Horizon Dairy: Super Squeeze Snacks made with Organic Milk and Fruit in Mixed Berry Burst, Strawberry Bash and Orange Blast #Review

 

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I’m always looking for snack alternatives and being that we are big on fruit and yogurt like drinks, the Super Squeeze Snack pouches were a perfect combination. Each pouch has only 100 calories and 5 grams of protein, plus 20% of your daily required calcium. A box comes with 4 pouches and each provides 99 grams (3.5 ounces) per serving. I was sent from Horizon Dairy the following flavors:

These are shelf stable snacks that have many uses from being a creamy base for fruit to even slightly freezing them. I took fresh strawberries and blueberries, mixed them with any of the Super Squeeze flavors, and slightly froze the fruit mix for 20 to 30 minutes. Just enough time for the treat to set and have a soft serve texture. Everyone loved it and with the 100 degree days we have been experiencing, this is a low calorie and protein delivering snack that will energize anyone from adults to children on a day like today! The base also makes great “mug cakes” that can be made in the microwave if you are short on time and/or energy.

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Super Squeeze in Mixed Berry Burst- Every pouch is made with real milk and fruit to create a creamy blend. Naturally flavored and this version contains Organic Skim Milk, Strawberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Organic Blueberry Puree, and Citrus Acid. Simple but delicious and the product is free from artificial colors or preservatives. You get pure ingredients and by far this was our favorite. We even skipped on milk some days and added our granola based cereal to create the perfect morning fruit parfait. Best way to start the day.

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Strawberry Bash Super Squeeze- This was our second favorite flavor. This Super Squeeze contains Organic Skim Milk, Strawberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin and Citric Acids. Natural flavors that create a perfect snack. There is no funny red or pink hue to this treat, just pure strawberries always ready on-the-go. The part that makes this a no-excuses snack, is that the squeeze needs zero refrigeration if left unopened. You literally grab it and it’s ready around your schedule. Cravings for adults (and even kids) can be curbed and you just can’t beat having a healthy snack that is just at hand’s reach with no spoon needed.

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Super Squeeze in Orange Blast Think of this as a “dreamscile-like” treat. We enjoyed it and would purchase this variety even though it was not our favorite because it was still delicious. I expected a fake and unpleasant orange taste but I found myself happily disappointed because we actually enjoy real orange based products in our home. This Super Squeeze starts with the same Organic Skim Milk, Orange Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Citric Acid and Natural Flavors. As with all Super Squeeze products, you will notice they start with milk and right after comes the real fruit and no fillers!

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In our home, we have always been fans of Horizon and Happy the cow!  Horizon makes tasty treats that can be enjoyed as much by kids and adults alike.  They just make great foods with ingredients that are real!  The crackers taste cheesy, peanut butter sandwich crackers are buttery and creamy, and the macaroni and cheese (especially the white cheddar) is the very best I have tasted from a box.  Yeah, I thought all Mac & Cheese from a box had no love ❤ when it came to flavor and ingredients but Happy the Cow always delivers!

Snoopy and our favorite cow Happy have teamed up:

The Peanuts movie has united with Horizon Dairy where you could win a trip for you and your family for a “Red Carpet Experience” The movie premiere will be in Los Angeles, CA, plus there are other prizes you may be able to win. Go to: http://HorizonDairy.com/Peanuts to enter and Good Luck!

Connect with Horizon Dairy at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Horizon and MomsMeet.  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.

 

 

 

Smiley 360: TAZO® Iced Tea Concentrates #Review #TazoTea

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I have featured Tazo Teas on here several times and every time a new product is released, it never disappoints. It’s one of those products I will always venture and give them a try without waiting for feedback because I have become able to trust the Tazo Tea brand.

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Tazo’s newest release is the Iced Tea concentrates that come in tea bag form and also in their liquid state (large carton). The Iced Teas come in several varieties to choose from:

  • Iced Peachy Green
  • Iced Sangria Black
  • Iced Passion
  • Iced Blushberry Black
  • Iced Citrus Bliss
  • Iced True Black
  • Iced Lemongrass Green

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  • The Iced Peachy Green has a nice green tea flavor, which is more towards the mellow side with the fruity notes being the focus. You have a touch of spearmint and a zing from the ginger with almost a sweet Georgia peach finish. I loved it from the first sniff because just how the blend smells will pull you in. I have tried this tea both in cold and warm because a girl sometimes can’t wait. I also love the relaxing feeling the ginger provides and the accent ingredients like the spearmint are just there to compliment and not overpower the peachy green tea party!

 

  • Iced Passion is my all time favorite. I love hibiscus based teas and this little red ruby beauty not only delivers in vibrant color but also in taste. This tea I found more powerful, which is a good thing because a little goes a long way. You have a tropical fruit flair going on, so think of pineapple and oranges. Perfect for summer weather and because it’s an herbal blend, I can even enjoy a perfect cup in the hot late summer nights. You also get a nice flowery scent from the rose hips that just make the perfect bouquet with the Hibiscus!

 

  • The Iced Sangria Black tea sings to my Spanish heart. Finally, a Sangria tea that has those real flavors I associate with the drink. You have the citrus flavors that go so well with the black tea’s base. Just a touch of spice from the cinnamon and again a little sweetness from an apple this time. Sweet and simple is how I describe this blend and also perfect!

 

  • The Iced Blushberry Black tea is my second favorite. It’s a berry blast and you have a dark raspberry that compliments the black tea notes nicely. It’s almost like a dry wine in how it feels when you drink this blend. You then have huckleberry and strawberry. This is not your usual boring berry blend, this one has life and is so refreshing. You smell the sweetness of the fruit when it begins to brew and when cooled, you get a nice snap from the berry mix. I love it because like I mentioned it’s not the typical berries being used, and I love black teas! This one also has hibiscus but not as powerful in flavor as it is the Iced Passion blend.

 

Retail Price Point: $2.99 for the box and this item comes with 6 filter bags, where each bag provides a pitcher worth of tea. You can also opt for the concentrate and skip the brewing. I also found the Keurig Tazo cups for $11.99 and that box yields 16 k-cups. Keep note like the Sangria Black version only comes in the concentrate carton and not made in the boxed tea bags one.  I also attached a coupon link to sweeten the already great deal.

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Verdict:
The Tazo teas are too good for the price point (shhhhh, don’t tell Tazo). I saw $2.99 and thought what the heck am I getting here and I just have started to hoard these teas. I drink them both hot and cold. I have a one cup brewing system and I just measure out between 1/2 a teaspoon or more if desired and it makes the perfect cup. There are days I want a lighter tea and I can dilute the amount I brew and I am set. Being able to drink these teas how I wish makes it work for me. I get bored drinking the same blends but these are so unique and a flavor all their own, that I must start and end my day the Tazo way. For the price your pocket book will be happy and your taste buds will not be disappointed. If you don’t find your flavor, blame me because I love these teas so much that the fear of them not being made (like in forever) sets in. I think once I have 50 boxes of the flavors I love, I will then leave you some 🙂

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Connect with Tazo and find your tea at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tazo Teas and Smiley360.  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.

Smiley: Nature’s Bounty / Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies #Review

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I’m always a supporter of finding ways to improve my skin’s health to my hair and nails. Smiley and Nature’s Bounty sent me a free bottle of their gummies, which contain Biotin and other supplements that feed your beauty. I was also sent samples to distribute with coupon cards to give away, a few beauty related items, like a compact and nail file, plus a couple of hair bands.

What’s in it:
This is for a serving of 2 gummies with a Daily Value (DV) based on a 2,000 caloric daily intake diet.

  • Biotin– 2, 500 mg (833% of your DV) > Biotin is usually found in our intestinal’s bacteria and our bodies usually produce more naturally than what our body requires (DV). Biotin is what our cells need to be able to grow, produce Fatty Acids and aid with metabolizing fats and Amino Acids. Now, there are people who may have metabolic disorders, in which enough Biotin is not produced. You will also find people that have a issues producing enough gastric acid be low on Biotin, as patients who are elderly, people who consume alcohol and/or smoke. Another cause is a Immune System disorders. Another culprit that may make a person deficient in Biotin is consumption of egg whites in their raw form and on a daily basis (functional Avidin). Avidin is destroyed by cooking. Symptoms of a deficiency is hair loss, skin disorders to even neurological disorders like depression, fatigue, lethargy to hallucinations.
  • Vitamin C– 15 mg (25% of your DV) > Ascorbic Acid, which is the source listed has been proven to help with oxidative stress. Being that it is classified as an antioxidant, people may see benefits in cardiovascular disease to even those who suffer from inflammation. Vitamin C also helps the immune system and is a natural antihistamine, so you will also find benefits when it comes to allergies.
  • Vitamin E– 15 IU (50% of your DV) > You have probably noticed Vitamin E in many beauty products and I personally use the vitamin in oil form to hydrate and protect the skin around my eyes. Vitamin E is another antioxidant and can help with protecting lipids, neurological function, to even reducing oxidative stress.

Other Ingredients listed- Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dicalcium Phosphate, Grape juice color concentrate, Gelatin, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural Strawberry flavor, Black Carrot juice color concentrate, Maltodextrin, Fractionated Coconut oil, Carnauba wax, Beeswax and Silica.

Dosage: For adults, Nature’s Bounty recommends a serving of 2 gummies once or twice on a daily basis. They suggest taking them with a meal. A full size bottle comes with 80 gummies in total, so you will run short on a 30-day supply if you go beyond the minimum requirement (once daily).

The Flavor/Taste Test:
The gummies are Strawberry flavored and sweet, with almost a corn starch after-taste. Not your usually clear looking gummy but a more cloudy and waxy consistency.

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Overall Performance/Results:
I took the product until I finished the bottle and I must admit I did not like being short on a 30-day supply if I took the product twice daily (total of 4 gummies). It’s just not convenient and not a manner I usually buy or take supplements. I like the amount of Biotin and Vitamin C and E found in the blend. I found taking 1 gummy in the morning and 1 gummy in the afternoon worked best for me because 833% of a my Biotin daily value in one dose is really just going to purge out with the amount of water I tend to drink through out the day. I prefer absorbing my supplements a little through out the day versus flooding my system with higher (mega) doses. I noticed changes mostly in my nails and the growth cycle did speed up. My hair grows quickly as it is, so I could not comment there but I did not notice any significance when it came to changes in my skin. I did not have fewer or more breakouts.

A few things I did find negative when it came to this supplement was the corn syrup as first ingredient, then more sugar, to the clear window where you can see the gummies from. Vitamin C oxidizes and becomes useless when exposed to light and this is why you always see the supplement stored in dark/solid colored bottles. I know people like to view products when buying but not at the cost of potentially losing a benefit when you are seeking to better your health. I know I m not Biotin deficient and could not locate studies where a person who produces, or in our case naturally produce more than needed; needed a mega-dose on top of that to see results in skin, hair, or nails. I have been drinking more water so I know that helps with the aforementioned, and it comes at a lower cost per unit, plus you don’t get shortened on a 30-day supply there 🙂

Price Point: 80 gummy count bottle retails for $5.79 to $7.99. I found the lower price point at Walmart, with Amazon being $0.10 more and Walgreen’s being the most expensive at $7.99.

You can save by signing-up to their Newsletter- $1.00 off coupon http://www.naturesbounty.com/signup/

You can also try the product and if it does not provide you with satisfied results; get your money back here:

I am glad I tried the gummies because I do believe in working from within to improve our outside. With the coupon and guarantee, I personally feel that it may be something you wish to try and see if you get results. It’s a win/win in my book!

To find more information on Nature’s Bounty and the above product, please visit them here:

 

I received the above product free of charge from Smiley and Nature’s Bounty/Optimal Solutions.  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.

Green Mountain Creamery: Yo Yummy Yogurt Pouches #Review and Cake #Recipe

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It should be no secret by now I’m a fan of yogurt. Big time. Going with my yogurt obsession, I recently received a wonderful parcel from Green Mountain Creamery. It was boxes filled with their Yo Yummy pouches, a product geared primarily towards kids. That does not mean an adult can’t indulge. We don’t have kids, and I have tried to like yogurt that comes in squeeze containers but most brands are watery, almost slimy in texture and then loaded with sugar. The last thing you taste is the fruit and I can see why some kids prefer these types of products in a frozen state. You at least can try to get past the texture problem but then again are left with a cube of frozen sugar and colors. Not Yo Yummy!

Yo Yummy, is finally a yogurt “pouch” product that can be squeezed out and still resembles what is suppose to be: delicious, creamy yogurt. Not filled with sugars and dyes, just flavorful yogurt.

Yo Yummy actually has 10% less sugar than the national leading brands and many benefits that separate this brand from others:

  • Gluten-Free
  • Added Vitamin A and Vitamin D
  • No Artificial Colors/dyes
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Preservatives
  • Good Source of Calcium
  • Kosher
  • Milk derived from Non-RBST treated cows
  • Made in Vermont, U.S.A.
  • and packed in a BPA free pouch

It’s R-E-A-L yogurt for everyone!

I looked into Green Mountain Creamery when I saw their yogurt cups at Sprout’s Market. The flavors were tempting and after I had just one cup of their Maple flavor….I was hooked!

Yo Yummy comes in 4 flavors for you to fall in love with and all are only 90 calories:

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Mixed Berry– A blend of actual real berries and not just a touch of it. You taste the full berry explosion of raspberry, blueberry, and Ssrawberry. The ingredients list these as purees and you really get that when you eat Yo Yummy. It’s a texture of yogurt where you still see the fruit, so each bite (or squeeze in this case) can taste different. We enjoyed this one greatly and I liked that I was left satisfied with just one pouch!

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Strawberry Banana– My Husband is not a banana eater (I know, how sad) but I squeezed this flavor until I ran out of pouches! I enjoyed it every morning over granola and when I found strawberries on sale, added banana slices to my granola…..oh my! I was in a Straw-nana heaven with this yogurt. This Yo Yummy blend is just like the others where they use real fruit purees and you taste it until you are squeezing every last drop out. I got good with my technique by day 3, in not letting one squeeze go to waste 🙂

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Strawberry– All I can say it tastes like you took fresh strawberries and just pureed them. That is the other thing, the freshness in their flavors have no match to what is on the market today. Yo Yummy uses premium products and fruit at their peak of freshness and taste because it transfers so well to your taste buds. Just like if you bit into a strawberry and yogurt parfait! Yes, you must make this one into a parfait. My Husband and I voted this flavor #1 and I admit I did not dive heavily into it because I wanted to leave it for him to enjoy. He enjoyed a pouch every morning until it was gone.

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Cotton Candy– I was skeptical because I like (not love) cotton candy but never had the flavor in yogurt form. Being that Green Mountain Creamery is wholesome and fills their yogurt cups and pouches with real fruit…..I wondered if there was a cotton candy bush I had no idea existed. I did not question the cotton candy’s bush existence after I had one taste of this pouch. Think of a sweet cream and almost a touch of strawberry when eating this flavor. There is a hint of sweetness but it does not overwhelm your palette so I decided to take this flavor a notch up by making a cake!  Yo Yummy will also be coming out soon with grape and sour cherry flavors. I can’t wait!

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Yup, let’s have fun and with this Spring weather, a happy cake can be made with the cotton candy flavor or any of the Yo Yummy pouches. Just 25-30 minutes in the oven and each pouch fills one ramekin. Only three ingredients needed, so let’s get started-

Yo Yummy Cotton Candy Speckled Cake (think confetti)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Get one small (individual size) ramekin (greased- you can use cooking spray or even Coconut Oil)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Yo Yummy Cotton Candy pouch
  • 1/8 of a cup of all-purpose flour (you can use Rice Flour if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon of confetti sprinkles
  • 1 strawberry (if desired) and a dash of powder sugar for decor purposes 🙂

Take the Yo Yummy pouch and empty it into a bowl

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Add the flour and if you wish a fluffier cake, add a dash of baking soda (1/4 teaspoon)

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Mix

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Once incorporated, add the confetti sprinkles and mix quickly and then fill the greased ramekin.

Put ramekin in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Check cake if done with toothpick and it will be dense like a pudding cake but a toothpick should come out clean when checking.

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Allow cake to cool (if you have patience) and you can personalize these as you wish. You can eat it as is or add a scoop of ice cream. I found fresh strawberries on sale an added one on top with a dusting of powder sugar. It’s a happy cake and each person can make their own to suit their taste buds. Try it with the other Yo Yummy flavors and even your own mix-ins. Enjoy!

Visit Green Mountain Creamery and Yo Yummy at:

  • Green Mountain Creamery- http://greenmountaincreamery.com/
  • Yo Yummy- http://yoyummykids.com/
  • On FaceBook- https://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCreamery
  • On Twitter- https://twitter.com/grnmtncreamery
  • Via Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/gmcyoyummy/

Also, save with these generous coupons:

  • Easy to print savings- http://yoyummykids.com/coupons-and-offers

 

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I received the above product free of charge from Green Mountain Creamery.  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 Chobani tour of Greek Yogurt Bite & Flips will begin shortly………

Below is the last preview of what I received and I will be posting reviews, plus a cookie recipe soon……………

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Triple Berry Sweet Rolls with a Cream Cheese Crumble top, plus Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

You read right, this recipe yields two different types of sweet rolls to enjoy!

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As the days get warmer, the berries have been hitting the sale’s block. I am finding great deals so it has been a very berry-full Summer so far. Today’s recipe uses fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries and blackberries. You can go all frozen or all fresh and change the fruit to your liking too.

We start with the Yeast Dough:
2/3 cup of Sugar
1 cup of Milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast
1 stick of Unsalted Butter (softened)
2 Large Eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
4 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of Dry/Powdered Milk

I use a microwave or you may also use the stove-top to warm the milk to 105 degrees. You then pour the warmed milk into a mixer’s bowl, along with the 2/3 cup of sugar and the yeast. You whisk the ingredients enough to combine and then set aside to allow the yeast to bloom (get foamy). This may take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on weather and temperatures.

Once the yeast is foamy, you add the softened butter, eggs and salt. I mix just enough until everything is incorporated and then add the powdered milk.

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I replace the mixer with a dough hook and start adding the flour by the 1/2 cup fulls. Once all the flour is in, I use a spatula to scrape down the sides and allow the dough to mix for 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. I then change the speed to medium-high and allow the dough to knead for 10 to 12 minutes. You want a soft and supple dough so sometimes it takes 9 minutes and other times it takes 12. You don’t want to “toughen” the product so if unsure, just make sure you get 10 minutes in and you should be fine 🙂

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I flour the surface and plop my dough and begin to knead to form a nice ball that I can divide easily. Once that is done (takes maybe 30 seconds), I cut the dough in half and you may use a kitchen scale or “eyeball” it like I do. You take each half and form each into a nice ball. You then add each half to bowls that have been lightly buttered. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let the dough rise. The dough should double in size and this takes 1 to 2 hours at most.

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While the dough rises, you can begin with making the two different fillings.

Berry Filling:
5 1/2 ounces of fresh Strawberries
4 ounces of Blackberries (frozen)
3 ounces of Blue Berries

You may use what ever combination of fruit you desire and just keep in mind you want between 12 to 13 ounces.

1/4 cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon of All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of Corn Starch

Cut the large fruit you use, like in my place it would be the strawberries into wedges or bite size.

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I like to leave my other berries whole so they can be found within the rolls and change the taste with every bite.

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Take a bowl and just mix everything together. Once everything is mixed, you may place the berry filling in the fridge covered.

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That easy!

Cinnamon Roll Filling:
1/2 cup of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
5 to 7 “grates” of Fresh Nutmeg (or to taste and can also omit if not wanted)
1/4 cup of Unsalted Butter (softened)

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Take the dry ingredients and mix them in a bowl. You then add the butter to create a “paste-like” filling and you are done. I cover and keep it on the counter so the butter remains soft and easy to spread when needed.

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Get two 9 x 13 baking pans and lightly spray with cooking spray. I use Pam with flour.

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Once the dough has risen and doubled, you take one of them and scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

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I then roll it out in to about a 10 x 14 rec-triangle.

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I add one of the above fillings above, in this case I started with the berry filling and then roll it.

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You should be left with a log that is about 24 inches long.

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I trim the edges and then cut the log in half and each half into 4.

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You should have about 8 rolls.

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Cover pan with plastic and allow the dough to rise.

Rinse and repeat 🙂 with the Cinnamon filling. I decided I wanted smaller (mini) Cinnamon rolls so I cut them thinner. You can play with the sizes too!

Cinnamon filling spread onto dough-

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Cinnamon rolls cut smaller than berry-

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Cinnamon rolls placed in glass pan and covered with plastic-

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Dough Rise Note: This usually takes an hour for the cinnamon but the fruit take longer if you are using frozen or cold from the fridge. My berry ones took an hour and a half but it can take up to 2.

While the rolls rise, you can make the crumble topping for the berry rolls and the icing for the cinnamon rolls.

Berry Crumble top:
1/2 cup of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Sugar
1/8 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
1 1/2 ounces of Cream Cheese Cold

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You just mix the dry ingredients and then incorporate the butter and cream cheese to make “crumbles”. If you over mix and create a dough, don’t worry as you can just drop chunks on top the rolls to resemble a crumble. Store your crumble in the fridge until needed

Cream Cheese Icing for mini Cinnamon Rolls:
8 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
Powder Sugar to sweetness you desire

I usually start with adding a 1/4 cup of powder sugar to the cream cheese in a mixer or just whisk by hand in a bowl. I taste and then determine if I want sweeter or not so you can control the sweetness!

Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cinnamon Rolls rise-

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Berry Rolls rise-

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Add the crumble to your berry version!

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Once the oven reaches temperature, you can bake each pan alone or side by side, you decide. It takes between 17 to 25 minutes to bake and if you notice over browning, just cover with foil until done. Best way to check for “done-ness” is seeing if the center of the rolls bounce back when slightly touched.

Berry Rolls baked-

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Cinnamon Rolls baked-

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When the rolls have baked, you allow them to cool a bit in the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can then add the cream cheese icing to all and serve.

Note- I never add icing to all at first because I want them to be dry on top when stored in the fridge. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap once they have cooled. To serve later, unwrap and place roll on a plate and warm in microwave (10 to 20 seconds), then add the icing. The warmth will aid in helping the icing spread since you store it in the fridge until needed again. I do this to preserve the texture of the dough. When they are wrapped in plastic, if they had icing, everything sticks to the plastic and creates a mess anyways so this way it does not 🙂

Enjoy!

Triple Berry Rolls Pics-

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Cinnamon Rolls Pics-

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BzzAgent: Fage Yogurts Fruyo

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I have been on a yogurt kick and mainly Greek and European varieties. They tend to be thicker in texture and not as sweet as other types, plus I love the tartness they deliver among the other health benefits.  In comes BzzAgent with their Fage campaign and I was excited to be accepted. I purchase at Costco the large variety pack, which comes in three flavors. The pack usually lasts us a good 2 weeks and it’s very economically priced.

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In our home, we use yogurt in many ways other than just eating it from the cup so getting the coupons for the larger size varieties fit us perfectly. I bake with yogurt as it tends to give baked goods moisture without the fats and calories. I have used it to make icings, fillings for cakes, to even a base for savory dips. Great to add to yeast doughs! My Husband mixes his whey protein mixes with yogurt when he is tired of using the mixes as drinks. It “ups” the protein content and I usually buy the 0% fat variety for those applications.

Fage strains it’s yogurts and this why you get a much firmer but still smooth texture. It holds up well to even freezing, so if you want a frozen yogurt without the guilt, Fage can come to the rescue. You can even add fruit before freezing and you get a perfect Summer treat.

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I also was able to try a new variety by Fage called Fruyo. It’s strained yogurt with pieces of delicious fruit and comes in several varieties. I purchased vanilla as I was curious about the taste. I have been disappointed with vanilla because as simple as a flavor it is, many companies resort to using artificial flavorings and sweeteners to augment the flavor and the results are not too pleasing. The worst thing when something is labeled vanilla or chocolate, is not getting the full real taste of it! As Fruyo is a fruit yogurt blend…….my curiosity was peaked.

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Fage’s Vanilla Fruyo has 7.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, so very nutritious but does it taste good?

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You have already a nice indicator this will taste good because it has natural vanilla flavor, plus ground vanilla beans. Zero percent fat and plain sugar and pectin used as sweeteners. A nice beginning to things when I can pronounce and know what each ingredient is. I found the thickness and richness still present like with the other Fage varieties, and you can literally take a spoonful of yogurt and hold the spoon upside-down, it won’t plop on the counter or move. Other yogurts have so much water that they also create that slime between the spoon and the product, which is not that great. Fage slowly dissolves in the mouth and I love their vanilla flavor. Not only does the product look beautiful with vanilla bean flecks, but the aroma and taste are there. I will be purchasing from their Fruyo line as they have Peach, Strawberry, Cherry, Pineapple and one I’m super curious about, Pineapple-banana cereals.

Visit their sites at:
Total- http://www.fageusa.com/products/
Fruyo- http://www.fage.gr/products.asp?cat=89&lang=EN

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I received the above product at no cost from BzzAgent and Fage. I am not obligated to provide a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experiences with the brand, which may differ from yours.

Triple Berry Lattice & Crumble bars

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I made these bars after making preserves, since I figured it would showcase the berries perfectly…..let’s begin.

You start with your crust recipe and double it, as you would when making a double crust pie. I use a William’s Sonoma one that has both butter and shortening. I know there is a debate on which one makes a better crust over the other, so I figure both make a phenomenal crust then :). Use whatever recipe you commonly use, I have no rules!

Once your crust has rested in the fridge for an hour or so, it’s time to get you to work. I used a lasagna pan because I was making squares. I sprayed the pan with PAM (with flour), then placed two “lifters” made of foil. This makes removing your masterpiece easier when it has cooled in the fridge. I then spray a little more PAM and add a layer of parchment, cut and shaped like the pan. In case you are wondering, I do make sure the parchment sticks up a little on the sides, because I want nothing sticking or oozing where it shouldn’t. The PAM helps keep things in place while you assemble and also serves for the purpose of helping things release when needed. It’s my little insurance for my projects. After I complete my craft project above, I roll out the pie dough that will serve as the bottom of my squares. I then make the cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons of All-Purpose flour
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
Plus, 1 tablespoon of All-Purpose Flour (to be added before filling)

Before adding the Cream Cheese filling, take a tablespoon of flour and just sprinkle it on the pie dough.

To make the Cream Cheese Filling, you just combine ingredients until they are smooth and then spread evenly, as this is the first layer. After comes the fruit!

Triple Berry Fruit Filling:
1/4 cup of Blackberry Preserves
1/4 cup of Strawberry Preserves
1/4 cup of Blueberry Preserves

I wanted each bite to have all three berries, so I plopped spoonfuls of each in segments. It was my way to not lose track and to make sure I spread everything evenly without disturbing the cream cheese bottom. I then lightly smoothed out the filling with a spoon.

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Before Baking (all assembled)

As you see the picture shows a crumble and lattice top, I figure like the pie dough debate, I nip this one by making both. I added my lattice top and this I just used a dough cutter to make strips. As you can see, it is not perfect but has that “made at home” appeal. After I did the lattice top, then comes the crumb topping.

Crumble Topping:
2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
2/3 cup of All-Purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of Sugar

I whisk the flour and sugar until incorporated and then used a fork to add the butter. I literally just start pushing down on the butter until everything mixes and sometimes I even use my hands when the butter starts giving me an attitude! You want about pea-sized crumbles, since you add them to the “open squares” in your lattice top. If a crumble rebels and gets on the lattice, no worries as you will be fine.

I then place the pan in the oven, at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. If your top starts browning too quickly, just cover lightly with foil.  From my experience, I only covered for the last 15 minutes in case I got distracted.

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Right out of the oven (after baking)

Once done, I then left the pan out for about 2 hours and then placed it in the fridge for about 2 more hours, while I fixed dinner. Once cooled nicely, I use the foil lifters to lift the entire thing out and begin to cut into squares. You may sprinkle with powder sugar if you desire and these go great with ice cream! Enjoy!

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Love Food Review of their Monthly Subscription Box

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Love with Food is a monthly subscription program that not only packs a lot delicious samplings, but also a good bang for your buck.  I subscribed around the start of January for the February box.  It was a Spicy & Sweet theme and you get to see what I received!  You can sign up at http://www.lovewithfood.com/shop.  They even included a cute list of the 9 items they included, and 10 if you add the extra Nektar packet.  I paid a little over $2.00 to try the products because they had a promotion but even at normal price, they really deliver a box full of goodies and deliver it to your door on a monthly basis.  You can cancel at anytime and each box purchase, means a meal for the homeless!  This company not only delivers on top notch customer service but better their community!

 

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Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Piglet from Hagensborg Chocolates (http://www.hagensborg.com) (Twitter: @TrufflePigBar):
I had never heard of the company but just one chocolate embedded the piggy image forever in my head and taste buds.  The company uses a European method that just makes you go crazy.  I like peanut butter but I’m not a lover of it like my husband but we divided the piggy in half (I got the part with cute little tail) and I became a lover of PB!  The peanut butter filling was smooth but not dry and perfectly roasted.  I could taste the peanut and against the milk chocolate, it was better than any peanut butter cup I have ever had.  My only question was, “do they make it with dark chocolate?”  I looked on-line and seriously should have not because they have other flavors and I’m hooked.  I loved these piglets so much, I am hoping to pitch them in the future because Hagensborg Chocolates deserves an entire article on them!

 

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Naturally Flavored Cranberries from Funny Face (www.funnyfacecranberries.com) (Twitter: @FunnyFaceCran):
I usually purchase my dried cranberries at Trader Joe’s because Ocean Spray’s Crazins are just too soaked in sugar anymore that I have noticed they came out with a “less sugar” version.  Glad to know it was not just me.  I received the “Freckle Face Strawberry”.  I opened the package and you could just smell strawberries and it smelled like the real stuff, not just the perfume they seem to add to strawberry flavored foods that smell better than they taste.  The berries are large in size, plump but not a sticky mess.  Their color is vibrant but I noticed their cranberry had more fruit to it than the wrinkly ones I have been buying.  I noticed 50% less sugar, so I turned the package around and the ingredients are so simple.  You have Cranberries, Soluble Corn Fiber, Evaporated Cane Juice, Citric Acid, Safflower Oil, and Natural Flavors…..that is all!  You do taste the strawberries and these would make a great cookie, I’m thinking white chocolate with these cranberries or even a dark chocolate one!  You know they are good when you wish you got more of a good thing.

 

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Pico de Gallo Bean & Rice Chips from Beanfields (www.beanfieldssnacks.com) (Twitter: @BeanfieldsSnack):
I have walked by these bags at my local Sprout’s and I’m a huge fan of the brand “Food Should Taste Good” chips.  I wondered how they were and after having the PopChips nacho version, I was unsure because some were great and some flavors were not that hot!  You have long grain rice, navy and pinto beans that really create an awesome crunch.  I shy away from tomato based flavors because many are just over powdered with tomato powder that just tastes like dried condensed soup or worst, ketchup.  I opened the bag and noticed an herb like smell and picked up Bell Peppers.  Okay, this seems interesting now.  I put a triangle in my mouth and the spices with the chips were outrageous but in a good way!  Not over salty with a perfect balance of spice and again the ingredients are so simple.  You even have a natural smoke flavor that I could have sworn was a roasted pepper, but wait I see green bell pepper powder in the ingredient list.  They also have 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, plus they are corn free.  You have what goes into the actual Pico de Gallo and the black beans just add that extra “umph” that I never get from chips.  These babies are crispy and do not create mush in your mouth like many of these multigrained chips I see hit the market.  I will be buying these and not that they needed to be better, but Beanfield’s is also verified by the NON GMO project.  I wish I had found them sooner and they are a family owned company too!

 

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Original Nuts from Bobbysue’s Nuts (www.bobbysuesnuts.com)  (Twitter: @bobbysuesnuts):

The blend is dry roasted almonds, cashews and pecans that when you read their motto, “delicious nuts with a mission”, I raise my expectations.  The ingredients are the nuts I mentioned above, sugar, egg whites, water, salt and spices.  No corn syrup and they taste like someone made creme brulee nuts!  The coating is light so it preserves the natural crunch you get from nuts and sweetness was perfect and delicate.  I kept looking for honey or some form of caramel.  They had a very light cinnamon flavor that complemented the sugars well and I hope Bobbysue’s comes to a retailer near me soon but Amazon can fill that niche because I found them there.  Every nut dollar goes towards building a shelter for the homeless animals so they not only respect what they make for us humans, but they look out for the furry kind too.

 

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Tomato Basil Sipping Broth from Millie’s Savory Teas (www.milliessavoryteas.com) (Twitter: @SavoryTeas)
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I was excited so much that I missed that this sipping broth has green tea in the ingredients.  I like to taste items as-is without looking what is in them so I don’t go with an idea of what I should expect.  My first bite, I want it to be going into it with almost unknown expectations and the second one I take after, I see what has what.  I will say that when I put the tea bag in the cup, the smell was not appetizing.  The product advertises itself as a savory alternative to coffee or tea.  I think it missed being a savory good tasting broth and also a good tasting tea.  The green tea and basil were overpowering and after the second sip, which was smaller than my first, I had to skip in having more because I just could not.  The idea is sound to a degree and I even had it on a cold night but the blend was just off.  It was so off putting that if someone said it was medicinal, then maybe you can force yourself in having it if it made you feel better!

 

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Nektar Honey Crystals from Nektar Naturals (www.nektarnaturals.com) :

Powdered Honey…..you got me.  I saw powdered Maple Sugar the other day and wondered how it would be and then my mind began to think of ways to use it!  I received two packets and I’m a fan.  I mixed the Nektar with powdered sugar and used it to sprinkle my Lemon Bars and, “oh my”!  These little bees at Nektar have gold in their hands.  No sticky mess and the product dissolves well that I have been using the rest for my teas.  I even made a hot tea and later added ice and this should have reached my hands sooner!  Ingredients are granulated honey (natural honey and sugar).  Simple and I am thinking of making honey biscuits when I purchase this and even a ham glaze.  Yeah, I started thinking again and lets say my imagination can really get creative at times 🙂

 

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Milk Chocolate Caramel Truffle Piglet from Hagensborg Chocolates (http://www.hagensborg.com) (Twitter: @TrufflePigBar):
This little piggy can visit me again all it wants!  The caramel filling made this one my second favorite and wonder if this piglet makes anything bad.  With all natural ingredients and having one of the best milk chocolates out there, I so hope to see this piggy in my area again soon!

 

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Chocolate Madeleine from Donsuemor (www.donsuemor.com) (Twitter: @Donsuemor):
I dislike package cookies or any baked good because they always are dry and taste like the package they came in.  The ingredient’s list makes you wonder why the cookie does not glow so I usually bake myself at home.  I love Madeleine cookies because they are the in-between cookie and cake treat that I can enjoy in small portions and always so buttery.  This one came in chocolate and I liked already that the hue was deep color, so I expected a good amount of chocolate.  The shell shape always makes me smile so that alone on how this little cake was presented, it made me smile.  I had bananas so I decided to add some sugar to them and caramelize it with a torch, to create a nice brulee top.  I pop the cake out and notice it smells like real food and then came that chocolate wave.  I also noticed the edge crumbled so it was not a dry sea foam like I expected.  The company has been around since 1976, so you know they must be doing something right!  They are!  This is probably the only “packaged” cookie I will eat.  I will always try different brands and varieties but rarely finish a package but if I had these, it would be a dangerous territory for me because they tasted so good.  I looked on their website and they have scones and biscotti……I’m in love!  If you served this Madeleine to me, I would not be the wiser it came from a package.

 

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Jer’s Squares (www.jers.com)  (Twitter: @JersChocolates):
I saw Toffee Break and this is the first item I opened from the box.  I use to eat Heath bars until they stop tasting like they use to.  Jer’s uses Valencia peanut butter as the center, mixed with buttery rich toffee bits and covered in dark chocolate.  This bar is made for me!  It has everything my husband and I like but someone crammed it together and created AWESOMENESS!  I loved the crunch from the toffee but the buttery flavor is really there so it goes great with the peanut butter.  I already buy Valencia peanut butter but I want the PB that Jer’s has.  It does not taste like what I have in the fridge.  The dark chocolate cover is not waxy and has a great taste, no bitterness like you get with some dark chocolate coatings.  I want more!
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