Monday, December 16, 2013

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter "Deliciously Simple" and Country Crock "Simply Delicious," A Review

It can be a lonely existence for butter, hanging out alone amongst the eggs, and milks, and cheeses.  Part of the group, but yet, so very very different.  So alone.  And especially these days, as sticks of butter are quickly being placed in the refrigerator, and almost immediately, taken back out of the refrigerator and turned into various holiday treats, leaving no time for mingling. And nothing to top our toasts.

Luckily, Unilever took pity on our single sticks of butter and sent some friends, some family to keep it company.  Unilever has two new spreads - I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Deliciously Simple and Country Crock Simply Delicious.  These two spreads use simple ingredients like yogurt, canola oil, and salt.

After receiving these spreads, Max and I sat down together to try them on bread, to get a good feel for their tastes.  Despite having the same ingredient lists, they tasted surprisingly different.  Max preferred the Deliciously Simple, while I preferred Simply Delicious.  I actually found the Deliciously Simple spread to taste canola oil-y (which, as a neutral oil, I didn't even think was a possibility in life), even a bit distracting. But again, Max liked this, so who am I to argue?

One trait that both share is a glorious spreadability.  It is so wonderfully easy to spread on your bread, ensuring that each nook and cranny gets coated.  This trait, however, is perhaps a double-edged sword, as its ease of spreading facilitates copious amounts of the stuff to be spread on the bread by miniature people and then eaten with gleeful, mischievous abandon.

During our tasting, Max and I sampled  the spreads, and as a control, we had a beloved butter out to compare along side.  The Country Crock Simply Delicious was pretty good.  Even with a side by side comparison to the butter, it was hard to say I loved the butter more.  Plus, the Simply Delicious, as noted earlier was so easy to spread.

Max and I found Deliciously Simple and Simply Delicious to be useful and tasty toppings for our toast, something we are quite fond of in this family.  There is room for everyone in the fridge.  Well, kinda.  Our fridge is small.  But theoretically speaking, there is room for all.

NOTE: We did not receive financial compensation for this post. We received a sample kit from Unilever for review purposes. The opinions are completely based on our own experiences.

Want more info about the spreads? Click here and here! #DeliciouslySimple and #SimplyDelicious!

Friday, July 12, 2013

ProCook Gourmet Stainless Steel 11" Frying Pan

I had just assumed that finding a good nonstick frying pan was like trying to find that cute, gray sweatshirt that fits you oh-so-perfectly and goes with everything. Like going to the beach and not having your kid start throwing sand. Like trying to find footwear that can truly be called "comfortable." Like going to the farmer's market and coming home with a reasonable amount of fruit.  Like eating just one cookie.  Like forgoing chocolate for just one day.

In other words, I didn't think it could happen.  Over the years, we have gone through many nonstick frying pans.  Handles fell off by merely whispering in the presence of the pan.  Scratches would appear by breathing near it, rendering the pan unusable after only three uses.  I had basically given up on the category of
 pans, using only our stainless steel pans and cast iron skillet instead.

Until now, when the ProCook Gourmet Stainless Steel 11" Frying Pan came along.  I never thought I would say this, but I do love this pan.  It has a solid, sturdy handle covered in silicone.  Deep sides.  Conducts heat amazingly fast (like oh my god, this egg is already cooked, I just put it in the pan fast!).  Dishwasher and oven safe.  No scratches yet, even after being used daily (we perhaps eat too many fried eggs - but how can one resist its allure?).  Food slides easily out of it.

I can't vouch yet for its longevity, however.  But so far, it has proved up to the task of being our nonstick frying pan.

I wouldn't hesitate to use ProCook for other cook/bakeware needs.  Prices are reasonable, they have wide range of goods, and as of today, have free 2-day shipping with $50 purchase.

NOTE: We did not receive financial compensation for this post. We received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely based on our own experiences.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hidden Talents and Super Delicious Veggie Chips from Green Giant

I hate being in the spotlight. I'm more on the shy, reserved, bookish side of the spectrum. I'm self-conscious and anxious. It takes awhile for me to be comfortable in showing all my cards, so to speak.

So when you have all these traits, they converge into a person who will never dance in public (among other things - see also public speaking). A wallflower, perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as "sitting back and observing the human condition."

But back to the dancing. It just doesn't happen. I was never interested in going to clubs. Pubs, yes. But not clubs.

However, once I'm back home...with Seth and Max and the cats...that's when I can let go of inhibitions. And dance!

Not at all in a coordinated manner. But at least a passionate one. One looking to experience the joy of (clumsy) movement.

And Seth and Max and Rambo and JiJi definitely get a show. A full spectrum of dance exploration. Maybe some ballet leaps and pirouettes. Then maybe a can-can followed by a sort of running man style move.  And animated facial expressions to go right along with it.

Just like I have this hidden talent (or non-talent, depending on your definition of the words "dance" and "talent"), this (arguably) more fun side that gets a chance to come out and experience the world, Green Giant does as well! They don't just do the frozen and canned vegetables. The steamed broccoli as your side dish. The peas you add into your pasta to round out the meal. They too have a hidden talent, a fun side, a snack side. Chips!

Glorious, glorious chips. Two different kinds - a Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chip with Zesty Cheddar Flavor and a Multigrain Sweet Potato Chip with Sea Salt. These were both seriously so, so good. Crispy!  Flavorful!  And contain vegetables!  It was love at first bite.

Here is a nutritional rundown on these goodies:
The Green Giant™ Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – Zesty Cheddar Flavor are made with real vegetables (like bell peppers and corn!), 17 grams of whole grain per serving (48g are recommended daily), and are naturally flavored.
The Green Giant™ Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips – Sea Salt Flavor are made with real sweet potatoes and made with 14 grams of whole grain. Plus, they contains 40 percent less fat than regular potato chips.

So if you want to experience more surprise talents (which you totally do!), check out Green Giant's Facebook page or YouTube channel.  And if you want a coupon for 85 cents of Veggie Snack Chips (you definitely do), click here!

Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent at  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Taco Bell's Carnitas Steak Burrito - A Review

It had been one of those days.  The words "Wow Max, that is quite a mess you've got going on here" were overheard as I stumbled out of bed. Stools were being maneuvered around the kitchen, the key to toddler muffin stealing.  Painting time turned into finger painting.  Which turned into a trail of hand prints as I attempted to wrangle the toddler for a cleaning.  Markers were used to color not pieces of paper, but tiny hands.  And again, the toddler had to be chased for more cleaning.  Tantrums appeared to be erupting all over the place.  And each mess of toys seemed to give birth to three more messes.

On a day like this, I knew getting dinner on the table would be challenging, to say the least.  More likely, an impossibility.

That afternoon, the most wonderful of emails was sitting there, just waiting to be read.  One that said we would have the opportunity to review the Carnitas Steak Burrito through Daily Buzz Food and Taco Bell.  It appeared to be fortuitous timing.  Dinner was figured out!

This burrito, created by Chef Lorena Garcia, includes "citrus-herb marinated steak, premium Latin rice, flavorful black beans, guacamole made from real Hass avocados, roasted corn & pepper salsa, a creamy cilantro dressing, and freshly prepared pico de gallo, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla."

Promising, no?  This delicious sounding burrito coming on the most desperate of days.  In the midst of messes galore, lunch had been neglected.  I was ready to embrace this burrito in all its glory, welcoming it with widely open arms and to proceed in shoving it straight into my belly.

And then the burrito arrived.  It was stuffed.  Definitely full of things.  And by things, I mean black beans and rice.

After eating a few bites, I realized it lacked flavor.  And then I realized that it didn't have any of that guacamole on it.  And I couldn't taste or see cilantro dressing, so that was likely missing as well.  The bits of corn provided fun little bursts of sweetness, but they were very few and far between.  The pico de gallo suffered from the same difficulties as the corn and pepper salsa.  And the steak?  Well, I had to spit a piece out because the texture was so weird and off-putting.

There was a lot of very unappetizing carnage left in the wake of this burrito eating, so I didn't want to photograph it.  I got one a few days later, and gave it the old college try, despite the bad experience from before.  Perhaps I am a masochist at heart.

This time, it was still inelegantly packed.  By which I mean move one piece and the whole thing just falls apart.  But at least this time, not just with the rice and beans and inedible steak.  A decent amount of crispy Romaine was spotted.  More of that surprisingly tasty roasted corn and pepper salsa could be seen.  Tomatoes from the pico de gallo were much more frequently observed.  I couldn't bring myself to eat the steak, however.  I am not that extreme of a masochist.

It had been a strange day - hail storms, rain storms, and sunshine were all swapping places.  One moment, blue skies, and the next moment, dark clouds and the sound of little ice particles pelting windows were heard.  Maybe this is the reason that I found myself with a spoon getting at the vegetable and rice/beans portion of the burrito.  So I suppose it has it's uses, but sadly, I can't recommend it.

I was financially compensated for this review by Taco Bell through DailyBuzz Food. The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience.  Clearly...