Hermit, Will You Marry Me? (Newman’s Own Organics Review)

Hey Bloggity Friends!

Just wanted to check in and report back to you about some of the Newman’s Own Organic products that I have tried thus far. First, you should know that they are a super cool company and give tons of many to charity. And by tons, I mean like over 300 million dollars. Yeah, they are pretty awesome.

And just as a disclaimer: yes, they sent me the products for free. No, I am not required to say nice things about them.

But, how to do their products taste? Well, I already mentioned that these pretzels are awesome.

Seriously, you should go buy some. Like now.

Next up, we tried their Hint O’ Mint Newman-O’s.

I really enjoyed these. The taste/texture is very similar to that of an Oreo, but with a slight minty flavor. So, if you like Oreos you are sure to love these. While I wouldn’t consider these healthy (darn it!), I do like that they are made with mostly organic ingredients and certainly believe they can be part of a nutritious diet.

 

Source

The only chocolate I’ve tried so far is the 70% dark chocolate. It’s smooth and has a nice flavor, something I would totally purchase. Perfect amount of darkness, without being too bitter. While I eat 90% chocolate sometimes, 70% or so is really my favorite. You people who eat 100% straight up are crazy…. but I love ya anyway :)

 

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Fig Newman’s. But, I probably don’t like Fig Newton’s either so I’m not a very good judge. Everyone else who tried them seemed to enjoy them, so I’m sure they’re wonderful, just not my cup of tea (I do love a good cup of tea!)

I loved the orange flavor in the Orange Chocolate Chip cookies. It’s what set them apart from the average store-bought cookie, in my opinion. My mom’s comment was “I don’t usually buy store-bought cookies but if I was going to, I’d buy these.” The only issue I have with them is that a serving is only four and the cookies are pretty small so if you’re like me and have the self control of a monkey it would be easy to eat way more than a serving.

But, by far the favorite thing I’ve tried so far that Newman’s sent me are these little guys.

Source 

Cinnamon Hermits. They’re so chewy and soft and flavorful and delicious and I like that they’re different from your regular ol’ cookie. They actually taste homemade. Overall, I love them. Like, I might marry them if I could. Is marrying cookies legal? In California?

I think that’s all that I’ve tried to far. In a few weeks, I’ll report to you about the rest of the stuff and hopefully I’ll eventually have a giveaway too!

Have you tried any of Newman’s Own Organics products? Which of the above sounds the best to you?

Summer BBQ Sauce

Today is the first official day of summer. Back in Texas, it has felt like summer since April. Here in Colorado (where I’m spending my summer), it actually is just starting to feel like summer. In the week that I’ve been here, most of it has been unusually cool. On our hike Sunday, it was 59 degrees. Today though, the sun is shining and it’s a nice 78 degrees. Perfect summer weather if you ask me. I don’t miss the 100+ degree weather of Texas.

To me, BBQ sauce just says summer. For you maybe it’s the feeling of sand between your toes or eating a popsicle on your back porch with the popsicle dripping on the ground due to the heat or maybe splashing in a pool. A warm plate of BBQ-ed meat (or veggies!) with the sun beating upon my back as I sip a glass of cool lemonade, that just says summer to me. Of course, not just any BBQ sauce will do.

Homemade barbecue sauce is 3,222 times better than store-bought.

I can’t explain why.

You’re just going to have to trust me.

Not So Basic Barbecue Sauce

Sweet and smoky, this sauce is perfect on ribs, pork, chicken, veggies, and just about anything you might put it on.

From the How to Grill cookbook by Steven Raichlen

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce ( I used this kind)

1 tablespoon of your favorite barbecue rub

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and bring slowly to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and gently simmer the sauce until dark, thick and richly flavored, 10-15 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.

Mmm perfect summer barbecue sauce

Now I just need some lemonade and sun and my summer will be complete. I guess I should really put the sauce on something….besides a spoon :)

While I highly recommend you make homemade barbecue sauce, if you can’t, here’s a little tip for ya when serving store bought barbecue sauce: either allow the sauce to sit out until it reaches room temperature or heat in the microwave for a few seconds. Cold barbecue sauce is not a good thing.

What says summer to you?

BBQ or Barbecue?

Father’s Day and Root Beer Float Cupcakes

I just wanted to say Happy Father’s Day to my dad and all the other amazing dads out there!

Father's Day Hike

Father's Day 2011

I’m blessed enough to get to spend today with both my father and grandfather. Obviously, the special occasion called for a special dessert.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes were the dessert of choice.

I took entirely too many pictures of the cupcakes. Oh well.

Did you do anything special for your dad today?

Which of the above pictures is your favorite?

Happy Father’s Day Dad!! I love you!

Roasted Veggie Potato Salad

Last night for dinner I made Grilled Blueberry BBQ Salmon and it was quite delicious. With it, I planned to make Jessica‘s Roasted Potato Salad, but as I wandered through the grocery store my thoughts turned to something my sister made recently that involved roasting mushrooms and onions and topping them with gorgonzola cheese. I did the only logical thing I could think of and combined the two.

 

Roasted Vegetable Potato Salad

Serves 6-8

28oz (1 3/4 lb) Yukon gold potatoes

1 large sweet potato, peeled

1 1/4  pounds green beans

2 medium onions (yellow or red)

2 heads of garlic with tops cut off

2 tablespoons olive oil

16oz mushrooms

2 oz gorgonzola cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 of your favorite fresh herbs

kosher salt

black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Chop potatoes into uniform bite sized pieces. Cut onions into large chunks and separate sections. Trim green beans. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, onions and green beans with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and kosher salt. Drizzle garlic heads with olive oil. Arrange veggies (excluding mushrooms) and garlic on a large baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Stir and add mushrooms and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.

While veggies are roasting chop fresh herbs and mix with olive oil. When the potatoes are soft enough to eat remove garlic gloves from the pan  and sprinkle on the gorgonzola. Bake for an additional 2-3 minutes. Squeeze the garlic into the bowl with the olive oil and garlic. Smash garlic. In a large serving bowl, toss together roasted veggies (and cheese) with the oil mixture. Add additional sea salt and serve.

Dinner is Served

By the way, take a look up at your browser: www.aflourishingfoodie.com.  No more wordpress for me! (just don’t forget the a at the beginning)

Also, thanks for your super sweet comments on my Back to My Roots post. I had been wanting to post something like that for a while but was hesitant. I now realize my reluctance was totally unnecessary.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a Father’s Day Post :)

Ann Claire

Grilled Avocado and Apple Waffle Sammie

I wanted something yummy for dinner

as opposed to the evenings when I want something gross

Oh wait, I always something delicious.

But, I don’t always get it

Actually often I do

Enough rambling,

It’s amazing how complicated I can say “Tonight’s  dinner was tasty”

You what was even more remarkable?

This tasty dish I’m talking about  was a sandwich.

I generally don’t like sandwiches.

But, this was a waffle sandwich.

Spraying the pan wasn't enough....butter to the rescue!

The interior is smooth and creamy, yet crisp and crunchy; Sweet yet savory. The exterior resembles a waffle. I’ve never met anything remotely waffle-ish that I don’t love.

Grilled Avocado and Apple Waffle Sammie

2 slices bread (I used seeded Ezekiel)

1/2 a small avocado mashed

1/4 of an apple sliced thinly (eat the remaining 3/4 alongside the sandwich)

Turkey (omit if you’re not of the meat eating variety)

A slice of cheese (optional, I didn’t use)

Butter/oil

Spread the avocado mixture on both slices of bread and top one slice with apples, turkey and cheese (if using) and remaining piece of bread. Butter the bread and put the sandwich into a waffle iron (or panini press or just a pan on the stove). If using a waffle iron, you may want to but something heavy on top of it. Cook until lightly browned. Enjoy!

I may have shed a few tears when I realized it was almost gone.

Moral of the story: You should make this sandwich.

At least then I’ll have someone to cry with.

Or we can just make each other more sandwiches.

That would probably be better.