Monthly Archives: September 2009

AlbuqCookie Biscotti & Shortbread Cookies

IMG_0275AlbuqCookies are  biscotti & short bread cookies baked with love all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Cute name and nice packaging with a very interesting story of how the owner of the company moved from New York to New Mexico. Shortly afterward, he started turning his baking hobby into an actual business and the brand AlbuqCookie was born. Check out this website for more high quality picture of the baking process and “meet” the creator of this brand — Stephen Hoffman. At first I was hesitant in trying these because I tend to shy away from baked goods that do not have nutritional information on the package. Glad I took the plunge because these are too good to miss out on.

Lavender Lemon Biscotti: First bite I could taste the subtle lemon flavor. Soft-baked biscotti rather than crispy crunchy kind. The lavender flavor is subtle, but I could barely taste the lemon flavor. 3 bite biscotti that tasted more like a cookie. I think the lavender might be more of a smell than a taste. I am not really use to a flowery tasting/smelling biscotti. Unique, but not my taste. Enriched (wheat) flour, sugar, butter (milk), eggs, organic lavender, baking powder, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt.

Almond Toffee: Blew me away. Love the caramelized toffee. Crispy, crunchy and perfect for dipping biscotti. A perfect 3 bite biscotti to go with any cup of joe. Hard on the outside, crumbly on the inside, covered in bittersweet chocolate with almond flavor lingering on your tongue. Simple ingredients: enriched (wheat) flour, sugar, almonds, chocolate toffee chips, butter (milk), eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt.

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cranberry: The base of the biscotti is spot on again. Good size pistachio nuts distributed within although I could not really taste the pistachio flavor. The chocolate chip flavor was the strongest followed by the minimal dried cranberry bits. This combination was definitely interesting with a different taste in each bite. These are another one of my favorite. Simple ingredients: enriched (wheat) flour, sugar, butter (milk), chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pistachio nuts, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt.

Chocolate Pinon Nut: Harder and more biscotti like than the other 3 varieties. The pinon nuts don’t taste like much to me and there were just a couple embedded in the biscotti. Texture-wise, this one is the hardest of the 4 flavors so I like to dip this one in coffee. Good chocolate flavor, but not uber sweet and drizzled in chocolate. Simple ingredients: enriched (wheat) flour, sugar, chocolate chips, pinon nuts, butter (milk), cocoa, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt.

Green Chile Pecan Sandia Cookies: Super buttery and melts in your mouth good. Each cookie is not that big. Perfect tea side component. Love the pecan bits in there and the green spice kick. Literally melts in your mouth. These are delicious and are to die for. My favorite of the cookies. Simple ingredients: enriched (wheat) flour, butter (milk), sugar, pecans, eggs, green chili powder, vanilla extract, salt.

Leah Rosie’s Chocolate Pepper Chile Cookies: Hard. Very chocolatey and sweet. Chile spice kicks in at the end.  These taste very hard considering they should be shortbread cookies. Very unique since you get the chili flavor as an end note in these, but I could pass on this one. Simple ingredients: enriched (wheat) flour, sugar, butter (milk), cocoa, eggs, cinnamon, red chili powder, red/black pepper, ginger powder, vanilla extract, salt.

If you ever visit Albuquerque, New Mexico, be sure to bring back some as gifts. Truly a special gem from Albuquerque. Highly suggest the Almond Toffee Biscotti, Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cranberry Biscotti and the Green Chile Pecan Sandia Cookies. Want some AlbuqCookies of your own? You can win a bag from Stephen’s monthly drawing. Enter here. Or you can visit AlbuqCookies and show Stephen some love.


Retails: $8.00 per bag @ AlbuqCookie Online
My Cost: Free
Calories: N/A
WW: N/A

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Chia Seeds, Pepper Dog Salsa, Celebrate Twitter, & Pumpkin

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Filed under Biscotti, Cookies

Breyers’ YoCrunch Yogurt

Halloween_3Dimage72dpiHalloween is creeping on us and that means its going to be candy season soon. Don’t throw away your wrappers because you can send them in for a FREE COUPON for one YoCrunch yogurts with mix-ins built in on the lid.

For up to two weeks following Halloween (which this year falls on Saturday, October 31), you can send any candy wrappers which their kids have earned trick or treating (limit one submission per household) to us, and in turn rewarded with a YoCrunch product coupon.

To participate, consumers can send candy wrappers to the following address: Shaina Zalma, YoCrunch, 9507 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300, Bevelry Hills, CA 90210.

Now I haven’t tried any YoCrunch products myself personally, but they do look very promising as a TREAT. Besides the Fun Crunch line (candy mix ins), YoCrunch also has a Granola Crunch line, Light Line and a 100 Calories  line.  For those who have tried them, do leave comments and tell us what you think about them.


Retails: SRP $0.99 to $1.19 per YoCrunch
SRP $3.19 per 100 Calories 4 cup pack

My Cost: N/A
Calories: 180 to 200 per cup (w/ treat)
WW: 4

P.S: Check out these amazing giveaways:
Lazy Baker, Pirate’s Booty, Tropical Eats

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Filed under WW: 4, Yogurt

POMx Iced Coffee

IMG_0337The wonderful people over at POM Wonderful just launched their new healthy buzz POMx Ice Coffee Lines and sent a couple of bottle for me to try. Their line includes flavors such as: Cafe Au Lait, Chocolate and Vanilla.

POMx Cafe Au Lait: Cute bottle as always with Pom Wonderful products. Milky tasting coffee. Similar to an iced latte you would get from Starbucks only it is pre-sweeten. The shot of antioxidants in not detectable, but good to know it is there. As with a lot of sweeten products, it is generally aimed to capture the taste of the general public, but can either be too sweet for some or not sweet enough for others. Judging by the palette of a person that does not add sugar to her coffee, of course I think it is sweet, but not as sweet tasting as other ready to drink coffees out there. Taste like something you can get at Starbucks. One bottle (10.5 oz) is 170 calories, 4 WW, 3 grams of fat (2 grams saturated), 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Good choice for a supermarket coffee. Ingredients include: reduced-fat milk, brewed Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee (water, coffee), POMx (POM Wonderful Antioxidant Extract — patent pending), organic cane sugar, natural caffeine.

POMx Chocolate: I was expecting some sort of mocha tasting drink, but I was surprise that it felt like I was just drinking chocolate milk — something I have not done in a long time. Then, upon closer taste testing, I found that there is a light residual coffee taste that lingers in your mouth after you sip it. Very chocolaty and delicious, but the coffee taste is masked by the strong chocolate flavor. One bottle (10.5 oz) is 190 calories, 4 WW, no fat, zero cholesterol, 160 milligram of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of sugar, 10 grams of sugar alcohol, and 10 grams of protein. Ingredients include: non-fat milk, organic cane sugar, PomX (POM Wonderful Antioxidant Extract — patent pending), brewed Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee (water, coffee), erythritol (natural sweetener), cocoa, natural flavors, natural caffeine, carrageenan.

Overall, I think POMx iced coffee taste pretty good. The Cafe Au Lait has good strong coffee taste and the chocolate one tasted very indulgent and chocolatey with a coffee aftertaste, but the sugar in these are too much for me to handle, especially the Chocolate and Vanilla ones which has 30 grams of sugar plus 10 grams of sugar alcohol in the bottle. Scaling down the 10.5 ounce bottle back down to a normal 8 ounce serving, you are looking at about 133 to 145 calories per 8 ounce drink so it is similar to a can of regular soda. Although made by the POM Wonderful company, these coffee do not have any fruity pomegranate taste in them, just the extra boost of POMx antioxidants.

Retails: $2.99 per 10.5 oz bottle @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 170 to 190 per bottle
WW: 4

P.S: Check out this amazing giveaway:
Apron

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Filed under Drinks, WW: 4

Almondina

Picture 069I always thought Almondina are thin versions of biscotti, but upon closer examination of the package and actaully trying them out, these are no biscotti. Rather, they are delicious thin cookies, in the shape of a mini biscotti, only thinner. So thin, in fact, you can see all the goodness baked into these cookies. Almondina does not skimp on the almonds and raisins that makes these so delicious. These cookies are hard and does not soak up liquid like a biscotti would. I just got a wet biscuit when I tried to dip mine in coffee. The mix of the chewy raisins, crunchy biscuit and almonds  makes these unstoppable to eat. I love the crunchy and chewy textures combine with the nutty, subtle sweet, and vanilla flavors. The package is rather small and contains 4 serving of 4 biscuits per serving. Comes out to be 133 calories per serving or 33 calories per cookie. Does not taste overly sweet but it does have 10 grams of sugar per serving. The package comes with 3 sections with 5 biscuits in each slot. So easy to finish off 1 slot at a time. These are very addictive. Besides the original, which is their all time best seller, Almondina offers flavors in: Choconut, Almonduo (almonds and pistachios), Sesame, Gingerspice, Anniversary, Brantreats (30% bran w/ cinnamon), Cinnaroma, Chocolate Dipped and a new flavor for Fall — Pumpkin Spice. Besides online and at Trader Joe’s, which only carries the Original, I have never seen Almondina at any of the stores I shop at. Time to keep my eyes peeled for the Almonduo and Pumpkin Spice flavors. I heard from a little bird (a.k.a Twitter), that Almondina has new seasonal flavors coming out REAL soon — like January to March 2010 soon. Surprise us, okay? Follow them on twitter  @Almondina. One serving of 4 biscuits is 133 calories, 3 WW, 3.9 grams of fat (0.30 gram  saturated), no cholesterol, 8.9 milligrams of sodium, 88 milligram of potassium, 1 gram of fiber, 21.5 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

Simple ingredients list:
Almonds, Flour (wheat flour and malt barley flour), Sugar, Egg Whites, Raisins, Natural Flavors. Kosher Pareve.

Can you see that the FIRST ingredient is almonds. Love that there are almonds in here more than anything else. Almond lovers rejoice.

Retails: $2.69 @ Trader Joe’s
My Cost: Free
Calories: 133 per serving (4 pcs)
WW: 3

P.S: Check out this awesome giveaway:
Get Well Giveaway

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Filed under Cookies, Trader Joe's, WW: 3

Trader Joe’s Wheat Pizza Dough

IMG_0563What’s a bloggette to do when the pizza craving strikes? Make a homemade pizza of course. With the convenience of Trader Joe’s Wheat Pizza Dough, making healthy pizzas and calzones is as easy as ordering take-out pizza. Taking a little inspiration from Kate over at Cooking with Kate, the pizza queen, I whipped up my first batch of homemade pizza. First thing I did was separate the dough into 4 smaller chunks and wrap the portion I will not be using in saran wrap and stow it away in the freezer. They freeze really well. Following the directions of letting it stand for 20 minutes, the dough got a little bigger. I then preceded to add my ingredients. My sauce was the Trader Joe’s Fat Free Pizza sauce, with mozzarella cheese, spinach, mushrooms, shredded carrots, zucchini and a generous shake of oregano. I like to spread my pizza dough really really thin to get more surface area. If you fold the pizza dough over each other to encase the toppings, then you have yourself a nice little calzone. I thought I did a pretty good job, but I realize that after it cooks, the dough puffs up and raises a little so I could have thinned out the dough even more. All-in-all, my pizza creation was delicious and so simple with pre-made pizza dough. The pizza came out thicker than I had hoped, but the pizza had really good texture. Very chewy and with my topping and seasoning, it was not bland at all. A little high in the sodium department, but I don’t make pizza often so these are nice to hand on hand in the freezer.

Simple ingredients: unbleached wheat flour, whole wheat flour, filtered water, canola olive oil blend, sea and fresh yeast. One serving of 2 ounce (1/8 of package) is 120 calories, 2 WW, 1.5 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 440 milligram of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, no sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Check out these simple instructions straight from the bag:
Gently remove dough from bag and place on lightly floured work surface. Let dough rest for 20 minutes, then, for best results, stretch with hand or roll out with rolling pin to 12-inch diameter. Top with your favorite toppings and bake in a preheated 450 degrees oven or BBQ grill for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese begins to boil and the bottom of crust is golden brown.Use a hot pizza stone or lightly oiled pan for optimum results. Mangia!

Retails: $1.29 @ Trader Joe’s
My Cost: $1.29
Calories: 120 per serving (1/8)
WW: 2

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Molly’s Favorites,
Coconut Oil, Zevia & Anniversary Giveaway

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Filed under Trader Joe's, WW: 2

Justin’s Nut Butter

JustinsWhat do you think of when you want single portioned nut butters? I think of Justin’s  Nut butters that usually grace the bottom shelves of the Whole Foods nut butter/jam wall. The peanut butter are $0.69 a packet and the almond butter are $0.99 a packet. It is very easy to over eat with nut butters so I really like these pre-portioned packets. I eat more peanut butter and almond butter now because I can take them with me every where I go since these require no refrigeration. Simply just knead the packet before opening and squeeze the goodness out. Justin’s Nut butters offers 3 types of peanut butter and 3 types of almond butter for your choosing: Classic Peanut Butter, Honey Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Peanut butter, Classic Almond Butter, Honey Almond Butter, and Maple Almond Butter. Justin’s just launched their CHOCOLATE line: Chocolate Peanut butter, chocolate almond butter and chocolate hazel nut butter. So exciting. I wonder if the chocolate hazelnut butter will taste like Nutella?

Classic Peanut Butter: Smooth and easy to spread. No salt added so it is a on the bland side.

Honey Peanut Butter: The peanut butter is technically smooth, but at times, it felt a little nitty gritty. Must be from the honey powder and sea salt added to it. Since the salt and honey powder are added in crystal form, some bites of peanut butter is salt and some bites are had strong honey flavor. You really don’t know what sensation your taste buds will get until you taste it. I like the surprise. The combination of sea salt and honey powder makes this pb very savory, but not overly sweet. BTW, I was eating this plain with a spoon.

Cinnamon Peanut Butter: Your classic peanut butter with a hint of cinnamon. Very good on apples.

Classic Almond Butter: Delicious, but not as smooth as barney butter. Has a little gritty texture. Again, no salt so a little bland.

Honey Almond Butter: Delicious like the peanut butter version. Good almond butter taste. Had this on top of a homemade bran muffin. I don’t add any sugar to my muffins to this Honey AB complemented my muffin perfectly.

Maple Almond Butter: Tasted wonderful. The maple flavor is slight, but there. Almond butter is good, but almond butter with flavor is even better.

Honestly, I only use half of a packet eat time I use these Justin Nut butter squeeze packets. Luckily, Justin’s do carry smaller 100 calories versions. I pack my lunches with these easily portable packets. No mess, easy to squeeze, but if you want every single drop of it out of the squeeze pack, then it can get messy.

Nutritional Facts:
Almond Butters: One packet is 190-200 calories, 5 WW, 16-18 grams of fat (1.5 – 2 grams saturated), no cholesterol, zero to 65 milligram of sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 1-4 grams of sugar, and 6-7 grams of protein.

Peanut Butters: One packet is 180-190 calories, 5 WW, 15-17 grams of fat (2-3 grams saturated), no cholesterol, zero to 65 milligram of sodium, 2-3 grams of fiber, 1-2 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

Retails: $0.69/packet for PB & $0.99/packet for AB @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free (Won in Giveaway)
Calories: 190 to 200 per 2 tbsp
WW: 5

News:

Marisela over at Nutridel contacted me and told me that their newly revamped site is up and ready. I updated the links in my original post so feel free to browse their fully functional site for more information one their Nutridel cookies that are only about 60 calories each.

Our fellow blogger Kristina over at Nikes and Ponytails is running for a good cause. With a small donation of at least $1.00, you will be entered into her massive giveaway. Check it out here and here and please help spread the news.

P.S: Check out these amazing giveaways:
Amazing Grass, Nuttzo Nut butter, Zensah, & EcoUseable Water Bottle


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Filed under Nut Butter, Whole Foods, WW: 5

EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale

Pappacleeco 036EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. The scale itself only weights 270 grams (about 0.60 pounds). Super light weight and easy to move around. Runs of 2 AAA batteries and very user friendly. Two buttons, but has your basic on/off function, tare and unit changes among grams, kilograms, ounces and pounds. Super simple to use. Personally, I think a scale is an essential kitchen tool, not only for weight-loss/weight- maintenance, but for cooking well in general. Instead of measuring recipes out with measuring cups and having to wash so many things, I like to weight my ingredients all in one bowl if I can. I find that more accurate and saves me a lot of prepping time. The scale has the capacity of 11 pounds which is plenty for cooking and baking needs. So small you can even travel with it, but I am not anal with my food like that. My kitchen is generally used for baking, and cooking with high calorie ingredients such as oils, nuts butters, avocados, pasta, and grains. I love the tare button. After each ingredients, just press the tare button with your bowl still on the scale and you can go ahead and measure in the second ingredient. Love this scale. Big numbers and easy to read. No lag time for readings to come up. Very study and well built and durable for everyday use. The only problem I can see with this scale is that the weight surface is pretty small so if your have a large bowl, it might cover the readings. If you really need to use a big bowl, pick a transparent one. Overall, EatSmart precision Pro is a great little scale.

Retails: $25.00 @ Amazon
My Cost: Free

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Esty Plates,100th Post, & Amazing Grass

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Filed under Gadgets