Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pillsbury Supreme Collection Red Velvet Cake Mix

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this cake an 8. 

This cake mix is perfect for the holidays or any time you need a cake quick.  The picture on the box, of course, isn't what your cake will look like but it still turns out pretty.  The inside cream cheese mix is moist and thick making it perfect to eat without a heavy icing on the outside.  You can also add ingredients such as nuts to the mix or the inside icing or add sprinkles for decorations.  The 2 giveaways that let you know it's not a from scratch cake is the texture and the slight pre-mix cake flavor that most box mixes seem to have.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chicken of the Sea - No Drain

On a scale of 1 - 10 I rate this product a 10

I love Albacore Tuna and was so happy when the tuna packets came out.  I always buy the water packed, not oil packed, and have always found there to sometimes be more water than tuna.  Plus the tuna seems to be a bit mushy, even if it says 'solid'.  When the packets came out I decided that finally I would get tuna without the waste of liquid and I did - but... the tuna was a bit dry making it hard to break up enough to make into tuna salad, which is my favorite - but... it was still better than the cans.  When Chicken of the Sea came out with their 'No Drain, No Mess, Just a Little Water' I decided to give it a try.  Glad I did.  The can is actually full of tuna and just a tiny amount of water.  I would say between 1/2 to 1 tsp. is all.  Just enough to keep the tuna moist and easy to break up.  To me this is the perfect change.  And price wise, it seems to be just a few cents over the price of the old cans which I have no problem paying because I'm getting more tuna without the water.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adluh Biscuit Mix with Yellow Falkes

On a scale of 1 - 10 I rate this product a 10+

These have to be the easiest biscuit I've ever made.  They only require milk!  A one pound package makes between 12 - 15 biscuits, depending on how large or small you make them.  The package has directions for making Rolled Biscuits, Drop Biscuits and Sheet Pan Biscuits, each is made using different amounts of milk.  I sort of used the recipe for Drop Biscuits but instead of using regular milk I used buttermilk which due to it's thickness required me to add an extra 1/4 cup.  I also kept my hands floured and made my biscuits into balls that I pressed down slightly when I put them into the pan.  These biscuits bake up in about 10-12 minutes, are light, fluffy and simply delicious.  Open up, butter and enjoy.  Yes I did break down and eat 2 - 1 with just butter and one with jelly.  Delicious!

When I went to this company's website I found that they make much more than just Biscuit Mix. They also have cornmeal mixes, flour, grits and much more.  Go to their site Adluh Store to see all of their products.  And this is something not everyone can say - All Adluh products are kosher certified.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Nonni's Biscotti

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10. 

I ran across some coupons for $1.00 off on the purchase of Nonni's Biscotti and since one of our local grocery stores was doing a double for $1.00 coupons I decided I had nothing to lose by giving them a try.  I didn't expect much because from appearance they looked hard in texture (I'm a soft cookie lover) and since they only have about 100 calories each, how good could they taste?  As with many other products that I've tried, I was wrong by judging by looks only.  They do have a little crispy texture but the taste is worth the crumbs.  I've tried the Toffe Almond and found them to be delicious but then I tried the 'Originali' which are out of this world!  They have the perfect blend of almonds, walnuts and Anise giving them a taste that can't be beat.  So, will I buy again, with or without coupons?  You bet I will! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10+!

It is a bit pricy but it's worth the price. It comes packaged in (3) 4 oz. cups that carry only 100 calories per serving. The taste - oh is it heavenly. The texture is thick and creamy with just the perfect sweetness. I would say it's like eating thick and creamy frozen pudding but I don't think pudding could ever have the smooth texture this yogurt has. It comes in Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry and Vanilla. My favorite? Vanilla, which is apparently everyone's favorite since that is the one flavor the stores seem to sell out of 1st. I'm not a blueberry nor raspberry fan but if they are as good as the strawberry then blueberry & raspberry fans will love them.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Uncle Ben's Country Inn Broccoli Rice au Gratin

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10.  I've used Uncle Ben's rice for years and have even cooked this specific product flavor but I have never gotten creative with it until now.  The cooking directions are simple - combine rice, contents of seasoning packet, 2 1/4 cups water and 1 Tbsp. butter into a med. saucepan.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Simple enough and you have a nice side dish to serve with just about any meat.  BUT what if you make 2 simple additions and make it into a really nice side dish?  I did this by simply adding about a cup of frozen, chopped broccoli.  Followed the cooking directions on the box and just before serving I stirred in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  These 2 additions gave me a dish that really tasted like it was homemade and not from a box. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ball Park Burgers

On a scale of 1 - 10 this products gets a 20! 

One thing I love about going to Sams around lunch time is that you can go in hungry and come out full.  I also like that it allow you to try new products.  Some I like and buy, some I don't and pass on.  When the little guy cooking up the new Ball Park Burgers made up a burger and handed me a 1/4 I just knew it would be like all the other pre-cooked patties but took it anyway.  After the 2nd bite I was just about begging him for another sample. 

These burgers come frozen.  You simply wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for about 2 minutes.  Its a large patty to begin with and I really expected it to shrink some due to cooking.  Wrong!  There is no shrinkage, the burgers are moist and if you didn't know that it just came out of the freezer you would swear that it just came off a charcoal grill.  It even has the grill marks. 

I can't say enough about these burgers.  I do know that since trying that sample in Sams, my freezer stays stock with Ball Park Burgers.  I even take them to work for my lunch. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Slice of Heaven

On a scale of 1 - 10 this products rates a 15 for me! 

I had the pleasure of sampling several breads that are made fresh and sold by Slices of Heaven.  Each bread is made using no preservatives and can be ordered for shipping.  Orders, which are baked daily, are carefully packed by hand, checked for quality, and boxed and packaged for shipping throughout the U.S., Canada, Hawaii, and overseas to the troops.  Breads remain fresh in the refrigerator for more than a week, or in the freezer for months. “When people eat our bread, they experience a hearth-to-home ambiance and warm, old-fashioned goodness.”

I had the pleasure of trying their Sweet Potato which has a light touch of nutmeg and their Hummingbird which has a combination of pineapple, coconut and walnuts.  They were both beyond delicious. 

So, where can you find your own 'slice of heaven?'  Simply go to the Slice of Heaven website to find locations that serve and sell their breads.  You can also order online and have them shipped straight to your door.  Believe me - you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

belVita Breakfast Biscuits

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10+

While in WalMart I spotted a lady passing out samples of a new product by Nabisco called belVita Breakfast Biscuits.  I read the nutritional information and found that each serving of 4 biscuits (cookies) had 2 grams of whole grain and 230 calories.  The carbs are 36g  with 8g of fat and no cholesteral.  But do they taste good.  I sampled all 3 flavors - Apple Cinnamon, Golden Oat and Blueberry.  They were all 3 very tasty with my favorite being the Golden Oat.

Now are they satisifying?  I substituted a package in place of my morning oatmeal.  By the time I finished my 4th cookie and drank my cup of coffee, I was full and stayed full until lunch.  So yes they are satisifying as well as filling.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10! 

I'm from the south so chowchow is a staple in my home.  I put it on just about any kind of shelled bean or pea.  It's has a great combination of sweet as well as sour making it perfect and I can't wait every year to find someone that has just made some of this homemade goodness.

I now have another product that is equally as good for my beans and peas and it's Slawsa.  Slawsa is a gourmet topping for everything!  It's basically chowchow but a bit thicker with a slightly different taste.  It's sweet but not quite as sour with a couple of ingredients added that I've not found in chowchow before.  It's got just a slight 'kick' of heat that makes it perfect for not only my peas but also my hotdogs and hamburgers.  It even makes a delicious tartar sauce for fish.  Simply mix to your own taste with mayo and you're good to go.  Delicious!

So, where can you find Slawsa?  Simple - just click here Slawsa

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Minute Ready to Serve Multi-Grain Medley

On a scale of 1 - 10 this definitely receives a 10.

I've told you about the brown and wild rice in this product, now I'm telling you about the Multi-Grain Medley.  This little single serving cup is filled with brown rice, wheat, quinoa, rye, barley and oats.  It's fully cooked and all you have to do is heat in for 60 seconds in the microwave and it's ready.  I've eaten this with several dishes such as beef and gravy as well as by itself.  It's simply wonderful no matter how you serve or eat.  Tonight I'm having my Medley with scallops, drizzled with a white wine sauce.  Yum Yum!

Go to the Minute Ready to Serve site to find recipes.  While there check out all of their other flavors such as Chicken, Pilaf and even Spanish.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mrs. Paul's Parchment Bake

On a scale of 1 - 10 this product gets a 20!

I'm always a bit leary of frozen fish. More often than not the fish is soft and mushy. I've learned the hard way that buying frozen fish just isn't worth it. But when Foodbuzz's Tastemakers offered to send me some free coupons just to try Mrs. Paul's newest fish Parchment Bake I decided what the heck.

The fish is enclosed in a sealed parchment bag. It bakes in the oven for a total of about 25 minutes. I will admit that when I saw this wasn't a dish I could microwave I almost lost interest but then I realized this was all I had taken with me for lunch giving me no choice but to wait the 25 minutes. So I sat down and read while my fish cooked - in the oven.

You won't believe this! It has to be some of the best frozen fish I've ever eaten! It's flaky yet firm. The one I chose to try 1st was the Classic Grilled Tilapia which I expected to be sweet and not really appealing. Again I was wrong. It had just a slight taste of sauce, not sweet but with a touch of heat - but not too much. The one flavor that I really picked up on was the taste of grilling. This fish is the best! And to top it all off - It has 80 calories and .5 g of fat! Can't beat that. Now I can't wait to try the other flavors. Next will be Garlic Butter Tilapia, and then the Roasted Garlic and then I get Lemon Pepper. Yum!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marzetti's Simply Dressed Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10+.

I've always enjoyed Marzetti's dressings but had never tried their vinaigrettes.  When I found a 75 cent coupon and saw that one of our local stores would triple up to 99 cents I decided to give the Strawberry Poppyseed a try.  I had nothing to lose so why not.  I have to tell you that this is one of the most refreshing vinaigrette dressings I've ever eaten.  The taste of the strawberries are so delicately fused with the extra vergin olive oil making this dressing perfect.  I want to have a salad at every meal just so I can have more of this tasty addition to my must keep on hand product.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wolfgang Puck's Creamy Vodka Sauce

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10.  I will admit that I've never eaten vodka sauce before so I really don't have anything to compare it to but I do know that its so good that I will continue to buy.  Wolfgang Puck's Creamy Vodka Sauce is a 100% natural sauce that starts with vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh cream, seasoned with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and cracked black pepper. Then it's finished off with Ricotta, Romano, grated Parmesan and a splash of vodka.  It is good!  Check out my recipe for Romano Chicken With Vodka Sauce by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Martha White Blueberry Cheesecake Muffin Mix

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10
The muffins are perfect when you need something quick.  The mix requires nothing more than 1/2 cup of water and they bake in about 15 minutes giving you 6 deliciously moist muffins.  As for taste, you can actually taste 'cheesecake.'  These will be another product that I will have stocked in my pantry.    Did I tell you they also come in Strawberry Cheesecake?!  Yum.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers

On a scale of 1 - 10 I have to give this product a 10.  The 12 oz. package serves 2 with about 3/4 cup each making it perfect when cooking for 1 or 2.  It's quick taking about 5-6 minutes in the microwave making it perfect for a quick after work meal.  There is no mess nor clean up.  It's cooked in it's own package allowing you to serve straight from the bag.  I tried the Cheesy Rice Broccoli and found the rice was cooked perfectly.  The broccoli was done but still had a slight crisp and the cheese was great.  I normally dislike frozen dishes with cheese sauce.  It's usually salty and has an artificial flavor.  Not this!  The sauce is smooth and creamy and seasoned perfectly.  This is a product I will be stocking in my freezer.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Buitoni Grilled Chicken & Spinach Cannelloni with Alfredo Sauce

On a scale of 1 - 10 I'm giving this product an 8. 
It's simple to make - you place the cannelloni into a baking dish and pour the Alfredo sauce over, cover and bake.  The taste is really good.  Add a salad and a glass of wine and you have a great dish for 2 all from one box made in one dish.  Now, why did I give it an 8 instead of a 10?  It's a little pricy for a frozen dish and I would like for it to have a little more chicken.  I think an addition of chicken will make the price more justified.  But... it is good and I will buy it again.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Krusteaz - Key Lime Bars

On a scale of 1 - 10 this product receives a 10 from me.  It's one of the quickest desserts I've found that requires only 2 ingredients - 3 eggs and water.  The taste is great and the preparation is simple.  You mix the eggs with water and let them sit while the crust, which requires no added ingredients, bakes.  Add the egg mixture and bake another 25 minutes.  That's it!  It also gives you directions for making this into a Key Lime Pie by using whipping cream instead of the eggs.  I took it to another level by adding a few chopped pecans to mine before baking but these can be mixed into the crust before baking.  You can also add one of my favorites - coconut!  This is one I plan on keeping on my shelf for emergency desserts.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Peet's Coffee

I've tried 2 of this company's coffees.  The first,Cafe Solano, which is a medium roast.  The beans are a blend of vibrant and aromatic beans from Africa, the Americas and the Indo Pacific.  When they say this coffee is Lively and Aromatic - they weren't kidding.  This coffee was very pleasing.  On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this coffee an 8.  I don't know if I've ever drank a 10.

The second coffee was Cafe Domingo which is also a medium roast.  This coffee come from three Latin American beans giving it a smooth taste with a hint of toffee sweetness and a clean crisp finish.  They described this one perfectly!  I love my flavored coffees but sometimes the flavor is simply too strong.  To correct this I mix my flavored coffee 1/4 to 3/4 with regular.  This gives me just a touch of flavor.  With the Cafe Domingo, the hint of toffee is so light and delicate that there is no need to dilute. This is a great morning as well as evening coffee. On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this one an 8. 

I will continue to buy both.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shark Ninja Express Chop

On a scale of 1 - 10 this product receives a 10+ from me.  It is simply wonderful!

Target had the 'Magic Bullet' on sale just before Christmas and I had wanted one for some time so off I went to buy this product.  A friend was with me and had said they wanted to buy the Bullet for me as a Christmas gift.  I didn't want them to spend that much money so I looked at the Shark Ninja Express Chop which was on sale for $16.00.  I made a big deal over how neat this little chopper was and convinced my friend that I wanted that instead.  I actually thought I'd slip back over and buy the Bullet later. 

Well, I took the Ninja home and that night I decided to make some chicken salad.  What better way to test my newest gadget than with chicken.  I broke the chicken up into big chunks, dropped it in the Ninja, pushed the bar about 5 times and I had the most perfectly chopped chicken ever. 

Other choppers I've bought have the blades at the bottom.  The Ninja has 2 sets of blades making a more perfect chop.  And clean up is a breeze. 

Tonight I made a casserole that called for chopped onion, bell peppers and celery.  I had each chopped to the perfect size in just a few seconds.  This thing is great! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Perdue Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this chicken a 10+.

I've tried many brands of chicken nuggets/strips, etc. but this has to be the best.  For one thing, it's actual pieces of chicken, not chopped and pressed.  It's fully cooked and lightly breaded cutting the calories down 40% and the fat down 50%.  It has no preservatives or fillers and uses white meat only. And preparation is so easy.  I placed what I needed into my toaster oven and they were ready in about 10 minutes - crispy, hot and delicious.  These are a must try!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fryar's Poppy Seed Dressing

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give this product a 10+

I bought this dressing while at the Southern Christmas Show here in Charlotte, NC.  I love poppy seed anything so this looked and sounded perfect.  It's made with Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and just enough sugar to give it a touch of sweetness.  Today I decided to give it a try over an Oriental style salad.  I can describe it with one word - Wonderful!  This is a must try dressing.

Fryar's Poppy Seed Dressing

(The opinion above is in no way solicited nor paid for.  It consists of my own feelings regarding the product.)