HouseParty: Bertolli® Al Fresco Taste of Tuscany Party with Creamy Basil Alfredo #BertolliAlFrescoTasteOfTuscany

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As Summer approaches, I tend to get as busy as I do when it’s holiday time (November and December). It’s that six month mark I call, when changes start taking place, projects get started and making dinner needs simplification. The barbecues start getting prepped early in Spring here in Southern California because we have pleasant weather most time of the year. This means I so welcome kitchen help. I still want a meal that is healthy and leaves my family and friends full and happy.

In comes Bertolli, changing things up by adding more to their sauce line. Forget about the red and think about white base sauces that come with new flavors to welcome the new season. A white sauce is not something we enjoy (at least here) as I we usually make red based sauces. I am always looking for a way to use my overabundance of tomatoes, so that means I am always making tomato-y sauces! They are great but it can easily create a rut. I have come up with Greek style, South American to Italian “red sauces” that I think my family is on to me! When Bertolli came up with the Al Fresco Taste of Tuscany Party and I saw Basil…..well, say no more.

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Retail Price Point: $1.99 for a 15 ounce jar at Target. They are currently on sale at Target from the regular $2.25 price point. You can also find Bertolli and other selections at Von’s, Stater Bros., Albertson’s and other major stores.

Ingredients: Water, Cream, Butter (Cream, Salt), Soybean Oil, basil, Modified Corn Starch, Parmesan Cheese (Cultured Part-Skim Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk, Sherry Wine, Salt, Whey, Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Garlic Powder.

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Verdict:
I like easy but I ask a lot from it. I also want a meal that is well liked and not filled with the bad ingredients. In other words, I don’t want my family picking up that I am using a jarred sauce. There is nothing wrong with sauces out of a jar and you can find brands that keep the sauce honest. In this home, jarred sauces are called “cheater sauces”. Okay, the family is a little spoiled but I prefer they welcome the better foods and if the sauce makes the cut, it also gets welcomed in the pantry. Bertolli’s Creamy Basil Alfredo is very simple to prepare. You just pour, reheat and serve. You can easily make it part of your meal or the meal itself by making it a main dish. For this occasion, I wanted to get maximum benefit out of the jar and the one jar needed to yield enough servings, so everyone could try it. I open the jar and the smell is pleasant and inviting. You have a nice milk and cream base that is followed up with the aroma of herbs, basil of course being the predominant one. Being that my basil plant was attacked by squirrels last year, my 5 year old plant never returned. I also welcomed the basil plant seeds that Houseparty and Bertolli included. I use to fear frost or excessive heat damaging my basil plant, never thinking a Squirrel with gourmet tastes would go nutty for an herb! With the amount of basil packed into this creamy Alfredo jar, my passion for basil and craving will definitely be satisfied. I opted for ricotta and spinach filled raviolis and made this my starter dish. I tend to now fry my raviolis in butter and olive oil.  This method not only gives the pasta a firmer texture but also that golden buttery taste that everyone seems to love. I warmed the sauce and other than adding some parm and a fresh slice of a baby heirloom tomato, the Bertolli Creamy Alfredo sauce was doing all the talking here.

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And, the talking it did. I never have enjoyed a jarred cream based sauce. They always broke when heated and/or had an off taste. This one does not! The Creamy Basil Alfredo from Bertolli stayed whole when heated and did not have an odd after taste. You just taste cream, butter, some cheesy notes and the basil. That is all. The sauce does not overwhelm what you are eating. The tomato gave the ravioli that fresh kick but because it’s mild in flavor, it played well with the sauce. The acidic properties played like a balsamic would, but mild enough to not just kill the entire plating. The spinach in the ricotta filling was made for a basil pairing, so Bertolli made a simple dish that much better. Some guests added a crack of pepper to top, so you can really make the Creamy Basil Alfredo sauce from Bertolli make any dish work and to your liking. No one even asked if the sauce was jarred any I was asked how I made it because so many tend to rush the process and end up with a broken sauce. I told them I would print out the recipe because it’s on-line. I shared a coupon after for my guests to use but I was not letting the cat out of the bag on this one from the start!  I also love that everyone was gifted a Basil plant to grow at home, just watch out for those squirrels who think basil flavored acorns are the it dish this season!

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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.

Fé Fit: Fé Fuel Gluten Free Protein and Energy Bars #Review #FeFit

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When I read Gluten free on a package, I really first think does that mean flavor free too ? So many products advertise a healthier option, however your diet is more based on avoiding to eat it, versus what the product delivers.  Not the smartest way to diet and going hungry because a product tastes so bad is also wasted money.

When I was approached to review the Fé Fuel bars, I liked the flavors and ingredients but I was a little fearful of what would come.  Is it going to be a dry hockey puck like many of these date based bars of today, or is it going to be a mushy mess.  I like dates.  Many products that are gluten free use it as a base for texture, moisture content and fiber intake……many failed at making good flavorful products that I started to question my liking of dates.  I can’t understand how a moist date can become so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your mouth.  Gluten free products should not dehydrate you!
The good news, you know how so many products advertise the “Best of”, well Fé Fit did not lie!  Their Fé Fuel bars are not only great for being Gluten free but I would eat them just because they taste good and have a good amount of nutrition to combat hunger, plus keep you going.
You start with three flavors to choose from and I opted in ordering the multi-pack to keep things interesting (dislike eating the same everyday) and also so I could taste all three bars.  The flavors are not only good tasting but not the typical Peanut Butter this and Chocolate chip that.
  • Coconut Pecan
  • Cacao Nib Almond
  • Apricot Cashew

All bars deliver only 140 calories and the first ingredient is Isolate Whey protein, with 10 grams of protein.  Then comes raw pecans and organic dates.  The aforementioned is the base product and it then expands to the flavors of the bars.  Everything is kept in it’s raw state, making this a Paleo diet friendly bar or for people like me that seek no processing.  Sweeteners range from Organic Coconut Palm sugar, Organic Coconut Nectar, to Organic Coconut Sugar and Raw Honey.  Simple list and the shortest I have seen on an energy/protein bar.  You will recognize everything on Fé Fuel’s ingredient list and it’s always a plus knowing what you are eating.

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Out of the bars I have eaten in any class, and by this I mean gluten filled or not, to different proteins from pea to whey, the Fé Fuel bar kept me the fullest.  It’s hard to comprehend because it’s small in size but it makes an impact.  I felt full and not bloated, just energy that kept me going and a sense of satisfaction.  I was happy because I was not hungry but had energy.  I kept thinking if the bar had enough because it’s 1/2 the size than a typical bar but it kept me feeling better in all areas.  I digested easier and some bars tend to make me feel bloated as I consume water, sort f like they poof inside me as I hydrate.  Not these bars!  Pure energy is all I got with zero unpleasant side effects.  I ate them crushed in yogurt to just grabbing one and going.  The texture is pleasant when eating and each bar tastes like the combination listed in the package.  If I was craving chocolate, the Cacao Nib literally nipped that craving because it had sufficient chocolate to satisfy my indulgence.

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Retail Price Point: $29.99 for a box of 12 bars.  24 bars is prices at $59.98 and 36 bars at $89.97 via the website.  You can save 20% if you subscribe for monthly delivery.  I also found that via Amazon, you can order 12 bars for $19.99!

No matter the diet you follow, these bars have a place in your tummy!  I found the Fé Fuel bars are what I have been looking for because in the end I don’t want hunger to stop me or worse, cause me a headache and I could keep going.  The bars are satisfying and great tasting like they should be. Fé Fit, also has an entire site dedicated to healthier living from fitness and diet plans that break down in 90-Day combo kits.  The Fé Fit company goes beyond just providing nutrition but also a way to change your body into a healthier you that I always find is a bonus and also to look better.  With Summer upon us, you can start eating cleaner and feeling better.

 

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