Tryazon: The Ritual of Sakura Skincare Set by Rituals Review #Tryazon #RitualsUSA

As much as we enjoy a day at the spa, reality is that sometimes the spa needs to come to us. Having products that help renew your space not only helps in creating a relaxing environment, but takes the home space to another level.

In comes Rituals, which provides an array of products that can be used at home or even when you travel. Stress relievers on the go! It is no longer not having time to book an appointment but stress hits us at any hour. It can be midnight and a soak in a tub can be enough to make you finish the rest of the week strong just because you took some time to give yourself some very much needed TLC. I have yet to know a spa available at midnight and going out in my jammies at such an hour becomes a drag if the idea of getting out the car comes into play. Stay in your pajamas and use that travel time at a place that has no waiting room, your home!

Rituals has many sets to choose from and products are sold a la carte or if you wish for a more economical idea, you can get a gift set that allows you try out four products from the same line. These are not only great for self gifting but make great presents because one thing we all share, is needing a touch of less stress in our lives. I opted for the set called The Rituals of Sakura. You will find on the Rituals site that they even have gift sets available in size small, medium and large, again accommodating for every budget and each set comes with a gorgeous reusable box. Men are also not excluded (hear they get stress too ūüôā ), so you can also find products for that special guy in your life. Make it a dual spa day!

 

The Rituals of Sakura Renewing Set Includes:

All products assembled in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and disturbed out of Delaware (USA)

Retail Price: $45 and the site advertises free shipping with orders $40 or more. You can also add an item and receive a free gift when you spend $50 or more. A pop-up window will come up and offers you sign up for emails and again offers a percentage off of orders, making the deals only sweeter.¬† You can also access Ritual products at Macys’s, Jet, Ulta, and Lord & Taylor

 

Verdict:
The scent in the Sakura collection is light and pleasing. The site advertises the scent of Japanese Cherry Blossoms, which is delicate and Rituals did get the fragrance spot on. The scrub has a soft almond scent that is calming when paired with the floral notes. The shower gel goes further than expected, so a small amount is needed when using. I worry as some gels can be irritating but this gel still had a nice scent that remains but is not overwhelming. I also found it nourishing to my skin versus how some gels tend to strip away moisture and leave your skin feeling tight. Not exactly a relaxing experience, but Rituals got it right where this is a foaming gel that lends itself in being kinder and beneficial to your skin’s surface. I was concerned the body cream would be overpowering as some fragrance enriched products can be. I don’t want to walk by someone and make them feel like I beat them with a cherry blossom tree! Again, a sweet cherry scent that is soft to the nose but does not linger to become annoying. The cream is not heavy and my skin absorbed it, leaving a nice even texture with zero dry spots. I would use this lotion daily and it takes the bore out of my no scent oatmeal one I had been using prior. The hand wash was a nice surprise. I thought it was that extra item in the set that I was not too ecstatic about but after several uses, my hands improved so the not so exciting item became a favorite too. Nice scent and cleanses enough that after cooking, I had no lingering unwanted smells left from making dinner. Again, it is nice when a hand wash with perfumes actually washes versus just give me scented hands.

Final Verdict:
I have purchased products from skincare and bath stores with same scents, but nothing has captured the Cherry Blossom experience as well as Rituals. The ingredients like rice milk aid in softening your skin’s texture, so this a true spa quality product versus just scented goodies that have no benefits.¬† Finally, a gift set where each item can be used with no throwaways included! I liked that not only for myself but when I gift a set, I know it is not just filler made to look nice and pretty. The ingredients are top notch, non-irritating, and scent wise it became a desirable fragrance I looked forward to using. This is definitely a must buy and will easily make it to the #2018GiftGuide this year!

 

To Connect with Rituals, please visit:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rituals USA and Tryazon. 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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Nature’s Eats: Butterscotch and Almond Cheesecake Bars #NaturesEats #Tryazon

 

 

Lets Begin………….

Butterscotch and Almond Cheesecake Bars

  • Dry Ingredients:
    1 cup of Oats (Instant/Quick cooked)
    1 cup of White Whole Wheat Flour
    1 cup of Blanched Almond Flour by Nature’s Eats
    1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
    1/4 tsp of Salt
    1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
    1/2 tsp of Baking Powder

 

  • Wet Ingredients:
    7 ounces melted Unsalted Butter (melted)
    1 1/4 cup of Butterscotch Chips
    3/4 cup of Brown Sugar
    1 Large Egg

 

  • Filling:
    16 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
    1/8 tsp of Almond Extract
    1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
    1/4 cup of White Sugar
    1/8 cup of All Purpose Flour
    1 Large Egg

Drizzle (optional): 1/4 cup of Extra Dark Chocolate melted. Takes about 15 seconds and I use the stove top and I add heat, take the pan off to stir, add pan back and then again stir until just melted. It is my way to avoid burning the chocolate.

You begin by using 3 bowls to mix the above ingredients. You start with the first bowl and incorporate all the flours, baking powder and soda, plus the salt. Set aside. The second bowl, you mix the melted butter, butterscotch chips and the brown sugar. You have the option to melt everything together over a stove top or you can easily microwave the ingredients by using 20 second intervals and mixing in between. The chips may not completely melt (1/4 left intact) and that is perfectly fine. Wait for the wet ingredients to cool off a bit before incorporating the egg. Set aside. The third bowl is for the filling. You incorporate the softened cream cheese with the rest of the ingredients and make sure to whisk until smooth.

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  • Assembly-

Start the oven and I baked the bars at 350 degrees in convection mode. I sprayed a glass pan with nonstick spray and I used a rectangular dish that measures 11 x 7 inches and you can easily use a larger dish for less thicker bars.

You add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well incorporated. 3/4 of the mixed bar batter goes on the bottom to create an even layer. I use a spatula to smooth it out and press it down a touch. Next comes the filling. You simply spread out the filling to create an even layer. The top layer is the 1/4 amount of the bar batter that remains. I crumble that on top because I do not want to smash or disrupt the middle cream cheese layer. By now the oven usually has reached temperature and in go the bars until baked. This takes between 28 to 35 minutes. Worried the top is over browning? Just add foil on top until the bars are fully baked and I use a toothpick to make sure the bar batter would not stick. You may get a smear of cream cheese but realize you don’t want to over bake the bars. Allow the bars to cool and then you can put them in the fridge. I gave them 4 hours to fully cool and you can even leave them in overnight. Drizzle time!! I cut the bars and find they cut flawlessly when cooled all the way. I tend to cut the bars in different sizes so guests can pick the size they desire. I then melt chocolate and I melted about 1/4 of a cup of Extra Dark Chocolate (Bittersweet). I like the more stronger notes against the sweeter ones the butterscotch tends to give. You can drizzle whatever you want from caramel, white chocolate or semi-sweet. Drizzling on cold cut bars allows the chocolate to harden quick too. I returned the bars to the fridge (uncovered) and within 20 minutes it was set. I then covered the bars in plastic and put them back in the fridge until serving.

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Options:¬†You can add to the filling anything from nuts to dry cranberries, apricots, blueberries to fit any season/occasion. A fruit medley can even be added to give it that full autumn feel. Even though pumpkin everything is hitting the store shelves, we are set for a heat wave in Southern California. This was a pre-Fall treat that is not fully embracing the season because the weather has not gotten the memo! Let’s say I am easing into Autumn and hopefully the weather will too.

Enjoy!

Connect with Nature’s Eats at:

 

 

‚ÄčI received the above product(s) free of charge from Nature’s Eats and Tryazon. 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.

Tryazon: Sterno S’mores Maker for Indoors and Outdoors Use #SmoresMaker

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I’m all for DIY cooking ways and what not better way to bring some fun, by being able to create S’mores at home. The weather is bad? No problem, as this Sterno S’mores Maker has no limitations. You can make S’mores it indoors, outdoors and at any hour. Yup, party any time and this is not just limited to giving kids smiles, you can even make “Gourmet S’mores” that are easy and even make it less messy. No longer do you have to try to hold the candy bar piece, you can literally make a chocolate bark topping that stays……yes, stays put on top of your graham piece.

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The S’mores Maker is brought to you by Sterno Products, the company that has been bringing heat to campers and the like for decades. They have created a nice line of products and kits, which make not only Summer funner, but you are not limited by the seasons when entertaining.

The kit includes:

  • 2 Roasting Forks
  • 1 Roasting Safety Screen for even roasting and protection from flame
  • 2 integrated S’mores Making Stations for an easy and clean way to make s’mores
  • Includes 1 can of Sterno S’mores Heat‚ĄĘ (also available for purchase separately)

I decided to make chocolate barks and all you do is make a ganache and/or melt chocolate and add toppings. Ganaches, use Heavy Cream and produce a more velvety texture and by using a 75% ratio of chocolate to 25% cream, the product firms up enough to not fall off the graham or cookie of your choice. You can also melt chocolate on low heat and then simply smear the chocolate on one part of the cookie, add your toppings and you are now pre-making S’mores! ¬†When guests arrive, half the work is completed. I also find this controls messes. Nuts, coconut shavings and so forth can get sloppy when you are building the Ultimate S’mores sandwich. This way of building S’mores makes sure the tables and floors do not suffer from runaway toppings!

The toppings are endless and you can satisfy any picky eater by using these easy tricks:

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Now, this is how the set up looks and it took me an hour to pre-make all the cookies.  I had guests coming as I made them and my chocolate chip mini cookies were eaten up, but you can use more than just graham.  Even Shortbread minis!

 

The Sterno S’mores Maker heats evenly no matter the size of marshmallow. ¬†Hey, I was worried the Giant ones (found at Aldi’s) would not heat up and melt in the center, they did and with ease. ¬†The normal size ones that look like miniatures compared to the gigantic ones, those I purchased at Trader Joe’s.

 

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Verdict:

I was super excited and started purchasing ingredients before the maker even arrived. ¬†Then it arrived!! It was beautiful and easy to assemble, meaning none was needed. ¬†The red portion (holder) is dishwasher safe and because you can by the cans again and again, this means having a S’mores party is endless. ¬†We will be trying more creations in the future and I can’t wait. ¬†This is a must buy and at $35.16 currently at Amazon, it’s perfect for 4th of July or really anytime. ¬†Make your own fun and creations. ¬†The refill fuel cans retail for $6.99 and that is for two cans! ¬†Each can lasts for about 45 minutes. ¬†It’s a cinch to clean up and everyone had a blast.

 

Connect with Sterno and checkout the S’mores Maker at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sterno and Tryazon. 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.

 

Just Jan’s: Jams, Preserves, Curds, Marmalade……Fruit Spreads and More #Review! Plus, a Meyer Lemon Sponge Cake #Recipe

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Being a fruit lover and especially when made into purees and spreads, the one thing I find difficult in locating, is good jams and the such. The market is flooded with everything from gourmet brands, local “Farmers Market” varieties, to the common major brands and store brands. You flip a jar over and you find that there is much more going on than just the fruit. Heck, sometimes even the fruit itself is last on the list and I’m sorry but when you advertise a spread as Raspberry, but you start with apple, pear, and white grape……I may smell Raspberry in the jar but that is as close as I may be getting to one! Jars of shame is what they should be called! I no longer even venture further if the list of ingredients starts wrong, no matter the art/picture in the front, if the prominent fruit pictured is not the only fruit being used. You tell me Raspberry and the next question should be with seeds or seedless? Not, red dyes, strawberry as a filler, and flavor enhancers, plus an emulsifier here and there to hold the lab experiment together. I desire simple, real and honest ingredients.

 

When Tryazon offered me the Just Jan’s campaign, I first did some nosing around. I did not want to take a spot away if in the end by just looking at the list of what makes this stuff…..well, is not to my liking. I first spot the “About Us” page and notice that Jan started this company in 2012. Has a dog in the picture (always a plus) and I see no preservatives, 14% lower in sugar and refusing to compromise quality or flavor. Okay, Jan, you are my long lost twin! I found ya! So, I quickly sign-up and especially when the Fig fruit spread and Lemon curd were the focus of the campaign. Hard finding a good fig spread. So many are figgy jello like spreads that sort of spread in a lumpy manner even though they have few seeds and fruit. It’s like the sugar water they made, found a way to keep together wants to stay forever together. It then tastes like if someone just took fig juice and jarred it. No backbone to the product and it’s really mostly water and sugar…..oh, and some even get cute and add caramel coloring. The only thing cute is Jan’s dog and after that, she is serious about the 13 different products she offers.

Retail Price Point: $6.95 to $7.50 per jar. ¬†Each jar measures a generous 10 ounces. ¬†My gift pack is the “green gift pack“. ¬†The green gift pack sells for just $15.00 and comes with 6 jars. ¬†This pack includes, Kadota Fig, Tangerine Marmalade, Meyer Lemon Curd, Muscadine Grape, Apricot, and Seedless Raspberry. ¬†They sell a red gift pack but it seems to be out of stock at the moment.

I started off with tasting the Lemon Curd. I buy two different brands and one being from Trader Joe’s. Jan’s has a more lemon flavor, is less yellow in color and less sweeter. The curd is lighter in texture too. This means I can have more options when using it. I decided from the get go making a marbled Meyer Lemon pound cake. As the days passed and I ate this curd. That seemed like the lazy way out. I wanted the spread to be the focus more. So, I changed it around and decided on a Meyer Lemon Sponge Cake! It’s still Spring and Summer is like right there, just a few inches away from getting into pool weather, so why not a more lighter and delicate dessert. This also allowed me to make Jan’s Meyer Lemon Curd the focal point. You also need no milk or butter because again, this about the Meyer Lemon Curd popping!

Let’s Begin……

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs at room temperature (divided)
  • 3.5 ounces of Sugar
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1/2 a Zest of a Meyer Lemon, Sweet Lemon or just a normal Lemon
  • 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice from the lemon you used for zest
  • 1/2 cup of Cake Flour
  • Jan’s Meyer Lemon Curd (about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of spread per cakelette, so you will need 6 teaspoons or tablespoons because you add the amount you are comfortable with)

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This recipe is a super easy and fast to make. Set the oven to warm at 350 degrees and I used the Convection mode.

Then divide the eggs and first whip the egg whites until firm and form peaks. Not soft peaks or super firm ones, just peaks (somewhere in between). Scoop the egg whites out and set aside.

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Then add to the mixing bowl the 2 yolks, the sugar, the zest, the lemon juice and the vanilla. Whip for about a minute and stopping in between to scrape down and around, just so everything mixes well.

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Then in intervals, add 1/2 of the egg whites and 1/2 of the amount of cake flour. Whip quickly and stop the moment it combines about 75% of it coming together. Scrape down and around, and then add the remaining of the ingredients until combined.  Again making sure to not over whip. You can also try the folding technique if you do not trust yourself by folding in the egg whites and flour. This makes sure you do not break the cake batter.

Then take 6 (buttered or cooking spray) ramekins and fill them evenly with the batter. The batter should fill about 6 of the smaller ramekins leaving none to waste.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then take the almost set cakes out and add Jan’s Meyer Lemon curd to the center (amount of your choosing) and return to bake between 4 to 5 minutes.

You can eat them warm by flipping them upside down and they taste like a Molten Meyer Lemon cake that is moist and light in texture (airy).

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You can also eat them cooled by serving them in the ramekin and you can dust then lightly with powdered sugar or even serve them with ice cream. A dessert that is done in 20 minutes and gives you the option of eating both warm or at room temperature!

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Verdict:

Phenomenal cake! ¬†You can make these cakes with pretty much any of Just Jan’s spreads. ¬†The juice and zest are optional and you can add a little more vanilla, even orange zest with juice, extracts of different flavors, and so on. ¬†Imagine a center dollop of Just Jan’s Raspberry in the center of a lemon flavored cake? ¬†Replace some of the cake flour (about a 1/4 cup) with unsweetened cocoa powder and you can create chocolate sponge cakes! ¬†The possibilities are endless and in 20 minutes, you are munching! ¬†The Just Jan’s fruit spreads were very well received. ¬†No one found a negative thing to say and the most common thing said, “so fruity and not sugary, I like that.” ¬†It’s nice to know I am not the only one that found ways to avoid jams, preserves, and spreads because they just stopped being what they were suppose to be. ¬†It’s a way to preserve a fruit so you can enjoy it at any season. ¬†Just Jan’s did just that and in the good way! ¬†Thank you Jan and cute dog ūüôā

Connect with Just Jan’s and find your favorite fruit spread (plus they carry a few savory blends) at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Just Jan’s and Tryazon. 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.

 

 

Tryazon: Rhodes Bake-N-Serv‚ĄĘ Cinnamon Rolls #Review #Tryazon #RhodesBread

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I have always been a fan of frozen foods, like vegetables and fruit that go out of season but are readily available all year round. Sometimes even perfectly frozen blueberries will cost less that fresh ones and be in better shape, so the freezer aisle to me is not something I completely avoid. Even companies offer organic meals nowadays from the freezer aisle. I have picked up many “artisan style” breads that come frozen from a local bakery because you just pop them in the oven, bake and have fresh baked bread in 20 minute’s time! Simple ingredients I am fan of and being a cook and baker makes you become familiar as to what goes in what you are making/eating. The freezer aisle is only bad if you purchase ready made meals to baked goods that are more chemicals than real ingredients! This is where we get lost and it’s disappointing because convenience comes at a price and sometimes it’s not even that convenient in the first place.

I tried the microwaved cinnamon rolls before from Rhodes and reviewed them here. Not bad for a microwaved baked good. On the same trip I picked up a bag of the bread loaves, and a bag of the cinnamon (individual) rolls. Two items I bake at home from scratch, so I was looking forward in using them on a busy week. This week, was a very busy week!

 

Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls (Bake-N-Serv‚ĄĘ) with Cream Cheese Frosting¬†

Preparation-

I open up the bag and notice that the individual cinnamon rolls are really partnered in twos and threes. I had a hard time at the store feeling the bags and was hoping I picked well enough because I noticed some were more blobs than others. I travel with two coolers (one for frozen goods and one for fresh), so things defrosting in the truck just does not happen. I can buy ice cream and still shop for 2 to 3 hours without it even it defrosting on the top! I try my best to seperate the rolls, but they seem very attached to their companion, so I do my best.

The directions were simple and opted to go by the one that resembled closest to the time it takes to bake them from scratch. My cinnamon rolls take 1 hour for the dough to rise, you make the roll and cut, then another 30 to 40 minutes for them to rise again, plus bake for 20 minutes! Simple and easy. I put the frozen cinnamon rolls from Rhodes in the oven, which was pre-warmed to 170 degrees. The directions stated it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes for the rolls to proof and double in size. I’m 2 hours in and watching these frozen rolls more than I do those made from scratch and they are oozing larger in size but not rising. My oven is less than a year old and I check the temperature. Holding at 95 degrees and no change when it comes to rising…..just oozing bigger. I take them out and they are technically double in size (flat wise), so I warm the oven to bake the rolls.

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Baking-

In they go and use convection mode and set the oven to 325 degrees. Directions are clear about not over baking and leaving them in for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are light brown in color.

My house smells bread-y but not that yeast dough you associate with cinnamon rolls. I look in the oven and the rolls look like they are swimming in yellow oil, so I go and look at the ingredients. I shouldn’t have! You have a chemical concoction that makes the cinnamon rolls out of tubes look like saints. You have everything from oils, corn syrups, sugars in every way they can be made down to margarine and so forth. I just don’t see the waiting time worth it when I saw what was in these rolls. I remind myself I ate onion flavored puffy ring chips yesterday, so sometimes chemicals taste good ūüôā . ¬†I allow the cinnamon rolls to bake 25 minutes to get a light brown color and notice the dough has pockets that resemble bread, not the ribbon texture you associate with yeast dough, but I’m committed and now it’s too late to bake anything since I have to start dinner.

This is after "incorporating" the bag's contents more, as they like to separate.

This is after “incorporating” the bag’s contents more, as they like to separate.

Frosting-

I allow the cinnamon rolls to cool and get a baggy of the frosting. It’s yellow in color and not just a faint hue, it’s yellow. I turn over the bag and I recalled right, it states cream cheese but this is not like any cream cheese frosting I have ever seen. The directions state to incorporate the icing and I do the “smashy thing” but it still looks undesirable. I cut the tip off the bag and I taste it……..it’s so sweet and the texture of cupcake icing, not at all like what you put on a roll. Also, cream cheese is there in words but your taste buds just does not pick it up.

Taste Test-

I serve us each a roll and even my Husband says the icing is just so wrong. I take a bite and this is one oily roll that is dry at the same time and you see and smell cinnamon, but you really don’t taste it. I did not finish my roll. Not worth the calories and my Husband does not either. I use to buy the cinnamon rolls in the refrigerated section when we dated. They were fine but never like the bakery, so I began learning to bake and trying recipe after recipe. My Husband will at times even pick-up a tray from the grocery store’s bakery and they are edible and a nice treat for those days I was too tired or busy to bake. The Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls were not unfortunately, not worth the effort and I just don’t get why they are frozen to just be a disappointment. ¬†I also don’t understand the amount of poor ingredients that I can respect chemicals to produce let’s say a Spicy chip that tastes like a taco or something. ¬†You get your junk food fix and you will crave a bag in 3 to 6 months time again. ¬†These cinnamon rolls did not even satisfy a craving as such! ¬†Sad…….very sad because in this house we do think sweet goods are worth the calories and fat, but rule #1, it needs to taste good!

 

I dislike having to give a negative review but honesty comes first and when the cinnamon rolls in a tube taste better and you can find better (i.e. real butter, ect.) ingredients in brands like Trader Joe’s to even the giggling doughy guy, I just can’t say at least these were easy to bake, so you should get them. ¬†Taste matters and I don’t expect to get nutrition out of cinnamon rolls, but my taste buds need to be happy and cinnamon rolls are the type of food you eat with a smile. ¬†These=no smiles :(. ¬†The Rhodes microwave variety were passable and I would have never imagined since these required more time and came from an oven.

 

Connect with Rhodes at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon and Rhodes.  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.

 

 

BetterBody Foods: PB Fit, Peanut Butter Powder and PB Chocolate Powder #Review Panettone Pound Cake #Tryazon

I have looked at powdered peanut butter but never actually purchased it. I sort of walked around it and wondered how it was when it reconstituted, how it baked when used in recipes, to even how it was when sprinkled over my morning breakfasts. ¬†I even imagined mixing the powder with peanut butter, creating a grilled PB Nutty &J sandwich that would make everyone stand in lines to get their fix. ¬†The BetterBody Foods PB fit is a brand that I saw was preferred mostly and touted as being the “must try” when it came to venturing into Peanut Butter powders.

Powdered Peanut Butter is not just one of those products that is made just so you can see if you can be done! It has it’s applications because I myself sometimes wish I could up the “peanut flavor” without having to add more nuts or even the butter itself. Formulations have doomed me when I cooked recipes or was experimenting and added too much peanut butter that created an unpleasant texture. From too much oil to even producing bake goods that baked up more like a crunchy paste than a bread or a cookie dough. Thankfully, our dog saves us when my PB creations have failed.

The BetterBody Foods PB fit is also a different product all together than what comes out of a jar and no butter knife required. You can easily add flavor and not sacrifice texture. You also have health benefits that come in to play that I had overlooked. The BetterBody Foods company powder offers:

  • A Gluten Free Peanut Butter Powder
  • Lower in Fats, which depending on the variety you buy that can be from 75% to 85% lower
  • 1/3 less calories per serving compared to standard peanut butter
  • Good source of protein and also fiber
  • The Peanut Butter powder is also natural with no artificial ingredients, dyes, or preservatives.
  • Simply Peanuts, Salt and Sugar made from non-GMO ingredients

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Okay, this Peanut Butter is a different nut all together in my book. It’s a cleaner and a more¬†intense¬†tasting peanut, so I opted to make a recipe and using the PB Fit powder because of the lower fat content but not lowered peanut tasting! With the holidays approaching, almond cakes and pound cakes are some of my favorite baked goods. They just go with anything from the seasonal fruits and berries, to just plain with a dollop of whipped cream or a warm sauce. I figured since I was being adventurous, why not make an Panettone¬†Pound Cake¬†and use a combination of products that are nut based.

Let’s Begin….

  • 7 ounces of Almond Paste (grated)
  • 2 sticks of Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups of White Sugar
  • 4 Eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 drop of Lemon
  • 2 drops of Almond Extract
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 4 tablespoons of PB Fit Powder (you can use plain or even the chocolate variety. ¬†You can also divide the batch to make a marble cake by using both varieties)
  • 1 cup of Cake Flour
  • 1 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Hazelnut Flour (ground hazelnuts)
  • Zest of one Orange (any variety you desire)
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (room temperature)
  • Optional 1/2 a cup to a cup of nuts like Pistachios to even mini chocolate chips. ¬†You can even add candied fruits, dry fruits (imagine figs) and crystallized ginger in lower¬†amounts. ¬†You can also add slivered almonds on top when 1/4 baked through, and then make sure to cover (with foil) to avoid burning when they have toasted.

Set oven to warm at 325 degrees

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I start by grating 7 ounces of Almond Paste and added it to the butter and white sugar. Blend until creamy.  Add eggs to the butter mixture and blend again until smooth and combined.

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In a separate bowl, add zest of the orange to your dry ingredients (flours, Salt, PB Fit Powder, and Baking Soda) whisk, and set aside.

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Add extracts.  You then grab your dry ingredients bowl and in shifts add some of the dry ingredients and then some of the milk until all ingredients are combined.  Do not over mix, as this produces a dry cake.  You can then fold in the optional ingredients if desired.

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I use a large pound cake pan, but you can even use a cake pan and make two layers with the cake batter.  No rules here because I can imagine making a custard/pudding that would be divine with this cake.  You bake the cake for 60 minutes and if it starts to brown too much on top, cover with foil.  At the 1 hour mark, raise the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until done.  Cool for 5 minutes and then flip the cake on to a wire rack to cool an additional 1 to 2 hours before slicing.

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This cake is like a Panettone in flavor but with a heavier texture to resemble a pound cake, which has a crumb that can withstand more than the airiness you get from a Panettone batter.  You bake it slow to allow the flavors to build, the butter to brown, and to yield a moist pound cake.  Enjoy!

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Verdict:

So, it’s a product with the name PB fit and I made cake (I know)! ¬†Well, I’m a girl that thinks even fit focused products can create magic with what is seen as naughty. ¬†They talk about clean eating, well I think that applies to baking too. ¬†Alienating a product because it carries the word “fit” would just be silly and the BetterBody food company is about making products better for the consumer, and I always say when you use top quality ingredients, you can never go wrong and this cake proves it! ¬†It’s a little of naughty and nice to go with the holiday season. ¬†The holidays are about experiencing flavors from pumpkin to dark chocolates, and peanut butter is no longer seen as just the “poor man’s nut”. ¬†Many companies make exceptional peanut butters that are even considered gourmet creations. ¬†BetterBody Foods, allows the consumer to take a known product that is just not like any peanut butter I ever tasted. ¬†There is that cleaner taste that is more intense and closer to the nut’s true flavor because of the simple process they use that equates to just less processing in the first place! ¬†I can make the powder into a butter by adding water, so don’t think your sandwiches are in jeopardy. ¬†I can’t wait to make a peanut butter cookie because this is the product I have been waiting for! ¬†On Halloween, I added the PB Fit Chocolate powder to crispy rice (cereal) treats and they were different and gone before the evening was over. ¬†It was one of those moments where I was about to add peanut butter and thought I already add mini chocolate chips to the top of the treats when they are cooling, so why not add the powder to the marshmallow and butter mix. ¬†It took just 4 tablespoons to create a flavor that made my treats vanish, and any cook and baker loves that!

Connect with BetterBody Foods and get your PB Fit fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from PB Fit and Tryazon.  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.

Tryazon: Ines Rosales, Sweet and Savory Tortas from Spain #InesRosales

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Tortas in every culture has a dish that bares the same name, even though it may not be identical. ¬†In Spain, tortas de aciete are made with extra virgin olive oil and varieties range from sweet to savory, the distinction is usually made by the sweetness of the dough and the ingredients used. The Ines Rosales tortas are still made by hand and in Seville Spain. The recipe has not changed throughout the years and remains the same since 1910, with just more flavors added to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Some people have asked me how to describe a torta from Spain and my best answer is that it’s like a pita that crumbles and flakes when enjoyed. The distinct taste is hard to describe because the sweet versions are almost cookie like in flavor, while the savory tend to lend more towards a cracker but one thing I can share, is that the Ines Rosales tortas are amazingly delicious! When something is delicious……..what more can be said than just eat it and enjoy it!

I was sent a beautiful array of tortas from Ines Rosales to share and enjoy:

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  • Original; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, anise seeds, sesame seeds, yeast, sea salt, natural anise essence.

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  • Seville Orange; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, crystallized orange from Seville, yeast, sesame seeds, sea salt, natural orange essence.

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  • Cinnamon; Ingredients-¬†Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, yeast, sesame seeds, ground cinnamon, sea salt, natural cinnamon essence.

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  • Sesame and Sea Salt;¬†Ingredients-¬†Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, whole wheat flour, sesame seeds, sugar, sea salt, yeast.

Now, you see tortas in aciete and you think oily. They thankfully are not and the oil is in the flavor¬†but it’s not overwhelming and you are left with no oily residue on your hands when you are eating them, just the beautiful flaky goodness. Each torta is individually wrapped in it’s waxed paper, so makes it easy to grab and go, or even to put out for guests to enjoy. There are no rules when enjoying these tortas. Many times they are eaten as-is in place of a snack, with a dip, a coffee or even a spread or to accompany any meal. The dough used is simple but that is where the goodness lays because there are no lab created ingredients here, just real good ingredients and like any baked good, the quality of the ingredients used make the difference and it shows with Ines Rosales tortas.

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I made a Spanish/Italian (hey, I said no rules here!) theme dinner that was an array of cured meats and cheeses, plus I had 2 vegetarian guests. Ines Rosales tortas are even Vegetarian friendly, so making a counterpart dish was easy but a little of a first for me. I made a pasta-less Vegetable Lasagna. I grilled all the seasonal vegetables, from eggplants (both striped and mini varieties), Italian squash, and a sauce made from fresh tomatoes. I made the lasagna ahead and asked guests which cheese was approved beforehand because I did not want to add an ingredient that was not acceptable. I can say that making lasagnas in single serve dishes makes serving easy and especially when lasagna slices can come apart and not look appetizing. The lasagna sees none of that because you make and serve in the same dish, so these style dishes allow the host to now worry about serving guests and every dish looks as perfect as the next.

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Now, I thought my meat eaters would stay free of the veggie lasagnas but most enjoyed sharing a serving along with their tortas. The Ines Rosales tortas I used were the savory ones, the Original and Sesame with Sea Salt versions, as this was to accompany our dinner. I made spreads that were Mascarpone based and even an olive toss, that was several olive varieties with just a touch of grain mustard and a lemon based olio. Having guests pick what they want and how much by allowing them to make their own tortas, guarantees a happy host that does less, but more importantly, guests that make their dish as they wish. I purchased everything from Mortadella with Peppercorn and Pistachios, Capocollo and I even found a nice spicy version, Sopressata, Prosciutto, Salami (both peppercorn crusted and normal) to a variety of cheeses. I included Provolone, Manchego to a crumbly Feta cheese because these cheeses tend to cut the fat from the cured meats well along with the spreads. The Ines Rosales tortas have that paper wrap I mentioned and when you unwrap the torta, you can even prep it right over the wrap. It’s then easy to transfer to a plate or just enjoy right there off the wrap!

Torta with cured Meats

Ines Rosales Torta with an array of cured meats

Easy and Fast to make any dinner enjoyable!

Easy and Fast to make any dinner enjoyable!

I can share there was not one torta that was not enjoyed. The Ines Rosales cinnamon variety reminds me of a churro-like cookie to those Bunuelos I enjoyed as a child. Perfect with a cup of coffee to dipped in hot chocolate. The cinnamon used is an accent to the torta and not overwhelming. The Seville Orange is my favorite of the sweet versions. I love Valencia oranges and the orange used resembles those citrus notes. I plan to make a honey Mascarpone spread (again) and enjoy this torta in the morning. So far, I have enjoyed the Seville Orange from Ines Rosales in this manner for 3 mornings straight. I made orange slices in a simple syrup from scratch to add, then toss some toasted Walnuts (or any nuts of your choice…..imagine Pistachios) and you will walk out the door with a smile. These tortas are just a delight and each one is like unwrapping a little treat that plays well with many dishes, not just those with a European flair. They would be great to accompany with¬†a salad, a warm soup on a cold day, to even creating a crust for meats (pulse in a food processor) and you can ever make a great crust for Mozzarella cheese sticks. The possibilities are really up to you but even on a lazy day, I can enjoy an Ines Rosales just as it is and still have a smile ūüôā .

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ines Rosales and Tryazon.  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.

Tryazon: Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls, Microwave and ready in 60 Seconds #Review #Tryazon #RhodesBread

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Oh, what a title can say in just a few words can illicit a person to salivate instantly. That is exactly what occurred when I received first notice that this event was up for grabs. When I was accepted, it was a mix of drooling and happiness at the same time.

Rhodes is known for their Bake-n-Serve breads. This company is one of the first brands that made me feel comfortable with an oven. Fresh baked breads are always a crowd pleaser but sometime the pleaser is short on time and/or energy. It does not mean I love my family any less and this is why sometimes I need an “emergency stash”. Yes, we have emergency situations when an unplanned event or even the clock got the best of me and I have no after dinner treat. When you are the baker in the family and you have to share you did not bake anything for that day……oh, those eyes you get can just break your heart. My Husband has yet mastered the oven but is an expert at grilling and smoking meats. He also mastered the art of using a microwave and failed in patience class, so 60 seconds of wait time was made for him.

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Cinnamon rolls is something I make at home but it takes time, so I probably do not bake them as often as would liked. Also, there are days where someone is in a cinnamon-y mood while another person has a fruit craving. I make fruit based rolls too but I’m not making 2 batches to satisfy every craving, and don’t even get me started on who eats what type of a nut and the other person doesn’t. I need an out! A form of salvation for the sweet little monsters in my life!

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Rhodes created the answer and a 60 second promise for a product that is often seen in stores cold, laying in a silver colored tray, and usually dry. Rhodes took everything everyone wants in a cinnamon roll, a warm gooey roll all your own and when you want it. Magic!

Now, I wish my microwave could deliver. I did experience some difficulties in locating the product and Rhodes does have a store locator, down to what product is offered in each store near you. The only obstacle was that the New Microwave rolls were not a product option you could select from the drop-down menu. I finally started hitting stores and located the rolls (one bag) 20 miles away and when I arrived at the Neighborhood Walmart Store, they had more items than what the product locator reflected. I called stores at the end to avoid wasting gas too and I highly suggest in doing so. Just kindly ask for the “freezer” department when calling and that you are looking for the Microwave Rhodes Cinnamon rolls. Not to be confused with the Ready to Bake Anytime cinnamon rolls. The new Rhodes Microwave Cinnamon Rolls come in a bag (not a tray) and the bag is brown-orange in color with a large 60 number on the front of the bag.

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Verdict:
I found literally the last bag they had and always check the back of the freezer. I reached until I got a frozen paw but that bag had my name on it. I always see low stock on a product as a good sign. It’s popular and probably well liked, and that tends to make me want to try them. Each bag holds a count of 6 cinnamon rolls, so even though my weekend get-together had more people, we figured we share (it’s a new diet we are trying ūüėČ ). We had only one roll in the bag that had stuck to another but all the cinnamon were in a nice shape and intact. We played it safe and microwaved one roll at a time and I put toppings out, to even a separate type of frosting (cream cheese) with soft caramel swirls in case someone wanted a different topping versus the icing it came with. You can toast pecans and add that too, to even fruit that is fresh or from a jar. Customization is really easy to do. Everyone tasted the frosting¬†and except for one person, they were the only one that opted to use the icing the rolls came with, so I was happy to have both options available. Once you microwave the product, the roll does increase in size a little bit about 25% larger, however the cinnamon roll is fair in size overall. Feedback was 50/50 when it came to how the product tasted and texture. The roll is soft and gooey, but for some it was a little to gummy while others felt the cinnamon roll begins to dry out (not harden thankfully) a little to quick for them as it cools down. The sweet factor was a little high for some and others felt the cinnamon was not strong enough, but agreed when I mentioned the idea of sprinkling a dash on top of the icing/frosting could fix that. My cream cheese based frosting was very liked and that seem to make up for what I consider to be small short comings for a roll that is ready to enjoy in 1 minute’s time. You may have to eat it a little faster if you worry about the dough drying out but I can share one thing that does have some value, everyone ate their serving! ¬†So even those that did not consider this to be their favorite cinnamon roll did not feel it was not edible, it was just not like others they have had. I myself have had worse from bakeries but for a product with no time constraints and no mess other than the plate you are eating it from, I think Rhodes did as well as you can do with microwave dishes. Nothing will be as good as from the oven but this little cinnamon roll satisfied my sweet tooth! ¬†I fought for my 1 bag of cinnamon rolls, so that meant I had 2 more coupons left when it came to trying Rhodes products and I picked out 2 different ones. ¬†So, stay tuned because I will be reviewing and sharing those with you too.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon and Rhodes.  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.

 

 

Tryazon: Orange Crate Food Company Dips and Bakers Review #OrangeCrateFoodCo

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With time constraints and wanting to enjoy the weather, holidays, Summer time is as hectic for me as the month of December. I feel like I’m being pulled in all directions and meal times sneak up on me, along with dinners that include guests. I don’t want to miss out on the events and I don’t want to resort to catering or serving less than spectacular meals. So, when Orange Crate found me via Tryazon, I was more than happy to get some help!

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I welcome new ideas, short cuts but the most important factor is that things need to work for me. I don’t want to miss out on flavor because I use a “boxed item”. Yes, things out of boxes are easy because they are pre-measured and you just add a few ingredients and are told it will be as good as made from scratch or even better, however boxes have failed me. I end up with what I call salt lick boxes because that is the first and most prominent ingredient. What ends up claiming to save me….well dooms me.

When I received the parcel from Orange Crate Food Company, I noticed that I could smell the mixes before opening the box. Yes, Orange Crate teased my UPS man! It also smelled delicious and tempting, so they so far satisfied the “sniff test”.

Next came the unveiling and this is what Orange Crate sent:

I noticed on the dips that there was flexibility when it came to the creations. Orange Crate’s dip boxes encouraged you to think outside the box! They allow the consumer to make hot to cold dips and even use the seasonings in dishes. It’s a way to infuse dishes with flavor to trying new ingredients, so it goes beyond the sour cream tub and cream cheese brick. So far Orange Crate Food Company has separated themselves from the other dip companies, plus the ingredients are as listed. You must understand that when you see a cheese dip and you flip the box and the only cheese listed is the cheese they ask you to add……well, that upsets me! Then it’s not a cheese dip in my book but thankfully that is a memo that Orange Crate Food Company did not miss. Okay, you now got my respect Orange Crate Food Co.! ūüôā

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Taste matters and for 4th of July everyone always does barbecue and it’s delicious but I wanted something new. Yes, we had the rib rack but this year I wanted a twist from the ordinary and Orange Crate had just what I was looking for, the Chipotle mix. This year I was doing a dry rub on the ribs so no sauce and just flavor to add to the change factor. I crossed my finger and when I took the ribs out of the overnight brine, I started rubbing in the Chipotle mix. I admit, I had that moment where my brain said, “what did you do”! But too late and it smelled delicious. Chipotle being just smoked jalapenos really is a match made in heaven when it comes to pork, but I’m not use to just depending on a rub from a packet. This is the girl that buys the whole peppers and makes her own seasonings, so this little packet have better make it worth it and especially since we were smoking the ribs for 3 to 4 hours. I allowed the rub to stay on for a couple hours while we prepped everything for the smoker and in they went! Okay, I’m now crossing my toes!

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I pretend everything will be fine because the minute the ribs hit the grill, within 20 minutes I know they will be divine by just how the smoke that lets out is smelling. Okay, that is +2 for the sniff test by Orange Crate Food Company. I start making the rest of the meal from baked beans, freshly baked corn bread and the baked potatoes. Four hours later and this baby back ribs look delicious with a gorgeous bark (crust) and a smoke ring that is to die for! We allow the ribs to rest and 15 minutes later I sneak a taste-test because that corner rib that has been peeking out from the foil is calling my name…….yes, food does that! It also helps to convince yourself that you are pre-tasting the ribs for a good cause, like before giving food to your guests in case it is not good. ¬† I bite in and you taste the pepper but the overall flavor made me think why did I not do this before. These ribs are smoky, tasty, and the Chipotle just increases those flavor notes but also adds that spice that remains mild but that reminds you why jalapenos are so used in cooking. Easy ribs that took longer to cook than to prep!

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The Orange Crate Food company also has beautiful bakers and cold dip servers. The cold dip ones you just add ice and the dip holder conveniently fits over the column, which keeps the food cold and at a safe temperature. The brie bakers can be used to bake anything and not just when it comes to different cheese varieties.  I found that they are larger in size than all the other cheese bakers I own.  This is welcoming because no worries when the cheese begins to bubble in the oven and you can dip without caution that you will cause a cheese avalanche on the other side. Not nice when that happens because your bread/chip ends up with bare naked with nothing on it, and you just made a mess!

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Orange Crate Food Company not only satisfies your taste buds via their dips but also can use their products on other foods. They have a Lemon Dill that just screams for fish or even a chicken breast stuffed with spinach. The dips are easy to make and also adjust to your needs. I bought a lower fat sour cream and added less mayonnaise because I’m not overly wild about the latter condiment and the dip remains a hit. If the dip says cheese, it comes with cheese and you then add your own. The dip packets are also twice the size than other dip packets I have purchased and it’s not just salt! I have to fix other dip brand’s mixes because they all start tasting the same of just a mix of salt and pepper. Orange Crate Food Company is not like the others and you can with confidence just depend on what is included and not feel like something is missing. So, the next time you want to try a new dip company that goes beyond the dip and chip, I encourage you try the Orange Crate Food Company because you don’t know what you are missing!

Connect with the Orange Crate Food Company at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon and the Orange Crate Food Company.  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.

 

Tryazon: Gourmet du Village Dipping Party #Review #GourmetDuVillage

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Tryazon has been very good to me and when I got to host the Gourmet du Village party…..I even did a happy dance. I love to cook and try new food companies and Gourmet du Village has a site where you can get happily lost looking at everything and your mind, plus tummy will be making a list of all the things you want to try. I spent one late evening looking around and it turned into me going to bed late because I just love everything Gourmet du Village has to offer. ¬†In my book, I call that doing research ūüôā .

You don’t need to host a party to enjoy Gourmet du Village’s products and kitchen essentials. You have items that come in all quantities and even a single person can easily purchase what they want and need, without having to purchase in bulk. I always keep that in mind as it’s usually just Hubby and I at home. Gourmet du Village satisfies your savory tooth by offering dips, mixes, cheese toppings, to potato chips that are not like what you buy at the usual supermarkets. Got a sweet tooth? They have chocolates to candies, dessert toppings and more! You will love the bakers they sent because I love not only using but collecting articles of this kind that tend to not only bake great foods, but they sort of find a way to bake memories into them too. I can pick-up a baker and clearly think back to a time I made such and such, for this event and what a great memory of the people that were there. It’s nice when things serve more than a purpose than cooking with them, so join me while I share a little of our Memorial Day weekend with you!

The Dips:

Let’s start with the dips. ¬†Each dip has a beautiful illustration of the kind of dip it holds. ¬†I love the pictures and artwork so much, I kept the front cover of each dip packet and decorated the back of my pantry and the cabinet that holds my baking dishes with them. ¬†I told you I collected bakers and the such! ¬†The dips are easy to make and most require dairy products like cream cheese, mayo, to sour cream. ¬†What is needed to complete the dip varies by type, like the artichoke one requires the vegetable in can form but what I like best, are what I call “off-road” uses. ¬†Using products beyond what they were made for and Gourmet du Village provides just for that to happen. ¬†They not only give you ideas but I was able to create¬†a stuffed scallop cake using the Gourmet du Village Crab mix. ¬†I simply took homemade country bread and used it as a base for my stuffing. ¬†I added Bay scallops and scooped them into gorgeous shells. ¬†It makes the plating look expensive but Bay scallops are those smaller ones that are also called “baby scallops”. ¬†They sell at a lower price point and you get the scallop craving satisfied and pay less. ¬†A little parsley and chive topping and you are done. ¬†It was so simple just using the entire seasoning packet from Gourmet du Village and it provided a full amount of flavor that kicks out any bay seasoning that comes out of a shaker any day! ¬†Flavorful and not salty is what I look for and that is what you get with these dips packet.

Retail Price Point: $3.99 each but you do save when you purchase more and they have trios to collections.

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The Bakers:

Gourmet du Village has beautiful bakers that are perfect for Brie to any cheese that plays well with melting. ¬†You can use those grilled cheeses for added texture and flavor to even blends. ¬†The bakers I received are a beautiful Cranberry red and easy to wash and clean after use. ¬†I love adding these to my collection and the larger size does not limit me as much when it comes to serving and uses like my previous bakers. I got my hands on a beautifully aged Manchego cheese and you bet I added it to the Brie. ¬†These dishes allow your guests to add what they want and make it their own way and that is sure to please everyone on any day. ¬†The bakers also come with recipes, so it’s a great value. ¬†They are oven and dishwasher safe too!

Retail Price Point: $19.99 per baker and you have gorgeous colors to choose from.

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The Chips:

Next, comes the chips for the dips. ¬†These babies are just simple russet potatoes and some salt. ¬†Simple foods make for the best eats! ¬†The chip has heft where it can withstand dipping without breaking. ¬†I found myself munching on these on their own and because they are not salty, the don’t interfere or ruin the flavor of anything you combine them with. ¬†As odd as it may sound, we also enjoyed the “real tater” taste. ¬†These are real slices and not just a mash of potatoes to resemble a chip. ¬†The crunch of the potato is just as you desire and they are not oily. ¬†Many of the kettle type chips are an oily mess that even if they are natural, who wants pools of oil? ¬†Gourmet du Village makes a chip that is not ordinary and very crave-able.

Retail Price Point: $4.00 per 5 ounce bag

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This was not only an enjoyable an event but a time to spend with those we care. ¬†Friends enjoyed the food, Gourmet du Village made it simple to create and everyone was left with a full and satisfied tummy. ¬†Good memories and make your own by visiting Gourmet du Village and seeing what catches your eye. ¬†You won’t be disappointed! Also, save while you are there and that just makes the deal even sweeter.

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Connect with Gourmet du Village at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon and Gourmet du Village. 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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