Category Archives: Food

Newmans Own Product Review


Newman’s Own are all organic and profits after taxes from the company go to various charities, dispensed by Newman’s Own Foundation.  Halloween is all about treats, so here are some great treats that we’ve really enjoyed for you!  They may not be products you can hand out the door, but you can definitely make some fabulous treats with them! We were able to try out many products, as you can see in the pic but there are four in particular that we really raved about! Organic Mints Really good!  Newman’s mints will astound you!  I let Monkey take some to school and the package came back empty a few days later!  Apparently they were a hit with the kids!  😀 Organic Licorice *Tip: Use black licorice to make spider legs!  ‘Glue’ them together with icing or chocolate and stick some on the top for a back.  😀  Or, you could use a round chocolate candy for the back! I have to say, we had a time saying ‘licorice’ after about 10 hours of driving…  I’m thinking road trip exhaustion was to blame…. Though I’m not a fan of licorice, it was apparently really good, as my girls ate two packages on our trip!  The licorice is in the straw shape so Monkey drank her soda with it.  She said it made her soda even better! Organic Cookies Oh man, oh man.  we seriously loved the heck out of the cookies!!!  The chocolate creme and creme filled Mint Chocolate Cookies were all amazing and Chief stole the entire package of Ginger ‘N Creme!  He refused to share, so I can only assume that they were amazing also!!! Expresso Dark Chocolate Alright, normally I can’t stand dark chocolate, but the Expresso Dark Chocolate was awesome!  It had a slightly different flavor than anything I’d tried in the past.  The expresso was represented subtly and gave it just the right flavor!!!  Trust me, you’ll want to check this one out!

Where to Find

Newman’s Own


Newman’s Organics Website

Newman’s Own Foundation



Originally posted 2013-09-02 00:01:56.

@SimplySnackin All Natural Jerky Review

Simply Snackin' All Natural Protein

My Thoughts

Simply Snackin‘ has a collection of gourmet, all natural jerky that I had the pleasure of checking out.  We had mixed reviews, some were loved some not so much.  Mr. Picky Eater wasn’t in love with most of them while Monkey ate them with a vengeance!

We tried the following:

  • Beef Sirloin with cranberries & blueberries
  • Beef Sirloin with apples & cherries
  • Teriyaki Beef Sirloin with pineapples
  • Chicken Breast with black bean salsa
  • Italian Chicken Breast with romano cheese
  • Teriyaki Chicken Breast with mangoes & papayas

Simply SnackinObviously, these aren’t your everyday jerky’s.  They have a different twist, which is pretty cool.  The flavors vary so much from the norm it’s hard to compare them to everyday, regular ole beef jerky!  If you want traditional, these aren’t for you.  As demonstrated by the Chief Zoo Keeper in the pic!  LOL.  However, if you are out for a gourmet flavor that will give your taste buds a new experience, then you are in for a treat!  I really wish I had a case of them to put out for holiday celebrations!  I think IMG_4220they would be amazing on a meat and cheese platter!

I haven’t picked my favorite yet.  The jury is still out.  I feel like this is a product that you either love or don’t.  Monkey loves it.  Chief doesn’t.  Of course, his taste buds seek a more traditional set of flavors and these are meant to burst out some new flavors!  That having been said, I think if you like trying new things and nontraditional flavors, this is for you!  If you try them, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Bon Appetit!

From The Company

Gourmet Dried Meat Snacks

The idea of adding fruit to meat is no secret. Native Americans have practiced this tradition for hundreds of years. Pemmican, as it was named, provided Native Americans with a nutritious, high protein snack that could keep for a very long time.

Borrowing from that general idea, we’ve created six flavorful varieties of gourmet dried meat snacks made from lean, natural beef sirloin or chicken breast meat with up to 20% of the finest dried fruits, spices, and cheeses—with a touch of smoky hardwood and hickory chip roasted goodness. The result: an entirely new dimension of flavor and tender, moist texture that is the complete opposite of conventional jerky’s tough, dehydrated whole muscle cuts.

Pledge of Quality

Simply Snackin products are made using only the freshest and finest cuts of lean, natural beef sirloin or lean, natural chicken breast meat, combined with real fruits, spices and cheeses. You won’t find any added MSG, fillers or artificial anything.

No shortcuts are taken during production and packaging. Every artisan snack is individually crafted to ensure consistent form and weight, and produced in a clean, sanitary environment inspected daily by the USDA.

Finally, we don’t believe in using misleading marketing or exaggerated claims. What we say is exactly what we deliver.

We guarantee that we will give you exceptional products in every way,
and conduct ourselves with the utmost honesty and integrity.

Find Simply Snackin’



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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Originally posted 2013-08-01 09:51:56.

July Foodie Penpal Box

July Foodie PenpalPictured above are the contents of my July Foodie Box.  The lovely Mrs. Cheryl hooked us up this month!  She really outdid herself, I must say!   Awesome!  She also sent recipes to go along with the contents.  My favorite and seriously NEW FAVORITE recipe was the Coconut Lime Chicken Soup.  You can click the link to enjoy the recipe!

The Lean Green Bean

Here are the contents of the box.

Florida Oranges:  Being from FL, she had asked me if there was anything local I would like…  My answer of course was fresh squeezed orange juice!  LOL.  We all know that wouldn’t work, so she sent me fresh Florida oranges! 

Coconut Milk:  I’d never had it before, so it was cool to try!  It has a very meaty flavor and was the base for the Coconut Lime Chicken Soup.  I loved it!!!  If you aren’t a fan of coconut, you should still give it a try, it doesn’t really taste like coconut does…  I always thought if I got stranded on an island I’d starve because I’m not a fan of seafood and I don’t like coconut, but now I can sleep peacefully knowing I will at least have coconut milk!  😀

Dry Rice Noodles:  This one is a staple in our cabinet.  If you haven’t tried them, I seriously suggest it!  They taste a lot different.  Just a little tip: they have to be soaked for half an hour before you cook them!!!  Learned that the hard way!  LOL

Homemade Kimchi:  Kimchi is a fermented Korean side dish made out of vegetables.  It has a strong smell and strong flavor!  Very interesting!

Squid Brand Fish Sauce:  Also a staple in our cabinet!  We use it in a LOT of Asian dishes.

Raw and Unfiltered Florida Honey (Orange Blossom):  Let’s see….  Florida oranges and honey….  Certainly makes me want to hook up some chicken and dig in!!!  LOVE IT!!!  Amazing flavor!

Besan (Chick Peas Flour):  Hadn’t ever tried before!  The lovely Mrs. Cheryl included a recipe to use it with so I’m pretty pleased!  😀

All in all, this box is gonna be hard to top!!!  So far I’ve participated three months in the Foodie Penpal program and am excited and loving new products every month!  If you are interested, you should check it out!  Don’t worry, if you have allergies or things you just hate, you can let your penpal know so they’ll steer clear of those things!

If you enjoy trying new things, I seriously suggest trying it out!!!  You get to share your local favorites with someone and they share theirs with you!  It’s a win on both sides!!!


The following recipes were from Mrs. Cheryl in the box I got from her.  They are awesome so be sure and check them out!  😀

CocoLimeCKCoconut Lime Soup

Dragon Noodles Recipe

Dragon Noodles

As a little side note, I am LOVING the Orange Honey and if you are from Florida and would like to, I’d gladly accept more!!!  LOL.  But seriously…

Originally posted 2013-07-31 08:00:10.

NuGo Dark Chocolate Bars Review

NugoReviewAfter 27 years of cheese loving life, Chief Zoo Keeper suddenly developed an allergy to lactose.  Not just dairy, lactose.  Such fun in our little adventures!  So, we have spent the last couple of years adjusting to non-dairy and lactose free everything….  Well, mostly…  I’m not the greatest supporter, given that I still occasionally eat ice cream and cheese.  In my defense, so does he!  Of course, he has to pay for it and I don’t.  Anyway, we were glad to check out the NuGo Dark Chocolate bars because we are desperate for yummy non-dairy snacks!

Have you had a NuGo bar yet???

NuGo uses real dark chocolate made from coacoa beans to coat their bars, adding fabulous flavor and the wonderful health benefits of dark chocolate.  They also have a great selection of flavors and 3 diet specific types (in addition to their regular NuGo bars): Dark, Slim, and Free.  NuGo Dark utilizes the dark chocolate and are pictured above.  Bars contain around 200 or less calories each, so it’s a great pick me up snack for on the go, especially considering a normal Snickers bar has 296 calories and minimal health benefits!  The bars we tried were really good.  Even though we aren’t huge fans of dark chocolate, the rich flavor was hard to resist.

Company Description

 Our decadent NuGo Dark bars use real cacao dark chocolate to enrobe our bars. Cacao is a natural source of flavonol antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals and protect your body from cell damage while tasting delicious. Real Dark Chocolate uses all the properties of the cocoa bean, including natural chocolate and cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is important because it can reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure; vegetable fat alternatives used by other companies do not carry these health benefits. Our dark chocolate protein bars prove: Delicious has a dark side.

NuGo is the only company to make REAL Dark Chocolate coated protein bars for many lifestyles.


Read and sign the petition created on by NuGo Nutrition – Dark Chocolate Food Labeling: Tell the FDA to Stop the Deception!

NuGo bars are sold at stores in the US and Canada. Use the store locator.

Order sample packs with free shipping in the US.

Use this chart to find the NuGo bars to fit your lifestyle.


Originally posted 2013-07-01 00:22:00.

June Foodie Penpal: Thanks Paige!


Hello My Lovelies!  Okay, I have to admit, in my head that sounded very funny.  Hope it sounded somewhat funny to you…  Probably not….  I’m probably rambling…  I feel like I’m rambling….  Okay, I’m done.

Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-06-29 00:01:03.

Gallo Lea Pizza Kit

whole-wheat-pizzawhole-wheat-pizza Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-06-10 00:01:21.

Wholesome Sweeteners Review



I will admit that in the past I haven’t exactly given organic products a fair try.  I never quite understood what the fuss was about.  That’s over now.  I’m quickly learning you get what you pay for!  I had the privilege of trying out the above selection from Wholsome Sweeteners and I am a changed person!  I LOVE these products!  They really do taste different, better, than their non-organic counter parts.  To tell you the truth, I’m a little shocked.  Not because they are good, but due instead to the massive taste difference!
This morning, I tried the Organic Zero Calorie Sweetener in my coffee (AKA brown sugar water: the dark version) along with my normal flavored coffee creamer.  Typically, I have it with real sugar but thought I’d try this one out.  I have to admit, it’s actually better than sugar!  I know, I know, it’s not easy to believe!  I swear it’s true though!  It sweetened my coffee the way I like it (a tad thinner than syrup, LOL) with way less than what it normally takes!  Of course, there are no calories so it is beating out sugar by a mile!  Many artificial sweeteners have that terrible aftertaste or simply make your drink taste slightly different than it would with sugar.  Not an issue with this one!  According to this site, sugar has 16.3 calories while Zero Calorie Sweetener has less than a half calorie with the a serving a little larger (about 2 grams larger)!
Do you remember the first time you truly tasted honey?  Especially if it was fresh!?!  I can’t say that I remember it, but I can say that when I tasted the Fair Trade Organic Honey, I think that has to be what it was like.  The rich, meaty, sweet taste is absolutely amazing!  I’m not sure I can say much more than that!
One thing I had never had before was Agave.  I was a little nervous about trying it, since I’m a big chicken but gave it a chance anyway *such a brave one I am LOL* and it was really good.  I used it in a loaf of bread that originally called for honey and it was fantastic!  I am not sure if I’m proud or ashamed, but we ate the entire loaf in two days!
One of the common things in the products is that they all seem to be low glycemic sweeteners.  I knew from the word glycemic there was a diabetes connection, but that was about all the context clues I could guess so I looked it up.  Low glycemic products are good for not only diabetics but also for weight loss, as they have a lesser impact on blood sugar and insulin levels.  My mother in law has diabetes and likes to ‘cheat’ so I’m looking forward to sharing some of these products with her.  Perhaps they can help her blood sugar AND my weight!  😀  *I know, I know, I have to do more than just switch sweeteners, baby steps man!*
With all these great products, and this is only a portion, the little bee has made his way into my heart too.  😀 He has become my unofficial insect mascot in my little office/craft room.  He joins my surgery pup hanging out with me.  😀  He makes me smile, probably because I love corny little puns and his shirts says ‘Bee Happy’.  LOL.  Again, don’t judge me.  It’s the little things!

Originally posted 2013-06-03 00:01:16.

May Foodie Penpal Box


Hey everyone!  Don’t know if you caught my post on the Foodie Penpal last month, but we’ve got another one this month!  I am really loving this little penpal thing!  It’s a month to month thing, so if you just want to try it one month and try it out, you are golden!  There are new signups every month!  You don’t have to be a blogger, anyone can join in! Also, there are participants to multiple countries so there is a good chance that you’ll be able to join in.  I know for sure that there is US, Canada and the UK.  I’m not sure beyond that but the awesome lady that puts this together will answer any questions you have!  She has a great list of FAQs and rules to protect us from being ripped off.  😀  Be sure and check it out!  If nothing else, there are some great things on her site.  😀

Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-31 00:19:38.

Go Frost Yourself Review


A lot of people around where I’m from are skeptics when it comes to fondant, if you are in that boat, let me put your mind at ease. Recently we celebrated Monkey’s birthday and, believe it or not, her favorite cookies are those sugar cookies with icing on them. Since it was just the three of us, we decided to go with those rather than a cake.  I couldn’t have my girl not having something special, so when I was a chance to try out these great sheets came up, I was on it!
Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-28 20:38:09.

Mooney Farms Sundried Tomatoes


Hey Everyone.  Don’t know if you have heard of Mooney Farms, but odds are you’ve seen their products in stores.  They are the company responsible for Bella Sun Luci Tomato products.  I was able to get a great selection to review, but before that I want to tell you a little about Mooney Farms.

Mooney Farms is a family owned company that started in 1987.  They began in kiwi farming selling their goods in Northern California farmer’s markets.  Eventually, they began making sun dried tomatoes and were off when they made their first sale to Price Club South San Francisco.  They are now a third generation company!  In fact, I was quite impressed and  humbles when the contact from the company came from a Mooney, rather than a hired marketing/administrative person.  As a consumer, it made me feel even better about their products as it’s my experience that companies ran by families care more about the quality of their products.

They are sticking to the family recipe and use 100% pure olive oil.  I was able to try the following products

  • Bella Sun Luci Dried Halves and Julienne Cut in 100% Pure Olive Oil and Italian Herbs
  • Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Whole Pine Nuts
  • Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta
  • Bella Sun Lui Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes with Italian Basil and Julienne Cut with Zesty Peppers

All of the products I received are in the picture at the top of this post.  We used them in various recipes and enjoyed them quite a bit.  The dried tomatoes were an amazing flavor booster to salads!  They are our new favorite *healthy* salad addition explosion!  Left us going back for more!  They’ve definitely replaced bacon bits for good!  The dried tomatoes, with their respective flavor additions are all really good, though they tend to be overpowered by the tomatoes and olive oil.  The flavor additions aren’t quite strong enough to compliment, rather they are hidden beneath the tomato flavor.  Despite that, all of the products were really great.  They made a delicious addition.  We used the jarred tomatoes as an addition to sauces and the savory flavor was fabulous.

PicMonkey Collage


Originally posted 2013-05-18 19:54:43.