HouseParty: Bertolli® Imported Cask Aged Balsamic Vinegar Paired with Caramelized Onion #Review #BertolliSauceParty

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I usually make our sauces from scratch and especially when the heirloom tomatoes start hitting the markets, with the quality and season being at it’s peak. I enjoy incorporating everything from a bell pepper medley to a combination of different onions. I make several jars worth and then have the freedom to create different meals and additions like ground lamb to pork. Then time gets in the way and especially during the “bottom months” where holidays start coming and I’m trying to make every comfort food we have been waiting to enjoy and sometimes you get that simple request of spaghetti and meatballs. I open the fridge and then memory strikes…..I used our last jar I made last time and now have none! So, I always purchase emergency back-ups and this means a jar or two of previously made sauces. I already feel bad when I let time get the best of me, but I don’t want to add by feeling bad about what I am serving at dinner time. So, I pick wisely and have found a few brands that I can depend on.

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Bertolli makes everything from sauces, olive oils, vinegars to frozen meals. They are a company that has been around family tables for over 150 years. Their sauces range from organic, white bases to their newer variety called Riserva. The Riserva brand is a rename of the Imported line “Gold Label”, you previously saw with the colored “old-style” font. Even the flavors are identical, so thankfully Bertolli did not discontinue the “Gold Label” line. I was able to pick-up a glass jar of the bottles, with the older version label, at my local Von’s.

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What I look for when purchasing a jarred sauce is simple ingredients like I would use when making it from scratch and also variety. I want something away from the norm, so I look for blends with wines or vegetables that we don’t commonly consume. I want also a sauce that does not need to be “fixed” to be enjoyed. I’m not going to dedicate 20 minutes to get a sauce to taste right when I could allot the same time to one made from scratch. So, the first thing I do is take a label apart when it comes to ingredients and thankfully the sauces by Bertolli contain what the label in the front states. The Balsamic vinegar is there as is the caramelized onions. Tomatoes in all forms from puree, diced and even in juice form are listed. To intensify the tangy notes, grape must was added and mostly you have real ingredients in this sauce. My only pause was to caramel coloring even though I know manufactures add it to enhance the look of the sauce since it may not look too pleasing in the jar without it, but I could have done with out it. I hope when Bertolli changed the label, they dropped the coloring off the list too.

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Verdict:
The Balsamic Vinegar and Caramelized onions by Bertolli advertises a nice balance in flavor where the sweetness from the caramelized onions goes very well with the tang you get from the vinegar. No bitter notes or after taste, and the sauce has a rich texture and taste. Very enjoyable and not a jar that needs additions to correct it, but you can always add a protein from chicken and beef to enhance it. Upon opening the jar, I expected to smell a wine like scent  from the vinegar, as I do when I add Balsamic to my marinara sauces. I unfortunately did not. I taste the sauce and it’s ultra sweet, like way too much sugar. It’s not the sugars I’m use to even when I have used sweet onion varieties like Cipollini onions. Even Shallots when caramelized never give off this much sugar and then I notice actual sugar noted in the list of ingredients BEFORE garlic and spice. Okay, so I start thinking what can I make with this and it hit’s me……a dip. This way the sauce stays unaltered and I make Mozzarella sticks from scratch. Everyone can then enjoy the sauce as it is and I can curb the sweet factor by the spices I add to the breaded cheese. Simple to make and also quick, plus batches can be kept warm in the oven while I make more.  This is unfortunately not a sauce I would buy again.  I will try this version again under the Riserva label if the ingredients differ.  So, far the only change I can tell is that the new label does not state “Imported” on it.  Unfortunately, Bertolli does not list the ingredients of their sauces on the site, just the nutritional facts, so I wan unable to compare beforehand.  My Mozz sticks are always a hit but I did ask for feedback on the sauce and thankfully received some honest remarks.  It’s sweet was the chief complaint and maybe this was a batch where the sugar over-spilled, but I was left with dip and this is uncommon at my house where I witness guests usually use even bread to clean a plate.  I feel that without the overpowering sweetness, this sauce could actually be good and enjoyed.  The warming of the sauce intensifies the sugar and when tasted cold, the sugars mellow out a bit.  Maybe adding a little to a pasta salad would help.

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Connect with Bertolli at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bertolli and HouseParty.  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.

Sano: Vitamin C Serum+ Daily Skin Revitalizer and Vitamin C Eye Gel+ with Silk Peptides #Review #SanoSerum

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I have been wanting to incorporate Vitamin C into my skin care regimen after doing some research.  In the following weeks, I will be reviewing products that will focus around brands that deliver to your skin the maximum Vitamin C and hoping to see positive results. You can read my post on my research at- Topical Vitamin C use in Beauty Products Research and Information

My first to test and review is by a brand named Sano Naturals.  I liked from the get-go that they back-up their beauty products.  If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase and skin care experience, they will refund your entire purchase price, no questions asked.  They also include a bonus item with purchase and that is always a positive!

 

Sano Vitamin C Serum+:

On the bottle it states the product is of high potency and a Daily Skin Revitalizer. The bottle is a beautiful cobalt blue in color and the dark hue aids with preserving the product, which is rated at 20% concentration. I next looked at the ingredient list and you have an Organic Herbal Infusion, Aloe, and then Vitamin C. So far I am happy that water is not the delivery agent and other good quality binding ingredients were used along with the vitamin. The list goes on but everything is recognizable and friendly, not something I am use to in the “beauty world”. You get Hyaluronic Acid, which helps with inflammation (puffiness) and dry skin. It’s an ingredient you see for treating Eczema. Sano also uses kosher Vegetable Glycerin to Organic Jojoba oil. Jojoba has many good properties from being used as a fungicide and preventing mildew growth, to being able to deliver moisture without leaving an oily residue.

Results-

Even though most studies for Vitamin C ranged from a month to 12 weeks, I used the product for a period of 2 weeks. I eat a pretty balanced diet that is rich in greens, vegetables and fruit but I have those days that I wish I could say I ate bad, but it’s mostly that time gets in between meals and I eat late. Inconsistency happens! I noticed when I apply the Sano Vitamin C Serum+, my skin quickly absorbs it. It was so quick that my skin felt soft but with no product residue. I even tested one side of my face by applying just simple H2o and even water does not get absorbed at this rate. It usually would roll off but not this serum. So far I was happy with my first application and in not getting an oily appearance and/or feeling. I continued use and by day 4 saw what appeared as smoothness. Let me add no blemishes, pimples, blackheads or any skin occlusions. This serum is friendly when it comes to any acne suffers and even though people say mine is in the mild range, I myself is the one that deals with it so I rate it moderate at times to those moments that you get the monster bump that never comes up. My pores appear smaller just because my skin looks smoother and plumped up but in a good way! I continued use and noticed less was needed as I continued to use the product. My skin was hydrated enough that where I used 2 to 3 drops in one area, then changed to only needing one drop. The one drop then glided better when applied because my skin did experience positive changes. I don’t feel I have lost “years” when it comes to aging but I definitely look better. I look like I slept well, drank all my 8 glasses of water, and even ate well……even though that is not always the case. I was definitely happy with the results!

Retail Price Point: $18.95

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Sano Vitamin C Eye Gel+:

This is a bonus item with purchase.  You again have a cobalt blue colored jar and I love that the product comes with a safety seal that you peel, so no air or anything that can damage or eat up the Vitamin C benefits while in storage. Easy to store and even pack in an overnight bag.

Results-

I never thought a gel could deliver moisture I was happy with but this one did the trick. Being that it’s a gel, the product goes on cold and instantly starts working on my morning’s puffy eyes. The Aloe in the product is very gentle to the skin in that area and I love how my make-up glides on after. Some eye creams would roll up sometimes due to the residue left behind and I had to then try to collect these little eye cream left-overs while at the same time not messing up my make-up. Not with the Sano’s Vitamin C Eye gel+. The product is rich in Peptides to Hyaluronic Acid. Do not be fooled, this gel does moisturize but the area is left with a supple and replenished look. I had zero eye irritations and found the gel friendly to my allergy suffering eyes. A little goes a long way, I used what I could as lightly dab out of the container, maybe the size of two rice grains per eye. The instant results alone of reducing puffiness is hard to beat and I used it with the Sano Vitamin C Serum +, just to get that extra help in my problem areas. My only small con is the product coming in jar form. I prefer bottles with pumps or that have an applicator like a dropper. I’m just not a fan of dabbing into a jar due to bacteria/germs, but due to the performance of the product, it would not deter me from buying it.

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Check-out the products provided by Sano Naturals at:

 

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

Topical Vitamin C use in #Beauty Products Research and Information

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I have been researching and doing my homework on the effects of Vitamin C at the dermis level because even though I have tried products that contain trace amounts, I have never tried a beauty item that it’s main focus was delivering Vitamin C.

How does Vitamin C benefit our Skin:
Upon reading and even finding “home-remedies” for DIY serums to putty like creams, I decided to leave my Vitamin C manufacturing to the professionals.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a collagen builder. Collagen is a protein that helps in the growth of blood vessels, to cells (and yes, the skin kind too). Your body needs collagen to be able to rebuild and to even creating scar tissue, as this is a form of “rebuilding”. Collagen is what also gives our skin firmness and that supple look we all want due to it’s smooth looking effects. We all want to look vibrant and younger, so this where the antioxidants also play a part, something that Vitamin C contains. Antioxidants aid with everything from inflammation to neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals is what causes damage to our DNA and it’s results is aging, so may see early signs like fine lines, wrinkles, just plain old cell damage that comes from products, to the environment (oxidative damage) and sun exposure/burns. The vitamin is used for dry skin, healing wounds, helping with reduction of fine lines/wrinkles to elasticity.

The research is still limited to the total effects and benefits from Vitamin C via topical application, however I did read that the pH of our skin does effect how much we can absorb, thus benefit from the vitamin. Topical application of ascorbic acid will cross the epidermis into the underlying dermal layers, but you want the higher percentage (concentrate) to be able achieve maximum benefits.

What to look for in Vitamin C beauty products:
Like with most vitamins and my experience with Vitamin A (retinol), oxidation is a factor in deterioration of a skin product that contains Vitamin C. Just exposure to sun, air, light will start the degrading process, so look for products that come in dark colored bottles to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Many of the better products will add other antioxidant rich ingredients to boost and also slow the rate of deterioration and conserve the ascorbic acid properties.

What can you expect by using Vitamin C:
I read studies both in humans and animals. Mostly noted was a high potency of Vitamin C levels being used and in combination with other binding ingredients but the main impact came from the 5 to 10% concentrations used in those studies. This may be why a high potency level will give best results. People reported elasticity changes to reduction of fine lines/wrinkles to a supple and smoother appearance. The impact is greater in people who may not consume diets rich in Vitamin C but even those that did have such a rich diet, noticed positive changes just not as apparent as those that did not. Topical Vitamin C may also have skin lightening effects in a mild form, which are caused by reductions in melanin production and melanin oxidation.

I hope the above helps when making decisions to include Vitamin C as part of your beauty routine!

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