of the Earth Day Box products seemed more enticing.

And what was it about these nuts that attracted me?  Well, the BACON part.  The shelled peanuts are first roasted on bacon fat, and then they’re flavored with Worcestershire sauce and Old Bay seasoning.  Old Bay seasoning is one spice that is usually in my cupboard because I love the way it flavors fish, and I also love sprinkling it over my freshly popped popcorn.

There is a generous amount of Old Bay seasoning on these peanuts!  I can taste the pepper and the paprika – these are very strong, well-pronounced flavors.  I can also taste the Worcestershire sauce.  I’m wishing that I could taste more evidence of the bacon fat roasting though.  These are very salty, and if I pop a few of them in my mouth at the same time and sort of let the seasoning move around on my palate, I can taste the bacon-y notes, but, the bacon lover in me wants more bacon!

My Final Thoughts:

Really tasty.  Ovenly does NOT skimp on the spice here.  The spice is strong and bold and it’s got one heck of a kick to it … it leaves my mouth tingling from the spice.  I’m glad I’ve got this iced tea!

brewersbar

Picture from Knoshy.
Click on the Pic to go there.

Product Information:

Granola Lab’s Brewers Bar is a unique, chewy-crispy fruit and seed granola bar made with barley malt (also called spent grain). To brew beer, barley malt is first soaked in water to create a mash. The resulting liquid is further processed into everyone’s favorite alcoholic beverage, but the malt itself is discarded.

The spent grain is collected from Kelso Beer Co of Brooklyn and baked into these bars along with dried apples, apricots, dates, pumpkin, sesame and hemp seeds. It’s mostly organic, vegan, and doesn’t contain any nuts. 

Tea Suggestion:

I thought that a nice, earthy white tea would be a good choice to drink with this Brewer’s Bar, so I selected this Silky Silver Needle Tea from Teasenz.  It is a light, refreshing tea that allowed the sweetness of the fruit and the flavors of the seeds to come forward.  A really nice tea time – unusual, yes! – but, enjoyable.

What I Think:

My various subscriptions have offered me many different opportunities to try a bunch of different granola/energy type bars.  Some I’ve liked more than others, while some were just sort of “meh” or maybe less than “meh.”

This bar is different from any that I’ve tried thus far.  The grain used for these bars is the spent malt from a brewery which gives the bar a different base flavor as well as a different texture.  I like the flavor of this.  I mean, I usually enjoy the oat-y flavor of most of the granola bars out there, but, this is tasty too.

There are also lot of seeds to this and that gives the bar a sort of crackly crunch that I enjoy.  One seed that I was particularly pleased to see as an ingredient is hemp seeds because I think that hemp is a product that we need to further explore.  And there are lots of fruity notes in this too:  I taste the apple and the apricot and the dates add a nice sweetness.

My Final Thoughts:

A really tasty and interesting bar.  I found this one different from the usual bar … and in this case, different was really good!

SweetPotatoPopChipsProduct Information:

sweet, crispy and a lot of delicious.

I received a .8 ounce bag of Sweet Potato Pop Chips in my November Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

When I munch on salty snacks like these, I like to drink iced tea because they just seem to go well together.  I brewed up a pitcher of this OYGFIB? blend from 52Teas last night, and I enjoyed a tall glass of it with these Sweet Potato Pop Chips.  A really tasty snack.

What I Think:

Wow!

When I first saw “Pop Chips” on the grocery store shelves, I didn’t really think much about them.  Something about them sounded “off” to me … was it like a thin rice cake that is made to taste like potato chips or what?

But it turns out, they’re nothing like what I thought they’d be.  These are actual sweet potatoes (and rice flour) that are air popped to create a crispy, tasty snack that is (in my opinion) just as tasty as a fried potato chip, but without the fried thing going on, because, you know, fried is not only not the healthy way to go, but, it also is greasy and after a couple of potato chips, I tend to find this greasiness rather unpleasant.

These aren’t greasy at all.  I taste the sweet potato, and it tastes the way I expect a sweet potato to taste:  Sweet and savory and delicious.  I think that this has been “seasoned” with a touch of sugar and I can taste a hint of salt too.  That’s it.  I taste a lot of sweet potato flavor, and a little bit of sugar and a little bit of salt.  And a whole lot of YUM!

My Final Thoughts:

These are the new must have as far as I’m concerned.  I’ll be buying more of these.  Fortunately, they have acquired a certain amount of popularity, as I have seen these in my local Whole Foods.  I’ll start checking the other grocery stores as well.  I can’t wait to try some other flavors, when I do, I’ll be sure to update my blog with those taste discoveries.

The box arrived on the afternoon of November 20th.  I was kind of surprised, really, because I have gotten used to the box arriving much closer to the end of the month… but it seems that with each month, the Goodies Box arrives just a little sooner than it did the month previous.  I’m OK with that.  They’re ironing out the kinks, and still managing to keep the price at just $7 per month.  I’ve been happy with this subscription.

The theme of this month’s box is “Entertaining Made Simple,” and while I don’t usually do much entertaining (I am agoraphobic, and I usually have trouble with one guest, more than one is positively anxiety-inducing!) I do enjoy the foods one might serve at a dinner party … as they make fantastic tea-time treats.

And, incidentally, this box does include a tea!  Granted, it’s bagged tea (Hey, Goodies Company, get in the know!  Loose leaf is the only way to go!) but it’s still tea.  Bigelow Tea’s Pumpkin Spice tea, to be precise.  I’ll be reviewing that tea on the SororiTea Sisters blog at some point!

The other goodies in this month’s box include:  American Vintage Wine Biscuits, Lotus Bakeries Smooth Biscoff Spread, Bobbysue’s Original Flavored Nuts, Pumpkin Souffle Mix from Flourless Bliss, White Cheddar Popcorn from Oogie’s, and a Dark Quinoa chocolate bar from Alter Eco.  Yum!  Looking forward to these yummy items … and they are all new-to-me!  Bonus!

And speaking of bonuses, this box did include a special bonus gift!  Upon opening the box, I was greeted immediately with a reusable, canvas shopping tote!  Wow!  The card insert that is included with every box explains:

We are grateful to have you as one of our first subscribers!  To show our thanks we are excited to gift you the enclosed Goodies Co. Farmer’s Market Bag.

Yay!  I do try to bring my stash of reusable bags every time I shop … sometimes, I forget, but, I do try.  And it will be nice to have yet another to add to my stash!  It will definitely be put to good use.

This is the best box from Goodies Co. yet!

Yay!  I love it when my foodie tasting boxes arrive!  It’s almost as wonderful and amazing as when I get tea in the mail.  Almost, but not quite.  Tea still wins out over food!

Please excuse the orange-ness of my photo. I’m terrible at taking pictures and the lighting here was not great. On the other hand, it IS November … autumn. Maybe I’m just making an artistic statement about the season …

The theme of this month’s Knoshbox is “Bourbon Box” which got me excited!   Foodzie  – before it became Joyus … a transition which lead me to seek out new tasting boxes, which lead me to discover Knoshbox, and I’m so much happier with Knoshbox than I was with Foodzie! – anyway, Foodzie had a Bacon and Bourbon box about a year or so ago, and I loved it.  I’m not so keen on Bourbon (I drink tea, and am not a big fan of alcohol … I’m a tea-totaler!  hahaha!), but, I did love the bourbon products that were in that Bacon and Bourbon box, so, I am keeping an open mind and a hungry stomach (that sounds kind of Iron Chef-ish, doesn’t it?) to the possibilities of this box.

But what excites me more than the theme of this box, is the items it includes.  First, there’s the handmade marshmallows from 240Sweet … Bourbon Sugar Bourbon Marshmallows!  For those of you who haven’t read many of my reviews on this blog, 240Sweet are my #1 choice when it comes to marshmallows, because they’re AWESOME!   And I love that Knoshbox decided to include them in this box.  It makes me love Knoshbox all the more!

Also in this box are Bourbon infused brownies!  Yes, you read that correctly:  Bourbon infused brownies from Cacao Sweets & Treats.  Then there is a jar of Fat Toad Farm caramel (Bourbon infused caramel!) and Bourbon Salted Pecan pancake mix from Southern Culture.

Yes, this is an amazing box … and I’m excited to try each and every item.

Now, Knoshbox, you know I love you, right?  How about a tea time box?  I’d be happy to serve as a consult on that box, if you want.

To learn more about this product and others from Nitty Gritty Grain Company, visit their website.

Product Description:

This mix has a robust corn flavor, thanks to a blend of two organic corns: Yellow dent and Wapsie Valley, a heritage variety. The coarse grind gives it an charmingly rustic, grainy texture with a satisfying tooth. The included recipes on the inside of the label are easy as pie (or, as the case may be, cornbread). Just mix, bake or griddle, and serve. Catherine recommends substituting water in the recipes with milk, yogurt or sour cream (or silken tofu as a vegan alternative) for additional richness. The cornbread and pancakes are a delicious breakfast, but also try them as a foundation for baked beans or Southern-style barbecue.

What I Think:

A day or two before my Foodzie Tasting Box arrived, I remember craving cornbread!  I had no idea that I would be receiving a cornmeal mix in my box, so it was either intuition or a strange coincidence.  Either way, I’m very surprised by what I’m tasting from this cornmeal mix!

I made six cornbread muffins (and I have enough mix left over to make another six muffins, or perhaps a few cornmeal pancakes, which is what I think I will end up making).  It’s easy to prepare:  measure out the mix, add a little water and oil (I actually used melted butter instead) and 1 beaten egg.  Stir until mix is wet (remember, don’t over-mix muffin batter!) and evenly distribute into a lightly greased muffin tin (or instead of lightly greasing, you can use cupcake liners for super easy clean up).

After measuring out the first three muffins, I decided to change things up a bit and I added a little bit of cheese (I used a Mexican blend of four cheeses), and a few jalapeño slices that I removed the seeds from and diced up fine.

The first three muffins were incredible.  The flavor is incredibly light and yet hearty in its own way.  Delicious corn flavor, slightly sweet and nutty.  While most cornbread tends to be rather dense… this has a delicate kind of quality to it.

The second set of muffins (with the cheese and jalapeño) were also quite amazing.  I think I should have added a little more cheese, because I found that rather than taste cheese, what I’m noticing is the flavor of the corn REALLY emerging.  I added just the right amount of jalapeño though, as these have a  kick to them without being too hot and spicy.   I wouldn’t call them mild either.  I’d call them just right!

Ordinarily when I make cornbread (or cornbread muffins), I use generic corn meal and follow a standard recipe using a ratio of 1:1 corn meal to whole wheat unbleached flour and the other “standard ingredients.”  These muffins … are MUCH better than anything I’ve ever produced using that recipe.

As for a tea recommendation, after tasting these muffins, if you want to really accentuate the corn flavor, try this Diyi Cornfields Shu from Verdant Tea – another product that really surprised me with its corn flavor!

My Final Thoughts:

If you want to serve just ordinary cornbread … stay with the corn meal you’re using now.  If you want something that will really impress someone (even if that someone is you), you must give this mix a try.  I really was not expecting to be as happy with this corn meal mix … I actually had a reaction that was sort of like “eh… why is this in the box?”  But after tasting it, I can say without hesitation that this mix makes the best corn bread muffins ever!

This is the first product that I reviewed from the November tasting box, and since all the changes that have taken place at Foodzie, I am going to need to change my format a little bit…

Product Description:

Roasted Garlic Onion in-shell pistachios are our most popular flavor. Coated with the perfect blend of garlic with a dash of onion; a bold taste to tantalize your taste buds and feed your hunger cravings. In a 1-lb resealable package, they’re the perfect snack.

Fiddyment Farms’ flavorings are all natural and do not contain any artificial flavors or preservatives, and you can rest assured that our pistachios are Naturally Opened on the tree, never opened by artificial means, nor have they been bleached. We roast the pistachios in small batches at our own facility.

What I Think:

Well, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten pistachio nuts that tasted so good that I found myself sucking on the shells.  Yes, as weird as that sounds, that’s what I am doing with these Garlic Onion Pistachios from Fiddyment Farms.  I’m not sure how sanitary it is (and if you know, please do not tell me), but what I do know is that because these were flavored in their shells, that the shells have a good amount of garlic onion flavoring on them, and I’m loving that garlic onion flavoring.

The nut itself is on the sweet side.  The seasoning gives it a nice amount of salty flavor, as well as a pungent garlic and onion flavor which is savory and it has a nice kick to it too.  I don’t really notice it with the first couple of pistachios, but then after about four or five of them, I notice that distinct prickly sensation on my palate as if it had been subjected to garlicky-oniony spice overload.  (For the record, in the case of these pistachios, spice overload is NOT a bad thing!)

These are absolutely addictive!

But, as delicious as they are, there are a couple of things I wanted to make note of.  First of all, they are a bit messy.  Of course, the eating of shelled pistachios is always a little messy because of the shells.  But, these tend to be even messier than a standard, lightly salted pistachio that you might find in the grocery store, especially if you’ve taken to sucking on the shells like I have.  The seasoning is a bit sticky, and it causes the nuts to stick in the shells and therefore do not easily pop out.  This is not a particular problem if you’re sucking on the shells, because they ease their way out of the shell at some point.  But, if you’re looking for a mess-free snack to serve for friendly gatherings, this might not be the ideal choice.  And if you’re one who enjoys your snacks at the computer, you may want to have a napkin handy.

My Final Thoughts:

These are very yummy, guaranteed to make the garlic-lover’s taste buds happy.  Especially delicious with a Yunnan tea, I highly recommend this Yunnan Golden Buds from Verdant Tea.  The spice on the pistachios brings out some of the mellow spice in the tea, while the honey-esque tones of the tea provide pleasing contrast to the strong flavors of the nuts.