Sunday, June 30, 2019

Delicious Drinks and Eats

It’s time to celebrate the warmer weather with some refreshing drinks and healthy foods (with recipes).


If You Like Piña Coladas…
How about a French vodka with all-natural flavors? That’s what Alize makes and for this summer they introduced Alize Pineapple, priced at only $20.

Pineapple happens to be my favorite fruit, so it was easy to get me to try this one and I wasn’t disappointed. It was the star of my tasting event over ice. I’m sure there are plenty of cocktails you can make with this, but it’s so flavorful and not too sweet and I want it straight. If you are in the mood for a Piña Colada, just add a little coconut milk.


Speaking of coconut milk…
Gefen Coconut Milk also arrived at my door. The company sent me the Sweetened and Unsweetened. I haven’t worked with the unsweetened yet (stay tuned for next month), but I came up with this recipe for Easy Blueberry Coconut Ice Cream with the sweetened. 

It’s a cool, refreshing, treat that tastes more like sherbet.


Sugarlands introduces Roaming Man…
I’ve really enjoyed Sugarlands previous releases, including Eggnog and Pumpkin Sipping Creams. This time they sent me some of their whiskey.

Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey was aged in white-oak in the Gatlinburg distillery. It has an average proof of 121, and you can definitely taste it. It’s as powerful as it is flavor-filled. In addition to the sweetness of caramel and vanilla, it has a bite from the tobacco and pepper.


Camarena goes for gold…
I usually save the tequila for National Tequila Day, July 24th (aka, my birthday), but I couldn’t wait to try Camarena Anejo Tequila.

This award-winning tequila is made from 100% blue weber agave and is only $30 a bottle. It’s recently partnered with The Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Football association to be their official tequila during the 2019 Gold Cup. I thought it was delicious, just a bit of toasted oak and lots of sweet agave flavor.


Without the nuts…
Beyond Equator sent me a few containers of their 5 Seed Butters. I love peanut butter, so I was anxious to try these. 


I didn’t want to have them at once so I could tell the difference. I started with the Chia, Flax, Pumpkin, Sunflower & Hemp. It tasted really good, but I took it one step further. I put together this Flourless 5-Seed Cake.

I’m sure I’ll have some other creative surprises with Beyond Equator products to come.


It’s always time for coffee…
I love my Keurig, one thing I miss is the smell of brewing coffee. I never expected to get it from what’s essential an instant coffee.

Steeped Coffee is not your grandmother’s instant coffee so forget any comparison.
The smell is incredible from the moment you open the package and it stays with out as you drink it. It tastes good too.  The coffee bags are available in light roast, medium roast, dark roast, French roast, and decaf. Subscribe on their website, or start with a free trial to check it out for yourself.

Flavor without sugar…
Choc-Zero sent me a selection of their zero calorie, zero sugar syrups. I’m going to try some in smoothies, desserts, and coffees, but the Maple Vanilla was screaming at me “French Toast.”


I have a delicious and Easy Crockpot French Toast recipe and the Choc-Zero Maple Vanilla was just perfect in it.  Give it a try. I’ll keep you posted on what I do with the other Choc-Zero samples.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Springtime for Food & Wine

Spring has sprung and it’s time to make things simpler so you can enjoy the weather. I’ve got some great options for you this month, and plenty to wash it down with.


Spring Chicken…
Moore’s Marinade sent me two of their popular sauces to try out: Asian Teriyaki Wing Sauce and Honey BBQ Wing Sauce. I invited some friends over and got cooking – without a sweat.

For the Asian Teriyaki Wing Sauce, I marinated wings in a Ziploc bag for the day. In the meantime, I put a family-sized package of drumsticks in my crockpot with the Honey BBQ. I cooked that on low for 6 hours. A friend through the wings on the grill (with a little extra sauce on top) just before the drumsticks were done.

Both recipes were delicious – and so easy! I recommend picking up some from Amazon.




Mangia Italiano…
My Italian grandfather always pushed me to get better and better at my Italian cooking game. I’ve got my sauce down to a science, so I was a little hesitant to try Tuscanini Tomato Sauce.

I was making a pasta dish that required a cup of sauce. I didn’t have any homemade out of the freezer, so I thought I’d give it a try. I opened up the convenient box (much nicer than cans), added some spices and a little parmesan cheese. I only simmered it for 20 minutes and it was really good.


Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken
My cousin created and owns Scott’s Food Products. I’ve tried and enjoyed their products over the years. There’s one, the Mediterranean Garlic Marinade, I was never quite sure what to do with.

I had some chicken thighs defrosted and thought it would be a good time to experiment in the crockpot. The result was this simple Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken, with only a few ingredients.


Grab a Bottle of this…
If you are looking for the perfect wine to bring to your next barbecue, the 2018 Rosé from Marshall Davis covers all the bases. It’s light and refreshing, fruity enough to enjoy alone without being overbearing if you serve it with food, and priced right at $25.

The wine comes from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and it’s made from pinot noir grapes.


Wine in the can…
Canned wine is very portable, and the selection has come a long way over the last few years.
Archer Roose Wines has seven different flavors and they sent me samples of each to try. I gathered a group of friends and we poured them all out.

The favorite of all was the Sparkling Rose. In fact, we were all ready to head by the pool with this one. It’s quite fruity and not overly bubbly so it’s very refreshing. The Bubbly and still Rose were also very good. 

The Malbec was sweeter than you’d expect the grape to be. I was a bit disappointed in the Sauvignon Blanc, but I don’t drink a lot of the Chilean variety, which has a much stronger taste and bolder citrus than I prefer.


Also in a can…
Alcohol of all kinds in a can appears to be popular this year. Another one I had a chance to try was Hard Frescos. Aside from the fact that it tastes much more like fruit and natural flavor than a soda, it’s hard (pardon the pun) to taste any alcohol in this one.

It was a hit, especially with one friend who kept a can to herself. She loved all the citrus for a summer thirst quencher.


Put the Rum in the Coconut…
RumHaven is a different kind of rum, that easily turns itself into a cocktail with little effort. It’s a mixture of Caribbean rum, pure cane sugar, and coconut water. It’s a little bit sweet, but not as much as a coconut rum you might pick up. It still has enough flavor to hold its own with a little club soda, pineapple juice, or coca cola.

If you’d like to get a bit more creative with RumHaven, they have recipes on their website.