Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fall Spirits and Food

There was lots of frost on the pumpkin this Halloween, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying fall food and spirits.

A little bit of spirit in my bread…
I first tried Sugarland Distilling’s Pumpkin Spiced Latte Sipping Cream two years ago. I loved it and it was a huge hit with my friends. 

I received a note from the company promoting it for the fall season. I asked them to send me another bottle, this time for cooking.

I had a pretty good idea of what it would work in and I was right. You definitely want to try this recipe I created for Pumpkin Spiced Latte Cream Cheese Bread.

Try this tequila selection…
I didn’t know much about Alacran Tequila before I received a box to sample. I am a tequila lover and was impressed with their selection, as well as the product.

My favorite of the bunch was the Autentico Tequila Cristal. This premium tequila will remain one of my favorites. It’s got the perfect mix of smooth and sweet that I wouldn’t waste mixing in a cocktail. This is a tequila I want to sip.

The Alacran Blanco, which comes in a pink bottle for Breast Cancer October, is a good lower level tequila (it runs about $33 to the $44 of the Cristal), a little less smooth and sweet, but certainly worth keeping around and great for mixing.

While Reposados are not my favorite, I did like the Alacran, which is only aged four months in American Oak Barrels, so it’s not too strong, but does have some tasty vanilla and caramel.

All of the Alacran Tequilas are 100% agave, cleaned by hand and fermented with their own yeast. They also distill the tequila multiple times.

Not as strange as it sounds…
I was a bit thrown by Sonoma County Distilling Black Truffle Rye. I love black truffles, but wasn’t sure I wanted them in my whiskey. I was pleasantly surprised.

While Sonoma is better known for its wine, Sonoma County Distilling is making its name producing California whiskey with a flavor twist. (In addition to the one I received, they also make a Cherrywood Rye Whiskey.)

Don’t expect this to taste like anything you’ve had in your risotto. Instead, Sonoma Black Truffle, has an earthy, almost musty, taste from the truffles that will more remind you of Scotch whisky. You’ll sense the nuts more than the vanilla.

At 100 proof and $80 for 375 ml, this is definitely a bottle you savor, or give someone as a special gift.

Fully cover that bottle…
You certainly have to give kudos to whomever came up with the name “Wine Condoms.” I’m sure you can think of a dozen friends to buy them for – before you even know what they do.

Well, after receiving two boxes and trying them out, I can tell you that Wine Condoms have more than a good name. These are an ingenious invention, inexpensive and practical. Instead of worrying about where you put the bottle stopper, just rip over one of these in their little wrapper and cover up your wine.

In addition to being easy to use, I found the Wine Condoms work great. I was able to lay my bottles down in the refrigerator without any spillage.

You can purchase Wine Condoms on Amazon.

Easy, Healthy Popcorn…
I confess that, despite reading about some of the dangers of microwave popcorn, I use it for convenience. That’s why I was anxious to hear about Colonel Popper, a simple option.

Colonel Popper is definitely easy to use. I didn’t need more than a teaspoon of oil and, miraculously, all the kernels popped. They were light and flavorful, with no chemicals, no wasted bags, and no extra cost.

I also love the pop-up bowl that stores easily with its cover. You can buy Colonel Popper here.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Ready for Fall?

Fall is when the products I receive begin to increase, in anticipation of the holiday season. While I’m not quite ready to rush into Thanksgiving, I do have to keep up! Here’s some of the best that I’ve gotten to try out this month.

DeLille Cellars Wines…
It’s been a few years since I’ve visited Washington state to check out their wine regions. Woodinville was a spot I really liked because it’s close to Seattle and contains a quite a few wineries, as well as tasting rooms for wineries from other areas of the state.

One of the wineries there, DeLille Cellars, recently sent me three wines that were quite good.

The 2016 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon is smoky and oaky, with a sweet cherry nose and a long finish of herbs and fruit. The flavors finish dry, as a good cab should.

As good as the Cabernet Sauvignon is, I am more drawn to the DeLille Cellars D2. The chocolate-filled smell attracted me and the light, fruity taste kept me drinking. I loved the black raspberry mix, with a hint of cocoa.

The 2018 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Blanc is an interesting blend of semillion and sauvignon blanc. It’s lightly oaked and a bit buttery from French oak. The citrus finish is satisfying as well.
True root beer taste...
I am not a soda drinker, but give me a good root beer and I’ll really enjoy it. Although I was skeptical at first, I was pleasantly surprised that Root Out Whiskey has that delicious root beer flavor.

This combination of vanilla and sassafras and aged Canadian whisky is a winner. While my ideal would be with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I was more than happy to just sip it over ice.

Keep it healthy and green…
NatureZway™ sent me two of their eco-friendly cleaning products. They are made from bamboo and are reusable, making them better for the environment and cheaper to use in the long run.

The Vegetable Brush is made with natural fibers. It works well on fruits and vegetables and cleans easily.

You won’t need to buy anymore paper towels if you purchase the Perforated Towels. I haven’t had them long enough to prove the claim that they can be used 100x, but I can tell you they clean well and can easily be rinsed out and reused.

More from ChocZero and Beyond Equator…
I’m still experimenting with the products I received from ChocZero and Beyond Equator. This month, I came up with some delicious ChocZero Superfood Brownie Bars.