MomsMeet: Organic Nutiva Hazelnut Spreads and Buttery Coconut Oil #Review #Nutiva

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Hazelnut spreads are my weakness and when I saw that Nutiva actually makes both a classic chocolate blend and a dark chocolate……I knew what I would be baking up storm with this season (and the next). Nutiva, took the (my) hazelnut spread addiction a step further, by providing us with an organic option. This is a game changer as finding just natural products is difficult with these spreads and most contain artificial ingredients to even nasty ones that take the enjoyment of indulging away. This is why I stopped eating what I enjoyed so much as a kid. Hazelnuts are my favorite and you combine chocolate with them, well it’s a perfect marriage. I always wished they made a dark chocolate variety but in the end, I just kept wishing they added less sugar and sweet syrups to the spreads! My hazelnut spread was slowly lost as time went by and when the company was sold to another food company, I lost any hazelnut or even chocolate flavors that remained. I started just calling it the brown spread. Sort of sounded gross but it summed up how I felt about what I had lost.

 

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Nutiva comes in and saves the day…..heck, my childhood memories. My mind is running with ideas from truffles to cakes made with their spread. I was worried that I was building up the idea and would open up the jar to just find sadness. Nutiva was very generous with the kit they sent and I received:

 

Verdict:

 

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When it comes time to purchase coconut oils, I always resort to Nutiva as my go-to brand. The brand has never failed me when it comes to quality ingredients and they are constantly innovating the brand with the new products they added. Everything is always a must buy after I have tried it once. You can’t say that about many brands out there. Nutiva’s selection may not be as grand as others but knowing that what you are buying is not only made with premium and clean ingredients, you also know that it will taste good. I am all about eating well and organic when possible, but the taste and texture has to be there for me. I don’t like the idea of “eating good” but not being happy about what I am eating in the first place. Nutiva has made me a fan of coconut oil to now being able to add their Organic Buttery one to the mix. I was already at times mixing unsalted butter with my coconut oil in the first place but now I won’t have to. The best part, you taste butter but it’s not there. Nutiva managed to use sunflower to create this genius concoction. I assumed the butter was there when I cooked and ate a pasta dish I made but while eating, I started reading the bottle and noticed this is a “butter alternative”, not actual dairy. It’s even Vegan friendly! Pure genius and I will definitely be purchasing this mix again.

 

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Next comes the Hazelnut spreads. Um, they are back and can I even admit to being better than before? I taste hazelnut again. That was gone after my third jar of trying and I bought the third bottle from another brand by telling myself maybe the other 2 jars were bad batches. You know, made on a Friday at the factory and everyone wanted to leave early kind of batch. Cocoa is the second ingredient followed by Palm and then the nut! No skimping here and I feel the spread is smoother not only in taste but texture. No grainy or oily feel when consumed. The quality of the chocolate is present and no rancid weird taste of what I call “fillers” when not only hazelnuts are used. There is a reason the hazelnut and chocolate combination has been a hit for generations. It works and Nutiva did not mess with that. I finally can have my spread and they listened to me even though I never said anything directly to them, but like some magic Nutiva lowered the sugar. Yup, by 40% less than the leading brand. This is why the power of the chocolate and hazelnut is what you get at every bite……finally, less freaking sugar. I am not anti-sugar but like salt, just a touch so you can still taste the actual ingredients you want. There is also many advantages buying Nutiva’s spread where you get Omega-3 (450 mg), Fair Trade Palm oil, to Organic and a Gluten Free product. Anyone can eat this because the goal was to make the best hazelnut spread with the best ingredients and this is why (and others) agree that so far Nutiva has beat the competition by a huge margin!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nutiva and MomsMeet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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BzzAgent: Silk Cashew Milk #Review #SilkCashew

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Non-Dairy milks are not foreign to me and especially enjoy the nut based versus the soy ones. My favorite has been a toasted Coconut and Almond blend I have been enjoying, however when BzzAgent offered the new Silk Cashew milk, I was eager to give it a try.

Silk’s Cashew Milk comes in a carton and is located in the refrigerated section. You see a huge cashew nut, which gets you thinking you will taste the cashew when you try it. I would say that is not what I got when I tasted the milk on it’s own. It’s more closely to soy milk versus any nut milk I have tried. I know cashews have buttery notes and that was not present. I even bit into an unsalted cashew to make sure I had not momentarily forgotten what the nut tasted like. The milk is also thicker in consistency and this is not a natural effect, but more from the emulsifiers and thickeners added. As the product ages, I also found that it tasted less enjoyable. It sort of just tastes like if you took tapioca and blended it finely. I like tapioca and I like cashews, but unsure the Silk Cashew milk delivered what I expected. I tried the product with cereals, granola, fruit to even chocolate and the latter sort of added at least some more flavor and helped disguise the texture, so it’s more a product that I would consider as an add-on. Add it to chocolate to have a healthier chocolate blend. Would be great with whey protein shakes and the such because it’s also not as nutritious as you would want on it’s own. Not high on protein at all…..like less than 1 gram per serving. Yes, it’s only 25 calories for 1 cup but if it were not for the added vitamins and minerals that were added after, it’s not that high. You get 160 mg of sodium and 45% of your daily calcium, which is sourced from the calcium carbonate added. If you buy the unsweetened version, you get 0 grams of sugar but if you purchase the “original”, you get 7 grams. The product is advertised as creamy and I associate the texture more as thick but from the Locust bean, not the nut itself. I think it falls in being a middle of the road product where you could find better nut milks that offer a higher nutrition value and flavor, but if you want a little bit of change, you can try the Cashew milk by Silk.

Ingredients: (Unsweetened version) Cashewmilk (Filtered Water, Cashews), Sea Salt, Locust Bean Gum, Almond Butter, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Gellan Gum, Ascorbic Acid

VITAMINS & MINERALS: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D2.

Retail Price Point: $2.32 at Target for a 64 ounce carton was the lowest price-point I could find. You can also use a coupon here.

I did find a place for Silk’s Cashew milk and that is in baking.  The product has a good amount of thickeners and because it’s better tasting than water, you at least can replace some of the product with Silk’s Cashew milk where water is called for.  I baked my usual non-dairy chocolate cake with it and added Cocoa powder and coffee, which I steeped in hot cashew milk.  The recipe called for 1 cup of water or left-over coffee, so why not go with something more flavorful.  The other positive that is hard to pass up, the price point.  Super cheap at Target where a large carton can be found and if you add a coupon, the cashew milk price makes the product taste sweeter!  The only limitations at Target is that you can usually find the original and unsweetened version.  My two Targets did not stock the chocolate or vanilla so far.  Now, I love Silk Chocolate milk, so I’m curious about that version!

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Connect with Silk Cashew Milk at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BzzAgent and Silk.  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.

Nutraplex: Megaberry Bar #Review #Nutraplex

 

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We are always hunting for new nutrition, energy, supplement……well, you name it type of bars. I like to not only eat bars when I am busy but I actually enjoy eating them when they are done well. That latter part is where many companies seem to forget and it use to be because it was hard to jam real nutrition into bars.  Nowadays, that is not that difficult with so many ingredients coming in powder to liquid form without compromising their nutrition value. You can really amp a bar up without skipping in real nutrition but so many bars out there are what I call fakers! Bars that call themselves nutritional but offer nothing new than being a multi-vitamin disguised in a sugary concoction. I expect more and especially if the company is asking for more price wise.

Nutraplex is a company, which carries a variety of bars that offer energy and nutrition. Their flavors are:

  • Megaberry
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Pomegranate Cherry
  • Mango Strawberry

I was sent the Megaberry one to try out. Nutraplex describes their product as a, “balanced macro-nutrient ratio, plenty of omegas and fiber”.

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Ingredients: Dates, Chia Seeds, Cranberry (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Cashews, Pea Protein, Honey, Raisins, Safflower Oil, Blueberries (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Strawberries, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Raspberries, Acai Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, and Citric Acid.

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Let’s Break the above down:
The word “macronutrient” just means nutrition that the body needs in a large dose, so Nutraplex bars give you all your nutritional needs in what is really a small portion, which is a good thing. Feel full and have energy but you don’t need to amp calories and/or portions. The Megaberry has protein, which is derived from peas, so it at least breaks away from the soy enriched world so many bars have become. Once source of fiber comes from dates, which you can see from the picture is what makes up a lot of the bar and the word bar is it’s shape, but not exactly it’s consistency. Think of it more as a “soft bar shaped patty”. You have Chia seeds that are great for energy and also expand when wet, so you do feel full. You have acai in powder form, blueberries and strawberries to fill the antioxidant portion of the bar. Mixed Tocopherols and it’s really just an organic compound that helps preserve the bar and it’s oils. Many seeds and the oils they have tend to oxidize with air and light, so this is just Vitamin E used to help prevent (or at least slow down) this natural occurrence.

Retail Price Point: $2.99 per bar via Nutraplex’s site or $44.85 for a carton of 15 bars. I checked with Amazon and they have a price point of $39.45 for the carton.

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Final Verdict:
Yes, the bar is free of gluten and non-gmo ingredients, but I did not see a non-gmo certification listed on the site. Free of high fructose corn syrup, soy and dairy free. You have no dyes or artificial ingredients, plus it’s kosher. The price point is high for ingredients that are not of high value but I am still making the leap that Nutraplex is using higher grades here. Trust me not all Chia seeds are created equal! Even with that in mind, the taste and texture matter. Really matter! You are dealing with simple ingredients and I value that, just not $3 a bar that is not even organic certified. Like I mentioned the bar is in it’s shape and not so much in it’s texture. I opened it and it flops a bit because it’s just ingredients compacted to form a patty…..sort resembles a seed disc for birds. Very soft and chewy and you taste berry seeds but not a burst of berry fruit notes. Think of raspberry seeds, strawberry seeds, the chia seeds and so forth but packed into a date and maybe some raisin batter. I did not find it pleasing and I’m all for the “naked bars” out there. I don’t need a coating of faux chocolate or a oat/granola filling to respect the bar but if you say berry, I expect well a berry slap of flavor. This was too date-y for me and I like dates but when you mush, grind, pulverize and so forth…….the individual flavors start to get muted and I like energy and nutrition, but I still believe you should like what you are eating to some degree other than it’s just good for you. I would walk out with a berry bag of dried (unsweetened) fruit with the same ingredients in cluster form versus the mashed-up form any day. I only tasted the berry one and maybe the other flavors will be better at covering the the date and raisin base. I just think 190 calories (70 from fat) and at only 6 grams of protein, is not worth the exchange or will equate a bunch of energy. You also have 21 grams of sugars and the vitamin content is low with none from vitamin A, 4% of Vitamin C, 10% of calcium and 10% of iron. Sunflower oil is used in the product and with all the fats to choose from in today’s market, I was surprised and again when looking at the list……maybe my idea of “macro-nutrition” means something else because Nutraplex’s bar did not (in my opinion) offer enough macro in their Megaberry bar!  It has nutrition but pretty low for energy and the nutritional facts say it all.  I just don’t understand the price tag when so much is missing.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nutraplex.  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.

 

Red Vines: Fruit Vines Bites in Cherry #SweetSide #FrostyVoxBox

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As part of my Frosty Vox Box via Influenster, they included the new Fruit Vine’s Bites in cherry flavor. Why fight a licorice straw when you can just munch away one bite at a time? Keeps your hands free while you snack! I’m a huge licorice fan and liked the bite size twist, however I noticed the flavor was lacking. The fruit was not intense in taste and especially from a product called Fruit Vines. Once I turned the package over and read the ingredients, I noticed there is no fruit. Not even a percentage that is low in cherry just none but artificial flavors and the kind of things that I dislike, like artificial colors and sugars galore. I so wanted to love this sweet treat but when I see cherry…….I sort of expect even 1% to be there!

Retail Price Point: $1.28 to $1.79, prices vary by package size

Connect with Fruit Vines Bites at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Influenster and Fruit Vines Bites. 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.

Giveaway Time: Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Box filled with goodies ENTER TO WIN

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Starting today and until June 1’st, you can enter to win the above package, which I received from Rigoni di Asiago.  The box came filled with goodies that you can taste and some that you can wear, to the hazelnut bag you can shop with!  Entering is super easy too:

Please, kindly just:

 

  1.  Follow Rigoni di Asiago on Facebook here- https://www.facebook.com/RigonidiAsiagoUSA
  2. And also here on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/NocciolataUSA
  3. Then on  Twitter– https://twitter.com/NocciolataUSA
  4. and lastly leave me a comment on any of the reviews and/or recipes I shared.

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4 easy small steps and this gorgeous box could be yours……..the hazelnut shopping bag melts your heart while you munch on the Nocciolata.  Good luck!

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Winner will be notified via the contact connected to your account.  I will then forward the address to the company, which will then send the box to your home address, minus the squirrel of course 🙂

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Rigoni di Asiago: Nocciolata with Raspberries, this is a 2-in-1 #Recipe Turnovers & Cookies Part 2

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I wanted to create a filling that is easy to make, does not require a plethora of ingredients and is fast……but of course delicious. With Mother’s Day upon us, many of us want to give something chocolate and fruity but the same fallback of strawberries dipped in chocolate is so yesterday! Think chocolate and raspberries snoozing in a puff pastry dough.

 

Let’s Begin……

  • 35 grams of Nocciolata spread
  • 7 grams of Almond Flour/Meal
  • 20 grams of Frozen Red Raspberries
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry (each sheet measures 5X5) and is in square shape
  • 1 egg at room temperature (whisked and with a brush)
  • Optional- Raw Hazelnuts
  • Powder Sugar for dusting

Make your filling like in part #1 http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-SX

Cookies (yields about 12 to 14 cookies):

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Take Puff Pastry out and allow it to come to temperature, but just enough to be manageable.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Get two sheets and begin spreading your filling like this-

Then brush with egg wash

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Begin to roll dough over from each edge, towards the inside like this-

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Again, more egg wash and fold again and again…..you will be creating a heart ❤

I use the same parchment papers that come with the puff pastry to keep the roll sealed and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Put roll in the freezer to stiffen up (15 to 20 minutes) so you can cut without destroying the cookie.  Repeat with the other dough sheet the same process.

 

 Once the dough is stiff enough to cut without destroying the shape, you can start making cookies.

Then take the Hazelnuts (optional) and chop roughly, placing one small piece in each center.

Then wash with egg and place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes to bake at 400 degrees.

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Take the cookies out and allow them to rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a rack.  This helps dehydrate and also finish off the cooking in the dough, plus give it a crisp texture.

Dust with Powder Sugar.

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Then you can eat them semi-warm or completely cooled.  Enjoy!

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Get your Nocciolate fix at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rigoni di Asiago.  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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Rigoni di Asiago: Nocciolata with Raspberries, this is a 2-in-1 #Recipe Turnovers & Cookies Part 1

 

 

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I wanted to create a filling that is easy to make, does not require a plethora of ingredients and is fast……but of course delicious. With Mother’s Day upon us, many of us want to give something chocolate and fruity but the same fallback of strawberries dipped in chocolate is so yesterday! Think chocolate and raspberries snoozing in a puff pastry dough. This is a 2-in-1 recipe where you can make heart shaped cookies or turnovers. You pick!

Let’s Begin……

  • 35 grams of Nocciolata spread
  • 7 grams of Almond Flour/Meal
  • 20 grams of Frozen Red Raspberries
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry (each sheet measures 5X5) and is in square shape
  • 1 egg at room temperature (whisked and with a brush)
  • Fork or you can crimp dough by hand
  • Powder Sugar for dusting

 

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Start by taking out your Puff Pastry out of the freezer.  I used 2 sheets that measure 5×5 each.  Turn your oven on to 400 degress to preheat.  While the dough defrosts just enough to be manageable, combine your fillings ingredients.

Using a small spatula or spoon, just mix.

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Set the mix aside and then begin by opening an egg and whisking.  You can set your pastry brush by it as you will need it.

Take your 2 sheets of Puff Pastry and by now they should be pliable (not overly soft) to begin working with.

 

For Turnovers (this will make 4 of them):

Cut one 5 x 5 Puff Pastry Sheet at diagonally, so you are left with 2 triangles

Take your filling and add about 1/4 of it to each triangle

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Then take egg wash and brush all sides lightly

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Fold dough, as to create a smaller triangle

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Softly press making sure each side meets with each other nicely and if any filling comes out, give it a wipe but try not to stress about it 🙂

Then crimp closed with a fork

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Give the top an egg wash and repeat the same process with your second turnover

Place both turnovers on parchment paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Allow the pastry to cool and give it a dusting with powder sugar! Serve warm alone, with cream or ice cream.

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Get your Nocciolate fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rigoni di Asiago.  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.

Rigoni di Asiago: Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa and Milk #Review

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As a child, I was a huge fan of a hazelnut and chocolate spread, which I was introduced to before I even tasted peanut butter. It was not until my later years in grade school that I actually had my first peanut butter sandwich, however I always preferred the hazelnut and cocoa spread. Years passed and I went and purchased the same but now popular brand to find it was not like I recalled. I actually thought it was a poor batch and on my next outing, I again purchase the same brand to find that the now plastic jar is not all that had unfortunately changed. It was overly sugary, so much I could barely stand eating it alone with just bread and much less combining it with anything else. The cocoa was more compared to chocolate syrup in flavor but the watery kind and hazelnut……what hazelnut? They said every jar had over 50 some so hazelnuts but they must be using the most mild tasting nuts or miscounted! I was heartbroken and literally went years without having any hazelnut and cocoa spread. Then things changed!

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In comes Rigoni de Asiago with their glass jar and simple ingredients. They even have an adorable squirrel on top and are Organic. You have premium ingredients like:

  • Cane Sugar
  • Hazelnut Paste
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Skim Milk Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Sunflower Lecithin
  • and a touch of Vanilla extract
  • That’s all that is in this jar!

Could it taste like I once recalled because at this point I was thinking I was imaging things! I get a beautiful parcel and let’s say the bottle alone with label is gorgeous. I love stuff that looks like this, you know those jars that are packed with care. This jar invokes that but I care more about what is inside. I open and smell and sugar is not the first thing I detect. I smell a delicious chocolate but that distinct nutty scent from a hazelnut is present……like the real stuff because no fake extract ever comes close to a true taste of a hazelnut. Sniff test- Passed

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Taste Test:
I admit it, I just get a spreader and dip in. I see no oils on top or odd separation, just a smooth and the spread swirls like a good buttercream frosting does when you go to spread it. Light in texture and folds over just like it should because it has not been stiffened with too much sugar….perfectly whipped. I taste and it just floods my mind with memories! It was like I remembered and I may even say better. I was so happy and quickly grabbed a slice of bread and munched! It was the kind of munching that makes you glad no one was home to witness it. I then put the jar away because it’s like a hole could occur at any moment and I a) don’t want to run out and b) I got to pretend I have some control. I had a week where I was making every excuse I could to dip into my Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolate jar but because a little goes a long way, I realized I can enjoy it. I eat about 1/2 a teaspoon at a time so I have convinced myself I am not addicted.

Rigoni di Asiago carries a vast array of spreadable goodies that I can’t wait to try them all. Seriously, look at the list of the products they produce and they make it all from honey to fruit spreads. I was sent samples of some of their fruit spreads and will be posting a recipe soon. I do not usually use a sample size to create anything with but when I tasted the more fruit than sugar spreads they make…..I just was hit to create.

Create with and/or just eat and enjoy one of Rigoni di Asiago’s products and you have to check them out at:

It get’s better…….I have a giveaway soon, so after I post my recipes, stay tuned because the Rigoni di Asiago Squirrel is a critter with gifts and wants to reward one of my readers with a gift box just like the one I received! You will love it!!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rigoni di Asiago.  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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