HouseParty: Boursin® Gournay Cheeses in Pepper, Shallot and Chive, and Garlic and Fine Herbs #Review #BoursinCheesePack

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I was fortunate to be able to have Boursin® Cheese be a guest at our holiday table and I was very lucky in visiting Von’s Markets and finding all the cheeses in stock.  The deal became sweeter when Von’s had a promo going of Buy-one-get-one-Free (BOGO), so using the free item coupon provided by Boursin, yielded an extra cheese item.  We were Boursin-ing it at our house this holiday so much, that 2016 will also feature a nice cheese platter when it comes to welcoming the new year.

Some companies have cheeses that tend to all taste the same no matter the flavor listed.  They use the same base and are not generous with the add-ons, so when you buy one kind, you pretty much bought them all.  Not with Boursin cheeses!  Every flavor tastes different from the other.  You may have a texture that resembles each other but if the package states Pepper, peppery goodness is what you will enjoy!
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Boursin Gournay Cheese in Garlic and Fine Herbs-
Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized milk and cream, granulated garlic, salt, white pepper, parsley, chives*.*Dried

I was worried that the garlic would be overwhelming even though I love garlic, however I worry when it comes to dairy based products, that the ingredient can drown all the others out.  Again, Boursin found the right balance and you taste garlic but it has not permeated the entire cheese.  The white pepper provides a zingy taste that differs from the usual black peppercorns.  You get a mild spice that is perfect for even non-pepper fans!   The parsley and chives bring the herb notes, but chive also provides a nice mild onion flavor that tends to also brighten up the cheese’s overall taste.  This is the one you buy if you are new to the Boursin family.

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Boursin Gournay Cheese in Shallot and Chive-
Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized milk and cream, shallots*, salt, chives*, green onions*, potassium sorbate (preservative). *Dried

This version of Boursin cheeses is one of my favorites.  You have a blend of dry herbs and that creamy Boursin cheese that is smooth in texture and flavor.  The onion notes are real and not like what you get from a powdered product, that tends to even dry a cheese out.  There is freshness here and if you like onion based dips, this is the cheese that takes your taste buds on an onion-y adventure.

 

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Boursin Gournay Cheese in Pepper-
Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized milk and cream, salt, black pepper, potassium sorbate (preservative).

You have black pepper as the main ingredient and this is the more simpler flavor that tends to combine with all other toppers or spreads you may want to add with the cheeses.  The peppercorns are mild in flavor and thankfully the texture is pleasing.  You do not get huge chunks that disrupt the smoothness of the cheese’s texture and Boursin was still able to produce a smooth textured product that is enjoyable on a cracker or even added to a dip.

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Verdict:

This year we enjoyed the cheeses as-is and added them to crackers.  I visited Costco and they sell a trio package there.  Costco was sampling the cheeses by adding them to mashed potatoes and it created a smooth and appealing product.  It was a nice way to spruce up a comfort food and give it a little gourmet twist.  This New Year’s Eve, I will be baking fresh loaves of Rosemary rustic bread, cutting the loaves (not all the way through) to create pockets (crisscrossed pattern) and filling them with a a little butter and then Boursin cheese with shredded cheeses, and then baking.  This will create a nice pull-a-part bread that guests can enjoy eat while still being able to enjoy the festivities.   It is an easy appetizer to add to our others and melted cheese is something we all love.  I may add even some pancetta to some of the loaves to create a different flavor.  Boursin cheeses go with anything you serve because they stand on their own on a cheese platter, or you can add them dishes and dips.  There is no rules or limits here, so I highly suggest bringing a smile to your guests this year by welcoming 2016 with Boursin!

 

Find your favorite(s) with Boursin at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Houseparty/ChatterBox and Boursin Cheeses.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Modern Table: Bean Pastas and Meal Kits #Review #ModernTableMeals

 

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Modern Table has been a guest on my blog before and it’s one of those products I tried and still continue to purchase today. We all eat them both in cold and warm dishes because it’s a great alternative to pasta that I really don’t see it as just a substitute. The noodles have flavor because they are bean based. I admit there are even times I make a pasta salad and add the Modern Table noodles along with semolina flour based pasta! Yes, that is how good they are.

I was sent another sampling of the newest products released by Modern Table:

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I have at times deconstructed the meal kits to just get to the bean pasta, so this was a welcoming site. Finally, the pasta alone will be sold. There is a lot of benefits when it comes to Modern Table’s meal kits and bean pastas. For starters:

  • Modern Table does not use GMO based ingredients (non-gmo)
  • Their products are Gluten Free (except for the Teriyaki Meal kit)
  • Dairy Free (Southwest and Teriyaki Meal kits, plus the Bean Pastas)
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • Packing a protein punch like no other pasta because they are bean based, so you also have an excellent source of fiber.
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • This is real food with no gimmicks!

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Verdict-
Taste means everything in this home because I don’t believe eating healthy means you should sacrifice flavor. It’s actually the opposite! Fresh meals that provide a good source of protein and vegetables should be packed with flavor and enjoyable to consume. Modern Table shares this same theory because we find their products amazing. You are also not limited! You can add fresh vegetables to even meats to the meals and customize them to fit your needs and/or cravings. I have over time learned to not boil the pasta as long as listed in the directions because we prefer a more al dente’ texture. The bean pastas lend themselves to many creations. Many times I have been in a hurry and need a filling meal that is also quick to make. I add a handful of the pasta to a roasted Red Bell pepper and Tomato soap and it creates one delicious meal in less than 12 minutes. I think it takes me more time to make the accompanying sides like toasting a slice of bread for dunking. There are times where I want a Pasta Primavera and use everything from eggplants, frozen organic veggies, to kale to bump up the flavors and I’m also a veggie junkie.

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The possibilities are endless with Modern Table and their new bean pasta bags mean I can just pour from the bag versus picking the pasta out from the kits. The Pesto meal kit goes great with grilled shrimp.  The new Mac & Cheese meal kit is my ultimate favorite from the meal kits. It’s cheesy and has real white cheddar…….it just takes Mac & Cheese to whole another level! I added pancetta to mine and I don’t think I can go back to Mac from a box again.

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Find the Modern Table Kit that fits your Cravings or Pick-up a Bean Pasta Bag at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Modern Table Meals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

The Modern Table Meals: Delicious and Healthy meals made Easy #Review #ModernTableMeals

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I rarely cook out of a box or canned goods, and I consider that a good thing. If I need to open anything canned, it’s usually to make quick bean based side dishes, like black beans for Cuban meals, pinto for Mexican night, and so forth. I even making a kicking Italian salad with Quinoa, white kidney beans and garbanzos! I just try to make everything from scratch so I can control how much sodium, protein, to just avoiding preservatives and dyes when possible. Yes, it drives me crazy knowing I could sometimes really appreciate making a quick meal in 20 minutes or less and not have to dedicate the weekend to making meals for the week. I just tell myself….we are worth the hassle of eating better.

When I saw Modern Table Meals at Target, I just walked away and never thought about them again. It’s just another pasta dish with fake-o ingredients I thought to myself. The next week I saw them again and saw the bubble with the protein count listed (17 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, per serving!). I stopped. Again, thinking I know everything, I imagined some soy or whey protein mixed in with whole grains and more corn based products, to make a meal. Again, I was so wrong so before I dug this hole any deeper…..I decided to just read, absorb and see what Modern Table Meals is all about,

My parcel arrives with 4 beautiful bags, a bag to store everything in, a wooden spoon with some serious nice weight and quality, oh and coupons galore! I’m starting to love them even though I wrongly judged a book by it’s cover here (insert foot in mouth).

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Modern Table has 4 delicious Meals to satisfy every craving:

See, what makes the magic? Beans!! Legumes!! Whatever you call them, the **sparkle** of protein and real food comes from gorgeous pastas and noodles that are bean based.

I’m all for eating healthy and practice Meatless Mondays that get moved around during the week (rarely is it on an actual Monday), but the point is it takes place at least once a week and if not two. So, good only goes so far in my book. I eat kale but I like the flavor, so when kale became the “It Food to Eat”, I had to hit a few stores to find 2 great stalks because everyone was juicing and pulverizing the heck out of them. My point is, I have to enjoy the meal beyond the numbers and healthy is not a reason alone food should not taste spectacular.

I started by making the Mediterranean Green Lentil Rotini. I open the bag and notice the veggies are dehydrated but retained shape and their beautiful color. Best looking dehydrated green onion I ever saw! It was just perfect in shape (not just turned into green dust) that I found myself squeezing the veggies to see how they looked and felt. Yes, I’m “that girl” that touches the produce before bagging it and I admit I sniff Pineapple bottoms too! 🙂

I read the instructions and everything is so easy to do. You just boil the bean pasta, whisk the sauces with water and/or oils, then toss and add the topping included. Everything in the bag contains no artificial colors or preservatives. Modern Table Meals took a shelf-stable product (i.e. beans) and just made it better and something a long time coming.

Cooking the Meal:  As with everything, I made the product as instructed to see how it performs just out of the bag.  I followed the directions and noticed that just 10 minutes had lapsed and I’m 75% done with cooking dinner.  I felt like I forgot or missed something.  You know like when you went out on a shopping trip and made it out of the store with good timing……yeah, I knew I forgot something.  Retraced my steps and nope!  This is too easy!  Five minutes later and I try to make my insanity justifiable by noticing I forgot to cut open the topping bag (see, I did forget something).  I top the dish and begin plating.  I took out “insurance” on this meal by making it a side dish.  I figured it’s better being safe than sorry and paired it with veggies and Naan Herb bread that I topped with left-over roasted chicken, goat cheese and an olive medley.  It was Mediterranean enough and the chicken needed eating.

Taste Test: Just by the sniff-test, I am starting to regret having made other food but then sometimes things smell better than they taste.  I taste the pesto sauce and I am already wanting to save some for later separately because it’s so good.  I can believe I just added water to make this!  Then comes tasting the pasta alone because if it tastes bad, I’m saving the sauce for another meal.  I forgot the pasta was bean based because the texture is desirable.  I expected a floppy noodle or one that just disintegrates into odd pieces even though you never bit.  Not this guy! It tasted like a flavored pasta shape, sort of like it belonged with the three color pastas you find at the market.  So far, so good!  I toss everything and then sprinkle.  I have a taste before serving because why dirty the dish if I won’t be eating it…….I serve myself more than what a side dish called for!  I must admit at one point I mixed my veggies into the pasta because I wanted everything to have that wonderful flavor.  The sauce tastes real and the package tells me there is all this good stuff and none of the bad, but this tastes real like in homemade fresh.  It does not taste like anything I ever had out of a box.  I tell myself that I was always right about Modern Table Meals because things out of box are horrible, but these come out of b-a-g! See, I was right all along 😉

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I can’t wait to try and share all the other ones!

Connect with Modern Table Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Modern Table Meals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Herbs de Provence & Chives Rolls…. Cheddar Cheese, Poppy Seed, and Sesame Seed Versions

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I wanted to make a new recipe this last Easter when it came to rolls and I had planned to test several recipes out but then the day came, and I needed something fast because I had no back-up plan.  It is difficult to always know what guests like or dislike because some just go with it to be polite.  I wanted a recipe that pleased all and on Easter morning this is what I made.  Who said you can’t think on the fly on a holiday?  I was also influenced by a bushy Chive plant I have in a pot, which was getting taller and fuller.  I see it from my kitchen so it was sort of waving at me for attention 🙂

Rolls:
1 cup of Whole Milk
2 1/2 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
2 tablespoons of White Sugar
1 tablespoon of Honey (I used a Orange Blossom variety)
1 Egg at room temperature (whisked)
6 1/2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter (melted), you will use about 1 stick in the end.
3 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence Herbs (dry)
Filling:
1/4 cup or to taste of fresh Chives
Basting:
1/2 teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Unsalted Butter (soften)
Toppers:
1/2 cup of Cheddar Cheese*
Sesame Seeds
Poppy Seeds
*Don’t have seeds or don’t like them, just up the cheese amount to 3/4 cup.  You can even mix cheeses if Cheddar is not all you want.
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You begin by heating up the 1 cup of milk until warm.  I tend to need to give my cup a quick 30 seconds in the microwave but I know some take more or less.  I always shoot to aim between 105 to 110 degrees.  I then add the yeast, sugar, and the honey.  I mix the ingredients together with a spoon.  My oven has a “proofing” mode so within 5 minutes at 105 degrees, the yeast is activated and foaming.  You want it to expand and build a good amount of foam, so it may take about 10 minutes if it is cool and on the counter.
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I then empty the cup into my mixer’s bowl that has the dough hook attached.  I add the egg and 6 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted melted butter.
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On low, I mix everything until it’s incorporated, stopping a few times to scrape the bottom and edges.
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I add the salt and Herbs de Provence to the flour.
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In small increments, I add the flour mix, again stopping to scrape down with a spatula any ingredients that are trying to rebel :).  After I added all the flour, I mix on low for about 2 to 3 minutes.
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I then increase the speed to medium and knead until a soft and smooth dough forms.  This takes about 10 to 12 minutes.
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I transfer the dough to a floured surface and work it flat, to about a 10 to 12 inched square.
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You fold one third of the dough into the center and then the other third (from the top) over.
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It’s sort of like folding a letter in how you fold the flaps.  Turn the dough and fold again until you are left with a square (small one).  I take some of the butter and butter a large bowl.  I place the dough square in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and then proof for 1 hour.  You pretty much want it to double at least in size.
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I take more of the left-over butter and butter a lasagna dish (any baking pan) that is 9 x 13 inches in size.
Once the dough has proofed, I take it out of the bowl and dump it onto a floured surface.
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I roll out the dough to a 15 inch square and sprinkle on the fresh chives.
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Begin to roll tightly from the bottom up to make a log.  Just like you would cinnamon rolls.
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You then take a floured knife or a dough scraper and start slicing.  I was able to yield 16 buns on my first take, but you will get between 14 to 15 if you measure right.  I always make small ones that I call “taste testers” 🙂 and these are usually the two corners of the log.
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I placed the buns in the buttered lasagna dish and then covered it with plastic wrap, which I lightly rubbed with olive oil in case the wrap wants to stick to my buns when they are proofing.  You can use butter too if you desire.
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Allow the dough to proof for about an hour.  You are aiming for them to like like airy pillows.
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
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Remove the buns from the oven and mix the basting ingredients of the olive oil and softened butter.  Baste the buns and then come the toppers.
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I opted for part cheddar cheese, a row of sesame and a row of poppy seeds.  The basting mix allows the seeds to stick but also adds a great flavor to the buns.
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Put the buns back in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  If you notice over browning, just cover with foil to prevent any burning.
Take the buns out and I noticed I had left-over baste, so I basted the cheesy ones so they would shine pretty.  Allow to cool a bit in pan and then you start serving.  They pull away from each other whole, so no worries there but you may also use a knife if you wish.  Sometimes the cheese can make them unite but not enough that they can’t pull away.
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To store, I waited until they cooled completely and then wrapped them with plastic wrap and stored them in the fridge.  They last great and you just take them out when you want one and allow them to come down to room temperature or give them a warm up in the oven.  They go great with a simple salad to what we had for Easter, lamb with a Pomegranate glaze.
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Next week comes the sweet version I made of these with some tweaks.  I had left over Pomegranate glaze from the lamb that needed to be used plus I was craving pecans with maple, so I made two different sweet versions!
Enjoy!

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