Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream Review-Jingle VoxBox

Last month I received a sample of Cetaphil moisturizing cream in the Influenster Jingle Voxbox. To be honest I am not thrilled with some of the ingredients used in the product. I have sensitive combination skin (oily and dry) and it tends to get a little dryer during the winter time. The thicker slightly whipped texture is nice and I like that it doesn't have much of a scent to it. The product was easy to apply and did a decent job of moisturizing my skin. It also didn't irritate it at all. "Disclaimer: I recieved this product complimentary for testing and review purposes from Influenster, but all opinions are your own."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ore Ida Totchos Recipe and Review-Influenster Jingle VoxBox

Last month I received the Jingle VoxBox from Influenster. It featured a lot of nice products in it and one of them was a coupon to pick up some Ore Ida tater tots. And they challenged up to come up with our own version of totchos (tater tot nachos). You can check out the Ore Ida Totchos Hub for more recipe ideas. I decided to go with a Greek theme for my version of totchos-tater tots, chicken, feta, cucumber, tomato and tzatziki. Here's the recipe so you can enjoy them too.

1 1/2lbs. chicken breast - seasoned with greek seasoning and sautéed and chopped
tomatoes - chopped
cucumber - chopped
tzatziki sauce
feta cheese crumbles

Cook the tater tots and top with chopped chicken, tzatziki sauce, cucumber, tomato and feta cheese.

I thought the tater tots were nice and crispy when I deep fried them. They have a nice texture to them and I like how versatile they are.

*Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary to test from Influenster. The above thoughts are my own honest ones.*

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cooking with Blue Diamond: Blueberry and Salted Caramel Almonds (sponsored)

Earlier this month I got the opportunity to participate in another project with Blue Diamonds Tastemakers. I was sent two kinds of almonds for testing and review purposes-Blueberry and Salted Caramel. We decided to use them in our favorite granola recipe. They worked well in the granola and add a nice flavor and crunch to it. Here's the original recipe from Alton Brown with the changes we made on this batch noted.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almond (we used 1 cup of chopped blueberry almonds)
1 cup cashews (we used 1 cup of chopped salted caramel almonds)
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (we didn't use any)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

We made parfaits with the granola, blueberries, nectarines, and vanilla yogurt. They were pretty tasty.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins Review and Pairings (Sponsored)

Recently I was given the opportunity to try a couple new varieties of Blue Diamond Nut Thins. This time from their new artisan nut thins line-one with flax seeds and a multi-seed one too. Even though I was sent two boxes of nut thins to test and review for free threw Blue Diamond Tastemakers-the following review is my own honest thoughts about the products.

As I mentioned previously these are a great cracker for people who can't tolerate wheat and/or gluten in their diet. They have a nice crispy texture to them and I enjoyed the addition of seeds. I like both the flax seed and multi seed crackers. They both have a nice overall flavor to them. And they pair well with a variety of cheeses, meats, dips, ect.

One dip that pairs well with the Artisan Nut Thins is this pan fried onion dip I found on The Brown-eyed Baker's blog. I did modify it a little because I didn't have all the ingredients on hand and don't like cayenne pepper. I think I will try it sometime as written and use garlic instead of cayenne. I also really liked these crackers with chocolate fondue and cookie butter.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Blue Diamond Nut Thins Review and Pairings (Sponsored)

Recently I got the opportunity to try Blue Diamonds Nut Thins since I am a Blue Diamond Taste Maker I was sent two boxes of Nut Thins for free for testing and review purposes. The following review is my own honest thoughts. I decided it would also be great to share a couple pairings.

I like the crispy texture of these crackers and the slightly nutty taste. They are made with nuts and rice and they are gluten free. So, they are great for anyone with a gluten allergy. I also like that they don't contain anything artificial. 16 crackers contain 130 calories. I would definitely recommend them. While they are tasty straight out of the box, they also tasty nice paired with a variety of other foods. I thought I would share two pairings with you- one sweet and one savory.

Nut Thins with Strawberries, Cream Cheese, and Honey

Nut Thins with Blue Cheese, Baby Arugula, and Balsamic Glaze

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cooking with Blue Diamond -New Honey Roasted Flavors (Sponsored)

*We received 2 free cans of Blue Diamond Almonds because I am a Blue Diamond Taste Maker. The following thoughts and opinions are my own honest ones.*

 Recently we had the opportunity to sample some more Blue Diamond almonds from their honey roasted line-honey roasted vanilla almonds and honey roasted chipotle almonds.  I was most excited to try the honey roasted vanilla ones because I don't generally care for spicy flavored nuts. That being said all 4 of us enjoyed both the honey roasted vanilla flavor and the  roasted chipotle flavor. They aren't nearly as spicy as I thought they would be. I think adding honey to these flavors really gives them a great overall flavor. They are definitely quite tasty on there own for snacking.

Next we decided to get creative with them and try them in some recipes. For the honey roasted chipotle flavor we decided to use them as part of a coating for chicken tenders. So we took panko breadcrumbs, flour, salt and almonds and then coated chicken tenders with it. It was pretty good but it would have worked out better if we used an egg wash. I also think it needed a bit more salt. One other thing we would have done different ones used half seasoned bread crumbs and half plain breadcrumbs.

For the honey roasted vanilla flavor we decided to make a peach crisp and add the nuts in with the crisp part. I think the nuts added a nice crunch to the topping. The peach turned out pretty tasty. Here's the recipe that we used.

Mom's Peach Crisp from

4 cups slice fresh peaches
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of cold butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons of bourbon
1/4 cup of almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Arrange peaches evenly in an 8x8-inch baking dish.
  3. Mix flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl using a pastry cutter until evenly crumbled. Fold oats into flour mixture; sprinkle and press topping into peaches.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until topping is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  
 Hope everyone had a great summer. There will be more great sponsored content and regular content soon. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Fun with Blue Diamond

Recently I had the opportunity to join the Blue Diamond Taste Makers. While I received a can of almonds and a bag of almonds for free for testing and review purposes the following opinions are my own honest ones. Almonds are a great on the go snack and Blue Diamond offers a wide variety of flavor options.

I had a chance to try the toasted coconut almonds and the blueberry ones. We decided to try the toasted coconut almonds in an ambrosia salad. We have made ambrosia many times but never with an nuts in it. And I decided to add the blueberry almonds to some homemade granola and ate it on top of some strawberry yogurt. I really like the crunchy texture that the coconut almonds added to the ambrosia. I liked the coconut almonds more than the blueberry ones. The blueberry almonds did taste nice in my yogurt. I would definitely purchase the toasted coconut almonds but probably not the blueberry ones. Here our version of ambrosia salad with blue diamond toasted coconut almonds-You should definitely give it a try.

Ambrosia Fruit Salad with Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
2 T sugar
1 C sour cream
1 20oz can of pineapple tidbits - drained
1 10oz can of mandarin oranges - drained
1 10oz jar of maraschino cherries - drained and chopped
3/4 C shredded coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 C chopped Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds

Whip the heavy cream and sugar until it forms stiff peaks - whisk in the sour cream.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together.  Put in the refrigerator and chill for a couple hours before serving.

Ambrosia with Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds

Strawberry Yogurt with Granola and Blue Diamond Blueberry Almonds