Friday, July 31, 2020

Food and Drinks You’ll Want for Summer Fun

This is the first July in a long time where I’m not featuring tequila. With July 24th officially National Tequila Day, as well as my birthday, it’s been a standard column.

This year, I feel that I’ve been doing a lot of tequila year long and have been receiving a lot of other yummy products to try. I guarantee you’ll be thirsty and hungry by the time you are done reading this!

 

Speaking of my birthday…


Baked Cravings is a bakery in New York City that is peanut and tree nut free. They ship some of their treats nationally, including their Cupcakes in a Jar.

Their feature flavor is Cookies & Cream and it arrived at my door in time for my birthday breakfast. I am never one to turn down cake for breakfast and this one was utterly amazing. Although cookies & cream would not have been my first choice, this one was perfect. The chocolate cake was deep and rich and the cream was sweetened just enough.

Baked Cravings has many other flavors of their Cupcakes in a Jar. You can order on their website.  

 

A fun way to mix up cocktails…


I tried Shots Box when they first started and it was a bit different then. It was a subscription service to allow you to try different spirits every month in small shot-sized bottles.

Shots Box has expanded quite a bit since then, now offering delivery of full bottles. They still have shot boxes, and also have kits for those who love a single spirit – or want to experiment with cocktails.

I got the perfect summer set, a Rum Box. It came with 10 different rums, as well as a recipe for each one. I had a good time mixing up cocktails (which we split up so each of my friends could taste). Our favorites among them were: Sea Monster Mai Thai with Kracken White Label Black Spiced Rum; Sammy’s Rum-A-Rita with Sammy’s Beach Bar White Rum; and Classico Sparkling Mojito with Classico No. 2 White Rum Superior.

Visit the Shots Box website to see their current offerings and get a box for your next get together.

 

Protein bars you want to try…

I always have protein bars in the house, in my pocketbook, and in my car. I’m notorious for getting involved in something and forgetting to eat. I was excited to try UNiTE Bars and they didn’t disappoint.

First, I give a shoutout to the unusual flavors of UNiTE: Churro, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and PB&J. They were all quite good. I loved the dark chocolate with hints of spicy cinnamon in the Mexican Hot Chocolate. The Churro was not overly sweet like one would expect, but flavorful. The PB&J turned out to be too good and natural as I got carried away and didn’t realize it was real strawberry, which I’m allergic to! Fortunately, it is a mild allergy.

The bars are all-natural and gluten-free, with 10 grams of protein and limited to 10 grams of sugar. You can purchase them online here.


Spiritless Cocktails?

Whether you are a designated driver, not in the mood to drink, or not able to because of a medical condition or prescription, I think we’ve all had a time where we were abstaining from alcohol. Usually that means you are sipping water or soda. Spiritless is another option: a tasty bourbon with no alcohol.

Kentucky 74 is crafted and barrel-aged to taste just like bourbon without affecting your mind or body. It’s made to mix into cocktails just the way you would use regular bourbon.

I received a Spiritless cocktail kit with the ingredients (except the mint, which I got at my local market) to make Mint Juleps and New Fashions. They tasted just look their alcoholic counterparts. 

It worked out great for my get together, where the drivers were able to indulge in as many as they wanted without worrying, while a friend not driving had the same exact cocktails we did with regular bourbon. You can order Spiritless Kentucky 74 on their website.


A serum you’ll love…

I started trying Vitabrid skin care last month when my daughter gave me some samples. I liked the mask, but I absolutely love the Vitabrid Vitamin C12 Dual Drop Serum. I have never seen such a dramatic difference in my skin in less than a week. My skin was smoother, yet not stiff or dry.

Vitabrid Vitamin C12 Dual Drop Serum is available to buy on Amazon.  

 

More from Plant Junkie…

I’m still experimenting with the products I received from Plant Junkie, makers of natural plant-based products. This month, I decided to give their Plant Junkie Thai Peanut Vinaigrette a try and it made a simple and delicious salmon salad – perfect for a hot day!

Thai Peanut Salmon salad
1 lb. cooked rotini
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumbers, diced
2 cups cooked salmon chunks
½ bottle Plant Junkie Thai Peanut Vinaigrette

Put all ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and chill!

Plant Junkie products are available on Amazon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Healthy Eating and Treats for Your Body



It’s a rare month where I am not reviewing a selection of wine and liquor, but I didn’t run out of other things to try. Here is the best of it.


How about some tahini for a change?
I’ve always liked tahini, but I’m never really sure what to do with it. Fortunately for us, Mighty Sesame Co. has figured it out.

The one thing I’ve had with tahini that I love the most is halvah. It is hard to get and very high in calories and sugar. (I was thrilled when I was in Israel and it was a staple on the breakfast buffet.) The Mighty Sesame Tahini Bars don’t have either of those problems. They taste like halvah,  but it’s all organic, only 100 calories, and just six grams of sugar. I had the Vanilla. It also comes in Pistachio and Cocoa Nibs, which have the same low-calorie count.


Another product I got from Mighty Sesame was the Organic Tahini Squeeze Bottle. This can be used on sandwiches, salads, or hummus. I liked it just on an English muffin, instead of Peanut Butter. At eight grams of protein, it’s worthy of an exchange. I do suggest putting it in the refrigerator as it can get a little watery if it’s sitting out.


The lone liqueur…
Sometimes I need to enlist my friends more than other times. That was the case with RumChata Limon. Unfortunately, I have a mild citrus allergy. One sniff from the bottle told me there was too much lemon in there for me to safely drink. My friend Jayne was happy to take charge of the bottle. She shared it with some family, and it was a hit.

Everyone loved this lemon-filled cordial, some more than the original RumChata. To make it even better: put the bottle in the freezer for a bit before you drink it. You can also make this Lemon Sorbet with it.


Another tasty lemon…
Ironically, I received another product that was a bit too lemony for me and was able to get the same group to finish their liquor with some Wissotzky Nana Mint Herbal Lemon Tea.  

It too was a hit and I’m going to need to try one of the teas without lemon since I’m a big mint tea fan.


More Vitabrid…
I had another sheet mask from Vitabrid to try and I think this one was even better than the last. The Deep Hydration & Moisture Dual Mask really brightened and moistened my face. I also loved that it didn’t need to be washed off, so I could rub in whatever was left. It kept my skin looking good all day.


Another from Plant Junkie…
This month I tried the Plant Junkie Chia Ranch Dressing and it was a great taste. I also love that it has virtually no sugar in it – and doesn’t need it. Stay tuned for a few more products from this company.