Foodbuzz


****Oh my gosh…I came in to post a new recipe and found this in my drafts…SO sorry for the delay Magnum and Tastemakers***

Magnum Ice Cream partnered with Foodbuzz to spread the word on their deliciously creamy and sinfully good ice cream treats now found in grocers freezers nation wide.  Thought the Tastemaker program I received a coupon for a free box of my choice of any Magnum Ice Cream.  THANKS.

(Image Source)

Review

I took my coupon, headed to the local Target and drooled over the options that Magnum had to offer.  I REALLY wanted to try the dark chocolate ice cream bar but my hubby HATES dark chocolate so I “settled” for the ALMOND MAGNUM…and I didn’t regret the choice!

Lets dissect this ice cream bar…piece by piece:

Chocolate – The chocolate was rich, milky, and had a nice crisp texture.  It was not at all waxy as some chocolate covered ice creams can be.  The almonds were mixed in the chocolate…and although my bar didn’t look like the photos online, the flavor more than made up for that!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – MMMMM, this was my favorite part!  This ice cream was full of fat, cream, sugar, and delicious vanilla beans.  This is the real deal.  Here is my thought on ice cream…if you’re gonna eat it, eat the real stuff.  Low Fat, Fake Sugar, and Artificial Flavors area NO NO when it comes to ice cream made from dairy…Magnum has this right!  You will not be disappointed.

The Little Stick – Hehe…I have to make a comment about the stick because it was solid!  My ice cream did not fall off the stick and my fingers didn’t cramp as I was eating (Well, that might be because I inhaled this thing!)

SCORE – 4.8/5 Stars

My Complaints – There are only 3 in a box (boo) and I would have liked a few more almonds…but that really is it!

Go Run out today and buy yourself a box (or two or three) of this delicious treat!

-R

Advertisements

I love beer…especially brews that are rich, dark, and local.  So, when I got an email from Foodbuzz Tastemakers with the chance to participate in a New Belgium Brewery Contest I jumped on the challenge. New Belgium is brewed in Fort Collins, not far from Denver and I am a fan of many of their beers.  Lucky for me, I received an email saying that I was chosen!!!!   In return for creating a food using one of their beer or pairing food with one of their beers I get to receive a $50 stipend to help pay for beer and ingredients.  Thanks New Belgium and Foodbuzz!

So…I really wanted to push myself with this challenge.  It has been a while since I’ve experimented in the kitchen (as you all can see with my lack of postings as of late) and thought using beer in baking would definitely be a challenge.  Last week I went into Starbucks and saw something called a Whoopie Pie.  It looked really yummy!  Why not try to make Chocolate Whoopie Pies and incorporate Abbey Beer into them…and to push it even further, add espresso.  I couldn’t wait to get started, submission deadline isn’t until April 28th…but I couldn’t wait!!!

Photo from New Belgium's Website

                                         Photo Pulled from New Belgium’s Website – Linked

Here we go!

Chocolate Abbey Whoopie Pies with Espresso Chip Filling

Inspired by Chocolate Whoopie Pies on Epicurious and my love of Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans!

For Cakes:

  • 2.5 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cups Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk with 1 Tbs. Cider Vinegar (set aside for at least 5 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup New Belgium Abbey Beer
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Paste
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 packet Mocha Instant Coffee (I used Starbucks Via Ready Brew)

For Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1, 8 oz. package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
  • 2 oz. Chopped Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
  • Abbey Beer to thin/taste (I used ~ 1.5 Tbs)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* and line your sheets with parchment paper. 

In a small bowl, add vinegar to your almond flour milk and set aside for at least 5 minutes.  Open your Abbey beer and allow it to rest.

In medium-sized bowl, sift together your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir/whisk until it is well incorporated.

In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy…this will take about 3-4 minutes on medium high.  Add in the vanilla and egg.  Beat until well combined.  Add in the espresso powder.

Add the beer to your almond milk and stir until well combined.  Add ~1/3 flour mix to the butter and beat on low until combined.  Add 1/3 milk, mix until well combined.  Continue to alternate until all ingredients are incorporated. 

Let the batter sit for 5 minutes or so before cooking.  I discovered that my later batches cooked up much better.  I don’t know why…maybe it has something to do with the alcohol? 

Place ~2.5 Tbs of batter on lined cookie sheet (make sure there is PLENTY of room around the plop of batter, they will spread) and bake for ~13 minutes, until the cake springs back when you touch it with your fingertip.  I fit 6 cakes on a large cookie sheet and they had enough room to breath. Move the cakes onto a cooling rack, re-line your sheet and bake your next batch.  You’ll get about 24 cakes…for a total of 12 pies, that are about 3.5″ in diameter.  If you want smaller pies lessen your batter drops to 1.5 Tbs and they’ll end up about 2″ in diameter.

After your cakes have cooled completely you can prep your filling!  Chop your espresso beans in a food processor, Cream together your room temp butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar and Abbey Beer until you get the consistency you want.  Fold in espresso beans.  Spread filling on one end of a cake, top with second cake and allow to set in the fridge for ~30 minutes!  ENJOY!!!!

Hope you all like what I’ve done and that New Belgium finds this recipe worthy of their beer!

R-

A few weeks back I received an email from Foodbuzz Tastemakers stating that they needed people to review Wendy’s French Fries.  I have NEVER been a fan of Wendy’s French Fries and thought that if they had changed things what better way to give them a try then for free!!!   Wendy’s sent me two $7 gift cards (gratis!) so that I could try their fries, post a review, and allow my readers a chance to try them as well (via giveaway).

Before I give my review, I want to state that I fully understand that eating  french fries are not a means to a healthy heart or small waistline, but sometimes a girl just needs some fries!  I am guilty (I confess…and although I’m not proud, I have vowed to stay honest on this blog) of eating out WAY too much while thinking as I eat my fast food, “You know you shouldn’t eat this!”  So why accept to do a review for Wendy’s?  Well, I did a little research and found that Wendy’s (although far from perfect) is trying to provide its customers with quality ingredients and is committed to humane treatment of animals.  They have LOTS of stipulations they place on their suppliers.  While I don’t feel they are as strict as they could be, they are placing more demands than any other fast food chain (with the exception of Chipotle) that I am aware of. 

On to the Review:

So, yesterday night my hubby and I visited Wendy’s.  My husband ordered a burger and fries, I ordered a salad…and of course FRIES (the whole reason I was there to begin with). 

Old Wendy’s Fries

Source

On The Old Fries – I have had Wendy’s fries several times…and was never impressed, I would choose McDonald’s or Burger King fries over Wendy’s ANY day.  The fries were LIMP, too SALTY, and really tasted only of OIL and SALT.  YUCK.  Good thing Wendy’s has other options for a side dish.

New Wendy’s Fries

Click for Source

On The New FriesSo. Much. Better.  I almost at the WHOLE box of fries (this never happens, hubby usually finishes them for me when I’ve eaten about 1/2 of them)!  My fries were fresh, hot, and crispy.  I saw them take the fries from the fryer as I was ordering.  So how did they taste?  Pretty good…they were crispy on the outside, and perfectly soft on the inside.  I love fries that are crunchy…a limp, soggy french fry isn’t worth the calories.  These fries had the perfect amount of crunch and  just the right amount of sea salt.  I didn’t even need ketchup!  The fries were good…and I’d definitely eat them again (in moderation that is, these puppies are FAT-TEN-ING).  BUT no fast food fry can replace homemade french fries!

Rating – 3/5 Stars

Do you want to try them for yourself?  Post a comment before midnight on December 9th.  One winner will be chosen at random on December 10th and will receive a $7.00 Gift Card to Wendy’s.  That’s it!

Thanks Foodbuzz Tastemakers and Wendy’s for this opportunity!

R-

I was shocked to see the email from Foodbuzz stating that I had received enough votes to move forward in this amazing game!  I was, to say the least, NOT PREPARED!  My sister-in-laws’ birthdays were yesterday and I was on cake duty (you’ll get that post tomorrow) and today is a big game day and I had to find a way to make an amazing interpretation on a classic before heading out the door.  I wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity to move forward yet again!  You can view my profile here 🙂

A few years ago I went to Puerto Rico with my family and I can still remember some of the best food I have ever eaten at a small restaurant. 

We ate mofongo (traditional plantain meal), fresh fruit, and yummy sweet potato balls.  Sweet potato balls are traditional end to meals in Puerto Rico.  Sometimes they are served with custard, sometimes not, but however they are served, they are delicious.

I decided that I wanted to put a spin on these sweet potato balls…since my hubby doesn’t like sweet potatoes and I’ve been craving pumpkin…I’d try my hand at pumpkin balls with a basic vanilla custard. 

Traditional Sweet Potato Balls (Nesperos de Batatas)

  • 2 lbs Sweet Potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 6 c. Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Coconuts, made into 3/4 c. Coconut Milk
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • cinnamon
  • whole cloves

Directions

  1. Boil pealed and chopped sweet potatos in water and salt, ~40 minutes
  2. Drain and push through a rice strainer.
  3. Add egg yolk, coconut mik, and sugar.  Stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer to dutch oven, bring to rapid boil while stirring with a wooden spoon in a back and forth motion.
  5. Turn down heat to medium, and continue to stir until the mixture is pulingl away from the bottom and sides of the pan.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Cool slightly.  Roll into small balls and dust with cinnamon.  Place one whole clove in each ball.

My twist – make this vegan and with pumpkin!  This took a bit longer than I had anticipated…but the ending is VERY TASTY!  It is not perfect, I couldn’t get the right consistency and will be tweeking this recipe until I get it right, this ended up more like a custard…tricky to form into a ball and roll into spice and coconut.  BUT, since I’m short on time, this will do (and nicely at that).

Pumpkin Spice Balls

  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • 1.5 Tbs. Chia Seed
  • 1/2 c. Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Butter
  • 1 1/3 c. Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 c. pecans

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Make certain everything is well mixed and turn into a dutch oven.  Heat on high until it starts to boil.  Reduce to medium heat and stir back and forth with a wooden spoon constantly.  This took me about 25 minutes.  It will look something like this:

Allow the mix to cool for about 15 minutes and scoop the mixture one Tbs. at a time onto a tray.  Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and coconut flakes (if you want, you can roll these in the mixture…it’s messy, but possible and then stick in the fridge to harden before eating).   The PERFECT END to a meal.

These are sweet, so one or two will be plenty…Enjoy!

R-