Thursday, April 19, 2012

Love With Food Box Sample:Ginger Chews Original And Spicy Apple Review

Remember when I mentioned I received a sample box from Love With Food.Well I decided to share about some of the food samples.Anyways,all of the opinions shared here are from me and my close family members.

The first sample we all tried were the Gluten-Free Ginger Chews from The Ginger People.I received four of each of these, which were original and spicy apple.At the time of review, I took one candy from both flavors and cut them into four pieces to share with everyone.I did this because were all pretty sensitive to hot and spicy.

When I tried both the original and spicy apple, the texture was extremely chewy, hence the name.It got stuck in my teeth and I think its best to let it dissolve a little bit before chewing.However that's easier said then done with chewy candies.

Now for the taste,the original had a strong flavor of ginger and hit everyone very quickly with the heat.It continued to linger after it was gone.It also wasn't very sweet and I find just heat in a chewy candy very strange.In the end, me and my family didn't really care for this flavor because we are not hot and spicy lovers.

Now for the Ginger Chews Spicy Apple.We actually liked this one way better then the original because it was sweeter.It had a sweet apple cider flavor,which lingered and then the heat kicked in at the end.However none of us really care for heat so we can't really say that these were our favorite samples. So since I knew no one would volunteer to eat them I ended up giving the rest to my boyfriend Dave who likes hot and spicy foods.This was great because nothing went to waste in the process.

These were very unique candies in flavor and texture.I know who ever loves hot and spicy along with ginger.Will love these. It was pretty fun to sample even though in the end they weren't our favorites.But I know Dave liked them :).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review Of D'Italiano Italian Style: 100% Whole Wheat Thick Slice Bread

Recently,I received two freebie coupons to review any Wonder+,Weight Watchers,D'Italiano or Country Harvest products, made by Weston Bakery's.I do have to thank Carmela from Argyles Communication for being so generous to offer me product to review.Thank you very much!

When I received these in the mail I was super excited and very surprised that I had four different products to choose from.I definitely like variety and the product I chose to review was the D'Italiano 100% Whole Wheat Thick Slice Bread. Its a bread I have never tried before up till now and the only others I have had are their Original and Crustini buns.Both I highly recommend for any up in coming picnic's or BBQ's.

Now this D'Italiano Italian Style bread is very different from the original because its made with 100% whole grains and contains 7 sources of nutrients.Overall, it is healthier even though it has a higher calorie count then their white bread 180 to 200;However bread as always been high in calories so when choosing you got go with flavor and texture.So in the end, I choose whole wheat because I like the flavor way more and it still has similar attributes to the original, such as texture and thickness.Its light,chewy and moist plus I would say the only difference would be its not as doughy compared to the the original,which I think its a good way to go for bread.I also have to add that this bread may contain sesame seeds,milk products,egg products,soy products or sulphates.So anyone allergic to these items ,please avoid this product completely or eat at your own risk.Anyways,they added more flavor and healthy ingredients without changing to much.

The D'Italiano bread is also known for having very thick slices compared to most brands,which is a really great aspect for them because these slices can take a hit with any heavy layered ingredients.Meaning it can take a lot of flavor and can be used in many recipe creations.D'Italiano even offers recipes on their site for everyone to try out.They have also posted all the Canadian recipe submissions for the D'Italiano Cook-Off Challenge and picked the five finalist.I have seen many creative and simple recipes from people all over Canada using the whole wheat bread. I definitely recommend to check it out.


French Toast Stuffed With Peanut Butter And Banana

For me, I never joined the challenge or submitted a recipe;but I did help spread the word about the contest through my blog.Also, just recently I did two recipes using the 100% whole wheat bread to share for this very review.One is adapted from a recipe on the back of the D'Italiano bread package for Chocolate Hazelnut Banana French Toast.Sounds delicious doesn't it? Well Instead of that idea, I ended up downsizing the recipe from four sandwiches to one and made the filling peanut butter and banana.It was super easy to make as you can see in the picture below and recipe.

In the recipe,I used two slices of 100% whole wheat bread, which helped to hold and absorb the egg mixture very well to create the stuffed french toast.It help create a soft,moist,spongy and slightly crunchy breading.While the filling included Kraft smooth peanut butter and 1 half of a ripe banana.These only continued to compliment each other as a combination.The peanut butter stayed melty and rich while the banana gained flavor through warmth and gave overall sweetness to the dish.Both brought a gooey texture and kept everything quite moist.I would of maybe liked another stronger texture in this french toast,maybe a little crunchier.Overall, this french toast was very good and super filling.I think next time I'll add a little icing sugar to the top for some sweetness.

French Toast Stuffed With Peanut Butter And Banana
(Adapted from D'Italiano French Toast Stuffed with Chocolate Hazelnut And Banana Recipe,Back of Bag )

2 Slices Of D'Italiano Italian Style Thick Slice Bread
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
Peanut Butter-creamy or crunchy
1 half of a banana

Spread peanut butter on one slice.Peel banana and cut in half.Use only one half and then proceed to cut it length wise to create four slices.Place it on the other slice and then sandwich each together.

Whisk egg,vanilla and milk in a medium bowl. Place sandwich in the bowl and soak each side for 10 seconds. Then place in a medium heat greased skillet.Fry each side till golden brown.Place on a plate, cut in half and serve.


My Own Grilled Cheese Creation 

The second recipe I made was my own grilled cheese creation. I made one sandwich using two slices of D'Italiano 100% whole wheat bread and then adding some new flavor to give it a new kick. The thick slices of bread were great for this specific sandwich because it really crisped up well on each side and was able to handle a lot of heavy layers. The layers I had were two slice of process cheese and 2 slices of fried ham. Plus after cooking I added some green lettuce, 3 slices of tomatoes, sauté onions and some Kraft dressing to add some moisture.

The bread came out to be crunchy, thick and flavorful.It only continued to compliment all the sandwich layers.Overall, the sandwich was juicy and crunchy, while the flavors were everywhere.It was a sweet,rich,tangy,savory and smokey grilled cheese.I have to say its my favorite that I have made myself and the D'Italiano bread was an important part of it.If you really want to know how good this creation is then just try out the recipe below and be sure to pick up a loaf of D'Italiano 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

Hope everyone enjoyed my review and have a great day!

My Own Grilled Cheese Creation

2 Slices Of Thin Ham,fried
2 Slices Of Process Swiss Cheese
2 Slices Of D'Italiano Italian Style Thick Slice Bread
1 Slice Of  White Onion,Saute
Green Lettuce,Shredded (1 leaf)
3 Slices Of Tomato
Kraft Three Cheese Dressing
Salt and Pepper

I sliced two pieces of ham and fried them in a skillet at medium heat, till golden brown.Then I buttered the bread and only on one side of each slice.Then I layered it Swiss cheese, ham slices and then Swiss cheese again.Placed it in the skillet at low heat and grilled both sides till golden or darker.While it was grilling I chopped up about 1-2 tbsp of white onion about 1 slice of onion and threw it in the frying pan.I saute them till golden brown.When the grill cheese was done I split it open to sprinkle on the saute onions.Then I added the shredded lettuce, 2 slices of tomatoes, salt and pepper and drizzle on the dressing on the top slice.Place it all together to create a delicious grill cheese.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Hippity Hoppity Easter!!


Hope everyone has a great day and all the kids get lots of treats from the Easter rabbit.Also, can't forget that Easter dinner with all that delicious food.Yum!

For me, I got to celebrate Easter a day early and for today I get to spend some time with my boyfriend Dave.
Pretty good weekend I would say. I also, can't forget to mention that I was able to fit in a treat. I made a large batch of Easter Sugar Cookies to help celebrate all of this weekend.I had lots of fun icing them on Saturday morning with every one's help.Every one's creativity is represented in these cookies.

These were delicious Easter shaped sugar cookies with semisweet chocolate chips and decorated with colored icing.This was a super easy recipe that I adapted from a Hershey Chipits Valentines Hearts recipe.

I simply changed a couple ingredients.Replaced the butter with hard margarine and shortening with lard.However with these replacements I had to change up the chill time by 1 hour in the fridge and then 30 minutes in the freezer. The freezer always quickens up the process.Then of course I changed the cookie cutters to be my Easter and Spring cutters.I only had to make a few simple changes and it was completely painless :) The recipe gets an A+ from me.

Now on to the flavors and textures.Well this cookie kept it shape and thickness very well while baking.I would have to thank the chocolate chips for that because It prevented me from rolling out the dough to thin.Now the texture was very soft while slightly crunchy and melted in your mouth while warm.The flavor wasn't overly sweet and the chocolate chips gave that added dark chocolate flavor.Now the icing was the sweetness factor and paired quite well with these because it didn't make the treat overbearingly sweet.It also brought the decorating aspect to make them more colorful.They were super cute in the end to decorate and would I have to say my favorite iced is the carrots.


Anyways,I had lots of fun baking and decorating these.This review looks a little short compared to a lot of my other ones, but I want to spend my Easter Sunday having fun.Not that blogging is boring its just a different fun :).

Easter Chocolate Chip Iced Sugar Cookies

(Adapted from Hershey Chipits Home Tested Recipes, Chipits Valentines Hearts Recipe) 

1/2 cup hard margarine
1/2 cup tender flake lard

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

 In a large bowl,Beat hard margarine with lard.Add sugar and eggs,beat until light.Add flour,baking, salt and chocolate chips, mix well with a wooden spoon.

Separate dough into two halves,wrap and chill in fridge for 1 hour.After that place in freezer for 30 minutes to quicken the firming process.Be sure to check every 10 minutes to see if its firm.Time may vary.Don't want frozen.You want firm.Flour your work surface and Preheat oven to 375F.Take out one halve and roll out.About 1/4 inch or until reaches chocolate chip thickness.Cut with Easter cookie cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes.Watch carefully.Done when bottom and edges are golden brown and the tops spring back when touched.Cool on a rack.Makes about 3 dozen.Amount may vary based on the cutters.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Family Visit & Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cake

On Monday, in the afternoon I made Martha Stewart's Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cake for a special treat to serve to family that were visiting from the states.Everyone that had a piece gave me some really great compliments about it and one person even had two big pieces.They told me that they really loved it and that the best part is the edge of the cake. I totally agreed with that because its the most caramelized and sweet part of the cake.Drool....

Upside down cakes are one of my favorites and I wish I made them more often.But I don't always have fruit on hand, fresh or canned.So they seem to be kept for special occasions and they are delicious enough to be kept that way.This cake that I made is the first one I've ever done with an apple topping.Most upside down cakes I have made are with a pineapple topping and you will see most recipes with this fruit.Its a great combination with a sweet and sour flavor.

For the topping of this cake its flavor and textures are a lot different.You will get moist,sweet,tender apple slices with a delicious sweet syrup glaze.These apples which are gala really absorb a lot of the flavor from the brown sugar to create that shiny glaze.Of course any kind of fat like butter or margarine really helps.These cakes are super easy to make and seem to display really well.

For this recipe. It was pretty easy to follow and no big problems. I would however change a step they had so I can save time and maybe even prevent a mess.I would choose next time to only rub the sides of the cake with the butter/hard margarine and then melt the rest to coat the bottom.Be a lot faster then just rubbing all the 2 tbsp of fat to the cake pan.

Now arranging the apples slices was the funnest part of making this cake and I say the least fun part was all the dishes this recipe created. Lots of separate bowls being used to mix the dry,wet and then measuring the milk.There's also the alternating part of mixing in the dry and then the wet, so on and so on.I have no problem with this because it helps everything mix well together,but some may find it time consuming.

This cake baked really well,cooled at about 30 minutes and even inverted well out of the pan.However when I inverted it my cake did crack a little bit, but no worry's the apple topping basically covers any errors.Besides that the cake was delicious and one of the best homemade apple upside down cakes second to pineapple upside down cake.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

New Cook Book And New Recipe

So the used book store near where I live has finally opened up again and just recently I bought a new recipe book from there.I bought a book called "LIGHTEN UP! Low Fat Cooking In 15 Minutes" By Ginny Clark.Its a really interesting cookbook.It shows you basic cooking skills and healthier ways to cook. It also has all the recipes set up like a simple comic book strip. See below. The recipe shown in this picture is the cake that I made the day after I got this book. Its set up in a cool way to show the reader how simple it can be and how fun.There are lots of other simple cooking and baking recipes that I would love to try out.

In this recipe, its a healthier version for Cinnamon Coffee Cake.Its made with a low amount of sugar,whole wheat flour and no fat.However when I made this I cheated a bit in the lighting up process.I ended up adding a couple tablespoons of hard margarine to the topping to have more of a buttery flavor.There were also a couple changes that needed to be done because I didn't have the items on hand.The whole wheat flour had to be replaced with the all purpose flour and the apple juice for the topping had to be replaced with puree apple sauce.The apple sauce choice was actually a healthier move for this recipe.

Even with some of these changes it's was still a healthy cake and mind you not as sweet as most coffee cakes I've made.This cake is relying on the applesauce and cinnamon as its main flavor components.The cake topping was delicious.Crunchy,soft and sweet while the cake it self was crumbly and moist.Now the flavor of the cake wasn't anything special.It definitely was cinnamon,but I would of wished for a cake that's sweeter and with stronger flavors.Overall, I feel the topping was doing all the work for the flavor and the cake was missing something in the process.However I did noticed that the flavors absorbed a lot more overtime, especially kept cold, but it still didn't have that flavor I really wanted.So lacking sweetness I had another piece with chocolate ice cream.Its was quite good paired off with a sweeter dessert.

Beside that its a good simple recipe,especially for a low fat, low sugar cake.I definitely recommend it for someone that wants a healthy treat or someone that doesn't have any butter,margarine or oil on hand.I even think adding apple chunks to the cake would give it more flavor and texture.Bringing some more ideas to the recipe would be awesome.