Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin’

jalapenofiesta

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

Ingredients:

jalapeno peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, salsa almonds and roasted pumpkin seeds

I received this snack in my February Graze box.

Tea Suggestion:

I suggest an iced tea with this selection, and have plenty on hand because it’s a spicy snack!  You’ll want to refresh the palate!  When I opened this tray, I had this Whisky & Cola Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas chilling in my fridge!  A nice way to cool the tongue after eating one of those jalapeño peanuts!

What I Think:

Spicy!  The peanuts have been seasoned with “jalapeño” flavoring (although the ingredient list says that it’s cayenne, I don’t see jalapeño in the complete ingredient list), and there are quite a few peanuts in this snack mix.  The almonds have been seasoned with a “salsa” flavoring, and while there are far fewer almonds in this mix, there are enough here to amp up the zesty flavor of the mix.

There are also sunflower seeds and pumpkin seed kernels in this mix, and they aren’t flavored except with a bit of soy sauce.  They need a little salt.  Yeah, I know soy sauce has a salty flavor to it, but, I would prefer a light salting over a soy sauce coating.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall, I didn’t hate this this nutty snack mix.  I don’t know that I enjoyed it enough to “like” it on my graze account.  It’s tasty enough, but I felt as though it really could have used more salt.  I’m not usually one who needs a lot of salt on things (unlike my husband who likes a little bit of food with his salt, it seems!) but this would have been better if it was a little saltier.  Because of this, I chose to “trash” this snack.  I didn’t hate it, but, I didn’t want to receive it again either.  I like the spicy elements, but I wanted a little more contrast.  Maybe some acid (how about lime seasoned pumpkin seeds?), and definitely some more salt.

bananasfosterIngredients:

fudge pieces, honey almond slivers, pumpkin seeds and banana coins

I received this Bananas Foster Snack in my December Graze Box.

Tea Suggestion:

For this yummy, sweet and salty snack, I decided to go with something that was both sweet and a little bit savory:  this Genmai Hojicha from Sara’s Tea Caddie.  The warm, toasty notes of the tea accentuated the nutty notes of the almond slivers and pumpkin seeds.  A really nice tea time!

What I Think:

This snack surprised me with the very first bite.  And with that first bite, I immediately clicked on the “like” box on my Graze products page.

I sort of mindlessly grabbed a few pieces out of the tray and popped them into my mouth … and the banana – is soft!  It’s a dried banana … but it isn’t a banana chip like I thought it would be.  It’s not hard, dense and crunchy like a typical banana chip.  This is soft and chewy and delightfully banana-y!

I love the sweet and salty quality of this snack, and the varying textures: the honey almond slivers and the pumpkin seeds add a little bit of crunch.  The fudge bits and the honey from the almonds add some sweetness.  The nuts add a salty taste.  The banana adds a great banana flavor and chew to the mix.  It was chewy, crunchy, salty, savory and sweet all in one bite!

My Final Thoughts:

The more I munched on this snack, the more I enjoyed it, and by the time I finished the snack, the “like” was upgraded to “love”!  I love the different textures and the way the flavors all work together in this snack.  Yum!

fruitseedflapjack

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

Ingredients:

rolled oats, margarine (vegetable oil, water, salt), demerara sugar, apricots, dates, currants, raisins, sunflower seeds, golden syrup, pumpkin seeds (contains gluten)

I received these mini flapjack bars in my first Graze box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because these “flapjacks” remind me a bit of an energy bar, I decided to go with something invigorating to drink, and I chose this Vietnam Black Tea from Single Origin Teas.  I like the way the natural spice tones of the tea accent the fruit and seed notes of these snacks.  It was a really enjoyable tea time!

What I Think:

What I’m thinking is YUM!  These are essentially soft and chewy granola bars, loaded with toasted oats, raisins, apricots, dates, currants, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

The oats are a prominent flavor and they lend a nice toasty flavor to the bar.  The photo suggests more pumpkin seeds in these than I’m actually finding in my three bars (The tray comes with three small bars – about three or four bites worth, depending on how big your bite is).  I’m finding some pumpkin seeds in these, but I’m wishing there were more.  I definitely do taste the sunflower seeds, and the raisins.  I don’t taste a lot of dates, but, I do get a hint of apricot every now and then.

My Final Thoughts:

It’s sweet and fruity and it’s a little bit like a tasty oatmeal that I can take with me.  I’m not really crazy about the addition of margarine, I prefer butter.  I’m not really crazy about the “golden” syrup which implies additional sweetener.  These two additions don’t scream out “healthy” to me, although I’m sure that these are healthier than say, a commercially produced granola bar.  I like that they aren’t overly sticky (a sign to me that there’s too much sweetener in the bar.)  That said, these do seem to have less sugar and sweeteners than the commercially produced granola bar.  Tasty, I’m going to give these a “like.”

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!

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)

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!