Have you heard of Bestowed yet? It is a monthly subscription delivering 5+ healthy foods right to your door, hand-picked by celebrity nutritionist and author Heather Bauer. The brand language emphasizes the joy in discovery, the energy of healthy living, and the freshness of tastes delivered. Since I enjoy trying out new healthy products from time to time, I agreed to have a box shipped to me to try out. After seeing what they sent me, discover more healthy and tasty foods for yourself at bestowed.com.
Upon opening, I was already impressed by how many things sounded good on first sight. Provided in my box:
- TeeChia Super Seed Cereal
- Good Eating Salads by Parragon Books
- Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups by Sun Cups
- Navitas Coconut Water Powder
- Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips
- LÄRABAR über in Apple Turnover
- Everyday California EVOO by California Olive Ranch
The first thing I dug into was the Apple Turnover LÄRABAR über. I’ve enjoyed LÄRABAR products in the past (and especially enjoy the bite sized ones for post-workout snacks) but this was the first time hearing about the über version. The traditional bar is chewy, while this one had some crunch due to being made from whole fruits and nuts, resulting in a unique sweet and salty snack. I have a feeling I’ll be buying a lot more of these.
Next I tried the sunflower butter cups. I was a bit skeptical since I am a huge peanut butter cup fan, but they were surprisingly delicious! I was actually sad there were only two of them. Definitely a great option for those allergic to nuts, and they are also gluten-free! Wish they were sold elsewhere than their website, but might have to pay them a visit.
The sweet chili tortilla chips really didn’t need to be served with a dip because they had enough flavor on their own. These chips are not only tasty but are high in omega 3’s, antioxidants and other vital nutrients, and all are low in sodium and saturated fat. I’ve had sprouted bread before, but this was my first experience with sprouted chips. I couldn’t tell the difference between regular chips, so why not eat the healthier version?
Then I had a super pumped up breakfast with the TeeChia cereal in blueberry date. It is made from super seeds that gives you lasting energy, satiety and promotes regularity. This tasty cereal is not only gluten-free but filled with antioxidants, omega-3 essential fatty acids, soluble and insoluble fiber, and vitamins and minerals. I enjoyed it with some Chobani, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey. Love that this one was more than just a one serving package so that I can enjoy it different ways.
Then there was the coconut water powder. I’ve never had coconut water before and honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste so I ended up mixing it in 16 oz instead of the recommended 8 oz. It’s all the same so long as I drink it all right? Each 35-calorie serving provide 5 key electrolytes that support rapid hydration, as well as several minerals and vitamins. Which meant it was a great post-workout addition to my water. But I think I would’ve enjoyed it more mixed into a smoothie, but unfortunately only had one serving.
The California Olive Ranch olive oil is actually not new to me. I first picked it up due to it’s fun bottle design but apparently it has real benefits. The protective green bottle keeps the sustainably grown olives fresher longer than many other olive oils. And it works because it’s really good olive oil! The olive oil was also a great addition for the Salads cookbook so that I can make some dressings with it. I’ve been on a mission to eat more salads but I always find myself bored or not willing to prepare a fancy one. But with this book, salads will never be repetitive again. I’ve already bookmarked several recipes to start off my salad adventure.
Overall, you could say I was very happy with the selection sent to me. The coconut water powder was the only thing I wasn’t too excited about, but I bet had I tried it in a smoothie it would’ve been better. I definitely plan on buying more LÄRABAR über bars because I know they are carried at my local grocery store and may have to break down and order some more of those Suncups since those were the two things I enjoyed the most from this box.
Want to try out a Bestowed box for yourself? Get $5 off your first box by using the code 5OFFBSTOWED01. I’m also featuring a giveaway provided by Bestowed for a one-month subscription. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (US residents only).
It’s about that time of year – wedding season. Which means it’s the perfect time to take a look at Robin Miller’s The Newlywed Cookbook. Robin is the host of the Food Network’s Quick Fix Meals, as well as a nutritionist and a New York Times bestselling author. With over 200 recipes, The Newlywed Cookbook celebrates couples coming together over food, with recipes and tips for everything from quick and intimate meals to sit-down dinner parties with friends. The cookbook also comes with a simple guide explaining the different herbs and spices, cooking terms, and equipment used in the recipes to make sure those wedding gifts are getting used!
Just in case you are thinking the same thing I did when hearing about this cookbook, it is not a cookbook strictly for 2-serving recipes. Originally I was disappointed, particularly in the dessert section because most of the recipes make regular sized batches of cakes, cookies, pies, etc. But I had to step back and correct myself, because newlywed-simple recipes does not mean only two servings.
That being said, the majority of the entrees are for 4 servings which means when cooing for two, you would cook one night and eat leftovers the next! I’m pretty sure that does met the definition of newlywed-simple recipes and definitely makes dinner time easier than recipes that only serve 2. Who wants to cook every single night? And then there are some recipes that serve 8 or more for when you have family or friends over for dinner. Conveniently, there are even entire menus laid out for such occasions, and even for the holidays such as New Years, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, Sunday brunch, Super Bowl, picnics, breakfast in bed and dinner with the in-laws.
For example, the Valentine’s Day menu consists of broiled lobster tails, asparagus with tomato vinaigrette, cumin basmati pilaf, and mixed berry shortcake. No that lobster excited me, but seeing that the dessert only make two servings I jumped on it since I usually cook for one. The shortcakes were very easy to make and could even be made in advance along with the filling in order for quick assembly later. As for the cakes, they were the perfect amount of crumbly and soft for my ideal shortcake. Don’t forget the fresh whipped cream on top!
I also made the Penne with Andouille and Parmesan. This recipe was very simple yet had a lot of great flavors. The best part about this recipe was that it was ready in under 30 minutes. In fact the majority of the recipes in this cookbook are quick to prepare, which should make any newlywed couple cooking on a weeknight happy. Not only is it delicious, but it gets into your hungry post-work belly faster.
Know someone getting hitched soon? Enter to win a copy of this cookbook and it would be a great gift for the new couple! Or just keep it for yourself, you don’t have to be married to enjoy good recipes. US & CANADA ONLY.
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Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of this cookbook from Sourcebooks, and are providing the giveaway. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
For Mother’s Day this year, Tate’s Bake Shop is celebrating by honoring Moms, Grandmothers and everyone who’s like a Mom with their Tate’s Bake Shop Mother’s Day Honor Wall on Facebook! They are giving away a Mom’s Baking for Friends Basket each week to one winner selected at random from the Honor Wall. To enter just click the link http://woobox.com/zakfaz
And today The Spiffy Cookie is celebrating as well with a special Mother’s Day Brunch Basket giveaway! It features Tate’s Bake Shop’s sour cream coffee cake, a lemon pound cake loaf, two each of raspberry bars and crumb cakes, plus a box chocolate chip cookies. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!
They are also offering shoppers on the Tate’s Bake Shop website 20% off any purchase until May 12, 2013. Just use the discount code MOM13 at checkout.
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Disclosure: Giveaway provided by Tate’s Bake Shop. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
One year ago: Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Two years ago: Fried Mac and Cheese
Everyone’s had apple juice, but have you ever had FUJI apple juice?Leave it to Red Jacket to create an entire line of fantastic juices including strawberry apple, raspberry apple, blackcurrant apple, grape apple, tart cherry stomp, apricot stomp, apple cider, and even spiced apple cider. And their company is close to where I grew up, so it’s great to support a local company!
Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State along the rolling hills of Seneca Lake, Red Jacket was originally planted in 1917. Today, the orchard and juice company is managed by the second and third generation of the Nicholson family, who have spent over 50 years mastering the art and science of quality fresh fruit and juice production.
But what makes their juice so special? It is 100% juice, never from concentrate, cold-pressed, unfiltered (so it retains the fiber of the fruit), 50% more antioxidant activity than clear juice, and made right on the orchard in Geneva, NY. It’s as close to eating the whole fruit as you can get! And I’m giving away a 6-bottle variety pack and the end of this post! (US residents only – but they cannot ship to CA.)
After thoroughly enjoying drinking a couple juices straight up, I decided to make a smoothie using the Fuji Apple Juice. I make green monster smoothies almost religiously, so it was fun to change it up a bit. The tangy-ness brought by the Greek yogurt and mango was well balanced with the sweetness of the strawberries and juice. I may need to add some of their juice to my green monsters!
One year ago: More Fudge Less Pudge Brownies
Two years ago: Coconut Chicken Salad with Apricot Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
STRAWBERRY, MANGO, AND YOGURT SMOOTHIE
Makes 2 large or 4 small smoothies
1-1/4 cups Red Jacket Fuji apple juice
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I used 0% vanilla Chobani)
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
2 cups fresh or frozen mango chunks
- In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, June 2010.
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Disclosure: I was sent a variety pack of juice from Red Jacket. Giveaway provided by Red Jacket. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I know I have been slacking on the Superbowl recipe sharing this week so I am here to make it up to you with some awesome sliders and a giveaway (at the end of this post)!
Potato rolls and bread have always been a favorite of mine, so when I found out Alexia had sweet potato rolls I jumped on the opportunity to review them. And decided to make sliders out of one of my favorite burger recipes.
Normally I would serve these with sweet potato fries, but decided to change it up with the sweet potato buns and then served with some of Alexia’s Oven Reds instead. I think these buns were made for these sliders, and may not return to regular buns. The turkey sliders are mixed with applesauce, maple syrup, and crumbled bacon, and then topped off with a maple-dijon sauce that I made with Greek yogurt (instead of mayo in the original recipe I posted). The sweet potato roll is like a happy little hug around all that flavor, but still holds it own. If there hadn’t been the exact amount of sliders per roll, I may have eaten a roll by itself! Which means I now have to go out and buy more so I can do just that.
One year ago: Superbowl XLVI Recipe Roundup
Two years ago: Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
APPLE MAPLE TURKEY SLIDERS WITH MAPLE-DIJON SAUCE
Makes 8 sliders
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt ( I used 0% Chobani)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp real maple syrup, divided
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey breast
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bag (8 rolls) frozen Alexia Sweet Potato Rolls
Desired slider toppings
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns as directed on the package.
- Meanwhile, set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking (I used a stovetop cast iron grill pan).
- For Maple-Dijon Sauce: In a small bowl, stir to combine Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup maple syrup; set aside.
- For Turkey Burgers: In a medium bowl, mix together ground turkey, bacon, applesauce, poultry seasoning, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, and salt & pepper. Wet hands to prevent sticking and shape into 8 small patties.
- Place burgers on hot grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Serve on sliced sweet potato buns with condiments and a dollop of maple-Dijon sauce.
Source: Adapted slightly from Sandra Lee from Food Network.
But wait, didn’t I say something about a giveaway? Never fear, I did not forget! One lucky reader will win: One Alexia apron, One Alexia kitchen timer, & One coupon for a FREE Alexia Product! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary bag of Alexia’s Sweet Potato Rolls to review and giveaway is also provided by Alexia. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
These days, it seems like you can find cookbooks on just about any subject and the one I am reviewing today is no exception. The first time authors, Ben Myhre & Jenna Johnson used Amazon.com’s independent publishing platform CreateSpace to create their cookbook Fifty Shades of Bacon. CreateSpace is an indie publisher platform allowing authors to circumvent traditional publishing routes in order to share their prized recipes. It’s an indie publishing trend!
Fifty Shades of Bacon is a tongue-in-cheek “erotic” cookbook that provides a complete bacon experience spanning every meal of the day, including dessert. It starts off with a “Foreplay” of Appetizers, followed up by an “Afternoon Delight” of Main Courses and “Multiple Orgasms” of Desserts. In case you are a morning person, there is even “Morning Wood” Breakfasts. And finally, no meal is complete without some “Bondage” of miscellaneous condiments.
As a result, I decided to whip up a complete bacon meal from main course to dessert. For the main course, I made Bacon Wrapped Maple Chicken. Like many of the recipes included in this cookbook, it was fairly simple and easy to prepare. The chicken breasts were wrapped in bacon, and then cooked with a maple-mustard sauce poured over the top. It resulted in total yummy-ness.
To finish of this bacon-ride, I made the Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes for 2. The cupcake itself did not have any bacon incorporated into it (although I bet I could’ve substituted the butter for bacon grease), but the chocolate frosting did use some of the bacon grease leftover from making homemade bacon bits to sprinkle on top. I personally have experienced the flavor blast of chocolate and bacon together before and these cupcakes were simply awesome. They also have been man-tested and -approved.
Overall, I do think they could’ve made this book a little smaller since the text doesn’t take up much room on each page and the pictures are not that large. But I think it is a neat little cookbook. And guess what? I get to giveaway a copy of this cookbook along with two others! One lucky reader will win copies of 50 Shades of Bacon, Kill the Recipe (basics of radical beanmaking and plant-based eating), and The Home Distiller’s Workbook (guide to making moonshine, whiskey, vodka, rum, etc.). Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!
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Disclosure: This cookbook and giveaway was provided to me by Grand Communications Public Relations. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
One year ago: Berries & Cream Granola
It’s the finale of Christmas Week! But first I want to thank Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina for putting together a great week of festivities, and for asking me to be a part of it. Today’s last and final theme is Christmas Pies/Pastries. As always, make sure to check out all the other participating bloggers’ recipes once you are done here!
- Christmas Apple Pie from Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Fried Pies from Jen of Juanita’s Cocina
- Chocolate Angel Pie from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie from Anuradha of Baker Street
- Cheese Danish Pie from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Bakewell Tarts from Isabelle of Crumb
- Grasshopper Pie from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Cranberry Fritters from Erin of The Spiffy Cookie
- Cinnamon Pecan Crescent Rolls from Ramona of Curry and Comfort
- Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log) from Heather of Girlichef
- Eggnog and Cranberry Christmas Braid from Cathy of The Dutch Baker’s Daughter
- Raspberry Galette from Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious
Fritters versus Doughnuts. What is the difference? According to a web dictionary, a fritter is “a small mass of fried or sautéed batter often containing fruit or meat”, while a doughnut is “a small usually ring-shaped cake fried in fat”. Although those definitions don’t do either of them justice, I would have to deduce that I am correct in calling what you are about to feast your eyes upon a fritter. A cranberry fritter in fact, and they are dangerously easy to make. There is a reason why I don’t own a deep fryer, because I would be frying everything in sight.
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, Freund Container & Supply has also generously donated $100 gift certificates for each #ChristmasWeek blogger to give away! Once you’ve saved this recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter!
Two years ago: Berry Medley Smoothie
Makes 1-1/2 dozen
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
Oil for deep-fat frying
- In a bowl, beat egg; add sugar and butter.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Stir in cranberries.
- Heat oil to 375 degrees. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into oil (I used a medium cookie scoop). Fry doughnuts a few at a time, turning with a slotted spoon until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper towels. Allow to cool slightly, then toss in or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Freund Container & Supply is the largest distributor of glass bottles, containers and wholesale packaging supplies online. Freund offers over 5000 items in stock every day, 98% same day shipping and low-price guarantees. Take a look at Freund’s wide selection of jars, tins, bottles and vials for all your crafting and food related needs!
This giveaway is for one $100 gift certificate to Freund Container & Supply. Gift certificate will expire on March 31, 2013. Gift certificate is a one-time use certificate and must be used in its entirety; any leftover monies on the gift certificate will be forfeited. This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents. However, it should be noted that due to current International shipping rates, any Canadian winners will pay higher shipping costs for orders. The giveaway will run from today, December 7th, 2012, through Wednesday, December 12th, 2012.
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***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Freund Container & Supply. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not been compensated as part of this giveaway.***
Today is World Diabetes Day, and Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, along with many other bloggers (including myself obviously) are promoting Diabetes awareness by posting diabetes-friendly recipes today. Check out her blog for the chance to win a blue KitchenAid stand mixer (as blue is the color of diabetes awareness), and stay turned here on The Spiffy Cookie for a different giveaway!
Diabetes has not affected me personally (something to be thankful for next week), but I admire Carolyn for her refusal to give up on her passion of baking and cooking after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Instead, she fought on and found new ways to enjoy her passions, to the point where I find myself craving her low carb treats too! Her blog, All Day I Dream About Food, has opened my eyes to how you can make creative, flavorful foods that are still low in carbohydrates and suitable for diabetics, dieters and even the everyday hungry person. Many of her recipes are also gluten-free!
But unfortunately diabetes isn’t just about coming up with friendly foods. Diabetes is an increasing global problem, particularly in developing countries. Although the causes are complex in nature, the rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity definitely have an impact. Worse still, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects that diabetes deaths will increase by two thirds between 2008 and 2030. Therefore, in an effort to stimulate effective measures for surveillance, prevention and control of diabetes and its complications, WHO is building awareness by participating in the celebration of World Diabetes Day.
There is good evidence that a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco may help in prevention and/or reducing complications. So eat healthy, get active, and put away those cancer sticks (aka cigarettes and that’s another good reason to quit). For my contribution to spreading awareness through healthy eating, I made these lettuce wraps using Swerve all-natural sweetener instead of brown sugar. proof that healthy eating can still be easy and fun.
Be sure to check out the giveaway for you own Swerve baking kit to try out yourself at the end of this post. Get your swerve on!
One year ago: Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole
CASHEW CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Makes 6-8 lettuce wraps
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Swerve granulated sugar (or brown sugar for non-diabetics)
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
2 chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb. total), diced
8 leaves of greenleaf or iceburg lettuce
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- For the sauce, mix all ingredients making sure to dissolve brown sugar. Set aside.
- Heat canola oil in pan over medium to medium high heat. Add diced chicken and brown (about 4-5 minutes). Remove chicken from oil. Add onions, garlic and soy sauce to pan; brown. When onions and garlic are brown and tender, add stir fry sauce, browned chicken, and cashews. Saute mixture for a few minutes and remove from heat.
- Spoon chicken mixture into individual lettuce leaves. Add your favorite hot sauce, more cashews or basil. Serve with rice.
Source: Adapted slightly from She Wears Many Hats.
Wanna hear something mind blowing? Today marks two years of The Spiffy Cookie! Two full years of rambling on and on about peanut butter, Ohio State football, funfetti, grad school, and cream cheese. And I am honored that you stuck around, devoting even a second of your time to look at my blog. It makes me feel like I am doing something right in my little spastic world. And since you seem to enjoy what I have to offer, I figured I would once again combine a few of my favorite things into a delicious treat for you in celebration! I made white chocolate brownies with some funfetti cheesecake flair!
But wait, that doesn’t look like brownies at all… Oh yea I almost forgot, I’m also giving away a box full of some of my favorite things!
- Reese’s peanut butter cups – should be a staple in every baking kitchen
- Birthday Cake Golden Oreo Fudge Cremes – celebrate!
- Baker’s Field Guide cookbooks – baking is cool
- Funfetti cake mix – <3
- No Pudge fudge brownies – absolute favorite boxed nonfat brownie mix
- Almond Nut Thins – snack time is tasty
- Spongebob shaped mac & cheese – because I am a kid at heart
- Dancing Pigs BBQ sauce – from on of my favorite BBQ restaurants here in Memphis
- Speculoos Cookie Butter – hello pureed cookies
- Speculoos Cookie Butter candy bar – Speculoos is stuffed into chocolate. Need I say more?
- Homemade hot cocoa mix – for those cozy on the couch by the fireplace nights
- Magnetic cupcake note pad – shopping lists just got cuter
- Pretty measuring spoons – don’t let these fall into the garbage disposal
- Coupon for a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s – since ice cream would melt in the mail
- Star shaped sprinkles – SPRINKLES! (not pictured because I failed to include them)
Now that is a box full of love if I’ve ever seen one. I wish I could provide one for every single one of my readers, but being a graduate student I unfortunately only have the one to giveaway. Do you think you have what it takes to win? Read on about the delicious brownies I made for you, and at the bottom of the post you will find a Rafflecopter widget to enter the giveaway!
One year ago: Funfetti Truffle Chocolate Cupcakes
FUNFETTI CHEESECAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
Makes 20 bars
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup white or yellow cake mix
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk, optional
2 Tbsp sprinkles
2-4 oz. (8 oz. total) Ghirardelli white chocolate bars
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 pan with baking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar, and cake mix until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until incorporated, adding 1 tablespoon of milk if desired. Fold in the sprinkles and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine butter and white chocolate. Melt then together over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent from burning. When white chocolate is just melted, remove from heat and stir together with a fork or whisk, getting them incorporated as much as possible. The butter will separate from the white chocolate, so just do your best.
- In a mixing bowl combine sugar, eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and continue beating until smooth and combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until just incorporated.
- Spread batter in prepared pan, top with dots of cream cheese mixture and swirl with a knife. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set.
- Remove and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Source: Adapted from Cookies and Cups.