Newman’s Own Organic Review #2 (and GIVEAWAY!)

Remember when I told you about a few of the Newman’s Own Organics products I received? Well, there was a lot I didn’t tell you about so here goes round 2!

First up, I really liked the Dried Apples, probably one of my favorite things the company sent!

I loved that the ingredient list consisted of exactly one thing: apples! I really enjoyed the flavor and texture; these would make a great on-the-go snack!

Next up, the Chocolate Cream and Original Creme Newman-O’s. These are pretty similar to Oreos, but it seems to me the cookie part is a little thinner and the creme part is a little thicker…..which is fabulous in my book! I was planning to make Oreo Truffles out of the original ones….but we ate them too quickly….oopps :P

Even my mom who doesn’t like Oreo’s at all, really enjoyed these!

I noticed at my local grocery store that they also have Peanut Butter Creme Newman-O’s; I’ll definitely have to give those a try sometime!

Alphabet Cookies!

Brother: “These are good, kind of like Teddy Graham’s…..I might like Teddy Graham’s better though”

Mom: “No way, these are way better than Teddy Grahams. I like that they aren’t so sweet” (<- I agree!)

I tried my beloved Hermits, only of the non-cinnamon variety. These were good, but I couldn’t help but compare them to their cinnamon brethren….and I certainly prefered those!

Chocolate….

As already mentioned, I loved the 70% dark chocolate bar.

54% Dark Chocolate: Rich, creamy, smooth, chocolate-y and delicious! Any chocolate lover would enjoy this bar.

54% Espresso Dark Chocolate: similar to the regular dark chocolate, but with a little espresso flavor….I love coffee flavored things, so I thought the bar was great!

Mocha Milk Chocolate: It was a tad too sweet for me….but that’s probably just my wacky taste buds. To the average person, it would probably be wonderful and just the perfect amount of sweetness.

And, I actually have yet to open the Milk Chocolate (34%) or the Orange Dark Chocolate….gotta savor the chocolate bars, don’t want to eat them all at once. I have a feeling I am going to love the orange one!

The Chocolate Chocolate Chip and regular Chocolate Champion Chip Cookies were good. I’m not usually a big fan of store-bought cookies, but these were pretty tasty. I loved that the chunks of chocolate were pretty big, too! The double chocolate ones were my favorite. They were both a tad bit dry/crumbly to me….but nothing a glass of (almond) milk couldn’t fix. Afterall, cookies are better dipped in milk, right?

The Mighty Minis Pretzels were a nice snack. To me, they weren’t anything special though. They have a good flavor and texture, and if you’re a pretzel lover, you’d surely enjoy them.  And, of course, the fact that they are made with organic ingredients is certainly a good thing. However, I think I’ll stick with their Honey Wheat pretzels; I love a good honey wheat pretzel.

Peppermint: My favorite of the mints

Ginger: these are super different tasting. After I tried these, I actually ran to my parents to have them try them just because they are so unusual and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me. They smell nice, but the flavor is way too strong and spicy. The fam and I were not big fans.

Cinnamon: They remind me of cinnamon gum. I like cinnamon gum :)

Wintergreen: Yum, just the perfect amount of minty-ness.

 

Dried Apricots: The only ingredient: apricots, which made me happy before I even opened the bag. I’ll be honest, when I first opened them I was totally shocked by the dark color. I expected them to be more orange-y like other dried apricots I’ve had. I’m not sure if the dark color is because of the variety of apricots used or the lack of preservatives. Regardless, these are sweet, chewy and yummy.  My mom chopped some of them and put them in a chicken salad, so good!

I still need to try the Pretzel Sticks and the fat-free Fig Newman’s (in addition to the chocolates I mentioned). I’m sure I’ll report back to you on all four things soon!

Overall: I really love the Newman’s Own Organic Company. They made some really delicious products. I also love that it is a very family oriented company and they give so much money to various charities. I would be happy to purchase their products and support such a wonderful company. Of course, I wouldn’t consider any of their products exactly health food. Yes, it’s good that they are made with mostly organic ingredients, but I do try limit my consumption of packaged food in general. So, in conclusion, the company makes some wonderful products that should be enjoyed in moderation and is a great alternative to conventional packaged products. (I’d totally buy Newmans-O’s over Oreos any day!).

Which of the above products sound the best to you?

How Do you like to enjoy your Oreos Newmans-O’s?

I always removed the cookie part from two of them  and eat those plain. Then, put the halves with the creme together. Double-stuffed, heck yes!!

Now that you have made it through this monster of a post, click here for the giveaway I promised you!

Newman’s GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is for the following products from Newman’s Own Organic (reviewed here and here):

  • 1 box of Cinnamon Hermits
  • 1 bag of Honey Wheat Mini Pretzels
  • 1 70% dark chocolate bar
  • 1 bag of Orange Chocolate Champion Chip Cookies

To enter the giveaway you must leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite kind of cookie.

Up to 3 additional entries may be obtained by doing the following things and leaving me a comment telling me you did so (seperate comments for each entry, please).

1. Follow me on twitter

2. Tweet about this giveaway

3. Mention this giveaway on your blog

4. Subscribe to my blog

I’ll begin by telling you my favorite kind of cookie is oatmeal chocolate chip. I love the chewiness that comes from oats, gives the cookie a perfect texture in my opinion. And chocolate chips just make everything better.

I will randomly pick a winner Wednesday morning. All entries must be in by Tuesday day night.

Open to U.S. residents only.

The Awkward Chicken

If someone were to ask me, “Do you like chicken?” It would go right on a list of questions I find it awkward trying to answer.

You know the list.

It begins with, “What type of music to you like?”

Usually the this question is from the lips of an extraordinarily musical person.

A person who would guffaw if I told them the truth.

I haven’t updated my iPod in multiple years.

Sixty-one of the songs on said iPod are sung by someone whose last name starts with “J” and rhymes with “Bonus.”

I’m the least musically inclined person and can play 0 instruments and while I sing loud on occasion, it ain’t pretty.

But, I don’t say that.

I say something along the lines of, “Uhh, I like all kinds, ya know whatever is playing.”

The list ends with, “So what do you think you want to do in the future?”

Yes, there’s a 97% chance I’ll go to a certain university.

And there’s a good chance I’ll end up studying nutrition or communications at said university.

But, you don’t just want to know that do ya? You wanna know like career wise, after college?

Umm, I’m gonna be the next Rachel Ray, duh.

Either that or I’m going to travel the world exploring.

Or maybe I’ll find a wonderful husband and stay at home with the 9 children I’m going to have.

But, those answers don’t satisfy you.

You want to be all realistic and logical.

Well, you’re no fun.

But, to answer the chicken question.

No, I don’t like bland, dried out chicken.

Yes, I like moist, flavorful, well-prepared chicken.

I like this chicken.

 After eating it, I would give a loud and proud yes and declare, “I love chicken!”

Actually, it might just be the sauce that I like. I love balsamic.

Whatevs; it’s a good combo.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Adapted from this recipe. Serves 4.

Just a note to my vegetarian readers: this sauce would probably be really good on baked tofu.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

11/2-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs*

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon fresh parsley + extra for garnish

Lemon zest, for garnish (optional)

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large sealable bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in the fridge. Let marinade for at least one hour (the more the better!). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange chicken on a large, greased baking dish. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Transfer chicken to a serve platter (you may want to cover with foil to keep it nice and hot). Pour pan dripping into a small saucepan, add chicken broth and parsley. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve with roasted veggies and let the marinade totally engulf the veggies. Enjoy!

*chicken thighs are wayyy more flavorful and moist and delicious than breasts

Bonus if you serve the chicken with a platter of bruschetta. This is a Giada recipe, after all.

  

And yes I’m aware that the people who ask these questions are totally kind and well-meaning and my inability to answer a simple question is totally not their fault.
Which is why I’ll smile and reply, “I’m not sure,” and pray they don’t prod anymore.
And if they do, I’ll just invite them over.
For chicken.
And hope they are so captivated by the deliciousness that they don’t judge me when I break out into, “That’s Just the Way We Roll.

“I woke up on the roof with my brothers…..”

Or talk aloud as I cook, explaining everything I’m doing, even making sure I do the boring stuff during commercials so my viewers don’t get bored…when there’s no camera in sight.
Don’t mind me.
I’m planning for the future.

Just call me Rachel.

What questions do you find it awkward to be asked? Do you like chicken?

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By the way, the giveaway I alluded to will be posted Wednesday (please check out yesterday’s post if you haven’t arleady).

Favor Friday

So you may know that a weeks ago, I purchased a domain so that my blog is now. www.aflourishingfoodie.com. Ideally, I would have liked to have been theflourishingfoodie, but that wasn’t available. I had it set so that when someone went to theflourishingfoodie.wordpress it took you to afourishingfoodie. Anyway, when I commented on blogs it still showed up at theflourishingfoodie, I decided that was too confusing so Wednesday I switched my wordpress acount to aflourishingfoodie. After doing so, I realized now when someone goes to theflourisingfoodie.wordpress.com, it no longer links to my site and says it that blog was deleted. I kind of regret switching and wish I had just changed my display name, not my username. There’s no way to switch back though.

Continuing with yesterday‘s theme, it’s ultimately a good thing that I am switched fully over It’s a little confusing now, but once everyone finds the domain, it will umtimately eliminate confusion. There’s always a silver lining.

I now have a favor to ask you. If you have me in your google reader or on your blogroll or something as www.theflourishingfoodie.wordpress.com  please change it to http://www.aflourishingfoodie.com. If you know anyone who reads my blog, but now thinks I have fallen of the face of the planet, because when they try to come to my blog (theflourishingfoodie.wordpress.com) it says that site was deleted, please inform them of my new address and that I am very much alive and blogging. I’m trying to comment on as many blogs as I can with my new address, but I don’t know if I’ll get to everyone.

So, if you can do that for me, I might just reward you with, I dunno, a giveaway :)

Check back tomorrow for a recipe post!

Thankful Thursday : Turn That Frown Upside-Down (and cake!)

I’ve haven’t done Thankful Thursday in practically forever. I can’t believe I let it fall by the wayside for so long. It is long past time for it to be reinstituted. Only this week’s addition is a tad different. I like to call it Turn that Frown Upside-down.

All you have to do is take something negative and turn it into a positive. Take a complaint and turn it into an appreciation.

:( These Strawberry cherries don’t taste much like strawberries.

:) These strawberries cherries are delicious.

Source

:( I can’t believe summer ends in a month.

:) Senior year officially begins in a month!

:( I am so sore I can hardly move.

:) That was a great workout: I’m so glad I worked hard.

:( It’s so hot outside.

:) The Sun is shining; it’s a beautiful day!

:( This cake has so much butter and sugar.

:) This cake is soooo delicious and besides, Michael Polan says to eat as much junk food as you want….as  long as you make it yourself. (The logic is that you won’t take the time to make stuff  yourself very often; clearly he doesn’t know me.)

:( My sister made it.

:) We are of the same flesh and blood….did I mention the cake is delicious?

 

Mimi’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This decadent cake which has been in my family for years will be the star of an meal you serve it with. A small piece on ocassion can certainly be part of a nutritious and balanced lifestyle.

Ingredients:

3 sticks of butter

8oz cream cheese

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Instructions:

Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add eggs and flour alternately. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased angel food(tube) pan*. Bake at 325 degrees for 90-120 minutes or until wooden stick interested comes out clean. Let cool and serve with homemade whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

*2 loaf pans may be used  in place of 1 angel food (tube) pan. If so, check cakes after one hour.

What is a frown in your life that you can turn upside down?

                                                                                                                                                              

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Pains, Gains, and Automation

I don’t discuss that many serious topics on  my blog. I usually try to keep things light and fun and delicious. But, there are serious issues that can’t be ignored.

The 2010 obesity rate statistics just came out. The state I’m currently residing in has the lowest obesity rate, yet it still has an obesity rate of 19.8%. In 1995 a 19.8% obesity rate would have put it at the very top of the list. In the last 16 years (and even before that) our country has become increasingly unhealthy. It scares me. It makes me said. It makes me want to get out there and change the world. The problem is, I’m not sure how.

 

 Source

Fifty percent of American women have tried 5 or more diets in their lifetime. Practically everyone has some sort of body image issue, and eating disorder rates are quite high. Clearly, the way our country views healthy living is seriously skewed and has been for my entire lifetime.

Something has got to happen. Something big! Soon! I’m just not sure what. The way we live just isn’t natural. For centuries people have gotten along just fine without ever uttering the words workout or nutrient or exercise or vitamin, but we’ve decided to perform study after study trying to find the best way to exercise, the best way to lose weight, the healthiest way to eat. Yet, we’ve gotten nowhere. The only thing these studies have proven to me is that the human body knows what it needs and functions very well on its own.

Source

Honestly, in order to solve the obesity epidemic, I think the entire American lifestyle needs to change. People aren’t meant to obsess over food with unpronounceable names or spend hour after hour in facilities filled with heavy metal objects pushing themselves to the point of undeniable exhaustion just to maintain a healthy weight. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Movement and activity should be a way of life, not something we go out of our way to do.

Even if there was a feasible way to change the American lifestyle, skeptics would be abundant. People enjoy sitting on their couch  shoveling in piles of fried food for hours on end. People like being able to drive anywhere they want to go.

Source

Do not lose heart; I’m not discouraged. I’m not throwing in the towel and accepting the fact that this is just the way our country is. I’ve just got a lot more thinking to do.

I think if I could go back in time, I might “disinvent” the automobile, the television, and all soda. I don’t blame our unhealthyness on those objects, but they certainly do play a vital role in getting our country to the state it is in currently.

What are your thoughts on the obesity epidemic of the Western World? How do you think it could be solved?

If you could select on thing that contributes most to obesity and eliminate it, what would it be?

I’m sure I will post on this subject again in the near future. This post was really just putting my thoughts out there.

Weekend Adventures

Greetings Friends!

I’ve had a fun, adventure filled weekend thus far. One which involved no picture-taking on my part (oops). Actually, I took a few today with a water proof disposable camera, but that does you no good.

Yesterday afternoon involved a beautiful hike. I forgot my camera at our hotel, fortunately my brother took some pictures with his phone…..

 

pretty beautiful huh?

I wish I could say I was just making this face to be goofy....I wasn't. I was really making that face. I call it my "Oh my gosh this water is cold, my feet are freezing, take the picture so I can thaw" face.

Today we went white water rafting…….so much fun!

This is just to give you an idea. This picture is not of our group. But, it is from another group from the same company. It was a ton of fun and surprisingly never scary, just fun and exciting. Of course, not all of it was like the above picture. Some was calmer. I loved it though, definitely something I would do again!

We got back home this afternoon and currently the family is downstairs watching a movie in the basement. I opted not to watch the movie as I’m just not much of a movie person. They’ve mentioned a couple times lately  that they want lemon bars and after dinner my dad said, “A lemon bar would be good about now.” So, I decided to surprise them and make lemon bars while they are watching the movie!

I’m off to clean the kitchen so it’s a, “Wow, you’re awesome. I love lemon bars,” kind of surprise. Not an, “Oh my goodness, this kitchen is such a mess,” kind of surprise.

What are you up to this weekend?

P.S. Follow me on twitter and I’ll love you forever :)