Posts Tagged ‘vanilla’

Blueberry_Vanilla

Photo from Off The Farm.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Ingredients: brown rice syrup, blueberries (blueberries, sugar, sunflower oil), oats, currants, pears, almonds, crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, malt extract, salt, mixed tocopherols), apples, chia seeds, sesame seeds, tapioca syrup, natural flavors, sunflower oil, sea salt, citric acid.

I received this energy bar in my January box from Knoshy!

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat energy bars, I like to drink green tea.  Green tea is an invigorating tea, so I find that that extra boost of energy that I get from the green tea is nice to go with the “energy” of the bar.  I chose this Organic Mountain Indonesian Green Tea from Tea at Sea to drink with this bar.  The sweet, buttery flavors of the tea went nicely with the whole grain goodness of the bar.

What I Think:

I was really excited to find not one but two energy bars from Off The Farm in January’s Knoshy box.   Normally, my attitude toward energy bars is kind of blasé, but I make an exception for the energy bars from this company, because I really enjoyed the Apple Cinnamon bar that I’ve tried previously.

This is tasty!  Lots of seeds, lots of nuts, and lots of fruity flavors.  I don’t taste as much vanilla as I expected to since this bar is called “Blueberry Vanilla.”  But there’s a bounty of blueberries in this … it’s packed with them!

My Final Thoughts:

Really delicious.  I love the big, juicy blueberries, I love the crunchy seeds of the bar … I do wish there was more of a vanilla note to it, but, I do like the berries.

gingerbreadspice

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

Product Information:

This organic, fair trade chocolate is crafted by Theo Chocolate in Seattle, Washington. Gingerbread spices are mixed with creamy milk chocolate that’s sweet, spicy and warming! Makes a perfect fireside treat to enjoy with a mug of hot cocoa. Limited seasonal release.

I received this chocolate bar in my December box from Knoshy!

Tea Suggestion:

Because I’m loving the notes of spice in this chocolate bar, especially the nutmeg, I decided to brew a cup of this Nutmeg Cream Tea from Butiki Teas!  I love the way the creamy notes of the tea marry with the creamy taste of the chocolate on my palate, and the the spice notes of the tea were in perfect harmony with the zesty spices of the confection.  Delicious!

What I Think:

Chocolate!

This is the first of two chocolate bars that I received in December’s box from Knoshy.  And I’m loving it.

There is a good amount of spice to this candy bar.  It’s a really delightful balance between rich, creamy milk chocolate and warm spices, and I like that they aren’t competing with one another.

When I shop for chocolate, I generally select a darker chocolate, but, I really like milk chocolate too, and I think that milk chocolate is the right choice for these particular flavors because it makes it taste almost like a chocolate “chai” but without the tea.  (Don’t worry, that can be easily remedied by simply enjoying the chocolate bar alongside a cup of hot tea!)

In fact, the spices here are very chai-like.  It’s got ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg, as well as vanilla.  Most of these (and often all of these) are found in a masala chai.

My Final Thoughts:

I love this chocolate bar.  I am so glad that Knoshy included it in this month’s box.  It is rich, spicy, and chocolate-y … and absolutely delicious.

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Product Information:

Stacy’s Bake Shop Bakery Crisps are made from bread that is twice baked to create a flavorful, crispy snack.

Bake Shop Bakery Crisps can be enjoyed by themselves or with dips and toppings to accompany any snacking occasion. These versatile snacks are appropriate throughout the day, whether as a mid-morning snack with coffee or an end-of-day treat.

Learn more about these Bakery Crisps here.

Tea Suggestion:

These Vanilla Pound Cake Bakery Crisps make a really, REALLY great tea time snack.  I enjoyed them with a chai latte that I made using this Strong Brew Chai Concentrate from Chico Chai.  Delicious – and I liked how the vanilla notes of the crisps brought out the vanilla notes in the chai!

What I Think:

???????????????????????????????This product has been catching my eye lately in the grocery store, and when one of the grocery stores offered a dollar off coupon, I decided that I’d try them.

Basically, they’re like a snack cracker/cookie that has been made by thinly slicing bread and then baking them until they’re crisp.  They come in several different intriguing flavors – two sweeter varieties:  this Vanilla Pound Cake and also Banana Nut Bread (I got a box of this flavor too, so I’ll be reviewing it at a later time), and two varieties that are on the savory side:  Herbed Baguette and Pretzel Bread.  The store where I purchased these two boxes only had the two sweeter crisps, so, those were what I grabbed … but I think even if all four were offered, I would have definitely grabbed a box of this Vanilla Pound Cake.  It just sounded too yummy.

And these are really tasty.  They are crunchy and sweet, reminiscent of a butter shortbread cookie, but a little sweeter.  I really like the texture, because in addition to the crunchy … there is this fine … buttery texture to it that evokes thoughts of … well, of a rich, buttery pound cake.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these.  They make a great tea time treat.  I also served some of these to my youngest daughter and her best friend and they both really enjoyed them. I can definitely see myself buying these again … and again!

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

Product Description:

These bars are wheat-free, all-natural and made with local apples from Bishops Orchard in Guilford, Connecticut. The flavors and aromas of the bars will bring back memories of apple picking in the orchard and drinking warm cinnamon apple cider on a cool autumn night.

They’re made with: organic rolled oats, Connecticut wildflower honey, organic oat bran, organic sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, golden raisins, cranberries, canola oil, natural vanilla, organic lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, malt syrup, cardamom, sea salt and ginger.

I received this bar in my October Knoshbox, and they can be purchased on the Knoshbox website for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

This granola bar has a lot of flavor on its own, so I didn’t want to choose something that might have a competitive flavor profile.  I chose this High Country black tea blend from Trail Lodge Tea, and it was an ideal choice.  The richness of the tea complimented the sweet, toasty flavors of the granola bar, and the earthy tones of the bar highlighted the tea’s earthier qualities.

What I Think:

When it come to granola bars, I typically prefer the softer variety over the crunchy.  This granola bar seems to fall somewhere in between the two … it’s not as hard as the commercially produced granola bars that you’ll readily find in the grocery stores, it isn’t pressed the way those bars seem to be.  You know what I’m talking about right?  It seems like the ingredients for those granola bars are compacted into a solid, brick-like form that is almost as hard as a brick.   That’s not the case with these bars, You can see all the ingredients, and they don’t appear to be quite as SMOOSHED together as the brick granola bars, but these DO have a certain toothy crunch to them that makes them similar to the crunchy granola bars.

But, what makes them crunchy are the chunks of nuts (I can taste the almonds and especially the pecans!  YUM!) and the toasted oats and sunflower seeds.  The texture is brought on naturally, not by over-processing.

My Final Thoughts:

I love that I can identify each ingredient that is listed in the above list.  I can taste the honey, and the cranberries and each of the spices too!  It’s really a warm and delicious tasting bar – definitely very “Harvest-y” … a perfect granola bar for this time of year (and for the Autumn Harvest themed Knoshbox!)  While I do generally prefer my granola bars to be slightly softer, I like that the crunchiness of this bar comes from the toasted textures of the ingredients.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, hunger-satiating granola bar … and one that I enjoyed enough that I might purchase it again.

Product Description:

THE WILLIAMETTE VALLEY IS ALSO KNOWN FOR ITS WIDE VARIETY OF NUTS. AMONG THE MOST POPULAR IS THE HAZELNUT. KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD FOR ITS QUALITY AND GREAT NUTTY FLAVOR IT IS USED IN EVERY TYPE OF DESSERT POSSIBLE. WE HAVE TAKEN THE HAZELNUT EXTRACT AND CREATED A UNIQUE TASTE IN THE SODA WORLD. SMOOTH, CREAMY AND NUTTY IT IS BEYOND A DOUBT A GREAT ALTERNATIVE FOR YOUR SODA TASTES.

Learn more about Mt. Angel Brewing Company on their website.

What I Think:

I happened upon this bottle of soda while dining in a Portland restaurant.  I had never heard of hazelnut soda before, and I was definitely intrigued!  I love hazelnuts, and while I’m not a big fan of soda pop (I much prefer tea!), I will occasionally indulge in a soda now and then, usually when I find something interesting and unique like this Hazelnut Cream Soda!

And it certainly is unique, although there is something quite familiar about it too.  It has a base flavor of vanilla cream soda – a really rich, delicious vanilla cream soda with an emphasis on the VANILLA!  Very sweet, very creamy, and tastes a bit like a ice cream soda … imagine having an ice cream soda with a big scoop of real vanilla ice cream that has melted in the soda … that’s what this tastes like!  Yummy vanilla goodness.

But let’s not forget about the hazelnut, because that’s in there too!  The hazelnut melds beautifully with the vanilla tones, to create a sweet and nutty, slightly toasty flavor that perfectly complements the flavor of the vanilla.

My Final Thoughts:

This is really, really good.  I mean, I was fairly confident that I’d enjoy this, but, I didn’t realize what a treat I was in for with this soda.   As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a big soda enthusiast, but, if I found this while shopping I might pick up a bottle for one of those special times when I want something sweet and fizzy.

picture from BigSpoon Jam. Click on the pic to go there!

I received a jar of this jam in my Seattle tasting box from Foodzie, but I’m just getting around to reviewing it now… yes, I’m behind on my reviews.  Sorry!

Product Description:

Local berries star in this perfectly sweet preserve. Super for yogurt, swirl into oatmeal or warm and pour over ice cream. The daring may try muddling or shaking into a mixed drink.

Learn more about BigSpoon Jam on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Since I typically enjoy jam on toast and when I eat toast, it’s usually breakfast time, it seemed only natural to choose a breakfast-y blend to enjoy with this jam.   This Capital Breakfast blend from Capital Teas is one of the best I’ve tried recently!  It has a very rich flavor with a hint of smokiness that really accentuates the unique flavors within this jam very well.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I sampled this jam on toasted 8 grain bread as well as right off the spoon (it is called “BigSpoon Jam, after all!)

When I first opened this jar, I thought something might be wrong.  This did not look like jam to me.  It looked more like strawberry sauce, like the topping my gramma would make for strawberry shortcake or to ladle on top of morning waffles.

The strawberries are HUGE in this jam, and the rest of the jam is really quite runny, like sauce.  It cannot be spread, like most jams or jellies, because there are the large, whole berries that have been rendered quite soft from the cooking process, and then there is the liquid, which when spooned over the toast, just sort of absorbs into the toast and does not allow itself to be spread.

But that does not mean that it isn’t absolutely delicious – because it is!  The berries are BURSTING with fresh taste, they taste like they are fully-ripened on the vine and full of that delicious strawberry flavor which is accentuated with a touch of vanilla to give it more sweetness and a hint of creaminess too.  The lemon is very slight, just enough to give it an acidic brightness.

Even though this is a very runny jam, it really is delicious and very well balanced.  I would not recommend it for your toast, but instead, do as suggested in the product description (above):  add it to your hot cereal, or perhaps top your ice cream or yogurt with it.

My Final Thoughts:

This is delicious, but it is probably not something I’d buy for myself because it is a bit pricy and as a hot cereal/ice cream/yogurt topper, when used liberally, there would be about four uses in the jar.  That’s a pretty expensive ice cream topper.  Yummy … but there are a lot of other delicious jams out there that are prices a bit more reasonably and this just wouldn’t be worth it to me.   All that said, this addition to the Seattle tasting box certainly did increase the value of the last box I received from Foodzie – and that makes me happy!

Picture from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Madagascar Vanilla Caramel:

Handmade caramels made with only real butter and heavy whipping cream. We add in just a little salt , a plump madagascar vanilla bean and cook everything to just the right temperature. We then hand wrap each soft creamy and rich caramel.

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Caramels:

Handmade caramels made with only real butter and heavy whipping cream. We add in just the right amount of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and cook everything to just the right temperature. We then hand wrap each soft creamy and rich caramel.

These caramels (and so much more!) can be purchased at Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

With these caramels, I chose this Royal Gold Yunnan Needle from Zhi Tea, and I must say that it is the perfect pairing!  The tea has delicious caramel-y undertones to it which accent the caramels in a way that the burnt-sugar flavors are amplified (and I like that), and there is just a hint of smokiness to it.  A wonderful treat – this tea and these caramels!

What I Think:

These are not the first treats that I’ve tried from CC Made – thanks to the now-defunct Foodzie box, I had the opportunity to also try a couple of the Caramel corns from CC Made and I loved those.  So, I knew I was entering into somewhat familiar and very tasty territory with these two caramels that I received in my Petit Amuse Sampler Box last month.

The box contained one of each of the following flavors:  Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Caramel and Madagascar Vanilla Caramel.  YUM!  My mouth waters just from typing out the names of these … and I haven’t even begun tasting yet!

These have to be the softest, creamiest caramel confections I’ve had.  These are almost like caramel sauce, they’re so soft and gooey!  I started with the Madagascar Vanilla Caramel because I LOVE salted caramels (I love vanilla caramels too, but, there’s a special place in my heart for salted caramel), and I wanted to save the best for last.

These are incredibly soft.  Chewy … yes, well, every caramel I’ve ever tried was chewy, but this Madagascar Vanilla Caramel literally melted in my mouth, I didn’t really have much of a chance to chew.

It was silky smooth – no grit, no sugar crystals, just smooth, rich caramel with a delicious vanilla overtone.  There is something a little more to it … almost a smoky flavor that I notice now in the aftertaste.  Very interesting.  Then again, that COULD be the tea that I’m drinking along with these, I can’t say for sure, but, I really am enjoying this aftertaste, almost as much as I enjoyed the confection!

Now for the Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Caramel … Mmmm… yes, I think that the smoky note (ever so slight) is coming from the caramel, it’s like a burnt-sugar taste.  And it’s very enjoyable.  Of course, this is further accented by this tea – this Royal Gold Yunnan Needle – because it has an undercurrent of burnt-sugar caramel flavor to it … but the caramel has it too.

I don’t notice much of a sea salt taste nor do I notice the texture of it.  Then again, this caramel, just like the Madagascar Vanilla before it – melted in my mouth before I had much chance to really chew it.  I did notice that this caramel was a little stickier than the first.  Both were really delicious though, but I think my favorite was the Himalayan Sea Salt … even though I don’t taste much from the salt, I do taste more of that smoky, burnt sugar taste and I really like that.

My Final Thoughts:

I love caramel as I’ve mentioned more than once.  And these caramels were spectacular.  I love how soft they were – but they were almost too soft.  They didn’t allow me to enjoy the chewy texture of caramel because they became almost the consistency of silky caramel sauce when the caramel hit the tongue.   But they were incredibly decadent, and sometimes, that craving for decadent creaminess outweighs the need for chewy texture in a caramel … and in those cases, this is the caramel you’ll want!