Category Archives: Food

Crowdtap: Hershey’s Spreads Sample & Share

Hello everyone!  Happy New Year!  Already a week into the new year and I am happy to share with you my latest Sample Share Opportunity with Crowdtap.  I was so excited to be chosen to receive a free jar of the new Hershey’s Spreads, Chocolate, Chocolate with Almond, or Chocolate with Hazelnuts.  Is anyone else a Nutella nut?  Because I totally am.

I was randomly chosen to receive Hershey’s Spreads Chocolate with Almonds.  I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t the Hazelnut or regular Chocolate flavor, but its always nice to try something new.  It was a little stiff to work with, because it had been sitting in the negative temperatures in my mailbox for a few hours before I got to it.

Hershey's Spreads Crowdtap Sample and Share

At first I didn’t really like the almond after-taste.  But then I had a spoonful and tried it on the rice cakes and I definitely like it!

The last time I had Nutella I tried it on plain rice cakes and absolutely loved it.  So I bought unsalted rice cakes and have been waiting for my sample to arrive to eat up!  I’m also going to try this on bananas.  I liked bananas and Nutella, so I should like this as well.

I usually don’t mix chocolate and fruit, but I think this new chocolately goodness needs some experimentation!

I checked out the Hershey Spreads site and it includes some tasty recipes!  What do you think?  Any you might try?

I am a member of Crowdtap and received this sample and share for free to try and review.  I belong to Crowdtap and often receive products free of charge, via mail or by coupons.  I don’t have an active referral link to share with you, but will update this post when the site updates, if you are interested in joining Crowdtap.

Gluten Free & Me & You

As some of you might be aware, I am gluten-free.  Last June I decided to try out being gluten-free to see if that was the cause of all my “intestinal discomfort”.  I had been sick one day June 2012, for a few hours, and that evening I looked up possible reasons because as far as I knew, I hadn’t eaten anything that was on my usual Do No Eat list.  My sister suggested I check to see if maybe I was gluten intolerant, wouldn’t that suck.  Yeah a bit.  Turns out I had about 10-15 of the symptoms, and they ranged from my intestinal problems, to fatigue and personality traits!  That’s when I decided I should at least give it a go and see how it feels.

I believe it has been a full year since going gluten free and while I miss some foods I used to really enjoy, I feel SO MUCH BETTER.  Its definitely a more positive outlook for my intestinal health than it was a year ago, plus some personality changes that aren’t so bad either 🙂

More to the point, I like to experiment with cooking and had original hoped to share some of my recipes and foods that I make with you all.  But now I am wondering if anyone would be interested on my thought of gluten free pre-packaged foods or from restaurants.  Or when I make something gluten free if anyone is curious about the recipe and how it turned out?

I am including a poll if you would be so kind as to take it and please add your comments to the bottom if your answer is missing or you’d like to add more!

PAD: Five a Day

Daily Prompt:  You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

5 Foods I would want on my private island?  In this private island exile I will pretend I am not gluten-free…..after making my choices, apparently it doesn’t matter.  I guess I don’t miss gluten-foods as much as I think I do when I am out to eat.

 

wine

Wine

zucchini1

Zucchini

rice

Rice

cheese

Cheese

Ice Cream Flavors

Ice Cream

 

Make Something 365 or a Year of Something New

I just checked out this book from the library, A Daily Creativity Journal 365: Make Something Everyday and Change Your Life!  The idea of starting a 365 project sounds really exciting and overwhelming to me.  The good news is I can do anything I want, I can pick a theme or just try to express myself in any way.  While reading the prompt suggestions last night I came up with a similar idea that’s not so “hard to reach” perhaps.  What if instead I pick something “new” for every month?  I can focus on one art medium or one idea/action that I really want to explore!

So I will schedule each month to participate in my Year of Something New:

January: Organization– I will work in the house, my room, my art supplies, and organize as much as I possibly can, and maybe even get rid of the excess stuff!  (no promises, but maybe look for craft supply sales soon 🙂
February: Books– let’s try to actually read some of the free novels I’ve been collecting on my Kindle, but nothing how-to or crafty.
March: Babies– My twin sister is pregnant with twins, this month will be focusing on making things for babies and preparing for them to be here!
April: Sewing– There is so much I want to learn to do, I bought a book with simple patterns and instructions, let’s get started!
May: Food: I want to try a bunch of new Gluten-Free recipes, I got a new cookbook for Christmas so this is the month for cooking!
June: Outdoors: This is all about spending time outside, making things or just enjoying the environment in a new way.
July: Polymer Clay– I bought these different colors but haven’t done a thing with them, its time to play!
August: Watercolor Paints – I am anxious to learn to use my pencils and paints and make those beautiful color blends!
September: Acrylic Paints – Time to take my acrylic paintings to a new level!
October: Christmas Gifts – thats right, gotta start early to make handmade gifts, possibly from something I have learned new this year.
November: Family Time – time to slow down and refocus my energy on family and friends, maybe reconnect with long lost pals.
December: Pick Your Fave – time for me to revisit my favorite Something New’s of the year.

What can you look forward to?  Photos and posts about my progress.  I may not take all my “before” photos of my disorganization, its pretty bad.  I may even be able to walk away with a few DIY’s and How-To’s for you guys.  This is coming up to another busy year, I want to get started painting right away, but I know I have other very important things to focus on during the first few months.

Organization is big on the list and will help me fix the clutter when I have the opportunity to get started on my new artsy ambitions.  No worries tho, I will not stop making art or jewelry during these months!  I will continue to create and post items in my Etsy shop.  Also while I explore new mediums, get excited to see those items in my Etsy shop as well!

Is anyone else participating in a 365 Something project for the new year?  If you are, link your blog/project in the comments so everyone can check it out!

What to Eat (and Not Eat) Before Your Run

…or exercise!

I never know what to eat before working out!  While I don’t work out nearly as often as I should, I’d really like to get back into the swing of things and burn up some calories!  Follow through to FitSugar and see the handy chart they have set up for What to Eat (and Not Eat) Before You Run!

The Grill

Crowdtap: McCormick Grill Mates Party

Similar to my Old Navy parties, I participated in a McCormick’s Grill Mates party.  I received a package in the mail including:
Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Grill Mates Molasses Bacon Seasoning
Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
Grill Mates Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade
Grill Mates Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub

Connect with McCormick’s on Facebook!

A few weekends ago I had a BBQ and Pool party to incorporate both the McCormick line and the Old Navy Beach Bum party!  My other post includes my Pool Party photos.  Here is a summary of what Crowdtap is and the parties:

“I belong to an online group called Crowdtap.  Please read more information about it here: Crowdtap  One of the great things about it, you give your opinion, answer questions, participate in discussions, and then you raise money for charities.  I picked the Nature Conservatory.  There are about 5 options, all good choices of course!  :)
 
Another perk is participating in targeted discussions, some of my faves are to talk about Old Navy products.  I was recently approved to join an Old Navy Sample Share, basically I was mailed a coupon, 1 for me 1 for a friend, for a FREE pair of JEANS!!!”
Check below at the footer and click on my link to join me at Crowdtap and participate and hopefully qualify for Samples Shares and Parties as well!  On to the review!
Preparing Kebobs

Preparing Kebobs

This party worked differently then the Old Navy parties, I was sent all the samples and had a party using the marinades and seasonings with food that I

Marinade + Chicken
bought, and then grilled and ate with my family.
The food was good for this party!  We made a ton of food- 4 people and we had food for the week!  I wanted to try out the marinades and rubs on different foods to see how they tasted with different flavors.  I used the Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade and added Mango Preserves like I saw on the recipe on the back.  I thought that sounded so yummy!  Directions to mix the marinade are clear and easy to do.  We marinaded our chicken a few hours and then used the rest as a glaze for the chicken and kebobs.
Our kebobs consisted of red peppers, chicken, zucchini, and potatoes.  It all tasted great!  The Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade seemed a little spicy to me- but I’m not a good judge, I have to eat mild sauces at places like BW3’s because I can’t take the spiciness!  My family all loved the marinade, my sister and brother-in-law ate up all the chicken!  I used the Mango Preserves as a “dip” on my chicken and it gave it a sweet sugary flavor that really complimented the spice!  The kebob veggies tasted really good!  That was such a good choice on my part 🙂
The Grill

The Grill

We also made hamburgers with the Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I loved the seasoning!  It gave it just enough flavor without being overpowering.  Of course it depends how much you add to your burgers.  We added the seasoning a few hours before to let the flavors mix and set in the meat a bit before grilling.
As you can see, the grill is jam-packed with grilling goods!  We also were making corn-on-the-cob on the grill, it was good.  Cooked thoroughly but not charred inside the husk.  I found several ways by Googling to figure out how to cook it, most said 5mins on direct heat, 20mins off, then eat!  Next time I want to add some flavor during cooking.  Then we’ve got chicken alone that we were making for later in the week, yummy!
So, do I recommend McCormick’s Grill Mates?  Yep!  My Dad loves Pork Ribs and he will be using the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub in the future with that, hopefully I will be able to grab photos when he does and can update this post or post again with those photos.  No doubt next time we grill chicken I’ll be whipping out the Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce!
Bro-in-Law Rockin the Apron!

Bro-in-Law Rockin the Apron!

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken

Party not complete without Sangria!

Party not complete without Sangria!