Reviews


****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.

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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

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

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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

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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-

Voting over at Foodbuzz has started!  To help out a newbie blogger, click here and vote!

Now on to the yummy stuff…Agave Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting inspired by “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World“.  I must say, these cupcakes are so freaking good!  Just the right amount of sweet and super moist.  I had to adjust the recipe a bit.  It may have been my stove, the moisture, or the fact I’m at high altitude.  I’ve found that each recipe I’ve tried from this book need a little tweeking…but I’ll report back after a new stove is purchased…it may just be a “heat” thing. 

Enough rambling….

Agave Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

  • 2/3 c. Vanilla Oat Milk with 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 c. Light Agave Syrup
  • 1/3 c. Coconut Oil, melted but not hot to touch (no lumps or there will be problems)
  • 1.5 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 2/3 c. All-Purpose Flour (unbleached)
  • 3/4 + 1/8 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 + pinch Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

Directions –

  1. Place vinegar in milk, whisk and set aside for at least 10 minutes.  The longer you wait, the more buttermilk-like this will become.  If you’re not vegan or not staying away from dairy feel free to sub these 2 ingredients with buttermilk.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 325* and line your muffin tins.  This makes ~30 mini cupcakes or 12 cupcakes.
  3. Warm coconut oil, stir out any lumps.
  4. In medium sized bowl, beat agave, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond extract. 
  5. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Mix until smooth.
  7. Fill cupcake tins with batter about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes (it took the entire time for the minis, but since my stove is WHACK, maybe check yours after 12-15 mintues…toothpick should come out clean)
  9. IMPORTANT!!!  Cool for at least 1 hour before decorating so that texture and flavors develop properly.

Same cupcake recipe for both these cupcakes!

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/4 c. Earth Balance, softened to room temperature (make sure it’s at room temp to help keep ingredients from separating, this happens if fats are too cold or too hot)
  • 1/4 c. Spectrum Shortening
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (sifted)
  • 2.5 c. Powdered Sugar (sifted)
  • ~3 Tbs. Vanilla Oat Milk
  • 1.5 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Directions –

  1. In a medium bowl, cream Earth Balance and shortening until well combined.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, mix well.
  3. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 c. intervals, mix, add milk in 1 tsp. intervals when necessary.
  4. When all ingredients are well mixed, add vanilla and beat with hand mixer for about 3 minutes (7 if you are doing it by hand)

Place in piping bag, decorate away!  I topped my cupcakes with a little coconut…PERFECTION!

And in other news…

ARTISANA REVIEW – Cashini Butter

LOVED IT!!!!  On the package it says, “Peanut Butter Replacement” and I can HONESTLY say it could very well be!  I at this deliciousness with a rather GIANT Honeycrisp apple for breakfast.  So filling and I was satisfied until lunch.  The Cashini is the newest member of the Artisana Family and is a blend of sesame seeds, cashews, and sea salt (which I think made this butter what it is).

First Bite – “I’m not sure I like this, I think I taste “tahini.  Bummer, I am not a fan, its okay in things, but I would NEVER spread it on some toast and be happy.  URG, another disappointment.  Oh well, may as well finish it.  Nothing else for breakfast as I grabbed this and ran out the door.”

Second Bite –  “The texture is great, kinda like peanut butter…hmmm.  I don’t really taste the tahini, maybe it was all in my head?”

Last Bite – “Bummer, I still have 1/3 apple and NO MORE cashini.  😦  I wish I had more.”

So, in sum…GO GET SOME!

Have a great night!!!!

R-

 

  • I haven’t worked out since the school year started, despite my best intentions
  • “Dairy Free Me” went out the window for nearly a week
  • I’ve paid for my dairy binge with cramps and, er, other issues
  • Fast food has made its way onto my plate far to many times the past 2 weeks
  • I’m feeling overwhelmed with all I PLANNED to do to achieve health
  • I need to prioritize and make honest decision on what I can manage RIGHT NOW

Okay…that was necessary!  I’ve been “avoiding” this self-talk and fooling myself into thinking that I have been honest with my follow-through of HEALTHY EATING and WORKOUT plans.  URG!  Why does breaking old habits have to be SOOOO hard?

So, as I move forward in my search for a healthy balance I need to honor my feelings, fears, and successes and be HONEST with myself and all of my followers.   I plan on working through finding MY balance through posts…honest posts.  Please bear with me.  In my search, I hope to provide some support or peace of mind to others in my position.

To start off this HONESTY thing, this is what I think I can HONESTLY follow through with right now:

  • Diary Free 80% of the time with hopes of making it 100% within 2 months
  • Lift weights 2-3x per week WITH a workout buddy
  • Start Bikram Yoga in the beginning of October
  • Make healthy lunches on the weekend to last for the entire week

Enough about me…

ARTISANA REVIEW

This morning I made myself a Macadamia Nut Butter wrap for breakfast.  On the wrap – Macadamia Nut Butter, Strawberry Preserves, 1/2 sliced Peach, and Coconut Flakes atop a WW Tortilla.

So what did I think?  Well, first let me preface my review with this: I have always found macadamia nuts a little weird.  They leave a strange aftertaste and although they are creamy and have great texture, I have never been a fan.  With that said, I thought since the nut butter was a mix of cashews and macadamia nuts there might be a chance I would enjoy this.  I, sadly, found the same strange aftertaste present in this butter. 😦  Boo. 

I did finish the wrap, it wasn’t inedible…just not to MY liking.  However, if you like macadamia nuts you’d probably like this nut butter.  The texture is nice.

So, there you have it…my first unsatisfactory review.  Fitting for this “Honesty” post.  🙂

R-