Posts Tagged ‘October’

Product Description:

This limited seasonal release sells out at every Connecticut farm market Nate’s Naturals attends. After making granola for over 20 years, they decided to start selling the delicious creations in 2008. An electrical engineer by trade, Nate knows that even the smallest details matter.

Made with organic rolled oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, honey and a touch of molasses. They then add real pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie spices. These natural & local ingredients are then baked slowly to toasted perfection.

I received a pouch of this Happy Jack Granola in my October Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

While snacking on this granola right out of the bag, I chose something refreshing to sip along with my snack.  I chose this green tea: Kenya Rift Valley Green Tea from Grey’s Teas because I hoped that the fruit notes of the tea would accent the granola in a beautiful way … brighten the flavors and help coax the pumpkin notes to express themselves.  I was right – the sweet pumpkin notes seemed to really pop! – and I was very pleasantly rewarded.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I tried this granola a few of different ways.  First, I tried it right out of the pouch by the handful.  YUM!  Then, I tried it sprinkled atop some plain, unflavored yogurt, and finally, I tried it as a cereal:  in a bowl with milk.

Generally speaking, I like granola, so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy this offering from Nate’s Naturals.  I didn’t really get a good look at the product or read any information about it until I opened the pouch to try it … so I was surprised to learn that this is a pumpkin granola.  I can’t recall ever trying a pumpkin granola before!

I think I prefer this as a yogurt topping than as a cereal, mostly because I wasn’t really fond of how the pumpkin seeds tasted in the milk.  It was OK as a cereal, but it really was amazing as a yogurt topper.  The tangy notes of the yogurt provided a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the granola, and I loved the different textures:  smooth, creamy yogurt, chewy raisins, crunchy granola … I had purchased this tub of yogurt originally to make smoothies, but I might end up using it all for with this granola before I get a chance to blend a smoothie!

Then again, it is really tasty as a snack, right out of the bag.  It is crunchy but not too hard, and I love the toasty taste.  It is sweet and lightly spiced, and every once in a while, I bite into a cranberry and I get a lovely tart note that sort of brightens it all up.

But what makes this granola truly special is the pumpkin.  Not just pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie spice, this is made also with pumpkin puree, and you can taste a little bit of pumpkin goodness in every single bite!  It isn’t an overwhelming taste, but it does give a really nice, unique flavor to this granola.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this granola.  It makes an awesome yogurt topper, and it’s quite tasty right out of the bag.  I see that Knoshbox is currently sold out of this granola, which is too bad, because this is delicious … something I’d definitely consider repurchasing!

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

Product Description:

In 2007, Chef Josh Henderson created Skillet Street Food in Seattle. Out of a vintage Airstream trailer, he created innovative lunch menus based on American-inspired food prepared with classic technique and seasonal ingredients. 

His new Skillet Pumpkin sauce was featured in October’s Autumn Harvest box- it’s a versatile sauce that can be used as a base for many recipes, spread onto all things grilled or used simply in place of ketchup on just about anything.

I received this jar of Pumpkin Sauce in my October Knoshbox.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I tried this pumpkin sauce two ways:  First, I spooned some over a pork chop, and then I tried some right off the spoon.

This tastes a little less like pumpkin and a bit more like well-seasoned, vinegar-y brown sugar sauce.  That’s not to say that I don’t like it, it’s actually quite tasty … it’s just a little different than I expected it to be.  And I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting – I guess I expected more of a pumpkin-y taste … like pumpkin puree.  Here, I can taste the pumpkin, but, it seems to be competing with the vinegar and spices.

It is a tasty sauce, though, and it goes spectacularly well with pork chops.  I suspect it would be equally as a condiment with turkey (I think I might try cooking down some cranberries and blend them to a puree, and mixing the cranberries with this pumpkin sauce for an alternative to my usual cranberry relish that I make every year)

My Final Thoughts:

I am REALLY glad that I got the opportunity to try this pumpkin sauce from Skillet.  I’ve been coveting it for a while now, contemplating an order, and while I don’t think that this is something I will reorder (I might, though), I am glad that my curiosity has been satiated by Knoshbox (thanks!!!)  Having this in October’s Knoshbox made the box worthwhile for me.  (Yes, I realize that the stuff doesn’t cost as much as the Knoshbox, but did you forget?  I also got Bacon Peanut Brittles in my box too)

Product Description:

Everyone knows the best piece in a batch of brownies is the crispy corner. With Brownie Brittle, every bite is a corner with silky smooth chocolate chips! Crunchy, wafer-like texture and deep chocolate flavor, this brittle is a little taste of heaven.

I received a pouch of this Brownie Brittle in my October Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because these are very crunchy and cookie-like, I recommend choosing a tea that you’d drink with crispy cookies, like maybe a dessert tea!  Since these are really chocolate-y on their own, I thought that a chocolate tea might be a tad too much (although there really is no such thing as too much chocolate, is there?) so I decided to go with a coconut tea!  This Coconut Dream from New Mexico Tea Company is one of my favorites, and combining the chocolate brownie brittle with the coconut tea is quite indulgent!

What I Think:

Is it any surprise that I love brownies?  Hello?  I’m a chocoholic!

And when I bake a batch of brownies, my favorite parts are the edges.  I love the tender, chewy, fudge-y flavor of the brownie, but I like it even better as it gets toward that slightly dry, crispy edge.  When  I bake brownies, it doesn’t get too crispy or crunchy, there’s just a little bit of buttery caramelization there, and it’s heavenly!

So when I read the package to this, suggesting that with this Brownie Brittle there is no fighting over the corner piece … I thought, Oh!  Awesome!  That slightly crisp edge!  YUM!

But, this is a bit MORE than crispy.  It’s crunchier than any brownie edge that I’ve ever produced.  I usually go for the slightly underbaked brownie so that it retains some of that fudge-y texture once it’s cooled.  But this tastes as though the brownie were overcooked!  Not burned, exactly, but certainly left in the oven too long.  It’s dry, absolutely non-fudge-y, totally un-chewy, crisp as a cracker and thin as one too.

I like it alright as it is chocolate, but unfortunately, that it it’s only redeeming quality.  The chocolate.  I think that the concept of offering all the crunchy edges of the brownie is a good one, but, it just doesn’t work out with this product.

My Final Thoughts: 

As the only thing that’s really good about this is that it’s chocolate, it is certainly not something I’ll be buying again.  I think I might like them better if they were a little thicker (like maybe a chunky biscotti) or if it were a little less crisp, with some true brownie-esque qualities to it.  As it is, it sort of feels like I’m eating a burnt brownie without it actually being burnt.  That part is good, of course, but, I find myself wanting more brownie than brittle.

Product Description:

This flavor is twice as nice. We start with a naturally sweet blend of grains in our multigrain chips, and then top them with cinnamon and brown sugar for a delightfully sweet treat.

I received this package in my October Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I recommend a rich, delicious Yunnan tea with these snacks, like this Royal Gold Yunnan Tea from Zhi Tea.  The peppery notes of the Yunnan bring out the spicier tones of the cinnamon in the chips, while the sweetness of the chips enhances the sweet notes of cocoa and caramel in the tea.  A really lovely combination!

What I Think:

I see these type of popped snacks in the grocery store often, but, I can’t remember actually purchasing them.  I keep finding myself thinking that they’re just a fancier version of rice cakes, but, now that I’m trying them, I can’t believe how wrong I was!  These are really yummy!

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like rice cakes.  I might be one of the only people on earth that does, but, I like the crispy, airy texture of them, and some of the flavored rice cakes (the one that comes immediately to mind is the sea salt and cracked pepper) are worthy replacements for those fatty potato chips.

But these are really quite different from those rice cakes … They’re not only thinner and crunchier than rice cakes, but the multigrain-iness to these translates into the flavor in a very delicious way.  It tastes more substantial than the typical rice cake, but at the same time, it maintains a lightness to it – I don’t feel weighed down after eating a sample bag of these chips.

My Final Thoughts:

I love the cinnamon and brown sugar flavor of these – it reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (yes, the cereal!) only, these are less sweet, and tastier with the multigrain flavor.  These are definitely something I’d put into the cart while shopping, definitely something I’d want to enjoy again … and again!

This month, my Knoshbox arrived on what turned out to be a very bad day for me.  As I was walking down to the mailbox to check the mail, I rolled my ankle and sprained it.  Painful!  And I mention this because there was no mail in the box – the mail carrier had not yet arrived – and because this box was delivered in a medium flat rate box the mail carrier had to bring it up to the door anyway.  My disastrous trip to the mailbox was completely unnecessary.  How fate laughs at me.

A scan of the theme card in this month’s box. I didn’t get a photo of the box and its contents before I started munching on the Bacon Peanut Brittles. By the time I got home from the hospital, I was on painkillers and had totally forgotten to snap a picture before I began munching! Sorry!

But… let that not lead you to think that this month’s box is also disastrous – far from it!  This may just be the best Knoshbox ever!  It contained only four items, but, one of these items is so beyond exciting!  A full-sized container of Pumpkin Sauce from Skillet Street Food!  OH yeah!  I’ve been wanting to try this since trying their Bacon Jam.

Also in this month’s box was a full-size package of granola as well as a Toasted Orchard Bar, both from Nate’s Naturals, and a full-size package of Bacon Peanut Brittles from the Redhead, NYC.  I’ve already sampled the Bacon Peanut Brittles, and they are amazing… so perhaps I might share this package with my husband.  Maybe.

Then again …

Anyway, this is a very exciting box, and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to try these products.  Also included in the box is the theme card (this month’s theme is “Autumn Harvest”) which told of the inspiration behind the four selections.  The only thing that I’m missing this month is the little handwritten note on the back of the card.  It’s a small thing, but, I like that special touch.  It makes me feel like I am getting a gift from a friend that was packaged with care rather than an assembly line packaged box.  Knoshbox, if you’re reading this … I like the handwritten note.  It was a nice little touch.

As you can see by my little note under the scan of this month’s theme card, I have already started diving in to the yummy goodies in this month’s box!

I really wasn’t expecting this to arrive today.  I thought maybe tomorrow… but, hurray for the Postal Service, they were expedient and got my packaged delivered promptly!  Yippee!

This month’s theme is Fall Harvest.  And what a bountiful harvest it is!  Inside the box, there are samplings of Gravenstein Apple Juice from Nana Mae’s Organics, Sea Salted Pumpkin Seeds from CB’s Nuts, Persimmon & Kumquat Fruit Leather from La Vigne Organics, Maple Syrup from Ben’s Sugar Shack, Pumpkin Spice Caramels from AvenueSweets, and an Apple Cinnamon Bar from Off The Farm Foods.

Yummy!  I’m especially excited that I’ve not yet tried any of these items, each will be an adventure.

The card insert (no longer a map card!) was also enclosed.  On the card, Emily (Chief Eater) and Rob (CEO of Foodzie) talk a little bit about this month’s theme:

Before Rob and I started Foodzie, I had spent my entire life on the East Coast, most of it in Maryland, where there were for distinct seasons.  Fall was always my favorite [my favorite, too, Emily!] Three years later, I’m now happily living in San Francisco.  If you’ve never been here, the weather is sorta crazy; it’s cold in July, and the weather hovers around 55 – 60° all year long.  So I’ve stopped thinking about the seasons as something defined by weather, and focus more on each season as how it’s defined by food.  As October nears, I’m craving pumpkin, apples, spices, caramel and persimmons, and so of course that’s what we’ve packed inside your Tasting Box this month.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you Emily and Rob!  I think I will enjoy it, and I think I will start digging in… NOW!