Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Taste Trunk Gourmet Box Review

I have been a subscriber to Taste Trunk for several months now. I think it's maybe even close to a year by now. I have loved every single box I've gotten. So many wonderful food products by companies I never would have heard of if it wasn't for this subscription.

My July box.

Taste Trunk does an excellent job of packaging everything. I have never had anything arrive broken. They wrap up all glass products with bubble wrap and it arrives all in pretty tissue paper and a ribbon. They also include cards with ideas/recipes on how to use the included products and also a bit more about the company they've come from.

This month my box contained Hickory Liquid Smoke from Lazy Kettle Brand, 1849 Tri-Tip Meat Marinade, Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar from Amphora, CC Made Pistachio Nut Caramel Corn, and CC Made Rosemary Caramel Sauce.

My husband is looking forward to using the liquid smoke and meat marinade in one of his next grilling adventures. We grill a lot all year. Well he grills. :o)  We've also recently gotten an electric smoker so we're always up for cooking up something delicious outside! 

The pistachio nut caramel corn was good. I would have liked a few more pistachios but I love pistachios! I think I'm going to try the rosemary caramel sauce over a plain cheesecake. I'm not sure I liked it over ice cream. It was a bit of an odd combination but I'm thinking it might be tasty with cheesecake. I haven't tried the balsamic vinegar yet but am guessing it will be mixed with something over a salad. I've received other products from Amphora like olive oil in past boxes and think the quality and taste are great. 

This is one of the very few subscription boxes I've kept. I love it so much. They do an awesome job with their boxes. Taste Trunk's customer service is excellent also. 

If gourmet is not your thing they also offer BBQ, Healthy, and Sweet boxes. I like that mine has included a variety of things. In the past I've received chocolate, flavored sea salts, scone mix, marinades, dip mixes along with the cutest dip serving bowl. I'll have to find the photo I took of that and add it later on. 

If you'd like more info on Taste Trunk you can visit their webpage here.  They offer many different options for subscribing or gifting. They are also on facebook.

* I pay for my own monthly subscription to Taste Trunk. Opinions are my own. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The VB6 Cookbook - Book Review

I had recently read Mark Bittman's VB6 book. So when I had the chance to review it's companion, The VB6 Cookbook I was excited to see what tasty recipes were in it.

The beginning of the book has a brief bit about Mr. Bittman's story of why he changed his lifestyle to being Vegan Before 6. There is also a great section of what you should have in your pantry and the best uses for it. A four week calendar of menus finishes out the intro of the book. I like that pages numbers are included for each so you can quickly turn to that page.

The book contains a wide variety of recipes including breakfast, snacks, desserts and so on. A fair amount of them include beautiful pictures of the food. What I really liked is that almost every recipe included variations at the end. So just by changing up a few ingredients you have another completely different meal or snack. I found several recipes I would like to make. Several of the snack and dessert recipes I know my whole family would like. There is a fair amount of recipes that call for tofu and I am not a fan of tofu at all. I know it is used to replace meat but I just can't get myself to like it so we will be skipping those recipes. He also includes dinner recipes that include meat, poultry, and fish which goes along with the Vegan Before 6 theme.

Overall I think this is a great book to help you eat more plant based foods and less meat, dairy, and processed foods. Most ingredients are easy to find. A lot of them are stuff I keep on hand in general. Of course most of the veggies and fruits are easy to grab at the store.

If you'd like to read a sample of the book you can do that here. If you'd like more info you can also go here and you can check out Mark Bittman's facebook page here.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. Opinions are my own.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Treat Yourself- Book Review

I recently received a copy of Treat Yourself by Jennifer Steinhauer to review. If anyone knows me well, they know how much I love cookbooks. I read them like novels. I love a bit of adventure in the kitchen and my family is always good about trying new recipes. Well, sometimes my kids more than my husband. :o)

This book has 70 recipes of snack foods we all grew up with and some of us still eat today. Included are recipes for cookies, savory snacks, candy, and frozen treats. You can make your own Thin Mints, Nilla Wafers, Cheez-Its, Twix Bars, Bomb Pops, and more.

I love the way the author included a bit of history or a little tidbit of info before each recipe. It's funny how as I was going through the book and looking at different recipes I'd remember something I did or where we were when we would eat certain snacks. She mentions in the book about how it's the memories of what we were doing at the time and not necessarily that the snack we were eating was as good as we remember. Also being able to make these treats, you know what you are putting into them. Not all the chemical stuff they use so they can sit on the shelf for long periods of time. Still they are full of sugar and butter and other ingredients not so great for the waistline, so I can't imagine eating these treats all the time. For special occasions though, so many fun things to make in this book.

Most of the recipes contain ingredients that you probably have in the house or are easily found at the store. I had all the ingredients to make the Oatmeal Creme Pies so that was the first thing we made. They were super easy to make. My kids loved them. I actually liked the creme inside more than the actual cookie. I liked it so much I may find other things that need this creme just because it is so yummy.

Our Oatmeal Creme Pies

We will be testing out more recipes as time goes on. I can't wait to make the Candy Dots and Zebra Cakes. It will be fun too when we have family over. As I was looking through the book certain recipes made me think of different family members. It will be great to surprise them with one of their favorites. 

For more info about this book you can go here and if' you'd like a sneak peek at the book click here.

* I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.